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The Christian Student 79

and its stunted growths of ethnic faiths, that the wide activities and venturesome
spirit of modern scholarship has pressed its way. It is recognized to-day, that
Christianity has nothing to fear from this full recognition of the past religious
life of man, while our personal apprehension of the truths of Christianity may
be greatly enlightened and strengthened by what we can learn from that other
religious world beyond the pale of Christian light However bad may be the
spiritual condition, man has boien dealing perpetually and universally with a
religious nature, with -which God originally endowed him. Devoid of the noon-
day glories of the Christian revelation, he has gathered his religious lore and
experience into various cults of religion which we for convenience will call
ethnic faiths, and while much is imperfect, temporary, and false, yet hidden
away in the great ethnic faiths of men are religious illustrations, correspondencies
and analogies which can all be made contributory to the clear apprehension of the
value and truth of Christianity. Many remarkable though indirect testimonies
to the universal blessedness and value of Christianity await our discovery there.
The heathen world must go through the same process as did our ancestors, and
its people, in accepting Christianity, must pass it through their own hearts and
lives, and make it apply to their peculiar conditions. Bom and educated under
different influences from those which prevail among us, and influenced by
different philosophies from those which we hold, heathen people will approach
Christianity from a different angle of vision from that which we occupy. Their
natures, when touched by the spirit of God, will break forth into spiritual har-
monies which will add many sweet notes to the universal religious refrain that
shall ascend from earth, when all nations acknowledge the sway of His
Son. Heathen people have spiritual intuitions which need only the Chris-
tian environmetn in order to develop into full fruition and bring forth
a rare contribution to the sum total of Christianity. Even now their lives
untouched by Christianity, and pronouncedly unchristian as they are, afford many
justifications for the terms in which religion addresses itself to man. As the
student approaches that great world of religious thought which we call pagan, k
he is conscious of vast shadowy outlines of moral order which await the
fuller revelation of the perfected structure of man's religious life, in the
Christian faith. In view of these facts, any organization or apparatus which
will open up this religious world, and classify its phenomena for us, must have a
large value. For it shows us the background, against which, in divine providence,
Christianity is set

Christianity is justified furthermore, in utilizing the Science of Religion
in order to lay under tribute tliese religious faiths of man. To limit the area of
testimony and proof which we may marshal in defense of the fundamental
propositions of Christianity, to certain historic facts and certain familiar
regions, while ignoring that large world of experience under the ethnic faiths,
will result in the loss of whole realms of religious evidence and testimony whose
value is above estimate. The primary facts of consciousness are our chief
court of appeal, when proving the truth, and these facts— whether found in
contact with divine revelation or laboring on in obedience to initial natural
forces ; whether following a true channel Godward, or false channels to a moral
and spiritual limbo of Nowhere— should be recognized. The Science of Religion
is tlierefore making a real contribution to Christianity by its recognition of the
fact that religious experience has not been confined to European peoples, but
is the greatest and most universal expression of life of which science has any
knowledge. It puts us in possession of indubitable proof of the fact that not

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80 The Christian Student

only is the human race a unit, but its religious problems bear marked signs of
similarity. It shows us how the soul of man has struggled on in its weakness,
and yet in obedience to its high aspirations; of its reaching out after the Siq>reme
Being; of its struggle with sin and imperfection; of its hope, fear, gratitude, and
love; of its problems and difficulties. The African and the Asiatic have grown
up in the midst of a different environment from that which surrounds us, and
have approached the problems of the soul life from different angles of vision
from that of the European, and the testimony of their consciousness, and the
facts of their experience, are as much a part of the religious history of the
human race as is ours. Christianity has nothing to fear from according recogni-
tion to this great izd, while our apprdiension of Christianity, its divine origin
and character, its complete solution of man's moral problem, its full and
satisfactory provision of all his needs, and its peerless and imposing character,
has much to gain. "For Christianity, what better proof can be asked than its
profound, unbroken, multiform harmony with the laws on which the universe
is built, with the izcts of history, and with the unbroken spiritual experience of
the race; a harmony which is expressed in a thousand forms and can be verified
in a thousand ways." (Fitchett: The Unrealized Logic of Religion.) So when
we are tempted to ask whether a black heart, encased in a blade skin, and
foul with the vices of heathenism can have any lesson for us; whether a good
thing can come out of the Nazareth of a dull brain, haunted by an imagination
made brutal by ages of carnality; let us remember that in God's sight, every
such heart is a harvest field with soil in which are hidden away all the ^ritual
chemicals necessary to a splendid harvest When crossing the uplands of the
Rockies in Utah, one is impressed with the delation and loneliness of the
scene, the great nigged hills, the arid plains that are waterless, treeless, birdless,
and songless, and one feels— this is a desert, uninteresting and useless. Yet, that
very soil in its chemical richness is the marvel of the world. Only turn on the
water and cause it to flow through the l^d, and it will bloom and blossom like
paradise itself. This is a parable of the great heathen world. Morally it is
now barren and desolate, but turn on the water of life that flows from the
throne of God, and it becomes a very garden of the Lord.

This is the new estimate of man's religious life, held clearly and distinctly
by the leaders of Christian missionary effort to-day, and unconsciously or at
the most in a dim and shadowy way, by many of the students of the Science of
Religion. Doubtless the most important factor in securing recognition of the
religious life of man, and the organization of its phenomena into a science has
been that of Christian missions. Professor Morris Jastrow, Jr., whose contribu-
tions to the Science of Religion give him a preeminent place among our American
authorities, and whose book. The Study of Religion is invaluable, apparently
undervalues their service to science, because one of them misled Lubbock into
the belief that there were tribes devoid of all idea of the deity. It is hardly
fair to judge the entire class by one incident of this kind. Even college pro-
fessors could hardly stand the test of being made responsible as a class for all
the vagaries of individual members of their profession. It is not too much to
claim that the Science of Religion is in a certain sense the by-product of
Christian missions. The investigations of missionaries abroad have thrown
great light upon the religious faiths of man, and have resulted in a new interest
which otherwise was lacking. The work of the missionary has brought him into
contact with the religious life of non-Christian peoples in a manner not the case
with any other man. He lives and associates with these people; he studies their

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The Christian Student 81

language in order to be able to communicate with them* and thus becomes
possessed of much that it has to teach concerning their thought life. He knows
the social, political^ philosophical, and conunerdal economies which dominate
them. He is acquainted with their customs and folklore, their history and
science; he touches the entire fabnc of their life. He has pioneered a way
which scholarship was not tardy to follow into the very heart of religious life
under ethnic faiths, and made possible the present amplitude of data which we
possess. At the same time, it is also true that the Science of Religion is not
dependent solely upon missions for its data. Full recognition should be accorded
other agencies. One factor which has contributed in no small degree to the
development of this science, has been the new and closer relationship of Christian
nations, along political and commercial lines, with heathen peoples, which offered
opportunities scholarship has not been slow to follow. The marvelous develop-
ment of facilities for communication has also made smooth the way for investi-
gators. So to-day, that which fifty years ago was almost a cbsed world, wrapped
in mystery and lying beyond our touch, has become an open world to us.

Max Muller stands deservedly at the head of the list of scholars who have
created this new Science of Religion, though there were some before him and
splendid intellects have followed— scholars like Tide, Chantepie de la Saussaye,
Reville, Tylor, Menzies, Jevons, Jordon, Jastrow, and Warren, who have dealt
with the general and philosophical aspects of the study; while special experts,
such as Douglas, Sir' William Muir, Monier Williams, Rhys Davis, Griffis,
Aston and EUenwood, Legge, Edkins, and Faber have put us in possession of
the facts concerning separate faiths. This literature produced by these men is
already rich and most instructive. This literature will increase. That part of it
which deals with more general and philosophical aspects is probably weak in that
the writers have confined their treatment to the sacred books of the ethnic faiths,
and unconsciously have placed interpretations upon their teachings not held by
the people who follow those faiths to-day, and which it b doubtful were held by
the original teachers themselves. But men like Dennis, in Christian Missions
and Social Progress, and Griffis, in the Religions of Japan, are applying a
healthful corrective. In some of the best European universities this Science of
Religion is regarded as an important part of secular education, and distinguished
men fill its chairs in their faculties. The time is coming in America, also, when
this new science will have its chairs in the faculties of all our principal universi-
ties. If great church colleges would take it up, they could make the whole trend
of this study favorable to Christianity, and keep it from becoming imbued with
a spirit of unfriendliness and rivalry with our faith. Its study even in a private
way, however, will be helpful to the student of missions, seeking a better under-
standing of the situation in the religious world ; to the candidate for the mission
field, desirous of practical and complete equipment for his work, and to the pastor
at home, anxious to strengthen his presentation of the content of the Christian

There are a number of features which contribute to the value of this new
science. It opens up the religious phenomena of man's history to a careful and
sane investigation, tabulating for us a mass of most instructive matter. It clears
a path for us through unexplored territory, preparing for us maps and charts.
It contributes to a better understanding of our fellow-men. It seeks to find the
real philosophy lying back of their actions and their religious propensities. It
also stands for a larger sympathy with men in their struggle to reach higher
levels of life. It serves to evidence the high value of certain fundamental truths

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82 The Christian Student

of the Christian faith by exhibiting them as a part of the universal thought of the
race. This science is therefore creating a new apologetic for the great fundamen-
tal principles of the Christian faith, which is simply invincible. It gives indirect
testimony to the supreme character of the Christian faith. .It shows us in all
the detail of scientific and historical investigation, the real background against
which Christianity stands. It furnishes a conclusive answer to the infidel by
demonstrating that the idea of a Supreme Deity is a part of the universal intel-
lectual equipment of man, and also brings testimony to a universal experience
of God by man through Providence. It provides unanswerable arguments against
the materialist by showing that the thought of continuity after death is also a
feature of man's universal soul equipment It has a powerful appeal to the
agnostic by showing him to be so hopelessly in the minority that antagonism
becomes a species of persiflage.

Dealing as it does with the history, philosophy, and comparison of religion,
it offers attractive fields of investigation to all students. The literature is so
extensive, it is with diffidence that I venture to reconunend particular works.
However, I would suggest the following which will be helpful in pursuing these
studies, and which may all be secured through our Book Concern at New York.
These works represent the several schools, including those with whom we are in
agreement, and those with whom we disagree. It is always well to hear both
sides of a question in order to possess on the one hand the best possible presenta-
tion of your own side, and on the other to know the ground and methods of
those in opposition.

Course of Reading in the Science of Religion

The Study of Religion Jastrow

History of Religion Menzies

Introduction to the History of Religion Jevons

Comparative Theology MaccuUoch

Oriental Religions and Christianity EUenwood

Religions of the Mission Fields Student Volunteer Movement

Confucianism and Taoism Douglas

Buddhism Davis

Shintoism Aston

India's Problem, Krishna or Christ Jones

Fetishism in West Africa

Life of Mahomet T Muir

The Koran Muir

The Religions of Japan GriMs

Reference Books

Comparative Religion Jordon

Manual of the Science of Religion La Saussaye

Outlines of the History of Religion Tiele

Philosophy of the Christian Religion A. M. Fairbaim

Missions and Social Progress Dennis, 3 vols.

The Religions of India * Hopkins

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The Christian Student 83

What One College President Thinks Abotst Present Day College


[Dr. M. H. Chamberlin, of McKendree College, is, for his years, one of the
youngest college presidents in this country. In his annual report to his board of
trustees he had the following to say about college athletics as carried on at
the present time. Dr. Chamberlin has promised an article on "Vital Prob-
lems of College Administration" for The Christian Student at an early date.

"In what we have said concerning the college curriculum, it will be observed
no mention is made of athletics, for the reason that it has no proper place in that
category. It is a mere incident to college life. While that should be its true
status, it is nevertheless a fact that in some of the larger universities, as well as
many of the colleges, the incident is fast becoming the dominant factor with
a large portion of the students in such institutions.

"The pretext used by the adherents of the more strenuous sports in college
life are as fallacious as the sports are reprehensible. The plea long used in
defense of that most indefensible game of foot-ball to the effect that it gives
the needed exercise for the promotion of the highest type of physical development
and is the most successful method of creating college spirit, was very effectually
ventilated during the discussion of that subject last fall by the public press as
well as the college authorities. In spite of the fact that the tendency of the
press the country over was emphatically adverse to the game, and its barbarities
were so mercilessly exposed, there were no good faith ameliorative rules
adopted for the government of the gridiron, the season closing with 27 deaths
and 140 persons seriously disabled by broken limbs and kindred — I will
not say accidents— occurrences. Granting for the sake of the argument that this
particular form of exercise promotes the highest type of physical development,
an institution that permits it is placed in the stultifying position of giving special
privileges to the welfare of eleven of its students at the expense of all the
others who have greater needs of its advantages than the stalwart few who have
been gathered together as a team by some ambitious, high-priced coach after
raking the entire country as with a fine-tooth comb to secure the most effective

"As for the college spirit, it must be admitted that the argument in favor
of such form of cruel sport is well grounded if the chief object of the institution
of learning is to promote so-called physical culture at the expense of human
life and the broken bodies of contestants. Serious as are the consequences
named in connection with his so-called sport. President Eliot, of Harvard
College, names the above indicated evils as the smallest part of the objectionable
evils of foot-ball, stating, in substance, that it is a fight; that it promotes com-
mercialism, professionalism, coupled with bad faith, deceit and 'anything-to-win'
tactics, thereby giving to both the prize fight and the bull fight places of moral
respectability outstripping that of the game we are discussing. The above sug-
gestions touching foot-ball are our warrant for recommending its unconditional

"It might be said in this connection that the abuses found in all college
games may be traced to their intercollegiate character. The stimulus of rivalry
in contests purely physical between teams of different institutions, where less
than a dozen of contestants are engaged on either side, infects the whole body
of students; train loads, in many instances, go as 'rooters' and representatives

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84 The Christian Student

of their respective institutions, until demoralization in college work proper
follows, while the victors are welcomed home with demonstrations which, in
many instances, are a violation of state and municipal law, both dvil and
criminaL An illustration of this spirit was quite recently exemplified by the
Michigan students, who celebrated the victory of its base-ball team over that of
Pennsylvania University with a series of all-night revelries, wherein two thousand
students paraded the streets, breaking into the dancing academies, taking posses-
sion of the midnight trolley car, dismissing both motorman and conductor, in
the meantime dismantling the car, blockading the track and overpowering the
interfering police That is 'college spirit,' as illustrated in intercollegiate games.
It is this spirit which leads to hazing, breaking into property, keeping ferocious
bulldogs, supporting automobiles and other like dissipations as modem fads in
many of our institutions of learning.

"The terrorizing of candidates for initiation into some secret fraternities
by binding them to railroad tracks, to be ground into pieces by the passing of an
unexpected train ; their immersion in cesspools and forcing them into deep waters,
with tragic results, and kindred barbaric customs, are all of the same piece of
lawless cloth.

"All these things are indulged in under a system of college ethics which the
public is expected to condone on the plea that they are mere college pranks.

"It is no extravagance to say that many of our institutions of learning are
schools of anarchy. Anarchy is disobedience to law, and, as before stated, the
infraction by students of both the civil and criminal code are not uncommon

"If our colleges are to be schools where sound learning is to be dispensed
and character made, all such lawlessness must be uprooted. The interdiction of
intercollegiate games would go far toward curing all these evils, and their abroga-
tion before they become established factors in our college life, it is believed,
would prove fruitful of beneficial results. Some institutions have adopted this
policy with the very best results ; have made themselves popular in the eyes of the
people, for the reason that parents feel their children will be safeguarded under
such regulations from many of the most dangerous influences with which many
of our colleges are compelled to contend because of their reprehensible practices.

"As a further word on this general subject, may not the question be soberly
asked: 'Are not the examples set by many of our institutions in permitting, in
some instances fostering, such condemnable practices, the inspiring cause which
leads the non-coUege youth of our country to such infractions of the law as
result in the filling of the jails and penitentiaries with victims?* It is a note-
worthy fact that, of the five leaders arrested a few weeks ago for the massacre
of negroes in Springfield, Ohio, the eldest of the number was but twenty-one
years of age, while in the city of the same name in Missouri the moving spirit
in the slaughter of the same unfortunate race was a lad of sixteen years.

"I do not wish to be understood as being opposed to athletics. Physical
culture is important and field sports on a home field are not to be discouraged."

A GUmpae Into Some Recent Books

Good Sumker Reading

My boys sometimes get discouraged, and I say to them: "Go out and do
something for somebody. Go out and give something to somebody, if it's on^

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The Christian Student 85

a pair of woolen stoddng^ to a poor old woman. It will take you away from
yourselves and make you happy." — ^Joseph Jefferson, by Francis Wilson.

"What counts is the good life: there is no other worth living. But whatever
is good, is good abstract, goodness isolated and unrelated, does not exist Good-
ness implies a goal, an object, a something on which to expend its energy. The
good life is the life that reaches out, that fulfills itself in administration to
other lives. The life that counts is the life that serves ; the life that counts most
is the life that serves most"— The Life That Counts, by Samuel V. Cole.

The broad principles of art are much the same all the world over ; but it is
between the lesser artists of Japan and the myriads of comparatively unknown
artists of Europe that there is so great a gulf fixed. Japanese minor artists are
artists indeed. Our minor artists are, I fear, anything but artists. The veriest
Japanese craftsman is an artist first and a tradesman afterward. Ours is a
tradesman first and last and altogether; and even as a tradesman he is, I fear,
a failure, for the honest tradesman has at least something worth the selling,
while our men — the jerry builder, the plumber, the furniture maker, and the
carpenter— give in ^return for solid money an article which it would break the
heart of the merest artisan in Japan to put forward as the work of his hands.
But perhaps nowhere is the difference between European and Japanese art so
sharply accentuated as it is in the teaching of it in the great schools of the East
and of the West We Westerners are taught to draw direct from the objects
or model before us on the platform, whereas the Japanese are taught to study
every detail of their model, and to store their brains with impressions of every
curve and line, afterward to go away and draw that object from memory. This
is a splendid training for the memory and the eye, as it teaches one both to see
and to remember— two great considerations in the art of drawing. You will
often see a little child sitting in a garden in Japan gazing attentively for perhaps
a whole hour at a bowl of goldfish, watching the tiny bright creatures as they
circle round and round in the bowL Remarking on some particular pose, the
child will retain in its busy brain, and, running away, will put down this impres-
sion as nearly as it can remember. Perhaps on this first occasion he is only able
to put in a few leading lines; very soon he is at a loss— he has forgotten the
curve of the tail or the placing of the eye. He toddles back and studies the fish
again and again, until perhaps after one week's practice that child is able to draw
the fish in two or three different poses from memory without the slightest
hesitation or uncertainty.

Online LibraryMethodist Episcopal Church. Board of EducationThe Christian student → online text (page 22 of 41)