“As Ye Sow”
Cyrus McCormick was the principal founder and funder of what is today the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. The enigmatic McCormick was at once a contradiction, devoted to innovation in science and utterly opposed to innovation in his beloved Presbyterian Church. With a combination of scientific ingenuity, a mind for business and not a small number of lawyers, he not only brought great progress to American and world agricultural production, but made sure that it was his machine, and none other, that would reap the accolades and financial benefits.
Focused and successful in business, he seemed almost lost when it came to defending the “Old School” Presbyterianism dear to his heart. Again and again, he wrote sizeable checks to the theological school that would eventually bear his name. Yet, despite his largesse, the school drifted further and further away from his own convictions. Today, McCormick describes itself as “Cross-cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical.” For the hidebound McCormick, it would prove to be as much a “lost cause” as that of his native Virginia, a theological civil war to mirror the carnage on the actual battlefields of his day. There are lessons to be learned from McCormick’s life but they are not readily apprehended, and may require stepping outside of one’s own comfortable self-image, and being willing to pick and choose the right path during a time when so very much was going wrong.
We spend some time in this issue with the personification of American Puritanism, Jonathan Edwards, and tracing the at once tragic and yet beautiful life of Luisa Henriette. We have found a remarkable young Indian “doctress” who succeeded in medical school where few young white women dared to even make the attempt, then turned her gift into a ministry that should awaken a yearning to serve the Lord in the most self-centered among us.
Not least, we round out this issue with an original playlet, and a story about bowling—the scattering of the “little heathens” that so charmed Drs. Luther and Calvin. Let us hope that you, our readers, continue to share our fascination and affection for the stories of those who have gone before us on this marvelous journey to Zion.
On the Cover
The public demonstration of the first reaper by Cyrus Hall McCormick at Steele’s Tavern, Virginia in 1831 by N. C. Wyeth. The painting shows a crowd of onlookers cheering Cyrus McCormick as he strides behind the reaper. His slave, Jo Anderson, is raking grain from the reaper platform. The painting was commissioned by the International Harvester Company for the reaper centennial in 1931. Courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society.
The April-June 2012 issue includes these articles:
- McCormick’s (Lost) Cause
- Jonathan Edwards
- “Be it Resolved….” by Jonathan Edwards
- The Lovely Gift of Music
- Johann Walter
- The Sweet Rose of Brandenburg
- Susan La Flesche, Indian Doctress
- Bowling for Heathens
- Did Luise Henriette Write Jesus Meine Zuversicht?