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specimen from one of his discourses, but have not one convenient which does justice to the man. Indeed it is not by a remarkable concentration upon a dozen lines, that his discourses are made so effective; it is by the wonderful energy of thought and expression of the whole. His sermons are almost all extemporaneous, and therefore he changes rapidly from one point or thought to another, yet never loses sight of the main thread of discourse. Much of his address has a personal manner, which, though perhaps more powerful when spoken, does not appear as smoothly when written. He is a remarkable man, and one who, it would seem, would more suitably and effectively labor as an evangelist, than as instructor in a college. The result of his professional labors is more felt at the west than elsewhere, because that in the condition of their society, new measures or opinions are more readily received. Mr. Finney has been twice married, and both connections were happy in their domestic results. From a family of six children, two have passed away. Three of those remaining are filling stations of eminence and usefulness at the west, and the youngest is at home. Mr. Finney, now sixty-two years of age, is President of the Oberlin College, Professor of Theology at the same institution, and minister of the Congregational Church in that village. His church and congregation are reported as the largest in the United States.
JOSHUA R. GIDDINGS.
GIDDINGS is one of the “old guard” of liberty. He is intimately connected with the anti-slavery reform in America-was one of its first and warmest supporters. He has been so long known as an uncompromising opponent of Negro slavery in the United States, that he is looked upon everywhere as a kind of moral hero, both among his friends and enemnies, for the latter know full well, that it requires courage to support unwaveringly an unpopular cause. Not for an instant during the last fifteen years, has Mr. Giddings faltered-not for a moment has he harbored a thought of relinquishing his opposition to slavery.
Mr. Giddings is not a disciple of Lord Chesterfield : he knows not how to bandy compliments—is not a fashionable gentleman, according to the definition of the polite world. He is not by any means ungentlemanly or uncourteous, but he is plain, direct, and always forcible. His manner comports well with his appearance. He is of middle height, is thick-set, has a corrugated forehead, piercing eyes, and a hearty voice. Sometimes there is a half-scowl upon his face
as if he were thinking of the many hard battles he has fought with the enemies of human freedom. Neither does Mr. Giddings make pretensions to profound scholarship. He does not believe in shams, and wishes to be taken for what he is, rather than for what he is not. He was not made in schools or colleges, but got his education by the fireside. He knows, however, the history of American slavery as thoroughly as any man in the country. He has by heart every feature of the system, every movement of its adherents, since the Union was formed. Stern in his adherence to his principles, enduring as the hardest granite, he is eminently fitted for his position. In the past years no man could hold Mr. Giddings' views upon slavery on the floor of Congress, without being made of stern stuff. No common man could, day after day, and year after year, endure the studied insults of southern orators and blackguards. Mere power of rhetoric could not make front against such a mighty opposing force. Nothing but iron integrity could do it. Mr. Giddings has been accused by some of lacking geniality, but we think not by those who know him well, and can appreciate the life he has led, and the constant series of attacks which he has encountered in congress for the last fifteen years
A man cannot stop to measure his words with an enemy charging upon him; he must fight as best he can, and how. Mr. Giddings is simply a hearty, solid, stern believer in human rights, and does not know how to
after the genuine congressional fashion. He is anti-slavery at all times-out of congress as well as in it; it is his “one idea,” to make war upon the institution, and for that reason he is accused by some of lacking geniality. He is a man of warm, generous feelings and humor, but he is distinguished chiefly by his clear common sense, and his dogged perseverance. Once right, all the powers of hell cannot swerve him from his path, and his sturdy intellect and philanthropic heart, are safe guides for him to follow. He is no orator. He does not understand the power of a graceful address, or if he does, cannot speak gracefully. His manners as an orator are far from pleasing, and yet he usually commands the attention of the house. He lacks an easy flow of language; the words sometimes are too rapidly uttered, and again too slowly. But there is so much force, so much power in his thoughts, that he is sure of being listened to as eagerly as if he were an orator.
Mr. Giddings was born the 6th of October, 1795, at Athens, New York. His ancestors emigrated from England, in 1650, to this country. His great grandfather left Connecticut, in 1725, for the state of New York, and in 1806, his father emigrated to Ashtabula county, Ohio, taking his son with him. They have remained there ever since. Young Giddings had not the advantage of a collegiate education, nor had he an academical education, for he only attended school in a common, district school-house. His father had been cheated out of a grant of lands, and was quite poor, and father and son worked industriously upon the farm. His father fought in the battles of the revolution, and his stories of the stirring times of '76 made a deep impression upon the mind of young Giddings—an impression which will never be effaced so long as he lives. It was by the humble fireside of his father that he learned to love and respect human rights. He was taught that human liberty is worth dying for—that all men possess the right to own themselves and manage their own affairs. Revolutionary blood runs in his veins, and the tales of the courage of the old revolutionary heroes in the dark days of the rebel colony, were calculated to fill him with a desire to imitate them in their virtues. In 1812 he took part in the war with Great Britain, and was engaged in one or two battles with the enemy. Shortly after he returned, he was invited to teach a district school near Ashtabula, and, though feeling diffident about his qualifications, he accepted the invitation, and succeeded admirably. He became desirous for more knowledge, for a more enlightened intellect, and for a time he put himself under the tuition of a neighboring clergyman. He then commenced studying law, and was admitted to