Signs of the Times

[Edward S. Martin in Editor's Easy Chair, Harper's Magazine]

What the colleges need is what all the world needs, and that is religion. And what is religion? It is that which connects the visible with the invisible life. The colleges need it not merely in chapel and morning prayers, not merely in the Y. M. C. A. and the pious societies; they need it as the world does, in everything that goes on.... Thrift is good, foresight is good, even quantity production is good and very necessary in this over-populated world. Money is good, and wealth is good, but they are all goods of a secondary quality. The world may have all of them and go distraught. Germany did have all of them, but it lost religion. Its idea of life was incomplete.

... It [life] will be free. It will progress, and true religion is an immensely progressive factor. It breaks laws of men when they need breaking; it demolishes tradition when tradition is outworn, and always it searches for knowledge—for more knowledge of the purpose of the invisible God in this visible earth, and of the laws to which human life is geared, and what that life is all about, and what comes next.... They [the colleges] are criticized for being utilitarian.... They teach what they know and are willing to teach something better if somebody will tell them what it is. But what they teach for the most part is all right—the fault about it is that it looks like the whole of knowledge when it

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April 22, 1922

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