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nated to these various difficulties. A number of these difficulties arise from a regard to the circumstances of students-to the work in which they have to engage, and to their pecuniary circumstances. Now, as I have said, we may need to pay some regard to these things, but in taking them into account, we are deteriorating theological education. It has been from these collateral considerations that we have accustomed ourselves to partial sessions, which is so manifestly inconsistent with complete theological training,-that there have been so few professors, and that the sessions have been to a large extent shortened. The sessions in the hall of the Establishment at Aberdeen continue only for three months, and they are very little longer at St Andrews; and I fear very much the tendency is to sacrifice and subordinate theological education to those collateral and adventitious considerations to which I have referred. Now, I hold it to be a very imperative duty on the part of the Free Church of Scotland, in the situation in which she is placed, to lay out of view, in the first instance, all those minor and inferior considerations, and to set herself to the important object of considering deliberately and fully the ground of the intrinsic merits of the case, and what really is an adequate and efficient theological education, adapted to the wants and necessities of the age. (Hear, hear.) In short, I think the first duty of the Free Church, in regard to this matter, in the situation in which she found herself placed, considering the facility of intercourse, and the readiness with which students could be assembled together and taught together I think the first duty of the Free Church in her new position was-being let loose from former restraints, and being at liberty to consider the matter on its own merits, and not being entangled by those old arrangements which still deteriorate so largely from the adequacy and efficiency of the provision for theological education still existing in the Established halls of this country,-to set forth what would be a right and fully equipped theological institute, and to realise a full and proper theological curriculum, in order to bring that into full and practical operation, then to regulate her arrangements in such a way as would tend most fully to secure to all the candidates for the ministry the full benefits of this fully equipped theological institute, and then, having done that, to consider what provision of an inferior or supplementary kind it was needful and practicable to make for those candidates for the ministry for whom she found a difficulty in securing the enjoyment of the best theological education she could give. This was manifestly the duty of the Free Church after the Disruption; and this, beyond all question, was the view that filled the minds of the ministers of the Free Church in all their schemes and plans, in regard to the establishment of a College, and the furnishing of a theological institute. (Hear, hear.) No doubt our Aberdeen friends soon began to suggest the idea of a Hall at Aberdeen. They have been long working at that, and at length they have got a considerable measure of concurrence; but I think I can confidently put it to the recollection of the great body of this Assembly, whether the idea which I have now expressed did not generally obtain in the mind of the Church for a year or two after the Disruption, and whether or not that was the great idea on which the whole labours of our late lamented friend Dr Welsh were based, during all his laborious and magnanimous exertions. Now, in making this statement, I think it right to explain at once that I have no jealousy whatever of the employment of inferior and less qualified agencies for promoting the work of God in our land, in so far as the existing state of the population may need or require it. I have no jealousy whatever of that. I have no objection whatever to the Church fully entertaining the question of the value of employing, and to what extent and in what manner, the intelligent Christianity of our land for the purpose of diffusing over the country the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. To every scheme directed to that object I am willing to give full attention. I have no jealousy of the door being open. I have no desire to see the door shut against the admission of men to the ministry who have not gone through our fully prescribed curriculum, but who may have gained the necessary knowledge by their own private study, or in some other way which will enable them to stand being tested by a competent authority. (Hear, hear.) Of course, that class never can be very numerous, nor would it be desirable that it should be so; but I think the Church has no right wholly to shut the door in such cases. On this point I have no difficulty and no jealousy; but I believe it to be the one grand duty of the Free Church of Scotland, with reference to the matter now in hand, to

provide a fully-equipped theological institute, and to make arrangements for conducting the business in the way best fitted to secure to all the students an efficient theological education, and thereby to secure, as far as possible, that the great bulk of candidates for the sacred ministry shall be as fully accomplished as we can well effect. Now I think we are warranted in saying, that that is an object which can scarcely be fully accomplished, except on some such plan as that embodied in the report now lying on the table, or by any materially smaller amount of agency than is there proposed. I think, in the existing condition of theological literature, we can scarcely expect that we can communicate a full and efficient theological education by any less expensive means, or any smaller number of men. I think it very manifest that something ought to be done more stringently than hitherto for testing the qualifications of those who may apply, in regard to their previous studies, before they are allowed to enter the divinity hall. (Hear, hear.) It is a thing too well known, and altogether undeniable, that, under the existing system, men, and these too not in inconsiderable numbers, do find their way into the divinity hall so deficient in literature and philosophy as to be to a large extent unable to enter into the study of theology with real profit and advantage, and when they once get into the divinity hall, there is very little chance of their being stopped at any subsequent stage of their progress. The Church, I think, is bound to see, with a little more care -in a more regular and systematic way-to the attainments of the young men whom she admits to study theology in her hall. The theory on this point-and it is a right one-is, that the students come with certificates from the Presbyteries that they have examined them, and found them qualified. The right theory is, that the Church hands over those young men, having seen them examined herself, to be trained by her theological professors in the divinity hall, and we are then called upon to instruct them accordingly, under the superintendence of the Church. We think the Church ought to take, in justice to herself and in justice to us, some more effectual means of securing that those young men really are qualified to enter upon the study of theology. Now, I fear there may be some difficulties as to this from its interfering with what are sometimes called the constitutional rights of Presbyteries. We have no desire that the Presbyteries should be deprived of any power they have. (Hear, hear.) We wish them to retain all their powers, and to exercise all their functions with increasing strictness and regularity. Whatever force there may be in the name "constitutional," it cannot easily be disputed that experience shews that this provision of a Presbyterial examination, that is to say, an examination by seventy-one Presbyteries, all of whom, having equal rights in the matter, may prosecute the examination in a different way,-does not afford any sufficient security for students being respectably qualified in this matter. The Committee, accordingly, are very anxious, as an object of no inconsiderable importance to the prosecution of an efficient theological education, that all the students whom the Church admits to the study of theology, and consigns to the theological professors to superintend their theological education, shall be examined by the Church herself; that is to say, by a body of examiners, appointed by the General Assembly, and acting in their name, and who alone can conduct that department of business in a consistent way, and with something like a uniform standard. I think another collateral advantage of this plan would be, that in this way the actual attainments and capacities of the whole of the intending candidates for the ministry would come annually under the cognisance of some ten or twelve of the most intelligent and accomplished ministers of the Church from various quarters. I think the very fact of the attainments of all our students coming under the cognisance of a number of our most intelligent and accomplished ministers, would present to them important topics for consideration, and in this way valuable materials for useful suggestions might result from it. I need not dwell, I think, upon the propriety of students being required to know the elements of Hebrew before they enter the hall. I think the propriety of this will be generally admitted. It is a grievous waste of time in our divinity halls learning the Hebrew. It is an occupation very much unsuited to the manner in which students ought then to be engaged. We find, that when they are obliged to begin the elements of Hebrew at the time when they are first engaged in their new study, they grudge the learning of the elements of an unknown language, and the study is to a large extent neglected; and a great body of

our students, therefore, do not think it necessary to acquire much more knowledge of Hebrew than is necessary to enable them to pass a very inefficient examination. (Hear, hear.) On the other hand, in regard to those very few cases, in comparison with the mass, who perhaps take a special liking for this study, they are in danger of giving to it an amount of time and attention altogether inconsistent with a vigorous prosecution of the studies properly theological. (Hear, hear.) Then there is a valuable and important consideration on which a large portion of the curriculum is based, namely, the propriety and importance of making provision in any scheme of theological education for securing that from the time the young men enter on the study of theology they shall be brought into habitual contact with the exact and accurate study of the Word of God in the original languages. With a view to this, it is indispensable that they have a knowledge of Hebrew before they enter the Hall. I need not dwell on those parts of the curriculum that are better known. I have just to remind the House, that in order to have a four years' course of theology, we require to have two Professors who will divide that period between them, each of whom will have two classes. This, of course, implies, that at any one time the number of students attending any particular class, shall be only the students of one particular year, that is the fourth part of the whole students attending the Hall. This is a fundamental principle in the curriculum. If that great general principle is to be acted upon, and it seems to be impossible to have anything like efficient theological education without it, the principle must be always followed of onefourth of the students attending at one time in one class. Now, this is a consideration which bears very closely on the subject of extension, and on the question of establishing other divinity halls. You must lay your account with this: wherever other divinity halls are established, you must either abandon the fundamental principle on which your whole theological curriculum is based, namely, providing suitable instruction for each year's students in each department according to the stages of their progress--you must either trample this theory in the dust altogether-or else you must lay your account with this, that wherever you establish a divinity hall, each Professor shall have to teach at one time only a fourth part of the students who are attending that hall. One or other of these alternatives you must take with you. This is a consideration bearing very relevantly on the extension of the divinity halls. The leading feature and somewhat modified view of the curriculum embraced in this Report, as distinguished from that which has been transmitted by the General Assembly to the Presbyteries, is a fuller drawing out of the arrangements for the study of exegetical theology; that is to say, for the critical and accurate study of the Word of God in the original languages. I think a great defect-I would almost be inclined to call it a great scandal-in the system of theological education which has been prosecuted in Scotland for the last hundred years -I do not speak of the errors of the men, but of the system,-is the utter meagreness, or in many cases, I believe, the almost entire non-existence of any provision whatever for initiating the students in the accurate study of the Scriptures, by the critical study of the original languages; and in seeking to aim at this as one of the objects of a theological education, we desire to secure that, by the time of their concluding their theological studies, the students should have acquired such a taste and capacity for the reading of the Scriptures in the original languages, as would make it likely they would continue to read them all their days. I believe that the want of any provision for effecting this end has been the great defect of our theological education. I suppose the great body of the ministers in this House, if they look back to the period of their own theological studies, will deeply deplore that in the curriculum no provision, or scarcely any, existed, for accomplishing this important object. (Hear, hear.) I think it will be very unbecoming on the part of the Church if we were to prepare a theological curriculum-if we sent forth a programme for accomplishing these objects, in which there is not more prominence given than in any former proposed arrangements for securing that students should be conducted over a considerable portion of the Word of God. Now, I think the main difference in regard to the proposed curriculum will turn very much on this question, Whether it should be constructed on the plan or principle of our having four or five theological Professors ? I suppose that will be one of the most obvious and palpable differences. The Report, as it now stands, proposes five Professors,

(and so did Dr Chalmers in his Report two years ago); that there should be five Professors in the Theological Faculty,-two of them Professors of Systematic Theology, and, between them, to go over the four years' course,-two of them Professors of Exegetical Theology, and one of them to be confined to the teaching of Hebrew, if possible, although the precise arrangements of their respective functions may be the subject of more careful consideration. Without that number of Professors we cannot secure a proper theological education to our students. It is very important to have two Professors of Exegetical Theology, as well as two of Dogmatic Theology; and it is not possible to carry out our arrangements otherwise. The study of the sacred Scriptures in the original languages should occupy a portion of the students' time during each of the four years of the curriculum, for securing this other important object, namely, that in the course of that period they shall be conducted over a considerable portion of the Word of God. So deeply am I impressed with the conviction of the impracticability of securing these objects fully without two Professors of Exegetical Theology, that if it be the mind of the Church, that we are only to have four Professors in the Theological Faculty, I would consider it a fair question, whether or not the four Professors, if there are not to be five, should not rather be a second Professor of Exegetical Theology than a person holding the chair I now occupy. If we have only four Professors, I think it a matter of grave consideration, but a point in regard to which I am not prepared at present to express any very decided opinion,-a point for grave doubt and serious consideration, whether it would not be better, on the whole, to sacrifice and abolish the chair of Church History or rather of Historical and Polemic Theology, than by not having two Professors of Exegetical Theology, fail in accomplishing these two important objects, namely, that the students should have some time for the study of exegesis during each year of their course, and should in the course of the four years go over a considerable portion of the Word of God. I mention this, not for the purpose of dwelling on it at present, for, of course, many of those topics will require a fuller consideration; but I mention it for the purpose simply of shewing my sense of the importance of having two Professors of Exegetical as well as of Systematic Theology, from the difficulty, if not impossibility, without them, of accomplishing these objects, which are of so vast importance, and which have been far too much neglected in our theological education. Now I feel that I must not enter into the other details connected with the curriculum, of which I mean to move that the Assembly should express generally their approval. Of course, I am well aware that these various topics will need to be subjected to a more full and deliberate discussion than can at present be given them, when, from the necessity of the case, we are compelled to discuss together the subjects of the curriculum and the extension of the divinity halls. I cannot see, however, any plan whereby a full and adequate theological education, adapted to the necessities and wants of the age, can be effectually provided, except by such arrangements as these. I fear that a feeling may spring up in the minds of many of the brethren as to the having of five Professors, which may develope itself in this way,-"We feel that this is a great number of Professors; we never had so many before,—(laughter),—we have made very respectable ministers, and done very well without any such multiplication of Professors or extension of curriculum, and, without incurring any increased expense, we may do very well again." Now I do not mean to say that we have not done very well; but I am very confident that we might have done a great deal better,— (hear,) for I am satisfied that there have been radical defects in the existing system of theological education hitherto in operation in this country, and that one of the most prominent of these, viewed in its results, is an incapacity, or something amounting to it, of dealing with anything like ease and freedom with the Word of God in the original language, on the part of those who occupy the position of authorised expounders of the Word of God. I think it very desirable that the Church should hold up this as a good and wise curriculum; and I cannot see how, without this in substance, the object can be accomplished. And here, again, the curriculum and the extension touch each other. The Church should not, without some urgent and pressing necessity, become a party to any arrangements, especially if they involve a considerable amount of additional annual expense, whereby a considerable number of additional candidates for the ministry should not enjoy the benefit of this curri

culum, but have a theological education of decidedly inferior value and efficiency. I must not dwell upon partial sessions and other details in the report, but hasten to the subject of the extension of the means of theological education. I do not know what the Extensionists intend at present to propose for the adoption of the House. I suppose that, lately at least, the general prevalent idea among them was the propriety of this General Assembly making such additions to the provision existing at Aberdeen as would make that a full divinity hall. We have heard proposals from some Presbyteries, and from some brethren, for two divinity halls,- -one at Aberdeen, and one at Glasgow. I do not know, from all that I can see, that the question of the erection of a full divinity hall at Glasgow will be pressed very strenuously upon the Assembly; but for aught I know, as a measure now to be adopted, it will be urgently pressed upon the Assembly as to Aberdeen. I think I am warranted in assuming that this is practically what the Extensionists are more particularly aiming at,-what I suppose they will endeavour to carry into effect by the decision of this Assembly. Now, as you are aware, we have one Theological Professor there at present, and one Hebrew tutor. The Hebrew tutor's appointment has been a temporary matter of arrangement by the General Assembly, which it has in its own power, if it shall see cause, to continue or otherwise; but hitherto it has been put upon a temporary footing as a thing existing from year to year, and at this moment the Committee's engagement with the Hebrew tutor is entirely at an end if they shall think fit. I suppose, at this day, it will not be contended that there shall be a divinity hall without, at least, three Theological Professors, in order to make a divinity hall which the Church could look at, and think of sustaining as a full divinity hall. That I think may be assumed; and the substantial view of the proposal then is, that we must appoint two additional Professors at Aberdeen, in order thereby to make it a theological hall. That, I understand, would be the substance of the proposal, if anything in the way of extension is to be urged. If the Church think of the establishment of a divinity hall at Aberdeen, with three professors, I think it is very manifest that the way in which these men should be occupied for the regulation of their professorial labours is this, that two of them should exhibit between them in four years a full course of systematic theology-cach having two years' students, and each having two classes. That may be considered an indispensable requisite, as, in fact, the back-bone of a theological education. You must have some mode of conducting students over the full scheme of revealed truth, in accordance with the symbolical books of our Church, if you are to have anything like a theological education at all; and if you can furnish two professors, and only two, that is the way in which they must be employed, else you will only have the shadow of a provision for theological education. That is most indispensable. Then these two professors, in that case, would also have it as a branch of their duty to try to initiate the students in the critical study of the Scriptures in the original languages. If you can afford to have a third theological professor, I think it very manifest that the way and manner in which he should be employed, would be that of initiating the students in the critical study of the Old Testament. And the reason is this, that, considering the shameful neglect of the study of the oriental languages and the Old Testament during the studies of most of us- (a laugh)— you cannot count much upon those who may hold the office of professors being qualified for this; and as this work cannot be neglected, you must see to have it done. I think it apparent that that is the way you ought to do, if you are to attend at all to the merits of the case, the real nature of the subject, and not to be guided by mere traditionary rules and forms which have been handed down to us from early ages, and to establish a divinity hall with three theological professors. I think it very plain and manifest that that is the way in which these men ought to be employed, and these are the departments of work that ought to be assigned them. The proposal, then, is this, that, practically, the object is to secure a full divinity hall to Aberdeen, and the making it complete by the appointment of two additional Theological Professors. They adduce many grounds in support of this scheme. First of all, they are accustomed to represent it as a thing settled by the authority of the Church. Now, I am dis

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