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that no regulation shall be made in any wise to control the religious principles, or affect the rights of conscience, of any person whatsoever ; and provided further, that such bye-laws, rules, and regulations, be not repugnant to the constitution and laws of the United States, or of this State.

$ 6. And be it further enacted, That this act be, and is, hereby declared to be a public act; and shall be construed in all courts and places benignly and favorably for every purpose therein intended.

$ 7. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be and re. main in force and virtue for the term of twenty-five years, provi ded, nevertheless, that, if the said Society shall appropriate their tunds, or any part thereof, to any purpose or purposes other than those intended and contemplated by this act, or shall at any time pass any law or regulation affecting the rights of conscience, that thenceforth said corporation shall cease, and be void ; and provided, further, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the Legislature at any time, in their discretion, within the said period, from altering or repealing this act.

At a subsequent meeting of the Board at North Norwich, the act of incorporation was read and approved. The Society directed their President to present the thanks of the Society to Brn. Wakeley and Olmsted, for their faithful and assiduous services in obtaining the act of incorporation. They then proceeded to the choice of officers. The Society then voted to adjourn, to meet at Delphi, on

. the Wednesday after the 3d Lord's day in February next.

The new Board met immediately, and appointed missiona. ries for the term of seventy-four weeks.

Having now approached the period when the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York was formed, the object of which was so intimately connected with the prosperity of domestic and foreign missions, we shall proceed to give a brief account of its rise and progress. In doing this, we shall draw, without reserve, from documents already published, what may serve our purpose, both in fact and language. We deem it advisable to present, in a consecutive and unbroken view, the origin, character, and present state, of the institution.



This institution seems to have had its origin in the necessities of the churches ; and it now occupies an elevation to which, it is believed, God has called it by the increasing demands of his churches and his cause.

This interesting feature of its history will be readily discovered by tracing its course from its origin to the present time. In the year 1817 the Baptist denomination in this State numbered about three hundred and ten churches, two hundred and thirty ministers, and twenty-eight thousand members. The character of the ministry, at and before that time, is too well known to need description. Their godliness, their zeal for the truth in its purity, their laborious fidelity, and their success in winning souls for Christ, “will be had in everlasting remembrance." Especially now it is needless for the pen of eulogy to record their praise, while so many hearts still beat among us, on which, as “ living epistles," are written their “letters of commendation,” the memory of their worth. But with this just tribute to their excellence must be coupled the acknowledge. ment, that, in those important aids which human learning and intellectual culture afford to the servants of the gospel, they were comparatively deficient. This they deeply realized, and felt the importance of having something done to aid those who were coming forward to engage in the ministry. At the period above mentioned, there were, in the entire State west of the Hudson river, only three ministers who had received a collegiate education. Meantime the cause of general educa. tion was advancing. Light was more and more diffused throughout the community; the public mind was becoming more intelligent, and the public taste more refined ; the advo. cates of error, from its most tolerable to its most fearful form, were bringing increased resources to its defense ; and the

whole business of a religious instructor, both in the church and in the world, was becoming more complicated and difficult. The work of missions had also been going on for years with increasing success. There was an imperious call for “ able ministers of the new testament,” both at home and abroad. To meet this demand, God was raising up young men for the ministry in many of the churches: but no provision had been made for their education,

Under these circumstances, a few friends of the Savior felt the importance of doing something to aid these youths in their preparation for the work before them.

God seemed to be speaking in the necessities of his cause, and calling on them to engage in this enterprise. For the better accomplishment of the object, “The Baptist Education Society of the State of New York” was formed, on the 24th of Sept., 1817. It consisted, at first, of only thirteen persons, each of whom subscribed to pay $1 annually. Although some minor amendments have since been made to the consti. tution of the Society, its fundamental principles remain unaltered. The simple and exclusive object of the organi. zation, was, the improvement of the Christian ministry. Its funds are specifically appropriated to the aid of indigent and approved candidates, and none are admitted to participate in its benefits except such as have obtained the approbation of the churches, and furnish continued evidences of personal piety and a call to the gospel ministry. These are essential features in the plan of this Society. It was founded in the belief that God selects his own ministers; and no measure contravening this principle can be admitted, without sacrifi. cing the confidence of the churches, Whenever it shall be the means of raising up a graceless ministry to take the oversight of the flock, it will have lost its original character, and merited the reprobation of the people of God.

The winter following its formation, a number of young men applied for assistance, the first of whom was our Br. Wade, now a devoted laborer on Burman shores : Br. Kin. caid entered soon after. He became a member of the same class with Br. Wade, whom he soon followed to the same field of labor, to exhibit the same intrepid fidelity in his Master's • service, and to reap the same glorious reward in souls won from heathenism for Christ and for heaven. The divine blessing which attends and prospers the labors of such men, seems in the nature of a sanction to the means employed to prepare them for the work. For two years the students were taught by private instruction and at academies; but in the spring of 1820 a Literary and Theological Institution was opened in the village of Hamilton, Madison Co., for the education of all under the patronage of the Society, and such as might afterwards be received. In its infancy, with little experience and less means, it was unable to go far in opening the fountains of science and theology, and in giving to an unexpected number of young men that mental culture and pecuniary aid which were desirable; nor, indeed, were many of its beneficiaries, on account of their advanced age, and other cir. cumstances, prepared for anything more than a limited course. As the Institution has advanced, these difficulties have diminished, and circumstances have increased its opportunities for efficient action, and enhanced its corresponding responsibilities. The same intimations of the Divine pleasure, which encouraged the original formation of the Institution, have from time to time required the farther extension of its plan and the multiplication of its means of usefulness. The whole course of study, at first adopted, embraced a period of only three years; some time after it was extended to four, and now occupies six, years. The course is divided into four years for collegiate and two for theological studies. The time required for a complete education, at common colleges and theological seminaries, is seven years. By the arrangement at Hamilton, therefore, a year is saved to each student; and in the education of a hundred young men a hundred years of ministerial labor are secured to the church and to the world. This saving of time is made, it is believed, without the sacrifice of any amount of the mental discipline and theological knowledge essential to a thorough education. The unity of plan, and the harmony of

operation, which, in that institution, 'combine the collegiate and theological studies into one single and complete course, present advantages to the students there, -superior, perhaps, to any that can be furnished at our common colleges and seminaries in their separate conditions.

It will be understood that the extension of the classical course does not supersede a limited one, embracing English

and theological studies, adapted to the circumstances of young men for whom the other would not be advisable. Four years are allowed to complete this course ; and those who enter upon it, somewhat advanced in the common English branches, may do it in less time.

This is regarded by the Faculty as an important branch of the Institution, and to the young men who prefer taking it, every facility is afforded for prosecuting it with success.

An Academic department has also been organized, comprising a course of two years for preparatory studies. The same facilities for redeeming time are afforded here. Un. der the vigilant culture of the principal and his assistants, a student in that department will accomplish a greater amount of preparation for his higher course, in one year, than he would at an ordinary academy in a much longer time.

The entire plan, then, embraces that of an ordinary academy, college, and theological seminary-so united as to save more than a year from the whole, and so harmonizing and mutually aiding each other as to furnish the means of a more thorough theological education than are usually found elsewhere.

To meet the increasing necessities of the Institution, the Faculty has from time to time been enlarged, and now embraces eight instructors, who are aided, as they need, by efficient assistants.

Although the organization of this Institution is such as to provide for the whole course of ministerial education, both literary and theological, and in this respect differs from all others in the country, its managers have constantly dis. claimed any aim at originality. They appear at all times to have watched, with humble yet wise fidelity, the indications of Providence, and have uniformly endeavored to bring to bear upon its interests the experience of former times, the increasing light of science, the combined wisdom of the age, and the continued developements of the counsels of grace. The Institution is located on a farm of one hundred and seventy acres in the village of Hamilton. Its site is eligible and commanding. Nature has done much for the bold and beautiful hill on which the buildings have been erected, and rendered it capable of improvement to an almost unlimited extent. It overlooks the fertile valley in which

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