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the date nearest preceding is March 28th, 1650; the charter was signed and sealed, May 31st, 1650. Our readers may judge of the probability, that a form of this kind should have been established, with a view to being repealed in two months. When we consider the time which it takes to carry a bill through the usual legislative forms, a law standing in the college books under date of March 28th, may be considered as almost coeval with a charter enacted, engrossed on parchment, signed and sealed two months after.
But we have the history of this statute of admission, from President Leverett in 1712.
When he was elected in 1707, an order of court was passed to this effect : “ Inasmuch as the first foundation and establish- ment of that house and the government thereof had its original from an act of the court, made and passed in 1650, which has not been repealed or nulled, the President and Fellows of said college are directed from time to time to regulate themselves, according to the rules of the constitution by said act provided, &c.
We make this quotation to show that, by the first foundation and constitution of the College, President Leverett means the charter of 1650.
The distinction between fellow of the house and fellow of the Corporation had, in 1712, become fixed. But so far was it, as is maintained against the memorial, coeval with the charter, that enly five years before, President Leverett, in his own hand, writes the non-resident members of the corporation, “ fellows of the house.” The distinction therefore in 1707, was not yet fixed. In 1712 Mr Stevens, afterwards minister of Charlestown, was elected a fellow of the house, but not of the corporation, and he requested to be inducted as a fellow in the ancient form, by subscribing the statute of admissions. This was accordingly done, with great solemnity in the college hall. This solemnity, being in the words of President Leverett's diary, the first of this sort " since the restauration of Harvard College to its first constitution," he gives the account of the ceremonial at length. In this account, the president says, that the forms of admission are not new, but “coeval with the primitive constitution.” After some more general remarks, he proceeds; “ The forms of adinission are not of our own, or of recent invention, but of ancient prescription; and I find them written in the same hand, in which the very ancient laws are written (which have by no means lost their anthority, through all the changes of recent revolutions or
past times), the hand of the celebrated Mitchell, a member of the College in its foundation, and one of its charter-fellows. Those forms indeed were disused, while the office of President was vacant, under the non-resident presidents, and under the intermediate, substituted, and precarious charters.” “I well remember,” he adds, " that four years since, it was commanded to us, to administer the affairs of the college, according to the rules prescribed by Dudley's charter."
In these words of President Leverett, it is established, on the authority of this most respectable head of the College, who had been resident at it almost from the time that he entered it as a student, who had the ancient records then entire before him, and was able to name the person, in whose handwriting the law in question was recorded; first, that this statute of admission was coeval with the charter, and so prescribed under it, that he himself now revives it, because he had been ordered by the court to administer the College according to the charter of 1650; secondly, that it was a statute observed till the times of VicePresidents, of non-resident presidents, and of the intermediate, substituted, and precarious charters, that is, at least till the year 1672, before which time, none of the circumstances enumerated had existed at the College. It is therefore proved (if it needed to be proved), that this form of admission was not repealed, nor disused, after the term of eight weeks from the time of its enactment, as is contended against the memorialists.
But we can make this matter yet clearer. In the statute of admission cited above, the last article runs, “We then, the Overseers of the College promise, &c. that we will furnish you stipends.” When Mr Stevens, in 1712, was to subscribe this form, times were altered ; a distinction had now grown up between fellows of the Corporation and fellows of the house; the former constituted a new board between the Overseers and the resident government; and President Leverett accordingly tells Nr Stevens, that he shall administer the form to him, " mutatis mutandis, pro variatione temporum ac personarum ratione.”—Accordingly in the last article, instead of “We, then, the Overseers,” &c. we read, " and, as to the Overseers of the College, they promise that they will not be wanting to you in any thing that concerns you, on the contrary they will confirm you by their power and authority in all your legitimate functions against all opposers; and the Corporation, in proportion to the means of the College, will appoint you a st pend, which shall suffice for your food, clothing, and the prosecution of your studies.”
upon it :
This is the argument from the statute of admitting fellows, as it was stated last winter, in defence of the Memorial. We shall now quote the whole of " Mr Ticknor's remarks “ The second argument is a form of induction used for fellows, before the date of the charter, which seems to imply that the fellows inducted by it, should reside. But there is no proof attempted that this formula has been used since the charter was given ; and therefore, it has nothing to do with the fellows of the Corporation."
[To be continued.]
1. An Address delivered in Noshville, Tennessee, January 12,
1825, at the Inauguration of the President of Cumberland College. By Philip LINDSLEY, D. D. President of the
College. Nashville. Svo. pp. 48. 2. Plan of a Seminary for the Education of Instructers of Youth.
By Thomas H. GALLAUDET, Principal of the American Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. Boston. 1825.
Svo. pp. 39. 3. Observations on the Improvement of Seminaries of Learning
in the United States; with Suggestions for its Accomplishment. By WALTER R. Johnson, Principal of the Academy at Germantown, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia. 1825. 8vo. pp. 28.
ONE important suggestion in President Lindsley's Address, is, that instructers of youth require some direct preparation for the duties of their profession. The principal object of Mr Gallaudet is to point out some of the peculiar advantages, which would result from the establishment of an institution for the express purpose of affording such necessary preparation. And Mr Johnson proposes to attain the same end by attaching to our colleges and higher seminaries of learning, professors whose duty it shall be to study the science of education, and instruct those in it, who may wish to pursue that as a profession. We regard the fact that essentially the same idea has been advanced, almost at the same time, by different gentlemen in different and remote sections of our country, as strong evidence that the attainment of their common object is near at hand. For in an intelligent and enterprising community, like our own, public wants are seldom long felt, when their supplies lie within the reach of human
It has been popular, and therefore common, particularly in New England, to bestow loud praises upon our forefathers, for their wisdom in providing by law for the diffusion of knowledge. Far be it from us to detract from the merits of their exertions, or to underrate the influence of them upon our present condition. Their efforts were strenuous and worthy of all praise. And the influence of them has spread abroad over this whole people, and produced one of the most interesting traits in our national character,-a trait, too, which, we trust in the good providence of God, will be handed down from generation to generation as long as we exist as a nation. But it by no means follows, that what was good and perfectly adapted to our condition two hundred years ago, is necessarily and in the same degree so now. And we think a portion of the acuteness and the eloquence of our statesmen, as well as of our public and pulpit orators might be spared from their vague and indiscriminate eulogies on our system of public instruction; and at the same time be profitably employed in the more ungracious task of searching out and pointing out its defects, as adapted to our present state of society. Without making pretension to the gift of prophecy, or to more than an ordinary share of human sagacity, we are much mistaken in the whole spirit of our times, if the education of the young is not about to assume an importance in the public estimation, which it has never yet assumed, and to be conducted upon more consistent and philosophical principles than have ever yet been reduced to practice in this country. The influence of early education in a political as well as moral and religious point of view, is coming to be better understood; and hence we see the philanthropists, and especially the advocates of free political institutions throughout the world, engaged in advancing its best interests.
This age is said, and said truly to be marked by nothing more distinctly, than by its wide and earnest diffusion of knowledge. We speak not now of the splendid achievements of science, but of that knowledge, which makes men conscious of the dignity of their nature, and gives to each one who possesses it, some measure of influence in the nation to which he may belong. The degree of influence of course must vary with the character of the institutions with which he is surrounded; but wherever he may be, the man, who is possessed of a mind properly developed and stored with only a moderate portion of knowledge, will have his influence upon those around him, and they again upon others. So no one, especially in a free country, may deem himself insig
nificant, or, without incurring responsibilities, pervert the influence which he possesses, and of which he could not divest himself if he would. This wider diffusion of knowledge constitutes, at least, a part of the progressive improvement in the condition of mankind. And as it has spread abroad and reached larger classes of men in the old world, it has called into exercise and added to the national aggregates a vast amount of plebeian talents. These have generally proved to be very expansive; and their development has thrown off the abuses and sluggish superstitions of earlier ages, sometimes perhaps with a vengeance. But this does not prove the diffusion of knowledge to be on the whole an evil, as some would persuade themselves. It is only a partial and temporary disturbance in the great human family, to be endured for a time, and then to be followed by a general and permanent good.
Without intending to make invidious comparisons for our own glorification, among the generations which have covered the earth for six thousand years, we may safely say, there never has been a time within the records of history, when the rays of knowledge spread wider and penetrated deeper than they do at the present moment. And there, probably, never was a time when efforts were more general, more zealous, or more persevering, to make them spread still wider, and to penetrate still deeper the whole population of the civilized world. Nor are the bolder efforts of our age confined to the civilized world. They are so gigantic as to embrace the whole human family. Probably all the grand designs, that have been conceived will not be fully executed; but much will no doubt be done to improve the condition and raise the prospects of those, who might otherwise remain for ages yet to come, as they have remained for ages now gone by, in the depths of barbarism. We are persuaded, however, that whatever may be attempted, in the great work of civilizing the barbarians, christianizing the heathen, or converting the Jews, either by benevolent individuals, or by well organized societies, even though they may concentrate and direct the energies of whole nations, most will be accomplisked by those efforts which are directed to the education of the young. Experience has already amply confirmed the truth of the proposition, that no general, deep, and permanent impression can be made, by human means, upon a race of men grown old and bigoted in error. They guard every avenue to their minds with a vigilance that cannot be worried out.
And they resist every innovation, especially if it is announced to them as such, with an