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to the resolve. We think how late we shall be, how the duties of the day will suffer. We say 'I must get up. This is ignominious,' etc. But still the warm couch feels too delicious, the cold outside too cruel; and resolution faints away, and postpones itself again and again just as it seemed on the verge of bursting into resistance and passing over into the decisive act. How do we ever get up under such circumstances? We more often than not get up without any struggle or decision at all. We suddenly find that we have got up. A fortunate lapse of consciousness occurs; we forget both the warmth and the cold; we fall into some revery connected with the day's life, in the course of which the idea flashes across us, 'Hollo! I must lie here no longer,'-an idea which, at that lucky instant, awakens no contradictory or paralyzing suggestions, and consequently produces immediately its appropriate effects." Professor James does not go on to say that we have here an abstract and brief chronicle of a good deal of our moral life, but I think he might have done so without hesitation. The warmest bed imaginable is our various self-indulgence; the coldest possible atmosphere is that where virtuous action pleads with us for realization. The very thought of it chills our imagination to the bone. If our action had to be deliberate, should we ever have the courage to get up? That depends upon the character of the persons whom the pronoun represents. But, happily, in life's various dilemma there is ever and anon the momentary lapse from the deliberative mood; and the first thing we know we have got up and are going about the duty of the hour, manfashion, rather enjoying, too, the nipping and the eager air. It is not that our passions, good or evil, speak for us while we stand by and wonder. It is that our whole self has acted spontaneously, to the temporary discomfiture of our mere balancing of rival claims. And the problem of the moral life is, in good measure, how to organize and develop this whole self, so that in the critical moments of existence it shall throw itself upon the side of right and truth and love, and sweep them on to victory and peace..

In moral theories, for the most part the freedom of the will is the sine qua non of moral action, the indispensable desideratum. But, in truth, is not the indispensable desideratum a will that is not free to choose the evil or the good, but the good only,- is not, in fact, so much free to choose this as bound to choose it by our whole being's gravitation to it with an irresistible momentum? "Know," said John Milton, "that to be free is the same thing as to be pious, to be wise, to be temperate and just, to be frugal and abstinent, and, lastly, to be magnanimous and brave: so to be the opposite of all these is the same as to be a slave.... You, therefore, who wish to remain free, either instantly be wise or cease to be fools: if you think slavery an intolerable evil, learn obedience to reason and the government of yourselves." The diagnosis here is admirable, but the remedy for the disease is a specific hard to find. That freedom of the will which is its freedom from all base solicitation, its liberty to choose the highest and the best, its boundenness thereto, is not a freedom that is a gift of nature: it is a freedom that is an acquisition of experience, and this by no sudden burst of energy so much as by long processes of discipline which store up the energy which in moments to which Heaven has joined great issues discharges itself with infallible confidence upon the better side.

"With a great price obtained I this freedom." Sometimes the price is paid for us before our birth; and then, like the apostle, we are born free. Our fathers and mothers, theirs in turn, and generations back of them have, by innumerable fidelities of thought and word and deed, by their self-denials, their frugalities, stored away the sum which purchases our manumission from the slavery of selfish passions and impure desires. Well, this is a matter over which we have no control; and so you think perhaps it has no ethical implications. As the wishes of the French lady were not consulted when she was born, so are not ours how we are born. Nay; but, if we cannot do anything for the how of our own birth, we may do something for that of those who shall be born to us,

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something to file away the links of the ancestral chain, something to make the price that they will have to pay to get their freedom that little less which may make all the difference in the world to them. What summons, too, is here for those who are free-born to bear considerately and compassionately with those who are less fortunate, those who are bound with passion's galling chains! what summons to such fellow-service as shall make their bondage a less cruel yoke, and to such modesty and gratefulness as are fit for those who are well-born and have no conscious price to pay to make their freedom certain and secure!

There are no freer people in the world than hundreds who were slaves at birth to every possibility of falsehood and intemperance and unlicensed passion, while yet no one of them can say, "With a great price obtained I this freedom." It has been obtained for them by others. They have not paid the price, but others who have surrounded them with every object and with every influence that could make virtue beautiful and attractive for them and vice hideous and repellent. You have read Ibsen's "Ghosts," perhaps, and shuddered at the horrible truth to which it gives dramatic form,― the truth of men's hereditary compulsion to the foulest crimes. It is a truth well worth considering; and, ghastly as it is, we shall do well to look it fairly in the face. But there is other truth which is not less true, and which is as bright as this is dark, as beautiful as this is horrible, as full of hope as this is of despair. It is the truth that educational environment can do much to counteract the inheritance of evil tendency. No one has studied the problems of heredity more carefully than Francis Galton; no one has made the stress of good or bad inheritance seem more inexpugnable than he. But his investigations have shown nothing clearer than that, if inheritance is much, so also is the environment. Much that we call heredity, he says, is not heredity, but the result of contact after birth. That contact is inclusive of ten thousand hindrances and helps, from the embrace of the consumptive mother up to the divine benignity, which, in the face of

man or woman, draws the child, the growing boy or girl, the youth or maid, with cables stronger than those which swing our mighty bridge in air, to all nobility. Here is the ground and inspiration of your kindergarten work. There is no such savings-bank as this! The more in this, the less for prisons and reformatories, and those expensive deaths by electricity to which Governor Flower thinks the gentlemen of the press, intent on lively matter for their various papers, ought not to be refused.

But there are not only the free-born and those whose freedom is obtained for them with a great price of guardianship in childhood: there are also those who, would their modesty permit, might say with the Roman captain, "With a great price obtained I this freedom," — a price of their own earning and of their own paying. Good habits are the moral earnings that draw compound interest in the bank of character, at a liberal rate, and full soon give the investor a sum ready for an emergency. Long ago I read somewhere or heard it said that all habits are bad habits, meaning that every action should be the independent outcome of the rational and moral life of man. If for a time this doctrine took me in its snare, I was long since converted to another, that of the psycholo gist who says: "Habit is the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. The great thing in all education is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy. It is to fund and capitalize our acquisitions, and live at ease upon the interest of the fund. For this we must make habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can, and guard against the growing into ways

* Professor William James, from whose "Principles of Psychology" (Henry Holt & Co.) I have “lifted" all that is best in the remainder of this sermon, as the quotationmarks will duly show. Perhaps I should have let his book alone, having proved before its powerful fascination; but, having gone to it for a special point, I could not leave it till I had read everything in it that touched my theme, and then I said, "Why should I say in any poorer fashion what he has said so well?" Moreover, in his royal borrowing from Bain and others, he had set me a brave example. If my sermon should send my hearers and readers to Professor James's wonderful book, one of the most muscular and vascular, one of the clearest and brightest I have ever read, it would do a better service than one sermon out of a thousand does ordinarily.

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that are likely to be disadvantageous to us, as we should guard against the plague. The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of habit, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the beginnings of every bit of work are subjects of express volitional deliberation. Full half the time of such a man goes to the deciding or regretting of matters which ought to be so ingrained in him as practically not to exist for his consciousness at all."


To acquire good habits is to earn the price of freedom: and how are they to be acquired? Some of the most admirable suggestions that I know are those which Professor James has drawn out from Professor Bain's psychology of the moral habits. For one thing, in the endeavor to acquire a new habit which we know to be desirable, or to get rid of one we know is hurtful to our characters and our performance, we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible. Accumulate all the possible forces which shall re-enforce the right motives; put yourselves assiduously in conditions that encourage the new way; make engagements incompatible with the old; * . . . in short, envelop your resolution with every aid you know. This will give your new beginning such a momentum that the temptation to break down will not occur as soon as it otherwise might; and every day during which a breakdown is postponed adds to the chances of its not occurring at all."


Another admirable suggestion which I find in the same treasury of psychological ideas is, "Never suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely rooted in your life." "It is necessary, above all things, in such a situation," says Professor Bain, "never to lose a battle. Every gain on the wrong side undoes the effect of many conquests on the right." "Without unbroken advance," another writer says,

*These Italics are mine.

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