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WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? through its appointed organs, examines That there are hundreds of important them, and, if found qualified, licenses them churches throughout our denomination at to preach and sends them forth to service this moment without pastor or stated supply under its warrapt. From this stock thus has already been demonstrated again and supplied the several churches take their again beyond all cavil, and is a fact patent pick according to their tastes and fancies, to any extensive observer. Persons who little thinking oftentimes how the blessing have been asked by churches to recommend was obtained, such is the ordinary course of to them some man suited to their needs for things. Such provision every denomination a pastor acknowledged themselves embar- feels it to be both its duty and its policy to rassed for a reply, as they did not expect to make. It is the only proper means for probe before they began to investigate and look moting its own perpetuity and enlargement. for “the right man.” It is a state of things It would be regarded as derelict to its Lord which arrests the due progress and hinders if it did not make it.
if it did not make it. It would be stunting the proper development of the resources of and stultifying itself if it failed in this our denomination. Vacant churches are point. Ministers are the church's seednot apt to fill the columns recording the
They are the church's leaders. amounts of benevolent contributions to the They are therefore the church's fundamental several departments of church work; or if need, which after the pattern of her Lord they do, the sums recorded are dispropor. she owes it to herself to furnish first of all. tionately small.
If this be so, then we are justified in sayIn view of such facts, the question arises, ing that in case of a lack of ministers the Who is responsible for them? Is it expected responsibility lies with the church as a that each local church will raise its own whole ; but inasmuch as the church as a minister out of its own membership? Does whole is an organized body, the responsibilany church do this? We never have known ity presses alike on every part-upon every of but one instance of the kind. As a rule, separate congregation, upon all pastors and each local church draws, as it can, from a elders, upon every individual who has it in common stock which the donomination as a his power to contribute to the general result whole, acting in its organized capacity, pro- in some way, either by his influence or by vides in various ways, and to which every his
prayer or by his contributions or by his part is supposed to contribute according to personal consecration.
personal consecration. The concern is a the measure of spiritual life and pecuniary
Must we not then conclude ability resident in it. Out from this partic- that a serious responsibility for the present ular congregation and that, through the lack of suitable ministers rests, in fact, on influence of the pastor and through the those pastors and churches that take but consecration and nurture of pious parents comparatively little interest in the matter, and through the promptings of Christ's and send forth neither sons nor contributions spirit, all co-operating, arise the youthful toward meeting the great demand? How candidates who offer themselves to the sa- can it be otherwise ? cred service. And do these educate them- But here another question comes up. selves ? Not usually. The denomination How far should the church as a whole
in provides the colleges and seminaries where the matter of educating her candidates for these candidates may be trained for their the ministry? Is it sufficient for her simply calling at a moderate cost. Then, having
Then, having to furnish them institutions for the purpose, gone through their studies here, the church, or shall she advance farther, and aid those
who have not sufficient means for attending whole, and so of every part of it, to do somethese institutions there to go through the thing for providing a suitable ministry for course she has prescribed to obtain ordina- the preaching of the gospel, contributing the tion? Some say it is enough to furnish the means for its education is one item of that institutions.
Further help is needless, is duty. If a church has not sons to give, it injurious, is liable to abuse, is a premium at least can give money; and how it can for entering the ministry. But what if those exempt itself honorably from such giving young men commanding sufficient means we do not see. In refusing to do this, it defor their education are not sufficiently nu- clines taking a fair share in bearing a commerous to supply the demand? Shall the mon burden and supplying a common benchurch rest here and say she cannot help it; efit. The time may come when its pulpit “What is wanting cannot be numbered ”? shall be vacant, and will it not be glad to We must do the best we can with what we have it occupied by some one of these very have. Will this be a sufficient apology ministers whom it has refused to assist in for her deficiency when there are among her educating? Yea, it may be enjoying his sons those who have the suitable gifts and services already. Indeed, do we not know the genuine aspirations for the ministry, but such ? and ought it not to give freely as it who cannot bear the expense of that prep- has received ? aration which she herself exacts ? That Let it be remembered that the Board has there have been such the whole history of under its care all the candidates among the the church proves-men who through a freedmen, and most of those who are fitting little assistance have risen from the ranks themselves to preach to our immigrant popof the common people, from the plow and ulations. There is no question about the the shoe bench and the printing office and necessity of helping these. Also let it be rethe like, to become the lights of the world. membered that of the 108 net increase of There are such still; and there is no justifi- ministers last year, we drew 88 from other able reason why their services should not be denominations, giving them in return but secured for the benefit of mankind. They 38. are needed, and the possibility of securing them to meet the wants of the church im- AN EXAMPLE TO BE FOLLOWED. poses an obligation to do so. The simple We take the liberty of inserting here for principle of self-edification requires it. It wider reading an article clipt from the pages is in the conviction of the soundness of this of the Presbyterian, which illustrates what policy that all our Christian denominations might be more generally done for the inhave organized schemes for aiding those crease of the ministry were ministers, ard candidates for the ministry who are unable indeed Christians generally, more alert to to bear the expense of the education which
win young men of promise to consider its they require. To oppose this policy because claims
them : of this, that or the other defect in its admin
About the year 1842 a bright boy of more istration, or because of some real or imagin
than ordinary scholarship and promise graduary abuse of it, is unworthy of sensibie
ated from the school at Lawrenceville, N. J. There is hardly a single line of be- He was one of the speakers at the commencenevolent action that is not liable to abuse; ment, when he delivered a poem of great merit and why should this, which is so essential to for one of his years. During a period of rethe prosperity of the church, be invalidated ligious interest in the school he had made a by it? The consideration which should
public profession of religion, and adorned his rule in such a case is the magnitude of the
profession by a consistent life, exerting by his
example a salutary influence. benefit accruing on the whole; and the
A few days before he left the institution to compensatory size of this benefit none who
enter upon his collegiate course, the writer inhave examined it can doubt.
vited him to an interview. In the course of If then it be the duty of the church as a conversation I said to him, “George, what do
you propose to do after you leave college ?” of its funds, we here give in detail the He said, “My father prefers my studying law.” Board's method of operation. I added, “Have you ever thought of the min
The first knowledge the Board has of any istry ?” He answered that his mother would
candidate desiring aid is through a formal like him to be a minister. I then said, “I
recommendation” in which are put a hope you will consider seriously the question of your duty and seek divine guidance." I
number of questions to be answered, as to presented reasons why it would be wise for him age, qualifications, needs, church memberto do so. His ability as a writer and speaker ship, place and stage of study, and the enat that early period of his education, his excel- dorsement of him by the session of the lent scholarship and decided religious charac- church to which he belongs. This recomter, satisfied me that after a collegiate and the
mendation" is sent to the Board signed by ological training he would be a valuable laborer
the chairman of Presbyterial Committee of in the gospel field. He thanked me for my advice, and we parted.
Education, who is responsible for its correctTwenty years after this interview, visiting
ness as ascertained through examination by one of the flourishing cities on the banks of
the presbytery, or, pending its meetings, by the Mississippi, I met my ci-devant pupil. He
the committee itself. It is then looked over was then the pastor of a neighboring church. by the secretary, and if found to be in order, As we talked he said, “Doctor, I am indebted it is presented to the Board for its examinato you for being in the ministry.” "How is
tion and acceptance. As a rule only those that ?" I remarked. “Don't you remember,”
in the collegiate and theological departments said he, “the interview to which you invited
are received. Exceptions to this are allowed me in Lawrenceville just before I left school to enter college? I have never forgotten it. You
in the case of the freedmen and persons advised me to think of the ministry. When I speaking foreign languages, and such others returned home, I repeated to my mother the only as present peculiar and urgent claims substance of your advice. She encouraged me for assistance. The highest amount allowed to follow it. The result was that before I got under the rules to collegiates and theological through college I had concluded to study the
students is $150, and to subcollegiates $100. ology. That conversation was the turning But the actual allowance is determined by point of my life.” This excellent brother, licensed in 1849, has
the state of the treasury. This year it is had a successful career, and is still “ toiling on
largely reduced, being but two thirds of in the work to which the Lord called him. He
these amounts. Special donations to paris the honored pastor of an important congre
ticular students from churches and individgation, who have recently built a new and ele- uals are allowed and credited. Payments gant church edifice. He is well known and are made three times a year on the receipt honored.
of reports from the professors of the instituMy heart was touched with gratitude to God
tions where the candidates are studying. for having permitted me to drop a word in season, and I was impressed more profoundly
These must certify to the correctness of their than ever with the beautiful words of Solomon, deportment, their scholarship, their rhetor'Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt
ical abilities, their punctuality and their find it after many days.”
H. economy. When these reports do not prove This anecdote shows how a word dropt in
satisfactory, the payments are withheld and season, wisely, may effect great and blessed inquiry is made as to the reason of the defiresults. Let there be plenty of them.
ciency. Should any student turn from his purpose of entering the ministry he is pledged to refund the money paid him, with
interest. METHOD OF THE BOARD'S
Such is the method of the Board's operaBUSINESS.
tion. It will be seen that reponsibility for For the benefit of many of our ministers determining the fitness of the candidates and also of our laymen who wish to know aided rests with three parties : first, the seshow the Board determines the distribution sions of the churches to which they belong; secondly, the presbyteries in charge; and mony to the high standard of his attainments. thirdly, the professors under whom they are From my personal knowledge of boys in genstudying. That after all the care thus taken eral while at college, I can say I have never some should prove to be incompetent and
known one brighter or who could master a undeserving is to be expected. “There is
subject sooner, or who knew the value of time
and improved every moment of it more conno art to find the mind's construction in
scientiously than he. And this he has done the face.” The fairest promise is sometimes for no special reward and without any bigh blighted. But by careful examination it is ideal before him. How much more may we ascertained that the large majority more expect of him now that he comes to study for than pay for the aid they get by the services the ministry and sets before himself the high which they afterwards render to the church
ideal of a “true servant of God”! on the condition of a mere support. They
Allow me to say that it was largely through are to be found everywhere—in the highest claims of the gospel ministry. These he has
my influence that he has come to consider the seats of learning, in our strong churches, in
been carefully and prayerfully considering for our smaller congregations, and on mission
over a year, and now he asks that our church fields at home and abroad—enduring the help him while he prepares for this high office. hardships and privations to which their Next, his Christian character. I wish I early life had trained them. The Board is could give you in detail some account of this not ashamed of its record.
boy's life. Born and raised a Roman Catholic, he broke away from the fetters of his church
some few years ago, without the aid of misA LETTER.
sionary or preacher; and though a feeble light
in his dark home, he has brought that light to The following letter has just come to hand, his mother and two of his sisters, so that they the like of which we have received several have renounced Romish errors and are attendlately:
ants upon our church. He has led the WednesMY DEAR SIR:— Allow me to say one word
day evening prayer-meeting in his church again
and again, and is president of its young peoin behalf of
a candidate for the ministry, under the care of Presbytery (one ple's religious society. In my opinion, our in the far West), who has recently been refused
church cannot afford to neglect such a man.
I am no relative of his and he has no direct aid from the Board on the ground that the Board is hard pressed for funds.
claims on me; yet, to show you my faith in Your letter to
him, I will add that I have consented to preof has been forwarded to me, in which you say that the Board
pare him to enter Princeton College in his declines all applications in the academic course
Latin and Greek free of charge, and to give unless they can present very strong and special him, if able, $100 toward helping him along.
But in his circumstances he will need more; claims for aid. Now, sir, it is under this last clause that I
and I do hope and pray that the Board will wish to plead for this young man, whom I
see its way clear to aid him to the extent of at happen to know personally. I do believe he
least $50 a year for two years, during his prehas as strong and urgent claims upon the Board
paratory course. as any man ever did have or could have. I will
An early reply will be thankfully received.
Yours ever, speak of but one, a twofold claim, and I will respectfully submit it to you for your consider- Such are some of the cases which are ation and judgment.
greatly taxing the sympathies of the Board. He is, first of all, a young man of exceptional
It is hard to say no to such presentations. ability. He has graduated from the high
But what can we say, when every cent given school at his home, taking the first place in
has to be borrowed ? Will the churches his class. I can give you the names of half a dozen of men, sharp, shrewd business men who
spare the secretary the pain of writing a are engaged in mining iron ore in northern negative reply? We will see what the W-, who will, I am quite sure, bear testi- Board says next month.
PRESBYTERY OF PITTSBURGH ON opened as promptly as possible. The seat of THE FREEDMEN.
the Mary Allen Seminary has been made a This presbytery at its late meeting adopted larger centre of Christian influence among the the following report, prepared by Rev. W.
ment of a missionary to labor in its vicinity. F. Brooks, pastor of Grace Memorial (col
The great want of the Board is means to ored) Church, at Pittsburgh, Pa.:
prosecute new work. There are thousands dyDuring the past ecclesiastical year the Pres- ing yearly in almost heathen darkness in the byterian Church in the United States has con- “back counties” of the South, who might have tributed $115,203.83 for the work among the more light if the Board possessed the power to freedmen, the latter giving $18,682.31 of this send them missionaries. sum themselves. Less than one-half of all The Presbytery of Pittsburgh is far ahead the churches contributed to this cause, the of the whole Presbyterian Church in her connumber not contributing being 421 more than
tributions to this Board. While far more than those contributing. The churches giving aver- one-half of all the churches have not contribaged $32 each. Had the others given an aver- uted to this cause, less than one twenty-sixth age of only $5 each, their total contribution of the churches of this presbytery have made would have been $14,650—more than enough a like failure. The number of our churches to have prevented the indebtedness of $14,131.42 contributing last year was 51, and the amount with which the Board of Missions for Freed- contributed was $6950, being $690 more than men closed the year. There were 12 churches the year before. Those not contributing were organized among the freedmen during the year, Phillipsburg and Valley. making the whole number under the Board 217. Now, brethren, the question arises, why is it There were 1923 communicants added on ex- that less than one-half of the great Presbyteramination and 235 on certificate. The average ian Church has given to this cause during the number added on examination to each church past year? Is it not because the people have was nearly 9, and to each minister over 18. not been asked to give? Can we believe that The whole number of communicants in the there exists a single church in the land that churches is 15,880; the whole number of pu- does not contain a single individual in it willpils in the Sabbath-schools, 15,689; and in the ing to contribute something toward sending parochial schools, 9743. Instructing these the gospel to these dying souls? How shall 40,000 souls, 279 preachers, teachers and cat- we ever evangelize and educate these people, echists are employed.
how shall we overtake the work, if, while they This work seems large in itself, but is very are growing more ignorant, and the number of small compared with what needs to be done. children among them of school age who do not According to the last report of the Board, there attend school is increasing every year, a large are whole counties or sections of states in which majority of our churches give nothing toward there are no schools or churches for the freed- the work, and the debt of the Board appointed men, and from which come frequent appeals to do the work is increasing? Your committee for help that cannot be granted. Arkansas has formulated no plan for your adoption that contains 210,666 freedmen, and yet the Board may stimulate the churches of this presbytery was unable to enter that vast field until last to still greater beneficence, but begs leave to year, when Rev. F. C. Potter was commissioned exhort every pastor and elder in this presbytery to start a church at Cotton Plant. Last month to continue to see to it that his people are at Rev. L. Johnson was commissioned to preach, least regularly asked to contribute to the cause and Miss Anna E. Grinage to teach, at Pine of freedmen. In the next place, the commitBluff. Means are now needed to send mission- tee is of the opinion that we gain confidence aries to Little Rock. An industrial depart- in asking, and a more bearty response by keepment has been added to Biddle University, and ing before our own and our hearers' minds the its support assured by the trustees of the fact which our dear Lord taught by precept Slater Fund. An instructor has already been and example, that the sole object of his religsecured for this department, and it will be ion was the salvation of men, at whatever cost,