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Title: Means and Ends of Education
Author: Spalding, John Lancaster, 1840-1916
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Bishop of Peoria







A.D. 1895

By Bishop Spalding

  THINGS OF THE MIND.  12mo.  $1.00.








None of us yet know, for none of us have yet been taught in early
youth, what fairy palaces we may build of beautiful thought--proof
against all adversity;--bright fancies, satisfied memories, noble
histories, faithful sayings, treasure-houses of precious and restful
thoughts; which care cannot disturb, nor pain make gloomy, nor poverty
take away from us--houses built without hands for our souls to live

Stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men and worthy
patriots, dear to God and famous to all ages.--MILTON.

A great man's house is filled chiefly with menials and creatures of
ceremony; and great libraries contain, for the most part, books as dry
and lifeless as the dust that gathers on them: but from amidst these
dead leaves an immortal mind here and there looks forth with light and

From the point of view of the bank president, Emerson tells us, books
are merely so much rubbish.  But in his eyes the flowers also, the
flowing water, the fresh air, the floating clouds, children's voices,
the thrill of love, the fancy's play, the mountains, and the stars are

Not one in a hundred who buy Shakspere, or Milton, or a work of any
other great mind, feels a genuine longing to get at the secret of its
power and truth; but to those alone who feel this longing is the secret
revealed.  We must love the man of genius, if we would have him speak
to us.  We learn to know ourselves, not by studying the behavior of
matter, but through experience of life and intimate acquaintance with
literature.  Our spiritual as well as our physical being springs from
that of our ancestors.  Freedom, however, gives the soul the power not
only to develop what it inherits, but to grow into conscious communion
with the thought and love, the hope and faith of the noble dead, and,
in thus enlarging itself, to become the inspiration and source of
richer and wider life for those who follow.  As parents are consoled by
the thought of surviving in their descendants, great minds are upheld
and strengthened in their ceaseless labors by the hope of entering as
an added impulse to better things, from generation to generation, into
the lives of thousands.  The greatest misfortune which can befall
genius is to be sold to the advocacy of what is not truth and love and
goodness and beauty.  The proper translation of _timeo hominem unius
libri_ is not, "I fear a man of one book," but "I dread a man of one
book:" for he is sure to be narrow, one-sided, and unreasonable.  The
right phrase enters at once into our spiritual world, and its power
becomes as real as that of material objects.  The truth to which it
gives body is borne in upon us as a star or a mountain is borne in upon
us.  Kings and rich men live in history when genius happens to throw
the light of abiding worlds upon their ephemeral estate.  Carthage is
the typical city of merchants and traders.  Why is it remembered?
Because Hannibal was a warrior and Virgil a poet.

The strong man is he who knows how and is able to become and be
himself; the magnanimous man is he who, being strong, knows how and is
able to issue forth from himself, as from a fortress, to guide,
protect, encourage, and save others.  Life's current flows pure and
unimpeded within him, and on its wave his thought and love are borne to
bless his fellowmen.  If he who gives a cup of water in the right
spirit does God's work, so does he who sows or reaps, or builds or
sweeps, or utters helpful truth or plays with children or cheers the
lonely, or does any other fair or useful thing.  Take not seriously one
who treats with derision men or books that have been deemed worthy of
attention by the best minds.  He is false or foolish.  As we cherish a
human being for the courage and love he inspires, so books are dear to
us for the noble thoughts and generous moods they call into being.  To
drink the spirit of a great author is worth more than a knowledge of
his teaching.

He who desires to grow wise should bring his reason to bear habitually
upon what he sees and hears not less than upon what he reads; for thus
he soon comes to understand that whatever he thinks or feels, says or
does, whatever happens within the sphere of his conscious life, may be
made the means of self-improvement.  "He is not born for glory," says
Vauvenargues, "who knows not the worth of time."  The educational value
of books lies in their power to set the intellectual atmosphere in
vibration, thereby rousing the mind to self-activity; and those which
have not this power lack vitality.

If in a whole volume we find one passage in which truth is expressed in
a noble and striking manner, we have not read in vain.  To read with
profit, we should read as a serious student reads, with the mind all
alive and held to the subject; for reading is thinking, and it is
valuable in proportion to the stimulus it gives to the exercise of
faculty.  The conversation of high and ingenuous minds is doubtless as
instructive as it is delightful, but it is seldom in our power to call
around us those with whom we should wish to hold discourse; and hence
we go back to the emancipated spirits, who having transcended the
bounds of time and space, are wherever they are desired and are always
ready to entertain whoever seeks their company.  Genius neither can nor
will discover its secret.  Why his thought has such a mould and such a
tinge he no more knows than why the flowers have such a tint and such a
perfume; and if he knew he would not care to tell.  Nothing is wholly
manifest.  In the most trivial object, as in the simplest word, there
lies a world of meaning which does not reveal itself to a passing
glance.  If therefore thou wouldst come to right understanding,
consider all things with an awakened and interested curiosity.

When the mind at last finds itself rightly at home in its world, it is
as delighted as children making escape from restraining walls, as full
of spirit as colts newly turned upon the greensward.

In the realm of truth each one is king, and what he knows is as much
his own as though he were its first discoverer.  However firmly thou
holdest to thy opinions, if truth appears on the opposite side, throw
down thy arms at once.  A book has the power almost of a human being to
inspire admiration or disgust, love or hatred.  To be useful is a noble
thing, to be necessary is not desirable.  The youth has not enough
ambition unless he has too much.  It is difficult to give lessons in
the art of pleasing without teaching that of lying.  The discouraged
are already vanquished.  In judging the deed let not the character of
the doer influence thy opinion, for good is good, evil evil, by
whomsoever done.  When the author is rightly inspired his words need
not interpretation.  They are as natural and as beautiful as the faces
of children or as new-blown flowers, and their meaning is plain.  The
spirit and love of dogmatism is characteristic of the imperfectly
educated.  As there is a communion of saints, there is a communion of
noble minds, living and dead.  To speak of love which is not felt, of
piety which is not a living sentiment within us, is to weaken both in
ourselves and in those who hear us the power of faith and affection.
The best that has been known and experienced by minds and hearts lies
asleep in books, ready to awaken for whoever holds the magician's wand.
Books which at their first appearance create a breeze of excitement,
are forgotten when the wind falls.

A human soul rightly uttering itself, in whatever age or country,
ceases to belong to any age or country, and becomes part of the
universal life of man.  A sprightly wit may serve only to lead us
astray, and to enmesh us more hopelessly in error.  Deeper knowledge is
the remedy for the foolishness of sciolism: like cures like.  In the
books in which men worth knowing have put some of the vital quality
which makes them worth knowing, there is perennial inspiration.  They
are the form and substance of an immortal spirit which, in creating
them, became itself.  "I have not made my book," says Montaigne, "more
than my book has made me."

Were one to ask an acquaintance who knows men to point out the
individuals whom he should make his friends, his request would probably
receive an unsatisfactory reply: for how, except by trial, is it
possible to say who will suit whom?  Those whose friendship would be
valuable might, for whatever cause, be disagreeable to him, as the
greatest and noblest may be unpleasant companions.  Many a one whom we
admire as he stands forth in history, whose words and deeds thrill and
uplift us, we should detest had we known him in life; and others to
whom we might have been drawn would have cared nothing for us.  Between
men and books there is doubtless a wide difference, though a good book
contains the best of the life of some true man.  But when we are asked
to point out the books one should learn to love, we are confronted with
much the same difficulty as had we been asked to name the persons whom
he should make his friends.  A book can have worth for us only when we
have learned to love it; and since a real book, like a real man, has
its proper character, it is not easy to determine whom it will please
or displease.  Once it has taken a safe place in literature, it will,
of course, be praised by everybody; but this, like the praise of men,
is often meaningless.  All who read know something about the great
books, but their knowledge, unless it leads them to intimate
acquaintance with some one or several of these books, has little worth.
Books are, indeed, a world which each one must discover for himself.
Another may tell us about them, but the truth and beauty there is in
them for each one, each one must find.  The value of a book, like that
of a man, lies not in its freedom from fault, but in its qualities, in
the good it contains.  Words which inspire the love of spiritual beauty
and noble action cannot be false: the consent of the wise places them
in the canon.  The imperishable goods are truth, freedom, love, and
beauty.  Valuable alone is that which enriches and ennobles life.
There are natures for whom the lack of knowledge is as painful as the
lack of food.  They are ahungered and athirst for it, and their
suffering impels them to ceaseless meditation and study, as the only
means of relief.

The self-educator's first and simplest aim should be to learn to know
and do well whatever he knows and does; and to this end let him often
observe and consider how rare are they who know anything thoroughly or
do well any of the hundred things which are part of daily life: who
talk well, or write well, or behave well.  Herbert Spencer affirms that
it is better to learn the meanings of things than the meanings of
words; but he loses sight of the fact that the meanings of things
become plain only when things are clothed in words, which, in truth,
are things, being nothing else than the very form and body of nature as
it reveals itself within the mind of man.  The world is chiefly a
mental fact.  From mind it receives the forms of time and space, the
principle of causality, color, warmth, and beauty.  Were there no mind,
there would be no world.  The end of man is the pursuit of perfection,
through communion with God, his fellows, and nature, by means of
knowledge and conduct, of faith, hope, admiration, and love.  It is
easy to praise work overmuch.  Like money, it is a means, not an end,
and it is good or evil as it is made to help or harm the worker, for
man is an end, not a means.  The work which millions are still forced
to do is a curse,--the trail of the serpent is over it all, and no
people has the right to call itself civilized, while work which
dehumanizes is not merely permitted, but encouraged.

Let us not teach the young to believe they are born into a world of
delights and pleasures, but let us strive to enable them to realize
that, upon this earth, only the wise and good and strong can make
themselves really at home; that for the wicked and the weak its very
delights and pleasures turn to sorrow and suffering.  We pity the
hard-driven beast of burden.  How then is it possible to look with
complacency on a world in which multitudes of human beings are
condemned to the work of the ox and the ass?  For the healthy man,
wealth and happiness would seem to be identical, if his desires are
confined to the things of which money is the equivalent.  But this is a
delusion, for the plenary possession of these things has never
satisfied a human being.  Man needs virtue, knowledge, love, and to
take the obvious view, he needs the power to enjoy the things money
buys; and of this money deprives him.

When we consider the many unworthy means men take to gain wealth and
office, we are forced to believe that to reach their ends they are
ready to profess to hold opinions and beliefs about which they care
nothing or which they really do not accept at all.  By this following
of time-servers and place-hunters every noble cause is weakened and the
purest faith is corrupted.

To labor for those we love, to sit in the hours of rest, with wife and
children about us, smiling in the blaze of the fire we have lighted,
sheltered by the roof we have built, secure in the sense of protection
our presence inspires, is to feel that life is good.  But is it not a
higher thing to turn away, in disrespect of all this peace and comfort,
and to strive alone, by thought and deed, to find the way which leads
to God and to be a pioneer therein for those who wander helpless and
astray?  The more we dwell with truth and love, the more conscious we
become that they are the best, and are everlasting; and thus our
immortality is revealed to us.  Visibly we float on the boundless
stream and disappear; but inasmuch as we are truth-loving and
love-cherishing, we dwell in an abiding city, and may behold our bodies
carried forth by the flood, as a man sees his house swept away, while
he himself remains.  Our thoughtlessness and indifference, our
indolence and frivolousness, blind us to the infinite worth and
significance of life; and they who call themselves religious often take
it as lightly as worldlings and unbelievers.

In the Universe there is nothing which exists separate and apart from
other things.  The satellites hold to the planets, the planets to the
suns, the suns to one another, all in obedience to the same laws which
bind the body to earth, and cause the water to flow and the vapor to
rise.  For the senses there is separateness, but for the mind there is
union and unity.  Communion is the law of souls as of bodies.  Both are
immersed in a boundless world, from which if they could be drawn forth
they would cease to be.  The principle of this infinite harmony is
love, is God.

The right human bond is that which unites soul with soul; and only they
are truly akin who consciously live in the same world, who think,
believe, and love alike, who hope for the same things, aspire to the
same ends.

Our mental view never reaches the ultimate nature of being, and hence
our knowledge, whether of material or of spiritual things, is
incomplete.  Faith is the effort to supply the defect which inheres in
all our knowing.  Knowledge springs from faith, faith from knowledge,
as rivers from clouds, clouds from rivers.  The more we know, the more
we believe; and our growing consciousness does not make us content to
rest in a mechanical view of nature, but it brings home to us with
increasing power the awfulness of the infinite mystery, which we more
and more clearly perceive to be a spiritual rather than a material
fact.  If at present there is a certain failure of will and consequent
discouragement in the pursuit of moral and intellectual perfection,
this is a result of our passing bewilderment in the presence of the
revelations of science and of the mighty forces it places in the hands
of man, and not of any new knowledge which tends to inspire misgivings
concerning the being of God and our kinship with Him:---

  From nature up to law, from law to love:
  This is the ascendant path in which we move,
  Impelled by God in ways that lighten still,
  Till all things meet in one eternal thrill.

As the Universe revealed by the Copernican astronomy and the other
natural sciences is infinitely more sublime and marvellous than such a
world as the Israelites, the Greeks, or the Romans imagined, so they
who see rightly in the luminous ether of modern intelligence understand
better than the ancients that human life is not an ephemeral and
superficial, but an immortal and central power, enrooted in God, and
drawing its substance and sustenance from Him.

The appeal to shame is a poor argument.  The fact that men of great
intellectual power and learning have held an opinion to be true does
not make it so.  New knowledge may have shown it to be false, or the
general advance of the race may have changed the point of view.  The
presumption of the larger wisdom of the Ancients we cannot accept: for
we, not they, are the true ancients.  The purest and the holiest prayer
men speak is this: "Thy will be done."  They who utter it from the
inmost soul, find peace, even as a fretful child sinks to rest upon the
mother's bosom.  In learning to love the will of God they come at last
not merely to believe, but to feel that His will guides the Universe,
and that all will be well.  When an utterance comes forth from the
depths of our spiritual being, men cannot but hearken.  It is as though
we should bring to exiles tidings of a long-lost home and country.

To what a weight he stoops who addresses himself with fixed resolve to
the life of thought!  The burden indeed is heavy, but the pathway lies
through pleasant fields where great souls move to and fro in freedom
and at peace.  And as he grows accustomed to his labor, the world
widens, the heavens break open, the dead live again, and with them he
rises into the high regions where the petty cares and passions of
mortals do not reach.

He who would educate himself must make use of his own powers.  He must
observe, think, examine, read, argue, ponder; he must learn when to
hold judgment in suspense, and when to give the wings of the soul free
sweep through the high and serene realms of truth and beauty.  The
farther we dwell from the crowd, with its current opinion, the better
and truer shall we and our thoughts become.  They who write for
multitudinous readers rise with difficulty above the dignity of

There is a radical defect in the character of whoever works in the
spirit of a trifler, however blameless his conduct.  The power to
inspire faith in the seriousness and goodness of life is a sufficient
test of the worth of a scheme of education.

No one should fill an office which he is unable to hold without
hindrance to the play of mind and heart that makes him a man.  The
dignities we possess at the cost of knowledge and virtue are like
jewels for the sake of which one goes hungry and naked; mere glittering
baubles for which we barter the soul's prosperity.

Experience is personal, and it is largely incommunicable; but
genius--and in this lies its power and charm--renders it communicable.
What the poet or the painter has felt and seen, he makes all men feel
and see.  The difference between man and man, between the child and the
youth, the youth and the adult, is chiefly a difference in feeling, in
the manner in which they are impressed; and it is our nature to be
drawn in admiration or reverence to those who by their words or deeds
give us deeper impressions of the worth of life, and thus open for us
new sources of feeling.

Fair thoughts rise in the heart and mind of genius, like the fragrant
breath which the dewy flowers exhale in the face of the rising sun, and
they utter themselves as simply as matin songs warbled by
sweet-throated birds.

Faith in the infinite nature and worth of truth, goodness, and love, is
the dawn which shall merge into the fulness of day, when, in other
worlds, God looks upon the soul, reborn from out this seemingness.

Our position, our reputation, our wealth, our comforts, are but a
vesture like the body itself.  They shall fall away, and we shall
remain with God.  There is no liberty but obedience to the impulse of
the higher nature which urges us to think nobly, to act rightly, and to
love constantly.  The dominion of appetite is slavery; the dominion of
reason and conscience is freedom.

Renan somewhere says he could wish for nothing better than that a
little volume of selections from his writings might commend itself to
young women, whose fair faces should bend over it, and find there a
reflection of their own pure souls.  But where there is no God, the
soul is not mirrored, and we never really love an author who weakens
faith and hope.

With whatever success we advance towards the wide and serene life of
the pure reason, let us still cling to faith, hope, and love, the
primal powers which keep watch at our birth, and which bend over our
cradles, and which alone lift us into the world of enduring peace and
hold us within the sheltering arms of God.  In the enlightened mind,
faith is a higher virtue than it can be for the ignorant, and to
sustain it there is need of a nobler life.

He whom neither learning nor power nor wealth can corrupt must have
virtue; for learning breeds conceit, and power begets pride, and wealth
debases both the mind and heart.

The intellect does not recognize that conscience may forbid its
exercise, since knowledge cannot be evil.  If earth were a hell and
life a curse and the Universe but a cinder, it would still be good to
know the fact.  The saddest truth is better than the merriest lie.

To know a thing is to be conscious of its relation to the mind.  We
know it, not in itself, but in and through this relation.  Our
knowledge of God, who is the absolute, is not absolute knowledge, but a
knowledge of Him in so far as He is related to the mind of man.  Since,
however, mind is reason and not unreason, there is harmony between it
and things, between it and God; and hence to be conscious of its
relation to God and the universe is to be conscious of a real relation,
in which both the thinker and his thought are in truth what they seem
to be.  The ultimate reality is inferred, not directly perceived.  It
reveals itself to the purest faith and love, and may be hidden from one
who knows all the sciences.

As man's relations to his fellows make him a social and political
being, so his relations to the unseen power behind and within the
visible world, of whose presence he is always, however dimly,
conscious, and to whom he refers whatever touches the senses, as well
as the principle of life itself, make him a religious being.

In identifying what seem to be our particular interests with the
interests of all, we make escape from narrowness and isolation into the
general life of humanity; and when we come to understand that not only
mankind but all nature is a Unity in the Consciousness of the Infinite
and Eternal, bound together by thought and love, we enter into the
glorious liberty of the Sons of God, and feel that nor height nor depth
nor things past nor things to come shall separate us from the divine
charity.  We are akin to all that may become part of our life; and
whatever we know or love or admire is spiritualized and made human.  To
understand the things of the spirit we must have spiritual experience.
The intuitions of time and space, as well as the principle of
causality, are given in the constitution of the mind.  So is the idea
of being, of perfection, of beauty, of eternity, of infinity, of duty.
To think implies being, to perceive things as existing in time and
space implies consciousness of eternity and infinity.  To know the
imperfect is possible only in the light of the perfect.  Subject is
itself object, the first known and best understood, and the laws of
mind are laws of being.  If the constitution of mind makes the
revelation of the material world possible only under the forms of time
and space, intelligible only as sequence of cause and effect, the
reason is to be found in the nature of things.  If the constitution of
mind postulates one who knows and shapes, in a world in which whatever
is, is intelligible, in which there is order, proportion, and purpose,
it is because such an One is given in the nature of things, and He is
God.  However living our faith, it is faith and not knowledge; and
should it become knowledge, it would cease to be faith.

There are three kinds of authors,--those who impart knowledge, those
who give delight, and those who strengthen and inspire.

A noble thought rightly expressed sweeps the higher nerve centres as
the touch of a perfect performer the strings of an instrument; but if
the instrument is poor and irresponsive, the appeal is made in vain.
Life has the power to propagate itself, and if the words thou utterest
are living, they will strike root somewhere and bud and blossom and
bear fruit; but if there is no life in them, be content to have them
fall and lie amid the dust of the dead.  God and the universe are what
they are, and the best even genius can do is to throw over them a
revealing light.  He who feels that he is always in the presence of God
will strive as religiously to think only what is true as he will strive
to do only what is right.  A phrase which leaps forth aglow with life
from the heart and brain of genius, not only lives forever, but retains
forever the power to awaken, when brought into contact with a brain and
heart, the thrill with which it first came into being.

Only a few know and love the poet, but they are young and fair, and the
music of high thoughts and pure love is rhythmic with the current of
their blood; and if among them there be found some who are old, they
are choice spirits who have risen from out the lapses of time into
regions where what is true and beautiful is so forever.  This little
band of chosen ones accompanies him adown the centuries, and listens to
the melody which wells in his heart and breaks into songs that shall
give delight as long as the air of spring is pleasant and the flowers
fragrant and the carollings of birds delightful; and while the poet
strolls on the outskirts of time, thus loved and thus attended, the
stormy and glittering favorites of the crowd drop from sight and are
forgotten, or remembered but as the echo of a name.

A line from Homer, which sounds like a response from our own heart, is
clothed with the mystery of diviner power, because it makes us feel
that we were alive thousands of years ago amid the Grecian isles, thus
revealing to us the unreality of time and space, and the everlasting
nature of truth and beauty.

As it is right to admire and love whatever is good wherever it is
found, it needs must be the part of wisdom to seek to know and
appreciate all that is true and high in the works of genius, though
there, like precious stones and metals in the mine, it be mingled with
baser matter.  It is but narrowness or intellectual pharisaism to turn
from a great author because in his life and works there may be things
of which we cannot approve.  Shall we abandon God because His world is
full of evil, or Christ because there is corruption in the church?  St.
Paul appeals to pagan literature, St. Augustine is the disciple of
Plato, St. Thomas Aquinas of Aristotle, and the culture and
civilization of Christendom are largely due to influences which are not
Christian.  Whatever is good is from God.  There is no surer mark of
the lack of culture than the use of ill-natured and abusive epithets.
To feel the need of injurious words to express one's opinion, merely
shows that one is angry, and anger is vulgar.

Whatever is inspired by vanity is in bad taste.  This is why a showy
style is a false style, why fine writing is poor writing.  The author
yields to the spirit of vainglory, whereas he should be wholly bent
upon uttering his thought as he knows it.  It is as though he should
call our attention to a costly garb when what we want to see is a man.

As a plain face is better than a mask, though fine, so one's own style,
though inferior, is better than any which is borrowed.

True books survive without help or let of critics, by virtue of their
vital quality, which attracts kindred spirits with irresistible power.

When their worth becomes known, the critics set up a howl of praise,
and many buy; but only a few make them their serious study, and learn
to know and love them.  Truth is the mind's food; and, like that of the
body, it is nourishment only when it has been digested and assimilated.
It is, after all, but a little while since man began to think.  As yet
he is learning the alphabet.  Take heart then, and apply thy mind.  As
we grow older the years seem to run to months, the months to weeks, the
weeks to days, the days to hours, the hours to moments, until time,
like an exhalation, appears to dissolve in the inane, and become the
nothing it was and is and will be for eternity.

If thought were given us, like house and clothing, merely for our
personal comfort, wisdom would lead us to think with and like all the
world.  They who are eager for the good opinion of others seem to have
but weak faith in their own worth.

The art of pleasing would better deserve our study were there more who
are worth pleasing, or were it less difficult to please without loss of
sincerity and without stooping to the service of vulgar interests.  Not
how much or how many things thou knowest is of import.  An industrious
reader, of retentive memory, will easily know more things than a great
philosopher compared with whom he is but a child.

Know thyself was the sum of what Socrates taught, and each of the seven
wise men rested his fame upon an apothegm.  To expect the multitude to
appreciate the best in life or literature, is to expect them to be what
they have never been and will probably never be.  Would you have an ox
admire the sunrise or the pearly dew, when all he feels the need of is
grass?  Appeal to the many if you will, but if your appeal is for the
highest, only the few will hearken.

Consider not what great men or books are worth in themselves, but what
they are worth to thee; for thou art able to judge of their value only
in so far as thou understandest and lovest them.

If thou canst not bear trouble, sorrow, and disappointment without loss
of composure, thou art poorly equipped for life's struggle.  If thou
mayst not lead the life thou wouldst wish, thou canst at least make the
life thou leadest the means to improve thyself.  If we were so
constituted that thought, feeling, and imagination might have free and
healthful play in ever-during darkness and isolation, life would still
be good.  Could I live surrounded by those I love, I should feel less
keenly the discontent which the consciousness of my higher needs
creates; and besides, it is not easy to rest in the comforts and
luxuries which make and keep us inferior, except in the company of
those we love.  If our ordinary power of sight were as great as that we
gain with the help of the microscope, the world would become for us a
place of horrors; and if we could clearly see ourselves as we are, life
would be less endurable.  God blurs our vision as a mother hides from
her child its wound.

Pleasures which quickly end in revulsion of feeling are but momentary
escapes from pain; and they alone are fortunate who are able to
persevere in pursuits which give them pure delight.  "All good," says
Kant, "which is not based on the highest moral principle is but empty
appearance and splendid misery."

Sensations of color, taste, sound, smell, touch, heat and cold,
perceptions of magnitude, and temporal and spatial relations, is the
sum of what we know; and yet we are conscious that reason means
infinitely more than this, that its proper object is the eternal world
of truth, goodness, and beauty.  Think for thyself with a single view
to truth; for so only will thy thought be of worth and service to
others.  We feel ourselves only in action, and hence the need of doing
lest we lose ourselves and be swallowed in nothingness.  And for the
old and feeble even worry, I suppose, is a comfort, for it helps to
keep this self-consciousness alive.  It is impossible to say whence a
thought comes, and it is often difficult to determine the occasion by
which it has been suggested.

Fortunate are the children all of whose knowledge comes from man and
nature in their purity, whose memory holds no words which are not the
symbols of what they themselves have seen and felt, in whose minds no
will-o'-the-wisp from chimera worlds flits to and fro.  It is only by
keeping men in ignorance and vice that it is possible to keep them from
the contagion of great thoughts.  They who have little are thought to
have no right to anything.  Thus the plagiarized sayings of Napoleon
and other nurslings of fame pass for their own; who their real authors
were, seeming to be a matter of indifference.

If I am not pleased with myself, but should wish to be other than I am,
why should I think highly of the influences which have made me what I
am?  Should I publish what I believe to be true and well expressed, and
competent judges should declare it to be worthless in form and
substance, the verdict would be interesting to me, and I should set to
work to discover why and how I had so far failed in discernment.  "A
thoroughly cultivated man," says Fontenelle, "is informed by all the
thinkers of the past, as though he had lived and continued to grow in
knowledge during all the centuries."  The author is rewarded when his
readers are made better.

The most persuasive of men are the praisers of patent medicines.  Their
eloquence is more richly rewarded than that of all the orators, who
also are paid, for the most part, in inverse ratio to the amount of
truth they utter.  Fame, as fame, is the merest vanity.  No wise man
wishes to be talked and written about, living or dead, to be a theme
chiefly for fools.

Literature is writing in which genuine thought and feeling are rightly
expressed.  They who content themselves with what others have uttered,
learn nothing.  The blind need a guide, but they who are able to see
should look for themselves.  There is, indeed, in the words of genius a
glow which never dies; but it only dazzles and misleads, if it fails to
stimulate and strengthen our own powers of vision.  True speech is not
idle; it is utterance of life, the mate of action, and the begetter of
noble deeds.  Strive for knowledge and strength, but do not appear to
have them.

"A book," says La Bruyère, "which exalts the mind and inspires high and
manly thoughts, is good, and the work of a master."  A phrase suffices
to tell the man is ignorant or the book worthless.  As the body is
nourished by dead things, vegetable and animal, so the mind feeds on
the thoughts of those who have ceased to live, which, it would seem,
are never rightly understood until the thinkers have passed away.

To be unwilling to be proved wrong is to fail in love of truth; to
resent an objection is to lack culture.  One may believe what cannot be
demonstrated, but to grow angry because there is no proof is absurd.

To do deeds and to utter thoughts which long after we have departed
shall remain to cheer, to illumine, to strengthen and console, is to be
like God; and the desire of noble minds is not of praise, but of
abiding power for good.

He who is certain of himself needs not the good opinion of men, not of
those even who are competent to judge.  Only the vain and foolish or
the designing and dishonest will wish to receive credit for more
ability and virtue than they have.  An exaggerated reputation may
nourish conceit or win favor; but the wise and the good put away
conceit, and desire not favors which are granted from mistaken notions.

"I hate false words," says Landor, "and seek with care, difficulty, and
moroseness those that fit the thing."

Dwell not with complacency upon aught thou hast or hast achieved, but
address thyself each day, like a simple-hearted child, to the task God
sets thee; and remember when the last hour comes thou canst carry
nothing to Him but faith in His mercy and goodness.



Truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of
truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it; the knowledge of
truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is
the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.--BACON.

As those who have little think their little much, so those who have few
ideas believe with obstinacy that they are the sum of all truth.  If
the world could but be made to see what they see there would be no
ills.  They have not even a suspicion of the unutterable complexity of
the warp and woof of nature and of life; and when their opinions are
combated they imagine they thereby acquire new importance, and they
defend them with such zeal that they make proselytes and found sects in
religion, politics, and literature.  The source of the greater part of
error is the absoluteness the mind attributes to its knowledge and, as
part of this, the persuasion that at each stage of our mental life, we
are capable of seeing things as they are.  The aim of the philosopher,
as of the Christian, is to escape from the ephemeral self by renouncing
what is petty, partial, apparent, and transitory, that the true self
may unfold in the world of the permanent, of things which have an
aptitude for perpetuity; but the philosopher's efforts are intellectual
and moral, while the Christian's source of strength is the love which
is enrooted in divine faith.

"The brief precept," says St. Augustine, "is given there once for
all,--Love, and do what thou wilt.  If thou art silent, be silent for
love; if thou speakest, speak for love; if thou correctest, correct for
love; if thou sparest, spare for love.  The root of love is within, and
from it only good can come."  Life springs from love, and love is its
being, aim, and end.  Each soul is born of souls yearning that he be
born, and he lives only so far as he leaves himself and becomes through
love part of the life of God and the race of man.

Primordial matter, with which the physicists start, is twin brother of
nothing.  In every conceivable hypothesis, we assume either that
nothing is the cause of something, or that from the beginning there was
something or some one who is all the universe may become.  If truth and
love and goodness are of the essence of the highest life evolved in
nature, they are of the essence of that by which nature exists and
energizes.  If reason is valid at all, it avails as an immovable
foundation for faith in God and in man's kinship with him.  The larger
the world we live in, the greater the opportunities for self-education.
He who knows friends and foes, who is commended and found fault with,
who tastes the delights of home and breathes the air of strange lands,
who is followed and opposed, who triumphs and suffers defeat, who
contends with many and is left alone, who dwells with his own thoughts
and in the company of the great minds of all time,--necessarily gains
wisdom and power, and learns to feel himself a man.

Science springs from man's yearning for truth; art, from his yearning
for beauty; religion, from his yearning for love: and as truth, beauty,
and love are a harmony, so are science, art, and religion; and if
conflicts arise, they are the results of ignorance and passion.  The
charm of faith, hope, and love, of knowledge, beauty, and religion,
lies in their power to open life's prison, thus permitting the soul to
escape to commune with the Infinite and Eternal, with the boundless
mysterious world of being which forever draws us on and forever eludes
our grasp.  The higher the man, the more urgent this need of

We look upon lifelong imprisonment of the body as among the greatest of
evils, but that the mind should be suffered to languish in the dungeon
of ignorance, error, and prejudice, seems comparatively a slight thing.
Thy whole business, as a rational being, is to know and follow
truth,--with gratitude and joy if possible, but, in any case, with
courage and resignation.  Mind maketh man; and the most money and place
can do, is to make millionnaires and titularies.

The Alpine guides, who lead travellers through the sublimest scenery in
the world, are as insensible to its grandeur as the stocks they grasp;
and we nearly all are as indifferent as these drudges to Nature's
divine spectacle, with its starlit heavens, its risings and settings of
sun and moon, its storms and calms, its changes of season, its clouds
and snows and breath of many-tinted flowers, its children's faces, and
plumage and songs of birds.

As we judge of many things by samples, a glance may suffice to show the
worthlessness of a book, but the value of one that is genuine is not
quickly perceived, for it reveals itself the more the oftener it is
read and pondered.  There is not a more certain, a purer, or a more
delightful source of contentment and independence than a taste for the
best literature.  In the midst of occupations and cares of whatever
kind it enables us to look forward to the hour when the noblest minds
and most generous hearts shall welcome us to their company to be
entertained with great thoughts rightly uttered and with information
concerning whatever is of interest to man.

In every home the best works of the great poets, historians,
philosophers, orators, and story-writers should lie within reach of the
young, who should be permitted, not urged, to read them.  We may know a
man by the company he keeps; we may know him better still by the books
he loves: and if he loves none, he is not worth knowing.

Matthew Arnold praises culture for "its inexhaustible indulgence, its
consideration of circumstances, its severe judgment of actions joined
to its merciful judgment of persons."

When we have learned to love work, to love honest work, work well done,
excellently well done, we have within ourselves the most fruitful
principle of education.

Who shall speak ill of bodily health and vigor?  Herbert Spencer
affirms that it is man's first duty to be a good animal.  But since we
cannot all be athletes or be well even, let us not refuse to find
consolation in the fact that much of what is greatest, whether in the
world of thought or action, has been wrought by mighty souls in feeble
and suffering bodies; and since men gladly risk health and life to
acquire gold, shall we not be willing, if need be, to be "sicklied o'er
with the pale cast of thought," if so we may attain to truth and love?

Great things are accomplished only by concentration.  What we ourselves
think, love, and do, until it becomes a habit, is the form and
substance of our life.

To live in the company of those who have or seek culture is to breathe
the vital air of mental health and vigor.

The scientific investigator gives his whole attention to the facts
before him; but the discipline of close observation, however favorable
it may be to accuracy, weakens capacity for wide and profound views.
On the other hand, the speculative thinker is apt to grow heedless or
oblivious of facts.  Hence a minute observer is seldom a great
philosopher, a great philosopher rarely a careful observer.

"Employment," says Ruskin, "is the half, and the primal half of
education, for it forms the habits of body and mind, and these are the
constitution of man."  Tell me at and in what thou workest, and I will
tell thee what thou art.  The secret of education lies in the words of
Christ,--He that hath eyes to see, let him see; he that hath ears to
hear, let him hear.  The soul must flow through the channels of the
senses until it meets the universe and clothes it with the beauty and
meaning which reveal God.

When I think of all the truth which still remains for me to learn, of
all the good I yet may do, of all the friends I still may serve, of all
the beauty I may see, life seems as fresh and fair, as full of promise,
as is to loving souls the dawn of their bridal day.  Animals, children,
savages, the thoughtless and frivolous, live in the present alone; they
consequently lead a narrow, ephemeral, and superficial existence.  They
strike no deep roots into the past, they forebode no divine future,
they enter not behind the veil where the soul finds ever-during truth
and power.

  "The world is too much with us; late and soon,
  Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers."

Whatever sets the mind in motion may lead us to secret worlds, though
it be a falling apple, as with Newton, or the swing of the pendulum, as
with Galileo, or a boy's kite, as with Franklin, or throwing pebbles
into the water, as with Turner.  Watt sat musing by the fire, and
noticed the rise and fall of the lid of the boiling kettle, and the
steam engine, like a vision from unknown spheres, rose before his
imagination.  A child, carelessly playing with the glasses that lay on
the table of a spectacle-maker, gave the clew to the invention of the
telescope.  The pestle, flying from the hand of Schwarz, told him he
had found the explosive which has transformed the world.  Drifting
plants, of a strange species, whispered to Columbus of a continent that
lay across the Atlantic.  Patient observation and work are the
mightiest conquerors.

Among the maxims, called triads, which have come down to us from the
Celtic bards, we find this: "The three primary requisites of
genius,--an eye that can see nature; a heart that can feel nature; and
boldness that dares follow nature."  He who has no philosophy and no
religion, no theory of life and the world, has nothing which he finds
it greatly important to say or do.  He lacks the impulse of genius, the
educator's energy and enthusiasm.  Having no ideal, he has no end to
which he may point and lead.  To do well it is necessary to believe in
the worth of what we do.  The power which upholds and leads us on is
faith,--faith in God, in ourselves, in life, in education.

Forever to be blessed and cherished is the love-inspired mother or the
teacher whose generous heart and luminous mind first leads us to
believe in the priceless worth of wisdom and virtue, thus kindling
within the soul a quenchless fire which warms and irradiates our whole

To be God's workman, to strive, to endure, to labor, even to the end,
for truth and righteousness, this is life.

"My desire," says Dante, "and my will rolled onward, like a wheel in
even motion, swayed by the love which moves the sun and all the stars."

If there are any who shrink from wrong more than from disgrace they
best deserve to be called religious.

Strive not to be original or profound, but to think justly and to
express clearly what thou seest; and so it may happen that thy view
shall pierce deeper than thou knowest.

The words and deeds which are most certain to escape oblivion are those
which nourish the higher life of the soul.  Self-love, the love of
one's real self, of one's soul, is the indispensable virtue.  It is
this we seek when we strive to know and love truth and justice; it is
this we seek, when we love God and our fellow-men.  In turning from
ourselves to find them, we still seek ourselves; in abandoning life we
seek richer and fuller life.

Truth separate from love is but half truth.  Think of that which unites
thee with thy fellows rather than of what divides thee from them.
Religion is the bond of love, and not a subject for a debating club.
If thou wouldst refute thy adversaries, commit the task to thy life
more than to thy words.  Read the history of controversy and ask
thyself whether there is in it the spirit of Christ, the meek and lowly
One?  Its champions belong to the schools of the sophists rather than
to the worshippers of God in spirit and in truth.  And what has been
the issue of all their disputes but hatreds and sects, persecutions and
wars?  If it is my duty to be polite and helpful to my neighbor, it is
plainly also my duty to treat his opinions and beliefs with
consideration and fairness.

There is a place in South America where the whole population have the
goitre, and if a stranger who is free from the deformity chances to
pass among them, they jeer and cry, "There goes one who has no goitre."
What could be more delightfully human?  We think it a holy thing to put
down duelling, the battle of one with one; but we are full of
enthusiasm over battles of a hundred thousand with a hundred thousand.
Thus the Southern slave-owners were sworn advocates of the rights of
man and of popular liberty.

The explanation of many provoking things is to be found in Dr.
Johnson's words,--"Ignorance, simple ignorance;" but of many more
probably in these other words,--Greed, simple greed.

"In science," says Bulwer, "read by preference the newest books; in
literature, the oldest."  This is wiser than Emerson's saying: "Never
read a book which is not a year old."

The facility with which it is now possible to get at whatever is known
on any subject has a tendency to create the opinion that reading up in
this or that direction is education, whereas such reading as is
generally done, is unfavorable to discipline of mind.  Shall our
Chautauquas and summer schools help to foster this superstition?

What passion can be more innocent than the passion for knowledge?  And
what passion gives better promise of blessings to one's self and to
one's fellow-men?  Why desire to have force and numbers on thy side?
Is it not enough that thou hast truth and justice?

The loss of the good opinion of one's friends is to be regretted, but
the loss of self-respect is the only true beggary.

Zeal for a party or a sect is more certain of earthly reward than zeal
for truth and religion.

As it is unfortunate for the young to have abundance of money, fine
clothes, and social success, so popularity is hurtful to the prosperity
of the best gifts.  It draws the mind away from the silence and
strength of eternal truth and love into a world of clamor and noise.
Patience is the student's great virtue; it is the mark of the best
quality of mind.  It takes an eternity to unfold a universe; man is the
sum of the achievements of innumerable ages, and whatever endures is
slow in acquiring the virtues which make for permanence.

The will to know, manifesting itself in persistent impulse, in
never-satisfied yearning, is the power which urges to mental effort and
enables us to attain culture.

"If a thing is good," says Landor, "it may be repeated.  The repetition
shows no want of invention; it shows only what is uppermost in the
mind, and by what the writer is most agitated and inflamed."  What hast
thou learned to admire, to long for, to love, genuinely to hope for and
believe?  The answer tells thy worth and that of the education thou
hast received.

When we have said a thousand things in praise of education, we must, at
last, come back to the fundamental fact that nearly everything depends
on the kind of people of whom we are descended, and on the kind of
family in which our young years have passed.  Nearly everything, but
not everything; and it is this little which makes liberty possible,
which inspires hope and courage, which, like the indefinable something
that gives the work of genius its worth and stamp, makes us children of
God and masters of ourselves.  "Wisdom is the principal thing," says
Solomon; "therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get

He who makes himself the best man is the most successful one, while he
who gains most money or notoriety may fail utterly as man.

With the advance of civilization our wants increase; and yet it is the
business of religion and culture to raise us above the things money
buys, and consequently to diminish our wants.  They who are nearest to
God have fewest wants; and they who know and follow truth need not
place or title or wealth.

To every one the tempter comes, with a thousand pretexts drawn both
from the intellect and the emotional nature, promising to lull
conscience to sleep that he may lead the lower life in peace; but he
who hearkens becomes a victim as helpless and as wretched as the
victims of alcohol and opium.

In deliberate persevering action for high ends, all the subconscious
forces within us, the many currents, which, like hidden water-veins, go
to make our being, are taken up and turned in a deep-flowing stream
into the ocean of our life.  In such course of conduct the baser self
is swallowed, and we learn to feel that we are part of the divine
energy which moves the universe to finer issues.  As life is only by
moments and in narrow space, a little thing may disturb us and a little
thing may take away the cause of our trouble.  We are petty beings in a
world of petty concerns.  A little food, a little sleep, a little joy
is enough to make us happy.  A word can fill us with dismay, a breath
can blow out the flickering flame of our self-consciousness.  I often
ride among graves, and think how easy it is for the fretful children of
men to grow quiet.  There they lie, having become weary of their toys
and plays, on the breast of the great mother from whom they sprang,
about whose face they frolicked and fought and cried for a day, and
then fell back into her all-receiving arms, as raindrops fall into the
water and mingle with it and are lost.  No sight is so pathetic as that
of a vast throng seeking to enjoy themselves.  The hopelessness of the
task is visible on all their thousand faces, athwart which, while they
talk or listen or look, the shadow of care flits as if thrown from dark
wings wheeling in circuits above them.  The sorrow and toil and worry
they have thought to put away, still lie close to them, like a burden
which, having been set down, waits to be taken up again.  God surely
sees with love and pity His all-enduring and all-hoping children; it is
His voice we hear in the words of Christ, "Misereor super turbam."  I
cannot but wish to be myself, and therefore to be happy; but when I
think of God as essential to my happiness, I feel it is enough for me
to know and love Him; for to imagine I might be of service to Him would
be the fondest conceit.  But He makes it possible for me to help my
fellows, and in doing this, I fulfil the will of Him who is the father
of all.  The divine reveals itself in the human; and that religion
alone is true which, striking its roots deep into humanity, exerts all
its power to make men more godlike by making them more human.

They who in good faith inflicted the tortures of the Inquisition were
led not by the light of reason, or that which springs from the
contemplation of the life of Christ, but by the notion that the rack
and fagot are instruments of mercy, if employed to save men from
eternal torments; and tyrants, who are always cruel, gave encouragement
and aid to the victims of fanaticism.  Why should the sorrow or the sin
or the loss of any human being give me pleasure?  Is it not always the
same story?  In the fall of one we all are degraded, since, whoever
fails, it is our common nature which suffers hurt.

Whether or not we have come forth from a merely animal condition, let
us thank God we are human, and bend all our energies to remove the race
farther and farther from the life over which thought and love and
conscience have no dominion.

In the presence of the mighty machine, whose wheels and arms are
everywhere, whose power is drawn from the exhaustless oceans and the
boundless heavens, the importance of the individual dwindles and seems
threatened with extinction.  At such a time it is good to know that a
right human soul is greater than a universe of machinery.

We feel that we are higher than all the suns and planets, because we
know and love, and they do not; but when, in the light of this
superiority, we turn to the thought of our own littleness, being
scarcely more than nothing, such trouble rises in the soul that we
throw ourselves upon God to escape doubt of the reality of life.  If we
believe that man is what he eats, his education is simply a question of
alimentation; but if we hold that he is what he knows, and loves, and
yearns, and strives for, his education is a problem of soul-nutrition.

The child is made educable by its faith in the father and mother, which
is nothing else than faith in their truth and love; and the
educableness of the man is in proportion to his faith in the sovereign
and infinite nature of truth and love, which is faith in God.

It is in youth that we are most susceptible of education, because it is
the privilege of youth to be free from tyrannic cares, and to be
sensitive to the charm of noble and disinterested passions.  If we show
the young soul the way to higher worlds, he will not ask us to strew it
with flowers, or pave it with gold, but he will be content to walk with
bruised feet along mountain wastes, if at the summit is illumination
and joy and peace.

As in religion many are called but few chosen, as in the race for
wealth and place many start but few win the prize, so in the pursuit of
intellectual and moral excellence, of the few who begin, the most soon
weary, while of the remnant, many grow infirm in purpose or in body
before the goal is reached.

Time and space, which hold all things, separate all things; but
religion and culture bind them into unity through faith in God and
through knowledge, thus forming a communion of holy souls and noble
minds, for whom discord and division disappear in the harmony of the
divine order in which temporal and spatial conditions of separateness
yield to the eternal presence of truth and love.  New ideas seem at
first to remain upon the surface of the soul, and generations sometimes
pass before they enter into its substance and become motives of
conduct; and, in the same way, sentiments may influence conduct, when
the notions from which they sprang have long been rejected.  The old
truth must renew itself as the race renews itself; it must be
re-interpreted and re-applied to the life of each individual and of
each generation, if its liberating and regenerating power is to have
free scope.  Reason and conscience are God's most precious gifts; and
what does He ask but that we make use of them?

Right thinking, like right doing, is the result of innumerable efforts,
innumerable failures, the final outcome of which is a habit of right
thought and conduct.

Whoever believes in truth, freedom, and love, and follows after them
with his whole heart, walks in God's highway, which leads to peace and

A thing may be obscure from defect of light or defect of sight; and in
the same way an author may be found dull either because he is so, or
because his readers are dull.  The noblest book even is but dead matter
until a mind akin to its creator's awakens it to life again.

The appeal to the imagination has infinitely more charm than the appeal
to the senses.

"But when evening falls," says Machiavelli, "I go home and enter my
study.  On the threshold I lay aside my country garments, soiled with
mire, and array myself in courtly garb.  Thus attired, I make my
entrance into the ancient courts of the men of old, where they receive
me with love, and where I feed upon that food which only is my own, and
for which I was born.  For four hours' space I feel no annoyance,
forget all care; poverty cannot frighten nor death appall me."  A man
of genius works for all, for he compels all to think.  An enlightened
mind and a generous heart make the world good and fair.

Where there is perfect confidence, conversation does not drag; while
for those who love it is enough that they be together: if they are
silent, it is well; if they speak, mere nothings suffice.

The world of knowledge, all that men know, is, in truth, little and
simple enough.  It seems vast and intricate because we are imperfectly

The soul, like the body, has its atmosphere, out of which it cannot

When opinions take the place of convictions, ideas that of beliefs,
great characters become rare.

The pith of virtue lies not in thinking, but in doing.  A real man
strives to assert himself; for whether he seeks wealth, or power, or
fame, or truth, or virtue, or the good of his fellows, he knows that he
can succeed only through self-assertion, through the prevalence of his
own thought and life.

They who abdicate the rights God gives the individual, seek in vain to
preserve by constitutional enactments a semblance of liberty.

If it is human to hate whom we have injured, it is not less so to
despise whom we have deceived; and yet those who are easily deceived
are the most innocent or the most high-minded and generous.  It seems
hardly a human and must therefore be a divine thing, to live and deal
with men without in any way giving them trouble and annoyance.  Truth
loves not contention, and when men fight for it, it vanishes in the
noise and smoke of the combat.

The controversies of the schools, whether of philosophy, theology,
literature, or natural science, have been among the saddest exhibitions
of ineptitude.  Is it conceivable that a thinker, or a believer, or a
scholar, or an investigator should wrangle in the spirit of a pothouse
politician?  The more certain we are of ourselves and of the truth of
what we hold, the easier it is for us to be patient and tolerant.

Wicked is whoever finds pleasure in another's pain.  We can know more
than we can love.  Hence communion with the world is wider through the
mind than through the heart, though less intimate and less satisfying.
It is, however, longer active, for we continue to be delighted by new
truth when we have ceased to care to make new friends.  Learn to bear
the faults of men as thou sufferest the changes of weather,--with
equanimity; for impatience and anger will no more improve thy neighbors
than they will prevent its being hot or cold.  What men think or say of
thee is unimportant--give heed to what thou thyself thinkest and sayst.
If thou art ignored or reviled, remember such has been the fate of the
best, while the world's favorites are often men of blood or lust or
mere time-servers.  He who does genuine work is conscious of the worth
of what he does, and is not troubled with misgivings or discouraged by
lack of recognition.  If God looked away from His universe it would
cease to be; and He sees him.  The more we detach ourselves from crude
realism, from the naive views of uneducated minds, the easier it
becomes for us to lead an intellectual and religious life, for such
detachment enables us to realize that the material world has meaning
and beauty only when it has passed through the alembic of the spirit
and become purified, fit object for the contemplation of God and of
souls.  They are true students who are drawn to seek knowledge by
mental curiosity, by affinity with the intelligible, like that which
binds and holds lover to lover, making their love all-sufficient and
above all price.  All that is of value in thy opinions is the truth
they contain--to hold them dearer than truth is to be irrational and
perverse.  Thy faith is what thou believest, not what thou knowest.
The crowd loves to hear those who treat the tenets of their opponents
with scorn, who overwhelm their adversaries with abuse, who make a
mockery of what their foes hold sacred; but to vulgarity of this kind a
cultivated mind cannot stoop.  To do so is a mark of ignorance and
inferiority; is to confuse judgment, to cloud intellect, and to
strengthen prejudice.  If there are any who are so absurd or so
perverse as to be unworthy of fair and rational treatment, to refute
them is loss of time, to occupy one's self with them is to keep bad
company.  With the contentious, who are always dominated by narrow and
petty views and motives, enter not into dispute, but look beyond to the
wide domain of reason and to the patience and charity of Christ.  When
minds are alive and active, opposing currents of thought necessarily
arise.  Contradiction is the salt which keeps truth from corruption.
As we let the light fall at different angles upon a precious stone, and
change our position from point to point to study a work of art, so it
is well to give more than one expression to the same truth, that the
intellectual rays falling upon it from several directions, and breaking
into new tints and shades, its full meaning and worth may finally be
brought clearly into view.  If those with whom thou art thrown appear
to thee to be hard and narrow, call to mind that they have the same
troubles and sorrows as thyself, essentially too the same thoughts and
yearnings; and as, in spite of all thy faults, thou still lovest
thyself, so love them too, even though they be too warped and
prejudiced to appreciate thy worth.

  The wise man never utters words of scorn,
  For he best knows such words are devil-born.

Our opponents are as necessary to us as our friends, and when those who
have nobly combated us die, they seem to take with them part of our
mental vigor; they leave us with a deeper sense of the illusiveness of
life.  Freedom is found only where honest criticism of men and measures
is recognized as a common right.

As one man's meat is another's poison, so in the world of intelligible
things what refreshes and invigorates one, may weary and depress
another.  What delights the child makes no impression upon the man.
Men and women, the ignorant and the learned, philosophers and poets,
mothers and maidens, doers and dreamers, find their entertainment
largely in different worlds.  Napoleon despised the idealogue; the
idealogue sees in him but a conscienceless force.

Outcries against wrong have little efficacy.  They alone improve men
who inspire them with new confidence, new courage, who help them to
renew and purify the inner sources of life.  Harsh zeal provokes
excess, because it provokes contradiction.  Whoever stirs the soul to
new depths, whoever awakens the mind to new thoughts and aspirations,
is a benefactor.  The common man sees the fruits of his toil; the seed
which divine men sow, ripens for others.  The counsels worldlings give
to genius can only mislead.  Not only the truth which Christ taught,
but the truth which nearly all sublime thinkers have taught, has seemed
to the generation to which it was announced but a beggarly lie.  The
powerful have sneered with Pilate, while the mob have done the teachers
to death.

Make truth thy garb, thy house, wherein thou movest and dwellest, and
art comfortable and at home.

If thou knowest what thou knowest and believest what thou believest,
thou canst not be disturbed by contradiction, but shalt feel that thy
opposers are appointed by God to confirm thee in truth.

As the merchant keeps journal and ledger, so should he whose wealth is
truth, take account in writing of the thoughts he gains from
observation, reflection, reading, and intercourse with men.  We become
perfectly conscious of our impressions only in giving expression to
them; hence ability to express what we feel and know is one of the
chief and most important aims and ends of education.

What thou mayst not learn without employing spies, or listening to the
stories of the malignant or the gossip of the vulgar, be content not to

Our miseries spring from idleness and sin; and idleness is sin and the
mother of sin.  "To confide in one's self and become something of
worth," says Michelangelo, "is the best and safest course."
Life-weariness, when it is not the result of long suffering, comes of
lack of love, for to love any human being in a true and noble way makes
life good.  Whatever mistakes thou mayst have made in the choice of a
profession and in other things, it is still possible for thee to will
and do good, to know truth, and to love beauty, and this is the best
life can give.  Think of living, and thou shalt find no time to repine.

The character of the believer determines the character of his faith,
whatever the formulas by which it is expressed.  What we are is the
chief constituent of the world in which we now live, and this must be
true also of the world in which we believe and for which we hope.  For
the sensualist a spiritual heaven has neither significance nor
attractiveness.  The highest truth the noblest see has no meaning for
the multitude, or but a distorted meaning.  What is divinest in the
teaching of Christ, only one in thousands, now after the lapse of
centuries, rightly understands and appreciates.  It is not so much the
things we believe, know, and do, as the things on which we lay the
chief stress of hope and desire, that shape our course and decide our

They alone receive the higher gifts, who, to obtain them, renounce the
lower pleasures and rewards of life.  Those races are noblest, those
individuals are noblest, who care most for the past and the future,
whose thoughts and hopes are least confined to the world of sense which
from moment to moment ceaselessly urges its claims to attention.
Desire fanned by imagination, when it turns to sensual things, makes
men brutish; but when its object is intellectual and moral, it lifts
them to worlds of pure and enduring delight.

When we would form an estimate of a man, we consider not what he knows,
believes, and does, but what kind of being his knowledge, faith, and
works have made of him.  He who makes us learn more than he teaches has
genius.  Whoever has freed himself from envy and bitterness may begin
to try to see things as they are.

Each one is the outcome of millions of causes, which, so far as he can
see, are accidental.  How ridiculous then to complain that if this or
that only had not happened, all would be well.  It is ignorance or
prejudice to make a man's conduct an argument against the worth of his
writings.  Byron was a bad man, but a great poet; Bacon was venal, but
a marvellous thinker.

Books, to be interesting to the many, must abound in narrative, must
run on like chattering girls, and make little demand upon attention.
The appeal to thought is like a beggar's appeal for alms,--heeded by
one only in hundreds who pass; for, to the multitude, mental effort is
as disagreeable as parting with their money.

A newspaper is old the day after its publication, and there are many
books which issue from the press withered and senile, but the best,
like the gods, are forever young and delightful.

"Whatever bit of a wise man's work," says Ruskin, "is honestly and
benevolently done, that bit is his book or his piece of art.  It is
mixed always with evil fragments,--ill-done, redundant, affected work;
but if you read rightly, you will easily discover the true bits, and
_those_ are the book."  Again: "No book is worth anything which is not
worth much; nor is it serviceable until it has been read and re-read,
and loved, and loved again; and marked so that you may refer to the
passages you want in it."

Unity, steadfastness, and power of will mark the great workers.  A
dominant impulse urges them forward, and with firm tread they move on
till death bids them stay.  As the will succumbs to idleness and sin,
it can be developed and maintained in health and vigor only by right

If thou makest thy intellectual and moral improvement thy chief
business, thou shalt not lack for employment, and with thy progress thy
joy and freedom shall increase.

Progress is betterment of life.  The accumulation of discoveries, the
multiplication of inventions, the improvement of the means of comfort,
the extension of instruction, and the perfecting of methods, are
valuable in the degree in which they contribute to this end.  The
characteristic of progress is increase of spiritual force.  In material
progress even, the intellectual and moral element is the value-giving
factor.  Progress begets belief in progress.  As we grow in worth and
wisdom, our faith in knowledge and conduct is developed and confirmed,
and with more willing hearts we make ourselves the servants of
righteousness and love; for in the degree in which religion and culture
prevail within us, co-operation for life tends to supersede the
struggle for life, which if not the dominant law, is, at least, the
general course of things when left to Nature's sway.

Catchwords, such as progress, culture, enlightenment, and liberty, are
for the multitude rarely more than psittacisms, mere parrot sounds.  So
long as we genuinely believe in an ideal and strive to incarnate it,
the spirit of hope kindles the flame of enthusiasm within the breast.
Its attainment, however, if the ideal is sensual or material, leads to
disappointment and weariness.  Behold yonder worshipper at the shrine
of money and pleasure, whose life is but a yawn between his woman and
his wine.  But if the ideal is spiritual, failure in the pursuit cannot
dishearten us, and success but opens to view diviner worlds towards
which we turn our thought and love with self-renewing freshness of mind.

If thou seekest for beauty, it is everywhere; if for hideousness, it
too is everywhere.

To believe in one's self, to have genuine faith in the impressions,
thoughts, hopes, loves, and aspirations which are in one's own soul,
and to strive ceaselessly to come to clear knowledge of this inner
world which each one bears within himself, is the secret of culture.
To bend one's will day by day to the weaving this light of the mind and
warmth of the heart into the substance of life, into conduct, is the
secret of character.  At whatever point of time or space we find
ourselves, we can begin or continue the task of self-improvement; for
the only essential thing is the activity of the soul, seeking to become
conscious of itself, through and in God and His universe.

  The little bird upbuilds its nest
  Of little things by ceaseless quest:
  And he who labors without rest
  By little steps will reach life's crest.

The true reader is brought into contact with a personality which
reveals itself or permits its secret to be divined.  In spirit and
imagination he lives the life of the author.  In his book he finds the
experience and wisdom of years compressed into a few pages which he
reads in an hour.  The vital sublimation of what made a man is thus
given him in its essence to exalt or to degrade, to inspire or to
deaden his soul.  In looking through the eyes of another, he learns to
see himself, to understand his affinities and his tendencies, his
strength and his weakness.  Eat this volume and go speak to the
children of Israel, said the spirit to the prophet Ezekiel.  The
meaning is--mentally devour, digest, and assimilate the book into the
fibre and structure of thy very being, and then shalt thou be able to
utter words of truth and wisdom to God's chosen ones.  The world's
spiritual wealth, so far as it has existence other than in the minds of
individuals, is stored in literature, in books,--the great
treasure-house of the soul's life, of what the best and greatest have
thought, known, believed, felt, suffered, desired, toiled, and died
for; and whoever fails to make himself a home in this realm of truth,
light, and freedom, is shut out from what is highest and most divine in
human experience, and sinks into the grave without having lived.

To those who have uttered themselves in public speech, there comes at
times a feeling akin to self-reproach.  They have taken upon themselves
the office of teacher, and yet what have they taught that is worth
knowing and loving?  They have lost the privacy in which so much of the
charm and freedom of life consists; they have been praised or blamed
without discernment; and a great part of what they have said and
written seems to themselves little more than a skeleton from which the
living vesture has fallen.  Ask them not to encourage any one to become
an author.  The more they have deafened the world with their voices,
the more will they, like Carlyle, praise the Eternal Silence.  They
have in fact been taught, by hard experience, that the worth of life
lies not in saying or writing anything whatever, but in pure faith, in
humble obedience, in brave and steadfast striving.  The woman who
sweeps a room, the mother who nurses her child, the laborer who sows
and reaps, believing and feeling that they are working with God, are
leading nobler lives and doing diviner things than the declaimers and
theorizers, and the religion which upholds them and lightens their
burdens is better than all the philosophies.



The wise man will esteem above everything and will cultivate those
sciences which further the perfection of his soul.--PLATO.

It has become customary to call these endings of the scholastic year
commencements; just as the people of the civilized world have agreed to
make themselves absurd by calling the ninth month the seventh, the
tenth the eighth, the eleventh the ninth, and the twelfth the tenth.
And, indeed, the discourses which are delivered on these occasions
would be more appropriate and more effective if made to students who,
having returned from the vacations with renewed physical vigor, feel
also fresh urgency to exercise of mind.  But now, so little is man in
love with truth, the approach of the moment when you are to make escape
and find yourselves in what you imagine to be a larger and freer world,
occupies all your thoughts, and thrills you with an excitement which
makes attention difficult; and, like the noise of crowds and brazen
trumpets, prevents the soul from mounting to the serene world where
alone it is free and at home.

Since, however, the invitation with which I have been honored directs
my address to the graduates of Notre Dame in this her year of Golden
Jubilee, I may, without abuse of the phrase, entitle it a commencement
oration; for the day on which a graduate worthy of the name leaves his
college is the commencement day of a new life of study, more earnest
and more effectual than that which is followed within academic walls,
because it is the result of his sense of duty alone and of his
uncontrolled self-activity.  And, though I am familiar with the serious
disadvantages with which a reader as compared with a speaker has to
contend, I shall read my address, if for no other reason, because I
shall thus be able to measure my time; and if I am prolix, I shall be
so maliciously, and not become so through the obliviousness which may
result from the illusive enthusiasm that is sometimes produced in the
speaker by his own vociferation, and which he fondly imagines he
communicates to his hearers.

The chief benefit to be derived from the education we receive in
colleges and universities, and from the personal contact into which we
are there thrown with enlightened minds, is the faith it tends to
inspire and confirm in the worth of knowledge and culture, of conduct
and religion; for nothing else we there acquire will abide with us as
an inner impulse to self-activity, a self-renewing urgency to the
pursuit of excellence.  If we fail, we fail for lack of faith; but
belief is communicated from person to person,--_fides ex auditu_,--and
to mediate it is the educator's chief function.  Through daily
intercourse with one who is learned and wise and noble, the young gain
a sense of the reality of science and culture, of religion and
morality; which thus cease to be for them vague somethings of which
they have heard and read, and become actual things,--realities, like
monuments they have inspected, or countries through which they have
travelled.  They have been taken by the hand and led where, left to
themselves, they would never have gone.  The true educator inspires not
only faith, but admiration also, and confidence and love,--all
soul-evolving powers.  He is a master whose pupils are
disciples,--followers of him and believers in the wisdom he teaches.
He founds a school which, if it does not influence the whole course of
thought and history, like that of Plato or Aristotle, does at least
form a body of men, distinguished by zeal for truth and love of
intellectual and moral excellence.  To be able thus, in virtue of one's
intelligence and character, to turn the generous heart and mind of
youth to sympathy with what is intelligible, fair, and good in thought
and life, is to be like God,--is to have power in its noblest and most
human form; and its exercise is the teacher's chief and great reward.
To be a permanent educational force is the highest earthly distinction.
Is not this the glory of the founders of religions, of the discoverers
of new worlds?

In stooping to the mind and heart of youth, to kindle there the divine
flame of truth and love, we ourselves receive new light and warmth.  To
listen to the noise made by the little feet of children when at play,
and to the music of their merry laughter, is pleasant; but to come
close to the aspiring soul of youth, and to feel the throbbings of its
deep and ardent yearnings for richer and wider life, is to have our
faith in the good of living revived and intensified.  It is the divine
privilege of the young to be able to believe that the world can be
moulded and controlled by thought and spiritual motives; and in
breathing this celestial air, the choice natures among them learn to
become sages and saints; or if it be their lot to be thrown into the
fierce struggles where selfish and cruel passions contend for the
mastery over justice and humanity, they carry into the combat the
serene strength of reason and conscience; for their habitual and real
home is in the unseen world, where what is true and good has the
Omnipotent for its defence.  Of this soul of youth we may affirm
without fear of error--

  "The soul seeks God; from sphere to sphere it moves,
  Immortal pilgrim of the Infinite."

Life is the unfolding of a mysterious power, which in man rises to
self-consciousness, and through self-consciousness to the knowledge of
a world of truth and order and love, where action may no longer be left
wholly to the sway of matter or to the impulse of instinct, but may and
should be controlled by reason and conscience.  To further this process
by deliberate and intelligent effort is to educate.  Hence education is
man's conscious co-operation with the Infinite Being in promoting the
development of life; it is the bringing of life in its highest form to
bear upon life, individual and social, that it may raise it to greater
perfection, to ever-increasing potency.  To educate, then, is to work
with the Power who makes progress a law of living things, becoming more
and more active and manifest as we ascend in the scale of being.  The
motive from which education springs is belief in the goodness of life
and the consequent desire for richer, freer, and higher life.  It is
the point of union of all man's various and manifold activity; for
whether he seeks to nourish and preserve his life, or to prolong and
perpetuate it in his descendants, or to enrich and widen it in domestic
and civil society, or to grow more conscious of it through science and
art, or to strike its roots into the eternal world through faith and
love, or in whatever other way he may exert himself, the end and aim of
his aspiring and striving is educational,--is the unfolding and
uplifting of his being.

The radical craving is for life,--for the power to feel, to think, to
love, to enjoy.  And as it is impossible to reach a state in which we
are not conscious that this power may be increased, we can find
happiness only in continuous progress, in ceaseless self-development.
This craving for fulness of life is essentially intellectual and moral,
and its proper sphere of action is the world of thought and conduct.
He who has a healthy appetite does not long for greater power to eat
and drink.  A sensible man who has sufficient wealth for independence
and comfort does not wish for more money; but he who thinks and loves
and acts in obedience to conscience feels that he is never able to do
so well enough, and hence an inner impulse urges him to strive for
greater power of life, for perfection.  He is akin to all that is
intelligible and good, and is drawn to bring himself into
ever-increasing harmony with this high world.  Hence attention is for
him like a second nature, for attention springs from interest; and
since he feels an affinity with all things, all things interest him.
And what is thus impressed upon his mind and heart he is impelled to
utter in deed or speech or gesture or song, or in whatever way thought
and sentiment may manifest themselves.  Attention and expression are
thus the fundamental forms of self-activity, the primary and essential
means of education, of developing intellectual and moral power.

Interest is aroused and held by need, which creates desire.  If we are
hungry, whatever may help us to food interests us.  Our first and
indispensable interests relate to the things we need for
self-preservation and the perpetuation of the race; and to awaken
desire and stimulate effort to obtain them, instinct is sufficient, as
we may see in the case of mere animals.  But as progress is made,
higher and more subtle wants are developed.  We crave for more than
food and wife and children.  The social organism evolves itself; and as
its complexity increases, the relations of the individual to the body
of which he is a member are multiplied, and become more intricate.  As
we pass from the savage to the barbarous, and from the barbarous to the
civilized state, intellect and conscience are brought more and more
into play.  Mental power gains the mastery over brute force, and little
by little subdues the energies of inorganic nature, and makes them
serve human ends.  Iron is forced to become soft and malleable, and to
assume every shape; the winds bear man across the seas; the sweet and
gentle water is imprisoned and tortured until with its fierce breath it
does work in comparison with which the mythical exploits of gods and
demi-gods are as the play of children.  Strength of mind and character
takes precedence of strength of body.  Hercules and Samson are but
helpless infants in the presence of the thinker who reads Nature's
secret and can compel her to do his bidding.  If we bend our thoughts
to this subject, we shall gain insight into the meaning and purpose of
education, which is nothing else than the urging of intellect and
conscience to the conquest of the world, and to the clear perception
and practical acknowledgment of the primal and fundamental truth that
man is man in virtue of his thought and love.

Instruction, which is but part of education, has for its object the
development of the intellect and the transmission of knowledge.  This,
whether we consider the individual or society, is indispensable.  It is
good to know.  Knowledge is not only the source of many of our highest
and purest joys, but without it we can attain neither moral nor
material good in the nobler forms.  Virtue when it is enlightened gains
a higher quality.  And if we hold that action and not thought is the
end of life, we cannot deny that action is, in some degree at least,
controlled and modified by thought.  Nevertheless, instruction is not
the principal part of education; for human worth is more essentially
and more intimately identified with character and heart than with
knowledge and intellect.  What we will is more important than what we
know; and the importance of what we know is derived largely from its
influence on the will or conduct.

A nation, like an individual, receives rank from character more than
from knowledge; since the true measure of human worth is moral rather
than intellectual.  The teaching of the school becomes a subject of
passionate interest, through our belief in its power to educate
sentiment, stimulate will, and mould character.  For in the school we
do more than learn the lessons given us: we live in an intellectual and
moral atmosphere, acquire habits of thought and behavior; and this,
rather than what we learn, is the important thing.  To imagine that
youths who have passed through colleges and universities, and have
acquired a certain knowledge of languages and sciences, but have not
formed strongly marked characters, should forge to the front in the
world and become leaders in the army of religion and civilization, is
to cherish a delusion.  The man comes first; and scholarship without
manhood will be found to be ineffectual.  The semi-culture of the
intellect, which is all a mere graduate can lay claim to, will but help
to lead astray those who lack the strength of moral purpose; and they
whom experience has made wise expect little from young men who have
bright minds and have passed brilliant examinations, but who go out
into the world without having trained themselves to habits of patient
industry and tireless self-activity.

Man is essentially a moral being; and he who fails to become so, fails
to become truly human.  Individuals and nations are brought to ruin not
by lack of knowledge, but by lack of conduct.  "Now that the world is
filled with learned men," said Seneca, "good men are wanting."  He was
Nero's preceptor, and saw plainly how powerless intellectual culture
was to save Rome from the degeneracy which undermined its civilization
and finally brought on its downfall.  If in college the youth does not
learn to govern and control himself,--to obey and do right in all
things, not because he has not the power to disobey and do wrong, but
because he has not the will,--nothing else he may learn will be of
great service.  It seems to me I perceive in our young men a lack of
moral purpose, of sturdiness, of downright obstinate earnestness, in
everything--except perhaps in money-getting pursuits; for even in these
they are tempted to trust to speculation and cunning devices rather
than to persistent work and honesty, which become a man more than
crowns and all the gifts of fortune.  Without truthfulness, honesty,
honor, fidelity, courage, integrity, reverence, purity, and
self-respect no worthy or noble life can be led.  And unless we can get
into our colleges youths who can be made to drink into their inmost
being this vital truth, little good can be accomplished there.  Now, it
often happens that these institutions are, in no small measure, refuges
into which the badly organized families of the wealthy send their sons
in the vain expectation that the fatal faults of inheritance and
domestic training will be repaired.  In college, as wherever there are
men, quality is more precious than quantity.  The number of students is
great enough when they are of the right kind; and the work which now
lies at our hand is to make it possible that those who have talent and
the will to improve themselves may enter our institutions of learning.
But those who are shown to be insusceptible of education should be
eliminated; for they profit not themselves, and are a hindrance to the

Gladly I turn from them to you, young gentlemen, who have persevered in
the pursuit of knowledge and virtue, and to-day are declared worthy to
receive the highest honor Notre Dame can confer.  The deepest and the
best thing in us is faith in reason; for when we look closely, we
perceive that faith in God, in the soul, in good, in freedom, in truth,
is faith in reason.  Individuals, nations, the whole race, wander in a
maze of errors.  The world of the senses is apparent and illusive, that
of pure thought vague and shadowy.  Science touches but the form and
surface; speculation is swallowed in abysses and disperses itself;
ignorance darkens, passion blinds the mind; the truth of one age
becomes the error of a succeeding; opinions change from continent to
continent and from century to century.  The more we learn, the less we
know; and what we most of all desire to know eludes our grasp.  But,
nevertheless, our faith in reason is unshaken; and holding to this
faith, we hold to God, to good, to freedom, and to truth.

Goodness is the radical principle; the good, the primal aim and final
end of life; for the good is whatever is helpful to life.  Hence what
is true is good, what is useful is good, what is fair is good, what is
right is good; and the true, the useful, the fair, and the right are
intertwined and circle about man like a noble sisterhood, to waken him
to life, and to urge him toward God, the supreme good, whose being is
power, wisdom, love without limit.  The degree of goodness in all
things is measured by their approach to this absolute Being.  Hence the
greater our strength, wisdom, and love, the greater our good, the
richer and more perfect our life.  There is no soul which does not bow
with delight and reverence before Beauty and Power; and when we come to
true insight, we perceive that holiness is Beauty and goodness Power.
Genuine spiritual power is from God, and compels the whole mechanic
world to acknowledge its absoluteness.  The truths of religion and
morality are of the essence of our life; they cannot be learned from
another, but must be wrought into self-consciousness by our own
thinking and doing,--by habitual meditation, and constant obedience to
conscience.  Virtue, knowledge, goodness, and greatness are their own
reward: they are primarily and essentially ends, and only incidentally
means.  Hence those who strive for perfection with the view thereby to
gain recognition, money, or place, do not really strive for perfection
at all.  They are also unwise; for virtue, knowledge, goodness, and
greatness are not the surest means to such ends, and they can be
acquired only with infinite pains.  The highest human qualities cease
to be the highest when they are made subordinate to the externalities
of office and wealth.  The one aim of a mind smitten with the love of
excellence is to live consciously and lovingly with whatever is true or
good or fair.  And such a one cannot be disturbed whether by the
general indifference of men or by their praise or blame.  The
standpoint of the soul is: What thou art, not what others think thee.
If thou art at one with thy true self, God and the eternal laws bear
thee up and onward.  The moral and the religious life interpenetrate
each other.  To sunder them is to enfeeble both.  To weaken faith is to
undermine character; to fail in conduct is to deprive faith of
inspiration and vigor.  Learn to live thy religion, and thou shalt have
little need or desire to argue and dispute about it.  Truth is mightier
than its witnesses, religion greater than its saints and martyrs.
Learn to think, and thou shalt easily learn to live.

In the presence of the highest manifestations of thought and love, of
truth and beauty, nothing perfect or divine is incredible.  Men of
genius, philosophers, poets, and saints, who by thinking and doing make
this ethereal but most real world rise before us in concrete form and
substance, are heavenly messengers and illuminators of the soul.  Had
none of them lived, how should we see and understand that man is
Godlike and that God is truth and love?  We cannot make this high world
plain by telling about it.  It is not a land which may be described.
It is a state of soul which they alone comprehend who have been
transformed by patient meditation and faithful striving.  But once it
is revealed, a thousand errors and obscurities fall away from us.  If
not educated, strive at least to be educable,--a believer in wisdom,
and sensitive to all high influence, and eager to be quit of thy
ignorance and hardness.  As the dead cannot produce the live, so
mechanical minds, however much they may be able to drill, train, and
instruct, cannot educate.  The secret of the mother's specific
educational power lies in the fact that she is a spiritual not a
mechanical force, loves and is loved by her pupils.  The most ennobling
and the most thoroughly satisfying sentiment of which we are capable is
love.  Until we love we are strangers to ourselves.  We are like beings
asleep or lost to the knowledge of themselves and all things, till,
awakening to the appeal of the pure light and the balmy air, they look
upon what is not themselves; and, finding it fair and beautiful, learn
in loving it to feel and know themselves.

Increase of the power to love is increase of life.  But love needs
guidance.  We first awaken in the world of the senses, and are
attracted by what we see and touch and taste.  The aim of education is
to help the soul to rise above this world, in which, if we remain, we
are little better than brutes.  Hence the teacher seeks in many ways to
reveal to the young the fact that the perfect, the best, cannot be seen
or touched, cannot be grasped even by the mind; but that it is,
nevertheless, that which they should strive to make themselves capable
of loving above all things.  And thus he prepares them to understand
what is meant by the love of truth and righteousness, by the love of
God.  In the training of animals even, patience and gentleness are more
effective than violence.  How, then, shall we hope by physical
constraint and harsh methods to educate human beings, who are human
precisely because they are capable of love and are swayed by rational
motives?  There is no soul so gross, so deeply buried in matter, but it
shall from some point or other make a sally to show it still bears the
impress of God's image.  At such points the educator will keep watch,
studying how he may make this single ray of light interfuse itself with
his pupil's whole being.

It is not possible to know there is no God, no soul, no free will, no
right or wrong; at the worst, it is only possible to doubt all this.
The universe is as inconceivable as God, and theories of matter as full
of difficulties as theories of spirit.  It is a question of belief or
unbelief; ultimately a question of health or disease, of life or death.
They who have no faith in God can have little faith in the worth of
life, which can be for them but an efflorescence of death, a sort of
inexplicable malady of atoms dreaming they are conscious.  If the age
tends irresistibly to destroy belief in God, the end will be the ruin
of belief in the good of life.  In the mean while the doubt which
weakens the springs of hope and love is not a symptom of health but of
disease, pregnant with suffering and misery for all, but most of all
for the young.  He who is loved in a true and noble way is surrounded
by an element of spiritual light in which his worth is revealed to him.
In perceiving what he is to another, he comes to understand what he is
or may be in himself.

Our self respect even is largely due to the love we receive in
childhood and youth.  Enthusiasm springs from faith in God and in the
soul, which begets in us a high and heroic belief in the divine good of
life.  It is thus an educational force of highest value.  It calms and
exalts the soul like the view of the starlit heavens and the
everlasting mountains.  It is, in every good and noble cause, a
fountain head of endurance and perseverance.  It bears us on with a
sense of joy and vigor, such as is felt when, mounted on a high-mettled
steed, we ride in the pleasant air of a spring morning, amid the
beauties and grandeurs of nature.  In the front of battle and in the
presence of death it throws around the soul the light of immortal
things.  It gives us the plenitude of existence, the full and high
enjoyment of living.  On its wings the poet, the lover, the orator, the
hero, and the saint are borne in rapture through worlds whose celestial
glory and delightfulness cold and unmoved minds do not suspect.  It is
not a flame from the dry wood and withered grass, but a heat and glow
from the abysmal depths of being.  It makes us content to follow after
truth and love in dark and narrow ways, as the miner, in central deeps
where sunlight has never fallen, seeks his treasure.  It keeps us fresh
and young; and, like the warmer sun, reclothes the world day by day
with new beauty.  It teaches patience, the love of work without haste
and without worry.  It gives strength to hear and speak truth, and to
walk in the sacred way of truth, as though we but idly strolled with
pleasant friends amid fragrant flowers.  It gives us deeper
consciousness of our own liberty, faith in human perfectibility, which
lies at the root of our noblest efforts; to which the more we yield
ourselves the more we feel that we are free.  It knows a thousand words
of truth and might, which it whispers in gentlest tones to rightly
attuned ears: Since the universe is a harmony whose diapason is God,
why should thy life strike a discordant note?  Yield not to
discouragement; thou art alive, and God is in His world.  The combat
and not the victory proclaims the hero.  If thy success had been
greater, thou hadst been less.  The noisy participants in great
conflicts, of whatever kind, exercise less influence upon the outcome
than choice spirits, who, turning aside from the thunder and smoke of
battle, gain in lonely striving and meditation view of new truth by
which the world is transformed.

We owe more to Columbus than to Isabella; to Descartes than to Louis
XIV.; to Bacon than to Elizabeth; to Pestalozzi than to Napoleon; to
Goethe than to Blücher; to Pasteur than to Bismarck.  If thou wouldst
be persuaded and convinced, persuade and convince thyself.  Be thy aim
not increase of happiness, but of knowledge, wisdom, power, and virtue;
and thou shalt, without thinking of it, find thyself also happy.
Character is formed by effort, resistance, and patience.  If necessity
is the mother of invention, suffering is the mother of high moods and
great thoughts.  Poets have sung to ease their sorrow-burdened or
love-tortured hearts; and the travail of souls yearning with ineffable
pain for truth has led to the nearest view of God.  Wisdom is the child
of suffering, as beauty is the child of love.  If a truth discourages
thee, thou art not yet ripe for it; for thee it is not yet wholly true.
Work not like an ox at the plough, but like a setter afield; not
because thou must, but because thou takest delight in thy task.  Only
they have come of age who have learned how to educate themselves.
Education, like life, works from within outward: the teacher loosens
the soil and removes the obstacles to light and warmth and moisture;
but growth comes of the activity of the soul itself.

A new century will not make new men; but if, in truth, it be a new
century, it will be made so by the deeper thought and diviner love of
men and women.  Let the old tell what they have done, the young what
they are doing, and fools what they intend to do.

The power to control attention, as a good rider holds his horse to the
road and to his gait, is a result of education; and when it is acquired
other things become easy.

Let not poverty or misfortune or insult or flattery or success, O
seeker after truth and beauty! turn thee from thy divine task and
purpose.  Pardon every one except thyself, and put thy trust in God and
in thyself.  "If I buy thee," asked one of a Spartan captive, "and
treat thee well, wilt thou be good?"--"I will," he replied, "if thou
buy me or not; or if, having bought me, thou treat me ill."

If there be anything of worth in thee, it will make thee strong and
contented; it is so good for thee to have it that thou canst easily
forget it is unrecognized by others.

If all sufferings, sorrows, and disappointments had been left out of
thy life, wouldst thou be more or less than thou art?  Less worthy,
doubtless, and less wise.  In these evils, then, there is something
good.  If thou couldst but bear this always in mind, thou shouldst be
better able to suffer pain, whether of body or soul.  There are things
thou hast greatly desired which, had they been given thee, would make
thee wretched.  The wiser thou growest, the better shalt thou
understand how little we know what is for the best.

"Had I but lived!" cried Obermann.  And a woman of genius replied: "Be
consoled, O Obermann!  Hadst thou lived, thou hadst lived in vain."  So
it is.  In the end we neither regret that pleasures have been denied
us, nor feel that those we have enjoyed were a gain unless they are
associated with the memory of high faith and thought and virtuous
action.  He who is careful to fill his mind with truth and his heart
with love will not lack for retreats in which he may take refuge from
the stress and storms of life.  Noise, popularity, and buncombe:
onions, smoke, and bedbugs.

Be thy own rival, comparing thyself with thyself, and striving day by
day to be self-surpassed.  If thy own little room is well lighted the
whole world is less dark.  If thou art busy seeking intellectual and
moral illumination and strength, thou shalt easily be contented.
Higher place would mean for thee less liberty, less opportunity to
become thyself.  The secret of progress lies in knowing how to make
use, not of what we have chosen, but of what is forced upon us.  To
occupy one's self with trifles weans from the habit of work more
effectually than idleness.  Perfect skill comes of talent, study, and
exercise; and the study and exercise must continue through the whole
course of life.  To cease to learn is to lose freshness and the power
to interest.  We lack will rather than strength; are able to do more
and better than we are inclined to do; and say we can not because we
have not the courage to say we will not.  The law of unstable
equilibrium applies to thee, as to whatever has life.  Thou canst not
remain what thou art, but must rise or fall.  The body is under the
sway of physical law, but the progress of the mind is left in a large
measure to the play of free will.  If thou willest what thou oughtest,
thou canst do what thou willest; for obligation cannot transcend
ability.  Happy are they who from earliest youth understand the meaning
of duty, and hearken to the stern but all-reasonable voice of this
daughter of God, the smile upon whose face is the fairest thing we know.

He who willingly accepts the law of moral necessity is free; for in
thus accepting it he transcends it, and is self-determined; while he
who rebels against this law sinks to a lower plane of being than the
properly human, and becomes the slave of appetite and passion.  Duty
means sacrifice; it is a turning from the animal to the spiritual self;
from the allurements of the world of manifold sensation--from ease,
idleness, gain, and pleasure--to the high and lonely regions, where the
command of conscience speaks in the name of God and of the nature of
things.  Forget thyself and do thy best, as unconscious of
vain-glorious thoughts as though thou wert a wind or a stream, an
impersonal force in the service of God and man.  Obey conscience, and
laugh in the face of death.  Convince thyself that the best thing for
thee is to know truth and to make truth the law of thy life.  Let this
faith subordinate all else, as it is, indeed, faith in reason and in
God.  Abhorrence of lies is the test of character.  Hold fast by what
thou knowest to be true, not doubting for a moment because thou canst
not reconcile it with other truth.  Somewhere, somehow, truth will be
matched with truth, as love mates heart with heart.

A man's word is himself, his reason, his conscience, his faith, his
love, his aspiration.  If it is false or vain or vile, he is so.  It is
the expression of life as it has come to consciousness within him.  It
is the revelation of quality of being; it is of the man himself, his
sign and symbol, the form and mould and mirror of his soul.

  Thou thinkest to serve God with lies,
    Thou devil-worshipper and fool!

The moral value of the study of science lies in the love of truth it
inspires and inculcates.  He who knows science knows that liars are
imbeciles.  From the educator's point of view, truthfulness is the
essential thing.  His aim and end is to teach truth, and the love of
truth, which leavens the whole mass and makes it life-giving.  But the
liar has no proper virtue of any kind.

The doubt of an earnest, thoughtful, patient, and laborious mind is
worthy of respect.  In such doubt there may be found indeed more faith
than in half the creeds.  But the scepticism of sciolists lacks the
depth and genuineness of truth.  To be frivolous where there is
question of all that gives life meaning and value is want of sense.
The sciolist is one who has a superficial knowledge of various things,
which for lack of deep views and coherent thought, for lack of the
understanding of the principles of knowledge itself, he is unable to
bring into organic unity.  The things he knows are confused and
intermingled, and thus fail either to enlighten his mind or to impel
him to healthful activity.  He forms opinions lightly and pronounces
judgment rashly.  Knowing nothing thoroughly, he has no suspicion of
the infinite complexity of the world of life and thought.  The evil
effects of this semi-culture are most disagreeable and most harmful in
those whose being has been developed only on its temporal and earthly
side.  Their spiritual and moral nature has no centre about which it
may move, and they wander on the surface of things in self-satisfied
conceit, proclaiming that what is beyond the senses is beyond the reach
of the mind, as though our innermost consciousness were not of what is
intangible and invisible.

All divine things are within and about us, here and now; but we are too
gross to see the celestial light, or to catch the whisperings of the
heavenly voices.  God is here; but we, like plants and mollusks, live
in worlds of which we do not dream, upheld and nourished and borne
onward by a Power of whom we are but dimly conscious,--nay, of whom,
for the most part, we are unconscious.

There is a truth above the reach of logic, an impulse of the mind and
heart which urges beyond the realms of sense, beyond the ken of the
dialectician, to the Infinite and Eternal, before whom the material
universe is but a force at whose finest touch souls awaken to the
thrill of thought and love.

When we are made conscious of the fact that the Divine Word is the
light of men, we readily understand that our every true thought, our
every good deed, our every deeper view of nature and of life, comes
from God, who is always urging us into the glorious liberty of His
children, until we become a heavenly republic in which righteousness,
peace, and joy shall reign.  "The restless desire of every man to
improve his position in the world is the motive power of all social
development, of all progress," says Scherr, unable to perceive that the
mightiest impulses to nobler and wider life have been given by those
who were not thinking at all of improving their position, but were
wholly bent upon improving themselves.  Make choice, O youth! between
having and being.  If having is thy aim, consent to be inferior; if
being is thy aim, be content with having little.  Real students,
cultivators of themselves, are not inspired by the love of fame or
wealth or position, but they are driven by an inner impulse to which
they cannot but yield.  Their enthusiasm is not a fire that blazes for
an hour and then dies out; it is a heat from central depths of life,
self-fed and inextinguishable.

The impulse to nobler and freer life springs, never from masses of men,
but always from single luminous minds and glowing hearts.  The
lightning of great thoughts shows the way to heroic deeds.  It is
better to know than to be known, to love than to be loved, to help than
to be helped; for since life is action, it is better to act than to be
acted upon.  Whosoever makes himself purer, worthier, wiser, works for
his country, works for God.  The belief that the might of truth is so
great that it must prevail in spite of whatever opposition, needs, to
say the least, interpretation; for it has often happened that truth has
been overcome for whole generations and races; and the important
consideration is not whether it shall finally prevail, but whether it
shall prevail for us, for our own age and people.  It is of the nature
of spiritual gifts to work in every direction; they enrich the
individual and the nation; they develop, purify, and refine the
intellectual, moral, and physical worlds in which men live and strive.
The State and the Church are organisms; the body, the social and
religious soul, under the guidance of God, creates for itself.  And not
only should there be no conflict between them, but there should be none
between them and the free and full development of the individual.  A
peasant whose mental state is what it might have been a thousand years
ago is for us, however moral and religious, an altogether
unsatisfactory kind of man.  All knowledge is pure, and all speech is
so if it spring from the simple desire to utter what is seen and
recognized as truth.  The love of liberty is rare.  It is not found in
those whose life-aim is money, pleasure, and place, which enslave; but
in those who love truth, which is the only liberating power.  Knowledge
is the correlative of being, and only a high and loving soul can know
what truth is or understand what Christ meant when He said: "Ye shall
know truth, and truth shall make you free."  High thinking and right
loving may make enemies of those around us, but they make us Godlike.
How seldom in our daily experience of men do we find one who wishes to
be enlightened, reformed, and made virtuous!  How easy it is to find
those who wish to be pleased and flattered!

At no period in history has civilization been so widespread or so
complex as to-day.  Never have the organs of the social body been so
perfect.  Never has it been possible for so many to co-operate
intelligently in the work of progress.  You, gentlemen, have youth and
faith and the elements of intellectual and moral culture.  In the
freshness and vigor of early manhood, you stand upon the threshold of
the new century.  You speak Shakspeare's and Milton's tongue; in your
veins is the blood which in other lands and centuries has nourished the
spirit which makes martyrs, heroes, and saints.  Your religion strikes
its roots into the historic past of man's noblest achievements, and
looks to the future with the serene confidence with which it looks to
God.  Your country, if not old, is not without glory.  Its soil is as
fertile, its climate as salubrious as its domain is vast.  It is
peopled by that Aryan race, which, from most ancient days, has been the
creator and invincible defender of art and science and philosophy and
liberty; and with all this the divine spirit and doctrine of the Son of
Man have been interfused.

We are here in America constituted on the wide basis of universal
freedom, universal opportunity, universal intelligence, universal
good-will.  Our government is the rule of all for the welfare of all;
it has stood the test of civil war, and in many ways proved itself both
beneficent and strong.  Already we have subdued this continent to the
service of man.  Within a hundred years we have grown to be one of the
most populous and wealthy and also one of the most civilized and
progressive nations of the earth.  Your opportunities are equal to the
fullest measure of human worth and genius.  In the midst of a high and
noble environment it were doubly a disgrace to be low and base.  In
intellectual and moral processes and results the important
consideration is not how much, but what and how.  How much, for
instance, one has read or written gives us little insight into his
worth and character; but when we know what and how he has read and
written, we know something of his life.  When I am told that America
has more schools, churches, and newspapers than any other land, I think
of their kind, and am tempted to doubt whether it were not better if we
had fewer.

The more general and the higher the average education of the people,
the more urgent is the need of thoroughly cultivated and enlightened
minds to lead them wisely.  The standard of our intellectual and
professional education is still low; and neither from the press nor the
pulpit nor legislative halls do we hear highest wisdom rightly uttered.
To be an intellectual force in this age one must know--must know much
and know thoroughly; for now in many places there are a few, at least,
who are acquainted with the whole history of thought and discovery, who
are familiar with the best thinking of the noblest minds that have ever
lived; and to imagine that a sciolist, a half-educated person, can have
anything new or important to impart is to delude one's self.

But if you fail, you will fail like all who fail,--not from lack of
knowledge, but from lack of conduct; for the burden which in the end
bears us down is that of our moral delinquencies.  All else we may
endure, but that is a sinking and giving way of the source of life
itself.  It is better, in every way, that you should be true Christian
men than that you should do deeds which will make your names famous.
And if you could believe this with all your heart, you would find peace
and freedom of spirit, even though your labors should seem vain and
your lives of little moment.  The more reason and conscience are
brought to bear upon you, the more will you be lifted into the high and
abiding world, where truth and love and holiness are recognized to be
man's proper and imperishable good.  Become all it is possible for you
to become.  What this is you can know only by striving day by day, from
youth to age, even unto the end; leaving the issue with God and His
master-workman, Time.



  Progress, man's distinctive mark alone;
  Not God's and not the beasts'; God is, they are;
  Man partly is and wholly hopes to be.--Browning.

The partialness of man's life, the low level on which the race has been
content to dwell, is attributable, in no small measure, to the
injustice done to woman.  It was assumed she was inferior, and to make
the assumption true, she was kept in ignorance, dwarfed and treated as
a means rather than as an end.

The right to grow is the primal right; it is the right to live, to
unfold our being on every side in the ceaseless striving for truth and
love and beauty.  In comparison with this, purely political and civil
rights are unimportant.  And in a free state this fundamental right
must not only be acknowledged and defended, but a public opinion must
be created which shall declare it to be the most sacred and inviolable.
The principle is universal, and is as applicable to woman as to man.

There is not a religion, a philosophy, a science, an art for man and
another for woman.  Consequently there is not, in its essential
elements at least, an education for man and another for woman.  In
souls, in minds, in consciences, in hearts, there is no sex.  What is
the best education for woman?  That which will best help her to become
a perfect human being, wise, loving, and strong.  What is her work?
Whatever may help her to become herself.  What is forbidden her?
Nothing but what degrades or narrows or warps.  What has she the right
to do?  Any good and beautiful and useful thing she is able to do
without hurt to her dignity and worth as a human being.

Between her and man the real question is not of more and less, of
inferiority and superiority, but of unlikeness.  Chastity is woman's
great virtue; truthfulness, which is the highest form of courage, is
man's; yet men and women are equally bound to be chaste and truthful.
Mildness and sweet reasonableness are woman's subtlest charms; wisdom
and valor, man's; yet women should be wise and brave, and men should be
mild and reasonable.  The spiritual endowment of the sexes is much the
same, but they are not equally interested in the same things.  Man
prefers thought; woman, sentiment; he reaches his conclusions through
analysis and argument; she, through feeling and intuition.  He has
greater power of self-control; she, of self-sacrifice.  He is guided by
law and principle; she, by insight and tact; he demands justice; she,
equity.  He wishes to be honored for wealth and position; she, for
herself.  For him what he possesses is a means; for her, something to
which she holds and is attached.  He asks for power; she, for
affection.  He derives his idea of duty from reason; she, from faith
and love.  He prefers science and philosophy; she, literature and art.
His religion is a code of morality; hers, faith and hope and love and
imagination.  For her, things easily become persons; for him, persons
are little more than things.  She has greater power of self-effacement,
forgetting herself wholly in her love.  Whether she marry or become a
nun, she abandons her name, the symbol of her identity, in proof that
she is dedicate to the race and to God.  The arguments of infidels have
less weight with her than with man, for her sense of religion is more
genuine, her faith more inevitable.  She passes over objections as a
chaste mind passes over what is coarse or impure.  She more easily
finds complacency in her appearance and surroundings, but she has less
pride and conceit than man.  She is more grateful, too, because she
loves more, and the heart makes memory true.  If her greater fondness
for jewelry and showy adornment proves her to be more barbarous, her
greater refinement and chastity prove her to be more civilized than
man.  And does not her delight in dress come of her care for beauty,
which in a world of coarse and ugly creatures is a virtue as fair as
the face of spring?  Why should the flowers and the fields, the hills
and the heavens, be beautiful, and man hideous, and the cities where he
abides dismal?  Are we but cattle to be stalled and fed?  Are corn and
beef and iron the only good and useful things?  Are we not human
because we think and admire, and are exalted in the presence of what is
infinitely true and divinely fair?

Faith, hope, and love are larger and more enduring powers for woman
than for man.  She feeds the sacred fire which never dies on the altars
of home and religion and country.  She lives a more interior life, and
more easily retains consciousness of the soul's reality and of God's
presence.  If she speaks less of patriotism in peaceful times, in the
hour of danger the white light flashes from her soul.  It is this that
makes brave men think of their mothers and wives and sisters when they
march to battle.  They know that those sweet hearts, however keen the
pangs they suffer, would rather have them dead than craven.  When woman
shall grow to the full measure of her endowments, a purer flame will
glow upon the hearth, and love of country will be a more genuine

If she gain a wider and more varied interest in life, she will become
happier, more willing and more able to help the progress of the race.
Like man, she exists for herself and God, and in her relations to
others, her duties are not to the home alone, but to the whole social
body, religious and civil.  Whether man or woman, is a minor thing; to
be wise and worthy and loving is all in all.  Our deeper consciousness
and practical recognition of the equality of the sexes is better
evidence that we are becoming Christian and civilized than popular
government and all our mechanical devices.  We, however, still have
prejudices as ridiculous and harmful as that which made it unbecoming
in a woman to know anything or in a man of birth to engage in business.
If we hold that every human being has the right to do whatever is fair
or noble or useful, we must also hold that it is wrong to throw
hindrance in the way of the complete education of any human being.  We
at last, however slowly, are approaching the standpoint of Christ, who,
with his divine eye upon the sexless soul, overlooks distinctions of
sex, and placing the good of life in knowing and loving, in being and
doing, makes it the privilege and duty of all to help all to know and
love, to become and do.  Is it true?  Is it right?  These are the
immortal questions, springing from what within us is most like God, and
they who deal deceitfully with them have no claim upon attention.  They
are jugglers and liars.

What is developed is not really changed, but made more fully itself,
and by giving to woman a truer education, the beauty and charm of her
nature will be brought more effectively into play.  None of us love "a
woman impudent and mannish grown;" but knowledge and culture and
strength of mind and heart and body have no tendency to produce such a
caricature.  Whether there is question of man or woman, the aim and end
of education is to bring forth in the individual the divine image of
humanity as it exists in the thought of God, as it is revealed in the
life of Christ.

  "Yet in the long years liker must they grow;
  The man be more of woman, she more of man:
  He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
  Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;
  She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care;
  More as the double-natured poet each."

The apothegm, man is born to do, woman to endure, no longer commends
itself to our judgment.  Both are born to do and to endure; and in
educating girls, we now understand that it is our business to
strengthen them and to stimulate them to self-activity.  We strive to
give them self-control, sanity, breadth of view, wide sympathies, and
an abiding sense of justice.  One might, indeed, be tempted to think it
were well woman should retain a touch of folly, that she still may be
able to believe the man she loves is half divine; but to think so one
must be a man, with his genius for self-conceit.  To train a girl
chiefly with a view to success in society is to pervert, is to hinder
from attaining to the power of free, rich, and varied life.  It is to
neglect education for accomplishments; it is to prefer form to
substance, manner to conduct, graceful carriage and dress to thought
and love.  We degrade her when we consider her as little else than a
candidate for matrimony.  A man may remain single and become the
noblest of his kind, and so may a woman.  Marriage is first of all for
the race; the individual may stand alone and grow to the full measure
of human strength and worth.  The popular contempt for single women who
have reached a certain age, is but a survival of the contempt for all
women which is found among savages and barbarians.  In the education of
woman, as of man, the end is increase of power,--of the might there is
in intelligence and love, of the strength there is in gentleness and
sweetness and light, of the vigor there is in health, in the rhythmic
pulse and in deep breathing, of the sustaining joy there is in pure
affection and in devotion to high purposes.  Whether there is question
of boys or of girls, the safe way is to strive to make them all it is
possible for them to become, putting our trust for the rest in human
nature and in God; for talent, like genius, is a divine gift, and to
prevent its development is to sin against religion and humanity.  For
girls as for boys, the aim should be not knowledge, but power; not
accomplishments, but faculty.  Nine-tenths of what we learn in school
is quickly forgotten, and is valueless unless it issue in increase of
moral and intellectual strength.  "In whatever direction I turn my
thoughts," says Schleiermacher, "it seems to me that woman's nature is
nobler and her life happier than man's; and if ever I play with an idle
wish it is that I might be a woman."  Hardly any man, I imagine, would
rather be a woman, and many women doubtless would rather be men; and
yet there is much in Schleiermacher's thought, if we believe, as the
wise do believe, that love is the best, and that they who love most are
the highest and, therefore, the happiest, since the noblest mind the
best contentment has.

  What fountains to the desert are,
  What flowers to the fresh young spring,
  What heaven's breast is to the star,
  That woman's love to earth doth bring.

  Whether mid deserts she is found,
  Or girt about by happy home,
  Where'er she treads is holy ground
  Above which rises love's high dome.

  Or be she mother called or wife,
  Or sister or the soul's twin mate,
  She still is each man's best of life,
  His crown of joy, his high estate.

What is our Christian faith but the revelation of the supreme and
infinite worth of love, as being of the essence of God himself?  Is it
not easy to believe that to a loving soul in an all-chaste body the
unseen world may lie open to view?  That Joan of Arc saw heavenly
visions and heard whisperings from higher worlds, who can doubt that
has considered how her most pure womanly soul redeemed a whole people,
and, by them forsaken, from midst fierce flames took its flight to God?

Should women vote?  The rule of the people is good only when it is the
rule of the good and wise among the people, and of these, women, in
great numbers, are part.  The leadership of the best comes near to
being the leadership of God.  But the question of the suffrage for
women is grave; it is one on which an enlightened mind will long hold
judgment in suspense.  Does not political life, as it exists in our
democracy, tend to corrupt both voters and office-seekers?  Is it not
largely a life of cant, pretence, and hypocrisy, of venality,
corruption, and selfishness, of lying, abuse, and vulgarity?  Do not
public men, like public women, sell themselves, though in a different
way?  Is the professional politician, the professional
caucus-manipulator, the professional voter, the type of man we can
admire or respect even?  The objection so frequently raised, that
political life would corrupt women, has, at least, the merit of a
certain grim humorousness.  Could it by any chance make them as bad as
it makes men?  To tell them they are the queens of the home, to whom
the mingling with plebeians is degrading, is an insult to their
intelligence.  We have forsworn kings and queens, both in private and
in public life, and at home women are, for the most part, drudges.
What need is there of a hollow phrase when the appeal to truth is

  "A servant with this clause
    Makes drudgery divine;
  Who sweeps a room as for thy laws,
    Makes that and the action fine."

Active participation in political life is not a refining, an ennobling,
a purifying influence.  Is it desirable that the half of the people to
which the interests of the home, of the heart, of the religious and
moral education of the young are especially committed, should be hurled
into the maelstrom of selfish passion and coarse excitement?

The smartness and self-assertiveness of American women are already
excessive; they lack repose, serenity, and self-restraint.  If they
rush into the arena of noisy and vulgar strife, will not the evil be
increased?  Will not the political woman lose something of the sacred
power of the wife and mother?  Are not the primal virtues, those which
make life good and fair and which are a woman's glory,--are they not
humble and quiet and unobtrusive?  The suffrage has not emancipated the
masses of men, who are still held captive in the chains of poverty and
dehumanizing toil.

Do women themselves, those, at least, in whom the woman soul, which
draws us on and upward, is most itself, desire that the vote be given

But whatever our opinions on the subject may be, let us not lose
composure.  "If a great change is to be made," says Edmund Burke, "the
minds of men will be fitted to it, the general opinions and feelings
will draw that way.  Every fear, every hope will forward it; and then
they who persist in opposing the mighty current will appear rather to
resist the decrees of Providence itself than the mere designs of men.
They will not be resolute and firm, but perverse and obstinate."

Whether or not woman shall become a politician, there is no doubt that
she is becoming a worker in a constantly widening field.  The
elementary education of the country is already intrusted to her.  She
is taking her position in the higher institutions of learning.  She has
gained admission to professional life.  In the business world, her
competition with man is more and more felt.  In literature, in our
country at least, her appreciativeness is greater than man's, and her
performance not inferior to his.  There is a larger number of serious
students among women than among men.  In the divinely imposed task of
self-education, they are fast becoming the chief workers.  They are the
great readers of books, especially of poetry.  The muse was the first
school-mistress, and the love of genuine poetry is still the finest
educational influence.  The vulgar passions and coarse appetites which
rob young men of faith in the higher life and of the power to labor
perseveringly for ideal ends, have little hold upon the soul of woman.
Her betrayers are frivolity and vanity, and a too confiding heart; and
the more she is educated the less will she take delight in what is
merely external, and the greater will become her ability to bring
sentiment under the control of reason and conscience.

There are not two educations, then, one for man, and another for woman,
but both alike we bid contend to the uttermost for completeness of
life; bid both trust in human educableness, which makes possible the
hope of attaining all divine things.  True faith in education is ever
associated with genuine humility.  Only they strive infinitely who feel
that their lack is infinite.

The power of education is as many sided and as manifold as life.  There
is no finest seed or flower or fruit, no most serviceable animal, which
has not been brought to perfection by human thought and labor, or
which, were this help withdrawn, would not degenerate; and if the
highest thought and the most intelligent labor were made to bear
ceaselessly upon the improvement of the race of man, we should have a
new world.

When we consider all the beauty, knowledge, and love which are within
man's reach, how is it possible not to believe that infinitely more and
higher lie beyond?  Call to mind whatever quality of life, physical,
intellectual, or moral, and you will have little difficulty in seeing
that it is a result of education.  We are born, indeed, with unequal
endowments; but strength of limb, ease and swiftness of motion, grace
and fluency of speech, modulation of voice, distinctness of
articulation, correctness of pronunciation, power of attention,
fineness of ear, clearness of vision, control of hand and certainty of
touch in drawing, writing, painting, playing upon instruments and
operating with the knife, truth and vividness of imagination, force of
will, refinement of manner, perfection of taste, skill in argument,
purity of desire, rectitude of purpose, power of sympathy and love,
together with whatever else goes to the making of a perfect man or
woman, are all acquired through educational processes.

Education is the training of a human being with a view to make him all
he may become; and hence it is possible to educate one's self in many
ways and on many sides.

Refinement, grace, and cleanliness are aims and ends, as truly as are
vigor and suppleness of mind and strength and purity of heart.  Like
sunshine and flowers and the songs of birds, they help to make life
pleasant and beautiful.  Even the fishes are not clean, but the only
clean animal is here and there a man or a woman who has forsworn dirt
visible and invisible.  We can educate ourselves in every direction, to
sleep well even, and neither physicians nor poets have told half the
good there is in sleep.  The bare thought of it always brings to me the
memory of lulling showers, and grazing sheep, and murmuring streams,
and bees at work, and the breath of flowers and cooing doves and
children lying on the sward, and lazy clouds slumbering in azure skies.
It is pleasant as the approach of evening, fresh and fair as the rising
sun which sets all the world singing, sacred and pure as babes smiling
in their dreams on the breasts of gentle mothers.  If thou canst not
see the divine worth in nature and in works of genius, it is because
thou art what thou art.  Can the worm at thy feet recognize thy
superiority?  The blind and the heedless see nothing, O foolish maid.

What I know and love is of my very being, is, in fact, my knowing and
loving self.  Quality of knowledge and love determines quality of life,
and when I know and love God I am divine.  As trees are enrooted in
earth, as fishes are immersed in water, and our bodies in air, that
they may live, so the soul has its being in God that it may have life,
that it may know and love.  I become self-conscious only in becoming
conscious of what is not myself; and when the not-myself is the
Eternal, is God, my self-consciousness is divine.  The marvel and the
mystery of our being is that self-consciousness should exist at all,
not that it should continue to exist forever.  But words cannot
strengthen or explain or destroy our belief in God, in the immortality
of the soul, and in the freedom of the will.  The antagonism supposed
to exist between scientific facts or theories and religious faith would
cease to be recognized as real, were it not for the eagerness with
which those who are incapable of profound and comprehensive views,
catch up certain shibboleths and hurl them like firebrands upon the
combustible imaginations of the unthinking.

To prove, means, in the proper sense of the word, to test, to bring
ideas, opinions, and beliefs to the ordeal of reason, of accepted
standards of judgment.  It is a criticism of the mind and its
operations, and hence it may easily happen that to prove is to weaken
and unsettle.  In what is most vital, in belief in God, immortality,
and freedom of the will, in religion and morality, our faith is
stronger than any proof that may be brought in its defence; and this is
not less true of our faith in the reality of nature and the laws of
science; and when this is made plain by criticism, those whose mental
grasp is weak or partial, are confused and tempted to doubt.  They are
not helped, but harmed, and our ceaseless discussions and provings, in
press and pulpit, are the source of much of the unrest, religious
doubt, and moral weakness of the age.  The people need to be taught by
those who know and believe, not by those whose skill is chiefly
syllogistic and critical.  Philosophic speculation is like a vast
mountain into which men, generation after generation, have sunk shafts
in search of some priceless treasure, and have left in the materials
they have thrown out the mark and evidence of failure.  But the noblest
minds will still be haunted by the infinite mystery which they will
seek in vain to explain.  Their faith in reason, like that of the
vulgar, cannot be shaken, nor can defeat, running through thousands of
years, enfeeble their courage or dampen their ardor.  Let our
increasing insight into Nature's laws fill us with thankfulness and
joy.  It is good, and makes for good.  Let us bow with respect and
reverence before the army of patient investigators who bring highly
disciplined faculties to bear upon the most useful researches.  Let
knowledge grow.  A nearer and truer view of the boundless fact will not
make the world less wonderful, or the soul less divine, or God less
adorable.  If one should declare that it is contrary to the teachings
of faith to hold that conversation may be carried on by persons a
thousand miles apart, it would be sufficient to reply that such
conversation takes place, and that to attempt to annul fact by doctrine
is absurd.  There is no excuse for the controversial conflict between
science and religion; for science is ascertained fact, not theory about
fact, and when fact is rightly ascertained it is accepted of all men.
The most certain fact, for each one, is that he knows and loves, and
that this power comes to him through communion with what is higher and
deeper and wider than himself,--with God.

There was a time when collisions among the masses of the sidereal
system were frequent, shocks of unimaginable force by which the
celestial bodies were shivered into atoms, so that what now remains is
but a survival of worlds which escaped destruction in the chaotic
struggle when suns madly rushed on one another and rose in star-dust
about the face of God, who was, and is, and shall be, eternal and
forever the same.  Where there is no thinker, there is no thing.  It is
in, and through, and with Him that we know ourselves and our
environment; and recognize that our particular life is, in its
implications, universal and divine.  He is the principle of unity which
is present in whatever is an object of thought, and which gives the
mind the power to co-ordinate the manifold of sensation into the
harmony of truth; He is the principle of goodness and beauty, which
makes the universe fair, and thrills the heart of man with hope and
love.  Amid endless change, He alone is permanent, and He is power and
wisdom and love, and they only are good and wise and strong who cleave
to His eternal and absolute being.  But since here and now the real
world of matter as distinguished from the apparent is hidden behind the
veil of sense, it is vain to hope that the world of eternal life shall
be made plain to the pure reason.  Religion, like life, is faith, hope,
and love, striving and doing, not intellectual intuition and beatific
vision.  We find it impossible to separate our thought of God from that
of infinite goodness and love; but when we look away from our own souls
to Nature's pitiless and fatal laws, we realize that this faith in
all-embracing and all-conquering love is opposed by seemingly
insurmountable difficulties.  It is a mystery we believe, not a truth
we comprehend.  Systems of philosophy, morality, and religion, however
cunningly devised, cannot make men philosophers, sages, or saints.
This they can become only through the communion which faith, hope, and
love have power to establish with the living fountain-head of truth,
wisdom, and goodness.

The pursuit of knowledge, like the struggle for wealth and place, ends
in disillusion, in the disappointment which results from the contrast
between what we hope for and what we attain.  The greater the success,
the more complete the disenchantment.  As the rich and famous best see
the unsatisfactoriness of wealth and honor, so they who know much best
understand how knowledge avails not, how it is but a cloud-built
citadel, whose foundations rest upon the uncertain air, whose walls and
turrets lose in substance what they gain in height.  When we imagine we
know all things, we awake as from a dream to find that we know nothing,
that our knowing is but a believing, our science but a faith.  We are
little children who wander in a father's wide domain, seeing many
things and understanding not anything, who imagine we are in a real and
abiding world, while in truth we are but passing through the
picture-gallery of the senses.

  Faith, Hope, and Love:--these three
    Are life's deep root;
  They reach into infinity,
    Whence life doth shoot.
  But Faith and Hope have not attained
    The Eternal best;
  While Love, sweet Love, the end has gained,--
    In God to rest.

So long as these life-begetting, life-sustaining, and life-developing
powers hold mightier sway over the soul of woman than over that of man,
so long will woman's heel crush the serpent's head and woman's arms
bear salvation to the world.  She will not worship the rising sun, or
become the idolatress of success, but within her heart will cherish
fallen heroes and lost causes and the memory of all the sorrows by
which God humanizes the world.

If we consider mankind merely as a phenomenon, the extinction of the
race need give us little more concern than the disappearance of
Pterodactyls and Ichthyosauri.  What repels from such contemplation is
not man's physical, but his spiritual being,--that which makes him
capable of thought and love, of faith and hope.  The universe is
anthropomorphized, for whithersoever man looks he sees the reflection
of his own countenance.  What he calls things are stamped with the
impress and likeness of himself, as he himself is an image of the
eternal mind, in which all things are mirrored.

An atheist or a materialist, an agnostic or a pessimist, may have
greater knowledge, greater intellectual force than the most devout
believer in God; but is it possible for him to feel so thoroughly at
home in the world, to feel so deeply that, whatever happens, it is and
will be well with him?  In an atheistic world the spirit of man is ill
at ease.  He who has no God makes himself the centre of all things,
and, like a spoiled child, loses the power to admire, to enjoy, and to
love.  Genuine faith in God is such an infinite force that one may be
tempted to doubt whether it is found.

Undisciplined minds become victims of the formulas they receive, and if
what they have accepted as truth is shown to be false or incomplete,
they grow discouraged and lose faith; but the wise know that the verbal
vesture of truth is a symbol which has but a proximate and relative
value.  The spirit is alive, and ceaselessly outgrows or transmutes the
body with which it is clothed.  What we can do with anything,--with
money, knowledge, wealth,--depends on what we are.  Ruskin prefers holy
work to holy worship; but the antithesis is mistaken, for if worship is
holy it impels to work, if work is holy it impels to worship.  God's
most sacred visible temple is a human body, and its profanation is the
worst sacrilege.

All true belief, when we come to the last analysis, is belief in God,
and the teacher of religion must keep this fact always in view.

The law of the struggle for life applies to opinions, beliefs, hopes,
aims, ideals, just as it applies to individuals and species.  Whatever
survives, survives through conflict, because it is fit to survive.  It
does not follow, however, that the best survives, though we must think
that in the end this is so, since we believe in God.  When serious
minds grapple with problems so remote from vulgar opinion that they
seem to be meaningless or insoluble, the multitude, ever ready, like a
crowd of boys, to mock and jeer, break forth into insult.  These men,
they cry are wicked, or they are fools.

In a society where it is assumed that all are equal, those who are
really superior incur suspicion as though it were criminal to be
different from the multitude; and hence they rarely win the favor of
the crowd.  The life-current of those who stir up a noise about them,
runs shallow.  The champion of the prize-ring or the race-course is
hailed with shouts, for the crowd understand the achievement; but what
can they know of the worth of a sage or a saint?  The noblest struggles
are of the mind and heart wrestling with unseen powers, with spirits,
as St. Paul says, that they may compel them to give up the secret of
truth and holiness.  A glimpse of truth, a thrill of love, is better
than the applause of a whole city.  In striving steadfastly for thy own
perfection and the happiness of others thou walkest and workest with
God.  Thy progress will help others to labor for their own, and the
happiness thou givest will return to thee and become thine; and what is
the will of God, if it is not the perfection and happiness of his
children?  To have merely enough strength to bear life's burden, to do
the daily task, to face the cares which return with the sun and follow
us into the night, is to be weak, is to lack the strong spirit for
which work is light as play, and whose secret is heard in whispers by
the hero and the saint.  To be able to give joy and help to others we
must have more life, wisdom, virtue, and happiness than we need for
ourselves; and it is in giving joy and help to others that we ourselves
receive increase of life, wisdom, virtue, and happiness.  Be persuaded
within thy deepest soul, that moral evil can never be good, and that
sin can never be gain.  So act that if all men acted as thou, all would
be well.  If to be like others is thy aim, thou art predestined to
remain inferior.  To be followed and applauded is to be diverted from
one's work.  Better alone with it in a garret than a guest in a banquet

  Let thy prayer be work and work thy prayer,
  As God's truth and love are everywhere,
  And whether by word or deed thou strive
  In Him alone thou canst be alive.

If thou hast done thy best, God will give it worth.

If thou carest not for truth and love, for thee they are nothing worth;
but it is because thou thyself art worthless.  Wisdom and virtue is all
thou lackest; of other things thou hast enough.  When the passion for
self-improvement is strong within us, all our relations to our
fellow-men and nature receive new meaning and power, as opportunities
to make ourselves what it is possible for us to become; and as we grow
accustomed to take this view of whatever happens, we are made aware
that disagreeable things are worth as much as the pleasant, that foes
are as useful as friends.  The obstacle arrests attention, provokes
effort, and educates.  It throws the light back upon the eye, and
reveals the world of color and form; from it all sounds reverberate.
We grow by overcoming; the force we conquer becomes our own.  We rise
on difficulties we surmount.  What opposes, arouses, strengthens, and
disciplines the will, discloses to the mind its power, and implants
faith in the efficacy of patient, persevering labor.  They who shrink
from the combat are already defeated.  To make everything easy is to
smooth the way whereby we descend.  To surround the young with what
they ought themselves to achieve is to enfeeble and corrupt them.
Happy is the poor man's son, who whithersoever he turns, sees the
obstacle rise to challenge him to become a man; miserable the children
of the rich, whose cursed-blessed fortune is an ever-present invitation
to idleness and conceit.  O mothers, you whose love is the best any of
us have known, harden your sons, and urge them on, not in the race for
wealth, but in the steep and narrow way wherein, through self-conquest
and self-knowledge, they rise toward God and all high things.  Nothing
that has ever been said of your power tells the whole truth, and the
only argument against you is the men who are your children.  Education
is always the result of personal influence.  A mother, a father in the
home, a pure and loving heart at the altar, a true man or woman in the
school, a noble mind uttering itself in literature, which is personal
thought and expression,--these are the forces which educate.  Life
proceeds from life, and religion, which is the highest power of life,
can proceed only from God and religious souls.  Not by preaching and
teaching, but by living the life, can we make ourselves centres of
spiritual influence.

Be like others, walk in the broad way, one of a herd, content to graze
in a common pasture, believing equality man's highest law, though its
meaning be equality with the brute.  Is this our ideal?  It is an
atheistic creed.  There is no God, there is nothing but matter, but
atoms, and atoms are alike and equal,--let men be so too.  To struggle
with infinite faith and hope for some divine good is idolatry, is to
believe in God; to be one's self is the unpardonable sin.  It is thy
aim to rise, to distinguish thyself; this means thou wouldst have
higher place, more money, a greater house than thy neighbor's.  It is a
foolish ambition.  Instead of trying to distinguish thyself, strive to
become thyself, to make thyself worthy of the approval of God and wise
men.  "I am not to be pitied, my lord," said Bayard; "I die doing my
duty."  God has not given His world into thy keeping, but he has given
thee to thyself to fashion and complete.  If thou art busy seeking
money or pleasure or praise, little time will remain wherein to seek
and find thyself.  They who are interesting to themselves, are
interesting to themselves alone.  The self-absorbed are the victims of
mental and moral disease.  The life which flows out to others, bearing
light and warmth and fragrance, feels itself in the blessings it gives;
that which is self-centred, stagnates like a pool, and becomes the
habitation of doleful creatures.

There is a popularity which is born of the worship of noble deeds,--it
is the best.  There is another, which comes of the crowd's passion for
what is noisy and spectacular,--it is the worst.  The one is the
popularity of heroes, the other that of charlatans.

Whatever thy chosen work, it is thy business to make thyself a man or a
woman, and not a mere specialist; yet in following a specialty with
enthusiasm, thou shalt go farther towards perfection and completeness
of life than the multitude of pretenders, who are not in earnest about
anything.  Every harsh and unjust sentiment, every narrow and unworthy
thought consented to and entertained, remains like a stain upon
character.  Whoever speaks or writes against freedom or knowledge or
faith in God, or love of man or reverence of woman, but makes himself
ridiculous; for men feel and believe that their true world is a world
of high thoughts and noble sentiments, and they can neither respect nor
trust those who strive to weaken their hold upon this world.  Become
thyself; do thy work.  For this, all thy days are not too many or too
long.  If thou and it are worthy to be known, the presentation can be
made in briefest time; and it matters little though it be deferred
until after thy death.

Besides whatever other conditions, time is necessary to bring the best
things to maturity, and to imagine that excellence demands less than
lifelong work, is to mistake.  It is by the patient observation of the
infinitesimal that science has done its best work; and it is only by
unwearying attention to the thousand little things of life that we may
hope to make some approach to moral and intellectual perfection.  He
who works with joy and cheerfulness in the field which himself has
found and chosen, will acquire knowledge and skill, and his labor will
be transformed into increase and newness of life.

We gain a clear view of things only when we set them apart from
ourselves, and contemplate them simply as objects of thought.  To see
them aright we must be free from emotion and behold them in the cold
air of the intellect.  To look on them as in some way bound up with our
personal good or evil, is to have the vision blurred.  Study in the
spirit of an investigator, who has no other than a scientific interest
in what he sets himself to examine.  The wise physician is wholly
intent upon making a correct diagnosis, though the patient be his
mother.  What gain would self-delusion bring him or her he loves?
Things are what they are, and it is our business to know them.  Observe
and hold thy judgment in suspense until patient looking shall have made
truth so plain that to pass judgment is superfluous.

The aim of mental training is clearness and accuracy of view, together
with the strength to keep steadfastly looking into the world of
intelligible things.  What rouses desire tends to enslave; what gives
delight tends to liberate; the one appeals to the senses, the other to
the soul.  Hence, intellectual and moral pleasures alone are associated
with the sense of freedom and pure joy.  The lovers of freedom are as
rare as the lovers of truth and of God.  For most, liberty is but a
trader's commodity, to be parted with for price, as their obedience is
a slave's service.  The chief good consists in acting justly and nobly,
rather than in thinking acutely and profoundly.  The free play of the
mind is delightful, but the law of moral obligation is the deepest
thing in us.  Honor, place, and wealth, which are won at the price of
self-improvement, the wise will not desire.  Great opportunities seldom
present themselves, but every moment of every hour of thy conscious
life is an opportunity to improve thyself, which for thee is the best
and most necessary thing.  Since our power over others is small, but
over ourselves large, let us devote our energies to self-improvement.
"Nor let any man say," writes Locke, "he cannot govern his passions,
nor hinder them from breaking out and carrying him into action; for
what he can do before a prince or great man he can do alone or in the
presence of God, if he will."

The sure way to happiness is to yield ourselves wholly to God, knowing
that he has care of us, and at the same time to seek to draw from life
whatever joy and delight it may bestow upon a high mind and a pure
heart, receiving the blessing gladly, conscious all the while that what
is external cannot really be ours, and is not, therefore, necessary to
our contentment.

That many are wiser and stronger than thou, is not a motive for
discouragement; the depressing thought is, that so few are wise and
strong.  He who gives his whole life to what he believes he is most
capable of doing, succeeds, whatever be the worth of his work.  There
are many who are busy with many things; but one who has a high purpose,
and who devotes all his energies to its fulfillment, is not easily
found; and great and interesting characters are, therefore, rare.

To what better use can we put life than to employ it in ameliorating
life?  It is to this every wise and good man devotes himself, whether
he be priest or teacher, physician or lawyer, philosopher or poet,
captain of industry or statesman.



Our system of Public-School Education is a result of the faith of the
people in the need of universal intelligence for the maintenance of
popular government.  Does this system include moral training?  Since
the teaching of religious doctrines is precluded, this, I imagine, is
what we are to consider in discussing the Scope of Public-School
Education.  The equivalents of scope are aim, end, opportunity, range
of view; and the equivalents of education are training, discipline,
development, instruction.  The proper meaning of the word education, it
seems, is not a drawing out, but a training up, as vines are trained to
lay hold of and rise by means of what is stronger than themselves.  My
subject, then, is the aim, end, opportunity, and range of view of
public-school education, which to be education at all, in any true
sense, must be a training, discipline, development, and instruction of
man's whole being, physical, intellectual, and moral.  This, I suppose,
is what Herbert Spencer means when he defines education to be a
preparation for complete living.  Montaigne says the end of education
is wisdom and virtue; Comenius declares it to be knowledge, virtue, and
religion; Milton, likeness to God through virtue and faith; Locke,
health of body, virtue, and good manners; Herbart, virtue, which is the
realization in each one of the idea of inner freedom; while Kant and
Fichte declare it to consist chiefly in the formation of character.
All these thinkers agree that the supreme end of education is spiritual
or ethical.  The controlling aim, then, should be, not to impart
information, but to upbuild the being which makes us human, to form
habits of right thinking and doing.  The ideal is virtually that of
Israel,--that righteousness is life,--though the Greek ideal of beauty
and freedom may not be excluded.  It is the doctrine that manners make
the man, that conduct is three-fourths of life, leaving but one-fourth
for intellectual activity and æsthetic enjoyment; and into this fourth
of life but few ever enter in any real way, while all are called and
may learn to do good and avoid evil.

"In the end," says Ruskin, "the God of heaven and earth loves active,
modest, and kind people, and hates idle, proud, greedy, and cruel
ones."  We can all learn to become active, modest, and kind; to turn
from idleness, pride, greed, and cruelty.  But we cannot all make
ourselves capable of living in the high regions of pure thought and
ideal beauty; and for the few even who are able to do this, it is still
true that conduct is three-fourths of life.

"The end of man," says Büchner, "is conversion into carbonic acid,
water, and ammonia."  This also is an ideal, and he thinks we should be
pleased to know that in dying we give back to the universe what had
been lent.  He moralizes too; but if all we can know of our destiny is
that we shall be converted into carbonic acid, water, and ammonia, the
sermon may be omitted.  On such a faith it is not possible to found a
satisfactory system of education.  Men will always refuse to think thus
meanly of themselves, and in answer to those who would persuade them
that they are but brutes, they will, with perfect confidence, claim
kinship with God; for from an utterly frivolous view of life both our
reason and our instinct turn.

The Scope of Public-School Education is to co-operate with the
physical, social, and religious environment to form good and wise men
and women.  Unless we bear in mind that the school is but one of
several educational agencies, we shall not form a right estimate of its
office.  It depends almost wholly for its success upon the kind of
material furnished it by the home, the state, and the church; and, to
confine our view to our own country, I have little hesitation in
affirming that our home life, our social and political life, and our
religious life have contributed far more to make us what we are than
any and all of our schools.  The school, unless it works in harmony
with these great forces, can do little more than sharpen the wits.
Many of the teachers of our Indian schools are doubtless competent and
earnest; but their pupils, when they return to their tribes, quickly
lose what they have gained, because they are thrown into an environment
which annuls the ideals that prevailed in the school.  The controlling
aim of our teachers should be, therefore, to bring their pedagogical
action into harmony with what is best in the domestic, social, and
religious life of the child; for this is the foundation on which they
must build, and to weaken it is to expose the whole structure to ruin.
Hence the teacher's attitude toward the child should be that of
sympathy with him in his love for his parents, his country, and his
religion.  His reason is still feeble, and his life is largely one of
feeling; and the fountain-heads of his purest and noblest feelings are
precisely his parents, his country, and his religion, and to tamper
with them is to poison the wells whence he draws the water of life.  To
assume and hold this attitude with sincerity and tact is difficult; it
requires both character and culture; it implies a genuine love of
mankind and of human excellence; reverence for whatever uplifts,
purifies, and strengthens the heart; knowledge of the world, of
literature, and of history, united with an earnest desire to do
whatever may be possible to lead each pupil toward life in its
completeness, which is health and healthful activity of body and mind
and heart and soul.

As the heart makes the home, the teacher makes the school.  What we
need above all things, wherever the young are gathered for education,
is not a showy building, or costly apparatus, or improved methods or
text-books, but a living, loving, illumined human being who has deep
faith in the power of education and a real desire to bring it to bear
upon those who are intrusted to him.  This applies to the primary
school with as much force as to the high school and university.  Those
who think, and they are, I imagine, the vast majority, that any one who
can read and write, who knows something of arithmetic, geography, and
history, is competent to educate young children, have not even the most
elementary notions of what education is.

What the teacher is, not what he utters and inculcates, is the
important thing.  The life he lives, and whatever reveals that life to
his pupils; his unconscious behavior, even; above all, what in his
inmost soul he hopes, believes, and loves, have far deeper and more
potent influence than mere lessons can ever have.  It is precisely here
that we Americans, whose talent is predominantly practical and
inventive, are apt to go astray.  We have won such marvellous victories
with our practical sense and inventive genius that we have grown
accustomed to look to them for aid, whatever the nature of the
difficulty or problem may be.  Machinery can be made to do much, and to
do well what it does.  With its help we move rapidly; we bring the ends
of the earth into instantaneous communication; we print the daily
history of the world and throw it before every door; we plough and we
sow and we reap; we build cities, and we fill our houses with whatever
conduces to comfort or luxury.  All this and much more machinery
enables us to do.  But it cannot create life, nor can it, in any
effective way, promote vital processes.  Now, education is essentially
a vital process.  It is a furthering of life; and as the living proceed
from the living, they can rise into the wider world of ideas and
conduct only by the help of the living; and as in the physical realm
every animal begets after its own likeness, so also in the spiritual
the teacher can give but what he has.  If the well-spring of truth and
love has run dry within himself, he teaches in vain.  His words will no
more bring forth life than desert winds will clothe arid sands with
verdure.  Much talking and writing about education have chiefly helped
to obscure a matter which is really plain.  The purpose of the public
school is or should be not to form a mechanic or a specialist of any
kind, but to form a true man or woman.  Hence the number of things we
teach the child is of small moment.  Those schools, in fact, in which
the greatest number of things are taught give, as a rule, the least
education.  The character of the Roman people, which enabled them to
dominate the earth and to give laws to the world, was formed before
they had schools, and when their schools were most flourishing they
themselves were in rapid moral and social dissolution.  We make
education and religion too much a social affair, and too little a
personal affair.  Their essence lies in their power to transform the
individual, and it is only in transforming him that they recreate the
wider life of the community.  The Founder of Christianity addressed
himself to the individual, and gave little heed to the state or other
environment.  He looked to a purified inner source of life to create
for itself a worthier environment, and simply ignored devices for
working sudden and startling changes.  They who have entered into the
hidden meaning of this secret and this method turn in utter incredulity
from the schemes of declaimers and agitators.

The men who fill the world, each with his plan for reforming and saving
it, may have their uses, since the poet tells us there are uses in
adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a
precious jewel in its head; but to one deafened by their discordant and
clamorous voices, the good purpose they serve seems to be as mythical
as the jewel in the toad's head.

Have not those who mistake their crotchets for Nature's laws invaded
our schools?  Have they not succeeded in forming a public opinion and
in setting devices at work which render education, in the true sense of
the word, if not impossible, difficult?  Literature is a criticism of
life, made by those who are in love with life, and have the deepest
faith in its possibilities; and all criticism which is inspired by
sympathy and faith and controlled by knowledge is helpful.  Complacent
thoughts are rarely true, and hardly ever useful.  It is a prompting of
nature to turn from what we have to what we lack, for thus only is
there hope of amendment and progress.  We are, to quote Emerson,

  "Built of furtherance and pursuing,
  Not of spent deeds, but of doing."

Hence the wise and the strong dwell not upon their virtues and
accomplishments, but strive to learn wherein they fail, for it is in
correcting this they desire to labor.  They wish to know the truth
about themselves, are willing to try to see themselves as others see
them, that self-knowledge may make self-improvement possible.  They
turn from flattery, for they understand that flattery is insult.  Now,
if this is the attitude of wise and strong men, how much more should it
not be that of a wise and strong people?  Whenever persons or things
are viewed as related in some special way to ourselves, our opinions of
them will hardly be free from bias.  When, for instance, I think or
speak of my country, my religion, my friends, my enemies, I find it
difficult to put away the prejudice which my self-esteem and vanity
create, and which, like a haze, ever surrounds me to color or obscure
the pure light of reason.  It cannot do us harm to have our defects and
shortcomings pointed out to us; but to be told by demagogues and
declaimers that we are the greatest, the most enlightened, the most
virtuous people which exists or has existed, can surely do us no good.
If it is true, we should not dwell upon it, for this will but distract
us from striving for the things in which we are deficient; and if it is
false, it can only mislead us and nourish a foolish conceit.  It is the
orator's misfortune to be compelled to think of his audience rather
than of truth.  It is his business to please, persuade, and convince;
and men are pleased with flattering lies, persuaded and convinced by
appeals to passion and interest.  Happier is the writer, who need not
think of a reader, but finds his reward in the truth he expresses.

It is not possible for an enlightened mind not to take profound
interest in our great system of public education.  To do this he need
not think it the best system.  He may deem it defective in important
requisites.  He may hold, as I hold, that the system is of minor
importance, the kind of teacher being all important.  But if he loves
his country, if he loves human excellence, if he has faith in man's
capacity for growth, he cannot but turn his thoughts, with abiding
attention and sympathy, to the generous and determined efforts of a
powerful and vigorous people to educate themselves.  Were our
public-school system nothing more than the nation's profession of faith
in the transforming power of education, it would be an omen of good and
a ground for hope; and one cannot do more useful work than to help to
form a public opinion which will accept with thankfulness the free play
of all sincere minds about this great question, and which will cause
the genuine lovers of our country to turn in contempt from the clamors
politicians and bigots are apt to raise when an honest man utters
honest thought on this all-important subject.

I am willing to assume and to accept as a fact that our theological
differences make it impossible to introduce the teaching of any
religious creed into the public school.  I take the system as it
is,--that is, as a system of secular education,--and I address myself
more directly to the question proposed: What is or should be its scope?

The fact that religious instruction is excluded makes it all the more
necessary that humanizing and ethical aims should be kept constantly in
view.  Whoever teaches in a public school should be profoundly
convinced that man is more than an animal which may be taught cunning
and quickness.  A weed in blossom may have a certain beauty, but it
will bear no fruit; and so the boy or youth one often meets, with his
irreverent smartness, his precocious pseudo-knowledge of a hundred
things, may excite a kind of interest, but he gives little promise of a
noble future.  The flower of his life is the blossom of the weed, which
in its decay will poison the air, or, at the best, serve but to
fertilize the soil.  If we are to work to good purpose we must take our
stand, with the great thinkers and educators, on the broad field of
man's nature, and act in the light of the only true ideal of
education,--that its end is wisdom, virtue, knowledge, power,
reverence, faith, health, behavior, hope, and love; in a word, whatever
powers and capacities make for intelligence, for conduct, for
character, for completeness of life.  Not for a moment should we permit
ourselves to be deluded by the thought that because the teaching of
religious creeds is excluded, therefore we may make no appeal to the
fountain-heads which sleep within every breast, the welling of whose
waters alone has power to make us human.  If we are forbidden to turn
the current into this or that channel, we are not forbidden to
recognize the universal truth that man lives by faith, hope, and love,
by imagination and desire, and that it is precisely for this reason
that he is educable.  We move irresistibly in the lines of our real
faith and desire, and the educator's great purpose is to help us to
believe in what is high and to desire what is good.  Since for the
irreverent and vulgar spirit nothing is high or good, reverence, and
the refinement which is the fruit of true intelligence, urge
ceaselessly their claims on the teacher's attention.  Goethe, I
suppose, was little enough of a Christian to satisfy the demands of an
agnostic cripple even, and yet he held that the best thing in man is
the thrill of awe; and that the chief business of education is to
cultivate reverence for whatever is above, beneath, around, and within
us.  This he believed to be the only philosophical and healthful
attitude of mind and heart towards the universe, seen and unseen.  May
not the meanest flower that blows bring thoughts that lie too deep for
tears?  Is not reverence a part of all the sweetest and purest feelings
which bind us to father and mother, to friends and home and country?
Is it not the very bloom and fragrance, not only of the highest
religious faith, but also of the best culture?  Let the thrill of awe
cease to vibrate, and you will have a world in which money is more than
man, office better than honesty, and books like "Innocents Abroad" or
"Peck's Bad Boy" more indicative of the kind of man we form than are
the noblest works of genius.  What is the great aim of the primary
school, if it is not the nutrition of feeling?  The child is weak in
mind, weak in will, but he is most impressionable.  Feeble in thought,
he is strong in capacity to feel the emotions which are the sap of the
tree of moral life.  He responds quickly to the appeals of love,
tenderness, and sympathy.  He is alive to whatever is noble, heroic,
and venerable.  He desires the approbation of others, especially of
those whom he believes to be true and high and pure, he has
unquestioning faith, not only in God but in great men, who, for him,
indeed, are earthly gods.  Is not his father a divine man, whose mere
word drives away all fear and fills him with confidence?  The touch of
his mother's hand stills his pain; if he is frightened, her voice is
enough to soothe him to sleep.  To imagine that we are educating this
being of infinite sensibility and impressionability when we do little
else than teach him to read, write, and cipher, is to cherish a
delusion.  It is not his destiny to become a reading, writing, and
ciphering machine, but to become a man who believes, hopes, and loves;
who holds to sovereign truth, and is swayed by sympathy; who looks up
with reverence and awe to the heavens, and hearkens with cheerful
obedience to the call of duty; who has habits of right thinking and
well doing which have become a law unto him, a second nature.  And if
it be said that we all recognize this to be so, but that it is not the
business of the school to help to form such a man; that it does its
work when it sharpens the wits, I will answer with the words of William
von Humboldt: "Whatever we wish to see introduced into the life of a
nation must first be introduced into its schools."

Now, what we wish to see introduced into the life of the nation is not
the power of shrewd men, wholly absorbed in the striving for wealth,
reckless of the means by which it is gotten, and who, whether they
succeed or whether they fail, look upon money as the equivalent of the
best things man knows or has; who therefore think that the highest
purpose of government, as of other social forces and institutions, is
to make it easy for all to get abundance of gold and to live in sloven
plenty; but what we wish to see introduced into the life of the nation
is the power of intelligence and virtue, of wisdom and conduct.  We
believe, and in fact know, that humanity, justice, truthfulness,
honesty, honor, fidelity, courage, integrity, reverence, purity, and
self-respect are higher and mightier than anything mere sharpened wits
can accomplish.  But if these virtues, which constitute nearly the
whole sum of man's strength and worth, are to be introduced into the
life of the nation, they must be introduced into the schools, into the
process of education.  We must recognize, not in theory alone but in
practice, that the chief end of education is ethical, since conduct is
three-fourths of human life.  The aim must be to make men true in
thought and word, pure in desire, faithful in act, upright in deed; men
who understand that the highest good does not lie in the possession of
anything whatsoever, but that it lies in power and quality of being;
for whom what we are and not what we have is the guiding principle; who
know that the best work is not that for which we receive most pay, but
that which is most favorable to life, physical, moral, intellectual,
and religious; since man does not exist for work or the Sabbath, but
work and rest exist for him, that he may thrive and become more human
and more divine.  We must cease to tell boys and girls that education
will enable them to get hold of the good things of which they believe
the world to be full; we must make them realize rather that the best
thing in the world is a noble man or woman, and to be that is the only
certain way to a worthy and contented life.  All talk about patriotism
which implies that it is possible to be a patriot or a good citizen
without being a true and good man, is sophistical and hollow.  How
shall he who cares not for his better self care for his country?

We must look, as educators, most closely to those sides of the national
life where there is the greatest menace of ruin.  It is plain that our
besetting sin, as a people, is not intemperance or unchastity, but
dishonesty.  From the watering and manipulating of stocks to the
adulteration of food and drink, from the booming of towns and lands to
the selling of votes and the buying of office, from the halls of
Congress to the policeman's beat, from the capitalist who controls
trusts and syndicates to the mechanic who does inferior work, the taint
of dishonesty is everywhere.  We distrust one another, distrust those
who manage public affairs, distrust our own fixed will to suffer the
worst that may befall rather than cheat or steal or lie.  Dishonesty
hangs, like mephitic air, about our newspapers, our legislative
assemblies, the municipal government of our towns and cities, about our
churches even, since our religion itself seems to lack that highest
kind of honesty, the downright and thorough sincerity which is its

If the teacher in the public school may not insist that an honest man
is the noblest work of God, he may teach at least that he who fails in
honesty fails in the most essential quality of manhood, enters into
warfare with the forces which have made him what he is, and which
secure him the possession of what he holds dearer than himself, since
he barters for it his self-respect; that the dishonest man is an
anarchist and dissocialist, one who does what in him lies to destroy
credit, and the sense of the sacredness of property, obedience to law,
and belief in the rights of man.  If our teachers are to work in the
light of an ideal, if they are to have a conscious end in view, as all
who strive intelligently must have, if they are to hold a principle
which will give unity to their methods, they must seek it in the idea
of morality, of conduct, which is three-fourths of life.

I myself am persuaded that the real and philosophical basis of morality
is the being of God, a being absolute, infinite, unimaginable,
inconceivable, of whom our highest and nearest thought is that he is
not only almighty, but all-wise and all-good as well.  But it is
possible, I think, to cultivate the moral sense without directly and
expressly assigning to it this philosophical and religious basis; for
goodness is largely its own evidence, as virtue is its own reward.  It
all depends on the teacher.  Life produces life, life develops life;
and if the teacher have within himself a living sense of the
all-importance of conduct, if he thoroughly realize that what we call
knowledge is but a small part of man's life, his influence will nourish
the feelings by which character is evolved.  The germ of a moral idea
is always an emotion, and that which impels to right action is the
emotion rather than the idea.  The teachings of the heart remain
forever, and they are the most important; for what we love, genuinely
believe in, and desire decides what we are and may become.  Hence the
true educator, even in giving technical instruction, strives not merely
to make a workman, but to make also a man, whose being shall be touched
to finer issues by spiritual powers, who shall be upheld by faith in
the worth and sacredness of life, and in the education by which it is
transformed, enriched, purified, and ennobled.  He understands that an
educated man, who, in the common acceptation of the phrase, is one who
knows something, who knows many things, is, in truth, simply one who
has acquired habits of right thinking and right doing.  The culture
which we wish to see prevail throughout our country is not learning and
literary skill; it is character and intellectual openness,--that higher
humanity which is latent within us all; which is power, wisdom, truth,
goodness, love, sympathy, grace, and beauty; whose surpassing
excellence the poor may know as well as the rich; whose charm the
multitude may feel as well as the chosen few.

"He who speaks of the people," says Guicciardini, "speaks, in sooth, of
a foolish animal, a prey to a thousand errors, a thousand confusions,
without taste, without affection, without firmness."  The scope of our
public-school education is to make common-places of this kind, by which
all literature is pervaded, so false as to be absurd; and when this end
shall have been attained, Democracy will have won its noblest victory.

How shall we find the secret from which hope of such success will
spring?  By so forming and directing the power of public opinion, of
national approval, and of money, as to make the best men and women
willing and ready to enter the teacher's profession.  The kind of man
who educates is the test of the kind of education given, and there is
properly no other test.  When we Americans shall have learned to
believe with all our hearts and with all the strength of irresistible
conviction that a true educator is a more important, in every way a
more useful, sort of man than a great railway king, or pork butcher, or
captain of industry, or grain buyer, or stock manipulator, we shall
have begun to make ourselves capable of perceiving the real scope of
public-school education.



The theory of development, which is now widely received and applied to
all things, from star dust to the latest fashion, is at once a sign and
a cause of the almost unlimited confidence which we put in the remedial
and transforming power of education.  We no longer think of God as
standing aloof from nature and the course of history.  He it is who
works in the play of atoms and in the throbbings of the human heart;
and as we perceive his action in the evolution both of matter and of
mind, we know and feel that, when with conscious purpose we strive to
call forth and make living the latent powers of man's being, we are
working with him in the direction in which he impels the universe.
Education, therefore, we look upon as necessary, not merely because it
is indispensable to any high and human kind of life, but also because
God has made development the law both of conscious and unconscious
nature.  He is in act all that the finite may become, and the effort to
grow in strength, knowledge, and virtue springs from a divine impulse.

Although we know that the earth is not the centre of the universe, that
it is but a minor satellite, a globule lost in space, our deepest
thought still finds that the end of nature is the production of
rational beings, of man; for the final reason for which all things
exist is that the infinite good may be communicated; and since the
highest good is truth and holiness, it can be communicated only to
beings who think and love.  Hence all things are man's, and he exists
that he may make himself like God; in other words, that he may educate
himself; for the end of education is to fit him for completeness of
life, to train all his faculties, to call all his endowments into play,
to make him symmetrical and whole in body and soul.  This, of course,
is the ideal, and consequently the unattainable; but in the light of
ideals alone do we see rightly and judge truly; and to take a lower
view of the aim and end of education is to take a partial view.  To
hold that God is, and that man truly lives only in so far as he is made
partaker of the divine life, is, by implication, to hold that his
education should be primarily and essentially religious.  Our opinions
and beliefs, however, are never the result of purely rational
processes, and hence a mere syllogism has small persuasive force, or
even no influence at all, upon our way of looking at things, or the
motives which determine action.

As it is useless to argue against the nature of things, so we generally
plead in vain when our world-view is other than that of those whom we
seek to convince; for those who observe from different points either do
not see the same objects or do not see them in the same light.  Life is
complex, and the springs of thought and action are controlled in
mysterious ways by forces and impulses which we neither clearly
understand nor accurately measure.  What is called the spirit of the
age, the spirit which, as the Poet says, sits at the roaring loom of
time and weaves for God the garment whereby He is made visible to us,
exercises a potent influence upon all our thinking and doing.  We live
in an era of progress, and progress means differentiation of structure
and specialization of function.  The more perfect the organism, the
more are its separate functions assigned to separate parts.  As social
aggregates develop, a similar differentiation takes place.  Offices
which were in the hands of one are distributed among several.  Agencies
are evolved by which processes of production, distribution, and
exchange are carried on.  Trades and professions are called into
existence.  As enlightenment and skill increase, men become more
difficult to please.  They demand the best work, and the best work can
be done, as a rule, only by specialists.  Specialization thus becomes a
characteristic of civilization.  The patriarch is both king and priest.
In Greece and Rome, religion is a function of the State.  In the Middle
Age, the Church and the State coalesce, and form such an intimate union
that the special domain of either is invaded by both.  But
differentiation finally takes place, and we all learn to distinguish
between the things of Cæsar and the things of God.  This separation has
far-reaching results.  In asserting its independence, the State was
driven to use argument as well as force.  Thus learning, which in the
confusion that succeeded the incursions of the Barbarians was
cultivated almost exclusively by ecclesiastics, grew to be of interest
and importance to laymen.  They began to study, and the subjects which
most engaged their thoughts were not religious, in the accepted sense
of the word.  The Protestant rebellion is but a phase of this
revolution.  It began with the introduction of the literature of Greece
into Western Europe.  The spirit of inquiry and mental curiosity was
thereby awakened in wider circles; enthusiasm for the truth and beauty
to which Greek genius has given the most perfect expression, was
aroused; and interest in intellectual and artistic culture was called
forth.  New ideals were upheld to fresh and wondering minds.  The
contagion spread, and the thirst for knowledge was carried to
ever-widening spheres.  It thus came to pass that the cleric and the
scholar ceased to be identical.  The boundaries of knowledge were
enlarged when the inductive method was applied to the study of nature,
and it soon became impossible for one man to pretend to a mastery of
all science.  And so the principle of the division of labor was
introduced into things of the intellect.  Of old, the prophet or the
philosopher was supposed to possess all wisdom; but now it had become
plain that proficiency could be hoped for only by lifelong devotion to
some special branch of knowledge.  This led to other developments.  The
business of teaching, which had been almost exclusively in the hands of
ecclesiastics, was now necessarily taken up by laymen also.  As
feudalism fell to decay, and the assertion of popular rights began to
point to the advent of democracy, the movement in opposition to
privilege logically led to the claim that learning should no longer be
held to be the appanage of special classes, but that the gates of the
temple of knowledge should be thrown open to the whole people.  To make
education universal, the most ready and the simplest means was to levy
a school tax; and as this could be done only by the State, the State
established systems of education and assumed the office of teacher.
The result of all this has been that the school, which throughout
Christendom is the creation of the church, has in most countries very
largely passed into the control of the civil government.

This transference of control need not, however, involve the exclusion
of religious influence and instruction; though once the State has
gained the ascendency, the natural tendency is to take a partial and
secular view of the whole question of education, and to limit the
functions of the school to the training of the mental faculties.  And,
as a matter of fact, this tendency is found in men of widely differing
and even conflicting opinions and convictions concerning religion
itself.  It is most pronounced, however, in the educational theories
and systems of positivists and agnostics.  As they hold that there is
no God, or that we cannot know that there is a God, they necessarily
conclude that it is absurd to attempt to teach children anything about
God.  This view is forcibly expressed by Issaurat, a French writer on
education, in a recently published volume, which he calls "The
Evolution and History of Pedagogy."

"All religion," he affirms, in the concluding chapter of his book,
"impedes, thwarts, misdirects, and troubles the natural education of
man, the normal and harmonious development of his physical, moral, and
intellectual faculties; and since educational reform is not possible
without reformation in the government, it is the duty of the State, not
merely to separate itself from the church, but to suppress the church
and to found the science of education upon biological philosophy, upon
transformism--let us say the word, upon materialism."  This view is
manifestly the inevitable result of Issaurat's general system of
thought and belief.  In his opinion, matter alone really exists, and
what is called spirit is but a phase of its evolution.  The world of
spirit, therefore, is illusory; and to bring up the young to believe
that it is the infinite, essential reality, is to teach them what is
false, and to give a wrong direction to the whole course of life.  For
practical purposes this is the view not only of materialists and
positivists, but of agnostics as well, who, though they do not deny the
existence of spirit, assert that only the phenomenal can be known, or
become the subject-matter of teaching.  They all agree in holding that
the theological world-view was the primitive one, which, yielding to
the metaphysical, has been finally superseded by the scientific, the
sole basis of a rational philosophy.  The ideas of God, substance,
cause, and end, are metaphysical ideas, which, if we wish to understand
nature, must be ignored; for the study of nature is the study simply of
facts and their relations with one another.  There is, so they think,
no such thing as substance, any more than there is such a thing as a
principle of gravity, heat, light, electricity, or chemical affinity.
The vital principle too, which has played so great a part in
physiological inquiries, must be given up; and therefore, while nearly
all the philosophers, from Kant to our own day, have made psychology
the foundation of the science of education, there is at present a
marked tendency to have it rest solely on biology.  Whether and to what
extent these theories are true or false, is beyond the purpose of this
argument.  True or false, they fairly describe the views of a large
number of thinkers in our day, and enable us to form a conception of
their philosophy of education.  "Why trouble ourselves," asks Professor
Huxley, "about matters of which, however important they may be, we do
know nothing and can know nothing?  With a view to our duty in this
life, it is necessary to be possessed of only two beliefs: The first,
that the order of nature is ascertainable by our faculties to an extent
that is practically unlimited; the second, that our volition counts for
something as a condition of the course of events."  Our volition counts
as a condition, but it is after all only a part of the course of
events, and, consequently, the only belief it is necessary to hold is,
that the course of events is ascertainable by our faculties to a
practically unlimited extent.  Such is the brief creed of materialists
and agnostics.  The order of nature is the only known god, and man's
sole end and duty is to make himself acquainted with it, that through
obedience he may attain the highest perfection and happiness of which
he is capable.  This is the one true religion, and an enlightened
people should forbid that any other be taught in their schools.  Here
we have an intelligible and well-defined position, and the one which,
from the point of view of such men as Issaurat and Huxley, is alone

Every one now, who thinks at all, has some theory of the world, and
hence the shades of unbelief as of belief are many; and since views of
education are part of a more general system of philosophy, it is
inevitable that those who disagree upon the fundamental questions of
thought, disagree also in their notions as to what is the school's
proper office.

Materialists, pantheists, positivists, secularists, and pessimists
unite in denying that there is a God above and distinct from nature,
while agnostics and cosmists affirm that such a being, if he exist,
must necessarily lie outside the domain of knowledge.  Positive
religious doctrines, therefore, are superstition.  As these views are
reflected in a more or less vague way in the writings of the multitude
of those who make the current literature, public opinion becomes averse
to religious dogmas.  A large number of cultivated minds turn from all
definite systems, whether of thought or belief.  Everything may be
tolerated, if only the spirit of dogmatism is away.  They recognize how
great a thing religion is, how profoundly it touches life, how
powerfully it shapes conduct.  Without it, civilization is hard and
mechanical, art is formal and feeble, and man himself but a shrewd
animal.  But, from their points of view, doctrines about God and Christ
and the church have nothing to do with religion.  To think of God as
substance is to convert him into nature, to think of him as a person is
to limit him.  The only absolute is the moral order of the world.  The
religion of Christ is not a theory or a system of thought; it is a view
of life, and its essence is found in belief in the reality of moral
ideas.  The supernatural may fall away,--even the notion of a
Providence which rules the world in the interest of the good may be
given up,--and we still have the method and the secret of Jesus, all
that is of value in his life and teaching.  All theology is an
illusion, all creeds are a mistake.  Religion rests upon the moral
power, which is not a conclusion drawn from facts, but the fact
itself,--the primal and essential fact in human life.  Religion is
simply morality suffused by the glow and warmth of a devout and
reverent temper, and to teach doctrines about God and the church will
not make men religious.

It is obvious to object that morality supposes belief in a Personal God
and in the soul of man, as law implies a law-giver.  This objection is
meaningless, not only for the thinkers whom I have mentioned, but for
others who find little interest in the literary and religious ideas of
such men as Matthew Arnold.  Morality, they claim, is independent, not
only of metaphysics, but of religion as well.  It is a science, as yet,
indeed, imperfectly developed, but a science nevertheless, just as
chemistry or physiology is a science.  Human acts are controlled, not
by a higher will or man's freedom of choice, but by physical laws.  The
peculiarity of this view does not lie in the contention that ethics is
a science, but in the claim that it is a science altogether independent
of metaphysical and religious dogmas.  All forces, it is asserted,
physical, mental, and moral, are identical; and morality, like bodily
vigor, is a product of organism.  It is, in fact, but an elaboration of
the two radical instincts of nutrition and propagation, from which
springs the twofold movement of conscious life, the egoistic and the
altruistic.  This theory is accepted alike in the German school of
materialism, in the French school of positivism, and in the English
school of utilitarianism.  What the influence of modern empiricism upon
American opinion may be, it is difficult to determine.  Americans
certainly are a practical people, but they are not devoid of interest
in speculative views.  More than any other people, possibly, they have
faith in the marvellous things which science is destined to accomplish,
and they willingly listen to men of science, even when they quit the
regions of fact for those of opinion.  Thus the various theories, to
which the progress of natural knowledge has given rise, are received by
them, if not with implicit trust, with a kind of feeling, at least,
that they may be true.

There is even a disposition to treat doubts of the truth of
Christianity as a mark of intellectual vigor, and sometimes as a sign
of religious sincerity.  Preoccupied with material interests, but yet
finding time to read the thoughts of many minds and to hear the
discussion of antagonistic opinions and systems, they find it difficult
to trust with entire confidence to what they know or believe.  It all
seems to be relative, and another generation may see everything in a
different light.  Problems take the place of principles, religious
convictions are feeble, the grasp of Christian truth is relaxed, and
the result is a certain moral hesitancy and infirmity.

They are not hostile to the churches, but they are more or less
indifferent to their doctrines.  As each sect has its peculiar creed,
the dogmatic position of the church is thought to be of little moment.
The important thing is to promote intelligence and virtue.  The
distinctively sectarian view they look upon as narrow and false, and
the good which ecclesiastical organizations do is done in spite of
their characteristic doctrines.  The note of sectarianism is to them
what the note of provincialism is to a man of culture, or lack of
breeding to a gentleman.  The moral fervor, which sectarians more than
others feel, is, they freely grant, a power for good.  It has a
wholesome influence upon character, and is a support of the virtues
which make free institutions possible, and which alone can make them
permanent.  But it has no necessary connection with theological
doctrines, since it is found in earnest believers, whatever their
creed.  It is the child of enthusiastic faith, and is nourished and
kept living by worship, not by dogmatic asseverations.  As the power of
the churches does not lie in their creeds, to make these creeds a
school lesson cannot be desirable, especially when we reflect that the
method of religion and the method of science are at variance.

Such, I imagine, are the views of large numbers of Americans, who are
not members of any church, but whose influence is strongly felt in
political and commercial as well as in social and professional life.
And numbers of zealous Protestants are in substantial agreement with
them, since they hold that faith is an emotional rather than an
intellectual state of mind, and that religion is not so much a way of
thinking as a way of feeling and acting.  They assume, of course, as
the prerequisites of religious belief, the dogmas of the existence of a
personal God and of an immortal human soul; but, for the rest, they lay
stress upon conduct and piety, not upon orthodox faith.  A church must
have a creed, as a party must have a platform; but unhesitating
confidence in the truth of the doctrines which it thus formulates is
not indispensable.  American churches tend to ignore creeds.  This is
due, in a measure, to the growing desire to form a union among the
several sects; but it is none the less a sign of waning belief in
dogmatic religion.  Hence the increasing emphasis which preaching lays
upon the moral, æsthetic, and emotional aspects of the religious life.
Hence, too, the assumption that the soul of the church may live, though
the body be dead.

But, apart from all theories and systems of belief and thought, public
opinion in America sets strongly against the denominational school.

The question of education is considered from a practical rather than
from a theoretical point of view, and public sentiment on the subject
may be embodied in the following words: The civilized world now
recognizes the necessity of popular education.  In a government of the
people, such as this is, intelligence should be universal.  In such a
government, to be ignorant is not merely to be weak, it is also to be
dangerous to the common welfare; for the ignorant are not only the
victims of circumstances, they are the instruments which unscrupulous
and designing men make use of, to taint the source of political
authority and to thwart the will of the people.  To protect itself, the
State is forced to establish schools and to see that all acquire at
least the rudiments of letters.  This is so plain a case that argument
becomes ridiculous.  They who doubt the good of knowledge are not to be
reasoned with, and in America not to see that it is necessary, is to
know nothing of our political, commercial, and social life.  But the
American State can give only a secular education, for it is separate
from the church, and its citizens profess such various and even
conflicting beliefs, that in establishing a school system, it is
compelled to eliminate the question of religion.  Church and State are
separate institutions, and their functions are different and distinct.
The church seeks to turn men from sin, that they may become pleasing to
God and save their souls; the State takes no cognizance of sin, but
strives to prevent crime, and to secure to all its citizens the
enjoyment of life, liberty, and property.  Americans are a Christian
people.  Religious zeal impelled their ancestors to the New World, and
when schools were first established here, they were established by the
churches, and religious instruction formed an important part of the
education they gave.  This was natural, and it was desirable even, in
primitive times, when each colony had its own creed and worship, when
society was simple, and the State as yet imperfectly organized.  Here,
as in the Old World, the school was the daughter of the church, and she
has doubtless rendered invaluable service to civilization, by fostering
a love for knowledge among barbarous races and in struggling
communities.  But the task of maintaining a school system such as the
requirements of a great and progressive nation demands, is beyond her
strength.  This is so, at least, when the church is split into jealous
and warring sects.

To introduce the spirit of sectarianism into the class-room would
destroy the harmony and good-will among citizens, which it is one of
the aims of the common school to cherish.  There is, besides, no reason
why this should be done, since the family and the church give all the
religious instruction which children are capable of receiving.

This, it seems to me, is a fair presentation of the views and ideas
which go to the making of current American opinion on the question of
religious instruction in State schools; and current opinion, when the
subject-matter is not susceptible of physical demonstration, cannot be
turned suddenly in an opposite direction.  When men have grown
accustomed to look at things in a certain way, they have acquired a
mental habit, which no mere argument, however cogent or eloquent, is
able to overcome.  To what extent this view of the school question
prevails is readily perceived by whoever recalls to mind that not one
of the States of the Union has attempted to introduce the
denominational system of education, while all the political parties
have bound themselves to uphold the present purely secular system.  The
opinion that the prosperity of the nation depends upon the intelligence
and activity of the people, and to no appreciable extent upon the
influence of ecclesiastical organizations, has so far prevailed, that
the general feeling has come to be that the State has no direct
interest in the church, which is the concern merely of individuals.
The religious denominations themselves have helped to inspire this
sentiment by their jealousies and rivalries.  The smaller sects feel
that State aid for denominational schools would accrue to the benefit
chiefly of the larger; and the others are willing to forego favors
which they could not receive without permitting the Catholic Church to
participate also in the bounty of the government.

The Catholic view of the school question is as clearly defined as it is
well known.  It rests upon the general ground that man is created for a
supernatural end, and that the church is the divinely appointed agency
to help him to attain his supreme destiny.  If education is a training
for completeness of life, its primary element is the religious, for
complete life is life in God.  Hence we may not assume an attitude
toward the child, whether in the home, in the church, or in the school,
which might imply that life apart from God could be anything else than
broken and fragmentary.  A complete man is not one whose mind only is
active and enlightened; but he is a complete man who is alive in all
his faculties.  The truly human is found not in knowledge alone, but
also in faith, in hope, in love, in pure-mindedness, in reverence, in
the sense of beauty, in devoutness, in the thrill of awe, which Goethe
says is the highest thing in man.  If the teacher is forbidden to touch
upon religion, the source of these noble virtues and ideal moods is
sealed.  His work and influence become mechanical, and he will form but
commonplace and vulgar men.  And if an educational system is
established on this narrow and material basis, the result will be
deterioration of the national type, and the loss of the finer qualities
which make men many-sided and interesting, which are the safeguards of
personal purity and of unselfish conduct.

Religion is the vital element in character, and to treat it as though
it were but an incidental phase of man's life is to blunder in a matter
of the highest and most serious import.  Man is born to act, and
thought is valuable mainly as a guide to action.  Now, the chief
inspiration to action, and above all to right action, is found in
faith, hope, and love, the virtues of religion, and not in knowledge,
the virtue of the intellect.  Knowledge, indeed, is effectual only when
it is loved, believed in, and held to be a ground for hope.  Man does
not live on bread alone, and if he is brought up to look to material
things, as to the chief good, his higher faculties will be stunted.  If
to do rightly rather than to think keenly is man's chief business here
on earth, then the virtues of religion are more important than those of
the intellect; for to think is to be unresolved, whereas to believe is
to be impelled in the direction of one's faith.  In epochs of doubt
things fall to decay; in epochs of faith the powers which make for full
and vigorous life, hold sway.  The education which forms character is
indispensable, that which trains the mind is desirable.  The essential
element in human life is conduct, and conduct springs from what we
believe, cling to, love, and yearn for, vastly more than from what we
know.  The decadence and ruin of individuals and of societies come from
lack of virtue, not from lack of knowledge.  "The hard and valuable
part of education," says Locke, "is virtue; this is the solid and
substantial good, which the teacher should never cease to inculcate
till the young man places his strength, his glory, and his pleasure in
it."  We may, of course, distinguish between morality and religion,
between ethics and theology.  As a matter of fact, however, moral laws
have everywhere reposed upon the basis of religion, and their sanction
has been sought in the principles of faith.  As an immoral religion is
false, so, if there is no God, a moral law is meaningless.

Theorists may be able to construct a system of ethics upon a foundation
of materialism; but their mechanical and utilitarian doctrines have not
the power to exalt the imagination or to confirm the will.  Their
educational value is feeble.  Here in America we have already passed
the stage of social development in which we might hold out to the
young, as an ideal, the hope of becoming President of the Republic, or
the possessor of millions of money.  We know what sorry men presidents
and millionnaires may be.  We cannot look upon our country simply as a
wide race-course with well-filled purses hanging at the goal for the
prize-winners.  We clearly perceive that a man's possessions are not
himself, and that he is or ought to be more than anything which can
belong to him.  Ideals of excellence, therefore, must be substituted
for those of success.  Opinion governs the world, but ideals draw souls
and stimulate to noble action.  The more we transform with the aid of
machinery the world of matter, the more necessary does it become that
we make plain to all that man's true home is the world of thought and
love, of hope and aspiration.  The ideals of utilitarianism and
secularism are unsatisfactory.  They make no appeal to the infinite in
man, to that in him which makes pursuit better than possession, and
which, could he believe there is no absolute truth, love, and beauty,
would lead him to despair.  To-day, as of old, the soul is born of God
and for God, and finds no peace unless it rest in him.  Theology,
assuredly, is not religion; but religion implies theology, and a church
without a creed is a body without articulation.  The virtues of
religion are indispensable.  Without them, it is not well either with
individuals or with nations; but these virtues cannot be inculcated by
those who, standing aloof from ecclesiastical organizations, are
thereby cut off from the thought and work of all who in every age have
most loved God, and whose faith in the soul has been most living.
Religious men have wrought for God in the church, as patriots have
wrought for liberty and justice in the nation; and to exclude the
representatives of the churches from the school is practically to
exclude religion,--the power which more than all others makes for
righteousness, which inspires hope and confidence, which makes possible
faith in the whole human brotherhood, in the face even of the political
and social wrongs which are still everywhere tolerated.  To exclude
religion is to exclude the spirit of reverence, of gentleness and
obedience, of modesty and purity; it is to exclude the spirit by which
the barbarians have been civilized, by which woman has been uplifted
and ennobled and the child made sacred.  From many sides the demand is
made that the State schools exercise a greater moral influence, that
they be made efficient in forming character as well as in training the
mind.  It is recognized that knowing how to read and write does not
insure good behavior.  Since the State assumes the office of teacher,
there is a disposition among parents to make the school responsible for
their children's morals as well as for their minds, and thus the
influence of the home is weakened.  Whatever the causes may be, there
seems to be a tendency, both in private and in public life, to lower
ethical standards.  The moral influence of the secular school is
necessarily feeble, since our ideas of right and wrong are so
interfused with the principles of Christianity that to ignore our
religious convictions is practically to put aside the question of
conscience.  If the State may take no cognizance of sin, neither may
its school do so.  But in morals sin is the vital matter; crime is but
its legal aspect.  Men begin as sinners before they end as criminals.

The atmosphere of religion is the natural medium for the development of
character.  If we appeal to the sense of duty, we assume belief in God
and in the freedom of the will; if we strive to awaken enthusiasm for
the human brotherhood, we imply a divine fatherhood.  Accordingly, as
we accept or reject the doctrines of religion, the sphere of moral
action, the nature of the distinction between right and wrong, and the
motives of conduct all change.  In the purely secular school only
secular morality may be taught; and whatever our opinion of this system
of ethics may otherwise be, it is manifestly deficient in the power
which appeals to the heart and the conscience.  The child lives in a
world which imagination creates, where faith, hope, and love beckon to
realms of beauty and delight.  The spiritual and moral truths which are
to become the very life-breath of his soul he apprehends mystically,
not logically.  Heaven lies about him; he lives in wonderland, and
feels the thrill of awe as naturally as he looks with wide-open eyes.
Do not seek to persuade him by telling him that honesty is the best
policy, that poverty overtakes the drunkard, that lechery breeds
disease, that to act for the common welfare is the surest way to get
what is good for one's self; for such teaching will not only leave him
unimpressed, but it will seem to him profane, and almost immoral.  He
wants to feel that he is the child of God, of the infinitely good and
all-wonderful; that in his father, divine wisdom and strength are
revealed; in his mother, divine tenderness and love.  He so believes
and trusts in God that it is our fault if he knows that men can be
base.  In nothing does the godlike character of Christ show forth more
beautifully than in His reverence for children.  Shall we profess to
believe in Him, and yet forbid His name to be spoken in the houses
where we seek to train the little ones whom He loved?  Shall we shut
out Him whose example has done more to humanize, ennoble, and uplift
the race of man than all the teachings of the philosophers and all the
disquisitions of the moralists?  If the thinkers, from Plato and
Aristotle to Kant and Pestalozzi, who have dealt with the problems of
education, have held that virtue is its chief aim and end, shall we
thrust from the school the one ideal character who, for nearly nineteen
hundred years, has been the chief inspiration to righteousness and
heroism; to whose words patriots and reformers have appealed in their
struggles for liberty and right; to whose example philanthropists have
looked in their labors to alleviate suffering; to whose teaching the
modern age owes its faith in the brotherhood of men; by whose courage
and sympathy the world has been made conscious that the distinction
between man and woman is meant for the propagation of the race, but
that as individuals they have equal rights and should have equal
opportunities?  We all, and especially the young, are influenced by
example more than by precepts and maxims, and it is unjust and
unreasonable to exclude from the schoolroom the living presence of the
noblest and best men and women, of those whose words and deeds have
created our Christian civilization.  In the example of their lives we
have truth and justice, goodness and greatness, in concrete form; and
the young who are brought into contact with these centres of influence
will be filled with admiration and enthusiasm; they will be made gentle
and reverent; and they will learn to realize the ever-fresh charm and
force of personal purity.  Teachers who have no moral criteria, no
ideals, no counsels of perfection, no devotion to God and godlike men,
cannot educate, if the proper meaning of education is the complete
unfolding of all man's powers.

The school, of course, is but one of the many agencies by which
education is given.  We are under the influence of our whole
environment,--physical, moral, and intellectual; political, social, and
religious; and if, in all this, aught were different, we ourselves
should be other.  The family is a school and the church is a school;
and current American opinion assigns to them the business of moral and
religious education.  But this implies that conduct and character are
of secondary importance; it supposes that the child may be made subject
to opposite influences at home and in the school, and not thereby have
his finer sense of reverence, truth, and goodness deadened.  The
subduing of the lower nature, of the outward to the inner man, is a
thing so arduous that reason, religion, and law combined often fail to
accomplish it.  If one should propose to do away with schools
altogether, and to leave education to the family and the Church, he
would be justly considered ridiculous; because the carelessness of
parents and the inability of the ministry of the Church would involve
the prevalence of illiteracy.  Now, to leave moral and religious
education to the family and the churches involves, for similar reasons,
the prevalence of indifference, sin, and crime.  If illiteracy is a
menace to free institutions, vice and irreligion are a greater menace.
The corrupt are always bad citizens; the ignorant are not necessarily
so.  Parents who would not have their children taught to read and
write, were there no free schools, will as a rule neglect their
religious and moral education.  In giving religious instruction to the
young, the churches are plainly at a disadvantage; for they have the
child but an hour or two in seven days, and they get into their Sunday
classes only the children of the more devout.

If the chief end of education is virtue; if conduct is three-fourths of
life; if character is indispensable, while knowledge is only
useful,--then it follows that religion--which, more than any other
vital influence, has power to create virtue, to inspire conduct, and to
mould character--should enter into all the processes of education.  Our
school system, then, does not rest upon a philosophic view of life and
education.  We have done what it was easiest to do, not what it was
best to do; and in this, as in other instances, churchmen have been
willing to sacrifice the interests of the nation to the whims of a
narrow and jealous temper.  The denominational system of popular
education is the right system.  The secular system is a wrong system.
The practical difficulties to be overcome that religious instruction
may be given in the schools are relatively unimportant, and would be
set aside if the people were thoroughly persuaded of its necessity.  An
objection which Dr. Harris, among others, insists upon, that the method
of science and the method of religion are dissimilar, and that
therefore secular knowledge and religious knowledge should not be
taught in the same school, seems to me to have no weight.  The method
of mathematics is not the method of biology; the method of logic is not
the method of poetry; but they are all taught in the same school.  A
good teacher, in fact, employs many methods.  In teaching the child
grammatical analysis, he has no fear of doing harm to his imagination
or his talent for composition.

No system, however, can give assurance that the school is good.  To
determine this we must know the spirit which lives in it.  The
intellectual, moral, and religious atmosphere which the child breathes
there is of far more importance, from an educational point of view,
than any doctrines he may learn by rote, than any acts of worship he
may perform.

The teacher makes the school; and when high, pure, devout, and
enlightened men and women educate, the conditions favorable to mental
and moral growth will be found, provided a false system does not compel
them to assume a part and play a role, while the true self--the faith,
hope, and love whereby they live--is condemned to inaction.  The deeper
tendency of the present age is not, I think, to exclude religion from
any vital process, but rather to widen the content of the idea of
religion until it embrace the whole life of man.  The worship of God is
not now the worship of infinite wisdom, holiness, and justice alone,
but is also the worship of the humane, the beautiful, and the
industriously active.  Whether we work for knowledge or freedom, or
purity or strength, or beauty or health, or aught else that is friendly
to completeness of life, we work with God and for God.  In the school,
as in whatever other place in the boundless universe a man may find
himself, he finds himself with God, in Him moves, lives, and has his



[1] A discourse pronounced at the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore,
which, being enforced by the offer of three hundred thousand dollars by
Miss Caldwell, led to the founding of the University at Washington.

The subject which I have been asked to treat is the higher education of
priests; which, I suppose, is the highest education of man, since the
ideal of the Christian priest is the most exalted, his vocation the
most sublime, his office the most holy, his duties the most spiritual,
and his mission--whether we consider its relation to morality, which is
the basis of individual and social welfare, or to religion, which is
the promise and the secret of immortal and godlike life--is the most
important and the most sacred which can be assigned to a human being.

Religion and education--like religion and morality--are nearly related.
Pure religion, indeed, is more than right education; and yet it may be
said with truth that it is but a part of the best education, for it
co-operates with other forces--with climate, custom, social conditions,
and political institutions--to develop and fashion the complete man;
and the special instruction of teachers--which is the narrow meaning of
the word--is modified, and to a great extent controlled, by these
powers which work unseen, and are the vital agents that make possible
all conscious educational efforts.

The faith we hold, the laws we obey, the domestic and social customs to
which our thoughts and loves are harmonized, the climate we live in,
mould our characters and give to our souls a deeper and more lasting
tinge than any school, though it were the best.

My subject, however, does not demand that I consider these general and
silent agencies by which life is influenced, but leads me to the
discussion of the methods by which man, with conscious purpose, seeks
to form and instruct his fellow-man; to the discussion of the special
education which brings art to the aid of nature, and becomes the
auxiliary and guide of the other forces which contribute to the
development of our being.

In this age, when all who think at all turn their thoughts to questions
of education, it is needless to call attention to the interest of the
subject, which, like hope, is immortal, and fresh as the innocent face
of laughing childhood.

Is not the school for all men a shrine to which their pilgrim thoughts
return to catch again the glow and gladness of a world wherein they
lived by faith and hope and love when round the morning sun of life the
golden purple clouds were hanging, and earth lay hidden in mist,
beneath which the soul created a new paradise?  To the opening mind all
things are young and fair; and to remember the delight that accompanied
the gradual dawn of knowledge upon our mental vision, sweet and
beautiful as the upglowing of day from the bosom of night, is to be
forever thankful for the gracious power of education.  And is there not
in all hearts a deep and abiding yearning for great and noble men, and
therefore an imperishable interest in the power by which they are
moulded?  When fathers and mothers look upon the fair blossoming
children that cling to them as the vine wraps its tendrils round the
spreading bough, and when their great love fills them with ineffable
longing to shield these tender souls from the blighting blasts of a
cold and stormy world, and little by little to prepare them to stand
alone and breast the gales of fortune, do they not instinctively put
their trust in the power of education?

When, at the beginning of the present century, Germany lay prostrate at
the feet of Napoleon, the wise and the patriotic among her children
yielded not to despondency, but turned with confidence to truer methods
and systems of education, and assiduous teaching and patient waiting
finally brought them to Sedan.

When, in the sixteenth century, heresy and schism seemed near to final
victory over the Church, Pope Julius III. declared that the evils and
abuses of the times were the outgrowth of the shameful ignorance of the
clergy, and that the chief hope of the dawning of a brighter day lay in
general and thorough ecclesiastical education.  And the Catholic
leaders who finally turned back the advancing power of Protestantism,
re-established the Church in half the countries in which it had been
overthrown, and converted more souls in America and Asia than had been
lost in Europe, belonged to the greatest educational body the world has
ever seen.  What is history but examples of success through knowledge
and righteousness, and of failure through lack of understanding and of

Wherein lies the superiority of civilized races over barbarians if not
in their greater knowledge and superior strength of character?  And
what but education has placed in the hands of man the thousand natural
forces which he holds as a charioteer his well-reined steeds, bidding
the winds carry him to distant lands, making steam his tireless,
ever-ready slave, and commanding the lightning to speak his words to
the ends of the earth?  What else than this has taught him to map the
boundless heavens, to read the footprints of God in the crust of the
earth ages before human beings lived, to measure the speed of light, to
weigh the imperceptible atom, to split up all natural compounds, to
create innumerable artificial products with which he transforms the
world and with a grain of powder marches like a conquering god around
the globe?

What converts the meaningless babbling of the child into the stately
march of oratoric phrase or the rhythmic flow of poetic language?  What
has developed the rude stone and bronze implements of savage and
barbarous hordes into the miraculous machinery which we use?  By what
power has man been taught to carve the shapeless rock into an image of
ideal beauty, or with it to build his thought into a temple of God,
where the soul instinctively prostrates itself in adoration?

Is not all this, together with whatever else is excellent in human
works, the result of education, which gives to man a second nature with
more admirable endowments?  And is not religion itself a kind of
celestial education, which trains the soul to godlike life?

No progress in things divine or human is made by man except through
effort, and effort is the power and the law of education.  The maxim of
the spiritual writers that not to struggle upward and onward is to be
drawn downward, applies to every phase of our life.  Whence do we
derive strength of soul but from the uplifting of the mind and heart to
God which we call prayer?  To pray is to think, to attend, to hold the
mind lovingly to its object; and this is what we do when we study.
Hence prayer, which is the voice of religion, is a part of
education,--nay, its very soul, breathing on all the chords of life,
till their thousand dissonances meet in rhythmic harmony.  What is the
pulpit but the holiest teacher's chair that has been placed upon the

And as the presence of a noble character is a more potent influence
than words, so sacramental communion with Christ is man's chief school
of faith, of hope, and love.  There are worthy persons who turn, as
from an unholy thought, from the emphatic announcement of the need of
the best human qualities for the proper defence of the cause of God in
the world.  Such speech seems to them to be vain and unreal; for God is
all in all, and man is nothing.  But in our day it is easier to go
astray in the direction of self-annihilation than in that of
self-assertion; since the common tendency now of all false philosophies
is pantheistic, and issues in unconscious contempt of individual life.
If man is but a bubble, merging forth and re-absorbed, without past or
future, then indeed both he, and what he seems to do, sink into the
eternal flow of matter, and are undeserving of a thought.  This
certainly is not the Christian view, to which man is revealed as a
lesser god, and co-worker with the Eternal, whose thought can reach the
infinite, and whose will can oppose that of the Omnipotent.  In Christ,
God co-operates with man for the salvation of the world; and in the
Church, man co-operates with God to this same end.  The more complete
the man, the more fit is he to work with God.  Even bodily
disfigurement is looked upon as an obstacle; how much more, then, shall
lack of intelligence and want of heart render us unworthy of the divine
office?  I certainly shall never deny that love, which the Apostle
exalts above faith and hope, is higher also than knowledge.  The light
of the mind is as that of the moon--fair and soft and soothing, without
heat, without the power to call forth and nourish life; but the light
of the soul, which is love, is the sunlight, whose kiss, like a word of
God, makes the dead to live, and clothes the world in strength and
beauty.  Character is more than intellect, love is more than knowledge,
religion is more than morality; and a great heart brings us closer to
God, nearer to all goodness, than a bright mind.  Education is
essentially moral, and the intellectual qualities themselves, which we
seek to develop, derive their chief efficacy from underlying ethical
qualities upon which they rest and from which they receive their energy
and the power of self-control.  Inequality of will is the great cause
of inequality of mind; and the will is strengthened by the practice of
virtue, as the body by food and exercise.  If this is a general truth,
with what special force must it not apply to the ministers of a
religion the paramount and ceaseless aim of which is to make men holy,
so that at times it has almost seemed as though the Church were
indifferent as to whether they are learned or beautiful or strong?  She
pronounces no man a doctor unless he be also a saint; and when I insist
that the priest shall possess the best mental culture of his age,--that
without this he fights with broken weapons, speaks with harsh voice a
language men will neither hear nor understand, teaches truths which,
having not the freshness and the glow of truth, neither kindle the
heart nor fire the imagination,--I do not forget that, without the
moral earnestness which is born of faith and purity of life, mere
cultivation of mind will not give him power to unseal the fountains of
living waters which refresh the garden of God.  The universal harmony
is felt by a pure heart better than it can be perceived by a keen
intellect.  To a sinless soul the darker side even of life and nature
is not wholly dark, and the mental difficulties which the existence of
evil involves in no way weaken the consciousness of the essential
goodness that lies at the heart of all things.  In the religious, as in
the moral world, men trust to what we are rather than to what we say,
and the teacher of spiritual truth is never strong, unless his life and
character inspire a confidence which arguments alone do not create; for
in questions that reach beyond the sphere of sensation, we feel that
insight is better than reasons, and hence we instinctively prefer the
testimony of a god-like soul to the conclusions of a cultivated mind:
and indeed our Blessed Lord ever assumes that the obstacle to the
perception of divine truth is moral and not intellectual.  The pure of
heart see God; the evil-doer loves darkness and shuns the light.  St.
Paul goes even farther, and associates mental cultivation with a
tendency directly opposed to religious faith, which is humble.
"Knowledge puffeth up."  But the words of the Apostle should not be
stretched beyond his purpose, which is to point to pride as a special
danger of the intellectual as sensuality is a danger of the ignorant.
For man to have aught is to run a risk, and hence to do as little as
possible is in the thought of the timid a mark of prudence.  And
indeed, if fear be nearer to wisdom than courage, then should we fear
everything, for danger is everywhere.  A breath may sow the seed of
death; a look may slay the soul.  In knowledge, in ignorance, in
strength, in weakness, in wealth, in poverty, in genius, in stupidity,
in company, in solitude, in innocence itself, danger lurks.  But God
does not abolish life that danger may cease to be; and they who put
their trust in Him will not seek to darken the mind lest knowledge lead
man astray, but will rather in a righteous cause make the venture of
all things, as St. Ignatius preferred the hope of saving others to the
certainty of his own salvation.  And may we not maintain, since we hold
that there is no inappeasable conflict between God and Nature, between
the soul and matter, between revelation and science, that the apparent
antagonism lies in our apprehension, and not in things themselves, and
consequently that reconcilement is to be sought for through the help of
thoroughly trained minds?  The poet speaks the truth, "A little
knowledge is a dangerous thing."  They who know but little and
imperfectly, see but their knowledge, if so it may be called, and walk
in innocent unconsciousness of their infinite nescience.  The narrower
the range of our mental vision, the greater the obstinacy with which we
cling to our opinions; and the half-educated, like the weak and the
incompetent, are often contentious, but whosoever is able to do his
work does it, and finds no time for dispute.  He who possesses a
disciplined mind, and is familiar with the best thoughts that live in
the great literatures, will be the last to attach undue importance to
his own thinking.  A sense of decency and a kind of holy shame will
keep him far from angry and unprofitable controversy; nor will he
mistake a crotchet for a panacea, nor imagine that irritation is
enlightenment.  The blessings of a cultivated mind are akin to those of
religion.  They are larger liberty, wider life, purer delights, and a
juster sense of the relative values of the means and ends which lie
within our reach.  Knowledge, like religion, leads us away from what
appears to what is, from what passes to what remains, from what
flatters the senses to that which speaks to the soul.  Wisdom and
religion converge, as love and knowledge meet in God; and to the wise
as to the religious man, no great evil can happen.  Into prison they
both carry the sweet company of their thoughts, their faith and hope,
and are freer in chains than the great in palaces.  In death they are
in the midst of life, for they see that what they know and love is
imperishable, nor subject even to atomic disintegration.  He who lives
in the presence of truth yearns not for the company of men, but loves
retirement as a saint loves solitude; and in times like ours, when men
no longer choose the desert for a dwelling-place, the passionate desire
of intellectual excellence co-operates with religious faith to guard
them against dissipation and to lift them above the spirit of the age.
The thinker is never lonely, as he who lives with God is never unhappy.
Is not the love of excellence, which is the scholar's love, a part of
the love of goodness which makes the saint?  And are not intellectual
delights akin to those religion brings?  They are pure, they elevate,
they refine; time only increases their charm, and in the winter of age,
when the body is but the agent of pain, contemplation still remains
like the light of a higher world, to tinge with beauty the clouds that
gather around life's setting.  How narrow and monotonous is sensation!
how wide and various is thought!  They who live in the senses are
fettered and ill at ease; they who live in the soul are free and
joyful.  And since the priest, unless he be a saint, must have, like
other men, some human joy, and since he dwells not in the sacred circle
of the love of wife and children, in which the multitudes find repose
and contentment, what solace, what refreshment, in the midst of cares
and labors, shall we offer him?  If there be aught for him that is not
unworthy or dangerous, except the pleasures of the mind, to me it is
unknown; and though a well-trained intellect should do no more than to
enable us to take delight in pure and noble objects, it would be a
chief help to worthy life.  And when the whole tendency of our social
existence is to draw men out of themselves and to make them seek the
good of life in what is external, as money, display, position, renown,
is it not a gain, if, while we open their minds to the charm of
intellectual beauty, we make them see that this eager striving for
wealth and place is a vulgar chase?  And does not the spirit of
refinement in thought, in speech, in manner, add worth and fairness to
him whom it inspires, though the motive which preserves him from what
is low or gross be no higher than a fastidious delicacy and

To deny the moral influence of intellectual culture is as great an
error as to affirm that it alone is a sufficient safeguard of morality.
Its tendency unquestionably is to make men gentle, amiable,
fair-minded, truthful, benevolent, modest, sober.  It curbs ambition
and teaches resignation; chastens the imagination and mitigates
ferocity; dissuades from duelling because it is barbarous, and from war
because it is cruel, and from persecution because it trusts in the
prevalence of reason.  It seeks to fit the mind and the character to
the world, to all possible circumstances, so that whatever happens we
remain ourselves,--calm, clear-seeing, able to do and to suffer.  At
great heights, or in the presence of irresistible force, as of a mighty
waterfall, we grow dizzy; and in the same way, in the midst of
multitudes, in the eagerness of strife, in the whirlwind of passion,
equipoise is lost, and we cease to be ourselves, to become part of an
aggregate of forces that hurry us on, whither we know not.  To be able
to stand in the presence of such power, and to feel its influence, and
yet not to lose self-possession, is to be strong; is, on proper
occasion, to be great.  And the aim of the best education is to teach
us the secret and the method of this complete self-control; and in so
far it is not only moral, but also religious, though religion walks in
a more royal road, and bids us love God and trust so absolutely in Him
that life and death become equal, and all the ways and workings of men
as the storm to one who on lofty mountain peak, amid the blue heavens,
with the sunlight around him and the quiet breathing of the winds, sees
far below, as in another world, the black clouds and lurid lightning
flash and hears the roll of distant thunder.

It is far from my thought, it is needless to say, that mental
cultivation can be made to take the place or do the work of religion,
even in the case of the very few for whom the best discipline of mind
is possible.  My aim is simply to show that the type of character which
it tends to create is not necessarily at variance with religious
principle and life, as is, for instance, that of the mere worldling;
but that it conspires with Christian faith to produce, if not the same,
at least similar virtues, though its ethical influence is comparatively
superficial, and the moral qualities which it produces lack consistency
and the power to withstand the fire of the passions.  It is enough for
my purpose to point out that if intellectualism is often the foe of
religious truth, there is no good reason why it should not also be its

No excellence, as I conceive, of whatever kind, is rejected by Catholic
teaching, and the perfection of the mind is not less divine than the
perfection of the heart.  It is good to know, as it is good to hope, to
believe, to love.  A cultivated intellect, an open mind, a rich
imagination, with correctness of thought, flexibility of view, and
eloquent expression, are among the noblest endowments of man; and
though they should serve no other purpose than to embellish life, to
make it fairer and freer, they would nevertheless be possessions
without price, for the most nobly useful things are those which make
life good and beautiful.  Like virtue they are their own reward, and
like mercy they bear a double blessing.  It is the fashion with many to
affect contempt for men of superior culture, because they look upon
education as simply a means to tangible ends, and think knowledge
valuable only when it can be made to serve practical purposes.  This is
a narrow and a false view; for all men need the noble and the
beautiful, and he who lives without an ideal is hardly a man.  Our
material wants are not the most real for being the most sensible and
pressing, and they who create or preserve for us models of spiritual
and intellectual excellence are our greatest benefactors.  Which were
the greater loss for England, to be without Wellington and Nelson, or
to be without Shakspeare and Milton?  Whatever the answer be, in the
one case England would suffer, in the other the whole world would feel
the loss.  Though a thoroughly trained intellect is less worthy of
admiration than a noble character, its power is immeasurably greater;
for, example can influence but a few and for a short time, but when a
truth or a sentiment has once found its best expression, it becomes a
part of literature, and like a proverb is current forevermore; and so
the kings of thought become immortal rulers, and without their help the
godlike deeds of saints and heroes would be buried in oblivion.  "Words
pass," said Napoleon, "but deeds remain."  The man of action
exaggerates the worth of action, but the philosopher knows that to act
is easy, to think, difficult; and that great deeds spring from great
thoughts.  There are words that never grow silent, there are words that
have changed the face of the earth, and the warrior's wreath of victory
is entwined by the Muse's hand.  The power of Athens is gone, her
temples are in ruins, the Acropolis is discrowned, and from Mars' Hill
no voice thunders now; but the words of Socrates, the great deliverer
of the mind, and the father of intellectual culture, still breathe in
the thoughts of every cultivated man on earth.  The glory of Jerusalem
has departed, the broken stones of Solomon's Temple lie hard by the
graves that line the brook of Kedron, and from the minaret of Mount
Sion the misbeliever's melancholy call sounds like a wail over a lost
world; but the songs of David still rise from the whole earth in
heavenly concert, upbearing to the throne of God the faith and hope and
love of countless millions.  And is not the Blessed Saviour the Eternal
Word?  And is not the Bible God's word?  And is not the Gospel the
Word, which, like an electric thrill, runs to the ends of the world?
"Currit verbum," says St. Paul.  "Man lives not on bread alone, but on
every word that cometh forth from the mouth of God."  Nay, there is
life in all the true and noble thoughts that have blossomed in the mind
of genius and filled the earth with fragrance and with fruit.

Shall I be told that the intellectual cultivation and discipline, which
gives to man control of his knowledge, the perfect use of his
faculties, justness of perception with ease and grace of expression,
cannot bring serviceable advocacy or defence to the cause of divine
truth?  What does truth need but to be known?  And since to reach the
mind and heart of man it must be clothed in words, what is so necessary
to it as the garb and vesture, the form and color, the warmth and life,
which shall so mark it that to be loved it needs but be seen?  And who
shall so clothe it, if not he who has the freest, the most flexible,
the clearest, the best disciplined mind?  In the apostolic age, when
the manifestations of miraculous power accompanied the announcement of
Christian doctrine, the lack of the persuasive words of human eloquence
was not felt.  Let him who can drink poison and touch scorpions, and
not suffer harm, despise the aid of learning; but for us, who are not
so assisted, no cultivation of mind or preparation of heart can be too
great; and to appear in the garb of a savage were less unseemly than to
speak the holiest and the highest truths in the barbarous tongue of

Our way here cannot be doubtful.  Either we must hold with certain
peculiar heretics that learning is a hindrance to the efficacious
teaching of religious truth, or, denying this, we must hold, since
mental culture is serviceable, that the best is most serviceable.

May we not take this for a principle,--to believe that God does
everything, and then to act as though He left everything for us to do?
Or this: Since grace supposes nature, the growth and strength of the
Church is not wholly independent of the natural endowments of her

As a matter of fact we Catholics are constantly speaking and acting
upon principles of this kind.  We maintain that without a proper
education our children must lose the faith; and that without careful
moral and mental training no man is likely to become a good priest; and
all that I further insist upon is that if he is to do the best work, he
must have the best intellectual discipline.  In an intellectual age, at
least, he cannot be the worthy minister of worship, unless he is also
the accomplished teacher of truth.  In vain shall we clothe him in rich
symbolic vestments, place him in majestic temples, before marble
altars, in the midst of solemn music, in the dim sober-tinted light,
with the great and noble looking out upon him, as from a spirit
world,--in vain shall all this be, if when he himself speaks, his words
are felt to be but the echo of a coarse and empty mind.  And hence our
enemies would gladly leave us the poetry of our worship, would even
enter our churches to be comforted, to be soothed, to seek the
elevation and enlargement of thought and sentiment which comes upon us
in the presence of what is vast, mysterious, and sublime, if we would
but confess that it is only poetry, good and beautiful only as art is
good and beautiful.  The spirit of the time, in fact, it seems to me,
is more and more disposed to grant us everything except the possession
of intellectual truth.  That the Catholic Church is a marvellous power;
that her triumphs have been so enduring and so unexpected that only the
foolish or the ignorant will predict her downfall; that she overcame
paganism; that she saved Christianity when Rome fell; that she
restrained the ferocity of the barbarians, protected the weak,
encouraged labor, preserved the classics, maintained the unity and
sanctity of marriage, defended the purity and dignity of woman,
espoused the cause of the oppressed, and in a lawless and ignorant age
proclaimed the supremacy of right and the worth of learning; that to
these signal services must be added her power to give ease and
pleasantness to the social relations of men, keeping them equally
remote from Puritan severity and pagan license; her eye for beauty and
grace, which has made her the foster-mother of all the arts; her love
of the excellent and the noble, which has enabled her to create types
of character that are immortal; her practical wisdom, giving her the
secret of dealing with every phase of life, so that her saints are
doctors, apostles, mystics, philanthropists, artists, poets, kings,
beggars, warriors, peasants, barbarians, philosophers,--all this, if I
mistake not, unbelievers even are more and more willing to concede.
Nor are they slow to express their admiration of the strength and
majesty of this single power amid the Christian nations, which reaches
back to the great civilizations that have perished, which has preserved
its organic unity intact amid the social revolutions of two thousand
years, and which is acknowledged still to be the greatest moral force
in the world.  But, underlying all they say and think, is the
assumption that the foundations of this noble structure are crumbling;
that the world of faith and thought in which it was upbuilt is become a
desert where no flower blooms, no living soul is found; that the temple
is beautiful only as a ruin is beautiful, where owls hoot and bats flit
to and fro.  "There is not a creed, we are told, which is not shaken,
nor an accredited dogma which is not shown to be questionable; not a
received tradition which does not threaten to dissolve."

The conquests of the human mind in the realms of nature have produced a
world-wide ferment of thought, an intellectual activity which is
without a parallel.  They have increased the power of man to an almost
incredible degree, have given him control of the earth and the seas,
have placed within his grasp undreamed-of forces, have opened to his
view unsuspected mysteries; they have placed him on a new earth and
under new heavens, and thrown a light never seen before upon the
history of his race.  As a part of this vast development new questions
have risen, new theories have been broached, new doubts have suggested
themselves; and because we have changed, all else seems to have changed
also.  And since, underlying all questions, there is found a question
of religion, the discussion of religious and philosophic problems has,
in our day, become a social necessity, and the science of criticism,
together with the physical sciences, has driven the disputants upon new
and difficult ground, where the battle must be fought, and where
retreat is not possible.

As well imagine that society will again take on the form of feudalism,
as that the human mind will return to the point of view from which our
ancestors looked on nature.

And this world-view shapes and colors all our thinking, in theology as
in other sciences, so that truths which were latent have come to light,
and principles which have long been held find new and wider application.

Never has the defence of religion required so many and such excellent
qualities of intellect as in the present day.  The early apologists who
contrasted the sublimity and purity of Christian faith with a corrupt
paganism had not a difficult task.  In the Middle Age the intellect of
the world was on the side of Christ.  The controversy which sprang up
with the advent of Protestantism was biblical and historical, and its
criticism was superficial.  The anti-Christian schools of thought of
the eighteenth century were literary rather than philosophical, and the
objections they urged were founded chiefly upon political and social
considerations.  In all these discussions the territory in dispute was
well defined and relatively small.  But into what a different world are
not we thrown!  These earlier explorers sailed upon rivers whose banks
were lined by firm-set rocky cliffs, by the overshadowing boughs of
primeval forests, with here and there pleasant slopes of green where
they might lie at rest amid the fragrance of wild flowers; but from our
Peter's bark we look out upon the dark unfathomed seas towards an
unknown world whose margin ever fades and recedes as we seem to draw
near the haven of our desire.

As in the beginning of the twelfth century the cry, "God wills it!"
rang through Europe, and from all her lands armies of mailed knights
sprang into battle-array and turned their faces towards the Holy City,
resolved to wrench from infidel hands the Sacred Tomb of Christ, so
now, from her thousand watch-towers, science sounds her clarion note
with quite other intent, urging on to the attack of the citadel of God
in the heart of man, renewing upon lower fields the war in which
immortal spirits contended with the Almighty "in dubious battle on the
plains of heaven, and shook his throne."  As "he jests at scars that
never felt a wound," so here the lesser knowledge makes the bolder man.
Not that difficulties should create doubts, or that objections may not
be answered, or that it is necessary to refute each hypothesis that
appears and fades like a dissolving view, or to notice each
unwarrantable inference from unquestioned facts, or that it is worth
while to address ourselves to minds whose nebulous and shifting
opinions make it impossible that they should receive correct
impressions; but the field upon which attacks upon religion are now
made is so vast, the confusion of thought into which new discoveries
and speculations have thrown the minds of even educated men is so
bewildering, the methods for the ascertainment of truth are so tangled
and misapplied, the rushing on of multitudes to discuss problems which
have hitherto been left to philosophers, and which they alone can
rightly enunciate, is so stupefying, that those who have the clearest
perception of the mental state of the modern world, and who are able to
take the finest and most comprehensive view of the religious,
philosophic, and scientific controversies of the day, seem loath to
enter into a struggle where the ground continually changes, and where
victory at the best is only partial, and but leads to further contest.
It is well to remember, also, that in the intellectual arena to attack
is easier than to defend, and any shallow, incoherent talker or writer
can propose difficulties which the keenest thinker will find great
trouble to explain.  Since we and our works fall to ruin and pass away,
we seem instinctively to take the side of those who seek to undermine
and overthrow systems of thought and belief which claim to be
indestructible, and the human heart is half a traitor to the Church
which declares that she is indefectible and infallible.  Is there not
indeed, however we account for it, in all nature a kind of dread and
horror of the supernatural, such as one who hides within his bosom a
secret of dark guilt feels in the presence of the conscience of
mankind?  And does not this make the world lean to the side of those
who would eliminate God from nature?

And yet, since man's heart is the home of contradictions, is it not
also true to say that he is naturally religious?  His faith in God is
as deep and unwavering as his faith in the testimony of the senses; and
if there are atheists there are also men who hold that all things are
unreal and only appear to be; that the world is but a myriad-formed, a
myriad-tinted idea, the dream of a substanceless dreamer.  Not only do
we believe in God and in the soul, but all that we love, all that we
hope for, all that gives to life charm, dignity, and sacredness, is
interpenetrated, perfumed, and illumined by this faith.  If men could
be persuaded that the unconscious is the beginning and the end of all
things, what good would have been gained?  The light of heaven would
fade away, and the soul's high faith be made a lie; the poor would have
no friend, and the rich no heart; the wicked would be without fear, and
the good without hope; success would be consecrated, and death alone
would remain as the refuge of the unfortunate.  Even animal indulgence,
in sinking out of the moral order, would lose its human charm.  If then
in our day there is wide-spread scepticism, a sort of vague feeling
that science is undermining religion and that the most sacred beliefs
are dissolving, the cause of this lies not so much in the natural
tendencies of the mind and heart, as in social conditions, in passing
phases of thought, in the shifting of the point of view from which men
have hitherto been accustomed to look on nature; and the continuance
and the progress of doubt, and consequently of indifference, is, to
some extent at least, to be ascribed also to the fact that the most
earnest believers in God and in Christianity have, for now more than a
century, been less eager to acquire the best philosophic and literary
cultivation of mind than others who, having lost faith in the
supernatural, seek for compensation in a wider and deeper knowledge of
nature, and in the mental culture which enables them to enjoy more
keenly the high thoughts and fair images which live in literature and
art.  As a well-trained intellect, in argument with the unskilful,
easily makes the worse appear the better cause, so in an age or a
country where the best discipline of mind is found chiefly among those
who are not Christians, or at least not Catholics, public opinion will
drift away from the Church, until the view finally becomes general
that, whatever she may have been in other times, her day is past.  Nor
will aught external, however fair or glorious, secure her against this
danger.  How often in the history of nations and of religions is not
outward splendor the mark of inward decay?  When Rome was free, a
simple life sufficed; but when liberty fled, marble palaces arose.  The
monarch who built Versailles made the scaffold on which French royalty
perished; and so a dying faith, like the setting sun, may drape itself
in glory.  The Kingdom of God is within; there is the source of life
and strength, without which nor numbers nor wealth, nor stately
edifices nor solemn rites, avail.  Nor can we be certain of men's love
when we cease to have influence over their thoughts.  The proper appeal
is to the heart through the mind; and even a mother loses half her
power when she ceases to be the intellectual superior of her children.
How then shall the heavenly Mother of the soul keep her place in the
world, if those who speak in her name mar by imperfect and ignorant
utterance the celestial harmony of her doctrines?

Ah! let us learn to see things as they are.  In face of the modern
world, that which the Catholic priest most needs, after virtue, is the
best cultivation of mind, which issues in comprehensiveness of view, in
exactness of perception, in the clear discernment of the relations of
truths and of the limitations of scientific knowledge, in fairness and
flexibility of thought, in ease and grace of expression, in candor, in
reasonableness; the intellectual culture which brings the mind into
form gives it the control of its faculties, creates the habit of
attention, and develops firmness of grasp.  The education of which I
speak is expansion and discipline of mind rather than learning; and its
tendency is not so much to form profound dogmatists, or erudite
canonists, or acute casuists, as to cultivate a habit of mind, which,
for want of a better word, may be called philosophical; to enlarge the
intellect, to strengthen and supple its faculties, to enable it to take
connected views of things and their relations, and to see clear amid
the mazes of human error and through the mists of human passion.  I
speak of that perfection of the intellect, which, to use the words of
Cardinal Newman, "is the clear, calm, accurate vision and comprehension
of all things as far as the finite mind can embrace them, each in its
place and with its own characteristics upon it.  It is almost prophetic
from its knowledge of history; it is almost heart-searching from its
knowledge of human nature; it has almost supernatural charity from its
freedom from littleness and prejudice; it has almost the repose of
faith because nothing can startle it; it has almost the beauty and
harmony of heavenly contemplation, so intimate is it with the eternal
order of things and the music of the spheres."  This is, indeed, ideal;
but they who believe not in ideals were not born to know the real worth
of things:

        "Spite of proudest boast
  Reason, best reason is to imperfect man
  An effort only and a noble aim,--
  A crown, an attribute of sovereign power,
  Still to be courted, never to be won."

It is plain that education of this kind aims at something quite
different from the mere imparting of useful knowledge.  It takes the
view that it is good to know, even though knowledge should not be a
means to wealth or power or any other common aim of life.  It regards
the mind as the organ of truth, and trains it for its own sake, without
reference to the exercise of a profession.  Hence its distinguishing
characteristic is that it is liberal and not professional.  It holds
cultivated faculties in higher esteem than learning, and it makes use
of knowledge to improve the intellect, rather than of the intellect to
acquire knowledge.  Hence, one may be a skilful physician, a judicious
lawyer, a learned theologian, and yet be greatly lacking in mental
culture.  It is a common experience to find that professional men are
apt to be narrow and one-sided.  Their mind, like the dyer's hand, is
subdued to what it works in.  They want comprehensiveness of view,
flexibility of thought, openness to light, and freedom of mental play.
They think in grooves, make the rules of their art the measure of
truth, and their own methods of inquiry the only valid laws of
reasoning.  These same defects may be observed in those who are given
exclusively to the study of physical science.  When they sweep the
heavens with the telescope and do not find God, they conclude that
there is no God.  When the soul does not reveal itself under the
microscope, they argue it does not exist; and since there is no thought
without nervous movement, they claim that the brain thinks.

Now, if it is desirable that those who are charged with the teaching
and defence of divine truth should be free from this narrowness and
one-sidedness, this lack of openness to light and freedom of mental
play, the education of the priest must be more than a professional
education; and he must be sent to a school higher and broader than the
ecclesiastical seminary, which is simply a training college for the
practical work of the ministry.  The purpose for which it was
instituted is to prepare young men for the worthy exercise of the
general functions of the priestly office, and the good it has done is
too great and too manifest to need commendation.  But the
ecclesiastical seminary is not a school of intellectual culture, either
here in America or elsewhere, and to imagine that it can become the
instrument of intellectual culture is to cherish a delusion.  It must
impart a certain amount of professional knowledge, fit its students to
become more or less expert catechists, rubricists, and casuists, and
its aim is to do this; and whatever mental improvement, if any, thence
results, is accidental.  Hence its methods are not such as one would
choose who desires to open the mind, to give it breadth, flexibility,
strength, refinement, and grace.  Its text-books are written often in a
barbarous style, the subjects are discussed in a dry and mechanical
way, and the professor, wholly intent upon giving instruction, is
frequently indifferent as to the manner in which it is imparted; or
else not possessing himself a really cultivated intellect, he holds in
slight esteem expansion and refinement of mind, looking upon it as at
the best a mere ornament.  I am not offering a criticism upon the
ecclesiastical seminary, but am simply pointing to the plain fact that
it is not a school of intellectual culture, and consequently, if its
course were lengthened to five, to six, to eight, to ten years, its
students would go forth to their work with a more thorough professional
training, but not with more really cultivated minds.  The test of
intellect is not so much what we know as the manner in which it is
known; just as in the moral world, the important consideration is not
what virtues we possess, but the completeness with which they are ours.
He who really believes in God, serves Him, loves Him, is a hero, a
saint; whereas he who half believes may have a thousand good qualities,
but not a great character.  Knowledge is not education any more than
food is nutrition; and as one may eat voraciously, and yet remain
without bodily health or strength, so one may have great learning, and
yet be almost wholly lacking in intellectual cultivation.  His learning
may only oppress and confuse him, be felt as a load, and not as a vital
principle, which upraises, illumines, and beautifies the mind; mentally
he may still be a boy, in whom memory predominates, and whose intellect
is only a receptacle of facts.  Memory is the least noble of the
intellectual faculties, and the nearest to animal intelligence; and to
know well is, in the eyes of a true educator, of quite other importance
than to know much.  But a memory, more or less well-stored, is nearly
all a youth carries with him from the college to the seminary, and here
he enters, as I have already pointed out, upon a course not of
intellectual discipline, but of professional studies, whose object is
not "to open the mind, to correct it, to refine it, to enable it to
know, and to digest, master, rule, and use its knowledge, to give it
power over its own faculties, application, flexibility, method,
critical exactness, sagacity, resource, eloquent expression," but
simply to impart the requisite skill for the ordinary exercise of the
holy ministry.  Hence it is not surprising that priests who are
zealous, earnest, self-sacrificing, who to piety join discretion and
good sense, rarely possess the intellectual culture of which I am
speaking, for the simple reason that a university and not a seminary is
the school in which this kind of education is received.  That the
absence of such trained intellects is a most serious obstacle to the
progress of the Catholic faith, no thoughtful man will doubt or deny.
Since the mind is a power, in religion, as in every sphere of thought
and life, the discipline which best develops and perfects its faculties
will fit it to do its work, whatever it may be, in the most effective
manner.  Hence, though the education of which I speak does not directly
aim at being useful, it is in fact the most useful, and prepares better
than any other for the business of life.  It enables a man to master a
subject with ease, to fill an office with honor; and whatever he does,
the mark of completeness and finish will be found upon his work.  He
sees more clearly, judges more calmly, reasons more pertinently, speaks
more seasonably than other men.  The free and full possession of his
faculties gives him power to turn himself to whatever may be demanded
of him, whether it be to govern wisely, or to counsel judiciously, or
to write gracefully, or to plead eloquently.  Whatever course in life
he may take, whatever line of thought or investigation he may pursue,
his intellectual culture will give him superiority over men who, with
equal or greater talents, lack his education; and he possesses withal
resources within himself, which in a measure make him independent of
fortune, and which, when failure comes and the world abandons him,
remain, like faith, or hope, or a friend, to make him forget his

Of the English universities, with all their shortcomings, Cardinal
Newman says: "At least they can boast of a succession of heroes and
statesmen, of literary men and philosophers, of men conspicuous for
great natural virtues, for habits of business, for knowledge of life,
for practical judgment, for cultivated tastes, for accomplishments, who
have made England what it is,--able to subdue the earth, able to
domineer over Catholics."  It is only in a university that all the
sciences are brought together, their relations adjusted, their
provinces assigned.  There natural science is limited by metaphysics;
morality is studied in the light of history; language and literature
are viewed from the standpoint of ethnology; the criticism which seeks
beauty and not deformity, which in the gardens of the mind takes the
honey and leaves the poison, is applied to the study of eloquence and
poetry; and over all religion throws the warmth and life of faith and
hope, like a ray from heaven.  The mind thus lives in an atmosphere in
which the comparison of ideas and truths with one an other is
inevitable; and so it grows, is strengthened, enlarged, refined, made
pliant, candid, open, equitable.

When numbers of priests will be able to bring this cultivation of
intellect to the treatment of religious subjects, then will Catholic
theology again come forth from its isolation in the modern world; then
will Catholic truth again irradiate and perfume the thoughts and
opinions of men; then will Catholic doctrines again sink into their
hearts, and not remain loose in the mind to be thrown aside, as one
casts away the outworn vesture of the body; then will it be felt that
the fascination of Christian faith is still fresh, supreme, as far
above the charm of science as the joy of a poet's soul is above the
pleasures of sense.  The religious view of life must forever remain the
true view, since no other explains our longings and aspirations, or
justifies hope and enthusiasm; and the worship of God in spirit and in
truth, which Christ has revealed to the world, the religion not of an
age or a people, but of all time and of the human race, must eternally
prevail when brought home to us in a language which we understand; for
we place the testimony of reason above that of the senses.  To the eye
the sun rises and sets, to the mind it is stationary; and we accept,
not what is seen, but what is known.  Is there need of stronger
evidence that the power within, which is our real self, is spiritual?
And is it not enough to see clearly, to perceive that in the struggle
of mind with matter, which is the essential form of the conflict of
spiritualism with materialism, of religion with science, the soul, in
the end, will be victorious, and rest in the real world of faith and
intuition, and not in the pictured world of the senses?

Religion, indeed, like morality, is in the nature of things, and
Catholic faith is Una's Red Cross Knight, on whose shield are old dints
of deep wounds and cruel marks of many a bloody field, who is assailed
by all the powers of earth and of the nether world, armed with whatever
weapons may hurt the mind or corrupt the heart, but whom heavenly
Providence rescues from the jaws of monsters and leads on to victory.

But what true believer thinks himself excused from effort, because
Christ has declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against
His Church?  Does he not know that though, when we consider her whole
course through the world, she has triumphed, so as to have become the
miracle of history, yet has she at many points suffered disastrous
defeat?  Hence, those who love her must be vigilant, and stand prepared
for battle.  And in an age when persecution has either died away or
lost its harshness, when crying abuses have disappeared, when heresy
has run its course, and the struggle of the world with the Church has
become almost wholly intellectual, it is not possible, assuredly, that
her ministers should have too great power of intellect.  And
consequently it is not possible that the bishops, in whose hands the
education of priests is placed, should have too great a care that they
receive the best mental culture.  And if this is a general truth, with
what pertinency does it not come home to us here in America, who are
the descendants of men who, on account of their faith, have for
centuries been oppressed and thrust back from opportunities of
education, and who, when persecution and robbery had reduced them to
ignorance and poverty, were forced to hear their religion reproached
with the crimes of her foes?  And now, when at length a fairer day has
dawned for us in this new world, what can be more natural than our
eager desire to move out from the valleys of darkness towards the hills
and mountain tops that are bathed in sunlight?  What more praiseworthy
than the fixed resolve to prove that not our faith, but our misfortunes
made and kept us inferior.  And, since we live in the midst of millions
who have indeed good will towards us, but who still bear the yoke of
inherited prejudices, and who, because for three hundred years real
cultivation of mind was denied to Catholics who spoke English, conclude
that Protestantism is the source of enlightenment, and the Church the
mother of ignorance, do not all generous impulses urge us to make this
reproach henceforth meaningless?  And in what way shall we best
accomplish this task?  Surely not by writing or speaking about what the
influence of the Church is, or by pointing to what she has done in
other ages, but by becoming what we claim her spirit tends to make us.
Here, if anywhere, the proverb is applicable--_verba movent, exempla
trahunt_.  As the devotion of American Catholics to this country and
its free institutions, as shown not on battle-fields alone, but in our
whole bearing and conduct, convinces all but the unreasonable of the
depth and sincerity of our patriotism, so when our zeal for
intellectual excellence shall have raised up men who will take place
among the first writers and thinkers of their day their very presence
will become the most persuasive of arguments to teach the world that no
best gift is at war with the spirit of Catholic faith, and that, while
the humblest mind may feel its force, the lofty genius of Augustine, of
Dante, and of Bossuet is upborne and strengthened by the splendor of
its truth.  But if we are to be intellectually the equals of others, we
must have with them equal advantages of education; and so long as we
look rather to the multiplying of schools and seminaries than to the
creation of a real university, our progress will be slow and uncertain,
because a university is the great ordinary means to the best
cultivation of mind.  The fact that the growth of the Church here, like
that of the country itself, is chiefly external, a growth in wealth and
in numbers, makes it the more necessary that we bring the most
strenuous efforts to improve the gifts of the soul.  The whole tendency
of our social life insures the increase of churches, convents, schools,
hospitals, and asylums; our advance in population and in wealth will be
counted from decade to decade by millions, and our worship will
approach more and more to the pomp and splendor of the full ritual; but
this very growth makes such demands upon our energies, that we are in
danger of forgetting higher things, or at least of thinking them less
urgent.  Few men are at once thoughtful and active.  The man of deeds
dwells in the world around him; the thinker lives within his mind.
Contemplation, in widening the view, makes us feel that what even the
strongest can do is lost in the limitless expanse of space and time;
and the soul is tempted to fall back upon itself and to gaze passively
upon the course of the world, as though the general stream of human
events were as little subject to man's control as the procession of the
seasons.  Busy workers, on the other hand, having little taste or time
for reflection, see but the present and what lies close to them, and
the energy of their doing circumscribes their thinking.

But the Church needs both the men who act and the men who think; and
since with us everything pushes to action, wisdom demands that we
cultivate rather the powers of reflection.  And this is the duty alike
of true patriots and of faithful Catholics.  All are working to develop
our boundless material resources; let a few at least labor to develop
man.  The millions are building cities, reclaiming wildernesses, and
bringing forth from the earth its buried treasures; let at least a
remnant cherish the ideal, cultivate the beautiful, and seek to inspire
the love of moral and intellectual excellence.  And since we believe
that the Church which points to heaven is able also to lead the nations
in the way of civilization and of progress, why should we not desire to
see her become a beneficent and ennobling influence in the public life
of our country?  She can have no higher temporal mission than to be the
friend of this great republic, which is God's best earthly gift to His
children.  If, as English critics complain, our style is inflated, it
is because we feel the promise of a destiny which transcends our powers
of expression.  Whatever fault men may find with us, let them not doubt
the world-wide significance of our life.  If we keep ourselves strong
and pure, all the peoples of the earth shall yet be free; if we fulfil
our providential mission, national hatred shall give place to the
spirit of generous rivalry, the people shall become wiser and stronger,
society shall grow more merciful and just, and the cry of distress
shall be felt, like the throb of a brother's heart, to the ends of the
world.  Where is the man who does not feel a kind of religious
gratitude as he looks upon the rise and progress of this nation?  Above
all, where is the Catholic whose heart is not enlarged by such
contemplation?  Here, almost for the first time in her history, the
Church is really free.  Her worldly position does not overshadow her
spiritual office, and the State recognizes her autonomy.  The monuments
of her past glory, wrenched from her control, stand not here to point,
like mocking fingers, to what she has lost.  She renews her youth, and
lifts her brow, as one who, not unmindful of the solemn mighty past,
yet looks with undimmed eye and unfaltering heart to a still more
glorious future.  Who in such a presence, can abate hope, or give heed
to despondent counsel, or send regretful thoughts to other days and
lands?  Whoever at any time, in any place, might have been sage, saint,
or hero, may be so here and now; and though he had the heart of
Francis, and the mind of Augustine, and the courage of Hildebrand, here
is work for him to do.

In whatsoever direction we turn our thoughts, arguments rush in to show
the pressing need for us of a centre of life and light such as a
Catholic university would be.  Without this we can have no hope of
entering as a determining force into the living controversies of the
age; without this it must be an accident if we are represented at all
in the literature of our country; without this we shall lack a point of
union to gather up, harmonize, and intensify our scattered forces;
without this our bishops must remain separated, and continue to work in
random ways; without this the noblest souls will look in vain for
something larger and broader than a local charity to make appeal to
their generous hearts; without this we shall be able to offer but
feeble resistance to the false theories and systems of education which
deny to the Church a place in the school; without this the sons of
wealthy Catholics will, in ever increasing numbers, be sent to
institutions where their faith is undermined; without this we shall
vainly hope for such treatment of religious questions and their
relations to the issues and needs of the day, as shall arrest public
attention and induce Catholics themselves to take at least some little
notice of the writings of Catholics; without this in struggles for
reform and contests for rights we shall lack the wisdom of best counsel
and the courage which skilful leaders inspire.  We are a small minority
in the presence of a vast majority; we still bear the disfigurements
and weaknesses of centuries of persecution and suffering; we cling to
an ancient faith in an age when new sciences, discoveries, and theories
fascinate the minds of men, and turn their thoughts away from the past
to the future; we preach a spiritual religion to a people whose
prodigious wealth and rapid triumphs over nature have caused them to
exaggerate the value of material progress; we teach the duty of
self-denial to a refined and intellectual generation, who regard
whatever is painful as evil, whatever is difficult as omissible; we
insist upon religious obedience to the Church in face of a society
where children are ceasing to reverence and obey even their
parents;--if in spite of all this we are to hold our own, not to speak
of larger hopes, it is plain that we may neglect nothing which will
help us to put forth our full strength.

I do not, of course, pretend that this higher education is all that we
need, or that, of itself, it is sufficient; but what I claim is that it
would be a source of strength for us who are in want of help.  God
works in many ways, through many agencies, and I bow in homage to the
humblest effort in a righteous cause of the lowliest human being.
There are diversities of graces, but the same spirit; diversities of
ministries, but the same Lord.  _Numquid omnes doctores?_ asks St.
Paul.  But since he places teachers by the side of apostles and
prophets, surely they will teach to best purpose who to the humility of
faith add the luminousness of knowledge.  To those who reject the idea
of human co-operation in things divine I speak not; but we who believe
that we are co-operators with Christ cannot think that it is possible
to bring to this godlike work either too great preparation of heart or
too great cultivation of mind.  Nor must we think lightly even of
refinement of thought and speech and behavior, for we know that manners
come of morals, and that morals in turn are born of manners, as the
ocean breathes forth the clouds and the clouds fill the ocean.

Let there be then an American Catholic university, where our young men,
in the atmosphere of faith and purity, of high thinking and plain
living, shall become more intimately conscious of the truth of their
religion and of the genius of their country; where they shall learn the
repose and dignity which belong to their ancient Catholic descent, and
yet not lose the fire which glows in the blood of a new people; to
which from every part of the land our eyes may turn for guidance and
encouragement, seeking light and self-confidence from men in whom
intellectual power is not separate from moral purpose, who look to God
and His universe from bending knees of prayer, who uphold--

  "The cause of Christ and civil liberty
  As one, and moving to one glorious end."

Should such an intellectual centre serve no other purpose than to bring
together a number of eager-hearted, truth-loving youths, what light and
heat would not leap forth from the shock of mind with mind; what
generous rivalries would not spring up; what intellectual sympathies,
resting on the breast of faith, would not become manifest, grouping
souls like atoms, to form the substance and beauty of a world?

O solemn groves that lie close to Louvain and to Freiburg, whose air is
balm and whose murmuring winds sound like the voices of saints and
sages whispering down the galleries of time, what words have ye not
heard bursting forth from the strong hearts of keen-witted youths, who,
Titan-like, believed they might storm the citadel of God's truth!  How
many a one, heavy and despondent, in the narrow, lonesome path of duty,
has remembered you, and moved again in unseen worlds, upheld by faith
and hope!  Who has listened to the words of your teachers and not felt
the truth of the saying of Pope Pius II.,--that the world holds nothing
more precious or more beautiful than a cultivated intellect?  The
presence of such men invigorates like mountain air, and their speech is
as refreshing as clear-flowing fountains.  To know them is to be
forever their debtor.  The company of a saint is the school of saints;
a strong character develops strength in others, and a noble mind makes
all around him luminous.

Why may not eight million Catholics upbuild a home for great teachers,
for men who, to real learning and cultivation of mind, shall add the
persuasiveness of easy and eloquent diction; whose manifest and
indisputable superiority shall put to shame the self-conceit of
American young men, our most familiar intellectual bane, and an
insuperable obstacle to all improvement,--self-conceit, which is the
beatitude of vulgar characters and shallow minds?  If our students
should find in such an institution but one man, who, like Socrates,
with ironic questioning might make for them the discovery of the new
world of their own ignorance, the gain would be great enough.

Why may we not have a centre of light and truth which will raise up
before us standards of intellectual excellence; which will enable us to
see that our so-called educated men are as far from being scholars as
the makers of our horrible show-bills are from being artists; which
will teach us that it is not only false but vulgar to call things by
pretentious names,--as, for instance, to call a politician a statesman,
a declaimer an orator, or a Latin school a university.

Ah! surely as to whether an American Catholic university is desirable
there cannot be two opinions among enlightened men.  But is it
feasible?  A true university is one of the noblest foundations of the
great Catholic ages, when faith rose almost to the height of creative
power, and it were folly in me to maintain that such an undertaking is
not surrounded by many and great difficulties.  To begin with the
material for foundation, money is necessary, and this, I am persuaded,
we may have.  A noble cause will find or make generous hearts.  Men
above all we need, for every kind of existence propagates itself only
by itself.  But let us bear in mind that the best teacher is not
necessarily or often he who knows the most, but he who has most power
to determine the student to self-activity; for in the end the mind
educates itself.  As distrust is the mark of a narrow intellect or a
bad heart, so a readiness to believe in the ability of others is not
only a characteristic of able men, but it is also the secret charm
which calls around them helpers and followers.  Hence, a strong man who
loves his work is a better educator than a half-hearted professor who
carries whole libraries in his head.

To bring together in familiar and daily life a number of young men,
chosen for the brightness of their minds and an eager yearning for
knowledge, is to create an atmosphere of intellectual warmth and light,
which invigorates and inspires the master, while it stimulates his
disciples.  In such company it will not be difficult to form teachers.
But will it be possible to find young men who will consent, when after
years of study they have finally reached the priesthood, to continue in
a higher institution the arduous and confining labors to the end of
which they have looked as to the beginning of a new life?  In other
lands such students are found, and if with us there is a tendency to
rush with precipitancy and insufficient preparation to whatever work we
may have chosen, this is but a proof of the need of special efforts to
restrain an ardor which springs from weakness and not from strength.
Haste is a mark of immaturity.  He who is certain of himself and master
of his tools, knows that he is able, and neither hurries nor worries,
but works and waits.  The rank weed shoots up in a day and as quickly
dies; but the long-growing olive-tree stands from century to century,
and drops from its gently waving boughs ripe fruit through the quiet
autumn air.  The Church endures forever; and we American Catholics, in
the midst of our rapidly-moving and ever-changing society, should be
the first to learn to temper energy with the patient strength which
gives the courage to toil and wait through a long life, if so we make
ourselves worthy to speak some fit word or do some needful deed.  And
to whom shall this lesson first be taught if not to the clerics, whose
natural endowments single them out as future leaders of Catholic
thought and enterprise; and where can this lesson so well be learned as
in a school whose standard of intellectual excellence shall be the

While we look, therefore, to the founding of a true university, we will
begin, as the university of Paris began in the twelfth century, and as
the present university of Louvain began fifty years ago, with a
national school of philosophy and theology, which will form the central
faculty of a complete educational organism.  Around this, the other
faculties will take their places, in due course of time; and so the
beginning which we make will grow, until like the seed planted in the
earth, it shall wear the bloomy crown of its own development.

And though the event be less than our hope, though even failure be the
outcome, is it not better to fail than not to attempt a worthy work
which might be ours?  Only they who do nothing derive comfort from the
mistakes of others; and the saying that a blunder is worse than a crime
is doubtless true for those who have no other measure of worth and
success than the conventional standards of a superficial public
opinion.  We at least know--

      "There lives a Judge
  To whose all-pondering mind a noble aim
  Faithfully kept is as a noble deed;
  In whose pure sight all virtue doth succeed."


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