From New York Commercial Advertiser
Saturday, December 23, 1823
We take great pleasure in laying before our readers the following circular letter, addressed by the students in the Theological Seminary at Andover, to their fellow students in all the colleges and higher seminaries in our country. It augurs well in favor of the ultimate triumph of the Greeks to find their cause awakening such a sympathy in the breasts of our youth – of that generation which is just now entering upon the state of action, and to which is therefore to constituted the sinew and strength of our nation for many years to come. It augurs well, too, that this strong sympathy is kindling up more particularly in the hearts of those from whom are to come the future leaders of the public sentiment and of public virtue – who are to be the guardians of our civil rights, the dispensers of our laws, the ministers of every youth who shall pursue it so that Greece, though Delphi has become silent and a voice from her temples or her caverns no longer serves to inspire her exertions, may yet hear her cry answered from beyond the waters, in the united voice of the youth of America, urging her onward to victory and liberty.
The object embraced in the third resolution will meet, we think, with general approbation. The youth of our seminaries are early led to an acquaintance with the literature of that country, on whose soil Homer sung and Demosthenes launched his thunders, and Paul proclaimed the everlasting gospel; and from which Rome borrowed all her intellectual greatness, and modern nations still derive their noble models of eloquence and taste. It is natural for these youth to turn from the habitual contemplation of what “Athens was,” to the unwelcome conviction of what “Athens is,” to feel a deep interest in the descendants of those to whom we owe so much; and to yield, not only their good wishes, but their might, towards advancing to glorious consummation the heroic struggle in which the people are now engaged. What though their tribute be not large it is yet one of those streams which will serve to swell the tide of effort; - and if, when the eagle of victory and of liberty shall have perched upon the Parthenon, the Government should see fit to appropriate this offering in the manner proposed, it may constitute such a token of sympathy and friendship between Greece and the American people, as shall link them together in the closest bonds, and thus promote the mutual and highest interests of either nation. It will at least afford the novel and interesting spectacle of Greece, the mother of free institutions, and the nurse of the intellect, receiving, in her fallen state, the sympathies, the encouragements, and the aids of a land, which, in her prime, she never knew; and which, inheriting from her both freedom and literary treasures, regard her with filial veneration, and claims to be the latest born of her posterity. (pp. 75-76)