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The Revival of Learning


A man is his own best kingdom.

After the Dark Ages Chaucer sang of the English daisy, and Petrarch climbed a moun tain to enjoy the beauty of the view, being, it is said, the first man in Europe to do so.

It was not a young world in which these hap penings occurred, but a world that felt its age and its burden of care. And yet it was a morn ing time; a dawn with a rare day before it.

The light of a new day was about to enter into the dark places. Once again the world began to look good to the eyes. The view from tfie mountain tops became enchanting. Joy wove its colors into the fabric of life. Even going on a pilgrimage to Canterbury had its joyance and its humor. The rare literature of Greece and Rome became vital again, and a Christian man had no fear to read a Pagan tale.

Now the world movement that took place so long ago has a suggestion for the man of to day; particularly for the man of forty, or thereabouts. He may be in the condition de scribed by Dante in the opening lines of the "Divine Comedy." In the midst of this our mortal life, I found me in a gloomy wood astray.

He is deeply involved in affairs, he is prob ably the victim of fear, certainly of care and uncertainty ; he is, in fact, in the Dark Age of life. The gorgeous Greek days of youth are misty in the memory. The joy of his early world is distant and is only a dim reality. In short, he is hard put to it in practical affairs. He has said good-bye to the morning hours, little dreaming that he can have them once more, and forever, if he will.

The salvation of this man lies in inaugurat ing for his own benefit a new thought move ment, to be called the Revival of Learning.

Then light will begin to enter into the dark places, because a new day is dawning.

Undoubtedly, in the golden days of his child hood and youth he studied many subjects and read many books. They were but half-under stood events. Let him return to them and be a gleaner in the fields, where once he played, though he thought then that he labored.

Old favorites will take on a new and deeper meaning. He will find his friend, Robinson Crusoe, a new and a greater man. He will

find that all the heroes and heroines of those early days have an infinite degree of charm that he never grasped or has quite forgotten.

He will discover that the study and the read ing of earlier years are unexplored lands of new delights. Let him exchange for these de lights some of the care and fear and uncer tainty of middle life. Practical business affairs have their limit in a twenty-four hour day.

Is there left to him a little Latin? Let him bring it to the front and get a little more, remembering that it is with Latin, or with any other good thing of youth, as Samuel Johnson said of Greek : "Greek is like lace. Every man gets all he can of it." It is a great thing at forty to be inspired to sing of daisies and to climb a mountain for the beauty of the view. In the distance the scenes are too choice to be missed by any pass ing pilgrim. Indeed, they are well worth a long tramp over the trail.

Back yonder in the fields, where once he played, though he thought he labored, he can glean, as did Ruth of old, and find a bountiful harvest awaiting him.

The Revival of Learning did not include alone that return to the classics which for a time men had forgotten. It included self-ex pression stimulated by the new movement. This is an equally essential factor for the man of to-day to consider. He must not continue to act automatically, in response to the regular call of his business. Let him heed a lesson of the Old Testament ; the lesson contained in the story of Creation and of the early days of the earth.

From God, the beginning, to man, His im age, there is activity. Men are delving in the earth; they are sustaining themselves by labor. Everybody is attending strictly to business. Laban drives the sheep. Leah and Rachel are maids in busy waiting seven and fourteen years. Noah spends six hundred years in getting ready to be permitted to build the ark. The praise of Abraham and of Sarah is a work-praise in defiance of time. If there is any simple life about this, it is because men walked in truth and sustained themselves by the sweat of the brow.

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man, life, world, day and days