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THE CHEAPNESS OF HUMAN LIFE.
In a recently published article upon the state of so: ciety in the South—particular reference being had to the moral and educational status of the colored people—there occurred an allusion to the increase in the number of homicide cases, especially in the State of Kentucky. I was about to make a note of the figures, with a view to furnishing them to a foreign correspondent much interested in penal reform and cognate matters, but, upon further consideration, deemed it best to refrain, having a fear lest the.statement, is not indeed greatly exaggerated, might by many be taken to be so. Since then, however, I have seen it stated upon the authority of a leading journal which has given special attention to the subject, that there was undoubtedly a large increase in the number of murders for 1884 as compared with the year preceding—the total for all the United States being three thousand three hundred and seventy-seven. He who makes a study of political economy, will, in considering its historic development, have occasion to note with satisfaction the gradual substitution of law and of other amicable methods in the place of brute force for the settlement of differences, whether such differences be private, inter-tribal and provincial, or international. Within a few years, however, observing how many rencontres terminating in bloodshed and death have arisen (especially in the South) out of family feuds, the members of one family embittered against another, and ever on the lookout to pay up old scores, even to the taking of life, I have been inclined to query whether there were not evidences of a retrograde tendency—a going back in the direction of duel-practice,clan-fighting,and the judicial combat, or wager of battle. Likewise, the prominence given in many Northern dailies to the doings of prizefighters, suggest the old pagan days when the blood of martyred Christians was shed upon the arena. A similar view to that above expressed has come to my notice since the foregoing was penned, and it is to be found in certain remarks made by the French pastor and publicist, Edmond de Pressensé, now a member of the National Assembly of France. Adverting to the recent circumstance of deliberate shooting by a notorious French woman, of a man whom she suspected of slandering her, of her glorying in her guilt, and, upon her release, of being carried home in triumph by her friends whilst bouquets were showered upon her by applauding spectators, he says, that this incident, with many others of a not dissimilar sort which he might mention, “argue a return to a state of barbarism. It is the old savage warfare re-appearing in the midst of modern civilization, and facilitated by the more deadly appliances of the present day. The powers of evil have indefinitely multiplied their weapons of late, even apart from dynamite, the favorite tool of the anarchist everywhere.” The foremost cause is declared to be the elimination of God from the Imoral world, and denying the authority—aye, even the very existence—of a moral sense, or conscience. Now, of the three thousand three hundred and seventy-seven murders said to have happened in this country last year, only one hundred and eleven (111) were followed by executions, whilst the wretched sub
jects of lynch-law administration numbered two hundred and nineteen (219), or about twice as many as the number of those who were judicially executed. There is thus evident, on the one hand, an aversion to the inflicting of the capital penalty; on the other, a passionate determination to summarily administer the law (?) without judge or jury—both conditions being out of harmony with this age of civilization and of professing Christianity. It may therefore be pertinently asked, in view of the fact that several of the States of this Republic and several of the cantons of Switzerland wherein capital punishment had been abolished by law have recently restored, or are moving to restore, the extreme penalty, whether any real benefit is likely to follow the re-enactment. Those evil customs or social conditions which so often eventuate in murders are, chiefly rum-drinking, religious skepticism, pernicious reading and play-going, the carrying of deadly weapons, and the disregard of the first day of the week. All these are on the increase in this country as well as in Switzerland. In the latter country a late inquiry relative to the prevalence of the rumdrinking habit, revealed a sorrowful state of affairs. As to our own land, recent statistics show that in the last four years the increase in the consumption of liquors has been twice as great as the increase in the population. What avails it, then, in seeking to stay the murder-passion, that we retaliate upon the baleful reresult, if with much more vigor, we attack not the evil root; in other words, why re-enact the penalty of death by hanging, by the guillotine, or by any other summary process, when men can freely obtain that which maddens them, fires their brains, and renders them insane and ready for murder, at shops licensed by law to deal out the poison. The following suggestive, but truly saddening statement concerning the new enslavement of the negro population of the South is given in last month’s National Temperance Advocate. It rests upon the authority of President De Forest, of Talledega College, Alabama, and is submitted, in conclusion, without comment: “Rum, of course is the ruin of our black people, who find liberty in license, and drink vastly more than when slaves. . . . In unevangelized places, and that means much the larger part, the saloons are full of black tipplers, and the street corners are thronged with black idlers, whereas slavery had a law and a lash for both of these offenders. Formerly the whites had a monopoly in drinking and loafing ; now the negro has become an active partner, and selling liquor to colored men has passed from zero to a vast and lucrative business. A very intelligent colored man said to me recently that they spent a thousand dollars for liquor now to one before the war. The result of this is misery, degradation, and woe unutterable.—Josiah W. Leeds, in The Student.
FRIENDS' B00K ASSOCIATION.
The Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Friends' Book Association, of Philadelphia, was held in Race Street Meeting-house, 5th month 11th, at 8 o’clock. In the absence of the President, Amos Hillborn was called to the Chair. S. Raymond Roberts served as Secretary. The following report was presented, and after some discussion accepted and referred to the incoming Board : The Twelfth Annual Report of the Board of Directors
of Friends' Book Association, of Philadelphia.
To the Stockholders :
Your Board of Directors has held regular Quarterly Meetings, and through its Executive Committee, monthly reports of the financial condition of the business of the store (furnished by the Superintendent, John Connly), have been carefully examined. The summary of these reports shows a small loss in the business of the year, mainly caused by a robbery which occurred at the store, 1020 Arch street, in Tenth month last. The amount of merchandise on hand, Third month 31st, 1885, was $11,737.56. Since last report we have published “Essays on the Views of Friends,” by J. J. Cornell ; stereotyped and printed 6,000 copies, most of which have been sold. We have also stereotyped and printed : 1,500 copies “George Fox’s Dissertation on Christian Testimonies,” by S. M. Janney; 1,500 copies “George Fox’s Christian Discipline,” by S. M. Janney; 1,500 copies George Fox's Ministry,” by S. M. Janney. We have printed from the stereotype plates in our possession the following : 500 Janney’s “Life of George Fox.” 1,000 “Young Friends' Manual,” by Benjamin FIallowell. We have made the plates and printed an edition of 500 copies of “The Life of Banneker, the AfricAmerican Astronomer,” by Martha E. Tyson, for Anne L. Kirk; an edition of “William Canby and his Descendants,” Extracts of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Swarthmore College Catalogue, Report of Board of Managers and Minutes, Report of the Honne for Destitute Colored Children, Report of Friends' Home for Children, besides various school Reports, Catalogues, etc. We believe this branch of our business might be greatly increased, and the principles and testimonies of our religious Society more effectively disseminated, if the fund for publishing literature for gratuitous distribution was enlarged to meet the growing demand for such information. Signed on behalf of the Board,
it with me there ! I have experienced the blessing which the soul enjoys when it quietly rests in God. —Tholuck.
Samuel Adams. By Prof. James K. Hosmer. (Am. Statesman Series). From the Press of Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston.—Bancroft has characterized this early Statesman of America as the helmsman of the Revolution at its origin, the truest representative of the home rule of Massachusetts in its town meetings and General Court. We doubt not this is, or will be as welcome to the reading public, as have been the twelve preceding volumes of the “Am. Statesman Series.” The object has not been, in this series, to give, merely, a number of unconnected narratives of men conspicuous in political life in America, but to produce books, which shall, when taken together, indicate,the lines of political thought and development in American history.
At the close of the last chapter of his interesting biographical sketch of Samuel Adams, Prof. Hosmer Says :
“The town-meeting has been called ‘the primordial cell of Our body politic.” Is its condition at present such as to satisfy us? As we have seen, even in New England, it is only here and there that it can be said to be well maintained. At the South, Anglo-Saxon freedom, like the enchanted prince of the ‘Arabian Nights,” whose body below the waist the evil witch had fixed in black mal ble, had been fixed in African slavery. The spell is destroyed ; the prince has his limbs again, but they are weak and wasted from the hideous tram mel. The tra CeS Of the folk-nn Ote in the SOuth are Sadly few. Nor elsewhere is the prospect encouraging. The influx of allen tides to whom our precious heirloons are as nothing, the growth of cities and the inextricable inequalities and perplexities of their government, the vast inequality of condition between man and man—what room is there for the little primary Council of freemen, homogeneous in stock, holding the same faith, on the same level as to wealth and station, not too few in numbers for the kindling of interest, nor so many as to become unmanageable : What room is there for it, or how can it, be revivified or recreated?. It is, perhaps, hopeless to think of it. Freeman remarks that in Sonne of the American colonies, “representation has supplanted the primitive Teutonic demo. cracy, which had sprung into life in the institution of the first Settlers.” Over vast areas of our country to-day, representation has Supplanted democracy. It is an admirable, an induspensable expedient, of course. Yet that a representative sys– tem may be thoroughly Well managed, we need below it the primary assemblies of the individual citizens, ‘regular, fixed, frequent and accessible,” discussing affairs and deciding for themselves. De Tocqueville seems to have thought that AngloSaxon Annerica owes its existence to the town-meeting. It would be hard, at any rate, to show that the town-megting was not a main source of our freedom. Certainly it is well to hold it in memory; to give it new life, if possible, wherever it exists; to reproduce some semblance of it, however faint, in regions to which it is unknown ; it is well to brush the dust off the half-forgotten figure who, of all men, is its best type and repreSentative.” S. R.
Appleton's Chart Primer. By Rebecca D. Rickoff. Appleton & Co., New York.-This is a charming little book of language and color lessons for beginners. It is to be used during the first school days—days apt to be wearisome to the children and taxing to the teacher. The Chart Primer comes with beautiful pictures to attract the eye, and to suggest descriptive words to the child. Conversations and color lessons are to be mingled with easy reading lessons, so as to give the little one easy command of sufficient words for the first steps in learning. The Primer Supplements the Charts, now so universally in use, but will do very Well without them.
The colored illustrations are really artistic, as well they may be, being the designs of such artists as Ida Waugh and Rate Greenaway.
We give thanks and praise to all those who are laboring to-day to render the work of the training of children for life ever easier and easier to both learner and teacher. The way is long, the path not too easy at the very best, and the “pathway of the gods” must forever continue to be “steep and craggy,” but we may make the approaches to this pathway as pleasing and as flowery as the skill and taste of our wisest and best Can Clevise
AMONG the commendable efforts of the present day, is that which aims to procure for childhood reading which is wholesome, pleasing, and to some extent instructive. Our attention is attracted to a little book published by Roberts Bros., Boston, entitled Daddy Darwin's Dovecot. It is only a pleasant little harmless picture of Yorkshire, (England), country life, in which faithfulness to duty, innocence, and gratitude are all charmingly and naturally set forth, with their results.
The illustrations have so much spirit that they add very much to the merits of the little book.
FROM. D. Appleton & Co., N. Y., comes a little volume on the human body, and how to take care of it, which bears the name How We Live. It is an elementary course in Anatomy, Physiology and Hygiene, by James Johonnot & Eugene Bouton, Ph.D. This is one of the numerous works on Physiology and Hygiene, in the interests of temperance reform, by which it is hoped the study will be effectively introduced into the public schools. We find the effects of alcohol and of narcotics clearly and simply stated, without exaggeration; and every point which relates to the proper care of the physical system, is treated as fully, as so brief a work can do it. The evils of pressure upon the waist, of the use of shoes that are instruments of torture, and of the irritation of the delicate organs of sensation, are set forth sufficiently— with the earnest confirmation of the skillful and faithful teacher, to impress the minds of children so fully, that they will retain the impression to after life. The subject of temperance instruction in public schools now greatly interests our best and wisest citizens. The act of Fourth month 2, 1885, (Pennsylvania) authorizes Physiology and Hygiene to be included in the branches now required by law to be taught in the common schools of this State. This act takes effect immediately, though teachers are not perhaps as yet fully qualified to take up the subject scientifically, and are not required to pass an examination in the branches desired till next year. In such circumstances it is well to have so simple a little manual as this, in which every teacher can get a familiarity with the first elementary steps—and lead the children along with them without much or any previous study. We hope no time be lost in taking this step with energy and faith. While too many of our present voters favor the interests of distillers, brewers and “Saloons,” rather than the cause of righteousness, temperance and judgment, it may be of some avail to try to train up more enlightened citizens for the coming time, toward which we are ever looking with hope. It is something that the literature is all ready.
The Story of the Resurrection of Christ. By Wm. H. Furness, D.D.—This interesting work is from the press of J. B. Lippincott & Co. It will be read with interest by students of the New Testament, since it treats of the event deemed so important by all schools of theology, and concerning which such varying opinions are held.
Says Dr. Furness:
“It is now more than fifty years ago that, in reading the accounts of the most extraordinary event in the history of Christ —the event upon which the Apostles laid the greatest stress, the corner-stone of primitive Christianity—the reappearance of Christ alive after death, it came to me that what the guard at the sepulchre mistook for a figure alighting from heaven, and the Women believed to be an angel, was no other than Jesus himself.”
Then follows a careful array of the evidences which have been sufficient to convince the author of the truth of his position.
He places side by side the statements of the four Evangelists, showing by their want of correspondence that there was no collusion between them. Each wrote according to his own conclusions, and simply related what had seemed to him to be the facts.
The artlessness of the narration Seems to Dr. Furness to be strong evidence of its truth and sincerity, and he holds that the Resurrection of Christ was an actual fact, while not pronouncing it a miracle or a wonder. He says, justly, that we cannot pretend to know all the ways of nature, and have no authority for pronouncing it a miracle in the sense of a violation of these ways. Might it not be reasonable to believe it took place in perfect consistency with the divine way, and in obedience to some law of nature —the law of the supremacy of spirit over matter?
Says the author:
“Livlng, dying and rising from the dead in profoundest harmony with the Divine will and order, through a faith, identified with his in most personal consciousness, in the Infinite One dwelling in him, and in all things animate and inanimate, Christ is our fullest revelation of God and of the Divine life in the soul of man. “His resurrection was justified by the power with which it wrought. To change those poor men who first put faith in him into saints and martyrs, through whom the world was to be revolutionized, it was worth while for the greatest of the sons of men to awake from the deep slumber of death, and show himself to them and inspire them. With a faith in things unseen such as was never felt before. “Had he not done so, his memory would have faded away from the World into an unsubstantial dream of the Past, casting no light of sanctity upon the Present, nor of hope upon the Future. His disciples would have gone mourning back to their boats and nets on the Sea. Of Galilee. “But, as tit was, assured beyond the shadow of a misgiving that he who had been all in all to them, for whom they had forsaken all else, was still living, with a courage that princes and all the powers of Church and State could not daunt, those humble men went forth and published their faith in the Risen Christ, sealing that faith with their blood. This was the one Fact, upon the truth of which they staked life and all that makes life dear—that Christ had risen from the dead, and WaS still living.” S. R.
Domestic.—General Grant is now driving and walking out again, and the daily health bulletins have ceased. He sleeps and eats comparatively well, and is in fairly good spirits. But the fact remains that he is growing thinner daily, losing, the papers say, about two pounds a week. The disease in the throat appears to be arrested at present, but only the most sanguine can believe that he is on the road to recovery.
A RELIEF fund for the fever-stricken people of Plymouth, Pa., has been started and contributions have been made in Philadelphia and elsewhere. This has enabled systematic help to be extended to the sufferers who have been rendered helpless by the pestilence. The disease is pronounced to be typhoid fever of a malignant type, probably caused by the failing of the water supply.
THE sixth annual examination at the Indian Training School at Carlisle was held on the sixth instant in the presence of a large and intelligent audience. The exercises, which were highly interesting, displayed remarkable progress on the part of the pupils, in all the branches in which instruction has been given. About 480 pupils are now on the rolls of the school, some 80 of whom are learning practically the art of civilized life in various families in the Eastern States.
Foreign.—Riel's rebellion in Northwestern Canada, is not easily suppressed, and it is feared that the Dominion forces havé Suffered a severe reverse near Battleford, N. W. F. The most serious danger now is that there may be a general Indian rising. It has been evident from the first that the loyalty of many of the tribes was contingent on the prompt defeat of the rebels in the field, and now that the ability of the militia to subdue them seems so doubtful, it is hardly possible that the more warlike and restless Indians Will remain.
MORE trouble is reported in Egypt, Osman Digna having again gathered an army about him ; but it is thought the present scarcity of food in the desert, will prevent this army from concentrating so as to become so formidable as to require a British expedition for the suppression of El Mahdi's champion.
THE Mediterranean Sea has encroached upon the land in the Nile Delta to a point at present beyond Rosetta. Cattle are perishing from the effects of salt water drank by them in desperate thirst, and the human inhabitants of the invaded region are suffering terribly from want of fresh water, which has to be sent them from large distances by railway.
TITE revised edition of the Old Testament will be given to the public in London on the 19th instant, and will be published in New York on the 21st.
THE French Chamber of Deputies was formally reopened on Fifth month 4th. It is believed that the Brisson Ministry will endeavor at the first opportunity to rid themselves of the Tonquin burden. The Climate is unfit for Europeans. The Suez Canal Commission have decided to exempt Egypt and Turkey from the interdiction of acts of hostility in the Suez Canal, or the landing of troops on its banks for the defense of Egypt.
IT is represented that the general feeling in France is against the costly aggressive policy of the late ministry, especially in regard to the war in Madegascar which has been dragging along without advancement for some time. It is hoped that the peace policy may now prevail in the French republic.
LONDON advices of the 9th instant are to the effect that the Anglo-Russian situation is still uncertain. It is feared that arbitration may fail. Preparations for war are being carried on with vigor on both sides.
AT the instance of the State Board of Health a sanitary inspection will be made of all the railway stations and grounds, hotels, camp grounds and other places of public resort in New Hampshire.
THE Liverpool Post says landlords and tenants will be interested in learning that in the Queen's Bench Division a jury has awarded a tenant £45 damages for illness caused through the drains of a house not being maintained in proper order.
THE Wilmington Every Evening has published despatches from all points of the peach-growing districts of the Delaware peninsula, which concur in predicting an unusually large crop, “unless some unforeseen disaster shall occur.”
MARY A. LIVERMORE, of Boston, says that out of a once large fortune Wendell Phillips left only $25,000, and that the day before he died he burned a small fortune in notes he held against people for whom, as he said, his executors might make trouble.
THE Sea Side Laboratory, at Annisquam, Mass., which has been in operation for four summers, will be open again the coming season. Its purpose is to afford special opportunity for the study of the development, anatomy, and habits of common types of marine animals.
FOR the benefit of the Steglitz Working Women's Home, under the protection of the Crown Princess of Germany, Mrs. Clara Neymann, of New York, delivered a lecture recently at the Hotel de Rome, Berlin,
on “Types of American Women,” which was largely attended and attentively listened to.
SEVERAL citizens of New York have purchased a strip of land at the west end of Coney Island, near the Sea View hotel, for sanitarian purposes. It has a frontage of 300 feet on the Ocean and extends back to Gravesend Bay without diminishing in width. The land covers an area of 30 acres. Nothing will be done with the property this summer, but it is proposed to erect in the fall a building that can be used as a sanitarium next summer. This will be for the benefit of the children of the poor and the inmates of the Catholic Orphan Asylums.
A NEW effort to establish a line of railroad in China has been partially successful. Li Hung Chang, the viceroy, has been anxious for a long time to bring the coal from the Kaiping mines, in Pekin, a distance of 105 miles; but the people would not allow the English engineers to complete the work, and insisted upon building a canal. The canal, however, could not be brought to the mouth of the mine, so that the engineers were allowed to make a railroad 73 miles long. At first, the authorities insisted upon the use of mules instead of locomotives; but their prejudices have at last yielded, and three locomotives are now employed. These coal mines are said to be worked very scientifically, the only difficulty being that the glass of the patent lamps designed to protect against explosion is continually broken by the Chinese in order to light their pipes. Slowly but surely China is yielding to Western ideas.
WILL it be believed that the working population of this city, who follow their respective avocations by night, is not far from 60,000, that is to say, about double the entire population of New York at the close of the Revolution ? Add to these the tramps and outcasts and we have 20,000 more. The churches are beginning to think it is about time something was done on behalf of this vast army of after-dark toilers and human beings without homes, and before long I am imformed an important movement designed for their benefit will be undertaken, and in a way, too, that will be likely to command the united support of all denominations. With reference to the matter the Churchman pertinently remarks: “Whoever is abroad occasionally at midnight, or in the early morning, must feel deeply impressed by the whole subject, and realize the danger incurred by the failure to deal with a field of such immense proportions. We send missionaries to China, Africa and Japan, which is right. We pray for the natives of Madagascar, Melanesia and Ceylon, but what about the heathen wandering every night past our very doors?”—N. Y. Tribune.
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