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But it would be a misfortune and an injury, as I believe, to the religious progress of the country, if each of the denominations into which the evangelical world is divided were to aim at the maintenance of a university under its own sectarian name. The endowments which are calied for are too large to be made up by petty contributions. Great gifts are essential, and consequently those who, in the favorable conditions of this fruitful and prosperous land, have acquired large fortunes, should be urged by all the considerations of far-sighted philanthropy to make generous contributions for the development of the highest institutions of learning. There is now in the golden book of our republic a noble list of such benefactors. Experience has shown no safer investments than those which have been given to learning-none which are more permanent, none which yield a better return.
It is a common error in this country to suppose that we need many universities. Just the reverse is true-we need but few, but we need them strong. There is great danger that funds will be scattered, teachers isolated, and scholars kept away from their proper fields, by attempts, of which we have seen too many, to establish post-graduate courses with very inadequate means. Even professional schools have been initiated where the fees of the pupils have been the only criteria of success. We should lend our influence as scholars to enlarge the resources of the universities which are strong, and to discourage new foundations unless there is a positive guaranty that they are also to be strong. There are half a dozen or more places which could be named where a million dollars would be more fruitful than thrice that sum in any new establishment. No greater service could be rendered at this time than a rigid enforcement of the scriptural rule, “ For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”
There is another danger to which I will call attentionthe danger of an incorrect conception of the purposes which should influence young men in pursuing university courses beyond a college curriculum. Those who have watched the tendencies of graduated students must have observed with a good deal of alarm the disposition which
they sometimes show to concentrate attention upon very special subjects. Unfortunately, many of these persons are entirely dependent for their support on the salaries which they may earn. Now, instead of bringing to the educational exchange qualities which are always in demand and which always receive remuneration, they come forward as Doctors of Philosophy, with special attainments in some limited field, and are saddened to find that there is no demand for the acquisitions which they offer. I do not hesitate to say that, if the drift of university work in this country is toward premature and excessive specialization, many a mariner is doomed to shipwreck on that rock. Even in Germany, where specialization has been favored, the cry is heard, Too many specialists, too many university candidates. It would be a misfortune to this country if we should find, in the course of a few years, a superabundance of men with rare acquisitions of a kind for which there is no demand. It would then be rightly said that our universities did not produce the fruit which had been expected. On the other hand, if residence in a university, beyond the college course, is found to widen the student's capacities as it increases his knowledge; if he learns the art of imparting what he knows, if he acquires the sense of proportion and sees the subjects which he studies with the right perspective, if he strengthens the foundations as he carries upward the obelisk, then he will gain and not lose by prolonged preparation for the duties of life.
For every individual who may with wisdom be encouraged to devote himself to a very limited domain, there are scores who may be bidden to widen their culture. I do not now refer to those upon whom fortune has smiled, and who have the means to do as they please in preparing for life; but I have in mind many a struggling aspirant for the scholar's fame who would be a happier and a more useful man if he had not set his face so resolutely against those studies which adorn the intellectual character and give grace, dignity, and acceptability to their possessor. The first business of every man is to win his bread; if he is sure of that, he may wander at his own sweet will through meadows and woods.
In all the difficulties which are encountered by those
who are endeavoring to advance the institutions of this country to their highest usefulness, great encouragement may be derived from a study of the results secured in other countries and in other ages. It is only by the review of long periods of time that the most instructive lessons can be' learned. The history of European universities is yet to be written by one who has the requisite vision, and who can estimate with an accurate judgment the various forces by which they have been molded, and the various services they have rendered to humanity. But there are many histories of famous foundations, many biographies of illustrious teachers, many surveys of literature, science, and education, many elaborate schemes of organization, and many proposals of reform. The mind of a master is indeed needed to coördinate what is thus recorded, to be the Interpreter of the House called Beautiful. But the American scholar need not wait for such a comprehensive work; the American philanthropist need not delay his benefactions until more experience is secured. The centuries speak with many voices, but they are all harmonious. From the revival of letters until now, from the days of Gerson, the great chancellor of the University of Paris, five hundred years ago, every advance in civilization has been dependent upon the influences which have proceeded from the seats of learning. Their light has illuminated the foremost nations of Christendom. In days to come, more than in days that are past, their power for good will be felt upon the interests of mankind. Let us hope and believe, let us labor and pray, that the American universities when they are fully organized may be worthy allies of the strongest and best foundations—steady promoters of knowledge, virtue, and faith.
WILLIAM eWART GLADSTONE
MODERN TRAINING FOR LIFE
[Address by William Ewart Gladstone, statesman, essayist, classicist (born in Liverpool, December 29, 1809; died in Hawarden Castle, North Wales, May 19, 1898), delivered before the University of Glasgow, of which he was Lord Rector, December 5, 1879. The exercises occurred in Kibble Palace, in the presence of five thousand persons, fully three thousand of whom were students. On this occasion the University conferred the degree of LL.D. upon Mr. Gladstone.)
GENTLEMEN :—From 1859 to 1865 I had the honor to hold the office of Rector in the University of Edinburgh, and to take part in the government of that University as the presiding member of its court and otherwise. Upon agreeing that my name should be submitted to you for the corresponding office in 1877, I stated my inability to engage myself for the performance of any active duty whatever, including in this renunciation the time-honored function-which has been exalted by the efforts of so many distinguished men-of delivering a Rectorial Address to the students of the University. In so stipulating I was not governed by any disposition to undervalue the honor solicited on my behalf or the dignity of this ancient and noble institution; but I had in view partly my increased and increasing years, partly the fact that I had already traveled over the field of such topics as had occurred to me in connection with such an occasion and such a duty. It was in truth a high and not a low estimate of the office then in prospect and since conferred which led me to guard myself by this reservation, for I was unwilling to run the risk of being obliged to offer you the mere leavings of an exhausted store of the commonplaces of that routine