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not only be thorough as far as they go, but shall carry the student much farther than he now goes in them. I see no difficulty in it, and I hope to see the day when almost all that is now studied in the freshman class in college, especially in languages, shall be required for admission, and shall be thoroughly taught in schools like this. This would relieve the colleges from the heavy load they are obliged to drag when the classes are poorly prepared, and would give them time, not only to be more full and thorough in their present branches of science, but to introduce new ones as the wants of the age may require.
The principal of life then, lies at the foundation of the science of medicine; but it is to be studied as manifested in this wonderful range of productions only by the physician * Certainly not. We might as well say that no one should study the science of music except those whose business it is to repair musical instruments. In its regular manifestations the principle of life presents itself as one of the great principles of nature, inviting equally with gravitation, or light, or magnetism, or electricity, the study of every liberal and inquiring mind. This I know has not been so regarded, but it is coming to be so more and more. It ought, at least, to enter somewhat largely into every course of liberal education, and I trust that in one college at least, more will be done with reference to it than has been done.
On this point physicians themselves have perhaps been in fault, or at least have misjudged. They have been inclined to regard the whole domain as their own, and to publish books, especially on human physiology, solely for the use of the profession. This, however, has been much less the case within the last few years, and the change can not fail to be advantageous both to the public and to the profession. It will be advantageous to the public, because, by giving them a knowledge of the laws of health, which are nothing more than the conditions on which the principle of life will act with regularity, much disease will be prevented; and it will be of advantage to the profession, because it will furnish the only possible guard against the prevalence of quackery, which is found to deposit its eggs and mature its growth upon ignorance alone. Nor would it encroach upon the proper province or science of the physician, if the whole of physiology were well understood by the community; for though the principle of life lies at the foundation of the science of the physician, yet if it were like gravitation, and never irregular in its action, there would be no physicians or science of medicine. The laws of life manifested in regular action ought to be understood by every body, so far at least as is necessary to preserve health. It is only as it manifests itself in d’seased action, that the principle of life lies at the foundation of medical science. Diseased action, and the means of controlling it—diseases and remedies—these are the appropriate subjects of the study of the physician.
As a prerequisite to the knowledge of diseases, anatomy and physiology are necessary; to the knowledge of remedies, chemistry and botany. No physician can be fully qualified to practice his profession unless he is acquainted with these sciences; and the field of observation and of general cultivation to the mind which they open is so wide, that from its connection with them, if from nothing else, the profession of medicine would be entitled to the rank of a liberal profession.
In its literal signification, and in its highest character, the Gospel is good tidings; and it is the grand business of those who preach it, to commend it as worthy of all acceptation to them that are lost. Nothing can compensate in a preacher for the want of a heartfelt conviction of the ruin of man, and that the Gospel is the all-sufficient and the only remedy; and nothing can excuse him if he do not urge the acceptance of this remedy upon his fellow-men with his utmost force of intellect and energy of feeling. His appropriate office is to preach the Gospel of peace, to bring glad tidings of good things, to stand as an ambassador for Christ, and to beseech men in his stead to be reconciled to God.
But though this is the chief, it is not the only relation which the preacher holds to society, for, as the light of the sun not only reveals to us the azure depths from which it comes, but also quickens vegetation into life and spreads a mantle of beauty over the earth, so does the Gospel of Christ not only reveal our relations to God and the heaven which is to be our home, but it is spread over all the social relations, and is an essential element in the production of that moral verdure without which society would be a waste. Where the Sun of Righteousness shines, the whole soil is meliorated. The hemlock and the night-shade grow less rankly, the natural affections expand more fully and shed a sweeter fragrance, and the seed sown bears fruit for this life as well as for that which is to come. The system which the preacher advocates is therefore not isolated and arbitrary; it is not a foreign and discordant mass, thrown into society and fitted only to be a source of terror to some, of ridicule to others, and a curse to all; but it has relations to the works of God, to the social and political well-being of man, to the secret thoughts and hidden structure as well as to the future destiny of the soul. It is only in the atmosphere of a pure Christianity that social man can attain his true stature. In this he moves and respires freely; while every other system is like an atmosphere more or less deprived of its vital principle, and lies like an atmosphere more or less deprived of its vital principle, and lies like an oppressive and suffocating weight upon him. As well then may the natural philosopher rest satisfied with his knowledge of the literal atmosphere as the breath of life, and disregard its connection with vegetation, and its use in evaporating water and reflecting light and conveying sound and facilitating commerce, as may the student of Christianity consider it simply in its relation to another world, without regarding its connection with the works of God, and its present influence on the well-being of society.
objections To colleges. Inaugural Discourse, 1836.
And first, it is objected that colleges destroy physical vigor. There has, no doubt, been ground for this objection. From its local situation, this college has probably suffered less in this way than some others, and there has been here, especially of late, comparatively little failure of the health. Something has been done, but there is still room for improvement. It ought, however, no more to be expected that the student should have the same robustness of frame and muscular vigor as the laboring man, than that the laboring man should have the same intellectual cultivation as the student. But the truth is that students, in common with other classes of the community, not only do not exercise enough, but they live in the constant violation of all the rules of dietetics. Some have used, and still use, intoxicating drinks; a much larger number use tobacco; some are constantly eating dried fruits and various kinds of confectionery; many eat too much; many sit up late under the excitement of novel reading, and perhaps for study. Let their food be of proper quantity and quality, let them avoid poisonous and narcotic substances, let them keep regular hours, and shun the predominence of an excited or polluted imagination; and they will find that there is an elasticity in the human frame that requires exercise. Nor need it be aimless exercise. Let them saw their own wood, let botany and mineralogy lead them over the hills, let them cherish a love of fine prospects, let them cultivate the taste and manly spirit that have originated and carried forward so happily in this college, the horticultural and landscape gardening association; and there will be cheeks as fresh, and limbs as agile, and animal spirits as buoyant, as if they spent three hours a day in a workshop, and, (which would be necessary in some of our institutions,) as if a thousand dollars a year were expended to enable them to do something useful. It has been a fault, which I trust will be avoided here, that this subject has not been sufficiently urged upon students in the early part of their course.
Again; it is objected that colleges are not practical. There are some who seem to be slow in understanding what is meant by the discipline of the mind, or mental training, as if it were different in its principle from a military drill, in which a series of actions is performed, not so much for its own sake as a preparation for the future battle. It is true the discipline must be such as will fit them for the combat. We must not put bows and arrows into their hands when they will have to use the cartridge-box and the musket—but discipline there must be. We are indeed to consult utility, but it must be in its highest and broadest sense —not that eager utility which would cut down the tree for the sake of sooner getting its fruit, its unripe fruit; but that far-sighted utility, which would plough a crop under for the sake of benefiting the soil, and which would look forward to the coincidence of its plans with the high purposes of God in the creation of man. But if there are any who never make a distinction between general and professional education, who look upon man solely as a being who is to be fitted to makemoney in some particular sphere, and not as one who has faculties to be perfected, to them I have nothing to say. Again; it is objected that colleges do not keep up with the spirit of the age. This objection probably does not always assume a definite form in the minds of those who make it. But if it be intended that improvements in the sciences are not ingrafted, as they are made, upon the scientific courses, or that new sciences are not introduced as the wants of the public demand; if it be intended that there is an adherence to things that are old because they are old—then, however much ground there may have been for the charge formerly, and especially in England from which this complaint is mostly imported, I do not think there is any ground for it now. It is within the memory of our older graduates that chemistry, and geology, and mineralogy, and botany, and political economy, were either not taught at all, or scarcely at all, in the college course. These have been introduced as fast as the sciences have become so mature as to furnish good textbooks; and now if the public will furnish us the means, we shall be glad to introduce more of modern languages, and something on constitutional law, which we intend to introduce, and perspective, and civil engineering. Again ; it is objected to colleges that they are aristocratic. Besides those who form no theory of society, there are two classes who would be thought to aim at the perfection and perpetuity of republican institutions, but their methods are directly opposite. The one can conceive of no improvement except by leveling every thing down—and probably there always will exist in every community a sediment of such people, whose uneasy malignity, manifesting itself in a pretended zeal for republicanism, nothing but a return of society to a savage state could satisfy. The other class do what they can to level up. And if there be one of these who imagines that colleges are not coöperating with him, it is because he is entirely ignorant of the facts. Must men be told at this day that the diffusion of knowledge is the only safety of republican institutions ! Or are they ignorant that without higher seminaries the lower can never be sustained in any efficiency Or that if there were not some institutions like colleges, to make education cheap, we should soon have an aristocracy of knowledge and refinement as well as of wealth On this subject there is a mistake in regard to two points. One respects the class of persons who go to college. While a portion of these are sons of wealthy men, the great mass are the sons of clergymen, and farmers, and tradesmen, who feel that an education is the best patrimony they can bestow upon their children, and who are unable to give them even that, unless they assist themselves in part by teaching. The most of those therefore who graduate at our colleges spend no inconsiderable portion of time, either before or after graduating, in teaching, and thus diffusing the blessings of general education. The other point on which there is a mistake, respects the real extent to which the cost of education is diminished. At this college a young man receives instruction, and has the use of the buildings, and library, and apparatus, and cabinet, and pays the college but about thirty-three dollars a year. The whole necessary expense per annum is less than one hundred dollars; a sum quite insufficient to maintain a boy in a common family school. In addition to this, we have funds bestowed by benevolent individuals, which enable us to appropriate something to meet the bills of those who promise to be useful but are not able to pay so much. Still the whole expense is greater than is desirable, and if our funds would permit it we would gladly make it less. It thus that the poor man who has no farm to give his son, can give him an education, which, if he is a suitable person to be educated, is better. He is thus enabled to start fairly in the race of competition with the sons of the wealthy. In a class in college, each is on a perfect equality with the rest, and must stand on his own merits; and if the son of the rich should happen to have the advantage in previous training, he may yet find that he will have as much as he will care to do to maintain it in the field of open competition; and often when he does his best, much more if he become vain or frivolous or self indulgent, will he find himself left behind by the stern efforts of those who feel that they must depend on themselves alone: Surely he who would tax and cripple colleges, would tax and depress general education, and keep down the people.
The last objection against colleges which I shall notice, comes from another quarter, and is, that they do not teach manners. And it must be confessed that this is not one of those things for which we give a diploma. Good manners certainly ought to exist and to be acquired in colleges, and more ought to be done on this point than is done. Still there are difficulties in the way which will be appreciated by every sensible man. In the first place, manners can not be taught by direct inculcation; they must mainly depend on parents and on associates during the earlier years of life. Again, many of those who come to college are of such an age that it would be impossible to remodel their manners entirely under the most favorable circumstances. They seem to have lost the power, which indeed some never had, of perceiving the difference between the easy intercourse of 5. fellowship which is consistent with self-respect and respect toward others, and a coarse familiarity which is consistent with neither. There is further a sentiment often prevalent among young men, than which no mistake could be greater, that manners are of little importance, and that to be slovenly and slouching, and perhaps well nigh disrespectful, is a mark of independence. But after all, college is not, in some respects, a bad place to wear off rusticity and break down timidity. And if those who make the complaint could see the transformation and improvement which really take place in many, I may say in most instances, in a college course, they would perhaps wonder that so much is accomplished, rather than complain that there is so little. Still, when a young man comes with a frame of granite rough from the mountains, or as rough as if he came from them, and has seen perhaps nothing of polite society, and knows nothing of polite literature, it can not be expected that he should learn during his college course the manners of the drawing-room, or the arbitrary forms of fashionable etiquette. If he shall possess, as perhaps such men oftenest do, that higher form of politeness which consists in respecting the feelings of others and consulting their happiness, and we can send him into the world with a sound head and a warm heart to labor for the good of the world, we shall be satisfied, and the world ought to be thankful. Such men often become the pillars of society.
eMotions of TASTE Modified by our views of God.
And if the emotions of taste are thus modified by our views of man, how much more must they be by those respecting God! How must a blank atheism hang the heavens in sackcloth, and cover the earth with a pall, and turn the mute promisings of nature into a mockery, and make of her mighty fabric one great charnel-house of death without the hope of a resurrection On the other hand, how must the beauty and sublimity of nature and of the universe be hightened, the moment we perceive them in their connection with God | Nothing is more common than to hear those, who emerge from that practical atheism in which most men live, speak of the new perceptions of beauty and sublimity with which they look upon the works of nature.
All our investigations into nature show that man has no faculties to which there are not corresponding and adequate objects. As infinite as he is in reason, yet the works of God are not exhausted by the operations of that reason: no intellectual Alexander ever sat down and wept for the want of more worlds to conquer. As vast as is his imagination, the revelations of astronomy, as sober facts, go beyond any thing that the imagination had conceived. And is it so, that, in the region of taste alone, the faculties of man have no adequate object? But it is only when nature, like the Bible, is seen to be full of God, that she is clothed with her true sublimity. It is only when “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work,” that they correspond to the highest conceptions either of the taste or of the intellect. Man rests in the Infinite alone, and the universe without a God is not in harmony with his constitution, even when he is considered as endowed with taste only. But if our views on moral subjects thus modify the emotions of taste, it can not be doubted that those emotions react upon our moral views, tending to elevate and purify them.
COEDUCATION OF THE SEXES.
AN ADDRESS BEFORE A MEETING OF college PRESIDENTs AT SPRINGFIELD, ILL.
Mr. PREsidest, AND GENTLEMEN of the Association: The invitation extended to me by your Executive Committee, to share in your deliberations upon this question, was based upon the fact of my connection with a school in which the system of education under discussion has been in operation for many years; and it was intended that I should present the subject in the light of that experience. It seems more fitting to confine myself to arrangements and results at Oberlin, stated descriptively and historically, than to attempt any general discussion of the subject—a work more appropriate to the members of the Association. That I may speak without restraint upon these matters, it is proper for me to say that I entered the College as a boy at its opening, and served seven years as a pupil before entering upon the responsibilities of a member of its board of instruction. Thus I appear before you as one of the children of the school, and not one of the fathers, and shall not seem to speak of the work of my own hands, as I claim no personal responsibility for the wisdom or folly of the arrangement. Oberlin College is now in the thirty-fourth year of its life, and from the beginning has embraced among its pupils both young men and young women. The first year it was a high school, with something over a hundred pupils, more than one-third of whom were ladies: not a local school, for the enterprise started in the woods, and one-half of the students at least were from New England and New York. The second year the numbers increased to nearly 300, with theological and college classes in full operation, the ladies being about one-fourth of the whole. In two or three years the numbers reached 500, and maintained that annual average until 1852, when the number was suddenly doubled, and has averaged more than a thousand yearly for the last fifteen years. The proportion of young ladies has not for many years fallen below one-third, nor risen above one-half, except during the war, when the ladies predominated in
the ratio of five to four. The last Annual Catalogue gives 655