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The orator exhibits the stand taken by Pennsylvania on the great principle of the revolution, and presents her position in its proper light. That state was the chief theatre of the war ; the first congress assembled in her capital; there, Independence raised her infant voice. Mere sectional partialities were absorbed in the interest of the common cause. The special deserts of Pennsylvania in that awful crisis have never received elucidation from any native pen ; in fact, from none, save the kind, though necessarily imperfect, efforts of the German Ebeling Mr. Tyson most properly proposes the theme as one worthy of the selection of the historian, and depicts the topics calling for the notice of the annalist. "
He also vindicates the conduct of the quakers during that contest from the imputation of toryism or treason. Their neutrality (for it was nothing more) was the prompting of conscience; the result of religious feeling. Their sect is the enemy of war; the unresisting recipient even of aggression ; unresisting, we mean, by the weapons of carnal warfare ; and even those who differ from its members in their construction of the dictates of revelation, should not withhold the respect which is ever due to conscientious, unaffected conduct, though considered by them to spring from error of opinion. The good sense and good feeling of succeeding years have already wiped the ill deserved stain from their mantle.
The writer proceeds to take a survey of the course of legislation in Pennsylvania ; exhibiting its impress upon law, the penal code, and prison police. He also sketches in bright colours aud in polished language her resources and capabilities; and, the manner in which, prior to the date of his discourse, the State had developed them. We shall extract what he says upon the literary pretensions of Pennsylvania. The claims of every part of our Union in this respect, should be put prominently forward. It may conduce to the furtherance of an intellectual spirit in each ; a consummation earnestly to be desired by every friend to the permanent reputation of his country.
“Upon a comparison of the number of newspapers now published in the state with what were issued at the revolution and are now printed abroad, we shall find that the common mind of Pennsylvania cannot languish or decay for want of a generous sustentation. Between the settlement of the province and the year 1775, there had sprung into being about sixteen newspapers in the English and German languages; but few of these were destined long to illuminate the colony. Lights which shone vividly for a time, were soon extinguished for want of the necessary aliment, and these were succeeded by others which, after dispensing a flickering and momentary glare, were destined in their turn to go out for ever. It was seldom, and for brief periods, that more than three or four existed simultaneously, and from 1762 to 1773 only three papers were circulated at Philadelphia. According to Thomas's History of Printing, the year 1775 gave birth to five newspapers and a magazine ;
but the war suspended or terminated the publication of the latter and two of the papers-a third was destroyed by fire-and of the two remaining, one survived till 1778, and the other finished its career in four years afterward. The magazine is pronounced to have been meritorious for the character of its literary contents, though its principal contributur was a personage neither greater nor less than the notorious Thomas Paine. But that age was not without luminaries of a superior order. Dickinson, to whose Farmer's Letters' Ramsay ascribes the impulse of the revolution, Rittenhouse, Franklin, Rush, Ewing, Hopkinson and Galloway, formed a constellation of no ordinary magnitude. They surrounded that day with a splendour, and gave to it a celebrity, which must ever reflect a brightness upon Pennsylvania. To enable us to ascertain with some litile precision the character of our intellectual advancement, we must take into consideration the condition of a new country, requiring the application of its energies to subjects uncongenial with erudite researches and literary success. Though many of the writers, who have since acquired distinction, flourished during the revolution, and may be classed with either division, I may perhaps be justified in referring to Parke, Graydon, Samuel Stanhope Smith, West, Fulton, Dennie, Linn, Brown, and Godman, as authors and geniuses who belong more particularly to a subsequent period. So many circumstances may operate adversely to the display of great powers in literature -the diversion of the public mind to practical objects, and a temporary indifference in the public laste to the elegances of literary composition
that an entire destitution of eminent men should furnish no criterion of the national intellect. The commanding eminence of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania, the learning and acuteness which have marked the medical profession, the erudition and eloquence of the clergy, the high estimation of our various seals of learning, and above all, the unrivalled reputation of a great medical university, indicate no dearth of talents, no want of devotion to study. Public libraries are to be found, perhaps, in every county of the state, and the Athenæums established in petty yillages evince a diffusive zeal for knowledge, and an ardour of liberal inquiry, to which it is difficult to point out a parallel. Among the literary institutions of the United States, the Philadelphia Library, and the American Philosophical Society, deserve a prominent station, if indeed they be not altogether unrivalled and transcendant. The library which, in its inception and early progress, had to struggle with very restricted and even contemptible resources, has assumed a magnitude which in the number and value of its books, surpasses any collection on this side the Atlantic. Though its existence was so early as 1731, the number of its volumes in 1785 did not exceed 5,487. In 1806 ihey amounted to 14,218, showing an augmentation in twenty-one years of 8,731 books; and in the twenty-five years which have since elapsed, the amount is more than quadruple-the number being now estimated at more than 37,000 volumes.* A cursory inspection of the voluminous catalogue will suffice to discover the character of its ingredients, and to exhibit in its contents as well the rarest gems of antiquity as many of the useful and elegant productions of all nations of modern and subsequent times. The American Philosophical Society was originally established at Philadelphia in the year 1743, and formed a junction in 1769 with another literary association of similar objects and design. Though at first devoted
* This in 1831. The number now is 44,000.-Ed.
to the natural and mathematical sciences, it now embraces in its circle of investigations the antiquities, topography, geography, statistics, and history of the slate and country. Liitle need be said of an institution which can display in imposing succession upon its scroll of presidents, such names as Franklin, Rittenhouse, Jefferson, Wistar, Patterson, Tilghman and Duponceau. The ten volumes of Transactions published, including the volume which has been issued by the Committee of History, demonstrate an ardour of literary enterprise and a depth of research, a plenitude of mind and a variety and profundity of attainment, which reflect the highest credit upon the country. The contributions of Franklin and Rittenhouse, of Dr. Smith and Francis Hopkinson, are characterised by a native amplitude of soul, capable of adding to that science which looks into the sublime and awful mysteries of nature, a comprehensiveness of conception and a boldness of discovery, which lie beyond the grasp of the narrow, the timorous, and the weak. But, undazzled by the splendour of a philosophy which penetrated into the immeasurable regions of the planels and the countless wonders of the galaxy, and that which subjected to human control the terrific lightnings of heaven, let us be just to the more homely, but not less practical monuments erected by patient thought and sedulous reading. It is to these fruits of genius and toil we are indebted for the speculations of a learned and ingenious philologist, which unfold to us the amazing beauty and very artificial structure of the Indian idioms, and which plausibly exhibit, perhaps conclusively prove, that the red men of the American forests, however separated by distance and marked by contrariety of habits, are united by the relationship of a common ancestry-by the ties of an identical origin. If, before and during the revolution, Pennsylvania could boast, in this institution, of a Godfrey born, and a Franklin educated and adopted, we may yet claim a Rittenhouse, a Wistar, a Patterson, a Tilghman, and a Godman-not to mention many eminent survivors, contemporary with that illustrious group.
Taking the relative number of periodical works as a guide by which to estimate our advancement or recession, we have every reason to be satisfied with our lot-every inducement for the indulgence of national complacency. In the year 1775, including the periodicals which then had conimencement with those which existed antecedently, the aggregate number of published sheets and magazines did not exceed nine. In 1810, they had increased to seventy-one, and in 1828 they amounted to one hundred and eighty five, a number greatly exceeding the ratio of augmented population, and more than equal to any two states in the Union, with the exception of New York. The number of literary works annually published at Philadelphia, not only transcends that of any other city in the Union, but is estimated to be nearly equal to them all united. These comprehend native works, and reprints of that endless variety of productions with which the European press is teering, from the lightest novel and poetry of the day, up to the most daring reaches of philosophy and the nicest points of philology and criticism. The reasonable proportion of those upon music and the fine arts, attests the tendencies of the public taste, and indicates that stage in the educated mind when it has received the last impress and polish of refinement. It argues that beauty of mental perception and exquisite delicacy of feeling, which are connected with elegance of manners, and the highest culture of the understanding."'-pr. 33-39.
The oration of Peter McCall, Esq. on the 29th of November, 1832, was devoted to a consideration of the progress of the
VOL. XIX.-NO. 38.
society of Friends in Pennsylvania, and their impression on her institutions, literary, benevolent and political. He enforced the prominent influence of that society by a view of the peculiar character and principles of the men who founded and long governed the state. The topic was undoubtedly of interest and importance, and is well handled by Mr. McCall. The language is always neat and appropriate, and the illustrations occasionally beautiful.
Dr. Coates, in his discourse of the 28th day of April, 1834, undertook the discussion of a question, whose explanation seems as impracticable as the discovery of a northwest passage, and probably, when found, as useless. We mean “the origin of the Indian population of America.” The writer, however, with learned industry, collected all the information and speculations upon the point, and presented some, not improbable, of his own. To the man fond of abstruse investigation, and of peering through the dim mist of the most remote antiquity for evidence on which to found a theory of the process of populating America, we would recommend the pages of Dr. Coates.
The literary execution of these volumes, we feel assured, will well sustain the reputation of Pennsylvania.
Art. III.—Animal and Vegetable Physiology, considered with
reference to Natural Thcology, by Peter Mark Roget, M. D. Philadelphia, 1836.
It is a useful as well as an agreeable task to lay hold of the discoveries of science, and apply them to minister to the animal wants of man, to extend the sphere of human happiness, and increase the domain of human power. Such has been the employment of many who may justly be styled the benefactors of the human race. However highly we may estimate such services, they are, in the eye of him who has a just view of the true aim of our existence, far inferior in importance to the labours of those, who in the new and ever varying researches of modern science, find at every step, fresh proofs of the wisdom of the great first cause of “this universe and all created things."
It has indeed been sometimes the case that the student of physical science, accustomed to explain, in words, laws of nature whose final cause is inscrutable, and to accept these explanations in the room of that knowledge which is unattainable, has presumptuously fancied that natural effects were the result of agents controllable, if not producible, by human power. Nay some have gone so far as to assert the agency of chance in the production of the fair world which we inhabit. Such opinions are, however, far from being the usual or the legitimate results of profound scientific enquiry; and we may indeed safely assert . that they have never occurred to the enquirer into the phenomena of the material world, except where the mind had been previously darkened by the jargon of the metaphysician, and was prepared to question the evidence of its senses. .
Whoever enters without any previous bias into the study of the works of nature, and draws to his aid a knowledge of the physical and mixed mathematical sciences, must see at every step evidence of a wisdom in design, and a skill in execution, so far surpassing the proudést triumphs of human ingenuity, that the greatest extent of our knowledge can only enable us to admire, without any hopes even of distant imitation. And this wisdom and this skill are not manifested alone in the vast expanse of the heavens, but are seen to equal advantage in the most minute atoms that are revealed to the microscope ; not only in the structure of that body which, frail and perishable
the invisible tenants who people drops of the most pellucid fluids.
It is in the last named instances that we are most speedily brought to a conviction of the necessity of a cause of infinite power. We may ascribe the mutual attraction of the planets, the aggregation of the parts of inorganic bodies, the phenomena of chemical action, to forces that we may choose to say are inherent in material substances, and some are so wilfully blind as to rest here and enquire no further. But in the phenomena of life, whether vegetable or animal, we see these forces either set at absolute defiance, or so modified as to produce the inost unexpected results ; and when we find the vital agents brought into action we know not how, extinguished we know not wherefore, and discover that every new advance only serves to render the distance between us and these causes more apparent, we are compelled to rest in our enquiry, and admit, however mortifying to our pride, that these are the works of an author as pre-eminent in power as he is in wisdom. The best and most potent arguments of natural theology are therefore drawn from the science of physiology.
“The evidence of design and contrivance in the works of nature carries with it the greatest force whenever we can trace a coincidence between them and the works of human art. If in any unknown region of the earth we chanced to discover a piece of machinery, of which the purpose was manifest, we should not fail to ascribe it to the workmanship of some mechanist, possessed of intelligence, actuated by a motive, and guided by intention. Farther, if we had a previous knowledge of the operations of similar kinds of mechanism, we could not doubt that the effect produced was the one intended by the artificer. Thus, if in an