« PreviousContinue »
was afterwards judge of the federal court for the district of Kentucky, was appointed in his place.
The first Grammar School in Kentucky was opened and taught at the house of Mr. Rice, in Lincoln county. The order for the opening of it was passed by the Board, Nov. 4th, 1784. It was opened the February following; and this was the beginning of Transylvania University. The school continued there, and the Board continued to meet there, or in the neighbourhood, till Oct. 13th, 1788, when they met for the first time in Lexington.
The Kentucky Academy was incorporated by the legislature of Kentucky in 1794. The Board of Trustees had their first meeting for business in Lexington, March 11th, 1795. The Board having, at several subsequent meetings, received proposals from Paris, Harrodsburgh, and Pisgah in Woodford county, for the location of the academy at these places, and having also by subscriptions and donations obtained a fund of upwards of one thousand pounds, finally determined to locate the insti. tution at Pisgah, and entered into engagements for the erection of the necessary buildings.
Mr. Rice continued an active member of this Board from March 11th, 1795. until Oct. 11th, 1796, when he resigned; the infirmities of age, and the distance of his residence, rendering it inconvenient for him to attend. Among other services which he rendered during the period of his membership, he, in company with another member of the Board, visited several parts of Virginia, Baltimore, Philadelphia, &c. &c. for the purpose of soliciting donations to the institution. Wbile on this tour,
his friends connected with New Jersey college proposed obtaining for him the degree of D.D. This he rejected with a considerable degree of determination, and said that there was professional standing implied in that honorary degree to wbich he had not attained, and that consequently he would be ashamed to wear the title.
The last meeting of the Trustees of the Kentucky Academy was in Oct. 1798, when they passed a resolution to unite with the Transylvania Seminary. The two Boards were accordingly, at the susequent meeting of the Assembly, united, and styled, “The Trustees of Transylvania University." The history of the transactions of these two institutions, which were at that period legally united, would make a volume of itself, and the subject is worthy the attention of all who wish well to the honour and prosperity of the state.
„VOTICES OF SOME OF HIS DEATH-BED EX
ERCISES.-By his son, JAMES HARVEY RICE.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course." --Paul.
During the last three years of father Rice's life, he was able to preach but very little. He had no complaints but the weakness arising from a regular decay of nature, until about the beginning of the year 1815; when he had a slight apoplectic stroke, which confine! him chiefly to his room the remainder of his days. On the day of his arrival to the age of fourscore, he preached, at his own house, his last sermon, on Psalms xc. 12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. The natural division of his subject, embracing so correctly the matter contained in the textthe judicious collection of proofs--the copious illustration of each proposition--and the practical improvement of the subject, appeared to be the work of a younger* and more active mind; and all joined, to convince that his outward man only had failed.
After this he spoke occasionally, but made no more appointments of his own, except one on hearing of the death of his son, Dr. David Rice, of Virginia. On that occasion he gave a solemn address to his neighbours and family, at his own house, on the subject of death, and the necessity of a preparation for it.
About the first of the February preceding his death, a difficulty of breathing, occasioned by a callous state of the Diaphragm, aided by Hydro-Thorax, gradually accumulating; made him sensible that his end was at hand, and also rendered that end extremely painful. Early in May he was attacked with something like Influenza, accompanied with considerable fever and acute pain; which, added to the difficulty of breathing, contined him to his chair for nearly a week, without sleep; except what, as soon as commenced, was interrupted by a distressing' Incubus.
* He preached from the same passage, Jan. 1st. 1765, and regretted, after preaching his last sermon, that he had not recollected his having notes on the same passage.
After this period he could occasionally take some sleep, but seldom more than an hour at a time; but the difficulty of breathing continued to increase till a constant act of volition was required to enable the organsof respiration to perform their functions at all. Bowed down with age, a general IIydropic Diathesis, and extreme debility, this distressing symptom, though not so painful, became more and more frequent, until a day or two, he lay calm and speechless to his last.
During this period, from the first of February to his last moments, he had death in daily expectation, and viewed it with composure, and with patience waited till bis change should come. The divine manifestations 10 him were not of the most lively kind, such as he had at times enjoyed through life, but a calm, uninterrupt., ed view of the complete plan of redemption proposed in the gospel, and his interest in the atoning blood and righteousness of Christ, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. 1 Cor. i. 30. Having through life defended the superiority of the word of God to feelings, frames, and exercises of an ordinary or extraordinary kind; so in death he derived his chief consolation from the same rich foun tain. The precious promises he would often repeat with feeling emphasis, saying, that precious book abounds in them if we only bad faith to appropriate them, accompanied with pertinent and connected comments upon them.
The glory of God in the salvation of sinners had ev. ever been in him “the ruling passion," and this was pre eminently "strong in death." His greatest fear was, that he should dishonour the cause of Christ by a fretfuly impatient
temper, which he would remark was too apt to be indulged by old age even in health. In his most painful moments he would often say, when writhing in anguish, shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and not evil: my life has been crowded with mercies--I have had a good constitution, capable of rel: ishing the bounties of heaven-have enjoyed plentyhave been blessed with an agreeable companion, long preserved to me-I have a numerous family of children, in whom I have much comfort—when I was a boy God took me into covenant with himself, and I took him to be my God, and why should I murmur now when he is chastising me for my sin. If the blessed Jesus, who had no sin of his own, bore the wrath of his heavenly Father for a world of sinners, box willingly ought I to endure all the pain ) suffer if my dying example might be but the means of the salvation of one soul.” When expressing his jealousy of himself on this head, he would frequently accommodate the petition of the Saviour to his heavenly Father, in the near prospect of his sufferings: “Father, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee -Father, glorify thy unworthy servant, that thy unworthy servant may also glorify thee." When using this language, he did not, he said, mean a glorious exaltation in heaven, but the same as when he spake of the glory of God, not the innate glory of Jehovah, but the declarative glory of God among mankind; which we ought