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will qualify him for taking a leading part in the organization and working of important societies, and give that weight to his judgment which is inseparable from a reputation for welldisciplined intellect and extensive knowledge. But to secure such a position, and to acquire credit for such qualities as can alone secure it, efficient training and thorough education are absolutely necessary. To the truth of these observations all history and present experience bear loud testimony. Those who have been most useful, whether in the pulpit or out of it; who have most deeply impressed their own character on that of the age; who have not merely attracted and retained the largest audiences, but have exerted the strongest influence in their immediate neighbourhoods and throughout the church at large; who have taken the most prominent part in the formation and the advocacy of all comprehensive schemes of benevolence and piety, have certainly been by no means destitute of education. Not only so; but cæteris paribus, that is, the measure of intellect and other natural endowments being the same, their general influence in nine cases out of ten, is exactly proportioned to the degree in which that inlellect has been disciplined and those endowments cultivated. Some of them, it is true, may not have received any prolonged academical advantages, a few of them, none at all; but they confirm the general rule, inasmuch as they have either received an excellent early education, or, being men of great natural energy of mind, they have supplied all deficiencies by their own indomitable industry, and have thus attained their position by the same vehicle, only by another route. We appeal to the whole history of the church in corroboration of these remarks. It was thus with the Reformers; it was thus with our Puritan and Nonconformist forefathers, who came forth from the seclusion of long study with minds well disciplined and richly stored with various knowledge; it was thus these men were rendered capable of easily performing tasks at which we stand aghast with wonder, of enduring labors with which few of modern times would like to compare their own, and of achieving good beyond all comparison greater than now attends the labors of the generality of our ministers. It was thus, too, with Whitfield and Wesley, who though not men of profound attainments, had both enjoyed those advantages of education of which they were not sufficiently solicitous that their successors should participate. It has been thus with all the most eminent men who have appeared in the societies they established; if they have not studied at colleges, they have been compelled to make up their deficiencies by their own industry. In other words, they have not attained their position without considerable acquisitions, though it matters not to the present argument in what way those acquisitions were made. It has been thus, also, with all the most eminent missionaries; with Martyn, Schwartz,

Corrie, Morrison, and Carey.* Were it not invidious, and indeed needless (for the memory of the reader will immediately supply examples) we could mention scores of living instances to the truth of these observations. On the other hand, we have tasked our memory, and tasked it in vain, to supply a single instance of an illiterate man attaining and keeping a position in which he could by possibility be extensively useful, or exert a wide and permanent influence on the general mind.

The second observation is, that if these things be so, it were nothing less than midsummer madness to expect that the exigencies of the church could be supplied by accident. Το hope that men, already well educated, fitted for other professions, perhaps already engaged in them, and thus not only destitute of early training for the specific work of the ministry, but debarred both by their age and the habits derived from other occupations from availing themselves of it, should offer themselves in sufficient numbers to meet the extensive demands of the church and the world, is of all things the most chimerical. A large portion, moreover, of those who upon the present system, are ultimately found amongst the most useful ministers, would be at once rejected, since they can neither afford the time nor the money to qualify themselves for their important functions by those advantages of education which we have already proved to be so essential.

On this point then we shall say no more; we are confident that few of our readers will be inclined to impugn the statement that an efficient ministry must be an educated one.

With respect to the extent to which that education should be carried there may be, and there is diversity of opinion. On this subject, which has frequently engaged our most serious attention, we shall proceed to develop our views with all that freedom with which it is necessary to discuss opinions in order to elicit truth; but at the same time with much timidity, being fully conscious of the difficulties which beset it. Our thoughts may to some appear crude; they very probably are so ; but if they lead to the full discussion of the subject on the part of those to whom the chief management of our academical institutions is entrusted, our end will be answered.

Here again we are far from meaning that all these individuals enjoyed much early education, though many of them did, or that their extensive knowledge was of the kind taught at colleges; but we mean that they all added to whatever capacity they possessed, the advantage of well-disciplined faculties and extensive information-the latter by the labour implied in its acquisition insuring the former. Those, indeed, who had not received early advantages, obtained the same results by a longer process and through greater difficulties-an argument surely for a thorough carly training; but none of them ever reached eminence without such qualifications.

We beg to state then, in limine, that we much doubt the propriety of attempting to carry all the young men who may enter any particular college, whatever their age, whatever their previous advantages or disadvantages, whatever the diversity of their talents, through precisely the same course of training; to set young men, for instance, who are nearly thirty years of age, and who have had little previous instruction, to learn things which they never can learn thoroughly; in which they cannot even make such progress as to secure that mental discipline which is still more valuable than knowledge itself. We cannot help thinking that it would be better, either, if possible, to make such arrangements in each particular college as to secure a longer course of instruction and more extensive knowledge to those who are likely to derive the fullest benefit from them; or, if that be thought impracticable, to induce some of our colleges to restrict themselves to the education of one class of students, and others to the education of another. This, we are aware, could only be done effectually by mutual consent on the part of the colleges themselves; but any particular college has it virtually in its power to act upon this plan by refusing to admit students of all classes, whatever their diversities in point of age or talent; in other words, by restricting itself to the reception of such as are best fitted to derive benefit from the advantages it holds out.

Before we proceed further we beg to premise two observations, lest our meaning should be misunderstood. The first is, that while urging the propriety of adapting the quality and degree of education to the circumstances of the student, we would by no means have it supposed that we do not think a very thorough and prolonged training is in every case the best where it can be had; where, for example, the student is quite young, and has, therefore, ample time before him, or where his talents are unusually promising, and insure the probability of his deriving the full advantages of prolonged instruction, without wasting his own time or the public money. We never can think that a deficient education is abstractedly better than a complete one, or a little knowledge better than much. We advocate the plan above mentioned only because we think it is the best under all the circumstances; that it will secure the greatest possible efficiency on the part of those who can be profitably subjected to a protracted education, and a more useful preparation for the ministry, even on the part of those who cannot; since, upon the present system, by attempting to teach this latter class too much, they often learn nothing thoroughly; they gain neither accurate knowledge, nor, what is still better, the mental invigoration which the acquisition of accurate knowledge never fails to impart. Moreover the attempt to drag them on, though haud passibus aquis, with those who have enjoyed superior advantages or

possess greater talents, is injurious to both parties; to the one, by necessitating them to acquire much that they professedly study, in a slovenly or unprofitable manner; and to the other, by impeding their progress and checking their ardour,—the necessary effect of linking them with less strenuous and active associates. In fact, the tendency of such a system is inevitably to prevent the fullest development of the higher forms of talent, not only without advantage, but with detriment to the lower; in a word, to reduce all to the level of a dead mediocrity.

The second observation with which we wish to preface any further remarks on this subject is, that so far from desiring to lower the standard of ministerial education, it is our earnest wish, in this very way, to raise it. In our opinion we want a larger number of men thoroughly furnished;' of men who are fitted to occupy commanding stations and extensive spheres of usefulness; to take not only the oversight of large congregations, but to exercise a powerful influence in relation to society and the church at large, and by combining great intellectual vigour and extensive attainments with an elevated piety, to give weight, dignity, and importance to the ministerial character. Of the necessity of a larger number of such men, there cannot be a stronger proof than is supplied in the fact, that while there is always a sufficient, often more than a sufficient number of men, fully competent to take the inferior stations in our churches, it is often matter of extreme difficulty competently to supply important vacancies; and this fact alone, we apprehend, proves that there is somewhere or other a defect in our system of ministerial education.


It is not, then, because we think that a more restricted ministerial education is abstractedly better, or because we dream of lowering its general standard, that we plead for a change of system. Quite the contrary; it is because we believe that the one class of students might by this arrangement be subjected to a more efficient and protracted training, thus always insuring an adequate supply of first-rate men,-and that even the other class, by being set to learn less, would learn that little well; thus at once securing the mental discipline which a smattering of many things will never give, and the power of applying the knowledge they possess with greater effect, simply because that knowledge, however limited, would at all events be accurate.

And let any one soberly consider, whether, with regard to a considerable class of students, this representation be not obviously correct. A young man of five-and-twenty or six-and-twenty years of age, of ardent piety, great sobriety of character, fair talents, but who has had few previous advantages—say, nothing but a plain English education, or little more-who has been engaged, we will suppose, in active business, and who has lost at the desk or behind the counter, a good deal of the small portion

of elementary knowledge he once possessed, earnestly covets the work of the ministry. Is the church in every such case to refuse the proffered service? We loudly say, no; and that it would be at her peril and to her own injury if she ever acted upon such a principle. There is no lack of stations in which such a man may be extensively useful. Nay, within a limited sphere he may, after passing through a certain course of preparation, be even more useful than a better trained man. Such are the diversities of congregations in point of magnitude, numbers, education, and intelligence, that there is no man possessed of that measure of talent and that amount of knowledge, without which the assumption of the ministry is in our opinion both folly and guilt, who may not be rendered useful. Moreover, the Christian church is in no condition to refuse such laborers, or to be unduly squeamish as to the agents she employs. Who, indeed, can look at the magnificence of the enterprise she contemplates, the overwhelming wants of a world of sin and misery, the teeming millions of our own population, far outstripping every effort that is made to meet its demands, without feeling that of the two evils it is better to fix the standard of qualification for the ministry too low than too high; to admit some few laborers into the vineyard not perfectly qualified for the task, than (for this is the real alternative) to be without them altogether? It is with food for the soul as with food for the body, it is better, in the language of the old proverb, 'to have half a loaf than no bread.'

But the question returns-what is the most efficient training to which such a man can be subjected? for we are supposing that, in the given case, it is decided that the youth is to dedicate himself wholly to the work of the ministry, and not merely attempt to be useful in any of the many valuable forms of lay-agency. He has never, it may be, seen the Latin grammar; as to Greek, he is not perfectly sure that there is such a tongue; of Hebrew, Syriae, and Chaldee, he knows just as little; mathematics are a profound mystery; the symbols of Algebra about as unintelligible as Egyptian hieroglyphics, and metaphysics as dark as Egyptian darkness itself. Is it desirable at this youth's age, to set him upon the hopeless attempt of learning all these things? Or is there the smallest rational prospect of his obtaining such an accurate knowledge of any portion of them as shall render them practically available, or (which we will always contend is the greater benefit) confer that discipline of mind, that invigoration of intellect, which is the direct effect of their profound study? No such thing. Even with that year, or two years of preliminary private study which our colleges (so long as they adhere to the present system) wisely enjoin upon such young men, previous to their entering upon their college course, such a result cannot be hoped for. What ensues upon his entering college? Necessarily

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