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ing communion with God, his Creator and Redeemer. If students of nature fail of that way of life, it is not that science is evil, but man fallen."*
A word to Mr. Goodwin. We have seen how the universal laws of thought and language not merely justify but necessitate the language of this primitive, religious document: we have seen the explicit corroboration which modern science gives to its scientific and religious lessons; we have seen the first truths of theology confirmed, and put apparently beyond objection, by the latest results of scientific inquiry. Is it thus that theology “maintains but a shivering existence"? Is it thus that theology is “shouldered and jostled by the sturdy growths of modern thought”? Is it thus that theology has to bemoan itself “for the hostility which it encounters”? We know not what Mr. Goodwin's theology may be, that thus shivers, is jostled, and bemoans itself, unless he may refer to the crude and ignorant theology of those “Essays and Re
: views” to which he was a contributor.
* Science and the Bible, pp. 128, 129.
ARTICLE II.-REV. PROFESSOR FISHER'S DISCOURSE COMMEMORATIVE OF
OF PROFESSOR JOSIAH W. GIBBS, LL. D.
[PROFESSOR Josiah W. Gibbs, who has been from the first a frequent and valued contributor to the pages of this Quarterly, died in New Haven, March 25th. On the following Sunday, March 31st, Rev. Professor Fisher delivered in the College Chapel a commemorative Discourse, to which we give a prominent place in this Number of the New Englander.]
MATTHEW v, 8.-BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART.
There are vacant places this morning in our house of worship. Death has been busy among us. Four times, in half that number of weeks, have the families of this congregation stood around the open grave, to lay their loved ones in their last resting-place. Two little children,* each of them the delight of a household, have been cut down,--who, if they had not the spiritual purity to which the text refers, had the native purity of childhood, which is the organ and receptacle of spiritual life, and which warrants us in committing them with confidence to the merciful being who said: “ Of such is the kingdom of heaven.” An older sister of one of these was the next to be taken,--a young lady,t carefully educated, and full of promise,-a sincere disciple of Christ, who had made public profession of her faith, and who, we believe, uttered the sentiments of her heart in the hymns that were on her lips in the midst of her feverish dreams:
“Earth has engrossed my love too long !
'T is time I lift mine eyes Upward, dear Father, to thy throne,
And to my native skies."
* A son of Professor W. D. Whitney, and a son of President Woolsey.
And again :
“I know not the way I am going,
But well do I know my guide,
To the mighty Friend by my side." Hardly had her spirit taken its flight, when the hand of death was laid on an aged man, who had long sat near her in the house of God. His end was not unexpected. For many weeks he had been looking forward to it as near, arranging his worldly affairs with scrupulous care, and composing his mind for the great change. A man venerable in years, a son of this institution, and connected with it in the capacity of instructor, in the aggregate for more than forty years, it seems proper that, in addition to the ordinary lessons which every bereavement brings afresh to our hearts, a more particular notice should be taken of his character and work. Not with the pen of a eulogist, or of a critic, but in the sincere language of impartial friendship, it is fitting that his characteristic services and worth should be delineated. This task I have attempted to fulfill, as far as the materials in my possession, and the time allowed me, would permit; and I now invite you to contem. plate with me the life and labors of him who has lately finished his earthly course.
Professor GIBBS was born in the ancient town of Salem, Massachusetts, on the 30th of April, 1790. In his last illness he adverted, with deep satisfaction, to his connection with a godly ancestry, among whom were several ministers of the Gospel. He pursued his studies, preparatory to entering college, in his native place, and, in his sixteenth year, joined, at the beginning of their course, the class that was graduated here in 1809. On the roll of his classmates I find the names of the late Judge Hitchcock, of this city, and the celebrated revival preacher, Dr. Nettleton; also, Judge Waite, of the Supreme Court of this State, and the Rev. Dr. Meigs, Missionary in Ceylon, both of whom still survive. President Day, who was then Professor of Mathematics in College, remembers a little incident, illustrative, perhaps, of the character of Mr.
Gibbs, even when a youth. Presenting himself to Professor Day, to apply for admission, he expressed the utmost anxiety lest he should prove unable to stand the examination. The Professor kindly offered, if he would open his books, to put him some questions, and then to advise him whether to undergo the ordeal, or to defer it to a future day, when he might come with a greater prospect of success. In this the diffident lad gladly acquiesced, and his answers were such that the Professor, on closing the book, informed him, no doubt much to his surprise, that he was a member of College.
As a student, it need not be said that Mr. GIBBS excelled. His modest deportment, painstaking industry, and scholarly spirit, could not fail to secure for him the respect of those who honor real worth. The venerated instructor, to whom I have just referred, whose genial presence, though he has passed far beyond the ordinary term of human life, the living generation is still permitted to enjoy, testifies that he was a proficient in all the College studies. Indeed, his aptitude for mathematics was so marked, that at one time he thought of devoting himself to that science in preference to theology. After his graduation, Mr. GIBBS returned to Salem, and was engaged there in teaching school. His appointment as Tutor, in 1811, brought him back to New Haven, and he continued successfully to discharge the duties of that office until 1815, when he retired from it to concentrate his attention exclusively upon his chosen pursuit. I infer that while in the Tutorship his time was partly given to theological studies. Whether it was ever his intention to become a pastor, or to engage actively in the work of the ministry, I know not. He was licensed to preach, however, but he seldom entered the pulpit, and soon ceased to preach altogether. His first and only discourse in the College chapel, was an analysis of the Sermon on the Mount, with a view to set forth its general scope and leading ideas—a theme betraying that bent of his mind which clearly destined him for the more secluded labors of a theological scholar.
We next find him in Andover, prosecuting his studies under the lead of Professor Stuart, and residing for a while in the family of that most enterprising and enthusiastic teacher. Here the theological career of Professor GIBBs properly begins, and in order to understand the services rendered by him to Biblical science and to philology, we must look at the condition of things at that time.
The clergy of New England, in the first generations of our history, were men of learning. The earliest of them imbibed a scholarly spirit in the English Universities, where they were trained. In founding Harvard College, and Yale, at a later period, they were largely influenced by the desire to provide the churches in these ends of the earth with a body of able and learned ministers. But at the end of the last century and the beginning of this, theological learning among us was at a low ebb. In the Colleges, theology, which had been the leading study, had given way, step by step, to the mathematics and classics, and the new studies of Natural Science and English Literature. Meantime, special schools of theology had not been established, and consequently ministers were obliged to begin their work with an exceedingly meager outfit. A few months in the family of a pastor, with the reading of a few books, chiefly in dogmatic theology, were all that was deemed requisite. But when Mr. Gibbs repaired to Andover, the new era was dawning. The Seminary there was beginning to do its work. Had there been no other motive to kindle a zeal for study, the Unitarian heresy called for an amount of exegetical and historical learning which at that day it was hard to find. A great reform in the education of preachers had fairly begun. This was to be effected by opening to them the vast results of German investigations in history and philology, at the same time that the spirit and contents of the modern German theology were to be made familiar to the American public. If errors were to be imported from that country, the means of combating them were to come also. The leading pioneer in this great work was Professor Stuart, and the hue and cry raised against him at first, on account of his predilection for his German authors, was about as sensible and about as effectual as a similar outcry would have been when the California mines opened their shining ore to those who love gold. When,