President Harper’s Lectures -- By: Howard Osgood

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 052:206 (Apr 1895)
Article: President Harper’s Lectures
Author: Howard Osgood


President Harper’s Lectures

Howard Osgood

President Harper, of the Chicago University, delivered in Chicago, during the winter of 1894, a series of lectures on the earlier chapters of Genesis. They aroused a great deal of interest and some severe comments. These lectures have now been published in the issues in 1894 of the Biblical World, of which President Harper is the editor. They fill between 130 and 140 pages of the periodical, and are easily accessible to all who have an interest in learning his views on a very important part of the Bible.

By great natural abilities, indefatigable labor, and his unfailing geniality, President Harper has reached a high position among the educators of America. He has done a great work in arousing an interest in Semitic studies by his enthusiasm and power in teaching, and has won to his following large numbers of bright young men who have come within his influence. He stands at the head of the chief seat of learning in one of the greatest centres of the life and wealth of our land. In the boundless labor of directing and building up that new and promising university, he ought to have the sympathy and aid of all who believe in the higher education. The large generosity which founded and maintains the institution will be supplemented by untiring effort and all the resources of his fertile mind.

The ardor of his youthful professorship has not deserted him in his more mature years. In taking the high office he now fills, he could not consent to lay aside the work of

teaching, but to the work of President, enough for any man, he adds that of professor in the Semitic department. When such a man comes forth to give his thoroughly considered opinion on any subject, both his ability and his position lend all their influence to make that opinion of interest to thinkers; and when the subject on which he speaks is the most important that ever engages the attention of men,—the revelation of God, and man’s relation to God,—both position and ability are enhanced by the dignity of the subject.

These lectures are set before the public for its calm judgment upon them. The appeal is constantly made to the reasonableness of the views maintained. “I have presented you a reasonable view. It is based upon scientific evidence. It has come from an examination of the facts. It covers the facts as does no other hypothesis” (Dec). This is a call upon hearers and readers to prove that what is said, is reasonable, based upon scientific evidence, in accordance with and covering all the facts.

No scientific or critical student can logically object to criticism of himself. It is only by free discussion that t...

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