Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

That the members of the “Swarthmore Circle,” in making themselves familiar with the great works of Our English writers, may have a like experience, is my hope and belief. - E. H. M. Eleventh month 23d.

REFORMED HEBREW’’ VIEWS.

HE “National Rabbinical Convention ” of the Reformed Hebrew Church, was held at Pittsburg on the 17th inst. Our readers will probably be interested in certain points of the declaration of principles adopted by the convention, as given helow. They are the views, it must be noted, not of the old, or “orthodox * Hebrews, but of a body which has organized separately : In view of the wide divergence of opinion, of conflicting ideas of Judaism, we, as representatives of reform Judaism in America, in continuation of the work begun at Philadelphia in 1869, unite upon the following principles: 1. We recognize in every religion an attempt to grasp the infinite, and in every.mode, source, or book of revelation held sacred in any religious system the consciousness of the ind welling of God in man. We hold that Judaism presents the highest conception of the God idea as taught in our Holy Scriptures, and developed and spiritualized by the Jewish teachers in accordance with the moral and philosophical progress of their respective ages. We maintain that Judaism has preserved and defended, amidst continual struggles and trials and under forced isolation, this God idea, as the central religious truth for the human race. 2. We recognize in the Bible the record of the consecration of the Jewish people to its mission as priest of the one God, and value it as the most potent instrument of religious and moral instruction. We hold that the modern discoveries of scientific research in the domains of nature and history are not antagonistic to the doctrines of Judaism, the Bible reflecting the primitive ideas of its own age and at times clothing its conception of divine providence and justice dealing with man in miraculous narrative. 3. We recognize in the Mosaic legislation a system of training the Jewish people for its mission during its national life in Palestine, and to-day we accept as binding only the moral laws, and maintain only such ceremonies as elevate and sanctify our lives, but reject such as are not adapted to the views and habits of modern civilization. 4. We hold that all such Mosaic and rabbinical laws as regulate diet, priestly purity, and dress originated in ages and under the influence of ideas altogether foreign to our present mental and spiritual state. They fail to impress the modern Jew with a spirit of priestly holiness; their observance in our days is apt rather to obstruct than to further modern spiritual elevation. 5. We recognize in the modern era of universal culture of heart and intellect the approaching of the realization of Israel's great Messianic hope for the establishment of the kingdom of truth, justice, and peace among all men. We consider ourselves no

longer a nation but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish State.

6. We recognize in Judaism a progressive religion, ever striving to be in accord with the postulates of reason. We are convinced of the utmost necessity of preserving the historical identity with our great past. Christianity and Islam being daughter religions of Judaism, we appreciate their providential mission to and in the spreading of Monotheistic and moral truth. We acknowledge that the spirit of broad humanity of our age is our ally and the fulfilment of our mission, and therefore we extend the hand of fellowship to all who operate with us in the establishment of the reign of truth in its righteousness among men. wo

7. We reissert the doctrine of Judaism, that the soul of man is immortal, grounding this belief On the divine nature of the human spirit, which forever finds bliss in righteousness and misery in wickedmess. We reject, as ideas not rooted in Judaism, the beliefs both in bodily resurrection and in Gehenna and Eden (hell and paradise) as abodes for everlasting punishment and reward.

8. In full accord with the spirit of Mosaic legislation, which strives to regulate the relation between rich and poor, we deem it our duty to participate in the great task of modern times to solve, on the basis of justice and righteousness, the problems presented by the contrasts and evils of the present organization of Society.

ENGLISH LITERATURE AND CULTURE."

\ \ 7 E must know in these days something of many subjects. Many persons have a sort of holy horror at the thought of being superficial. They will have nothing to do with a subject because they have not time to follow it out to complete mastery. I think this is a mistake. I.et us distinguish between an elementary and a superficial knowledge. We may well feel appalled in these days at the limitless realms open to human study. It was said of Leibnitz that he drove all the sciences abreast. But could he do it to-day ? What incessant toil is now needed to make the scholar in a single department. With a vastly greater range of studies before us than formerly, it seems as though we had even less time at our disposal. It is these demands of our modern life that goad men on so mercilessly in the pursuit of wealth. With the acquisition of enormous wealth by a very Considerable number of men, luxurious living has appeared in our great cities on a scale without precedent in our past. Hence ambition of those below to rise to the same fortunate position. Hence the race for wealth. Men capable of higher things give all their thought to business. There is an end of “plain living, high thinking.” There is little room for Sentiment—there is an end to poetry. No wonder men have prayed for deliverance.

*Address at Providence, R. I., by Prof. Appleton, of SwarthIIl QI'ê.

Now, let us each endeavor, so far as our influence reaches, to give men and women higher aims than the mere acquisition of wealth. Open to them those ineffable sources of pleasure to be found in nature, in art, in literature, in intellectual pursuits. Instruct them, as Wordsworth says,

How the mind of man becomes A thousand times more beautiful than the earth On which he dwells; above this frame of things In beauty exalted, as it is itself Of quality and fabric more divine.

How can this work be more surely done than by giving the young a training which shall lead them on to the highest and truest culture. But what is culture ?

We have heard a good deal in these last days about it. But I am not aware that any one has been able Satisfactorily to define it. I have myself no intention to attempt any precise definition of the much discussed word. I should feel as much at a loss as the fellow in Shakespeare with his word “accommodated: ” “Accommodated, that is when a man is, as they say, accommodated, or when a man is being, whereby a' may be thought to be accommodated, which is an excellent thing.” So, my friends, we shall probably all agree, at least, that culture is “an excellent thing.” But though at a loss for exact definition, yet we all have some notions upon the subject, and I believe that thoughtful people are more

nearly in accord with regard to it than has been Sup

posed. We must now study in many directions. We must know something of many subjects if we would keep pace with the age. No one would wish now to give culture too narrow limitations. The time has gone by when we can claim for any single study that

it alone is capable of giving true culture. Still, in

Spite of this, it must now be borne in mind that there are some things which cannot be neglected, whatever else is passed by. Some things which more than Others tend to the highest culture. We must not neglect the aesthetic, the spiritual side of our nature. The love of the beautiful must be cultivated, and in no way can this be better accomplished than by the study of noble literature, and first and foremost must be recognized the claims upon each one of us of the literature of our native language. No study in the fields of science, however important, however attractive, can take the place of this. No more can mere linguistic study. It is the study of literature which I now urge. In the past the mistake has been too often made in the study of the Greek and Latin classics, that the noble text of great authors has been treated as mere material for the illustration of rules of grammar. Students have too often, in the discusSion of points of minute scholarship, lost sight of the treasures of wisdom and poetry which lay open before them. Let us not carry the same mistake info the study of our English classics. Far be it from me to disparage accurate scholarship or to ignore the importance of suitable attention to detail. But let us not treat the immortal page of Shakespeare or Milton as a mere corpus vile, for disSection at the hands of grammatical pedantry.

THE SIFTING OF PETER.

N St. Luke's Gospel we are told How Peter in the days of old Was sifted : And now, though ages intervene Sin is the same while time and scene Are shifted.

Satan desires us great and Small,
As wheat to sift us, and we all
Are tempted :
Not one, however rich or great
Is by his station or estate
Exempted.

No house so safely guarded is

But he, by some device of his
Can enter :

No heart hath armor so complete

But he can pierce with arrows fleet Its centre.

For all at last the cock will crow

Who hear the warning voice but go
Uraheeding,

Till thrice and more they have denied

The man of sorrows, crucified
And bleeding.

One look of that pale suffering face
Will make us feel that deep disgrace
Of weakness
We shall be sifted till the strength
Of self-conceit be changed at length
To meekness.

Wounds of the soul though healed will ache

The reddening scars remain and make
Confession :

Lost innocence returns no more,

We are not what we were before
Transgression.

But noble souls, through dust and heat

Rise from disaster and defeat
The stronger:

And conscious still of the divine

Within them, lie on earth Supine
No longer.

H. W. LONGFELLOW.

THE HEALER.

O stood of old, the holy Christ
Amidst the suffering throng;

With whom His lightest touch sufficed
To make the weakest strong.

That healing gift. He lends to them
Who use it in His mame;

The power that filled His garment's hem
Is evermore the same.

For lo! in human hearts unseen,
The Healer dwelleth still,

And they who make His temples clean
The best subserve His will.

The holiest task by heaven decreed,
An errand all divine,

The burden of our common need
To render less, is thine.

The paths of pain are thine. Go forth
With patience, trust, and hope ;

The suffering of a sin-sick earth
Shall give thee ample Scope.

Beside the unveiled mysteries
Of life and death, go stand

With guarded lips and reverent eyes,
And pure of heart and hand.

So shalt thou be with power endued
From Him who went about

The Syrian hillsides doing good
And casting demons out.

That Good Physician liveth yet,
Thy Friend and Guide to be ;

The Healer by Gennesaret
Shall walk the round with thee.

John G. WHITTIER in the Liberia Advocate.

DR. HOLMES TO THE BLIND.

“TYEAR friends, left darkling in the long eclipse
That veils the noon-day—you whose finger-tips
A meaning in these ridgy leaves can find
Where ours go stumbling, senseless, helpless, blind,
This wreath of verse, how dare I offer you
To whom the garden's choicest gifts are due?
The hues of all its glowing beds are ours—
Shall you not claim its sweetest-smelling flowers?

“Nay, those I have I bring you; at their birth
Life's cheerful sunshine warmed the grateful earth;
If my rash boyhood dropped some idle seeds,
And here and there you light on Saucy Weeds
Among the fairer growths, remember still
Song comes of grace and not of human will:
We get a jarring note when most we try,
Then strike the chord we know not how or why.
Our stately verse with too aspiring art
Oft overshoots and fails to reach the heart,
While the rude rhyme one human throb endears
Turns grief to smiles and softens mirth to tears.

“Kindest of critics, ye whose fingers read,
From nature's lesson learn the poet's creed;
The queenly tulip flaunts in robes of flame,
The way-side seedling scarce a tint may claim,
Yet may the lowliest leaflets that unfold
A dew-drop fresh from Heaven’s own chalice hold.”

OLIVER WENDELL BIOLMES. Boston, 1885.

It costs more to neglect our duties than to accomplish them.—A. E. Dickinson.

Error is commonly based upon some truth; and one of two methods is generally employed in dealing with this partnership of truth and falsehood. Some men extend a kindly protection to the error for the sake of the truth at its foundation ; others strike ruthlessly at the error without caring how the truth at its basis may fare. Neither of these is the wisest way. It is better first to draw the dividing line between the primal truth and the Superincumbent falsehood, so that all men may see it. The chances are that then you will have no need to attack the error; for few care to defend an error which they see to be divorced from the truth.-S. S. Friend.

HOW TO STUDY HISTORY.

T has always seemed to me very creditable to the brains of children that they are apt to rebel against the study of history as it is usually presented to them. Why should any boy or girl sincerely wish to know in which Olympiad the victory of Coroebus took place, or whether Ottoman was or was not the son of Ortogrul ? When the witty Madame du Chatelet owned to Voltaire her profound indifference as to this last point, he did not reprove her, but rather praised her. He told her that she was quite right in her indifference, but that if history could only be taught as it should be—with the really unimportant names and dates left out, and those only retained which really throw light on manners or great events —history would then become for her the most interesting of all studies. Then, when Voltaire himself wrote history, he carried out his own theories, and laid the foundation of the modern school. There still remain among us many educational institutions where historic teaching means only a list of names, or a complex chart, or “River of Time.” A graduate of a Boston grammar School once told me that she was required in her school days to put on paper every date that occurred in the portion of Worcester's History studied by the class. On a large sheet she made five columns of these dates; she then learned them by heart so thoroughly that she could repeat them backward, and at the age of twenty-two she had forgotten every one. Warned by experience, when she herself became

a high-school teacher, she adopted a wholly different plan. Taking the successive periods, she gave her pupils in each case a few outlines and a few dates from the manual. Then she gave a few questions, of which they were to learn the answers for themselves in such books as they could find in the school library or elsewhere. They were to bring to her all the light they could obtain ; she was to add whatever she had. From time to time wider examinations summed up the whole. This method often led to prolonged study of particular points. Thus the Reformation occupied one paragraph in the manual they used, but to that one paragraph her class devoted six lessons. The pupils eagerly discussed every point of the Reformation, talking it over—Protestants and Catholics together—with perfect freedom, and at the end of the time they passed a written examination that amazed her. Nor did the benefit end here. Her pupils found their love of books rapidly develop when the charm of a special investigation was offered to them, and one young girl told her, several years later, that her whole intellectual activity dated from this course of lessons, and that whereas she had before been content with an exclusive diet of Mrs. Southworth’s novels, she had ever since demanded better food. I am aware that I am suggesting nothing new to teachers of experience. I am aware also of the obstacles to any course that demands original research on the part of pupils. But, after all, it is only this flavor of original research, on however small a scale, that makes history take any real root in the mind and a single period or event explored in this way fixes the very facts more vividly on the mind than if they had been learned by heart from a neat little compendium, all conveniently arranged beforehand by somebody else. Of course, history can no more be learned without names and dates than a body can exist without a skeleton. But the driest anatomist does not seriously maintain that the skeleton is the body, and that flesh and blood have no business to exist. Yet the anatomical teacher of history does believe this, and grows indignant when you ask that his department should consist of anything but bones. For myself, I believe in the bones—in their place. No person should be permitted to take the picturesque and romantic part of any period without a perfectly connected framework of dates for its vertebral skeleton. But a few dates will answer for this, and the fewer they are the more likely they will be to remain in the mind. It is better to learn only twenty of these, and carry them through life, than to be able to repeat five columns backward when you are sixteen, and to have forgotten them all when you are twenty-two. If the principle applies to young people at School, it applies still more to those who, having left school, are reading by themselves or with a teacher. There is no young person, I believe, who could advantageously read through Gibbon’s “Rome,” as a whole, or even through Bancroft’s “United States.” But let the student take some very simple Outline of facts, and proceed to throw light on it for himself, and it will soon prove interesting. How dry is Worcester's brief narrative of the settlement of Massachusetts, for instance. But read with it the journals of the Colonists, as given in Young’s “Chronicles of the Pilgrims” and “Chronicles of Massachusetts,” and throw upon these the sidelights obtained through poetry and fiction, through Whittier’s “Margaret Smith's Journal,” Mrs. Childs’ “Hobomok,” Longfellow’s “Miles Standish,” and Motley’s “Merry Mount.” When you have ended, the whole period has become a picture in your mind, and the most thoughtful and serious discussion of it by Bancroft or Palfrey finds you with a prepared and intelligent mind, if you have the time to give to it. And if period after period could be followed up in the same spirit, history would become for you a study of absorbing interest and inexhaustible in its themes. It may be said that Some of these books are “light reading.” They are light reading in the very best sense if they throw light on what else would be dark. I do not believe in the theory that only what is disagreeable is healthy, but hold that labor itself is most useful when it is applied with a will, and not against one's will. “What interests is remembered,” was one of the favorite maxims of Horace Mann. There is no danger of anyone's acquiring any great range of historic knowledge without corresponding toil; but it is possible so to lay the foundation of knowledge, that later toil shall be a delight, and the habit of study its own exceeding great reward.— Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

O Lord, I most cheerfully commit all unto thee.—Fénélon.

VEGETABLE DUST. BUT the dust which constitutes the chief part of the red fog of the Atlantic, the sea-dust of the

Northern seas, and the sirocco-dust of South Europe, is neither cosmic nor volcanic, though it, too, has traveled great distances.

Vessels, hundreds of miles from land, have been at times enveloped for days in a fog consisting of brickred or cinnamon-colored dust, which covered the sails and rigging with a thick coat, and rendered the air so hazy that no vessel which was more than a quarter of a mile off could be distinguished even at midday. Off St. Jago, during certain months of the year, a very fine dust is almost constantly failing, which, says Mr. Darwin, roughens and slightly injures astronomical instruments, hurts the eyes, dirties everything on board, and at times falls so thickly that vessels have been known to run ashore owing to the obscurity, and are recommend to avoid the passage between Cape Verd and the Archipelago. Considerable quantities continued to fall upon the ‘Beagle' when she was between three and four hundred miles from shore, some of the variously colored transparent particles being a thousandth part of an inch square, few larger, and the greater part consisting of fine powder. On the succeeding days, as the vessel proceeded on her way, the dust became so fine that it could be collected only on a damp sponge; but it has been known to fall on vessels 1,000 and even 1,600 miles from any land.

From the direction of the wind, and the fact that the dust falls during those months when the harmattan raises clouds of it high in the air, and blows from the northwest shores of Africa, it was at first naturally concluded that the dust was all African too. The mineral part of it, no doubt, may be so ; but on examination it was found that the great part of the dust was organic, and consisted mainly of those minute, flint-cased forms of plant-life known as diatoms, which exist in almost all water—salt, fresh, or brackish. Further examination also revealed the singular fact that, though the dust came directly from Africa, of all the many different organic forms none were peculiar to Africa, and all but two belonged to fresh water families; and it has since been proved that all the organic portion of the dust, whether it fell at Cape Verd, Malta, Genoa, Lyons, or in the Tyrol, has come from the south side of the equator, and has been transported from the banks of the Orinoco and Amazon. When, however, we find that particles of mineral matter one-thousandth part of an inch square can be carried three or four hundred miles, and that a narrow strip of vegetable substance something more than half an inch long, and the twelfth part of an inch wide, clearly belonging to Some topical tree, has been carried more than 1,200 miles from any coast where it could have grown, we wonder less at the long journeys taken by these minute one-celled plants, 41,000,000,000 of which occupy only one cubic inch of space, and weigh but 220 grains.—Selected.

Our true knowledge is to know our own ignorance. Our true strength is to know our own weakness.(harles Kingsley.

ANECDOTE OF ANTHONY BENEZET.

INDRED minds soon become acquainted, and where virtuous principle governs, this acquaintance is productive of beneficial effects. Perfect love is above the formality of what is called polite breeding. It finds its way to the heart in actions that speak more impressively than the most studied eloquence. When Anthony Benezet was about preparing for the press his “Remarks on the Use and Abuse of Spirituous Liquors,” Jacob Lindley first became known in the yearly meeting by an energetic testimony, which he delivered on that subject. As he was then a young man he sat far back in the house. When the sitting closed, Anthony Benezet, whose benevolent mind had responded to Jacob's communication, was very earnest to speak to him, and leaving his elder acquaintance he made his way through the crowd to give Jacob an invitation to dine with him. As Jacob was much of a stranger in the city as well as to Anthony, the latter directed him to wait till he had spoken to some other friends, after which he would pilot him to his house. He did so and appeared to give particular attention to his new guest, for as soon as dinner was over he took him into a private room and told him of the great unity he had with his testimony on the subject of spiritous liquors, and further informed him that he had been writing a book on the subject, which he intended to publish. He then requested Jacob Lindley to put on paper his views and remarks on the subject, and they should have a place in his work—furnishing him with pen and ink for that purpose. Jacob during this conversation was deeply impressed with a sense of his own littleness, and marveled at the condescension and kindness as well as freedom and warmth of affection manifested by his elder friend, who till now had been a stranger to him. Finding Anthony's importunity to have his written views pressing upon him, he excused himself by saying he was no scribe nor the son of a scribe; that although he felt a deep concern and testimony On this subject, yet he could not then write his sentiments and views, nor did he wish to appear in print. Thus a friendship was formed between these kindred minds that was lasting as life, and which was not dissolved by death.--From Friends' Miscellany, Vol. II.

WOMEN IN GERMANY.

N a recent letter Dr. Sarah Hackett Stevenson, who is visiting in Wiesbaden, Germany, says, that which most impresses the American stranger as the greatest contrast between his own country and this is the amount of hard labor performed by women. All sorts of farm work is done by them, and the amount of walking they do in the course of their lives is almost incredible. The people who work the land do not live upon it, but rather in little hamlets of crowded houses and narrow streets; then they walk to and from their gardens or farms, which may be as many as six miles away. The milk-women that bring your milk to the door, either carry it on their

heads with a corresponding can in each hand, or, if more well-to-do, haul in a cart with the help of a large dog. I have seen women at least 75 to 80 years of age working in the vineyards, carrying immense baskets of compost on their heads. But the most curious phase of this servitude is the position of the maid-servant in the family. For example, if a gentleman is expected home, unless the family keep a coachman, a maid-servant is often sent to the depot to meet him and carry home his luggage, though the man may be perfectly strong and healthy. In the evening after a concert or theatre, the streets are thronged with maid-servants, attending their masters or mistresses, as the case may be. A lady may not go alone to any of these places, though it is perfectly proper for her to be “protected ” by a maid-servant of 16 while she herself may be 60. The members of the orchestra saunter along smoking and chatting while young girls carry their instruments, overcoats, etc. The average wages of the best of servants is only $5 a month. Thus women are the cheapest of all kinds of labor. Yet the family life of the people seems to be on the whole a joyous one. While the poor man does not deny his wife and children the privilege of working by his side, on the other hand they share with him his pleasures, whatever and wherever they are, so that a “man of a family” here is known by the presence of that family, and he does not seem to have any haunts that are closed to them. The German as he now is presents the strangest combination of hard brute-force and finest sentiment. For example, a tradesmen or hotel porter will play the piano or violin with all the delicacy and sentiment of the most refined. He is familiar with poetry, particularly his own poets, and is often quite a linguist beside. The love of pictures is as universal as in Italy, and yet a man will point to the hideous scars on his face, received while fighting at college, with all the pride and satisfaction of an artist pointing out the finest bit of coloring or drawing. Military discipline is the order of the day everywhere, especially in the boys’ schools. The teachers beat the boys, and the boys beat each other. This, the Germans tell you, is the only way in which boys can be taught to be manly, and to defend themselves.—Selected.

THE EARLY HOME OF FLORENCE NIGHTING ALE.

THER: is no more picturesque spot in the whole

of the Peak district of Derbyshire than Lea. Hurst, the early home of Miss Florence Nightingale, not even Haddon or Hardwick, Belsover or Heveril's fortalice at Castleton, with their ancient glory, or Chatsworth, with its bewildering modern magnificence. Lea Hurst, regarded as a building, might belong to Tudor days, so quaint are its Square-headed, mullioned windows, its clustering chimney-stacks, its high-peaked gables, its projecting Oriel, Surmounted by balustrade and battlement, its reposeful terrace and lawn, the whole tree-shaded and ivydraped. It is somewhat disappointing to the artistic sense to be told that this time-toned-looking building of ancient architecture dates from the present

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »