Ill.) Western Baptist Educational Convention. (1871 : Ch.

Proceedings of the Western Baptist Educational Convention, held in the First Baptist Church, Chicago, May 24 and 25, 1871 online

. (page 4 of 13)
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maturer life. The drift of nature is unmistakable, and we are entitled to
ask — Why should the few years of the higher education be an exception?

2. Joint education is commended on the ground of a true economy. I
suppose that almost any one of our higher institutions of learning could
educate twice the number of its present pupils with but slight additional
expense. Let us suppose, in any one of our States, a college, whose entire
property represents from $200,000 to $500,000. It is open to young men
only. Now what provision shall be made for young women ? I see but three
possible courses. We may found, at equal expense, a college for them ; we
may give them an inferior education ; or we may, with slight additional
expenditure, throw open the first-named institution to both sexes.

It is true, economy is not the only, nor the leading, consideration. There
is mone}' enough to supply all the necessities of God's cause; but we ought
not to squander it. The same voice that bade the loaves multiply' to the
demands of the hour, also bade the disciples "gather up the fragments,"

Perhaps it would be more just to say that, under the system of co-educa-
tion we can make our means effective of greater good. Having a given
amount of re.sources in money and in competent instructors, we can produce
one institution for both sexes, that shall be an honor to the cause of Chris-
tian education, the success of which shall encourage and enlarge the liber-'
ality and the holy enterprise of the people of God. This is a true, a far-
sighted economy.

3. There is on the part of each of the sexes a strong desire to secure the
approbation of the other. Men have wrought brave deeds to gain the smile
of women, and women make great sacrifices to win the admiration of men.
Will not the association of the two sexes in study, and the desire on the part
of each to excel in presence of the other, prove a powerful stimulant to
mental exertion?

This union of the two sexes will naturally lead to the employment of the
members of both sexes as teachers in our higher institutions. As a result
there will be opened before female teachers an avenue that will quicken their
aspirations, and there will also, perhaps, arise a degree of generous emu-
lation between the members of the two sexes thus associated in the same



26 ^ WESTERN BAPTIST

noble calling. In this, as in every similar contest between them, may the
one keep perpetually in advance, and the other perpetually overtake and
outstrip it.

4. Each of the sexes is naturally disposed to treat the other with more
of deference than it pays to its own members. Women feel this in presence
of men. and men are proverbially respectful in presence of females. The
vilest hesitate to swear before a woman. Will not this instinctive and
mutual feeling of deference engender a refinement of manners, a cultivation
among those who are educated together.'

5. Will not the educating young men and young women in the same
institution and in the same classes promote the greater happiness of each in
the relations of future life.? Scarcely anything makes or mars the happiness
of a man more than marriage — and of the woman this is even more true;
and yet there are so many wretched marriages that the successes are the
exception. And educated persons are by no means exempted, as would
appear from the general belief that women of genius are apt to marry
dunces, and that men of genius have a kindred liability.

And why.? After making due allowance for many other causes, is it not
largely due to the fact that men marry knowing little or nothing of the
■women they marrj' and as little of the sex at large, and that women marry
in a state of equal ignorance.? A young man, studious in his habits, retiring
in his disposition, has spent five or ten years in comparative seclusion. He
has read every book except one — the book of human nature, in two volumes,
and he is especially ignorant of volume two. He enters the world; he goes
into society; he is dazzled — fascinated. He thinks every woman an angel,
and only wonders where are her wings. He falls in love, of course ; — he
marries. It is all a lottery. The same Providence that watches over chil-
dren and drunken men may watch over him, and he may build wiser than
he knows. But then, again, he may not. He may marry an economical
housekeeper, who will mend his clothes and see to the kitchen. He may
marry a neat, well-dressed nonentity — a bundle of negatives.

And the woman — is her danger any less.? She enters life imagining that
every man is a Bayard, without fear and without reproach; that every
divine is — divine, and so on. And presently she is married. She does not
always find her fancies confirmed by experience. Even if the persons thus
united are good in themselves, yet, if they are unsuited, mismated, it is a
failure, no less.

Now, let us suppose that, for several years, these persons had been in the
same institution, had recited in the same classes; they would have measured
tach other, they would have learned each other's faults and weaknesses, they
would have seen and heard each other's failures and mortifications, they
would have become dis-illusioned. Perhaps the irrevocable step would have
been deferred, or, if an early engagement were formed, it would certainly
be more judicious than if contracted between persons ignorant each of the
other and of the sex whereof the other is a member. Such might be pre-
sumed. I think, to be the results of joint education. And has not experience
justified the expectation .? The experiment (for it has not ceased to be an
experiment) has been successful where it has been fairly tried. Nor do I
know of any institution in which joint education has obtained where a
backward step has been taken. But no institution must think its duty done
when it has opened its doors and has invited woman to repair thither.
There must.be suitable facilities; chiefly, there must be a lodging and



EDUCATIONAL CONVENTION. 27

boarding hall for the Female Department, with suitable parlors, etc., where
the social influences shall be under the wise guidance of judicious teachers.
But there are objections to joint education. Of course, there are objec-
tions to everything that is proposed, except, perhaps, to the annexation of
San Domingo. For example, there is urged the danger to morality. But
is the danger annihilated, or even lessened, by separate education.? I think
that more scandal transpires in connexion with separate institutions than
with the reverse. The nations that have most strenuously practiced the
seclusion of women, and the separation of the sexes, have not been dis-
tinguished for eminent purity. Grant that there is temptation. But life is
a series of temptations, and education consists not so much in perfectly
secluding the young from them, as in teaching them to recognize, to com-
bat, to conquer them. Or do you say that by co-educating we are in danger
of obliterating the distinctive marks which characterise the two sexes, which
rescue humanity from a tedious monotony render the society of either sex so
attractive to the members of the other.'' But do women educated with men
cease to be women .-* Do men at large lose the distinctive features of their
character bj' association with each other.? If Michael Angelo, Isaac New-
ton, Arthur Wellesley, James Watt, William Wordsworth, Napoleon Bona-
parte and Daniel Boone had been educated in the same school, do you
imagine that no difference of character would remain in them.? Do I need
to add that for women, as for men, it is a Christian education that is needed,
an education whose motives are drawn from the Avord of God, an education
that sets before each pupil, as the highest destiny, a life of service to God
and humanity, a life conformed to the example of the man of Nazareth and
of Calvarj^ and informed by his Spirit.?

W^hen woman shall be enlightened, enfranchised, transfigured by a true
education ; when there shall lie open before her avenues to eminence, possi- _
bilities that shall be an inspiration : when she shall fulfill the destiny of inward
attainment, of outward achievement, for which God created her, then need *
we no longer look to the far-off" future for the age of gold, promised by poet
and prophet. Already the Eastern sky will be streaked with the dawning
of the Millennium.

After the reading of the paper the Convention adjourned with
prayer by Rev. Dr. Pattison, of Illinois.



AFTERNOON SESSION.

2, p. M,

The session was opened with prayer by Rev. D. P. Smith, D.D.,
of Iowa.

The subject of the morning paper was taken up and discussed.

Rev. Dr. CUTTING was the first speaker. He regarded the
subject as one of very grave importance, and one that should awaken
particular attention among the Baptists. The questions were
practical ones to every person who had to educate his daughter.
We could not determine upon the capacity of the sexes whether
they should be educated together or not. They were sometimes
compelled to educate them together, and there was a disposition



28 WESTERN BAPTIST

ill other places to try the experiment thoroughly. The venture
would be according to tlie regulations of the institution. If they
were brought into social relations there would be large numbers of
matrimonial alliances as the result. There might be special guard-
ianships, and under those would be the safety. He doubted if it
were dcsiiable to unite the sexes in their education. He had seen
marks of the influence of female minds on students who came to
college. We should know in the future, and the (Question wftuld
be settled. The whole subject is undergoing a pretty thorough
discussion before the public, and if argument can bring us to a
sound and safe conclusion, we shall undoubtedly reach one at an
early period.

Prof STEVENS, of Denison University, followed. He said
he was a graduate of a college where the students took off' all the
girls in town worth taking. There was one he would have carried
oft' had he not known her mother. The male and female colleges
were not united — at Oberlin the sexes were separate and under
difl'ercnt teachers. He did not see any danger from the intercourse
spoken of He approved the sentiments of the paper, tlunking
them eminently wise. They are not extreme, one way or the other,
but are characterized by moderation and great good sense. He
was unable to appreciate the objections which the opponents of the
admission of women to our colleges urge against the measure.
They are more a matter of prejudice than of fact or reason.

Judge BECK, of Iowa, spoke in favor of extending the same
educational facilities to women as to men. Without doubt the
women of to-day are as highly educated as their husbands who are
farmers and mechanics. If women were to be lawyers, professors,
physicians, etc., they should be educated accordingly. If she
discharged her mission in this world, she would be married before
she was thirty, and slie would become ver y well educated by that
time. He would educate the girls with the girls, and the boys
with the boys. The standard of scholarship in mixed schools is
not as high as in schools where the sexes are separated. The right
of suffrage would probably be conferred on woman, but whether she
received it or not, she should be educated for the sphere in which
she was to move, and Latin and Greek would be of little practical
use to her. Vet as a means of mental discipline they undoubtedly
would serve a valuable purpose.

Prof. SHEPHARDSON spoke to the same effect. If there were
any truth in the commonly received opinion that " woman was the
divinely-appointed teacher of the race," he wanted to see woman
educated in some way. She must have it. The East had done
nothing scarcely for the education of women, and the West should



EDUCATIONAL CONVENTION. 29

take bold of the matter and give them a chance. The sentiment
that she should be as fully and thoroughly educated as man is rapidly
gaining ground a.nong om- people, and he thought that old preju-
dices on this subject would soon give way to a more enlightened
feeling than had hitherto prevailed.

Prof. TEN BROEK, of Michigan University, remarked that he
had in his experience generally found women apt to teach. Many
excelled as teachers. And it is not an uncommon thing, for the
female part of the family to receive better education than the males.
Aside from the professions, the women were educated as well, if not
better than the men. After going to a certain extent in these reforms
we should fight against nature, and the women would never get into
politics much — a woman would never be President.

Prof JEWETT, of Milwaukee, wished to hear from some one
who had had experience in educating the sexes together. There
was nothing like experience as tests for questions like this.

Prof. CURRIER, of Iowa, replied that the results had been
entirely satisfactory wherever the experiment had been tried. The
students were none the less manly or womanly ; nor were they less
scholarly. So far as his experience went, the girls stood as high in
the classes as the boys. He saw no objections to the new policy,
but everything in its favor.

Rev. THOMAS BRAND, of Iowa, said that the experience of
the college at Grinnell had been equally satisfactory. The plan
had worked well.

Rev. D. H. COOLEY, of Iowa, said that so far as the Lawrence
University at Appleton, Wis., is concerned, the average lady gradu-
ates were superior to the males, and there had not been the slightest
trouble arising from the admission of both sexes.

Rev. Dr. ALLEN, of Minnesota, could indorse all that had been
said on this point. He was decidedly in favor of educating the sexes
together. The experiment had even turned out better than its
friends anticipated.

The Convention then listened to a paper by Rev. Sampson Tal-
bot, D.D., President of Denison University, Ohio, upon

THE PLACE OF SCIENTIFIC STUDIES IN PRESENT EDUCATION.

If the so-called "New Education'' is really a higher education, the world
needs to know it; for the intellectual forces of a nation determine the grade
of its civilization, no less than its philosophy and its morals. Certain it is
that there is an increasing dissatisfaction in the public mind with the pres-
ent modes of education. The origin of this dissatisfaction is to be sought,
partly, no doubt, in that restless, revolutionary spirit now abroad, which is



3© WESTERN- BAPTIST

opposed to everything existing just because it exists, and would make all
things new out of — it yet knows not what. The summons to reform is
sometimes only a summons to destroy. It may proceed, in part, also, from
changed conditions, and be able to justify itself by appeal to actual serious
defects in the present education. The demand for reform has at least thus
far made good its claim to have a hearing. The reform demanded is briefly
this: that the Modern Sciences shall take the place of much of the old
learning; in particular, that the Greek and Latin shall give way to modern
languages and special studies.

The topic assigned me may be treated specifically, as the place of Scientific
Studies in present collegiate education, or, more comprehensively, tlie place
of these studies in general education. As answering best what I conceive
to be the needs of the present occasion, I shall first consider the subject in
its wider applications, taking the different branches of study in their general
relations; and next seek to determine the place of Scientific Studies in the
present college system of this country. The terms Science and Scientific,
unless otherwise qualified, will be understood to refer in accordance with
common usage to the physical sciences. It may be necessary, in order to
guard against any possible misunderstanding, to remark at the outset, that
if this paper shall assume somewhat the form of a polemic, it should be
ascribed to the exclusive claims set up by some in behalf of the study of
Science, not to any intention to depreciate the true value of Science, as an
instrument of education. What, then, is the relation of these sciences to
other branches of education?

The physical sciences are in some respects quite subordinate. They are
inferior, in the first place, to metaphysics. They are occupied with the
finite and the conditioned, and their methods are not applicable beyond
these. The sphere of their movement is the closed circle of secondary
causes, and they can not embrace in their view either absolute beginnings
or absolute endings, or, indeed, independent existence of any kind. They
never can rise to the conception of a just cause, nor of the true infinite.
Hence they are not competent to speak on the question of the existence of
God, or the mode of His connection with nature, of an original act of crea-
tion, of final causes, of the possibility of a revelation, or, in general, of the
supernatural. They can not, in fact, account ultimately for anything; they
can not give all the reasons why anything is at all, or why it is as il is.
They have to take things just as they find them, and operate only in the
sphere of the dependent. The field and the method of the natural sciences,
therefore, definitely exclude them from the field and the method of meta-
physics; and those who affect to despise metaphysics in the interests of
positive science would do well to consider the limitations which they impose
upon themselves. It is quite possible that a little metaphysics would be a
healthful propaedeutic to some of the scientific theorists of our times. We
should at any rate hear less of physical science as an adequate interpreter
of nature and as about to present us with the final explanation of the
universe. Not even evolution can dispense with creation, nor natural selec-
tion with final causes; for a philosophy of development is not a philosophy
of origin, and progress by selection does not carry itself on without any
ultimate principle or reason of the movement. No process in things already
existing can dispense with the act which gave them existence, nor can the
process account for itself, nor eliminate from itself the intelligence which
originated it and guides it to its end. The natural sciences, then, can never
construct a philosophy of nature, for two reasons; first, because they find



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EDUCATIONAL CONVENTION. 3 I

all their material, their principles, forces and laws, already existent, and
have to begin with these as given; and, secondly, because nature itself is
nothing to the man of science until he thinks it, that is, interprets it, not by
his senses, not by experience, but by thought. Nature as such embraces
only the manifold of objects; its unity, its laws, man finds in his own reason.
The outer world knows no difference between the one and the many, knows
nothing of number, nothing of genera and species, of substance and attri-
bute ; but these are intellectual elements, they are thoughts. Mind is a
deeper fact than matter; thought is the only interpreter and the only prin-
ciple of the universe. Hence philosophy is superior to science and gives to
the sciences their eyes and their light and their seeing.

Nor, in the second place, can the sciences be substituted for mathematics
in any system of education. No one, we suppose, claims that they can.
Mathematics has a distinct field and method of its own. It treats of the
relations of quantity in space and of number in time, while the sciences treat
of the objects themselves and of the relations of their parts in organisms.
As to method, mathematics is a purely abstract science, with the single rela-
tion of equality between its terms, and hence is throughout analytical. It
is this which gives to mathematics its accuracy and universality. All its
elements are placed together in their simplest state, so that the truth of every
relation affirmed may become self-evident. The sciences, on the contrary,
deal with concrete objects, standing in various relations to one another, and
their method is one of induction and synthesis. Further, mathematics enters
more or less into the basis of all the sciences. Nothing physical exists which
does not have elements that are mathematical. The law of the correlation
of forces brings all the parts of nature into definite relations. And though
this law becomes less obvious and less important as we ascend higher, it
may not be too much to anticipate that even those sciences which converse
with organized and living forms may yet be classed among the exact sciences.
Mathematics is then of necessity a first study, a preparatory for all the
sciences. How far it should be carried in a system of education will be
considered further on.

In the third place, can scientific studies take the place of the study of
language? Langiiage lies next to mind; it is the immediate incarnation of
thought. The study of language is the introduction of literature, history,
and philosophy, and thence to the social and political sciences. All the
learning and wisdom of the race, all the accumulated experiences of the
past, are borne down to us on the stream of language ; by it man comes into
connection with the whole vast organism known as humanity. Without it,
he would be chiefly limited to the sphere of his own senses : without it, there
would be no history and the world would not constitute a community. And
since some of the most painful periods in the history of our race, the germ-
inal and formative eras, are hidden from the present in tongues which have
ceased to be spoken, they can be summoned before the stndent in living
forms only by acquaintance with these languages. It is evident, then, that
the sciences can never take the place of this study.

Can they, in the fourth place, be substituted for those studies which have
for their subject the human inind.'' But they do not explore this realm at all,
the most productive, the nearest of all to us. Man will never cease to be
interested in himself; the mental sciences will continue to engage his atten-
tion. Logic, psychology, and moral philosophy, reveal man to himself and
declare to him the end for which he was created. He desires and needs to
know the objective world; but he himself, his whence, his whither, his busi-



33 WESTERN BAPTIST

ness here, are more important to him. Moreover, as we have seen, the
human spirit is tiie interpreter of nature and science itself is impossible
except in so far as matter is brouglit unJer thought. The methods of science
are the bequest of the thinker ; it is the image of God in man which gives
him the key to the material universe; only as he is awakened to self-know-
ledge can he truly know other things. The adoption of fruitful methods of
inquiry is vastly more important to science than the disco\ery of new facts.
Facts in themselves are nothing; they become significant only in their rela-
tion to principles ; and the chief endeavor of science to-day is the improve-
ment of its metliods and the perfecting of its classification, for which it is
dependent on applied logic and intellectual insight.

The physical sciences, it will thus be seen, are not, in some important
respect-;, co-ordinate branches of general education; they are not entitled to
an equal rank with metaphysics, mathematics, philology and the mental
sciences. The latter are strictly first studies, furnishing the principles and
the instruments for all others. What then can the natural sciences do.' They
are commended as practical studies; but practical in the sense of ministering
to the material wants of mankind belongs not to our subject. What can
they do in education ? Ftrst, these sciences, occupied with the external world,
give elementary training to the perceptive faculties and engage all the senses
in the investigation of the facts of nature; thus delivering the soul from the
bondage of visionary abstractions and the dreams of idealism. Scco?icl(y,
they are particularly adapted to the improvement of a certain class of minds,
and thus become the instruments of intellectual awakening to some who
would never otherwise have known their capabilities; and they are also to


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Online LibraryIll.) Western Baptist Educational Convention. (1871 : ChProceedings of the Western Baptist Educational Convention, held in the First Baptist Church, Chicago, May 24 and 25, 1871 → online text (page 4 of 13)