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Nashotah Theological Seminary.

contributed by the Rev. Dr. Charles Henery

May 1, 1860.

__________________________________ Church.


You have all heard of Nashotah! Your kind pastor has, no doubt, often spoken of this noble institution in the North-West, where young men are educated and prepared for the Holy Ministry. Trinity Sunday is close at hand, when Nashotah will again send a few more faithful laborers into the field. Our worthy President, the Rev. Dr. COLE, is now so busily engaged in making the necessary preparations for Trinity Sunday, that he cannot write to you himself. And whilst the writers is but an humble student of Nashotah, yet he cheerfully lends a helping hand to spread abroad the good name of an Institution which has done, is now doing, and by the blessing of God will continue to do good and efficient service for our blessed Lord and His Church.

It would be a long though perhaps an interesting story to tell you all the particulars that might be related about Nashotah and her work, since the time the first foundation was laid. But for the present it will be sufficient to give you a mere outline of her history. Seventeen years ago three young clergymen of the church came from the East to perform missionary labor in the Far West. Like the Wise Men who were led by the guiding of a star to the birth-place of our blessed Lord, these young disciples of Christ seemed to have been led by the spirit of God to this beautiful spot to plant the banner of the Cross. They did not come here to plant a new church and teach a new religion or worship a strange and unknown God, but they came as the messengers of Christ, ordained and commissioned to preach His Gospel. They brought with them the same creed, the same prayers and the same form of government, which were confessed and used in Apostolic times, and which you use now.

Seventeen years ago there was not a building upon this place, nor any near by. The smoke from the Indians' wigwam might then have [1/2] been seen gracefully curling in the breeze along the shores of the lakes. Then the lights of their camp fires might be seen at night upon the surrounding hills. Now all is changed! The well cultivated farm, with good substantial house and barn, has taken the place of the hunting grounds and wigwam of the Indian. The waving grain upon the hill top speaks of peace and prosperity, where once the camp fires of warriors so fiercely burned. Now more is the sound of the Indian's paddle heard upon our lakes, or his loud war-whoops echoed through our forests. A few short years has wrought so great a change.

Here in this wild, beautiful and romantic country, upon the bare ground and in the open air, did those three young missionaries, upon their knees, offer up their thanks to Almighty God for leading them to such a lovely spot. Here upon the Nashotah (Twin) Lakes did they commence their labors. A log cabin was soon erected which served as college, home, and chapel. They had one student to commence with, who, with the professors, did all the work about the place, including cooking, washing, ironing, mending, &c.

In course of time improvements were made, the number of students increased so that the work became more generally distributed. In our day, when some of us students complain a little having plenty of hard studies, and two hours a day for labor and recreation, we are reminded that those who went before us fared a great deal worse, having at least been employed eight hours a day at manual labor. So that whilst they did more work and less study, we do less work and more study.

Many changes have taken place in seventeen years. The log cabin has passed away. Bishop White Hall--a large four-storied building--accommodates some thirty students. Other buildings fort he accommodation of the professors and students have from time to time been erected. A new stone chapel is now in progress of erection. Bishop PAYNE, our American Missionary Bishop to Africa, came out to visit us last summer, and whilst here, with spade in hand, turned and broke the first ground for the building of our new chapel. On the 29th day of September last, being the festival of St. Michael and all Angels, Bishop KEMPER, the great pioneer Bishop of the North-West, and now the beloved Bishop of this diocese, laid the corner stone of the Chapel with appropriate ceremonies. A large and substantial stone Chapel has long been needed at Nashotah. An old frame building through which the rain and wind have free access, and in which the bats had made their nests, has been used for years, and is still used for our daily and weekly services. The work on the new Chapel is progressing, and will be continued until the amount of funds on hand for the purposes is expended. [2/3] We trust that it will not be allowed to stop for want of means--that it may be finished, so far, that we may worship God, protected from the cold and storms of another winter.

You can all do something for Nashotah. You can help us to build our Chapel. If every little boy and girl in the United States would give but one penny to Nashotah, we could not only finish our Chapel, but have means to support us with all things necessary for a long time. But we don't expect to receive even a penny from so many children. They are not all good children. A great many do not read their bibles or go to Sunday School, so we cannot expect such children will send their pennies to Nashotah to educate some poor young man for the ministry. But those who do read their Bibles, and delight to go to Church and Sunday School on every Lord's Day, we feel assured will do all they can for Nashotah.

You will be surprised to hear that all the money that is necessary to keep this great institution, is sent in letters through the post office, from Sunday Schools, Churches, and kind friends in every part of the United States, and sometimes even from our friends in Europe. Now it takes a great deal of money to provide for the support of fifty or sixty students, and therefore our President is kept in a constant state of anxiety, not knowing whether the next mail will bring sufficient to buy food for the morrow.

Nashotah has always been supported by the alms and offerings of the faithful. Already fifty-one young men have gone forth from her sacred precincts to proclaim the Gospel of Peace. Shall her good work cease? My dear children, we need your prayers--pray for us who are now laboring in the Far West for our blessed Jesus. And whilst you lay aside your pennies to send to the missionaries who are far away among the heathens, think of Nashotah and lay aside an offering for her. In after years when you all grow up to be men and women in the Church and hear of the continued success of Nashotah, the great "School of the Prophets" in the West, you will delight to think that you and your Sunday School helped to sustain it.

Now, a few words more about the new Chapel. It is going to be a very pretty building. It is just the same style as a great many old Chapels in England. It is located on the East bank of the Upper Nashotah Lake, which is the northernmost of a chain of five lakes. These lakes are all connected by small streams, and finally empty into Rock river, which flows through portions of Wisconsin and Illinois and joins the Father of Rivers, the "Mississippi," at Rock Island. Whilst there is nothing wonderful or strange aboutthis, yet it leads to a very pleasant reflection. Our upper lake has no inlet. You can pass in a [3/4] small boat south from Nashotah through the five lakes into Rock river, down that stream to the Mississippi and from thence to the Atlantic Ocean through the Gulf of Mexico. Now, upon the bank of this upper lake, beyond which you cannot sail northward, stands the Chapel of Nashotah. Through the blessing of god, many young men may yet bow before her altar to be ordained to the Holy Ministry. From hence they will go prepared to teach those who are desirous of being led to Christ. And as the commission of our Blessed Lord to his Apostles "to go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost" is likewise to all who may be called to the sacred office, so those young men may leave Nashotah Chapel and by following the streams which flow near her doors, will soon find the great highway which leads to all nations.

Now, my dear children, we invite you all to come and see Nashotah--come and take a sail upon our lakes. We students as well as the professors and their families, are always happy to receive and entertain our friends and visitors. And we are sure you will be delighted, leave us with regret, and for the remainder of your days look upon your visit to Nashotah as one of the happy periods of your life.

May God bless you all, is the earnest prayer of a


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