網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

retain a relation to the g

Tho listen to the ad are set apart for the Salutje of life, it may b - ei knowledge and ca 10.00. These, indeel,

Turinstitution that is Salishing the work it of this work a reveren oth rould seen to be Te pon that side of tt

the Donkademie con bar wald not think t

be regarded himself tad otten very idle you dolog a college course, a da regards him simply to calling can be maintai

a conmision as an in posuch a life. In its wat simplieity, there is so 2 that intellectual labor

ization from the studies of the university, yet it would be difficult, I imagino, to treat the history of institutions without reference to Christianity, or trace the history of ethical ideas without mentioning the New Testament, or the history of opinion in respect to social morality without regard to the Sermon on the Mountana the Pauline literature. These writings may doubtless be referred to without raising the question of their authority; but that question must be raiseil sooner or later, because the question respecting authority is involved in that of origin, and the question respecting the origin of the sacred books is involved in the question respecting the place of Christianity in the history of the world, and this agaiu is of thio broader question rospecting the moaning and the history of religion. Any theory that undertakes to explain human history must be adequate to give a rational explanation of religion. It is not merely because of its practical importance, but also because of its persistent universality that it has become the object of so much interest to the philosopher. Hence it happens that the most earnest students of the phenomena of religion are not always religious men, but men often who are anxious to show that their theories which destroy the value of religion are abundantly adequate to explain it. Now, when one enters upon the study of the history of religion, I do not see how ho can content himself with the simple recognition of Christianity as one of the forms in which the religionis consciousness has been manifested, or how he can avoid assuming some attitnde in respect to exceptional claims that Christianity makes in its own behalf. He knows what attitudo some of the philosophers are taking. They are becoming constructive theologians. They are lecturing on Jesus and St. Paul, and expounding the ethics and metaphysics of the New Testament in the interests of naturalism. What shall we do? Shall the agnostic be free to deny the claims of Christianity, and we be hindered from defending it! Now, I venture to say that the philosophical construction of the facts of Christianity is forced upon us by the conditions of thought under which we live and that there is no subject wider in its sweep, more imperative in its claim, and more momentous in the issues with which it deals, than the philosophy of religion. Into the making of it go one's psychology, one's ethic, one's metaphysic, one's history, one's literary criticism; and on it depends in greater or less degree one's social science, ono's politics, one's jurisprudence, ono's theology, one's religion. The day has passed when religion was regarded as something very important but not very interesting. There are too many, I fear, who do not regard it as important; but among philosophers it is generally conceded to be interesting. No well-appointed university can refrain from dealing with its problems. For us thero can be but one of two positions. We must be silent and hand over the discussion to the skeptic, or we must slow ourselves worthy of the high place we have already won in the department of religious philosophy and take a strong position on the side of historic Christianity: Thero is little doubt among us, I think, resperting the attitude that Princeton should ever lolil. Leaving to the theological schools and to the appropriate ecclesiastical tribunals the discussion of questions in divinity on which the churches are divided, and standing aloof from sectarian controversy, it is our duty to hold ourselves ready for the defense of those fundamental truths in philosophy and in religion in tho maintenance of which Christians of every name liave a common interest. I hopo that Princeton will always stand for belief in the living God, the immortal self, an imperative morality, and the Divine Christ. On this broad platform all the trne friends of Princeton can meet, and here we must stand if we would be true to the spirit of our history and continue to deserve the contidence of Christian inen.

Each of what was nev

anch so often means atbory and help no get while statement that

is a weariness of the * Lan's arrogance and smarter and sell his rash selame as the world will

and the zest with

1 particularly wonde
Hi the religious belief. T
Tapless me 80 when
Disfaith in God; for th
strithout a reason. For
Solutions, there is someth

gite an account of h
te ideal Good, the inti
e ale taat the inspiration
****ting that partakes

ghtoi allour steing, iu

[ocr errors]

te world; there is

da vhich at the same bip with God. I beli ately; that our restl. Te of the Frays in whic 13. brp to his intellectual ut were no God and i

able in the terms of u 24 ambition; that if m Tith, and that the dea

III.

I trust that I have made it clear that I fully recognize the fact that however true it may be that Christian ideas have been the moving causes in the endowment of universities, and particularly of this, and however much it may be proper and oven inevitablo that the great fundamental truths of Christianity should have place in university teaching, the particular end for which the university exists is not primarily the promotion of religion. The university should not be expected to do the work of the church. It lias ends of its own, and these are not distinctively religious. And yet we can not keep religion altogether out of our minds when we consider these ends. Religion is indeed, as a little reflection will show, necessary to the full and satisfactory realization of the ends for which the university exists, and it is in this light that I now wish to regard it.

It is not necessary to lay stress upon the mediaval distinction between the university of masters and the university of scholars for the purpose of settling ques. tions of precedence or of determining the relations they sustain to each other. It would hardly be denied on the one hand that the professor's business is to teach, and it would be pretty generally conceded on the other that more is expected of him than the discharge of his pedagogic functions. But the distinction I have referred to will serve a good purpose if it reminds us that the professors of a uni

i mother Fork which
*apad the forming of a
weld teacli patriotism
to which we rest in the

ako us feel that ti
Ertp. The essential m

pilpit and the press, Eiset then fundament at are publicly es till not do to rely

*** of the American po
e being critinpted, and

the corià iteration
ithal discussion o
a political, social, and

ries than anywhe
shall be a school of

versity sustain a relation to the general public apart from the relation they sustain to tho students who listen to their instruction. They constitute the priesthood of learning and are set apart for the service of Truth. Besides training young men for the active duties of life, it may be fairly expected of them that they should enlarge the borders of knowledge and contribute substantially to the formation of a sonnd public opinion. These, indeed, I take it, are the three great functions of the university. The institution that is not doing something in each of these directions is not accomplishing the work it was intended to do; and for the successful accomplishment of this work a reverent attitude toward religion and a certain amount of religious faith would seein to be a logical necessity.

I lay stress upon that side of the professor's lifo which relates him to the general public, for the nonacademic consciousness does not always properly apprehend it. The professor would not think that his calling were possessed of so much inherent dignity if be regarded himself simply as the means of imparting to a body of mediocro and often very idle young men the modest amount of knowledge that they acquire during a college course, and he woull particularly resent the crude Philistinism that regards him simply in the light of an employee. The dignity of the professor's calling can be maintained only by regarding the incumbent of this office as holding a commission as an independent seeker after truth. There is something fascinating in such a life. In its tine scope of material things, in its dignified and independent simplicity, there is surely something to admire. We can not help feeling, it is true, that intellectual labor is sometimes wasted on very unimportant matters and that much of what was nover known before is not worth knowing, and that original research so often means only infinite pains for the gathering of facts that involve no theory and help no generalization and apparently serve no other purpose than to verify the statement that of making mauy books there is no end and that much study is a weariness of the flesh. Then, too, we find it hard sometimes to bear the great inan's arrogance and conceit, and it disappoints 118 to see him enter the world's market and sell his rash judgments and crudo novelties for such poor price of place or fame as the world will give. But, after all, the marvel is that the appetite for learning and the zest with which men engago in intellectual toil should be so enduring: I particularly wonder at the intellectual earnestness of men who have discarded all religious belief. They seem to be so inconsisteut and illogical; they especially, impress me so when they employ their energies in seeking to destroy the world's faith in God; for they seem to be undermining their own career and leaving it without a reason. For on the supposition that the world is a system of thought relations, there is something natural in man's persistent effort to explain his babitat and give an account of himself. For whether God be our unreached goal of endeavor, the ideal Good, the infinite Knower in front of us, above, and beyond; or whether it be that the inspiration of the Almighty gives man understanding, so that bois the lightof all our seeing, in either case there is a religious eloment in all inquiry; there is something that partakes almost of a religious act in every serious effort to understand the world; there is something almost sacramental in the apprehension of a great idea which at the same moment interprets the world and brings the mind into fellowship with God. I believe that the ind welling spirit of God is the source of our curiosity; that our restless seeking after the right understanding of the world is one of the ways in which God reveals himself; that the religious nature of man is the key to his intellectual activity and the basis of oven his irreligious zeal; that if there were no God and no fellowship between God and man, if all that is were explicable in the terms of matter and motion, there could be no ideals and no intellectual ambition; that if man should lose his faith in God he would lose his lore of truth, and that the death of religion would be the death of intellectual endeavor.

There is another work which the university onght to perform. It should contribute toward the forming of a sound public opinion. In a broad and far-reaching seuse, it should teach patriotism. There is, I grant, a great deal to justify the confidence with which we rest in the sober second thought of the nation, and the optimism which makes us feel that the common sense of the American people is equal to any emorgency. The essential morality of the people of our land, as it finds expression in the pulpit and the press, is a great source of comfort in a time of national peril. And yet when fundamental morality is assailed; when revolutionary views of government are publicly expounded; when socialistic theories find plausible advocates, it will not do to rely altogether upon popular sentiment or the naive common sense of the American people. We must do something to keep this common sense from being corrnpted, and this must consist of something more than popular harangue and the florid iteration of the commonplaces of morality. There inust be (leep plutosophical discussion of great public questions by men of acknowledged anthority in political, social, and economic science. This work can be done better in the universities than anywhere else. This is what I mean when I say that the university should be a school of patriotism. Of a certain type of patriotism there

are nibe. The fa

krizenship. We hare

TEL, the inen who go ute, whatsoever this e pare. Thatsoever thi

do no argument a in feligion. The ui

nend, is not to be des z that education helps 21 Mwer. But a large

* Efe, for what shall i

? Coirersity men are thi nation. These are ud a high morality; to

er iniluence may be mal religious nature

eell feel discouraged

and if the graduates csal their fathers we mig! * great is that darkness

is no lack. We may trust the instincts of our people, without any help from academic sources, to resist foreign interference and defend national honor. We under. stand, without being reminded of it, that this land is our heritage and this Western civilization is our problem. But the day is past when national pride and patriotic devotion can show itself only by awakening the memories of international antagonism. We are in no danger of invasion. Our foes are those of our own household. Our difficulties are those which we share with other nations. They are evils incident to the straggle for the democratization of government, or that are consequent in its rapid development; that follow as a consequence of the congested life of great cities, or grow out of the complicated machinery of industrialisin. We who believe in the stability of government as an ordinance of God should stand by each other in all civilized lands on account of the dangers common to all. I believe that the universities have something to do towarı helping on the cause of good feeling between the nations, and particularly between those two nations that are so closely bound to each other by the ties of blood, the bonds of a common speech, a common law, and a common religion. Part of the history that we commemorate, and of which we are proud, is the place that Princeton took in the struggle for independ. ence against the motherland. And now I trust that Princeton, as she enters upon a new era in her history, will do her part toward the formation of a public sentiment that shall make it impossible for the clash of arms over to be heard again between the great nations of the English-speaking world. I hope that she will do something to stimulate the development of the international conscience, to widen the range of international law, and to hasten the day when international disputes shall be settled by arbitration. International law rests on a basis of morality. It is essentially a university study, and I should like to see Princeton take a high place in connection with its development.

But, as I have already implied, the questions which give us most cause for anxiety are national and not international. The question with us is whether the popular will is still on the side of constitutional government; whether the public conscience will stand by the financial integrity of the nation; whether great cities can hare good government; and whether the ten commandments shall continue to regulate social behavior. It is true that a campaign of education is needed. But it is an education beyond that which the statistician and the collector of facts can give us. It is an education beyond that which appeals to our selfish greed. It must be an education which goes to the roots of our moral life. For purposes of convenience you may intrust the science of ethics to one man, and of politics to another, and of jurisprudence to a third. The economist may study the laws of industrial activity, and the student of social science deal with the pathological conditions of society, the poverty, the moral pollution, the crime; but when we come to ask whether the remedy is to be found in Jaissez faire, or the interference of the State, or in moral measures, we shall find that no department is isolated and distinct; that our metaplıysics, our ethics, our jurisprudence, our economics, our politics, our social science all overlap each other; that all are comprehended in the one idea that all end in a moral universe. I do not like the phrase Christian socialism, and I certainly do not agree with the opinion entertained by those who use it most. But if Christianity is true we can not afford to ignore what it has to say, and there can be no sound public opinion pon these great ethical problems which does not make acknowledgment of the binding obligations of the laws of the Kingdom of God.

But there is another work which the university is expected to do, and this, though it does not so completely fit the imagination of the ambitious professor who dreams of fame, is nevertheless the greatest work which it can do. It is the province of the university to traiu men, by means of a liberal education, for the active duties of life. It is given only to a few to add to the world's stock of knowledge. It is only at rare intervals that we shall succeed in turning out a great thinker who will make his mark upon his age. But our colleges and universities are contributing every year to the moral and intellectual forces of the world a body of young men whose agyregate influence is enormous. It would be a mistake if we should ever come to undervalue this work in Princeton, or assign it a second place. There may easily be too many men engaged in the special work of the scholar; there are only limited opportunities for a career in science, but there is an unlimited demand for men who can bring to the discharge of the ordinary duties of citizenship the advantages of a liberal cilucation. The best work of Princeton is represented to-day in her 3,916 living graduates. They are onr letters of commendation. It is, of course, not to be expected of the average graduate that he should be a technical scholar. But we have done something if we have opened the eyes of his understanding that he may know what the world of thought and learning means. We have done something if we hago helped him so to widen the area of his selfhood and adjust it to the world he lives in that he can enter into appreciative relationship with the true, the beautiful, and good. We have done something if we have so impressed his moral nature that lie is able to have worthy ideals in regard to his own life and a comprehensive sense of the

tha me to say, in a closi izevitably affect the pc of the day in religion,

a vill hold its own b atbat God depends on Co of His anthority. B. The destroyed by the + Bat there may be, as las of faith. And it is La atmosphere in the u ke to see a less absorbi Toald Dot cat off social wity career degenerate i Jen seriously, but I wou alime skeptics, but t. Lt. There is a one-sid

si and best in our na borditation of the flest Bital distegard of morals

Leend in the atrophy that we try, our sentimen

-ndencies in univer Hallo not think that t legative. From the at prisent day, the unive

Puritanism and E attacked and it has be strative theology and Pagestions centerin

that the universit 2. Fill not be patristic,

* It will attempt tt estitician in reference

* *t conld wish, and Leon will be the key bo of life. The me

the foundation of

Tuk till proceed upon

iconder stone. not what part Prir at I prophesy it-mas Tag. It is ours to bu i tapecially be care

lo man lay than 74't in the sphere of in practical religiou

dnties of citizenship. We have rendered no small service to the world if, as the result of our work, the men who go out from our balls are so appreciative of whatsoever things are truo, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report, that they may think on these things. It needs no argument to show that the complete man is he whose culture culminates in religion. The utilitarian view of education, which regards it as a means to an end, is not to be despised. I should not be so unpractical as to overlook the fact that education helps a man to make a place in the world; to win fortune, fame, and power. But a largo place must be given to religion in the profit and loss account of life, for what shall it profit a man if h“ gain the whole world and lose his own soul? University men are in an ever-increasing degree to be the influential men in this nation. These are the men to whom we must look to be the standardbearers of a high morality; to set an example of unseltish living for worthy ends; and that their influence may be good in the ratio that it is great, it is necessary that their moral and religious natures shall be trained as well as their intellectual powers. We might well feel discouraged if the educated men of this land should cease to be religious. And if the graduates of our universities should turn their backs upon the religion of their fathers we might well exclaim, “If the light that is in thee be dark. ness, liow great is that darkness."

IV.

This leads me to say, in a closing word, that the religious thought of the univer. sity must inevitably affect the popular religion. University men set the intellectual fashion of the day in religion, as in other things. I do not mean by this, of course, that religion will hold its own by the grace of university authorities any more than I believe that God depends on the good will of the philosophers for the popular recognition of His authority. Believing as I do in revealed religion, I do not believe that it will be destroyed by the labors of a few professors of historical and literary criticism. But there may be, as there have been, times of religious declension and relative loss of faith. And it is a matter of great moment to religion whether the intellectual atmosphere in the university is favorable to serious religious thought. I should like to see a less absorbing interest in sport and a more serious intellectual tone. I would not cut off social pleasure from university life, but I would not have a nniversity career degenerate into a period of indolent enjoyment. I would not take life too seriously, but I would not make it a jest. There is reason to fear that men may become skeptics, but there is more reason to fear that they will lapse into indifference. There is a one-sided culture that may prove itself the enemy of all that is deepest and best in our nature. There is a type of Hellenism that ends in a Pagan rehabilitation of the flesh, where the sensuous love of beauty slides easily into sensual disregard of morals. There is a scientific devotion to material facts which may end in the atrophy of the finer elements of our spiritual nature, which involve our poetry, our sentiment, our hope, our trust in the Father in heaven.

There are tendencies in nniversity life that awaken anxiety in thoughtful minds.

And yet I do not think that the religious intluence of the university is only or even chiefly negative. From the time of Wickliffo, in Oxford, and Huss, in Prague, until the present day, the universitives have been centers of religious movements. We have had Puritanism and Rationalism and Sacramentarianism. Christianity has been attacked and it has been defended by university men. There have been periods of negative theology and periods of apologetic. And with the thought of the day on all questions contering in and involving religious problems, one can not help believing that the university will soon be the center of another religious movement. It will not be patristie, and it will not be Puritan in form, but it must be constructive. It will attempt the synthesis of modern thought in history, philosophy, and criticism in reference to the problem of Christianity. The process may not go on as we could wish, and there may not go into it all that we could desire, but the work will proceed upon the basis of the written Word and the Word mado flesh. The Logos will be the key to our metaphysic, our history, our social philosophy, onr theory of life. The men who engage in this work will rebuild the odifice of faith

pon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Chrisi himself being the chief corner stone.

I do not know what part Princeton will have in this religions movement, and which—dare I prophesy it-may open the twentieth century. It would be strange if she should have none. The fathers of this institution have laid the foundations deep and strong. It is ours to build thereou. Let us tako heed how we build thereupon. Let us especially be careful not to undo the work already done, for other foundation can no man lay than that that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. But whatever be our place in the sphere of religious ecclesiasticism, let us hope and pray that in the sphere of practical religious life Princeton may keep the place she has always held.

To intent upon the

aktured upon taste

** a life apart vithout sl
port that they were trainin

kely to forget that shar
me of publie service. Shes

No part of our work is more important than that which addresses itself to the devotional side of our nature and that centers in onr chapel services.

There have been in past days great seasons of religions awakening in this college. I pray God that times of refreshing may come again. There has always been here a boily of earnest, spiritually minded men. There were never more than there are to-day. Christianity, as we understand it, is more than a series of precepts. It is a way of salvation. We preach Christ Jesus and Him crucified. We believe that He is the propitiation for our sins and that we have redemption through His blood.

Through all the hundred and fifty years of the history of the college of New Jersey this message has been faithfully proclaimed in her pulpit, and it is the carnest prayer of all who love her best and have served her most that the day may never come when it can be said of those who hold high place in Princeton University that they are ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

1989.pe of providential goc toe. He ras a man of e as if they found in him Bebe was alwara wise, he Po vorth while and oft ou uità an inevitable glo total power. The lively Lowonght like a ray of a t-nselres opaque and Eksoting things gave his Ans. A bearty lione aspon the instant. The

I'RINCETON IN THE NATION'S SERVICE.

Oration by Prof. WOODROW WILSON.

xt to the college in 1768, 2

ito, as head of the co Ty mi írom everything del bankors of his nature *** 01 a new constitutio 6103088; would have pr marita of her own before i winston with hearty goo wo Far and of finance: e ad orator, de ming his wat service of men and anabile. Each ariny i ne place. The college b ats the troops; for a lie

Princeton was founded upon the very eve of the stirring changes which put the Revolutionary drama on the stage-not to breeil politicians, but to give young men such training as, it might be hoped, wonld fit them handsomely for the pulpit and for the grave duties of citizens and neighbors. A small group of Presbyterian ministers took the initiative in its foundation. They acted without ecclesiastical authority, as if ander obligation to society rather than to the church. They had no more vision of what was to come upon the country than their fellow-colonists had; they knew only that the pulpits of the middle and southern colonios lacked properly equipped men and all the youth in those parts really means of access to the higher sort of schooling. They thought the discipline at Yale a little less than liberal, and the training offered as a substitute in some quarters a good deal less than thorough. They wanted a “seminary of truo religion and good literature," which should be after their own model and among their own people.

It was not a sectarian school they wished. They were acting as citizens, not as clergymen, and the charter they obtained said never a word about creed or doctrine; but they gave religion the first place in their programme, which belonged to it of right, and confided the formation of their college to the Rev. Jonathan Dickinson, one of their own number, and a man of such mastery as they conld trust.

It was by that time the year 1768; Mr. Dickinson had drawn that little group of students abont him under the first charter only twenty-one years ago; the college had been firmly seated in Princeton only those twelve years in which it had seen Burr and Edwards and Davies and Finley die, and had found it not a little hard to live so long in the face of its losses and the uneasy movements of the time. It had been bronght to Princeton in the very midst of the French and Indian war, when the country was in doubt who should possess the continent. The deep excitement of the stamp act had come, with all its sinister threats of embroilment and disaffection, while yet it was in its infancy and first effort to live. It was impossible it should obtain proper endowment or right and equitable development in such a season. It ought by every ordinary rule of life to have been qnite snuffed out in the thick and tronbled air of the time. New Jersey did not, liko Virginia and Massachusetts, easily form her purpose in that day of anxious donbt. She was mixed of many warring elements, as New York also was, and suffered a turbulence of spirit that did not very kindly breed true religion and good literature.

But your thorongh Presbyterian is not subject to the ordinary laws of life, is of too stubborn a fiber, too unrelaxing a purpose, to suffer mere inconvenience to bring defeat. Difficulty bred effort, rather, and Dr. Witherspoon found an institution ready to his hand that had come already in that quickening time to a sort of crude maturity. It was no small proof of its self-possession and self-knowledge that those who watched over it had chosen that very time of crisis to put a man like John Witherspoon at the head of its administration, a man so compounded of statesman and scholar, Calvinist Scotsman and orator, that it must ever be a sore puzzle where to place or rank him, whether among great divines, great teachers, or great states

Ho seems to be all these, and to defy classification, so big is he, so varions, so prodigal of gifts. His vitality entered like a tonic into the college, kept it alive in that time of peril-made it as individual and inextinguishablo a force as he himself was, aliko in scholarship and in public affairs.

It has never been natnral, it has seldom been possible, in this country for learning to seek a place apart and hold aloof from affairs. It is only when society is old, long settled to its ways, confident in labit, and without self-questionings upon any vital point of conduct, that study can effect seclusion and despise the passing interests of the day. America has never yet had a season of leisure quiet in which students

New Jersey's open co
and teld of maneuver. S
even the chief reat of

Tister of 1776-77 1
TIN vbich saw a ye
Lene bad bien bonfires ar
Om at the news of the
Pats might doubt and
2. Vitetspoon's pupils
Then suddenly the e!

as in the place, bez
di dunloped by his gen

fut the unbridgerd Del

at his heels, and the t a of the new year, ea 8.gif he were in the th, and cannon plat e Princeton mau wo

aged and New Jersey dan waja something do entstaan wbo bad the

ht, but there was i a F done-the spirit 54. Dr. Witherspoon Whavnster and prece Lat an accepted leada

cond bid men ac

Fell as his own
There ras close con

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

*** polities as a pa ga religion itsell and to servo such

a Finleş bail edia tho college

the piblic ininis til sa day, but just

put

ple

« 上一頁繼續 »