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complaints made against similar institutions on the ground that they are weaning the minds from study, or injuring the bodies of their students by giving too much attention to athletic exercises ?
In the Annual Report of President Eliot, of Harvard, for the year '73-4, in a paragraph upon physical exercises, occurs the following sentence: "Most American schools entirely neglect this very important part of their proper function. Many young men, therefore, come to the University with undeveloped muscles, a bad carriage, and an impaired digestion, without skill in outdoor games, and unable to ride, row, swim, or shoot. It is important that the University should give opportunity for a variety of physical exercises, because this student prefers one form and that another, and an exercise which is enjoyed will be ten times as useful as one which is repulsive."
In American society with our tendency to rush at an early age into the serious business of life, weighting the immature brain and half-grown body with the duties and responsibilities of maturity, the longer time we give to both sides of our education the better.
The possessor of abundant health and strength has at his command a far better capital to start upon than a mine of wealth. It gives him self-possession, dignity, aplomb; qualities never amiss in trade or the professions, and which clothe their possessor with homage and esteem in every rank of society and smooth the way to success in mercantile or political life. “If I should make the shortest list of the qualifications of the orator," says Emerson,* “I should begin with manliness ; perhaps it means here presence of mind”—the quality of qualities which a reasonable attention to athletics tends to engender and increase.
* Letters and Social Aims. p. 112.
ARTICLE IX.-FIFTY YEARS OF HOME MISSIONS IN
This is not only the Jubilee of the American Home Missionary Society, but the fiftieth year of its operations in Illinois, “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year.” When this Society was born, Illinois was only eight years old. After the founding of Kaskaskia by the French in 1707, the first American settlement was made by Kentuckians in 1788. In 1820 the census reported 55,211. In 1826 the new society came to its work in Illinois for 70,000 people; and now, after this half a century, it looks back upon what it has done in this State for 3,000,000 souls, as many as the Colonies numbered a bundred years ago.
The same year in which this Society came up, the first railway was started in the United States. And to-day Illinois has 7,109 miles of railroad-1400 miles more than any other State. When, six years after this Society began its work in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln went forth as Captain of Militia in the Black Hawk war, only 3,000 men were mustered in the State for a summer campaign. But when, thirty years later, he was chosen to serve as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, his calls were responded to in Illinois by 258,217 three years men, of whom 28,842, along with him, laid down their lives for their country. At the time of that Black Hawk war, the settlers who bad ventured out from Fort Dearborn twenty miles, bad to flee back-one of those families being that of Judge Blodgett, of the United States Court. And now around Fort Dearborn stands Chicago.
In 1826, Illinois had one Representative in Congress; in 1876, she bas nineteen. In 1819 the first two Sabbath Schools were set up in this State, and now there are 6,000 of them. In 1793, the first common school in the Territory; now there are 11,648 free public schools. When this Society was born, Illinois had cast but two presidential votes; now she bas furnished two double-term Presidents.
* Paper read before the Illinois General Association.
The first Protestant preaching in Illinois resulted in a revival of religion, and in a Baptist church organization–1796—with rules opposed to slavery. As late as 1812, Rev. Samuel J. Mills, on his tour through the West and Southwest, in behalf of the Missionary Society of Connecticut and of a local Bible Society, reported that in the Illinois Territory there was not a Presbyterian or Congregational minister-that there were five or six Methodist preachers, with about six hundred members, and five Baptist churches with one hundred and twenty meinbers. To-day the Protestant church organizations of Illinois number 4,298.
Turning from these general contrasts, let us look at that specific missionary work in Illinois with which our churches have been associated. As there were reformers before the Reformation, so there were Puritan Missionaries in Illinois before this Society. One of the most thrilling chapters in the religious history of our country is yet to be written of the far-reaching plans and beneficent accomplishment of the old Missionary Society of Connecticut. On his first Missionary tour, in 1812, Samuel J. Mills stopped at Shawneetown, and preached, and organized a Bible Society; but he did not go across the State to St. Louis, as he had intended, because of the reported unsafety of the trip. But, upon his second visit, two years later, in company with Daniel Smith, he did risk the journey. At Kaskaskia, Governor Edwards generously entertained the object of their mission; and father Lippincott, in his historical sermon, says: " the missionaries made a deep impression upon the Governor's family.” Finding only four or five Bibles among the hundred families of that old French capital, they consorted with the Governor in organizing a Bible Society there. Going over the river to St. Louis, which they found to be a village of 2,000 inhabitants, three-fourths of whom were French Catholics, they preached the first Protestant sermons on the west side of the Mississippi; they consulted with Governor Clark upon their Missionary scheme; organized a Bible Society; prepared the way for the coming of a missionary pastor for that town, and then went on down the river, to preach the first Protestant sermons, and to organize the first Presbyterian churches in Natchez and New Orleans. Dr. Palmer, in a recent commemorative discourse, candidly reported the founding of his church by Congregational enterprise. As one result of that tour of exploration, early in 1816, Solomon Giddings from Andover, a cousin of the great Commoner, Joshua, came on, located at St. Louis, developed his own first Presbyterian church there, and became a very apostle in all that region, on both sides of the river, so that, in the twelve years of his pastorate in St. Louis, he had organized a whole Presbytery of churches, six of them in Mis. souri and eight in Illinois. And all this time, up to the day of his death, he was under commission of that Connecticut Society, making to it stated reports, which, in the Panoplist, read like an Iliad. The churches organized by Giddings in Illinois, were those of Kaskaskia, Shoal Creek, Lebanon, Bellville, McCord's Settlement, Turkey Hill, Collinsville and Edwardsville.
Up to the time of organizing the National Society, the Connecticut Society had sent to Illinois the following named missionaries: Rev. Oren Fowler, sent to Indiana and Illinois; Revs. Edward Hollister and Daniel Gould, from Andover, commissioned for Illinois and Missouri, the Society refusing to send one man to a field so limited as was either State alone; Revs. Oren Catlin and Daniel Sprague, commissioned to labor in the United States, west of the Alleghanies ;" Rev. Isaac Reed, who gave most of his time to Indiana. but who organized the church at Paris; while the eloquent Sylvester Larned had been di. rected to visit Vincennes and Kaskaskia, on his way to the pastorate in New Orleans, where the good Elias Cornelius had fol. lowed with some Christian culture the planting of Samuel J. Mills. From 1820 to 1830 this society sent fifteen men to Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. These were Revs. Hezekiah Hall, Nathan B. Derrow, John Matthews, Jesse Townsend, David C. Proctor, Lyman Whiting, Samuel Bolding and Horace Smith ; but the last named is the only one whose service I have been able to identify with Illinois. This society also sent to Illinois and Missouri Revs. Joel Goodell, Benjamin F. Hovey, Asa Johnson, Cyrus Nichols, George C. Wood, Alfred Wright, and Joseph M. Sadd, nearly all of whom passed on over the river, and in Missouri soon came under the care of the new National Society. In 1822 the New York Evangelical Society sent to Illinois from Andover, Rev. David Tenney; and,
in 1824, from the same Seminary, the United Domestic Missionary Society sent John M. Ellis, who was located at Kaskaskia, and the Connecticut Society sent E. S. Howe. These men went on to organize the first Presbyterian churches of Alton, Carrollton, Vandalia, Springfield, and others of like grade. There is a fascination in this unselfish prodigality, with which New England was thus pouring her life into the West, and, all the time, into a rival ecclesiastical system.
During this period, the Presbyterian Board of Domestic Missions sent nine men to labor in Illinois, mostly as itinerants. In 1821, Rev. Dr. Gideon Blackburn, a pastor in Louisville, Kentucky, came over and held, at Shoal Creek, a camp.meeting, which resulted in a great revival. He also purchased, in 1835, 16,656 acres of land in the State and made it the foundation for the Blackburn University at Carlinville
Up to the time of the organizing of the National Society, the policy, both with the Societies and the Presbyterian Board, had been to send out missionaries as itinerants, for two, four, six months or longer. Pastors were sometimes relinquished for such special service. These men would plunge into the wilderness, look up the people, preach, organize churches, and then go along. This process was found to be very unsatisfactory. The churches did not thrive upon such random preaching. Becom. ing interested in a man, they were only doomed to disappointment by his hasty leaving. Under this experience the sentiment had grown up in favor of a permanent ministry; and so, when the new society was set up, the people on the field be. sought a new policy. And so there is nothing new under the
It was an illustration of the working of the old style, that when the National Society was formed, it found in Illinois only four so-called Presbyterian ministers--Revs. J. M. Ellis, E. G. Howe, John Brick and Stephen Bliss, and the last two were only former preachers. And the new society did start off with a “new policy"—one gained from the practical working of the missionary scheme—a policy, which, with flexibility, its own experience of fifty years has confirmed. In our courts, the accumulation of precedents and of the wisdom of predecessors, is what secures them the weight of judgment. And this it is that gives accuracy and stability and effectiveness to the resultant regulations of mission Boards and Societies.