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LETTERS WHILE PROFESSOR IN THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY.
PRINCETON, June 14, 1849. My anxious suspense is so far relieved that I have determined to remove hither. The voice of the Assembly seemed to leave me little option, except in points of which they could not be cognizant. The voice of my clerical brethren, in and out of New York, so far as known to me, has been in favour of
translation. Jones informs me that this is the unanimous wish in Philadelphia ; and a number of my own people have reluctantly owned that they think it my duty to go. I have been somewhat moved by this singular concurrence; but more by the unexpected Providence which has secured such a result, by the frustration of all preceding plans. As to competency I cannot judge of that. As to the comparative importance of the two posts, I have never had any question, that (to one competent) the teaching-place was equal in importance to any ten of the other.
I have seen clearly that the Duane Street Church could live only by moving up-town, and thither I wished not to move. I have seen as clearly that my powers were tasked to a tension which must soon be fatal; while, in the steadier routine of teaching, I might last a season, with ordinary favour of Providence.
Do not be surprised to see me on Sunday, but do not look for me. My going, if I go, is merely to attend on my father. I have been very much unwell, even in bed for a time. The cause I think was my extreme trouble of mind about removal.
PRINCETON, June 30, 1849. Again our relation is changed, and you are once more the city, and I the country mouse.
President Bonaparte seems to be contradicting all previous beliefs of his imbecility: they say he managed the late émeute admirably. You see Baptist W. Noel has become an anabaptist. I am in the thick of painting, scouring, mending, whitening, &c., and have not yet got in any of my furniture. I have never read such personality and scurrility in ecclesiastical debate in the United States, as in the two Scotch Assemblies. In the Established Church they debated three hours about the two nominees for Moderator, Bell and Simpson; with very unbecoming opprobrium on both. Nobody seems to know any thing of Bannerman, who succeeds Dr. Chalmers ;
he may be none the worse for that. Addison (pro more) has moved again, and has chambers in the Seminary, lowest floor, front, next to Dr. Hodge's.
PRINCETON, July 19, 1849. Paint, paint! Hammer, Hammer! Still in transitu. When a house has had no regular inhabitant for four or five years, it is wonderful how many things get awry; locks, keys, grates, pothooks, pins, bolts, panes, drawers, knobs, ceilings, floors, steps, spouts, shingles, gates, hinges, coops, well-buckets, volunteer trees, weeds, &c. We have not got in yet; though I write in my quondam study. I will give you two hundred young papermulberry trees, now growing in my grounds, on condition you take away the parent dittos. An excellent, pious cook, whom we left in New York, has had the cholera; a girl of whom I made a little purchase of mint lozenges the other day, has since died of the same. Mrs. S. (New York) was taken with formidable symptoms, including marble-coldness, sinking, and nausea, on Sunday night. Dr. Beatty of Ohio, who is here, encountered cases everywhere on the canal. In an upland village near him, the Rev. John K. Cunningham, one of our alumni, has lost his wife, and seven or eight valuable members of his church. is a good-natured fellow, and I think may be led into ways of much more usefulness than he has. When I see how he has gained in a year or two, I have hopes he may get over even his desire diğito monstrarier. In Princeton College, I am certain, a boy will be better taught, more developed, and made a man of, than in a city college. True, he will be more endangered ; but, after all, strength cannot come but by some peril. I have scarcely ever known a studious boy injured in college; never one who added good habits and dutifulness, on entrance. Though I own my parental apprehensions would' forbid me to do it, I soberly think our sons would gain most, by going through the entire college-trials, commons and all.
PRINCETON, August 11, 1849. The only critical case among the car-wrecked people,' is that of Walters. Mr. Schenck, Dr. Maclean, and Dr. Hodge have been daily with the afflicted. Three of them have chiefly fallen under my notice; one of these is a black woman, a seemingly pious Baptist. Another, dreadfully hurt in the legs-wounds a hand's breadth deep, with iron screw in bottom of oneis a good-looking German tanner, from Magdeburg. He cannot speak a word of English. This morning
it occurred to me to quote the beginning of the Hymn, “ O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden;" he immediately repeated the whole fourteen stanzas of eight lines each; it was evidently to him an act of devotion. He also repeated two other long hymns, highly evangelical, but
What an instance of the good of hymns got by heart! Next to him lies a New York Yankee, who perhaps does not know one, though the more intelligent, and possibly the more pious of the two. The Company spare no pains : indeed no pains or price can neutralize the effect of the testimony before the coroner. Our lives have all been at the mercy of a switchtender, who may be miles away. I think it a kindly Providence that the sufferers are where they can receive so much soothing and useful truth. I preached to a fine congregation on Fast Day, at Blawenburg, and to Africans on Sunday. I desire not to be away for more than a night, till I can get through my heavy preparations. After I am a week or two warm in the saddle, I will gladly give you one, two, or three Sundays. Mr. de Sandran, the French master, dřed this morning from apoplexy. Though somewhat settled, our painters have left us with a number of window-shutters off, front-door barricaded, and stairs uncarpeted. We took in half a hogshead of water, which entered loft, attic, and guest-chamber. Chancellor, Bishop, and Dr. Johns have each a son in College. Accession about 50. Prof. Loomis is recalled to University, New York city. I fear we none of us feel duly our exemption from the plague, (cholera.) What a difference between Trenton and Brunswick! By avoiding all aperient fruits and vegetables, I have, since coming here, enjoyed (what I never had before in July) a perfect regularity of health. Still I look on the cholera very much as I do on a stroke of lightning, and have no notion of charging every one who has it with imprudence. Two deaths of it on Sourland Mountain, in a high, airy, secluded nook. At Blockley they tried every variety of approved practice; almost all died. Several very near neighbours of ours in New York have been carried off by it, including two physicians, and three in the family of one of them.
new to me.
? An accident on the railway near Princeton.
PRINCETON, August 28, 1849. I do not know that I ever applied myself more constantly or closely than for two months past. On the 30th our duties begin. The next two Sabbaths I expect to preach in Duane street. For some time past Mr. Gallatin was unable to see me, or even hear my name.
Just before his death his exercises were as follows: “He has been at the point of death, and his situation is still
very critical. During his extremest illness he had the most blessed assurance of acceptance and salvation through Christ, repeatedly praising and thanking God for his mercies and goodness, in that he should have been made a partaker of this salvation, as he expressed himself continually. - The God-Man still a mystery to him, but (no longer doubted) fully believed and received. For one hour heaven was opened unto him, and he appeared on the threshold of Eternity; but it pleased God to bring him again to earth, with shattered frame and intellect, &c."
I own no copy of Doddridge but the one volume one. Bythe-bye, I have got more good from that book than from any commentator. There ought to be a new edition with modernized references; nobody knows the numerous dissenting authors whom he cites in the notes. Addison has saddled himself with a tremendous job in his book on Psalms, but his working-power exceeds any thing I ever dreamt of. I hope you see Copperfield, [Dickens Tale;] it is delightful and useful. I wish you had been here to meet the Rev. Theodore Fliedner, of Prussia, who has been at Dr. Hodge's. For thirteen years, besides being a pastor, he has been training Christian nurses, (scurs de charité,) or, "Evangelical deaconesses," of whom he and his wife have trained a hundred and fifty. He has been making a flying visit to the United States, to set up four of his deaconesses at Pittsburg. They are under no vows, but engage to serve five years. I have his reports. Among his subscribers are all the royal and princely names of Prussia, and all the ecclesiastical authorities. He is a most earnest, one-idead man, full of the tenderness gendered by such pursuits. Some of his remarks in conversation abridged: “You Americans far surpass us in some things, especially in practical tact; but o, what a want of tenderness and heart! " 0, what singing in the churches; not half singing; and some schools where no singing is taught ! Your American church is a good father, but it is not a mother ; it lacks the mother-love to the poor, and sick, and prisoner. This you leave to Free Masons, Odd Fellows, and Sons of Temperance. Your young ministers are not trained at bedsides, and in gaols; the best training. Are the difficulties greater for you than for Papists? Surely, there are maiden ladies in America
who would love to nurse Christ in his sick members.” He publishes a Magazine for the Poor and Sick, and for those who attend them. I have it. They have been especially useful in the Magdalen cause, (as it is calumniously called.): I don't think I shall ever lose the impression of his gentleness and energy. If I hear of his coming here, in time, I will send for you, and you must come, if only for an hour.
PRINCETON, September 13, 1849. Since I wrote last, I have passed through a thicket of thoughts and cares, though I have been blessed with unusual health. My new business involves more pressing study than I had thought; and in a new habitation there are daily wants emergent which take time and money. Then the pleasing-painful care of other peoples cares has been daily. I am glad you have escaped the model of the Pánthéon, as all un-hellenistic people call it, even in verse. See Pope to the contrary. My inauguration is to be on the 20th of November: at which time you will appear at bed and board. Phillips and Plumer induct, by charge and sermon. “O Mother dear Jerusalem,” is a famous Scotch hymn or ballad, by Dickson of the 17th century. I cannot lay my hands on it: it is very long, and is the mother dear of “Jerusalem my Happy Home." The least of my doubts concerning Fliedner is on the point you mention : I think it clear that there were deaconesses of old. Look at 1 Tim. iii. 11, of which the whole force is lost in our version: yuvaikas does not mean their wives (why should the qualifications of wives of deacons and of no other officers be named ?) but the females, i. e. the deaconesses. Just look at this in the whole connexion. I am afraid you will find the chronology of our Lord's doctrines second in perplexity only to the precession of the equinoxes. My poor congregation in New York is in a bad way.
The two or three old-hunkers, who can't see that the earth has gone round any since Dr. Romeyn's day, would never believe (what is undeniable) that the Church cannot be maintained where it is, except as a free church. This I perceived two years ago, and discovered six months ago that five-sixths of the people were ready to move. But the plan was quashed by the conservatives, and I fear they will be left alone, unless they in
The house is almost embedded in sugar-refineries and other stews. Its real supporters live far above it. Drs. Spring and McElroy will soon go up, and the sense of being a preacher to a fluent crowd was what chiefly discouraged me, and ħindered my labours. I say these things to them freely now, because they cannot charge me with any worldly lust of a better locale, which they constructively did while I was with them. I