fk n J^ISTOP^ICAL ^KRT CH,
S. H. DENEEN, Ph.D.
ALSO AN ADDRES
The Xuiiday~&tool and McKsndres gollege,
REV. WM. F. SWAHLEN, A.M., PH.D.
President of McKetidree College.
Published for Free Distribution by J. A. Field, Es^i., St. Let;
Slaw.sox & Co.,
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J. A. FIELD, Editor.
H. W. Wiley, Ph. D., Govern-
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Wm. McMurtree, E. M , Ph. D.,
U. S. Agent Paris Exposition,
1878, and Prof, of Chemistry,
Prof. H. CULBERTSON, PH. D ,
Prof. Agriculture, Lincoln,Neb.
Prof. B. H. Badley, B. D., Prin-
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the oldest collegiate institution in the west,
Rev. WILLIAM F. SWAHLEN, A.M., Ph.D., President,
And Professor of Mora! and Menial Philosophy.
SAMUEL H. DENEEN, A.M., Ph.D.,
Prof, of Latin Language a>id LListory.
Professor of the Greek and German Languages.
Rev. JOSEPH HARRIS, A.M.,
Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy.
EDWARD B. WAGGONER, A.M.,
Professor of Physics and Natural History.
Hox. HENRY H. HORNER, A.M..
Dean of the Laiv Department.
Professor of English Literature and Elocution.
EDWARD M. PACE,
Professor of l''ocal and Lnstrumental Music.
rkv. leonidas w. thrall, a.m.,
The Prtisident of the College will retain charge of this Departmei
At the Centennial Educational Convention, held at McKendree
College, Lebanon, 111., June ii, 1884, addresses were delivered by
Hon. Richard J. Oglesby, of Lmcoln, 111.; Bishop Thomas Bow-
man, of St. Louis, Mo. ; Rev. T. C. Watkins, of Boston, Mass. ;
Judge J. M. North, of Boulder, Col.; and Rev. J. L. Wallar, of
Effingham, 111. A paper was also read by Dr. S. H. Deneen,
showing what had been accompHshed by the College during the
fifty-six years of its existence.
At a meeting of the Joint Board of Trustees and Visitors, held
the next morning, this historical sketch was requested for publica-
tion. Bro. J. A. Field, of St. Louis, Mo. (one of the Trustees of
the College), generously offered to print the same for the Joint
Board. At the request of the Southern Illinois Sunday-School
Conference, he also kindly pubUshes the other paper on " The
Sunday-School and McKendree College."
We send this pamphlet forth, trusting it may do something
towards promoting the prosperity and increasing the usefulness of
this " time-honored institution." »
Bro. Field has the thanks of the two bodies above mentioned, as
well as of the many friends of McKendree, for his generosity in
giving gratuitous circulation to these papers.
WILLIAM F. SWAHLEN,
President of McKendree College.
An Mistof\i:cal Sketch,
BY DR. S. H. DENEEN.
Kead before the Centennial Educational Convention, at Lebanon.
III., June llth, 1884, (f-nd published at the request of the
Joint Board of Trustees and Visitors of
The ancii^nt Romans began their meals with lettuce, radishes and
turnips, not because they were extraordinarily fond of such vegeta-
bles, but to give a keener relish to the venison, flamingos and phea-
sants which followed as the principal dishes. The Committee of
Arrangements acted with a similar view in assigning me the initial
position in the exercises of this occasion. If, therefore, the plain
facts, which I am to present, shall seem uninteresting, they may
serve, at least, a useful purpose in giving by contrast an additional
zest to your enjoyment of the eloquence of the distinguished speak-
ers who are to address you to-day.
McKendree College had its origin in a meeting of citizens of Illi-
nois, held in this town on the 20th of February, 1828. The object
of the meeting was stated to be " the founding of a seminary of learn-
ing to be conducted as nearly as may be on the plan of the Augusta
College of Kentucky."' The sum of $1,385.00 was subscribed at
that meeting by 105 subscribers. At that date Lebanon had about
200 inhabitants; St. Clair County, 5,000; the State of Illinois, 140.-
000 ; and the entire membership of the M. E. Church in Indiana
and Illinois together was estimated at 3,500.
The late Bishop E. R. Ames was placed in charge of the seminary.
In 1830 the institution received a donation of 480 acres of land from
Bishop McKendree, and was named in honor of him. The act to
4 Mc Ken dree College.
incorporate the college was approved February, 1835. Among those
voting to grant the charter is found the name of Abraham Lincoln.
The first president was the Rev. Peter Akers, D. D., prominent as
an orator and theologian among the Methodists of IlHnois, who still
survives after a long career of eminent usefulness.
The institution was organized for regular collegiate work in 1836.
The professors teaching here at that time were graduates of Wesleyan
University, Middletown, Conn., and they caused the course of stud-
ies, which they had themselves pursued, to be adopted as the require-
ment for graduation at McKendree College. The first graduates of
the college belong to the year 1841. There were seven in the class
of whom three survive, two of them citizens of Lebanon honored in
their chosen professions.
From 1841 to the present time 425 persons have completed the
prescribed courses of study and received the appropriate degrees.
Of these 135 have become lawyers; 80, teachers; 65, minister of
the gospel; 25, physicians ; about the same number, editors and
Journalists; while others in less pubhc fields of labor are exerting a
most salutary influence in behalf of good morals and citizenship. In
addition to these it has happened here, as in other institutions of
learning, especially in the West and the South, that far the greater
number in attendance have not remained long enough to complete
the full collegiate course required for graduation, but have selected
those studies which were deemed most important in the occupations
which they were intending to follow, and have left college without
receiving degrees. Taking these into account, we may say, that the
college in the fifty-six years of its existence has given the benefits of
an education more or less extensive to about five thousand persons.
Readers of history remember the anecdote which relates how Cor-
nelia, daughter of the conqueror of Hannibal, in reply to the Cam-
panian lady who displayed her costly robes, precious stones and orna-
ments of gold, awaited the return of her children from school and
pointing to them, exclaimed : " These are my jewels.''
And so McKendree College, if questioned as to that upon which
she most prides herself, would point, not to cabinets, and libra-
ries, and literary halls, and piles of brick and mortar, or even to her
beautiful grounds hallowed by so many associations, but to this army
of men and women who received here the training which has in so
large a measure shaped their subsequent Hves and whose success in
their various occupations is her greatest praise and highest honor.
McKendree College. 5
Of the two professors who organized the institution for collegiate
instruction, one is now president of a college in Pennylvania, while
the other is a lawyer in CaUfornia. The young men who have been
educated here have followed the example of these instructors and
have diffused the influence of the college throughout the continent.
One' of her sons is now preaching the gospel in the vicinity of
Boston ; another' is editing a daily paper in San Francisco. One'^ o
the class of 1861, is Superintendent of Pubhc Instruction at the capi-
tal of Florida, and one* of the next class is editor and proprietor of
a daily paper at the capital of Minnesota. A student' of McKen-
dree is now representing his country as United States Minister in the
Repubhc of Venezuela ; another,*^ more than ten thousand miles
away, is performing the same duty in the Kingdom of Siam. One' of
her sons during Grant's administration was consul at Hong Kong ;
and only last year Gen. Jesse H. Moore of the class of 1842 — promi-
nent as a minister and an honored son of the church — as professor
and president in collegiate institutions — ^as a brave and gallant offi-
cer in the Union army — as a member of Congress and an officer of
the general Government — closed a Hfe full of service and eminence
as consul in Peru ; and the honors, which had fallen to his share in
life, did not forsake him after death, for his loss was publicly mourned
by church and state, and his funeral oration was pronounced by his
neighbor and friend — our distinguished guest of to-day — Gov.
One* of the class of 1862 is practicing medicine under the shadow
of the Himalayas, while another^ of the class of 1875, is pursuing
special studies in the same profession at the capital of Austria, and
yet another'", of the class of 188 1, a lady, is teaching within sight of
the Andes, in the repubUc of Chili. A student" of the college was
for a number of years U. S. Senator from West Virginia; another'-.
Lieutenant-Governor from Missouri ; while •another'^ intimately con-
nected wath the college and repeatedly honored by its people, will be
a candidate for the same office in UUnois at the approaching elec-
tion. This Congressional District has been represented eighteen
1 Rev. Thos. C. Watkirs, A. M. 8 Dr. P. T. Wilson.
2 Dr. Isaac N. Higgins, A. M. 9 Dr. John W. Hoit.
3 Hon. Wm. P. Haisley, A. M. 10 Miss L. E. Holding, A. M.
4 Hon. Henry A. Castle, A M. 11 Hon. Frank Hereford. A. M.
5 Hon. Jehu Baker, LL. D. 12 Hon. Charles P. Johnson, A. M
6 Hon. John .\. Halderman. 13 Hon. Henn,' Seiter, A. M.
7 Hon. Richard Johnson.
6 Mc Ken dree College.
years by men educated at McKendree College. It is scarcely nec-
essary to state that Col. Wm. R. Morrison, Chairman of the Com-
mittee of Ways and Means and leader of the House of Representa-
tives — whose name is known throughout the nation, and is in every
newspaper in the land — received his education here. The Solicitor
of the Internal Revenue, who, with Secretary Bristow, was so prom-
inent a i^w years ago in prosecuting the whisky frauds, was a student
of Kendree. The college has representatives as judges, mem-
bers of the State Legislature, and county officers throughout south-
ern Illinois and in several of the Western States.
In an important case in St. Louis some years ago, the judge, the
attorneys on both sides, and the reporter for the press, were all of
The criminal lawyer Avhom George Alfred Townsend, the New-
York journalist, pronounces the most able in the nation west of the
Alleghanies, was born in this town and educated at this college.
Several years since he was coming to attend the exercises of com-
mencement day when he fell into conversation with an aged gentle-
man, who remarked that he supposed he had attended a commence-
ment day in Lebanon at an earlier date than any man on the train.
'• How early was that?" inquired the lawyer. "Away back in the
forties," was the reply. " No, sir," responded the lawyer; " I have
the advantage of you. I attended an earlier commencement than
that. I was present at a commencement occasion in Lebanon in
1S36. I was born there in that year."
A few weeks ago a graduate^ of McKendree, in St. Louis, rapidly
rising to distinction in his profession, performed a surgical operation
for cancer of the stomach — said to be the first example of abdomi-
nal surgery of this kind on the Western Continent ; while at about
the same time another student of the college, in Washington City,
attempted an operation not very dissimilar in political surgery, by a
horizontal incision into the stomach of the national tariff. The re-
sults, however, in the two cases were very different ; for the patient
died, but the tariff survived.
In Kansas City, a graduate'" of the the college is President of a
L'niversity ; another^ is a Professor of Medicine in the same institu-
1 Dr. A. C. Bernays, A. M.
2 Rev. Nathan Scarritt, D. D., LL. D.
3 Dr. L. A. Berger, A. M.
Mc Ken dree College. 7
tion ; a third' is connected with the city press ; and three others'" are
members of the legal fraternity. While Thomas C. Fletcher was
Governor of Missouri, the Auditor of State'' and the Superintendent
of Public Instruction* were both graduates of the college. The lat-
ter of these officers, however, a number of years ago abandoned the
James boys and the Fords as hopeless cases, and removed to Illi-
nois, where, as a Methodist minister, he was recently chaplain of the
Senators at Springfield, and is now at Lincoln, watching over the
spiritual welfare of he Republican candidate for Governor of
The editor and proprietor of the Chicago Press, at one period the
most influential newspaper in Illinois — John L. Scripps — was a grad-
uate of the college, and in his early manhood Professor of Mathe-
matics here. At this time prominent daily papers are edited by sons
of McKendree in Cleveland, St. Paul, Quincy, St. Louis and San
Francisco ; while others are employed as editors or proprietors of a
large numbej of weekly papers not only in Illinois, but in Missouri.
Kansas, Colorado, Dakota and Texas.
As ministers of the gospel, the voices of McKendrians may be
heard from the shadow of Bunker Hill to that far land where rolls
the Oregon, and from regions where the mercury sinks fifty degrees
below zero to climes where frost is never seen. As teachers, pro-
fessors and presidents of colleges, superintendents of schools and of
public instruction, they may be found from Indiana to California.
American colleges are as yet nearly all young, and most of them
in their infancy. The best results which the country is to receive
from them are perhaps far in the future. Cambridge University in
England had been founded hundreds of years before she gave to the
world a Bacon and a Newton. But if our land were to derive from
its colleges no greater service than the zealous devotion with which
they espoused the loyal cause in the late war, the nation would be
amply repaid for all the self-sacrifice and expenditure made in their
behalf. All did well — none better, in proportion to age and num-
bers, than our own McKendree. From the firing upon Sumter to
the capture of Mobile, her sons gathered around the starry banner
to defend its honor or to die beneath its folds. They perished from
1 Hon. D. H. Porter, M. S.
2 C. E. Small, ]M. S.; J. T. Dew, M. S. ; W. A. Harnsbarger, M. S.
3 Hon. A. Thompson, A. M.
4 Rev. T. A. Parker, D. D.
8 AIcKendt'ee College.
fever in hospitals ; they pined away from starvation in prison-pens .
they found a sudden grave beneath the waters of the Tennessee ;
they fell in the fiery front above the clouds at Mission Ridge. From
Fort Donelson to Appomattox there was scarcely an important en-
gagement in which the sons of McKendree did not do battle for
equal hberty and an undivided nation. They were found in all ranks,
from the private soldier to the major-general ; but, however differ-
ent in rank, the spirit which animated them all was the same.
When Frank Blair appealed to Illinois for reinforcements to hold
St. Louis against the secessionists, a number of students left their
books one morning and enlisted in his command, one of whom — a
boy of rare promise and the hope of his aged father — soon after
gave up his young life in his country's cause.
It was at Fort Donelson that Col. Morrison, the present Congress-
man — then in command of the Forty-ninth IlUnois Volunteers — re-
ceived a disabhng wound. It was at Holly Springs, when that post
was surprised by Van Dorn, that a cavalry officer^ — a graduate of
McKendree — while others were surrendering, drew his sabre, and,
exhorting his comrades to follow his example and to prefer death to
a rebel prison, cut his way through the superior numbers of the en-
circhng foe, and brought his followers in safety to the Union hnes.
It was near Atlanta that another'- son of McKendree, leading his
regiment in a charge against the serried ranks of the enemy, fell
with a fatal wound while the air was ringing with the shouts for the
victory which his fiery courage had helped to win. The distinguished
officer^ who, in the latter part of the war, started from the vicinity of
Nashville with fifteen thousand cavalry and scattered havoc and
desolation through Alabama and Georgia, defeated Forrest and de-
stroyed his army, took Montgomery — for a time the capital of the
Confederacy — and feasted his troopers where the chieftains of seces-
sion had first met in council, and closed his eventful campaign by
the capture of Jeff. Davis himself, was a student of McKendree.
Not less deserving of mention is another son of McKendree*. also
a major-general and a commander of cavalry, noted ahke for im-
petuous valor and eminent services, prominent in campaigns in Vir-
ginia ; who, not very long ago, was appointed Superintendent of the
U. S. Military Academy at West Point.
But, not to dwell longer upon the achievements of officers, it was
1 Isaiah Stickle, A. M. 3 Major-Gen. Jas. H. Wilson.
2 Col. L. Greathouse. 4 I\Iajor-General Wesley Merritt.
Mc Ken dree College. 9
a student of McKendree — a i)rivate soldier, a mere boy — who, at
the battle of Nashville, rushed into the thickest of the fight, tore
their colors from the hands of the enemy, bore them in triumph to
Washington City, and received in person the thanks of the nation's
representatives. There was another McKendrian\ the son of a
Methodist preacher of Southern Illinois, who joined the army when
only fifteen years old. His company was captured, and he was
taken to Salisbury prison — infamous on account of the inhuman
Wirz, whose fiendish life was fitly closed by a felon's death. There
the poisonous air and the polluted water, the want of proper cloth-
ing and of sufficient food, the daily suff'ering and the distant hope,
had caused his young heart to despond and almost to despair of aid,
human or divine. One day, while he was seeking to call away his
thoughts from his own wretched condition by reading the Bible —
which amid his other losses he had contrived to retain — he was ac-
costed by a fellow-prisoner, low in stature, but with a piercing eye :
•' What book have you there, my friend? " " The Bible," was the
reply. " Let me see it. The rebels got mine when they made me
a prisoner." Taking the book and reading some of those promises
which have brought comfort and hope to so many of the unfortunate
and suffering of earth, he returned the volume to the young soldier,
saying : " Cheer up, my brother — cheer up ! We shall yet find some
means of deUverance. God has revealed to me that I am never to
die in this rebel prison ! " The speaker was Boston Corbett, who
afterwards fired the shot which put an end to the life of John
Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. The two captives
resolved to hold a daily prayer-meeting in the prison. Others came ;
the interest increased ; a revival followed which resuhed in many
Subsequently our young soldier made his escape from prison, and
guided by the Hght of the stars, and assisted by the counsels of
slaves, journeying through forests and swamps, subsisting on such
food and sleeping in such places as the veriest tramp would now
disdain, he made his way in safety at last to the Union forces.
But we must leave the soldiers — the living to cherish through life
the memory of the hardships and dangers which they underwent for
an imperilled country; the dead — who, after having rendered the
last full measure of devoted service to the Union which they died to
Richard Thatcher, M. S.
lo Mc Ken dree College.
save, sleep in unmarked graves — to be held in everlasting remem-
brance ; and while many and unknown kinds of death await us who
survive, let us rejoice that the noblest of all has fallen to them and
that their names, honored by a patriotic life, have been consecrated
forever by an heroic death.
Such are some of the services which the sons of McKendree have
rendered to the country, and such services, we take it, are not to be
valued in silver and gold. But if any one should inquire, " What
has all this cost ? " it will not be difficult to make a reply. McKen-
dree College, during the fifty-six years of its existence, for the salar-
ies of teachers and current expenses, has cost between $175,000 and
$200,000. To this amount must be added $35,000 for buildings.
Two hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars will therefore replace
the sums paid here for teachers, buildings and other necessary
expenditures during more than half a century. The whole expenses
of the college from its foundation amount to less than many a man
makes on a single government contract, or a dealer in stocks from
the purchases and sales of a single week. Consider the cost and the
result. Grant that the measures devised by the trustees of the col-
lege may not always have been wise — that the administration of its
faculty may have at times been defective — that its agents may have
too often rendered their presence unwelcome — that the college has
been almost continuously calling upon the benevolent for aid ; —
grant all this and more, and yet say where have greater results been
achieved at a smaller cost.
Our Hves do not consist in the abundance of the things which we
possess. It is not accumulated wealth or material splendor by which
the true greatness of a nation is measured. If we should visit Eng-
land, it would not be to see the treasures of her Rothschilds, or the
palaces of her nobles ; but were we to visit that land, it would be
because there Latimer had perished at the stake to win for us the
freedom of religious belief, because there Bacon had pointed out the
path to all modern discovery, because there Newton had forever
associated his name with the laws of the universe, because there
Milton had produced the poem which the world honors as the noblest
effort of the epic muse, because there Hampden had shed his blood
that the rights of the subject might be maintained against the aggres-
sions of tyranny, because there Wilberforce had broken the chains of
the slave and instituted a reform which will yet pervade the earth.
These are the things which occur to the minds of men when their
Mc Ken dree College. 1 1
feet touch the soil of England; these are the things which shed
unfading splendor upon the pages of her history ; these are the things
which dim the lustre of all her Indian and Australian possessions.
It is not true that colleges can produce such men, but it is true that
far the largest number of such men have kindled at institutions of
learning the spark which has shed so great a hght upon their own
generations and all later ages.
It was an oft repeated wish of Franklin that he might be permit-
ted to visit the earth at stated intervals after his death to learn the
discoveries and witness the progress of mankind. Could such a
wish be gratified and should one, who has spent his life solely with
the sordid object of his wealth and worldly possessions, return five
hundred years hence, he would find his mansion however solid
crumbled into dust, his lands however valuable passed into the hands
iii strangers, his family name effaced from the knowledge of men,
and the very grave, where he fondly hoped his mortal remains would
rest in peace until the last day, built upon or ploughed over by a
people who, as they would know nothing of his history, could scar-
cely be expected to cherish his memory. But should the founders
of the institutions, which educated the great Englisnmen whom we
have mentioned, be permitted to return to earth, what honors would
await them, what hosts of naen would rise up and called them blessed I
Such is the difference between a selfish life and a noble deed.
It was an observation of the poet Shenstone that he who builds a
house, sees his work begin to decay from the very hour when it is
finished, but h% who plants a tree, beholds the labor of his hands
become ampler and statelier with ever}' added year. Even a tree,
however, has its limit of growth, and will wither at length and die.
But the gifts bestowed nearly a thousand years ago to establish
O.xford and Cambridge have resisted the advance of years, and the
touch of decay. The institutions founded by those benefactions
have survived the dethronement of kings, the changes of the consti-
tution and the shocks of civil war ; they have been a blessing to
•every later generation ; they have been the nursery whence has gone
for:h a long and illustrous array of the good and the great ; and they
promise to endure while the Anglo-Saxon race has sway.
Let us, therefore, hallow in our heart of hearts the name of that
good man who founded this college ; and let us trust, as it is the
property of all that is worthy and noble to increase with years as
s:reams father volume in their progress to the sea, that here Wisdom
12 McKt'jidree College.
may lend her counsels to Knowledge, and Liberality endow Learn-
ing with her stores, that this institution may be a source of constant
and increasing blessmgs to this beloved land of ours, whose greatest
riches are not her fertile fields and inexhaustible mines, but sons who
are a crown of glory, and daughters, polished after the similitude of
[The following paper was read before the Southern Illinois Sunday-School Conference
of the M. E. Church, at Alton, 111., June 19, 18S4, It is published here in accordance with
request of said Conference.]
Tbe Sunday-Sctool and McKendree Kollege.
By Rev. Wm. F. Swahlen, A.M., Ph.D., President McKendi-ee CoUe^^e.
There are three things that stand out in bold relief upon the
title-page of the programme of this Conference : the year, we cel-
ebrate ; the Church, to which we belong ; and the work, in which
we are more especially engaged. To the first there attaches a two-
fold interest, because of the peculiar relation it sustains to both the
others. It closes the first century of American Methodism ; hence
its importance and significance to us, as a denomination. It is also
a centennial in the history of that movement, in the interests of
which we are now assembled; for it is just one hundred years this
very month, since Robert Raikes (the generally acknowledged
founder of the great Sunday-school system) published his cele-
brated letter, in which he explained the design of his novel under-
taking, and defined the duties of those who were indentified with
the same. Hence the significance of the year, not only to us, but
McKtndree College. 13
to all the branches of the Church of Christ throughout the entire
Between the second and the third, there are many intimate and
striking relations. Originating at nearly the same time, receiving
mipulses from the same sources, directing attention to the same
classes, actuated by similar motives, making use of similar means,
mutually aiding and encouraging each other, and co-operating to-
gether with the same grand ejid in view, it is not strange that we
should note the parallel in growth, attainment and influence, at the
end of the first century of their existence ; nor, that we should find
reason for making the year 1884 an occasion of double rejoicing,
as we " walk about Zion, and go round about her ; as we mark
well her bulwarks, and consider her palaces; that we may tell it to
the generation following."
The movement of Robert Raikes was purely philanthropic. He
was a printer by trade, and though a member of the Church of
England, did not seem to have entertained even the slightest con-
ception of what we might term a Church school. He had often
come in contact with the children employed in the pin manufac-
tories of Gloucester, and as often had been pained at their deplor-
able ignorance and their vicious habits. Many of them were far
from home and parental restraint, and many others might as well
have been, so far as the moralizing influence of their home-life was
concerned. What could be done for their education and their ele-
vation ? This was the query he found himself pondering, frequently
and deeply. During the week they were closely confined ; the
Sabbath was the only day which could be utilized. Accordingly he
hired four teachers, and to them he sent the Uttle street Arabs,
whom he picked up on the Sabbath, as from time to time he walked
the streets of Gloucester. The hours for instruction were from ten
to twelve in the forenoon, and from one to half past five in the
afternoon. We are told that John Wesley heartily approved of the
plan as soon as he heard of it, and earnestly exhorted his people to
do likewise. True, he had for more than a quarter of a century
been giving religious instruction to the children, wherever he went ;
but the idea involved in the Sabbath school was evidently a new
one to him. In his diary (July 18, 1784) he wrote : " Perhaps God
may have a deeper end therein, than men are aware of." Progress-
ive man that he was ! he saw clearly the wisdom of the course :
and we are verv much inclined to believe, that to him more than
McKen dree Collet; e.
any one else is due the credit of introducing the new and admirable
feature of gratuitous instruction. He not only favored and adopted
that which he recognized as good, but he improved upon it — he
made it better.
The duty of religiously educating the children has always been
admitted by the Church ; and the disposition of our denomination
to render imphcit obedience to the divine command, " Feed my
lambs," is evinced in her Discipline of an hundred years ago. Two
plain and pointed questions are asked : " What shall be done for
the rising generation ? — Who will labor for them ? " Then follow
five imperative clauses : " Where there are ten children, whose
parents are in society, meet them at least an hour every week.
Talk with them every time you see any at home. Pray in earnest
for them. Diligently instruct and vehemently exhort all parents at
their own houses. Preach expressly on education." Nor has this
feature of our ecclesiastical polity ever been abandoned. On the
contrary, it has been the recipient of a care and an attention that
has steadily increased as the decades have rolled by — giving birth
to societies and organizations, whose special aim has been to en-
courage and assist in the formation of Sabbath schools ; to provide
books, papers, and other practical helps for teachers and scholars ;
and to donate whatever things are requisite wherever the people
are unable to purchase them. The success that has attended the
labors of those who have devoted themselves to this work, may be
inferred from the following figures, taken from the report of the
year 1882 : Number of Sabbath schools (connected with the
M. E. Church), 21,152 ; number of officers and teachers, 226,702 ;
number of scholars, 1,638,895. Or, comparing the present con-
dition with that of twenty-five years ago, we find the number of
schools has about doubled, and the number of scholars nearly
(quadrupled. Surely, these facts are gratifying, and ought to stim-
ulate us, as we enter upon the second century of our organized
But while the Sunday-school (in its present phase, at least) must
be regarded as a comparatively modern institution of the Church,
such is not the case with colleges and universities. These have
been estabhshed from time immemorial, for the purpose of provid-
ing the youth with means and opportunities for a " higher educa-
tion." The Church has always felt the necessity for such institu-
tions, and has recognized the obligation to found and foster them.
Ml Ken dree College. 15
We need not go back to the universities of the continent, nor even
to those in England ; our own country furnishes satisfactory illustra-
tion and evidence, by whom and for what purpose these higher
literary institutions have been established. Witness the founding of
the university at Cambridge in 1636, and the significant motto upon
her seal: "'To Christ and the Church." Threescore years later
Cotton Mather stated, that of the 116 pastors in New England, 107
were graduates of Harvard. And those who have paid close atten-
tion to the statistics of our colleges and universities, report about
one third of the graduates as entering the ministry. These facts
speak for themselves, and justify the policy of the Church in mak-
ing wise provision for those who are to become leaders in thought.
Indeed, the most celebrated colleges and universities of our coun-
try are those that have been founded and sustained by the various
Christian denominations. It is well known that Yale is Congrega-
tional, Brown is Baptist, Harvard is Unitarian, Columbia is Epis-
copal, Princeton is Presbyterian, Middletown is Methodist. I was
greatly surprised several years ago at the National Educational
Association to hear an unjust and unjustifiable attack on the de-
nominational institutions of the land. " In the vast majority of the
states," said the speaker, " not a single college or university, wor-
thy of the name ! " — and all, because the Church exercised super-
vision, and not the state. The assertion was the more surprising,
because of its coming from an honored graduate of Yale, and the
President of Cornell University. There were many present who,
like himself, favored the establishment of a national university, but ,
they did not think that misrepresentation would enable them any
the sooner to reahze the desired end. Besides, his plan to divorce
reUgion and education became not only the more apparent, but
also the more objectionable, when he replied to Dr. McCosh, that
he -favored the establishment of an ?/«sectarian university, where
■' persons of any religious sect, or of no reHgious sect^ shall be
equally eligible to all offices and appointments ; and where no per-
son shall be accepted or rejected, as trustee, professor, or student,
on account of any religious or political views Avhich he may or may
not entertain." While he was advocating these seemingly libera!
ideas, I could not help thinking of one of the statutes of one of
the state universities, so highly commended by the distinguished
speaker, in which a minister of the gospel is forbidden to exercise
the functions of his sacred calling, so long as he is connected with
1 6 McKend7'ee College.
the university. It is too late in the history of the world for any one
to undertake the severance of what has so long and so harmoni-
ously been associated. Christian civiHzation has advanced too far
for any to undertake the hopeless task of putting asunder what God
has evidently joined together. The testimony of George Bancroft,
in reply to Dr. Buckley's request for an article on the " Influence of
Christianity on the Formation of our Institutions," comes forcibly
to mind. These are the words of the great historian : " Certainly
our great united Commonwealth is the child of Christianity — it may
with equal truth be asserted, that modern civilization sprung into
life with our rehgion — and faith in its principles is the hfe-boat on
which humanity has at divers times escaped the most threatening
It is an irrefutable fact, that the oldest and best universities of
the world are due to rehgious enterprise ; they have invariably been
estabhshed and managed by the Church. Indeed, it is well known
that any student, who applied for admission to one of the old uni-
versities of England, was obliged to give satisfactory evidence of
his belief in the thirty-nine articles of the Church of England,
before he was allowed to matriculate. Cases might be cited where
the state has failed, notwithstanding the most liberal provision ; but
we proceed to speak more particularly of our own denominational
The Church historian informs us that '* Cokesbury College was
projected simultaneously with the organization of the Methodist
Episcopal Church in America." A few months after, the founda-
tions were laid at Abingdon, Md., 'and in 1787 its doors were
thrown open for the reception of students. In 1795, the building
was " accidentally burned to the ground." Subsequently a new
building was erected in Baltimore, but it soon fared the fate of the
first. Discouraged, no effort was again made in this direction for a
score of years. In 1820, the General Conference recommended
that each Annual Conference should establish a literary institution
within its own boundaries ; and from that time on, seminaries, col-
leges and universities have multiplied, until we have one hundred
and forty-four of them, with 1,319 teachers, 26,483 students, and
an estimated property of nearly seven and a half millions of dollars.
At the session of the Illinois Conference held at Mt. Carmel, 111.,
September, 1827, a resolution was introduced and adopted regard-
mg the founding of an institution of learning within its bounda-
McKetiiiree Collef^e. i 7
ries. In pursuance of this action, McKendree was founded about
five months later, or February 20, 1828. In examining the list of
schools, as published in the Centennial Year-Book, I find but two
bearing an earlier date — that of Maine Wesleyan Seminaay, located
at Kent's Hill, Me., and the Wesleyan Academy at Wilbraham,
Mass., — the latter founded in 1821, and the former in 1824.
For a number of years the work of McKendree was necessarily
that of an academical or preparatory character, and not until 1841
did she graduate her first class. This consisted of seven young
men, who had all completed the classical course ot study, and all
of whom subsequently entered the learned professions : three, that
of theology ; three, that of law ; and one, that of medicine. Since
then she has ever been loyal to the cause of higher and liberal
Christian education, winning considerable scholastic distinction, and
annually contributing her modest quota of those who go forth to
bless and benefit mankind. Her alumni number nearly four hun-
dred and fifty. They have figured in the U. S. Senate and in the
House of Representatives ; in state legislatures and in the various
judiciary departments ; in councits of war and on the battle-fields
of the nation ; in the sacred desk and at the bar of justice ; in edu-
cational conventions and in conferences of the Church ; in the
editor's sanctum and in the retreat of the laboratory ; — in short, in
peace and war, they have rendered incalculable service to both
Church and state.
And yet this is only a small part of the work that has been
accomphshed by McKendree. It is estimated that nearly/?'^ thou-
sand students (who, from various reasons, were prevented from
completing the course and receiving their diplomas) have, within
her halls, obtained the principal part of their education, if not their
entire preparation for the battle of life. Indeed, there is no esti-
mating the good that has been done. Think of her sons and
daughters, an army of five thousand and more, scattered over the
country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Lakes to the
Gulf (which is literally true), working for God and humanity I
As nearly as I have been able to learn, from sixty-five to seventy
of her alumni have become heralds of the cross ; a similar number
have devoted themselves to the educational work ; about half as
many have entered the medical profession ; and about twice as
many have adopted the legal profession. Of the remainder, a
s;oodlv number have been engaged in editorial and other literary
iS McKendree College.
labor ; while some have gone into merchandising and others into
banking and farming. In a word, not a single one (so far as my
knowledge extends) has been, or is, a cipher in society. But they
have exercised an influence, which has been felt and acknowledged,
in favor of the true, the right, and the good.
During the year, I have often had occasion to consult our Year-
Book, and many a time it has been taken up and its pages have
been perused, not because there was any special matter demand-
ing attention, but simply (as one of the clauses in the preface ex-
presses) because "its pages are so burdened not with the rhetoric
of words, but with the logic of figures and facts." It has proved
itself an exceedingly attractive volume, full of gratifying and stim-
ulating reading ; and more than once, as the book has been laid
aside, the sentiment has welled up : Oh ! the wisdom of Meth-
odism ! The foresight of the fathers ! On the 315th page, among
the " interesting facts for centenary remembrance," it is stated :
" The Methodist Episcopal Church was the first American Church
to recognize the value of Sunday-school instruction, and the first to
establish such schools in any American community. ' Let us
labor,' says the Conference Minutes' of 1790, 'as the heart and
soul of one man, to estabhsh Sunday-schools in or near the place
of pubhc worship. Let persons be appointed by the bishops, eld-
ers, deacons, or preachers to teach (gratis) all that will attend, and
have a capacity to learn, from 6 in the morning till 10, and from
2 in the afternoon till 6, where it does not interfere with public
worship. The Council shall compile a proper school-book to teach
them learning and piety.' " In a foot-note, we are informed that it
was a Methodist lady who helped Robert Raikes out of his quan-
dary, by suggesting to him the modern system of Sunday-school
instruction ; and that she not only aided in the estabHshment of the
school, but also became one of its teachers.
On the 177th page are given the important resolutions (regarding
the founding of colleges) which were adopted in 1820 :
'■'•First. Resolved, by the delegates of the Annual Conferences in
General Conference assembled, that it be, and is, hereby recom-
mended to all the Annual Conferences to establish, as soon as
practicable, hterary institutions under their own control, in such
way and manner as they may think proper.
"■Second. That it be the especial duty of the bishops to use
Ml- Ken dree College. 19
their influence to carry the above resolution into effect by recom-
mending the subject in all the Annual Conferences."
Thus we see how the fathers, at a very early date, were laying
broad and deep foundations ; how they were planning, wisely and
skilfully, for the mental and moral culture of the children of the
Church. Master workmen were they, and grandly they wrought in
their day. Prophets, as well as priests and kings, they handed
down the Sabbath school, an institution of the Church ; likewise
the college, an institution of the Church, And worthy successors,
true to their trusts, continued to build wisely upon the foundations
bequeathed them. But admirably as these executed the designs of
the fathers, far more admirably did they plan, when thev conceived
the idea of cementing these two institutions, which thus far had
been virtually distinct.
The little word and (in the theme assigned me) delicately refers
to this movement, " unique in the history of Christendom," which
was inaugurated a quarter of a century after the action of the Gen-
eral Conference referred to. This was the outgrowth of anxious
inquiry and intense thought on the part of some of the ripest schol-
ars of Methodism, and has already proved itself one of the grandest
propositions ever submitted to the Church. The limits of this
paper will not allow more than a suggestion as to this vital and all-
important link. On the 179th page, under the head of the "Edu-
cational Situation in 1865," we read : " Out of this state of things
arose the important query whether it was not possible to institute a
practical bond of connection between our Sunday-schools and our
institutions for advanced literary, scientific, and theological mstruc-
tion. Might not some agency be devised and put into action by
means of which great numbers of Sunday-achool scholars and
teachers might have opened up before them a door of hope for
higher education, which hitherto had been effectually closed ? '"
These questions could not otherwise than challenge the closest
attention, demand the most earnest investigation, and realize the
wisest and best solution. The result was the establishment of the
Sunday-school Children's Fund — a result grand in its conception,
grander in its execution, and grandest in its glorious consequences
throughout all coming time. If you have not already read the
action of the Centenary Committee in 1865, I would suggest that
you do so ; or, if you have read it, it will not do any harm to
re-read it, and thereby refresh the memory regarding the measures
'^o McKendree Colki:;e.
proposed and the end in view. You will find a synopsis (on pages
1 80 and 181 of the Centennial Year-Book) prepared by John Mc-
Clintock, that ripe scholar and prince of Christian educators. Read
the "Address to Sunday-school Superintendents," and study it care-
fully. It will show you the deep anxiety of the strongest intellects
of the Church to bind together with indissoluble bonds the acad-
emies, colleges, universities, and Sunday-schools of our Church.
You remember the lesson which the old Roman, on his death-
bed, taught his boys. The fasces, or bundle of rods, could not be
broken, so long as they remained firmly bound together; but when
the cord was removed, and the rods were separated, it was an easy
thing to break them, one by one. In union there is strength. It
is as true in Church as in state. Let the institutions of the Church
be united — bound firmly together — and the Church is strong.
We bespeak therefore a league, firm and binding, between the
330 Sunday-schools of the Southern lUinois Conference and Mc-
Kendree College. Let the 25,239 scholars, and the 3,250 officers
and teachers, understand that McKendree is the college of the
Church, with which they are identified. Let it be borne in mind
that we are mutually related, and as we support each other, so in
turn we are strengthening ourselves and the pillars of our beloved
Church. Let all the interests of Methodism in Southern Illinois be
linked together, and Ave shall realize not only glorious progress in
every department, but also the wonderful power there is in hearty
and steady co-operation.
J. A. FIELD & CO.,
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