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lous and unpractical, and under the cover of this mad delusion began to expel the study of the past from its last strongholds in school and college.
What then must we do if we would win some measure of control over ourselves? There is no easy way. The price of this control is an intense and painful effort of attention to past and present, a struggle to pluck ourselves out of the pit of unconsciousness into which we had fallen. Our first need is to get rid of complacency, and to substitute for it a humble recognition of our vices of thought and action. Faith in science and industry has survived the war; and we must shake ourselves free from the lying 'philosophies' and the evil systems which that faith has begotten. This means, of course, that we must accomplish a conversion of our whole attitude. In regard to government, such a conversion is already taking place, in thought as well as in fact; and the philosophies of the state which were fashionable a few years ago are rapidly crumbling.
But in regard to education, the first moves have yet to be made. Here are Mr. Flexner and his associates, still bound, as if enchanted, within the limits of the old delusion. We must leave them to their fetish-worship, for they are probably incurable.
But what shall we say of the current educational practice and theory, upon which Mr. Flexner made so violent an assault? Is it so good that it deserves to go unchanged? Shall we join Professor Shorey and the Humanists, and abandon it to the lovingkindness of evolution?
The changes which a genuine conversion demands of us will indeed be radical. Education has during the last century become more and more a drill
designed to produce power; but we must make of it a path to freedom and to self-control. Instruction in science will be a part of our plan, and a necessary part. But the greatest failure of our educational system, the weak point toward which we must direct our energies, is not the instruction in science, is not the instruction in history and literature and the humanities in general, although there are abundant and serious defects in that instruction. The weak point is the very fact that we have relied upon instruction to produce educated men. We want, that is to say, a certain result, in the shape of men who are free and self-controlled; and we have been attempting to get that result by a complicated mechanism of instruction and drill. The tragic absurdity of such a process consists in the attempt to treat living human beings as if they were so much matter, and as if any mechanical process could take the place, in a student's mind, of that prolonged and constantly renewed effort which must be furnished from within by each student for himself. Look at the history of education during these last decades, and you will find it a record of innumerable alterations in curriculum and in methods of instruction. Every one of these alterations has been designed to perfect the working of the machine and so to afford an absolute guaranty that the product would be correspondingly improved. But it was inevitable that failure should result from every alteration which was based upon such a mechanical philosophy; and so our colleges struggled on, enmeshing themselves still more deeply with each new attempt, trying one device after another, and constructing a hierarchy of administration whose sole function was to keep the clumsy machine, somehow or other, going.
The truth is that no mechanism of instruction will produce the result
which we desire. It is obvious that the faith in such a mechanical process is next of kin to the faith in science which blurred the minds and perverted the purposes of men; and if we are capable of learning by experience, we shall remake our whole system of education in the light of a principle which is not new, but which is in fact as old as civilization. This principle teaches that freedom and self-control must be won by each man for himself; and the installation of this principle in the heart of our educational system will mean that hereafter the chief emphasis will be placed upon learning and not upon instruction, upon the effort of the student to acquire and to understand and not upon the ways and means by which facts are presented to him.
This effort to acquire and to understand is aborted by our present system, as life is always aborted by mechanism. We are commonly told that the American student suffers from every intellectual vice: he refuses to think for himself, has no interest in intellectual pursuits, crams his lessons by sheer force of memory, and shakes off his apathy only to devote himself to the frenzied diversions of sport or of social ambition. As a statement of fact about the American student, this is not altogether untrue; but as an accusation implying that the student is responsible for these defects, this is addressed to the wrong quarter.
To what sort of an intellectual world is the American student introduced? He attends a specified number of classes each week; he is compelled to memorize the facts and theories contained in the lectures and in the assigned reading; and at the end of about four months he is compelled to take an examination on the subject-matter of the several courses which he is following. If he passes the examinations, he has automatically deposited to his credit in
the college 'office' a fixed mathematical fraction of the degree to which he aspires. To obtain the degree, he has only to repeat the same process through four years. In different colleges, this process is varied in many ways; but in all colleges, the requirements are complicated, and in all colleges they are so designed as to prevent the student from obtaining the degree without having undergone a certain minimum amount of instruction.
It is not at all marvelous that such a system fosters the very apathy which it was intended to prevent. Now, if we adhere to our principle, we shall indeed realize that no system will produce educated and self-controlled men; but we shall also realize that the least that we can do is to insure that the system shall be, not a hindrance, but an aid to the attainment of that difficult end. Lectures and curricula and examinations we must have; but the knife must cut away the countless entanglements which we have so thoughtlessly built up. To mention one point only, scores and hundreds of courses are offered each year; and all fields of learning have thus been split into sections and sub-sections. The degree, as we know, is awarded to a student when he has 'passed' some sixteen of these fragmentary courses. What chance has such a student to put forth the effort of attention to past and present on which his self-mastery depends? His time is frittered away in the performance of petty fractional tasks; the whole weight of the system encourages him to memorize, and his occasional attempts to add understanding to memory are baffled by the apparent lack of relation between one series of facts and another.
Worst of all is what happens to the student when he approaches the study of the past. We have seen what critical importance must be attached to such study, provided that it consists in an
attempt to grasp the experience of the past and to make it one with our own experience; and we know therefore that the calling of the Humanist is a high and difficult calling. How then has the Humanist-the the teacher of history and of literature, of Latin and Greek and philosophy fulfilled his duty of infulfilled his duty of interpretation of the past?
It must be said that the Humanist has every reason to practice the virtue of humility, and to set about mending his ways. Little by little, the worship of science and the methods of quantitative analysis and of external measurement have spread throughout the humane disciplines and have sapped their vitality. The past is the record of the struggle of the human spirit to win dominion over external nature and to win dominion over itself. The history of man's relations to external nature is therefore but a portion of that record; and it is not the more important portion. Keenly interested as we must be in the history of science, it is the other half of the record which is of first importance; and it is the function of the Humanist to deal with the other half, to tell the story of the human spirit in its strife for self-mastery. And since that story has not been one of unbroken progress, since the victories won have always been incomplete, and since the failures have stained the world with blood and suffering, it becomes the duty of the Humanist to take account of the failures as well as of the victories, to show us how men have slipped into unconsciousness and barbarism as well as how men have sometimes achieved a partial vision and a partial liberty. For human life continues, and the failures of which men have been guilty in the past are our failures also.
But during the last century humanism has been perverted by the almost universal worship of science; and the quantitative methods which have
served men so admirably in the measurement of matter have been imported into the study of art and literature, history and philosophy. These methods, misnamed scientific, are no more capable of dealing with the human spirit and its history than a bayonet is capable of 'civilizing' the man into whom it is thrust. They assassinate the spirit, and leave only the body behind. In the majority of our histories, and even in the study of art and literature, these methods have done their perfect work; and in place of the living organism, they have given us a huge body of dead facts, linked together by a facile determinism, or restored to a semblance of life by some mad and private thesis of the author. So, for example, Mommsen turned his history of the Roman Republic into a glorification of absolute military monarchy; and his genius cannot blind us to the fact that he thus lent his genius to the service of evil. So, for example, the 'scientific' students of Homer seized upon two immortal poems, analyzed them into distorted and writhing fragments, and then assured a naïve world that these fragments had no author. There would be no end to the accumulation of such folly, if the Humanists were to continue the employment of such methods; and it would be a waste of time to enumerate examples. The libraries are full of examples; and under them the history of the human spirit is buried.
We shall therefore say to the Humanist that he has misconceived his duty. He should be the last of men to preach a gospel of quietism; he should be the last of men to obstruct change, provided that it be made in the direction of self-control. For change in that direction is always accompanied by an effort to understand the past, and such change is of the very essence of humanism.
It is the lack of that effort, it is the
blind contempt of the past, which, united with the worship of science, stamps the proposals of Mr. Flexner as an assault upon liberty; and it is quite true that educational 'reform' of that sort would be a disaster.
But it is also true that genuine reform is desperately needed; and before our educational system can furnish us the help that it should, the Humanist must learn to practice humility, to abandon his faith in the mechanical and quanti
tative methods which belong to science, and to set about the task of reinstating the past in the present. If the Humanist will do his part, he will not be always on the defensive against the attacks of the materialist; instead, he will fight for a positive end, the primacy of the human spirit. Otherwise, the humane disciplines will perish one by one; since it is not Latin and Greek alone which are now in danger, but our whole understanding of the past.
THE MILITARY GEOGRAPHY OF PALESTINE
BY H. SIDEBOTHAM
THE entry of the British troops into Palestine has brought the war into a country which has probably been more fought over than any country in the world. If Palestine had not had great er fame as the Holy Land, its geography might well serve as a textbook for the complete history of military strategy and tactics, so interesting have been the combinations of forces that have met on its few roads and in its narrow valleys, so long and varied the story of its battlefields. The geography of Palestine has been exhaustively treated from almost every point of view save that from which the writer approaches it in this paper. Now that Palestine has become one of the campaigns of the war and that not the least important, it may be interesting to gather up some of the leading facts in its long military history which throw light on the present campaign
and on the political future of the country.
A great advantage which a writer on the geography of Palestine has is that he is dealing with names of men and places that are, to English-speaking people at any rate, as familiar as the figures of his own history, and the names and places of his own country. The United States, indeed, largely owing no doubt to the great part that Puritanism played in its early history, has borrowed very freely from the Bible for its own place-names. It has three Jerusalems and nineteen Salems, two Bethanys, ten Bethels, two Bethlehems, three or four Zions, two Shilohs, six Hebrons, and five Carmels. These are trivial instances, but they show how close the place-names in Palestine have lain to American sentiment and they make of its geography almost a home subject. Some it will offend as a sort of desecration to associate these place-names with the mili
tary jargon of this war; but more, it is hoped, will find their reading of Biblical history enriched by a new touch of realism and modernity.
Every geographer has pointed out that Palestine is arranged in longitudinal sections, a coast plain, a hill a coast plain, a hill country which is a prolongation of the Lebanon to the south, the deep depression of the Jordan Valley, and the hills east of Jordan. Between the coast and the blue hills of Moab across Jordan is a distance of barely more than one hundred miles, but in that switchback of a country you pass through every variety of climate. On the coast at Gaza you are really in Egypt, for the sea here is a backwater of the Nile, and the Syrian coast plain is a prolongation of the Nile Delta. From the plain you rise through rolling downs broken by narrow passes, the scene of so much fighting in the early history of Israel and in the Crusades, up the steep wall of the Judæan plateau, stony and barren for the most part, but with here and there a deep pocket of good land, down into the depression of the Jordan Valley, the deepest trench to be found anywhere in the world; and across Jordan are the highlands of Moab and Gilead, where you get keen frosts in winter and fresh heather-scented winds in summer.
From the south side there are only two ways in which Palestine has ever been invaded: one, 'the way of the Philistines' along the coast from Egypt, which is also the way of Sir Archibald Murray and General Allenby; the other, the way from east of Jordan, which was the way of the Israelites when they entered the country, and, later, of the Arabs. When the Israelites crossed Jordan near Jericho, they found the great wall of Judæa straight ahead of them; and for hundreds of years afterwards, until the time of David, they were never able to scale it. They
trickled into Judæa by devious paths, and lost their individuality among the tribes of the country. The main body found their way into Samaria, and failing to gain access to the maritime plain, turned north and poured across the plain of Esdraelon into the hills of Galilee.
The whole history of the Old Testament Israelite is the story of the separation of the northern tribes in Galilee from their brethren in Samaria, and of the establishment in Judæa, at Jerusalem, of a new Jewish kingdom markedly different in character from the kingdom of the north: exclusive where it was tolerant and facile, and theocratic and spiritual, whereas the kingdom of the north was secular and material. The reasons for this difference were mainly geographical. Judæa was separated, not only from the rest of the world, but from the rest of Palestine, by deep ravines and difficult passes; it is the natural keep of the castle, and the same causes that made it so difficult for the early Israelites to capture it, made it later the citadel alike of the narrowest bigotry and of the purest faith. The rest of Israel lay more open to the world; and between Galilee and Samaria ran the great highway of commerce and war in the ancient Semitic world.
This road entered Palestine from the east near Beth Shan, followed the wide plain of Esdraelon which breaks the continuity of the Palestine Lebanon, crossed the hills by a low pass near Megiddo, and so became the coast road to Egypt. This great highway is the most important single fact in the history of Palestine. The Eastern gate at Beth Shan was never in their whole history in secure possession of the Israelites, but always stood wide open to invasion. This was the way by which Gideon's Midianites came, and later the Assyrians.