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laws to be obeyed by them in order that they may obtain eternal life and happiness. Thou hast also commanded teachers and explainers of this revelation to be set apart from among the believers. O God of truth and light! as thy most unworthy servant is soon to enter upon this arduous and solemn work, in which he is to unfold the designs, dispensations and requirements of heaven to men, and to teach and exemplify the religion of thy Son,-in thy kind compassion shed on him the influence of thy enlightening, sanctifying, and comforting spirit. As I am weak, timid, and irresolute, give me strength and boldness to encounter all the trials and toils which are before me. Let me not shrink from the sufferings which may await me in the cause of my Saviour. Purge me from those unlawful desires and passions which corrupt and pervert the heart; from the love of sensual gratification, of worldly honors and power, and of filthy lucre. Let me be free, in my temper, in my conduct, and in my conversation, from all those sins and follies which, as a minister of the pure and perfect religion of Christ, it will be my duty to condemn in others; and O! my God, endow and inlay my soul with all those excellent and lovely moral qualities which I am to aim to produce and cherish in others-submission, reverence, love, gratitude, confidence and trust toward Thee-justice, charity, peaceableness, fidelity, sincerity and meekness toward all my fellow men-sobriety, purity, and moderation of all desires with respect to myself. O grant me a rational, efficacious, and saving faith in Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of the world, the image of the Father's glory, and the pattern of every sublime and lovely virtue. O let me repent with a godly sorrow for my sins, and a firm and holy resolution to turn from them; and grant the aids of thy grace to produce, preserve, and increase these sentiments and feelings in my heart.

Let a most ardent desire of making Thee appear glorious to the eyes of men, and of rendering them the objects of thy favors, and thus children of thy kingdom, uniformly predominate in my breast; so that I may be made faithful to my God and Redeemer, and faithful to the souls of my fellow men.

For the sake of him who is full of grace and truth, let my intellectual endowments be adequate to the mighty work. Impress me

with a sense of the importance and excellency of right judgment in the great subjects of the divine word; with a knowledge and view of the difficulty of attaining it; and with a sincere love of truth. Grant me attention to contemplate, candor to embrace, and zeal and ability to promote and defend it. O save me from the horrid guilt of wilfully perverting or carelessly mistaking thy revealed will. Encourage and embolden me to declare the whole counsel of God, regardless of the hatred, the ridicule, or the opposition of men. In all other knowledge, conducive to my ministerial success and usefulness, may I be excellent.

Not only in piety and morals, in learning and knowledge, but in prudence and sagacity may I be found accomplished. Thou knowest how difficulties and doubts will surround and perplex me. O may I be able to discern in all cases the surest means of surmounting and removing them. Let me judge rightly of the characters of men, that I may know how best to adapt to them my public discourses and private behaviour. Let me know the avenues to the heart, and be able to reach its last recesses by the searching words. of truth.

Where, O God! shall I look, but unto Thee, my Father, Guide, and Prop? In my public preaching, in my private studies, and my general conduct and converse, be always, through Jesus Christ, sufficient for me, filling and influencing me by those sentiments and principles and affections which thou canst view with complacency, and reward, through grace, with the paradise above-is the prayer of thy sinful and unworthy creature. To Thee, with the Saviour and Spirit, be all glory. Amen.


To the Christian Church and Society of the New South Meeting House.


It is known to you that the Corporation and Overseers of Harvard College have by their votes assigned to me the solemn and

painful duty of deciding whether I shall propose to you the termi nation of our connection, in order to my entering on the important office of President of the University. After serious and anxious deliberation I have concluded that, with your consent, I ought to accept their invitation. I need not inform you that I have had great difficulties and passed through a severe conflict of feelings in coming to this result. Would to God I had never been called to the trial, but been permitted to finish my life with you, and by increased fidelity and zeal in your service endeavour to answer your claim to my attachment and respect. Yet, under all circumstances, I apprehend I am not at liberty to consult my wishes or yours. I believe it is our duty to suffer the tender tie which has united us to be dissolved, that I may take a station which, by the blessing of God on my exertions, may render me an instrument of more extensive usefulness. I submit this proposal to your consideration, requesting you, as soon as convenient, to acquaint me with your decision. I ask your prayers for me, and commend you and your families to the benediction of God our Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

With the utmost esteem and affection,

I am your friend and pastor,


September 23, 1810.


Dr. Kirkland's Letter was referred the same day to a Committee of seven, who made the following Report:

The Committee of the Church and Society of the New South Meeting House, to whom was referred a letter from their Reverend Pastor, proposing a dissolution of his official connection, for reasons therein expressed—after a full consideration of the subject, respectfully offer as their united opinion, That it is expedient and proper for the Church and Society to consent that the said connec tion be dissolved.

In maturing this opinion, the Committee could not be unmindful of the greatness of the sacrifice which the Society is called to

make, nor blind to the evils or inconveniences which may follow it. They could not, for a moment, look back on the subsisting pastoral relation, without the most grateful emotions and endearing recollections; and looking forward, they could not without painful anxiety, contemplate the hazards, to which every society is subject, while destitute of its head, and to which this is peculiarly exposed.

But without dwelling on these topics, so interesting to the feelings, the Committee have thought it more incumbent on them, to inquire with faithfulness after what is strictly right and fit to be done, rather than what would be most pleasant and agreeable, or immediately and exclusively advantageous to the Society.

In pursuing this inquiry, they have been satisfied that the claims. of the University to the services of any settled minister, in its highest offices, are considered as those of the whole public; and as such must take place of those of a parish; that in similar cases, these claims have been formerly admitted as just, and have been sanctioned by the usage of the country. These views, if correct, must be allowed to justify those, who, on this occasion, have invited Dr. Kirkland to the presidency of the University; and may reasonably authorize them to expect his acceptance of that important public trust, if such a course should appear to him the path of duty.

By the referred letter, as well as other evidence, it is abundantly manifest, that the question of duty has been long considered by Dr. Kirkland with serious deliberation, and examined with scrupulous care, and that the result has finally been a conviction of his own mind, "that he ought to accept the invitation."

Under these circumstances, and with these impressions of the subject, the Committee have arrived at the conclusion already expressed, That the Society will act properly, by concurring with the proposal of their Pastor.

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At a meeting, held by adjournment, of the Church and Society of the New South Meeting House, at their usual place of worship, on Sunday, September 30th, 1810, the foregoing Report having been read and considered,

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Voted, That this Church and Society accept the Report of their Committee; and do consent that the connection subsisting between them and the Rev. John Thornton Kirkland, as their minister, be dissolved, and that the same be considered as ended from and after the first Sunday of November next.

Voted, That the gentlemen who made the foregoing Report, be a Committee to wait on the Rev. Dr. Kirkland with an attested copy of these proceedings, and assure him, in behalf of this Church and Society, of their warmest affection and exalted esteem; and that their fervent prayers are, that his labors may be crowned with success, and his reward be the perpetual blessing of God.


November 14th, 1810.

The Rev. John Thornton Kirkland, D. D., LL. D. was this day inducted into the office of President of the University.

The Corporation, the Immediate Government, the Overseers, with gentlemen invited, assembled in the Library and Philosophy Chamber, in Harvard Hall, at 10 o'clock, and went in procession to the meeting house.

The exercises commenced with an introductory address and prayer by the Rev. Dr. Lathrop, the oldest clerical member of the Corporation, from the pulpit, the President elect being seated on the stage, which was prepared as on Commencement Day.

His Excellency Elbridge Gerry, the Governor, made an address in Latin, followed by the ceremonials of induction, in which the Governor announced the Rev. John Thornton Kirkland President of the University, presented him the Charter of the College, the College Seal, the keys of the Halls, and the robes of office; and concluded by affectionate and respectful greetings and kind wishes.

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