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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/747

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ETHICS AND RELIGION.

can not get a sufficient supply of the best of specimens. Teach your pupils to bring them in. Take your text from the brooks and not from the booksellers. ... It is better to have a few forms well studied than to teach a little about many hundred species. Better a dozen forms thoroughly known as the result of the first year's work, than to have two thousand dollars' worth of shells and corals bought from a curiosity store. The dozen animals will be your own. ... You will find the same elements of instruction all about you wherever you may be teaching. You can take your classes out and give them the same lessons, and lead them up to the same subjects in one place as another. And this method of teaching children is so natural, so suggestive, so true. That is the charm of teaching from Nature. No one can warp her to suit his own views. She brings us back to absolute truth so often as we wander."

 

ETHICS AND RELIGION.
By CRAWFORD HOWELL TOY,

PROFESSOR OF HEBREW IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY.

NO subjects occupy men's attention more than morality and religion. They are patent, ever-present facts, always intruding themselves on our thoughts, and always demanding consideration. They have formed subjects of human reflection since the race of man began; nations have wrought out practical schemes, philosophers have invented systems; thousands of generations have talked over individual facts and ideas. Yet men are far from being at one on the nature of the two and the relation between them.

One opinion, held widely in our own times, is that religion is the creator of ethics—an opinion not unnaturally suggested by the fusion of ethical and religious ideas and practices which exists among us. The masses of our communities are reared in a religious atmosphere. Their first impressions of duty and right are colored by religious ideas and supported by religious sanctions. The most generally accepted and revered ethical codes are contained in the sacred books, and the most prominent preachers of morals are ministers of religion. Our courts of law dispense justice in the name of the Divine Being. Kings rule by the grace of God, and the Congress of the United States has stamped a declaration of the national trust in God on a silver coin. In many countries religion appears at the birth of a child, to initiate it by a symbolic ceremony into the Church; almost everywhere when life is departing religion comes to care for man's future; and it is religion which announces the close of life by the solemn depo-