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the altered appearance of Cornelius, when he returned to college, at the close of January vacation, 1813. A fellowstudent, whom I have consulted, thinks that Mr. Cornelius became somewhat serious, while at home during the vacation. It was, however, my own opinion then, and has been ever since, that he had been unusually gay and thoughtless during the vacation, and that his first emotion of solemnity, occurred after he had made a fire in his room, on the Tuesday evening of his arrival, and had seated himself alone. I understood then, that while considering the disregard he had paid to parental injunctions, and parental solicitude for his soul, he became deeply penetrated with a sense of ingratitude to his earthly parents; and that, before he slept, while alone, without the intervention of a human being, and under the inspection of no eye but that of God, he became irresistibly impressed with the worth and lost condition of his soul. On the following Saturday, I perfectly recollect his making his first entrance into the Moral Library, of which I was librarian, and drawing the “Memoir of Susanna Anthony.' The reason of my being struck with this occurrence was, that although Mr. Cornelius was never considered as a vicious or abandoned member of our class, yet he always appeared so full of vivacity, gaiety, and even thoughtlessness, his very solemn manner and his inquiry for such a book, could not escape the observation of any one who had known him previously. From this time I do not believe a smile appeared on his countenance, till his deliverance. He lost flesh rapidly, and the effect of this external change was irresistible upon the most thoughtless of our class. I have no remembrance of ever witnessing so visible and affecting an alteration in one's external de
And it was a remarkable fact that our very large and respectable class, then in their senior year, became immediately and generally impressed with a sense
of their own accountability ; which I have no doubt arose through the instrumentality of the marvellous alteration in our gay friend, Cornelius."
Only one of the letters which he wrote, in this state of anxiety, has come into our possession. This is dated on the 25th of March, and is directed to his sister. We insert it, not from any intrinsic excellence, but from the circumstances in which it was written.
“I received your letter some time ago, but have not, for several reasons, answered it until the present period. The state of my mind has been such that I have had little opportunity to write to my friends. I mentioned to you in my last letter some feelings, which have been gradually increasing ever since. I have not time further to unfold them, nor do I at present deem it necessary. I hope you have not forgotten what I then said, and oh, that we were all wise, and would consider our latter end ! Death will soon come, and I know that I am unprepared to meet it, and I fear that is your case also. My dear
it is a most solemn thing, and I hope you will earnestly strive with God that he would bless and sanctify you. I hope and pray
he may. I hope I shall soon hear from you. Oh, S-! you are in the midst of sinful company. I beseech you, therefore, to be on your watch. Use all well, but do not make yourself familiar with the ungodly. I love you, and hope that God will bless you.
Be not astonished that I am thus serious with you. It is the firmest pledge of my affection. May we all repent and turn to God. Let us prepare with all diligence to make our calling and election sure. “ Your loving brother,
In the month of March, about six or seven weeks after the commencement of his religious impressions, he found
peace in submission to Christ. “One day,” remarks a fellow-student," he knocked at my door. On opening it, his countenance told me that the contest was over. The storm had passed away. It was as the clear shining after rain. He requested me to walk with him. We were silent until we had proceeded some distance from college. My own emotions were such that I had no disposition to speak. He was musing, and the fire burned. When we had come to a retired place, unable longer to restrain his feelings, he raised his hands, and exclaimed, O! sweet submission, sweet submission!!
This expression he repeated many times during our walk. That he was in the hands of God was his theme, and the rejoicing of his heart. He expressed no hope of pardon. He appeared not to think of himself.
The glorious Being, to whose character, law, and government, he had felt so much opposition, seemed to occupy the whole field of vision, and to fill his soul with inexpressible delight. Soon he spoke of the plan of salvation through the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God. It was unfolded in its glory, and excited his most grateful admiration. He saw how 'God could be just, and justify him that believeth in Jesus.' Believing, he rejoiced in hope of the glory of
' God.' Pressed with a sense of his obligations to redeeming grace, his fervent aspiration seemed to be, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?' The love of Christ, shed abroad in his heart, immediately manifested itself in vigorous, self-denying efforts for the salvation of his fellow-men.”
It may here be remarked, that there is no discrepancy in the preceding accounts. It is highly probable that Mr.
. Cornelius had seasons of serious reflection during the preceding term, as well as in the January vacation. He might have appeared entirely abandoned to stupidity and thoughtlessness, while his soul was “ill at ease." It is
not uncommon that a special manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit is preceded by apathy on the part of many of the servants of Jesus, and secret feelings of uneasiness and alarm in the hearts of unbelievers.
Having been thus “apprehended” by his gracious Saviour, he resolved to “count all things loss for his sake,” and to testify to all around him of that love which filled his own soul. He applied himself, indeed, more
, closely to his studies, that he might be better prepared to preach the everlasting gospel, and in a measure to redeem the time he had lost. But action, benevolent action, was the element of his soul. For the conversion of his fellowstudents, he labored and prayed incessantly. On one occasion, he invited a young man to walk with him, who had been for some time in a serious state of mind, but was quieting himself in a delusion which is often fatal to persons in such circumstances. His remarks to the individual were so appropriate to his very critical condition, and his expostulations were so earnest, that it was the occasion, under God, of awakening the delaying sinner, and of leading him, as it was believed, to "lay hold of the hope which was set before him." Though in the class, to which Mr. Cornelius belonged, there had not been previously more than four professors of religion, yet the moral change was glorious, and was the means of affording many useful and distinguished men for the vineyard of the Lord. At one time, there were from eighty to one hundred young men in college, who were deeply solicitous in respect to their eternal welfare.
Early in June, 1813, Mr. Cornelius united with the church in Yale college. Such was his life, during the remainder of his residence in New Haven, that no one was disposed to call in question the genuineness of his piety. In September he received his first degree.
RELIGION AT YALE COLLEGE, FAIRHAVEN—BENEVOLENT
PREACH THE GOSPEL.
Soon after leaving college, Mr. Cornelius commenced the study of theology under the direction of president Dwight. This eminent individual then discharged the duties of professor of divinity.
In addition to the sermons and lectures which he delivered on the Sabbath, and at other times, before the undergraduates, he generally had a select number of theological students, to whom he communicated regular instruction. Several of Mr. Cornelius's most valued class-mates and friends were at this time associated with him in these delightful pursuits. To one of the most favored of his fellow-students, then at Andover, he thus writes on the first of March, 1814.
“You see by the date of my letter, that I write on the day which we have agreed upon, in times past, to remember each other, and make supplication for the seminary at which we received our education, and the church in it, together with absent brethren. No doubt but you remember our last church meeting, when we solemnly agreed to visit the throne of grace on the first day of every month at sunset, and pray for these blessings. And how pleasing the thought, that although absent in flesh, yet present in