« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The Friends’ journal.
INTELLIGENCER. Vol. xlii. No. 41.
PHILADELPHIA, ELEVENTH MONTH 21, 1885.
JOURNAL. Vol. xiii. No. 669.
WAITING!. ERENE I fold my hands and wait, Nor care for wind nor tide nor sea; I rave no more 'gainst time or fate, For lo! my own shall come to me.
I stay my haste, I make delays;
I stand amid the eternal ways,
Asleep, awake, by night or day,
No wind can drive my bark astray,
What matter if I stand alone 2
My heart shall reap where it has sown
The waters know their own and draw
So flows the good with equal law
The stars come nightly to the sky,
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
INDIAN QUESTIONS. 1
MONG the bright pages of human history which we ever turn to with a certain joy and pride, is that which relates the story of the dealings of our Quaker fathers of Pennsylvania and of other American colonies with the Indians. The success of the benignant policy of William Penn in Pennsylvania, is the best vindication of the wisdom of true christianity as applied to the policy of governments that could be wished for, and when the friendliness and good faith of the Quaker was departed from in the supposed interests of civilization, came sorrows and wrong, dishonor to our country, and woe and injury of all sorts to the poor Indian. It has been the work of a gifted writer of our own time, Helen Hunt Jackson, to detail the story of their wrongs in such a way that it has moved the hearts of mankind, and many faithful-hearted ones are banded together, both in this city and elsewhere, to advocate justice and mer
1 Read at a Conference held at Race Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, on Eleventh month 15th, 1885.
cy and truth in our nation's dealings with this people. The official voice of the Mohonk Conference of the friends of the Indians, held early in the present month, is interesting to those who have the good of this people at heart. Our Society has ever had a voice which has had a considerate hearing in governmental circles, but in order to have a voice worthy of some weight in governmental matters it must have “a mind.” “A mind” is only made up after thoughtful consideration of all known particulars. Let us consider for a moment the Mohonk Platform as enunciated by Dr. Rhoads, as President of the Business Committee. He sets out with the declaration that the Indian question can never be settled except upon the principle of justice and equal rights. He assumes that the present policy of the United States Government has utterly failed. That, we understand to be the treatment of the Indians as a sort of independent power or powers, only bound by often repeated, and as often broken treaties, to our national power, and suggests that among the primary objects for legislation and executive action in the future, should be the abrogation of the reservation system, the dissolution of the tribal relation, the subjection of the Indian as a citizen to the law and his protection as a citizen by the law : the intermingling of the Indians as American citizens with the white race, and the opening of all territory of the United States, without reservation, to civilization. To this end he suggests immediate conference with all the Indian tribes for their consent to modify or set aside whatever treaties constitute an obstacle to such a policy; and in the event of failure to obtain the consent of the Indians to this policy after reasonable time and effort, then its eacecution without their consent. It might be expected that these propositions which seem to have originated with Dr. Rhoads would be likely to be fully approved by railroad monopolists, land grabbers, cattle kings, and all who covet the lands to which the Indian title has not been extinguished; but will they be equally acceptable to those who desire that righteousness and truth in public as in private affairs be insisted upon 2 What will the religious bodies, which as well as the Society of Friends have done much faithful Christian work for the elevation, protection and civilization of the Indians, say to these strange words from those who are or claim to be the best friends of the vanishing red man 2 What is civilization ? Does it not include the practice of justice, and the conservation of equal rights. Why should not the lands of the Indian be held as sacred as the lands of the white man 2 Until the Indian desires to sell, surely we ought to feel that the pressure to force the tribes to surrender their reservation should cease.
Ought we not to continue to insist on the faithful fulfilment of the obligations of the Government, including the protection of the property of these, our semi-civilized or uncivilized brethren, until they shall by the extension of industrial and other schools among them, and the exercise of a truly Christian spirit of help and enlightenment by every possible means by our authority, so elevate these people, that they may wisely demand to be taken out of tutelage and placed in the full presence of the Anglo-Saxon to contest for the earth and the fulness thereof, or for his proper share thereof The Mohonk platform goes on to say:
First. The present system of Indian education should be enlarged, and a comprehensive method should be adopted, which shall place all Indian children in schools, under compulsion, if necessary, and shall provide industrial education for a large proportion of them. Adult Indians should be brought under preparation for self-support. To this end the free ration system should be discontinued as rapidly as possible, and a sufficient number of farmers and other industrial teachers should be provided, meantime, to teach them to earn their own living. Second. Immediate measures should be takém to break up the system of holding all lands in common, and each Indian family should receive a patent for a portion of land to be held in severalty. its amount dependent upon the number of members of the family, and the character of the land, whether adapted for cultivation or for grazing. This land should be inalienable for a period of twenty-five years. The Coke bill, as embodying this principle, has our earnest support, and is urged upon all friends of the Indians as the one practicable measure for achieving these ends. Third. All portions of the Indian reservations which are not so allotted should, after the Indians shall have Selected and secured their lands, be purchased by the Government, at a fair rate, and thrown open to settlement. Fourth. The cash value of the land thus purchased should be set aside by the Government as a fund to be expended as rapidly as can be wisely done for the benefit, especially, of their industrial and educational advancement. Fifth. In order to carry out the preceding recommendations, equal provisions should be made for the necessary surveys of reservations, and, wherever necessary, negotiations should be entered into for the modification of the present treaties, and these nogotiations should be pushed in every honorable way, until the consent of the Indians be obtained. Sixth. Indians belonging to tribes which give up their reservations and accept allotments of lands in severalty, and all Indians that abandon their tribal organization and adopt the habits and modes of civilized life, should be at once admitted to citizenship of the United States, become subject to and entitled to the protection of the laws of the United States, and of the States or Territories where they may reside. g Seventh. During this process of civilization some representative of the United States Government should be c larged with the protection and instruction of the Indians. But all such officers should be withdrawn as soon as the Indians are capable of self-support and Self-protection.
Eighth. We are unalterably opposed to the removal of tribes of Indians from their established homes and massing them together in one or more Territories, as injurious to the Indians and an impediment to their civilization.
George W. Manypenny of Washington, long interested in Indian Affairs, having acted as the agent of the Government in negotiating many treaties with Indian tribes, calls attention in The Council Fire to the Ordinance, of 1787, coincident with the adoption of the Constitution. It contained these solemn words:
“‘The utmost good faith shall be observed toward the Indians: their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent, and in their property, rights and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress.’
“Nearly forty years after the adoption of this ordinance, President Monroe, then approaching the end of his second term, felt called upon to submit a special message to Congress on the Indian question. After referring to the unsatisfactory condition of affairs, and the danger to which the Indians were exposed, he said it had been demonstrated that “without a timely anticipation of and provision against the dangers to which they are exposed, under causes which it will be difficult if not impossible to control, their degradation and extermination will be inevitable.” As a remedy the President recommended their removal to the country west of the Mississippi, on conditions satisfactory to themselves and honorable to the United States. ‘This [said he] can be done only by conveying to each tribe a good title to an adequate portion of land to which it may consent to remove, and providing for it there a system of internal government which shall protect their property from invasion, and by regular progess of improvement and civilization prevent that degeneracy which has generally marked the transition from one to the other state.” No definite action was taken by Congress until in 1830. President Jackson in his first annual message, dated December 8, 1829, dealt fully with the subject, and recommended the removal of the Indian tribes within the States as a remedy for our Indian troubles and complications. He said: “As a means of effecting this end, I suggest for your consideration the propriety of setting apart an ample district west of the Mississippi, and without the limits of any State or Territory now formed, to be guaranteed to the Indian tribes as long as they shall occupy it, each tribe having the distinct control over the portion designated for its own use. These may be secured in governments of their own choice, subject to no other control from the United States than such as may be necessary to preserve peace on the frontier and between the several tribes. There the benevolent may endeavor to teach them the arts of civilization, and by promoting union and harmony among them to raise up an interesting commonwealth, destined to perpetuate the race and to attest the humanity of the Government.”
now the eastern part of the State of Kansas. In these new homes they were given most solemn assurances that they were theirs forever.
In 1849 the emigration to California commenced, and the emigrants coveted the good homes of the Indians. At that time the Kansas Indians were peaceable and happy communities, and were far advanced in civilization, and one tribe, the Wyandottes, received their lands in severalty, and were clothed with full citizenship. That which the Mohonk Conference asks now for the Indians of Indian Territory was then done for the Kansas tribes; and the consequence was the despoiling of them of their noble lands in Kansas, for the way had been made clear for the rapacity of the white man.
Will the Society of Friends have anything in particular to say in regard to the various influences which may pe brought to bear on the legislative and the executive powers of the Government of the United States? All good people ought to unite, so far as they Conscientiously can, in asking of those in authority that they respect and conserve the rights of the weak, that cannot vindicate their own effectively. Such has always been the mission of the Society of Friends—the children of Onas.
What says the venerated ancient law of Jehovah as it was set down by the seers of old, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it.” Behold the poor Indian is Our neighbor.
|RELIGIOUS MEETINGS AND AFTER MEET. INGS.
Editors INTELLIGENCER AND JOURNAL:
THE questions asked by a correspondent, who signs his (or her) letter with three stars, in your issue of Tenth month 24th, are practical and important: to discuss them fully would involve nearly the whole of the fundamental doctrines of the Society of Friends. Without attempting, therefore, to deal fully with the questions raised, I would say that it must be a matter of vital concern to Friends to preserve in all its essential seriousness their meeting for worship. This is the corner-stone—not of their faith; that is the Inward Light, but of their religious order. To gather together, on the day which is appointed, and to signify outwardly, as well as to enjoy spiritually, their worship of the Supreme Being, is the primary and indispensable act which, as a body of Christian professors, they undertake to perform. Without it the Society would lose its cohesion and order, and doubtless its existence. This being true, it is needful that the meeting for worship should be solemn, serious, and edifying. Whether there should be preaching, or not, may be asked. It is believed by some that the silent sitting is the highest and best exemplification of the object for which we meet. This may be true, but if true at all, it must be so only when applied to the highly spiritual members of the congregation. It
is certain that the experience of Friends has been that silent meetings perish, and that to preserve the existence of a meeting needs the exhortation and exposition of a minister. The addresses of a preacher whose words have spiritual power, awakening in those whom he addresses a spiritual response, and found by them to stand the test of a comparison with the convictions of their own hearts, serve to quicken and to strengthen that “principle of light and life” which, as Friends believe, is implanted in each of God's human creatures. That which is spoken with spiritual life is answered back by the same. The Seriousness, therefore, of the meeting for worship forbids the entrance into its vocal exercises of any one who does not distinctly feel a call to do so. What this should be, it is not easy to say in precise language. But that it should be deeply and seriously experienced, that it should be recognized by the Speaker as a call from a divine source, and that it should have the power to draw from those addressed a recognition of its high quality—should “meet the witness” in them,-may be taken, I think, as part of the description. That it should seem a weighty matter, therefore, to address the meeting for worship, during the time which it assigns to devotion, is inevitable. While a gathering professes to be sitting in deep and solemn thoughtfulness of its duty to the Most High, not to speak of that actual communion with the divine nature which many declare as their favored experience,—it is obviously not a time for one to intrude lightly or inconsiderately. One who does speak should feel assured of his duty to do so, and should be straitly careful that he is clothed with an authority differing distinctly from that of his own merely mental promptings. From these views I deduce the conclusion that if the Friend whose inquiries I am endeavoring to answer thinks that the religious meetings might be made more generally and openly a place for many to speak in, he is not looking in the right direction. But the question arises at once : How long shall the strictly devotional meeting continue? How long shall those assembled be held in the act of worship? To this I believe the answer must be made that meetings should be held only “in the life,” and that they should carefully terminate when the life of worship has had its manifestation. It is the service of the elders to measure this. The meeting should not be unduly long. If it be entirely silent it should end before the appearance of Spiritual exhaustion. To prolong the silent sitting to an hour or more, as is now too often done, is to fall into formalism on the one hand, or lethargy on the other. To the stolid, or the unthoughtful, or even to those who enjoy the physical rest, prolonged quiet may not be unacceptable, but the ordinary gathering of earnest people soon perceives that this does not fulfil to it the requirement of a religious meeting. Under all ordinary experience, where the gathering assembles punctually at the hour appointed,—and unpunctualness should be carefully guarded against—it is in the first half hour that the meeting shows its solemnity of spirit, and it is in the second half that it relapses into weariness, and shows disturbance and uneasiness. Those who sit at the head of our meetings should guard against this dead ending. Where they are advanced in years, especially, they should measure the strength of the meeting not by their own feelings entirely, but by their perception of the time when its spirituality has been manifested, and when, if held together longer, it must lose its freshness and give evidences of unsettlement and disquiet.
When the meeting shall close therefore depends upon its character. If it should give rise to vocal ministration it will naturally prolong itself; if it should be silent it will naturally close sooner. And when it closes, then, it seems to me, there exists the freer opportunity which is inquired for by your correspondent, the time which he apparently desires,where concerned Friends may express a good thought, or make a sincere inquiry, even if they “cannot honestly claim any special qualification or anointing beyond that realized by all whose minds are active and seeking the true welfare of humanity.”
The meeting for worship should be a time of refreshment, of spiritual renewing. It should leave the meeting stronger, and more cheerful, and more in the spirit of Christianity. The meeting may thus well turn to its communion of good feeling, in speaking, in reading, in questioning, in discussion. The “conferences” that are now held in many places, but which I think might be better called the “aftermeetings,”—serve a real need, and seem suited to the present condition of our Society. In them many who might properly hesitate to speak in the meeting for worship, not having experienced the distinct call of the ministry, may feel that they can freely outpour their best aspirations and thoughts, that which to them represents their sense of religious duty. These after-meetings are not lyceums; they are bound to be orderly and earnest, (by which I do not mean formal or restrained), and devoted to the object for which the meeting on the First-day of the week exists, the promotion of religious life. That this life may thus appear in them we all believe, and that this will serve to increase the strength of the devotional period of the meeting we cannot doubt. It needs only that those who participate should do so under a sense that they are engaged not in a mere conversational or intellectual recreation, but in an interchange whose object at the bottom rests upon the obligation of man to God.
I have been drawn into a more extended expression of views than I had anticipated, and yet fear that I have only imperfectly treated so much of the subject as seemed needful in order to answer your correspondent's evidently earnest and sincere inquiry. I trust, however, that what I have said is clear and comprehensible; it is to be feared that too much of our writing and speaking is in words that convey only a darkened and uncertain meaning, and which often serve to confuse and discourage our younger members.
Eleventh month 7th, 1885.
DELAY's have been more injurious than direct injustice.— William Penn.
APPROACH now the consideration of a branch of this subject with which I would deal most carefully and reverently, and it is my most earnest desire that I may wound the feelings of none who may differ from me in sentiment; but whose convictions are as honest and as well worthy of consideration as my own. I refer to the effect of a higher education upon the usefulness and the permanence of the religious body to which we belong. So many of the principles and forms of other religious denominations have been at variance with those of Friends, that the feeling that we are and must remain “a peculiar people,” that there is a virtue in being different from others, even in many minor or unessential points, has taken a deep hold of some among us. If I should say that, with the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians, the Baptists, and those of other religious denominations, I believe in an educated ministry, I should doubtless shock some Friends, and yet with the proper qualification of that expression, this is my sincere and earnest belief. Far be it from me to assert that any amount of training in Schools or colleges can fit one for this high vocation who is not called to the work by a higher power. We certainly believe in no manmade ministry—but is the divine call less likely to come to the educated than to the ignorant? God works through human instruments, and do we not know well that, in all things, the more perfect the instrument the more complete the work performed. Do we not owe it to Him to lose no opportunity to improve our minds, that with hearts warmed and quickened by His love, we may become the more perfect instruments in the Divine hand 2 We admit that the ignorant and the uncultivated may become, and have often been instruments of great good under the guiding Spirit of the Father's love; but we know too that this must have a limit. If, for example, the ignorance is so great that the language of the people addressed is not understood, would any one deny that the power of the instrument for good must, to say the least, be greatly diminished? If an education is of such a character that it makes the recipient feel that he is strong enough to depend upon it, without the divine anointing, then indeed would that education be a curse and not a blessing. But if, with the intellectual training, the growth of the Spirit goes hand in hand; if the moral and religious elements are not lost sight of, but trained and cultivated in connection with themental powers, so that our three-fold 11atures be thereby harmoniously and simultaneously developed to their utmost capacity, then indeed does an education become a blessing, and an educated ministry, in this sense, a means of incalculable good to their fellow-men. No other education than this harmonious development