His address before the graduating class of the divinity school at Cambridge, in 1838, was an impassioned protest against what he called "the defects of historical Christianity" (its undue reliance upon the personal authority of Jesus, and its failure to explore the moral nature of man as the fountain of established teaching), and a daring plea for absolute selfreliance and a new inspiration of religion.
After graduating from the university of Pittsburgh he entered the banking house of Thomas Mellon & Sons and later became a partner.
He studied law, first at Bologna and later at Pisa, and after graduating in utroque jure, practised as a lawyer in Naples.
He was educated at Broadgates Hall, now Pembroke College, Oxford, graduating bachelor of civil and canon law in June 1519.
He was educated at Glasgow University and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he won the Stanhope historical essay prize (1897) and the Newdigate prize for poetry (1898), and graduating first class in literae humaniores (1899).