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dawn of democracy among the nations of the earth. Our great problem to-day in civilization is to compel action, and not merely to acquire the knowledge of what is best to do.

First Phase

There are also three phases in the training of the will in practical religious conduct. First, the consecration of self to these intellectual ideals that we have acquired. I do not believe that any one is religiously, ethically, or even morally, right; I do not believe that any soul lives right in this world to-day from any plane that you choose to measure from, who is not willing to consecrate all of himself to the things that he believes with his whole soul. Whatever we believe, that must be the thing to which all our energies must be consecrated. If we believe it is our duty to visit the sick and minister to the poor, no inclemency of the weather, and no excuse of any sort, no palliation of conditions, will break our heroic determination to do the thing which we know we ought to do. And all through one's life, the first great vital quality of religious conduct lies in the fact that a man consecrates himself through and through to the things that he believes, and is living well up to the standards of the best that is in him. Unless we teach our children to believe in these great truths of the race, and instruct them daily to achieve them in

life, we have fallen short in the discipline of the will, and, therefore, in preparation for the actual religious conditions of life.

The second of these great duties that comes from the will, in the development of the religious training of the child, is the reconciliation of the individual with his lot. I do not mean quietism, which makes a man go into the cloister, or the convent, or the hermit's cell, away from the

Second Phase

For it

world, but I mean that resolution which brings peace to a man's mind amidst all the turmoil and the strife of a busy daily experience. seems to me that we need so to discipline our souls that, wherever we work, in the midst of what untoward conditions we find ourselves, we can work with the heroism born of the consciousness that we are right, and, thus, have peace within.

This is a great doctrine for the human soul to consider. But it does not mean that we shall be doggedly content; it does not stand opposed to high aspiration, to the bettering of one's lot, the widening of one's usefulness, the intensifying of one's activities; but it means that, in whatever place we find ourselves in this world, we can reconcile ourselves to that place, and work there.

A teacher, not long since, said to me: "Oh, if I were only teaching in the University! Then

The Vital Fact

I should be happy. But I am teaching out here in the country, where I am not appreciated, where I do not have access to libraries, where I am divorced from all contact with intellectual people, and where I have not the stimulation and companionship of bright minds. Oh, if I were only in the city, in the University, then I should be happy." But it matters not whether we teach in the country or in the city, whether we are employed in the shop, or the forge, or the factory; the vital thing is that we never labor well until we are content to labor there with all our souls, and thus fit ourselves to labor in a larger place. No one grows into larger usefulness by fretting against his lot and the work he finds himself called upon to perform. Whatever our present duty may be, the best proof that we are fitted to perform a larger service is that we are performing our present task with infinite skill and success. We need to put before our children the gospel of doing daily service well; not half-heartedly, and therefore imperfectly.

The third of these trainings of the will consists in giving to the child the power, and in exercising the power, of selecting, out of the many conflicting doctrines and teachings of the race, that which is best for him, and erecting it into a doctrine and bond of belief which shall be his view

Third Phase

point in life. For none of us can live our best unless we live consistently, and we cannot live consistently until we have settled with ourselves the things we believe, and standing firmly upon these, live right out from them, along the plain, straight, unchanging course which is given to us, because we have settled in our own souls certain fundamental things. So long as we are wandering, so long as we are shifting, so long as we are changing, so long as we are uncertain, and willing to be shaken and molded and modified by every influence at work upon our lives, we have not reached the point where we can hope for any large growth or wide usefulness in our lives. This means that Jesus was supremely wise in the parable of the shepherd and that one cannot realize his full life without joining a religious organization. For us this means the Christian church.

We come, finally, to consider our third point, the absolute process in religious culture. That begins, as I have hinted in the theoretical process, in accordance with natural law; it is the modifying of the human soul as it finds itself in touch with natural things: it is conformity to law.


Herbert Spencer characterizes it as the adjustment of the human being to his scientific en

vironment. It begins with yielding obedience and respect to the inevitable laws fixed in things, and against which it is foolishness to protest. Life cannot be religiously lived save

First Need

as it is lived in obedience to law as set by Divine Wisdom.

In the second place, it consists in studying all the codes and creeds and doctrines of history; it is the investigation of all that the race has done in its efforts to build itself up into a higher life.

Second Need

It means a study of the historic forms of religious life and training. In its full realization it requires a systematic investigation of the growth of religious ideals in the race.

And, in the third place, it means picking out of all these, here and there, the things that are best religiously; separating the false from the true, weighing all the evidence, all the facts which have any bearing, from the wisdom of all the great souls of all peoples, and forming all that accepted truth into a bond of doctrine which shall become the creed of the soul, so that it shall live and die, by reason of its conviction, in the righteousness of that creed.

Pinal Need

When once we reach that point, the training is done, whether intellectual, or moral, or ethical, or religious, or whatever it may be. So you will

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