« AnteriorContinuar »
editing and arranging of the manuscripts, which were placed in his possession, occasionally adding an explanatory or connecting paragraph. Those biographies are the most instructive, in which the subject is allowed to give his own narrative, and develope bis own sentiments, in such words as pleased himself. In the present case, some deviation from this rule was thought to be desirable, as the private journals of Mr. Cornelius were not accessible, and nothing in the shape of an autobiography was in existence. The remarks which are made upon his character as a pastor, preacher, and public agent, are offered with unfeigned diffidence.
The few brief extracts which are given from the reports of the Education Society, are favorable specimens of his style of writing, and they will serve to give a connected, though condensed view of the history of the institution. Those persons, who are familiar with this history, will please to remember, that there is a large and increasing class of youthful readers, to whom its statements will be new. For the same reason, explanatory notes are occasionally added.
It will be observed that the title of doctor in divinity, which was conferred on bim, in 1829, by one of our most respectable colleges, is not retained in the memoir. It has been omitted in consequence of views repeatedly expressed by him on the subject, especially in his last illness. He did not decline the honor from any disrespect to its source, or with any wish to condemn others, who may judge differently ; but from a belief that its assumption is not altogether in accordance with the spirit of the gospel.
The likeness prefixed to the volume is not considered a good one in all respects. It was engraved from a painting of Mr. Cornelius, which fails to give an accurate representation of his features. He sat for the picture at a time when he was recovering from illness. The execution, both of the painting and engraving, is fine, and in some respects is strikingly conformed to the original; but in others, it essentially fails.
A number of words and phrases in the volume, which are not pure English, or against which some objection lies, are printed in Italic characters. It is difficult to describe certain subjects, introduced into this memoir, in phraseology which is entirely correct.
Boston, December, 1833.
BIRTH-PREPARATION FOR COLLEGE-ADMISSION TO YALE
Elias CORNELIUS, the subject of the following sketch, was born at Somers, Westchester county, New York, on the 30th of July, 1794. His paternal ancestors came originally from Holland. His father had commenced the study of medicine, under the superintendence of doctor Samuel Latham, a physician of New York city, when the war with Great Britain commenced. In entire opposition to the wishes of all his relatives, doctor Cornelius entered the service of his country, at the age of twenty years, in the capacity of surgeon's mate, in the second regiment of Rhode Island troops, then under the command of colonel Israel Angell. He was soon after taken prisoner, and thrown into the old Provost prison, in New York, where he was confined for a considerable period, and where he suffered almost incredible hardships. In March, 1778, he escaped, rejoined the army, and remained in the service of his country till 1781. He then commenced his professional business in Yorktown, about fifty miles from
the city of New York. While in the army he had become the subject of permanent religious impressions, which rendered him afterwards, in a spiritual sense, “the beloved physician.” He joined the Congregational church in Yorktown, and in 1787, was appointed to the office of deacon. He soon after removed his residence to the northwest part of the town of Somers, and in 1790, formed, in conjunction with a few individuals, a church in
Carmel, opposite Somers, the members of which were ::gathered: from four or five : contiguous towns. This was : called the Red Mihs socieiy; or the church' at 'Red Mills.
The medical practice of doctor Cornelius extended, for many years, over a large district, comprehending portions of Somers, Yorktown, Carmel, Phillipstown, and Fredericktown. Though he had not enjoyed the advantages of an early education, yet by industry and love of study, he had acquired much general, as well as professional knowledge. To all his duties he brought a large measure of energy and firmness. His exertions in building a meeting-house, and in procuring and maintaining a preacher, were of the most prompt and liberal character. His first wife was a daughter of doctor Brewer, by whom he had four or five children, all of whom died at an early age. Mrs. Cornelius soon followed them to the grave. By his second marriage, doctor Cornelius had one son, and four daughters. The widow, and three of the daughters, are still living
In the early history of young Cornelius, nothing of special interest occurs. “I was very intimate in the family,” says a venerable clergyman, who then officiated at the Red Mills church, “and was conversant with the history of the education of that only son. He was a very frank, active, and pleasant boy, full of vivacity, fond of the social circle and conversation ; but easily governed. His turn of mind exposed tim smetines +23 juvenile indiscretion; bet be vas ratat dipamei, at brought to a sense of his f: We rev i 18 social disposition might expose in to the nfuence crafty and vicious company: ad s orunsatz sme times discouraged his fatber. He a create at an education would only quali sono se mischief. But it was strucs representes *1m. at these traits of character soc. prepare the 22te eminent usefulness, if they could be turned on the II catanei As both his parents were procs, be was ear.1 12 instructed in his doties to his Lord a Berperver. Or the prayers and labors which were espeso se - no marked fruits appeared for a reader of ye He sometimes, however, manifested a un statest de stelligent and devout conversation of his petons nage His conscience, enlightened by perasal of the Blue, and by the living example of his frends, 3 so ab . to remain in quiet, while alienated from his Mater. At one time, in his early borhood, his feelings were deeply interested in reading Lindley Murray's - Power of Re ligion," a book which records the bappy esperience of many dying believers in Jesus.
It was a signal faror to the church, that doctor Cornelius united in his character, those qualities which could control the high spirits of his son, and at the same time implant in his bosom the principles of the most affectionate and endearing filial attachment. No measures more intelligent and judicious could have been adopted, in providing for him an elementary and academical education.
His preparatory studies for college were committed, in part, to the care of the Rev. Herman Daggett, afterwards principal of the Foreign Mission School, at Cornwall, Ct. To the instructions of this gentleman, Mr. Cornelius was greatly indebted for his skill in penmanship, and for the