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arrival home being on the 26th of Sixth month. It is but a slight matter to go now to what it was when this was a wilderness country, when Friends then could go and endure so much for the sake of fulfilling their religious duty, even so now the reward is SUll'é.
Respectfully, ANN PACKER.
Green Plain, O.
THE FIRST-DAY SCHOOLS.
THE TEACHING BY “LESSON LEAVES.”
Now let me add my feeble commendation of the editorial in your good paper of Sixth month 27th, and also of notice of same by “R.,” in the number following. I desire not to be too conservative, and become a fossil of tradition, but with my spirit to draw in new life by every inspiration in daily life. The older we grow (and we are many of us growing old) the more we should attain of personal knowledge of spiritual things, leading us out from the teaching of schools and many times from accepted points of doctrine of so-called faith. In fact, a question sometimes arises, Are we wise in believing any tenet of faith merely because it is “accepted ?” The “mind the light” rule will lead us to a higher and better insight, a purer atmosphere of truth than the study of and attempt to believe the dusty and decaying dogmas of the dark ages. Hence the use of any of the “Lesson Leaves” of the so-called Evangelical churches must tend to blind the user thereof as they are blinded. In saying this I do not condemn their use by those for whom they are written, because they are up to their measure, and they are an improvement on Paganism (Patagonian I mean), but the dwarfing poison finds a lodgment in the spirit that is made mellow and tender by the study of the beauty and truth of pure living. The awakened emotions of love warm the weed germs into life, and they become a part of us before we know it. I do not wish to arraign those who differ with (and repudiate) us, too rudely, nor would I recommend a pushing to the front of the views of some of our own writers. They may be right, but they partake of temerity, and have produced darkness when I gaye them shelter. What to use in our First-day schools as text-books is a grave question. The “leaves” furnished by the General Conference do not seem to meet the wants of our teachers, and we have waited patiently, hoping an acceptable system would appear. The “International” and “Berean "leaves are used by many of our schools, not from choice, but for want of Something better. One singular point continually makes faces at us. It is the fact that so few of our “approved ’ ministers take any part in our schools. They claim a superior degree of anointing to preach the Gospel. They (some of them) attend our conferences and commend our labors, are profuse in words of counsel and encouragement. Now, if their “feeling sense” approves of the effort made by the schools, why do they not “suffer the little children to come to them 8" This is a “mystery of Godliness” that is often inquired after. If the children were suffered more the church Would suffer less. Oh I wo do pray that the vials of
oil will stir some messenger of the Gospel with power
to prepare a lesson leaf for our schools that will
lead us into the truth ! W. C. STARR. Richmond, Ind., Seventh mo. 14th, 1885.
ESSAY READ AT TRENTON.
[Read at the meeting of Burlington First-day School Union held at Trenton, N. J., in Third mo, last, in answer to the question, “Is it not the duty of Friends to promulgate the principles of the Society in our First-day Schools.” The press of other matter has crowded it out, until this time.—EDS.]
While we may not think that it is needful to teach our children to adhere strictly to the style of dress and address which are thought to be so requisite by many of our Society, is it not very important that we should teach them those noble principles which are contained in our discipline as regards Temperance, Peace, Honesty, Brotherly Love, Kindness, Charity, and all the other attributes which constitute a consistent Christian; therefore should they not be made a prominent feature in the instructions given in our First-day school? What other principles can we teach that will be of greater benefit to the children than the principles that are promulgated by the Society of Friends? Are they not the foundation for every consistent Christian, it matters not to what particular church creed he may subscribe 2 Independent of that, there must be a living out of the commandments of God, and the teachings and examples of Jesus. Is it not our duty to endeavor to mold the children who are entrusted to our care in such a manner as will cause them to develop into a manhood and womanhood that will be a blessing to the different communities in which they may reside, as well as being the means of their realizing the satisfaction to be derived from a wellspent Christian life, which can be accomplished by their fully understanding, and then living out the principles of our Society. Should we not teach them that if they will heed the light, which lighteth every one that cometh into the world, and allow the spirit of Christ to control them, it will lead them aright in all things, and they will thereby be enabled to know what their Heavenly Father requires of them. Jesus did not teach that Christianity consisted in a belief in any particular creed, for both by precept and example he showed that there was a work for us all to perform. If we would fulfill our mission while on earth, be true followers of him, we must show our love to God by extending it to our fellow-men and women, and whatsoever we would that they should do unto us, we should do unto them, for by our fruits shall we be known. It is not every one that saith Lord, Lord, that shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of the Father which is in heaven. It is therefore important that we should thoroughly impress upon their minds that the teachings of Jesus are intended for practice in all the relations of life. The idea has been too prevalent that it is what we believe, not the lives that we live, that constitutes the true Christian, makes us acceptable in the sight of God, and will eventually secure us a passport to heaven. Those teachings have had a tendency to impress upon the youth, as well as many who are more advanced in years, that the right kind of life was of minor importance compared with their subscribing to certain doctrines considered essential to salvation, and almost all that was required of them to be a Christian. Educated with those ideas, when they have been assailed by temptation how many are led astray, not only in the ordinary walks of life, but those who are holding high positions in our churches, and in the community at large. “As we sow, so shall we reap,” then is it not evident that there has not been the proper kind of instruction given in our homes, our schools, or in our churches, or we would not have such a harvest of dishonesty, untruthfulness, and intemperance, with all the evils attending those conditions as we are reaping, to the dishonor of this nation. If we, as a people and as a nation, are ever elevated to a higher standard of morality, and develop into gonsistent Christians with strength of purpose to do our Heavenly Father's will, and practice justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before Him, it will have to be done by educating the youth to the importance of not only believing in Christ, but in living out his noble precepts and example while on earth.
ELIZABETH A. ROGERs.
In one of our exchanges (the S. S. Times) we note a seasonable article with the above title, which is a forcible presentation, coupled with a commendable disapproval, of the too frequent custom of indulgence in trifling reading, during the recreative days of a summer vacation. The article too is suggestive of what may be read, as well as what should not be read.
As the counsel may not be amiss to some of our own “household of faith.” We give the following extracts: EDs.
There is no season of the year in which there is more trash read than during the midsummer weeks or months, when nearly every one takes some kind of a vacation. People seem naturally and willingly to fall into a sort of literary demoralization then. Just as, in too many other respects, they deem it allowable, and even necessary, to lay aside the restraints of social propriety, morality, and religion,-I had almost said of civilization and humanity,+ during the weeks they spend in the mountains, the country, or by the seashore, so in the matter of their reading during this season, they give full and free run to their natural passions and propensities, and with strange abandon fling away all regard for true, Christian culture, taste, and refinement. I do not speak of all, of course, but of very many, surprisingly many, more than I would have thought possible, had not experience and observation painfully convinced me of the extent of this annual reversion to literary barbarism. © © e o to & . .
It may, I think, be confidently affirmed, that no one, however strong in his convictions and thoroughly fixed his tastes, – no one can read even a single bad
book without some degree of spiritual harm. And’ of course, the more such stuff he reads, the greater the evil to his mind, heart, and whole character. As Bishop Alonzo Potter says, “It is nearly an axiom, that people will not be better than the books they read.” If a whole summer of such dissipation must lead to the moral debasement and spiritual degradation even of the strongest, then what must be its effects on the young, on those whose tastes and characters are still weak and unformed ? Of what avail is the most careful guardianship and the wisest guidance at home, if, during the weeks of vacation, all counsel and restraint be omitted, and the reading of our young boys and girls left to chance, or misdirected by careless, evil example 2 Those few weeks of parental negligence will outweigh all the rest of the year's watchfulness and care. If care and affectionate oversight and guidance are needed at home, they are needed even more when away from home and its wholesome moral atmosphere and influences. © Hundreds of young people return from a summer vacation with their literary tastes perverted, filled with unwholesome fancies, a morbid sentimentalism the result of their unguided summer reading.
In reference to the great preference for that which is new in literature he writes:
“It is an unwritten chapter in the history of the human mind how this literary prurience after new print unmans us for the enjoyment of the old songs chanted forth in the sunrise of human imagination.” The best that has been written is by no means the latest; the best poetry, biography, essays, history, humor, romances, they are among the oldest. But how few of our young people have read them ' Why not devote the summer leisure, for a change, to reading some of “the best,” instead of “the latest,” works of light literature, about which everybody has read and talks, but which ninety-nine out of a hundred have never themselves really read 2 Of old or new, there certainly is no lack of thoroughly enjoyable, yet morally pure and wholesome, summer reading.
“Where we go,” said a lady, “one has to read trash or nothing.” And it is only too true that, while of trash there is always an abundance to be had at our summer resorts, at not a few of them really good reading is not as plentifully offered. That, however, is but a poor excuse, and no justification for indulgence in the worthless, poisonous stuff offered. Every one prepares for his own and his family’s bodily comfort and convenience before he goes to the country or seashore. He makes provision for the contingency of not being able there to get the clothing and equipments they like, by laying in a store according to taste, and taking them along. Why not do the same for the comfort and health of the mind * Why not all through the year gradually lay up a store of books for summer reading? They can then be chosen at leisure, intelligently, judiciously, wisely, instead of, as too often, simply being left to chance. A great part of the evil that comes with so much of the ordinary summer reading would be effectually avoided if only a tithe of the care, foresight, and expense devoted to preparing for our bodily comfort and health during vacation were also applied to preparing for the health and comfort of the spirit. Surely, if the one is worthy of it, the other is not less worthy.
POETRY. “STILL WILL WE TRUST.”
Still will we trust, though earth seem dark and dreary, And the heart faint beneath. His chastening rod ;
Though rough and steep our pathway, worn and weary Still will we trust in God!
Our eyes see dimly till by faith anointed,
Through Him alone who hath our way appointed
Choose for us, God nor let our weak preferring,
So from our sky the night shall furl her shadows, And day pour gladness through his golden gates;
Our rough path lead to flower-enamelled meadows, Where joy our coming waits.
Let us press on in patient self-denial,
THE POWER OF ANOTHER'S FAITH.
EY E. C. L. BROWNE.
She looked upon me as a little child,
Some simple word she said of future worth :
It was not any studied word she spoke ;
Save as the faith of all great love forebodes;
And, ever since, that glance and kindly tone
Through weakness, failure, and all wayward sin,
Reproves my wrong, nerves my forgetful hand,
Waiting before me as a calling high
When shall I reach that height of noble worth, Risen higher now with her translated soul?
For still I only fail; and those expectant eyes Still see me yielding to life's low control.
I never may. Yet would that every child
Might feel the thrill vibrating through his life,
Though far, so far, that true life still appears,
Of one whose faith strikes through the tempting years,
HE who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything.—Samuel Johnson.
SANITARY SCIENCE: SOILS AND HEALTH.
The soil, especially the first few inches or feet below the surface, is the ante-chamber of life, the laboratory in which operate incessantly the processes by which inert matter is prepared for the nourishment of life. It is this, because it is also the tomb of all terrestrial living matter. Here is the realization of the Phoenix-myth; the slow combustion of organic matter leaving a residuum, from which springs the new life of succeeding generations. These processes of the transformation of matter are the work of the low forms of microscopic life which are known as bacteria, and are gifted with the capacity of enormous and immensely rapid multiplication. This world of microscopical life is vast as regards the distribution and number of its living entities. These minute organisms are known to be intimately connected with many of the fundamental processes of the organic world, and our knowledge of their range of activity is constantly increasing. They may be considered practically to stand in close genetic relations to many diseases; but the question of absolute differentiation of forms with specific functions, or of the possibility of Protean functional characteristics among them, varying with their surroundings, is one of the present great problems of biology. The great majority of pathologists now consider the infectious, and most of the contagious, diseases to be dependent on these low forms of life; and the tendency is, to consider that certain diseases or groups of diseases are produced only by specific forms of bacteria. These organisms are wide-spread, especially the various forms that are associated with putrefaction and mould. Only on high mountains, and far from land on the ocean, is the air practically free from them. Elsewhere the air, water, and soil teem with them. Their abundance is necessarily proportionate to the amount of decomposing organic matter in the neighborhood, since they are themselves the scavengers, on which the processes of decomposition depend. Few people realize what an important part the soil plays in our lives. The water we drink (unless from cisterns) has leached through it. The air we breathe is frequently loaded with its dust. It is in our food. * The soil is highly porous ; and the interstices between the grains are filled with water or with air, “ground-water ’’ or “ground-air.” The ground-air fluctuates with the varying barometric pressure, and with the rise and fall of the ground-water in rainy and dry seasons. The ground-water flows according to the common laws of hydrostatics, but with a movement retarded by friction. A town on a river-flat is built over a continuous sheet of slowly moving subterranean water, and most houses are built where water is accessible within a few feet from the surface. In view of the fact that our wells and the cellars of our houses are in more or less close proximity to these centres of pollution, it was thought desirable to ascertain to what extent the different soils act as filters in arresting the spores of bacteria. This investigation, which was carried out for the National Board of Health by the writer, assisted by Dr. Smyth, brought out very clearly three facts: I. All soils finer than very coarse sand have practically a continuous capacity for arresting the spores of bacteria from infected air filtering through them. II. No soil, no matter how fine, can arrest and hold back the spores of bacteria contained in water. The experiment on which this statement rests consisted in filtering unsterilized water through one hundred feet of pipe filled with fine sand which had been sterilized by heating to a red heat. This pipe was connected by an air-tight joint with a flask of sterilized beef-infusion, and the whole apparatus left for several weeks before use. The first drop of water that passed through these hundred feet of sand infected the beef-infusion, causing it to putrefy. III. Neither bacteria nor their spores can detach themselves from a liquid or from a wet soil, and pass into the air, except through the conversion of the water into spray, or through the formation of dust by evaporation. The chief practical inferences from these results are, that distances, even of hundreds of feet, between Wells and cesspools, are no protection against infection, and that a dry or an alternately wet and dry cellar may be more dangerous than a permanently Wet. One. These results emphasize the importance of an intelligent survey of the condition of the soil in selecting a home, and of a legislation prohibiting the pollution of the soil. In many towns and cities, the privy-vaults and leaching cesspools of every house drain really into the sheet of ground-water; the soil arrests the coarse material, the grease and slime; but the swarming bacteria diffuse with ease, as much as the soluble chlorides and nitrates, and follow the flow wholly unobstructed. Into this same soil are sunk or driven the wells; and the water that is drawn for use is polluted in proportion to the number and proximity of the vaults and cesspools, on the one hand, and the thinness and sluggishness of the water-sheet, on the other. In the worst wells in daily use, the water is distinctly colored with sewage ; but the most deadly water may carry only the germs of typhoidfever or of dysentery, and be otherwise sparklingly clear, and so pure as to pass unchallenged through the most searching chemical analysis. If the soil is polluted and very coarse gravel, this indraught, loaded with the spores of bacteria, will flow through the cellar to the warmer rooms. If the soil is polluted and fine, and the ground water-surface rises at any season to the level of the floor, or higher, it will evaporate as it oozes into the cellar, and leave an infected dust to be taken up into the circulation of the house-air. Similar results will follow from the leaching of the cesspool toward the cellar-wall, or from the filtration through the soil of sewage from a broken or leaky drain ; which is very apt to exist in or just outside of the foundation-wall. The pollutions of soil and water already mentioned are of such a general character, that, with ordinary forethought, they can be guarded against; but there are others of a local character which are not revealed to a general survey. In the growth of many of our cities, the
natural topography is disregarded. Lowlands and marshes which are traversed by sewage-fed brooks are covered with a network of high-graded streets, which convert the blocks into sewage-basins, which come, in time, to underlie blocks of dwellings of all classes. In other cases, low or marshy ground is made the dumping-ground of the city, and receives the sweepings of the street, the contents of the ash and garbage barrels, Leverything, in fact, that cannot pass through the sewers or be sold. The entire material is loaded with organic matter which is kept in a state of very slow decomposition by moisture. Some of the costliest dwellings of our cities rise upon such soil. We may take every precaution to avoid in our homes the dangers that arise from a polluted soil, and may yet fall victims to the filthy condition of remote places, over which we have no control. Among many others there are two exceptionally frequent sources of danger of this kind. One of these is the farmer's well, which is rarely safe, and, when not used to adulterate milk, is used to rinse milk pans and cans, and leaves upon their surfaces a source of contamination. The other frequent instance is the use, by druggists, of water from wells or from cisterns, which are often anything but sewage-proof. Throughout the country, and often in the cities, the use of only distilled water in compounding medicines is far from universal ; and I have had analyses made of lime-water bought at a druggist's, which was highly contaminated with organic matter. The druggist's well, moreover, is the source of most of the Soda-water throughout the country, as well as in many cities where the water-rates are high. A person having a harmless disturbance of the bowels, arising from a cold, is just in the condition to succumb to the dysentery or typhoid-fever lurking in the medicine or Vichy-water from the too-much-trusted druggist. –Raphael Pumpelly, in Science.
SHOULD A COLLEGE EDUCATE 7
In meeting the public on this matter of the course of study, the college finds itself confronted with two or three false notions, so inveterate that they may well be classed as popular delusions. Each of these, like most popular delusions, has crystallized round a convenient phrase.
One such motion is that the choice of studies for any given youth should be governed by his own natural predispositions. In other words, he should “follow his bent.” This has a plausible sound, yet to apply it to the college course would be to ignore the very purpose of the college. When it comes to selecting a life occupation, a specialty for study or practice, such as the various schools of the university undertake to furnish, a youth should, no doubt, choose according to his taste and talent. But to choose on that ground alone in his preparatory culture course, would simply magnify any lack of balance in his original nature. As well might one advise a boy at the gymnasium to devote himself to those exercises in which he naturally excelled, to the neglect of all that found out his weak points; if the arms were feeble, to use only the muscles of the thighs; if the
thighs were undeveloped, to use only the arms. The purpose of the college is to do for mind and char: acter what the gymnasium does for the physical powers; to build up the man all round. . If the student “hates mathematics,” it is probably because his mind is naturally weak on the side of abstract reasoning, and the hated study is therefore the very study he needs. If he has a lofty disdain of literature, it is very likely only an evidence of some lack of that side of culture somewhere in his ancestry. There is nothing sacred about a “bent.” So far from being an indication of Providence, it is apt to be a mere indication of hereditory defect. If we look at it from the side of its being a predisposition to weakness in some particular directions, a bent away from certain lines of study (the form in which it chiefly shows itself in college), we can see that the sooner it is repaired by a generous mental diet, the better for the man and for the race to whose ideal perfection he and his posterity are to contribute. Perhaps the greatest danger to which the higher education is at present exposed is that of spreading before the student a vast number of miscellaneous subjects, all recommended as equally valuable, and inviting him to choose according to his bent. The result naturally is that the average boy follows that universal bent of human nature towards the course that offers him the easiest time. If this course happens to include strong studies, easy only because he is specially interested in them, the harm is not so great; but if it consists chiefly of light studies, introduced into the curriculum only because somebody was there to teach them, and somebody else wanted them taught (and perhaps a little, too, because each counts one in a catalogue), then the harm is enormous. This becomes evident enough if we use (as we may for brevity’s sake be permitted to do) the reductio ad absurdum of an extreme illustration ; if we suppose that some language hāving a great history and a great literature, the Greek for example, is rejected in favor of some barbarous tongue embodying neither history nor literature; say for example, the Pawnee or the Eskimo ; or if we suppose that for exercises in writing and reasoning is substituted the collecting of postage stamps of all nations, or practice on the guitar. Far short of any such violent extremes, there are perfectly well recognized differences between the efficacy of one study and another in educating a college student. And it would seem wiser to trust the choice to the governing body of the college than to an inexperienced lad, swayed by some momentary whim, or by the class tradition of the “easiness” of one subject or another; in other words by his natural bent. Another popular delusion concerning the college course hinges on a common misuse of the word practical. It properly signifies effectual in attaining one's end. So transferring the term to persons, we call him a practical man who habitually employs such means. A “practical study,” then, is in reality a study which is calculated to affect the end we have in view in pursuing it. And since the end in view of a college study is purely and simply the development of the mind and character, any study is a practical study just to the extent that it is effectual for this end. And any study is a completely
unpractical study, no matter how useful it may be for other purposes, if it is ineffectual for this. The real virus of people's misuse of this word lies in their taking it to mean, not effectual for one's end, whatever it be, but effectual for that particular end which to them happens to seem the chief end of man. If a man's one aim is to have a successful farm, he is apt to consider all studies unpractical that do not bear directly on agriculture. If the great object of another is to gain public office, to him that study alone seems “practical” which directly subserves this end. Accordingly, there are always found wellmeaning persons, not conversant with educational affairs, who consider the best studies, and those which for college purposes are most practical, as being completely unpractical ; and who will always be trying to crowd in upon its courses those so-called practical studies, which, for the ends the college has in view would prove as unpractical as studies could be.—E. R. Sill, in Atlantic Monthly.
THE CUNNING OF BIRDS.
An interesting thing happened to me to-day, although it was nothing novel in my experience. I was walking through a sandy bit of ground near the river, hoping to catch a duck or two napping in the weeds under the bank, when up from my very feet jumped a sandpiper, a bird so dreadfully crippled that it was nothing short of a miracle that it lived. One wing utterly refused to perform its office, having evidently been broken at the shoulder; one leg had also apparently been shattered ; the creature's feathers stood out every way, and altogether a more miserable fowl was never seen. It squeaked wildly as it hobbled out from under my feet and fluttered and staggered painfully away before me. It tumbled and rolled about in a fashion calculated at once to excite all a man's sympathy, and a full determination to run and catch it. Animated by these emotions, and particularly the latter, I set out at once in pursuit, dropping my cap as I did so for a reason that will hereafter appear. After a step or two the bird lay as if wholly exhausted, but as I put out my hand to take it, it gathered a little strength and feebly evaded my grasp ; I followed and again essayed to capture it, but again missed it by a foot or two, and this operation, with like result, was repeated a dozen times, until at last, when I had chased the sandpiper about a dozen rods, it pulled itself together, ejaculated “peetweek” in a mocking tone a number of times, and flew away miraculously recovered, as sound and lusty a bird as ever was known. I drew bead upon him with my gun, to show him how easily I could have paid him for his cheat if I had a desire to do so, and then went back to pick up my cap. This done, I looked carefully about the ground and, as I expected, found a nest scooped out in the sand with five olive-colored, mottled eggs in it. So I compromised by taking the eggs, well knowing that as many more would be laid within a week, and went away, pluming myself that this old trick had grown too threadbare to take me in at this late day. Nearly all our earth building birds are acquainted with this artifice, and I have had them all attempt to play it on me—sandpiper, sparrows, and the