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Stack 

Annex 

BM 

740 

G76 

1922 




I GLIMPSES INTO LIFE I 



GROSSMANN 



GLIMPSES 
INTO LIFE I 



LOUIS GROSSMANN 






GLIMPSES INTO LIFE 



RABBI LOUIS GROSSMANN, D. D., D. H. L. 



BLOCK PUBLISHING COMPANY 
1922 



Stack 
Annex 



7V 



Dedicated to the 
Jewish Community of Cincinnati 



SfacK 

Annex 



PREFACE 

title Rabbi means literally 
my teacher." The Rabbi rep- 
resents truth and honor and affec- 
tion, and his influence and teaching 
are direct and personal. 

These pages are addressed to the 
Jewish community of Cincinnati. 
I shall be gratified if what I say 
will strengthen its loyalty and 
friendship, for these are precious 
to me. 

Louis GROSSMANN. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

1. The Neutral 1 

2. Peace 3 

3. War 6 

4. Idealism in Fight 8 

5. The Moral Moment 11 

6. Citizenship 13 

7. Democracy 16 

8. The Self -Confidence of a Nation 19 

9. Freedom 21 

10. The American Home 24 

11. Home 26 

12. Kindred 29 

13. Reformers 32 

14. Moral Education 35 

15. Child Dreams 37 

16. Character is the Aim of Education 40 

17. The New School 43 

18. Bible Reading in the Public School 45 

19. Justice 49 

20. Culture and Justice 57 

21. Character 54 

22. The Now 57 

23. Up to Date 60 

24. Fads 62 

25. Human Nature 64 

26. Ambition . 67 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

27. Simple Greatness 69 

28. Self-Control 72 

29. Patience 74 

30. Humility 77 

31. Admiration 79 

32. Push 81 

33. Curiosity 83 

34. Conversation 86 

35. The Animal 89 

36. Charity and Work 91 

37. Charity 94 

38. The Incapables 97 

93. Art and Freedom 100 

40. Admiration 102 

41. The Volunteer 104 

42. American Justice 107 

43. The Holiday 110 

44. Will 112 

45. Spring 115 

36. Autumn 117 

47. The Feast of Passover 120 

48. The Unseen Spirits 122 

49. Saints 124 

50. The Democratic Isaac M. Wise 127 

51. Race 129 

52. The Chosen People 131 

53. Grief . . 134 



THE NEUTRAL. 

T1[7E can never get peace by fight. The effort 
is illogical and self-contradictory. We 
can reason, argue and plead, but we cannot 
fight for peace. A peace gotten by war is no 
peace at all. It is truculence; it is a truce; but 
it is not genuine, good-natured, sincere peace. 

Peace must be voluntary, generous, frank; 
the initiative must come from those who want 
it. It cannot be forced; it cannot be con- 
strained by intimidation. For intimidation is 
a kind of war. Nations fall out, as men do, 
and they are reconciled, as men are, by their 
honor and of their own accord. No one can 
step between them and separate them, as little 
as you can, with any hope of success, tear boys 
apart who have clinched because of an unad- 
justed wrong. Only when they see that wrong 
righted do they stop. That righting of the 
wrong may be an apology, a reparation and a 
manly promise. But that is the condition. 

Much has been said of the "higher con- 
science," as if only bystanders had it, those 
who watch the fight and are neutral. But 



2 THE NEUTRAL. 

those who enter into the fight, enter into it 
because they have an intense sense of the right 
and stamina to stake themselves for it. Ob- 
servers do not feel as deeply as participants 
do. Those who stand aloof and are safe may 
have wise notions and well-balanced judg- 
ment, and it is easy to condemn what they do 
not feel. 

Much of the campaign against war is a 
criticism of human nature. Men will fight 
as long as they hold honest differences 
sincerely. That they assert their defense 
vigorously is a proof at least of their 
sincerity, if not of their wisdom and self- 
control. We who stand aside and make room 
for their fight, should respect the moral issue 
between them, if we cannot approve their judg- 
ment and their way. The role of the peace- 
maker is proverbially hard and risky, because 
he blocks the way of honest conviction and 
manly self-assertion. 

Peace can never be bought at the price of 
honor. And the highest price that can be ex- 
acted and the last men can ever care to pay 
is self-respect. Peace without self-respect 
would be worse than war. There is a fem- 
ininity in our virtues nowadays that makes us 
believe we are at our best when we are at our 



PEACE. 3 

weakest. Even when we crave for peace, we 
should seek it as becomes men. As men of 
Law and Order we must be strong. But our 
strength must be within ourselves. It is essen- 
tial to be as morally robust as physically. The 
really peaceful man combines strength with 
justice. He neither provokes nor is he ma- 
licious. The child or the savage in him may 
cry for "tit for tat" ; but the man in him de- 
clares for justice, for deliberate, all-around 
balanced justice. Peace is merely another word 
for Justice, for Justice when it is calm. 



PEACE. 

is a dead spot in every engine ; the 
"governor," as it is called, drives beyond 
it at each rotation. There is an equally dead 
spot in every human brain; and scientists 
say, it makes us sane or insane. There is a 
dead spot also in our moral make-up, and we 
are right or wrong as we are able or 
unable to overcome it. Sometimes we have 
not enough of moral momentum and then we 
collapse. Such, it seems, was the fatality 
which overwhelmed Europe. In a dark 
hour men broke down and civilization 



4 PEACE. 

came to a stop. It clogged the superb mechan- 
ism, the sanity, and, most sadly of all, the 
morality of the world. The reciprocal recrim- 
ination which each nation hurls at every other 
proves not only that each is bewildered but also 
that each is impotent. Each is in fever and 
until it abates sanity will not come. 

There is no need to urge the claims of peace, 
from the point of view that it is reasonable, 
that it pays, that it is just. Even the mad men 
on the battle-fields concede it. But there is 
need to urge it from the point of view of our 
obligations. Homes make a country, schools 
make it, factories and the manifold loyalties of 
men toward men, of men toward women, of 
men and women toward children, and of all 
toward the yet unborn who are entitled that 
they receive their life unreduced, uncontam- 
inated and undemoralized. War robs not only 
us of today but also the next generation of the 
essential and elementary equipment necessary 
for right life. Men need security, mutual con- 
fidence, and the open road. There can be no 
cause under any allegation that may take these 
away from men. No national interest is 
as important as that. No loyalty to govern- 
ment or state can be moral at the cost of it. 

War is not a defense of rights but a violation 



PEACE. 5* 

of them. No matter what the provocation, we 
have a dominant obligation toward life. 
Whatever hazards or wastes this cultured, 
civilized, hard-earned twentieth-century life, 
is a crime, and nations have as little im- 
munity to commit that crime as individual 
men. There are many illusions that parade as 
loyalties, but there is only one real, genuine 
loyalty and that is the loyalty to human life. 
We must understand that human life com- 
prises more than mere breath. It involves ev- 
erything that makes life worth living, every- 
thing that is essential to us and without which 
life collapses. Our civilization, its commerce, 
its industries, its arts, its science, its literature, 
their safety, their very routine, their interna- 
tional reach and good-will, we have a right 
to, and no "cause" and no politics or diplomacy 
and no national issue may with impunity lay 
its hand on them. The European nations have 
brought civilization to a dead-point and it is 
good and comforting to think that American 
sanity and American initiative will, let us hope 
soon, restore Europe to its sounder and better 
self. 



WAR. 



WAR. 

is the most terrible curse and still it 
has been praised more than all blessings. 
Heraclitus, the ancient Greek, called it "The 
Father of all Things," and he meant that all 
good things have come through war. There 
has been no uplift of humanity, he says, that 
has not been brought about through the con- 
flict of men and through the elation and the 
powers which war evokes. We, in our day, 
doubt this and even deny it and still we feel 
and hope that somehow good will come out of 
the upheaval which we have witnessed. The 
arts seem to have their birth on battlefields: 
music and poetry in the exhilaration of cour- 
age, or it may be under the thrill of the sor- 
rows; painting and sculpture as glorifications 
of heroes and national pride or pain ; and even 
science and philosophy seem to be stirred by 
the spur of need and suffering. Every great 
epoch in culture has coincided with or follows 
a war and the human race fertilizes its spirit 
with blood. This fact of history humiliates 
every one who has finer feelings, but it is none 
the less true. 

It is interesting from this point of view to ob- 



WAR. 7 

serve what the nations were doing under the 
stimulus of war, not on the battlefields but 
at home. In one of them, I am told, one 
of the average newspapers offered five hun- 
dred poems a day during the recent war, 
so busy and insistent was the muse of war, or 
rather so intense was the moral life of the 
nation, that it poured its spirit into vehement 
verse just as on the battle-field into gun and 
cannon. This intellectual activity, by the way, 
may be taken as an indication whether the issue 
is government-made or genuinely national. 
The nation that has not a word of inspiration, 
even if it be only of self-inspiration, is indeed 
without a "cause," its part in the war is half- 
hearted. While, on the other hand, the nation 
that tingles with feeling, in the stays-at-home 
as much as in those who are in the lines, shows 
that it takes its part in the issue seriously. 

I am not one of those many pessimists 
who declare that civilization has collapsed 
and that the outlook is dismal and hopeless. 
Out of this confusion of the war will come 
clarity, and civilization will arise not only 
anew but also better. War is very expensive, it 
is true, and much is being swept away that is 
precious and irrecoverable. But the mental 
and moral resources of mankind are not ex- 



8 IDEALISM IN FIGHT. 

hausted and cannot be exhausted, and the very 
horror of the present experience will lead men 
to go into judgment with themselves. There 
is always a nucleus of good which thrives the 
better after the storm, like the seed in the 
watered ground. 



IDEALISM IN FIGHT. 

"C^IGHT is not wrong in itself. It depends 
what you are fighting for and how you do 
your fighting. Only an effeminate age decries 
fight as such. All of life is a fight. You fight 
against a competitor and you do all you can 
to put him out of the way. And the fight brings 
the best out of you, and the best out of him to 
meet yours. There is a kind of fight which is 
brutal and there is a kind which is on the level 
of reciprocal nobilities. Some men clinch as 
beasts, and some men reach out hands in gen- 
erous rivalries and gallant concessions. But 
some sort of fight we cannot avoid, none of us 
who are serious in life and have our equals or 
superiors. 

And then, fight is not the same as war ; fight 
is a measurement of intellectual or moral 
strength ; and war has neither the one nor the 



IDEALISM IN FIGHT. 9 

other. Tell me what you are fighting for and 
I shall tell you what you are. And tell me how 
you are doing your fighting and I shall tell you 
who you are. But whatever you are, if you 
want to be better, not only bigger, you will 
have to put forth your strongest, your best, 
your most telling self. You cannot prevail, 
you cannot keep what you have, you cannot 
advance one step, you cannot hold one single 
thing, unless you declare, assert your right. 
This is a sovereign fact in life and experience 
and none can afford to ignore it. 

The flaw in modern life is the fact that we 
fight without an ideal, just for bread and water, 
for the sordid things, and not for a high purpose. 
It is a many-cornered fight without an inner 
urge, a fight in which there is not even the 
exhilaration of a noble conscious motive 
worth the fight. The old man struggles to keep 
his hold on the wages, the young man to get 
his hand on them. Business is a tussle in which 
both buyer and seller are dragged down, and 
even the professions are commercialized. In 
a certain sense, we might say, the recent war was 
merely the modern sordid spirit writ large. It 
appalls us, as all large pictures projected before 
the eye do. National jealousy and national 
selfishness and national greed are merely more 



10 IDEALISM IN FIGHT. 

terrible, but the same as that of you and me 
of the average human nature. 

Real men do not resent that they are chal- 
lenged; but they do resent that they must 
waste their lives on small things and with petty 
persons. It is not hard to give your energies, 
but it is hard to waste them on what, after all, 
makes you neither happier nor better. That is 
why so many regard their lives as drudgery; 
they miss the zest, the love, the finer content. 
They long for the moral reformation which will 
make life worth living for its own sake, and 
will lift men above the competitions and rival- 
ries and convert the exercise of mind and heart 
into a joy, instead of as it is now a slavery and 
a brutalization. An ideal is the best invest- 
ment we can make. It lightens burdens; it 
transmutes needs into ambition, and it glorifies 
the small things of life. We need nothing so 
much today, under the stress of our industrial 
conditions, as a lighter touch in our souls. Call 
it idealism, call it romanticism, call it religious- 
ness, call it a finer morality, it amounts to the 
same need. We must have it, if we are to get 
out of life what life is meant to give. We fight 
with one another, rather than against one an- 
other, because we love, and respect life equally. 



THE MORAL MOMENT. 11 



THE MORAL MOMENT. 

"C^VERY moment is historic; it adds to the 
development of life. But not every mo- 
ment is tragic; it does not make us see the 
change and does not bring it with a jerk. We 
are passing through portentous changes and we 
are witnesses of world-shifts such as we shall, 
eventually, be either pitied or envied for. All 
nations are in turmoil and big things are hap- 
pening within each. We used to say "Time will 
tell," and we see now how true that is. Only 
we assume that we are making the changes; 
whereas they come subtly and none are more 
surprised than we ourselves. If every mo- 
ment is significant, it is not because we our- 
selves have put historic significance into it. And 
if our days are dramatic, we must confess that 
unseen influences are making them so. We 
are reaping a harvest we have not planted. 
Development is slow, even if it is sure. That 
the monster Russia would collapse, all felt cer- 
tain, but that it was so easy to knock him down 
was a surprise. He was weak for a long time, 
but we did not know it and, of course, he him- 
self did not. That "filthy lucre" poisons the 
blood of nations as of men, we knew, but we 



12 THE MORAL MOMENT. 

did not know that it had poisoned all of our civ- 
ilization, until this war of business rivals 
aligned the competitors in a struggle of blood, 
and demoralized and bestialized them. 

Every hour of our years is like a loop 
in a large web. You cannot afford to loosen 
it and let it flop. Nor is life a tangled 
skein. It is ordered and you can get hold of 
your thread in it whenever you want to. This 
is true of your private interest and it is equally 
true of the life of the nations. Every moment, 
every individual, every movement counts. It 
took a century till Russia fell. It fixed its 
doom with its first crime. The war of which 
we were the horrified witnesses and on the 
edges of which the nations were striding up 
and down, fascinated by the confusion or con- 
fused by the fascination, is more than four 
years old or, truer still, is as old as greed. And 
greed has always been the passion of weak, 
human nature. Every moment holds passion. 
And every moment it may break out, as the 
crater of Mt. Vesuvius. 

National life is not the creation of a passing 
mood. It is cumulative. The increasing 
years make it. Patriotism and loyalty come, 
like gushing springs out of the earth, from un- 
seen sources. And national morality feeds 



CITIZENSHIP. 13 

them. But national morality is concrete ; you 
and I help make or unmake it. Everything we 
do counts; counts to give profit or loss not 
only to us but also to the national life. There 
is no moment in which we are outside of the 
national life. Citizenship is the point at which 
our private morality flows into the national 
life and the national morality flows into our 
private life. Each feeds the other. He is a 
patriot who takes the character of his people 
seriously. And that is a true nation in which 
men take one another seriously. Love of coun- 
try is the highest achievement of moral man. 
That is the true description of American citi- 
zenship and that is the best word of civilization. 



CITIZENSHIP. 

/CITIZENSHIP is a moral fact in our life, 
not a formal one. We evidence it not by 
our vote but by what we are. And what we are 
is proven by what we do. None is exempt from 
citizenship, because every one is obligated to 
do what he can, so that all may be the better 
for his contribution. We may differ as to all 
sorts of interests, but we can not go apart as 
to our duty to the common welfare. The 



14 CITIZENSHIP. 

mands of the community are primal and dom- 
inant. 

Nor does it matter what our occupation be. 
All occupations must fit us out for social 
efficiency. A cultivated calling affords a finer 
discrimination, a more balanced judgment and 
ampler resources for the public service. Ac- 
cordingly, it lays the duty upon such as are 
more fortunately situated to employ what they 
have and not to withhold it. But a "lower" 
calling is no less obligated, as little as it is 
disfranchised. We have no higher nor lower 
callings in this equitable land; all are alike 
as to duty. We differ in no degree as to re- 
sponsibility and obligation. 

Citizenship is not a matter of occasional 
service. It comprises all of life. What we do 
every day determines our relationship to our 
fellowman. That may further or injure our- 
selves and others. The prevalent notion as to 
citizenship needs correction. We are not citi- 
zens only when we vote ; we are citizens when 
we are at the bench, in the office, behind the 
counter. The civic work is done, not at the 
ballot-box but in our trades and in our homes. 
The -vote is the merely formal act of a moral 
interest and of a moral influence. A cam- 
paign is a discussion; and national character 



CITIZENSHIP. 15 

and the national conscience speak long before 
there is a count. There seems to be a tendency 
of late to forget the real meaning of citizenship. 
It is not a matter of vote, as little as it is 
a matter of taxes. It is a question of what we 
contribute to the communal welfare ; what we 
are and what we do every day. Public life 
and the activities in which we are engaged are 
not grab, in which each one may reach out and 
help himself, as he pleases or can. 

Our occupations are our citizenship. They 
enhance (and we must see to it that they do) 
or they disturb (and we must guard that they 
do not) the rights, the opportunities, the lives 
of others who also are occupied, interested and 
"entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of hap- 
piness." 

We must get rid of the superficial view that 
we are citizens only once or twice a year, that 
we do our public, our social, our communal 
duty only then when we hold a ballot in our 
hands. There is not an instance in the varied 
experiences in the economic world, not a word 
spoken, not an aim cherished, not an ambition, 
nor a rivalry nor competition, not one fact of 
our personality, be it ever so private, but has a 
bearing and a force upon the weal or woe of 
others. It is much more true to say that we 



16 DEMOCRACY. 

vote, affect, perhaps even decide the good or 
the ill for the community at large, as well as for 
ourselves, by what we do or neglect to do, each 
one himself. 

The communal prosperity we wish is not the 
result of the ballot, but of the moral contribu- 
tion we make out of our personal selves. A 
community is what it is, rich or poor, progres- 
ses or lapses, not by a paper vote, but by the 
staunchness (or the lack of it) in its men, its 
shops, its homes. We have only one criterion 
for citizenship, and that is : moral stamina. 

DEMOCRACY. 

T^EMOCRACY is a political term; or it is 
legal. But it should be moral. Unless 
it is moral, it is insincere and without bearing 
on our life. Mere opinion is mere words. We 
have too long flung about grand, eloquent 
phrases about the equality of men, the equity 
of free opportunity and such, while we actually 
crowd out many from the fair and just chance 
to make and hold a livelihood. And there is 
sneering and frowning between men that does 
not comport with their abstract Justice, Love 
and Fellowship. We have not yet given up 
the: harsh ways of practical life and our 



DEMOCRACY. 17 

working democracy is quite different from our 
profession of the social Faith. 

The ancient Rabbis said: "Upon three bases 
the world rests ; upon Law, upon Respect and 
upon Sympathy," and this is true now even 
more than it was in their time. Democratic 
Society is organized and is a source of 
social welfare only on the foundation of law. 
Not wishes make our culture but our habits 
and the things we do in the intimacies of daily 
contact. Here democrat and aristocrat are 
identical. The humblest becomes the dignified. 
It is intense desire and a serious grasp of 
Right and Truth and Justice that make real 
men kindred and hold them in reciprocal 
regard. 

The democratic life of today is matter-of- 
fact. It has little room for sentiment. Busi- 
ness is sordid, the professions only less so and 
callous coldness has entered the churches and 
schools. Everything is "practical." There 
is no gradation of values. A thing is profitable, 
a man is valuable, an experience is a transac- 
tion. There are market values and none other. 
We defend this commercialism on the score of 
fact ; men are so, what will ye do ! But men 
are not so, when they are free, and they need 
not be either unfree or gross; and a bath of 



18 DEMOCRACY. 

natural feeling will refresh and restore them 
to the real joy and the warmer thrill. What 
this democratic civilization needs is sentiment, 
more mutual deference, more regard and 
respect for the fine nobilities which are deep 
down in the soul of every man. 

We are steadily discarding "charity." Our 
book-keeping way of judging men, not by 
what they are but by what they can or could 
do, by their having, or not having, or being 
made to have, efficiency for earning, threatens 
to suppress in us the social and sympathetic 
feelings. A man is not my fellowman, accord- 
ing to this modern gospel of political economy, 
until he sits next to me at the bench or stands 
next to me at the counter, or opposite; until 
he tries to elbow me out of the market as I 
try to elbow him. Human sympathy is now 
a matter of business. It has lost its charm, 
as it has lost its naivete. It is sober, unbend- 
ing, ungracious. It drives the beggar from 
the door with the whip of a new "social" doc- 
trine. But, all the same, beggars continue 
to come to our door, and there is no end of 
poverty and the tragedies of men and women 
and homes. Democracy needs the finer 
touches. It needs, besides the cries and bids 
of the market, the voice of the conscience 



SELF-CONFIDENCE. 19 

which can never become commercial. De- 
mocracy can be a moral power when it takes on 
the graciousness which is not merely the orna- 
ment but the very soul of truth and justice. 



THE SELF-CONFIDENCE OF A 
NATION. 

PUBLIC opinion is the public conscience. 
But it is difficult to find out what public 
opinion is. There are so many who pretend 
to voice it. Often the shrewdest and the loud- 
est obtrude. Real public opinion, like the con- 
science of a nation, remains unvoiced and is 
back of action rather than of talk. Sometimes 
we are in the midst of a campaign in which talk 
is fussy and strident. Some want to say for us 
that we believe in power and they think of 
physical power. But we do not believe in such 
power and the genius of our national life is 
based on the disbelief in it and on the rejection 
and condemnation of its temptation. Our 
conscience is against it. Public opinion is dif- 
ferent from mob-impulse. It has itself under 
control. It is the most moral fact and the most 
moralizing influence we have and those who 
tinker with it assume a grave responsibility. 



20 SELF-CONFIDENCE. 

I trust public opinion, not only for what it 
demands but also for what it rejects. And it 
rejects those who presume to interpret it 
falsely. Those interpret American life and the 
American conscience falsely who say that fight 
expresses our manhood and our sense of right. 
Stronger than the man who fights is the man 
who refuses to let a provocation debase him. 
Have we not yet learnt the simple lesson of char- 
acter that it is not only harder but also nobler 
to refrain from fight than to clinch in it! Or 
that equally simple but more difficult ethical 
fact in each man's life that it is more worthy 
of us and more just to others to fight a difficulty 
we have inside of us, rather than outside of us, 
in the conscience, there, where, in the end, 
every issue must be fought out and fought 
down! 

What is true of a man, is true of a nation. 
That nation is strongest, that has the most 
effective self-control. Moral power is the only 
sovereign power in the world. Even in fight 
a gun is not more than a toy, unless a 
moral man is behind it. And a right is not 
made more moral by either a fist or a gun but 
less so, since fist and gun intimate that truth 
and justice cannot stand by their own strength 



FREEDOM. 21 

and need force to help them. They are the 
evidence of distrust in the cause and in the self, 
and there is no greater evil than lack of confi- 
dence in the power of justice. 

FREEDOM. 

COME people like to find fault with things 
as they are, with people with whom they 
deal, and with the times in which they live. 
They have a standard and they believe every- 
thing and everybody are below it. But that 
standard is often as false as it is arbitrary. 
Criticism is not the same thing as judgment, 
and judgment should not lapse into summary 
condemnation. There are those again who ap- 
prove of everything and of everybody and go 
to the other extreme, taking illusion for fact. 
People are not quite as good and honest as we 
would like and surely not as we imagine. There 
is a middle ground, of course, between absolute 
distrust and excessive confidence, and no one 
need be either an outright pessimist or an out- 
right optimist. The truth and the fact are mid- 
way between them. The easiest thing in the 
world is to have an opinion. But to form a 
sound opinion and to hold a balanced judgment 
is as hard as self-control. 



22 FREEDOM. 

It has become the fad of some men, for in- 
stance, to insist that the young of today have no 
sense of respect or reverence, and they are so 
taken by that complaint that they cry out for 
somebody to redress the evil. They say the 
morals of this country are in sore need of re- 
form, that the streets are vile, the public places 
infectious and the homes demoralized. But it 
requires not much else than a healthy human 
eye to see conditions as they actually are. The 
business of this country is going on and busi- 
ness could not go for a minute if it were not 
that people are honest and can trust one an- 
other. Families are living their home-life and 
no home could subsist unless men were faithful 
men and women genuine wives and children 
were worth their interest and love. There is 
as much nobility and sacrifice and loyalty to- 
day as there ever was, and I believe there is 
even more. Religion has gone into the flesh 
of men and women and children and it is more 
actual than it has ever been in all the history 
of churches and creeds. Just because men are 
free to choose and resolve and do what they 
know and admire and trust. 

If we were to believe those everlasting de- 
criers of our time and generation, we should 
have to believe that every law, every institu- 



FREEDOM. 23 

tion, every religion, everything is a failure 
and out of joint; everything, of course, except 
their warning and advice. These men do not 
see facts. They see only their illusions. And, 
in these illusions, they do not see what is in 
front of them ; they see beyond them, or rather 
back of them, what was. They see yesterday, 
the days when their pious discontent was re- 
ligion and a man was regarded as good in pro- 
portion to his discontent. This age of ours is 
not an irreligious age. It is a very religious 
time, for men are living their normal lives and 
practice the virtues by which everything worth 
having is being earned and held. 

This age of ours is a very moral age, for not 
only do men and women maintain their homes, 
but they keep them refined and dignified and 
cultured. And it is not true that the children 
of today do not have respect and reverence; 
for these children are taking the places of their 
fathers in business and of their mothers in 
homes ; and all the high feelings in both com- 
merce and homes are continuing in the na- 
tional life. 

I can explain the complaints of these pious 
croakers only in one way: they feel ill at ease, 
because they do not fit in with the happier 
spirit which manners, social converse and re- 



24 THE AMERICAN HOME. 

ligion have now. They were accustomed to 
moroseness and a kind of piety that was busy 
to forbid things. They are horrified at free 
naturalness and they cannot understand how 
men can be better by being freer. They be- 
lieve, as their fathers believed, in checks and 
"don'ts" and holding the hearts and souls of 
men down. Their morality is a morality of 
suppressions. They have yet to learn the les- 
son that freedom is good, the best, the soundest 
and the soul of character. Men are moral 
when they are free. They are immoral when 
they are slaves. And they are most slaves 
when they are bound by illusions and fads. 



THE AMERICAN HOME. 

'T^RAVEL opens before us the teeming world 
and we see it with aloofness and pos- 
sibly also with sympathy. Staying at home 
and entering into the life that touches us on 
all sides evokes more warm-hearted feelings 
and brings more lasting satisfactions. There 
was a time when the American people was al- 
ways on the go, but it is steadily becoming a 
people of homes. In the pioneer days we 
tried ourselves in many places, but now each 



THE AMERICAN HOME. 25 

group of us is established just where we can 
thrive best. We have ceased to be a nation 
of migrants and have become domesticated. 
The problem now is not what will our home 
do for us, but what can we do for our homes. 
Every modern public issue has that as its 
heart. Virtue and vice begin here, and so do 
profit and loss. The labor question is, econom- 
ically as well as morally, a question of the love 
of, the respect for, and the rights of the home. 
The question of equitable distribution of earn- 
ings and profits is urged by the stress of the 
primal instincts and natural demands of house- 
holders who feel their obligations. 

Till but recently the laborer had to search 
for work. The day has come when the work, 
as it were, seeks out the laborer. Formerly 
the laborer was the applicant, now the fac- 
tory is. Formerly the workingman was an 
itinerant. He had to go from place to place 
in search for employment. Now the employer 
invites the laborers (imports them, advertises 
for them), and the laborer is beginning to 
acquire a settled place in the community, to 
establish and to hold his home. The industrial 
migration has come to an end. The saddest part 
of the laborer's life till now was not that, as he 
felt, he was underpaid, not even that the dura- 



26 HOME. 

don of his employment was uncertain and that 
he was likely to be discharged at any moment, 
hard as that was and still is, but that he was 
without a permanent home and under the driv- 
ing necessity of beginning life anew and else- 
where. We shall never dispose of the economic 
and moral difficulties of our social life, until 
men, every man, can have, hold and enjoy with 
a sense of security, his home and his 
family. Every social question is at its 
heart a moral question. And every moral 
question is, in its real significance, a ques- 
tion of home. 

HOME. 

n^HE home is the .moral center of the na- 
tional life. This is a truism and involves 
no argument. But just such simple, elemen- 
tary facts require frequent restatement. Not 
what a man or a woman is, apart, each in isola- 
tion, but what they are toward one another 
and what they do in co-operation, as sponsors 
of the family, determines their own life and 
that large, country-wide life which absorbs it. 
How to make the home what it should be is a 
problem which has troubled men since the 



HOME. 27 

dawn of civilization and ought to trouble them 
to the end of days. A way of solving the prob- 
lem, popular in our day, is to stock the home 
well, the notion being that when the home is 
well provided it will be moral. You hear the 
argument usually in this form : Poverty makes 
misery and misery makes immorality; an 
empty stomach goes with a vacant conscience. 
But the reasoning is wrong; it is against the 
facts. It is as false as it would be, if we should 
say: Prosperity makes cock-sureness and cock- 
sureness makes for crime. The false point in 
the reasoning is the fact that character is not 
a mechanical fact and does not rise or fall, as 
the mercury in the tube, by merely outside 
pressure. It has resources of its own and it 
can react of its own initiative; and it is this 
initiative which is the item of morality. 

And, again, it is the standing out over against 
conditions, be they brutal or over-fine, the 
sense of loyalty to an obligation that keeps 
men and women true and sturdy, which we 
must cultivate and train. And the only place 
where we can cultivate this is the home. It 
starts in the home and is meant for the home. 
The laborer plods because of his thought for 
it; the rich man plans because of his respect 
for it. Even those who stood on the battle- 



28 HOME. 

fields against each other in serried ranks, in 
France and Belgium, be they German, French 
or English, dared and endured and suffered 
because they loved and honored their home. 

But the question is how shall we secure this 
love of home. It is fundamental, it is needed 
and, when men have it, it is the source of all 
that is satisfactory. One fact is certain: men 
will not love home simply because it is com- 
fortable, just as little as men despise it because 
it is poor. And another fact is equally certain : 
a home that must be pleaded for or apologized 
for is not home at all. 

The American home must be a matter-of- 
course, as natural as the soil out of which we 
take our bread, our moral element, as it were, 
as the soil is the physical. We love, respect and 
take pride in our homes not because they are 
comfortable, but because men and women are 
morally at their best in them. The open, out- 
side world does not give us scope for the calm 
side of human nature; the home does. The 
laborer, the merchant, the professional man, all 
of them are in the whirl of competition and 
conflict ; and these call for the rougher qualities. 
Only the home pacifies and gives opportunity 
for restfulness and an all-around congeniality. 



KINDRED. ! 29 

The home is a brake on our passions and a 
spur to our virtues and it makes life worth liv-"- 
ing. 

! : / 

KINDRED. 

TTfTE cannot love everybody. It is against 
the nature of staunch character, which has 
preferences along with convictions. I cannot 
love everybody, for I do not know everybody 
as I should, and I am entitled to my moral 
taste as much as to any other taste I have. The 
man who talks of abstract good-will and 
wants everybody to apply it always and every- 
where and on everybody has no positive stand 
as to right and wrong, or else he would take 
them more seriously and be more decided about 
them. Sentimental gush is not real ethics. As 
a general fact of human nature, we love those 
whose blood we have or share. 

Family-love is the first and the most perma- 
nent form of affection. It goes beyond every 
other kind of interest. And we would be doing 
the best we can by ourselves and fellow-men 
if we would deepen it. The love of kindred is 
at the basis of every true, not only noble, feel 1 
ing we have. It starts us in our career; it up- 
holds us in the performance of our duty ; it sup- 



30 KINDRED. 

ports us in the crises that come in our inevita- 
ble experiences in the open world; and to it 
we come back, when our work is done, as to the 
water-brook, and we yearn for the real grati- 
fications. 

If we may criticise this sordid world, and I 
suppose we cannot help criticising it when we 
miss the finer things of the soul, we must say 
that the one shortcoming men frequently have 
is lack of loyalty to their kinships. Fidelity 
to parents is an elementary duty; complacent 
good-will to relatives is a grace, and loyalty 
to family is a law ; they are a moral force 
on us since it is binding on us not by word 
of statute but by nature and life. The ideal of 
universalism has thrilled many men, but we 
have come to see that it is an illusion. Family, 
people, nation are always first. The recent war 
is a large-scaled proof. Internationalism has 
collapsed and men have returned to their first 
obligation. 

Perhaps loyalty to one's own is the most 
dominant ideal we have. The employer has 
wages for us, the acquaintance words, the 
friend an occasional encouragement; but 
kindred have patience, sympathy, sacrifice, 
loyalty in joy and sorrow. We may grow rich, 
but the rich man who turns his back to his own 



KINDRED. 31 

people, is poor, morally poor. We may attain 
to high honor, but even a peasant who loves 
his home and his folk is truer and bigger in the 
sight of real men, than the king who is faith- 
less and a prig. 

Many splendid things are told of Moses, the 
leader of Israel, but none that does him more 
credit, or rather that reports his genuine nature 
better than the fact that, though Prince of the 
Royal House of Egypt, he sought day after day 
to be amongst the humiliated Israelites who 
toiled in the clayfields and in the brick-kilns. 
He felt nearer to them than to the great in the 
palace, for they were his own. 

To each of us comes this original love, this 
return to one's own, perhaps only once, but 
when it comes, it is like a re-birth. We have 
affability for strangers, and courtesy for ac- 
quaintances; but intimacy, hearty, frank, un- 
hindered familiarity we reserve for our own. 
The world is exacting, the men we deal with are 
tolerant; but our own are free from ulterior 
motive. 

Instead of urging vague and unreal ideals of 
an Utopian mankind that is to be, would it not 
be better to equip the youths of today with 
fidelity to family-tradition and family-pride 
and family-love and family-honor! 



32 REFORMERS, 



REFORMERS. 

Public Business is nobody's business 
and goes by its own inertia, or it is 
everybody's business and then it is at the 
mercy of indiscriminate whims and push. 
The average citizen feels aloof from af- 
fairs of state and government, and warms up 
about them only when there is an exigency. 
But the exigencies do arise just because he is 
not interested and alert, his indifference gives 
opportunity to schemers and frauds. I lay 
down the proposition: every people has the 
government, the political condition, it deserves. 
If the people are sincere and watchful, they 
will have an honest government, and if they are 
not, unscrupulous men will take their place. 
That has been our experience clearly enough, 
but we do not take it to heart. 

Of what use is democracy, unless citizenship 
is a personal interest! It is appalling how 
the institutions of our national life are be- 
ing tinkered with and men stand idly by. Our 
fathers won their freedom hard and at great 
cost, but nowadays any man with a fad or a 
zealotry may take it from us, running to a one- 



REFORMERS. 33 

day legislature and urging a law. The basis 
of our national culture is the public school, 
but a man with a white tie and a pious twang 
may disrupt and ruin it. We are a nation great 
in virtue but also great in faults. But what- 
ever our virtues may be, the one fault of inat- 
tention imperils them all. The treasures which 
we have acquired, the economic, the intellec- 
tual, the moral, demand eternal vigilance. And 
we must take to heart the warning that the 
dangers from without are not half as serious 
as the dangers that come from within. The 
morals of society are ruined not by the criminal 
but by the hypocrite. Our religiousness is toned 
down not by the sceptic who, at least, is as 
serious as we and as honest, but by the fanatic 
who is restrained by neither decency nor jus- 
tice. And the efficiency of our schools is hin- 
dered by those most of all who allege they 
love them and impair their usefulness by 
pietistic crusades. Hypocrites, fanatics and re- 
formers sprawl over our national life and seize 
hold of the public business, and we summon 
rarely sufficient stamina to whip them out of it. 
What could we not accomplish in this coun- 
try, if we were rid of the imposters! They 
stand in our way toward progress. They sit 
in the front benches of halls of Legislature just 



34 REFORMERS. 

as they sit in the front pews of churches and 
their voices are shrill and thin. And we 
allow agitators to strut up and down in 
public places and we are not even amused; 
we do not feel indignation, as we should, 
nor give them the contempt they deserve. 
And what is the consequence? They do 
their mischief and drag down the American 
life which is so precious and sacred to us. 
It was a high achievement of patriotism to 
lay the foundation of this American life. It is an 
equally virile act of patriotism to preserve and 
maintain it. Let us serve notice to the reform- 
ers that what we want is not new bills and new 
laws and new cure-alls, but honest and frank 
confidence in the American life and the Ameri- 
can spirit which has never failed us whenever 
a need or an emergency arose. We trust our 
institutions because we believe in ourselves and 
in that genuine human nature which, some- 
how, becomes free under the sky of this con- 
tinent. 



MORAL EDUCATION. 35 



MORAL EDUCATION. 

"M"OWHERE, all along the line of education, 
is any provision made for the morality of 
the child. We train its mind, we train its hand, 
we help it to learn the routine of things, we 
give it the polite accomplishments and, as it 
grows, we enable it to practice the trades ; but 
we do nothing to develop its character. In that 
we trust "nature," and we seem to believe that 
morality and character come by themselves, 
by a sort of instinct which requires no training. 
That is a grievous mistake and I fear we shall 
suffer from it. Not that I believe that morals 
and character can be learned as we learn the 
three R's. They must be acquired and we 
should see to it that the child gets them and 
grows by them and we must provide influences 
that will go into the child's life by which it will 
become adequate to the solution of the prob- 
lems of life. 

If we observe children, we shall see that they 
themselves crave for moral development, and 
they feel disappointed when they are denied op- 
portunities for admiring and realizing the 
beautiful and the heroic and the strong. Their 
little loyalties are splendid and touching, and 



, 36 MORAL ED UCA TION. 

their enthusiasms for the things they see done 
or achieve themselves are the happiest part of 
their naive lives. Who does not know the child 
that denies itself a precious joy just because it 
feels a strange kind of innocent piety ; and who 
has not witnessed the touching sacrifices it 
makes for causes which to us adults seem trivial 
but to it are serious and big! There is a rich 
fund of moral power in children, but it is often 
neglected, for want of our sympathy and en- 
couragement. The home offers abundant op- 
portunities for sympathies, for loyalties and for 
the fine qualities of soul, but we let them pass 
by unused. The school life, no less, is filled with 
occasions for generous associations, for friend- 
ships, for equities, for courtesies, and for 
those general moral issues which the children 
will meet later in life and for which they need 
and must have preparation. The practical edu- 
cation we give to the children stops this side of 
real practicality, for we withhold what is 
necessary to enable the children to know.how 
to use their knowledge, how to use it for right 
ends, and what to regard as right ends in life. 
Without moral education all education is hol- 
low and inert. 



CHILD DREAMS. 37 



CHILD DREAMS. 

"FORMERLY we said youth is the time for 
dreams and illusions. We do not say so 
nowadays. On the contrary, we expect from 
it practical sense and efficiency. And we do all 
we can to disabuse young men, and even girls, 
of idealisms and visions; though we concede 
that dreaming and fancy are the charm and 
the grace of youth. We want men of action 
and we do all we can to train young men and 
young women to do things rather than talk 
about them. The dreamer is tolerated only 
in books and on the stage, and hardly even 
there except as a warning, to scorn and to con- 
demn. 

Education has become vocational, the trades 
and professions are commercial and the 
culture of our times is matter-of-fact. There 
was a time when at least the exceptional and 
the promising were allowed the grace and 
naivete of dreaminess. But the standard of 
greatness too has changed. Great men and 
geniuses are those alone who attack problems 
with clear eye and steady hand. 

Now, it is true that the business of life is 
very insistent and we cannot afford to fritter 



38 CHILD DREAMS. 

our energies in vagueness and abstractions. 
For the world demands of us much more than 
it demanded of our fathers. But youth has its 
rights, and one of its natural rights is to be 
free and light-hearted. It is entitled to and 
needs the freedom of fancy, for fancy, too, is of 
the earnest and intense life. At least in the 
days when love is fresh, zest keen and interests 
genuine, let human life go its natural, own way. 
One of the signs of the times is the fact that 
the youth of today is becoming sordid. It 
wants to learn in school only the subjects that 
pay. It makes for occupations and business 
with an ambition to secure nothing more than 
wages and profit. There is a strain of the "prac- 
tical" all along the line of child-life which is 
almost a danger to its morality. It is regrettable 
enough that later, adult-life is full of plodding 
and drudgery. We ought to protect at least 
the beginning of life from heaviness and self- 
ishness and sordidness. Children should be 
given all possible opportunities for cherishing 
illusions and dreamlands and fantasies. These 
are training in fine and ideal moralities. A 
boy who has never built castles in air will never 
love castles even when he is able to build them 
of brick and stone. And the girl who has never 
lived in the fanciful land of Nowhere, will grow 



CHILD DREAMS. 39 

into womanhood without the graces which 
make the charm and the sweetness and the 
chaste beauty of real womanhood. Youth 
is the time for Utopias, for enthusiasms, for 
admirations and idolatries. Nothing is quite 
good enough, everything is merely a promise 
of the better that is coming. Every child lives 
for a while in a world of fictions, in a world that 
will never be and is still forever longed for. 
Deprive a child of its fancies and you .have 
made it poor, poorer even than the child in 
rags. It needs fancy at its play, it needs fancy 
when it is serious. Imagination is the food it 
feeds on and those who refuse it that food 
starve its soul. Nothing is sadder to see 
than a child that has lost its capacity to dream. 
Dream in the daytime, see the world with the 
inner eye, see everything in a blaze of glory, 
see it, as the little eager artist within sees it, 
glorified. That is a holy hour when the child 
dreams. And we elders should stand by and 
wonder with it and respect it. 



40 AIM OF EDUCATION. 



CHARACTER IS THE AIM OF EDU- 
CATION. 

T^DUCATION has its limits. We can teach 
how things should be done; but we can- 
not teach why and what for. Motive and aim 
are personal and we cannot get at them. Each 
man has his own interest and what a person is 
interested in is dictated by his character. Char- 
acter acts like the eye, full-face. And it acts 
from within. There are those who wish to 
teach morals as they teach reading, writing, 
arithmetic, as if character were an accomplish- 
ment and you could learn it by set lessons. 
The superficial conventional courtesies are not 
character. Nor is the mere knowledge of right 
and wrong. There must be added to informa- 
tion and manners something else, something 
that is impalpable, deeper, personal. The pu- 
pil's self must meet the information and trans- 
form it. The teacher is stopped at the door of 
the child's soul, and that child-soul takes up 
the subtle work of converting knowledge into 
virtue. 

The fact is not one teacher makes the morali- 
ty of a child, but all the influence that go into 
its life. Nor does the teacher's word or cau- 



AIM OF EDUCATION. 41 

tion or advice, his labored effort achieve the 
training, but the subtle spirit back of his 
word or lesson, the influence of which the 
teacher himself, it may be, is not conscious of. 
Character is brought to life only by character. 
The reason why children are not thrilled into 
loving the right and hating the wrong, why the 
average lesson leaves them untouched and why 
they lapse into the conventional, common-place 
and sordid, lies often in the teacher and the 
parent as much as in the book. Children are by 
temperament disposed for the noble and the 
heroic, and training in virtue should be the hap- 
piest occupation of teachers and fathers and 
mothers. That children are indifferent is an 
indictment rather of the home than of the 
school. For the home is always the primal 
source of moral influence and the first and most 
real practice-school for character. 

Both school and home can build up the 
soul. Everything the child learns and does in 
the school, and everything it hears and sees 
at home the child incorporates into its Self, 
as like or dislike, as love or hate, as mor- 
ally true or morally false. A formal lesson 
in Justice or Kindness is not half as effective 
as a situation in which justice or kindness is 
the issue. The best teacher I ever had taught 



42 AIM OF EDUCATION. 

geometry. I learned from him not how to 
demonstrate a theorem but how to keep at 
work and how to do it in an orderly manner. 
That teacher was really a teacher of morals and 
character. It is not the subject but the spirit 
in the subject that makes the efficiency of the 
teacher and the worth of his training. We have 
an array of Bible School teachers and each one 
of them ought to be a power for the moral life of 
the American People. They have the knowledge 
and the earnestness, but they can make these 
tell only when they realize that the pupils come 
to them not merely to know but also to live. 
The dominant need in life is not to hold 
facts in the mind, but, as it were, in the hand, 
not only to use facts in the trades and the pro- 
fessions but also to use themselves. Knowl- 
edge is a tool, and the purpose of knowledge is 
Life. But Life without character is not life 
at all. 

For the moral training of the children we 
do not need educational devices but men and 
women who are in themselves standards of 
correct, refined and just living. 



THE NEW SCHOOL. 43 



THE NEW SCHOOL. 

/ T V HE characteristic spirit of democracy is its 
freedom to organize. And we are indulging 
in that freedom almost to excess. Not a notion 
that flares up in somebody's brain but what 
at once he rushes to organize. So that we have 
societies for all sorts of fugitive and whimsical 
schemes. But society cannot be "saved" by 
notions, and it progresses, as it lives, by a force 
within itself. You cannot make men go 
straight on the road of life, as attendants push 
invalids on the board-walk at the sea-side. 
Strong men will go their own way, or they will 
not go at all. By the same illusion, some are 
endeavoring to make men and women moral, 
more moral, ideally moral, by crusading so- 
cieties or crusading legislation. The country 
is cross-sectioned by all sorts of redeeming 
agencies. It is the license of a free people to 
be ardently, zealously interested in everybody. 
At no time has democracy been so alert and 
scrutinizing as now. We believe it is the rise 
of the national conscience and it would be good 
indeed, if it were that. But conscience usually 
looks inward and not outward and men try to 
establish themselves rather than "save" others. 



44 THE NEW SCHOOL. 

There is no more constructive force in Amer- 
ican life than the school. Except it be the fam- 
ily, which, after all, is the moral maker, as it 
is the feeder, of the school. But it works slowly 
and its influence is intangible. What it 
achieves, however, stays and is permanent. 
Every "movement" into which we put our hope, 
is a vote of distrust in and a confession of failure 
of the schools. The only reliable means by which 
we can equip the American people with stam- 
ina, with moral vigor, with a keen and dom- 
inant conscience is a right education. If I were 
to designate the one great national interest of 
the American people today, I should say it is 
the nationalized school. And if I were to point 
to the one great cause which demands re-ad- 
justment to the new, active and insistent na- 
tional life which is bounding forth, with un- 
precedented buoyancy, on everyone, to the least 
of us, I would point to the new spirit which is 
beating at the door of the schools. The old 
schools have been good, good in their day. 
The schools for the new day must also be good, 
good according to its way, which is wonderfully 
new. A new movement is on foot for the study 
of the problem of the new school. It is the only 
"movement" which is born out of the life of to- 
day. As soon as we shall have the school we 



BIBLE READING. 45 

ought to have, we shall be able to solve many 
social problems and moral problems, and per- 
haps even religious problems which have been 
vexing and tantalizing us. Lapsing into routine 
always involves a hazard of mind and heart; 
but to lapse into routine in the schools, which 
are the heart-beats of culture, is a danger-signal 
of decadence. Fortunately the modern life 
rouses all of us, and the schools are being 
re-organized and adjusted to the new spirit. 
The reform of the school is our boldest under- 
taking but also the most justified and the most 
promising. 

BIBLE READING IN THE PUBLIC 
SCHOOLS. 

TV/TEN cannot be made moral by force, by 
being driven, either by the police or 
by police-law. The scheme has been tried and 
has always been a failure. The State and every 
form of government and control have tried it, 
and crime has still gone on unreduced and 
menacingly free. The Church, too, has tried 
it, but all the church has accomplished has 
been to make vice more hypocritical. Morality 
is too subtle to be handled by rough hands. 



46 BIBLE READING. 

Men have come to see that the conscience 
is very delicate and that there is no nostrum 
or device to make it or to correct it. Men are 
not virtuous when they are forced to be so, nor 
do vicious men become less vicious when they 
are intimidated. Character is within men, and 
outside manipulations touch only the surface 
of their souls. 

The Sunday schools of the churches are 
planned to train children into being good, hon- 
est, pious, reverent, loyal. No other schools 
get so much personal devotion and zeal. They 
are operated in every city, town, and village 
throughout the country. They get the children 
at the earliest and most impressionable age, 
'and they have a prestige as no other school 
has. They should accomplish wonders. They 
should have hold of the souls of the children, 
mould them, and be sure of them all the way 
of life. But what are the facts? The Sunday 
schools have no hold on child-life. They bid 
for attention and for respect and for loyalty in 
vain. They are a failure. 

And the deacons and the pastors see the fail- 
ure. But instead of frankly conceding this fail- 
ure and learning from it to reform the Sunday 
schools and making them worthy of their op- 
portunity and their obligation, they run to the 



BIBLE READING. 47 

police, to the State to help them. They want 
the Law to do what they should do themselves.'- 
They want police-force to do what in all piety 
they had promised to do themselves. They 
seem to forget that the incompetence they 
show, in the conditions that were so favorable 
to their work, condemns them, and that their 
campaign for a State Law to enforce Bible 
Reading and such is plainly a campaign of 
despair. 

And their incompetence is on the level with, 
their ignorance. They want to make children 
moral, they want to establish character, by 
reading selections. They do not know of mod- 
ern pedagogy and its carefully constructed 
plans. They scheme as if they were stillin the 
seventeenth century and religiousness and 
character were acquired in the unctuous man- 
ner of the Puritan Fathers. Just read your 
Bible, or have somebody read it to you, and 
you become good and righteous and holy! 
And they forget that there are other citizens 
in this land, that these, too, love their children 
and want them to grow in virtue, and that 
these prefer to give their best thought to re- 
forming the religious education of their chil- 
dren before they call in the police to help them. 

It is curious: some citizens object and cry 



48 BIBLE READING. 

horror when it is suggested to turn over to the 
State or to the city, say the street-cars or the 
railroads or the water-works or the gas, but 
they run to the State at once to turn over to 
them the souls of the children. The State is to 
teach religion and they run to the Legislature 
to enact a bill. If State-owned railroads are 
socialism, what is State-enforced religion ? 

This crusade for Bible Reading in the Public 
Schools and the attempt to use the police force 
of the State to back it is part of the reactionary 
spirit of churches that cannot take courage to 
confess that they have lost their hold on the 
people and on life. And it is based on allega- 
tions that are false and untrue. It is not true 
that childhood today has no morality, no re- 
spect and no reverence. It may not respect, nor 
reverence the things pious agitators do. But 
it has great respect for the really worthy 
and the genuinely true and he who denies that 
libels his time, his home and his country. 



JUSTICE. 49 



JUSTICE. 

JUSTICE is an ideal. But, unlike all other 
* ideals, it seems practicable. All one has to 
do is to do what is right. As if that were so 
plain! Justice, however, in most circum- 
stances, is perplexingly complicated. It is hard 
to be clear; hard to eliminate yourself. We 
mix into the question at issue, without know- 
ing it, our preference, our judgment, our preju- 
dice. It is hard to be decisive and to declare : 
on this side is the right and on that the wrong. 
Our feelings sway us and we are partisans in 
all that comes and goes. "Right" and "wrong" 
are neither impersonal nor simple. There is 
not a wrong in the world that has not some- 
thing to say in its defense; and there is not 
right in the world that is not allied with some 
passion. Subtle influences move us. Our 
souls are not open to others, not even to our- 
selves. 

There was a time when justice was a matter 
we reserved each one for himself. It was an in- 
dividual concern. It was a sort of inner house- 
keeping, in which no one else had an interest 
and pride. But this has changed. Justice is 
not a private affair. It is at the same time 



50 JUSTICE. 

mine and yours. What you live up to you are 
responsible for to me as much as to yourself. 
Your very point of view is not your own 
morally. You are obligated to be large-scoped 
and social in what you aim at and do. Justice 
is not only what you think you can claim, but 
also what I, on my part, concede you may have. 
Nor is justice merely an agreement between 
us ; it goes beyond us and affects lives we have 
never seen and never shall see. And it is not a 
matter of present consumption, as it were ; an 
arrangement by which we adjust what we are 
interested in. It reaches out beyond our little 
lives and few years into lives not yet born and 
into years not yet recorded. 

About nothing does passion beat so much 
as about justice. Individual passion and so- 
cial passion. And about nothing do we seem 
so sure of ourselves, and are so often mistaken. 
Individually as well as in the crowd. We put 
into it our best illusions and not infrequently 
our worst. The best reform and the most 
needed, for men as for nations, is to purge our 
clouded sense of right and our confused re- 
sentment against wrong from mood and whim. 
Mood and whim are deceptive ! They assume 
the garb of conviction, but they are really pas- 
sion. He would render us a great service who 



CULTURE AND JUSTICE. 51 

would help us to link deliberation and self- 
control with our love of justice; for we have 
suffered more through it than from the lack 
of justice or from mistaken justice. Both are 
attended by wrong, and entail regretful conse- 
quences. The calamitous world-conflict on the 
edge of which we are still standing with un- 
certain step is a conflict as to justice; but who 
can say with a conviction that is based on a 
large outlook and is free from bias recrimina- 
tion and apology are not two-sided or that the 
justice which is invoked on so many sides is not 
a matter of subtleties. Argument sprawls all 
over it and feeling too. 



CULTURE AND JUSTICE. 

'T^HE world is after only one thing and that 
is justice. Justice not merely equalizes 
all men, but also drives them. At least their 
craving for it does. The Great War, which is, 
as some say, overwhelming civilization, would 
be neither impressive nor appalling, if it were 
not that each one of the nations involved, de- 
clared that it seized the sword because it 
had been denied justice. When justice is sat- 
isfied, men are at their best, but when justice 



52 CULTURE AND JUSTICE. 

is thwarted they are at their worst. Men have 
never taking anything so seriously as it. They 
will suffer long and patiently, in an undeterred 
hope that it will come; but they will break 
out in passion when Justice is blocked. Of 
course, there is a vast difference between what 
we think and what really is just. And we stop 
rarely to respect that distinction. Each one of 
us believes our little affairs involve primal prin- 
ciples, when, in fact, they are merely disputes 
and egotisms. 

No charge is so quick and smooth on our 
tongue as is the charge of injustice; and none 
so readily calls out resentment and passion. 
And still, none is so hard to prove or to dis- 
prove. The world's best life is based not on 
justice, for that is hard to establish, but on 
the love and the awe of it. Men will always 
respect justice and defend it and stake their 
blood for it, even when they are least clear and 
have only a vague conception of it. Men have 
become cultured; society has become organ- 
ized; government is now a mechanism, and 
public opinion is alert and observant; and 
still justice is not much more than a wish. 
Culture has made us more sensitive as to in- 
justice, when we are forced to suffer it; but it 
has not made men efficient and quick-witted as 



CULTURE AND JUSTICE. 53 

to what is right, to do it at once and fully. 
Government is a dominant force and we obey 
it willingly and readily ; but the conscience of 
men does not always tally with public policies 
and state-craft. Public Opinion is the voice of 
a people's morals; and still men have not in- 
frequently committed acts of violence under 
illusions and impulse. 

What culture may be fairly expected to do 
for men, is to make them keener to appreciate, 
more eager to apply, more capable to assert 
Justice. But the fact is that the progress of 
civilization has brought us complications and 
intricacies as to law and courts, but not a more 
forceful conscience. We have ample casuistry 
in law by which men make out a good and 
plausible case for themselves, no matter what 
the conscience says to embarrass them. And 
sometimes it seems as if courts accommodate 
none so much as those whose pleadings are 
backed by ingenuity rather than by truth and 
right. 

Law is force, and that force is the conscience. 
Justice is a feeling, but that feeling comes from 
the depth of character. We shall respect Law 
fully only when we are sincere. And courts 
will have our full confidence, without that re- 
serve which is sometimes almost like distrust, 



54 CHARACTER. 

when not only judges and lawyers, but also 
the citizens will interpret law not as a control 
outside of themselves but as the ideal of life 
which they wish to have and apply. 

It is easy to explain to others how much we 
are in the right. But it is hard to explain it to 
ourselves. The conscience is a severe critic. 



CHARACTER. 

CIMPLE facts are difficult to explain. They 
are elementary and we must take them as 
they are. Freedom is one of the simple, ele- 
mentary facts of human life. It is futile and 
quite unnecessary to explain freedom. Every- 
body knows it and wants to have it. The 
trouble is not that we cannot understand or 
appreciate it, but that we take it as a matter- 
of-course without considering its bearings and 
limitations. The weak want it and also the 
strong; the peaceful and also the aggressive; 
those who hold themselves under control and 
those also who are under the stress of passion. 
But freedom is not meant as an accommoda- 
tion, as little for the weak who do not know 
how to use it as for the strong who are prone 
to misuse it. It is a fact of human nature and 



CHARACTER. 55 

we are at our best when we have it and others 
have it as we. And we are at our worst 
when we deny it to others and thwart the 
rights of their human nature. 

Law does not give freedom. It simply ex- 
presses this freedom. I owe my human free- 
dom to nobody. As little as I owe to anybody 
my human nature. Nobody can make me free. 
Only I can, I myself. Emancipation is not 
freedom. For as long as emancipation implies 
that I must thank somebody for having 
granted it, I am not morally free. The eman- 
cipated is still a slave ; he is under obligation 
to pay gratitude ; he is a f reed-man, but not a 
free man. He is a debtor and owes his free- 
dom to somebody's generosity, and not to his 
own initiative and stamina. In the sense of 
self-respect, no man can emancipate me. 
Either I free myself, or I am not free at all. 
In the last instance, even the Law can do noth- 
ing for my manhood. I alone can determine 
on it and make it real. This is true because it 
is true of character. Law-made character is 
no character. Because my will is not in it. 
And there is no character without my will. 

It is curious how certain benevolent people 
are endeavoring to make men (and in default 
of men, children), law-abiding, moral, reli- 



56 CHARACTER. 

gious, by the constraint of law and laws. They 
snatch the bottle from their lips, by way of a 
statute, and they think they are achieving 
sobriety. They do not know that there is only 
one fact in morals, in religion, and in character 
and that is Will; that men are not law- 
abiding, decent, just and respectful, because 
they are forced to be, but because they want to 
be; and that genuine reformation does not 
come through the police but by our own de- 
termination. 

There was a time when we believed that we 
can give morality, or religion, by reading or 
delivering sermons, or by scriptural selections, 
which are somebody else's sermons. This 
method goes along with superficial religion, 
as it evidences also ineffective and naive 
pedagogy. Nobody gets anything by the in- 
fectional method except infection. And even 
in disease, everything depends on personal re- 
action. Nobody has religion, or character, or 
healthy human life, unless he stands up by him- 
self. A man is a man by the assertion of his 
own sovereign self. It is this Self which de- 
clares its freedom, and nobody can do it for 
him. Character is not acquired in mystic ways. 
It is acquired in the open, or not at all. And 
it is not given to us by others, but it is made 



THE NOW. 57 

by ourselves. An education that wants to give 
character, from the outside, has a poor esti- 
mate of character. Character cannot be gotten, 
cannot be a gift, cannot be bestowed. It must 
be created by the person himself. The man 
must decide upon it himself. He must will to 
make it, he himself. There is no other road to 
manhood except the road he lays out for him- 
self. A man has character, religion, morality, 
not because it is preached, talked, read into 
him, but because he wills to have it. 



THE NOW. 

OOME people say the past was better than 
the present, some that the future will be 
better. But few say the present is better than 
either the past or the future. But the present 
is better, at least by so much as it is here and 
we have it. We have all sorts of good names 
for the man who uses and respects the now and 
the here ; we call him an optimist and the like. 
But all he does, after all, is merely to take life 
as it is and not as it once was and as it ought to 
be. *And in doing so, he does not fall short in 1 
either respect for the past or ambition for the 
future. He simply accepts what is given him 



58 THE NOW. 

and makes the most of it. And that is doing a 
good deal, and requires more than mere com- 
plaisance. Every present moment has a mean- 
ing and a use, and it is not only wisdom but also 
high morality to put our best into the work 
we have in hand. The past is only a model 
which we might imitate (if the model is worth 
imitating), and the future is not much more 
than a distant point which we cannot hope to 
reach unless we keep ourselves in good trim 
now. 

Every race has some story of a Paradise that 
once was and of a Heavenly Kingdom that 
some day will be. But every race ought to 
have also a story of a Splendid Now which 
dispenses Gold and Sweets and Favors to those 
who will take them. Better than the Atlantis 
that floated beneath the heavens and now is 
sunk below the sea forever; better than the 
Utopias that poets and social reformers have 
thought out and which, despite all their fervor 
and love of man, can never be real, is the 
simple and truthful fact that the earth beneath 
our feet throbs with multitudinous life and the 
heaven above us has inexhaustible sunshine 
with which it coaxes out life and joy. 

It is not very much to our credit to glorify 
the past and at the same time bemoan it. Nor 



THE NOW. 59 

is it more to our credit to look beyond what we 
have to a time which is not yet and indulge 
hopes and hug wishes. The indolent do 
that with equal ease and logic. But it is wise 
to respect what is now and to use it with 
decision and a sense of obligation. The worship- 
pers of the dead past have never achieved any- 
thing of real benefit, nor have those who dream 
dreams of what is to be. Only the vigorous 
men who seize hold of work which life thrusts 
into their hands and do it with an attentive 
conscience make life worth living for them- 
selves and for the people of their day. 

The story of the Garden of Eden hails from 
a time when men had no ambition, and simi- 
larly the ideal of a heavenly kingdom or of a 
social Utopia are merely big wishes which 
earnest men know should not stop at being 
merely wishes. If men would attend to the 
needs of the hour and the day with the same 
intensity and the same religiousness with 
which they formerly attended to the praise of 
the past, and if they would put as much 
idealism into the present as they put into the 
"day to come," the time in which we live and 
the work which we do would be enriched with 
significance such as would redeem it of the sor- 



60 UP-TO-DATE. 

didness it has for most of us. There is as 
much to do now and for living men as ever 
there was under the illusion of a lost paradise 
or an ever receding Utopia. 



UP-TO-DATE. 

PVERYBODY wants to be up-to-date. 
Whatever that may involve. "Up-to-date- 
ness" is insistent till you mind it, and unfor- 
giving when you contradict it. It is a tyrant 
in business, a reformer in the professions 
and it beguiles even the staid ministry. Its 
rigor is without initiative and its most 
stressful virtue is imitation. Not to be "up- 
to-date" is tantamount to exclusion from 
touch with life and, again to be "up-to-date" 
is like being dragged into a vortex. The 
zeal to do what everybody else is doing and to 
do it in just the same way ; to fall into line with 
others, with vigorous strut under the com- 
mand of an unseen hand, that is being "up-to- 
date." 

Now real "up-to-dateness" is a finer thing. 
It goes beyond imitation and fuss. It is putting 
efficiency where it ought to be. It is making 
the capable man the standard. No man is 



UP-TO-DATE. 61 

nowadays a mere mechanic of employe; he 
is master of his craft or he is nothing. A new 
confidence has been born in men, the confi- 
dence in themselves that they can do things 
and the trust in those who can achieve things 
worth while and useful. Never before has 
ability been so freed and made so independent. 
Nor have men before gotten such big rewards for 
their labor and their loyalty, in business and in 
every vocation. We pay for intellectual, for 
moral, for real values. 

This passion to imitate, to be "up-to-date" 
is a tribute smaller men pay to the higher man- 
hood which is coming to the front all along 
the line of the social, economic and moral life. 
Everybody would like to be clear-headed, res- 
olute, efficient. All of us want to do work of 
value. We want to count for something. And 
we have learnt the lesson that the only thing 
the world demands of us, in return for the 
pay, the rewards and the respect it is willing 
to give, is that we do the right kind of 
work, that we be earnest about it and put 
into it the best of our thought, conscience and 
power. We must have method: that means 
we must be clear, scrupulous and constant. We 
must have initiative : that means we must have 
moral stamina and be sure of ourselves. We 



62 FADS. 

must be original: that means we must put 
our entire personality into our work so that it 
represent the best that is in us. He is "up-to- 
date" who does not allow his yesterday to 
handicap his today. 

FADS. 

'"PHE American people is a paradox. It is a 
common-sense people and still faddists 
seem to thrive and grow fat on it. Enthusi- 
asms, sweep the country as the manias swept 
Europe in the Middle Ages and die down just 
as quickly as they came. First whispered at 
tea-parties, a fad is discussed in magazines and 
conventions and soon orated on in legislatures 
and Halls of Congress. And then comes the 
day when the fad is tabu, when the mention of 
it provokes as much laughter as before it called 
for respect. Perhaps the architects of the noble 
cathedrals of Europe meant that when they 
put gargoyles on them. It may be a trait of 
human nature to bring together the sublime 
and the ridiculous. Things positive and holy 
are easily dragged into the dust. 

I can forgive wit for daring to lay its hand 
on them; for, at least, it has a saving grace, 
and lightens the sombreness of life, of which 



FADS. 63 

there is so much. But I cannot forgive dull- 
ness when it presumes to take the place of wis- 
dom. I would be amused by the spectacle, as 
I am amused when I see a bear dance. But 
I am sorry for the deluded people who take the 
fads so seriously. It is a foolish thing, and 
a perilous pastime to play with the earnest con- 
cerns of life. And there are so many calcu- 
lating impostors who prey on our weaknesses. 
Once commit yourself to a fad and there is no 
stop to your downward grade. And if you do 
not go downward by your own inertia, 
there are plenty to push you. And others, like 
you, join you and you have a party and the 
"movement" is on, like an avalanche. Or you 
have a new "thought" in religion and in medi- 
cine, though you do not know the difference 
between a vein and an artery, and at once you 
save and heal the world. 

The history of the last twenty-five years is 
a history of a succession of fads that have come 
and gone like will-o'-wisps out of marshes. No 
one would have any objection to them, for, 
after all, they are harmless. But they hamper 
sane thought and their talk is so loud and in- 
sistent. The time has come when we must re- 
turn to first principles and the first of these is 
Sanity and Common-sense. Let us be done 



64 HUMAN NATURE. 

with those who carry around Salvation by the 
bushelful, for your soul and for your body; 
let us be done with those who insinuate them- 
selves into the weaknesses of men, and let only 
open-eyed and reliable men lead us, not those 
who appoint themselves. 

HUMAN NATURE. 

E real, the romantic and the tragic are 
progressive steps; human nature is in 
each equally. We like or we dislike what we 
see and even what we have. Life is for some 
of us just mere business, what it brings or does 
not bring. Again we delight in illusions and 
nothing pleases us so much as to come upon 
a trace of them here and there as if they were 
working things out for us. And as for the 
serious experiences we have, we dignify them 
as "fate" and "acts of Providence" and that 
somehow comforts us. There are those who 
deal with facts, with people and with them- 
selves, as if these were nothing more than 
counters ; and there are those who are at their 
best when they dream ; and, finally, there are 
those who have a passion for difficulties, who 
are never so happy as when they can complain 
or play martyrs. 



HUMAN NATURE. 65 

Each of these has his good reason. It is true, 
we must take life as it is, and he is most likely 
to succeed who keeps his eye steadily on his 
duty. But the dreamer, too, can justify him- 
self. Some of the happiest hours we have we 
do not get from others but create ourselves. 
The things we imagine are much finer than the 
things we touch. And the stern thinker also 
is right. The world is a cumbersome machine 
whose cogs and levers sometimes grind, and 
the Great Engineer does sometimes reach in 
with expert hand to set it aright. Though we 
do not know how and cannot understand. 

Each of these moods is part of our human 
nature. There is in them the pulse of sane, 
sound, healthy life. I wish 1 could bring men 
to believe in, to trust in and to respect human 
nature, just simple, frank and eager human 
nature. We shall never have genuine religion 
(I do not care what you call the sect) until 
men let human nature unfold. We shall never 
have a genuine love of what is right and a dis- 
dain of wrong, until we do that. Men used 
to believe that they worship when they de- 
based themselves and said the meanest things 
about themselves. Today we know we worship 
appropriately when we step before men and 
God at our best. We are worthy of God not 



66 HUMAN NATURE. 

when we put ourselves at our worst, but when 
we stand up in dignity and consciousness of 
what we can do with power. And we have a 
passion for being at our best more than for 
being at our worst. He who does not believe 
that is already without religion, as he is with- 
out confidence in himself and in fellowmen. 

All civilization, all morality, all culture, the 
reliable and certain in life are based on what 
we are, what we are interested in and what 
we want to do. Some of us have interest in 
things, some of us in fancies and some of us 
like to think hard. It is not fair to deny to 
others what happens not to please us. Each 
has a right to live his own, natural and legiti- 
mate life. Besides, what we do not like today, 
we may like, and often we do like, tomorrow. 
Each of us has his moods and they vary and 
shift. There are times when we look upon the 
world and into ourselves with a bland eye. 
Sometimes we feel a thrill and a passion, which, 
like the beats of the heart, come from health 
and vigor. And sometimes we take events 
seriously, and we weigh and measure and 
judge with critical eye and then we reconstruct 
the world according to our judgment. Of 
course, that is as futile as it is pretentious. 
But it is characteristic of our human nature 



AMBITION. 67 

which admires and loves and condemns and 
hates with equal intensity. 

If the vices are incidents of our human 
frailty, so also are our virtues the assertions 
of our human strength. 

AMBITION. 

AMBITION is as old as the human race. 
Always somebody wanted to stand out 
and above his fellowmen. In its crudest and 
perhaps also in its earliest form it is arrogance. 
A man wants to count for something and he 
forces himself on men. Or a man feels he can 
do things better than others and he wants peo- 
ple to know it. Ambition is a primary trait 
of human nature and it would be quite useless 
to discourage or to block it. Only a man must 
not demand recognition on his mere pretense ; 
he must "make good." The world has rewards 
and honors for the genuine man and contempt 
for the false and the "fake." 

There was a time when the virtue of am- 
bitiousness was tolerated only in leaders. To- 
day it is common-place; everybody has it. 
In business it is equivalent to enterprise; 
in the professions it is called dignity and in- 
terest, and all along the line of work men have 



68 AMBITION. 

their eye on their competitors. Democracy has 
made an end of the monopoly of the virtues by 
an aristocracy by opening them up to every- 
body. And it is good that it has done so. For 
it has keyed up human efficiency to the highest 
pitch and the average man is more capable and 
can do things better in many directions than 
leaders could before. 

But we have gone to extremes. A virtue 
lapses easily into a vice. Ambition has misled 
us. Our enterprise has gone beyond the 
limits of law and our commercial and in- 
dustrial civilization has reached a point of 
hazard from which, who knows, the fall is im- 
minent. The European war was a moral issue 
in which the stakes were the ambitions of the 
several nations. Each wanted to outstrip the 
other and within each the dominant motive 
of the citizen and subject was, not what he 
could do for himself, but what he could do in 
rivalry against the other. The modern world 
has lost the sense of limitation. 

Happiness can never come to a restless man, 
and business and competition have made men 
restless and wretched. Men are fatigued now- 
adays, tired of the complications and collu- 
sions and combinations with which they must 
count at every step. They prefer the simple, 



SIMPLE GREA TNESS. 69 

frugal life to the extravagances and high- 
wrought comforts which are bought in the pas- 
sionate market at the cost of exhausted bodies 
and souls. Life is sweet, but the life men have 
made for themselves after twenty centuries of 
commercial ambition has a bitter after-taste. 
That is why civilization has sharpened the 
dissatisfaction of many. The rich are not 
happier and the poor not less respectable, 
poverty is not an evidence of incompetence 
nor wealth a guarantee of a high grade of moral 
discrimination. Ambition has begun this war- 
fare of men against men, but has not been able 
to sustain them either in a larger outlook or 
finer moral stamina. Men need some high mo- 
tive to direct them, and if ambition is that high 
power, then it should be not militant, but cre- 
ative, do things, not destroy lives. 



SIMPLE GREATNESS. 

A MAN puts his greatness into his very face. 
Or, in other words, his appearance tells 
all about him. This is true of all eminent men ; 
but it is not true of Abraham Lincoln. His ap- 
pearance did not indicate what he was ; in fact 
it misrepresented him. Unless we interpret his 

6 IT 



70 SIMPLE GREATNESS.- 

gauntness and lanky limbs as suggestive that 
he was exceptional also in character. But 
greatness does not go with queerness, and Lin- 
coln's physique was indisputably queer. We 
must revise our standards of value as to the 
appearance of a man, in this age when externals 
mean so much more than they ought, and the 
instance of Lincoln is salutary for that. 

And then as to culture. In our book-age, 
we go by what a man knows and not by what 
a man does, by the language he wields rather 
than by what and how he thinks, by his suavity 
and manners and not by his manliness and 
those personal qualities which real men pre- 
fer to hide rather than show. There are often 
more stamina in one spontaneous unchosen 
word than in all the refinements of years. And 
often there is more literature in it, because 
it is fresher and more genuine. I find the really 
cultured men are men of few but strong and 
clear words when they do speak. And, any- 
way, talk, sparse or voluble, has very little to 
do with merit; talk is not an index of values. 
What a man does, I might say in Emerson's 
happy phrase, is so loud, I cannot hear his 
voice. The great men have been silent men. 
Only small men gossip about others and them- 
selves. The speeches of Abraham Lincoln, 



SIMPLE GREATNESS. 71 

though they were a match for the most elo- 
quent of his time, are unadorned. He was a 
serious man and he went directly at his duties, 
letting their performance persuade and con- 
vince. 

And Abraham Lincoln had good nature and 
humor. I know good nature is often coupled 
with weakness and humor can be cheap and 
frivolous. But both are genuinely human and 
when they are coupled with manliness, they 
are a charm and a moral power. The life of 
common-place men is sordid and heavy and 
they cannot meet their difficulties nor come 
near to other men, because they are detached 
through the storm and stress of experience 
which they know neither to interpret nor over- 
come. But a smile can achieve more than a 
frown, and many a hardship and many a sorrow 
are disposed of best by light-hearted confidence. 
Lincoln sets an example for us, in our commer- 
cial and social and political conflicts. He was 
balanced in judgment and believed in human 
nature and trusted it and he solved the most 
vexing problems this nation has ever had, not in 
profound and oracular ways, but by the simple, 
eternally simple sagacity and sympathy of his 
healthy, warm and genuine human nature. 

And this primordial trait of character we 



72 SELF CONTROL. 

need. We need it today more than ever. Mod- 
ern life, its complications and many-sided an- 
tagonisms, its sternness and plodding serious- 
ness, is taking the freshness and the buoyancy 
out of us. The cheering, conciliating and fra- 
ternizing smile may save us. He will redeem 
us who will restore to us the gospel of human 
nature. 

SELF CONTROL. 

associate peacefulness with weakness. 
But the fact is that it requires more self- 
control to refrain from attack than to make it. 
It is easy enough to strike; that is merely a 
matter of impulse and brute nature. But to 
check that impulse and to hold it down, and to 
open the way to reason and patience, is not 
only wise but also strong. The gospel of Peace 
is often an appeal to the effeminate qualities 
and fails on that account. Men want to be 
appealed to on the side of their strength and 
not on the side of their weakness. And it has 
not been made clear to them that it is manly 
to be master within oneself. But it can be done 
and must be done. If a man offends me and 
I strike him, I have not disposed of the offense, 
and I have given it an opportunity to make 
more mischief. I have lapsed to a lower moral 



SELF CONTROL. 73 

level. I have transferred the issue of truth 
and justice to the arena of fists and I have al- 
lowed the offender to brutalize me. 

A strong character should also be discrim- 
inating, and not stake his hard-earned virility 
on the passion of a moment. It is easy enough 
to "haul out" and give the blow; and it may 
seem, on the other hand, "beautiful" and noble 
not to do it. But it is not the question of 
courage nor of generosity. It is an issue of 
self-respect. That is always the fittest expres- 
sion of one who has a right cause. It would 
be a calamity to shift the centre of our strength 
which till today was in our moral certainties 
to gun and bayonet and fist, which, after all, 
are impotent unless behind them are self-con- 
trolled men. Even the army and navy are in- 
vincible not through powder but because of the 
character of their men. Real American men, 
with fair and just souls, are sufficient to dis- 
pose of any wrong. 

There are three ways to work for peace. One 
by avoiding the issue that stands in its way; 
it brings a peace that does not last, for it has 
not disposed of the moral question the issue 
involved. Another way is to strike for it. That 
complicates and aggravates the issue, crowds 
out the moral fact and makes a moral de- 



74 PATIENCE. 

cision impossible. The third way to establish 
peace is to keep clear as to the issue and allow 
nothing, least of all one's passion, to confuse 
judgment and purpose, and to follow on, un- 
perturbed, in the honorable performance of 
duty. No one should have the satisfaction that 
he has dragged us down to his level. 

PATIENCE. 

can teach many of the virtues, but we 
cannot teach patience. That comes in 
its own way. Sometimes through the stress of 
circumstances with which we cannot cope, 
and which exact surrender. And sometimes 
through an optimism which helps us antici- 
pate what we cannot see nor achieve. The 
Hindoos have made patience into a religion 
and the Europeans have imitated them and, 
as is always the case with imitation, have mis- 
understood them. The Church says suffering 
is a grace, but the Hindoos say there is power, 
moral and religious power, in waiting, being 
sure it is worth while to wait, till Life, the Law 
of Life has its final say. 

We Americans must learn the lesson of 
Patience. We cannot wait. We want to do 
things at once. We are the most impulsive 



PATIENCE. , 75 

people on earth. We have confidence in our- 
selves, but not enough in the World. We are 
sure of the now, but have not enough vision to 
be sure of tomorrow. Even our enterprises 
have not enough of moral dash in them. We 
speculate only when our eye is on the prize. 
The prize must be in sight. But really great 
things are done under self-control and under 
the trust that, even if we cannot accomplish 
what we wish, the World does achieve it. The 
world is a big mechanism, adjusted well and 
operating exactly and it brings forth the things 
that must be. And if our feeble hands fail, the 
great arms that hold and move the world do 
not. What ought to come, does. 

He who will show us how to equip the new 
generation of this country with the capacity for 
patience will render a distinct and epoch-mak- 
ing service. Patience is not only elegant and 
comforting, it is also economic. It saves us 
waste of energy and feeling. The impulsive 
man is a spendthrift; he spends his body and 
his soul. The patient man is a frugal man ; he 
manages to get along, amidst the temptations 
and diversions, at the least cost. Or perhaps 
it is true, the man who holds himself in check, 
has himself at his best. It pays to be patient, 
if for nothing else than to have the advantage. 



76 PATIENCE. 

He husbands his resources, while the other 
fritters them. 

We are a nation of experimenters, and 
each one of us experiments with himself. 
Just like untrained boys who look for new 
jobs every day. We lack the "sticking" 
quality. There is an unrest in the most of us 
and to it are traceable nine-tenths of the fail- 
ures in business, in trade, in career. We have 
not yet learned the simple, homely lesson which 
we get abundantly in our youth from sage 
fables, loving grandmothers, and solemn teach- 
ers. We have inordinate belief in Oppor- 
tunity. And we believe that opportunities 
come just when we need them. Like cars in 
the street, just wing yourself on. But opportu- 
nities do not have this accommodating way; 
they sometimes fail to come. They often tan- 
talize and refuse. And when they do come, 
and you recognize them, they make demands ; 
and often we cannot comply with these de- 
mands, lacking preparation. And in that lack 
of adequate preparation most opportunities fail 
us. Better than opportunity is readiness. 
Know what you can do, train yourself to do 
your work efficiently and effectively ; and when 
the occasion comes into your life, you are fit. 
It comes then not only to you, but also for you. 



HUMILITY. 



HUMILITY. 

"LTUMILITY is one of the lost virtues, at 
least it is one of the losing ones. It does 
not pay to hide oneself under a bushel and we 
are sure nowadays that self-assertion is neces- 
sary and right and we think modesty is not 
worth while. And still some of the greatest 
characters in history have been silent men who 
talked very little about themselves. There are 
certain traits of original human nature which 
seem to be on the decline, and perhaps modesty 
and unpretentiousness is one of them. Just 
as in business advertising is as essential as cap- 
ital and expertness, so in the professions and 
the social relations a man must assert himself. 
It will not do to rely alone upon merit and 
trust that men will see that and reward it of 
their own initiative. For the world is busy and 
has neither time nor patience to hunt up men, 
to scrutinize them, and to weigh values on a 
fine scale. The humble man puts himself at a 
disadvantage, in the strenuous race which calls 
for virile and sometimes even for brutal 
strength. So that we may ask what has become 
of that grace of quiet reserve which once was 
the charm of men and women? What has be- 



78 HUMILITY. 

come of that modesty which we admired and 
loved just because it shrunk from us? What 
has become of that naive and frank simplicity 
which made; a man run away from you just 
when you were eager to tell him that you ad- 
mired him? Has practical life aborted 
modesty out of our souls as it has aborted some 
of the organs out of our body, because it is now 
useless and unprofitable? I cannot believe it. 
And still, some parents are doing all they 
can, consciously sometimes, and often uncon- 
sciously, to call out in their children if not 
arrogance at least assertiveness and an am- 
bitiousness which is so little compatible with 
the sweeter part of character. The education 
we give our children, leads to their becoming 
conscious and often over-conscious of them- 
selves, and our training encourages children 
to strike out boldly, and often tactlessly, for 
competition and rivalry. Is it not time to 
plead for self-restraint and for the cultiva- 
tion of a power which has joy not in down- 
ing others but in downing the brutal in one- 
self? Real modesty is not a weakness; it is a 
strength. It is the self at its highest moral power. 
It dominates all instincts, and subjects them 
to the finer feelings. Modesty is the triumph 
of the self at its best. 



ADMIRATION. 79 



ADMIRATION. 

n^ELL me what kind of a man you admire and 
I shall tell you what you are. We admire 
such a man as we would like to resemble. But 
why do we want to resemble him? That is the 
point. Some of us want to be like him because 
we want to have what he has, and we think that 
by imitating him we may get it. Again, we want 
to imitate a man because it is so much easier to 
copy than to originate. And finally we like the 
man who does the very things we like. It is a 
sort of endorsement. 

Hero-worship often springs from our selfish- 
ness. The "big man" is talking right out of our 
heart. He is saying the things we would like 
to have said ; he is doing the things we would 
like to have done; and he is just ourselves, 
only bolder and craftier. And our admiration 
of him is coupled with the subtle satisfaction 
that the thing we have been after has been 
achieved. 

There was a time when hero-worship and ad- 
miration were less selfish than they are now- 
adays. We hold ourselves more in reserve, we 
do not yield to enthusiasms naively and 
frankly. But whether selfish, impulsive or de- 



80 ADMIRATION. 

liberate, the man who serves us is the man of 
the hour. The standard is that he is doing 
something we need or like. Not the ideal, nor 
an ideal, is back of our measure of him, but 
a concrete wish which we have just as he 
has it. Ideals are far-cries in this practical 
world. Men are after the things they can get 
and hold. 

Admiration cannot be taught. And it need 
not be. It is the one personal fact which has 
its own way and its own time. The young 
have it in manifold and in whimsical forms. 
The old have it, sparsely and with deeper feel- 
ing. But, in every period and under the varied 
experiences, admiration is our saving grace, 
provided it is lifted into an unselfish love 
and respect of really high types of life and 
character. 

Back of Religion lies the noble passion to 
admire. All religions and all exaltations begin 
with and culminate in admiration. Fill a 
child's environment with what is beautiful to 
see and true to know and clean to have, and 
you have done for its religiousness the best 
and the most helpful. It is not difficult to 
strengthen character, not even to establish it. 
Just let everything about the child be worth 
admiring, worthy not because useful and 



PUSH. 81 

profitable, but because genuine and natural. 
Human nature and child-nature take to un- 
selfish admiration readily, easily, directly. 
The problem in moral education is to give 
many opportunities to cultivate the noble art 
of admiring things and persons, and to sharpen 
the senses that they may discover the admira- 
ble, the lovable, the true. 



PUSH. 

is an American virtue, at least an 
American way of making oneself effective. 
We do not discriminate much about it. So 
long as it is successful, it is a virtue. We find 
fault with it only when it fails. We resent it 
when it is boorish, when it affects good man- 
ners. In business we call it enterprise, and as 
practicable tactics we consider it legitimate. In 
the professions we call it strength, and we do not 
stop to differentiate between strength as mere 
push and moral strength that comes from 
character. This confusion perverts real values. 
After all, the modest are the really strong; 
they scorn to bid for applause and to peddle 
out their wares. They are sure that honorably 
earned wages and recognition will come to 



82 PUSH. 

them and they are willing to wait. But the 
loud men and shrewd men who push them- 
selves forward, demoralize the people. They 
make the people believe that insistence and 
trickery pay, and, since they pay, must be 
right. There are various kinds of push, but 
every kind of it is dangerous. The rough 
man who spreads his elbows and crowds you 
out, and the suave man who smiles at you and 
presses your hand affably while he calculates 
and schemes are dangerous, not merely because 
they injure you but because they take the heart 
out of all justice and morality. Push ought 
always be reduced. 

The most salutary reform of American life 
would come if we called out its scorn, 
in society against the plebeian, in business 
against the impostor, in the professions against 
the trickster, and everywhere against the false. 
But it is difficult to make our scorn tell, not 
only because we have not enough indignation 
against push, but also because we cannot so 
easily and promptly stall it. We are, there- 
fore, led to the old reassurance: trust truth 
and justice, they have their way in the end. 
When all is over, push stumbles across some- 
thing, which it does not see ; every vice has its 
fatal moment. Our first step toward our 



CURIOSITY. 83 

moral regeneration will be, when we begin to 
discriminate between the genuine that can af- 
ford to be silent, and the make-believe whose 
only resource is push. A vigorous suspicion 
as to that may not only be commendable but 
also effective. True men wait in patience, 
false men grab. 

CURIOSITY. 

TTT'E say curiosity is a vice. The French call 
it a virtue and they are right. The 
man who does not want to know will never 
know. Interest is nine-tenths of intelligence. 
If we wish to be really living, not merely 
mechanically and automatically, but with 
zest and relish, we must be on the alert 
to see, to hear and to find out. Of course, 
there are forbidding limits, such as law, pro- 
priety and one's own incompetence. But 
within visible range, we have the right and 
the duty to ask and to search and to indulge 
the fine passion of mind. The drive to culture 
is interest. He is the most cultivated who is in- 
terested in most directions. He is also the 
most tolerant and the most just. 

I should like to classify people by the interest 
they have in the world, in other people, in 



84 CURIOSITY. 

themselves. Some are busy, with eyes and ears 
and mind, all day. Some see nothing, as if 
from behind blinders, except the beaten track 
on which they walk. Even the educated divide 
off into those who receive and those who give. 
We must have appetite for education, at least 
as much as for eating. The difference between 
appetite and interest, however, is this : we eat 
because we must ; we seek to know because we 
want to. The one is compulsion, the other is 
freedom. 

Interest is the push in the mind and in the 
heart. It is the most forceful influence in hu- 
man nature. Justice is moral interest in fel- 
lowman. We see other people as we see our- 
selves and we feel they are as near to us as we 
are to ourselves. Charity is interest, warm, 
genuine interest that wants to discover what 
is lacking or wrong or disturbed in those who 
are in tears or dazed by mishap or confused 
or humiliated. Friendship is mutual interest 
by which each one desires to supply what the 
other needs. And this eagerness in one another 
keeps us busy and happy. 

Citizenship is interest with broad scope. We 
throw our little lives on a large canvas. We 
see the bearings our separate lives have; lines 
go from each of us to the centre of the com- 



CURIOSITY. 85 

munity. And the communal and civic good 
has a thousand threads that lead directly into 
our homes, into our trades, our professions and 
into our hearts. Loyalty is interest at the most 
essential point of life. We are loyal when we 
are serious and intense, when the cause is hu- 
man and precious in moral value. And in- 
terest can go even beyond the limits of thought 
and feeling into regions where only fancy 
works. Religion, that magic instinct that binds 
gods and men is sublimated interest which 
seeks free and eternal truth. 

Our schools will do the best for childhood if 
they will endow it with the passion of interest. 
No one should be recruited into national life 
who has not become free in soul, whose heart 
is not open to the life that streams into it and 
whose mind is not clear under the full illumina- 
tion of our culture. It is not what we know 
that makes us men, but what we want to know. 
And a citizen is not he who claims rights, but 
he who seeks out duties to perform. It is neces- 
sary to be wide-awake, and more necessary 
to have a wide vision, alert attentiveness 
and eagerness to learn from everybody. 



86 CONVERSATION. 



CONVERSATION. 

CONVERSATION is an art. But it is not 
a refinement ; it is a necessity. As all real 
art is. Necessary to the best instincts we have. 
But, though it is needed at almost every mo- 
ment, it is the least we are trained in. Con- 
versation is not a mere give-and-take of 
words. It is the exchange and the sharing of 
interests, and we are never so near to one 
another or so far apart, in feeling and the ex- 
periences that are worth while, as when we look 
into one another's eye and talk. Conversation 
is the most social fact of our life, and I can 
imagine no more wretched person than he who 
is in touch, even by a word, with no one. Exhil- 
aration is at its best when we are in company 
and there is no greater bore than the unre- 
sponsive. 

It is said that he is the best at conversation 
who lets others talk. That may be a wise cau- 
tion to the voluble. But it is not true as a rule 
of the art. Talk out the best that you have, 
but talk suggestively and tolerantly. Talk is 
like dealing. Be just and not selfish. The 
brilliant talker is not the one who preoccupies 
conversation, but he who gives the best, and 



CONVERSATION. 87 

gives it in the best way. And the best lies not 
in the how but in the what. Fine words do not 
attract as much as does fine feeling. And what 
you say must not be mere fact, but fact made 
to stand out by the magic of your sentiment. 
There is a notion that a live conversation 
requires equals. Men should be well matched 
in information and capacity and should be 
alike ready in wisdom and wit. And nothing is 
farther from fact than the notion that conver- 
sation is a kind of duel or fight, that men fence 
and parry in conversation, as they do with 
steel. A well-tempered conversation is con- 
genial and not a quarrel, and real men know 
they get out of a conversation as much as they 
put into it. They are serious, in the sense that 
they are sincere, and the men who have some- 
thing to say say it out of their souls and not in 
frivolity. A conversation must mean some- 
thing to somebody, or else it is no conversation 
at all; and it must be honest. I know not 
why conversation is taken to be a pastime and 
a play of courtesies, in face of the fact that the 
largest and the most serious part of our life 
depends on talk, exchange of thought and re- 
ciprocal measure of intent and confidence. It 
is very essential to our career that we know 



88 CONVERSATION. 

how to express our motive and to give assur- 
ance that we understand the motive of another. 
Besides, conversation is not merely verbal. 
It is a communion. Souls meet. Souls enter 
into one another's sanctities. Nor is conver- 
sation the moral union only of strangers. Con- 
versation is holiest in the home. By it parents 
come into the life and into the character of 
their children in full tide of influence. It may 
be fragmentary and occasional, but it fuses 
hearts. The hour is priestly in which a father 
sits in the circle of his children and talks with 
them. It is an hour full of responsibility and of 
a joy and none is finer. I count that moment 
eventful in which the boy or the girl raises the 
voice for the first time in the hearty circle of the 
family. Like all human traits, conversation 
too is best cultivated in the home. A home- 
conversation is a fusion of the wisdom of the 
father, the affection of the mother, the mutual- 
ities of brothers and sisters, and their theme is 
the experiences they have in common, to which 
each contributes his tear or his laugh. 



THE ANIMAL. 89 



THE ANIMAL. 

TX7E are dependent upon the animals. They 
give us all they have: their lives and 
their bodies. And when they cannot, we realize 
what an important item they are for our life. 
They give us our food, our clothing and thou- 
sands of things that are the essentials of com- 
forts and needs. And they do even more. 
They are our workers, our protectors and our 
comrades. On the battle-fields of Europe 
thousands of them lie at the side of their mas- 
ters and have earned the "iron cross" no less 
than they. 

Jack London has drawn the heroism of the 
dog; but who will do justice to the gallantry 
and loyalty of the horse? Every animal that 
lives in the companionship of man deserves a 
Jack London, not only in literature but also in 
genuine appreciation. But in these mechanical 
days of ours we have lost the respect for and 
the love of these speechless beings whose inner 
life is a mystery and whose joys and pain are 
often tinged with high meaning. The Hindoos 
symbolized the cow as the source of life; the 
Egyptians deified the bull. The Brahmans be- 
lieve the sagacious elephant carries the world, 



90 THE ANIMAL. 

and for the ancient Israelites the dove was the 
herald of a new-born earth. Legends and folk- 
tales are full of affectionate talk about noble 
lions, imperial eagles and patient lambs, and 
the literary artists who have described for us 
the story of the First Emancipation says that 
while the people of Israel went forth to free- 
dom, the dogs were silent! 

The domesticated animals have been with 
man so long and so closely that their sympathy 
seems a matter of course. But the days of our 
sentimental regard for animal life appear to be 
gone. We look only for its use and profit. 
We speak of the animal only in terms of 
merchandise. The Bible says : if a beast falls 
under its burden, relieve it, even if it belong to 
thine enemy. The Talmud says: Feed thy 
animal first, then eat. The Ten Command- 
ments enjoin: Rest on the Sabbath, but let 
thy beast also rest. And a Talmudic legend 
narrates how Moses, the shepherd, one day 
missed a lamb and searched for it, and at last, 
finding it maimed and bruised, carried it to the 
fold and, at this God called out to him: thou 
shalt lead my people, for thou art a true shep- 
herd. The dietary laws, which orthodox Jews 
observe, are founded upon a precept of mercy 
to animals who give up their flesh that we 



CHARITY AND WORK. 91 

might live. And when Balaam, the prophet, 
goes forth to curse, no man restrains him, not 
even his God, but the beast that carries him re- 
fuses to go on. The conscience of a beast is 
better than the conscience of a prophet! If 
God had not given the Law, we could have 
learned it from the beasts, says a Rabbi of the 
Talmud: we might have learned cleanliness 
from the cat, purity from the dove, gallantry 
from the cock, and industry from the ant. And 
the fables of all races tell of the instincts and 
natural wisdom, of the beasts. There will 
always be a link of sympathy between us and 
those animals which share with us our homes 
and our feelings. Mercy toward them is right, 
but justice to them is still better. 



CHARITY AND WORK. 

TS charity a matter of sentiment or of sense? 
Do we assist the poor because we cannot en- 
dure seeing him wretched, or do we do for him 
what we can out of a clear sense that we are 
obliged, as a matter of fairness, to put every 
man within reach of the bread to which he is en- 
titled? There was a time when we helped men 
for their own sake ; we now go to their aid for 



92 CHARITY AND WORK. 

the sake of the community. We want to 
abolish poverty not only because it is pitiable 
but also because it is unjust. The question of 
poverty and our obligation with regard to it is 
coming up again as a current question, under 
the stress of the circumstances which prevail 
and seem to have come almost over night. 

On the one hand, the "getting out of work" is 
a chronic source of industrial and moral diffi- 
culties and we know as little how to stop it as 
we know where to put the blame. On the other 
hand, charity cannot cope with the economic 
forces which dominate all of life and are too ex- 
acting to permit sentiment. The poor man is at 
my door, or I stand at his door, as indeed I 
should. I bring him encouragement and a pit- 
tance. The encouragement is a mere nicker 
on his soul and my alms do not still his 
hunger nor placate his bitterness. And if I tell 
him that his poverty is due to the law of busi- 
ness and economics, I bring him neither pa- 
tience nor comfort. For the feelings of a hu- 
man soul will always be truer and more in- 
sistent than business, and a man, even the 
poorest, will always have a title to life which no 
law of economics can force him to forfeit. 

Thousands are losing their hold on business, 
in shops and in industrial life. What can we 



CHARITY AND WORK. 93 

do for them, or rather what can they, what may 
they do for themselves? There is a. mingling 
of business and charity which confuses and 
embarrasses every one who wishes to pre- 
serve his sense of justice and to spare humilia- 
tion to his fellowmen. The man with a brawny 
arm has a right to work and to earn his liveli- 
hood in unreduced dignity and self-respect, 
and the law or the economic condition 
which make it hard and -even impossible fpr 
him has no justification. The palliative 
in doles and gifts, in fact, sharpens his pain 
and his discontent. The one great ques- 
tion which demands today our keenest thought 
is what we should do to keep many from be- 
coming bitter. The dread of very coming day, 
the uncertainty of unemployment, this being at 
the mercy of the ebb and tide of economic law, 
this living by the whim and at the mercy of 
chronic changes is cruel. It is hard to 
get only bread out of the struggle, but 
it is still harder to obtain it in fear 
and trembling, lest even that be denied 
the next day. Poverty is sad, but uncertainty is 
still sadder. We shall not have a calmer world 
until there is more certainty in it, until men can 
go to their daily labor with lighter hearts, and 
with more certainty of the next. day. It is not 



94 CHARITY. 

the wage-question as much as dependence which 
harasses men and gnaws at their hearts. Pov- 
lerty is a moral rather than an economic ques- 
tion. And so is wealth. Men must feel their 
feet safe on the ground, if they are to live at all. 
Insecurity is the source of evil, misfortune 
and discontent. 

CHARITY. 

HTHAT was a naive time, when people went 
about collecting for charity and held out 
their hand or hat. We are more expert now. 
We have official collections and ask for sub- 
scriptions and people are expected to give 
readily and liberally. The difference between 
the two ways does not lie in the fact that men 
have gotten more prosperous or the poor more 
insistent. It lies in the fact that we see more 
clearly the bearing that poverty and wealth 
have upon one another. Charity is nowadays 
not mere generosity nor self-defense. It is an 
attempt at the re-establishment of justice, 
which the poor feel and the rich see has been 
disturbed. In fact the change has brought it 
about that people are more sensitive about jus- 
tice and resent generosity. Generosity cannot 
compensate for the lack of justice and usually 
merely sharpens the sense of wrong endured. 



CHARITY. 95 

Fortunately conditions just now are making 
us tolerant. Exigencies have arisen and we 
must meet them. We cannot stop to discuss 
the academic aspect of want. People are suf- 
fering, here, abroad ; men, women and children ; 
they have been flung into distress, by no law of 
political economy but by the implacable stress 
of war, and two continents have been over- 
whelmed almost over night into pain, poverty 
and plight. Who would now stop to make nice 
distinctions ! 

And still human nature binds men. Human 
nature prefers kindred. Instinctively I go to the 
help of my own first. Of two who are in 
trouble, I go to the rescue first of the one who 
is nearest to me, nearest in kind and accord- 
ingly nearest in sympathy. Charity can never 
be in the abstract. Nor can justice. My fel- 
lowmen can never be as near nor as dear to me 
as my brother, my kinsman, who share with me 
my blood and my loves and hates. Collections 
are being made for the unfortunate victims 
of the European war and the interest in them 
is according to our pre-dispositions. Only : 
few can be neutral in their sympathies and 
judgment. 

There is a far cry from the ideal to the fact. 
The ideal says : Love, be just, and give your 



96 CHARITY. 

charity to all who need it. The fact says: I 
know the Belgians, I know the Poles, I know 
the Jews, and they have a first claim. And, 
really, the fact is not any less true nor any less 
respectable. It is, indeed, more real and clear. 
The best in life is not to cherish vague ideals 
nor to trust a policy of general hit-and-miss ; 
but to do the duty that is at hand, with warm 
feeling and for definte ends and in definite 
ways. And charity and generosity, too, must 
co-operate with the actual business of life. 

If I were to make a choice between kindness 
and justice, I should prefer justice. And if I 
were constrained to decide my loyalty, either to 
cosmopolitan good-will or to those of my family 
and nation, I should decide for family and 
nation. The ideal can wait, but my people can- 
not, and God has placed me into its midst. My 
people have the first right on me and on what I 
can do. The man who wants to help may not be, 
does not want to be, a dreamer. He wants to do 
things at once and with full effect. And a just 
man does not wait for tomorrow's opportunity, 
but does what he can now to correct wrongs and 
to better such lives as he knows. The world 
does not advance through our dreams but 
through our acts. And good-will is not 
merely a wish but also an aim. There are 



THE INCAPABLE. 97 

plenty of people who talk grandly, but it is time 
that their grandiloquent talk about ideals 
transmute into service and work. About 
us men are hungering for sympathy, for help, 
for justice. It is our duty to help those whose 
difficulties we know rather than those whose 
difficulties we do not, and perhaps cannot, 
know. 

THE INCAPABLE. 

TS it right to let a life that is bungled by the 
accident of birth go? Physicians who ob- 
serve a fine code of ethics urge it is better not 
to patch up an unpromising body; the unfor- 
tunate being is spared misery and pain and 
those who attend it are released from a hopeless 
task. Some argue, from the point of view of 
expense, that such a life and everything that is 
done to preserve it, are a waste; disease is a 
burden on the patient, on his family and on 
the community. And finally there are those 
who feel that it is mercy to nip misfortune in 
the bud. There is enough sorrow in the world, 
sorrow we can never hope entirely to sweeten 
and allay; why darken homes with a sorrow 
we can never brighten! All these arguments 
have practical reason. But they hale from the 



98 THE INCAPABLE. 

days of the ancient Spartans who flung their 
incapables from the Rock, and had no hos- 
pitals nor Homes nor Asylums and nurses and 
surgeons and faithful physicians. 

And modern life produces a host of incapa- 
bles. The War produced them by the thou- 
sands and hundreds of thousands ; and so does 
the economic war, in which each one of us is in- 
volved. The harassing and debilitating busi- 
ness of every day, and for many every night; 
the sordid counters and the sooty shops and 
the factories, grimy, noisy and sense-dulling; 
the risks, not only of brains that are taxed, but 
also of bodies that are harnessed ; the confusion 
on our streets that whirls us into dangers as we 
cross; and the machinery that stolidly and 
pitilessly enslaves and mangles many while 
they are faithfully at their labor, produce them 
now. We have more effective ways of meeting 
misfortune, because we are face to face with it 
on many sides and in many varied forms. 
And also because many of these evils are of 
our own make and are a burden on our con- 
science. We are not satisfied nowadays with 
merely moving misery out of our sight and 
persuading ourselves that we have disposed of 
it thus. We want to cure the evils; we want 
to lessen misfortune and, above all, since we 



THE INCAPABLE. 99 

cannot drive it out of our world and we must 
reckon with it, we want to make it at least 
tolerable. 

The fact too is that we owe the unfortunate 
a debt of gratitude. They are a call to our con- 
science. They evoke out of us the nobler feel- 
ings. They make us wiser, truer and kindlier. 
Remove the sad out of our midst and we become 
stunted in soul. The sick makes us patient, 
thoughtful, loyal. The cripple makes us virile, 
helpful. The blind opens our eyes. The 
wretched opens our hearts. We bear our ills 
more graciously, seeing how they bear theirs. 
Even the most callous of us feels the touch of 
piety in their presence. They are the martyrs 
through whose merits we are "saved". 

It is a pity that there are unfortunates, but 
if there were not, we would all be poor, poor 
in soul and heart. They refine, ennoble and 
enrich us in the real things of life. And there 
is another blessing misery brings. It does 
not only better us, but it betters the poor 
and the unfortunate themselves. Some of 
the sweetest souls I know are those who 
sat in the shadow or had a heavy grief. 
One could almost envy them because of their 
transfiguration. 



100 ART AND FREEDOM. 



ART AND FREEDOM. 

'T V HE notion is current that cheap art is no art 
at all. As if price made value. The notion 
is not true. The chromo too is artistic and 
brings beauty home to some. The production 
by mechanical process requires expertness of a 
high order and is often far from garish and 
"loud." There are posters which are at- 
tractive and admirable, and the illustrations 
of the modern magazine show that printing 
has made artistic progress. Art has emanci- 
pated itself ; it has left mansions and museums 
and aristocratic palaces and has entered homes 
to please, to comfort and to brighten men and 
women who go to and come from their trudging 
labor. 

There was a time when religion was the 
only patron of art. The church then alone fur- 
nished themes and was the only one that had 
the resources to pay for them. But this has 
changed. Today the eye that saw beauty only 
in saints sees beauty also in sinners, human 
truth, moral difficulty and mortal tragedy. The 
artist's eye that discovers virtue and vice is not 
only true as to the actual facts of life but is also 
fascinated by the deeper appeal to feeling. 



ART AND FREEDOM. 101 

Back of the eye is always the soul. We 
interpret what we see. We see with sym- 
pathy or with antipathy, if we see at all. As 
the busy, serious and passionate world passes 
us in procession, we stand not by as mere 
spectators. We are judges or we are friends ; 
we admire or despise. A man with a sensitive 
and clean soul cannot help but love when he 
sees the loveable and hate when he sees the 
hateful. And he speaks out with what honest 
and powerful language he commands. This is 
art, for art is truth. Or rather Art is telling 
the truth as one sees and feels it. 

The world is full of truth. Truth is not in 
churches alone. It is outside as much and as 
clearly. Truth is democratic. And so is art. 
The one is interlinked with the other. Both 
belong to all men alike. Every man counts, 
counts to himself and to his fellowmen. The 
world is now full of truth and beauty as never 
before. Men have opened their eyes and, what is 
still better, men have opened their hearts wider 
than ever before. Everything is beautiful now ; 
some thing for you, another for me and, per- 
haps, many things for you and me alike and 
together. And every man and woman and 
child and every home and every trade and 
every business and all human life in its mani- 



102 ADMIRATION. 

fold tragedies and comedies and ambitions and 
weaknesses, appeal to our eye and heart. The 
wonder is not that Art is producing so much 
but that it is creating so little, that the average 
of us is so listless amidst the wonders of human 
character and experience. 

If this is the age of cheap prints that flutter 
in upon the table of every modest home, it is 
also the period in which every humble home 
has become the equal to every palatial home. 
We can not foreclose beauty as little as we can 
forever repress the rights, the love and the ad- 
mirations that awaken in the freedom of men. 



ADMIRATION. 

TNTEREST is the biggest word we have, be- 
cause it stands for the biggest fact. It is 
worth all we can do to make sure that some- 
body may be interested in us, and it is the 
ambition of many of us, perhaps of all of us. 
Polite society is based on the graces and the 
personal attractiveness of men and women, and 
even sordid business depends for its success 
not so much upon the quality of the goods 
offered as upon the suave manner in which 
they are recommended. 



ADMIRATION. 103 

But we are mistaken when we take it for 
granted that this quality of being interesting is 
a gift of nature, and that we cannot hope to 
acquire it. The fact is that he who is interested 
in anything will be interesting. Know some- 
thing, feel something intensely and you can, 
you will persuade others to know it and to 
appreciate it. It is a question how alert, how 
real and how warm you are yourself. 

I might almost say: admire and you will be 
admired. Practice the noble virtue of admira- 
tion. It is the one virtue which we are neg- 
lecting in these conventional days. Admiration 
has done much to enrich us. It has created art, 
it has raised our moral standards, it has lifted 
our religion. That man is poor, intellectually 
and morally, who does not care, does not seek, 
does not find to admire something, somebody. 
We can do nothing better for children, for their 
work and for their character, than to awaken 
in them this passion of admiration to fling out 
their interest and their large-hearted love for 
somebody and the things he does. The world 
is full of interesting people, of men and women 
who appeal to the sentimental in our nature, 
and it is pathetic that they appeal to many in 
vain. And human nature is so hungry for the 
beautiful and the noble that we might say it 



104 THE VOLUNTEER. 

is always ready to open up toward men of fine 
souls, as flowers open in the light. 

There was a time when we Americans became 
enthusiastic and were thrilled in splendid excite- 
ments of hero-worship. But we are blase now- 
adays and we have become critical and matter- 
of fact. And that is to be regretted. A 
nation that cannot admire is a nation that has 
became dull. It misses the finest exhilaration. 
Admiration is a moral stir. It vitalizes the 
energies. It gives zest to the ambitions. With- 
out it great men do not come into our national 
life; we discuss their policies and miss their 
personalities. But the one fact in a great life is 
personality. There is no other. 

THE VOLUNTEER. 

all noble men, commend me to the man 
who volunteers. Nothing too good can be 
said of him. He flings from him all that binds 
us. He frees himself from what enslaves us. 
He emancipates himself without law and con- 
cession. He is strong and needs no prop. He 
stands with head erect, by the sovereign dic- 
tate of his will. The current notion, as to con- 
scription in the army, as to citizenship 
by statute and social equities by tolerance 
seems to ignore this factor of manhood which 



THE VOLUNTEER. 105 

has vitalized American life. The volunteer is 
our boast and our power. It appears, he is to 
be sacrificed to public whim. He was, till now, 
the one man who gave distinction to our na- 
tional life, but he is being crowded out by the 
levelling force of a spurious democracy. I re- 
gret this. 

Whether under the exigencies of war, or un- 
der the less tragic but no less heroic stress of the 
intense and contesting life of the crowded street 
and the sordid difficulties of labor and home, 
Americans have always had the splendid in- 
spiration to go to the rescue where they are 
needed, and rarely wait for the call. The need 
is sufficient call and demand. I, for one, do 
not wish the memory of and the respect for 
the volunteer to pale even for a moment. Con- 
scription, whether in the army or in the ranks 
of civic duty, makes for mediocrity. It takes 
the freshness out of the national life, its moral 
genius, which has kept us keen and original 
and resourceful. Prescribed duty can never 
enhance our efficiency half as much as the vol- 
unteer spirit has sharpened our willingness. In 
efficiency everything depends on being inter- 
ested in the thing to do. 

A nation can feel itself safe when its citizens 
have a moral interest, a personal, free interest 



106 THE VOLUNTEER. 

in its cause. The constraint of law is al- 
ways a substitute, a humiliating substitute, 
for what should be spontaneous in men 
and citizens. Hitherto American wars have 
been glorious not because of their victories but 
because of their spirit. The men, as they 
marched forth under the banner of their free 
manhood, had already won, before ever they 
had discharged a musket or brandished a 
sword, the victory which the shedding of blood 
did not need to prove. And there has been a 
similarity, in this country of freedom and 
moral stamina, between peace and war, such 
as no other nation has shown or thinks possi- 
ble. The common term between American 
peace and American war is the American vol- 
unteer, he who represents the free and obli- 
gating sense of human kinship and human 
justice which he will never allow with impunity 
to be attacked or hurt. We ought to be cau- 
tious, now while, it appears, we are reconstruct- 
ing the bases of the American institutions, not 
to jeopardize our morale. It is more worthy 
of our national genius to rely upon the volun- 
teer than upon the "obedient." The one gives 
with a gladness which is itself a guarantee, the 
other man gives truculently and in aloofness 
which is dangerous and perhaps fatal. 



AMERICAN JUSTICE. 107 



AMERICAN JUSTICE. 

/CHARACTER is a term that stands for all 
sorts of qualities. It may mean strength, 
brutal strength, and it may mean nobility and 
delicate considerateness. It may mean busi- 
ness force, directness and efficiency which go at 
a job, stick to it and hold it ; and it may mean 
a sensitive, balanced judgment of right and 
wrong, the scorn of the so-called practicalities 
which are often dubious and devious. 

We call for the moral education of our chil- 
dren, but the thing is not so simple. Do we 
want to prepare them for life as it is, or for life 
as it should be? Do we want to protect them 
against the brutalizations which competition 
enforces, or do we want to lift them to a high 
level and give them a moral aim, steadier, 
truer? 

It is just the lack of the distinctions in this 
matter that has caused the confusion of the 
World War. There was, to be sure, character 
on all sides of the combatants. But a gamut 
of differences. Even culture, the most dom- 
inant form of character, had varieties. Men 
faced each other with hostility born out 
of the same strength. The idealist hated 



108 AMERICAN JUSTICE. 

no less than the sordid practicalist and the 
culture of the dreamy East spat fire at the 
prosaic West. The great question, in all this 
fight, was not who was in the right, for, after 
all, there is no abstract right ; but who, what- 
ever his illusion, was backing up what he stands 
for with a kind of character that will be re- 
spectable when the world conscience will have 
a chance to speak. 

The nations differ, not so much in gifts or 
ambition or power, as in character. And that 
point of difference is subtle. Perhaps it is 
brought out, clearly though tragically, only in 
war. And perhaps it is the one irreconcilable 
fact which war reveals but cannot remove. 

Our life and all that is precious in it are 
based on this conflict of interests. We measure 
strength all along the line. Business is a kind 
of war, and often it is ungracious and severe. 
The professions are being demoralized in 
standards, no less than in methods, and the 
acid of greed eats into the heart of nations not 
more virulently than enterprise and the pride 
of power. 

Over against the failure of morality in Eu- 
rope, we have here in our country the question 
what kind of character shall we cultivate in 
ourselves. Shall we repeat the mistake of Eu- 



AMERICAN JUSTICE. 109 

rope, now so evident, or shall we profit by it 
and hold our national morals apart and high? 
None of the ethical ideals of the nations of 
Europe can satisfy us. They have broken 
down. We want a morality that can endure 
the test of the most insinuating temptations. 
And I believe we have that kind of character, 
and that character constitutes the genius of the 
American life. We allow no one to draw us 
from justice. We are loyal to justice and we 
build up this fidelity to what is unequivocally 
right in the foreigners who come into our 
midst. That is the permanent foundation of 
our national morality. We have not only a 
high respect for law, but also a warm fondness 
for it. This trait we must preserve. It is most 
human and most sound and reliable. We must 
teach the children to have awe for justice. Law 
should mean not what you must do, but what 
you want to do. And justice should not be a 
rule, but an interest. There is no greater, 
there is no finer interest than justice. It binds 
men ; it makes them kindred. 



110 THF HOLIDAY. 



THE HOLIDAY. 

T IFE is sordid for most people and they re- 
sent that loudly. Their protest takes the 
form of an ideal, and they scheme out an ex- 
travagant ideal by way of reprisal, as it were. It 
is comforting to imagine at least what ought 
to be and what we wish. One day of free fan- 
cies compensates for a year of tame routine 
and drudgery. 

Most people attend to their daily tasks, as 
an old woman does her knitting, in the dark, 
mechanically and without much thought. And 
what is worse, many people are enslaved by 
their jobs and their shop-labor and have no 
heart in it. They do their contracted duty and 
keep their eye on the clock and the pay. Even 
the free and pampered, who need not drudge 
for wages, have difficulty, through the long and 
tedious year, . to maintain their interest and 
zest. The poor and the rich alike tire of the 
monotony. 

But fortunately the relieving seasons come 
which bring exhilaration. Somehow, we do not 
know why, men get to their moral best. Till 
recently we thought the sacraments of religion 
bring a mystic rebirth. But we surmise that 



THE HOLIDAY. Ill 

the better life comes through the initiative of 
human nature itself. 

Every religion, every nation, every race, has 
its festivals, when kind feelings arise and 
prevail. Men soften their asperities and 
come near to one another. They abandon their 
rivalries and conflicts and declare a truce and 
that brings relief; for, after all, good will is 
better than all wages. Wages bring bread ; but 
good will brings peace without which bread 
cannot satisfy. 

Let men indulge the dreams of a Utopia. The 
poor in their sordidness, for sordidness is the 
heaviest burden they bear; and the rich whose 
sordidness is not less real though less keenly 
resented. At least once a year, let us free our 
hearts by fancy. Let us cherish the fancy that 
we have friendships and kinships ; that we are 
dear to many men and dear to the very ones 
toward whom we stood as strangers or were 
hostile through the competing and stressful 
year. Let us imagine the world kindlier than 
we thought it while we trod the beaten path of 
our daily routine. Let us admire it as more 
beautiful than our tired eyes and heavy hearts 
would concede. Let the morning dawn shed 
a new glory for us who saw it only as we turned 
the lever on the clock to report that we go to 



112 WILL. 

work. Let the evening dawn bring us peace, 
not as to exhausted laborers, but as to those who 
rejoice in the serenities and pious delights of 
family and home. Invest life with a fresh dig- 
nity and a new pride and a new satisfaction. 
We shall resume our tasks, and the idealizing 
humor of the holiday will seem like a flicker 
of sunshine on the wall. But it will not have 
been in vain. No happy experience ever is. We 
shall be the better whatever we must do and 
whatever we may suffer. We shall do our duty 
more willingly and bear our sorrows more 
patiently and more genially. We shall under- 
stand one another better, and ourselves also. 
A holiday is the best investment we can make. 
It uplifts us, it reconciles us, it invigorates our 
bodies and our souls. 

WILL. 

/ TVHE solemn days of religion are intensely 
human days. That is why they have a 
hold on men. Not their mystery but their 
naturalness makes them significant. The 
ancient Day of Atonement is such a natural, 
human day. It is a time when men review 
their careers and realize how limited they are, 
how their words or acts or plans are often like 



WILL. 113 

arrows shot poorly or shot at the wrong target. 
It is a time when men say frankly and humbly : 
We are just human; our eyes are dim, our 
arm is feeble and our heart uncertain. It is a 
salutary experience. To take our measure, 
we ourselves, before the world takes it of us 
with its severe criticism, spares disappoint- 
ments, heart-aches and humiliation. It is the 
only direct way to adjust ourselves to life. 

Nothing is harder than to say: I am sorry. 
But nothing is more profitable. That is, pro- 
vided it is said with the eye steadied on the 
reform. The man who regrets sincerely, resolves 
to amend, and puts will into his decision, 
goaded by shame as by a whip, becomes 
strong, and sure of himself. One of the absurd 
conventionalities of our day is the apology; 
it is often mere words. But if we meant it, it 
would be an experience like a tragedy. We 
reveal it in pain, and we admit we have done 
wrong into the secrecy of our conscience. 
And, on the other hand, an apology is a reso- 
lution, the assertion of our strength. With 
firm hand we open the door to a better, a less 
clouded, a happier day. Freedom comes with 
firmness. And freedom comes only when we 
have ourselves under control. The regret for 



114 WILL. 

what has been done we can transmute into a 
glory. We enter into a new life. Greater is 
the penitent, said the ancient Rabbis, than he 
who is righteous out of habit. For he has risen 
by his effort, by vindication of his best self. He 
has proven his moral strength. 

We need training in will-power. Vices slip 
into character where will-power is lacking. Our 
industries would collapse, our enterprise, ev- 
erything that is virile in the national life would 
starve, if it were not that men stake themselves, 
like soldiers with fixed bayonets, at their duty 
and obligation. If there is any question as to 
the value of our schools, it is the question, not 
whether they make our boys and girls efficient 
for jobs, but whether that efficiency is backed 
by will, by concentrated energy and single-eyed 
interest. For tasks should be done not only 
with skill but also with determination. 

The pioneers of this country are our proto- 
types in that, and the last one of us, in these 
days of competition, must be like them. And 
will-power is not merely aggressive; it is ju- 
dicious and deliberate. A nation that is 
morally strong, keeps the peace. A nation that 
has peace within, keeps the peace without. A 
nation that wants to be just, is just. All de- 
pends on the initiating will. 



SPRING. 115 

The ancient Jewish Day of Atonement ap- 
peals to all men and to all time. Because it 
points to human nature, at its worst and at its 
best. Because it restates for each generation 
the simple truth, which men are so ready to 
confuse and so persistent to undervalue, that 
the greatest strength is in the use of one's self. 



SPRING. 

"C^VERY season has its charm. We enjoy it 
and then forget it, being eager for the new. 
The cycle of the year pricks up our interest: 
just a while ago it was winter that braced us 
and made our blood tingle and now it is spring 
that coaxes out the bright green and fills the 
air with sweetness. The wonder is not that 
we are interested, but that' we are so quickly 
sated. Only poets are enthusiastic; most 
people simply raise their eye-brows and pass 
on to the order of business. It is the town that 
has taken out of us the freshness and buoyancy 
which Nature is so insistent and generous to 
put into us. Not only the poor who see trees 
and grass so little, but also the rich have be- 
come dull to the beauties of earth and sky and 
life. The fact is that beauty does not pay and 



116 SPRING. 

so we shrug our shoulders when we come at it. 
It "pays" well enough when we are tired, for 
then we run passionately to country, sea-shore 
and the open life. But as long as we are 
under the stress of routine we have not 
eyes for what is above us nor ears for "the 
music of the breezes." Modern life is prosaic 
and a dull gray is over all the things that 
make up home and society and work. 

We need freedom from the tyranny which 
we have placed on ourselves. Our homes 
lack the sprightly tone, our social ameni- 
ties have become conventional, and the occa- 
sional license with which we interrupt them 
is an outbreak of human nature tired 
of the commonplace. Work is becoming 
drudgery for the working man no less than for 
the man who deals it out to him. Both are 
truculently at their task and are glad to get 
through with it. There is no love on either side. 

Some say machinery has done it; and that 
may be true. But modern prosaic life has done 
it; it has allowed machinery to run over our 
bodies and souls. How the people would 
freshen up, if we would let them come out into 
the open, when there is new and healthy life in 
the air and in the trees and in the softened soil ! 
Every street of our large cities ends in a 



AUTUMN. 117 

country road, and is open to at least the young 
upon whom our future depends. Some cities 
lag behind in the race and competition of 
market and business simply because their at- 
mosphere is vapid and heavy. As we breathe 
so we are. It would be a profitable investment 
to supply fresh, balmy air just as much as milk 
and bread. Wide streets and parks and trees 
and grass "pay." In the spring, along with Na- 
ture, also the city with teeming human nature 
may have its resurrection. 



AUTUMN. 

"M"ATURE is a wizard. In the autumn you 
think she is dying. Moaning is in the air, 
the leaves are falling and the chill is creeping 
over the earth. But, really, she is pretending. 
She is getting ready for a new youth and if you 
will be patient, you will see a transfiguration. 
She is wrapping herself in brown-black sheets 
on all the trees, tucking herself warm beneath 
them, and is falling into a sleep that relaxes 
and strengthens. Give her time and you will 
see her resurrect and she will be glorious. 

Nature says now to you and me : I am done. 
I have finished my work. Now you do yours. 



118 AUTUMN. 

Mine was in the soil, in the trees; and I am 
brushing the air clean for them and for you. 
And then I shall stop and rest. But you must 
now begin. Start your engines and let them 
work. Fill your baskets and wagons and trains 
and give to each one who wants and needs and 
deserves. The things I give you are raw. Re- 
fine and re-make them and put thought and 
beauty into them. And, above all, see to it 
that all the sons of men get a share. Distribute 
fairly! 

Autumn is called melancholy. But only 
those call it so who see no farther than a single 
day. They condemn the world because they 
have a discomfort. Autumn is a promise na- 
ture gives to men and makes good. She re- 
assures us and we do well to trust her. Dead 
leaves drop because green leaves are ready to 
take their place. The soil hardens to keep 
warm the life beneath it. And the wide arms 
of the winds spread life, as the farmer the seed. 
And we, too, feel the invigoration. Never, in 
the whole year, are men so active, and so full 
of venture and enterprise, as now. If we are 
busy in the winter, it is because we have 
planned and prepared in the autumn. Com- 
mercially, industrially, in every provident 
sense, autumn is the significant season. It was 



AUTUMN. 119 

a superficial view of life, that made the winter 
the time of the "New Year." The culminating 
day of the human year is when men are at their 
best, when the thrill of the new outlook tingles 
in their blood, when they look into the coming 
days with a re-enforced confidence that life, all 
about and in them, begins afresh. It is quite 
in keeping with the open-eyed vision ancient 
Israel had upon the real life that when Autumn 
came they took up the epic of the Song of 
Moses. A song, an exhilarating song, the song 
which calls to witness heaven and earth. 
They are not only the witnesses, they are also 
the guarantors that life is trustworthy. 

The resurrection of nature is a recurrent 
miracle. But an even greater miracle is the 
resurrection in men of their nobilities, their 
loyalties, their ambitions and their ingenuities. 
Men are awakening to a new life, with sharp- 
ened efficiencies, a broadened sense of oppor- 
tunity and a more virile eagerness to perform 
their duty. Spring is the time of wishes, sum- 
mer for indolence, winter for tasks, but autumn 
is the season when human nature reasserts it- 
self and feels a joy that comes from work ex- 
pected and from an intensified interest in it. 



120 THE FEAST OF PASSOVER. 



THE FEAST OF PASSOVER. 

HTHE Feast of Passover is one of the most 
ancient religious festivals. From the 
point of view of history it commemorates 
the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt about 
fifteen centuries before the common era. As a 
sacred holiday it is significant for the assertion 
of human rights and popular freedom. It has 
been celebrated by the Jews of the world 
through many centuries with uniform solem- 
nity and unabated sincerity. The ritual in 
public worship is simple and dignified and ex- 
presses the ideals which the Jews have had 
with regard to the emancipation of men from 
wrong, whether it is fortified by royal preroga- 
tives or vested in traditional rights. The 
Festival is also signalized by a service in the 
home ; for out of the home issue the moral in- 
fluences that hold men strong and respectful 
and united. 

All Jewish religious observances are asso- 
ciated with the home, but the Passover Festival 
more than any other. The members of the 
Jewish families gather for the festive function 
on the evening preceding the Festival and the 
father of each household presides at a worship 



THE FEAST OF PASSOVER. 121 

which consecrates the family reunion. After 
the recital of the Story of the Exodus, the pro- 
totype of all struggles for emancipation, he 
distributes green herbs and bitter roots, the 
symbols of the hopes of man and the inex- 
haustible resources of Nature, of the hardships 
all mortals must learn to endure. The father 
also distributes to those who sit at the table a 
condiment that symbolizes the slavish work 
the Israelites had to do in Egypt, implying that 
labor can be sweetened by patience and a 
higher aim. Other symbolic parts of the 
"Seder" are an egg which typifies Life, as the 
herbs typify Spring, and a bone of lamb which 
the ancient story says the Israelites ate pre- 
paratory to their start on the march out of 
Egypt, intimating the simple life they were 
ready to live. The most suggestive symbol of 
the Passover Feast, however, is the Mazzah, 
the Unleavened Bread, representing the "Bread 
of Affliction" eaten by those who have neither 
Freedom nor Justice, which every human being 
craves under God's open heaven. 



122 THE UNSEEN SPIRITS. 



THE UNSEEN SPIRITS. 



is superstition today was yesterday 
an exalting belief. And even a reason- 
able one. And there is another fact: what 
is today play for children was at one time 
serious for adults. People join in the frolic of 
Hallowe'en; but, I surmise, few know that 
the masking and the pranks and the noise- 
making had at one time an earnest meaning 
and purpose. Every mask was, originally, a 
ghost, and every rattle was meant to chase 
that ghost away. And every masked person 
was a spirit or the soul of a beloved who 
still clung to the home and the well-known 
places. And men never loved ghosts ; in fact, 
they feared them. The pranks of today, played 
in happy mischief, were, in the early days of 
religious fear, the malice of spirits that had not 
yet gone to their distant home. All this has 
changed, of course, and the enlightened people 
of the twentieth century do not fear ghosts. 
But our children play at it and "scoot" through 
all alleys with mock-haunting stealth and beat 
on windows and pound on doors and hoot 
and scamp away, as if they were the spirits and 
sprites of long ago. All this is the playful 



THE UNSEEN SPIRITS. 123 

reminiscence of notions that men once had in 
all seriousness. 

There is a still valuable meaning in this. 
And it has been given expression in noble 
form. It is good to think of the dead without 
the pathos of personal sorrow and with a glance 
upon the largeness of the life of mankind. The 
souls that are gone from us are more potent 
than ours that remain. For their influence is 
in us, and we are what we are and we can do the 
things we do because they have lived their lives. 
I see the dead about me on all sides, and, con- 
sidering, in what I have from them in my soul 
and in my body, they are the really living. Our 
lives, which we live from day to day, are frag- 
ments; theirs are completed. Our lives are 
detached from one another because they are 
personal ; theirs are fused together and are in 
clear relief. 

The eminent men who have served you and 
me are not mere names; they are influences 
that enable us to live more efficiently, more 
nobly, more truthfully. And they are not 
aloof, outside of us, but within us, in our eye, 
as it were, and we see more clearly through their 
science and their art; we may love life more 
intensely through their poetry and their no- 
bility ; we may respect the world and man and 



124 S4INTS. 

the present hour and the future because they 
set a standard for our religion and our ideals. 
There are many to whom we owe a debt. 
We may rejoice that we are their heirs or we 
may feel a dread that we are sponsors for them. 
But whatever we feel, we in turn must make 
our life a broadening out in appreciations of 
influences that are now intangible but always 
real. 

SAINTS. 

TJI7E Jews have no saints. We know human 
nature can attain to high tension, but 
we know also that human virtue has limita- 
tions. The "saints" have often confessed that 
they were not as good as they professed, or as 
they were taken to be. We cannot take a man 
at par value and surely not at a premium. Even 
the noblest are not infrequently spurious. Be- 
hind every motive is a wish and it is hard to 
keep wish apart from motive. Some saints 
repel us; they are cold and unnatural. The 
real saint should be human and compan- 
ionable. He may fascinate us, but we want him 
near us. I believe there are such warm and 
genuine men and women. I have found them, 
sometimes doing sordid work, patiently with 



S4INTS. 125 

calloused hand and frank heart. Some- 
times I have come across them in luxurious 
parlors (I confess, rather rarely), and in the 
midst of the trivial talk there. Their open eye 
and their true voice told me their pathos. We 
want the saint in actual life; we want him 
as a friend with whom we can talk out our big 
and our little affairs and who can lay his hand 
into ours and comfort us and better us in our 
joys. We should like to emulate the saint as a 
model, and acquire a will-power like his. The 
saint is a hero without a sword and without 
show. He is a simple, honest, approachable 
man. And we admire him, not because he does 
the impossible, but just because he does what 
we, too, hope to do some day. 

Some one asked me what character in his- 
tory Jews love most. I said we love none, 
we respect all. We admire the men and women 
who have done notable things and help us see 
and feel that there is possible bigness in our 
own lives. And we want to be like them. The 
saint, the hero, the great man are ourselves 
writ larger, better, finer, truer. The satis- 
factory fact in our history is not that some 
few were wonderful, but that there have been 
always and everywhere many whose souls 
beat high. If we went out in search for saints 



126 S4INTS. 

we should find many. And we should find 
them, not in the shrines so much as in the 
shops, and very near to us rather in solemn 
aloofness. 

As the violet in the meadow, good men and 
women hide from the gaze of the unsympa- 
thetic and open up toward those who under- 
stand them. There is only one holy fact in 
human life and that is feeling. And it is no 
mystery. It is open, plain and sincere. Hon- 
esty is a wonderful key; it unlocks hearts. 
Sympathy is equally wonderful and irresistible. 
And purity is a charm that beauty of face or 
grace of body cannot enhance. In our prac- 
tical age, genuine goodness is perhaps the only 
power which is undisputed and ungrudged. 
We yield to it, we admire it, we want it and we 
respect it, wherever we find it. Nobility of soul 
is still the mark of aristocracy. 



ISAAC M. WISE. 127 

THE DEMOCRATIC ISAAC M. WISE. 

'IPHERE was a time when men were regarded 
as great by an inverted perspective, as it 
were. The farther away they were the bigger 
they seemed. Ancient men, or men of a past 
period, or unapproachable men who held them- 
selves aloof from intimacy and friendship, 
were more likely to get respect. And it was 
almost like forfeiting respect if a man went 
into the crowd and ignored the formalities. 
The people, the average, may be democratic, 
but not the leader. 

All this has changed. Today our really 
great are near to men and on the level with 
them. There is no distance by which preten- 
sion is taken for genuine dignity, and there is 
no nearness through which real worth can lose 
a whit. This quality of human nature which 
high gifts must not disturb is the quality which 
we admire and value. Most great men endear 
themselves to us not because of what they have 
achieved but because of what they are. Their 
character is the source of their fascination. 

We are thinking, at each anniversary of 
Isaac M. Wise, of this beautiful fact of his life. 
He rendered an effective service to the Jews 
of his time and through them to us, but we 



128 ISAAC M. WISE. 

linger on the recollections of his career because 
of what he was in himself. He was a dem- 
ocratic man, who loved to be in the midst of 
his own people ; who knew no distinctions ; to 
whom all were equally near ; who would laugh 
with the humblest (and laughter, too, is demo- 
cratic) just as, with genuine human sympathy, 
he would cry with them. He was a learned 
man ; but he would bend down to the ignorant 
and lift them up to himself. He alone can teach 
who has sympathy. He was an ambitious man, 
but he fought as fairly as he fought squarely. 
He was a far-sighted man, but he did not ignore 
the lowliest person who came into his life. He 
was a man of ideals, but he respected every- 
body else's. And he had one great impatience : 
he could not tolerate the Philistines, those 
petty men who know nothing and see nothing 
and respect nothing except that which has a 
price and a market-value. In that disdain he 
was right in his time and we need it in ours. In 
that we need his standard and example. Re- 
ligion is an ideal or else it is nothing, mere dust 
and ashes. The professions are noble, or else 
they are hypocrisies and mere business. And 
business is a function by which society is lifted 
or else it is a mere drudgery and a brutal 
selfishness. The memory of the great is a 
warning and a charge. 



RACE. 12.9 



RACE. 

TRACES are not primordial. Just as they are 
creators of civilization, so they are its. 
product. They did not come out of the hand 
of God ready-made; nothing comes that way. 
A long, weary and eventful effort of life . has . 
made them what they are, and there are one 
hundred and fifty of them. Some of them are 
declining and dying out, and, who knows, some 
are now in the process of formation. The hu-: 
man race is as varied as life is, and God creates; 
today just as much as He created in the past.. 
A new type of human life is now coming forth 
in this country before our eyes and old types 
are yielding to it. And this new type of man : 
is one of the best this earth has ever had, for, 
it is building up out of material furnished by; 
the best of civilizations. 

Nor is Religion a creation. It, too, has been 
acquired by man through the long centuries 
and is changing and reforming. There are. 
some five hundred religions which hold the 
heart and mind of men, and among them some 
are losing their hold, and almost every day 
some new one appeals to the faith and to the 
credulity of men. A religion stands for the 



130 RACE. 

highest and the finest product of civilization, 
and what a religion is, in its ideals and its 
achievements, depends upon what kind of a 
civilization it represents. Some religions 
prove that men are advancing, and some that 
that they are retrograding. 

The value of a religion is measured by what 
it does for the lasting needs of men. These 
needs are independent of what color or bones 
or speech men have. For the needs are how 
they may preserve their life and continue to 
hold the things they regard as precious and use- 
ful. Some value the things of the day and 
their religion, accordingly, is practical and 
selfish. Some go beyond the interests of the 
day and their days, and inculcate ideals of com- 
ing days and a future beyond them, and their 
ideals have a sweep and nobility and their re- 
ligion and religiousness is lofty. 

We believe that the Jewish race and the 
Jewish religion represent a form of culture 
which the world needs. They have developed 
it with loyalty and pain and efficiency, 
a type of life which has been useful in 
the furtherance of what is, and will always be, 
best. It is no small service to have preserved 
morality and have kept the stock of human 
life pure and sound within the soul as well as 



THE CHOSEN PEOPLE. 131 

in the blood. And this usefulness of the Jews 
is not merely a reminiscence; they are today 
in the midst of the world active in the labort 
of civilization and effective in them as hone 
others are. The arts, the sciences, the philos^ 
ophy, the religion of today are permeated with 
Jewish genius, Jewish thought, Jewish feeling 
and Jewish culture. The only convincing proof 
that a race has a place in the world lies in 
what it does for the good of mankind. 

THE CHOSEN PEOPLE. 

"pVERY nation regards itself as a "chosen 
nation." It all depends upon how it makes 
its claim. This much is true : each nation con- 
tributes something to civilization. One con- 
tributes culture, another contributes health; 
and thus they balance the losses with the gain. 
For culture costs a good deal and its greatest 
stake is health. As a matter of fact, the more 
cultured men become the more men should 
be able to preserve their bodies, economize with 
and respect them. But the reverse is often true. 
And, on the other hand, it would seem as if 
lack of culture goes with negligence and dis- 
ease. But it is true, too, that people who are 
out of the current of the market and the con- 



132 THE CHOSEN PEOPLE. 

yentionalities which constitute much of our 
civilization preserve for themselves a kind of 
sturdiness of body and simplicity of mind 
often quite restorative to us who are jaded by 
the nervous strain. 

; The choice of a nation rests upon what 
service it renders to other nations and to man- 
kind. To further commerce is a creditable 
.contribution, but the stigma of selfishness 
clings to business. To advance the cause of 
liberty is necessary, for liberty releases the 
energies of men; but liberty requires steadi- 
ness and a high morality. To promote science 
is a service of a very high quality; but science 
and philosophy without feeling are a dead 
weight. Every nation in Europe has done 
something for the benefit of the world; but 
not one of them is self-sufficient. 
. The lesson we have learned through the re- 
cent war is the homely one that we need one 
another, that what each does is only a part of 
the civilization which comprises all, that each 
.contributes only a share and must see to it that 
that share is the best it can do and is helpful 
to the large world. 

And there is another lesson which this war 
of the nations has brought us : it is dangerous to 
have a national conceit. Conceit is a doubtful 



THE CHOSEN PEOPLE. 133 

virtue and an open vice. It makes fanatic and 
intolerant and blinds men to the truth. And 
when a nation has lost the truth about itself, 
it must inevitably lose everything else. Even 
a god (in the legend) lost his life and his love, 
because he had admired his image in the 
mirror of the water-brook. We Americans 
must learn to be sober about our national ex- 
cellencies. Not only propriety and good sense 
demand it, but also foresight for the future. 
If we are the "chosen" among the nations, let 
us be conscious of corresponding obligations. 
But the greatest obligation toward the world 
and ourselves is moderation. Who knows but 
what the great conflict of the nations would not 
have come, if Europe and European civiliza- 
tion had cultivated the elementary virtue of 
truthfulness to self. Neither greed, nor envy, 
nor arrogance, nor revenge, nor any of those 
national vices which loom large on the battle- 
fields can thrive when a nation knows its 
limitations. It is good to be aware of one's gifts, 
but it is terrible to know nothing else. We 
have passed through a moral experience which 
sobers us all. The really "chosen" know how 
to suffer better than how to demand, how to 
submit better than to fight, to give respect 
better than to claim it. 



134 GRIEF. 



GRIEF. 

PVEATH is a mystery. So also is life in its 
deepest sense. Our experiences seem to be 
according to its law. But here and there 
tragedies come into our life that contravene 
our logic, and we seek refuge for comfort, if 
not for enlightenment, in the trust that some- 
how and somewhere our sorrows will be com- 
pensated. 

We stand in the presence of the dead; an 
innocent being has lapsed into the eternal 
silence. And our hope that it would unfold 
its life and thrive and ripen has been denied. 
This experience is not unique ; it is part of our 
common pathos. But when it comes, it tries 
our heart. 

Nature is reckless and wastes what, in our 
limited judgment, it seems to us should be 
saved. The luscious fruit rots so that the seed 
may bear ; the seed is bitter so that the blossom 
it shoots forth may be sweet; and uncounted 
leaves and flowers and seeds must fall, so that 
a few plants may survive. The law is stern, 
but it works out the beneficent result that 
last. 

And the trial is in itself a blessing. Nature 



GRIEF. 135 

and God work in subtle but certain ways. 
While the child was but a hope, the hearts of 
the parents were near to one another and shared 
a sympathy as fond as it was genuine. This 
mutual joy was a pure sacrament, and made the 
companionship intense and true. And now the 
grief, too, has blended the two parental souls 
into a union which chastens and uplifts. Hus- 
band and wife are never so near to one another 
as when they stand at the cradle, and are united 
in the joy or the sorrow. They deepen mem- 
ories and confirm the trust they have in one 
another. Hearts that have vowed confidence, 
come what may, will find the light.