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of fortune; one to the blind influences of the stars, another to a confused jumble of atoms. Pose him about the main points of morality and duty; and he will, in a few words, better inform you than Cicero or Epictetus, than Aristotle or Plutarch, in their large tracts or voluminous discourses."1
RELIGIOUS BIBLICAL INSTRUCTION AND PASTORAL
By C. E. Stowe, D. D., Bowdoin College.
Who can tell what tender affections, what earnest hopes, what fond anticipations are concentrated on a group of young men such as is found in all our colleges? Could we see the anxious, throbbing, agonizing hearts the father's earnestness, the mother's solicitude, the sister's love-could we make present to ourselves the pride and joy which are diffused through the family circle by the young student's success and good reputation—or the mortification, distress and bitter disappointment which follow his failure and shame-we should look upon every member of college, of whatever character, as an object of deep and permanent interest.
Whatever he may be in himself, he holds relations to others which invest him with dignity and importance. Let any man watch the yearnings of his own soul towards his own son, and then let him remember that what his son is to him, the sons of other parents are to them, and he never can despise any one who is a father's or a mother's child.
Important as every young man is to his family friends, considered in reference to himself, he is still more important, still more interesting. There is an immortal soul, destined to a never ending existence -and what an existence! What capacities of enjoyment - what susceptibilities to suffering! What powers in that one mind to be developed or crushed—to be a source of joy to the possessor, or of misery unutterable and that forever! And how delicate the mental and moral structure! How liable to injury! In what imminent
1 Barrow's Works, Vol. II. p. 86, Edin. Edition.
Visible Creation formed in reference to Man.
peril of falling to ruin! If we were intrusted with the carriage of some fragile and priceless fabric, like the celebrated Portland vase, for example, and the road was rough and rocky—or if we were to transport, through stormy weather over an angry sea, some unique product of a Raphael's pencil, how careful should we be- how anxious lest an untimely jolt, or a wandering drop of water, should forever mar the precious deposit. Yet how infinitely small is the value of all works of human art, however excellent or unique, compared with the worth of the human soul, the product of an all-wise Creator's skill! It seems to me the man is mad who can lightly esteem any human being, when he once considers what a human being is.
Our physical creation, magnificent as it is, would have but little of interest or beauty, were it not for the intelligent souls, in curiously organized bodies, which inhabit it. How infinite the variety of pleasing sounds, and how attractive how enchanting the power of music! But, what is sound? what is music? Without an ear to catch the vibrations of the air, there would be no such thing as sound; without the organ of hearing, music would have no existence. What is this magnificent arch of the heavens above us, but the combined action of light and vapor upon the eye? And if there were no eyes, there would be no sky. How beautiful is the rainbow, as it rests upon the bosom of the cloud! Yet, the eye is as necessary to give existence to the rainbow, as it is to see it after it is formed. How exquisite the beauties of color, as seen in the flowering plant, or the lustrous insect; but, without eyes to reflect the rays of light, there would be no such thing as color. And what are eyes, or ears, or nerves, without the intelligent soul within, to enjoy the results of their organization and action? In a very important sense, man himself is, passively at least, the creator of the harmony and beauty which we enjoy; and wonderful and beautiful as the works of creation are, man himself is the most wonderful, the most beautiful of all the last production of creative skill, and the only one which bears the image of the Creator.
In Scripture, the whole visible creation is represented as being formed with reference to man, and as existing for man, in a sense so intimate, that all nature sympathizes with his weal or woe. When man fell, nature herself, the earth and its products, vegetation, animals, all fell under the curse, for his sake; and when the work of redemption shall have been completed, and man restored to his original holiness, by the mediation of the only begotten Son of God, then the creation itself, so long unwillingly subject to vanity, shall be de
livered from the bondage of corruption, and restored to the glorious liberty of the sons of God. and there shall be new heavens and a new earth, wherein the righteous dwell, Rom. 8: 19-22, 2 Pet. 3: 13. For what purpose are all the arrangements of this world? What is the use of anything on this earth? Is it not that the world may be inhabited by comfortable, well-informed, well-behaved human beings? What but this are all the interests of society-all the use of governments, of civilization, of learning, commerce, manufactures, the whole social organization? And as the existence on earth is so transient, and the existence beyond the grave, eternal, what comparatively is worthy of a thought, except the salvation of the undying soul! Was it not for this that the Son of God for a season left the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and dwelt, and labored, and suffered, and died on this earth?
In whatever aspect we view the subject, the moral and religious improvement of the young men gathered in our colleges, assumes the very first place in interest and importance. Everywhere the religious and moral training of the educated young man is important, and in our own country it is more emphatically so, for, here men never do things by halves, but whatever they are, that they are wholly, and nothing else. The French or the German young man, in his university life, may be dissipated within certain limits, not much overleap the boundaries which a worldly prudence prescribes, and in due time, as matter of course, become a staid, sober, dignified citizen. But not so with the American. Let the young man here, in his college years, act the inebriate or the profligate, and there is the end of him; he is never anything else; and early death, and a drunkard's grave, is the best that his friends can expect of him; for if his life is prolonged, it will be only the protraction of shame and woe. Frequent are the falls in our land, but rare, very rare, are the recoveries. How important, then, that there should be direct and earnest endeavors for the religious and moral culture of our college students! How much is depending upon it, both as it respects individual happiness and the well being of society at large! For it is our educated young men who will give tone to society, and control the destiny of the generation in which they live. The usual course of college study, however well chosen and earnestly pursued, cannot meet the object; for mere intellectual training, without careful moral culture, does not correct the evils of the heart; on the contrary, in many cases seems to aggravate them. The ever eloquent Cicero, who had a moral sense delicate and cultivated beyond almost any writer of the Pagan
Influence of the Idea of God.
world, saw this great truth very clearly. In the third book of his work, De Natura Deorum, he introduces Cotta arguing in the following strain:
"Sentit domus unius cuiusque, sentit forum, sentit curia, campus, socii, provinciae, ut quemadmodum ratione recte fiat, sic ratione peccetur. Alterumque et a paucis, et raro; alterum et saepe, et a plurimis: ut satius fuerit nullam omnino nobis a Diis immortalibus datum esse rationem, quam tanta eum pernicie datam. Ut vinum aegrotis, quia prodest ra o, nocet saepissime, melius est non adhibere omnino, quam spe dubiae salutis in apertam perniciem incurrere; sie haud scio, an melius fuerit, humano generi motum istum celerem cogitationis, acumen, sollertiam, quam rationem vocamus, quoniam pestifera sit multis, admodum paucis salutaris, non dari omnino, quam tam munifice et tam large dari. Quae enim libido, quae avaritia, quod facinus aut scelus suscipitur nisi concilio capto, aut sine animi motu et cogitatione, id est, ratione perficitur? Utinam igitur, ut illa anus optat,
ne in nemore Pelio securibus
Caesa cecidisset abiegna ad terram trabes,
sic istam calliditatem hominibus Dii ne dedissent! Qua perpauci bene utuntur; qui tamen ipsi saepe a male utentibus opprimuntur; innumerabiles autem improbe utuntur; ut donum hoc divinum rationis et consilii ad fraudem hominibus, non ad bonitatem impertitum esse videatur.”1
The ordinary course of college discipline cannot meet the case; for this is merely negative in its character, directed only to the suppression of disorder, and not intended or adapted to win the confidence, or cultivate the affections. There must be something positive, something to bring forward the right as well as suppress the wrong something which shall not only prevent the outgushing of bitter waters, but shall sweeten the fountain itself. To effect this great purpose, the idea of God must be brought in close and continuous contact with the soul. Vice is mean, grovelling, earthly a degradation of the immortal spirit, and for the soul to see and feel its relationship to God is its great security against the meanness of vice. The whole creation around us should be our temple, and every emotion of the mind an act of worship, if the heart would be secure from the assaults of the tempter. Let the young man learn to regard all that he sees as the workmanship of God; let him learn to admire the wonderful resources of the Divine mind, as developed in the objects of creation, which meet him at every turn; let him become conscious of the continued presence and operation of that Great Power, which
1 De Natura Deor. III. 28-31 or 70-76, Opera cd. Orelli IV. ii. 113-115. VOL. VIII. No. 30. 27
"Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
let him become habituated to the great truths taught by Natural Religion; let these become a part of the daily aliment of his mind, and grow up into its permanent substance—and can low, earthly, grovelling vice take hold of him? Not that the mere knowledge of nature can remove him from temptation, but the habit of contemplating nature in connection with the God of nature, the habit of communing with God whenever one studies nature - this it is which elevates the soul and raises it above the grosser forms of earthliness. If Natural Religion by itself cannot regenerate and sanctify, as we admit in general it cannot, it would seem that it might at least secure one against intemperance and licentiousness, and low, vulgar, filthy wickedness—and these are the forms of sin which most usually ruin our youth for this world.
Learning without God makes but a distorted mind a soul for which God's dominions have no appropriate or safe place. Then should not God, and a knowledge of God, have a place, and a recognized, important, well-understood place in every college? To avoid the evil of sectarianism, must we fall into the still greater evil of atheism? To prevent our young men being bigots, shall we allow them to be infidels? To give them large and liberal minds on religious matters (?) is it necessary, is it worth the while, will it requite the cost, to let them grow up under the influence of sensual youthful passion, without any of the counteracting influences of religion to restrain and control? No, a third time No!!
We have a power altogether above and beyond that of Natural Religion we have Revealed Religion, that life and immortality which are brought to light in the gospel — and this is and must be our great reliance, and here we have a sure and certain hope; and let us not be so foolish as to refuse to avail ourselves of this power.
Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto, according to thy word. Ps. 119: 9.
The power of the word of God must be our reliance for controlling the minds of our young men, and guiding them in paths of purity, usefulness and peace. The days of mere human authority are past, forms and modes once venerated have lost their influence, and the requirement to submit to any routine, solely on the ground that it has