Page images

man being now admitted to the cor- ular congregation of believers, inde. poration by a mere subscription or pendent, self-governed, a brotherdonation, but only by election. This hood over which there is no doform of organization seems to us minion but that of light and love, as safe against perversion, and at and in which each brother has his the same time as open to the influ- voice and his vote. Accordingly, ence of the public opinion to which while other systems employ eccleit must look for support, as any siastical agencies for almost all sorts that could be devised.

of purposes, and have their theoThe only objection to this organ- logical seminaries, their colleges, ization, which we have heard, is their book concerns, managed by founded on the idea that for some ecclesiastical functionaries, Congrereason, such an institution ought to gationalism has nothing to do with be controlled directly and formally such things. Where simple Conby ecclesiastical influence. Thus gregationalism has had the forming it has sometimes been said, “ We of institutions, there is as much don't like to see so great a move, religious influence as elsewhere, ment under the control of any cor- though it does not appear in the poration or body of men, independ- form of ecclesiastical power or gov. ent of the churches.

It is not

ernment. The business of the consistent with Congregationalism. church is, by communion in worSome of us are jure divino Con- ship and ordinances, by instruction, gregationalists; and we would have and by mutual influence, to incite such a business to be directed by its members to love and all good the churches, acting through repre- works; and it concerns itself as sentatives chosen by themselves for little as possible with the details of the purpose.” This idea may be those things which can be better good Presbyterianism—though we done by individuals, or by specific have doubts on that point; but we associations of individuals. So far are sure there is no relish of Con- do the Congregational churches cargregationalism in it. Congregation- ry their disposition to be clear of alism is utterly opposed to all per- secular affairs, that they have ordimanent bodies professing to repre- narily no property except their resent the churches and to act by cords and iheir sacramental vessels, their authority, even for purposes and no treasury except to receive strictly ecclesiastical and spiritual. and disburse the little monthly conThe tendency of all other systems tribution which supplies the eleis to aggregation—to those ideas ments for the communion table, and and arrangements in which the feel. expresses to needy and suffering ing of individual power and indi- members, the sympathy of the spirvidual responsibility, is merged in itual body to which they belong. the feeling of the power and re. One of the beauties of Congrega. sponsibility of a great and extended tionalism-perhaps the greatest adcommunity ; hence their provincial vantage which it has over other and national churches, their synods, ecclesiastical systems, is, that the their conventions, their great legis- church, as a body, exists for purely lative assemblies. The tendency spiritual purposes, and has almost of Congregationalism, on the con- nothing to do with any secular aftrary, is to develope and direct the fairs. The church-the spiritual very feeling which other systems, body, including those who recog. in various degrees, counteract--the nize each other as members of feeling of individual power and re- Christ—undertakes, in that capasponsibility; hence its recognition city, no secular enterprise, enters of no church, other than the partic. into no civil contract, makes no appearance in courts of justice, to sue management of affairs in which or to be sued, to plead or to be im- their interest is so unequal? The pleaded. To build and to hold a directors of such an undertaking as house of worship, to provide for that of the Education Society,ought the support of the ministry, whether to make their report, not to those by permanent funds, or by taxes, who do not contribute, but to those or by voluntary annual subscrip- who do contribute. tions, the members of the church The American Board of Foreign as individuals, unite with other in- Missions holds a yearly convention dividuals and form a voluntary of its members, corporate and honcivil and secular association, called crary, at which all its proceedings " the parish,” or “the ecclesiastical are reviewed and all its interests society." What Congregationalist discussed with perfect freedom. No would subvert this simple and equi- man could look at that assembly at table arrangement, which is eve. Norwich last September, and doubt ry way so beneficial ?

The self. whether the churches were suffisame tendency of Congregational. ciently represented there. If the ism, which leads to the formation American Home Missionary Soci. of parishes, or voluntary ccclesias- ety, and the American Education tical societies, distinct from church. Society-institutions so closely rees, leads also to the formation of lated and so mutually dependent voluntary societies for missions, and as to be almost one-would unite for other objects of Christian enter. in holding a similar convention from prise, at home and abroad.

year to year, for the purpose of deBesides, what reason or equity liberating on the evangelization of would there be in the scheme of America ; the gathering of ministers & convention of delegates from and others, from all parts of the churches, assembled to regulate the country, would soon be such that appropriation of such a charity.

a charity. no one would think of inquiring According to the Congregational whether the churches were duly principle of the equality of church- represented. es, every church must have in such Proceeding from the question of & convention, as many representa- the organization of the Education tives as any other church. But in Society, to examine the rules by respect to the number of members which it acts, we find among the able to appreciate such a charity as friends of the cause a more considthis, and able to contribute largely erable variety of opinions than on to its advancement, churches are any other topic. That the present obviously unequal. One church system may be advantageously rehas many members able to render formed, to some extent, is generally effectual assistance, and able to conceded ; but to what extent, and enter fully into the embarrass. in what way, is not so easily dements of young men pursuing a termined. college course in the face of pov. Some have suggested the idea of erty; and by the members of that a place of education to be founded church, a thousand or two thousand and managed by the Society itself, dollars annually are given for this where all its beneficiaries may be object. Another church is less fa- educated, apart from others, by vorably situated, and its members one body of teachers, in the same give annually for the same object, course of studies, and under the perhaps ten dollars, perhaps noth- same discipline. It is supposed that ing. Is there either justice or rea. such a method would be cheaper son, in the idea of allowing these and better than the present system, two churches an equal voice in the which allows each beneficiary to pursue his studies at whatever col. the most enlightened and influential lege or seminary may be most con- men in other professions. At the venient or agreeable to himself— preparatory school and at the col. cheaper, because the standard of lege, those who are by and by to expense being fixed without any speak from the pulpit, occupy the reference to the factitious wants of same halls, study the same books, the more affluent, might be brought listen to the same instructors, sit in down so low as to include only the the recitation room on the same coarsest fare and clothing, and the benches, with those who are by and meanest accommodations, consist- by to rise to eminence in other proent with bodily health—and better, fessions. As fellow students with because the student would not be those who are to enter into other subject to the ordinary temptations professions, and who in a few years of a college life, nor to the depress- will be found in all places of honor ing mortification of juxtaposition and of influence, they not only help with associates, who can wear bet- to form their character, but they ter clothing and enjoy more indul. connect themselves by ties of mugences than he can; and because tual respect and often of mutual all the influences of such a place affection, with those who are to would be in harmony with the de- adorn the legal and medical prosign of educating young men in fessions, with those who are to be habits of devotion and self-denial. distinguished in the walks of litera

It may be worth the while to look ture, with those who are to preside at this proposal for a moment. And in the tribunal of justice, with those first, without reference to its expen- whose eloquence is to thunder in siveness or cheapness, let us look the Capitol, or whose diplomacy is at the value of this kind of educa. to sway the destinies of nations. tion. Is it better, at the same cost, Young men at school and at college than the education which the young educate each other ; and to the men, aided by the Society, are now young aspirant for the sacred min. enabled to acquire ? We answer, istry, beginning his classical studies without hesitation, No. The min. late, and pursuing them under many isters wanted in such a country and embarrassments, it is not the least such an age as this—the ministers of his advantages at college, that wanted for the work in which the he is brought into competition and churches of this country ought to friendly collision with those who employ all the ministers they can have enjoyed from childhood the obtain, cannot be educated in this best means and methods of intel. way. What sort of ministers do lectual culture. As for the tempt. we want, to preach the Gospel in ations of a college life, he needs city and country, in the states of them all both for probation and for the Atlantic and on the prairies of discipline. . If he cannot withstand the Mississippi? What sort of min. and overcome them, let him fall; isters do we want, to go forth in he is not the man that we want our behalf to India and to China, to for the ministry. If he overcomes Persia and to Syria, as well as to them, he is the better for having Africa and Polynesia ? We want encountered them. And as to the ministers whose training has made mortification of being poor and dethem acquainted with men, who pendent, in the midst of associates have looked upon the world not and competitors who have enough, merely as it might be seen from the we say-experto crede—there is loopholes of a great secluded char- nothing killing in it. The great ity school, and who are on the same body of college students, every footing in respect to education, with where in this country, and we dare say, in other countries too, are men that of the home missionary who who regard a classmate with none labors in some particularly unprom. the less of respect and affection, be. ising field—in which the beneficia. cause he happens to be poor. The ry cannot be expected to repay brainless, heartless fop, who does what he has received; but these not honor the very poverty of a fel- cases are regarded and treated as low student, struggling to maintain exceptions, the rule presumes his himself, is not worth regarding. ability to pay. But is such a rule But what would be the depressing founded in fact? Is it true that the influence of an education in the young man who enters the ministry cloisters of a great alms-house. can ordinarily be expected to repay,

Then as to the cheapness of such within a few years, the expenses of a system—would it be on the whole the eight or ten years which he has cheaper than the course now pure employed in educating himself for sued. The idea is preposterous. that profession ? No. Where is With ever so many colleges around the parish which expects to do more us, every one affording education for its pastor than to enable him to to all comers at much less than cost, live and support a family, comforta. it is proposed to set up a new char. bly and respectably, according to ity college, for the sake of getting their own average standard of coman education still cheaper, not to fort and respectability ? Where is the pupil, but to those who are at the parish which expects its pastor the expense of founding and sus- to lay up money out of his salary? taining the new institution.

Where is the parish which, if it Several particulars in the rules finds that its minister is receiving, of the American Education Society, in the form of salary, more than have been objected to with much enough to live on, is not likely to appearance of reason. We will become uneasy? The salaries of noi go into those details here ; but ministers vary from three thousand will bring our remarks to a close, dollars yearly to three hundred dol. with a statement of our own objec- lars, or less. But if a rich congre. tions to the plan of loaning, instead gation in New York pay

their pastor of giving, aid to beneficiaries. We three thousand dollars, it is because object first, to the theory which this they know he cannot live decently, form of aid assumes, in regard to according to their idea of decent the lucrativeness of the clerical pro- living, or in other words, cannot fession ; secondly, to the effect live as they expect him to live, with which it naturally produces on the less than that income. And if character and habits of the bene- another congregation, in some agri. ficiary while pursuing his studies ; cultural district remote from ihe and thirdly, to the position in which markets, give their minister only it places him after he enters the three hundred dollars, it is because ministry

they think that sum sufficient to The theory on which the loaning provide for his family all the comsystem proceeds is this that the forts which they enjoy in their profession of the ministry is so far own. In neither congregation do a lucrative profession, that it may be the people, when fixing the sala. expected not only to support those ry of their minister, take into con. who enter upon it, but also to reim- sideration for one moment the cap. burse to them the expenses of their ital which has been absorbed in his education. It is admitted, by those education. The only question with who formed the present system of them is, What will it cost him to rules, that there are cases—such as live among us as our families gen. that of the foreign missionary, or erally live? All those arguments then, which are drawn from the house are growing rich, they are to readiness of young merchants and be all their lives long in a condition mechanics to begin business with of comparative dependence, and are borrowed capital, and their ability never to get more than their living, to repay that capital and grow rich you compel them to calculate someafterwards, are inconclusive; for what on the lucrativeness of the the analogy which they presuppose, clerical profession. Is this necessidoes not exist. The young man ty of regarding the ministry as an entering into any secular business, employment which is to yield someexpects to realize not merely a live thing more than a living, likely to ing, but profits to be accumulated; have a good influence on those and out of his accumulations he whom you thus train for the sacred can afford to repay the borrowed work of the ministry? Would it capital with which he begins. Not not be better to say to them at the so with the young minister of the outset, You must not expect that the Gospel. His education is not a work of preaching the Gospel will lucrative investment of capital, so enrich you, or will enable you to long as he continues in the ministry. pay old debts; it is a self-denying Let him turn aside to some secular work, and we would have you frame employment; and as soon as his all your expectations accordingly. habits shall have been adjusted to But it is thought that to loan his new business, he will show that money to beneficiaries, and to hold his education is worth something, in them under obligation to repay all the commercial sense, and can pay that they receive, will make them for itself. But in the work of the more frugal and careful than if the ministry, he can ordinarily be ex- aid were bestowed as a simple grapected to gain no more than a tuity. Undoubtedly, if you will living.

open a treasury, and allow every What then is the effect of this one to put his hand in and help himloaning system, on the character self to as much as he thinks he and habits of the beneficiary? The ought to have, frugality and the question is not what might be, in an dread of unnecessary expense will isolated case, the effect of loaning be no part of their learning, whatmoney to an individual, to be re- ever else they may learn. But if paid after he has finished his stu- the greatest allowance to a benefi. dies; but what must be the effect of ciary be always the least that will such a system of education, on a enable him, with the utmost frugal. body of young men so numerous as ity and with all reasonable exertion, to constitute perhaps a moiety of to live from one appropriation to all the expectants of the ministry? another, certainly there is no better Why, the very first lesson which way of teaching him frugality, than you teach them, when they begin to give him that allowance, with the to think of preparing themselves to full understanding on his part, that preach the Gospel, is that the min. he must live within those means or istry is ordinarily a lucrative em- abandon his studies.

* Owe no ployment, affording to those who man any thing but love," saith the labor in it, not merely food and rai. Scripture; and so ought the Edument and a shelter “convenient for cation Society to say to all its benthem,” but a surplus revenue above eficiaries. • But instead of this, the all necessary expenditures. Instead whole discipline of the Society now of teaching them to renounce at the teaches a contrary lesson. Through outset all secular views, and to ex- the whole course of his education, pect that while their associates of the beneficiary is taught to live upthe workshop and the counting. on the future. Run in debt and

« EelmineJätka »