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world has known on account of dogma, doctrines, and even creeds erected upon a mere figure of speech or some unessential detail of a teaching? A little girl I know was firmly convinced that sparrows are the only birds God counts, and that robins and sea-gulls drop out quite unnoticed; and one would not be at all surprised to find somewhere in the world a genuine credo built upon the market price of those same elect sparrows. Your own experience will tell you that it has been the shaking off of such accidental, and after all unessential, attachments to your faith that has cost you most sorrow and that has been at the bottom of most of your religious disturbances. If we crave for our children a harmonious, affirmatively evolving experience in religion, we will take care to lighten the weight of emphasis on the acc dental and superficial, and lay it on the deeper essential meaning of th ngs.

A plea for the quiet, unbroken continuity of religious teaching and experience should by no means lose sight of the possibility, nay, the fact, of times of acceleration and deepening. Indeed, one must provide for and expect more than one such time in a child's life, as he expects and cultivates such hours in his own later experience, if he be spiritually alive. But these special periods are most effective and most fruitful when they emerge from a background of steady, wise training.

There is another and equally important sense in which we may conserve the continuity of the child's religious growth. His experience from period to period we may call a perpendicular continuity. There is also a horizontal continuity for which we are to care. Nothing more beneficent has come into modern education than the teaching that a child's experience is all one; that it is all educational and should be all unified and harmonized. We have learned to see that ideally his life in the home is as educational as his life in the school, his life in school as social and humanistic as his life in the home. So we should be prepared to see that religion and religious teaching is not a thing apart, relegated to Sunday, the church, and the Sunday school, or even to specific hours in the home; but that it is a spirit, an atmosphere, a point of view, an explanation of things, a motive for conduct, -all these and many more things-and that it diffuses itself through all life and all objects. Quietly and unobtrusively, joyously and enthusiastically, the child may be led to see in his whole life and any detail of his life, reasons for that reverence and acquiescence which prepares him to see,

"A motion and a spirit that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things."





The one point that I have to set forth is that the home should be a community. The community spirit should pervade it. It should reflect, in a small way, to be sure, but in a very real way, the larger industrial, civic, and social life into which the young man and woman are later to be thrown, the preparation for which it is the highest function of the home to furnish. The chances are that the full-grown man is going to be just such a person as his own childhood and youth prophesy. The notion is being forced in upon us in many ways now-adays that the foundations of character and personality are being laid in the very early years of life. And to the extent to which we believe it, the idea is clear and insistent that the home life is the crucial point in society. If this department of the Religious Education Association can materially affect the spirit and organization of the homes of the country for the better, it will have a longer leverage upon the quality of our social and civic life than can be measured by any external standards.

Even when the family consists of two, the husband and wife, the community spirit should prevail. There is an old, old custom, bred in the days of strife and combat, that the husband should wield the scepter in the household. In these days, when the humanizing and spiritualizing elements of our nature are coming to count for as much as those of the strenuous life, there is little excuse for the maintenance of the custom. The obedience clause in the marriage ceremony is happily dropping away, and husbands are becoming domesticated and civilized. A completely mutual life is desirable, not simply for the enjoyment of the two, but on account of the children who are later coming into the home. An attempt to develop a community spirit among children, when it does not exist already in the family, which is the fountain-head of their impulses and ideals, would be a bubble. What the parents profess may count for something, but what they feel and live counts for indefinitely more. That which children find in the very atmosphere of the home is what they imbibe. The pervading spirit of the home is getting in its most telling work during the days while the children are in the mother's arms, on her lap, and about

her knees. There is nothing so catching as the contagion of moods and impulses; and it is our stock of instincts and impulses and moods that determines what each of us will do and love and live for, and not so much what we think out in later years.

A second consideration in making the home a community is that of numbers. For the community life of the home to reflect the social whole at all adequately, and develop the children on many sides, it should consist of several members. The fact that an only child in a family is likely to be selfish and socially deformed is proverbial; and Dr. Bohannon's study of the question has massed the evidences that such is the case. This need not be true, if parents were prudent in their training, and unselfish in their love for the solitary prodigy; but who can be prudent under such circumstances? The best protection against the danger where the providence of nature sends only one or two children into the family, is in increasing the number by adoption. It is a good omen that so many home finding societies are springing up and doing a flourishing business. The objection to adopting children is, to the minds of many persons, the number of instances in which it has failed to produce happy results. The reply is twofold. In the first place, disappointments rarely occur when children are adopted in the earliest days of babyhood. Rather than wait to find how the child is going to turn out, before receiving it, it is better to begin preforming and shaping its life, by surrounding it with pure social atmosphere to breathe, and the best spiritual food to grow by. Then, again, it is an unkindness, if not a crime, to adopt a child into a household from a mere sense of duty. Unless the love-life can predominate in the act, and jealousy, favoritism, pride in descent, and all other forms of selfishness can be overcome, the orphan child, as well as the small home circle, are better off without the union.

We can hardly afford to sacrifice the ruggedness, the fine self-control, and the social responsiveness that develop naturally in the midst of the group, even at the risk of a certain amount of contamination from children supposedly less immaculate than our own. It is in the social group, by actually facing for themselves the difficult situations that arise, that character is formed. What the child can do, the results that he can achieve among his fellows, is the measure of his will, and the tension and quality of his will is the measure to himself of his own personality. It is in the social group, and there only, as James Mark Baldwin has so well pointed out, in the actual demands that others are making upon him, that the child forms any adequately vivid and comprehensive social feeling. With parents that are authorita

tive and yet companionable, with a group of other children about him, differing in age, tastes, and temperament, and with these supplemented by dolls and pets that want protection and care, there is scarcely a latent power in his nature that is not daily stimulated. And he is being taught the lessons he needs to learn for citizenship. When passionate, he learns self-control; when selfish, he has a quick and sure harvest of unhappiness; when obstinate, he feels himself growing aloof from his fellows. With all the knocks he is getting, and also with the pleasures from intermingling, society becomes a reality to him, and not a fine fancy. Its absolute demands on him, and his responsibility to it, become real facts that he can no more gnore and slight than he can the fact of his own being.

There is also fine training for citizenship in the complexity of the situations children must face in the family group. There is hardly a moment of their waking life in which there does not arise diversity of wishes and a complication of rights to which each must adjust himself. The socially unfit are those who fail in adjustment, just as the socially and political successful are those who can respond in a large way to a large number of persons. With an only child in the family, the complex situations hardly arise, and with two children they are too infrequent and too easy of solution. Real training for life consists in tactful adjustment almost instantaneously to that indefinable something called public sentiment; a fact so complica ed and intricate that its elements cannot be weighed intellectually, but must be untangled by a sort of refined sensitivity. It is no mere play on words to point out, as John Dewey has done, the connection between responsiveness and moral responsibility. Unless social responsiveness has become fixed through long habituation, it is questionable whether the most healthy social sense can ever arise.

In the matter of having the community spirit pervade the home, a word is deserved about discipline. We, as Americans, are proverbially lax in parental authority and the rigidness of our home discipline. The distinction is our clear gain, if it means that a higher kind of authority is prevailing in our homes than the imperiousness of our Anglo-Saxon fathers. I trust it fits in among the many good fruits of our democratic tree. Our professors are not so august, our preachers not so terrible, our teachers not so awe-inspiring, nor is our obedience so groveling as in other times and countries. And still our authority and obedience, if we are to flourish, must be no less real. The one indispensable thing in the relation of parents and children is companionship. The natural fruits of autocracy, whether in Russia or in an

American home, are unhappiness, friction, waste, disobedience, and underhandedness. There will come a time in each child's life when arbitrary authority must break down, if the boy is to become a strong man. The occasion for a break should never arise. The youth's independence is not something to give him out of hand when he reaches the age of twenty-one, but a natural right, in the exercise of which he should be schooled from earliest babyhood. The highest gift of a parent is not freedom or wealth, but self-respect, love, good will, and fellowship.

Companionship, responsiveness, and a strong spirit of love and devotion-these are the ends to be attained. The means toward them consist chiefly in doing things together in the household. It is the rule, not only outside the home, but within it, that the strongest attachments spring up, and happiness abounds, when people are losing themselves in a common task. When people have honestly worked together, succeeded and failed together, laughed and sighed together, nothing can separate them. What I have to say about the common occupations of the home must be confined, for the most part, to those which center around the property rights and property sense. I am concerned with this, because it is fundamental, and also because it is much overlooked. While I do not believe in communism as a social doctrine for all, I do believe in a modified form of communism in the family. The entire family, children and all, should have a common purse, and should consult together, as far as possible, on all interests, plans, projects, and investments. I have seen something like this in operation in one family, and certainly to the happiness and profit of all concerned.

I imagine you asking, How can a child enter into the complexities of modern life, and the intricacies of modern enterprises? The high degree of organization that has set in is all the more reason for undertaking such a plan, if only it is the children and the home life we are considering. As the situation now stands, it has grown far beyond their comprehension. There was a time when the raising and making, the bartering, buying and selling, the planning and using, were all going on in open view to the children. Now the father hurries away in the morning, and practically all his waking life is a closed book to wife and children. The integrity of the home is weakened by so much, the home, which must remain, if our national life is to be healthy, the nursery, not only of the bodies of children, but of everything that pertains to their adult life as well. Hence, I am inclined to believe that communism in the home is not only important for the

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