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most respectful thanks for our share in them. How many pages in this periodical — indeed by far the larger part of them — have proved, unworthily though it may have been, the care and effort which the Professor has spent upon his thousands of pupils! We fear Jest we have trespassed upon some one of his good rules even in what we have written with the intent of offering a grateful tribute to their honored teacher. The retiring Professor was most happily complimented by the Rev. Samuel Osgood of New York, at the dinner of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. May all kindly and cheerful companions, within and without, attend upon him, and may he enjoy the sweet delights of " idle time not idly spent,” while he shall contemplate " the pleasant countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.”
Professor Channing's place has been supplied by the nomination of Mr. Francis James Child, now in Europe, who was a graduate of the class of 1846, and who, by his discharge of the duties of Instructor in the department which he is to fill as Professor, has already secured the high regard of the College officers and students.
Phi Beta Kappa Society. - The Anniversary of this Society took place as usual, on the day following Commencement. It was known beforehand that the poet chosen for the occasion, Mr. James T. Fields, of Boston, would be prevented by severe domestic bereavement from performing the agreeable service for which he had prepared himself
. The attendance was not as large as usual. Several honorary members were elected at the business meeting, at which it was voted to accede to the request of the Association of the Alumni of Harvard, made known by a letter from Hon. Edward Everett, to yield the use of the day following Commencement in alternate years to the Association. The exercises in the church were introduced by Prayer, by Rev. Dr. G. W. Blagden of Boston. The Rev. Dr. W. B. Sprague of Albany delivered an Oration on “ The American Mind, its Origin and Destiny." The Rev. John Pierpont of Medford had assented to the sudden call made upon him, by bringing with him a poem on Progress, which he had prepared for another occasion. This he kindly delivered, introducing it with four lines furnished to him impromptu by the Rev. William Newell. Hon. Robert C. Winthrop presided at the dinner in Harvard Hall, which was enlivened by brilliant speeches.
RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. Divinity School at Meadville, Penn. — The anniversary exercises of this flourishing School took place on Thursday, June 26.
On the evening preceding, a discourse was to have been delivered before the graduating class by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, of Brooklyn, N. Y. Indisposition having precluded his discharge of that service, the Rev. James F. Clarke, who is residing at Meadville for the restoration of his health, most kindly and satisfactorily supplied the deficiency, and delivered a very earnest and powerful discourse on “ The Positive Theology of Unitarians.” On Thursday morning, the Rev. Mr. Ball, of Upton, Mass., a former graduate of the School, gave an address in Divinity Hall before the Associated Alumni; his subject being Christian Thinker."
In the afternoon, dissertations were read by the gentlemen whose names are attached to the respective titles, as follows : Faith and Works; Paul and James, by Mr. William D. Andrews. Science and Religion, by Mr. Austin S. Dean. Holiness in a Minister, by Mr. Martin G. Dean. The Prophet Isaiah, by Mr. J. R. Hoag. Frederic of Saxony, by Mr. Gustavus V. Maxham. Christ, the Light of the World, by Mr. Thomas J. Mumford. Itinerant Ministry, by Mr. William D. Potts. President Stebbins then addressed the graduates with an affectionate tone of regard and sympathy, and with words of wise counsel, as he conferred the certificates which testified to their academic and moral preparation for their work.
We rejoice at the prosperity which smiles upon this vigorous seminary of the West. Our pulpits even in these regions have borne witness to the abilities which it has fostered and trained. It has received an impulse from the endowment which was so generally made in answer to the appeal of the Trustees. It is situated just where it can most effectually do its work. Preachers for the West must be trained at the West. The air beyond the mountains is good for the lungs and stomachs of those who have been born there, but does not seem to agree with Cambridge constitutions. The Rev. N. S. Folsom will now devote himself entirely to the full duties of a Professor, for which he has an aptitude, and in the discharge of which he has had high success. His place as pastor of the Independent Church at Meadville will be temporarily filled by the Rev. James F. Clarke.
Divinity School at Cambridge. — The Thirty-Fifth Annual Visitation of this department of Harvard University took place in the College Chapel on Tuesday, July 15. The graduating class numbered only five candidates for the ministry. The class which, according to the usual course, will graduate next July, now contains eleven members. The exercises opened with Prayer, by Professor Francis. Each of the young men who on this day completed their professional course then read å dissertation on the subjects following, three hymns being sung during the exercises : — The Theology of Sir Isaac Newton, by Adams Ayer, A. B. The Importance of the Poetry of the Bible to the Preacher, by Warren Handel Cudworth, A. B. The Ministry of Richard Baxter, by Thomas Dwight Howard, A. B. The Practical Object of the References to the Divine Purposes in the Epistles of Paul, by Charles Lowe, A. M. The Nature and Formation of Myths, by Horatio Stebbins, A. B. Concluding Prayer, by Professor Noyes. The exercises gave satisfaction to the company of friends and brethren assembled on the occasion, and indicated a faithful culture on the part of the pupils, aided by the devoted labors of the two Professors. The oration and services of the Story Association of the Law School, which were attended at the same time in the parish church, did not seem to draw away the interest which belonged for the day by precedent and vested right to the Theological School. Are there not days enough in the year to allow to each department of the University its own commemorative or festival observances, without a real or an apparent collision? It is hardly wise at this juncture for the representatives of the two professions to multiply the occasions of seeming variance between Law and Gospel. The usual Discourse before the members of the graduating class in VOL. LI. — 4TH S. VOL. XVI. NO. II.
the Theological School had been delivered on the Sunday evening preceding, by Rev. Chandler Robbins of Boston, from the words, – “ For without me ye can do nothing."
After an excellent dinner provided by the College in. Harvard Hall, for the guests and students, the Theological Alumni assembled for their Annual Meeting in the College Chapel, the Rev. Dr. Parkman in the chair. The officers of the Association were reëlected. Rev. Dr. Lunt of Quincy was chosen by ballot as Second Preacher for the next year, the Rev. Dr. Putnam standing as First Preacher. The hour having arrived, religious exercises were performed, and a Discourse was delivered by Rev. Calvin Lincoln, Secretary of the American Unitarian Association. His subject was, The Grounds and Value of Sympathy and Coöperation among Ministers. Text, Romans xii. 5.
In the business meeting of the Association, a series of Resolutions was introduced by Rev. Dr. Gannett, and seconded by Rev. Dr. Hall of Providence, R. I., expressive of a hearty interest in the School, of satisfaction with its condition as regards the disposition of its students and the conscientious fidelity of its Professors, of a desire that more young men might avail themselves of its opportunities, and of a respectful suggestion that the official guardians and the personal friends of the institution would provide means for relieving the onerous labors of the two instructors by giving them the aid of another.
As to the question which is so often discussed in our fraternal circles,
the expediency of retaining the connection between the College and the Theological School, or of severing it and removing the latter from Cambridge, we find that opinions are about equally divided, and that the advantages and disadvantages of either course are supposed to be well balanced. If the connection is retained, the Corporation of the College cannot be expected to exhibit that amount of interest in the success of the School which they show for the efficiency of the Medical, the Law, and the Scientific departments of the University. While religious sectaries have not scrupled to misrepresent the facts of the case in this regard, the Corporation will probably be very cautious of affording any marked evidence of a denominational zeal.
If the connection between the College and the School is severed, the latter must lose the benefit of certain funds which were actually and literally given for its use, though technically committed to the Presi. dent and Fellows of the College. The success of the School in its existing relation must depend upon the hearty interest and sympathy of its friends outside of the College. Our ministers must look to it as the nursery of their successors, and every minister of one of our congregations might cherish and do something to realize the wish, that at least one young man from his flock should become a student in that School. Cambridge has now a rival in Meadville. The relation between the two institutions is wholly amicable; not an act, not a word, not a feeling even, we are confident, has been done, uttered, or entertained, inconsistent with a spirit of perfect friendship for either or both of them. Reasons wholly independent of the relations of either seminary will guide students to one or the other of them. But Cambridge has advantages which ought. to be improved. If another Professor, or even an instructor, could be secured, to relieve Drs. Noyes and Francis of some one department of instruction, three times the present number of students might find there ample means for professional training. Why will not some warm friend of our School furnish the Corporation with funds for a permanent, or at least a temporary appointment?
We are desirous of making known to any who may be ignorant of them the privileges and opportunities which the School at Cambridge offers to such as have a love and fitness of heart and mind for the work of the Christian ministry. The free and catholic air of the Institution are in admirable harmony with the spirit and the need of this age. The rights of independent thought are respected. Devout and patient inquiry is made the chief condition for the discovery of truth. While at other seminaries authority and spiritual despotism set up limitations to overawe and prohibit honest questionings, the student here is advised that the field of truth has no fences, no spring-guns or pitfalls. Benevolence supplies means sufficient to lighten the burdens of a three years' toil, which is not rewarded by money, though for obvious reasons the School does not offer a bounty to allure any who might come .to it with mixed motives. The sums granted annually to students who
desire such aid are but trifling compared with the endowments of Fellowships in the English Universities, which are put to much the same uses. There is sufficient to afford to the most needy at Cambridge a sum which will cover the expense of room, of board, and of instruction, while if the merits of any individual students are equal to their wants, there never will be a lack of such further aid, and so bestowed, as may be received with all proper feelings.
If a candidate for admission to the School is not furnished with a college degree, he is required, besides bringing his letter of introduction and his certificate of good character, to pass such a literary and classical examination as will test his ability to improve the opportunities that are to be afforded him. He is not required at his entrance, no, nor even at his departure with the certificate of the School, to assent to any form of doctrinal belief or denominational policy. He is as free and unfettered, and, we will add, as unbiased in this respect, as is any individual on the face of the whole earth. So far as any express or exacted condition is involved, so far as any influence brought to bear on him is concerned, the graduate may go directly to a Calvinistic, Episcopal, Swedenborgian, or Roman Catholic Church, and offer himself as a minister at its altar. We rejoice in our very hearts, we devoutly thank God, that this is so. Never may it be otherwise. We shall always regard this condition of our own professional studies as having put into our hands the very keys and the torch most likely to guide us to the mysteries of truth.
We love to dwell on the remembrances of one of the lecture-rooms. The venerable Henry Ware is seated at the head of the table, his pupils are seated around it. He has before him a writing-book, each page of which, under the title of some subject in dogmatic or systematic theology, bears a list of the leading works and authorities which have advocated the various views and opinions of the great sects. He announces the topic which we are to investigate for our next exercise, be it a question of the Trinity, of the Vicarious Atonement, of the Papacy, or of Episcopacy. He refers us to the great champions of the respective doctrines or theories. He requires us to read and master their arguments, to learn all that can be said on their side, to do full justice to them, either by adopting them if sustained, or by pronouncing where we find them unsatisfactory. Instead of instilling into us some opinion of his own, he allows all the great lights or leaders of Christendom to have their full power over us, and permits them to say all that they can say for themselves. And when we come together to give the results of our investigations, our venerable friend, the very impersonation of candor, listens attentively to see if we do justice to our authors, and if their case might have been put stronger than they have stated it, Dr. Ware will make it up to them. And so was it under the instructions of another, an honored, beloved, and faithful Professor, who still lives, though not to do the work which he did so well. With him we read in Hebrew and in Greek the original words of the sacred oracles, not to verify preconceived opinions, nor to justify foregone conclusions, forced upon us by a creed of man's device, but to learn and understand what is written, to discover what are the doctrines, truths, lessons, and aims of the Bible. If any one can devise a method of instruction more free from the risks of uncharitableness, bigotry, and error than this, or more likely to lead to the simple truth, we should be glad to have the method indicated. It is to be remembered, too, that the text-books used in the School are, with most inconsiderable exceptions, the works of men who were neither Unitarians nor Congregationalists. Yet it is from these and the Bible that we are expected to discover the truth. How different is the liberality of our brotherhood in this respect from the jealousy and timidity of some other denominations! The theological seminary of one of the large denominations in this country forbids by its rules the admission of any heretical book into its library. What better evidence could it give of its own heretical character, and of its dread of the light?
We believe that the liberal influences of the School at Cambridge are in perfect harmony with the spirit which now moves the hearts of many of the wisest and best persons in Christendom. Let them be liberally dispensed, and let them be valued as they should be, for they have been purchased to the world at a heavy cost.
It is possible that a reconsideration of the question by the Corporation may result in severing the School from their jurisdiction, and in its removal from Cambridge; allowing it at its departure all the funds which, by the intent of the donors, were designed for the support of a theological institution on the most liberal Protestant basis. We have our doubts whether this would result in unqualified good, though we freely confess that, under the existing arrangements, the School suffers by the anomalous and constrained relation which it bears to a so-called State University. If by any happy contingency the State should be led to define its own relations to the College, we may hope that another matter will be decided with that. When the Corporation accepted funds from Unitarians, given to endow a liberal school of theology, the contract supposed a right on the part of the Corporation to receive money for such uses, and at the same time encouraged an expectation that the funds would be made as effective as possible. There is an undeniable perplexity in the present position of the parties to the contract, but there is also wisdom enough to deal judiciously with it.