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body whose property and creature it is. This is done by means of a convention, assembling triennially, and composed of ministers and delegates from all the churches of the Northwest belonging to the Congregational denomination. To this convention the directors of the seminary make report of their proceedings, and by vote of the convention they are reëlected to office, or others are chosen in their stead, as may seem most conducive to the well-working of the institution. A board of visitors is also chosen by the convention, whose business it is to watch over the seminary in its various interests and departments, report any irregularities or defects, and make such suggestions as shall seem for its advantage.

It will be seen, therefore, that this new institution has a very close relation to the churches, those especially among whom it is located, and in this has a certain advantage over other seminaries whose bond of connection with the churches is not so direct and close as its own. Not but that they are very dear, and rightfully so, to the various Christian organizations. But none of them have sprung so palpably out of the very bosom of the churches, nor are they so palpably and constantly held upon that bosom. The life of this seminary is, in a peculiar sense, the life of the surrounding churches. It does not depend for its existence and continuance upon the care of the ministry near at hand, nor upon the attractive power of those who occupy its chairs of instruction, though these, of course, will be important elements of its vitality and usefulness; but it depends upon the general Christian life around it. It is a peculiarity which distinguishes this institution, and which on this account, ought to be mentioned, that the laity have had a large share in the whole shaping and organization of this new school of the prophets. And so it is felt to be the child and property of the churches. From St. Paul to the Ohio, and from the Lake region to the great sweeps beyond the Mississippi, they feel a yearning interest in its welfare. They watch its every step. They feel that it is of them, as well as for them. Their prayers go up for it as prayer goes up from the household altar for a beloved child. Here is its strength. It may ever fall

back upon

the entire Christian brotherhood with the assurance of support.

It is a reasonable expectation that a seminary thus founded, thus closely linked to the great body of the churches, should have some advantages over others not so constituted. One ground of such an expectation will be found in its very dependence upon them. Feeling that dependence, its management is the more likely to be such as will make it answer more closely and exactly to the wants of the churches, and therein to the wants of the world, than would otherwise be the fact. Take the case, for instance, of a seminary under the management of a self-perpetuating board, and there will always be the danger that such an institution will have the wants of the churches as a secondary consideration in its working. Not designedly, of course. But it will not be so much their direct and manifest want, after all, as it will be the directors' notion of that want, or their notion of what that want ought to be, which will be likely to govern and guide in its practical management. Or take the case where the control of such an institution is wholly or largely in the hands of a particular class, say of the ministry. Some might think that such a body of men would best manage an institution for the training of those who are to become ministers, because of their practical acquaintance with the ministerial work. And it is undoubtedly true that, in some respects, none have so just a conception of their calling as ministers themselves. But then, again, who does not know the danger that a certain class-feel

a ing is likely to grow up in any profession, association, or guild, which, in more ways than one, will interfere with its highest usefulness. The ministry are no more exempt from this danger than are other classes and professions. There is many a narrow sentiment or prejudice, against which those in and out of the churches are revolting, which has been bred, and is kept alive and in place, by this class-feeling among the clergy. There is many a man in the pews who could often indoctrinate the one in the pulpit, in some important respects, as to what is needed to make up the sum total of the most effective preacher of the gospel. There is many a one in the pews who sees defects in the preacher, of which the latter is wholly unconscious, and who, could he have his ear, might help him to become a workman needing not to be ashamed. And here, just while we are writing, comes the wayward Autocrat of his own table, and touches this very subject in the main so truly, that we are tempted to quote a little :

“A sermon by a lay-preacher may be worth listening to I replied, calmly. It gives the parallax of thought and feeling as they appear to the observers from two very different points of view. If you wish to get the distance of a heavenly body, you know that you must take two observations from distant points of the earth's orbit,-in midsummer and midwinter, for instance. To get the parallax of heavenly truths, you must take an observation from the position of the laity as well as of the clergy. Teachers and students of theology (the same, with a difference, he might have said of his own and of other professions) get a certain look, certain conventional tones of voice, a clerical gait, a professional neckcloth, and habits of mind as professional as their externals.”—Atlantic Monthly, Jan., 1859, p. 88.)

We count it, therefore, as a pledge that the system of training in this new seminary will be, in some respects, more complete and adequate than that which we have been accustomed to, in that this institution is so largely in the hands of the laymen of the churches. It will not be apt to make ministers so much by the pattern of theory as it will shape them according to the practical pressing want of the world around it. This want will be all the while expressed. Every year and every week it will be manifesting itself in some way and bringing itself to the notice of the seminary, to the notice of its teachers and students. And, at furthest, every three years this want will be embodied in the knowledge of a convention assembled from all parts of that great region of power and promise, and thus be impressed upon the plastic body of the institution itself. This is what ought to be. A seminary for the training of ministers ought to make them fitted for the particular wants of their time and place. It should not give us stuffed skins of doctrine or dry theories of practice merely, modeled after however worthy saints or doctors or councils or schools, but living men, knowing and feeling the shape and needs of the place to which God, in his providence, would fit them and the peculiarities of life and action which they are to meet and sanctify.

And this is likely to be secured, again, in good measure, by another feature or peculiarity of the new school at Chicago. That peculiarity relates to the method of training as being two-fold, partly in the seminary proper, that is under the eye of the professor, and partly away from the seminary under the charge of sundry pastors of churches. The term of study in this, as in other seminaries, reaches through three years, except with those taking the special course. But of each

But of each year about thirty weeks are spent in the class-rooms, while the remainder, with the exception of the needful vacation, is engaged with some pastor, under whose supervision the student pursues an appointed course of reading, and at the same time learns the practical working of the ministry. This plan undertakes thus to combine what of good, in the way of intellectual discipline, and knowledge, the ordinary seminaries afford, with that practical culture which was obtained under the scheme, formerly prevalent, of studying with the settled pastor.

Most persons, we presume, will be favorably impressed by this arrangement. Those most scholastic in their habits will, perhaps, fear a letting down of the rigid exactions of a thorough course of training in the lecture-room. But to such it may be suggested that, as the student comes back from year to year, from his experience in the parish life, he will be likely to come with such an intelligent and discriminating knowledge of his wants, and with such a sharpened relish for the most scholastic studies, that he will really make more of his thirty weeks at the seminary than he otherwise would of the accustomed forty.

We, at least, shall wait with interest the working of this new feature in the enterprise, because it accords so well with some suggestions heretofore made in our own columns. Six years ago, in discussing the subject of the church and its ministry, and after adverting to the old method of ministerial education under the eye of the settled pastor, we said,


For ourselves, therefore, while we do not think our present course of instruction furnishes by any means a superfluity of doctrinal and historical equipment for the ministry, we should like to see that old parish training grafted upon it, and rather than not have it we would be willing to exchange one of the three years of the seminary course, for a year of practical instruction with some acting pastor. And we will suggest that this practical equipment might now be attained without lengthening the present term of study, by a somewhat different arrange. ment of it. "Let the study of books as such, be confined to the eight or nine colder months of the year, and then let the student be required to spend the three or four warm months of each of his three seminary years in the company of some settled pastor. This would divide the year in the manner most congenial to the purposes of the student, and would give him relaxation, for it would be such, at the season of the year when there is least inclination for systematic appliance - to books, and least profit in it, while it would occupy that season in a manner no less profitable than any other of the year. If need be too, one might support himself pecuniarily during his short terms in the country, by teaching the district school while receiving his pastoral education, though many a pastor would be ready to receive a well behaved student as a member of his household gratuitously, in consideration of his society, and the nameless assistances which he might render him, especially if students were to be licensed to preach, at the discretion of the pastors under whose charge they might for the time be, instead of withholding their license, as is now the case, until just as they are expected to become full blown pastors."—(New Englander, Vol. XI, pp. 132–3.)

The new seminary, it will be seen, could hardly have been modeled, in this respect, more to our mind had it sprung up under onr sole direction.

Another feature of this institution remains to be noticed. It is its provision for a special class of students who, for some good reason, are not able to pursue the regular course of instruction. We have said that this seminary aims to economize the raw material of the ministry. In other words, it aims to supply as largely as possible the world wide want of the ministry of the word of life, the gospel of salvation by a Redeemer. No one can familiarize his mind with the actual state of the case without feeling that there is a severe application to our times of that declaration of the Saviour, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.” Nor, if we wait for our more customary and scholastic methods of training, is the pertinency of that declaration likely soon to be less manifest. Saying nothing of the demands constantly arising from the fields immediately surrounding and dependent upon our New England seminaries and the drafts made upon them

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