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"Harvard's Better Self."


The December number of the New England Magazine contains an article by William Reed Bigelow on "Harvard's Better Self." It consists of a survey of the moral advantages which Harvard students enjoy and the use they make of them. The author discusses at length the worship which centers in Appleton Chapel: The morning prayers, the Sunday evening services, Vespers, the conference with the members of the Board of Preachers, etc. With the aid of quotations from articles by Professor Peabody and Rev. D. N. Beach as well as from statistics, the writer establishes the fact, well known to us all, that Harvard religious services are an unqualified suceess through their liberality and their spirituality.

Passing next to the religious societies the author speaks of the Young Men's Christian Association, the St. Paul's Society and the Total Abstinence League. He comments on the fact that to be interested in religious work does not as one might judge from the malice of the daily press, debar a man from prominence in athletic life. Very rarely has Harvard sent a Mott Haven to New York that has not included among its prize winners active religious men. "The president of the Athletic Association during the past year was also president of the St. Paul's Society. In social life the men of religious convictions have never lacked popularity so long as they have avoided cant and lived consistently."

The article closes with an account of the forces at Harvard which, not nominally religious, have a strong influence for good. Among these are the College Conferences of the year 1889-90 and the lectures both by Professor Lyon in Sever 11, and the annual services at the Divinity School on matters of value to students.

Articles such as these, which clearly demonstrate the advantages at the disposal of Harvard men and the active use that is made of them, should be widely circulated. But as long as snarling dailies throughout the country continue their malicious attacks, Harvard must expect constant misrepresentation which the truth, as set forth in Mr. Bigelow's article, can only weaken, not obliterate.

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