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The Vagabond


9th. The Vagabond, who is a sort of loose Deist himself, numbers among his best friends some Catholics, some Protestants, some Christian Scientists and some Jews. But most of those with whom he has associated closely during four years at Harvard have held the same generally undefined religious attitude as himself. This is the year 1936. In the years when the great flower we know as Harvard was still a tight little Puritan bud there was an enforced unanimity or religious sentiment that we nowadays find difficult to understand. Man was damned, utterly completely horribly and Calvinistically damned, and there might be no mistake about it. Michael Wigglesworth, graduate, and tutor at Harvard in the middle seventeenth century, showed God's judgment in his "Day of Doom".

"If for our own transgression or disobedience,

We here did stand at thy left hand, just were the Recompense;

But Adam's guilt our souls hath split, his fault is charg'd upon us;

And that alone hath overthrown and utterly undone us.

Noe we, but he ate of the Tree, whose frult was Interdicted;

Yet on us all of his and Fall the punishment's Inflicted.

How could we sin that had not been, or how is his sin our,

Without consent, which to prevent we never had the power?"

But God answers:

"You sinners are, and such a share as sinners may expect;

Such you shall have, for I do save none but mine own Elect. . ."

Though their sin is less:

"A crime it is, therefore in bliss you may not hope to dwell:

But unto you I shall allow the easiest room in Hell."

With this much consideration shown for stillborn babies what might the Harvard man expect? Jonathan Edwards gave a rough idea:

"O sinner! consider the fearful danger you are in. 'Tis a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit. . . that you are held over in the hand of God. . . You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it and ready every moment to singe it and burn it asunder; and you have. . . nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath. . . nothing that you have ever done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. . ."

At ten o'clock today, in Harvard 2, Dr. Perry Miller will lecture in History 60a, on "New England Theology".

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