of the "Maine Band" was an object lesson in the possi-
bilities of the group method in its application to the more
remote and difficult rural fields.
I should not wish to convey the impression that the
exceptional took precedence over the regular, or even the
conventional, in the conduct of the Department. Certain
things were done outside the ordinary routine, because
there was a call for change of methods of work as well as
a call for changes in the statement of truth. But preaching
was preaching, and pastoral service was pastoral service
under all changes; and the supreme object of the Seminary
was the same that it had been from the beginning. And
what was true of my department w^as true of all the de-
partments. Any one going over the courses of study out-
lined in the catalogues of the period will be surprised to
see their variety and extent. The prescribed courses were
supplemented in all the departments by "optional" and
"elective" courses. A fourth year for advanced study was
inaugurated and much valued by many graduates. But
through all the advances and extensions ran the broad
but straight course of a theological discipline.
The fact which I have wished to make clear in this
glimpse of the internal life of the Seminary during the
period of conflict is this ā the work was of first inter-
est, the conflict of secondary interest. The conflict did not
hinder the work. It did not deter many students from
coming to Andover or distract them when once there. The
attack upon Andover began in the spring of 1882, in
ample time to affect the class entering the Seminary in
THE ANDOVER PERIOD 185
the fall of that year. The class which then entered grad-
uated in 1885. Reckoning onward from that date, the
Seminary graduated in the decade following ā the decade
of controversy ā one hundred and fifty-seven men, taking
no account of students in the "Advanced Class," some of
whom were always from other seminaries. Reckoning
backward from the same date (1885), the Seminary grad-
uated in the decade preceding the controversy, one hun-
dred and eighty-four men. Measured numerically the cost
of the conflict in men was negligible. Measured in terms
of quickened and extended interest, it left a balance of
gain to the Seminary. As I have followed the graduates of
those years into their professional careers, and have taken
account of their standing and influence in the pulpit, in
theological and academic chairs, in positions of executive
authority, and in the more advanced forms of social
service, I am impressed with the substantial and enduring
qualities of intellectual and spiritual power developed in
the stormy period of their theological training.
The Andover Trial and Its Results
Early in July, 1886, each of the five professors associated
in" the conduct of the "Andover Review" and joint editors
of "Progressive Orthodoxy," received the following com-
Copy from record of meeting of Board of Visitors at Boston,
July 7th, 1886, in respect to notice of Charges to be made
against Professors in Andover Theol. Seminary.
It was voted ā that the Secretary be empowered to receive
the charges, when specified and signed by these reverend gentle-
men, and be instructed to notify the parties, against whom the
charges are made, of the filing of the same, and furnish a copy
i86 MY GENERATION
thereof, and that they may respectively appear and file an
answer within fifteen days of the notice, after which a meeting
shall be held at the call of the President, to hear and consider
the proofs and answers to said charges from the complainants
and respondents, of which meeting all parties shall have due
A true copy of record.
W. T. EusTis, Secy.
A second communication from Dr. Eustis, dated Spring-
field, Massachusetts, July 27, was received, forwarding a
copy of the charges filed with the Board of Visitors. As
these charges formed the basis of the trial which followed,
they are given in full ; also the reply of the professors made
within the specified time.
To the Reverend and Honorable, the Board of Visitors of the
Theological Seminary at Andover:
Gentlemen : The undersigned ā understanding that the Ad-
ditional and Associate Statutes of the Seminary (Art. X, XX)
require your Honorable Body to take care that the duties of
every Professor in the Institution be intelligibly and faithfully
discharged, and that you admonish or remove him either
for misbehavior, heterodoxy, incapacity, or neglect of duty;
recognizing, therefore, the duty and power of the Visitors to
act in these respects either with or without suggestions from
other parties; and, from a decision of your Honorable Body of
date 5 September, 1844, inferring that it is regarded as imma-
terial in what way any state of things which may call for inter-
position may come to their notice ā did, on 6 July current,
address your Honorable Body, asking leave to present at that
time a series of statements which should illustrate and establish
the fact that certain Professors now active in the Seminary hold
and teach, there and elsewhere, doctrines not in accordance
with its Foundation, and therefore ā to use the language of the
Act, which, 17 January 1824, incorporated the Board of Visitors
ā not " according to the terms and conditions prescribed by
THE ANDOVER PERIOD 187
the Statutes of the Founders thereof, agreeably to the intentions
of the Founders."
Our purpose was not to table formal charges against our
friends the Professors; because we conceived that it might be a
more regular course for the Visitors, on coming to the knowl-
edge of an existing necessity, themselves to enter upon an in-
vestigation of the alleged facts, in such manner as should seem
to them wisest and most expedient.
Your Honorable Body were, however, pleased to suggest, that
in the present instance, a different course would better meet
your views, and desired us to formulate the substance of what
we felt it to be our duty to urge, in propositions which may in
advance be furnished to those to whom they refer. While aware
that it is made the special responsibility of the Visitors, of their
own personal movement, to be on the alert to observe departures
from the true intent of the Founders of the Seminary, and to
initiate measures to avoid such departures; we consent in any
way within our power to further the object which they and we
may well be supposed to have in common; and with this ex-
planation we cheerfully comply with that request, and proceed
hereinafter to designate certain points as among those in regard
to which we apprehend that the five Professors who edit the
"Andover Review," through utterances in the said "Review,"
in the book called "Progressive Orthodoxy," and in their in-
structions in the Lecture room ā no longer continue to approve
themselves men of sound and Orthodox principles in Divinity
agreeably to the Creed, which they have made and subscribed
a solemn declaration that they believe, and to which they have
promised religiously to conform.
From a sense of duty, therefore, we are constrained to bring
before your Honorable Body, complaints against the following
Professors in the Theological Seminary at Andover, to wit:
Rev. Egbert C. Smyth, D.D., Brown Professor of Ecclesiastical
History; Rev. William J. Tucker, D.D., Bartlet Professor of
Sacred Rhetoric; Rev. J. W. Churchill, M.A,, Jones Professor
of Elocution; Rev. George Harris, D.D., Abbot Professor of
Christian Theology; and Rev. E. Y. Hincks, D.D., Smith Pro-
fessor of Biblical Theology.
i88 MY GENERATION
I. First, we charge that the above-named gentlemen, to wit:
Professors Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks, hold
beliefs, have taught doctrines and theories, and have done other
things as hereinafter enumerated, which are not in harmony
with, but antagonistic to, the Constitution and Statutes of the
Seminary, and "the true intention" of its Founders, as expressed
in those Statutes.
II. Secondly, we charge that the above-named Professors,
contrary to the requirements of Articles XI and XII of the Con-
stitution, as modified by Article I of the Additional Statutes,
are not men "of sound and Orthodox principles in Divinity
according to" "the fundamental and distinguishing doctrines
of the Gospel of Christ as summarily expressed in the West-
minster Assembly's Shorter Catechism . . . and as more par-
ticularly expressed in the following Creed," to wit, the Creed of
the Seminary; but that, on the other hand, they believe and
teach in several particulars, hereinafter enumerated, what is
antagonistic to the Seminary Creed, and, therefore, in violation
of the Statutory requirements of the Founders.
III. Thirdly, we charge that two of the above-mentioned
gentlemen, viz., Professors Smyth and Tucker, in breach of the
requirement of Art. II of the Associate Foundation upon which
they are placed, are not "Orthodox and Consistent Calvinists,"
but on the other hand, believe and teach, in several particulars,
hereinafter enumerated, what is opposed to the Seminary Creed,
ā the Creed in which the donors of the Associate Foundation
put fully and clearly on record their conception of "Orthodox
and Consistent" Calvinism.
IV. Fourthly, we charge that the several particulars of the
"heterodoxy" of all the above-mentioned Professors, and of
their opposition to the Creed of the Seminary, and to the "true
intention" of the Founders as expressed in their Statutes ā for
any or all of which particulars of heterodoxy, and opposition, if
proven, the Board of Visitors is required, by Articles X of the
Additional Statutes and XX of the Associate Foundation, to
"admonish or remove" them ā are as follows, to wit: They
hold, "maintain and incmlcate":
THE DEFENDANTS IN THE ANDOVEB TRIAL
George Harris William J. Tucker
Egbert C. Smyth
Edward Y. Hincks John W. Churchill
* - - vr^^Y YORK "
. , ...1.. LIBRARY
I TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
THE ANDOVER PERIOD 189
1. That the Bible is not the only perfect rule of faith and
practice, but is fallible and untrustworthy even in some of its
2. That Christ, in the days of His humiliation, was merely
a finite being ā limited in all His attributes, capacities, and
3. That no man has power, or capacity, to repent, without
knowledge of the historic Christ.
4. That mankind, save as instructed in a knowledge of the
historic Christ, are not sinners, or if they are, not of such sin-
fulness as to be in danger of being lost.
5. That no man can be lost without having had knowledge
6. That the Atonement of Christ consists essentially and
chiefly in His becoming identified with the human race through
His Incarnation; in order that, by His union with men, He
might endow them with the power to repent, and thus impart
to them an augmented value in the view of God, and so pro-
pitiate God to men, and men to God.
7. That the Trinity is modal, and not personal.
8. That the work of the Holy Spirit is mainly limited to
natural methods, and within historic Christianity.
9. That without the knowledge of the historic Christ, men do
not deserve the punishment of the law, and that therefore their
salvation is not "wholly of grace."
10. That faith ought to be scientific and rational, rather than
11. That there is and will be probation after death, for all men
who have not in this world had knowledge of the historic Christ.
12. That this hypothetical belief in probation after death
should be brought to the front, exalted, and made central in
theology, and in the beliefs of men.
13. That Christian missions are not to be supported and con-
ducted on the ground that men who know not Christ are in
danger of perishing forever, and must perish forever unless
saved in this life.
14. That a system of physical and metaphysical philosophy is
iQo MY GENERATION
true which by fair inference neutralizes the Christian doctrine
as taught in the Creed of the Seminary.
15. That there is a "New Theology better than the Old";
which we apprehend is not in harmony with the Creed, but
fatally opposed to the same.
16. That the said Professors hold and teach many things
which cannot be reconciled with that Orthodox and consistent
Calvinism which the Statutes require of them, and to which
they stand publicly committed; and that in repeated instances
these Professors have broken solemn promises made when they
subscribed the Creed.
The undersigned are ready to appear before your Honorable
Body, at your early convenience, and sustain by specifications
and proofs the apprehensions and allegations above recounted,
further asking leave ā and giving hereby to our friends the Pro-
fessors notice that it is our purpose ā additionally to set forth :
That the pleas publicly made by them in justification of these
departures from the Statutes of the Seminary are invalid; and
That there exists in the religious community a widespread
and positive judgment, that the teachings to which we have
referred are scandalously inconsistent with any honest and
hearty acceptance of the Creed; which judgment, for the good
name of the Seminary, the honor of Evangelical religion, and
the honest administration of trust funds given by devout
and generous donors for specific purposes, requires immediate
and grave consideration.
Supplicating the God of Truth and Holiness to guide your
Honorable Body, our friends the Professors, and ourselves, in
all this painful business as shall most advantage His cause, we
subscribe ourselves Faithfully yours
J. W. Wellman
A Trustee of the Seminary.
H. M. Dexter
O. T. Lanphear
J. J. Blaisdell
Committee of certain of the Alumni
23 July, 1886
THE ANDOVER PERIOD 191
Joint reply of the Professors, each under his own name:
To Rev. W. T. Eustis, D.D., Secretary of the Board of Visitors
of Andover Theological Seminary.
Dear Sir, ā I have received from you under date of July
27, 1886, a copy of the vote of the Board of Visitors passed at
a meeting of the Board held in Boston, July 7, 1886, and which
reads as follows: "It was voted that the Secretary be empowered
to receive the charges when specified and signed by these rev-
erend gentlemen, and be instructed to notify the parties,
against whom the charges are made, of the filing of the same,
and furnish a copy thereof, and that they may respectively
appear and file an answer within fifteen days of the notice, after
which a meeting shall be held, at the call of the President, to
hear and consider the proofs and answers to said charges from
the complainants and respondents, of which meeting all parties
shall have due notice." I have also received from you a printed
copy of charges and specifications filed against Egbert C. Smyth,
William J. Tucker, J. W. Churchill, George Harris, and E. Y.
Hincks, by J. W. Wellman, a Trustee of the Seminary, and
Henry M. Dexter, O. T. Lanphear, and J. J. Blaisdell, a Commit-
tee of certain Alumni whose names are not given. This copy is
dated Boston, Mass., July 23, 1886.
From introductory statements in the letter of the reverend
gentlemen we learn that they addressed you, July 6, asking
leave to present at that time a series of statements (here fol-
lowed a quotation concerning that which they intended to
show), that their purpose was to incite you to inquire into our
alleged nonconformity to the requirements of the constitution
and creed of the Seminary, that instead of yourselves initiating
the investigation thus requested you suggested to them to
formulate what they felt it to be their duty to urge.
I am perfectly willing now, and at all times, as in duty bound,
to acquaint your honorable body with whatever pertains to my
teaching and conduct as a Professor in Andover Theological
Seminary. For your information solely, I now make answer
frankly but briefly, as suited to the present situation, to the
192 MY GENERATION
printed charges and specifications. This reply is not of the nature
of a defense, but simply expresses my sense of the truth or perti-
nence of said charges and specifications, but I am ready, if desired,
upon sufficient notice, to vindicate myself against them. I now
simply define my general relation to their matter or contents.
In making these replies I do not concede the right of the
reverend gentlemen who sign the charges to appear against me
before the Visitors. I take exception to their competence as
prosecutors, and hereby reserve all rights involved in taking
such exception. I also reserve all other rights which relate to
mode of procedure, and which attach to any legal aspects of the
case which are or may be involved.
To charges I, II, and III, and those portions of IV designated
as 14, 15, and 16, being of a general or indefinite character, I
answer by a general denial. I further answer to the remaining
specifications under IV as follows : ā
(1.) I deny the allegation.
(2.) I deny the allegation.
(3.) I deny the allegation.
(4.) I deny the allegation, teaching that all men are sinners
and are already lost until saved by Christ.
(5.) The statement is ambiguous. If it means that man left
to himself is not under condemnation, I deny the allegation. If it
means that in view of God's gracious revelation in Christ no man
will be hopelessly and eternally lost who has not had knowledge
of Christ, I admit I hold such an opinion as having a high degree
of probability, and maintain that it is not excluded by the Creed.
(6.) I hold a view substantially like this as being an important
but not the chief part of the truth of the Atonement.
(7.) I hold and teach precisely the opposite view, that the
Trinity of Divine Being is personal or ontological, and not
modal or economical.
(8.) I hold that the work of the Holy Spirit is supernatural
and chiefly under the conditions of truth and motive supphed
by the gospel.
(9.) See answers to 4 and 5.
(10.) I hold that if faith is Scriptural it will be scientific and
THE ANDOVER PERIOD 193
rational, and vice versa, but I do not fancy the term scientific as
applied to faith.
(11.) I do not employ the phrase "the historic Christ" as
equivalent to the "gospel." My belief in the universality of
Atonement which is affirmed in the Creed, yields as a natural
corollary the belief that all men will have knowledge of God
(12.) I do not so hold nor teach. No one could hold that a
hypothetical belief could be central in theology and in the
belief of men.
(13.) I recognize the danger of men and their lost estate without
Christ as motives to preach the gospel to them, but not the only
motives. Punishment is not the chief motive power of the gospel.
All of w^hich is respectfully submitted.
[Signed by each and all of the accused Professors.]
Upon the same day on W'hich the answer to the charges
was received by Dr. Eustis, he wTote in behalf of the Vis-
itors to Professor Egbert C. Smyth inquiring whether, in
place of the proposed meeting of the Board with the com-
plainants and the defendants, "if the allegations of the
complainants ... in support of their charges should be
presented in writing," the professors would make answer
in the same way. In forw^arding this proposal to his col-
leagues, who were then widely scattered during the va-
cation, Professor Smyth expressed himself as strongly
opposed. "I prefer," he said, "something very different.
If the trial is to go on it seems to me now that it ought to
be public and at Andover, w-here the library and our au-
thorities are. We have been maligned from Dan to Beer-
sheba. Let our accusers now face the music. Hold them to
every specification and the Visitors to a verdict on each.
... If any trial is had I go for thoroughness." In this sen-
timent all the accused professors heartily concurred and
unanimously declined the proposal of the Visitors.
194 MY GENERATION
Whether this declination led the complainants to ask
leave to make certain changes in the form of their com-
plaint, or whether these changes were made by direct
order of the Visitors is not known. But on November 8
a docmnent entitled "Amended Complaint" was sent to
each of the accused professors by the secretary of the
Board, according to which further proceedings were to
take place. The copy sent to me follows :
In the matter of the Complaint against Egbert C. Smyth and
others. Professors in the Theological Seminary at Andover.
To the Reverend and Honorable the Board of Visitors of the
Theological Seminary at Andover:
Pursuant to a decree of your Honorable Board, passed October
25th, A.D. 1886, the undersigned respectfully ask leave to file
the following amended complaint against Rev. Wm. J. Tucker,
D.D., Professor of Sacred Rhetoric in said Seminary, to wit:
We charge the said Wm. J. Tucker, Professor as aforesaid,
holds, maintains and inculcates, doctrines not according to the
terms and conditions prescribed by the Statutes of the Foun-
dation of said Seminary, but antagonistic to the same.
And for further specification of Complaint, we beg leave to
refer to the Amended Complaint this day presented to this
Honorable Board by the undersigned, against Egbert C. Smyth,
Brown Professor of Ecclesiastical History in said Seminary,
and to make the charges and specifications therein contained
a part of this complaint in all respects as fully as if said charges
were herein set forth in the same words.
J. W. Wellman
H. M. Dexter
A true copy O. T. Lanphear
Attest: W. T. Eustis, Sec'y J. J. Blaisdell
Boston, Massachusetts their Att'y
8th November, 1886
THE ANDOVER PERIOD 195
Then follow the original specifications enlarged by
further citations from "Progressive Orthodoxy" and from
the "Andover Review."
There were certain formal respects in which the
"Amended Complaint" differed from the original com-
(1) The charges were made against the accused pro-
fessors individually rather than collectively ā referring in
each case for specifications to the Amended Complaint
against Egbert C. Smyth, the charges and specifications
therein contained to be made a part of this complaint.
(2) The more general charges of the original complaint
were withdrawn or reduced to the simple charge that each
professor named "holds, maintains, and inculcates doc-
trines not according to the terms and conditions prescribed
by the Statutes of the Foundation of said Seminary, but
antagonistic to the same."
(3) The complainants laid aside their assumed repre-
sentative character and signed the complaint as individuals.
(4) The "Amended Complaint" was presented to the
Visitors through legal counsel, who now appear in the case
for the first time.
The "Amended Complaint," though simplified, did not
remove the doubt created by the original complaint as
to the specific object of the charges. In general, each
seemed to point to a trial for heresy; but this purpose
was vehemently denied by the chief complainant. Just
before the publication of the "Amended Complaint," Dr.
Dexter had sent the following communication to the
"Boston Evening Transcript":
To the Editor of the Transcript: On my return from an absence
of three weeks in the interior, my attention is called to the fact
196 MY GENERATION
that sundry journals, and your own among the number, have
intimated that the odious theological methods of the fifteenth
century are being revived in order to attempt, before the
"proper authorities," to crush for heresy sundry professors in
the Theological Seminary at Andover. I beg to say that the
only suit against those gentlemen to which I am a party, and
the only one which I know anything about, is a friendly one, to
determine whether or not they are guilty of perhaps the most
stupendous breach of trust of a century not unmarked by such
crimes. One would think that in a community of high-minded
merchants and ingenuous business men such an endeavor would
be received with a decent candor, rather than a spirit of per-
sistent, if not malignant misrepresentation.
I have the honor to be
Henry M. Dexter
No. 1, Somerset Street, Boston
Oct. 23, 1886
Doubtless this communication correctly expressed the
animus of the complainants, but the idea of a criminal
indictment was in no respect agreeable to their legal
counsel. When pressed by Judge Baldwin at the opening
of the trial to state the specific charge. Judge Hoar replied
with some impatience, "These gentlemen are charged
with heterodoxy. Our position is that it is heterodoxy