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ists, extending it even to the Creator himself; nor indeed do I know exactly * in what age of the christian church the heresy of spiritualism was introduced. Huet, in his commentaries on Origen,t says, "Deus igitur, cui anima similis est, juxta Origenem, reapse corporalis est, sed graviorum tantum ratione corporum incorporeus."I St. Macari, $ as speaking of angels says, “ quam vis enim subtilia sint, tamen in substantia, forma, et figura, secundum tenuitatem naturæ eorum corpora sunt tenuia, quemadmodum et hoc corpus in substantia sua crassum et solidum est.”|| St. Justin martyr says expressly ** το θειον φαμεν ειναι ασωματον, ουκ δε εστιν ασωματον.”
Tertullian's words are, “quid euim Deus nisi corpus ?” and again,“ quis autem negabit Deum esse corpus ? et si deus spiritus, spiritus etiam corpus est sui generis, in suâ effigie,” and that the soul is matter he adduces the following tangible proof : “ in ipso ultimo voluptatis aestu, quo genitale virus expellitur, nonne aliquid de animâ sentimus exire ?” The holy father thus asserting, and, as it would seem, from his own feelings, that the sperm infused into the female matrix deposits there the matter and germ of both soul and body, conjunctim, of the new fatus. Although I do not pretend to be familiar with these fathers, and give the preceding quotations at second hand, yet I learn from authors whom I respect, that not only those I have named, but St. Augustin, ** St. Basil, Lactantius, Tatian, Athenagoras, and others, concurred in the materiality of the soul. Our modern doctors would hardly venture or wish to condemn their fathers as heretics, the main pillars of their fabric resting on their shoulders.
In the consultations of the visitors of the university on the subject of releasing you from your engagement with us, although one or two members seemed alarmed at this cry of “fire” from the Presbyterian pulpits, yet the real ground of our decision was that our funds were in fact hypotheticated for five or six years to redeem the loan we had reluctantly made; and although we hoped and trusted that the ensuing legislature would remit the debt and liberate our funds, yet it was not just, on this possibility, to stand in the way of your looking out for a more certain provision. The completing all our buildings for professors and students by the autumn of the ensuing year, is now secured by sufficient contracts, and our confidence is most strong that neither the State nor their legislature will bear to see those buildings shut up for five or six years, when they have the money in hand, and actually appropriated to the object of education, which would open their doors at once for the reception of their sons, now waiting and calling aloud for that institution. The legislature meets on the 1st Monday of December, and before Christmas we shall know what are their intentions. If such as we expect, we shall then immediately take measures to engage our professors and bring them into place the ensuing autumn or early winter. My hope is that you will be able and willing to keep yourself uncommitted, to take your place among them about that time; and I can assure you there is not a voice among us which will not be cordially given for it. I think, too, I may add, that if the Presbyterian opposition should not die by that time, it will be directed at once against the whole institution, and not amuse it. self with nibbling at a single object. It did that only because there was no other, and they might think it politic to mask their designs on the body of the fortress, under the of a battery against a single bastion. I will not despair then of the avail of your services in an establishment which I contemplate as the future bulwark of the human mind in this hemisphere. God bless you and preserve you multos annos.
* I believe by Athenasius and the council of Nicea. + Ocellus de d'Argens, p. 97.
| Enfield, vi. 3.
§ Ib. 105. | Timæus, 17. Enfield, vi. 3.
Hist. des Saints, 2 c. 4 p. 212, 215. ** Ocellus, 90.
TO JOHN ADAMS.
MONTICELLO, August 15, 1820. I am a great defaulter, my dear Sir, in our correspondence, but prostrate health rarely permits me to write; and when it does, matters of business imperiously press their claims. I am
getting better however, slowly, swelled legs being now the only serious symptom, and these, I believe, proceed from extreme debility. I can walk but little ; but I ride six or eight miles a day without fatigue; and within a few days, I shall endeavor to visit my other home, after a twelvemonth's absence from it. Our University, four miles distant, gives me frequent exercise, and the oftener, as I direct its architecture. Its plan is unique, and it is becoming an object of curiosity for the traveller. I have lately had an opportunity of reading a critique on this institution in your North American Review of January last, having been not without anxiety to see what that able work would say of us; and I was relieved on finding in it much coincidence of opinion, and even where criticisms were indulged, I found they would have been obviated had the developments of our plan been fuller. But these were restrained by the character of the paper reviewed, being merely a report of outlines, not a detailed treatise, and addressed to a legislative body, not to a learned academy. For example, as an inducement to introduce the Anglo-Saxon into our plan, it was said that it would reward amply the few weeks of attention which alone would be requisite for its attainment ; leaving both term and degree under an indefinite expression, because I know that not much time is necessary to attain it to an useful degree, sufficient to give such instruction in the etymologies of our language as may satisfy ordinary students, while more time would be requisite for those who should propose to attain a critical knowledge of it. In a letter which I had occasion to write to Mr. Crofts, who sent you, I believe, as well as myself, a copy of his treatise on the English and German languages, as preliminary to an etymological dictionary he meditated, I went into explanations with him of an easy process for simplifying the study of the Anglo-Saxon, and lessening the terrors and difficulties presented by its rude alphabet, and unformed orthography. But this is a subject beyond the bounds of a letter, as it was beyond the bounds of a report to the legislature. Mr. Crofts died, I believe, before any pro
. gress was made in the work he had projected.
The reviewer expresses doubt, rather than decision, on our placing military and naval architecture in the department of pure mathematics. Military architecture embraces fortification and fieldworks, which, with their bastions, curtains, hornworks, redoubts, &c., are based on a technical combination of lines and angles. These are adapted to offence and defence, with and against the effects of bombs, balls, escalades, &c. But lines and angles make the sum of elementary geometry, a branch of pure mathematics; and the direction of the bombs, balls, and other projectiles, the necessary appendages of military works, although no part of their architecture, belong to the conic sections, a branch of transcendental geometry. Diderot and D'Alembert, therefore, in their Arbor scientie, have placed military architecture in the department of elementary geometry. Naval architecture teaches the best form and construction of vessels; for which best form it has recourse to the question of the solid of least resistance ; a problem of transcendental geometry. And its appurtenant projectiles belong to the same branch, as in the preceding case. It is true, that so far as respects the action of the water on the rudder and oars, and of the wind on the sails, it may be placed in the department of mechanics, as Diderot and D'Alembert have done ; but belonging quite as much to geometry, and allied in its military character to military architecture, it simplified our plan to place both under the same head. These views are so obvious, that I am sure they would have required but a second thought, to reconcile the reviewer to their location under the head of pure mathematics. For this word location, see Bailey, Johnson, Sheridan, Walker, &c. But if dictionaries are to be the arbiters of language, in which of them shall we find neologism. No matter. It is a good word, well sounding, obvious, and expresses an idea, which would otherwise require circumlocution. The reviewer was justifiable, therefore, in using it; although he noted at the same time, as unauthoritative, centrality, grade, sparse; all which have been long used in common speech and writing. I am a friend to neology. It is the only way to give to a language copiousness and euphony. Without
it we should still be held to the vocabulary of Alfred or of Ulphilas; and held to their state of science also: for I am sure they had no words which could have conveyed the ideas of oxygen, cotyledons, zoophytes, magnetism, electricity, hyaline, and thousands of others expressing ideas not then existing, nor of possible communication in the state of their language. What a language has the French become since the date of their revolution, by the free introduction of new words! The most copious and eloqnent in the living world; and equal to the Greek, had not that been regularly modifiable almost ad infinitum. Their rule was, that whenever their language furnished or adopted a root, all its branches, in every part of speech, were legitimated by giving them their appropriate terminations. Αδελφος, αδελφή, αδελφιδιο»,
. , , , αδελφοτης, αδελφιξις, αδελφιδας, αδελφικος, αδελφιζω, αδελφικως. And this should be the law of every language. Thus, having adopted the adjective fraternal, it is a root which should legitimate fraternity, fraternation, fraternisation, fraternism, to fraternate, fraternise, fraternally. And give the word neologism to our language, as a root, and it should give us its fellow substantives, neology, neologist, neologisation ; its adjectives, ncologous, neological, neologistical ; its verb, neologise ; and adverb, ncologically. Dictionaries are but the depositories of words already legitimated by usage. Society is the workshop in which new ones are elaborated. When an individual uses a new word, if ill formed, it is rejected in society ; if well formed, adopted, and after due time, laid up in the depository of dictionaries. And if, in this process of sound neologisation, our trans-Atlantic brethren shall not choose to accompany us, we may furnish, after the Ionians, a second example of a colonial dialect improving on its primitive.
But enough of criticism : let me turn to your puzzling letter of May the 12th, on matter, spirit, motion, &c. Its crowd of scepticisms kept me from sleep. I read it, and laid it down ; read it, and laid it down, again and again ; and to give rest to my mind, I was obliged to recur ultimately to my habitual anodyne, " I feel, therefore I exist." I feel bodies which are not myself: there are other existences then. I call them matter. I feel them chang