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THE INFLUENCE OF KNOWLEDGE :-Wheaton.
Nothing seems to be wanting to promote the progress of science and letters among us, but public sympathy, and a more active encouragement to every exertion of our literary men. In this they are to find both their reward and the incentive to fresh endeavors. This encouragement is especially due to every attempt to enlarge the means of instruction; to draw science down from lofty abstractions to practical use; to bring it home to men's business and bosoms—to diffuse a general taste for the liberal arts and letters throughout society. I will 110t speak to you of the agreeable relaxation to be found in these pursuits from the oppressive toils and cares of business, and the still more oppressive toils and cares of fashionable dissipation ; of their talismanic power to avert the malignant influence of that demon who lurks in the train of excessive civilization and refinement, and poisons the fountains of pleasure in polished life. I will not remind you of the consolation afforded by the cultivation of letters in adversity-of the balm it ministers to the soul wounded in its dearest affections of the
pure and elevated enjoyments it bestows. I will not speak to you of these, because I know you will be influenced by other more disinterested and more patriotic motives to countenance with your protection and patronage the enterprise in which we are engaged. We believe that it is closely connected with the happiness of society, and with the permanent prosperity and true glory of our common country. We feel that it appeals powerfully to the wise and the good; to those generous minds who do not despair of the commonwealth ; to those who would labor for a distant posterity with the certainty that their toils will not be unrequited. We inhabit a land of vast extent, possessing every variety of soil and climate, and abounding with natural scenery, the most picturesque, romantic, and grand. The increase of our population has, as yet, found little or no resistance in the want of the means of subsistence. Its tide is now swelling and overflowing in every direction ; and perhaps before some of those who are now present shall see death, it will equal, if not surpass, that of the greatest empires of the old world. But this rapid increase of numbers will not be attended with a correspondent increase of happiness, unless the region of intellect is cultivated, as well as that which yields a supply to our physical wants. Man has higher wants and capacities. His soul is filled with aspirations after knowledge and fame; with an insatiable thirst of happiness, which
seeks for its gratification, not in the enjoyments of sense, but in the cultivation of the powers of his intellectual and moral nature. The sentiment of patriotism is not merely associated with the clods of the valley which gave us birth. It is complicated of the recollections of the great men our country has produced; of their heroic and beneficent actions; of affection for its institutions, its manners, its fame in arts and in
This sentiment must be cherished and invigorated by associating with it an enlightened love of liberty--a taste for knowledge, and an ardent enthusiasm for those arts which lend to human existence its most refined enjoyments. Could the genius of our country reveal to our astonished view the future glories which await the progress of confederated America ; could he show us the countless millions who will swarm in the wide-spread valleys of the west, tasting of happiness, and sharing the blessings of equal laws; could he unroll the pages of her history, and permit us to see the fierce struggles of her factions--the rapid mutations of her empire—the bloody fields of her triumphs and her disasters : could he crowd these awful visions upon our souls, we should then see that all the prosperity that awaits us depends on the supremacy of mind-on the cultivation of the intellect-on the diffusion of knowledge and the arts ; not merely to the chosen few, but to that immense multitude who are at once invested with the privileges of freodom and the prerogatives of power.
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND THE REFORMATION.
of the American revolution is to the rights of man, what the age of the reformers was to his duties. This republished the true principles of Christian liberty, obligation and happiness; that of natural right, of political and civil freedom. The reformation of Luther laid the foundation of the rights of man in society. The revolution of 1776 finished the superstructure of religious liberty. The principles of the protestant epoch remodeled the church—those of the American era, society and government. Daughters of the same divine parent, the religion of the Bible, they have founded a new family among the nations. Whilst all Europe trembled, as with an earthquake, amidst the convulsions of the thirty years' war, the foundations of this new family were laid at Jamestown and Plymouth. Here, on these western shores, savage and inhospitable, the infant state was born, unnoticed and unknown, like the child in Revelations, that was hidden in the wilderness, Many a wild torrent of Indian massacre swept over our childhood; and left behind it the desolate pathway of the whirlwind. Many a mountain-wave, from the battle-fields of Europe, rushed across the Atlantic; and garments rolled in blood were the portion of our youth. As the prime of life approached, the children of the outcast and wanderer arose, and fought on their own soil, by the side, and in the cause of the parent nation. The prime of life came, and the principles of the reformation taught them, that independence was a right and a duty, when civil and political liberty was invaded. The gordian-knot of colonial obedience was severed : a fierce struggle for the mastery ensued: and it pleased the Almighty, that the victory should be ours. That victory was a consequence, however remote-a triumph, however unlooked for, of the reformation.
The spirit of inquiry, first principles, thinking, reasoning, were the very essence, the genius of the reformation, in the age of Luther.
The same were the essence, the genius of the revolution, under Washington. The protestant nations have surpassed all the rest of the European family in the depth and comprehensiveness, in the sublimity and beauty, in the richness and variety of their literature and science. Britain, the guardian angel of the liberty of Europe, the vanguard of civilization and freedom in the old world,
“She, in the soul of man, her better wealth,
The richest: Nature's noblest produce, she
And we, the only offspring nation ever bore, worthy of such an ancestry, we must not, we cannot, we shall not rest satisfied, with inferiority to English fame, in science and literature. The spirit of inquiry, first principles, thought, reasoning, these are the causes, which, under circumstances singularly felicitous, have made her in power and glory, in wisdom and virtue, in wealth, happiness, freedom and knowledge, the greatest of European states, whether ancient or modern. And the same causes shall enable us, still more fortunate in situation, at our appointed day of meridian excellence, to ascend a loftier height of power and glory, of wisdom and virtue, of wealth, happiness, freedom and knowledge, than England has ever attained. She has accomplished all that an European people, subjects of a limited monarchy, can attain, under the transforming, regenerating influence of the reformation. She is the Rome
of the modern world, but has far exceled the imperial republic of antiquity. We shall accomplish still more, in effecting all that an American people, citizens of a confederacy of republics, can perform, under the combined influence of the reformation and of our revolution. We shall be the Greece of the modern world, unrivaled by the literature of three thousand years. All, indeed, that the system of the reformers can bring to pass, our country, the only holy land of religious liberty, the only promised land of political freedom, shall assuredly accomplish. Then shall our country be—emphatically, pre-eminently—the empire of mind, the republic of letters.
THE GOODNESS OF GOD.-Worcester.
For what purpose did the infinite Creator give existence to this majestic monument of his almighty power? For what purpose did he create the earth and the heavens, with all their unnumbered hosts? Was it not evidently, that he might communicate happiness; and does not this design appear conspicuous on the open face of nature ? What is the plain and unequivocal indication of all those marks of infinite wisdom, and skilful contrivance, in the general dispositions, and in all parts of surrounding nature ? Is it not, that the Creator of all things is infinitely good? Is there not a display of infinite goodness, in the regular and harmonious disposition of the heavenly orbs? Instead of this beautiful order, why was there not the most horrible confusion? Instead of this benignant harmony of the spheres, why was there not a perpetual jar, and the most disastrous concussion ? Is there not a display of infinite goodness in the grandeur and beauty of the creation,-so favorably adapted to elevate, to inspire with admiration, and fill with the purest pleasure, the devout and contemplative mind? Why was not the whole creation so formed as only to excite amazement, terror, and despair? Is there not a display of infinite goodness in the beautiful scenery of our globe,
,—so agreeably diversified with continents and seas, islands and lakes, mountains and plains, hills and valleys, adapted to various beneficial purposes, and abounding with productions, in endless variety, for the convenience, the support, and the happiness of its diversified inhabitants ? Why was not the whole earth like the burning sands of Libya, or the rugged and frozen mountains of Zembla? Why was it not one wide and dreary waste, producing only briers and thorns, and poisonous or bitter fruits ?
Is there not a display of infinite goodness in the grateful vicis. situdes of the seasons, each bearing upon its bosom its peculiar delights ?—the spring arrayed in the most beautiful verdure, and decorated with flowers; the summer abounding with delightful prospects, and teeming with luxuriance ; autumn loaded with golden harvests, and the richest variety of fruits ; and even winter supplying in social enjoyments, and the nobler pleasures of study and contemplation, what it lacks in external charms? Why was not the whole year one continued scene of dull uniformity, or so irregular in its changes as utterly to baffle all the calculations, and arrangements, and pursuits of life? Why was not every sight a spectacle of horror, every sound a shriek of distress, every sweet a most pungent bitter, every gale a blast of pestilence? Is it not because the Creator and Preserver of the world, is a being of infinite goodness? Is it not strange, that we do not constantly perceive the glory of God, which the heavens declare, and gratefully recognize his goodness, so richly spread abroad through all his works ? Happy, happy were it for us, did nature constantly appear to us as it really is, animated and enlivened by its glorious Author! When the sun rises or sets in the heavens, when spring adorns the earth, when summer shines in its glory, when autumn pours forth its fruits, or when winter returns in its awful forms, happy were it for us, did we constantly view the great Creator and Preserver of all, continually manifesting himself in his various works! Happy, did we meet his presence in the smiling fields, feel his influence in the cheering beams, hear his voice even in the whispering breeze, and taste his goodness in every gift of nature and providence! Happy, did we feel ourselves every where surrounded with the glory of that universal Spirit, who fills, pervades and enlivens all; and did we live in the world, as in a great and august temple, where the presence of the Divinity who inhabits it, fills the mind with awe, and inspires the heart with devotion !
BURR AND BLANNERHASSET.
Who is Blannerhasset? A native of Ireland, a man of letters, who fled from the storms of his own country to find quiet in ours. Possessing himself of a beautiful island in the Ohio, he rears upon it a palace, and decorates it with every romantic embellishment of fancy. A shrubbery, that Shenstone might have envied, blooms around him ; music, which might have