Professor Lake in saying that the orthodox amateur preacher has lost his great appeal to the educated classes, has only partially summed up the feeling of the College in this matter. For Harvard has realized, vaguely at first, but more and more through the years that all blind religion and superstitious ceremonialism inevitably must go. So dogmas have slumbered, compulsory chapel has ceased to exist, and Harvard has come to be called the college of the atheist.
From time to time Catholic and Protestant abuse has sought to shame the college into assuming a definite religious conviction, but no amount of ecclesiastical bullying has had any effect. Great preachers have been received extremely well, not for the dogmas that they represent, but for the power of their separate personalities. Still Harvard has drifted along apparently rudderless through the soas of Christianity.
The truth of the matter is that Harvard thinks just as much about religion, and knows as much about religion as any of its sectarian brothers, but in a different way. Individual exploration takes the place of a general and unquestioning faith. The quality of mysticism, which Professor Lake so stresses, is reduced to a minimum, and religion becomes a cold academic fact. This spirit, condemn it or not, is born from the very nature of Harvard's critical unemotionalism, While it exists, no amateur, preacher and no narrowing dogma can chain the minds of Harvard undergraduates.