THE COLORED AMERICAN AND HIGHER EDUCATION. 393
THE COLORED AMERICAN AND HIGHER
BY PROFESSOR DANIEL B. WILLIAMS, A.M.,
Dean of the College Department, Professor of Ancient Languages, and Instructor in
Pedagogy in the V. N. and C. I.
"Labor et perseverentia omnia vincunt."
If you are fond of learning, you will be very learned."
HIGHER education means that mental and moral discipline and
knowledge which are obtained by a study of branches not in-
cluded in the usual common school courses. Such culture and
knowledge are frequently obtained by attending technologic,
normal and high schools, academies and colleges. It is not
essential that persons should attend such institutions to obtain it;
they can pursue and master the subjects of higher education
privately, with or without instructors.
I. CIVILIZATION INDEBTED TO HIGHER EDUCATION.
The grand civilization of which we are justly proud is largely
the offspring of higher learning. The history of our noted inven-
tors, the biographies of our most eminent jurists, theologians,
doctors and men of high official positions, clearly and strongly
attest the powerful influence which was exerted by them for the
cause of humanity. Some have conferred great benefits on the
world with the aid of a common school education; but the very
large majority of those who have, by discovery, settlement, inven-
tion, an advocacy of liberty and justice, added to the power, glory
and progress of mankind have received the lasting benefits of
The sixteenth century was beclouded by the appalling ignorance
and bigotry of a despotic religious system, which forbade freedom
of thought and action in matters of conscience. The zealous and
unflinching reformers-Martin Luther, Zwingli, Melanchthon--
boldly opposed the plans of Pope Leo X, and finally succeeded
in giving to their countrymen the Holy Bible and the privilege of
independent worship. The influence of the Reformation reached
the shores of hoary England, and thousands demanded a larger
liberty in matters of religious faith. The mother country's
illiberal and selfish bigotry forced hundreds to settle on the God-
blest rock of Plymouth and the sacred banks of the Schuylkill
and Susquehanna. Religious liberty has ever been a potent factor
in the growth of our country, and was the inspiring genius which
guided and preserved the fathers of the Republic in their heroic
struggle with England.