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by the progress of the work of missions to the heathen, what a want opens its crying mouth at the West! The latest exhibit of our Home Missionary Society,* gives us snch statements as these : " What Iowa wants is an addition of more than one hundred men to our ministerial force within her bounds.” (p. 50.)
“ The destitutions of this field (Central and Western Ohio) are very great. There are seventeen counties, containing two hundred and fifty-four townships and six hundred and sixteen thousand three hundred and forty-five inhabitants, with only fifty four ministers of the denominations coöperating with the American Home Missionary Society; making an average of niore than eleven thousand inhabitants to one minister. Six other counties contain ninety-two townships and one hundred and sixty-six · thousand one hundred and eighty inhabitants, and but twelve churches and ten ministers; making an average of sixteen thousand six hundred and eighteen inhabitants to one minister. Eight other counties, as large and populous, have but one church and one minister each; which gives an average of more than twenty-four thousand inhabitants to the charge of one minister of our order. Besides the above, there are twenty entire counties, containing more than a third of a million of inhabitants, without a single minister or a single church of our denominations—as if we had not a minister nor a church in the whole state of Counecticut.”
** To place one minister in each of our seven hundred and forty-four townships would require an immediate supply of six hundred and seventy-three ministers more than are now in the work." -(pp. 51, 52.)
Of Indiana it is said “ more than half the counties have no resident Presbyterian or Congregational minister; and almost half of them have no church connected with these denominations. The state of Indiana must be accounted, so far as our two affiliated denominations are concerned, scarcely more than one vast destitution. One hundred and fifty churches and
* Our Country. No.2. A Plea for Home Missions. Published by the American Home Missionary Society, 1858.
seventy ministers, in a population of one million, two hundred thousand, increasing, also, at the rate of forty-three per cent. in ten years, can only suffice to create a want; they cannot meet it. The work of the society in this state is but just begun.” (p. 53.)
Of northern Illinois, by far the most evangelized portion of the state, we get this report. “Take, for example, the county of
" which Galena is the 'seat,' and it is found that we furnish only five ministers and seven churches towards supplying a population of twenty-five thousand. Taking twenty-four counties together, we find one church to every three thousand five hundred of the inhabitants; and one minister to every five thousand."-(p. 53.)
“The population of Michigan is now estimated at six hundred and fifty thousand. Upon this basis, there is but one minister, belonging to the coöperating denominations, and actively engaged in the duties of his office, to every five thousand two hundred inhabitants. * Nearly all the churches and ministers now in the state are found in that portion of it which is south of the line of the Detroit and Milwaukie railroad; thus leaving more than half its territory almost wholly destitute. North of this line, only a single county has a minister of our connection.”—(pp. 54, 55.)
And if such things are true of the older of the western states, if such are true of Illinois—under the approaching census to take her place as the fourth state of the Union in population-what shall we say of the “ regions beyond,” the newer states, Wisconsin and Minnesota ? And what of the states about-to-be; of Kanzas, Nebraska, Ontanagon, Dakota, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and others as yet unnamed and whose wants have not yet found record in the lagging tables of statistics, but whose wants even now exist and are to in-. crease rapidly, as the waves of immigration pour their living hosts over the rich fields between the Mississippi and the Pacific? There is danger that those who dwell in the older portions of our land, densely populated, with no more room for expansion, and furnished with the many appliances of a cultured civilization, with colleges and seminaries within easy
reach of every one, and supernumerary ministers not very unfrequently visible, will fail to appreciate the fast increasing demands for a proper ministry in the occidental regions of the country. But whoever does appreciate it, will feel that we must not, cannot wait, until we can give all our sons the protracted discipline and furnishing of academy, college and seminary, but that, while striving for that as largely as may be, we must lay hold of and subsidize another element of power and consecrate it to the work of Christ. In other words, we must not rely too exclusively upon those who are, or may become accomplished theologians, desirable as it may be that every preacher of the gospel were such, but we must take those whom God has called to himself later in life and not in the gristle of youth, the newly converted merchant, or farmer, or lawyer, or speculator, and qualifying their practical talent, already acquired in other callings, with what teaching of doctrines in their harmony we may be able to give, send them forth, as the early disciples and apostles went, to tell the story of redemption with hearts burning with love to Christ and to souls. There is a pioneer work, if no other, to be done by such, and which, if so done, is done most effectively and with great economy of resources. They are the light-armed troops who go before the heavy and slower infantry and have a place as important as theirs.
The new seminary has openly undertaken to train such for their work, by what is termed its Special Course, and in so doing has put honor upon a class of Christ's ministers who, if they have had a standing as such in our older communities and under the shadow of our colleges and seminaries, have had it for the most part by courtesy or constraint. Far be it from us to do or say anght that should imply any undervaluing of the severest training of the college and the theological school as the means of making the most effective ministry. The new seminary does not propose to lower at all the standard of scholarship held up as the normal condition of a proper qualification for the office of the ministry. The delay of more than a year in opening, which it has submitted to rather than take any second rate men for its chairs of instruction, the inaugural addresses of two of its professors, just published in connection with the proceedings of the late convention, and the names of well known presidents and professors of various colleges, embraced in its lists of lecturers or professors-extraordinary, names honored for their learning, at the East as well as at the West,--these give us the amplest guarantee that our western brethren, in planning a new institution for the training of the Christian ministry, have not forgotten the place which belongs to a true and high-toned scholarship, nor failed to provide for its maintenance. At the same time they have not allowed themselves to be so eaten up with zeal of mere scholasticism as to forget that where there is a proper leaven of true learning God will make it the means of leavening the whole lump, and that he has a work to be done, in the salvation of the world, by others than the technical scholar. We heard the remark attributed, though we believe erroneously, to one of our honored scholars, and at the same time most effective preachers, that “Spurgeonism and the Chicago Seminary would be the death of us.” That was in the early days both of Spurgeon and the seminary, and although glad that the remark was not made by the one upon whom it was charg ed, we doubt if any one of respectable judgment will now be found to think the interests of religion the worse off for Spurgeonism, however much there may be about it to offend our more delicate sensibilities, nor do we think the experience of coming years is likely to prove that the effectiveness of the ministry of the gospel has been lessened by the Chicago Theological Seminary.
Such an institution has just gone into operation, drawing to its classes at the very outset, a larger number of students than are to be found in some of our older and most honored seminaries, and gathering around it at its inauguration an assembly of patrons honorable to any community and to any cause; a company, too, whose highest praise it is, that their zeal for Christ and the spread of the knowledge of his gospel so dominated over all class or denominational feeling, that during the two days' sessions and debates of the convention, hardly a word fell from any lip, which betrayed the sectarian or denomina
tional relationship of the speaker. It was “Christo et Ecclesiæ;" the Christ and the Church, too, of the Bible, rather than of the fathers, or even of Calvin or Robinson.
And when we speak thus, we are reminded that some will be anxious, perhaps, to know the doctrinal basis upon which this new institution of Christian learning is built, or to be built. Our space obliges us to be brief in what remains to be said, and yet, what is needed may be said briefly.
The new seminary does not ignore or undervalue a proper creed, as embodying or indicating its interpretation of biblical doctrine. On the contrary, such a creed-form was carefully drawn up among the first things done by the directors of the seminary, and this the constitution obliges every professor elect to give public assent to, as a condition precedent to his induction into office. That form of sound words” is one that squares with our most orthodox and universally accepted symbols. And yet this symbol is held with true Christian charity and liberality. A few words from the charge of Dr. Kitchel, president of the board of directors, to the professor of theol. ogy, at his recent inauguration, will indicate the spirit of the new institution in regard to this particular matter :
"You accept with us this declaration of faith; but we do not conclude you in these, or any human formularies. You accept it with us, a declaratory act, and as we do not accept it for ourselves, so neither do we impose it upon you a fetter of thought, or a finality of faith. We hold you to no school in theology or philosophy. We have come to this faith by way of Geneva and New England, and this way we love well. But we hold you not to Calvin, or even to New England. We too, have the word which alone is sure, and to us, also, the inspiration of the Almighty will give wisdom. Have open ear and heart then, and beyond all creeds, and through all voices, listen for the voice of the Lord.”—(Proceedings, &c., p. 36.)
Had we space, we shonld be glad to quote, also, from the inangural addresses of both professors, as indicating the feeling with which they gave assent to the creed-statement of the school just placed in their charge. Suffice it, therefore, to say that both magnify the word of God as they ought, setting it in