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there is yet this further reason to rejoice, that in the future ages, those who come after us will continue to share in the goodly fellowship of the students of Princeton, of Williams, of Amherst, of Cornell, of Johns Hopkins, and above all of those of “fair Harvard."
One of the most striking things about the book to a New Haven graduate, is the fact that so much of what Dr. Peabody has said about one and another of the professors of Harvard might be said with equal truth of some one of the well known professors at Yale, with only the change of the name. Something of this kind might almost have been anticipated; but it has been certainly a curious thing, as we have turned over these pages, to find all the different types of character with which New Haven men are familiar described with the utmost accuracy.
We will refer, as an illustration, to what is said about President Kirkland. Much of it might have been written, word for wood, of a well-known Yale Professor, who was nearly his contemporary Dr. Peabody says, that when Dr. Kirkland examined candidates for admission to college, as the students were to a large extent from the immediate neighborhood of Boston, with few exceptions he knew all about them and their parents, and his scrutiny was directed as much to the countenances, the family traits, and the indications of character, as to the tokens of scholarship. All this was true of the Yale Professor of whom we have spoken. The students at New Haven, to be sure, were more generally from distant parts of the country, but when Professor found a young man under examination, who was the son, or a grandson of an old graduate, or who had been “fitted” by a graduate, the interest he took in him, through all his college course, was unflagging. When the present writer was under examination, this professor found, among those who shared the examination with him, one whose ancestors for four successive generations had been graduates of Yale, several of whom the professor had known personally; and the discovery was evidently a source of great gratification. A classmate also of the present writer, who became a tutor, used to tell a story of the same instructor which was however somewhat at his own expense. He was in a stage coach, somewhere in New York, when a stout, jolly farmer took a seat, and for some hours kept the passengers in a high state of delight with his stories. The tutor had recognized him at once, as having at the recent
Commencement brought a son for examination, whom he had himself partly examined. Finding that he was not recognized, it was with keen enjoyment that he soon heard the farmer describe his late visit to New Haven. He told how he had been sent with his son to a tutor—which word he pronounced with profound disdain—who looked, he said, “as if he knew all that was worth knowing in the world.” This tutor had “ badgered” his son with questions, "till the poor boy did not know whether he was on his head or his feet.” At last a bell rang, and the tutor said there was to be a Phi Beta Kappa Oration delivered, and the examination must be put off till afternoon. He bad himself some special reasons why it was necessary for him to leave town that afternoon, and the tutor told him that possibly Profes
would finish the examination at once. “So," he said, “I went with my son to the third story of a building they called the Lyceum, and rapped at the door. Some one said, 'come in.' So I went in, and there sat a venerable old gentlemen, with white hair, who asked us to sit down. I told him the whole story, how the examination was not finished, and that I was afraid my son had not got along very well. Well, the professor looked over his spectacles in a benevolent sort of way, and he saw in a flash what was the matter—that my son was kind of flustered. So he just screwed himself down to the boy's capacity, and asked him who fitted him for college. My son said it was minister. Then the professor said that he knew our minister very well; that he was an old graduate, and a very fine scholar, and be told us a story about something he had done when he was in college that was very bright, and he made us both laugh. Then he asked my son two or three more questions that the boy could answer well enough. I saw at once what the old gentleman was up to, and pretty soon, when he found the boy had got heart once more, he gave him a book, and spoke kindly to him, and the boy just did splendid! Then he asked him three or four questions, and the boy seemed to get the hang of it right oft, and answered up first rate, and the professor complimented him and told him he was admitted."
What college has not had some kindly professor in its faculty, who answered to the Dr. Kirkland that Dr. Peabody has described. But we have entered upon a theme wbich is exhaustless, and we must refrain.
We can only suggest to our readers the fascination there must
be in a book that contains “ reminiscences" of such men as Josiah Quincy, Levi Hedge, Joseph Story, Benjamin Peirce, the Wares, Charles Folsom, John G. Palfrey, Charles Follen, Charles Beck, Cornelius Felton, and scores of others whose names are so familiar and so honored.
A single quotation from what Dr. Peabody says of Professor Andrews Norton is all that the limits at our command will allow,
I deem it one of the great privileges of my life, that, during my first year in the Divinity School, I had his instruction in the exegesis of the New Testament. He united what might seem the opposite extremes of keen criticism and submissive faith. He carried to the investigation of the sacred writings the same microscopic scrutiny and uncompromising excision of whatever can be otherwise than genuine, which the great German scholars have brought to the study of the Greek and Roman classics. He was unwilling to take anything for granted,-to believe any thing that he could not prove, or for which he had not the testimony of competent witnesses. In the Gospels he rejected every passage, every text, every word, in which he could discover any possible token of interpolation or of error in transcription; and the books thus expurgated he received, because he had convinced himself by research and reasoning that they were the veritable writings of the men whose names they bear, and the authentic record of Him whose life they portray. With this habit of mind, I do not by any means regard it as strange that his faith was intensely strong. I have never known a firmer belief than his in the divine mission and authority of Jesus Christ. Indeed, it seemed in him more than belief; it was knowledge. I doubt whether he felt any more confident assurance of the events daily occurring under his own eyes than of those which he supposed to have occurred within the cognizance of the apostles of Christ. The truths of the Christian revelation which transcend the sphere of human knowledge, he received implicitly, on the authority of him whom he believed to be an accredited teacher from God. In this faith he was serenely happy in his years of declining strength, and passed under the death-shadow with a hope based, not on his own speculations but on what he regarded as the infallible testimony of One who knew.
It was impossible that such a man should not have approached and handled the sacred records with the profoundest reverence. Unsparing as he was in his criticism of their text, and in the rejection of much that was received by the Christian world in general, and even by Christian scholars, he always stood as with unshodden feet before what he recognized as the genuine word of God. I can still hear the echo of his intensely solemn intonations in repeating in his own version the Sermon on the Mount, or one of our Saviour's parables. He would rebuke, with a vehemence which recalled to our memory the traditions of the once strong but rigidly chastened passions of his earlier days, the student who made the slightest approach to flippancy with reference to the Scriptures or any of their contents. No man ever repeated the offence with him.
It may readily be supposed that Mr. Norton, while himself an archheretic in the eyes of (so-called) orthodox Christians, had little tolerance for what he deemed heresy. He was so sure of his own beliefs, that he could hardly imagine those who differed essentially from him to be both honest and wise. The transcendental school of thought, with its intuitive philosophy, found no sympathy from him. While no man felt more vividly than he, or expounded with greater fulness and beauty, the evidential value of Christ's character and teachings, he could not bear that the historical and external evidences of Christianity should be in any wise depreciated. He was equally hostile to rationalistic explanations of the supernatural narratives in the Gospels. He could get no satisfying glimpses of substantial truth in the cloudland in which the thinkers and students of Germany are wont to dwell, and he regarded even Goethe as having no rightful place in the hierarchy of really great minds.
It is with regret that we forbear to quote what is said of Professor George R. Noyes, and of Professor Farrar.
The great danger of our country at present, which is everywhere recognised, is that men are placing too great a value on the acquisition of money. The only way to check this spirit is to convince them that there is something higher and nobler than material wealth. This is one thing that the American colleges are doing. Even for the real enjoyment of wealth, a man's ideas must be enlarged and ennobled, and his tastes cultivated. A man may become as rich as Creesus, but, if that be all, he must necessarily remain what the Japanese call “low class.” Even the glimpse that this little book gives of a society of men devoted to learning may serve to convince some that “money” is not the end of life or the highest object of ambition.
PROF. FISHER'S CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES. *—Professor George P. Fisher has supplemented the admirable History of the Christain Church which he gave to the public a year ago with a short Manual, in which he has presented an outline of the evidences of the supernatural origin of the Christain religion. There are many excellent works that have been written on this subject which are deserving of high commendation, and which are not inaccessible to the general reader. But most of these give the argument at such length that many persons who would gladly read a shorter treatise are repelled. It is to meet the wants of this class of readers that Professor Fisher has written the present
* Manual of Christian Evidences. By GEORGE P. FISHER, D.D., LL.D.: New York. C. Scribner's Sons, 1888. 12mo, pp. 123.
work. It need hardly be said that for the preparation of such a book he is admirably qualified. He is thoroughly familiar with the subject, and is the master of a style of unusual clearness and precision. One of the distinguishing features of the argument, as he here presents it, is the prominence given to the antecedent need of a revelation, the intrinsic excellence of the system contained in the Bible, and its adaptation to the necessities of men. He also compares the Christian religion with other religions and other philosophical systems and shows its great superiority. For eighteen hundred years the enemies of Christianity have been trying new methods of attack. The Christian church has been likened to an anvil on which a thousand hammers have been shattered to pieces. Yet every generation listens to some new objection. Hence it becomes necessary that new books should be prepared to meet these new forms of attack. Professor Fisher has considered these changing aspects of skepticism and unbelief and made a book which is adapted to the wants of the private reader or student, and one which will also serve as an excellent text-book for the higher schools and academies.
WILLIAM L. KINGSLEY.
ETHICS OF MARRIAGE.* -In this book, Dr. H. S. Pomeroy, a prominent Boston physician who has given special attention to gynecology, has presented a strongly and clearly written treatise on the ethical and physiological principles which relate to the increase of the family. He vigorously denounces what he calls “the American sin ” of preventing and checking such increase as a heinous offence against morals as well as against natural and physical laws, and points out the evils and dangers which are involved in it. It is not our purpose and this is not the place to discuss Dr. Pomeroy's ethical views, but those who hold with him that there is but one aspect in which the subject can be regarded as a question of morals will find themselves fortified by a perusal of his book. The introductory notes by Dr. Emmet and by Rev. Dr. Duryea endorse the character and object of the volume, and it is certainly entitled from its professional and literary ability to high respect and careful consideration.
HENRY T. BLAKE.
* The Ethics of Marriage. By H. S. POMEROY, M.D., Boston. With a prefatory note by Thomas Addis Emmet, M.D., LL.D., New York; and an introduction by Rev. J. T. Duryea, D.D. of Boston. Funk & Wagnalls, New York.