Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/138

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

economist how we may advance our own material interests or contribute to those of the community. But there is room for a teaching which shall in a manner correlate all these, which shall reveal the sacredness of every duty and the profound significance of life. This is the teaching which especially deserves the name of religious, inasmuch as it awakens in the mind of the individual a consciousness of his relation to the universe as a whole, and an accompanying sense of universal law. Who, it may be asked, is sufficient for these things? Not every one assuredly who enters on the clerical profession. It is a vastly easier thing to denounce science as heterodox than to minister in any effective manner to the higher life of one's fellows. The latter, however, is the true function of the religious teacher, not the former; and it is a function the need for which was never greater than it is to-day. Science is advancing with giant strides, but discontent is on the increase. Why? Because the essential conditions of happiness are ignored; because rich and poor, however diverse their points of view in other respects, join in affirming that life consists in material abundance, that character is of little account, that money can do everything. In such a condition of things it is really surprising that religious teachers should find time to attack men of science for any views whatever which they may promulgate, the need being so pressing for a manifestation of those moral truths which no scientist would think of opposing, and which in point of fact no scientific doctrine can be said to touch. The fields are white to the harvest, but the really competent reapers are few. They would be more numerous perhaps if the needs of the time were better understood, and if men were not required to undergo an apprenticeship to outworn systems of thought before betaking themselves to the work of the ministry. We ask our religious friends to think of this. Science can not be arrested in its investigations, but these need not and do not stand in the least in the way of true religious work. Let the scientists, therefore, occupy their own field without molestation, and let the clergy—those who are fit for their high office—occupy their own field and labor to promote higher views of the worth and destiny of human life than those ultra-material ones which are so widespread to day, and which are nowhere more conspicuous than in the churches. Then we may have peace with progress.

 

 

A DANGEROUS CLASS.

In an article on The Unemployed, which appered in last month's Table, we ventured the opinion that one reason why the number of these was so great was that thousands of persons in the present day were receiving an education which they were not able afterward to put to any satisfactory use; and from an article by Mr. Goldwin Smith, which fell under our eye just as our own was finished, we were able to quote a passage strongly confirmatory of the position we had taken. Years ago Prince Bismarck had said the same thing in regard to Germany, and we remember how sharply a certain college president in this country resented the idea that college classes could by any possibility be too large, or engineers, architects, chemists, lawyers, doctors, etc., qualified or semi-qualified, be in too great proportion to the rest of the community. Of course, the financial prosperity of a college depends in a measure on the number of students it can attract, and we can understand why college authorities might not like the idea to get abroad that to send a boy to college is not always the wisest thing to do with him. Still, the truth that college education and semi-education can be overdone is one that, in our humble opinion, is destined to force itself, despite all that col-