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excepting some upon which my whole existence as a person seems to depend, I cannot thus treat. They make me know that even my limited personality is greater than I can comprehend. Is it strange, then, if we do not comprehend the Absolute Person, the Eternal and Infinite Father ? Eternal, absolute, infinite — it is by syllogisms, framed to catch and hold such forms as these, that pantheism leads on to the awful pit, into which falls all that is manifestly dear to the heart of God's child. It is, however, those same elements of the whole which give necessarily to the Christian religion its pantheistic--I have no better word — coloring; a religion which does not obscure, as the blackness of pantheism does, all that we know of God, but placing this in clear sunlight throws a cloud above, and urges us thus toward the regions where, as we may hope, the cloud will be more and more lifted.
Of the many reflections which this view as to the origin of the concept of God suggests to us, let one suffice.
If man, as a whole of balanced and symmetrically cultured parts, is the organon of truth, then as man in the totality of his being advances, God's self-revelation to him will become more and more complete, both as a concept simply and as a motive to right conduct. As Christianity moulds the character of men, its own doctrines will be seen to give, not the mere incidents, but constituent elements of the true knowledge of God. As it transforms the whole being of man, that transformed being will better and better serve the divine purpose of receiving knowledge, force, joy, fulness of life from the divine source. They who search for their Heavenly Father, as the old-time cynic searched for an honest man, with patent doubt and sneer, will never find him.
We know no better words with which to close than those last words from the immortal Confessions of Augustine": “ What man can teach man to understand this? or what angel an angel ? or what angel a man? Let it be asked of thee, sought of thee, knocked for at thee; so, so shall it be received, so shall it be found, so shall it be opened.”
BY REV. FREDERIC GARDINER, D.D., PROFESSOR IN THE BERKELEY
AMONG all denominations in America theology is studied chiefly in special institutions founded for this single and express purpose. Abroad, except among the Roman Catholics, it is for the most part pursued in the same universities and under the same general arrangements with other professional studies. The distinctive theological seminary or divinity school among Protestants is essentially an American arrangement, although since its introduction here it has also been adopted to a limited extent on the other side of the ocean. It has obvious advantages and disadvantages, but of these it is not proposed to speak beyond calling attention in passing to a single point. Abroad, the future lawyer, chemist, philologist, and theologian are members of the same academic fraternity, and may, if they please, be attendants together on more than one of the same courses of lectures. With us, the theological student is entirely isolated throughout his course. This necessarily tends to withdraw him from his fellows, to separate him in his habits of thought from them, and make of him a specialist. This tendency may be overcome, but it needs to be recognized. If after all our training, young men enter the ministry without intellectual sympathy with those among whom, and upon whom, they are to exercise their vocation, they are placed at the outset at a serious disadvantage. The broadest sympathies and the most complete knowledge of the methods and of the preocupations of other minds are the essential qualification of the well-furnished minister of the gospel. If our system of preparing him for his work is opposed to the attainment
of these humanities, or even ignores them, it is in so far defective. In a very different sense from that of the heathen poet it is necessary for the clergyman to feel,
“ Homo sum : nil humanum a me alienum puto." The means of overcoming the naturally isolating tendency of our special schools of theology is undoubtedly chiefly in the hands of the students themselves; but they are not apt to be aware of the danger. It needs to be distinctly pointed out to them by their teachers, and their own intelligence awakened to providing the remedy.
One other general consideration demands a word before entering upon our proper subject. Young men in the theological, as in every other professional, school are going through the latest stages of preparation for their work in life. They need, therefore, to be treated as men, rather than as children. They need to be more and more emancipated from the condition of pupilage, and introduced to that of independent manhood. This is generally recognized in the relaxation of discipline, the withdrawal of all marking of recitations, and the like; but it may be doubted whether the importance is sufficiently recognized of accustoming them to think for themselves and preparing them to take their position in the world at the end of their course as independent entities, nay, responsible leaders of human thought. The young men of America are generally quite ready enough to appreciate their own advancement and the importance of their position; they are not so ready laboriously and conscientiously to prepare themselves for the responsibilities of that position. If they are allowed to complete this last stage of their preparatory course in an attitude of too great mental dependence, they are likely to continue such dependence through life, and to become partisan and one-sided. Independent and manly thought and action demands culture. At this last and most critical stage of preparation this culture is to be either checked and thus, perhaps, finally dwarfed, or to be encouraged and cherished, and thus prepared for a life-long growth and development.
The purpose of the theological school or seminary in its broadest statement is to fit men for the ministry. Such a school must afford opportunities for, and, in fact, must put before all other things, spiritual training, growth in the graces of the Holy Spirit, and the increasing conformity of the character and life to the example of Christ. But this fundamental and most necessary part of the training of the Christian minister does not come within the scope of the present Article, and it must, therefore, be passed by with the single remark that it ought to pervade the whole of the preparation. That no part of a theological course can be successfully accomplished without the spirit of prayer in both the teacher and the pupil is the necessary result of the organic law of Christianity. The fellowship of Christian faith and life establishes a peculiar bond between teacher and pupil in the divinity school, and the constant recollection of this fellowship should create the deepest and closest sympathy, and give to the pursuit of theology a peculiar interest and charm.
We are also constrained to pass over in these pages the element of practical work. In training men for the ministry this would be not less unwisely omitted than clinics andhospital practice in the study of medicine, or moot courts and the work of the attorney's office in training for the law. It is not, then, to be omitted or overlooked; but it should not be allowed to interfere with the intellectual training. It need not do so, and, under proper regulation, it practically does not. The activity of the ordinary layman in special work for Christ's sake does not hinder his attention to his ordinary affairs. So correspondingly, the activity of the theological student, on a more distinctly professional plane, and having a direct bearing on his own preparation for future labor, need not in any way hinder his present main occupation of intellectual preparation for the great work soon to be committed to his charge.
We are now ready to consider the principal subject proposed: The best Methods of Intellectual Training for the Ministry. Three different classes of men require to be con
sidered: (1) Such as come to their theological studies with imperfect preparation ; (2) such as, from the character of their intellectual powers, or their temperament, or from other causes, can never be expected to become eminent scholars; (3) the comparatively few who are hereafter to furnish the church and the world with scholars in the various departments of theology. With all these classes, in varying proportion, all theological institutions are required to deal. All of them are important, and the necessities of each must be fairly met in any satisfactory system of theological training.
The first class necessarily includes within itself every variety of defective preparation, from that which scarcely falls short of the normal standard to the minimum on which it is possible to build up any passable amount of professional cducation. There must, therefore, be much regard to individual circumstances and individual possibilities. It may be assumed that the normal standard of preparation, which is usually a college course or its equivalent, embraces just that amount of preparatory study at the close of which the student can most advantageously enter upon theological pursuits. Yet this standard itself is vague, not only in consequence of the great differences in the acquirements of the different graduates from the same college, but also of the great differences in the colleges themselves; and, at best, it can only be considered as a standard adopted in view of the exigencies of life, since a far higher one would form a still better basis for the study of theology. By those imperfectly prepared, then, we mean those who have failed to acquire that amount of education demanded by any respectable college as absolutely necessary to graduation. A higher standard than this will probably be found impracticable until our college standard is raised, and as this is done the requirements for entering our theological schools will elevate themselves without especial care.
Meantime, what is to be done with those who fall below this? Obviously, if placed in the same classes with those better prepared the character of the instruction in several