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received the degree of Doctor of Laws from the College in New-Jersey. He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at Boston in 1782. And of the Royal Society in London in 1795."

Such was the literary fame which was acquired by Mr. Rittenhouse without the aid of a liberal education. As a philosopher he was perhaps second to no man which America had produced.

But what was the moral character of this philosopher? Was he a profane infidel? a scorner of religion, a misanthropist or a libertine? No but the reverse of all these. In speaking of his virtues Dr. Rush observes" Here, I am less at a loss to know what to say, than what to leave unsaid. We have hitherto beheld him as a philosopher, soaring like the eagle, until our eyes have been dazzled by his near approaches to the sun. We shall now contemplate him at a less distance, and behold him in the familiar character of a man, fulfilling his various duties to their utmost extent. Come, and learn by his example to be good as well as great. His virtues furnish the most shining models for imitation. As the source of these virtues, whether of a public or private nature, I shall first mention his exalted sense of moral obligation, founded upon the rey elation of the perfections of the supreme being. This appears from many passages in his orations, and in his private lette rs to his friends.”

The Eulogium contains seyeral extracts from his oration before the Society, which are adapted to give at once a favourable idea of his piety, his benevolence, and of his talents as a writer. Speaking of the study of astronomy, Dr.Rittenhouse says "The direct tendency of this science is to dilate the heart with universal benevolence, and to enlarge its views. It flatters no princely vice, nor national depravity. It encourages not the libertine by relaxing any of the precepts of morality, nor does it attempt to undermine the foundations of religion. It denies none of those attributes which the wisest and best of mankind have in all ages ascribed to the Deity. Nor does it degrade the human mind from that dignity which is ever necessary to make it contemplate itself with complacency."

"I must confess that I am not one of those sanguine spirits who seem to think that when the withered hand of death has drawn up the cur tain of eternity, all distance between the creature and the Creator, and between finite and infinite, will be annihilated. Every enlargement of our faculties every new happiness conferred upon us, every step we advance towards the Divinity, will probably render us more and more sensible of his inexhaustible stores of communicable bliss, and of his inaccessible perfections."

In a letter to a friend he said "Give me leave to men

tion two or threç proofs of infinite goodness in the work of creation. The first is, possessing goodness in ourselves. Now it is inconsistent with all just reasoning to suppose, that there is any thing good, lovely, or praiseworthy in us, which is not possessed in an infinitely higher degree by that Being who first called us into existence. In the next place I reckon the exquisite and innocent delight that many things around us are calculated to afford. us. In this light the beauty and fragrance of a single rose is a better argument for divine goodness than a luxuriant field of wheat. For if we can suppose that we were created by a malevolent Being, with design to torment us for his amusement, he must have furnished us with the means of subsistence, and either have made our condition tolerable, or not have left the means of quitting it at pleasure in our own power. Such being my opinion, you will not wonder at my fondness for what Mr. Addison calls the pleasures of the imagination.' They are all to me so many demonstrations of infinite good


The following extract is from his Oration :

"How far the inhabitants of other planets may resemble men we cannot pretend to say. If like them they were created liable to fall, yet some if not all of them may still retain their original rectitude. We will hope they do; the thought is comfortable. Cease then Gallico to improve thy

optic tube, and thou great Newton, forbear thy ardent search into the mysteries of nature, lest ye make unwel come discoveries. Deprive us not of the pleasure of believing that yonder orbs, traversing in silent majesty the ethereal regions, are the peaceful seats of innocence and bliss, where to enjoy with gratitude and adoration the Creator's bounty, is the business of existence. If their inhabitants resemble man in their faculties and affections, let us suppose that they are wise enough to govern themselves according to the dictates of that reason God has given, in such a manner as to consult their own and each others happiness on all occasions. But if, on the contrary, they have found it necessary to erect artificial fabricks of government, let us not sup. pose they have done it with so little skill, and at such an enormous expense, as to render them a misfortune instead of a blessing. We will hope that their statesmen are patriots, and that their kings-if that order of beings has found admittance there-have the feelings of humanity. Happy people! and perhaps more happy still, that all communication with us is denied. We have neither corrupted you by our visits, nor injured you by violence, None of your sons and daughters have been degraded from their dignity, and doomed to endless slavery in America, merely because their bodies may be disposed to reflect, or absorb

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the rays of light different from ours. Even you, inhabitants of the Moon, situated in our very neighborhood, are effectually secured from the rapacious hands of the oppressors of our globe. And the utmost efforts of the mighty Federic, the tyrant of the North, and scourge of mankind, if aimed to disturb your peace, become inconceivably ridiculous and impotent."

raise her everlasting bars between the new and the old world, and make a voyage to Europe as impracticable as one to the Moon."

"Pardon these reflections. They arise not from the gloomy spirit of misanthropy. That Being, before whose piercing eye all the intricate foldings of the human heart become expanded and illuminated, is my witness, with what sincerity, with what ardor, I wish for the happiness of the whole race of mankind. How much I admire that disposition of lands and seas which affords a communication between distant regions, and a mutual exchange of benefitsHow sincerely, I approve of those social refinements which add to our happiness, and induce us with gratitude to acknowledge the Creator's goodness-and how much I delight in a participation of the discoveries made from time to time in nature's works, by our philosophical brethren in Europe. But when I consider that luxury and her constant follower tyranny, which have long since laid the glories of Asia in the dust, are now advancing like a torrent, irresisfible, and have nearly completed their conquest over Europe-I am ready to wish vain wish that nature would

In a letter to a minister he wrote as follows:-"I would sooner give up my interest in a future state than be divested of humanity;-I mean of that good will I have to the species although one half of them are said to be fools, and almost the other half knaves. Indeed I am firmly persuaded that we are not at the disposal of a Being who has the least tincture of ill nature, or requires any in us. You will laugh at this grave philosophy, or my writing to you on a subject which you have thought of a thousand times but can any thing that is serious, be ridiculous? Shall we suppose Gabriel smiling at Newton, for labouring to demonstrate whether the earth be at rest or not, because the former plainly sees it move!"

These specimens of composition do honour to the heart as well as the head of Mr. Rittenhouse. His piety and philanthropy were not of the dormant but active character. As he regarded God as the father of all, so he regarded all men as his brethren, and sought the good of all. His extraordinary powers of mind were indefatigably employed for advancing the happiness of his species. As a neighbour, he was kind and charitable; as the head of a family, he was tender and affectionate; as a friend he was sincere, ardent and faithful," As a compan

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ion, he instructed upon all subjects. To his happy communicative disposition, says Dr. Rush, I beg leave to express my obligations in a pub. lic manner. I can truly say, after an acquaintance of sixand-twenty years, that I never went into his company without learning something.",


"His constitution was naturally feeble, but it was rendered more so by sedentary labour and midnight studies. He was afflicted for many years with weak breast, which upon unusual exertions of body or mind, or sudden changes in the weather, became the seat of a painful and harrassing disorder. This constitutional infirmity was not without its uses. It contributed much to the perfection of his virtue, by producing habitual patience and resignation to the will of Heaven, and a constant eye to the hour of his dissolution,"

"The religion of Mr. Rittenhouse was not derived wholly from his knowledge and admiration of the material world. He believed in the Christian religion; of this he gave you many proofs, not only in the conformity of his life to the precepts of the gospel, but in his letters and conversation. I well recollect, says his eulogist, in speaking to me of the truth and excellen cy of the Christian religion, he mentioned as an evidence

of its divine origin, that the miracles of our Saviour differed from all other miracles, being entirely of a kind and benevolent nature."

On the 26th of June, 1795, the long expected messenger of death disclosed his commission. In his last sickness Dr. Rittenhouse" retained the usual patience and benevolence of his temper. Upon being told that some friends called at his door to inquire how he was, he asked why they were not invited into his chamber'Because, said his wife, you are too weak to speak to them.' Yes, said, he, that is true, but I could still have squeezed their hands.' Thus with a heart overflowing with love to his family, friends, country, and to the whole world, he peacefully resigned his spirit into the hands of his God.


"It has been the fashion of late years, to say of persons who had been distinguished in life, when they left the world in a state of indiffer ence to every thing, and believing and hoping in nothing, that they died like philosophers. Very different was the latter end of this excellent President. He died like a Christian, interested in the welfare of all around him, believing in the resurrection and the life to come, and hoping for happiness from every attri bute of the Deity."


THE following letter of the great and good Mr. Locke is in the possession of Mrs. Frances Bridger, of Fowlers in Hawkherst, Kent, a lineal descendant of JOHN ALFORD Esq. son of Sir EDWARD ALFORD, knight, of Effington-place, near Arundel, Sussex, to whom It was addressed.

Ch. Ch. 12 June, 1666.

I have not yet parted with you; and though you have put off your gowne, you are not yet got beyond my affection or concernment for you. 'Tis true you are now past masters and tutors, and it is now therefore that you ought to have the greater care of yourself; since those mistakes or miscarriages which would heretofore have been charged upon them, will now, if any, light wholly upon you, and you yourself must be accountable for all your actions; nor will any longer any one else share in the praise or censure they may deserve. 'Twill be time, therefore, that you now begin to think yourself a man, and necessary that you take the courage of one. I mean not such a courage as may name you one of those daring gallants that stick at nothing; but a courage that may defend and secure your virtue and religion; for, in the world you are now looking into, you will find perhaps more opsets made upon your innocence than you can imagine; and there are more dangerous thieves than those that lay wait for your

purse, who will endeavour to rob you of that virtue which they care not for themselves. I could wish you that happyness as never to fall into such company but I consider you are to live in the world; and, whilst either the service of your Country, or your own businesse, makes your conversation with men necessary, perhaps this caution will be needful. But you may withhold your heart, where you cannot deny your company; and you may allow those your civility, who possibly will not deserve your affection. I think it needlesse and impertinent to dissuade you from vices I never observed you inclined to. I write this to strengthen your resolutions, not to give you new ones. But let not the importunities or examples of others prevail against the dictates of your own reason and education. I doe not in this advise you to be either a mumbe or morose; to avoid company, or not enjoy it. One may certainly with innocence use all the enjoyments of life: and I have beene always of opinion that a virtuous life is best disposed to be the most pleasant. For, certainly, amidst the troubles and vanitys of this world, there are but two things that bring a reall satisfaction with them, that is, virtue and knowledge. What progress you have made in the latter, you will doe well not to lose. Your spare hours from devotion, businesse, or recreation (for that too I cam

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