=Agriculture the source of life.=—Agriculture is not the sordid thing that our dull eyes and hearts would make it appear. In it we shall find the romance of a Victor Hugo, the poetry of a Shelley or a Shakespeare, the music of a Mozart, the eloquence of a Demosthenes, and the painting of a Raphael, when we are able to interpret its real relation to life. When the morning stars sang together they were celebrating the birth of agriculture, but man became bewildered in the mazes of commercialism and forgot the music of the stars. It is the high mission of the vitalized school to lead us back from our wanderings and to restore us to our rightful estate amid the beauties, the inspiration, the poetry, and the far-reaching prophecies of agriculture. This it can do only by revealing to us the possibilities, the glories, and the joy of life and causing us to know that agriculture is the source of life.
=Synthetic teaching.=—The analytic teaching of agriculture will not avail; we must have the synthetic also. Too long have we stopped short with analysis. We have come within sight of the promised land but have failed to go up and possess it. We have studied the skeleton of agriculture but have failed to endow it with life. We must keep before our eyes the picture of the little girl. We must feel that the quintessence and spirit of agriculture throbs through all the arteries of life. Here lies the field in which imagination can do its perfect work. Here is a subject in which the vitalized school may find its highest and best justification. By no means is it the only study that fitly exemplifies life, but, in this respect, it is typical, and therefore a worthy study. On the side of analysis the teacher finds the blade of grass to be a thing of life; on the side of synthesis she finds the blade of grass to be a life-giving thing. And the synthesis is no less in accord with science than the analysis.
=The element of faith.=—Then again agriculture and life meet and merge on the plane of faith. The element of faith fertilizes life and causes it to bring forth in abundance. Man must have faith in himself, faith in the people about him, and faith in his own plans and purposes to make his life potent and pleasurable. By faith he attaches the truths of science to his plans and thus to the processes of life; for without the faith of man these truths of science are but static. Faith gives them their working qualities. There is faith in the plowing of each furrow, faith in the sowing of the seed, faith in the planting of each tree, and faith in the purchase of each machine. The farmer who builds a silo has faith that the products of the summer will bring joy and health to the winter. By faith he transmutes the mountains of toil into valleys of delight. Through the eyes of faith he sees the work of his hands bringing in golden sheaves of health and gladness to his own and other homes.