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With regard to the proposal of two Professors of Exegetical Theology, I have only to say, that Exegetical Theology is an excellent thing, but it seems to me that to demand two Professors of Exegetical Theology here, while we are requiring Professors in other places, is making rather two high a requirement. There are many other topics on which I might have touched, but I feel that I have already encroached too long upon your time. I beg, therefore, to conclude by proposing,"That the General Assembly, having heard returns from Presbyteries relative to the College Report, and in particular on the extension of theological education, approve of the principle affirmed in the majority of said returns relative to the same, and do now resolve that the means of theological education provided at Aberdeen by an act of the General Assembly held at Inverness in 1845, and which act implied an intention of extending in due time, ought to be extended, so as to prepare candidates for the ministry for receiving licence; and they remit to a Committee, to report to a future diet of the Assembly, what additions ought now to be made to the theological institute at Aberdeen, and whether any, and what, additional provision shall be made with the same view at any other university seat: and, in respect that the Report of the College Committee contains various important suggestions, which have not been considered by the Church, on the subject of the curriculum, remit that part of it to Presbyteries, with instructions to transmit their returns to the College Committee on or before the 31st of March 1849; and further, direct the said Committee to make arrangements for teaching Hebrew at Aberdeen."

Mr THOMSON of Banchory seconded the motion. He wished to press on the Assembly that the object which they ought to keep in view, was to draw out for the service of the Free Church the greatest possible amount of the talent and piety of the youth of Scotland. He felt most strongly that the Free Church College in Edinburgh had hitherto wholly failed in accomplishing this purpose. The small number of students, comparatively speaking, and drawn not from the whole country, but from two or three districts, proved this to be the case. Not all the splendid talent, and all the varied acquirements and profound learning of our Professors had been able to bring them to our hall. He most heartily concurred in what had fallen from the reverend Principal as to a high standard of theological attainment, and rejoiced to see the curriculum extended. He would yield to no man in admiration of high literary acquirements, of profound and accurate learning, and he desired, in due time, to see the ministers of the Free Church educated to the highest possible point, and as distinguished before the world for their learning, as for the Bible purity of their principles; but this is not our present duty. We have not now to set to work to educate a body of Professors, but we want to get a large and abundant supply of young men, pious, active and devoted, with hearts full of love to God and man, prepared, as quickly as possible, to do the every-day work of the Free Church, and this they may thoroughly do although they be not versed in all the depths of Biblical Exegesis, or minutely acquainted with every fact in ecclesiastical history. Scotland can, and he trusted soon would, supply ten times the number now devoting themselves to preparation for the ministry, were the means of doing so only put within their reach. The present system cannot at all supply even the demands of the Free Church in Scotland. Is it not an undeniable fact, that, as matters stand at present, so far from vacant congregations having a choice among various probationers, every student, even of moderate attainments, knows that the moment he is licensed, several congregations will be open for his selection, and contending with each other for his services; and does not this state of things inflict a grievous injury on our Church at home? But are we to confine the Free Church to the men supplying the demand for preachers in Scotland? Have we no calls from the Presbyterian Churches of England and Ireland for aid in this matter? Have we no demands from our colonies? Are all our foreign missions amply supplied? Above all, look at the door now opened for the admission of protestant, or he would rather say, of gospel truth, into countries which had been effectually closed against it for ages past? Are we to neglect so wonderful an opportunity of spreading the light of truth in benighted lands? May we not, when we look at the time and the manner in which the Free Church was called into existence, be justified in believing that this is indeed to be the high and glorious calling of our Church, and that it is

our special duty to be preparing, and training up the men who are to go forth and take advantage of the openings in providence, which are daily appearing. No man can be blind to the fact, that a few years are likely to see greater changes take place in the world than have occurred for generations past,-it may be that it is to be our privilege, even from this remote corner of the earth, to be the great missionaries of the world! For this purpose let us in the mean time be calling into activity all the talent, and all the piety of the country which we can make available-and thus be ready when the time comes to work. Let us in this matter act on the same principles as we followed in planting churches at the Disruption. The Church did not then sit down and calculate how few ministers could possibly be made to serve the purposes of the Church, but went forth and boldly planted itself in every corner of the land, spreading itself to the utmost of its power-nay even beyond its power. This they did in faith, faith is the master whom they desired to honour, and honest confidence in the people whom they sought to benefit, and the result had proved that they were right. They ought to act in the same manner as to the Divinity Halls. To procure funds for the sustentation of the ministers they, at the Disruption, cast themselves fearlessly on the Christian liberality of the people; do the same now for funds for the education of the ministry, and they will speedily be found. A Divinity Hall in Edinburgh could no more supply the wants of the Free Church as to the education of ministers, than the Free Presbytery of Edinburgh could supply the demand for religious instruction and ordinances. Students of divinity may be specially considered as the seed of the Church, and to neglect the timely providing of them because of present pressure of circumstances, is to imitate the farmer who should refuse to sow his seed in spring, that haply he might want it for other purposes ere harvest time arrived. Mr T. would never consent to consider this as a local, an Aberdeen question-he regarded it as one affecting the whole church, and not any portion of it, and he had even considered the claims of Glasgow to be just as great as those of Aberdeen for a separate Divinity Hall, and he trusted that the time was not far distant when not only in these two University Seats, but also in St Andrews, and in Inverness, Divinity Halls would be established. In conclusion, he would suggest to the Assembly that there was danger arising from the entire body of our young men being educated in one institution, from the sameness of the education thereby imparted to them. He was persuaded that to the very fact of the ministers of the Free Church having been educated in so many different halls and institutions, had contributed greatly to draw forth that talent in which we so much rejoice. (Hear, hear.)

Dr JAMES BUCHANAN, who was received with cheering, said,—I am not able at this late hour, and in this heated atmosphere, to speak much, and therefore I shall be brief. I might have felt myself somewhat straitened in attempting to discuss this question at all, by the mere accident of my position as a member of the Senatus of the Free Church College; but I feel that I would far rather place the possession of my chair in abeyance for a time, and even place the chair itself once more at the free disposal of this Assembly, than be precluded from doing what I feel to be my duty to do in the way of supporting my noble-minded friend Dr Cunningham(cheers)-in the conflict which he has been called to wage, and in contributing my mite, however small, to the amount of argument and information on which the decision of this House must turn. (Loud cheers.) I have said enough in these few sentences, I trust, to blunt the edge of any argumentum ad verecundiam, which may be addressed to me; and I trust I may now dismiss all personal considerations from my mind, and discuss the question on its general merits. (Hear, hear.) Now, Sir, I shall not attempt any reply to the speech of my learned and esteemed friend Dr Brown, a speech which, I think, considering the peculiar circumstances in which he is placed, was highly creditable both to his head and his heart. (Cheers.) I shall not attempt any reply to that speech, but I shall content myself with throwing anything I have to offer for the consideration of this house into the shape of two distinct positions. My first position is, that, even if it were desirable in some respects, and with a view to certain collateral objects, to have more theological halls than one, we have not the means, nor have we a reasonable prospect of raising the means, for the permanent support of more than one vigorous central institution. (Hear, hear.) That is my first position, and the second is, that even if we had the means, or had a

reasonable prospect for raising the means by united efforts amongst the congregations of the Church, it is not necessary, with a view to the great primary object of securing an efficient theological education; and, being unnecessary, it is not expedient to institute more professorships than we have at the present time, until we reach that limit in point of the number of students attending who, in the judgment of the Church, can no longer be efficiently taught in the institution we already possess. (Hear, hear.) These are the two positions I lay down, either of which is sufficient, in my humble judgment, to prove the impolicy of multiplying our theological halls at present; and the two combined amount to an absolute demonstration. Now, I anticipate very little difference of opinion amongst the members of the house in regard to a part, at least, of the first of these propositions. That we have not the means at present is undeniable. Let us look at the balance-sheet of the College as to the actual state of the accounts. There is a debt existing against the institution of about two thousand pounds; and I find that, during the course of last year, the ordinary revenue fell short of the ordinary expenditure by about £1000. In these circumstances, I cannot suppose that any one of the brethren will say that we possess the means of instituting a new professorship. But although this be the state of the funds at present, it may be said that if we go forward in faith we may succeed, just as we have succeeded so marvellously in time past. We have done what we believe none of us truly expected at the time of the Disruption to do in other cases; and it is argued, that if we only go forth in faith, in the present instance also, our efforts may be crowned with the same success. Now, I admit that if I could go forward in faith, as I did in the case of providing places of worship for the people—the instance to which Mr Thomson of Banchory has referred.-—if we could do so with a good conscience, if we could go to the people of Scotland and ask them for the means of founding a new theological institution for the Free Church, as we asked for the means of building new churches at the Disruption,—if I could honestly lay my hand on my heart, and go to the communicants of Scotland and say that I am in a position to exercise this faith in God's providence, no doubt we should have a willing and cordial response from the members of the Free Church. But we are not in that position,- -we are not in a position to exercise faith in this matter, unless it be called faith that I am to run needlessly into pecuniary embarrassments, in the hope that the people will extricate us out of them. (Hear, hear.) Now, Sir, it has been the experience of all unendowed colleges, that one of the most difficult parts of their finan cial operations was to provide stated annual salaries for their professors of divinity I don't mean to say that professors of divinity are in the least degree less popular than the brethren who are pastors of congregatious; but somehow it requires a greater amount of labour, and it is more difficult to effect this object from year to year than to provide for the maintenance of the ministry. We are supported by no body of warm-hearted people; there is no congregation around us, such as the pastors of the Church have; and therefore the only way in which we can tell upon the people, with a view to the support of the theological institution, is just the annual call upon this house, united with that sense which may be excited in the bosoms of a few here and there, of the paramount importance of supporting a college for the education of the ministry. But it has been found, and it is the experience of the Nonconformist Colleges in England, that this was the most difficult part of their financial operations, and one from which they have been long exempted, by endowments voluntarily bequeathed to them by individual members of the Church. (Hear.) Without insisting further on this point, I proceed to the second proposition which I ventured to lay down, namely, that, even if we had the means, it is not necessary, with a view to the great primary object of maintaining an effective theological education in Scotland, and, that being unnecessary, it is inexpedient to attempt the formation of more than one theological hall till the number of students is so increased, that it shall become apparent that they are no longer efficiently taught by the professors already appointed. Now observe, Sir, that I refer, in this second proposition, to that which is the great primary object which we ought to have in view, namely, the maintaining of a high standard of theological education. There are, as I have already admitted, other collateral objects of a subordinate nature, which might be subserved unquestionably by the institution of more theological halls than one; and I am very far from being insensible to the importance of some of these collateral

objects, and that they would exert some measure of legitimate influence upon us, provided always the great primary object is secured at the same time. For instance, there is the collateral object referred to by Dr Brown, of having tutors at Aberdeen and Glasgow, the advantages of which I am far from undervaluing. But what I say is, that it is not necessary for the purpose of carrying on a sound vigorous theological education, that we should have more institutions than one; and it is of great importance, as the reverend Principal has stated, to keep steadily in view this great primary object in all our arrangements in this matter, and give only a very subordinate place to these subsidiary and collateral considerations. (Hear, hear.) Now, you observe, that while it is not necessary, and, being unnecessary, cannot be expedient, to institute more theological faculties than one,-while I say this, I do rot absolutely preclude the further extension of theological education in time to come,—not at all. (Hear, hear.) I do not preclude the question, which I still leave an open question, as to the institution of a theological hall at Aberdeen, and, a fortiori, I should be in favour of one at Glasgow; I would keep the question open in reference to theological halls there. But, then, let us endeavour to fix some definite principle on this subject, which may guide the Church in future deliberations concerning it, and also subserve the not unimportant object of sparing us the necessity of discussing questions of this kind from year to year. If by any means we could come to an agreement which would settle and determine the whole question it will be so much gained. It appears to me that the only question is just this,-to settle the limit beyond which, in the judgment of this Church, it is not expedient that the students, in point of number, should be associated in our hall. In such an arrangement it will be necessary to prevent the number from being limited too far; for unless this is done, the classes might be diminished to mere skeletons. In working out the plan adopted by Dr Chalmers and followed by Dr Cunningham,-the plan which was first recommended by Dr Chalmers to the Commissioners on the old Universities and Colleges, and which, scouted by them, he left to us as an invaluable legacy to the Free Church. It is established on the principle that every student of theology who comes to the hall shall have a course of lectures ready for him, so that he shall not be under the necessity of studying theology backwards, as was the case in former times-(hear, hear, and a laugh)—the student joining the class, perhaps, when the professor was in his fourth year's lectures. That being the principle of the plan, there must be four distinct classes, say, for example, of Systematic Theology, and that implies the appointment of two distinct professorships, an arrangement to which the Church has already given its sanction; and I only regret that one of these chairs is now vacant by the demission of my friend Dr Candlish, but I have no doubt that the Assembly will do its best to supply the chair. Well, supposing there are two professorships of Systematic Theology, and each of these has two classes, here are four classes; and as all the students attending at any one time fall to be divided into four classes, and the number of students attending the College in Edinburgh last year was 160, this number divided into four classes, would yield only forty men to each class. The whole divinity students of the Free Church, including those in Aberdeen and Glasgow, are 204; now, supposing that all of these were congregated in Edinburgh, and divided into four classes, they would only yield fifty-one to each class. Or suppose that the number should rise in process of time, as I trust it will do, when efficient measures are taken by the Church to send up young men, say it should rise to 300; still, if you divide 300 by 4, you have only seventy-five men to a class. Suppose, even, that the number should ultimately reach 400, this, divided into four, would give 100 to each class. Now, I do not say where the limit ought to be fixed. Some may say, and I am of that opinion, I frankly avow it, that the existing staff in Edinburgh will, at the same expense in point of money and in point of labour,-at the same expenditure to the Church,-educate 400, or twice the num ber of students which it has at the present moment, So far from being an evil, I think the increase of the number of students, to be thus subdivided, will be a positive advantage. Every one knows, every one feels, who addresses congregations or classes, that a great deal of the stimulus, both to the students and the professors themselves, evaporates when the number is excessively few. Moreover, we have the better prospect, if we have a considerably large attendance at each class, of having at the same time a number of superior young men amongst the students themselves; and


no one can calculate what amount of influence is exercised over their fellow-students even by a very few enterprising and noble-spirited young men. (Cheers.) Now, Sir, I don't say what is the limit which should be fixed; perhaps it might be 300; I certainly would not say 200 or 100; but this just leads me to observe, that the institution of a new theological hall is not the way to increase the number of students. The institution of a new hall would, instead of being a feeder, act as a drain. We have already had some experience of this. The number of students, it may be interesting to know, during the first year after the Disruption, was 168. In the following year, 1844–5, the number was 165, being three fewer. In 1845–6,—and I believe that during that year there was no provision made at Aberdeen; at all events, there was an influx of those young men who had gone for a couple of years to college immediately after the Disruption, and who, by that time, were prepared to enter on their theological studies,-the number suddenly amounted to 190, being the largest number ever included in the Free Church hall. In 1846–7 Mr Maclagan was appointed, and our number fell from 190 to 178. And in 1847-8 our number fell down to 160, being five below the number at which we started a year after the Disruption. You observe that we just lost about as many from our central institution in Edinburgh as my excellent and venerated friend Mr Maclagan had attending him at Aberdeen,-about thirty in all. At least we have lost somewhat more than thirty in a few years, whether they went to Aberdeen or not. So that, instead of a feeder, it acts as a drain. It subtracts from us, without materially adding to the effective strength of the Free Church. (Hear.) I have nothing more to say, except to make a single allusion to the fact,-and, I think, a very instructive one,-that all the non-established, Nonconforming bodies in England are beginning to feel the evils arising from the hasty multiplication of theological institutions. I have taken considerable trouble in the way of procuring accurate information on this subject. I obtained, first of all, the minutes of a conference held by delegates of the Independent churches in England and Wales. It appears that it was only in the year 1845 that the evils of the present system began to be felt; and the Congregational Union addressed a circular to the trustees of the various colleges, requiring them to send up delegates to a meeting to be held in London, to take the subject under their serious consideration. Of the fifteen colleges,-for it is no smaller number,-belonging to the Independent body in England and Wales, fourteen were represented at the conference; and the result was, the expression of a strong opinion that instead of acting, as they had hitherto done, on the diffusive principle, they should begin now,even though there were difficulties of a pecuniary nature in the way,-that they should begin now to amalgamate, and the Colleges of Highbury, Homerton, and Cheshunt, are no v amalgamated into one. (Hear, hear.) In regard to the Baptist Churches in England, there appear to be six colleges in England and Wales. Of these, according to the minutes which I have received of a conference, it is now proposed to amalgamate four-(hear, hear)—so that they will only have two colleges instead of four. The Wesleyan Conference has two collegiate institutions, educating the one 70 and the other 100 students, at the expense of £6000 a-year. (Hear, hear.) Now, it is absolutely unquestionable that the Free Church must split upon the same rock as the Nonconforming bodies in England, unless they listen in time to the lesson which the experience of these bodies affords. One other fact I will mention, and then close. Many people say, what is the precise logical value of all this information in regard to the English colleges, which are placed in very different circumstances from ours? I admit that there is a difference betwixt the two cases, and I thank God for the difference. We have what they never had,— our parish schools and our burgh schools,—to give a good preliminary education to our young men; and therefore we may hope for a much larger harvest of educated youth than England affords, owing to its deficiency of early education. That is the great difference betwixt us; but the question is this, does the multiplication of colleges necessarily imply the multiplication of students? Are you sure, that while increasing the number of theological halls you will increase the number of students? I wrote for information to a friend in London, whose name it would only be necessary to mention to command the universal respect of the house, but as his letter is private, I will only read one passage from it:"It is difficult to procure statistics of declension; but there can be no doubt of the terrible falling off in the attendance

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