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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/455

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

AUGUST, 1889.


 

THE SPIRIT OF MANUAL TRAINING.
By C. HANFORD HENDERSON,

PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY IN THE PHILADELPHIA MANUAL TRAINING SCHOOL.

AN observant foreigner once said of America, "I found progress in everything except in their schools and churches." One must take with a grain of allowance the impressions of foreign tourists. They are solicited so importunately by the objects of the senses that they fail, as a class, to appreciate the real significance of American institutions. But there was, nevertheless, not a little truth in this brief criticism. The schools and the churches have not kept pace with the march of events. Perhaps one notices them straggling the more, because of all institutions they are supposed to be the most jealous guardians of the interests of humanity. Yet in hundreds of communities the land over the masses of the people are but half persuaded of the utility of the one, and treat with increasing neglect the ministrations of the other. While these protestants against our current scholasticism and ecclesiasticism were few in number, their complaint attracted little notice. Now, however, that their ranks are grown to large proportions, a deep importance attaches to the question as to whether these institutions are, or are not, properly fulfilling their functions.

The hand of Destiny never seemingly pointed with more unerring certainty to an impending change than it does to-day as it stretches out toward the school and the church. The office of the teacher and the office of the priest are passing the review of a thoughtful public sentiment. Of the failure of the Church to justify her proud title of "the institute of humanity" little need be said. But, however imperfect one may regard her present ministrations, he can scarcely withhold his affection from an insti-