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CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE.
POETRY: MY TRIUMPH, . g 3. wo g so * . 497
HAVE FRIENDS A CREED? g * e to e & go . 497
A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT, * & o † e e , 498
BURIAI, PLACE OF WILLIAM PENN, e e y * * o 498
THE DISCLOSING POWER OF DARKNESS, * te o * . 499
IS IT I? . o & fe * & & to to g so . 500
A THOUGHT, * to :- o o & so s e . 500
WORK IN THE SOUTH : THE AIKEN SCHOOL, e e e . 500
NEWS OF FRIENDS :
Blue River Quarterly Meeting, g g * & & . 501
Goose Creek Quarterly Meeting, . . . . . . 503
Notes, . & g to to e e e -o t e , 503
Holding Fast, . g * * g † † & e . 504
DEATHS, . G to o o so e o to 504
BOTANICGLIMPSES IN THE ALLEGHENIES, . & te go . 505
A REQUEST FROM KANSAS, . i. & e g t * . 506
THE FIRST-DAY SCHOOL :
Meeting of Philadelphia Union, . e y * so . 507
THE LIBRARY : -
Tryon's Manual of Conchology, . & e * so . 507
True Glory, * t g g so & e e * . 507
Whittier's Poem at Haverhill, * to to * to . 508
Like the Ivy, . g s * o * § e & . 508
FAMILY LIFE IN CHINA, . * * $ g & * & . 508
ORTHODOX FRIENDS, * & e e s g § e . 509
HEAVY RAINFALLS, o e g & so * * 509
VICTOR HUGo ON “THE UNITED STATES OF EUROPE,” . . 510
CURRENT EVENTS, . © g & * & * e & . 510
NEWS AND OTHER GLEANINGS, . g * * g o . 511
NOTICES, . wo so so * * & & o go e . 512
The Friends' journal.
INTELLIGENCER. Vol. xlii. No. 32.
PHILADELPHIA, NINTH MONTH 19, 1885.
JOURNAL. Vol. xiii. No.1660.
“(YTHERS shall sing the song,
“What matter, I or they 2
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
FIA VE FRIENDS A CREED 9
E frequently hear it said that Friends have no creed. If by this term we are to understand some fixed principles of belief, is the assertion true? And if true, is it a thing creditable to the Society ? To doubt or deny the force of evidence may flatter the vanity of a would-be philosophy, but will it increase the knowledge of men, or advance their happiness? The agnostic may lay claim to a superior mind on the ground that the proofs of the truth of a proposition are not sufficient to convince his judgment. If he is honest, may not the fault lie as much in the constitution of his mind as in the evidence presented to it? To reject a thing that is true is as great a mistake as to believe a thing that is false. The truly wise are they that accept the one and reject the other. A man might deny the axioms and definitions of Euclid, but if he disbelieved them he would not advance very far in his knowledge of geometry. The beautiful mode of reasoning used in this science owes its excellence to the acceptance of certain truths deemed intuitive by all men; for we must not forget that the act of the mind called reasoning has its limitations, and requires certain things to be taken for granted, (either as having been previously proven or as being self-evident), before it can proceed in its demonstrations at all. It is so in all the sciences. They have their a, b, c's as well as their advanced books. Now the question arises, Are there not certain truths that relate to the nature of the soul, and its probable destiny, which can be accepted as verities, without violating the canons of Sound reasoning? And if so, what are they 2 Are they confined to consciousness and therefore internal, or may not some of them, at least, be external to the mind and received on the testimony of others? Perhaps nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand of what we call facts
in common life are received in this way. A discovery is made by one man, verified by other men and accepted as true by most men, unless it contradicts something that has been previously acknowledged as true. May we not safely apply the same mode of reasoning to those principles on which our future happiness depends? Or must each individual confine himself to what transpires in his own mind, rejecting the ideas of all other men as not being satisfactory to him, because he himself did not happen to perceive them 2 Were this course pursued in common things or in the sciences, would the knowledge of the world be as great as it now is 2 If each individual were to confine himself to the revelations of truth made directly to his mind by the spirit of truth, would his knowledge of spiritual things be as accurate and extensive as it is to-day ? A community of knowledge implies the brotherhood of man, and is a universal law that requires to be acted on if we would progress in the scale of being. We may call the truths so accepted traditional, if we choose, but the unchangeable nature of truth will be our safeguard. Accepting this as a rule may we not adopt some things as having been already established 2 Among these is the existence of a Supreme Being whose fiat created the world and whose providence governs it ; the existence of a soul in us which by its manifestations shows that it is something distinct from matter and not subject to the laws by which it is governed ; that thought is not simply the product of impressions, but may result from a spontaneous act of the mind; that the sense of right and wrong, of duty and obligation are made upon the mind by Something exterior to itself; that this something must be of a higher order of intelligence than man; that impressions coming from Suchea source assure us of our ability to hold intercourse with it, to the extent of understanding the things it reveals to our consciousness; that we are continually reminded of the fact that our ability to perceive these impressions depends on our obeying them; obedience and disobedience drawing us closer to, or removing us farther from this source of life and light until we either grow in grace or fall very low in the scale of being; that an infinitely wise and loving Creator may use other means to redeem us from the last named condition; that other souls may be so clothed with this divine life as to become these instruments of Saving others from sin and its consequences; and that, therefore, we may accept the testimony of the apostle “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” The life and teachings of Jesus Christ show us clearly that he was possessed of power more than human, and a knowledge of spiritual things greater than has ever fallen to the lot of man. To accept the latter as true and to imitate the former, must elevate us in the scale of being; for they open up the immortality of the soul so clearly as to remove all doubt and explain the true nature of permanent happiness in such a way as to reconcile the providence of God to the children of ITOleID. Had all men, in all ages, kept under the influence of the Divine Word, there would have been no necessity for the coming of Jesus, for he himself tells us that he came to call sinners and not the righteous to repentance. But herein is the great love of God shown that he did not abandon those who refused to listen to this Word until it was scarcely heard in their Souls, but “sent his own beloved son that whosoever believed on him might not perish but have eternal life.” It appears to the writer that all who lay claim to the Christian name may acknowledge these things to be true without violating their convictions of truth. Were Christians to pay more attention to the things wherein they agree and lay less stress C m those wherein they differ, would not the love that distinguished the Master abound more among them 2 And as God is said to be love, if men are to be leavened into his nature must it not be by cultivating this attribute of the soul? The religion that elevates and ennobles is that which redeems, and if there is any other as well calculated to do these things as the Christian, as taught by its author and his immediate disciples, it is unknown to the writer. May it be practiced more and talked about less, is, or should be, the desire of us all. W.
Minth month, 1st.
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT.
IME never lingers,but rolls on with its own ceaseless rapidity till lost in the great sea of immor tality. Do we sufficiently reflect on the claims this world has upon us in all points we hold connection with it, the much we receive from it, the part we should act to give our influence on the side of right to aid in building up the highest standard of morality based on doing the will of God? “The Father worketh hitherto and I work,” said Jesus Christ the great head of our profession, and the record of his life will ever stand a living monument to glorify Jehovah, throughout all the ages to come. Let us give our strength in his name with faith in a power divine to prepare agents and assign to each the portion suited to the ability required. Oh, the fitness is never lost sight of in his appointments, a beautiful fitness that sets the seal. As branches of the true vine may our fruits bear the insignia of holiness unto the Lord ;
then the final summons will have no alarm.
From the (London) St. James Gazette. BURIAL-PLACE OF WILLIAM PENN.
HE church and chapel of Chenies, the burial place of so many generations of Russells, is occasionally the object of a pilgrimage by those who happen to take a pleasure in the delightful scenery of the Valley of the Chess, or who wish to see a place of no little historical interest. It is not unworthy of note that not so many miles from Chenies, in the middle of what are sometimes called the Buckinghamshire Uplands, is another burial-place, certainly not less interesting than Chenies, and scarcely less pleasing to the lover of sylvan scenery. This is the burial-ground of the Society of Friends at Jordans, as it is called—a place about three miles to the east of Beaconsfield. Were it merely a burial-ground of a few undistinguished members of this sect, it might Well have received little notice; but as the last resting-place of William Penn and Isaac Pennington, it forms a kind of Mecca for the Quakers of the present time, and a place full of interest to any one who Cares at all for the history or religious movement of this country. The late Mr. Hepworth Dixon, in his life of Willam Penn, speaks of the subject of his Work as being buried in the little village of Jordans: an inaccuracy which, though slight, is altogether misleading. Jordans, as it is called now, is no village at all—simply a spot near the western end of the parish of Chalfont St. Giles, and is at the present time a disused burying-ground with an old meeting-house and a cottage attached to it. Isaac Pennington’s son speaks of it as the burial-place of Friends belonging to Chalfonts meeting called Jordans; and elsewhere it is spoken of as Jordan's meeting-house. So it would seem pretty obvious that there was probably in the early days of the Quaker movement a meetingplace here in some outbuilding belonging to a person called Jordan, and so the place itself got the name of Jordans. Penn in his last days lived at Ruscomb, on the eastern side of Berkshire, beyond Twyford and Waltham St. Lawrence; and was no doubt buried here from a wish expressed by him to be placed near his first wife, and in a spot which, from the time when he came to the Chalfonts and saw Gulielma Springett and Ellwood and Isaac Pennington, must have been full of pleasant memories of his earlier years. The place itself seems significant of the hostility which the first Quakers experienced. It is two miles from either of the Chalfonts, and when it was frequented by Penn and the Quakers from these villages, it must have been a wild and out-of-the-way spot. Even now it seems most still and secluded. In the hollow of one of the little valleys—or “bottoms,” as they are locally called—which are so numerous in the country from the Thames to the Colne, four roads converge : from the two Chalfonts (St. Peters and St. Giles), from Beaconsfield and from Penn, the original starting-place of the Penn family, a village not far from the Wycombe Valley. In the corner between the lands from the Chalfonts a passer-by today will see an oblong piece of ground, looking, as he casually glances at it, like a little orchard in which
the fruit trees have died from age or from the effects of the lines of overshadowing elms which border the enclosure. He will hardly take note of the bare and white little building by the side, and the small cottage attached to it, and the eye will not readily catch the few low, plain gravestones which appear among the grass. Still, it is here that William Penn was buried—a very fitting spot for one of the first and most remarkable of the Society who made peace their watchword. For nothing could be more peaceful than the place. A farmer's cart passes by, or a gentleman's carriage is now and again seen in the course of the day; but the cooing of the wood-pigeons in the thick woods which stretch toward Wilton Park, or the shouts of a farm lad from the yard at Stone Dean are the only sounds which are often heard. There is over the grave of William Penn a small
uprightstone with his name, and the date of his death. His first and second wives, Gulielma and Hannah, lie by his side ; and not far off is the grave of Isaac Pennington, whose fame has been overshadowed by the international celebrity of his son-in-law, but who stands out as remarkably as any of the first adherents of George Fox. It seems somewhat doubtful if these are the original gravestones; the figures appear to be of too modern a character, and the incision too clear to have withstood the affects of more than a century and a half of rain and decay. That, however, is a small matter; no one will go to Jordans to look for artistic monuments, as they may do to Chenies. If they go, it will be to see the burial-place of a man as remarkable as any in the history of England and of America, and for the purpose of recalling more vividly than is otherwise possible the first days of the Quaker movement in a time when it attracted the notice of the whole English people. While on most days nothing can exceed the rural peace of the place whatever be the time of year—in spring, when the hedgerows about are full of primroses, and the woods and coppices which abound in all these Bucks bottoms are blue with wild hyacinths; or in the autumn (the season of all others to wander about this country), when the beechwoods glow with color and the cherry-orchards seem to be masses of crimson trees —on the first Thursday in June a gathering of Friends from all parts is held, and due honor is done to the great Quaker.
At times some American travelers, with the energy of their nation, will find their way from Uxbridge up the pretty Misbourne valley to this place, and spend a few moments by the grave of Penn. Once, with an amusing absence of any feeling for the genius loci it was proposed to carry off the bones of Penn to America; just as if they were something which would be pleasing or beautiful to see, and as though the interest of Jordans lay in the dry bones themselves which repose under the grass. But in this little valley they are, and are likely to remain; and those who can find pleasure in things which may be seen without rushing from capital to capital will not do amiss to wander, before winter comes, among the clematis-covered hedgerows and the shady beechwoods of Bucks to the Friends' Burying ground by Stone Dean.
From the Sunday-School Times.
THE DISCLOSING! POWER OF DARKNESS.
W E are accustomed to think and to Speak of the disclosing power of light; but we do not sufficiently consider the disclosing power of darkness. All forces have their twofold workings; and it is important to bear this fact in mind if we would realize the possibilities and the perils of any force—in its practical influence and tenderness. Light tends to conceal, as well as to disclose. Darkness tends to disclose, as well as to conceal. Te ignore the disclosing tendencies of darkness, is to fail of apprehending a truth of manifold importance. To recognize those tendencies, is to put new light into darkness. A glare of light coming suddenly into one’s eyes is blinding. Everybody can see that. He who would look at the sun, must have smoked glass before his eyes. Entering a brilliantly lighted room of an evening, one voluntarily closes or shades his eyes, in or— der that he may gain power to see. Nature arranges that the pupil of the eye—in man as in the lower animals—shall contract in the light, and expand in the darkness; as if in illustration of the concealing power of light, and the disclosing power of darkness. The ancient Egyptians emphasized this truth, when they gave their great Sun-god the name Amen, “The Concealer.” Again they made this truth more specific and explicit, when they called that god Amen-Ra ; Ra being the physical sun, while Amen represented his spiritual personality. The very sun itself in the daily heavens they looked upon as a concealer of much that only darkness could reveal. This is a principle as true and as potent in our common life, as it was in the early mythology of Egypt. A landscape is never seen at its best, it is never best seen, at broad noonday. When the sunlight pours down upon mountain and hill and meadow, and no shadow lenghthens anywhere, the diversity and variety of the scenery is practically concealed from the observer's sight. But when the sun declines, and the shadows increase, the mountain-side shows new crags and fissures, the hill-tops stand out in fresh relief, and the meadow discloses wavy undulatings of the surface that were not perceived before. Every rock and hollow and tree has a distinctness not attained to while the concealing sun was over them all. So it comes to pass, “that at evening time there shall be light;" and that with the growing darkness there is progress in sure disclosure, near and far. It is much, in the mental and moral world, as in the world of nature. Men’s realest selves are not seen in the light, but in the darkness. Men do not show themselves as they are out in the sunlight of the public resorts; but in the shadow of their own homes, or of some place of retirement from the world’s concealing light-blaze : not in the glare of noon-day, but in the gloaming of the disclosing night. The human mind, like the pupil of the human eye, seems to contract in the light, and to expand in the darkness. Hearts open to each other in the shadows of evening, as they cannot, by any possibility, at midday. Those who have never talked together after