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thought less highly of every species of learning, which is calculated merely for ostentation. His literary acquirements were all designed for practical utility; and were made, in some way, subservient to the
of life. In the Latin classics he was uncommonly well versed; and his inaugural address, as well as his other addresses in the Latin language, were characterized by great neatness and classical propriety of expression. After he came to the presidency, he commenced a critical review of the Greek poets; but the weakness of his eyes obliged him to desist from the undertaking. In oriental literature, likewise, from the same cause, he was never able to make that progress which he ardently desired. In history ancient and modern, as well as in political, ethical, and especially theological science, he was profoundly versed. He was peculiarly fond, too, of books of travels,
-geographical works and statistics. No person, perhaps, was more thoroughly read in the poetry and eloquence of the English language; and, generally, in whatever relates to philosophical criticism. He had likewise a strong relish for natural science; was well versed in the different departments of natural philosophy; and did much towards increasing the means of instruction, in every branch of physics, in the seminary over which he presided.
As a preacher, Dr. Dwight possessed very uncommon ex. cellences, --especially for an academic pulpit. Not confined to a set round of topics, or a uniform method of treating them, he easily accommodated himself to the varying circumstances of his audience; consulted their taste; and, by avoiding all unnecessary causes of offence, laboured to render his instructions acceptable. With a person and attitude dignified and commanding,--a voice deep-toned and susceptible of every modulation,--an elocution clear, flowing and impetuous,-he never failed to command the most respectful and profound attention. His way to persuasion was first to convince the understanding. No man held, in lower estimation, addresses merely to the passions of an audience. The rhetorical expedients, sometimes employed to excite a momentary feeling, -a sudden blaze of passion, which lasts no longer than the occasion which produced it, -he ever condemned as nugatory, or positively hurtful. His own method was, by a clear, full, and intelligible exhibition of his subject, to secure the conviction of his hearers, before he ventured to make any direct address to their feelings. Indeed the persuasion which he aimed at was rather the result of the hearer's own determination, on a full consideration of the case, than the effect of surprise or sud. den excitement. It was his object in all his public discourses, to be full and minute, without being tedious; and to exhaust
his subject without repetition. Hence it was the usual fact with his hearers, that they departed, entirely satisfied, that all the circumstances necessary for forming an opinion on the topic discussed, had been fully and fairly exhibited.
The opinions of Dr. Dwight, on those points of theology which have been the principal ground of difference in the christian world, were probably more accordant with the sentiments of his venerable ancestor, President Edwards, than with those of any other man. Yet, as his object was the truth, he rested his theological system on the scriptures only; and trusted to the explications of men, however eminent for their talents and piety, so far only as he saw them conformable to that infallible standard. No man was more firm in his opinions or farther from admitting the indifference of error; yet, aware of the diversity among mankind in their modes of thinking, and of the strong influence of education, prejudice, and passion even over the best of men, he never expected to find entire uniformity of sentiment, and was disposed to treat, with a liberal indulgence, those who differed from him in points not plainly fundamental.
As an instructor in the liberal arts and sciences, Dr. Dwight was unrivalled. In communicating useful knowledge, he found his highest gratification. His familiarity with works of taste, and the profound judgment which he exercised in this department of literature, connected with his great copiousness of illustration and fluency of utterance, and a zeal which seemed never to abate--gave to his rhetorical instructions an interest and importance, which those only who have been his pupils, can duly estimate. His views of criticism were liberal; and, in all matters of taste, he exercised great independence of judgment. In poetry he would neither discard the rules of Aristotle; nor would he submit entirely to their direction. In spite of authority, he ever maintained that Paradise Lost was superior to every other epic production; and that the Deserted Village held the first rank in pastoral poetry. In eloquence he considered Demosthenes the first among the ancients, and the elder Pitt the first among the moderns.
In logic, metaphysics, and ethics,-studies which have few attractions for the giddy and the superficial,--he was always able, by his great copiousness and familiarity of illustration, to enliven and render interesting the most dry and unpromising discussions. He was in the habit of indulging in considerable latitude of remark, both at the recitations and at the forensic disputations of his class. Whatever was suggested by the subject under review, which he thought might be useful to his pupils, either as connected with their scientific pursuits, or as affording them valuable information, for their future intercourse with mankind, --he always introduced it; and in a manner to make a lasting impression. Hence, though he usually detained his class, twice the time allotted to a single exercise, his recitations were seldom thought tedious. Indeed, the great majority of his pupils were ever eager to attend upon his instructions; and went to them, --not as to the performance of a task,--but as to a high mental entertainment.
In the government of college, Dr. Dwight was peculiarly successful. It was his object from his entering on the duties of the presidency, to adopt a course of discipline energetic in its character, and at the same time, accommodated, as far as possible, to the popular motions of liberty and personal independence. Hence many of the ancient regulations and customs, originally adopted from the practice of foreign universities, were gradually changed; and a system more parental, and better suited to the character of the country, was introduced in their place. In carrying this system into operation, much knowledge of the human character was requisite, united with great firmness and discretion. What success attended his labours, in this important department, is sufficiently shown by the fact, that during the whole period of his presidency,-and for the last fifteen years, the number of students has fluctuated from two hundred to three hundred and twenty, composed of great diversity of character, being collected from almost every state in the union,-no general opposition to the collegiate government has existed, or even a momentary interruption to the regular operation of law.
În private society Dr. Dwight possessed uncommon powers to please and instruct. With an inexhaustible stock of knowledge on alınost every subject, and an ease of communication to which a parallel can hardly be found, he easily accommodated his remarks to the character and means of improvement of those with whom he conversed; and seldom failed to excite the highest respect and admiration. From the weakness of his eyes, already mentioned, and his consequent inability to employ himself much in reading, except by the assistance of others, -he was led to devote more of his time to the society of his friends, than perhaps in other circumstances he would have judged expedient. He ever considered the diversified conversation of a social circle, as affording the most rational, and at the same time, the most entertaining of all amusements.
Dr. Dwight possessed from nature a constitution of body unusually firm and vigorous. His health he ever guarded with studious care; and, by temperance and exercise, preserved to the last much of the freshness and activity of youth.
About two years before his death, he was attacked with a dis. order, which was accompanied with great pain, and which, from the first, threatened the most alarming consequences. The nature of the disease, however, was not correctly understood; and he was led to hope, from the general state of his health, that it would soon yield to medical skill. But all prescriptions were unavailing; and the disease continued to advance with a regular and fatal progress. During the last year of his life, the pain he often endured, was exquisite; and his robust frame finally sunk under excess of suffering. His patience under the severest agonies of distress, and his resignation to the divine will, were such as suited the character of ardent piety which he had so long sustained. On Wednesday morning, the eighth of January last, he became lethargic; and as he afterwards revived, his mind remained in a degree clouded, and perhaps never afterwards recovered its former tone and clearness. He conversed, however, on the two following days, on many subjects correctly, and in his characteristic manner; but his attention seemed diverted from his own case, and he was occasionally incoherent in his remarks. In this manner he languished, till
, early in the morning of the succeeding Saturday,--as became a christian and especially a christian minister,--in the accents of fervent prayer, he yielded his spirit to God who
It may be proper to add, that Dr. Dwight was a member of most of the literary and philosophical societies in this country; and was honoured with the degree of Doctor in Divinity, by the College at Princeton, in the year 1787; and with the degree of Doctor of Laws, by the University of Cambridge, in the year 1810.
Art. II.-An Essay towards settling the Claims of Godfrey
and Hadley to the Invention of the Reflecting Quadrant. IT T has been a standing theme of assertion to all American au
thors both learned and unlearned, -that the honour of inventing the Reflecting Quadrant was surreptitiously taken from their countryman, Mr. Godfrey, by an Englishman of the name of Hadley. The question is, in itself, of no great practical importance; but, as it has long been a subject of altercation between ourselves and the English-as neither party has yet condescended to adduce any documents for the substantiation of what it asserted—we think a plain, unvarnished stateinent of the facts relative to the dispute will not be an unacceptable office to those of our readers who love peace as well as we do. VOL. IX.
The late ingenious Mr. T. Godfrey is still remembered by several old persons in Philadelphia; and some anecdotes illustrative of his character have been left by his friend and acquaintance, Mr. James Logan.* See Miller's Retrospect, vol. 1, p. 470. Of the biography of Mr. John Hadley little remains. From the Philosophical Transactions, it appears, that he was Vice President of the Royal Society of London before the year 1723, and after the year 1731. In different books we find some scattered remains and notices of Hadley,-from which we ascertain, that he was distinguished by his skill and ingenuity in the construction and improvement of optical instruments. See Smith's Optics, Pref. p. 6. and vol. II, p. 301, 368, 376.-— Also Long's Astronomy, vol. II, p. 468, 721, 723. And Philosophical Transactions for 1723, No. 376—and for 1731, No. 420 and 425.
Sir Isaac Newton invented an instrument similar, in its principles, to the Reflecting Quadrant, and sent a description and drawing of it to Dr. Halley, when he was preparing for his voyage to the isle of St. Helena in the year 1698, for the purpose of observing the variation of the magnetic needle. It is a remarkable circumstance, that this important invention remained unknown to the world for about 30 years. After the death of Halley, the account of the instrument, in Newton's handwriting, was found among Halley's papers, by Mr. Jones; and is published in the Philosophical Transactions for the year 1742, No. 465; and also in the Abridgment of the Philosophical Trans. by Hutton and others, Vol. 8, p. 590. Hadley was acquainted with Newton, and therefore it may be supposed that he had received some information from him respecting the construction of this instrument. But in this case it seems probable that Hadley would have acknowledged his obligation to Newton; which he has not done, however, in his account of the Quadrant, in the Phil. Trans. for 1731, No. 420. His friend and acquaintance, Dr. R. Smith, ascribes the invention and construction of the quadrant to Hadley alone,-and gives not the slight
• Dr. Franklin has also given us a fact or two concerning him. 'I had bitherto continued (says he) to board with Godfrey, who, with his wife and children, occupied part of my house, and half the shop for his business; at which indeed he worked very little, being always absorbed by mathematics.'-And, in another place, we find in the list of those who composed the Junto Thomas Godfrey, a skilful though selftaught mathematician, and who was afterwards the inventor of what now goes by the name of Hadley's dial; but he had little knowledge out of his own line, and was insupportable in company, always requiring, like the majority of mathematicians, that have fallen in my way, an unusual precision in every thing that · is said, continually contradicting, or making trifling distinctions; a sure way of defeating all the ends of conversation. He very soon left us.'