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With the close of this revival, which continued in his congregations between two and three years, the labours of President Smith, in connexion with the College, closed; and his unwearied pastoral duties were drawing to an end. His multiplied appointments to preach, in his extended charge, requiring frequent and long absences from home, necessarily drew off his attention from the duties of College. Complaints at length reached his ears. Preferring the work of the ministry in such delightful circumstances, and unwilling to be the cause or object of complaint, in July 1788, he informed the Board of Trustees that he designed removing to the neighbourhood to live upon a farm he had purchased for a residence. The Board requested him to continue President of the College, although removed from College grounds; and appointed Drury Lacy, who had been his alumnus, Vice-President. Not feeling satisfied with his connexion with College, he in the year 1789 resigned the Presidency and gave himself entirely to the work of the ministry, after having served the College more than thirteen years, about ten of which he was its laborious presiding officer ; on whom devolved much of the labour of instruction.

During the trying scenes of the Revolution, every man was irresistibly drawn to engage in politics; in the domestic circle, the principles and acts of government were discussed; and the sacred desk uttered the principles of law and justice drawn from the divine word. Ministers felt themselves called upon to cheer their congregations in their efforts for liberty, by the strong truths of Revelation, and bear up their sinking spirits by confidence in God's kind and overruling government. If the Presbyterian ministers sometimes dwelt less upon the peculiarities of the gospel of mercy, than upon God's sustaining the cause of truth, in the persons of an oppressed reople, they plead the distress of the times, and found an apology, in the hearts of their congregations. Mr. Smith, it has been stated, took an active part in the warlike scenes of the Revolution; he also gave his opinion on political subjects. In the memorable doings of Hanover Presbytery, in her various memorials to the Legislature, he was a leader; of some portion of the papers, he is supposed to be the penman; in all of them, he fully agreed; they will remain forever monuments of patriotism and intellect.

When the bill to provide for the support of religion, commonly known as the General Assessment Bill, was engrossed for its third reading in 1784, there was every prospect that it would become the law of the land. It was advocated by great talents and splendid oratorical powers. Patrick Henry exerted himself to carry it through the House, and made it many friends. Before the final decision in 1785, Mr. Henry became Governor of the State. When the bill was taken up in the committee of the whole, Mr. Smith appeared as one of the committee of the Presbytery of Hanover, and desired to be heard on a memorial from the Presbytery against the bill. Permission was granted, and Mr. Smith addressed the committee, and took part in the discussion which was continued for three days. When the question was called the bill was lost in the committee by a majority of three votes. Dr. Hill says—“Alexander White, a lawyer of great intelligence, who was a delegate from Frederick county,—and who afterwards filled high offices of trust under Washington,-declared—“when he returned that he thought that debate on the part of Smith one of the ablest and most interesting that he had ever listened to; and that he thought Smith deserved the victory he had gained.” In this case the minister had the same advantage over his adversary, that Patrick Henry had over his, when he plead his famous cause in Hanover, the popular feeling and voice. One petition, before the House, in opposition to the bill, had two thousand names attached. And one opponent, James Madison, was himself a host. Yet to have triumphed in any debate against Patrick Henry, was no mean honour.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Henry had hitherto been friendly; Mr. Smith had been swayed by his powerful oratory; and probably their friendship was not injured by this collision. But a circumstance afterwards occurred which separated these great

In September 1787, the Federal Constitution was sent out for the consideration of the people. The States acted independently in their vote upon the ratification. The Convention of the State of Virginia, which determined that question, met in Richmond, June 1788. Patrick Henry opposed its adoption with all his powers. While the subject was before the people, Henry declared himself a candidate for the Convention, and appointed a day to meet the people of Prince Edward at the Court House, and address them on the imperfections of that instrument and show the ground of his fears. Mr. Smith resolved to be present, as the Court House is but about a mile from the College, and confront him, by defending the proposed Constitution. On the given day, Mr. Smith was summoned to visit a dying lady in his congregation, and could not attend. An immense concourse of people assembled, and listened to the powerful attack of Mr. Henry; there was no reply. A young gentleman, a member of Mr. Smith's family, took down the speech in short-hand. In a short time there was public speaking in the College Hall; as usual, there was a large assemblage; among others Mr. Henry came to listen and encourage. One of the best speakers, without any previous announcement, delivered Mr. Henry's speech, at the Court House, on the Federal Constitution; his respondent delivered a speech prepared by Mr. Smith, in defence of the Constitution, and in reply to Mr. Henry's objections. Mr. Henry was taken by surprise, and offended; and complained to Mr. Smith, at the conclusion of the exercises, for the unjustifiable advantage taken of him on the occasion. Mr. Smith contended there had been no advantage, unless the speech had been incorrectly reported; in that case he would make amends. Mr. Henry complimented the correctness of the stenographer, but complained of the abrupt introduction of the subject, the tartness of the reply, and the appearance of an attempt to expose him before that large audience. Mr. Smith replied, that the speech at the Court House was made to the public, and that it was well known a reply was intended. If a correct report of the Court House speech had been presented, there could be no complaint lodged against the reply. Mr. Henry was not satisfied; and from being a regular hearer of Smith, withdrew entirely from his auditory. How far this alienation had influence to bring about the discontent with the President, or led to the investigation in the succeeding year, whether improper means were not used to proselyte students to a particular sect, may not be of much importance now to inquire. But this is evident in the life of the great statesman and orator, that his acquaintance with religious truth, and eminent ministers, was greater than his biographer has very distinctly set forth, probably for want of documents; and although he may have felt something of the influence that went over the country in consequence of the French Revolution, yet, in the closing scenes of life, youthful impressions under Davies, manly emotions under Smith and Waddell, were ripened into deep, and we trust, saving convictions of the truth and excellency of the gospel as the word of God. “Here”—said he, holding up the Bible—“is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed: yet it is my misfortune never to have found time to read it with the proper attention and feeling till lately. I trust in the mercy of heaven, that it is not yet too late. A letter to his daughter under date of August 20th, 1796, as given by Mr. Wirt, his biographer,-he says“I have long learned the little value which is to be placed on popularity, acquired by any other way than virtue; and I have also learned, that it is often obtained by other means. The view which the rising greatness of our country presents to my eyes is greatly tarnished by the general prevalence of Deism; which with me is but another name for vice and depravity. I am, however, much consoled by reflecting that the religion of Christ has, from its first appearance in the world, been attacked in vain, by all the wits, philosophers, and wise ones, aided by every power of man, and its triumph has been complete. What is there in the wit, or wisdom of the present deistical writers or professors, that can compare them with Hume, Shaftsbury, Bolingbroke, and others ? and yet these have been confuted, and their fame is decaying; insomuch that the puny efforts of Paine are thrown in to prop their tottering fabric, whose foundations cannot stand the test of time. Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of their number; and indeed that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself, that I have lived so long, and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast. And amongst all the handsome things I hear said of you, what gives me the greatest pleasure is, to be told of your piety and steady virtue. And how touching is the remark he made of himself in the Court House yard in Charlotte, April, 1799, when a successful candidate for the Legislature, less than two months before his death. An opponent asked the people why they followed Mr. Henry-Mr. Henry is not a god!“No, exclaimed Mr. Henry, who heard the remark—"No, indeed, my friend ; I am but a poor worm of the dust-as fleeting and unsubstantial as the shadow of the cloud that flies over your fields, and is remembered no more." On the 6th of June, Patrick Henry was no more an inhabitant of this world ;-—but his memory will live with his country.


Of the few papers drawn by the pen of Dr. Smith, there is one in the records of Hanover Presbytery, that may be read with interest for its own worth, as well as the circumstances in which it was written. Briery, April 2d, 1791.-“ Whereas reports have prevailed that many irregularities are tolerated in the churches under our charge on the north side of James River, which we conceive to be incompatible with the purity of the Christian religion,-Resolved, fc. (that a committee of enquiry consisting of McRoberts and Lacy be appointed).

Resolved, that Mr. Smith prepare a resolution to be laid before Presbytery, respecting the objects of discipline as necessary to be attended to by us, with particular reference to these reports; and that he produce it on Monday.

Monday, April 4th, 1791.—Mr. Smith produced the folresolution, which being approved was adopted by the Presby. tery:

- The Lord Jesus Christ, the great Head of the Church, having given himself for it that he might sanctify and cleanse it, and present it to himself a glorious, unspotted church, holy and without blemish, hath instituted means and ordinances to effect this gracious design; published his will in sacred laws, by obedience to which his people are distinguished as his chosen, peculiar people, separate from the world lying in wickedness, and zealous of good works; ordained a strict and holy discipline to be observed as a check on all false professors of his name; and appointed officers to superintend the execution of his gracious plan until he come. This Presbytery, therefore, impressed with an awful sense of their duty, as servants accountable to their great Master, and with a tender concern for the immortal souls committed to their pastoral care, do hereby unanimously resolve, that they will steadily adhere to that discipline which the word of God hath enjoined and our church adopted in its native strictness and simplicity; that they will neither hold Christian nor ministerial communion with those who acknowledge Christ in name only, whilst in works they deny him.

Nor is this resolution intended to operate merely against the more atrocious and profligate works of darkness, but also against the equally dangerous and ensnaring wickedness, a more specious form of politeness and liberality of sentiment, -—against the indulgence of the fashionable follies and amusements of life,--against gaming and playing at cards and hazard, that vice of covetousness which is idolatry,--against horse-racing and its concomitant dissipations, so contrary to that redemption of time enjoined upon Christians,-against those meetings for mirthful follies and dancings prohibited under the name of revellings, in the New Testament,—and against those levities in equipage, fashionable visitings and dress, which are condemned as the pride of life.

“Upon the whole, therefore, as we are commanded not to be conformed to the world consisting in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, but to live soberly, righteously, and godly, and to come out and be separate from the men of this world, and from its opinions, fashions, maxims, follies and habits,—we do hereby solemnly declare it to be our resolution to exclude from our communion those graceless church officers and graceless church members who indulge themselves in any of the practices above referred to, or who neglect the sacred observance of the Sabbath, or the duties of family religion. It was ordered that a copy of this resolution be read in the congregations of each individual minister.”

Mr. Smith soon left the Presbytery; but the inquiry instituted did not end for some years. The ministers on the "north side of James River,” were Todd, Waddell, Irvine, and Blair. After some letters had passed, in the year 1794, the Presbytery received explanations which satisfied the brethren to drop the inquiry.

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