The Utility Of Collegiate And Professional Schools -- By: Edwards A. Park

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 007:28 (Oct 1850)
Article: The Utility Of Collegiate And Professional Schools
Author: Edwards A. Park

The Utility Of Collegiate And Professional Schools

Edwards A. Park

It is a stale proverb that Ignorance is the mother of Devotion, but the true apothegm is that Devotion is one parent of Knowledge. There is an inherent affinity between science and virtue. God has joined them together, and although man has often put them asunder, yet the disquiet which ensues from their divorce is a sign that nature demands their union. Hence we find, that nearly all the universities of the Christian world have been founded by the clergy and for their use. The oldest colleges in our land were for a long time regarded and conducted as the schools of the church. Of the hundred and twenty colleges now existing among us, a large majority are under evangelical influence, and their paramount design is to furnish able defenders of the Christian faith. Accordingly, a pious man feels an interest well nigh personal in these institutions, and in our forty-two Theological Seminaries; nor, as the spirit of his religion is in sympathy with all learning, can he fail of a kindly regard for our thirty-five Medical Schools, where are to be trained those who ought to be spiritual physicians, and in our twelve Law Schools, where are to be edu-

cated those who ought to defend the laws of God. With the persuasion, therefore, that all good and thinking men will desire to strengthen the alliance between knowledge and piety, between the institutions of learning and the church of the Most High, I beg leave to say a few words on the benefits resulting from our collegiate and professional schools.

And in the first place, these schools are monuments to the dignity and worth of mind. This dignity and worth must be respected, or the doctrines and forms of Puritanism will not be loved. These doctrines and forms require a taste for intellectual statements; for pure, naked truth. Hence they encourage a style of thinking and writing which fails to interest men of mere flesh. Our clergy, not being priests but moral teachers, must depend for their influence, under God, upon their spiritual cultivation; and, giving themselves wholly to their work, they must rely for their maintenance, not so much on rich benefices as upon the will of the people; and unless the people revere their own inward, more than their outward nature, they will give no adequate support to an intellectual ministry.

But one fault of both our age and our nation is, an excessive devotedness to material interests. The inestimable advantages of our exuberant soil, our singularly threaded navigation, and our variegated extent of country are combined with peculiar temptations to avarice. Large masses of our population have immigrated hither for the avowed purpose of acqu...

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