Menticulture - Plymouth Church Club And Armour Institute
( Originally Published 1901 )
A good example of a church club is that which forms à part of Plymouth Church in Chicago. Plymouth Club was founded by Dr. Scudder and is warmly encouraged by Dr. Frank W. Gunsaulus, the present pastor of the church. Dr. Gunsaulus is also president of Armour Institute, where manual training is taught side by side with letters and the sciences to men and women alike. In these two eminently practical organizations most of the conditions favorable to growth are already furnished. Add to these Emancipation as the motto of the club, and as the requisite mental accomplishment for admission to the school, and the conditions will be perfected to the highest degree.
The word Emancipation has a very formidable sound because it is associated with a great war; but its attainment through germ eradication is a simple and easy accomplishment.
The presidents of great mental and manual training institutions know that the depressing and dwarfing phantoms of the mind are merely bad habits weeds that can be rooted out and that anger and worry are the roots.
They have provided commodious buildings, learned professors, the most perfect chemical and mechanical appliances, and thousands* of books, to aid mental and manual culture; and yet, they fail to apply the first principle of all their sciences to the preparation of the pupil. In horticulture they do not tolerate worms or weeds; in chemistry they first examine into the purity of the ingredients; and in mechanics the greatest care is taken to avoid friction. Anger and worry are conditions of extreme mental friction, which, during their presence, stop the progressive action of the mental machine.
It would impose no impossibility, neither would it entail any hardship, to require of students that they should subscribe to the following:
Science teaches, and experience corroborates the fact, that the depressing or evil passions are bad habits of the mind, and not necessary ingredients.
Anger and worry are the roots of the evil passions and can be pulled out.
In order to promote the best possible growth it is required that Emancipation should be the rule of life of the student.
Under the suggestion of the possibility of Emancipation from undesirable mental enemies, emanating from so respected a source as the faculty of a chosen college, the student would acquire the prerequisite condition of "faith" ; while the absorbing work of college life, surrounded by fellows working in sympathy with him, would strengthen the faith into a belief; and the immediate recompense of harmony would be evidence of its value as a rule of life.
From the school the student would carry the rule back into the family, and into all walks in life; and with the aid of present means of communication the influence would spread the world over, disarm the prodigious preparations for struggle that are being made, and distribute the palm branch to take the place of the sword.
Will not the great educators whom the world respects so highly, and in whom it has so much faith, try the experiment? The promised fruit is worth the trial.