new thought was presented. I have felt, however,that something perhaps was accomplished, if a fairconsideration of the old thought might be secured.I am more confident today than ever before thatthe universities and colleges are not performing theirfull function in the matter of religious education.There is need of a reconsideration of this whole sub- ject. Who will undertake the task? Meanwhile,the least one can do is to present to the students of each scholastic period of four or five years the prac-tical questions of the religious life.Do I think that anyone was really helped by thesetalks ? Some have acknowledged that they receivedhelp; but this acknowledgment was made, perhaps,only as a matter of courtesy. In any case, I havein this way discharged in a measure a respon-viiviii PREFACEsibility which has weighed upon me more heavilythan any other connected with the office which Ihave been called to administer.This fact brings comfort to me, if to no one else.And yet I have noticed that, with each recurringyear, it has required a greater effort on my part toundertake this kind of service. I have asked myself whether, as a matter of fact, it was growing moreand more difficult to deal with subjects of this kindin a university atmosphere ? Perhaps someone willanswer this question. It is quite certain that thereare many who will be interested in the answer.Those who know my father and mother, andtheir lifelong interest not only in the religious life,but in higher education, will approve my desire toacknowledge this interest, as it has manifested itself in connection with my own life, by inscribing tothem this small collection of "talks to students."William Rainey Harper.September 26, 1904.