Religion in the Institute 169
of Inquiry. In the latter the young men heard papers from their own
members on work in mission fields; discussed questions of doctrine
such as baptism, close communion, feet washing, uniformly deciding
them in favor of the Baptist contention; and also matters of personal
conduct. We have seen that under the leadership of Armstrong many
of the students decided in favor of abandoning coffee. On April 23,
1835, Armstrong brought before them the question of tobacco also,
and introduced a certain Rev. Mr. Welch to address them on the
subject, who was so effectual that "almost all the students joined
themselves into a Society and declared they would abandon the use of
tobacco." Another question discussed was the proper observance of
the Sabbath, on which after several meetings the conclusion was
reached that, on Sunday it was wrong to write letters except those of
religious nature, and very inconsistent for a Christian to shave; while
the question of sleeping on Sunday was postponed for further
During the period of the Institute the students had the privilege also
of hearing several visiting preachers, among them some of the ablest
men of the denomination at that time, Rev. Richard Furman of South
Carolina on April 20, 1835; Rev. Thomas Meredith, and Rev. J. D.
Hartwell of South Carolina on May 10, 1835; Dr. William Hooper on
March 9, 1836; Rev. B. Manly on May 22, 1836; and Rev. Mr.
Chapin, President of Columbian College, on April 16, 1837.15
At five o'clock in the afternoon of March 3, 1836, came the first
death in the college community, that of Daniel Lindsay
14 Brooks's Diary, April 23, July 19.
15 Brooks's notes on these men and their sermons are interesting. Of Furman he
says: "Had the pleasure of hearing a very delightful sermon delivered by Rev. Mr.
Furman of South Carolina, from 2 Peter 1:4;" of Meredith, "a very elegant sermon."
Of Hooper, "His manners on the whole are quite engaging; he speaks mild,
intelligible; and seems to adopt himself to the occasion. He indeed may be
considered an honor to the Baptist cause." Of Manly, "A very excellent sermon. His
sermon had the most salutary effect upon us. The dignified appearance of the man,
the humble piety that seemed to grace all his actions, quite took the attention of
almost every student. He is a man rather above the ordinary size, quite corpulent for
a man of his age (I would suppose