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WHAT Soft delight the peaceful bosom warms,
When nature, drest in all her vernal charms,
Around the beauteous landscape smiles serene,
And crowns with every gift the lovely scene!
In ev'ry gift the donor shines confest,

And heav'nly bounty cheers the grateful breast.
Now lively verdure paints the laughing meads,
And o'er the fields wide-waving plenty spreads.
Here woodbines climb, dispensing odors round;
There smiles the pink, with humble beauties crown'd;
And while the flowers their various charms disclose,
Queen of the garden, shines the blushing rose.
The fragrant tribes display their sweetest bloom,
And every breezy whisper breathes perfume.

But this delightful season must decay;
The year rolls on, and steals its charms away.
How swift the gaily transient pleasure flies!
Stern winter comes, and ev'ry beauty dies.
The fleeting bliss while pensive thought deplores,
The mind in search of nobler pleasure soars;
And seeks a fairer paradise on high,

Where beauties rise and bloom, that never die.
There winter ne'er invades with hostile arms,
But everlasting spring displays her charms :
Celestial fragrance fills the blest retreats,
Unknown to earth in all her flow'ry sweets.
Enraptur'd there the mind unwearied roves
Through flow'ry paths, and ever-verdant groves:
Such blissful groves not happy Eden knew,
Nor fancy's boldest pencil ever drew.
No sun, departing, leaves the scene to mourn
In shades, and languish for his kind return;
Or with short visits cheers the wintry hours,
And faintly smiles on nature's drooping pow'rs.
But there the Deity himself displays
The bright effulgence of his glorious rays;
Immortal life and joy his smile bestows,
And boundless bliss for ever, ever flows.



The "Further Particulars" of the Rev. Mr. Newton, communicated by a correspondent, to whom we are under many obligations, came too late for this number, they shall have a place in our biographical department next month. Several other communications have been received, some of which will appear in our future pages.

The account of the transactions of the General Association, promised in our last, was not received in season for this number.

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From the Evangelical Magazine.

DR. WITHERSPOON was a branch of a very respectable family, which had long possessed a considerable landed property in the east of Scotland. He was lineally descended from the Rev. John Knox, well known as the prime instrument of spreading and establishing the reformed religion in Scotland. The Doc. tor was born on the 5th of February, 1722; and his father was at that time minister of the parish of Yester. He was a worthy man,-eminent not only for piety, but for literature, and for a habit of extreme accuracy in all his writingsand discourses. The father's example may be supposed to have contributed not a little to form in the son that taste and love of correctness, united with a dignified simplicity, for which he was so justly distinguished through the whole of his life.

Young Witherspoon was very early sent to the public school at Haddington; where no expense


spared in his education. Here he was distinguished for assiduity in his studies, for soundBess of judgment, and for clear. VOL. II. New Series.

ness and quickness of perception.

At the age of 14 he was removed to the University of Edinburgh; where he continued attending the different professors, with a great degree of credit in all the branches of learning, until the age of 21, when he was licensed to preach the gospel. When a student at the Divinity Hall, his character stood remark. ably high for his taste in sacred criticism, and for a precision of thinking, and a perspicuity of expression rarely attained at so early a period.

He had scarcely left the University when he was invited to

be assistant and successor to his

father, in the parish of Yester but he chose rather to accept an invitation from the parish of Beith, in the west of Scotland;

where he was ordained with the

universal consent of the people, and where he afterwards received many pleasing tokens of their high esteem and cordial affection.

From Beith he soon received a call to the large and flourishing town of Paisley; where he


resided with high reputation, and laboured in the work of the Lord with uncommon success; and there his name will long be held in sacred remembrance.

During his residence at Paisley he was invited to Dublin, to take the charge of a respectable congregation in that city. He was also invited to Rotterdam, in the United Provinces; and to Dundee, in his own country : but he could not then be induced to quit such a sphere of comfort and usefulness as Paisley afforded him. He rejected also, in the first instance, the invitation of the Trustees of the College of New Jersey, in America. He thought it almost impossible to dissolve connexions at home, which had been so long endeared to him, to leave a place where he was so much respected and so very happy but urged by the friends whose judgment he most respected, and whose friendship he most valued; hoping too, that his sacrifices might be more than repaid by his being made peculiarly useful in promoting the cause of Christ in the new world; and knowing that Jersey College had been consecrated from its foundation to those great objects to which he had devoted his life, he consented, on a second application, to wave every other consideration, and to take the important charge to which he had been called, with the concurrent wishes and the highest expectations of all the friends of the Col lege.


Their expectations were not disappointed. The reputation and prosperity of the College under Dr. Witherspoon's administration, equalled the highest hopes that even the most sanguine entertained.

New Jersey College was foun. ded, and has since been chiefly supported, by private liberality and zeal. Its finances were then in a very low and declining condition but his reputation excited an uncommon liberality in the public; and his personal exertions, which extended from Massachusetts to Virginia, soon raised its funds to a flourishing


But its chief advantages were derived from his literature, his superintendance, his excellent example, and from the general tone which he gave to the literary pursuits of the students. For. merly, the course of instruction had been too superficial, and the metaphysics and philosophy that were taught, tinctured with the dry and unedifying forms of the schools. This defect, however, ought, not to be imputed to the worthy men who had before presided over the institution; but rather to circumstances arising from the infant state of the coun try, over which it was not to be expected that they could, all at once, have a sufficiently commanding power; but since the election of Dr. Witherspoon to the presidency, learning has received an extension, before unknown in the American seminaries. He introduced into their philosophy the most liberal and modern improvements of Europe. He included in the philosophical course the general principles of policy and public law; he incorporated with it sound and rational metaphysics, equally remote from the doctrines of fatality and contingency; from the bar renness of the schools, and from the excessive refinements of those contradictory, absurd, and im

pious classes of skeptics, who either wholly deny the existence of matter, or maintain that nothing but matter exists in the uni.


The number of men of distinguished talents, in the different liberal professions, who received the elements of their education under Dr. Witherspoon, demonstrate how eminent his services were to the college of New Jersey. Under his auspices have been formed a great proportion of the clergy of the American Church; and to his able instructions, America owes many of her most distinguished legislators. Above thirty of his pupils have arisen to the honour of being members of the Congress; and among these are to be found some of the first characters for reputation and usefulness.

Dr. Witherspoon continued directing the institution till the commencement of the American


But that calamitous event suspended his functions and dispersed the College. He then entered upon a new scene, and appeared in a new character. Knowing his distinguished abil. ities, the citizens of New Jersey elected him as one of their delegates to that Convention which formed their Republican Constitution.

From the committees of the State he was sent early in the year 1766, as a representative of the people of New Jersey to the Congress of United America. But while he was thus engaged in serving his country in the character of a civilian, he did not lay aside his duty as a minister. He gladly embraced every opportunity of preaching, and of discharging the other duties of his sacred of.

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The College having been collected as soon as possible after its dispersion, instruction was commenced under the immediate care of the vice-president.* Dr. Witherspoon's name, however, continued to add celebrity to the institution; and it has fully recovered its former reputation.

At the close of the American struggle, the Doctor feeling age advancing upon him, was desir. ous of retiring from Congress, and, in a measure, from the bur dens of the College. But, notwithstanding his wish for repose, he was induced, through his attachment to the institution over which he had so long presided, once more to cross the ocean to

promote its benefit. He again visited Britain; but the fruit of his voyage was not answerable to the wishes of his American friends; yet they felt not the less indebted to his enterprize and zeal.

Doctor Witherspoon had now educated five hundred and twenty three young men, one hundred and fifteen of whom were afterwards ministers of the gospel. He had the satisfaction to see many of his former pupils filling the first offices of trust under the govern ment and on returning one day from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church, then sitting in Philadelphia, he remarked to his particular friend, I cannot, my dear Sir, express the satisfaction I feel, when I observe that a majority of our General

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Assembly were once my own pupils.'

For more than two years after his death, he suffered the loss of his sight; which contributed to hasten the progress of his other disorders. These he bore with a patience and cheerfulness rarely to be met with, even in those eminent for wisdom and piety. His activity of mind and anxiety to be useful, would not permit him, even in this depressing situation, to desist from the exercise of his ministry, and his duties in the College. He was frequently led into the pulpit, both at home and abroad, during his blindness; and he always acquit ted himself, even then, in his usually accurate, impressive, and excellent manner. He had the felicity of enjoying the full use of his mental powers to the very last. He died on the 15th day of November, 1794, in the 73d year of his age.

He was buried in the public burying-ground in Princeton, where a handsome monument is erected to his memory, with a Latin inscription, detailing many of the leading events in his life.

Of Dr. Witherspoon's character as an author, it is not necessary to say much his writings are before the public; and, to every serious, intelligent read. er, they must discover an uncommon knowledge of human nature, and a deep and intimate acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures. They generally strike us as being at once eloquent and convincing, grave and attractive, profound and plain, energetic and simple. They evidently shew that the author's learning was very extensive; that God had given him a

great and understanding mind, à quick apprehension, and a solid judgment.

Dr. Witherspoon's talents were various. He was not only a serious writer, but one who possessed also an uncommon fund of refined humour and delicate satire. A happy specimen of this is seen in his Ecclesiastical Characteristics. The edge of his wit in that performance was directed against certain corruptions in principle and practice, prevalent in the church of Scotland; and no attack that was ever made upon the moderate clergy gave so deep a wound or was so severely felt.

As a preacher, Dr. Wither. spoon's character stood remark. ably high. In this department he was, in many respects, one of the best models on which a young pulpit-orator could form himself. It was a singular felicity to the students in the College of NewJersey, that they had such an example before them. Religion, from the manner in which it was treated by him, always commanded the attention of the hearers, even when it did not savingly reach their hearts. An admirable textuary, a profound theologian, an universal scholar, sim. ple, yet dignified, in his manner, he brought forth all the advan. tages derived from these sources, to the illustration of divine truth.

Though always solemn, affecting, and instructive, he was by no means the most animated ora. tor. A peculiar affection of his nerves, which generally overcame him when he allowed himself to feel very keenly on any subject; obliged him, from his earliest entrance on public life, to impose a strict restraint on his sensibility.

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