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channels of inquiry, and pouring into the mind new materials of thought and reflection. All branches of intellectual improvement will lead to moral goodness. The mind, which is taught to expatiate throughout the works of God, to ascend to the heavenly. worlds and find him there, to go into the deep secrets of nature and find him there, to examine the wonders of its own structure, and look abroad into the moral constitution of things, and perceive the hand of an invisible, Almighty Being giving laws to the whole, will be impressed with a sense of its own dependence, and feel something of the kindling flame of devotion. It is not in human nature to resist it. And so the man, who begins to study the organization of society, the mutual relations and dependencies of its parts, its objects, and the duties it imposes on those, who would enjoy its benefits, will soon be made to respect its institutions, value its privileges, and practise the moral virtues in which its very existence consists. The more extensively these inquiries are encouraged, and these principles inculcated, in the elements of education, the greater will be the certainty of moral elevation of character, and the brighter the prospects of a virtuous and happy community. In regard to religion, ignorance is its deadliest bane. It gathers the clouds of prejudice from all the dark corners of the mind, and causes them to brood over the understanding, and too often the heart, with a dismal, chilling influence. It gives perpetuity to error, defies the weapons of argument and reason, and is impassive even to the keen sword of eternal truth. Religion requires the aid of knowledge to be received in its purity, and felt in its power. To bring into salutary action these two great instruments of human happiness, morals and religion,
nothing is of so much importance, as to multiply the facilities of education, and quicken the spirit of enlightened inquiry.
Through the medium of education the government may give a strong impulse to the arts, and help to build up the empire of the sciences. Before men can invent, or make profound discoveries, they must be taught to think. Savages never advance a step farther in discoveries and inventions, than they are compelled by their wants. The external comforts of civilized life depend on the useful arts, which an improved state of the intellect has brought to light. In the sciences, and in literature, we have a vast uncultivated field before us. We will not enlarge on so trite a subject, as the value of these noble branches of human improvement, nor on so obvious a one, as the immense advantages that must flow to us as a nation, from having them thoroughly cultivated among us. They ought to be brought under consideration in connexion with this subject; and on every mind, whose conceptions are not narrowed within the most ordinary bounds, they will have a solemn and impressive influence. In the arts of traffic, and the mysteries of gain, we may perhaps be contented with the skill we possess. But to be contented with our progress in the sciences and literature, and all those attainments, which chiefly dignify and adorn human nature, would argue an obtuşeness and apathy altogether unworthy of a people, who are blessed with so many political, civil, and local advantages of various kinds, as the inhabitants of the United States.
In closing this article, we are glad to embrace the opportunity afforded us, by the subject we have been discussing, of saying a few words on the literary enterprize and efforts of the state, in which the Report, recommending a general appropriation for the aid of learning, originated. The legislature of Maryland gave early attention to the establishment of schools. At the session in 1692, an act was passed for the en. couragement of learning; and four years afterwards King William's Free School was established at Annapolis, on a very broad and liberal basis. In 1723, a school was erected in each of the counties, and the funds, which had been provided by previous acts for the support of schools, were distributed among them in equal proportions. Lands were also given in each county for the use of the teachers. One source of income to the school fund was a tax of twenty shillings a poll on all negroes imported into the state, and also on all Irish servants who were papists, as the act says, sto prevent the growth of popery by the importation of too great a number of them into this province." In these county schools, such children as the visitors should select for the purpose were required to be taught gratis. This system, it would seem, was conducted with considerable success, and was aided from time to time by the patronage of the legislature.
The school at Chestertown, in Kent county, had become so flourishing in the year 1782, that the visitors petitioned the legislature to have it formed into a college. The petition was granted, and the institution took the name of Washington College. The number of students at the time of this change was one hundred and forty, and was soon after augmented to two hundred. Buildings were erected at the expense of ten thousand pounds taken from the funds, which had been procured by private subscriptions. The state granted an annual appropriation of twelve hundred and fifty pounds. Two years after, another college was founded on a similar plan at Annapolis, called St. John's College, with which King William's School was incorporated. To this institution was made a yearly grant of seventeen hundred and fifty pounds. The same act, by which St. John's College was founded, authorized a union of this with Washington College, under the title of the University of Maryland.
The acts for founding and incorporating these institutions were drawn up with considerable ability, and they embrace many sound principles and just views. But they are marked with some radical defects. The system of government and discipline was one, under which no institution could long exist.
Each college was under the direction of twenty-four visitors. These were required to assemble quarterly at the college to examine the students, hear appeals, decide on their conduct, and in general, to put the laws in execution. Thus all power was virtually taken out of the hands of the immediate officers, in whose hands alone it could be of any value in preserving necessary subordination, and enforcing wholesome rules of discipline. The students would not respect officers, who they knew had no authority, and from whose decision they might appeal on the most trivial occasion to a body of men, who could have no more than a very imperfect knowledge of the merits of the case, and who at best could be but ill qualified to judge. The circumstance of meeting so often, and entering into such details, must also have contributed rather to diminish, than strengthen the interest of the visitors themselves. In addition to these evils, the scheme of having a university composed of colleges in different sections of the state, we conceive to have been wholly impracticable. The two
bodies of visitors were united into one with a chancellor at its head. This body in its united capacity formed laws and regulations for the two colleges. But it is impossible, in the nature of things, that the interests of institutions so far separated could be precisely the same. Nor could they act in concert, or promote a unity of purpose. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising, that this university did not answer the expectations of the legislature, nor of the public. So much dissatisfaction at length prevailed, that in the year 1805, the state entirely withdrew its patronage. We have heard other reasons assigned, than those we have mentioned, such as the spirit of party, unfortunate choice of teachers, and local prejudices. These, no doubt, had some influence; but we are convinced, that no combination of fortunate circumstances could have remedied the evils at which we have hinted. Since the decision of the Dartmouth College question, it has been made a subject of debate, whether the proprietors of these colleges cannot regain their former privileges. It is urged, that many individuals made large donations, with the understanding, that the state was permanently pledged to continue the support at first granted. But it is so doubtful whether this point can be well sustained, that it is not likely any decided step will be taken.
Although the state was disappointed in the success of this institution, it did not stacken its exertions in aiding the cause of learning. Its funds were distributed more largely to the counties. In most of the counties, respectable academies have been established, which receive annually considerable sums out of the state treasury. Each county, we believe, is entitled to eight hundred dollars, and some receive more. There are instances in which two or more counties have united