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bigoted Papist would, with singular pleasure, view the extinction of those two glorious luminaries, by whose radiance the dark clouds of papal superstition were dispelled, and life and immortality brought to light, in their native purity and sp'endor. Nor need we again be told, that the numerous sectaries, whose growing influence in the state is already too perceptible, regard with a malignant eye these learned seminaries, which are the great barriers against their schemes of encroachment and innovation, and the firm bulwarks and supports of that estar blishment, against which all their arrows of rage and detraction are levelled,
And whilst our enemies thus regard us with a malignant jealousy, our best friends cannot but look up to us with the tenderest feelings of anxiety and concern. They know with sorrow, that malevolent reports are gone abroad in the world.
They hear, on every side, that the reins of
discipline are relaxed; that dissipation and unnecessary expence are enormously increasing; that modesty and subordination, the antient and necessary fences of good order, are suffered to be broken down and trampled upon by the younger meinbers of the University; that propriety of character and decency of deportment are little regarded by the higher orders, and those who are in authority; that the pure streams of the Muses are polluted by the turbid influx of political contention; that intestine cabal and foreign influence are suffered to operate, to the great discouragement of merit and industry, and in direct contradiction to the most solemn restrictions of antient statutes, in the disposal of the most important trusts; whilst, on the other hand, the genuine and essential academical institution; the promotion of learning and piety; the advancing of the honour of God and the benefit of man, are notoriously neglected and disregarded. That such reports as these have gone abroad into the world, no man, who is conversant in it, can be ignorant. And, however desirous the friends of the University may be to throw, with averted eyes, the veil of filial respect over parental infirmity; however little they may be disposed to give credit to insinuations, which they are willing to hope are either groundless, or, at least, greatly exaggerated, by charging upon all what is applicable only to few; yet they cannot but press it in the strongest terms upon every member of this learned Body, in his several station, more especially at this time, to guard against every thing, which may give even the smallest semblance or colour of truth to them. For, should that phrenzy of reform, which so strikingly marks the temper of the present day, extend its wild progress in razing, or modelling anew, the venerable structures of antiquity, who shall dare to say, that the strong hand of power, invited by the lust
of rapine, or impelled by the suggestions of malevolence, may not* a second time lay hold of such injurious representations, as plausible handles for rescinding, or abridging, those privileges and advantages, which are the pride and ornament of our present establishment?
But, even supposing apprehensions of this kind to be, as, I trust they ever will be, groundless under the government of a Prince equally distinguished for his love and knowledge of polite literature; yet there are other motives, of a more generous nature, which ought to stimulate every member of this learned body to a full and vigorous exertion of his abilities. The flame of science burns bright in a sister kingdomt, and seems ready to rival, if not eclipse, the splendor of these antient seats of the Muses. She has al
* See the Proceedings of the Commissioners in the times of Puritanism. + Scotland.
ready the reputation, at least, .of excel ling * in one branch of knowledge, of great and immediate importance to man kind; and it cannot be denied, that the palm of historic excellence is justly bestowed upon her numerous writers, by the united suffrages of the best and most impartial judges. There are other institutions also in our own kingdom, which, though not yet grown to full maturity, are rising rapidly to eminence, and are eagerly supported by those, who are no friends to those principles of civil and ecclesiastical polity, which it has been the glory of this place, at all times, firmly to profess and maintain. . Nor, again, is it to be dissembled, though much to be lamented, that the sons of many of our mosť distinguished families sent abroad to seek for culture in foreigy climes, and bring back with them those baneful seeds of infidelity, which have