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iness that may reassure the pupil of your interest in his welfare, and form or cement the bond of friendship between two whose interests are identical and whose sympathies should be mutual. H. * Eleventh mo. 13th, 1884. —one-e—om--— For The Intelligencer and Journal.
Though the Scriptures are not our rule of faith and practice, there is much recorded in them to stimulate and aid us in our endeavor to find the right way and walk in it. The highest of all teachers said, “Let your light so shine that men seeing your good works may glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Most tenderly are we exhorted to add to our faith virtue, with a single eye to Him of whom it is written, “In all their afflictions he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them.” This guardian angel still hovers around the heart-stricken, and pours in the oil and the wine to fortify and carry through the deep provings that fall to the lot of probationers in their wilderness journey to the promised inheritance beyond the veil. From the earliest ages it has been understood “There is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding.” The rational faculties are the channel through which the divine is communicated and the will of Jehovah clearly made known. This favor cannot be too highly estimated. That each for him or herself is privileged to commune with the Father of lights and spirits is as clear as the sun which reveals outward objects: “I am God, and beside me there is no Saviour,” is the Scripture declaration. In the outward advent of Jesus Christ the holy anointing was the qualifying power. He said emphatically, “I of myself can do nothing; the Father that is in me, He doeth the works.” O the blessedness of gospel truths, they are indeed great joy to all people! “Det this light shine;” set the candle on the candlestick, that the beauty of all that is heavenly may be seen, and what joy, what gladness would spring up, how would the Author of all good be glorified. Symbols vanish away before the reality; we rejoice “in the Lord, and joy in the God of our salvation. O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and His wonderful works to the children of men;” He bringeth to the gates of death, and raiseth up again to the heights of salvation, and blessed be His name.
SARAH Hunt. Sixth mo. 29th, 1885.
A HAPPY HOME.
Riches will not make a home happy; fine clothes will not; jewels will not; but good sense, good habits and good tempers will. Here is a true picture of a happy home, by the poet:
“It is not much the world can give,
With all its subtle art;
And gold and gems are not the things
But O ! if those who cluster round
Have gentle words and loving smiles,
For The Intelligencer and Journal.
APPOINTMENTS FOR YOUNG MEMBERS.
In endeavoring to account for the decline of our Society, there has been much said in the several conferences and also in the press on the subject, and an attempt has been made to lay the blame at the door of older Friends, in that they do not encourage the younger members, by appointing them on the various committees to which the concerns of Society are committed.
Now can this charge be sustained by reference to the actual facts of the case ? So far as the writer knows, wherever the younger members have given evidence of an interest in the welfare of the Society and
have shown that their minds were prepared by the
baptizing power of truth, the elder members have gladly availed themselves of their services. But the truth is, that, with the exception of Yearly and Quarterly Meetings, they are seldom present at our meetings of business. And when they are, to appoint them simply because they are young, will not advance the cause. So soon as they give evidence in their lives and conversation that they are fitted for the service, none would rejoice more at their appointment than those who are now bearing the burden ; for none know so well as they how soon the time will come when the testimonies of the Society must be upheld by them, or taken up by other organizations, or fall to the ground.
But the recommendation of Jesus must become a living truth to them : “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you,” before they can be used to advantage in conducting the concerns of the Church. For so long as their minds are engrossed with the perishing things of time and sense, they are in no condition to receive the higher truths that relate to the higher life. The lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye and the pride of life are no new things in the history of man. They are the besetting sins of every age which good men have to war against.
And where we analyze the meaning of these few words we shall find that they embrace nearly everything that is harmful to us in this life, and that militates against those heavenly virtues that fit us for the life to come. The inordinate pursuit of wealth is a besetting sin of this age, and how constantly it is leading men astray from the path of rectitude! An undue love of what are called the pleasures of life is another fruitful cause of sorrow. And, endeavor to hide it as we may, the people of this land are fast becoming a licentious people with whom chastity and virtue are but names.
How many husbands and fathers, wives and mothers are filling these important relations of life with little or no regard to a sense of duty in meeting the responsibilities they impose? Can the individual or the nation of which he forms a part be prosperous and happy where such is the case? To assert it is to call in question the wisdom of that Almighty Power by which the world was formed and the laws for its government established. Now no one can feel a deeper interest in the rising generation than the writer, and no one is more fully impressed with
the absolute necessity of relying on the Divine hand for guidance in the affairs of life. But unless an earnest and sincere desire be present in the mind to conform our lives to these requirements, how "can we aid the cause of truth in anything we do? Perfection is that at which we should aim, but no one should be discouraged because they fall short of the ideal, for our failure is the nursing mother of our charity. In all cases where evidence is given of a sincere desire to live in obedience to the Master's will, the hand of encouragement should be extended, and I believe it generally is. But there is sometimes damger in going too far in this direction, as it is apt to awaken a feeling of self-love, which is alike inimical to the character of the individual and the good of society. Some years since, quite an interest was awakened in two of our very young members who felt called to engage in the Master's work. They were men of good abilities and fine attainments, and for a season promised to do much good. Their ministry was approved by their respective Meetings, and they were very popular as preachers. But for the want of judicious counsel on the part of concerned elders, and by too much attention bestowed on them by others, they were led to believe they were above the ordinary run of mortals so far as the spiritual life was concerned. Instead of continuing in a state of humble dependence on a Higher Power, and looking to it for instruction in the ways of truth and righteousness, in which alone safety is to be found, they were led to rely on their abilities, and where are they to-day? So pleased were the friends of the one that they sought to relieve him from the drudgery of life by ministering to his necessities. He became exacting, and because he could not have all he wished left the Society and joined that conglomerate mass that goes by the name of Friends in the West, without having its cardinal principle. We lost what might have been a useful member had Friends assisted him in keeping his proper place— they gained I know not what. The other, with every prospect that youth could desire, is now a moral wreck, with “none so poor to do him reverence.” Tolerated on the ground of a want of mental responsibility, he may retain his right of membership, but has lost his influence for good. When quite a young man, the writer, in consequence of a scarcity of material, was appointed clerk of his Monthly Meeting; at the close of the Meeting, one of his young companions slapped him on the back with the remark, “Well, old fellow, they have appointed you, I wonder who will anoint you.” It made an impression at the time which has remained with him ever, since. . We may appoint Friends, but unless there is a little of the anointing the appointments will not amount to much. Let us dig a little deeper for the cause of our decline,
when we may haply discover a remedy that will
prove potential in its effects; but so long as we con: fine our research to the surface indications we shall not make much headway.
HE has but one great fear that fears to do wrong.
For The Intelligencer and Journal.
SILENCE AND ACTIWITY.
No rational nor logical test ever made is stronger than that seen by multitudes of people in their souls as to the teaching and effect of a Master who teaches as man never did. Persons in all the generations and in all the nations describe the effect of this soul learning in terms so similar as to enforce conviction that its Author is One in all. To learn, in any school, one needs to be attentive —he needs to desire—he needs to listen—he needs to have the mind turned inclusively to the source of instruction. The school we here allude to is in the mind, where it calls for a stillness that can be felt ; the presence of the Teacher is known by the pure joy that His presence can alone inspire. The sum total of this learning is not so much a lesson as an experience. We are taught as individuals, apart from each other, yet the mind of one is the mind of all. More than five hundred years before the advent of the visible presence of Jesus Christ, there was born in India the son of a king, who learned the Truth and taught his disciples to accept it as an eternal quiet—an abnegation or denial of self. We are told that in the early days of the Christian church many of its devotees lived in solitude, that the temptations of the world might not allure them from this heavenly quiet. Life to them was a hermitage—its cares were rejected, its duties undone. Yet all the votaries of this pure discipleship know that love to God and to man are its one universal bond, and, like Hannah More, they see that a Christian's vocation is to do good; they feel impelled to minister to the want and woe that are ever in the world. The tendency among Friends to move, one part in the extreme of pure quiet, and the other in good works, has been apparent for many years. As a Society, they include the inexperienced as well as those who know. Those who are yet unlearned incline to action. It is natural to want to be doing. Hence, the reign of solitary quiet has not attracted these. Satisfied with the nominal assertion of our testimonies, from year to year we have seen our young leave us for scenes of action, involving the extinction of slavery, the substitution of arbitration for war, the moral pressure against the tide of intemperance, and other great evils incident to our social life. Now, that we are coming into our peculiar sphere of action, because of the age's need of it, and growing out of our pure love of man, there is felt in many minds a desire to harmonize those who rest in prayerful quietude, and those who, in the living present, act at heart with us and God over all. It is right to be quiet, and it is right to act in the quiet. These united are the armor of a pure Christian warfare against all wickedness. Among the wisest and best we see no efforts made to repress honest and sincere motives, but to direct them into pure and proper channels; hence, there is room both for the cautious and the active. Reading in a recent issue of our paper the implied protest of one who plead for the quiet, my soul gratefully accepted it as a wise care for us to look to the Source of all Good. But no tender, sensitive soul could lay a repressive hand on the arm of a good Samaritan as he stoops to raise the fallen. Among the elements of our nature there is a humanity almost divine. It not only opens the fountain of tears, but it thrills with an energy sent from the Lord of all mercy. The child feels it, and the trembling frame of age. Evil is active by day and by night—a destroyer; why shall not good sow its seed? in the morning and in the evening withhold not its hand— a restOrer. When regenerative life springs to light, it will grow; it ought to grow. It produces good fruit,"and that alone gets the seal of our approval. Let us not only be tolerant, but whenever and wherever we meet, let us at heart bid each other God Speed. Ilet us feel that in our work righteousness and peace kiss each other. S. AVERILL. —-no-o-o
AN UNPUBLISHED LETTER,
Addressed to a young friend who at an early age felt Gálled away from the attractions of fashiiOnable Society.
“It is of very great importance to us in our pass
ing along through time to make a right beginning in
our early years. If in the season of youth we lay a good foundation, by wisely considering the value of our precious time, and habituating ourselves to a course of self-denial and humility, we shall be likely to pass through succeeding years with much more tranquility, peace and comfort to ourselves, and more usefulness to our fellow-creatures, than if the days of our youth are wasted in trifling, unprofitable amusements, our passions and inclinations indulged, and our will not subjected to the cross of Christ. “Now, as to every one there is given a sure director, an inward guide, or holy principle in the mind, to distinguish between good and evil, and to lead the attentive soul in the way to eternal life and happiness, how necessary that we endeavor early to become acquainted with the voice of this internal Teacher, and to give up our whole heart in obedience to its dictates. “The Lord loves an early sacrifice. Let this be deeply impressed on the tablet of thy heart; and also, for thy encouragement, remember the gracious promise, “They that seek me early shall find me.” May thy mind be daily engaged in seeking and waiting to know what is the holy Divine will concerning thee. “For this purpose accustom thyself to stillness and retirement. Love quietude, and to meditate on
the law of the Lord. Contemplate the wonderful
condescension and loving kindness of Infinite Wisdom and Goodness to the children of men. Let thy mind be clothed with meekness and humility. Strive always to dwell in the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, and which keeps the heart chaste and clean. “So shall thy days pass on in quietness and tranquillity, and that peaceful serenity of mind which none of the pleasures and vanities of the world can ever possibly afford shall be thy happy portion here and hereafter forever. * “So wishes, dear reader, thy sincere friend, JOHN COMLY.” Third month 10th, 1831:
I feel a concern in the spring of pure love that all who have plenty of outward substance may example others in the right use of things; may carefully look into the condition of poor people and beware of exacting on them with regard to their wages. While hired laborers, by moderate industry, through the Divine blessing may live comfortably, rear up families, and give them suitable education, it appears reasonable for them to be contented with their wages. If they who have plenty, love their fellow-creatures in that love which is Divine, and, in all their proceedings have an equal regard to the good of mankind universally, their place in society is a place of care, an office requiring attention; and the more we possess, the greater is Wor trust, and with an increase of treasure an increase of care becomes necessary. . . If a man successful in business expends part of his income in things of no real use, while the poor employed by him pass through great difficulties in
| getting the necessaries of life, this requires his serious f attention.
I note in the issue of Sixth mo. 20th, paragraphs referring to “prize goods,” as one of the things which is obsolete in practice. Doubtless, to the “formalist” —one who sees only the form—this is the case; but I apprehend to the spiritual discerner there are at the present day many goods taken and placed on the markets for which the producers receive no adequate compensation.
In the almost continual state of war in some portion of the earth, in its intricate web of enterprise, commerce finds articles that are taken in some degree as contraband, and by, it may be, a very devious course are placed for sale at our doors for a “very small profit,” or “lower than ever.” And we all are aware, though the “great nations” may today have no outbreak of strife, yet there is a jealousy that to-morrow or in a few weeks may “lead
the warrior to the fray.”
Technically, there may be no “prize goods,” but to those who look beyond the form the spirit that makes them is yet “no mean foe; ” and the spirit
that deals in them for the purpose of gain is a strong
court, look only to the form, which their vision beholds as void “ of comeliness; neither is there any beauty in it that they should desire it.” This was the condition of the Jews in relation to the blessed Jesus, whose person was “marred and his countenance more than the sons of men.” The spirit which dwelt in him was not seen, because, their eyes being darkened by continued disregard of the revelations of the light, they could not see beyond the outward body, to discern in it “the glory of the only-begotten of the Father.” Now, further, of the paragraphs referred to, would not the remarks apply equally to training and other military requisitions? These are not now compulsory on the citizens of the United States. But is the testimony less to be faithfully “maintained ?” Is war any the less unchristian because our nation is not to: day engaged in it? Goods taken or received where just compensation has not been returned to the owners in the strife of commercial competition is a subject worthy of thought, as it brings in its train suffering, of greater or less degree. Can a true follower of Jesus deal and make gains in the goods of a bankrupt”. These we know are mostly sold for a price much less than the cost of production, and deprives his creditors to that extent. Or is a Monthly Meeting which tacitly permits graves in its yards to be memorized by a decoration of flowers, faithful in maintenance of the principles of peace? In view of the great extent to which a careful observance of Christian testimony on these and similar topics leads, we can but admire the perfect delineation of prophetic testimony, “he shall sit as a refiner with fire.” Nor can it surprise us that the Wizard of the East, on beholding in vision the achievements of an obedient people, should cry out, “Who shall live when God doeth this?” The money-changers were driven out of the temple. Are there any of that generation in our day, or of those that sell doves? The keen vision of John Woolman, of A. Benezet, of Robert Nesbit, of Joshua Evans, Elias Hicks, etc., beheld oppression and war afar off, and are we of the present more blind than they
RoBERT HATTON. Sixth month 25th, 1885.
[What our friend says above will be united with, in its spirit, no doubt, by most Friends. Yet we think it best to express our anxiety that in the framing of our Discipline there should be employed “plain language,” and that while terms that are obsolete in meaning should be dropped, others meeting Our present circumstances and necessities should be adopted. The danger in “spiritualizing” the Discipline would be that there would be room given for varying interpretations of it, and this is of course undesirable. Its requirements cannot be too dis
tinctly expressed or too precisely adapted to our case. —EDs.]
HE that avoideth not small faults, by little and little falleth into greater.—Thomas à Kempis.
THE WELL-SPRING OF THE: HIGHEST LIFE AND
The present age is one of boundless activity. Its aspiration is for accomplishment. Its watchwords
are, “Up and Doing,” “Work while the Day lasts.”
New discoveries in science, new inventions in arts, crowd fast upon one another, and in the space of half a century change the face of our civilization. So wonderful, so great, has been the progress of material prosperity wrought by the victories of intellectual power over physical forces that we sometimes stand in awe of the miracle (for such it is in the literal sense of the word “miracle”) by which we command the mightiest forces of Nature to be our bond-servants, and they obey us. In the retrospect of the last century, we scarcely dare to doubt the wildest predictions for the next. And not in material life alone is the world changed and changing. New theories of social organization and ever-broadening schemes of philanthropy demand and receive zealous advocacy and practical experiment. New systems of theology, new applications of old principles of religion, are proclaimed in tones which prove that the Church is not going to sleep while the world around it is so very wide-awake. The pioneers in all these movements press their claim with commendable zeal, as they can testify who try to shirk their share in work for humanity. Not much “elegant leisure,” not much “lying in the spiritual sunshine to grow,” is permitted in these days of hot haste. The unsolved problem is how to crowd into one day the work of two, in order to meet the exigent claims of our suffering fellow men. Verily, the last half-century of this nation's life may be called an era of work,+of zealous, untiring work. It was preceded by an era of doctrinal faith. On the battlefields of metaphysical theology, men rallied their intellectual forces, and, in profoundest faith that they were doing God service, fought valiantly for and against dogmas which this practical generation would listen to with indifference, if, indeed, they would listen at all. Nor did they fight as those who beat the air; for, out of that stern conflict, they brought sharpened intellect and consciences well braced for any sacrifice which campaigns on other fields might, and did soon, demand. For the generations which occupied these periods of time, the days were gone when the cultivation of personal piety by retirement from the world was regarded as the highest and holiest duty of man, when the watchword, “Pray without ceasing,” was on the lips and in the hearts of the saints of the Church, who, in cloisters and cells and caves, sought
to make it the law of their lives, and thus attain the fullest spiritual life, the highest spiritual stature.
How do we look back to those times with regret for their spiritual unhealthfulness! Certainly, their dangers are not ours. We have outgrown or somehow escaped the tendencies of the ascetic and polemic periods. . What is our danger, what the tendency of our time? Is it not in the opposite direction? In the rushing activity of this age, its imperative demand for organization, is there not danger that cultivation of individual spiritual life and growth may be neglected 2 The Church is in little danger of underestimating the value of work. From outposts to citadel, the Macedonian cry and quick responses thereto ring out loud and long. Of such results as can be written in Church records or published in annual reports, it makes a tolerably fair return. To what extent it succeeds or fails in the cultivation of the spiritual life and health of its individual members, only God knows. That this is the work which underlies all other work will scarcely be denied. To know the well-spring of the soul's life, to feel its influx, is surely the first need, the first duty of man, essential to his true living and full development. The child of God must cultivate his sense of his filial relation by communion of spirit with his Father, by opening his heart to the stream of life which flows from God into the soul. This cultivation of what is sometimes called personal piety, and active work for humanity, are not essentially antagonistic. Verily, in their best manifestations, they are essentially connected as cause and sequence, as many a noble life has proved and gloriously illustrated, chiefly His who spake as never man spake, who lived as never man lived. What is his testimony concerning the source of true life and the union of devotion and work? “I live by the Father.” “I and the Father are one.” “I pray that those whom Thou has given me & so may be one, even as we are one, I in them and thou in me.” Here was the secret spring of his life, La deep and ever-present consciousness of his affiliation with God, the inflowing of the Divine spirit into his and into his work. And how continuous, how arduous was that work | He retired into secret places to pray, and came forth inspired for action. “He went about doing good.” “I must do the works of Him that sent me.” “My Father worketh, . . . and I work.” Friend of publicans and sinners, helper of all sufferers, he was ever about his Father's business, the uplifting of the human race. In all ages, the noblest lives, the best work, have been the result of these two elements, devotion and activity, whereby the soul, in its secret and sacred communings with God, finds meat to eat which the world knows not of, and also crowds the hours with work for humanity, zealous and eager lest the night come down on unfinished tasks. This well-spring of life is our glorious inheritance; for we are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ. It is source of our strength, light of our minds, inspiration of our faith and hope and deepest joy. Without it, the soul is dwarfed by atrophy, and a man walks the earth self-disinherited of his best estate. It is not our inheritance alone. We share it with every soul whom God has created. Under all forms of religion, in all races and nations, from the most degraded and ignorant to those whom we designate as enlightened, man has felt after his God, and found Him. Through veils of superstition, clouds of ignorance and doubt, he has dimly perceived his kinship and inheritance.
“All souls that struggle and aspire,
All hearts of prayer, by Thee are lit;
And, dim or clear, thy tongues of fire
Nor bounds, nor clime, nor creed thou know'st ;
The white wings of the Holy Ghost
Through seer and prophet; through adoring souls,
eloquent in sublime thoughts; through lives lowly and obscure, struggling upward from Nature to Nature's God, from age to age hath He spoken, who, in these last days, has spoken to us by His Son Jesus. On the Church of this age there rests large responsibilities touching social problems and the uplifting of the human race,—responsibilities which it seems more willing than heretofore to accept. These will be discharged faithfully, successfully, in proportion to the degree in which the well-spring of spiritual life flows into and through the hearts of the individual workers. When this ebbs, the best work begins to be formal and weak, and to lose its vitalizing power. As a tree withers if it thrust not its roots deep into the earth whence flows its natural sustenance, so the human soul withers without that conscious spiritual affiliation with God which Jesus describes as “a well of water springing up to everlasting life.” Men may call it by other names, may not name it at all, and yet possess it and live in the strength of it; and many a man prays and worships who does not name these attitudes of the soul. Names, forms, ceremonies, may or may not help one. At best, they but furnish a grip on the clue which we carry from the innermost shrine of the temple, the Holy of Holies, into the din and dust and struggle of our daily outward life. If thus they minister to us, and to many of us they certainly do, let us hold them fast. But with them or without them, in the Church’s enclosure or in the world’s broad field, each soul who would fulfill its own highest destiny, who would do the best, most efficient work for mankind, who would know the full meaning of the word LIFE, must seek and receive the continual influx of this stream from its Infinite Source.—Mary Grew, in Christian Register.
For The Intelligencer and Journal.
PAUL AND NEBUCHADNEZZAR.
What a great contrast between these two men Both fighting against the Most High, but the one zealous for God, and the other for himself! Afterwards, both bow before the God of heaven; the one in mercy, and the other in judgment The latter exalted himself, denying the Most High God, and when his visitation came, he would not bow until “seven times had passed over him,” when he “ate grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hair was grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws.” Then he “praised and extolled and honored the King of Heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment.”
On the other hand, Paul, as he says, was taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous towards God, persecuting unto death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women” who preached Christ Jesus. But he was met by the light of heaven, and falling to the ground, cried, “Who art thou, Lord 7" He became a changed man by the one visitation, and having “fought the good fight,” died in the Lord. W.
GOODNESS consists not in the outward things we do, but in the inward thing we are. To be is the great thing.—E. H. Chapin.