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seniors, would be a reflection on their piety, humility, and good sense, which all that know them would be unwilling to cast. Wherever the experiment has been tried, it has demonstrated the contrary.”*
It might be left to the Synodical Board to determine what cases shall be recognized as exceptions to the law which requires our licentiates to go through a certain prescribed curriculum; for, that exceptions ought to be allowed in peculiar cases seems nothing more than reasonable. We hold by the principle that a liberal education is indispensable as a qualification for the ministry, and consider it very desirable that the standard bere should be raised rather than lowered. Even in providing the ministrations of the gospel for the multitudes who “ have their place as on the very lowest verge of our civilization," it admits of serious question whether greater efficiency is not likely to be secured by insisting on a complete preparatory training as essential. It is worthy of notice that the Home Missionary Society of the United States-supported principally by the Congregational body-(and we are not sure but that the same remark applies to the domestic societies connected with the Presbyterian, Reformed, and Baptist churches in that country) even in meeting the crying claims made on it from the wilderness, does not feel itself at liberty to dispense with a regular education for the ministry in a single agent. It set out on the principle of employing no one as a missionary who would not have been deemed eligible to act as a christian pastor to a regularly organized congregation. To this rule it has adhered in the case of its many hundreds of labourers. “ It has thus," says Dr Reed, “ saved the ministry from degradation : it has inspired confidence in the congregations needing help; and by maintaining the character of the missionary in full equality with that of the pastor, it has secured his usefulness, and disposed the most respectable men to look to its service as offering an inviting, as well as an important, field of exertion.” At the same time, cases can easily be conceived to arise which ought clearly to be admitted as exceptions to the rule. There may exist a fair measure of learning which has not been accumulated within the walls of a college; and å mental discipline may be acquired, fitting its possessor for useful and even eminent service in the church, in the formation of which the studies of a university have had no share. Were an individual of experience, of approved piety, of unquestionable talent, of enlightened zeal for the salvation of souls, and, while unable to produce a set of university tickets, of fair scholarship to boot-were such a person to apply to any of our presbyteries for license to preach the gospel of Christ, we should feel that it were indeed ground for lamentation, if rule were so rigidly enforced as that the applicant were discarded, or told to go to college and the hall for seven long years. The existence of such a Board as we are speaking of, would render it very safe for the church so to relax its law as that an application of this class might be entertained by them: for a body of men anxiously endeavouring to elevate the standard of qualification among our students, would be in little danger of giving undue encouragement to self-educated applicants. The following sentences, penned by an ardent pleader for
* Minutes of the proceedings of a Conference of Delegates from the Committees of various Colleges, &c., p. 46.
NO. III. VOL. III.
a learned and highly qualified ministry, supply a sufficient answer to any taunt or objection which might be raised by the admission of such exceptions as we are now treating of. “ The bigot, the inconsiderate, the frivolous, the vain-all such persons will continue to cast their reproach on preachers of this description, upon the ground of their limited education, and on our general ministry as being identified with them. But a glance at the spiritual destitution of so many myriads among our countrymen must suffice to render every mind imbued with the spirit of the gospel, proof against reflections of thạt nature. Nor should we forget that in such departments of labour the natural ability of the comparatively uneducated, must carry with it a much greater promise of success than the merely acquired ability of minds possessing little original capacity. We see every day that the man of little technical scholarship may be a man of power, while the man who has been most patiently trained to such scholarship may be a man without power,”*
One of the most important duties which the Synodical Board could be required to perform, would be to keep a careful eye on the supply of students from year to year, and to institute and administer some plan for aiding young men in preparation for the ministry, whose scanty resources might either prevent them altogether from entering on a course of study, or seriously impede their progress. We can easily suppose, though we have no wish to be alarmists, that in consequence of the inducements which are now held out in other bodies to young men of ability, by “ bursaries," " scholarships," and otherwise, to turn their views to the ministry in these connexions, a dearth may by and by arise in our supply. Ought not the maintenance of our theological institution, intead of being thrown as it were into a corner, by being slumped along with the several purposes to which the general Synod fund is devoted, to have a position of first importance assigned to it among the schemes of the body, by being made to stand separate and alone? Should we not, without delay, have our THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION FUND, as well as o’r Building and Debt Liquidation Fund, to which all our congregations should be expected to contribute by a liberal annual collection, and which every means ought forth with to be adopted to replenish ; and in addition to the defraying of the expenses connected with our theological seminary, might not assistance on a pretty extensive scale be given out of this fund to the class of students to whom We have referred ?
. It becomes us to be “ provoked to good works,” in this department of christian effort, by the liberal expenditure which other bodies bestow on the education of their rising ministry, and the fostering care which they extend to their students. The arrangements of the Wesleyan body, who have lately cominenced a system of academic training for their ministry, are marked by the most enlarged and liberal spirit, The Congregationalists of England, especially in some of their colleges, have long exemplified a wise munificence in providing for the same object. The Congregationalists of Scotland, with only ten students on their roll, expended last year the sum of 1.529, 17s. 5d. on their theological institution. The Secession church, with a roll of eighty:
* Vaughan's Modern Pulpit, p. 145.
nine students, expended upon her Divinity Hall, in the same year, the sum of ninety pounds sterling! The theological training of each student in the former academy, cost the denomination, during the year 1845, on an average, L.52 ; in the latter, the cost during the year of each student to the church was about one pound sterling !! It might be useful to contrast further with this parsimonious policy, the liberal doings of our neighbours of the Free church, in regard to theological tuition. We content ourselves with mentioning the sums awarded, under the name of scholarships, to forty of their students, out of upwards of one hundred who appeared as candidates for bursaries at the opening of the present year's session of their college. To fifteen theological students, scholarships were adjudged, amounting in value to L.225; to literary students, twenty-five scholarships, amounting in value to L.317, 10s. But we would especially point to the churches of America as a noble example of generous and enlarged effort, in preparing labourers for the vineyard. By their education societies, which do not directly support educational institutions, but merely see their beneficiaries placed in the existing colleges, and meet the consequent expenses, many hundreds of young men of talent and piety are constantly in training for the christian ministry. In Reed and Matheson's “ Narrative of a Visit to the American Churches," it is stated that, in the year 1834, the Educational Society in connexion with the Congregational denomination, had 280 applicants and 912 beneficiaries (all under training for the ministry), 113 of whom were in 14 theological seminaries, 433 in 34 colleges, and 336 in 111 academies and schools. The receipts of the institution in that year were 57,818 dollars, and the expenditure 56,363 dollars. The beneficiaries of former years, had refunded in the same period 1947 dollars. At that time, although it has only existed since the year 1815, about 600 of its beneficiaries had completed their course of education, and were actively employed in ministering the word of life. Forty were missionaries in foreign parts; and between two and three hundred were employed wholly or in part by the Home Missionary Society. Besides this Education Society, there is the Presbyterian Education Society, which, in the same year, had 436 beneficiaries, and whose receipts were 19,277 dollars ; so that these institutions, embracing only the Congregational and Presbyterian bodies, had at that time not less than fourteen hundred young men in training for the ministry, defraying the expense connected with their education and their maintenance !! It is proper to state that the rules of these education societies require the applicant to produce from his pastor, and others who know him, certificates of his talents, piety, need of pecuniary aid, and preparation to enter on a course of collegiate study; and if he is accepted, he is required also to enter into an engagement to refund the expenses of his education at a future time, should he be able, and should the society call on him to do so. The society have also a discretionary power to cancel the engagement under particular circumstances.
May not the Secession church learn something from these examples ? She has already given her solemn sanction to the great principle, that, in the maintenance of our ministry, “ the strong shall help the weak;" so that no right-hearted pastor, however remote the district in which his lot is cast, or poor the people among whom he labours, shall be left to starve, simply because his congregation are unable of themselves to afford him a sufficient maintenance. This is a noble step ; a measure which will go far to wipe off from voluntary churches the reproach which has hitherto cleaved to them, of treating with neglect their small and weak congregations, and to hold up to the view of a silenced world, the power of Christ's own ordinance for the upbuilding of his cause. Having resolved on seeing to the right maintenance of the ministry, let us resolve also to see to the right preparation and rich furnishing of the ministry, a step without which the other will be incomplete, and, what is more serious still, may be in danger of miscarrying
ECONOMICS OF OUR FOREIGN MISSIONS.
The Secession church has yet much to learn in reference to missionary work. It has been long her glory to be a professedly missionary church, and, with all her shortcomings, she has manifested much zeal in the good cause. “ Thy kingdom come,” is a prayer which has ascended from her sanctuaries and fainily altars, and from the secret wrestling places of many of her people; and she has contributed no inconsiderable sum, and labourers not a few, for the purpose of spreading the savour of Christ's name throughout the earth. But in working the machinery of missions, the Secession church has, we suspect, something yet to learn. By working the machinery, we mean that experimental knowledge which takes cognizance of the whole parts of an enterprise, in contradistinction to that partial understanding which characterizes the rudimental stages of its management, during which, perhaps, unnecessary care is bestowed upon certain portions of the undertaking, to the neglect of others, it may be, of equal importance. The consequence being, that our foreign missions, notwithstanding the care and zeal with which they have been tended, have often exhibited weakness and languor, the discovery of which need not so much to have excited surprise and produced discouragement among us, because it was just an exhibition of the natural—we might say, the almost inevitable-results of a mode of management which had special regard to parts of a scheme, and not to the whole.
It would scarce serve a good or practical purpose, to inquire how far this state of things is to be attributed to the plan heretofore adopted in our church, of changing the seat of her committees from time to time,of giving the administration of her missions to one set of men in one place, until, they having become sickened of a work to which, without special assistance, they felt themselves unequal, she consigned it to another set of men, in another place, until they in their turn felt constrained to decline it as a burden too heavy for their shoulders. To go into this subject would now be a waste of time, because the church, while acknowledging with gratitude the self-denying and zealous labours of her different committees, has come to the unanimous conclusion that her missions, to be properly managed, must have a thoroughly qualified
agent to manage them ;-that they are not to be matters put into a corner, and looked after when, other and more pressing duties being attended to, the convenient season” might arrive ;-but primary and high interests, to be put in the very forefront of all others,—to neglect which were perilous,-ruinous to the church, and dishonouring to the church's King and Head. The appointment of a great Mission Board, with its self-divided branches of foreign, home, and finance committees, and of a Mission Secretary and Agent, wholly dedicated to the work, may well be regarded as an era in the history of our church. Already are the benefits of this new order of things beginning to appear. The new agent, Mr Somerville, has entered on his duties under the happiest auspices,-is setting himself, with indefatigable industry, to realise the high expectations which have been formed of his fitness for the office; on him has been bestowed the high honour, and to himself it has been unquestionably an unspeakable satisfaction, of watching over, and arranging and despatcbing, the pioneer band to Africa, under the auspices of Mr Waddell; and already the “ Missionary Record of the United Secession Church” has found its way to the firesides of many of her people, and by-and-by we trust it will find its way to them all, producing, we doubt not, its appropriate results, by communicating spirit-stirring intelligence of what is doing in the field of the world, and thus leading many to take a deeper interest and manifest greater liberality in the cause of missions.
So far so well. These are considerations of abundant thankfulness, and of great encouragement. But we repeat, in the words of our opening sentence, the church has yet much to learn in reference to missionary work, and in relation especially to its financial department; and it has been with a view to suggest some additions, and, as we think, improvements, in this branch of our operations, that we have ventured to call attention to the subject.
To begin with Jamaica. Take the history of a single missionary station, and what are its general features ? A Missionary is sent forth by a congregation, or by the Synod's committee; he is selected with care; when appointed, he receives many marks of kindness; he is the object of much solicitude; he is designated to the work amidst the prayers and rejoicings of many, whose hearts beat high with hope because another herald of the cross is about to go forth to preach the glorious gospel; his temporal comforts are cared for with no niggard, hand; his outfit and passage money are cheerfully paid; he is told that his annual allowance will be liberal; unacquainted with the expensive rate of living in the colonies, and accustomed to hear the pittances. which too often in Scotland are doled out to our country ministers, he is startled when informed that he will receive L.250 a year, wondering, perhaps, how he will contrive to expend so munificent a sum. He arrives on the field; he has anticipated his first half year's stipend so far by providing some books, and furniture, and necessaries, which his outfit (especially if he be married could never reach. He finds that provisions, carriages, medical attendance, house rent (if a house can be got), every thing is expensive, and the question with which he left home, “ How shall I contrive to spend my salary ?” has now taken another shape, and he asks, “ How shall I contrive to keep within my.