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A Pathetic Illustration

After lecturing recently in a beautiful country church, I spoke, as is my custom, to everyone who chanced to tarry for a moment. Among the number was a robust young man. I said, "What is your occupation?"

"Look at my hands and guess."

I said, "A sturdy manual laborer."

"Yes, I am a blacksmith. I have a common school education, I earn good wages, I shall soon have a home of my own. That is all I care for."

Would that all men could be like this man, self-supporting and contribute substantially to the material welfare of the community. Is this aim sufficient to satisfy the higher demands of men and women of this century? May not the restlessness of this age be largely due to the fact that food, raiment and shelter are inadequate to meet the demands of a normal soul? The material world is indeed small- the spiritual world is infinite. Can any sane man of today afford to measure the value of human aspiration and happiness by means of the dollar? Under the influence of such a measure the well springs of the soul dry up- and human existence is little better than brute existence.

The priceless value of an education does not lie in gaining financial prosperity. It lies in the precious gift of the appreciation of nature, music, pictures, sculpture, architecture, books and human association. These are the ends of an education that is worth while. Let the youth of this age struggle for the larger vision, the vision that giveth joy, hope and faith in the Eternal.

Source: Newton, Roy, editor. Life and Works of Woodbridge N. Ferris. (Big Rapids, Michigan: n.p., 1960), 152-153.