"You imagined me out of the Church, but where?" he demanded. "That's just it," she wondered intimately, "where? When I try, I can see no other place for you. Your place as in the pulpit." He uttered a sharp exclamation, which she did not heed. "I can't imagine you doing institutional work, as it is called, you're not fitted for it, you'd be wasted in it.
But for our purpose the significant fact is that throughout the book he insists that Christianity is essentially an institutional religion, the most completely institutional of all religions. For Professor Royce to be a Christian is to be a Churchman.
Many trained nurses prefer institutional rather than private nursing. Head nurses in hospitals receive from thirty to sixty dollars a month. There are also nurses who superintend private hospitals. A few nurses of executive ability, business knowledge, and experience in nursing, become superintendents of hospitals, but not of the largest hospitals. A number are heads of training schools.
Such, He reminded His enemies, was the treatment which all the prophets had met with from the class to which those enemies belonged. This, then, is the first fact to remember. Institutional Christianity may be a legitimate and necessary historical development from the original Gospel, but it is something alien to the Gospel itself.
It was strange, in spite of everything, that hope sprang up within him, a recurrent geyser. Gradually, almost imperceptibly, he found himself turning more and more towards that line of least resistance which other churches were following, as the one Modern Solution, institutional work. After all, in the rescuing of bodies some method might yet be discovered to revive the souls.
Rushing across the street, he intercepted that institutional gentleman in the act of dipping a brush into a can in front of Number 37. "Don't, for Heaven's sake, touch that front!" implored the improver of it. "Why not?" demanded the Estate. "I want to rent it. As it is. From to-day." The Mordaunt Estate turned a dull, Wagboomish look of denial upon him. "Nope," said he.
"Oh no, Cora; he wants " "You hear, Arch?" "Sure; only, I can't force her if she don't want to." "Sure she wants to! Hurry! I hear Skinnay Flint's ukulele. Gee! I just can't make my feet be-have!" They entered an institutional, sanitary, and legislation-smelling box of foyer and up three flights of fire-proof stairs. At each landing were four fire-proof doors, lettered.
Such an article of institutional furniture is an outcome of usage, not of reflection or deliberate choice; and it has consequently a character of self-legitimation, so that it stands in the accredited scheme of things as intrinsically right and good, and not merely as a shrewdly chosen expedient ad interim.
So many things are not there at all, need not be considered; no institutional aristocracy, no Kaisers, Czars, nor King-Emperors to maintain a litigious sequel to the Empire of Rome; it has no uneducated immovable peasantry rooted to the soil, indeed it has no rooting to the soil at all; it is, from the Forty-ninth Parallel to the tip of Cape Horn, one triumphant embodiment of freedom and deliberate agreement.
Such a picture would only be a necessary part of a study of institutions when the city itself was the unit to be investigated, and not of one whose chief object is to prove that the city as such had no constitutional existence, but simply formed a part of another institutional unit.