how little a majority of the men of his own time were disposed or qualified to estimate his character with justice. To a future age he was accustomed to look with confidence. "Altero sæculo” was the appeal made by him through his whole life, and is now engraven on his monument. The basis of his moral character was the religious principle. His spirit of liberty was fostered and inspired by the writings of Milton, Sydney, and Locke, of which the American Declaration of Independence was an emanation, and the Constitution of the United States-with the exception of the clauses conceded to slavery-an embodiment. He was the associate of statesmen and diplomatists at a crisis when war and desolation swept over Europe, when monarchs were perplexed with fear of change, and the welfare of the United States was involved in the common danger.

After leading the councils which restored peace to conflicting nations, he returned to support the administration of a veteran statesman, and then wielded the chief powers of the republic with unsurpassed purity and steadiness of purpose, energy, and wisdom. Removed by faction from the helm of state, he re-entered the national councils, and, in his old age, stood panoplied in the principles of Washington and his associates, the ablest and most dreaded champion of freedom, until, from the station assigned him by his country, he departed, happy in a life devoted to duty, in a death crowned with every honor his country could bestow, and blessed with the hope which inspires those who defend the rights, and uphold, when menaced, momentous interests of mankind. Close of the Memoir of J. Q. Adams.


THE ancestors of Archibald Alexander were from the north of Ireland, and emigrated to Virginia in 1737. He was the son of William Alexander, and was born near Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia, April 17, 1772. In 1789, he became the subject of a "revival of religion" at his native place; and, in 1791, was licensed to preach the gospel by the Lexington Presbytery. In 1796, he accepted the Presidency of Hampden Sidney College, at that time in rather a languishing condition, and soon, by his wisdom and energy, imparted to it a more healthful and vigorous tone. He was often sent as a delegate to the General Assembly, which usually met in Philadelphia; and in 1806 he accepted a call from the Pine Street Church of that city, of which he continued pastor for six years. In 1810, the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by the College of New Jersey; and, two years after, the General Assembly having established at Princeton a Theological Seminary, Dr. Alexander was chosen Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology. Here he continued in the laborious discharge

of the duties of his professorship, with great ability and success, until within a short period of his death, which occurred on the 22d of October, 1851.1

That there have been some in the clerical profession of more learning, genius, and pulpit-eloquence than Dr. Alexander, none will deny; but no one has possessed in a higher degree that rare combination of every great and good quality, of wisdom and piety, which makes, on the whole, the deepest impression and exerts the widest influence. Men of all classes felt his power alike. Beyond any minister of his day, his preaching was equally acceptable to the learned and the illiterate, the old and the young, the untutored and the refined; and the works he has left, replete with wisdom, and instruction, and pious counsel, will remain an ever-enduring monument to his exalted worth.


That it is the right and the duty of all men to exercise their reason in inquiries concerning religion, is a truth so manifest that it may be presumed there are none who will be disposed to call it in question.

Without reason there can be no religion; for in every step which we take in examining the evidences of revelation, in interpreting its meaning, or in assenting to its doctrines, the exercise of this faculty is indispensable.

When the evidences of Christianity are exhibited, an appeal is made to the reason of men for its truth; but all evidence and all argument would be perfectly futile if reason were not permitted to judge of their force. This noble faculty was certainly given to man to be a guide in religion as well as in other things. He possesses no other means by which he can form a judgment on any subject or assent to any truth; and it would be no more absurd to talk of seeing without eyes than of knowing any thing without reason.

It is therefore a great mistake to suppose that religion forbids or discourages the right use of reason. So far from this, she enjoins it as a duty of high moral obligation, and reproves those who neglect to judge for themselves what is right.

But it has frequently been said by the friends of revelation, that although reason is legitimately exercised in examining the evidences of revelation and in determining the sense of the words by which it is conveyed, yet it is not within her province to sit

1 At the end of the life of this good man, by his son, James W. Alexander, D.D., may be found a list of his various publications. They are fifty-two in number, including sermons and pamphlets. The following are the principal ones:-Evidences of the Christian Religion, 12mo, 1825; The Canon of the Old Testament Ascertained, 12mo; Biographical Sketches of the Founder and Principal Alumni of the Log College, 12mo; A History of the Colonization of the Western Coast of Africa, Svo; A History of the Israelitish Nation, 8vo; Outlines of Moral Science, 12mo; Letters to the Aged, 18mo; Counsels of the Aged to the Young, 18mo; Thoughts on Religious Experience, 12mo; The Way of Salvation Familiarly Explained, in a Conversation between a Father and his Children, 18mo.

in judgment on the doctrines contained in such a divine communication. This statement is not altogether accurate. For it is manifest that we can form no conception of a truth of any kind without reason; and when we receive any thing as true, whatever may be the evidence on which it is founded, we must view the reception of it to be reasonable. Truth and reason are so intimately connected, that they can never with propriety be separated. Truth is the object, and reason the faculty by which it is apprehended, whatever be the nature of the truth or of the evidence by which it is established. No doctrine can be a proper object of our faith which it is not more reasonable to receive than to reject. If a book, claiming to be a divine revelation, is found to contain doctrines which can in no way be reconciled to right reason, it is a sure evidence that those claims have no solid foundation, and ought to be rejected. But that a revelation. should contain doctrines of a mysterious and incomprehensible nature, and entirely different from all our previous conceptions, and, considered in themselves, improbable, is not repugnant to reason; on the contrary, judging from analogy, sound reason would lead us to expect such things in a revelation from God. Every thing which relates to this infinite Being must be to us, in some respect, incomprehensible. Every new truth must be different from all that is already known; and all the plans and works of God are very far above and beyond the conception of uch minds as ours. Natural religion has as great mysteries as iny in revelation; and the created universe, as it exists, is as lifferent from any plan which men would have conceived, as any of the truths contained in a revelation can be.

But it is reasonable to believe what by our senses we perceive to exist; and it is reasonable to believe whatever God declares to be true.

In receiving, therefore, the most mysterious doctrines of revelation, the ultimate appeal is to reason. Not to determine whether she could have discovered these truths, not to declare whether, considered in themselves, they appear probable, but to decide whether it is not more reasonable to believe what God speaks than to confide in our own crude and feeble conceptions. Just as if an unlearned man should hear an able astronomer declare that the diurnal motion of the heavens is not real, but only apparent, or that the sun was nearer to the earth in winter than in summer; although the facts asserted appeared to contradict his senses, yet it would be reasonable to acquiesce in the declarations made to him by one who understood the subject and in whose veracity he had confidence. If, then, we receive the witness of men in matters above our comprehension, much more should we receive the witness of God.


The Bible evidently transcends all human effort. It has upon its face the impress of divinity. It shines with a light which, from its clearness and its splendor, shows itself to be celestial. It possesses the energy and penetrating influence which bespeak the omnipotence and omniscience of its Author. It has the effect of enlightening, elevating, purifying, directing, and comforting all those who cordially receive it. Surely, then, it is THE WORD of GOD, and we will hold it fast, as the best blessing which God has vouchsafed to man.


There is an efficacy in the truths of the Bible, not only to guide and sanctify, but also to afford consolation to the afflicted in body or mind. Indeed, the gospel brings peace into every bosom where it is cordially received. When the conscience is pierced with the stings of guilt, and the soul writhes under a wound which no human medicine can heal, the promises of the gospel are like the balm of Gilead, a sovereign cure for this intolerable and deeplyseated malady. Under their cheering influence, the broken spirit is healed, and the burden of despair is removed far away. The gospel, like an angel of mercy, can bring consolation into the darkest scenes of adversity: it can penetrate the dungeon, and soothe the sorrows of the penitent in his chains and on his bed of straw. It mitigates the sorrows of the bereaved, and wipes away the bitter tears occasioned by the painful separation of affectionate friends and relatives. By the bright prospects which it opens, and the lively hopes which it inspires, the darkness of the tomb is illuminated, so that Christians are enabled, in faith of the resurrection of the body, to commit the remains of their dearest friends to the secure sepulchre, in confident hope that after a short sleep they will awake to life everlasting.

The cottages of the poor are often blessed with the consolations of the gospel, which is peculiarly adapted to the children of affliction and poverty. It was one of the signs of Jesus being the true Messiah "that the poor had the gospel preached unto them." Among them it produces contentment, resignation, mutual kindness, and the longing after immortality. The aged and infirm, who, by the gradual failure of their faculties, or by disease and decrepitude, are shut out from the business and enjoyments of this world, may find in the word of God a fountain of consolation. They may, while imbued with its celestial spirit, look upon the world without the least regret for its loss, and may rejoice in the prospect before them, with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. The gospel can

render tolerable even the yoke of slavery and the chains of the oppressor. How often is the pious slave, through the blessed influence of the word of God, a thousand times happier than his lordly master! He cares not for this short deprivation of liberty; he knows and feels that he is "Christ's freeman," and believes "that all things work together for his good," and that "these light afflictions, which are for a moment, will work out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!"

But, moreover, this glorious gospel is an antidote to death itself. He that does the sayings of Christ shall never taste of death: that is, of death as a curse; he shall never feel the envenomed sting of death. How often does it overspread the spirit of the departing saint with serenity! How often does it elevate, and fill with celestial joy, the soul which is just leaving the earthly house of this tabernacle! It actually renders, in many instances, the bed of the dying a place of sweet repose. No terrors hover over them; no anxious care corrodes their spirit; no burden oppresses the heart. All is light; all is hope and assurance; all is joy and triumph!

OH, PRECIOUS GOSPEL! Will any merciless hand endeavor to tear away from our hearts this best, this last, this sweetest consolation? Would you darken the only avenue through which one ray of hope can enter? Would you tear from the aged and infirm poor the only prop on which their souls can repose in peace? Would you deprive the dying of their only source of consolation? Would you rob the world of its richest treasure? Would you let loose the floodgates of every vice, and bring back upon the earth the horrors of superstition or the atrocities of atheism? Then endeavor to subvert the gospel; throw around you the firebrands of infidelity; laugh at religion, and make a mock of futurity; but be assured that for all these things God will bring you into judg


1 In Sprague's "Annals of the American Pulpit," vol. iii., may be found two very interesting letters upon the character, the learning, the pulpit-cloquence, aud the personal manners and habits of Dr. Alexander,- -one by John Hall, D.D., and the other by Henry A. Boardman, D.D.

Two of Dr. Alexander's sons are highly distinguished as scholars as well as theologians. Rev. James Waddel Alexander, D.D., pastor of a Presbyterian church in New York, has published a Life of his father; Consolation, in Discourses on Select Topics; American Mechanic and Working-Man; The Merchant's Clerk Cheered and Counselled; Plain Words to a Young Communicant; American Sunday-School and its Adjuncts. Rev. Joseph Addison Alexander, Professor in the Theological Seminary in Princeton, has published Critical Commentaries on Isaiah, 2 vols.; Acts of the Apostles Explained; The Psalms, Translated and Explained, 3 vols. They both have been frequent contributors to that able religious quarterly, "The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review," which was begun by Professor Hodge in 1825, and has continued mostly under his direction to the present time, (1859.)

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