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man from an obscure hill-town had found his way into the chapel. He had enjoyed such advantages for the cultivation of music as the village singing schools of that day afforded, and seizing the opportunity to volunteer a solo when a suitable interval occured, he sung in a heavy bass voice the entire hymn of Mrs. Hemans on the landing of the Pilgrims. Over against that performance will be given this evening the Oratorio of the Messiah by the Hosmer Hall Choral Union.
Financially the outlay of three thousand dollars a year has grown, probably, to seven or eight times that sum, and authority given at first to hold fifty thousand dollars' worth of property now covers the right to hold twenty times this amount. As to the method of making the column of receipts tally with that of disbursements, it is surmised that between our present treasurer and his predecessor it would not be easy to picture a contrast. Estimated by a just standard, the title of collegiate and theological institutions to public confidence
depends on their teachers far more than on their material · resources and accommodations. The advance made by our
Seminary in this vital matter is a plain token of the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush.” This comparison of then and now should embrace one more feature. The sneers and unscrupulous censures, leveled at our Institute in its youth and its long struggle with poverty and weakness, håve largely given way either to a decent silence or words of confidence and cheer. This happy change is distinctly shown also by liberal gifts, increasing sympathy and other tokens of regard from our fellow-citizens, which we trust the future will more and more justify.
Only in rare instances is one permitted to look back and note the vicissitudes of an enterprise with which his hopes and toils have been identified for half a century, from early manhood to quite beyond three score years and ten. Of the thirtysix men who met in the small brick school-house at East Windsor fifty years ago only three are now living. Of the first board of trustees, twenty-four in number, not one remains. - Of the eight Professors who held office while we continued at East Windsor Hill I am the only one left. At short inter
vals the names on our Historical Catalogue are marked with the lethal star.
But the Seminary abides. The tree transplanted from East Windsor to Prospect and from Prospect to Broad street without being killed or dwarfed may be expected to outlive successive generations of trustees, professors, and pupils. The badge seen on the walls of an old English mansion, long occupied by the family of Moore, is the mulberry tree, the morus, and the legend is, “Morus tarde moriens, morum cito moritur.” The mulberry tree is slow to die; the mulberry fruit dies soon. Outside of our city and of our commonwealth friendly eyes are directed to this seat of sacred learning. If we hesitate to credit the predictions of sanguine coadjutors who have recently espoused our cause, yet they may well incite us to whole-hearted endeavors in our allotted field. When devout, scholarly interpretation of the divine Word, based on approved principles, shall fail to sanction any doctrine here taught-when theological novelties antagonistic to the faith of the Christian Church for ages shall have vindicated themselves in personal purity and spiritual fruitfulness hitherto unknown or rarely witnessed—it will be soon enough to revise our creed. Tested by the best biblical scholarship, by countless individual experiences and by their transforming, elevating power on domestic, social, and national life, let the doctrines which we hold and teach ever find able advocates and cordial friends in the guardians and faculty of this Institution.
Our Seminary began its life as a practical protest against what were deemed unscriptural sentiments. Like the speckled bird of the prophet, “the birds round about were against her.” If others judge that the time has come to exchange signals with those who deny the supreme authority of the Scriptures, the expiatory nature of Christ's death, and the endless punishment of those who die impenitent, let us incur a fresh storm of obloquy, if need be, and welcome double the distresses of past years rather than prove disloyal to the faithful and true Witness. Should some ingenious rationalistic speculator attempt to use our consecrated funds for purposes alien to the views inculcated here for the last half century, let the memory of Tyler and Nettleton, of Atwater, Calhoun, and Hosmer rouse their official successors to the fearless discharge of their sacred trust. If the gratified sentiment that pervades our present convocation is shared by invisible spectators, let us hope that the enlarged cloud of witnesses at our next jubilee may rejoice that the Hartford Theological Seminary is permitted to bear a humble part in whatever service may be needful at that brighter day to complete the triumph of Christ our Lord. Mindful of the perils that beset all human organizations we will rely on the guardianship of Him who has been our helper in all the checkered history of the past. “ The Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; let Him not leave us nor forsake us; that He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments which He commanded our father's,” to Whom be glory and honor, thanksgiving and praise.
Bennett Tyler, D.D.
I have been requested to give a pen-picture appropriate to this occasion of Rev. Bennett Tyler, DD., as he stands related to the work of this Seminary, and to polemic theology in New England. While I appreciate the complimentary courtesy of the request, I am at a loss to find in myself any special fitness for such a service, unless it be that given by the opportunity while studying theology, and during the early years of my ministry, to observe from an unbiased stand-point, the parties to a vigorous polemic struggle which was happily issued in the victory of both.
If it had been required of my now sainted mother, whose relations to this Institution in its early struggles were quite intimate, to characterize Dr. Tyler as a inan, a neighbor, a minister, a preacher, and a pastor, I am sure she would have done it, in the use of all proper terms of admiration and eulogy, in the superlative degree. And to her estimate I should heartily subscribe, first from à belief that no more conscientious and competent witness could be called, and also because a limited personal acquaintance gave the same testimony.
This service does not require the expression of personal or partisan devotion. Nor should this occasion be used for the parade of fulsome eulogy. If the praise wrought so often into the rhetoric of commemorative discourse, were expressed in loving, helpful fellowship with living workers in their toils and trials, death might sometimes defer his advent among them. A larger charity, and a more sympathizing, coöperative zeal among the living, will serve the cause of the Master better than incense burned upon the tombs of the dead. We are indeed to cherish the memory of the just, but our regard for God's servants should not begin at their graves. It is a fault of our times that living, struggling worth, is often lost sight of in the shadow of departed greatness, real or illusive.
The chief value of commemorative discourse to the earnest Christain worker, is in the aid it gives him for the study of God's providential provision for the spread and defense of the truth. It is both instructive and inspiring to observe how, for the development and spread of His Kingdom, God raises up the needed human agents at the right time. Studied in this light, the biography of eminent Christian scholars and workers is as profitable as it is interesting. In this light let us try to set the character and work of Dr. Tyler.
The eighteenth century is remarkable for certain preparatory movements and provisions for the wonderful developments of the nineteenth. This is as true in the religious as it is in the political history of our country and the world. As when on a summer's day which precedes some great convulsion of nature, the skilled observer discerns tokens of coming agitation in the cast of the sky, the state of the atmosphere, and the fleecy mists that rise here and there, so in the religious aspect of the New England churches during the eighteenth century, the discriminating observer sees a divine preparation for that signal outcome of mental and spiritual activity, which has given us two flourishing theological seminaries in the State of Connecticut, and a rapid succession of new departures in the methods and matter of Christian teaching.
In their utter rejection of the petrified forms of godliness, the churches in the middle of the last century had well-nigh lost the power of godliness, which always requires some form for its proper exercise and expression. The necessities of their case, and their isolated condition, had fostered a hard, materialistic tendency in modes of thought, and the theology of the times had little power to stir and lift the soul. The logic of the intellect had so crystalized about the technics of the day as to allow no exercise for the rhetoric of the feelings. A revolution was to be effected in the thought-systems and forms of