Page images
PDF
EPUB

For optics

, a good solar microscope, a polarizing instrument, a pair of bisulphide prisms, an assortment of lenses, a very fine dissolving view apparatus, a hundred or more views in Astronomy, Botany, etc.; a pair of large iron cylinders for oxy-hydrogen, and also gas bags, with press, whirling table with colored circles, and a fine compound microscope.

For Mechanics we have Atwood's machine, a system of pulleys, a Gyroscope, (mounted, also, for illustrating precession,) elastic and inelastic balls, and many other pieces. We have a pair of fine 18 inch globes, well mounted; a wire globe

, orreries, a fine refracting telescope, four inch aperture, of Clark & Sons' make ; also a seven inch refracting telescope of eight feet focal length, of excellent defining power—a recent gift

. We have a good surveyor's compass and chain, a Troughton & Simms' level, a theodolite, and an excellent sextant. The work from adjoining the apparatus, contiuns a beautiful $300 engine lathe, with foot-power attachment.

a

CHEMICAL APPARATUS. The chemical apparatus is such as to illustrate amply the lectures in general chemistry.

DEGREES AND DIPLOMAS.

red

The Degree of Bachelor of Divinity is conferred upon the graduates of the regular course in the Department of Theol. ogy; that of Bachelor of Arts upon the graduates of the Classical and Scientific Course in the Department of Philosophy and the Arts. The degree of Master of Arts is confer

upon any Bachelor of three or more years' standing, who has been engaged in literary or scientific pursuits, and has

good moral character. A Diploma, certifying the given to each graduate of the Literary Course in the Depart.

Completion of the prescribed course of study, is Conservatory of Music. ment of Philosophy and the Arts, and to each graduate of the

sustained a successful

PRESIDENTS OF THE COLLEGE. Rev. Asa Mahan was President from 1835 to 1850 ; Rev.

C. G. Finney from 1851 to 1866; and Rev. James H. Fairchild from 1866 to the present time.

PERIODICAL LITERATURE.

Of the periodicals issued at Oberlin, and embodying Oberlin views, “ The Oberlin Evangelist," begun in 1839 and continued till 1861, was a religious bi-weekly. Its matter was in every sense original and strictly religious. For many years the sermons of Mr. Finney formed one of its chief features; and these, as well as the productions of its editor, Prof. Henry Cowles, and the productions of others, gave fit and full ex. pression to Oberlin thought.

The Oberlin Quarterly Review," begun in 1845 and discontinued in 1849, containing more elaborate articles from Oberlin men, fulfilled a similar end.

" The Oberlin Student's Monthly," begun in the latter part of 1858, and discontinued in the Spring of 1851, was conducted by editors chosen from the literary societies, and was composed chiefly of the productions of students.

The Oberlin Review," begun in 1874 and still continued, is under the control of the Union Library Association, and is conducted by a corps of editors chosen from the literary societies.

BOOKS.

Oberlin has not yet produced a long list of books ; it may suffice here to mention the principal ones. President Finney's Systematic Theology, published first at Oberlin in 1847, in two volumes, and afterward revised and published in one volume in England, embodies his original and profound discussion of the “ Benevolence" theory in Moral Philosophy in its relation to other theories, as well as a like discussion of the principal doctrines of Christianity, and is used as a text-book in the Theological Seminary. President Fairchild's Moral Philosophy, published a few years since, is a concise, clear, and systematic presentation of the “ Benevolence" theory, speculatively and practically, as held and taught at Oberlin, and is used as a text-book in other colleges. Prof. Cowles is the author of Commentaries on nearly all of the books of the Old Testament and on John's writings in the New, and is still writing. These Commentaries have been everywhere commended as presenting the results of sound learning in a concise and clear style.

DISCIPLINE OF THE COLLEGE.

The discipline of the school has had, from the beginning, some peculiarities. Circumstances were favorable for the initiation of changes in the usual system of college discipline. The first students gathered here were not sent to school-they came. They were serious-minded, earnest young people, with no thought but to make the most of their time and opportu. nities. They needed suggestions and instruction-not much restraint. The early students will remember that for years we had no roll called for recitation, no marking for performance, no monitor to note absences from public exercises, and no account rendered in any way. There were published regulations-not printed-to'which all were expected to conform. A high degree of familiarity was maintained between faculty and students. The respect and confidence were so hearty, that stately formalities would have seemed as much out of place as between parents and children. Such a field afforded a good opportunity for dispensing with the strict surveillance of the monitorial and marking systems, and making large account of the principles of confidence, self-respect and honor. The self-reporting system has been in operation for many years, each student giving account of his performance of his prescribed duties. The appeal is made to his honor and self-respect; and while these doubtless fail at times, the tendency of the system is not to break them down.

A record has, for many years, been kept by each teacher of the performance in recitation, on a scale ranging from zero to six ; and this has a decisive influence in promoting diligence in study and thoroughness in recitation.

The cases of individual discipline have always been surprisingly few, and are mostly confined to the Preparatory Department, which almost all new-comers enter.

There are many influences which conduce to good order ; among which may be mentioned, first, the sense of responsi. bility which attaches to each pupil to maintain his good name. Our college community is not so secluded that a student can have a college reputation as distinct from his reputation in general society. The presence of both sexes in the school does much to secure this result. Then again, the interest which has always prevailed in the school on questions of moment in the outer world, such as slavery and politics, has been favorable.

Still another feature in our college system is the employ. ment of a considerable number of the more advanced and influential students as teachers of the classes in the Preparatory Department. These teachers have, indeed, no authority out of the recitation room, but they are a powerful influence on the side of good order.

While the general outcome of our system of discipline is thus satisfactory, it must not be supposed that it is in all cases successful, and that there are not instances in which the aims of teachers are frustrated, and the hopes of parents and friends disappointed. There is no complete immunity from temptation in Oberlin, and has never been. Those who are prepense to evil have always been able to find it; and those to whom a direct, vigilant oversight is essential, are not likely to prosper here. But many who would resist such supervision, and deteriorate under it, are found susceptible to generous motives, and make rapid progress.

RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES.

The religious influences in connection with Oberlin College have, from the first, been supreme and controlling. It was founded in prayer, and in earnest religious consecration. Revivals have been frequent and powerful; there is always

or less religious interest among the students, and conversions are continually occurring. Among the teachers and citizens there is an earnest desire for the spiritual welfare of the students. All the students are required to assemble at

more

[ocr errors]

a

а

the close of every day for public prayers, and to attend family prayers in the morning at their boarding places.

Every recitation is opened with a short prayer or singing. All students are required to attend church twice on the Sabbath. Every class has a weekly exercise in the English Bible, which all are required to attend ; and in these exercises, th: ghout the entire course of study, systematic and thorough instruction is given in the history, doctrines and precepts of the Bible.

There is a weekly prayer-meeting, on Monday evening, for all young people, conducted by the Principal of the Preparatory Department, and a weekly prayer-meeting for each class, conducted by one of the teachers. The young people's meeting, on Monday evening, is largely attended by the students, and contributes much toward awakening and maintaining a religious interest.

There is also a young men's meeting on Sunday evening, and a young ladies' meeting at the same hour at the Ladies' Hall.

The religion inculcated is of a type strictly evangelical, but liberal and not sectarian. The members of the Faculty are Congregationalists ; but the college has no organic connection with any religious body, and the broad, general principles of Christianity are inculcated, rather than mere denominational characteristics.

The graduates of the Theological Seminary generally become pastors of Congregational churches; these churches are therefore interested in it; and the Ohio Congregational Conference appoint a comunittee of visitation to attend the annual examinations and report. But even in this case there is no controlling supervision.

This religious spirit has been pervading, persistent and controlling, and has given a character of seriousness, earnestness and sobriety both to the Institution and to the place. To this many have contributed ; but perhaps no one man has contributed more than the late President Finney. At the time of his death he had been connected with !! allere, as Professor of Theology, forty years ; for fit

is

« PreviousContinue »