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If I was inclined at that moment to forget my modesty just a little, I don't know but what I really did forget it when the last speaker on the morning's programme, Dr. North, got up. After expressing his admiration for the beautiful scene which we were there enacting, he said that other gifts from other rich men were also greatly needed. Then, with an outburst, he exclaimed:
“Oh, that we had one more Daniel Drew!”
This closed the morning's exercises. I have wrote about the thing in full, because it was an historic occasion. Not that I remember out of my head all the words that were spoken and the things that were done. It's all here before me, in clippings from my New York Christian Advocate.
At the conclusion of the morning exercises, we repaired, several hundred strong, to the Seminary grounds, a short distance west of the village, where, in the edifice heretofore known as the Forest Hill Mansion, and now lavishly reconstructed, the guests found, in the room which is henceforth to be the chapel, a sumptuous entertainment provided by my liberality for their refreshment, and beneath whose savoury burden the tables literally groaned; while others were as bounteously provided for in the town hall, turned, for the time being, into a tastefully garlanded refectory. (Refectory means a place to. eat.) After doing ample justice to the viands now spread before them in prodigal profusion, the visi
tors, many of them distinguished divines who had come from afar to grace the occasion with their presence, and whose eloquence signalized the inaugural and has made the event memorable, were invited to examine the buildings and ground, to which they promptly responded, and concluded their inspection with the most unbounded admiration of the premises, profuse felicitations to the donor, and unqualified approbation of the judgment of him and his advisors in the selection they had made.
In fact, the meal that day wasn't any of your nose-bag feeds — no snatch-and-go kind of a thing. We had moved tables into the big room of what had been old Tom Gibbons's house. The meal was a rib-tickler. A restaurant man had been hired for the occasion. He had got orders from me to put up as costly victuals as he could find, and send the bill to me. And now, as I looked over the crowd, and saw them stowing the good things away under their belts, I was glad I hadn't been stingy in the matter. I remembered how, in my old drover days, I used to get hungry enough sometimes to drink pig's milk. We didn't have
such viands as these to eat, back in those days.
The exercises in the afternoon began at halfpast two.
This wasn't a Sunday. Yet the services were almost like what they are on a Lord's Day. We started off by singing that hymn which
is so fit when young men are setting forth into the beautiful life of the Christian ministry:
Go, preach my Gospel, saith the Lord;
I'll make your great commission known,
Teach all the nations my commands
is trusted in my hands
Philip Phillips was there, and sang in a sweet voice: “There Will Be No More Sorrow There." In the morning he had also helped out with his beautiful hymn: “I'll Sing for Jesus.” After the solo, Dr. McClintock made a speech in which he told about the school and its plans. Said he:
The full extent of Mr. Drew's gift was not announced at the beginning. He is one of those men who do more than they promise. You should know that he founded a Young Ladies' Academy at Carmel. That gift was entirely apart from and in addition to the Centenary gift involved in the Theological Seminary. What will be the extent of these two
donations, I do not know. This much I do know, that Mr. Drew is not in the habit of putting his hands to any object and letting it go unfinished or half accomplished.
When he finished, I felt that even if I hadn't been of a mind to help the school in a big way, I ought to do it now.
Dr. Porter represented the Newark Conference at the exercises. The announcement of the “Drew Theological Seminary,” he said, had made his heart leap for joy. He was persuaded that God in his providence was leading the Church to adopt those measures and take steps from time to time that were calculated to meet the exigencies of the times and advance the interests of His cause. He added that it was the mission of the Church to arouse the public mind with regard to experimental and practical religion, and this it had done.
Dr. Cummings was there, from Middletown, Ct. His words were even more personal. Said he:
Among the thoughts that have suggested themselves to my mind to-day is that of the noble illustration exhibited on this occasion of the Christian use of money. We know that men often give iberally for worthy objects, and yet the influence of that gift is transient. It accomplishes a good work, but it lacks the element of permanency in its influence. The history of educational institutions is, in this respect, remarkably encouraging. Nothing can be nobler than to give the funds and moneys
which God himself has bestowed.
I wish I could give more of his talk. It was a very good speech. It made me better acquainted with his college up there in Connecticut; and I have helped it out also with some money.
The speech of Bishop Janes was one that I thought must do the young students for the ministry a lot of good. In fact, they were words that everybody ought to lay to heart. He said:
I assume that all the young men who come here for the advantages of this institution will be Christian young men; that, having received the grace of repentance they have been justified by faith and regenerated by Divine Grace. I assume, also, that they have been led to feel in their own minds that they were moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon them the work and office of the Christian pastorate; that they don't take upon themselves this honour, but are called to it of God, as was Aaron. I also assume that the church has been convinced of the correctness of the convictions by their natural gifts and Christian graces and the unction attending their religious exercises, and has recommended them to the travelling connection for pastoral work.
Now, with these assumptions, I ask, what is necessary for these young men? Knowledge and discipline. They are ambassadors of God. It is, therefore, all-important that they have a knowledge of God, of His mind, of His will, of His relation