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above all things and desperately wicked. But you have a higher nature which yearns for something better. You cannot rise above your lower nature to the higher by yourself, but I can help you to put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new man. A broken and a contrite heart I will not despise. I feel for you, sympathize with you, love you. Take my hand. Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." This is the Christ who, as St. John says, was the "true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." It is God in his relation to man. He speaks in our sense of sin, in our conscience, in our aspirations, in our better selves. Take the hand of this present Christ, the living aspect of the Eternal One; yield yourself trustfully and lovingly to God as you apprehend Him, and in the hope of a fuller apprehension, and what becomes of the question of miracles, or the conflicts of infallible books and infallible churches? You can now turn with an easy mind to the history of Jesus of Nazareth. Perhaps as you study the simple story, and learn more of the grandeur of that wonderful character, you may recognize in the Galilean teacher the Christ whom you already know; but in any event you can be thankful for the record of a life which typifies so beautifully and abundantly the relations of God to man. In the study of these relations, in learning more and more of the nature of God, lies the true evolution of humanity. That we know God no better of ourselves is the fault of our faculties, mental and moral. We know Him, doubtless, as well as we are capable of knowing Him. We must each and as a race endeavor to extend those faculties and to "grow in grace and in the knowl edge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
NEW YORK CITY.
Ernest H. Crosby.
THE OPENING OF MANSFIELD COLLEGE, AND THE PURITAN RETURN TO OXFORD.
ABOUT five years ago, if we remember aright, there was talk in private circles of a plan to establish at Oxford, in connection with its University, a Congregational Theological Seminary. The scheme involved the removal of the Independent Spring Hill College, Birmingham, and the transference from Airedale College of Principal Fairbairn. As developed, it involved a marked change in the organization of Spring Hill College, and an advance upon the prevailing method of theological training. As a rule, we suppose, the Nonconformist ministry in England, so far as it has been educated in its own institutions, has been trained in colleges which have combined academic and professional courses state of things something like that which existed generations ago in New England when the college studies were largely shaped to prepare men for the ministry, and much behind what has been secured in the present century by the entire separation of the academic and theological courses, and the founding of distinct schools thoroughly equipped for the latter purpose. How long the plan of removal to Oxford may have been in ripening we cannot say; it certainly encountered many obstacles, among them the legal embarrassments connected with the trust funds of an endowed school. In England, however, there exists a convenient and useful Board of Charity Commissioners, to which such difficulties can be referred, and by whose aid, in the present instance, they were removed, so that in 1886 a new foundation at Oxford was begun, under the name of Mansfield College, with a three years' course of theological studies, as follows: :
First Year. Apologetics and Philosophy of Religion: Dr. Fairbairn. N. T. Exegesis, I. Professor Massie. Hebrew, Elementary: Mr. Spurrell. N. T. Introduction, I.: Professor Sanday. O. T. Theology: Professor Cheyne. History of Christian Institutions, I.: Dr. Hatch.
Second Year.-Systematic Theology, I., and History of Religions, I.: Dr. Fairbairn. N. T. Exegesis, II. : Professor Massie. Hebrew, Advanced: Mr. Spurrell. N. T. Introduction, II. : Professor Sanday. O. T. Introduction and Exegesis, I.: Professor Driver. History of Christian Institutions, II.: Dr. Hatch.
Third Year.- Systematic Theology, II., and History of Religions, II. : Dr. Fairbairn. N. T. Exegesis, III.: Professor Massie. Hebrew, Rabbinical: Dr. Neubauer. O. T. Introduction and Exegesis, II.: Professor Driver. O. T. Interpretation: Professor Cheyne. History of Christian Institutions, III. : Dr. Hatch.
The announcement also states: "It is expected that Chairs of Homiletics and Church History will be established at an early date.”
This scheme corresponds very closely with those common in this coun
try, though Biblical Theology is restricted to that of the Old Testament, and in other important respects the range of studies is more limited than with us due, no doubt, to the necessary incompleteness of a first announcement. A marked and pleasant feature is the appearance, in the roll of instructors, of well-known names of professors and lecturers connected with the Church of England. The faculty, when full, will consist of "five professors, as many fellows, and several readers or lecturers." The name, Mansfield College, is given in honor of the family which endowed the school at Birmingham. Its students are required to become members of the University of Oxford. They must have graduated at some university, or at least have passed "Moderations" at Oxford. The college, however, has scholarships for the aid of men who are not prepared to enter upon its theological courses. Candidates for these scholarships must show ability to graduate from the University after three years of study. They are awarded upon examination, and upon a promise to take the full theological course in Mansfield College, after graduation from the University.
During the present month the new and attractive buildings which have been in preparation are, we suppose, to be set apart to their uses, and the college is to be formally opened. A series of meetings is announced, continuing from the 14th to the 16th of October, and numerous guests have been cordially invited to be present from this country. We fear that the season of the year, it being the time when clergymen and professors are specially required to be at their posts, will permit very few to accept an invitation which none can decline without sincere regret. For the occasion is one of no ordinary significance and interest. It emphasizes and illuminates the legislation which has opened the universities to Dissenters. It marks especially the Puritan return to Oxford. Nothing was so dear to the Puritan as his religion, and no science, in his esteem, so sacred and ennobling as divinity. In no true and worthy sense, therefore, could it be said that he had gone back to Oxford if he were not there authorized and free to teach theology. In its eminent Principal, Mansfield College has a head, and Congregationalism a representative, worthy to follow Owen, Goodwin, and John Howe, and his reception at Oxford, as we read the signs, has been most encouraging. He must, indeed, be very ignorant of his own limitations, and insensible to the greatness of Christianity, who should not desire that every apprehension of this revelation of divine truth and grace should find its most adequate form and its complete expression. Every division of the sacramental host should wish to have every other in best array; every lover of truth desire that each conception of it should gain its best scientific statement. The ejection of the Nonconformists from the universities more than two hundred years ago was esteemed by them a calamity. No men in the kingdom were by inheritance more firm believers in the power of truth, more ardent cultivators of it, or more devoted friends of education.
And they well knew that great universities, even if the field were clear, as it was not, for their establishment, cannot be extemporized. Banishment from the universities was to them not only exile from Hellas and Pierian founts, but from the yet more longed-for springs and heights of sacred learning. With what indomitable devotion to their principles, with what constant endeavor to remedy the disadvantages of their position, with what success in the cultivation of Biblical science and promotion of liberal education, they have maintained their best traditions and contributed to the renown in letters and arts and sacred science, as well as to the liberties, of England, history has recorded; and at last they have won!
"Peace hath her victories
No less renown'd than War."
And it is one of the blessings of such triumphs that foes are converted into friends. Mansfield College rears its stately halls on a portion of the old cricket ground of Merton College," that college which is preeminent beyond all others as the fons et origo of the English Universities. The new is grafted into the old; it is of the trunk and the root. And we seem already to hear the ancient University saying to its latest branch: "You are grafted into your own olive tree."
In his thoughtful Inaugural Address as chairman of "The Congregational Union of England and Wales," Dr. Fairbairn, in a passage remarkable for its depth and brilliancy, imagined that a Tacitus, with his strong sense of right and keen insight into men and history, should revisit this earth and compare the Christianity of the nineteenth century with that whose beginnings he had watched in the first. We think it would be worth a trip across the Atlantic to hear him introduce at the coming festivities John Owen, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford and Dean of Christ Church, to tell us the worth of the "detestable superstition" that was once expelled from Oxford. Unlike the pagan historian, he was himself a believer in that superstition, and suffered in its behalf ; yet like him he would return with confession of mistaken judgments. The Biblia Sacra Polyglotta has triumphed over his tenet of a text of Scripture infallible even to the Massoretic vowel-points, and Scripture does not teach, as he supposed, that an atonement sufficient for all was intended for only a few or a part. On many points besides doctrines his accent would be less confident than of old; on many points of policy his manner more conciliatory. The toleration he extended to Episcopalians at Oxford is not precisely what he would now wish for Congregationalists there, and his encouragement of music and leaping bars and bell-ringing might seem to him only a very imperfect recognition of what the church may encourage in amusements in the name of the Son of Man, or make tributary to her devotions in architecture and sacred song. Doubtless the kingdom of God would seem to him something much larger and nobler than a Puritan commonwealth, and a Christian university some
thing quite other than a sectarian school or his own highest ideal. Still, as we have intimated, he would return not merely with confession of error; he would come in propria persona, what more commanding and gracious personality could even Oxford desire to see revived from her illustrious dead? - a man who "made conscience of his thoughts,” and who in the language of his inaugural oration as Vice-Chancellor addressed himself to his work, "trusting in a promised divine presence according to the demands of the age and its Providential opportunity, integrity of conscience alone supplying the place of all other aids and ornaments, and with a spirit neither depressed nor servile.” 1 Still, too, would he urge a spiritual apprehension of Christianity as the supreme necessity, and a defense and teaching of the gospel reliant upon the self-evidencing power of its truths as alone correspondent with its divine origin and power. And still would he turn every student of theology to the source of all strength and power for the Christian ministry, "the eternal fountain of supply in Christ, who furnisheth seasonable help to every pious endeavor, unless our littleness of faith stand in the way; thence light, thence strength, thence courage, are to be waited for, nay, rather, are to be prayed for." 2
We send across the sea our salutation to Mansfield College, and wish it a career of usefulness corresponding to its opportunity, and the noblest traditions of the university into which it is incorporated. From Oxford came some of the most eminent of the early Congregational ministers of New England. Those joined to them in the succession and fellowship of the Christian ministry in this land will unite with us in this greeting; nor they alone, but all who believe that there is a unity of the church in truth as well as in labor, and that theological science has a great and noble task to fulfill in making this unity manifest and serviceable.
THE LONDON STRIKE.
"Go to the docks" is the last word to the London laborer. When thrown out of all regular employment he has one more chance, that of becoming a "casual" at the docks. Once there he finds himself in the midst of a motley crowd, all waiting for the same chance with himself. They have come from the street, from the jails, from other irregular work, or from no work, to earn enough perhaps for a meal, the only one, in some cases, for twenty-four hours. Some of them will be unable to work for more than an hour, and will then withdraw, or sell
1 Illius ideo presentiae gratiose promissae innixus, pro statu temporum, et occasione rerum, quam, divinâ ita providentiâ disponente, nacti sumus, unicâ conscientiae integritate aliorum adjumentorum et ornamentorum omnium vices obeunte, nec propendente, nec dependente, genio, negotio huic me accingo.
2 Perennem ille auxiliorum fontem constituit Christum ; qui nulli non pio conamini εὔκαιρον suppeditat βοήθειαν, nostra nisi obstat ὀλιγοπιστία : inde lumen, inde vires, inde spiritus mihi exspectandi, imo orandi sunt.