Page images
PDF
EPUB

for the article demanded, such a Before attempting any answer to price as shall remunerate the cost this inquiry, we need to form some of production. The only way in just idea of the number of men which the demand causes the sup- whom it is desirable to introduce ply, is by offering such a price as into the Christian ministry, or at induces a sufficient number of men Jeast of the principle by which the to withdraw their skill, their capi. requisite number is to be determin. tal, and their labor, from other forms ed. It has been common to say of industry, and to engage in the that in such a country as ours, there production of the article demanded. ought to be at least one well educaThe notion, then, that the demand ted minister of the Gospel for every for an educated Christian ministry, thousand souls; and it has been may be safely relied on to work out taken for granted, that till the eduits own supply, assumes—in the cated evangelical clergy in the Uniface of notorious and stubborn facts ted States number as many thou. to the contrary—that the people of sands, as there are millions of popthis country, and of every part of ulation in the census, there is no it, are both able and willing to pay danger that the ministry will befor the services of Christian pastors, come too numerous. In one sense, such a compensation as is necessa- this is right. If the people of the ry to induce a sufficient number of United States were all members of able and educated men to withdraw Protestant Christian congregations, from secular employments and de- and if every congregation were to vote themselves to the preaching of be supplied with an educated pasthe Gospel. Without this assump- tor, there would be needed at this tion, so utterly at variance with moment, not less than eighteen thouknown facts, the notion of demand sand such ministers; and in less producing a supply, is no better than fifty years from this time, if logic than if, from the naked state the same state of things be suppoment that ten or twenty years ago a sed to exist then, there would be given district was in a condition bor- needed fifty thousand. Christian dering on heathenism, some econo. patriotism, planning for the relimist should undoubtingly infer that gious welfare of the country, has now it is well supplied with a Chris- for its ultimate aim, nothing less tian ministry ; for surely, if it is an than to place every family and eveunfailing law, that demand, in the ry soul under the care of an able sense of mere destitution, produces and faithful pastor; and of course a supply, that law must manifest it when we calculate how to provide self in the phenomena of the pres- an adequate supply of such pastors, ent and of the past, as well as in we ought to desire nothing less the phenomena of the future. than one for every thousand souls.

Some arrangements then ought Yet it is true that there may be to be made, to secure the education more ministers in the country than of a suitable number of such men, can find employment-and thereproperly qualified in other respects, fore, in an important sense, more as are willing to devote themselves than are needed—while yet the numto the work of the Christian minis. ber falls far short of such a ratio. try. What arrangements and ef. Ministers of the Gospel must not forts for such a purpose are the only be educated and licensed to wisest? What system of measures preach; they must be put to work for such a purpose, is likely to in their vocation, and they must be bring forward the best men, at the supported in their work. Ministers least expense to the Christian pub. who for any reason cannot find em. lic, and in the requisite numbers ? ployment, and cannot live in their

[ocr errors]

ministry, are not needed. The the number of ministers that might work then of providing ministers, be employed, if the whole country cannot go forward faster than the were already fully evangelized work of employing them when pro- but with reference to the probable vided. And if the Christian peo

progress and success of other de. ple of this country do not intend to partments of evangelical enterprise. employ an increasing number of Find out how many ministers the ministers, at home and abroad ; American churches may be expect. and, particularly, if they do not in- ed to employ, at home and abroad, tend to prosecute the home mission- ten years hence, more than are now ary work on a scale corresponding in the field; and that is the number with the greatness of our territory, of the young men who ought to be and the increase and dispersion of coming forward, in addition to those our population ; there is little occa- who will be needed to fill up all the sion for any very strenuous and ex- vacancies which time will make in tended effort to multiply the num- the present supply. ber of candidates for the ministry. To what extent, then, is an increaBut if, on the other hand, the work sed number of educated Christian of evangelizing our whole country ministers likely to be called for, by is to be prosecuted with increasing the Congregational and Presbyterian energy-if, particularly, the con- churches and missionary institutions, tributions to the American Home within eight or ten years to come ? Missionary Society, and to other in- Let this question be considered for stitutions aiming at the same object, a moment, and it will be found to are to be doubled within five years, resolve itself into that other ques. and to be doubled again within five tion, whether the Congregational and years more

- then we need to have Presbyterian churches of this counin a course of training, at this mo- try are to be faithful or recreant in ment, the young men who in five respect to the trust committed to years, or in ten years from this them. As our population spreads time, will be called for, to bear their out farther and farther towards the part, as pastors and evangelists, in Pacific-as our population grows the work of filling our whole terri- more crowded in the commercial tory, from the Atlantic to the Pa. cities and busy villages of the older cific, with the influence of pure states--what is to be the character Christianity. No man needs to be of these increasing millions ? Are told that a minister of the word of they to keep the Sabbath holy, sitGod, is not ordinarily fitted for his ting under the ministry of enlightenwork in a day, or in a year. No ed Christian teachers? Is the work man needs to be told that if a thou- of evangelization in this country to sand ministers of the Gospel in ad. go on, expanding itself from year to dition to the number now in the year, as the field to be occupied field, are to be called for in this opens more widely and more invi. country ten years hence, the thou- tingly? Is the whole empire of sand must be put to school immedi. this Union, from ocean to ocean, ately. If then we would act as and from the tropic to the wintry wise men, with forecast and with a north, to be filled with the light of due economy of effort, our plans in the Bible, and with the influences of this department, must be formed simple, spiritual Christianity ? and prosecuted not with reference so, then a thousand ministers more merely to the opportunities and than are now employed, must be means of giving employment to called for within ten years from this ministers, which happen to exist to. time, to supply churches that are day-nor with reference merely to not yet formed, and a population

that is not yet counted in the census. leges or other institutions, the indi. At the end of ten years from this vidual young men to whose support time, there will be full five millions and advancement they found it a of people in our country, more than happiness to contribute. We would there are now; and if no more than be far from discouraging any such one fifth of that increase is to be beneficence on the part of churches gathered into Christian congrega- or of individuals. But who can extions, and is to enjoy the labors of pect that this occasional, unassociaan enlightened and faithful ministry, ied, unconnected beneficence-howthere will be employment and sup- ever amiable and pleasant it may be port for a thousand ministers more in particular instances—will be adthan are employed to-day.

equate to the exigency? How many Returning now to the inquiry as young men would such beneficence to the system of arrangements and alone call forth from circumstances efforts by which the best men may of depression ? Who would seek be brought forward to the Christian out those gifted and sanctified minds, ministry, in the requisite numbers, which might be found in the obscurer and at the least expense to the walks of life, and which ought to be Christian public, we find first the fitted to serve their country and proposal that this whole work be left their race in the work of the Gos. to the spontaneous, unorganized be. pel? Who would bring such minds neficence of individuals and of con- to the notice of the affluent and be. gregations. It is proposed that men neficent? Who would impress upon of wealth, who are willing to co

each church the duty of selecting, operate in multiplying the number from among its sons, one or more of educated ministers, be left to to be the objects of its fraternal aid ? select, each one for himself, the And where a church has its little young man whom he will aid at offering to bestow, and has no memschool and at college, and that each ber in its communion to whom that patron shall bestow upon his own little offering would be a sufficient individual beneficiary, just that help, shall it do nothing ? We do amount and kind of assistance which not believe that any man, having he may judge necessary and proper. any just idea of the number of ed. In the same way it is proposed that ucated ministers whose labors must a particular church, finding in its be called for within a few years to communion a young man of prom- come, can seriously entertain the ising character and talents, whose expectation that any isolated and circumstances are such that he can- unsystematized efforts of wealthy not be educated without charitable individuals, or of particular churchaid, shall encourage him to leave the es, will be sufficient. farm or the workshop, and shall ren- In other quarters, it has been sug. der him all the necessary aid in ob- gested, that this work of affording taining an education for the ministry. gratuitous aid to indigent and meriWe would not say one word to dis- torious young men in their prepara. courage this kind of spontaneous tion for the ministry, may be left beneficence. We have known entirely with those who manage the more than one instance, in which a affairs of colleges and other instituchurch has made one of its mem- tions for instruction. If a college bers its own beneficiary, and has is to provide gratuitous instruction been happy in its selection of the and the means of support for indi. object, and in its administration of gent pupils, the provision must be the charity. And we have known made in one of two ways. Either many instances, in which benevolent the institution must obtain permanent individuals have sought out in col. endowments, the income of which

Vol. I.

17

pose ?

shall be adequate to such an annual endowments for such uses, suppose expenditure; or by some continued the other method to be preferred, agency it must collect, year after and that each college undertakes to year, from the charitably disposed, collect, in charitable donations from whatever may be necessary for the its friends and from the public at instruction and support of its own large, two thousand, five thousand, beneficiaries. Suppose the former or ten thousand dollars annually, method to be attempted. To sup- according to the number and the port iwo hundred and fifty such pu- wants of its beneficiary students. pils in the various colleges of New Who shall mark out, for each col. England, at an average annual ex. lege, the province within which its pense of no more than eighty dol- agents shall operate for such a purlars each, (which is the amount now

What shall prevent an im. allowed to beneficiaries by the rules mediate clashing of the claims of of the American Education Socie- rival institutions? In some instan. ty,) would require an aggregate of ces—as, for example, when a colpermanent endowments amounting lege keeps its agent constantly in to not less than the third part of a the field, soliciting donations for million of dollars. Admitting the its current expenses-this method desirableness of such endowments, might be found practicable. But is it probable that the requisite who would recommend the adoption amount can be obtained ? Admits of such a system by all the colleges ? ting that endowments so magnificent What pastor of a church would like could be obtained, would it be wise to be visited this week by the agent to obtain them for this specific pur- of Yale College, and next week by pose? It is well to endow colleges the agent of Dartmouth College, and munificently, to nish them with the third week by the agent of Amlibraries, with apparatus in every herst College, and then by the agent department, and with the means of of Middlebury College, and so to affording a partial support to profes. the end of the chapter ? sors; and thus to bring down the We cannot avoid, then, the ne. price of liberal education, so that cessity of some general organiza. not the rich only but those in hum- tion for the purpose of aiding in the bler circumstances, shall be able to education of indigent young men, approach the fountains of universal otherwise qualified, for the Christian knowledge. It may be well to en- ministry. Such an organization we dow colleges with the ability to af- have in the American Education ford gratuitous instruction to a se. Society; an institution, the usefullected portion of their pupils. It ness of which has the most ample may be well to provide them with attestations in the names of the dis. the means of encouraging eminent tinguished men in all parts of this scholarship, in rare instances, by country, and in the various fields of such rewards as shall enable him foreign missionary labor, who have who wins them, to withdraw him- been educated by its aid, and who, self for a season from other toils, without such aid, would probably and to indulge that burning thirst for not have been qualified for the ser. knowledge which distinguishes the vice of Christ, as preachers of his gifted mind. But would it be en. Gospel. tirely wise to endow the colleges with In the commercial embarrassment permanent funds sufficient to provide of these times, the Education Socinot only instruction, but lodgings, ety has suffered more, perhaps, than and diet, and clothing, for so great any other of our leading benevolent a host of dependent pupils ? Aban. institutions. It has suffered not only doning, then, the idea of permanent directly, as other institutions have suffered, in consequence of the di. gion this side of the Alleghanies. minished resources of its friends, But the Home Missionary Societybut indirectly, in consequence of the strange to say—has not the means number of ministers who are found for any such movement. And there. in some parts of the country, un- fore it is, that young men whom God employed, or not employed in their has called, are discouraged from en. profession. The missionary boards, tering the ministry, and the Chris. home and foreign, having been tian community is discouraged from somewhat crippled, and the distress. attempting to provide that increased es of the country having operated number of well educated ministers in various ways to cause a tempora- which must soon be called for, un. ry check in the work of evangeliza. less the enterprise of evangelizing tion, it has happened that in some our whole country is to be abandistricts there are just now a few doned. ministers, men of great worth, men At such a crisis, it was a matter who if employed in the right place of course, that whatever elements of might be highly useful, who, to the unpopularity might exist either in question " Why stand ye here idle the structure of the American Eduall the day long?" are compelled cation Society, or in the details of to answer, “ Because no man hath its operations, would come to light. hired us.” And from this the im- The time was favorable for a discuspression has gone abroad, to a con- sion, and for a revision, and if ne. siderable extent, that the education cessary a reconstruction of the whole societies have not only done but system. Accordingly the directors overdone their proper work, and that of the society determined, wisely, as the country is already over-supplied we think, to ask the advice of their with ministers. We need not stop constituents. They called a meethere to show the fallacy of such an ing of the corporate and honorary impression. The true remedy for members, for the purpose of fully this state of things—the most effi- considering the whole subject. In cient method of removing, from all a circular letter to the members, minds, so fatal an impression, they distinctly expressed the desire would be found in an expansion of that those who had changed their the missionary work in every direc. minds respecting the importance of tion. The true remedy for a sur- the object, or who had any objecplusage of ministers in certain dis- tions against the policy of the so. tricts, is not to abandon the enter. ciety, would not fail to come and prise of providing an educated min. aid in the deliberations of the meetistry for the whole country and for ing. We shall give some account the world, but to send forth to other of that meeting in another place ; regions all who are properly quali we notice it here, only to show fied, and to put them at work, and with what candor and frankness the keep them at work, where their la directors have invited discussion. bors will be effectual for the ad. The present organization of the vancement of the kingdom of God. American Education Society, is As yet this remedy has not been analogous to that of the American applied. The American Home Mis- Board of Foreign Missions. Every sionary Society, if it had the means man who has paid, or in whose beof expanding its operations in some half others have paid forty dollars proportion to the exigencies of the in one donation, is an honorary great West, would give instant em- member, with a right to sit and ployment to twice as many enter- debate in all the meetings of the prising and devoted ministers as can society. The right of voting be. be found unemployed in all the re. longs to corporate members, no

« EelmineJätka »