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TH E LIBRARY.
Symbolism and Science. A paper read before the Germantown Science and Art Club, by Lloyd P. Smith. —This is a concise treatise on the subject of the esoteric or symbolical method of teaching pursued anciently in the East, and the pernicious effects which that method has had on the progress of true knowledge, even down to our own time. L. P.S. takes as a basis the proposition of Heyne that “from myths all the history as well as the philosophy of the ancients proceeds,” and essays to show that the vast system of pre-scientific thought was not confined to the ancients, but that it played a great part even in the Middle Ages, and that its confelsing influence is not yet exhausted. Sun worship was, perhaps, the earliest of religious cults, and astronomy the earliest of sciences. The philosophers of antiquity were the priesthood, and these attained to a very considerable knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon and planets. The facts of astronomy Were among the great professional secrets of the priestly class—hinted at in allegories, and confided to the initiated in the various mysteries of antiquity. Max Muller asks: “Have we lost anything, if while reading the story of Hephaesta 3 splitting open with his axe the head of Zeus, and Athene springing from it full-armed, we perceive, behind the Savage inlagery, Zeus as the bright sky, his forehead as the East, Hephaestas as the young but not yet risen Sun, and Athene as the Dawn, the daughter of the Sky, stepping forth from the fountain head of light, in full armor, in her panoply of light, driving away the darkness of night, and awakening man to a bright life, to bright thoughts, to bright endeavors?” It seens to have been the custom of the teachers of the childhood of the world to conceal ascertained truths behind a mythic veil, for the common people were not to be taken into the confidence of the learned. “Naked truth,” says Philo, “can only be received by very wise men ; it must be in the form of lies before the multitude can profit by it.” Just so the children of our own day are mystified by the Kriss Kringle story and by the terrors of Jack Frost. But as soon as our children are able to grasp pure truth, the myth is explained and science takes the place of symbolism. But sometimes the teacher is baffled in his exposition of pure truth by the refusal of the child who clings to the symbol and rejects truth which seems to him to antagonize authority. Symbolism and its poetic myths are most pleasing to undeveloped minds, but induction, which leads to scientific and exact truth, has superseded it with the wise, and the effort of the true teachers of this age is to sweep away the cobwebs of antiquity, show forth the simplicity and beauty of pure truth. Very justly, our writer pronounces the system of symbols “the oriental method,” and informs us that science, in the modern sense, was born at Athens. Cuvier's assertion that before Aristotle, science did not exist, is cited, though many of the Greek sages before him were truly scientific in their methods. The symbolic system was applied to the Christian religion in the Dark Ages, and the work of the present time is to cleanse it of its veiling symbols, and discover the excellent beauty of the pure truth. The essay closes with a fervid plea for investigation, in the spirit with which naturalists approach the mysteries of nature and pierce the veil. “Seek and ye shall find,” he says in the words of the Blessed One, ‘‘ for it is as true in science as it is in religion that “he th at seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened,’ and, remembering always that ‘ the truth shall make you free,” let you motto be that noble cry of the old Welsh bards: “The Truth against the World.’”
WE have received the Fourth Annual Report of the
Northern Day Nursery at 923 North Seventh street, Philadelphia. This institution furnishes a home and good motherly care to the children of poor mothers who go out to work by the day. Three meals a day are furnished for them at sm:ll charge, and during the summer holidays a kindergarten teacher is employed for all who are old enough to receive such instruction. The good offices of the Day Nursery during the past year have been extended to 71 families. Attention is especially directed to cleanliness, and the instilling of good habits and morals into the children.
Domestic.—Enthusiastic optimists regard the business situation as giving evidenee of steady substantial improvement since the beginning of the year. The unprecedented severity of the late winter has retarded Spring trade.
Threats of Congressional action in reference to silver Coinage are unsettling to the business of the country to sonne extent, but it is hoped that after the end of the present Congress, it will be seen that an active and prosperous spring trade is fairly under way.
A letter has been written by Secretary Frelinghuysen to Senator Miller, of California, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and by the latter laid before the Senate, embodying statistics showing our trade relations with the several countries of this continent, British North America excepted. The letter, was suggested by a resolution introduced and supported in a speech by Senator Morrill last December. Mr. Frehlinghuysen says :
“In the absence of reciprocity treaties with any of these inferior nations' our trade stands as follows: Imports therefrom, $170,488,000; export thereto, $74,759,000; showing a balance of trade against us of $93,929,000, which can only be equalized through reciprocity treaties in some form.
The annual report of Spofford, the librarian of Congress, for the calender year 1884, was submitted in the Senate to-day by Senator Sherman. The report says the library contains 544,687 volumes and 185,000 pamphlets, an increase of 31,246 volumes Over the previous year. The law library, which is included in the above statement, contains 63,265 volumes.
Mary M. Fletcher, founder of the Fletcher Free Library, and of the Mary Fletcher Hospital, at Burlington, Vt., the latter being the largest benefaction ever given the public by a single individual in Vermont, died at the hospital recently of congestion of the lungs after a brief illness.
On the 26th, a despatch from Washington was received in London stating that the House Committee on Foreign Affairs was in session to-day from ten A. M. to one P. M., considering the participation of this government in the Congo Conference. . The conclusion was practically reached that a resolution, which was prepared by Representative Phelps, would harmonize the views of the committee. The resolution provides: “That no prospect of commercial advantage warrants a departure from the traditional policy of this government, which forbids all entangling alliances with the nations of the Old World. That the participation of delegates from the United States in the socalled Congo Conference, while, as your committee believes, carefully guarded in the purpose to confine their powers to the consideration of commercial interests exclusively, is unfortunate, if it should be anywhere recognized as a departure from the policy which forbids the Government of the United States to participate in any political combination or movement outside of the American Continent.” The committee adjourned to meet to-morrow to decide upon the nature of the report, if any, which should accompany the The discussion indicated that if any report be adopted it will be brief and will deal kindly with the administration, while distinctly averring that participation in the conference was unfortunate because it weakened the force of the Monroe doctrine.
On Second month 21st, the Washington Monument at Washington, was dedicated. It was a time of severe cold, from which those taking part in the Outdoor exercises suffered much. President Arthur received it on behalf of the people of the United States in a brief speech.
Ex. President Grant is believed to be fatally ill from a cancerous disease.
Foreign.—London. Prime Minister Gladstone demands that the proposed vote censure of the Government's management of Egyptian conflict, shall take precedence of all other Parliamentary business. This is believed to indicate that he does not fear the result.
IBerlin.—It is stated that Russia has arranged with Persia for the construction of a military road from Ashourada, south of the Caspian Sea, to Penjdeh. At the latter point Russia will be allowed to quarter as many troops as she finds necessary. The Ostensible reason for this joint action of Russia and Persia is the suppression of brigandage. It is expected that Russia will send many troops to that quarter in the spring, and that a gradual advance toward Bokhara will ensue. There is a renewal of the rumors which Were current some time ago to the effect that Russia has offered to form an alliance with the Ameer in Case the latter will allow the establishment of a Russian protectorate over Herat.
The vote censure in Parliament against the present ministry was defeated by a small majority.
A despatch from London, dated Second month 26th, SayS : The Congo Conference had its final sitting in Berlin to-day. Prince Bismarck presided. He expressed great satisfaction that an agreement had been reached, and gave a resume of the various points of the programme. He paid a special tribute to the conciliatory spirit the delegates has displayed, and alluded to the formation of the Congo State as one of the most valuable aids towards rendering the work of the conference lasting. Prince Bismarck concluded by thanking the delegates on behalf of Emperor William. Count de Launay, Italian Ambassador, returned thanks to Prince Bismarck on behalf of the delegates. He said the success of the conference was largely due to Prince Bismarck's efforts. Prince Bismarck then announced that the African International Association had signified its adherence to the decisions Of the conference, and that the documents had been signed by President Strauch, on behalf of the association. The delegates then signed the documents, which were fourteen in number, and the conference was declared closed.
Norfolk islanders, who are, as is well known, descendants of the mutineers of the ship Bounty, in 1789.
IT is a somewhat unusual thing for a reigning sovereign to appear in the witness-box at a police court. The other day, however, the King of Italy, from goodnatured motives, volunteered his testimony before a magistrate in Rome. A shopkeeper named Maranzoni had unfortunately injured a little girl by riding over her in the street, and Ring Humbert, who had witnessed the accident, came forward to say that, in his opinion, Maranzoni had been in no wise to blame, and that, in fact, his horse had run away with him.
THE telegraph now stretches in an unbroken line from Pekin in the north to the most southern boundary of the Chinese Empire, and a message either from London or Pekin might reach the headquarters of the Chinese forces on the Tonquin frontier in a few hours. Four years ago the only telegraph line in China was One about six miles in length, stretching from Shanghai to the sea, and erected to inform the mercantile community of the arrival of vessels off the mouth of the river. The next important line constructed by the Chinese Government will probably be one uniting Pekin with the great northern lines across Siberia at Riachta. This will have to cross the whole of Mongolia, and will give the capital of China a third alternative telegraph route to Europe, a matter to which some political importance is believed to be attached in China. This extraordinary development is due solely to political considerations.—Nature.
AN interesting account is given at Johns Hopkins University of Herman Strecker, naturalist, of Reading, Pa. He is a stone cutter, a day laborer, but known all over the world as an authority on butterflies. His scientific labors, it is said, are done at night after his day's work is over and on Sundays. He makes his own drawings on stone, writes his own descriptive matter, sets the type and does the printing himself. He has the largest collection of butterflies in the world. Two years ago he published a catalogue of North American species of butterflies which is the most comiplete ever issued, since it contains all the synonyms. In this publication he gives long lists of names of foreign countries where he has collectors working for him. He has collectors in every known island. In his collection are hundreds of specimens which no other museum possesses.— Public Ledger.
“TAKE FAst Hold of INSTRUCTION: LET HER NOT Go; KEEP HER; For she is THY LIFE.”
PHILADELPHIA, THIRD MONTH, 14, 1885. NO. 5. EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY AN ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS. C.O N T E N T S. COMMUNICATIONS MUST BE ADDRESSED AND PAYMENTS MADE TO Lenten and Easter Observance............................................. ---. 65 Conscience .................... • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 67 JOHN COMILY, AGENT, William Penn .............................................................................: 68 AT PUBLIGATION OFFICE, No. 1020 ARGH STREET. |Unity the Prime Element. Of Strength...................................... 68 TERMS :—TO BE PAID IN ADVANCE. Educational.............. ..... .............................................................. 69 & o Correspondence ........................................................................... 71 The Paper is issued every week. Extracts from Letters.................................................................. 71 The FORTY-SECOND VOLUME commenced on the 14th of Editorial: Belief and Character............................... ----------------- 72 Second month, 1885, at TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS to Marriages..................................................................................... 73 Subscribers receiving it through mail, postage prepaid. Deaths...............--------...........----------------------------------------.................. 73 SINGLE NUMBERS, SIX CENTS. Meeting of the Association for Increasing Interest in the IT IS DESIRABLE THAT ALL SUBSCRIPTIONS COMMENCE AT society of Friends......... ........................................................... 13 THE BEGINNING OF THE VOLUME. Eisenach ..........................“...;................... 75 * e * Denominational Education................ * * * * * * * * * * * * e a s a sa e e s e e s = e s e o e o e s e o e s e eg 76 REMirraNors by Mail should be ln CHECKS, o o The California Quail. True Charity......................................... 77 P.9. o the latter preferred. Money sent by Ma" | Poetry: Patient with the Living—A solitary Way................. 78 will be at the risk of the person so sending. The Present Depression. .............................................. ........... 78 AGENTS:—EDw1N BLACKBURN, Baltimore, Md. Local Information........................................................................ 79 JOSEPH. S. COEIU, New York. The Library............................... s 79 BENJ. STRATTAN, Richmond, Ind. Current Events............................................................................. 80 Entered at the POSt-Office at. Philadelphia, Penna., as Second- Items e e s s a e s e e s = e s a e e s e e s m e o a s e s = e o 'o e = * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * e s is a so e e s s a s e o 'o e e s p s s e o e s e s e 80 Notices............... ..............................................-----....................... 80
LENTEN AND EASTER OBSERVANCE.
Our young people are often asked by others “Why do not your Church observe Easter”—and find themselves in some difficulty to give any answer, except that we object to keeping days and times as holy, holding that all days alike should be kept holy and should be made joyful, kept clean, and spent innocently and usefully; and that no religious observance could be valid or needful which does not tend to spiritual growth, and to the general exaltation of the life and the uplifting of the heart. But Easter in the Christian Church is intended to commemorate the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion. This beloved Lamb of God did suffer death near this season of the year—at the Jewish Passover time ; but of the precise date we cannot exactly determine. The barley harvest was ripe, the flax was ready for the gathering the fig was in bloom, it was a season of occasional rain and of southerly winds in the land of Israel–" and so it remaineth unto this day.” It was in the month of April. We know the Easter time is now a moveable feast, occurring as it does on the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, and so cannot be exact to the day. The time was a disputed point in the earlier days of the Church. This controversy was determined by the Council of Nice, where it was ordained that Easter should be kept on the first day of the week as it is at present.
We remember then that it has no authority from what is considered Sacred Scripture, it was not in any sense directed by Christ, and has not the authority of the Apostolic Church. Therefore none of the Calvinistic Churches have retained it. The English Episcopal Church was reformed by the authority of King Henry VIII who desired the ancient order retained so far as was practicable, in all things except Papal Supremacy. Queen Elizabeth while more enlightened and tolerant than her father, had no objection to the creations of mediaeval ecclesiasticism. Neither had the Stuart Kings who succeeded her, and by the time these passed, the English Church had crystallized into its present form. The Lutheran Church also kept the Romish fashion as to this observance, as does also the Moravian body or United Brethren who were originally the spiritual brethren of John Huss and Jerome of Prague. *
Our Fathers of the Society of Friends, while clearly and philosophically stating the grounds of their testimonies, and their objections to the prevailing religious order about them, have scarcely deigned to notice the Easter festival in any of their writings —so far as I know. They occupy the same ground here as their Calvinistic cotemporaries, though as I think with different reason. To them I conceive the joy and gratitude of the Resurrection day seemed more applicable to the life of the Blessed Master of Nazareth who taught to mankind the way of life, by His holy example, His luminous teaching, by His earnest rebukes of formalism, and mere ceremonial
observance, and by His insistance on allegiance to God who is a Spirit and who draws the human heart into oneness with His own glorious nature, and His injunction to His disciples that they love each other —and their neighbors as He had loved His brethren, and was willing and ready to die for them. It was Jesus who showed clearly to man the way of life and salvation, and in this sense He is man's Saviour. His Church consists of those who are in His spirit, and endeavor to form their lives into the likeness of His life—for in Him we hold, with other professors of the Christian name, dwelt the fulness of the Divine Spirit, or as the witnesses declared, “the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Since He has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances and nailed them to His cross (Colossians 2d chapter, 14th verses), we have no further call to ceremonialism but to simple spirituality, or attention to things of the spirit. The Blessed Master never enjoined any system of holy days, and we deem any observance of them as such, contrary to the teachings of Christ Jesus. Yet it never appeared to be the mission of the consecrated ones of any of the generations of our Church to condemn or denounce any for their adherence to ceremonial or memorial observances that seemed edifying or helpful to their religious life. The Lenten fast of forty days before Easter is commonly held to be in commemoration of the forty days temptation and trial of Jesus before He entered upon His ministry. Conscious of the leadings of the Holy Spirit, when He “began to be about thirty years of age,” just after having accepted the baptism of John, Jesus returned into the wooded heights of the mountain range north of Jericho, -a very desolate, uninhabited region,-the haunt of wild beasts, where He was subjected to various temptations— want, fanaticism, and ambition ; all of which He overcame, “and behold,” says Luke, “angels came and ministered unto Him.” Peace, the peace of submission and dedication comes through temptation and suffering. “Knowledge, through suffering entereth.” He who was to be the spiritual leader of the race came to His power among men by means of trial and suffering. As says a popular preacher of our own times: “Of all who have reached a true moral greatness, not one but who has been mourished by suffering.” That it was so with the Blessed Master, is reason enough for the disciple to accept all the discipline of life in the faith that it is to fit him for the service to come after. This interesting experience of the Son and sent of the Father is commemorated by the Lenten fast, which from year to year brings before the mind, the history of His fasting and temptation in the lone wilderness. Some hold the Lenten observance to be of apostolic institution and others claim that it was originated by mediaeval ecclesiasticism. Anciently the manner of observing Lent was to abstain from food till evening, and then take a sufficient supper, but the fast has since been relaxed, being now generally very moderate. We all remember that in re. cent times, persons have endeavored to imitate the supposed abstinence of the Blessed Master during this time of searching of heart and of deep proving.
Even death has ensued from this effort more than once; and as a people we surely must stand by the spirit of the holy example, rather than assent to a fruitless literalism. The time of sore trial,—of wilderness wandering— of exclusion from human sympathy and companionship having past, angelic ministries having succeeded temptation, the gospel story tells us that the Jewish Passover was at hand. It is reckoned by Gresswell that this Passover occurred on the 9th of April (the Nisan of the Hebrew calender) in the year 28 A. D. There is evidence that a vast multitude, in fact, all the male inhabitants of Palestine who were not physically disabled, habitually gathered at this time at Jerusalem—not only filling the city within the gates but encamping upon the hillsides in the vicinity. Jews from all other lands also gathered at the Passover—the most national and the most joyous of all the festival seasons of Israel. Hither came Jesus with His earliest disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John, who had accompanied Him from Capernaum by the Galilean Sea, and we may now imagine them standing grouped in the splendid porches of the Temple, the saintly young man—the carpenter's son, and the untutored Galilean fisherman before whom was opening the mighty work of the proclamation and the teaching of that truth of God which was to raise mankind to the likeness of Divinity. Now this Passover at the opening of the year corresponds in time with the Easter season in the mediaeval and modern Church, and as we all know is a remembrance of the far off Paschal time when the fathers of the Jewish nation stood at night in the month of Nisan in their lowly mud huts on the Nile, with their shoes upon their feet, their garments girded for a journey, hurriedly eating the newly killed lamb hastily cooked, and the unleavened bread for their last supper in the land of Egypt before the flight to desert regions and to an unknown future. We know the deliverance was successfully accomplished on that moonlit night of mystery, when the great heart of Moses, inspired of God, could touch with faith and trust the hearts of the many thousands of his people. We know it, because this grand historic memory has been kept vivid by the continuance in Israel of the Passover observance. We care not to question or define the methods of this deliverance, but we have the strongest kind of assurance that it was a historic verity. The Easter time which is so called from the name of a heathen Goddess of the Saxons, who was honored with a festival at this season in England and perhaps in the German home of their race, is then in memory, not only of the crowning festival and crowning deliverance of Israel, but of that re-awakening of the Lamb of God—who slain by man's blindness, perversity, and cruelty—returns again to lead, bless and consecrate His disciples and His Church. But Friends have ever aspired to lay hold on the reality of the things hinted. The observance of fasts and of feasts are far at variance with the simple and holy faith of which we seek to be found in the remembrance and in the advocacy. Friends have been mindful of the injunction of Jesus Christ to His disciples: “If any man will come after me let him take up his cross daily and follow me.” The words of the Apostle Paul have been cited by our fathers as a caution not to rely on ceremonial observance in the service of the Most High. In Colossians 2d chapter, 16th verse, he says: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat or drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come.” “After ye have known God,” says the same Apostle, “how turn ye again to the beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire to be again in bondage?” These “beggarly elements,” against which Paul warns the Galatian converts, were observances of days and times. He points those whom his spiritual life and power gathered from heathendom, to the holy example and the precepts of the great Elder Brother of the Church, for the way of life, the path of wisdom; and earnestly warns them against coming to any symbol or any observance for the sum and substance of Christianity. Dependence upon such ritualistic means for edification would tend to the neglect of the weightier and nobler matters of the Eternal Law of God: Justice, Mercy and Truth. Such exalted teaching of Righteousness, simplicity and sincerity were nothing new to the learned Paul, for he could show his Jewish brethren where the inspired prophets of their race long generations before had spoken with power, parallel words to the people of Israel. “Bring no more vain oblations,” said Isaiah in the days of old; “incense is an abomination, the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with ; it is iniquity, even the solemu meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth; they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.” But these are the appointed means of the stated worship of Jehovah. If these things cannot avail to win the favor of the Most High, what shall Israel do to atone for long neglect of the law of Righteousness. Over the great gap of the long generations we seem to hear resounding the glorious answering cry of the Seer: “Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Then gathering his force for a grand burst of exhortation, he calls to the astonished people, so fiercely rebuked : “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” If there ever was a time when ceremonial mourning and humiliation, fasting and mortification of the joy and gladness of life, of casting ashes on the head and bowing it like a bulrush, it was in these terrible days of danger and despair, but the devoted Seer to whom the word of God came, counseled no such observance—but wash you—make you clean. It was righteousness, justice and truth, There need nothing be said in disfavor of fasting as a sanitary measure, or as a means of spiritual discipline. Uncounted multitudes have believed it a benefit to the soul and to the body, and there is largest liberty for all to obey the dićtates of conscience. But we may claim generally that much of the fashionable revelry which the world seeks, outside of the
lenten season, might altogether be spared from the pure Christian life. So, too, of the religious rejoicings of the Paschal time. This is a type of the perennial joy which the true disciple realizes in view of the arising of that power and life in the human soul which is the crown and sum of all blessedness. Our people have desired to pass out of the realm of shadows and realize the substance of spiritual Christianity; and have believed themselves fully justified in giving up wholly the religious observance of “days and times” lest with them, some should learn to dwell in the lower plane of types and shadows and not rise to the elevation and perpetual joy and deliverance of a spiritual consciousness of the leading and guidance of the Divine Presence. “The pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night.” In this guidance there is deliverance from bondage —there is soul liberty—for as the Apostle could declare “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” S. R.
For Friends’ Intelligencer.
To my perception Conscience is an inherent faculty of the mind that, if cultivated, prompts us to do what we think is morally right and restrains us from doing what we believe to be wrong. It indicates or in measure gauges our integrity; hence, if we have heeded it and kept it sensitive, it impels us to do what we believe to be our duty and restrains us from doing what we believe to be morall wrong, by a sense of condemnation. If I have been educated or in any way convinced that a given act is sinful, and having kept my conscience sensitive, am tempted to do this sin, it will bring a sense of condemnation into my mind as I think of yielding. Another person may have been taught that the same act is a virtue and a duty. With an equally sensitive conscience this person will feel its promptings or reproofs in equal degree, but in reversed ways. The Inner Voice or Light—or Christ within—I believe to be a power of spiritual nature, not inherent in the mind as pertaining to our perishable bodies, but constituting our third or highest nature (physical, intellectual and spiritual), and in the image or nature of God, and like Him eternal. This power or voice, like conscience, grows or diminishes in power over us, as its leadings are sought for and heeded. If we seek as Friends say, in the silence of all flesh or earthly nature, and with perfect integrity, to know right from wrong, for a present need, or to bring ourselves in harmony with the divine nature, we shall feel the truth or right coming into our recognition or becoming part of our knowledge of right and wrong. It is also cognizable as a tendering sense of love and peace, a comfort, a sustaining power giving calmness, etc., according to our real need and prayer or desire. This nature is not subject to any educating processes as conscience is, but is itself the original source of knowledge of all truth or good; this truth or good is transmissible from one to another only through our intellectual comprehension of it, as it is presented for our acceptance,or by the operation of the same