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lic libraries of Paris, viz. 1,330,000. In other words, the number of volumes belonging to the public libraries of the States of Germany amounts to 5,989,300 beyond the number to be found on the shelves of the public libraries of the whole United States. So also, the libraries of the city of Paris alone, embracing 1,330,000 volumes, exceed those of the whole United States by 669,300 volumes. And the city of Lyons alone can boast of nearly as many volumes in its public libraries, as would be furnished by all the public libraries of the twenty-six United States.
Again ; the public libraries of the city of New York collectively, amount to 69,500 volumes. If these 69,500 volumes were brought together, assorted and arranged, rejecting duplicates, etc. in order to form one library ; it would numerically not much exceed the single library of Harvard University.
Again; it appears that all the public libraries of the city of New York, will furnish about one ninth part of the number of volumes embraced in the libraries of the city of Lyons; with which, in point of population, and devotion to manufactures and commerce, a comparison may be instructively made ; and not one half as many volumes as are contained in the public libraries of Marseilles, an enterprising commercial city, with a population one half as great as that of New York.
If it be objected that the libraries of Europe have been accumulating centuries upon centuries, and thus have swollen to their present imposing size, we would remark, that the university of Göttingen dates its origin a century later than our own Harvard, and is now one of the first institutions of the age, with a library of 300,000 volumes; while our venerable Harvard has not yet been able to rise above its 42,000. The university of Berlin was founded in 1809, and is now one of the most distinguished of the universities of Germany, with a library of 200,000 volumes. The library of the university of Bonn, chartered in 1818, already numbers 50,000 volumes, exceeding the number of volumes contained in the library of Harvard University, that has just witnessed its second centennial celebration.
We ask, then, again, Is it not high time to commence an enterprise not merely noble and ennobling in itself, but really essential to the future prosperity, happiness and respectability of our country?
If there is a distinguishing trait of national character in the American people, it is untiring energy. There is here an elasticity of mind which, under the influence of our free institutions, Voc. XI. No. 29.
has both the opportunity and space to expand ; and under the pressure of adversity, the power which exists in no other country, and under no other system, to resist and overcome obstacles. Naturally connected with this is the conception of large plans for the future. Every plan must, of necessity, be conceiyed on a grand scale, or we fall below the standard of American character. When we consider the amount of mind in active exercise in the United States, at work for good or for evil, is it not manifest that the food of mind ought to be of a quality and quantity suited to the exigencies of the case ?
When the dearth of literary food in the country is considered; —when the facts are stated which show how far it is behind some petty States, or even cities, of Europe, will the citizens of the United States be alarmed at a proposition to make their country the depository of the best library in the world?
We should not feel ourselves to be worthy of the country in which we live, could we consent to offer a little or contracted scheme, for their approbation. Who can calculate the advantages' to this country of such a library ? Who can estimate the effect on religion, literature, the sciences, the arts, on commerce, agriculture, manufactures, not of this country only, but of the whole world?
Lest, however, a feeling of discouragement should possess our minds in view of the supposed amount of time necessary for the accumulation of such a library, as is here contemplated, judging, as we are prone to do, by the more tardy operations of our transatlantic brethren, we are reminded forcibly of a fact, which needs only to be mentioned in order to rouse our energies, and encourage a well grounded confidence of success. We allude to the circumstance that every enterprise, of whatever character, though pregnant with difficulties, and apparently impracticable, has, when undertaken with the genuine American hardiness, and pertinacity, been brought to its accomplishment with a rapidity, which, though nothing but the natural development of vigorous faculties, under propitious circumstances, excites the amazement of every foreigner, who visits our favored shores. Two years since, the devouring element swept over acres of the crowded city of New York, and now a vestige scarce remains of its awful ravages. The foreigner, on his arrival asks to see the ruins of the great conflagration; but they “are not.” The animated hum of business alone is heard, and, in a few more months, the event itself. will appear like a vague dream, or a remote tradition.
It must, therefore, be acknowledged that another distinguishing trait of American character, is the unrivalled promptness and rapidity with which even the largest plans are carried forward to their accomplishment. The interval between the conception and the execution, usually filled up with doubts, and fears, trials and failures, hopes and anxieties, is here almost annihilated by the absorbing energy with which we press forward to the consummation.
Finally : Is there a spot on the surface of the globe whose geographical position, whose facilities for intercourse with every clime, whose easy, rapid, and comparatively cheap acquisition of every foreign valuable article it seeks to attain, in a word whose physical, commercial and political advantages call so loudly and impressively upon its citizens, to make it the envied depot not merely of every description of merchandise, but also of literature, of learning, of science, of the arts, and of their inseparable and indispensable co-adjutor—an ample library ?
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DESIGN OF THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES.*
By the Rev. L. P. Hickok, Professor of Didactic Theology, in the Western Reserve
College, Hudson, Ohio.
The great object before the church is the subjection of the world to Jesus Christ. The chief instrument divinely appointed for this end is the holy ministry. God has given to it the high commission to “ disciple all nations," and each minister in his own station is, as far as possible, to promote this object. The obligation thus resting alike upon all, secures in the aggregate the accomplishment of the ultimate end, in proportion to their number and extension. No single station has a right to urge its claims in competition with the interests of the whole. If, in the enlightened observation of christian wisdom, the ultimate design can be best promoted by the transfer of one man to another station, this, and not the separate interest of any place, must bind the conscience and control the conduct. * This article was delivered by the author as an inaugural address.-ED. « The field is the world,” and the injunction to “pray the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth laborers into his harvest" has reference to the whole field, and not to any exclusively favored portion of it. The design of the christian ministry is the conversion of the whole world to Christ.
The design of Theological Seminaries is to provide the most efficient ministry for this purpose. The world is to be kept in view, and a ministry best adapted to its entire subjection to God is to be provided. I assume this proposition therefore as true -THE GREAT DESIGN OF THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES IS TO FURNISH THE MOST EFFICIENT MINISTRY FOR THE WORLD.
The present purpose is to give an attention to the inquiryhow shall this great design be attained ? The answer will be given under a few general heads, and the whole subject followed through several particular deductions.
To provide the most efficient ministry for the world, theological seminaries must labor
1. To extend and perfect theological science.
No new revelation is to be expected from heaven. Nor are we to expect that any new fundamental principles will be discovered, in the revelation which has already been given. The sanctified minds of eighteen centuries have been devoutly directed to the Bible, and it cannot be that any doctrines or duties essential to salvation, remain yet hidden beyond the reach of their researches. Such a supposition would be an impeachment of the wisdom and sincerity of its divine author. The great doctrines which compose the system of suBSTANTIAL CHRISTIANITY can never be greatly modified by any subsequent investigation. These compose the foundation of God," which “ standeth sure.”
But theology as a science is far more comprehensive. It includes not only the truths necessary to salvation, but many important and influential doctrines in addition. Every theological system must contain much besides its fundamental principles. Collateral doctrines and legitimate deductions, philosophical explanations and practical results must all belong to the system, and all be harmoniously combined and amply demonstrated. In its perfect state the system must be inclusive of all truth which belongs to theology. What has already been discovered must be put in its proper place, and there must also be space enough for the harmonious addition of all new truth which shall be discovered in time and eternity. The right system must be
competent to embrace all truth, and put all truth in its right place.
It is therefore clear that there is great room for improvement in theological science. Not only is there more truth to be discovered and systematized, but the definite shape and outline of the system which shall include what has already been found, is far from being satisfactorily settled. Two great general systems, the Calvinistic and Arminian, hold their place in the religious world, and with their various modifications divide the sincere and devout disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Both include the truths of substantial Christianity, and therefore in the great essentials of salvation the sincere members of each bave but “one Lord, one faith and one baptism.” But beyond these foundation doctrines of a common salvation, they each have a system of important truths which are widely different from each other. They involve different philosophical explanations, and compel to the different interpretation of the same texts of Scripture. Though they are each harmonious with their own parts, yet are they so different from each other, that both cannot be true ; and yet both, as to general system, are so comprehensive that one of them must be true. In this one fact there is enough to convince us that theological science is yet far from its utmost attainable perfection. Who shall say that it is a hopeless effort to find which of these is the true system ? And who believes that this may not be so enlightened and fortified by Scripture and reason, that in proportion as prejudice and party die, and an honest love of truth prevails, the whole of Christ's “ disciples indeed” shall be brought intelligently and cordially to embrace it? It is promised that such “ shall know the truth, and the truth shall make them free.” There might still to different minds, be different modifications and explanations of particular portions, but it would be substantially the same general system. This can be done. Diligent and serious research will find truth enough to establish and confirm the right system, and send the false one to the oblivion which now covers the exploded planetary theories of Ptolemy or Tycho Brahe. *
• The words of the pious and learned John Robinson, who was the pastor of the English church in Holland which sent the first colony to the rock of Plymouth, and spread over this land the faith of the puritons, are here highly appropriate. As the sails of the Mayflower which was to bear them across the ocean were spread to the