A HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS
By Thomas Armitage
THE AMERICAN BAPTISTS
In the absence of the connectional principle in the life of Baptist Churches, their history and united efforts are at times largely included in the biography of particular individuals, who have left the impress of their minds and hearts upon their own times and on succeeding generations. Of none is this more true than of several individuals who have had much to do with those great movements that must now be mentioned. Few of our American fathers acted a more prominent part in the work of missions, whether on the home or foreign field, than the immortal THOMAS BALDWIN; and having already spoken of him at some length, it will be but needful here to glance at his Boston ministry and general character.
After serving the Church at Canaan, N.H., for seven years, he became the pastor of the Second Baptist Church, in Boston, in 1790, which responsible office he filled till His death, in 1825. His labors were most abundant, and his success in the conversion of men to Christ was very great. He was not a graduate of any college, but he fostered all educational projects; nor did he love controversy, but when he found it necessary to defend Baptist principles against the pen of the celebrated Dr. Worcester he did so with faithful vigor. Dr. Stillman and himself were fast friends and true yoke-fellows in every good work. As politicians, Stillman was a firm Federalist, and Baldwin as firm a Jeffersonian Democrat, and generally on Fast Day and Thanksgiving-day they preached on the points in dispute here, because, as patriots, they held them essential to the wellbeing of the Republic, especially, in the exciting conflicts of 1800-01: yet, there never was a moment of ill feeling between them. On these days, the Federalists of both their congregations went to hear Dr. Stillman and the Democrats went to Baldwin's place, but on other days they remained at home, like Christian gentlemen, and honored their pastors as men of that stamp. Dr. Baldwin filled many important stations with the greatest modesty and meekness, for with a powerful intellect he possessed his temper in unruffled serenity; all men seemed to honor him, as his spirit was the breath of love. Few painters could have thrown that peculiar charm into his countenance which is seen at a look, had it not first been in his character. The soul of patience, he was inspired with a stern love of justice, and commanded a large fund of playful humor and innocent wit. His manners were unaffected, simple and dignified, so that in him heart-kindness and rectitude blended in a rare degree, and his counsel carried weight by its vigorous discrimination. The Massachusetts Missionary Society, and after it the Missionary Union, were great debtors to His zeal and wisdom. As an independent thinker, without petty ends to gain or fitful gusts of passion to indulge, all trusted him safely.
Before he entered the ministry he served the State of New Hampshire as a legislator in its General Court; and after his removal to Boston he was frequently elected chaplain to the General Court of Massachusetts, he also served as a member of the Constitutional Convention of Massachusetts, in 1821, and took an active part in its discussions. For many years he was a Trustee and Fellow of Brown University, a Trustee of Waterville College from its organization, also of Columbian College. His first work as an author was 'Open Communion Examined,' published in 1789, at the request of the Woodstock (Vt.) Association. His second was a volume of about 250 pages, in reply to Dr. Samuel Worcester's attack on the Baptists. This work amply vindicated the sentiments of the Baptists, and did much at the time, by its vigor of intellect, its strength of logic and its Christ-like spirit, to arrest the unwelcome treatment which they met at the hands of their assailants. Dr. Baldwin was born at Bozrah, Conn., December 23d, 1753, and died at Waterville, Me., August 29th, 1825, having gone there to attend the commencement of the college.
REV. STEPHEN GANO, M.D., was another master in Israel, who had much to do with the shaping of his own times. He was born in New York, December 25th, 1762. In consequence of the disturbances of the Revolutionary War he was not able to attend the Rhode Island College, then under the care of his uncle, Dr. Manning, but he was put under the care of Dr. Stiles, of New Jersey, another uncle, to study medicine. At the age of nineteen he entered the army as a surgeon, where he remained for two years, and then settled at Tappan, N. Y. He says that when he left his mother for the army she buckled on his regimentals, which her own hands had made, saying: 'My son, may God preserve your life and patriotism. The one may fall a sacrifice in retaking and preserving the home of your childhood (New York was then in the hands of the British), but never let me hear that you have forfeited the birthright of a freeman.' His father had already gone to the war, and Stephen adds: 'Without a tear she saw me depart, bidding me trust in God and be valiant.' The next morning his regiment marched to Danbury, where he witnessed the burning of that town. He speaks of his after marches in the army, under Col. Lamb, as traced in their blood on the snow, and of shoes being sent to them which Gen. Lafayette had provided in France. After this, he served as surgeon in the new brig commanded by Decatur, of whom he says, 'a braver man never trod the deck of any vessel.' She was captured, for she ran on a reef of rocks, when: 'Finding escape impossible, we managed to cut away her leaders and nailed her flag to the mast, and long after we were captured our stars and stripes floated over her deck.'
After their capture, Gano and thirty-four others were left upon Turk's Island without food, to perish. There he was taken so sick that he appeared to be dying. His companions, however, found some conchs on the shore and roasted them. They raised his fainting head from the sand-beach, and gave him a portion of the liquor, saying: 'Gano, take this and live, we will yet beat the British.' He revived, and after some days was taken to St. Francis. Upon landing there, he begged from door to door for a morsel of bread, till a woman gave him half a loaf, which he shared with his companions. After working hard to load a vessel with salt, he obtained passage on a brig for Philadelphia, but when four days out was re-captured and taken into New Providence. Here he was put on board a prison-ship, fastened in chains, and nearly died of hunger. After a time he was exchanged as a prisoner, but safely reached Philadelphia, and soon entered on the practice of medicine at Tappan, N. Y.
There he was converted and in 1786 was set apart to the Gospel ministry. In the sketch of himself which he wrote for his children he speaks of his early abhorrence of intoxicating drinks thus: 'When four years old, milk-punch was recommended in the small-pox, which I had most severely. My mother has informed me that, when she urged my taking it lest I should die, I replied to her, "Then I will die."' This repugnance he carried through life. He also speaks of visiting his grandmother when he was thirteen and she was more than fourscore years of age.
'On first seeing me she bade me kneel beside her, and gently placing her aged hand on my youthful head she offered up a fervent petition for my salvation, when, after a short silence of prayerful abstraction, she said: "Stephen, the Lord designs thee for a minister of the everlasting Gospel. Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."' He also tells us that, while under conviction for sin, an elderly lady, a neighbor and intimate friend of his wife, seeing his distress of mind, thought that she would show him the way of salvation. She confessed, however, that she had been seeking her own salvation for forty years but had not then been saved. They bowed before the Lord together in prayer and agreed to pray for each other. A few days passed, and one night he found himself so happy in Christ that he could not wait for the dawn of day, but urged his horse at full speed to the house of his aged friend, to tell her what the Lord had done for his soul. He rapped at the door and she, raising an upper window, asked: 'Doctor, is your wife ill?' 'O no,' he cried, 'I have found Jesus precious and have come to tell you.' She replied: 'I was only waiting for daylight to come and tell you that I am rejoicing in him, with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' That day he wrote the joyful news to his parents, saying: 'Tell it upon the house-tops that Stephen is among the redeemed.' His father, John Gano, replied: 'As I never expect to be nearer the house-top, in a suitable situation to make known the joyful news of my dear son's conversion, than the pulpit, I read his letter from thence on the last Sabbath.' Stephen's daughter says that after her father's death she was mentioning this letter to an aged minister, who said: 'When I was a thoughtless lad of sixteen I went to hear your grandfather preach and was present at the very time when your father's letter was read, and that, with the accompanying remarks, was one of the means of my conversion and had its weight in leading me into the ministry.'
The ordination of Stephen, in his father's church, at the age of twenty-three, put great honor upon the faith both of his mother and grandmother. When he was left on Turk's Island, news reached his mother that he was dead. This she did not believe, but said: 'When I gave my son to my country I gave him to God. After his departure, I felt an assurance that God had accepted the gift for his own service. I believe that he will yet be an able, faithful, successful, and, it may be, deeply-tried minister of the Gospel of Christ.' Her faith was prophetic. In 1792 he became pastor of the First Baptist Church at Providence, where he continued until his death, in 1828, having filled its pastorate for thirty-six years. His ministry was remarkably successful. When he became pastor his Church numbered but 165 members, but five new Churches sprang up, mostly from his own, and when he died the ancient Church itself numbered above 600 members. He stood pre-eminent amongst his brethren as a public speaker and a leader in all denominational affairs. His executive ability was large, his punctuality in dispatching business and his large forecast gave him great influence in all Baptist councils. For nineteen years in succession he acted as Moderator in the Warren Association. He constantly preached with an eye to the copious outpourings of the Holy Spirit, and he enjoyed many revivals of religion in his Church. With some hundreds of others, he baptized his six daughters, four of whom became the wives of Baptist ministers, amongst whom were the late Drs. Henry Jackson and David Benedict, the historian. Few men have left a more hallowed influence on the Baptists of America than Stephen Gano. His doctrines were of the purely orthodox pattern, especially in all that related to the person and work of Christ. At the close of a sermon on his Deity he says: 'The sentiment I have been presenting to you, and which I have feebly supported in this place and from this pulpit for more than thirty-five years, is now the only ground of my hope, and that which I wish to commend when the messenger of death shall summon my soul to an account before the only wise God and Saviour.'
REV. ALFRED BENNETT was born at Mansfield, Conn., in 1780, and lived to be honored for years and influence, being long known as 'Father Bennett.' He was a contemporary of Baldwin and Gano, and labored side by side with them for many years in promoting foreign missions. He was licensed to preach in 1806, by the Church at Homer, N. Y., and became its pastor in 1807.
His early ministry there was so blessed of God that his Church sent out two new Churches in the vicinity, and great revivals followed his labors. Like most of the pastors of his day, he preached much abroad, especially in the region which now forms the central counties of New York, and he left a holy influence wherever he went. From 1832 to the close of his life, in 1861, he devoted his time to pleading the cause of foreign missions, and was one of the chief instruments in establishing that love of missionary enterprise which characterizes the Baptists of the State of New York. More than a generation has passed since he departed this life, yet his name is always pronounced with reverence. In person he was tall, of a dark complexion, thin and stooping. He had a fine head, with strong features, a winning address and an earnest spirit. He was attended by an atmosphere of firm devotion and close walk with God.
REV. DANIEL SHARP, D.D., was a native of Huddersfield, Yorkshire; born December 25th, 1783. His father was the pastor of a Baptist Church at Farsley, near Leeds. Early in life Daniel became a Christian, united with a Congregational Church, and was greatly prospered in secular business. He came to the United States in 1806, when he began to examine the difference between himself and the Baptists, and, as the result, united with the Fayette Street Church, New York, of which he soon became a very useful member. Then he believed himself called of God to the Christian ministry, and preached his first sermon in the outskirts of the city. In March, 1807, he began a course of theological studies with Dr. Staughton, of Philadelphia, and was ordained pastor of the First Church at Newark, NJ., in 1809, where he remained until 1812, when he became pastor of the Charles Street Church, Boston, Mass. Here his large capacities for usefulness developed in every sphere, especially in preaching the Gospel and in laying broad foundations for foreign mission work and the education of the ministry. When Baptist educational movements led to the formation of the Newton Institution, he was one of its foremost advocates, and for eighteen years presided over its Board of Trustees. He also became a Fellow in the Corporation of Brown University, and one of the Board of Overseers in Harvard. In Boston his public influence was general and healthful, for His talents, with the purity and beneficence of his life, commended him to all. His personal presence bespoke the man of mark wherever he went. The cast of his face was noble, albeit the compression of His mouth and the glint of his eye indicated sternness of diameter and the power to slant a satire; indeed, his whole carriage said: 'I magnify mine office.' Yet, where his suspicion was not excited or his confidence challenged, he was as winsome as a child, and trusted men implicitly; but ever insisted in return on transparent simplicity and staunch honor in all their conduct. His conservatism always demanded the unity and peace of consistent integrity. In a sermon to his own people he says: 'One Diotrephes may destroy the peace of a Church. It is a melancholy fact that some men must be first or they will do nothing. They will rule or rage; and the misfortune is, they rage if they rule. May God preserve me from such good men.' Dr. Sharp was tall in stature and very erect, elegant, benignant and courtly in his manners, and his eloquent ministry held the respect of the whole community in Boston for one-and-forty years. He was emphatically a teacher and a father in Israel; at the same time, in all spheres of refined society, he was a rare specimen of the fine old English gentleman. He died in 1853.
SAMUEL F. SMITH, D.D. Few men are now living who have more beautifully adorned our ministry, or more earnestly aided our missions, than the modest and widely-known author of our national hymn, 'My Country! 'tis of Thee.' Dr. Smith was born in Boston, Mass., October 21st, 1808. He was fitted for college in the Latin School of that city, and was a Franklin Medal scholar. He graduated at Harvard in 1829, in the class with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Judge B. R. Curtis, Judge Bigelow, James Freeman Clarke, Professor Benjamin Pierce and other men of distinction. In Dr. Holmes's poem on 'The Boys' he sings of him thus:
'And there's a nice youngster of excellent pith; Fate tried to conceal him by calling him Smith; But he shouted, a song for the brave and the free Just read on his medal, "My country, of thee!"'
He was a student in the Andover Theological Institute from 1829 to 1832, when he became the editor of the 'Baptist Missionary Magazine' for one year. In February, 1834, he was ordained pastor of the Baptist Church at Waterville, Maine, and was Professor of Modern Languages in the College there for eight years. From 1842 to 1854, twelve years and a half, he was pastor of the First Baptist Church at Newton, Mass. Then, for seven years, 1842 to 1849, he was editor of the 'Christian Review,' and for fifteen years editor and translator of the 'Missionary Union.' His soul-stirring national hymn, known to every statesman and school-child in the republic, was written at Andover, in 1832, and also his great missionary hymn, 'The Morning Light is Breaking.' He translated an entire volume of Brockhaus's 'Conversations Lexicon' from the German, which was incorporated into the 'Cyclopaedia Americana,' and, in association with the late Lowell Mason, wrote or translated from German music-books nearly every song in the 'Juvenile Lyre,' the first book of music and songs for children published in the United States, he has rendered great service to Churches and Sunday-schools as the compiler of 'Lyric Gems' and 'Rock of Ages,' as the editor of four volumes of juvenile literature, and also as the principal compiler of the 'Psalmist,' a hymn-book which the greater part of the Baptist denomination used for thirty years, and which contained about thirty of his own hymns. His busy pen also produced the 'Life of Rev. Joseph Grafton,' 'Missionary Sketches,' 'Rambles in Mission Fields,' the 'History of Newton, Mass.,' with endless contributions to periodical and review literature. Dr. Smith visited Europe in 1875-76, and again in 1880-82, extending his journey to Asia and visiting the Baptist missions in Burma, India and Ceylon, as well as the European missions in France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain. He married the granddaughter of Dr. Hezekiah Smith, of great renown in Baptist life, and his son, Rev. Dr. D. A. W. Smith, has been a missionary in Burma since 1863, and is now President of the Karen Theological Seminary at Rangoon. No man amongst Baptists is better known or more beloved for his learning, usefulness and Christlike spirit, his brethren generally appreciating him as in regular lineal descent from 'Nathaniel,' an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile.'
REV. WILLIAM B.. WILLIAMS, D.D. LL.D., was of general and denominational celebrity, he was born in New York, October 14th, 1804, and was the son of Rev. John Williams, at that time pastor of the Oliver Street Baptist Church. He entered Columbia College at the age of fourteen, and graduated in 1822, after which he studied law with Peter A. Jay, nephew of the former Chief Justice of the United States and one of the most eminent lawyers of his day. Mr. Williams was admitted to the bar in 1826 and became Mr. Jay's partner in business. His father died in 1825 and his mother in 1826. He so took to heart this double affliction that his sorrow impaired his health, and he spent the year 1827 in Europe. After his return he practiced law alone for a time; then conviction of duty led him into the Christian ministry, and in June, 1832, he commenced preaching in the Broadway Hall, to the congregation afterwards known as the Amity Street Church. This body came from the Oliver Street Church, and was constituted with 43 members December 17th, 1832. Dr. Francis Wayland preached his ordination sermon in the Oliver Street Meeting-house, Dr. Cone being then pastor of that Church. The old Church lovingly provided its former pastor's son with lots for a new Church edifice in Amity Street, which building was completed in the following year. At that time Mr. Williams's health was firm, his voice full and sound, and the house was constantly crowded by a refined congregation. His discourses abounded in vast wealth of thought, deep spirituality and rare literary beauty. After a few years his voice failed, and in consequence of its feebleness it was difficult to hear him, so that while his congregation retained its high character for intelligence it became small. Yet Dr. Williams reached that super-eminent distinction as a preacher which never decreased, but rather increased to the close of his life. His ideal standard of literary excellence was so high that he looked upon the best of his own productions with suspicion, and most reluctantly put them to the press.
Probably the first manuscript which he consented to print was a brief memoir of his father, written in 1825, and published anonymously in an Appendix to the Memoir of Dr. Stanford; by Dr. Sommers, in 1835. It covers but 23 pages, and is one of the simplest, sweetest and most perfect pieces of biography to be met with. Its style differs entirely from that of the doctor's later years, is less ornate and most sweetly tender, the tribute of a loving son to the memory of his loving father. It is as direct as a sunbeam, and does not contain a sentence to recall the movement of Addison or Steele, much less that of Foster or Hall. Neither the head nor heart of that man is to be envied who can, unmoved, read this lucid story of his holy father written with tears in every line. Dr. Williams's resources in literature, philosophy, history and theology appeared to be unlimited, and his memory was so capacious and exact that the researches of an industrious life came at command. Many thought, after the failure of his voice, that his great moulding influence on the young could best be felt in the chair of a College or Theological Seminary, and high positions of this order were frequently tendered to him; but he was never willing to leave his pastorate, and died as pastor of the Church of which he was ordained, having filled his office for more than 51 years. He was a close student, and his mental powers grew to the close of life. His library was selected with the greatest care, numbering about 20,000 volumes. His pen was never at rest. The notes which he made on His reading alone numbered eight volumes. His first known publication was an address delivered at Madison University, in 1843, on the 'Conservative Principle in our Literature.' It excited universal attention by its affluence of thought and expression, and was republished in England. This was followed by his 'Miscellanies,' in 1850, and in 1851 by two volumes, His 'Religious Progress' and his 'Lectures on the Lord's Prayer.'
At a later date he published 'God's Rescues,' an exposition of Luke 15; his 'Lectures on Baptist History,' in 1876; and his last work, 'Heros and Characters in History.' His scattered discourses, introductions to the publications of others, his contributions to reviews, and other articles, are very numerous; besides, he has left a large number of manuscripts, amongst them several courses of lectures, ready for publication. All his writings are so thoroughly marked by a glowing diction and a profundity of thought that his image is left on every page. At times a play of humor or a stroke of sarcasm is indulged, indicating great power of invective had he chosen to use it freely but, best of all, he breathes that atmosphere of holiness which only comes of a close walk with God. Dr. Williams died in great peace in the bosom of his family April 1st, 1885, leaving a widow, the daughter of the late John Bowen, and two sons; all of whom are specially devoted to Christian toil in the Amity Street Church, to whose interests their father and husband gave his singularly valuable and honored life.
When our Churches were first awakened to the missionary appeal, Luther Rice, Dr. Staughton and others took it into their heads that the Triennial Convention could unite a great institution of learning at Washington with Foreign Mission work, and so high education could go hand in hand with high evangelization. Hence, in May, 1817, the Convention resolved 'to institute a classical and theological seminary,' to train young men for the ministry. The first idea of Luther Rice was, that as the Burman missionaries must translate the Scriptures from the originals such an institution would give them the necessary training. Dr. Judson was a graduate of Brown University, and with Mr. Rice, had received his theological education at Andover, under the tuition of Moses Stuart. But soon the purpose enlarged its proportions under the enthusiasm of the measure, in the hands of its friends. They did not foresee that this enterprise must necessarily divert the body from the intention of its founders. Yet for a time great interest was elicited throughout the Middle and Southern States in this two-fold object, until it was discovered that the cause of education threatened to undermine interest in missions. The scheme was to obtain a charter which should provide that the President of the United States, or the heads of Departments, nominate a College Board for election by the Convention, and in due time the college would become such a grand concern as to bring much money into the treasury for various other missionary uses, while the Churches would support the missionaries. These fathers had not the remotest idea of uniting Caesar and Christ in the work of missions, but the scheme was looked upon as specially happy, for utilizing the influence of Caesar in the cause of Christ without being dictated to by him. This notion floated up and down our ranks from 1817 to 1824, and the vision of abundant young Baptist ministers and missionaries filled many eyes. They were to become students at Washington, to study oratory at the feet of the great Senators of those days, and many predicted that, as pulpit orators, they would eclipse the orators of Greece and Rome, and a new race of Baptist Ciceroes and Demostheneses were to arise who should do wonders.
The Seminary was formally opened in 1818, in Philadelphia, under the charge of Dr. William Staughton and Professor Ira Chase. At first the number of students was two, but it soon increased to twenty, and in April, 1821, the first class, numbering five, was graduated. The same year the institution was removed to Washington, where it became the theological department of the Columbian University, which had received a charter from Congress in 1821. As some leading minds in the country hoped that the college would become a great rational Baptist University, Luther Rice as zealously solicited funds on its behalf as for the support of missionaries in Burma. Dr. Staughton, the very soul of eloquence, left his pastorate in Philadelphia to take the presidency, other names as immortal were to sustain him as professors, and Professor Knowles became the editor of the Columbian Star, with the promise of making it the great Baptist paper of the Continent.
Of course, the whole expectation proved futile. It became evident, at the meeting of the Convention in 1820, that it had undertaken too much, and that the educational interest had detracted from the interest in the missionary cause. In the spring of 1826 the Triennial Convention met with the Oliver Street Church, in New York, and took the entire situation into grave consideration. A host of masters in Israel were present: Cone and Kendrick, Malcom and Maclay, Knowles and Galusha, Semple and Ryland, Staughton and Stow, Chonles and Mercer, Rice and Jeter, Wayland and Sommers, with many more. But strong lines of partisanship began to be drawn, and they were divided about the college. There were several vacancies in the Board of Trustees which the President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, had failed to fill by nominations, and so the hands of the Convention were tied as to the election of trustees. In this strait, Rev. Gustavus F. Davis, of Hartford, Conn., a vigorous young man of about thirty, who could travel day and night by stage, was sent off at full speed to Washington to get the President's nominations. The Convention plunged into discussion, and Mr. Rice was charged with bad management of the whole affair. The leading men of the denomination were drawn into the controversy on one side or the other. Luther Rice was as honest as the daylight, but he knew nothing of book-keeping, so that the missionary and college accounts were mixed up in a perfect tumble. He was the most disinterested of men, had scarcely allowed himself enough for his daily bread, but no straightforward accounting could be had; nor did it enter the minds of the Convention generally that the whole proceeding was an effort at concentration which was very questionable for Baptists to attempt, looked at from any practical point whatever.
Professor Knowles was one of the clearest-headed and most far-sighted men in that Convention, and soon saw that something was radically askew. Others came to his help, in the hope that this confused state of affairs might be straightened; but little could be done. At last, Mr. Rice also saw that, with all his self-sacrifice, he had made serious blunders of judgment, and with an assertion of honesty of purpose, which every one believed, he threw himself and all his golden visions upon the tender mercies of his brethren. After several had taken part in the debate, which lasted for a long time, Rev. Francis Wayland, then about thirty years of age, and a professor in Union College, took the floor. One who was present describes him then as of a 'large, bony frame, which had not acquired the breadth of muscle of after life, giving him a gaunt, stooping appearance. He was of a dark complexion, black eyes, with a sharp, steady radiance which darted from under the jutting cliffs of eyebrows that protruded a little beyond the facial line. He had a Websterian structure, was majestic rather than elegant, being strong in person and in will, and conscientious. His voice was not smoothly sonorous nor sustained in its volume of sound, but falling at times very low, with an occasional hesitancy of speech.' He accorded the highest honor to all concerned in the complicated affairs of the college and of the mission, and admitted that they had been indefatigable in their labors of love. But he exploded the idea that two such institutions could co-exist under one management, any more than that two ships could be managed by one crew when chained together in a tempestuous sea; one going down must take the other with it to the bottom. He showed that education in America and missions in Burma were so different in their nature that they must be treated separately; for, instead of the one helping the other, they were mutual hinderances, and he demanded that the union between the two be forever dissolved. His speech was so lucid and convincing that the dream vanished and the Convention ended the complication at once, with all its outcoming perplexities.
In 1827 the Faculty resigned, and for a time instruction was suspended. In after years, however, the institution received the benefactions of distinguished men.. Mr. Adams was one of its firm friends, and as a college standing upon its own merits it maintained an existence against great difficulties. The gifts of Hon. W. W. Corcoran, of Washington, were munificent, beginning as early as 1864; but it was not until 1873, under the presidency of Dr. Wellings, that Columbia College received the pledge of Mr. Corcoran, that if its friends would secure $100,000 for its endowment he would contribute $200,000 more for the same object. This condition was met, and now, in point of endowment, its existence is permanently assured. At this time Mr. Corcoran's donations have amounted to $300,000, and although this philanthropist is an Episcopalian he made them with great heartiness, saying: 'I know that I am giving to Baptists, but I have confidence in them.' His beloved sister was the wife of Dr. S. P. Hill, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Baltimore, so that he well understood their sentiments and appreciated their work. Much has already been said of the establishment of Brown, Madison and other universities, and it would be especially interesting to trace the rise and progress of' each Baptist College in America, but space will not permit. It is, however, most highly promising for the cause of Baptist education in the United States that at present we have 19 institutions for the colored and Indian races, 14 seminaries and high-schools for the co-education of male and female, 27 institutions for female education exclusively, and 6 theological seminaries for the education of our ministry, making in all, weak and strong, old and new, an aggregate of 125 institutions. In these the present statistics show, of male instructors, 556; of female instructors 440; of pupils, 16,426; of students for the ministry, 1,503; the moneyed value of libraries and apparatus, $777,911; the value of grounds and buildings, $7,713,713; the amount of endowments, $7,236,270; the total income, $1,165,786; the amount of gifts to all in 1885, $330,303, and the number of books in their libraries, 412,120.
Dr. Sprague, in the historical introduction to the 'Annals of the American Baptist Pulpit,' states that 'the Baptists as a denomination have always attached little importance to human learning as a qualification for the ministry, in comparison with higher, though not miraculous, spiritual gifts, which they believe it the province of the Holy Spirit to impart; and some of them, it must be acknowledged, have gone to the extreme of looking upon high intellectual culture in a minister as rather a hinderance than a help to the success of his labors. But, if I mistake not, many of the sketches in this column will show that the Baptists have had less credit as the friends and patrons of learning than they have deserved.' All true Baptists are grateful to say that there has been a great change for the better since Dr. Sprague penned these words, and its stimulant has been drawn largely from the example of the olden times, as well as from the necessities of later days. It should not be forgotten that it was Thomas Hollis, a Baptist of London, in 1719, who founded two professorships and ten scholarships for 'poor students,' in Harvard College. The Philadelphia Association, in 1722, proposed that the Churches make inquiry for young men 'hopeful for the ministry and inclinable to learning,' and notified Abel Morgan thereof, that he might recommend them to Mr. Hollis for these scholarships. A Baptist Education Society was formed at Charleston, S. C., in 1775, by Rev. Oliver Hart, and in 1789 the Philadelphia Association gathered a fund 'for the education of young men preparing for the Gospel ministry;' the Warren Association did the same in 1793. The American Baptists had three classical schools in 1775, that at Hopewell, N. Y.; that at Wrentham, Mass.; and that at Bordentown, N.J. It was customary at that time for older pastors to instruct students for the ministry, especially in doctrinal and homiletic studies. For example, Dr. Sharp spent considerable time in study with Dr. Staughton; Dr. Bolles studied three years with Dr. Stillman, 'uniting study with observation and labors in the social meetings.' The nucleus of Waterville College was formed in the students whom Dr. Chaplin took with him there from Danvers, where they had studied with him.
The efforts that were made in Rhode Island and New York in behalf of general and theological education have already been traced. When the War of Independence closed, Rhode Island College had existed twelve years, and had graduated seven classes. Small sums had been contributed for its support, by numerous friends in England and America; but, in 1804, Nicholas Brown gave $5,000 to establish a professorship of oratory and belles-lettres, and, in recognition of his timely gift, its name was changed to Brown University. He died in 1841, at which time he had given about $100,000 to the institution. Its line of presidents and instructors has formed for it an illustrious history. Manning, Maxey, Messer, Wayland, Sears, Caswell and Robinson, have honored its presidency and made its influence world-wide. Francis Wayland, D.D., LL.D., one of the great educators of our country, has left a name and influence which must ever stimulate the American student, and call forth the thanksgiving of the denomination to which he was united. Judge Durfee pronounces him: 'A mind of extraordinary calibre, foremost in every good cause, educational, industrial, philanthropical or reformatory, and prompt to answer every call upon him for counsel or instruction in every crisis or exigency.'
FRANCIS WAYLAND was born in New York, March 11, 1796, and was the son of Francis Wayland, a Baptist minister, who preached in several cities on the Hudson and became pastor of the Church at Saratoga Springs in 1819. His son graduated at Union College at the age of seventeen, and commenced the study of medicine, but before his medical studies were completed he believed that the Spirit of God had called him to the Gospel ministry, and entered Andover Theological Seminary in 1816. At the end of a year, however, he became a tutor in Union College, where he remained for four years, when, in 1821, he was called to the pastorate of the First Church in Boston. Here he became known as a man of clear and positive convictions and great moral force. A sermon preached in 1823, on the Moral Dignity of the Missionary Enterprise, and another in 1825, on the Duties of an American Citizen, attracted almost universal attention from the weight of their thought and the charms of their expression. He returned to Union College in 1826, as professor; but in 1827 accepted the presidency of Brown University.
At that time Brown was not in a very flourishing condition, either in its finances or reputation for discipline, but Dr. Wayland soon restored it to a better state, raised its instruction to a new and higher level, and by his stimulating and suggestive methods sought to make it fullfil the ends of a University abreast of any institution in the land. To him is due the inception of the idea that a liberal education should include more than drill in the classics and in mathematics, as modern life demanded more of the liberally educated man than an entry into the learned professions through the traditional curriculum. He thought a system of elective studies necessary, in which the tastes of the student should be consulted while intellectual discipline should be secured, and that the true conception of an American University demanded this. These views were slowly matured, for they were not fully elaborated and wrought into the life of the College until 1850.
But the standard of scholarship was slowly raised, the endowment was increased, and he sent forth men with what was better even than scholarship--with the high character that can best be imparted by personal contact with a morally strong, resolute and sympathetic Christian manhood. Dr. Wayland's influence on his students was so familiar, dignified and paternal, and withal so thoroughly Christ-like, that he left his imprint upon each mind, and, whether they became Christians or not while passing through their college course, each one honored the president as a noble specimen of Christ's best disciples, and was convinced that his heart's wish was that all of them might even be better Christians than he esteemed himself to be.
Dr. Wayland, with all his solidity, was of a very mirthful character, and constantly kept his classroom and social surroundings alive with strokes of wit. But his greatest characteristic was his deep and glowing spirituality. Dr. Stockbridge, who supplied the pulpit of the First Church at Providence while Dr. Wayland's pastor was abroad, says of him that one day a leading Deacon in the city noticed an aged man bowed down in a place of worship and Dr. Wayland leaning over him in close conversation. He drew near, and found the venerable Judge P. overwhelmed with sorrow for sin. He was expressing his fear that, as one who had lived so many scores of years without God in the world, there was no hope in his case. The Doctor was tenderly pointing him to the boundless mercy of God in Christ Jesus, and the eminent jurist found peace in believing on him. In 1853 Dr. Wayland said to Dr. Stockbridge: 'If you can secure the presence of the Holy Spirit in your ministrations, a battalion of soldiers would not be able to keep the people from crowding the sanctuary.' This great educator died August 19th, 1874, but is still preaching by his books in all parts of the civilized world. His published writings of note number seventy-two, the most prominent of which are his 'Moral Science,' 'Political Economy,' 'Intellectual Philosophy,' 'University Sermons,' 'Memoir of Dr. Judson,' 'Limitations to Human Responsibility,' and 'Principles and Practices of the Baptist Churches.'
REUBEN A. GUILD, LL.D., the present Librarian of Brown, has been longer associated with the University than any person now filling an important position in its service, for his labor runs through the terms of its last three presidents and well back into that of Dr. Wayland's, he having filled his office for thirty-eight years. Dr. Guild was born at West Dedham, Mass.; in 1832. From a child he evinced strong literary tastes, and prepared for college at Day's Academy, Wrentham, and at the Worcester High School, entering Brown University in 1843. He was a diligent and faithful student, and graduated in 1847 with the sixth honors of his class. In 1848 he succeeded Professor Jewett as Librarian, and has filled the position with marked success down to this time. Under his administration the library has increased from 17,000 to 63,000 bound volumes, and 20,000 unbound pamphlets; which collection is kept in a substantial and elegant fire-proof building; constructed after his own plan. No man is fit for a Librarian who will not take off his hat in the presence of a good book. Dr. Guild possesses this ability, together with his other great qualifications. The day after this new building was finished he began to remove the books into it from Manning Hall. Dr. Guild devoutly uncovered his head, took a splendid copy of Bagster's 'Polyglot Bible,' and accompanied by his corps of assistants, led by the late Rev. Prof. J. L. Diman, carried it alone and placed it as No. 1, in alcove 1, on shelf 1, pronouncing it: 'The Book of books, the embodiment of all true wisdom, the fountain-head of real culture, the corner-stone of a true library, the source of all true civilization and moral improvement.' There it stands today, the ripe sheaf of Jehovah, and all the other books must do it reverence if they wish the good-will of the Librarian. The library is a model in its arrangement and management, brought as nearly to perfection as such a collection of books can be. Dr. Guild is one of the best Baptist writers of the times; he is clear, terse, accurate. In 1858 he published the 'Librarian's Manual' and the 'Life of President Manning,' in 1864 the 'History of Brown University,' in 1867 the 'Life of Roger Williams,' and in 1885 the 'Life of Hezekiah Smith, D.D.,' and he has edited a number of books besides. At present he is preparing a complete edition of the 'Works of Roger Williams,' with a Memoir, which altogether will comprise two volumes, large 8vo, with copious indexes. In addition to his vast amount of literary work, Dr. Guild has long acted as a private tutor, for seven years he served as a member of the Common Council of Providence, and for fifteen years as a member of the Common School Committee of that city. He has visited and examined many of the libraries of Europe, and rendered great service to the cause of education in many capacities. Dr. Guild was baptized by the lute Dr. Stow, of Boston ; he received his honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Shurtleff College, he is as genial and thorough a Baptist as Rhode Island affords, and is an honor to his denomination. Justice demands that something be said here of another noble educator, who possesses many of the elements which marked Dr. Wayland, and on whom, in an important sense, his mantle has fallen.
MARTIN B. ANDERSON, LL.D., ranks with the most successful educators in our country, he was born in Maine, 1815, and graduated with high honor from Waterville College in 1840, when he entered the Theological Seminary at Newton. In a year from that time he was chosen Professor of Latin, Greek and Mathematics, in Waterville, and in 1843 filled the chair of Rhetoric also in the same institution. He continued there as a broad, earnest and accomplished teacher, until 1850, when he became the proprietor and editor of the 'New York Recorder,' a weakly religious paper of large influence. In 1853 he accepted the presidency of Rochester University, where he has done his great life-work. His entire mastery of Mental and Moral Philosophy, Ancient History and Political Economy, not only opened to him a wide range of practical usefulness as an educator and a scientific explorer, in their correlated branches, but he has done most valuable work for the State as a publicist, especially in adjusting its public charities and educational plans. He has cheerfully placed his facile pen, his store of literary attainments, and his executive ability, under perpetual contribution to the public good. As an orator, a tutor, an essayist and a philanthropist he has served his fellow-men, and all his work bears the stamp of incisive originality. Few men have so constantly met American wants by articles of every sort, in journals, reviews, encyclopedias and reports on difficult questions, as President Anderson. Yet, few of these productions have been purely speculative. Always he keeps in view, and succeeds in commanding, that vigor of thought and directness of action which produce practical results in others, and especially on social and religious subjects. His whole being is organized on that economic plan which infuses himself into others, and stimulates the best impulses of all around him to emulate his examples and walk in his footsteps. In latter years, no man amongst American Baptists has done more to enlist its energies in our higher educational aims or has sacrificed so much to put them on a firm basis. God has blessed him with a mind and heart of the largest order, with a strong physical frame full of endurance, and with a vital ambition to bless men; nor has he spared himself at any point to secure this end. As the first President of Rochester University, his career has been wonderfully successful. He went to it in its weakness, and now its grounds and buildings are valued at $379,189, and its endowment amounts to $442,757, with a promising future; for he has enstamped its character with high attributes, and interwoven his influence with its coming history as effectively as with that which is past. His weight and worth, as a public benefactor who dares to bless others at great cost to himself, will stimulate coming generations through these who have sat at Ins feet as well as through his invigorating literary productions.
JOHN A. BROADUS, D.D. Born in Culpeper County, Va., January 24th, 1827. He is an alumnus of the University of Virginia, having taken his Master's Degree in 1850. He served as tutor of Latin and Greek in that institution in 1851-52, after which he passed eight years as pastor of the Baptist Church at Charlottesville. In 1854 he was elected professor of Homiletics and New Testament interpretation in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, then located at Greenville, S. C., which high position he still fills in the same school; now located at Louisville, Ky. Dr. Broadus is quite as much wedded to the pulpit as to the class-room. While at Greenville he preached to several small Churches in that vicinity, as their pastor. He is a thorough scholar, a delightful preacher and a finished writer. So deliberate are his methods of work. whether in the study, the seminary, or the pulpit, that all forms of labor appear easy to him. Yet his nature is intense, his convictions lay hold of all his powers, and his entire being is thrown into whatever he does. His quiet manner carries the impression to cultured minds that it springs from the behest of high intellect, answering the command of a mellow spirituality, and so it gives double force to his teaching and preaching. The severe drill of his life speaks without the least pretension. His works on preaching are plain, clear and profound, laying bare that art of splendid pulpit work of which he is so fine an example himself. His 'Treatise on Homiletics,' now a text-book on both sides of the Atlantic, stands side by side with his 'Lectures on the History of Preaching,' and makes him a teacher of teachers. To his other attainments he has added the benefits of travel in Europe and Asia, and his letters demonstrate his keen sense of discrimination. In private life he is winsome and unostentatious to a proverb, full of unaffected kindness and playful amiability. Children and sages equally love to gather around him, that they may listen to his humor and pathos; and the more eager are they, because he never indulges these at the sacrifice of common sense or the solid simplicities of truth. Publicly and privately, out of the abundance of a true heart, he speaks in the freedom of truth unmixed with guile, or with the least tendency to that petty detraction which fatally blights many otherwise noble spirits in the Gospel ministry.
This chapter may be appropriately closed by a sketch of WILLIAM CATHCART, D.D. He has made the denomination his debtor by his patient investigations and literary contributions. His scholarly attainments and tireless industry have fitted him to do an order of literary work which no Baptist had done, in giving the world his 'Baptist Encyclopaedia.' Endowed with a thoroughly analytical mind, his studies have laid bare to him the radical extremes of Gospel interpretation used by the Roman Catholic and the Baptist. He has given the result in his 'Papal System' and 'Baptism of the Ages.' Having explored the philosophy of the Romish system fully in the one, he gives its direct opposite in the other. Dr. Cathcart was born in Londonderry, Ireland, November 8th, 1826, and was brought up a Presbyterian. Surrounded by the religious contests of his nation and times, Ireland forced its contrasts upon his attention from childhood. He was fitted for college by private classical tutors, but took his literary course in the University of Glasgow. On becoming a Christian, the difference between the Presbyterians and Baptists was forced on his attention when at the age of twenty, and his convictions led him to forsake th e religion of his fathers. He was baptized on the confession of Christ, at Tubbermore, by Rev. R. H., son of Dr. Alexander Carson. His theological course was taken at Horton College, under the presidency of the late Dr. Ackworth. In 1850 he was ordained pastor of the Baptist Church at Barnsley, but was so uneasy under the English yoke of Church and State that in 1853 he left a prosperous pastorate to settle in America. The first pastoral charge which he took here was at Mystic, Conn., where he remained till 1857, when he became pastor of the Second Baptist Church, Philadelphia.
He remained in this Church for eight-and-twenty years; doing such an excess of work that at last a constitution of uncommon strength began to break under the load, and he was obliged to retire to prevent utter prostration. Not only did his congregation in Philadelphia double in size, but it became necessary to build a large aid beautiful sanctuary in a new location to accommodate the increase. His people loved him almost to idolization, and gave him up with the utmost reluctance. In 1872 he published his 'Papal System;' in 1876, His 'Baptists and the American Revolution;' a monograph, on that subject, without a rival; in 1878, his 'Baptism of the Ages,' and his 'Encyclopaedia' in 1881. Having known. Dr. Cathcart in intimate friendship for a full generation, his habits of study, his unflagging perseverance, and his uncompromising integrity, the writer is free to express the belief that no truer man lives in our Baptist brotherhood. As an eloquent preacher, a true friend, an honest man and a careful scholar, those who know him best regret the most his retirement in the prime of his manhood, as a serious loss in our effective ranks, he is but another example amongst us of the common sacrifice which our ministry makes to the strain of overwork.
It is a re-assuring consideration that these Christian leaders, in company with the great body of Baptist ministers in America, hold fast to the old Gospel faith. The Philadelphia Association was troubled at its New York session, held there October 5th and 7th, 1790, by a question from the Church at Stamford, asking whether or not it should fellowship those who held the 'new system of divinity.' The Association answered in the negative, denouncing 'these fine-spun theories' in detail. Then the body passed this minute: 'This Association lament they have occasion again to call the attention of that part of Zion we represent to another awful instance of departure from the faith once delivered unto the saints; Mr. Nicholas Cox, late a brother in the ministry, having espoused, and artfully as well as strenuously endeavored to propagate, the fatal notion of the universal restoration of bad men and devils from hell. As such, we caution our Churches, those of our sister Associations and Christian brethren of every denomination, to be aware of him.'
Happily our ministry is too seriously engaged in saving men from ' the wrath to come' to give much attention at present to the restoration of lost men and demons from perdition. When they get to heaven they may find time to speculate as to what can be done for those ' in prison,' if God shall call them there to that order of thought. But while they are filling their present pastorates amongst the lost sons of Adam's race, their chief duty to their Master and to 'bad men' is to cry 'Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world!' As ministers of Christ, sent to save wicked men, 'pulling them out of the fire,' as Jude expresses himself, it is quite as absurd to spend their strength in this controversy as it would be for twin chicks in one shell to fight over the question whether the outside world is all yolk or all white. It is simply shameful that a man entrusted with the care of immortal souls should be obliged to say to his Master, of one of them,' As thy servant was busy here and there, arguing that if he should be consigned to perdition he will finally be rescued, lo! he was gone!'
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