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VOL. XIII. PHILADELPHIA, FOURTH MONTH, 4, 1885. NO. 8.
Subscribers receiving it through mail, postage prepaid.
Entered at the Post-Office at Philadelphia, Penna., as secondclass matter.
Editorials: Forbearance—The Moral Law and the Spiritual.
120 Marriages............ ....................................................................... 121 Deaths...... !.............................. -----------------..... ................ 121 The Clifton Springs Sanitarium............... ............................... 122 Women in Business.................................. ................................ 123 Congress and the Piutes............................................................ 123 Astronomical............................................. ...----------------............. 124 Poetry: A Water Lily—The Music of the Gospel.................. 125 Local Information..................................................................... 126 The Library.......................................... 126 Current Events........................................................................... 127 Items............................................................................................ 128 Notices............... ................... ..................................................... 128
For Friends’ Intelligencer.
THE PAST AND PRESENT OF THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS.
The increasing interest manifested of late among all classes of our religious Society, growing out of the efforts, through instruction in First-day schools, to acquaint the children of Friends with the principles and testimonies that are the foundation stones of the Society, seems to call for a brief review of the origin of Friends and the formation of the rules of Discipline by which they are governed.
In the preparation of the present paper, nothing more is attempted than a mere outline. The true history of the “People called Quakers” has never yet been given to the world. When its biographer stands forth equipped with all the powers of research and investigation that the liberal culture of the age offers to the youth amongst us, and baptized into the same spirit that inspired its first apostles, a history will be written worthy a place among the sacred classics of all future time.
The work that George Fox entered upon was reformatory rather than revolutionary. Like the Master whom he served, his first labor was among those already in the bosom of the church, and subject to its disciplinary care, and it may of a truth be said of him, as was said of his Master, “he came to his own,” his brethren according to the flesh, “and his own received him not.” There appears no trace in the earlier labors of Friends of a disposition to
organize a new sect; the only desire seems to have
been to call back to the original ground of faith and hope, and to develop a deeper and fuller spiritual life in the church. It was rather what might be termed the spiritual outcome of the efforts of centuries preceding his time, when the claims of the clergy and the rites and ceremonies of worship which had grown oppressive were attacked, and a return to the simplicity of the Gospel as taught by Christ and his apostles was sought after. The attempt to give these rites a wholly spiritual significance had been nowhere made. Believers still symbolized the new birth, the cleansing from sin, the putting off “the old man with his deeds” and the putting on of Christ, by the act of outward baptism; they kneeled at the altar, or sat around “the table of the Lord,” and partook of “the emblems ” of his broken body and his spilled blood, and felt in this compliance with the letter of the command, “this do in remembrance of me,” they fulfilled the law of Christ, and showed their allegiance to him. But the “obscuring veil of human tradition could not wholly prevent the secret operations of spiritual life in the mind of man.” At a period when the Church and State were greatly agitated by the speculations of differing religious teachers and by the intrigues of different political parties, the Society of Friends arose, but the combined efforts of both could not repress the arising and the consolidation into a Society, when it became evident that the work called for, could not be carried on in the religious organizations then existing. It was a reformation of that reformation so nobly begun by the Lollards and the Waldenses in the earlier time, and continued by Luther, Zwingle, Calwin, Wickliff and the sturdy Scotchman John Knox, of whom it is said, he taught the peasant of his native heath, “that he was a free man, the equal in the sight of God with the proudest peer or prelate that had trampled upon his forefathers.” The work accomplished by these great lights of the reformation was preparatory to that which was to follow, and made possible the acceptance of a deep, inward, spiritual faith which recognized all outward forms as symbols of the purification of soul which must be known and experienced by every true believer. When it became necessary that those who were convinced of the truth through the preaching of George Fox and his coadjutors should band together for mutual help and growth in spiritual things, meetings were set up, and as the needs of the new organization became apparent, rules and regulations were adopted that in time crystalized into a book of Discipline, But unlike every other offshoot of the Christian Church—rather I might affirm, true to the example set by Jesus—no written creed was formulated, the gospel was received in the love that it breathed forth, as free and untrammeled as when its holy maxims were first proclaimed from the hilltops of Galilee, and beside the blue waters of its storm-tossed lake. It is well for us to gather home to this first principle of our Society, that we may properly appreciate the far-sighted wisdom and clear judgment of its inspired leaders. The passport to Christian fellowship was individual convincement of the light of divine grace, the spirit of Christ in every believer, manifested by a life corresponding to its pure and holy teaching. No theory of religion founded upon individual judgment was formulated, the conscience of each one was left unfettered in the development of views respecting faith and belief, and only when the life failed to correspond to the precepts of religion and morality was care extended in the spirit of restoring love for “the welfare and help of all.” William Penn, in his preface to George Fox's Journal, clearly sets forth this subject. He says: “They distinguish between imposing any practice that immediately regards faith or worship (which is never to be done, nor suffered or submitted unto), and requiring Christian compliance with those methods that only respect church business in its more civil part and concern, and that regard the discreet and orderly maintenance of the character of the Society as a sober and religious community.” Thus we see the discipline of the Society was “not to interfere with the faith of its members but to superintend its practice.” It was an outward rule by which irregularities in conduct and deportment were to be judged, not in the spirit of austerity, but in the restoring power of the love and meekness of the gospel, which seeks that which is lost, “the care of the whole body” acting on itself to regain and preserve, and so hedge in the membership that none might “stray from the fountain of Christian strength.” We err when we try to separate the reformation of the earlier time from the work of the fathers of our
Church, whose efforts would have been of little avail had there not been a people prepared of the Lord and waiting, as were Simeon and Anna, at the advent of the Messiah, for “the consolation of Israel.” These waiting ones were found wherever the witnesses for the religion that reaffirmed the Divine indwelling and the vanity of all external ceremonies, went forth with their simple message. And, taking counsel from the past, we shall find that as the knowledge of God and our relation to him widens and spreads, new unfoldings of truth must be witnessed. We still see “as through a glass darkly;” the mists and vapors of the past must continue to cloud the vision of the great multitude who by various ways are seeking for the light, but the progress is onward and upward, and it is for us to carry on that which was so worthily begun. Walking in the same light that illumined the pathway of our predecessors and made clear to them their dut and their opportunity, let us not be unmindful that the work they continued and carried up to higher levels has unexplored possibilities yet to be reached; neither let us mar the work by undue reverence for, and insistence upon the letter of what was “written aforetime.” It had its place with those to whom it was given and remains a precious heirloom to future generations, not leading backward to the glory that is past, but calling ever to the great throbbing heart of the now, to “leave the things that are behind,” and press forward for the mark of the prize that is in Christ Jesus, whose coming in the soul makes “all things new.” L. J. R.
For Friends' Intellgencer.
As we realize that link after link is being severed, which connects the present with the past generation of men and women Friends who were faithful valiants as standard-bearers in our Religious Society, the query may well go forth from some of our hearts, “Who shall show us any good?” to whom shall we go for counsel and instruction ? who now shall tell us of the good old way in which our forefathers walked, and consistently upheld our many valuable testimonies? The answer readily comes: “The same power which led them safely can also lead us individually in the path of peace.” We know it; but, in regard to the concerns of Society, its disciplinary transactions, and the weight and depth of mind which were formerly brought to bear upon important proceedings, where may we look for a true and living exemplification of the wisdom which once characterized our religious body?
These thoughts have again and again arisen in contemplating the recent removal of several of our valued Friends, who have long stood as “watchmen on the walls of our Zion,” and whose exercised spirits have long borne a burden of responsibility on behalf of the whole heritage. Of this number we have esteemed our dear friend, William Griscom, the record of whose death appeared in the issue of Friends' Intelligencer dated Second mo. 14th, 1885.
Trained from his youth to understand the principles and testimonies held by our Religious Society, they became to him as cherished blessings, which led him along safely through the chequered path of life. He was one of the few remaining types of ancestral simplicity in its yarious revealings. Averse to formality and outward show, his course through life was peculiarly plain and straightforward, and admirably adapted to the emergencies of existing occaS10D S. Gifted with talents for extensive usefulness, he was much employed in his earlier life in the discharge of important obligations connected with the welfare of our religious organization. The hospitalities of his home were freely tendered to those traveling in the service of truth, and very frequently he was the close companion and armor-bearer of messengers sent by the Master to visit the meetings and sometimes the families composing them. For this service we believe he was peculiarly qualified. In later years, increasing bodily infirmities caused him to be much confined at home, yet he was ever ready to welcome his friends, many of whom sought his counsel and accepted his clear discriminating judgment with comfort and edification. His accurate, retentive memory enabled him often to reproduce the details of important events and transactions in the Society, which were not only interesting, but valuable as landmarks, inspiring the feeling that he was indeed ofttimes an oracle to be relied upon for advice, information and encouragement. His very earnest concern for the welfare and perpetuity of our Religious Society, upon its original ground, caused him often to feel discouraged, and to weep as it were between the porch and the altar, in view of the tendency apparent in some to lightly esteem and even discard some of its wholesome rules, its distinguishing views and restrictive regulations. On these accounts his sensitive mind suffered much, and when ability was afforded he endeavored to promote a right course of action, according to the enlightened judgment given him. If, on some of these occasions, with his firm and uncompromising convictions, he was deemed by some to be too strenuous and decisive in urging his views, yet those who fully understood him could willingly accord a large degree of sincerity and religious concern as his actuating motive. He was for many years an Elder in high esteem, and he regarded the position as one of deep responsibility. Most especially was he exercised in regard to the watchfulness necessary that those appointed to the service should seek for a right qualification to extend tender care, and unite in harmonious labor for the preservation and encouragement of a true, living Gospel ministry amongst us. On these points, his labors with his friends and his interest waned not, even when unable to assemble with them at the accustomed seasons for public social worship. The subjoined extract from a letter of recent date, addressed to an exercised mind, portrays the concern and sympathy which filled his heart for those who believe they are called to be mouthpiece for the Lord in the assemblies of the people, and there are many who can bear testimony to the value of his counsel in this direction.
. . . “My desire for thee is, that thou may be faithful to thy calling—watching, carefully waiting for the arising life—for the flow of water, pure from the fountain. Those who partake of this will want no other, because it is refreshing, nourishing even unto Life eternal; which is, to know the only true God and his son Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. The Society of Friends was not organized as a philanthropic or benevolent society, but as a religious society.—“The religious Society of Friends. Their religion was that of Jesus Christ of Nazareth’’-that God is a spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth; hence Friends felt themselves called, when assembled for Divine Worship, to be still, and in silence to wait upon the Lord for the influence of His holy Spirit to solemnize their minds. Under this influence ofttimes, testimony was borne publicly to its presence as the Gospel of Christ, the power of God unto Salvation. The testimony of George Fox was, that the grace of God brought salvation, and nothing else did–teaching the denying of all ungodliness and the world’s lusts, that we should live soberly, righteously and Godly—that we could do this by obedience to this teaching, and all we can do for others as to their soul's welfare, is to call them to this.
“To my mind, thy testimony when I last heard thee was in accordance with this truth. I felt unity with thy exercise and sympathy with thee, and a concern that thou be faithful, careful and watchful. I desire that we be not anxious to have preaching, but yet ever glad to receive the spoken word when it comes in the life and under the influence of the Gospel of Christ, the anointing power. When the lips are touched as with a live coal from off His holy altar, let us be faithful in delivering the message. It is the same voice that spoke unto the patriarchs, prophets and holy men of old, through the ages that are past, that now speaks unto us; and it remains as in the outward imanifestation of Christ, “The Father worketh hitherto, and I work;” “I can of mine own self do nothing.” As the Lord spake unto Moses so He continues to speak to those who serve Him— “Behold I send an Angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. . . . Thy Friend, WM. GRISCOM.”
After a painful illness of several days he calmly and peacefully laid down the burden of life, leaving the conviction on the minds of survivors that his day’s work was accomplished in the daytime, and he is graciously gathered as a redeemed spirit, fully prepared for the joys of the Heavenly mansion.
Third month, 1885. S.
For Friends’ Intelligencer.
It is very desirable that some memorial testimony to the value and beauty of a life of true excellence should be preserved to after times, and we earnestly welcome the good words which come to us from those nearest and dearest to Anna Miller of Alexandria, Virginia.
This dear friend, while fulfilling all common duties of life with complete faithfulness, and thus shedding joy along the pathway of a long and active life, was one who is believed to have been in very truth a consistent Friend in the highest sense, a comforter to the afflicted, a helper to the weak, a revealer of divine mysteries to the troubled, a conservator of every heavenly virtue, beloved of God and of man. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps. cxvi, 15.). The Psalmist of old could also declare these just beatitudes: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” (Ps. cxix, 1
and 2.) IN MEMORIAM.
Died in Alexandria, Virginia, on Second-day after. noon, the twenty-third of the Second month, Anna Miller, widow of the late Robert H. Miller, in the eighty-third year of her age.
It seems but fitting that some mention should be made in this paper of about the last member of that meeting whose old records are freighted with the names of Edward and Mary Stabler, Phineas and Abija Janney and their faithful wives, Benjamin and Margaret Hallowell, and many others equally worthy though probably less widely known. Anna Miller was from first to last, through her long life a consistent Friend, attending meeting as long as there was a meeting there, whenever her frail health would permit, and literally when there would be but the “two or three gathered together.” She was, indeed, one whom to know was to love! “Her face was a gospel of peace.” Her character was a rare combination of strength and sweetness, of force and gentleness. She was tender, patient, quietly cheerful, “be the day dark or bright,” and her crowning characteristic was love | She left behind her eleven children, nine of whom followed her to her last resting-place, her life never having been darkened by that shadow “ which is as long as life's journey, and as broad as the Universe, and yet but the shadow of a little grave.” Her son-in-law, H. C. H., says of her, “If lives are measured by wide-spread influence, few have been more valuable than hers. The atmosphere of love that ever surrounded her and that seemed as natural as the air she breathed, purified and benefitted all who came within its influence. She taught by her example the important lesson of unfailing industry; her hands were never idle when it was possible for them to be employed, seeking ever to add to the comfort and happiness of others.
“A simple grace, a fine, sweet face,
She expressed herself often in her last sickness as ‘greatly favored,’ and as “having so much to be thankful for.’ Her close was as serene and peaceful as her life. Her calm and beautiful countenance death but sanctified; a life's loveliness seemed stamped upon it. We believe fully that as spring will soon clothe again with beauty the cold and dreary landscape, so she has but passed ‘through death to life,’ and is now rejoicing in the sunlight of celestial love.” C. H. M.
HAPPINESS A HABIT.
EVERY permanent state of mind is largely the effect of habit. Just as we can perform an action so continually that it comes to be habitual, so we can encourage conditions of mind till they, too, come to be habits of thinking and even of feeling. Every thoughtful parent or teacher recognizes this in the training of youth. The child constantly thwarted or scolded or ridiculed has constantly aroused within him feelings of resentment or discouragement or misery, and these grow to be habitual, and a character for ill-temper or moroseness or despondency is formed. On the other hand, the child who is wisely treated, whose faculties are brought into action, who is encouraged to do well, who is surrounded with cheerful faces and orderly arrangements, becomes accustomed to corresponding habits of thought and feeling. The exercise of self-control, of truthfulness, of honesty, and other essential qualities, not only result in habitual actions of the same nature, but in habitual feelings or states of mind that induce those actions. So the condition which we call happiness is likewise acquired to a considerable degree. It involves within it many things, but they are not impossible to secure; and, when we have discovered them, it rests with us to encourage or to discourage them. Happiness is not only a privilege, but a duty not a mere outward good that may perhaps come to us, but an inward possession which we are bound to attain. When we remember the contagious character of happiness, the strength, courage, and hope it excites by its very presence and the power for good it exerts in every direction, we cannot doubt our obligation to attain as much of it as is possible.—Philadelphia Ledger.
COLORED LABOR AT THE SOUTH.
Here are some good words for the noble educational work of our friend Martha Schofield, at Aiken, S. C., from the pen of A. D. Mays, in the Christian. Register. He describes “A Southern Factory Willage,” the village of . Grametville, Aiken county, S.C., midway between Columbia, S.C., and Augusta, Ga. He believes the true policy of the Southern manufacturer is to use the colored people for factory labor, and adds: “There are plenty of old-fashioned people who stoutly maintain that the negro can never be made a good operative or mechanic, but one day’s visit at the Schofield Colored School, in Aiken, will open the eyes of the most stubborn doubter. For here these children and youth are not only getting a good education, in an excellent school, but are taught in the shops, sewing-rooms and printing-office to do thorough work as carpenters, shoemakers and
dressmakers, and the handsomest printing of a hotel
bill of fare we have lately seen is turned out from this office, for the great Highland Park House, in Aiken. People everywhere are opening their eyes to the conviction that when the Almighty creates a being incapable of education, He places it by birth outside the human category; and that, when He concludes to launch a man upon the eternities, He endows this new child with all the powers, capacities, aspirations and possibilities needful for a son or daughter of the most high God.”
For Friends' Intelligencer.
E. K. H., a subscriber, who for many years has been a constant reader of Friends' Intelligencer, writes of his interest in the various articles relating to the ministry of the gospel that have of late appeared in its columns, and gives what appears to him to be one of the strongest arguments against the system of paying for the services of a minister. Our friend says, in substance: “In order to arrive at correct conclusions it is necessary to consider man in the threefold nature by which he sustains relations with the visible world and with that which belongs to the spiritual life. While he is under the dominion of that which is animal or outward, his intercourse socially is under the government of law, which points out and makes manifest what may and what may not be done, and this is the most critical period of his life. When our Heavenly Father graciously condescends to illuminate the spiritual vision by His free grace, which teaches all things, we are brought under the alone redeeming principle, the means He has instituted to awaken in us a sense of our needs, and to show us what we are capable of attaining to. Henceforth we are members of His Church, and as long as we are faithful, we have an unerring guide, and need not that any man teach us. “Jesus’ mission on earth seems to have been, according to his own declaration, to restore this truth, for he says, “I came to seek and to save that which was lost.’ “Now we hold this divine gift in earthen vessels, and ministers, as well as others, are liable to forget this fact, and so lose sight of their guide. Should such a misfortune overtake one who ministers under the hireling system, the temptation to continue in the office would be stronger because of the pecuniary reward upon which his means of a livelihood depended.” This point made by E. K. H. is a strong one. There are instances constantly occurring in every branch of the Christian Church, where a paid ministry exists, in which men have mistaken their calling. Some have the courage of their convictions, and turn to other means for obtaining a living; but it is a snare, and the true minister must feel at times that it is a hindrance in the presentation of the gospel, which its early promulgators declared was without money and without price. “Freely ye have received, freely give,” was the injunction of the Master. Let all who speak in his name bear this in mind.
Reasoning synthetically, one arrives at the conclusion, that this outcome in man is his best argument in defence of the fundamental doctrine of the Divine indwelling, for what we may well inquire, enables man to understand, and make his own, the Secrets of Almighty wisdom, but a portion of the same wisdom that created him. As we contemplate the capability of mind in a given direction, and study its development in the fullness, as exhibited by one individual, we discover the possibilities of the race in that direction. It is given us to witness these abnormal instances of power in every department of human effort, that we may have some conception of the height to which skill and earnest, persistent endeavor may attain, and be stimulated to greater and truer desire for knowledge. The fact that one man has attained great excellence and ability in a given direction is an impulse and inducement to the whole race. Happily the days are fast passing away when the conqueror on the battle-field, amid blood and carnage was the world's highest exemplar of human power. More and more the fields of struggle and enduring courage, that make a name and a fame for the conqueror, are found in the arena of the world's peaceful industries, and that which brings the most comfort and happiness to the greatest number constitutes his crowning glory. It matters little what or whence the origin of him whom the world honors. He may have been cradled in a manger, as was He of whom it is written, “never man spake as this man;” his eyes may have first seen the light in a cabin of poverty and want, if the propelling force inheres it can no more be put down and kept under, than can the pent-up energy with which nature is ever working her miracles of awe and wonder. And this fact should put to shame the paltry efforts to maintain class distinctions and hereditary greatness. Our Supreme Ruler sets his seal of condemnation upon any claim that one man may have over another, by this evidence of superiority founded upon the inhering qualities of heart and brain. Small indeed, and very frail are the barriers with which society separates itself from the common herd, and very small do those make themselves who say “stand thou here, while we go up to the high places of popular esteem.” Even as they move onward to the seats of honor he upon whom they have turned their backs, outstrips them in the glory of great achievement and takes his seat among the heroes that have blessed mankind.
In the first uprising of the religious thought that now dominates the civilized world, it was revealed to the boldest of its apostles to declare “What God has cleansed that call thou not common or unclean. What so susceptible of the cleansing power of the Majesty of heaven, as the soul into which was breathed His own divine breath. How poor indeed are all our worldly distinctious and how unworthy the being created in His image.”
“IT is a world of sacred mysteries, and its Creator only knows what lies beneath the surface of His lightest image.”—The Battle of Life.