Tuesday, August 4, 2009

wise counsels...

William Phillips Tilden did not have theological school training and, in later life, when he was asked to deliver a series of lectures to the students at Meadville Theological School he was honored. They were well received and he repeated them three years later. It is these lectures that make up his "The Work of the Ministry." Today I include thanks and a request for publication from his original listeners-the students, and his response largely because I really like that kind of thing...

"Resolved, That we, the students of Meadville Theological School, tender our thanks to the Rev. Mr. Tilden, of Milton, Mass., for his instructive course of lectures upon the ministerial offices, so beautiful in their spirit and so valuable in material.
"Resolved, That we feel that the course of lectures just closed, to which we have listened with so much pleasure and profit, would be still more valuable to us if we possessed them in a form more enduring and complete than that contained in the insufficient mental record and the incomplete note-book. We therefore take this opportunity to express the hope — if we may do so without trespass upon plans otherwise determined upon — that the Rev. Mr. Tilden may find it convenient to put in the enduring form of print these wise counsels to his younger brethren, these words so full of the spirit of manly Christianity, and which surely have proceeded from the experiences of a long and useful life, devoted to disinterested and noble service of the Christian ideals. For many years to come, before we ourselves possess the experience of long Christian service, we are sure that these true words of our venerable adviser will do much to guide us safely upon our way."

and WPT's reply:

"IN complying with the foregoing request, I yield the distrust of age to the sanguine judgment of youth, and dedicate these familiar lectures to the students of the Meadville Theological School, past, present, and future, and to all earnest students of " the faith that makes faithful."

W. P. T.


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