PRESS OF CASE, TIFFANY & BURNHAM.
EDIDI QUAE POTUI, NON UT VOLUI, SED UT ME TEMPORIS
ANGUSTIAE COEGERUNT.--Cic. de Orat. Lib. iii. Cap. 61.
MR. DEAN, AND GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE OF CONVOCATION,
THE statute of the Corporation of Trinity College, under the authority of which we are now met together, eminently liberal and wise in its inception, appears to me already to be giving proof of its beneficial operation. Heretofore the literary festival we are about to celebrate, has attracted us from our distant homes and various pursuits to testify our respect for this seminary of learning, and our sympathy with the young brethren who are to receive its honors; and, at the same time, to enjoy amongst ourselves the pleasures of social intercourse. But I feel confident that I speak your sentiments when I say that we are now drawn hither by an additional and even a higher motive; and that we are prepared to manifest a much warmer love for Trinity College, and a far deeper interest in its welfare than we have ever felt before, in consequence of the trust with which we have been honored, and in view of the duty which that trust calls upon us to discharge. As the House of Convocation, we have a distinct being in connexion with the College, and are recognized as having a constituent department in the management of its concerns. We are not, indeed, endowed with any positive legislative or executive authority, for no such could well be delegated to us; but our advice is solicited upon measures which involve the best interests of the institution, and we have every [3/4] assurance that our recommendations will receive always most respectful consideration from the other house of the Senatus Academicus, the Corporation. [* As this address may possibly fall into the hands of those who are not acquainted with Trinity College and its organization, and who may feel some interest in knowing about it, I have thought it expedient to put into an Appendix, a brief statement, taken from the College Calendar for 1847.]
I anticipate from this new arrangement a very marked and quick return of favorable results; and I cannot but congratulate you, gentlemen, and all who have been instrumental in bringing it about, that this important forward movement in collegiate life in our country can claim this institution as its starting place. The sons of this college can no longer feel that when they have completed the four years of their academic life, and have received their first degree in arts, they are then severed from their Alma Mater, and that thenceforward nothing more can be expected from them than to cherish a grateful recollection of her. She will not permit them thus to be cut loose from her. She solicits them to change the tie of discipline and instruction, sometimes perchance painful or irksome, into a bond of love, which shall draw them frequently to come and revive pleasing and profitable associations, and bring with them offerings of filial gratitude. Thus the annual return of the commencement season, while it will offer to a greater extent even than before, the opportunity for social intercourse between the companions of former days, will become a stated occasion for grave conference, and for friendly and truth-finding debate upon the all-important subject of education. Are we over sanguine in the belief that the results of a counsel thus gathered from widely distant sections of our land, from all the varied pursuits of life, and from the contrasted experience of the young and the aged alumnus; and these maturely weighed and modified, if need be, by the upper [4/5] house, will redound to the honor and usefulness of our seminary, and will preserve it from being justly obnoxious to the charge of falling behind the age, or of opposing any real and well tested improvement which the spirit of the age may suggest?
Upon the occasion of the first public meeting of this body last year, there could not have been selected a subject of discourse more appropriate than the one to which your attention was directed. [* The Christian Scholar; his position, his danger and his duties: An Address pronounced before the House of Convocation of Trinity College, Hartford, August 5th, 1846, by Rev. John Williams, M. A., Rector of St. George's Church, Schenectady, and a Junior Fellow of Trinity College.] How fully, clearly, and eloquently it was treated, and how great the satisfaction and instruction those of us who had the privilege of being present derived from it, I need not say. Assembled once again as "Christian Scholars," I cannot doubt that we are all anxious to discharge, as opportunity may bring them up, the various duties which that favored character has devolved upon us. Adverting, then, to our new position as members of this Convocation, a prominent duty, here and now, seems to me to point us to our connexion with collegiate life. Our thoughts and conversation at our annual gathering beneath these classic shades are naturally directed to this class of reminiscences, and hence the principles upon which collegiate education and discipline should be conducted will as naturally present to us a subject for discussion. At least I will venture to say that I hope this will follow as one of the signal benefits of our organization.
So impressed am I with the importance of this prospective result in its happy influence upon the well-being of this seminary, and also in exciting inquiry and extending knowledge amongst educated men in relation to a subject which should be dear to them, that I feel constrained to offer myself as a humble pioneer to direct [5/6] your attention to it. It covers a very large extent of ground, and will require many successive years to occupy and improve it in a suitable manner. My allotted task would seem to be the simple attempt to clear away some obstructions, as a preparation for a higher and more successful culture which is to follow. Expect me, then, and permit me, to be somewhat discursive in my remarks while I suggest some of those many topics connected with the one great subject of collegiate education and discipline, which I trust will receive from abler and better prepared occupants of this place than he who now has the honor of addressing you can presume to imagine himself, distinct and adequate examination.
But that I may not be tempted to wander without a definite purpose over too wide a space, I shall direct my observations,
FIRST, to the general state of education, its defects and their remedy: and
NEXT, to the outline of a plan which may exemplify what will thus be put forward as the true idea of a sound collegiate education.
It is a strange fact and one difficult to account for, that education, which has ever been held in the highest estimation by the thoughtful and well informed, should yet be so uncertain as to its fundamental principles and its practical administration. A distinguished scholar and eloquent writer, the late Dr. Thomas Brown, deliberately asserted from his Professorial chair in the University of Edinburgh, that "the noblest, but, in proportion to its value, the least studied of all the arts is the art of education." [* Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind, Lecture IV.] Another Professor now filling a high place in the city of London, within the present year affirmed that "all education has hitherto been and long will be a mixture of some truth with more fancy and error." [* Dr. Elliottson, Harveian Oration for 1846.] And an able [6/7] and most earnest writer thus commences his valuable treatise upon Popular Education, published only a few years since. "It is a matter of deep regret to the first men of the age that education has not yet been placed upon a practically useful basis. It is felt that it is imperfectly enjoyed even by the educated, utterly withheld from the multitude, and not yet systematized either in principles or plan." [* Necessity of Popular Education, &c. by James Simpson.] These are startling declarations, and if we are not prepared to admit them in all their breadth, I fear we shall be constrained to acknowledge that they are too near the truth for the satisfaction or repose of those who have any charge in directing this great instrument of human improvement.
Perhaps it may help to a better understanding of these assertions and a more ready assent to their truth, if I ask my hearers to make a clear distinction in their minds between the art of education as such, and the various arts and sciences upon which it may be employed. Education is not an intimate knowledge of these, or of any one of them, although it implies, and, in order to its successful exercise, demands this knowledge. In its own separate nature it relates simply to the method of communicating in the quickest and most effectual manner to the subject of its training, the principles and practice of some art or science other than itself. This distinction may tend to soothe that intellectual pride so natural to the human mind, and which perchance might be offended at the bare suggestion that the present generation is not in all respects wiser and better off than those which have passed away. It will be universally conceded that in many of the departments of human knowledge, there has ever been a gradual, and in some of them, in recent times, a rapid and wonderful advancement. If this cannot be affirmed [7/8] of literature generally, of the fine arts, or of mental and moral philosophy, or what in college phrase are termed humaniores literae, there can be no doubt but that in exact science, and science as adapted to the arts of life, a marvellous progress has been made and is still making, in consequence of which the family of civilized man now enjoys advantages immeasurably greater than those possessed by any former generation. But this is not the question before us. The point is simply, whether or not for centuries past there has been any marked improvement in the art of training the faculties of the human intellect, and of communicating the literature and science of a particular age to the youthful minds of that age. [* "Though the subject has of late been brought forward, it may with confidence be asserted, that the important theory of education has by no means kept pace with the improvements which have been made in the various departments of science and art, during the last century." Remarks on Scholastic and Academic Education. Part 1st of PHANTASM OF AN UNIVERSITY, by Charles Kelsall, Esq. A fanciful work gotten up with great expense of beautiful but impracticable architectural designs for an University. It contains, however, wise and profitable suggestions upon the subject of education.] Is philosophy, then, better taught now than it was in the lectures of the Porch or the Academy? Is there any where a more thorough school for the discipline of rhetoric and oratory than that to which the youthful Cicero resorted? Has there yet been a better plan devised, one fuller and more judicious in its directions as to the management of the child from the first development of the faculty of speech to the crowning work of education in the formation of the perfect orator, than is to be found in the Institutiones Oratoriae of Quintilian? As to the knowledge of language and appreciation of the beauties of style, no one acquainted with the subject, I presume, would assert that in any community whatsoever, at present existing, they are as thoroughly or widely disseminated as they were at [8/9] Athens, when the whole mass of the people was so well educated in these respects that not a grammatical error, not a defect even of pronunciation could escape detection by the very women about the market place. [* The allusion here is to a passage in that delightful classical romance Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis en Grèce. It is so long since I read it, however, that I cannot recur to it. The learned Abbe doubtless had authority for his assertion, and according to his custom has most probably given it at the bottom of his page. But I am reminded of Cicero's statement to the same effect,--tamen eruditissimos homines Asiaticos quivis Atheniensis indoctus, non verbis, sed sono vocis, nec tam bene, quam suaviter loquendo, facile superabit. De Orat. Lib. III. Cap. 11.]
These illustrations, however, must not be pressed beyond their due and prescribed limits. I cannot, I trust, be suspected of adducing them in order to raise the slightest doubt of the reality of progressive improvement in the social condition of man. "Knowledges manifold," [* Coleridge] which either had not sprung into being, or were the jealously guarded inheritance of the few, are now freely distributed amongst the many. The rights of man are far better understood than they have ever been before; they are more safely protected by popular institutions, and the physical comforts of man are vastly increased. But no one can imagine what would have been his condition at this time had the art of education kept an equal pace of improvement with many of the other arts of social life, and had a true idea of its grand purpose been ever held out in prominent view so that all intelligent and benevolent minds could have worked towards one certain and well defined object. That it would have been far wiser, happier and more peaceful will hardly be denied. Some portions of the poet's description of the primitive but imaginary age would have found their counterpart in the present actual one.
AEtas, quae, vindice nullo,
Sponte sua, sine lege, fidem rectumque colebat.
Non galeae, non ensis, erant; sine militis usu
Mollia securae peragebant otia gentes. [* Ovid. Metam. Lib. I. 89]
In advancing an opinion, however, so unfavorable in one important respect to an age which is accustomed to boast itself mightily of great achievements, and which certainly has many undeniable reasons for self-laudation, I may be excused for seeking to fortify what I assert by an appeal to other testimony. I will direct your notice, therefore, to one who has discussed this question, and others kindred to it, with sagacity, knowledge and a benevolent zeal, although I cannot sympathize with him in all his complaints, or acknowledge that there is value in all his suggestions. His work, from which I quote, was written for England, and was designed for an exposure of the great faults in society existing there; but the remarks which I here offer for your consideration are not less applicable to ourselves. "No error is more profound or prevalent than the persuasion that we are an educated class in the best sense of the term. Our complacent conclusions on the subject are however exceedingly natural. Look, it is said, at our libraries, our encyclopedias, teeming as they do with knowledge in every branch of science and literature. See our chemical, mathematical, mechanical powers, with all their realized results, which seem to mould nature at our will and render life proudly luxurious. Then turn to our classical literature, our belles lettres, our poetry, our eloquence, our polished intercourse, our refined society; consider our fine arts and elegancies, and above all think of our legislation and political economy, our institutions of benevolence and justice, and the gigantic combinations of our entire national system. There is much in these high-sounding claims that deceives [10/11] us. We are prone to borrow from the large fund of credit we possess in the exact and physical sciences, to place the loan to the account of universal intellectual and moral attainment, and to conclude that a pitch of improvement, which enables us to travel thirty miles an hour, must comprise in it every thing else of knowledge and power. But alas! when we look beyond the range of physical tangibilities, and, it may be, elegant literature, into the region of mental and moral relations, in short the science of man, upon which depend the wisdom of our legislation, and the soundness of our institutions and customs, what a scene of uncertainty do we see! Fixed principles in social affairs have not yet been attained. Scarcely shall we meet two individuals who are guided by the same code. Hence controversy is the business of the moral, and assuredly we may add, of the religious world. To engross as much wealth, gain as much of what is miscalled distinction as our neighbor, and outstrip him in the business of life. A catalogue of our defects--all referable to the education wherewith we are mocked, might be expatiated upon to the extent of a volume." [* Simpson, Chapter II]
This is certainly a forbidding picture, and drawn with a severe pencil, but in the main features delineated, it is doubtless a truthful one. It behooves us therefore not to turn from it in anger or contempt, but rather to look upon it ourselves, and hold it up to others, until we have startled the whole community of thinking men, and especially those who have any responsible charge of education, into the conviction that the true idea of this art is as yet vaguely existing amongst us, and very imperfectly accomplishing its legitimate design.
Do you seek for the causes of this lamentable deficiency? We believe that one of them at least does not lie [11/12] very remote, nor is it difficult of detection. If we mistake not it consists in this, that the great and essential element in all investigations touching the training of man, is most generally either overlooked, or not allowed to have its due preponderance. And this element is the real nature of man, and the true purpose of his being. No system of education can be a wise or successful one, into which these all-important considerations do not fully enter. The etymology of the word alone, if we would attend to it, might lead us to this conclusion. To educate is to draw forth or to bring out. To bring out what? Obviously the faculties of our nature--all the faculties of our entire nature. To draw out these faculties, then, to direct them to their appropriate objects, and, while thus training them; to put the subject of education in possession of all the knowledge which had been accumulated by the generations of men who had gone before,--this would constitute a perfect education. But such perfection, at least for years to come, we fear, can be contemplated in theory only. We will not however allow it to be chimerical to anticipate a much nearer approach to it than we now perceive. One obvious fault of the systems of education which have had the greatest currency amongst men is that the intellectual faculties have been in a manner kept distinct from the moral and religious, and have too generally been cherished and strengthened to their detriment. Now we believe that all the constituent parts of the one nature of man should be trained in happy harmony, and in due subordination to their relative importance in accomplishing the great end of his being; and we will affirm that the art of education will never be placed upon a solid foundation, and be built up in a progressive manner as other arts have been, until this truth is appreciated and acted on. No one will deny that a man whose intellectual faculties have been cultivated to [12/13] the neglect of his moral, will exhibit a character radically defective. Furthermore, we who take the Gospel of Christ as our rule of life, are fully satisfied that no moral training can be thorough or secure, which is not fortified by religious principle. It is not therefore pure intellect alone, or the moral sense, or the religious sentiment, that education is intended to draw forth, but all, and all as we have said, in subordination to the great end of his being.
Since I have thought seriously upon this subject, I have often admired the wisdom and felt the importance of Milton's words in his Tractate upon Education, which, although only a letter addressed to a friend, detailing the substance of previous conversations held between them, is yet worthy the attention and repeated perusal of all who are concerned in education. "The end of learning," says the great poet, "is to repair the ruin of our first parents, by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being united to the Heavenly grace of faith, make up the highest perfection. But because our understanding cannot in this body found itself but on sensible things, nor arrive as clearly to the knowledge of God and things invisible as by orderly conning over the visible and inferior creature, the same method is to be followed in all discreet teaching."
To the same effect also, although not in a tone so Christian like, writes Locke, in a treatise replete with valuable practical suggestions for the training of youth. "Tis virtue then, direct virtue, which is the hard and valuable part to be aimed at in education. All other considerations and accomplishments should give way and be postponed to this. This is the solid and substantial good, which tutors should not only read lectures, and talk of; but the labor and art of education should furnish the mind [13/14] with, and fasten them, and never cease till the young man had a true relish of it, and placed his strength, his glory and his pleasure in it. The more this advances, the easier way will be made for other accomplishments in their turns." [* Locke's Works Vol. III page 26, folio edition] [** We may learn something of the paramount importance attributed to moral training even in heathen Rome, and of the mode in which it was cared for, by a passage from a chapter of Tacitus, in which he places in strong contrast the ancient discipline with the degeneracy of later times. "Jam primum, suus cuique filius, ex casta parente natus, non in cella emptae nutricis, sed gremio ac sinu matris educabatur, cujus praecipua laus erat, tueri domum et inservire liberis. Eligebatur autem aliqua major natu propinqua, cujus probatis spectatisque moribus omnis cujuspiam familiae soboles committeretur, coram qua neque dicere fas erat, quod turpe dictu, neque facere, quod inhonestum factu videretur. Ac non studia modo curasque, sed remissiones etiam lususque puerorum sanctitate quadam ac verecundia temperabat...Haec disciplina ac severitas eo pertinebat, ut sincera et integra et nullis pravitatibus detorta uniuscujusque natura toto statim pectore arriperet artes honestas." -- De Oratoribus Dialogus, § 28.]
Now it is obvious that what Milton calls the end of learning, should be kept in constant view in all systems and institutions which profess to promote learning, and that so far forth as this end is undervalued or lost sight of, such systems or institutions may justly be regarded as radically defective. Were this principle to be strictly applied, I fear that there are few seminaries of learning whose course of instruction and discipline could abide the test. An author whom I have before quoted, makes this strong and unqualified assertion. "No sect in religion has yet addressed itself to the duty of teaching the nature of man, the value of pursuits in life, the institutions of society, and the relation of all these to the religious and moral faculties of man." This condemnation is too sweeping to be entirely just, and if amongst what he calls sects in religion, he includes, as it is probable he does, the Church, we might in some few instances be prepared to [14/15] appeal from it. [* In justice to my friend, the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, I must here state that he was one of the first, if, as I believe to be the fact, he was not the very first amongst us to advocate the cause of Christian Education according to a positive form both in faith and worship. And at great sacrifice of time and toil and property, (if indeed that can be called sacrifice which has been cheerfully as well as conscientiously and with a successful result devoted to so good a work) he has sought to carry out his grand principle. Upon this basis the Flushing Institute was founded in 1829, which has since become St. Paul's College, now under the Rectorship of Mr. J. G. Barton, one of Dr. M.'s earliest pupils. From this as a root have sprung St. James's College and St. Timothy's Hall, Maryland, respectively under the charge of the Rev. John B. Kerfoot and the Rev. Libertus Van Bokkelen, pupils also of Dr. M.--all imbued with his principles. And now under the auspices, and through the enlightened zeal and untiring labors of my friend of many years, the Rt. Rev, the Bishop of New Jersey, Burlington College is wisely and securely laying the foundation of an institution to be built up on the same true principle. These Seminaries of learning are all by the Church, in the Church, and for the Church. But for the Church in no narrow sectarian intention. "I wish it to stand," says Bishop Doane of Burlington College, "no longer than its best exertions shall be made for every real interest of man. I desire God to bless it no longer than it shall be true to our whole country, and true to all mankind. I scorn the shield, however proud its blazonry may be, which does not bear the blessed scroll to every wind of heaven: Pro ecclesia, pro patria, pro genere humano--FOR THE CHURCH, THE COUNTRY AND ALL HUMAN KIND." May the spirit of this motto ever pervade all Church seminaries of learning! There are, in other Dioceses, Colleges and Schools, which profess the same great principle, but I speak of those only in this note of which I have some personal knowledge, and I have spoken at all to this point only for the purpose of bearing my humble testimony to the long and faithful labors and large pecuniary sacrifices of my friend, devoted to sustaining a principle of education which I trust will ere long be universally acknowledged and acted on by the Church.] But this we are constrained in sorrow and humiliation to affirm again, that notwithstanding all that has been said, written, and attempted in relation to education, the true idea of it is as yet imperfectly received amongst men, and unsuccessfully carried out in places assigned to it. The true idea is that religion is "the King's daughter, all glorious within, whose clothing is of [15/16] wrought gold," [* Psalm xlv. 13.] and the virgins that do follow her are the arts and sciences, and as her inferiors they should attend upon and minister unto her, and are sufficiently honored in being permitted to enter with her into the King's house. But how do they on numberless occasions lose their modest demeanor, and forget their place, and one or another as the case may be, strive for preeminence, not only amongst themselves, but over their sacred and queenly mistress; who, if not treated with absolute neglect and banished their company, is looked upon as patronized by their notice, and as depending upon them for protection, and almost even a being.
Friends of truth and righteousness, of sound learning and Christian education, it is for us to vindicate her rights by restoring her to her disputed sovereignty, and giving her the chief place of honor and of influence wherever youthful minds are to be trained. An arduous undertaking, I acknowledge, and one that for its accomplishment will demand on the part of the many faithful hearts and minds that must be engaged in it, consummate prudence, and untiring zeal and patience under disappointment, opposition and delay. It cannot be accomplished in all places at once, nor in every community with equal facility and success. But it is a work which at some day shall most assuredly be triumphant, for it is the purpose of Him who hath determined that "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." [* Isaiah, xl. 9] And being his purpose, he has committed its execution to those three institutions which he has appointed as the visible representations of his economy on earth, the Family, the State, and the Church. When it shall come to pass that these three work together with common intelligence, upon a common principle of mutual support, and with a common reference to one great law and its sanctions, [16/17] the Gospel of Christ, then will the true idea of education be universally recognized, and its benign influence be felt, and each rising generation shall succeed to greater measures of knowledge, virtue, prosperity and happiness than their fathers enjoyed.
But these abstract and speculative, and, as they may be termed by some, fanciful reflexions, are in danger of leading me into the region of topics which cannot be fully or satisfactorily treated within the limits which I must prescribe to myself on the present occasion.
I may however venture to occupy your attention a little longer while I attempt, as was proposed in the second place, to give the outline of a plan which shall be a practical exemplification of the true idea of education that has now been affirmed, though by no means fully elaborated. This idea demands that all the faculties of the one nature of man should be trained with a view to his restoration, as far as may be, to that Divine image in which he was originally created; and as the religious sentiment constitutes his distinguishing and most important faculty, this must be cherished whatever else be neglected, and in due subordination to it must all the other faculties be cultivated. Now the problem is so to connect this idea with a collegiate institution, as to make it the life principle thereof. This can be accomplished as I can conceive, only in one way; BY THE AUTHORITY AND WITH THE AID OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST ON EARTH. As the religious sentiment has been committed by Him who made man and knew what was in him to the charge of this Church, and as for this purpose he has endowed the Church with a ministry and sacraments and the custody of the Holy Oracles of wisdom, it is impossible for the Church to transfer her responsibility to any other institution, and more especially to one of acknowledged human origin. She may make use of means devised by human wisdom, to [17/18] facilitate the great object, but she cannot divest herself of its charge. The college, then, should be the Church's institution, founded under her auspices, built up under the influence of her prayers, and by the help of her offerings, and having its whole course of instruction and internal police devised and carried on in accordance with her spirit. Here religion will be the chief object of notice, and the source of all healthful discipline. It will be the central light and the attractive power, and around it the arts and sciences will be made to move in their due order and relation, acknowledging this as the revealer of their beauties and utilities, the source of their warmth and life, and the great regulator of their beneficent combinations and mutual influences. And furthermore believing that religion can thus subsist and maintain this steady and uniform action only in the manifestation of some positive form both of faith and worship, and that all attempts to reach this object under the vague statement of such fundamentals as all may agree in, have heretofore proved and for ever must prove futile, the Church should dictate the articles of faith and direct the mode of worship. The collegiate year too should be the Church's year--its movements, its succession of seasons, its weeks of work and weeks of rest, its holy-days, joyous festivals, and self-denying fasts, all going on in well known rotation, all tending to Him who is the fountain of knowledge, of order and of love, and seeking to make his blessed life on earth the exemplar of its own. And all this may be devised and should be carried out in the spirit of Christian love, and in the exercise of an enlarged tolerance. While the sons of the Church should be encouraged and exhorted to observe her godly discipline, to frequent her inner courts and assist at her high solemnities, kindly provision should be made for "proselytes of the gate," who may be drawn hither, and full liberty of faith and worship be conceded to them.
 This great principle, moreover, of putting a seminary of learning under the direct influence of a distinctive faith and worship, which I would contend for as right and true in the abstract, I would willingly see adopted and exemplified by those who hold different views of religious truth from myself. And I honestly believe that were such the avowed policy of all the colleges in this land, as in fact in some of them it is the operative policy, it would be better for the cause of religion and learning, and for that too which is so much talked of and lauded at the present day, a comprehensive liberality. That unhappy jealousy, which now so often manifests itself in the management of our seminaries of learning, lest one set of religious opinions should obtain a more preponderating influence than another, would disappear. Each resting quietly upon its own acknowledged and distinctive character, the greatest internal obstacle to concentrated and harmonious action would be removed, and thenceforward the different colleges in the land would be excited only to a generous rivalry as to which should most faithfully fulfill the great designs of their institution: As to the fear that seminaries of learning so constituted would become nurseries of bigotry and fanaticism, I believe it to be entirely groundless. Such a result, wheresoever it should manifest itself, would only prove a woful misapprehension of the true spirit of the Gospel, or a wretchedly narrow cultivation of the liberal arts and sciences. [* Adde, quod ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes, Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros. Ovid Ex. Pont. Lib. II. Epist. IX.]
But again, in exhorting the church to assume a greater weight of the responsibility which partly belongs to her, and in pleading for her restoration to her ancient privileges in this respect, I am very far from wishing to become the advocate of priestly rule. He must have been a very superficial or a very prejudiced reader of ecclesiastical [19/20] history who is not aware of the evils to which pure religion and sound learning and progressive science have all been subjected from this source. In the present age, and under our happy constitution of government, giving precedence to no religious persuasion, but conceding equal rights to all, there can be no just apprehension of such danger. And moreover in a church organized as is our own, where the laity have a voice potential in our councils, all tendency to sacerdotal domination would be repressed as soon as discovered.
This principle too, which we advocate, and which we would see carried out to its rightful results, is no newly started theory. It was the foundation principle of the oldest and most renowned seminaries of the land. Harvard College was established upon it, and the spirit and intention of the founders of that noble institution still speak forth in the language of the motto of its public seal. And what is not a little remarkable, the successive changes in this motto seem to manifest the progress of truth in the gradual development of a sound principle. First it was "Veritas" simply. [* See President Quincy's History of Harvard College, Vol. I., p. 49.] To this divine but abstract idea, was the institution as it were, consecrated. But we may imagine some Pilate demanding in contemptuous skepticism, "What is truth?" [* John xviii. 38.] The wise and holy men who controlled the destinies of the college could not hesitate for an instant in their reply. The truth which they would confess alone to be such, and the truth which they exclusively would teach was "In Christi gloriam." This then displaced the vague generality. But it soon was felt that as the chief glory of Christ upon earth was manifested in his church, with his blessed name there should be associated that of his beloved and acknowledged spouse, and "Christo et Ecclesiae" was emblazoned on [20/21] the honored shield. And always and every where may the spirit of this motto rightly understood, sanctify the fountains of human learning and make them as "Siloa's brook that flow'd Fast by the oracle of God." [* Milton.]
The next born sister of New England, younger in years but not perhaps inferior in literary labors and renown, sprang into being under the same holy impulse. The preamble of the Charter of Yale College proclaims as the leading motive of its establishment, "a sincere regard to and zeal for upholding and propagating of the Christian Protestant religion, by a succession of learned orthodox men," [* Baldwin's History of Yale College, p. 13, 21.] and the very first act of the Trustees under this Charter was to take order for the religious education of its students.
This idea of the sacred and indissoluble connexion between religion and learning thus recognized in the earliest and most successful attempts to establish education firmly on our soil, by the civil and religious fathers of New England, was by them brought from the Universities of their native land, in which so many of them had been taught, and for which they ever cherished deep veneration and love. That it is there still watched and guarded with holy zeal as the ark of their safety we know; and may no want of wisdom or of vigilance within, and no sacrilegious violence from without, ever wrest it from them.
The church, then, we affirm to be the appropriate guardian and guide of education; and with all who believe that God has given to man such an institution, whatever views they may respectively hold of its essential form, this should be received not as a proposition to be proved but as an axiom of truth.
 Having thus in our imaginary plan named the substance and sketched the form of the foundation we would lay, let us look briefly at the principles by which we would raise the superstructure.
A collegiate or liberal education, as it is termed, stands between an elementary and a professional one, having an important influence upon both, but requiring to be kept, so far as practicable, distinct from either. To the one it is in the place of a parent, to the other in that of a child. To elementary education it is a parent, as having brought forth and nourished all the processes by which it is conducted. Were it not for the higher education, the lower could never have been advanced to its present condition. Those therefore who look with jealousy upon our colleges, who contend against the expediency of affording them liberal endowments under the pretence that it is favoring the few at the expense of the many, and who are liberal in their views of expenditure towards common schools, as being for the benefit of the people, while they stint our colleges, and in some instances would deprive them even of their present resources, betray a lamentable ignorance of the true policy of administering the educational system of a community. Did they apply to this question enlarged and intelligent views, they would at once perceive that there is no more effectual method of improving common schools and elevating the mass of the people in knowledge, than by enlarging the means of collegiate education. In a country blessed with free institutions as ours is, it is impossible to advance one class of the community in knowledge and virtue at the expense of the others. There is a reciprocal action constantly going on among them. The higher the grade of instruction given in our colleges, the more surely its effects, flowing down through those who are educated in them, and who mingle afterwards with their fellow citizens in all the offices of social life, will be [22/23] felt in the improved condition of the common schools. And again, in proportion as the common schools are better taught, the academies and classical schools will rise in the scale of improvement, and the preparatory studies for college in these being wider and more thorough, the terms of admission into our colleges may be extended, and of course their whole scheme of study be made to embrace a wider range. But abolish colleges or institutions for higher learning, or cramp them in their efforts for improvement, and the deleterious influence will be felt through all grades of seminaries of learning, down to the very primary schools for training the infant mind.
As the influence of the college, rightly directed, should be to foster and expand all the educational institutions which in regular gradation descend from it, so its actual system of discipline and instruction should be a rigid preparation for professional studies or the pursuits of adult years. Therefore in a college which would exemplify the true idea of education, many departments of learning should be cultivated, which though not to be directly employed in professional life, have yet an important bearing upon its success. There has been a tendency in some of our higher seminaries of learning, to relax the ancient system of scholastic discipline by encouraging what are called partial courses of instruction, through an undue anxiety to gratify the utilitarian spirit of the age, and to hasten forward the young aspirants towards their respective permanent pursuits in life. Hence often, classical studies, and general philosophy, and even pure mathematics are not honored, encouraged and promoted as they should be. The demand is for such particular studies and such an extent alone of familiarity with them, as may be made instantly and obviously available; and by yielding to this demand, encouragement is given to superficial education, and the very end proposed, that of making well [23/24] informed and efficient practical men for the varied uses of social life, is thus seriously interfered with.
This however is not a recent evil, nor one fostered, as some might suppose, by our peculiar institutions, for Lord Bacon detects it and thus reproves it: "If any man thinke Philosophy and Universality to bee idle studies; he doth not consider that all Professions are from thence served, and supplyed. And this I take to bee a great Cause that hath hindered the progression of learning, because these fundamental knowledges have been studied but in passage. For if you will have a tree bear more fruit than it hath been used to do, it is not any thing you can do to the boughs, but it is the stirring of the earth, and putting new moulde about the Rootes, that must worke it." [* Of the Advancement of Learning. The Second Booke.] In a subsequent age, and one much nearer to our own times, another distinguished scholar, and able writer, was led to remark upon the same unhappy tendency in seminaries of learning to slight scholastic studies in eagerness to engage in professional ones. His earnest words addressed to the students of the universities of our mother-land, but equally worthy of our attention, I am glad to rescue from a note in an almost forgotten book. "I would call the rising youth of this country to the intense, and frequent, and unremitting study of the ancient classical writers as their primary choice. I call upon them to have the courage to be ignorant of many subjects, and many authors, at their inestimable age. I exhort them affectionately, as a matter of the most serious importance, never to pretend to study, in their first academical years, what they design as the ultimate end of their labors, I mean, their profession. Their whole business is to lay the foundation of knowledge, original, sound, and strong. They who, by a patient continuance and undiverted attention to academical studies alone, have sought [24/25] for the original materials of science and of solid fame, have seldom failed in their great pursuit." [* Pursuits of Literature, page 264 American edition. This powerful satirical poem, with its learned, copious, and much amusing notes, worthy the attentive perusal of all who are engaged in the higher departments of teaching, has been sometimes ascribed to Gifford, and is so by Watt in his Bibliotheca. But it contains internal evidence in sundry places to the contrary. Matthias is now, I believe, the acknowledged author.] The leading point to which I wish to direct attention in this eloquent passage, is its enforcement of the necessity of making the course of collegiate studies strictly and thoroughly preparatory. I sympathize with the author in his warm approval of classical studies, but I am by no means prepared to recommend them, as he seemingly does here, to the exclusion of mathematical and philosophical pursuits as a discipline of the mind. The comparative merits of the two in this regard, is a question, we know, long mooted and still unsettled. I do not design however to obtrude myself into this discussion. Had I even the presumption to suppose myself capable of throwing any additional light upon it, I would not consent to treat it in so perfunctory a manner as would be necessary at this period of my address. I may venture nevertheless to say, in passing, that the peculiar benefit of classical or mathematical studies, considered as intellectual gymnastics, must after all be decided by a careful reference to the idiosyncrasy of the mind that is to be placed under discipline. Sir John Herschel, in treating of this question, has well observed that "there are minds which though not devoid of reasoning powers, yet manifest a decided inaptitude for mathematical studies--minds which are estimative not calculating, and which are more impressed by analogies, and by apparent preponderance of general evidence in argument than by mathematical demonstration, [25/26] where all argument is on one side, and no show of reason can be exhibited on the other." [* Views on Scientific and General Education, by Sir John Herschel, F. R. S., M. A., as quoted in Newman's translation of Huber on the English Universities, Vol. II. Part II. p. 645.]
This fact, then, will have its full influence in every well devised scheme of education, and while the subject of college training and the candidate for college honors will not be allowed to be ignorant of the chief classical writers in Latin and Greek, and of the general principles of mathematics and their applications, the degree of attention to be given to these studies respectively will be measured by the intellectual faculties which shall be manifested by each student.
But while thus, according to our idea of collegiate education, an unremitting attention should be given to studies the chief objects of which are intellectual discipline and what we may call preparatory knowledge, there are other branches of knowledge which must not be neglected,--branches which are more immediately called into requisition in social life, and without a competent acquaintance with which no one can be esteemed thoroughly educated.
The present distinguished master of Trinity College, Cambridge, in his admirable treatise upon a liberal education, has very happily distinguished between the two, and described them as Permanent and Progressive Studies. "To the former belong those portions of knowledge which have long taken their permanent shape; ancient languages with their literature, and long established demonstrated sciences. To the latter class belong the results of the mental activity of our own times; the literature of our own age, and the sciences in which men are making progress from day to day. The former class of subjects connects us with the past; the latter with the present and [26/27] the future. By the former class of studies, each rising generation, in its turn, learns how former generations thought, and felt, and reasoned, and expressed their thoughts, and feelings, and reasonings. By the latter class of studies, each generation learns that thought, and feeling, and reasoning, are still active, and is prepared to take a share in the continuation and expression of this activity. Both these kinds of studies give man a conscious connexion with his race. By the former he becomes conscious of a past, by the latter, of a present, humanity." [* Of a Liberal Education in general, and with particular reference to the leading studies of the University of Cambridge. By William Whewell, D. D., Master of Trinity College, and Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Cambridge. Chapter 1. Sec. I., p. 7.]
In these progressive studies we include those which treat of the nature and propensities of man as developed in the history of nations and the biography of individuals; the constitutions of human society including our responsibilities to individuals and to the community of which we are members; the general principles of political economy and of jurisprudence; the nature and constitution of the earth we inhabit--its animal, vegetable, and mineral productions, and their uses and propensities as subservient to human wants; and the relation of this earth to the system of the Universe as manifested in the sublime discoveries of modern astronomy. Amongst these studies those which bring into view the social relations of man are obviously of the highest importance, especially in a country where free institutions are the blessed birthright of the people, and where every man is called to the responsible duty of protecting them by his vote, and often to the more responsible duty of managing them by being made the depository of legislative, judicial or executive power. As to the studies which are embraced under the general head of Natural Science, they are not only of [27/28] deep interest in themselves, as exciting and gratifying an intelligent curiosity, but they prefer higher claims upon our attention. "Natural science, when pursued with a right spirit, will foster the reasoning powers, and teach us knowledge fitted at once to impress the imagination, to bear on the business of life, and to give us exalted views of the universal presence and unceasing power of God." [* A Discourse on the Studies of the University, by Adam Sedgwick, M. A., F. R. S., and Woodwardian Professor, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Appendix p. 155.]
Thus it will be seen that in unfolding our idea of a sound collegiate education, while we would have the principal attention given to the religious and moral faculties, and then to the training of the intellectual powers, we would also aim at as extensive a knowledge as can be grasped and conveyed in an elementary course, of the actual system and laws of nature, both physical and moral, and the means of adapting this system and these laws to the elevation of man's social condition. When judiciously and faithfully administered, the benign tendency of such education will be to bring out all the faculties of the youth who is placed under its direction; those that are weak in fibre will be strengthened by appropriate exercises; those that have marked developments will be trained to graceful and appropriate movements; amongst those that threaten irregular action from want of a just counterpoise, the balance will be restored; and thus while the chief hope and effort will be to make "the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works," [* II. Timothy, III. 17.] there will be no neglect of means or exertion to make the intellectual man symmetrical and strong, fitted to encounter all that he may be exposed to in the combat of life.
But when I speak of the combat of life, and of the [28/29] intellectual training that is essential to entering into it with a reasonable prospect of success, I am reminded that there is another constituent part of man which demands, though not to an equal degree, the superintending care of education; and this is his physical constitution. Were I to say that its healthful or diseased condition exerts a very powerful and obvious influence, not only upon the comfort of his daily life, but upon the growth of his intellectual, moral, and even religious faculties, I should be only repeating what has been said a thousand times over upon that trite theme, "mens sana in corpore sano." But yet I will ask, has this subject received by any means the attention its importance demands? From all I can learn and have observed, it is treated with greater neglect amongst us, both by educated men and youth in the process of education, than amongst any other civilized people. Whether it be from the effect of climate, or from some peculiarity of constitution, I know not, but the fact is certain that our young men, in colleges especially, are too little disposed to take that amount of exercise which is absolutely needful for health. The consequence is that we have a larger proportion of feeble and sickly students, and of men breaking down in the early stages of professional life, than is found in other countries. How different the habits of English college life are, let me show by adducing the testimony of a scholar who, after spending a portion of his time in one of the chief and the most populous of our American colleges, passed several years in the University of Cambridge. "There is one great point where the English have the advantage over us: they understand how to take care of their health. Every Cantabrigian takes his two hours exercise per diem, by walking, riding, rowing, fencing, gymnastics, &c. How many colleges are there here where the students average one hour a day of real exercise? In New England the last [29/30] thing thought of is exercise--even the mild walks which are dignified with the name of exercise, how unlike the Cantabrigian's constitutional of eight miles in less than two hours! And the consequence is--what? There is not a finer looking set of young men in the world than the Cantabs, and as to health--why, one hundred and thirty freshmen enter at Trinity every year, and it is no unfrequent occurrence that, whatever loss they may sustain from other causes, death takes away none of them during the three years and a half which comprise their undergraduate course." [* American Review, Vol. V. p. 354.]
Now what remedy can be proposed for the mitigation or the cure of this acknowledged evil? Compulsory measures are of course out of the question. Discipline which it may be highly expedient to apply under certain circumstances for the quickening of mental effort, could answer no good purpose in this relation. All that can be done then is to enforce the necessity for bodily exercise upon our students, and supply them with suitable facilities for its practice. We learn that this has been attempted in some of our literary institutions by means of farms and workshops. I would by no means undervalue such attempts--on the contrary, in carrying out the system now suggested, I would propose that space of ground, and opportunity, for horticulture, if not agriculture, should be furnished for all those who felt drawn to these health-giving and useful pursuits, and that accommodation also should be supplied for those who in the inclement season of winter would seek for exercise by the saw, the hammer, or the turning lathe. But still I am not utilitarian enough to despise plays which are nothing more than plays; and which on account of the greater relaxation of the mental powers they induce, the freer use of all the muscles they occasion, and the joyousness [30/31] of spirits they excite, I should prefer for students to playing at farming or trades. I would encourage, then, the ball ground, the cricket field, and the boat race, and rejoice to see on classic soil, sports that should recall the graphic descriptions of the classic page.
For example, on occasions like the present festival week, in order to exhibit what improvements the physical exercise of a year had produced, I would be reminded of the boat race, the poet's animated description of which even school boys must remember.
Prima pares ineunt gravibus certamina remis,
Quatuor, ex omni dilectae, classe, carinae.
Vir. AEneid. V. 114.
Then when all are ready, the active youths
Considunt transtris intentaque brachia remis:
Intentique expectant signum, exultantiaque haurit
Corda pavor pulsans, laudumque arrecta cupido.
AEneid. V. 136.
Nor amidst the beautiful scenery which surrounds yonder favored spot, and recalls to us the Elysian fields, would it be displeasing to see them occasionally animated with Elysian sports.
Pars in gramineis exercent membra palaestris;
Contendunt ludo, et fulvâ luctantur arena.
AEneid. VI. 642.
And the consequence would be, that, were athletic exercises like these encouraged and practised as a stated relaxation from hard study, and were the fields and groves, the shady walks, and breezy hills, and rippling and running waters, associated with a healthful, vigorous and joyous existence, the memory of a college life would indeed be as that of an Elysian abode, and the words which [31/32] precede my last quotation would well describe the happy haunts of a well spent youth.
Devenere locos latos, et amoena vireta,
Fortunatorum nemorum, sedesque beatas.
Largior hic campos aether et lumine vestit,
Purpureo; solemque suum, sua sidera nôrunt.
Virgil, AEn. VI. 638.
But gentlemen, it is time to bring this already too long, and I fear too discursive address, to its end. I have ventured to speak thus much and thus in detail upon a subject, which, how trite soever, can never lose its interest with those who watch and wish, and labor and pray, as I trust we all do, for the progress of man in the better training of the rising generation. I decided to attempt the treatment of this subject after much hesitation, not however in consequence of any distrust of the principles I should maintain, or the measures I should propose, but through fear that the inability of the advocate might injure the cause, and that I might subject myself, disconnected as I am with the administrative care of education, to the charge of presumption in assuming the position of an adviser. As a Fellow of Trinity College, however, I have felt that I had a responsible duty to discharge, and as a member of the House of Convocation, and one of the older members, I have been not unwilling to take the responsibility of setting the example of trying to make this a place of trust.
Certainly, gentlemen, we who have the honor of belonging to this House of Convocation, if we would not unworthily content ourselves with enjoying an empty distinction, should feel it to be incumbent upon us, each in his degree, and according to his ability and opportunity, to contribute something for the advancement of this seminary of learning with which we are associated. I have not intended, nor could I have the presumption, to find [32/33] fault with the general system of instruction and discipline that has been pursued here, and which is substantially the same with that which prevails in all the higher seminaries of learning in our country. Under the faithful labors of the able officers who have now and who have heretofore had the responsible management of Trinity College, the results, taking into view the limited numbers of those who have been induced to resort here for education, are such as its founders and patrons have full reason to be satisfied with; and following the subsequent career of those who have graduated at this institution, the Church, which finds them constituting one twelfth of those who serve at her altars, must gratefully acknowledge that it has not existed or labored in vain.
Much then has been accomplished for which we should render our devout thanks to the Almighty, "whose inspiration giveth man understanding." But the friends of Trinity College must not content themselves with this. Their constant thought in relation to this place of education must be of progress, and their zealous efforts must be stirred up to promote those wise measures which shall secure progress.
Can any thing then be proposed in conformity with the principles which have thus imperfectly been set forth, which may tend to give a fuller development to the true idea of education, in that institution to which we owe our allegiance, under whose auspices we are assembled, and for whose welfare we are to consult and advise? This, gentlemen, is a question for your decision; were I to advance any farther into the detail of proposed alterations, you might then justly accuse me of presumption. I may observe, however, that one principle for which I have contended, has been to a certain extent carried out here. In the address of last year it was stated that "this principle has been recognized and has found expression in the giving [33/34] to our college as her name henceforward through all time, the thrice sacred name of the most blessed Trinity." Previously she bore an honored name,--none in my judgment worthy of higher earthly distinction. And so far forth as that name called upon the sons of Washington College to emulate the wisdom, the prudence, the high morality, and the noble patriotism of him who will ever stand the very first upon the page of his country's history, and amongst the chief of the great and good on that of the world's history, it was an influential as well as an honored appellation. But in view of the name by which our college is now called, all earthly distinctions and the emulation of the most exalted human virtues sink to nothing and less than nothing. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity, all who are connected with this seminary should feel that they are pledged to the service of the Triune God, and that every department of learning, here taught, is to be made subservient to extending the faith and worship of God the Father who made man, God the Son who redeemed him, and God the Holy Ghost who sanctifies him. May His blessing ever rest upon all these and upon all who shall pray and vow in its behalf--"Peace be within thy walls and plenteousness within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will wish thee prosperity. Yea, because of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek to do thee good." Psalm cxxii. 7-9.
TRINITY COLLEGE, HARTFORD, is an academic Society, of which the control is vested in a CORPORATION, known in law by the style or title of The Trustees of Trinity College.
The design of a College in New England, connected with the church of the mother country, and so far as possible modelled after its celebrated universities, originated with the excellent BERKELEY, Bishop of Cloyne, who with this view purchased an estate, and resided for some time in Rhode Island. Though he was compelled reluctantly to relinquish his project, it was nevertheless not entirely without fruits. To his example and benefactions may be traced much of that interest in sound learning and Christian education which led to the first efforts for the establishment of a similar institution in Connecticut.
A Convocation of the Clergy of the Diocese, held in 1792, under SEABURY, first Bishop of Connecticut, took the primary steps towards establishing the Episcopal Academy at Cheshire; and this, though incorporated with limited privileges, was intended as the foundation for a higher institution, so soon as a charter conferring full collegiate powers could be obtained from the State. It was often styled, familiarly, The Seabury College.
Bishop BROWNELL, who succeeded to the Episcopate in 1819, was enabled very shortly to perfect these designs. The charter of Washington College was granted in 1823; and in the following year the institution was opened at Hartford, under the presidency of the Bishop.
In 1845, by permission of the Legislature, the name of the College was changed to its present style, to attest forever the faith of its founders, and their zeal for the perpetual glory and honor of the ONE HOLY AND UNDIVIDED TRINITY.
 To this brief History must be added some account of the internal organization and condition of the College.
The SENATUS ACADEMICUS consists of two houses, known as the CORPORATION and the HOUSE OF CONVOCATION.
The CORPORATION, on which the other house is wholly dependent, and to which, by law, belongs the supreme control of the College, consists of not more than twenty-four Trustees, resident within the State of Connecticut; the President of the College being ex officio one of the number, and president of the same. They have authority to fill their own vacancies; to appoint to offices and professorships; to direct and manage the funds for the good of the College; and, in general, to exercise the powers of a Collegiate Society, according to the provisions of the charter.
THE HOUSE OF CONVOCATION consists of the Fellows and Professors of Trinity College, with all persons who have received any academic degree whatever in the same, except such as have been lawfully deprived of their privileges.
Its business is such as may from time to time be delegated by the Corporation, from which it derives its existence; and is, at present, limited to consulting and advising for the good of the College; nominating the Junior Fellows, and all candidates for admission ad eundem; making laws for its own regulation; proposing plans, measures or counsel to the Corporation; and to instituting, endowing and naming, with concurrence of the same, professorships, scholarships, prizes, medals, and the like.
The CHANCELLOR and VISITOR. Such are the titles, under which supervisory powers, with special reference to the moral and religious interests of the academical body, are entrusted to the Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut.
The PRESIDENT. This officer, as his title imports, is the resident head and Rector of the College, and the Executive of all laws for the discipline of under-graduates.
The FELLOWS. There are six Fellows appointed by the Corporation alone, and six Junior Fellows, who must be Masters of Arts, appointed by the Corporation on nomination of Convocation; and these together make the Board of Fellows. To this Board the Corporation commits the superintendence of the strictly academical business of the College; of the course of study and examinations; of the statutes and discipline; of the library, cabinet, chapel, halls, grounds, collegiate dress, and the like; and also certain powers and privileges in recommending for degrees. Each Fellow and Junior Fellow is elected for three years; but there is no emolument connected with the office, besides a provision for necessary expenses [36/37] incurred in its discharge. The Fellows therefore, under existing laws, are not ordinarily resident.
The DEAN OF CONVOCATION presides in that House, and is elected by the same, biennially.
The PROFESSORS hold their appointments from the Corporation and by lectures and otherwise, instruct in their several departments. With the President and Tutors, they also form a board of government and control over the under-graduates.
TUTORS and LECTURERS are appointed from time to time by the Corporation to assist the professors in several departments of instruction. Private Tutors have no recognized character as officers of the College.
SCHOLARSHIPS. These are permanent endowments, held by certain under-graduates according to the terms of their foundation, and paying stipends of different amounts to their incumbents.
HALLS. There are three buildings belonging to the College, which in 1845, received the name of the first three Bishops of the Diocese. SEABURY-HALL, erected in 1825, contains the Chapel, and the Library, Cabinet, and other public chambers. JARVIS-HALL, erected in the same year, and BROWNELL-HALL, erected in 1845, contain rooms for the officers and students; and one of the wings of the latter is the residence of a Professor and his family.
The GROUNDS, on which the halls are erected, are an area of fourteen acres, laid out with walks, and ornamented with shade trees and shrubbery. The site is elevated, overlooking on one side the city of Hartford, within the limits of which the grounds are partly situated; and on the other the Little River (a branch of the Connecticut,) which forms their western boundary. This river is suitable for boating and for exercise in swimming.
THE LIBRARY AND CABINET. There are three thousand volumes belonging to the College, arranged in alcoves, and occupying a room in Seabury-Hall, in which are also the portraits of several officers and benefactors of the College. There are also two libraries belonging to societies of under-graduates, containing an aggregate of six thousand volumes. The cabinet is an extensive collection of minerals and geological specimens. A valuable philosophical apparatus is distributed through the lecture-rooms of the several professors requiring its aid in their instructions.
TERMS. There are three terms in the year, of from twelve to fourteen weeks each: during which every under-graduate is required to be resident, unless under special dispensation from the President.
 EXAMINATIONS. These are held at the end of each Term, in presence of examiners appointed by the Fellows, from their own number, or otherwise; and every under-graduate is required to be present and sustain his prescribed examinations at such times, unless a special examination is allowed for sufficient causes.
VACATION. The Christmas vacation is two weeks from the Thursday preceding Christmas day. The Easter vacation, four weeks from the Thursday before the 12th of April. The Long Vacation is seven weeks from Commencement day.
COMMENCEMENT. The first Thursday in August is Commencement day. On the day preceding, the Corporation and House of Convocation assemble, and an address and poem are publicly pronounced before the latter. There are also academical exercises publicly performed by the Junior Sophisters in the evening. On this day all applications for degrees ad eundem must be made to Convocation; and the annual elections of Fellows and Junior Fellows are usually held on this day, or on the morning following. On Commencement-day, candidates for degrees perform appointed exercises in public; and all degrees are conferred and announced with prescribed forms.
DEGREES. The Corporation is authorized by its charter to confer degrees in the Arts, and in the faculties of Law, Medicine and Divinity. Nominations for degrees may come from the Fellows and Professors, or from the House of Convocation; but the candidates are admitted only by vote of the Corporation; and all degrees are publicly conferred in its name, by the President.
Degrees in the faculties of Divinity and Law are conferred, at present, only honoris causa, or on admissions ad eundem. For the degree of Bachelor of Arts, the candidate must have sustained all his examinations, and paid all fees and charges; and must be nominated to the Corporation by the Fellows, and the Faculty of Arts. To proceed Master of Arts, a like nomination is requisite at a period of not less than three years after commencing Bachelor. The candidates for the degree must have performed their prescribed exercises; and it is desirable that the President should have received application before the annual meeting of the Fellows. The right to nominate for admission ad eundem is exclusively the privilege of the Convocation.