Rev. Dr. Lyman Abbott preached his last sermon for the year as preacher of the University, in Appleton Chapel last night, taking his text from Proverbs 8-35 "Whose findeth Me, findeth life."
Men may have wisdom without knowledge or knowledge without wisdom, but one in the latter class is nothing more than a learned fool. The literature of the Old Testament is a wisdom literature and while it does not give a solution to the mysteries of life, it teaches us to fear God and this is the beginning of wisdom. Religion is not an expression of opinion nor is belief in immortality, valuable as it may be, essential to it. It is, in its truest sense faith, hope and love. They are the threads of life and give the key to the solution of its perplexities and burdens. We study science to find what reason there is in nature and what are the laws which govern it. We find there is back of all phenomena, understanding and intelligence and unless we try to find more about these we are not possessed with the true spirit of science nor has anyone of us the clue of life, who does not look at it from these three views: pursuit of the invisible; belief that it can be found; and desire to find it out for the good of humanity. Every profession is a religious profession if it is rightfully understood, but otherwise it is not, and no one sees his business in the true light unless he sees in it duty to his fellow men. The physician who works for money and not for relief of suffering and maintenance of life is missing the secret of his profession, as does the lawyer who studies codes and ignores principles.
The end of all education is character, and while you may speak of different parts of man, still he is really a unit and must be developed as a unit. All literature which does not build up in man faith, hope and love, has no place in the world. It is no excuse to give him unhealthy and demoralizing news merely because he will read it, but everything should tend to a strong and well-rounded character.
Those who are undecided as to what their life's work shall be should look carefully about and see for what they are fitted. They who aim for money alone or that work which will bring them the easiest living have really no place in life. For those who have more honorable purposes, who feel within them this faith, hope and love, there is a calling. For him who has these three qualities very deeply imbedded in his heart there is no worthiers profession than that of the ministry. The pulpit may have lost its power, but man has not and if he can make others feel the meaning and force of religion he has a place and power in life. There never was a time when men of strong convictions had a better chance for work. If, however, we take the clue which religion gives, it matters little what profession we choose.
The choir sang the following anthems: "I will magnify Thee," Selby; "Christian the evening waits before Thee," Shelley; "Sahitaris," Fauvee.