Who Will Be an Oberlin? Who Will Go to New Jersey?

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Joshua King Ingalls

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These, Br. Price, are questions asked by W. S. B., in a late number of the Messenger, after having staled the prospects of Universalism in that state. I have thought much of these questions, and thought seriously. Who does not love the name of Oberlin? Who does not aspire to imitate that great and good man. But how often has every aspiration been crushed by the reflection that our own subsistence is precarious, and (hat while we endeavor to impart the bread of life to others, it is uncertain whether we are not beggaring our children. It is no doubt fine in theory for those who are surrounded by wealthy and attentive friends, who have every want administered to, if not anticipated, to talk of the glory of an Oberlin life. But it is quite another thing to encounter indifference and neglect, lo have a seamy pittance withheld, or reluctantly meted out. To wrestle with want, or what is equally trying, its expectation. To see our best years passing rapidly away, with no provision in store for the winter of age, bearing about with us the anathema of the apostle, " If any provide not for his own, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel."

Nor can I think any effectual good will be seemed to the cause by sacrifices of this kind. Those congregations whose neglect has been encouraged by the delicacy of their ministers have invariably waxed worse and worse. And if we commence preaching without giving our hearers to understand that we must be fed and clothed; and spend our time and health and substance, without aid from them, they will always expect it, and justly loo. For if an Oberlin life means what seems insinuated, then we should not only commence in this way, but continue in ii. Oberlin did not vary his method of life. But in the room of hazarding anything, he came in possession of an income which supplied all his wants and enabled him to return much in charily lo the poorer members of his parish. And hence it strikes me that to imitate his example it is not necessary lo go to New Jersey, but the rather to some place where the salary is sufficiently large to enable us lo make sacrifices for the good of the cause, which shall not jeopardize our own welfare, nor transmit poverty and dependence as an heir loom to our children.

Southold, L. I.

J. K. I.


Joshua King Ingalls, “Who Will Be an Oberlin? Who Will Go to New Jersey?,” Universalist Union 8, no. 11 (January 28, 1843): 167. }}