Henry Mitchell MacCracken.

A propaganda of philosophy; history of the American institute of Christian philosophy, 1881-1914 online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryHenry Mitchell MacCrackenA propaganda of philosophy; history of the American institute of Christian philosophy, 1881-1914 → online text (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES



3 3433 07954880



A PROPAGANDA.,OF|



IHIL'



11 I 111! i!



HENRY



ffSl 11 i



II

THE institute's METHODS OF WORK

Monthly meetings of the Institute were held,
for nine or ten months of the year, in New
York City, at the rooms of the Institute, No. 4
Winthrop Place, which were opened by the
trustees of the Church of the Strangers without
any charge upon the Society. These monthly
meetings secured an average attendance of
from two score to three score persons who were
interested in hearing and discussing the papers
presented. They were valued by the Presi-
dent of the Institute as a means of securing
valuable papers for "Christian Thought." Dr.
Deems was the inspiration of ten years of
monthly meetings. He prepared the pro-
grams, secured the attendance of men of schol-
arship to read and to discuss the important
topics, and filled the part of host with such
geniality of spirit as to make the Institute
meetings free from formality and dullness.

1^1



THE INSTITUTE'S METHODS OF WORK

The summer schools were, however, the
agency most depended upon by the Institute
for impressing the country at large. The
places of holding these lectures were decided
by three considerations : convenience of access,
popularity as a summer resort for people of
culture, and, finally, hotel accommodation
available. These conditions made the Institute
more or less a peripatetic school. The first
two summer schools were at Greenwood Lake,
N. Y., some fifty miles from New York City;
nine were held on the New Jersey coast, one
each at Atlantic Highlands and Asbury Park
and seven at Key East, now known as Avon-
by-the-Sea ; and four at up-state resorts in New
York, three being at Richfield Springs and one
at Round Lake. President Deems, in an ad-
dress in 1889, reported that the lecturers had
numbered 169 up to that date, and had in-
cluded professors from Harvard, Yale, Colum-
bia, Cornell, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Wis-
consin, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Van-
derbilt, and New York Universities, and from
many colleges. The remaining years of the
Institute's summer work brought the total

1:73



pm ei nar



With the compliments of The Jlmerican Institute
of Christian Philosophy,



Henry iMitchell iMacCracken^

T^ resident.



University Heights,
3^ew York City.



[over]



A PROPAGANDA OF PHILOSOPHY

IS PUBLISHED BV

Fleming H. Revell Company

I ^8 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Sent postpaid for One Dollar



[OVKR



^ «i Mijr



A PROPAGANDA OF
PHILOSOPHY



THE NEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY



*STOR, LENOX ANO




See note on verso of title



A PROPAGANDA OF
PHILOSOPHY

HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE
OF CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY

1881-1914 /

7^



BY



HENRY MITCHELL MacCRACKEN




FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
158 FIFTH AVENUE

NEW YORK: MCMXIV




%^m



m^'(



t.i NOX AND

•.DAI IONS.
1914 , L



NOTE ON THE FRONTISPIECE

New York University and the American Institute of
Christian Philosophy entered into an agreement in
1894, twenty years ago, to cooperate in fulfilling the
trust committed to the latter foundation. This inter-
esting fact is symbolized by placing the seals of the
two corporations as a frontispiece facing the title-page
of this little book. For readers who have not taken up
the classic languages, it may be explained that the
motto of the University seal signifies, " To Endure and
to E.\cel." The Greek names on the seal of the Institute,
under the three female figures, beginning at the left,
signify. Science; Theology; Philosophy; with a quo-
tation from the New Testament, I John v, 8: "And
These Three Agree in One."



CONTENTS



PART FIRST

Foreword

I Organization of the Institute
II The Institute's Methods of Work

III Closing of Work of President Deems

IV New Plan of Work ....
V New Officers of the Institute

\t The Trustees Increased to Nine
VH Lecturers of the First Period .



IX

3
6

lO

15
21

25
30



PART SECOND
Foreword

I James Iverach— First-L^ecture^r .
II Borden P. BowNE7v;;3eci)iid Lecturer .

III Andrew M. FAll?J?MR.Nt -Third Lecturer

IV Horace G. Underwood— Fourth Lecturer
V Sir Wm. Mitchell Ramsay— Fifth Lecturer 59

VI Rudolf Eucken— Sixth Lecturer . . . 66
VII August Karl Reischauer— Seventh Lecturer 73



37
39

43

47

52



ILLUSTRATIONS

Seals of Institute and New York University Fronthpkce
PART FIRST



FACING
PAGK



Charles Force Deems

Cornelius Vanderbilt iq

Robert L. Crawford 14

Henry M. MacCracken 18

Marion J. Verdery 22

James Talcott 26

PART SECOND

James Iverach ^g

Borden P. Bowne ... .^

Andrew M. Fairbairn .5

Horace G. Underwood ^2

Sir Wm. Mitchell Ramsay .g

Rudolf Eucken ^^

August Karl Reischauer „2



FOREWORD

At the annual meeting of the American Insti-
tute of Christian Philosophy in 1913, the three
Trustees oldest in office requested of the Presi-
dent that he prepare a brief history of the
Institute from its origin in 1881. The reasons
for the request were the lack of any official
statement covering its work, the impending
necessity for bringing into the Corporation at
an early date young men to whom its history
might be wholly unknown, and the usefulness
of an authoritative statement respecting the
Institute for persons who may have become
interested in its aims. The President seeks in
this little book to meet the desires of his long-
time associates. The official records of the Cor-
poration have been brief and strictly limited
to necessary business. Fortunately, each of
the eleven volumes of the magazine entitled
"Christian Thought" made brief references to



FOREWORD

the Institute's current work. That these were
not intended for history, but for immediate
practical effect, makes them none the less trust-
worthy. By the aid of this periodical, of the
official records, and, lastly, of the recollections
of the present Trustees, several of whom took
office soon after the origin of the Foundation,
the present brief history is made possible.

Henry Mitchell MacCracken.

"Octan," University Heights,
New York City.



Cx]



PART I

WORK OF THE INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY

UNDER THE PRESIDENCY OF

CHARLES F. DEEMS, 1881-93, AND OF

AMORY H. BRADFORD, 1893-95



ORGANIZATION OF THE INSTITUTE

THE Story of the origin of the American
Institute of Christian Philosophy was
told at its tenth anniversary, in the year 1891,
by its founder, Dr. Charles Force Deems, two
years before his death, in an address before the
Institute.

At a summer resort on Greenwood Lake, a
series of ten lectures was given, July twelfth
to twenty-second, 1881, under the presi-
denc}^ of Dr. Charles Force Deems, Pastor of
the Church of the Strangers, New York.
These lectures extended through ten days,
with a lecture each day, followed by a discus-
sion of its them.e. The chief subject treated by
the lecturers was the relation between science
and religion. The following universities were
represented by lecturers from among the emi-
nent professors of their faculties: Yale, by
President Noah Porter; Princeton, by the



ORGANIZATION OF THE INSTITUTE

astronomer Charles A. Young and by Stephen
Alexander; Michigan, by Alexander Winchell ;
Wisconsin, by John Bascom; Boston, by Bor-
den P. Bowne ; and New York University, by
Benjamin N. Martin and by an alumnus, the
Rev. Dr. Lyman Abbott.

It was in the mind of Dr. Deems, in the
event that this conference was judged by its
members to be valuable, to suggest the organ-
izing of a permanent society to do work of like
kind in the future. On July twenty-first, the
day before the lectures ended, a meeting was
held to consider this question. Those present
decided to establish such a society, under the
name of "The American Institute of Christian
Philosophy." Dr. Deems was made President
and Dr. Amory H. Bradford of Montclair be-
came Secretary.

At a later meeting five trustees were charged
with the care of the finances of the Institute,
and obtained a certificate of incorporation De-
cember first, 1881. These five were Charles F.
Deems, Howard Crosby, and Cornelius Van-
derbilt of New York City, Amory H. Bradford
and W. O. McDowell of New Jersey, the last-

C43




Charles Force Deems, D.D., I 820-1 893
President and Trustee of the Institute, 1881-1893. Endowment Member, 1885-1893



w,



\i^v\^



fi;s^



ut'



«oi^



kS^°^VoO^^



ORGANIZATION OF THE INSTITUTE

named doing generous work as the first Treas-
urer of the corporation. Outside of finances,
all other matters pertaining to the Institute
were referred to an Executive Committee con-
sisting of the President, the Secretary, the
Treasurer, and five other gentlemen, namely,
the Rev. Drs. Rylance, S. M. Hamilton, and
S. H. Virgin, General Clinton B. Fiske, and T.
E. T. Randolph, Esq., all selected from the
City of New York, for the sake of securing
punctual attendance.

The charter authorized the Society to tra-
verse a very wide field of investigation and
labor. In practice, its field was confined to the
territory described in the following clauses of
the charter :

"The investigation of the most important
questions of science and philosophy, with espe-
cial reference to their relations to the revealed
truths of the Holy Scriptures; the promotion
and general diffusion of the knowledge of true
science by the publication, in furtherance of
the above objects, of papers read before the
Society; and the delivery and publication of
lectures on subjects connected therewith."

1:5]



II

THE institute's METHODS OF WORK

Monthly meetings of the Institute were held,
for nine or ten months of the year, in New
York City, at the rooms of the Institute, Xo. 4
Winthrop Place, which were opened by the
trustees of the Church of the Strangers without
any charge upon the Society. These monthly
meetings secured an average attendance of
from two score to three score persons who were
interested in hearing and discussing the papers
presented. They were valued by the Presi-
dent of the Institute as a means of securing
valuable papers for "Christian Thought." Dr.
Deems was the inspiration of ten years of
monthly meetings. He prepared the pro-
grams, secured the attendance of men of schol-
arship to read and to discuss the important
topics, and filled the part of host with such
geniality of spirit as to make the Institute
meetings free from formality and dullness.



THE INSTITUTE'S METHODS OF WORK

The summer schools were, however, the
agency most depended upon by the Institute
for impressing the country at large. The
places of holding these lectures were decided
by three considerations : convenience of access,
popularity as a summer resort for people of
culture, and, finally, hotel accommodation
available. These conditions made the Institute
more or less a peripatetic school. The first
two sum.mer schools were at Greenwood Lake,
N. Y., some fifty miles from New York City;
nine were held on the New Jersey coast, one
each at Atlantic Highlands and Asbury Park
and seven at Key East, now known as Avon-
by-the-Sea ; and four at up-state resorts in New
York, three being at Richfield Springs and one
at Round Lake. President Deems, in an ad-
dress in 1889, reported that the lecturers had
numbered 169 up to that date, and had in-
cluded professors from Harvard, Yale, Colum-
bia, Cornell, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Wis-
consin, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Van-
derbilt, and New York Universities, and from
many colleges. The remaining years of the
Institute's summer work brought the total



THE INSTITUTE'S METHODS OF WORK

number of addresses and papers to nearly two
hundred. The eleven volumes of "Christian
Thought" contain for each year about twenty
papers. A number of papers were included
outside those read at the monthly meetings or
the summer schools.

The financial support of the Society for
many years came in chief part from member-
ship fees, ranging from the fee of five dollars
from Annual Members to the single fee of fifty
dollars from Life Members and of one hundred
dollars from Endowment Members. The most
extended list of members enrolls about sixty
Endowment Members and about seventy Life
Members. Hardly one fifth of either class are
now (1913) living. The Annual Members
numbered for some years from four hundred to
five hundred persons.

In the records of the year 1888 is a para-
graph upon the budget which may be taken
perhaps as an index of the work of each year.
This belongs to the period when there was no
endowment. The expenses are as follows :



CS]



THE INSTITUTE'S METHODS OF WORK

OFFICE OUTLAY

Clerical Service $429.81

Printing and Advertising . . . 77-85

Postage, Express, etc 7743

Monthly Meetings, including Ex-
penses of Lecturers .... 79-95
Expenses of Summer School, includ-
ing Cost of Lecturers .... 404.40
"Christian Thought," a copy for each

member 1,000.78

Total $2,070.22

RESOURCES

Membership Fees .... $1,645.89
Donations at Summer School, 1887 . 36.68
Other Donations 336.00

$2,018.57
Balance due Treasurer . . . $91.65'

The reports show that even when the treas-
ury was overdrawn, bills were nevertheless
promptly paid by advances from the Treas-
urer, Mr. William Harmon Brown. The offi-
cers of the Society received no salaries.

1:9]



Ill

CLOSING OF THE WORK OF
PRESIDENT DEEMS

When the first President of the Institute was
drawing near the end of his life, he suggested
to some of his fellow-workers in this Society
that it was unlikely that the methods which he
had used and prevailed on the Institute to em-
ploy for the accomplishment of its objects
would be found the best methods for the years
to come. He signified that his care for the
methods by which the Institute might work
was slight in comparison with his care for its
central aim as set forth from the beginning.
He suggested that in the place of the Summer
Schools of the Institute, which had demanded
each year so much labor on the purely business
side, the cooperation of a university might be
secured; that instead of publishing each year
six numbers of a magazine containing perhaps
a score of brief papers by as many writers, vol-




Cornelius X'anderbilt, 1 843-1 899

Trustee, 1881-1899. Treasurer of Endowment Fund, 1885-1899
Endowment and Life Member



■^^>\.




iO"'-



►.^^o



\






THE WORK OF PRESIDENT DEEMS

umes might be published every two or three
years, each the production of a writer eminent
in some portion of the broad field in which the
Institute was permitted by its charter to labor.
On Saturday, December seventeenth, 1892,
while writing in his study at No. 4 Winthrop
Place, Dr. Deems suddenly dropped his pen
and was unable to write more. Ten days later
he was partially paralyzed, but at no time lost
consciousness or the possession of his mental
faculties. He had completed seventy-two
years on the fourth of that month. The com-
pleting of the tenth volume of "Christian
Thought" was committed by him to the Cor-
responding Secretary of the Institute, the Rev.
Dr. John B. Devins. From this paralytic shock
Dr. Deems never recovered, although he was
able to take part in conferences at his residence
in reference to the summer work of 1893 and
the plans for the eleventh year of the period-
ical "Christian Thought." On November
tenth his illness became acute, and the end
came on November eighteenth, 1893. He was
within sixteen days of completing his seventy-
third year.



THE WORK OF PRESIDENT DEEMS

Dr. Deems's immediate successor in the
Presidency of the Institute of Christian Phi-
losophy, the Rev. Dr. Amory H. Bradford
of Montclair, New Jersey, presented the fol-
lowing estimate of the founder of the Institute
in his salutatory article as Editor of "Christian
Thought." It is found on the two hundred
and forty-first page of the eleventh volum.e of
"Christian Thought" :

The first President of this Institute was in
every way a most remarkable man. Circum-
stances made him a preacher rather than a phi-
losopher, but he was always a preacher who
recognized the need of a philosophic basis for
theology and ethics; a man who well under-
stood the value of a true apologetic literature;
who fully appreciated our indebtedness to the
past, and whose eyes were always open toward
the future. . . . Dr. Deems has left no emi-
nent contribution to literature or philosophy,
but he has been the friend, the sympathizer,
and the helper of those who had time for more
quiet study than his busy life allowed. He has
inspired many students with a passion for
truth, and opened many doors which without
him would have remained for a long time

[12]



' THE WORK OF PRESIDENT DEEMS

closed. . . . The American Institute of Chris-
tian Philosophy has never attracted the atten-
tion of the multitude — such quiet work never
attracts large attention — but it has accom-
plished results out of all proportion to what
it has been. It has carried real "Christian
thought" to thousands of eager thinkers who
would otherwise have been without it; it has
furnished a true apologetic literature to many
both at home and abroad who were most in
need of it. . . . Dr. Deems has done more
than all the rest of the Institute combined to
realize these results. His place no one can fill.

Another important tribute to Dr. Deems
was presented at his funeral upon November
twenty-iirst, 1893, by Dr. James Buckley, Edi-
tor of "The Christian Advocate"; and at a
memorial service on December fourteenth trib-
utes were paid him by Dr. Thomas Armitage
of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, by Dr.
Amory H. Bradford, Dr. J. M. Hodson, and
by Ex-Mayor Abram S. Hewitt.

Notwithstanding the partial disability of
Dr. Deems for nearly a year before his decease,
the work of the Institute went on according to
his plans. The summer school of 1893 was

D3]



THE WORK OF PRESIDENT DEEMS

held upon Staten Island, and received a special
message from its President. Each session was
given its own special chairman. The summer
school of 1894 was held at Chautauqua, New
York, and presided over by the new President
of the Institute, Dr. Amory H. Bradford. This
was the closing summer school of the Institute.
The publication of "Christian Thought" had
been suspended in 1894, after the completion
of the eleventh volume. The following year a
supplemental but independent book was made
up of the addresses given at the official Sum-
mer School of the Institute at Chautauqua in
1894, together with added papers. These were
edited by President Bradford in a book of over
three hundred pages, published in 1895 under
the title of "Christ and the Church." This
book was given the following dedication :

TO THE MEMORY OF

CHARLES F. DEEMS, D.D., LL.D.

PASTOR OF THE CHURCH OF THE STRANGERS, NEW YORK

FIRST PRESIDENT OF

THE AxMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY

A MAN WHO ILLUSTRATED IN HIS OWN PERSON AND MINISTRY

THE UNITY OF

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

THIS VOLUME IS LOVINGLY DEDICATED




Robert L. Crawford

Life Member, 1885-. Trustee, 1888-. Treasurer, 1900-1914



THENEWYORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY



A8TOR, LEMOX AND 1

jriLD-N FOUNDATIONS. /



IV

RESHAPING OF THE INSTITUTE'S
PLAN OF WORK

Upon November thirteenth, 1894, which was
five days before the second anniversary of the
close of Dr. Deems's service, Dr. Amory H.
Bradford, who had been elected the second
President of the Institute, presided at a meet-
ing of the officers and life members at No. 4
Winthrop Place. The minutes record as pres-
ent, besides the President, the Secretary,
Charles M. Davis, and the Corresponding
Secretary, the Rev. John B. Devins; also,
Franklin Burdge, Edward M. Deems, John B.
Drury, Daniel S. Martin, Henry M. Mac-
Cracken, Benjamin B. Tyler, Cornelius Van-
derbilt, and Marion J. Verdery. The min-
utes proceed as follows :

President Bradford stated that he felt that
the time had come when he must resign his



RESHAPING OF THE

position as the President of the Institute.
After Dr. Deems's death he accepted the office
temporarily, but his engagements were so
pressing that he must now ask to be relieved
and a successor appointed. On motion of Mr.
Drury, seconded by Mr. Deems, the resignation
of Dr. Bradford was accepted. On motion of
Dr. Devins, seconded by Mr. Drury, it was re-
solved that the Secretary be instructed to cast
a ballot for Dr. Henry M. MacCracken, Chan-
cellor of New York University, as President
of the Institute. The ballot having been cast,
Chancellor Henry M. MacCracken was de-
clared President of the American Institute of
Christian Philosophy.

On motion of Mr. Verdery, seconded by Mr.
Tyler, it was resolved that Dr. MacCracken,
Dr. Bradford, and Mr. Verdery be appointed
a committee to confer with the authorities of
New York University in regard to an organic
connection of the Institute with the Univer-
sity.

Two months later, a called meeting of the
Institute was held January seventeenth, 189 5*,
in the same place, the President, Chancellor

Ci6]



INSTITUTE'S PLAN OF WORK

MacCracken, in the chair. Others present
were Cornelius Vanderbilt, Amory H. Brad-
ford, Franklin Burdge, Robert L. Crawford,
Henry A. Dows, David Waters, Lemuel yV.
Serrell, Charles M. Kinch, Joseph A. Hallock,
Charles M. Davis, and John B. Devins. The
President reported for the committee of con-
ference with New York University that it had
conferred with that corporation and had
drafted a form of contract between the two
corporations, which he read, as follows :

"The following agreement between the
American Institute of Christian Philosophy
and the University of the City of New York,^
witnesseth :

"The Institute agrees to pay to the Univer-
sity for twenty years, and until further agreed
between the parties, the income of its present
endowment fund of $15,000 and such addi-
tional sums as it may hereafter name, for the
following object, namely, the support of The
Deems Lectureship of Philosophy.

"The University agrees to support said Lec-

^ This name was changed by law March nineteenth, 1896,
to "New York University."

ni73



RESHAPING OF THE

tureship by choosing and securing for each
year, or each alternate year, a lecturer eminent
in science or philosophy, who shall treat, in not
less than six lectures, a subject fairly includible
among those named in the Charter of the Insti-
tute as questions for whose investigation the
Institute exists.

"The lecturer shall be chosen by the Uni-
versity's Committee upon the Deems Lecture-
ship, which shall consist of the Chancellor and
two members of the Faculty of Arts and Sci-
ence and two members of the University
Council, to be named as the Council may di-
rect. The subject for each course of lectures
shall be agreed upon between this Committee
and the lecturer.

"The University shall provide a room for
the lectures and make public announcement of
the time and place of each lecture. The Uni-
versity shall publish each series of lectures,
provided it can do so without further expense
than can be met by the accumulation of income
over and above the expense of maintaining the
annual or biennial series of lectures."

After a discussion in which most of the mem-
Ci8]




Henry Mitchell MacCracken, D.D.
Member, 1885-. President and Trustee, igoo-



lW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY



ASTOR, LENOX AND
■ ON FOUNDATIONS.



INSTITUTE'S PLAN OF WORK

bers present took part, upon motion of Secre-
tary Devins, supported by Dr. Bradford, it
was unanimously resolved that this report be
referred to the Trustees of the Institute, with
power to accept it as a basis of union with the
University if the way be found clear. The
President then presented the following recom-
mendations respecting the by-laws, which, on
motion of Mr. Serrell, seconded by Mr. Corne-
lius Vanderbilt, were unanimously adopted,
and are as follows :

"The By-Laws are to be amended to read as
follows :

''Article First. This Society shall be known
as the American Institute of Christian Philos-
ophy. The Act of Incorporation, together with
the prospectus setting forth its objects, etc.,
adopted July first, 1881, shall be its Consti-
tution.^

''Article Second^ Section First. The officers
shall be a President, a Vice-President, and

^ For Act of Incorporation see page 27. No copy of the
prospectus of July i, 1881, so far as ascertained by the writer
of this book, is in existence. The charter of December i, 1881,
doubtless contains all that was important in the prospectus re-
garding the aims of the Institute.

C19]



RESHAPING OF PLANS

nine Trustees, who shall be elected at the


1 3 4

Online LibraryHenry Mitchell MacCrackenA propaganda of philosophy; history of the American institute of Christian philosophy, 1881-1914 → online text (page 1 of 4)