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of the gospel, and particularly as a minister in the pulpit. He was, in many respects,” says Dr. Rogers,
one of the best models on which a young preacher could form himself. It was a singular felicity to the whole college, but especially to those who had the profession of the ministry in contemplation, to have such an example constantly in view. Religion, by the manner in which it was treated by him, always commanded the respect of those who heard him, even when it was not able to engage their hearts. An admirable textuary ; a profound theologian, perspicuous and simple in his manner; an universal scholar, acquainted with human nature; a grave, dignified, solemn speaker ;-he brought all the advantages derived from these sources, to the illustration and enforcement of i ine truth."
The social qualities of Dr. Witherspoon rendered him one of the most companionable of men. He possessed a rich fund of anecdote, both amusing and instructive. His moments of relaxation were as entertaining as his serious ones were fraught with improvement. The following anecdote presents a specimen of his pleasantry. On the surrender of the British army to General Gates, at Saratoga, that officer dispatched one of his aids to convey the news to congress. The interesting character of the intelligence would have prompted most men to have made as expeditious a journey as possible ; but the aid proceeded so leisurely, that the intelligence reached Philadelphia three days before his arrival. It was usual for congress, on such occasions, to bestow some mark of their esteem upon the person who was the bearer of intelligence so grateful; and it was proposed, in this case, to best w upon the messenger an elegant sword. During the conversation on this subject in the hall, Dr. Witherspoon rose, and begged leave to amend the motion, by substituting for an elegant sword, a pair of golden spurs.
Another interesting trait in his character, was his attention to young persons. He never suffered an opportunity to escape him of imparting the most useful advice to them, according to their circumstances, when they happened to be in his company. And this was always done with so much kindness and suavity, that they could neither be inattentive to it, or easily forget it.
In domestic life, he was an affectionate husband, a tender parent, a kind master, and a sincere friend. He was twice married. The first time in Scotland, at an early age, to a lady by the name of Montgomery. She was a woman distinguished for her piety and benevolence. At the time of his emigration to America, he had three sons and two daughters. James, his eldest son, was killed in the battle of Germantown. John was bred a physician, and David applied himself to the study of the law. Both were respectable men. Of the d ughters, one was married to the Rev. Samuel S. Smith, the successor of Dr. Witherspoon in the presidency of the college. The other became connected with Dr. Ramsay, the celebrated historian. The second marriage of Dr. Witherspoon occurred when he was seventy years old; the lady whom he married was only twenty-three.
In his person, Dr. Witherspoon was remarkably dignified. He was six feet in height, and of fine proportion. He was distinguished for a fervent piety, and for great punctuality and exactness in his devotional exercises. “ Besides his daily devotions of the closet, and the family, it was his stated practice to observe the last day of every year, with his family, as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer: and it was also his practice to set apart days for secret fasting and prayer, as occasion suggested."
• Bodily infirmities began at length to come upon him. For more than two years before his death, he was afflicted with the loss of sight, which contributed to hasten the progress of his other disorders. These he bure with a patience, and even with a cheerfulness, rarely to be met with in the most eminent for wisdom and piety. Nor would his active mind, and his desire of usefulness to the end, permit him, even in this situation, to desist from the exercise of his ministry, and his duties in the college, as far as his strength and health would admit. He was frequently led into the pulpit, both at home and abroad, during his blindness; and always acquitted
himself with his usual accuracy, and frequently with more than his usual solemnity and animation.”
At length, however, he sank under the accumulated pressure of his infirmities; and on the 15th day of November, 1794, in the seventy-third year of his age he retired to his final rest. The following epitaph is inscribed on the marble which covers his remains :
Beneath this marble lie interred
the mortal remains of
on the 5th of February, 1722, 0. S. And was liberally educated in the University of Edinburgh;
invested with holy orders in the year 1743,
his pastoral charge,
Elected president of Nassau Hall, he assumed the duties of that office on the 13th of August, 1768,
with the elevated expectations of the public,
Excelling in every mental gift,
of literature and the liberal arts.
A grave and solemn preacher, his sermons abounded in the most excellent doctrines and precepts,
and in lucid expositions of the Holy Scriptures.
he was eminently distinguished
and endowed with the greatest prudence
of its literary character and taste.
He was, for a long time, conspicuous Among the most brilliant luminaries of learning and of the Church.
At length, universally venerated, beloved, and lamented, he departed this life on the fifteenth of November, MDCCXCIV.
aged LXXIII years.
FRANCIS HOPKINSON was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in the city of Philadelphia, in the year 1737. His father, Thomas Hopkinson, was an Englishman, who emigrated to America, but in what year is unknown to the writer. A short time previous to his emigration, he became respectably connected by marriage, with a niece of the bishop of Worcester.
On his arrival in America, he took up his residence in the city of Philadelphia, where he honou ably filled several offices of distinction, under the government of his native country. Mr. Hopkinson was distinguished for his scientific attainments. He was intimate with that distinguished philosopher, Benjamin Franklin, by whom he was held in high estination. The intimacy which subsisted between these gentlemen, seems to have arisen from a similarity of taste, particularly on philosophical subjects. To Mr. Hopkinson is attributed the first experiment of attracting the electric fluid, by means of a pointed instrument, instead of a blunt one. This experiment he had the pleasure of first exhibiting to Dr. Franklin. Its practical importance consisted in preventing the severe explosion, which always takes place in the passage of the electric fluid, upon a blunted instrument.
Upon the death of Mr. Hopkinson, which occurred while he was in the prime of life, the care of his interesting and numerous, family devolved upon his widow. Fortunately, Mrs. Hopkinson was a lady of superior mental endowments, and well qualified to superintend the education of her child
At an early period, discovering indications of genius in her son, the subject of the present memoir, she resolved to make every sacrifice, and every effort in her power, to give him the advantages of a superior education. Her income was comparatively limited, but a mother can relinquish every enjoyment for her children. This Mrs. Hopkinson did with the greatest pleasure; and to the practice of self-denial for her son, she added, for his benefit, the most admirable precepts,
and the most excellent example. Her efforts were crowned with singular success. She lived to see him graduate with reputation, from the college of Philadelphia, and become eminent in the profession of law. He possessed talents of a high order. His genius was quick and versatile. He penetrated the depths of science with ease, and with grave and important truths stored his capacious mind. But he by no means neglected the lighter accomplishments. In music and poetry he excelled, and had some knowledge of painting. Few men were more distinguished for their humour and satire.
In the year 1766, Mr. Hopkinson embarked for England, for the purpose of visiting the land of his fathers. Such was the estimation in which he was held in his native city, that he received a public expression of respect and affection, from the board of trustees of the college of Philadelphia, which the provost of that institution was desired to communicate to him, and wish him, in the behalf of his Alma Mater, a safe and prosperous voyage.
After a residence of more than two years in England, he returned to America, soon after which he became settled in life, having married a Miss Borden, of Bordentown, in the state of New Jersey. His acknowledged talents soon drew the attention of the royal government, under which he received the appointment of collector of the customs, and executive counsellor.
These offices, however, he did not long enjoy, being obliged to sacrifice them in the cause of his country. He entered with strong feelings into the public measures which preceded the revolutionary contest, and having taken up his residence in New Jersey, his abilities and patriotism pointed him out as a proper person to represent her in congress. Accordingly, in the year 1776 he received this appointment, and in this capacity he voted for the declaration of independence, and subsequently affixed his signature to the engrossed copy of that memorable instrument.
On the retirement of Mr. Ross, in 1779, the judge of the admiralty court of Pennsylvania, the president of that state nominated Mr. Hopkinson as his successor; an office to