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and excellent people, adheres to a practice, which he was confident was not the baptism of the primitive church, and for which no warrant could be drawn from the English Scriptures, and no support from a critical knowledge of the Greek. He turned about,
. and went home to read his Bible more, and seek direction from the source of infinite wisdom in regard to the path of duty. In a few weeks, he presented himself, and was received by the same church of which his distressed inquirer was then a useful and happy member.
The Lord was pleased to spare his life, after his union with the church, only about two years; but these he spent in active duties. Yes; when visiting from place to place, exhorting sinners to flee from the wrath to come, and encouraging his brethren “to continue steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,” the text, "redeeming the time," would be constantly presented to his mind. Indeed he lived long in those two years, if life is to be measured, not by years, but by actions.
PRESIDENT CHAPIN'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS, DELIVERED IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, MARCH 11, 1829.
(Concluded from p. 375.)
The sentiment which we have sustained reminds us of some defects in various departments of education.
In civil society there are important professions, which ought to be filled by men, previously prepared to discharge,with uprightness and ability, their respective duties. Hence we have schools and teachers, designated by appropriate names. While each class of instructers have a specific branch of education, which they are particularly to conduct, yet they are all bound to aim at the same grand object--the maturation of the imperishable mind for a happier condition in the invisible world. For that Being who formed us, ever keeps that same high end in view in sustaining physical laws, in the choice and adjustment of means, and in all his direct agency upon the hu
Whether we stand in his vast tabernacle, to receive instruction from the earth and skies, from the bright day and the starry night, and to watch the movements of that providence, which fully proves, that God is the governor of the world ; whether our attention is turned within to study the more instructive wonders of the spiritual world, and to be taught from the throne of conscience ; or whether we are conducted into his consecrated house to enjoy still higher advantages for improvement, the design and tendency of the instructions of each station, is precisely the same, to lead us to cherish the highest admiration of the character of God, and to make it our daily concern to gain higher degrees of conformity to his divine likeness. This perfect example is doubtless intended for universal imitation. When did jurists, or physicians, or classical professors, obtain a dispensation from their Creator to discard all moral instruction from their schools ? Is the noble science of law to be acquired, to render a man more ingenious to increase its boasted obscurity, or to make him a more powful competitor in the mercenary struggle for fame and wealth ? Why is not the instructer in jurisprudence bound to teach his pupils, that civil society is as much an ordinance of Heaven, as is the Messiah's kingdom; and that it is as truly designed to aid man in securing the end of his being, as is the Christian church? It is not a combination simply for the protection of life and property ; but it is an association for moral improvement. *Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” All wise law.givers study the human mind with deep attention, that they may frame their laws according to the moral nature and relations of man. It is true, that the civil arm employs harsher methods of discipline than are used in those communities, where men are to be governed by the strength of moral sentiment. But this does not prove, that civil courts are ordained for purposes, altogether different from ecclesiastical tribunals. They are dissimilar in character, but alike in the effects, which they are intended to produce. Magistracy, in supporting human laws, by physical pains and penalties, performs a service very similar to that of conscience, in supporting divine laws by the terrors of remorse and the love of self respect and approbation.
The physiologist, while lecturing upon the functions and properties of living animals, can hardly refrain from expatiating before his pupils upon the wisdom and benevolence of that Being, who is the author of the human constitution; and who, while he adjusted the mechanism of the heavenly bodies, and set thern in motion to form a sublime method of instruction, had the same object in view in the wonderfully curious organization of the human body. In a word, all, to whom is intrusted the culture of mind, from the humble maid, who serves in the nursery, up through all the rising grades of teachers, to the consecrated bishop who waits at the altar, should conspire in effecting one grand result,—the advancement of the human mind to the highest degree of intellectual and moral excellence. In this way they initiate their pupils into the science of useful and happy living, and become the honored imitators of their Creator in his benevolent designs.
Perhaps no instructers hold a more important place in this work, than those who are employed in public seminaries of learning
You see, my companions in labor, that your work is arduous, and your responsibilities great. The illustrious Fenelon, the boast of the French nation, and the brightest ornament in the Catholic church, was deeply affected in view of his duty, and of bis high accountability, when he consented to become the private instructer of the Duke of Burgundy. He did not deem it degrading to his high rank and talents, to take charge of that young Prince, who was then heir to the throne of France. For he well knew, that his due education would affect, not only the destinies of his own nation, but those of all the kingdoms of Europe. He trembled, to reflect, that to him it belonged to form a character, to occupy so high a station, and one whose future conduct would, so extensively, affect the state of the world. He, therefore, employed all his rare endowments in laboring to give that character to his royal pupil, which would fit him to become the ruler over a great and powerful people, and to support a commanding influence among cotemporary monarchs. Thus, Sirs, to you is intrusted the care of youth, who have commenced an existence of boundless duration. And as you have so much the control over all their associations, in this moulding period of their life, you must be, in a greater or less degree, the arbiters of their future happiness, or misery Under the combined influence of learning and grace, they may be trained for that immortal crown of blessedness, before which the proudest ensigns of earthly sovereigns fade away into nothing. It is from you, Gentlemen, that the community are expecting well prepared agents to manage their public concerns; and the peace, the wealth, and the glory of this nation may be affected, and that too, for centuries to come, by the character of those scholars whom you may form for their service.
The Trustees of this Seminary will permit me, on the present occasion, to congratulate them on the character of the work, in which they are engaged. In founding this college, and furnishing it with the means of knowledge, you have had respect to the present and future welfare of the rising generation. You have at once shown your veneration for divine example, and love for your country, in making the culture of the youthful mind the object of your high concern. What object in this lower world, so worthy of your best efforts, as the thinking, imperishable, and mighty spirit of man! This mind appears, in the sight of God, in all its infinite worth. Hence he has placed it under the best circumstances to secure the purpose of its being. Though he is making countless agents act upon the human mind, and though he is instructing it by many and various voices and symbols ; yet, in all these numberless ways, his unchanging design is to promote the growth of its power of action, and its susceptibility of enjoyment. This grand truth, I wish to exhihit before you in the boldest relief. But this truth like many others of vital moment, is slowly rising into notice and power. As yet, it is hardly above the horizon. How feeble is its influence over those, who have some faint conceptions of its existence. What object of equal worth, has been so lightly esteemed, and misused, as the ethereal spirit of man,—that spirit, which is capable of embracing the present, the past, and the future; of measuring the earth, of scanning the heavens, and of holding delightful intercourse with the pure spirits above? Some make it their chief conceru to train its noble powers, to the pursuits of avarice. By some it is disciplined like the limbs and muscles of the ancient athlete, to enter the combat for the ephemeral wreath of honor. Others, again, seduce it from its divine rank, and teach it to look for its supreme delight in the unrestrained indulgence of animal passions. But if all men could be made to see, that to purify, to instruct, to correct, to exercise, and to enrich the human soul in the highest
attainable degrees, is the object which Jehovah has ever had in view in the operations of his hand, who would not feel himself bound to co-operate in this benevolent work of Heaven ? Could this cardinal truth be placed in the light of noon, so that parents and teachers, and the whole community could behold its glory, who then would dare to set up a counter interest, who would think himself at liberty to prostitute the heaven born spirit of man, and to confine it exclusively to the momentary pursuits of earth ? Let it be our care not to be involved in the guilt of aiding in this moral degradation. What should we say of the prince who should take his gold for his chariot wheels, or his precious stones and jewels to pave the walks of his court? You need not fear that the moral culture of the mind will cramp youthful genius, or quench its fire in the pursuits of classical learning. It is not the sentiments of religion, but it is dissipation and indolence, which are the grand enemies to scientific eminence. The profoundest scholars, and the poets who have soared the highest, and touched the most thrilling notes, have obtained their inspirations, fast by the throne of God. Let it then be your aim to treat the human mind according to its original endowments, and with steady reference to its future welfare. To animate you, gentlemen, in your important undertaking, you are surrounded by peculiar encouragements. You are blessed with the happiest form of government, and with rulers, who well know that our dear-bought freedom cannot be preserved and transmitted to posterity, without the general diffusion of knowledge, and the prevalence of sound morality. In the selection of a site for your seminary, you have been specially happy. While it is blessed with the best means of health, it commands a prospect of unrivalled charms. Placed as it is, in view of the Capitol and Metropolis of our nation, it presents to ihe student local advantages of superior value. Let us, then, while we devoutly implore the aid of that Almighty Being, without whose blessing the best concerted measures for the benefit of man, must prove abortive, be unwearied in our efforts to promote the growth of this institution, and the Columbian College may yet be a distinguished blessing to our flourishing republic.
Before I close, permit me to turn my attention to the students of this college.
Young Gentlemen, you have learnt the design of your existence, and the end for which you must employ all your powers, to render your life an everlasting blessing. Indeed, if I should intimate, that you are sceptical respecting this cardinal truth, I should, implicitly, impeach the soundness of your judgment; for the overwhelming arguments by which it is supported, are fully in your view. The only question is, whether you are immovably fixed to make this truth the
lives. What purpose can be more worthy your rank, or more auspicious to your future prospects. Upon you rests a greater weight of obligation to make an unreserved consecration of your talents for improving the character and condition of man, than has rested upon any preceding generaDec. 1829.
tion. You have come upon the theatre of life, at a period, in which the facilities, and the demands for benevolent action, are the most multiplied. You have the richest blessings to impart; you speak a language, already extensively spoken, and which promises fairer, than any other, to become universal; and you belong to a nation, possessing unrivalled advantages in commerce. Think not that you are too feeble to make an impression upon the human family. Luther, Bacon, and Locke, did not think so. They acted upon the principle, that they individually could exert an influence, which might be felt round the globe. The cause of learning, and of reform, have, in all ages of the world, advanced under the influence of those few men, who have stepped forward, and labored with all their might, without stopping to inquire, whether they should fail, if not supported by the concurring multitude. Enter, then, upon this work with all the enthusiasm, which its nature and consequences ought to inspire. In making the growth of mind your first ohject, you need not, to secure success, become monks, or ascetics ; but you should make this your object, that you may best answer the claims of your country. The number, who are engaged to advance her physical interest is vastly greater, than that of those, who are laboring to increase her moral strength. It is the agency of minds of pregnant powers, and of that stern integrity which no bribes can debauch, that our country needs, more than an increase of capital, or of manual laborers. Into your hands the desk and the bar, the bench, and the seats of legislation, are soon to be resigned. Can you fill them with dignity and success, if you are strangers to the protracted toils of study and of thinking? Whatever be the profession, which you may choose, set your standard of excellency high, and say, with a tone, which nothing can change, that point shall be gained ; and never rest till your object is won. High aims in early life, and undying perseverance, have formed those illustrious characters, who have conferred the brightest honors upon the human race. To discipline the mind, according to your wishes, you are supplied with the most appropriate and powerful means. Does the soul suffer its divine glories to be sullied in the mire of lusts, you can paint before it the folly and wretchedness of this sensual slavery. Is it led astray by some dangerous spell, you have the means of breaking the enchantment. Is it involved in moral darkness, you may carry to it the light of life. Is the subject of your instructions bold and obdurate, is his neck stiff, like an iron sinew, you are armed with the terrors of the Lord, with weapons, sharp and massive, and which, like the shining of God's glittering spear, may, at once, terrify and subdue the stoutest heart. Is he captivated by earthborn glories, lift the veil, which hides from his sight the future tribunal, let the light of eternity shine upon him, and all the charms of this deceitful world may vanish from his view. This intellectual culture, when aided by the power of grace in relation to yourselves, will put you in possession of sources of enjoyment, which the vicissitudes of time can never destroy. Taught by the light of Revelation, and by the disasters which often sweep away the richest carthly inheritance,