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part of their scheme; by his extreme addiction to mere speculation, or the rigid pursuit of postulates and definitions to their logical results; and by a failure to test his assumptions and conclusions by consciousness, which he aimed to make the chief criterion of truth in metaphysics. While impressed with his lofty powers and the unexampled familiarity he exhibited with the philosophies of former ages, we are saddened by the fresh exemplification he furnishes of the unreliableness of the human mind in its theories and judgments respecting itself. No more humbling exhibition has ever been made of its weakness and facility of self-delusion, than is presented by its speculations respecting its own powers, the laws of its thonghts, its responsibility for its actions, its relations to God, and the certainty of its knowledge. Many have denied the veracity of our faculties, and represented the belief to which they constrain us in the reality of the onter world as a delnsion. Many have denied our individuality, and affirmed that God and creatures are one. Many, like our author, have denied the possibility of a knowledge of God, and laid the ground, if their principles are followed to their legitimate issues, for a blank atheism. Some have affirmed that in our volitions we act independently of influences; and others, that we are slaves to the power of motives, and have no freedom of will; and numberless other self-evident and fatal errors have been maintained, and on themes that, lying within the sphere of consciousness, where truth is perpetually developing and asserting itself, it might have been supposed it would most easily be discovered, and correct the false speculations by which it is opposed. It is delightful to rise out of this abyss of conflicting and delusive opinion into the universe oť realities as they are revealed and proclaimed to us by our unsophisticated nature, and the indubitable and authoritative voice of God in his word : and they are in perfect harmony: for when we follow in our speculations, in respect to ourselves, the instinctive promptings of our own nature,—our senses, consciousness, and reason, we proceed on identically the facts and principles which God himself makes the basis of his revelations of himself to us, and the measures of the providential and moral administration he exercises over us.
MEMORIAL OF JOEL JONES, LL.D.
It may not be known to some of our readers that the articles under the title of Notes on Scripture, that have for several years occupied a large space in the JOURNAL, and contributed greatly to its interest, were from the pen of the late Judge Joel Jones of Philadelphia. They will share in the regret we feel that those contributions, marked not only by eminent learning, but in a still higher measure by an insight into the sacred word that often seemed the work of peculiar illumination, have reached their close. We shall gratify them by placing on our pages the following just and tasteful memorial of his life and character, delivered by the Rev. C. W. Shields at his obsequies.
Judge Joel Jones was a native of Coventry, Connecticut, and born October 25th, 1795. Descended of Puritan ancestry, and religiously trained by a mother who was of the same godly race, he exemplified the inheritance of natural virtue and the covenant mercy which is from generation to generation. At an early age, impelled by that love of learning which became the master passion of his life, he resolutely braved the adverse fortune in the way of his edacation, and entered upon the collegiate course at Yale with no other resources than his own labors as a teacher of youth in the intervals of study. To the necessities and struggles of this period, as well as to original disposition, he no doubt owed the formation of those habits of untiring industry, perseverance, and system, which characterized his whole subsequent career, and were the foundation of his piecess and usefulness. And so proficient did he becoine at this school of blended trial and study that he not only maintained his academic standing, but digressed into some medical studies outside of the course, and graduated with the Berkleian prize, and at but one remove from the highest honors of his class. His legal studies were pursued under eminent teachers at New Haven and Litchfield. On their completion, he removed to this State, and commenced practice at Easton. Here he rose rapidly in his profession, acquiring a reputation for learning and ability, declining several proffers of judicial position, and, at length, accepting that which brought bim to our city, and ultimately established him as President Judge of one of its courts. From this post he was called to the Presidency of Girard College, and during the brief term of his incumbency, impressed upon that institution, then in its formation, a marked and salutary influence. On resigning this position, he was elected Mayor of the city, from which office he retired to active private life, and had been engaged with all his early zeal in his professional labors, church duties, and favorite studies, until a recent period, when it became sadly evident that his physical system, so long overtaxed by incessant mental application, was beginning to yield to fatal disease. Having reluctantly abated his labors and submitted to the necessary retirement and quiet of an invalid, after a severe and painful illness, he at length passed away from the bosom of his family-circle and friends, while in the full possession of his faculties, and with an assured hope of glory.
As a public man, Judge Jones has left a reputation of almost singular value. He was, doubtless, too much of a scholar and too little inclined by his retiring habits, his religious tastes and principles, to adopt congenially much of the routine which has become essential to a successful politician. Yet, he never held an office or discharged a trust in which he was found wanting in any of the moral qualitications of probity, discretion, and true solicitude for the public welfare : and if his political friends and adversaries alike found it impossible to draw him into some of the current arts of partisanship, he certainly did not forfeit their respect by his strict adherence to duty, right, and principle.
As a jurist, his peculiar excellence is too well known to need a place in our present reflections. His pupils and
. associates have already hastened to bear testimony to his uniform official courtesy and propriety, to his accurate habits of thought and expression, to his severe discrimination, to his sound practical judgment, to the value of his judicial decisions, his legal consultations and opinions, and to his thorough mastery of the whole philosophy, literature, and practice of jurisprudence.
As a church officer, he has left vacancies lamented alike for the personal intercourse and judicious counsel which
they terminate. In the various ecclesiastical boards, of which he was an active and punctual member, his literary and legal opinions, always freely bestowed, were invaluable. In the church of which for several years past he was a ruling elder, his characteristics were fidelity, humility, conscientiousness, an edifying fervor and unction, and a blameless and holy life. The prayer circle found him always at his post, and while leading its devotions, with his rich scriptural phraseology, drawn from a heart imbued with the mind of the Spirit, and alike removed from the language of Jiterature or of conversation, the scholar and the lawyer for the time so wholly disappeared in the humble Christian, that the lowliest listener found himself in sympathy.
But it was as a trained and ripe scholar that he impressed himself most obviously and characteristically upon the casual observer. Though no trace of pedantry tinged his ordinary intercourse, yet it was iinpossible not to see that his stores of learning were indeed vast; that his erudition was accurate, profound, and extensive, involving solid acquirements rather than mere graceful accomplishments. Both fitted and inclined by nature for severe studies, he had furnished himself with the aids of two extensive libraries, the one unequalled for its treasures of divinity, and the other not less remarkable in the department of his profes
and, joining to these appliances a thorough mastery of ancient and modern languages, he entered and traversed the whole field of human learning until there was scarcely a recess left invisited.
In jurisprudence, bis acquirements have been described as exhaustive.
conversant not only with the English common law, but with the civil law of Rome and the modern European systems. The compilations of Justinian were no less familiar to him as objects of study than the Commentaries of Coke. Indeed, from his taste for antiquities and for comparative jurisprudence, he was not only peculiarly qualified, but intellectually inclined, to explore the doctrines of the law to their historical sources, and gather around them, in tracing their development, all the accessories which history and learning could supply. This was to him a loving labor, for he regarded the law as a lofty science, and its practice as the application of ethical princi
ples by a trained logic.” And he has adorned the litera. ture of his profession with productions that will remain as monuments of his learning and industry.
In theology his attainments were perhaps even more varied and remarkable. He was closely familiar with the versions of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, with the early Christian fathers, with the writings of the scholastic theologians, and of the English divines, particularly those of the Westminster Assembly; and if he neglected the modern German theology, it was more from a distaste for some of its remote tendencies than from any want of preparation for its acquisition. Into the rarely-explored fields of Rabbinical literature, both ancient and modern, he had so extensively penetrated as to have acquired a European reputation, while in the literature and history of the Millennial controversy, which he made a speciality, he was without a superior in this or any country. His collection of books upon the subject, it is believed, is unequalled. He brought to the prophetical Scriptures his legal habits of interpretation, and, by an original exegesis, had constructed, upon the basis of the Augustinean and Calvinistic theology, a doctrine of the futurities of Christianity which was not a mere theory, but inwrought with his whole personal experience. The second coming of Christ, as ever imminent, was with him a belief that imparted a glow to his whole piety, swayed his daily conduct, and invested his life with an habitual, though cheerful solemnity.
In philology, he had made himself master of the Oriental, classical, and modern languages. He had a linguistic taste and tact which made such acquisitions a pastime rather than a drndgery.
As a well-read lawyer, a writer and a thinker, a linguist, a theologian, a Biblical critic, he could have taken rank with the most eminent. But yesterday the scholars of the Church were gathered at the grave of its most learned clergyman [Dr. J. A. Alexander] ; there are those present who will deem it no exaggeration to say that to-day we are burying its most learned layman.
The only regret that can be felt in view of such immense knowledge is, that it must perish from among us without adequate memorial, and that, with the exception of contri