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PROSPECTS OF ing to you, to sketch the plan of theoloRELIGION IN THE UNITED STATES, gical education in this country. No son IV A LETTER ADDRESSED TO ROGER is born here for the church, for the paLEE, ESQ OF CLAPHAM.
tronage is lodged with the people, and
they offer no lure, but that approbation Alleghany Town (opposite to Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, May, 1831.
and support which they freely yield to
the ministry which is commended to their MY DEAR SIR,
consciences in the sight of God. I find I have delayed answering your kind in the Transatlantic writers, even of piety, letter to me, that I might have an oppor who contemplated the result of this extunity of acknowledging the receipt of periment, at the period of our indepenthe several parcels of books of which your dence, that their pages are replete with letter made mention. And I felt myself gloomy bodings as to the permanence of the more excised in the liberty I had Christian institutions in our lands. But taken, since the Rev. D. Campbell as. the experiment of primitive Christianity sured me, that he would write to you in which triumphed over the paganism and the interval of delay. It is now my pri- power of the Cæsars, has only been revilege to acknowledge the receipt of the peated, and whatever may be surmised several packages you gave us reason to or said to the contrary, the experiment expect, and for which we tender you, here has also succeeded triumphantly. and your worthy associates in christian The simple truth is this, that notwithliberality, our unfeigned thanks. The standing the contaminating influence of Lord grant your names a record in the war, and the infidelity diffused by the Book of Life.
French army, who fought by our side; The seminary which dates your inte- notwithstauding the vantage ground rest by its birth, continues to flourish be gained for Thomas Paine by his poliyond our most sanguine hopes. The main tical pamphlets, which were read by ofedifice is nearly completed. One of the ficers at the head of military companies, wings is now occupied by the students. to the army of the Revolution, and reWhen complete, it is designed to accom warded by Congress and the States ; notmodate 100 students. The wings are withstanding that our country has been three stories and the body four in height, for half a century the Botany Bay for overlooking the Ohio river, the city of moral outlaws, to which they have gone Pittsburgh, and the town of Alleghany. often in voluntary exile, from the old The hill on whose summit we are situated, world, that they might escape the cenrises precipitous from the margin of the sorship of the press, and breathe their river, to an elevation of about 150 feet, blasphemies in a freer atmosphere; not. is solitary, narrow, affording only space withistanding the demoralizing mania of sufficient on the ridge, for the seminary speculation incident to the first years of and its requisite buildings. The spot now a country growing with unexampled rapioccnpied by this “ school of the pro- dity ; notwithstanding the atheisin of phets,” was an ancient burying place for some of our native politicians like Jefferthe Indians, before they retired into the son, who had gotten a finish to their forests nearer to the setting sun. This philosophism in the circles of Paris; notspot was the donation of the town of Al- withstanding the unfettered freedom of leghany, on condition that the seminary every sectary, there is at this moment should be fixed upon it. Eighteen acres more vigour and growth and influence are connected with it. When the first belonging to Christianity here, than at stone was laid, there was not one dollar any period since the declaration of indein the treasury; but the great Head of pendence. And the reason of the fact is the church, while he called us to “ walk this, that Christianity is left to the bare by faith and not by sight,” has faithfully guaranty of her divinity; and heaven supplied us by little and little, so that the will sustain what heaven begat. We have work has gone up without interruption, no miracles, and expect none. It is enough and the labourers have been regularly paid for us, that so long as the church is founded at the appointed day. He has moved our on the rock of Christ, “ the gates of hell hearts, unknown to us in the flesh, and shall not prevail against it.” When built between whom and us the Atlantic rolled. on any other foundation and buttressed We are helped by their benefactions with human inventions, time and revoluand (we fondly hope) their prayers. tion will crumble it, and we care not how We will go onward, encouraged by our fast. Our candidates for the Gospel mi“ Ebenezer.”
nistry are of two kinds, those who being I do not know, but it might be interest- hopefully pious and inclined to devete
themselves to the spread of Christ's king a spirit of foreign missions, and all the dom, enter on a course of study to pre. young men are voluntarily associated in pare themselves for the sacred work, or a society of enquiry in reference to that those, who having entered a course of subject. We have no separate institution study with reference to other professions, for foreign missions. You see those who or even with no particular aim, are hope- have devoted themselves to the service of fully renewed in the academic halls, and Christ in India, Greece, Palestine, or the then and there resolve to devote their Sandwich Islands, studying and praying talents and lives to labours for the salva- by the side of those of their brethren tion of their fellow men. That our uni who feel that they have not a constitution versities are not mere haunts of dissipa. nor talent for foreign service, and theretion or abodes of heartless philosophy, is fore deem it their duty to till the wastes evident from the religious awakenings at home, and remain to sustain by their which so often occur within their walls, influence and their prayers, their breand the fact that the presidents of our thren that shall toil in distant fields. We American colleges, consider themselves think this better than to disjoin them, as as sustaining a pastoral relation to their thus the diffusion of an apostolic spirit, students, and labour directly for the sal- and the cherishing of Christian fellowship vation of the young men under their care. would be hindered. Those who remove After the collegians have finished their to missionary stations at home or abroad, course at the colleges, they disperse to come under bonds to maintain a correpursue their apprenticeship to such pro- spondence with those of the society who fessions as their inclination dictates. remain. I have known the letter of one
Our theological seminaries, disjoined dying missionary to these societies bring from those institutions where other than out at once several volunteers to go and purely theological studies are attended mount the breach, and carry on over the to; are supposed to be free from several ashes of their fallen friend, the battle of evils incident to the arrangement so com the Lord of hosts. Besides, we wish to mon in Europe. Their attention is not maintain the conviction that the Christian distracted and the tone of spirituality re ministry is everywhere a mission, and no. duced by any mixture with studies purely qualification less than forsaking all for secular, the young men are united only Christ,” will answer the purpose any with those who have devoted themselves where. We make no distinctions. We entirely to “ the work of the Lord,” all must have “ amen of God” at home as their study, conversation, intercourse, well as abroad. The natural ordinary inhave relation to this one thing, and their crease of our country is more than 365,000 connection with the professors is that not souls per annum. Taking into account the only of pupils, but of friend and pastoral deaths of the labourers now in the field, charge. The term of time employed in we reqnire 4 or 500 ministers annually, direct preparation for the Gospel ministry for “ home consumption.” Taking no acis in our theological seminaries, three count of the fields of foreign labour conyears. These are sacredly filled up, only stantly opening. All this and much more, enough respite for health being atforded must be done too by voluntary Christian during the short vacations
The course liberality, withoni a farthing from the of study is generally, one year for the state. Was ever Christianity more thrown Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, and what upon herself and heaven? And“ heaven ever belongs to biblical interpretation, is blessing us, for the battle is the Lords." one year for theology didactic and pole. The energy of piety is mightily increasing mic, and one year for Ecclesiastical his at home, and friends are raised up for us tory, church order and pastoral duty. The abroad. Let me thank you again for the students are examined publicly twice each interest you have taken in the Christian year, and when their studies for the mi- enterprizes of this land, and may the nistry are finished, they are remitted to richest blessings of heaven descend on the several ecclesiastical bodies with your head, and on the unknown benewhich they were connected. These exa. factors who have remembered us in the mine the candidate anew for their own land of our fathers! Thus in duty bound, satisfaction, and have the sole power of shall ever pray, licensing to preach the Gospel. Hence Your friend, LUTHER HALSEY. in our theological seminaries there is free P.S.-In getting up a new institution in admission to the classes of young men a new country, there is much to do besides belonging to churches of various Christian study, and in this country the clergy are denominations, because our seminaries do characteristically and necessarily polynot interfere with the prerogatives of technic men. This will be my excuse for churches in the affair of introducing to the the defect of counting house promptness Gospel ministry. We endeavour to cherish in answering your favours; but I do as
the ed in
and we may
sure you neither your favours nor your- tion from east to west are stronger than
was 12,796,649,) in 1856 it will be an interest most intense. The events of 26,000,000.' Darby, who is of the highest the present age have baffled all forecast, authority in the United States for staand we cast ourselves on the providence of tistics, says it will be 26,000,000 in 1850. God as our only repose “ He reigneth,” If the gain of population in the Valley,
“ rejoice.” But there is therefore, over the Atlantic States shali another reason which gives us an interest continue with equal strides, (and the in the convulsions of Europe. They are proportionate gain increases every year) affecting our own nation by throwing into in much less than thirty years the halance our bosom, a quantity of emigrants with of population and of influence will be out any parallel. Among these is an im west of the Alleghanies, that is, in the mense number of Papists, who enter Valley. Of this there can be no reasonwarmly and immediately into political af. able doubt. And it is more likely to fairs. What will be their influence is occur within twenty years. only known to God. Only one thing is To give a just idea of the relative imobvious to us, that it imposes on Chris- portance of the Mississippi Valley, it may tians a double necessity of moral enter- be observed, first, with regard to its prise, that the influence of holiness may territory, that ont of 2,457,000 square keep peace with the enormous advance miles, comprehended within the juris. of a motley population. And I do perceive diction of the United States, about that Christian effort is evidently becoming 1,500,000 lie in the Valley ; 350,000 more energetic and successful daily. But in the Atlantic States, or east of the we need the co-operation, and the prayers Alleghany Ridge, which is the east line of our transatlantic brethren.
of the Valley; and the residue on the July 28, 1831.
L. H. Pacific, west of the Rocky Mountains, Mr. Lee will be happy to receive ad- which make the west line of the Valley. ditional assistance for the same object.
The Mississippi Valley, as belonging to the United States, extends from 24° 27' north latitude, to 50° north latitude, and comprehends, east and west, forty degrees of longitude. All the waters of
this immense region are tributory to, and There are, in Great Britain and in make the Mississippi, which disembogues Europe, those who look with interest and into the Gulph of Mexico at New Orhope on the great experiment of human leans. The longest line of inland navisociety which is now in progress in the gation, from the mouth of the Mississippi, Republic of the United States. That ex is 3,500 miles. Many of the tributaries periment, which has been supposed and of the Mississippi, before they are lost anneunced as complete, is unexpectedly in this mighty river, have a free navithrown forward in time, and its grand gation some hundreds of miles; some of theatre removed from the shores of the them 500, some 1000 up to 2000 miles, Atlantic into the valley of the Mississippi. and of many degrees between these numIt is now placed beyond a doubt, that, bers. The Valley can be penetrated by within a generation to come, the millions steam, in every direction, almost to its of the Atlantic States will be obliged, boundaries, east and west of the Missisby the federal compact of the Union, tó sippi River. In 1817, all the navigation surrender their destinies to the outnum of the Mississippi, from New Orleans, bering millions west of the Alleghany upward, was done by about twenty barges,
or in the Mississippi Valley. The of 100 tons each, making only one voyage rush of immigration to the new and up and down in a year. Now (1831) the narapidly rising states of the west has vigation of the same waters employ not already given them more than four of the much less than 250 steamers, averaging175 thirteen millions of the population of the tons each-many of them measuring 300, United States. In 1810, the population and 400,np to 500 tons—a few ranging from of the valley was 1,078,325 ; in 1820, it 500 to 700 tons each. These boats will was 2,230,607; and now it is more than make five and six trips up and down in 4,000,030; and the motives for emigra one year between New Orleans and the
most distant points of navigation, ranging foresee, that they are inevitably lost to from two to three thousand miles in one the nobler purposes of human society, direction. This calculation of course and fast combining the elements of their makes allowance for delays of business own ruin. at different ports, for lading, unloading, Such virtually is the almost reckless &c. The ordinary run, for example, enterprise, which is now so rapidly peobetween New Orleans and Cincinnati, is pling the Valley of the Mississippi, from eight days down and twelve days up; and the Atlantic States of America, and from to Pittsburgh, about 500 miles above various parts of Europe. And the people Cincinnati, three days more must be of that region feel their importance. added for ascending.
They know that, in a few years, they will As to the geographical face of this controul the destinies of the Union; and Valley, its eastern and western margins every wise man sees, and every philanonly (which are from 1500 to 2000 miles thropist must regard the doctrine, in view asunder) are mountainous; the whole of such a state of things, with trembling region, from east to the Mississippi, and solicitude-that intelligence and virtue, from west to the same line, gradually pervading and ruling the entire populamaking into one vast plain, exhibiting tion, are the only pledge of security to here and there an undulating surface, a government like that of the United aud varying inclinations, sufficient for States. And, consequently, if the means an easy and healthful flow of the nume of intellectual and moral culture are not rous rivers with which the Valley is forced into the Mississippi Valley by the marked. The fertility of the soil, and efforts of the benevolent, one generation the various physical resources, are in to come will find the government of that calculable. It is an immense region of mighty Republic in the hands of an ignothe heaviest forests, of the most ex rant and depraved people. That great tended and open prairies, and of the social and moral experiment, which had richest land in the world – besides all its been supposed already complete, is, by geological and mineral treasures, which unforeseen occurrences, converted into a are occasionally and gradually developing problem yet to be solved. Thirty years The comparative ease of obtaining a live. ago, no man on earth could have seen lihood, and the facilities of wealth, are so that such would have been the present much greater in the Valley than in the condition and prospects of the United harder soil and irore exhausted resources States. Nothing can save that governof the East, that the motives of peopling ment and that country but an almost and crowding the West are morally sure unexampled enterprise of a combined, to prevail.
resolute, and persevering Christian phiIt may be seen, that the Alleglany lanthropy, that shall force upon the ValRidge makes not only a natural division, ley of the Mississippi, and plant over its but constitutes a sort of moral boundary, vast regions, the means of an adequate in the United States. From that line intellectual and moral culture. All the west, all sympathies, and all passions, and world, who feel interested in a thorough all energies unite with the rivers, and confirmation of the rights of man, and in send forth their products upon the wide the result of one of the most important world, from the mouth of the Mississippi. experiments of human society which the
It may also be seen presumptively, world has ever witnessed-all who can from the nature of man, that the sudden appreciate the worth of civil and religious peopling of such a region, from such freedom, may justly be called upon to motives, is likely to leave the arts of look to and to guard that sacred encivilization and the means of intellectual trenchment of freedom, which is so unexand moral culture as much in the rear, pectedly and so evidently put in peril. as its own amazing and nonatural growth The writer of this article is able to say, is in advance of the ordinary progress of from his certain knowledge, and from an society. A mighty flood of population is expenditure of deep sympathy on this seen abandoning schools, and churches, subject, that the Lane Seminary, at Cin. and all the multiplied advantages of a cinnati on the Ohio, now in the cradle of long established and improved state of its infancy, has been brought into being society, and plunged into a vast wilder- by the best of counsels and the best of ness, where the intellectual, and social, feelings - and that, in his judgment, there and moral advantages they have sacri- is no single effort of the kind, combining ficed, are to be created, they know not so many advantages for the redemption how, nor when. And they easily and and salvation of the Valley of the Missoon learn to be content without them. sissippi-provided it can be adequately And it nobody cares for them but them- endowed and furnislied, and adequately selves, it requires no prophet's ken to patronized.
The Subscriber begs leave to say, that portance yet unprovided for--and it will he does not obtrude this subject on the be most grateful. What you do for us, British public, as being under the con is not so much less for yourselves. It is straint of a mission of solicitation- for it so much more for the world.
Indeed, would be far more convenient to himself, the more we do for those at a distance, personally, to be excused from the office the more are we disposed to help those -although he thinks it worthy of any nearer home. man's devotion-yet, being urged by an As Lane Seminary is properly an acaimperious sense of duty to diecharge an demico-theological institution, all books errand incidentally committed to bis within the range of Latin, Greek, and trust, he hopes, and is disposed to per. Hebrew literature-all books of pure suade himself, from the intrinsic, and as and general learning -- all books proper it seems to him, the self-evident merits to a public theological library – in a word, of the appeal, that it will meet with a all books suited to the accomplishment of favourable regard. It does seem to him a liberal education, and to a preparation so much a common cause with all who are for the Christian ministry, will be of eslooking, and hoping, and praying for a sential service. Any books or apparatus better state of the world, that he is un- adapted to the different departments of willing to suppose the appeal will be sent natural philosophy will be useful. back as belonging only to citizens of the Donations to this object, with proper United States. Should not Christians directions, may be deposited at the house feel, as their Master has declared, that of the London Missionary Society, Austin “ the field is the world ?"
Friars; or by the Rev. Calvin Cotton, The question is not whether the Valley 38, Sidmonth Street, Gray's lun Road. of the Mississippi is able to take care of itself? It is decided that it will not. And Christians, in the Atlantic states, seeing AXADDRESS FROM THE SOCIETE EVANGéand feeling that they must stand' or fall LIQUE OF GENEVA TO THE CHURCHES, with the great western valley, are now UNIVERSITIES, AND FAITHFUL BRErousing up all their energies to save that THREN OF PROTESTANT region. And it is by the East, that the redeeming power attempted to be organ
Geneva, Sept. 10, 1831. ized and applied to the West, is prin THE Société Evangélique of Geneva, cipally sustained. Every thing which can composed of ministers and members of be done, will be done, and is doing. But the Reformed Church of that city, desires the work is great, the necessity urgent, to apprize all the Reformed Churches, and the remedy, if it come in season, through the medium of this address,, of must come speedily. Finding no small the foundation of a school of theology, portion of the population of that new which will be opened to students of all region made up of European emigrants, denominations of Christians. it seems but a matter of justice to say to The Association deems it right to exChristians in Europe :-Will you help to plain briefly the principles which it has save your own people ?– But we will not adopted, and the motives which govern speak of it as a claim of justice, nor as a it. saggestion of proprieiy. We would ra 1. The course of instruction in the ther rest the cause on a more generous school will be founded on the only inprinciple :- You have books. Your world fallible declarations, those of the Word is a great factory of books. We have of God, and will be conformable, in all little time to make them. You, that are the essential points of Christianity, to anthors, give us a copy, or a triplicate the doctrines of the Church of Geneva, of your productions. You that have li as settled according to the Holy Scripbraries, standing undisturbed upon the tures, at the period of the Reformation. shelves, from year to year, think how To point out more expressly the views many volumes you can spare, and neither it entertains of the topics which have your own minds or purse, nor the minds been lately a matter of controversy, viz. or purses of your heirs, bé the poorer for those which regard the grace of God, it. And we assure you the world shall the nature of the Saviour, the work be richer. And every day some American which he effected, and that which he youth, aspiring after knowledge and a still carries on for the salvation of his fitting for usefulness, as he opens the people, the Association declares its volume, will recognize, with grateful re strict adherence to the doctrines which membrance, the name of the donor. the Protestant Churches of Holland,
You that have money, endow us a pro- England, Scotland, France, and Ger fessorship-as there is one of great inn- many profess with one accord in their