Ill.) Western Baptist Educational Convention. (1871 : Ch.

Proceedings of the Western Baptist Educational Convention, held in the First Baptist Church, Chicago, May 24 and 25, 1871 online

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Online LibraryIll.) Western Baptist Educational Convention. (1871 : ChProceedings of the Western Baptist Educational Convention, held in the First Baptist Church, Chicago, May 24 and 25, 1871 → online text (page 12 of 13)
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founded the majority of colleges and theological seminaries in our country .-•
Education does not necessarily result in a rapid increase of the numbers of
a denomination, but education does give it permanent and pre-eminent char-
acter. According to Dr. Brooks' estimate, for fifty years previous to 1S64, of
five leading bodies of Christians, the Baptists stand second in numerical
progress, the Methodists being first. It is true that neither have been lead-
ers in education. But had they not become enlisted in education they would
not have made so rapid progress, nor would they give such promise for the

The Baptists of America, from 1775 to 1855, increased from 380 churches
to 14,070; from 350 ministers to 9,476; from 65,000 members to 1.322,469.
Like our country, they have doubled in numbers every twenty years. It


has been estimated that the same rate of increase in two hundred and thirty-
six years, would find every adult member of our race, old enough for church
membership, in the Baptist denomination, even if the population of the
globe should be multiplied four-fold.

This progress in the past fifty years can not be separated from a new and
progressive movement in the cause of education. It has been an indispensa-
ble aid.

The translation of the Scriptures into thirty-three languages, and the
preaching of the gospel in all these tongues, have been effected by fifteen
men of our denomination, educated in twenty-two colleges and five theo-
logical seminaries. Of our foreign missionaries, nine were educated at
Rochester, thirty-seven at Newton, and forty-seven at Hamilton. These
men, with an equal number of educated women, have sent forth 203.382,898
pages of printed truth, 79,356,784 pages of Scripture, and led thirty-five
thousand heathen souls to Christ. (See Dr. Smith's Jubilee Report )

In regard to the rapid progress of our denomination in our own country,
let us keep in mind that seventy-five years ago we had only Brown Univer-
sity, but now fifteen colleges; then no theological seminary, now six of high
character, besides six schools for the colored people; but few educated men,
yet within the last fifty years more than three thousand graduates from the
colleges of the North alone have entered the Baptist ministry.

With our present position in education, and for the first time in the his-
tory of Christianity, with a free field, neither trammeled by the civil govern-
ment nor persecuted by other Christian sects — Baptists have a mission vast
and glorious. May they have faith, knowledge and spirit to seize upon the
opportunity for civilization and education for Christ and His Gospel.

We, as pastors, have noble examples before us in the Puritan pastors of
New England; in their successors, who are following the star of empire,
and have already established schools west of Iowa, and on the Pacific coast;
and to be more specific, in Dr. Elliot, the apostle of Unitarianism in the
West, who has lived in St Louis thirty years, and founded Washington Uni-
/versity, with an endowment of eight hundred thousand dollars, and whose
name will be perpetually associated with the destiny of that grand city by
the Elliot Public School for girls.

We are also inspired to duty by the venerable Baptist fathers, Stilln^an,
Bowles, Manning, Sharp, Furman and Staughton.

We find the true key to success in evangelization in the example of Luther
Rice, in whose mind missions, a college, and a periodical were kindred and
inseparable interests. Hence he established Columbian College and the
" Columbian Star." Baptist pastors have done much for education in their
families and in founding schools. Forty-two of their sons have graduated
at Rochester during her twenty years' history. The schools of Iowa and
Missouri have been established by them. The same is true in other States.
Some of them are bright examples in this city, one of whom has gone over
the sea to recruit his exhausted energies, and writes me, "I have given a
thousand dollars, and my church has given forty thousand, for the cause of
education at Chicago, and I know the burden of these interests on the brain
and heart are exhausting."

The forces which formed an era in our progress fifty years ago, must be
relied upon for the future. First, an evangelical spirit, then educational
societies, colleges and theological seminaries.

We must not over-estimate the power of education in converting men.
An uneducated man in Northern Missouri, known as Uncle Jimmie Lillard,


has baptized over two thousand during his ministry. He is more an exhor-
ter than a preacher. Yet it is none the less true that education in the min-
istry' and in the people gives power in the world, and steadfastness and per-
fection in religious character. Says Neander, when speaking of the igno-
rance of preachers and people in the second century, while admitting that
the Gospel was faithfully preached and sincerely embraced : "Christianity
will not long maintain itself in purity unless it enters deeply into the intel-
lectual development of the people." This thought should be placed beside
one uttered by his pupil, D'Aubigne : 'Alas for the land of Leibnitz and
Humboldt; a few Baptist preachers, having an experimental knowledge of
the sin of man and the grace of God, are far mightier for good to that
empire than all her Olshausens, Hengstenbergs and Strausses."

Pastors, above all men, have a mission in perpetuating a union of learn-
ing and religion, which, leavened by an evangelical spirit of progress, will
conquer the world for Chi'ist. In this union we may look with bright hopes
for the future character, progress and usefulness of the Baptist denomination.

The paper was referred to the Committee on Denominational
Work in Education.

The report of the Committee on Scientific Education was then
read by the Chairman, Prof E. OLNEY, of Michigan, and adopted.


The Committee to whom was referred the subject of " The Place of Scien-
tific Studies in Present Education," and the paper on this topic by President
Talbot, of Denison University, would enumerate the following propositions,
as what they consider to be the opinions of our wisest and safest educators,
and as the sentiments of the able and judicious paper submitted to us :

First. It is desirable that a more thorough and extended course in scien-
tific studies be secured in our regular classical college course.

Secortd. It is not desirable that the present courses in Latin, Greek,
Mathematics, or Philosophy be abridged either in extent or thoroughness.

Third. In order to these ends, it is desirable and practicable to steadily
increase the requisitions for admission to the Freshman class. Especially ia
this practicable in the pure mathematics, the elements of the natural sci-
ences, and perhaps in the rudiments of the French and German languages.

Fourth. That for young men generally, what is usually known as the
regular classical course is best, both for purposes of full and symmetrical
development, and as the basis for special or professional training and for
practical life.

Fifth. That, in institutions whose resources will permit, it is eminently
wise to- establish different courses, such as the classical course, the scientific
course, the engineering course, etc., in order to meet the wants of specialists,
made such either from choice or necessity. But an indiscriminate eclecticism
is a serious evil.

Sixth. That the granting of the same degree for these different courses,
and especially any attempt to make the degree of Bachelor of Arts mean any-
thing less or different from what it has hitherto represented, is to be depre-
cated as unwise and unjust.

Respectfully submitted, Edw. Olney, Chairman,

Amos N Currier,
O. Howes,




The report of the Committee on the Increase of the Ministry and
Theological Education, was read by the Chairman, Rev. N. M
WOOD, D.D., of Illinois, as follows :


The papers referred to this Committee on the subjects, " How Christian
institutions of higher learning, academies, colleges, universities and theo-
logical seminaries, keeping progress with the growth of society, can best be
built up in the West, with due regard always to other necessary expenditures
of money for religious purposes," and " The duties of Western Churches
■with reference to the perpetuation, increase and education of the ministry,"
were listened to by the Committee, in common with the Convention, with
exceeding interest ; and though they do not feel called upon to give an indis-
criminate indorsement of every sentiment therein expressW, they do feel a
great satisfaction in commending these papers to the thoughtful attention
of all our brethren in the Churches. We do not desire to occupy time or
space by the further discussion of these topics in this report. In respect to
the increase of the ministry and the facilities for theological education, your
Committee have no new theories or plans to propose, and believe that they
will have done all that may be expected of them when they urge the duty of
the Churches to pray the Lord of the Harvest that He may send forth more
laborers into His harvest, and give expression to their thorough conviction
of the wisdom of that policy which avoids the diffusion of strength in multi-
plying schools, but rather concentrates and intensifies effort upon the estab-
lishment and endowment of a few first-class literary and theological institu-
tions, centrally located, where such as are called to the ministry may be

suitably trained for the work.

N. M. Wood,

E. Nesbit,
S. Tucker,
D. P. Smith,

F. A. Douglas,

The report was adopted.

The Committe on Denominational Work in Education then
reported, through the Chairman, President G. W. NORTHRUP,
D.D., of Illinois, as follows :



The Committee to whom was referred the subject of Denominational Work
in Education, beg leave to report —

That the subject is one whose claims upon the earnest and prayerful atten-
tion of the denomination, are enforced by the weightiest considerations. If
we consider the relation of education to Christian civilization, and to the
growth and power of our denomination; if we consider, also, the large num-
ber for whose intellectual and moral and religious training we are specially
responsible, and the manifold agencies to be employed in awakening among
the people a deeper and wider interest in education, and in guiding the


interest thus awakened to the best results, we are impressed with the magni-
tude and difficulty of the educational work with which the providence of God
has intrusted us. As means of accomplishing this work, we would particu-
larly suggest the frequent presentation of the claims of education to churches
by pastors ; the public advocacy of the same cause by educators of large expe-
rience and recognized ability; greater use of the press in influencing public
opinion upon educational questions, and united and vigorous organized
efforts, under the leadership of men of comprehensive views and practical

The Committee would submit the following resolutions for adoption by
the Convention :

(i) Resolved, That we recognize, with gratitude to God, the indications
of a more general and profound conviction of the importance of Denomina-
tional Work in Education, as seen in the desire of our churches to be
informed on this subject in all its aspects and relations; in the public advo-
cacy, by educators themselves, of the claims of high culture; in the more
adequate endowment of our higher institutions of learning, and in the
organized efforts made to influence the public mind aright in relation to this
whole subject.

(2) Resolved, That, impressed with the conviction that the National Edu-
cational Convention, held in Brooklyn, gave an impulse to the work of
Denominational Education, the influence of which has been felt in every part
of the country, and also that a permanent National Organization is essential
to the highest efficiency. of the efforts made to advance the cause which we
here represent, we would request the American Baptist Educational Com-
mission to call another National Convention, to be held at such time and
place as may be determined upon by the Executive Committee.

(3) Resolved, That the interests of our Denominational Work in Educa-
tion demand the existence of a Periodical, through which may be brought
before the people all important facts pertaining to the cause of education in
the several States, and the views of the most experienced and ablest educa-
tors as to the means of securing the highest prosperity of our various insti-
tutions of learning. Academies, Colleges, and Theological Seminaries; and
this Convention recommend to the Commission to take suitable means for
commencing the issue of such a Periodical at the earliest practicable day.


J^or the Committee.

Dr. NORTHRUP said that during the past five years' a great
progress had been made in the cause of education among the Bap-
tists of this country. And much of this is due to the labors of the
Educational Commission, of which Dr. Cutting is Secretary. He
advocated the necessity and desirableness of an educational periodi-
cal. He said that what was needed was correct information brought
before the minds of the people ; and he wished to take this opportu-
nity to enter his protest against certain views which had been
advanced by several on the floor of the Convention, to the effect that
people of the West could only be interested in education by false
representations respecting the nature of our institutions. He
thought it was a libel upon the intelligence of our churches to say
that they must have presented to them something that " sounds


large." He believed that it was only necessary to present the truth,
and present the claims of higher education upon its own merits.

Dr. CUTTING made some remarks on the adoption of this report,
and in exposition of the objects of the Educational Commission, and
upon the general subjects which had come under discussion during
the sessions of this Convention. He said that he supposed the
National Convention, to which allusion had been made, would be
held — probably in Philadelphia.

The report of the Committee was then adopted.

Prof. SHEPARDSON, of Ohio, from the Committee to which
had been referred the paper of Dr. Wayland on the Education of
Women, read a report as follows :



The Committee to which was referred the paper read by Dr. Wayland,
of Franklin College, upon Woman's Education, beg leave to report:

That we regard this subject as one of vast importance in carrying forward
the great work of evangelizing our race, and hail with profound gratitude
the interest it is now everywhere creating. Not only in the United States,
but in various nations of Europe, and even in Asia, the subject is discussed,
and schools for women established. There are already about fifty thousand
females in the schools of Hindostan. Wherever Christianity goes, it cre-
ates the thirst and necessity for higher culture in woman as well as in man.

In our own country, the influence of Mrs. Emma Willard, Mary Lyon and
kindred spirits, begins to be widely felt. Vassar's princely gift marks an
era. Two individuals in Massachusetts, a man and a woman, have recently
left to this cause, in the aggregate, one million and eight hundred thousand
dollars. Others will follow such examples. The conviction is becoming
deep and general, that the God-appointed teacher of our race should herself
be educated. The world can not afford longer to lose the power of her
higher culture. The millions are pre-eminently under her influence. As
mother and teacher, she molds their characters in the impressible, forming

In literature, too, as well as in the family and the school-room, she is
making her influence felt. She has recently borne off several of the highest
premiums of our liberal publishers. She is receiving in this department, in
a few instances, three and four thousand dollars per annum.

Equal advantages are generally conceded to her in the public schools and
academies. If she has produced no great work in science or in philosophy,
so far as she has had opportunities she has demonstrated her abilities. In
our best city schools she has borne off her full share of public honors. May
she not now advance to a higher culture.' Does not society need her culti-
vated talents .''

Your Committee rejoice in the great work that has been performed by
many of our female seminaries, and earnestly recommend that they be
greatly strengthened by more ample endowments. It is unjust, not to say
cruel, to continue to give by millions for the education of our sons, and so



little for that of our daughters. In some way, equal provisions should be
made for them.

The question of joint education of both sexes in college is not one of tal-
ents, morals or manners. There are constitutional differences that may not
be ignored, in determining the precise conditions under which the highest
culture shall be received, though the intellectual and moral nature of each is
essentially the same. We see no way in which woman can receive a truly
liberal education in less time or at less expense than man. There may be
great room for an honest difference of opinion whether it is best to subject
them to the same curriculum. There may be feminine graces and accom-
plishments, special aptitudes and necessities, that require for her, in her dif-
ferent sphere, to some extent an elective course. This question will be
settled by mature thought and more extended observation and experience.
The demand of the age is, that she be no longer neglected and deprived of
the force, breadth and earnestness of Christian character which the most
liberal culture can bestow. The great work now before us seems to be, to
create and foster more just, enlightened and Christian views on the main
question. In this way we can call out a vast amount of talent and means to
elevate the social mass and evangelize the world.

D. Shepardson,

I^of the Committee.

The report was adopted.

After a brief address by Secretary CUTTING, the Convention
adjourned with prayer by Rev. GEO. W. HARRIS, of Michigan.

E. C. Mitchell,






New Hampshire 2

Vermont 2

Massachusetts 6

Rhode Island i

Connecticut 4

New York 13

New Jersey 4

Pennsylvania 2

South Carolina 2

Louisiana i


Michigan .
Indiana... .
Illinois. . . .
Missouri.. .


Minnesota .
Nebraska .
Canada.. . .

















Visitors . .


Total attendance 247




It IS proper to subjoin to these Proceedings some account of the
Educational Commission, in whose operations the Western Baptist
Educational Convention had its origin, and to put this Convention
Into its proper historical connections.

The Baptist Educational Commission was formed November 20
and 26, 1867, and commenced its operations January i, 1868. It
was formed upon two distinct yet related conceptions. First, that
the desires and efforts of a limited number of persons in the direction
of the establishment, endowment, and working of our institutions of
higher learning, were not met by a corresponding popular interest
in education, — such an interest as was required to fill them with
students, and to make them the blessings to our families, to our
churches, and to society, which they Vv^ere intended to be. Second,
that the increase of our ministry, not in respect to numbers alone,
but in respect to aggregate intellectual force and furnishing, was
below the provisions made and attempted for such increase in our
theological seminaries, and below the demands arising from the con-
dition and increase of our churches, and the condition and tenden-
cies of our civilization. It was hence an organization to promote
both " Education and the Increase of the Ministry." It was a very
■simple organization. It was made up of a few gentlemen who
united to sustain, at their own expense, an appeal for an advance in
popular interest in higher education, and an appeal for a ministry
replenished and augmented according to the necessities of the times
in which we live. It proposed to stir the popular mind and heart,
to spread enlightenment in respect to the value and importance of
higher education itself, stimulating the interest therein of parents and
of pastors, and to awaken and sustain in our churches a more pray-
erful and earnest attention to the great question of their future min-
istry. If it should be successful ; if new thoughts and purposes in
respect to education should so seize and hold our public mind gen-
erally, creating a new tendency and drift ; if so the question of the
ministry should rise to its true character as the first question of the
instrumentalities by which the gospel is to be spread and its tri-
umphis won, — then, indeed, would our institutions be filled, and be
made in character and strength equal to every growing necessity,
and then would the day of reward come for the cast of founding and
maintaining them. It was, in a word, an attempt to promote educa-
tion from the popular side, as an outgrowth of popular interests and
demands, and to promote the increase of the ministry from the pray-
ers of an enlightened and practical faith pervading the mass of the
members of our churches.

The immediate occasion of the organization was the remarkable


interest in these objects which was awakened in the New York
Baptist State Convention, held at Poughkeepsie in the autumn of
1867, when a committee was appointed to whom the effecting of
such an organization was referred. This Commission, so formed,
had for its sphere of operations the States of New York and New
Jersey, but it was neither intended nor possible to restrict its inqui-
ries, its labors, or its influence within prescribed boundaries. It
contemplated, indeed, in its constitution a possible enlargement to
the breadth of the denomination. It proceeded to its work by col-
lecting facts, by appeals through the press, and by the addresses and
correspondence of its Secretary. It proved to have struck a chord
which vibrated widely. It started at once a new order of discussions
in the press of the denomination, and the information which it gath-
ered up and published from every quarter, primarily for effects within
its own sphere, produced similar effects in remoter States. The
facts elicited and the questions discussed were of common interest,
and became the more an inspiration and a force by the magnitude
of the area over which the community of interest existed.

This common interest, so widely awakened, led to the calling of
the National Baptist Educational Convention which met in Brook-
lyn in April, 1870. At this Convention delegates from academies,
colleges, theological seminaries and education societies in nineteen
States and the District of Columbia, were assembled, continuing
their sessions through three days, and discussing and taking action
upon a great variety of topics relating to education. By this Con-
vention the Baptist Educational Commission was requested to prefix
the word " American " to its name, and to spread its work over the
whole country. It was desired among other things to call local
conventions of similar character, and ultimately to summon another
National Convention. In pursuance of these recommendations the
Commission proceeded to enlarge the sphere of its operations, and
to call local conventions. The first assembled at Worcester, Mass.,
for New England, May 3d and 4th, 1871. The second was the
Western Baptist Educational Convention whose proceedings are
here given. Both these Conventions wei-e largely attended, and their
proceedings indicated an encouraging growth, alike in the compre-
hensiveness of the views of education jDrevailing in the denomina-
tion, and in the vigor and success with which the cause of education

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Online LibraryIll.) Western Baptist Educational Convention. (1871 : ChProceedings of the Western Baptist Educational Convention, held in the First Baptist Church, Chicago, May 24 and 25, 1871 → online text (page 12 of 13)