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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 1878)
lias lost much of her influence over men.
Carlylosays;"Tho true Church of England
al this moment lies in thu editors of its
newspapers." And when we look around
us for the springs of action, for the In flu.
ences that are shaping the destinies of
men in this country, who can doubt that
the real Church of America lies, not in
the pulpit, but in the press, the forum,
the platform, and the stage? Nor when
we look at the matter candidly can we be
surprised that an institution which culti
vates so small a part of man should lose
its control over him.
No proposition can be plainer than that
if the Church is to contain man, it must
be as bro id as man. Then if the Church
is ever to regain her influence over man
kind it must be by cultivating the whole
What then has culture to do with life?
Culture seeks human perfection, and to
this perfection all truth is necessary. True
culture is the development, not of any one
class of faculties, but the symmetrical
development of all the powors, all the
capacities of man. And horo it is, if I
mistake not, that culture is broader than
science, brondei than religion. To cul.
ture no error is sacred and no truth is
profane. True culture is always rcdy to
accept the truth, whether it be written in
our sacred books or stamped on the
rocks beneath our feet; whether found in
the writings of Paul or Confucius; wheth
er sung in the songs of David or chanted
in the Vcdas of India.
Man-kind is progressive and hence nev
er quite repeats itself. Its march is ever
on and on, towards the goal of human
perfection. But withoutculturcman must
advance one side at a time, while with
culture his progress is not in a single line
but many. It is the broad, comprehen
sive, catholic view of things that tends to
perfect man. He who thinks that man
kind has reached perfection has but a
mean conception of the opulence of human
nature. Wo have but tasted the feast of
ttuth. This is but the morning of an etcr.
mil day. Our light is but the faint scin
tillation of Aurora which is yet to brigh
ten into the splendor ol noon.
Our intellectual horizon is ever growing
wider and wider. Wo penetrate the dark
ness and reduce the unknown to the
known. There our knowledge crystal
izes into a religious sentiment. This for
a time is an impassable boundary, but the
accumulated force of human thought nt
length buists the bond and another ad
vance is made. Hence our progress has
been, not like the gentle flowing stream,
but sometimes like the sluggish bay, and
again with the violence of a mountain
torrent. Sad indeed must it be for him
who has not the power to break the crys
tal that surrounds him. When he has
ceased to grow, when triumphantly he
says that he lias reached an unchangeable
faith, we arc not surprised to hear him
call this progressive world a vale of tears.
Intellectual peace is too dear when pur
chased at the price of intellectual death.
In our religion, in our education, in
our government, in all these we have be
come too mechanical. I would not see
all these overthrown and destroyed, but
1 would turn into them the pure, vitaliz.
ing intluuce of culture. I would cease
this worship of the external and build up
and cultivate that which lies within us.
Then, with all our getting, be sure we
get a sph it of toleration for truth. And
above all let us free ourselves from that
hostility to scientific truth, for science,
like a mighty glacier, though its move
ment bo slow, crushes everything Unit op.
poses it. Then, science, take thj flight and
bring back as an olive branch a knowl
edge of those immutable laws whose har
mony is nature and whose source we call
Some one has said, "blessed is the man
who invented sleep." But I say, thrice
blessed he, who invented conversation.
And I say this, not because I like to talkf
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