A marked paper has been sent to us in which there is the report of a sermon of a celebrated divine. The reverend gentleman undertakes to show that the state of morals of Harvard suffers by comparison with that of colleges where co-education exists. The article is so rabid in its denunciation of Harvard as a school for virtuous young men, and so laudatory of the pure and virgin-like atmosphere of institutions where young women exert their elevating and refining influence on the beatic youths, whom by daily converse they keep from the sins that would condemn them to the eternal torments of the wicked, &c., &c., - the sermon, we say, so teems with such sentimental platitudes that we feel a strong desire to respond in more direct language. The literature, says the Edinburgh Review, that issues from a college is one of the surest exponents of its character and inner life. Had the good, charitable man who was so ready to condemn Harvard thought of this, and had he ever taken the trouble to glance at some college papers, he would have at least somewhat moderated his statements. We make bold to say that upon careful examination we have noticed that the papers of co-educational colleges almost universally possess a spirit of freedom and, to use a well understood term, of broadness that would not be tolerated in Harvard journalism. We could readily give illustrations of this fact, but it would be useless; all who have read co-educational college papers must have noticed it. We do not wish to be rude, but with all due respect for girls who seek an education equal to that furnished their more privileged brothers, we say bluntly to the doctor of divinity that we do not believe co-education is the good that its advocates claim it to be.
It sounds well, we confess, to have it said that the authorities of a university acknowledge women the intellectual equals of men, and admit them to equal privileges and rights; but there are many beautiful abstractions which are found woefully deficient when put into practice. Co-education is one of them. While its effects upon young men are perhaps not very pernicious, there are not many girls who would derive advantageous results from it. Experience has shown this to be true, and all the fine-worded, high-flown resolutions and sermons cannot make it otherwise. Doubtless a matured woman with mind strengthened by age could safely and well attend recitations and lectures, and partake of all else that co-education implies with men years younger than herself, but for inexperienced girls, with no knowledge of the world or its ways, it would be entirely different. Again, we say that people may express their pretty sentiments with the utmost eloquence, may utter their indignation for everything that savors of prejudice or injustice, but if they look the matter sternly in the face they will perceive that there are disfiguring wrinkles that all the cosmetics of art cannot drive away. Human nature is human nature, and no human power can ever conquer it. It displays itself despite every effort to hide it beneath a flimsy veil that sentiment may weave. When the Golden Age again sheds its brightening beams upon mankind, when virtue again reigns supreme throughout the world, and when, what is most important, youth ceases to be youth and loses all the characteristics of impulsiveness and fire that make it youth, then perhaps this good, kind preacher may tell us that we would be better, purer and more fitted to wear the augelic wings if we would only let "exalting, refining womanhood stand by our side to aid us in our weak moments," to use his own language, but he must remember that the millenium is not yet here.