Self-education, by whatever degree, is not intended to make the dreams of leisure a reality.
Education is to enrich the soul with the discoveries and possessions our Lord has placed in this world. To give us pleasure, however, ultimately meant to give God glory. These aforementioned discoveries and possessions are under the common fatherhood of God. They are to be consecrated alongside the principles which underlie society. They imply a brotherhood of men which demands that our talents, however many, uplift the groveling, struggling multitude of the world.
When we humble ourselves and are strengthened by the power of this religious faith, we are able to stand up with its primal strength and beauty to realize true happiness. In turn, when each member of the community, no matter what sphere, shall, under the discipline of self education, learn to really think for himself. He can only then act in the radiance of his own enlightened reason. In turn he can fear God, and therefore fear no one else. No longer shall these imaginations and fallacies pervert the judgments of men.
If all this is practiced we will see a Republic rise that far transcends the loftiest conceptions of our founding fathers. It shall be a republic of which poets have dreamed and prophets have spoken; it can be “A city on a hill.”We will then see a most radiant and fragrant Christian civilization.
~My thoughts inspired by a lecture on self-culture, written by Joseph G. Hoyt in 1863.