and though the character is rather an ignominious one in college, it is in so good repute elsewhere and among wiser persons than Freshmen or even Sophomores, that I shall endeavor always to deserve the title.
Natural geniuses, that is, lazy good scholars, are few and far between.
I shall, therefore, estimate myself as a very common sort of a person; and as I desire to excel, I shall choose the way which seems to promise success.
Among the privileges which he enjoyed in college, that which he valued most highly was the instruction received, in lectures and recitations, on the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion, from the Rev. Dr. Walker
Not less did he value the pulpit ministrations of this distinguished preacher.
His diary at this period, and while he was in the Law School, is filled with abstracts of the sermons to which it was his privilege to listen.
The following extract from his journal indicates the influence which these teachings exerted upon his character:—
Sunday, January 4, 1852.—Heard Dr. Walker preach from the text, Ecclesiastes VIII. II, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set on them to do evil.”
After a long abstract of the sermon, he writes:—
. . . . This is the sermon on which I may well found the first resolutions and actions of the opening year.
All my life has been a series of violations of law, though I have ever had a theoretic veneration of it. Memory runs back over a sad list, and time passes on swift wings.
To-morrow is to-day ere it is spoken, and yesterday was lost in irresolution and weakness.
Now, now, now!
God, God, God! Eternity, eternity, eternity!
Action in the one, mercy and justice in the second!
Pain or pleasure, joy or grief, in the last!
Let me remember, then, that “though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him” ; that no man knoweth the ways of God, they are past finding out. Then I will trust in the goodness which is inscrutable but inexhaustible.
I will apply my heart to know, to search, and to seek out wisdom, and to know the wickedness of folly.
And may these thoughts glow in my mind, may they rouse my energies till I seek