MORE LABORERS NEEDED.
PREACHED BEFORE THE ANNUAL MEETING
Society for the Increase of the Ministry,
CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY, BROOKLYN,
ON THE SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION DAY,
MAY 12TH, 1861.
BY THE RECTOR.
Published by Order of the Society.
ALMIGHTY GOD, our Heavenly Father, who of Thine infinite love hast given Thine only Son Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for the redemption of the world, we pray Thee to send forth more laborers into Thy Harvest. Stir up many faithful men to seek the Office and Ministry appointed for the salvation of mankind. Sanctify their hearts; enlighten their minds; guide and prosper them in their studies; train them in Thy heavenly nurture, and give them the abundance of Thy grace that they may become able Ministers of Christ.
Grant us Thy favor and blessing in working together for the increase of the Ministry of Thy Holy Church, and bring our labors to good effect. Breathe into our hearts a love of this sacred cause. Bless all who aid us by their prayers and offerings, and grant that both we and they may strive with one mind for thy glory and the salvation of men, that so the bounds of Thy blessed Kingdom may be enlarged to the breaking down of the kingdom of Sin, Satan and Death; till at length the whole of Thy dispersed sheep, being gathered into One Fold, shall become partakers of everlasting life by the merits and death of Jesus Christ our Saviour. AMEN.
"THE HARVEST TRULY IS PLENTEOUS, BUT THE LABORERS ARE FEW: PRAY YE THEREFORE THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, THAT HE WILL SEND FORTH LABORERS INTO HIS HARVEST." Matthew ix: 37, 38.
Multitudes to be instructed and few to instruct them; a world lying in wickedness, sleeping the sleep of spiritual death, and only here and there one to sound an alarm; a world in arms against God, ignorant, rebellious, selfish, despising authority, careless of truth, breaking covenants, full of strifes and envies, and only a few to act as the Lord's deputies in leading them back to obedience and concord; even the chosen people themselves brought into the same condemnation and yet their prophets, if not dumb, given over to a lie; sublime opportunities, and few or none to embrace them; the field, which was the world, white, in this sense, with the harvest, and yet scarcely a hand to thrust in the sickle and reap:--such were the [3/4] facts which prompted this language of the Saviour. At the time He spoke, He stood alone in the vast field. It was after meditating upon the world's great want, and with a momentary feeling of despondency, at the feeble means likely to be provided, that He called around Him for instruction, and then sent forth to teach, the twelve Apostles. Himself and the Twelve against the world! Verily the work was great and the workmen few. Such was the immense disparity between the common necessity and the means to meet it, at the beginning of the present order.
Ages have rolled away: the faith once delivered to the saints has been heard in many lands, and established in the hearts of many races. As the Church has extended her sway, the Ministry has been multiplied. The original Twelve, in the ordinary functions of the Apostolate, have been duplicated over and over, times without number, and so with the hosts of inferior teachers commissioned by their authority. As the Church has never been deprived of the proper channel for communicating Orders, so she has never been without means for recruiting the changing, wasting ranks of her Ministry. And yet, if to-day we survey the field, measure the work to be done in both hemispheres, and then turn to the laborers actually engaged, sickle in hand, we shall find the language of our Lord, as He beheld from Judea the boundless moral waste stretching out on all sides from Himself [4/5] and His few disciples, quite as appropriate now as when originally uttered. The proportion between the field and those who were to reap it may have altered. The Church had lived in vain, if it had not; and still so pressing is the need--so urgent the call for more laborers, especially on this continent, that besides exhorting her children to pray unto the Lord of the harvest, our own branch of the Church has, in obedience to a wise instinct, and with a growing sense of its present and future necessities, encouraged the formation, among other instrumentalities, of the Society concerning whose claims I am now to speak.
The importance of the work undertaken by this Society, the urgency of its appeal for sympathy and aid will appear, if we consider, from several points of view, the great want for which it aims to provide--that, namely, of a large and immediate increase of the Christian Ministry. [Vide Appendix.]
And, first, let us examine this want as it is related to the general interests of Society, interests upon which Ministerial influence is usually indirect and derivative. It will not be difficult to show that Society itself utters a voice upon this subject which ought not to pass unheeded. Society is, in too many ways, a beneficiary of the Gospel Ministry, too large a debtor to the Church, to be indifferent to the cause we are seeking [5/6] to advance. It demands at our hands more in the same kind in which it has already so largely received. It asks that all moral and spiritual forces represented by the Ministry shall be more vigorously applied along the whole line of its life. It welcomes the Church to a larger share in its task of development and reform. It invites from the Clergy a more pronounced and patient zeal in setting forth their commission to deal with the relative social obligations of mankind. It asks that the vacant ranks of an order of teachers to whom it is indebted for so many elements of power, so many sources of health, vigor and concord, shall be recruited from the best material, and at the earliest period. Let me ask you to study for a moment, the Ministry in its relations to Society--the work growing out of those relations, the opportunities for good afforded by them. This done, we shall be able to appreciate the instinctive desire of Society for more Priestly labor within its limits, and the consequent duty of the Church to provide it.
Society, or rather, to use the term expressive of all social activity and achievement, civilization has, on its moral side, always been largely in the hands of the Christian Priesthood. The Priesthood nurtures and enforces the active morality of mankind. It devotes itself primarily to the spread of Religion, and secondarily to the spread of every virtue that softens and adorns social life. It promotes peace, stimulates [6/7] benevolence, fosters brotherly love, lifts industry to the level of an obligation, and exhorts to honesty and purity in the sight of all men. It cements the bonds of international concord, and imposes upon the passions of rulers and subjects a mightier restraint than that of self interest. When true to its commission, all its persuasions and urgings are on the side of justice and order. The representative of the highest agencies for ameliorating human character, its very instincts render it the determined foe of everything that tends to vulgarize and debase social life. Intrusted, moreover, with the noblest themes for thought--themes demanding the free expansion of every sensibility of the heart and faculty of the mind, it spontaneously affiliates with all that promises to unseal the resources and emancipate the powers of the soul. It is and must be the friend of all healthful activity, and therefore of all legitimate progress. As the tutor of the conscience, as the Divinely accredited religious instructor of mankind, it must seek to remove every impediment to its work, and therefore must co-operate with every suitable means for educating the moral and mental intelligence of the race.
But, I add, the Christian Minister, is also a Minister of civilization, because it belongs to his calling to be a man of ideas and principles, rather than one of mere maxims and mechanical routine, founded upon private fancies or theoretical quackery. His functions keep him close to the fountain of truth. He brings down, [7/8] from his communion with the forms of the Divine administration, the principles which should govern all spheres of life. He receives fresh from God, and not through the crooked, half-lighted avenues of the human brain, truths which are of ultimate authority to every department of life. Amid the engrossments of material interests, he keeps alive--by his office, his example and teaching--the sense of spiritual things. He awakens and expands the dormant energies of faith, and binds the soul of man to the invisible and eternal. He pleads for and maintains conditions of moral and intellectual life, without which literature and science would be shorn of their power, and deprived of the incentives to their cultivation. The guardian of the highest order of moral conceptions, he is also most truly the guardian of the gravest interests of mankind.
With respect to the civil order, and all other external interests of Society, the influence of the Christian Priesthood is not now, as to the mode of its exercise, what it once was. In early and rude stages of Society, government has resolved itself practically into a modified theocracy, wherein the Priest was the chief ruler and civilizer. Such was the case during the darker of the middle ages. The Priesthood then directed civil affairs, acted as the depositary of knowledge, and mediated between the several social orders. Now its influence is different in form, though not less real and positive, The tendency, since the Reformation, has [8/9] been to define and separate the spheres of Church and State--of the Priest, as distinguished from the man of letters, the lawgiver, the citizen. Still though the Priest no longer serves as magistrate, diplomatist, or legislator, he reaches those who do serve in such capacities. Society looks, as much as ever, to him, in its times of peril, as well as in its times of tranquillity. It surrenders to him, as much as ever, the most solemn affairs of individual and public life; because to him, more than to any one else, belong the depths of the human soul, whence proceed those enthusiasms which are the seeds of all great revolutions in the life of states. Now, as a body, the Clergy have, in all great issues affecting the social and political welfare of mankind, been the steadfast advocates of knowledge, rational liberty, and true progress. Whatever force there is in the principles of Christianity, tending to harmonize, and, at the same time, to preserve in their needful vigor the two heretofore rival and clashing, yet necessary elements of state life--public authority and individual right--has been, as a rule, faithfully applied.
Again, the Clergy have done more for Society than they usually have credit for, through their contributions to the well-being of the people, viewed in their relations to civil government. An intelligent and contented citizenship is impossible, except as it is built upon the whole nature of man, and is assured of proper provision [9/10] for all the wants of that nature--wants of body, mind and soul. Now, it is the work of the Clergy to provide for the wants of the soul; and, if they do their task well, they will make it easier to provide for the wants of the body and the intellect, as well as those which grow up out of the social principle. They minister to necessities of human nature too profound to be reached by civil enactments, too delicate to be touched by the authority of magistrates, too radical to be left without the care of an Order whose very commission binds them to the duties of habitual philanthropy. They are the sons of consolation, the heralds of that peace which no political economy can give or take away. They multiply those satisfactions which are most stable and influential, and insinuate a patient and tranquil temper into those regions of life, which are closed against all other than spiritual appliances. Supposing the general power and knowledge and civil privilege of the people to be what they are, what would citizenship be, if deprived of these contributions to its moral and spiritual life? What else than a superstructure without a foundation, a body without a soul.
Wisely, justly, then, does Society demand an increase of Priestly labor; and consequently an increase of laborers. It presents a field white with the harvest; and looks in vain for the needed hand to thrust in the sickle and reap. It would rejoice to see an altar reared, and a Priest sent wherever there are souls to [10/11] gather around them. In many a secluded spot, on the borders of the wilderness, among the mountains and the prairies, as well as in the crowded thoroughfares of cities, it begs for living teachers of God's truth, who, while they shall proclaim the tidings of salvation through Christ, shall also bring to bear the sanctions of Religion upon all secular duties and callings; restraining the passions by educating the conscience; promoting loyalty and obedience to law by inculcating clearer notions of the moral foundations of civil authority; and enlisting upon the side of order, justice, and moderated liberty the unstable and imperious temper of masses of men habituated by our Democratic system to the possession of power; while despising the only checks and safeguards, which can render the use of power safe to themselves, or salutary to the commonwealth.
But leaving the interests of Society, I would ask you to contemplate the subject from within the precincts of the Church, and in immediate connection with the work assigned the Church by her eternal Head. And here, I remark, first, that the Church demands an increase of her Ministry, even though she were not to conquer another rod of territory, to build another sanctuary, or organize another parish. With her present rate of supply, she cannot maintain the existing average of her ministrations, nor hold effectually the ground already occupied. She must have more [11/12] Clergy, or do less work. As things have been going until very lately, there will soon be within her borders many a half turned furrow, many a ploughed but unplanted field, many a shepherdless flock, many a voiceless pulpit, many a deserted temple. Nay, why should lr speak of what will be? Such signs of weakness and apathy are now before us. The number of flocks has already exceeded the number of Pastors. Parish Churches are this day vacant; and a hundred altars may be found on which the bread of life has not been broken for months. We scarcely make good our losses. Sickness, age, death, and other causes which I may not here characterize as they deserve, well nigh keep even step with our means of supply. The printed lists of Clergy afford no correct idea of the number actually engaged in the duties of the Ministry. Some have been called to labor in Training Schools, Colleges and Theological Seminaries; turning their talent to the great work of Christian education; some have devoted themselves to the grave duties of the Religious press; some are disabled; and some are either unemployed, or have entirely withdrawn their hands from the plough, for reasons, which a more rigid ecclesiastical discipline would not tolerate. As for our own Communion, the latest statistics show that we have about twenty-two hundred Parishes, and scarcely two thousand effective parochial Clergy.
Now a stationary Church, a Church that is content to [12/13] stand still, that acquiesces in its poverty of laborers, has forgotten its commission. A stationary Church, while everything about it is moving, is a dying Church. A stationary Church burlesques the object for which the Church was created. But into no such evil case have we fallen. Evidences are at hand, and the labors of this Society are among them, to show that we appreciate the necessity of resolved and concerted action to remedy the want from which we suffer. The insensibility exhibited years ago on this subject--the carelessness in regard to special means for filling the vacant ranks of the Clergy--the prevalent inclination to let the growing necessity and its own answer--all this has consciously yielded to a nobler purpose, or has dissolved under the friction of those vast tides of population which have surged by the gates of our Zion.
But if the present rate of Ministerial increase be insufficient to enable the Church to hold its own, what shall be said of it when we come to estimate the proper equipment of an aggressive, conquering Church? And with any other, as working Christians, we cannot be content. This question discloses, at once, the magnitude of the task undertaken by this Society in behalf of our own branch of the Church.
An aggressive Church--a Church moving steadily onward to the subjugation of a rebellious world, preparing at every point to attack the powers of evil, and dethrone the Prince of darkness;--a church verifying [13/14] in all its plans its claim to be the militant host of Christ; its every member, whether priest or layman, a soldier armed with the spiritual weapons of truth and righteousness;--a Church not only fortifying its present possessions, and gathering the fruit of past victories, but pushing its columns forward, and kindling its camp fires around the citadels of heathenism:--such a Church alone realizes the ideal of Scripture, verifies the words of prophecy, redeems the promises, executes the charter given by its Head. The Catholic Church is no doctrinal abstraction, or vain tradition, but a real empire, destined to include all the world, and much more beyond it than we can know. Its root is in the mind of God;--its full historic counterpart somewhere in the future. Wherever it has life, it strives to be what it was designed. Obstacles only develop its energy; resistance only tries its courage; defeat only invigorates its patient determination. Now, it is for such a Kingdom, to meet the necessities of such a plan, that more laborers are demanded. How many more, it were only discouraging to all efforts now being made, to enumerate. I shall not enter upon any statistical computation of the work this day devolved upon the Church at home or abroad, nor allude to the new and Providential openings for Christian enterprise.
Figures neither of arithmetic, nor imagination can calculate spiritual necessities. It is enough to know that nearly one half the globe has yet to hear the
[14/15] first tidings of the Gospel, to see the first priest and ambassador of the Lord Jesus; while the other half is in many regions only nominally, and in all only imperfectly, under Christian sway. [Events now transpiring and fast passing over into History show how imperfectly what is called Christendom has been Christianized. The Gospel of peace bids fair to be lost amid the din and rush of embattled hosts. The old passions of the human heart clamor to regain their empire of anarchy and violence. It is now seen that the powers of evil only lay sleeping around the hidden throne of their leader: that, instead of having been permanently subjugated, they have been only waiting an opportunity to renew the conflict. War, however palliated or justified, is at best one of the fruits, as it is one of the instruments, of a fallen nature. And the readiness, the haste with which nearly all portions of the race are rushing into it on one pretext and another, (for war is an accepted fact, or regarded as certainly at hand in more than two-thirds of the Christian world to-day,) proves how hollow and delusive has been much of the vaunted moral progress of the past few hundred years.] It is enough to know that, within the existing limits of Christendom, an incalculable amount of duty has yet to be done, in order to keep out an enemy that has only been driven over the lines of our camp, expelled not subdued, silenced not killed. Myriads of altars are to be set up and ministering Priests to be planted beside them. Schools, Asylums, Hospitals, and all the thousand appliances of instruction and charity, needful for the edification of the body of Christ, have yet to be provided in numbers, that the most foresighted have not thought of. And, then, if to the force needful for the effectual occupancy of the field already claimed by the Church, be added [15/16] the force necessary to carry on the Missionary work with credit even to the present low conception of duty, we shall begin to see how inconsiderable, as compared with the urgency of the case, are all the time, labor and means yet given to the cause now in hand.
[It has been thought by some that the Press would do much to relieve the Church of the demand for an increase of living teachers. It is claimed that it has already acted as a substitute for them, in many quarters where they could not be had. We are often reminded of the immense service which the Press has rendered to modern Christianity; nor are we disposed to underrate this' service. It has given the Church a voice which pierces all lands--is heard as well, amid the long twilights of polar climes, as amid the silence of tropical deserts. It has created the present stupendous machinery for the circulation throughout the world of Bibles and Tracts, and all the various issues of Religious literature. Whatever can be done for the great work of the Church by printing, circulating, and reading, has been attempted. But still, as facts show, the necessity for the living Minister has in no degree been superseded. The art of printing has rather increased this necessity. The more Bibles the world has, the more expositors will the world require. Mankind need nurture as well as knowledge--a regulative of the will, as well as truth for the mind and heart; organized institutions as well as books; the Church in all its fullness of provision for Preaching, Worship, and Sacraments as well as Bibles and Tracts. To this end there must be a Priesthood wherever Christianity takes root. What was true of the infancy of the Church is true of its maturity. Its power of conquest lies in its Ministry proclaiming and applying the contents of its Written Record. Whatever the service, therefore, performed by the Press in diffusing a knowledge of the truth, one of its results has been to increase, not diminish the need of Clergy.]
But it enters into the design of this Society, not only to increase the Ministry, but to elevate the tone of the Ministry. The Church wants not only more men, but [16/17] more manhood; not only more Priests, but more of the distinctive moral power of the Priesthood; not only more candidates for Holy Orders, but more of that labor loving spirit in candidates, which shall stir pa and replenish the gift to be committed to them in their Ordination. I would breathe no impeachment, utter no censure of the Ministry now on the stage. It has done much, and in many regards done nobly. But we all know, and all will admit that it cannot claim to have worked up to the limits of its capability. We all confess that there is room for improvement; and, if true to our vocation, earnestly pray for it, Even the judgment of charity cannot hide the fact, that the Church is not seldom called to mourn over the cold and halting tongues which proclaim her message of salvation to a dying world, and the torpid sinews of a Pastorate which has that of Christ Himself for its original.
There is much complaint in some quarters of the slow methods, and in others of the timid, temporizing spirit of the Church. It is urged, that she fails to use her eminent advantages, or to set forth influentially her great characteristics. It is charged that she is lacking in enterprise, that she lags behind the intense activities and great movements of the age; that she is wanting in the glowing zeal, the quick, resolute energy, and patient faith of the true Missionary spirit. To silence this complaint, to meet these and kindred charges, [17/18] without spending time in debating how far they are true--to do this, whatever else may be done, we must begin with the Ministry. W e must have not only, as was said before, more Priests but a higher Priestly spirit. Only give to the Church an adequate force of well trained Clergy, whose brains and hearts burn with Pentecostal fire, and throb with loyalty to the truth as it is in Jesus; men who will move forward or stand fast at the call of duty; men who will not shrink from a forlorn hope; men of severe method, and severer conscience who will regard their Ministry as a service which will be incomplete until consummated in some form of self-sacrifice:--once equip the Church with such a Priesthood, bearing with them, as they go forth, the inward call of a sanctified conscience as well as the outward call of the Church; and all other wants will soon be met--other difficulties will soon vanish. Rivers of living water will take the place of these stagnant cisterns. Each joint and limb of the Church will spontaneously obey the common movement, and the power of the Holy Ghost working in its own channels will do for us, what it has been too much our habit to expect from outward changes of policy and detail.
But I would now say farther, that the material for such a Priesthood is within us. Let us not doubt the Church in this regard until she has been tried. She may have a barren administration; but she is not [18/19] barren herself. To say that she is, were to profane her birthright. It is a law of her being that, with her original gifts, are handed on her original capabilities. The Church of to day is potentially the Church of the day of Pentecost. God is not more in nature, as a power of replenishment, than in the Kingdom of grace. The unwasting elements of the visible world are types of the undecaying staples of spiritual power in the Church. The coming Whitsuntide will refresh our memories, and brace our convictions as to the gifts originally deposited in the Church. Christ has never revoked His grant of power. On the contrary, we have His promise that He will dwell in His Church as the perpetual trustee of that power. We know, then, that the best Ministry ever raised up in the Church has its now dormant counterpart in her borders. What she has done, she can do again. The material of Priestly greatness is not exhausted. She can add to her calendar names that shall reflect the glory of the primitive age. But if this material be among us, why, it may be asked, has it not shown itself? I answer, simply because the tone of our general life has been too low to seek for it, or to use it if found. We have not made room for it. Schools, Colleges and Seminaries we have, indeed, provided; but we have taken no corresponding pains to fill them. We have suffered untold treasures of talent and piety to drift away from our control. Some of the best gifts of God have [19/20] languished and died in our midst; and our Institutions of learning have lived a dying life; and all for lack of some method like this which should search out needy, but devoted and gifted youths, and then pledge to them, as candidates for the Priesthood; the fostering care of our Christian wealth. I rejoice that a better day is dawning, that another feeling has begun to prevail; and that, henceforth, the Church will bring to this interest such discriminating and concerted action as becomes its magnitude. [Among the causes which have hindered the proper increase of the Ministry are the following: 1. Neglect of organized effort by the Church. 2. Neglect of Pastors to present the subject. 3. Neglect of Christian Parents. 4. Insufficient support of the Clergy. 5. Adverse influences arising from the temper of the times. With all, except the last, this Society deals directly or indirectly. The last must be met by the general teaching and labors of the Church.]
But to return to those words of our Saviour with which I began--"The harvest," which is the whole earth, “is great, the laborers are few." Without naming a plan, or proposing any special instrumentalities to remedy the want, without sending His disciples forth to labor with a direct view to meeting it; our Lord simply calls upon them, and through them upon us, to do that which is the fountain of all pious endeavor, the vehicle of all heavenly supplies--namely, to pray. "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth [20/21] laborers into His harvest;" that He will send them, because they cannot be self created, or sell commissioned; that He will send them, because He alone can fill them with the Holy Ghost and with power; that He will send them, because He alone can certify their work and gather up for eternity its living fruit. So while we inquire, counsel, give and toil for this end, let us first and last pray. So shall we have a Ministry which shall bring home the Jews, evangelize the heathen, drive their idols from the face of the whole earth, dethrone the powers of Anti-Christ, build up in the faith once delivered to the saints the whole body of believers, and prepare the way for the final triumph of the Cross.
CONSTITUTION OF THE SOCIETY.
ART. I. This Society shall be called the Society for the Increase of the Ministry.
ART. II. The object of this Society shall be to find suitable young men for the Ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and to aid them in acquiring a thorough clerical education.
ART. III. This Society shall consist of all persons who shall annually pay three dollars, or more; and any Clergyman shall be admitted a member who shall contribute to its funds by making a collection annually, in his congregation, or otherwise.
ART. IV. The Society shall, at its annual meeting, choose by ballot a President, Vice Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurer, and also a Board of Directors, consisting of the President, (who shall be its Chairman,) the Secretaries, and the Treasurer, ex officio, and not more than fifteen members by election. The Board shall have power to appoint Local Secretaries, to further the interests of the Society in their particular sections of the Church, and such other agents as they may deem expedient. They shall have power to fill vacancies, and make additional appointments; they shall make all appropriations of money, decide upon applications for aid, and do everything not contrary to this Constitution, which may be expedient and necessary to further the objects of the Society. They shall keep a record of their proceedings, and make a report thereof to the Society at its annual meeting. Six of their number shall constitute a quorum. They shall have power to appoint five or more of their number to act as an Executive Committee, whose proceedings shall be subject to ratification by the Board. All Officers of the Society shall hold over until their successors are appointed. Balloting may be dispensed with by a two-thirds vote.
ART. V. Any Bishop of the Church, signifying his willingness thereto, shall be entered as a patron on the published list of the Society.
ART. VI. All funds of the Society shall be deposited by the Treasurer, in such Banks as may be designated to him in writing by the Board of Directors; and he shall not pay out any moneys of the Society without a written order, signed by the acting Chairman and one of the other members of the Board. His accounts shall be audited and submitted to the Society at its annual meeting, and to the Board at any time they may require. The Board shall have power to remove the Treasurer.
ART. VII. No student shall be received or continued as a beneficiary of the Society, who shall not furnish to the Board of Directors satisfactory evidence as to his moral and intellectual fitness for the sacred Ministry. In deciding on the qualifications of beneficiaries, the Board are expected to act with the utmost prudence, under a deep sense of their responsibility, and in the fear of God.
ART. VIII. The annual meeting of the Society, to hear reports, elect officers and transact any other business which may be required, [22/23] shall be held at such time and place as shall be decided upon by resolution at the previous annual meeting, or, when no such resolution is passed, as shall be designated by the Board of Directors.
ART. IX. At all meetings of the Society, ten shall constitute a quorum, but a less number may adjourn.
ART. X. No alteration of this Constitution shall be made, except by vote of three-fourths of the members present at an annual meeting.
FURTHER ACTION AND ORGANIZATION.
The action thus begun was continued by enlisting sympathy and cooperation in every part of the Church of the United States. Many of the Bishops became patrons of the Society; and other Clergy, from all quarters, pledged their approval and their exertion in letters, extracts from which have been given in previous papers of the Society. It has been urged from the first that the Society knows no sectional objects or party purposes, but is organized as an institution of the whole and nothing less than the whole Church. At the same time, it acknowledges itself to be a voluntary organization, without the right to exclude other organizations, and with no design of interfering with local societies engaged in the same or a similar enterprise. It seeks to establish itself on a permanent basis, to deserve and to secure the confidence of the Church as something more than a temporary association, and so to conduct its affairs and discharge its responsibilities, as to be everywhere regarded in the light of a carefully, economically, and effectively administered institution.
The following By-Laws of the Board of Directors, adopted in 1859, exhibit the principles on which the work of the Society is carried forward.
1. A portion of the funds in the hands of the Treasurer shall always be reserved to meet outstanding liabilities.
2. The average maximum of appropriations shall be $1'15 per annum.
3. Beneficiaries receiving any considerable aid from other sources, shall receive from this Society only so much in addition, as to raise their means to our maximum.
4. Beneficiaries must present written testimonials from their pastors or other competent persons; they must be mature enough to be capable of forming a decisive resolution to devote themselves to the Ministry; they must be communicants of the Church. On being adopted by the directors, they will be placed on probation for such a time as the Board may deem desirable. Two or more persons, one being the pastor, shall be found to watch over each beneficiary, and report upon his conduct from time to time. In case the institution at which a beneficiary is placed, provides no proper pastoral relation, he is to report himself to a neighboring Rector as a member of his church, and he is to continue with the same church for at least a year. Misconduct, or want of satisfactory progress, or any decidedly unfavorable manifestation on the part of a beneficiary, shall subject him to [23/24] immediate suspension, and in case of his abandoning his preparation for the Ministry, the appropriations which he has received from the Directors will be considered as a debt due from him to the Society.
5. No name shall be placed on the list of beneficiaries, until the written answer of the applicant to the "Questions to Candidates," has been submitted to the Directors.
6. The Directors, and their Executive Committee, shall have discretionary power in all questions arising under these by-laws.
The Question to candidates, also above referred to, are the following:
1. Are you a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal Church?
Have you formed a decisive resolution to devote yourself to the Ministry? Please state your motives and purposes frankly and fully.
3. Will you present testimonials from your pastor, or other competent person, as to your fitness, physically, intellectually and morally, for the Ministry?
4. Have you any means of your own, or any which can be provided for you by your friends or your parish? Or have you any plan of providing partly for yourself, by teaching or otherwise, during your education?
5. How far has your education progressed?
6. Have you a choice as to your place of education?
7. You will please understand, firstly, that the Directors adopt no beneficiary, except upon the fullest testimonies in his favor; and, secondly, that every beneficiary is, at first, placed on probation.
A large number of candidates for assistance are upon the lists of the Society. Whether they shall receive what they ask for, depends, under God, upon the contributions of the Church for this its agency for the Increase of the Ministry. At least $10,000 may be said to be urgently needed to aid young men during the year beginning with April, 1861; but that the Society may appropriate this sum, or any part of it, liberal benefactions must be obtained from all sources.
The Constitution admits as members ail persons paying a yearly subscription of not less than three dollars. Clergymen may make the same payment, or they may take up a collection, or raise a subscription every year; or they may do both,--that is, subscribe for themselves and obtain contributions from others. Laymen, likewise, may serve the Society by raising subscriptions among their friends and fellow-parishioners, or within their respective dioceses. Women may contribute to it through their Sewing Societies and similar associations, and Sunday School children may aid the cause by devoting to it their offerings. The names and contributions of members may be forwarded to the Executive Committee, or to any of the Secretaries, or to the Treasurer. Sums collected in any diocese for the benefit of particular beneficiaries, may be remitted directly to the beneficiaries, receipts being forwarded to any of the officers as above.