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funds. The college has never enjoyed any refources from the ftate.rt It was founded, and has been fupported wholly by private liberality and zeal. And its finances, from a variety of caujes, were in a low and declining condition, at the period when Dr. Witherfpoon arrived in America. But his reputation excited an uncommon liberality in the public; and his perfonal exertions, extended from Maflachufetts to Virginia, foon raifed its funds to a flourifhing ftate. The war of the revolution, indeed, afterwards, proftrated every thing, and almoft annihilated its refources; yet we cannot but with gratitude recollect, how much the inftitution owed, at that time, to his enterprize and his talents.

But the principal advantages it derived, were from his literature; his fuperintendency; his example as a happy model of good writing; and from the tone and tafte which he gave to the literary purfuits of the college.

In giving the outlines of the character of this great man, for I attempt no more, 1 fhall begin with obferving, that perhaps his principal merit appeared in the pulpit. He was, in many refpe&s, one of the beft models on which a young preacher could form himfelf. It was a fingular ferocity to the whole college, but efpecially to thofe who had the profeffion of the miniftry in view, to have fuch an example conftantly before them. Religion, by the manner in which it was treated by him, always commanded the refpect of thofe who heard him, even when it was not able to engage their hearts. An admirable textuary, a profound theologian, perfpicuous and fimple in his manner; an univerfal fcholar, acquainted deeply with human nature; a grave, dignified, and folemn fpeaker, he brought all the advantages derived from thefe fources to the illuftration and enforcement of divine truth. Though not a fervent and animated orator,^ he was always a folemn, affe&ing, and irtfiructive preacher. It was impoffible to bear him without attention, or to attend to him without improvement. He had a happy talent at unfolding the ftrict and proper meaning of the facred writer, in any text from which he chofe to difcourfe: at concentrating and giving perfect unity to every fubject which he treated; and prefenting to the hearer the moll clear and comprehenfive views of it. His fermons were diftinguifhed for their judicious and perfpicuous divifions—for mingling profound remarks on human life, along with the illuftration of divine truth—and for the lucid order that reigned through the whole. In his difcourfes, he loved to dwell chiefly on the great doctrines of divine grace, and on the difiinguifhing truths of the gofpel. Thefe he brought, as far as poffible, to the level of every underflanding, and the feeling of every heart. He feldom chofe to lead his hearers into fpeculative difcuffions, and never to entertain them by a mere difplay of talents. All oftentation in the pulpit, he viewed with the utmoft averfion and contempt. During the whole of his prefidency, he was extremely felicitous to train thofe ftudious youths, who had the miniftry of the gofpel in view, in fuch a manner, as to fecure the greateft refpectability, as well as ufefulnefs, in that holy profeffion. It was his conllant advice to young preachers, never to enter the pulpit without the moft careful preparation. It was his ambition and his hope, to render the facred miniftry the moft learned, as well as the moll pious and exemplary body of men in the Republic.

a Since this fermon was delivered, the college has been favored with a handt'ome donation from the L-:gillature of New Jerfey.

b A peculiar affection of his nerve?, which always overcame him when he allowed himfelf to feel very fervently on any fubject, obliged him, from his cat licit entrance on public life, to impofe a Uriel reftraiat and guard upon his fenfibility. He was, therefore, under the necelfity of fubftituting gravity and ferioi-lnefs of manner, iu public fpeaking, in the room of that fire and warmth, of which he Whs well capable, by nature; and which he fo much admired in others, when managed with prudence.

As a writer, his ftile is fimple and comprehenfive—his remarks judicious, and often refined—his information, on every fubjeft which he treats, accurate and extenfive—his matter always weighty and important—clofely condenfed, and yet well arranged and clear. Simplicity, perfpicuity, precifion, comprehenfion of thought, and knowledge of the world, and of the human heart, reign in every part of his writings. Three volumes of eflays, and two of fermons, befides feveral detached difcourfes, atready publifhed—and treating chiefly on the moft important and practical fubjects in religion—have defervedly extended his reputation, not only through Britain, Ireland and America, but through moft of the proteftant, countries of Europe. His remarks on the nature and effects of the ftage, enter deeply into the human heart. We find there many refined observations, after the example of the Melfieurs de Port-Royal in France, not obvious to ordinary minds, but perfectly founded in the hiftory of man. and the ftate of fociety. The pernicious influence of that amufement on the public tafte and morals, was, perhaps, never more clearly elucidated. On the following interefling fubjects, the nature and necessity of generationJustification by free grace, through Jesus Christ; and the importance of truth in religion, or, the connection that subsists between sound principles and a holy practice, there is, perhaps, nothing fuperior in the Englifh language. But Dr. Witherfpoon's talents were various. He was not only a ferious writer, but he poflefled a fund of refined humor, and delicate fatire. A happy fpecimen of this is feen in his Ecclesiastical Characteristics. The edge of his wit, in that performance, was directed againfl certain corruptions in principle and practice prevalent in the Church of Scotland. And no attack that was ever made upon them, gave them fo deep a wound, or was fo feverely felt. Dr. Warburton, the celebrated Bifhop of Gloucefter, mentions the Characteriftics with particular approbation, and exprefles his wifh, that the Englifh church, as fhe needed one too, had likewife fuch a corrector.

He never read his fermons, nor ufed fo much as fhort notes, in the pulpit. His practice was, to write his fermons at full length, anil commit them to memory; but not confine himfelf to the precife words he had penned. He often took great liberties, in the delivery of his dilcourfes, to alter, add to, or abridge what he had written; but this nev-r infringed upon the ftrictell accuracy.

This may be the proper place to mention his general character, as a member of the councils and courts of the church, and the part particularly that he took in the ecclefiaftical politics of his native country. The church of Scotland was divided into two parties, with refpect to their ideas of ecclefiaftical difeipline. The one was willing to confirm, and even extend the rights of patronage—the other wifhed, ifpoffible, to abrogate, or at leaft limit them, and to extend the rights and influence of the people, in the fettlement and removal of minifters. The latter were zealous for the doctrines of grace and the articles of religion, in all their ftrictnefs, as contained in their national confeffion of faith. The former were willing to allow a greater latitude of opinion; and they preached in a ftile that feemed to the people lefs evangelical, and lefs affecting to the heart and confcience, than that of their opponents. In their concern, likcwife, to exempt the clergy of their party from the unreafortable effects of popular caprice, they too frequently protected them againft the juft complaints of the people. Thefe were ftiled moderate men, while their antagonifts were diftinguifhed by the name of the orthodox. Dr. Witherfpoon, in his church politics, early and warmly embraced the fide of the orthodox. This he did from conviction and a fenfe of duty; and, by degrees, acquired fuch an influence in their councils, that he was confidered at length as their head and leader. Before he had acquired this influence, their councils were managed without union and addrefs, while the meafures of the moderate party had, for a long time, been conducted by fome of the greateft literary characters in the nation. It had happened among the orthodox, as it often does among fcrupulous and confeientious men, who are not verfed in the affairs of the world, that each purfued inflexibly his own opinion, as the dictate of an honeft confcience. He could not be induced to make any modification of it, in order to accommodate it to the views of others. He thought that all addrefs and policy, was ufing too much management with confcience. Hence refulted difunion of meafures, and confequent defeat—But Dr. Witherfpoon's enlarged mind did not refufe to combine the wisdom of the serpent with the harmlessness of the dove. He had, probably, the principal merit of creating among them union and harmony of defign; of con

centratirtg their views, and giving fyftem to their operations. One day after carying fome important queftions in the general affembly, againft the celebrated Dr. RobertIon, who was at that time confidered as the leader of the oppofite party, the latter faid to him, in a pleafant and eal'y manner, "I think you have your men better difciplined than formerly." "Yes, replied Dr. Witherfpoon, by urging your politics too far, you have compelled us to beat you with your own weapons."

We have {ten him in our own church judicatories in America, always upright in his views—remarkable for his pun&uality in attending upon them—and able to feize at onCe the right point of view on every queftion—able to difentangle the moft embarraffed fubje&s—clear and conclufive in his reafonings—and from habit in bufinefs, as well as from a peculiar foundnefs of judgment, always conducting every difcuffion to the moft fpeedy and decisive termination. The church has certainly loft in him, one of her greateft lights; and, if I may ufe the term in ecclefiaftical aflairs, one of her greateft politicians.

Before entering on his talents as a prefident, fuffer me, in a fentence or two, to call to your mind his focial qualities. When not engaged in the great and ferious bufineffes of life, he was one of the moft companionable of men. Furniflied with a rich fund of anecdote, both amufing and inftru&ive, his moments of relaxation were as entertaining, as his ferious ones were fraught with improvement. One quality remarkable, and highly deferving imitation in him was, bis attention to young pet sons. He never fuffered an opportunity to efcape him of imparting the moft ufeful advice to them, according to their circumflances, when they happened to be in his company. And this was always done in fo agreeable a way, that they could neither be inattentive to it, nor was it poffible to forget it.

On his domeftic virtues I fhall only fay, he was an affectionate hufband, a tender parent, and a kind mafter; to which I may add, he was a fincere and a warm friend. —But, I haften to confider him as a fcholar, and a director ot the fyftem of education in the college.

An univerlal fcholar himfelf, he endeavored to eftablifh

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