Wingate 157
He greatly excelled as a disciplinarian. He seemed to regard the students under
his charge as his children, and his manner towards them was so full of trust and
kindness as to inspire them with a tender reverence for his character, and to disarm
them of all disposition to rebel against his authority. One thing is indisputable, and
certainly reflects high honor upon his administration, which is that during his long
presidency the moral character of the students of Wake Forest College has been of a
higher tone than that of any similar institution known to me in America.
Sustaining peculiar and sacred relations as teacher and pastor to hundreds and
thousands of young men for a quarter of a century, the influence of his spotless
character has proven an inspiration, prompting them to rise above the lower
instincts of their nature and aspire after the good, the beautiful and the true.
Many of the abler students of those days have borne like testimony
to Wingate's ability as a disciplinarian, and dwelt on his tact and
sympathetic interest in the students, and of the response elicited from
them.
9
Of Wingate's influence on his hearers and especially on the students
in his sermons something was said in the first volume of this history.
The students of the post-bellum period felt this influence no less than
those of early days. As pastor of the Wake Forest Baptist Church he
preached to them every Sunday. Though he had been warned by his
physician against excitement he could hardly preach without setting
the fires of his soul
―――――――
9
Professor L. R. Mills, quoted above, says: "The power of his godly life made a
deep impression on all of the students. Everyone admired and loved him. He was a
man of nice perceptions and full of tact. He could cause a college disturbance or a
fuss between two students to disappear as quickly as Herman, the sleight-of-hand
man of our day, could withdraw an object from sight."
Dr. N. Y. Gulley, in an address (unprinted), "Washington Manly Wingate," says:
"As President of the College he managed the students with rare success. He had the
faculty of controlling men while they thought they controlled themselves; and not
only that but he enlisted others always to do what he wished to accomplish."
The testimony of Dr. H. A. Brown, in manuscript statement, is: "He did not know
he was a great man―thought of himself as `the least among the saints.' The most
timid, awkward student was made to feel at home with him. He assumed no airs of
superiority."
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