412 History of Wake Forest College
Fayetteville pastorate, are found in the Southern Preacher, a
collection of sermons published in 1824. Many others are found in the
Biblical Recorder. His most notable sermon, "On the Force of Habit,"
first preached on March 31, 1831, at Chapel Hill, was often published,
the last time as late as 1890, and was read by President Swain of the
University to his graduating classes year after year.
Dr. Hooper also had great ability as a public speaker, and was often
called upon to make addresses on many varieties of subjects, for
which he was fitted by his great store of learning and his versatility
and wit. Most often he spoke on education; in 1857 he delivered the
address before the Literary Societies of Wake Forest College on the
subject, "The Sacredness of Human Life," arousing furious
resentment among some of the lawyers of the State for his strictures
on those of their profession.13 Two years later he made the alumni
address at the University, on the topic, "Fifty Years Since," which was
heard by the President of the United States, James Buchanan, and a
large audience of alumni, whom he greatly pleased and gratified. This
address has been published and republished, and large portions of it
are reproduced in Battle's History of the University of North Carolina.
In literary quality Dr. Hooper's productions were hardly
excelled.14
Dr. Hooper died at Chapel Hill, August 19, 1876. Returning from
the Philadelphia Centennial which he had attended as a descendant of
one of the Signers, he took to his bed and did not rally. His death was
that of a Christian.15 In accord with his
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13
A fuller account of this is given in the chapter on Public Exercises.
14 Closing his article on Dr. Hooper in Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopaedia, Dr. T.
H. Pritchard has this to say of him: "It may well be questioned whether any man has
lived in the South, or for that matter in America, who wrote better English than Dr.
Hooper, and it is greatly to be regretted that he died without issuing from the press a
few volumes of his sermons or some other work by which future generations might
have been certified of his lowly piety, exquisite taste, sparkling wit, and rich stores
of learning of this great and good man."
15
Rev. William Hill Jordan, who was with him at the supreme hour, says: "The
death of Dr. Hooper was such as might have been expected of such a man. His
dying couch was as the vestibule of heaven; and even before his
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