A true university must embrace a department of Theology--a fact which, under our American system, at once cuts if off from State support and control, or compels it to exist in a mutilated condition, which belies its name; as if a sculptor should carve from the marble an Apollo lacking a limb, or, I might rather say, lacking a head! Not only so, but it may be predicted that, in the progress of philosophic, scientific, and theologic discussion, as lines shall be more narrowly drawn, and as differing consciences shall come into action, State Universities will find themselves in trouble, even without a theological department; for religion must be taught, or implied, or denied, in all the higher education; because its principles run everywhither, and touch human thought and life universally.  It is simply impossible to impart a knowledge of philosophy, or history, or classical literature, or modern literature, as these should be studied in university-courses, and in the spirit of a true scholarship, without canvassing points which involve religious differences, as between denominations of Christians, especially Protestants and Romanists, and as between Christians and the deniers of a supernatural religion.  To preserve logical consistency and to avoid serious practical difficulty, it would appear necessary for the State ultimately to withdraw entirely from the field of the higher education, and to confine itself to the secularized common school system for imparting to the masses a knowledge of the needful primary branches.

       But the complete university-training is essential to the development of any race and nation, and must be a factor in the highest civilization. Every people grows to it when rising from barbarism, and then grows by it in the development of the national life. Hence we not only note that the progress of the civilization of modern Europe and that of its universities is a parallel progress, but that, at a certain stage of the advancement of all races, whom we are striving to elevate, the demand is inevitably made for the establishment of institutions for the higher education. This is found to be necessary to give permanence to the lower stages, as well as to continue the upward movement. Hence, where Christian missions have reached a sufficient development, they found a college, as a natural result.

continued on next page>


cologo2.gif (6442 bytes)

August 1999