Religion 481
structors. These met on Sunday afternoon. So far as appears from the
records for the first twenty years attendance on them was voluntary,
but the catalogue of 1854-55, the first after Wingate became
president, contains under the head of "Public Worship" a new
provision, that, on Sunday, "in the afternoon all the classes are
required to stand an examination on one or more chapters of the Old
or New Testament." After a year or two this was changed to read: "In
the evening [probably meaning afternoon] all the classes are required
to prepare recitations on some portion of the Bible."
Probably this regulation was suggested by the fact that the
catalogues of the University of North Carolina for many years
preceding the Civil War carried a similar statement, and it was
thought that a denominational college should not be behind the
University in its requirement of Bible study.20 Little is said about the
workings of the new regulation at Wake Forest, though it was kept for
the remainder of the period. It was at a period when students at nearly
all schools were subjected to a discipline of almost military nature,
and the time of both students and instructors was disposed according
to directions of Boards of Trustees.
With Bible classes taught by members of the faculty and few other
than students to attend them it was many years before the College and
community felt the need of a regularly organized Sunday School. The
first proposition to establish one made in the Wake Forest Church was
on March 26, 1859. On motion of Elder
20 See the catalogues of the University for the years 1852-53 and following. A
by-law of the University, seemingly adopted early in the administration of President
Caldwell, prescribed "instruction in morals and religion," Battle, History of the
University of North Carolina, I, 191. The catalogue requirement was that in the
afternoon students "recite on the Historical parts of the Old and New Testaments."
The classes, in 1840, were assigned to three professors who evidently had no great
relish for the Sunday work. Ibid., 482. The University also required all students to
attend worship in the Chapel on Sunday morning, which requirement was somewhat
modified on complaint of the Episcopal Church in 1859. Ibid., 713. The University
began to give Bibles to the graduates in 1842 and continued giving them for many
years. The dissatisfaction of the students of the University with the regulations on
religion found expression in many ways. Ibid., 299, 465, etc.
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