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and should also be represented in the Annual Conferences at the rate of four delegates from each district.
The appearance of women among the lay delegates presenting credentials to the Northern General Conference in 1888 raised a constitutional question as to their admissibility. It was decided to submit the question to the vote of the Church. Though a majority of laymen and ministers gave their verdict in favor of removing any legal bar to the admission of women, it was not the majority required for a constitutional change. The requisite three fourths of the ministers voting in the Annual Conferences was not obtained. While the subject was pending, an animated debate was conducted, involving a more extended examination of the subject of woman's place in the ecclesiastical organism than had been undertaken previously in the ranks of Methodists. Among those arguing against the proper eligibility of women to the legislative assembly of the Church an active part was taken by Dr. J. M. Buckley, of the “ New York Advocate;" while President W.F. Warren, of Boston University, ably supported the conclusion that it would be in no wise contrary to Scripture or the providential order of society to admit women to such an assembly, under a scheme which should bring them there by the initiative and consent of their Christian brothers.
Though closing its doors to women, the General Conference of 1888 made a new provision for utilizing their Christian tact and devotion by arranging for a system of deaconess institutes. At an earlier date (1869) the establishment of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society had given them a field for beneficent activity.
Among the more recent agencies of Methodist work, it is appropriate to mention the Church Extension Society, which has been an efficient instrument since 1865; the Freedmen's Aid Society, dating from 1866; the Chautauqua system, which since 1878 has given intellectual stimulus and satisfaction to tens of thousands by its reading courses ; and the Epworth League, which was initiated in 1889, and has already (1894) associated more than six hundred thousand young people for religious effort. The Chautauqua scheme, it is true, is not confined to a Methodist constituency ; but it has much currency therein, and its founder, J. H. Vincent, ranks as one of the eminent practical workers of Methodism.
Since the early part of the nineteenth century the most noted orators of the Methodist pulpit — not to mention John Summerfield, who came to America in 1821, and produced a profound impression during his brief career — have been Henry B. Bascom, Stephen Olin, John P. Durbin, and Matthew Simpson. The fame of Bascom attests the great power of his discourses, though criticism has hardly awarded to him the highest type of eloquence, inasmuch as he was not clear altogether from the appearance of declaiming. Olin had not the polish of manner which characterized Bascom, but he had more of the moral force and self-abandon which tend to merge interest in the theme rather than in the speaker. In correspondence with his gigantic frame his speech was distinguished by massive strength. “In overmastering power in the pulpit," wrote McClintock, “we doubt whether living he had a rival, or dying, has left his like among men. Nor did his power consist in any single quality, - in force of reasoning, or fire of imagination, or heat of declamation, — but in all combined. His course of argument was always clear and strong, yet interfused throughout with a fervid and glowing passion, the two inseparably united in a torrent that overwhelmed all who listened to him." 1 Durbin seemed to have a dual personality in the pulpit. After figuring for a time as the prosaic argumentative speaker, he was wont at length to be rapt up into an intense mood, where he had easy command of his materials, his words blended harmoniously with his action, and his imagination moved with a most daring yet certain flight. Simpson, whose episcopal journeys made him well-known throughout the length and breadth of the land, met the average audience on its own plane, and gradually, by the power of the sympathy and spiritual intensity which tempered his flowing speech, lifted up his hearers to a high plane of religious feeling and apprehension. In the minds of tens of thousands to recall the image of this great preacher is to strengthen impressions and convictions respecting the reality of the spiritual world.
Could a larger space be awarded to personal items, it would be appropriate to present something more than the mere names of such educators and organizers of education as Wilbur Fisk, John Dempster, and W. F. Warren ; also of such writers on topics of theology, Biblical interpretation, or history, as John McClintock, D. D. Whedon, A. T. Bledsoe, William Nast, Abel Stevens, Miner Raymond, T. 0. Summers, James Strong, C. W. Bennett, John Miley, G. R. Crooks, Daniel Steele, John Hurst, and Daniel Dorchester, not to mention others of more recent but scarcely inferior reputation. In the line of metaphysics an enviable standing has been won by Professor Borden P. Bowne. Probably no writer or teacher of the present generation has better fulfilled the very essential task of introducing students to an all-sided view of philosophical problems.
i Quoted in Life and Letters of Olin.
5. BAPTISTS AND DISCIPLES. As a denomination the Baptists in this country have followed close upon the Methodists in successful church enterprise. In the early part of the nineteenth century, however, there was a section of the Baptists who were not yet ready to vote that the “ quiet period” should come to an end. So far from being disposed to take the kingdom of heaven by violence, it was their controlling aim to stand still and see the salvation of God. Such human devices as missionary organizations, Sunday-schools, and Bible societies, they considered as attempts to crowd the Lord aside from the management of His own affairs; in other words, they condemned them as unjustifiable encroachments upon the divine sovereignty. Some of these ultra Calvinists became separatists. In 1844 the antieffort or Anti-Mission Baptists, as they have been called, numbered about sixty thousand.
Schools devoted especially to ministerial training began to be provided among the Baptists near the close of the second decade. The Maine Literary and Theological Institution, at Waterville, which ultimately grew into Colby University, was opened in 1818. Two years later a similar institution, which formed the nucleus for Madison University, was opened at Hamilton, New York. The theological department of the latter was continuously maintained, but from the founding of the seminary at Newton, Massachusetts, in 1825, this department was discontinued in the institution at Waterville. The third theological seminary of the denomination was organized at Rochester, New York, in 1850.
Slavery became a dividing wedge to the Baptists in 1845, or very near the time in which the same cause had sundered the Methodist body. The schism has not yet been healed. Much the larger proportion of communicants belongs to the Southern States, where the Baptists make a considerable fraction of both the white and the colored population. Since the Civil War many of the colored Baptists have entered into connection with Northern Associations or assumed an independent status.
While differing from their Northern brethren on the subject of negro slavery, the Southern Baptists have shown that on occasion they are ready to defend the denominational principle respecting ecclesiastical freedom. A good illustration was given in Georgia in 1863. “ The new code of Georgia provided, in section 1376, that it shall be unlawful for any church, society, or other body, or any persons, to grant any license or other authority to any slave or free person of color to preach, or exhort, or otherwise officiate in church matters.' This aroused the Baptists of the State, and a very powerful paper was sent in remonstrance and protest to the Legislature, demanding the repeal of this iniquitous provision. They denounced it as a seizure by force of the things that are God's, and a rendering them unto Cæsar; an usurpation of ecclesiastical power by civil authorities.' ... They protested that it was an offence against one hundred thousand Baptist communicants in the State,