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Full text of "Exercises in commemoration of the founding of Knox College, held in Galesburg, Illinois, Thursday, February the fifteenth, MDCCCXCIV"

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The public exercises in celebration of the fifty-seventh anni- 
versary of the Founding of Knox College took place on Thursday, 
February 15th, 1894- The morning exercises were held in the 
Old First Church. The addresses made on that occasion, mem- 
orable because of the addresses, will be found within. In the 
afternoon a complimentary entertainment was given in the 
Presbyterian Church by the Conservatory of Music and the 
Department of Elocution, under the direction of Prof. W. F. 
Bentley, the Director of the Conservatory, and Miss Grace 
Chamberlain. In the evening an address was delivered in the 
Presbyterian Church by the Hon. George R. Peck, of Chicago. 
This eloquent and inspiring address is published in full in this 
brochure. After the address a reception was given in the par- 
lors of the church by the Trustees and Faculty of the College. 

The addresses are published by order of the Executive Com- 
mittee of the. Board of Trustees. 





10 O'CLOCK A- M- 

ME. JOHN H. FINLEY, Presiding. 


Invocation,. DR. A. F. SHERRILL 

Greeting from the City, MAYOR F. F. COOKE 

The Founders, - HON. W. SELDEN GALE 


Sons and Daughters of Knox, DR. C. W. LEFFINGWELL 

(Rector St. Mary's School.) 

Sisters of Knox, - DR. JOHN E. BRADLEY 

(President Illinois College.) 

Song, "Ave Maria" Faure, - MRS. F. J. BENTLEY 

The Mission of the Christian College, - REV. WM. S. MARQUIS 

(Pastor Presbyterian Church, Rock Island.) 

The College and the Church, REV. C. W. HIATT 

(Pastor First Congregational Church, Peoria.) 

The College and the University, DR. ALBION W. SMALL 

(University of Chicago.) 

Song "To Sing the Praise of Dear old Knox" STUDENTS 

The Value of a College Education, - HON. L. S. COFFIN 

The Future of Our College, - PROF. ALBERT HURD 

Founders' Day Hymn. (Composed by Prof. L. S. Pratt.) 
Benediction, REV. E. G. SMITH 




2 O'CLOCK P- M- 

Complimentary Entertainment Given by the Knox Conservatory of 

Music and the Department of Elocution to the Citizens of 

Galesburg and the Students of Knox College. 

\ Petite Suite for String Orchestra, George Saint- George 

I. Preludio. II. Allemanda. III. Sarabanda. IV. Minuetto 1st; 
Minuetto 2d. V. Bourree. VI. Giga. 


2 SELECTION From Tennyson's " Idylls": 

Part I Gareth at the Court of Arthur. 

3 SONG " Were I the Streamlet," C. Francis Lloyd 


4 STRING ORCHESTRA (a) Herzwunden, \ r . 

(b) Der Fruhliug, j * ieg 

5 ORGAN SOLO Concert theme, with variations in G, - Guilmant 


6 SONG Doris (a Pastorale) , Ethelbert Nemn 

(Accompaniment for Piano, Violin and " Cello," 

7 SELECTION Part II. Gareth's Quests. 


8 STRING ORCHESTRA Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana, 

(Organ Accompaniment.) 




8 O'CLOCK P. M. 

HON. CLARK E. CARE, Presiding. 

ORGAN SOLO "Festival March," Henry Smart 





"Zt is a fortunate thing for this institution that it is located in a region to 
which nature, has given her kindliest smiles; a land of meadow and of garden, and 
of goodly people living in goodly homes. * * * I cannot help thinking that the 
subtle law of heredity has played a powerful part in the success which has hitherto 
attended the work of Knox College. * * * Tlie iron which was in the blood of 
the pioneers gives tone and vigor to the students of to-day. * * * What Knox will 
do in the future depends upon the character of the teachers who fill the chairs, 
but, after all, the students themselves must set the mark of the institution." 

(Col. George R. Peck, in Founder's Day Address.) 

I would give more for the ideals, the purposes 
of the men and women whose lives have gone 
into the structure of this College than for all 
the libraries that wealth can buy. 

(Dr. Small, in Founders' Day Address.) 


At half past nine o'clock on the morning of Founders' Day the trus- 
tees of the college, the guests of the day, the faculty and the students 
formed a line at Alumni Hall and marched across the park to the 
Old First Church, the college cadet band leading the march with music, 
the classes challenging one another with the college yell arid displaying 
flags and streamers of purple and old gold. The "Old First" was filled; 
the students on one side of the house, the townspeople and other friends 
on the other side. The stage was tastefully decorated and an oil paint- 
ing of General Knox, loaned by Mrs. F. C. Rice, a great-grand daughter, 
hung at one side. The cadet band played an overture, after which the 
chairman, President Finley, spoke a few words of welcome to those 
who had come to celebrate the day with the faculty and students, and 
said: "When the Legislature at Vandalia was voting on this day, 
fifty-seven years ago, to charter Knox College, the colonists at "Log 
City" were taking the first steps toward the organization of a church, 
the church under whose ample roof we are met today. This is, then, 
the birthday, too, of this church. It is fitting, therefore, that the first 
voice raised this morning in thanksgiving for the past should be that of 
the pastor of this old church, which has been so closely associated with 
the college in the memory of her students. Dr. A. F. Sherrill will lead 
us in prayer to the God who led our fathers to these prairies." 


O Lord our God, our fathers trusted in Thee and were not ashamed. 
They came here and builded well. They placed the college and 
church side by side they fostered good industries. They laid broad 
and deep foundations for good society, for true and enduring welfare. 
We thank thee for them and their labors into which, we enter; may we 


follow their good example. May thy blessing be upon us as we come 
together on this Founders' Day, and into this house hallowed by scenes 
and memories of the past. Make all hearts glad while the sky and nat- 
ural world around us are telling of thy glory. May the special object 
which has called us together be accomplished. May we see and realize 
the critical time which has come to our beloved college; may we call it 
our opportunity, and may many hearts be quickened to new interest and 
to genennis giving, so that this noble institution of Christian learning 
shall not be divided in its works but gain large means of power and use- 
fulness. May old friends remain and be strong; may new ones be add- 
ed, and from this hour may there date new interest, enthusiasm, devo- 
tion, which shall only increase with the growing years. And may all 
the learning, all the money, all the lives, be consecrated to the good of 
one another and to the glory of thy great name. Amen. 

The Chairman: This day is the birthday not only of the college 
and the church but also of the city of Galesburg. To plant here on the 
prairies a Christian institution of learning was the object foremost 
in the minds and the plans of the colonists. Around this college the 
town was planted and so the "College City" may well celebrate with us 
this day. I regret, and I bring the regrets of the present Mayor of our 
beautiful city, that he cannot himself give the greeting of the citizens 
of Galesburg, but the presence of so many of you here this morning 
with our students and your interest in the growth of the college, express- 
ed in many and helpful ways, give evidence of the cordiality of the 
greeting you have in your hearts for the institution which is walled in by 
your houses and shops We are gathered to-day to pay tribute to the 
memory of those who gave usKnox College the Pilgrim Fathers of our 
little community, and I know of no one who could more fittingly speak 
the first words than the son of its founder, the "first citizen" of Galesburg 
to-day the Hon. W. Selden Gale, whom I now have the pleasure and 
honor of introducing to you. He will speak concerning 


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

The germ from which Knox College grew may be found in the vil- 
lage of Western, Oneida county, N. Y., in the year 1825. George W. 
Gale was born in 1789. He was the son of one of those men who in co- 
lonial times crossed the Connecticut border to occupy the land between 


New England and the Dutch settlements on the Hudson. At the time 
of his birth that emigration had passed up the great river of New Eng- 
land to New Connecticut, as they called it, and founded the State of 
Vermont. Connecticut men had begun to settle the country above the 
Dutch settlements on the Mohawk. Hugh White and his sons had just 
begun to clear the forests for Whitesboro', the oldest village in the west- 
ern half of New York, the cradle of Knox College. Mr. Gale, an orphan 
at an early age, affectionately cared for by older sisters, the wives of 
thrifty farmers, trained to habits of industry and given such advantages 
of education as were available, graduated from the college and the theo- 
logical seminary which New England men had founded in Schenectady and 
Princeton. After being licensed to preach, his first mission was to the new 
settlements near Lake Ontario; his first settlement, at what was then the 
thriving town and is now the pretty village of Adams; his parishioners 
enterprising villagers and energetic farmers. At thirty-five years of age, 
to his great disappointment and the regret of those he served, who loved 
him, his health gave way. Compelled to abandon his profession he feared 
forever he found a retreat in a small village on an estate belonging to a 
lawyer who had left it for a time; a beautiful situation, a few acres of 
land, and, in the old style of the professional man's establishment, an office 
on the street at the foot of the lawn. 

With habits formed in an education by those to whom idleness was 
reckoned a crime, he could not be without occupation, and soon he had 
half a dozen students for the ministry about him. They .read his books, 
they came to his table, they worked his land. Two years he spent in 
Western. ' It was at that time that the great religious revival swept like a 
prairie fire over central and western New York. It brought to the sur- 
face the so well known Charles G. Finney, who dropped the law for the 
gospel while chorister in Mr. Gale's church at Adams, and got his 
first theological reading in Mr. Gale's library. 

Mr. Gale left Western with some ideas. Sharing, though with his 
characteristic moderation, in the religious enthusiasm of the day, he 
deeply felt the want of educated ministers to provide for the new con- 
gregations in the growing country. The young men on the farms and 
in the shops who, by natural talents, were well adapted to the min- 
istry for these he wished to provide better educational facilities. 
He attributed his loss of health to the change of habits, going 
from active life on the farm to the sedentary life of a student a danger 
which he thought should be carefully guarded against. Athletic games 


and exercises might have seemed a wasteful misuse of time and strength 
to one trained to think all time must be profitably or usefully spent. He 
thought a college might be established where the students could be pro- 
vided with labor for a portion of each day, securing the necessary health- 
ful exercise and help to pay their way. 

There were in that day few men of wealth, as wealth is estimated 
now, but there were men well-to-do, enterprising and religious. Able to 
gain the confidence of such men, by personal solicitations Mr. Gale collect- 
ed enough money to buy 100 acres of land, to erect buildings with suitable 
rooms for college exercises, dormitories then a necessary part of college 
outfit for 100 students; various other buildings; some books and appa- 
ratus, and some endowment for professors. The students in classes, 
with monitors chosen by themselves, were employed three hours each 
day in farming or gardening, except some who had trades, for whom 
shops were provided. Three hours' work paid for board and room-rent. 
The government was a regular democracy the monitors in meeting 
managed affairs, with little oversight by the faculty. Young men com- 
ing from farms and shops and some from wealthy parents who liked the 
system, brought together under the religious excitement that prevailed 
and the temperance and abolition excitement that followed, were gener- 
ally more mature than usual in college, and I will venture to say that no 
greater amount of either enthusiasm or brains was ever brought together 
in any college with equal numbers. As a training school for debaters it 
was unequaled. Its most brilliant specimen was Theodore D. Weld. 

Mr. Gale never intended to spend his life teaching. He got the in- 
stitution to running so it paid its expenses, and having secured good 
hands, as he thought, to leave it in, he retired after six years' connection. 
At that time the westward movement of population continued with ac- 
celerated force. The favorite field with New Yorkers was Michigan. 
Mr. Gale had developed more ideas. In the west where land had but a 
nominal cost, the outfit for a manual labor college would be greatly re- 
duced. The west was the coming field; it would be well to prepare for 
the work on the ground where the work was to be done. He had seen 
all his life land advancing in value with increase of population. He 
saw in that the means of college endowment. He thought the advance 
might be greatly hastened if settlers would move in a body, taking with 
them what made the difference between an old settlement and a new. If 
land, he said, is worth |1. 25 per acre where settlements are sparse, it 
will be worth at least $5.00 per acre with schools, churches and good so- 



ciety. His plan was to secure the settlers, purchase a township of gov- 
ernment land at $1.25, parcel it out to the settlers at $5.00 and with the 
profits establish the schools. Such attractions would draw together those 
who could appreciate them. Before he left the Oneida Institute, I have 
seen in his study plans of a township and village in Michigan. After 
leaving the Institute much of his time was devoted to correspondence, 
visiting friends who would sympathize with him, or might take part in 
such work. He knew what making a farm in heavily timbered lands in- 
volved, and reflection and examination satisfied him that in the prairies 
of northern Illinois there was a fairer field than even the beautiful oak 
openings of Michigan. He found ready co-operation in his associates in 
the Presbytery. The most active and efficient assistance came from 
Rev. Hiram H. Kellogg, who had established a ladies' seminary, in some 
respects a counterpart of the Oneida Institute, and who afterward became 
the first president of Knox College. At the close of 1834 the plan had 
been developed and a subscription begun. Among the first to join was 
one who became the backbone of the enterprise Silvanus Ferris. A 
personal friend and by marriage a relation of Mr. Gale, forty years before, 
with his axe and little wealth besides, with a lovely young wife (I knew 
her when she was no longer young what she was in her girlhood those 
still older than she have told me), he passed White's settlement, where 
Whitesboro' was to be, and cut out of the dense forest his farm. There 
he was a pioneer in that cheese industry that has spread from the town 
of Norway over the counties around. With marvelous industry he had 
acquired a handsome property, when, at sixty-four, with the buoy- 
ancy of youth, he joined the expedition, and for twenty-five years was 
one of the chief builders of the college. May 6th, 1835, at the Presby- 
terian church in Rome, the subscribers to Mr. Gale's plan met and or- 
ganized, appointed a managing committee, and Mr. Gale general agent. 
Nehemiah West, Thomas Gilbert and Timothy B. Jarvis were appointed 
a committee, instructed to explore Indiana and Illinois between the 40th 
and 42nd degrees of latitude and to find a suitable location where an entire 
township of government land might be procured. The committee re- 
ported that they had not been able to find a suitable location, and, as land 
was being rapidly taken up advised that a committee be sent out 
with funds to buy a half township, as soon as one could be found. Mr. 
Gilbert bought for himself land two miles south of Knoxville and re- 
ported that half a township might be had there. The report was dis- 
couraging; the amount of land in half a township seemed too small to 


effect what was desired, but at a meeting held August 19, 1835, Mr. 
Gale, Mr. Ferris, Mr. West and Mr. Simmons were directed to proceed, 
find and purchase half a township, and were provided with funds for the 
purpose. The committee, except Mr. Gale, who wae left sick at De- 
troit, went to Knoxville as advised by Mr. Gilbert. They stopped with 
Dr. Hansford, the veteran pioneer, the first physician settled in Knox 
county, and at that time the proprietor of half the town plat of Knox- 
ville. Learning their errand, he proposed to show them all the land 
they wanted, and lying between Knoxville and Henderson Grove they 
found as fair a prairie as the sun shone on. Their satisfaction was min- 
gled with regret when they found they might have had the full comple- 
ment of land if they had come prepared. On the 7th of January, 1836, 
the subscribers' meeting at Whitesboro received the committee's report. 
They approved a plan laying out the purchase the town plat in the 
center and lands adjoining reserved for the college. The remaining 
lands were appraised at from $3 to $8, according to location, averaging 
$5. Each made his selection, bidding for choice when there was compe- 
tition. The proceeds of sales, it was agreed, should first cover the ex- 
pense of purchasing; the remainder, with all lands unsold, to be conveyed 
to the college when incorporated, meantime remaining with the commit- 
tee in trust. 

In the spring of 1836 the colonists began to arrive at the purchase. 
With them came friends, who, pleased with the scheme, joined in. 
Others came in from New York, and a company from Vermont, headed 
by Matthew Chambers and Erastus Swift, looking for homes in the west, 
were attracted to the colony and became part of it. The first settlers 
found shelter at Henderson Grove; some in the cabins of the settlers, 
who within the seven years before had lined the Grove with a tier of 
farms; some erected cabins on colony land at the Grove. 

On the 15th day of February, 1837, the charter of Knox College 
was granted. 

Before the close of 1836 about forty families connected with the 
colony had arrived; the Presbyterian church was organized in a small 
building erected for the purpose. Prof. Losey opened a school, the real 
beginning of Knox College; and here let me mention the good fortune 
of Knox College and Galesburg, that among the men brought to Oneida 
Institute by Mr. Gale and who followed him to Galesburg, were two 
men, accomplished scholars and teachers of great ability, who gave the 
college its original form and prestige and impressed upon it the charac- 


teristics that have marked it in all its history Nehemiah H. Losey and 
Inness Grant; one a graduate of Middlebury, the other of Aberdeen. 
Mr. Losey came in 1836 as teacher, surveyor, accountant; his services were 
indispensable. Prof. Grant came when the college needed a professor 
of languages. In 1836 the building of Galesburg on the prairie began. 
The school was opened never to be closed. In 1846, in this house, then 
unfinished, was graduated the first senior class of Knox College. 

I will not go further. I have followed the founders of the college. 
It is to their credit that they laid so firm a foundation on which so fair a 
fabric has been raised. At the very outset the character of the founders 
drew to them co-workers of like principles and tastes. The institutions 
they founded which they and their associates have built, have continued to 
draw those who can appreciate such institutions. That influence will 
continue; the characteristics will be permanent; Knox College will be 
surrounded by a cultured people. 

The Chairman: We have among our faculty several immortals; 
men whose memories will never die at Knox. One of these is Professor 
George Churchill, Emperor of all the "Preps," and King of all our hearts. 
Though he seems as young as any of us, he has a memory and 
experience which cover the whole history of Galesburg and of Knox 
College. He will tell us of the "good old days." 


Ladies and Gentlemen, Citizens and Students: 

With a plan so wisely and carefully prepared, in the hands of men 
chosen for their peculiar adaptation to their several duties, and all in- 
spired with the grand purpose of planting Christian educational institu- 
tions to aid in shaping the character of the coming empire of the "far 
west," success seemed inevitable, and success did come, but through con- 
tinuous years of hard labor by the founders, teachers and the entire 
band of colonists who had been drawn hither by their faith in the plan, 
their desire to aid in its prosecution and their hope of participation in 
the benefits arising from its accomplishment. Log City was the tem- 
porary home of the colonists and its name indicates the primitive char- 
acter of their dwellings. It was built in the grove three miles north- 
west from the college site. As soon as these shelters were built a meet- 
ing house of "shakes" was erected, in which to have a school on work 


days and a place for worship on Sundays. In this meeting house, during 
the first winter, was held a series of meetings that resulted in the conver- 
sion of most of the young f Mks in the colony. At the close of these 
meetings, on February 15, 1837, just fifty-seven years ago to-day, the col- 
onists held a meeting to organize a church, and on the same day the 
state legislature in Vandalia, then the capital of the state, granted a 
charter to Knox College. So the college and the church were born on 
the same day were twins, and in their early history they were one and 
inseparable, devoted to a common cause, laboring for each other, shar- 
ing the common burdens and rejoicing together over the common suc- 
cesses. In spite of the hard times caused by the panic of 1837, the colo- 
nists one after another moved out upon the prairie and built houses. 
The prairie upon which the city stands was a typical prairie, a thing of 
beauty which none but those who have actually seen a virgin prairie in 
all its changing dress of green, its moods of sunshine and shades as the 
clouds pass over itssurface, can fully appreciate. When the village had 
been laid out and the site of the college determined, a few of the found- 
ers met upon the site and with uncovered heads knelt down, and the 
oldest one of the group, with his long, white hair streaming in the wind, 
gave thanks to God, and with impassioned earnestness, dedicated the 
beautiful prairie, the village, and the college the center of all, to the 

I fully believe that prayer was heard and the dedication accepted by 
the Lord, for the enterprise grew apace, the village grew, new colonists 
came and in November, 1838, the college was at home for the first time 
in its first building, now familiarly called "The Old Academy", which 
stood just where the First National Bank now stands, and is now the 
residence of Mr. A. Nelson, the second house north of the bank. This 
building was shared by college and church alike, and was the place 
where the colonists were wont to assemble to hear passing lectur- 
ers, and to discuss all the great reforms of the day, for they were 
leaders in the anti-slavery movement, in the temperance cause, in the 
work of missions at home and abroad, and all other causes in keeping 
with their great plan of helping to shape for good the character of the 
coming western empire. From the first occupancy of their building, re- 
vival followed revival, in which church and college alike were equal act- 
ors and equal recipients of the attendant blessings, until the building 
seemed the very gate of heaven to the many who, within its walls, had 
first felt the grace of God in their hearts. 



The atmosphere was a safe one for young people to live in and for 
all, both young and old, to breathe, to enjoy, and to grow better in. 
Strangers in the place at once felt the presence of something that inspired 
all that was good in them and repressed all that was evil. A story is 
told of a man, who, passing through the village in the stage and being 
much pleased with everything around him, asked the driver what kind of 
a place this was, and the man answered that it was such a place that he 
did not dare to swear at his horses anywhere in sight of it. 

As I call up my boyhood memories of the first few years of the 
school, one man stands in the forefront as the real presiding genius of 
the school and that man was Prof. N. H. Losey. He was an "all 'round 
man," good in everything; could teach Greek and Latin if necessary, 
was thoroughly at home in mathematics, quick and accurate in his calcu- 
lations, remarkably clear and concise in his explanations, showing up 
the curiosities and mysteries of mathematics in such a way as to arouse 
all the enthusiasm there was in his pupils. I think it is especially due to 
Prof. N. H. Losey that Knox College has from the first taken high rank 
in its teaching of mathematics. But not in this line was Prof. Losey's 
great power during the first few years of the school; it was rather in 
physics and chemistry that he excelled. With almost no apparatus to 
begin with, in a short time he had constructed such laboratory appliances 
as to enable him to show off the wonders of those sciences in such a way 
as to attract large numbers of scholars from the surrounding country. 
He was as truly the wizard of Knox College at that time as is Edison the 
wizard of Menlo Park today. When he lectured on chemistry not only 
the students and the colonists were attentive listeners, but the people^f rom 
the groves round about came for miles and gazed with wonder and admi- 
ration at his experiments with electricity, olefiant gas, laughing gas, and 
magic lantern shows of things comical and instructive. Then, too, he 
was a good organizer, a strict disciplinarian, a good manager and always 
a true gentleman. 

I have spoken of Prof. Losey as one whose life and labors had great 
influence in giving a decided character for good to the school. In this 
line the name of Prof. Inness Grant should always be associated with 
that of Prof. Losey; not that the two men were alike, for they were to- 
tally unlike, and yet each had the power to inspire and lead young men 
into their respective fields of study. Prof. Grant was a Scotchman, pos- 
sessing to the full all the sterling virtues of his nature, quaint in his lan- 
guage, always saying just what he meant and saying it so that the hearer 


had no trouble in understanding the pith of the matter; a man with pro- 
found convictions on the great questions of the day and fearless in the 
expression of these opinions. He despised men of mere pretense but 
admired those who lived and acted under a true devotion to duty. His 
ringing speeches to the students to work because it was their duty to 
themselves, to their parents, to their friends and to God, inspired hun- 
dreds of them and made them nobler and better men. 

I never pass by the "Old Academy" without a flood of memories of 
the early days coming over me, and I often wonder if the members of 
the family now occupying it as a residence do not sometimes, in the 
stillness of the night, when the ghosts of the departed are flitting through 
the rooms, hear the walls echoing the orthodox sermons, the eloquent 
anti-slavery speeches, the sound advice given to students, the eloquent 
orations of the upper classmen and the still more eloquent declamations 
of the lower classmen, to say nothing of the incipient efforts of "prep, 
dom," with which the walls and ceiling of the house must be thoroughly 
charged . 

Early in the "forties" the Old Academy became too small to accom- 
modate the audiences that gathered to hear the college exhibitions, lec- 
tures or other entertainments, as well as the congregations on the Sab- 
bath. Hence, college, church and citizens determined to provide a 
building that should be ample for all such gatherings, and especially for 
the college commencements that would soon put in an appearance. The 
outcome of this determination was this church building in which we are 
to-day assembled at that time the largest audience room in the state out- 
side of Chicago. The first audience ever assembled in the building was 
at the first commencement of Knox College, in June, 1846, when nine 
young men were graduated: Bush, Davis, Hitchcock, Holyoke, Leonard, 
Martin, Olney, Richardson and Smith were the immortal nine; men good 
and true, who have done grand work in three continents. Five of 
them have gone to their reward and four remain, whose faces are often 
seen at the annual commencement exercises of the college. 

The day was a great one for Galesburg. All rejoiced; founders, fac- 
ulty, students and citizens, for they were sending out their first corps of 
trained men to fight life's battles, and from that day until now Knox has 
not failed to add its annual companies of young men, armed and equipped 
to do good work in the world. 

For many years this old building was the place where all assemblies 
of the people, religious, educational or political were held. Here sang 


the Hutchinsons and the Alleghanians; here lectured the most distin- 
guished platform orators of America invited to Galesburg by the students, 
and here during the civil war Chaplain McCabe and others equally elo- 
quent made speeches that still ring in the ears of those who heard them. 

This evening you will be called into another church, one of the 
most beautiful in this part of Illinois, which will show what an influence 
Knox College has had in educating the community architecturally. 

I have been more or less intimately connected with the College from 
its very beginning. I as a lad of ten years was a pupil in the first year 
of the school and am now in my thirty-ninth year of consecutive service 
as an instructor. My life has been spent in the school and I am proud 
of it. And now as I am going toward the sunset of life, I am constrained 
to look backward and review the scenes in which I have been a partici- 
pant. I go back to the wild prairie, beautiful in its summer suns; I see 
the billows of flame roll over its surface as the fire licks up the dry grass; 
I see the works of man covering the surface of the country; the growing 
crops and trees; the houses dropping down and taking on the cozy look 
of the New England homes; th little community transforming itself into 
a village and then into a small city, connected with other cities by nerves 
of wire and bands of steel, and all these signs of thrift and comfort gath- 
ered around the college and largely its product; then, too, I see a long 
procession of young people coming up from all parts of the land, that 
they may drink deeply of the waters of the Pierian spring and go forth 
to all quarters of the earth to give to others what they have received 
here. The vision is an inspiring one and a satisfactory one. I wish you 
could all see what I now see as I close my eyes and dream of the past 
of Knox College. May its future be as bright as the wishes of its found- 
ers and builders ever desired it to be. 

The Chairman: Knox has sons and daughters now, almost a 
thousand, young and old, and she is fond and proud of them. For this 
great family of children, children some of them with gray heads, one of 
them, beloved of the mother and kept near her, will speak to-day, the 
Rev. C. W. Leffingwell, D. D., Rector of St. Mary's School, Knoxville, 111., 
and editor of The Living Church. 


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Like every good mother, our Alma Mater when she celebrates her 
birthday, remembers her children, and it is because they are loyal and 


true that she is able to keep this day with rejoicing. Old Mother Knox 
has many sons and daughters, aye, and grandchildren too, who are wish- 
ing her many happy returns of the day. 

We are not ashamed of the Knox family wherever found, and they 
are found in almost every part of the civilized world and in Florida. 
These true, earnest, helpful men and women are at work, and have been 
for half a century, in places of trust, in Christian schools and homes, in 
all the enterprises with which a prosperous nation abounds. They have 
filled places of honor and of danger, not hesitating to respond to the call 
of country in the hour of peril. Among the graves that are gratefully 
visited on Decoration Day there are none more worthy of honor than 
those where sleep the soldier boys of Knox. 

The roll call of the Alumni-ae (if I may coin a word to include the 
graduates of both sides of the park), would suggest a record of noble ser- 
vice and good report, of which any college might be proud. It is not, 
however, upon the record of a few exceptionally brilliant careers that we 
congratulate Knox College to-day, but upon the honorable and useful 
lives which she has helped so many hundreds to live, yea, upon the 
thousands who have gone forth bearing good seed and using the intellect- 
ual and moral powers which were trained here for the benefit of man- 

So it seems right and good that Alma Mater, when she looks back 
over her many years of honorable service, should remember the sons 
and daughters whom God hath given her as the crown and glory of her 
work, and they upon their part, should remember what they owe to 
their scholastic mother, "Like mother, like child." Let the mother have 
credit and praise. She desires to honor her children to-day by calling 
out, as I have feebly voiced it, some witness to their worth and work. 
This worth and work are largely the result of her training and influence, 
the product of what scientists call "environment." There may be some 
here who can bear witness as to what this has been from the beginning, 
who can tell us under what auspices of faith, hope and love the college 
was founded and what it owes to the noble ideals of its founder, whose 
good stewardship we commemorate today. My own observation extends 
over one generation. It is nearly thirty years since I entered the senior 
class of the college. There was then as there is now, a faculty of devoted 
and learned men and women deeply interested in the progress and wel- 
fare of the students. We knew each other in those days. I hope that 
Knox will never be so large and lofty that she cannot reach down and 


take her children by the hand. The inspiration that comes to youth by 
association with great men is of more value than any study of books. 

Thirty-three years ago! and shall I tell you what sort of men I 
found in the college at that time? They were, for the most part, earn- 
est, hard-working students, high-minded and serious, as facing the great 
issues of life. Those were the days of the war, when old men seldom 
smiled, and young men checked their laughter. But there were many 
hours of pleasant companionship and quiet enjoyment in the old barracks, 
which were known as "The Bricks," and sometimes the banquet table was 
spread, with peanuts in the shell and cider out of a tin cup. That was all 
the carousing I ever heard of in those days. There was very little need 
of discipline. Sometimes a boy was sent up to the president for play- 
ing some foolish prank, but there were no "bummers," no loafers in col- 
lege or academy; no "lewd fellows of the baser sort" to annoy and dis- 
grace the mother who was giving them shelter and training. When I 
read of the outrages committed in some institutions, it seems to me it 
would be well to add to the litany for use in colleges, "From all roughs 
and toughs, good Lord deliver us!" 

We sons and daughters of Knox College, upon this Founders' Day 
and on many other days, should not only recall the old scenes of our 
life and work here; we should also try to realize what fruit that life and 
work have borne in our subsequent career. The young man who goes 
"so smug upon the mart" with his diploma in hand, with his college bills 
paid, may think that he owes no man anything; indeed, may fancy that 
he has conferred a favor upon the college by giving it his "patronage." 
The time will come, however, when he will realize to some extent what 
the college has done for him; that without its training and influence he 
would have been handicapped all through the race of life; that he would 
have lived and moved, and had his intellectual being on a lower plane; 
that he would have failed of the accomplishment of things which are his 
chief honor and pride; that he would have been poor in that which he 
counts his most enjoyable and durable earthly riches the treasures of a 
cultivated mind. All these advantages have come to him, and could 
have come to him only through the organic life and specialized functions 
of the institution of which, for a time, he was a member. It is a gospel 
truth: "No man liveth to himself." In another phase: "No 
man groweth by himself." Institutions, schools, colleges, church- 
es, nations, the individual inherits. He does not make them or re- 
turn value received when he pays his bills; he only shares in some in- 


cidental expenses. The foundation on which he builds was laid long 
ago; and some of the far-sighted founders we commemorate today; the 
walls and roof and furnishings and endowments, have been the result of 
generations of wise benefactors. Therefore, with grateful recognition 
of benefits received, should every son and daughter of Knox recall the 
founders and benefactors of an institution which has done so much for 
them and for the world. 

As one of the sons I am glad to bring my tribute of appreciation 
and gratitude, and I believe that I voice the feelings and convictions of 
thousands in all that I have said. The Alumni of Knox have done some- 
thing from time to time to express their appreciation in more substantial 
form than words. They will do more that way, I trust. But in one di- 
rection they have "exceeded the sum of all accounts;" they have furnished 
the college from their ranks a president who has the distinguished honor 
of being the youngest man who has ever been placed at the head of an 
American college of high rank. Let them now use their influence to 
sustain him in carrying forward the work in which some of the foremost 
educators in the country have preceded him, among whom, facile prin- 
ceps, is Newton Bateman, Doctor of Laws, for more than a generation 
the most conspicuous among the leaders of education in Illinois, and 
for nearly twenty years the loved and honored president of Knox Col- 
lege. The sons and daughters of Knox thank God for the benediction 
of his presence, and for the splendid example of a long life devoted to 
the true, the beautiful, and the good. Serus in cmlum redeat. 

When I note that, to-day, in active service, there are two instructors 
in the college, to whose lectures of more than thirty years ago I owe so 
much, to whom then I looked up as to men of advanced years and learn- 
ing, I begin to feel young again. There is Professor Kurd, my ideal of a 
live teacher; I can never think of him as growing old; and Professor Corn- 
stock, whose ability to calculate an eclipse filled me with admiring won- 
der when I was an undergraduate, still going on as serenely as the moon; 
and Professor Churchill, the sturdy veteran who has stood by the Acad- 
emy all these years, but I must not speak of the fathers. The sons and 
daughters of Knox! Speaking for them of Alma Mater, I am sure that 
they all join me in saying that we honor her past, we admire her present, 
we glory in her future. Her real endowment is not in bonds and real 
estate, but in the consecration of noble lives to her service. In promot- 
ing her interest we honor ourselves, we honor our country, we strengthen 
the foundations of an institution which has long been a power for good, 



The Chairman: And Knox has sisters, too, many and good 
sisters. There is one who is especially dear to her because she has 
given to us him who is universally beloved by the students of Knox Col- 
lege and our townspeople, and respected all up and down this state, Dr. 
Newton Bateman. We are honored today by the presence of the hus- 
band of that sister, President Bradley, of Illinois College. I have great 
pleasure in introducing him to you. 

Mr. Chairman, ladies and Gentlemen: 

We always consider it to a man's credit if he thinks a good deal of 
his brothers and sisters. If he is so self-centered as to take no interest 
in those who stand in close relationship to him we wonder if he realizes 
how much he is losing. Colleges are like men and I have been glad to 
see of late some quickening of these family ties among the colleges of 
this state. We had a better family reunion, it is said, at Springfield in 
December than had ever been held before. And soon after that Knox 
College showed her sisterly affection for Illinois College by sending one 
of her most honored and beloved instructors, Professor Hurd, to assist 
us in carrying on our Bible Institute. 

And so I am glad to bring you the greeting of Illinois College on 
this happy occasion. Few institutions have better grounds for sisterly 
affection than Knox College and her staid elder sister Illinois. I cannot 
forget that after distinguished services in the cause of education in this 
state and throughout the country, an honored son of Illinois became 
president of Knox College, guiding her growth during a critical period 
and, at length, amid universal regret resigning the office upon which he 
had conferred such honor. Nor can I forget that another son of Il- 
linois, who for more than a quarter of a century ranked perhaps, as Chi- 
cago's most eminent divine has long adorned your board of trustees, 
Rev. Dr. R. W. Patterson; nor that another trustee of Knox is a gradu- 
ate of Illinois and a son of its illustrious president, Dr. Sturtevant. 

But interesting and precious as are these ties of relationship we 
have far deeper and more significant reasons for mutual interest. 

The establishment of American colleges by the pioneer settlers of 
this country is one of the most remarkable facts of American history. 
Harvard College was founded within six years after the planting of the 
Massachusetts Bay Colony. Scarcely four thousand settlers were scattered 
along the Massachusetts coast. No adequate provision had yet been made 
for their bodily comfort or their spiritual wants. But no limitations of 


outward circumstances could blind their eyes to the importance of intelli- 
gent and upright leadership. They feared, we are told, the influence of 
an ignorant clergy. They resolved that the new nation should rest upon 
the foundations of Christian learning. Their lofty enterprise rose above 
the sordid greed of gold. And so they founded a college and voted to 
give four hundred pounds from their meager funds for its endowment, 
and they wrote upon its corner stone the noble motto which still stands 
upon the seal of that honored institution: " Christo et Ecclesiae" 

Yale College was a child of a like purpose. Ten ministers met at 
Branford to plan for the establishment of a college for the education of 
Christian pastors. Each brought a few books and as he laid them on 
the table he said: "I give these books to found a Christian College." 

And so of the fair sisterhood of colleges all over the land. They 
were established to promote and perpetuate a Christian education. They 
illustrate the foresight and consecration of their noble founders. Pre- 
eminently true is this of the early colleges of the west. The founders of 
Knox and Beloit and Iowa and Illinois looked forward to the develop- 
ment of the great west and calmly planned for a national destiny of 
which few had then conceived. There is no fairer page in American 
history than that which records the formation of the famous Yale band 
of 1829 and their consecrated enterprise in the planting of Illinois Col- 
lege. It was their courage and sagacity with that of men of like spirit 
in other places which saved Illinois and all this fair region from the 
curse of slavery and disseminated the spirit of the New England fathers 
all over this land of promise. 

Knox and Illinois then are sisters not merely in that each is seeking 
to promote in its own sphere the cause of higher education and sound 
learning, but pre-eminently because of their identity in spirit and origin, 
because the gifts of their founders and benefactors, the life and 
devotion of their officers and instructors have been inwrought into their 
history and their present power for good. And so we do well to-day to 
honor the memory and the consecration of the founders of Knox. And 
we do well to hope that their spirit will long be shared by men of wealth 
and foresight all over our land. 

In bringing you, then, to-day the greetings of Illinois College, I but 
express the sentiment and the spirit which have ruled from the first in 
all this fair circle of colleges. May the good Providence which guided 
their planting grant them a continuous and vigorous growth; may the 
vast population so soon to flourish here, flowing in upon these prairies in 


refluent waves, find that science and religion, truth and the fear of God 
are fostered and maintained by these pioneer institutions of Christian 

Continuing, President Bradley alluded to the fact that there are re- 
lationships within colleges as well as among them, and as Knox had re- 
cently taken to herself a vigorous young husband, the sister colleges 
wished them much happiness and prosperity in the new union and hoped 
all Alumni and friends of Knox College would help its young president 
in the great and trying work of enlarging its financial resources. In this 
as in all worthy efforts the sister colleges bid Knox College godspeed. 

Mrs. Frederick J. Bentley, of Galesburg, a great-great-grand daugh- 
ter of General Henry Knox, whose name the college bears, added 
greatly to the enjoyment and interest of the exercises by singing "Ave 
Maria" (by Faure), accompanied by Prof. W. F. Bentley and Mr. War- 
ren Willard. 

The Chairman: We have neighbors, too, as well as relatives, 
and one of our nearest neighbors is Rock Island. It is a great pleasure 
to have with us to-day a good representative of that city, and of our 
neighbors in general, the Rev. W. S. Marquis, who will speak to 


Ladies and Gentlemen: 

When the revered Dr. Hopkins took the President's Chair at Wil : 
Hams in 1836, he said in his inaugural address: "I have no ambition to 
build up here what would be called a great institution, but I do desire 
and shall labor that this may be a safe college that here may be health 
and cheerful study, and kind feelings and pure morals; and that in the 
memory of future students college life may be made a still more verdant 
spot." And no man ever redeemed a promise more nobly. Char- 
acter was the thing he aimed at; development of mind and morals 
and manners together into strong and symmetrical manhood. His 
students were moulded by his own strong Christian character, 
and the devout simplicity and confidence with which he taught 
all truth from .the stand of Christian theism. Not as a sectarian, 
not as a religious enthusiast, such as Dr. Griffin, his predecessor, had 
been, but with a sweet reasonableness and a magnetism never surpassed, 


he presented belief in God as the true philosophy of life and of ihe 
world. This, we are told, was the secret of his wonderful character- 
moulding power. 

"The question is not," writes President Porter, of Yale, "whether 
the college shall or shall not teach theology, but what theology shall it 
teach theology according to Corate and Spencer, or according to Bacon 
and Christ? Theology according to Moses and Paul or according to 
Buckle and Draper? For a college to hesitate to teach theism and 
Christianity is practically to proclaim that in the opinions of its guard- 
ians the evidence for and against is so evenly balanced that it would be 
unfair for them to throw the weight of their influence on either side and 
is in fact to throw it on the side of materialism, fatalism and atheism." 

Here is the reason why we, as Christians, demand institutions of 
higher learning dominated by Christian truth. Not to do so is to sur- 
render our youth to materialism and agnosticism. 

"The end of education," says Jean Paul Richter, "is to elevate 
above the spirit of the age." Commenting on this President Payne, of 
the Ohio Wesleyan, remarks: 

"Richter says, 'The end of education is to elevate above the spirit of 
the age. ' That is a great truth which, amid the clamor about an educa- 
tion of the times and for the times, we do well to heed. We must have 
a culture which ennobles, enlarges and enriches the mind and lifts it out 
of the materialistic atmosphere of the age. Hence the necessity of a 
judicious attention to the classics, ancient and modern, to literature, to 
history and philosophy and kindred studies. 

"We cannot afford to strike at genuine culture or at Christian faith, 
and become the abettors of a demoralizing materialism, in order to make 
our educational work conform to the demands of a false public senti- 

What the world wants to-day above all other wants is men and 
women of lofty type and genuine character and masterful power, men 
and women whose souls as well as brains have been quickened, who 
perceive that intellectual good is empty and worthless, a positive curse 
to the world, unless underneath it there be a good heart, who perceive 
that culture, apart from faith in God and devotion to man, have a ten- 
dency to produce an artificial and unsympathetic character and who 
therefore have the Man of Galilee for their ideal. 

It is asserted in some quarters that the spirit of materialism and ra- 
tionalism which characterizes the age has entered even our Christian col- 


leges and universities. It startles us to read in Mr. Thwing's Treatise 
on American colleges the statement: "The American college has 
ceased to be in its government and organization and instruction a distinct 
ively religious force. " 

Dr. J. W. Mendenhall in the Christian Advocate (June 6, 1889) de. 
dares with a startling array of substantiating facts, that as in Germany, 
France, Holland, England, so here rationalism has its headquarters in 
the colleges. He specifically charges that Yale is the center of Ameri- 
can rationalism and Harvard intensely rationalistic. If this is indeed 
true it is a lamentable departure from the original intention of the 
founders of those institutions. Harvard bears the name of a Congrega- 
tional minister and carries on its seal the motto " Christo et Ecclesice. " 
Yale was planted to be the foundation of even a stricter orthodoxy 
than was taught at Harvard. 

I am constrained to receive these statements with some allowance. 
The statistics show that whereas there was but one Christian student in 
ten at Harvard in 1853, in 1890 the proportion was one in five. Oth- 
er Christian colleges show the same improvement. Mr. Thwing himself 
says that about one-half of the students in our colleges are professing 
Christians. Dr. Dorchester also calls attention to the encouraging fact 
that religious revivals are of more frequent occurrence and that almost 
every institution now has a Y. M. C. A. organization within its ranks. 

Yet we must not be blind to facts. The spirit of the age is materi- 
alistic. The magic word of the day is science, and " science, " says Prof. 
Diman, "discusses force and method but says nothing of God, freedom 
and immortality. She leads us, therefore, to the tree of knowledge 
but not to the tree of life." "When history is .reduced to the rigid and 
inexorable laws of physical science, as it is by Buckle and Goldwin 
Smith, and moral philosophy is based on molecular movements, as it is 
in substance by Spencer and Bain; when the data of ethics must be 
searched for only among the rubbish of matter, with its necessitarian 
laws, these studies lose their inspiring and ennobling power. It would 
be perilous to turn our American youth into these sterile pastures to 
herd with the cattle and to feed on that which perishes alike with them- 

These words remind us of the question Bishop Spaulding asks in his 
address on Ideals: " Is the material progress of the nineteenth century 
a cradle or a grave? Are we to continue to dig and delve and peer into 


matter until God and the soul fade from our view and we become like 
the things we work in?" 

Against such a degradation of the glory of our age; against such a 
prostitution of science, which DuBois Raymond declares owes its origin 
to Christianity; against such a humiliation and destruction of the soul 
of man, it is the mission of the Christian colleges of America to contend. 

And this they can only do by making the colleges a center of moral 
power and Christian influence. John Calet placed the image of the 
Child Jesus over the master's chair in the German school beside St. 
Paul's, London, and engraved beneath it the words, " Hear Ye Him." 
The same ideal and the same motto should be found in all our institu- 
tions of learning. Jesus Christ furnishes us not only the picture of a 
complete and perfect character, but his unfolding youth furnishes us 
with the ideal of character development. We find it compressed into 
one verse: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor 
with God and man." Here are the four lines along which there must 
be growth if the youth is to receive a symmetrical and well-balanced de- 
velopment. "In stature" a physical development; "in wisdom" a 
mental training and discipline which shall draw out (educo) the faculties 
of the mind and give the young the power to grapple with the problems 
of life; in "the favor of God" spiritual development through that 
communion of the soul with the Infinite Spirit which quickens all the 
spiritual forces within, irradiating character with the "beauty of the Lord" 
and clothing it with a power that is not born of earth; finally, growth in 
favor of man or social development the knowledge of the world, of 
human nature, of the requirements of social intercourse; the refinement 
of manners and address in meeting men which constitutes such an inval- 
uable addition to the character of the young man or woman when they 
step forth into the world. 

This is symmetrical development, physical, mental, spiritual, social; 
and Jesus Christ is the ideal whom it is our privilege to set before the 
youth of our land. He is the only ideal, and the master who does not 
point to Him saying " Hear Ye Him" will fail of his mission, no mat- 
ter how brilliant an instructor. 

The vast majority of the colleges of this land have been founded as 
we have seen, for the avowed purpose of exalting Christ in the culture of 
our land. To Christ they must remain true or lose their power and 
their glory. " Not until this republic has made a nearer approach to its 
decline and fall," says President Payne, "will infidel schools or schools 



antagonistic to Christianity, rise to commanding influence." On the 
contrary, the more of the teachings and spirit of the Great Teacher all our 
educational institutions inculcate and stamp upon the characters of their 
students, the wider will be their influence." 

To live for common ends is to be common. The highest faith 
makes still the highest man. For we grow like the things our souls be- 
lieve, and rise or sink as we aim high or low. No mirror shows such 
likeness of the face as faith we live by, of the heart and mind. We are, 
in very truth, that which we love, and love, like the noblest deeds, is 
born of faith. 

We most sincerely hope and pray that this institution founded by 
Christian faith and sustained through many a trying hour, may ever be 
true to this high ideal, giving to the youth who enter her halls that sym- 
metrical Christian culture which will fit them for noble life, useful citi- 
zenship and the eternal blessedness of those who not through knowledge 
alone, but through character, are fit for fellowship with God. 

The Chairman: And now let me introduce to you another neigh- 
bor, one whom we see for the first time, but whom, once heard, we shall 
wish to hear again, and often, the Rev. C. W. Hiatt, pastor of the First 
Congregational Church of Peoria. His theme is 


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Wholly in addition to the special and agreeable mission of congratu 
lation which brings me here, I am personally conscious of an interest in 
this .institution, in which are commingled the elements of curiosity and 
gratitude. I am curious to know what meat the oratorical Caesars of 
Knox have been eating for the past few years, to make them so great 
and so terrible in the eyes of college men. I am grateful, because, in-, 
directly, this college has influenced my own career by calling into educa- 
tional work, more than forty years ago, the great and inspiring man, 
under whom it was my fortune to receive the academic tutelage. A 
man, who brought to the prairies of Illinois somewhat of the granite of 
his own New England hills, who never suffered a pupil to pass beyond 
his care without receiving the impression of his own heroic soul, the 
man who wrote your college diploma, graduating thirteen classes hore, 
the second president of Knox, and the first president of Wheaton, Jon- 
athan Blanchard. 


I think that we more than pay a tribute to the past to-day. We 
gather an inspiration for ourselves. When that veracious and emotional 
traveler, Mark Twain, was in Palestine, he ran across the grave of Adam. 
He thereupon lifted up his voice and wept, for he recognized in him a 
distant relative. It was his way of paying respects to the class of people 
who are always raking over the ashes of the past, and clothing every 
cindered relic with a sacred sentiment. The Innocent, however, would 
scarcely have turned his ridicule upon a scene like this. If America 
has anything on which to pride herself, it is the memory of those 
devoted spirits, who, fifty years and more ago, at great sacrifice, planted 
in the beech and oak clearings of Ohio and Michigan, and amid the 
prairie grasses of Illinois and Iowa, the foundations of colleges, wherein 
learning should ever be the hand-maiden of religion, and where the priv- 
ileges of education should never be restricted, whether on account of 
race, or sect, or sex. Such, I believe, was the genesis of the institution 
whose foundation we celebrate. These men sought a perfect state of 
society. They decried and discarded all patent processes of human 
restoration and development. They looked for the perfect state of soci- 
ety to come of perfecting its unit, the individual man. This would be 
accomplished by developing what was noblest in him, the intellect and 
heart, giving to him both knowledge and faith, whose highest exponents 
were the college and the church. These two must work together. 

It was a good philosophy. There is a natural correlation between 
the institution that lifts the flambeau of truth, and the institution that 
lights the torches of love. You cannot illuminate the world with either 
one alone. Jesus was the "truth." God is " love" and when these two 
met in Christ, who was both God and man, love and truth, he it was who 
could justly and triumphantly declare "I am the light of the world." 
Truth and love are weak when unrelated. Truth becomes a pale and 
sickly glimmer. Love becomes a vapid sentimentalism, guilty of ab- 
surdities and extremes. But when love and truth unite, the dark earth 
becomes ablaze with light. Then it is that Oberlin forsakes his Stras- 
burg for the mountains of the Vosges, and Mackay turns his back on 
universities of Britain to hide away in the consecrated smithy of interior 
Africa, and Chalmers descends from the loftiest pulpit in Christendom 
to bury himself in the lowly parish of St. John's. It is when truth and 
love unite that upon the iniquities of the earth there comes the expulsive 
power. It is intelligent Christianity and Christianized intelligence that 
will give the smile to the desert, and to the wilderness a rose. And 


these are the product of the college and the church when unitedly at 
work. It is a divine relation, and what God hath joined together let no 
man put asunder. 

But this was not a new philosophy. The Puritan, whether of the 
Mayflower or later immigration, built his two cabins side by side, one 
for religion and one for education. In the planting of all the noble in- 
stitutions of those early times, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, The College of 
William and Mary, the purpose, written or unwritten, was for " Christ 
and His Church." It is a significant fact that when the 260 volumes of 
John Harvard all perished in the flames but one, the title of this one was 
" The Christian Warfare Against the Devil." In this connection it is 
proper to inquire what is the relation of colleges and churches in our 
day. It is clear enough that the churches are not contributing their pro- 
duce as the fathers did, peas, corn and beans, to the support of these 
institutions. For instance, in Illinois there are 304 churches in the order 
to which I belong. Of this number 215 gave nothing for education last 
year. And yet there is a relation between the church and college. We 
observe a day of prayer for colleges once a year that is a part of the 
day, and part of it, a very small portion of the day we pray for you, 
brethren, but- in no part of the day do we pay for you. We send a few 
of our boys and girls to school. However they do not all go to the Chris- 
tian college in the vicinage. A while ago in a church of five hundred mem- 
bers, I noticed that fourteen young men and maidens went out of town 
to school. Of this number four traveled a thousand miles, three five 
hundred miles, three went into a neighboring state, two attended the 
state university, which, to say the least, did not prepare young men for 
the ministry, while two of the fourteen, went forty miles to the Christian 
college, which had a right to claim the entire fourteen. It was a well- 
appointed institution. It was thriving excepting that it lacked pupils 
and finances. All this was wrong. The church associations sometimes 
send a committee to inspect the college. These visitors appear for a day, 
returning with interest the vacant stare of the Greek and Latin on the 
blackboards, walking wearily through the scientific halls, and spending 
their last hour looking at the backs of the books in the library; and when 
next the association meets they report that the college is doing well, and 
recommend that it be given the same sympathy in the future as in the 

Surely the relation of church and college might be closer and more 
practical. For instance I do not like to have our boys going to Harvard 


and our girls going to Vassar, with a noble Christian college open to both 
at our very door. Speaking of Vassar reminds me of a little parody 
that went the rounds when I was editor of a quite meritorious but not 
financially successful college journal 

"There was a young maiden of Vassar, 
In drawing no one could surpass her, 
She drew like Lorain a very long train, 
And a check that astonished the cashier." 

Some people, however, have a deep-seated prejudice against co-educa- 
tional schools. A graduate of Yale once asked " Is it true that students 
of co-educational colleges go out paired?" And the reply came laconi- 
cally "Yes, pre-pared." The churches must sustain these Christian 
schools Christian enough to educate both boys and girls. 

It rests upon a reasonable proposition. The churches expect the 
colleges to fill their pulpits. The colleges have a right, therefore to ask 
the churches to fill their class-rooms and treasuries. I do not believe 
that we shall absolve ourselves of obligation by passing around the con- 
tribution boxes once a year. Often such collections only just suffice to 
fill the cup of despair. But this I maintain, while we are appointing 
committees to attend to the educational interests of the black man and 
the red man and the yellow man and the brown man, we should also ap- 
point a committee to take care of the white man who is so unfortunate 
as to be born in the United States. A committee that shall not only 
secure funds but also pupils for the neighboring Christian college. It is 
a theory of mine that when pupils throng a school it is easier to secure 
money than when financial agents throng the rich man's door. I count 
it among the privileges of Christian ministry to encourage the holy 
grace of intellectual discontent in young men and women until they res- 
olutely set their faces for a liberal education, thus seeking to add to 
their faith that knowledge which shall clothe it with all but irresistible 
power. The minister is not usually oppressed with an overplus of funds. 
He often laments that he may not pay the way of aspirant boys and girls, 
but perhaps he has the commission only to pave the way. I have 
thought that it would be good for colleges to adopt a heroic plan of giv- 
ing absolutely free tuition to such young men as ministers may recomend. 
For I am convinced that where the churches have their treasures there 
their hearts will'also be. 

Undoubtedly the battle plain of truth and error in the next one 
hundred years will be this American continent and perhaps this very 


Mississippi valley. The mighty agents of the truth, the pledge of victory, 
will be the joint product of our churches and our schools. It therefore 
behooves the church and college to co-operate. Let the pulpit lift the 
clarion of inspiration. Let the pew pour out its wealth. Let the col- 
lege open wide its doors! 

A chorus of college boys here sang Founders' Day Song to the tune, 
"John Brown's Body," the body of students joining in the last refrain. 
The song was composed by Prof. L. S. Pratt. 

To sing the praise of dear old Knox we bid you now prepare, 
For those who love these college walls have lately been aware, 
Within the last six months or so, there's something in the air 
Which augurs well for Knox. 

REFRAIN: Money has begun to flow, 

Alumni hope is in a glow, 
Students have increased, and so 
All augurs well for Knox. 

The history of our college home has always been our pride, 
For head and heart and spirit there are cultured side by side. 
Success has our alumni crowned in everything they've tried, 

'Tis the history of our Knox. 

REFRAIN: Success in church and school and state, 

Knox blood has always made men great, 
And so her past we celebrate, 
Grand history of old Knox. 

So forward is our thought to-day: we look toward coming years. 
Our hopes are bright: new eras dawn: the darkness disappears. 
A prospect of the future day with joy our bosom cheers, 

The future of new Knox. 
REFRAIN: Our past but faintly typifies 

Success on-looking hope descries, 
O! vision sweet to longing eyes. 

Rare future! noble Knox. 

And so with loving loyalty we offer heart and hand 
Anew to thee to-day, dear Knox, thy stalwart student band, 
And pledge to do our best for thee, whatever thy command, 
Our best for thee, old Knox. 


REFRAIN: Knox carissiraa! our own! 

To the breeze thy banner's thrown! 
Love to thee, and thee alone, 

We pledge to-day, dear Knox. 


Zip, rah, boom, rah, Knox, Knox, Knox! 
Zip, rah, boom, rah, rocks, rocks, rocks! 
Zip, rah, boom, rah, welcome, new epochs! 
Boom, rah, Knox, Ifnox, KNOX! 

The Chairman: We are honored in the presence this morning of 
a man affectionately called by his thousands of friends up and down 
this country as " Father Coffin. " He is himself a founder of a great 
order and a strong ally and friend of the workingmen, especially those 
whose lives are spent in the employ of the railway corporations, though 
he is himself a farmer. I have the pleasure of introducing the Hon. L. 
S. Coffin. The subject to which he will speak is 


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Why a humble man a farmer a man who never enjoyed the in- 
estimable privilege of such institutions as this whose anniversary we cele- 
brate to-day should be invited to participate in these commendable festiv- 
ities, I cannot conceive, unless it be upon the principle which underlies 
that immortal and precious sonnet, " Home, Sweet Home." I think I 
have been told that the writer of that song never knew what the joys 
of home were, that he was a homeless wanderer. He knew its value by 
its loss or absence. This great honor conferred upon me by being 
invited to take some little part upon this platform, at this interesting 
time, adds a keenness to the pang of the ever returning regret that I am 
not and cannot ever be reckoned among the alumni of any college or 
university. I was thoughtlessly robbed of boyhood opportunities for 
education and when a young man my services were too valuable as a 
worker on the farm to allow of academic privileges. When of age I 
found myself so lacking in all discipline and culture that I was forced to 
make some effort for an education. But the extent of my schooling 
was not more than about two years in the preparatory department at 
Oberlin, Ohio, whither I came drawn by the report of Its won- 
derful facilities offered to young men. I am by birth and life-long 


work a farmer, and my life has been one of such close confinement to toil 
and public work in God's providence laid upon me, that I 
have never been able to command enough time to devote to 
reading, even so as to be at all at home with intelligent, cultured men. 
Strange as it may seem, with all this lack of education and training, it 
has been my lot in the past, thirty days to stand frequently before public 
audiences, as here to-day, and all these years I have been compelled to 
reap the harvest from seeds sown in early life. Being extremely sensi- 
tive of my lack, I have never yet been able to rise before a public audi- 
ence to speak without humiliating embarrassment. I thus humble my- 
self before you to-day, and violate all rules of public speaking in thus 
opening to your view my life in order to enforce what I would say to 
every young man and boy, young woman and girl who has the ambition 
for an education, to let no obstacle stand between you and a thorough 
course of study. With the opportunities now at the hands of every 
young man and woman it becomes almost the unpardonable sin not to 
secure a good education. 

But I am expected to speak to you a few minutes upon the subject of 
a liberal education as connected with labor and the efforts of labor to 
better its own condition. It is not necessary for me to say here that my 
whole soul is in hearty sympathy with labor. All my life I have been a 
hard working man in the manual labor of the farm. I have seen, of 
course, as the years have come and gone, all the labor orders come into 
existence. I do not say I have always agreed with all the movements 
made, or the motives that have actuated some of these orders; still, un- 
derneath or behind them all, or nearly all, is this grand motive, viz.: the 
betterment of the condition of the laboring man and his family. Some 
of the ways and means to this end adopted by some, I may not approve, 
but it is not necessary at this time and place to dwell upon the errors of 
labor. We are here to point, if possible, to avenues .that lead out, up 
and away from not only the errors, but the woes, the burdens, and if I 
may say it, the un-American distinctions that class one set of men as la- 
borers and another as capitalists. I look with dread, and I may say sor- 
row and alarm, at this increasing use of the word "class" or "classes" as ap- 
plied to the American people. The intelligent, honest laboring man is 
the true " American. " If there must be any distinctions made aside 
from that of honest manhood as against meanness and knavery, let it be 
that of intelligence as against ignorance. Any distinction based on 
wealth and poverty should have no place in this land of equality. Any 


distinction of this nature I hope will always be as now, based upon a 
very unstable foundation. May the time never come in this land when 
the son of the laborer of to-day cannot be the father of the millionaire to- 
morrow. But the question is, how shall this condition of things be re- 
strained by us in this land of freedom and equal rights? The answer 
comes short and quick viz.: by maintaining and consecrating just such 
institutions as these to the lifting up of the children of the men of toil. 
Labor is impatient, is impulsive. What it wants, it thinks it wants 
badly and wants it now. It does not read history, or, if it reads, it 
does not always heed its lessons. God is always at the helm of the 
ship that carries all humanity. A thousand years are as one day with Him. 
Moses had to lead his laborers for two hundred years through the wilder- 
ness ways before he gained what they struck for. They needed disci- 
pline. They needed education and God gave them time to get it. Labor 
must look along the years and work and wait. The fathtr laborer of to- 
day may, like Moses, only see the promised land from the mountain top 
and in joyful faith and anticipation see the glorious land of life his edu- 
cated children are sure to have. There is not a class of men on earth 
who have a greater interest at stake in the establishment, maintenance 
and patronage of such schools as this and of our common public schools 
than do the laboring men of this country. Here is their only hope. The 
parent, who is a parent, looks not so much to his own as to his child's 
good. Take the children of the average railroad man. They inherit 
from the cool-headed, determined, brave, energetic, keen, discriminating, 
strong-hearted man, a make-up that can be likened to a steam engine. 
My observation is that these children, as a rule, are superior in many re- 
spects to the ordinary child. Such children, educated, become the leaders 
of men. Instead of brakemen, conductors, engineers, they become sup- 
erintendents, managers, presidents, directors, capitalists, or if inclined 
to other pursuits, merchants, lawyers, and influential men and 
women. They go to the top. But if neglected, not educated, they 
drift along in the ruts their fathers made and class labor becomes 
entailed with all its degrading consequences. If I should bring any ob- 
jection to these labor orders it would be that when one once enters a 
brotherhood there is danger of a feeling something like this: " Well, I 
am a brotherhood man now and it is a pretty good thing. I like the 
boys and I will stay with them." The ambition to go up higher, I have 
sometimes thought, seems in a measure smothered. All these orders 
should, like the various churches, be considered not as an end, but as a 


means to a higher end to develop the best there is in a man and 
to unite the powers of the many in overcoming wrong and 
establishing right; to draw in and lift up the weak and those in danger 
and need. I have, as most know, a great interest in the Brotherhood of 
Trainmen, whose headquarters are in your city, but I should feel sad to 
think that any one of them should feel that once a brakeman always a 
brakeman, or that once an employee always an employee. I should like 
the time to come when each one of these men shall be his own employer; 
have a business of his own, be his own master. But if he cannot be that 
I do want him to see to it that his children shall receive the benefits 
of such institutions as this, so that they may forge their way to the front, 
and that, too, in time to take to their better homes and surround- 
ings the parents who have made it possible, by their self-denial, for them 
to get an education. I would not be too severe but I do candidly, firmly be- 
lieve, that no healthy, honest, temperate, economical laboring man, with 
a wife who is a helpmeet for him, can have any real excuse for not lift- 
ing himself and his posterity to a higher social plane through the power 
and influence that will come by the education of his children. The 
great drawback, the great drain upon the wages of labor heretofore has 
been the enormous drain upon these wages for drink and tobacco. Give 
me the money spent yearly for these worse than useless things and I will 
put through college every child of labor in America. There is no hope 
for the children of the laboring man so long ?.s the saloon divides his 
wages between his family and itself. This fact, thank God, the railroad 
man has begun to see. If all classes of toilers would do as these rail- 
road men are now doing, we should soon see these educational halls 
crowded with the children from the families whose only capital at pres- 
ent is brawn but which in the next generation will be both brawn and 
brain. God speed the day wheu the schools like this will have to be 
multiplied to meet the growing wants of labor. . 

The Chairman: You know that some have read the future of the 
small college in the fate that befell the seven fat kine, which, in Pha- 
raoh's dream fed in the meadows of Egypt, the fate of being eaten up 
by the lean and hungry universities. But I do not fear such a fate for 
Knox, for you see I have invited one of the representatives of the great 
university up on the lake shore into our fields. I have the honor and 
pleasure of introducing him as our friend, Dr. Albion W. Small, of the 
University of Chicago. He will speak of 



Ladies and Gentlemen: 

It is a great pleasure as well as an honor to extend to Knox College 
a most hearty greeting on behalf of the University of Chicago. I 
rejoice that I live in a generation in which it is possible for the mem- 
bers of Christian institutions to behave toward each other as gentlemen 
should. The age of ungentlemanly, unchristian, deadly rivalry between 
institutions of learning is happily passing if not past. We are getting 
to see that the prosperity of one is the prosperity of all. We have at 
Chicago the heartiest sympathy for Knox, because we are so much alike 
in our situation we are both poor. Poverty is a relative matter after 
all. Poverty is assets just a dollar short of liabilities. Poverty is legs 
a trifle too long for the pantaloons. Coming down in the train, Presi- 
dent Harper and I were looking over the University budget for next 
year, and it appears that if we cannot retrench, our expenditure next year 
will be forty thousand dollars more than our receipts. 

The first suggestion that I will urge with reference to the college is 
that its mission is not primarily literary culture; it is the maturing and 
strengthening of character, in which the training and finish of mind is 
only one element. You remember the story of Count Von Moltke, Prus- 
sia's great field-marshal in the Franco-Prussian war. When his aide 
entered his room at night, and said, " War is declared," the old field- 
marshal simply pointed to the second portfolio on the shelf. The war 
was already fought in anticipation. It is a proud career to be able to 
stand before young students and to help them anticipate the battle of life. 
The first mission of the college, the fundamental mission, is the matur- 
ing of character. Between fourteen and twenty is the period when 
ambitions are formed, and it is in that period that the college has its 
first function of instructing manhood. The man whose teaching I 
enjoyed most in college, left upon me this one impression, which I can 
remember definitely I happened to fall in with him one day walking 
down College Street. He commenced talking to me, and this is the one 
remark which remained with me: "It is best not to let one moment of 
time go to waste." He suggested that when I was waiting for my din- 
ner at my boarding house, I should have something light to read which 
I did not care to take up more valuable time for, and it was during the 

* Dr. Small wax not able to reproduce his remarhx in full and they are publislied from 
partial stenographic notes taken by a gentleman in the audience. 


few moments each day while waiting for dinner, that I read whatever I 
have of Dickens. From my fifth to my fourteenth year I was in a Sun- 
day School in which through all that time there was one superintendent. 
The only words from that man's lips that I can remember to-day are 
words which he uttered one Saturday afternoon when I was blacking a 
pair of boots, and he said to me: " Do you always black the heels as 
well as you do the toes?" That was all he said, but I thought of his 
remarks afterwards, and his words stayed with me. The keenest dis- 
appointment of my life was in 1876, when I made application for a posi- 
tion as instructor at Knox College, and received a reply from the presi- 
dent that if my application had been received twenty-four hours earlier 
it would probably have obtained a favorable answer. Up to date it is 
actually the keenest disappointment I have ever suffered. The disap- 
pointment of that day in 1876 has been revived during this hour when I 
have learned more than I knew before of what Knox College actually 
was and is for the education of a boy. I would give more for the 
ideals, the purposes of the men and women whose lives have gone into 
the structure of this college than for all the libraries that wealth can 

The second mission of the college, and after all it is the second 
mission, not the first, is the distribution to students of the sum of knowl- 
edge acquired up to date. The college is to the university the station 
on the pipe line, of which the university may be called the main. It is 
the work of the specialist to learn the last returns from the front. The 
business of the college is to put into the minds of the students the latest 
contents of the book of nature that any one has reported. It is often 
spoken of as a misfortune if a boy or girl is obliged to get a college 
education in a small college. I have had experience both in small col- 
leges and in great universities, and it seems to me exactly the reverse. 
The best opportunities for the maturing of character during these form- 
ing years are not in connection with the great universities; they are in 
the comparative seclusion of the small college, where the students meet 
intimately and freely the men who are above them in intellect. The 
small college is the place to get the foundation of knowledge. The 
association of the small college is the world in which the work of the 
public school is best continued. I think we are never so sure of enter- 
taining angels unawares as when we harbor in a town a body of young 
men engaged in the pursuits of education. Reference has been made to 
the rationalism of our American and European universities. The differ- 


ence between the typical university man and the typical college man is 
the difference between the outlook in the bow, and the passenger resting 
securely in the cabin below. The business of the university is this gen- 
eral rationalism which does not cut away from faith any more than 
Columbus cut away from the theory of gravitation when he sailed from 
Palos. The best diviners of truth are not those people who frown upon 
scepticism. The place for the foundation work, the safe place, the 
right place, is not with the sceptic. Hence the atmosphere of the col- 
lege, rather than the university, is preferable for the young student. 
But it is not right of those who want this work done to denounce the 
reasonable sceptics, i. e. the scientific searchers for new truth. They are 
sceptics with faith in their heart, with new" discoveries and imaginations 
before their eyes. 

You know the old story of the school master in England who 
has a monument in Westminster Abbey. , The facts are these 
as related by tradition: It was the custom of the teacher to wear 
his cap when teaching the school. One day the king entered, but the 
master did not remove his hat. When the pupils went out, the teacher 
uncovered his head. The king asked, " Why do you take off your cap 
now?" The pedagogue replied: "Because it would not do for the boys 
to know that there is any greater man in England than the master." 
The growth of universities has not diminished but rather increased the 
responsibility of colleges. It is the right of any college which, like 
Knox, is fulfilling its proper function, to claim a dignity which makes it 
essentially the peer of any educational institution of any grade. 

The Chairman: We have heard much of the past of Knox Col- 
lege and now we shall hear before closing these interesting exercises a 
brief forecast of the future, and our prophet is one who has helped as 
much as any one person to make the past and the present of this college 
to build an enduring foundation for a great future. I introduce him who 
needs no introduction, the teacher of thousands in the forty-three 
years of his connection with Knox College, Professor Albert Hurd. 

Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but perhaps I can 
make good the prediction just uttered by President Finley that the last 


speech will be a short one. When a single Professor of Divinity with 
three learned companions left the Monastery of Croyland for Cambridge 
in England, and hired a barn in which to receive the young men who 
came to them to receive instruction, they could not look very far into 
the future. They were called of God to do a noble work; in faith they 
obeyed the call and entered upon their mission. Centuries have rolled 
away since that time and we can now see the result, but the founders of 
the great university could not foresee the coming Chaucer and Mil- 
ton, and Bacon, and Macaulay. In like manner when a few learned 
men commenced a course of lectures at Oxford, the future greatness of 
their school was not discerned; even the eye of faith must have fallen 
far short of revealing the glorious history concealed by the veil of years 
yet to come. Wickliffe and Wolsey, Wesley and Whitefield, Lyell and 
Gladstone, with their commanding influence upon human affairs and hu- 
man destiny, could not have been anticipated. And so it cannot now be 
seen what mighty and influential minds are hereafter to be discovered 
and trained within the walls of Knox College; what perennial streams of 
fertility and gladness are to flow for many centuries from this infant 
seat of learning. Her self-sacrificing founders came to these prairies in 
the same spirit which moved Abraham to leave his Mesopotamian home. 
They came here scarcely knowing whither they came, dwelling in taber- 
nacles and looking for a city of which God should be the builder. 
They organized a Christian college and planted a Christian church. 
Fifty years have come and gone and from the results we may form some 
conception of what the future has in store. Knox college has already 
furnished at least six college presidents, twenty college professors, a 
hundred ministers of the gospel and missionaries, eighty lawyers, forty 
physicians and twenty journalists and editors. Our graduates are found 
as judges in our higher and lower courts; they are an army of superin- 
tendents and teachers in our public schools; they are successful business 
men and farmers; and many not included in these lists are doing valua- 
ble work for the country and for humanity. Where has their work been 
done? They are in our own cities and villages from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific; they have gone to Europe and to Africa, to Australia and to 
Japan, and everywhere are doing noble service for God and for the 
highest interests of their fellowmen. Knox College has given these men 
and women the opportunity and the means of preparing themselves for 
the work of life, and by the efficient work they have performed has made 
good her right to a continued existence, What Knox College has done 


in the past day of small things she will certainly do on a much larger 
scale in the near future, if only it be possible to place the great boon of 
a liberal education within the reach of the constantly increasing num- 
ber of enterprising and ambitious youth who may come here for guid- 
ance and instruction. As Galesburg enlarges and improves; as the 
country develops, our college must increase her endowment and her 
ability to give a thorough and complete education or her day of useful- 
ness will be ehort. In many directions enlargement is needed, but in 
none is a radical change more imperative than in the department of nat- 
ural science, and it is to be earnestly desired that the means of erecting 
a science hall and of equipping it for such work in science as the times 
demand, will soon be provided. Should the present attempt to raise 
$200,000 be crowned with success and should Dr. Pearsons' gift of $50,- 
000 be secured, a new era of prosperity will surely come, vindicating the 
wisdom and realizing the hopes of the founders of Knox College, whose 
memory we to-day so auspiciously celebrate. 


After this address all joined in singing " Founders' Day Hymn," 
composed by Prof. L. S. Pratt, and sung to the tune of "America": 

Our Fathers' God! to-day 
Grateful to Thee we pray, 

Before Thee bow: 
As Thou hast led of old, 
With mercies manifold, 
Still by Thy love enfold 

Thy children now. 

By Thine own spirit fired, 
By heavenly love inspired, 

Our fathers came 
Into this prairie land: 
O, toil with heart and hand! 
O, gain of harvests grand! 

In God's great name. 

Guide Thou this college still! 
May we the hopes fulfil 

Of founders true. 
O, keep us in Thy fear! 
May truth be ever dear, 
And God's love shine more clear 

Each year anew. 

The benediction was then pronounced by the Rev. E. G. Smith, of 
Princeton, 111., a member of the first class, 1846. 



PRESIDENT FINLKY: I have the pleasure and the honor of intro- 
ducing as the chairman of the evening our distinguished townsman, 
whom we are all glad to welcome back to Galesburg, after his years of 
honorable service abroad, and whom the College is especially glad to 
have in its council again, the Honorable Clark E. Carr, our recent Min- 
ister to Denmark. 



The orator who is to address us this evening is bound to the people 
of Galesburg by bands of steel. When (after a line for the great Santa 
Fe railroad ten miles away from our city had been nearly settled upon) 
I went to Topeka and called upon him and other general officers of tne 
company, I found in him a friend who favored us, and he had great in- 
fluence in having the line finally established through this city. 

It is a frequent expression with him that he loves to talk to old 
soldiers and to young men. He is fond of speaking to old soldiers for 
they are his comrades. In his early youth he was a brave and faithful 
Union soldier. When the war was over he chose the profession of the 
law, to which he has steadfastly devoted himself, and which he would 
not abandon for a seat in the United States Senate, which was offered 
him. Notwithstanding the exactions of his profession, he has found 
time for literary pursuits outside of it, communion with the great 
and the wise and the learned. It is his opinion that men in every pro- 
fession and trade and occupation, however humble, may bask in the 
sunshine of intellectual culture, and he therefore loves to speak to young 
men of the splendors that are open before them, and the felicities to 
which they may attain. 

Only those fully appreciate him who know him well enough to meet 
him socially, when he is able to throw off the cares of his profession 
and admit them to partake of the bounties of the rich stores of knowl- 
edge he has garnered, and to revel with him in the eloquence and poetry 
and art of all the ages. He will this evening give us glimpses of the 
Kingdom of Light in which he lives. 

I have the honor of presenting to you Colonel George R. Peck, 
General Solicitor of the Santa Fe Railway Company. 




Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I appreciate most highly the kind expressions of Colonel Carr in 
presenting me to you, although T realize that they are prompted rather 
by the friendly relations which have existed between us for many years, 
than by any merit of my own. 

My subject for to-night, as has been announced, is 


Somewhere in the depths of every heart there is a spring which 
answers to the touch of memory. A strain of music that you heard in 
childhood has a peculiar indefinable sweetness which others do not per- 
ceive. And days have their significance; for each and all have chron- 
icled births and deaths, and have been filled with the joys and sorrows that 
make up human life. In Kinglake's " Invasion of the Crimea" there is 
a beautiful chapter on the mystery of holy shrines, which tells how out 
of sentiment of love for the holy sepulchre, and of rivalry for the pos- 
session of that sacred place, great nations drifted into war, and armies 
sailed to far-off lands, making days that had teen common, memorable 
forevermore, and consecrating new shrines for future pilgrimages. It is 
not, I think, a mere instinct of worldly wisdom that inspires the reverence 
which men feel for historic days and places. It is human nature reach- 
ing out unconsciously, and with a wisdom which it does not compre- 
hend, for that which is ideally good and beautiful. The birthday of 
Abraham Lincoln is, by the laws of Illinois, a legal holiday. But it was 
something higher than a state legislature which set it apart and made 
it a day for joy and pride, for high resolves and for a new faith in the 
United States of America. Knox College counts this as its birthday; 
and 1 think it was an extremely happy thought which prompted the au- 
thorities to give it the place of dignity in the calendar of its history. It 
is no longer young, and, I doubt not, it is already beginning to feel the 
influence which is, perhaps, the best part of the life of an educational 
institution the unseen, silent power of the accumulated years. I do not 
wonder that students of Oxford and Cambridge, of Harvard, Yale and 
Princeton feel a thrill of pride when the great names in their annals are 
spoken; and this college does a wise thing when it gives itself a voice to 
tell of what it has done aud what, if it please God, it will do, A life 


that has no romance in it is hardly worth the living, and a college which 
contains nothing in its history that appeals to the imagination is, to say 
the least, lacking in a most essential element of usefulness. But you have 
it to overflowing. I know of no story more full of romantic interest than 
that of the founding of Knox College. I do not speak of the official 
or legislative organization, for that was merely the formal record of what 
had already been thought out. February 15 is Founders' Day, because on 
that day the act of incorporation was passed. But there was a foundation 
under the foundation, even as DeQuincey speaks of the depths that are 
below the depths. Before the Legislature made Knox College a body 
corporate, its walls had been reared in the mind of its founder. What 
dreams of the future came to him in those early days before the colonists 
set their faces to the west, we know not! But the college with all its 
possibilities was already upbuilded, massive, permanent and beautiful, 
before hammer or trowel had rung, or the silence had been broken by 
the voice of the artisan. It seems like that wonderful vision of Cole- 

"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 

A stately pleasure dome decree." 

I should like to know what hint it was, what suggestion or thought 
came into the mind of George W. Gale and inspired him to the enter- 
prise that to-day counts as its accomplished result this great college and 
this beautiful city. It must have looked quixotic, a wild, impossible 
scheme, to plant a college in the wilderness and to expect the city to 
grow up around it. But it did. The college and the city have lovingly 
walked hand in hand, each counting the other the apple of its eye. 

To-night you are thinking of the past. You are glad and proud, too, 
for what Knox College has done. It has seen good and evil days; pros- 
perity and adversity have entered its doors, but this birthday is a happy 
one and the omens point joyously to the future. But I must remind you 
that self-congratulation, while it has its uses, cannot keep an educational 
institution prosperous. The patrons and friends, the officers and faculty 
of the college, would be worthless if results did not come to the full 
measure of their effort. No college ever amounted to anything that was 
kept alive just for the sake of being called a college. It must do. There 
is nothing of value in it if it cannot point to higher character, to truer 
lives, to better things made possible by its effort. 

It is a fortunate thing for this institution that it is located in a re- 
gion to which Nature has given her kindliest smiles; a land of meadows 


and of gardens and of goodly people living in goodly homes. I cannot 
help' thinking that the subtle law of heredity has played a powerful part 
in the success which has hitherto attended the w6rk of Knox College. 


The parental type is transmitted from generation to generation, and 
the iron which was in the blood of the pioneers gives tone and vigor to the 
students of to-day. What Knox College will do in the future depends 
upon the character of the teachers and instructors who fill the chairs; 
but after .all, the students themselves must set the mark of the insti- 
tution. The most skillful baker fails when the flour is poor. If stu- 
dents ask what a college can do for them the true answer is: It can do 
for them only what they do for it in its good name and character as an 
institution of learning. A college and its students are trustees for each 
other. They give and take and each is richer by the process. I cannot 
recall truer words than those once spoken by a great president of Har- 
vard who said to his students: "It is a superficial view of things which 
leads to the distinction between education and self-education. In point 
of fact all education is self-education, the only difference being that edu- 
cation in churches and schools and colleges, and amidst librairies, muse- 
ums and laboratories, is self-education under the best advantages." To 
the learners, and not to the teachers, I feel that what I have to say ought 
to be directed. 

A man of mature years can find no happier occasion than that which 
permits him to stand face to face with young and ardent searchers after 
knowledge. The student is always an object of interest. His presence 
is an inspiration, and his face an open book on which are written a hope 
and a prophecy. This occasion, young ladies and gentlemen, commem- 
orative of the great work of the founder of this college, is a fitting time 
for laying the foundation of a noble career. The scholar, if he be wor- 
thy to wear the name, hears every day a call to be consecrated, feels in 
every hour the baptism of a higher life. 

It would, perhaps, be more in harmony with the times, if I should 
speak to you on some theme of immediate and pressing importance. 
Such themes there are; and I beg of you to believe it is not because J 
underestimate them that I have chosen to ask you to rest for a little 
while in a serener air. The hungry problems of to-day will have their 
hearing without asking permission of you or me. The age is restless; 
it is self-assertive; it is pleased with the sound of its own voice and con- 
fident in the strength of its own arm. And yet in its heart there is a 
profound sorrow. When men turn their minds persistently to social and 


economic questions; when labor is dissatisfied and capital alarmed; when 
the prices of food and the mystery of supply and demand occupy their 
thoughts by night and by day, we may be sure that something is out of 
place in the machinery we call civilization. 

But of these things it is not my purpose to speak. I allude to them 
because, as it seems to me, every true heart must be deeply sensible of 
their importance and must constantly feel how dark a shadow they cast 
on sad and discontented lives. But this hour is dedicated to the young, 
the ambitious, the joyous and the generous; and so I shall ask you to an- 
other field, where, perhaps, we can gather some hints, which shall also 
be helps, for the journey upon which you have entered. 

You do not, I presume, call yourselves philosophers, but you are 
probably aware that every man of my age thinks he is one. It is this 
opinion which gives to old men that air of condescension, that tone of 
gentle patronage, as if to say, " See how much I know about life 
and its duties!" But I have noticed on youthful faces at such times a 
painful look of inquiry, as if they would ask, "Well, if you know so much 
why have you so little to show for it? " Ah! that is the question. How 
many centuries is it since Plato was writing those immortal dialogues 
which have bewitched the minds of men from his age to ours, but have 
left us still struggling to make knowledge and conduct go hand in 
hand, and wisdom and character true reflections of each other. Nothing 
is so easy as to state sound ethical doctrines, and nothing so hard as 
to live up to them. I suppose that more than one-half the literature 
of the world consists of good advice; the rest is the story of its suc- 
cess or failure. Innumerable hands have traced the roads that lead 
to happiness and peace, but how few there be who have not missed the 

I shall summon you to-night to a course of living which is filled with 
inspiring promises; but when I think of the mistakes you will probably 
make, and of those I have certainly made, my lips almost refuse to speak 
and I can only stammer as did George Eliot's Theophrastus Such, when he 
said to his hearers, " Dear blunderers, I am one of you." Some of you 
will, perhaps, never be wiser than you are now. I wish I could be sure 
you would never be less wise. It is one of the truths I implicitly be- 
lieve, that the saddest mistake men make is not by failing to learn, but by 
foolishly thinking they must wrclearn; by giving up the truer charts and 
guides, the clearer stars by which, they sailed in youth. 


It is not for me to enter the domain of religion nor to trench upon 
that ground which is occupied by better men who have been specially 
called to the work. I speak only of the life that now is. And this is 
the lesson I give you: Dwell in the kingdom of light. And where is 
that'kingdom? Where are its boundaries? What cities are builded 
within it? What hills and plains and mountain slopes gladden the eyes 
of its possessors? Be patient my young enthusiast. Do not hasten to 
search for it. It is here. The kingdom of light, like the kingdom of 
Heaven^is within you. 

And what do I mean by the kingdom of light? I mean that realm 
of which a quaint old poet sang those quaint old lines: 

"My mind to me a kingdom is, 
Such perfect joy therein I find." 

I mean that invisible commonwealth which outlives the storms of 
ages; that empire more ancient than the east; that state whose arma- 
ments are thoughts; whose weapons are ideas; whose trophies are the 
pages of the world's great masters. The kingdom of light is the king- 
dom of the intellect, of the imagination, of the heart, of the spirit and 
the things of the spirit. And why, perhaps you will ask, do you make 
this appeal to us, who as students, as members of the fraternity of let- 
ters, are already dedicated to high purposes, and enrolled among those 
who stand for the nobler and better side of human life? Take it not 
amiss if I tell you frankly, I do not feel sure that you are; and besides, 
if you will pardon my plainness of speech, I must remind you that not 
all who stand in the ranks to-day will be found there a dozen years hence; 
not all who start with the column follow the colors through the after- 
noon of the march. 

Why do you become students? Why are you members of these so- 
cieties that cultivate art and eloquence and keep your hearts fresh with 
the dew of the humanities? Some there are, I fear, who look upon edu- 
cation simply as a weapon that will give them an advantage in what we 
call the battle of life. If this be your motive, you are not in the King- 
dom. For, while knowledge is a tremendous force, and gives its possess- 
or a great advantage over his unskilled adversary, yet it is more than 
this; it must be more, or it is hardly worth having. Its true value is that 
it is a stimulus to your own betterment, an incentive; and, believe me, it 
is also a reward. We must learn to pitch our lives to that grand key- 
note in one of Matthew Arnold's sonnets: 

"The aids to noble life are all within." 


There is another reason why I make this appeal to you. In the in- 
tellectual as well as the theological world, there is a tendency to back- 
sliding; that fatal weakness which turns the feet backward and down- 
ward to the lowlands of gloom and despair. The young are almost al- 
ways heroic. But the blood grows thin with age, and the resolute heart 
timid and fearful. At twenty you gaze upon the planets in the upper 
sky; but at forty, perhaps, you will be groping wearily along by some 
pallid light your own weak hands have kindled. The tempter marches 
side by side with the every human soul. And this ordeal which comes 
to all will come to you. In your ear there will be whisperings of a ca- 
reer; of a life not troubled by youthful traditions; of an existence which 
takes no thought to separate the things that are God's from the things 
that are Mammon's. Whoever the tempter may be, he is your enemy. 
He is your enemy because he has told you what is not true, and what, 
thank Heaven! never can be true. Human life, if it is to be better than 
that of the brutes, must be consecrated to something higher than itself. 

I have appealed to you for what I have called the intellectual life. 
By the intellectual life I mean that course of living which recognizes al- 
ways and without ceasing, the infinite value of the mind; which gives to 
its cultivation a constant and enthusiastic devotion; which in good and 
evil days clings to it with growing and abiding love. I beg of you not 
to suppose that it is based upon a college diploma, or that it is con- 
fined to what is known as the learned professions law, medicine ani 
theology; for it is sadly true that many who are enrolled in their ranks 
have not the slightest kinship with an intellectual life. 

The Kingdom of Light is open to all who seek the light. This may 
seem a mere truism, since everyone admits the superiority of the mental 
over the physical nature. But that is where the danger lies. All admit 
it, and how very few act upon it. How many men and women do you 
know, who, after they have, as the phrase goes, finished their education, 
ever give it another serious thought? They have no time; no time to 
live, but only to exist. Do not misunderstand me: I do not expect, nor 
do I think it possible, that the great majority of people can make intel- 
lectual improvement their first and only aim. God's wisdom has made 
the law that we must dig and delve, must work with the hands and bend 
the back to the burden that is laid upon it. We must have bread; but 
'how inexpressibly foolish it is to suppose that we can live by bread 
alone. Granting all that can be claimed for lack of time; for the food 
and clothing to be bought, and the debts to be paid, the truth remains 


and I beg you to remember it the person who allows his mental and 
spiritual nature to stagnate and decay, does so, not for want of time, but 
for want of inclination. The farm, the shop and the office are not such 
hard masters as we imagine. We yield too easily to their sway, and set 
them up as rulers when they ought to be servants. There is no voca- 
tion, absolutely none, that cuts off entirely the opportunities for intel- 
lectual development. For my part I would rather have been Charles 
Lamb than the Duke of Wellington, and his influence in the world is in- 
calculably the greater of the two. And yet he was but a clerk in the 
India House, poor in pocket, but rich beyond measure in his very pover- 
ty, whose jewels are not in the goldsmith's list. The problem of life is 
to rightly adjust the prose to the poetry; the sordid to the spiritual; the 
common and selfish to the high and benificent, forgetting not that these 
last are incomparably the more precious. 

Modern life is a startling contradiction. Never were colleges so 
numerous, so prosperous, so richly endowed as now. Never were public 
schools so well conducted, or so largely patronized. But yet, wkat 
Carlyle calls " the mechanical spirit of the age " is upon us. The com- 
mercial spirit too, is with us, holding its head so high that timid souls 
are frightened at its pretensions. It is the scholar's dutv to set his face 
resolutely against both. 

I can never be the apostle of despair. The colors in the morning 
and the evening sky are brilliant yet. But I fear the scholar is not the 
force he once was, and will again be when the nineteenth century, or the 
next one, gets through its carnival of invention and construction. We 
have culture; what we need is the love of culture. We have knowledge; 
but our prayer should be: Give us the love of knowledge. I may be 
wrong, but I sometimes wish Nature would be more stingy of her secrets. 
She has given them out with so lavish a hand that some men think the 
greatest thing in the world is to persuade her to work in some newly in- 
vented harness. Edison and the other wizards of science have almost 
succeeded in making life automatic. Its chord is set to a minor key. 
Plain living and high thinking, that once went together, are transformed 
into high living and very plain thinking. The old-time simplicity of 
manners, the modest tastes of our fathers, have given way to the clang 
and clash, the noise and turbulence that characterize the age. We know 
too much; and too little. We know evolution; but who can tell us when, 
or how, or why, it came to be the law? We accept it as a great scien- 
tific truth, and as such it should be welcomed. But life has lost some- 


thing of its zest, some of the glory that used to be in it, since we were 
told though I do not believe it that mind is only an emanation of 
matter, a force or principle mechanically produced by molecular motion 
within the brain. When the telephone burst upon us a few years ago, 
the world was delighted and amazed. And yet we were not needing 
telephones half as much so we were needing men; men, who, by living 
above the common level, should exalt and dignify human life. I some- 
times think it wise to close the patent office in Washington, and to say 
to the tired brains of the inventors, "Rest and be refreshed." We hurry 
on to new devices which shall be ears to the deaf, and eyes to the blind, 
and feet to the halt; but meantime the poems are unwritten, and hearts 
that are longing for one strain of the music they used to hear are told to 
be satisfied with the great achievements of the nineteenth century. The 
wisest of the Greeks taught that the ideal is the only true real; and Em- 
erson, our American seer, who sent forth from Concord his inspiring 
oracles, taught the same. I may be wrong, but I cannot help thinking 
that neither hereafter, nor here, does salvation lie in wheat, or corn, or 

Again I must plead that you will take my words as I mean them. 
I do not mean to preach a gospel of mere sentiment, nor of an inane im- 
practicable dilettanteism. The Lord put it in my way to learn, long ago, 
that we cannot eat poetry, or art and sunbeams. And yet I hold it 
true, now and always, that life without these things is shorn of more 
than half its value. The ox and his master differ little in dignity, if 
neither rises above the level of the stomach and the manger. 

The highest use of the mind is not mere logic, the almost mechani- 
cal function of drawing conclusions from facts. Even lawyers do that; 
and so also, to some extent as naturalists tell us, do the horse and the 
dog. The human intellect is best used when its possessor suffers it to 
reach out beyond its own environment into the realm where God has 
placed truth and beauty and the influences that make for righteousness. 
There is no such thing as a common or humdrum life unless we make it 
so ourselves. The rainbow and the rose give their colors to all alike. The 
sense of beauty that is born in every soul pleads for permission to remain 
there. Cast it out, and not all the skill of Edison can replace it. 

It is the imagination, or perhaps I should say the imaginative faculty, 
that most largely separates man from the lower animals, and which also 
divides the higher from the lower order of men. We all respect the 
multiplication table, and find in it about the only platform upon which 


we can agree to stand; but he would be a curiously incomplete man to 
whose soul it could bring the rapture that comes from reading " Hamlet" 
or " In Memoriam." The thoughts that console and elevate are not 
those the world calls practical. Even in the higher walks of science, 
where the mind enlarges to the scope of Newton's and Kepler's great 
discoveries, the demonstrated truth is not the whole truth, nor the best 
truth. As Prof. Everett, of Harvard, has finely said in a recent work, 
" science only gives us hints of what, by a higher method, we come to 
know. The astronomer tells us he has swept the heavens with his tele- 
scope and found no God." But " the eye of the soul " outsweeps the tel- 
escope, and finds, not only in the heavens but everywhere, the presence 
that is eternal. The reverent soul seeking for the power that makes for 
righteousness, will not find it set down in scientific formula. I hold it 
to be the true office of education to stimulate the higher intellectual fac- 
ulties; to give the mind something of that perfection which is found in 
finely tuned instruments that need only to be touched to give back noble 
and responsive melody. There is a music that has never been named; 
and yet so deep a meaning has it that the very stars keep time to its ce- 
lestial rhythm. 

" There's not the smallest orb which thou beholds't, 
But in his motion like an angel sings, 
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubim; 

Such harmony is in immortal souls." 

I do not claim that scholarship, as it is commonly understood, schol- 
arship merely as such, can, or does, open the gates of the invisible world, 
or open your hearts to the beauty that is everywhere. But I do claim 
that in so far as it falls short of this, in so far as it hinders or obstructs, 
or diverts you from it, it has failed of its purpose. This college which 
you rightly love and cherish; this college and the other institutions of 
learning throughout the country, do a good work when they teach you 
facts, and how to apply them; but they do a greater and better work 
when they fill the hearts of their students with a consuming love for the 
things that cannot be computed, nor reckoned nor measured. In the 
daily papers you may read the last quotations of stocks and bonds; but 
once upon a time a little band of listeners heard the words, "Are not two 
sparrows sold for a farthing?" and went away with a lesson whose 
meaning Wall street has yet to learn. 

And now you are asking, " Do you expect us to earn money by fol- 
lowing these shadowy and intangible sentiments, which, however noble, 


are not yet current at the store and market? We must eat though po- 
etry and art and music perish from the earth." Yes, so it would seem, 
but only seem. I cannot tell you why, but I am sure that he who remem- 
bers that something divine in him is mixed with the clay, shall find the 
way opened for both the divine and the earthly. You will not starve for 
following the Light. But I beg of you to remember that this is not a 
question of incomes or profits. The things I plead for are not set down 
in ledgers. How hard to think of the unselfish and the ultimate, in- 
stead of the personal and immediate! Even unto Jesus they came and 
inquired, "Who is first in the Kingdom of Heaven?" It is not strange 
then that we do not willingly give up personal advantages here. But in 
the Kingdom of Light, in the life I am asking you to lead, nothing can 
be taken from you that can be compared with what you will receive. It 
is quite likely you may be poor, though I am afraid you will not be, for 
in the nineteenth century, no man is safe from sudden wealth; but a 
worse calamity could befall you than poverty. St. Francis of Assisi, as 
Renan has said, was, next to Jesus, the sweetest soul that ever walked 
this earth, and he condemned himself to hunger and rags. I do not ad- 
vise you to follow him through the lonely forest, and into the shaded 
glen where the birds used to welcome him to be their friend and compan- 
ion; but I do most assuredly think it better to live as he did, on bread 
and water and the cresses that grew by the mountain spring, than to 
give up the glory and the joy of the higher life. In the Kingdom of 
Light there are friendships of inestimable value; friendships that are rest 
unto the body and solace to the soul that is troubled. When Socrates 
was condemned, how promptly and how proudly his spirit rose to meet 
the decree of the judges, as he told them of the felicity he should find 
in the change that would give him the opportunity of listening to the 
enchanting converse of Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer. 
Such compansionship is ours through the instrumentality of books. 
Here, even in this western land, the worthies of every age will come to 
your firesides; will travel with you on the distant journey; will abide 
with you wherever your lot may be cast. And the smaller the orbit in 
which you move, the more contracted the scale of your personal relation, 
the more valuable and the more needful are those sweet relationships 
which James Martineau so aptly calls " the friendships of history." In 
a strain of unrivaled elevation of thought and purity of language, he says: 
"He that cannot leave his workshop or his village, let him have his 
passport to other centuries, and find communion in a distant age; it will 


enable him to look up into those silent faces that cannot deceive, and 
take the hand of solemn guidance that will never mislead or betray. 
The ground-plot of a man's own destiny may be closely shut in, and the 
cottage of his rest small; but if the story of this Old World be not quite 
strange to^him if he can find his way through its vanished cities to hear 
the pleadings of justice or watch the worship of the gods; if he can visit 
the battlefields where the infant life of nations has been baptized in 
blood; if he can steal into the prisons where the lonely martyrs have 
waited for their death; if he can walk in the garden or beneath the porch 
where the lovers of wisdom discourse, or be a guest at the banquet where 
the wine of their high converse passes around; if the experience of his 
own country and the struggles that consecrate the very soil beneath his 
feetpre no secret to him, and he can listen to Latimer at Paul's Cross, 
and tend the wounded Hampden in the woods of Chalgrove, and gaze, 
as upon familiar faces, at the portraits of More and Bacon, of Vane and 
Cromwell, of Owen, Fox and Baxter he consciously belongs to a grander 
life than could be given by territorial possession; he venerates an ances- 
try auguster than a race of kings; and is richer in the sources of charac- 
ter than many a merchant prince or railway monarch. Hence the ad- 
vantage which human studies possess over every other form of science; 
the sympathy with man over the knowledge of nature." 

Some there are, no doubt, who believe that intellectual culture does 
not make men better or happier, and that the conscience and moral fac- 
ulties are set apart from merely mental attributes. But surely you have 
not accepted such a false and narrow view. Unless colleges are a fool- 
ish and expensive luxury; unless civilization is worthless; unless the cen- 
turies that have witnessed the upward stride of humanity have been 
wasted; unless the savage, chattering incantations to his fetich, is a nobler 
product of the race than a Milton, a Wilberforce, an Emerson or a Low- 
ell, then heart and mind, morality and education do go together in true 
and loyal companionship. The trouble of to-day, as I have tried to show, 
is not that we have too much culture, but too much bending of the knee 
to purely material results; too much worship of the big and not enough 
of the great. I live in hope that the students of Knox College will help 
to correct this evil. I must, however, confess that when I see young 
men and women going out from their college life into that other and far 
different one that awaits them, I always feel a little twinge of pain, a 
premonition of danger, a fear that in spite of all their high resolves, the 
demon of the nineteenth century will lead them captive. And that is 


what I meant when I spoke of backsliding. The Kingdom of Light is 
not as populous as it would be if all who once set their faces thither- 
ward had pressed forward without turning. 

It will be the fate of most of you to work with hand and brain; 
but do not forget that even in this short life a successfully conducted 
bank, or a bridge that you have built, or a lawsuit you have won, have 
in themselves little of special significance or value. Very common 
men have done all these things. When I hear the glorification of the 
last twenty years, of the fields subdued, the roads built, the fortunes 
accumulated, the factories started, I say to myself, all these are good, 
but not good enough that we should make ourselves hoarse with huz- 
zas, or that we should suppose for a moment they belong to the high- 
er order of achievements. Sometimes, too, when I hear the noisy 
clamor over some great difficulty that has been conquered, I think of 
James Wolfe under the walls of Quebec, repeating sadly those solemn 
lines of Gray's Elegy: 

"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r, 
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike th' inevitable hour, 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave." 

And I think also how he turned to his officers with that pathetic 
prevision of the death that was to come to-morrow on the Heights of 
Abraham, and said, " I would rather have written *that poem than to 
take Quebec." And he was right. 

Indeed, if we but knew it, the citadel that crowns the mountain's 
brow, nay, the mountains themselves, ancient, rugged, motionless, are 
but toys compared with the silent, invisible, but eternal structure of 
God's greatest handiwork, the mind. 

I pray you remember there is, if you will search for it, something 
ennobling in every vocation; in every enterprise which engages the ef- 
forts of man. Do you think Michael Angelo reared the dome and 
painted those immortal frescoes simply because he had a contract to do 
so? Was the old soldier who died at Marathon or Gettysburg thinking 
of the wages the state had promised him? Be assured, young ladies 
and gentlemen, that whatever fate is to befall you, nothing so bad can 
come as to sink into that wretched existence where everything is for- 
gotten but the profit of the hour: the food, the raiment, the handful of 
silver, the ribbon to wear on the coat. It is but an old story I am 
telling you; but I console myself with the reflection that it cannot be 


told too often, and only by telling is it kept fresh in the memory and 
in the heart. I wish I knew the secret of words. Then would I make 
you see the surpassing value of the life I have tried to portray. I wish 
I knew the secret of art. Then would I paint a picture that should be 
the image of joy and beauty, and behind the canvas, not seen, but known 
by the subtle intuitions of the mind, there should throb the living heart 
of an ideal life. Then would I ask you to be true to that ideal, know- 
ing that it can never be false to you. The world will go on buying 
and selling, hoping and fearing, loving and hating, and you will be in 
the throng; but in God's name turn not away from the light, nor from 
the kingdom that is in the midst of the light. 

You are young, you have faith; but I dare not ask you how much. 
For faith, however strong it may be, has its tides; and many a gallant 
bark has gone down in sight of the coast that seemed to beckon with 
its welcoming smiles. I consider that life wrecked, though it can count 
its millions and has built cities and removed mountains, if it has lost 
sight of the upper lights. You think no such fate can come to you; 
but so has thought every high-souled youth from the age of Pericles to 
the present. 

In every street shadows are walking who were once like you, young, 
hopeful and confident. Nay! they are not shadows; but ghosts, dead, 
years ago, in everything but the mere physical portion of existence. 
They go through the regular operations of trade and traffic, the office 
and the court; but they are not living men. They are but bones and 
skeletons rattling along in a melancholy routine, which has in it neither 
life nor the spirit of life. It is a sad picture, but saddest because it is 
true. They knew what happy days were, when like you, they walked 
in pleasant paths and felt in their hearts the freshness of the spring. But 
contact with the world was too much for them. Hesitation and doubt 
drove out loyalty and faith. They listened to the voice of worldly wis- 
dom as Othello listened to lago, and the end of the story is: 

"Put out the light, and then, put out the light." 

I appeal to the students of Knox College to be worthy of its great 
founder. You have, by your enrollment here, been called and num- 
bered with the elect. You are hostages to art and letters; to high 
aims and noble destinies. You may be false, but if some are not faith- 
ful, truth and liberty and the best of civilization will be lost, or in 
danger of being lost. In every ship that sails there must be some to 


stay by the craft; some to speak the word of cheer; some to soothe the 
fears of the timorous and affrighted. When Paul was journeying to 
Italy on that memorable voyage which changed the destinies of the 
world, the mariners were frightened as the storm came on, and were 
casting the boats over to seek safety they knew not whither; but Paul 
said to the centurion and to the soldiers, "Except these abide ir the 
ship ye cannot be saved." 

I call upon the students of Knox College to stay by the ship. It 
is because I believe so strongly in the saving power of the intellectual 
life upon the institutions of society, and upon the welfare of individu- 
als, that I have urged you so earnestly to be loyal to it. The for- 
tunes of science, art, literature and government are indissolubly linked 
with it. The center and shrine of the most potent influences are not 
the seats of commerce and capital. The village of Concord, where Em- 
erson, Hawthorne, Alcott and Thoreau lived, was in their day, and will 
long continue to be, a greater force in this nation than New York:,and 
Chicago added to each other. . You must rest in the assured faith that 
whoever may seem to rule, the thinker is, and always will be, the mas- 
ter. He can well afford to let the man of affairs enjoy his dream of 
dominion, for the law of the universe is that all things must serve the 
silent but imperious power of thought. 

Those of you who have read Auerbach's great novel remember the 
motto from Goethe on the title page: 

"On every height there lies repose." 

Rest! how eagerly we seek it! How sweet it is when we are tired 
of the fret and worry of life. But remember, I pray you, that it dwells 
above the level in the serene element that reaches to the infinities. Only 
there is heard the music of the choir invisible; only there can you truly 
know the rest, the peace and joy of those who dwell in the Kingdom of