Cambridge Essays on Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about Cambridge Essays on Education.

The student in arms would not have had us despair.  Peace when it comes will make demands on our fortitude.  There will be many lying in the no-man’s land between vice and virtue who will need to be rescued at great risk.  There will be many forlorn hopes to be led against disease, the foster child of vice, that has gained strength under the cover of war.  The disappointing days of peace will give an opportunity for the development of Christian qualities fully as great as the bracing days of battle.  Teachers will need to gird up their loins for the task of giving a wise welcome to the thousands that an awakened State will send to sit at their feet, and unless they can give spiritual food as well as worldly wisdom and paying knowledge, the souls of the new-comers will be starved beyond the remedy of any free meals.  How to spiritualise education is the real problem, for it is only by a spiritualised education that we can escape from the avalanche of materialism that is hanging over the European world just now.  No syllabus, no act of Parliament can do this.  There is no royal road which all can travel.  It has been done, to some extent, in the past, and it will have to be done, to a much greater extent, in the future by the layman and the laywoman, by the teachers of all denominations, by some even whom inspectors may consider inefficient and whom children may tolerate as queer.  It will be done best by the best teachers, but all teachers can share in the work on the one condition that they have consciously or unconsciously dedicated themselves to the task.  For a teacher to write much about it is impossible, he must know how greatly he has failed.  And he has not the recompense that comes to many who fail, in the shape of certain knowledge why success has been withheld.

That his failure is shared by those who strive to make religion move the world of men is no consolation.  Indeed, that thought might make him hopeless did it not suggest that the aims and methods of both may be wrong.  It is possible to have hoped too much from the school chapels being full, it is possible to fear too much from the churches being empty.  Piety is no doubt fostered by attendance at a religious service, but there is some distance between piety and true religion.  It would probably not be untrue to say that Christian education has seemed more concerned with the ceremonial duties of religion than with its spiritual enthusiasm, more eager about faith in some particular explanation of the past than about faith in a re-creation of the future, more attentive to the machinery of the organisation of the Church than to the words and commands of its Founder.  As the Church has become more powerful in the world, it has lost its power over men’s hearts.  To some it has seemed an institution for the relief of poverty, to others the support of the “haves” against the “have-nots,” but to too few has it been the home of spiritual adventures, the maintainer of spiritual values.  Men have escaped from the

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Cambridge Essays on Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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