Trinity Church, New-York, on the Evening of the Festival
of All-Saints, Monday, November 1, 1824.
of Trinity Church, New-York.
PRINTED BY T. AND J. SWORDS,
No. 99 Pearl-street.
THE General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, now commences its fourth year under its present organization. It devolving on me, agreeably to the established order, to deliver the introductory address, I have thought that it might be neither unsuitable to the occasion, nor uninteresting in itself, to consider the favourable operation of such an Institution upon the general interests of religion and the Church; and thus upon the interests of the several social, civil, and domestic connexions which exist among men.
To dilate upon the value and importance of religion were unnecessary. Its essential connexion with man's welfare, both here and hereafter, cannot but be allowed.
 It is also deemed as evident that revelation is the source of all our knowledge of religion.
Divines and moralists have often treated of religion as divided into natural and revealed. And as far as this division supposes that of certain religious truths and precepts, the propriety and fitness may be illustrated, and the evidence confirmed, by the exercise of sound and enlightened reason; and that of others the propriety and fitness appear only in the bare fact of their being revealed; it must be admitted to be correct. But if it is thus designed to intimate that there are in religion truths, to the discovery of which reason is sufficient, and precepts, to the preservation of the due influence of which man's natural sense of duty is equal, the position is here deemed to be contrary to fact, and injurious in its consequences.
Direct positive evidence in the case cannot be had. Man never was without revelation. Whenever or wherever born, he has always had instilled into his mind, either in their full and pure, or in a partial and adulterated state, truths and precepts which were of God's inditing. Before the period of written revelation, that inspired knowledge with which God was pleased to bless our first parents, and other favoured individuals, was orally spread around them, and handed down from them. After inspired records began to be made, a greater or [4/5] less knowledge of them found its way into every section of the globe. Every human being, long before he was capable of exercising his reason, had religious views thus brought into his mind.
Take, for instance, the great truths of the existence of the Deity, and of a future state. Where or when ever lived the man in whose mind these truths first obtained assent, because he deduced them by reason and reflection? When was ever the recognition and practice of the great duty of prayer the result of merely a natural sense of propriety? And in what possible way can we account for the almost universal prevalence of animal sacrifices, except by attributing it to an original revelation of the will of God?
Man never has been without revelation. From those to whom it was immediately imparted, it has spread to the remotest borders, and been transmitted through all ages.
Although, however, we have no evidence of the sufficiency of human reason to discover religious truths, yet have we mournful evidence, full and strong, of its inability to preserve them pure and rational. Where the constant influence of revelation is not felt, the experience of ages teaches us that there is hardly a degree of degradation to which the human mind will not be brought, even on the great subjects of the existence of the Deity, [5/6] and of a future state. They will be connected with the foulest absurdities, and the grossest errors. And unassisted reason, surely, could never discover truths which it cannot secure against such corruptions and abuses.
Revelation, then, may be regarded as the source of all that is true and right in religion.
That the volume known as the Holy Bible is the only revelation which we have, is another position which will now be assumed.
Religion, then, is all important to man's welfare here and hereafter. Religion can be known only by revelation. The Holy Bible is the only revelation which we have. These are the propositions whence it is proposed to deduce the great value and importance of institutions like that, the annual course of whose exercises is now about to commence.
The Bible, the source of all true religion, is a volume of a very peculiar character. It was written at various times, during a period of about 1600 years, in various and distant places, and in different and highly figurative languages. These languages have, long since, ceased to be vernacular. The figurative expressions with which they abound were drawn from an almost infinite variety of circumstances, connected with ages, nations, governments, laws, and usages, now known only [6/7] in records of great antiquity, and those generally rare and difficult of access.
It is obvious, therefore, that a correct and enlightened knowledge of that sacred volume can be the result only of a careful study of the languages in which it is written, and of the various branches of learning which explain the endless variety of allusions and figures under which its doctrines and precepts are imparted.
It is not intended to say that all this is required in every individual before he can have a competent acquaintance with those hallowed pages which are to make him wise unto salvation. But it is confidently asserted, that there should always be among the authorized instructors of religion, that capability of thoroughly investigating the sacred text, and clearly arriving at its meaning, which will enable them understandingly to impart that meaning to others.
Those thus instructed do not thereby sacrifice their own judgments to a degrading and superstitious dependence on imagined infallibility. What is learned by the most thorough and painful process of thought and inquiry, may, with the advantage thus gained, be comparatively easily imparted to others, and made clear to their understandings. Proofs, elicited, in the first instance, with great labour and difficulty may be made easily comprehensible [7/8] by others; and the conclusions thence following be thus understandingly drawn. In theology, as in other sciences, the labour of those who are more especially devoted to its study tends to the enlightening of others; and to their fuller application of it to practical purposes.
Similar remarks may be made respecting another peculiarity in the Bible. It contains no organized system or digest. Its doctrines and precepts are scattered throughout the volume. They are to be gathered from the various forms of historical, prophetical, devotional, allegorical, and preceptive writings; sometimes couched in prose, plain and unadorned, and sometimes in the loftiest strains and finest figures of inspired verse.
It is obvious, therefore, that in order to a full and accurate knowledge of the principles and duties there inculcated, the volume must be carefully and laboriously inspected, and its several parts compared and collated. What, in one place, appears obscure must be elucidated by parallel passages. Parts apparently incongruous must be harmonized by principles applicable to each, and gathered from the general tenour of the whole.
That all may be thus benefited and enlightened by a process for which few have time, and many not ability, the teachers of religion should devote [8/9] themselves to this accurate and careful study of revelation; and should, consequently, be provided with the knowledge, and inured to the labour; which it requires.
To this great end our Theological Seminary is designed to be conducive.
To secure the due reception and reverence of the inspired volume, and the full confidence which men should have in it, our students are led to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the evidences on which it rests its claims. They are called to engage in that noble course of argument, which, deriving light and force from every branch of science, and from the uniform experience and history of the world, investigates claims to genuineness and authenticity, supported by fuller and more varied evidence than can be boasted by any other ancient writings. And they make that appeal to the contents of the Bible, regulated alike by sound philosophy, and correct moral and religious sensibilities, whence emanates a body of internal evidence, full, clear, and satisfactory.
Thus are they prepared to enlighten those among whom they may hereafter exercise their ministry, in the reasons of the faith and hope which are in them; and to confront the arguments, expose the sophistries, and fearlessly enter the lists with the [9/10] learning, which are spread, in formidable array, against the Christian cause.
Of the Bible, whose claims to inspiration are thus vindicated, our students enter into a full and accurate examination. In order to this, they are called to a critical study of the languages in which that holy volume was written, and of those just and enlightened principles of interpretation by which they can arrive at a correct view of the meaning of every part. They are called to apply those principles in a critical examination of the Scriptures. There, from the right understanding of their several parts which they thus acquire, they proceed to the important labour of gathering from them such digests as will exhibit, in proper order and method, the system of doctrines and precepts which the Scriptures contain. And this is the great practical purpose to which all critical studies are to be auxiliary. It is that end of the learned labours of the theologian, in which is to be found the substantial usefulness of the pastor.
Again. It is obvious on the whole face of Scripture, that for the discharge of man's religious duty, and for his use of the means of grace and salvation, God has been pleased to require his connexion with a holy society, denominated the Church. This society is intrusted with the divine commission, by virtue of which the ministers of heaven [10/11] have been, and until the end of the world are to be, sent on their great embassy between God and man. It is the constituted channel through which, by means of divine appointment, the sanctifying and saving grace of God is to be imparted to the human race. It is also an exalted privilege of this "Church of the living God," that it has been made "the pillar awl ground of the truth"--"a witness and keeper of Holy Writ" [* Twentieth Article of Religion.]--appointed to preserve the knowledge of true religion, and to propagate it throughout the world. [* See 1 Cor. xii.13; Eph. ii. 16 to end; iv. 11-16; v. 25-30; Col. 18, 19; 1 Tim. iii. 15]
No unimportant part, therefore, of the exercises to which the students of this Seminary are called, is the study of the Nature and Constitution of the Christian Church.
If there is, as from revelation it is obvious that there is, in the world, a divinely constituted society of such a high and holy character, and so intimately connected with the integrity and advancement of the religion of the Redeemer, and with man's spiritual and eternal welfare, surely to those who duly appreciate the great and precious privileges of the Gospel, it must be regarded as of the utmost importance, to ascertain where this society is to be found, in order that its blessings [11/12] may be enjoyed. And when we consider the state of things in the present day, and how, from various and opposite quarters, and under various and discordant circumstances, we hear the claims, Lo! here it is, and lo! it is there, he must have little sensibility to the importance of the divine precept, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism," [* Eph. iv. 5.] who does not see the vital importance of entering seriously and at large into an inquiry for that Church which Christ established.
To this inquiry our students are directed. It is first made at that source of all religious knowledge, the Holy Scriptures. Their testimony, whether in precept or narration, to the nature and constitution of that Church, and of the ministry, in the functions of which consists the Church's. efficiency to secure for its members the sanctification and salvation which the Redeemer purchased, is scrutinized. And in this, due attention is paid to that best interpreter of Holy Writ, the Catholic principles and usages of the primitive Church.
If ever moral evidence can be of force and value, there surely cannot be hesitation in allowing, that when Christ himself had but recently been on earth, and when his inspired apostles, or those commissioned by them, and who had enjoyed [12/13] their society and counsels, held, or had but lately held, the superintendence of the Church; and when bitter persecution contributed to preserve the fidelity of those who could have no other trust than in the testimony of a good conscience, and the hope of divine favour; we must look for the truest performance of the will of Christ and his apostles, and for the most genuine form and character of the Church which they established. At this period the excellent rule of Vincent of Lirens is peculiarly applicable--"Quod ubique, quod semper, quad ab omnibus, creditum est, hoc est etenim vere, proprieque, catholicum." [* See his Commonitorium.] If, under all the circumstances of the first ages of Christianity, the then Catholic principles and usages are not to be considered the truth, we may well despair of ever finding it. To those principles and usages reference is justly and confidently made to aid in a sound interpretation of Scripture on the great doctrine of the Trinity; and on the subjects of infant baptism, and the religious observance of the first day of the week. And surely it may be made as justly and confidently, on the important points of the nature, ministry, and polity of the Church.
From the views of Scripture, thus illustrated [13/14] by primitive Catholic principles and usage, our students are led to form, and thus to prepare themselves to inculcate on their future flocks, evangelical and primitive ideas of that mystical body of Christ, which he established in the world, for promoting the glory of God, the prevalence of true religion, and the spiritual and eternal good of men.
It is sometimes objected to the necessity here supposed of extensive learning in the Christian ministry, that the Bible is sufficiently clear and explicit for all practical purposes, and requires but a serious and attentive reading in order to be understood, and rendered effectual to spiritual instruction and guidance.
It would, indeed, be unworthy of this sacred place, and highly sinful in itself, while, before a Christian audience, it could but prove fruitless, to attempt to derogate from the sufficiency and efficacy of the Holy Inspired Volume. But the refutation of the objection just named is perfectly consistent with these great characteristics of the word of God.
In the first place, then, reference need but be made to the fact that the great mass of Christians have not access to the Scriptures in their original shape. They necessarily receive them in a translation from the languages in which they were [14/15] indited. A translation, being a human work, must necessarily be imperfect. Its imperfections may often have a very serious bearing on both the doctrinal and preceptive parts of the original. The only effectual guard against these is the possession, by the teachers of religion, of that knowledge of the original languages, and of other matters connected with just interpretation, which will enable them to correct inaccuracies, and give the true meaning of the text.
There is, then, nothing inconsistent with doing full justice to the perfection and clearness of revelation, as originally indited, in maintaining the necessity of learned labours for preserving its integrity in the shape in which we receive it.
These remarks do not arise from the supposition of any peculiar inaccuracy in our translation, or in any other; but from the undeniable fact, that the very best translations must necessarily be imperfect.
Allowing, however, that translations could and did give a completely accurate view of the original Scriptures, the objection may be met on another ground. God's dealings and dispensations towards us are to be received as they are vouchsafed. It is clearly obvious that besides giving us the Scriptures, as the source of all religious knowledge, God has ever been pleased to appoint in his Church [15/16] religious teachers. As, however, it is still true that the Bible is the source of all religious knowledge, it follows that these teachers were designed to explain and enforce the doctrines and precepts of the Bible; and consequently, that there are qualifications for explaining and inforcing those doctrines and precepts, to which Christians at large are not to be supposed to have attained. That, therefore, it is right and necessary, in order that the Scriptures may produce their full effect, that the instructions of a well qualified ministry go with them, is no derogation from the perfection of the Scriptures, because they were not designed to be otherwise sufficient. This is the clear order of God's providence, and therefore is right and the best, and demands our grateful assent and cooperation.
The explanations of Holy Writ which the members of the Church are to derive from its ministers, are not to be received and admitted merely because they are their's. They must exhibit the warranty of Scripture for what they advance, and give such reasons and proofs as will render the people's assent an enlightened one.
Surely, now, it must appear that our Theological Seminary is most intimately and essentially connected with the great interests of religion and the Church. It is to supply a constant succession of [16/17] pastors, in whom our holy faith is to have enlightened and able advocates; unfolding and enforcing the varied arguments by which its divine origin is supported; meeting all the objections, and repelling all the attacks, with which it may be assailed; bringing the stores of various learning to bear upon its hallowed cause; and rescuing science and philosophy from the degrading alliance with infidelity to which they have sometimes been prostituted.
The sons of this Seminary are to go forth learned and able expounders of Holy Writ; their knowledge of its contents being regulated and enriched by a full and accurate investigation of it in the form in which God was pleased to cause it to be written for our learning. They are to be trained in those principles of sound interpretation, and in that careful study of the whole sacred volume, and that laborious collation and comparison of its several parts, whereby they are to deduce the system of doctrine and duty which that volume contains. They are to be prepared to meet all objections to the Gospel scheme; combat the errors which, in various ages, have laid claim to its name and sanction; and encounter the subtle reasonings, bold assertions, and often learned arguments, by which those errors have sought, and to this day are seeking, to lure and retain disciples.
 Guided, too, in their researches, by the pure light of Scripture and primitive antiquity, the heralds of the cross here trained, are to conduct men to the knowledge, under its genuine divine constitution, of that Church in which are provided the means of grace and salvation, and of that ministry with which the Redeemer intrusted the dispensing of those means. They are to go forth, in the name of their Divine Master, offering his mercies to a sinful and perishing world, enlisting the sons of men under his banner, receiving them into his holy covenant, and by the instructions of the Gospel, and the administration of its ordinances, leading them, through the promised blessing of divine grace, in the faithful performance of the conditions of that covenant, and to its final glorious reward, even the salvation of their souls.
And farther to fit them for a work so extensive, so great, and of such infinite moment, our students have their attention particularly called to exercises calculated to warm their affections, and interest their understandings, in true evangelical piety; to make them experience the religion in which they are to teach others; to make them feel that value of the soul which they are to endeavour to impress upon their fellow-men; to bring them near, by a true and living faith, to the Saviour whom they are to point out to a guilty and perishing world; to prepare them for that devout and impressive performance of holy offices, which may secure their due effect upon the heart and life, and that forcible and persuasive imparting of Gospel truths and precepts which will recommend them to acceptance, and enlist in their behalf the understandings and feelings of those to whom they are addressed; and especially to engage them in that most powerful preaching of the word, a life and conversation illustrative of all that they can say of the beauty and excellence of Christianity.
Surely, then, the tendency, in all its parts, of the course of exercises here pursued, is most essentially to benefit the cause of religion--that religion whence the commonwealth derives its highest dignity, and greatest prosperity, upon whose principles are to be formed faithful, upright, and conscientious magistrates and legislators, and orderly, honest, and useful citizens--that religion which leads to fidelity in reciprocal obligation, in every social tie--that religion which hallows every tender connexion of domestick life, gives consolation and support in every trial, and confers on the exercise of the virtuous affections, the unspeakable delight of anticipating their perfection in heaven, and their continuance through eternity.
And besides, and intimately connected with, this favourable bearing upon the interests of religion generally, [19/20] our Seminary must exert a most happy influence on the interests of that Church which,
"Founded in truth; by blood of martyrdom
Cemented; by the hands of wisdom reared
In beauty of holiness; with ordered pomp,
Decent and unreproved;"
commands our admiration, concentres our affections, is approved by our judgments, is recommended by experience of its instrumentality to edification and holiness, and ought to have our best prayers, and our most willing and devoted efforts in its behalf. That Church, my brethren, in these days of increasing indifference to the great and precious truths, and the holy requisitions, of the Gospel, stands as the Gospel's best and most efficient friend, firmly maintaining, and strongly guarding, its distinctive principles, and incessantly enforcing them, in all their purity and all their fulness. It provides a sure resting place for those who are wearied and disquieted with being carried about with every wind of doctrine; and a truly evangelical bond of unity for those who like not the distractions of divers and jarring systems of ecclesiastical order.
Through the means of our Seminary, the character of that Church is to be raised in the community, [20/21] her principles better understood, and more duly appreciated, and, as is always the consequence, her borders enlarged, and her influence increased.
Surely, then, whether I address this respected audience as citizens of our great republic, as members of society, as duly appreciating the various social and domestick connexions in life, as Christians professing attachment to the religion of the Gospel, or as Churchmen loving their Church, I must be right in supposing that they feel a lively interest in an Institution, which, it may be humbly hoped, will, even unto the end of the world, send forth a succession of ministers of religion, qualified to promote, through the divine blessing, all the good which the Gospel of Christ can bring. It will engage their prayers for that heavenly direction and assistance, whereby alone the momentous objects of its establishment can be secured. It will have their exertions--the exertions of every one according to his ability--that it may not be deficient in means for extending as widely as is needed, its beneficial influence. He that hath much will give plenteously. He that hath little will gladly give of that little. All will thus piously unite in preparing an offering to their God, which, through this nursery of the Church and of religion, will promote his glory in time and through eternity. Much yet remains to be done to give the Seminary a fair opportunity of effecting all the good for which it is designed and fitted. Surely it will not, and cannot be that so good a cause will be urged in vain. That cause is urged by society at large, which sees in the religion to be thus extended and enforced, the best friend to its good order, and to that pure morality which lies at the basis of its welfare. It is urged by our country, which recognizes that religion as the most efficient mean of national prosperity and honour. It is urged by the sweet endearments and the pure enjoyments of domestick life, and of friendly intercourse, which see in it the fostering of those tender affections, and the inculcation of those pure and heavenly principles, which draw still more closely every social tie, and confirm and hallow every virtuous sensibility. It is urged by the blessed Gospel, to the inculcation and enforcement of whose principles and precepts, in their genuine purity and sanctity, this Seminary is devoted. It is urged by the Church, which the Redeemer loved even unto death, for it is consecrated to the promotion of its primitive unity and purity, and of its best interests. It is urged by the Divine Head of the Church, who sees in this identity of the cause of our Seminary with that of his mystical body, an humble, but, through his blessing, efficient mean of promoting [22/23] the spiritual and eternal good designed by the stupendous plan of man's redemption.
Nor has the great Disposer of all things left the portion of the Catholic Church, by whose authority this Seminary was established, and under whose direction it is conducted, without ample means for its full and permanent support. An amply sufficient share of the wealth of this great and prosperous country has been placed at the disposal of the members of our communion, to enable them, without any encroachment on the real enjoyment of that wealth, or any undue interference with other means of usefulness, to raise their Seminary to an efficiency commensurate with its high importance. God forbid that there should be wanting the proper disposition to this end, or that sense of responsibility which our religion would press home to the heart of every one who has the means of doing good, "especially unto them who are of the household of faith." [* Gal. vi. 10.]
One object, intimately, and indeed essentially, connected with the full efficiency and permanent interests of our Seminary, is now, in an especial manner, presented to the notice of its friends, the erection of the required buildings. The laudable determination of the Trustees to proceed in this [23/24] most important measure, cannot surely fail to be met with a corresponding willingness and liberality. We are all urged to these by true sensibility to the great interests of religion, and real regard for the welfare of our Church. Nor should the inhabitants of this metropolis neglect the dictates of that honourable feeling which cannot but rejoice at being able to number this establishment among the noble institutions that add so much to the reputation and interests of their city. Let it be made worthy of the Church in whose communion it is established, and of the city which is honoured with its location, and we need ask no more.
While, however, the promotion of this desirable end is in progress, and means are gradually accumulating to enable the Seminary to prosecute its great designs efficiently and successfully, there is one object of leading importance which will require the temporary special patronage of the friends of the Institution. [* SEE FOOTNOTE AT THE END] In all such establishments, [24/25] it is found absolutely necessary to make, some provision to aid in the support of those [25/26] students who may require it. Through the instrumentality of such provision, in other denominations, numbers of well qualified individuals are secured to the ministry, and others who would have entered it with but partial preparation, have been enabled to attain to qualifications of the most respectable and useful order. And it is a fact which ought to be known, that candidates of our own Church have been most liberally aided, and [26/27] it is believed, in some instances, entirely supported, while prosecuting, in the Seminaries of other communions, their theological studies. In our venerable mother Church of England, provision for the support or aid of those who are preparing for her ministry, has been, under God, the means of blessing the world with the burning and shining lights of evangelical knowledge which have been afforded in a large portion of the distinguished prelates, and other able divines, whom that Church has reared since the reformation.
We trust in God that the time is not distant, when the permanent endowment of our Seminary will enable it to apply the same means in the degree required by the exigencies of our Church. Meanwhile, however, those exigencies present a most powerful appeal for this exercise of Christian benevolence.
May it, my respected hearers, be granted to one who has had some opportunity of personal observation, and who knows that he speaks the sentiments of all with whom he has the honour of being associated in imparting the instructions of this Seminary, to refer to the strong solicitude he has felt, when he has seen some of the most promising students, prosecuting their studies with the utmost ardour, and the most encouraging success, and yet [27/28] compelled to cherish--I think I go not too far is saying--the almost heart-rending fear that they must tear themselves from advantages which they highly value, and pursuits in which are equally interested the full exercise of their understandings and the warmest affections of their hearts, that they may labour for that subsistence of which, in the course of Providence, they have no other, or but insufficient, means? Am I wrong in hoping that the sensibility excited on this subject is of a higher and holier character than mere personal sympathy? that it is intimately connected with a due regard to the honour of God, the interests of religion, and the welfare of the Church? If not, O! let me ask, that the feeling may be shared by you, and be now carried into genuine effect.
[* FOOTNOTE page 24] The remainder of the address has reference to a collection which, according to custom, was made for the assistance of such students as were in need of it. The author has understood that some of the best friends of the Seminary have doubted the expediency of making provision to this end. He is confident that the doubt must arise from a partial view of the subject. It is said that the measure is peculiarly liable to abuse, by encouraging young men to come to the Seminary because of a comfortable provision being there made for them on very easy terms. The objection implies fault in either the admission of students, or the retaining of them after admission. The admission is regulated by the statutes. All candidates for orders in the Church, with full, that is, including literary, qualifications, are admitted of course, on application. In their case, therefore, if the admission has been improper, the fault rests with the ecclesiastical authorities of the dioceses respectively in which they are candidates. All others who seek admittance must present to the Faculty satisfactory testimonials of religious and moral character, and of literary attainments. In their cases the Faculty alone are responsible. The Faculty also are responsible for suffering students to continue in the Seminary. It may be asked, then, whether it should not be made to appear that the ecclesiastical authorities above mentioned, or the Faculty of the Seminary, are remiss in fulfilling the responsibility thus devolving on them, before the supposed abuse should be made a ground of objection to a measure which, in such Institutions, has been invariably found necessary? That no suspicion of this kind is entertained, the author feels the fullest certainty. Nor is he less assured that the confidence which is due to the ecclesiastical authorities of the respective dioceses, and which is exercised in giving and preserving their stations to those to whom the discipline of the Seminary is intrusted, will be allowed to be a sufficient answer to the objection now noticed.
It is farther said, that in the other learned professions, no such systematic provision is either made or thought of. The essential difference, however, between the ministry and every other calling should be borne in mind. A young man whose preparation for medicine or the law, owing to the necessity of supporting himself at the same time, has been so imperfect as to bar success in the future exercise of his profession, has still open before him the various means of obtaining an honest and respectable support. Not so the minister of the Gospel. His divine commission is indelible. However great his early disadvantages, his life must be given to the work of the ministry. And that work, it is well known, presents too constant and too pressing claims upon his time and care, ordinarily to allow much prospect of early deficiencies being fully remedied. Many, then, who, had they found patrons to afford them an opportunity of efficiently preparing for the ministry, might have become powerful promoters of the interests of religion and the Church, must spend their days in necessarily feeble and limited efforts in their cause. Reference is not now made to instances of glaring deficiency in the requisite qualifications for the ministry, (which it cannot be supposed that the ecclesiastical authorities would overlook,) but to the many grades of deficiency which fall but little short of that degree of it which would warrant the painful alternative of rejection. Let our Church so endow its Theological Seminary, that every one who desires holy orders may have no excuse for defective preparation on the ground of the necessity of gaining his support. The way will then be opened for permanent and efficient legislation on the subject of the qualifications of candidates. And this, through the divine blessing, will lead to the happy result which a respectable English publication [* The British Critic] anticipated as the effect, "if it continues as it has commenced, of this Seminary--its furnishing the Episcopal Church with a clergy inferior to those of no other Church, in all the qualifications which will render them apt to teach, and meet for the ministry." Until, however, such endowment is complete, the benevolent and pious may rest assured, that the most essential
good will be done by contributions in aid of necessitous students.