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FROM MR. C. F. MERCER TO MR. T. Y. HOW.
'January 31, 1805.
I write, my dear How, under an uncertainty whether my letter will find you in New-York, or have to follow you in an American or European tour; but I thank God that your health continues to mend. Your country, equally with your friends, has an interest in your recovery. I am impatient, my dear How, to see you enter on the stage of public life, and to witness the exertion of the rich talents which nature has given you, and which you have so highly cultivated. I have no doubt myself, but that a sense of public usefulness would contribute more effectually to your perfect recovery than the whole "materia medica.” Next to this moral remedy, the plan you have adopted seems to be best; it is, moreover, calculated yet further to extend your information, and to enlarge the field of your imagination. How I should delight to accompany you on your travels, to gather instruction from the clearness and force of your conceptions—to listen to your manly, nervous eloquence, but more, indeed, to share in your
affection—to participate in your cares and your enjoyments -to nurse you in sickness, and endeavor, by the tenderest sympathy, to dispel from your bosom the sorrow which appears to consume you.
Tell Hobart I shall not believe he remembers me unless he writes to me. You may, however, venture to give my love to him, and especially to Mrs. Hobart. Let us endeavor, my dear How, to make our correspondence less irregular, and while we complain of the selfishness of mankind, contribute by our letters to atone for it. Farewell, my dear How ; remember me to Mrs. Hobart. Kiss my little goddaughter for me, and believe me yet among the tenderest and most faithful of your friends.
CHARLES F. MERCER.'
The mention of his manly, nervous eloquence,' recalls to recollection, that to its incidental display in youth, Mr. How had become indebted for the peculiar patronage, which he for several years enjoyed, of one of the greatest men of our age and country, himself the model of the purest eloquence- Alexander Hamilton. The circumstance was as follows. About the year 1800, when political disputes ran high in the city of New York, and public meetings were marked by great excitement, General Hamilton was one evening present on a public call of that sort, in which he addressed the assembled mul. titude with more than his usual ability, but not his usual success, for the popular tide was beginning to turn, or rather was already running, strong against the old federal party.
At this moment, a young man, whom none knew, arose to address the assembly. His voice had that depth of tone which immediately arrests the attention : his figure for a youth was commanding, his manner grave, his words slow and weighty, and his reasoning clear, close, and logical. He spoke well and boldly, though on the failing side. When he had concluded,
amid many applauding inquiries who he was, and where he came from, he retired.
The next day, General Hamilton took pains to discover his nameless young advocate : traced him out, introduced himself to him, and finding him recently from college, received him as a law student into his office, and procured for him, shortly after, an honorable though nominal rank in the army. This was Mr. Hobart's friend, Thomas Y. How.
From 1806 to 1810—31st to 35th year of his age.
Ministerial Education - Protestant Episcopal Theological Society
Character and Influence-'Churchman's Magazine,' establishmentPrinciples-Mr. Hobart's Habits of Business—Church Music--Mr. Hobart's Love of Music- Affairs of the College-Election of Dr. Mason as Provost_Bible and Common Prayer.book Society-Ob. jects-Earliest Sermon published of Mr. Hobart, “The Excellence of the Church'—Examination of its Principles.
But while thus laboring for the edification of the Church, in what may be termed its outworks, Mr. Hobart felt that the corner-stone of its citadel was yet to be laid within, by some adequate provision for the education of its clergy. As yet, in truth, there was none. The Canons of the General Church (1804) had, indeed, provided for the examination of the candidate, but not at all for his instruction : and how, indeed, could they, without having any thing at their disposal ; without books or teachers, and without funds to provide either the one or the other. The divinity student in our Church was, therefore, thrown, necessarily and altogether, upon his own resources, and, mainly, his own judgment. With a few general directions, furnished by the Canons, he was left to grope his way vaguely, if not blindly, through
the most voluminous, intricate, and perplexing of all professional studies, without aid or guidance beyond the casual counsel of some friendly parochial minister, who certainly could not have the leisure, and most probably had not the ability to solve the doubts by which the conscientious student must on these subjects be daily arrested, or determine his choice amid conflicting authorities.
In this state of utter destitution, to do any thing for the student was to do much. Mr. Hobart did all that at this period could be done. He planned and organized a clerical association under the title of “The Protestant Episcopal Theological Society,' with a view, as stated by its constitution, to the advancement of its youthful members in theological knowledge, in practical piety, and in all those principles, duties, and dispositions, which may fit them for becoming orthodox, evangelical, and faithful ministers of the Protestant Episcopal Church.'
This plan took effect in the year 1806, and, however feeble in its means, is yet to be considered as the germ of the noblest existing institution of our Church its' General Theological Seminary,' an institution which now bids fair to realize what could then be seen only afar off, an adequate supply to the Church of a well