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tion the concept of personality as the organized self of man functioning as a unit in social life; and religious experience as participation in beliefs touching the ultimate spiritual realities of life and in the mood and activity which derive from them.

The question then presented to us is, How can such beliefs in the essential spirituality of the universe and the participation in those characteristic acts and words which we call religious help man to function more effectively as a creative unit in society. We maintain that such a faith will, in the first place, help him to surmount the intellectual difficulties which he is likely to encounter, and which, if not overcome, may overwhelm and defeat him; and in the second place, such a faith will make possible abiding ideals in his life which will stimulate his will and give direction and unity to his life's purposes.

Not all the tribulations of man are physical in their nature, or psychic. We are too prone in our day to reduce all human unhappiness to economic want, to physical handicaps, or to psychic maladies. There are other causes which may contribute to the destruction of a man's efficient self, not the least of which is intellectual confusion. There are men who take ideas very seriously, who react to them more sharply than to external forces. There are men whose peace of mind depends upon the finding of a satisfying philosophy of life, which will master their doubts, strengthen their hearts, and give them confidence and hope to face the exactions and disillusionments of life.

Not so long ago an eminent psychologist sent out a questionnaire to a group of men and women, asking them to answer this question: "If you became convinced that God did not exist, would it make any difference in your life?" The replies, as you may well imagine, were varied. Some said that it would make no difference whatsoever. One said that it would make him feel terribly lonely in life. Another said that it would make him afraid to face either life or death. And still another said: “If I became convinced that God did not exist, I would destroy myself." The last reply seems very extreme. But those who are acquainted with the dynamics of ideas, with their powers of disruption and integration, will not question the sincerity of the reply. An idea may destroy and may give life. It may wound mortally and may heal miraculously.

You will recall that shortly after the theory of evolution was launched in the world a wave of suicide swept through England and Western Europe. The doctrine was new, and as yet unanalyzed and uncorrected. There were people who drew some very headlong and disastrous conclusions from it: the universe is without purpose or intelligence, a blind mechanism moved by equally blind forces; the world of the living is a bloody arena wherein plants, beasts, and men struggle terribly and ruthlessly for survival; within this fearful world there is room neither for ideals nor hopes nor spiritual aspirations. Among these people there were those whom life had sorely tried and heavily burdened, who, quite naturally, asked themselves, "Why, then, should we persist in this unequal struggle? Why endure the vicissitudes of fortune? Our sacrifices are of no avail.

Why travel the hard road, seeing that at the end of it there is nothing but defeat and annihilation? Therefore death is a welcome release."

Tolstoi, in his Confessions, writes:

There was a period in my life when everything seemed to be crumbling, the very foundations of my convictions were beginning to give way, and I felt myself going to pieces. There was no sustaining influence in my life and there was no God there, and so every night before I went to sleep, I made sure that there was no rope in my room lest I be tempted during the night to hang myself from the rafters of my room; and I stopped from going out shooting lest I be tempted to put a quick end to my life and to my misery.

Now Tolstoi lived a full life. His vital energies were not thwarted or driven into a cul-de-sac. His biologic needs, his aesthetic needs, his scientific needs were to a great degree satisfied. And yet one unfulfilled need was threatening to overthrow his whole world. He lacked the sustaining influence which comes from a realization that the universe is not a thing, but a personality, the manifestation and the dwelling place of a creative and benevolent intelligence, and that man in his finite way partakes of it, and in his creative efforts is its coworker.

I know that not all men are as sensitive to the influence of ideas as Tolstoi, but I also know that there are few men who think at all about those eternal problems of life, the whence and whither and why of things, who would not be helped to a sweeter and freer life once this heroic postulate of faith is made the driving motive of their life.

The need of God is as real a need in human life as the need of food. It may not be as immediate, but for the realization of life's highest possibilities and for the encompassing of life's noblest program it is as indispensable. It has sometimes been said irreverently that man created God. But beneath this surface cynicism is a profounder truth which often escapes those who utter it. The profounder truth is that man is so constituted that the desperate needs and emergencies of his life compel him to create a God idea. Wasn't it the skeptic of the eighteenth century, Voltaire, who said that if there were no God, the human race would be compelled to invent one. Why? Because man needs the assurance that the great hunger for self-perfection, which is his goad and his goal, may some day be satisfied.

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There is one fundamental hunger in human life, and that is the hunger for completion. "There is no motive in life," says Professor Hadfield, "so persistent as this hunger for fulfillment, whether for the needs of our body or for the deepest spiritual satisfaction of our souls. As nature abhors a vacuum, so every organism abhors incompleteness." Man, too, in his mental and spiritual life seeks completion. He struggles to develop his mind; he strives to improve himself; he reaches into the unknown for new truth and new beauty and new resolutions. There is in each of us an inarticulate yearning for undiscovered continents. We hunger for the limitless horizons, the distant fields of splendor. This spiritual restlessness is man's most precious legacy, his cross and his crown

and his immortality. He knows that he is incomplete, but he has a vision of perfection and completion.

In a Godless world man's hunger for completion is doomed to disappointment and must turn to bitterness and gall. There is no room for it there. In a universe wherein there is neither purpose nor reason nor intelligence, this hope of man is a tragic, mocking futility. And the hope thus denied, like all frustrated desires of man, will turn upon him and devastate him.

But give that man the faith that he dwells in a universe where God is, where personality reigns, in which all things are linked together by one divine purpose whose attributes are justice and goodness, and that he, frail and finite though he be, is yet cooperating in the glorious unfoldment of that purpose, and behold what a current of hope and confidence you send into his life. With such a faith no man can be utterly lonely or lost. The consciousness of God will be like the presence of a mighty kinsman, a friend by his side. Misfortune will not crush him. For is he not always in the safekeeping of One who planned all things well? He will fare forth on the great adventure of life in high hope, and will seek the undiscovered lands of the spirit, confirmed in the faith that such lands do exist, and that some day he may be privileged to enter them.

There is yet another way in which the experience of faith contributes to the development of human personality. The human soul is frequently a battlefield. The traditional moralist calls it the struggle between the higher and the lower self. The modern psychologist calls it the conflict between will and impulse, between the social self and the suppressed instincts, the antisocial self. Man's hope lies in the victory of the social self, and his well-being depends upon the emancipation of the inhibited self through moral sublimation. Man can win this victory only through the exercise of his will continuously, and especially in the great crises of life. And, as Professor Hadfield correctly observed, "nothing can stimulate the will as potently as an ideal." But the great abiding ideals of life must find their source and origin in faith.

If the world is impersonal and mechanical and man the plaything of heredity and environment, there can be no meaning to human ideals. Why have ideals at all? Or, having been beguiled into them, whence will come the courage to endure for their sake, to traverse the dolorous road of frustration before we can reach the goal of consummation? Whence will come the consoling faith that if we fail, someone will take up the torch which our tired hands let fall and carry it on? Whence will come the great assurance that some day someone will make real the ideals for which we gave the blood of our souls?

Could you social workers face the drabness of that world into which your calling daily takes you the want, the misery, the stunted growths, the tangled lives, the sins, the tragedies-if you believed that all that is is inevitable, that "that which is crooked cannot be made straight, and that which is wanting cannot be filled, and there is nothing new under the sun"? Could you bring to your ministry, or could you derive from it, the lift and the enthusiasm and the conse

cration, unless you felt that life is perfectible, and that man can rise on the rungs of sin and crime and defeat to the higher level; that man can be renewed and remodeled according to a higher pattern of goodness and justice and beauty? These are ideals, grounded not in knowledge, but in faith-faith in the reality of a spiritual order of goodness and truth and beauty in the universe, faith in God.

The realization of this spiritual order underlying all things makes ideals possible. And these ideals galvanize the will of man and integrate his personality. These ideals will redirect those instincts which he had been compelled to suppress because of their antisocial tendencies into socially beneficent channels. He will experience a release from conflict, a freedom from bondage which will bring him peace and happiness.

Just as the individual man or woman who is sincerely religious is better equipped to face the trial of life, so, of course, is the family able to meet the problems and crises with a better chance of success if it is pervaded by a religious sentiment. The quality of reverence, which all great faith inspires, will dwell in its midst, and reverence is a congenial soil for the growth of other moral qualities. The home suffers an irreparable loss when it is secularized. The home needs the spirit of sanctity, the atmosphere which the Psalmist describes as "the beauty of holiness," in order to preserve itself amidst the disruptive influence of modern life. A broken home is, first and foremost, evidence of a lost reverence, of a broken faith. To conserve the home for civilization we must have recourse not to legislation, but to religion. "Holy, Holy, Holy" must be inscribed above the portals of our home. God dwells here! And in His presence all the relations of parents and children, of husband and wife are determined and sanctified. In such a home the personality of the parent will be magnificently enriched through the many sacred relationships of family life, and in such a home children grow up with a deep-rooted reverence for life's great sanctities and sincerities.

If in your daily ministry, then, you can communicate this faith to a fellow human being in need of light and new source of power, you will be bestowing upon him life's greatest boon, even as you will be enjoying life's rarest privilege. Do not be afraid to speak of God. Do not speak of creed, or dogma, or formula. Do not attempt to proselytize. That is not your task. But suggest to the groping mind or the tired heart the thought of God: Helper, Kinsman, Friend.

Do not be afraid to speak of God because you are a layman. What you require is not ordination, but consecration. All the prophets were laymen-shepherds, and herdsmen, and carpenters, and dressers of sycamore trees. Speak to him not as a professional man. Speak as a fellow human being, a traveler upon the same road, a pilgrim to the same shrine. Speak when life's flood is at its lowest ebb, when all else fails and darkness settles on the soul; speak in a still, small, confident voice of God. Speak and men will listen and men will understand.



John R. Brown, General Secretary, United Charities, St. Paul

Like all things that are inevitable, parenthood is taken for granted. Again, like all things taken for granted, parenthood is accepted as one of the mysteries of God, subject to no particular training and under no final laws. This will probably always be true of any of those social forces which lie in biological necessities. It is one of the signs of the times, however, that every small arc in this ring of helplessness is not only being questioned, but is actually changing. Parenthood is not anything that we have to take for granted. It is under biological and social control. It is not a blind force subject to a vital urge which will not take no for an answer. It is not an unmoral force which may devastate or drown the world unless it is checked by evolutionary laws that create their own balance at last. While it is no new thought that parenthood is something to be educated, it is a growing conviction, however, that parenthood has hostages to pay to the future, as well as debts to discharge to the past. There are some among us who believe that a new education is emerging, with parenthood both as subject and object.

The danger is, of course, that we may enrol classes in parenthood before we have made our curriculum. We may even think that we have something to teach, and a method by which to teach it, without knowing exactly what we mean by both the education and the training involved. It would be most unfortunate to turn the idea, whose meaning and limitations we are trying to make clear, into a new social catchword, or to turn it into a new social slogan. It would be as unhappy if we raised hopes that could not be realized; if we even suggested that every family might become a paradise with Adam and Eve in it if somehow or other we could only catch our first parents and give them a proper training! It will be remembered, by the way, that those first parents had their misunderstandings and committed their follies in the Garden before the children appeared! This is a suggestion that the children may have to take a postponed punishment for the sins of their parents. Just as unfortunate would be the stimulated interest which would have as a last result a set of new books for the training of parents, or a correspondence course to fill up the gaps of parental ignorance and folly.

There are three types of parents whose lack of training has made their children at the same time the promise of the world, the puzzle of the theologian, and the material in hand of the social worker-by whatever name he may have been called. The oldest parent of either sex or of both sexes is the adventitious parent. This is probably the oldest parenthood in the world. Its sense of relationship between parent and child is casual, and not causal. The adventitious parent can often be found in the person with a low intelligence quotient. But

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