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trance into a discipline which exalts obligation, distinguishes sharply between work and play, and produces a harder moral fiber. It may well be considered whether the doctrine of interest, which has wrought so beneficent changes in modern education, has not in some quarters been totally misunderstood, and led to the idea that duty is binding only so long as it is attractive. It may be considered whether the elective system, which has done so much for the emancipation of the individual and development of diverse talents and callings, may not have been so abused as to lead to the virtual inference that religious life is optional, to be sought by those who can afford the time and effort, rather than essential to the very existence of a complete humanity. Certainly many college men of to-day tend to the position that religious conviction and emotion are very suitable for some temperaments, but not to be expected by others. The idea of specialization seems to be carried in some cases into the moral and religious realm, and it is held that, while some men have the gift of religious possibility, or are called to a sacrificial life, others are incapable of such ideals, and may well be content with industrial or financial success. The consciousness of defect in these lines is so widespread that the letters recently received read like reports from some great confessional. I quote only two, one from a college president, the other from the president of a theological seminary. The president of one of our largest women's colleges writes:

"We sugar-coat all our pills of learning. Is there not a wholesome tonic in the old-fashioned method of learning the disagreeable thing, of being sure that two and two do make four and can by no possibility be twisted into anything else? The hard places of life must be faced sooner or later, and though one wants to shield children and young people as far as possible, yet it is no true education which does not give them a certain hardness of intellectual and moral fiber, which will enable them to face their own difficulties, and to accept even defeat always with a strong purpose of turning it into victory. Is there not such a thing. as carrying the doctrine of working in the line of least resistance too far, both in intellectual and moral matters?"

The president of one of our most influential theological seminaries makes the same analysis in other words:

"If I may venture to hazard an opinion as to the chief moral weakness in American education, I would say that it consists in emphasis upon the idea that the way to educate children is to interest them. This descends to amusement; and I have found many parents, both east and west in this country, complain that their children were not trained to habits of study. That is to say, the great principle, that education

has to do more with the will than with any other function of consciousness, is neglected to an alarming extent. This must exert an adverse influence upon the whole moral development of the child. It gives rise not only to the thirst for amusement, but also to the inclination to move in the line of least resistance, and to a sentimental view of life as a whole. Sentimentalism is, perhaps, the chief danger in the atmosphere of contemporary religion."

When a general defect in the educational process of a nation thus rises into the consciousness of intellectual leaders, and is frankly analyzed and expressed, we are justified in recording real educational progress.

5. Closely connected with this defect is another the lack of thoroughness in thought and action. The superficiality in Bible study, which has often prevailed in the past, is simply part of a general contentment with the surface of things. Everywhere there is alertness, eagerness, and movement; but there is a demand for swift results which allows little time for the ripening of knowledge into wisdom. It is the general conviction of college teachers that, while the freshmen of to-day know more than their fathers knew at the same age, they are inferior to their fathers in logical strength, in power of concentration, and in the faculty of sustained thought. "They all lack continuity of thinking," writes one university professor. Out of such conditions we can see how easily may arise the flippancy, irreverence, and irresponsibility which are not unknown in any public or private school. The haste to be wise may be as fatal as the haste to be rich.

But a consciousness of this deficiency, instead of being cause for discouragement, must be regarded as the first step in its abolition. A sign of genuine progress is that teachers and leaders are everywhere declining to join in the demand for immediate results, and are seeking a permanent deposit in the character and life of the pupil.

II. If, then, our general survey shows decided progress in unprecedented activity, in increasing solidarity of educational forces, in a growing demand for reality, in a growing consciousness of the lack of imperativeness in motive and thoroughness in method, we are prepared to examine certain specific agencies through which our generation is seeking to supply its deficiencies and realize its aspirations.

1. The year has been notable for its publications dealing with the principles and methods of religious education. These publications are marked by a broader outlook and a more philosophical treatment than any previously put forth. The merely homiletic has given place to the genuinely educational, and the life of the spirit has at last appeared as worthy of serious study as the purely cognitive or the logical process.

The real "helps" needed by our Sunday school teachers are not miniature sermons, or moralizings, or illustrations; rather do they need understanding of the child-nature, knowledge of the principles of teaching, and the elementary facts in religious psychology. The report of the last meeting of the Religious Education Association, published in one volume, constitutes in itself a contribution to this subject of permanent value, remarkable for the unity of aim exhibited by men of various churches, temperaments, schools of thought, and sections of the country. The founding during the year of "The American Journal of Religious Psychology and Education" is most significant. It is a sign of the times that psychologists are at last convinced that the study of the phenomena of conversion and religious development is not a realm of mist and illusion, but is worthy of the best scientific method and the most patient investigation that trained students can give. President G. Stanley Hall's monumental work on "Adolescence" includes sections dealing with the growth of the moral personality, and contains a wealth of material which can never be neglected by any subsequent student. Professor George A. Coe's work on "Education in Religion and Morals" will probably become a text-book for a multitude of earnest teachers. "Personal and Ideal Elements in Education," by President Henry Churchill King, expresses ideals and convictions which are rapidly becoming potent forces in the life of our most thoughtful religious leaders. "Moral Education," by Edward Howard Griggs, deals with the same problems from a wholly different standpoint. "The Philosophy of Education," by Professor H. H. Horne, sets forth principles which have direct application in the field we are now discussing. The fact that these books should appear in the same year, and that the methods they advocate are now being explained and enforced in scores of periodicals and from a multitude of platforms and pulpits, is a fact of far-reaching importance.

2. The discussion of the objects and methods of the Sunday school has been incessant during the last twelve months. No subject can be deemed more important. If the Sunday school is the church at study, if there are by a conservative estimate more than thirteen million persons enrolled in these schools, and if over eighty-five per cent of our church members come from these schools, we have in this vast undertaking a most potent force for the development of the national character. The "searchings of heart" which mark all education today are especially insistent in this field. On the whole, the situation is distinctly encouraging. If most of us would agree with the university professor who writes, "Neither the aim nor the method of the Sunday

school has been modified during the century of its existence to the extent that the conditions warrant," yet, on the other hand, we must agree with the Southern editor who affirms, "More has been done since February, 1903, to put the Sunday school on an educational basis than during the score of years immediately preceding." The meeting of the Religious Education Association two years ago sent a thrill of hope and expectation throughout the Sunday schools of America, while the meeting of last year transmuted this hope into an organized endeavor. It was felt by the most thoughtful leaders in the education of the young that at last the scattered aspirations of hundreds of people were being crystallized into action, that the emancipation, long hindered by inveterate habit and timorous counsels and vested interests, was at hand, and that, not by defiance and revolution, but by the quiet emergence of better ideals and deeper understanding and a more catholic spirit, the new day had dawned. From all sections of the country now come reports of noteworthy, and in some cases remarkable, progress. The Episcopal Church has, perhaps, in this work taken a position of leadership. It has published during the year thirty-five text-books and twelve manuals of instruction. At its General Convention, held at Boston in the month of October, a new Sunday School Commission was appointed, consisting of seven bishops, seven clergymen, and seven laymen. At the same time a Federation of Sunday-school Associations was formed, and the entire Convention felt itself on the verge of a great forward movement. The work of the Sunday School Commission of the Diocese of New York, as recorded in its quarterly Bulletin, is a work of statesmanship and devotion, the results of which are being studied throughout the country.

The Congregational churches, at their recent triennial conference in Des Moines, put upon a working basis a Sunday School Commission created three years ago for the purpose of developing religious education throughout the denomination. The Southern Presbyterians have revolutionized their work within two years. In the last year they have placed several competent men in the field, whose business it is to help the churches to better things in religious education. The same thing may be said of the Southern Baptists, who have during the year divided their territory into districts, and put experienced men in charge of the work of Bible study and general religious training. The Methodist Church, both in the North and in the South, is aroused on this subject, and is scattering its literature far and wide, filled with suggestion, stimulus, and outlines of method. The Unitarians have published a series of graded lessons of a thoughtful and scholarly character.

Both religion and education are setting "the child in the midst," and joining hands in training him for a life of mental and moral efficiency.

3. The young people's societies connected with the various religious denominations are obviously in a transitional period. They are suffering at present from a conflict of ideals, but in this very conflict there is encouragement. The older ideal laid emphasis chiefly on self-expression in religious assemblies, and found its culminating success in vast conventions where the boundless enthusiasm of youth overflowed in dramatic and memorable scenes. It is still true that the great gatherings of the summer are potent forces, and the oral expression of religious feeling has its rightful place. But the emphasis is now being quietly transferred, in many societies, to the attainment rather than the expression of experience, and the societies are becoming groups of students. The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, the Epworth League, the Baptist Young People's Union, the Christian Union of United Brethren, the Young People's Union of the United Presbyterian Church, and the Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip, include altogether about five million members, and the ideals of these societies are a shaping power in the whole nation. The Baptist Young People's Union conducts four courses of study. The studies are published in the form of a monthly magazine, which now has a circulation of twenty-seven thousand copies. Ten thousand examination papers were sent in by students in these courses last year, and through the stimulus of such study many young people have been led to seek a college education. The Epworth League has courses of Bible study in which the whole Bible is covered in three years. About twenty-three thousand students are enrolled in these courses. In the Junior League a simpler course is offered, with an enrollment of over nine thousand students.

4. The moral and religious life of our colleges must be a matter of concern to every American citizen. In the last thirty years our colleges have swung away from the English ideals of their founders, and have come under the influence of the German university. We have imported from Germany more than laboratories and seminaries; we have imported the university attitude toward students. We have discarded the paternal idea, and have introduced a large measure of self-government. We have treated the students, not as boys, but as men, and have cultivated responsibility, self-direction, election, not only of studies, but of modes of life, and have allowed the religious effort to proceed chiefly, not from the faculty, but from organizations within

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