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[Western Baptist Theological Institute]
The Tennessee Baptist newspaper, 1847
By R.B.C. Howell
      We have several times of late, referred to the theological Seminary at Covington, Ky., and expressed the opinion, which we still fully entertain, that it is an unsafe place at which to educate the young ministers of the South West. Our articles have elicited from our respected brother J. M. Frost, the pastor of the church [FBC] in that town, the following communication, which we lay before our readers. The letter contains substantially, so far as Covington is concerned, the matter set forth in the extract referred to, so that the publication of the former renders the latter unnecessary.
Covington, Ky., Aug. 25, 1847.

Dear Bro. Howell:
Enclosed is an extract of my sermon (on "Satanic Influence") relative to The Western Baptist Theological Institute, located in this city. You are at liberty to make what use of it you please, also of this letter. I have no interest whatever in the Western Baptist Theological Institute beyond its connection with the cause of Christ. And if I know my heart, I want just that disposition made of it which will please God. If Bible truth is not taught in that institution, unmixed with any of the ultra notions of the North, or any thing inconsistent with Southern institutions; then I ask no man, North or South, to sustain it. An abolition institution, nor an institution wholly Northern, cannot live in this community. The moment all Southern influence withdraws from it, nothing in my humble judgment can save it. The community living on the border is even more sensitive than it is in the interior. I assure our brethren of the South, therefore, that they need have no fears whatever of Covington favoring abolitionism.

Let the South not start another institution which it would take years to endow; but rally around Covington already well endowed, and make it such an institution as we need.
      J. M. Frost

      We beg leave to remark, in regard to this matter, that we suppose our brother, by the term "abolition" in his letter and in his sermon, means that kind of abolition which is known as Garrison, fanatical, mobism. We are very well assured that nothing of this kind exists or could exist, at Covington. We are acquainted personally with some of the Faculty, and know the others from reputation, and believe them all to be men and christians of high and most estimable character. But they are every one "Northern" men, and such Northern men as do not sympathise with the South. And more than this, they are every one not fantatical abolitionists, but professedly, openly, and without concealment, anti-slavery men, believing the holding of slaves to be sin in itself. This we know to be true, and this bro. Frost does not deny, but only that they are not abolitionists in the offensive sense of that word. If the influence of Covington is not "wholly Northern," it is surprising that no man of Southern origin or feeling, is connected with the Faculty. We do not see how a particle of "Southern influence", can be accorded to the Institution as at present organised.

      In England, our Free Communion brethren began their work of proselyting by getting possession of all the Baptist schools, where every young minister's mind was thoroughly imbued with their principles, and thus they have rapidly and effectually brought the churches throughout the kingdom into their ranks. Is it perfectly certain that our antislavery brethren in the United States, are not pursuing the same policy? If they are not, how comes it to pass that we have this anti-slavery Seminary in a slave State, which desires to educate all our Southern young ministers, from the Ohio to the Rio Grande, and from the Blue Ridge to California? Covington, we must repeat, is not a safe place to educate our young men; the South will, while it remains as it is, never patronise it; that it is well endowed does not alter the case at all; and we must, therefore, have a Seminary of our own, cost what it will, in the principles of which we can rely, and where the young ministers of the South West can receive sufficient and suitable instruction. - H.


[From the Tennessee Baptist newspaper, September 4, 1847, p. 2. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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