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John DAVENPORT's' INFLUENCE UPON NEW LIAVEN.
If we of this city” enjoy, in this respect, any peculiar privileges, —if it is a privilege that any poor man here, with ordinary health in his family, and the ordinary blessing of God upon his industry, may give to his son, without sending him away from home, the best education which the country affords,--if it is a privilege to us to live in a city in which learning, sound and thorough education, is, equally with commerce and the mechanic arts, a great public interest,--if it is a privilege to us to record among our fellow-citizens some of the brightest names in the learning and science, not of our country only, but of the age, and to be conversant with such men, and subject to their constant influence in the various relations of society, if it is a privilege that our young mechanics, in their associations, can receive instruction in popular lectures from the most accomplished teachers,”—if, in a word, there is any privilege in having our home at one of the fountains of light for this vast confederacy, the privilege may be traced to the influence of John Davenport, to the peculiar character which he, more than any other man, gave to this community in its very beginning. Every one of us is daily enjoying the effects of his wisdom and public spirit. Thus he is to-day our benefactor; and thus he is to be the benefactor of our posterity through ages to come. How aptly might that beautiful apostrophe of one of our poets have been addressed to him:
“The good begun by thee shall onward flow
* This holy and fearless man was not afraid of “preaching politics,” nor of counselling his people to give succor to the fugitive from tyranny and oppression. Among those who signed the death-warrant of Charles I., who was found guilty of treason against his people, were Edward Whalley and William Goffe. On the Restoration they fled to this country, and came first to Boston and then to New Haven. On the Sunday after they arrived at the latter place, Mr. Davenport, knowing that they would be pursued by the king's officers, boldly went into the pulpit, and instructed his people in their duties in the matter, from the following text, a text which was of itself a sermon for the occasion :-‘‘Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; be wray not him that wandereth : let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler.” Isa. xvi. 3, 4.
* New Haven.
* This al’udes to the munificence of James Brewster, Esq., of New Haven, whose heart to do good equals his means of doing it, a rare union in men of wealth, and who founded with his own means an institute for popular instruction, for the intellectual and moral improvement of the mechanics o the place.
THE PRESENT AGE.
The present age is eminently an age of progress, and therefore of excitement and change. It is an age in which the great art of printing is beginning to manifest its energy in the diffusion of knowledge and the excitement of bold inquiry; and therefore it is an age when all opinions walk abroad in quest of proselytes. It is an age of liberty, and therefore of the perils incidental to liberty. It is an age of peace and enterprise, and therefore of prosperity, and of all the perils incidental to prosperity. It is an age of great plans and high endeavors for the promotion of human happiness; and therefore it is an age in which daring but ill-balanced minds are moved to attempt impracticable things, or to aim at practicable ends by impracticable measures. And so long as we have liberty, civil, intellectual, and religious; so long as we have enterprise and prosperity; so long as the public heart is warm with solicitude for human happiness; so long we must make up our minds to encounter something of error and extravagance; and our duty is not to complain or despair, but to be thankful that we live in times so auspicious, and to do what we can, in patience and love, to guide the erring and check the extravagant.
When the car rushes with swift motion, he who looks only downward upon the track, to catch if he can some glimpses of the glowing wheel, or to watch the rocks by the wayside, that seem whirling from their places, soon grows sick and faint. Look up, man Look abroad The earth is not dissolved, nor yet dissolving. Look on the tranquil heavens and the blue mountains. Look on all that fills the range of vision,-the bright, glad river, the smooth meadow, the village spire with the clustering homes around it, and yonder lonely, quiet farmhouse far up among the hills. You are safe; all is safe; and the power that carries you is neither earthquake nor tempest, but a power than which the gentlest palfrey that ever bore a timid maiden is not more obedient to the will that guides it.
What age, since the country was planted, has been more favorable to happiness or to virtue than the present * Would you rather have lived in the age of the Revolution ? If in this age you are frightened, in that age you would have died with terror. Would you rather have lived in the age of the old French wars, when religious enthusiasm and religious contention ran so high that ruin seemed impending IIow would your sensibilities have been tortured in such an age Would you rather have lived in those earlier times, when the savage still built his wigwam in the woody valleys, and the wolf prowled on our hills & Those days, so Arcadian to your fancy, were days of darkness and tribulation.
The “temptations in the wilderness” were as real and as terrible as any which your virtue is called to encounter. * * * The scheme of Divine Providence is one from the beginning to the end, and is ever in progressive development. Every succeeding age helps to unfold the mighty plan. There are, indeed, times of darkness; but even then it is light to faith, and lighter to the eye of God; and even then there is progress, though to sense and fear all motion seems retrograde. To despond now, is not cowardice merely, but atheism; for now, as the world in its swift progress brings us nearer and nearer to the latter day, faith, instructed by the signs of the times, and looking up in devotion, sees on the blushing sky the promise of the morning.
CHRISTIANITY IN HISTORY.
The more we study Christ and the influence of Christianity in - history, the deeper, also, and more cheering will be our conviction th it Christianity, as one of the forces that control the progress of nations and of the human race, has never demonstrated all its efficacy. In the ages past, the various and complicated moral forces that move the world have been in opposition to its influence, or have acted to corrupt it. Its mission in the world is to work itself free from the corruptions that have soiled its purity and impaired its efficacy, and mingling itself with all that acts on human character, literature, art, philosophy, education, law, statesmanship, commerce,—to bring all things into subordination to itself, and to sway all the complicated elements of power for the renovation of the world. We, brethren in the commonwealth of letters, all of us, from the most gifted to the humblest, are workers in history. Christianity, if we are true to our position and our nurture, is working through us upon the destinies of our country and of our race. Not the missionary only who goes forth, in the calm glow of apostolic zeal, to labor and to die in barbarous lands for the extension of Christ's empire, not the theologian only who devotes himself to the learned investigation and the scientific exposition of the Christian faith, not the preacher and the pastor only,–but all who act in any manner or in any measure on the character and moral destiny of their fellow-men, are privileged to be the organs and the functionaries of Christianity. The senator, whose fearless voice and vote turn back from the yet uncontaminated soil of his country the polluting and blighting barbarism of slavery, and consecrate that soil eternally to freedom ; the patriot statesman, who, in defiance of the ardor civium praca jubentium, lifts up his voice like a prophet's cry against the barbarous and pagan policy of war and conquest; the jurist, who, like Granville Sharp,
by long and patient years of toil, forces the law to recognise at last some disregarded principle of justice; the teacher, the author, the artist, the physician, and the man of business, who, in their various places of duty and of influence, are serving their generation under the influence of Christian principles;–these all are in their several functions the anointed ministers of Christianity— “kings and priests to God.” In the all-embracing scheme of the eternal Providence, no act, -or effort, or aspiration of goodness shall be in vain. No rain-drop ‘mingles with the ocean or falls upon the desert sand, no particle of dew moistens the loneliest and baldest cliff, but God sees it and saves it for the uses of his own beneficence. The vanished aspirations of the youth who fell and was forgotten—whose early promise sparkled for a moment and exhaled—are not wholly lost; he has not lived nor died in vain. Let these thoughts cheer us as we labor, and bear us up in our discouragements. “Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way: But to act, that each to-morrow Find us farther than to-day. “Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, * Learn to labor and to wait.” t - Phi Beta Kappa Oration.
EDWARD C. PINKNEY, 1802–1828.
Epw ARD CoATE PINR NEY, son of Hon. William Pinkney," of Baltimore, Maryland, was born in London in October, ISO2, his father being at that time minister at the Court of St. James. On the return of the family, he entered “ St. Mary's College” about 1812, and, at the age of fourteen, was appointed midshipman in the navy. After a varied service of nine years, he resigned his place in the navy, was married, And was admitted to the bar in 1824. But his previous habits of life were not favorable to the steady and earnest pursuit of legal investigations, and his poetic temperament did not suit well with the contentions of the court-room: consequently he had but little success as a lawyer. His health, too, had been for
| William Pinkney was a native of Annapolis, born 1764, died 1822.-He was appointed to various European missions by our Government, and held other eminent public stations. His greatest celebrity, however, was attained at the bar, where he was distinguished alike for learning and eloquence. He it was who, in the House of Delegates in Maryland, in 1789, uttered the noble sentiment.-“Sir, by the eternal principles of natural justice, no master in this State has a right to hold his slave or a single hour.”
EDWARD C. PINKNEY. 5.3
some time feeble, so that he had hardly the physical powers necessary to attain distinction in any profession. He had been for some years known as a poet to his circle of friends; and in 1825 a small volume appeared, entitled Rodolph, and other Poems. Rodolph—his longest work—has not much merit; but some of his minor pieces are very beautiful, and richly merit preservation. Had his life been spared, he would doubtless have trodden a higher walk; but he died on the 11th of April, 1828, at the early age of twenty-five.
Know'e' thou the land which lovers ought to choose?
Look seaward thence, and naught shall meet thine eye
It looks a dimple on the face of earth,
There Art, too, shows, when Nature's beauty palls,