« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
silence which remained unbroken unless some one stranger who, by any mischance of sea or land fell felt called upon to speak. The women had as much into a man's power was considered his slave, and his to do with the government of the society as the men life was at the disposal of his captor. There was a had. Thus the doctrine of the equality of all human time in Israel when every one did what was right in beings made Friends, from the beginning, the advo- his own eyes. There was no power to restrain him; cates of woman's rights; it also made them later the and the prophet rose up and cried, "They slay the opponents of slavery.
widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless." It is true that Friends were often narrow. They What was to be done? Where should the remedy forbade music, an amusement harmless in itself, and be sought? The world could meet strength with one of the most precious gifts of God. They did not nothing but strength: one crime was met with anallow pictures and statuary in their houses. They other; an eye was demanded for an eye, a life for a also discouraged learning, for although their children life. Then it was that the prophet of God came forth, were all sent to school, it cannot be denied that they and, in the name of religion, said, “Thou shalt not undervalued the refining and elevating influence do these things,” giving no reason except that God which'reading and study bring.
so willed it. And this is the great fact to be emphaBesides being narrow, Friends often carried out sized. Those ten commandments, most of which are the letter of simplicity in speech, behavior, and ap- now only common inorality and have dropped out of parel, and forgot the spirit. They forgot that sim- the teaching of religion on to the page of the statuteplicity in speech meant not only the use of thee and book, were at one time the highest religion of the thou, but the absence of double meaning; they forgot world. Through religion only they came into the that if they were forbidden the use of oaths they must world. In that rude, early age, the morality that is be all the more careful that their yea meant yea, and common now was far above the people; and it was their nay, nay. They forgot simplicity in behavior religion that brought it down to them or, rather, meant integrity and self-respect, not the mere refusal lifted them up to it. Many a page of the Old Testato raise the hat and bow the knee; that plainness of ment shows us that matters which are now subjects attire did not mean that the cloth was to be cut in of the commonest legislation were once entirely such and such a manner, but that it was to be neat, within the sphere of religion. Those principles of quiet, and inexpensive, not requiring too much time law and justice which make civilization possible, and or attention.
which are now only secular, were in the first place Yet with all their faults Friends have had a great religious. The misdeeds and crimes of men were not influence in the world's history. They set an exam- forbidden till religion forbade them. We owe the ple of thriftiness, sobriety, purity, honesty and cour- foundations of the State to principles that were first age which is not to be forgotten in a day. It is said taught by religion. The social fabric of Europe and that their work is done and that they are fast disap- America to-day is reared on the ten commandments. pearing. It may be so. I have no statistics to deny | They are the foundation of our country, our State, the statement, but I can say that if the form is dying, our homes. They were rightly called the laws of the spirit still lives. That spirit which was ahead of God, for they set forth the conditions ordained of its day and generation at its birth has still much to God on which alone civilization can be reared. The teach the people. It has helped toward religious principles of our common law first fell from the lips toleration; it has more work to do in that direction. of the prophet. It has shown that women as well as men are capable Likewise, if you go back and trace the genesis, the of governing; it will help them to obtain their inde- beginning, of all that we call right, the virtues, goodpendence.
ness, you will find that they had their beginning in But above and beyond these, it has inculcated the religion. Why, even such a secular sentiment as paprinciples of peace, of love, and of good-will to all triotism was once a religious feeling; for, in early men. May the workings of the spirit continue until times, the king was most prominent as the representhe whole world is knit together in the bond of an tative of God. Treason against him was the same as eternal brotherhood. Then we shall not weep over treason against God. We see this strongly brought the vanished form.
out in the Old Testament, where it tells that David
refrained from killing Saul simply because he was THE PATHWAY OF PROGRESS.
“the Lord's anointed.” Further, Jerusalem was the THE following discourse was delivered in Boston beloved and holy city simply because it was the city
by T. G. Milsted and recently published in the of God. And though the respect for king or ruler Christian Register. It very forcibly presents the true and the love of one's country have, to a large extent, progress of the world through the influence of re- become separate from religion, yet at first such feelligion. Referring to the reading of passages in the ings were entirely religious.
ings were entirely religious. This is not true of the 20th, 21st and 22d chapters of the book of Exodus, Jews only, but of all early conditions of society. The
Egyptians prostrated themselves before Rameses II., I read those passages to remind you that there was and said, “We are come before thee the lord of a time when those crimes and misdeeds were the heaven, the lord of the earth,” etc., identifying the common, every-day doings of men, when the morality king more than did the Jews even, with the Supreme and humanity which could keep men from doing Being. Sentiments and beliefs which now are secular them were very uncommon. There was a time when had to be upheld, during the early stages of civilizathere was no law but that of the strongest; when the tion, by the sanction and authority of religion. Law
came everywhere into life through religion: it pointed out the path men had to advance from barbarism or anarchy to civilization.
But we need not go so far away as Palestine or Egypt to find proof of this truth: it works about us to-day, and the nineteenth century has furnished notable instances of it. The code which Moses brought forth and to which he gave the highest sanction of religion had been largely accepted by mankind. They found that, to exist as civilized nations, they must give the Mosaic code all the force of statute law. Then religion dropped that old code, and went on to something better. The Mosaic law had done all it could, and the world was ready for a step beyond it.
It is hard for us to realize the condition of the world eighteen centuries ago, before it had taken that step; for, to get a true picture of ancient times, we should have to empty our present world of its charities, its humanities, its philanthropy, and all the finer, disinterested graces of life. The great cities of olden time were very different from anything in Christendom to-day. They were filled with multitudes of
ple wholly uncared for. In their dark and unknown corners were lived out tragedies of misery and grief that no man heeded, so long as they did not concern himself. The sick and maiined were allowed to lie in the street and die. The blind and dumb had no home, no refuge from the common battle of life, but had to take their chances with the rest. The maniac wandered at will through the public ways or was driven to a distance, where he could do no harm. In going over the sites and through the ruins of ancient cities, we see the temples where the people bowed before their gods; we see the monuments that they erected to their national greatness and to perpetuate the memory of their great achievements; we see all the noble works that ancient art was called upon by public zeal or private enterprise to build. But is it not strange that explorers have never yet unearthed the ruins of a hospital or an asylum ? have never found in that ancient world a home for the orphan or the aged ? have seen no trace of all those charitable institutions that now adorn Christendom? These things were wholly unknown to the ancient world, were foreign to the aim and scope of the life of ancient times. There was no one then to take up the cause of the down-trodden; no voice to plead for them in the halls of legislature nor even in the temples of religion. The highest among the people were wholly separated from the lowest, and would have scorned the idea that there was any bond of union between them. There were no ties binding the slave and his master, none hetween the few on the top of the wave of life and the multitudes engulfed in its depths. From a humane stand-point, the world was in a chaotic condition, just as centuries before in the time of Moses, it had been morally chaotic. Again, what was the remedy? What was to be done? As in that first instance at which we looked, it was the man of God who again came forth and in the name of religion proclaimed all men equal and brothers, no matter whether they were weak or strong, great or small, bond or free. And it was the man of God who
first said, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor and the maimed and the halt and the blind.” And with what result? The truths which Jesus proclaimed, which at first were entirely religious, have slowly become secular, just as did the Mosaic code. He first taught that all men were free and equal, and at last the Constitution of the United States declares the same truth. He first said," Go out into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, the lame and the blind;" and at last the laws of this State and this city make provision for so doing. Look at the laws which in this State and this city supply the great lack of charity and benevolence that we saw in the civilization of ancient times, and you will find that those laws repeat and are based on truths that first fell from the lips of the master. Our charitable laws and all laws and customs of like character were once religion, were rejected and laughed at as being wholly in the air; but at last Christendom has accepted them, and written them upon its statue books.
To take an illustration : eighteen hundred years ago there was no such thing as a hospital in all Europe, nor in all the length and breadth of the Roman Empire. To be sure, Rome had hospitals for her soldiers, but for them alone. They were built by her prudence, and were on no higher level than her commissariat; and the Roman Senate would have deemed him a madman, if any one had proposed to build an asylum out of the public treasury, and gather into itthe poor, the lame and the blind. But the monasteries and convents,—the houses of religion,-as soon as they were established, began to open their doors to the sick and injured. Then Christian men of wealth saw that this was a good thing, and built homes especially for those who needed care; and, at last, the State saw that it was a good thing, and now the asylums and hospitals are largely taken out of the hands of religion. Yet through it they first came into being; and the Legislature of Massachusetts, when it enacts a law to build a new hospital, does not stop to think that it is only obeying Him who said, what the world had not thought of till then,-Go out into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the sick, the poor, the lame and the blind. In enacting any such law the Legislature did but reënact what was already written in the New Testament. We see this process of the secularization of religious truth at different stages of progress in this country. There are some places in the south-western part where the charities that are here entirely secular are still a matter of religion. Even in this land there are some places where there is no such official as an overseer of the poor. In times of trouble the churches raise money, and a committee or the minister must play the part of overseer of the poor. In such places religion is largely taken up with these matters. But as soon as such communities get farther along in the path of civilaztion, they will make the mere bodily charities a secular matter, and religion will press on to something higher. And now I think the mission of religion is plain: it is to be the advance-guard of the world, the advancing idcal that is always ahead of the race. Its mission is to go before mankind, and
point out the pathway that leads into new regions of calling frequently his little George. Strange to say life. Religion is ever standing on Mount Sinai, hand- not an improper word or profane expression has ing down newer, better tables of the law, which, escaped his lips in all his ravings. Surely he must though at first religious, in time become secular; for be a pure hearted man.
"Blessed are the pure in religion repeats and reiterates the law of God till it heart." becomes the law of men ! till it is written in their 27th.–Our patient is in a drowsy stupor this statute-books and in their lives. Then, when one morning, which Mr. F. says has continued all night, step is gained, it presses on to something better, holds his mind wandering, but quite composed. I fear this out a higher ideal, proclaims a higher law, thus for- lethargy is an unfavorable symptom. Tried to rouse ever "guiding the nations groping on their upward him by asking questions about his bome. It had the way.” Religion keeps the r:ice ever looking heaven- desired effect for awhile;-he saw the ruse, however, ward. It stands above the world, interpreting the and smilingly said: “I know you are trying to keep laws of heaven and then making those laws binding me awake.” He has been suffering from a terrible upon earth; giving new messages of the spirit that hemorrhage all day, with constant delirium. I fear he bring into the paths of men a diviner light, that leads is past hope, though the Doctor continues hopeful. · them farther away from darkness to a closer walk As I leave him for the night, my only confidence is with God.
in committing him to the keeping of the great [To be concluded.]
28th.—The blessed Sabbath. Dreaded to go into Contributed to Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
the hospital this morning, fearing to find our patient A CHAPTER FROM A HOSPITAL DIARY.I
worse, but, thanks to my Heavenly Father, he is apSEVENTH month, 23d.-Capt. Charles W.
parently better. If the terrible hemorrhage could mitted to our hospital this afternoon at 4 o'clock,
only be checked I think there might be reason for sick of yellow fever. Fear he will be very ill; has hope. After bidding him “good morning," I realready been prostrated several days without medical
minded him that this was the blessed resurrection attendance. I trust our efforts to restore him to
morn. "Oh, yes,” said he, “I know that my dear health will be blest. He tells me he is trying to be a wife and my church brethren will be praying for me Christian, and has a Christian's blessed hope. I am to-day.” He is very inuch prostrated, and craves ice cheered by this assurance. He must not be left alone.
constantly. This is certainly the most malignant I shall have care of him through the day, and Mr. F. case of yellow fever I have ever seen. The fever is will watch him at night.
now broken, but is assuming a typhoid form. God 24th.-Found the Captain this morning in a very help the poor sufferer. high fever, attended with delirium. Mr. F. says 29th. The Captain is decidedly worse this mornthis has been his condition all night, and he has been
ing, but perfectly resigned and patient. His mind is extremely restless, but is now cheerful, and talks to
in such a wandering state, and his condition is so deme about his wife and three children, George, Charley
pressed, that I have had but little conversation with and Lulu. Poor fellow, he says he wants to live for him. In the few lucid intervals I have tried to cheer his family, but feels resigned to the will of God.
him, but not at any time to induce him to believe he “ You will take care of me?" he said in a beseeching
will recover, though I have said nothing discouragway. I promised, with divine help to do all that lies
ing. I am satisfied that when “the Master cometh in my power, and I intend to be faithful so far as my and calleth for him, he will be found ready.” In all strength will hold out. What a spell this stranger
my experience among the sick and dying I have has thrown around me ;—perhaps it is the bond of
never witnessed such patience. Even in his wildest Christian fellowship,—and his kind, affectionate delirium be can be controlled by words of kindness. nature that has won me so. He is so grateful, and so 30th.—The Doctor thought the Captain a shade satisfied with any little attention paid him, such as better when he came this morning. Wish I could be combing his hair and bathing his face and hands.
so hopeful. I do not see any change, only he is not However restless he may be, if I sit by him with his
so depressed ; this may be a hopeful sign. As nothhands in mine, he is always soothed and quieted. I
ing is impossible with God, I think he will hear the have been reminded to-day of what my own dear
prayer of his servant and raise him up from this bed sons might have been to me; but the Lord giveth of sickness. He is so entwined around our hearts and the Lord taketh, blessed be his holy name.
that neither Mr. F. or myself is willing to entrust him 25th.–Our patient is very sick—quite delirious.
to any care but our own, night or day. There is little to build upon, but our good Doctor is 31st.—The Captain continues the same and the hopeful, and is doing all that skill and experience can Doctor is hopeful. He is always glad to see me when do. Dear Father, bless the means that are being I enter the hospital; seemed more so this morning used to save this life—so precious to the loved ones than usual—is always ready for me to bathe him and at home. I leave him feeling very despondent, for I comb his hair. I told him that I so loved" that prethave seen so much of this treacberous disease; but I ty curl" of his that when he got well and went home commit the poor fellow this night to his and my he would have to leave it for me. He seemed quite Father's holy care.
cheerful for a while, spoke of an expected voyage to 26th.--Found the Captain a shade better this Lisbon-to take all his family with him; talked of morning. He had a bad night, was very delirious, his wife and little ones with all the pride of a deiCharleston, S. C., 185,
voted husband and father:
Eighth month, 1st.—Mr. F. called me down last intelligence—the grace or gift of God to each individnight thinking Captain W. was dying. He continues ual as the only safe guide and governor. very ill, but is not so near death as Mr. F. thought.
Now man being a free agent, this indwelling seed 2d-Our patient is very low to-day, and says he or light of divinity becomes a practical guide to any will not recover. I asked if he had any messages he one only as he ceases to depend on other things for wished delivered to his family. He made some re- guidance, and gives his allegiance to this, and concenquests, and said he trusted he would meet them in trates his attention upon its “still small voice" in the the Heavenly home.
conscience or faculty of consciousness. That God re3d.-Found the Captain speechless and in a dying quires a whole-hearted allegiance is so clearly set condition but conscious. On asking if he knew me forth in scripture, and is so perfectly in consonance he pressed iny hand and looked up with a sweet with right reason that it needs no further demonstrasmile. He has lain perfectly quiet all day. Think tion. That God is only to be known as he makes he enjoyed heavenly communion. I will not leave himself manifest within man, and that salvation from him to-night. How I dread the last closing hours, and sin is only attainable by attention to his voice, (his he can hardly live to the rising of another sun. commands) within man, is equally clear from both Lord, let thy servant depart in peace.”
scripture and right reason. It is palpable that the 4th.–Our dear patient left us at 8 this morning, judicial oath is based upon a conception of God that and is now spending bis first Sabbath in the “New involves direct antagonism to the fundamental truth Jerusalem.” He passed away without a struggle or of christianity. It is also palpable that any attestagroan, just as an infant falls asleep upon its moth- tion or assertion in regard to our being saved or preer's breast.
served from sin that involves the invocation of a deGod help the widowed wife and the fatherless lit- pendence on something besides the spirit of God tle ones. We commend them to thy pitying care, manifest within, or which is something besides a O, Father; may they lean on thee and find strength practical and unequivocal acknowledgment, (a simple and consolation in this sad hour !
M. E. F. yea, yea"), of the all-sufficiency of the indwelling
spirit of God, or which does not involve an unequivoFor Friends Intelligencer and Journal.
cal denial (a simple “nay, nay ") of everything beOATHS AND THE TEMPERANCE PLEDGE.
sides the indwelling spirit of God as being efficient to IN N the INTELLIGENCER AND JOURNAL Of Eighth month salvation from sin, must also be based upon a con
29th, "E. H. M." seems considerably exercised, ception of God that involves direct antagonism to this even to the verge of indignation, that your N. Y. cor- fundamental truth of christianity, and is not only a respondent "T." should have connected the signing a distinct violation of Christ's command in that regard, temperance pledge with the taking an oath, and im- but may with the greater propriety be connected with plied that the one as well as the other is “trampling
trampling judicial oaths as having an influence in common thereupon the command of Jesus," in that regard. But if with adverse to the promulgation of the simple faith he will duly consider the matter in all its bearings I of christianity. think that he will find that there is good ground for This simple faith of christianity, in one sense, may at least an honest difference of opinion in regard be regarded as the peculiar inheritance of the Society to it.
of Friends, and the members of that society may At the outset it is very evident that the injunction properly be looked upon as false to their profession of Jesus was intended to comprehend far beyond the unless they are consistent exponents thereof. And I judicial oath, or an attestation embracing an invoca- being a member of the Society of Friends, professing tion of the aid or the vengeance of Deity. Not only to believe that an entire dependence upon, and strict does he also distinctly prohibit the invocation of obedience to the indwelling divine light, is the only things other than Deity, but he brings the matter possible efficient means of preservation from sin, if down to the narrowest limits; “let your communica- I should nevertheless connect myself with an organition be yea, yea; nay, nay, for whatsoever is more zation in which the signing a pledge, requesting a than these cometh of evil.” And the apostle James resolution of the mind begotten by the excitement of is just as explicit. “But above all things my breth- social intercourse in connection with the persistent ren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the solicitation of fellow members-an invocation of selfearth, neither by any other oath; but let your yea be strengib or mere human strength, or perhaps, more yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemna
correctly, the invocation of human weakness--is set tion.”
forth as a means of preservation from sin, would I not In both cases, not only are we commanded to ab- be practically denying my profession if I should stain from oaths, but from everything having any re- thus sanction the taking by any one of such a pledge, lation thereto.
a. solemn promise to do or not to do a certain thing, Now certainly there must be some reason in this. having reference to bis future success in resisting It is evident from the whole tenor of his teaching temptation, with no dependence for the fulfilment that the mission of Christ, and consequently of thereof but the present determination of his own christianity, is to secure a substitution of the sub- mind and the continuance of his present social surstance for the shadow, the type for the anti-type. It roundings to uphold that determination, would I not is also plain, at least it should be plain to every mem- be encouraging him to depend upon something beber of the Society of Friends, that this substance is an sides the guidance of Christ in his heart? Would I indwelling, divine, supernatural principle of infinite be keeping "my eye single to the light within ” and
doing all in my power to induce him to do the same? roundings. And is it possible that Friends now find Would I not be practically turning from the faith of so little prospect of useful and practical labor in callmy profession back to a future dependence on the ing the children of men up to this, our advanced pro'weak and beggarly elements ?"
fession, that our members must go back to labor in If it is objected that there are those who need out- darkness in association with or in imitation of those ward helps and instrumentalities, the answer is that who dwell in darkness and to fortify the misconcepthough outward instrumentalities are useful and even tions of those whose works are founded upon misnecessary in their place, it is only such as are of a conception---thus exalting and magnifying the imponature to direct the mind to the substance or light tent devices for preservation from evil, which, in the within as the dependence, and not such as are of a absence of an adequate conception of the immediate nature to lead the mind to an invocation of other presence of God as the sole teacher of his children, things, or to depend on other things as substitutes for have been begotten and set up by human ingenuity, the light within. If obedience to the guidance of a and are now in our midst, retarding the establishment divine intelligence, which is immediately present in of God's kingdom or government on the earth, being the conscience, is the only means of salvation, it fol- the very substance of idolatry, contaminating the civlows that the alleged potency of anything as a means
ilization of the nineteenth century ? of preservation that is not clearly auxiliary to this in- “Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and dwelling divine intelligence, or that does not clearly preach the kingdom of God” is the language adpoint to it as the sole dependence, must be illusory, dressed to all those who make profession of salvation misleading, and obstructive to the practical compre- by Christ or the immediate guidance of the divine hension of the one true means.
I. W. G. The light of Christ is immediately present in the beart or conscience of every man, an efficient saviour EDUCATION: PUBLIC AND PRIVATE to all those who practically accept it as such. It is a
SCHOOLS.1 substantial reality, in man but not of man; a distinct intelligence as much superior to the intelligence of
By Thos. W. SIDWELL. man as the infinite is superior to the finite. It is all
, ' sufficient of itself, and needs not the aid of human
education, the act of bringing up, instruction. It ingenuity, but it does need that the attention of the comprehends all that series of instruction which enmind may not be distracted by the devices of human lightens the understanding and develops the physiingenuity, and the influence of the light within ob- cal and spiritual part of man. scured thereby. Hence, to encourage a dependence Education should prepare man to exercise his on any other arrangement or device for preservation powers for the attainment of the noblest ends. It from sin virtually amounts to a denial of the light should teach him to do and to be and to live rationalwithin. Even though it may be truly said of a de- ly, thereby securing the most of this life and of its vice of this kind that it does have at least a tempo- continuance “beyond." It begins at the cradle and rary influence to preserve from a certain form of evil, continues to the grave, and employs as agencies evwhen it is remembered that there is immediately erything which influences man. We shall not, howavailable to every man a completely furnished, all
ever, treat the subject in all its breadth, but shall sufficient remedy which comprehends in its scope confine our remarks to that which begins in the prinot merely the temporary suppression of a branch of mary school and ends at the entrance to college or iniquity, but the complete eradication of the very root the university. The object is not to condemn the thereof, the acceptance of the former (being an impu- public schools, but to show the superiority of well tation of the insufficiency of the latter) really amounts conducted private schools, especially Friends' schools, to a direct antagonism, and is excusable only when and the importance of placing children in them when there is ignorance of the latter. To depend on an in- possible. adequate remedy when an all-sufficient remedy is im
That my position may not be misunderstood almediately at hand would be an act of egregious folly low me to say I am in favor of our government's under any circumstances, but in the present case, providing a system of public or free instruction. I where God's government of his own creation in his rejoice that the liberality of our people extends the own way or by his own appointed means is involved, blessings of enlightenment to millions who would it is an act inseparable from iniquity itself, except otherwise ever remain in ignorance; and I believe where ignorance calls forth the exercise of mercy. the continuance of our republican institutions de. Let a man be thoroughly and practically convinced
pends much on the public schools. of the substantial reality of the indwelling light of I am not one to oppose or criticize the many Christ as the only rightful governor of the conscience, thousand faithful teachers and officers employed in and lord of creation, and there is inevitably begotten them. They can do little more than they are doing, thereby in the mind an overwhelming sense of love Our government must provide for the masses and not to God, and of the tremendous responsibility resting for individuals. It must educate children of all naupon man as God's intelligent free agent, which keeps tionalities, Jew and Gentile, Catholic and Protesthim ever on the alert in watchfulness of that inward
tant, as well as those who have no religious belief, principle which is a saviour against all forms of in
iAn Essay read at Lincoln, Vit, Eighth month, 16th, 1885, at & iquity, and which is with him wherever he goes, with
Conference under the auspices of the Educational Committee of out regard to changes of his social connections or sur- Baltimore Yearly Meeting.