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Let's go through education in early New England. In early New England. The New England run a song. Of a run of song. This is Donald Boone professor of humanities at Boston University. Our broadcast today concerns the life of the man who highlighted
his aunts as well as the transcendentalists their philosophy their activities. Ralph Waldo Emerson had an unlimited influence on his time and on ours. Ralph Waldo Emerson distinguished himself in three ways by sinking by talking by writing on the left for us. Our motto motto which is as good today as it was in the hundreds. Trust myself. This is Rod right. It was May 25th in Boston Massachusetts election day about 3:15 that afternoon. The Rev. William Emerson strolled along Summer Street toward his parsonage. He was in a cheerful mood. His wife Ruth was about to present him with another child and the Rev. Mr. Emerson was happy at the prospect. Ruth is pious faithful wife the same Ruth who had suffered through his unhappy career as a teacher. The same
Ruth who had given him the strength of the religious dogma dissension among the members of his church. He glanced at the cows in a nearby pasture then mounted the worn granite steps of the parsonage. As he quietly stepped into the hallway the familiar noises of the cow bells the carriages of the busy street faded almost to infinity. He carefully hung up his hat then with great dignity. He received the news of his new born child the son of find that he came just before you arrived. You why always you doing excellently said. If you are quiet you may come into the bedroom and see. Really yet there you had to find the kind of voice that nobody else forget when you hear. The Rev. Mr. Emerson soberly looked at his new son. He thought of his first born little Phoebe Phoebe had died after a brief illness. How long ago was it now.
Two years almost three. The Rev. Mr. Emerson spoke to his wife then retired to his study to record in his journal the birth of their fourth child. Then in matter of fact fashion he also wrote down for future reference to the other events of the day. He had made several visits he had called on the governor. He had worked on some school committee. Four days later on May 29th eighteen hundred and three. The name of Ralph Waldo Emerson was duly entered in his father's Dinan handwriting in the baptismal record of the First Church of Boston in the year eighteen hundred and three. Unrealized by little Ralph Waldo at the time went down in history as being an excellent year for the purse of a young American in 18 0 3 Thomas Jefferson was in the White House and America was on the eve of a bright new day. Louisiana was being bought from France. Our country was expanding getting more powerful more organized every day economic and social progress could be seen and felt
everywhere even in Boston now grown into a metropolis of over thirty thousand people. Ralph Waldo Emerson came from a distinguished family which boasted of eight generations of clergyman including his father starting school at the age of two. The future philosopher spent most of his early years with his books and the daily routine of home life which included morning prayers and spelling lessons before breakfast. Latin School writing school chores and evening devotions. He formed a close attachment for us Aunt Mary Moody Emerson would be a little woman who assumes some responsibility for his training after the death of his father. He was carefully read in accordance with the strict standards of the Emerson family. He early became the observer. The intelligent observer but he never developed the art of manual labor. God he wrote later
in life has given me the seeing eye but not the working hand. As a student in his early days he wasn't particularly outstanding. Boston Latin School and then Harvard followed his early train for three years three uncomfortable years ago taught school to learn and funs enough to attend a Harvard Divinity School. Calvinism is already dying in New England. Calvinism described by prodding him as a doctrine which represents man as coming into the world to get in the poison robes of hereditary depravity. And with the kisses of his makeup on his head. God to Amazon was rapidly becoming something quite different than a monster to be feared. He addressed the leading question to his Aunt Mary knowing full well she was a conscientious Calvinist. What is the origin of evil. What becomes of the poor slave who's never
had a virtue and never practiced it and dies cursing God and man. How is it that a benevolent spirit persists in introducing on to the stage of existence millions of new beings in incessant series to pursue the same wrong road and consummate the same tremendous fate. At Harvard short time later still trying to figure out his own conception of God while the collapse of his eyesight was impaired he had a pain in his lungs a rheumatic condition in his hip. He rested on a farm then took a trip to the south in an effort to recover his health. He traveled a great deal and then returned to Boston to find that the first church in Boston formerly his father's church was interested in calling him to its purpose. He was considering this possibility when for the first time he fell in love. It was in a Unitarian church in Concord New Hampshire. He was preaching there as a guest. The girl's name was Ellen the we's a talker. Although only sixteen she was thoroughly
mature and attractive had a wonderful sense of humor. They were drawn to each other from the beginning. After the service they met they talked they'd last for the first time. Well Joe had come out of himself for a full year after that as he traveled from church to church preaching Ralph Waldo Emerson go on his heart whenever he sort of Ellen. When he saw her again he could not restrain his words and my prospects friend Ellen are uncertain as a preacher. Maybe said I scarcely have my ministerial feathers on. I do not know what the future holds. How do these conditions how can I ever presume to ask you. I do not wish to hear about your plans. It isn't anything except your proposing with me world or accept an offer of the second church of Boston to become its minister.
You continue to see Ellen to whom we could talk freely of intellectual and personal things. They were well suited to each other. But Ellen had tuberculosis in the White Mountains you know in around Canterbury and Concord New Hampshire. But two rovers travelled together islands helped. She had severe hemorrhage attacks in spite of us they were mad and there followed a carefree happy months together. When he travelled to preach in other churches Nowlan went to but Ellen was to be was world over only a short time. What does a left World Road desolate. More in the solitude of his own sorts have lost it's a universal loss to me. It makes all life that way. And I go backward to a beautiful character for a charm that I might seek in vain through the world. He decided to give up his pastorate his attitude toward the church was intellectual
and unimpassioned. He regarded Christianity as a racial experience. He had asked the church for permission to discontinue administering the sacrament of the Lord's Supper since he felt this observance was without valid authority in the Bible. He felt furthermore that the right clothes Jesus with authority he never claimed. And Waldo also believed that the Lord's Supper was unsuited to Western thought forms in general were essential. Emerson felt but this particular form he believed had outlived its usefulness. God is not meat and drink but righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans Chapter 17 the first in the history of the church. No subject has been more fruitful of controversy than the Lord's Supper. There has never been any unanimity in the understanding of its nature nor any uniformity in the mode of celebrating it.
Now without considering the frivolous questions which of late he presented his arguments to the church stressing that the history of the sacrament proved to him that it was not intended to be perpetual. He was protesting worshipping God in the given form of objection by design in the office of a Christian minister to do nothing which I cannot do with my whole heart. Having said this I said I have no hostility to this institution. I only stayed there. While Boston discussed Waldo salmon and his new views as to religion. He decided to take a trip to Italy. His health was poor. And he had an intense desire to meet his intellectual idols. Carlyle called the woods with the land off. Although the voyage was rough.
He arrived in the old way feeling like a new man travelled extensively. Interviewed Samuel Taylor Coleridge and other great men of the time. In Kraken park Scotland last visited to run the great Carlyle the twenty four hours he spent with Carlyle blossomed into a lifelong friendship. Much of the conversation time was spent in assessing each other and each other's philosophies. Carlyle found this sober serious New Englander interesting for a time he used to scotch wit to give him a good natured joshing and so I have naturally developed a great love for the genius in man genius genius. Who would personify genius to you. I have a particular liking for Socrates Plato Socrates and Plato. I have never read Plato and Socrates to me is despicable. For
real genius friend I prefer pigs. I once labored long and hard to construct a pen for a pig. I spent much time and effort upon it and I might say much ingenuity. But for all that the animal being a genius discovered how to dislodge a board and escape. Now mon is a very interesting fellow my idea said but my sort of genius cannot be compared to a peak was only just a much more serious conversation. Continued for the rest of their lives. After visiting and traveling throughout Europe it was time again to return home. Only 30 years old while though spent much of the voyage time thinking and reading and
writing aboard the ship. You know understood Europe and Europeans better than he had before. We go to Europe to be Americanized he wrote. Then after two or three days of further thought he put into writing what was to become his basic philosophy. The thread which was to hold together these things he was to give to the world. And. All the world was governed within himself. He has made a law unto himself real good and evil that can befall him from himself. Doing so good nothing can be given to him or taken away from him. But only if there is compensation. There is a correspondence between the human soul and everything that exists in the world. Everything that is known to man. Instead of studying the things without the principles of them all may be penetrated on to within him but
in a new condition. The purpose of life seems to be to equate man with himself. Is not to live to the future as described but to lead to the real future. By living to the real present. This was Amazon's basic philosophy he applied it to nature to the Scala to the church. It was the very foundation of his basic beliefs. Back home again. What I was able to spend more months and sort and writing and heightens from Alan's a state which gave him an annual income all but sowed his financial problems. He developed a lecture on the uses of Natural History in which he humanized transcendental ised science the word of the mind. He insisted were inseparable iPad
together. Then came another lecture on the relation of man to the globe. He bought a home in Concord and married Lydia Jackson the young woman he had met while preaching at Plymouth Massachusetts with Lydia. He did not enjoy the closeness she had characterized as well a ship with Alan but Lydia was a good house manager a good mother to his children. She was witty deeply religious request but he had changed her name to a lady in which world of thought had a more musical sound settled down to his lecturing working on an essay which later was to appear under the title of make your world oh did a little gentleman as farming and as he knew his wife better. He began to call her mine. Asia. Life for them motive itself into a pattern of quietness and respectability.
Amazon was already working out the tenets of his religious philosophy a religion that is not wise. Each man should concentrate on his own revelations since each man has God within himself. Why worry about the miracles of 2000 years ago when each day brought new miracles. WORD OF could not be stopped. In 1836 he published his first philosophical effort to make sure the following year in 1877 he was invited to give the Phi Beta Kappa address at Harvard. He called the address the American scholar in this address. He asked for independence from European cultural leadership. It took World on 15 minutes to read his oration to an audience which was partly hostile partly friendly self trust self realisation where the core of the address he called on his audience to put aside the past
and concern itself with the present could be done with Europe and its heritage. And to respond to his own country's needs that happen time has already come with the sluggard intellect of this continent. But look from under its iron lids until the postponed expectations of the world with something better than the exertions of mechanical skill. Our day of dependence our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands draws to a close. We shocked some members of his audience by his remarks about the scholar the scholar that delegated intellect in the right state he is a man thinking in the degenerate state. When the victim of society he tends to become a mere thinker or still worse the parrot about a man's thinking. He reminded his audience that it had a task to perform. Each age must write its own books or rather each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older generation will not stop a great many. When he called for cultural independence in so many words we
listened to alone to the core of Europe. The spirit of the American dream is already suspected to be to imitate or tame the Scala decent indolent complacent the mind of this country taught to aim at low objects eats upon itself there is no work but the decorous and the complacent. What is the remedy. If the client himself indomitably on his instincts and the huge world will come around. In other words. Response to the address was a mixed one. Some approved some good but Emerson had without a doubt become a figure of considerable strength and fame. Back to Concord he went to his good friend's transcendentalist and otherwise I'll get fuller Parker forall Channing. He had long talks with them long walks with them in and around Concord and he travelled again for his
lectures keeping living and fully informed in long letters as to his experiences and new acquaintances he developed more and more self-reliance. Many in highly intelligent shy modest begged him in her letters for more expressions of romantic affection. Well don't now secure within himself was never able to bring himself to write the romantic letter which he so urgently wanted to read. He explained why to her. If you still ask me for that unwritten letter oh if do it seems oh wait i'm written from year to year by me to you dear lady and am I not the best lady and the most foolish affectionate good man in papa without weakside towards apples and sugar and all the domesticity and I'm once in Concord. And for me that now. Think big. Right now most of them have now strongly recommended two great things to the American public in
nature. He demonstrated a new way of seeking God in the American scholar who asked for a new way of thinking. The aging of us said saying perhaps most important of all on Amazon's thinking came almost a year later on July 15th 1830 a. Pleasure to present to the senior class of the Harvard Divinity School lo a speaker who will deliver the cost of merry discourse on the occasion of their entering upon the active Christian ministry. Gentleman the Reverend Ralph Waldo Emerson. The. Gentleman. Yeah in this very thought in someone it's been a luxury to draw the breath of life. The grass grows and the buds best. The meadow is spotted with fire and gold in the team to flowers. The air is full of birds
and sweet with the scent of pine the brown of Gilliard and the new hay. Night brings no ground to the heart with its weapons. The audience gave profound attention was Imus and spoke. You spoke soothingly of the charm of nature. The world he said was a model of perfection but one that managed to reveal the universal laws and then the great world shrank at once into a mere fable of the mind. He implied that God is not a person but Christ is human first and divine afterward. And that every soul is on an equal plane. Just say to you that the need was never greater of a new revelation then now you will infer the sad conviction that I share I believe with numbers of the universal decay and almost universal death of faith in society. The soul is not preached the church seems to totter to its far almost all right extinct wherever the pulpit is you step by a formalised. There is
the worshipper defrauded and discovered so that we shrink as soon as our prayers begin which do not uplift but smite and offend us. We I think to wrap our cloaks around this and secure as best we can as the mothers and went on calmly to state his own beliefs. He upset the dogmas of Calvinism and for them substituted principle. He denied the orthodox idea of the divinity of Christ in its place he asserted that men are part of God that Jesus was a divinely inspired man and a product of manifold power but of one way of one mind and that one mind it everywhere active in each ray of a star in each wavelet of the pool and whatever opposes that Will is everywhere blocked and baffled because things are as they are and not otherwise. Evil is merely a privateer not absolute it is like code which is the preservation of heat.
The reception to the speech was almost universally one of harm and concern. See it all a parka just starting his career as a minister was one of the few who approved the speech. Now Muslims transcendental friends rallied to his defense and Mary made it clear that you definitely disapproved of the whole saying in all the furor that followed only one voice was silent world those who refused to make a defense for the speech he had spoken and he had spoken from the heart and mind. It wasn't long before Imus and spoke again. This time it was in a series of essays known as supper alliance some Priam's expanded the key doctrine of transcendentalism. That depends on another gives pain. All that depends on himself gives pleasure. A man can never be wise but by his own wisdom some protons wrestled with challenging epigrams to believe your own thought.
To believe that what is true for you in your private hide is true for all men. That is genius. Trust by self. Every Heart vibrates to that iron strain. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members who thought would be on them. Must be a nonconformist. Nothing is that last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. This world though again demonstrated the basic theory which underscored all of his writings. You insist on yourself never imitate society acquires new art and loses old instincts. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. You cannot last a comp.. We spoke along approximately the same lines. There is much more that could be said about Ralph Waldo Emerson his other activities with the transcendental this is prose. His affinity for the German idealistic
philosophers as shown in many of his addresses the shock of the death of well till his first child Emerson's interest in his friends was profound and often financial. He was a leader in the publishing of the dial the transcendentalism publication. These aspects of the life of this man sometimes called the wisest American make up a rich chapter in the heritage and development of America's thought. It is important however. That we make perfectly clear the nature of the man and his beliefs. I have the fatal gift of perception. Ordo said. He had that surely in large measure working for nums in his Concord study spending the afternoon in the woods near warden pond. He tried hard to point out the importance of three nos. First the know how the scientific know how the over exaggeration of materialism to which
he objected. Second I don't know that I know what you believed in the intellectual cultural investigation which he spearheaded said The No Cry probably most important. No private man exists no man wishes to God in a certain way or didn't worship God in a certain way. His basic answer of course in or sayings was his motto. Trust by self. And he arrived at that conclusion by thinking by writing and by talking he was a great believer in experience and coming in contact direct contact with a problem. This frail man with the uncertain health this deep sinker who couldn't write his wife a romantic letter. This friendly neighbor in the town of Concord. With the heritage of morality courage and lack of conformity with the mimeographed ideas of his time his own time philosophy was based on
his belief in the divine suppression see of the human being. Man he believed was king of the world and therefore it was degrading for him to accept another leader as greater than himself. As a practical politician Imus and preached a doctrine of good will and resolutely stood his ground when virtually all. Around him were mentally sniping at his ideas. A good friend of his pocket probably summarized rhodos life as well as anyone can. When he said. Thank God for three good things. The sun. The moon. And Rav Rado a.m.. In the New England renaissance. This has been the New England Renaissance written and produced at Boston University the National
Association of educational broadcasters in cooperation with the fund for adult education. The New England Renaissance was produced and directed by George W. Sloan Jr. assisted by William bag and Mel grey. Our script was written by Sidney a diamond Dr. Richard S. carpenter research and content consultant Professor narrators. Our cast included Cudworth Laurie Hanson Michael Laurence Stan and Martin certain theme music when this program was taken from three places in England. Be sure to listen again next week. Number seven is to be alive. It's the story of Henry David thorough in subsequent weeks on the series you will hear the story story of the new songs. This is the end of the Beat take network.
New England renaissance
Trust thyself
Producing Organization
WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on Ralph Waldo Emerson's early life, educational life, associations with friends, and literary activites.
Series Description
A dramatic re-creation of the New England Renaissance produced at Boston University.
Broadcast Date
New England--History--1775-1865
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Director: Sloan, George, W., Jr.
Producer: Boston University
Producing Organization: WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Speaker: Bourne, Donald
Speaker: Rightmire, Rod
Subject: Carpenter, Richard, 1916-
Writer: Diamond, Sidney, A.
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-2-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:52
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Chicago: “New England renaissance; Trust thyself,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2023,
MLA: “New England renaissance; Trust thyself.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2023. <>.
APA: New England renaissance; Trust thyself. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from