Skip to main content

Full text of "Trinity College House of Convocation addresses, &c., 1846-1852"

See other formats












7 = 



% "• 


6 — - 

IB iT M- 

®1)C (Hljristian Scl)olar: 






^rinitji College, 









•^* It may be proper to state, that this was the first Address de- 
livered before the Convocation of Trinity College. The Gradu- 
ates v^ere incorporated under that appellation by Statute of the 
Coqioration, passed August the 6th, 1845. 


©rations, ^bbrcsscs aub Pocmci, 



The C'lssociation of tljc Alumni was formed Aug. 3d, 183L 


Samuel Stark, M.A. 
Park Bexjamin, M.A. 

Alfred Hall, M.A. 
Augustus F. Lyde, M.A. 



Isaac Hazlehurst, M.A. 
John W, French, B.A. 

Isaac N. Steele, B.A. 
Ebenezer C. Bishop, M.A. 


Rev. E. Edwards Beardsley, M.A. 
Clement M. Butler, B.A. 

Poem, (j?) 


Oration, (p) 



Tliere was no Oration or Poem this rear, 

Robert Rantoul, Jr., M.A. 
Willla.m J. IIamersley. 



183 9 

Ohakles Eames, M.A. 


Rev. John "Williams, M.A. 



Joseph H. Thompson, M.D. 

Oration, {p) 

A. Cleveland Coxe, 13. A. 

Poem, {j}) 


Rev. Horatio PoriER, D.D. 


Rev. Joseph II. Clinch, M.A. 

Poem, {p) 

. 1842. 

Rev. Joseph H. Nichols, M.A. 

Poem, {p) 


Hun. II. G. 0. Colby. 


Rev. John VV. Brown, M.A. 



Rev. James A. Bolles, M.A. 
William II. Burleigh. 


Rev. John Morgan, M.A. 
Rev. CiiARLi-a W. Everest, M.A. 



Rev. Thomas P. Tyler, M.A. Poem, {p) 

Tlie Association of tlie Alumni was dissolved August 
r>tli, 1846, and the fjouse of (JIoUDOCation was organized, 
under a statute of tlie Corporation passed August 6tb. 1^4.'5. 

Rkv. John Williams, M.A. Addrees, {p) 


Kov. JoNA. M. Wainwright, D. D. 
Rev. George Burgess, D.D. 

Rev. William Croswell, D.D. 
Hon. Daniel D. Barnard, LL.D. 

Rt. Rev. T. P. K. IIensiiaw, D.D. 
Rev. Ralph Hoyt, M.A. 

Rev. Francis L. Hawks, D.D., LL.D. 


Hon. Levi Woodbury, LL.D. 
Rev. E. Edwards Beardsley, M.A. 


Rev. William F. Morgan, M.A. 
Rev. Clement M. Butler, D.D. 

Address. (^;) 
Poem. {2>) 

Address, (jy) 

Poem. {2>) 


Address, (jj) 
Hist, Address. (/>) 

Address, (p) 

*^.* Those marked (p) have been printed. 







August, 1846. 


Mr. Dean, and Gentlemen of Convocation : 

It seems proper that the first words of him who on 
this occasion is honoured in addressing you, should be 
those of congratulation. There has been, as we trust, 
revived among us, something of the old and true prin- 
ciple of the University. Not indeed in its ancient form, 
nor in precisely the ancient mode of its expression. 
For it may and often does chance, that a principle shall 
express itself in diverse outward forms in different ages, 
while yet in itself it remains unchanged. Indeed no ex- 
ternal organisations or forms within which principles are 
enshrined, — save only those which being of divine 
appointment are adapted to every age, and not to be 
changed by man, — can be expected to remain precisely 
the same, generation after generation, and age after age. 
For they exist in a world whose social and intellectual 
relations are continually changing : and by those very 
changes, demanding corresponding changes in those ex- 
ternal modes by which unchanging princijiles are brought 
to bear and do their work, whether on individuals or on 
masses of our race. 

To have attempted then, in our age and country, — 
even had we possessed the means of doing it, — to revive 

those venerable academic forms and organisations, 
wliicli in the ages when they spontaneously sprung up, 
were adequate expressions of real feelings, and adequate 
supplies of real wants, would have been utterly unmean- 
ing. To have attempted, — supposing again the means 
of doing so within reach, — to have attempted to copy, 
with whatever degree of accuracy, the present polity of 
foreign Universities, those slow accretions of many ages, 
w here one anomaly corrects another, and the genius loci 
transfuses and blends together an otherwise inharmonious 
W'hole, would have been even more absurd. For to 
what would it all have amounted ? In the former case 
you would have had the merest piece of antiquarian 
trifling, with no more of reality about it, than children's 
play. In the latter, you would have had a body without 
a soul, a cumbrous machine without a motive power ; 
for that there would have been wanting time honored 
associations, old rights and privileges, successions of 
ancient custom and wonted honors ; and more than all, 
succession of actual life from age to age, filling and per- 
vading, giving meaning and reality, power and operation, 
visible working and glorious result. 

Yet while this is so, there are still high principles 
involved in the true being of a University or a College, 
which may express themselves very differently, in differ- 
ent ages and countries, while they themselves, as has 
been said, remain unchanged. One of these principles, — 
and that one of the noblest, — we have recognised, and 
given to it expression and outward form in the organisa- 
tion of our present House of Convocation. Another 
has been also recognised, and has found expression in 

the giving to our College as her name henceforward 
through all time, the thrice sacred name of the most 
blessed Trinity. The last of these two principles may 
be stated in a few words. It is that learning is the 
handmaid of the Faith. A principle which in such a 
place and such an assemblage as this, can need no vindi- 
cation nor elucidation. The first principle however to 
which allusion has just now been made, may seem to 
demand a few more words. 

There are in the world, three Associations ordained 
of God himself, all harmonious, though distinct ex- 
pressions of His one law and rule, the Family, the 
State, the Church. To each are allotted their distinct 
offices, and on men as memljers of each are devolved 
distinct responsibilities. Nay, we may say, — not there- 
by intending to assert succession of existence, or to deny 
that the Church in some form or another is older than 
the Family, being even from the beginning, — that the 
world was trained first by means of union in Families, 
and next by means of union in States, to enter in the 
fulness of time into the vast and awful union of the 
Church of the last Dispensation. A union which com- 
prises within itself, though it does not absorb into itself, 
those other unions which preceded it. A union toward 
which indefinite longings, and vague though real w ants 
had been impelling men for many ages before it came : 
and which they had endeavoured to iind and realise in 
those four great empires of the ancient world, before the 
visioned image of whose mysterious majesty, the heart 
of the Babylonian monarch had shrunk away in terror. 
Now to these associations ordained of God, men have 


from time to time, added others of their own. In doing 
so, they have followed the line of the divine working : 
and they have erred and failed, not when they have held 
such associations as subordinate to the Family, the State, 
the Church, and intended only to aid in certain points 
and for certain purposes the work of each : not then, I 
say, have they erred and failed. But when, as we be- 
hold in our time under various names and in various 
shapes,^ they have attempted to substitute theirs in place 
of those of God. When they have undertaken not to 
assist, but to supplant : not reverently to aid, but ruth- 
lessly to subvert, and on the ground thus cleared to erect 
a fabric of their own, whose top shall reach the heavens. 
Then, even as those four old empires which were human 
substitutes to provide for longings which only the Al- 
mighty could provide for, crumbled and decayed, till 
gold and silver, brass and iron, and clay lay mingled in 
undistinguishable ruin, even thus will after substitutes, 
bear they w hose name they may, vanish before the stone 
cut without hands and destined to fill the earth. 

First among these human associations, subordinate and 
in a certain sense auxiliary to the divine ones, and the 
child indeed of the last and most glorious, stands the 
University. First among sonships and brotherhoods, 
other than those of the Family and the State, and the 
more awful ones of the Church to which these others 
point and by which they are sanctified, are the sonship 
which binds the scholar to his College as to a loving 
mother ; the brotherhood which unites him to all those 
whom the same mother has trained for the solemn work 

'Reference is made to the schemea of Owen, Fourier, and others. 

of life ; making herself liercin the worthy handmaid of 
Family, and State and Church. And this I have ven- 
liired to call one of the noblest principles involved in the 
true being of a University or a College. May I not 
even call it the essential one ? That which lies at the 
very foundation, and alone gives life and meaning to 
either the one or the other. Nor is this twofold tic, a 
transient and temporary thing. It is, it must be, perma- 
nent. The training of a College is for life. And as 
day by day the scholar finds that training brought into 
use and action, carried on and developed in a thousand 
unexpected ways, and influencing all his relations in all 
their various forms, how shall it be, that he will not 
recur with a son's reverence and love to her who gave it 
to him ? And bound up inseparably with this feeling, 
forming indeed a part of it, comes also the feeling of 
continuous union with that honoured mother, of a con- 
tinued sharing in her joys and sorrows, her weal and 
woe, and a continued brotherhood inviting to earnestness 
and effort, with all her other sons. And this permanent, 
this abiding tie, is recognised and expressed in the 
organisation of our present House of Convocation. It 
is the very offspring, unless I am much in error, of these 
feelings and convictions. 

In this organisation then, I seem to find the recogni- 
tion of the permanent and holy tie, which through life 
and wherever his lot may be, binds the scholar to his 
College. In that sacred name which now adorns our 
College, I seem to hear proclaimed in an unfaithful age, 
that learninG: is tlie handmaid of the Faith. In these 
two things then, let me find the subject to which your 



thouslits will now be called : The Scholar ; the Chris- 
tian Scholar : his Position, his Dangers and his Duties. 
To attain to a true conception of the position of the 
Christian Scholar, whether in our own age or in any 
other, I must ask you to go with me in a cursory view 
of that wonderful progress, by which the wisdom of the 
world was brought into subjection to, and the mind of 
the world was moulded on, the philosophy of the Cross. 
Could we suppose the vision of an Apostle or a Dis- 
ciple to have been strengthened and extended, as during 
those ten days of "awful pause in earth and heaven," 
he stood with the hundred and twenty in the Holy City ; 
could wc suppose the vision of such an one to have been 
strenirthened and extended till it could embrace the 
civilised world, what a spectacle, viewing that world 
under one aspect only, would it have beheld ! Around 
it in Jerusalem was to be seen the sacred learning with 
whatever additions and distortions, of a wondrous peo- 
ple, and a far reaching age. Throned in the temple's 
courts, and deriving a more solemn and imposing dignity 
from such a dwelling place, the very house of God, 
Judea's learning gathered her band of venerable doctors, 
and grounded herself upon the living oracles of God's 
own word. Southward and to the east, from the sol- 
emn remains of Egyptian greatness, to the caverned 
temples of India, and thence to the Sarmatian Gates, 
there spreads itself under various forms and in various 
developments what may be termed the Oriental Philos- 
ophy.' While westward, there rise up the Academy and 

'U is not intended to intimate that there was any actual definite system, 
suchasMosheini so ingeniously fancies; but the general spirit of contem- 
plation rather than reasoning, Is certainly common to the Eastern Sages. 


the Lyceum, the Porch and the Garden, those four 
mouths, through which the fourfold Greek philosophy, 
spoke to the human race in words that are not yet for- 
gotten.^ Every where are collected crowds of sages 
grown grey in solitary thought or learned converse, 
every where are there stores of written wisdom, the slow 
accumulations of successive years, and all of pomp and 
pride and mystery, with which learning can be sur- 
rounded. It is indeed a glorious sight, this mass of mind 
thus living and at work. For let us not take too cir- 
cumscribed a view of it. It expressed and as it were 
wrote itself out, not merely in the poem or the history, 
the stirring oration or the profound speculation in phi- 
losophy : but it had issued also for untold years, in the 
massive and magnificent porticoes of Egypt, in the stu- 
pendous excavations of the Indian mountains, in the 
solid and enduring arches and aqueducts of Rome, and 
in those highest developments of merely human thoughts, 
the graceful orders of the threefold architecture of inven- 
tive Greece. It showed itself also to men's eyes in all 
the sensuous beauties framed on earthly types, of Grecian 
art ; and spoke in their ears in the stern tones of Roman 
law, which like the art of Greece was waiting for a 
heavenly spark, to raise it to the fulness of its life. 

Such was the world's mind in all its majesty and 
glory, shrined and throned in earth's most lofty places ; 
and thus stood the philosophy of the Cross in its relations 
to it ; confided to the trust of twelve men, whose library 
and school and porch and garden, was a little upper 

^Sec Gibbon's masterly sketch ; Decline and Fall, Vol. III. p. 52, Amer. 


chamber somewhere in Jerusalem. Yet after all, we 
shall not attain a correct view of these relations, without 
remembering how in God's providence things had been 
working so as to advance the progress of the Church to 
the dominion of human intellect. About three hundred 
years before the Christian era, Palestine and the regions 
round about by becoming Greek, became also European ; 
and then in order of time there followed a series of 
events, which mysterious as they must have been to those 
who lived during their occurrence, are to us full of 
meaning, and point directly to the triumphs of the Cross. 
Under Ptolemy jPhiladelphus the Hebrew Scriptures 
were translated into Greek ; and treasures of learning 
were gathered in Alexandria which drew together learn- 
ed men from every quarter of the world, forming for a 
century the great centre of study and scholarship. At 
the end of this period, just when in consequence of the 
long wars of the successors of Alexander, learning had 
declined throughout the greater portion of the Macedo- 
nian Empire, the cruelties of one of Ptolemy's succes- 
sors,^ drove the Alexandrian scholars from his city and 
scattered them among the nations. Under Antiochus, 
tlie tlien true religion, was almost merged in Greek 
Polytheism, but with the aid of the A'smonean princes it 
rose into new strength and developed itself afresh : " so 
that while the Greek mind was spread throughout the 
East, tiie Jewish mind was spread throughout it too ; 
and from their interpenetration arose a diffused prepara- 
tion for the Faith." While very soon, the rising empire 

iPiolnmy Physcon. See Prideaux's Connexions, Vol. II. p. 276, 
Tegg'a Edit. 


of Rome, — sublime sliadow of a heavenly reality, — 
received within itself the East, and pushed itself even to 
the shores of the Atlantic ; thus connecting by its mighty 
bonds the ancient plains of Babylon with " Britain 
divided from the world. "^ Through sucli immediate 
preparation had the world passed, and so as I have 
briefly described it, stood its learning, philosophy, and 
art, in rehition to the Church and the philosophy of the 
Cross, at the moment when we have fancied an Apostle 
looking out on all these things. 

And now for a brief period there was a pause and silence. 
Such a silence on either side as there must have been, — 
for the comparison can hardly fail to suggest itself, — 
w hen the Lord Himself in all the apparent weakness of 
His early youth, stood in the presence of the hoary doc- 
tors in the temple : they wondering at His temerity. He 
resting in His Divinity. So stood the infant Church 
amid the systems and the learning of the world. But 
the pause was a brief one ; deep and solemn while it 
lasted, but brief. For time was precious, and the battle 
fierce : and so in all apparent weakness, and arrayed in 
weeds unmeet as men would say for the attire of divine 
philosophy, she went forth to claim to herself the wis- 
dom, to grasp and mould for herself the minds of men. 
The struggle was an arduous one, but the triumph was 
complete. We may not say that it was the noblest of 
the triumphs of the Faith ; for these are tears of penitence, 
and lives of holiness. Still it was a noble triumph, and 
it is written on an immortal page, even the souls of men. 

To trace it step by step, would be impossible here and 

^See the Christian Remembrancer for April, 1845, p. 331. 


now, nor is it needful. It was a triumphant progress in 
wiiicli the Ciiurch went forth, when she conquered and 
brought under her own sway the fields of learning, phi- 
losophy and art. Yet unlike the progress of conquering 
men, it was not devastation but new life that marked her 
way. She came to the Academy and the Lyceum, the 
Porch and Garden, and gave a living kernel to the husks 
and shells she found there, and woke to life many a form 
ol truth which had been standing moveless and isolated, 
like a marble statue ; while in place of these four homes 
of learning, there sprung up Schools and Universities 
almost without number. Amid the ruins of Memphis 
and of Heliopolis, she made the spirit of contemplation 
long-wasted and preying in itself, to issue in the lofty 
tones, ever lofty if not always truly regulated, of the 
Fathers of the Desert. She gave the Historian the clue, 
by which he could trace out the tangled web of the 
world's story, and read understandingly that wondrous 
course of ages, never before comprehended. She 
brought a nobler strain to the poet's lyre, and touched his 
eyes to see and his tongue to speak, deeper things in 
nature and in man, than men had dreamed before. She 
came to the Grecian Temple, and the Roman Basilic, 
and there arose in their places edifices more vast and 
of a rarer beauty, towering towards the heavens, and 
preaching not men's thoughts of truth and beauty, but 
tiiose eternal archetypes of both, on which Creation has 
been framed. She took the painter's and the sculptor's 
hand, and instead of sensuous earthly forms on which the 
eye could scarcely look witiiout defdement to the soul, 
there burst upon men's sight severe unearthly beauties, 


holy and super-human grace, sources of tlic purest 
emotions and most sacred thouglus. Slie touched the 
unformed indigested mass of Roman Law/ and there 
issued from it, the Code, the Pandects and the Institutes, 
immortal works which tell at this very hour on all the 
civilised nations of the earth. But not to enter into 
more detail, where full detail is impossible, let it suffice 
to say, that this triumph of the Church and her divine 
philosophy, absorbing " all the keenness, the originality, 
the energy and the eloquence" of man, is witnessed to, 
and recorded in the Architecture, the Sculpture, the 
Painting, and above all in the Libraries of Christendom. 
As one has well and eloquently said : " to see the tri- 
umph of tlie Faith over the world's wisdom, we must 
enter those solemn cemeteries, in which are stored the 
relics and the monuments of Faith, — the great libraries 
of the world. Look along their shelves, and almost 
every name you read there, is in one sense or another, a 
trophy set up in record of the victories of Faith. How 
many long lives, what high aims, what single minded 
devotion, what intense contemplation, what fervent 
prayer, what untiring diligence, what toilsome conflicts 
has it taken to establish this supremacy." And all this 
glorious mass of living thouglit, speaking in written 
words or forms of art, widening in endless circles, sweep- 
ing outward for eighteen hundred years, and swee})in"^ 
outward still, has for its centre and its source, the Holy 
Word of God. 

Now this view, brief and meagre as it is, may serve 
to show us what is the true position of even the humblest 

*See Gibbon's own admission. 


Christian Scholar. In very deed lie is a " citizen of no 
mean city." He is one in a brotherhood, second only 
to that A\ liich is the iLillilment of all, and toward which 
all others tend. 

Grant that his place may be obscure, his sphere of 
action limited. Yet he has a place, he has a sphere, and 
in them he has a work to do, a holy mission to fulfill. 
No man can live on earth — unless, that is, he utterly 
withdraws himself from other men, and makes himself 
what God never meant he should be, an isolated being, 
— without in some way, generally in far more ways 
than he can know or fancy, coming in contact with the 
minds of other men. And that not casually now and 
then, but habitually and continually. However few in 
number then these minds may be, and however humble 
in position, yet minds they are, and they form an immor- 
tal page on which the Christian Scholar may inscribe 
truths that shall live and work throughout eternity. For 
in this respect the world of learning, is as the world of 
nature. And as in the latter we see not only mighty 
floods rolling; on for immense distances and throuo-h 
widely spreading valleys, but find on more attentive ob- 
servation, that many unknown streams and fountains, 
each in its own secluded nook, doing its office and ad- 
ding its portion, have gone to swell those floods ; even so 
is it in the former, when there we look more intently 
and with a deeper observation. For look at the body of 
the learning of Christendom, not as a sluggish, inert, 
lifeless mass, but as living, moving, acting : bearing in 
some sense the relation to the human mind, which the 
water docs to the solid parts of our globe, embracing 


nntl permeating it ; and then you shall see clearly and at 
once how this is so. For consider some great mind, as 
it floats down from age to age in ever increasing grand- 
eur, bearing with it a body of collected thought and truth, 
which leaves a leaven and a life-giving nourishment, in 
all the intellectual region through which it goes. Look 
carefully at it and long, not suffering your eye to be car- 
ried onward with the sweep of the great flood, so that 
you cannot pause along its shores, and you will see how 
many other minds have added their part, and unknown, 
unnamed have helped to swell the stream, which bears 
the name of that master spirit who sent it forth, and 
seems evermore to ride upon its waves. Nay, there are 
many streams of truth that have gone forth from un- 
known fountains, from minds that have seeminiily dwelt 
apart from all intercourse of men, and all communion 
with their age. 

If I might venture on another illustration, 1 would 
find it in those old Cathedrals which bear the name of 
some one ruling mind which has finally given them 
luiity and completeness ; while yet many minds have 
been exercised, and many hands have wrought, and one 
has added a shaft, and another a capital, and others 
various carvings, all needful to the completeness of the 
whole stupendous ])lan. So that did anc or could we 
see the reality of things, not one name only would be 
inscribed upon the mighty pile, but countless names 
written on every part, would bear witness to the mass 
of intellect and thought which had developed itself in 
that vast, glorious whole. Consider in like manner 
some one great work of learning, let it be in what de- 


partment you may choose, which bears, and bears right- 
ly, his name who lias given it form and, in one sense, 
being. Remember how many tliouglits and truths have 
gone to its composition : not merely how many authori- 
ties have been directly consulted, but how much derived 
from intercourse with others, how many floating things 
embodied whose origin is not known ; and you will see, 
that though the work is truly his whose name it bears, 
still upon all its pages might be written other names, 
some kno\An and some unknown, who have directly or 
indirectly, taught, or suggested, or contributed, in some 
way or another. And when you carry on your view, 
remembering all this, from one work, to the great body 
of Christian learning, into which in the way just now 
briefly sketched, the world's mind has issued, how count- 
less shall seem the numbers who have brought their parts. 
As in long and shadowy procession they return before 
our fancy's eye, one bringing the solid squared founda- 
tion stone, another the strong pillar, another the graceful 
ornament, each his own portion diverse from the other, 
we see amongst them not merely those whose forms we 
recognise and whose names we speak, but many who 
come humbly and in silence, content to bring their offer- 
ing, and asking no higher honor than to be unknown 
workmen ; and then we learn who and what they are 
who have reared the vast temple of the learning and the 
literature of Christendom. Then we learn his true 
position who is, even in the smallest, humblest, most 
obscure way, a sharer in perpetuating, carrying on, and 
working out, this triumph of the Faith. For that if he 
be only in the lowest form, if he have the fewest minds 


to work upon, the fewest triitlis and tlioiiijhts to give to 
otiiers, still lie is adding something to the mass of living 
thought, w hich will outlive him, and tell upon the minds 
of men forever. As an unseen bell struck in the air sends 
infinite vibrations round ; as an unseen blow upon the 
water sends widening circles over all the surface, so his 
words, if he speaks, shall move the intellectual atmos- 
phere ; so the impression he makes in any way shall send 
a sweeping widening motion through the world of mind. 
Wherefore from all these things we conclude, that, the 
lowliest Christian Scholar has a lofty station ; that he 
should not under-estimate his position, even while he 
takes, as if he be truly wise he will take, the most modest 
estimation of himself; and that that position is second 
only to the standing of the Hero-Saint. 

But on a high position, two things ever wait : great 
dangers, and lofty duties. Let me now, then, turn in 
accordance with the plan proposed in the beginning, to 
speak of these two things. 

The Scholar's dangers, like those of any other class 
of men, range themselves in two distinct groups. Those 
that are necessary and nniversal : and those which are 
peculiar to a generation or an age, and so pass away with 
such an age or generation, to be succeeded by others, 
more or less formidable as it may chance. For without 
dangers may the Scholar never be, else could he never 
be proved and tried. 

Now perhaps of all dangers, the most imminent here 
as well as elsewhere, is the danger of self-deception. 
Indeed, it may be fairly (juestioned whether this be not 
the essential element in all ; whether as error of some 


kind or another is the developed danger, so it may not 
be that self-deception lies at the very foundation of the 
whole matter. Be this however, as it may, and it cer- 
tainly is a point which may well deserve the most atten- 
tive consideration on the part of individuals, still I repeat 
it, self-deception is an imminent danger attendant on the 
position of the Christian Scholar. Self-deception, not 
as to his own character, not as to his own spiritual pro- 
gress, for that belongs to another and a higher phase of 
his being ; but as to his proper duty, his intellectual 
attainments, and in a word all his relations as a Scholar. 

Let us look at one or two of the points of which what 
lias been said holds good. Points which may be sugges- 
tive of others, — for suggestion is all that one can hope to 
accomplish in a matter, to treat of which fully, might 
occupy volumes. Points, too, whicli may illustrate 
what has just been advanced, and show that to speak 
of the dangers of the Scholar, is not to exhibit a morbid 
timorousness, but to take a right and honest view of 
actual things. 

Let us take, then, the ever present, ever pressing dan- 
ger — which runs itself out into so many forms, and in 
such various ways — that the Scholar will utterly mistake 
his situation, his duties, his proper work. That he will 
look upon himself as an isolated person, with few or no 
relations to, and connexions with other men ; that he 
will consider his duties all to lie within the round of hiis 
own study, whence no voice need issue, no written 
words be sent declaring the truth, which he may indeed 
have found, but which he selfishly appropriates ; that he 
will regard his work as all comprised in acquiring for 


himself, ill storing his own mind, and })laying certainly 
in a rather more dignified way, the part of the grasping 
miser. Now there are infinite varieties of this character, 
each with its own nice shades and distinctive marks, 
from the really hard-working man who toils and moils 
on through life, touching no other mind because he with- 
draws from all, and makes himself, utterly isolated and 
alone ; down to the literary lounger, whose selfishness 
and self-deception, run out in another and yet a very 
similar channel. Yet infinitely various as these charac- 
ters are, none of them are, none of them can be, respect- 
able. The best we can but pity, the worst we must 
despise. And still a man may begin his way as a true 
Scholar, a Christian Scholar, and by yielding to this 
self-deception, degenerate from one of these states of 
character to another, until he who in the outset stood on 
such glorious vantage ground, and moved amid such 
companionships, may end his days, the literary trifler, 
the wretched, despicable dilettante : no longer sitting in 
honor and worth at the counsels of his Sovereign, but 
become a miserable eunuch of the Palace. 

Or even if things shall not reach this pass, still self- 
deception as to what his real work should be, may ren- 
der his labors next to useless, and make him feel, at 
last, that his life has been as good as thrown away. 
For the Scholar must work for the age in which he lives, 
if he will work to any purpose. I do not say that he 
must work loitk his age ; that depends upon a\ liether his 
age is working rightly or no, but that he must work /or it. 
That is, that the bent of his pursuits, the course of his 
labors, the turn of his studies, must be determined by 


the intellectual and moral wants of the time and the peo- 
ple in and amongst which his lot is cast. That his own 
mere tastes, or fancies, are not alone to be constdted ; 
that indeed to many fair and delightful walks of learning 
it may become his bounden duty resolutely to close his 
eyes, and from them to turn his steps ; not certainly as 
undervaluing any : not as if he did not allow to each its 
proper place and dignity, as forming a part of what is 
all divine ; but as knowing that here as well as else- 
where, there are opportunities for self-denial and self- 
sacrilice. As knowing that in learning as well as life, 
the finger of God directs, the voice of conscience orders, 
and that both must be obeyed. To recur to an illustra- 
tion which has been used before ; as it is with the pro- 
gress of some vast architectural erection, so is it in this 
matter. It is vain, it is worse than vain, when it is 
time to lay the foundation deep and strong, to be en- 
deavouring to pile the graceful pinnacle or rear the 
slender shaft, or swing the vaulted roof. It is vain, it is 
worse than vain, when it is time to strengthen with the 
firm buttress weak and trembling walls, to attempt to 
carry round those walls, unstrengthened and unsustained, 
the light and carved parapet, or to rear upon them the 
lofty spire. There is a time for all these various works ; 
but to attempt to do them out of time is loss of labor, 
and a hindcrance to the progress of the plan. So in all 
learning. Each age has its work, clearly laid upon it, 
distinctly pointed out: and the danger is not small, nay, 
rather it is great, that the Scholar will choose his own 
work rather than that which is laid before him, and 
therefore fail and fall : saying at last, when self-decep- 
tion ends, not I have lost a day, but I have lost my life. 


These two forms of sclf-dcccption on which we have 
now been dwelling, have not been selected as being by 
any means the most obvious ; though certainly they may 
well be considered as among the most dangerous. 
Rather it seemed desirable that when suggestion was all 
which could possibly be accomplished, more recondite 
and subtle forms should be selected : as thereby we 
might perhaps be brought to feel how wide reaching, 
and of what far extent the danger was. That it runs 
itself out, not only in what one so often sees, and can- 
not but sec to mourn, in the substitution of temporary 
and selfish ends, personal trium})lis, or the achievement 
of a brilliant reputation, instead of the advancement of 
eternal and unchanging truth ; iu the propagation of 
error ; in irreverent assumption or unscholarlike arro- 
gance ; that not in these high obvious forms of ill alone 
it finds its issue ; but in others, also, deeper and more 
liidden, and therefore it may be, all the more dangerous. 
Let these suggestions and these instances, serve then, to 
illustrate that one, great, overwhelming danger, to which 
at all times and in every age the Scholar is exposed ; 
and against which every man who would not fail of run- 
ning lawfully, and therefore lose his crown, is bound 
most earnestly, most hcedfully to guard himself. And let 
us no\v pass to a few thoughts upon other dangers, which 
as I have said are not universal, but belong to peculiar 
eras, being themselves peculiar and diverse. 

A popular writer has said, that while in any situation 
whatever, high or low, marked or obscure, it is a compar- 
atively easy thing to be a man o/^ one's age, to be a man 
for one's age, is ({uite another, and a much more diflicult 


matter. It is ah^'ays easy to swim with the cunent ; to 
go ^^•hithcr what is called the spirit of the age will carry 
one. And surely if that spirit is a right and true one, 
and flowing onward toward such a point as one should 
wish to reach, it is wise and well to go with it. But 
how often is this not the case ; nay, how often is the 
precise contrary the fact. And therefore while it is a 
morbid and unhealthy feeling which concludes that the 
animatinii- spirit of any age is always of necessity wrong 
and evil ; it is quite as morbid and quite as unhealthy a 
one, only in another way, which, — misinterpreting the 
sentence, divine when truly understood, that speaks of 
the people's voice, meaning the real utterances of human- 
ity, as being instinct with divinity, — concludes that the 
course of the aire is alwavs rie;ht. That the Scholar 
may not sometimes be called by every duty, and every 
responsibily to set himself in opposition to it, to denounce 
it, to make it anathema, to struggle manfully against its 
current, even to his own overwhelming and destruction. 

It follows then, that the tendencies of any age may 
be evil ; it is fair and wise to believe that there will al- 
ways be evil ones among them : for surely he must be a 
most unshaken optimist who can think otherwise ; these 
evil tendencies bring dangers as to other men, so es- 
pecially to the Scholar ; and these dangers are those 
which I have called the dangers of an era, in contradis- 
tinction from those which attach to every possible epoch 
of the history of man. 

As a further illustration of these positions, let us con- 
sider a twofold danger, — for dangers are mostly twofold 
in their character, — which attaches to our age ; and 


which presents a ])roblcin that the Schohir must solve, 
thoughtfully and carefully unless he be w illing to go on 
at random, in which case he does not deserve his apella- 
tion. The danger is, that he will on the one hand give 
nothing, or on the other everything to the past : and the 
problem to be decided is, of course, precisely how much 
should be given to it. The danger on the one hand is 
certainly very clear and obvious. Self distrust, distrust 
of the present, reverent turning to catch the voices of 
other days as they float solemnly down the course of 
ages, these are obviously not so charactcristical of our 
age and country as to warrant any great anxiety that 
the claims of the present on our regard will be lightly 
cast aside. A superficial and encyclopedic, and review- 
ing age, is always self confident. And a self confident 
age, is of course in its relations to the past always 
in danger of going to the extreme of forgetfulness : 
which forgetfulness it finds it easy to account for, by 
various theories of progress, or development, or what- 
ever men may choose to call them. Indeed it has gen- 
erally seemed enough, — so pressing has this danger been 
considered, so imminent in truth has it really been, — 
it has generally been considered quite sufficient to con- 
demn it in general terms. Nor has it seemed a matter of 
importance how general those terms were, provided 
only that they were sufficiently strong and startling. 

But is there not a danger too on the other hand ? I 
do not mean a danger that we shall reverence and es- 
teem the past too much, for if the past be rightly es- 
timated that can scarcely be ; but that we shall fall into 
an unreal, untrue, dreamy way of looking at the past 


itself, and tlicrcfore incur tlie evil when we least expect 
it. There certainly is such a thing as the mere blind 
worship of the formal past : there is such a thing as 
attempting to force over the body of some living, un- 
changing, eternal principle of truth, some antiquated 
guise which it does not need to wear, to throw around 
it old externals, which are not of the essence of its 
being. And this is playing at scholarship and learning ; 
this is unreal, hollow and untrue, a mimic pageantry, a 
soulless mascjueradc. I trust that I may not be misun- 
derstood. 1 do not speak of divine institutions but of 
human ones, or of human applications of those that 
are divine. I am not advocating the doctrines of that 
wretched pantheistic view of human history, which 
makes the highest and the holiest things that God has 
given men, but mere ideas, to be developed by the exer- 
cise of human intellect, into something or into nothing ; 
which makes succeeding ages to create new principles 
which former ages had not ; and declares that change in 
essence and not change in form, of truth, is the law 
which regulates the course of time. All this is one 
thing. But to say that principles arc few and truth is 
one ; and that the Scholar must beware lest in avoiding 
the extreme of not finding these principles and that 
truth, living and working in most instructive wase in all 
at least of the Christian past, he shall fall into another 
quite as evil, of mistaking their external garb, their out- 
ward expressions for the things themselves, what has this 
to do with that hardy spirit which changes at will the in- 
stitutions of our Goi) ? With that pantheistic philosophy 
which confounds substance and accident, essence and 


form, spirit and matter, God and man ? What is this 
more tlian to say, that we must not mistake the body of 
the boy, or of the grown up man, or of the saint per- 
fected, for that undying soul, which gives to each its all 
of life and glory ? 

And how great too is the danger lest the Scholar 
may fall into an even more unreal and dreamy way of 
looking at the past. For the temper of the Scholar 
which he must cultivate and cherish, is the Historical 
Temper, and this may be perverted to a most evil 
purpose. The present, rough, harsh, angular, with all 
that is disagreeable standing out from it most prominent- 
ly, is all about us. It grates upon us, its corners wound 
and lacerate, it is homely and wears a stern and every 
day aspect, it forbids and it discourages. Not small 
then is the temptation to turn away from it, and en- 
deavour, as it is said, — though what is meant by it is very 
difficult to see, — endeavour to liv^e in the past. To in- 
dulge fond regrets for glories faded and for majesties 
gone by, and instead of looking resolutely at what lies 
about and before one, to cast back longing looks upon the 
distant landscape, sun-gilt or clothed in rosy flush of 
light, soft, slumberous, silent and obscure. To shut 
one's ears to the harsh tones of men around one, and to 
seek to live with those alone, with whom indeed the 
Scholar must live much, but may not live entirely, whose 
voices murmur gently from the sepulchre, or seem to 
swell in solemn strains of mchidy from the far distant 
skies. But this is wretched : this is ini worthy of a 
man, and most unworthy of a Scholar. For sure we 
may be, " that the man over whom present wants, prcs- 


ent duties, and present facts have no vigorous influence, 
is the very worst qualified man for apprehending by-gone 
wants, by-gone duties, by-gone facts." He wants 
truthfuhiess, and that is the very foundation of the 
Scholar's character. And beside, what man in his 
senses, can ever be sighing in this way after past periods, 
be they never so glorious, never so fully inscribed with 
names that bare the brow and make the pulses swell ? 
Let us know what it is we do if we do this. " If we 
ask that the age in which St. Paul preached may come 
again, we ask also that Nero may come back. If we ask 
that we may be transported back to the glorious period 
of Athanasius, we ask to live under the tyrant Constan- 
tius ; to have the world almost wholly Pagan, the 
Church almost wholly Arian. If we long to sit at the 
feet of Chrysostom, we long for the infamous corrup- 
tions of Antioch and of Constantinople. If we reckon 
that it would have been a blessing to live and die under 
the teaching of Augustine, we must be content to see 
Rome sacked by one set of Barbarians, and the Church 
in Africa threatened by another : we must get our learn- 
ing from a race of effete rhetoricians, and dwell amid all 
the seductions and abominations of Manicheism." And 
if it were thus vain and evil to have the ages themselves 
return in reality and life, how much more vain, because 
unreal and unmeaning, for a man to endeavour to throw 
himself into them in any other way than as a seeker after 
truth, and try to live there. Who can do it, or even wish to 
doit, who believes that life is what it is, an earnest, awful 
struggle with and for realities, and not a fleeting dream ? 
No doubt the sculptor would have consulted his ease 


and pleasure ; no doubt liis visions of beauty would have 
been as high, had he dreamed over them inactively, and 
never applied his hand to fashion the rude, rough, shape- 
less mass of stone. But where then would have been 
the form which leads and teaches other minds, and im- 
bues countless spirits in the course of ages with the love 
and the sense of the beautiful or the sublime. Oh no ! 
life is no dream, learning is no dream, the past is no 
dream but as we shall make them so. And woe to the 
man who tries to make them so. Woe to the Scholar 
who dreams when he should work : who vainly tries to 
re-create the past, when he should help to inform and 
mould the present, on and by all which that past has 
gathered in a long and glorious array, of truth and hero- 
ism, of grace and strength, of grandeur and of beauty. 

But time forbids me to dwell longer on a field of 
thought which spreads and widens as we advance into 
it, and I leave it to speak briefly of the Scholar's duty. 

And what is to be said here, has been of necessity 
somewhat anticipated in that which has already been 
advanced. Because to speak of dangers, is impliedly 
at least to speak of duties also. I may perhaps sum up 
the Scholar's duty in two words : that he must be a prac- 
tical man But in using these words, care must be taken 
lest they shall be misunderstood. In speaking of the 
Scholar as a practical man, I do not by any means annex 
such a signification to the words, as is annexed to them 
by the men of a narrow minded and money getting age, 
or generation, whose highest aspirations are to sum their 
temporal estates in a line of six figures, and whose best 
literature are day books and Icgcrs. All this is well in its 


place; nay more, it is not to be treated with contempt; but 
when w'e are speaking of Scholarship and Scholars, it 
is not to be suffered to come into the account. There, 
the practical man is not the man who can drive the 
shrewdest bargain ; or who is most skilled in getting 
through the world with the greatest possible advantage 
to himself, and the least possible to every body else ; or 
who can shew himself most at home in the ordinary 
walks and intercourses of every day life. Not such a 
man as this is the practical Scholar. But he is the man, 
who when he comes in contact with another mind, has 
power to give that mind a bent, an impulse, a lofty tone, 
a high direction, an earnest ardor, and to impart to it 
something in the way of knowledge, as well as to wake 
it to a deeper, fuller, truer life. But who shall be, who 
shall make himself such a man ? He who realises to 
the full that glorious position of the Christian Scholar, 
he who avoids the dangers attendant on that position, 
to which your attention has been called. He and none 
other shall gain every point. Will he slight learning, 
will he turn away from the treasures of the past, and 
suffer himself to fall into the wretched, unmeaning talk 
one often hears about book-worms and book-learning ? 
Will he neglect his own mind, and take no care to fill it 
with all knowledge which he can, ever directing his 
pursuit of knowledge by the wants of the age and peo- 
ple ill and amongst which he lives ? Such a man is not 
a practical Scholar. Do men call an artificer practical 
if he does not know his trade ; and would it not be 
prima facie evidence against him, were his shop found 
utterly unfurnished, and presenting to him who came to 


sec, a floor witli nothing on it, girt about with four bare 
walls ? Sow ith the Scholar's mind. If it be not stored, 
and well stored, he will be a man trying to work without 
instruments and means : his natural capacities may be 
what you please, and the greater they are, the more 
conspicuous will be his failure. To store well, then, is 
the first part, the very foundation of that Scholar's duty 
who would be a really and truly practical man. And in 
storing let him not forget the rule so applicable to his 

Omne tulit pundum, qui miscuit utile dulci. "For," 
says Bishop Hurd, "the unnatural sc])aration of the duke 
and the utile, has done almost as much hurt in letters, as 
that of the honestum and utile, which Tully somewhere 
complains of, in morals. For while the polite writer, 
as he is called, contents himself with the former of these 
qualities, and the man of erudition with the latter, it 
comes to pass as the same author expresses it, that the 
learned are deficient in popular eloquence, and the elo- 
quent fail in finished scholarship."' 

But again ; for thus far we have but viewed the half of 
the Scholar's duty. The other half is to use \\'hat has 
been gained, by bringing it so to bear on other minds, as 
that some mark, how humble soever, shall still be left on 
them ; some impulse given ; something in a word im- 
parted. To recur to our illustration, homely indeed 
but still significant, as without knowledge and instru- 
ments the artificer cannot work, so knowledge and in- 
struments arc all in vain to one who folds his hands and 
will not. This state is I suppose what they have in 

^Hurd's Horace. Note on the Ars Poclica. 


view, wlio talk of learned leisure and literary ease. 
That state of "judicial, magisterial, collegiate, parochi- 
al or private efflorescence," in which the vegetative pro- 
cess advances with a solemn dignity of progress, a grace- 
ful ease of growth; and the glorious termination of 
whose course, is, that its decay may possibly enrich the 
soil on which it has brooded like an incubus, giving 
neither shade nor ornament, flower nor fruit. But one 
would hope that the growth of a mushroom was not the 
type of the progress of a Scholar. 

In truth, as we see, the Scholar's duty is two-fold ; 
and let us say with reverence and awe, that it finds its 
perfect pattern, where the pattern of all life, and all its 
parts is found, in that most awful life which the world 
has ever seen, which itself real, presents also the true 
ideal, — the life of Him, who being very God, was also 
very man. Alone with the Father, and then mingling 
with men ; such was that awful, most mysterious life, 
in which the pantheists of our day see so little, that they 
can put its spirit on a level with the art of Greece, and 
with the law of Rome ;^ but in which the true souls of 
other days, and the noblest of our own, see the true 
model of the truest life of every living man, be he who, 
or what, or where he may. Alone and then with men ; 
such was the life of Christ; such must be the Christian's 
life ; such too must be the life of the Christian Scholar. 
Alone in those still hours of thought and study, in which, 
even as Virgil guided Dante only under the direction of 
Beatrice, so human learning leads him on only under the 

'So Micholet in his blasphemous book callftd " The People." The 
sentiment has bceu echoed ou this side of the Atlainic. 


guidance of his holy Faith : in whicli, with all low, pal- 
try notions of aggrandisement or of gaining reputation 
cast away, with all veils of self-deception torn aside, his 
one only object has been to gain a deeper hold on deep, 
eternal truth ; in which the great ends of life have been 
in solemn vision clear before his eyes, and he has remem- 
bered that that man cannot study well, who does not 
devoutly pray and discipline himself, since the being 
most like Satan which the world can show, is the man 
of trained intellect and of untrained heart; alone in hours, 
over-brooded by these things and thoughts, he has labour- 
ed to acquire knowledge, princii)lcs, truths, needful for 
himself, needful for other men. The world has seen in 
liim the shrinking trembler, the dreamer of some dream, 
the unreal man, knowing little or nothing of his kind. 
But he knows that no man who has not silently studied 
himself, can know other men : that the best and truest 
knowledge of humanity they have gained who have best 
known themselves : and that the cloistered saint has a 
deeper insight into human nature, than the world's busy 
man. He knows his ends and purposes, and he bides 
his time, patiently, meekly, but firmly and with unshaken 

That time will come. It may be long in coming, but 
he can afford to wait ; for they are men of little plans 
and paltry ends, who hurry and bustle about the world. 
And w hen it does come, when the voice of God is heard 
to call, and conscience clearly points, then he goes forth, 
in a greater or a smaller sphere of action, yet great or 
small still glorious, and then he is with men, and from 
that time forth his twofold life alternates with itself. 


Working for the age, he strives to correct its errors 
mainly by endeavoring to infuse positive truth ; to advance 
all in it that is good and true ; to fight manfully against 
that form, be it what it may, under which Satan attacks 
the truth of God, and in a word to stand in the position, 
to keep himself from the dangers, and to discharge the 
duties of a Christian Scholar. 

Especially, as I have said, will he labor to discover, 
for he is quite sure that it exists, the mode which in his 
day, the attack of the adversary will assume, against 
that Faith whose defence is the highest form of his 
vocation. The mode varies. Now it is direct assault ; 
now it is insinuation ; and again it is imitation. This 
last is the mode of our day : it is evident in all the litera- 
ture of whatsoever kind, which certain sections of the 
intellectual world are sending forth ; and to correct, or 
at least to expose and denounce which, is therefore the 
bounden duty of the Christian Scholar.^ 

And surely on such duties well discharged, high honor 
wahs. Surely the place and work of him who faith- 
fully performs them, who manfully goes through them, 
is but inferior to theirs who minister the word and sacra- 
ments of Christ ; nay it waits on and seconds their high 
service ; and in its self-humiliation is exalted beyond all 
other human things. Surely the work of binding men 
in intellectual brotherhood, in the participation of truth, 
is next to that which binds^in the sweet unities of Chris- 
tian Charity their higher souls. For so it is, that the 

'It was obviously impossible to enter fully into this peculiar phase of the 
infidelity of our day, which, as a late writer has said, "derived from the 
Jew Spinoxa, bids fair to divide the realms of thought with the Christian 
Faith." 1 would refer to an article on Pantheistic Teudeucies, iu the 
April No. of the Christian Remembrancer, 1846. 


Cherub's holy knowledge, yields primacy and precedence 
to nothing, but the Seraph's ardent love. 

Gentlemen : 

I have thus spoken, how imperfectly no one can be 
half so sensible as I am, on that high and holy theme, 
so naturally suggested by the circumstances under which 
we have assembled. For indeed it is a theme that over- 
tasks one's powers, making him feel that where so much 
is of necessity left unsaid, he has said next to nothing : 
where an angel's voice might be honored in its utterance, 
he can have said but slenderly and meanly what he has. 
Yet happily, the very circumstances which suggest, do 
also themselves address us with a force and power which 
no words can reach ; an eloquence which, voiceless 
though it may be, yet thrills directly to the heart. 

These old familiar scenes, recalling other days, wdiose 
depth of meaning, whose exceeding value, w hose bearing 
on our future life, we could not know, and scarcely could 
imagine ; these stirrings of the heart as hands are grasped 
at this brief meeting of long severed friends, or words 
exchanged which tell of others gone ; the names of 
those departed worthies, which in yonder halls are now 
as household words to us; that honored name^ joined 
with theirs in a union w hich shall outlast the stones that 
there are piled, the name of him our Founder, around 
whose venerable presence cluster for so many of us the 
deepest, holiest memories of all our lives, the memories 
of vows uttered on earth and registered in heaven ; — 

^The College buildings bear the names of the three Bishops of Connec- 
ticut: Seabury, Jarvis, aud Browucil. 


God grant that for many a long year as hither we come 
up, that presence may make gkid our eyes and hearts ; — 
and more perhaps than all, that sacred Name which has 
for many a long century summed up the Christian faith, 
and now has given a new and glorious consecration to our 
mother's homes ; all these I say, address us here. All 
these, repeat the solemn exhortation which was given us 
when we were severally from this place sent forth to 
enter on the work of life. We cannot choose but listen 
to them. We cannot choose but feel them. But let us do 
more. Let us obey them. Let us resolve, that be we 
what else we may, we will each in our place and as God 
gives us power, we will be Christian Scholars. And 
that in all our way, whether of silent study and solitary 
thought, or in our minglings with men where study bears 
its fruit, and thought performs its work on other minds, 
our constant changeless rule, shall be the noble motto of 
our College, 

jPro Ecclcsid et Patri.3,. The Legend on tlae College Seal. 


^Ijc Uu0ccu lUitucsscs. 













s— — ~ — a; 

*^* At a meeting of the Association of the Alumni, held Aug. 
5th, 1846, it was 

" Resolved, That the thanks of the Association be presented to 
the Rev. Mr. Tyler, for his Poem delivered this afternoon, and 
that the Officers of the Association be a Committee to request a 
copy for publication." 

Attest, GURDON W. RUSSELL, Secretary. 



^— ^ — ^ 



Darkness enwrapt the Earth ere its first morn, 
The Spirit moved upon the waters' face, 

The Word went forth ; a new creation, born 
Of Water and the Spirit, bore the trace 
Of God's perfections ; nor can Time efface 

Those lineaments divine on it impressed ; 
The Invisible revealed in light and grace ! 

Still to the reverent gaze of angels blessed, 
What then it was, the Eternal Son made manifest. 


Leaves have not faded ; still upon the skies, 
The glowing sunsets of this land of ours, 

Its summer foliage, and the thousand dies 
Which tint its earlier, and its later flowers, 
The bow of promise smiling thro' its showers, 

On all about us, day and night, are seen 

All Eden's hues ; nor in those happy bowers 

Moved forms of softer grace, or manlier mien. 
Than now, in breathing life, arc round us here, I ween. 


SJ . ^ 



Darkness enwrapt the Earth, and moral night; 

The Word went forth, tlic Incarnate God, once more, 
Saying, with human lips, "Let there be light ;" 

And as Judea's land, and Jordan's shore 

He meekly trod, the Spirit as of yore 
Was there creative, and to angels blessed, 

More wonderful than aught beheld before, 
The Church appeared, in heavenly beauty dressed, 
To be on Earth for aye, the Christ inadc manifest. 


A new creation, out from chaos born 
Of Water and the Spirit, bore the trace 

Of His redeeming Love ; and from that morn 
When He departed to prepare a place 
For His elect, abide its gifts of grace ; 

Nor ages dark with violence and crime 
Can its unearthly character efface, 

To His baptized a theatre sublime, 
Where each must win, or lose, the battle-field of Time. 

The sons of God in one communion bound ! 

Regenerate all from their blessed infancy; 
The heavenly host its sacred pale around 

Keep watch and ward ; and look most earnestly 

For what each christened one will do and be ; 
Nor are we careless of their loving gaze. 

Since He who beckons us to victory 
Thro' scenes of labor here, and suffering's ways, 
Hath said ' make friends of them,' in these your trial days. 


SJ J2 




I VI. 

They see not as we see ; before our sight 

The veil of flesh remaining, wo behold 
The human only, and the earnest fight 

Waged by the few, the zealous and the bold, 

For God's own truth on Earth, while faint and cold 
The many are ; and some we trusted most 

Around us fall, or flee, tho' sworn to hold 
Aloft the banners of the Christian host, 
Sworn 'neath those words of power, "Receive the Holy Ghost." 


They see not as we see ; but as of eld 

The prophet's servant, at his lord's desire, 

With eyes unveiled, the spirit host beheld 

Circling the mountain with their ranks of fire, 
As Judah's shepherds saw the heavenly choir, 

As Jordan's crowds the Holy Dove descending. 
As raitre-tongueS of flame the twelve inspire, — 

But glimpses these, of glory never ending, 
The Church of God for aye, in angels' eyes attending. 


At holy font 7oe see the mother mild, 

The ministering priest with surpliced arms receive 

And sign, in Jesus' name, th' unconscious child ; 
But they behold all we thro' faith believe, 
Or haply, at our want of faith may grieve, 

As from on high above each christen'd one 
The Heavenly Dove descending they perceive 

And hear the Father say, ' this is my son' — 
A child of God new born ! an endless life bccfun ! 

^ ^ 



And from that hour they watch our onward way, 

Thro' boyhood's careless scenes ; the many snares 
That round our youth deceitful pleasures lay; 

The manlier duties, and the sterner cares ; 

The part, or great, or humble, in the affairs 
Of this full world, that manhood must sustain ; 

The burden which old age in weakness bears ; 
The ceaseless strife thro' weariness and pain, 
"Which each must wage and win, the immortal crown to gain. 


They see not as we see ; for in our eyes 

The fleeting things of Earth, its pomp and show, 

Such glories as from stirring deeds arise, 
Such honors as from wealth or genius flow, 
Make wide the difference of high and low. 

But in their sight of equal dignity 

Is every contest here for weal or woe, 

And equal honor shall their portion be, 
Who make of them on eartli, friends for eternity. 


In varied form life's trial comes to each, 

To be of varied powers the appointed test, 
To knit and nerve the spirit's strength, or teach 

Patient submission to the Lord's behest ; 

And he the bravest fights who filleth best 
The place and ministry assigned to him. 

Nor hath a christened soul on earth possessed 
A nobler field; nor do the cherubim, 
Who chaunt before God's throne the high trisagion hymn ! 

^ ^ 




The paths of some seem nobler : in the youth 

Of this our happy country, there was one 
Who too was young ; precepts of heavenly truth, 

And honor high, the mother taught her son ; 

And wealth was liis ; and early manhood won 
A soldier's fame ; and when at length this land 

Its noble strife for victory begun, 
The leader of her host, his heart and hand 
Were hers, till millions freed victorious saw him stand. 


And mammon's richest prize, a conqueror's crown. 
Seemed in his reach ; but nobler, he preferred 

The better part, the patriot's pure renown ; 
And long thro' after years his guiding word, 
In council now, as erst in battle heard, 

Led on this land, thro' honor's path to fame ; 

And added States, and myriad hearts are stirred 

With love and pride, that all alike may claim 
The glorious heritage of his unsullied name ! 


On a wide theatre he fought and won ; 

A world admiring paused his course to view ; 
And when, at length, his earthly work was done, 

And his great spirit from our sight withdrew, 

To those immortal ones unseen, who knew, 
And watched his path, and marked his victory. 

We know that they, far more than we could do, 
Revered, esteemed, and loved him — know that ho, 
Of all God's radiant host made friends eternally. 

m ■ ^ 



There was another, — there are many such — 
He had no wealth, not even of the mind, 

Save rude ideas of right and truth, — as much 
As they can teach or learn, like him confined 
To ceaseless toil : — all things on earth combined 

To place him in the humblest, hardest lot, 
Whereon the sun of fortune never shined : 

By man o'erlooked ; by God he seemed forgot. 
Seemed in sore need to pray, to one who answered not. 


There never dawned prosperity for him, 

Nor hope of better days; but darker yet 
Were threatening ever, as his eye grew dim, 

And strength decayed; or sickness came, and debt. 

Small in itself, but hardly to be met 
By one who scarcely dared to turn aside 

From ill paid toil for daily bread, to wet 
With bitter tears the face of one who died 
Lest they — the rest — should starve, who on that toil relied. 


Temptations fierce beset that man throughout, 
To murmur oft at heaven's resistless will ; 

Or if there were a Providence to doubt, 

Who could this teeming world with plenty fill 
While he and his must suifer on, and till 

Another's soil unthankcd ; or right, or wrong, 
vSomc hours of wild forgetfulness of ill 

To snatch from fate, amid the impious throng 
Who drown all thought of God, in wine and mirth and song. 






And yet he triumphed ; an unbroken heart, 

A kindly spirit bearing to the end ; 
Unmurmuring resignation to the part 

Of earthly sorrow, God was pleased to send ; 

A stern integrity, which naught could bend ; 
Unfaultcring trust, and never ceasing prayer 

To Him he knew the friendless could befriend : 
In darkest hours, undoubting, to His care 
Commending those beloved, he calmly left them there. 


And when his spirit, disciplined and tried, 
And faithful unto death, at length withdrew 

To those who long his toilsome path beside 
Had watched invisible, and saw and knew, 
Far more that we on earth could ever do 

Of conflicts fierce wherein he did not yield, 
Think you this life, so manly and so true, 

Less to their love and confidence appealed, 
Than his who fought that fight upon a broader field ! 


"We know not yet what depth of meaning lies 

In those deep meaning words, the promising 
Of riches true, of crowns and dignities 

To them in this life-warfare conquering ; 

But surely, as eternity shall fling 
Its ages round them both, as both have striven 

With equal strength in lots so diftbring, 
An equal sphere to both shall there be given, 
Mid thrones, dominions, principalities of heaven I 





Of little worth a human life appears, 

A round of duties dying with the day ; 
And when by scenes like these we count our years, 

Reminding us anew how far away 

From youth and college days our footsteps stray ; 
When there, where once a busy part we bore 

We are forgotten ; — all things seem to say 
How quickly will our earthly life be o'er, 
And they who fill our place, remember us no more ! 


Yet on ! with higher hope and better cheer ! 

What tho' our manhood passeth rapidly, 
And our best years accomplish nothing here 

But seems with us to share tho destiny 

To die and be forgotten: — Let us be 
In these our few things faithful, and no fame 

Of earth shall equal ours, tho' history 
Unites its many voices to proclaim 
Abroad from age to age, a favorite hero's name. 


The first creation, — earth, and skies, which seem 
A veil translucent drawn before God's throne, 

Surround us here; and 'twas no baseless dream 
Of olden time ; nor poet's myth alono 
Which saw in all a spirit ; and would own 

A deity in every breeze that stirred, 

A god who ruled the sea, and one whose tone 

From high Olympus in the storm was heard ; 
There is a God in all — our God — the Eternal Word ! 



And by His presence, Lo ! this sphere of earth, 
The place whereon we tread is holy ground ! 

And holier far the place of our new-birth, 

Where He with joy receives the lost and found. 
And Angel-ministers our paths surround ; 

Where great results make all our doings great. 
And daily tasks, to which our lives are bound, 

May win us crowns they cannot emulate, 
Who watch us here unseen, and for our coming wait. 

K ^ 

Collegiate (Sbn cation. 







AUGUST 4th, 1847. 






Edidi qu^ potui, non ut volui, sed ut me temporis 
ANGUSTiJE COEGERUNT. — Cic. de Orat. Lib. iii. Cap. Gl. 


Mr. Dean, and Gentlemen of the House of Convo- 

The statute of the Coi'poration of Trinity College, 
under the authority of which we are now met together, 
eminently liberal and wise in its inception, appears to me 
already to be giving proof of its beneficial operation. 
Heretofore the literary festival we are about to celebrate, 
has attracted us from our distant homes and various pur- 
suits to testify our respect for this seminary of learning, 
and our sympathy with the young brethren who are to 
receive its honors ; and, at the same time, to enjoy 
amongst ourselves the pleasures of social intercourse. 
But I feel confident that I speak your sentiments when I 
say that we are now drawn hither by an additional and 
even a higher motive ; and that we are prepared to man- 
ifest a much warmer love for Trinity College, and a far 
deeper interest in its welfare than we have ever felt be- 
fore, in consequence of the trust with which we have 
been honored, and in view of the duty which that tnist 
calls upon us to discharge. As the House of Convoca- 
tion, we have a distinct being in connexion with the Col- 
lege, and are recognized as having a constituent depart- 
ment in the management of its concerns. We are not, 
indeed, endowed with any positive legislative or execu- 
tive authority, for no such could well be delegated to us ; 
but our advice is solicited upon measures which involve 
the best interests of the institution, and we have every 

assurance that our recommendations will receive always 
most respectful consideration from the other house of the 
Senatus Academicus, the Corporation.* 

I anticipate from this new arrangement a very marked 
and quick return of favorable results ; and I cannot but 
congratulate you, gentlemen, and all who have been in- 
strumental in bringing it about, that this important for- 
ward movement in collegiate life in our country can claim 
this institution as its starting place. The sons of this 
college can no longer feel, that when they have completed 
the four years of their academic life, and have received 
their first degree in arts, they are then severed from their 
Alma Mater, and that thenceforward nothing more can 
be expected from them than to cherish a grateful recol- 
lection of her. She will not permit them thus to be cut 
loose from her. She solicits them to change the tie of 
discipline and instruction, sometimes perchance painful 
or irksome, into a bond of love, which shall draw them 
frequently to come and revive pleasing and profitable as- 
sociations, and bring with them offerings of filial gratitude. 
Thus the annual return of the commencement season, 
while it will offer to a greater extent even than before, 
the opportunity for social intercourse between the com- 
panions of former days, will become a stated occasion for 
grave conference, and for friendly and truth-finding de- 
bate upon the all-important subject of education. Are 
we over sanguine in the belief that the results of a counsel 
thus gathered from widely distant sections of our land, 
from all the varied pursuits of life, and from the contrasted 
experience of the young and the aged alumnus ; and these 
maturely weighed and modified, if need be, by the upper 

• As this address may possibly fall into the hands of those who are not 
acquainted with Trinity College and its organization, and who niay feel 
some interest in knowing about it, I have thought it expedient to put 
into an Appendix, a brief statement, taken from the College Calendar for 

house, will recloimd to the honor and usefulness of our 
seminary, and will preserve it from being justly obnox- 
ious to the charge of falling behind the age, or of opposing 
any real and well tested improvement which the spirit of 
the age may suggest ? 

Upon the occasion of the first public meeting of this 
body last year, there could not have been selected a sub- 
ject of discourse more appropriate than the one to which 
your attention was directed.* How fully, clearly, and 
eloquently it was treated, and how great the satisfaction 
and instruction those of us who had the privilege of being 
present derived from it, I need not say. Assembled once 
again as " Christian Scholars,^'' I cannot doubt that we 
are all anxious to discharge, as opportunity may bring 
them up, the various duties which that favored character 
has devolved upon us. Adverting, then, to our new posi- 
tion as members of this Convocation, a prominent duty, 
here and noio, seems to me to point us to our connexion 
with colleariate life. Our thouo-hts and conversation at 
our annual gathering beneath these classic shades are 
naturally directed to this class of reminiscences, and 
hence the principles upon which collegiate education and 
discipline should be conducted will as naturally present to 
us a subject for discussion. At least I will venture to say 
that I hope this will follow as one of the signal benefits of 
our organization. 

So impressed am I with the importance of this pros- 
pective result in its happy influence upon the well-being 
ot this seminary, and also in exciting inquiry and extend- 
ing knowledge amongst educated men in relation to a 
subject which should be dear to them, tiiat I feel con- 
strained to offer myself as a humble pioneer to direct 

"The Christian Scholar ; his iiosition, his danger and his duties. An 
Address pronounced before the House of Convocation of Trinity College, 
Hartford, August 5th, 18-16, by Rev. John Williams, M. A., Rector of St. 
George's Church, Schenectady, and a Junior Fellow of Trinity College. 


your attention to it. It covers a very large extent of 
ground, and will require many successive years to occupy 
and improve it in a suitable manner. My allotted task 
would seem to be the simj)le attempt to clear away some 
obstructions, as a preparation for a higher and more suc- 
cessful culture which is to follow. Expect me, then, and 
permit me, to be somewhat discursive in my remarks 
while I suggest some of those many topics connected with 
the one great subject of collegiate education and disci- 
pline, which I trust will receive from abler and better 
prepared occupants of this place than he who now has 
the honor of addressing you can presume to imagine him- 
self, distinct and adequate examination. 

But that I may not be tempted to wander without a 
definite purpose over too wide a space, I shall direct my 

First, to the general state of education, its defects and 
their remedy : and 

Next, to the outline of a plan which may exemplify 
what will thus be put forward as the true idea of a sound 
collegiate education. 

It is a strange fact and one difficult to account for, that 
education, which has ever been held in the highest esti- 
mation by the thoughtful and well informed, should yet 
be so uncertain as to its fundamental principles and its 
practical administration. A distinguished scholar and 
eloquent writer, the late Dr. Thomas Brown, deliberately 
asserted from his Professorial chair in the University of 
Edinburgh, that " the noblest, but, in j^roportion to its 
value, the least studied of all the arts is the art of educa- 
tion."* Another Professor now filling a high place in the 
city of London, within the present year aflirmedthat " all 
education has hitherto been and long will be a mixture of 
some truth with more fancy and error."! And an able 

♦ Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind, Lecture IV. 
t Dr. Elliottson, Harveian Oration for 184G. 

and most earnest writer thus commences his valuable 
treatise upon Popular Education, published only a few 
years since. " It is a matter of deep regret to the first 
men of the age that education has not yet been placed 
upon a practically useful basis. It is felt that it is im- 
perfectly enjoyed even by the educated, utterly withheld 
from the multitude, and not yet systematized either in 
principles or plan."* These are startling declarations, 
and if we are not prepared to admit them in all their 
breadth, I fear we shall be constrained to acknowledge 
that they are too near the truth for the satisfaction or 
repose of those who have any charge in directing this 
great instrument of human improvement. 

Perhaps it may help to a better understanding of these 
assertions and a more ready assent to their ti-uth, if I ask 
my hearers to make a clear distinction in their minds be- 
tween the art of education as such, and the various arts 
and sciences upon which it may be employed. Education 
is not an intimate knowledge of these, or of any one of 
them, although it implies, and, in order to its successful 
exercise, demands this knowledge. In its own separate 
nature it relates simply to the method of communicating 
in the quickest and most effectual manner to the subject 
of its training, the principles and practice of some art or 
science other than itself. This distinction may tend to 
soothe that intellectual pride so natural to the human 
mind, and which perchance might be offended at the bare 
suggestion that the present generation is not in all respects 
wiser and better off than those which have passed away. 
It will be universally conceded that in many of the de- 
partments of human knowledge, there has ever been a 
gradual, and in some of them, in recent times, a rapid 
and wonderful advancement. If this camiot be affirmed 

♦ Necessity of Popular Education, &c. by James Simpson. 


of literature generally, of the fine arts, or of mental and 
moral philosophy, or what in college phrase are termed 
humaniores litercB, there can be no doubt but that in exact 
science, and science as adapted to the arts of life, a mar- 
vellous progress has been made and is still making, in 
consequence of which the family of civihzed man now 
enjoys advantages immeasurably greater than those pos- 
sessed by any former generation. But this is not the 
question before us. The point is simply, whether or not 
for centuries past there has been any marked improvement 
in the art of training the faculties of the human intellect, 
and of communicating the literature and science of a par- 
ticular age to the youthful minds of that age.* Is philoso- 
phy, then, better taught now than it was in the lectures of 
the Porch or the Academy ? Is there any where a more 
thorough school for the discipline of rhetoric and oratory 
than that to which the youthful Cicero resorted? Has 
there yet been a better plan devised, one fuller and more 
judicious in its directions as to the management of the 
child from the first development of the faculty of speech 
to the crowning work of education in the formation of the 
perfect orator, than is to be found in the Institutiones 
Oratorice of Quintilian ? As to the knowledge of lan- 
guage and appreciation of the beauties of style, no one 
acquainted with the subject, I presume, would assert that 
in any community whatsoever, at present existing, they 
are as thoroughly or widely disseminated as they were at 

♦ "Though the subject has of late been brought forward, it may with 
confidence be asserted, that the important theory of education has by no 
means kept pace with the improvements which have been made in the 
various departments of science and art, during the last century." Re- 
marks on Scholastic and Academic Education. Part 1st of Phantasm 
OF AN Univkrsity, by Charles Kelsall, Esq. A fanciful work gotten 
up with great expense of beautiful but impracticable architectural de- 
signs for an University. It contains, however, wise and profitable sug- 
gestions upon the subject of education. 


Athens, when the whole mass of the people was so well 
educated in these respects that not a i^rammatical error, 
not a defect even of pronunciation could escape detection 
by the very women about the market place.* 

These illustrations, however, must not be pressed be- 
yond their due and prescribed limits. I cannot, I trust, 
be suspected of adducing them in order to raise the shght- 
est doubt of the reality of progressive improvement in 
the social condition of man. " Knowledges manifold,"! 
which either had not sprung into being, or were the jeal- 
ously guarded inheritance of the few, are now freely dis- 
tributed amongst the many. The rights of man are far 
better understood than they have ever been before ; they 
are more safely protected by popular institutions, and the 
physical comforts of man are vastly increased. But no 
one can imagine what would have been his condition at 
this time had the art of education kept an equal pace of 
improvement with many of the other arts of social life, 
and had a true idea of its grand purpose been ever held 
out in prominent view so that all intelligent and benevo- 
lent minds could have worked towards one certain and 
well defined object. That it would have been far wiser, 
happier and more peaceful will hardly be denied. Some 
portions of the poet's description of the primitive but 
imaginary age would have found their counterpart in the 
present actual one. 

• The allusion here is to a passage in that delightful classical romance 
Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis en Grcce. It is so long since 1 read it, 
however, that I cannot recur to it. The learned Abbe doubtless had au- 
thority for his assertion, and according to his custom has most probably 
given it at the bottom of his page. But I am reminded of Cicero's state- 
ment to the same effect,— tamen eruditissimos homines Asiaticos quivis 
Athenicnsis indoctus, non verbis, sed sono vocis, nee tarn bene, quam 
suaviter loquendo, facile superabit. De Orat. Lib. III. Cap. 11. 

t Coleridge. 



^tas, quffi, vindice nullo, 
Sponte sua, sine lege, lidem lectumque colebat. 

Non galese, non ensis, erant ; sine mililis usu 
Mollia securae pei-agebant otia gentes.* 

In advancing- an opinion, however, so unfavorable in 
one important respect to an age w^hich is accustomed to 
boast itself mightily of great achievements, and vshich 
certainly has many undeniable reasons for self-laudation, 
I may be excused for seeking to fortify what I assert by 
an appeal to other testimony. I will direct your notice, 
therefore, to one who has discussed this question, and 
others kindred to it, with sagacity, knowledge and a be- 
nevolent zeal, although I cannot sympathize with him in 
all his complaints, or acknowledge that there is value in 
all his suggestions. His work, from which I quote, was 
written for England, and was designed for an exposure of 
the great faults in society existing there ; but the remarks 
which I here offer for your consideration are not less ap- 
plicable to ourselves. " No error is more profound or 
prevalent than the persuasion that we are an educated 
class in the best sense of the term. Our complacent con- 
clusions on the subject are however exceedingly natural. 
Look, it is said, at our libraries, our encyclopedias, teem- 
ing as they do with knowledge in every branch of science 
and literature. See our chemical, mathematical, mechan- 
ical powers, with all their realized results, which seem to 
mould nature at our will and render life proudly luxuri- 
ous. Then turn to our classical literature, our beUes let- 
tres, our poetry, our eloquence, our polished intercourse, 
our refined society ; consider our fine arts and elegancies, 
and above all think of our legislation and political econ- 
omy, our institutions of benevolence and justice, and the 
{gigantic combinations of our entire national system. 
There is much in these high-sounding claims that deceives 

• Ovid. Metam. Lib. I. 89. 


us. We are prone to borrow from the large fund of credit 
we possess in the exact and physical sciences, to place 
the loan to the account of universal intellectual and moral 
attainment, and to conclude that a pitch of improvement, 
which enables us to travel thirty miles an hour, must 
comprise in it every thing else of knowledge and power. 
But alas ! when we look beyond the range of physical 
tangibilities, and, it may be, elegant literature, into the 
region of mental and moral relations, in short the science 
of man, upon which depend the wisdom of our legislation, 
and the soundness of our institutions and customs, what 
a scene of uncertainty do we see ! Fixed principles in 
social affairs have not yet been attained. Scarcely shall 
we meet two individuals who are guided by the same 
code. Hence controversy is the business of the moral, and 
assuredly we may add, of the religious world. To engross 
as much wealth, gain as much of what is miscalled dis- 
tinction as our neighbor, and outstrip him in the business 
of life. A catalogue of our defects — all referable to the 
education where\\dth we are mocked, might be expatiated 
upon to the extent of a volume."* 

This is certainly a forbidding picture, and drawn with 
a severe pencil, but in the main features delineated, it is 
doubtless a truthful one. It behooves us therefore not to 
turn from it in anger or contempt, but rather to look upon 
it ourselves, and hold it up to others, until we have start- 
led the whole community of thinking men, and especially 
those who have any responsible charge of education, into 
the conviction that the true idea of this art is as yet 
vaguely existing amongst us, and very imperfectly accom- 
plishing its legitimate design. 

Do you seek for the causes of this lamentable deficien- 
cy 1 We believe that one of them at least does not lie 

* Simpson, Chapter 11/ 


very remote, nor is it difficult of detection. If we mis- 
take not it consists in this, that the great and essential 
element in all investigations touching the training of man, 
is most generally either overlooked, or not allowed to 
have its due preponderance. And this element is the real 
nature of man, and the true purpose of his being. No 
system of education can be a wise or successful one, into 
which these all-important considerations do not fully 
enter. The etymology of the word alone, if we would 
attend to it, might lead us to this conclusion. To edu- 
cate is to draw forth or to bring out. To bring out what ? 
Obviously the faculties of our nature — all the faculties of 
our entire nature. To draw out these faculties, then, to 
direct them to their appropriate objects, and, while thus 
training them, to put the subject of education in posses- 
sion of all the knowledge which had been accumulated 
by the generations of men who had gone before, — this 
would constitute a perfect education. But such perfec- 
tion, at least for years to come, we fear, can be contem- 
plated in theory only. We will not however allow it to 
be chimerical to anticipate a much nearer approach to it 
than we now perceive. One obvious fault of the sys- 
tems of education which have had the greatest currency 
amongst men is that the intellectual faculties have been 
in a manner kept distinct from the moral and religious, 
and have too generally been cherished and strengthened 
to their detriment. Now we believe that all the constit- 
uent parts of the one nature of man should be trained in 
happy harmony, and in due subordination to their relative 
importance in accomplishing the great end of his being; 
and we will affirm that the art of education will never be 
placed upon a solid foundation, and be built up in a pro- 
gressive manner as other arts have been, until this truth 
is appreciated and acted on. No one will deny that a 
man whose intellectual faculties have been cultivated to 


the neglect of his moral, will exhibit a character radically 
defective. Furthermore, we who take the Gospel of 
Christ as our rule of life, are fully satisfied that no moral 
training can be thorough or secure, which is not fortified 
by religious principle. It is not therefore pure intellect 
alone, or the moral sense, or the religious sentiment, that 
education is intended to draw forth, but all, and all as we 
have said, in subordination to the great end of his being. 

Since I have thought seriously upon this subject, I 
have often admired the wisdom and felt the importance of 
Milton's words in liis Tractate upon Education, which, 
although only a letter addressed to a friend, detailing the 
substance of previous conversations held between them, 
is yet worthy the attention and repeated perusal of all 
who are concerned in education. " The end of learning," 
says the great poet, " is to repair the ruin of our first par- 
ents, by regaining to know God aright, and out of that 
knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him as 
we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, 
which being united to the Heavenly grace of faith, make 
up the highest perfection. But because our understand- 
ing cannot in this body found itself but on sensible things, 
nor arrive as clearly to the knowledge of God and things 
invisible as by orderly conning over the visible and infe- 
rior creature, the same method is to be followed in all 
discreet teaching." 

To the same eflfect also, although not in a tone so 
Christian like, writes Locke, in a treatise replete with 
valuable practical suggestions for the training of youth. 
" 'Tis virtue then, direct virtue, which is the hard and 
valuable part to be aimed at in education. All other con- 
siderations and accomplishments should give way and be 
postponed to this. This is the solid and substantial good, 
which tutors should not only read lectures, and talk of ; 
but the labor and art of education should furnish the mind 


with, and fasten them, and never cease till the young man 
had a true relish of it, and placed his strength, his glory 
and his pleasure in it. The more this advances, the easier 
way will be made for other accomplishments in their 
turns."* t 

Now it is obvious that what Milton calls the end of 
learning, should be ke})t in constant view in all systems 
and institutions which profess to promote learning, and 
that so far forth as this end is undervalued or lost sight 
of, such systems or institutions may justly be regarded as 
radically defective. Were this principle to be strictly 
applied, I fear that there are few seminaries of learning 
whose course of instruction and discipline could abide the 
test. An author whom I have before quoted, makes this 
strong and unqualified assertion. " No sect in religion 
has yet addressed itself to the duty of teaching the nature 
of man, the value of pursuits in life, the institutions of 
society, and the relation of all these to the religious and 
moral faculties of man." This condemnation is too sweep- 
ing to be entirely just, and if amongst what he calls sects 
in religion, he includes, as it is probable he does, the 
Church, we might in some few instances be prepared to 

* Locke's Works, Vol. TIL page 26, folio edition. 

t We may learn something of the paramount importance attributed to 
moral training even in heathen Rome, and of the mode in which it was 
cared for, by a passage from a chapter of Tacitus, in which he places in 
strong contrast the ancient discipline with the degeneracy of later times. 
"Jam primum, suus cuique filius, ex casta parente natus, non in cella 
emptse nutricis, sed gremio ac sinu matris educabatur, cujus praecipua 
laus erat, tueri domum et inscrvire liberis. Eligebatur autem aliqua 
major natu propiruiua, cujus probatis spcctatisque moribus omnis cujus- 
piam familiae soboles committeretur, coram qua neque dicere fas erat, 
quod turpe dictu, neque facerc, quod inhoncstum factu viderctur. Ac 
non studia rnodo curasque, sed remissiones etiam lususquc puerorum 
sanctitate quadam ac verecundia temperabat. ..... 

Haecdisciplina ac severitas eo pertinebat, ut sinceraet integra etnullis 
pravitatibus detorta uniiiscujusquo natura toto statim pectore arriperet 
artes honestas." — Be Oratoribus iJia/ogus, § 28. 


appeal from it.* But this we are constrained in sorrow 
and humiliation to affirm again, that notwithstandino; all 
that has been said, written, and attempted in relation to 
education, the true idea of it is as yet imperfectly received 
amongst men, and unsuccessfully carried out in places 
assigned to it. The true idea is that religion is " the 
King's daughter, all glorious within, whose clothing is of 

*In justice to luy friend, the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, I must here state 
that he was one of the first, if, as I believe to be the fact, he was not the 
very first amongst us to advocate the cause of Christian Education accord- 
ing to a positive form both in faith and worship. And at great sacrifice 
of time and toil and property, (if indeed that can be called sacrifice which 
has been cheerfully as well as conscientiously and with a successful re- 
sult devoted to so good a work) he has sought to carry out his grand prin- 
ciple. Upon this basis the Flushing Institute was founded in I'^SO, which 
has since become St. Paul's College, now under the Rectorship of Mr. 
J. G. Barton, one of Dr. M.'s earliest pupils. From this as a root have 
sprung St. James's College and St. Timothy's Hall, Maryland, respect- 
ively under the charge of the Rev. John B. Kerfoot and the Rev. Liber- 
tus Van Bokkelcn, pupils also of Dr. M. — all imbued with his principles. 
And now under the auspices, and through the enlightened zeal and un- 
tiring labors of my friend of many years, the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of New 
Jersey, Burlington College is wisely and securely laying the foundation 
of an institution to be built up on the same true principle. These Sem- 
inaries of learning are all by the Church, in the Church, and /or the 
Church. But for the Church in no narrow sectarian intention. " I wish 
it to stand," says Bishop Doane of Burlington College, " no longer than 
its best exertions shall be made for every real interest of man. I desire 
God to bless it no longer than it shall be true to our whole country, and 
true to all mankind. I scorn the shield, however proud its blazonry 
may be, which does not bear the blessed scroll to every wind of heaven : 
Pro ecclesia, pro patria, pro gcnere hxnnaiio — For the church, the 
COUNTRY AND ALL HUMAN KIND." May the Spirit of this motto ever 
pervadi> all Church seminaries of learning ! There are, in other Dioceses, 
Colleges and Sciiools, which profess the same great principle, but I speak 
of those only in this note of which 1 have some personal knowledge, and 
I have spoken at all to this point only for the purpose of bearing my hum- 
ble testimony to the long and faithful labors and large pecuniary sacrifices 
of my friend, devoted to sustaining a principle of education which I trust 
will ere long be universally acknowledged and acted on by the Church. 


wrought gold,"* and the virgins that do follow her are the 
arts and sciences, and as her inferiors they should attend 
upon and minister unto her, and are sufficiently honored 
in being permitted to enter with her into the King's house. 
But how do they on numberless occasions lose their mod- 
est demeanor, and forget their place, and one or another 
as the case may be, strive for preeminence, not only 
amongst themselves, but over their sacred and queenly 
mistress ; who, if not treated with absolute neglect and 
banished their company, is Jooked upon as patronized by 
their notice, and as depending upon them for protection, 
and almost even a being. 

Friends of truth and righteousness, of sound learning 
and Christian education, it is for us to vindicate her rights 
by restoring her to her disputed sovereignty, and giving 
her the chief place of honor and of influence wherever 
youthful minds are to be trained. An arduous underta- 
king, I acknowledge, and one that for its accomplishment 
will demand on the part of the many faithful hearts and 
minds that must be engaged in it, consummate prudence, 
and untiring zeal and patience under disappointment, op- 
position and delay. It cannot be accomplished in all 
places at once, nor in every community with equal facil- 
ity and success. But it is a work which at some day shall 
most assuredly be triumphant, for it is the purpose of Him 
who hath determined that "the earth shall be full of the 
knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."t 
And being his purpose, he has committed its execution to 
those three institutions which he has appointed as the 
visible representations of his economy on earth, the Fam- 
ily, the State, and the Church. When it shall come to 
pass that these three work together with common intelli- 
gence, upon a common principle of mutual support, and 
with a common reference to one great law and its sanc- 

* Psalm XLv, 13. f Isaiah, xl. 9. 


tinns, the Gospel of Christ, then will the true idea of edu- 
cation be universally recognized, and its Ijenign influence 
be felt, and each rising- generation shall succeed to greater 
measures of knowledge, virtue, prosperity and happiness 
than their fathers enjoyed. 

But these abstract and speculative, and, as they may 
be termed by some, fanciful reflexions, are in danger of 
leading me into the region of topics which cannot be fully 
or satisfactorily treated within tlie limits which I must 
prescribe to myself on the present occasion. 

I may however venture to occupy your attention a little 
longer while I attempt, as was proposed in the second 
place, to give the outline of a plan which shall be a prac- 
tical exemplification of the true idea of education that has 
now been aflJirmed, though by no means fully elaborated. 
This idea demands that all the faculties of the one nature 
of man should be trained with a view to his restoration, 
as far as may be, to that Divine image in which he was 
originally created ; and as the religious sentiment consti- 
tutes his distinguishing and most important faculty, this 
must be cherished whatever else be neglected, and in due 
subordination to it must all the other faculties be cultiva- 
ted. Now the problem is so to connect this idea with a 
collegiate institution, as to make it the hfe principle 
thereof. This can be accomplished as I can conceive, 
only in one way ; by the authority and with the aid 
OF THE Church of Christ on earth. As the reliffious 
sentiment h^is been committed by Him who made man 
and knew what was in him to the charge of this Church, 
and as for this purpose he has endowed the Church m ith 
a ministry and sacraments and the custody of the Holy 
Oracles of wisdom, it is impossible for the Church to trans- 
fer her responsibility to any oilier institution, and more 
especially to one of acknowledged human origin. She 
may make use of means devised by human wisdom, to 



facilitate the o^reat object, but she cannot divest herself of 
its charge. The college, then, should be the Church's 
institution, founded under her auspices, built up under the 
influence of her prayers, and by the help of her offerings, 
and haA'ing its whole course of instruction and internal 
police devised and carried on in accordance with her 
spirit. Here religion will be the chief object of notice, 
and the source of all healthful discipline. It will be the 
central light and the attractive power, and around it the 
arts and sciences will be made to move in their due order 
and relation, acknowledging this as the revealer of their 
beauties and utilities, the source of their warmth and life, 
and the great regulator of their beneficent combinations 
and mutual influences. And furthermore believing that 
religion can thus subsist and maintain this steady and 
uniform action only in the manifestation of some positive 
form both of faith and worship, and that all attempts to 
reach this object under the vague statement of such fun- 
damentals as all may agree in, Jiave heretofore proved 
and for ever must prove futile, the Church should dictate 
the articles of faith and direct the mode of worship. The 
collegiate year too should be the Church's year — its move- 
ments, its succession of seasons, its weeks of work and 
weeks of rest, its holy-days, joyous festivals, and self- 
denying fasts, all going on in well known rotation, all 
tending to Him who is the fountain of knowledge, of order 
and of love, and seeking to make his blessed life on earth 
the exemplar of its own. And all this may be devised 
and should be carried out in the spirit of Christian love, 
and in the exercise of an enlarged tolerance. While the 
sons of the Church should be encouraged and exhorted to 
observe her godly discipline, to frequent her inner courts 
and assist at her high solemnities, kindly provision should 
be made for " proselytes of the gate," who may be drawn 
hither, and full liberty of faith and worship be conceded 
to them. 


This great principle, moreover, of putting a seminary 
of learning under the direct influence ot a distinctive faith 
and worship, which I would contend for as right and true 
in the abstract, I would willingly see adopted and exem- 
plified by those who hold different views of religious truth 
from myself. And I honestly believe that were such the 
avowed policy of all the colleges in this land, as in fact in 
some of them it is the operative policy, it would be better 
for the cause of religion and learning, and for that too 
Avhich is so much talked of and lauded at the present day, 
a comprehensive liberality. That unhappy jealousy which 
now so often manifests itself in the management of our 
seminaries of learning, lest one set of religious opinions 
should obtain a more preponderating influence than anoth- 
er, would disappear. Each resting quietly upon its o\x\\ 
acknowledged and distinctive character, the greatest in- 
ternal obstacle to concentrated and harmonious action 
would be removed, and thenceforward the diflferent col- 
leges in the land would be excited only to a generous 
rivalry as to which should most faithfully fulfill the great 
designs of their institution. As to the fear that seminaries 
of learning so constituted would become nurseries of bigot- 
ry and fanaticism, I believe it to be entirely groundless. 
Such a result, wheresoever it should manifest itself, would 
only prove a woful misapprehension of the true spirit of 
the Gospel, or a wretchedly narrow cultivation of the 
liberal arts and sciences.* 

But again, in exhorting the church to assume a greater 
w^eight of the responsibility which partly belongs to her, 
and in pleading for her restoration to her ancient privi- 
leges in this respect, I am very far from wishing to become 
the advocate of priestly rule. He must have been a very 
superficial or a very prejudiced reader of ecclesiastical 

* Adde, quod ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes, 
EmoUit mores, nee sinit esse feros. 

Ovid Ex. Pont. Lib. II. Epist. IX. 


history who is not aware of the evils to which pure reh- 
gion and sound learning and progressive science have all 
been subjected from this source. In the present age, and 
under our happy constitution of government, giving pre- 
cedence to no religious persuasion, but conceding equal 
rights to all, there can be no just apprehension of such 
dangler. And moreover in a church organized as is our 
own, where the laity have a voice potential in our coun- 
cils, all tendency to sacerdotal domination would be re- 
pressed as soon as discovered. 

This principle too, which we advocate, and which we 
would see carried out to its rightful results, is no newly 
started theory. It was the foundation principle of the 
oldest and most renowned seminaries of the land. Har- 
vard College was established upon it, and the spirit and 
intention of the founders of that noble institution still 
speak forth in the language of the motto of its public 
seal. And what is not a little remarkable, the successive 
changes in this motto seem to manifest the progress of 
truth in the gradual development of a sound principle. 
First it was *' Veritas" simply.* To this divine but ab- 
stract idea, was the institution as it were, consecrated. 
But we may imagine some Pilate demanding in contempt- 
uous skepticism, "What is truth?"! The wise and holy 
men who controlled the destinies of the college could not 
hesitate for an instant in their reply. The truth which 
they would confess alone to be such, and the truth which 
they exclusively would teach was " In Christi gloriam." 
This then displaced the vague generality. But it soon 
was felt that as the chief glory of Christ upon earth was 
manifested in his church, with his blessed name there 
should be associated that of his beloved and acknowledged 
spouse, and "Christo et Ecclesise" was emblazoned on 

• See President Quincy's History of Harvard College, Vol. I., p. 49. 

t John xviii. 38. 


the honored shield. And always and every where may 
the spirit of this motto rightly understood, sanctify the 
fountains of human learning and make them as 

«' Siloa's brook that flow'd 
Fast by the oracle of God."* 

The next ])orn sister of New England, younger in years 
b\it not perhaps inferior in literary labors and renown, 
sprang into being under the same holy impulse. The 
preamble of the Charter of Yale College proclaims as the 
leading motive of its establishment, " a sincere regard to 
and zeal for upholding and propagating of the Christian 
Protestant religion, by a succession of learned orthodox 
men,"t and the very first act of the Trustees under this 
Charter was to take order for the rehgious education of its 

This idea of the sacred and indissoluble connexion 
between religion and learning thus recognized in the earh- 
est and most successful attempts to estabhsh education 
firmly on our soil, by the civil and religious fathers of 
Ncw^ England, was by them brought from the Universities 
of their native land, in which so many of them had been 
taught, and for which they ever cherished deep veneration 
and love. That it is there still watched and guarded 
WMth holy zeal as the ark of their safety we know, and 
may no want of wisdom or of vigilance within, and no 
sacrilegious violence from without, ever wrest it from 

The church, then, we affirm to be the appropriate 
guardian and guide of education ; and with all who be- 
lieve that God has given to man such an institution, what- 
ever views they may respectively hold of its essential form, 
this should be received not as a proposition to be proved 
but as an axiom of truth. 

♦Milton. t Baldwin's History of Yale College, p. 13, 21. 


Having thus in our imaginary plan named the sub- 
stance and sketched the form of the foundation we would 
lay, let us look briefly at the principles by which we would 
raise the superstructure. 

A collegiate or liberal education, as it is termed, stands 
between an elementary and a professional one, having an 
important influence upon both, but requiring to be kept, so 
far as practicable, distinct from either. To the one it is 
in the place of a parent, to the other in that of a child. 
To elementary education it is a parent, as having brought 
forth and nourished all the processes by which it is con- 
ducted. Were it not for the higher education, the lower 
could never have been advanced to its present condition. 
Those therefore who look with jealousy upon our colleges, 
who contend against the expediency of affording them 
liberal endowments under the pretence that it is favoring 
the few at the expense of the many, and who are liberal 
in their views of expenditure towards common schools, as 
being for the benefit of the people, while they stint our 
colleges, and in some instances would deprive them even 
of their present resources, betray a lamentable ignorance 
of the true policy of administering the educational system 
of a community. Did they apply to this question enlarged 
and intelligent views, they would at once perceive that 
there is no more effectual method of improving common 
schools and elevating the mass of the people in knowledge, 
than by enlarging the means of collegiate education. In 
a country blessed with free institutions as ours is, it is im- 
possible to advance one class of the community in know- 
ledge and virtue at the expense of the others. There is a 
reciprocal action constantly going on among them. The 
higher the grade of instruction given in our colleges, the 
more surely its effects, flowing down through those who 
are educated in them, and who mingle afterwards with 
their fellow citizens in all the oflices of social life, will be 


felt in the improved condition of the common schools. 
And attain, in proportion as the common schools are bet- 
ter taught, the academies and classical schools will rise in 
the scale of improvement, and the preparatory studies for 
college in these being wider and more thorough, the terms 
of admission into our colleges may be extended, and of 
course their whole scheme of study be made to embrace 
a wider range. But abolish colleges or institutions for 
higher learning, or cramp them in their efforts for im- 
provement, and the deleterious influence will be felt 
through all grades of seminaries of learning, down to the 
very primary schools for training the infant mind. 

As the influence of the college, rightly directed, should 
be to foster and expand all the educational institutions 
which in regular gradation descend from it, so its actual 
system of discipline and instruction should be a rigid pre- 
paration for professional studies or the pursuits of adult 
years. Therefore in a college which would exemplify the 
true idea of education, many departments of learning 
should be cultivated, which though not to be directly em- 
ployed in professional life, have yet an important bearing 
upon its success. There has been a tendency in some of 
our liigher seminaries of learning, to relax the ancient 
system of scholastic discipline by encouraging what are 
called partial courses of instruction, through an undue 
anxiety to gratify the utilitarian spirit of the age, and to 
hasten forw^ard the young aspirants towards their respect- 
ive permanent pursuits in life. Hence often, classical 
studies, and general philosophy, and even pure mathemat- 
ics are not honored, encouraged and promoted as they 
should be. The demand is for such particular studies 
and such an extent alone of familiarity \\'\\h tiiem, as may 
be made instantly and obviously available ; and by yield- 
ing to this demand, encouragement is given to superficial 
education, and the very end proposed, that of making well 


informed and efficient 'practical men for the varied uses 
of social life, is thus seriously interfered with. 

This however is not a recent evil, nor one fostered, as 
some might suppose, by our peculiar institutions, for 
Lord Bacon detects it and thus reproves it : "If any man 
thinke Philosphy and Universality to bee idle studies ; he 
doth not consider that all Professions are from thence 
served, and supplyed. And this I take to bee a great 
Cause that hath hindered the progression of learning, be- 
cause these fundamental knowledges have been studied 
but in passage. For if you will have a tree bear more 
fruit than it hath been used to do, it is not any thing you 
can do to the boughs, but it is the stirring of the earth, 
and putting new moulde about the Rootes, that must 
worke it."* In a subsequent age, and one much nearer 
to our own times, another distinguished scholar, and able 
writer, was led to remark upon the same unhappy ten- 
dency in seminaries of learning to slight scholastic studies 
in eagerness to engage in professional ones. His earnest 
words addressed to the students of the universities of our 
mother-land, but equally worthy of our attention, I am 
glad to rescue from a note in an almost forgotten book. 
" I would call the rising youth of this country to the in- 
tense, and frequent, and unremitting study of the ancient 
classical writers as their primary choice. I call upon 
them to have the courage to be ignorant of many subjects, 
and many authors, at their inestimable age. I exhort 
them affectionately, as a matter of the most serious im- 
portance, never to pretend to study, in their first academ- 
ical years, what they design as the ultimate end of their 
labors, I mean, their profession. Their whole business is 
to lay the foundation of knowledge, original, sound, and 
strong. They who, by a patient continuance and undi- 
verted attention to academical studies alone, have sought 

♦ Of the Advancement of Learning. The Second Booke. 


for the original materials of science and of solid fame, 
have seldom failed in their great pursuit."* The leading 
point to which 1 wish to direct attention in this eloquent 
passage, is its enforcement of the necessity of making the 
course of collegiate studies strictly and thoroughly pre- 
paratory. I sympathize with the author in his warm ap- 
proval of classical studies, but I am by no means prepared 
to recommend them, as he seemingly does here, to the 
exclusion of mathematical and philosophical pursuits as 
a discipline of the mind. The comparative merits of the 
two in this regard, is a question, we know, long mooted 
and still unsettled. I do not design however to obtrude 
myself into this discussion. Had I even the presumption 
to suppose myself capable of throwing any additional 
light upon it, I would not consent to treat it in so per- 
functory a manner as would be necessary at this period 
of my address, I may venture nevertheless to say, in 
passing, that the peculiar benefit of classical or mathe- 
matical studies, considered as intellectual gymnastics, 
must after all be decided by a careful reference to the 
idiosyncracy of the mind that is to be placed under disci- 
pline. Sir John Herschel, in treating of this question, 
has well observed that " there are minds which though 
not devoid of reasoning powers, yet manifest a decided 
inaptitude for mathematical studies — minds which are 
estimative not calculating, and which are more impressed 
by analogies, and by apparent preponderance of general 
evidence in argument than by mathematical demonstra- 

* Pursuits of Literature, page 264 American edition. This powerful 
satirical poem, with its learned, copious, and much amusing notes, wor- 
thy the attentive perusal of all who are engaged in the higher depart- 
ments of teaching, has been sometimes ascribed to GifTord, and is so by 
Watt in his Bibliotheca. But it contains internal evidence in sundry 
places to the contrary. Matthias is now, I believe, the acknowledged 




tion, where all argument is on one side, and no show of 
reason can be exliibited on the other."* 

This fact, then, will have its full influence in every well 
de\-ised scheme of education, and while the subject of 
college training and the candidate for college honors 
will not be allowed to be ignorant of the chief classical 
writers in Latin and Greek, and of the general principles 
of mathematics and their applications, the degree of at- 
tention to be given to these studies respectively will be 
measured l)y the intellectual faculties which shall be 
manifested by each student. 

But while thus, according to our idea of collegiate edu- 
cation, an unremitting attention should be given to stud- 
ies the chief objects of which are intellectual discipline 
and what we may call preparatory knowledge, there are 
other branches of knowledge which must not be neg- 
lected, — branches which are more immediately called 
into requisition in social life, and without a competent 
acquaintance with which no one can be esteemed thorough- 
ly educated. 

The present distinguished master of Trinity College, 
Cambridge, in his admirable treatise upon a liberal edu- 
cation, has very happily distinguished between the two, 
and described them as Permanent and Progressive Studies. 
" To the former belong those portions of knowledge 
which have long taken their permanent shape ; ancient 
languages with their literature, and long established demon- 
strated sciences. To the latter class belong the results of 
the mental activity of our own times ; the hterature of our 
owTi age, and the sciences in which men are making pro- 
gress from day to day. The former class of subjects 
cormects us with the past ; the latter with the present and 

• Views on Scientific and General Education, by Sir John Herschel, 
F. R. S., M. A., as quoted in Newman's translation of Huber on the 
English Universities, Vol. II. part II. p. 645. 


the future. By the former class of studies, each rising 
generation, in its turn, learns how former generations 
thought, and felt, and reasoned, and expressed their 
thoughts, and feelings, and reasonings. By the latter 
class of studies, each generation learns that thought, and 
feeling, and reasoning, are still active, and is prepared to 
take a share in the continuation and expression of this 
activity. Both these kinds of studies give man a con- 
scious connexion with his race. By the former he be- 
comes conscious of a past, by the latter, of a present, hu- 

In these progressive studies we include those which 
treat of the nature and propensities of man as developed 
in the history of nations and the biograjihy of individuals; 
the constitutions of human society including our respon- 
sibilities to individuals and to the community of which we 
are members ; the general principles of political economy 
and of jurisprudence ; the nature and constitution of the 
earth we inhabit — its animal, vegetable, and mineral pro- 
ductions, and their uses and propensities as subservient 
to human wants ; and the relation of this earth to the 
system of the Universe as manifested in the sublime dis- 
coveries of modern astronomy. Amongst these studies 
those which bring into view the social relations of man 
are obviously of the highest importance, especially in a 
country where free institutions are the blessed birthright 
of the people, and where every man is called to the re- 
sponsible duty of protecting them by his vote, and often 
to the more responsible duty of managing them by being 
made the depository of legislative, judicial or executive 
power. As to the studies which are embraced under the 
general head of Natural Science, they are not only of 

* Of a Liberal Education in general ; and with particular reference to 
the leading studies of the University of Cambridge. By William Whe- 
well, D. D., Master of Trinity College, and Professor of Moral Philoso- 
phy in the University of Cambridge. Chapter I., Sec. I., p. 7. 


deep interest in themselves, as exciting and gratifying an 
intelligent curiosity, but they prefer higher claim? upon 
our attention. "Natural science, when pursued with a 
right spirit, will foster the reasoning powers, and teach 
us knowledge fitted at once to impress the imagination, 
to bear on the business of hfe, and to give us exalted 
views of the universal presence and unceasing power of 

Thus it will be seen that in rnifoldins: our idea of a 
sound collegiate education, while we would have the 
principal attention given to the religious and moral fac- 
ulties, and then to the training of the intellectual powers, 
we would also aim at as extensive a knowledge as can be 
grasped and conveyed in an elementary course, of the 
actual system and laws of nature, both physical and 
moral, and the means of adapting this system and these 
laws to the elevation of man's social condition. When 
judiciously and faithfully administered, the benign ten- 
dency of such education will be to bring out all the fac- 
ulties of the youth who is placed under its direction ; 
those that are weak in fibre will be strengthened by ap- 
propriate exercises ; those that have marked developments 
will be trained to graceful and appropriate movements ; 
amongst those that threaten irregular action from want 
of a just counterpoise, the balance will be restored ; and 
thus while the chief hope and eflTort will be to make " the 
man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good 
works,"t there will be no neglect of means or exertion 
to make the intellectual man symmetrical and strong, 
fitted to encounter all that he may be exposed to in the 
combat of life. 

But when I speak of the combat of life, and of the 

* A Discourse on the Studies of the University, by Adam Sedgwick, 
M. A., F. R. S., and Woodwardian Professor, and Fellow of Trinity Col- 
lege, Cambrids^c. Appendix p. 155. 

t II. Timothy, III. 17. 


intellectual trainino;- that is essential to entering^ into it 
with a reasonable prospect of success, I am reminded 
that there is another constituent part of man which de- 
mands, though not 1o an equal degree, the superintend- 
ing care of education ; and this is his physical constitu- 
tion. Were I to say that its healthful or diseased condi- 
tion exerts a very powerful and obvious influence, not 
only upon the comfort of his daily life, but upon the 
growth of his intellectual, moral, and even religious facul- 
ties, I should be only repeating what has been said a 
thousand times over upon that trite theme, " mens sana in 
corp07-e sano." But yet I will ask, has this subject re- 
ceived by any means the attention its importance de-. 
mands ? From all I can learn and have observed, it is 
treated with greater neglect amongst us, both by educa- 
ted men and youth in the process of education, than 
amongst any other civilized people. Whether it be from 
the effect of climate, or from some peculiarity of consti- 
tution, I know not, but the fact is certain that our young 
men, in colleges especially, are too little disposed to take 
that amount of exercise which is absolutely needful for 
health. The consequence is that we have a larger pro- 
portion of feeble and sickly students, and of men break- 
ing down in the early stages of professional life, than is 
found in other countries. How different the habits of 
English college life are, let me show by adducing the tes- 
timony of a scholar who, after spending a portion of his 
time in one of the chief and the most populous of our 
American colleges, passed several years in the University 
of Cambridge, " There is one great point where the 
English have the advantage over us : they understand 
how to take care of their health. Every Cantabrigian 
takes his two hours exercise per diem, by walking, 
riding, rowing, fencing, gymnastics, &c. How many 
colleges are there here where the students average one 
hour a day of real exercise ? In New England the last 


thinsf thouofht of is exercise — even the mild walks which 
are dignified with the name of exercise, how unlike the 
Cantabrigian's constitutional of eight miles in less than 
two hours ! And the consequence is — what ? There is 
not a finer looking set of young men in the world than 
the Cantabs, and as to health — why, one hundred and 
thirty freshmen enter at Trinity every year, and it is no 
unfrequcnt occurrence that, whatever loss they may sus- 
tain from other causes, death takes away none of them 
during the three years and a half which comprise their 
undergraduate course."* 

Now what remedy can be proposed for the mitigation 
or the cure of this acknowledged evil ? Compulsory 
measures are of course out of the question. Discipline 
which it may be highly expedient to apply under certain 
circumstances for the quickening of mental effort, could 
answer no good purpose in this relation. All that can be 
done then, is to enforce the necessity for bodily exer- 
cise upon our students, and supply them with suitable 
facihties for its practice. We learn that this has been 
attempted in some of our literary institutions by means 
of farms and workshops. I would by no means under- 
value such attempts — on the contrary, in carrying out 
the system now suggested, I would propose that space of 
ground, and opportunity, for horticulture, if not agricul- 
ture, should be furnished for all those who felt drawn to 
these health-giving and useful pursuits, and that accom- 
modation also should be supplied for those who in the in- 
clement season of winter would seek for exercise by the 
saw, the hammer, or the turning lathe. But still I am 
not utilitarian enough to despise plays which are nothing 
more than plays ; and which on account of the greater 
relaxation of the mental powers they induce, the freer 
use of all the muscles they occasion, and the joyousness 

• American Review, Vol. V. p. 354. 


of spirits they excite, I should prefer for students to j)lay- 
ing at farming or trades. I would encourage, then, the 
ball ground, the cricket field, and the boat race, and re- 
joice to see on classic soil, sports that should recall the 
graphic descriptions of the classic page. 

For example, on occasions like the present festival 
week, in order to exhibit what improvements the physical 
exercise of a year had produced, I would be reminded of 
the boat race, the poet's animated description of which 
even school boys must remember. 

Prima pares ineunt gravibus certamina remis, 
Quatuor, ex omni dilectae, classe.carince. 

Vir. Mneid. V. 114. 

Then when all are ready, the active youths 

Considunt transtris intentaque brachia remis : 
Intentique expectant signum, exultantiaque haurit 
Corda pavor pulsans, laudumque arrecta cupido. 

JEneid. V. 136. 

Nor amidst the beautiful scenery which surrounds yon- 
der favored spot, and recalls to us the Elysian fields, 
w'ould it be displeasing to see them occasionally animated 
with Elysian sports. 

Pars in gramineis exercent membra jialscstris ; 
Contendunt ludo, et I'ulvd luctantur arena. 

.^ndd. VI. G42. 

And the consequence would be, that, were athletic ex- 
ercises like these encouraged and practised as a stated 
relaxation from hard study, and were the fields and groves, 
the shady walks, and breezy hills, and rippling and run-" 
ning waters, associated with a healthiul, vigorous and. 
joyous existence, the memory of a college life would in- 
deed be as that of an Elysian abode, and the words which 


precede my last quotation would well describe the happy 
haunts of a well spent youth. 

Devenere locos latos, et amoena vireta, 
Foituiiatorum neniorum, sedesque beatas. 
Largior hie campos aether et lumine vestit, 
Purpureo ; solemque suum, sua sidera norunt. 

Virgil, JEn. VI. 63S. 

But gentlemen, it is time to bring this already too long, 
and I fear too discursive address, to its end. I have ven- 
tured to speak thus much and thus in detail upon a sub- 
ject, which, how trite soever, can never lose its interest 
with those who watch and wish, and labor and pray, as I 
trust we all do, for the progress of man in the better 
training of the rising generation. I decided to attempt 
the treatment of this subject after much hesitation, not 
however in consequence of any distrust of the principles I 
should maintain, or the measures I should propose, but 
through fear that the inability of the advocate might injure 
the cause, and that I might subject myself, disconnected 
as I am with the administrative care of education, to the 
charge of presumption in assuming the position of an 
adviser. As 'a Fellow of Trinity College, however, 
I have felt that I had a responsible duty to discharge, 
and as a member of the House of Convocation, and one of 
the older members, I have been not unwilling to take the 
responsibihty of setting the example of trying to make 
this a place of trust. 

Certainly, gentlemen, we who have the honor of be- 
longing to this House of Convocation, if we would not 
unworthily content ourselves with enjoying an empty dis- 
tinction, should feel it to be incumbent upon us, each in 
his degree, and according to his ability and opportunity, 
to contribute something for the advancement of this sem- 
inary of learning with which we are associated. I have 
not intended, nor could I have the presumption, to find 


fault with the general system of instruction and discipline 
that has been pursued here, and whicli is substantially 
the same with that which prevails in all the higher sem- 
inaries of learning in our country. Under the faithful 
labors of the able officers who have now and who have 
heretofore had the responsible management of Trinity 
College, the results, taking into view the limited numbers 
of those who have been induced to resort here for educa- 
tion, are such as its founders and patrons have full reason 
to be satisfied with ; and following the subsequent career 
of those who have graduated at this institution, the Church, 
which finds them constituting one twelfth of those who 
serve at her altars, must gratefully acknowledge that it 
has not existed or labored in vain. 

Much then has been accomplished for which we should 
render our devout thanks to the iVlmighty, " whose inspir- 
ation giveth man understanding." But the friends of 
Trinity College not content themselves with this. 
Their constant thought in relation to this place of educa- 
tion must be of progress, and their zealous efforts must be 
stirred up to promote those wise measures which shall 
secure progress. 

Can any thing then be proposed in conformity with the 
principles which have thus imperfectly been set forth, 
which may tend to give a fuller development to the true 
idea of education, in that institution to which we owe our 
allegiance, under whose auspices we are assembled, and 
for whose welfare we are to consult and advise ? This, 
gentlemen, is a question for your decision ; were I to ad- 
vance any farther into the detail of proposed alterations, 
you might then justly accuse me of presumption. I may 
observe, however, that one principle for which I have con- 
tended, has been to a certain extent carried out here. In 
the address of last year it was stated that " this principle 
has been recognized and has found expression in llie giv- 


ing to our college as her name henceforward through all 
time, the thrice sacred name of the most blessed Trinity." 
Previously she bore an honored name, — none in my 
judgment worthy of higher earthly distinction. And so 
far forth as that name called upon the sons of Washing- 
ton College to emulate the wisdom, the prudence, the 
high morality, and the noble patriotism of him who will 
ever stand the very first upon the page of his country's 
history, and amongst the chief of the great and good on 
that of the world's history, it was an influential as well as 
an honored appellation. But in view of the name by 
which our college is now called, all earthly distinctions 
and the emulation of the most exalted human virtues sink 
to nothing and less than nothing. Dedicated to the Holy 
Trinity, all who are connected with this seminary should 
feel that they are pledged to the service of the Triune 
God, and that every department of learning, here taught, 
is to be made subservient to extending the faith and wor- 
ship of God the Father who made man, God the Son who 
redeemed him, and God the Holy Ghost who sanctifies 
him. May His blessing ever rest upon all these and upon 
all who shall pray and vow in its behalf — " Peace be 
within thy walls and plenteousness within thy palaces. 
For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will wish thee 
prosperity. Yea, because of the house of the Lord our 
God, I will seek to do thee good." Psalm cxxii. 7-9. 


Extract from the Col/ege Calendar. 

Trinity College, Hartford, is an academic Society, of which 
llie control is vested in a Corporation, Icnown in law by the style 
or title of The Trustees of Trinity College. 

The design of a College in New England, connected with the 
church of the mother country, and so far as possible modelled after 
its celebrated universities, originated with the excellent Berkeley, 
Bishop of Cloyne, who with this view purchased an estate, and 
resided for sometime in Rhode Island. Though he was compelled 
reluctantly to relinquish his project, it was nevertheless not entirely 
without fruits. To his example and benefactions may be traced 
much of that interest in sound learning and Christian education 
which led to the first efforts for the establishment of a similar insti- 
tution in Connecticut. 

A Convocation of the Clergy of the Diocese, held in 1792, under 
Seabl'ry, first Bishop of Connecticut, took the primary steps to- 
wards establishing the Episcopal Academy at Chesbire; and this, 
though incorporated with limited privileges, was intended as the 
foundation for a higher institution, so soon as a charter conferring 
full collegiate powers could be obtained irom the State. It was 
often styled, fiimiliarly, The Seabury College. 

Bishop Brownell, who succeeded to the Episcopate in 1819, was 
enabled very shortly to perfect these designs. The charter of 
Washington College was granted in 1823 ; and in the following 
year the institution was opened at Hartford, under the presidency 
of the Bishop, 

In 1845, by permission of the Legislature, the name of the College 
was changed to its present style, to attest forever the faith of its 
founders, and their zeal for the perpetual glory and honor of the 
One Holy and Undivided Trinity. 


To this brief History must be added some account of the internal 
organization and condition of the College. 

Tiie Senates Academicus consists of two housCs, known as the 
Corporation and the House of Convocation. 

The Corporation, on which the other house is wholly dependent, 
and to wiiich, by law, belongs the supreme control of the College, 
consists of not more than twenty-four Trustees, resident within 
the State of Connecticut ; the President of the College being ex 
officio one of the number, and president of the same. They have 
authority to fill their own vacancies ; to appoint to offices and pro- 
fessorships ; to direct and manage the funds for the good of the 
College ; and, in general, to exercise the poAvers of a Collegiate 
Society, according to the provisions of the charter. 

The House of Convocation consists of the Fellows and Profes- 
sors of Trinity College, with all persons who have received any 
academic degree whatever in the same, except such as have been 
lawfully deprived of their privileges. 

Its business is such as may from time to time be delegated by the 
Corporation, from which it derives its existence ; and is, at present, 
limited to consulting and advising for the good of the College; 
nominating the Junior Fellows, and all candidates for admission ad 
eundem ; making laws lor its own regulation ; proposing plans, 
measures or counsel to the Corporation ; and to instituting, endow- 
ing and naming, with concurrence of the same, professorships, 
scholarships, prizes, medals, and the like. 

The Chancellor and Visitor. Such are the titles, under which 
supervisory powers, with special reference to the moral and reli- 
gious interests of the academical body, are entrusted to the Bishop 
of the Diocese of Connecticut. 

The President. This officer, as his title imi)orts, is the resident 
head and Rector of the College, and the Executive of all laws for 
the discipline of under-graduates. 

The Fellows. There are six Fellows appointed by the Corpora- 
tion alone, and six Junior Fellows, who iimst be Masters of Arts, 
appointed by the Corporation on nomination of Convocation ; and 
these together make the Board of Fellows. To this Board the 
Corporation commits the superintendence of the strictly academical 
business of the College; of the course of study and examinations; 
of the statutes and discipline ; of the library, cabinet, chapel, halls, 
grounds, collegiate dress, and tlic like; and also certain powers and 
privileges in recommending for degrees. Each Fellow and Junior 
Fellow is elected for three years ; but there is no emolument con- 
nected with the office, besides a provision for necessary expenses 


incurred in its discharge. The Fellows therefore, under existing 
laws, are not ordinarily resident. 

The Dean of Convocatio.n presides in that House, and is elected 
by the same, biennially. 

The Professohs liold their appointments from the Corporation, 
and by lectures and otherwise, instruct in tlieir several depart- 
ments. With the President and Tutors, they also form a board of 
government and control over the under-graduates. 

Tutors and Lecturers are api)ointed from time to time by the 
Corporation to assist the proles.sors in several dei)artnients of in- 
struction. Private Tutors have no recognized character as offi- 
cers of the College. 

ScnoLARsiiu's. These arc i)eimanent endowments, held by cer- 
tain under-graduates according to the terms of their Ibundationjand 
paying stipends of diflerent amounts to their incumbents. 

Halls. There are three buildings belonging to the College, 
which in 1S45, received the name of the first three Bishops of the 
Diocese. Seabury-Hall, erected in 1825, contains the Chapel, 
and the Library, Cabinet, and other public chambers. Jarvis- 
Hall, erected in the same year, and Brownell-Hall, erected in 
1845, contain rooms for the officers and students ; and one of the 
wings of the latter is the residence of a Professor and his lamily. 

The Grounds, on wliich the halls are erected, are an area of 
fourteen acres, laid out with walks, and ornamented with shade 
trees and shrubbery. The site is elevated, overlooking on one side 
the city of Harttbrd, within the limits of whicli tlie grounds are 
partly situated; and on the other the Little River (a branch of the 
Connecticut,) which forms their western boundary. This river is 
suitable for boating and for exercise in swimming. 

The Library and Cabinet. There are three thousand volumes 
belonging to the College, arranged in alcoves, and occupying a 
room in Seabury-Hall, in which are also the portraits of several 
officers and benefactors of the College. There are also two libraries 
belonging to societi(!s of under-graduates, containing an aggregate 
of six thousand volumes. The cahiiift is an extensive collection 
of minerals and geological specimens. A valuable philosuphical 
apparatus is distributed tlu'ough the lecture-rooms of the several 
professors requiring its aid in their instructions. 

Terms. There are three terms in llie year, of from twelve to 
fourteen weeks eacii : during which every under-graduate is re- 
quired to be resident, unless under special dispensation from the 


Examinations. These are held at the end of each Term, in 
presence of examiners appointed by the Fellows, from their own 
number, or otherwise j and every nnder-graduate is required to be 
present and sustain his prescribed examinations at such times, un- 
less a special examination is allowed for sufficient causes. 

Vacation. The Christmas vacation is two weeks from the 
Thursday preceduig Christmas day. The Easter vacation, four 
weeks from the Thursday before the 12th of April. The Long Va- 
cation is seven Aveeks from Commencement day. 

Commencement. The first Thursday in August is Commence- 
ment day. On the day preceding, the Corporation and House of 
Convocation assemble, and an address and poem are pubUcly pro- 
nounced before the latter. There are also academical exercises 
publicly performed by the Junior Sophisters in the evening. On 
this day all applications for degrees ad eundem must be made to 
Convocation ; and the annual elections of Fellows and Junior Fel- 
lows are usually held on this day, or on the morning following. On 
Commencement-day, candidates for degrees perform appointed 
exercises in public ; and all degrees are conferred and announced 
with prescribed forms. 

Degrees. Tlie Corporation is authorized by its charter to confer 
degrees in the Arts, and in the faculties of Law, Medicine and Di- 
vinity. Nominations for degrees may come from the Fellows and 
Professors, or from the House of Convocation; but the candidates 
are admitted only by vote of the Corporation; and ail degrees are 
publicly conferred in its name, by the President. 

Degrees in the faculties of Divinity and LaAV are conferred, at 
present, only honoris causa, or on admissions ad eundem. For 
the degree of Bachelor of Arts, the candidate must have sustained 
all his examinations, and paid all fees and charges ; and must be 
nominated to the Corporation by the Fellows, and the Faculty of 
Arts. To proceed Master of Arts, a like nomination is requisite at 
a period of not less tlian three years after commencing Bachelor. 
The candidates for the degree must have performed their prescri- 
bed exercises ; and it is desirable that the President should have 
received application before the ammal meeting of the Fellows. 
The right to nominate for admission ad eundem is exclusively the 
privilege of the Convocation. 

(Si\)t Poets of Hcllglon. 















Nothing but the desire to advance in any manner the interests 
of an endeared institution, and a wish to cheiish, amongst our edu- 
cated men, the honor and the love of sacred and generous poetry, 
persuaded the writer to undertake the taslj of delivering a poem 
before the Convocation of Trinity College, Hartford. Nothing else 
has induced him to consent to its publication. In both instances, 
his refusal was sincere and earnest, and was only overcome by 
considerations which were not personal. 


rkmonstranrk. spensertan poets. ministry. recollections. claims. 
Scene. Vision. Human History. Aoencies. Agency of the Poet. Poetry 
THE Mcsic OP History. Moses. Miriam. Deborah. Job. David. Solomon. 
Asaph. Jeremiah. Isaiah. The N.\.tivity. The Last Supper. The Cross. 
The Ascension. Psalmody of the Cuurcu. Early Christian Hymns. Gregory 
Nazlanzbn. Prcdentius. Alfred. Dark Ages. Dante. Tasso. Filicaia. 
Manzoni. Lvtiier. Germ.^n Hymns. Gellert. Klopstock. Herder. Novalis. 
Claudius. Stilling. Stolbero. Schubert. Franzen. Tegner. Manrique. 
Lamartine. British Poets. Spenser. Milton. Pope. Addison. Youno. 
Herbert. Walton. Kenn. Bunyan. Quarles. Crasiiaw. King. Marvell. 
Hervey. Mrs. Rowe. Doddridge. Watts. Johnson. Goldsmith. Metho- 
dist AND Moravian Hymns. Blair. Grahams. Cowper. Montgomery. Cole- 
ridge. Southey. Wordsworth. Kirke White. Charles and Robert Grant. 
Heber. Milman. Mrs. Hemanh. Pollok. Keble. Universal Power of 
Poetry. Return. Poets of the Land. Poets of the Spot. Value and 
Dignity of Poetry. Apology. Aim. Consecration. 



As mid the strings an answering note I sought, 
" Tempt not the lyre !" a genius seemed to say ; 
" If once thy youth the spell one moment caught, 
Content thee still to wear thy sprig of bay : 
Eve has its ease, and morn its hour of play ; 
For sterner toil was given the noonday fire ; 
Bear yet a little while thy dusty way. 
Nor pause for fancy, nor in bold desire 
Of wreaths thou canst not reach, tempt thou the lofty lyre ! 


The Fairy Queen forbids the Fairy rhyme ; 
The bard of Idlesse warns thee from his towers ; 
The Minstrel sings, ' how hard it is to climb ;' 
And Harold's brow beneath its laurel lowers ; 
The virgin's gates are fenced by jealous powers ; 
Who fails to win must perish at their feet : 
Then flee, light pilgrim, floe th' enchanted bowers ; 
Rest, if thou must, on some green wayside seat ; 
But haste to find afar thy safe and still retreat. 


As yet, nor safe nor still ! In fields of fight 
A spotless banner thou wert pledged to bear : 
The Red Cross streams along its folds of white, 
And pours defiance on the hosts of air : 
They threat the leaguered camp : thy place is there ! 
On wings of wind the fiends of battle hie, 
And all thou dar'st, the time draws near to dare ; 
Oh, who shall stand if standard-bearers fly. 
Or change for sportive tilt the conflicts of the sky ! 


Those solemn arches heard thy pastoral vow ; 
To guard that board no hand is charged but thine ; 
And forms beloved around thee seem to bow. 
Who hve and worship near a happier shrine ; 
Seem their kind eyes along those aisles to shine, 
As when thy voice their mounting fervor led ; 
That voice whose prayer could soothe their pale dechne ; 
That voice which rose above their clay-cold bed ; 
And has that voice a strain less sacred than the dead ?" 

I paused and turned ; again, the call came near 
From those fair walks that love their holiest name ; 
It spoke of song to youth and genius dear. 
Song that may die, yet dying may enflame : 
And with it hopes, and with it memories came ; 
Hopes that must soar with yon yet dawning sun. 
And grateful memories with their gentle claim. 
Binding the scholar when his race is run. 
To hang the chaplet high, where first the flowers are won. 


While thus I mused, light breezes from the West 
Swept the thin clouds that s])read their fleecy trail 
Wliere, like a conqueror in his gorgeous vest, 
The reddening day rode downward o'er the vale : 
On the broad river swelled the transient sail, 
And silver ripples caught the beams of gold : 
Beyond, green hills, a vast, encircling pale, 
Clasped the sweet meadows like some peaceful fold ; 
And in the North, far, far, the long, low thunder rolled. 


To fancy's glass, that all things dreams to life. 
Earth lay within that narrow scene outspread : 
Clouds hung above, the clouds of woe and strife, 
But all the higher heaven rich glory shed : 
On its calm course, time's sweeping current sped, 
Its banks resounding with the toilsome throng ; 
And judgment pealed afar its trumpet dread. 
And guilt recoiled, amidst its march of wrong, 
And the earth travailing groaned, "why wait His wheels so long! 


The dream grew stronger, and the scene more vast ; 
Those distant hills like Alps or Andes frowned ; 
While o'er the plain the mighty ages passed ; 
And nations' voices swelled the rushing sound : 
Tall cities rose, with fanes and castles crowTied; 
The wealth of realms in yellow harvests sprung; 
The step of armies shook the blood-stained ground ; 
Fleets to the winds their venturous streamers flung; 
And round their thrones and laws embattled milhons clung. 


The reverend senate sat in halls of state ; 
Do\^-n the plumed ranks T saw the chieftain dart ; 
Held the wise judge the impartial scales of fate ; 
Hurried the keen-eyed merchant in the mart ; 
Bright figures g-rew beneath the touch of art ; 
I saw the sage amidst his listening ring ; 
I saw the patient scholar toil apart ; 
I saw the priest his living censer bring : 
I saw not yet the bard, nor heard th' impassioned string. 


At length it came ; it came ! As when at mom 
From the thick grove a thousand voices float ; 
As when the clash of cymbal, fife and horn 
Swells through some mountain gorge's iron throat ; 
So on my soul the strains of gloiy smote ; 
So streamed the varied lays in one high chime ; 
The lover's plaint, the minstrel's jocund note. 
The ode's wild thrill, the drama's pomp sublime, 
The flood of epic song, the hymns of every clime. 


Mingled they came ; and all that breathing scene 
To careless glance had seemed a troubled maze ; 
But ever a soft sunlight fell between, 
And beauteous order shone beneath its rays ; 
The comet is not lost, though far it strays ; 
The spheres have music such as seraphs hear ; 
So the full torrent of ten thousand lays 
Rolled an hannonious measure o'er mine ear ; 
Song was the pulse of life, and song to heaven was dear. 


In ancient lands where springs the day to birth, 
I saw a chosen shepherd as he sang, 
" In the beginning how the heavens and earth 
Rose out of chaos :" then with timbrel's clang 
On the seashore the song of freedom rang ; 
Then fought the stars from heaven with Barak's thrust ; 
Then, pierced by wounded friendship's sternest pang. 
The patient patriarch, seated in the dust, 
Sang to the Arab winds, his sad, victorious trust. 


A ruddy boy sang carols by his flock ; 
Their stripling champion sang a maiden train ; 
A hunted exile trod the desert rock ; 
A generous mourner wept the kingly slain ; 
A warrior bard had triumph on his strain ; 
A harper bowed where that dread ark abode ; 
A crownless father fled across the plain ! 
So passed a prince along his wondrous road. 
And ever where he passed, a psalm's sweet echoes flowed. 


A son's calm forehead wore his sacred crown ; 
A son's rich hand his sacred harp-strings tried ; 
He sang in peaceful days of wise renown. 
The heavenly bridegroom and the mystic bride ; 
But from his own bright shrine he trod aside. 
And idol sorceries stole his grayer years ; 
Then, rushed the solemn lay that wailed his pride, 
And told how vain the joys, or cares, or fears, 
That fill the golden cup where guilt shall leave but tears. 
^ 2 


Then, in that temple's halls the priestly saint 
To awful hymns the choral psaltery sweeps : 
Then on the gale is borne the tuneful plaint 
Where by the willo\Ae(i streams the captive weeps : 
Then, while on ruined towers the moonbeam sleeps, 
The patriot seer tells o'er his scroll of woes : 
Then, his lone watch a loftier warder keeps. 
The blood-red vision forth from Bozrah goes, 
And far the desert smiles, and blossoms as the rose. 


A psalm from heaven along the pastures fell, 
Fast by a city slumbering deep in night : 
The King of kings had come with men to dwell ; 
And the glad skies burst forth in song and light : 
A holy song was heard, when, meek in might, 
To the last strife for man's dear sake He bowed ; 
Hymns were His cries, while hung His soul in flight ; 
And when He passed by yon blue archway proud, 
Followed the songs of earth, beyond the enfolding cloud. 


They pierced the lattice from those upper rooms. 
Where in rapt love the cup of grace was poured ; 
They swelled victorious o'er the place of tombs ; 
Up from the nuptial train in joy they soared ; 
Th(!y cheered the bench of toil, the homely board, 
The lonesome exile's desert way beguiled ; 
To their soft fall his oar the boatman lowered ; 
And where the mother lulled her hstening child. 
She sang of Jesus' love, and angels stooped and smiled. 



names most bless'd, though all on earth unknown ! 
There is a page where all resplendent stand ! 

Ye whom I saw where, in your chambers lone, 
Ye touched the chords that thrilled from land to land ; 
Till where the Atlantic kissed the Culdces' strand. 
And where the morn broke purpling o'er the Nile, 
That " holy, holy," met the seraph band. 
That first with earthly notes in Milan's aisle 
Shook all th' adoring throng, and shook the echoing pUe. 


Him, who, with hot Byzantium's mitre tired. 
Longed for his Nazianzum's loAvly cell. 
Though his rich lips the vast assembly fired. 
And princes hung entranced within the spell ; 
Him who had loved not wisely yet too well, 

1 saw where, hid from men, he strove to sing : 
Faint was the flame, and rough the numbers fell ; 
Yet his owTi soul was on the bird's light wing. 

And caught, above the whirl, sweet gales of balmy spring. 


In the red sunset of her Pagan fame, 
When o'er her plains the Gothic vultures hung, 
Rome held Prudentius : his the foremost name 
That bound to Christian strains that classic tona^ue : 
He on the martyrs' graves his lilies flung ; 
He rushed from prostrate shrines, too long adored, 
And fast to Caesar's knees a suppliant clung, 
And for the captive, Rome's new grace implored : 
Th' arena rang with hymns, and sank the bmtal sword. 



Alaric, Theodoric, Clovis, Charlemagne, 
Ye long-haired kings that walk on Roman dust, 
WTio treads so bright amidst your iron train ? 
Alfred, the wise, the brave, the pure, the just ; 
Alfred, who chased the fiends of war and lust ; 
Alfred, Avho spoils from fifty battles bore ; 
Alfred, who hung the victor's blade to rust ; 
Then sang, a psalmist, with a sage's lore, 
And fenced with royal prayers, his Albion's well won shore. 


Now on the hills and plains and streams came down 
A mist that heaved like billows on the deep : 
It breaks by gleams, and here a bannered tovm, 
And there a castle nodding o'er the steep : 
On Eastern plains the knightly chargers leap : 
Gray convent turrets rise in pensive vales : 
And solemn strains round ancient ruins sweep. 
Blending for man's sad state their plaintive wails 
With strong, heroic deeds that live in minstrel tales. 


Lo, from the screen emerged to clearer light, 
Florence, the land where freedom blooms or l)leeds ! 
And exiled Dante dares the gates of night. 
Mounts the dread car that owns no mortal steeds ; 
Scowls o'er the abyss, its direful secret reads ; 
Then, crag by crag, ascends the toilsome way : 
On ! on ! 'tis thine own Beatrice that leads ! 
Soon shalt thou tread the heights of upper day, 
And heaven and hell shall gleam from one wild, wondrous lay. 


As softly rich as when a tender flute 
Melodious steals across some orange grove, 
While eve descends, and stars seem listening mute, 
Of Godfrey's triumph and Erminia's love 
Was Tasso's tale ; then far it swept above ; 
And dazzling armies hung in Salem's sky : 
Th' enthusiast lyre was crushed ; but like the dove, 
Sweet peace came answering to his contrite cry, 
And in his convent cell he died as breezes die. 


But now, no arms of song assail mine ear ; 
No fabled chiefs yon turbaned hosts control : 
O for a shout to bring all Europe near. 
Where leagured Austria waits the royal Pole ! 
As from the cliflf the broken billows roll. 
Fled from Vienna's wall the Moslem trains ; 
O for a song for every Christian soul ! 
Then rolled the pomp of Filicaia's strains, 
And throbbed with Europe's joy through all her sweUing veins ! 


Sad to my heart that o'er each Southern throne 
In jewelled falsehood towers the Roman shrine ; 
Yet shall that heart the hallowed music own, 
That breathes along the sweet Italian line ; 
Thine, Filicaia ! and, Manzoni, thine ! 
Thou, purest of all pencils of romance ! 
Thou, whose bright song its flowers disdained to twine 
Around the reveller's cup, or conqueror's lance. 
But built the cross of love o'er fields of change and chance. 



I pass the Alps ; along their Switzer side, 
Hark, like the wind that scales the icy steeps ! 
It is the hymn of Lvither ! Far and wide 
From old Germanian towns the tempest sweeps ; 
O'er the broad oaken forests on it leaps : 
He wields the axe ; and Babel's pillars fall ; 
Then in his Catharine's arms, he smiles or weeps ; 
And lifts in sacred song his clarion call ; 
Oh, bravest heart on earth, since heaven miclosed for Paul ! 


Oh, rich and dear the good Teutonic tongue ! 
And rich and dear its thoustmd holy lays ; 
By humble hearths, in solemn church-yards sung, 
Where the green lindens hide the grassy ways : 
Rist, Gerhard, Angelus, from elder days. 
These are the voices of the German's home, 
Where by the broad Missouri now he strays, 
Where Elbe spreads onward to the ocean foam, 
Or where with thunder bursts fair Bremen's ancient dome. 


When royal Frederick and Theresa strove. 
And blazed on Saxon heights the camp-fire red. 
Day after day through Leipsic's murmuring grove, 
Repose and health a gentle student led : 
His name was Gellert, and his fancy fed 
On no light splendours of a poet's dream, 
But in the region of pure joy and dread : 
Goodness he loved, and goodness was his theme, 
And his calm verse flowed on, a bright and nurturing stream. 



Not such the torrent of deep song that gushed 
Over the harp of Klopstock : on the air 
The pinions of bright angels round him rushed, 
And all creation's voice was praise and prayer : 
He sang Messiah ; from this vale of care 
As high his heart, his numbers soared as high, 
As w^hen a spirit mounts the heavenly stair, 
Casts, with a song, its mortal vestments by. 
And sees th' eternal gates with meek, undazzled eye. 


The courtly prophet of a doubting age. 
Who leaned in Weimar's park on Wieland's arm, 
I cannot praise ; yet. Herder, on thy page 
The patriarch's word has left its hoary charm : 
Genius was thine : if faith, with quick alarm. 
Shall bid thee think thou tread'st on holy ground. 
And put thy sandals off, yet, safe from harm, 
She loves thy Syrian plains, with dew-drops crowii'd. 
And joys to hear thy hymn through Mamre's oaks resound. 


Nor all unmixed the praise that waits on thee, 
O young Novalis, with thine azure glance, 
Following the changeful lights thou may'st not see. 
And bathing in the heaven's bright blue expanse. 
Where thou, with Plato, knew'st the mystic dance ! 
In deepest hearts thy thoughts had readiest room : 
But thy Moravian parents, in thy trance. 
Were with thee still ; and amaranth flowers shall bloom, 
By Christian fingers set, round thy too early tomb. 



And bards, I deem, and faithful bards were they, 
Though oft the rhyme to lofty periods change ; 
Claudius, who trilled his playful, tender lay 
From the green covert of his village grange ; 
Stilling, strange walker in a world more strange ; 
Stolberg, the noblest name an age enrolled ; 
Schubert, who lives the soul's wide world to range. 
And truths like gems to fix in words like gold, 
And tell what saints have been, and be what saints have told. 


I saw two poet prelates of the clime 
Which that brave Charles and each Gustavus bred; 
Stars of the North, they cheered this latter time : 
Franzen was one, a pure and honored head ; 
And one was he who Frithiof 's legend said. 
And sang the lambs his pastoral hand had bless'd : 
Once at his side, so strange our destined thread, 
I sat, a youthful wanderer from the West, 
And listened with fond ear, the brightest German's guest. 


Another age ! Along a Spanish plain 
Chargers and knights bestrewed the bloody ground : 
They searched a warrior, foremost of the slain, 
And on his breast a bloody scroll they found ; 
There, his own death-song George Manrique bound, 
Those solemn couplets, made so lately ours. 
That, age by age, o'er pomp and greatness sound. 
Like the deep knell from some old, cloistered towers, 
Then roll away, away, to rest's eternal bowers. 


Another scene ! Emerging from wild wars, 
France for her struggUng freedom sues release : 
Dinted her helm, her bosom seamed with scars, 
She longs for exiled faith and law and peace : 
Hark ! Lamartine's high numbers roll and cease ; 
Blending the ancient fire, the modern thought, 
Tlie song of Sion and the harp of Greece, 
"What Charles had planned, or Fenelon had taught. 
Or good Saint Louis prayed, or strong Napoleon wrought. 


Now the sweet accents of our fathers' land. 
The glorious accents of the wise and free. 
Came to my ear from many a silver strand. 
Mingling their voices with the conquered sea ! 
O England, mother, burns our heart for thee ! 
For truth has made thee sacred ; and so long 
As from thy rocks the baffled waves shall flee. 
Shall he who thinks what thou hast been be strong, 
Nerved for his saintly war by thy religious song ! 


The master of my lyre, apart, alone. 
On Mulla's bank his mighty fable wove : 
Untired he watched, and saw the elfin throne, 
The cave, the castle, the enchanted grove : 
The champion knight the cowering monsters drove, 
The self-same knight with many a shield and name ; 
For faith, for love, for temperance still he strove. 
Still strove the hallowed warrior and o'ercame ; 
And the bright queen's reward was virtue's peerless fame. 




And yet a greater ! old, and blind, and poor, 
A father sits, and bending daughters write ; 
A while the song shall seek its way obscure, 
Then roll in floods of everlastina: liffht : 
The song of Milton ! up the starry height. 
Where Uriel stands, l)right regent of the sun. 
The soul with him shall wing his Raphael's flight, 
And look o'er Eden lost and Eden won, 
And, yet a pilgrim, hear the strains of home begun. 


And noble was his verse, whose lofty plan 
From link to link th' eternal chain pursued : 
"The proper study of mankind is man," 
He said, and sang of man's supremest good : 
On the low meads of earth-bom taste he stood, 
Yet with calm skill could point th' adorer's eye, 
Till nature's God in nature's face it viewed, 
While the charmed rhyme, that flowed unruffled by, 
In memory still must flow, till memory's self shall die. 


Near him was one, w^ho brought his fresh, fair youth 
From the good lessons of a pastor's hearth, 
To gild his native tongue with beauteous truth, 
With graceful rhetoric, and with blameless mirth : 
All palms he bore o'er wealth and power and birth ; 
But crowned his Christian deathbed best the lays. 
Where chant the spangled heavens all round the earth. 
Where mercies past the rising soul surveys. 
Or where the peaceful flock mid verdant pastures strays. 



E'en mightier thoughts from spangled night came do-wTi 
On him whose harp the night's lone musing chose : 
The dark hours fled, and each with heavier frown, 
The sad reflection of his inward woes ; 
Then, with the midnight stars on stars he rose ; 
Not smooth the strain, but grand and strong, and deep ; 
And there the mourners of all lands repose, 
And still, with Young, their thoughtful vigils keep, 
And at Narcissa's grave their own loved lost ones weep. 


I saw a courteous shepherd, as he pass'd. 
The chimes of Salisbury floating to his ear ; 
The garb of highborn state aside he cast, 
And sought the rural pastor's modest sphere. 
And trod the house of prayer with reverent fear : 
The saintly Herbert ! From his tranquil cot 
Came the quaint song that makes the church-porch dear, 
And binds the country priest to love his lot. 
While peace with calm, white wings bends o'er the fragrant spot. 


His tale was told by one whom next I spied, 
The gentle angler, singing in the glen ; 
A poet he, in heart and blood allied 
To that thrice reverend name of holy Keim ; 
Kenn, who returning from the strife of men, 
Found in his lowlier walks no time to grieve, 
But from the labors of a cheerful pen. 
Left the dear liymns that yet at morn and eve 
O'er countless Christian beds their balmy blessing leave. 



A dreamer lighted on a den, and slept, 
And when he woke, the pilgrim's progress told : 
In every tongue, though scarce the lyre he swept. 
His pictured page its poetry unrolled : 
Song of the young, and solace of the old ! 
Oh, matchless guide along th' eternal way, 
Whose fable's robes so light the truth enfold, 
Each graceful line in all its form display, 
And melt beneath the gaze as twilight melts to day. 


And there was earnest Quarles, whose moral line 
So well could preach o'er man's terrestrial doom ; 
And fervent Crashaw, rapt in hopes divine 
Till his heart soared as on an angel's plume ; 
And mitred King, who mourned in radiant gloom ; 
And patriot Marvel, with his moonlight flow ; 
And pious Hervey, musing o'er a tomb ; 
And the veiled tresses of seraphic Rowe ; 
And Doddridge, when from heaven he caught th' inspiring glow ; 


And one whose head with better wreaths was bound 
Than all that rovers to Parnassus gain. 
And yet no stranger on Parnassian ground : 
Though now, perhaps, on tlioughtless lips and vain. 
The songs of Watts be coupled with disdain, 
Yet oft to hear shall taste delighted bend ; 
Yet shall they sound from many a heaving fane ; 
Yet infant tones with angel themes shall blend ; 
And with th' expiring saint to one bright home ascend. 



Nor e'er rose England's loftiest sage so high, 
As when, all vainer wishes cast behind. 
He bade thee, when thou liftst the supphant cry, 
" Pour forth thy fervors for a healthful mind. 
Obedient passions, and a will resigned :" 
Nor spot more loved could Auburn's bard portray, 
Than where the village preacher stands enshrined, 
" Truth from his lips prevails with double sway. 
And fools that came to scoff, remain in tears to pray." 


And lo, with downcast eyes, and souls above, 
Of pilgrims of plain garb yon swelling host ! 
And lo, another band, whose burning love 
Bears the dear name of Christ, their only boast. 
From Afric's cape to Greenland's icebound coast ! 
With each the tide of song and music w^ent ; 
Humble the best, and all unskilled the most ; 
Yet myriads of strong hearts the chorus sent. 
That rose with Wesley's fire, or Gambold's bless'd content. 


Forth from the casement of a Lowland manse, 
Blair looked on graves that sparkled in the dew ; 
The Grave his theme, the faithful poet's glance 
Passed upward from the shades of solenni yew, 
And life in death burst glorious on the view : 
From such a scene, with memory's fondest skill, 
The Sabl)ath's bard his holy ])icture drew, 
Where flocks and clouds slept tranquil on the hill. 
And rose the wide earth's prayers, like smoke-wreaths calm and 


Wlio yonder walks, his playmates at his feet, 
Lingering at sunset by the winding Ouse ; 
Then, home returning, draws his fireside seat, 
And sheltered safely from the evening dews, 
Looks from his loophole o'er the world of news, 
And sings his morning song, that, upward nursed, 
Climbed from the Sofa to the heavenliest muse ? 
He sang of comfort while his heart-strings burst. 
And poured the stream of life, and died in fancied thirst. 


A happier fate, nor less renowned a song. 
Was his, who still his life's long honors wears ! 
Still may Montgomery stay to wear them long ; 
They blend no stain amid his hoary hairs ! 
And when to that departed train he fares. 
Whose tender forms he oft beheld so near. 
Shall thousands of sweet voices bless with theirs, 
The harp that woke and dried the sacred tear, 
And bless the gentle eye they loved yet knew not here. 


From a wild land of lofty floods and lakes. 
Three mighty streams of song come side by side ; 
The strain of Coleridge like a cataract breaks. 
Then through the plain its waves refreshing glide ; 
As vast is Southey as his Severn's tide ; 
As deep is Wordsworth as his lake's deep blue. 
Whose breast, alone with heaven, the mountains hide 
Oh, happy then was Britain when she knew 
Her three divinest songs to British faith so true ! 



And next I looked where Gray's once favorite bowers 
To sacred strains the lyre of genius strung : 
From toils and victories of his midnight hours, 
White to the tomb passed beautiful and young, 
For his owni dirge his own sad verse had sung : 
But to the heirs of Grant's true worth and name. 
Was given the brilliant mind, th' enchaining tongue, 
The soft rich hymn, so various yet the same. 
That bears to coming saints their undivided fame. 


Best of the bright, and brightest of the good. 
Before me, graceful in the scholar's gown. 
Next, mid applauding scholars, Heber stood. 
And wore unmatched the youthful laureate's cro^^^^, 
Then, trod the radiant paths of pure renown : 
His song, his heart, his hfe, to Christ he bore ; 
And, when, beneath the palms he laid them down, 
His glorious chant of One who passed before, 
Died o'er his grave, and came, returned from every shore. 


The meet companion of his lyre I spied 
In the robed student of that stately fane 
Whose Gothic towers look down on London's pride 
And grand and gorgeous as an Eastern train 
Floats the majestic pomp of Milman's strain ! 
Master of words, like orient pearls that fall, 
When in the dust sad Zion wails her slain. 
Or the wild shout goes up from Babel's hall, 
Or the glad martyr hastes to heaven's high festival. 



Like mellow tints that end th' autumnal clay, 
Like fragrant blushes of the moss-girt rose, 
Felicia bloomed, Felicia passed away. 
The song still deepening to the heavenly close ; 
But, where in love the household altar glows. 
Or patriot freedom lifts the steady spear, 
Or on in tears the way-worn pilgrim goes, . 
Tliat bird-like, woodland note shall still be near. 
And gushing sounds of home the wandering heart shall hear. 


On Scottish moors, in humble labors bred, 
In the kind rigors of his faith and clime, 
The Bible and the sky young Pollok read. 
And the old tales of conscience and of crime. 
And chose in lonely hours his theme sublime : 
Far on, beyond the mortal mists he pass'd. 
And backward glancing, told the course of time, 
Its wondrous course, so wondrous till the last. 
In numbers bold and harsh, like the strong pibroch's blast. 


Once more, once more ! How sweet a note was there ! 
From oriels of high Oxford forth it steals, 
And all the gales the gentle echoes bear, 
Where'er the Sabbath bell of England peals ! 
On rolls the sacred Year its awful wheels ; 
And every sacred theme has dear regard : 
He sings so sweetly that so true he feels : 
Oh, though a thousand colder strains be marr'd. 
Still clasp the purer church her tenderest, holiest bard ! 


So, mid earth's many voices, passed the voice 
Of hallowed song, far up th' eternal hill : 
I saw the nations tremble, and rejoice, 
And weep, and rally, at its mighty thrill ; 
Lord of the fancy, o'er the realms of will, 
Th' anointed poet fixed his welcome throne: 
And my full soul bowed down and blessed the skill 
That wakes in human hearts their deepest tone, 
And lifts them high as heaven, and clasps them for its own. 


Meanwhile mine eye had crossed the Western main. 
And a fair s})ot its gaze in passing drew ; 
And while I caught no unfamiliar strain, 
That little spot to fill the vision grew ; 
The fancied scene was yielding to the true : 
Our own broad river in the sunset glowed ; 
Our own green hills shut in the fading view ; 
It was the valley of my dear abode, 
And my own city's chimes along the breezes flowed. 


And here, I said, where once my country's morn 
Saw her young bards attempt the epic height, 
Saw her own song in infant beauty born. 
With Barlow, Trumbull, Hopkins, Humphreys, Dwight ; 
I^e, where the church whose very prayers are bright 
With all that poets love, her watch-tower rears, 
And calls the Muses to her sacred light ; 
Here should the hallowed verse find eager ears. 
And pour its burning swell far o'er perpetual years. 



Such strains have floated round those walks and walls, 
From one who changed the youthful harpstring bold 
For every task whose urgent labor calls 
The pastors' pastor to his well watched fold : 
And one whose strength his lyre but half has told, 
And half concealed; and one whose brilliant way 
A brother's heart in silence fond may hold ; 
And one, whose gentler praise I must not say, 
But the wide English world gives back that kindliest lay. 


Oh precious, precious be the warbled charm 
Within whose flow such might of sweetness lies ; 
Might, to high deeds that lifts the strenuous arm, 
And draws high thoughts, the wisest from the wise ; 
That lures the fount of tears from hardiest eyes ; 
And sways all souls with love's divinest art : 
Sing he who may : if loftier bards despise, 
Sing like the songsters of the grove apart. 
And trust to every wind the numbers of the heart. 


So wooed the Muse, and so the Muse has won ; 
And half in shame, and half in pensive joy. 
Through one bright hour the man has lingered on. 
In shades that once could chain the ardent boy : 
Oh, but too happy in his light employ. 
Might but his verse some youthful bosom lure 
From sloth that taints, and trifles that destroy. 
To love the flowers whose vernal hues endure, 
To court the glowing harp, and let that harp be pure : 



Not in brief play the earnest mind to waste, 
Not from stern tasks life's little space to rend ; 
But truth's firm pile to twine with wreaths of taste, 
And man's deep strength with woman's grace to blend ; 
O'er storms of care a rainbow-arch to bend ; 
With bounding step the hidden snare to spurn. 
Then on, far on, th' exploring pinion send, 
Till faith to sight, and praise to rapture bum. 
And with one swan-like hymn the spirit home return. 


Thou, on whose altar all my toils are laid. 
Accept e'en this ; e'en this beseems thy shrine ! 
Thy children come, nor thankless nor afraid ; 
For all they have, and all they are, is thine ! 
Song is thy gift : be here that gift divine 
Winged by thy love, and chastened by thy fear ; 
And while, like setting stars, our lives decline, 
Still in the East let purer orbs appear, 
And strains that seraphs sing find answering accents here ! 

(H (5 e 5 £ i a I £i n s t c m . 






HAllTFURI), AUGUST 2, 1848. 






1 b -1 S . 


Mr. Dean, and Gentlemen of Convocation, 

Trinity College, with its peculiar organization, cannot fail 
to have a good deal to do with the opinions which shall be held 
in this country on a good many questions of great practical im- 
portance, interesting alike to the statesman, the philanthropist 
and the Christian. It has that peculiar organization believed to 
be best calculated to presei've and maintain within itself all foiTns 
of sound doctrine — not only in religion, but in all ethical ques- 
tions, and all questions touching the relations of men in the 
social state. Like all our other Colletres it has its lec^al existence 
and government in a Corporation ; but it has an internal organi- 
zation and government of its ovv^n, which, in its religious aspect, 
is according to Episcopal fotms and polity. The President of 
the College is the Ilector of the Academical body, which is 
supei"v'ised, in its moral and spiritual interests, by the Bishop of 
the Diocese in which it is situated. It is thus formed into a 
Religious, as well as an Academical Society, and is so far built 
on better foundations than human hands could lay. It is a Chris- 
tian Brotherhood, domiciled in their own Halls of College, and 
devoted to personal cultivation and discipline, and to the business 
of education — to the intellectual, moral and religious training of 
young men. 

A feature, quite novel, I believe, in this country, in the organ- 
ization of this Collegiate Society, is found in this House of Con- 
vocation. This is the second House of the Academical Senate ; 
the other being the Corporation, consisting of the legal Trustees 
of the College. This House is composed of the Fellows, twelve 
in number, and the Professors of the College, with all persons 


admitted to any Academic degree therein. In this way, besides 
those admitted to de"-rees in the Arts, or in the hio^her Faculties 
of Law, Medicine, and Divinity, causa honoris, or ad eundem, the 
ranks of the Collegiate Society are recruited every year with a 
body of young men trained in the Institution, and nurtured in the 
Faith which it professes. Of course the resident members of the 
Collegiate body are comparatively few at all times ; the rest are 
found in the community at large, but gather here in Convocation 
in considerable numbers, on stated occasions, like that on which 
they are now assembled. Nor is this House a mere voluntary 
Association, like the Societies of Alumni found in our Colleges 
generally. It has an official existence, so constituted by the legal 
authority of the College, with appropriate duties assigned to it in 
the affairs and business of the Institution. 

I believe I am not mistaken in supposing — at least I hope I 
am not — that, while the hiQ;her business of this Collesje is to be 
that of educating young men, having in contemplation an educa- 
tional system somewhat after the plan of the old Univei'sities, 
there is also an open design to make this Collegiate body an Aux- 
iliary and Helper, in its appropriate and subordinate sphere, to 
those other and higher, because divinely-constituted, organiza- 
tions — that of the Family, that of the State, and that of the 
Church — by and through which, indispensably, men are every 
where in this world to be trained, governed, civilized and saved. 
I suppose that the true design and attitude of this College before 
the country, will not be materially misapprehended or misrepre- 
sented, if it shall be regarded and understood as professing alle- 
gience to the Church, as well as to the State, and pledged to 
maintain and teach all forms of sound doctrine, according to the 
only standard of Truth and Duty recognized among Christians, 
touching whatever may affect the social as well as the spiritual, 
condition and progress of mankind. 

Such a College, so constituted and organized, and imbued 
with principles which never have failed and never can fail any 
thing or any body tliat relies on them, must, as I have said, come 
to exercise a marked influence on the opinions and affairs of the 
community. It may be expected that a body of opinion, having 
its foundation always broadly laid in religious truth, and bearing 
on a great variety of practical questions of the highest interest to 

society, will bo built xip and steadily maintained here, and at the 
same time, reprcsentetl abroad in the country wherever the mem- 
bers of Convocation may be iound. Meanwhile, the members of 
the Collegiate body, through this membership, standing every 
where as the I'eprcsentatives and sponsoi's of the sound opinions 
maintained in this place, will l)e multij)lied with every revolving 
year ; and when other Colleges, following this good example, 
and organized upon this plan, shall be established and multiplied 
in various quarters, the way may be opened for a better feeling 
of security than can prevail at present, for those pnnciples and 
institutions on which society, and civilization, and all true pro- 
gress depend, against the devices and passions of restless and 
reckless men, by which now they are almost every whei'e assail- 
ed. Such Collegiate societies, so compacted and consolidated in 
moral sentiment, and resting on foundations that can never be 
moved, may stand towards this agitated and abused world of ours, 
in a relation not unlike that of the Breakwater to the troubled 
Ocean — presenting a solid wall, against which all the turbulence 
and fury which rage without may spend themselves in vain, and 
within and behind which the feeblest vessels, as well as the stout- 
est and bravest, may ride in safety. 

The present is a penod of great restlessness and agitation 
among the popular elements of the world. The established or- 
der of things is almost eveiy where being questioned, disturbed, 
and, in many cases, subverted. There is a great demand for 
rights, and for the redress of wrongs — which is all very well, only 
one would like to be able to discover, along with these, some 
corresponding enquiry after duties and obligations. While every 
body is thinking of rights and nobody is thinking of duties, it is 
not likely that any very valuable discoveries will be made or 
improvements effected. Statesmanship, or what goes by that 
name, is very much employed of late in teaching mankind that 
political government, even in the mildest and purest fomi yet 
devised, instead of be'ng something ordained of God, if necessary 
at all is a necessaiy evil, and is little else any where than a stu- 
pendous fraud on human rights and human liberty, devised and 
pi-actised by cunning and wicked men for their own purposes of 
oppression and profit. Philanthropy, becoming speculative and 
philosophical, seems to discover no way of rigJiting the wronged, 

redressing the grievances and remedying the miseries of man- 
kind, but by turning society the bottom side up, and the upside 
down. Even in RcHgion, there are so many short and easy 
methods to the conversion of the woi'ld, and men love indepen- 
dence so much better than obedience, that any way seems better 
to multitudes of men than the appointed way ; this becomes a 
naiTOw road which shows only here and thei'e a traveller. Pop- 
ular revolutions are now-a-days eficctcd with strange facility — 
happily with comparatively little bloodshed, even in countries 
little given to change ; and in this country, we have discovered a 
method of revolutionizing a state or government, with about as 
little trouble as a reverse motion is given to the engine of a loco- 
motive, or a steamer. We can go forward, or back, or turn on 
our course by a sharp angle, without seeming to derange the 
political machinery in any sensible degree. All this we do in the 
name of reform and of progress, INIen are becoming wise above 
what is written, whetlier on profane or sacred pages. Govern- 
ment and Law are allowed to have very little stability, and 
therefore command very little respect. And as for the Func- 
tionaries of Government, and the Ministers of the Law, they are 
apt to be regarded, and too often, personally considered, seern 
only worthy to be regarded, not as governors and rulers set up, 
according to divine authority, "for the punishment of evil-doers 
and the praise of those that do well" — not as representing the 
majesty of the Law or of the State — but as sei^vile placemen, who 
perhaps have forfeited their honor in gaining their places, and 
who represent nothing — but a job. 

Perhaps the severest trial to which the virtue of any people 
can be subjected, is when every man has a share in the Govern- 
ment ; for when every one governs, few indeed are willing to 
submit to be governed ; when every one commands, nobody likes 
to obey. Yet the habit and practice of obedience is indispensa- 
ble to the moral health of every people ; and there can be no 
habits of obedience, when there is no habitual reverence or 
respect for the laws, or for the public authorities. No commu- 
nity can very long govern itself by popular forms, which discards 
or turns its back on the cardinal principle of loyalty and obedi- 
ence as a religious sentiment and duty. When demagogues take 
the control of the pcojile, and become their schoolmasters, they 

will very soon bo educated out of every true notion of govern- 
ment and every true idea of liberty. Liberty which does not 
consist with government and law, is not that sort of liberty which 
Angels enjoy, and is quite as little suited to the condition of those 
who are made a little lower than the Angels. Liberty without 
government and law, properly befits only those indejiendent spir- 
its, to whom belong 

"tho unconquerable will. 
And study of revenge, immortal hatp. 
And courage never to submit or yield.'' 

But not to rest, in what I have to say, altogether in generali- 
ties. Perhaps I cannot better acquit myself of the duty imposed 
upon me here, than by offering to those Avho are doing me the 
honor to listen to me on this occasion, some observations on tho 
idea of the Social State, with some reference to the foundations, 
in respect to political organizations, on which Modem Civiliza- 
tion stands, and with some reference, also, to the principles on 
which all improvement and all progress in the social condition of 
mankind must depend. 

It cannot be too often repeated, or too strongly insisted on, 
wherever the tiiith on this subject is meant to be sternly vindica- 
ted — and in this I do but respond to tho sentiment of both tho 
eloquent gentlemen who have preceded me in an Address before 
this body — that there are three organizations in the world, of 
special and divine appointment ; that of the Family, that of the 
State, and that of the Church. These are three distinct yet par- 
allel and consistent forms of organic existence and order, which 
together, in their pei"fection and purity, and according to their 
universality, must give and secure to mankind all the comfort and 
happiness which they are capable of in a life of trial and disci- 
pline. The first of these social organizations, through which the 
human being is introduced into this mortal state, reaches back to 
that void region of nothingness out of which he is taken ; the last, 
through which he may hope to be finally introduced into a new 
existence and a more perfect society, connects itself with that 
boundless Future aiter which every rational mind lifts a hopeful 


If men cannot be made happy in this life, in and through these 
three organizations, they cannot be made happy at all. If they 
cannot be made hapi)y in subjection to the fundamental and ne- 
cessary principles involved in these three organizations, they 
cannot be made happy at all. And the great fact in regard to 
each and all of them is this ; that there are law^s, to be enforced 
and to be obeyed ; there is authority on one side — authority of 
divine ordination — and there must be obedience on the other. — 
Men can never be happy till these laws, and this authority, are 
reverenced, submitted to, and obeyed. 

There have been a great many devices first and last in the 
world for escaping from the restraints of necessary law and 
authority. Demagogues and disorganizers must be expected to 
go wrong in this matter of course. They go wrong of purpose, 
or they follow a will and way of their own, no matter whether it 
be right or wrong. But there are Refoitners, who do as much 
mischief in their way as the others, who yet probably mean well, 
and really desire to serve the interests of mankind in the best 
manner. And there are Philanthropists who devote their lives 
to doing good — and it is really wonderful how much good some 
of them seem to do, considering the pei-verse and wrong way in 
which they set about it. If these RefoiTners and Philanthro- 
pists had always kept in mind and in view, the necessary exis- 
tence and sacred character of the three organizations, or forms 
of social life, to which I have refeiTed, with some proper appre- 
ciation of their claims on the reverence and obedience of all men ; 
if their plans had been formed with reference to them ; if they 
had acted, or professed to act, in and through them, and by 
means and agencies strictly auxiliary to them ; it cannot be doubt- 
ed that the cause of Humanity and Civilization would have been 
much better sensed by them than it has been. Indeed, the 
cause df Humanity and Civilization — the permanent bettering of 
the social condition of mankind — has never been promoted at all, 
by any moans or agency whatever which was essentially at war 
with these social foniis, or which was designed to operate, and 
did operate, independently of them. 

I recur to the fact, that the necessary constituent parts of the 
social system of a Christian country like this, are the three Or- 
ganizations or Associations, to which I have referred ; namely : 


that of the Family, that of the State, and that of the Church. — 
Let me, in the place, take a brief view of our Political organ- 
ization. It is in this Political organization that the Social Sys- 
tem of any country has its chief outward expression and mani- 
festation, in the view and estimation of the common mind. 

The Social System of the country is not a thing about which 
we, or any body who lives under it, may be indifferent — unless 
we are indiderent to life, and nearly all that renders life worth 
having. It touches every one of us very nearly ; it connects 
itself intimately with our life, in all its relations, with what we 
are, and what we have, and what we enjoy, or may hope to en- 
joy. It connects itself intimately with our intellectual life, our 
moral, religious, and social life. None of these could be what 
they are without it. It guards our infancy, it nourishes our 
manhood, it comforts our age — in so far as these are guarded, 
and nourished, and comforted at all in the social state — and when 
it can no longer give us present enjoyments, or we can no longer 
taste or relish them, it comes to us with Hopes and Promises 
that light up the darkness of the Future, and enable us to see 
our children, and those who shall stand in our places, with the 
uncounted hosts to which their numbers shall be swelled in suc- 
cessive generations, fortunate and happy as we have been, and 
perhaps far more fortunate and happy than we have been. 

The first thing to be remarked in this connection is the neces- 
sary existence in every country of a social system of some sort. 
Man is essentially a social being. This is his state of nature. 
He is under a positive necessity to live in society, and form social 
relations with his fellows ; and it is not a mere instinct with him 
to live in society, as it is with many creatures lower down in the 
scale of animal life ; it is a real necessity. He cannot live at all, 
except in the social state — I mean he cannot live as man, he can- 
not be man, except in ihe social state. He may exist in solitude, 
but undisputed facts have shown that he ceases to be human, and 
becomes the most abject and miserable of brutes. His structure 
and constitution make it just as certain that he was formed to 
live in society, as the structure and constitution of fishes that they 
were made to live in the water, or those of birds that they were 
made to live in the air. His faculties cannot grow, they cannot 
be developed, in any otlier state, any more than fishes could grow 



in the air, or birds grow under the water. His faculties are 
adapted to the Social state — all of them, moral, and religious, and 
intellectual, and mechanical ; there they have their aliment, and 
find employment and exercise, and get their growth and their 
sti'ength. How else is he to have any affections, reflections, sen- 
timents, opinions, judgments '? These must have related objects 
towards which, or by which, they are to be drawn out and exer- 
cised ; and where else is he to find these related objects 1 As 
man, his education, the eduction of all the powers and feelings 
that constitute him man, begins in the cradle, and goes on, to the 
grave ; it begins in the cradle, because there human eyes watch 
over him, and human voices are about him, and he is the object 
of human ministrations. He is born into society, and his teach- 
ers are always near him, and if they were not, he would know 
nothing, and he would be nothing, but a very miserable and bru- 
tish animal. On the mother's knee, in the bosom of the family, he 
has his fust lessons, reaching the heart, and the fancy, and the 
mind, through the electric chain of human sympathies which 
binds heart to heart, and fancy to fancy, and mind to mind. And 
so the eduction of his powers and feelings goes on, througli all 
the stages of his mortal being, and he is man, with the faculties 
and senses, the sense and sensibilities of man. In every new 
condition, in every new relation of life, he receives this education 
and development ; in his youth, manhood and age ; in the family, 
the seminary, and the church ; in the walks of pleasure, and in 
the walks of business; in the field, the work-shop, the counting- 
house ; in popular assemblies, in courts, and halls of legislation ; 
and wherever his lot is cast, be it among the great, the affluent, 
the luxurious, or away down among the humblest of his kind, 
where he struggles with the hardest necessities ; be it in pros- 
perous or adverse fortune, in sickness or health, in joy or grief; 
whatever he may be, and wherever he may be, and however his 
life or lot be cast, if only it be among men, in society and not in 
solitude, he is always under instruction and discipline, and always 
receiving this education and development and exercise of his fiic- 
ulties — it may be a very partial development, or it may be full 
and ample, according to circumstances and condition ; but what- 
ever it be, and however inconsiderable, he could not have even 
that little in any other way. Man in solitude could not even 


have the faculty of speech ; and as ho could not converse, he 
could not think or reason ; he could not have reflection, or sym- 
pathy, or sense, or allcction. And what sort of a human being 
would that be '/ 

Man is, then, essentially a social being ; and wherever men are 
found on this earth, they are found in society, and with some sort 
of social organization. They live together in the social state; 
and this social state implies organization and regulation, it im- 
plies polity and government. Men cannot live together without 
regulation, without rule, without authority. And this is just as 
much a law of their nature, and a law of necessity, as that they 
should live in society at all. There is a popular phrase, often 
employed and applied to the human being — namely — "living in 
a state of nature ;" and by which it is meant to express, or as- 
sume, what cannot possibly be true, cither first, that man as man, 
may live and grow \ip in solitude, without connection or associa- 
tion in any way Avith his fellows ; or, next, that men may aggre- 
gate, and so live together in herds, as wild horses do r).i the great 
prairies, without any principle of association or rtgiilation, and 
with a complete personal independence in each individual — in 
short, that men may live together, without living together in soci- 
ety, without living in the social state. But this is impossible ; 
the constitution of his nature does not admit of any thing of the 
sort. Men must not only live together side by side, but they 
must live together in relationship. Their natures are expressly 
adapted to their living together in relationship. All their great 
interests in life are interests of mutual or reciprocal relation- 
ship, and about these their best and highest faculties and affec- 
tions are employed and exercised. Without them, indeed, their 
higher faculties and affections would not be developed at all. — 
The relations of men to each other in society, especially where a 
high state of civilization has been attained, are almost infinite, 
and all these bring with them reciprocal obligations and duties, 
and these obligations and duties bring with them in their turn, the 
necessity of regulation, of rule, of authority, of government. 
There has been no society, no aggregation of men on the earth — 
History does not inform us of any — so rude and savage, as to have 
been without some sort of organization, some sort of rule and 
government. All have had their laws, and some authority by 


which those laws are enforced. Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarma- 
tians, even these had their laws, and tlieir public authority. In 
its more advanced stages, human society comes to be filled with 
complex relations, and is governed by complex laws. And under 
and through these relations and laws men come into life, receive 
nurtui'e, receive instruction, receive protection, establish connec- 
tions, labor in their callings, acquire and hold proj^erty, are fed 
and clothed, and warmed, and sheltered in houses, rear and edu- 
cate children, worship God, and so, having finished their course, 
pass away, and sleep in protected, and it may be honored 

Of necessity, then, according to the constitution of human na- 
ture, and by the appointment of God, men live together in society, 
in the social state, and under some sort of social organization, 
and civil polity. Every peojjle must have a social system, of 
one kind or another ; it may be very complete, or it may be very 
imperfect. If it be not one thing, it must be another*. If it do 
not indicate a high state of civilization, it will indicate a mode- 
rate degree, or a low degree of civilization, or no civilization at 
all. The Social System of any country, as it is found embodied 
in its political forms, may be propei-ly regarded as expressing 
the state of civilization to which that country has attained. This 
is a point of principal interest belonging to the political organi- 
zation ; and another is this ; that it forms and constitutes a guar- 
anty for the conservation and maintenance of its civilization up to 
the point to which it has already been carried. If besides this, 
the political organization be such as to foster and favor a spirit 
of improvement and progress in the line of genuine civilization, 
and so expansive and elastic withal as to comprehend and secure 
every advance that is made, every new point of good and excel- 
lence that may be attained, to the entire avoidance of all neces- 
sity or excuse for violent changes and revolutions, whether bloody 
or bloodless ; if such be the political organization of any coun- 
try, happy and blessed are the people that are in such a case. — 
But, then, they must know and understand themselves, and the 
real advantages of their condition, and they must be capable of 
conducting their affairs in moderation, and under the lead of wise 
and moderate counsels, in order to secure to themselves the 
greatest amount of present benefit and enjoyment, and, at the 


same time, and all tho while, to be laying broader and deeper 
the foundations of public virtue and public happiness. 

We will look, then, briefly, at our political organization in this 
country — the forms of our American civil polity. 

Taking, in tho first place, altogether an outside view of our 
political organization, we notice here a nation, properly so cal- 
led, and a national government, or central governing power. 
And do not let us make the mistake of supposing that this is too 
common-place a fact, to be of any account or consequence. We 
could not well be a civilized people without this strictly national 
organization and government. European civilization exists un- 
der this form of polititical organization — about all there is of it ; 
and it is under this form that civilization has made the highest 
advance thus far in the history of the world. 

And let it here be observed, that it took Europe a thousand 
years to reach this advanced political condition. From the fall 
of the Roman empire in the fifth, to the middle of the fifteenth 
century, there was properly no such thing as a nation in Europe ; 
there was no nationality, in the true, modern sense of the word. 
Alfred in England, came nearer to making a national establish- 
ment than any body else in all Eui'Ope down to the fifteenth cen- 
tury ; but the English nation was not actually formed and estab- 
lished till the period of the accession of Henry VII., and the union 
of the rival houses of York and Lancaster. Charlemagne was 
the head of a mighty kingdom, but he was not the sovereign of a 
true nation. The idea of a modern nation is this : That it is 
composed of one homogenous people, forming one body, with a 
certain distinctive character, and having a certain principle of 
unity ; occupying a fixed residence and home, that is, having a 
country to which fixed limits are assigned ; and subject, as a 
nation, and in its unity as such, to one central government. There 
must be a people, forming a body politic, having a public senti- 
ment, and will, and wisdom of its own, such as these may be; 
and there inust be a government representing the nation, as the 
Patriarch represents the Family, or the Tribe, and presiding and 
rulinsr over it. Such is a modern nation with its jrovemment. It 
is a political family ; and it was the marshalling of mankind into 
great political families, each having its own proper representa- 
tive and governing head, and in each of which a certain character 


and principle of unity prevails, which marked the era and com- 
mencement of modern civilization in Europe. This did not 
begin, as I have said, till the fifteenth century. It is only since 
that period, that we have the English nation, and the French 
nation, and the Spanish nation, and the rest. The modem na- 
tions of Europe have been formed from elements supplied main- 
ly out of the loins of those wandering and barbaric ti-ibes of the 
great German stock of our race, before which the Roman empire 
fell, and which, finally, spread themselves nearly all over the con- 
tinent. It is these Germans, with the Sclavonic population of the 
north, supposed to be descended from the Sai'matians, as the 
Germans were from the Scythians, which together constitute, at 
this day, the nations of Eui'ope, now the keepei's and consei-\'a- 
tors of the highest civilization to which humanity has yet attain- 
ed in the Old World. That is the civilization in which we in this 
country, having a common origin with them, participate ; it is 
that civilization on which, as a general foundation, ours is built. 

Now the great fact which the history of the races to which I 
have refen'cd to, from the time of their irruption into Europe, 
discloses, is that already named ; that modern civilization did not 
begin to show itself till those tribes and hordes, after a thousand 
years of error and confusion, of painful preparation and disci- 
pline, were resolved into distinct nations, with a certain centrali- 
zation of power to form a government in each case, and a certain 
principle of unity and individuality in the nation itself. It is not, 
of course, my purpose to undertake to show the tedious process 
by which this point was gained ; that would involve an historical 
review not to be attempted here. It is the fact to which I wish 
to attract your particular attention, as one which all may easily 
verify by a recurrence to the history of the period, and which no 
one already familiar with that history will deny or doubt. 

The political power of Europe for about four centuries, count- 
ing from the overthrow of the Western Empire of Rome, was 
essentially barbarian. Society itself was essentially barbarian. 
Even the Church, as it existed among the Gennan hordes of the 
period, when rude and ignorent men intmded into her sacred 
offices, and priests and even bishops, like Salone and Sagittarius, 
became chiefs of marauding bands, and wandered over the coun- 
try, within their own bishoprics, pillaging and ravaging as they 


went — even the Church was at least half barbarian. This was 
the piimitivc state of modern Europe, with some partial relief 
from this general condition, in particular quarters. 

The Feudal Sy.stem, rising out of the bosom of barbarian soci- 
ety, introduced a change, in some respects salutary, but while it 
lasted in its vigor, rendering all attempts, or tendencies, towards 
national formation, and the centralization of power, wholly una- 
vailing and abortive. Causes, however were at work, and events 
came on, which favored the consolidation of states and empires. 
When the Crusades were ended, the power of Feudalism, as a 
political system, was very much broken. The independent juris- 
diction and fierce authority of multitudes of baronial chiefs had 
very much given Avay. The People began to rise into importance 
and consideration on the one hand, and kintjs and sovereitins on 
the other. Authority, control, the power of government, nation- 
al sovereignty, was beginning to be centralized and exist in fewer 
hands. And finally it resulted, as I have said already, that thei-e 
arose in Europe real nations, and real national governments. 
Kings began to rule as they had not ruled before ; for it is to be 
remarked that Monarchy was the almost universal form which 
government assumed whenever, and wherever, the Germanic and 
Sclavonian population became really nationalized. At first, how- 
ever, this monarchy was something very different from what it 
afterwards became, or attempted to make itself. It was then 
i-epresentative. The great fundamental principle of national or 
po{)ular consent, was recognized as the foundation of rightful 
authority, exercised under existing forms. Monarchy, as a par- 
ticular form of government, was the expression and embodiment 
of the collective will and aggregate wisdom of the nation. It 
was a new doctrine, that which was afterwards set up, that the 
Sovereign represented nothing but his own will, and that he held 
his power, not by any consent of the nation to the INIonarchy, as 
a particular form of government, but by an absolute and a divine 
right personal to himself. This was a great error which has not 
been corrected in all cases, wthout popular revolutions. And 
though examples of absolutism in government still remain in 
Europe, yet it may bo safely affirmed that the only kind of mon- 
archy recognized at this day, as legitimate, by enlightened public 
ophiion, in any part of Europe, is that which makes the Sove- 


reign only the Chief Magistrate of the nation, the center and 
bond of society, the chief conservator of the public peace and of 
public order, and the chief administrator of the general justice of 
the realm ; representing in his person, the majesty of the State, 
and the Avill and wisdom of the body of the nation, as expressed 
in the particular form of government which it has chosen, or by 
which it abides, and of which the office of the sovereign is only 
an incident. 

The true condition, then, of civilization in Europe, at the pres- 
ent day, as expressed in the forms of political organization, is 
undoubtedly this : it rests on the general fact that the population 
has come to be arranged into distinct nations, or national fami- 
lies, with a centralized power constituting in each the national 
government ; and it may be remarked, that in these nations re- 
spectively, civilization is more or less advanced, other things 
being equal, as the principle of unity has more or less prevailed 
in the nation, and that of representation in the centralized and 
goveraing power. 

And now to come back to the more immediate consideration of 
our own political organization. We have here a nation, and a 
national government ; we have this form of civilization ; and so 
far as this is concerned, without any further comjjarison of polit- 
ical or social systems, we stand on the same line of advance with 
the leading civilized nations of the old world. Now, there are 
two leading points to be considered, in order to detennine wheth- 
er the existing condition of our civilization, so far as it depends 
on political organization, is likely to be maintained and preser- 
ved, and what promise there is that any advance or progress 
will be made. These points have refei'ence, first, to the principle 
of unity in respect to the nation — how that principle is provided 
for and secured in its political forms, and how, if at all, it is like- 
ly to be violated and sacrificed in the progress of events ; and 
next, to the pi'inciple of representation in respect to the govern- 
ment — how that principle is provided for and secured, and how, 
if at all, it is likely to be violated and sacrificed. It will not, of 
course, be expected that I should go into any elaborate examina- 
tion of the points of consideration and enquiry here presented. 
I can only speak on the whole subject in the most general way, 
leaving it to every one, as his own inclination or desire may 


prompt, to pursue tho investigation for himself in the lino of 
enquiry which I have indicated. 

If we go back to that period of most uncommon interest, when 
this nation was formed, when this people became a nation, and 
provided a national government for itself, we cannot fail to be 
struck with the remarkable completeness and perfectncss of our 
political organization in both the important particulars to which 
I have adverted. Representation in Government was a thing 
the people had long been familiar with, and if a general govern- 
ment were to be established at all, it could not be bottomed on 
any other principle. But there was a desperate struggle against 
forming a Union ; this was the point of difficulty. There could 
not be a nation without it ; and there was in some of the States, 
in the smallest as well as others, the same reluctance and resis- 
tance to the plan, aiising from the same desire and pride of 
wielding an independent though petty jurisdiction, and a nominal 
sovereignty, which had operated in Europe for centuries to keep 
up the existence of a thousand miserable, independent local ju- 
risdictions and sovereignties, and prevent their fusion, or consoli- 
dation into nations. But when the Union was carried, when the 
States had agi'eed to consolidate and form a nation, it was seen 
and felt at once, that the true elements of a nation were there, 
and the true principles of national unity to combine and bind 
them in one body. 

In regard to this principle of unity. The people of the seve- 
ral States had been colonists together under the same imperial 
and distant power. They had struggled together against tha 
exactions of that power, and what they felt to be evils of their 
political condition. They had gone through a long, exhausting, 
and bloody war together, for their common relief and emancipa- 
tion, which they had secured by common and heroic sacrifices. — 
They wei-e a homogeneous people, having had nearly a common 
origin ; they spoke a common language, and had a common lite- 
rature ; their moral and intellectual training had been very 
much the same ; the principal elements of personal character 
were very much the same in the several states ; and in reference 
to the leading affairs and concerns of human life, they entertained 
views, and sentiments, and feelings, in common, at least quite as 
nearly so as the like thing had ever been witnessed in any exam- 



pie, or case, of a great community, at all distinguished for intel- 
ligence, in any quarter, or any ago of the world ; and, finally, 
though they occupied a country, even then, of very liberal extent, 
which brought the very extremes of climate within its boundaries, 
and gave great variety to their industry and their productions, 
there was a manifest and intelligent bond of union in all the lead- 
ing articles and particulars of their economical interests and bu- 
siness affairs. 

Such, then, was the American people, when by their own vol- 
untary and intelligent act and action, they resolved and formed 
themselves into a nation. They were one people ; one in race, 
in tongue, in complexion, in habits, in ideas, in religion, in feel- 
ings, in intelligence, in moral temperament, in general interests, 
in laws, in manners and customs. And there was something dis- 
tinct and distinguishing about them, which marked and separated 
them from every other people under the sun— even from that 
people which was the great hive out of which they had origi- 
nally swarmed, and with which they had so long maintained an 
intimate political connection. They were American in charac- 
ter; and not English — they were even then, in the first hours 
and months of their separation, scai'cely more English in charac- 
ter, than they were French or German. Their national charac- 
ter was Ameiican, and nothing else. And between the extreme 
North and the extreme South, there was nothing more conside- 
rable to break its expressive unity than such agreeable shades of 
difference as might mark the remote descendant of the round- 
head and puritan on the one hand, and of the cavalier of the 
same country on the other ; such shades of difference as might 
mark the varying moods of the same individual character, break 
up its dullness and tedious uniformity, and give it animation, 
strength and beauty. 

The advantages of this more complete unity of national char- 
acter to civilization, to the progress of society and of man, are 
in most respects so obvious, that I regret the less the absolute 
want of time on this occasion, to point them out and dwell on 
them. As between any two nations in the world, which are 
equal in other things, in all the other means and appliances of 
civilization, that one which has the superior unity of national 


character cannot fail far to outstrip the other in its career of im- 
provement, of happiness and true gloiy. 

Antl in respect to this national unify in the American people, 
— at least looking at them as they stood when first the Old Thir- 
teen came together' — I know of nothing to compare with it in 
any considerable nation of Europe. Though Castile and AiTa- 
pon in Spain had formed one people politically for more than 
four hundred years before this Union was established, yet there 
is not that unity to-day between them which existed between 
Massachusetts and Virginia in the fii-st month or year of their 
coming together, Normandy and liurgundy, and Brittany in 
France have not yet united, and probably never can unite as 
kindly. It is only that part of the British Isles to which the 
term England is properly applied, which constitutes a nation in 
true unity under the reign of the British Queen. Wales is 
Wales, and Scotland is Scotland still. Ireland is governed more 
like a subjugated province than an integral part of the em- 

And there is another important particular in which the empire 
of the European nations, or of many of them, fuils of that unity 
which the American nation had as it was originally formed under 
the Constitution. Their governments are not merely national ; 
they are imperial, and rule over provinces and detached or dis- 
tinct districts, as Rome did, till her provinces turned round and 
tyrannized over her. They have their Colonies, as England has 
in the most distant and diverse quarters of the globe — a source, 
no doubt, of great apparent political strength and consideration 
in the scale and family of nations, but a source also of great moral 
weakness at home. England, the home country and nation, 
would be a better governed, a freer and happier, and a more civ- 
ilized country to-day, if she had never had a Colony to look after 
and govei'n. Colonies stand to the country that owns them in 
the relation of dependencies ; as such, they are held and govern- 
ed ; they arc no part of the nation — though they form a part of 
the empire of the governing power ; the government over them 
is one essentially offeree, and not of choice or consent ; and the 
consequence is that as soon as they are ripe enough, as Hume, I 
think, has said, they drop off from the parent stem — sometimes 
they drop off before they are ripe. And this joining of far-off Co- 


lonial or Territorial possessions, or of incongi-uous and uncongenial 
districts and peoples, to a parent state by political connection, is 
a gross breach of the essential principle of national unity ; it is 
tying up so many diseased and conupting limbs, or so many dead 
corpses, to a living and otherwise healthy body. And this su- 
peradding of the imperial power to the national authority of the 
government, or rather this superposition of the imperial upon 
the national power, so that the latter is often materially overlaid 
and crushed down with the superincumbent weight of the other, 
bodes no good, it never did and never can bode any good, to that 
portion of the subjects of the empire which properly constitute 
the nation. AVheii a country has as much breadth of territoiy, 
and embraces as much variety in its population, as can be formed 
into one nation, consistently with the due preservation of the 
great principle of national unity, then there is enough for any 
one government to do to take care of the public interests of that 
nation. And whatsoever more it has to do, cometh of evil, tends 
to evil, and is evil. 

In regard to the principle of representation to which I have 
referred ; I must now, after the time I have already occupied, 
pass this topic over, with only some veiy general remarks. 

The true idea of the representative principle I take to be this ; 
that Government, instead of ruling by an absolute, prescriptive 
or personal right, rules under a responsible Trust, and exercises 
only the powers committed to it. Government is a Trust, to be 
executed according to the intent and purpose designed to be an- 
swered by it, and by reference to the will of those who have 
created and established it. Thus, on the one hand, it is the will 
of God that government should exert and possess all necessary 
powers, and that it should be exercised for the highest common 
good of those who are the subjects of it. On the other hand, the 
nation itself decides, or it may do so, on the form of government 
it will have, the kind of Constitution it prefers, and how the 
functionaries shall be chosen or designated, and under what 
restriction, or distribution and limitation of powers they shall act. 
In this way it is, that government is a Trust, and is representa- 
tive. And, in view of this fiduciary and representative character, 
it should seem that any Government, which understands the high 
dignity to which it is called, and the responsibilities it assumeS', 


will quite as often, and as anxiously, look up, to see if it is dis- 
charging its great olHce acceptably to God, as it will look 
abroad among the people for their approval. 

It may often happen, even when the Goverament is adminis- 
tered most conscientiously and wisely, that it may, for the time, 
be little in accord with the prevailing feelings and wishes of the 
people. Of course, in such a case, they will condemn the admin- 
istration and seek to bring about a change. This they may do 
under the right of Election. The true use of the elective system 
is to enable the people to get rid of bad men and a bad adminis- 
tration ; but, of course, it is just as potent an engine when they 
choose to employ it against good men, and a good administration. 
By the proper use of this power, the representative principle 
may be preserved and maintained ; but with equal facility this 
very power may be employed to destroy the princi})le of repre- 
sentation, simply by converting the right of election into the right 
of administration and government. Election is itself a Trust of 
a very high character. The Elector does not exercise his fran- 
chise for himself, but for the whole body politic. Properly 
employed, Election would place the administration habitually in 
the hands of the most worthy — ruv apiCrwv — it would make 
the government an Aristocracy — not in the sense so properly 
condemned in our day — but in the true, original, Greek signifi- 
cation of the term — a government of the most worthy — such a 
goverament as the country, in fact, once had, if never but once ; 
I mean in the time of the first Congress and of the first President 
of the United States. But Election may also be used to place the 
worst men in power ; to create either a Tyranny — the worst, 
perhaps, with which any country can be visited — the Tyranny of 
petty Demagogues, introduced into power, and supported in their 
pretensions and career, by an inflamed and unreasoning popu- 
lace ; or, a worse state of things still, a rule of mingled Anarchy 
and malignity, under an unrestrained ochlocratic domination. 

Let me be allowed to say, that it seems to me the exercise of 
this eminent right of election by the people, may well be regarded 
as a trial, of no ordinary severity, to which they arc subjected. 
Certainly it may be made, and ought to be made, one of the 
highest and most effective means that could possibly be employ- 
ed, for their discipline and cultivation, and for thuir advancement 


in intelligence and virtue. By the use of this power, they may 
heap blessings and benefits on their own heads ; by the abuse of 
it, they may destroy themselves. It is a means of high political 
and moral discipline, which they have voluntarily taken into their 
own hands, but which they may wrest to their ruin if they will. 
That they should sometimes be misled, and go wrong, ought not 
to surpi'ise, or dishearten, any body. They have the free use of 
a dangerous instrument, and it is not to be wondered at if, now 
and then, they inflict a wound upon themselves. It is in the order 
of Providence, that men and nations should sometimes buy their 
best wisdom at the price of a very dear experience. The point 
for them to consider is, whether they may not, under the lead of 
bad counsels, and of miserable passions, carry their abuse of this 
power, some day, so far, as to forfeit its use altogether, by bring- 
ing in scenes of terror and confusion into the country, in which 
they may riot for a season, but only to end with thi'owing them- 
selves down at last, to be crushed under an advancing Despotism 
— as victims were used to precipitate themselves before the wheels 
of Juggernaut. The point, for those who take any part inform- 
ing the character and leading the opinions of the people, to 
consider is, what they can do to keep the people true to them- 
selves, and up to the high duties and responsibilities of their 
position. One thing we may count on as pretty certain, if the 
Leaders, Lawgivers and Instructors of the people — if Moses and 
Joshua — be not faithful to their trust, the people will not be likely 
to get further in their way towards the land of political promise, 
even after having once got quite clear of the wilderness, than to 
stand on the eminence that overlooks it. 

Looking back to the period of our first enti'ance Tipon our 
political career as a nation, we may, I think, regai"d the fust 
administration of the General Government under Washinsfton — 
clarum ct venerahUc nomcn — as showing by a practical and success- 
ful demonstration, the true theory and meaning of our political 
forms, the true characteristics, peculiarities and advantages of 
our American system of political government, and what rank it 
was entitled to hold in the woi'ld as a form of Civilization. The 
question of our progress is another matter. Whether, since that 
I)eriod, we have been altogether true to ourselves, and to the 
responsibilities of the eminent position we then occupied ; whcth- 


er, to-day, wc could altogether justify ourselves before the world 
for the eni})l()yincMt and use we have made of our political and 
social forms ; whether, if wc were put to it, we could show very 
satisfactorily, that we have made that advance in Civilization — 
in whatsoever adonis and exalts human nature, and enhances 
enjoyment and true happiness — which the world had a right to 
expect from us, or even that we have faithfully kept that which 
was committed to us ; whether we are a wiser, better and hap- 
pier people now than we were fifty years ago ; whether we have 
been doing all we could, and are doing all we can, to preserve 
the great essential princi])le of national unity, and that other 
great, essential principle, of representation in goverment ; wheth- 
er we have been strict and vigilant to keep to the practice of 
placing the power of Government habitually in the hands of the 
most worthy, and to preserve the country from the insidious 
spirit and fatal encroachments of ochlocratic rule ; whether we 
have ke2)t steadily in view, as Washington declared the Conven- 
tion that gave us our Constitution had done, "the consolidation 
of our Union" — which he pronounced "the greatest interest of 
every true American ;" whether our growth, mighty as it has 
been and is likely to be, is altogether our strength ; whether our 
moral greatness is keeping pace with the expansion of our phys- 
ical and political proportions ; whether we have been always 
and altogether content to be a nation without any aspirations to 
become an empire ; whether the Central, governing Power is, 
and is likely to be, merely national, as it was in the beginning, 
or has come, or is coming, from choice or seeming necessity, to 
be clothed also with imperial dominion and authority ; whether 
we have perfectly understood what kind of progress ought to 
have resulted from our political organization and social system, 
and been content to make that progress the object of our ambi- 
tion and pursuit ; whether we have perfectly understood what 
the true Mission of this country was, and is, and been content to 
fulfil it ; whether, as a nation, wc have always, and altogether, 
pursued such a course and career — for this was our j)roper mis- 
sion — as ought to commend our system and our example to the 
admiration and imitation of the woi"ld ; in short, whether we are 
what we once were, and ought still to be, a nation thoroughly 
grounded in all good and honest principles, and growing in the gra- 


cesof all public and private virtues, under the legitimate influence 
and operation of our social system and form of Civilization ; and 
whether the path we are pursuing, instead of leading us on 
through gloom, uncertainty, confusion, and thick darkness, is 
I'eally one that promises, like that of the just, to shine brighter 
and brighter to a perfect day ; these, these all, are questions into 
which I do not enter. I remit them wholly to the consideration 
of those among you who may think they have interest or impor- 
tance enough to engage their deliberations, or their study. 

One thing, however, I will say, on this matter, that though, as a 
people, we may have committed, and are likely to commit, great 
mistakes and great errors, there is yet, I must believe, a princi- 
ple of soundness at the heart of the nation. If there be corrup- 
tion any where, the young men of the nation, whatever maybe 
said of some of those who are older and more practiced in the 
world, are little tainted with it. The danger in their case is, that 
they may be swept forward unconsciously, and unresistingly, 
without reason, without examination, without reflection, by what 
is called the spirit or movement of the age ; just as it might be if 
they were standing with multitudes of confident and eager per- 
sons around them on a firm bridge of ice over a broad stream, 
which, however, the advancing season had already loosened from 
the shores, and which was now humed along by the silent, resist- 
less and majestic current underneath — whither they would know 
not — to what desired haven in the tide of fortune, or to what un- 
happy doom. 

But I turn now to say a word or two on those other organiza- 
tions, or Associations, which I have already moi'e than once refer- 
red to. Along with the State, we must have the Family, and the 

And first, in regard to the Family. There is, perhaps, no 
country in the world, thus far, where the sacredness and purity of 
the Family relations have been more scrupulously preserved, 
than in our own. Let us hope that we are not soon to degene- 
rate from this high position. At the same time, it is not to be 
disguised, that there are theories of social reform industriously 
urged on the humbler classes of society, and with no inconsidera- 
ble effect, which are designed, or at least calculated, to strike a 
Iktal blow at the family relations. Under the plausible promise 


of improving the condition of labor, Associations are recommen- 
ded which are at war with the sacred institution of the family, 
and indeed with the whole structure of society, and through 
which, if they can have any success, a mischief will be done too 
serious and awful to be contemplated without horror. 

But this is not all. If the Family relations are to be maintain- 
ed at all in their purity, and so as to secure and promote social 
happiness, they must be maintained on the basis on which they 
were originally placed by their Divine Author. The first great 
principle to be preserved is the essential unity of the two persons 
who compose the one head of the Family. "They twain shall 
be one flesh." The union is a mystic one, properly existing only 
under the most solemn religious sanctions, and with which pro- 
fane hands should scarcely intermeddle. Happily for our coun- 
try, as well as for that from which we have chiefly derived our 
political and legal institutions, the system of the Common Law, 
which generally prevails with us, accords mainly with the reli- 
gious view and character of the conjugal relation, and of its 
marital rights. Generally, too, it may be said, that our legisla- 
tion on this subject — at least until within a recent period — has 
not widely departed from the notion and spirit of the original law 
of this relation. Unhappily, however, as it seems to me, a dis- 
position has prevailed of late in some quarters of the country, to 
bring this sacred relation under the rules of the Civil Law — a 
system, so far as it is applied to the domestic relations, as much 
below that of the Common Law, as the Heathen manners and 
philosophy in which it originated were below the sublime and 
elevated doctrines and precepts of Christianity. Just in propor- 
tion as this sacred and religious relation is brought down, by law, 
to the low level of a mere civil contract, whether by slovenly and 
unseemly provisions, made for the solemnization of man4age, or 
otherwise ; and just in proportion as the law shall interpose to 
separate the temporal estates and interests of the parties, to 
place them in antagonist attitudes to each other, to afford them 
facilities for causes of difference, and for holding each other to 
mutual accountability in the courts, and, above all, to multiply 
grounds of separation ; just in proportion as these things are 
done, will the religious tie and sanction which give this relation 


its mystic unity be weakened, its purity be degraded, and its sa- 
credness profaned. 

And now in regard to the Church, as one of the three Associ- 
ations of pei-j5etual necessity — this being the most sacred of all — 
which lie at the foundation of the Social System. It cannot be 
necessary, nor, indeed, would it at all become me, to say much 
on this subject, in the presence of those who mainly compose this 
House of Convocation. It is the faith of this College that the 
Church has been constituted, by the will of its Divine Founder 
and Head, in a particular manner, and according to a particular 
form of organization. It is deemed essential that this organiza- 
tion should be presei-ved, in order to maintain the sacred authority 
of its ministry, and the proper discipline of all its members, and 
to make the Church the Pillar and Ground and Witness of the 
Truth. Those who associate in this College intend, I believe, 
to maintain this doctrine in this place, as every whei'e else, leav- 
ing to all others, of course, the same liberty of free opinions 
which they claim for themselves, but humbly hoping to set an 
attractive, and, if possible, a convincing example of the excel- 
lence and efficiency of their faith before all the world, in the 
eminent practical good which they shall finally accomplish here, 
through their strict adherence to religious principle, and to the 
established LaAv of order and Authority in the Church as matter 
of religious principle, in all their plans and efforts to promote 
Education, and sound Learnixig and Morality. 

Out of all doubt, the moral training of mankind — since this 
cannot be separated from religion — is committed to the Church. 
The law of Justice, the law of Kindness, the law of Charity, the 
law of Brotherly Love — these are never taught and enforced 
effectually on men any where but in the Church. True Liberty, 
true Equahty, tme Fraternity — these are taught no where but in 
the Church. Political leaders and social reformers, who never 
look to Christianity and the Church for the meaning of these 
terms and the doctrines properly involved in them, are only blind 
guides to lead the people to their destruction. It is in the Church 
that the tme nature of the Family, and of the domestic relations, 
and the duties involved in them, are taught and enforced, and no 
where else. And here, and no where else, are taught the true 
character of poUtical government, its divine . authority and sane- 


tions, and the religious duty of reverence and obedience on the 
part of all its subjects. Here, too, and no where else, may be 
learned the true nature of the relations which men sustain to- 
wards each other in the varied business and multiplied opera- 
tions and affairs of active life, and the duties and demeanor proper 
to every station and degree of human existence. And here, and 
here only — in the principles and doctrines of Christianity, main- 
tained and enforced in the Church, sternly inculcating the Faith 
once for all delivered to it — will be found, according to my hum- 
ble but undoubting convictions, the true method of solving all 
those appalling difficulties which now so disturb and distract 
communities and nations u!ider the agitations set on foot by igno- 
rant or unprincipled men, growing out of the relations between 
Property and Labor, and between the Rich and the Poor. 

When every man shall be of the exact stature of every other 
man, and every soul the exact pattern of every other soul ; when 
infants shall no longer be born into the world, but full grown 
men and women ; when time and chniico sli;i]l happen in exactly 
the same measure, to all ; when none shall be younger or older, 
feebler or stronger, simpler or wiser, than any and every body 
else ; then I suppose we may expect to see that precise equality 
of condition — that mathematical dead level in society — which 
some modern philosophers seem to dream of as a state of human 
perfection and fehcity. So long, however, as men shall continue 
to be born, and live, and die, after the present fashion — so long 
as the Sei-mon on the Mount does not become obsolete, and 
wholly inapplicable, in every lesson and precept, to men in the 
social state — I suppose we must expect to see great diversities, 
oftentimes painful ones, in their condition and stations in society ; 
we shall still have men of property and men of toil, masters and 
servants, employers and employed, rich and poor. And so long 
as this shall be the state of human society, I believe it will be 
found, after all struggles to escape from it are over, that there is 
only one effectual method of I ■ ringing about a real and lasting 
improvement in the social condition of men, and that is bybring- 
ino- them tosrether in one Brotherhood of Love in the bosom of 
the Church, where all alike, of every grade and condition, shall 
become the teachable and willing subjects of its doctrines and its 
discipline. The poor will never be provided for as they ought 


to be, or cared for as they ought to be, till the time shall 
come, as come it will, one day, when in every parish they 
shall be the voluntary charge of the local Christian fellow- 
ship of which they fonn a part. The great economical and 
social questions between Capital and Labor, which are now 
fast separating into hostile classes those who ought to be 
friends, as being mutually dependent on each other, though in 
different degrees, and between whom unwise men and bad men, 
are every where busy sowing dissension and bitter enmity, will 
never be satisfactorily adjusted and settled until the parties shall 
be bi'ought together in a school and fellowship which shall make 
them the brethren of one sacred Household, and where they shall 
be mutually as willing and anxious to understand and practice 
their reciprocal duties towards each other, as they are now to 
understand and insist on their respective rights. When they shall 
come to meet, as brothers, around a common altar of worship, in 
the communion of the Catholic Church, then, and not sooner, will 
they learn to do that willing justice to each othei', without strife 
or envyings, which no laws, and no social organizations, under 
mere civil authoi'ity, can ever teach, secure or enforce. I am 
not preaching a seniion — that is not my calling ; but I am endea- 
voring to state and insist on an economical tiiith. I am looking 
after the meaTis of improving the social condition of mankind, and 
I happen to find them just where the Church finds and offers the 
means of their salvation.* 

*After these remarks were prepared, the writer saw a notice of 
the death of the celebrated Chateaubriand, the author of the "Genius of 
Christianity." Dying as he did at Paris, in the very midst of those awful 
convulsions through which Society was then passing in that unhappy 
country, the testimony which that remarkable man left behind him is very 
striking and instructive, and deserves to be preserved and pondered. I 
quote from the notice referred to : 

"A few minutes before his death M de Chateaubriand, who had receiv- 
ed the sacrament on Sunday, embraced once more the cross with the 
emotion of a lively faith and firm confidence. One of the expressions 
•which he repeated most frequently of late years was, that the social ques- 
tions which agitated nations at present could not be solved without the Bible, 
without the soul of Christ, whose doctrines and example have denounced 
selfishness, this gnawinrj worm of all concord. Thus M. de Chateaubriand 
hailed Christ as the Saviour of the world, even in a social point of view, 
juad he loved to call him his King as well as his God." 


The question, after all, is, in what is our hope ? How shall 
the advantages of our social position be best secured, the hazards 
to which we are exposed avoided, and our progress in true feli- 
city advanced ? Others may rest their hopes in other things — in 
a thousand new devices which ingenious men are always ready to 
invent for the sovereign cure of all political and social ills. For 
myself I choose to trust first of all to those Appointments and 
Associations which were ordained of old, by a better wisdom 
than that of men ; and then to Agencies subordinate and auxilia- 
ry to them. Society must rest on the Family, on the State, and 
on the Church, as organizations of divine ordination. The Fam- 
ily must be held sacred ; Government must be respected and 
obeyed, and the Church loved and venerated as a heaven-bom 
mother. Education is the great auxiliary agency to be relied on, 
]>ut our Educational plans must stand on the right foundation, or 
incalculable mischief instead of good, may be done. What that 
right foundation is men will differ about. What it is in the esti- 
mation of those who compose this Academical Society is suffi- 
ciently shown in the manner in which this Institution has been 


Dis te minorem quod geris, imperas ; 
Hinc omne principium, hue refer exitum. 

HoR. Carm. VI. Ad. Rom. 

Let the plan adopted here be carried out, and this example 
be followed elsewhere as it ought to be, and Education will 
stand on higher ground in this countiy than it has ever stood on 
before. Society is swayed and governed by opinion. We say, 
let the College stand, every where, by the side of the Church, in 
its efforts to keep the moral sentiment of the country sound and 
steady, and we need not concern ourselves much about the rest. 
Political and social tranquility and felicity will be easily secured, 
when Faith, Truth and Principle shall have that sway over the 
minds of men which they ought to have — and which they must 
have before their social condition will be essentially improved. 

Hoc opus, hoc studlum parvi properemus et aiupli, 
Si patriae volumus, si nobis vivere cari. 

HoR. ErisT. III. Ai> Jdl. Flor. 

^\]t ^vnc £it"c 




















Serenest spirit of the hallowed lyre, 

Sweet soother of all sorrow, come to me ! 
My laboring thought with utterance inspire ; 

Thou muse divine, th}^ heavenly minstrelsie 
I would evoke from every truthful string, 
And here a Lay of Life essay to sing. 

For I must vigil while all nature sleeps ; 
Not self-devoted, but ordained to be 

A poor v^-^ayfarer o'er life's rugged steeps ; 
Its sternest aspects fated still to see ; 

To taste its bitter draughts at many a brim ; 
And chant, withal, earth's earnest, awful Hymn ! 


Thou that hast tuned my reed, if tuned it be ; 

If this high prayer to such low dust belong ; 
Ineffable Inspirer ! speak to me 

That I sing not an inharmonious song. 
Speak, to me trembling in thy glory's blaze, 
That singing Life, I also sing thy praise. 

The earth-strung harp but teaches man to weep ; 
Furrows his aching brow before its time ; 

O, give me now the lyre that I shall sweep 
Upon the hills of j'on celestial clime ; 

God ! make my spirit like a surging sea. 
Rolling its thundering anthems up to thee ! 


Such scope I covet, fitly to adore ; 

Such scope, the import of my theme to scan ; 
Ocean of Life ! no swimmer finds a shore ; 

Unfathomable mystery of man ! 
So vast, so various, whence, or whither, all 
Shrouded in secrecy as with a pall. 

Dread dissonance of earth ! each life a note 
Swelling the mighty uproar tompcst-high ; 

Harmonious voices few, and too remote 
To temper the wild clamor of the sky : 
O for a plunge that ocean to explore ; 
O for a wing that chaos to outsoar ! 



Give me to love my fellow ; and in love, 

If with none other grace to chant my strain ; 
Sweet key-note of soft cadences above, 

Sole star of solace in life's night of pain ; 
Chief gem of Eden, fractured in that Fall 
Tliat ruined two fond hearts, and tarnished all ! 

Redeemer ! be thy kindly spirit mine ; 
That pearl of paradise to me restore ; 

Pure, fervent, fearless, lasting love ; divine, 
Profound as ocean, broad as sea and shore ; 

While man I sing, free, subject, or supreme, 
O for a soul as ample as the theme ! 

1 see the awful vision of all time ; 

All life since man became a living soul ; 
All change since woman taught him love ; and crime 

And death's dark wave began o'er earth to roll ; 
Stupendous pomp ; far-reaching to that night 
Ere stars were kindled, or the sun gave light. 

Swayed as eternal symphonies impel. 
Chord answering chord, mysterious harps I hear. 

And myriad voices still the anthem swell. 
Pouring grand harmonics from sphere to sphere ; 
Chanting historic the great psalm of Eartli 
Since chaos labored with its mighty birlli. 


Dread shape ! in terror while constrained I gaze 

The shadows of old ages roll away ; 
The Past is present, and the first of days 

Pours brightly down its new-created ray ; 
Dim, mystic visions aggregate apace, 
And primal earth stands out august in space ! 

How wonderful ; Jehovah deigned to will 
And this creation with obedient awe 

Came booming forth the mandate to fulfil, 
From darkness, glory ; from disorder, law ! 
So pure, so beautiful, so formed for love, 
It might allure the angels from above. 


Man, the Epitome ! still chiefly he 

The mighty argument of that high song : 
Of His omnipotence who bade him be, 

Sublimcst miracle of all the throng 
That at his mandate from the nought of space 
Came forth substantial majesty and grace. 

Materiality, and essence, each 
Its full perfection in his form to find ; 

The universe articulate in his speech, 
All spirit-greatness imaged in his mind. 
Harp on forever, all ye bards above, 
Man still your theme ; and man-creating Love ! 


There swoops, again, in solitude sublime, 

The shattered remnant of that elder world ; 
Like some primeval orb unknown to time, 

Througli a wild waste of waters helmless hurled ; 
On, on, careering o'er the vengeful wave ; 
A. rebel skeleton, denied a grave. 

Dark, silent, desolate, an outcast globe. 
Blasted beneath the sin-abhorring frown ; 

Shorn of the sunbeam, and the verdant robe ; 
In an unbounded Delude thus to drown ! 
Imponderable Ruin ! can it be 
The morning stars sang sweetly once for thee ! 


Ah, must you mourn, ye minstrels of the skv ; 

Through all your strains still sweeps a note of wo, 
As myriad hearts were breaking in one sigh ; 

Now in profoundest octaves moaning low ; 
Up the careering scale now. frantic flies, 
Shrieks its sad tale in heaven, and wailing dies. 

Me now instruct ; that justly I discourse 
Those joys and sorrows, your immortal themes ; 

Reveal of each the annals, and the source ; 
And as I listening muse along the streams. 

And o'er the mountains, all my thoughts inspire, 
"11 your high burden thrill my lowly lyre. 


'Tis evening now, and all the stars again 

Like pensive mourners, look lamenting down ; 
A sister orb wo-smitten ! and a stain, 

How deep and lasting, on its old renown. 
What envious hand so impiously could dare, 
To mar so mournfully, a world so fair. 

Would I might speak to them ; my soul would know 
From those high witnesses, so pure and true, 

Whence came, and why, the desolating blow 
Could leave such deserts where such edens grew ; 
Could doom to perish an immortal race, 
And earth itself, to fail and have no place. 


O dream of Life ! yet good to ponder o'er 

The strange vicissitudes of this low sphere ; 
To mark how swiftly from its rock-bound shore 

The voyagers set sail and disappear ; 
How phantom-like the generations pass ; 
Confessing, as they fly, all flesh is grass ! 

How humbled haughtiness ; how calmed all rage ; 
In vain the lance and shield and brazen mail ; 

Conquered and conquerors from age to age, 
Down the same current gloomily all sail, 
The same irrevocable doom to read, 
With Goth, and Roman, Hebrew, Greek, and Made. 


Old Nineveh, of great Aturian Phul ; 

Ecbat'na, Babylon, and Tyre remote ; 
Menuf, and Meroe, that in the dull, 

Far-distant verge of mythic ages float, 
Still gliding down upon the fated way, 
And mote by mote, still crumbling in decay. 

Great shrines of Phtha ; and hundred-gated walls ; 
The pillared temples where old bactrians knelt ; 

The chiselled marble of imperial halls. 
Where Pharoes, Ptolemies, and Ca?sars dwelt ; 
Strong fanes of luve, piled to meet the sky, 
All, in the wreck of empires, long gone by. 


Speak, stars, ye nightly mourners, and no more 

In mute amazement wait the coming hour 
That shall earth's wasted excellence restore, 

And give man back his innocence and power. 
Too long 3^our silent sorrow ; sootheless grief 
May quench your glory, yet bring no relief. 

Known your sad secret ; mark the fearful word 
Rebellion, traccil on every human brow ; 

And oft in scathing tempests hath been heard 

The tale that moves your deep compassion now. 

Yet, to our call ye weeping worlds reply ; 

Man and his Home in ruin ! Tell us why ! 



Great volume of the Word, behold, in thee 

The dark enigma is resolv^ed and clear ; 
But lo, the eye of nature cannot see, 

And ah, the ear, too heavy, cannot hear. 
His paradise how long with wo o'erspread. 
And the immortal dweller, outcast, dead ! 

Dead ; yet infatuated not to know 
Essential vigor, beauty, truth, and love 

Fled when he dealt the self-destroying blow. 
And lost the life that cometh from above. 

O Word almighty, the dread bondage break ; 
Awake the sleeper ; bid the dead awake ! 


Companion mine, along this devious page, 

Let me a tale discourse to thee awhile, 
May haply much thy curious ear engage. 

And this brief hour right worthily beguile ; 
Yet, as the chronicle unfolds to view, 
Though fancy's record, deem the burden true. 

In sooth, my soul is fain to seek repose, 
And would to thee its lore of years impart ; 

The meditative gatherings disclose 
That miser memory garners in the heart ; 

A tale of death, pride, passion, riches, fame; 
And virtue tried in love's intensest flame. 



In a sweet vale, amid a desert waste, 

There dwelt a maiden radiant as light ; 
As a pure angel delicate and chaste ; 

No lovelier form e'er greeted mortal sight ; 
Nor lived she but to bless, and wide to show 
The living joys that trntli and lovo bestow. 

At every fount of knowledge drank she deep ; 
Not erudition's sages so profound ; 

Of things divine could scale the cloudy steep, 
And all the depths of faith and reason sound. 
Yet ever meek, no one desire she knew, 
Save still to be all heavenly and true. 


Such peerless charms and all-surpassing grace 

That humble vale might not unknown retain ; 
A world were blest to look upon that face, 

And conLemplate a heart that knew no stain. 
From hill to hill wide flew the wondrous tale, 
So bright a gem in such a lowly vale. 

Came one and knelt adoring at her shrine ; 
And sooth, a great and seemly suitor he ; 

Could she his prayer and proffered hand decline ? 
Ah, who can know a maiden's mind, perdie ! 
Not all unmoved his suppliance she heard, 
Yet gave no hope, save only hope deferred. 



Ah, gentle fair, why thus my suit disdain, 

Cried he reproachful, with offended pride ; 
A. nohler name in story must I gain ; 

What task performed shall win thee for ray bride ? 
Though years attest my studious toil for thee. 
Yet sav what more to do : what more to be. 

Then she, all-pitying, raised a tearful eye, 
And owned the fond emotion of her breast ; 

But, thoughtful, drew a deep, deploring sigh. 
And a strange, startling answer thus expressed ; 

O noble youth, though earth's best gifts are shed 
Around and on thee, thou, alas, art dead ! 


Life's germ from heaven, though on earth the bloom ; 

And seems the flower with full perfection blest ; 
But ah, there's poison in its sweet perfume. 

And spots appear within its snowy breast. 
How could I weep in sootheless, ceaseless grief, 
That life so soon is sere and yellow-leaf. 

Perfidious heart ; so subtle, so debased, 
But for the bitterness in it that springs, 

The tearful history were soon erased. 
And eardi-born man would soar on seraph wings. 
Thy nature needs the re-creating sway. 
Of Him who is the Life, the Truth, the Way. 



As starts a dreamer when some hideous shape 

The slumberino: sense with sudden terror thrills ; 
So he, with shuddering soul, would fain escape 

Back to the refuGje of his native hills. 
But still transfixed he stood in mute dismay, 
Till all like some dread vision passed away. 

Again ere long to conscious thought returned. 
He sighed the import of her words to know ; 

Dead ? while his bosom with such ardor burned ; 
Love, reason, and ambition all a-glow ; 

Yet oh, that word, with such dread meaning fraught, 
And that sweet spirit ; could they be for nought ? 


Stern lesson ; yet much profit to the soul ; 

Good to be taught the worthlessness of pride ; 
To free the spirit from earth's strong control ; 

And on the sea of sorrow heavenward glide. 
Humilit}'- ; the burthened heart's release ; 
Who enters that low portal findeth peace. 

Not fair Avoca's deep sequestered dell, 
Such sweet serenity and rest bestows ; 

Nor winding Arno's bowery banks can tell 

The weary traveller of such repose 

As soothes the soul when humbly it adores ; 
And from above the promised blessing pours. 


The maiden's bower again he trembhng sought, 

And prayed a lover's pure, impassioned prayer ; 
O nii^hl he at her feet the truth be taudit ; 

Or would she but vouchsafe to tell him where. 
Where might he terminate the doubtful strife, 
And find, if he were dead, the soul's True Life. 

O sweet to see how she inclined her ear ; 
How soon disclosed the true and living way ; 

And ah, how brake his heart the brimming tear, 
That bade him never from her love to stray, 

As forth, elate, with hastening step she trode. 
And showed a temple, — Truth's august abode. 


Now onward thou, she cried ; the mountain climb, 

And press for yonder porch with stedfast heart ; 
There enter, and the wisdom of old-time 

Its prophet-voices shall to thee impart ; 
Obey, and lo, thoushalt to life arise, 
And this, my long-sought hand, shall be thy prize. 

Then thitherward a hopeful look he cast. 
Bending his step within a narrow way ; 

And on his joyous pilgrimage he passed. 
Still wending onward all the weary day, 
Till at the portal pausing, lowly there 
He knelt and breathed a penitential prayer. 


Deluding world ! yet how the moments roll, 

That still unfold its fanciful disguise, 
And show the sterile winter of the soul ; 

Blight on its blossoms, gloom upon its skies ; 
Its buds of innocence unblown depart, 
Strewing their leaves all withered on the heart. 

Nor Flora's beauty, nor her sweet perfume 
O'er hills, and vales, and woodlands, can restore 

The fallen tree of life its eden bloom ; 
It cannot see the sun it saw before ; 

It cannot its decaying stem renew ; 

Dead ; in the wintry garden where it grew. 


O Fount of Life ! in thy blest courts how free 

The sacramental stream all-cleansing flows, 

When the benighted wanderer bends the knee, 
And o'er his head the mystic waters close : 

Baptismal Jordan ! and the Spirit-Dove ! 

Life, reconciliation, peace and love ! 

So knew the pilgrim as the Ghostly shower 

From holy hands descended on his head ; 

Regenerated ! By redeeming power 

Awaked from sleep ; arisen from the dead ! 

How flashed the light ! what rapture filled the youth; 

There, and forever his, were Life and Truth ! 

3.cai)£mic S tubus. 





^liniti] CoUccje, jl^^i^^tfo^^^ 



















Mr. Chancellor, 

AND Gentlemen of the Corporation, 
OF THE Board of Fellows, 
AND OF Convocation ; 

It has become my office on tliis, the first of our 
Collegiate Festivals, which has occurred since the 
assumption of the duties to which I now stand 
pledged, to offer to you some thoughts and observa- 
tions, which shall be connected with one or another 
of those important subjects which on such an oc- 
casion come naturally under review. For though I 
do not know that our own precedents, absolutely 
demand this at my hands, yet custom long sanc- 
tioned elsewhere, does ; and the dictates of pro- 
priety are obviously in agreement with it. My ob- 
ject must be, to avoid on the one hand, all con- 
siderations of a nature so merely general, as that 
their direct and practical bearing could not well be 


discerned : and on the other, to escape the tempta- 
tion of entering into such minuteness of detail, as 
woukl perplex the mind, and prevent it from taking 
a wider range and gra])pling with great principles. 
And this so desirable result, I have hoped might be 
attained, by calling your attention to what in regard 
to Human Learning, our own College actually pro- 
poses to accomplish ; by considering the various 
great divisions and departments of study, with which 
she concerns herself ; by observing the reasons for 
their adoption, the ends which they are intended 
to subserve, and the spirit in which they should be 
conducted. The plan is indeed a simple one, per- 
haps almost too much so ; and yet I see no other 
way in which I can bring before you the views and 
principles which it seems needful to set forth . 

Adopting, then, the language* of one of the lights 
of a foreign University, which fortunately with hardly 
a change, we can adopt, though speaking from a far 
humbler position, I would say in the beginning, that 
" The studies of this place, so far as they relate to 
merely human learning," and so far only at present 
we propose to speak of them, " divide themselves 
into three branehes. 

I. The study of the laws of nature, comprehend- 
ing all parts of inductive philosophy. 

II. The study of ancient and modern languages, 
and literature ; or in other words, of those authentic 
records which convey to us an account of the feel- 
ngs, the sentiments and the actions, of men prom- 

*Professor Sedgwick, in his "Discourse on the studies of the Univer- 
sity." I have slightly changed some portions of the ijuotation. Its spir- 
it, however, remains untouched. 

inent in the most famous empires of the ancient and 
the modern workl. In these works we seek for ex- 
amples and maxims of prudence, and models of 

III. The study of ourselves considered as social 
and intellectual bein<^s. Under this head, are in- 
cluded ethics, and metaphysics, political philosophy, 
history, and some other kindred subjects of great 
complexity, which can be only briefly touched in 
our academic system, and are to be followed out in 
the more mature labors of after life." 

This ancient and venerable system of instruction, 
comes into our hands from other times and from far 
distant generations, bringing with it the sanctions 
of old experience, and laden with accumulated hon- 
ors. No one would venture so much as to assert, 
that it could never admit changes or modifications, 
or that the proportions of its combined elements 
must continue without alteration. To say this, 
would be to forget, What ought never to be forgot- 
ten, that the character of a scholar's preparations, 
the plan of that instruction by which his mind is to 
be formed and moulded, must receive modifications, 
and must admit changes, accordant with and regu- 
lated by the necessities of the period in which he 
lives, and the intellectual requirements of those, 
amongst whom his lot is cast. But while this 
is fully and freely granted, still the great fact re- 
mains, that the elements of all true instruction, con- 
tinue in all time the same ; their combinations may 
change, their proportions may vary, but they them- 
selves do not. Such is tin; law of the human mind, 


such is the rule of human knowledge. There are 
here, as every where, ultimate elements beyond 
which we cannot go, and from which we cannot rid 
ourselves. And the scheme of instruction which 
should endeavor to omit them, w ould only be mark- 
ed by the presumption of the sciolist, or the fan- 
cies of the dreamer. The only question, then, in- 
volving any idea of change which can arise in ref- 
erence to these elements of knowledge, is simply in 
regard to the proportions in which they are to be 
combined ; and so far as this is a practical question, 
it will come under our consideration bye and bye. 
At present I must pass to another preliminary con- 
sideration of no small moment. 

There are two points of view from which, in ref- 
erence to these general heads of instruction, w hich 
have been laid down, and to their development^ 
every college is to be considered. In the one, it 
will appear to be in advance of the age, and in the 
other, very far behind it. In the one, it will lead, in 
the other it will follow. In the one, it will eagerly 
urge on, in the other, it will as resolutely hold back. 
And most probably it will more frequently appear 
in the latter character, than in the former. In 
times of general mental depression and inactivity, 
when people slumber on contentedly amid old truths 
or old errors, as the case may be, instead of reach- 
ing on to new positions and new ideas, it is most 
probable that a College, if it be at all answering 
the ends of its establishment, will lead, and rouse, 
and press men onward. In fact, this is illustrated 
and at the same time proved, by the position of the 


Universities in the earlier portion of the Middle 

On tlie other li.ind, in times of f^eneral mental 
aetivity, when minds are up and doini»", Avhetiier for 
^•00(1 or ill matters not here, when all is in rapid 
movement, Avhen prineiples are set forth on insnlH- 
cient grounds, ehanges introduced for insuthcient 
reasons, and in short, all intellectual movements are 
characterized by rash advances, hasty generaliza- 
tions, and ill-considered conclusions, then the Col- 
lege must appear in a different attitude. Then she 
must restrain, then she must check and even wisely 
discourage, content meanwhile to bear reproach, 
and endure opi)rol)ium, and be pointed at in scorn, 
as anticpiated and lagging, as timid and behind the 
spirit of the age. And this view also finds an il- 
lustration in the history of that period to which we 
have before referred. For it wfis doubtless in no 
small deii-ree, the feelini»- that men of letters were 
rashly rushing to extremes, as indeed the event 
shewed they were, which later on in the Middle 
Ages, arrayed the Universities so strongly against 
the revival of classical pursuits. It is also illustra- 
ted, — and this is much more to our purpose now, — 
in every part of the civilized world. For what 
oracular declaration is more common on the lips of 
self-complacent superficialism, than that the Col- 
leges are all behind the age? In one sense, they as- 
suredly are so, and considering the tendencies of 
the aoe, it is fortunate that they are. For at this 
mojnent, with all their defects, they constitute the 

irreat, and almost the oidy barrier, against the flood 



of crudities in science, and follies in philosophy, 
>vhich sweeps the world wherever it can find its 
way. And when they are thrown, if so their guar- 
dians shall suffer them to be, into the stream, then 
it will bear us all on together to a state of intellect- 
ual barbarism : where an Encyclopedia will be the 
ne pins ultra of effort or of study. 

We take our ground, then, in the outset, on these 
two principles : that in all time the elements of in- 
struction must remain the same ; that the general 
features of the scheme can admit no essential 
change : and that in reference to these elements 
and this scheme, the position of every well-consti- 
tuted and rightly working College, be its sphere of 
action large or snmll, will be either one of urging on, 
or else of holding back ; and that this position will 
be regulated and determined by the necessities of 
the case, and the* exigencies of the times. This 
prepares us to approach the consideration of the 
elements themselves ; remembering ever that in us- 
ing and applying them in the Collegiate curriculum, 
the object is far less to store with actual knowledge, 
tlian to train up to a capacity for storing. So that 
the measure of a person's progress, who has passed 
through his undergraduateship, and is proceeding to 
his first degree, is by no means the amount of facts 
or even principles, of whicli lie has made himself 
the master; but rather the condition of his mind, 
as to spring and saliency, and ability for grappling 
with great principles, and storing in orderly and use- 
ful arrangement all those " manifold knowledges," 
as Lord Bacon calls them, which it will be the la- 
bor of hi> life to gather and preserve. 


In comino' now to spojik somewhat of tl»o tliree- 
fold division of our system of instruction, tiie very 
unchangcableness of the main features of the sys- 
tem, do themselves present to us, tlmt compulsory 
reason for their adoption from which there is no 
possible escape, and thus preclude the necessity of 
any farther words. 

It mi<iht also seem that under any circustances 
there would be little need, in our day and in this 
country, of insisting* upon the first division, which 
comprised the study of the laws of nature, accom- 
panied as they must be, with the pure mathematics ; 
in short, the whole of inductive philosophy. And 
yet I do not think, that there is no need to insist 
upon it. Rather I would say, that there is great 
need. And there are two reasons why this is so; 
both of which proceed from the disposition of hu- 
man nature to vibrate between extremes. In the 
first place, the inductive method, has unquestiona- 
bly been pushed much farther than its great expos- 
itor ever designed it should be. The illustrious au- 
thor of the Novum Organum, never intended that 
the principles laid down by him should be applied 
beyond the region of the physical world. However 
he may at times have been led into strong expres- 
sions and exaggerated statements, still it was physi- 
cal science that was uppermost in his mind : and 
there is most abundant evidence, that he never con- 
temi)lated the aj)|)lication of his process of induc- 
tion to JMorals or Theology. This application was 
indeed the natural result of an age, in Avhich every 
question assumed a theologicid aspect, but it is not 
a result for which Bacon is accountable. The effect 


however of this DiisajipHcation of his principles, of 
this pushing his induction from the region of the 
ohjective into that where the subjective is also 
found, has beeu to make many earnest minds sus- 
picious of the very process itself. And we accord- 
ingly, at this moment, may find not a few persons, 
who confounding the use and abuse of this induc- 
tive process, hold Bacon responsible for a mistake 
of his narrow-minded contemporaries and succes- 
sors ; and mIio thus are led to decry that sound 
principle, which regulates scientific pursuits, and 
with it the pursuits themselves. In the next place, 
owing to the immense development of mechanical 
agencies which the last quarter of a century has 
witnessed, and their immediate and wonderful ope- 
rations in all the intercourse, arrangements and 
habits of social life, working as they have done to 
the most brilliant results, an undue degree of im- 
portance has undoubtedly been attached to those 
branches of study which are occupied with their 
exposition. But is there no danger of a reaction ? 
Are there not symptoms in truth that a reaction 
has beo:un 1 Are there not signs of a school of 
sickly sentimentalists, who mistake play for work, 
and dimness for profundity, and a shallow dis- 
cursiveness for a wide grasp of things ; whose fa- 
vorite topic is the lamentation for these disjointed 
times ; who are forever decrying what they are 
pleased to term material tendencies, and exalting 
what they call spiritual ; using each word in an ut- 
terly perverted sense. For their materialism, is 
simjjly the every day common sense of all man- 


kind, niid their spiritiitilism is that false and misera- 
ble "stutK that (h*eaii»s are made of," which spends 
itself in theories of proi»ress, and schemes of per- 

And both these thin»s tend towards one issue, and 
that issue a most disastrous one. For, leaving all 
other considerations out of view, is not the effect of 
scientific pursuits, when entered upon and prose- 
cuted as they should be, most healthful, not only 
on the mind, but also on the heart i I know indeed 
that shallow minds may be puffed up with them, 
and so they will be with any thing whatever : I 
know that the principles which govern in them may 
be transferred to other fields of knowledge and of 
truth to which they do not belong, and that men by 
attempting to reason in morals and theology, as 
they do in physical science, may make themselves 
fools, amid a show of seeming wisdom : I know 
that minds may linger among them in a low ma- 
terialistic way, till they themselves become cramped 
and fettered. And to all this, there is for a reply, 
the trite old adage, Abusus non toUit usuin ; and it 
is reply enough. While the habits of patience, hu- 
mility, and self-control, which these pursuits when 
rightly followed out, engender, are quite as impor- 
tant in a moral point of view, as they can ])e in an 
intellectual ; and suggest in connection with intel- 
lectual discipline, some of the great and holy ends 
for which science should he pursued. 

It will be observed, that 1 have all along gone 
on the supposition, that this branch of study was 
prosecuted in the right spirit. The very supposi- 


tion ndniits that there may be a wrong one. But 
here I trust that spirit Avill never find an entrance. 
Here I trust, there will ever be an humble rever- 
ence ; a patient waiting upon God's unseen work- 
ino's ; an awful recognition of the solemn truths that 
nature every where shews forth ; a feeling that she 
addresses the imagination as well as instructs the 
reason. "Science then," to use the words of our 
greatest living Poet, 

" Science then, 
Shall be a precious Visitant : and then, 
And only then, be worthy of her name. 
For then her Heart shall kindle : her dull Eye, 
Dull and inanimate, no more shall hang 
Chained to its object in brute slavery : 
But taught with patient interest to watch 
The processes of things, and serve the cause 
Of order and distinctness, not for this, 
Shall it forget that its most noble use. 
Its most illustrious province must be found, 
In furnishing clear guidance, and support 
Not treacherous, to the mind's excursive power." 

And thus — 

" Whate'er we see, 
Whate'er we feel, by agency direct 
Or indirect, shall tend to feed and nurse 
Our faculties, shall fix in calmer seats 
Of moral strength, and raise to loftier heights. 
Of love divine, our intellectual soul."* 

In proceeding to comment upon the second 
branch of our studies, the languages and literature 
of ancient and of modern times, I must confine my- 
self to a few more prominent points, and leave by 

♦The Excursion, Book IV. 


far the greater portion of the fiehl imtfjuched. And 
the first (|iie.stion which naturally presents itself, re- 
fers to the relative position which is to be assigned 
respectively, to what are strangely called the dead 
languages on the one hand, and to those which are 
termed living on the other. And this cpiestion in- 
volves with it moreover, the consideration of the 
whole vexed subject of classical studies. 

It seems to me that a great deal of apparent 
difhculty is removed, by simply observing how much 
misunderstanding has arisen from the improper use 
of the word "dead." Just as the word Gothic has 
been used at times to cast a slur upon that noblest 
architectural development that the world has ever 
seen, so has this term "dead," been the occasion and 
the source of numberless prejudices against the 
languages of Greece and Rome. For it can cause 
no wonder, that an age teeming with life and in- 
stinct with action, should look coldly upon things 
whose very appellation seems to remove them far 
from both. And yet under what circumstances 
would the term be pro})erly applied ? Shall we call 
a language dead simply because it has ceased to be 
heard in the mart or the assembly, or the ordinary 
mtercourse of social life? Is a language dead 
because ledgers are not posted in it, or news- 
papers printed in it, or diplomatic correspond- 
ence carried on by its instrumeiittility 1 AVhen 
its elements, and laws, and whole living form 
and spirit, enter into the language of every civilized 
nation under heaven 1 Are oaks dead when around 
one or two venerable parent stems, a whole green 


and 2:lorioiis forest has burst into existence? In 
the name not ah)ne of scholarship, hut even of 
common sense, we protest aa^ainst such a perversion. 
"In what a condition shoukl we be, if our connection 
with the past were sna})ped, if Greek and Latin 
were forijotten 1. What shoidd we think of our 
own languages? They would appear a mere mass 
of incoherent caprice, and wanton lawlessness. 
The several nations of Europe would be in this re- 
spect at least, like those tribes of savages who oc- 
cupy a vast continent, speaking a set of jargons in 
which scarcely a resemblance can be traced in any 
two, or a consistency in any one. The various 
European languages," and I must of course include 
our own among them, "appear to us obviously con- 
nected, mainly because we hold the Latin thread 
which runs through them ; if that were broken, the 
pearls would soon roll asimder. And the mental 
connexion of present nations with each other, as 
well as with the })ast, would be destroyed. What 
would this be but a retrograde movement in civili- 
zation ?*" For be it remembered, at the very in- 
stant when the dismembered nations of the Ro- 
man Empire, began to come out of their fragmenta- 
ry states of barbarism, at that very moment, and by 
that very impulse, classical studies revived, the deep 
common bond of the foundation language was re- 
curred to. Nor can I coimt it as anything but a 
sign of a return to old separations, and elementary 
nationalities, which must issue in barbarous and 
even savage individualism, when the use of this 

•The Master of Trinity, Cambridge. 


common bond is denied ; and men with words 
which they never wouhl have used, and forms 
which tliey never wouhl have known l)ut for the 
lan«j^uai»es of Greece and Rome, pronounce them 
dead I 

Tiiere is no greater error than to imagine that 
any age can dispense witli the intellectual advance- 
ment of the ages which preceded it. Least of all 
can this be done in language, that most delicate 
and wonderful of all thin"s on which intellectual 
cultivation can expend itself. Nor can we possibly 
estimate the importance in view of this fact, that all 
modern civilized nations have learned the forms 
and processes of general grammar from common 
sources, and referred them to a common standard. 
Let these common sources be abandoned, let this 
common standard be thrown aside, and what be- 
comes of all those advantages which have resulted 
to the nations, from a common intellectual training, 
in the most delicate and deep reaching of all parts 
of mental cultivation 1 

And there is another and a higher view of this 
matter, which should be much insisted on. There 
has been a })hilosophy in the world, which happily is 
rapidly passing away, that among a vast many other 
crude and debased notions, held that words were 
mere arbitrary signs of thought, possessing no real 
connexion with that which they represented. Far 
dift'erent is that stirring and noble view of language, 
which recognizes the intimate aiul intrinsic connex- 
ion of thought and speech, which, in the words of 
its greatest expositor, regards speech as a thinking 


outwardly projected and manifested, and considers 
thinkino; to be an inward speaking, and a never end- 
ing dialogne with one's ownself. Indeed, what pow- 
ers of the mind are there, which are not developed in 
lajiguage 1 The reason working in its structure, 
the fancy soaring in its figures, the understanding 
adjusting its arrangement, surely here is wide and 
glorious play of intellectual strength. For so it is, 
to use his noble words to whom I just referred, that 
" the growth of languages," springing from a divine 
original, " and shooting forth from epoch to epoch, 
with all the vast riches of art, does but hold before 
us as it were a w ritten monument and memorial of 
the thinking conciousness of our race ; assuming as 
it were a bodily shape, and presenting itself before 
us, as the common memory of all mankind."* Now 
who can trace and tell, the ten thousand ways, in 
w liich this mighty memory, this history of the uni- 
versal thinking consciousness, must be connected 
w ith the living thoughts of our own age and gene- 
ration ? What are those material chances and 
commixtures of the earth we tread on, wonderful 
as they are, and worthy of being reverently studied, 
what are these, compared with those changes, 
and shiftings, and commixtures of word-projected 
thought, in which there live not elements of being 
which spring up in forms of fair material beauty, 
but principles of life, which have issued in all those 
spoken thoughts, those thoughtful words, which 
adorn the world of man's intellinfence ? And if this 

•Frederick Sclilegel. 


be so, if there l)c in languai^c all this (loop philoso- 
phy, this stroiii^ exercise of every mental power, this 
training of the reason, this working; of the fancy, 
these movements of the nnderstandini^, how can a 
conrse of study, which proposes to itself to serve 
the ends of liberal cidture and elevated scholarship, 
allot any other than the first place among the "hu- 
manities," to those two languages, which have thus 
far made all lettered nations one, and every scholar 
a sharer in the general civilization ? 

This, then, I hold to be a sufficient vindication, 
on deep and elemental grounds, of that position 
which has always been given to the ancient lan- 
guages, in well tried courses of liberal studies. A 
position which here, I trust, will never be infringed, 
but guarded and kept with jealous care, a venera- 
ble depositum inherited from ilustrious sires, a safe 
standard and abiding j)()int of great and lofty effort, 
amid present littleness, and shifting theories, the pet 
barbarisms of a contracted present. It may suffice 
here to add, the simple statement, that next in 
place to these, should stand the study of our moth- 
er tongue ; not only because it is our mother tongue, 
but also because it is the youngest and the noblest 
of the languages, which have grown up with the 
growth of modern civilization. 

In this brief survey, I have not attenn)ted at all 
to urge the value of the Literature, which can be 
reached by classical studies, and by nothing else. 
It is not that I would be uinnindful of it. It is not 
that I forget, how the proudest triumph of Chris- 
tian Letters was its appropriation, ami subjection 


to the Faith's great rulersliip. It is not tliat I do not 
hear the voices of the whole ninhitude of scholars 
in all time, whose mighty sonnd overpowers the pet- 
ty cavilling of a single generation. But it is sim- 
ply because I have desired to dwell upon the study 
of the learned lanouasres as such, and to indicate 
some reasons, few indeed, but I hope solid and con- 
vincing, why, irrespective of their literature, and all 
its treasiu'es, they should still occupy that high po- 
sition which thus far they have sustained, in every 
liberal course of study. 

The third division of our academical studies, is 
one which covers so wide a field, that it must be 
touched upon in even a more cursory manner, than 
those which have preceded it. I do not know in- 
deed that more can or need be accomplished here, 
than to indicate the leading principles which must 
guide and govern in its subdivisions, and then to 
say a few words of the modes of instruction in 
them. History, Metaphysics, Ethics, and Politics, 
using the latter word in its original and proper 
sense, and not in its debased and improper one, 
these are the principal subdivisions, which cover 
the consideration of man in all his possible condi- 
tions and situations, as well as in his actual doings. 

Beginning then here, with the actual, that is with 
History, if it be taught to any real purpose, it must 
be taught philosophically ; and if it be taught philo- 
sophically, it must be taught with a constant refer- 
ence to the Holy Scriptures. AVithout the key, 
which they alone afford, History is but a mass of 
disconnected facts, and purposeless events, the blind 


chance rnedley wliicli admits no explanation, and 
l^ivcs no deep and solcnui tcacliin<^. In history al- 
so, rightly taui>ht on the sound princi[)l('s set forth 
hy the illustrious Bossuet, and the no less illustrious 
Frederick Schlegel, must be found the chief, I h.ul 
almost said the only antidote to some of the most 
pestilent and intolerant speculations of the day. 
For he who would meet the dreams of unbroken 
progress which are floating all around us, he who 
would contend against that optimism at once pan- 
theistic and atheistic, which finds votaries on every 
side, he who would expound the true idea of real 
progress, and vindicate the ways of God in his deal- 
ings with our race, where can he take his stand, 
but amongst the mighty lessons of the past ? And 
here, and only here, as starting from the sad com- 
mencement in human history in the fall of man, he 
sees the nations each with a nation's life, issuing from 
the troubled elements, and enn)ire after empire, dim 
expressions of man's deep longings for that which 
God alone could give, following in rapid and awful 
march, till the fifth great empire, filling man's need 
and reforming the world, descends from heaven, and 
rises amid the ancient wrecks, as the eartli itself 
sprang forth from chaos, here, I say, and onl} here, 
can he make successful issue for those miiihtv truths, 
which are linked with all our highest destinies, our 
noblest efibrts, our holiest aspirations. Away with 
that low, unworthy view, which looks upon this 
study, as the amusement of a vacant hour, or at 
best the solace of learned leisure. It may be made 


no more, but it is a hazardous and a wretched thing 
to make it so. 

And the same general remark must of course ap- 
ply to the three other subdivisions which have been 
noted. The object is not here to amuse with fine 
spun theories, to sharpen with dialetical niceties, or 
in short, to trifle in any manner or to any degree. 
But in a true and earnest spirit, as knowing what 
deep and living things are dealt with, to give in 
each case the sound and guiding principles, the safe 
and fixed stand points, which shall furnish beacon 
lights in the darkness of human doubts, and secure 
footholds in the deluge of human speculations. 

Avoiding in Metaphysics the mere sensualism of 
the school of Locke, and the wild idealism of Kant, 
and Fichte, and Schelling, and Hegel, the extremes 
of utter empiricism and as utter speculation, of the 
denial of imagination, and its unbridled license, we 
are to recognize the great fact that the soul does 
not come into the world a blank, even in the mere 
matter of acquired knowledge : " that it has been 
touched by a celestial hand, and when plunged into 
the colors which surround it, takes not its tinge by 
accident but by design, and comes forth covered 
with a glorious pattern." That having thus enter- 
ed on its earthly being, it is not by the senses alone 
and their experience, that knowledge is acquired ; 
but that the affections, the moral faculties, the im- 
agination, the reason, the understanding, all have 
their place ; while some of the very highest truths 
he ever learns, are reached by an intuition higher 


than any roasonin<T^, or received by an exercise of a 
rational l)ut an undoulitin"- faitli. 

Avoiding- in morals the miserable expe<liency of 
the Paleyan school, with all its lessons of time serv- 
ing selfishness, and its denial of disinterested labor and 
heroic effort, and avoiding too their impracticable 
schemes, who from the Christian Revelation with 
its manifold motives and inducements, woald turn 
back to the heathen idea, of the abstract love of 
virtue, we are to teach the supremacy of well- 
instructed conscience, the ruling' guidance of amor- 
al sense implanted by God himself to " accuse or 
excuse us," in foreshadowing of his judgment. We 
are to teach too that it works by manifold motives, 
in the threefold relation which each man sustains, 
and cannot work by any one alone : while fear and 
love, and even self-love in its highest forms, are all 
admitted as lawful springs of action. No more 
here than in metaphysics, can we admit the doctrine 
of the tabula rasa, which not only denies innate 
ideas, but also refuses to acknowledije a moral 
sense. While the only true starting point for any 
effective scheme of ethics, must be from the great 
fact of the fall of nmn ; the only effective line of 
statement and of teaching nnist be one, which re- 
cognizes the truth that natural religion is completed 
in the Gospel, in which the earthly things of human 
ethics are crowned and glorified, with the heavenly 
things of God's great Revelation. And yet while 
these divine truths are taken as the substance, the 
human arrangements, classifications, and skeleton 
work of the Greek philosophy, may advantageously 


be used, in teaching- the adjustment of the parts, 
and the allotments of the frame work.* Not that 
Aristotle or Plato are to be blindly folloAved, or 
parts adopted from them by a rule of individual 
eclecticism; but that they are to be used and chosen 
from, in the light of those very principles and truths, 
and all that knowledge, which they still may help 
to arrange and systematize. 

Avoiding in politics, — still using the word in its ab- 
stract and proper sense, — the notion of an original 
compact made for convenience and safety by a horde 
ofsavages,and the idea of a divine rightvested in a per- 
sonal descent, we are to teach thatg-overnment is just 
as natural and as necessary a state for man, as the 

family. That on the self same grounds, it is divine. 
That it is God's commissioned vicegerent, to exe- 
cute vengeance, as well as to strive for the reforma- 
tion of the offender. That it is invested with the 
most awful prerogatives and guarded by the most 
fearful sanctions. That under whatever form it 
may appear, it is that in which the abstract State, 
works and lives, claiming on every ground, our 
reverence and our obedience. That its univer- 
sal principles and laws, are based on the eternal 
rules of right and truth, and are not subject to the 
changes and the chances of mens' shifting Avills, and 
varying caprices. In short, by History we strive to 
form the man of grasp, and foresight, and wide- 
reaching view : by 3Ietaphysics, the man prepared 
under a higher guidance to know himself in all his 

*See Sewell's Christian Ethics. 


complex unity, his oneness of complexity ; l)y Eth- 
ics, the man prepared by the same aid and « uidance, 
to dischar«:;e his duties, to himself, his fellows and 
his God ; and by Politics, the man prepared to play 
his part as the <^ood and the patriotic citizen, lovino- 
liberty, and hatin*^ license, and knowin<» that the 
truest independence is to be found in dignified obe- 
dience to a superior law. 

And now to sum up tliis brief and meagre sketch 
let me add, that all parts of this course of hunmn 
learning and liberal study, are to be taught as inti- 
mately connected with the whole of future life. It 
will not do to give the young man the impression, 
that his college life is as it were, but a parenthesis 
in his existence, isolated and separated, uncon- 
nected with either what precedes or follows it. Not 
so. It gathers up the acquirements, the powers, 
the faculties of earlier days, it directs antl gives a 
tone to, these same things, as they stretch onward to 
maturer life. It gives the keys of knowledge, it 
teaches how to use them ; and if they who hold 
them, will not then unlock the vast and glorious 
treasure-house, the fault is all their own. 

One word more, and I have done. In tlie inspir- 
ed and beautiful narrative of the Redeemer's birtli, 
we read hoW' there came to worsliip at His sacred 
feet, two very difierent sets of persons, the hum])le 
shepherds of Judea, the learned pliilosophers of 
eastern lands. Tiu'v then presented in atoucliiu"- 
type, the twofold worshij) wliich in all tinu' since, 
has clustered around the personal \\ isdom, who was 
made for us not sauctilicatiou oidy, but knowledgr 



also, and who was then a lone and feeble child. 
That twofold worship was then, and has been since, 
the adoring submission of cultivated intellects, the 
simple homage of untaught, trusting souls. Hap- 
py he who can offer both ! Happy he who gaining 
human knowledge, still loses not the simplicity of 
childlike, trusting faith ! Behold in this, — and here 
let me especially speak to those who are ever near- 
est to my heart, the younger sons of our honored 
Mother, — behold in this, the spirit, in which allthese 
branches of human learning that I have laid be- 
fore you, are to be pursued. Let them ever bring 
us where they brought those wise men of the east, 
to the feet of Him who is the head of all things, 
the second person in that glorious Godhead, whose 
thrice Holy Name adorns and consecrates our 
home. And when it thus shall bring us, let our 
hearts still be as trusting and as humble, as those of 
the meek shepherds who knew not and yet believ- 
ed. Unless this is so, we shall have learned to lit- 
tle purpose, nay, to none at all. But if it be so, 
then we shall have found that fear of the Lord 
which is the beginning of wisdom. And then when 
wisdom thus begun on earth, shall be perfected 
above ; when the slow processes of human science 
shall give place to angelic intuition ; when the many 
languages of earth with their painfully learned 
combinations, shall be replaced by the one glorious 
speech of heaven ; when the risen body, and the 
perfected spirit, shall need no wearisome search- 
ings to be understood ; when the progressive his- 
tory of time shall have issued in the ever present 


imd iinchaiioino' eternity ; when moral rules and 
laws, shall be forgotten by the soul whose very life 
is untenipted uiitiiouiiht of obedience ; when the 
governments and the rulcrships of earth shall be 
lost in the unending kingdom of our God ; then 
shall that fear of llim which lay at the foundation 
of our earthly knowledge, be changed to that un- 
utterable love, which shall crown and complete our 
heavenly. Our work shall then be done; our train- 
ing shall then be completed. Children here how- 
ever long we live, then at last, then only, shall we 
be truly men. 





Advent Term. Xenophon's Anabasis. 

Livy, with writing Latin. 


English Translations and Readings. 

Lent Term. Xenophon's Anabasis, with writing of Greek. 

The Odes of Horace, with Latin Prosody and 

writing Latin. 
Plane Geometry. 
English Translations and Readings. 

Trinity Term. Herodotus, with writing of Greek. 

The Epistles and Satires of Horace, with writing 

of Latin. 
Solid Geometry. 

Lowth's English Grammar; English Composition, 
and Declamation. 

On Monday mornings throughout the year, a lesson in the Greek 
Testament from the Gospels. 



Advent Term. Xenophon's Memorabilia. 

Cicero de Senectute, de Amicitia, i&c. 

Lent Term. Homer, with Greek Prosody. 
Conic Sections. 
Juvenal ; Terence. 

Trinity Term. Homer ; Aristophanes. 

Natural Philosophy. 
Elements of Rhetoric and Logic. 

Writing of Greek and Latin ; English Composition ; Reading 
and Declamation, throughout the year. Also, on Monday morn- 
ings recitations in the Greek Testament ; Acts of the Apostles. 



Advent Ti:um. French. 

Natural Philosophy. 

Tacitus continued. Thucydides. 

Lectures on Literature. 

Lent TEiiai. Greek Tragedies. 

Rhetoric, with Lectures on Literature and on the 

English Language. 

Trinity Term, Logic and Intellectual Philosophy. 

Portions of Aristotle's Ethics, and of Plato. 
Astronomy begun. 

French is continued at the option of the student, throughout the 
year, as a voluntary study. On monday mornings, recitations in 
the Greek Testament, the Epistles to the Romans and Colossians. 
Exercises in writing French ; English Compositions ; Forensic De- 
bates and Declamations through the year ; and exercises in wri- 
ting Greek and Latin. 



Advent Tekm. Moral Philosophy. 

History ; Lectures and references. 

Astronomy concluded ; Lectures on Electricity and 


Lent Tkkm. Butler's Analogy. 

Law of Nations and Political Science. 

Lectures on Law. 


Lectures on History concluded. 

Tkinity Term. Schlegel's History of Literature ; with Lectures. 
Lectures on Galvanism. 

Lectures on Botany and Anatomy. 
Lectures on English Literature. 

French continued, with Latin or Greek as voluntary studies. 
Greek Testament on Monday mornings, Epistle to the Hebrews 
and Epistles of St. John. Debates ; Original Declamations ; Eng- 
lish Composition ; and Exercises in writing Greek and Latin. 

€^t ^niliirare of CjjDitglji 







JULY 22, 1851, 

lA^T^^C oO^o ^4 BJC c-.f- J^-.- 




Irlirnrrtnliii : 





The present is one of those choice occasions, when 
men of study and action come together, to discuss 
no question of politics, to re-affirm no theological 
dogma, to agitate no specific reform, to encourage 
no metaphysical collision, but simply to cherish their 
common brotherhood of thought and affection. It 
is the calm hour of armistice, we have grounded our 
weapons, "our bugles sing truce": the conservative 
and the progressive, the Calvinist and the Arminian, 
the sensationalist and the idealist, have retired under 
the olive shade, to allow the generous instincts of the 
soul a brief season of enjoyment. Forces, that a 
while ago stood arrayed in steel, confronting each 
other with deadly glance, now lovingly recall the 
teachings of their common Alma Mater ; and the 
fierce polemic feels almost grateful that his well- 
loaded petard, which he thought would produce such 
destruction amongst his foes, has after all proved so 
innocuous, and he smiles grimly to see that those, 
whom he then expected to annihilate, still live un- 
harmed, unalienated, and even unconscious of his 
ferocious intent. Our better nature vindicates itself, 


and the monarchs of the forest come forth from the 
tangled rushes of controversy mto day-light, where 
they can see eye to eye, and learn lessons of forbear- 
ance and charity, before they retire to the fens again. 

It is, therefore, not a time for the utterance of ex- 
clusive truths, but rather of such as are inclusive and 
comprehensive ; not for the microscopic scrutiny of 
minute points, but for the use of that broad object- 
glass, which reflects at once the whole orb of truth. 
Instead of attempting to resolve nebulous specks, we 
would sweep the horizon, and see whither the known 
systems are tending. It is not an easy task that we 
propose, for it is more difficult to deal in generals 
than in particulars, unless we are content with a re- 
iteration of bald truisms, which no one doubts, be- 
cause they interest no one. We have no new facts 
and no new theories to present, our material is only 
the common property of all who know and think : 
the chess-men are furnished to our hand, and you 
are familiar Avith every piece on the board ; but we 
will just watch the movements of these kings and 
castles, these knights and bishops, and these humbler 
pawns, and see what game they play. 

The childhood, the adolescence, and the maturity 
of society are marked by three characteristics : the 
first by the absolute reign of power, the second by 
the defined rule of prerogative, and the third by the 
conditional control of influence. 

In the beginning, the strong seize upon the weak, 
and by superior force compel their obedience, for 

good or for evil. The ablest man becomes a tyrant, 
or sovereign prince, as the word originally signified ; 
and weaker mortals lie under him, or become his 
subjects. The title of king, in its old Saxon form, is 
in this connection peculiarly significant ; whether it 
means one who Jcens, or knows, or one who can, or is 
able. The sword is the primitive emblem of justice, 
and of whatever pertains to government. All duty 
and all discipline begin with simple submission ; and 
this submission is rendered, because it is inevitable. 

The dominance of power passes over in a natural 
way into that of prerogative. Strength, whether of 
body or mind, cannot be transmitted from genera- 
tion to o;eneration ; and as the original ruler desires 
to preserve within his own family the results of his 
prowess, he must do it by investing his descendants 
with hereditary privileges. The first Baron is simply 
the most barbarous barbarian, the titles being in fact 
synonymous, and both, as their common root indi- 
cates, signifying strength. But, in time, the original 
thought of the word is lost, and it becomes the 
general and peculiar title of nobility ; no elevation 
in rank being complete without its barony. The 
general deference yielded to prerogative betokens an 
advance in civilization : and the presumption is that 
those who are born to rule, will receive some sort of 
education to fit them for their station ; while, if there 
were no such hereditary rulers, there w^ould be no 
education whatever in any class of society. But this 
condition of things cannot become permanent, with- 


out supposing the people at large to remain unin- 
formed and stationary. If the idea of general pro- 
gress be allowed, there must come a period when the 
dominion of mere prerogative will cease. And 
whenever by the will of society, an old dynasty is 
superseded and a new family called to the throne, it 
is a virtual proclamation that the era of influence has 

This is the social condition towards which the 
wojld now culminates. The general distribution of 
intelligence renders it inevitable, not only that man- 
kind shall be delivered from the compulsion of brute 
force, but also from the dominion of absolute prerog- 
ative. Thenceforth truth becomes the sovereign, 
ruling jure divino. Character rises superior to title, 
and society emerges into manhood. 

All other forms of power are now beginning to 
yield before the dominion of influence. The present 
is rather a formative, than a final state ; it is as much 
an age of process, as of result. It is difficult for us 
to become self-conscious that in respect of the grand 
problems of thought, this is a transitionary and not a 
final period. No doubt every age has supposed that 
it had attained that result in the great, essential 
truths of philosophy, upon which all the future would 
establish itself: each era of thought has at the time 
been considered final. The Greek, the Roman, the 
Schoolman, . the Protestant Reformer, all imagined 
that they left nothing to be learned in the way of 
general principle. New facts might be discovered, 

but they would all fall under the established order 
and arrangement. And yet we move forward in a 
plane which carries everything on pari passu, and 
the old era gives place to the new, either with a 
crash, as the frozen ocean broke up when the warm 
sun of the Reformation dawned, or more quietly as 
now. Truth is eternal, but man is not infinite ; and 
he can discern eternal truth, only as his faculty of 
vision is cultured. The most primitive and impor- 
tant truths are as subject to this condition as any 
other ; and perhaps somewhat more, because of their 
grandeur and simplicity. For it is not the simplest 
truths which we understand most readily and tho- 
roughly ; and it is a blessed thing that we may re- 
ceive such truths in their practical uses, without 
understanding them. It is these which tax our 
intellectual faculties most rigidly ; and why should 
it not be so, when we consider that they are the 
aliment upon which the soul is to feed eternally. It 
is no argument against the stability and simplicity 
of truth, to say that it is revealed to us gradually 
and by fragments ; it is only an argument against 
the completeness of our faculties. The world has 
been learning, ever since it was created ; now, I ask, 
is the lesson completed, is the task done, may we 
close our books, and go to our play ? Has the last 
era of thought passed : in ethics and philosophy, 
have we nothing more to learn ? So a proud age 
would be glad to believe : on the one hand, it is 
affirmed that Pope Clement, or Innocent, or Pius, 


has, by Divine commission, completed the code and 
stamped it with the fisherman's seal : on the other, 
that Luther, or Calvin, or Cranmer, by Divine illu- 
mination, has reached the end of knowledge, and 
numbered all the degrees of doctrine. Meanwhile, 
both the Papal and the Protestant craft drift away 
from their old moorings, not by removing the anchor, 
but by relaxing the cable, whether, as with the 
former, the sails are furled, or as with the latter, all 
sail is set. 

In looking at the present condition of society, we 
observe that where the light of positive revelation 
has never penetrated, no nation has yet passed be- 
yond the stage of adolescence, few beyond that of 
inflmcy ; and still further, in those regions, there are 
no existing symptoms of any natural tendencies to- 
wards improvement. There is 'not a solitary excep- 
tion to this rule : for, wherever out of the domain of 
Christendom, there is any appearance of progress, it 
is attributable to the fact that the popular religion 
reflects to some extent the principles of revelation, 
as the purer parts of the Koran were stolen from 
the Bible. 

In all that we now have to say, we recognize an 
inspired system of truth as the base of all true pro- 
gress ; furnishing all its elements and stimulating all 
its activity. He who spake as never man spake, 
gave to our race all the material out of which the 
most complete condition of society the world will 
ever see, is to be constructed. The fixed and abso- 


lute character of Christianity is, however, not at all 
inconsistent with the theory of gradual, human clevel- 
opement, marked by a succession of distinct epochs ; 
and the indications of the times force upon us the 
conviction that we are now verging towards a new 
intellectual era, the characteristics of which will be 
as vital and important as were those of the Reforma- 

Wo infer this from the condition of practical art, 
of theoretic science, and of abstract thought. The 
specific bearing of these three species of influence, 
we shall now endeavor to indicate. 

Those who see only what lies outside of them, 
and care only for material results, regard the mecha- 
nical improvements of the age as the crown of its 
highest glory. And here, indeed, there is much to 
excite our admiration. The wildest dreams of mag-ic 
are now reduced to practical reality. The old Genii 
of Arabia, if they should re-appear upon the earth, 
would find their occupation gone. We can build 
lustrous palaces of crystal, covering acres, almost in 
a single night. We can furnish those palaces with 
decorations, more varied and more valuable than 
were ever dreamed of in Persian fable. Swift as the 
wind we can carry burdens, under which the old 
Titans would have groaned with anguish. We can 
send messages tliroagh space so rapidly as to put 
back the flight of time. We invoke the elements, 
not by subtle charmf^, but by the compulsion of 
science, and they become our obedient servants. 



Tlie physical results of mechanical invention, we 
are at present concerned with, only as they bear 
upon the future intellectual and moral condition of 
society. It is not in the fact that they make our 
clothing cheaper, and food more plentiful, and jour- 
neying more expeditious, and enlarge the sphere of 
our sensuous enjoyments, that the main significance 
of these improvements consists. The gradual trans- 
ferring to machinery of the labor heretofore wrought 
by hand, is not intended by Providence to leave the 
race in idle enjoyment ; for then a complete civiliza- 
tion would be only a return to the inanity of barba- 
rism ; but it provides for the first, indispensable con- 
dition of general mental culture, which is that there 
shall be time for such culture. It also involves the 
second, important condition of the general elevation 
of humanity, which is a certain degree of physical 
comfort in order to the free operation of the mind. 
This last result is at present more palpable than the 
former, for there has never been a time in which 
there was a more general demand for labor than 
now ; but, in this respect, there must come an abate- 
ment, and every new machine is one step towards it. 
And after the period arrives, as it certainly will, 
when rocks are drilled and mountains levelled, with 
scarcely an effort of the human hand ; when the 
farmer will sit quietly under the shadow of the tree, 
while his steam-plough opens the furrow ; when the 
only real operatives to be found in our factories will 
be made of wood and iron ; it cannot be that man is 


destined to relapse into the torpor of the brute, who 
finds his clothing growing on his back, and his food 
spontaneously springing up by his side. He will 
still have work to do ; and it will pay him, not w^itli 
meats and drinks, but with angels' food. 

So of the strange and almost miraculous improve- 
ments in travelling which distin":uish our ag-e ; it is 
not of so much consequence that we are enabled 
thus to promote our comfort and save time, unless 
the time be worth saving. But there are great, 
moral results dependent upon these increasing facili- 
ties for locomotion, which it requires an effort ade- 
quately to comprehend. The influences induced by 
the contact and fusion of different races of men, 
whether through emigration or conquest, have been 
more conspicuous and efficient than any other agen- 
cies in the past history of the world. The invigo ra- 
tion of tropical effeminacy by the descent of the 
brawny children of the north, and the refinement of 
Gothic barbarism by contact with the civilization of 
the conquered foe, is the germ of modern thought 
and enterprize. At the present moment, this rule 
holds universally: those nations which now exert 
the widest influence, are all the product of mixed 
races, while those which lie dormant and altogether 
unfelt in the world, are such as have kept their blood 
and their thoughts untainted by contact with foreign 
admixture. It required the original Briton, the 
Roman, the- Saxon, and the Norman, to make the 
modern Englishman : what result is to be evolved in 


our land, Avbere it is evident that every European 
race will combine and coalesce,-^ what the future 
American is to be. will be seen hereafter. The 
fusion of races has heretofore been produced mainly 
through the stern processes of war : hereafter this 
result, so essential to the general welfare of humanity, 
will flow from science, comm.erce, and peaceful colo- 

Ago in, practical science is gradually removing 
certain great evils, once thought inevitable, and 
which were actually indispensable, to save man 
from greater evils. In the earlier stages of society, 
war was supposed to be the natural employment of 
the race ; and, as we have already intimated, it has 
been one of the most prominent agents in shaping 
the destiny of the world. But, for all the good that 
it does, it demands a terrible price : in all respects, 
it is the most costly benefactor we could, employ. 
It always seems, at the time, to take more than it 
gives ; and its trumpet-blast, which perhaps may 
herald a resurrection, sounds like the doom of the 
world. In the progress of things, it becomes evil, 
and only evil. Humanity cries out against it ; social 
finance cyphers out a balance against it ; merchants 
trembling for their gains f)rotest against it ; morality 
on a loftier key denounces it ; and then science 
comes forward, to make it impossible. She does 
this, by reducing the art of war to a simple process 
of calculation, so that it can be worked out on paper, 
instead of being fought out by brute strength. Our 


restricted limits forbid us from attempting to describe 
the important bearings of universal peace upon the 
general culture of thought and the social elevation 
of the race. 

Another result of practical science is, that it opens 
the way for healthy rivalries amongst the nations of 
the earth, thus superseding those which are unhealthy 
and destructive. At this hour, there is a conclave 
in session in the grand metrojiolis of the world, more 
indicative and influential, than any which ever met 
in solemn stnte to feed the pride of kings, or satisfy 
the greed of polemics. It is the oecumenical council 
of art : it is a great thought made tangible, and does 
more honor to the Prince who conceived it, than if 
he had subjugated by arms every nation that is there 
represented. It is well styled an Exposition ; and it 
is a Prophecy too. It indicates the future, as well 
as interprets the present. It is the first in a great 
series of such expositions, in which men of' all kin- 
dreds and tongues and languages will come together, 
not to kill each other, or anathematise each other, 
but each to learn of all the rest and carry home the 
general product. America will have her exposition ; 
and we may all meet again in old Bagdad, whither 
the tribes once went up, in the days of oriental glory. 

The progress of physical science, in its speculative 
form, has an important bearing upon the intellectual 
indications of the age. This species of study has 
been considered antagonistic to that which is OBsthe- 
tic and spiritual. Men of science have been too 


generally liable to the charge of indifference and 
even hostility to those truths which bear upon the 
condition of the soul ; while the theologian has been 
ignorant and therefore careless of the facts of science. 
The effort which has now been commenced to har- 
monize the unquestionable verities of both, is one of 
the most profound indications of the times. 

Science, when it knew but little, was proud, confi- 
dent and skeptical ; and often aimed her shafts 
against that which is most precious and vital to the 
simple believer. She arrayed the facts of nature 
against the doctrines of revelation, even against the 
intuitive aspirations of the soul, and dismissed Provi- 
dence from the universe. Phenomena which had 
been attributed to the direct intervention of Supreme 
Power, she resolved into the workings of law ; and 
the timid trembled for their faith, forgetting that a 
law is not a final cause. Had science then retreated, 
fliith might seem to have triumphed ; but it would 
have been a perilous victory. It is not, however, in 
science, which lives only by induction, or on-going, 
to retreat ; and as she advances, the apparent antag- 
onisms are gradually reconciled, and faith takes 
courage. Science, indeed, reveals many difficulties ; 
but in time she may detect their solution. Because 
she begins to advance in certain directions, where it 
had been supposed no progress could be made, it is 
at first imagined that she can thus proceed without 
limit ; but in this very onward movement she detects 
at last the termini, beyond which, by her own demon- 


stration, no further progress can be made ; and then 
faith resumes the seeptre again, to reign more abso- 
lutely and intelligently than before. In the begin- 
ning, science aims a death-blow at dogmas, which she 
ends with vindicating against the possibilit}^ of cavil. 
She brings a limited array of facts to disprove great 
truths upon which the soul of man had for ages re- 
posed ; and then, when she has multiplied her facts, it 
is found that they all combine to confirm these very 
truths. She discloses facts which look so mucli like 
freaks of nature, the blind play of frivolous chance, 
that our confidence in the method and wisdom of 
Providence is disturbed ; and then she finds out other 
facts, which reduce them all within the range of a 
complete and most beautiful arrangement. She 
shows us, for instance, that the tiny drop of water 
holds a multitude of living beings, glistening with 
gold and vermillion, all invisible to the naked eye ; 
that the lump of silicious cla}'' is an aggregate of 
flinty shields, once the armor of a living creature, 
exquisitely marked with their generic devices, by 
which these minute organisms may be classified into 
their species ; and the mind which always craves to 
know the use of things, asks painfully, why has so 
much beauty and skill been lavished upon such crea- 
tures as these? What place do they hold in the great 
order of nature? We had supposed it to be a univer- 
sal law, that the lesser always serve the greater : 
what relation has this invisible world to the visible ? 
Science at last detects the answer, and shows us that 

the very existence of this great earth is dependant 
upon these its most insignificant inhabitants : that, 
in process of time, the globe would become resolved 
into attenuated air, were it not that the gaseous par- 
ticles, into which the solid structure is continually 
dissolving, are arrested and transformed into the 
myriad animalculce which swarm the sea and the 
dry land, returning to the earth in their decay and 
ajjsorption all the substance it had lost ; the very 
rocks becoming disintegrated and exhaled, then 
enternig into the organisms of life, thus rescued 
again and restored to their original condition. From 
this, we learn a lesson of Divine wisdom, which 
strengthens our faith, and bows down the soul in 


It is not only true that there is now the beginning 
of a reconciliation between physical and spiritual 
science, the induction of facts serving to verify that 
which previously rested either upon intuition or 
revelation, but we still further observe that the 
process of thought which science makes inevitable, 
also serves as a corrective and restraint to those 
who dwell in the more abstract region of thought 
and h-peculation. Here, again, in the beginning, 
there is the appearance of antagonism ; the man, 
who deah- only with facts and phenomeiia lying out- 
side of him, may insist upon the application of the 
same laws and processes to the solution of spiritual 
problems, by which he measures the forces of nature 
and analyses her material. He calls for the ?ame 


distinct and orderly classification, for the same spe- 
cies of demonstration, for the same harmony of dis- 
cordances, for the same sharp-lined logic, for the same 
fixed and unalterable conclusions. In all which he 
ignores the subject-matter with which he has to deal, 
and has only to carry out his effort, to comprehend 
spiritual things within the laws of matter, far enough, 
and he will detect his error. He will find 'that here 
his premises change with his stand-point ; these 
higher truths of the soul varying their angles and 
shifting their hues, as he moves around them ; that 
the moral qualities of these truths are so blended that 
no prism can resolve them into distinct and separate 
rays ; that the laws of rigid logic break down under 
the effort to enclose and limit spiritual things ; that 
the terminolog}^ of moral science is unlike that of 
physical science, and cannot have the same fixed- 
ness and certainty ; that the same words convey dif- 
ferent meanings to difl;erent minds ; that the real 
thought which they represent varies according to 
the condition of the soul to which it is addressed ; 
and so the highest propositions with which we have 
to deal cannot be illustrated by diagrams or resolved 
by arithmetic. Science may measure the distance 
of the stars and weigh them in its balance ; but it 
has no instruments by which it can define the orbit 
of spiritual truth, and gnage the dimensions of bodies 
revolving there. 

But while it is learning this lesson, which it is cer- 
tain to do if its progress be not checked by its own 


pride or by tlie fears of the believer, it also renders 
some service to the party with whom it seems to be 
in collision. 

There was a time when the citadel of theology 
stood impregnable ; the warder on the watch-tower 
looked out at even-tide and saw no hostile banner, 
heard no sound but the low wailing of the breeze as 
it swept over the level moor that stretched in dreary 
solitude to the horizon. The old towers grew gray, 
and the draw-bridge rusted in its socket, and swords 
and shields hung upon the walls unused, and the de- 
fenders of the faith dozed quietly in shady nooks, or 
occasionally refreshed themselves with some harm- 
less, domestic tournament, in which they fought with 
laths and defended their heads with osiers. The few 
rebellious spirits, who might incline to give them 
trouble, lay chained in subterranean dungeons, where 
their energies were carefully reduced by judicious 
diet and depletion. Meanwhile, for want of care, 
the ancient walls began to crumble, and the founda- 
tions grew insecure, so that at last some of the poor 
prisoners below saw day-light gleaming through the 
stones and lifted up their heads in hope. And soon 
the level moor, which for ages had slept so solitary, 
bristled with anned men : science and theology, 
ignorant of their real brotherhood, now stood arrayed 
in battle. For a time it seemed to be a desperate 
case with the defenders of the faith, for the old 
weapons which they used could poorly cope with 
the improved artillery of modern science. The 


three-angled syllogisms, which they hurled from the 
walls, broke in the air and fell innocuous. The Aris- 
totelian arrows, which they shot with vigorous arm, 
rebounded and wounded themselves. They found 
that they must have more efficient armor ; and the 
enemy helped them to the pattern. 

Science has taught theology to be somewhat less 
dogmatic, and more analytic : to rely less upon unau- 
thenticated authority, and to verify its assertions 
more carefully : in all which it will be seen in the 
end to have done a sound theology no harm. 

The infallible dogmas of the dark ages are in some 
quarters as pertinaciously affirmed as ever ; but they 
are now defended bv modes of ar<i;ument which 
would once have conducted the orthodox disputant 
to the stake. The processes of thought, which 
science makes inevitable, compel us to admissions 
which are fatal to our dogmas if essentially unsound; 
and may oblige us to re-construct them, even if essen- 
tially true. 

For there is no truth which is not affected by the 
prevailing laws of thought ; inasmuch as nothing be- 
comes a truth to us, except through the processes of 
thouo;ht. The abstract truth is a fixed and real 
entity, not at at all dependent for its existence upon 
our discerning it ; just as the world with all its glori- 
ous prospects exists as really in the blackest mid- 
night as it does in the clearest noonday ; but we see 
it according to the condition of the atmosphere. 


Now in turning the age backward, it is easy enough 
to see how the progress of science has affected the 
dogmatic opinions of former ages ; but it is more dif- 
ficult to perceive its actual effect upon our own opin- 
ions to-day. An age is rarely self-conscious of the 
most vital, intellectual changes through which it is 
passing. We see that the shadow upon the dial-plate 
has moved since the morning, but we do not see it 
move: it moves, however, none the less certainly for 
all that. God made the earth to revolve, and to carry 
every thing with it in its revolution : He made our 
minds to be active, and activity supposes — no change 
in truth, the sun stands still — but eternal progress in 
the discernment of truth. "I count not myself to 
have apprehended," said a great Apostle : weaker 
men than he, and men blessed with no special insj^i- 
ration, have said, " T count myself to have appre- 
hended," and so they cease to use their faculties, and 
retire upon their capital. 

We have thus imperceptibly glided into the more 
direct consideration of the existins; conditions of 
abstract thought. And here we may remark, there 
never was a time when a real thought had such 
general formative power as now. In ancient days, 
there were men shut up in cloisters who, in their 
solitude, were visited by grand conceptions, and they 
eliminated great thoughts, which if the world had 
only known, they would not willingly have let die. 
But there was no medium of communication between 
these solitary cells vnd the world without: the 


thought conceived could not be uttered, and so it 
was buried with its author. 

Now, the thpught immediately becomes a word, 
and that word, spoken or written, almost instantly 
attains a universal presence, flying faster than the 
wind ; and if it have true vitality, it becomes re-pro- 
ductive every where, bearing fruit after its kind : it 
quickens other thoughts, and shapes their form ; it 
modifies opinion, influences action, changes usage, 
and so enters into all the outward processes of social 
life. For a real thought is the most real of all things ; 
it has more power than any other thing ; it outlasts 
all other things ; man is only what his thought makes 
him, his destiny is only what his thought makes it, 
and all which he does with his hands is only the 
giving form to what his thought created. Men of 
action, as they are called, sometimes look disdain- 
fully upon those who give themselves up to mere 
thought ; whereas thought is action, in its highest 
and truest form: wood and iron, properly adjusted 
and impelled, can do no more in the way of exterior 
activity than man can do by the tightest straining of 
his muscles : but wood and iron cannot think, and 
therefore they actually do nothing. 

There are some styles of thought, now in opera- 
tion, which are destined to exert a powerful and 
permanent influence upon the general condition of 
society. We have seen how the practical results of 
art are preparing the way for a rapid and wide diffu- 
sion of some species of influence ; we have seen how 


speculative science is modifying the processes of 
thought, not only opening new channels for its flow, 
but also throwing up banks along the margin of an- 
cient currents of thought, to regulate their move- 
ment : now we come to our main question, — What 
is the style of thought, from which the greatest re- 
sults are to be expected ? 

It may seem as though we were opening our 
answer with a very obvious truism, when we say 
that the thought which impresses itself upon society, 
must be real, and not fictitious. And yet when we 
consider how much is uttered, the whole merit of 
which consists in the collocation of well-sounding 
words, and the arrangement of certain stale beauties 
of diction, and the more or less vigorous repetition 
of old formulas — dried preparations, which once per- 
haps had pliancy and greenness — and how much is 
expected from this species of effort; in any case, how 
highly it is praised for its soundness and " tried ex- 
cellence :" when we consider how large a business 
some great men do upon a very small capital, and 
that perhaps borrowed from others who could poorly 
afford to make the loan ; when we consider how ex- 
tensively words are used as the substitute for thought, 
and how reluctant many men are to give him a fair 
hearing who brings any thing to their notice which 
is not already familiar and patent to the whole world ; 
it might appear as though it were the popular verdict 
that the last problem had been solved, the progress 
of real thought may now be stayed, and the mind 

sink to its repose. The business of making sentences, 
weaving the old, common stock of thought into new 
patterns, may be harmless enough and in some quar- 
ters popular enough, although nothing is produced 
but flimsy and fantastic webs : but after all, this is 
not the work which the age demands of us. There 
are not a few, who will ask, when we come professing 
to instruct them, what substantial truth have you to 
give us ? AYhat do your words signify ? Do you your- 
self comprehend what you say ? Is what you utter 
that which you have found to be true in your own 
inward experience, or is it merely what has been 
told you by others, and do you state it only upon 
their warrant ? Have you any personal right in the 
truths which you utter? Do you know that they 
mean any thing ? The man who cannot answer these 
questions in the affirmative, may win for himself a 
temporary reputation, because he may be artful in 
the use of words ; but he really dies with the sound 
he utters. The world take no knowledge of him, 
after the noise is over. He was a pleasant instru- 
ment and discoursed sweet music ; but he was only 
an instrument. Or rather, he is a conduit, through 
which other .men's thoughts flow ; it is found out, 
after a while, that purer water may be had at the 
fountain, and then he is dispensed with and put aside 
as an inconvenience. This must be the fate of all 
who are of no real value. Poets and orators, inflated 
to unnatural size by the breath of other men's 
thoughts, must soon collapse and wither away. 

They seem to fill a. large space, while they live ; but 
when they die, a very small grave will hold them 
and their works, which immediately follow them, 
when they rest from their unserviceable labors. 

It was the custom of the old New-England divines 
to estimate men, " according to the amount of being 
that is in them :" the phraseology well expresses 
what we mean by real thought, — it is the amount 
of being;: in the thouQ-ht which determines its amount 
of influence. Every new thought at first comes to 
us as a stranger, and must be questioned and tested, 
before it can be allowed the freedom of the land, 
and it is very certain to be rudely treated by those 
who regard every new comer as an imjjostor ; but if 
the thought be a fact and not a fiction, if it have a 
good share of actual being, it w^ill find entertainment 
and a home. 

A real thought is that which is generated by some 
real mental process ; and by one test it may be dis- 
tinguished from the mere show or shadow of thought, 
it quickens the mind upon which it falls, generates 
there other thoughts, and thus perpetuates itself in 
an unlimited progeny. We may admire words, 
which convey no such living influence, we may won- 
der at the art by which they are so ingeniously con- 
structed : but they stir no new pulsation of the soul; 
while, on the other hand, it is possible that the most 
abstract thought, clothed in the most naked language, 
may warm the blood like a war-trumpet. There are 
minds, whose touch is electric, it is an era in exist- 

dice when we first come within reach of their power, 
they introduce us into new worlds, they clothe the 
heavens with brighter drapery, they give strength to 
our feeble knees, and brace our vacillating will, and 
clarify our vision, and sanctify our depraved affec- 
tions, and make us better, as we become wiser men. 
At the breath of their words, the cords of the soul 
give out unwonted music, thought swells into the 
melody of emotion, becomes transmuted into feeling, 
and the whole intellectual being trembles under the 
enchantment. Problems, which distracted and ago- 
nized us, assume a clear and lustrous meaning : the 
mind enlarges its boundaries, encloses what was once 
foreign, harmonizes what was once discordant, grap- 
ples with difficulties which it once feared to encoun- 
ter, and settles down at last immoveably upon the 
eternal foundations of absolute truth. 

It is the men who produce these effects that are 
to shape the thoughts of other men and so control 
the destinies of the race. 

We next remark, that the most influential style 
of thought, now current, is that which is inclusive 
and comprehensive, and not that which is bounded 
off by the rigid lines of party exclusiveness. It is 
indeed true, that schools and. parties in philosophy, 
theology and every thing else, were never more 
numerous or belligerent than now. Nothing goes 
unchallenged. No absurdity so crude but some will 
be found to affirm it : no truth so solemn but some 
will be found to deny it. The collision and attrition 


of different substances generates uncomfortable heat, 
and yet this very heat may produce a fusion of those 
substances. There are some phenomena attendant 
upon the discussions of the day, which indicate the 
possibility of such a result. Those primary questions 
which lie at the base of all intellectual differences, 
are more carefully scrutinized than formerly ; such 
as, the relation of language to thought ; the plastic 
and changing character of words ; the influence of 
temperament upon opinion ; the fact that the same 
truth is seen in a variety of aspects, according to the 
angle from which it is viewed ; the impossibility of 
exhausting the whole meaning of any great truth by 
any dogmatic definitions in which we endeavor tO' 
enclose it ; the necessity of adjusting our modes of 
argument to the subjeot-matter with which we have 
to deal J these, and such like points, cannot be can- 
didly considered without materially affecting all sys- 
tems of opinion. And, in the moment that men of 
different names and parties are more anxious to dis- 
cover points of agreement than of difference, and 
are willing to substitute intelligent definition for 
vague and savage protest, the world may begin to 
hope for peace. 

Now there are men who, in the spirit of a gener- 
ous eclecticism, are engaged in gathering up the 
products of past thought and in the comparison of 
contending dogmas, to see if there be any ground of 
reconciliation. Starting with the presumption that 
no merely human systems are infallible, and few 

entirely false, it is o])serve(l that the most discordant 
schools in time gravitate towards each other, in vir- 
tue of the mutual attraction of those essential truths 
which they hold in common. 

It is observed that no merely human system has 
held to its moorings through any number of succes- 
sive centuries ; that human interpretations of divine 
truth change with the fluctuations of philosophy, so 
that even the infallibility of Rome is not the same 
infallibility that it was a thousand years ago, and the 
Calvinism of the day is not the exact Calvinism of 
the Reformation. 

We do not mean to say that those men are most 
likely to leave their mark upon society, who, looking 
at the history of opinions in this respect, jump to the 
conclusion, that all systems are alike true and alike 
false, and so settle down upon the principle of indif- 
ference. To say that one thing is as good as another, 
is to say that nothing is really good for any thing. 
Where systems palpably contradict each other, it is 
evidence that there is something wrong in one, if 
there be any thing right in the other. That pseudo- 
eclecticism which devours every thing and digests 
nothing, gives no nourishment to the soul. A true 
comprehensiveness does not include absurdities and 
lies in the same bundle with truths, but it discrimi- 
nates between truth and error every where, and 
rejects the lie even when it is found in the best 
company. It may even seem to be more rigid than 
any other mode of thought, as in fact it is, because 


it applies its poison-test indiscriminately, and will 
not allow the fairest show of good to pass unques- 
tioned. It seems to be liberal, because it gives the 
suspected system, arraigned for error, a fair hearing, 
while in this it is only just. 

The current philosophy of the age is, in a measure, 
the result of contending systems : induction and iur 
tuition, idealism and realism, physiology and psycho- 
logy, have fought their battles, and the end has been 
a compromise, as it must of necessity be ; because, 
while each is vulnerable, each is also in some respects 
invincible. True eclecticism was not possible, until 
these collisions had occurred ; it is not yet altogether 
possible, because the contest is not yet over. But 
the day begins to dawn, and those men will have the 
advantage of us, who are up early in the morning to 
see the day-break. It is their voice we shall hear 
sounding from the mountain-top, when the cry comes 
up fi'om the vallej^s, "Watchmen, what of the night ?" 
They wait for the light, and wait with their eyes 
open ; and they will have much to tell the rest of 
the world, who slumber till the meridian. 

We may next remark, more generally, that the 
style of thought which is to be felt, must accord with 
the life of the age. We have seen how science fur* 
rows out channels, in which it compels the current 
of speculation to flow. By mechanical contrivances, 
the stream may for a while be made to run in other 
directions ; but men will soon tire of working these 

This, however, is not all. There is also a certain 
species of thought, the inevitable result of what may 
be called the atmospheric influences of the age, which 
exists almost every where in a latent form ; and the 
man who gives embodiment to this thought, thus 
brino-inn' it within the rauo-e of consciousness and 
observation, is he who most effectually moves us. 
To re-produce what has been produced before and 
done its work ; to re-argue questions, which have 
been already disposed of, or proved to be incapable 
of solution ; to revive speculations, which have no 
bearing upon any existing necessity ; is only to re- 
plant a tree whose roots are dead. Here and there 
minds are found, born out of due time, who live en- 
tirely in the past. Their constant cry is, "learn of 
the past !" but the}^ will not allow us to read the 
lesson through, and reduce it to any practical pur- 
pose. A strange sight is revealed in this nineteenth 
century. There may be seen a company of men, in 
antique attire, marching doggedly back into the 
marshes of the middle ages, to pitch their tents in 
that uncertain soil, which no drainage can render 
habitable. Manners and morals, dogmas and institu- 
tions, which belonged to the infancy of society, they 
would engraft upon its maturity. We are called to 
sit ■ down and play with toys, and lisp our words 
lamely, that thus we may revive the purity and sim- 
plicity of childhood. AVe must believe once more in 
hobgoblins, to restore the supremacy of faith over 
reason. The world has little to apprehend from that 

quarter. These self-sacrificing men throw them- 
selves into the stream, to arrest its onward current ; 
which meeting with this obstruction, only whirls for 
a moment and gurgles, and then Hows on as before. 

But this sad caricature must not be allowed to 
bring true conservatism and intelligent reverence 
for the past into disrepute. There is a conservative 
instinct which belongs to the age, as much as does 
the spirit of progress. It never was more needed 
than now ; for a heavy balance wheel is indispensa- 
ble, when the machine moves rapidly. 

True conservatism and true progress differ mainly 
in this : the former looks round to see how it can 
invest the treasure which it inherits from the past 
most safely, the latter to see how that treasure may 
be invested most profitably. The one is content to 
bequeath to posterity only what it has received from 
antiquity; the other would transmit it to his chil- 
dren with usury. Now in seeking for large gains, 
we are always in danger of losing our capital ; and 
the caution of conservatism is needed to make us 

There is a destructive school of reformers, who 
would pull down comfortable mansions, because their 
original plan was not perfect, and build anew, even 
though the family meanwhile go houseless : the con- 
servative stands by to plead for shelter, and so that 
that he only allow of gradual and necessary repair, 
he does a good work. We have radicals at either 
pole ; but neither represent the great, leading ten- 


dcneies of thought. The moderates will have the 
day. Obliged by their principles to balance oppo- 
sites, they may seem to falter, while others rush by 
them ; but they pause, only to gird their loins. 

When, therefore, we affirm that the thoughts which 
are to move the world, must run in the grooves of 
the age, we do not give our verdict in favor either 
of a reckless progress, or of an effete conservatism. 
We only say that there are modes of thought and 
subjects of thought, peculiar to our own times, which 
must be regarded by him who would exert his powers 
to any great purpose. These modes and subjects are 
neither divorced from the past, nor shut off from the 
future. They direct themselves to the real necessi- 
ties of living men ; to the solution of moral problems 
which distract their minds, to the relief of physical 
evils which torture their bodies. The popular inte- 
rest in questions that once absorbed attention, when 
it was supposed that the endurance of evil and blind 
submission to dogma was the chief end of man, is 
dying out, and no possible effort can revive it. The 
general tone of that species of literature which the 
mass of men read, proves that it is so. General 
councils to settle the forms of doctrine have ceased 
to meet; but we have council upon council, and 
decree upon decree, foolish and wise, aiming at the 
amelioration of humanity. At such a time as this, 
it is natural that we should fear lest the old founda- 
tions of truth should be removed ; but it will not 
suffice that we more vociferously reiterate our for- 


mulas, we must evolve the exact truth which these 
embody and show men that they cannot live with- 
out it. We must define our terms, listen patiently 
to objections, and waive incongruous argument. 
Vigorous attack must be met with vigorous defence : 
not with cries and wailings. The friends of truth 
must show themselves able foes to error; or their 
friendship may cost the truth more than it is worth. 
The law of adaptation must be regarded, if we would 
do the good cause any service. We must remember 
that the modes of warfare have changed : the old 
battering-ram, worked by a thousand men, was a less 
dangerous engine than the modern shell, which as 
though self-propelled, sails so quietly through the 
air and lays itself within the trenches. Science is 
the great foe to faith ; faith must enlist science in 
her service, to repel that foe. The battle is not al- 
ways to the strong, for there is a Divinity above who 
sometimes vindicates his own cause by super-human 
means : but that Divinity would have us use what- 
ever strength we have, and not imagine that indo- 
lence is trust. The ablest logic, the profoundest 
learning, the keenest wit, are all now in demand ; for 
logic and learning and wit are all arrayed against 
the right. Philosophy and song are both in compact 
with the Powers of evil ; and while the latter soothes 
us to slumber, the former drops poison in the ear. 
The sappers and miners are at work ; decoy-lights 
gleam from the towers ; the wells are poisoned ; 
swords are forged with untempered steel ; the secret 


watch-word is communicated to the enemy ; the 
gates are opened clandestinely ; the foe fights in am- 
bush ; all this must be considered, if we would save 
the citadel. Most evidently it is not a time to fight 
with the ghosts of the departed ; we have living foes 
•to meet, and we had better try to make ghosts of 
them. The thought which is to mould the times, 
must be adapted to the times ; the language intelli- 
gible ; the illustration pertinent ; the end aimed at 
real ; and the argument irrefragable. 

One further consideration we have to offer : the 
most effective thought will be that which springs 
from the inspiration of holiness. It is great truth 
that we want, and this is not earth-born, but comes 
from beyond the clouds. It is the most vital and 
indispensable condition of such thought, that the mind 
be put into the true attitude for its reception. The 
soul must be so purged and polished, that its surface 
will reflect the stars. It is through inspiration, the 
in-breathing of holy thoughts, that the world has 
learned its choicest lessons. " The inspiration of the 
Lord giveth understanding." The thoughts that 
have not been in some sense inspired, have soon ex- 
pired, breathed themselves into air and been scat- 
tered. Who reads the old, infidel books ? The very 
skeptic of the day abjures them, probabl} because 
he thinks that he can write better ; but he irust be 
content in time to share their fate. John P juvan. 
•• the inspired tinker," is read, while Hobbes, and 
Shaftesbury, and Collins, and Woolston, and Tindall, 



and Morgan, sleep quietly in dust ; " ashes to ashes," 
has long since been said over their works. Many a 
brilliant effort of modern skepticism, whose scintilla- 
tions charm the multitude, is doomed to as speedy an 
extinction. For a moment, the gorgeous coruscation 
lights up the horizon with its artificial fire and oblit- 
erates the stars; but, after the short blaze is over, 
the old planets are found in their places, shining 
calmly ps before. The human race have no interest 
in seeing those great truths, upon which their 
choicest hopes rest, blotted out of being : they exist 
for the soul, and the soul exists for them, and this 
affinity is not to be readily broken. The world is 
always conservative of those truths, except when 
under some temporary delirium, and the whole race 
never go mad altogether. Whatever doctrine or in- 
stitution is essential to the welfare of mankind, will 
assert its right to live ; and the world will in the end 
be most grateful to those who have done lowliest 
homage to that divinely-given truth. 

And now, in conclusion, we ask, — What will be 
the prominent characteristics of the intellectual era 
towards which we are tending ? Our answer must 
be given almost in a word. 

There will be a fairer adjustment of the relations 
existing between form and substance, language and 
thought, dogma and spirit. There will be no further 
merging of the thing signified in the sign, nor any 
unwise divorce of the substance from the sign. One 
man will no longer stand for the form, as chough it 


were all : while another rejects it, as though it were 
nothing. It will be seen that forms are not things ; 
and yet that all things have fomi. Thus one great 
occasion ol' contest will be removed : for thus far the 
want of agreement as to the relation of signs to sub- 
^ance, has filled the earth with violence. 

There will also be a clearer recognition of the 
mutual relations of all branches of science, and of 
their essential harmony. The- physical world will 
then be regarded as a grand symbol of the spiritual. 
The voices of nature and of revelation will sound in 
unison. Every thing will then be vocal of God. 
The heavens will declare His glory, and the firma- 
ment show forth His handy-work." Sense will be- 
come spiritualized : form, color, sound, the rolling 
landscape, the gorgeous cloud, the awful thunder, 
will be joined with dogma and doctrine, to inform 
and elevate the soul. 

There will also be a gradual assimilation of all 
those elements, dwelling in various systems, which 
are essentially harmonious. Fragmentary truths 
will coalesce : half-truths, hemispheres of truth, will 
be welded together, to make one, complete sphere ; 
which thus rounded and balanced, will move on 
peacefully in its fit orbit. 

Thus there will be inrluced an approximation 
towards universal agreement in essentials, and the 
world will behold a true developement of catholic 
unity. To say that this is impossible, is to declare, 
either that there is no such thinoj as fixed and abso- 


lute truth, or that the mind possesses no faculties by 
which that truth can be authenticated, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that God has specially and authorita- 
tively revealed it. Now, all truth is of God, and has 
the ijipress of his immutable ness : the human mind 
is of God, and submitting to the necessary conditions, 
it may be made to reflect that immutable truth. It 
was created for the true and not for the false ; and 
though it is so sadly deranged by sin, that it often 
prefers the false, it has never lost its intellectual 
perception of the difference between right and wrong. 
God has never taken away this faculty from us ; and 
when the hour comes that all men are willing to use 
that gift honestly, the earth will rejoice. Before the 
race can be made to do right, they must learn to 
think right; conviction precedes action. 

It is the vocation of those whom I address to-day 
to evolve and set forward the truth. This is the 
high function to which you are called : may the 
Author of all truth give you the strength and the 
courage which you need in the discharge of this mo- 
mentous duty. 

<?ri)c rigljt an^ tl)c iHitn of forming i^nbcpcnLicnt^ 
inbiDiLiual Opinions. 









Published by die House of Convocation. 




It may be proper to state, that this Address was pro- 
nounced, only a few weeks previous to the death of its 
lamented Author; which occurred before the Manu- 
script was committed lo the press. 


This ocCiVsioN is full of interest from two general con- 
siderations. One is connected with the welfare of the youth- 
ful scholar, who is about to leave these classic shades for the 
turmoil and responsibilities of the busy world, and the otlier 
with the character, affection and hopes of the College, anx- 
ious as his Alma Matei\ that he shall succeed well in his 
new career, and reflect honor on her watchful labors to fit 
iim for usefulness in the thorny paths of life. May neither 
be disappointed. 

And to justify some hopes that I may prove successful in 
the attempt to make a few suggestions appropriate to both, 
allow me to dwell for a short time on a topic not unimportant 
to any of us. It is independence of thought. It is on the 
right and the duty of forming independent, individual opin- 

When young men enter on the dusty arena of business, 
and leave behind the recitation hall and lecture-room, where 
they have been taught by others more experienced and 
learned, a new theatre is opened to them. They are soon to 
be looked up to as teachers themselves in diflxirent spheres. 
They and those of their generation are soon to rule rather 
than be ruled. They will constitute the Young America of 
the closing half of the nineteenth century, and are destined 

to lead and not follow the drowsy bum of the rest of the 
world, ir, then, thej would reflect back honor on their past 
instructors, they must have formed, or must forthwith form, 
in many respects, independent, individual opinions on most 
of the vital aftairs in which they expect to be actors, or they 
will 1)0 unable to take a decided stand in exigencies, and 
leave their foot-prints on history, making some useful im- 
pression on the age in which they live, and contributing in 
some degree to its progress and glory. 

Without possessing such opinions, they will often be mis- 
led in the fogs which envelope mortals, and will peradven- 
ture be lost among the quicksands of life, which they have 
not the pilot firmness, if they have the pilot skill, to avoid. 
Without possessing and exercising such 02:)inions, they are 
likely also to bring discredit on themselves and the College 
which has educated them, rather than to enable her, feeling 
a just pride in her sons, to exclaim like the Roman Matron 
— ''Hhese are my jewels.'''' It would show that they have not 
learned one of the most important lessons in life — to think for 
themselves, to reason, to discriminate and decide for them- 
selves. Disregarding this, education is often but scattered 
Sybilline leaves, or if an accumulation of knowledge, it is 
without system in its arrangement, or skill in its employ- 
ment. It may be the acquisition of tools, but it is without 
instruction for their use ; means, without the courage and 
habit to promote the desired ends ; power, without the ability 
to wield it ; and a life doomed to servility to others, and to 
doubts w^hich it has not the custom or daring to remove ; it 
can neither untie nor cut them. Instead of meeting occasion- 
ally with Gordian knots, such a j)erson will find the high- 
ways of life strewed with them, and the unfortunate imbo- 

rile will become as much disgraced in liis career as he is 
slavish and stripped of some of the highest attributes of 
liumanity. AVith no manly independence of thought, rather 
tliaii being looked up to as a guide, he will be a mere cros> 
road post without a guide-board. He is not a whole hona 
fide man ; he is but little better than an ape. His opinions 
are not his own, but borrowed or pirated. He wears only 
second-hand clothes. His influence in society and public 
affairs is no more than that of a weathercock, which tunis 
just as it is blowed upon from elsewhere. He is the victim 
<.>f tlie perverseness of any one, bows to an ipse dixit instead 
of a reason, and swears daily to the words of some master 
in religion or philosophy without any due examination. 
^Many men thus pass their lives with few or no fixed opiniont? 
of their own, and are as dependent on others as is the ivy on 
the wall or tree to which it clings. Uncertain opinions, too, 
are apt to mystify, and hence imcertain or ambiguous words 
are not to be scattered among the people, but what is clear, 
decided and independent. It is not the ignis fatuus or 
meteor which can be confided in by the tempest-tost mariner, 
but the firm and towering light-house. Uncertain or vagut^ 
principles, likewise, if held uj) for obedience, might, like Cali- 
gula's laws, as well be hung so high as not to be at all read- 
able by the masses. Again, the habit of forming independ- 
ent, individual opinions, aftects and improves the whole 
character no less than the views entertained on particular 
questions. Each learns thus to discriminate well, rather 
than yield uncalculating submission. By experience, each 
thus becomes more competent to judge, and will judge for 
liimself, thus acquiring more decision of character, like the 
Howards and Frys, no less than the Luthers or Ciesars ; like 

the Robert Halls and John Knoxes. and the Ledyards, as- 
well as the Wellingtons and Jacksons. This sometimes de- 
generates into rashness or cruelty, and leads to what is vis- 
ionary ; but it is not designed to do these, or to encom-age 
knighterrantry and fighting wind-mills, nor that worst of all 
employments, racing over Alps to conquer worlds and devas- 
tate, rather than improve or reform. In such ill-judged en- 
terprizes, some of these energies have been developed, but 
at the same time wretchedly perverted, and have by this 
abuse, by their want of virtuous motive and usefid aims, 
more cursed than blessed mankind. But well directed, well 
influenced, these independent, intelligent exertions will not 
despise or neglect efforts for good in the humblest spheres, 
on topics the least showy, if beneficial, or with associates 
however lowly and unanimated with worldly ambition. It 
is nobility of aim and not of station which inspires it, and 
its cardinal object is, not to rush headlong into every new 
and daring object, or break down existing institutions, but 
to improve what has been established, and act with judgment 
and discretion, though firmly ; not to conclude at once that 
all which is old is rotten or corrupt, and like Soutbey and 
Coleridge, start in a career believing almost every thing 
worm-eaten, mouldy, and a canker at its heart. They may 
feel warmly, yet act prudently. Each person of this tem- 
perament feels that he has a heart and a head, and uses them, 
it may be with enthusiasm at times, Ijut still discreetly. Like 
Catholic Mary of England, such are likely to possess strong 
feelings, and have some Calais or other engraved on their 
hearts^ as she said they would find on hers when she died. 
Tliis ardent habit of mind can also alone imj)art confidence 
in one's own course and opinions, and thus beget self-posses- 

eion in moral clauger. Knowing tliat our opinions have been 
carefully analyzed and deliberately formed, we can dare to 
trust to them at the stake and amidst the tortiu-es of the In- 
quisition. We have then some firm Pilots in life, and feel 
the confidence in them which is felt in marine pilots amidst 
the tempests of the ocean, or when several at the wheel and 
as many more at the helm in a Canadian steamer, plunge 
down the perilous rapids of the St. Lawrence, where a want 
of like judgment and simultaneous movement in the whole, 
as if there were a single eye and single arm, would be likely 
to end in the inevitable destruction of all on the cascades 
and whirlpools and rocks through which they dash so madly. 
There is another result of much weight. The habit of form- 
ing independent, individual opinions on most matters, ena- 
bles the martyr spirit, under all kinds of rebufi's and perse- 
cution, never to falter or faint, hut ''''hear hra/vely if^," and if 
driven to the wall, cause bigots and "tyrants to fall with 
every blow." It is not of the rose-water school in any thing. 
You know where to find such people in an emergency almost 
as well as yo,u know in mathematics that two and two make 
four, because they act firmly under a fixed and certain set of 
principles. You know when to rely on them for the good 
and useful, and also when you cannot rely on them for the 
trifling, the frivolous, or the false. Friends in need in private 
life and in pul)lic, the anchors of safety and hope, they may 
perish in a cause, undermined by tlie artifices of demagogues 
or cloven down by brutal power, yet they will never betray 
it, never falter, never despair. ]\[eu of this class are the 
persons who leave their nuirks on the age in which they live, 
whether in religion or jurisprudence, politics or literature. 
They cast a bright light over a shadowy earth, rather than 


V)ecome tlie mere shadows of otliers. Sncli make reforms, 
and do not leave every tiling bound in cast iron, as tliey find 
it, or like the stifiened, fresh-looking corpses after a genera- 
tion frozen in Arctic ice, or like the relics in the lava which 
ran over Pompeii, preserving for many centuries evenhouse- 
liold furniture as unaltered as the pjTamids. Such, too, 
draw out the whole powers of nature in every thing around, 
and hasten onward every great and glorious work, daily im- 
parting new energies and daily striking out new lights. By 
this independent course alone. Progress or improvement is 
attainable, which seems a beneficent design of Providence. 
For mere vital succession, in man or any thing else, would 
be in many respects philosophically unmeaning and ajipa- 
rently useless ; and, of necessity, for anything to be station- 
ary or retrograde in existence would reflect on the infinite 
wisdom which formed it ; for then, all tliis lower creation 
would move in a circle rather than onward or upward, and 
we should see our path bordered with sepulchres and the 
ashes of past generations. It requires no more proof that 
it is the duty of all to fonn opinions and exercise them in an 
independent manner, when the opposite course is so deroga- 
tory, and when each man is accountable for the due exercise 
of all his talents, and is not permitted therefore to lay aside 
these talents in a napkin, nor to pervert them by crime, nor 
»mother them by the weeds of neglect. 

A word or two on one other consideration, which, on this 
subject, appeals to the heart as Well as head of young schol- 
ars just launching on the ocean of practical life. Tliey are 
watched over by angel guards. Grateful returns are due to 
these, ratlier than servility to a censorious? World that dogs 


tlieir footsteps with envy and backbiting. Strive tlien not 
to defeat the just expectations of teachers liere, and miicli 
more of tlie beloved at tlie family fireside and altar, who 
have watched over yom* youthful education, and offered so 
many prayers and tears for your success. That pale mother 
yonder, who has cheered you onward ; that anxious father, 
who lias endured so many privations for yom* assistance ; 
that sister with hectic cheek ; that fond brother, so full of 
confidence and sympathy ; all will otherwise be doomed to 
disai)pointnient and anguish, and you will prove not only 
ungrateful to them, but unfaithful to the cause of literature, 
and your more elevated and hope-inspiring position in so- 

Without dwelling longer on the reasons why independent, 
individual opinion exercises so decided an influence both on 
private and public character, and becomes so imperative a 
right and duty for us all, I tmst you will excuse me for occu- 
pying your attention a short time longer in considering some 
of the affairs of life which demand it most peculiarly. The 
duty of in-dependence of opinion in matters of litel-ature, 
and especially of criticism, perhaps deserves the first atten- 
tion in such a place, and before slich an audience. Without 
it no just discrimination can exist as to the preference of one 
branch of study over another, or of the true ground on which 
it ought to rest. Belles Lettres, or Science, or Philosophy, 
may rule the hour with a sort of ephemeral power, and be 
followed together, or successively, as whim or chance shall 
dictate, but not with profit or distinction, unless private judg- 
ment is stcnily exercised in relation to them. And the se- 
lection of one autlior in any department over another can 
never, witliout this, be nuide with advantage, and no inde- 


pendent opinion, no severe sentence oil incapacity or' igno- 
rance, no feeling of condemnation if the guilty are all-owed 
to escape, no firmness or trust in one's convictions, no discre- 
tion to guide others or be useful to one's self can often 
exist. These qualities, duly exercised, will enable real merit 
to occupy its elevated and deserved niche in the temple of 
fame, while the dunces shall sink to theirs, and not, cuckoo- 
like, as tabled, live by hatching the eggs of other birds. This 
course alone can prevent the triumph of mere adventitious 
circumstances over true genius, wealth over merit, or rank 
over humility, troops of friends over the friendless, influence 
and position in social life over him whose fate is bound to 
"some cold patron or a jail." So without such private judg- 
ment, well cultivated and persisted in, no metaphysical truth 
can be successfully explored ; no Lockes formed to give to 
the understanding its due vigor ; no Sydneys and Eussells 
trained to vindicate with pen, as well as tongue and life, 
political rights ; no Galileo to insist that the world moves, 
and, though consigned to a dungeon for this, to insist that it 
still moves / and in truth no Copernicus to develope the true 
revolutions of the solar system amidst superstition, incredu- 
lity and popidar prejudice dogging him to his tomb. In 
this way alone can most errors be made to tremble like Bel- 
shazzar and his wassail nobles when seeing the blazing hand- 
writing on the wall. Thus can the idols of false philosophy, 
as well as false religion and false government, be overturned, 
and the unnatural images of a bad taste in literature be torn 
from their dusty picture frames. What but such a habit can 
probe the cluiracter in literature of every nation, and at 
every stage in its progress ? and boldly teach us what should 
be imitated and what shunned? and embolden us to road, 


witli an almost supernatural tongue, the soul of a people in 
their fine arts, and especially in their painting and poetry ? 
We can thus see with almost apocalyptic eye, most of the 
mysteries of races, climates, "skyey influences," and reli- 
gions, if their literary tastes gush out with the ardor and 
boldness of independent, individual feeling. Without reso- 
lute independence of thought on literature, where would 
have been the Bentleys, and Johnsons, and Scaligers, and 
Neibuhrs, and Jeffries ? Where sound taste, instead of Delia 
Cruscan frippery ? Where honest censure, in place of adu- 
lation and sycophancy ? Without these, too, in the individ- 
uals who read and decide on literary merit, what is public 
opinion worth on litcraiy men or literary works ? A thousand 
echoes of one servile friend are still nothing but echoes. A 
thousand nothings added together make no more in weight 
than one nothing. And when the whole commonwealth of 
letters, or a majority of it, is made up of imitations, Da- 
guerreotype copies, indiscriminate censure or applause, its 
decrees should possess little influence ; and somid literature 
and sound scholarship arc likely often to suffer for it whole 
generations. Tlie right to individual opinion must also exist 
in the great Republic of letters, or literary society is made 
to degenerate into a despotism, and the standard of merit is 
degraded, and the just mfluence of the educated portions of 
tlie community is lessened. Li nuitters of criticit^m and 
scholarship, also, mankind are too apt in modern times to 
give disproportionate weight to what is merely ancient, fal- 
lowing in conflding credulity many things merely because 
tliey have existed, and not because, after independent scru- 
tiny, they are found to be best. But such a scrutiny may 
satisfy us that numy things now supposed to be wi'ong in 


literature or science are right, and some now deemed right 
are really wrong. The more modern opinions are, however, 
the more likely to be right, as they are formed in the man- 
hood of the world, rather than in its cradle or inexperiencetl 
infancy. They are formed, too, after a fuller discussion 
through many ages, and after the superiority of many of 
their views has been tested in a thousand battle-fields of the. 
master minds in successive ages. Again, to judge what is 
right in literature, by the exercise of indi^ddual opinion, it is 
not enough to garner up the j)Sist, to amass facts, but we 
must think on them, think fearlessly; we must use them as 
helps to something higher, stepping-stones to what may 
advance the hopes of humanity in escaping more and moi-e 
from the dominion of error. Independent scrutiny may, in 
this way, emancipate us from many slavish opinions as t< . 
the intelligence of certain ages, and schools of philosophy, 
and distinguished luminaries in the history of the world ; 
and while some are foimd to be t}^es and exponents of tlieij' 
times, a few, like Socrates and Bacon, are in advance of 
them, and, unfortunately, others are as much behind their 
times as some of the drones in tlie cloisters of St. Omei-'s. 
On the same theoiy, the duty of private judgment in all 
thinsrs will teach us to discriminate in the same individual : 
and if we think M-ith Lord Coke on law, not to agree witli 
him or his age as to witchcraft or intolerance; or, thinking 
with Lord Bacon in pliilosophy, or Sir Matthew Hale in 
religion, not to coincide with them or their generation? in 
other things which seem manifestly erroneous and supersti- 

Li the next jjlace, a word or two on independence of 
thought in matters of government. Its exercise there i» 


vital to the preservation of Public LiT)erty, In a country 
so free and self-governed as ours, it must he the right and 
duty, no less than glory of all, to form their own opinions 
on most matters of political importance, and it is indispen- 
sable to the continuance of our Republican system. But, as 
a general principle, without reference to forms of government, 
the obligation to think with independence, and, where not 
tied up by prior obligations, to act with indej^endence in 
government, as in literature, is paramount. It is manifest 
that, otherwise, the widest door is flung open to despotism ; 
and the great cement of the social system will cease to be a 
common bond of miion ; while no uniform guide in princi- 
ple can exist for preserving law and liberty and order. This 
is the true general princij)le, but error often results from not 
noticing established exceptions. Man, till capable, by years 
of discretion and knowledge, to judge for himself in matters 
of government, may well acquiesce in what he finds estab- 
lished in the family or the State. The rashness, inexperi- 
ence, and enthusiasm of youth, however mingled with many 
excellencies, have been found, the world over and in all time, 
to justify making it an era in life for learning and discipline, 
rather than judging. But afterwards, become mature, it 
possesses the right, and it is rendered a duty, to think and 
even act for itself, independently, when not within the terri- 
'"ory and institutions of othei"?, and when not restrained by 
previous obligations. The patriarchal authority can not rea- 
sonably govern longer; and it belongs to manhood not only 
to form independent opinions for itself, but, if imperfectly 
educated, to acipiire nmre knowledge, and exercise it wisely 
in correcting them. The right of a man, as a man, bearing 
God's image on earth, to think and act freely for himself. 


Wiien not under prior obligations, is as clear, as a general 
principle, as it is to see or hear for himself, or eat for him- 
self. By no moral or political claim, independent of con- 
tract, or naked power, can government interfere with my 
sentiments wdiile unexpressed, or not used so as to endanger 
or injure others. It might better select the fashion of my 
coat, or the female I must wed for weal or woe. And soci- 
ety possesses no more right to persecute me for this in the 
"more moderate forms" of social ostracism, j)olitical outlaw- 
ry, or Popish bulls, than with the Bastile, or the Inquisition. 
Hence it is notorious, that in this Rejpvhlic^ opinions^ both 
in law and in point of fact, have, as a general position, a 
right to be free as air; and that freedom of speech or fair 
discussion is also guaranteed to all by the Constitution itself. 
But on this are some very salutary limitations, often disre- 
garded, though sacred as the rights themselves. They are 
such as regard to the decorum of not being blasjAemous, 
as respect to the privileges of others so as not to slander or 
libel them, and as conformity to the public peace by not 
disturbing it with exhortations to violence and crime. But 
some insist that still further limitations are necessary. They 
set up some divine control as to government, some right 
divine to rule or think for others. But acquiescing in this as 
much and no more, as to own the hand of Deity in every 
thing, where is the revelation for government communicated? 
We have no Institutes of Menu, like the Hindoos, for direc- 
tions in civil as well as religious matters ; no particular polit- 
ical code sii])posed to be written by the finger of God him- 
self, the Mosaic one as to Government not being deemed 
binding on us, jiiid agreed to be followed by our Puritan 
Fathers only till they could devise "something better." Who, 


in the next plaee, is authorized to regulate this 6ul)jcct in 
the absence of divine interposition? And, though it is 
urged tliat the doctrine that all may and should investigate 
is too dangerous in its consequences to be adopted, yet who 
is empowered to exclude or admit any one class, or one pro- 
fession ? And who is to fix the exact standard of knowledge 
or ignorance wliich shall qualify or disfranchise? Grant 
some may err, as many do when the will is free ; but tliis is 
incident to humanity, and every one is as much bound to 
investigate, eo as not to err if possible, as he is bound to 
investigate at all ; and he will often form an opinion in exi- 
gencies that he must and should in many respects trust to 
others better qualified than himsel£ But he can not do this 
thoughtlessly, or without examining and seeing it to be right, 
as an independent and just conclusion in the crisis which is 
upon him. The danger of committing many errors by the 
exercise of independence of thought, is frequently magni- 
fied. It is comparatively small, where the degree of intelli- 
gence and morals exist which are proper in all society ; 
where the choice is for one's self and those most near and 
dear to him ; where they are to bear its evils as well as reap 
its benefits ; and where government, once established, is to 
be obeyed explicitly till altered. Without such obedience, 
government would jjrove a mockery. And how can any 
right of independent thinking, excuse one from acting as he 
has deliberately engaged ? How can conscientious scruples 
or any supposed higher law interpose and absolve afterwards? 
The time to stan these is when the engagements to obey are 
made in the fundamental compacts, or, in adopting them. 
These compacts to obey majorities should not be made with- 
out jBjrst consulting conscience, or some higher law, to see 


that obedience is rio-lit and ou<>;lit to be exacted to tlie extent 
promised ; or if made in liaste or by inadvertence, and some 
of tlie parties feel umvilling to enforce them longer — though 
it is a truism that some natural rights are renounced in gov- 
ernment — then it is manifestly their duty to withdraw, if the 
majority assents, and form new compacts of Government 
elsewhere, accompanied by kindred associates ; to go out 
like the ten tribes of Israel, or Madoc of Wales, rather than 
remain and repudiate tlieir own engagements to obey, or 
resist by force what has peacefully been stipulated and 
shoidd be peacefully performed. These allusions to con- 
science are not that, in my view, it is to be slighted, or, as 
Sir Pertinax McSycophant said, "is not a Parliamentary 
word," but that it is to be informed well, timed well, and 
applied well. The limitations on rights, and particularly 
those which have been imposed by oui'selves, are to be scru- 
pulously observed, or we also violate, often, our own consci- 
entious obligations to God, no less than to Government and 
Society. Obedience to these obligations is the duty of per- 
forming one's contracts, the duty of fidelity to our oaths, the 
duty of truth, living, active truth, as well as truth theoreti- 
cally. Those are in reality possessed of liberty, whom the 
truth thus makes free^ and all are slaves beside. I say 
nothing here of the great right of private oj)inion to attempt 
a revolution in some opj)res8ive exigencies, as when political 
privileges have been grossly violated in some great essentials, 
and no other remedy exists ; but I speak of the rights and 
duties of subjects in the ordinary administration of the laws, 
and in governments which the citizens themselves have made 
or adopted, and can peacefully change at the ballot boxes. 
"Without some such fixed rules in government, not amenable 


to violence, nor to be nullified by indepcnclent opinion short 
of a majority, miserable anarcliy will control eveiy thing, 
and the community would be in a condition little short of 

But the right of independent oj)inion in fonning political 
compacts is still more dear and vital, when we look to the 
influence of this individual opinion on potjlic opinion, that 
supposed mistress of the world. "WTiat is public opinio); 
composed of but private opinions ? AVliat is the voice of any 
whole people in any one government or community, but the 
aggregate or balance of the voices of each collected, like the 
result of a vote in an election made up from the separate 
ballots of each citizen? Hence, if the private opinions are 
in many respects not independent, or wrong, so must be 
f>ublic opinion. The mountain will consist most of clay or 
silex, as the particles of each may jn'cdominate. Is this 
public opinion, then, sometimes ^vrong, and if so, is it to be 
obeyed politically ? And how can it, when eiToneous, be 
corrected better as to government, than by informing and 
improving individual opinions ? I am one of those who 
think that public opinion on many topics, as well as govern- 
ment, has been often wi-ong. Thus though public opinion 
required Soci'ates to be persecuted and to drink the hemlock ; 
though public opinion nailed om* Saviouk to the Cross ; 
though f)ublic opinion burned liogers and Cranmcr at the 
stake ; though public opinion has hung myriads for witch- 
craft ; though public opinion may once have been that the 
blood did not circulate, that tlie earth was flat, and water 
and air had no one common ingredient, that the power which 
moved a smoke-jack could not move tons across moimtains 
and oceans, or the lightning be used to convey intelligence 


almost instantaneously over continents, yet it was manifestly 
erroneous then, however powerful. Indeed, what is the 
revolution in religion, government, literature and fashion, 
which characterizes every age, but a proof that public opin- 
ion before was wrong, or is then wrong. And if we do not 
concede it was in most cases before wrong, we admit that 
little or no progress is made in the world for the better, and 
that the human race, in its powers and hopes, instead of 
travelling upward, is moving backward, or at the best only 
in a circle. In short that the voice of the people was the 
voice of God, unless in its strength, when saints and martyrs 
have been sacrificed ; when statesmen and patriots the most 
pure have fallen on the scaffold or under the ferocious guil- 
lotine ; when philosophers and philanthropists and heroes 
have been driven into exile or dungeons ; and when it sanc- 
tions, as now in Oriental and African despotisms, such super- 
stitions and tyi-anny as prevail, most who now exercise an 
independent and enlightened individual opinion must disbe- 
lieve. The voice of the people — voxpojMli — is not, then, 
always riglit in a moral or philosophical view. It may not 
be vox Dei^ except in political power, in having a claim for 
the time being to obedience in Government. This last it 
has. It is om- duty, then, to bow to the suprem.acy of public 
opinion in laws, till changed or con-ected by reason, inform- 
ation, exj^erience. The bayonet, or disobedience, is not the 
true mode generally for reforming these errors in public 
opinion, hut reason left free to comhat them ; private opin- 
ions being made more enlightened, moral, and pervading, 
and when thus improved, swelling into a majority. It is 
thus manifest as to public opinion, that for the time being, 
what it establishes in government and legislation within the 


Constitution, mnst be obeyed in ordinary cases. It is the 
majority of individual opinions whicli will thus rule; which 
should give color and character to public opinion ; and which, 
as right or wi'ong, independent or servile, make a heaven or 
hell of much on earth. 

Our forefathers, in the exercise of private judgment in 
their fatherland, differed on great principles of faith as well 
as government, from the majority ; but still obeying the 
latter till they withdrew, or suffering the penalty, they quiet- 
ly sought greater indulgence in their own particular views 
in a wilderness. They j^crsevcred for ages in their private 
opinions on all which is important to the individual, or soci- 
ety, till in the end public opinion grew stronger and better, 
and till were thus wrought out the great monuments of them 
that stand and point to heaven every where before and 
around us. They were not infallible. In some respects they 
seem at first to have emulated the errors of their persecutor:;. 
But whatever other motives or causes may have mingled 
and aided, this independent course of action predominated, 
and impelled the whole ; and the result is that there the 
great deed stands— an empire won — a EcpuLlic established, 
beyond, in some respects, all Greek or Eoman examj)le. 
I^ot merely a new world discovered of earth, trees, beasts of 
prey, savages, such as brcike on the gaze of Columbus, but a 
new world of principles, a form of religion if not in some 
respects new, yet now established and secured by new 
guards of toleration and freedom of conscience, and a new 
arena for popular rights and public liberty, opened to the 
whole of mankind. Not for lawless violence, not for crime 
and anarchy, but here, thank God, tlie public opinion that 
has been durably followed, and can long safely be relied on, 

lias been autliorized or derived from tlie individual, inde- 
pendent opinions of the great and good of all ages ; the' 
individual opinions "wliicli have stood the test and scrutiny 
of time, and the second, sober tlwuglits of the intelligent and 
honest among us, rather than the mere impulses of passions 
or fanaticism, and the miserable forthcomings of lying ora- 
cles, or Rochester knockings.. 

But the most prominent subject on vv^hich independent,, 
individual opinion should be exercised, is religion. The topic 
is a most delicate one. But in my vievsr, in relation to 
notions on it, so interwoven, and so momentous in life as in 
death, it is as much a duty, as a general rule, to form them 
independently, as it is to follow them with firmness. Wheth- 
er through evil or good report, in the quiet valley or busy 
mart of commerce, at the stake, the hearth, or the altar, 
religion being an affair between the individual and his God, 
woe to the man who uses force, or mere authority, or corrup- 
tion, to divert an accountable being from due exertions to 
investigate for liimself, and select with independence, the- 
creed which liis conscience and judgment, after full inquiry, 
shall decide to be right. Amid a chaos of opinions, truth 
must exist in some of them, and if existing, should be fol- 
lowed. For how can man be ]3unished hereafter for not 
believing and pursuing the truth, if truth does not exist, or 
he is not capable and bound, by proper exertions of an inde- 
pendent mind, to discover and follow it? He is not obliged 
to take a leap in the dark for eternity ;; to fonn an individual 
opinion by mere caprice, or usage, or even by a conscience 
unenlightened and unaided by reason or education. But he 
is bound to test all things, and hold fast to that which i& 
riglit. "With such guides as education and good moi'als,. 


which, as before observ-ed, should exist in all societies, and 
connected with all religions and governments, this inde- 
l)endent, individual opinion is less lik(4y to end in error than 
tnith, and need not inspire apprehensions or doubts concem- 
ing its results. Yet some danger attends it. Individual 
opinion, when independent, it is admitted, is more likely to 
be unbelieving and rebellious, than when governed by others. 
l>ut this is one of the evils, which, like inundations or tor^ 
nadoes in the physical world, arc incident to the possession 
of the benelicent elements of water and air. Nor can any 
untoward incident which may arise from it, be so evil in the 
world, as the despotism, bigotry, iron oppression, and 
wretched slavery that would result from ojjposite doctrines. 
But even the occasional mischiefs i'vom the indulgence by 
all in such free and independent judgment, arc often o\'cr- 
«stimated. The evil is chiefly confined to inexperience and 
ignorance, and, as they are removed, ceases. Each individ- 
ual feels, also, a greater interest in iiaving a good religion, 
when it is chosen by himself, and known to be his own for 
time, if not eternity. He has, too, for a guide always, the 
promptings of that divinity within, which enables him to 
distinguish generally the right from the ^vi'ong when brought 
in contrast. Puffendorf says, "there is a natural rectitude 
in man's understanding, a power to discriminate what is best 
from the worst, which will aid him in emergencies." Ifenee 
each is likely to form a wiser selection, if making bold and 
honest eflEbrts, and especially when aided, as before suggest- 
ed, and as all should be, by suitable education and good 
morals. Each is also inclined to love the beauty and useful- 
ness of the good, rather than the deformity of evil, and soon 
aequii*es many rules of action from experience ; and as he 


will hardly prefer long a riglit hand glove for the left hand",, 
or bitter poisons to rich and luscious fruits, so he will ere 
long prefer a living, fmitful faith to sophistry or dead works. 
But there are some exceptions to these general views in 
favor of independence in choosing a religion. "When all 
personal exertions fail to attain satisfactory results, and doubt 
overshadows the ti-uth, then judgment may well think it 
safer to }deld in some things to authority, where the latter 
is better informed. Particularly, then, may the immature 
mind peld to parental control and influence. But beyond 
this, then, may the individual, cramped in time and oppor- 
tunity, properly confide more in others who possess longer 
experience and deeper research on this particular subject. 
Hence, in such an emergency, the theologian might and will 
have, as he generally deserves, more respect to his views on 
what was or was not revelation, than the blacksmith, or as 
the surgeon might better be trusted to amputate a limb, than 
the lawyer. However my reason approves of independent, 
individual opinions, and a course of life to form and act 
them out on all important subjects, yet far from me be the 
thought not to yield due reverence to the good and great in 
all ages, and to their deliberate opinions. Kobly they toiled 
for it — richly they deserve it — freely shall they receive it. 
But while for these reasons, and on some subjects, and in 
some periods of life, and in some peculiar exigencies hereto- 
fore alluded to, I would, in cases' of much doubt, adopt their 
views, as least likely to mislead on matters which they had 
devoted their lives to understand, yet even then, the indi- 
vidual is responsible for tiying himself to decide correctly, 
under all the lights which can be obtained; and' then it is 
his duty to investigate, and not act blindfolded. Then he 


must independently adopt the views of others as far as he- 
goes in that direction, and then such views become his own, 
not by dictation or force, but the fullest examination which 
he is able to make with his limited faculties and straitened 

When matured in years, and when full responsibility is 
exacted from man as to opinions and conduct in all secular 
concerns, why should he not be held accountable, both here 
and hereafter, for faithfully fonning a connect private judg- 
ment in religion, so far as he is able ? If he is not free then 
to choose. Deity would be treated as the author of his eiTors ; 
and far would it be from an All-Wise Providence to make 
him free to choose, and at the same time, not bound and 
able of himself to choose correctly.. Man has duties in this 
no less momentous than his rights, and he is not to take his 
religion dependently and quietly from a majority, or from 
mere political or ecclesiastical dictation. Had this been 
done by our ancestors, we should still be heathens, and wor- 
shipping idols as degradingly as they are worshipped now in 
much of Asia, or were on the banks of the Tliames and Isis 
when the venerable Bede, in his history of England, began 
its simple annals of the first conversions from Paganism ; 
or we should be indulging in- principles of heathen faith 
existing among some of the Aborigines here, whom our 
learned inquirer into the mythology of the Indians and 
their religious opinions — Schoolcraft — considei'S as regarding 
the Great Spirit not to be a judge of their evil deeds, nor 
rewarding the good hereafter for a noble career in life ; and 
that they worship a spirit of evil no less than one of good, 
and indulge in all the vaganes of demonology. Well, 
therefore, might a higher intelligence and civilization be 


anxious to lay the foundations of a more elevated system of 
faith everywhere, by encouraging an independent inquiry 
into what was best and tnicst. In deciding on a topic so 
vital, no matter where our lot is cast, from the balmy groves 
of the South to the icy drifts of the Korth ; in poverty or- 
affluence ; high in rank or lowly, the same duty is required. 
And, with the exceptions before named, we may well be 
rebels against any assumed authority to control us there by 
creeds, or councils, or bulls of denunciation, or dungeons, 
or death. Hence, bold inquiry, and the defiance of reason 
to error, has made a Luther, a Calvin, a Chalmers, and a 
Socrates in every age. Still some of them may have gone 
too far. Calvin may have burned Servetus ; yet he has 
made Geneva immortal. Socrates was convicted by the 
Athenians for introducing "new divinities of his own," and 
this on tlie same spot M'here St. Paul, four hundred years 
after, was accused as "a setter forth of strange Gods." But 
there is some limitation even in this. Let the individual 
mind, after full search and consideration, conclude that 
there is a revealed will, delivered by God to man, whether 
on tables of stone, or througli Prophets and Evangelists, or 
amidst tlie thunders of Sinai, then independent research 
halts. And then the duty of obedience, rather than further 
examination, begins. Then neither reason nor faith seem to 
require the exercise of reasoning further, except to put a 
fair construction on the records and doctrines which are 
revealed. Then faith lifts her telescopic eye to heaven, 
and confides in the purity and truth of all which Deity has 
proclaimed as our guide, however incomprehensible parts of 
it may be to our imperfect faculties. Then are room and 
the right to trust in others by faith, and in all its marvels 


and briglitencd liopes. A mightier than man then speaks. 
Such an one points the way. A superhuman power justly 
claims authority to regulate the mortal. Faith takes reason 
by the hand and leads her heavenward, when her own pur- 
blind vision falters ; and the believer, like honest Bunyan, 
thus makes a safe progress in his pilgrimage through the 
most thorny paths of this rugged life. No temple of reason 
is then to be raised in hostility, and no Goddess of Reason 
should shake our confidence in what comes from lips clearly 
inspired. Subordinate, but nearly allied, is the revealed 
will of God in our natures, and in all beneath, around, and 
above us, speaking sermons in stones^ tongues in trees^ and 
insti-uction in every thing. "When lessons come from Him,, 
or Ills wonderful >vorks, whether pluuLs, or shells, or the 
wayside flower, the mammoth or insect, the thunder gust or 
the zephyr, it becomes us to receive them with reverence, 
and obedience to all they so strongly teach. We may do 
this without a surrender of due independence. They are 
"echoes from the world of matter." Indeed, they arc 
"elder Scripture, wi-it by God's own hand, scrijjturc authen- 
tic, uncorrupt by man." We can take heed to their lessons 
consistently with Christian faith, looking to their marvellous 
formations and character ; and to do it effectually, we need 
not, as whole nations have done, make deities of many 
plants, or animals, and people the very air and water and 
earth with spiritual myriads, and convert even the sun intO' 
a God, with daily eye watching over and controlling all. 

Without entering fai'ther on this occasion upon the duty 
of an independent private judgment in religious matters, 
it is obvious that such duty is correlative to the rigid to- 
private judgment on them. It is this right that our fathers- 


became exiles to maintain ; a right whose security, in some 
parts of Em-ope, it has cost oceans of tears to support, and 
a right, being the true essence of liberty of conscience, that 
is worthy the blood which has been pom-ed out in its de- 
fence, and the sacrifices and toils of martyrs to uphold it. 
Of what use, too, would be all this idolized liberty of 
conscience, if we were not bound to exercise it, and from 
all creeds carefidly to select what seems the best, taking 
care, as before suggested, not to question what has mani- 
festly been revealed to man by God himself? Because, 
from the very natm-e of such a case, the revealed will of 
our Omnipotent and Omniscient Judge must control all our 
own views, beino; so much hio-her and wiser and holier. 
But where revelation does not exist, or restrain, howe\ er 
daring and dangerous it may seem to some, all must exer- 
cise independence of inquiry, and if not thus harmonizing 
in the end, all may still agree in great essentials ; such as 
faith in the Bible as revealed, faith in Christianity, faith in 
a resurrection and eternity. What is Protestantism itself 
but a claim to this right of private judgment and action on 
such subjects? "What, indeed, have been its religious wars 
for centuries of carnage, but to protest against penalties 
and force in matters of religion, and maintain and secure 
this sacred right when invaded by persecution ? 

In conclusion, it will be seen that we consider this dutv 
of private judgment, as intimated in the early part of our 
Address, to extend more or less to every thing, and as exer- 
cised, and exercised well or ill, to cast a healthy or sickly 
hue over all the character and all the affairs of life. Inde- 
pendence of thought gives a different hue to life. It is, in 
short, felt in manners as in morals ; in habits as in opinions ; 


in public as in j^rivate life ; at tlie iirc-sidc as at the altar ; 
and without it life is usually a milk and water career, with 
as little of usefulness as of honor. Our little bark may 
move its little round, but it will never cross oceans to im- 
prove the world. We have eyes, but use those of others ; 
ears, but listen with the ears of om* neighbors — taste with 
their palates, talk with their tongues, feel with their nerves. 
To come out from this dull routine, we must break down 
supine acquiescence in every thing around us, without 
examination by and for one's self. The eccentricities of 
mind and opinion, and the mldness of untrammeled dis- 
cussion, which burst forth in the world where all is free 
in opinion, are sometimes provoking, and often discourage 
hopes of futin-e improvement. But looked at jjliilosophi- 
cally, and through a scries of ages, they are the som-ces 
of much improvement ; they strike out new lights in 
the arts, and in legislation and government, and are fre- 











Ptiblished by order of the House of Convocation. 





We have come up hither to celebrate the twentj-fiftU 
p,imual Commencemeut of Tklnity College. That some 
additional importance might be given to this festival by the 
gathering together of facts connected with its origin, and that 
pew zeal might thereby be awakened for the advancement of 
the best interests of the Institution, the duty was imjDosed 
]ipon me at the last annual meeting of the House of Convo- 
cation, to prepare a brief historical Address. In the accom- 
plishment of the honorable duty thus assigned me, (which I 
consented to attempt at the latest moment,) I have found 
jnyself laboring under a double disadvantage. 

Trinity College has no antiquity. It wants the charm of 
venerable associations. Tlie ivy has not been creeping so 
long upon its walls as to give them the complexion of age, 
nor have the steps which conduct to its entrances been worn 
by the feet of successive generations of scholai-s. There are 
no extraordinary statutes preserved in its archives to mark 
the usages of a less enlightened period — no obsolete systems 
of College discipline and College manners — contrasting ludi- 
crously with the gentler regulations and freer etiquette of 
the times in which we live. Tliere are no treasures "laid up 
in old historic rolls," to be opened as the necessity requires ; 

no traditions and anecdotes, from tlie fund of whicli one may 
draw material to relieve the dullness of his Discourse, and 
give emphasis and variety to the facts which he presents. 

Intimately connected with this disadvantage, is another. 
Tlie immediate agents in procm-ing the charter of Trinity 
College, and they who have contributed most largely to make 
up its history are still living, and it is not a little jDerilous to 
speak of their exertions and character with that freedom and 
fullness which the occasion seems to demand. We under- 
take a nice and delicate business, if we attempt the narration 
of events associated with men who are yet upon the stage of 
being. For the most part, it is believed to be soon enough 
to scrutinize narrowly the policy of the presiding officers of 
Academic institutions, when time has mellowed our prejudi- 
ces and experience corrected our mistakes ; — soon enough to 
write critically the history of scholars, when they have closed 
their labors and gone to their rest and reward. But embar- 
rassing as these disadvantages have been, we are not without 
hope, that the Address which we have prepared will possess 
in your eyes an interest and a value. Though we have had 
both authentic records and the testimonies of the living to 
draw from, it has cost us more care to ensure accuracy than 
was at first anticipated. 

I have said that Trinity College lacks the charm of vene- 
rable associations — ^but there is a link in its history, reaching 
back more than half a century. For eiforts which looked 
towards the estaljlishment of a second College in Connecti- 
cut, were put forth full thirty years before they were crowned 
with success. This second College was the conception of 
men Avho were not unmindful of the prejudices of early 
education. Tliey imagined that they saw the danger of 

training their sons in Academic halls where religions tests 
were exacted of the officers of instruction, or where these 
officers owed allegiance to a faith in many important respects 
different from their own. When Dean Berkeley, afterwards 
Bishop of Clo}Tie, returned to his native land, having failed 
in the object for which he came to this western world, his 
example, and the gift of his books and of his lands in Khode- 
Island to Yale Colleirc were not lost to the cause of sound 
learning and Christian education. His correspondence with 
Dr. Johnson, of Stratford, shows him to have been a man of 
large and liberal views. In a letter addressed to that learned 
Divine and noble champion of the Church, dated July 25th, 
1751 — ^just a centmy ago — he says, "I am glad to find by 
Mr. Clap's letter and the specimens of literatm'e enclosed in 
his packet, that learning continues to make a progress in 
Yale College, and liope that virtue and Christian charity 
may keep pace with it." Whether Cliristian charity did 
keep pace with it, we w^ill leave you to determine by the 
citation of a few facts bearing upon the history of that period. 
IsTearly all the clergy of the Episcopal Church who mani- 
fested a very decided friendliness to the welfare of the 
Institution at New Haven, graduated before its first Jubilee, 
About the time of the erection of King's (now Columbia) 
College, in the city of Kew York, wnth Dr. Johnson at its 
head, there seems to have been a change working in the 
minds of Churchmen. Was this change the result of legis- 
lation, or was it accidental ? President Woolsey, in the His- 
torical Discourse which he delivered before the Alumni of 
Yale College at the last annual Commencement, speaking of 
President Clap's administration, says : "the most character- 
istic measm-c of this period was the appointment of a Pro- 

fessor of Tlicology, and the establisliment of a separate 
religious society and chm-cli in the College." And again, 
alluding to the act of the Trustees imposing a test upon the 
officei-s of instruction — "the aim of which was to maintain 
in their soundness the faith and chm-ch theory of the Puri- 
tans" ; he adds — "I can find no evidence from the College 
records that this test was applied for a number of years ; but 
am not disposed to think that it became obsolete. However 
this was, in 1753, when the project for establishing a profes- 
sor of Divinity was on foot, a new resolution of the Fellows 
requu-ed that members of their own body, with the President, 
the Professor of Divinity and Tutors, should give their assent 
to the "Westminster Catechism and Confession of Faith, and 
should renounce all doctrines and principles contrary thereto, 
and pass through such an examination as the Corporation 
should order. Tliis new provision for securing orthodoxy 
was quite unacceptable to a number of educated persons in 
the Colony, and was one of the causes why President Clap 
was held in disesteem." 

It appears by reference to the Triennial Catalogue, that 
during the administration of President Clap, which covered 
a period of nearly thirty years, the number of graduates who 
became Episcopal clergymen was scarcely greater, than the 
number during the administration of his predecessor, which 
covered less than half the same period. The parishes in the 
mean time were multiplied in Connecticut, from various 
causes, and especially from the influence of Whitefield's 
preaching, and were scattered along the shore of the Sound, 
from Greenwich to Norwich, and far up among the hills and 
valleys of the interior. 

It may be said that Iving's College in New York drew off 
some students, but the steady and even rapid increase of 

Episcopalians — ceteris paribus — sliould liavc kept tLe num- 
ber good. "We believe that we may ti-ace the diminution in 
a great measure to the want of that Christian charity which 
Bean Berkeley expressed the hope might keep pace with the 
progress of learning. We can forgive the rigorous enact- 
ments of a period when there was but one way of thinking 
in the Colony, and when it was the fault of the times to take 
a narrow view of the rights of conscience and of Christian 
liberty. "We can almost forgive — ^for we are persuaded that 
no one will defend them, looking back from the point of 
time on which we stand — we can almost forgive those penal 
laws, dictated in a spu'it of undiscovered intolerance, and 
designed for the manifest perpetuity of the Puritan faith. 
But after the number of Episcopal families had very largely 
increased in the Colony, and after a Parish had been organ- 
ized in !New Haven, and a Missionary of the Venerable "So- 
ciety for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts" 
had been stationed there, it would seem that out of respect 
for their wishes, and out of gratitude to Clergymen of thei 
Church of England for important services and benefactions, 
some relaxation of the rigor of these laws should have ap- 
peared, at least so far as not to fine Episcopal students for 
preferring their own mode of worship on extery Lord's day,* 
and not to require the classes through the whole term of* 
their College life, to recite the "Westminster Confession of 

• The fine for absence from the College Chapel on Sundays was four pence — but 
Episcopal students were allowed to attend their own Church on Communion Sundays. 
Professor Kingsley, in a note to me bearing upon this law, says — "When Archbishop' 
Seeker published in a pamphlet that there was a College in Nev> England, (undoubt- 
edly meaning Yale College) where an Episcopal student was fined for going on a Sun- 
day to hear his own father preach ;— the fact probably was, and I heard it so explained 
many years ago, that the student was absent from the Chapel, was reported by the 
monitor, and fined for absence — the reason of his absence being unknown to the College 
Faculty. You will not understand me as defending the law wliich required at that time 
tinder the above penalty, all students to attend worship iu Uie College Chapel— except 
Episcopal students on Communion Sundays." 


Paitb, received and approved by the Clim-ches in tlie Colony,- 
together with AVollebius' Tlieology or Dr. Ames' Medulla 
and Cases of Conscience. It was, then, the continuance in 
force of rigorous enactments, and the adoption of new meas- 
ures to guard the orthodoxy of the land, which opened the 
eyes of Churchmen to the necessity for an Institution more 
favorable to their views, or rather less dangerous to the reli- 
gious predilections of their sons. The war of the Eevolution 
operated disastrously upon the prosperity of the Church, and 
broke U]3 our Parishes in many places. But after civil lib- 
erty had been secured, and the Colonies separated from the 
mother country, the time was come for the Church, deprived 
of "nursing care and protection" from abroad, to rely upon 
her own resources. And what could be done effectually 
towards increasing the scattered ranks of her ministry, 
except she threw off the shackles of Pmitanism, and became 
independent in the matter of Collegiate education ? Hence 
it was one of the earliest movements of Bishop Seabury and 
his Clergy, after the Eevolution, to plant a Seminary of 
classic learning in this Diocese. The Institution at Cheshire 
owes its origin to a resolution adopted by them in 1T92, and 
for a series of years it served, in some measure, the double 
purpose of a preparatory school and a university. In 1801, 
having obtained bequests and donations to the amount of 
about $3000, its managers prefen-ed a petition to the Gene- 
ral Assembly, "praying that they might be constituted and 
made a body politic and coi'porate, by the name of the Trus- 
tees of the Episcopal Academy of Connecticut." The act of 
incorporation was passed — but it does not seem to have come 
up to the full intention of the founders, for, three years after- 
wards, in accordance with a vote of the Diocesan Convention, 


the Board of Tnistees petitioned the (General Asseiubly for 
a chartef, empowering them to confer degrees in the arts^ 
divinity and law, and to enjoy all other privileges usually 
granted to Colleges. This petition was refused, and we find 
them instructed to continue their importimity, by the follow- 
ing preamble and resolution, entered upon the Diocesan 
Journal for ISIO : 

"WiiereAs doubts have arisen whether the Trustees of the 
Episcopal Academy of Connecticut, which was established 
at Cheshire by this Convention in the year 1796, are in- 
vested with the power of conferring upon the students the 
degree and testimonials of literary proficiency usually 
granted at Colleges; and whereas the great objects con- 
templated by the Convention cannot be accomplished 
imless the Trustees are authorized to confer such degrees j 

Resolved^ That the Trustees of said Academy be requested 
to prefer a petition to the next General Assembly of the 
State of Connecticut, with all the powers, privileges and im- 
munities of a College." 

The application, urged with such sanction, was supported 
by a large majority in one brancli of the Legislatm-e — but 
the Council or Senate opposed to the action of the lower 
House a full negative, and thus defeated the Charter. In 
1811, the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, understanding that the establishment of a second 
College in Connecticut, under the auspices of Episcopalians, 
was contemplated, expressed their entire approbation of the 
measure, and their earnest wishes for its success. At that 
time, there was not a College in the Union under the direct 
care and superintendence of the Church — not even Columbia 
in New York — and if reliance can be placed upon the truth 


of liistoiy, some cautions measures had been taken to keep 
in other hands the control of existino- Institntions. Another 
application to the General Assembly for a Charter followed, 
and was rejected bv botli branches of the same — thereby 
showing no gain to tlic Church in Legislative influence.* 
Diu'ing the vacancy in the Episcopate from the death of 
Bishop Jarvis, all effort to secure the long-cherished object 
was suspended — but the clergy kept it in view, and would 
have resumed it immediately after the consecration of the 
present venerated and beloved Diocesan, had not the loca- 
tion of the General Theological Seminary at New Haven^ 
drawn off their thoughts and support. The return of that 
Institution to ISTew York was the signal for fresh exertions, 
and fortunately the intervening period of their quiet had 
witnessed important political changes — such as the adoption 
of the State Constitution, and the consequent breaking down 
of the reigning dynasty — changes which undoubtedly pre- 
pared the way for more liberal legislation. In 1823, the 
petition of Episcopalians, setting forth "the expediency of 
attempting to establish another Collegiate Institution in this 
State," and urging their claims to have the direction of its 
administration, was presented to the Legislature, and a 
charmed political name, rather than the name of the first 
Bishop of the Diocese, inserted, we suppose, in the Bill for 
a Charter, that nothing might be done to peril its passage. 
The Charter was granted, taking effect from the time when 

* In the author's History of the Episcopal Academy of Connecticut, there is a slight 
anachronism. Speaking of the applications to the General Assembly for a Charter, it 
is said — '-Thus disappointed in the attainment of their object, and losing a portion of 
tlic funds by the failure of the Eagle Bank, the Trustees ceased their importunity," &c. 
The failure of the Kagle Bank was siilisequent to the chartering of the College. See 
the "I'ctition" in the Appendix for an efl'ort of the memo; iaiists to secure to the College 
a portion of the funds ol the Academy at Cheshire; — proposing in this way to carry out 
the original intention of some of the benefactors. 


$30,000 should be subscribed as an cudowment, and the 
event was Avelcomed in tin's city, where the Legislature was 
holding its session, Avith demonstrations of great rejoicing. 
Though given upon the prayer of E2:)iscop)alians, and con- 
templating their management, the Charter, as the petitioners 
wished, required that the College should be conducted on the 
broad principles of religious liberty.* It contained a pro- 
vision, prohibiting the Trustees from passing any ordinance 
or by-law that should make the religious tenets of any officer 
or student in the College a test or qualification of employ- 
ment or admission. And here it may be observed that up to 
the very day before the petition for this Charter was present- 
ed to the Legislatm-e, the statute of Yale College in reference 
to tests — modified upon the accession of Dr. Stiles to the 
Presidency, from consent to the Westminster Catechism and 
Confession of Faith into an assent to the Saybrook Platform 
— was still in force. That day, at a special meeting of the 
corporation, held in the city of Hartford, the obnoxious test- 
law was repealed. There are those who think the time was 
thus critically chosen for its repeal, that an influence might 
be brought to bear upon the minds of the liberal Legislature, 
touching the petition for a second College. But let this pass 
without further remarlc, ISTo sooner was this Charter granted, 
than its friends, who had been so long contending with the 
evils of popular prejudice, were now compelled to contend 
with the evils of poverty and other discouraging causes. 
The amount necessary to secure the provisions of the Charter 
was, indeed, over-subscribed, for within one year from its 
date, about Fifty Thousand Dollars were raised by private 

Sec Appendix. 


subscription for an endowment, lliis noble subscription was 
obtained by offering to tlie larger towns the privilege of fair 
and laudable competition for its location, and Hartford, 
ncA'cr wantinji in public spirit and generous outlays, gained 
the victory over her sister cities. The erection of the College 
buildings was commenced in June, 1824, and the business 
of instruction in September of the same year. But the funds 
subscribed were barely adequate to this beginning. The 
Trustees had already deputed one of then* number to visit 
England, and solicit donations towards the supply of a Libra- 
ry and Philosophical apparatus. He carried with him an 
Address or general letter of introduction, officially signed, 
and directed to the Bishops, Clergy and Laity of the Church 
of England. It does not appear to have been the original 
intention to give much publicity to the object of this mission 
— but on the arrival of the agent, he foimd himself in the 
way of other applications from this country for similar aid, 
and he was induced to print the letter, together with a state- 
ment of his own, settino; forth the necessities of the Chm'ch 
here and the more important facts in regard to the condition 
of the two oldest Kew England Colleges. The agent re- 
turned to this country, with the donations which he had 
received, soon enough to be a conspicuous and fearless actor 
in that war of pamphlets which arose from "Considerations 
suggested by the establishment of a second College in Con- 
necticut." ■"■ It was claimed to be uncalled for by the inter- 
ests of literature. After the zealous endeavors which had 
been used in various sections of the State to prevent the 
subscription papers from being tilled up, in order that the 

•This was the title of tiie first anonymous pamphlet, which was replied to anony- 
jnouBly, and then a rejoinder followed. 


Charter Jiiiiilit be sociired, it was perhaps to be expected 
that other attempts would be made to interfere with its suc- 
cess — but tliese attempts wore carried quite too far, when it 
was represented that two large and respectable Institutions 
could not exist together in so small a territory — that tliis 
College could only rise into distinction and usefulness by 
depressing Yale in the same ratio — that the tendency of its 
establishment would be to dissipate our strength and divide 
one prosperous university into two weak and languishing 
seminaries, and thus to '■Hoioer the standard of literary attain- 
ments^ while the total expense of education to the State was 
augmented.-' Events have proved that fears of this sort 
were wholly groundless. Ko College in the Union has had 
a higher reputation for the thoroughness of its course and 
the scholarship of its Faculty than Trinity. So far from 
having the eftect to reduce the numbers at Yale College, 
these numbers have actually increased, and as to diverting 
the patronage of the Church, while I write, there are some 
sementy-five studeiits seeking an education at that ancient seat 
of learning, who have come from Episcopal families, or from 
families having preferences for the Episcopal mode of wor- 
ship. ISTor is this all. Midway between the two capitals of 
the State, a third Collegiate Institution* has been erected and 
endowed by private and State beneficence, for the benefit of 
a denomination of Christians, not disposed until recently to 
pay very profound respect to an educated ministry. Oppo- 
sition, based on reasoning which has proved thus fallacious, 
could not prevail. Tlie College survival it, and it did not 
sicken and die when the State afterwards refused to feed it 

* The Wesleyan University at Middleiown, under the control of tlie Methodists. 


with a tithe of the bounty which had been bestowed iqwn 
the venerable sister. Its first President was he who scarcely 
needed a formal vote to be placed in that office. He was 
the Bishop of the Diocese, and had been charged with the 
presentation of the petition to the Honorable Legislature. 
He had watched its progress with solicitude, and witnessed 
its success with delight. Long experience in Academic dis- 
cipline had made him acquainted with the responsibilities of 
the office, and for seven years he filled it with a wisdom 
which the seventy-nine graduates of that j^eriod will never 
cease to remember. He was withdrawn from the adminis- 
tration at the instance of the Diocese, when the cares of the 
Episcopate were increasing with the increase of the Church, 
and claiming his undivided time and attention. His "Fare- 
well Address" — delivered to the students upon the occasion 
of retiring from the Presidency, opens with a joassage rich 
in tender associations : 

"The time is at hand when I am to retire from the imme- 
diate charo^e of this Institution. It is an event which I 
cannot contemplate without some emotion. Having made 
the first movements for the establishment of the College — 
having been engaged with great solicitude in all the meas- 
ures for procuring its Charter ; for raising the funds for its 
endowment ; for framing the laws for its organization and 
government ; — having presided over the instruction and 
discipline which has been dispensed in it, from its origin to 
the present time, it is naturally to be expected that my feel- 
ings should be strongly identified with its interests and its 

Upon the retirement of Bishop Brownell from the Presi- 


dency, the clioice for a successor fell upon the Eev. Dr. 
Wheaton, another fast friend to the Institution, and one who 
could say in reference to its earlier trials — 

Qnorum pars magna fiii. 

Eut liardly had one lustnun passed away before he vacated 
the Presidential chair, and removed to New Orleans that 
he might accept tlie Rectorship of Cln-ist Church in that city. 
During his administration, -which ended in 18o7, the finan- 
cial condition of the College was gi'catly improved. Tlirough 
the indefatigable exertions of the President, the Hobart 
Professorship of Belles Lettres and Oratory was instituted, 
and endowed with funds to the amount of $20,(XK) — contrib- 
uted by friends in the Diocese of Xew York, The Seabury 
Professorship was also commenced, and large additions were 
made to the general funds of the Institution — -so that when 
he withdrew from its charge, he had laid the foundation 
for a system of judicious endowments, which his own private 
benefactions, subsequently yet unostentatiously bestowed, 
have helped to foster.* 

Frequent changes in the Presidency of a College are 
always to be avoided, because always injurious to its pros- 
perity. Care should be taken to select for that office men 
who are litted to its responsibilities and duties by experience 
and attainment, and then none but the best reasons should 
be allowed to produce a dissolution of the connexion. Tlie 
Trustees resolved at length to fill the vacancy occasioned by 
the resignation of Dr. Wheaton, with one who, though he 

♦The grounds about ilie College are beautiful by nature — but from the first, great 
attention was paid to their iniprjveinent by the planting of hedges, shrubbery and 
trees. An eye seems lo have l)een turned to the moral mlluence of such tinngs, in the 
elevation and refuienient of taste and manners. Dr. Wheaion deserves many thanks 
for what he did in this way. 


had gained no celebrity in the Church, had yet proved him- 
self eminently successful in one department of the College^ 
Thus they chose their own Professor of Mathematics and 
Natural Philosophy — the Eev. Sn.As Totten, D. D. His 
faithful Presidency extended beyond a decade of years, the 
most remarkable featm-es of which relate to the internal 
organization and condition of the College, and to the erection 
of Brownell Hall in 1845.* That same year, also, an act of 
the Legislature was passed, permitting an important change 
in the name and style of the Listitution — a change which we 
hope in God will "attest forever the faith of its founders, 
and their zeal for the perpetual glory and honot of the one 
HOLY A2fD uxDivTDED Teixity." If it be true ttat he who 
first turned the minds of his Clergy to the establishment of 
a Seminary for education on the principles of the Church, 
did foresee, with dim and fearful vision, that the time would 
come when this very doctrine would be extensively coi-rupted 
and denied in New England, then it had been no greater 
mark of veneration for his memory to give the College his 
own name than to give it a title w^hich represented the glori- 
ous doctrine in whose defence he wished it to be understood 
that to the last, he lifted up his voice. Long may this Listi^ 
tution send forth sons trained to resist the advancement of a 
heresy so subversive of the whole truth of God, as the denial 
in their proper and Scriptural acceptation of the Father, 
Son and Holy Ghost. Long nuiy she be a stranger to the 
spirit of reckless religious speculation — a stranger to all that 
teaching and ensnaring philosophy which does but wrap the 

* The Seabury Professorship was filled up duriiif^ the administraiioii of Dr. Totten, 
and besides the funds contributed to the erection of Brownell Hall, sums requisite to 
the endowment of several Scholarships were subscrited in the Diocese of Connecticut. 


soiil in scepticism, and prepare the way for a complete sur- 
render of tlie "faitli once delivered to the Saints." 

"Wliilc ]Jr. Tutten occupied the Presidential chair, the 
Trustees enacted certain statutes, "committing the superin- 
tendence of the course of study and discipline to a Board of 
Fellows," and empowering specified members of the Senor 
tus Academicus^ as the House of Convocation, to assemble 
under their o^vni rules, and to consult and advise for the 
interests and benefit of the College. Time enough has not 
been given to these changes to reap from them much advan- 
tage. They were modeled after the English Universities. 

"There has been, as we trust, revived among us," said he 
who had the honor of pronouncing the first Address before 
the House of Convocation,* "something of the old and true 
principle of the University. Not, indeed, in its ancient 
form, nor in precisely the ancient mode of its expression. 
For it may and often does chance that a principle shall 
express itself in diverse outward forms in different ages, 
while yet in itself it remains unchanged. Indeed, no exter- 
nal organizations or forms within which principles are 
enshrined — save only those which, being of divine appoint- 
ment, are adapted to every age, and not to be changed by 
man — can be expected to remain precisely the same, gener- 
ation after generation, and age after age. For they exist in 
a world whose social and intellectual relations arc continually 
changing ; and by those very changes, demanding corres- 
ponding changes in those external modes by which unchan- 
ging principles are brought to bear and do their M'ork, 
whether on individuals or on masses of our race." 

• Rev. Dr. Williams, President of the College. 


Tlie changes referred to in this passage were designed, 
among other things, to retain the graduates in closer connex- 
ion with tlieir Alma Matei\ by giving them a definite and 
fractional participation in its management. "We have great 
faitli in any policy which tends to secnre to the College the 
abiding interest and affections of the Alnmni. Hence one 
fact, discovered in searching the records for the material of 
this Address, lias greatly sm-prised us. Tiuenty-eiglit years 
have rolled away since tlie charter was granted, and of the 
Trustees who originally composed the Board, but tJiree^ set- 
ting aside the Chancellor, have survived all change, and 
retained their places as members of the Corporation. The 
surprising fact is, that until this day,* not a solitary Alumnus 
has been selected to fill any one of the several vacancies 
which have thus, from time to time, occurred. 

But upon the resignation of Dr. Totten, it was a subject of 
thanldiilness and joy among the Alumni of the Institution, 
that one of their own number was invited to take his respon- 
sibilities and carry on the work of Christian education. I 
shall not l>e trenching upon the sacred prerogatives of private 
and personal history, if I mention an interesting circum- 
stance associated with the office thus bestowed. The fourth 
President of Yale Colleo^e, countins; the Rectorate of Samuel 
Andi-ew, was the Kev. Elisha "VYilliams, of ITewington — "a 
man of splendor," says Dr. Stiles in his Diary, "who filled 
his chair with great usefulness and power for thirteen yeai*s," 
and then resigned it, devoting himself with singular versa- 
tility of talent, to legislation, jmisprudence, the army, and 
lastly to mercantile pursuits. Tradition represents him to 

* At a meeting of the Roard of Trustees, held in the morning of the day when thi& 
Adtlrt'ss was delivered, tlie author was elected a member of tlie Corporation. 


have been a sturdy defender of the Puritan faith, as well as 
a good Later of Episcopacy, and it is not improvable that lie 
As-as elected to the office of President with au eye to tiie 
astounding and ■[)ainful defection of Dr. Cutler and his asso- 

The fourth President of Trinity College has the blood of 
Rector AVillinms flowing in liis veins, tlioiigli lie wants the 
Baptismal name of his kinsman, lie has broken away m 
peacefidness and luv-e from the ranks of the Pilgrims, and 
becu placed in an important position of the Chfl.rch, to 
guard and foster those distinctive religious principles which 
his renowned and "splendid" ancestor Avas so zealous to 
oppose and repress. Aye — more I A\hilc years were gathering 
u^jon }iim whom we all delight to honor, and "around whose 
venerable presence cluster, for so many of us, the deepest, 
holiest memories of all om* lives, the memories of vows 
uttered on earth and registered in heaven" ; — while years 
were gathering upon Mm a weight of infirmities insupport- 
able witli the full cares of the Episcopate, he called in kind- 
ness for some one upon whose shoulders he might lay a 
portion of his responsibilities and his duties ; and thereupon 
the Diocese, with almost cntu-e unanimity, elected to the 
office of a Pisliop in the Chm'ch of the living God, the Pev- 
erend, the President of Trinity College." 

Here I might close my Address, and leave to the future 
historian the recital of much that is unbecoming now to 
utter. Put before I conclude, let me direct your attention 
to one important object whicli the establishment of the 
College was designed to promote, and which, thanks be to 

* The Rev. Dr. Willianis was elected Assisilant Bisliop of the Diocese of Connecticut , 
June 11, 1851. 


God, it lias promoted in an eminent degree. I refer to the 
education and training of young men for the ministry of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church — to say nothing about the zeal- 
ous and intelligent laymen who have here passed through 
their course of Colleo;iate instruction. When Dr. Wheaton 
visited England to solicit friendly assistance from the Chm-ch 
in that realm, he set forth in his published statement the 
following among other facts. 

"The number of organized Episcopal congregations in the 
States falls but Kttle short of six Jiundred^ while the Clergy- 
men engaged in actual j^arochial duty, do not at present 
exceed half that number. It is pleasing to record the grad- 
ual extinction of those inveterate prejudices against Episco- 
pacy, w^hich distinguished the first settlers of the country, 
especially in those parts where the Church has been advan- 
tageously made known by her more intelligent ministers. 
The candid and moderate, belonging to the various sects, 
appalled at the enonnous strides of heresy, are visibly 
becoming more reconciled to the Church, whose temperate 
doctrines, consistent government and edifying mode of wor- 
shiji, present a common ground of union not to be found 
within the pale of any of the classes of Dissenters, (that is, 
Sectarians.) Nothing, indeed, seems to be wanting to a 
general extension of the Episcopal Church, but a body of 
zealous, well-educated Clergy far more numerous than, with 
her present advantages, it is possible for her to possess." 

This was said, you will remember, twenty-seven years ago, 
and within that period. Trinity College has educated more 
than one-tliird as many Clergymen as were then engaged in 
actual parochial duty. They have radiated in all directions 
of oui' country, and carried with them an influence which is 


not only impressing itself npon the minds of men for tlio 
good of the Clmrcli, but which will, we trust, in due season, 
reflect back upon the Institution where they were trained to 
become Christian scholars. The originator of our Mission 
to China was a graduate of Trinity College* ; though God 
in His inscrutable Providence was pleased to lay upon him 
so early the hand of disease and death, that he was debarred 
the privilege of beginning the work which his zealous heart 
had projected. The first pioneer of the Chm*ch in the broad 
territory which lies on the Gulf of Mexico beyond the Mis- 
sissippi river, and whicli has since become an integral part 
of the Union, was a graduate of Trinity Collegef — who, 
two years ago, w^ith failing health, left his lone post of duty, 
just soon enough to reach the green hills of his native land 
and die. But I must not make a Missionary argument in a 
literary address. I was desirous of showing that in one 
important respect the College has done for the Church what 
its founders and friends predicted and prayed that it Avould 
do. It has increased the ranks of her ministry. It has edu- 
cated for the clerical profession a number nearly equal to the 
aggregate of students who received their diplomas from 
Yale College in the first twenty-five years of her existence. 
Having done, therefore, so much for education in the Church, 
need we be impatient for the rest ? Need we really be dis- 
heartened, if, year by year, the College Calendar shows a 
list not numerous ; if, for the next generation, no throng of 
pupils shall gather within these walls such as may crowd the 
benches of older scats of learning i Xumbers are not the 

*The Rev. Augustus Foster Lytic, who died in Ihiladelphia, soon after iiis ordina- 
t Rei'. Caleb S. Ives, Missionary at Matagorda, Texas, who died in Vermont. 


certain test of academic efRciency, nor will they always come 
at the bidding of scholarship and the best privileges of lite- 
ratm'e. O be content, each fi-iend of Trinity Colle2;e, to sav 
in reference to its prosperity — "becanse of the house of the 
Lord oiu- God" — because of the service rendered and yet to 
be rendered to the Church — "I will seek to do thee good." 
The more venerable Institutions of the land have their thou- 
sands of living Alumni, on whom they may call for succor 
in times of emergency, of j)overty and peril. I look for 
more than proportionate aid from kindred sources. I look 
along the lines of futurity, and I seem to see the wealth of 
tlie Church in JSTew England coming up with a liolocaust to 
be laid on the altar of this Institution — an Institution, as its 
motto imports, created alike for the good of the Church, and 
of the land : Peo ecclesia et patel\.. I seem to hear, taken 
upon the lips of grateful scholars and sent forward through 
all time, the names of noble benefactors, who, in winding 
up the stewardsliip of life, have not failed to remember the 
just claims of Christian Education, and so, with cheerful 
munificence, have directed the endowment of new and 
needed Professorships. I seem to see the sons of Trinity — 
each one in his sphere of life, be it humble or be it exalted 
— 'vieing with the zealous Alniiini of an honored sister in 
ministries of good to mankind ; resisting with a firm front 
the advance of error and the showings of a spirit more libe- 
ral than the spirit of Christianity ; seeking as one of the 
tniest ends of learning, the inculcation of holiness and 
benevolence ; and guarding in all honorable and legitimate 
ways, that body of Christ which is the Church ; which holds 
tlie faith once delivered to the Saints, and which promises 
blessings to the children of the righteous in far distant gen- 


erations. God grant tliut tliese visions may be realized, and 
when the century has closed, and you and I liavc closed 
the activities of human life, may that other race of men who 
shall come up here to celebrate the return of this anniver- 
sary, be all that we could desire — toe uonest, earnest, 






*'To the Honorable, the General Assembly of the State of Connect- 
icut, to be holden at Hartford on the first Wednesday in May; 

"We the undersigned, conrinccd of the expediency of attempt- 
ing to establish another Collegiate Institution in this State, and 
entertaining the belief that such an Institution would meet with a 
liberal patronage, beg leave respectfully to submit our wishes and 
views to the consideration of your honorable body. 

"We are aware of the great benefits which have resulted to this 
State, and to the general interests of Literature, from tlie important 
Literary Institution at New Haven, and we have no wish to lessen 
its future usefulness by our present application. 

"We are members of the Protestant Episcopal Church; a denom- 
ination of Christians considerable for their numbers and resources 
ill our country ; and we beg leave to represent, that while all otlicr 
reliofious denominations in the Union have their Universities and 
Colleges under their influence and direction, there is not a single 
Institution of this kind under the special patronage and guardian- 
ship of Episcopalians. It cannot be doubted but lliat such an 
Institution will be established, in some part of our country, at no' 
distant period ; and we are desirous that the State of Connecticut 
shall have the benefit of its location. 

"As Episcopalians, we do not ask for any exclusive privileges, 
but we desire to be placed on the same footing with other denomi- 
nations of Christians. 


''Though a parent may not be over-solicitous to have his childreu 
eiUicated in a servile acciuiescencc with his peculiar religious views, 
yet he will l)e reluctant to place them in situations where they will 
be likely to acquire a strong bias against his own principles. If it 
should be thought expedient to establish a new College, your 
memorialists are desirous that it should be conducted on broad 
principles of religious toleration, and that Christianity should be 
exhibited in it, as it is in tlie Gospel — unincumbered with meta- 
physical sul)tilties, and unimpaired by any false liberality, or refined 
explanations, which v/ould divest it of some of its fairest charac- 

''When we consider the rapid increase of the population of this- 
country, and the growing demand for the facilitie>i of public educa- 
tion, it is mauifesl that the present provisions for this object are 
becoming inadequate. Accordingly, we see our sister States, with 
a wise policy, encouraging the erection of new Seminaries within 
their liTnits, for the purpose of securing to themselves the benefits 
which naturally How from them. Should the inhabitants of the 
South and the West continue to rely chiefiy on the Colleges of 
New England, for the education of their sons, as it seems likely 
they will do, it surely ought to be the policy, as it is, unquestiona- 
bly, the interest of Connecticut, to multiply attractions of a literary 
nature. Perhaps the present College in this State already numbers 
as many pupils as can either be instructed, or governed to advan- 
tage, in one Institution. But however this may be, "we are persua- 
ded that if your Honors should think fit to grant our present request, 
funds, to a considerable amount, would be raised, which otherwise 
would not be appropriated to the support of literature at all, or 
would be devoted to the endowment of a College in so^ne other 
part of the Union. 

''When compared with some of her sister States, Connecticut 
possesses but a moderate extent of territory, limited resources, and 
a circumscribed population ; but !she may easily become pre- 
eminent, by the number and im])ortance of her literary institutions.- 
Reconnnended by the general intelligence of her citizens, mode- 
fate habits, cheapness of living, and ease of access, it only requires 
that she should extend and foster her L-Uerary Institutions, to attract 
the youth from every part of o"ur country ;-— to acquire an influence 
and importance in the Union, which her physical resources deny 
to her ; — to become the seat of science and literature — the Athens 
of our licpahlic. 

"Your memorialists conclude, with humbly praying this Honora- 
ble (leneral Assembly to grant ihern an Act oj' Incorporatiim for a 
College, with power to confer the usual literary honors ; — to be 
placed in cither of the (Jities of Hartford, Middletown or New 
Haven, according to the discretion of the Trustees, who may be 
appointed by your honorable body : which act of Incorporation 


shall take cfioct wliptirvor I'mnls sliall be raised for the eiulownient 
ol tlu^ liisliuitinii, to the aunniiit ut Tliiili/ T/ Dolhtrs, and 
;iot bel'ore. And your memorialists I'lirlher pray, that tlie said 
Trustees may have leave to appropriate to the endowment of the 
Institution, such portion of ihe Funds of the J'^piscof)al Academy 
at Cheshire, or ihe income thereof, as in their discretion they may 
think expedient, provided the consent of the Trustees of said Acad- 
emy he lirst obtained, and that no portion of the Funds contributed 
by the inhabitants of Cheshire be removed. 

"And your petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray." 

Circular Letter aeGompcmyhig the Petition. 

"New Haven, March 20, 1823. 
"Sir — The Committee appointed to prepare a Memorial to the 
Legislature of this Stale, for the incorporation of a new College, 
have attended to that duty, and herewith forward you a copy of the 
same, which you are requested to circulate for subscription, through 
your Parish. Similar copies have been forwarded to every Parish 
in the Diocese, and it is expected that they will be signed by all the 
Ejjiscopal Clergy, and by every male Episcopalian, of lavyful age. 
If any thing should prevent you from attending to this business 
personally, in your Parish, the Coniinittee will rely upon your pro- 
curing so;ne other proper person to perform the duty. After the 
signatures are obtained, it is requested that the Memorials be 
returned to Charles Sigourncy, Esq., Hartford. It is desirable that 
they should be in his hands by ilia Jir:<t day of the session of the 
Legislature, and if no earlier private opportunity should offer, the 
Representatives from the several towns will afford very suitable 
means of conveyance. 

"With great respect, 

"Your obedient Servant, 

'"T. C. BaowNEX,!-, Chairman of the Committee.^' 



O F 


Whereas sundry inhabitants of this State, of the denomination 
pf Christians called 'J'hc Protestant Episcopal Church, have repre- 
sented, by their petition addressed to the General Assembly, that 
great advantages would accrue to the State, as well as to the gene- 
ral interests of literature and science, by establishing within the 
State another Collegiate Institution, therefore, 

Resolved hy this Assembly, That Thomas C. Brownell, Harry 
Croswell, Elijah Boardman, Samuel W.Johnson, BirdseyG. Noble, 
Samuel Merwin, Nathaniel S. Wheaton, Elisha Cushman, Charles 
Sigourney, Thomas Macdonough, Richard Adams, David Watkin- 
son, Ebenezer Young, Jonathan Starr, Jr., Nathan Smith, John 
Thompson Peters, Asa Chapman, Elias Perkins, John S. Peters, 
and Luther J^oomis, and their successors be, and the same hereby 
■are constituted a body politic and corporate for ever, by the name 
of the "Tkusteiss of Washington College," and by that name 
shall and may have continual succession hereafter, and shall be 
able in law to sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, answer 
and be answered unto, defend and be defended, in all courts and 
places whatsoever, and may have a common seal, and may change 
and alter the same at their pleasure ; and also sliall be able in law 
to take by purchase, gift, grant, devise, or in any other manner, and 
to hold any real and personal estate whatsoever ; Provided ahrays, 
'J'liat the clear yearly value of the real estate to be so acquired, 
shall not pxceed the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ; and also that 
ihey and their successors shall have power to give, grant, bargain, 
sell, convey, or otherwise dispose of, all or any part of the said real 
and j)ersonal estate, as to them shall seem best lor the interest of 
said Colleo-e. 

11. Resolved, That the said Trustees and their successors shall 
forever hereafter have full power and authority to direct and man- 
age the Funds for the benefit of the Institution, and also to prescribe 
and direct the course of study, and the discipline to be observed 
in the said College ; and also to elect from their own number or 
'jllicrwisc, a Board or Connnittce, to be called the Fellows of the 


Golleo"c, to whom they may commit the supcriiilciulfiico of ilie 
course of study and discipline ; and also to select and appoint a 
President of the said College, and such J^rofessor or Professors, 
Tutor or Tutors, to assist the President in the government and edu- 
cation of the Students belonging to the said College, and such other 
officer or officers as to the said Trustees shall seem meet, all ol" 
whom shall hold their office during the pleasure of the Trustees; 
Provided ulicai/s. That no President shall be dismissed by the 
Trustees, without cause previously stated to him in writing, and a 
full opporlunily allowed him for his defence, and by the concur- 
rence of at least two-thirds of the Trustees ; and Provided far I her, 
'I'hat no Professor, Tutor, or other assistant officer shall be eligible 
to the office of a Trustee. 

III. Resolved, That any five of the said Trustees, lawfully con- 
vened as hereinafter directed, shall be a quorum for the dispatch of 
all business, except for the disposal of real estate, or for the choice 
of a President, or for the election of Trustees, for either oi" which 
purposes, there shall be at least a majority of the whole number of 

IV. Resolved, 'Y\\[ii the President of the College shall always 
be, ex-ofiicio, a meml)cr of the Board of Trustees, and Chairman 
or President of the same, and that a Secretary of the Board shall 
be elected by the Trustees, to hold his office during their pleasure. 

V. Resolved, That the said Trustees shall have power to increase 
their number from time to time, at their discretion, to the number 
of twenty-four ; and they shaJl also have power, by a majority of 
votes of the members present, to elect and appoint, upon the death, 
removal out of the State, or other vacancy of the place or places 
of any Trustee or Trustees, other or others in his or their places or 
stead, as often as such vacancy shall happen ; and also to make and 
declare vacant the seat of any Trustee who shall absent himself for 
any term of two years, or from any four successive meetings duly 
nolified; and they shall also have power to meet from time to time 
upon their own adjournmerit, and so often as they shall be summoned 
by their Chairman or President, or in his absence, by the Senior 
Trustee, whose Seniority shall be accounted according to the order 
jn which the said Trijstees are named in this act, and shall be 
elected hereafter ; Provided ahvaijs. That the said Chairman, or 
President, or the Senior Trustee, shall not summon a meeting of 
the Corporation, unless required thereto in writing, bj- three of the 
members ; and Provided also, That he cause notice of the time and 
place of the said meeting to be given in sucli manner as the Trus- 
tees shall in their By-Laws prescribe. 

\T. Resolved, That the said Trustees and their successors shall 
have power and authority to grant all such literary Honors and 
Degrees as are usually granted by any University. College, or Sem- 
inary of learning in this Slate, or in the I nited States ; and in 


testimony of such grant, to oive suitable Diplomas, umler their seal 
and the signatures of the President and Secretary of the Hoard, 
which Diplomas shall entitle the possessors respectively to all the 
iinuuinities and privileges which, either by usage or by statute are 
allowed to possessors of similar Diplomas from any other Univer- 
sity, College or Seminary of learning. 

\ 1 1. Ilcsolvnd, That the said Trustees and their successors shall 
have full power and authority to make all ordinances and By-Laws 
which to them shall seem expedient, for carrying into effect the 
designs of their Institution; Provided alwai/s, that such ordinances 
or By-Laws shall not make the religious tenets of any person a 
condition of admission to any privilege in the said College, and that 
no President or Professor, or other officer shall be made incligiljle 
for or by reason of any religious tenet that he may profess, or be 
compelled, by any By-Law or otliervvis(% to sul)scril)e to any reli- 
gious test whatsoever; and Provided also, That none of the By- 
Laws as aforesaid shall be inconsistent with the Constitution and 
Laws of this State, or with tlie Constitution and Laws of the Uni- 
ted States. 

VIII. Resolved, That the Funds which may at any time belong 
to the Institution now incorporated, shall enjoy the like exemptions 
from taxation, and the Institution itself, and its officers, shall enjoy 
the same privileges and exemptions, as have already been granted, 
or may hereafter be granted to Yale College, its officers, and its 

IX. Resolved, That whenever Funds shall be contributed or 
secured to the said College, to the amount of Thirty Thousand 
Dollars, and not before, the Trustees may proceed to organize and 
establish the said College in such town in this Stale as they stiall 
judge most expedient. 


(!II)anc]ic of ^"amc. 

Ar a special mceling of the Trustees of Washington Collen^e, held 
at ilartlbiil, on the 8ih day of May, A. D. 1845, the foUowino- 
Resolution \^as passed : 

Resolved, That it is expedient that the name of "Washin<j-ton 
College" should be changed to that of "Tiiinitv College." 

Hon. Isaac Toucey, Hon. William W. Boardman, and Thomas 
Belknap, Esq., were appointed a Committee to present a memorial 
to the Legislature of Connecticut, praying that the corporate name 
of the College maybe changed accordingly. The memorial was 
presented, and the General Assembly, then in session at Hartford, 
passed the following 


{Which ims approved by the Governor, Maij 2ith, 1845.) 

Upon tlie memorial of the Trustees of Washington College, 
showing that there are sundry other Collegfes in the United States 
bearing the name of Washington College, praying for a chan<'e in 
their corporate name, &c. : — 

Resolved by this Assembly, That the fiame of said Corporation be 
changed to that of The Trustees of TRINITY COLLEGE? 
and that all grants, devises and bequests heretofore made or that 
shall hereafter be made to said Corporation by its former name, shall 
be deemed good and valid as if made to said College by its presewti- 
forporate r.ame. 

Conseroatlsm ; Us true signituation, anb 
appropriate office. 










Published by order of Convocation. 












Mr. Dean, and Gentlemen of Convocation : 

I trust it will not be deemed inappropriate to this occa- 
sion, nor as casting an unwelcome shadow upon the festive 
and congratulatory spirit of our re-union, if, at the threshold 
of another topic, I pause one moment to speak of the dead. 
Nearly a year has elapsed since the whole country was 
summoned to deplore the sudden and untimely demise of a 
distinguished man. Long eminent in the councils of State, 
and at the time of his departure, occupying a high judicial 
post, it was admitted on every hand that the Republic had 
sustained a loss ; and it may not have escaped your recol- 
lection, gentlemen, that the tributes then paid to the memory 
of Levi Woodbury, ascribed to him, in his several capacities 
as citizen, legislator and jurist, some of those more exalted 
traits and endowments which stamp greatness upon char- 

Had he, however, been less conspicuous among his coun- 
trymen, and enjoyed fewer claims to the suffi-ages of their 
respect and admiration, we, at least, could hardly wish to be 
absolved from making honorable mention of one, who, in 
obedience to our call, parted from the severer duties of his 
lofty station, and came hither, even with the shadow of death 


upon him, to offer us the counsels of his wisdom and expe- 
rience. AVe cannot forget that his last intellectual effort was 
made in this presence, and upon this platform. We cannot 
forget that the last public utterance of his voice, already 
enfeebled bv disease, was heard within the bosom of our 
fraternity, or that he went hence from this hallowed place 
to the bed of suffering, and shortly to the repose and silence 
of his grave. 

Wliatever other or prouder memorials may enshrine his 
memory or be reared above his turf — Gentlemen of Convo- 
cation, I speak the sentiment of your hearts — we gladly 
cherish the recollection of his virtues, and with the greetings 
of this anniversary, we mingle those expressions of venera- 
tion and regret which his character, and the closing circum- 
stances of his life, might justly inspire. ]^or should the 
admonition be altogether lost upon us, and you will pardon 
me if, in one word, I venture to remind you, that while the 
fountains of human knowledge are ever fresh, and their 
wholesome waters are destined, as we trust, to flow onward 
beneath these academic shades, to remote generations, we 
who now live shall soon fail to return hither, and our fellow- 
ship here at this season shall speedily be at an end, or trans- 
ferred rather, as we should hope, to that world where 
"tongues have ceased in a more perfect communion, and 
where, in the access of eternal light, knowledge hath van- 
ished away." 

So long as we survive, however, no thought of change or 
dissolution should lead us aside from the jjractical duties 
and responsibilities which surround us. The tokens of decay 
should not affright us. The warnings of death should not 
palsy heart or hand. The anticipations of a spiritual state 

should not divert us from the realities of this, and happy 
are we if, like tlic distinguished gentleman who last ad- 
dressed us from this place, or like the learned Jarvis, wasting 
amid the labors of his study, or the saintly Croswell, smit- 
ten at the altar of his God, or the faithful Ilenshaw, falling 
in the discharge of his apostleship, even while our winding 
sheet is preparing, we are wakeful at our post, and earnestly 
at work. 

Impressed with this conviction, let us pass from all sad- 
dening reflections to a topic which stands connected with the 
manifest tendencies of the age, and which, in its bearing 
and aj^plication, is not foreign to any allotment of life, or 
sphere of duty, "We propose, then, to speak of Conservor 
tism / its true signification^ and appropriate office. It is a 
subject, as you will readily perceive, altogether too exten- 
sive to be overtaken within the limits imposed by this occa- 
sion, and I shall accordingly attempt nothing more than a 
partial survey of its leading principles, and the enunciation 
of a few thoughts which are most naturally suggested. 

I presume that no prejudice is more finnly seated in the 
popular mind, than that which regards Conservatism as the 
enemy of progress. Nor is it an uncommon propensity of 
the popular mind, quick and apprehensive as it usually is, 
to overpass the absolute signification of a term, as well as 
the legitinuite operation of a principle, and take refuge in a 
vague and erroneous idea. Where strong feeling is enlisted ; 
where hopes and expectations are exaggerated into fixed 
opinions and glowing prophecies, the intrusion of a doubt, 
the suggestion of a difticulty, are almost inevitably constinied 
either into indiflerence or opposition. There is a shock even 
when a slight obstruction meets the headlong torrent ; there 

is a recoil when the humblest barrier resists the current of 
the mighty wind ; so is there power in a moderating word, 
or a whispered misgiving, to revolt the feverish spirit of an 
age like this, and turn it aside in alienation and distrust. 
And were we to embody the most prevalent conception of 
the term we are about to discuss, or were we to define it 
according to the phantom shapes of evil and impracticability 
which it lifts before the eye of thousands on every hand, we 
should present Conservatism to you under the image of an 
iceberg in the Southern Ocean, or a tomb in a garden of 
roses ; a thing incongruous with the times, and out of place ; 
an element of buried ages proudly assuming the dictatorship 
of a new world, and a more hopeful era. In law, it would 
seem to present itself as the very spirit of endless delay ; 
the death's head of precedents, and engrossments, and repe- 
titions, and antiquated forms. In theology, it would wear 
"the sternness of adamantine orthodoxy" ; inexorable, pre- 
scriptive, dogmatic ; clinging to platforms with a vampire 
grasp ; riveting itself to creeds and formularies with an un- 
yielding tenacity ; bearing about the mummy case of patris- 
tic lore, and shaking the Levitical rod in the face of the 
people. In medicine, it would claim the immemorial right 
of using a language of unintelligible signs, for the benefit 
of the druggist and the grave digger. In legislation, it 
would array itself in the trailing robes of official dignity, 
and decorous reserve ; touching the republican pulse with a 
stiff and icy finger ; prescribing the nostrums of expediency 
for deadly maladies in the body politic ; protecting liberty 
by contradicting its spirit, and overbearing the strongest im- 
pulses of its life with sage abstractions, and portentous 
warnings of danger to the Constitution and the Union. So, 

too, in the (Icpai-tmcnt of letters and science, thus miscon- 
strued, Conservatism would occupy the place of censor, gi'im, 
hypercritical, and petulant. It would stand aghast at the 
rising attitude of human thorght, and thrust its pruning 
hook angrily into the topmost branches of speculation and 
exuberant fancy. It would fasten a Gorgon eye upon every 
fresh theory and every new fact ; turning the lecture room 
and the laboratory into a Council of Ten, before which mod- 
ern heresiarchs and innovators were to be dras-ged, for the 
operation of the thumb-screw and the rack. 

Such a statement, we confess, may be liable to the charge 
of exaggeration ; and it may be that we misapprehend the 
popular sentiment ; but whence are we to gather the idea 
which ardent and unthinking minds affix to a term, if not 
from the development of that idea in action and unconscious 
expression ; and guided by these criteria, I do not hesitate 
to re-affirm, that no word in the vocabulary cames with it 
a misconception so wide-spread, or so fatal to its true mean- 
ing and intent, as the word before us. This, gentlemen, is 
not the place to test our assertion, but were any one of us 
wrapped in the folds of some dreamy and ecstatic system, 
or borne upon the tide, and pledged to the issues, of some 
desperate movement, or merged in some central whirlpool 
of interest and emotion, we should then, instantly, discover 
how slight a discrimination was allowed, between the spirit 
of caution and reserve, and that of the fiercest opposition. 
It is natural that it should be so : nay, looking at the con- 
stitution of the human mind, it is inevitable. When an idea 
has taken possession of a man or a class of men, desires 
instantly succeed, demanding its extension and establish- 
ment. The glow of a new discovery is felt. The fire of 


a new revelation is kindled. The glow is not to be cooled ; 
the fire is not to be quenched. As surely as an idea exists 
with much intensity, so surely it longs to be diffused. It 
must multiply adherents, and go abroad to alter or amelio- 
rate, and hence, seldom has a quickening thought entered 
the mind of man in any age, which did not almost imme- 
diately give birth to the supposed necessity of a mission, 
and never was a mission undertaken w^hich did not lead to 
secret and morbid repinings, or force from the lips of irrita- 
ted and indignant champions, the thunders of rebuke at a 
world so passive, and sluggish, and blind. Tliis is the agony 
of reform : the sea of tribulation which new truths and the- 
ories must cross, and it is not wonderful, therefore, if, amid 
the throes of disappointment and disgust, sound judgment, 
with its cool scrutiny and patient decisions, and incredulity 
with its stare, and scepticism with its laugh, were regarded 
alike as the tokens of hostility. Indeed there are conditions 
of mental excitement, when scorn is far less annoying than 
silence. There are both truths and falsehoods on foot at this 
moment which court denunciation, and lie in wait for it at 
every corner, while they hold in exceeding dread the para- 
lyzing effect of sufferance and unconcern. 

And now, since in the infirmity of man's nature I have 
found one apology for those antipathies which cluster around 
the popular idea of Conservatism — let me not fail to men- 
tion another and a stronger. The idea is linked to the worst 
associations in the past. It is overlaid with the memory of 
enormous wrongs. It retains the odious scent of proscrip- 
tion, and tyranny, and blood. But why should Conservatism 
be branded with this reproach ? AVhy should this term be 
loaded like a scape-goat with the atrocities of other times? 


It was not to preserve truth, but to crush it ; it was not to 
guide thought with a careful liand, but to hurl it backward 
into the abyss of midnight, that despots made it treason to 
think, and ecclesiastics made it death to speak. This was 
not Conservatism ; it was senseless bigotry, and under this 
more appropriate name we are prepared to accept, and re- 
iterate to the last echo any denunciation which may be lev- 
elled at it. We know full well, and we can add nothing to 
your information on this point, gentlemen, that through long 
periods, stretching like deserts upon the face of history, a 
most destructive principle held sway ; and it held a sway, 
we are to remember, as powerful under systems which were 
devised to promote the interests of states and individuals, 
as under tyrannies which were erected to destroy them. I 
know not where we shall find a heavier yoke placed upon 
the activities of thought and opinion, than in some of the 
commonwealths of ancient Greece. The worst elements of 
a destructive Conservatism, if you please so to call it, may 
be found in the laws of Lycurgus. The object of those laws 
was the protection of the people. Eira^ia was written 
upon the whole code, but their tendency and effect was to 
bring the people under a universal restraint, and reduce 
them to the condition of domestic animals, kept in comfoi-t 
and luxury perhaps ; educated, refined, and yet slaves. The 
citizen was regarded as no better than an appendage to the 
state. The state absorbed his individuality : it left him with 
no control over his personal rights and daily concerns ; it 
bound him to one spot ; it cramped his intellectual freedom ; 
thought for him ; felt for him ; acted for him, and all under 
the cover of securing his highest welfare, and it would be 
idle for me to express the abhorrence which such a system 


of mental and moral outrage should awaken. If it was 
Conservatism, as has been asserted, then, also, it was a curse, 
for with all the accessories of material civilization, it 
brought an overwhelming pressure upon all genius, and all 
thought. Kindred to this policy was that which in later 
times laid an iron hand upon the inventive faculty. Then 
to originate was a crime, and to move one hair's breadth 
from the track of ages towards a new principle, was to invite 
a remorseless persecution. For this cause the book of Co- 
pernicus was burned, and Galileo condemned to the vaults 
of the Inquisition. Papal bigotry had decreed midnight. 
The sun was not to rise. The alj^habet of knowledge was 
to be conned everlastingly. This same narrow prejudice 
led a Bishop and Chancellor qf England^ to thank God that 
he had never yet been the author of any one new thing, 
and so on even to more recent centm-ies, nay even to the 
recollection of living men, neglect and scorn have dogged 
the footsteps of discovery. It is a thrice-told tale, that the 
advances of truth have been resisted, step by step, and the 
noblest inspirations of her throbbing heart stifled, by imped- 
iments which jealousy and selfishness have thrown upon her 
path. Yain and worse than vain is the concealment of the 
fact, that human nature stands dishonored by its guilty 
league with ignorance, and its readiness to repel blessings, 
moral, physical, intellectual ; blessings now as indispensable 
to man's comfort and his elevation, as the atmosphere to his 
life, which nevertheless have been born amid sneers, and 
baptized at the fountains of bitterness and unbelief. We 

• "Brother of Winchester," said Cranmer to Lord Chancellor Gardyner, "You like 
not any thing new unless you be yourself the author of it." 

"Your Grace wrongeth me," replied Gardyner; "I have never been author yet of 
any one new thing, for which I thank my God." — Campbell's Lives of the Chan- 
cellors, Vol. ii. cap. 40, p. 51. 


are not to count it a strange thing, therefore, that a word or 
a principle associated with such memories should long con- 
tinue to endure the penalty of its frightful perversion. 

But, gentlemen, we who would judge rightly are not to 
disown this word on the score of its misuse ; or the grand 
idea of which it is the symbol, on the charge of its misdi- 
rection. As well might we repudiate the term democracy, 
because we liked not altogether the democracy of Athens, 
or cast off the name of our confederacy, because we dis- 
owned that abomination of desolations set up in the temple 
of freedom by republican France, falsely so called. Instead 
of discarding, we will endeavor to reclaim. If Conserva- 
tism has been committed to false issues, and made the in- 
strument of destniction and outrage, we will not imitate the 
spirit which forced it to such uses. It is a principle which 
cannot be surrendered. It is an agent of unmeasured be- 
neficence to man, and when clothed with its legitimate attri- 
butes, and assigned to its proper offices, its effectual working 
is beyond aU comparison more salutary upon the age, better 
calculated to serve the grand behests of truth, whether in 
religion, or legislation, or science, than any other influence 
that can be named. 

Apart, then, from all existing prejudices, let us regard 
sound Conservatism in its fitting light. It has a meaning. 
What is it? I accept the definition of a great lexicographer. 
It is the desire and the effort to preserve established truth. 
And if this indeed be the fair sense of the term, what could 
be more Catholic or comprehensive. It is not to preserve 
old truth, or new truth, as such, but all truth. So far from 
being limited to periods, whether remote, or present, or to 
come, it acts through all time as the guardian of truth. It 


is in union with all legitimate progress from the beginning 
onward, even to the measure of eternity. Not confined to 
one department, it has to do with all. Truth is the object 
of its concern, and its care, whether embodied in homely 
and practical forms, or mingling with aesthetic tastes, or 
enthroned upon the eminences of metaphysical and spiritual 
science. It is a principle diverse from dogmatism or a 
dainty eclecticism, for its province is to recognize truth and 
own it, under all its conditions, whether it beams forth in 
crystal transparency, or is obscured and hidden by awkward 
expression — whether it is colossal in its breadth and grand- 
eur, or is unhappily entangled in the webs of human spec- 

But I return to the definition. The property of Conserv- 
atism is not passive. A desire and an efibrt belong to it. 
Its duty is something more than that of a janitor waiting 
lazily at the gates of truth, protecting old guests, and receiv- 
ing new comers. It is rather that of a judge, sitting in the 
vestibule of her temple, serene of aspect, but inexorably 
severe in scrutiny and decision. And, if I might continue 
the metaphor, I should say that there is no trace of a frown 
upon his brow, to discourage or repel, but an awful repose 
dwells there, like the shadow of a sublime trust, and an un- 
measurable responsibility. Behind him, in the open courts 
and solemn recesses of that majestic abode, are the gathered 
forms of truth, admitted there one after another, "through 
the ages all along" ; a mighty concourse of distinct and 
well-established j^rinciples ; not altogether free, it may be, 
from the stain or distortion of human contact, nor beyond 
the reach of a higher finish and development, but sterling 
and imperishable, dwelling together in harmony, and bathed 


in that divine light wliich streams throuj^li the resplendent 
dome, from the One Source of all truth, the mind of God. 
Before him stands an expectant throng of applicants, seek- 
ing admission for some favorite thought or pregnant discov- 
ery. Here are who approach in the modesty of true 
science, and there, those who are trumpeting the praises of 
their idol. , Some ask no more than a patient audience, and 
a fair adjudication, and others, as if delay were to be a 
world-wide disaster, would, if unrestrained, rush headlong in- 
to the holy place, and trampling down all accepted forms of 
truth, bear their wretched counterfeit to the highest seat of 
honor. If Conservatism, therefore, is a pains-taking quality, 
and is to act as judge and arbiter, it has a stupendous work 
in hand. Truth already established, is of course within its 
keeping, but it has another and more laborious task in the 
encounter, and the trial of those fresher and intenser forms, 
which press upon its notice. It must not be despotic. It 
must not be timorous. Not one living verity must be denied 
access to the enclosure. Not one specious falsehood must 
be allowed to touch its threshold. 

But still again, I refer to our definition. The end of Con- 
servatism is the preservation of truth. In order to this, is it 
required that truth should be forever tied up to its original 
or accidental relations ? We think not. There are truths 
which can never again be put to their first uses. The occa- 
sion which called them forth, or the age which could grace- 
fully appropriate them, have passed away ; and if they are 
to stand j^ledged to their first connections, then also they 
stand chained to a body of death ; as valueless, though as 
beautiful, as the ivy which flings its soft fringes over the 
decay of some old monastic pile. There is a dead past, no 


more to be quickened or reproduced ; but tlie truths wliich 
once dwelt in its bosom, and gave it vitality, are not dead ; 
they are not to be coffined or entombed with the body which 
they have ceased to animate. Tliey live. They cannot per- 
ish. They should not be smothered in the catacombs of th^ 
past ; and we claim, therefore, for Conservatism a disinte- 
gra^"ing and moulding power, which shall seize and adapt 
them to the shifting postures of life and thought. This is to 
secure their truest preservation. This is to retain the fresh- 
ness of their life. This is to give them an honorable, be- 
cause a useful perpetuity. For what is truth worth to this 
or any age, when it is presented in shapes so angular and 
old-fashioned as to be out of harmony with all surrounding 
things ? What useful or practical end can it accomplish 
when it comes sheathed in its primitive husks, or so bediz- 
ened and stiff in its antiquated attire, as to provoke the won- 
der and the ridicule of all beholders. Unquestionably there 
are elements of trutii which cannot thus be dislodged from 
their original conditions. Of such we say freely, the old is 
better. They cannot be improved, or wrought into combina- 
tions which shall give them greater vigor or effect. There are, 
for instance, lines and proportions of beauty in ancient art and 
mediaeval architecture, which body forth truth to perfection, 
and which, w^ith all our attempts at imitation, are unap- 
proachcd. There are models of skill and manifestations of 
power, which we do well never to lose sight of — striving, how- 
ever vainly, to divine their secret. There are thoughts which 
can never be deposited in richer caskets ; principles which 
can never be tabernacled in more accurate formulas ; histo- 
ries and treatises which can never be shrined in purer lan- 
guage. These are to abide forever. Tliey are to be cher- 


ished and studied with a reverential spirit, not so much 
because they are ancient, as because they are admirable, 
and satisfy the universal mind. A sound Conservatism will 
guard them well, and hold them forth to the eye of tliis and 
every age. But not so with what is grotesque and extrava- 
gant ; not so with what is cumbrous and unwieldy ; not so 
with those envelopments of truth, which, instead of ex- 
pressing, greatly obscure it. These and such as these, will 
not be retained, through a blind veneration for the past. 
Nor will they be scornfully rejected, but gradually and 
wisely conformed to the actual interests and demands of 
living men. And herein, if I may venture to repeat the 
declaration, herein consists the most exalted exercise of 
Conservatism, the moulding and harmonizing of all truth, 
however old, or rude in its attire, so as to make it useful and 
effective now^ within this passing hour of time. And in 
saying this, let me pointedly disclaim any especial idolatry 
for the present. We are not disposed to magnify it above 
measure. With all its goodly signs, and sure tokens of 
advancement, we see something of its folly, and know that 
many of its vaunted "activities" might rather be regarded 
as the antics and contortions of ungovernable phrenzy. And 
for this very reason, if for no other, we maintain that all 
truth of all time should, with a wise discretion, be pressed 
into its service, and so as to find the widest currency. The 
coins of the antiquarian may enjoy a very graceful accom- 
modation upon the shelves of his cabinet. Tliey may be 
impressed with many a strange and curious device. They 
may have the ring of the true metal — but except to himself 
and kindred virtuosi, they are worthless. Tliey must pass 

to the hand of the mint-master, and be stamped with anoth- 


er ima^e and superscription before tliey can reach the chan- 
nels of a wholesome circulation. The tastes of the antiqua- 
rian, however, need not be disturbed. For one, we would 
protect and honor them. His store of curiosities need not 
be despoiled — for the mines -of earth can furnish the virgin 
ore, in quantities more than sufficient to tempt the rapacity 
and corrupt the heart of a money-loving world. But the 
virgin ore of truth is not so abounding ; its freshly-opened 
veins are not so prolific as to allow that any portion of its 
solid metal, however cankered or antique, should be seques- 
tered, and made the plaything of modeiTi amateurs. It is 
too rare and precious a substance to be preserved in the 
shape of relics ; too vital and energizing to be labeled, and 
laid apide in cases ; too divine and immortal to be impris- 
oned in well-arranged alcoves. Tlie world requires it ; re- 
quires it all. She requires it for practical uses in ten thou- 
sand spheres of effort, mental and material. She requires 
it for the productive power of skill and handicraft ; for the 
formation of thought and opinion, for the cultivation of 
taste, for the expansion of law, for the direction of benefi- 
cence, for the advancement of sound learning and phi- 
losopy; nay, for every humble and every lofty interest 
which may conduce to the happiness and elevation of man- 
kind ; and we are strongly persuaded, that so far as truth is 
withheld or cramped, or in any way made impracticable, so 
far will brawny hands and fiery spirits be multiplied to 
work out falsehood and error, upon the anvils of impiety. 

Now it may be thought from this rapid analysis of the 
term Conservatism, that we are disposed to contradict its 
most obvious principle, and regard it only as the servant, 
or at most, the guiding element of modem energy and 


reform. It may be said that its real dignity is sacriticed, 
\Tlieii, stepping down from its pedestal, it seeks to preserve 
old truth, by adapting it to the spirit and circumstances of a 
new age, and furthermore, it may be alleged that in making 
it tlius subservient to what is actual and practical, we over- 
look a large class of sentiments and emotions which have 
been accustomed to rely upon its protection. We are not 
conscious of any such misuse or degradation of the term ; 
for we shall be the last to concede the point, that in making 
truth available or useful. Conservatism is violated in one 
principle, or its dignity impaired, or its aim made hostile to 
any lawful passion of the human soul. 

There is a Conservatism which may be thus jealous of 
truth ; fearful of its contact and affiliation with the universal 
mind. It is the element which sometimes dwells, as we 
have seen, in false and pernicious systems. The Conserva- 
tism which would fix the bounds of progress by an un- 
changeable decree, and legalize tyranny by ascribing to it 
the last touch of perfection. The representative of such a 
principle may be found in Paul Sarpe, of Venice, whose 
dying exclamation over the constitution of that atrocious 
republic was, Esto perpetua.* Such a principle is heavy 
laden with its own execration. 13ut we are speaking of a 
sound and rational Conservatism. It is stable, but is not 
opposed to action and movement. It is the friend of order, 
but is not convulsed at the thought of change. In a word, 
confident in the immortality of truth, it has no fear that it 
will be too widely dift'used, or accommodate itself too flexi- 

• We cast no rpproach upon "Father Paul." His patriotism was unquestioned, and 
his aspirat.ons for tlie glory of his country were kindled liy an honest spirit ; and yet, 
content with the horrid phantom of liberty, he would have honored it with an apo- 


blj to the processes of society or the changes of civilization, 
or be Tiilgarized and debased by taking its way through the 
common avenues of life and experience. And if I might 
bring before you a representative of this generous principle, 
I would mention the name of that master spirit in the realm 
of science, Sir John Ilerschel. I think it will be admitted 
that he occupies a seat sufficiently high to secure him against 
the accusation of radicalism. I think it will be confessed, 
that no man of this or any age might more consistently wrap 
himself in the disdain of a lofty exclusiveness, and stand 
aloof from his fellow-men in the dignity and isolation of an 
autocrat, than he. So much the more cordiallv do we vield 
him the ascription of honor ; for we feel that his good sense 
is equal to his genius, nay, a prime quality of it, and that 
his enlargement of soul bears a due proportion to his intel- 
lectual pre-eminence, when we see him turning away from 
the stars ; coming forth and descending from the penetralia 
of the Infinite, that he may bless the humblest votary of 
knowledge, and spread through the world the inspiration 
and the fruit of his marvellous discoveries. 

In a discourse upon "The influence of science on the well- 
being and progress of society," he utters the following sen- 
timents. "Let those who enjoy the higliest advantages of 
intellectual culture, be careful to secure the lower links in 
the chain of society from dragging in dishonor and wretch- 
edness. Tlie truth itself demands this at their hands, as 
well as the necessities of men ; for knowledge can neither 
be adequately cultivated nor adequately enjoyed by a few. 
It is not like food, destroyed by use, but rather augmented 
and perfected. There is no body of knowledge so complete 
but that it may receive accession, or so free from error, but 


that it may receive correction in passing througli the mindg 
of millions ; and those, therefore, who admire and love 
knowledge for its own sake, should strive to make its ele- 
ments accessible to all, were it only that thej may be more 
thoroughly examined into, and more effectually developed 
in their consequences, and receive that ductility and plastic 
(piality, which the pressure of minds of all descriptions, 
constantly moulding them to their purposes, can alone be- 
stow. But to this end it is necessary that it should be di- 
vested, as far as possible, of artificial difficulties, and strip- 
ped of all such technicalities as tend to place it in the light 
of a craft or a mystery. Science, of course, like every thing 
else, has its own peculiar terms, and, so to speak, its idioms 
of laniruasre, and these it would be unwise, were it even 
possible, to reliu(|uish ; but every thing that tends to clothe 
it in a strange and repulsive garb, and especially, every 
thing, that, to keep up an appearance of superiority among 
its professors over the rest of mankind, assumes an unneces- 
sary guise of obscurity or profundity, should be sacrificed 
without mercy. ISTot to do this is deliberately to reject the 
light which the natural, unencumbered good sense of man- 
kind is capable of throwing on every subject, even in the 
elucidation of principles. The whole tendency of emi)iri- 
cism is to bury itself in mystic phrases ; but the delight of 
true science is, to lay itself open to inquiry ; to make the 
road to its conclusions broad and beaten. Its whole aim is 
to prune away all technical mystery ; to illuminate every 
dark recess, and to invite the closest scrutiny of eager 

Such sentiments, gentlemen, will commend themselves to 
your approbation. You perceive their drift. They bestow 

dignity upon trutli by the very confidence which they breathe 
in its power to stand the ordeal of universal diffusion. They 
encourage such diffusion, not only for the preservation of 
truth, but for its improvement, and this we hold to be the 
very essence of a just Conservatism. 

I pass for one moment to the other objection which was 
named, to wit, that this interpretation of the principle must 
operate unfavorably upon certain instincts and emotions 
which are natural to man, which, also, are noble and eleva- 
ting, such as veneration for antiquity, and those poetical 
sentiments which are enkindled by its decay and desolation, 
and leave them to become extinct, in the bosom of a plod- 
ding, common-place world. There may be a certain measure 
of force in this complaint, at least I have known it to be 
urged with considerable gravity by men who appeared to 
think that there should be an entire surrender of the past 
to the contemplative faculty. Nor would I consciously over- 
look the fact, that human culture involves something more 
than an acquaintance with the reality of things. The wide 
realm of utility is not the only empire of the soul. Action 
and availability are not the only sources of its life or its joy; 
and that mode of existence is lamentably false, which lean- 
ing earthward forever, allows no play to the subtle tastes, 
and diviner susceptibilities of our nature. But where, after 
all, is the conflict between the principle we have stated, and 
the most refined enjoyment of the ideal, the universal and 
the remote. 

"Nihil sine aetate est, omnia tempus expectant." 

Neither the monuments of the past, nor its venerable asso- 
ciations, are annihilated, because the truths once lodged in 
them have become the common property of the world, and 


are turned to better account. I know not that Xinevch has 
been deprived of its mysterious charm by tlie researches of 
Layanl. I have yet to learn that tlie crumbling memorials 
of Grecian art and literature are less likely to awaken rev- 
erence, because the spirit of both survives to quicken living 
souls, in numbers which no man can number. The bones of 
Plato and Sophocles are not disinterred ; the scenes which 
they hallowed are not defiled, because, this day, the whole 
world is better for the wisdom and the beauty they left 
behind, Kome is none the less magnificent in her ruins ; 
the spells of her enchantment are none the less powerful, 
because the elements of her manners and her laws are dis- 
tributed among all the civilized nations of the earth. We 
take the ground that the more the past is incorjjorated with 
the present, so much the more will it be honored and rever- 
enced. The more the si:>irit of its truth is gathered up, the 
more it is sifted and wrought over into fresher forms of life 
and action, so much the more will its sources be consecra- 
ted ; so much the mo"re will pilgrim feet turn aside to visit 
its tombs and temples ; so much the more will its gigantic 
fragments evoke the inmost soul of imagination, and elo- 
quence, and passionate song. It is sometimes remarked in 
the same querulous temper, that because we have not the 
visible remains of antiquity in our midst, therefore the spirit 
of poetry must deal with homely themes, and trail her celes- 
tial garments in the dust. We are forced to deny the 
assum})tion. It is fiilse. The past is with us — all that ia 
imporis^hable about it is here. If a narrow Conservatism 
has ever attempted to arrest its transmigration, it has failed 
most signally. We repeat it, the past is here. As for its 
ruins, time claims them, and as for ourselves, we ha\'e nei- 


ther room nor occasion for them ; but its residuum, gentle- 
tlemen, tliat is an everlasting possession, and the joy of 
many generations. It lies within this epoch. It has a home 
upon the shores of this continent. If its tokens are demand- 
ed, I point to engines, and forges, and spindles, and looms. 
K its vitality is questioned, I challenge the designation of a 
commodity or a luxury in the whole range of modern econ- 
omics, which bears not some relation to the past. K its 
ethical and intellectual presence is denied, I affirm it to be 
every where, the staple of all morals and all mind. It inter- 
penetrates the whole of life and effort, and whether it be 
through the media of classic fable and history, or old phi- 
losophies, or sublime epics, or undying oratory ; whether its 
lessons are gathered from Memnon and the Pyramids, or 
from Zanthean marbles ; whether from Pagan mysteries, or 
Christian art — the past is with us, by the wayside, in the 
workshop ; on the mountain of vision, and in the vale of 
industry; helping us to fashion our own antiquity, and 
secure for ourselves a more exalted name, and a nobler min- 
istry of good. 

We say, therefore, to the poet who mourns over the prac- 
tical element in these times, that it is the very embodiment 
of the past. If there be not enough in the common sources 
of inspiration to satisfy him ; if the varied aspects of nature 
around him ; if the stars and golden clouds of evening, and 
the smile of infancy, and the gentle eye of woman — "if the 
visions of glory, and dreams of love, and hopes of heaven" 
which visit this earth, leave him impoverished ; then super- 
added to all such themes, he has this new world transfigured 
with the light and the glory of the old, — ^he has more to kin- 
dle and replenish his poetic fire than Homer had; more 


than Dante or Tasso; more than Milton; for all their treas- 
ures are at his feet, and the spoils of centuries beside. We 
perceive, therefore, that a wise Conservatism has been, and 
we feel that in a far greater measure should continue to be, 
the vigilant guardian of the past ; not merely preserving it, 
but subordinating it, and hlending the essence of things that 
afe not, with the substance of tilings that are. 

Gentlemen, I shall greatly add to the imperfections of thia 
address, if, before bringing it to a close, I omit to reduce 
the general principle we have considered to one or two of 
its more definite applications. 

The first of these to which I would briefly call your atten- 
tion, shall be the most important. 

Hitherto, I have purposely omitted any direct allusion to 
that divine structure, which, being the keeper and dispenser 
of our Faith, is therefore dear to us all, as the life of our 
souls. ISTor shall I presume, at this moment, to rank the 
Chtjrch of God with those systems of earthly origin which 
may be, and continually are, accommodated to the fluctua- 
tions of our social and intellectual being. She is from eter- 
nity above, and has within her bosom an element of preser- 
vation and continuity which does not depend upon any 
accident of time for its life or power. She has mysteries 
which far transcend the approaches of sense or intellect ; 
lying in a region "which no man hath seen, or can see." She 
has truths, and doctrines, and sacraments, which are intend- 
ed for man's implicit acceptance, and eternal salvation ; not 
for his criticism, and not for the exercise of his fallible 
judgment. And accordingly, while her office upon earth is 
to preserve truth, and diftuse it to the saving of the soul, 
she maintains through all periods, and in the face of all 


change, a reserve which repels intrusion, and shrinks both 
from the touch of restless and sacrilegious hands, and the 
loud outcries of sensuous and fanatical tempers. 

Even the sacred poets of the old Pagan world, who "sang 
the praises of aifj^.c, taught this lesson : they taught that 
there was something higher than expediency, something 
higher than mere feeling, a holy monitor to whom all affec- 
tion was meant to bow, and absolutely commit itself for 
training and fashioning ;" and it is because this lesson has 
not been duly learned, that rationalism and infidelity are 

"Upon the forehead of these fearless times." 

But I feel assured of one fact which will be questioned 
by no man, that the outward presentation of divine truth to 
the world, is left almost entirely to the human and collective 
wisdom of the Church. "With her divinely appointed agents 
there is lodged a discretionary power which they are bound 
to exercise. Tliey have exercised it from the beginning. 
Her rules and institutions ; her offices, ceremonials, celebra- 
tions, usages, liturgies, songs, had not all one birth. They 
are the accretion of ages. They are the exponents of change 
and progress. They are the gathered fragments of advan- 
cing time, accepted literally as well as conventionally by the 
"communis sensus" — the common sense — of the Church. 
Some of them are obsolete, some have been formally repudia- 
ted, and some remain to this day, the sacred expressions of 
Catholic truth, and holy worshij), and honoring these with an 
ever-deepening affection, we pray God that no change may 
pass upon them, except such as shall be manifestly "the fruit 
of a wise delay," and a most reverent consideration. Neverthe- 
less we shall not withhold the declaration, that it argues no 


disloyalty to the Church ; it neither betokens a radical spirit, 
or a defective faitli, or a revolutionary desin^n, to suppose 
that the time has come, or may come, when it will be alto- 
gether expedient to lift the Church out of the groove in 
which holy men left her ages ago, and turn her serene and 
radiant face a little more toward the face of troubled 
and suffering humanity, and re-adjust her beautiful f>-ar- 
ments, a little more in harmony with those tastes and habits 
of life in which her children are so carefully educated, and 
without sacrificing one particle of her sublimity or her sim- 
plicity, give her a little more freedom of action in a world, 
I say it with sorrow, where there is scarcely any thino- else 
but action. 

Counting it no heresy to suppose that such a day may 
come, we honestly hold the conviction that it will come, and 
that the principle we have asserted will receive the consent 
of the Church. Tliere will be no sudden rupture of vener- 
able ties ; no violent displacement of time-honored usages. 
Her order will not be rashly violated. Her rubrics and offi- 
ces will not be rudely handled. Her heavenly calm will 
not be invaded by the resounding footsteps and loud voices 
of iconoclasts and innovators. Nevertheless we confidently 
anticipate the period, although we may not survive to behold 
it, when her sanctuaries will bear witness to a happier adapt- 
ation of liturgical forms, and a freer spirit of discourse, and 
a larger symj^athy with Christ's humble poor ; and when 
her priesthood will not only work valiantly within her bor- 
ders ; when they will not only go round about her, and 
mark well her bulwarks, and count her towers, but wlien 
they will make far excursions into the surrounding world, 
and adapt themselves with facility to the revolution of 


tlioiiglit and feeling wliicb is going on there, and make 
themselves felt in the heart of great communities, and make 
themselves known in the most obscure and secluded haunts 
of humble life ; pushing the conquests of the Church into 
the purlieus of shame ; carrying her medicines ot hoj^e and 
consolation to the deepest hiding-places of misery, and ren- 
dering her what her Divine Master was ; what He intended 
her to be ; the daily friend and loving counsellor of the out- 
cast and the forsaken. This is the Conservatism we invoke 
for the Church in this age. Xot that she is without it in a 
high measure ; but there is room for more — a Conservatism 
discreet, observant, reasonable, conciliatory — holding abso- 
lute truth above the reach of all change — high, very high 
— ^high as the throne of God ; but moulding its circumstan- 
tials to the wants and necessities of daily life, and common 

Were it not for trespassing upon your time, it would be 
easy, nay, it would be interesting to pass within the pre- 
cincts of other and less sacred institutions, and observe ho\^ 
Imperiously the offices of a sound Conservatism are de" 
manded. Not that any earthly institution will be perfect ; 
not that the hindrances and difficulties which beleaguer 
improvement, will ever be overcome — but incongruities, 
such as are manifest to every eye, and are sources of univer- 
sal irritation and im2oatience, to say nothing of outrage, 
need not be tolerated. They will not always be tolerated. 
If no other influence interpose, at some time the currents of 
strong opinion and common sense will prevail, and sweep 
them away. In the administration and processes of law, 
concessions have already been made, I am aware, to the 
popular judgment. Some of its wrappages have been taken 


off. Some of its blind labyrintlis have been closed. Some 
of its wearisome prolixity has been dispensed with. 

But justice and equity are yet in bondage to forms as irri- 
tating to the temper uf this age, as this age is foreign to that 
of Justinian or King John. It cannot always be, that Law 
shall maintain her fixed composure, and wind through her 
endless and tortuous details, while all around her tribunals 
the waves of discontent and agony are swelling. It cannot 
always be, that access to lier judgment-seat shall be made a 
disheartening, and perliaps a life-long struggle. The end of 
all this will come. No age is blind to practical abuses, or 
silent in regard to them, and there will at length be heard a 
full-voiced and clamorous demand for reform. It will de- 
volve ujwn some power to disentangle, to eliminate, to sim- 
plify, Tlie prerogatives of that power should be exercised 
by the masters of the Law. A lofty Conservatism should 
influence and guide them in a course of reformatory meas- 
ures, which shall anticipate rash counselfc, and preserve the 
high places of judgment and justice fiom distempered 

Gentlemen, I cannot but deem it matter for devout con- 
gratulation this day, that the College whose returning festi- 
val brings us together, cheers us also with the bright promise 
of her importance, both to the Church and the Republic. 
On every hand we see tokens that she is preparing to do the 
work proper to this age, and express herself not incoherently 
upon every question and interest which may be worthy of 
consideration. The full assurance meets us, that she is not 
to be cramped in her energies, or defrauded of her efficien- 
cy, by alliances with party, or devotion to extremes. "With- 
out occupying a neutral ground, she will occupy the true, 


the conservative, the Catholic ground. Her sympathies will 
be large ; her range of observation wide ; her aims com- 
prehensive. She will not stand in the bosom of this wake- 
ful and tumultuating world, a thing of the past ; a monu- 
ment of impracticability, with no higher destiny than to 
keep what she has received, and preserve the dignity of a 
plethoric custodian, and envelope herself in a monastic so- 
lemnity, and carefully transmit her store of ancient learning 
and hoary dogmas, and ecclesiastical legends, to those that 
shall come after. No ! no ! A higher work and nobler 
destiny invite her. She will rather be a pillar of guidance 
and rebuke in the midst of this stirring century. Truly she 
will look to the past, and reverence its illustrious names and 
authorities. She will treasure the precious remains of its 
wisdom and power, and give a distinct utterance to its truth. 
But she will do more. The present will not be too narrow 
for her vision. She will perceive that the past can only be 
useful as it becomes a teacher of the present ; a quickener 
and revealer of power ; a som'ce of thought, an instrument 
of progressive elevation ; fashioning the instincts and im- 
pul^es of man into the harmony of society, and enabling 
them to reach a higher ground and gaze upon a grander 
prospect; and perceiving this, she will offer to the present 
the fulness of her strength and the purest impulses of her 
sympathy, as an interpreter and guide. She will observe 
its wants, and endeavor to supply them. She will mark its 
errors, and seek to overthrow them. She will realize its 
dangers, and make no delay to avert them. But she will do 
still more. Knowing that tliis familiar though wonderful 
Bcene is but an advancing step in the progress of society 
and being, she will look beyond it ; piercing, as far as 


may be lawful, tlic cloud and mist of the future, widening 
lier vision to coming developments, and strengthening her 
heart by the anticipation of glories yet to be revealed. And 
thus she will stand — Janus-faced — looking to the past, the 
present and the future, that she may make them all subser- 
vient to the highest good of man and the highest glory of 

Such are the pledges which meet us here to-day. We see 
them and rejoice. We see them in a life-long consecration 
of her chief executive officer to the interests of Ti'inity Col- 
lege. We see them in an admira'ble corps of professors ; in 
the accession of eminent and large-hearted men to her seats 
of theology, and in that new foundation which looks to the 
economical management of the State and the Nation ; aye, 
and seeing them, we take heart, confident that whatever may 
be the convulsions of the world, or the disquietudes of the 
Church, she will maintain a true and stable position, not 
sitting at a distance from either, or honoring either with a 
dissembling reverence, but endeavoring to serve both, by 
preparing her children in their generations for a keen inter- 
est, and successful interference in the afiiairs and conflicts of 
life, and for an earnest, actuating, courageous attachment to 
the "faith once delivered to the saints ;" so that living or 
dying, they may be sustained by the answer of a good con- 
science, and coiuited worthy of that perfection whicli lies 
beyond the toil and disfigurement of earth, in the kingdom 
OF THE Father. 

it I) e III c 3 for tljc Jpoct, 











Published by the House of Convocation. 










It is no dream ! Here once again I stand, 

With a poor poem blusliing in my hand ; 

Teachers terrific still are hoverino: near ; 

Aaaendat Butler ! thunders in my ear. 

Again, with trembling steps, I mount the stage, 

Address the carpet with poetic rage, 

Wonder, in horror, and look round to see. 

If giggling girls are maldng fun of me. 

In desperate doubt through tender words I storm — 

Kesume my seat, and say — " '^Tu very wcmn.^^ 

Ah, can it be so many yeai-s have fled, 
Since that day's dance of terroi-s througli my head ! 
Are they not here, that joyful Brother band, 
Whose farewell grasp yet tingles on my hand I 
But few are here ! and now our footsteps tread 
On life's dry leaves then green above our head ; 
On hopes, the timid blossoms of the hour. 
That never spread their beauties into flower ; 
On earlier joys, tliose gadding vines that clasp 


Things dead and living with an equal grasp. 

T is well ! If 'neatli our feet these sere leaves lie, 

They leave, above our heads, an open sky ! 

Dear Ahna Mater ! At thy feet we kneel ; 
Thy hand's soft stroke upon our heads we feel ; 
Thy face, all beaming with maternal joys, 
Smiles a glad welcome on thy elder boys ; 
And as we gather round the homestead hearth, 
Thou dost not frown on our becoming mirth. 
As oddest pranks and drollest mischiefs pass. 
Grotesquely grinning, over memory's glass : — 
E'en then thy anger was amusement, half. 
And thy grave censure oft a smothered laugh. 

Since then, what changes manifold and fast, 
O'er all the land, o'er all the world have passed ! 
What vigorous powers, new hopes, and large desires, 
Have glowed and sparkled, like the new-stirr'd fires ! 
What busy life keeps all the world astir ! 
What new-bom wonders daily round us whiiT ! 
What earnest nonsense, out of hot hearts hurled, 
With screaming zeal perambulates the world ! 
What touching cures for all our human ills — 
For Eden lost can be regained by pills ! 
What coming marvels "in the good time" near, 
When only poor men shall be scarce and dear. 
When law and physic, no more fees to win. 
Shall weep the loss of suffering and of sin ; 
When no pert priest shall still survive to tell 


The halt-grown gods of Earth there is a hell. 
Oh, "good time coming" — already come in song- 
Don't tarry longer ! pray^ do come along ! 

"But why," say some, "mount that old chariot, r/<y;/i6? 
The lumbering State-Coach of the elder time." 
This is the age, as every scliool-boy knows, 
"When genius steanis along on thundering prose. 
Get with this trumpery verse from otF the track ! 
Strive not to call the banished muses back ! 
They timid glances on the present cast, 
Tlien glide within the cloisters of the past. 

Nay, 't is not so ! From man the muses come ; 

His beating heart their birth-place and their home. 

"With man as man these genial spirits dwell 

Alike in crowded mart and silent cell. 

"Whatever warms and fills and thrills the heart ; 

"Whatever bids the impassioned pulses start ; 

"Whatever shakes glad fancies from their nest, 

And sends them, singing, through the brighten'd breast 

"Whatever future, crowned by hope's glad hands, 

Down on the frowning present, smiling, stands ; 

"Whatever past, by memory saint-like made, 

Breathes benedictions from the sacred shade. 

Is poetry. The muse shall sing and soar, 

"While Earth shall last— then seek the brighter shore! 


AVliat are the tliemes that move our j^resent age, 
And send the lit e je gleaming o'er the page ? 
IS'ot all that once has moved the human soul, 
Holds o'er it still a masterful control. 

To sing of Jove and Juno, Pallas, Mars, 

To tell the storj of their loves and wars ; 

Or e'en of Cupid, with liis bow and string. 

Were but a cold cloud to our breast to bring. 

When wafted back with those who sang and saw 

Those shapes of beauty, grandeur, grace and awe, 

Then, beneath genius' mesmerizing spell, 

We too, in cheated dream, with them may dwell ; 

But when those shapes we summon on the stage. 

In the broad day-light of our glaring age. 

Not e'en the vivid picture- work of Keats, 

Nor Shelley's wild and wondrous fancy-feats, 

Can make those shadows pause, and live, and speak 

To minds and hearts. They only flit and squeak. 

In sweet Arcadian vales and flowery meads. 

Where hajjless Corydon with Chloe i^leads, 

AVhere murmuring streams, in pensive concord flow, 

With his pipe's tedious and melodious woe, 

Til ere, where our gentle sires retired to weep. 

There — if Ave go at all — we go — to sleep ! 

If in such forms our modern muse should come. 
She 'd find with us nor welcome nor a home. 


IJut the grand epic that was wont to roll 

Its coi)ious glories through the human soul, 

Gathering around some mighty deed of arms 

All that the spirit elevates and cliarms — 

All passions, fancies, hatreds, loves, desires. 

All that in life, art, nature, fills and fires — 

Shall our ears listen to this mighty song. 

Bearing whole nations on its waves along ? 

Not yet, if ever, may that Epic come 

Trailing the past — its glories and its gloom. 

We stand begirt with fearful secret powers ; 

Strange marvels hurry on our crowded hours ; 

Half-finished wonders glitter at our feet. 

Which the deft future hastens to complete ; 

So full, so fast, absorbing and intense. 

The gifts of life our passing years dispense. 

That not for wonders to the past we turn. 

Though time's and fancy's glories round her burn. 

Wiien that great battle of the nations comes — 

(Hark to the rolling of its muster drums !) 

When leagued oppressions, on their final field, 

To liberty's impassioned cohorts yield. 

And victor virtues — 'freedom, peace, and love — 

Lift loud Te Deums^ jubilant, above. 

Then may the finished scroll be all unrolled. 

And the full story of our times be told ; 

Tlien Homer's lyre may be again re-strung — 

We I'i'oe the Epic that shall then be sung. 

But wide the range, and full of wondrous things, 
In which the muse may now disport her wings. 


Our daily life, the joys and woes of home, 
The violet virtues in the shade that bloom ; • 
The infant, smiling on its mother's breast. 
The girl's soft musing, and the boy's unrest, 
The hopes and loves and soaring aims of youth ; 
Man's brave life-war, and woman's patient truth ; 
Oh sweet these gentle lyrics of the heart, 
Which from the home affections, singing, start ; 
Which greet us, waking, with a cheerful note. 
And o'er day's discords, mildly breathing, float ; 
With tender softness charm the day's calm close, 
And soothe our fevered spirits to repose. 

Oh never shall these simple singings cease 

To tell our sorrow, and to swell our peace ; 

Oh never weary shall man's heart become 

Of flowers familiar round his cherished home ! 

At eacli new Spring he hails them all the more, 

Because their beauty gladdened him before. 

Then let the Poet's home-aflections flow 

Forth into heart-songs, musical and low. 

And his sweet numbers shall the world rehearse : 

All have his feelings, but they want his verse ! 

And youthful love's delicious, radiant dreams — 
Of these may the true Poet write by reams ! 
Bright, greedy eyes will every word devour, 
And only wish for Si—few acres more ! 
Well, sing it out ! oh Poet ! clear and long. 
For 't is Earth's sweetest, most enrapturing song ; 


And when your grai^liic strains portray it best, 
How much remains that cannot be expressed ! 
Thouj^h to the life your vivid verses show 
Young hearts with love's dear raptures all a-glow ; 
Though its sweet pains, and its rich joys' excess, 
Through your warm words, in panting ardor, press ; 
And though each shines, in fancy's colors dressed, 
As "wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best," 
Yet will these hearts regard your words as tame, 
Mere Arctic moonshine to their fervent flame. 
Resume the lyre ! To the world's end prolong, 
Oh Poet heart ! that unexhausted song ! 

Why here are hearts — start not ! — no names I tell — 

In which whole unwrit Petrarch volumes dwell. 

I shrewdly guess, within yon classic walls, 

"Whence duty's war its well-drilled conscript calls. 

Some agonizing student has essayed 

To rhyme a farewell to an obdurate maid. 

In vain — his collar down and hair uncombed — 

Through mighty, melting adjectives he roamed. 

How^ in poor words, may ever be expressed 

The woful Iliads struo-frlincr in his breast ? 

The half-writ sonnet fainted, died and sunk. 

And now lies buried in the young man's trunk. 

Ah, fair one ! smile on him ! Indeed you should ; 

It had been written — if it only could ! 

These things are so, or else 'tis plain to me, 

Things are not there as once they used to be ! 


Now Nature woos us to her green retreats, 
Crcatlies in our souls her vivifying sweets ; 
And poet-hearts, with rapture brimming o'er, 
Praise her, and love her, and almost adore. 
Sublime and lovely are the strains they sing ; 
Long their soft echoes in our heart's caves ring. 

Still may these pure and purifying songs 

Float, lute-like, breathing, 'mid life's clashing throngs !. 

Still to its pale and pining victims bear 

A breath of freshness on the tainted air ! 

Still swell our joys, when 'mid green scenes we roam, 

And re-create them when we muse at home ! 

Oh dear the office which kind nature plies — 

For our soul's life within her, shadow'd, lies. 

By natm*e's living symbols are expressed 

The living feelings of the human breast. 

Our sense of beauty there is met and filled ; 

Our souls with kindred grandeurs roused and thrilled ; 

Our joy's exulting voice is clearly heard 

In the glad streamlet, and the singing bird ; 

Our dear hopes, folded in the coming hour, 

Are seen to open in the budding flower ; 

Our fresh affections gurgle from the fount ; 

Our lofty aims tow'r upward in the mount ; 

Our deep gloom darkens in the spreading cloud ; 

Our passions burst forth in the tempest loud ; 

Our peace soft nestles in the twilight's calm ; 

And, in cool dews, distils our lx>som's balm. 


Oh, is not Nature precious to our heart, 

Because in our sad doom she bears a part ? 

Not willingly to vanity she turned ; 

The curse that blii'hted man within her burned. 

We dragged her from her throne of glory down ; 

We stripped her, weeping, of her robe and crown ; 

And now, her laboring bosom sighs and groans, 

Responsive ever, to man's ceaseless moans. 

We feel a tender tie with this dimmed Earth, 

Which dates its darkness from our fatal birth. 

Our souls, in tumult with sin's ceaseless jar. 

Earth's breast the seat of elemental war, 

Send up to Heaven, in one long, fearful din, 

The blended dissonance of awful sin. 

Oh not in vain forever to the skies, 

Shall these wild woes of man and nature rise ; 

Not all unheard the anguished cry of man 

To lift from oif the race God's crushing ban ; 

Not aye in vain, her signals of distress 

To the far worlds in the blue boundlessness. 

Shall the wrecked Earth send booming o'er the deep. 

In the loud thunders from her sides that leap. 

God's heart is on them, and his word is passed. 

That their dread woes shall not forever last ! 

Fallen with man, with man shall Earth arise. 

And spring in beauty through the shouting skies, 

The symbol once, and likeness of his woe, 

Now the clear mirror where his glories glow 1 

Tlien ever dear to human hearts, the strain 
Where Nature lives, and blooms, and speaks again. 


Let the rapt lover of her marvels range 
Tlirough various nature, in her every change ; 
Her cunning nooks and wond'rous caves explore, 
And moor his light bark on her wildest shore. 
Then let the pictures to his memory brought, 
By fancy's airy touch again be wrought. 
Let the rich feelings which they waken'd, rest 
Like hived honey, in his happy breast ; 
Tlien let him — ^mind, and heart, and fancy full 
Of the bright visions of the beautiful — 
Tlie songs of Nature with glad heart repeat, 
Wliich he learned, sitting, at her gracious feet, 
And our hearts' beatings all attuned shall be 
To the sweet measm-es of his minstrelsy. 

Let that strain perish^ though its numbers roll 

Melodious thunders o'er the raptured soul. 

If in its chorusses it fail to bring 

GTxyry to God — great nature's greater King ! 

Nor while it marks God's touch in all He gives, 

And sees God's heart in every thing that lives, 

Let it mistake fine luxuries of sense 

For sacred breathings of Omnipotence ; 

Nor dare to worship Natiu-e's life as God, 

And find His spirit in the senseless sod ; 

And call all worlds and souls, one sea 

Of blended life — one only Deity. 

How timid, lonely, orphaned, drear the soul, 

If as one wave of that vast sea it roll ! 


How wann, and glad, and trustful will it be, 

As the lov'd child of Fatiiek — Deity ! 

Then Nature speaks to him in every line, 

Of spirit-glories deathless and divine. 

Wliat ! if the vast system of created things, 

Stretching beyond the mind's imaginings, 

Its worlds on worlds, whose dew-dro^js seem to try 

T' exhaust the treasures of infinity — 

What if it be one symbol-scheme, designed 

To speak the glories of the eternal mind ; 

Where, in each creature, feebly, is expressed 

An answering glory in Ilis wondrous breast ? 

Oh then how loftily does Nature sing 

Perpetual anthems to her Heavenly King ; 

Then know we why Earth's blessed sceneries charm, 

And why they seem with loving Godhead warm ; 

Why, when in Nature's arms we sink to rest, 

We feel as folded to a Father's breast ! 

Too long we linger. Fain we here would stay ; 
But life, guilt, sorrow, beckon us away. 

How does the turbid, restless, fevered time, 
Teem with the tragedies of woe and crime ! 
The pure Muse enters where wild passions rave, 
That she may learn to pity and to save ; — 
As 'mid those scenes where maniac woe abides, 
The gentle form of Dix serenely glides. 
Awed, let her pierce into dark caves of sin, 
And see foul vices fight and bleed within — 


Conflicting passions, struggling ill and good, 

Old Evil's stern and brutal hardihood ; 

Remorse, with red and horror-gleaming eye, 

Kun from the avenging fiends of memory, 

Then spring, in palpitating terror, back 

From retribution's near and bloody rack ; 

Then when her heart with pitying woe shall ache, 

Let her high prophet-strains of warning wake ! 

Oh, far too long have song and genius lent 

To crime's career their music's ravishment ; 

Our souls in fascinated horror held ; 

Our rising blame by admiration quelled ; 

From hearts which should their moral thunders pour, 

Won pity's soft and expiating shower. 

Leave not to bandit bards the tales of crime, 

Tawdrily glorious, vulgarly sublime ; 

To fallen genius, which can only see 

The devilish beauty of iniquity ; 

But haste, oh faithful bard and bold ! to show 

In crime — pollution, agony and woe ; 

Haste, youthful hearts, in vivid words to tell. 

How sin's gay Eden slopes down smooth to hell ! 

lla&tQ — for the age its stimulating airs 

To the world's brain a maddening influence bears ; 

Kindles wild hopes, awakens vast desires, 

The judgment dazzles, and the fancy fires ; 

Tempts to wild schemes where wisdom, duty, right. 

In the red brilliance fade upon the sight ; — 

Adventure nnisters all her motley train ; 

The gold-fiend beckons from the western main ; — ■ 


Hasten, with startlinij: vividness, to show 

How boundless passions pass from gnilt to woe ; 

In winning contrast paint the peace of those 

Whose hearts on conscience pillow their repose, 

Whose well-trained passions duty's rein obey, 

And move, with free step, over virtue's way ; 

Whose home-delights and regulated joys. 

Whose business, garden, books, wife, girls and boys, 

All the mind's powers to healthy action tune, 

And bless the heart's love with its choicest boon ; 

Whose very sorrows far more pleasures win 

Tlian all the feverish ecstacies of sin — 

For to their woes already are there given 

Foretasted blessings from approaching Heaven. 

The muse of satire — how she shouts and laughs ! 
For rich the game is for her shining shafts ! 

How fatally her slender arrow flies, 

Through fashion's big and little butterflies ! 

She goes to I^ewport and impales a few — 

The game is plenty, but 't is worthless too ! 

Then at a Fourier's Paradise she stops, 

And sees Professor Transcend — emptying slops ! 

And Mrs. Sky-fly, whose "poem on the soul, 

Considered as a deep world-holding hole," 

Lies on the table to be finished, when 

She shall have fed the piggy and the hen. 

Loud laughs the muse, but lets no arrow fly, 

Tlie folly has not life enough to die. 


Then to the spirit-rappers does she go 

To ask old kings and bards — "How do you do" ? 

To hear great Milton wretched rhyme indite, 

And modest "Washington poor bombast wi-ite. 

Oh, wondrous Media ! I do not believe 

These summoned spirits rap, as you conceive ; 

For as you make them such consummate fools. 

If they could rap, I'm sure they' d rap your slculls ! 

Then peeps the muse within the palace high 

AYhere pills are ground, to purge humanity 

Of all disease and sin. Ko need for her 

The shafts of satire from their rest to stir : 

Their puifs are satires, subtle and refined, 

Grinning in glee at credulous mankind ! 

Then in the halls of art she glides to see 

If to her lofty call art faithful be. 

There, amid scenes of j)uri ty and love. 

Which fill the heart, the moral purpose move. 

She sees base panderings to sin and sense; 

Vice veiled in beauty's seeming innocence ; , 

Lo ! parsons singing transcendental hymns, 

To the Greek Slave's shrinking, sentimental limbs ; 

Insisting loud that soul, heart, genius shows, 

Just in i:»roj)ortion as we wear few clothes ; 

That God made coverings for the fallen pair, 

Only because of dampness in the air. 

Angry the look which on the group she bends, 

And to them all a mantua-maker sends. 


Then to tlie Cliurcli slic takes lier saddened way, 

To see men's follies as they praise and pray. 

She looks to find them in the sects and Eome, 

But not within our sobpr, holy home. 

Aweary now she turns from them away, 

And enters Church, to hear, and praise, and pray. 

Scarce has she passed within the outward porch. 

Before she asks — "Is this a Eomish Church ?" 

"Oh, no !" Doubtful, uneasy still she sits. 

And thinks she surely must have lost her wits : 

Enter Sir Kector — surplice covering o'er 

A coat like Grimes's, all buttoned down before ; 

A fossil priest just vitalized, and come 

From out a mediaeval catacomb. 

The solemn service, by his mummings, made 

A very poor and pitiful parade ; 

He gives a little homily to show 

How little good incessant preachings do ; 

Tells them the Church hy symlols best can teach ; 

That Hawks and Clakk * cannot, like stained glass, preach ; 

Bids them look round them, and, in awe, espy 

"What splendid preachings now address the eye. 

(But he forgets, in the meantime, to say 

If arch and glass can^racA, why can't ihQj j>7'a}/T) 

Oh, Reverend Fossil ! it is strictly true — 

The glass and chancel preach as well as you ! 

• The Rev. F. L. Hawks, D. D., LL. D., of New York 
" " T. yi. Clark, D. D., of Hartford. 


New themes upon our modern poet wait ; 
Fresh, stirring, noble, wondrous, wild and great ; 
The wrongs of nations and the rights of men ; 
The glorious triumphs of the tongue and pen ; 
The spread of truth, the progress of the world ; 
Freedom's bold banner on the age unfurled ; 
The people's strivings, and the patriot's toils. 
Art's noble triumphs, labor's mighty spoils ; 
The marvels science crowds upon the time, 
Rivalling ISTature in her works sublime ; 
Man's inner being, like his outward state. 
Stirring and hopeful, ardent and elate — ■ 
These are the themes which may, to modern sono-. 
Give tones of life and grandeur, clear and strong. 

Too much, by far, do fli^jpant tongue and pen 

Scatter dishonor on our public men ; 

Too oft our youth must be compelled to ask 

If patriot words are always sham and mask ; 

Too oft our nation's council is portrayed 

As if to peddling demagogues betrayed — 

(So speak not you ; for Toucey fills his jjlace 

"With mildly-blended dignity and grace.) 

This should not be ! Good men should sternly frown 

This vulgar, false, dishonoring scandal down ; 

It comes from baseness, and it makes men base ; 

It covers many with the few's disgrace. 

Men true and noble as the world e'er saw. 

Guard there your rights, and fashion there your law. 

There have been given to recording time 


Events and men surpassingly sublime ; 

There will the muses of the future hie 

To sing the praise of patriot liberty. 

Let it not be ! Remember God's commands 

That they be lionored at the people's hands ; 

And that tlie Church, obedient to her Lord, 

Puts on your lip the supplicating word 

That through their counsels, we may never cease 

T' enjoy truth, justice, righteousness and peace. 

One miglity patriot soul has passed away — 

The land leans weeping o'er the tomb of Clay ! 

One of the few rare, high, heroic hearts, 

At whose mere name a world's pulse quicker starts. 

A hero born — for all his being's plan 

"Was cast upon the highest scale of man. 

His impulse, passion, fancy, heart and mind, 

Each singly great, were splendidly combined ; 

His mind, in scanning things and questions, saw 

Their ends and uses more than their hid law — 

A giant, T.-orking amid mighty things, 

Kot, sprite-like, searching to their secret springs. 

He thought to act^ and asked if things were true, 

Not to hnow only, but to know to do; 

Hence, void of baseness, loving place and fame 

Only as clear-eyed honor with them came. 

He stands recorded on his country's page, 

The foremost patriot Statesman uf his age ! 

Oh, 't was a sight to see him in his hour 

Of kindled interest and of conscious power, 


"When burnt, and burnished in his fervent zeal, 

His spirit glittered — a Damascus steel ! 

Out gleamed his quick and ever-moving eyes. 

Keen to detect and skillful to disguise ; . 

"With honest logic, brilliant wit, vast sense. 

And sudden, vivid, rousing, daring eloquence ; 

"With look, voice, gesture, plastic to the life 

"With which his words and sentiments were rife, 

lie looked as leading, in that triumph-hour, 

A bannered army terrible with power ! 

Now a Napoleon planning conquests large ; 

And now a Mueat in his dashing charge ; 

"Prince of the Senate" crowned ; with kingly grace, 

Living and dying, he maintained the place. 

But purer glories signalized the hour 

Of dying greatness than of living power. 

I've seen sweet children, gentle women, go — • 

God's dear peace resting on their patient brow ; 

But never saw I yet a being die 

AVith a more simple, grand humility ; 

Ne'er have I seen around a dvins; bed 

So much majestic peace and beauty shed. 

Gentle, patient, thoughtful, calm and kind, 

"With manners softened — holily refined — 

He for whose pains a nation's eyes were dim, 

Seemed grieved that one should watch and wait on Jthn. 

Loud in his ear the booming guns proclaimed 

The nation's rival candidate? were named ; 

The swelling praises to his mighty fame 


Witli deepening pathos to Lis cliamber came. 
The sounds with scarce a meaning reach his ears ; 
'T is sweeter music that his soul now hears ! 
"While round its base the weeping millions lie, 
lie mounts the Pisgah of his fame, to die ; 
Across his glories, which grow dim and pale. 
His spirit flies to childhood's happy vale ; 
There folds its weary, broken wings in rest. 
And murmurs softly in its early nest ; 
There does his child-heart to his mother hie — 
There does his child-heart to his Saviour fly ; 
So sweet those feelings, luuuan and divine, 
Ilis fame's forgot — his glories cease to shine — 
How grand is death — how glorious is the lot. 
In which a fame like this is all forgot ! 

My pleasant task is ended ! Ho ! again, 

Life and its duties summon us amain. 

One day of greeting and of joy remains ; 

One day to scour green memory's pleasant plains ; 

Tlien, with loins girded, and a kind farewell. 

Each to his work must turn. OJi^ do it well! 

IJttblic (!0])inion, VmtitH auij m^tM bn Conflitting |nflucntes 





|pl)i Beta Kappa 0ocietg, 



Published by request of the Socielj. 





It is observable in nature, that its most beneficent 
agents are the result of opposing forces. Indeed, 
the supremacy and wisdom of the Creator is in noth- 
ing more conspicuous than in the coupling of hostile 
powers, and employing their very antagonism to 
achieve purposes beautiful for harmony, and affluent 
of good. Our planetary system, consisting of myr- 
iad bodies, vast in their dimensions, and fearful in 
the rapidity of their movements, is kept (as we all 
know,) in its exact propriety of revolution by the 
combination of forces, either of which, acting alone, 
— free from the resistance of the other, — would in- 
volve the universe in confusion and chaos. This 
vital air, so nicely attempered to our use, is a com- 
pound of elements extremely opposite in their nature, 
— the one of which would extinguish life in a moment, 
the other render it too intense to endure. Inter- 
fused in due proportion, these adverse agents become 
the breath of Heaven, wherewith it fans earth 
into verdure, and its inhabitants into activity and 
gladness. It would not be difficult to multiply illus- 
trations of this wise and beneficent employment of 
counteracting powers, in the physical world. 

Perliaps it were presumptuous to assert, but cer- 
tainly there is ground to surmise, that, in the less 
obvious economy of morals, the Almighty has made 
sin— the azote of spiritual being — so to concert with 
grace as to secure for man the highest state of bles- 
sedness which he is capable of enjoying. In the con- 
stitution of man's nature, what a strange compound 
there is, of the sensual and the refined, — the abject 
and the grand, — the perishable and the immortal ; — 
and yet, of these repugnant elements supreme wis- 
dom has fashioned the lord of creation ; — and since 
God has done it, we may safely conclude that man 
could not have been so well fitted for his supremacy, 
were he not, (as some have reproachfully called him) 
" a bundle of contradictions." 

These observations have occurred to me while 
speculating on the processes of common opinion, and 
the countervailing elements which conspire to shape 
and impel it. Let me direct your thoughts for a brief 
space to this plain and practical proposition, — that 
the opposite extremes of opinion are necessary, each 
in their measure, to give right direction and safe 
impulse to the general mind, — the great mean of sen- 
timent and action, which distmguishes the passing 
age ! The analogy of things in other departments of 
our world, would dispose us to look for some 
antagonistic forces, when, contemplating public opin- 
ion, that mighty agent in the advancement and hap- 
piness of mankind, we are led to ask how is it fash- 
ioned, and by what complication of powers is it kept 
80 steadily and benignly efficient ? 

There is no people on the earth, whose tenor of 
opinion has so immediate an influence upon public 

condition and destiny, as the American people. — 
Every prominent act here, is tlie utterance of the 
common mind ; every advance in literature or the 
arts, is significant of general progress. The breath 
of a pervasive sentiment lifts or reduces the level 
of social action, as quickly as the changeful air affects 
the mercurial column ! — Inventions in the arts pass 
directly into practical use, before being tested in the 
alembic of the schools. — Theories of political econ- 
omy, approved of the people, become experiments 
of State, without vraiting the reluctant imprimatur 

of a King And doctrines and usages of worship 

obtain, and get plenary authority of public observ- 
ance, despite the decretals of Pope or Council. 
Scarcely can any subject then more nearly concern 
the literary and professional men of this land, than 
inquiry into the constituents of popular opinion, for 
they have much to do with its formation- They 
must learn to be tolerant of ingredients which they 
do not furnish. Education fails of its true end and 
aim, if it do not make scholars large-minded— libe- 
ral enough to appreciate the necessity, and to know 
the proper proportions of influence and sentiment, 
unlike their own, which must mingle in the great 
melange of society, and improve by combination 
what they could not supplant without utter ruin. It 
matters not how vast a man's attainments may be — 
they have not enlarged and ennobled him, if they 
have left him to assume that he is the true type of 
manhood, and that the simplicity of even his mental 
antipodc has nothing to bring to the common stock 
of thought, which can make it richer than his own ! 
In this age and country, the two most strongly 


marked tendencies, which by their opposition, serve 
to keep the general mind in equipoise, are, on the 
one hand, to the restoration of what is old, and, on 
the other, to the bold experiment of what is new. 
For the last three hundred years, liberty of thought 
has been throughout Christendom distinctly asserted 
and progressively enjoyed. But, on this new Conti- 
nent alone, has it been completely unshackled — free 
alike from established authority, and from the sanctity 
of venerable forms — elsewhere hallowed by too long 
a practice to be promptly, and unfalteringly trans- 
gressed. It is no matter for surprise that a people 
endowed with such singular license, and in possession 
of a field for experiment wider than the ancients knew, 
and open as when the world was young, should be 
strongly pre-disposed to hold in light regard the set- 
tled convictions of mankind ; to attempt the regene- 
ration of the whole social system, by which old 
things might pass away, and all things become new. 
And indeed there has been some sanction for this 
presumptuous boldness in the utter failure of the 
institutions of past ages to develope fully the powers 
and secure the happiness of man. Moreover, the 
comparative success of the American enterprise thus 
far, which was wisely projected by men who, free 
to fashion their social institutions according to their 
own pleasure, yet thought and acted under the whole- 
some restraint of life-long associations with stern 
conservatism, — the honorable success of this grand 
attempt is attributed by many, solely to the new ele- 
ments which have been here introduced, and in no 
measure to the modifying influence of the old and 
time-honored mementos of other ages and climes. 

Indeed, there are not wanting minds which fancy 
that our immediate progress to social perfection is 
hindered by nothing else but the lumbering relics of 
antiquity, which, with fond veneration, we are attempt- 
ing to carry with us in our onward march. Under 
the stimulating influence of a liberal age, mind has 
become wondrously inventive ; and the develop- 
ments of the present century have been so startling 
and so rapid,— so subversive of past experience, — 
so alterative of the intercourse of the world, that 
forecast is bafl^ed— the sequences of political wisdom 
have become obsolete, and even prudent men are 
slow to question any prophecy, however extravagant, 
of impending change. Under such a fervid mental 
atmosphere, it would be strange if some brains were 
not overheated, some quick spirits inflamed to fanati- 
cism. The age, the country, the institutions of the 
land — the course of events, all favor the conceit, and 
the hopeful pursuit of whatever vagary. It will be 
well if we do not become a nation of adventurers, 
rash to forego the certainties of treasure in posses- 
sion, for the excitement of new enterprise and the 
chance of possible gain ! In New England espe- 
cially — the birth-place and home of the most thorough 
mental enfranchisement, and therefore most intense 
individuality— the most extravagant visions, and 
schemes of social progress, have been originated. 
Minds delirious through excess of the inventive fac- 
ulty, have been developing year by year, for the last 
half-century, novel theories of life in all its higher 
departments of interest, until now, the advance guard 
of this progressive phalanx are ready to assail every 
thing which is old, simply because it is old. The 


History of all the past, these invaders account of no 
value but to denote in every item what the future 
shall avoid. The monuments of the ages are fit only 
to be cast down, that passers by may witness in the 
ruin what follies have been. However good this or 
that institution may have proved for its period, yet, 
the w^orld is maturing— the clock of time strikes an 
higher hour, man must keep pace with the ages, and, 
if he be not a dotard, ancient wisdom must in his 
esteem have declined into folly! ** Excelsior" is 
the watchword. Grave experience forewarns of 
danger. Sober religion counsels to moderation. Do- 
mestic love pleads its restraining claims— but into 
the solitudes of rash experiment the strong adventu- 
rer will climb ! 

All ultraists do not attempt the same paths of pro- 
gression J all do not go or even see, the full circle of 
reform, but the subversive spirit, wherever directed, 
the spirit of blind advance, in whatever quarter, 
marks their kindred, and proclaims them ' legion.' 
We are unaware to what extent this live devil pos- 
sesses the community, — yea, that in some processes 
of thought or feeling, it probably infests ourselves, 
while we bemoan its prevalence over others. It is 
the master spirit of the times ; and bids every mind 
in its own sphere of action, aspire to create. Its 
tokens, therefore, meet us at every turn in life. 

New schemes of political organization are rife, 
Government has become an anachronism. Repre- 
sentative power even is not to be trusted. Clamor- 
ous men are demanding that our democracy be puri- 
fied. Judges must doflf their furs oftener than the 
living ermine ! Power is a word inappropriate to the 


functions of office ; service to the people is tlie only 
term which befits the conduct of a j)uhlic man ! Ru- 
ler, Governor, and Judge are names of convenience 
with this school, until others may be affixed, but the 
ideas which they represent are obsolete ; the species 
they describe, extinct and — forgotten, but for some 
fossils of the old world. Now, whither does all this 
look, but to the reduction of society to its lowest 
terms ? — the dissolution of what is, without forecast 
of what may be ? — a venture into the dark of futurity, 
without even a blazing brand from the ruins of the 

Another detachment of this liberating army applies 
itself to the specialite of social reform. All the 
bonds of community are wrongly adjusted. It is 
time for society to adjourn and re-organize. "Com- 
monwealth," hitherto an illusion and a mockery, it is 
now proposed to substantiate. Individual tenure of 
property is pronounced an outrage upon the joint 
rights of the many to the broad domain of the earth ; 
partition into families an odious monopoly, a pretext 
for aristocratic ranks and orders, for special, personal 
attachments, prejudicial to common charity ; a prac- 
tical denial of the great brotherhood of man. And 
so, the poor lone vestige of the patriarchal state, 
which has survived all changes through more than 
five thousand years — the association of kindred in 
one household : and, appropriation of wealth to him 
whose toil and care have developed and preserved it, 
sacred in every age, (since Abel the shepherd owned 
a lamb to oiler in sacrifice, and Cain brought fruits 
from the ground, of his own culture,) the genius ot 
reform has now discovered to be transcendent wrongs 


of which the world in its gray maturity ought to be 
ashamed. Pity is it, that time has labored so long in 
birth of wisdom which might have blest its earlier 
cycles ; or, since that has been, that schemes so nov- 
el, cannot compass also the making of a new sphere 
for trial, but must be given to experiment, if at all, in 
a trite and every day world, thick-sown with rank 
conventionahsms, and sturdy, deep-rooted social 
forms ! Vagaries so extravagant and lunatic, are 
propounded with the most unblushing impudence, and 
commended to public favor by vigorous talent, and 
engaging enthusiasm. And, if there were not coun- 
tervailing influences at work to keep the general 
mind in its staid temper of conservatism, society 
might be hurried, like the herd of Gadara, down the 
steep place that leads to its perdition. 

The time would fail us to recount all the depart- 
ments of social interest which are visited and endan- 
gered by the furor of this progressive spirit. But, 
in this place and presence, it would be justly es- 
teemed a strange omission if no allusion were made 
to the lust for novelties in religion, which kindles 
some ardent bosoms, and employs some teeming 
brains. The history of religion in this country, (I 
speak not now of ecclesiastical forms, but of opinion, 
sentiment and practice,) is the most curious and ver- 
satile chapter in the annals of the world. It can 
never be written on earth, for no mind of mortal can 
comprehend all its phases. The pen of the record- 
ing angel only is adequate to the task. Liberty of 
conscience has been here given and exercised as 
never before under the sun. Invention is actually 
spent in devising new " isms " upon the pretended 


basis of revealed truth. Until now, revelation itself 
is (leclared stale and unprofitable. Once, adventure 
trembled to take the Bible in hand, and turning the 
back upon venerable systems of faith to speculate 
freely upon its awfully sacred contents. Now, men 
of assumed devotion hold ancient scriptures and 
oecumenical decrees, and established creeds in equal 
disrespect, and accept, or long for new revelations ; 
or, esteem man his own illuminator, capable to attain 
by progressive development of his reason, visions of 
truth more elevated and expansive than were ever 
shown to Law-giver, Prophet, or Messiah. Indeed, 
thej-e is a presumpkious infidchty, more progressive 
and less refined than this, which numbers among its 
advocates, men who make large professions of phi- 
lanthropy ; however they repudiate the school of 
morals at which it has been learned. This type of 
aggression abjures all speculative religious truth, 
spurns old systems and craves no new^ ones. Its 
religion has to do only with the mutual, social rela- 
tions of man. It does homage to no being on earth 
or in Heaven. It is without a* creed, save in its own 
sufficiency. It owns no Sabbath, for all its days are 
hallowed by its rites of proscriptive, relentless benev- 
olence. It is non-resistant to evervthinir but Law. 

»/ CD 

It loves all sorts and conditions of men, except 
Christians. It sanctions the most abhorrent and 
revolting associations, -averse to no fellowship, but 
the communion of the Church. If the common mind 
were surrendered to the influence of opinions like 
these, philanthropy demented would soon lift the 
blood-red standard, and open the new era, by con- 
signing to death the living piety and benevolence of 


These are some of the more obvious manifesta- 
tions of the so-called progressive spirit of the age. 
They are alarming ; and if they were unparalleled, 
by some opposite tendencies, might be regarded as 
the prelude of social ruin. 

But, while the great mass of the community con- 
templates these movements with indifference, and 
even derision, some minds, disgusted at the licen- 
tiousness of modern freedom, are looking back wist- 
fully to the dull stagnation of the middle ages. They 
could be content perhaps, with progress, if it were 
not so impatient. Present advancement were not so 
distasteful, if it were not abused as a stand-point for 
further and indefinite aspirations. And so they who 
long for quiet, who esteem permanency a greater 
blessing than restless improvement, sigh for the re- 
covery of old monarchies, — old feudal tenures of 
property, and rank, — old social usages, employments, 
and sports, — old hierarchies, churches, religious 
orders, processions, pomps, and accidents of wor- 
ship. And, since the matter-of-fact business world, 
elated with the profit of its reform, is too practical 
to speculate, and too hurried to wait the recital of 
quaint reminiscences — it befals religion — the contem- 
plative department of our social system, 'the theme 
of sentiment and imagination, the agent which neither 
makes, nor mars, any temporal interest,— to be dealt 
with most freely by minds of re-actionary leanings. 
We smile at the fidelity with which the past is repro- 
duced, wherever such can carve their fancies in stone, 
or depict them in grotesque interceptions of the sim- 
ple light of Heaven. The nomenclature of early 
times in the mouths of living men, flings a mist of 
perplexity over the period of our being. We ques- 


tion whether we or they have lost our proper date. 
They talk of worship, and sacred places and holy 
vessels in such antiquated terms, and with such pro- 
found solemnity, that we are fain to tremble, lest 
Christianity itself has been compromised by the dis- 
use of these holy circumstantials. 41as, that men 
should spend devotion on symbols, fervent enough to 
be rendered to God ; that the truth of the Church 
should be deemed safe only in a petrifaction, duly 
arched, and tiled, begirt with open timber, and em- 
blazoned with gold and crimson; that architecture 
should be named "sacred," and mediaeval become (in 
any use) the synonym of Christian. 

But there is a regard in which we may view these 
antiquarian extravagances with something more than 
patience. Public opinion is to be directed and 
impelled by the joint action of opposing forces. 
These notions are the appointed, and necessary an- 
tidote to the rash chimeras of our progressive times ! 
They would demand the most decided reprehension, 
if there were any danger of their prevalence. But 
the world is not to be rolled backward by a few 
dreamers. The rampant spirit of activity cannot be 
lulled into slumber by the monotonous reading of 
legendary tales. Liberated mind will not bow its 
neck and ask to have the iron collar restored. The 
world has jirown too utilitarian to renounce its dis- 
coveries in the arts, and return every clan to its val- 
ley, every shepherd to his hill-side. Rustic gossip 
cannot serve for transmission of intelligence to an 
age which has seized the lightning for a vehicle of 
thought. A palmer's staff and sandals do not promise 
the speed of travel which they of this generation 
require, who have reticulated the globe in a net-work 


of steel,— and compass its circuit, swift and facile as 
the spider tracks the circumference of its web ! — The 
horn book does not comprise knowledge enough for 
this period of the world, when every hamlet has its 
author, every village its printing press,— and all the 
inhabitants are readers ! Return to the institutions 
of primitive times is impossible. Slavish mimickry 
of rude and ungainly antiquities is foolish affectation. 
To perpetuate the good, and make it better, is true 

But these retrogressive efforts will never do more 
than retard the imprudent haste of the general mind 
for coming development. They will counteract a 
little, the revolutionary influences of hot, and forward 
spirits. They will interest the public just enough to 
induce the conservation of some precious relics — 
while it proceeds, despite their resistance, to evolve 
and enjoy the good wherewith futurity is teeming !— 
They are, in their application to common sentiment, 
the centripetal force. They give no impulse, — they 
do but moderate advancement, and inflect it into an 
orbit of safety. The spirit of reversion to the life- 
lessness of olden times, is the nitrogen of our intel- 
tectual atmosphere, — unmingled, it would extinguish 
all vitahty of thought,— invention, enterprise, and 
hope. But, combmcd with that exhilarating medium 
of progression, that fiery element of reform, it sub- 
dues and moderates it ; so that, together, they con- 
stitute an air which free men can breathe, invigora- 
ted alike for the enjoyments of what is attained, and 
for the pursuit of what is yet in reserve. 

If the thoughts which I have offered be just, it is 
not worthy of observing, considerate men to attach 
themselves either to the antiquarian, or to the vision- 


ary school of public counsellors, Eiich system is 
false, — each scheme would prove disastrous in exe- 
cution ! — x\or yet does it become us to wish that 
either were extinct or even that holh were superceded. 
In the present condition of the world, it may be that 
some fanaticism is needful to infuse vitality ; to 
picture truth in all its aspects, and with depth of col- 
oring conspicuous, and impressive ! Moreover, who 
knoweth whether under this constitution of things 
evil be not a necessary means of good ; — yea, wheth- 
er the evolution of good by the counter-action of 
opposing evils be not the elected demonstration of 
the Creator's wisdom, and of his complete suprem- 
acy over all the powers of the adversary ? 

It is the office of educated and thoughtful men to 
watch these contending influences, — to note their 
effects upon the public mind, — to resist either when 
excessive, — to catch suggestions of practical wisdom 
from both, compound them, and press them upon the 
attention of mankind. Conservatism is the result 
and token of true and ample 'mental culture, He 
who lives to stimulate social progress when it is lag- 
ging, and to restrain it when it is over-wrought, is 
the true philanthropist, — though notoriety be no part 
of his reward ! The planet shines with a mild and 
constant light, — it never startles men by a sudden 
gleam. It is scarce distinguishable among the hosts 
of Heaven ; yet it is intrinsically great, — essential to 
the ecjuipoise of the system, perhaps of the Universe ! 
It is determinate in its orbit. When adventurers 
upon the stormy sea are perplexed by the vacillations 
of their own compass— they search for it in its sphere 
and correct or assure themselves by its position. 
That is the meteor, which glares upon the nightly sky, 


with sudden brightness — arresting and disappointing 
the wanderer's regard ; without magnitude,— without 
direction, — without significance ! 

I have great faith in the future progress of man- 
kind, and especially in the part which the men of 
this new world are to perform in the last Act of the 
great drama of Time, I repose with no faltering 
reliance upon the true tendencies of common senti- 
ment, under the forces which watchful Heaven allows 
from one and another quarter, to impel and direct it. 
It may vibrate a little beneath the shock of sudden 
and violent influences, as a strong ship trembles at 
the concussion of the sea, — but wind and wave — 
pressure and resistance, bear both onward in their 
destined course. Contemplating the intense activity 
and wild enthusiasm of infatuated zealots, urging the 
world backward or forward on the track of change, 
we may confess ourselves appalled at the prospect ; — 
but, if we will regard them as servants of a supreme 
will, counteracted in mischief now, or presently, by 
some equally threatening antagonist ; and constrained 
to do some rational good, in the stead of intended 
monstrous evil ; — if we will remember that public 
opinion is the sentiment of millions, and not the pas- 
sion of a few, — that it is too vast to be carried away 
with every wind of doctrine ;— and that decades and 
not days betray its changes — we can learn to be calm 
amid whatever tumults, and cheerfully to meet occa- 
sions of duty, assured that the right will prevail, man 
accomplish his destined progress, and the Supreme 
illustrate his own wisdom ! 

lie is as false in his philosophy, as he is faithless in 
his religion, who does not read in the History of the 
past, the promise of advancement in the future. No 


fact in the annals of mankind, has shown the limit of 
human capacity. The tide of social progress has in- 
deed, time and again, moved hack, after hearing up the 
destinies of the world, high and hopeful, on its huoyant 
waves. But each successive decline has heen less ex- 
treme, each influx has suhmerged a wider line on the 
mangent of ignorance, and barbarism ! — What pretext 
has the craven thought, that progression has reached 
its acme ? — Are all the appliances of nature employed 
and exhausted ? — Is society as elevated and as happy 
as may be .'* — Does it look as if the Creator had 
accomplished his purposes — used up the resources of 
the earth, and developed by his creature — man, all 
that may benefit a waiting universe, and redound to 
the glory of its Maker .'* Oh no ! Human advance- 
ment has quite as much fore-shadowed in the future, 
as realized in the past. It is to proceed, we may 
trust, as heretofore, with constantly accelerated 
force ! The flood-tide on which we are bounding, 
may be the destined one which is to cover, and lus- 
trate the earth ! Brothers ! it is the contest of the 
elements which causes, and directs its flow ! All 
progression is modified, and in some sense caused by 

" From the fire and the water we drive out y' steam, 
" With a rush and a roar, and the speed of a dream. 
" And the car without horses, the car witiiout wings, 

" Roars onward and flies — 

" On its pale, iron edge. 
"Neath the heat of a thought sitting still in our eyes." 

Archimedes could not move the world, for the lack 
of a fulcrum against which to ply his lever. And the 
Aeronaut cannot justify his name and navigate the 
air, for want of a sufficiently resisting medium. He can 


move, but he cannot progress !— Conflicts of mind 
are the concerted impulse of society ; one class 
may furnish the power ; but to make it happily effi- 
cient, another must create the friction. Let us not 
be disheartened by the diversities of influence, which 
bear on common opinion. Be it ours to adjust, com- 
bine, and apply them ; to reduce or shut off" what is 
excessive or noxious, — to enforce what is deficient ; 
to infuse what is wanting ! 

It cannot be amiss for your speaker, addressing sons 
of the Church, at one of her sacred seats of learn- 
ing, to enjoin, in fine, remembrance, that the religion 
which she teaches, is an element of manifold poten- 
cy, by which all the other influences that aflJect 
society may be resolved, and made salutary,— and 
without which, conservatism can but dignify decay,— 
and reform create new methods for sickening with 
"hope deferred," the expectant hearts of men ! — In 
the darkest hours, weary with watching for the 
dawn and spent with fruitless toil, we may still have 
hope in the Redeemer's presence. Jesus of Naza- 
reth can walk upon the billows, — never too turbulent 
to yield him a footing, He will embark with those 
that trust in Him, command the winds and waves to 
do them service, and waft the vessel which they guide 
through the midnight, and the storm, triumphantly to 
the Haven of peace I 

Sen Jlcars out of College. 


Dtlinn^ii in flje /ree (Ejiiiirnjial Cljajid, 

JULY 28, 1852, 



■ «^> ■ 



Hautfoed, July 28th, 1852. 

Rev. and Dear Classmate: 

The undersigned were appointed a committee by the members of the 
Class of '42, to "wait upon you and request for publication a copy of the very 
able, eloquent and interesting address which you delivered to us this evening, 
being anxious that those of us who were unavoidably absent, should share, in 
some degree, the pleasure and benefit so largely received by those who list- 
ened to you. 

Hoping that you may accede to this earnest request, 

We are truly yours, 

Rev. Wm. H. Corneng. 

Hartford, July 29, 1852. 

Classmates : 

As the address, a copy of which you solicit for publication, may serve 
as a memorial of fellowship and a bond of union to the class, in separation, I 
yield it with reluctance to you for publication. 

Yours truly, 

Rev. Charles R. Fisher. 
Aug. N. Le'Roy, Esq. 


Fellow Classmates, 

When we look back to the days of our college life ; those 
green days in more senses than one of our freshman, soph- 
omore, junior and senior dignities ; when the sound of the 
too faithful bell called us with terrible punctuality to our daily 
duties, and the nature and struggles of active life were 
not at all apprehended ; can it be possible that for ten long 
years we have been separated, mingling each for ourselves, 
in the stern realities of this earnest world ? Yet so it is. 
And we are now met together, to return each other's greet- 
ings, with all the ardor which pertains to the pccuhar and 
delightful relation of classmate ; to review our college days 
together ; to recount to each other our experiences of life, our 
work, our joys, our failures, our successes; and to gain from 
mutual counsel fresh animation and encouragement for a 
nobler life, in the years before us. Varied and chequered 
have been the lives which we have lived. It will be more 
than a pleasure, to listen to each others autobiographies ; 
there cannot but be mingled in them some golden grains of 

" Hoc est 
Vtvere bis, vita posse priore friiiP 

All of our class are not with us. Some could not be pres- 
ent, for they are far distant ; others could not leave their 
duties. We will send them now our greetings upon the 
spiritual telegraph of the heart. As they remember the day, 
they too may touch the same keys. But alas I three of our 
little circle are not upon earth. We can only shed the tear 
of sympathy upon the graves of the simple hearted scholarly 
Rossiter ; the rough-hewn but heroic missionary Peake ; the 
many sided, substantial, singular Wales. 


In turning about for a subject of thought, suitable for this 
occasion, I can find no other than the natui'c and value of 
that period of life, through which we have just passed, our 
ten years out of college. 

Life is divided into several definite and widely different 
periods, or stages. The developement of one stage, has so 
little in common with that of another, that in passing from 
one to the other there seems to be no preparation whatever, 
for the new life. In each period or division of life, we are 
obliged to begin at the alphabet of that division, and gradu- 
ally acquiring its rudiments, at length to fit ourselves to its 
peculiar form of existence. The transformation of the worm 
into the butterfly is hardly greater, than that of the infant 
into the child. And so the emergence of the boy into youth ; 
whether he betakes himself to the mechanic's shop, the mer- 
chant's store, or the student's college, is an entirely new, and 
diverse state of being ; old experiences, and joys, and sor- 
rows being left in the dry cocoons of childhood. Precisely 
so is it with the gi-aduation of the student, or the young man 
of twenty-one, when he enters upon the active world, as an 
independent, or rather self dependent man. College life is a 
very different thing from professional life; almost wholly 
diverse. There is a new, a rough and a disciplinary educa- 
tion to learn. Those things, which once were the end and 
object of our hopes, have become dull and insipid. Society 
exhibitions and junior exhibitions and commencements, are 
no longer the great and wonderful eras of the world. We 
laugh at ourselves, when we recall how we peeped over the 
stage, from the little back room in the church, to see whether 
the house was full, when we were to astonish the natives 
with our ten minutes oration. Yet still there are hearts which 
bound as enthusiastically in view of such things, as ours once 
did, and who would esteem it a dangerous heresy, if any one 
should deny the immense importance to the universe of brief 
harangues upon the college platform. 

It is strange with how little sympathy or fond remembrance 
we bury our past lives. We may sometimes talk in poetic 
strains, of our wishing to be children or students again, but 
it is all talk. We do not wish to be. We really despise, as 

a mere nursury life, the former divisions of our being. We 
like at times indeed, as upon such an occasion as this, to fish 
up old scenes, and live over in reverie old times, but it is 
always with the delightful understanding, that we are not 
actually in the midst of them as formerly, and do not wish to 
be. We even enjoy laughing at our past selves, our child- 
hood and college life together, when it is well understood in 
the company. We may perhaps, sometimes, wish that we 
had opportunity to go through college again, but it is be- 
cause we would go through as professional men, with a dif- 
ferent bent and purpose, and as we say, to some end, not as 
formerly. No! the soul has little attachment to the preced- 
ing periods of its progress, but is ever casting its thoughts 
forward, remembering the past as inferior and undesirable 
states, and so it will doubtless be forever. " Quidquid enim 
est, quavivis amplum sit, id certe parum est turn, cum est al- 
iquid anipUits." 

The great and distinsruishing characteristic of life out of 
college, which meets us upon the very first step from our 
college life, and extends its rough hand for our acceptance, is 
its thoroughly practical and earnest nature. The hue of ev- 
ery thing around and within us is changed. We are no 
longer to busy ourselves with dead tongues and abstract sci- 
ences, as mere matters of preparatory discipline, but we are 
to make for ourselves, in some sphere of usefulness, an ex- 
periment of life. If we choose the profession of teacher, and 
thus pass our years in our college studies, it is still a very 
different work from that of the recitation room, for it has in 
it a practical aim. The atmosphere in which we move is 
far diflerent in its constituent elements, exhilarating us with 
a sense of a deep earnest problem to be solved, a work be- 
fore us and a destiny. To sit down to lessons in Greek or 
Latin becomes at once very stupid business, and the period of 
college life, so absolutely essential to a thorough discipline, 
seems at times utterly wasted. And thus it is, that in " the 
Universal Yankee Nation," so full of stir and utility, nearly 
all its graduated scholars, throw entirely away their classical 
studies when they take their diplomas, and in a few years 


can hardly translate their diplomas themselves ; a very great 
mistake indeed, for the polish and the power of a true life- 
long scholar, mingling in the earnest pursuits of practical life, 
exert an influence, far beyond the reach of scholarship alone, 
which would be entirely unfit for the soil of America, an 
exotic too delicate for this western clime, a folly and a sin 
every where ; or of practical energetic talent alone, which 
needs the conservative, guiding and chastening influence of 
classical study. If a more life-like spirit, if the genius of 
America could be introduced into our colleges, modeled now 
so universally after the pattern of the dark ages, this deplor- 
able separation of scholarship and useful exertion, might be 
avoided. But now, the young student with a life before him 
of success or defeat, entirely unused to the idea of such a 
life, and finding himself with astonishment in the midst of it, 
abandons with disgust, and often forever, the studies which 
appear so very useless to him. 

There are two departments into which life out of college, 
during its first ten years, is divided, both of them equally 
peculiar, the choice and study of a profession, and the enter- 
ing upon it. Some there are whose early taste and predi- 
lections entirely exclude every thing like study in the choice 
of a profession. It has already been settled and foreordained, 
so that when they graduate they have only to enter upon the 
necessary preparation for their desired work. Others, how- 
ever, are not by any means so fortunate. They know not 
what study to pursue. The four learned professions, since 
the progress of public sentiment has deservedly added a 
fourth to the three which have always existed, the honorable 
and useful profession of teacher, are all turned over in the 
mind again and again, and as Frank Hazeldean attempted 
to do in his affair with the Countess Peschiera, " reasoned 
about," and often with as little success or ability to form 
a conclusion, till at last, in the same manner as the heir of 
the Hazeldeans broke away from his logic in a fit of desper- 
ation, rushing into the presence of the amazed countess; so 
the poor graduate with resolved energy, dashes at a venture 
into some professional school. 

The study of a profession after it has once been chosen is 
full of the exhilaration and living interest of a practical work. 
It stands stron<^ly contrasted with college life; an entirely 
new sphere of thought and action. Here it is that the young 
student first begins to realize into what a new sphere he has 
transmigrated. He has not indeed been launched into the 
very midst of this living world, but only upon its borders. 
He little dreams of the work and trials and exertions yet re- 
maining. Rather, he doubts not that when he puts up his 
sign, " attorney at law," his office will be crowded with clients, 
eager to engage his marvelous abilities, or when he announ- 
ces to his friends that he is about to preach his maiden ser- 
mon, he shall be received with open hearts, and encouraging 
words, instead of the half sneering compliment "pretty well 
for a boy, smells of the seminary." This is all concealed 
from him, and he works on eagerly and joyously in the hope 
of ultimate success, for he knows, though he is somewhat 
green in some matters, that success is the reward of labor. 

At last he is sent forth to his work. And now all the dif- 
ficulties and trials of a beginning crowd around him. Life 
opens in its serious reality before him. Instead of thinking 
of a crowd of clients, as when he argued so gloriously in his 
moot court in the case of Simpkins vs. Wilkins, he begins 
to wonder if the shadow of any will ever rest upon his book 
shelves. His ideas of practice suddenly become homeo- 
pathic, in the minutest sense of Hahneman himself. Even 
Henry Clay, in the height of his greatness, forgot not the 
trembling joy with which he received his first fee of fifteen 

If a physician, he purchases his lancets and ' pil. hyd.' or his 
little bottles of nux, and belledonna, with the serious ques- 
tion in his mind, whether the investment is a safe one. I 
remember a distinguished physician in the height of a suc- 
cessful practice, who once told me that he waited nearly a 
year for a patient, and more than two for a scanty maintain- 
ance. But he was determined to succeed, and stood faith- 
fully at his post. 

But of all the trying things in this trying world, I verily 


believe the yonng minister's first sermon must bear the palm. 
His heart beats like a trip hammer in full play ; he looks down 
upon his congregation of faces in perfect bewilderment; he 
screws up his courage to the sticking point, and if he has 
energy of will sufficient, finally gets through with a very flat 
sermon without breaking utterly down ! 

The minister's first sermon — the physician's first recipe — 
the lawyer's first case — what a brotherhood of wonders! how 
full of trembling anxiety — of earnest hope — of serious mirth. 
Human language cannot do them justice. 

Now then, in the progress of the scholar's life, he has 
entered upon the period of probation. For years he must 
struggle on to work out for himself a character and a posi- 
tion. Sometimes indeed circumstances are so favorable, 
that he emerges at once into success, but it is so seldom, as 
hardly to need mention. The very greatest names on the 
roll of fame, endured a terrible apprenticeship in their first 
years of setting up in life. William Wirt, from disappoint- 
ments, contracted a terrible habit, which had nearly buried 
his high talents in a drunkard's grave, and was only rescued 
from it by the devoted attachment of an heroic woman, who 
became the companion of his days of greatness. The very 
fact of being a young man is an obstacle to success. You 
remember the answer of Jeremy Taylor to one of the bish- 
ops of England, when he presented himself before him, upon 
occasion of being nominated by a friend to a preferment. 
Having passed an examination with great honor, he was in- 
formed by the bishop that he saw no objection to him except 
his age ; with a humble bow, Taylor replied, " I will do my 
best to overcome that defect, if you will give me time." 

Then too there is often a series of absolute failures, in the 
first experiences of men, afterward successful in a high de- 
gree. The first attempts of the young aspirant are more 
likely, if he have any real ability and fire, to be crude and 
half digested, than to come up in any manner to the measure 
of his powers. Your men of shallow capacity, go off best 
at the first fire. The greatest minds more generally, in 
their first efibrts, "flash in the pan." The reason is evident; 


for the superficial mind does not originate, but simply recasts 
the ideas of others, whereas the mind of true power, at once 
throws itself n{)ou its own independence, and tiiinks out its 
own thoughts. (Jf course the first effortvS of the one, will 
partake of the maturity of the superior minds, from which 
they borrow; while those of the other will be characterized 
by the friction and creaking and abortive efforts, which always 
accompany the first trial movements of a newly invented 
machine. The apparatus of thought has not been properly 
oiled, nor has it come into harmony with itself, so that it can 
play gracefully and with unconscious power. Instances of 
decided failure in the early elforts of distinguished men are 
not few. Indeed failures would seem to be the rule, and suc- 
cess the exception in all such cases. It would appear that 
it was necessary thus to discipline the awakening faculties. 

Demosthenes, when he appeared first in public, even after his 
long discipline by the sea shore, could hardly be heard, stam- 
mered under the greatest embarassment, and with difficulty 
escaped breaking down entirely. The celebrated Irish orator 
Curran, whose words seem to fiow without the least effort^ 
sat down overpowered in his first attempt, after many useless 
efforts at utterance, receiving for a long time the title of "ora- 
tor mum." With great effort, Henry Clay acquired his pow- 
er, making many a failure before the plows and harrows 
and carts and cattle in his father's barn, before he appeared 
in public, and even then we are told in his biography, of a 
ludicrous attempt at public speaking in addressing a debating 
club, when he could not for a long time rid himself of the 
idea that he was addressing a jury, and wuth difficulty re- 
covered from the embarassment of his position. So too the 
early public efforts of Webster, did not by any means come 
up to the promise of his talents, but served as failures to 
nerve him to higher energy. 

The great Sir Hum])hrey Davy, seemed in his early years 
about to make a failure of life, giving no promise of schol- 
arship, and satisfied with acquiring only the rudiments of a 
classical education ; then making a trial of a new calling 
under the direction of a surgeon and apothecary, he gained 
no other honor than that of being called " idle and incorrig- 


able," until finally an early taste for chemical science received 
encouragement, and through a series of failures and successes, 
common in the experience of chemists, he finally obtained 
an immortal name. The celebrated discoverer of the method 
of neutralizing pain in surgical operations, the late Dr. Hor- 
ace Wells, persevered in a series of ingenious experiments 
for various ends, with many failures, till the final triumph 
of his genius, which has so greatly blessed the world. The 
greatest inventor now living in this country, to whose skill 
and power we owe the Brussels carpet loom, which placed 
America at the Great Exhibition, first in this department, and 
the ingrain carpet loom, and the counterpane and coach lace, 
and gingham looms, to mention no other of lesser note, 
persevered in poverty and discouragements through a series of 
failures and moves in false directions, till finally he emerged 
into his present well merited eminence as the great benefac- 
tor of mankind, in contributing to the industrial forces of 
the world.* 

Byron's first work, " The hours of Idleness," merited the 
severe castigation it received from the pen of Brougham, and 
the utter failure which it proved, united with the criticism 
it provoked, roused the slumbering energies of his genius. 
Covvper's first poems lay unread, till the reputation of the au- 
thor of the Task, brought them into notice, and their dull 
rhyme was submitted to, on account of the genius of the 
poem written at lady Austen's request. So do we every day 
wade through the very dryest of all dry productions, if they 
come from a pen immortalized by a single work of power. 

* We may be excused for alluding to a valued friend, whose genius has not 
as yet come as it should to public notice, and whose private virtues are equal to 
his genius; E. B. Bigelow M. A. of Clinton, Mass. An account of his early 
life and inventions may bo found in Appleton's Encylojiedia of the Mechanic 
Arts, recently published. The town of Clinton, containing some 3, .500 inhab- 
itants, is the result of the industrial forces set in motion by his inventive power. 
This town, laid out and fashioned by the taste and energy of his brother, H, 
N. Bigelow Esq, is a model of what a manufacturing town should be, though 
we are sorry to say the corporations grumbled not a little at tlio liberality dis- 
played, and have contributed hardly any thing to institutions ibr the intellectual 
and moral progress of the people. 


And we lay earnest claim to every thing, even to the very 
scraps and rubbish which can in any way be connected with 
a great name. Our English literature, would be much im- 
proved, if half of the writings of our standard authors were 
blotted out of existence. Thus we felt when we perused the 
Poems of Tennyson, brilliant here and there with the glow 
of genius, but filled up intermittently with the platitudes of 
his early and slumbering eflorts. Keats died because he 
could not bear the discipline of his first experience, and re- 
coiled with an unwise sensibility from the truthful criticism, 
that he was a genius yet in tiie green. Bcattie's first works 
lay unread. The catalogue might be indefinitely extended 
from the ranks of literary men. Turning from these to the 
clergy, the beaten track of the ages to the composition of 
good sermons has been through poor ones, or through those 
which can hardly be called sermons at all. Thus one of our 
first living preachers does not hesitate to say, that he can 
turn out twenty as poor sermons as the world ever saw. 
Occasionally a Spiyicer or a Summerfield may break upon 
the world in a glow, but it is with appeals to the emotions 
and feelings of the hour, not in discourses which carry within 
them the power of the pulpit for all ages. 

But besides the early failures, there is still a more serious 
difficulty in the study of professional life — the matter of a 
livelihood — and this is a difficulty often life-long, to the shame 
of our churches, with the clergy. Good father Burton in his 
famous Anatomy, has a ludicrous account of the trials of 
ministers, which, albeit there is much reference to the pat- 
ronage system of England in it, has so much truth, applica- 
ble to all times (for there is much of a patronage system every 
where) that I shall quote it entire. 

"Last of all" says he "to come to our divines, the most 
noble profession and worthy of double honor, but of all others 
the most distressed and miserable. If you will not believe 
me, hear a brief of it, as it was not many years since, publicly 
preached at Paul's Cross, by a grave minister then and now 
a reverend bisho}) of this land ; ' We that are bred up in learn- 
ing, and dostinated by our parents to this end, we suffer oiu: 


childhood in the grammar school, which Austin calls, mag- 
nam ti/rannidem et grave mahim, and compares it to the tor- 
ments of martyrdom ; when we come to the university, if we 
live of the college allowance, as Phalaris objected to the Leon- 
tines, ' Tav TMv cv6cir -'Siv Xi/'ou Kai fojdov,' uccdy of all things but hun- 
ger and fear, or if we be maintained but partly by our par- 
ent's cost, do expend in unnecessary maintenance, books and 
degrees, before we come to any perfection, five hundred 
pounds or a thousand marks. If by this price of the expense 
of time, our bodies and spirits, our substance and patrimonies, 
we can not purchase those small rewards, which are ours by 
law, and the right of inheritance, a poor parsonage, or a 
vicarage of .£50 per annum, but we must pay to the patron 
for the lease of a life, (a spent and outworn life) either in 
annual pension, or above the rate of a copyhold, and that with 
the hazard and loss of our souls, by simony and perjury, and 
the forfeiture of all our spiritual preferments, in esse and 
posse, both present and to come, what father after a while 
will be so improvident, to bring up his son to his great charge 
to this necessary beggary? What christian will be so irre- 
ligious, to bring up his son in that course of life, which by all 
probability and necessity, enforcing to sin, will entangle him 
in simony and perjury, when as the poet said, ^ Invitatus ad 
haec aiiquis de pontenegabitf a beggar's brat taken from the 
bridge, where he sits a begging, if he knew the inconvenience, 
had cause to refuse it. This being thus, have not we fished 
fair all this while, that are initiate divines, to find no better 
fruits of our labors? Is it for this we rise so early all the 
year long, 'leaping as he saith out of our beds, when we 
hear the bell ring, as if we had heard a thunder clap. If this 
be all the respect reward and honor we shall have, Frange le- 
ves c alamo s ; let's turn soldiers, sell our books and buy swords, 
guns, and pikes, or stop bottles with them, turn our philoso- 
phers' gowns, as Cleanthes once did, into millers' coats, leave 
all and rather betake ourselves to any other course of life 
than to continue longer in such misery." 

In this graphic account of the trials of the clergy, from 
inadequate salaries, there is a strange oversight of the rewards 
and honors in reserve for the faithful servant of the Most 


High, and the continual joy of a consciousness of Divine 
approbation. No true minister of Christ, would be tempted 
to leave his work, for any worldly advantage. lie loves his 
work as the highest committed to the trust of mortal man. 
Yet for all this, there is no reason, no ri;,dit, no Christianity, 
in the meagre stipends paid to the minister at the altar, by 
which, they are often so loaded with worldly cares, as to be 
unfitted for the spiritual duties of their ministry. 

Such are some of the trials, through which the professional 
man has to pass, in his way to the place of inlluenco, which 
he is to fill. By some they are earlier passed than by others. 
When passed, life assumes a new phase. Responsibility and 
a consciousness of power, develop new characteristics and 
energies. The work of life is now fairly reached. The dis- 
cipline of preparation is over. When a class of scholars 
meet together on the tenth anniversary of their graduation 
they have reached this point. If their preparatory education 
is not then finished, so that they are ready now to work, from 
their new and advanced position, it is to be feared that it 
never will be. The great worth and value of these ten years 
consist in the education they give, not in any real achiev- 
ments in life. Something indeed has all along been done, 
but nothing in comparison to what is to be done. Power 
has been developing, and now it devolves upon the scholar 
to wield it. Henceforth his work is greater and nobler. 

His habits of mind are now formed and fixed. Whatever 
they are, it is generally too late to disturb them, after ten 
years have given them root. And even if some of them are 
bad, it is too much to expect that he shall spend his whole 
life in attention to method, when there is so much to be done, 
just as if a soldier should spend his days in changing the 
color and fashion of his regimentals. No I there is something 
to be achieved, and he is to achieve it. He has spent time 
enough in the preparation. Now let him, with earnest heart, 
to the work. A thorough, business-like life in duty, will do 
more to rid him of defects, than any thing else, just as a 
thrifty living tree, simply by living, casts oli" its decaying 

But besides the formation of his habits of mind, he has 


learned the essential requisite of self reliance. He feels the 
noble dignity of truth and that in the presentation of it he 
needs no apology. Regard for the opinion of others, which 
was once so powerful, has given place in the progress of 
his experience, to a regard for trath, and the candor and reli- 
ability of his own mental processes in searching for truth. 
Then too, an experience of ten years has not failed to give 
him the consciousness of an internal right of self reliance. 
He has therefore come into the possession of an essential 
element of power, for self distrust is the spirit of weakness. 
Self reliance, if it has anything like a respectable foundation, 
and if it be not inordinate, is absolutely essential to a com- 
manding influence. 

Moreover, the scholar has learned in his ten years disci- 
pline his true work and end. Personal advancement must 
sink very low in the estimate of a ti'ue christian scholar, after 
ten years of living activity in the world around him. All the 
little objects and emulations of college life must slide far 
away into the back gi'ound of thought. A nobler end and 
a higher purpose now appears to view, as the only rational 
and satisfying end, the advancement of the welfare and hap- 
piness of the world. This is a worthy and a glorious object 
of pursuit. In the words of the great philosopher and orator 
of Rome ; "quae est, ig-itm', melior in hominum g-enere natura, 
qnam eorum qui, se natos ad homines juvandos, tutandos, con- 
servandos, arbitrantur ? Quid propagatio nominis, quid ipsa 
sepulcrorum monumenta, quid elogia significant ?" 

Fellow Classmates, we stand in an advanced position in 
life. Deeper responsibilities rest upon us. Behind us are our 
days of preparation. Before us are our days of achievment. 
We all know the influence, which, in all the professions, and 
even in the walks of unprofessional life, is the dignity and 
the glory of the true christian scholar. Let us to the utmost 
employ the power committed to us for the good of man. 
Let not the ministers at the altar be satisfied with fulfilling 
their Sabbath tasks, with dealing out from commentaries and 
theologies their weekly allowance to their people, but with 
earnestness and love let them study the Holy Word for them- 
selves, that by the blessing of God, they may cast a clearer 


light upon its saornrl pages and extend their influence beyond 
the bounds of their own field of labor. Let tliein not grudge 
their visits to the poor and the suftering, but superabounding 
in such labors of mercy, let them imitate the Lord Jesus their 

Let not the physicians engage in their duties as the mere 
drudgery of gain, or as tlie eternal routine of an unprogres- 
sive profession, but with a noble end to relieve human suffer- 
ing, let them dignify their vocations with the spirit of philan- 
thropy; and with the constant study of all new means of 
arresting disease, let them ennoble their calling with the truth- 
fulness of progress. And as scholars in the midst of the 
community, wielding from the very nature of their posi- 
tion power; let them assist to the utmost every good and holy 


Let the lawyers not be of that class, which merits the woe, 

becoming the mean instruments of the quarrelsome and the 
litigious, but with a manly purpose, let them seek the right 
and the true in the deliberations of justice, and the continued 
advancement and purification of the laws; while in their 
position of influence they are ever found the advocates and 
earnest supporters of every thing which tends to the advance- 
ment of human welfare. 

Let not the members of the teacher's profession, sit down 
satisfied with the recitations of the day, but seeking ever 
new avenues of instruction and studying earnestly the best 
means of education, let them be found struggling actively 
and successfully, shoulder to shoulder, with those who are 
now endeavoring to raise to a higher point, and even to the 
highest point, our system of schools. 

Let not those scholars, who have entered no profession, 
having before them a life of literary pursuits, fold their hands 
in useless idleness, as though they had no mission of good to 
man. Well did the younger Pliny write to his friend Minu- 
tius; ^^ Satin s est enim, ut Attilius noster eniditissimc simul 
et facetissime dixit, otiosum- esse, quam nihil ag-ere." Let 
'''■otiosum esse," be cultivated and '■'■ iiiliil ag-ere" rejected. 


• 18 

Let your leinire not be idleness. For there is and must be 
in a true scholar ever the element of power. 

Classmates, there is work for all. We have reached a 
point, from which our labors should tell more than ever be- 
fore, upon the destinies of those arround us. Let us go forth 
to our duties from this anniversary, resolved in the strength 
of a higher power, to do service for God and humanity. 
Little doth it matter what may become of us, or what be said 
of us, if we do our work and receive the approbation of our 


Hartford, July 28, 1852. 

The Class met pursuant to adjournment u])on their graduation in '4 2, on 
the day preceding the annual tonwiu-ncement, in the Free Episcopal Chapel. 

The Rev. Charles R. Fishf.u was appointed chairman. 

After the reading of prayers, the preceding address was delivered before 
the Class and a numl)er of invited friends. 

On motion of the Rev. T]ioJi.\s Gallaudet, it was voted that the Rev. 
Charles R. Fisher and A. N. Le'Roy, Esq. be a committee to request a 
copy of the address for publication. 

Voted, to adjourn to meet at the house of the Rev. Charles R. Fisher 
on commencement day at 3 o'clock P. M. 

July 29th. 

The class met pursuant to adjournment. 

Letters Avere read Irom several members of the class unable to be pres- 
ent. Those present gave an account of their fortunes since they were grad- 
uated. The memories of those departed were recalled with sadness. 

The committee on the address reported that Mr. CoRNiXG consented to 
yield it to the wishes of the Class, and, on motion, they were requested to 
superintend the printing of the same. 

On motion of the Rev. G. Jarvis Geer, it was voted, that the names of 
the members of the Class, with their present residence, so far as ascertained, 
be published with the address. 

On motion of A. N. Le'Roy Esq., it was voted, that the Class will erect a 
suitable monument to the memorj' of their late classmate Geo. H. Wales, 
and that the Rev. Henry Olmstead and the Rev. Charles R. Fisher 
be a committee to prepare a plan for, and procure the erection of the same. 

On motion of E. W. Braixard, Esq., it was voted that another meeting 
of the Class be held on the commencement of 1857. 

On motion of the Rev. Henry Olmstead, voted, that the members of 
the Class resident in Hartford in 1857 be appointed a committee to issue the 
call and make arrangements for the proposed meeting. 

Voted, that the Rev. Charles R. Fishku be appointed to receive any 
communications which may be made to the Class in the interim, and that 
members be requested to communicate to him all matters of interest con- 
nected with (he 

On motion of H. C. Preston, 'M. D., voted, that the thanks of the Class 
be given to their classmate the Rev. Ch.vkles R. Fishku, for his energetic 
and successful efforts, in issuing the call and making arrangements for our 
delightful gathering. 

2^rimiti| C-oll^egi, 


Henry Nichols Beers, - - - 
Edavix Whittlesey Brainard, 
James Stewart Brander. 
Rev. James W. Buadin, - 
Rev. Wieliaji Hexry Corning, - 
Frederick Cornwall. 
"WiLLi.^M Adhiel Ely, - - - 
Rev. Charles Richmond Fisher, 
Rev. Israel Foote, - _ . 
Edward Carroll Franklin, M. D. 
Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, 
Rev. George Jarvis Geer, 
Rev. Eli.tah Guion, _ . . 
George Rogers Hall, M. D., - 
George Hall Hazlehurst. 
Augustus Newbold Le'Roy, - 
Thomas Otis Le'Roy, - - - 
John Marshall, . _ - 
Rev. James Mulchahey, 
Rev. Abel Ogden, - - - 
Rev. Hexry Olmstead, 
*Rev. Charles Foote Peake. 
Rev. Charles Edward Phelps, - 
Henry Canfield Preston, M .D., 
*George Rossiter. 
Laxdaff Strong. 
Rev. Baylies Philips Talbot, 
WiNSLOW Decatur Tracy, 
Coertlaxd Van Buren, 
*Geokge Hexry Wales. 
Rev. Abraham Joseph Warner, - 
Charles AVesley Wooster, 

♦ Dead. 

Newtown, Conn. 

- Lynchburg, Va. 

- Holland Patent, N, Y. 
Hartford, Conn. 

Brovmville, Jefferson Co. N. Y. 

- Hartford, Conn. 
Bainhridge, N. Y. 

- New York City. 
New York City. 

- Ballston Spa, N. Y. 
Carrolton, La. 

- Shanghai, China. 

- Hartford, Conn. 
NeiD York City. 

- Salem, Fauquier County, Va. 
Middlebwy, Vt. 

Canton, St. Lawrence Co. N. Y. 
Branford, Conn. 

Whitehall, N. Y. 

- Providence, B. L. 

Woonsocket, R. J. 
Chicago, III. 
Brooklyn, N. Y.- 
Grand De Tour, 111. 
Bristol^ R. L 

®crm Sermon. 




0tubcnt0 of ©rtnitg <!Iollcgc, i^artforD, 







I'riU.TrtllED BY F. A. BROWN, 



The Ekv. THOMAS M. CLARK, D. D. 
Reverend and Dear Sir : 

We the undersigned, jrraduate and under-graduatc members of 
Trinity College, having Hstened with mueh pleasure, and we trust 
profit, to your Tenn Sermon delivered in Christ Church last eve- 
ning, and desiring that greater publicity should be given to it in 
order that those who had not an opportunity of hearing, may en- 
joy the perusal of the same; request a copy for pubhcation. 

We are truhj yours. 








F. T. lU'SSELL, 


A. F. GOULD, M. A., 

















J. M. DICK, 





A. H. "\VILD:\IAN, Jr., 

D. K. CADY, Jr., 


A. T. POST, 





Messrs. John Brainard, B. A., 
John C. Dubois, 
John H. M'Intosh, 
A. Hamilton Polk, 
E. W. "Williams, and others. 
Gentlemen : 
Tlic sermon wliicli was preached before you last evening, was 
written in great haste and with no thought of its publication ; iind 
still I do not feel at liberty to decline your polite request. 

Very truly yours, 

Hartford, Sept. 27, 1852. 


I. St. Jonx, 2: 14. — I have written unto you, tounq men, because ye 


It was a saying of the great sacred poet of Eng- 
land, " To be weak is the true misery." A vacilla- 
ting mind, an infirm will, inability to resist tempta- 
tion, is indeed " the true misery." It depends mainly 
upon our early discipline, whether or not this shall 
be the character of our life. The young man is 
strong, not in his acquirements, but his capacities : 
his powers are latent, and they may be indefinitely 
expanded, or by neglect, they may shrivel and go 
to decay. 

Those of yon, who are now passing from child- 
hood to maturity, will enter the arena of active life 
at a most interesting and influential period of the 
world's history. Faithfully to discharge your part 
in the approaching era will tax the mightiest ener- 
gies of your being, and demands of you now the 
sternest and most thorough preparation. 

The next fifty years will be one of the most 
momentous epochs in the annals of our race. It is 
possible that practical science may not continue to 


multiply inventions and improvements as rapidly as 
it has done during- the last half-century ; for it 
would seem as though mechanical art had already 
accomplished, in a great measure, all that the exi- 
gencies of our social state require. 

But what has been done, by the generation 
which is soon to pass away, has been only prepara- 
tory to the practical solution of certain great politi- 
cal, social, and ethical problems, upon which the 
destiny of man, for weal or for woe, is intimately 
suspended. There will be great contests of opin- 
ion and thought — before you, whom I address to- 
night, have closed your mortal career — which will 
put your intellectual and your moral powers to the 
severest test. This trial will not be for mere ab- 
stractions, but for solemn realities, such as take 
right hold of man's temporal and eternal destiny. 

That young man, who now fits himself by care- 
ful study and holy religious discipline, to act well 
his part in this grand crisis, will find around him 
the noblest opportunities for action, and will raise 
for himself the proudest trophies ; while he, who 
allows his youthful energies to become enervated 
by indolence and unwholesome pleasure, will find 
himself an incumbrance on the battle-field, and be 
hustled off into obscurity. 

The character of the world is to be impressed 
for good or for evil, more decisively during your 
lifetime, than it ever has been before, in one gener- 
ation, since the Christian era. All the parts of 
the globe are fast coming into intimate contact, and 
the strongest influence will impart its hue to the 

whole. Tlicre will soon be no such thing as dis- 
tance; no place on the face of the earth in whicii 
a nation can insulate itself 'J'he westward tide of 
empire, -which has flowed continuously from the 
creation of man down to the present hour, has now 
reacho<l its terminus, and the reflex current has 
begun to run, China is sending lier emigrants 
eastward; Japan Avill soon be unsealed; Aus- 
tralasia is becoming another Britain; a line of 
light is gradually kindling along the shores of Afri- 
ca; Christianity and civilization are in the ascend- 
ant, as they never were before. And in Christen- 
dom herself, great movements have commenced, 
bearing upon the interests of humanity, which will 
require the noblest powers of the noblest minds, to 
carry to a successful issue. Their aim is the practi- 
cal application of the blessings of Christ's gospel 
to all classes of society ; and to reproduce that 
style of religion which Jesus taught, and which 
Jesus lived. Surely, in such a prospect as this, 
there is stimulus enough to incite you to diligent 
improvement of the advantages with which you 
are favored. 

Those of you, who stand to-night on the thresh- 
old of your collegiate life, have your future in your 
own hands : if you so will, every day may bring 
Avitli it its own peculiar blessing ; you may go on, 
gaining new" strength, new knowledge, and new 
grace, continually. But, in a few, short years, 
whicli will liave gone like a flash, this future will 
be past, and its errors and follies, it will be too late 
to remedy. And, if you could read the secret ex- 


perience of those who, in their maturity, are forced 
to look hack upon a college life unimproved and 
"wasted ; if you could see the struggles which they 
constantly endure, for want of that early culture, 
which would have made all after-study a pleasure, 
and deep thought natural and grateful ; if you could 
see the agonies which they suffer, in striving to 
throw off the dominion of evil habits, acquired and 
fostered by youthful indulgence ; if you could read 
the bitter memories which rob the past of all its 
sweetness, and make retrospection a torment ; I 
tell you, my young friends, there is not one of you 
that would not resolve this night, praying on your 
knees for God to help you, to overcome your native 
indolence, to crush every evil habit in the germ, to 
shun all vice without and all unholy fancies within, 
as you would the pestilence, and consecrate every 
power and faculty to the service of Christ, of hu- 
manity, and of truth. 

There are three sorts of strength, which you 
need to cultivate by discipline, physical, intellect- 
ual and spiritual. Allow me to offer a few sugges- 
tions upon each of these points. 

I. It is indispensable, in order to the best devel- 
opment of your powers, that you should carefully 
guard against every indulgence and every habit, 
which tends to unnerve your physical system, and 
incapacitate the body to be the ready servitor of 
the mind. The machine should be kept in good, 
working order. Pliysical inertia will induce men- 
tal torpor. A tainted body will impart its taint to 
llif soul. Firmufss of nerve must exist, in order 

to the firm action of the will, Our educated men 
are sadly deficient in that healtliy robustness, which 
is so important to their energy ot" thought and ac- 
tion. And this is owing, in a great measure, to 
their ignorance or neglect of physiological law. 
The intimate and vital connection between the 
physical, the mental, and the moral, is a point which 
has been strangely neglected in our education. It 
is only when this outraged law begins to avenge its 
neglect and make us sulVer, that we learn to recog- 
nize its existence. A morbid body must induce a 
morbid mind. There are many developments of 
unhealthy character, which have their seat in an 
unhealthy body. Ill-temper, fretfulness, selfish las- 
situde, suspiciousness, and numberless other quali- 
ties which serve to make men disagreeable, origi- 
nate there. Now, whatever affects the clearness 
of our perceptions or the purity of our thoughts, is 
surely worth regarding ; and let me solemnly as- 
sure you, that you can have neither wholcsomeness 
of mind or of heart, unless you do regard these 
conditions. Sound principles are of little practical 
avail, without good habits ; and most men are more 
controlled by their habits than their principles. 
How often do we hear men say, " I know that I 
ought to do this or that, but I can not : my will is 
too feeble to obey my conscience." This is a de- 
plorable condition, when the law of the members 
wars successfully against the law of the mind ; it is 
the most horrible form of slavery ; and there is a 
point in experience, when it seems to be a hopeless 
slavery. Many a man is held in the bonds of a 


licentiousness which he loathes, and drinks of a 
cup which he would be glad to dash to the earth 
if he could — despising himself for doing what his 
lower nature compels him to do. 

My friends, if you would avoid this loathsome 
self-servitude, begin now to exercise stern self- 
restraint in every thing which your conscience for- 
bids ; check the beginnings of evil ; stop the start- 
ing ball before it rolls itself up into an avalanche ; ex- 
tinguish the fire, before it envelops you in its flame. 
Now is the day of your salvation. These college 
years may be the crisis of your existence. They 
will inevitably stamp an indelible impress upon 
that existence. If you should do evil now, and 
afterward through God's grace recover, you would 
rise up weakened, soiled, and degraded in your own 
eyes. It is a thousand-fold better not to sin, than 
to sin and then repent. God may forgive us, but 
we can not forgive ourselves. Heaven may be 
opened to us, but there can be no heaven for us 
here on earth. Life loses its bloom, when the hand 
of corruption has brushed across it. And then, re- 
member, you may not repent. In the evil path, 
which you now choose, you may travel on to the 
end ; down, down to those gloomy regions of moral 
darkness, where no sunbeam ever shines. If you 
have entered that path, stop where you are, take 
not another step ; but cry unto God to rescue you. 
One more step may seal your doom ! 

II. In order that you may be prepared for the 
serious responsibilities of your future life, it is also 
indispensable that you should now improve, to the 


best possible advantage, all the facilities which you 
have for intellectual culture and discipline. 

If time allowed, I Avould be f^^lad to enlarge upon 
the beneficial moral effect, which results from the 
habit oi^ careful study and earnest thou<^ht. It is 
the vacant soil that is taken i)ossession of by ven- 
omous reptiles and noxious weeds. The surest 
way to keep bad thoui^hts out of the mind is to 
keep it full of good, ^\holesome, invigorating 
thoughts ; such as tax its energies, absorb its inter- 
est, and make it glo^v with ruddy life. A great 
part of all our sin and suffering comes of a flaccid 
will, from mental and moral inertness ; and it is the 
effect of real study and thought to brace the will, 
and to give that activity to the nobler powers, by 
which we instinctively resist the insidious attacks 
of temptation. 

I might also enlarge, if it were not through fear 
of wearying your patience, upon the fact that all 
the pleasure of study depends upon the degree of 
thoroughness with which you study. Our interest 
in any subject is proportioned to the accuracy and 
minuteness of our knowledge of that subject. It 
is therefore of great importance that you master 
most carefully the lluuhunental principles of every 
branch of knowledge, which you attempt to study. 
To fuid one's self, sailing about at random beyond 
sight of land, having left the shore in a fog, is never 
very agreeable or serviceable. If you would make 
your college life pleasant and profitable ; if you 
would have your studies animate, instead of de- 
pressing you, you must start right. You must see 


to it, that the foundations are not out of joint. 
That buikling will be rickety and insecure, whicli 
is erected upon an insecure foundation ; and it is 
not very easy to repair the foundation, after the 
house is built. 

But the point to which I desire to call your spe- 
cial attention, is the necessity of acquiring a true 
and profound mental disciphne, habits of real, act- 
ual thought, in order to your being prepared for the 
exigences which lie before you', as the future 
guides of public opinion and conduct. Now it is 
possible to crowd the mind with facts, without any 
vital, mental culture. There must be an exercise 
of the mind upon each fact, as it is received ; or 
the intellect becomes a mere receptacle — a reser- 
voir, and not a running stream. Education consists 
very much in gorging the mind with knowledge, and 
there is not always that care taken, which a sound 
psychology would dictate, to see that this food is 
properly digested, and taken up into the vital circula- 
tion, to be converted into serviceable bone and sinew. 
But the time is fast coming, when this plethoric 
feeding will not suffice. There is a power of thought 
developing itself outside of our colleges, and be- 
yond the circle of what are called the educated 
classes, wiiich you will be forced to meet and to 
recognize ; your dictum, as a man of liberal educa- 
tion will not suffice, unless you can show that your 
opinion has a good basis. There is sometimes as 
much real thought in the workshop, as in the study. 
The liberal professions as they are termed, are 
losing their relative ascendency, in the region of 


influence and opinion. There is as much intelli- 
gence, and perhaps more of real, rohust thoujjht 
outside of their charmed circle, as within it. The 
press, for instance, is fast encroaching upon the 
pulpit, so that it has been well said, we are now 
" press-ridden, instead of priest-ridden." Men are 
falling into the way of submitting their disputes to 
arbitration, instead of encountering the glorious un- 
certainty of the laAV. There are few, who do not 
feel themselves competent to criticise the diagnosis 
of their family physician, and who have not some 
favorite system, which they consider superior to 
the regular practice. Nou', in this emergency, 
what are we to do ? Shall we look with contempt 
upon all these popular tendencies, and go scornfully 
on our way, regardless of all the great phenomena 
of our times ? The result will be that we shall be 
despised in turn, and allowed to go on our way, 
quietly and alone. 

No, my young friends : if you would be of real 
service in your generation, and take that high rank 
among your fellows, which your present advantages 
should qualify you to take, you must understand 
the nature of the times in which you are to live, 
and prepare yourselves, by the most diligent study, 
by liberal and comprehensive thought, and by earn- 
estness, simplicity and purity of ])urpose, to en- 
counter the tremendous responsibilities that will 
devolve upon you. It is perhaps a greater privi- 
lege to live in these days, than ever before ; but then 
there has never been a period, in which true nobil- 
ity of soul, elevation of purpose, self-sacrificing in- 


tegrity, have been subjected to a severer ordeal. If 
you are content just to lloat with the popular cur- 
rent, you may float peacefully down to quick obliv- 
ion ; but, if you W' ish to live in the memory and 
the hearts of those who will come after you, if you 
wish that future generations should call you blessed, 
you must be prepared to breast the current, you 
must be ready to sacrifice the pleasure of the mo- 
ment at the call of conscience and of God ; you 
must seek first tlie kingdom of God and His right- 
eousness, and leave all which concerns yourself in 
His hands. 

in. And this leads me to remark, in the last place, 
that you can not be properly trained for the serious 
duties which lie before you, as men of influence 
and education, unless you are early strengthened 
with might hij God's Spirit in the inner man. 

I know precisely the feeling with w hich some of 
you will listen, wlien I come upon the ground of 
positive religion. Now, you will say, we shall have 
something technical and professional ; something 
appropriate to candidates for the ministry ; some- 
thing, which it may be, will be of interest to us, 
when old age or some dangerous illness comes, and 
the things of the world have ceased to interest us. 
What has been uttered thus far is all well enough ; 
but now the discourse w ill take a turn, not very 
appropriate or interesting to free-hearted and spir- 
ited young men. Dissipation is a bad thing, and it 
is all right to preach up good morals ; but if you 
are about to call upon us to be religious, that is 
another matter. You feel then that there is some- 


thing degrading in religion ; tliat it is rather incon- 
gruous to your position as young men ; and, that it 
involves a degree of constraint and uidiap[)iness, to 
Avhicli you do not wish to be subjected any sooner 
than it can be helped. What is religion ? It is 
the solemn consecration of all the powers of our 
being to the God who gave us tliat being. What 
is religion ? It is the reduction of the soul to that 
order and harmony, which is the restoration of the 
image of God, in which man was originally made. 
What is religion ? It is the subjection of the lower 
to the higher functions of our nature ; of passion to 
principle, desire to conscience, the beast to the an- 
gel. What is religion ? It is to live for the grand 
and eternal object for which God gave us an im- 
mortal existence ; and to subordinate this world to 
the next. What is religion ? It is to take the 
Lord Jesus as the guide and pattern of our lives ; to 
receive him in faith as our Saviour; to assume the 
badge of Christian discipleship, and follow Christ 
through evil and good report, unto the end. This 
is religion : is there any thing degrading in it ? 
any thing unmanly in it ? Is there any element of 
wretchedness in it ? any thing, which makes 
it exclusively appropriate to old age, and sickness, 
and death ? The religion ^\ Inch I would exhort 
you to attain, and attain now, is a glorious reality, 
and is as appropriate to the pursuits and duties of this 
world as of any other, and is more appropriate to 
the season of youth than to any subsequent period, 
because it is then more needed. You are not safe 
for a day without it. You do not know how weak 


you are, till you are tried ; and you can not tell 
what trial a day may bring forth. And O, my 
friends, to lose the soul, to have your personal ex- 
istence become a failure, to crawl through the 
world leaving only the slime of corruption behind, 
can you endure such a prospect as this ? 

Some of you have just left the home around 
which all the past associations of your life are gath- 
ered, and you have come up to this seat of learning, 
to fit yourselves for the stern battle of life. You 
can have no adequate conception of the solemn in- 
terest with which those, who once watched over 
your infancy and childhood, now trace your peril- 
ous progress to maturity. The father looks upon 
his son, as though in him he was to live over another 
life. It is possible that you may bring down that 
father's gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. The 
true mother would gladly die to save her child 
from death ; and still she would rather come here 
to lay your youthful form under the sod, than see 
vou go astray from the paths of truth and virtue. 
It is hard to lose a son by the ordinance of God, it 
is hard to bury him out of our sight, and see his 
familiar face no more on earth ; but O ! a thousand- 
fold harder must it be, to see him live and make 
shipwreck of his soul. 

My young friends, it is not a morbid or an un- 
manly religion which I exhort you to cultivate in 
this precious season of youth : I merely beg you to 
follow the voice of conscience and of God. You 
probably will soon establish the character, which 
you will sustain through life, and carry over with 


you into eternity. What shall that character be ? 
This <^reat question, each one of yon must settle 
for himself. Will you settle it to-ni<^ht ? Will 
you to-night turn your face heavenward; resolving 
in the strength of the living God, to consecrate tlie 
powers which God has given you, to his blessed 
service ? If you really do this and then live ac- 
cording to this resolve, what joyful memories will 
hereafter cluster around this holy evening ! You 
know, in your souls, that you ought to do this. 
Why then will you not follow the dictate of your 
conscience ? Are you ashamed to heed the voice 
of God ? What ! so " brave toward God, and such 
cowards toward men ?" 

The only thing of which a man, old or young, 
need ever be ashamed, is sin. The only true no- 
bility is found in the service of truth and of God. 


^I)c Stan^arb of 2lppcal on boublful points, u)I)crc tl)c Biblt 

fails to proiince unitrj. 





^rinitn College, 


At Evening Service, Nov. 14, 1852. 



Coiitni Kationem, nemo sobrina ; 
contra Scriptiiras, nemo Christianus ; 
contra Ecclcsiam, nemo pacificus Bonserit. 

Augustine de Trinitale, L. iv. ck. 6. 



1 852. 

The consideration of the unhappy condition of the Christian world and the inf- 
nite distractions of men's minds, not ivnowing, in so great variety of opinions, what 
to think, or to whom to join themselves, (every faction boasting of the pure and sin- 
cere profession of heavenly truth, challenging to itself alone the name of the Church, 
and fastening upon all that dissent, or are otherwise minded, the hateful note of 
•chism or heresy,) hath made me ever think, that there is no part of heavenly knowl- 
edge more necessary, than that which concerneth the Church —Field's treatise on the 
Church. Epistle Dedicatory. 

In the mean time, every (not ungracious) son of this Spiritual Mother w'll learn 
to kiss the footsteps of the Universal Church of Christ ; ns knowing the dear and in- 
fallible respect betwixt him and this blessed spouse of his, as to whom he hath 
engaged his everlasting presence and assistance ; Behold I am with you always to the 
end of the world : and will resolve to spit in the face of those seducers, who go about 
to alienate his affections from her, and to draw him into causeless suspicions of lier 
chaste fidelity to her Lord and Saviour. — Bp. Hall's Works, X. 176. 


TO 'rillC KEV. T. Vf. COIT, D. I>., 

Dear Sir, — We, the nii(lpr.sigiiPil,nieiiibors of the Tln^ological Depart- 
ment of Trinity ColliJgc, gratefully appreciiiting your kindness indelivoring to iih your 
impressive and convincing Sermon, on llie Mppeal to the Primitive Church, and desi- 
ring that the principles set forth in it should he more widely disseminated, nolieit a 
copy for the press. 

We are, dear Sir, 

Yours, most respectfully, 

A. F. Gould, John Brninnrd, 

Francis T. Russell, Hiram Stone, 

A. B. Gooiirieh, John N Marvin, 

K. H. Rush'ioll, Nicholas J Seelcy, 

Wm. II. Douglass, Rufus Adams, 

Johnston McCormac, S. Farmar Jarvis, 

Wm. I'. Hostwick, Wm. II. Williams, 

•lames W. Robins, E Seymour, 

John C. Du Bois, Wra. H. Munroe. 
J. I?. Lynn, 

TRINITY COLLEGE, November 29, 1852. 


Gkntlkmkn, — A pressure of duty constrained me to deliver a Sermon 
before you, composed long since, atid never intended for the press. Its subject, how- 
ever, seems to have awakened an interest in others than yourselves, and I therefiire 
comply with your request. 

I have added some notes, necessary to fortify it.s positions ; and which may render 
it more serviceable to you as a tract for reference. 
With the kindest rcjjard. 

Your friend and servant, 

T. W. COIT. 


John, ix. 22. — For tho Jews had agreed already, that if any man did cunfesa ihu i 
he was Christ, hoHhuuid be put out of the Synagogue. 

JI KiNUs, V. 11. — Hehoid, I tliought, he will surely come out to me. 

Acts, xxvi. 'J. — 1 verily thought with myself, ihnt I ought to do muny things con- 
trary to tho Nante of Jchus of Nazareth. 

Acts, ix, 6. l^rd, what wilt thou have me to do ? 

Tins putting together of passages from different parts oi' 
the Bible, in order to form 07ie text, may seem singular and 
unauthorized ; but ought hardly to do so, in view of the fai-t 
that the author and subject of the Bible arc one also. 
And still less should it seem improper, in the present case ; 
since all four of the passages selected bear directly upon 
my subject, which is to show, how differently we judge of 
Divine requirements, when influenced by our own spirits, 
and when influenced by the Spirit of God. And I cannot 
but think such a subject eminently deserving our soberest 
meditations at the present day. For never, brethren, as it 
appears to me, has there been a time since man was made, 
when he was more disposed to put his own "I thought" 
Ijefore any testimony to the contrary, presented by earth or 
heaven, or by both together. This is indeed an age, not of 
reason, but of individual reasons ; in which every man's 
own mind is his highest source of infornuition and guidance. 
and when, in all matters of opinion, man's highest delight 
has grown to be, the doing of that, and that only, which 
is right in his own eyes. Talk to the world now of autlior- 
ity in matters of religion, and you are suspected at once of 
talking Popery ; of a disposition to steal from the unwary 

the blessed riglit of private judgment, and to entrap tliem 
in the toils of a second Inquisition. 

And is it, then, that tlicre is no snch thing as authority in 
matters of religion ? That there are no laws of reverence and 
submission, which we are obligated to respect and obey ? that 
nothing is to be taken upon trust, but demonstration 
must be had for every thing; and that, too, a demonstra- 
tion which puits exactly our own "I thought?" If this be 
the ground, which, in our protestation against Eomish and 
inquisitorial tyranny, we arc called upon and expected to 
take, it behoves us well to know it understandingly. Tliat 
Kome, that many Protestants do suppose this to be the 
ground, which all Protestants are bound to take, I am 
constrained to fear is but too true; for some, for many, 
appear to think, that Protestantism is, in all respects, the 
dii-ect opposite of Popery ; and that the only way in which 
we can be true Christians, is to believe and to do, in all 
j»articulars, tlie absolute contrary of what is believed and 
«lone by Papists. 

Now if tliis be right, in reference to authority in matters 
of religion, because the Church of Pome asserts and 
maintains that there is such a thing as such authority, then 
I have simjjly to observe, that the T3eists are, in this article 
at least, tlu^ most correct of all opponents of Popery ; for 
no writers of modern times avow so stiffly, as they do, the 
unlimited rights of reason and of private judgment, or have 
advocated those rights so vehemently. If to disbelieve all 
authority in matters of religion, to argue against it strenu- 
ously, and even to sneer at it as a dogma of Romanism — 
if this be to become a true and deserving Protestant, then, 
of all others, do the Deists most merit that high and hon- 
ored name. 

Do we slirink from such a conclusion, which I have 
purposely followed out, to show you where they must end, 
who account the opposite of Popery the only truth? then 
what remains, but that we take our stand somewhere 

between the extreme of Ivomanisin, wliicli enslaves the 
judgment, and hititndinurianisni, heresy and Deitini, whieh 
set it free from every thiii<^ but the counsel of its own will ? 
Ijuttiiis is precisely the stand taken by our own Church ; of 
which you could not have a more thorough proof, than the 
fact, that, from the days of the Jleforniation, Papists have 
called us schismatics and heretics, while schismatics and 
heretics have called us Papists. Of course, we are exactly 
between the two — as far i-emoved from the one extreme, as 
from the other. And, as a general rule, if you wisli to 
know^ what the true doctrine of your church in any given in- 
stance is, you cannot have a better than this : — Strike the mid- 
dle ground between Papists, who have abandoned the Cath- 
olic Faith on one side, and schismatics, and heretics who 
have abandoned it on the other; and there you will find the 
object of your search.* 

But to come now to our more immediate topic, the 
subject of authority in matters of religion, — "What is the 
stand taken upon this subject by the Church of Eome, 
and by those at the farthest remove from her ; and how is 
the stand taken by our own Church, between the two, to 
be illustrated by the passages of Scripture arranged to form 
». text ? 

The Church of Eome teaches, that what the Pope, who 
is its representative and head, shall now declare ex cathedra 
to be a matter of faith, must be believed on peril of the 
soul's salvation. There is no a})peal from such decree, no 
refuoe from its obligation — none whatever. So that one of 
the ablest of llomish writers, to put this subject in the 
strongest light possible, <loes nc»t hesitate to say, that if the 
supreme authority of the Church of Pome were to decree 
virtues to be vices, and vices to be virtues, there is no 
help for us ; we must submit implicitly.f 

Those who, to avoid this numifest and inexorable despo^ 

• See Note A. +See .Note B. 


tism, fly to the opposite extreme, tell us that in interpreting 
Scripture every man is a law unto himself; that what every 
man believes to be Scripture, is Scripture to his mind ; and 
that consequently all we can do is, to put the Bible in his 
hands, and exhort him to read it for himself, responsible 
to God alone for the sense which he attaches to it.* 

Is there, then, no medium between unlimited spiritual 
tyranny, and the unlimited rovings of private judgment? 
Our Church, brethren, and her soundest Divines, have 
always taught that there is. We find, in the Prayer Book, 
'' ancient authors" as well as Holy Scripture appealed to, 
for the settlement of doubtful and disputed points. In the 
Articles, we are referred to " the custom of the Primitive 
Church," as a means of throwing light on matters, which 
Scripture, according to modern disputants, determines very 
different ways. And in the Homilies, we are again and 
asrain reminded, that the Primitive Church was "most 
uncorrupt and pure"; that, in the times of that Church, 
'' Christian religion was most pure, and indeed golden" ;t 
and that, therefore, to follow the example of the Primitive 
Church, is the surest possible way to bring owr religion to 
the pattern of actually apostolic times. 

And, unquestionably, on all points ot prominence and 
general interest, this is the surest way of proceeding, and 
would sooner bring mankind to a substantial unity of faith 
and practice, than any other which human ingenuity ha? 
devised. I doubt, indeed, whether the testimony of pure 
Christian Antiquity covers as much ground, as some have 
fondly imagined. That Antiquity will not tell us how 
every disputed text of the Bible is to be translated.:}: But 
it will tell us, very plainly and very explicitly, facts in 
respect to cardinal doctrines and rites ; which is all that we 
want to establish substantial unity. Diversities, in respect 

•See Note C tSee particularly the Homily against Peril of Idolatry. 

\ See Note D. 


to lesser subjectft, prevailed even in apostolic times ; and 
will prevail, wliilc human nature is as impertect as it must 
ever be in a fallen state. Take, however, any prominent 
point, in doctrine, disci{)line, or worship — any such point 
as can be settled by the testimony of widely accepted facts 
— and pure Christian Antiquity is promj)! and decisive in 
its answer. 

Would you know, for example, whether the Primitive 
Church believed in the doctrine of the Trinity ? Tlie Nicene 
Creed, which was the testimony* of all Christendom, as 
to what had ever been believed respecting the Godhead, is 
an answer which heretics cannot quibble away, as they do 
texts of Scrij)ture. The very ringleader of ancient Unita- 
rians tried, in every possible manner, to evade that Creed's 
expressions, and was forced to abandon the enterprise as 
desperate.f — Would you know whether the Primitive Church 
had such an officer, as we now call bishop ? Lists of such 
officers, traced up to the Apostles' days, can be produced 
with ease4 — ^Would you know whether Primitive Christians 
worshipped with a form? Their actual liturgies can be laid 
before you. You have a perennial specimen, in that most 
comprehensive and appropriate collect, at the close of 
morning and evening prayer, called " A prayer of St. 
Chrysostom." — Woidd you know whether they had an 
order of men called clergy ; and employed sacraments, as 
outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace 'i 
You cannot stir one step, in the history of the Pi'iuiitive 
Church, without encountering such things. 

Thus easily could great principles, now daily and sharply 
disputed, by different Christian sects, each and all appeal- 
ing, with the same confidence to the Bible, and appealing, 

*The testimony, noUhe decree. Hence it« amazing value, aa an attestation of 
the Catholic faith " through the ages all along." 

t This was in A. D- 325. So in A. D. 383, the Macedonians who denied the 
Divinity of the Holy (Ihost, gave way before " the common suffrage of the ait- 
cientsy—Waterl'ind's W'ks. Hi. 659. 

\ See Note E. 


as fact shows, entirely in vain, (since they differ still as 
mnch as ever,) — thus easily, I say, covild great principles be 
settled, which would produce substantial unity, among all 
who profess and call themselves Christians. 

But even the Papist, fond, as many suppose him, of 
relying for the maintenance of his cause upon the old 
Fathers, rejects their testimony, when it pleases him not. 
They talk of bishops, but not of a pope ; and therefore in 
his view, the present church is both truer and wiser. The 
advocate of ministerial parity rejects them, because, silent 
if they be respecting a pope, they speak too familiarly 
and frequently of bishops, to be accounted any thing but 
Episcopalians. The Socinian rejects them for their Nicene 
Creed ; the Anabaptist for their infant baptisms ; the 
Quaker for their outward sacraments and standing minis- 
try ; and Protestants, of many names and classes, because 
of their habitual employment of forms of prayer. 

And, yet, all of them, from the Papist down to the 
Socinian, appeal to this same Antiquity, to settle one of 
the most fundamental of all possible positions, the Canon 
of Christian Scripture itself The New Testament was not 
all written, for more than sixty years after the Ascension 
of Christ. There was a multitude of writings, scattered 
over Christendom, claiming to be Epistles and Gospels; 
foi- St. Paul warns the Thessalonians against forged Epis- 
tles, written to inculcate the opinion that the end of the 
world was nigh ;* and St. Luke, in the preface to his 
Gospel, alludes to "many" who had taken in hand the 
Kubject of our Saviour's life, and executed their task like 
bunglers ; because they had not written " in order," nor 
had "perfect understanding of all tilings from the very first." 

But amid this mass of Epistles and Gospels, (many of 
which were famous enough to be preserved and to come 
down to our own times,) who should determine what was 
truly inspired and apostolic, and therefore genuine Scrip- 

♦II Theas. ii. 1, 2. 


ture '? Who should settle the delicate and perplexing 
question, Mhethcr tlie Epistle of Ijanuibas, an actual 
apostle, should be thrown out of the Sacred Cane n while 
productions of Mark and Luke, neither of them of apos- 
tolic rank, should be inserted into it? Tlic Primitive 
Church decided these fii^st and foremost of theolofrical 
questions ; and has given us our ])resent New Testament.* 
Now^, knowing this, our own Church has, not unwieely 
or strangely as some think, but most judiciously deter- 
mined, that the Primitive Church, which settled the 
great fundamental question, '\Vhat is the Kcw Testa- 
ment,' is equally competent to testify to the next great 
fundamental question, ' AVhat was the New Testament, in 
apostolic times, believed to teach'? Therefore, as in her 
Homily, on the peril of idolatry, she commends the 
Primitive Church as a standard, " which is specially to be fol- 
lowed as most incorrupt and pure"; and is willing to take its 
testimony at large, on all chief points of doctrine, discii)line, 
and worship. And she is tlie only Christian communion 
which treats Christian Antiquity consistently. For, while 
ehe is ready to go to such Anticpiity for any thing, which 
the Biljle (as sects and disputes show) cannot settle clearly, 
all others, from the Romanist down to the Socinian, reject 
the Fathers for one reason or for another ; and yet, without 
those Fathers, they cannot determine which is the true 
Scripture and which is false ! 

Such, brethren, is our Church's view of the necessity of 
oomething besides private judgment, or a stern aiuUhema, 
to settle disputed questions in religion, and such is the 
standard to which she cheerfully and confidently appeals. 
And this mode of reference was any thing but new and 
strange, in those trying times, when our ecclesiastical foie- 

* In respect to this question, says the Presbyterian, Dr. Spring, " Our appeal is to 
the earlioM eci-Icsiasticiil historians ; and we find a perfect agreement among ihem " 
—Rule of Failh. 1844. p. 2S — They agree as perfectly about Kpi«copacy. Will 
the learned doctor listen to them on that point ? 


fathers, attacked on all sides, had to defend themselves 
against their thronging foes, " by the armor of righteous- 
ness on the right hand and on the left." Then, it was well 
known to the Laity, as well as to the Clergy ; as an extract 
from even a poem will show. Says Dryden, in his Religio 
Laici, or Layman's Faith, 

III doubtful questions, 'tis the safest way 

To learn what unsuspected ancients say ; 

For 'tis not likely we should higher soar 

In search of Heaven, than all the Church before ; 

Nor can we be deceived, unless we see 

The Scripture and the Fathers disagree. 

Not, however, " as we be slanderously reported, and as 
some affirm that we say" — not that our Church puts the 
testimony of Christian Antiquity ahove Scripture, or on a 
par with Scripture. That Romanism or Rationalism alike 
may do ; but we say, ' God forbid it.' "With us, Christian 
Antiquity is " a witness, not at all competing with Scrip- 
ture, never to be balanced against it ; but competing with 
our less able, and less pure, apprehension of Scripture."* 
But unless we submit to the Pope, and take what he says 
as infallible ; or erect every man's judgment into a pope, 
and make it infallible for him / there must be some umpire 
in disputed cases. Well, if so, what shall that imipire be'i? 
It is useless to say that the Bible shall be such an umpire, 
for tlie meaning of the Bible is the very matter in dispute f 
and with the Bible only for an arbiter, sects would and 
could come no nearer unity than they do now. If I may 
again quote Dryden, (of whom it was said, that he rea- 
soned better and more closely in poetry than in prose,) 

We hold, and say we prove from Scripture plain, 
Thai Christ is God ; the bold Socinian 
From the same Scripture urges he's but man. 
Now what appeal can end th' important suit? 
Both parts talk. loudly, but the rule is mute, 

•Taylor's Primitive worship, p. 4. 


We must give up these oj)mwns about the Bible, and come 
X.0 facts of liiHtory^ for its just interpretation. "We must 
ask, How did those believe, and those act, who were near- 
est the Apostles' days ; who received at their hands the 
Church, the Ministry, and the Catholic Faith, and were 
most likely to have and to exemplify the Bible's true con- 
struction? The facts which rise up to answer such a 
question, you have seen , (a specimen at least of them ;) 
and you have further seen, how easily, and quickly they 
can determine questions, now most vehemently disputed. 
Be it that such an appeal would fail in some cases ; since 
there ever were, and ever will bo, those who " though 
vanquished can argue still." It would not fail in multi- 
tudes ; and it would save us from many of those lawlesa 
speculations of ignorance, self-conceit, and heresy, which 
are every whit as arbitrary and magisterial as decrees from 
the Roman Vatican. Be it that such an appeal is not per- 
fection, or inspiration. AVhere I ask, with all assurance, 
since the Bible will not harmonize us — where can conmion 
sense or " science" Txot ^'' falsely so called," or enlightened 
piety, point out to us a better \ It is but the principle of 
settling doubtful constructions by the most authoritative,, 
and least suspicious precedents. But that is a principle, of" 
confessed and universal obligation, in all courts of Law 
and Justice \^ and in such courts, if any where on earth, 
is pure reason supposed to hold sovereign and undisputed 

It is time, however, some of yon will doubtless think, 
to draw a little nearer to my compound text, and show 
how it illustrates the topic on which I have been insisting, 
the necessity of some standard of appeal in disputed mattera 
of religion, and the manner in which our own Church has 

• Contemporanea arpo.«jtio est optimn tt/orlissinta inlegt^ u a very taaxiiunmong jur.. 
isrs. — Broom's Legal Maxims. 2d e<l. p. 33"4. 


recognized such necessity, and provided for its exigencies. 

Tliat text, in its various portions, bears chiefly upon the 
mischiefs attending an avMtranj method of settling dispu- 
ted or doubtful ])oints, (whether by the decrees of the 
Church,"^ or the decrees of our own minds ;) and commends 
to us, in the example of one who was beginning the life of 
a disciple, the profound and ])ractical submissiveness of 
humble and earnest piety. 

The })assage depicting the conduct of the Jews, when 
one of their number acknowlcds-ed Jesus for the Messiah, 
shows how mischievous ecclesiastical decrees may become. 
when founded upon nothing but present and dominant 
impressions. In the decree of the Synagogue, wdiich was 
a decree of excommunication, you have an exact counter- 
})art of the policy and conduct of the Church of Rome. 
That policy is to admit no standard of appeal, but the 
Church of Rome's decrees, and to denounce as heretics, 
all who dissent from such a violent and selfish determina- 
tion ; or dare even to doubt its righteousness.f Sometimes 
all which can thus be done is simply to denounce ; but 
where the Inquisition can prevail, the process can be pur- 
sued to shapes oi torture and death, which fiends might 
gloat upon. 

But the direful arm of the In<|uisition was w^ielded, long 
before the name arose, and the thing was founded in form 
in modern Spaiw. The decree, the excommunication, and 
the anathema, of the Synagogue of Jerusalem, were as 
truly inquisitorial, as any thing ever sanctioned by the bulla 
<)f the Papal See, or the fiats of papal thrones. They are 
the natural mischiefs attending the erection of a church, 
into a tribunal, presuming to speak the voice of God, with 
the majesty and with the force of law. Persecution will 
.ever be the iesue. The blood of the oppressed, will sooner or 

•1 mean decrees in the proper sense. Not creefls ; for I beg again to say, the point 
lu-80 coDKtaritly miiianUerstood, thoolil creeds are not decrees they are teslimony. 

{See Note F. 


later, cry unto Iliiii, who luis most solemnly and mo^t 
80vereii>;nly declared, that vent^cance is iiis sole prerogative 
— that He, and Jle only, may repay.* 

We may think, however, that it is perfectly safe to take 
from the Cliurch the power to decree, and to enforce de- 
crees by temporal pimisiimcnts, and refer the whole suhject 
to private judgment. IJut, as another part of my text 
teaches, we do no better. Endow private judgment with 
arbitrary power — let it nuike its own decisions the rule of 
right — and private judgment is just as persecuting as the 
Pope, with his crook and sword. Look at Saul of Tarsus, 
determining by his private judgment, whether all Christian- 
ity were not treason, or an (»ld wives' fable. " I verily 
thought with myself, I ought to do many things contrary to 
the name of Jesus of Nazareth." And what was the direct 
consequence of this arbitrary thinking with himself? To 
seek authority for persecuting ; which, once obtained, many 
of the saints did he shut up in prison ; many did he punish 
in every synagogue ; many did he compel to blaspheme ; 
many did he drive before the goads of cruelty, to strange 
and distant cities; while those who perished, w-ere, by his 
voice, sentenced to the hori-ors of a malefactor's death. 

So, then, private judgment can persecute, as well as 
Popery, and with as unrelenting vehemence ; as instance* 
in modern times, but hardly to be named with prudence, 
might abundantly demonstrate. f And if private judgment 
do not, from the nature of civil institutions, or the tenden- 
cies of an age, (things which are clogs on Popery, too,) have 
as much swinix as it could desire for a bloody hand, it will 
none the less indulge a furious temper. Paul said, that he 
persecuted some from home ; probably because he could 
not persecute them unto death ; and against these, he says, 
he was " exceeding nuid." And where, brethren, pain- 

•Wemay rejerl a man for heresy ; hut we cnnnot 50 on, and heap retrihulion on 
him, after u Jewish or Romish fashion. Titu-. iii. 10. 

tSec Note G. 


ful as the reference is, where will you find more of this 
excuseless wrath, than among sects, whose fundamental 
rule is, that each man's decision is infallible for his own 
self, and that to talk of any standard of appeal in doubtful 
matters, but the light within, is to talk like the servile 
adherents of the popedom ? 

From all which, it is clear, that let the Church decree, 
or let the individual mind decree, the issue is substantially 
the same ; and the best cure we know of for this serious and 
ominous predicament, we believe to be, an appeal to a 
mass of facts, which are alike removed from the present 
Church, and from present minds — facts far away in the 
past, where prejudice and misconstruction cannot so easily 
reach and mould them. But alas ! when we lisp of defer- 
ence to the old Councils, Creeds, and Fathers, we are 
Btieered or scoffed at, as depreciating the Bible upon the 
one hand, and offering fellowship to Rome upon the other. 

Thus, we see, how to reject such a standard of appeal 
for authority to settle doubtful cases, as our Church com- 
mends to us, results in the indulgence of a persecuting 
temper. And this illustrates one class of the mischiefs, 
attending such rejection. There is another class, also, 
upon which portions of our text bear ; to this would I now 
direct you. 

Suppose the restored blind man to have been intimidated 
by the anathema and excommunication of the Synagogue, 
and to have disavowed his faith in the Restorer of his body 
and the Saviour of his soul. The unity of the Synagogue 
would not have been broken. But what sort of unity 
would have prevailed there ? a unity of appearance solely : 
the same which existed in the person of Galileo, when he 
was denounced as a heretic for affirming the revolution of 
the earth around the sun.* Galileo, through fear of impris- 
onment and death, admitted his constructive error; and then 

» See Note H. 


observed in an unrlcrtonc to a bvHtander, that notwltlistand- 
iiif)^ all he had said or done, the earth still pursued her 
lejj^itirnate course in the solar system. Force cannot produce 
j2;enuine unity, and it never will; and under the so much 
boasted unity of the Church of Itonie, lie, who sees the 
heart, may perceive far inore sad and numerous diversities, 
than disfigure the whole Protestant world. Force maj 
make cowards and hypocrites ; it can never make true 
believers. And he who succumbs to all the <loirmas of 
Rome, because of her threats or thunders, wt)uld lose 
heaven twice over; though it were as true, as Home dicta- 
torially assures us it is, that upon the belief of her dogmas 
depends our everlasting salvation. 

And now, on the other hand, suppose the blin<l man to 
have indulged the querulous disposition of Naaman, who, 
when told told to wash in Jordan for the cure of his leprosy, 
drew himself up in the full grandeur of self-sufliciency, and 
resolved to follow the dictates of his private judgment, 
rather than the mandate of the prophet. " Behold,'' said 
the haughty captain- general of Syria, " I thought he will 
surely come out to me." But he did not ; and that self- 
willed " I thought" had nearly left llis Mightiness a leper 
still. If the blind man had listened to the promptings of 
the same deceiver, he might have gone down to his gloomy 
grave, and never been greeted by " holy light, offspring of 
Heaven, first born." 

And thie sort of private judgment it is, which inflictfi 
upon us all the wildness and extravagance of the almost 
countless sects, which presume to appropriate the name of 
(christian. Lonij since did Lord Boliiiiijbroke sav, that 
one "cause of the multi})lication of extravagant opinions 
and sects in Christianity, has been the arbitrary practice, 
of giving different senses to the same passages of the Bi- 
ble."* And, yet, as an infidel, he cared not wjjicli way 
his remark might cut ; and was as indifferent to it« 

•Wku. iii. 464. Philad. 1841. 


bearing upon one sect as upon another. And ■ym do not see 
tor ourselves, that he has not missed the mark, in his state- 
ment, be the motive which brought it out whatsoever it 
might ? Can we fail to perceive, that sects are inevitable, 
«o long as the Bible is the sole standard of appeal, and the 
same passage is interpreted twenty different ways ; while 
private judgment is tlie only guide, and its decisions are 
infallible for every mind ? Is not one man's " I thought," 
as good as any other man's ? and if so, is not one man's 
•* I thought" about the Bible, as good as that of any of 
his fellows ; and again if so, is not the wildest sectarian 
under Heaven in the right? 

But what, then, the captious will exclaim, must we sell 
the birthright of our soul's freedom, and go and bow down 
to the image of unity, which ecclesiastical pride and usur- 
pation has set up in the Vatican at Rome? We ask no such 
unqualified surrender of your reason, and power of judg- 
ing aright, and for yourselves. There is a medium ; (oh 
that it were not such an invisible and inconceivable para- 
dox to thousands !) there is a medium, and a most blessed 
one, between the extravagancies of Rome upon the one 
hand, and the extravagancies of schism and heresy upon the 
other. We ask you not to surrender your reason, to be 
bound with links of iron ; and we beg you not to let it run 
rampant, like the untamed wild ass, which will not be held 
by bit or bridle. Exercise it no longer upon conjectures, 
but upon facts; no longer upon opinions, but upon history. 
Go to the Clmrch, as she was in the days of her virgin puri- 
ty, before she was wedded to tlie state, and began to do, as 
the married do, the will of an imperious husband. There 
is a period of three centuries for you to inquire into ; and 
what the Church then was, ba])tised in the blood of mar- 
tvrdom, and refined by the fires of persecution, you may 
rtafely, most safely, be. Cast in your lot with her, as she 
then was ; for then, most assuredly, her Lord was with 
her; then she was tlie brightness of everlasting light, the 


uns2)otte(l mirror of tlic power of God, and the image of 
his goodness.* The; ignoriint will try to frigliten you, by 
telling you that this will lead you into the mazes of Pope- 
ry, and that you will lose your indejtendence, if not your 
Boul. But it is a grand mistake to suppose that Popery ex- 
isted, during the first three centuries, when the (Church stood 
alone, mitrammeled, and nneorrnpted ; when, as one of 
her oldest historians informs us, there was an inseparable 
communion between the AVestern and Eastern (yhurehes ; 
i.e. throughout Christeudom.f Popery was the growth of 
the middle ages ; of periods when this communion began 
to be broken, or sundered. It attained its fullest develo|>- 
ment, in periods when this communion was most effectually 
interrupted. It grew fastest under the shadow of monar- 
chical patronage ;:}: and is one part of the tribute, which the 
Church has had to pay, for the misnamed privilege of 
allowing the State to call her after its own name, and re- 
ceive her nominally under its protection, ])ut really under 
its domination. If the Church were set free, to-morrow, 
from all civil control pnd interference, the doom of Popery 
would speedily be written. " The holy text of pike and 
gun" now furnishes its strongest arguments ; and "infallible 
artillery" is its surest peacemaker. 

Take then, my brethren, such a standard to settle dis- 
putes about the Bible's meaning, as that commended to 
you in the Prayer Book, Articles, and Homilies, the Prim- 
itive Church " most incorrupt and pure ;" and let that be 
vour rock, while the surges of sectarian controversv are 
beating about you, and against you. And, with all his 
ease, and all his comfort, will you do this, if the temper 
which prevailed in Paul's bosom, wdien he had ceased to 
listen to the dictates of private judgment, and sought 
wiser counsel, prevail in yours. "Lord," said the new 
convert, when he gave up thinking within himself as a 
guide, " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" True piety 

•Wisdom, vii.26. fSocrateB. Book. ii. ch. 18. tUomilies. cdit.1817. London.p. 19S 


is not a boisterous and self-willed assertion of our own 
rights, the certainty of oiir own judgments, and a reckless 
discardance of all authority in spiritual matters. Ecclesi- 
Astical despotism, and Pharisaism, and heresy, and Deism, 
can stand by themselves, and be satisfied with their own 
selves, perpetually. But genuine piety is humble, diffi- 
dent, clinging, relying, reverential, anxious not for dis- 
tinction or self-gratification, but for obedience. Where, it 
says, are the old paths, in which they whom the world 
knew not, nay whom it hated, the paths in which they 
walked, where I may find refuge for my longing soul? 
( 'arry me back to the days of the earliest followers of Christ, 
let me see how they thought, and felt, and acted, and I 
may obtain light and peace. I am weary with the din of 
«ects ; this perpetual arrogance of infallibility, I am of Paul, 
and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. The 
Bible, in modern hands, means every thing or nothing. 
Let me have its meaning, as the Primitive Church possess- 
ed it, and I will content myself and be at rest.* 

Thus may God help you to discover your Master's will 
and to do it perpetually for your everlasting joy. And 
getting out with such a scheme ; discarding Popery on the 
one hand, and sectarianism on the other, as the manufac- 
tures of men ; relying on the Church, as she was in her 
earliest and best days, for your model and guide, my faith 
is all-confiding, that if, under God, the truth as it is in 
Jesus without mixture is any where to be found, it will 
greet your eyes — naj'' bless and gladden them, to your 
latest days. And, then, when the light of the Church 
below shall cease to shine on you, the light of the Church 
above shall be exchanged for it. No more shall your sun 
go down, or your moon withdraw itself ; for the Lord shall 
be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning 
Bhall be ended. 

•" To understand the Holy Scriptures aright," says the eminently devout Bp. 
Wilson," id to understand them as the Primitive Church did." — Wilson's Hks.ii. 



Note A. for p 7. — The miiidlo character of the Ch. ol' iOiig. 
has been acknowledged by those outside of her. 

" We never doubted that the Ch. of Eng. was widely dinbreiii 
from the Ch. of Homo ; we own she is freed from innumerable Ro- 
mish superstitions, and we Iiless God for it." — Pcirces Vmdicai .of 
Dissenters, p. 299 

Peirce then goes on to say, (as we might expect,) that too much 
of the old leaven is left. IJut, for all that, here is a clear admis- 
sion of iNMJMKUAiJi.E refomuuions. 

Says Mosheim, the Lutheran, " Thus was that form of religion 
established in Britain, which separated itie English, eipialiy Irom 
the Ch. of Home on the one hand, and from the other churches 
which had renounced Popery on the other." — Institutes, Cf-.nt. 
xvi. Sect. in. Part it. |^17 ; or col. iv. p 37S, ^laclaine's 

The foUowino is the testimony of the celebrated Isaac Casaubon. 
(a layman too,) who visited England in the reign of James I. — 
" Mr Casaubon, in his epistles, admires and recommends the 
temper of our church, to his brethren beyond seas, as the tfCvOsfffxOf 
of purity and antiquity, which was not else to be found, any 
where."— Todd's Life of Bp. Walton. 1.259. 

Not dissimilar was the testimony of the great Duke of Sidly. 
when he visited England also. — Quart. Ilcv, x. 94. 

Note B. p. 7. — Nam fides catliolica docet omncm virtulem esse 
bonam, omnem vitium esse malum : si autem Papa erraret praeci- 
piendo vitia, vel prohihendo virtutes, teneretur ecclesia credere 
vitia esse bona, et virtutes malas, nisi vellct contra couscientiain 
peccare. — Bcllarmine dc Rom. Pont. — Op. Lut.Par. torn. i. col.SOi. 
To say, as is sometimes said, that Bcllarmine qualified this after- 
wards, by applying it to doubtful cases only, does not mend the 


matter. Who is to say what the doubtful cases are ? Why, oi" 
course, the Tope ; so that he has the whole game in his own 
hands still. 

NoTK C p. 8. - The declaration of Rome about the obligation of a 
present faith alone of the Church, is precisely the ground which 
John Robinson took, in his farewell address to the Plymouth Pil- 
grims at Leyden ; and which was taken also by the Independents, 
when they broke off from the Westminster Assembly, in 1B43. 
So that here the Romish theory and the private judgment theory, 
when acted out, come to the same conclusion, i. e. present faith, 
and that only. Robinson, in his " Parting Advice" to his follow- 
ers, tlius blames both Lutherans and Calvini.sts. for aliiding bj- a 
present creed, as obligatory for the future. '• As, for example, 
the Lutherans, they could not be drawn to go beyond what Luthf^r 
saw; for whatever part of God's will he had further imparted and 
revealed to Calvin, they will rather die than embrace it And so 
also, saith he, you see the Calvinisis stick where he left ihem ; a 
misery much to be lamented'' Robinson's own creed was that of 
the Development men of our day, (whether in, or out of, the Ch. of 
Rome ;) for '• he was very confident, the Lord had more truth 
and light to break forth out of his holy V^ oxA.'" — Rubinsoris Wks. 
Vol. i. p. xlio. edit. 1S51. 

True to this Platform, the Independents, when they issued their 
" Apoligeticall Narration" in 1843, carefully avowed their 
present notions, as the only truth to them. "A second principle 
we carried along with us, in all our resolutions, was, not to make 
our present judgment and practice, a binding law un'o ourselves for 
the future." — Edward.s^s Antapologia ; or reply to the. Narration. 
Loud. 1644. p. 85 Edwards was an old fashioned Presbyterian; 
the same who wrote the celebrated Gangracna. 

Thus we see, that Popery and Independency meet in the same 
conclusion, a present church; in other words, both embrace 
the fashionable theory of Development . If Pope Pius JX, 
adopt the Immaculate Conception into his creed, he will be 
right, according to the principles of the " Apologeticall Narration," 
which is the Magna Charta of Independency. 

Note D. p. 8. — This exception is no more than Waterland allows, 
in his invaluable Chapter on the " Use and Value of Ecclesiastical 
Antiquity." He says, " the stress is not laid upon any critical acu- 
men of the Fathers in interpreting every particular text ; but upon 
their faithfulness in relating what was the doctrine of the church, 
as to the prime things, in their times, or before ; and upon their 
interpretation of some remarkable and leading texts, (such as John, 
i. 1.,) upon which, chiefly, the fundamental doctrines were con- 
ceived to rest." — Waterland' s Wks. 2d ed. Hi. 650. 


Note E p. 9. It seems unaccoiinlably strange, that it should 
he ihe impiessioi, of many, tliat the Primitive (Church wai not 
careful lo maintain a record of Episcojjal successioiiH. Why, 
Eusobius tells us he devoted seven books of his Ecclesias- 
tical History to that very subject. Sec the preface to liis 
eighth bt)ok, the opening of his first book, and the close of the 
setienfh. Surely, an apostolic succession was not lightly esteem- 
ed in primitive times, how much soever of a novelty and mon.>-trosity 
some pronounce it now. 

Note F. p. 14. — Nulli ergo omnino honiirmm iiccal Imnc [)aginam 
nostrae, damnalionis, reprobalionis, d('finitionis, inhibitionis, 
decreti, ordinationis, statuti, et mandati infrinsjcre, vei ei ausu, 
femerario contraire — Curie Luff ran K siih. Jjpon. X. Sess riii. 

This is strong enough, probably, as a threat against all acts 
contrary to Home. Now for an authority ti> extinguish the bare 
(Jouhfcr of Rome's infallibility. It is from Azorius, a celebrated 
Spanish Jesuit of the l()lh century, who wrote folios upon morals. 
" Si quern in foro cxteriori legitime allegata et probata probaverint 
in rebus Fidei. scienter et voluntarie du!)itasse, arbitror cum, ut 
vi«re et proprie, hacreticum puniendum.'' — Turn. I. Moral iJh. vin. 
ch. 9. Quoted in Hacket's .Abp. Williams. Ft. i. p. 303, No. 
2 ; as p 303 is repeated twice 

NoTR O p.l/>. I alluded to such a denunciatdry exercise of pi ivafe 
judgment, as was once attempted by a British 1 louse of Commons; 
when it erected itself into a tribunal to e>tablish Calvinism. 

" We, the Commons in Parliament assemlded, do claim, and 
protest, and *vi)w for truth, the sense of the Articles of Religion, 
winch were establislu-d by Parliament, in the 13th year of our 
late Queen Elizabeth, which, by the public act of the Cli. of Eng- 
land, and by the general and current exposition of the wr tcrsof our 
church, have been delivered unto us. And we reject ilu; sense of 
the Jesuits, and Arminians, and all otheus. wherein they difler 
iVom us." — Rushiv(>rt)i\s CoUectious. i G49, 50. 

So they rejected all ('hristendom, and the world beside, if they 
presumed to difler from themselves. They set themselves up for the 
only " standing order ;" as the old phrase was in the colonial days 
of New England. I leave it to my readers to say, wlicther they 
had after them 'a regular succession." 

Note H. p. 16. I add a (ew words respecting Galileo ; for many 
are not aware that he is no longer a heretic in the view of Kome. 
Very few, probably, ol the (Tinstian public in this coimtry, are 
aware how he ceased from being a heretic. The story is told by 
Mr. Mendham in his work on the Index of Gregory .\\ 1., and it 


adii)irubly illustrates Rome's way of doing business She puts every 
body else in the wrong; but when confessedly in the wrong herself, 
never acknowledges an error, but gets out of a false position bv 
stealth. But here is Mr. Mendham to speak for himself. "In the 
Honian Inde.K of 1704, we read the general condemnation: — Lihn 
ornnes dhccntcs mohilitatem Terrce et immobUifatan Solis. Not a 
vestige of any of these decisive proscriptions is jwio to be found in 
any Roman Index. The name of the persecuted and rondenmed 
reviver of a doctrine now universally received, with that of his 
Diatogo, kept their place to the last, and were only silently and fur- 
tively withdrawn, in the year 18.35. In all the preceding Indexes, 
the condemnation, not of the man, but of the doctrink, stands an 
imperishable monument of the ignorance, bigotry, and intolerance 
of the Roman Church." p. IS The question is often asked wheth- 
er Copernicanism is still heresy at Rome ; and whether she still 
presumes to dictate about philosophy, as well as theology, to the 
world at large. To such a question the above is a curious and in- 
structive answer. Rome is fallible, at last, by her own concession ; 
vet the acknowledgment is made with not a particle of manliness, 
but after the manner of a sneak I 




II 1 

AA 000 474 816 6 



\( ■ . 


rc '^ 

cat at 
••ar «»i 


..«r «* 



■ Ci