Mount Allison: Convocation Exercises of the College - Interesting and Eloquent Orations in Lingley Hall

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Mount Allison: Convocation Exercises of the College - Interesting and Eloquent Orations in Lingley Hall
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MOUNT ALLISON. Convocation Exercises of the College - Interesting and Eloquent Orations in Lingley Hall. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) SACKVILLE, June 8. --The commencement exercises of the Mount Allison College took place this morning, beginning at 9.30, in the presence of a large audience assembled at Lingley Hall. Among the gentlemen on the platform were :-Rev. Messrs. H. A. McKeown, Thos. Rogers, C. F. Wiggins, M. A., King’s College, C. H. Paisley, Mr. Evans, President of Conference, W. W. Percival, D. Kennedy, John Lathern, Dr. Pope, S. Dunn, and Mr. Taylor, Wm. Elder, Esq., M. P. P., C. A. Stockton, Esq., St. John, B. A. Russell, Esq., Halifax, W. C. Milner, Esq., editor of Post, T. Pickard, Esq., editor of Transcript, Geo. Johnstone, Esq., Halifax, Geo. H. Starr, Esq., Halifax, and others. The programme was as follows:- Reading the Scriptures and Prayer. Overture: "Fest"...............................A. Leutner. Misses L. M. Stewart, M. E. Pickard, C. Johnson, Prof W. Jost. Orations by the Graduating Class. 1. Salutory Addresses. (Latin) Frederic A Dixon. 2. "Literae, Scientia, Religio" Joan B. Smith. 3. "The Bulwarks of British Liberty"....Samuel C. Murray. "Tender and True, Adieu!" (solo)...............Gaston Lyle. Miss L. Dixon. 4. "The Future of Canada"...........Terence C. Lockwood. 5. "The Landing of the Loyalists"...........H. A. McKeown. 6. "Judas Maocalieus," and Valedictory Addresses, ...............John W Prestwood. "I would that my love," (Vocal Duet)..........Mendelssohn. Misses H Black and L. Dixon. Reports, Prizes, Degrees, &c Overture: "Dame Blanche".......................Boieldieu. Misses J. Jeffery, M. Dodge, S. Beckman, E. Thompson. The vocal duet by Misses Black and Dixon was the best musical effort in that line during the exercises. Miss Dixon sang "Tender and True, Adieu!" splendidly, and in response to an encore gave "I'll send thee an Ivy Leaf." The orations, all excellent, were distinguished by the eloquence of Messrs. Smith and McKeown. THE ORATIONS. Mr. John B. Smith, who took the College motto for the subject of his oration, spoke first of the power of a watchword to stimulate a people to worthy and valiant deeds. Inspired by the cry of "Allah Achbar," the Islamites left the sparkling fountains and acacia groves of "Araby the Blest" and followed their leader; "St. George, from merry England," inspired the chivalry of our own Mother Land to valiant effort. Similar, but more potent, should be the influence on us of our College motto "Literae Scientia Religio." In science we have looked on, seen the Geologist abandon his erroneous speculations "and humbly hearken unerringly cry out?" In Botany the field spread out to us is rich and beautiful. In Mathematics too such a degree of perfection is reached that the skilled man measures the flight of Pegasus and traces the course of Arcturus, and says with Kepler "I have thought some of the thoughts of God." Coming to the last and greatest of the three, Religio, we meet the climax of knowledge. It freed from superstition and opened the gates of knowledge to Germany. It found England barbarous and made her "the kingdom, on the doors of whose Senate Chambers no 'Ichabod' shall ever be inscribed." The bulwarks of English liberty were considered by Mr. S. C. Murray. The 'Bulwarks' to which attention was called were three: Magna Charta, the Petition of Rights and the Bill of Rights. Previous to Magna Charta the English people were acquainted with religion and had learned much of political institution. But they still lacked that unity of law, race and language which is essential to true nationality. After an eloquent panegyric on the conduct of the Barons who in demanding the acknowledgment of their own rights coupled with their claim that of the meanest subjects and serfs of the Kingdom, the speaker spoke of the pledge of Charles Stewart, the second Bulwark of our liberties, broken as soon as made. England had yet to pass through a severe and trying ordeal before her liberties were thoroughly secured. The pages of history had yet to be darkened by the tale of a regicide. The nation had still to groan beneath the burdens of a military despotism, the King of England to flee for safety from his country and a foreign dynasty to be placed on the throne before she fully enjoyed those liberties, civil, religious and political, for which she had fought. The oration closed with Curran's eulogium on the English language. Taking as his subject "The Future of Canada," Mr. T. C. Lockwood discussed the three possible futures of our country: Closer Union with Britain, Annexation and Independence, The advantages of the first were briefly shown and their attention was called to the fact that the spirit of our people was so different from that which characterizes the Mother Country as to make a true union impossible. Annexation would give us free trade over all the continent, would give an expanse of territory large enough to please the most ambitious, but the very extent of country with its diverse interests might prove ruinous. Canadian Independence with a little more enterprise, a little more faith in our capabilities, we are sure to succeed. In the days of old proud was the man Who could utter the words Civis Romanis sum; but there is a day coming, we believe, when, with pride more just than that of the old Romans, the Canadians may say civis Canadensis sum. The Landing of the Loyalists was treated by Mr. McKeown, who briefly reviewed their purity of motives, and their praiseworthy devotion to British institutions. His remarks were more local than those of other speakers, since he dwelt on their influence upon the City of St. John. He contrasted their actions and motives with those of the Pilgrim Fathers, estimating the zeal and elevation of character displayed under these circumstances, by the hardships endured, and the impellants to action influencing each party. He referred to the attempt made last whiter in St John to procure a monument in honor of the Loyalists, and dwelt with evident satisfaction upon the loyal sentiments of that city whose early history is so bound up in the Loyalists, to whose memory it owes its traditions, to the observance of whose patriotic principles it owes the secret of its advancement, and to whose example it hopes to be "faithful and true, picturing a bright future for the city which claims for its fathers the noble loyalists, and whose barren rocks a century ago "were to their feet as a doorstep. Into a world unknown the cornerstone of a nation." He spoke of the influence of the Loyalists' example as hearing on the future of Canada, proving a landmark to which Canadians will revert with pride, to which they will direct their children’s attention and bid them reverence the loyalists, who, in the childhood of their nation’s history, dared to be singular in the face of a triumphant nation; so the fathers shall entrust into their children's hands the shield of honor they themselves have striven to preserve untarnished, teaching them to venerate the names of the Loyalists as the fathers of a nation from the shores of Now Brunswick and Nova Scotia, stretching north with the stretch of civilization, its breadth confined by the mountains of a continent; under whose flag shall be clustered a people signalized for the purity of their religion, for the patriotism of their subjects, and the justice of their laws. The subject of Mr. Prestwood’s oration was Judas Maccabeus, the liberator of Judaea from the yoke of Antiochus Epiphanes. Mr. Prestwood commenced by saying that the "cosmopolite of the present day is the Jew." He carried the Jews back from their present dispersed state to their lost period of nationality when they had a home among the vine clad hills of Judaea." He gave a brief description of their miserable state under the Hellenizing policy of Antiochus. The struggle of the Jews for liberty though distant in point of time must be full of interest to every student of history. He concluded by showing the cause of the contempt of ancient writers for the struggle and claiming its right to be treated with less indifference in modern times. THE PRIZES The president then disposed of the various prizes. A matriculation prize of $40 was won by Mr. C. N. Jeffrey. Mr. Jeffrey also won the natural science prize of $25, which is one of a series of district prizes of $25 and $30, given by the N. S. Conference. The others were carried off as follows: Yarmouth, Halifax, Guysboro districts, by matriculants; $25 given by Wm. Elder, Esq., M. P. P., by Mr. H. A. McKeown for proficiency in metaphysics; essay, prize $25, by Mr. W. B. Jonah; mathematical, prize $25, by Mr. H. V. Tnompson; prize in Greek, $25, by Mr. W. M. Tweedie; theological elocution prize, presented by John McDonald, Esq., of Toronto, was awarded to Mr. A. R. McCulley, An English literature prize bestowed by the Rev. Mr. Coffin was won by Mr. J. R. Ruggles, of Avonport, N. S. DR. INCH spoke in hopeful terms of the prospect for continuing the existence of the College, notwithstanding the withdrawal of the Nova Scotia grant. The plan is now to raise an additional endowment fund of $50,000, and the learned doctor referred to the fact that, in support of this project, the following contributions have been received: From Mount Allison Alumni Society, $1,000; private gentleman, Halifax, $1,000; Mr. T. Black. $250; Jabez Heartz, $250; Jas. Morrow, $100. In view of such tokens of liberality he felt assured that Mount Allison's future is safe and that she will soon be beyond the vicissitudes of party politics and Ministerial changes. Various rev. gentlemen now took the opportunity of expressing their gratification at the result of the exercises, concluding with Dr. Pickard, who administered a scathing rebuke to all who could so far forget the sainted founder of the institution as to vote for consolidation with others. The meeting closed with the Doxology and benediction by Rev. Dr. Stewart. This evening the students generally are entertained at a conversazione at the cottage of President Inch.