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PRESIDENT EVERETT. - WHEN the name of EDWARD EVERETT—so he is addressed by the Governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts--shall be left to history, it will adorn a tale and point a moral very different from those which are attached to Dionysius, first tyrant and then pedagogue. Yet there is a sort of analogy in the history of these men. We incur no risk in speaking of Mr. President Everett as if his career were run; that is, we do not fear that he will put our eulogy to shame, though we trust he has still a number of years in store to serve his generation and do honour to his country. He is about fifty-four years of age. He was born at Boston, and received his education at the neighbouring College of Harvard, over which he now presides. There he acquired great distinction among his fellow-students for variety of learning and attainments, and a powerful and attractive eloquence. The son of a clergyman, he first devoted himself to the pastoral office, and became on leaving college the minister of a Unitarian church at Boston. He devoted himself so earnestly to the study of Christianity, that when a very young man he wrote a work on its Evidences which competent judges have praised both for its learning and polemical ability. After he had exercised the pastoral office a few years, he was enabled by the liberality of his congregation to make a visit of several years to Europe, where he completed his education, engrafting the philology of Germany on the scholarship which his parent university afforded him. On his return to America, however, he accepted the office of Professor at Harvard College, and in a few years exchanged the schools of the university for the forum of public life. He was already acknowledged to be among the first men of his country, and was elected to represent his state in the House of Representatives at Washington. This post he filled several years, and became a leading member of the Whig or Conservative party, which for a time was enabled to arrest the downward steps of the government in its course of iniquity. Now, unhap. pily, the success of the Democratic party has given a fatal triumph to annexation, inflicting on the whole United States a disgrace which repudiation and slavery had cast only on particular states. After serving his country as a representative in Congress, he was elected to the highest executive office, and became Governor of the State of Massachusetts, an office which in most of the American commonwealths is annual. At length the temporary prevalence of moderate principles enabled him to occupy the important office of Minister at the Court of our Queen, and he received from President Harrison the appointment of Minister in the year 1840. This post he filled till last year. We do not affect to have any acquaintance with him in his diplomatic character. This only we do know, that he represented the United States with a dignity not conferred on it by his slavery-defending predecessor, Mr. Stevenson Mr. Everett's literary reputation had followed him to this country, and on all public occasions (the Scientific Associations for instance) his talents as a public speaker were universally recognized ; and when, at Oxford, the conferring of the honorary degree of
* Addresses at the Inauguration of the Hon. Edward Everett, LL.D., as President of the University at Cambridge, Thursday, April 30, 1846. Boston. VOL. II.
D. C. L. upon him was opposed in vain by a few ultra-bigots of the pro-Popery party school, on the pretence of his heresy, the opponents were anxious to make it known that the opposition was free from all personal hostility: in fact, this invidious proceeding was known to be an act of ill-will towards the Vice-Chancellor. Finally, on his return to America last year, he received, by an unanimous vote of the electing body, the nomination of President of the University at Cambridge. The formal proceedings and addresses accompanying his inauguration are recorded in this little pamphlet. Thus a republican body has performed an act of gratifying homage to the supremacy of science and literature, which no other state could so well have done. We here see the ex-supreme magistrate of a state deems it no degradation to assume the government of a high-school or university. He becomes a pedagogue, in the etymological sense of the word, after being as much of a tyrant as a free republican state can tolerate; but, with all this, as unlike the Sicilian as one man well can be to another.
Of the several papers which are here collected, the Inaugural Address of the President alone is entitled to attention, and that chiefly on account of the indication it supplies of the station which Universities hold in the United States. Our readers are aware that this is considerably the oldest, and is the most distinguished of their Universities; and it retains its pre-eminence in spite of the efforts made by the Orthodox to bring it into public disfavour on account of the Unitarianism of its most eminent members. This fact, however, is not alluded to on the present occasion. The President briefly adverts to the history of the University, which, like the English Universities, was established originally for the purpose of conferring an academical education, that is, classical, mathematical and philosophical knowledge, preparatory to professional studies. It was not till after the revolutionary war that the Medical, Theological and Law schools were established; and now the President suggests that the time is come when a considerable expansion may be given to their system by establishing a Philosophical faculty which should cultivate letters and science beyond the usual limits of an academical course, and at the same time organize a school of practical science for the arts of life. This was among the advantages expected from the London University, but the expectation has not yet been fully realized. In Harvard College, the President insinuates that the student is taken over more ground in a short time than he is able thoroughly to explore.
The President maintains that it is the “culture of the faculties" which forms the one great object of education, premising that." if the laws of our present compound nature impose any limits on the progress of the mind in the present sphere of existence a proposition much more easy to take for granted than to establish by conclusive arguments
We have abundant reason to conclude, from all we know of its nature, that it is designed and adapted to a higher state of being, where it will enter unshackled on a career of improvement absolutely without measure. Now it is the object of University education to carry on this great work, -already commenced at the fire-side and at school, of forming and developing by wise discipline the various mental powers; not merely to teach the meaning of a few thousand words in the ancient and modern languages, or to impart a critical acquaintance with their authors, not alone to afford a knowledge of the elementary truths of science, or of the facts by which they are illustrated,—nor of the spe. culations of ingenious men on the philosophy of the mind; but in a well-conducted and earnest study of these and other branches, to train to the highest degree of method, promptness and vigour, the faculties by which they are pursued.”
Referring to the popular opinion which ascribes “the decline and retrocession of philosophy during a thousand years to the false logic early adopted in Greece, and cultivated with superstitious rigour in the middle ages," he reminds his hearers that the system to which such effects are ascribed was that of the tutor of Alexander, and adds a suggestion which, from such a man, will not be unheeded, however obscure it may be :-“I am disposed to think that the intellectual phenomena of the dark ages are to be ascribed to remoter causes than the influence of a false logic; that they belong to some secular fluctuation of the great ocean of human fortune, to be referred, perhaps, to laws beyond the grasp of our powers of observation."
The President then compares the classical and mathematical studies in their influence on the formation of mind, and while his personal predilection for the studies connected with language, in which his own pre-eminence lies, is not concealed, he adds, “It must be admitted that an eminently accurate practical mind is hardly to be formed without mathematical training." Alluding to the somewhat exaggerated praise that has been given to Indian eloquence by American writers, he says, “ We are apt to confound conditions and relations from which the materials of poetry may be drawn, with the power to produce and enjoy it. But with the largest admission of the authenticity of the specimens of poetry and eloquence attributed to uncivilized tribes, the difference between them and the Oration for the Crown or Paradise Lost is not less than that which exists between a well-contrived wigwam and the Parthenon or Westminster Abbey."
"The last object of a liberal education," meaning thereby its supreme object, he declares to be moral education, on which he adds a remark that, however specially applicable to America, cannot be inapplicable to Europe : '
“The understanding, in every department of speculative or practical knowledge, has advanced of late years with a vigour and success beyond what the world has witnessed at any other period; but I cannot suppress a painful impression that this intellectual improvement has not exerted, and is not exerting, its natural influence in purifying the moral character of the age. I cannot subdue the feeling that our modern Christendom, with all its professions and in all its communications, is sinking into a practical heathenism, which needs a great work—I had almost said, a new dispensation-of reform, scarcely less than the decrepid paganisms of Greece and Rome. Christians as we are, we Worship, in America and in Europe, in the city and the field, on the exchange and in the senate--and must I not add, in the academy and the church ?-some gods as bad as those of the Pantheon. In individual and national earnestness, in true moral heroism, and in enlightened spirituality unalloyed by mysticism, the age in which we live is making, I fear, little progress; but rather, perhaps, with all its splendid attainments in science and art, is plunging deeper into the sordid worship of '— the least erected spirit that fell From heaven,' &c." Of the impediments in the way of combining religious with academical instruction, the President entertains a full sense. “I am not unaware of the difficulty which attends the performance of this duty, in consequence of the differences on doctrinal opinion which prevail in the community. It is felt more or less throughout Christendom. It forms at this moment the subject of the most violent controversies in France, and constitutes the greatest impediment to the progress of popular education in England. In a country like ours, where there is no religious establishment, and consequently where no one communion has a right to claim any preference for its doctrines, the difficulty alluded to exists rather in theory than in the practical administration of a plan of education by earnest men, bent not on making proselytes to their own doctrinal views, but upon inculcating a sincere reverence for religion.” This thought he expands, and we presume that on such an occasion the President's good taste would not permit him to expatiate on a theme on which the great body of his hearers would not sympathize with him. We infer, therefore, that in America at least the Unitarian may adopt a solemn tone of religious expression in the presence of the Orthodox without exposing himself to their scorn. From the carrying out a scheme of unsectarian religious instruction and worship, (a term less equivocal than catholic, which is now become fraudulently fashionable,) the President draws the conditional inference" An influence over the minds of men would begin to prevail, under which, by the Divine blessing, our nature, refreshed and purified, would start up with a truth and vigour of moral action, as far beyond the existing standard of manners and principles, as this is in many respects beyond the standard of heathen antiquity.”
An eloquent appeal to the students, exhorting them to give their hearts to the duties and studies of the place, as the “all-sufficient means” of attaining the common object, terminates this Address, from which we will venture to copy the concluding words, trusting that the man and the occasion will be our sufficient warrant with our readers :
“ When the all-pervading loveliness of nature, as it is even now budding and bursting around us, has profoundly touched the soul; when a pure and refined taste has learned to pay an innocent homage to the sweet idols of art; when the perception of intellectual beauty has been acquired, and has become distinct and real, like that of material form, proportion and grace, till it affords a tranquil pleasure, which no indulgence can satiate; when, above all, the delights of sense and taste and intellect, sweeter than the voice of eloquence or music, the loveliness of virtue, the august beauty of spiritual excellence, has revealed itself to the youthful heart; then indeed it matters little what else is given or taken away. This is the life-giving principle, the vital spark, caught from no mortal altar, kindled by that
SPIRIT that doth prefer Before all temples the upright heart and pure,' and warming into energy the whole intellectual and moral nature."
H. C. R.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE TRINITARIAN CONTROVERSY FROM
THE ACCESSION OF WILLIAM III. TO THE PASSING OF THE BLASPHEMY ACT.
No. VIII. THE order of our history now requires that we should notice, among other things, the last two in the Third Collection of Unitarian Tracts, both of which were printed before the end of the year 1695.
The former of these, which is the seventh in the volume, is entitled, The Judgment of the Fathers concerning the Doctrine of the Trinity, opposed to Dr. G. Bull's “Defence of the Nicene Faith.” Part I., &c. When this was written, Dr. Bull's Defensio Fidei Nicænæ had been published about ten years; and during that time it had remained without any answer. This was doubtless owing to the circumstance of its being written in Latin, which would necessarily limit its circulation, and confine the perusal of it to the learned few. It seems, indeed, to have been better known among the continental divines than those of our own country. But the Doctor published another work, in the same language, A. D. 1694, entitled Judicium Ecclesiæ Catholicæ trium primorum Seculorum de Necessitate credendi quod Dominus noster Jesus Christus sit Verus Deus; and as the attention of the religious world was at that time particularly excited by the controversy between Dr. Sherlock and Dr. South, this became better known, and consequently obtained a larger number of readers than the more voluminous work, containing a Defence of the Nicene Faith.
The Judicium Ecclesiæ Catholicæ may be regarded as supplementary to the Defensio Fidei Nicenæ, and was indeed so considered by the author himself; for as the latter was written in defence of the doctrine contained in the Nicene Creed, so the former was expressly designed as a vindication of the anathema attached to that Creed.*
Dr. Bull had been reading the 34th Chapter of the 4th Book of Episcopius's Institutiones Theologice, (Sect. 2), where that writer treats of the necessity of believing the manner of the divine filiation of Jesus Christ, and puts the question, " Whether the fifth (and highest) manner of Christ's being the Son of God be necessary to be known and believed ; and whether they who deny the same are to be excommunicated and anathematized ?" He says, that he wrote down some observations upon this subject for his own private use, or rather sketched the outline of a reply to the arguments, by which that learned man, in the part of his Institutiones above mentioned, had endeavoured to prove, that the article concerning the divine generation of the Son of God, our Saviour, from God the Father before the ages, was by no means held, in the primitive churches, to be one, the belief of which was necessary to salvation; and, therefore, that these churches cultivated fellowship with those persons who not only denied this article, but believed and taught that Christ was a mere man, who did not exist before the Blessed Mary. At the request of some friends, as he
* This anathema was as follows. “Those who say there was a time when he (the Son was not,' or before he was born he was not,' or 'he was made out of things which are not,' or he is of another substance or essence ;' and those who maintain that the Son of God is either created, or convertible, or changeable; these the Catholic and Apostolic Church denounces and anathematizes."