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The spread of skepticism in Germany has had the effect of diminishing the number of aspirants to the Protestant clerical profession in that empire. In Upper Hesse, for instance, out of 196 places for Protestant clerical aspirants, 36 are vacant; in Rhenish Hesse, out of 88 places 12 are vacant, and in the province of Starkenberg, out of 112 places 12 are vacant. There are 33 out of 93 curacies vacant, and it is impossible to find candidates for them. In the University of Giessen there are at present only seven divinity students, so that the future looks no brighter than the present.
— October, 1879 —