Baptist Education Society

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Constitution

By-Laws

Beneficiaries

Trustees

54th Meeting

Report of the Board

Treasurer Report

The Alumni Association

Necrology for 1870-1

Madison University

Hamilton Theological Seminary

Courses of Study

General Remarks

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REPORT OF THE BOARD.

To the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York:

CHRISTIAN BRETHREN:This is the Fifty-fourth Annual Meeting of your Society; and your Board of Trustees now come to give an account of their labors during the year just closed, together with a statement of the present condition and prospects of your Society, and of the Institution it has for so many years labored to sustain.

We are grateful to God that we are able to say that prosperity has attended our efforts, and that the interests of your Society were never, on the whole, in a more healthy condition. And still our rejoicing is mingled with sadness. Within the year past

DEATH

has claimed two aged and honored laborers in our workRev. Daniel Putnam and Deacon Erastus Vilasboth Vice-Presidents of your Board. For many years they were the firm and steadfast friends of the Society, contributing largely by their counsel and means to its interest and efficiency. Nor did their interest abate when the weight of years and impaired health prevented their attendance at your meetings. Let God be thanked for the lives and labors of these two good men.

We cannot pass without a word of affectionate remembrance of Rev. Wm. Clarke, who, "having served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep" but a few months since.

Though Mr. Clark was not at the time of his decease a member of your Board, yet for most of his ministerial life he had served in that capacity, and a truer man we have not knownwise in counsel, warm in heart; not merely a life, but a live, living member of your Society. So located that he could be present at most of the meetings of the Boardhis presence was always welcomed, his judgment accepted, and his absence deplored. For the first time now for many years we miss his genial face and friendly greeting at the Anniversary of the Society. May a double por-

 

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tion of his spirit and wisdom be given to each member of your Board. Mention should also be made of the death of Philo W. Sackett, a highly respected and beloved member of the present graduating class in the College.

ADDITIONS

of much value have been made during the year, both to the library and museum. The former has been enriched by the gift of about five hundred volumes of very valuable works from Jas. B. Colgate, Esq., of New York. These, with the works that have been purchased within the year, add much to the value of the library. The fine collections of shells and other curiosities added to the museum, greatly increase its attractiveness and value.

INSTRUCTION.

In the Theological Seminary--in the College and the Grammar School, the chairs of instruction are all filled as last year, with the same competent and enthusiastic Teachers. To speak of the Professors individually in the various departments--of their fitness for, and their zeal and success in their work, would be quite superfluous; and yet your Board feel that they cannot withhold an expression of their gratitude to God for His guiding hand, in placing Dr. Dodge in the Presidential Chair of the University.

Every month and every service tends only to reveal those qualities of mind and of heart which so eminently fit him for the responsible position. His administration of the affairs of the school is one of entire success. With a President second to no other, and such coadjutors as he has, the school has been most successfully conducted.

The Faculty also bear gratifying testimony to the ability and marked devotion of the young men to their work. With rare exceptions their deportment and application have been all that could be desired.

There seems also to have been among the students a revival of that missionary spirit which for so many years was the glory of your Institution.

STUDENTS.

In the Theological Seminary there are eighteen young men, with the prospect of a gratifying increase for the nest term. The number of students in the Seminary has not been as large as

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could be desired, yet when it is borne in mind that ours is only a two years' course in Theology, while most other Seminaries have a three years' course, the number of students in Theology here is not so much below other schools, as might at first be supposed. Here they are fitted for their work in the shortest possible time and sent into the field to labor. It should be remembered that of two Institutions graduating precisely the same number of students, the one having, a three years' course will show numerically upon its catalogue one-third more students than the one having a course of but two years. Nor should it be forgotten that here at Hamilton students for the Ministry are nearly one year further advanced in the University than in most other colleges, so that the Ministerial student, who has taken his Collegiate and Theological course at Madison University sustains no loss, (so far as his studies are concerned,) in comparison with the man of the ordinary college course, and then three years in Theology.

Your Board are becoming more and more impressed with the conviction that the two years' course is all-sufficient, especially for our own graduates, and that instead of being spurned, it is yet to become an element of popularity and of power in your school. Young men are in a hurry, indeed everybody is in a hurry, and ought to be when a world is perishing. Moreover many of our best and wisest men, pastors, men of business, scholars and students, feel that a three years' course for graduates, especially if thorough students, is not necessary--that it is not only expensive, but that it keeps them (in view of life's brevity) quite too long from the field of labor.

In the College there are one hundred and six students. In the

Grammar School there are sixty-six. These are nearly all Baptists. The whole number preparing for the Ministry is one hundred and forty.

The Grammar School is in a flourishing condition, and yet it is a question whether it may not be made still more efficient and popular, by adding one year to its course o」 study, and, if possible, so organizing and arranging its classes and studies as to be better adapted to fitting young men for various business callings in life.

THE SPECIAL COURSE,

as it is called, organized two years ago expressly to meet the necessities of a class of men called of God to preach, when age

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and other circumstances seem to forbid an extended course of study, is becoming a very important branch of ministerial training and supply, as connected with your Institution, and is meeting the highest expectations of its friends. Last year, (the first of its history,) we reported ten members. We now have twenty-two on the list, and truth compels us to say, that so far as talent and application to their work is concerned, this class compare most favorably with the same number taken promiscuously from any other department of the school.

In some respects indeed, they excel. They come here with one object, viz.: to fit themselves in the least possible time for the work of the Master. Most of them have families--are from twenty-five to forty years old--have preached more or less--and they deeply feel the need of such assistance and culture as this Special Course brings within their reach. In some cases it is deeply interesting to see with what tenacity they grapple with their studies. With them life is a reality, and their work is a reality--they feel that not an hour or an opportunity is to be lost, and so they enter upon their work with a will. Then, too, many of them are men of thought when they enter the school. Several of these, too, are supplying churches to very great acceptance. Among them we find men from the farm and the counterfrom the shop and the stageform the chair editorial and from the bar.

It is the firm conviction of your Board that the organization of this class is one among the important movements of the day.

It is true it is yet in its incipiency, and your Board are not fully prepared to say what particular changes (if any) may be necessary to perfect the organization so auspiciously commenced. It requires time, wisdom and means, to give it its full measure of success.

In this class we find no exception to the rule, not many mighty, not many noble are called; some have means of their own, but the large proportion need material aid.

It is gratifying to know that our people are coming to feel a deep interest in the success of this new department. It is hoped that means may be furnished so that encouragement may be given to every worthy applicant for aid.

Col. Morgan L. Smith, of Newark, N. J., has set an example in his contributions to this department, worthy of special notice, and

of which we made mention a year ago, and we hope soon to be able to add, "His zeal hath provoked many."

He now proposes to do what may be set down as one of the noblest deeds of the age, viz., to make permanent provision for the support of at least twenty-five men in this special course at one hundred and fifty dollars each annually, thus supporting during the period of their studies for the ministry twenty-five men every year, until God's mighty angel, standing upon the sea and upon the earth, shall lift his hand to heaven, and swear by Him that liveth for ever and ever that "time shall be no longer."

When we take into account the conditions of this bounty and the character of the men who are to be the recipients of it, we may almost challenge the world to cite a deed of benevolence promising greater good to the world than this. No finite mind can take a measurement of the final result of the labors of the men thus encouraged, equipped and sent forth to their Master's work. "And how shall they preach except they be sent?"

FINANCES.

While it has been the purpose of your Board not to turn away a single worthy applicant for aid, it has also been their aim to avoid a debt. To keep within this purpose on both sides, (aiding all who are worthy and needy, and yet not exceed our means, and at the same time carry through this year of stringency in the money market the largest number of Beneficiaries ever aided by your Society in any one year,) has taxed the Executive Committee of your Board with more than usual anxiety and labor.

It has been found also that the endowment raised two years ago for the University has to quite an extent interfered with collections for the work of the Education Society. Many pastors, having pledged for themselves or their churches a given amount on the endowment fund, have for the last two years devoted the collections of their churches for educational purposes to the liquidation of their endowment pledges. It is hoped however that in the course of a year or two more, these obligations will all be cancelled and the contributions flow again in the usual channel.

Within the year, from all sources (exclusive of income on permanent scholarships) there has been received on Beneficiary account and current expenses the sum of $16,837.10. The amount paid to Beneficiaries, exclusive of the income on University and Soldiers' Scholarships, is $13,712.62.

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Three hundred and twenty-nine churches have contributed to the funds of your Society the present year. Every Association in the State but three is represented in these contributions.

The New Jersey Baptist Education Society, and the North Orange Baptist church, N. J., continue their liberal donations.

In compliance with the expressed wish of the Vermont State Baptist Convention your secretary visited that State in behalf of Ministerial Education, spending some four weeks in the Statewas most cordially receivedand found a general readiness on the part of both pastors and churches to aid in the support of the young men from that State. At the present time sixteen of the young men from that State are on our Beneficiary list. These have within the year been aided to the amount of $2,113.03--of this amount $1,236.10 has been furnished by the churches of Vt.

LABORS OF AGENTS.

Soon after the last annual meeting, Rev. J. N. Folwell, who had labored for the Society for most of the previous year in the city of New York and vicinity, found his health insufficient for the work, and resigned.

Rev. Mr. Blanden, who was in the service of the Society last year, labored only a part of the time up to February, and then closed his labors.

Rev. M. L. Bennett has labored through the year, most of the time in the western and south-western part of the State. It was not expected that his collections in that part of the State would be large; still, as the friends of Hamilton in that region desired the labors of an agent, it was deemed advisable to comply with their request. The result of his labors, it is believed, justify his appointment to this service. With the large majority of our churches, Ministerial Education is the object more likely to be omitted in the benevolent work of the church than many others, though in this respect there has been a marked improvement within the last four or five years. Still the necessity of some agency service is indispensable if the churches are generally to be brought to feel an interest in this work, and regularly contribute to its funds.

Nor is the importance of this service likely to be over-estimated. The mere amount of money raised on the field is the

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smallest part of what needs to be done, and of what really is done, if the laborer is in all respects adapted to his work, and is faithful in the service. There needs to be yearly a very large increase of living interest awakened on the subject of Ministerial Education and Supply. It is sad to think of the large number of faithful and honored pastors who have been called from their fields of toil within the year past, and their vacant pulpits suggest the inquiry, "The Fathers, where are they? and the Prophets, do they live forever?" A supply of new recruits is demanded every year, not merely to fill the places rendered vacant by death and other causes, but also to go into the regions beyond. Churches every where must be led to feel more deeply on this subject, and pray more fervently "the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the harvest."

New hearts must every year be effectually stirred by the proper presentation of the claims of this great cause, so that our choice young men shall in large numbers be ready to stand up and say, "Here am I, send me."

New treasures of benevolence must be opened, to meet, in part at least, the necessities of the indigent, and methods of self-help suggested to young men whose hearts are being drawn towards the ministry. Thus in various. ways, and by every practicable means, should the scope and power of this great cause be made, annually and steadily, to enlarge. Nor should any one dream of abatement of interest or effort in this work until the "kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ."

CONCLUSION.

The history of your Institution should inspire every heart with faith and courage to work on. It affords a striking illustration of the wonder-working power of faith and perseverance. The thirteen kernels of corn planted in this goodly mountain fiftythree years ago have, under God, produced a glorious harvest, and although the inhabitants of Burmah and China, Africa, and the Islands of the sea, are to day being gathered to Christ through its influence, still it is believed that only a few sheaves have been gathered, compared with the harvest yet to come.

"By patient continuance in well-doing," we shall witness still more glorious results. The sixty seven Foreign Missionaries, and the more than fifteen hundred Ministers of the Gospel, who have

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here received their training for the work of the Master, are to be duplicated again and again. The work of this Institution is but just commenced. He who planted and has cared for it in all its, past history, and who has wrought for it such marvellous deliverances, having more than once brought to it light out of darkness, will not, while it remains true to him. and his truth, be likely to forsake it. Finally, then, as your Board submit their work, and resign their trust, they would urge every friend of the Institution to gird himself to new efforts in this cause, for this work of ministerial supply and culture, for which this school was planted, is preeminently of the Lord; and has he not said, "I the Lord, will hasten it in His time?"

Nor, as we think of what God has wrought through this Institution, and of what he is still doing, can we forbear to add as our parting wordLet the cherished sentiments, spirit, and work of the Institution continue as in the past, and no one possessed of reason to discriminate, and opportunity to judge, shall for a moment question its preeminent excellence. By the liberal and the unprejudiced, by the wise and the good, she must ever be regarded as a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of her God. All must perceive that for all the years of her history, God has been her shield and buckler, the impregnable fortress of her strength, and the lofty tower of her defence. As we do now, so will they, each for himself appropriate to her the spirit and homage of Isaiah's prophetic vow, "For Zion's sake" (Isaiah 62:1.) For Hamilton's sake will I not hold my peacenor rest.

And although her more brilliant accomplishments may be deferred to the days of millennial felicity and glory, then at least it will appear in the sight of men and of angels that "Her righteousness (influence) has gone forth as brightness, and salvation from her walls as a lamp that burneth."

H. A. SMITH,

Fin. and Cor. Secretary.

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