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the heart, were in the best possible keeping. For example, he was alike literary and mathematical, and combined the utmost beauty of composition, with the rigor and precision of the exact sciences. But his crowning excellence was his piety; that virtue, which matured him so early for heaven, and bore him in triumph from that earth on which he hath so briefly sojourned. This religious spirit gave a certain ethereal hue to all his college exhibitions. He had the amplitude of genius, but none of its irregularities. There was no shooting forth of mind in one direction, so as to give a prominency to certain acquisitions, by which to overshadow, or to leave behind, the other acquisitions of his educational course. He was neither a mere geometer, nor a mere linguist, nor a mere metaphysician; he was all put together; alike distinguished by the fulness, and the harmony of his
"I leave to you, Sir, the narrative of his higher characteristics. I have spoken, and fully spoken, of the attainments of his Philosophy,-to you it belongs, to speak of the sublimer attainments of his faith.
"Had I needed ought to reconcile me to the transition which I have made, from the state of a Pastor, to that of a Professor, it would just be the successive presentation, year after year, of such Students as John Urquhart, nor, in giving up the direct work of a Christian minister, can I regret the station to which Providence has translated me, at one of the fountain heads of the Christian ministry in our land.
"Your's very truly,
BIOGRAPHY is not dependent for its usefulness on the length of an individual's life, or on the station which he occupies in society. Were this the case, the longest livers, or the most dignified personages would constitute the chief subjects of this species of writing. But so far is this from being the fact, that the great body of those who live to advanced years, and occupy the high places of the earth, pass out of it with little more than an antediluvian notice, "They lived, begat sons, and daughters, and died."
Such a record is all that the vast majority of these persons deserve. They live for time, and they live for themselves. In their characters none of the elements of an enlarged and immortal benevolence exist. To the present state of being, all their views and wishes are limited, and with the objects which minister to their own gratification, they are almost entirely engrossed. When they have finished their day, therefore, they have obtained, such as it is, their reward. As while they Jived, the world was nothing to them, except as it conferred enjoyment; so when they die, they are
nothing to the world, which in their death has sustained no loss. The blanks which such deaths occasion are quickly filled up. The candidates for the pleasures and honors of the earth are innumerable; and they are generally too busy in attending to themselves, to think much of their predecessors, or to derive either warning or improvement from their fate.
It is admitted that the lives of such persons will frequently supply a large portion of what is called incident, which is too generally regarded as the principal charm of biography. In proportion to the number of extraordinary events, unlooked for occurrences, and strange combinations, is supposed to be the value of the memoirs or the life; while all the while the events illustrate no principle, develope no specific class of causes, and furnish little or no instruction to the reader. They appear as if they were stuck upon the subject, instead of growing out of his character, and might, for any thing we can see, as well belong to a hundred other persons, as to the hero of the story.
The life of the most interesting person whom this world has produced, whose actions were entirely directed to the affairs of the world, and whose training had little bearing on the enjoyment and occupations of a better state, must be of less importance than the life of the least individual in the kingdom of heaven. In the former case, the results, as far as the person himself is concerned, terminate with time; in the latter, they embrace eternity. Here the germs of an immortal existence are planted; here the roots are struck, of that tree of life which is destined to fill the celestial paradise with its sweetest and most fragrant fruits; here the first elements of the heavenly sci
ences are learned; and here commence those dispositions and habits which shall grow to perfection in the courts of the Lord.
In comparatively few instances does the full developement of the christian character take place in this world. Even in the most favored circumstances, where Christians have grown up to old age, amidst all the fostering influence of situation and distinguished privileges, some circumstance may have checked the growth of holy principle, and given undue prominence to a human feature; by which the character is prevented from arriving at complete symmetry, or is made to present an aspect less inviting than what ought to belong to the mature believer.
This, though no apology, accounts for the imperfect state in which we sometimes find persons who grow old in the profession of christianity. After having passed honorably through the novitiate of the divine life, they advance little farther, disappoint the promise they originally held out, and are chilled, if not blasted, by this ungenial clime.
In every Christian, all the principles which belong to the most perfect state of the spiritual life are implanted. Every reader must know the alphabet; every mathematician must know the signs, and the first properties of numbers. The acorn contains the elements of the future oak. Many proceed no farther than the elements of science; but all who advance to its highest summits must advance from its first principles to perfection. Thus it is in christianity. The babe in Christ is as much a Christian as the hoary headed saint. Whether he ever arrives at "the measure of the stature of a perfect man in Christ," in this world, depends partly on circumstances