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ESTEEMED EDITORs:—The enclosed Memorial may seem an act of tardy justice to one we dearly loved, but the monument to Martha Mellor is reared in the sacred memory of those whose pleasure it was to be intimate with her in life, and no outside garlands can add to its beauty. She was truly a noble character. Your friend,
CHAs. LINTON. Foz Chase, First mo. 29th, 1885.
At Abington Monthly Meeting of Friends, held First month 26th, 1885, the following paper, introduced by women Friends, was read, and directed to be recorded in the Minutes, and forwarded to Friends’ Intelligencer for publication.
Under a solemn sense of the great importance of an upright walk among men, we feel constrained to revive in our memory the consistent example of this precious Friend. Feeling in an eminent degree that she was responsible to the God of her life for every talent and good gift that she had been entrusted with, it was the prayer of her spirit, as she has been heard to say, that she might live one day at a time, and as she could not retrace her steps to rectify any errors, she wanted to do all the good she could while time and opportunity were afforded her. And to those of us who were favored to mingle with her she appeared to be carrying out this resolution in the fear of God and love to the whole human family. Indeed, this love extended to all ; high and low, rich and poor were alike recipients of her thoughtful attention. The rich in this world's treasures she viewed only as stewards of the good gifts of their Father, and inculcated by precept and example the idea they should ever be used to the glory of the Giver. And when unsanctified affluence was apparent she was as a precious minister pointing the way to a truer life. Her needy brethren and sisters she visited in their humble homes, bringing sunshine in her face and love in her spirit as she dispensed the comforts their necessities demanded; yet, with a wise discretion, she encouraged individual effort and self-reliance. Her quick perception of wrong wherever apparent, and prompt attention to what she believed her duty to her fellow-man, caused her at times to be considered by some as sharp and censorious. But while showing up wrong in its deformity and reproving therefor she was a faithful witness against the spirit of tale-bearing and detraction. She would lovingly comment on the virtues of those she mingled with, but their faults were thrown in the background, or touched upon only in pity and an enlarged charity. Having had muc forgiven herself, as she thought, she freely forgave those who, perchance, misunderstood or treated her amiss. She believed all to be equal objects of the Heavenly Father's care, and as her position in life enabled her to have a wider intercourse among mankind than many, her power for good was thus more extended. She was a faithful attender of all our religious meetings, and when assembled with her friends her reverent attitude gave evidence of the gathered spirit within, and that the worship of the dear Father “in spirit and in truth '' was to her a living reality. A few years before her death she was placed in the station of Elder in this Monthly Meeting, a situation she was eminently calculated for. Quick to perceive the evidence of spiritual life in any, she acted as a tender mother encouraging to heed the gentle monitions and not stand questioning, as did the beloved disciple, whether they were from heaven or of men. Her own experience when required, as she believed, to adopt the simple garb of the Friend, is thus related:
While walking on the street in Philadelphia the impression presented solemnly that she must thus prove her allegiance to her Maker. And she said she did not question that it was for her good, and as she complied therewith she was conscious of a renewal of her strength for the performance of greater requirements. She has often been heard to say, her strength consisted in the faithful performance of little duties. For several months previous to the close of her earthly sojourn it was her portion to endure severe bodily suffering, but she had endeavored to work out her own salvation while in health, and now as it was her Heavenly Father's will she patiently submitted thereto. A dear daughter-in-law who was a member of the family, and ministered to her in this trying time, spoke of the sadness of her own spirit in witnessing this mortal conflict in one whose daily life was beautiful. Thus did her children arise and call her blessed. Hoping that the remembrance of her example among us may stimulate to fresh endeavor to fill up the measure of duty assigned (as she said) while time and opportunity are afforded, we are willing to bring these things before us, that she being dead may yet speak.
EDITORS FRIENDS''INTELLIGENCER.—I enclose an article from the Chicago Weekly Magazine of Sixth month, 1882, which recently came to my notice. Would not its quotation from Dr. Holland's discourse delivered at a Diocesar Convention of the Episcopal Church, held in Chicago in the summer of 1882, be worthy of publication in your columns, because of its intrinsic merits, the evidence that truth familiar to us are being spoken in unusual places and that it is being done by clergymen in high position without causing disfellowship in one of the prominent evangelical denominations. Liberty is certainly increasing within most religious societies, and as a consequence truth is being more eagerly sought for and man's limitations of it extended. May we as a branch of the church keep full pace with this growth, by greater faithfulness in searching for and obeying the inward movings of our spiritual being, the Christ within or Inner Light. J.W. P.
The extract is as follows:
“If God's work is a finished work, if His revelation is complete, if He has said His last word to the spirit of man, if His inspirations are withdrawn, so that man can no more speak by the movings of the Holy Ghost, and the race of prophets is extinct, and all authority of truth dwells in a distant and inaccessible past, then He is virtually a dead God... He may live in heaven, but he is dead to the world.”
“The inclusion of pagan religions could not have been spared, for they gave to Christianity a variety of rites and traditions which enabled it to naturalize itself in many lands, and become in fact, as well as in spirit, a universal worship.”
“The church will stand. . No scepticism can prewail against her. Her trust is not in any book. She was not created by the Bible, but created it. Itsgospels and epistles were indited by her ministers, not as a series of infallible definitions, nor as a formulated science of salvation, but as a plain story of Christ's love and as letters of exhortation to holy living, prompted by transient needs.”
“Her books are inspired only as the church itself is inspired.”
“What is true to one age, is to a certain extent false to the age that follows, because less than the total truth which that subsequent age apprehends. For truth grows.”
The Teacher's Library.—The interest manifested in the proposed Library has been far greater than its most earnest advocates anticipated; this is encouraging. The work of preparation is now going on as rapidly as possible. It is believed that books will soon be upon its shelves, and periodicals upon its table; and it is hoped that none will be disappointed in the results. If we are wise in the selection and use of the books we may expect great good to ourselves and to our pupils. The teacher should read as diligently as do doctors and lawyers, and we should exercise as much care in securing a professional library as they do. The best that has been written in relation to our profession should be upon its shelves. The lives of the great teachers should be there, and whatever will tend to increase our knowledge of the science and art of education should be at hand. The activity displayed in the educational world is an evidence of life, and an encouraging sign of the times. It is important that this activity should be properly directed. There is a desire to be better prepared for work; we should aim to increase this desire and to satisfy it. There is a growing interest in educational problems and we should seek to promote the growth of that interest. The principles that lie at the basis of true educational processes are getting to be more and more understood and settled, and as these are studied and applied our work will increase in interest and importance. Our time for reading is necessarily very limited, and if thorough preparation is made for the daily class work the opportunities for professional reading may seem very poor indeed; but as we come to realize more and more the value of such reading, our interest in it will increase, our taste for it grow, and we will find spare moments which we can very profitably and agreeably devote to pedagogical reading, and it is believed that very soon such a course would be found not only a very profitable one, but a very pleasant one. If all our teachers could study the history of education before commencing their professional career, fewer mistakes would be made in their work, for they would have learned that many problems of the school-room had been definitely settled long ago, and that no further investigation need be made of them. But unfortunately this has not been done; may it not be done now? It is confi. dently believed that the reading and study suggested by the Library will bring its own pleasure, and that the burdens of the hard working teachers may be lightened rather than increased. It is hoped that all the members of the Association will cheerfully lend a hand; if they have suggestions to offer in regard to increasing the value of the Library or the efficiency of the Association, let them be made; if they have other hints, let them be given; let us all co-operate.
ETHICAL TEACHING IN FRIENDS' SCHOOLS.
Read at an Educational Conference, held First month 24th, 1885, at Race Street Meeting-house.
In these days, when departures from rectitude are so frequent, it may be well to inquire what can be done to instil correct principles into the minds of the young” How can we most forcibly present the beauty of the right, the deformity of the wrong,' and the conditions of entrance upon the two paths which lead, respectively, to happiness and to misery 7 How shall we impress upon the plastic, mind of youth the importance of taking the right road at the point where the two begin to diverge; and how shall we convince them that the intermediate ground is an inclined plane sloping downward to the bad 7 These questions, and the attempt to answer them, may furnish us with a reason why there is a demand for ethical instruction, and what are the difficulties in the way of its supply.
Ethics, or Moral Philosophy, is a distinct branch of study in the ordinary college course. Text-books are provided, and lectures are delivered to the students, generally during the Senior year. Metaphysical studies being considered the most abstruse of any that are pu sued at college, are usually deferred until the intellect is supposed to be sufficiently trained to grapple with them successfully.
As an intellectual exercise, the pursuit of this study may be compared to entering a labyrinth, and following its mazy paths until there seems to be no way out to the open road ; so many chances of going wrong to the one of going right, theories have been proposed, arguments advanced, axioms claimed, and premises established by one school of philosophers, to be brushed away by their antagonists, who must in turn give way to their successors, until the bewildered student, who has been trying to trace the history of the science, and to follow up the arguments, may be led to exclaim : “But what is truth?’”
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, among the Greeks: Leibnitz, Kant, Wolf, Schleirmacher and Hegel, in Germany; Hobbes, Cumberland, Butler, Bentham, Paley and Mill, in England; and a formidable array of hard-headed Scotchmen have endeavored to explain the underlying principles of this much controverted Science. France and Italy has each furnished a quota of original thinkers and theorists, while in our own country there has been no lack of authors and expounders on the disputed territory of Moral Philosophy. Jonathan Edwards leads the van, and James McCosh brings up the rear; while in the ranks are to be found the worthy names of Timoth Dwight, Mark Hopkins, Francis Wayland, Nathaniel W. Taylor, Laurens P. Hickok, Noah Porter and Joseph Haven.
If we adopt an axiom from Intellectual Philosophy—“The greatest truths are the simplest”—we may well inquire whence all this confusion ? A short and comprehensive definition of ethics is, “the science of duty.” The word duty is sometimes limited by the insertion of human. President Porter tells us that it implies actions, not as they are, but as they ought to be; and Sir James Mackintosh
lays great stress upon the word ought as applied to morals. . But how is all this mass, this heterogeneous compound of pure truth and glittering falsehood—of sound logic and ingenious sophistry—to benefit us as instructors in Friends’ schools? Which is owr textbook, and who is to be our guide through the ethical labyrinth ? These questions, like many others, are more readily asked than answered. Friends are “a peculiar people.” They do not learn a catechism by rote, study the Scriptures with the aid of a Commentary, or prove the tenets of their creed by the application of the syllogism. The founder of our denomination laid down one precept, which is short and simple in words, but vastly comprehensive in meaning: “Mind the Light.” This injunction, applied in its fulness, covers the whole practical side of ethics; and it includes much that does not come within the range of the present topic. We may, without bigotry, feel reasonably cautious about the introduction of any text-book, or any study, that may even threaten to invalidate our cherished tenet which is based upon Fox's injunction. It is true there is much, very much, to be found in support of our great doctrine, and in furtherance of several of our special testimonies; but it is also true that, according to our view8, duty cannot be subjected to the rules of reason, nor scruples formulated by the laws of logic. In view of this condition of things, shall we not look to the teacher to impart that kind of moral instruction which is adapted to the capacity of his pupils, to the time, the place and the occasion, and which is not at variance with the principles and practices of the Society of Friends? It has been well said that an instructor teaches more by what he is than by what he says, and in a moral point of view we must all admit that such is the case. It might be well for him to study the different theories of moral philosophy—particularly those of Plato and Aristotle—and to have on his book-shelf a modern text-book on the subject, to be studied or read at his leisure, and chiefly for his own benefit. There are four other books that I would especially recommend for places on the same shelf, to be read often, and pondered well: the New Testament, Friends' Discipline, Thomas à Kempis, and Cowper's Poems. A familiarity with these will furnish him with many available precepts, and can scarcely fail to make him a better moral instructor, as well as a better man. Having prepared himself by reading, study, and much reflection, let him enter his school-room and teach ethics by endeavoring to set a good example, and by the administration of a just, benevolent and orderly system of school government. The importance of having a proper code, and of making a judicious application of it, will be among the first subjects to claim his attention. Those who have had least experience in the management of schools, will probably find least difficulty in preparing the code; as the simple principle of right must underlie all intention, and strict propriety of conduct must be the rule of action. This seems to be all that is needed: a conscientious analysis of the motive, and the application of the “Golden Rule” to the performance of the deed. But it will be discovered by
observation, and confirmed by experience, that in the school-room, as in the great world, there is a practical as well as a theoretical view to be taken of the situation; there is a real condition of affairs as well as a sentimental aspect. To harmonize—for we cannot unify—these two elements, should be the prevailing consideration in all that pertains to the moral side of school government. Unless the teacher be possessed of sound views, calm judgment, and some experience (his own or that of another); he will be likely to make many failures in his attempts to assimilate the real and the ideal; for even with the most enlightened judgment, and the most mature experience it has been proved to be a difficult task. It is to be regretted that there are to be found in the ranks of teachers those who seem to ignore all theory, and to govern their schools by a personality which makes no appeal to principle. They insist on strict conduct on the part of the pupils, but the law is not announced until a case occurs for its application, and then the ipse dia.it of the lawmaker is the only reason assigned for its enforcement. Such teachers are often credited with being successful; they may have the ability to command, and the will to enforce obedience; thus compelling their pupils to yield to a semi-physical force, without an attempt to convince the judgment, or any appeal to the moral sense. In the opinion of more enlightened educators, theory is as essential in didactics as it is in the medical or the legal profession; and the attempt to govern a school without it, is mere empiricism. It is presumable that this is the view generally entertained by those havingocharge of Friends' schools. The moral code should be based on the principles of justice and benevolence, and framed with reference to the greatest good of the greatest number, as well as the interests of each individual. For the corner-stones of our moral fabric I would choose sincerity, courtesy, respect and consideration. Let each term be explained, and pointed by illustration, until the pupils fully comprehend its meaning, and then with serious earnestness let the practice of all four be enjoined. A pupil who conforms his conduct to a course of action based upon these, will not be likely to violate the rules; but if he should do so, it might be well to inquire which is most at fault the pupil or the rule 7 Should the conduct of the teacher be a model in these particulars, he may observe the force of the old proverb, “Example is more powerful than precept.” If, on the contrary, he should practice deception in his intercourse with his pupils, or resort to artifices, for any purpose whatever, he may expect to forfeit their confidence and lose their respect. He who is destitute of refinement, or a stranger to the ordinary rules of good breeding, would better select some other vocation than that of instructing the young; and he who fails in consideration for the comfort of his pupils, and who takes no especial pains to promote their enjoyment will be likely to find them violating the proprieties of time and place, and manifesting a general disregard for the fitness of things. To insure sincerity or candor, there must not be too much fear. A proper respect for authority is a very different mental condition from that of abject fear which is the result of undue force. This fear is one of the most fruitful sources of deception. Tyranny in the family, the school-room, or the nation is almost certain to produce either servility or rebellion, according to the temperament of the subjects; while the wholesome restraint which is necessary to secure good order in every community, is entirely compatible with self-respect and candor. Courtesy must be manifested by acts rather than explained in words: and where it has been properly attended to at home, the teacher will find little difficulty in cultivating it in the school, provided he be an exemplar of refinement and good-breeding. What courtesy is to our peers, respect is to our superiors; let the superiority be that of age, station or merit. It seems to be a sort of half-way mark between courtesy and reverence, and a certain amount of it is an ornament to any young person. Consideration is more likely to be violated than any of the other three particulars. The pupil who would scorn to be found derelict in candor, to whom courtesy has become as a second nature, and who is not lacking in respect, often fails to regard the time, the place, the circumstances, and even the property. He does not mean to be naughty, but just at the critical moment his love of fun predominates, he does not stop to consider consequences, and hence the misdemeanor is committed. In dealing with offences of this kind, the teacher should be able to discriminate between motive and result; for while the latter may cause great annoyance, and even serious inconvenience, the former may be free from any taint of malice or evil intention. In such cases whether property or feelings have been injured, the pupil must endeavor to place matters upon the same footing that they occupied before the mischief occurred. Let him feel all the responsibility, and have the entire charge of the repairs; for the teacher will be fully occupied in preserving his own equanimity, and in restraining his tongue. This distinction between disorder and misconduct should be well defined; the former being merely something out of time, or out of place; while the latter is wrong at all times, and in all places. It should be constantly borne in mind that the formation of character is a matter of far greater moment than the orderly appearance of a schoolroom. The more responsibility is placed upon a pupil, the greater is the opportunity to discover latent traits of character, and to develop the good that is in him; while the more he is compelled to yield to the force of mere authority, the less will he be likely to respect himself or the governing power. The right of appeal, which is accorded to a criminal in a court of justice, should not be denied to a pupil in a well-ordered school. But, by all means, encourage an appeal to the teacher, rather than from him. When a direct command has been given in the class-room, the pupils must know that then, “Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason Why, Theirs but to do—” and if each one has the knowledge and assurance that before the close of the day he will have the opportunity to appear before his teacher and make a full statement of his case, he will cheerfully obey the command, or accept the reprimand, knowing that
it is the result of a mistake, and that in the course of a few hours he will be vindicated. -
These private interviews have a tendency to bring teacher and pupil very near together; and if conducted in a proper spirit, they afford excellent opportunities for a word of advice or caution on some subject other than that for which the interview was called. A short, but applicable lesson in Ethics may then and there be given, which will be likely to prove more effective than whole chapters of speculative philosophy,
Lastly, and mostly, we must be very careful not to moralize too much. While it is our duty to embrace suitable opportunities to drop “the word in season,” we must strictly observe that it fall upon attentive ears and enter willing minds. An overcharge at any time, may close the way for even a seasonable remark in the future; but the example of the teacher's conduct will be a lesson which the pupils are daily learning; and every sincere manifestation of his unselfish interest in their welfare will be sure to meet its reward.
HUGH FOULKE. Clifton Springs, N. Y., 1st mo. 22, 1885.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS.
WHAT a beautiful law of compensation the Divine Father has established for His creature, man, that, even amid our heaviest sorrows, the more we seek unselfishly to alleviate the sorrows of others, to lift their burdens, to sympathize with their trials, the more do we find our own sorrows assuaged, our burdens lifted, and a healing balm applied to our wounds.
I seem to be a marvel to myself at times, with all that has been crowded into my life the past year, that no moments of depression have been mine to endure. Although at seasons my sorrow would seem about to overwhelm as a flood, then there would come some loving mission to perform, some askin heart to minister unto, calling me out of self, and resulting in a quiet, peaceful, restful state, calling out a deeper love than before for my Heavenly Father.
Now for thyself a little word of encouragement seems to arise. Do not be too anxious regarding the future of our Society. Just do, day by day, what is unfolded, and then thy part of the work will be all completed, and God will care for the rest. I sometimes think we hinder our own usefulness by an over anxiety regarding what others, ought to do, both in a temporal and a spiritual point of view. I think, with , that there are too many, who cling to old ways, forget that there may be a progress in a collective organization as well as in individual experience, and they may bind fetters upon younger minds that are hard to bear. And yet there needs the exercise of much patience on the part of the younger members not to go off in other directions hastily, or to conclude the wisdom of age is always dimmed by an undue reverence for the past.
ISEE by the papers that Friends in Philadelphia are making quite a stir trying to find some means to interest the young and build up our Society, which I suppose is all right so far as it goes, but I think the trouble lies far back of our meetings. It is in our homes, in our every-day walks in life, to throw around our children good and kindly influences, to make them feel that they have our love and sympathy, and to try to draw them to us in loving trust. The longer I live the more I am convinced that many parents, ourselves not excepted, hold their children too far away from them, not because they do not love them, but in their youth they do not want to be bothered, or their noise worries them; hence they are made to be quiet, or allowed to find amusement some place else; thus they grow up without that kind and loving care that should be extended to them : we are even more ready to censure than to praise. In childhood they need encouragement, they need the loving care of the parent to guide them in the right path, and to set them a good example in well doing, and in youth to impress upon their minds the importance of attending to or obeying that “still, small voice” in their own hearts, however small it may be, that if attended to will be their guide in all their business, as well as privat affairs in life; then we would have no trouble to get our children to go to meeting.
Too many build up their religion on the traditions of the forefathers—they depend on the letter instead of the spirit that giveth life; as long as this is the condition of the Society we cannot prosper.
Any association whose reputation is not protected by its members, must necessarily suffer loss. History informs us, that the founders of our religious Society call themselves “Friends,” in accordance with the language of Jesus to his disciples, “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.” In the year 1651 Jervas Bennett, a prosecuting justice of the peace, gave George Fox the name of Quaker because he bade the magistrates before whom he was then arraigned, to “tremble at the word of the Lord.” Hume gives the following cause for the title, “the violent enthusiasm of this sect, like all high passions being too strong for the weak nerves to sustain, threw the preachers into convulsions and shakings and distortions of limbs, and they thence received the appellation of Quakers.”
This title given in scorn has since attached itself to the Society, and it is now more generally known by the name Quakers than that of Friends. Webster defines Friends to be “one of the religious sects usually called Quakers by those not of the sect.” If the words Quaker and Quakerism were applied to the Society and its doctrines, by only those not of the Society, we might rest content, for persecution is growth to the church. But Friends them
selves have, in a semi-official manner, embraced the
false title and we find it used by them from the meeting-gallery, in controversial writings, schoolbooks and society papers, it can also be found spread over our Monthly meeting minutes. Is it proper, dignified, useful or truthful for Friends to do so?
Does it not tend to the lowering of the standard of the church, and its loss in membership 7
Ridicule may be made a powerful weapon for evil as Friends have found by experience in their attempt to civilize Indians, some of their most promising pupils and converts have after return to their people cast aside every vestige of civilization, rather than bear the name of “white man * or “white woman,” given to them in derision by their associates, and why should the members of a religious Society whose principles are founded on right and truth assume to be what they are not? If Hume's account of the “violent enthusiasm of the sect” was a proper cause for such a title in the days of our fathers, no such charge can be made against its members of the present age, and the title is now inappropriate as applied to us. What would be the condition of an individual who, having in younger life acquired some ridiculous nick-name should in maturer years insist upon using that title as a signature to important public papers, would not his associates consider him an imbecile? If it would be injurious for an individual thus to degrade himself, how much more improper is it for a minister of the Society of Friends, an editor of a Society paper, or a member of the Society, to speak of their religious Society by that scornful name of “Quakers.”
The words “Quaker” and “Quakerism * do not appear in our rules of discipline or titles of religious meetings, hence are not officially owned by the Society of Friends, why should members of the Society use them or acknowledge them as applicable to them and their religion. I repudiate the name of Quaker as applied to myself, I have frequently felt it my duty to reprove Friends when using it, and now lay the subject before the Executive Committee of the Association on Reforms in the Society for its consideration.