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trious minds, and their employments are worthy of their faculties; and every object which occupies them renders the impress of heavenly beauty more deep, and thus they are undergoing a perpetual transition froin glory to glory. When a youth of exalted intellect is removed from earth to heaven, it suggests the reflection that in that world of light, all flourish in immortal youth; and even those who have descended through the vale of age, into the yet deeper valley of death, have come out of that valley in the glory of a complete intellectual and spiritual renovation.
But while the occasional appearance of these intellectual prodigies doubtless has its important uses in the government of God, let it not be forgotten that every such case is attended with some peculiar dangers. We will notice two of the most important.
There is danger to the bodily health. It often happens that a mind of the highest order is found inhabiting a tenement of unusual frailty; and unless the tenement be carefully guarded, it will inevitably go prematurely to ruin. There is an inward fire in the spirit that consumes the vital energies; and while we are yet gazing at some glorious young genius, we are called to write his epitaph. Mason from his earliest childhood had a feeble frame; and while the operations of his mind were most vigorous and intense, his ruling passion led him to the most imprudent exposures, and what was little better than trifling with his delicate constitution; and under this double influence, it was not strange that he came so early to his grave. Young men of superlative genius are under special obligations to guard their health ; partly from the greater ability which they possess to render good service to their generation, and the consequently increased value of their lives, and partly from the fact, that they have to encounter some untoward influences arising from the more intense action of the mind upon the body, from which others are exempt. There is a voice from the grave of Mason charging every highly gifted young man, and indeed every one who is bent upon the highest cultivation of his powers, sacredly to guard his health, and to take care that his intellectual pursuits are not at the expense of an emaciated frame and a broken constitution. It is a debt which he owes to himself, to his friends, to his country, to his race—that so far as it is in his power, he preserve his physical vigor unabated; for, so long as the mind is connected with the body and acts through bodily organs, it must depend in no small degree on the health of the body for the success of its operations.
And there is yet greater danger in reference to his spiritual and immortal interests,-greater, as the interests at stake are more momentous. There is reason to hope that Mason was no stranger to the influence of eternal things; and that the mind which was here trained to such sublime excursions, is now prosecuting its researches into the works of God in a brighter light, and on a nobler field of observation. Nevertheless, it cannot be doubted that the intensity of his devotion to scientific pursuits, lessened his general spirituality of character, and that a portion of the time which he spent in gazing at the visible heavens, had better have been spent in communion with his Heavenly Father. True, indeed, there is nothing in science in itself considered that is adverse to the influence of Christianity,“on the contrary, science supplies to a rightly disciplined spirit the materials of devotion; and this is pre-eminently true of astronomy, which has in it every thing to exalt the Creator, and to abase man at his feet. And yet science, even astronomy, may so engross the whole man that God shall be forgotten in the pursuit ; or if he be not entirely forgotten, shall receive but a partial and divided homage. If we mistake not, the fact to which we here refer is often illustrated in the experience of religious students in our colleges. They suffer themselves to be so engrossed by their daily studies, that they find less time than they ought for daily devotion; while at the same time, they apologize to their consciences that necessity constrains them to be diligent, and that they are occupied in preparation for future usefulness. If the secrets of many a pious student's heart were revealed, we doubt not that it would appear that his best religious enjoyments were previous to his entering college; and that in proportion as the fire of ambition had kindled, the fire of devotion had gone out.
We have made these remarks, not with an intention to repress a suitable zeal on the part of religious students in the pursuit of science and literature, but only to put them on their guard against perverting the advantages of their situation to the neglect of their higher interests. Let them remember that it is altogether at too great an expense that they become accomplished scholars, and bear away the highest collegiate honors, if they thereby lose in any degree their evidence of the divine favor or their interest in eternal things. Let them study diligently, earnestly, but in all their studies let God be acknowledged, and let every new attainment be consecrated to his service. And let those who make no pretensions to Christian character, remember that this character must become theirs, else neither the purpose of their lives is gained, nor the salvation of their souls secured; and let them bear in mind that science, literature, any thing that takes complete possession of the soul to the exclusion of eternal things, will operate as a barrier between them and heaven. Learning in itself is a noble endowment, but unsanctified learning, ill directed learning, can never be a blessing to its possessor.
In taking leave of this book, we feel that we have done it but imperfect justice in the brief sketch which we have now given. We have been able to deal only in generals, whereas the book deals in particulars; and those who will estimate the character as it deserves, must not be contented with any thing short of Professor Olmsted's description of it. It is well that the writing of the memoir was confided to such hands; and we doubt not that the manner in which he has done his work will secure to him the approbation and gratitude, not only of his own generation, but of posterity.
CONFLICT OF LAWS-OF CHURCH AND State.
We are obliged, in the present case, either to depart from our rule as to giving the author's name, or to deprive our readers of the valuable thoughts of our respected correspondent. We reluctantly choose the former, after vain efforts to overcome the extreme modesty of the author and his reluctance to write for the public in any other way than anonymously.
His legal acquirements, however, are such as to secure for him a high judicial station, and to qualify him for speaking by authority on the points discussed in the subsequent article. The views are striking, and worthy the consideration of every
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citizen, and more especially of every minister of the gospel in this country, of every denomination.
This, and the discussion of the biblical question in the last number of the Repository, have thrown up a munition of rock around the right of a man to marry the sister of his deceased wife, which it will require a strong battery to demolish. Ed.
Union of Church and State is a partisan alarm-cry, frequently raised without cause, in apparent stupidity, for sinister purpose. The success which nevertheless attends it, proves the extreme sensitiveness of the public mind to the slightest indication of danger from this quarter. Frightful indeed must have been the mischief which has left such an indelible impression of dread upon the memory of mankind.
Conflict of Church and State has made no such impression ; it is not among even our imaginary perils: but history teaches us, there have been evils from this source, and wisdom admonishes us to be guarded against them. Power over conscience, is a tremendous power; it has been employed sometimes through ignorance and delusion, sometimes through sincere conviction, often through unprincipled, calculating selfishness, for effecting great wickedness.
In this country, although fanaticism has not been wanting in zeal or effort to excite, under pretence of religion, the energies of conscience against state institutions, the church has discreetly confined itself within its own province. Having for its great work, the salvation of men, it has wisely refused to suffer any obstacle to be placed in its way of access to them; it has not sought, for the sake of its own greatness, to exercise lordship or authority; but it has, to a greater or less extent, recognised the vital principle of usefulness,—to become the servant of all, if by all means it may save some. With respect to the civil power, it keeps in view its divine Teacher and his doctrines
Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you ?”—“My kingdom is not of this world.”_"The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors; but ye shall not be so." — “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers : for there is no power but of God : the powers that be are ordained of God :" “ wherefore ye must needs be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake." _“The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil who are taken captive by him at his will." - Who would suppose, that there had ever been lust and strife of the church for power? Yet, looking in this direction, what havoc do we see of the rights and welfare of man! what desolation of intellect, and morals, and all good! It is not by conflict of laws, nor by acts of power, that the church can expect to promote just government, but by enlightening and purifying, through a preached gospel, the minds and consciences of men: it is through“ supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks made for all men, for kings and for all that are in authority;" its members must "lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty.”_" Seek the peace of the city, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof ye shall have peace.”
An occurrence some years ago at Princeton illustrates this point. A groundless complaint was made that the wagon conveying the United States mail, had been stopped at that place on the Sabbath by virtue of a law of New Jersey ; implicating certain distinguished individuals of the Presbyterian church, known as steadfast maintainers of the sanctity of the Lord's DAY. These individuals felt it to be their duty not merely to absolve themselves from the implication, but to inquire, and give a public account of the transaction, refuting the complaint. The ground of the complaint was, the putting of the law of a state in conflict with a law of the United States, being of superior authority; it was intended through this complaint covertly to assail the church as instigating to this course; the refutation was designed to remove all surmise of this kind. Here was more than an acknowledgment, that the church should not permit itself to have law in conflict with the law of the land; it was acted on, as principle, that the church could not, with propriety, abet the putting of a law of an individual State in conflict with a law of the United States, but must take knowledge, and acquiesce in the superior authority of the latter ; although conscientiously approving the state law, and disapproving the law of the United States, as a palpable violation of the divine commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy."