Excerpt from The Right Interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures: The Helps and the Hindrances; An Inaugural Discourse, Delivered at Andover, Sept. 1, 1852
The intellectual activity of the last fifty years has scarcely been equalled, never surpassed, in any other half century of the world's history. It has busied itself in every department of human thought; theology and sacred science have been as much the subject of it as chemistry and astronomy, and it ought not to have been, it could not have been otherwise. The Andover Theological Seminary, the ear. Liest of its kind in existence, was projected at the commencement of this period; and was specially designed by Providence to accomplish a specific work indispensably necessary just at this stage of the world's progress, a mission which it has successfully fulfilled and is still ful filling.
Notwithstanding the great practical advantages, in many important respects, of pursuing the study of theology with a settled pastor, it is absolutely certain that the great missionary enterprises of the age, and the intellectual excitement and culture necessary to meet the multiform and active infidelity of the period, never could have been provided for without the ample resources, the extended associations, the large combinations, the friendly collisions, the permanent relation ships of well endowed and numerously attended theological schools. Such ah institution was a necessity of the age, and was so proved by the numerous imitations to which this first example of the kind so speedily gave origin.
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