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HISTORY OF HILLSDALE COLLEGE

BY HON. JOHN C. PATTERSON, 1883

The Bible was taken as the standard of its faith and practice. Freedom of the will —which suggested the name of Free-will Baptist for the denomination—was proclaimed as an essential part of its creed. During the next half century, churches were established in New England, Canada, and the middle states. The ministry were zealous men, devoted in piety, sacrificing in spirit and incessant in labor. Many of the ministers of the denomination, during the first half century of its existence, were men of native ability, and were powerful speakers but uneducated. "Prejudice against au educated ministry, and education for the ministry predominated during the first sixty years of the denominational existence, and for a long time previous to 1840 the denomination had been losing from its ranks many ministers of piety and promise, on account of its position on the question of education. " * This prejudice was not confined, during those years, to the Free-will Baptist denomination alone. It was a general sentiment among the masses, and was encouraged in this denomination by a misapprehension of the teachings of Randall and his cotemporaries. ' They preached the necessity of a consecrated heart as a sine qua non qualification for a Christian minister, with so much emphasis that they seemed to undervalue or ignore educational qualification. They did not oppose an educated clergy, but they denied that learning alone was a sufficient qualification or a substitute for a divine call to preach, or for the grace of God in the heart. They taught that a cultivated intellect was desirable in a minister, and that a consecrated heart was indispensable. During the time that the denomination was under the personal influence of these men very little attention was given to the cause of education.

EARLY MICHIGAN


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