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The psalmist cites this fact as the figure of a higher mystery and a profounder truth. It is an assertion of the spirituality of the universe and the spiritual nature of the soul. Man's help comes not from the earth, nor from daily experiences, but from sources that are unseen and eternal. How can we, who stand on the height of learning, with impulses that call us to the noblest devotion and most heroic living, better improve this occasion than by unfolding the proposition that our power comes from above ?
Especially is this true of man as an intellectual being. The truth is higher than the mind that apprehends it. There is no man who aspires to the intellectual life who does not think of it as something higher than is ordinarily felt in the life of the world, So, when we take up the process of education, we turn absolutely from lower things and begin the ascent of the rugged path which leads to the summit of achievement.
This is true when we try to apprehend and approximate the experience of others. History is a great stream, which has its sources in the inaccessible recesses of antiquity, and Aows down and over many mountains and crags toward the great ocean of eternity. But as we try to apprehend its lessons we always look upward to the mysteries of its source. So, when we contemplate the examples of history and bring before us the teachers, the heroes, and the martyrs, we see them on a plane above us, or descending upon us as “ the gentle rain from heaven."
Nor is it only history that descends from the upper regions of thought and life. All the higher truths by which man's life is enriched come down to us. The philosophy that men have been seeking to construct since the begins ning of the race bends above us like the blue dome of heaven. As we search the realm of the stars for the influence that keeps them in space, so we peer into the great arch of higher intelligence for a knowledge of the secret processes and principles of being. We even say of the discoverer of some new scientific principle that he has climbed higher than any who have preceded him.
What we affirm of the scientific explorer we assert of the statesman and social philosopher, the man who undertakes to solve the riddle of individual life. The problems of eternal interest, which never fail to bring out the nobler energies of mind and heart, are those that pertain to man in his relations with his fellow man. The salvation of the soul has put a golden message into the mouths of our noblest men, such as Chapin, whose bronze image glowing with the old fire looks down upon you to-day, Starr King, Phillips Brooks, and that fearless champion of the truth, that Christian soldier who lies dead upon his shield in yonder city. The affirmation that truth is higher than the mind that receives it finds no better illustration than the fact that the institutions in which it is investigated and disseminated are called the higher institutions of learning.
If now we turn to a consideration of the moral and social standards of the race, we shall find that the guiding power is above us. We cannot find them by looking down or within. Out of what have the social movements sprung ? Take Judaism, which has more profoundly affected the destinies of nations and the thought of the world than any other in history. But it was not of human origin. It was God who commanded Abraham to leave his country, and all who have followed him have looked to the same source for guidance. It is the custom to speak contemptuously of the Jews. The Egyptians persecuted them of old, and now the Russians are driving them out ; but in America they show in our schools a capacity and an aptitude equalled by no other nation. Why is this? Because they are true to tradition and ever looking up. Like Jacob, they recognize Jehovah in every place to which their feet may come.
Christianity furnishes the best illustration of this principle. What gives Christianity its peculiar quality? It placed its ideal of humanity before and not behind. It furnished a concrete instance of this ideal in its founder, — a life that in its grandeur, sublimity, tenderness, and purity is unapproachable, infinitely higher than the loftiest movements of the soul, yet a life that reveals the possibilities of human attainments and lays its sublime command upon every soul. However far the human race may advance, Christ is still above and beckoning to bolder and surer flights.
The present is full of great social problems. Men are trying to say how they shall be solved, and whether it is possible to remove class distinctions. In the midst of these varying opinions there is much crude philosophy, yet the conviction is growing that they can be solved only by an appeal to the higher ranges of thought. The task is for scholars, for those who are skilled by long discipline and practice in elucidating principles from facts. The appeal is to psychology, political economy, sanitary science. Here we cannot walk without example. No human reasoning is of any value until it is brought to the test. Here we must look up. The social fabric whence the kingdom of God shall come must be based on Christianity and built around the personality of its founder. Above all, help and strength in the ideal life can come only through exhaltation.
All great moral forces in the world are personal. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a particular gospel. It deals with man on the plan of his own life. But in all this the life by which man is to be renovated, and into which he is to draw society, must come from above. In this great uplifting we give education a prominent place. We declare that education must be free. We say that the teacher is one of the highest functionaries in our civil and social life. He is higher and more efficient in securing order than the police, and mightier than the general with
But we cannot confine this uplifting process to education alone. It must be brought about in part by the influence of good example ; but more than this, men must look to the Infinite, the Eternal. They must find him in all their struggles. The training which enables them to do this will finally bring the individual and the race to the stature of perfection.
He concluded with an earnest appeal and a sad farewell to the graduating class,
The nineteenth of June presented the ideal conditions for a Commencement Day; the air was warm, but always in motion, and the clouds were able to conceal the sun only for a moment at
a time. Large numbers of people came to the Hill, and when the trustees and the Faculty, ushered by the graduating class, entered the Chapel it was well filled. After the invocation by President Capen, and the first of the numerous selections by the orchestra, the first speaker was announced.
C. Neal Barney, of Lynn, candidate for the degree of A.B., delineated the history of “Toleration in Early Massachusetts :” “Our forebears will be misjudged unless interpreted by the light of their own times. They had come from the intolerance of old England for the purpose of guaranteeing to their own faith a civil existence, and with whatsoever tended to overturn that political status it was their duty to do away. So Roger Williams was expelled, and, though that may seem to our perceptions a mistake, we have now to thank the very blood of the martyrs for their zeal for the Commonwealth which to-day stands as the cradle of religious and political liberty.
Alfred James Cardall, of Bay City, Michigan, candidate for the degree of B.D., outlined “ The New Practical Christianity : ” “ The meaning of this phrase is to be best shown by an examination of the work of the various branches of the church of to-day in elevating the masses. Chief, perhaps, among the great movements which have for their aim the Christianization of the masses must be mentioned the Salvation Army, now become so great a body that of its organ, The War Cry, fifty-one million copies of each issue are circulated throughout nineteen different countries. Due importance must be assigned to the McCall Mission, in France, the institutional churches and college settlements in England and the United States, and the prison reform, which is receiving its best development in America. The new Christianity, like that of its first founder, develops the physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual sides of men, and teaches them to 'go about doing good.''
Practical suggestions on “The Development of Industrial Equality ” were given by the third speaker, Clarence Livingstone Eaton, of Worcester, candidate for the degree of A.B.:
Every age has had its great problem to deal with. The great battles of religious and political freedom have been fought out, but there remains the need to so guide that individual liberty that it may nowhere work injury to any. The Christian Church proposes love as the great agency to accomplish the intention; the socialists believe in the efficacy of the law; but both are, and must be, used. Gradual growth, the education of the people, the development of right public opinion, are the sure tools for the reform. No sudden revolution can be thought of, but the slow growth of natural conditions will yet accomplish what we seek.”
“How teach Greek?” was considered and answered by Harry Charles Folsom, of Oakland, Maine. “ First of all, do not crush the student's latent enthusiasm by branding it as a dead language. As educated Americans read Chaucer, so with equal facility do modern Greeks read their ancient language. The subject must be approached as a living tongue, even if not by the same methods as are employed in teaching a modern language. The wonderfully expressive and beautiful possibilities of the Greek are to be absorbed by the learner, and all his attention is not to be exhausted by the contemplation of such barren facts as the construction after sun-in composition. Greek by sound and at sight gives the most lasting and profitable results.”
Adelbert Harland Morrison, of Lawrence, candidate for the degree of E.E., gave a skilful and original analysis of “ The Electrical Resistance of the Human Body,” explaining the peculiar conditions in the case of an electric shock: “Living matter has a remarkable difference from inorganic or dead organic matter, in that the passage of a current lowers appreciably the resistance. This is found to be due to the contraction of minute muscles under the skin, and the secretion of an extra amount of perspiration. These experiments, carried on wholly at Tufts, show that there can be no absolute determination of the danger from a current of given power, results being not a little dependent upon atmospheric and personal physical conditions.”
“The Study of Poetry — Its Value to the Preacher," was well set forth by Ashley Auburn Smith, of Auburn, Maine, candidate for the degree of B.D.: “Dante, Milton, and Shakespeare give us the best insight into the moral and spiritual conditions of their ages. dominion of the poet; he can best show humanity how to be patient, to labor, to suffer, to be strong, and to triumph. Philosophy, with all its keen logical inferences, has no entry into the spiritual side of life; there the poet and the preacher must clasp hands and make their way together, for it is the prerogative of both to deepen and ennoble life.”
Other parts which were prepared, but not read, are as follows: Eugene Averell, of Lynn, candidate for the degree of A.B., “ Co-operation in Reform ;” Edward Perkins Clarke, of Mystic, Connecticut, candidate for the degree of Ph.B., “ The Aim of the Reformer ;” Edward Channing Craig, of Franklin, candidate for the degree of A.B., “Decivilization ;” Harold Bartlett Fobes, of Portland, Maine, candidate for the degree of A.B., “ The Separation of Maine from Massachusetts ; ” Orlando Faukland Lewis, Tufts College, candidate for the degree of A.B., “The Subsidy of the Theatre ;” Charles Lucius Ricketts, of Monson, candidate for the degree of Ph.B., “ Origin of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights ;” Robert Baxter Smith, of Tunbridge, Vermont, candidate for the degree of A.B., “ Condensation of Oxygen in the Magnetic Field ; ” William Risby Whitehorne, of Somerville, candidate for the degree of A.B., "The Spectroscope as an Astronomical Instrument ;” Guy Monroe Winslow, of Somerville, candidate for the degree of A.B., “ Vivisection ;” Frederic Courtland Kenyon, of Lincoln, Nebraska, candidate for the degree of Ph.D., “ The Morphology and Classification of the Pauropoda.”
His Excellency, Governor Frederic T. Greenhalge, with his staff, arrived in time for the conferring of the degrees, and sat upon the platform with the President and trustees. Then the President, in the name of the Faculty and the Board of Trustees, conferred the following degrees in course :
BACHELORS OF CIVIL ENGINEERING.
BACHELORS OF ARTS.
With Honors in History.
With Honorable Mention in English Literature.
With Honorable Mention in French.
With Honorable Mention in Political Science and English Literature.
With Honors in Greek and Honorable Mention in English Literature.
With Honors in Physics and Political Science.
With Honors in German and French.
With Honors in Mathematics.
With Honors in Biology.
BACHELORS OF DIVINITY.
DOCTORS OF MEDICINE.
BACHELORS OF PHILOSOPHY.
Edward Perkins Clarke, Mystic, Connecticut,
With Honorable Mention in French.
With Honorable Mention in Mathematics.
With Honorable Mention in Political Science and English Literature.
The following honorary degrees were conferred: Doctor of Laws, Rev. Thomas J. Sawyer, D.D.; Doctor of Science, L. L. Dame, '60, A.M., principal of Medford High School ; Doctor of Philosophy, C. W. Parmeter, '87, of Cambridge; Master of Arts, Otis Skinner, Thomas G. Frothingham, Boston; Stephen H. Powell, Orono, Maine.
After the benediction by Dr. Capen the company left the Chapel, and in a little while a long column led by the President of the college and the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth, the Faculty, trustees, and friends, escorted by the graduating class, moved toward the gymnasium, where the long tables accommodating over three hundred and fifty were soon filled.
Dr. Capen presided, Aanked by Mr. J.D. W. Joy, president of the Board of Trustees, the Rev. Dr. T. J. Sawyer, the Rev. E. C. Sweetser, of Philadelphia, His Excellency, Governor Frederic T. Greenhalge, and Ex-Mayor Thomas N. Hart. Dr. Sweetser offered prayer, after which the excellent ménu occupied the attention of the many guests. The plates having been duly cleared, President Capen opened the speaking with the address of welcome. He said: “We meet to-day under the shadow of a great loss. In the history of the college no important occasion has lacked the presence of Dr. Miner to grace it. The older members of the trustees, who remember the beginnings of this institution, the graduates of twenty-five years ago, who sat under his teachings and felt the power of his personality, have felt a tinge of sadness come over them at the thought that we shall see his face no more. The younger alumni, too, well recall what he has done and what he has been, and join in the sorrow of the day. Yet we should not remain under the cloud, for it would not be in accordance with his optimistic faith. Not long ago Dr. Miner said to a number of the trustees, Gentlemen, I shall have a funeral in a little while, and I hope no minister will neglect any duty to attend it.' Since Friday the Aag upon Ballou Hall has floated at half-mast, but to-day it was run to the top of the pole, as much in honor of Dr. Miner as of this occasion.
“ Some one has spoken of Dr. Miner as being at the very beginning of the college, but years ago, before he had learned the power of leadership, Dr. Miner was preaching in New York the doctrine of education. The college probably had its inception in a sermon preached in Brooklyn, in 1847, by the Rev. Hosea Ballou, 2d. Still, Dr. Miner came early, and when the plow had once been set in the furrow his strong hands grasped the handles and guided the destinies of the institution even to the day of his death. Upon the death of Dr. Ballou, trusting in Dr. Miner's sagacity, the trustees put him in the vacant chair; and their confidence was well justified, for in his administration money flowed into the coffers of the institution and our financial foundation was laid broadly and deeply. His intellectual attainments and his sterling character soon placed Tufts College among the first educational institutions in New England.
“ The college has continued growing in prosperity, and this year has been no exception. Our corps of teachers, our body of students, and our facilities for the work have been larger than ever before. Of material favors there have been many this year, some, to be sure, depending upon life interests, but none embarrassingly hampered. One is especially notable. By the will of the late Mrs. Cornelia M. Jackson, of Providence, Rhode Island, a sum of $80,000 is left under conditions so agreeable to the college as not to be considered restrictions at all. The need of the age is for a college with equipment fitted to the demands of the age. Tufts College has kept its own and met these demands. The college has broadened as I had no idea it would when I took up the duties of this office; but the conviction of the existence and value of the new education has triumphed. How many young men have seemed stupid, dull, and uninterested in the study of the humanities, who, upon entering upon the sciences and the newer learning, have been transformed, and shown that there are more humanities than the Middle Ages knew. Tufts College has gone farther than any other institution in New England in the cause of the broadening of education, but in it it has their commendation. Said the President of Bowdoin College, «Tufts has taken the boldest step, but all the other colleges will have to follow. We are going with the procession; what is first is to find out which way it is going, and then we will go across lots. It will be our purpose to arrive!'”
The President then introduced Governor Greenhalge, who congratulated the corporation and friends upon the successful and pleasant character of the Commencement Day. Some recollections of his first visit to the institution in its early days, and the prophecy of a Tufts man that before long Harvard would become only an annex to this college, were very much relished. As the official representative of a Commonwealth which stood pre-eminent as the protector and promoter of the cause of education, he thanked the college for its contribution to the manhood of the State. The chief end of education is to fit men for the duties of life and citizenship. Without education no free government could exist. Whether we follow the new or the old, the humanities or the sciences, a breadth and manliness must be developed if the State shall prosper. Tufts shows by her sons in every walk of life how well she has kept her charge. To Dr. Miner, whose noble soul had wrought a great service to men everywhere, in the State, in education, and in their daily life, are due great thanks for the prosperity of the college ; and in our sorrow for so great a loss there cannot be long regret, for in his career is to be seen a life spent in honor and usefulness, and nobly closed.
The President then called upon the Rev. C. H. Puffer, '83, who spoke of the high places in the world of science and letters that had been filled by the Faculty and alumni of Tufts College. He paid a noble tribute to the Divinity School, and urged upon all men the principles which were there emphasized, - sharp discrimination of right and wrong, and strong and continuous advocacy of the right in whatever line it might be.
Hon. M. B. Frank, '62, father of one of the graduating class, was then called upon and responded in a reminiscent vein, speaking of the Maine alumni who had won distinction in war, in politics, and in law.
The Hon. F. D. Allen, a Yale graduate, spoke briefly and entertainingly, touching upon the widening scope of the departments of the college and the expansion of its membership by the admission of women, which he heartily commended.
Ernest W. Cushing, M.D., of the Medical School Faculty, spoke of the relations of that body to the college, and of the prospects of the department, emphasizing the great advantages which were had by the world upon the advent of women as physicians.
Before calling upon the last speaker, Dr. Capen announced the gift of $1,800 to found a Wendell Phillips scholarship to be applied to the education of some student of oratory. George H. Hero, '89, responded on behalf of the younger alumni, and emphasized the influence of undergraduate institutions upon college men.
The President's reception to the trustees, Faculty, and graduating class, at his residence, from 5.30 to 7.30, closed one of the most successful Commencement Days in the history of the college.
The annual meeting of the Delta chapter of Massachusetts Phi Beta Kappa
was held in Miner Hall, at 4 P.M., Tuesday, June 18. The following were Kappa
admitted to membership: from the graduates, Herman J. Smith, M.D., '58,
Hon. Henry W. Bragg, '61, and Thomas Whittemore, '94; from the graduating class, O. F. Lewis, C. N. Barney, E. C. Craig, and H. C. Folsom. The candidates from the graduating class, Mr. Whittemore, the Rev. John Coleman Adams, '70, and Professor Minton Warren, '70, who had been previously elected, were initiated.
The officers elected for the coming year were: president, E. H. Capen, D.D., '60 ; vicepresident, Professor William G. Tousey, B.D., '69; secretary and treasurer, Melvin M. Johnson, °92; executive committee, the president, vice-president, and secretary, ex officio, Sumner Robinson, '88, Leo R. Lewis, '87, L. L. Dame, '60,