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The Friends' journal.
INTELLIGENCER. Vol. xlii. No. 42.
PHILADELPHIA, ELEVENTH MONTH 28, 1885.
JOURNAL. Vol. xiii. No. 670.
HIS tangled web of mine, Wherein I find so little good or fair, May yet, if trusted to Thy love and care, Take on a light divine.
And “through the glass” I see
And shown the way to Thee.
How all these wrongs we see
And trust myself to Thee.
ANOTHER WORD FOR THE INDIANS, I N a late conference held in this house there was an attempt to place before Friends some questions arising from recent efforts of earnest friends of the Indians to urge upon our Executive and Legislative powers measures for the elevation of this people to full citizenship, and private ownership of real estate, in lieu of tribal relations within their present ample reservations. Their lands in severalty were to be secured to them, according to the earnest entreaty of the Mohonk Conference, for twenty-five years, in which time it is conjectured Indian families would be likely to become attached to their homes, and be so advanced in the needful arts of civilized life as to be able to cope with their Anglo-Saxon fellow-citizens in the struggle for life and for the rewards of faithful and honest work. An unusually full discussion of the subject followed, and much light was thrown on the concern by a number of friends who have given thought and labor to the advocacy of the cause of the hunted aborigines. They have, in obedience to a sense of duty, opened their mouths and judged righteously, and pleaded the cause of the poor and needy. The report of the Indian committee, rendered to the late Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends, informs that body that “The Indians in which it 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
*Read at a Conference at Race Street Meeting-House, held on the 22d of Eleventh month, 1885.
of the Indians, besides a share for each man, the Committee on Indian Affairs gave to all minors and unmarried women eighty acres 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.” It will be acknowledged that there is a good degree of success here. But there is need of judicious discrimination, seeing the tribes are far from being equally developed. Ought we not to plead that the protection and care of the government be continued, until these people can really stand alone. It is justly said that nature is very leisurely in making her changes. Experienced and intelligent Indian agents who have studied the subject broadly and thoroughly know that when their reservations are largely alienated, and the Indians are placed in competition with white settlers, they will find this position exceedingly difficult to maintain, and the Indian needs protection during the transition from barbarism to civilization— present treaties and reservations provide for this, and such safeguards should not be set aside rashly or prematurely. We see how good the work done by Friends has been. The Santee Sioux now are self-supporting, and receive no rations except for the old and infirm, and for School children. They seem to have learned Something substantial of self-reliance and self-helpfulness. Now a terrible question is before all the nation. How shall this dawning civilization be defended against the most arch and deadly enemy of all helpful and all developing agencies, the liquor seller, who is able to bewilder, enslave and degrade the darkened race whom the true Christian is laboring to uplift 2 We are told that President Cleveland has said that he would rather have his administration marked by a sound and honorable Indian policy than by anything else. At the recent meeting in this city of the Women's National Association of Friends of the Indians, it was stated that one of the noteworthy signs of general progress this year is the favorable attitude of Congress toward the whole Indian question, clearly shown in the discussion of appropriations. Congressmen are beginning to advocate civilizing instead of exterminating. Another attempt has been made to prohibit the liquor traffic among red men. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs complained that the penalty, usually a fine of $1 or an imprisonment of one day, is too low to have a deterrent effect. The House proposed that the fine for selling liquor to Indians under any superintendent or agent should not be less than $50 or more than $1000. The Senate reluctantly
rejected this, because it was contrary to its rule
against tacking legislation on to appropriations. The
attitude of the President on Indian matters has been
more favorable. Among the acts of justice in his administration has been the provision for the return,
at their own request, of the tribe of Nez Perces from
captivity in the Indian Territory to their old home in Idaho. The credit for the prompt action against the Oklahoma invaders, the rescinding of President Arthur's order to open up to the whites 300,000 acres of the Crow Creek reservation, and the prompt setting right of Secretary Teller's little mistake in confining the Pyrallup Indians to 18,000 acres, belongs to the present President.
Many ecclesiastics of the Episcopal church have
been present during the past week in this city, on the occasion of the semi-centennial commemoration of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of that body. Among these came the venerable apostle to the Indians, H. B. Whipple, Bishop of Minnesota, so honorably known in all quarters as an enlightened friend of Indian protection and civilization. He lamented insufficient support in his excellent work. He said, “We need not so much numbers and wealth but the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We need and must have the constraining power of the love of Christ.” The Bishop said that a great cloud was hanging over both church and nation, that the only escape is in the Gospel of Christ. And in what does he see this gospel to consist?—“in the brotherhood of all the children of our Father in Heaven.” Why here is just where our noblest missionary bishop, William Penn, placed his view of the Gospel of Christ—in the love of the children of our Father in Heaven—in peace on earth and good will to men—to all men including the poor Indian, who sinks before
the overmastering power of our material civilization. And we—we Friends of to-day—who acknowledge the loftiest profession of Christianity known among men—what are we doing in the needed work of our day and time 2 Are we or are our representatives making use of every right opening to advance the cause of righteousness and of truth, to sow beside all Waters?
Bishop Whipple, in his preface to Helen Hunt's
“Century of Dishonor,” speaks of the great expense to our nation of Indian wars. He says that in these wars ten white men are killed to one Indian, and the Indians thus killed have cost the government $100,000 each. We have now not a hundred miles be
tween the Atlantic and Pacific which has not been the Scene of an Indian massacre. Says Whipple : “All this while Canada has had no Indian wars. Our government has expended a hundred dollars to their one. They recognize as we do, that the Indian has a possessory right to the soil. They purchase this right, as we do, by treaty; but their treaties are made with the Indian subjects of her Majesty. They set apart a permanent reservation for them; they seldom remove Indians. They select agents of high character, who receive their appointments for life; they make fewer promises, but they fulfil them ; they give the Indians Christian misSions which have the hearty support of Christian people, and all their efforts are toward self help and civilization.” We ought to bear ever in mind that the North American Indian is the noblest of the heathen. “He recognizes a great spirit; he believes in immortality ; he has a quick intellect; he is a clear thinker; he is brave and fearless, and, till betrayed, is true to his plighted faith; he has a passionate love for children, and counts it joy to die for his people. And our Indian wars have been with the most noble minded of the tribes, and those who have been the best friends of the white race. The world has been full of praises of President Grant, who has lately passed through the gateway of dire suffering to the rest beyond. We Friends who were not willing to glorify every act of his life must always bear in mind, most thankfully, the “new departure " which marked the Indian policy of his government. Owing to the few years of justice and mercy which were due to his noble minded efforts, thousands of Indians who were poor degraded savages, are now living the lives of civilized Christian men. But no permanent reform is secured until the hearts of the people are touched. To this end was written the excellent work of Helen Hunt Jackson, “A Century of Dishonor.” But perhaps of more value in touching the hearts of people is the work of the imagination which reflects the well known facts which have made their story tragic, entitled “Ramona.” In this book the author has dealt most tenderly with the Indians as men and women, portraying that which is noble and high in their personal characteristics, and then showing how pitiless has been their treatment by a nation of professedly Christian people, who ought to be conspicuous for their exemplification of the blessed policy of “Peace on earth and good will to men.” S. R.
One great cause of our insensibility to the goodness of our Creator is the very extensiveness of his bounty.—Paley.
There is no greater confession of weakness than we make when we permit ourselves to be angered or disturbed by the faults or follies of another. Force of character is measured by self-reliance and self-control. When we allow ourselves to be disturbed by the imperfections of another, do we not virtually confess that his weakness is stronger than our strength 2
RELIGION VERSUS MORALITY. 1
THE heart is conscious, dimly or clearly, that the mere rectitude of the outward life, the mere purifying and regulating of the outward character, leaves still a profound work undone which must be done, or the man remains undeveloped in his profoundest part. . . . . Religion aims at the total rectification of a man's essential principle of life. It will make the man himself utterly pure, true, holy. Till that is done, nothing is really done—only begun. Till the tree is good, even if it bears fruit that looks fair, religion knows and declares that it is a bad tree, and the fruit is worthless, so far as the man himself is concerned. The work of religion is most revolutionary within a man. It makes one over. It finds him given to self, it requires him to give himself totally away. It finds one instinct controlling, it will replace it by one of an exactly opposite character. There is no enemy to any virtue except self. All vice, all evil, are some kind of gratification of self. To become truly good, and truly healthy, to have a true heart, to become holy, self must be conquered. It must be totally conquered. It must be utterly destroyed. It must be replaced by an exactly opposite principle—that of devotion to the welfare of others, to whatever is the highest welfare of one's own soul, without thought of self. . . . . “Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Self cannot enter there; for self is the essential thing in sin. . . . . It is very easy to see now, why real religion makes no further way in the world: why men seek to evade it by substituting belief in doctrine, or trust in another's merits, as the church has so largely done; or by substituting ritual as the Jews did, or even the practice of the virtues, according to the theory of a mere moral or ethical culture. All these things, even the last and best of them, leave the radical work undone ; and so spare the man that rigorous contest with himself, the thorough and often terrible victory over himself, which religion demands of him, They gloze over the necessity of this contest with self; and let the man slip along, hiding from himself the necessity of it. They palliate the demands of the essential, eternal principle in us, and give it an opiate, when it cries out for food and the water of life. . . . . The soul which awakens to know itself, feels its inextricable obligations to virtue, to holiness, to self conquest and to the Infinite Spirit. It cannot separate itself from God. In this is, consciously to itself, its life. It must have the peace which comes of his felt approval, of a union of a human will with his, through the conquest of self to enter into at-one-ment with God.
Jesus gives no theories of God or man. He embodies his conception of God in the word Father. He reveals his idea of man by the method of his teaching. When he who “ knew what was in man’” presents the sublimest truths to the humblest minds, his view of humanity becomes as clear as the noon-day. —George W. Briggs.
1 Extract from a sermon by Joseph May, of Philadelphia.
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
“ WELL DONE.” “Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” CAN there be any one who does not wish to become heir to the kingdom of Heaven, which does not consist in meat and drink, nor any of nature's cravings; but in righteousness, peace, and joy. If there is not, let us consider how we may obtain go goodly an heritage. The way is simple and plain, so plain that the wayfaring man, though a fool as to worldly Wisdom, shall not err therein. Can we be too thankful that our Heavenly Father has written his law upon our hearts, so that he that runs may read, impressing the attentive mind with indubitable clearness what is right to do and what is right to leave undone. “Thanks be unto God, for his unspeakable gift,”— the gift of his his holy spirit, to guide and preserve in the path he leads his obedient ones. Those keeping the eye single to his teachings amid the trials that come in the pathway of life he will preserve, and keep as the apple of his eye, from evil. “For who shall harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good 2 ” While I thus write my heart goes out in sympathy to the tired and afflicted everywhere. Some there are who are in the street called straight, scarcely knowing which way to turn, others mourning over dear departed ones, and some languishing on a bed of sickness; but in every condition it is good to remember there is balm in Gilead, and a physician the re, and that our Heavenly Father's promises are yea and amen forever, and if we humbly wait and ask he will not fail in his abundant goodness and mercy to pour in the oil and wine to soothe and comfort, lifting the soul in adoration and praise to his great and worthy Ila, Isle. . Then let none be discouraged, but press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God— improving the talents given whether one, two or five, and the blessed reward will be, “Well done, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
REBECCA PRICE. Fallstom, 11th mo. 12th, 1885.
From the Christian Register. A UNIVERSAL REVELATION.
Thor is no attribute of humanity more universal than the attribute of religion. It is just as universal as the fact that men everywhere have eyes or hands. Not that men everywhere see the same things with their eyes, or use their hands in the same way. This vast universe looks very different to a savage from what it does to a Plato, a Humboldt, or an Emerson. But the faculty of perception and the organ through which it is exerted are structurally the Sã, D162. The fact that man is by nature a religious being carries with it some broad and necessary implication. When we look at the history of special religious systems, we are struck with their narrowness and exclusiveness. Tribal religions are marked by the animosities which distinguish tribal relations. The religion of a tribe is as much its property as the images in which it is symbolized. Ancient Hebraism was a tribal religion. It offered its protection and its bounty simply to the Jewish people. It made war upon other tribes, and contested with them the Supremacy of Jehovah or Baal. Its exclusiveness was simply the insulation of pride and the arrogation of Supremacy which invariably accompanies the tribal Spirit. It is a characteristic of nearly every local religion. The religious spirit has been generally governed by the national spirit. To the Mohammedan, the Christian was a dog; and, to the Christian, the Mohammedan and the Jew were classed with infidels and apostates. Primitive Christianity grandly freed itself from the limitations of Jewish exclusiveness. The famous vision which came to Peter revealed to him the universal character of righteousness, and taught him that acceptance with God did not depend upon birth, language, or religious heritage. The primitive Christians were distinguished by their recognition of the principle of universal brotherhood. This annihilated all claims to local or national Superiority. But, when Christianity afterward became organized into a national system, through its alliance to the Roman empire, it developed also the exclusiveness which belongs to national religions. There are none of the leading religions of the World that have not made a claim to special revelation. The Jew claimed a revelation of the divine word and power which was not enjoyed by any other than the chosen people of God. The Christian claimed a revelation which was not enjoyed by the Jew. The religion of Greece had its epiphanies of the divine presence. Mohammedanism had its own prophet and its own gospel, and so also had Persia and the East. As
we view these religions historically, they seem to
stand in battle array, as the gods of the Greek were ranged against each other in the Homeric pantheon, as Jehovah and Baal contended by the altars of Elijah. And this has indeed been the case. Christianity and Mohammedanism crossed swords in the bitter conflict of the crusades, which was a conflict not merely of swords, but of sentiments and ideas. The conflict of ideas must and will go on; but a wider and more thorough study of the great religious systems reveals to us elements of sympathy and essential unity which are deeper and more important than the antagonisms they represent. With the study of universal religion, we discover that the claims of special revelations, which are mutually exclusive, must yield to the recognition of a larger and universal relation, which is a common property of the race. The fundamental idea of God which constitutes the basis of religion is not a special gift or contribution of any tribe or race. It belongs to an epoch in the development of human consciousness. It is seen here dimly, and there more clearly. It is seen here grasping the thought of the divine unity, and there impressed with the thought of the divine multiplicity; but, wherever it is seen, it is a manifestation of a universal revelation which is ready for the mind and heart of man, whenever man has grown sufficiently to perceive it. Religion is not a matter of cli
mate or soil or age. It does not depend upon any single historical conduit. It does not belong any more exclusively to one people than does the atmosphere. Revelation and natural religion have been set over against each other, as though they were mutually antagonistic. The creeds of Christendom have declared the utter insufficiency of the light of nature to lead men to salvation. But the other religions of the world have refuted this theological arrogance by the grandeur of their conception of God and their illustration of the marvelous power of the religious sentiment to affect human life. The arbitrary line between natural religion and a supernatural one has been removed by a broader study of the great religious of the world. We are coming to see that God-light is as universal as sunlight; that the power of humanity to attain a knowledge of God does not depend on any caprice of the divine pleasure in manifesting himself to one nation as he has not manifested himself to another, but rather that it depends upon the growth and development of humanity toward the thought of God, and its ability to receive that manifestation which is made to all his children alike. The great facts and truths of the universe, the whole phenomena of life, are open to all, Greek or Jew, Hindu or Christian. But the capacity to perceive and interpret the truths of the universal revelation differs as men and races differ in grade of intellect and soul-power.
The recognition of a universal revelation does not disown the special ideas which have received exposition and force in special religious systems, nor does it disown the vast and incalculable contributions which have been made to humanity through its greatest prophets. It does not disown the beautiful manifestation of the divine exhibited to humanity in the life and words of Jesus Christ. But this revelation of Jesus was not more a revelation of God than it was a revelation of the possibilities of humanity. The divine and the human bloomed as naturally in his life as they do in the flower which man has planted and watered, but whose subtle beauty and fragrance are developed through the mystery of a divine power. And, as the divine life was manifested in Jesus Christ, so it has been revealed in all inspired sons of God. Indeed, we may say that every man that cometh into the world is lighted by the divine illumination. It shines more brilliantly in some lives than it does in others. We are dazzled by its spiritual warmth and brilliancy in the lives of prophets and seers. In others, it seems but a feeble flame, which the breath of God's spirit must fan into new vitality. But be it bright or dim, wherever human consciousness has been kindled by the life of God, there the revelation of God has been manifested. And, as the earth reflects back to the Sun the light it receives from it, so the soul of man reflects to God the divine light which has illumined and vivified it.
The city reveals the moral ends of being, and Sets the awful problem of life. The country soothes us, refreshes us, lifts us up with religious suggestion.— E. H. Chapin.
From Friends' Quarterly Examiner. A FEW WORDS ABOUT TO LERA TION.
OME time since, we chanced to listen to an able and scholarly discourse on the subject of Toler
ation, wherein the cruel old Inquisitors of the Middle Ages were lauded as good, true-hearted men, who could not, holding the views of truth which they did, have rightly acted otherwise; and on the whole toleration was made out to be rather a poor sort of thing, dependent, either on our not being fully perSuaded in our own minds, or else on a feeling of indifference to the prevalence of truth or error among those around us.
But is it really so 2 or is not the truest toleration that which springs not from an indifference to truth, but from a most exalted reverence for it, and a trust in its innate power to overcome error? “Magna est veritas et prevalebit,” and just as outward darkness disappears in the presence of light, so surely will error be extirpated, not so much by direct efforts to uproot it, as by the spread of truth.
So, too, in matters of physical research, if our men of Science, catching new glimpses into the truths of creation, infer conclusions therefrom which appear to some of us to orphan God’s universe, and to substitute a dreary pantheistic materialism for the trust in an all-wise Father and Creator, yet, firm in our own belief, there is no need to be alarmed at such bold and honest thinkers. Greater light, deeper insight will yet come, and again we grow tolerant trusting in our unfailing motto, “Great is truth and it WILL prevail.”
As Mackay truly says:—
“Lovest thou truth and dost imagine
Another ground for toleration in matters of faith and speculation, is, not any doubt or unsettlement in our own minds in regard to great central truths, but the absolute certainty that there are many points on which we cannot possibly arrive at definite conclusions, while as yet “we see through a glass darkly.” It is only very shallow thinkers, or those who scarcely take the trouble to think at all, and are willing to receive their opinions at second hand from others, that can hope always to rest in an undisturbed sense of certainty.
“Oh l’” said a glib, talkative young lady one day, “I don’t understand how any one can bear to feel uncertain on religious matters. I could not. I must feel that I understand and am sure of all these things, or I should be so wretched.” And she paused to count the stitches in her tatting, smiling in the fancied assurance that she understood all things, “Yea, the deep things of God . "
The difficulty of dealing with controversial points in teaching the young must have been practically felt by many of us; and though we have certainly no right to set ourselves up as infallible guides even to our own children, we may yet for a while shield them from the danger of contact with what we hold as error, and from the weary controversies of this
restless age. Yet not for very long can we keep them in such blissful peace and ignorance. Sooner or later doubts and questionings will reach them also. Wiser then it surely were, while teaching them what we hold as truths, to let them know that these things do not seem so to all, and so by letting them understand the grounds of our own convictions, give them weapons ready for defence when the hour of battle may arrive. Most of us who live amidst a population differing widely from ourselves in many points of religious belief have yet learned, outwardly at least, to be fairly tolerant of these diversities; yet this surely does not arise from any doubt as to whether we or they are in the right; nor yet, let us bope, does it spring from mere indifference; but we well know how useless, and worse than useless, would, in general, be any attempts to induce them to change their faith; and we know, too, that amidst much of chaff, they have got many grains of true wheat also. This perception of truth in the midst of error lies at the root of a very true-hearted form of toleration. If it. be indeed true, that— “Even the faintest relic of a shrine Of any worship wakes some thoughts divine,” we may cease to mourn hopelessly over the lost state of the nations of antiquity, or the present races of heathendom, and believe with St. Paul that the God whom they have ignorantly worshipped has not been far from every one of them. It is surely especially in matters of religious belief, that we may accept the strength and the hope given by the thought of the all-prevailing power of truth. Some of us know how hard it is to listen to the utterance of narrow human conceptions of the Divine goodness and mercy. But let us be patient, trusting to the promise of that guide that shall yet lead into all truth, and rejoicing in the growing brightness of that light, which shall shine more and more unto the perfect day. Yet another ground for toleration towards our fellows is surely to be found in the unwearied forbearance of him, “who maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good; and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” We have read somewhere an old Arabic legend which relates how one day as Abraham, the Father of the Faithful, sat at the door of his tent, he saw an old man approach, who came to ask his hospitality. Hastening to meet the Stranger, Abraham courteously invited him to enter, and soon set before him a plenteous repast of the best his tent afforded ; but observing that his guest omitted to give thanks to the Most High before commencing to eat, he reproved him for this, and receiving for reply only words of contempt and blasphemy, his wrath was kindled, and he drove the old man indignantly from his door. But that night, as Abraham lay in bed, he heard the voice of the Almighty demanding of him where now the stranger was who had entered his tent 2 And Abraham answered, “Oh, Lord, I drove him out again into the desert, because he honored thee not, and because he spake words of blasphemy against thy holy name.” But the Lord answered Abraham, “Have I borne with him lo all these fourscore years, and couldst thou not