Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection
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Single Page Chapter VII

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in that view, after all our efforts, we should still fall short of the principal object. * * I believe the religious liberty which is now established since the revolution in our land, and the Liberality of sentiment which characterizes our country, do in a great measure lessen the weight of the arguments, which before the war might have been urged for the necessity of a College upon the broadest basis; but still I know that an attachment to particular denominations, and a partiality in favour of their own, so universally actuates all men, that if we had an institution, which would answer the usual purposes of educating young persons destined for public life, it would be an acquisition to us, and therefore I would wish to promote such an institution, provided we could agree to set proper bounds to the expenses necessary for obtaining teachers and apparatus; and remember that theology was our favourite object and principal aim, and all the rest was only the porch that led to the temple of religious truth."

"There is a luxury in Literature, and a fascination in the public approbation, which will easily lead the patrons of a College from their original object, and tempt them to spend all their strength upon the more popular branches of education, unless they wisely form their plan, and previously limit

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themselves by proper restrictions. I think, with respect to ourselves, it is very practicable to ascertain the general system of a College in a line which shall procure to us the attention of the public, and sufficiently answer all the common purposes of Colleges in America, and yet secure the principal object, by leaving us in a capacity of establishing the theological branch upon a respectable and permanent basis. I am not fully convinced which ought to be attempted first, or whether they ought both to go together. What you mention in your two last arguments appears to be weighty, and I have at present no objection against attempting the business in that train. Let provision be made for the College first. I am perfectly contented to fall in with any plan, which appears calculated to answer the principal object which, as ministers of the Lord Jesus, we have in view. As to the exertions of the Dutch Church in New-York, much may be said in apology for a people which has been ruined by the war, and are now still straining every nerve to rebuild their demolished temples. Their wealth is greatly diminished, and it is not in their power to patronise public objects with the same liberality which, before the war, would have been practicable for them. But I am confident, if we digest a plan in a wise and proper manner, and convince them of


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