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literature and the care of historic documents, and the minutes of laid down meetings have engaged the attention of the committee. The various trusts and investments under the care of this Yearly Meeting are also fully reported upon. Memorials are also announced concerning Esther B. Canby, of Baltimore Monthly Meeting, deceased; and of Wm. John Thomas, of Sandy Spring Monthy Meeting, deceased. A committee was now appointed to nominate Friends to serve on the Representative Committee. (This committee acts jointly with that appointed by men Friends.) Eli M. Lamb on behalf of the First-day School Association presented the subject of the recognition of this important work. Men Friends had the subject under consideration and invited the coöperative action of women Friends. There was much willingness to take prompt action toward recognition, and there was unusually large expression in regard to the vital need there is of the fostering care of the meeting for the education of our children in regard to the principles of our faith. The correct instruction of the youth needs not only the fostering care of the church, but its watchful oversight. Zeal, without any deep ground of religious experience, is not to be trusted to mould the plastic minds of the children of the church without the guardian care of the fathers and mothers of our religious body. Sarah Jane Dare said that most of the resignations of membership in Baltimore Monthly Meeting have come from those who have had their religious training in the First-day school rather than in the Sacred sanctuary of home. Rebecca M. Thomas spoke earnestly, exhorting Friends to mind their calling in the vital work of training the minds of the children in a knowledge of the blessed truths which are our landmarks and watchwords. Alice Robinson spoke very feelingly in favor of the First-day school work, and of its importance in the religious nurture of childhood. It does not take the place of the continual effort which religiously concerned parents must make every day in the week, and oftener than the returning morning. Martha S. Townsend felt there was need of cau. tion. Many of the schools are conducted in accordance with our principles and testimonies, but in some there is reason to exercise vigilant care of experienced and devoted Friends. Elizabeth W. Smith, of Wilmington, called the attention of Friends to the good which is being done to those not of our fold who have no special religious care in their own homes. She gave some very interesting particulars in her own experience as a Firstday School worker. The discussion was of unusual depth and earnestness. A committee was appointed to take the matter under consideration, jointly with men Friends, and report to a future meeting.
IN the men's meeting, the Second Query, concerning the right maintenance of the love becoming our
Christian profession, and the healing of differences, was considered. Isaac Hicks spoke feelingly on the Subject, citing the beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” He encouraged all to live in peace, and to cultivate peace amongst others, both in the Society and out of it. Phineas Nichols discoursed upon the nature of worship, and the manner of it; giving reasons why we ought to assemble at stated times at the appointed places to worship the Heavenly Father and to draw nearer to each other in true Christian fellowship and brotherly love. The Third Query, which treats of the right training and guidance of children, was answered very fully in the affirmative. The important testimonies of the remaining Queries up to the Twelfth, then passed in review eliciting various comments from concerned Friends, and much counsel to greater and fuller dedication. The committee set apart to consider the request from Nottingham Quarterly Meeting recommended the payment of the $250 asked for, and with this, this meeting united and the money was directed to be paid out of the treasury. Phineas Nichols desired the prayerful sympathy of Friends for those engaged in the work of the ministry. Then adjourned to 3 P.M., on the 28th, (meetings for worship being held on Fourth-day morning.) At the afternoon session of the women's meeting, on the 27th, Thomas Foulke, accompanied by Abel Hull, made an acceptable visit in gospel love to women's meeting. The committee to nominate Friends to serve on the representative committee for the enSuing year submitted a list of names which were considered and approved. A statement was received from men's meeting to the effect that they had taken into consideration the Subject of providing homes for Friends attending yearly meeting from country meetings. The subject was referred to a committee of one from each monthly meeting. The coöperation of the women's meeting was asked. There was full unity expressed, and a committee was appointed to the service designated. The committee to audit the Treasurer's account report it correct with a moderate balance in the Treasury. The committee advise the reappointment of Mary P. Townsend for Treasurer. Elizabeth Blackburn advised increasing the quotas, in view of increased expenses. The report of the committee was accepted. The meeting then proceeded to the review of the State of the Society as this is shown in answering the Queries. It appears that several meetings have failed to be held, but there is no exception as to right order and dignity. The second Query concerning the maintenance of christian love and peace among Friends, and the healing of difference was answered with entire fulness of affirmation. The Third Query, concerning the training of children in Friendly plainness in speech and dress, and in profitable reading was next considered. It was answered that many Friends endeavor to live up to the requirements of the Discipline but more faithfulness, it is believed, would be salutary. Several Friends spoke in exhortation and counsel to those assembled regarding the maintenance of our high standard of Christian rectitude in daily life. Watchful care over our own conduct and a loving care on behalf of our fellow-members are cardinal principles with this Society. Several Friends spoke near the close of the meeting in regard to the several points in the conduct of life embraced in these queries. Then adjourned.
In the men's meeting, upon opening, William Wood introduced a subject for consideration. A young Friend desires an opportunity in general meeting to lay before this assembly, a concern resting on him that comes near the interest of the young of both SeXéS. Darlington Hoopes would be willing to grant the request, and open the shutters at the close of busiIléSS. William Haviland thought we should know what his concern is, as it would open the door wide to those who have no ministry. * The Clerk suggested that a small committee be appointed to confer with the young man, Thomas O. Matthews. The report of the Indian Committee was then submitted and passed the meeting with approval. The report of the Committee to name Friends on the Representative Committee was then submitted and accepted. Darlington Hoopes, on the part of the committee to confer with Thomas O. Matthews on his request, reported favorably. D. Hoopes was named to confer with the women's meeting, and he reported later that they also assented. The report of the Committee on Education was read and approved, the appropriation of a moderate sum being asked for, and granted. Haviland Hull asked what use is to be made of the money. E. M. Lamb explained its intended use and the explanation satisfied Friends. It was decided to appoint a nominating committee to propose a new Committee on Education. The report of the Committee on Temperance was then laid before the meeting. William Williams said that Intemperance was a giant evil, and we could not expect to overcome it at once. Part of the recommendation was that subordinate meetings should be instructed not to receive money from those who sold liquor as part of their business. Our testimony is against the sale or use of liquor as a beverage, and not in the arts. Some discussion ensued, and the matter was laid over to another meeting. The partition was then raised to give T. O. Math. ews an opportunity to present his views to Friends on the proper steps to be taken in order to arrest the present apparent decline in membership and in interest of this Society. His suggestions were of interest and they were listened to with Sympathy generally. Conferences, instruction, reading the works of our ablest exponents, and a renewal of zealous activity on the part of old and young were his points. In women's meeting, the Fourth Query was the subject of discussion. The reply was, “ Moderation and temperance appear to be observed.” The testi
mony against the indulgence in the use of tobacco and against the culture of that plant is vigilantly upheld by Friends of this Yearly Meeting, and a growth is very noticeable in our Society both as to the avoidance of its use and its cultivation. The Fifth Query concerning the relief of those needing aid was answered thus: “Relief is generally afforded when any among us are known to require aid.” The Sixth Query, concerning the maintenance of Friends' testimony in favor of a Free Gospel ministry was answered fully in the affirmative. The Seventh Query, in regard to business integrity and moderation in living and in trade was considered. Generally the answers were affirmative. Alice Robinson spoke earnestly in regard to the beauty and excellence of our testimony in favor of prudence and honor in business life. The Eighth Query was also replied to with fullness of affirmation ; and the Ninth Query, in regard to dealing with offenders was likewise. The Tenth Query was answered that “a regular record of births, deaths and membership is kept.” The answers to the Eleventh, in regard to the establishment of new meetings and the discontinuance of any were varied and unimportant, and not indicative of any marked or considerable changes. There appeared a net loss of 13, in general membership.– The time of holding Fairfax Quarterly Meeting has been changed. The Twelfth Query, in regard to the guarded education of youth, was answered generally in full affirmative. But in some localities it is found difficult to obtain suitable teachers in membership with Friends. A. R. Paul exhorted Friends to “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Other Friends also spoke on the subject of fraternal helpfulness. The Report of the Committee on the Education Concern was then offered. This body has held conference, circulated essays, and assisted many schools to needful apparatus. They feel that an interest is extendng throughout the borders of this Yearly Meeting, which must in due time bear fruits. The committee asks a moderate appropriation of the yearly meeting funds to be applied to its use. The report was approved and the appropriation of needful funds favored. p The committee on the recognition of First-Day School work in our Society reported favorably to the recognition, and advised the appointment of a small central committee to have general care, and recommended the monthly meetings also to each appoint a committee for the oversight and care of the concern. The meeting approved the conclusions of the committee.
The first business that claimed attention in men's meeting was the consideration of the report of the Committee on Education. This was approved.
The committee to visit subordinate meetings then reported their action during the past year. This was approved, as it was believed their work has been salutary and not without good fruit.
The committee to recommend measures for providing suitable accommodation for Friends attending yearly meeting reported acceptably, and advising the appropriation of a moderate sum to be put in the hands of a judicious committee to be used at their discretion. Isaac Hicks engaged the meeting in fervent prayer. Esther B. Canby's memorial, from Baltimore Monthly Meeting, was read, to the edification of the meeting. Thomas Foulke, Isaac Hicks, Abel Hull and others gave their sentiments, and expressed the feeling of the meeting. The report of the Committee on Indian Affairs, Cyrus Blackburn, chairman, was very interesting. The Indians in which the meeting is chiefly interested are the Santee Sioux, Poncas and Flandreau in Nebraska. The resignation of the agent, Isaiah Lightner, has been accepted, and Charles Hill appointed in his place. In the allotment of the lands for the use of the Indians, besides a share for each man, the Committee on Indian Affairs gave to all minors and unmarried women eighty shares each. The number of acres divided among the Santee Sioux is 69,100. The United States government holds 1100 acres for the Santee agency and for school purposes. The remainder of the reservation, 44,700 acres, has been restored to the public domain, subject to entry and settlement by white persons. It is designed to put Indians and whites together. The 3500 acres in the reservation for the Poncas and Flandreau were not allotted. In this body of land there are 1100 acres for wheat, 585 for oats, 288 for flax, 1446 for corn and 200 for vegetables. During the year these two tribes raised 20,492 bushels of oats, 47,627 corn, 14,156 wheat, 6000 potatoes and 2845 flax. This is more than enough for the use of the tribes. The good work of Alfred L. Riggs, who represents the American Missionary ASSOciation, was referred to in the report. The Report of the Philanthropic Union, of which Edward Stabler is chairman, was read. It has rendered valuable aid to colored schools in the South. There were many reforms brought about in the prisons of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The sum of $1100 from the Fair Hill school fund was spent in aiding schools. The treasurer recommended that $1300 be raised for the use of the Yearly Meeting. Edwin Blackburn was reáppointed treasurer. In women's meeting on Fifth-day morning, the report of the Temperance Committee, detailing their efforts in the cause for the last year, was laid before the meeting. Many voices were raised in favor of the various efforts made by the committee. Elizabeth Passmore spoke with much earnestness of the great wrong which is done the poor and tempted man by the licensed liquor-seller who is permitted by the authorities to lure him down to destruction, moral degradation, beggary, and felony. The same government that licenses the tempter, punishes the victim without mercy. Let us petition for reform wherever our voices can reach the ear of legislators. Isabella J. Tyson gave her voice for this concern to petition legislatures and legislators. Sarah Tudor spoke of partial successes in petitioning for better laws, and urged continued efforts,
with faith, believing that full success must come at last. The report was accepted and approved. The report of the Indian Committee was then read. It was fully approved and accepted. Abigail R. Paul then spoke in earnest approval of the recognition of the First-day School work, and the appointment of a judicious committee, but cautioned against subordinating the religious meeting to the First-day School. After some other exercises, the reading of an essay for an epistle to the next Yearly Meeting of Indiana engaged the attention of the Meeting. It was accepted and the meeting entered on the consideration of the essay prepared for New York Yearly Meeting. This was likewise approved and adopted. . On Fifth-day afternoon, in women’s meeting, a memorial of Esther B. Canby, of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, of Baltimore, Md., was read at the opening of the session. This brief sketch of a dedicated Christian life was solemnizing, instructive and encouraging to those who aspire to live a life acceptable to God, and helpful to mankind. Rebecca Price and Rebecca M. Thomas endorsed the tribute of the monthly meeting. * * The essay to Ohio Yearly Meeting was then read and was received favorably by the meeting. It was endorsed and accepted. The Epistle Indiana Yearly Meeting to was then presented and was felt to be suitahle and full of right Christian feeling. It was endorsed and accepted. The Genesee epistle, forwarded by the committee was then read, and was also accepted though no epistle had been received from that body at this time. The essay prepared for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting was endorsed and directed to be forwarded. The report of the committee to visit subordinate meeting was then submitted. They have held conferences in many places, which were generally of a very satisfactory character. The report was approved and many Friends spoke in encouragement to the Friends engaged in this service. Isabella J. Tyson said that she believed this committe have every reason to go on their was rejoicing. The interest manifested by our members generally in the work of this Yearly Meeting, is an indication of an awakening on the part of those who have not hitherto been so alive, and this is due to some definite cause. The Same committee was continued in the service. The Report of the Committee on Philanthropic Labor was then presented. The committee are very humble in estimating their work. But they have labored in such as their hands found to do. The general voice of the meeting was in approval of the action of the Committee and its continuance was agreed to. The Standing Committee to disburse the Fair Hill fund, presented their report, which was indicative of much good accomplished by this income. This was cordially approved. The Nominating Committee to report the names of suitable Friends to serve on the Education Committee, brought forward names which were felt to be judiciously chosen and were approved. The report of the committee on the subject of providing accommodations for Friends attending yearly meeting reported the names of a central Committee, in whose hands it is recommended should be placed a suitable sum applicable to its use. This was fully approved and adopted.
After several religious exercises, Martha S. Townsend asked that the shutters might be raised, and the closing moments of the Yearly Meeting be together. This was agreed to by men Friends and after the reading of the concluding minutes, the partition was raised.
It was generally felt that this annual convocation had been a season of special blessing. The attendance had been large, the harmony of feeling and of action, marked, and the general participation of younger members in the business very gratifying to Friends advanced in life.
THE BENEFICENCE OF THE NATURAL FORCES.1
HERE are those to whom the ills we bear seem Inconsistent with the goodness of God. These persons ask why, if the Supreme ruler has the power, he does not alleviate the miseries of mankind. Such persons need the perspective which thought, knowledge, age, experience and faith can give. The natural forces are all beneficial, but all possess attendant dangers, the due balance of which constitutes the harmony of nature. Oxygen is the great sustainer of life; it will combine with carbon, a perfectly harmless element, and the combination will produce carbon dioxide, a gas so deadly that no lungbreathing animal can exist when immersed in it. But plants could not live without carbon, nor animals without oxygen. On the interdependence of these two constituents of carbon dioxide rests the welfare of the entire system of animal and vegetable life. Oxygen forms one-half of the solid crust of the globe; over 88 per cent. of water, and about 23 per cent., by weight, of air. The other most abundant elements are silicon, and the bases of clay, magnesia, lime, potash, and soda, and these with iron, sulphur and carbon, make up .977 of the crust of the earth. Very early in the geologic history of our planet, a process of purification was begun. It proceeded through uncounted ages before lung-breathing animals could exist on account of the superabundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The carbon was laid down as graphite, marble, magnesia, lime and coal, and these, along with beds of iron, salt, and other material, contributed to the general purpose of purification, this end being subserved by the action of atomic forces, chemic forces, crystallizing forces, with the other forces of nature. To-day we convert the stores of coal into heat and at the same time liberate the poisonous gas which kills if we do not take proper care. No one doubts the value of coal on account of the poisonous carbon dioxide. We have found in this case as in so many others, that danger and beneficence go hand in hand, and provision is made that the latter shall always Overbalance the former. We have also learned by
*A paper read at a Conference at Race Street Meeting, Tenth month 11th, 1885, by Grace Anna Lewis.
experience to take advantage of the relation between carbon and oxygen by planting trees in the streets of our large cities, towns and villages, and giving room in our dwellings to an increasing abundance of growing plants for the purpose of using the excess of carbon generated by the very act of breathing. We plant our trees and ask them to absorb the breath which we exhale. In doing this we imitate nature who clothes the earth in greenness and places animals in its midst. The oxygen of the atmosphere as we know, unites with hydrogen to form water. This, the universal solvent, is one of the most powerful agents employed for beneficent purposes in nature. As needful to the welfare of our planet and its inhabitants as blood is to the body, it is yet so dangerous that an untaught babe will manifest an instinctive dread of being plunged into it. It will kill as effectually as carbonic acid if it reaches the wrong place—the aircells of the lungs. Whatever have been the ministrations of water to ours, such must have been its ministrations to other spheres where oxygen and hydrogen meet in combination. It is in the light of this widely extended blessing that we must view accidents by flood and shipwreck and drowning, to comprehend aright, how grandly the general good outweighs the Special evil. Water converted into steam and used by the intelligence of man, becomes a new agent of power, equally if not more dangerous than water itself. Let us for a moment imagine our return to the old condition before the expansive force of steam was utilized as a mechanical force. This would be to annihilate the prosperity of millions and to cause poverty and distress far more cruel than the Occasional explosions which may occur. The remedy for these is the extreme care which experience teaches. Water in the form of ice has its corresponding benefits and dangers. We die of cold, but if greenness and fertility have covered the earth since the last glacial epoch, lasting as it did such an immense period of time, we must understand the recurrence of intense cold as a part of an all-wise plan and a needful alternation in the history of the maturing of our globe. Doubtless much that was harmful to man was eliminated during the last glacial epoch, and doubtless much more that is injurious, will be buried under succeeding fields of ice. Such may be the fate of the germs of fever, small-pox, and kindred diseases which afflict mankind. If not extirpated sooner by the efforts of intelligent investigators, these may be frozen out in the natural course of events. There are at the present time certain forms of life which will bear 2000°F. and will then survive after being plunged into a freezing mixture, but it is an undoubted fact of geologic history, that as the surface of the earth has cooled from an extreme degree of heat, beings of a higher and higher grade have succeeded each other until the present time. The interior heat still continues, and what at one time prevented the fulness of life, now sustains it. Both the internal heat of the globe and the external warmth of sunlight, are needed to preserve the earth in beauty and fruitfulness. If water should find its way to some internal lakes of molten material and be at once converted into steam, there must be an explosion without regard to the city which may have been builded above. It is due to a law of nature that the earth quakes and quivers before theimprisoned fiery fluids rend their way. An analogous explosion would occur if water should find access to a highly heated boiler of a steam engine and be as Suddenly converted into steam. There is no more Cruelty in the one case than the other, except that in the case of the earthquake, the causes of the disaster are entirely beyond human control. In the beautiful force of light, apparently, there is no danger, but beneficence only. The giver of light seems to know better than we and fo alternate darkness with it. Could we estimate aright the danger of undue stimulus such as light affords, we might find this to be one of the greatest dangers which attends us. We know already the unmeasured benefaction when “He giveth His beloved sleep.” The forces of electricity and magnetism are equally dangerous and equally beneficial with those of light and heat. Each one of these may be converted into the other, and the probability seems very strong indeed, that no life of any kind could exist without the concurrence of these, or other forces from which they may have been derived, or into which they may be converted. The air we breathe being composed of the three gases Carbon, Oxygen and Nitrogen, envelopes the earth like a sea, its healthful motion being a necessary condition of life. Its currents move in predestined courses, with varying rates of rapidity, dependent upon causes affecting the general welfare. Without these currents, stagnation and universal death would be the consequence. It is better that the ship should be wrecked, or the town laid in ruins, than that the winds should cease to blow. Living cells are composed of the same elementary substances as are found in air, in water and in the crust of the earth. Under the mysterious action of the forces which control life, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, acquire entirely new potencies, The living substance which is formed by their combination, responds in a marvelous manner, to heat, light, electricity, and magnetism as well as to all the forces belonging to the system of life such as growth, muscular, and nerveforces etc., etc. From the atom to the mineral; from the mineral to the vegetable; from the vegetable to the animal, there is a continuous round of demand and supply, and where suffering is the consequence, it is far more than counterbalanced by the end which is attained, atoms raised to men. Chief of the forces of nature, are thought force, and spiritual power. It is these which link us with our creator as the child is linked with its parents. It is these which enable us to comprehend so much as we do of the grand system of nature of which we form a part. It is this which has already given us a partial control, and which promises in the future almost illimitable command of that which is lower than ourselves.
The human being, however, retains many of the characteristics of the lower animals. Like these he needs food and warmth and shelter, and like these, he will get what he needs if he has the power. We may regard man as possessing a threefold nature, the animal, the intellectual and the spiritual. These also have their dangers as well as their benefits. The animal nature may be in the ascendant, and woe to the nation of which this can be said. The intellect may be the controlling force, and yet this condition be an exceedingly low plane of existence. It is only when the animal and the intellectual natures both contribute to the growth of the spiritual, that man can truly harmonize with the plan of creation.
As a whole, we can scarely believe that the world is as yet bevond the stages where its animal needs are most pressing. Most certainly thought force is not sufficiently in the ascendant, nor has spiritual power been fully attained. The race has not reached it its maturity, and its growth partakes of this slowness of the geologic ages. From the dawn of historic time we can perceive an advance, and have a right to hope that our progress is still onward and upward. Much which looks like pure evil, is only untrained and wasted animal force, which is capable of being converted into thought force and spiritual power. Much also is perversion, as dangerous as fire and flood, the lightning's bolt, or the earthquake's destruction.
Before it all that is holy goes down in ruins. This fearful havoc is within the control of man, and the heart of humanity will never be at rest until it is stayed. Every effort we make to encourage the growth of our highest qualities, tends to correct such perversion, and to secure the control of the animal nature by the spiritual. Such efforts aid, not ourselves alone, but the whole world, and help in the advancement of our own generation. There are some forms of sin suffering and misery, which will never die out until the animal nature is subjugated and brought under the guidence of the loftier principles of the human mind. In our efforts to accomplish good, we seem to rise into the seren atmosphere of the eternal mind and to be taught of Him the truths most valuable for the race. In the highest phases of human advancement we are led to expect the supremacy of the Spiritual nature, when man will become the beneficent being which nature proclaims. Where Jesus Command “Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” he set before us the aim which the grandeur of the universe justifies, and confirms as possible.
Take away love, and, not physical nature only, but the heart of the moral world would be palsied.— Southey.
Religion cannot pass away. The burning of a little straw may hide the stars of the sky; but the stars are there, and will reappear.—Carlyle.
To believe everything is weakness, to believe nothing is folly.—Dillwyn.
WHEREveR the tree of beneficence takes root it sends forth branches beyond the sky.—Persian (Saadi).