The Baccalaureate Sermon to the senior class was preached yesterday afternoon by Dr. Lawrence. At 3.50 Appleton Chapel was opened to the general public and at 4 o'clock about 250 men of the senior class marched in headed by the Class Day officers and took the seats reserved for them. The Chapel was tastefully decorated with palms and potted plants. The ushers from the junior class were, Cummin, J. H. Hunt, Lincoln, Weed, Hubbard, Gray, Lowell, Heard, Codman and G. F. McKay. A large number of the faculty, for whom seats were especially reserved were present. The choir sang the anthems, "Sing Hallelujah Forth," by Dudley Buck; "Oh for a Closer Walk with God," by Foster, solo by J. D. Merrill, L. S.; "The Shadows of the Evening Hour," by Barri-Shelley, solo by S. L. Swarts, L. S. The Baccalaureate hymn, written by Hugh McCulloch, Jr., was sung by the whole congregation.
The text of the sermon, taken from I Kings, xviii: 31 32, was "And Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of Judah-and with the stones he built an altar unto the Lord."
There is certain crises in everyone's life when a halt has to be called; the past must be reviewed and the future surveyed. It is the moment before the great struggle, the grand opportunity for a rally. Such a crisis has the class of Ninety-one reached. Therefore in this discourse let us recall the past with reference to the future and so be more vigorous, more intelligent and more truly ambitious in the new life.
But after all this new life following graduation is not so new, the senior of today may differ from the man of the world of next fall intellectually and morally but the principles of each are the same. The principles of the true university life go hand in hand with those of the true social life. The socalled new life, like the altar, is but the old structure rebuilt but a structure showing the touches of a hand of skill and experience.
And now as one looks out upon the broad expanse of life with its wonderful activity and its astonishing achievements, he cannot but remark how each man is compelled to follow one line of business or profession and so keep on in a narrow channel. Now this is the very idea that we must dismiss from our minds and it is the very principle that will mar the noblest minds. No such opinion prevails in a true university. "For if a university stands for anything it stands for the development of the full man, of large character and with sympathies bound up with an intense interest in his own peculiar line of work." And this is what called you to Harvard. Elsewhere you could have obtained your education, but nowhere else could you have it crowned with the wide interests and the broad culture of a true university. It is this university culture and training which teaches you to adopt a wider course, to consider your business in a broader way, to recollect the world and to think of society. But do not misunderstand the meaning of the words "public success." Again it is the University which points out to you the difference between quality and quantity of approval; which tells you to have a calm confidence and buoyant enthusiasm and to do your duty for duty's sake. Remember that some of our noblest spirits are not those whose names are on every tongue, but those who have faithfully gone through life's work and passed into eternal life as "a living stone in that living temple of humanity to help to build up man unto the glorious ideal which God has placed before him." Such a career is grand and noble and true.
There is another great lesson which the University teaches-the overthrow of the doctrine of fatalism. This age is one of such great success and interest in physical things that many elements have emphasized the power of circumstances and the strength of chances. Now these theories, which are cherished by the public and nursed by weak minded men are most fatal and are the very ones which the teachings of the University tend to destroy. "The University is the last place to weaken faith in the worth of character" and is the place above all others to strengthen the belief of spiritual forces and to trace the history of Christianity to the Almighty.
Look back over the last hundred years and note the changes of the century. What has brought about these changes? "Man with his unique spiritual force, his will, his intellect-men touched with the fire of divine enthusiasm." Such men were those who lived in righteousness, liberty and humanity and who died in the faith of God. With their examples can you entertain the doctrines of fatalism? No. Take your university spirit into life with you, carry it into the world, and you will find yourself possessed of a gem of inestimable value.
Do not misunderstand this discourse and think that because I have not touched the level of a sermon that I have passed over religion. On the contrary there is no better way to serve God than to do your work faithfully and regardless of popular applause. Above all things remember to keep Christ always in view and "to turn to Him for the richest embodiment of manhood and in his life rest in confidence."