« PreviousContinue »
point to the day of universal week-day instruction in religion under the direction of the churches and correlated with the public school.
It was a great day for community progress when the schools began to teach applied science. It will be a greater day when all the churches teach 'applied religion. But this will require that the teaching of religion go on in the home, the marketplace, the workshop, as well as in the church. Of what avail to teach the child certain ideals of life one hour of one day in the week, if for six days in the week the total pressure of the community life is against the realization of those ideals, and some sections of its life definitely teach him other ideals? The total possible wealth of the Commonwealth of God will not be realized until all the forces of the community are turned to the vital teaching of religion.
Everywhere Christianity has brought education to the masses. A leading Hindu nationalist in India says: “After all, when it comes to practice, Christianity alone is effecting what we nationalists are crying for, namely the elevation of the masses.” A minister of education from Europe marvelled at the intelligence and manliness of a boy in our public schools, who belonged to a race which his nation had held in subjection for hundreds of years.
In the social records of mankind the greatest attempt of privileged people to carry to deficient races the means and methods of training for life efficiency is the educational work of Christian missions. They have carried to illiterate tribes and nations a complete educational system from public school to university. They have given the emancipation of modern sciences to races held in the bond of an artificial pedantic system. They have released woman from her ancient bondage and ignorance. They have provided undeveloped groups with the best training for the needs and pursuits of life that the world knows. They have taught domestic science and medicine, industry and agriculture. From India, a Princeton graduate reports that his Indian neighbors grow six or eight bushels of wheat per acre, while with the proper methods of cultivation and seed introduced by the missionaries, twenty-five to thirty bushels are raised under the same conditions.
The results are social transformations on such a scale as the world has never seen in so short a period. The sons of coolies who did the work of the animals, and those of pariahs, who lived in cowering subjection, have become scholars and educators. The daughters of women who were drudges or playthings have become competent physicians. Age-long social fetters have been broken; time-worn prisons for the mind have been opened; and great masses of the earth's population are now coming with vision and power to take their part in the future development of mankind.
Unbiased recognition of this result is the fact that the English government has subsidized mission schools in India, and education in China and Japan has now been extended under government direction far beyond the mission schools. These schools have furnished native governments with many of their most enlightened and effective leaders in commerce, education, and statesmanship. More than twenty of the well-known journals of Japan are edited by men who graduated from Christian schools. The contribution of Christian education to the growing democracy of the Near East and the Far East is immeasurable. What forces made the new China ? Who are the leaders in movements for democracy in other of the nonChristian nations?
Here is proof of the help Christianity is giving the world in its search for democracy. When this world movement of Christian education is carried to its inevitable conclusion, when the fullest equipment for life that the science of education provides is given to all the handicapped groups of this country and Europe and to all the undeveloped peoples of the earth, what kind of a world will there be? The educational achievement of Christian missions is a world fact and force, only because some pioneer spirits of the last generation went from the colleges to endure loneliness and encounter danger. Have the college men and women of this generation the spirit to complete their work?
SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND ACTION
1. Let us think over the present situation and life experience of the friends who were in our classes in public school and who quit school before we went to college. To what extent have some of them succeeded in spite of lack of advanced education? In what ways? In what cases has lack of further training proved to be a handicap? How? Can we remember the reasons why any of them dropped out? In what cases has personal degeneration followed upon lack of employment, low wages, and loss of courage?
2. What groups of men and women of low grade efficiency are there in our community? Describe typical persons. In given cases to what extent is their inefficiency due to lack of training and to what extent to personal incapacity? What added training was needed and how would it have affected their lives?
3. What were the main reasons for the failure of these groups to secure fuller training? Would the raising of the compulsory age limit have solved it? How far was the type of education offered to blame?
4. How can college graduates prevent the continuance of these conditions ? II. The Uutrained in a Foreign Community
1. What are the effects upon the community life of the widespread illiteracy?
2. How does the lack of industrial training affect the labor efficiency? III. The Public School Situation
Let us look into the public school situation. What is the point of view of the local school board? Have we a school system which genuinely interests the children?
How far have the school board studied the needs of our community and planned the schools to meet them?
3. How far does our public school education train the people for the wise use of leisure? For play? For citizenship? For appreciation of music, art, and literature?
4. What are the most urgent changes needed in our public schools? Which are we willing to work for?
5. Do we need special provision for sex education? IV. Widening the Educational Area What educational assets has our comm
nmunity beside the public schools ?
What is being done especially for the untrained adult groups through night schools? By the manufacturers or the stores in giving employes opportunity for training ?
3. What other methods of enriching the educational life are available, such as library, lectures, or health education? V. Religious Education
1. To what extent is religious development an intrinsic part of education as a whole? What do we believe ought to be included in vital religious education ?
What changes in the church and Sunday school of our town would increase their educational efficiency? What can we do to bring them about? What proportion of public school children are not in any Sunday school? Why? How can they be provided with a vital religious education?
3. What has been done for week-day religious instruction in our town?
VI. Educational Missions
1. Review briefly the extent and character of educational work carried on by Christian missionaries.
2. What has been the influence of this work upon the educational development of the countries? upon the economic and social life? upon democracy? upon moral progress?
RESTORING THE WEAK
Just as the wounded retard an army's progress, so the weak hold back community life in every land and time. They are present today in every community, their pallid faces in the bread lines of our cities, their tragic struggles recorded on our charity books, their weary lives hiding in the barren rooms of our villages. We must reckon with more than the misery of those whose hardships bring them to public attention. Many a family shelters those who are weak of body and crippled of soul, hiding them away from the public gaze with true affection. The community has a duty toward them all. What shall it do with its weak?
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been
Luke 4: 16-19.
Jesus seems to have begun his contact with the weak in