The Andover Question -- By: William Edwards Park

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 064:253 (Jan 1907)
Article: The Andover Question
Author: William Edwards Park


The Andover Question

William Edwards Park

Oberlin, Ohio

At the semi-centennial anniversary of Andover Theological Seminary, held in the Old South Church of Andover on the morning of August 4, 1858, the commemorative address on the occasion was delivered by the Rev. Leonard Bacon, D. D., then pastor of the Center Congregational Church of New Haven, Conn. After reviewing ably the causes which led to the establishment of the Seminary, describing the splendid work which it had done, and defining its theological position, the writer closed his address with this inspiring sentence: “Under what brightening auspices of hope for the kingdom of Christ does our Seminary enter to-day upon the second half of its first century of life. This memorable year of the outpouring of God’s grace, this year of religious awakening spread almost simultaneously from Plymouth Rock to the Golden Gate, is the promise to us of what God will have wrought in1 his providence and by his Spirit, when in the eighth year of the twentieth century, the children of some of us and the remoter descendants of others, shall be assembled from the East and the West, from the North and the South, to celebrate with prayer and praise, and with exultant commemoration the second jubilee at Andover.” The eighth year of the twentieth century is rapidly approaching, and the preparation for the coming anniversary, in case it is held, must be soon made. We fear the children of some of us and the remoter descendants of others will not be assembled from the East, West, North, or South, neither will many come from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Isles to celebrate with exultant commemoration the second jubilee of Andover. It is quite

possible that, in lieu of those who come from the ends of the earth, a few discouraged Alumni who live in and around Boston may assemble in a moderate sized room and hold a dismal debate over the question whether or not Andover Seminary shall continue to exist at all. What is the reason for the decline of the institution, after the brilliant prospect open before it fifty years ago?

There may be some complex elements in the answer, but in our opinion, the main reason has been a lack of integrity in carrying out the original intention of the men who founded the institution.

If there is one fact which stands completely proven in the history of the church in America, it is the fact that Andover Seminary was established in a great measure to oppose the power of Unitarianism which was then centering in Harvard College. Other motives entered into the calculation of our fathers, but they were of a minor character. The old method of preparing ...

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