IN 1808 an event occurred that was to have a profound effect on the fortunes of Phillips Academy: the Andover Theological Seminary was founded.(1) It is not too much to say that the Seminary was the most important single influence on the School; but during its hundred years of existence, it set the intellectual and religious tone of Andover Hill as well. It soon eclipsed Phillips Academy in endowment, buildings, and reputation. A few years after its founding, it included two large brick dormitories---the present Foxcroft and Bartlet Halls---with a chapel and recitation building, the present Pearson Hall, located between them to make an impressive façade in the eastern part of the campus. In addition, a number of homes had been constructed for the Seminary professors, the most impressive being the present Phelps, Pease, and Stuart houses. By contrast Phillips Academy had one wooden classroom building and a modest house for its principal. Since the administration of the Seminary was made the responsibility of the Trustees of Phillips Academy, it soon began to demand a disproportionate amount of their time and energy, the School and its problems being forced to take a back seat. It would be a hundred years before the Trustees would be relieved of their Seminary responsibilities, free once more to devote all their time to the School.
The Andover Theological Seminary was the child of the religious ferment that characterized New England as the nineteenth century opened. The American Revolution had done more than bring about a separation from Great Britain. It had challenged and shaken many of the old New England institutions as well. The French Revolution provided additional liberal influences that threatened the old way of life further. Much to the horror of New England Federalists, the Jeffersonian Republicans made serious inroads into what had once been a Federalist stronghold. Similarly, in the field of religion the old Congregational Calvinist orthodoxy found itself besieged on all sides: on the one hand, Universalists and Unitarians were steadily gaining new adherents; on the other, Baptists and Methodists were vigorously recruiting new members from among the working classes of New England. Small wonder that the Reverend Leonard Woods, one of the founders of the Seminary, could write: "It is a day of alarm and danger. There is a flood of anti-Christian error and soul-destroying corruption coming in upon us, and threatening to sweep away every remnant of primitive truth and goodness. Faithful Christians [orthodox Calvinists] are few in number."(2)
The crowning blow to the orthodox came when Harvard went Unitarian. In 1803 David Tappan, the orthodox Hollis Professor of Divinity, died, and immediately the various shades of religious opinion in the Harvard community began jockeying to choose his successor, with "as much intrigue ... as was ever practised in the Vatican." The most powerful personality in the contretemps that followed was Eliphalet Pearson, the first master of Phillips Academy, who, since 1786, had been Hancock Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge. The problem became complicated still further when Harvard's President Willard, another champion of orthodoxy, died in 1804. Appointed Acting President by the Corporation, Pearson determined to have an orthodox Calvinist chosen for the Hollis chair and himself chosen as President. In his campaign to keep Harvard uncontaminated by liberal doctrines, he was ably assisted by the Reverend Jedidiah Morse. But the conservatives simply did not have the votes. Much to Pearson's outrage, the Reverend Henry Ware of Hingham, a man with pronounced Unitarian leanings, was chosen Hollis Professor of Divinity, while the Reverend Samuel Webber, a man "without friends or enemies," was chosen President. Stating that he could no longer remain at Harvard under these circumstances, Pearson proceeded to resign both his professorship and his fellowship on the Corporation.(3) Throughout New England pious conservatives were horrified; the devil had clearly captured Harvard; the orthodox must close ranks if they were to succeed in stemming the liberal trend. And since there was no longer any hope that true Christian ministers could be trained at Harvard, a bastion of orthodoxy must be erected to preserve the ancient truths.
What was the nature of this challenge by the liberals to the old orthodoxy? In essence, the liberals insisted that the practice of religion should be an intellectual rather than an emotional experience. They were strongly opposed to revivalism and believed that the sermon should be a rational exposition of religious truth in which felicity of style and delivery were both important. Although they admitted that individual conversions often took place, they were opposed to making attested conversion a requisite of church membership. They "affirmed rather that the Christian life was a continuous rational process of self-dedication." Communion, they believed, should be available to all on an equal basis, since it was a "simple memorial" rather than a sacrament reserved for the elect. What alarmed the orthodox most was the humanistic beliefs of the liberals, who thought of man not as depraved and sinful but as a free agent who could work out his own salvation. And their confidence in man's potentialities was enhanced by the faith they held in the American political experiment that was being tried under the new Constitution. Although the Unitarians got their name from their supposed denial of the concept of the Trinity, they and other liberal groups actually made little of this doctrine until they were forced to define their position by the attacks of the orthodox. They were also more or less agreed on salvation for all, though they did not press this issue either. Finally, they were strong Congregationalists, believing in the right of each congregation to determine its own affairs and beliefs and opposing strongly any attempt to form Congregational churches into a larger organization with a fixed, absolute creed for all.(4)
These fresh winds of doctrine would have been anathema to all the Phillipses, and particularly to the late Lieutenant Governor, Samuel Phillips. In his school's constitution he spelled out the beliefs that the Master should hold: "The existence of One true God, the FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST; of the fall of man, the depravity of human nature; the necessity of an atonement, and of our being renewed in the spirit of our minds; the doctrines of repentance toward God and of faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ; of sanctification by the Holy Spirit, and of justification by the free grace of God, through the redemption, that is in Jesus Christ, (in opposition to the erroneous and dangerous doctrine of justification by our own merit, or a dependence on self righteousness,) together with the other important doctrines and duties of our HOLY CHRISTIAN RELIGION'"(5) And he reiterated this position in the Second Donation that he gave just before his death: his purpose, he said, was "the preservation of the essential and distinguishing doctrines of the Gospel, as professed by our pious ancestors, the first settlers of New England . . . and to guard against the dissemination of the least particle of Infidelity or Modern Philosophy . . . as tend to undermine the fundamental principles of the Gospel plan of salvation, or to reduce the Christian Religion to a system of mere morality."(6) In the coming struggle between the liberals and the orthodox, there would be no doubt where Phillips Academy and those connected with it would stand.
With Harvard lost to the liberals, with Boston churches abandoning the ancient truths, with the liberal contamination spreading throughout New England, something must be done to strengthen the orthodox position. And what better way could be devised than by establishing a seminary where pious young men could be taught the old truths and the old values to prepare them to carry the doctrines of orthodoxy all over the land. For all their conservatism in matters of dogma, these orthodox Calvinists were radical in trying to establish a theological seminary, for there was no institution in the entire country solely dedicated to training ministers. To be sure there were professors of divinity at Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth who were supposed to supervise graduate students studying for the ministry, but the training was superficial at best. Timothy Dwight at Yale did try to meet the problem with a course of Sunday morning lectures for theology students. Most of the leading ministers, however, were prepared by individual clergymen, who would often take students into their family. This was not unlike the training that law students received by reading law with some distinguished attorney. A more or less standard practice in training these theologues was to have the student read widely under the supervision of the minister, be given a list of questions to answer which involved difficult theological points, discuss the answers to these questions, write sermons that would then be criticized for content, style, grammar, and other mechanics, and engage in long conversations with the teacher. One minister wrote, "I often hear them read, that uncouth habits, if they have contracted any, may be corrected." There must have been many a New England clergyman who trained students for the ministry in this way, but a few were outstanding. The Reverend Nathaniel Emmons, for example, who had a church in Franklin, Massachusetts, trained eighty-seven students during a long career, while the Reverend Joseph Bellamy, of Bethlehem, Connecticut, taught more than fifty. Both Emmons and Bellamy were extraordinarily effective teachers who were beloved by their students, but this apprenticeship system was hardly satisfactory if an army of orthodox stalwarts were going to be trained to combat the heresies of the day.(7)
Phillips Academy and those connected with it had been concerned about the training of ministers ever since its founding. Writing in 1778 the Reverend Jonathan French had suggested the establishment of a Theological Seminary in connection with the new Phillips School.(8) In the Academy's constitution appears the clause "And, whereas many of the Students in this Seminary may be devoted to the sacred work of the gospel ministry . . . "(9) Finally, in John Phillips' will he left one third of his estate to Phillips Academy "for the benefit more especially of Charity Scholars" who "may be assisted in the study of Divinity (if a Theological Professor is not employed) ... under the direction of some eminent Calvinistic minister of the gospel, until such time as an able, pious, and orthodox Instructor shall ... be supported . . . as a Professor of Divinity, by whom they may be taught the important principles and distinguishing tenets of out holy Christian Religion."(10) When Eliphalet Pearson resigned his various positions at Harvard, he was invited by the Phillips Academy Trustees, of whom he was at the time President, to return to Andover and live in the present Hardy House, which the trustees had acquired from one Captain Towne in 1804 and which they had just finished remodeling.(11) Pearson's intimate knowledge of the past of Phillips Academy, coupled with his determination to found a seminary to combat the liberal heresies, made him an ideal person to lead a campaign for the establishment of a theological institution. No sooner had he returned to Andover than it became clear that he would have important allies. The Reverend Jedidiah Morse of Charlestown, who, like Pearson, had strongly opposed the changes at Harvard, was a tower of strength in the orthodox camp. Most widely known for his American geography, Morse had founded The Panoplist a journal to champion Calvinist views, but he was also convinced that a seminary was essential to save the true faith. From the very beginning Morse lent his considerable talents to the project.(12) Samuel Farrar, Treasurer of Phillips Academy, was also to play an important role, particularly in drawing up many legal documents for the seminary. For all their enthusiasm for the proposed new institution, these three men would have been helpless had it not been for the support of three people of means who were in a position to provide the wherewithall for its foundation. The most generous single donor was Samuel Abbot, an inhabitant of Andover and a Trustee of Phillips Academy. He had been a successful merchant in Boston before the Revolution, but had returned to Andover at its outbreak. Since that time, through careful management and investment, he had increased his property substantially. Since he had no children, he originally had planned to leave his money to his wife's grandson, only to see him die. He then planned to leave his money to Harvard for the support of Divinity students, only to see the institution captured by the Unitarians. He was now in an ideal position to sponsor a new institution that could put his deeply held religious principles into practice. A cautious and simple man, he derived tremendous peace of mind once he had made the decision to help, and hoped the new institution would be "the means of saving millions of souls."(13) Two other generous benefactors---Madam Phoebe Phillips and her son John---were strong in their support of the new project, certainly in part because they must have known how enthusiastic Samuel Phillips would have been about it. Before the task was finished, they contributed about a hundred thousand dollars for buildings and endowment. In speaking of one of the buildings she gave, Phoebe said, 'I hope a prayer will be offered for every hod of brick, and every bucket of mortar used in its erection.(14)
Yet a serious obstacle had arisen to complicate the work of the Andover group. At about the same time that its plans were maturing, Jedidiah Morse discovered that a rival group was planning to establish a seminary at Newburyport. To make matters more difficult, the Newburyport group were Hopkinsians---followers of Samuel Hopkins, a Connecticut clergyman who had made changes in the Westminster Catechism, which the Andover group considered the basic document of their beliefs. The Hopkinsians were by no means liberal; indeed their differences from the Westminister Calvinists were relatively few; but they felt as strongly about their beliefs as did the Andover group.(15) It soon became clear to far-sighted men like Morse and Pearson that to found two seminaries, each of which would compete for essentially the same support and the same clientele, would be a disaster. It would be hard enough to establish one strong institution; if two were attempted, the chances were excellent that both would fail. The leader of the Newburyport group was the Reverend Samuel Spring, a graduate of Princeton who had been chaplain on Arnold's famous march up the Kennebec River to Quebec. He had been pastor of the North Congregational Church in Newburyport since 1777 and had for some time had his heart set on a seminary. To support him in this venture he had enlisted the aid of William Bartlet, one of the shrewdest merchants of Newburyport, who had made a sizable fortune by being able to outguess his competitors. Another supporter was Moses Brown, like Bartlet a successful merchant, though on a much lesser scale. It is interesting to note that neither of these businessmen was a "professor" of religion---that is, neither had publicly announced his conversion. But both were devout Christians who saw in a seminary an important institution for the spreading of God's word. The third of the Newburyport benefactors was John Norris of Salem, who is described as "inclined to seek after wealth too earnestly, and to hold it too tenaciously." As he grew older, he became more and more concerned about his own spiritual state, ending one letter "I want holy love! O what don't I want of spiritual blessings!"(16) And so the two groups faced one another---each with its own precisely defined creed, each with its three benefactors, each determined to have its own kind of seminary.
Fortunately for the future of Andover Theological Seminary, there were strong and able men who insisted that some kind of compromise could be effected. Jedidiah Morse was the first to attempt it but before the job was done, Eliphalet Pearson and Leonard Woods had performed yeoman's service in bringing the two parties together. Dr. Spring was sure that if his group were to join the Andover one, they would lose their identity and be forced to accept the Andover creed. Eliphalet Pearson, ever one to be practical, suggested that it was extremely unlikely that the Massachusetts legislature would vote to incorporate an institution as conservative as the one the Newburyport group planned on. The rise in power of the Jeffersonians would mean that a charter would be blocked.(17) On the other hand, Phillips Academy was already incorporated, the legislature had just finished enlarging the power of the Trustees to hold property,(18) and there need be no further political problems. That was just the beginning. The Andover group, despairing of reaching an agreement, went ahead, establishing their seminary in 1807; but Pearson, Morse, and Woods refused to give up. They discovered that the opposition to the merger of Bartlet, Brown, and Norris was not nearly so strong as was Spring's. Accordingly, Leonard Woods called on the three laymen and found that they were willing to compromise. He then approached Dr. Spring. "You have trigged our wheels," the good doctor said, but the worst of the crisis had passed.(19) Before a final agreement was reached, Eliphalet Pearson had driven over to Newburyport thirty-six times---a distance of twenty miles each way---to do battle with the rival dialecticians. "Today I was occupied three hours in a metaphysical dispute with Dr. Spring," he wrote. And again, "I have just come from an interview with Dr. Spring, who spent two hours in examining me on the knottiest points of metaphysical theology."(20) Finally, Pearson's and Wood's patience was rewarded. Though Dr. Spring still had serious reservations about the merger---in part he thought it was illegal under the Phillips Academy charter(21)---he finally agreed not to oppose it further, and by 1808 it was possible to move ahead with more or less united support.
The documents establishing the Andover Theological Seminary were complicated enough. In the first place there was the Constitution of the Seminary, drawn up by the Andover group in 1807 and modeled more or less after the constitution of Phillips Academy, in which Samuel Abbot agreed to give $20,000 for a professorship and Phoebe and John Phillips agreed to give two buildings. This constitution also spelled out the courses that were to be taught and contained rules for the governance of the institution and a set of beliefs based on the Westminster Catechism that the professors were to subscribe to. In addition, the professors were required to declare themselves "in opposition, not only to Atheists and Infidels, but to Jews, Mahometans, Arians, Pelagians, Antinomians, Arminians, Socinians, Unitarians, and Universalists, and to all other heresies and errors, ancient and modern, which may be opposed to the gospel of CHRIST, or hazardous to the souls of men."
When the Newburyport group joined, they had prepared a number of "Associate Statutes," which would safeguard their interests in the new institution. Most important among them was the establishment of a Board of Visitors of three, one chosen by the Andover group, one by the Newburyport group, and a third who would be mutually acceptable. This Board was to have general supervision over the seminary, particularly in safeguarding the orthodoxy of the professors, and each new appointee must be approved by the Visitors. In addition, the Associate Statutes contained a long creed, drawn up by Dr. Spring and Leonard Woods, which differed in certain respects from the doctrines expressed in the Westminster Catechism. When they read over the Associate Statutes, the Andover group decided that they must expand their original constitution so as to make it congruous with them. Accordingly, they prepared for that purpose thirteen "Additional Statutes." The resulting set of documents was impressive, for length if for nothing else. The Constitution had thirty-four articles, the Associate Statutes twenty-eight, and these two, together with the Additional Statutes, cover thirty-seven large pages of type.(22) But the important thing was that, despite this verbiage, the two groups had finally reached a mutually agreeable settlement. To place a capstone on the compromise, a generous arrangement was reached in the appointment of the first two professors. Although he was an old Calvinist, Samuel Abbot agreed to appoint Leonard Woods, the Hopkinsian, Professor of Christian Theology, while William Bartlet, though a Hopkinsian, appointed Eliphalet Pearson, an old Calvinist, Professor of Natural Theology. And when the Seminary opened, prayer was offered that the two professors might be "a lovely, happy pair."(23) The formal opening occurred on 28 September 1808 with everyone who had played a prominent part in attendance. Since Eliphalet Pearson had never been ordained, this matter was attended to, while Dr. Timothy Dwight of Yale preached the sermon. Jonathan French, Jedidiah Morse, Samuel Spring, Leonard Woods, and others officiated at the services, the music being supplied by the musical associations of Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties, aided by "other respectable gentlemen, both of the clergy and the laity, who politely gave their assistance in the solemnities of the day."(24) Despite almost insuperable obstacles, it appeared that the Andover Theological Seminary was off to a good start.
The generosity of the founders changed the appearance of Andover Hill markedly. Before they were through, Phoebe and John Phillips contributed close to one hundred thousand dollars; William Bartlet gave thirty-five thousand, as well as paying for five buildings; Samuel Abbot brought his total to over one hundred thousand dollars; the Norrises gave forty thousand; and Moses Brown, thirty-five thousand. When lesser gifts are added, the total comes to about four hundred and fifty thousand dollars given during the early years of the Seminary, a sum that completely eclipsed the modest endowment of Phillips Academy during this period.(25) Gradually the new buildings were erected along a general plan that, according to tradition, Eliphalet Pearson laid out by climbing a large oak tree then located in what is now the lawn in front of Samuel Phillips Hall. Colonel John Phillips made a special trip to Brown University to examine the college buildings there, and the first edifice, Phillips Hall, now Foxcroft Hall, was finished in 1809. In good time there followed Bartlet Chapel, now Pearson Hall, then located parallel to Phillips Hall. The third building to complete "Seminary Row" was Bartlet Hall, still in its original location and with its original name. In the area where Samuel Phillips Hall now stands, there was a wooden dining hall with quarters for the steward. Nor were the changes limited to seminary buildings proper. Through the generosity of William Bartlet three handsome residences for seminary professors were built along what is now Main Street. The present Phelps House was originally constructed for Professor Edward Griffin. Mr. Bartlet had given him a free hand in decorating the building but had mildly protested fancy wallpaper that cost a dollar a roll. Professor Griffin thereupon had the room redone with paper that cost twenty-five cents a roll, also billed to Mr. Bartlet.(26) A second house was the Stuart House, constructed in 1812 for Professor Moses Stuart. Finally, in 1816, what was then called Woods House, now Pease House, was built for Leonard Woods. At about the same time Mark Newman built the house that still bears his name, across the street from Stuart House. Finally, to complete the imposing row of buildings, Squire Samuel Farrar built a house on the site of the present Archaeological Building, which would be moved in the 1880's to its present location further down Phillips Street. In contrast, one house was provided for the staff of Phillips Academy---the present Hardy House, then occupied by Principal John Adams.(27)
Andover Hill was to be changed in more than material ways as a result of the founding of the Theological Seminary. For the most part, the early professors at the seminary were giants as theological scholars. Eliphalet Pearson resigned his position after one year, finding his teaching duties uncongenial, while Professor Edward Griffin soon found unworkable his plan of combining teaching at the Seminary with holding down the pulpit of the Park Street Church in Boston, and he too resigned. Leonard Woods, who had done so much to help found the Seminary, held his Professorship of Christian Theology for the remainder of his career. In 1820 he attacked the Unitarian position of William Ellery Channing in a book called Letters to Unitarians, which was immediately answered by Henry Ware, Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard. This inaugurated the so-called "Wood 'n Ware" controversy that lasted for four years and resulted in five large volumes of polemics.(28) Upon the resignation of Eliphalet Pearson, Dr. Samuel Spring set out to find a replacement for him. He asked Dr. Timothy Dwight of New Haven about a promising young man named Moses Stuart. "Mr. Stuart is well qualified for the office," said Dr. Dwight, "but we can't spare him." Dr. Spring replied, "We don't want a man that can be spared."(29) In due course Stuart accepted the position of Professor of Sacred Literature and like Leonard Woods was to spend the rest of his career in Andover. Like Woods, also, he engaged in battle with the Unitarians at Harvard, his Letters to Channing representing a powerful statement of the orthodox position. For all his patience in scholarly matters, he used to become enraged at the problems of a New England farmer,
Bah! was there ever climate and soil like this! Manure the land as much as you will, it all leaches through this gravel, and very soon not a trace of it can be seen. If you plant early, everything is liable to be cut off by the late frosts of spring. If you plant late, your crop is destroyed by the early frosts of autumn. If you escape these, the burning sun of summer scorches your crop, and it perishes by heat and draught. If none of these evils overtake you, clouds of insects eat up your crop, and what the caterpillar leaves the canker-worm devours.(30)
The last of what might be considered the first run of professors was Ebenezer Porter, Professor of Sacred Rhetoric, who lived in Phelps House. A frail man whose work was continually limited by bad health, he nonetheless made his mark teaching the students of the seminary how to deliver sermons. In addition he produced a book entitled Rhetorical Reader, which soon became a standard text for would-be clergymen. In 1827, when the trustees thought that the Seminary needed a president, he was chosen. It was at his house that a group of the Seminary professors, with Squire Farrar, Mark Newman, and others, used to meet to discuss the problems of the day and how to meet them. Out of these discussions came a number of important developments, including the American Education Society; the Boston Recorder, the first religious newspaper in America; the American Tract Society, to distribute religious materials; and the American Temperance Society, whose members pledged "entire abstinence from intoxicating liquors." The achievements of the first faculty of the Seminary bore testimony to the fact that the Trustees had chosen well.
As one might imagine, Eliphalet Pearson insisted from the beginning that the new seminary be a place where high scholarship was honored and scholarly works produced. To ensure the publication of scholarly endeavors, he insisted that the Seminary should have a printing press of its own. Though there had been a press in Andover as early as 1798, it was not until 1813, under Pearson's prodding, that it was expanded and moved to the second floor of an ugly old wooden building located on the site of the present Cooley House, where Mark Newman had established a store. Timothy Flagg and Abraham J. Gould, who were the first printers, were men after Pearson's own heart. Members of the South Church and definitely "pious," they were in complete sympathy with the concept of making the press the means of publishing and distributing orthodox religious materials. Presumably as a result of Pearson's driving interest, the press early acquired the first fonts of Greek and Hebrew type in America, and for years Harvard had its Greek printing done at Andover. Moses Stuart took full advantage of the opportunities the press offered. Though he did not know Hebrew before he came to Andover, he soon learned the language and prepared a Hebrew grammar for publication. Since no one in Andover---or probably anywhere else in New England---knew how to set Hebrew type, Stuart learned to set it himself, and in 1813 the first Hebrew grammar to be published in the United States appeared. In the 1820's, with the help of generous contributions, it became possible to purchase additional esoteric types, until the press was able to print books in eleven Oriental languages as well as Hebrew. Stuart was indefatigable. As Oliver Wendell Holmes remembered him, he was "tall, lean, with strong, bold features, a keen, scholarly, accipitrine nose, thin, expressive lips, great solemnity and impressiveness of voice and manner . . . my early model of a classic orator. His air was Roman, his neck long and bare like Cicero's, and his toga---that is his broadcloth cloak---was carried on his arm whatever might have been the weather, with such a statue-like rigid grace that he might have been turned into marble as he stood, and looked noble by the side of the antiques of the Vatican."(31) Stuart suffered acutely from dyspepsia, and "when his malady interfered with his labors, his voice could be heard from his study, rising and falling in a wailing prayer for relief." Professor Stuart's example was contagious, and Andover graduates who went into missionary work produced grammars, lexicons, and in some cases alphabets in such esoteric languages as Mahratta, Tamil, Armeno-Turkish, Cherokee, and Choctaw. In 1832 the press moved to a new brick building situated in front of the present Adams and Bishop halls, where it remained for the next thirty years. Warren F. Draper, its last proprietor, estimated that in its first seventy years the press had published the equivalent of 233 octavo volumes of 500 pages each. More than one hundred titles were written by Andover professors, with a total circulation of 400,000. Nor did the press lack women authors. Harriet Beecher Stowe and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, with others, produced books through the Andover press which reached a combined circulation of over a million. Finally, the press handled many assignments outside Andover, such as the publications of the American Tract Society, the Temperance Herald, and Bibliotheca Sacra. In many ways, it was the most outstanding achievement of the Andover Theological Seminary.(32)
As for the students---or "theologues" as they came to be called---the great majority were graduates of New England colleges. During the first twenty-five years only forty-two out of six hundred and seven were not. Yale and Dartmouth led the list, with Middlebury, Williams, Amherst, and other following in order. Not surprisingly, Harvard was barely represented. Fewer than two thirds of the students finished the full three-year course. In some cases this was due to a student's desire to study with one particular professor only, in others a desire to get married, poor health, or emotional exhaustion. Rooming conditions were Spartan at best. Addison Kingsbury wrote the following description of Phillips Hall in 1825, after leaving Boston in a coach with eleven passengers inside and four outside and spending three hours on the road:
I have at last succeeded in obtaining a room in the fourth story, though with few or no accommodations. I expected the rooms were furnished. I accordingly brought no furniture with me and I find none here of consequence except a poor bed without any clothing. . . My tables are not fit to stand in your old kitchen, and as for chairs I am now sitting upon one without any back writing to you. . .(33)
When Bartlet Hall was built in 1821 it was more attractive. In the first place, it had suites with a living room and fireplace and two bedrooms. A student described his condition: "Here you will find my chum and myself each bending over a comfortable writing desk laid upon two marblecolored tables. You see our room ornamented with four pretty chairs, a beautiful mahogany bureau, large mirror . . . All the rooms in this building are furnished alike. Nothing could add to our convenience if we had a carpet. But this is of little consequence."(34) It might be pointed out that tight-fisted Samuel Farrar, the Treasurer, was in charge of the furnishings of Phillips Hall, while Mrs. Bartlet had chosen the furnishings for Bartlet Hall. The students were responsible for their own wood and water, and if one lived on the fourth floor of Phillips Hall, this could be a real chore. Yet most of the students did not seem unhappy with their lot. Here is one commentary written in 1819:
"We are at present in a very small business, that is, reviewing Greek grammar. Besides this we have the Hebrew alphabet to learn. But I have quartos around me enough to frighten a very timid man out of his senses. Our living is quite as good as I expected .... That you may know how much a slave a man may be at Andover, if he will follow the rules adopted by the majority, I will give the order of the day."
Then follows a detailed account of how every minute of the day is taken up by devotions, study, and eating.
"Now, my dear Seraph, if you can tell me if this is consistent with those means to preserve health, which have been said to be so abundantly used here, I will confess that your discernment far exceeds mine. For my own part I expect to become an outlaw; for I will not be so confined. Few means are wanting to enable us to become great men; but the opportunity to kill oneself with study is rather too good."
Generally speaking, life at the Seminary was a Spartan one. When a distinguished German scholar asked Professor Park, "How do you get along without the opera and theatrer?" Park's reply was in the best Andover tradition: "You forget that we have the church and the sewing society.(35)
One of the most charming accounts of life at the Theological Seminary in the early time is Old Andover Days, from the pen of Sarah Stuart Robbins, a daughter of Moses Stuart. Mrs. Robbins grew up on Andover Hill during the 1820's and 1830's, and though her book was written when she was an old woman, her memory is clear. The theologues, as she remembers them, like most students of the time, had to fetch their own water and wood from outside their dormitories, make their own beds, do their own sweeping, and fill their own lamps. Nor was the "Commons" a place to remember with pleasure. The food was of poor quality, and to make it even less palatable the "tough meat and soggy vegetables" were eaten to the accompaniment of readings on religious subjects---Jonathan Edwards eternal punishment, redemption through free grace, and the like. When funds ran low, molasses was substituted for meat, and Mrs. Robbins tells the story of a student who had to be bled by his doctor, only to find that the physician could get nothing but molasses from his veins. "The long tables, the blue and white dishes, the capacious water-pitchers, the dingy tumblers, the patched table-cloths, the piles of brown and white bread, the crackers, mush, and buckwheat, the poor joints and cheap vegetables" indicate that there was no danger of the Seminarians being tempted by the pleasures of the flesh. William Bartlet believed that the theologues should get plenty of exercise---as if their housekeeping chores were not enough---and as a result a grisly form of manual training was introduced whereby the students made coffins in a stone shell of a building that was later remodeled into the present Stowe House. According to Mrs. Robbins the students were not very good carpenters: "There were pale, puzzled, weary faces, bending over corners that wouldn't fit, and over boards that were too long or too short, too narrow or too wide. There were failures to hit nails on the head; there was dulling of saws, breaking of hatchets, and rasping of files . . . . Each man was as solemn as if the coffin he was making were his own."(36)
The Puritan Sabbath, as Mrs. Robbins describes it, was a grim business, even by contemporary standards. Faculty children started the exercise with a three-hour session in the schoolhouse on Saturday morning, where they studied the Westminster Catechism and sang hymns. Saturday afternoon was free, but the minute the sun set, the Sabbath proper began; not to be home by sunset was a serious sin, and by nine o'clock all lights on the Hill were out. Sunday began with family prayers---and lengthy ones too---followed by a "Sunday hush," when everyone, particularly children, was to remain quiet, feeling "as if Satan in bodily shape was waiting near to gobble up any poor, unlucky sinner who should venture ever so little from the strait and narrow path." At nine o'clock came Sabbath school, taught by various theological students, after which the children were marched to chapel for the morning service. The chapel walls were dingy blue, the pews, gallery, and desk a yellow white. Candelabra held long thin tallow dips "which had a sacerdotal habit of dropping large, round, hot drops upon unsanctilied heads." But there were plenty of Bibles and Watts hymn books. In winter footstoves were used, the passing of which provided a diversion during the service. Each professor had a pew: Dr. Ebenezer Porter, a chronic invalid, sat with a yellow bandana around his throat and a long dark coat hanging from his shoulders. Leonard Woods, the handsomest member of the faculty, reputed among the children to be of the "Old School" because of his stern demeanor, made them feel as if they were "practical illustrations of original sin, native depravity, and free agents gone astray." Moses Stuart, with his long blue cloak, reflected by physical movement his opinion of the sermon: it it was poor, he would shrug, move about in his seat, and put on a long face; if it was good, he would rise in his seat at some particularly pertinent remarks, turn around to his students, and draw his red silk handkerchief across his mouth several times to show his approbation. Other pews contained Dr. James Murdoch, Principal John Adams of Phillips Academy, and Squire Samuel Farrar. At the close of the morning service there was a two-hour intermission, during which a cold dinner was eaten---one must not work on Sundays---and a pious book read. Then back to the chapel for more prayers and psalm-singing. The pleasantest part of the day was the family tea that followed, with toast, doughnuts, and preserves. Finally the children had another go at the Westminster Catechism until the sun finally dipped below the horizon, when at last they were free.(37)
The Sabbath was simply the most important religious day of Andover Hill. It by no means followed that weekdays could not be utilized for religious services as well, and in fact one was scheduled for each day of the week. On certain Monday nights there was a "Monthly Concert of Prayer for Foreign Missions." In the dimly lighted chapel, reports were read of missionary activities throughout the world. When Mrs. Robbins attended these meetings, the missionary movement was just starting, and she could not understand how the meager reports could inspire anyone in the audience to undertake missionary work. Yet they must have, as the Seminary's proud record in the field indicates. On Tuesday nights came the meetings of the Society of Inquiry, at which various theologues discussed matters of religious interest. On Wednesday nights came the "conference meeting," a prayer meeting at which professors and students discussed together the latter's moral needs. Thursday nights were made livelier by the "Porter Rhetorical." Students were given a chance to practice speaking---a debate, an oration, sometimes a poem. On Friday nights came the most bizarre meeting of all-the so-called "Jews' Meeting," held at the home of Professor Porter to pray for the conversion of the Jews. If the purpose of the meeting was bizarre, the surroundings were even more so. Presumably because of his chronic invalidism, Professor Porter's house was all but hermetically sealed---outside shutters closed, inside window shades drawn, and doors shut tight; it seemed to Mrs. Robbins like a "wooden tomb." Mrs. Porter arranged the meetings and ran them. She was a tiny little woman dressed in black, a tight lace cap with narrow black strings surrounding her face. All conversation, including whispering, was taboo. A few theologues conducted the meetings, which consisted of Bible readings, hymn singing, and an occasional reading of an appropriate newspaper clipping. Finally, on Saturday nights, came a "social prayer-meeting" with more prayers and hymn singing. When it is remembered that the theological students' days were full of classes and study, not to mention their housekeeping chores and coffin-making, it is clear that their theological regimen left no time for sinful thoughts.(38)
The high point of the year was the Seminary Anniversary, or Commencement, which came in September. At least two weeks before the event, the institution began to prepare for it. Faculty families searched the countryside for delicacies with which to regale the guests; the grounds were weeded and raked; every inch of space in every house was utilized for the accommodation of the guests, while the children were relegated to attics and haylofts. At last the great day arrived when the ceremonies would start. Mrs. Robbins remembered a time before the railroad had reached Andover, and as a result the journey to the Hill was a difficult one for many of the guests. Some, like the Reverend John Codman, would come with his stout English horses, his stout English coach, his stout English coachman, his ruddy, cordial English self, and his noble little wife." William Bartlet came in "a large, old-fashioned stage-coach drawn by four horses," with as many of his grandchildren as the vehicle could carry. For many a poor country parson, however, "There were long, weary miles trodden by weary feet, rough roads driven over with a thin, hungry horse in the old one boss shay, and rusty saddle-bags mended and packed with scanty, seedy wardrobes, always containing ... the immaculate white cravat."
In the 1830's the Anniversary ceremonies followed a set pattern. On Monday nights came the meeting of the Porter Rhetorical Society, with graduates declaiming on such subjects as "The Power and Benevolence of God," "God Everywhere," and occasionally more secular pieces--- "Edmund Burke" and "The Characteristics of English Philosophy." The following day Seminary graduates delivered sermons and addresses on religious topics -one year, for example, the leading speaker was President Mark Hopkins of Williams---he of the log. On Tuesday evenings came the meeting of the Society of Inquiry respecting Missions---presided over, on one occasion, by a graduate who was soon to go as a missionary to Eastern Africa, "that dark corner of the earth." In one class nine of the graduates had already been accepted by the American Board for missionary work. Wednesday was the big day, however. The Seminary Alumni met at 7:30 in the morning, and at 9:00 the Commencement exercises were held in the Bartlet Chapel, which was always packed with visitors. Indeed at some Commencements clergymen who had traveled a long way to come to Andover were unable to get in. The rest of the day, morning and afternoon, was devoted to hearing each graduate deliver what amounted to a short sermon---sometimes exegesis of a particular Biblical text, sometimes on a broader theme. Since the graduating class numbered in the thirties in those days, the audience got their money's worth. Then, after refreshment at faculty houses, the assemblage vanished as quickly as it had come. Nor were these exercises simply to demonstrate the competence of the graduates; particularly effective deliveries were often rewarded with attractive and important church positions.(39)
From some of the foregoing descriptions it is easy to imagine the three leading professors---Woods, Stuart, and Porter---as saintly, Christian men with a love for all mankind. Their treatment of Professor James Murdoch, however, shows that they could be vindictive, small-minded, and nasty when they believed their interests were being threatened. The story of the unfortunate James Murdoch begins when Moses Brown, one of the Associate Founders of the Seminary, determined to found a professorship of Church History, a subject that, according to the Constitution of the institution, had to be taught.(40) When the three professors heard of this, they moved heaven and earth to get the decision changed. Since Ebenezer Porter was in poor health and often missed classes---in 1817 he missed an entire term---it was thought that the new chair should be filled by a second professor of Sacred Rhetoric, who could share Porter's responsibilities with him. When Brown refused to change his plan without trustee approval, Woods wrote a compromise statement that provided for a professor who would share his time between Sacred Rhetoric and Church History. Eliphalet Pearson, as President of the Board, saw through this plan and did all he could to limit the new chair to Church History alone, but the Trustees waffled, and Woods's compromise was adopted. It then became a matter of choosing the new professor. Woods was dispatched to sound out James Murdoch, then Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Vermont. Not only did the three professors admire his scholarship, but they believed, wrongly as it turned out, that he could easily be recruited to support their position. Murdoch, who has been described as "a dry little man with a large elastic brain and nerves like catgut" demurred.(41) He knew little of Sacred Rhetoric, he protested, and he added, "if I go to Andover I shall have no department of my own, and have a life of drudgery." Against his better judgment, he allowed himself to be persuaded and moved to Andover in 1819.
His worst fears were soon realized. During his first year the senior class sent a delegation to Woods to complain of Murdoch's poor teaching. When he asked his colleagues' advice, Murdoch was told to resign, and indeed he sent a letter of resignation to the Trustees. But Eliphalet Pearson smelled a rat. He suspected a faculty cabal whose purpose was to keep Church History from the curriculum. The cabal kept the pressure on. They claimed that Murdoch was an albatross around the neck of the Seminary and were horrified to discover that he drank brandy. Since they could not gain their objectives by themselves, they turned to Moses Brown, who wrote the Trustees that Murdoch was incompetent and ought to resign. When he refused, Brown demanded a trial before the Board of Visitors. Plans for this were under way when the Trustees got cold feet. There was a question whether the Board of Visitors had full legal authority to act in a case of this kind, and in addition Murdoch threatened to appeal to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts if they did. So the matter was patched up temporarily by defining Murdoch's position and responsibilities more precisely. For a while it looked as if things would be calmer on Zion's Hill, but it was merely the lull before the storm. Murdoch's colleagues spurned social relations with him, regularly voted down his proposals in faculty meeting, and generally made his life miserable. To get relief Murdoch turned to the students and began confiding to them the story of his difficulties. He stepped out of line when he told some students the details of a discussion in faculty meeting to choose the class valedictorian. Far from improving, the difficulty seemed to be getting steadily worse.
The final round in this fracas was precipitated by a decision to revise the curriculum of the Seminary in 1825. Woods, Stuart, and Porter were agreed that the first year should be devoted to the study of the Bible, the second to Theology, and the third to Sacred Rhetoric. They were also agreed that Church History should play a secondary role. This was not simply because they wanted more time for their own fields; they did not want the students exposed to the long line of heresies, church disagreements, and sectarian controversies, which would be presented in a course in history, before they had been thoroughly indoctrinated in the basics of Bible study and theology. The majority decided that Church History should be taught in the spring term of the senior year, admittedly a time when the seniors were restless in anticipation of getting pastoral positions after graduation. Despite an appeal to the Trustees---Eliphalet Pearson, his defender, had now died---Murdoch was forced to accept the proposed schedule, and his first spring term with the seniors fulfilled his worst apprehensions. The controversy almost tore the Seminary apart. By 1827 student behavior was getting so out of hand that the Trustees appointed a special committee to look into it. Furthermore, almost all the students signed a memorial demanding that Church History be given a prominent place in the curriculum, but their demand was ignored by faculty and trustees. Finally the special committee held hearings and on the basis of the testimony presented---particularly that of Woods, Stuart, and Porter---recommended that Murdoch should be dismissed. The only charge of substance was that he had neglected to give lectures in Sacred Rhetoric as he was scheduled to do, in 1826-7. The Board of Visitors upheld this one charge, as did the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, to which Murdoch had made a last appeal. Forced to leave Andover, Murdoch went into semiretirement for the rest of his life in New Haven, where he engaged in various scholarly pursuits. It had taken his opponents nearly ten years to get him fired, but they had finally triumphed. He did, however, leave one legacy at Andover. Though never on an equal basis with the other disciplines, Church History became an integral part of the Seminary curriculum from that point on. . . and in the spring of 1823 a Southern clergyman visited the Seminary and was much impressed by what he found. He thought the buildings "finished with sufficient taste" and estimated the value of the plant at $500,000. He thought the Seminary needed more scholarships for indigent students and more books in the library for the professors, but generally the institution was "a noble one, even in its present state, and does the highest honour to its founders, and to the public spirit of the citizens of Massachusetts. In this particular they do certainly go beyond any others in the United States, and perhaps are not surpassed by any people in the world." Despite his general enthusiasm, he had reservations about the course of instruction. He took issue with Moses Stuart's insistence that the students be allowed unlimited freedom to read in the field of theology, including the works of atheists, free thinkers, and critics of the Christian religion. The visitor feared that this would simply lead to confusion among the students and result in their accepting the ipse dixit of the professor. He was disturbed, also, because the students could go forth to preach the gospel without a creed. He admitted that in 99 percent of the cases the creed was orthodox, but he thought that the graduates, like the professors, should be required to subscribe to a definite set of beliefs. The visitor was less than enthusiastic about what he called "pulpit eloquence." The New England tradition, he felt, had produced a dry analytical method of preaching. "Feeling, instead of being exemplified, is analyzed. The mixed emotions and complex motives of human beings are ... taken to pieces, much in the way a chemist separates the different parts of a compound substance subjected to experiment." He doubted if speaking orations ever made a man eloquent and thought that too much emphasis was placed on physical movements in speaking and ornaments of style rather than on "the deep tone of powerful moral feeling, which moves the heart, which agitates and sways the passions as the trees of the forest are agitated by a mighty wind." In some areas he thought the students poorly prepared. For one thing, their minds were not sufficiently imbued with classical literature, and thus they lacked "maturity and delicacy of taste." More important, "There is a sad want of acquaintance with the literature and spirit of the age. Causes are continually at work to modify the state of public feeling, and change the face of society; and all the while students and professors are shut up in their halls or chambers, poring now over the writings of the fathers, and then over some obsolete metaphysical subtleties, ignorant of almost all that is going on in the literary world around them." After voicing these criticisms, the visitor hastened to add that Andover was so strong that it had nothing to fear from censure. And he closed on a note that is wistful in the light of what was to come. He believed that institutions like Andover would draw more closely the bonds of affection between North and South, since the professors had a "strong feeling of brotherly kindness towards southern people," and that the result would be a stronger union and the belief by all that the United States formed a common country.(42)
In the 1830's the Seminary became convulsed over the slavery question, and after prolonged discussion took a decided position in opposition to the abolitionists or immediatists.(43) As a result of this decision the institution and its professors came under bitter attack from the more radical elements in the antislavery movement. John Greenleaf Whittier, for example, could write in 1835, "Anti-slavery is going on well in spite of mobs, Andover Seminary, and rum." Yet the position of the professors was by no means in support of the institution of slavery; on the contrary they were sympathetic to the plight of the Negro slave in the United States and hoped that emancipation could be brought about gradually. They were interested, too, in the possibilities of colonization in Africa as a solution to the problem. But above all, they were concerned lest immersion in a highly emotional national issue should divert their students from their main purpose---preparing themselves to be Christian ministers of the gospel.
Student interest in the slavery question dated back to the founding of the undergraduate Society of Inquiry in 1811. At the start the Society discussed the problems of slavery in general, read accounts of the institution as it existed in the South, and wrote essays on their findings. In the 1820's interest was stepped up with the formation of the Committee on Colonization of the Society of Inquiry, which moved toward more direct action in support of their cause. The Committee became closely associated with the American Colonization Society, helped to distribute literature on the subject, and wrote a series of annual reports on their activities. During summer vacations some of the students worked as agents for the American Colonization Society, helping to spread their message, and in 1833 Andover students pledged $3,000 to emancipate and expatriate one hundred Kentucky slaves. In the same year, however, the colonization forces among the students were challenged by the formation of an Antislavery Society that believed in the necessity of immediate emancipation. Though small in numbers, they vigorously attacked the concept of colonization, believing it to be a program of expediency backed by people who simply wanted to remove the Negroes from American society. They were alarmed at what the slavery issue was doing to the country and believed that if the question were left to the politicians, serious sectional strife would result. All the more reason for Christian ministers to take up the question. They sought to advance their position through persuasion and peaceful discussion and hoped through these means to achieve a settlement of the difficult national problem. Until 1835 the professors at the Seminary did not interfere with these student movements. Though they were probably all supporters of colonization, they preferred to let the students engage in their activities without faculty control. As a result, by 1835 most of the students were colonizationists, with a small minority taking a stronger antislavery position.
All this was changed by the arrival in Andover of the famous British abolitionist George Thompson early in 1835. So powerful was his message that the Seminary students insisted that he speak at their chapel, a permission that was reluctantly given. A dialogue ensued between Thompson and various students in which the former showed himself extraordinarily skillful at answering questions on his position. So effective was his presentation that a local newspaper reported that "almost if not quite every Student in the Seminary, has become an Abolitionist." Although this was a gross exaggeration, for only about one fourth of the students supported the Abolitionist position, the faculty were dismayed and immediately called a meeting of the entire student body to discuss the dangers to the Seminary of continued controversy over slavery. Such controversy, the professors believed, would seriously split the institution, distract the students from their studies, jeopardize a student's chances of securing a position after graduation if he were identified with a radical position on slavery, and threaten the position of the Seminary as a broadly based orthodox institution by alienating individual churches and potential benefactors. It is an interesting commentary on the undergraduates of the day that they accepted the faculty recommendation almost unanimously and agreed to defer taking a position on the slavery question until after graduation. That was to remain the Seminary's policy right up to the Civil War.(44)
The Abolitionists continued to bring their message to Andover, in hope of enlisting at least some of the students in their cause. Such leaders as Garrison and Thompson, James G. Birney, Theodore Weld, and the Grimké sisters visited Andover to speak to large and interested audiences. Nor was their work without effect. At one time it was estimated that one third of the Seminary students supported their position, although they remained faithful to their agreement not to engage in active work in support of Abolition. To the professors this development was seriously diverting the students from their basic ministerial training. Moses Stuart wrote. "The baleful spirit . . . of the anti-slavery dispute, has nearly destroyed every thing of solid progress for the last six or seven weeks." To strengthen their position the Professors appealed to the Board of Trustees to give them authority over informal undergraduate societies, and though they probably had this power anyway, the Trustees passed a specific vote of authorization. From then on, whatever the opinions of individual students, the antislavery dispute gradually faded into the background.
If one accepts the desirability of sending American Protestants to faraway lands to convert the inhabitants to Christianity, the Missionary activities of graduates of the Andover Theological Seminary must remain one of the institution's proudest boasts.(45) As one writer has put it, "No more compelling is the call of the South to the waterfowl when summer wanes, than was the Macedonian call from heathendom to the dormitories and classrooms of Andover Hill." The original impetus for the movement came from Williams College, where, in 1808, a group of students under the leadership of Samuel J. Mills first drew up a "Constitution of a Society of Brethren" to be dedicated to work with the heathen. According to tradition, the Constitution was adopted under a haystack, where the founders had been driven by a sudden shower of rain. Though the original members scattered after graduation from Williams, the Society itself transferred to Andover, where in 1811, the students formed the "Society of Inquiry on the Subject of Missions." The year before, a group of these students had prevailed upon the Massachusetts Association of Congregational Churches to establish the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and with the backing of this organization, financial and otherwise, it became possible to start actual missionary work. Shortly afterward, two Andover graduates, Adoniram Judson and Samuel Newell, with their wives, set sail from Salem in the Caravan, the flagship of a mighty fleet, to bring the gospel to the subcontinent of India. After the war of 1812 Andover men sailed to Ceylon, where the difficulties were so great at first that it was reported that "More missionaries died than there were natives baptized." In part because a native of Hawaii, Obookiah, had been at Andover off and on, a third mission was sent to the Sandwich Islands, while a fourth penetrated the Near East, finally making its headquarters at Beirut. In ten years twenty Andover men had gone to bring the Christian faith to heathen lands.
From these humble beginnings the missionary movement expanded steadily throughout the nineteenth century until it almost literally covered the globe. Spectacular progress was made in India, where, by the middle of the century, the missionaries had established central boarding schools and village schools, where new churches were built and more emphasis placed on preaching, and where a program for training native clergymen was undertaken. Fired by the example of Moses Stuart on Andover Hill, printing houses to publish books in the native languages were set up, issuing such works as a Marathi edition of the Bible, a Tamil-English dictionary, and translations, grammars, and commentaries in Turkish, Bulgarian, Armenian, and Chaldee. Similar publications were prepared for the Kanakas of Hawaii and the Cherokees of the southern United States. In the latter. half of the century missionary activities were stepped up in China, with Andover graduates as usual playing a prominent part. Some of these had received medical training and made signal contributions to solving the problems of famine and disease in the land of the Manchus. William S. Ament was in Peking when the Boxer Rebellion took place. Despite the difficulties and dangers of that time he could write home, "I would rather ride a little donkey from village to village and sleep on bricks at night, with the privilege of testifying of the Grace of God and communicating a little hope to the dull lives of the people than anything else." One of the proudest accomplishments of the whole movement was the establishment of Doshisha College, a Christian institution in Japan that is still functioning effectively, founded by a Japanese graduate of Andover named Joseph Neesima. In a very literal sense the influence of the missionaries was felt from "Greenland's icy mountains to India's coral strands."
There were drama and heartache and unbelievable obstacles in the careers of almost all these courageous men. William Goodell, for instance, a graduate of Phillips Academy in the Class of 1813 and of the Andover Theological Seminary in 1820, was born in a two-room farmhouse, the son of a poor farming family in Templeton, Massachusetts, and had never considered getting an education until a revival movement swept the town in the early 1800's.(46) As a result of this, he and his father determined to investigate the possibilities of a good education for the boy, who, accordingly, walked and hitched rides some sixty miles to Phillips Academy, where he conferred with Principal John Adams. The Principal explained that there were at the moment no places on the scholarship list, but urged the boy to return in the fall and hope for an opening. The following fall the boy strapped a trunk to his back containing all his wordly possessions and walked the whole sixty miles to Andover, arriving with an extremely sore back. Though there was still no place on the scholarship list, he managed to find lodging with a poor shoemaker and the following spring was overjoyed to hear that Lieutenant-Governor William Phillips had picked up the tab for those boys who had not yet been placed on the scholarship list. His expenses for his senior year were taken care of in a rather bizarre way. Solomon Goodell, a relative of the boy from Jamaica, Vermont, had written Principal Adams and asked if the boy were worth raising. Apparently receiving an affirmative answer, he sent a yoke of oxen to the school, with a note addressed to Principal Adams that read, "Sir, I send you a pair of fat oxen for William Goodell, in your school." From then on Goodell's financial problems seemed to diminish and he was able to graduate from Dartmouth College and the Seminary without serious interruption to his career.
Goodell's first interest in a missionary calling seems to have been aroused at the ordination of a group of the first five missionaries destined for India, which took place at the Tabernacle Church in Salem on February 6, 1812. Principal Adams had given permission to some of the older Phillips Academy students to attend if they wished, and Goodell and a classmate named Cummings set out for Salem on what was described as the coldest day of the winter. They managed to reach Salem without mishap and found the service an extraordinarily moving one. As he writes, "God was there, and in that great assembly there was, at times, a stillness 'like the stillness of God, when He ariseth in silence to bless the world.' At times the whole great assembly seemed moved as the trees of the wood are moved by a mighty wind . . . . the feelings of the audience, and especially our own, were wrought up to the highest pitch." Inspirational though the ordination was, there was still the journey home to be faced, and this ordeal very nearly ended Goodell's missionary career before it had started. 'Long before we reached home, I had ceased to have any control over the muscles of locomotion, but staggered like a paralytic. Some theological students, who had also been at Salem, overtaking us, assisted in supporting me along. Being placed between two of them, and bearing my whole weight upon them, they, by taking turns, succeeded in carrying their load. Through a kind Providence we reached the house where I first boarded at Andover. The family immediately spread a bed for me on the floor, before the fire, and tried to make me comfortable; but I shook and shook, till it seemed as if my nerves and muscles would never again become quiet. It was certainly a wonder I did not become permanently paralyzed by this exposure, excitement and excessive fatigue." The seed planted on this occasion lay dormant for a while, but after graduation from college and the Seminary, Goodell began to consider seriously the career of a missionary.
Goodell first completed his preparation by attending some medical courses at Dartmouth and then for a short period traveled in the West for the American Board of Missions. In 1823 he and a newly acquired wife set sail for the Near East. They stopped first at Malta, which was a kind of headquarters for missionary work in the Mediterranean countries, then proceeded to Beirut, where he founded a mission. In a few years local warfare forced his return to Malta, where he spent some time working with the printing press there in the publication of tracts and translations. Finally, in 1831, he received the order from the American Board that was to determine the rest of his life's work. He was ordered to Constantinople, where he was to work principally with the Armenians, a position he was to hold for close to forty years. Though not strong physically, he seems to have had an ideal temperament for a missionary, exhibiting kindness, common sense, and patience. Nor was his career an easy one. Wars---especially the Crimean War---threatened his work, there was constant danger from disease, at times the Turkish authorities persecuted Christians, and on several occasions there were plots against his life. Yet he stuck to his guns, and after a career of fifty-two years in the Near East, interrupted by only one short return to the United States, he certainly deserves the title of founder of the American Board's work in Turkey. One of his proudest achievements was a translation of the Bible into Armeno-Turkish, a work in which he was assisted by some distinguished Turkish scholars. When he finally returned to this country in his early seventies, after that long and taxing career, it could certainly be said of him that he had fought the good fight.
On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the American Board in 1910, the record of graduates of the Andover Theological Seminary in the field of missions was reviewed. In the first ten years every missionary but one was trained on the Hill. In the first fifty years one hundred and twentyfive went abroad, and in the first century, two hundred and forty-eight.
During the course of the celebration some five hundred people journeyed to Andover, where, on the north side of Rabbit Pond, they unveiled a tablet that had been fixed to a large granite boulder. The tablet read:
In the 'Missionary Woods' once extending to this spot the first missionary students of Andover Seminary walked and talked one hundred years ago, and on this secluded knoll met to pray. In memory of these men ... whose consecrated purpose to carry the gospel to the heathen world led to the formation of the first American society for foreign missions. In recognition of the 248 missionaries trained in Andover Seminary and in gratitude to Almighty God, this stone is set up in the Centennial year of the American Board, 1910.
"New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth," writes the poet. In this day the American people are much less certain about the validity of trying to impose their religious beliefs on the inhabitants of foreign lands than they were one hundred years ago. But even though one may challenge the basic assumptions of the Andover missionaries of the nineteenth century, one cannot help admiring their courage, their steadfastness, and their selflessness.
"The New England theology was constructed on the principle that there are certain truths which abide in the very nature of things and condition any system of doctrine. Since these truths do not change, an orthodox system of doctrine must not change." This statement by the historian of the Andover Theological Seminary explains why, as the nineteenth century wore on and liberal movements began to sweep through American religions, the institution found it more and more difficult to maintain its original position. From the very beginning the Seminary had been absolutist in the beliefs it required its professors to subscribe to. The Westminster Catechism and the Associate Creed both spelled out in absolutist terms the specifics of the true faith. To insure against possible backsliding by the professors, they were required publicly to acknowledge adherence to the creed every five years, and one of the main functions of the Board of Visitors was to act as a kind of watch and ward society to prevent contaminating doctrines from entering the institution. During the early years of Woods, Stuart, and Porter the Seminary managed to get along with only minor squabbles on doctrinal matters inside the institution. But that there was to be trouble ahead became clear in 1849 when the Reverend Daniel Dana, a Trustee, presented a "Remonstrance" to the Board. Dana, who was a theological reactionary, had been the one Trustee who refused to vote for the merger of the Hopkinsian group with the Andover group when the Seminary was first established, and now, over forty years later, he was convinced that his worst fears had been realized. He started what came to be called the "Andover Fuss." Dana said that he had been disturbed to discover, in examining Andover graduates as candidates for the ministry, that in many instances they had exhibited alarmingly unorthodox views. But his main guns were leveled at the newly appointed professor, Edwards A. Park, who, Dana believed, was a man of very dangerous tendencies. Since Park was to become the acknowledged champion of orthodoxy for the next thirty years, there was more than a touch of irony in Dana's charges. The Seminary, he feared, was becoming "an instrument of corrupting pure gospel truth, and of spreading destructive error through the churches and the community." Park's doctrines "would sweep away almost every doctrine of the Bible" and nullify "the cardinal and fundamental doctrine of natural depravity." That was it---"natural depravity." To think of human beings as potentially good was clearly subversive of the true faith.(47) Much to Dr. Dana's annoyance, the Trustees paid no attention to his Remonstrance, and as a result he published it, in 1853. Though the wider dissemination of his charges caused a flurry in orthodox religious circles, the general conclusion was that the good doctor was in an advanced stage of senility, and he resigned in a rage in 1856. The whole affair might well be considered a ludicrous footnote in the history of American religion were it not for the fact that it highlighted a situation pregnant with trouble for the future.
From 1850 until his retirement in 1881 the dominant figure at the Seminary was Edwards Amassa Park, the "last of the old guard" of New England theology.(48) Essentially he was an apologist for the old faith, and though he was aware of the challenges of modern criticism, he never let them interfere with his championship of the past. His classroom lectures were masterly expositions of orthodox doctrine, but there was no opportunity for discussion, no thought of challenging the instructor's dicta. In addition to being an outstanding teacher, Park was a powerful preacher, handing down the word from the pulpit with such authority that his audience sat "so still that the buzzing of a fly would have boomed like a cannon." As time went on, Park became more and more set in his ways and less and less tolerant of anyone who crossed him. There were times when he refused to have anything to do with his colleagues on the Seminary faculty, boycotted faculty meetings, and generally behaved in a churlish and unlovely manner. Yet his influence remained undiminished until his retirement, and almost single-handedly he prevented liberal influences from reaching the Hill. One writer claimed that it was Park's "ambition to become the final exponent of New England theology. As a formal system it may almost be said that he did finish it---and it was buried with him."(49)
|The Faculty of the Andover Theological Seminary about 1890. First Row: William Ladd Ropes, Egbert Coffin Smyth, and John Phelps Taylor. Second Row: Edward Young Hincks, William Jewett Tucker, Charles Cutler Torrey, and George Harris. Third Row: William Henry Ryder, John Wesley Churchill, and George Foot Moore.|
Yet the liberal influences were knocking at the door. In the last half of the nineteenth century major theological changes were taking place throughout the country. The trend was generally humanistic. Man's capacity for good was stressed, sin was merely human error, natural depravity was drummed out of court, moral education was more important than dogma, the sacraments were slighted, and denominational differences were deemphasized. The prevailing mood was optimistic, humane, confident. Coupled with the changes in belief came a new concern for the "Social Gospel," a desire to improve the human condition, to reform existing abuses, to deal with specific evils in the world. Powerful as Edwards Amassa Park might be, he could not live forever, and once his influence in the Seminary was removed, the forces that he had combated so rigorously moved in.(50)
The group that came to be known as the "Andover Liberals" did not join the Seminary faculty at the same time.(51) As early as 1863 Egbert C. Smyth had been appointed Professor of Ecclesiastical History. Smyth was willing to accept the creed and made no attempt to challenge Park while the latter was on the faculty, but he insisted that no Christian doctrine could be understood apart from its history, and he introduced a fresh approach to a subject that had been hitherto neglected to a large extent. About the time of Park's retirement the liberal professors were strengthened by George Harris (later President of Amherst) in Christian Theology, William Jewett Tucker in Sacred Rhetoric, George F. Moore in Hebrew, Edward Y. Hincks in Theology, and John P. Gulliver in a professorship that said much about the coming changes in the Seminary---Relations of Christianity and Science. In 1884 this group established the Andover Review, a liberal theological quarterly that for the next ten years served as a means of disseminating the views of the Andover group to a wide audience. Indeed, a collection of articles from this quarterly, published separately under the title Progressive Orthodoxy, was a fresh statement of new viewpoints in Congregational theology. More important, perhaps, the group moved to revise the Seminary curriculum. They instituted a postgraduate program for students who wished to go beyond the required minimum; they broadened the undergraduate offerings to introduce such subjects as Biblical Archaeology and generally to give the students a wider experience in a variety of different courses; they introduced a modified elective system ---the first of the Seminaries to do so---and, finally, Professor Tucker introduced a program of education in the field which enabled students to study at first hand some of the pressing social problems of the day. Interest in this last change led to the establishment of Andover House---now the South End House---in Boston, where theologues lived and worked with the poor of the city. The changes introduced in the 1880's and early 1890's at the Seminary soon made the atmosphere and training a far cry from what it had been since its founding in 1808.
Ironically, the changes that were bringing Andover up to date with the problems of the day contributed to the Seminary's undoing. The first sign of trouble came in 1880 when Professor Tucker, in acknowledging adherence to the creed, said he believed that "No confession so elaborate and with such intent may assume to be the final expression of the truth or an expression equally fitted in language or tone to all times." Two years later two professors resigned because they objected to subscribing to the creed every five years. There was further trouble when Newman Smyth, though approved by the Trustees, was turned down by the Board of Visitors. All of this, however, was mere preamble to the so-called "heresy" trial that started in 1886, when the Board of Visitors brought charges against Egbert Smyth, William Tucker, George Harris, Edward Hincks, and John Churchill on the ground that their teachings and writings were "not in harmony with sound doctrine as expressed in the Creed which the Founders and Donors of this institution made the unalterable condition of the gifts which were committed in sacred trust to this Board." The Board of Visitors acted in this instance without consulting the Phillips Academy Trustees, only one of whom, Dr. Wellman, was in sympathy with the action. One member of the Board of Visitors abstained in four of the five cases, but Egbert Smyth was singled out as guilty for suggesting that the Bible was not the only rule of faith, that no man has the power to repent without knowledge of God in Christ, and that there is probation after death for all men who do not decisively reject Christ during earthly life. Professor Smyth appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, which set aside the verdict against Smyth on the ground that the Trustees had not been allowed to participate in the case. A final attempt to revive the issue was made in 1892 by the Board of Visitors, but they finally decided to dismiss the case without passing on its merits. Though the liberals stuck to their guns throughout this whole controversy, it was harmful to the institution. Enrollment began to drop off despite the able group of teachers who were now in undisputed control. In addition, the Seminary began to suffer from its relatively isolated position, at one time considered one of its great advantages. With the growing emphasis on the social gospel and particularly on the problems of the city, many thought that an institution located in the heart of twentieth-century America would better serve the purposes of theological education. For whatever cause, the Seminary's existence at Andover was soon to end.
Throughout the nineteenth century the Andover Theological Seminary set the tone for life on Andover Hill. During the period Phillips Academy was a kind of poor relation, much less generously endowed with buildings and money. For most of this period the primary interest of the Trustees was the Seminary rather than the Academy. In the 1890's, for example, the Trustee Records contain one wistful note after another, written by the then clerk, Cecil Franklin Patch Bancroft: "No Academy business was transacted. "(52) Finally, the rigid orthodoxy of the Seminary was transferred to the School as well. An article on the Phillips Exeter Academy which appeared in Harper's in 1877 stresses the point. After commenting on the relative liberality of John Phillips and some of the early Exeter Trustees, the author goes on to say:
The interpretation of the constitution was therefore likely to be less rigid than was the case at Andover; and as the establishment of a theological school at Andover served to confirm the religious element in the school there, so the freedom from such alliances at Exeter, and the affiliation which the school there had with Harvard University, tended to make the Exeter Academy less positively religious in its influence, and to concentrate the energies of the school upon its special work of preparing boys for admission to college. The strictness and careful conformity to theological standards which prevailed at Andover gave place in Exeter to a certain freedom of government and a regard for those principles and habits which we are wont to speak of as related to ethics, big and little, rather than to religion.(53)
While there were undoubtedly more similarities than differences between Andover and Exeter in the nineteenth century, the author's point is well taken, and it is probably not too much to say that the modern Andover could never have developed into the school that it is today had the Theological Seminary remained on the Hill in the twentieth century.