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taught, the oft-repeated motto, "Understand but don't memorize," is the bane of the schools. The consequence was a lack of exactness of expression and care in the use of language. Our best text-books are prepared with care and are models of style. Pupils carefully studying such books and committing their sentences to memory often acquire unconsciously a similar style. His method of instruction was to require the memorizing of the lesson, and then the regular work being quickly and accurately gone over at the commencement of the hour, the remainder of the time was occupied in imparting collateral information. By this method the memory of his pupils became so trained, that in his astronomy class, for instance, he had pupils who could reproduce STEELE'S FOURTEEN WEEKS IN ASTRONOMY, were that text-book destroyed. Probably one of the greatest reasons for the extreme popularity with which the works of Prof. Steele have been greeted, is due to the fact that nearly one-third of each book is embraced in the foot-notes, treating of subjects outside of, but pertinent to the text. Memorizing without such additional work is dry and unsatisfactory; but memorizing with the thought of thereby securing extra facts and pleasant information gives a motive and a charm to the work of instruction. Pupils who commit the longest and the strongest declamations, memorize the best parts of the lesson, and furnish the choicest results of scholarship.
A "Memorial of the late Professor Tayler Lewis, LL. D., L. H. D.," was read by President Eliphalet N. Potter, D. D. of Union University.
Dr. B. N. Martin, of the University of the city of New York, wished to thank President Potter most cordially for his appreciative, able, and just account of the character of our well-known and venerated friend, Dr. Tayler Lewis; and not least, for the frankness with which he had referred to what was perhaps the single observable defect in his character-his occasional sharpness and vehemence in controversy. It was a fault of which Dr. Lewis was himself quite aware, and of which he would often speak with regret. "You," he would say, "are more patient with these people; but as for myself, when I find a man proclaiming the boldest materialism and denying the existence of God, I get indignant, and I cannot restrain the expression of my aversion."
And yet he did not know how much this freedom of censure had injured his reputation, and restricted the circulation of some of his noblest works. This was particularly the case with his "Six Days of Creation," a book of such profound insight into the meaning of the Scriptures, of such varied and thorough scholarship, and of such power of argument, that it is, alone, worth more than all else that has been written on the subject. The occurrence in that book of some pointed and vigorous thrusts at the materialistic scientists, exasperated them and provoked a hostile reply. This reply, which was published in the most authoritative of our religious quarterlies, stigmatized that profound and devout treatise as "an infidel book;" and so circumscribed its circulation as to shut it out altogether from the knowledge of many who would have been both gratified and benefited by a knowledge of it.
And yet, justly estimated, he was one of the most candid and tolerant of men. I was myself repelled from him originally by the same cause, and dreaded an interview when courtesy constrained me to accept for a day or two his hospitality. My tendencies were different from his, and I feared that in the close intercourse of private conversation it would be impossible for me to avoid a collision with him. But I went [CONVOCATION, SIG. 2.]
to his house, and was taken into his study, where we conversed most freely till midnight. To my surprise I found him, I think, the most candid mind I have ever met with. I have known many men of little concern about vital truths, with whom it was easy enough to get along in debate. But for a man of decided opinions and earnest character, no one was so tolerant of differences. He even made a provision for your differing from him before you did it. "Such," he would say, "is the only view that I can take of the matter. I acknowledge that there are difficulties about it, but no one will maintain, I suppose, that his view is entirely free from difficulties. Perhaps another view may seem more easy and rational to you. If so, I have nothing to say against it; but this is my way of looking at it." No thoughtful and earnest soul ever found him bitter or censorious.
In his scholarship the same trait was observable. It was remarkable for its sincerity and truthfulness. As an illustration of these qualities, I may recur to the book already mentioned "The Six Days." Prof. Lewis was anxious to bring out the meaning of the words in which the biblical account of the creation is given; and he studied all the Hebrew words of that account, wherever they occur in the Bible, to find their earliest meanings. But he did not stop there. He learned the Arabic thoroughly, so that he read the Koran fluently; and the Syriac, so as to read it intelligently, to ascertain the early usage of these words, in their several languages, and thus to follow the converging lines up to their original and root senses. Now that is what we may call thoroughness of scholarship; a patient labor which shrinks from no toil that may be necessary to the perfection of the work.
Such was the general character of his scholarship. He was original and conscientious throughout. He never concealed a difficulty, or evaded an objection; but made frank and full admission of whatever he found that bore against his conclusions.
But with all this wealth of learning and thoroughness of research, Prof. Lewis was not a recluse buried in his study and insensible to the common obligations of active life. He was a most earnestly practical man. One of the distinguishing marks of his career was his constant habit of applying the knowledge derived from these remote sources to the common affairs of men. His insight was such that he penetrated to the principles which lie at the basis of our social and moral life, even in those early and distant forms; and he was continually drawing lessons from all these broad fields of learning which were adapted to our guidance in the most perplexing and critical affairs. Some of us will remember his publication, in the fiercest heat of our war excitement, of a pamphlet entitled "A Photograph from Ancient Greece." In this essay he displayed his wonted mastery of the subject, both in its varied facts and in its great principles. He showed that the dissensions which prevented a proper union of the Greek States in a compacted nation were due to their doctrine of State sovereignty; that the small States and the small men fomented this petty State pride, that they might not be overshadowed in a great national Union; and that the effect of the disunion thus originating, was to lead to confederacies among the small Greek States against each other, and ultimately to that prolonged war of the Peloponessus, which, after devastating Greece for more than a hundred years, ended by laying her low at the feet of that Persian
monarchy, which, in her earlier and more united days, she had so proudly repelled.
And with what a fervor and glow of patriotism did he urge the duties of that trying hour! In another pamphlet how he besought the nation to be true to those who had cheerfully yielded up their lives in the struggle for freedom and the Union. Who, that has read it, can ever forget his picture of the scene in a class-room in Union College, when one morning eight students failed to answer to their names at the roll call? Another call for volunteers had come; and they had enlisted in a regiment going to Port Hudson, and were marching to join their predecessors in the death struggle on the lower Mississippi. How he reproached himself for his blindness. "And I-miserable old croaker that I was had been bemoaning to these heroic youths the grand times of our earlier history, that had so long passed away, and the degenerate and unworthy days that had succeeded them.”
Not so miserable an old croaker either. Doubtless, his constant holding up before their minds of these noble ideals of character in the past, had contributed much of the high impulse that lifted them to the loftiness and dignity of their patriotic devotion.
Prof. Lewis was ever drawing from the events of the classical ages, that he knew so well, lessons of truth and duty for these modern days. How well and how simply he could do this appears in one of his little sketches, entitled "The fine old Athenian Gentleman." Plato and some of his friends, visiting a wealthy and distinguished Athenian, now advanced in years, found him offering a sacrifice upon an altar in front of his house. He explained that he was no believer in the fables about Hades; but he was growing old, and it might be well to be at peace with whatever powers may rule beyond, for who knows what we shall find there?
Thus it is, says Prof. L., and thus it has ever been. Men live in ignorance and unbelief; and then, as death approaches, they betake themselves to some superstitious observances to quiet their consciences, in view of the possible reality of some of the great truths of which from time to time they have monitions.
But Lewis is gone, and he has not left his equal behind him. I know of no one who can be called his peer. For depth and breath of knowledge, and for his ability to use knowledge; for his originality and suggestiveness of mind, and for quiet nobleness of aim and dignity of character combined, no one certainly surpassed him, and I do not believe that any here or elsewhere equaled him. I deem it a privilege-nay, an education to have known him. Very much of all that I value most in my knowledge of the classical literature and mythology, and of the Scriptures themselves, I owe to him; and the obligations which his long friendship and intimacy impose upon me, I can never forget.
It is affecting to turn from our eager discussions of what is most useful and necessary for to-day, and look back for a few moments upon the lives of those who have terminated their course. We shall meet them no more on earth, nor hold intercourse with them again, till we open our eyes upon the land of the living whither they have gone. The great Father is gathering them into the eternal mansions. God grant that we may follow in their footsteps with the same sincerity and singleness of devotion, till we, too, shall come into what Cicero calls "that divine society," and what Jeremy Taylor describes as that "blessed country into which an enemy never came, and from which a friend never went away."
Under the head of University Necrology, Secretary Woolworth announced the decease, during the past year, of Regents George R. Perkins, LL. D., and William H. Goodwin, D. D., LL. D., Professors Charles Davies, LL. D., and John Graeff Barton, LL. D., Principal Benjamin Richards, A. M., and Trustee John McGraw, and briefly alluded to their character and services in behalf of education. Remarks were also made by Drs. Clarke and King relative to Professor Davies, by Dr. Mears in respect to Professor Lewis, and by Vice-President Russell on Trustee McGraw.
On behalf of ex-Governor Seymour, Secretary Woolworth offered the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
WHEREAS, The celebration of the anniversaries of the important events in the early history of our country instructs the public mind, and arouses an interest in the study of these events and their consequences not otherwise felt; therefore,
Resolved, That the University of the State, in Convocation assembled, are highly gratified at the manner in which the citizens of the Mohawk valley and of Saratoga county are preparing to observe the 100th anniversaries of the ambuscade at Oriskany, the raising of the siege of Fort Stanwix and the battle of Saratoga; victories which were the first decisive advantages gained in the struggle for Independence, and which contributed largely to the final achievement of that independence; and, Resolved, That this Convocation approves of the action of the trustees of Union and Hamilton Colleges, in determining that those institutions should officially participate in these celebrations; and,
Resolved, That this Convocation will, through its individual members, do all in its power to promote the success of such celebrations, and aid in attaining the educational and patriotic results which such occasions are calculated to conserve.
On motion of Principal R. C. Flack, it was unanimously
Resolved, That a vote of thanks be tendered to the Honorable Chancellor and his estimable wife for the great pleasure we all enjoyed through their kind and generous hospitality last evening.
Dr. Martin made a statement relative to the possible future removal of the State Museum of Natural History, and offered the following resolution, which was seconded by Dr. Steele, and, after some discussion by Secretary Woolworth, adopted:
Resolved, That this Convocation appreciates as of the highest value in science, and as one of the noblest ornaments of our civilization, the work and the results of the State Geological Survey; and that it expresses its earnest hope that the State will resolutely determine upon the permanent preservation of those results in the State capital of our State, and will provide a fire-proof building for this purpose.
The Convocation then adjourned to meet on the first Tuesday after July 4, 1878.
[For List of Officers and Registered Members of the Convocation, see end of the volume.]
By Professor ALEXANDER WINCHELL, LL. D., of the University of Syracuse.
I desire, in the present paper, to give expression to some convictions established in my own mind by the observations of twenty-four years spent in the active duties of university life. In speaking of university control, I do not refer exclusively to the general legislation, nor exclusively to the internal administration; but to the authority, wherever lodged, which determines the measures entering into the conception, creation, organization, conduct and character of the university. Nor do I affirm that the views which I propose to set forth apply to universities distinctively, since I intend to embrace all corporations of collegiate grade. Nor is it implied that institutions of sub-collegiate grade are regarded as wholly exempt from the application of the strictures which I contemplate.
The general principle, which I undertake to defend, is this: The corporate body has too much control; the teaching body, too little.
Under the American University system, two bodies come into existence, each clothed with a certain degree of authority and discretion. The corporate body, or board of trustees, regents, overseers or governors, is generally the supreme power; and all measures must be, either directly or mediately, sanctioned by this body. The teaching body is created by the action of the corporate body, which confers upon it a limited degree of authority and discretion liable always to be overruled by the supreme government.
The corporate body is constituted principally from the most conspicuous and most highly respected gentlemen in the population which the university represents. The professions of law, theology and medicine yield a majority of its members, while others are supplied from the ranks of the farmers, merchants, financiers and teachers. Within a few years, the policy of allowing the alumni a representation in the corporate body, has obtained considerable favor; and this, it will be seen, is a concession, as far as it goes, of the justice of the claim which I make in behalf of competency as a qualification for government. In some universities, the names of certain public functionaries are made to stand as a figure-head to the list of trustees; but these ex-officio members seldom attend the meetings of the board; and, when present, more seldom perform an active part; and, when performing an active part, are almost never sufficiently conversant with the conditions involved to act usefully. Their names seem to be used for the purpose of conveying the impression that the institution possesses a high official or public character; or to constrain the high dignitaries of state to appear, on occasions of pomp, to grace the public exercises of the university.
The gentlemen who constitute the corporate body are necessarily prominent examples of efficiency and success in the various callings to which their lives have been devoted. They are, therefore, men of energy, of strong intelligence, quick perceptions, good general information, and, not unfrequently, of liberal scholastic culture. Those who are themselves professional educators, or administrators of educational systems, may be regarded as possessed of all the general scholastic information requisite for useful control. Amongst them, I would recognize the minister of public instruction, in cases where the cognizance of