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that there is a God, a future state of rewards and punishments, an immortal existence intended for the souls of men, and all the other tenets of the christian faith, and no longer allow a license to the erring reason of men, to subject them to the trial of vain and doubtful disputations? Far be it from us to feel any inclination to check the progress of free inquiry, or set limits to that full and ample range, which we would allow to philosophy while she confines her researches within those tracts, over which God and nature have assigned her a just and lawful dominion. We are sensible of no tendency to partake of that spirit of bigotry and intolerance, which led to the persecution of Roger Bacon and Copernicus, exposed Gallileo to confinement, and put his life in jeopardy for his philosophical discoveries; but we cannot conceive why what is undoubtedly revealed in the word of God or deducible from it by unavoidable inference, should be withheld or not boldly maintained, and pertinaciously adhered to, from an apprehension of checking reason in her range, or stifling the voice of free inquiry. We entertain no fears that after a full and complete investigation, the doctrine inculcated in Sacred Scripture on this or any other topic will be found at variance with the conclusions of a just philosophy. The experience of the church in the case of Gallileo, if she had not been taught many other lessons of a similar nature during the course of her history, should have put her on her guard, not to be too sensitive or over-jealous in points of this kind, or allow her fears to be too easily alarmed, for the safety of that precious treasure of divine truth, entrusted to her keeping; but, to repose in entire confidence upon the conviction, that the same God who has indited his holy word, will not allow it to be invalidated or falsified by his works, when rightly interpreted. As far as the parallel has been hitherto run, between the word of God and his works, as disclosed to us by the discoveries of science, the accordance, or correspondence traced between them has
been strict and wonderful, and it is not likely, that any future investigations of science, will be found to set them at variance with each other. The truth of this observation has been still more strikingly verified in the present instance. Dr. Smith has shown, in the treatise, whose merits we are now canvassing, that the inference to which we should be naturally led from the representations of sacred scripture, in regard to the identity of the human race, is the same which we should deduce from the principles of philosophy. We cannot but be of opinion, that any one who shall take the trouble, not only to read, but to study and comprehend this work, will find that by his able and learned argument upon the subject, he has fairly brought it to a conclusion, and supplied us with an evidence, as satisfactory to the understanding as the nature of the case admits. To all the objections, which have been alleged against his system, commencing with those of that elegant writer and profound critic lord Kaims, and terminating in the efforts of some later authors, who have had the presumption to controvert his principles, without taking the trouble to comprehend them, we consider him as having furnished satisfactory refutations. That his doctrine will ultimately triumph, and that all future discoveries of science will contribute to its support and confirmation, we entertain not the smallest doubt; nor that the work in which it is maintained, will, by all those who are capable of judging, be regarded as a valuable accession to the stock of human knowledge, and remain a lasting monument of his genius.
From his pretensions as a philosopher, we proceed to those which he sustained as the president of the college. His talents, it is true, were rather of the contemplative than the executive kind, and he was more fitted for researches and speculations of the closet, than for the prompt exertions, the quick perception of the best expedients to accomplish ends, together with the ready and vigorous prosecution of them,
which are indispensable qualifications in conducting to successful issues, the affairs of active life. To cool contemplation, or the calm pursuits of mild philosophy, rather than to the tumult and heat of action, he seems to have been formed by his habits, which were those of study and reflection. But, on important occasions in which his feelings became engaged, and his sense of duty propelled him to exertion, no man discovered more promptitude, decision and energy
of character, or more firmness and perseverance. He entered upon the duties of the presidency in the college at a conjuncture, in which they had become peculiarly delicate and arduous. The French revolution which had just taken place, at the
me time, that it uprooted the very foundation of the ancient monarchy of that nation, and threw the state into confusion and wild misrule as well as deluged it with blood, did not confine its effects to the limits of that single kingdom, but extended its influence to many of the contemporary nations. In no country was this effect more sensibly felt than in our own, as was natural, on account of the severe struggle from which we had just released ourselves in the establishment of our independence, and the train of feelings and opinions to which that struggle gave rise. It awoke among the citizens of this republic an enthusiasm in favour of the civil rights of mankind, which had an immediate tendency to extravagance and excess, and which extended itself throughout all the departments of civil and social life. If our people were not prepared to consider all government useless and oppressive, they were at least not in a condition to bear with tameness and acquiescence any thing that bore the semblance of a restraint upon their liberty. From the members of the republic this infection spread itself among our youth, who strange to tell, carried these false notions of liberty along with them into our seminaries of learning, and the
that rise to all the uneasiness of our Washington, the stay of the federal government and the guardian genius of his country, and which on more than one occasion shook to its foundations the noble fabric he had reared, extended its action also into the colleges and schools of our country. The spirit of insubordination, which showed itself amongst the students and their unceasing tendency to tumult and revolt against the exercise of just and lawful authori. ty, was the spring out of which flowed all Dr. Smith's anxi. eties and difficulties, in discharging the duties of his high and responsible station. From this fruitful source, storm after storm succeeded in the institution, which required all the address, influence and knowledge of human nature, which he could summon to his aid, to prevent from leading to its utter ruin. On these occasions, his readiness of resource, his firinness and decision of character, his commanding powers of eloquence, and all those talents that constitute real greatness, as it is capable of being exhibited in active life, conspicuously appeared. The dignity of his presence overawed disaffection and revolt. Never did he address himself in vain to the students under his care. His eloquent appeals to their understandings, their pride of character, and their sense of duty were always irresistible. Armed with his powers, the authority of college never failed to triumph. Confusion and wild uproar heard his voice and was still. Severe as was the contests he had thus frequently to sustain with the students, they never ceased to regard him with the highest respect, and to entertain for his person undiminished affection. Of all those young men who were successively under his charge, I very much doubt whether a single one could be found who does not cherish for his memory the highest veneration. Never, perhaps, did any president of a college receive from his pupils a more flattering proof of attention and respect, than he received from his, when, after the conflagration of the college-buildings, he was taking his journey through the middle and southren states, in order to make up subscriptions to defray the expense of repairing the
injuries which had been sustained. The gentlemen in the several districts through which he passed, who had graduated under his care, met together to consult not only about the best method of paying their respects to him, by waiting upon him in person, but also for the purpose of anticipating, in the way the most grateful to his feelings, the object of his visit. To save him from the task, at no time agreeable, of making application in person to the men of wealth in the places through which he went, they not only presented him unsolicited the several sums which they themselves subscribed, but voluntarily undertook the office, of soliciting in his stead the contributions of others. An act of complicated virtue, by which they at once discharged the obligation of gratitude which they owed to their venerable preceptor, exhibited an example of the most delicate courtesy to the object of their esteem, and fulfilled an important public duty.
As a writer he is entitled to a very distinguished rank. He had a mind which was, indeed, capable of comprehending the abstruse and penetrating into the profound, but which following its natural impulses, chose rather to devote itself to the acquisition of what is elegant and agreeable in science and literature. If his natural parts did not prompt him, with Locke, Clarke and Butler, successfully to fathom the depths of that vast ocean of truth and certainty presented to us in metaphysics and divinity; with Addison, Pope and Swift, he found a high degree of mental enjoyment in exploring the more flowery fields of the Belles-lettres, and all that part of knowledge which comes under the denomination of polite learning. With this kind of literary treasure his mind was richly stored, and he was at all times able to give vent to it in a correct and elegant style of writing. versed in the Latin, Greek, French and Hebrew languages; and his style of writing was remarkably neat and chastened, when compared with that which is now becoming every day more and more prevalent. In his works we find none of those