|Our 13th Prayer
A charge to keep we have! A God to glorify! To the exalted One, who watches over travelers and pilgrims as they make their way along life’s paths and who sheds His light to help us see and surmount all stumbling blocks;
We have planted — and those who come after us will cultivate — an institution in this congenial soil. It will grow and flourish in this village where we have made a sacred and solemn covenant between college and community.
We are in this place — and will remain here — because close and successful application to study is best accomplished in a place of retirement from the feverish strife of life. The morals of youth will remain forever safe in a country village, and the health and vigor of their constitutions will be sustained in these hills, woods, and fields.
In this close and familial community, let us always inculcate in our charges the dignity and grace of manners, the habits of morality, and the spirit of charity and gratitude; In this place of earthly beauty, let us take instruction from nature, which displays the eternal truth of God. The deeper knowledge we acquire of nature will be the key to unlock the storehouse of creation and open to us the treasures of the universe;
Let us also look far beyond this place, for we have a sacred charge to use our learning in service to others. We will serve our nation and seek to preserve its democracy through intelligent citizenship, knowing that an ignorant democracy can become the most oppressive and odious of tyrannies;
Let us acknowledge the brotherhood of all peoples, extending our reach to those abroad — the sick in need of healing, the ignorant in need of learning, the hungry in need of nurture, the oppressed and enslaved in need of liberation;
Let us begin to build an institution where those of limited means will have manifold opportunities offered to them. Let us help to elevate them out of the obscurity to which they seem by economic circumstance to be so hopelessly condemned;
Let our school, as it grows, become an instrument of higher learning in diverse disciplines so that it may prepare young people for useful service to others in many fields of endeavor;
But in the end, let us never forget that even the highest learning without virtue is like a torch in the hands of a lunatic. Our torch must burn forever with one flame — a single bright fire emitting both intellectual and moral light as it illuminates our path.