Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

its own rightful authority, high above all human expositions of it, and enjoining it as the duty and the privilege of every one to interpret it for himself, unawed and unconstrained by any. We will, however, make a single quotation from the address of Professor Haven, premising that there is a beautiful harmony between the addresses of the two professors, brought together for the first time, from the distance of a thousand miles, within the walls of this seminary:

“ It is the cardinal doctrine of Protestantism that no doctrines of men are bind. ing on the conscience in matters of religion. Whether they be decisions of popes, or councils, or synods, or assemblies of divines, it matters not; whether they be decrees, or catechisms, or creeds, or confessions of faith, not one of them all, be they what they may, is binding on the conscience of any man, be he who he may; but only the pure word of God, and every man his own judge of what that word contains. This is the root, the foundation, and very ground work of Protestant faith. Give it up, and you give up the very fortress and citadel of Protestantism.

“On the other hand, they are not wise who cry out against all creeds and formu. laries of Christian doctrine as useless, and worse than useless. It does not follow that because these things are not of binding authority, they are therefore of no avail. As guides of judgment, as landmarks to show where the old paths went, and in what way the ancient worthies trod, as helps to a correct decision in matters of doubtful moment, they are of high value. I will not, indeed, receive them as authority, and concede to them my own right of individual judgment; but I will honor and respect them as the opinions of wise and good men, and, as such, deserving of respect. I will not ask what Athanasius, or Augustine, what Luther or Calvin believed, in order that I may believe the same, and that because they be. lieved it; but I will ask what these men and others believed and taught, that I may avail myself of their wisdom, and get what light I can upon the meaning of the sacred oracles, upon the hights, and depths, and difficult mountain passes of the Christian faith. If their doctrine seems to accord with the inspired word, rationally interpreted and intelligently weighed, I will gladly receive it; and all the more gladly that it is the belief of such men. If it differs from what, in my best judgment, God's word means and teaches, then in so far will I differ from them, and no man shall deprive me of this liberty.”—(Proceedings, &c., pp. 54-55.)

Having alluded thus to the inaugural addresses embodied in the published proceedings of the late convention at Chicago, but which it was no part of our purpose to review, we will simply say that they are such as to command the respect and confidence of all who properly appreciate the needs of a right theologic culture, and to give good augury of success to the institution which has secured such men as their authors show themselves to be, to fill its chairs of instruction.

The report of the treasurer, also embodied in the proceedings of the convention, exhibits the interest felt in the seminary by its immediate constituency, in a manner not to be gainsayed. It shows a balance of property to the credit of the seminary, after all liabilities are met, amounting to $150,000. This manifests a degree of interest and of pecuniary tiberality on the part of the western churches, which is very creditable to their character, especially when the fact is taken into consideration, that the wealth of the West is so largely in the hands of non-residents, or of persons destitute of saving religious character. And this large sum has, to the last cent, been raised at the West. We remember that the announcement of the projected seininary had hardly been made, before our western brethren had a very significant intimation, through one of our religious journals of wide circulation, that they must not come to the East for funds for its endowment. This warning it seems, however, is not to have the credit even of having provoked the West to good works ; for, before it was uttered, the directors of the seminary had deliberately voted that, in seeking its endowment, they would restrict their efforts to the home field of the seminary itself. The result has proved that their confidence in the ability and disposition of the churches around them, was not misplaced. Nobly have those churches responded to the appeals which have been made to them, and there is every reason to believe that the sum necessary to complete the endowment of the seminary will be raised without difficulty from the same source.

We are happy, therefore, on all accounts, in welcoming this new seminary to the sisterhood of our schools of Christian training. There is room for it. There was a call for it. And we are glad that the opportunity is to be given for testing the value of some of its peculiar features, and confident that it will be found, in some important respects, an advance in the system of theological education.

Nor can we close without suggesting that, in the establishment of this new school of the prophets, we have a new proof of thic value of the work of Home Missions.

Who have established this seminary, already so vigorous and promising? Who, but the churches gathered and nourished by our noble Home Missionary Society? Those great states which have now undertaken, of their own accord, the establishment and support of this seminary, what were they, within the memory of most of us, but one great missionary field, dependent upon the contributions and efforts of Christians at the East for every preacher of the gospel, almost, whose voice broke the stillness of those giant solitudes and boundless expanses beyond and around our great lakes? Nay, what are they even now, for the most part, but a missionary field ? That report, which we have already quoted, in regard to Ohio, which has already begun to be reckoned as one of the eastern rather than one of the western states, how dependent does it show even that still to be upon that beneficent organization into whose treasury the Christian liberality of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and other eastern states, has, for inore than a generation, poured its ample contributions. It is the very spirit of missions, inoculated into those western churches and inspiring them, which has given origin to this school of Christian training, which now lifts itself up on those far off prairies and proposes to do a work second to none other in importance. And as its students go out among the fast gathering churches of those newer regions, as they keep pace with the advancing wave of our impatient civilization, as it seeks the ever-retreating frontier, as they, some, find their way across the great Pacific to the isles and continents of paganism, or, it may be, come back upon our older territory of New England, showing us, in an unimpaired scholarship, combined with the outspoken frankness and practical earnestness of the West, the type of a more effective ministry than we have been accustomed to, who will not rejoice in whatever he may have done, through the agency of that great Home Missionary organization, for the accomplishment of so grand a consummation ?

ARTICLE III.—THE SEPOY MUTINY.

Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. Vols. CXLVI, CXLVII,

OXLVIII.

London Times. Letters of Indophilus.
Blackwood's Magazine. Vols. XLV, XLVI.

The terrible outbreak of Sepoy vengeance in India, which threatened for a time the very existence of English authority, was marked by atrocities, which have excited the horror of the whole civilized world. Would that we could throw over them the vail of oblivion! Previously peace smiled on mountain and valley and broad savannah throughout the peninsula. The East India Company were raising, on apparently secure foundations, a political structure which promised, some day, to rival those of the enlightened nations of Europe. By slow degrees the Christian civilization of the West was leavening the debased myriads of Hindus. Colleges and universities, whose courses of study would compare favorably, in scope and tone, with those of Cambridge and Oxford, were established. The attendance at these was steadily increasing, and a most gratifying standard of scholarship obtained among the students. The English judicial polity was becoming better understood and appreciated, and many of the enlightened natives were satisfied that it was only through English rule, and the introduction of English customs, that the people could be raised from the slough of degradation, into which they were sunken. Political quiet gave a stronger sense of security to the government, for from the Himalayahs to Cape Cormorin, from the Indus to the Burhampooter, there appeared not a rival to British dominion.

But in a moment all these apparently fair prospects were destroyed. Troubles came from a quarter least expected. The whole foundation of the political fabric was found to be

24

VOL. XVII.

worthless; for when suddenly shaken by social disturbances, outwork after out-work went down, and the whole tottered on the brink of destruction. The impending doom was indeed averted, yet, not till furious anarchy had glutted itself with the blood of hundreds of brave men, gentle women, and innocent babes, the thought of whose sufferings and death curdles the blood. And now the great problem presents itself to British statesmen, how to build from these ruined heaps a government, which shall be so well adapted to the necessities of this vast and various people, that a recurrence of these disasters may be prevented. It is very easy for philosophers and reviewers, in the retired security of their libraries, to prepare plausible theories and plans, which promise a ready solution; but those only who have known the people, and grappled with the difficulties, and felt the tremendous power of the disturbances, and realized the magnitude of the undertaking, can give reliable assistance towards its accomplishment. To disperse the rebels, to re-establish English authority, to restore order and peace, are comparatively easy tasks. How to govern this great people, “ Hic labor, hoc opus est.” This is the question which will press upon the public mind, and persistently demand an answer. The soundest judgment and the largest philanthropy have been hitherto baffled.

Such complications and perplexities, as are here presented, never before formed a labyrinth for statesmen to thread. A handful of men from a distant nation, accustomed to all the machinery and formality of a constitutional monarchy, supported by a mere corporal's guard of soldiers from their own country, had obtained and held the most absolute sway over one hundred and fifty millions of people, of diverse customs, religions, and politics. The government must be adapted equally to the luxurious sensuality of the Mussulman, the serpent-like cunning of the Hindu, and the rugged sternness of the Mahratta. Caste with its unnatural burdens must be regarded, and laws and customs, the most incongruous, respected. But it is not our purpose to detail the difficulties which beset the English at every step. A single glance at the condition of

« ПредишнаНапред »