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vocates as we are and ever have public teachers of Christianity. And been for the education of all the chil. we should be glad to know, what dren of the poor, as well as of the confidence his orphans, after they rich, we should be very sorry to leave the college, and go out to have the wealthy men of other cities choose a religion for themselves, will follow Mr. Girard's example, by be likely to have in the men, who founding colleges exclusively for during the whole period of their edthe education of poor children, ucation, were peremptorily excluded whether orphans, or others. They from the premises. are not the institutions which the And again ; we are curious to lower class of a city population want. learn, how Mr. Girard expected to Free schools, open to all and of so keep out every minister of the goshigh a character as to attract all, pel, who might chance, like any are the seminaries which should be other stranger, to visit Philadelphia cherished by public and private mu and the public institutions in its imnificence. Nothing could be more mediate vicinity. It always requires anti-republican than a general sepa. means to accomplish ends. Mr. Giration of the rich from the poor, or rard was not the man to amuse himthe poor from the rich, in our schools self, by making people stare at startand colleges.
ling provisions in his last will and With regard to that remarkable testament, which were never to be clause in the twenty first section of enforced. He meant what he said. Mr. Girard's will, which perempto. He meant that no clergyman should rily “enjoins and requires, that no ever darken the door of his college. ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister The whole body of ecclesiastics of of any sect whatsoever, shall ever
every name, were to be forever shut hold or exercise any station or duty out. But how was this to be done? whatever, in the said college, nor Did he expect, that all the ministers shall any such person ever be admits of this and every future age, who ted, for any purpose, or as a visitor, might wish to visit his college, would within the premises,” we wish to first read through the twenty six secjudge as charitably as we can, of tions of his will, and having the fear his meaning and motives. But it of the twenty first before their eyes, does strike us very much as it did would stay away of their own acMr. Webster. It betrays a jealousy cord? Or is Procul, procul, proof the whole body of Christian min. fani, to be chiselled into the everisters, which goes beyond any thing lasting marble over the vestibule, to we ever met with. No missionary warn off every missionary or minisor minister of any sect, shall ever ter, who might otherwise unwittingbe admitted for any purpose ! Lay- ly ask for admittance to view the men of all religions and of no reli- premises? If not, then may we be gion, may be employed as teachers; pardoned for asking, in our extreme may hold the office of visitors; may simplicity, what sort of janitor is to come and go at their pleasure ; but guard the door, and what kind of no minister of the gospel may ever ordeal, every stranger is to pass pass the threshold ! Against all through before he can be admitied ? such the iron gates are to be closed It is a great deal truer that “a man forever. No minister may ever pray is known by the company
he keeps," there, or utter a word of consolation, than by the cloth which he wears. or even enter there, though half the If all ministers, therefore, are to be orphans were on their death-beds. excluded, it must be in one of these Whatever Mr. Girard's motives two ways. Either a door-keeper might be, it is difficult for us to must be found, who can distinguish imagine, how he could more cruelly a minister from all other men, as have aspersed the characters of the soon as he sees him, or every visitor
must undergo a formal examination began this article-How is Mr. before he can be allowed to pass. Girard's unconquerable prejudice “Sir, are you an ecclesiastic, mis against the whole Christian ministry sionary, or minister of any sect to be accounted for? And the most whatsoever?" "No." “ Then you charitable explanation we can think may come in.” In another the same of is this. He was, we believe, a question.--Answer, “ Yes, it is my native of France and bred a Cathoprivilege to preach the everlasting lic. He probably formed his judg. gospel. " It is my duty then to ment of the whole clerical profesinform
that you can not be ad- sion, by what he knew of Romish mitted. This college is full of poor priests and jesuits. Had he taken orphan boys who have not yet cho the trouble to acquaint himself with sen their religious tenets and we the character of Protestant minis. are afraid of you."
“ But I wish ters in this country, we can not bemerely to look at the halls and gal- lieve that he would have shut them leries and lecture rooms and library all out of his college. Though and cabinet and whatever else is most they have had free access to every interesting to a passing stranger. public institution, for the education The boys I do not know, nor have of youth, from the landing of the I the slightest design of obtruding Pilgrim Fathers to this day, their my religious opinions upon them.” bitterest enemies may be challenged "All this may be very true," replies to adduce a single case in which Mr. Girard's incorruptible janitor, ministers of different sects have “ but my orders are peremptory gone into a seminary and urged you are by your own confession, a their conflicting views upon the stuminister, of some religious tenets dents, for the purposes of proselytor other, and you can not be ad ism. Verily, it would be “a new mitted.”
thing under the sun,” to find first a Do any of our readers smile at Presbyterian preacher, and then a the ludicrous absurdity of such an Baptist, and then a Methodist going examination, through the wicket into an orphan asylum or school, gate of Girard College ? But the to see how many of the boys they prohibition of the founder comes to could bring over to their distinctive this, at least, if it means any thing. tenets. Nothing is more common And this we will venture to say, is than for the ministers of these and the first time since " the worlds were other denominations, to preach almade," that such a restriction was ternately, in the various public inever imposed. What! build a great stitutions of our large cities; but college for the education of the when and where have they ever set young immortals of a thronged city, up “altar against altar," in these and shut all the ministers of religion pious and benevolent labors ? Mr. forever out of it! It is monstrous ! Girard did not know them. They Did Mr. Girard consider what he are not the narrow-minded bigots was doing? How could he expect and fiery zealots, who can not enter to rest quietly in his grave after leav an orphan school without infecting ing such a clause as that which we its inmates with their own bad spirit, have quoted from his will ? Why and who must therefore be kept out was he not afraid, that some of his by high walls, iron gates, and sleeporphans, in distress for their souls, less sentinels. would one day knock at the door of What a strange anomaly, in a his sepulcher so loud as to make all Christian country and Christian city, his bones quake, and demand of him is this Girard College. There it to take off the restriction ?
stands, the most attractive object in The question has forced itself up- all the neighborhood. As soon as on us more than ten times since we it is opened it is to be filled with
three hundred poor orphan boys; to read the Bible and keep the Sabbut they are never to hear the voice bath; to “ do justly, love mercy and of a preacher; never to see the face walk humbly with God,” the fears of a minister within its marble walls. which now disquiet so many of the If it should stand a thousand years, most enlightened and benevolent as it may, and hundreds of orphans minds will be allayed, and the wise should die in the sick room, no and good of all Christian denominawhisper of consolation is ever to be tions will rejoice, though their minbreathed into the ear of an expiring isters are forbidden to have any part youth; no prayer ever to be offered or lot in the instruction. by a minister of our holy religion ! But if the mayor, aldermen and Will God smile upon such a scheme citizens of Philadelphia should ever as this? Who can believe it? become recreant to their high trust;
It was said indeed, in answer to if men of loose and skeptical princi. Mr. Webster, by the able counsel, ples should be chosen to fill the of. Mr. Binney and Mr. Sergeant on the fices of government and instruction, other side, that the place of regular. or if, according to Mr. Girard's plan, ly authorized ministers may be sup- the students should be virtually plied by “lay teachers,” and that hindered from adopting any relithe trustees of the college, will no gious tenets till they go out, in the doubt provide for the moral and re- headstrong maturity of their pas. ligious instruction of the scholars, sions, to meet the temptations of a with a conscientious regard to their wicked world; why then, we say, high trust. God grant that they if such should ever be the moral may. Rarely has a more responsi. delinquencies of the governors and ble trust been devolved upon a city teachers of Girard College, let its corporation; and let us believe that doors forever be closed- let no poor they will do what they can, to avert orphan child ever enter the great the evils, which Mr. Webster so moral sepulcher. If the college vividly predicts and deplores. If through neglect or design, is to be Mr. Girard's plan is carried out and the handmaid and nursery of infihis college becomes permanently delity, in any of its seductive forms, established, it will prove a blessing let it “ become like Babylon, an utor a curse to the community ; and ter desolation.” “ Let it never be this will depend greatly on the pol- inhabited nor dwelt in, from geneicy of its legal governors and guar. ration to generation." Rather than dians. They have it in their power, it should stand to curse the city, and under the will, to provide for the to curse the country, by nurturing moral and Christian instruction of up and sending out its malign agen. the boys, through the agency of cies to sow the land with worse than pious laymen; and let them know dragon's teeth, let every human that the eyes of thousands, who being flee from it, “let wild beasts anxiously await the result of the ex. of the desert live there," let its halls periment, are upon them.
be“ full of doleful creatures," " let If in organizing their faculty they owls dwell there and satyrs dance select able and good men to fill the there, let the wild beasts of the isl. several departments, who will con- and cry in the desolate houses, and scientiously lay down the great prin. dragons in the pleasant palaces.' ciples of Christianity as the bases Do we speak too strongly? Who will of all their instructions—if the poor say it, when the far reaching results orphans under their guardianship of Christian education on the one are faithfully instructed in the all hand, and the neglect of it on the important truths of natural and re. other, come to be disclosed at the vealed religion—if they are taught last day? Vol. III.
The name of Leighton is pro- own time accused him, we believe, nounced with reverence and love by of doing injury to their cause by his men of various sects and opinions, extreme moderation. When in the wherever the English language is kirk he was episcopally inclined, spoken. His works unite sound when in the Episcopal church he scriptural views, a spirit of heavenly was but a Presbyterian after all : of contemplation, the breathings of di- course, therefore, those who are far. vine love, and richness of imagery in thest off from half-and-half opinions a perfection which scarcely any oth- in church government do not set er writer has attained. Refined him up for an example. minds, particularly those of a con This change, which we have just templative sort, will turn to them, if spoken of, was the one event of they take any pleasure in religious Leighton's outer life; his history things, as to a well from which the and character may be said to be purest and brightest feelings gush wrapped up in it. We read in it his forth. The frame of mind which mind, his relation to the practical they favor and tend to produce, is world, the moving principles of his one of peace and love. Although nature as a man. It can not, there. built upon a deep theology, they are fore, be amiss, if, in making some any thing but controversial. In some observations on his life, as we prorespects they have a universal char- pose to do, we pursue an order of acter, so that from reading them one arrangement very much resembling could hardly pronounce upon the the course which his life pursued ; age when Leighton lived, or the sect if we let it flow silently on in its to which he belonged. External smooth channel, until we reach the events, it is obvious, had less than era of his change, and then examine, their usual influence upon his mind as with a geologist's eye, the ledges and heart.
over which it took much of its fuAmid this general reverence felt ture course. for Leighton, there are two parties, Robert Leighton, born in 1611, who, while they can not fail to es was the son of Alexander Leighton, teem him highly, yet must feel in some time professor of moral phiclined to fall below the general losophy in Edinburgh, who aftervoice : we mean the Presbyterians wards lived in London, and suffered of Scotland, and the high church so signally for his zeal against episEpiscopalians. The former asso copacy, as to be of historical notociate with his memory a desertion, riety. The son was sent to Edinwithout sufficient cause, of his own burgh for his education, and had and his father's religion, and charge reached the age of thirty before he him in part with the evils which at- entered the ministry in the kirk. In tended the establishment of episco- this long preliminary stage of his life pacy in Scotland under Charles II. his circumstances differed from those The latter can neither like his doc. of most of the young men whose trinal system, nor the low ground he life had the same destination : he took when he went over to their became acquainted with men and church; and some of them in his things in England to some extent, on
account of having two sisters mar. The Whole Works of Archbishop
ried in that country: he traveled on Leighton, in one vol. New York, I. the continent, where he saw some C. Riker. 1844.
of the Catholic institutions of piety
under favorable points of view; and he loved not to preach polemical dihe had leisure to amass much more vinity, much less polemical politics, learning than was customary in the into which every body else entered. church to which he belonged. The Of Leighton as a preacher, we reading of the Scotch divines at that have two contemporary opinions, time seems to have consisted very which do not well agree with one much in polemical divinity. That another. “ His preaching,” Burnet of Leighton was spread over a wi- says, “ had a sublimity both of der field. His quotations from a thought and expression in it. The large number of Greek and Roman grace and gravity of his pronunciaauthors and from the Fathers, show tion was such, that few heard him a great familiarity with ancient learn- without a very sensible emotion : I ing and the use of a full common am sure I never did. His style was place book. They are not as copi- rather too fine; but there was a maous in his theological lectures, where jesty and beauty in it that left so deep they chiefly occur, as Jeremy Tay. an impression that I can not yet forlor's, but they are more pertinent to get the sermons I heard him preach the subject, and come in without pe. thirty years ago. He had a very dantry. Burnet says that he had the low voice, and could not be heard greatest command of the purest Lat- by a great crowd." Baillie, in his in that he ever knew, and was mas. letters, speaking of a young minister of the Greek and Hebrew, and ter in 1654, says,
“ he has the new of the whole compass of theological guise of preaching which Mr. Hugh learning, especially of that relating Binning and Mr. Robert Leighton to the Scriptures. On the whole, began, contemning the ordinary way we have the impression that his fin- of expounding and dividing a text, ished education, joined to his natu- of raising doctrines and uses ; but ral refinement of mind, polished him runs out on a discourse on some too highly for the sphere in which common head, in a high romancing he was to move, where, at that time, and unscriptural style, tickling the refinement was in no great demand, ear for the present, and moving the and shrewd sense prevailed over ac. affections in some, but leaving little quisitions far more than it does at or naught to the memory and unpresent. This learning, however, derstanding." If we misapprehend marked him out for the post which them not, the first of these writers he afterwards filled, of principal of blames Leighton for a too refined the University of Edinburgh, and way of preaching above the reach thus enabled him to be useful when of ordinary persons; while the other he felt obliged to leave his parish. directs his harsh censures against
The parish where Leighton was Leighton's strain of thought, as not settled for eleven years, from 1641 formal and doctrinal enough, and to 1652, was that of Newbattle, in as tending to the introduction of Mid Lothian, about six miles from certain favorite topics, like the Edinburgh. Here, through the storm- excellence of heavenly things, and iest period of British history, he the evil of conformity to the world. passed his time, as much aloof from Perhaps also his dry mind may not politics as possible, living peaceably have relished Leighton's frequent with all men. Peace was indeed and apt illustrations. If the thirty the groundwork of his character. three sermons yet extant are a sam. Accounted a saint from his youth ple, the injustice of Baillie is great up, he had known little of those up- in the expression, “a romancing, unheavings of the soul which begin in scriptural style." some minds when they turn to God. Omitting at present to speak of Averse from controversy by nature, Leighton's life in the University of