[Table of Contents]
[Previous] [Next]
Alexander Campbell, et al.
Bethany College Addresses (1841)



Delivered at the organization of BETHANY COLLEGE, Nov. 2, 1841, by A. CAMPBELL,
      Professor of Mental Philosophy.


      BESIDES a general superintendency of the education and morals of the youth of this institution in the various departments of it, the philosophy of man in its higher and more sublime branches has been made the special duty of the Chair assigned to me. In the discharge of these high and weighty responsibilities, I promise myself, not only much assistance, but much pleasure in the able and faithful co-operation of my fellow-laborers in this great and arduous undertaking. All, I think, who have attentively heard the learned and eloquent addresses of the professors that have preceded me, will doubtless conclude, that I do not promise myself, nor the community, too much from the ability and zeal with which they are entering upon the discharge of their official duties. I have only to regret, on the present occasion, that the protracted indisposition of one Professor present, and the unavoidable absence of another,a

have deprived us of the pleasure of hearing them also on the subjects of their respective professions.

      Anticipated, as I have been, in much that has been submitted to you, gentlemen, in the previous lectures, I do not now arise to address you in a formal introductory lecture on any one branch of science either within or without that extensive range of subjects that come within the proper precincts of my special charge. With some reference, however, to my own department, I will immediately invite your attention to a few fragments of the history of philosophy, and to some fundamental facts and truths in mental and moral science as introductory to some notices of that system of education about to be prosecuted in this College.

      The philosophy of man, I have said, in its higher and more sublime branches has been made the peculiar subject of my cultivation and didactic labors. The branches of this philosophy are indeed almost as numerous as all the other departments of human science. The reason is that man himself is the philosophy of the planet on which he resides, and perhaps of that solar system of which it is a part. This terraqueous globe with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging, was as evidently created and furnished for man as was the palace of the Thuilleries, for the [61] monarch of France. It is all rational and intelligible to him that contemplates it in this point of view, but to no one else.

      Viewed as the predestined nursery, school, and residence of man, as an animal, intellectual and religious being; as pre-arranged for the developement of his person, for the formation and perfection of a character worthy of himself and of his position in the universe, there is the wisdom and the benevolence of an infinite intelligence manifesting themselves in all its parts, in all its modifications and adaptations. Hence all the sciences directly or indirectly terminate on man. Many of them indeed are exclusively devoted to him, and all of them touch some point in his constitution or circumstances that give them all their interest and importance. There is not a single science, taught or studied, but because of its bearings upon man, upon the conditions or contingencies of his present or future existence. The first philosophers were indeed, to a single man, mental and moral philosophers. They speculated upon the mental and moral constitution of man, upon the Divinity that gave him birth and upon his present and future relations to the intellectual and moral universe. And never did they stray away into the other fields of creation but with a reference to some accident or attribute of man.


      FEW terms have experienced a greater variety of fortunes than the term philosophy. Its inventor, the celebrated Pythagoras, some five centuries before the Christian era, while establishing his College at the Italian Crotona, boldly denied to mortals the possession of wisdom, and claimed for the wisest of mankind no higher honor than the mere desire of it. This desire of wisdom he called philosophy, and modestly enough assumed to himself the title of Philosopher. He was not only the first born of philosophers, but also the founder of the name.

      No sooner, however, had Pythagoras discovered the transmigration of souls, and established this new and strange doctrine, than, in the judgment of many, he became a demon--a knowing one, as some of his successors chose to be designated. Thus, before the author of the Metempsychosis had himself transmigrated, the profession of wisdom, rather than the desire of it, began to be regarded as the true definition of the term philosophy.

      But wisdom itself among the Greeks early began to be distributed into various departments of learning and science, and these were again classified under distinct heads of wisdom and [62] knowledge; and thus in a few years the term philosophy was constrained to represent them all.

      The versatility of the ancients, as well as their powers of invention, have been fully equalled by the moderns. Hence our acceptance of the term philosophy is as equivocal and latitudinarian as theirs. We have not only natural, mental, and moral philosophy; but we have the philosophy of language, as well as the language of philosophy; the philosophy of history, as well as the history of philosophy. We have, indeed, the philosophy of grammar, logic, rhetoric, eloquence, and of theology itself. We have the philosophy of every thing, and the philosophy of philosophy into the bargain.

      Philosophy, we have said, in the days of her youth was modest and unpretending; but no sooner had she advanced in years and in public admiration, than she assumed a loftier tone and enjoined a more profound homage on the part of her worshippers. Now she speculates with equal confidence on the finite and the infinite--on things celestial and terrestrial. She delights to handle the themes of infinite space and an endless duration. She sports with physics and metaphysics--with abstract natures and the quintessences of all manner of entities--and developes the nature of gods and men. Placing her foot on the summit of all human experience, she rears her aspiring head far beyond the centre of the heavens, and discusses the theogony of its inhabitants, the cosmogony of the universe, and the arcana of eternity. At this giddy height she dares to trace the infinite lines of liberty and necessity, and constructs new measures for ascertaining the root and ramifications of all manner of designs and motives, good and bad, that spread themselves over the illimitable regions of universal being.

      But she assumed too much--she soared too high, and could not long retain her hold on human admiration. Finding her impotency by the aid of all manner of hypothesis to unfold the phenomena of Nature, she sought to conceal her weakness under the mask of oriental science and scholastic learning. Now she delights in mysteries and mysticism. If she had not the power of bringing light out of darkness, she now displays the no less admirable quality of bringing darkness out of light. She prides herself in caballistic terms and Eleusinian mysteries. She tells of the Chronoi and the Eons, of the Demiurgic and Pleromatic beings who partition Divinity and Creation among themselves, and inspire the Universe with all the jarring and antagonistic principles with which it abounds.

      In one word, the Pythagoreans and Aristotelians, the Platonists and the Gnostics, the Epicureans and the Stoics, the Materialists and the Spiritualists, the Idealists and the Nominalists, [63] filled the human mind with darkness and confusion, and the world with mythology, scepticism, and libertinism; till the very name of Philosophy, like that of Gnostic, disgusted every lover of true wisdom and morality. Never were the words "empty and deceitful" better applied than by Paul to the self-confident and haughty philosophy of his day.b

      The philosophy, since his day, usually called "scholastic," was no better than the oriental science of the Gnostics. By its speculations on essences, hypotheses, and predicaments, it sought to explain the whole system of Nature, and reveal all its phenomena. During her reign, night, dark night, from her "ebon throne," spread a deep and melancholy gloom over the face of heaven and earth--of things temporal, spiritual, and eternal. Scarce a single discovery aided the progress of civilization during the long and inglorious career of the Aristotelian and Scholastic Philosophy. If some advances in true science were made by a few such men as Roger Bacon, Flavio Gioia; Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Tycho Brahe, &c. &c., they were all errorists from the false philosophy of the age, and had strayed away into the paths of true science.

      But, as Goethe said, it was reserved to Sir Francis Bacon to draw a sponge over the table of human knowledge, and to strike out a new path to science. Bacon substituted facts for hypotheses, observation and comparison for conjecture; induction for imagination, and attributes and properties for the abstract essences of things: and though not the first who reasoned inductively, became the founder of the Inductive Philosophy. Since the publication of his Novum Organum, in 1620, within two centuries many more new discoveries, and some of them of the greatest importance, have been vouchsafed to the world, than during the despotic and universal sway of Aristotelianism for almost two thousand years.

      No true philosopher--no wise man in the mysteries of Nature, Providence, or Redemption, ever now thinks of discovering the philosopher's stone, the perpetual motion, or the abstract essence of any thing; or of looking into the penetralia of Nature's sanctuary, or of scanning the hidden ways of God to man. We seek out the laws of Nature by her operations, as we seek for the principles of human character its the works of man.

      True philosophy blushes not to avow before all the pretended sages and wise men of the world, her ignorance of three chapters in the universe, fraught though they be with sciences of the greatest curiosity and interest to man. These three chapters treat of the origin of things, the nature of things, and the end of things. When interrogated concerning the, original commencement of any thing, of its abstract nature or essence, or of the final destiny [64] of a single atom of the universe, she modestly and candidly lays her hand upon her mouth, and in profound silence intimates her total inability to answer any such questions. Hence the three questions, What am I? Whence came I? Whither do I go? lie wholly beyond all the pretensions of sane philosophy.

      After a long and violent controversy between Philosophy and Common Sense, they have at length amicably adjusted their differences, and entered into a solemn league and covenant never to be dissolved, of which the following seven items are of superlative importance:--

      1. They have mutually pledged themselves always to reason from what they do already know, to what they do not know.

      2. That they will always, and only, employ the five senses in ascertaining sensible facts; and receive the testimony of any two or more of them as infallible, when it can be shown that they are in good health and in favorable circumstances to ascertain the facts in question.

      3. That the internal sense of consciousness will always be regarded as a faithful and competent witness of the mental and moral facts of the inner man, as the five external senses are of the material and external facts and events of the outward man.

      4. That they will never form a science or build a system either on hypothesis or a priori reasoning.

      5. That they will never affirm any thing to be a law of nature which has not been ascertained by the observation and classification of facts, and of such a number and character as to leave no doubt of the universality of the facts and of the principles developed in them.

      6. That they will always receive the testimony of other persons who simply declare what they have seen, heard, or learned from their own experience, when that testimony is free from suspicion of fraud or fiction.

      7. That the assent to every proposition shall always be proportioned to the evidence in favor of its truth and certainty.

      Since the ascendancy of the Inductive Philosophy, all men of true sense and true education have acknowledged the several articles of this contract to be just and reasonable; have consequently acquiesced in them, and in every discussion of any question properly scientific, they have pledged themselves to be governed accordingly.

      It is nevertheless to be regretted that the inductive mode of reasoning is greatly in advance of the practice, and that it has not found the same popularity in the study of the intellectual as in the analysis of the material system. Hence the sciences usually called Physical, have, within two centuries, progressed [65] in a tenfold ratio, compared with the march of the Mental, the Moral, and the Religious. Whether this fact be owing to the greater interest we take in matter than in mind--in earth than in heaven--in time than in eternity--or to the greater difficulties in the way of psychological and anthropological science, we have not leisure, nor is it important to our present object at this time, to discuss. The fact is public and acknowledged, and we have only to endeavor to correct public sentiment on this most vital department of human education, and to persuade mankind to give that pre-eminence to mental and moral science which their superior importance demands.

      "The proper study of mankind is man;"c but man is related to every thing in the universe, and it is impossible to become profound in the science of man without a general acquaintance with that universe of which he forms so prominent a part. Atoms and elements, principles and laws, scattered over the face of universal nature, or incorporate with any of its organizations, enter into the constitution of man, either as a physical or moral being, and form a component part of his peculiar personality. In sketching out the proper landmarks of human knowledge and the proper subjects of human study, a due regard must then be had to this important fact. Every science in the world affects man in some one point of his nature, because his nature in some one point touches every separate and distinct system in nature. True, indeed, the whole universe comprehends but two grand systems; but these are systems whose component parts are subordinate systems. Our bodies belong to the one, and our spirits to the other. The outward man, all material, directly or indirectly sympathizes with, and is affected by, external and material nature, not only as developed and distributed in the three kingdoms--animal, vegetable, and mineral, but as existing in all the great laws, elements, and cosmical arrangements of the solar system: consequently, high attainments in all these departments of science greatly advance man in the knowledge of his nature.

      While we distribute nature into mind and matter, and arrange our sciences accordingly, it must not be presumed that we can either clearly apprehend or define the one or the other. It is, however, I believe, generally conceded amongst the learned that we know about as much of mind as we do of matter. Though ignorant of the essence of either, we know some of the properties and attributes of both. That they are distinct and essentially different, is, however, most evident to those of an unbiassed judgment, and of a sound discriminating intelligence. There are, indeed, some great points of difference between these two creations which are very perceptible, and which ought to be [66] clearly and forcibly propounded to those who are studious to comprehend them. Of these, however, we shall select but one at present; and even this much we should not now attempt, were it not that it comes directly in our path. If fully developed in all its bearings, it is, in our judgment, all-sufficient to establish the essential difference between these two systems. It is this:--

      Mind is active--Matter is passive. Philosophers have written so much of the vis inertiæ of matter, that some of them have inferred that matter has a vis as well us an inertia. The vis, however, belongs to mind, and the inertia to matter. Every atom of matter in the universe is naturally and necessarily passive and quiescent. Motion is no attribute of any material thing. Matter can exist without it. Motion is, therefore, a mere accident of matter.

      When, then, we set about proving two systems in one universe, we commence our philosophic proof just at this point. Matter in motion is a sensible demonstration that there is a God--a clear invincible demonstration that there is a Great Spirit and a spiritual system independent of every thing we denominate matter; animating, governing, and controlling it in all its movements and changes. This view of the universe enables man not merely to perceive, but, to feel by his outward senses, and by his internal sense of consciousness, that there is a Spirit in the universe, and a spirit in himself of an unearthly and immaterial mould and temper. Thus, as Paul said to the Athenian, "We feel after God" and find him; for we move and are moved by him, as well as live in him. We also feel a spirit in ourselves. When, then, we attempt to reason on this subject, we commence with something at rest and inquire into the cause of its motion. To exemplify in our persons the fact that the impelling power is not material, we observe that our bones are quiescent till moved by the muscles. These muscles are themselves moved by the nerves; these nerves are moved by the brain, and that brain is moved by a volition from a spirit which is itself both passive and active--passive in sensation, but active in volition. I will to move my hand, and it moves. But the motion of the hand is effected by the intervention of animal machinery, by muscles, by nerves, by brain, by mind. Now whether this volition move ten pounds or ten thousand, depends entirely upon the animal machinery with which the mind is furnished. The volition is the same in the giant and in the dwarf: the machinery is different. The moving power, the force, is exclusively in the will. Hence I affirm the conviction that all power is in the will, and that every motion in the universe, however extended the series of agencies, is to be traced to an intelligent First Cause.

      Yonder falls a mountain into the sea. The immediate cause [67] was a torrent; but how came the torrent? In the earth there are certain elements of power, all in a state of perfect quiescence. There lie stores of nitre, sulphur, electricity, hydrogen, water, &c. &c. In the heavens, too, there is a sun, a radiating centre, from which emanate certain undulations or rays, the principles of light and heat. These act upon the atmosphere, and the atmosphere acts upon the earth, pregnant with fire and flood, and tempest. Exhalations rise, imbued with all these hitherto dormant and quiescent principles. They are put in motion. The sulphur, nitre, electricity, water, &c., &c. are on the wing. They meet in the upper regions. A war ensues. The lightnings flash--the thunders roll--the clouds assemble--the tempest rises--the torrent breaks upon the mountain's top, at whose base an angry sea has raged for ages. Surge upon surge undermines its broken pillars. It is shaken--it totters--it falls, and is engulphed in the dark deep caverns of the fathomless abyss beneath.

      Now when this desolation is surveyed by the enlightened philosopher, and traced through a long series of causes operating as distinct agents; yet, conjointly, he ascertains that the power of every agent was the effect of a cause extrinsic of itself, and that cause was the effect of another, and another, and another, until he reaches the last agent within his vision, and that is resolved into the sovereign will or mandate of the Great Spirit. So that all the laws, impulses, and powers of nature are resolvable only and always into the simple fiat and volition of its Creator.

      Man has in himself a consciousness and an evidence of this system of spiritual agency. His body, though composed of organs voluntary, and involuntary as respects the direct and positive influence of his will, is nevertheless subjected to his will: for by means of the voluntary organs he exercises power and dominion over the involuntary. His whole frame is thus subjected to the supremacy of intellect and volition. Thus in tracing the operations of his being, he discovers that in him there is something called spirit that thinks and feels and wills and acts by means of the animal machinery of his system. But this spirit, though in this body, is no part of it, but above it, distinct from it, and acting out its volitions through its instrumentality. Thus every man who can look into himself, may feel as well as perceive the supremacy of mind over matter, of spirit over body, and that every action and movement of the whole body is an effect of a simple volition of the mind.

      Now it is the same law of motion that pervades the spheres as well as the atoms of creation. The movements of worlds, and the smallest particles of which they are composed are alike the effects of intellect and volition. He that can doubt whether chance or intellect marked out the orbits of all the planets [68] primary and secondary, with all the comets, of seventy-five millions of suns, is not to be reasoned with on any subject whatever. The motion of worlds as well as the actions of men are demonstrably the result of enlightened volition--of volition, guided by wisdom and knowledge.

      But we shall no further at present argue the certainty of a spiritual system, but proceed forthwith to that department of philosophy which treats of mind and its peculiar phenomena.

      Sciences are sometimes improperly classified into natural, mental and moral. There is no such contrast in fact. All true Sciences are natural. They are all founded in nature and discuss the various phenomena of nature, whether it be material, mental or moral nature: for nature is just as moral and spiritual as she is material. Now as nature, so far as known, has but two systems, the spiritual and the material, all Sciences respect these two. Sciences then are, not properly called natural and mental, inasmuch as mind is just as natural as body, but they are all material or mental. They all respect matter or mind.

      Mental philosophy is our special province at present. It is indeed an extensive field, and hitherto very imperfectly cultivated. It comprehends the physiology of the human mind, the phenomena of its moral powers, its social powers and its religious powers. It contemplates all the human faculties, and discusses the duties devolving on man as an individual, domestic, social, and religious being. It, therefore, includes ethics, politics, and theology, according to the dicta of our most distinguished masters, and regards man in all his intellectual, moral and religious powers, relations, obligations and susceptibilities.

      If indeed such be the immense area of mental Science, we need not wonder that it is so far in the back ground. Besides there are peculiar difficulties at the very threshold of every attempt to form a complete outline of the science of mind. The subject is not only the most recondite and abstract in its nature, but that very subject is the instrument by which we investigate it. Mind is both the agent, the instrument and the subject of the science. The mind works, and it works by itself, and it works upon itself. If it be difficult for the eye to see itself, for the ear to hear itself, more difficult it is for the mind to see itself, analyze itself, comprehend itself. Yet this is indispensable to a complete and perfect system of mental and moral science. And being so it is not to be regarded as superlatively marvellous that some Philosophers have considered the difficulties as insurmountable, and have given up the attempt in despair.

      Others, however, of a more sanguine temperament, and of more inductive and speculative habits, have alleged that by observation and reflection properly combined a system of mental [69] science, if not absolutely perfect, yet nearly approximating to it, may be ascertained and established. They allege that as by looking at our own eye in a mirror, by analyzing the living eyes of our neighbors, and by sometimes dissecting the eye of the dead, we can arrive at a correct theory of that admirable and wonderful organ; so may we by taking notice to what passes in ourselves as well as by a minute attention to the developements of mind in others, obtain a very correct view of the mysterious operations and capacities of that most sublime of all earthly creations.

      While we should not with the first class fold our hands in despair, and abandon the pursuit of a perfect system as an utopian project; and while we cannot entirely acquiesce with the second class, inasmuch as we cannot apply the dissecting knife to the human mind, dead or alive; we nevertheless must think that a system sufficiently approaching perfection for all useful and practical purposes, may be ascertained, provided only that we are willing to receive a little supernatural assistance, especially in those parts of the system in which human reason feels her own peculiar impotency in the undertaking.

      Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Zeno, Epicurus, Seneca, Cicero and indeed all the Grecian and Roman schools pre-eminently failed in every attempt at forming a system of mental philosophy and moral science. And when we consider the absolute sway under which the first of these renowned names held the world for 2000 years, we will learn without much surprize that even in Christian Nations little or no advance was made in these departments of Philosophy till since the revival of literature and the publication of the Novum Organum.

      The labors of Descartes, Locke, Hutchison, Adam Smith, Reid, Stewart, Thomas Brown and many others of these schools contributed much to the advancement of mental philosophy during the last century, not by furnishing a complete or perfect system, but by their analysis of former systems, their expositions of the defects of the ancients, and by their own new theories, collisions and debates. Still, however, as a whole, not one of these systems, can in our opinion, be adopted as a complete and perfect text book in any department of mental Science.

      As to that branch of mental science usually called "Moral Philosophy," whose object it is, says Dugald Stewart, to "ascertain the general rules of a wise and virtuous conduct in life, in so far as these rules may be discovered by the unassisted light of Nature, that is by an examination of the principles of the human constitution, and of the circumstances in which man is placed," I have on another occasion, attempted to demonstrate to be a baseless speculation, unworthy of the name of an inductive Science. [70]

      The late work of George Combe on "Moral Science;" just now issued from the New York press, based on phrenology, has most signally failed in an attempt to base a perfect system of morals on those views of the human constitution propounded in this new philosophy. That shrewd, profound and distinguished phrenological philosopher, who has so greatly elevated and improved the speculations of Gall and Spurzheim, and given them a more scientific and Baconian form, than any of his predecessors or contemporaries, has nevertheless fully demonstrated that however much the nomenclature of mental science has been improved by himself and his predecessors in their phrenological speculations, the science of morals is as baseless on his hypothesis, as in that of any of the defenders of the old philosophy.

      Without discussing either the abstract or comparative merits of phrenology as an inductive science, or as a system of mental philosophy, we may in all truth and candor concede its superior pretensions to an improved nomenclature, and to a more simple, rational and scientific classification of the human faculties, above all its competitors for public favor. That its definitions of the animal instincts, of the perceptive and reflective powers and of the moral sentiment, apart from its theory of cerebral developements, are the best that have yet appeared in any system of mental or moral science, and such as to give it a very strong claim on the attention of all lovers of true science, will moreover be generally conceded. When, too, we think of the vague generalities and indistinct definitions of sensation, perception, memory, judgment, reason, imagination, and the moral sense, &c., &c., with which our best and most popular systems abound, we cannot but think that the study of mental and moral science, if it have not already been, must eventually be greatly advanced by the learned labors, researches and discoveries of Gall, Spurzheim and Combe. And although, from the recency of the doctrine of cerebral congeries and developements, some errors and mistakes of its masters and disciples may have subjected the new science to the indignant scoffs of the votaries of more ancient and popular theorists; still there are so many redeeming facts and demonstrations in its history as may well propitiate from all lovers of true science, a more candid, and protracted examination of its various pretensions than some of our more pretending and plausible contemporaries seem disposed to award it.

      A degree of obscurity and incertitude in the minds of its most sanguine and able advocates does yet remain on some of its alleged developments and manifestations. Even this, on the admission of its claims to an inductive science, may long, nay, [71] always, continue. Perfection of knowledge in any one science has never yet been the attainment of mortal man. Still less, may it be expected in one of the most mysterious of all the subjects of human consideration.

      Alike indifferent to approbation or disapprobation from either school on account of an avowal which a conscientious regard to truth constrains me to make, I must acknowledge the conviction that the old and the new science of mental and moral philosophy are equally at fault in their attempts to deduce from their own premises a system of natural religion and moral philosophy either worthy of God or of man. Paley and Spurzheim, Butler and Combe, Reid, Stewart and Brown with all the phrenologists are demonstrably equidistant from the equator of truth, when they attempt to make man either religious or moral from any lights contained in, or deducible from, their respective theories, developments and demonstrations. They may expose each other's errors, laugh at each other's follies and wanderings from the path of sober induction and logical conclusion; they may accuse each other of a too refined spiritualism, or of a too gross materialism; but when it comes to the Herculean task of demonstrating from their respective theories, what man ought to be, and what he ought to do, as a rational, voluntary and responsible agent in the pursuit of the high ends of his destiny, they are equally constrained to exclaim hic labor hoc opus est,d a labor and a toil to which their powers are wholly inadequate.

      I am no special advocate of the old philosophy or of the new. I choose rather, so far as their congruity will admit, to be an eclectic. Still one cannot but smile at the various ingenious missiles by which the rival leaders of the respective systems assail each other, The old school denounces the new as materialists, and the new returns the compliment, by denominating them idealists. The old say that the new school necessarily tends to infidelity and the subversion of the Bible; the new school reprehends the old as seeking to transmute the laws of nature and to annihilate the essential characteristics of the human constitution through a blind devotion to long consecrated traditions. For my own part, having on a former occasion attempted to shew that moral philosophy on the principles of Paley, Stewart and Brown is not an inductive science, when called upon, I feel myself under equal obligation on some proper occasion to shew that Mr. Combe's new moral science is as much an assumption, a flight of imagination, as the schemes of those whom he so ably repudiates. This, however, is a task, which I am not now called upon to impose either upon you or myself: Still I ought perhaps to offer a single specification in illustration of my meaning.

      If prudence be the queen of all the virtues, justice is certainly [72] the basis of them all. The justice of God is indeed the only guarantee of the Universe. Now a clear indication of the justice of God is essential to a proper view of justice among men and equally essential to the moral government of ourselves and of the world. Any system, therefore, that either makes no account of the Divine Justice, or propounds an inadequate conception of it as the basis of the social system and the social duties, is not only manifestly inadequate to direct, but wholly impotent to govern the actions of men. This is my first and leading objection to Mr. Combe's system of moral science, as it is to that of Paley, Bishop Butler and many others of that school.

      Butler and Combe are authors of no ordinary stature. Such men are not to be met with in every City or in every State. Their phrenological developments, though I have not seen either of them or their image, give them large causality, but still larger comparison. They are men of gigantic strength of reason, but admirably great in reasoning analogically and by comparison. This needs no other proof than "Butler's Analogy" and "Combe's Constitution of Man"--works indeed of great and lasting merit.

      But it must be observed that arguing from analogy, and not only illustrating but sometimes reasoning by comparison, while it is generally more clear, and always more fascinating, than any other style, is nevertheless liable to great abuse, and in the hands of persons constitutionally sophistical, (of which there are never wanting numerous instances) often fatally erroneous and seductive. In this style, indeed, Butler and Combe are generally as fortunate as they are eminent. In reference, however, to the point under consideration, they equally fail in supporting their peculiar systems of moral science.

      Butler, indeed, at one time admits the defects of his argument from analogy while writing of this very point before us--the Justice of God. He admits that the justice of God is not fully displayed, nor perfectly executed in this world. This admission is fatal to moral philosophy founded on analogical reasonings. Mr. Combe saw this, and made it the occasion of stating his new system. If indeed vice often triumphs here, and virtue goes unrewarded; if the good man is frequently poor, oppressed and unfortunate, while the wicked man prospers in his way, is independent and happy, where is the proof that God is just. To prove it from the Bible is to give up the cause of the moral science of the schools and to confess that it affords no adequate conception of the Divine justice. Now if it appears from all that is seen in nature and in providence, that God's ways are not equal in the dispensation of justice among men, how can any one affirm from all that is seen or known that it will be otherwise hereafter in another world! And what on this hypothesis comes of the foundation of natural religion and moral science! [73]

      But, how does Mr. Combe overcome the difficulty which the Bishop admitted?--By denying the fact, or what is just tantamount, by assuming that justice is fully executed here--that virtue is always adequately rewarded and vice fully punished. We shall quote the passage--"Mr. Robert Forsythe in his work on moral science has stated the objection to Butler's line of argument in strong terms. "If, says he, God has established a world in which justice is not accomplished, by what analogy, or on what grounds do we infer that any other world of his creation will be free from this imperfection. Butler would answer, because justice is an attribute of the Divine mind! The opponents however reply:--How do you know it is so? We know the Deity only through his works; and if you concede the justice is not accomplished in their administration, the legitimate inference is, that justice is not one of his attributes, at least the inference that it is one of them is not logical;" "to this difficulty," says Mr. Combe, "it is of great importance to moral science to find a valid answer, and the most satisfactory to my mind would be one that shews that the Divine Ruler actually does execute justice here, and that therefore we are entitled to infer that he will be just hereafter; and such, accordingly, is the argument which I respectfully propose to maintain.

      Mr. Combe in commendation of this view of the subject, observes that this is the "right clew to the moral government of the world which removes many perplexities out of the way." It is obvious, then, that he bases his moral science on the proposition "that God actually does execute justice here"--that here virtue is always fully rewarded and vice fully punished; for if they were but partially remunerated, justice would not be executed.

      Now is this the fact? If it be, his moral science stands firm: if not, it falls to the ground. His proofs and illustrations we shall quote, so far as to give a faithful representation of them. To explain certain anomalous appearances and to prepare the way for his proof he lays down the following:

      "The laws which regulate the action of inanimate matter operate purely as physical influences, independently of the moral or religious character of those whom they affect. Thus if six persons be travelling in a coach, and if it break down through insufficiency of the axle, or any similar cause, they will be projected against external objects according to the impetus communicated to their bodies, by the previous motion of the vehicle; exactly as if they had been inanimate substances of the same texture and materials. Their virtues or their vices will not modify the physical influences which impel or resist them. The cause of the accident is simply not the displeasure of God against the individual [74] men for their sins, but the physical imperfection of the vehicle. If one break a leg, another an arm, a third his neck, and a fourth escape unhurt, the difference of result is to be ascribed solely to the difference of the mechanical operation of the coach upon their bodies, according to the difference of size, weight and position, or to a difference in the objects against which they are projected; one falling against a stone, and another alighting upon the turf. The whole calamity in such a case is to be viewed simply as a punishment for not attending to the physical laws: for neglecting to have a coach sufficiently strong." Yet this punishment indicates "no displeasure of God against the individual men for their sins." He that got his neck broke, and he that fell upon the elastic turf ought to be equally thankful to God, inasmuch as neither the particular virtue of the one, nor the particular vice of the other, was at all contemplated in the transaction. Thus we are taught that the punishment of violations of the physical laws springs not from the displeasure of God, consequently the rewarding of obedience is equally without his approbation. Can that, then, be a display of the justice of God that is neither a token of approbation nor disapprobation! Can that be punishment which indicates no displeasure? Or that reward which gives no evidence of approbation?

      This circumstance, it will be remembered, is brought up either to illustrate or prove that justice is fully administered in this life. A physical law is broken and it is punished. Six persons broke the law, and only one of them had his neck broke. But A that fell upon the turf and B that was dashed upon the rock, broke the same law. Why then, the inequality of their punishment! Where does the justice appear! As they were equal in violating the law, ought they not to have been equal in suffering the penalty. But Mr. Combe would say they are equally thrown out of the coach, and that was the full penalty for going into it, and what happened to them after they were thrown out, occurred by mere accident and was not punishment at all--no token of the displeasure of God! Where then is the justice still? For it may be supposed that A who fell upon the turf weighed 200 lbs, and B that fell upon the rock only weighed 120 lbs. Now it was the extra average weight of A that broke the axle, and involved B and the others in the calamity, and yet, he fell upon the turf and suffered no pain whatever.--Is this justice? or is the whole offence expiated merely by the fall without any regard to the effects of the fall upon the individuals? If the mere fall upon the earth be the punishment of the physical law, what other law is honored by the respective effects of that fall upon the individuals? Here the philosopher falters.--Justice is not administered in the case. The most innocent man of the six suffers the greatest [75] calamity, and the most guilty the least. A most fatal exemplification of the proposition that no one can violate any law, physical, organic or moral, without suffering the penalty annexed to the transgression of it: and equally fatal to the assumption that justice is fully executed here. It will not do for Mr. Combe to say that this is not precisely the case he made out, for his illustration admits of such a variety of incident as I have supposed, and such a one happens as often as any other.

      But we shall hear him exemplify his argument by a transgression of the organic laws.

      "If," says he, "we labor too intensely with our minds, we exhaust our brains, impair digestion and destroy sleep. We soon render our brains, which are the organs of the mind, incapable of action: and finally we ore visited with lassitude, imbecility, palsy, apoplexy and death." Here again are five punishments of the same species of transgression, it may be in five or more distinct persons. Where, in this case, is the equality? One suffers lassitude, another imbecility, another palsy, another apoplexy and another death. And yet there is no displeasure in all this--and still it is a punishment for the violation of the organic laws of our own system.

      But we must have another case from the third code of laws as an example of violations of moral law. The propensity of acquisitiveness, which, like all the propensities and appetites, is blind, he places in five distinct attitudes--without intellect, with intellect, without morality, with intellect and consciousness, but without benevolence, with intellect and consciousness and benevolence to guide its actions. He instances the results in each of these cases.--Acquisitiveness in an infant or an idiot without the guidance of intellect; gathers trifles, things of no value; controlled by intellect, it acquires good property, valuable articles. Without morality, it takes the property of others--with morality, so far as mere moral justice is concerned, it acquires property; honestly, but for selfish purposes--but guided by benevolence, veneration and the higher moral impulses, property is acquired for benevolent ends and distributed to the great good of society and to the happiness of the donor.

      The results of each of these movements of acquisitiveness are according to Mr. Combe, the reward of obedience and disobedience to the moral laws under which man is placed by his Creator. These are the example, or at least a fair and full sample of the cases chosen by himself in demonstration of the proposition that justice is executed in this world; that here virtue is fully rewarded and vice fully punished. Any other rewards or punishments than these, belong not to phrenology or moral science as based upon its expositions of the constitution, of man. The Bible, Mr. [76] Combe intimates, may indicate other results; but moral science as based on his philosophic theory of the physical and moral constitution of man, affords no countenance, nor support to such a view of the subject.

      I have time at present, only to state two leading objections to this system of moral science. Doubtless others will occur to those who are pleased to bestow upon it a full examination.

      1. It is at war with the radical, and, I believe, almost universal conception of justice;--that it should be discriminating and not wholesale--that every individual should not only be rewarded and punished for obedience and disobedience, but according to obedience and disobedience.--The predominating error in this theory appears to be that mere reward and mere punishment are substituted for adequate reward and adequate punishment. This is a capricious and whimsical sort of justice. But it is all that can be expected from a general system. Indeed the grand defect in Mr. Combo's theory, is, that it excludes a special providence, and the whole system of special rewards and punishments in the ratio of obedience and disobedience. It admits of great inequalities of talent, capacity, fidelity, and allows of great inequalities of virtue and vice, and, excepting the inward state of the feelings, dispenses the same rewards and punishments to all--nay, frequently permits the comparatively innocent to suffer, while the hardened, more reckless and daring sinner escapes. The moral universe with Mr. Combe is one great eight day or eight thousand year clock, which after it was wound up by its maker, was permitted to run on without any interference on his part, till the weights run down. In asserting that a general system is the only one which phrenology teaches, Mr. Combe is certainly correct; but that very assertion, when fully comprehended, most satisfactorily demonstrates that a correct and true system of moral science can never be grafted on the science of phrenology, any more than on the metaphysical system which now waxeth old and is ready to vanish away.

      My second objection to Mr. Combe's phrenological moral science is;--By asserting that justice is executed in the present world, he not only asserts that which contradicts very general experience, but also denies the possibility of future rewards and punishments at all. The rewards and punishments being adequate and complete in this life, there is nothing to reward or punish hereafter. So far then as the moral science of phrenology is concerned, there is no future reward of virtue, no future punishment of sin. Who does not see that if God has so executed justice in this world, as to reward and punish adequately in all his moral administrations; if every transgression and disobedience has here received a just recompence of reward, there is nothing to reward, nothing to punish after death. The account [77] is exactly balanced at death and every man retires from the drama of life just as he appeared upon the stage at first.

      Phrenology, then, like the old philosophy, ends with the grave. The animals that perish, and man, "the lord of the fowl and the brute," alike leave this world out of debt and out of credit. Such a system is not adapted to the wants of humanity--the organs of hope, and of caution have no adequate objects on earth suited to animate or restrain man according to the exigencies and conditions of his present existence, according to the longings and aspirations of his nature.

      Both the old philosophy and the new alike fail in animating virtue and restraining vice. They have no consolation for the afflicted, no oil of joy and gladness for the broken and dejected in spirit. They have no bright scenes of future bliss, no heart cheering visions of infinite and eternal good for those who are ready to perish under one or more of the thousand nameless ills and evils of this life. Nor have they arguments or restraints to curb the violence of human passion, to subdue and tame the lions and tigers of the human heart. They fail in furnishing a correct theory of human life, in presenting a perfect standard of human action, as they do in authority, in obligation and in motives adequate to all the demands and conditions of humanity. Hence, no one has been reformed from the waywardness of folly, no one has been reclaimed from the paths of vice and iniquity, and constrained to tread the paths of righteousness and life by all the arguments and inducements of all the systems and schools of moral suasion in all the languages and ages of the world.

      These systems and their authors take no account of the catastrophe that has befallen humanity. They assume that man is now in that same state of nature in which God originally made and placed him. They contemplate neither a preternatural nor a supernatural condition of human nature. Their best reasonings are full of doubt on man's origin, nature, relations and destiny. Concerning moral obligation and the chief good there have been innumerable theories, sects and discords. Even, now, notwithstanding all the plagiarisms on the Bible, and comminglings of revelation and philosophy, the wisest and greatest masters of the Christian schools of moral science, are divided on the very elements of moral obligation, the criterion of virtue, the soul of moral science. The whole body of ethics, whether Christian or heathen ethics, is a dead carcass without a clearly ascertained and fixed moral obligation.

      Here we have the celebrated Grotius and Dr. Samuel Clark and other Rabbis, learnedly descanting upon the "eternal fitness of things" from which to abstract the essence of moral obligation. There we have the ingenious Cudworth, Butler and Price eloquently and plausibly expatiating on the charms and beauties of [78] heaven-born virtue, thence eliciting the remote elements of all voluntary obligation, affirming that a single glimpse of the divine beauties and loveliness of virtue is itself all-sufficient to woo the affections of the human heart and to control the waywardness of human passion.

      Lord Shaftsbury and Dr. Hutchison in another niche in the Pantheon of the virtues, affirm that the roots and grounds of all moral obligation are found in the moral sense itself; and this moral sense, sometimes less learnedly called conscience, is, with those doctors, a sort of instinctive principle which naturally abhors evil and delights in good--others have traced all moral obligation in its ultimate principle to the desire of happiness--others, to the sovereign will of God, and some, with Voltaire, Diderot and D'Alembert found it all in custom. Their doctrine is, that "all ideas of justice and injustice, of virtue and vice, of glory and infamy are purely arbitrary and dependent on custom."

      Upon the whole, the provisions of moral philosophy are not adequate to the wants of humanity. We are thus placed under a happy constraint to look for a clearer and more intelligible standard of duty; a higher and a holier authority to enforce, and stronger, more enduring, and more animating motives to impel to action; more vivid, sublime and soul-enrapturing scenes, to inspire our hopes and fears, than Philosophy, either mental or moral, knows any thing of. The Bible, alone admirably corrects what is erroneous, and supplies what is wanting in every point where human reason and human science fail. The civilized world, if there be such a one, are just but being convinced of the momentous fact, that the most splendid schemes of moral culture, based on moral philosophy, without the teachings and sanctions of the Bible, are but splendid cheats, and sublime abortions. The sons of true science in all Protestant Christendom are but awaking to the all-important fact that the Bible and its evidences, the Bible and its precepts, the Bible and its promises, the Bible and its threatenings, the Bible and its awful, fearful, and glorious sanctions is the only rational, complete and perfect text book that can be with perfect safety and with any reasonable ground of hope adopted in any school, high or low, which contemplates a rational and moral system of education.

      In strongly affirming this conviction, we do not disparage either mental or moral science. The present crisis demands, and a good education requires, an intimate acquaintance with the best human productions on the animal, intellectual, and moral powers and capacities of man. So far as these productions develope or apply the true principles of mental and moral science, without presuming to originate them, so far they may be used advantageously, in the hands of proper instructors, in accomplishing [79] youth to fill the most useful, responsible and honorable stations in the world.

      Even the detection and the exposure of the errors of those systems is an essential part of a good education at the present moment, in advancing the progress of civilization. The correction of a single radical error, for example, in such works as Combe on the "Constitution of Man;" in Watts on the "Improvement of the Mind;" in Butler's "Analogy;" in Lord Brougham's "Natural Theology;" Babbage's ninth 'Bridgewater Treatise;' and in various other such works of great, literary and scientific merit, would be to every student and lover of true science, a very important and a very acceptable service.

      To illustrate this last suggestion by another reference to Combe's "Moral Science" and "Constitution of Man," I would remark that these works, so far as they respect the physical and intellectual constitution of man, so far as they treat on the constitution of nature, as adopted to that physical condition of man, are, in my judgment, worthy of being read and even studied with considerable advantage to the students and lovers of true science. Now the points on which Mr. Combe, in my judgment, errs, may, even upon the principles suggested in the works themselves, be demonstrated to be aberrations from his own premises and analogies. His capital mistake, as it seems, is that he takes for granted that man is now, what he always was--that he has never fallen; and that therefore the disorder and maladaptation of his moral faculties as connected with his animal appetites and propensities, are as much the creation of God now, as the first man was. And yet it would require, methinks, but a moderate effort of his liberal ideality, to find such a perfect head, such an harmonious supremacy of the intellectual and moral faculties, as to have made moral perfection as natural to man as imperfection now seems to be. If idiocy, on his premises, be the result of a falling off in the intellectual development, in the mal-organization of certain portions of the brain, on the same principle then, why may not moral imbecility in the whole species, be resolvable into a similar falling off in the due development of those organs which he has figuratively called the moral powers, but which in fact are but the physical instruments by which the mind operates. If, moreover, a good or a bad organisation in the inferior powers be, as he avers, transmissible for many generations, what principle, in his own philosophy, forbids that the same law should not hold good from Adam till now, as respects the superior organs of the human system.

      But to return:--if the art of living well cannot be deduced from those sciences, there are at least two arts of great importance which essentially depend upon them, or perhaps rather, are mainly [80] to be deduced from them:--these are the art of teaching and the art of reasoning.

      Of the art of reasoning, as dependant on the proper analysis of our powers of acquiring and communicating knowledge, as emanating directly from the science of mental philosophy, we cannot now speak. A few remarks on the art of teaching, as deducible from the premises already before us, must close our present address.

      Of the mental and moral philosophers of the last century, none are more deservedly reputable than Stuart and Brown of Edinburgh. According to them, the supreme advantage of mental philosophy is, the aids and facilities which it affords to the projection and establishment of a proper system of education. Hence any important change in the philosophy of human nature has given birth to a corresponding change in the systems of education. An improved philosophy of man, will, of course, introduce an improved system of education. The old and the new school of mental and moral philosophy very remarkably concur in affirming "the most essential objects of education are the two following:--First, to cultivate all the various principles of our nature, both speculative and active, in such a manner as to bring them to the greatest perfections of which they are susceptible; and secondly, by watching over the impressions and associations which the mind receives in early life, to secure it against the influence of prevailing errors; and, as far as possible, to engage its prepossessions on the side of truth. It is only upon a philosophical analysis of the mind that a systematical plan can be founded for the accomplishment of either of these purposes."1 So affirms the most distinguished incumbent of the Chair of mental science in the University of Edinburgh. And yet Stuart farther observes that so late as the close of the last century, he did not know that in any language or country, "an attempt had been made to analyze and illustrate the principles of human nature, in order to lay a philosophical foundation for the proper culture." Since the commencement of the present century, however, some such attempts have been made.

      Our College has been founded with a special reference to these facts. It is the offspring of a deep and long established conviction that the theory and practice of education are yet greatly behind the onward progress of the age, and that to improve education and to adapt it to the philosophy of human nature, is, of all human means, the most likely to improve and reform the world. We have, therefore, entered upon the arduous task with a firm resolution, to make, as far as ascertained, the true science [81] of human nature in all its powers, speculative and active, not merely the basis, but the rule and measure of that course of instruction which shall be prosecuted in this Institution. As light to the eye and music to the ear, so should education be adapted to the physical, intellectual and moral powers and susceptibilities of man.

      In the present improved state of human knowledge, a better definition of education may, perhaps, be given, than even that of Dugald Stewart. With us the chief object of education is not the acquisition of knowledge. It consists not in mere literature and science. Many of those greatly learned and scientific men of the most distinguished schools were fit neither for the present world, nor for that which is to come. Their great learning disqualified them for heaven or earth.

      With us education has primary regard to the formation of habits, more than to the acquisition of knowledge; more in teaching a person the use of himself than in teaching him to use the labors of others. We define education to be the development and improvement of the physical, intellectual and moral powers of man, with a reference to his whole destiny in the Universe of God.

      We contemplate man as coming into the world without an idea and without a habit, preadapted for such a world as this, but having every thing to learn, and having in his constitution elements and principles that prompt him to look beyond the confines both time and sense, for the complete development and enjoyment of his own mysterious and wonderful being. Not only the whole constitution, but the whole destiny of man, most therefore be contemplated in every scheme of education adapted to the wants and wishes of humanity. The human constitution must be considered not only in reference to all its parts, but also to their relative importance. His animal constitution must, indeed, be taken into the account, because the sana mens is found only in sano corpore,e but it must be held subordinate to his intellectual, and both of these to his moral nature: for as his moral and social nature is his chief honor and his chief happiness, the expansion and cultivation of these attributes and capacities of his constitution will always command the supreme regard of those competent to the delightful task of instructing and training man in full harmony with his whole destiny in creation.--And when we speak of the whole destiny of man, we comprehend his relations to society, both now and forever; his exact position in that Universe of which he is both so humble and so conspicuous a part.

      Under the Divine government, which is that of both general and special laws, every defect in education meets with a corresponding chastisement. Is physical instruction and training [82] neglected? Is the child allowed to grow up ignorant of the physical and organic laws of its own being; and allowed to transgress them without admonition? Some fatal functional, or organic derangement, or a premature decay of the whole system, is the immediate penalty. Is the cultivation and training of his intellect neglected? Mental feebleness and general incompetency for the business of life, is the inevitable consequence. But is moral culture neglected? The result is still more fatal, because it involves the whole ruin of man, body, soul and spirit, and of his whole interests, temporal, spiritual and eternal.

      When according to the best statistics within our reach, we subtract the victims of defective or bad education from the mass of those fashionably called the liberally, educated, the proportion lost is of a fearful magnitude, compared with the portion saved to society. Almost three sevenths of that class die under thirty years of age, the prey of disease and physical irregularities, which a few timousf lessons might have prevented. Or they fall a prey to vicious and licentious habits of life, which soon despatch them to the grave. Two-sevenths of the remainder, who may live to advanced age, are public nuissances to society, because of the blighting and pestiferous influence of their flagitious example to youth. Of the remaining two-sevenths the more honorable posts of society are filled up; and their duties discharged with more or less honor to themselves and advantage to the community.

      Now there is neither physical nor moral necessity for such a state of things. Let education be only in harmony with the present philosophy of human nature; let it be what the most perfect analysis of our constitution says it ought to be; let it embrace the whole man, and the whole range of his powers of doing and enjoying good; let it communicate sound instruction, enforce good examples, and practise moral training by all the appliances of language, science, art, according to the best models, under the supremacy of the moral sentiments and the moral obligations of our nature, and society will be blessed with a superior order of men, with men of a brighter intellectual and moral polish, of greater force and energy of character; of greater power to advance the various interests of the community, to promote the glory of God, and the lasting good and happiness of mankind.

      Such is the great and benevolent end proposed in the erection of this new literary and moral institution. For which reason we have selected a rural location, because more favorable to health, to morals, and to study, than the associations of either town or city.

      Without going into a specification of a complete course of study, we shall for the present, only say, that it is designed to keep pace with all the improvements of this rapidly progressive age, in [83] every branch of education; and to have to meet and cluster here all the advantages requisite to the full development and improvement of human nature, according to the present advanced state of literature, science and civilization.

      On one point only we shall farther speak with a clear and definite emphasis: It is agreed, almost universally agreed--in Europe and America--that intellectual culture; without moral, is rather a misfortune and a curse than a blessing to every society. We shall therefore place moral worth and moral excellence of character in the highest place, and make every thing subordinate, as but a means to that sublime and lofty end. In every department in this institution a supreme and sovereign regard shall be paid to the formation of a pure and irreproachable character.

      We are peculiarly favored with means, we humbly hope, adequate to that end. Our Trustees in regular attendance, and the Faculty of this Institution are all of one mind on this subject. They will cordially co-operate in this and every other great object, favorable to the true interest--the improvement, the health and the happiness of all the youth of the College. The young gentlemen now in attendance, so far as good recommendations can assure us, are well disposed to submit to such a course of instruction and training, intellectual and moral, as will further the great objects contemplated in the erection of this Seminary. We therefore commence under auspices every way favorable in all these respects. And under that blessing of heaven, without which all human efforts are unavailing, we do hope to achieve for ourselves, our friends, and the community, great and good results to be held in long and grateful remembrance.

      But before I sit down, I have a word to say to the students, now in attendance.--Young gentlemen, it has fallen to your lot, I hope it may prove to every one of you one of the most fortunate events of your youth, a subject not only of present but of future congratulation; I say, it has fallen to your lot to become the first fruits of Bethany College. I cannot express to you in ordinary terms the deep solicitude I feel for your individual improvement and for your general advancement in literature, science and moral excellence. I always knew that I was placing myself in a very responsible attitude to the community, in attempting to establish a new literary and moral Institution, adapted to the wants and wishes of this community--to man as an animal, intellectual, moral being; destined to a transient and active life here, and to an endless life hereafter. But deep as this sense and feeling of responsibility was in the commencement and progress of this undertaking, it has become much deeper and more oppressive since, than before your arrival. When I look around [84] me here and see so many young gentlemen convened from North to South, from East to West, sent from their homes, from the immediate personal attention, oversight and guardianship of their parents, and entrusted to our care and protection; having your health, general education and moral culture entrusted to our direction and management, I feel more than ever penetrated with a profound and unerring sense of my own responsibility, and that of the Faculty and Trustees of this Institution. I feel honored, indeed, with the confidence, your parents and guardians have reposed in myself, as well as my co-adjutors, in confiding your destiny so far into our hands. I can only say that our wishes and intentions to promote your thorough education, in the full import of that term, so far as the time of your continuance here will allow, do not only concur with their views and expectations; but that our best efforts, and most assiduous attentions shall be called forth to promote your thorough and substantial improvement, honor and happiness in every way in our power, so far as a faithful and conscientious regard to the duties of my office can avail to that end.

      Much, indeed, will depend on you for the future success of our endeavors. You stand to this Institution in the same relation that the first born or a family does to all his junior brothers. The younger members of the family look up to him for a model of what they ought to be. If his example be a good and happy one, the parents will find I comparatively, an easy task to govern the whole household; but if his be an adverse and unfriendly one, it will increase their troubles an hundred fold. You will then regard yourselves as about to exert a very great influence in forming the character and in giving a favorable turn to the manners of this institution. We shall all feel ourselves greatly indebted to you, should you, as we fondly hope you will, co-operate with us in this most useful, commendable and noble enterprize. You will also perceive that this very circumstance will exact from the Faculty of this Institution a very strict attention to the whole details of your behaviour in every department of your conduct. They cannot but perceive and feel the responsibility that devolves upon them, in reference to the examples and habits that are to be formed this first year of our existence. They must see to it that good examples are established at the very beginning of our career, and therefore a very strict attention to this part of the duties of their office and to your demeanor is to be expected. We are aware that the too lax discipline of this age, domestic, scholastic and ecclesiastic, will impose upon us and upon you in the outset a greater degree of vigilance and effort than under more propitious auspices would have been necessary. A due allowance on our part, and on yours, must therefore be made in reference to [85] these circumstances, and in a little time the wheels of our whole literary and moral machinery, well oiled, will perform their regular revolutions without a screak or a jar.

      Allow me, young gentlemen, to add that such is my confidence in the good sense, good intentions and good feelings, as well as in the zeal and abilities of my fellow laborers, to promote your true interests here, and such are my hopes and anticipations of your devotion to your studies and to the formation of good habits, that I do flatter myself that we shall make not only a good and propitious commencement, but that we shall rapidly advance to a high and honorable standing amongst the literary institutions of our country and the age.

      In accomplishing all our views and desires, much, very much, I again repeat, must in every view of the case depend upon you. Should this Institution speedily become what we desire and intend to make it, it will be eminently through your instrumentality during your collegiate course. And, gentlemen, may I not say in conclusion, and in anticipation of the high destiny of Bethany College, that it would be to you through life and in the zenith of its fame, a pleasing reflection that you helped to lay the foundation of its good fortune and high renown by such a course of study and behavior, as not only secured to yourselves stations of great utility and honor, but which also elevated your alma materg to a rank and an influence that made her an honor to the age, and a blessing to the world. [86]

      1 Stuart's Elements of the philosophy of the human mind. Vol. 1. page 14. Cambridge Edition--1833. [81]

      a These are, respectively, Charles Stuart, Professor of Algebra and General Mathematics, and W. W. Eaton, Professor of English Literature. See Millennial Harbinger (1841): 377-378 and (1842): 34-36. [E. S.]
      b Colossians 2:8. [E. S.]
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;            
The proper study of mankind is man.
--Alexander Pope,
Essay on Man, Epistle II, 1, 2.   [E.S.]

Facilis descensus Averni; The descent to Avernus is easy;
Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis;       Night and day Pluto's gates are open;      
Sed revocare gradum,
      superasque evadere ad auras,
But to recall your steps,
      and climb to the upper air,
Hoc opus, hic labor est. That is the toil, that is the work.
--Publius Vergilius Maro --Vergil
The Aeneid, VI, 126-129. [E. S.]

      e "Mens sana in corpore sano." "A sound mind in a sound body."--Juvenal, Satires, X, 356. John Locke, in Some Thoughts on Education, § I, writes, "A sound mind in a sound body, is a short but full description of a happy state of this world." [E. S.]
      f According to Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, "TIMOUS, a. Early; timely; not innate." [E. S.]
      g Latin, "foster mother"; college or university which one has attended. [E. S.]


[IABC 61-86.]

[Table of Contents]
[Previous] [Next]
Alexander Campbell, et al.
Bethany College Addresses (1841)

Back to Alexander Campbell Page
Back to Restoration Movement Texts Page