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ing he possessed. This was the with the supreme importance of great defect in his character; and religion. He sought in earnest. it is not to be concealed, that the An intimate friend of his, will not irregularity of his habits and the soon forget an interview with him want of system in his studies, pur- about this time. His feelings were sued as they were in a manner alto- not violent, but they were poiggether desultory, prevented his nant. There was an anguish on reaching that eminence in science account of guilt, a melting tenderto which close application would nese under a sense of ingratitude have raised him. Still, with all his and unworthiness, and an apprewant of method, he amassed knowl. hension of the forbearance of God edge surprisingly; for though he towards him as a sinner, that was would take up a book wherever he almost as affecting to witness as it chanced to be, and read it with was overwhelming to suffer. Soon absorbing interest till some bell or after this his mind was relieved ; other summons called him away, he and walking out. his soul was filled would arrange, and classify, and with surprising joy, as the God of lay up such knowledge to very grace shone brightly in every work great advantage, and make it singu- of his hands,—the divine goodness larly available for the purposes of being, to his excited imagination, conversation and debate. Few impressed on every object around acquire his general knowledge and him. He experienced in a high solid learning with so little severe degree, that delightful sensation study.
often described by the convert, as Although Mr. Cowles had re- felt on a sudden transition from ceived a religious education, he did darkness to light. This feeling innot experience any thing like true deed may not be peculiar to the religion, till the latter part of his renewed soul. The vivid imagincollege life. If he was not openly ation of one who is deceived may opposed to religion and religious be the subject of the same feeling; things, he was, as he often confess- and the most we can say is, that it ed, in heart an enemy. While is among those things, which are fitting for College, his mother was no decisive evidence, either for or suddenly called from her earthly against gracious affections. Evipilgrimage. Then his mind was dently it is altogether consistent for a season deeply impressed with with them, and is one very natural the things of eternity ; but these consequence. impressions soon vanished, nor did In the present case there is some they return till the revival in Yale doubt whether Cowles the subCollege in 1820. Up to this time ject of renewing grace at this time he had uniformly been either care- or not. The writer of this believes less of divine things, except in the he was, and that this was the preinstance above mentioned, or had vailing sentiment of his own mind ; secretly resisted every impulse from though he expressed that convicthe Spirit of God, as well as every tion with diffidence. The reason benevolent effort of his classmates of this diffidence will appear from and friends, to lead his mind to se. what follows. After this experirious contemplation.
ence he seemed unaccountably to God designed to bring him to the distrust bis feelings, and relapsed knowledge of the truth. In conse- into a colder state ; he sought the quence of the preaching of Mr. company of former associates, of Nn and the intreaties of pious former books and employments; friends, he became thoughtful, and was averse to religious society alarmed, and thoroughly impressed and conversation. In short his se
rious friends, who bad watched immediately to the Theological Sewith so much anxiety the progressminary at Andover. Here he purof his impressions, and rejoiced, sued his studies in the same desulthough prematurely, in his conver- tory manner as in college, and with sion, were well nigh giving up the same result; that is, he amastheir hope that he was a new man, sed knowledge of all sorts with raand well nigh fearing that he was pidity, and in a way nobody knew perunanently joined to his idols. In how. Still he fell far short of what this state he remained for months, application added to genius would wearing at times a thoughtful as- have enabled him to accomplish. pect, evidently halting between two It should be said, however, in jusopinions, yet inclining more to seek tice to his character, that ill health the world than religion. In the now began to press upon him, so as winter of his Senior year, the revi- very much to frustrate the efforts val receiving a new impulse, he he was heartily disposed to make. again became interested in the This was seen and regretted most concerns of his soul,-principally in his efforts at writing. To this as he said, from overhearing the exercise he had always felt a great prayers of his classmates in their reluctance, which seemed to inrooms, who as he supposed were crease as he advanced in life. It praying for him, having given over originated doubtless in the disposiOther efforts for his conversion. tion both of his body and mind to At the same time, hearing of a re- constant action. The process of vival in his native place, he went writing was too wearisome for the home to witness it; and being in elasticity of his body, and too slow a fit state to be impressed by such and tedious for the ardour of his a remarkable display of God's pow- mind. This prevented early pracer as that revival exhibited, his tice, which alone can give facility mind was more thoroughly wrought in writing; and when in the last upon than ever. He returned over stages of education much writing whelmed with emotion and wonder, was required in a short time, he himself the subject of mighty grace, found his taste had so far outrun his —then if not before radically trans- facility of execution, that he looked formed,—and resolved to live a pic on every production of his pen with ous man, a resolution which in. more than ordinary disgust. This, creased in steadfastness till his dy- with ill health, may be assigned as ing day. That circle of classmates the reason why he seldom produced whom after his retnrn he address- a written composition of any sort, ed, or rather attempted to address, and why after his death there were for his emotion was so great as al- found only two finished papers-most to preclude utterance, will a sermon, and an address before the remember the noble testimony he Society of Inquiry. An answer is bore to religion. If this sketch also furnished to those, who, being should meet their eye, let them be acquainted with his uncommon assured that that religion lost none powers of conversation, inquire why of its importance in his view on he did not write more. It was in trial ; but, magnified with every conversation and discussion that he succeeding event of life, sustained was most distinguished. He would him through many wearisome days invariably attract the attention of and nights, and dirested death of the whole circle, and as invariably all bis terrors. May these facts confer high gratification. We have speak as he did then.
often seen the company electrified He left College with reputation, by the flashes of his wit and the viloved and esteemed of all, and went vidness of his description, and the
debating room breathless to hear in the colonies. This was the plan the question argued by his ingenui- he adopted, and his devotion to it ty. His various and pertinent il- increased with every new fact he lustrations, the propriety and ener- learned; and nothing it is presumed gy of his language, and his good would have interrupted his pursuit sense, always caused him to be lis- of the object, but the frowning distened to with deep interest. pensation of providence which so
While at Andover, the subject of soon quenched all his hopes in sickAfrican Colonization came up, and ness and in death. he engaged in it with enthusiasm. The last year of his residence at The investigation and discussion of Andover was clouded by disease, this subject touched his heart, and which so much interrupted his stufilled bim with a strong desire not dies that he accomplished but little. only to talk but to act; and under He filled with dignity the chair of the influence of these impressions the Society of Inquiry respecting he resolved to devote himself to the Missions ;” and the confidence cause of Africa. The moral deso- which placed him there is an honlations of that country affected him, orable testim ny to his worth. His while the history of the slave trade farewell address at the anniversary filled him with alternate pity and of this society was received with indignation. His views of slavery satisfaction by an enlightened audiin this country were large and pat- ence. If it appears to the reader riotic. He was aware of the diffi- somewhat unfinished, and in some culties that press the subject of places obscure, the apology is, that emancipation, but he believed that it was written hastily, under the those difficulties lay chiefly in pub. pressure of extreme ill health, and lic opinion, and that if public opin- without revision. The energy with ion could be changed, they would which it was delivered-not its least mostly vanish. He did not believe recommendation-of course cannot the doctrine of passive submission appear in print. to a necessity created by avarice He now left the seminary (Sepalone, nor did the interested testi- tember 1824) and returned home, mony of slave holders, or his own with the strong hope of regaining subsequent observation, convince his health, and entering on the field him that the present condition of of labor. As yet he had not receivslaves is as comfortable as an eman- ed license to preach ; but being cipated state could be. Yet he pressed by his friends, and by his was not disposed to violent meas- own desire, he prepared with great ures and useless recriminations,ten- effort his first sermon, and presentding only to inflame public opinion ed himself before the South Assowithout altering it. He was willing ciation of Hartford County. He to lend his hand to any measure was examined by that body, and rewhich prudence and philanthropy ceived their unqualified approbamight dictate. Coinciding with the tion. But his confinement and views of the Colonization Society, mental application on this occasion he directed his attention particular- hastened the catastrophe which ly to the free colored people, and took place a few days after his liresolved to attempt the establish- cense. Having been out on a fishment of an African college. Here ing excursion, an amusement in youth were to be educated on a which he was accustomed to inscale so liberal as to place them on dulge, as he was returning home, a level with other men, and fit them his mouth suddenly filled with for extensive usefulness to their blood, and he experienced that brethren, either in this country, or death-like sensation which always attends a profuse bleeding at the I might have felt myself capable of lungs. With extreme difficulty he great exertions at any time, if I had reached the house of his brother, summoned together the energies of which was nearer than his father's, my will, and thoroughly roused mywhere relief was administered. self. Of course, I am afraid that This was the end of his studies, his I have been an unprofitable servant, labours, and nearly of his hopes. and am in danger of being cast into From this time bis chief object was outer darkness. As there had been the recovery of his health, whose nothing particularly alarming in the fleeting vision he pursued untiring- state of my health for several days, ly for more than two years, through and as I was much more alone the all the fluctuations of convalescence day after I arrived in New York and relapse, of hope and fear, that than I had been, I thought about usually attend consumptive affec- the circumstances in which I had tions.
left my friends ; the unwillingness In December following, he went which many of them had expressed to Chapel Hill, N. C. and spent the that I should undertake the journey winter. Here for the first time he which I had commenced ; the little officiated in the pulpit, and in New plans of usefulness I had formed; bern, on his return, for the last. and reproached myself with a good The succeeding autumn he went to deal of bitterness, for having abanSt. Augustine, and those who then doned them all, when perhaps it bade him farewell, had little expec- was quite unnecessary.
In this tation of seeing his face again. The state of mind I met, in the life of following extract from a letter may Cecil, with the following stanza : not be unacceptable, as showing his health and feelings while at New
“ And at my back I always hear,
“ Time's winged chariot hovering near; York, on bis outward bound pas
" And onwards, all before, I see sage.
“ Vast deserts of eternity.” “ You know, or at least you know This was a highly animated exit is my belief, that the state of my pression of a thought very congenhealth undergoes frequent and con- ial to my feelings; and I was residerable changes; and you would peating it in an energetic whisper, naturally presume, that when I am when I felt a lancet plunged into comparatively well, I should be agi- my lungs, and became composed. tated with fears, lest, in the period The next day I had a severe headof debility and darkness through ache and considerable fever, and which I had just passed, and in oth- grew considerably worse till night. ers of a similar character, I had After tea I went immediately to been yielding to a mere depression bed; when I was seized with a viof spirits—as such things are sup- olent ague, and was tossed about posed to be common—and had been with the spasmodic affection of my inactive without a sufficient excuse. muscles in a singular manner. In And there is no cause from which about a minute I felt a strange glow I suffer more than from this I breaking out and running like lamsometimes feel as if fountains of bent fire over my whole surface, and strength had burst out within me; I I lay through the night wrapt in am full-I am animated with hope these warming but unconsuming and confidence, and resolve that no flames; which produced a sensation more of my life shall be lost. And that very much relieved the exceswhen I feel this consciousness of sive aching of my head and joints. power, and this high resolution, I thought I should now be sick in I find it difficult not to believe that good earnest ; and having the day
before wished myself at home be. small matter. Far the largest, the cause I was so well, I now heartily most worthless, and the most des. wished myself there for the contra- perately wicked collection of hury reason.
man beings I have ever seen going
at large, I have found here. InfiHe found the climate of St. Au delity, profaneness, blasphemy, gustine mild and favorable ; but his drunkenness, and every other vice, distant exile from his friends, the not only blush at no disclosure, but disagreeable situation of the place, seem to scorn concealment. The and the little congenial society, Sabbath, and every other means of made the residence irksome, and grace, are despised. Not one hundetracted from the benefit he might dred of the whole population of the otherwise have received. We in- city ever attend public worship at sert his description of St. Augustine. the Protestant church,
and very few
go to the Cathedral. The Catholic “ This place, instead of being priest is an avowed infidel, a notosurrounded by beautiful environs, rious card player, a masquer, and a is situated in the midst of impassa- hard drinker, if not a drunkard. It ble marshes, so that strangers who is wbispered, too, that he is not free are residing here talk of the intole from other vices. You may see on rable irksomeness of being on the the sabbath, men fishing, and going limits. There is, though, a tongue to and from hunting, lounging about of solid land running northward be. the public square and the streets, tween two marshes. Excepting and going to and returning from the this, there is probably not more than billiard tables, without appearing to one hundred acres of solid ground think of covering these proceedings which you can ramble over ; and with any disguise. On the other the appearance of the excepted hand, there are some enterprising country is such, that nobody less merchants, two or three respectarestless and curious than I am, ever ble lawyers, and as many mechan. thinks of setting foot upon it. Up- ics ; besides several other less deon the whole, the general aspect of scribable persons as to their occuthe adjacent country is emphatical- pations. It is said a surprising imly desolate. The city is small and provement has taken place in the mean. The population is variously general morals of the people during estimated at from 1200 to 1900- the last four years." this latter estimate I incline to think is nearest the truth. A num- In another letter, addressed to ber of the buildings are in a state his brother, he describes the mas. of complete dilapidation, and are querading. overgrown with nettles. Most of the others indicate either squalid " The season for this amusement poverty, or extreme laziness and is the forty days before Lent. It depravity, or all together, and the had commenced when I arrived. impression which the sight of them The masquers disguise themselves produces is rather strengthened in various ways. Men dress like than diminished by more immediate young men, or old men, or sailors, acquaintance with their inhabitants, or soldiers, or officers, or barbers, Some few show that their occupiers or women. Women dress in the possess means, and that regard to same indecent manner, and freappearances, which, though it does quently in men's clothes. Their not demonstrate good morals, does faces are covered with boods, or argue some respect for public opin- thick veils, or painted masks, causion; which in St. Augustine is no ing the wearers to look like wax fi