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Miracle Girl | Grace Is Greater: Reflections on a Ridiculous Life

Anderson in his volume, Life and Times. He says : "The preceptor of this school was an accomplished scholar and divine, the Rev. Isaac Anderson, Vvdiose learning and piety were known and appreciated far and near. Nature bestowed on him Pedagog, Professor, President 59 great strength and compass of mind. This gentleman instructed a class of young men in his college, and preached every Sabbath to his congregation.

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He kindly received me into his Seminary, and was a warm friend and benefactor. This institution of learning was situated in a retired valley, where neither temptation nor vice made its appearance. It was six miles north- east of Knoxville, and near the parson's house. A large spring flowed out from the rocks near it, and the whole scenery was charming. The building was comfortable and unpretending. When Mr. Anderson removed to Maryville, he did not leave behind him his school, though he did have to abandon his academy luiilding. Anderson taught first in an academy building that stood on the lot where the old abandoned jail still stands ; and then in a log cabin that stood on the bank of Pistol Creek, where the Knoxville and Augusta Railroad culvert spans the creek.

His Theological Scholarship. It was a high ambi- tion that took possession of this frontier preacher — to establish a theological seminary on the Southwest frontier! The only seminary of the Presbyterian Church had been founded at Princeton seven years before, namely, in , and it was struggling for existence. As we have seen, he had studied under Samuel Brown, Samuel Carrick, and Gideon Blackburn, even if he had himself spent only one day in visiting a real seminary ; and he had thought much about the need and the method of a seminary. And his almost twenty years of tutoring candidates for the ministry had taught the teacher more, it is to be supposed, than it had even his students.

He was, for his times, a well-trained theologian, and merited profound respect rather than disrespect, praise rather than dispraise, from more favored people of a later day. His Professorial Methods. For a number of years he was known everywhere as "the Professor. And his metliods of instruction in these high and holy things com- manded the respect and loyal conformity of his stu- dents.

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Anderson prepared and published a syllabus of his theological system, and placed a copy in the hands of each student to guide him in his studies. The plan of instruction as followed in the use of this syllabus was thus described by Dr.


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Anderson himself in that syllabus : "In Didactic or Christian Theology, the class have the subject given them, as for example. Natural Theology. They are then directed to read such and such authors; if the subject is a controverted one, they read, on both sides. After they have done reading, they then hear a lecture from the Professor; and are required to write an essay on the same subject, and to read it before the Professor for remarks.

After- wards the class are examined, according to the pre- ceding questions the Syllabus , and such others as the Professor may think proper. And that they may make themselves familiar with these branches, the Professor has lectures on the sciences in the form of question and answer. The students have the use of these manuscript lectures and are required to be able to answer every question. This plan that he employed in his theological classes was in the main similar to the one employed 62 Isaac Andkrson Memorial by his pastor, Rev. Samuel Brown. And it worked remarkably well, as the results of the system abun- dantly testified.

His Scholarly Curricula, Dr. Anderson showed his thorough scholarship in whatever curriculum he formed for the various schools he conducted. That was long before our modern Carnegie units and our accrediting 3,gencies and the like ; and yet there was creditable scholarship even in those early days. If it was embodied in a conscientious and thorough- going principal, it could also be transferred into the being of the faithful student.

Moral Philosophy, Astronomy, Latin, and Greek. The curriculum was as follows: Candi- dates for the Freshman Class were examined in the L. His Presidency. Anderson was the founder and the first president of Maryville College. The responsibility rest- ing upon the president was the "duty to do good on the largest possible scale in the institution, and to be a ready reservoir of valor and cheer to faculty and student body.

He was able to discharge this respon- sibility by virtue of the fact that he won the affection of students and teachers so entirely that they believed their "Beloved President," as they called him, the best man on earth, and followed his leadership as pedagog, professor, and president with complete devotion and loyalty. Said one of Dr.


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Anderson's colleagues : "All his students speak of him in those terms of aft"ection which denote their respect and veneration for his char- acter, as well as their attachment to him as a friend and teacher. And this feeling of filial regard was the result of his kindness and sympathy, and the manifest interest which he felt in their happiness and prosperity.

No act or word during that time, or since, ever passed between us that did not savor of the most perfect Christian confidence, and a reciprocity of mutual, paternal, and filial affection. Gospel,' and was obliged to tear myself from him, it seemed that my very heart-strings were breaking. In a word, if I have done any good in this world of sin and death, I owe it all, under God, to that most dis- interested and devoted of his servants, Dr.

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Greatheart" He Loved Everybody. The following golden words were as honoring to a colleague who wrote them as they were to Dr. Anderson of whom they were written : "If there ever lived a man who illus- trated in his life the doctrines he taught from the pulpit and the professor's chair, that man was Dr. He had a heart large enough and loving enough to embrace within its benevolent desires all mankind.

The Lord had said to him : "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. What might have seemed at first a form of self-seeking in his activities was, after all, an unselfish endeavor. He took great interest in mountain lands and in their develop- ment ; but all that he was really seeking was capital that he might invest it in supporting and developing his Seminary and in aiding its students, and in advanc- ing the church and in multiplying the number of mis- sionaries.

Greatheart" 67 metals will be obtained, and our hills and mountains may one day bring to the Lord's treasury the gold and the silver, which are his own, to aid in sending the Bible and thousands of missionaries to all the world. He invested in an "El Dorado" in Tuckalee- chee Cove and elsewhere, not for himself, but for his boys and the church of Christ. Mountain roads were to be developed for the development of mountain mines and for the development of the Seminary and the church. His own farm was the means of support- ing his family and, in part, his student family.

Sympathy for the Pioneer. We have seen that he sympathized profoundly with the pioneers in their religious destitution. It was his actual sight of their great needs and his vision of what might be done for them that led him to become a lifelong Whitetield, toiling in behalf of others. The Seminary and its one hundred and fifty-nine ministerial graduates were the mighty contributions that his sympathy made to this need of the Southwestern frontier.

He gave his life as preacher and teacher to the removal of this relig- ious destitution among the people of the mountains and valleys and plains of the Southwest. Sufferings from Indian Atrocities. He sympathized profoundly with the red men of this Southwestern country. True, they had killed his granduncle John, on the banks of North River, just after the Anderson farm had become the Anderson home.

Indians, too, had carried Betsy Gilmore, John Anderson's sister, and her baby into a captivity among the Shawnees 68 Isaac Anderson Memorial that lasted a long year ; and they had slaughtered sev- eral others of the Gilmore family — Thomas iGilmore, Sr. They had made it necessary that all the men of the Anderson family except his own generation should take the field as frontier militia to prevent or punish Indian massacres ; indeed, his own father, when only a youth, had fought in the Battle of Point Pleasant in the campaign of And the Andersons had suffered serious property losses during various Indian raids, as is shown by the court records.

Yet Support of Indian Missions. And yet his Christian heart made him a sincere friend of the red man.

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He lamented the many and cruel injustices that the Indians had to endure at the hands of the white man. His heart was most sympathetic with them in their famines. He entered heartily into the generous efforts of Dr.