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traction and despondency, to an honourable rank among independent nations, actuated by neither fear nor ambition, but desirous of enjoying in private the tranquility he so greatly contributed to affirm, he retired from the presidency, to live and die a private citizen, when he might have been monarch of the West. But though he relinquished the first place, the first name in America continued and ever will be, Washington There are prodigious men, who appear at intervals, with the character of greatness and domination. An unknown, supernatural cause sends them forth, when required, to found, or repair the ruins of empires. In vain do such men keep aloof, or mix with the crowd ; the hand of fortune raises them suddenly, and they are borne from obstacle over obstacle, from triumph through triumph, to the summit of authority. Inspiration animates their thoughts ; an irresistible movement is given to their enterprises. The multitude looks for them in itself, but finds them not; and lifting up its eyes, they are beheld in a sphere resplendent with light and glory. No'monarch on his throne was ever so great as Washington in his retirement.
Extract from a Discourse delivered in St. Peter's Church, in
the city of Albany, the next Sunday after the Death of Governor CLINTON.
The destroying angel has passed over our city and cut down the most prominent individual among us. He, who but a few days since was presiding over the destinies of this great state, has been arrested in his bright career, and remanded to the dust, As if to pour contempt upon the pride of human greatness, he was snatched from the lofty eminence to which he had been raised by the labour of years, without being permitted to make one effort to save himself. The peaceful, wholesome, and exemplary citizen ;-the friend of letters and of science ;--the enlightened statesman, patriot and philanthropist ;-the chief magistrate and benefactor of the state ;--the individual who was an ornament alike to his country and to human nature is no more.
These remarks I make, not with the feelings of an eulogist, but with a view of impressing you with a conviction, of the uncertain tenure of all worldly greatness. For seldom has a dispensation of Divine Providence more impressively enforced the declaration—" vanity of vanities, all is vanity," than the sudden dissolution of our late governor.
I speak not in the spirit of a panegyrist: for the deceased needs no eulogy of mine. His fame is written on the records of his country and the minds of his contemporaries, in characters which no lapse of time can obliterate, no catastrophe of nature will efface. The legislative annals of the state, and of the United States ; the history of the police of our emporium ; the encouragement of the useful and ornamental arts; the literature and science of the age ; the improvement of common schools, academies and colleges; the patronage of institutions of public charity; and above all, that stupendous structure, which stretching to the north and to the west, connects the inland seas with the atlantic ocean, speak his eulogy infinitely more impressive, than can the most finished strains of oratorical panegyric. These are the broad and lofty monuments of his greatness ; the incontrovertible proofs of an expansive and patriotic mind ;- and they will endure while time itself shall last.
Such a man needs not the praise of him who now addresses you. He will have eulogists enough besides. The tongue of oratory, the pen of eloquence, the inspirations of poetry, the productions of the graphic arts, and the imperishable improvements of his country, will proclaim, long after I shall have descended to forgetfulness, the usefulness and splendour of his deeds. To dwell upon the mild and cheering virtues which adorned him in private life ; the wise and comprehensive views that characterised him as a man ; the patriotic ardour which animated him in the councils of his country; and the lofty policy that guided him in the discharge of his official duties, were in this place unnecessary. But there is one remark, alike congenial with my feelings and the place I occupy, that I will make
and could the spirit of the individual alluded to, but listen to this remark, its reality would afford him infinitely greater pleasure, than all the eulogies that ever were, or ever will be pronounced upon him. The remark is this-DE WITT CLINTON was a BELIEVER in CHRISTIANITY, His zeal for the distribution of the holy scriptures; his patronage of foreign and domestic missions; and his personal attendance on public worship, would, in the absence of other evidence, be conclusive of this point: But we have his own words, pronounced in the presence of large assemblies, and solemnly recorded in the
of history, in proof of this position. Speaking of the American Bible Society, he said, " It looks down on man for his good, and it looks up to heaven for its blessings. It reverses the dreams of heathen mythology, and extends upwards the everlasting chain, which binds together the earth and the heavens.Like a shining Pharos on a tempest-beaten promontory, it sends forth a saving light, which carries us securely through the storms that agitate our bark on the ocean of time. With such
high destinies, with such exalted ends, who would not afford the means of its preservation, and apply to its concerns the most energetic exertions of liberality and wisdom? There is nothing in the elements, in the composition, or in the administration of the society, which ought to claim the jealousy, or excite the suspicion of the most rigid sectarian, in religion, or in politics.It was founded, and has been supported, by men of all creeds. It looks with an equal eye on all the humble followers of Christ; and it distributes, with an equal hand, the benefits which spring from its bosom. It acknowledges no superiority, but the superiority of piety and wisdom ; and it admits of no distinctions, but those which grow out of the improvement of human character. If its pedestal be on earth, its apex reaches the heavens."
“We are," said he, “ on the verge of events greater than the astonishing ones, which have occurred within our times ; discoveries vast and stupendous ! Instkutions deeply connected with human melioration, and events of unprecedented character may be expected. The fountains of intellectual, moral and religious light, which are now concentrated within comparatively narrow boundaries, will overflow the world; and humanity, throwing off the fetters, and rising above its incumbrances, will be ennobled, as well as disenthralled."
Let, then, the bantling of a profane scepticism, the pigmy advocate of a false philosophy, hide his diminished head in the effulgence of that science and those intellects, which led ClinTON to embrace and patronize the doctrines of the cross. He who was identified with his country's glory; was revered by the great and virtuous of other nations; and to whom his opponents looked with reverence, and his enemies rendered homage; after the severity of a scrutiny peculiar to great minds, deliberately and publicly announced his conviction of the divinity of christianity. In the belief that our dearest rights, and richest blessings intimately depend on the prevalence of christian principles, he, as a philanthropist and statesman, as well as a believer in the doctrines of his Saviour, lent to those principles all the support he could. And deeply convinced from the history of past ages, that a government resting on the public will, must necessarily be in peril of anarchy and dissolution, unless that public will be directed by christian knowledge, he was anxious, on all occasions, to promote the dissemination of that knowledge. What were his religious feelings in relation to himself in the last stages of his existence, I know not; but from the serious and thoughtful tenor of his conduct, and the purity of his moral and religious principles, I trust he
had made his peace with God. He was indeed prevented from the suddenness of his exit from commiting his spirit into the hands of his creator by any particular religious act; but I hope this had been done, and done effectually while he was yet in health. For after all, in the final judgment, he will be subjected to the same scrutiny that awaits the meanest individual among us.
God is no respecter of persons, and every one will finally be judged according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil.
Mr. BUTLER's Speech in the Assembly, announcing the
death of Governor CLINTON. It seems, Mr. Speaker, to devolve upon me, as the representative of this city, to call the attention of the house, to that awful event, which, since
our last sitting, has shrouded this metropolis in mourning.–Death has been among us! and he has aimed at no common mark. By one of those signal displays of his power, which illustrate the supremacy of the Almighty, and the nothingness of man, he has cut down one not only pre-eminent in station, but most conspicuous for talents and public services. How inscrutable are the ways of Providence! It seems but as yesterday, since we were called to lament the death of an adopted son, whose eloquence created an era in our history, and whose virtues and talents rendered him an ornament alike to the old world and the new: and now, when the tears shed for Emmet are scarcely dried, another-his appointed eulogisthas, like him, been stricken down, in the fulness of his fame, and on the very field of his renown—and that too, ere he had performed the sad but honourable duty to which he had been called.
In the resolutions which I shall have the honour to submit, I have endeavoured to express the common feelings of this house and of the community. Before they are read, I shall attempt the further duty of saying something of the character and services of the illustrious dead. I do not intend to speak his eulogy--for I have neither sufficient controul over my feelings to perform the task, nor would the suddenness of the occasion permit me to do justice to the subject.
subject. Other reasons would also restrain me-overwhelmed with that deep sense of the vanity of human greatness, which this event is so well calculated to inspire, I dare not flatter him.
But I may say without offence, and in the spirit of history, that this state, since the formation of its government, nay more,
since the settlement of the country, has never produced an individual, who has exerted so great an influence upon
the interests of the state, or whose name is more likely to be perpetuated in its history.
It was the fortune of De Witt Clinton, for nearly thirty years, to be the head of a great party ; and the mark at which were hurled the shafts of a powerful opposition. Of those who sup. ported, or those who opposed him, this is not the occasion to speak.
It is known to every member of this house, that ever since my acquaintance with political affairs, I have acted with the latter ; but it affords me, at this moment, unspeakable delight, to reflect that for many years there has been mingled with that opposition nothing personal, save respect for his character, and admiration of his talents. That respect and admiration were justly due him ; for to his honour be it said, that whilst he pursued with avidity political distinction, he had the wisdom to seek. for enduring fame, not from the possession of power or the triumphs of the day, but by identifying himself with the great in. terests of the community. It was his ambition to be distinguished as the friend of learning and of morals, and as the advocate and patron of every measure calculated to promote the welfare or increase the glory of the state.
Let the statesmen of the present day, those who are now engaged in the career of ambition, learn wisdom from his example. The grave of Clinton will soon cover the recollections of his political honours, and in it will be buried the triumphs and reverses of the hour. But his fame, as the patron of schools and seminaries of learning, as the friend of morals and benevolence, and as the ardent champion of every great public improvement, will flourish while time shall last. Need I remind you of his efforts to call out and to foster the latent genius of our people? Need I speak of his labours in aid of that great work, which has conferred so much glory on his native state, and so largely contributed to the happiness of its inhabitants ? By connecting his fortunes with the success of that stupendous project, and by devoting to it the best energies of his mind, what an unfading wreath did he secure ? So long as the waters of the great lakes shall flow through this new
channel to the Atlantic, so long shall history record his name !
I rejoice, sir, that he was not taken from us, until he had witnessed the triumphant consummation of that great work. I rejoice still more that he was permitted to outlive, to a great degree, the collisions, the prejudices, and the asperities of party; and that there is now nothing to prevent the representatives of the people, from awarding to his memory the honours he de