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of being an inviting home for them has become hostile to them and their principles. We earnestly invite our Presbyterian brethren to come back to the principles of fair coöperation. We can answer for the Congregationalists that they will act on those principles earnestly and zealously. Upon those principles they will strenuously support the Home Missionary Society. And they will not consent that that noble Society shall die, and have its estate divided, as was suggested by the General Assembly's delegate to the General Association of Massachusetts. It has no estate to be divided except legacies, not a cent of permanent funds. And its legacies would be forfeited by its death or division. They like the nature of the organization. It is such as their independent but affiliated churches require-churches which cannot have an Ecclesiastical Board, or a Church Extension Committee. They will adhere to this Society; and insist on its continuance, as it is, and in the present tenor of its way, catholic, honorable and noble as that way is. They love its mode of operation on the Home Missionary field. And we earnestly invite our Presbyterian brethren to join their purposes and efforts with ours to avoid all schismatic operations on that field—to avoid the shameful waste of home missionary funds, and the disgrace to our common Christianity, which must result from a miserable sectarian scramble between these two denominations in every little town and neighborhood in the West. If the Presbyterians will coöperate fairly through the agency of the Society, the Congregationalists will not ask who gives or receives most of the money, even though they should give far the most and receive far the least. But they will not tolerate, in the use of their funds, sectarian unfairness toward their Congregational brethren in the West. They will insist that, peither directly nor indirectly, neither by keeping a rule in form and breaking it in spirit, nor in any other way, shall their own money be employed at the West to counteract and harass and defeat, in the support of their chosen church polity, those whom they have sent out from their homes, but still retain in their hearts.


The cultivation of the soil is the great occupation of the American people. Our agriculture employs more labor and more capital than all other departments of industry combined. Under these circumstances it is a remarkable, and at first sight an unaccountable fact, that there is among us an almost total deficiency of agricultural education. Our condition in this respect presents a contrast to that of other countries, which have reached the same grade of civilization as ourselves. France has its agricultural school in every department, Germany in almost every province, and England a source of the most enlightened practice in the careful study which every large landholder gives to the cultivation of the soil. Our own country, with all its enterprise in practical art, and its preëminence in general education, is in this respect of agricultural science behind them all.

It would seem at first sight that such a state of things must have its origin either in the lack of knowledge to be communicated on agricultural subjects, or in its already accomplished diffusion, or in some especial difficulties incidental to the dissemination of such knowledge among those engaged in agricultural pursuits.

In view of the obvious relations of the Natural Sciences to agriculture, and the rapid strides which they have made in advance during the last score of years, the first of these suppositions is extremely improbable. It can hardly be that accumulations of knowledge have not been realized in Chemistry, Geology, and Vegetable and Animal Physiology, of the most important bearing on the culture of the soil. So obviously must this be the fact in the case of chemical science, that the mind can scarcely fail to be satisfied of the truth without descending to those particulars which are at hand, for complete demonstration. Agriculture is, in fact, chemistry on a large scale—the transformation of earth, and air, and

water, into bread, and mea', and the material of clothing; and it is scarcely possible that the results of the careful study of the laws of transformation on a small scale, which has been made in our laboratories, will not throw some light on the chemical work on a large scale, which is taking place in the great laboratory of the soil.

It is certain that they have already done so, and that there are principles of chemical science already established, which, if universally diffused and applied, would suffice to increase, in an immense degree, the agricultural wealth of the world. As far, then, as the natural sciences are concerned, in their relation to agriculture, it may be confidently asserted that the deficiency of instruction among us is not a consequence of lack of knowledge to be communicated.

Neither is this the case with those special sciences which have grown up within the field of agriculture itself, as a direct consequence of its practices and its necessities. On the principles involved in the breeding and rearing of animals, in the propagation of plants, in the production and perpetuation of varieties, on the diseases of plants and animals, on manuring and drainage, and irrigation, there are vast stores of information which await the more thorough and systematic diffusion which the press, with all its power and efficiency, has not as yet accomplished.

And so, with reference to the care of crops and the feeding of animals; the management of the dairy and a thousand other details of farm practice which have not as yet taken the form of science, there is an amount of knowledge existent in the minds of the best cultivators, the dissemination of which would be of immense value to the country.

It is not, then, for lack of existent knowledge, either of science applied to agriculture, or of special agricultural science, or of superiority on the part of individuals in the details of farming, that there is nothing like a system of agricultural education among us.

The second supposition of an already accomplished diffusion of the knowledge which exists on these subjects, it is scarcely worth while to consider. Once fertile farms all over our State are becoming deserts for want of the simplest applications to the soil. Orchards in every part of the country waste the precious juices of the earth in the production of worthless fruit, for lack of the grafting which would convert the same material of nature into the most luscious varieties. Valueless breeds of animals are everywhere perpetuated, when those of double the value could be propagated at the same cost, and adorn every landscape by their symmetry and beauty. Stunted cattle crop a scanty sustenance of thistles and weeds from pastures which might teem with nutritious grasses at no greater cost to the soil or its owner. Our barn-yards fairly shiver with the misery of poor dumb beasts who, in seeming luxury of cruelty, are tortured every winter by exposure to the rigors of our climate at an expense of food greater than would be required to house them in comfort. So long as this is the condition of our agriculture, notwithstanding the immense improvement which has been realized, both in farming and stock raising, within the past few years, it can hardly be maintained that our lack of systematic agricultural education finds its pleasant explanation in the general enlightenment of those engaged in agricultural pursuits.

Neither is this deficiency a consequence of any especial difficulty inherent in the diffusion of knowledge among this class of our people. Wherever the common school exists, & dissemination of the elements of agricultural science might readily be accomplished, and higher institutions of learning would stand ready to complete the education thus commenced, in proportion to the demand upon them for such instruction.

An explanation of the destitution of agricultural education among us, is rather to be sought in the history of our agriculture itself, than in any of the directions which have been above indicated. It is to be found in the position which we have occupied as the occupants of a country comparatively new, rather than in any lack of importance of such education, or any difficulty in its accomplishment. Our fathers found it more profitable to bring new lands under cultivation than to maintain the fertility of the old. This course is still most profitable on the cheap and fertile soils of the west, and the

process of exhaustion is there in full tide of operation. Ag

. riculture, under these circumstances, is an extremely simple process, consisting in little more than a transfer from field to inarket of the accumulated treasures of the soil. It needs as little help of science as the excavation of a guano island, or the plunder of an oyster bed. Our virgin soils are practically great grain deposits, bearing an analogy by no means remote to the coal treasures of an earlier geologic period. As long as such deposits exist, to be mined for wheat and corn, it is not strange that little occasion is felt for agricultural science. These accumulated treasures of the soil are the reward of the explorer. They are the prizes which nature offers to the hardy pioneer, who, with axe in hand, and plow to follow, goes forth to battle with hardship, and subdue the wilderness. The older States of our country are long past this period. The accumulated stores of nature being exhausted, agriculture has come to sustain, with them, a much nearer analogy to a process of manufacture than one of mere excavation. And it is a process in which it is quite as essential that the raw material shall be adequately supplied, as in the production of broadcloths or calicoes. Wheat and beef cannot be made out of air alone, and he who would produce them must furnish to the great manufacturing establishment of the soil, the proper materials for conversion. Our agriculture is palsied by a failure to perceive this truth. We persist in the absurd conviction that our wornout New England soil is an amiable mother, who only wants the flattery of occasional tickling with the plough and harrow, to induce her to make crops for us out of nothing, or at least to make for us large crops out of small materials.

The fact is, however, indisputable, notwithstanding our blindness, that agricultural production is reduced with us to a simple process of manufacture, in which we get back in a inodified form just what we contribute to the soil. And this is the normal condition of agriculture all over the worldthe condition at which it must everywhere finally arrive, when there are no more new lands to be exhausted.

It is a condition of perpetual circulation, and not of continuous flow in one direction. The soil is the ocean, the crop is the rising



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