THERE are precepts and sayings of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ which seem to have been intended for special cases and particular men; there are others which were meant for us all without distinction. Of the latter class is the statement which. I have taken as a text; a divine aphorism, of universal application. It is true of every man, and of every department of every man's activity. Whoever be the workman; whatever the line on which he puts forth his energies; whether he toil with hand or with brain; be he capitalist or wage-earner, doctor or disciple, professional or man of business, youth or grey-beard, this is true first, of every one, that he does his work with Christ, or without Christ; with Christ always in view, or without thought of Christ or reference to Him; that he gathers in the broad gleaning fields of science, art, and investigation, with Christ to lead the way, or as though Christ had nothing to do with him in his working life, nor he with Christ; and this is true, next, and inevitably, that the man who is not thus consciously and trustfully with Christ is no mere neutral but Christ's enemy, and that he who gathers not thus, intelligently and conscientiously under direction from Christ, wastes his time and his energies, and scattereth abroad. Memorable and solemn is this statement of the Saviour; necessary and profitable every day and everywhere for meditation; [3/4] nowhere more in order, as an incentive to searching of conscience, than in a company like that which is gathered together here, and in an institution where the business in hand is to train and discipline young men for the work of their life.
I thank God that, in this College, I can preach on this weighty text without feeling like one who rows against the current, or stems an opposing tide. There is that in the system of Trinity College, which makes it, in this age, a marked institution; which awakens the deep sympathy of one class of society, and evokes the bitter criticism of another. It is a living witness to faith in certain fundamental principles, which, of old time, no one denied, which in this new day, few have the courage to assert. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, that "the fear of the Lord is wisdom." [Job xxviii. 28.] Colleges, in the old days, were founded on the basis of religion; the footing was of faith in God and Christ; for Christ and the Church they existed; intellectual, technical, and moral training went on together, and men knew of no basis for morals except the Christian religion. And so, the school, the college, the university, of old time, were places in which God was revered, and Christ was worshiped; nor, in dealing with the boy or the young man, was it forgotten that he was made in the Image of God.
Again, in those days, the purpose was to train and discipline, to bring out powers, to form character, to give a general and liberal culture, to fit the youth for any work, to make of him if possible a full man rather than a narrow specialist. We know this; and moreover we know what a change has come in both respects. A rationalistic philosophy vaunting itself, and accepted by the impatient and the versatile at its own estimate, has [4/5] detached large numbers from the influence of Religion, and made thoughtless men ashamed of Jesus Christ; while, through the wonderful extension of the range of human knowledge, the subjects of study have increased until it is impossible for any mind to keep up with them; choice must be made, and the right of election is demanded; not without reason, yet with the risk that the disciplinary method may be sacrificed, as men restrict themselves to some limited group of studies, to which an unripe appetency or a utilitarian motive may incline them, and dismiss with indifference, if not with contempt, the thought of general culture in arts. Step by step have these developments proceeded; the power of the Gospel declining, the spirit of individualism asserting more and more boldly the right to freedom from restraint; till in our own day it looks as if the foundations of Christian education had been undermined so effectually that even the great towers were ready to fall; large numbers of educators, in revolt from the old faith, are engaged in experiments of which no one can foresee the end; and perhaps in the popular mind the idea of the University is that of a place where absolute neutrality towards religion shall be scrupulously observed, where no attempt at discipline shall be made, where the student shall be practically a law unto himself, pursuing what branches of knowledge he chooses, living as lie pleases, and freed from all restraint save that which his lingering shreds of faith (if there be any left) or natural decency, or the statutes of the town may impose on his action. In view of these remarkable changes in the world about us, the position of this College challenges attention, and ought, it seems to me, to inspire admiration; it does compel the admiration and respect of those of us who hold old-fashioned views abort the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom, [5/6] and man's duty to God, and the value of character, the need of gymnastic discipline in the intellectual sphere, the importance of ethical training, and the impossibility of teaching a pure and durable system of morality without a basis of religious truth. This College may be by comparison small; other institutions may have a hundred students for ten in this; yet let no man miss the moral of its existence; let none underrate the value of its testimony. It was an old saying, "Principles, not men." And there are principles here which seem to us worth more than a temporary success in attracting the multitude; principles which the sober Christian sense of the community must approve, principles on which time shall distinctly set the seal of full vindication. God's witnesses are always among us, and though they be the few and not the many, yet shall they have the last word. We may sit still without protest, and see Religion banished from education and ignored in the training of our young; we may look on, amazed and helpless, while restraints are removed, one by one, from the rising generation, and until another generation comes up who have not God in all their thoughts, and whose maxim is to do exactly as they please; but the day is certain to arrive when every one's eyes shall be opened wide and all the world shall know that Law and Religion are the pillars on which the Social Order rests, and that when Religion and Law are pulled from under, the edifice must tumble about our ears, in uproar, dust, and carnage of blood.
I repeat, it is a goodly sight which this College presents. Founded in the year of grace 1823, by the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, as Washington College; and since the year 1845 more happily known as Trinity College, it began its work in divine faith in Almighty God, the Fountain of Wisdom, [6/7] and in human faith in the value of disciplinary study. Substantially it remains loyal to the convictions of that distant day. Concessions have been made to changes in the world and the social system; concessions which it was right to make; but principles have not been sacrificed; the foundation standeth sure. It is still a College of the old type; and to such we may be pardoned for applying the words of Christ: "No man having drunk old wine straightway desireth new; for he saith, the old is better." [St. Luke v. 39.] Religion is duly honored here; it is a subject of instruction from the beginning of the course to the end. There are electives, but Religion is not among them. I observe from your scheme of attendance in the Courses in Arts, Science, and Letters, that in every course, in every class, the first hour in every week is devoted to ethical and religious study, here regarded, and correctly, as part and parcel of each other. Nor, to judge from the admirable Report of your Reverend President, is there any danger of receding from that principle: "The position which Christianity holds in life and literature ought, at least, to entitle its writings to a place in a literary institution. The prominence given to anti-religious writings forbids any diminution of the time assigned to religious studies. It would, in my opinion, be well to give even more attention, if possible, to the study of Religion and Philosophy until the present tendency of thought be changed or its aberrations be corrected." [President Smith's Annual Report, June 24, 1885.] So that anchor still holds. The other cable is equally strong; for the College retains the old line of instruction: the Classics, the Mathematics, and Philosophy still rule here, in their ancient honor. The degree of Bachelor of Arts means what it always did; and for this, let me [7/8] say, you may be grateful. For to judge from what we observe, the time may come when there shall be in our world of letters, Bachelors of Arts, and, as I may say, Bachelors of Artifice; the former notable for having won their honor by an honest tramp through the old stadium; the latter equally notable for having, by stratagem and skill in threading the mazes of an elective system, diligently shunned the classical, mathematical, and philosophical encounters, and won a title which is a misnomer, and to which no old-fashioned praeses or professor would condescend to doff his hat. Pray Heaven the Bachelor of Artifice may never find entrance among you.
The result of this inflexible adherence to principle is before us, in the catalogue of your Alumni. Here is a school of learning not much more than sixty years old; in every profession it claims able and honored men as its sons. But most remarkable is the record of its work in promoting religion among us, for of its graduates 329 have entered into the Sacred Ministry, and of these nine have been advanced under Divine Providence, to the office of Bishop in the Church of God. It would be an unfair inference, from this altogether extraordinary showing, that the College was substantially a theological school, designed to feed the clerical order; the right conclusion is, that this College is doing what every Christian College ought to do, what every similar institution in this land should be doing likewise; that it is exciting a strong influence over its undergraduates, just where the noblest springs of action lie; that it disposes them naturally to a profession, which, if measured by its aims, and by the qualifications demanded in its members, must be regarded as the highest that man can embrace; that, without premeditation, but as an inevitable result of the law of its existence, it awakens, in a [8/9] due proportion of these young men committed to its charge, the desire to consecrate life, abilities, and fortune, if they have it, to the immediate and exclusive service of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe.
This is the institution before whose officers and sons I have the honor to preach. I use the term in no formal or conventional sense. It seems to me a great honor to have been invited here, and to be made welcome among you; fir it implies on your part a conviction that he whom you call to your presence is in harmony with the spirit of the place, and capable of appreciating the dignity and true nobility of your work; on which may God Almighty, the Holy, Blessed, and Glorious Trinity whom we adore, especially, to-day, pour down increasing largeness of benediction from generation to generation!
And what has your preacher better to do than to encourage, by every word which that God may put it igto his heart to speak, the men who superintend, and the men who build, to bid them Godspeed, to call on them to stand fast in the liberty from current errors and excesses wherewith their Christian convictions have made them free; to prophesy of the ultimate justification of their course? Let me go on to speak, briefly, of the two signs or notes which distinguish Trinity College, and in which we deem it to your great credit that you have thus far resisted the pressure of an unfaithful and self-willed generation.
And, first, as to the question of religion in our Colleges. The controversy on that subject has been so ably and so frankly conducted, that nothing seems to have been left unsaid on either side of the argument. Is it claimed that the verdict of the public in general may be against God and the Church? I reply that the hour of conflict is not always the hour of decision. The giants [9/10] take up arms; they go afield; they fight. The world looks on; and often to discover that it is the beaten man who in the long run gains the victory. A sober, second thought awards the crown; and it may sometimes be our duty to go to the battle-field and place it on the brow of one who lies there, on his back, stiff and 'stark, where, face to the foe, he fell. It is not the argument of to-day, but experience, and the long result of time, which determine where the victory rests. I listen to a harangue, delivered with that thinly veiled arrogance which is the sign of modern skepticism, on religion in our public schools; I hear, that under the provisions of our State Constitution, a school can have no religious purposes; that teachers in public schools, and public institutions, have no religious duties; that when the teacher, in his capacity as such, begins to exercise any religious function whatever, to exert any religious influence upon the minds of those under his instruction, that moment he infringes the reserved rights of the people. I am prepared for the applause which will inevitably follow on these statements, so expressive of the tendency of the age, and for the defeat of those who should attempt to secure the incorporation of even the simplest truths of Natural Religion in the system of our State and national instruction; but the defeat of to-day is not final, much less decisive of the principle involved. Have you ever read a noble poem, "Io Victis"? It is "the hymn of the conquered who fell in the battle of life, the hymn of the wounded, the beaten, who died overwhelmed in the strife." On their heads shall the fadeless amaranth wreath be placed,
"Who held to their faith unseduced by the prize that the world holds on high,
Who have dared for a high cause to suffer; resist, fight, if need be, to die.
 Speak, History, who are life's Victors? Unroll thy long annals and say,--
Are they those whom the world called the victors, who won the success of a day?
The Martyrs, or Nero? The Spartans, who fell at Thermopylae's tryst,
Or the Persians and Xerxes? His judges, or Socrates? Pilate, or Christ?"
I repeat, the verdict of to-day on the questions which have been of late so hotly debated, may be set aside in some higher Court of Appeal by and by. From tables of statistics, and comparison of catalogues, with summaries of growth and decline from decade to decade, we may learn the state of the popular mind, and the condition of the popular appetite; but these statistics settle no principle, and decide no point in controversy between God and man. And so, we lesser folk, looking on while the giants fight, must draw our conclusions, meanwhile, and shall take leave to speak our mind, modestly, but not in doubt, when occasion is given. With no intention of engaging in, or prolonging the battle, we may offer our views as to the outlook, and say where we think the victory rests. On this particular question of religion in education, we have convictions, as Christians and Churchmen, founded on our faith in the highest authority that can be cited,--an authority which it is temerity, and unreason to contradict. "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." The words of the Master can mean only one thing: that it is folly to talk about neutrality towards Him; it is impossible for man, or body of men, or institution, to occupy a neutral position. There is no such position. Education conducted with deliberate indifference to God, and Christ, and the Church, as though it were unnecessary to give them any thought, is nothing less than aggression. A [11/12] generation that is not with Christ, cannot, by any possibility, be in a position of neutrality; it is, and by the nature of things must be, against Christ; and to be against Him is to be against the highest interests of the race, of the social order, of the individual. The youth who, gathering from the rich fields through which he goes, gathers not with Christ, must inevitably be losing faster than he gains, and scattering, and dissipating whatever energy he puts forth. Twist and turn them as you will, you can make nothing less out of the words of the Master. And this is a point on which the age is more impressible to-day than it was yesterday; a point on which, whatever noisy protest may be made on the field of controversy, the quiet, sober Christian people of this country will undoubtedly end in reaching a just conclusion. Life is not life, unless it have in it a heavenward direction, and a reference to the solemn verities of religion. It is not real life; it may be animal life, it may be upper brute life; it is not the life of him who, bearing the name of man, exists in the image of God, an immortal soul.
The key to this life of ours, with its mystery, its wants, its joy and sorrow, its hope, despondency, and unrest, is in the supernatural order above us. Without the knowledge of the existence of that supernatural world, and an intelligent apprehension of your relations to it, you cannot, you do not really live. Is not this knowledge the first that we need? Shall aught be named in comparison with it? Why do we call that education, in which are ignored the crowning glory of human nature, and the chief end of human existence? What but cowardice and faintness of heart induce men to yield, here, to the spirit of unbelief?
It is dreary to sit down and think what the timorousness of our ancestors has cost us; more dreary, [12/13] because we know ourselves so prone to follow on the same line of compromise with objectors to our faith. It' that magnificent symbol commonly known as the Creed of St. Athanasius had been retained in the public service of the church, the Unitarianism of, New England would probably have been as an untimely infant strangled at the birth. If the "Analogy of Religion," that noble bulwark of Christian faith, had been, every where, as this College, the text-book of the ingenuous student, modern skepticism would have had an up-hill work in its corruption of our youth. And so, to revert to the distinction between the supernatural and natural orders, let me name another "opus aureum," the discourse, or treatise, of the learned Bishop Bull, on the "State of Man before the Fall." [See Bishop Bull's Works, Clarendon Press, Oxford, vol. ii, Discourse vii.] If that profound work were mastered by our candidates for Holy Orders, and our intelligent laymen, we should have less haziness in the pulpit, and incertitude in the pews.
God made Adam, first, complete in a natural state. Then, he admitted him to be heir of His own eternal glory, in adding supernatural gifts. The loss of those was the cause of human misery; nothing can help mankind short of their restoration; they are restored in Christ, and enjoyed by those that are in Christ. There is not a problem, of all that vex the mind to-day, all the world over, that could not be brought to a happy settlement, if men could see, accept, and act on the teaching of the great Bishop of St. David's, exponent of the old catholic theology, on the natural and supernatural gifts of God to men. But who cares for the old learning or the old theology? Here we drive on, staring and gaping at the heresiarchs of science or philosophy, who tell us that there is no supernatural [13/14] order, or, that, if there be, we know nothing about it, and have no practical concern with it; whereas, it is the one thing with which the concern of man is most practical and most direct. Now, an education which ignores the supernatural order, and has nothing to teach boys and girls, young men and maidens, on that transcendent and most urgent subject, is not an education of the full and complete man. It may do for him as an animal; it does not meet him as an immortal soul; it suffices to his natural state, but makes him indifferent to higher conditions; it teaches him
"The wonder of the world,"
but it purses up the lips, and keeps still silence as to
"All the glory that shall be."
It is, accordingly partial, and incomplete. The true educator cannot ignore what is highest in the pupil. He must, if he knows his business, instruct him as to the higher life, the over-world, the heaven where is his citizenship, the means to ensure his title thereto. To say nothing on these matters while displaying unflagging energy in every other department of knowledge, is to cast a slur on them, and invite the inference, too certainly drawn by the student, that they are of little or no consequence; that it is well to throw one's whole strength into the study of nature, but waste of time, if not folly, to take any step beyond. Such neutrality is enmity to God; it is a positive, not a mere negative, attitude. It is the attitude of men who have lost the power of believing, and are therefore religiously impotent; they cannot themselves beget souls unto glory, and they end in a blind admiration of that sterility of which they are the painful examples.
Young men, I appeal to you, on this first branch of our subject. There is no such position as neutrality towards God, Christ, and the church. Take heed that [14/15] ye be with Him; it is the only escape from being against Him. As you go on your way gleaning and gathering (and God grant that ye come again with joy, having full sheaves with you!), remember to look for Him in the fields of your toil. Gather with Him; under His eye, where points the Hand scarred with that print which we know so well; otherwise, ye might as well dismiss at once the hope that for you there shall ever be a harvest unto eternal life. "For he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son of God shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." [1 John iii, 36.]
Next, let us think, for a while, of the value of disciplinary study. Neither on that point have the old ideas been abandoned here. And it is well for you that it is so; for while there are limits within which the power of election may be safely conceded to the student, the concession of a liberty of choice, without reserve, and without discrimination, amounts to the destruction of sound scholarship, full culture, and thorough development; it is the immolation of what men of culture have held and must hold most precious, to gratify the whim or encourage the laziness of ignorant and self-willed youth. Whosoever they be, who in the, providence of God, are in trust with educational interests, let them take heed to that modern mania for what is commonly known as "the Elective system," and see that they order themselves soberly and rationally in their walk; nor let them be unsettled by the impatience of the age, nor degraded by surrender to a competitive spirit, which though in place in trade and commerce, ought to be banished with disgust from institutions of learning.
I affirm, that no man ever came to anything great without discipline; I affirm, moreover, that it is [15/16] expecting too much of average young men to ask that they shall inflict discipline on themselves. Education, to amount to anything, must be disciplinary; nor can it cease to he so until discipline has accomplished its perfect work. In our country it would be but cheerful optimism to say that the time when discipline may be safely dispensed with, concurs with that of entrance on college life; few, very few, are they, who during the school-boy years have been so thoroughly trained in the intellectual gymnasium, that liberty may be safely given them at the threshold of the college lecture-room. The time comes, no doubt, when a man is ready to choose his life-work. But it does not come at fourteen or fifteen years of age; it does not come until he has viewed the general field of action, and tested himself sufficiently to know his powers. We suffer much under the glamour of that long polysyllable "University." I fear that it is likely to become a name without a truth; a specious fallacy. In the German universities, men have freedom; but it must be remembered that they are men, and not boys; and that, before entering the university, they have been subjected to a drill, a discipline, such as many of our undergraduates never dreamed of in the frolicsome years of their childhood. It is impossible to dispense with that preliminary discipline; and I see not where it is to be had among us, in the absence of thorough gymnasia, and in the laxity of entrance examinations, unless we provide for it during a part, at least, of the undergraduate collegiate course. The governing body in this institution have wisely introduced the elective system; let us hope that they will, with equal wisdom, guard against its abuse. Absolute freedom of choice, unlimited power of election, ought not to be granted to the neophyte; nor will the right sort of man desire it. Let him show himself, [16/17] under rigorous examination, to be the possessor of qualities which discipline only can develop; let him show himself to be so well-grounded on the old foundation of classical and mathematical studies, that he is ready to acquit himself like a man on any path which he may select; and then let him elect, not one thing here and another there, but one line, one group, one well-defined round of honest work; and, having so made choice, let him be kept up to the mark set; to such election, no objection should be made. But to throw open your door to every inexperienced and thoughtless youngster, and say, "Come in, choose what you like best, do exactly as you please; stay here four years, and you shall have your degree of Arts, though you may not he able to construe a line of Latin or Greek, nor solve a problem in Mathematics, nor answer a question in Physics, Psychology, or Philosophy"; this, I say, would be to make the educational course a farce, and to strike a blow at the cause of liberal education, which, if not parried by the defenders of the old learning, might do that cause to death. Nor let me omit in this connection to repeat the words of the Rector of the University of Berlin, words which ought not to be forgotten, which no man in this land of experiments and novelties, must be allowed to dismiss with the customary contempt for experience; "That all efforts to find a substitute for the classical languages, whether in mathematics, in the modern tongues, or in the natural sciences, have been hitherto unsuccessful." If unsuccessful hitherto, they will be, we may venture to predict, as unsuccessful hereafter. If we lose what can only be acquired by the diligent study of the classical tongues of Greece and Rome, "there is nothing" (to use the strong words of President McCosh), "there is [17/18] nothing in what is called our modern education to make up for the loss."
I would not speak on this subject, as an impracticable conservative; neither would I be led on to rash conclusions from admitting certain facts. Two facts must be apparent to any one who will take even a moderate degree of trouble to inform himself; first, that the range of the subjects of study has increased enormously within the past half century; and secondly, that the average age of graduation in our colleges has advanced. That means; first, that it is impossible to cover in a college curriculum all the branches of learning to which the attention of our youth is called; and secondly, that there are more men, and not so many boys, in our college classes. These are facts; they must be taken into the account, in framing courses of study and giving freedom to the student to select his special line. But there are other facts, which those facts do not alter; the facts of human nature, of the constitution of the mind, of the effect of certain agents in the development of the powers and the formation of character. Widely as the horizon may expand, man is still man, and young men are but young men after all. Religion still holds its place, the polar star in the firmament; discipline is still a necessity in the formation of high and noble character; classical learning is still the condition to full culture. To admit all the facts and to arrange our educational systems upon them as a basis, is one of the greatest problems now presented to intelligent and conscientious men. We see not how that problem is to be satisfactorily solved, unless under inspiration from above, such as is vouchsafed in the Gospel, to Christian men.
Believing these things, we must also believe that there is a sure future for our Church Colleges, and for [18/19] all colleges in this land which stand on a Christian basis, which are not neutral as between God Almighty and the all but almighty Devil, which are not given to experiment nor ready to remove, with contempt, the land-marks which the fathers set. And this brings me to another point on which I would add a word or two. It is a surprise, a reproach, that churchmen take so little interest in those institutions which are the outcome of the system in which they profess to believe. How trite the observation, how often repeated, that the wealth of churchmen, if duly and conscientiously applied, in a fair proportion, to the development and edification of the works of grace, would within a twelve-month make our Church institutions of all kinds, the best equipped and the most efficient in the land! And yet we halt, or lag behind; as if the victims of some strange mental or moral delusion; churchmen are found lavishing their gifts in every other direction, and thinking last, or never, of their own. It is hard to explain this; in cases where men profess attachment to the Church, and a wish for her prosperity, it cannot be explained except in very uncomplimentary terms. For a churchman to be ready to found scholarships, endow professorships, build halls, and equip the library, the lecture-room, the observatory, where it is as sure as anything can be that the drift is against religion, against Christ, and against the Church; and meanwhile to turn a deaf, dead ear, to the appeal of those who stand on Christian ground and work on Christian principles, is the sign of an inconsistency theoretically incredible, but actually of constant occurrence. There is no explanation of it short of this: that the Church idea is absolutely wanting, that Church principles are as a sapless stalk in a frost-bitten field, that the glamour of the world has fixed the eyes, and detains them from the sight of what it most concerns [19/20] such men to see. We may deplore this strange condition; let us not criticize it too severely, lest the tables be turned on ourselves. That dreadful inconsistency to which I refer, runs, alas! through most of our work in this imperfect world; it is found in our personal religion, and in every department of the active life. To profess one thing and do another; to fill positions without discharging the duty which they entail; to have trust funds, but waste them or fail to administer them to the best advantage; to say that we believe in God, while yet we love the world His enemy; to profess attachment to the Church, yet never do one thing in all our lives to promote her interests; these, unfortunately are the contrasts presented in many a career. But in this particular point of liberal patronage of Church institutions, a better day must come, and better counsels. There is a future for them; we believe it, because we believe in the strength of our principles and the divine origin of the system of the Church; the day must come, (pray God it be not far off!) when neither university, college, nor school, nor hospital, home, nor any other institution based on the rock of the faith and founded under the benediction of apostolic hands, shall lack what is needed to make it prosperous, strong, and secure. To doubt this would be to abandon our belief in the common sense of churchmen, and in the truth of the professions which are uttered by their lips, and ought certainly to have a correspondent reality in their hearts.
And here let the brother whom you have invited to address you, invoke on this College the blessing of Almighty God, with a hope that in the scope of that benison may be included the grace to hold fast the sound principles which have thus far been maintained in your corporate work. Here to the end of time, be the Triune God duly honored and adored, as the fountain of all [20/21] wisdom. Here may young men be so taught as to be "sober-minded," according to the apostolic injunction; "let knowledge grow from more to more," yet be it also that "more of reverence in them dwell," that reverence so much needed to-day, which one age may lose but the next must recover, because it is not possible to do without it long; reverence for the Word of God, for human nature, for the Church, for all that is holy, good, and true. Never, perhaps, were strong men of religious principle and full culture more needed than to-day; and you, my young brethren, may well become thoughtful when you reflect on what society shall soon demand of you. Look on the broad battle-field of life. It is dim with clouds; shadow rests on the path in front. We whose years of work, cannot be much further prolonged, may be forgiven for sometimes feeling glad that we shall not live to see the trials of the corning age, though, on the other hand, it stirs the soul to very tender thought, when we look on our boys and girls and wonder what the growing year has in store for them. To meet that future, society will need a sterling class of men; these must be trained in our schools of political science. On them it will devolve to face problems which now spread disquiet through the world, and to deal with enemies not less dangerous to civilization than the barbarians to the Roman Empire. They must act their part as Christians, as statesmen; they must be just, impartial, wise. They must know that popular discontent arises in part from errors about the fundamental laws of social order, which cannot be changed, and that it is stimulated by hopes, instilled by the demagogue, which can never, by any possibility, be realized. They must meet it first, by the weapons of reason and intelligence, and argue it down. No mere sentimentalism will help us; we have had enough of gush over the results of [21/22] social inequality, of railing against the capitalist, of slurs on respectability, of laborious flattery of the workingman. If the rich do wrong, so do the poor; to each must his wrong dealing be made plain. The criminal selfishness of the wealthy may be properly exposed, and means devised if possible, to prevent the accumulation of riches by unholy arts and gambler's practice; but the working classes must be told, as clearly, that we are as fully awake to the wrong done by them, as to the wrong they suffer; and that forbearance reaches its limit, whenever by secret organization, and machinery of strike and boycott, and in a slave's obedience to a despotic centralism, they make themselves public enemies, and endanger the peace, the property, the life, of honest unoffending folk. Truly the outlook is one apt to awaken the energy and inspire the noble ambition of lovers of God, country, law, and their fellow-men. Such does society demand, as the defenders of the treasure now in its possession, and of the order and peace of the nation. And those who shall be able to reconcile the alienated classes, to soften the embittered, to teach the unlearned, to win the angry and morose, to do even and equal justice to all, to send the professional agitator away ashamed of himself, and to quell the wild beast who shows his teeth and crouches for a spring at our throats: where shall they be trained, and how, if not in schools like this? Reverence for the Supreme Governor of the Universe is the first condition to their success, for apart from God, love, justice, and brotherhood are empty names. They must be well grounded in ethical science; and remember, there is no ground for that, but the Gospel. They must be well-read in history, and obedient to its lessons; but it has no intelligible lesson for one who cannot read in it the working of Divine Providence, and hear all through the centuries [22/23] the slow, but sure, grinding of the mills of God. Let me say, in one word, that the men whom we want will be those who best represent the spirit of our English and American fathers, who feared the Lord, and stood for personal freedom, and upheld the rights of man before the law; and were foes to tyranny of every kind, whether from above or from below, frugal of life, simple in habits, and formed by the old-fashioned precepts of duty to our God and duty to our neighbor. Such were the men who founded the Republic; let us hope and pray that such will appear again; that they are living indeed, to-day, in these our young brethren, to whom we commit, in faith, the mighty interests of the coming years.
God bless this College! God bless all Christian schools of learning in this land! God be praised for every institution, designed for the training of youth, where men are not ashamed of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor afraid to confess their solemn conviction that they who are not with him are against Him, and that they who gather not with Him, do but scatter abroad.