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a universe of agents, and maintain them in being, without any power whatever of controlling their conduct, or foreseeing or conjecturing what consequences were to result from their existence; and thence without any certainty or probability that they might not be infinitely disastrous to himself and to them! The great principles of the system will thus inevitably carry its disciples, if they follow it to its legitimate results, to an open and total denial of the most essential of the natural and moral attributes of God, and all the fundamental doctrines of the gospel. If they admit his prescience of future events, they must deny his wisdom and goodness; if they give up his fore-knowledge, they must likewise deny his veracity, and impute to him infinite recklessness in place of benevolence, and exhibit him as infinitely presumptuous, instead of wise.
IMPORTANT aids in theological inquiries are often obtained, by turning aside from abstract investigations of the sacred volume, to the exemplifications that occur in the providence of God, of the great principles of his administration, and the practical illustrations of the spirit and power of religion that are seen in the lives of his children. A field for such observations, singularly instructive and attracting, is presented in the mental endowments, moral characteristics, and beneficent career of the late Jeremiah Evarts, Corresponding Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
He entered on his existence a brief period since, without any extraordinary superiority of endowments or advantages of condition, and had all his knowledge to acquire, his character to form, and his influence to exert, on the principles that are common to the race at large. While, however, multitudes who commenced their career cotemporaneously with him, on the same great theatre, and under the action of essentially the same species of causes, are passing, or have passed through life, without making their advantages the means of any important utility to themselves, or themselves the instruments of any signal benefit to others, he made the gifts and opportunities with which he was favored, the means of eminent good to himself and usefulness to his fellow men, advanced himself to eminence in mental cultivation, useful
knowledge and energy and elevation of character, became adequate to the various and important exigencies of his life, and by his wide and benificent influence, made himself a blessing to the church, a benefactor to the world, and an ornament to the race.
Where then lay the secret of his success?-a question worthy to attract the attention of every aspirant after excellence and usefulness. What are the peculiar causes to which it is to be traced, and the great principles which conducted him to its attainment? Every thing in his career is not indeed to be regarded as the result of some peculiarity in him, or the sole product of his efforts. The chief field of his agency, and thence in a degree the extent of his usefulness, were not exclusively of his creation; the contrivance, institution, and support of the great Missionary Enterpise, which formed the principal theatre of his labours, having been common to him with many others; and the agency to which he was called by it, having contributed as much perhaps to render him what he was, as he contributed to give to that enterprise its character and efficiency. He doubtless could never have exerted the influence which he did, nor been what he became, had not the hand of Providence placed him in a condition making large demands like that, on his intellect and heart, and offering powerful excitements to cultivation, and superior facilities for usefulness. Still it is to him that we are to look for the grounds of his having become so eminently qualified for that station, and for his having made so wise and successful a use of the favorable influences which it brought with it. These are doubtless to be seen in his constitutional peculiarities, mental habits, and moral principles.
I. Of the former of these, one of the most conspicuous was the felicitous adaptation to each other, of his mental
powers and susceptibilities; or the happy adjustment of the energy of his affections to the strength of his intellect—a peculiarity of constitution eminently propitious to a successful development of the mind, and the formation of a useful character.
The diversities in the original constitutions of men in this respect, are perhaps, as numerous and great as in almost any other. Individuals differ widely not only in their susceptibilities of emotion, and the energy of their affections, but also in the proportions which their powers of feeling bear to those of their intellect. As a general fact, the same capacities of knowledge in the female sex are associated with a far livelier sensibility than in men; and great differences in this particular exist likewise among those of the same sex. Great quickness and violence of passion are frequently, and perhaps usually the attendants of a weak reason; while eminent powers of intellect are often seen in conjunction with a phlegmatic temperament.
In many, however, there seems to be a fundamental disproportion between their intellectual and sensitive nature; or a want of a fit adjustment of the energy of their emotions, to the nature of the perceptions by which they are excited. They exhibit essentially the same interest in insignificant, as in important themes; and are raised to much the same excitement by small as by great causes. Almost any class extent of their ca
of views carrying them apparently to the pacity, they have no more interest to expend on the most momentous subjects, than they are accustomed to waste on those of the most inferior importance.
In Mr. Evarts, there was a propitious adjustment to each other of these branches of his mental constitution; his susceptibilities of emotion toward the objects of his know
ledge, being so happily coincident with his powers of perception, as to render the extent and vividness of his apprebensions, the measure in an eminent degree of the vivacity and intenseness of the affections which they excited.
This constitutional peculiarity is obviously one of the most propitious to the formation of a wise and useful character. It tends to secure to objects an attention corresponding to their importance; forms a permanent and efficient safeguard against precipitancy, extravagance, and enthusiasm, is one of the chief foundations of a sound judgment, and contributes an essential agency to the establishment of fixed principles, and the formation of uniform habits. Its favourable agency in him, is seen in the fact that he was seldom disproportionately influenced by the causes that acted on him; that the impressions made by objects corresponded so prevalently with their nature; and that his interest in them rose in intensity, as his knowledge of them advanced, and his apprehensions became more vivid and comprehensive.
II. A distinguished facility in discerning relations, and thence in tracing effects to causes, was another conspicuous characteristic of his mental constitution.
This, which is preeminently the attribute of reason, and the highest peculiarity of intelligent natures, is, like the other, bestowed on different minds, in widely different measures. To some it is given in such eminent degrees, as to enable them to glance intuitively through long trains of relations, and gain results at once, which, by most of even gifted intellects, can be obtained only by a laborious process of attention, inquiry, and reasoning. By others it is enjoyed in but far inferior measures; their apprehensions seldom extending beyond the perceptions excited by exter