In the midst of this mental gloom and desolation, God did not leave man, but communicated to him, in great kindness, the' light of revelation to succour him in his impoten't and imperfect state -he unfolded to him a law which can conduct in the paths that lead to glory, honor, and immortality, - a law which is founded on the Eternal principles of rectitude - and a law which Is a perfect transcript of the omniscient mind. This is the great moral sun given by God to enlighten man, for the light of which, we, in this part of the wodd, have the greatest reasons to be thankful to Him, who is the author of all spiritual light, and who has caused it to shine so abundantly around us, as a people.
In schools and Colleges, the grand object of those 'connected with them should be, not merely to cultivate a literary taste, and spread abroad sound learning, and increase the amount of scientific attainments, but decided and persevering efforts should be made, to imbue the minds of the students, with the great truths of Christianity, as taught and enforced in the scriptures of truth. The doctrines of that exalted Being, who condescended to assume our nature, and who declared himself to be tlie light of the world, must be taught, and His pure and holy precepts inculcated, as well as those of philosophy and science: or in other words there are in the moral and intellectual, as in the material world, two great lights which are equally necessary for man as the light of the sun and moon, and which have been of unspeakable advantage to him,-I mean the light of Science and the light of the Gospel.
It is delightful to reflect, that one of the noblest features of the age in which we live, is the zeal and activity display ed by many great and good men, to spread abroad, far and wide, all the discoveries of science, and the still nobler discoveries, which the light of revelation has shed around us. Christianity, and science, and civilization, have gone hand in hand, walking across, and enlightening many dark parts ofour benighted world; and they should never be separated; for the one throws light up on the other, and when united, they are fitted and intended to promote the peace, and happiness, of all upon wbom they shine. The student may, and ought, to make himself acquainted with all the systems of ancient philosophy and with all the improvemenfsin modern Science; but he is to bear in mind, that science is only the handmaid of Religion, and were she to be permitted to usurp the place of a mistress, and gain an ascendancy, she would be inverting the order appointed by Him, who is the author 'of that word "the entrance of which" David says, "giveth light."Smatterers in Mathematics, and Natural Philosophy, may im agine in the vanity of their hearts, that they have attained to a height from which they can look down with contempt on Rev elation; buyt the truly philosophical mind, will find the farther he ascends ythe sublime walks of science, and enlarges his views, that he has the greater reason to admire the unsearchable treasures of wisdom, and lighty, and knowledge, which are contained in the word of God.
The master-minds in science and philos ophy, under whose guidance truth has been investigated most splendidly, and most successfully, have revered and loved, the light of Revelation. Look at Bacon, one ofthe lights of knowl edge, and father of the true system of philosophy, and who did more to advance the cause of sound learning, than the whole herd of infidel philosophers put together, and say, what was his testimony to the power and importance ofReligion. "It is true" said he, "that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to Atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds abouttofleligion." The names of many other illustrious men might be mentioned, who have demonstrated that it is sound wisdom to connect philosophy with religion, or the light of science, with the light ofthe gospel; and since I have been appointed to the presidency of this College, in which literature, and science, and the doc trines of Christianity are taught, I knew ofno subject ofgreater interest, and better fitted for the occasion of an inaugural ad dress, tban to endeavor to show you the connection which ex ists between Christianity and sound learning, and to call upon you to love and revere the former, and study assiduously to ac quire the latter. That I may follow some order in my remarks, I shall endeavor first to show you the good results of Christianity as regards literature; and then, with the view of calling forth your gratitude1 shall direct your attention to the moral, and intellectual condition, of the inhabitants of th9se countries, in which Christianity is unknown, and consequently literature, and science.
Think for a moment on the beneficial effects of Christianity. What has it not done for mankind? The blessings which it has conferred upon the world, are not to be confined to the ame lioratir'g of the moral, civil, religious, and political, condition of mankind: but the most polished nations now in existence, are indebted to it for the preservation, and diffusion of literature, and the elegant arts of painting, statuary, architecture and music. Christianity has been instrumental in preservingand disseminating moral, classical and theological knowledge in every nation where it has been established. In what languages were the law, the gospel, the comments upon them, as also the worksofthe fathers written? The same as that in which the inscription on the cross was written; and it would prove ofgreatuse to the un derstanding of the scriptures, if every one who aspires to the of fice oftheministry, should study to make himself intimately ac quainted with the ilebrew, Greek, and Latin languages. As a knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity was contained in books, it became necessary for every man wlio wished to bccome an intelligent and well informed christian, to obtain a knowledge of these languages, and particularly if his object was to become a teacher of others. So long as there was an orderofmen, whose business it was to qualify themselves for the rank of the priest. hood, learning was by that means preserved. In such circumstances the amount might sometimes be small, but it never could have been entirely lost. In the time of Tacitus, in the year of our Lord 108, the German nations were strangers to letters; and two facts need only to be mentioned to prove that these nations were likely to have continued illiterate and ignorant, had not the teachers of the gospel exerted themselves for their instructibn. The Goths, in the year of our Lord 270, having made themselves masters of Athens, brought together into one heapall the books they found there, and would have consumed the valuable treasure, had not one of them told his companions, thatG while the Greeks amused themselves with those, they neglected the art of war, and were easily overcome.
In the year 298, Theodoric, a Gothic Prince would not suffer the children of his subjects to be instructed in the sciences, imagining that such instructions enervated the mind, and rendered 'men unfit for martial exploits, and thattheG youth who trembled at the rod, would never look undaunted at the spear or sword. But no sooner was Christianity propagated among barbarians, than they were instructed in the use of letters; and only let the light of the Gospel be permitted to shine-only let the beams of mercy, ftom the glorious sun of righteousness be revealed, and ignorance, and superstition will be dispelled. I need not detain you on this point, for almost every one who has read and reflected upon the past and present state of the world, will gratefully acknowledge the literary benefits conferred on mankind by Christianity. Go back to former ages, and inquire who communicated a knowledge of antiquities, sacred and profane? Who taught philology, or the literae humaniores? It was Christians. Who composed, for several of the centuries gone with the years beyond the flood, the Grammars, and Dictionaries, of the learned languages? It was Christians. Who were the most able and faithful chronologists, and historians, for a long period of the history of the world? Christians. Who has laid before the human mind, the most ra tional, and least absurd systerns of morality, and natural religion, and carried metaphysical researches, as far as they can perhaps be carried? Christians. Who has laid down the best moral rules to be observed by nations in pence and war, and has put the rights of subjects both as regards civil, and religious matters, up. on the best foundation? Christians. Oh fl9 the world is not greatly indebted to Infidels and Deists; and;it is well known that some of the Deistical writers of the 17th and 18th centuries, were ignorant and illiterate, a nd consequently could not advance the cause of truth, or science or literature. The interest wbich I feel in your welfare, has induced me to address you on this most important subject. Value the Christian Revelation. It is intimately connected with your peace, and happiness in this life, and inseparably connected with your character, and condition in the ceaseless ages of your future existence.
I shall now as was proposed, call your attention to the moral, and intellectual condition, of the inhabitants of some countries, where the blessings of Christianity are unknown ? and unfelt. Take the Mahometans of the present day; and there is no want of evidence, to enable us to form a pretty accurate judgment, either concerning the effects which Mahometanism produces up on the human intellect, or the state of human society. The experiment 9f establishing this religion, and the trial of that form of political administration which it involves, has been fully and fairly made; and that too under circumstances peculiarly suited to the full developement of their effects upon man. Many nations celebrated for wealth, learning, and civilization, as well as many semi-barbarous tribes, were within a very short period, obliged to become converts to the faith of lslam. The system was indeed propagated by fire and sword: but between three and four centuries have elapsed since it was established over the greater part of Asia. What then are the consequences of the establishment of this religion? Has it ameliorated as Christianity has done, in any degree the condition of those nations, and tribes, who were reduced to the necessity of choosing between Mahometanism and extermination?
Has it promoted the increase or civilization of the one, or increased the wealth, learning, power, and prosperity of the other? Has it produced refinement of national sentiment, or elevat on of national character? Has t cher ished that spirit of chivalry, and of Iiberty, that taste for literature, and the fine arts, that enthusiastic desire for the pros ecution ofthe study of philosophy, and the sciences, that charac terized tine nations of the East, and the West, before it overspread the Asiatic continent? Are the Mahometan nations of the present day distinguished as the Arabians were before the Koran was forced upon them by the sword? Are they distin guished for that rich and exuberant flow of poetical feelings, and that union of noble, and elevated sentiment, which urged those who possessed it to those splendid exertions in literature, and in science, which, while they infinitely surpassed those of the whole world besides, were of such magnitude and excellence, that the very fragments of them, which have survived the ravages of the spoiler, are to this day, objects of wonder, and astonishment? Every one who has taken even the most partial glance at the state of Asiatic society, will be at no loss to answer these interrogatories. The learning of the Arabians, like "the meteor of the night of distant years," has disappeared. The polished states of Asia have sunk into barbarism. A state of Anarchy, and ter ror has been entailed upon every Mahometan nation, from the moment it was subjected to the baleful influences of the faith of Islam. Misery and desolation, have in every case followed the introduction of Mahometanism into a country, and in no case can that be said of Christianity. Barbarism, depopulation, and the degradation of the human intellect, are therefore the consequen ces of this system of religion, so far as the present life' is concern. ed. This may be seen from contemplating the present state of those Mahometan countries, which were once inhabited by nations famous for flterature, science, and liberty, but which are now the residence of an enslaved, ignorant, and oppressed race of men. So completely has Mahometanism swept away all the vestiges of learning, and taste of antiquity, from the soil of Asia, that it is' in vain to attempt to find there even tine frailest memorial of those stupendous monumentsofliterary fame, with which the ancient Asiatics astonished the rest of mankind. There, in the wor'ds of the poet, "Illustrious deeds, and memorable names,"Blotted from record, are upon the tongue "Of grey tradition, volable no more." Let me here particularize as regards the effects of the establish ment of Mahometanism, that I may secure your gratitude for the privileges or light and liberty which you enjoy.
Take Bagdad, Once a city famous for being the residence of men eminent for the extent oftheir acquirements in all the departments of science, and celebrated for the weaith,and magnificence of its inhabitants, and in what slate is it n6w? It is nearly depopulated.
The Universities of Cufa, and Bassora, once so justly distinguished for the number and learning oftheir Professors and students, are now deserted, and shut, and the voice of science hushed into all the stillness of death. Take also the Colleges of Simarcand, and Baleb, and what do you say of them? They are in ruins. The fertile regions of Palestine, and Syria, are over-run by banditti, and depopulated by hordes of wandering Beduins. Egypt too, once the most powerful, and famous of Kingdoms, if not the basest, is at least, not noble, and learned. Fez and Morocco which not more than five hundred years ago, were regions fertile, and highly cultivated, illuminated by great numbers of Academies, and Colleges, that were reared and sustained by a numerous and highly spirited population, are now nearly abandoned by man, and are dreary and inhospitable deserts of burning sand, for the possession of which, despots and savages, contend with lions and tigers.
The fertile shores of Mauritania, where agriculture the arts, and commerce, once enriched an industrious race of men, are now the haunts of robbers, and free booters, and instead of presenting to the spectator, a view of the cultivation of the peaceful arts, and society flourishing, they are the scenes of riot, debauchery, and cruelty. Throughout the whole of these im mense territories, nothing is to be found in human society, that ap proaches in any degree, to the state of things which existed previous to the introduction ofthe religion of Mahomet. All is barbarity, ignorance, and oppression. The remains or the splendid literary productions of the Arabs, are not now to be found in the country to which they owe their existence. When Europe was involved in the thickest darkness, Arabian literature, arose like a brilliant meteor, and shone amidst the gloom which surrounded it, with the most dazzling brightness. For although when it ap peared, it was splendid in the extreme, it had scarcely burst forth when it was extinguished, and the deepest gloom again overspread the horizon. "Omne latet coelum, duplicatque noctis imago." The present race of Arabians, would neither be able to read nor understand the writings of their forefathers, even were the fragments of ancient Arabic literature that remain, to be put into their hands. But strange to tell, these very fragments are not to be found among the Arabians. They are in the possession of foreigners. The parts of them that have survived the ravages of barbarism, and ignorance, are only to be found either in the libraries of Europeans, in the dormitories of monks, or buried in the Escurial. Now my young friends, these are some of the consequences, which the establishment of a false religion, has produced upon human society, and from whichyou are happily exempted, by enjoying the invaluable blessing of living in a country wbere Christianity is known, and its worth appreciated.In contemplating Asia, and musing upon those vast countries which are still celebrated for the immense literary riches which they once contained, but which have been annihilated by Mahometanism, do you not feel your Christian sympathies called forth towards that land of darkness, and fierce superstition? At present we are unabled to discover one spot, upon which the eye of the Christian, can linger with delight. Allis gloomy as the shades of death. Asiatic socie(y has not one of those lovely at tractions, which spring from that peace, and love, which the light of the Gospel, brings down to man. All those extensive countries in which Mahometanism prevails, and it does prevail over the fairesi, and most extensive regions of the globe, are to the eye of the Christian, moral wastes, - doomed to desolation, and misery, as long as their inhabitants, retain the yoke of the false prophet.
There is, perhaps, in the human breast, a proneness to submit to the will of superiors, by far too powerful for the happiness of those whose minds, as the Mahometans must be, not rightly constituted by means of education, and example. If this passive disposition be strengthened by the force of religious principle, and every obstacle that education presents is borne down, then the facultiesofthe soul sink into slavish submission, and servile acquiescence. it is however one of the happiest results of in creasing civilization, to correct the propensity. But here, alas! in Mahometan countries, no corrective for this propensity exists. It was the policy of Mahomet to cherish, rather than to repress, this disposition; and it is to this policy, that the stupidity, cow ardice, and ignorance of the Asiatics of the present day, are to be attributed. It is this mischievous policy, that has made Ma bometans a miserable, enslaved, and oppressed race-a people living in anarchy,-robbed of their liberty, and subjected to the endurance of the disgusting, and oppressive acts of a pure, un mixed despotism, the natural effect of which is, to repress, and extinguish, all the finer feelings that fire the human breast,-such as a love of honor, - and the desire of fame. But it was not always thus with Asia.
While Europe was involved in the grossest intellectual darkness, Arabia was the abode of the arts, the seat of taste, literature, and science. This wonderful country, before Mahometanism was introduced, was pro lific in works of art, and abounded with the fruits of the labors of men, illustrious for the splendor of their acquirements, in every department of knowledge. During the whole of that dismal pe riod, which Europeans denominate the dark ages, Arabia flour ished under a succession ofwise, and learned men and could boast of many Academies, Colleges, Universities, and Libraries. There the arts flourished when they were almost unknown in Europe. There the sciences found an illustrious asylum, when they were banished from those parts of the civilized world that were under the sway of imperial Rome. There philosophy was studied, with the most enthusiastic ardor, and with the most brilliant suc cess. There the productions in literature, and the discoveries in science, were splendid in the extreme. While Europe languished in ignorance, being placed under the domination of an ignorant, intolerant, and usurping priesthood, the progress which the Arabians made in the culture of the mind, was as rapid, as it was brilliant. It is asserted by some, that the first ideas of all the great modern discoveries, as they are Commonly denominated, namely: glass, powder, paper, painting, the mariners compass, &c. originated with the wandering Arabs, long before the? were known in Europe.
While the Roman Empire was overrun by numerable swarms or Goths, Vandals, Huns, and other barbarian tribes, who having vanquished their foes, spread over the Roman territories, and advanced to the Capital, marking their progress by devastation, and blood, corrupting the purity of the language of the inhabitants of the prostrate empire, and destroying almost all the monuments of ancient, and modern wisdom,and art, to which their rage could extend, the literature of the Arabs, bursts forth amid the universal darkness, as if a stream of light had spread along the sky, illuminating the heavens, with its brilliant radiance. As a proof of the gigantic scale upon which the Arabs projected their literary pursuits, it is said, that the thousand tales, forming the well known volume of "the Arabian night's entertainment," comprehended only about the fortieth part of the original collection. The labors of this singular people, in the other departments ofliterature, were conducted on a scale of proportional magnitude. Several of our most valuable treatises on Algebra, and the higher branches of lathematics, are simply translations from Arabian works. Thus, while the fervid ima gination of this people, was employed in the production of a gay and original kind of amusement, their language was used as a medium for communicating information, respecting the abstract sciences, and the elegant arts, But Mahometanism, like the burning wind of the desert, when it passes over a Caravan of inexperienced travellers, has destroy ed the energies of the people upon whom it has rested - it has withered all the faculties of the soul, when, if the light which you enjoy, the light of the Gospel, had been permitted to dawn upon them, it is doubtful to say, to what a height of intellectual, moral and religious eminence, they would have arrived.
A Tornado visited this place, leaving vestiges of its rage, and fury, and sparing, not even your College: but Mahometanism has done worse than sweep away buildings, and uproot trees, and mar the beauty of material arrangements; it has swept away all the lntellectual wealth, and magnificence to which I have teen alluding. Your Tornado vented its rage only upon inanimate matter, upon the College edifice, which can be repaired, and rebuilt, perhaps upon a larger and more commodious scale, while mind, the nobler part of man, remains unscathed; but Mahometanism, has so completely swept away all intellectual wealth from off the face of those places which it has visited, that scarce a vestige of it remains: or, in other words, to keep up the figure, with which I commenced, Mahometanism has put out the light of sci ence, and in its place reigns darkness horrible. Civilization and the arts, fled at the approach of this pestilence: and literature fa ded, beneath its withering influence. Before it, we may say in the language of the poet,"The pomp of learning, the parade of letters, and "Of tongues, 'were as the mists"Of the grey morn, before the rising sun,"That pass away, and perish."But it were nothing, comparatively speaking, had only the light of science been extinguished - nothing in comparison of the, eviI that has been done by the establishment of this system of impos ture, had no other harm resulted to it, from human society.While it has destroyed the energies of tlie soul of man - while it has repressed the love of fame, and the spirit of liberty, within the human breast, it has done far worse at the same time. It has hardened the hearts of men - and blinded their eyes against the glorious light of the Gospel; and prepared them, as it were, to stand out in an attitude of determined hostility against Christianity. Dwells there the'n one spark of gratitude in your breasts, to the Fountain of all Light, or His numberless benefits, bless Him I would say with all your souls, for the light of the Gospel; and the most effectual way for you to manifest your gratitude for this goodness, and mercy, and for the glorious light he bath caused to shine around you, is to walk in that light - to bring your deeds to the light - and to show by your whole deportment that ye are the children of light.
In God's written communication to man, which you are to be most diligent in studying, there shines forth a fuller and brighter light, than you can perceive, from studying His works; but itdoes not follow from that circumstance that you are not to study His works at all. God never designed, by giving us His word, to deprive us of the pleasure we may enjoy, and the information we may gather, from studying his works. We may say, He has set the one light, his word, above the other: but not against the other: and He never intended that the light of revelation, should blind us against the light of reason, but it was to extend our vision, and carry us above, and beyond, to a region into which reason, could not ascend alone ande unaided. Every department of science, and human learning, should if pos sible, come more or less, under the review of the student, that his mind may become enlarged, improved, and strengthened. Because the light of the sun shines through the day, dispelling the clouds of the morning, and dazzling with his splendor the whole heavens, would it be wise on the part of the traveller, whose circumstances required him to advance onwards in his journey, after the sun had sunk in the west, to shut his eyes, and refuse to avail himself of the friendly aid which the lesser light, the moon, wase able to shed around his path, merely because her rays were less brilliant, than those which issued from the "great original."
Equally absurd is it for any man, or body of men, to undervalue, or despise the light which science and human learning can afford, as helps to study the word of God, and qualify for the proper discharge of the duties connected with either of the other two learned professions. In this age of innovationand extreme, of quackery, and of hypertension, men, from whom better things might have been expected, have been known to decry human learning as unnecessary: and it is to be regretted, that in some cases they have made injurious impressions upon some honest, but weak minded individuals: but I hope every student that may enter this College, will use every means, and strain every nerve, to add to his stock of knowledge, that when he leaves this place, he may go out into the world, "thoroughly furnished," and prepared, not to degrade, but to raise the profession to which he may attach himself. Enlarge to the greatest possible extent the range of your studies; aim high, and press onwards; admire the splendor of the firmament, and tbe glory, and the greatness, which God has stretched out in the heavens; un derstand ifynu can, the laws which govern the planets in their courses, and come down from such elevated contemplations, to the study of the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral kingdoms; but stop not your studies there, but proceed onwards, and look into the inner parts of heaven's temple, where shines a greater glory still. Summon forth every power ofyour mind, and tax your every energy in the study of the mysteries of nature, but forget not to study also, the mysteries of godliness. Go to the fountain head of all human knowledge, and refresh, and strength en your minds, with the delicious draughts that can be obtained there, but forget not, if you have any regard for your own best interests here, and your future happiness hereafter, to drink deep at the well springs that are in Zion.
The elevation of character, which science, and literature will impart, and the refined pleasures which flow from such inexhaustible sources, should stimu late every young man to engage zealously in a course of study; but when he does so, he should not rest satisfied with these acquisitions, but should aspire to possess the more exalted pleasures, of enlightened piety, and Christian devotion: and while the Professors of this College, will ever be solicitous to see that the great principles of the Christian religion be honored, and regar ded by the students, it will be their aim at the same time, to keep literature and science distinct from the minuter peculiarities of religious belief. Feeling a deep interest as I shall do, in the progress of every student who may attend this Institution, my visits to the different classes will be frequent; and my object will be, to render the plan of Education to be pursued, as comprehensive as possible, fitted to prepare young men for any of the learned professions, as also for the business of life.
I have heard with regret, many parents whose wish was to train their sons for agricultural and commercial pursuits, say, there was no use in giving them a College Education, as they did not intend them for any of the learned professions. Are none but Clerical, Medical, and Legal gentlemen, to have cultivated minds? Would not every parent be gratified, to put it in the power of his son, were he to become a merchant, to be regarded as an intelligent, well in formed man, in possession of a mind disciplined, and adorned by a good education? Because a man is destined to become a culti vator of the ground, does it follow that he is to be allowed little, or no time, to cultivate the faculties of the mind, and become ac quainted with the curious workings of his own Soul? The prosperity of commerce, and improvements in agriculture, are objects in themselves of very high importance, and should not the very men who engage in such pursuits, be also men of Education, and should not a College be the very place to which young men of such views, should be sent for a year or two, to engage in the study ofmental science? Is the human mind, - the noblest image of the Divinity, not worth studying; and is man to transmute himself into a being who shall employ his faculties for no nobler purpose, than in eating, and dressing, and accumulating riches, and never be taught to think of the frame of his own mind: or of his relations to God, and to man: nor consider how he is to live, and how he is to die? Every parent then whose mind is enlightened, will at once see the propriety of allowing to his sen, a cer tain portion of time for mental cultivation,even though he should Dot design him to be engaged through life, in following a literary avocation.
As I shall have abundant opportunities of addressing you on subjects connected with your studies, there is no necessity for me delaying you much longer at this time, particularly as you have been, and are still to be engaged, in attending to the Semiannual Exhibitions of this College. Permit me to add, that it will be the duty of the Trustees of Hanover College, to make the Classrooms, and building as convenient and comfortable as possible: and there is little doubt but a generous public will aid them in funds to do so. It will be my duty, and that of the other professors to attend to the Intellectu al department; and exert ourselves to promote the literary improvement of those committed to our charge. The Trustees and Professors of the College, have no interest, apart from the improvement of the students; and it is earnestly hoped, that the conduct of every young man belonging to this College will be exemplary, and becoming a student. We will feel grieved for the misconduct of a pupil, with something of the sa me feelings as the father who mourns over the folly of a thoughtless child: and out of regard for his best interests, we will counsel, and admonish, and reprove him, that he may return into the paths of rectitude. Better things we hope of every one of you, because you are students: because you are to be engaged in moral, and intellectual pursuits, which will have a tendency to improve the understanding, and purify the heart. You are to have your amusements, but they are to be such as will be favorable to health, and tend to recreate, but never let them be of a degrading character.If you will permit yourselves to be engaged as much as possible in laudable, honorable, and useful pursuits, you will be daily adding to your own individual happiness, independently of being a blessing to society.
As students, there lies before every one of you, a boundless field of exertion, and by putting forth your energies, and disciplining your minds now, you may force your way to places of high distinction and usefulness. You will soon launch upon the great stage of life: and if you act your part well, an honor will be reflected upon your "alma mater," and a high gratification will be imparted to the minds ofyour instruc tors, which will repay them in some degree, for all their anxieties about you, and encourage them in all their future labors among the young. As young men of spirit, let me call upon you not to be content with mediocrity: be the first in the first rank. Place before your imaginations, and for your example, your great predecessors that have figured in the world, and despair not of reaching the same eminence which they have attained. To the same height you may climb. The field of a glorious competition is open, and the road to fame is accessible to every aspiring young man, now before me. You have only to resolve: and provided you are determined to study, and act with persevering, un tiring assiduity, in the pursuit of the determination to be eminent and useful, you will not be disappointed. Let not the best half of your days be over, before you begin to think how you should have acted. Every thing depends upon yourselves - up on your resolutions - upon your labor, and diligence. Every student now before me, may not be in possession of an exalted genius, but every one bas faculties of mind so capable of improve ment, that if they be but diligently cultivated, they will supply the place of genius, and open up brighter prospects of ultimate success, than any mere genius, unassisted by study, can hope to attain.
Comply you with the conditions, and I assure you of success: and struggling with difficulties is the condition of success, and surmounting them, is the sure reward. Every thing depends upon the labor, and diligence of the individual. Let then that ardent thirst for knowledge, and distinction, that pure ambition, and virtuous emulation, which "Scorns delight, and lives laborious days" inflame your souls, and urge you onwards, to prepare yourselves forplaces of trust, and respectability, as scattered over not merely this state, but which embraces the wide circle of a continent. Wrestle with every difficulty: labor hard, and your mental strength will increase-darkness will flee before you, and light, and vigor, will dart into your souls- I have been holding up only worldly motives, to fire you to deeds -of noble intellectual daring, and lofty enterprize, but there remain obligations stronger than any yet mentioned to encourage, and stir you up to early, and continued exertions.
You are bound by a sense of obe dience to the will of God,-by the account you must at last render, not of moral sac Lions only, but of the use, or neglect, of the faculties given by God to you for improvement, - faculties of mind which you are bound to improve, in order that you may be the better fitted to benefit your fellow creatures, and promote the great cause of truth and religion through outthe world. Let such considerations influence your minds. America is blest with light, and liberty.
The Sun of knowledge has risen gloriously over the land, and dispelled the mists of error and prejudice, and caused a flood of light to gild, not only the tops of the mountains, but-shine in the valleys below, and irradiate with its beams, all ranks of society: and it should be your study to obtain when here, so much of the light which science and Revelation hold out, as will enable you, when you leave College, to diffuse, and increase the amount of knowledge, over that sphere in which you rnay be called by Providence to move. As I said before, we, as Professors, have no object in view, no end to serve, but your improvement; and if you will only co-operate with us, and strive to excel, what will we not accomplish? We live on a spot favorable for study-it is healthy and retired, as every location for a College should be. We live far from the haunts of vice and immorality-in a place where the Muses may be wooed, a contemplative spirit may be formed and cherishedq without being exposed to those fascinations which abound in large cities, and which too frequently distract, and bewitch the youthful mind, ifthey do not altogether corrupt and ruin the character. It is of no small importance then for parents in the selecting of a spot to which they intend to send their sons to be educated, to be careful to fix upon one, in which they may be placed in circum stances as favorable as possible for the preserving of those virtuous and religious habits, in which they have been brought up. A College in a large city which may be, not only unhealthy, but corrupt in morals, should never be chosen, if a more eligible cotild be got, as a place to send a young man to, particularly, if he cannot be placed under the watchful care ofsome individual who will act the part of a parent towards him. Alas! how many promising young men have been ruined, by having been sent to live unrestrained in a Boarding house in large cities: and instead ofacquiring virtuous habits and useful knowledge, have become the victims of idleness, and every species of vice. To such temptations you are happily not exposed; and I trust you will long be preserved from them. While I am anxious that you acquire studious habits,I do not wish you so to study, as to injure your health. It has been said, that an attention to health, should be a part of our religion, and hence, the scriptures enjoin temperance, which is with exercise and cleanliness, perhaps the best means for the preserving of health. Let me advise you to pay a proper attention to your health.
Many young men, partly with a view to conquer the difficulties they meet with in the course of their studies, and partly in order to increase their stock of knowledge, and the pleasure which results from it, confine themselves too much, and neglect to take that degree of ex ercise which is necessary for the preservation of health. The constitution of the body is such, that exercise to a certain degree is necessary for its health, and therefore, for answering the purposes of the active mind. Without such exercLqe, the body becomes disordered - health decays-the spirits flag - and the ardor of the mind, united with a body so distempered and out or tune,being cooled and damped, its efforts are rendered feeble and ineffectual. Thus many by neglecting this caution shorten their days, or at least, drag out a kind of useless life in sickness and pain. Take therefore the counsel which experience dictates; and to the labor of the mind, add the exercise of the body. To both you can, and ought to attend. We will as far as is practicable, make this College a desirable resnidence for every student who may choose to enter it. Like a large self contained House, in which there is every accommodation and convenience, for the comfort and happiness of a large family, we will endeavor to have on hand a rich supply of intellectual goods, of a quality e qual to any to be found, and at prices not exorbitant, so that no one will reqiire to travel to a distance to replenish his intellectual wardrobe. The merchants in the Western world, who trade in diverse articles, to supply the wants of the mere "outer man," have to make their annual journies to the East, at no small expense, to supply western wants, with Eastern manufactories; and perhaps that circumstance may have contributed to make the good people of the East fancy, that because we in the West lack many things, we also lack Knowledge. We give the men of the East credit nfor many good things; and it is long since it has been said that wise men come from the East, but this being a world of change, as well as of improvement, it must be gratifying to our Eastern friends to know, that light, which travels with immense velocity, has some how or other reached the Western world; and that literature, and philosophy, and science are known, and loved, and studied, even along the banks of the Ohio.
In conclusion I would say, let the charms of science and literature engage your attention-let the improvements in arts, and the pleasures of innocent, and improving conversation with each other, embrace a portion ofyour time; let politics engage to a certain extent your attention, although I would by no means wish to see you wrangling politicians, and hot headed partizans. Let the enlarged and liberal litics of a philanthropist, and a citizen of the world, and not that of a party engage you, and cherish as much as possible, every sentiment and feeling that may have a tendency to counteract a spirit of sectarianism. In more cases than one, when ladies made a respectful application to be admitted to listen to inaugural addresses, were they denied the favor they solicited, on the ground that it was quite unacademical to admit them within the walls of a College. Such a decision was unworthy - this age of gallantry and politeness; and the Senatus Academicus that could have given such a veto, must have been made of the sternest stuff, (probably cynical philosophers, whose doctrines correspond very much with those of the Stoics,) or they never cou ld have summoned up enough of courage to come to the resolution ofexclurling the Ladies. Wo men are capable of reasoning, reflecting and judging, as well as men: and the number present to-day is sufficient to convince us, that we live in a country where woman is respected , and that she also feels an interest in Education. No doubt home is the sphere of woman's, best and happiest exertions; but as Christian ity has done every thing to elevate her characterq promote her happiness, and increase the sphere of her usefulness, it welt be comes her to rank herselfon the side of Christianity, and learning.
The enlightened female knows that wherever Christianity is unknown, there her sex is sunk and degraded - she becomes the slave and toy of man, not his companion and friend: and every well constituted mind will feel disposed to enlist woman on the side of the Christian Religion, and the advancement of knowledge and refinement. Her influence is felt and acknowledged; let it be wisely and usefully directed, and the results will be favorable to moral and intellectual improvement. Females are personally and deeply concerned in the preserving of pure, and undefiled religion in the world; and every lover of his spe ciesis pledged to the zealous support of every measure, and of every Institution, adapted to promote the intellectual and mor al improvement of society. ln union is strength. We must all co-operate to advance the cause of learning - raise the standard and diffuse it, as extensively as possible. There lies before us still a wide field of improvement; and let our minds be kindIed into enthusiasm on the subject of learning and science, and progress will be the result, and every difficulty will give way before us. No doubt the circumstances of a comparatively new country may for a short time prevent that division of labor in teaching which in the sciences, as well as in other pursuits, is nece:sary to ensure perfection: yet we may, nevertheless, hope that with due exertion and perseverance, not only a solid foundation in literature and science may be laid in this College, but that also a su perstructure, both durable and ornamental, may be erected upon that basis. Next to the Divine blessing, the greatest blessing that can be bestowed upon man is the blessing of a good, sound, virtuous, and useful education: and as far as our means and abil ities will go, it will be the aim and object of the instructors in (his Institution - to teach well. We hope and pray that all our en deavors, and the endeavors of those who may succeed us in the office will be evidently such, as to merit the favor of God-secure the estimation, and promote the best interests of all con cerned. From the domestic circles of moral and religious peo ple, may successions of well disposed youth, nurtured in proper principles, hither resort, and here be formed to virtuous, well educated, accomplished manhood-here may they abundantly lay up for themselves, and hence carry into the wodd, ever re tain and always display, in all the duties and relations of life, the advantages of a good education : and may all who are educated here be preserved in after life, from the baneful principles of infidelity, irreligion, heresy, and false doctrine.
Firm and long may this Institution stand and flourish - firm in the hearts and affections of the people of a free country, with so many free Institutions-firm may it stand in the affections of the students who have resorted, or may resort to it-firm in the hearts of a benevolent public; and may the means soon be obtained, by which its material form may be enlarged and extended, and all its capacities to do good be promoted, in order to
meet the increasing demands of a rising and prosperous people; and may it even maintain a high and distinguished reputation, a. a place of general learning, and useful knowledge. THE END.