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from school entirely, for I do not think it right to educate them under Mormon influence."
“ The religious influence has been a great help to me and my children.”
“I have sent seven children to the New West School, and one daughter, now in Hammond Hall, will graduate as a missionary teacher.”
“I think the Mission School in this place [Farmington] is doing more toward putting down Mormonism than all the preachers in the United States could do by preaching to Mormons.”
“ The teachers have been doing a good work here, and there are meetings which all can attend, where they can hear the Bible truths, and some I believe have lifted up their hearts in prayer to God who never did before."
Aside from these letters received at the office of the commission, petitions for the continuance of the schools, signed by six hundred and eighteen citizens, patrons, and friends of the schools, living in eleven towns and including many prominent people, together with petitions signed by over four hundred of the older pupils, have reached the directors. These petitions state that “the schools have been and are now of immense practical value”; that “the reasons which led to their establishment have by no means lost their force”; that “their discontinuance now would be a public misfortune”; and they express the “ earnest hope that the commission will find itself able to continue them with an undivided force of teachers some time longer.”
The discontinuance of the school is, in the view of the directors of the commission, only a question of time; but, in the face of such facts, letters, and petitions, the time does not yet seem to them to have come.
Beyond all controversy, the old New England Academy is, in its special sphere, an institution of unsurpassed value. It is an educational and Christian force of the most effective character, and in those regions of the country not yet sufficiently advanced to support colleges, the academy is an indispensable factor in promoting Christian civilization. Happily, there is no question upon the continuance of those thriving academies which the commission now supports in the Territories. Even they who advocate a speedy
suspension of the mission common schools in Utah
with empbasis, “Let the academies not only remain, but be strengthened and enlarged.” This conclusion must be emphatically indorsed by all thoughtful minds.
The importance of training Christian teachers, and of raising up men and women competent to be safe leaders in the common walks of life, and of arousing in the higher order of young minds a thirst for knowledge, is transcendent. The masses of men are reached through the instructed few. High ideals of life, clear views of all questions affecting the public welfare, power to select and prosecute wise measures for building churches and all other beneficent institutions, come into the possession of communities through that small fraction of their number who have been broadly and thoroughly educated. Therefore, as our common schools in Utah and New Mexico shall be discontinued, the powerful instrument remaining in our hands will be the Christian Academy, which we feel bound by both religious and patriotic motives to develop and endow to the fullest possible extent.
WORK AMONG THE MEXICANS.
For reasons not easy to explain, public attention has not yet fixed itself upon the condition and needs of our Mexican citizens ; much less has it awakened to the great perils and opportunities presented by our growing intercourse with the Mexican Republic on our southwestern border. New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and California contain hundreds of thousands of people speaking the Spanish language, imbued largely with foreign ideas, low in point of intelligence, poor in point of earthly possessions, struggling for existence at fearful odds in the face of stronger types of character, yet endowed with all the rights of citizens, and already possessed of great power to affect for evil or for good the public welfare.
These people are, as just implied, under prodigious disadvantages. They are a subject race, paying to their ecclesiastical rulers a deference quite inconsistent with the rights and prerogatives of manhood. They are an ignorant race, having never enjoyed the advantages of intellectual training. They are a suffering race, being pushed to the wall by the competitions of stronger men. They are to some extent a despised race, and consequently the blessings of the free school arė scantily enjoyed by them. They are the proper objects for that kind of charity which builds schoolhouses, and sends forth Christian teachers.
For some years the New West Commission has labored under difficulties in its attempts to reach these people. The barriers of a new language, and the great difficulties to be overcome by teachers going alone to Mexican hamlets, have defeated several well-planned endeavors to establish permanent schools in isolated towns. But of late, a new method, promising great ultimate success, has been adopted. A new training-school for Mexican preachers and teachers has been established, through the joint efforts of the American Board and the New West Commission, on the banks of the Rio Grande, at El Paso, Texas. The commission has just completed buildings for this school, at a cost of $10,000, and the school has already commenced the year with the happiest auguries, under the direction of Rev. A. C. Wright, a missionary of the American Board. The aid of Rev. E. L. Wood, Superintendent of Home Missions in New Mexico, has contributed much to the development of this new effort.
Through this school, and its other academies and schools in Trinidad, Col., Las Vegas, Santa Fé, Albuquerque, Barelas, Atrisco and San Rafael in New Mexico, the commission is prepared to press its efforts vigorously in behalf of Christian education, as fast and far as the churches shall furnish the means.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON FOREGOING STATEMENT.
The report of Secretary Bliss presents in clear and tabulated form a summary of the work already done, and of results already reached, in the direction of the objects for which the commission exists. In estimating the value of this work, it should be borne in mind that the commission was created as a special agency to meet a special need. In the very nature of the case its mission is temporary, not permanent. It was organized as a pioneer to prepare the way for other and more lasting agencies, ecclesiastical and civil.
To say therefore, as this Council has said, that the time is approaching when the New West Education Commission
be safely and with advantage consolidated with another agency is to
declare with emphasis that the commission has not lived in vain. Again to say, as this Council has said, that the time seems approaching when some part of the New West free schools may be safely given up in view of the increasing efficiency of the public schools is to state that the commission has already largely succeeded in accomplishing the special work for which it was created. For its avowed objects bave from the first been twofold, viz. : in education to break path for the public schools and to establish Christian academies and colleges; in evangelization to make straight a highway into the heart of Mormonism and Jesuitism for the preaching of the gospel and the planting of churches.
Your committee entertain no doubt that the commission will wisely and conscientiously and, in joint conference with other societies occupying the same field, consider the question, how and when it may retire from the field without injury to any of the interests involved, and how it may so merge its work with that of other agencies as best to conserve its own peculiar influence, and transfer to others, unimpaired, its own acquired good-will.
We rejoice in the greatly changed conditions within those regiors where the commission has done its work, especially in Utah. We rejoice in the partial abatement of the evils of polygamy and of priestly control in secular concerns. We rejoice in the creation of a public-school system which, notably in Salt Lake City, has already achieved a remarkable success; we rejoice in the doors now opening for the preaching of the Gospel throughout Utah, and for the remarkable manifestations of divine approval which have attended recent evangelistic services in several of the cities and towns of that Territory.
We rejoice in the important work which the New West Commission has performed in helping usher in the dawn of what we believe is to be a new and larger day.
We recommend, therefore, that this National Council, as representing those Congregational churches from which benefactions for these objects have mainly come, and in the strength of whose sympathy and prayers the laborers have gone forth, do join in a hymn of thanksgiving for ground already gained, and in prayer that grace and wisdom may be given the administrators of these sacred trusts in sufficient measure to enable them to discharge wisely and well the peculiar and delicate responsibilities which shall hereafter. and in somewhat changed form, devolve upon them.
We further recommend that the monies, now employed or permanently invested in such missions as it may be thought best to suspend, be devoted to pushing the work of the academies, with this exception, that churches which, like the Phillips Church in Salt Lake City, have grown directly out of New West work, and have acquired no property, be given an opportunity to purchase at as low rate as may be legal, the property of the schools with which they are associated.
BENRY L. GRIFFIN,
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MINISTERIAL
Fathers and Brethren, - Your Committee on Ministerial Relief respectfully submit the following report.
The principles which lie at the foundation of the work entrusted to us hardly require statement in this presence, much less, discussion. Every fair-minded man, not to say every large-hearted Christian, instinctively approves of the pithy provision in the law of Moses. — “ Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn;" and of Paul's practical application of it — “ Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” Though these Scriptural provisions refer directly to the ox and to the minister while actively at work, yet neither Moses nor Paul nor any right-minded man would for one instant entertain the idea that it would be proper to fasten the muzzle on the ox at the end of his day's work when he is turned out to pasture, or to neglect provision for the temporal necessities of the minister just at the time when his strength is spent, when his arduous life-work is done, and when the erening shadows are deepening around him.
The justice and the necessity of making some arlequate provision for ministers permanently or temporarily disabled, and for the widows and orphans of those who have fallen at their post of duty, have been ably and amply presented in nearly every National Council for the last fifteen years. Those Councils have given the
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