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Higher Education

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101 pages

Higher Education

Publié par :
Ajouté le : 08 décembre 2010
Lecture(s) : 80
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Project Gutenberg's Education and the Higher Life, by J. L. Spalding This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Education and the Higher Life Author: J. L. Spalding Release Date: April 12, 2007 [EBook #21045] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EDUCATION AND THE HIGHER LIFE *** Produced by Sigal Alon, Marcia, Fox in the Stars and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net EDUCATION AND THE HIGHER LIFE [Pg 1] BY BISHOP SPALDING. EDUCATION AND THE H IGHER LIFE. 12mo. $1.00. THINGS OF THE MIND. 12mo. $1.00. MEANS AND ENDS OF EDUCATION. 12mo. $1.00. THOUGHTS AND THEORIES OF LIFE AND EDUCATION. 12mo. $1.00. OPPORTUNITY AND OTHER ESSAYS AND ADDRESSES . 12mo. $1.00. SONGS: C HIEFLY FROM THE GERMAN . 16mo, gilt top. $1.25. A. C. McCLURG & CO. C HICAGO . [Pg 2] EDUCATION AND [Pg 3] THE HIGHER LIFE BY J. L. Spalding Bishop of Peoria The business of education is not, as I think, to perfect the learner in any of the sciences, but to give his mind that freedom and disposition, and those habits, which may enable him to attain every part of knowledge himself. —LOCKE SIXTH EDITION CHICAGO A. C. McCLURG & CO. 1900 Copyright, [Pg 4] BY A. C. MCC LURG AND C O ., A. D. 1890. CONTENTS. CHAPTER I. CHAPTER II. CHAPTER III. CHAPTER IV. CHAPTER V. CHAPTER VI. CHAPTER VII. CHAPTER VIII. IDEALS 7 EXERCISE OF MIND 30 THE LOVE OF EXCELLENCE 51 C ULTURE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE 73 SELF-C ULTURE 92 GROWTH AND D UTY 117 R IGHT H UMAN LIFE 144 U NIVERSITY EDUCATION 172 [Pg 5] [Pg 6] EDUCATION AND THE HIGHER LIFE. CHAPTER I. IDEALS. A noble aim, Faithfully kept, is as a noble deed. WORDSWORTH . To few men does life bring a brighter day than that which places the crown upon their scholastic labors, and bids them go forth from the halls of the Alma Mater to the great world's battlefield. There is a freshness in these early triumphs which, like the bloom and fragrance of the flower, is quickly lost, never to be found again even by those for whom Fortune reserves her most choice gifts. Fame, though hymned by myriad tongues, is not so sweet as the delight we drink from the tear-dimmed eyes of our mothers and sisters, in the sacred hours when we can yet claim as our own the love of higher things, the faith and hope which make this mortal life immortal, and fill a moment with a wealth of memories which lasts through years. The highest joy is serious, and in the midst of supreme delight there comes to the soul a stillness which permits it to rise to the serene sphere where truth is most gladly heard and most easily perceived; and in such exaltation, the young see that life is not what they take it to be. They think it long; it is short. They think it happy; it is full of cares and sorrows. This two-fold illusion widens the horizon of life and tinges it with gold. It gives to youth its charm and makes of it a blessed time to which we ever turn regretful eyes. But I am wrong to call illusion that which in truth is but an omen of the divine possibilities of man's nature. To the young, life is not mean or short, because the blessed freedom of youth may make it noble and immortal. The young stand upon the threshold of the world. Of the many careers which are open to human activity, they will choose one; and their fortunes will be various, even though their merits should be equal. But if position, fame, and wealth are often denied to the most persistent efforts and the best ability, it is consoling to know they are not the highest; and as they are not the end of life, they should not be made its aim. An aim, nevertheless, we must have, if we hope to live to good purpose. All men, in fact, whether or not they know it, have an ideal, base or lofty, which molds character and shapes destiny. Whether it be pleasure or gain or renown or knowledge, or several of these, or something else, we all associate life with some end, or ends, the attainment of which seems to us most desirable. This ideal, that which in our inmost souls we love and desire, which we lay to heart and live by, is at once the truest expression of our nature and the most potent agency in developing its powers. Now, in youth we form [Pg 7] [Pg 8] [Pg 9] the ideals which we labor to body forth in our lives. What in these growing days we yearn for with all our being, is heaped upon us in old age. All important, therefore, is the choice of an ideal; for this more than rules or precepts will determine what we are to become. The love of the best is twin-born with the soul. What is the best? What is the worthiest life-aim? It must be something which is within the reach of every one, as Nature's best gifts—air and sunshine and water—belong to all. What only the few can attain, cannot be life's real end or the highest good. The best is not far removed from any one of us, but is alike near to the poor and the rich, to the learned and the ignorant, to the shepherd and the king, and only the best can give to the soul repose and contentment. What then is the true life-ideal? Recalling to mind the thoughts and theories of many men, I can find nothing better than this, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." "Love not pleasure," says Carlyle, "love God. This is the everlasting Yea, wherein all contradiction is solved; wherein whoso walks and works, it is well with him." To the high and aspiring heart of youth, fame, honor, glory, appeal with such irresistible power, and appear clad in forms so beautiful, that at a time of life when all of us are unreal in our sentiments and crude in our opinions, they are often mistaken for the best. But fame is good only in so far as it gives power for good. For the rest, it is nominal. They who have deserved it care not for it. A great soul is above all praise and dispraise of men, which are ever given
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