But for a new generation the world is quite a new wonder. God is shown only to those for whom the world is a new thing, a wonder. No one, who does not admire this world as a wonder, can find God. For the old Haeckel no God exists, just because for him no wonder exists. He pretends to know everything. Christ means for him nothing and he means for Christ nothing. Every foolish child, believing in God and in this wonderful world, has more wisdom than the materialistic professor from Germany. Christ is getting tired of an old generation. Sadly He calls for a new one—for children. In our distress to-day, I think, we should multiply His voice, calling for Him, for a new generation and for a new education.
It is called by a very attractive name, the individualistic education. The true name of it is selfishness, or egotism. No religion of Asia ever boasted of having been the birthplace of such an education. It is born in the heart of Europe, in Germany. It was brought up by Schopenhauer and Goethe. It was subsequently supported by the German biologists, by the musicians, sculptors, philosophers, poets, soldiers, socialists and priests, by the wisest and by the madmen beyond the Rhine. Unfortunately France, Russia and even Great Britain have not been quite exempt from this pernicious theory of individualistic education.
The sophistic theories of Athens of old have been renewed in Central Europe—the individuum is the ultimate aim of education. A human individuum is of limitless worth, said the German interpreters of the New Testament. Materialistic science, contradicting itself, agreed on that point with modern theology. Art, in all its branches, presented itself as the sole expression of one individuum, i.e., of the artist. The modern socialism, contradicting its own name, supported individualism very strongly in every department of human activity. Consequently modern Pedagogy, based upon the general tendencies, put up the same individualistic ideal as the aim to be achieved by the schools, church, state, and by many other social institutions.
War is the result of the old ideal of education. I call it old because it is over for ever, I hope, with this war. The old European ideal of education was so called individualistic. This ideal was supported equally by the churches and by science and art. Extreme individualism, developed in Germany more than in any other country, resulted in pride, pride resulted in materialism, materialism in pessimism. Put upon a dangerous and false base every evil result followed quite naturally. If my poor personality is of limitless value, without any effort and merit of my own, why should not I be proud? If the aim of the world’s history is to produce some few genial personalities, as Carlyle taught, why should