« PoprzedniaDalej »
The following remarks upon the occasion of the deaths of the two late Ex-Pres
idents, having been originally written and delivered in the form of a sermon bý one of the contributors to this Magazine, and seeing no substantial reason for preferring any other form, we insert them as they came into our hands. Ed.
2 SAMUEL I. 19.
How are the mighty fallen!
Facts yet fresh in your recol. || ation that the events to which I lection, brethren, sufficiently ex- have alluded, have awakened but plain my reasons for the choice of one train of feeling throughout the these words on the present occa- whole people of the United States. sion. Our two most distinguished All mourn equally, and equally fellow citizens, men whose exer- for each of the patriots who have tions have led to greater results fallen. The agitation of party for than perhaps any others of the a noment subsides, and every present age, have within a few man instinctively lays aside the days been gathered to their fath-badges of political distinction as
A remarkable train of he draws near to that grave which circumstances attending these is receiving to its bosom the veneevents, has seemed to me to inti- rated remains of the fathers of his mate that God has designed by them country, It is a moment inost to teach us some important and favourable. to national reflection. very definite lesson of instruction. The attempt to direct so universal This is my apology, if apology be a sensation to some profitable conneeded, for deviating so far from clusion, cannot surely be unworthy my usual practice, as to deyote aof a minister of the gospel of portion of this day to the conside- || Jesus Christ. ration of aught which does not It is my design this afternoon bear directly upon the great ques- briefly to enumerate the services, tion of your soul's salvation. and sketch the characters of the
I am yet more encouraged to two late Presidents of the United attempt an improvement of the States, and then direct your atpresent occasion, by the consider- tention to such reflections as seem Sept. 1826.
most naturally to arise out of the y tions in the councils of their nacircumstances of their lives and tive country. Each in the order their deaths.
of age, was called to the highest John Adams and Thomas Jef- office in the gift of the people ; FERSON, entered upon active life each was at the head of a powerful during the most eventful period and opposing political party, and of this country's history, at the each retired from office, followed commencement of that contest by the mingled praise and reprowhich led to our national inde-bation of his fellow citizens. pendence. The intellectual su- Both lived to see the animosity of periority of each was immediately party disappear, and to receive, in discovered, and each shone with a greater share than has fallen to distinguished brilliancy in that the lot of any other man, Washconstellation of pre-eminent talentington only excepted, all the bomwith which the native State of age which the world could render each was at that time illuminated to talents and to virtue. Both Both took an active part in the have lived to behold the principles
evolutionary measures adopted which they so ably advocated, by their respective Colonial Legis- and which but for them had perlatures, both were members of the haps never prevailed, triumph in first Continental Congress, both another portion of this vast contistood in the
among nent, and agitate the nations of the great men of whom that as- Europe with aspirations after libsembly was composed, and no as-erty. Both lived to witness that sembly on earth could ever boast of sun arise which ushered in the greater, both were members of the second half century after the sig. committee for drafting the Decla- nature of the declaration of inderation of Independence : they pendence, and ere that sun had alone composed the sub-commit- descended, both had fallen asleeptee; the one drafted it, and the He who drafted the instrument, other seconded and most eloquent died on the hour in which it was ly supported the motion for its signed, and he who seconded the adoption ; and both in veriest truth, motion for its adoption, on the putting their hands to that memo- hour in which it was first promalrable instrument, pledged to the gated. support of it, their lives, and for
If great action indicate great tunes, and their sacred honour. talent, then has the human race
During the whole contest for numbered but few men more talour national independence, each ented than these. If it be in the in his different sphere devoted his power of man, nay, I had almost undivided efforts to the object of said of Providence itself
, to confer securing the liberties of this coun- distinction, then were these men try. Both were called to stations distinguished. If it be any glory of the utmost responsibility, and to lay the foundation of a mighty each so discharged every trust, as nation, and carry up the superto increase that confidence which structure at a crisis as appalling his fellow citizens had before re- as the world has ever seen; if it posed in him. Both were charged be any glory to impress a new and with important embassies to the a happier direction on the publick most distinguished courts of Eu- sentiment of the age, and pour rope, and conciliated the favour | the gladness of a brighter hope of nations hostile to each other, upon the destinies of futurity, towards these new Republics of then were the lives glorious of the the West. Both returned home two late Presidents of the United to fill yet more distinguished sta-Il States of America.
The talents of these illustrious || one, was the greater lawyer, the men, though of the highest order, other, the more original philosowere, in many respects, dissimi- | pher. Both were enthusiastic lar. Each was peculiarly formed admirers of ancient classics, and by Divine Providence for that sta- l specially of the ancient orators; tion which he was called to fill, but whilst the one occupied his and for the temperament of that leisure in the study of their people whom he was designed to ethics, the other surrendered himinfluence. If the almost meta-self at will, to the magic of their physical acuteness of the one, was| poetry, better fitted for the calculating As to their patriotism, it is imhabits of the North, the glowing possible to institute a comparison. imagination of the other, was bet-Patriotism is a disposition of mind ter adapted to the kindling impetu- of which the differences can only osity of the South. The power of be measured by a greater and the one, was more visible in the less.
But the patriotism of these firmness, that of the other, in the illustrious men admitted elasticity of his intellectual move-such distinction. Each consecrament. The one, was distinguish-ted his entire self to the publick ed for logical conclusion, the good.
no sacrifice other, for intuitive perception. which one would and the other The one, convinced by unanswer- would not have made for his coun. able argument, the other, by self-| try; for either of them, for that evident illustration, In the one, | country would have sacrificed all. the powers of the understanding|| Both at the commencement of the were more exclusive, in the other, || revolution relinquished the most they were more combined with flattering prospects when he einthose of the imagination. The barked in the cause of liberty ; natural bias of the one, was prob- | both stood unmoved and immoveably towards ethics, and that of able in the most fearful hour of the other, towards philosophy. This country's trial ; each afterwards The papers of Mr. Adams, signed pursued measures which he knew Novangalus, and published at the to be unpopular, because he becommencement of the Revolution, | lieved them to be wise ; and for legal erudition, for manly vig-|| after lives devoted exclusively to our, for subtle discrimination, and the publick service, and in situpolitical shrewdness, are surpass. |ations of confidential trust, the ed by nothing that I have ever one died in possession of bare seen in the English Language competence, and the other, under The philosophical works, and the many and distressing embarrassdiplomatic correspondence of Mr. inents. Jefferson, have taken the rank
As statesmen, they had differof acknowledged models in those ent views of the means by which species of composition.
the prosperity of this country Both were thoroughly learned, I might be most successfully advancbut their learning was of a differ- ed. The one looked with more ent character. The researches of favour upon commercial, the other, the one, were more confined with- upon agricultural enterprise. The in the limits of his original pro- bias of the one, was towards a more fession; those of the other, were efficient, and that of the other, more expanded over the wide towards a more popular form of field of human investigation. The civil constitution. It is someone, more remarkable for what remarkable, that the notions the depth, the other, for the ex-l of the one, though he lost his poptent of his acquisitions. The ularity, obtained, while those of
the other, though he retained his | out of several which might be preinfluence, have been abandoned. sented, would have accomplished No one at the present day will almost equal advantages from deny that they differed from hon either. est and patriotic conviction. In manners, both were emphatiThat powerful arguments may be cally simple and unostentatious, urged in favour of both of these and in the various relations of pricourses of national policy, no re-vate life both are represented to flecting man can doubt ; but which have been amiable and exemplary. is the true policy for this country, Each left his fainily and his own nothing but the experience of a immediate neighbourhood, the seat century can decide. It must de- of sincere and deepfelt lamentapend upon events which no being tion. Each, since his retirement but Omniscience foresee from publick life, has devoted himAnd even after this shall have self to the benefit of the rising been decided, it will perhaps be generation. The one has been equally impossible to declare for several years assiduously enwhich was 'endued with the far- gaged in organizing an university thest and most clear sighted fore- for his native State ; the other, cast ; for the attachment of each to from his own limited finances, has the one or other system, may very endowed an academy in his native fairly be attributed to the different town. place and the dissimilar associa- With the circumstances attendtions of their early education. ing the last moments of these il
They differed, perhaps, more as lustrious men, you are already politicians than in any other aspect well acquainted. I shall not, of character. The one, moved therefore, attempt to awaken your with inconceivable power the sympathies by their recital. The more visible ; the other, touched occasion does not demand it with incomparable address, the Every instance of mortality conmore occult springs of human ac-veys its own appropriate lesson ; tion. The one, felt with accuracy and though that lesson be always the vehement pulsation of publick solemn, it is not always, nor is it sentiment ; the other, observed in the present case, particularly with unerring tact, its finer pulsa- mournful. By a remarkable train tion. The talents of the one, of coincidences in the present inbold, vehement, and yet wary, stance, Divine Providence seems would have been more fully devel- to have designed to direct our atoped as the leader of an oppo- tention to some lesson of peculiar sition; while those of the other, instruction. Let us rather, then, equally bold, but collected and endeavour to improve the present foresighted, would have shone dispensation by deriving from it with more distinction at the head those admonitions which it is so of an administration. The one, evidently intended to convey. was liable to err from inflexi- 1. The lives of these two disbility of purpose ; the other, to be tinguished men, teach us then, in led astray by the brilliancy of a the first place, the evanescent nafirst conception. The first, un- ture of party excitement. bending in purpose, would have Many of you will very well rewrought out the greatest possible member, when these two men, amount of result from any measure whose memory we all so deeply and which he could have carried ; the universally revere, were the leaders other, inexhaustible in expedient, of violent and opposing parties, and if he could not carry one measure when each reaped his full share of would have carried another, and political adulation and political abuse. The success of the one politics. It seemed as though the over the other was celebrated with intellectual and moral vision of the intoxicated joy of a national Jour citizens was distorted, and deliverance, or deplored with nothing within the whole coinpass the bitter lanientation of a nation- l of knowledge could be seen but al calamity. And when the par- in its relation to the interests of ties which each had respectively party, An universal mania had led passed into other hands, the seized upon the whole commuwarfare was continued with una- | nity. The ordinary topics of conbated fury. Each was made in versation were tame, and the orhis retirement the object of un- dinary occupations of life uninterqualified abuse.
The spirit of esting, nay, the salvation of the party pervaded all ranks of so- soul itself seemed unimportant in ciety, and mingled its bitter waters comparison with the all absorbing with all the relations of civil question, which of these two politand domestic life. It kindled ical parties should be uppermost. into a flame the baser passions of the And now what has become of ignorant and vicious.
Our cities | all this mighty clamour ? Passed were disgraced with mobs, and in away, and we devoutly hope forsome cases polluted with blood. ever. Where are the causes for A line of distant, but decided sep- this wide spread commotion which aration was drawn between the threatened to shake our union to more intelligent adherents to the its centre ? I do not believe there two conflicting interests. A man' is one of
who can now rememmight expect that his bosom friend ber them. You are surprised to would look coldly upon him if he find that you could have imagined were bold enough to allow either so broad distinctions where there purity of motive, or wisdom of was so little difference, and deci. conduct, to the measures of his ded so promptly when there was opponents. The most intimate so much reason to hesitate. The ties of relationship were sundered. most zealous partizan among you The father was arrayed against is most ashamed of those actions the son, and the son against the in which he then most publickly father, a man's foes became those exulted. And how changed is of his own household. And yet the feeling of all of us towards more, I am ashamed to say, this the two illustrious leaders whose same spirit of party infused its death we deplore! Separated, hateful influences into the services though for a while they were in and devotions of the sanctuary of life, in their deaths they cannot God. You would hear a congre- be divided. The eulogy of the gation of imınortal beings, nay, one, is by the Providence of God you would hear pious men, asking of necessity, as well as of choice, concerning a minister of the gos- the eulogy of the other. Throughpel, not, Is he devout, but what out this whole continent their forare his politics ? The very sine mer adherents and their former qua non of his acceptability, was opponents bend over their comhis supporting their candidate, ap- mon grave without one discordant proving their measures ; and it was feeling in the weeds of undissemno serious disqualification if he bled sorrow, and render their were prepared, when the occasion homage of heartfelt admiration presented, to anathematize their equally to each. The man would opponents. And thus the pulpit not now be tolerated in any aswas desecrated by political philip- sembly of this country, who pics and personal abuse. Nothing should attempt to eulogize one could be heard or talked of butll at the expense of the other. So