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like a fountain, and thus hints at the prophet as one who utters his words under the irresistible influence of a Divine communication.
The source from which all natural and spiritual life flows is the Spirit of God, and this is the fountain of prophetic inspiration. It fills with power the true minister of Jehovah, and the coming of the prophetic vision, so exalted and even intoxicated the seer that in some cases, he seems to have become personally irresponsible. We can see here how it was that the same word in ancient Hebrew was used to designate the prophet and the madman.*
To Samuel is attributed the institution of the “Schools of the Prophets” wherein he gathered those among the people whom he deemed it possible to train and educate into a condition in which direct communion with the Spirit of God is attainable. The only schools of which we know were at Ramah, Samuel's town in the hills of Ephraim, at Bethel and Gilgal, and at Gibeah and Jericho in the tribe of Benjamin. In companionship with the great and venerable Judge and Prophet, dwelt these young men at Ramah in their prophetic settlements. A relationship of absorbing affection, as well as of respect and dutiful service, was inevitable between such masters and their disciples. The fatherly care and instruction given was thus repaid by love, reverence, obedience and dutiful ministration, in the hope that the coveted gift of spiritual adaptation to the highest service of Jehovah might be attained. We know not fully what their instructions were, but may believe it was in the established Law of Moses, in music and in oratory. Doubtless their personal contact with the fathers or master prophets, the daily hearkening to their conversations and their admonitions tended then as ever to the ennobling of the youths in every respect, as well as to their comprehension of the deep things of the Spirit. But the one thing needful was that they should live in communion of Spirit with Jehovah, that they might at length attain to the condition of His true prophets. Says a great German critic : “The prophet feels himself touched immediately by God, and speaks in His name; whence he often indeed, speaks of God in the first person. The human personality at these moments wholly draws back, but only to reappear presently with full distinctness, for this characteristic is simply the expression of the highest inspiration or of the deepest conviction of the oneness of the human thought and will with the Divine.” (Nöldeke.)
Only a heart at one with God could become His oracle. To such, the word must have come as a sudden light or Divine assurance and a great joy. These prophets were the poets of their generations, as well as the fearless champions of true religion. They were the counseliors of Kings, they were the rebukers of sin, both in humble and in high places. They were the representatives of eternal truth and right€OUISIlešS.
By this right divine Samuel takes his place by Saul, to advise and control him in the name of the
* It is to be noted that in the prophets, the intellect was not really clouded so much as carried beyond its usual reach. The prophets belonged to no special class in the community, and women as well as men were filled with the prophetic impulse.
Highest. He strove to effect a great reformation in Israel—a national regeneration. He was a Nazarite set apart from his birth for the life long religious service of God. He had lived in perpetual abstinance from all intoxicants, and might be said to be separated from his brethren that he might be peculiarly devoted to the service of the Lord. Generally the vow of the Nazarite was taken only for a fixed period, only three who were thus consecrated for life are mentioned in the Scriptures: Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist. And not only had he been a ceremonial life long Nazarite, but his whole life had been manifestly one of lofty self devotedness to his people and his God. Fearless and loyal had been his enthusiasm for Jehovah, incorruptible had he been as a judge, and his life had fully illustrated the purity and righteousness he had enjoined. He had prepared the way for the regular and settled government by kings, and for the ministrations of the Mosaic religion. Now it remained for him to seal his work by committing it to a king. This king must also be a faithful servant of Jehovah, or there was no probability, perhaps no possibility, that he could reign in righteousness Saul’s was the gigantic stature deemed worthy of a king in the antique world; he was in the prime of early life; noble in features and in bearing; the beauty and joy of Israel, gentle and loving and endowed with the Spirit of God. A becoming modesty and humility crowned his graces. An illustrious son, apparently fully worthy to succeed him in his high office, stood ready to be his successor. But before a king could really reign over Israel the thraldrom to the heathen must be broken. The tribes had retreated to the highlands and the fruitful fields, the fenced cities, the borders of the sea were in the hands of those who, while being the native inhabitants of the land, were aliens, of course from the Commonwealth of Israel. The Philistines orded it over them and were now in the height of their power. At once an agricultural a manufacturing and a commercial people—their power may be inferred, and the sons and daughters of Israel were enslaved at will, and the new king must first deliver his people. Unselfish and heroic, Saul was zealous to stretch forth the arm of his power for the deliverance of the people; but we learn from the brief record that in his zeal, he was not sufficiently mindful of the “Word of God” with which he had been endowed. Rejected of God and conscious of his rejection, renounced by Samuel, stricken by his Philistine enemies, gloom settled upon the checkered pathway of King Saul. He had endeavored to substitute sacrificial offerings for obedience, and the record becomes clouded before us. We cannot pretend to comprehend the wild, desperate wars of this wild age in all their details as being in accord with our understanding of the eternal law of righteousness. But the end is that the great qualities of Saul all fail, because he did not hearken to and obey the Divine voice. Zeal in other directions might not atone. Fanatacism was no acceptable substitute for the devotion of the spirit. Samuel had poured the oil of anointing upon another of the goodly youth of Israel, upon the descendant of the Ruth of sacred story, the Moabite widow, who, drawn by more than a daughter's love, had chosen allegiance to Jehovah as her portion, and following a divine impulse, had cast her lot with Israel. Then does the seer lay down his head in death, knowing, doubtless how great were the disasters to come upon his people, before the shepherd youth would be enabled to raise again the fallen fortunes of Israel. The voice of mourning was heard in all the land for the righteous judge and prophet who had so long ruled in faithfulness, and had evermore hearkened to the voice that instructed him in all wisdom. A prophet and an oracle in his childhood, his whole life had been one of religious dedication. His deeds and his precepts had accorded so fully that no party or faction of the people, but all the Israelites lamented him as a father and buried him in the midst of his consecrated home at Ramah. Stanley speaks of Samuel as the type in the history of the Church of Jehovah, of holiness, of growth and of a new creation without conversion. The different stages of life sprang naturally out of each other, each serving as a foundation for the other until the life work all was finished, never knowing a fall from the happy simplicity and receptivity of the little child when he responded without fear to the Divine call, “Speak Lord for thy servant heareth.” S. R.
For Friends’ Intelligencer.
This is a subject of deep and abiding interest to the human family, and is open to free discussion by the thoughtful of all classes. Long ago the westments wrapped around it were too sacred to touch with the freedom of every day and commonplace subjects. Now investigation and criticism pass upon all. Let us hear what the Apostle Paul says of his ministry, and the estimate placed upon it by others. “His letters,” say they, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” Who of us when we read his speech before Agrippa would think other than a dignified manhood stood before that potentate, clothed with oratorical eloquence; but no, it was not the frame of the outward man, nor was it the embellishment of learning, it was the power of the Spirit accompanying his words, that touched the hearts of listeners, and made a Felix tremble—his innocence made bold to plead his own cause. He was conversant with the Hebrew Scriptures, where it is written by prophetic vision, of the Almighty, “He rebuked kings for their sakes, saying, touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
But oh how much has been suffered for the gospel's sake! happily now it has free course in the minds of the people. Let us thank God and take courage, humbling ourselves to receive His messages though they come to us in the simplest form, and delivered in speech the world would call contemptible; the beauty and strength of truth lies in this; and just here we have need to watch and pray lest we set to work to form a gilded frame, suited to the world’s ideal. A little leaven that comes through this pure channel will mould us into the image of the heavenly.
In conclusion, a flow of love goes out towards our young people, with the invitation, “Come, let us go
up together, let us by close adherence to the teachings of the “unspeakable gift "rise in thought and action to the highest attitude ever reached by mortals. Some of you may think we old people move too slowly but we feel there is safety in carefully surveying untrodden ground. With the young by our side, And Christ for our Guide,
With his staff and his rod, He will bring us to God.
Third mo. 11th, 1885. SARAH Hu NT.
INTEREST IN STUDIES.
Read at the Educational Conference, Second month 28th, 1885,
How shall we induce our children to keep up an interest in studies after they leave school 7 The question presented for our consideration to-day assumes that it is both desirable and difficult to “induce our children to keep up an interest in their studies after they leave school.” The children referred to are those, we may presume, who have either completed a course of study, or at least reached a grade of considerable advancement. They have spent what seem to them many long years among books, and, in the language of their friends, “their education is finished.” They may, perhaps, realize that, in draining the cup of knowledge, they have left still some dregs at the bottom, but they have found “much study a weariness to the flesh,” and they gladly exchange it for the business or the recreation of life. Nor can we wonder greatly at this. For years they have looked forward to leaving school as to a release frcm wearisome tasks. What plans have they not made for that happy future? In what dreams of successful enterprise, of wealth, of honor, or of social pleasure have they not indulged 7 And they have been encouraged in their joyous anticipations by parents and friends. They have been pointed to the greatness which oftenest springs from small beginnings. Railroad magnates and high officials are held up in all their glittering greatness as shining examples worthy of imitation, and of wisdom is it never said, “She is more precious than rubies.” The boast of our age is its practical character. Young children ask if certain studies are to be of any w8e to them. An American public would smile at the young man who would frankly ask, as Bacon did, that some office with light duties and generous compensation might be given to him, in order that he might have the time and the means for becoming a “pioneer in the deep mines of truth.” A well-known modern writer says: “Better far to be ignorant, but industrious and useful in any calling, however humble, than to cram the mind with knowledge that leads to no good practical results.” Studies are no longer to be pursued for ornament or delight, but only for use. How, then, shall we convince our children of the use of continued study ? Time was, perhaps, when midnight oil might smooth the troubled waters on which a youthful aspirant Wonld spread his sail, but now, they say, a shorter, overland route to preferment has been discovered, whose steep ascent the traveler paves with gold. In the councils of our nation, it is not always the most eloquent or the most cultured man who has most influence. The world at large does not take pride in bookworms or blue-stockings. No young person likes to be thought queer, and “our children’’ will require, at the outset, a considerable amount of moral courage, if they attempt to keep up an interest in their studies, since that is the one thing which public opinion expects them not to do. They will need strength of purpose, too, for friends will be careful to throw many temptations in their way, while they offer very little encouragement or assistance.
Evidently, if we would lead any to apply themselves to learning, we must stimulate the love of knowledge. The strongest motive to the pursuit of knowledge is its own enjoyment.
But why should an incentive be required ? Is not the desire for knowledge natural to the human mind? Little children are ever eager to know not only facts but their causes, and are often more ready to investigate for themselves, and discover reasons, than to accept the explanations of their elders. May it not be a defect of our system of education that we allow the first love to grow cold * We hear much of youth as the receptive period. Do we sufficiently consider its importance as an inquiring period? By our eagerness to communicate, may we not check the development of desire for knowledge, as we may check the growth of the roots of a plant by too constant watering? Parents and teachers in their desire for the rapid advancement of their children may sometimes deprive them of the healthy exercise of thinking for themselves. Every difficulty is removed, every detail explained, until the child feels that nothing is expected of him except to be a rapid absorbent.
Perception and memory are cultivated at the expense of reason and judgment. Let us not look upon the minds of our pupils as empty vessels which we are to fill, but let us rather seek to make them “lovers of wisdom,” earnest seekers after truth. There are wide fields of investigation, undiscovered Countries, worlds to conquer, in every department of knowledge. . Much of the progress of the next quarter century depends upon the teachers of to-day. If to any of us has been given the key to any avenue of approach, let us open wide the gate that others may enter in, nor will they stand with “reluctant feet,” if they shall once have obtained a glimpse of the beauties and rich rewards that await them ; rewards worthy the labor of a lifetime, “study’s godlike
WHAT I do most earnestly contend for is this: that the imparting of knowledge should not be considered as the end of education. The intellect is not the most important part to cultivate; morals are —moral conduct is to be our first foundation work; on this super add intellectual until you make every charity boy a Newton, if you can, only remember morals, not learning, is the foundation.—Dr. S. Wilberforce.
NATURAL HISTORY IN OUR SCHOOLS
Read at the Educational Conference, Second month 28th, 1885.
What place should Natural History have in our schools 2 The place that Natural History should have in our schools depends very much upon the objects the schools have in view. If it is their purpose, as it doubtless should be, to promote the growth of the children in them, then the subjects embraced under this broad term should have prominent places, at least in our elementary schools, for they are eminently fitted for promoting this growth; and as they furnish abundant and interesting materials to present to the observing and inquiring child, they may be made the means of securing the most important ends we can have in view in education—the cultivation of strength—physical, mental and moral, and a desire to continue to grow after the work of the school-room is laid aside. Among thoughtful educators, there is an increasing desire to see more attention given to the study of things, and less to the study of words; more to the objects around us, and less to the study of books; for while books are the great storehouses of knowledge, the treasuries of the learning of the past, they do not furnish the best objects of study for the young, and while we cannot study things without words, words can be studied without the development of thought; and perhaps no one who has had much experience as a teacher, has failed to observe how utterly barren of ideas the young student of a book may be. It may be said that no good teacher will allow such a use of books; but it is allowed in spite of our best efforts, and we need not wonder that there is such an outcry against “empty words,” nor need we expect it to cease till there is a change for the better. Certainly there is no disposition to undervalue books. The proper use of them should be understood, and we all desire that such a taste for reading may be cultivated in school days that the opportunity to read a good book may be regarded as one of the greatest privileges of mature years. But in schools, at least in the elementary ones, the book should serve merely as a guide, should be a text in the hands of the teacher, La trite statement, it is true, but one we too often appear to forget. The acquisition of knowledge is not the most desirable thing a child can be employed in, even in this utilitarian age. In our desire to be practical, there is danger of forgetting that nothing is more practical in education than to train the child in accordance with the laws of its physical being, so that it may grow strouger every moment it remains in the school-room ; to cultivate its mind so that it will have the power to give independent thought to questions that may arise in life, and to decide upon them ; and to so discipline the moral faculties that there may be a keen and just discrimination between right and wrong, and a firm will to obey whatever “conscience dictates to be done.” Children learn in their own way, or in nature's way. If we study the children, we may find out what that way is. They learn through the senses. Their perceptions are keen, and if we direct them aright, their powers of observation may be made of great
value to them. The many and varied objects of Natural History are well adapted to keep alive the interest that the young take in the visible world, if happily, this natural curiosity is not neglected or repressed in early life. . The regular and systematic collection of objects for study will ever furnish healthful exercise of body and mind, and tend to lay a good foundation for physical health. Too much importance cannot be attached to this, when we consider the tendency there seems to be for children to break down under school work. The work of the school-room should promote growth, and any course of study that does not leave the student stronger and better on graduation day than at any previous time, needs revision. There certainly can be no question as to the value of objects of Natural History in cultivating the powers of observation, nor ought there to be any as to the value of such culture. Charles Kingsley says, “Everything which helps a boy's power of observation, helps his power of learning ; and I know from experience that nothing helps that so much as the study of the world about us, and especially of Natural History; to be accustomed to watch for curious ob. jects, to know in a moment when you have come upon anything new, which is observation ; to be quick at seeing when things are like, and when unlike, which is classification. All that must, and I verily believe does, help to make a boy shrewd, earnest, accurate, ready for whatever may happen.” And it may be inquired here, if it will do all this for a boy, will it not do the same for a girl? In our school work there is one influence that does not generally receive the attention that its importance certainly demands—and that is the element of pleasure. Doubtless the healthful exercise of all our faculties was intended to give, and does give, pleasure. If we understood the unfolding of our powers and adapted the objects of study to the purpose intended, all our work might be made pleasant work, and children could be made to love it, for they love to do what they are interested in. It is here that we need to look for an answer to the question “How shall we induce our children to keep up an interest in their studies after they leave school 7” Let there be an interest kept up all through school life by adapting the work to the growing mind, and then when the school-room is left with regret, it will not be with a feeling that “much study is a weariness to the flesh ;” for the well disciplined mind will take continual pleasure in fresh achievements, and there will be a constant desire to return to books and the things of which they treat. In the autobiography of that eminent teacher, Benjamin Hallowell, we find some interesting thoughts on education. His ideal of an educational establishment was one “that would commence under skilled and enthusiastic instructors in Natural History, as soon as the student could set foot from the door-step. What kind of stone or pebble is that? What bird? Its habits? Is it permanent or migratory 7. If the latter, what season does it appear and leave 2 What insect (with similar additions)? What plant, shrub, flower, tree? and so on with everything that comes into sight, as far as they go, the range getting wider and wider every day, and
then when anything new would occur, or be presented to him, it would be certain to be noticed and receive that attention that would soon class it among known objects.” He adds to this, that it is" Possibly a Utopian theory.” But it may not be so Utopian as he seemed to think.
Whittier, in his “Barefoot Boy,” gives a poetical turn to the matter, and shows how, in the child's inquiries, “Nature answers all he asks.” And we must set the children to asking, and we must be prepared to go with them, fellow explorers in unknown fields.
Must we then learn to teach these things? Yes, if we would make the most of our opportunities. It is not to be expected that we shall attempt to make specialists of any of our pupils. But we must endeavor to make right beginnings, if we do this we shall be doing well. The next generation of teachers will be better prepared for the work than we are, as they will have learned these things in their school days. In our vacations and leisure hours we may begin, and we must learn with the children. The “Guides to Science Teaching,” published by Ginn, Heath & Co.; Morse’s “First Lessons in Zoology ; ” Gray’s “How Plants Grow ; ” Youmans’s “First Book of Botany ” and “second Book of Botany ” will be found very helpful. The last contains, as an a ppendix, a valuable paper on “The Educational Claim of Botany,” which will well repay the reader, be he the teacher of Natural History or not.
Teachers of Natural History, and those contemplating beginning to teach it, will be interested in a paper by Lucretia Crocker, Supervisor of Schools in Boston, read before the American Institute of Instruction last summer, on Natural History in Elementary Schools, and published in the volume of its proceedIngS.
Teachers who have never studied these subjects should not conclude they cannot teach them. If they understand what teaching is, and are true teachers, they can do much by learning with the children and catching some of the enthusiasm of childhood, and giving proper directions to the thoughts and energies of the children.
If the subjects of Natural History are thus taken up early in life, and systematically carried on, and the observing powers are cultivated at the same time that the powers of description are exercised orally and in writing, the results will surely be of the most satisfactory character. FI. R. R.
IF I would endow my son or my daughter with but one supreme gift, should that be riches Nay, riches will take wings and fly away. Should it be power? Power too often corrupts and enslaves its possessor. Should it be beauty of person or grace of manner? These are things which perish with the years. Should it be intellect 7 This is good, but it is not the best. My one supreme gift, more precious than money or power, more enduring than beauty, more satisfying and serviceable than genius, would be a deep sense of duty, a love of it, a faith in it which would lead my child to give himself to it with joy and enthusiasm, and find in it an exceeding great reward, L.J. R.
ESTEEMED EDITORs:—The interesting contents of the last number of Friends' Intelligencer–Third mo, 14th–has prevented me from commencing this letter as soon as I should otherwise have done, for there seemed to be no stopping place until the end was reached. I have seldom taken up any paper that appeared to me so worthy of perusal. There is a liveliness amongst Friends at present, both intellectually and spiritually, which is refreshing and encour. aging. While we never have anything to boast of, it is well to recognize the good, as well as the evil, as we go through life. Our Quarterly Meeting was held in Baltimore on the 9th inst. The public meeting on First-day was large and satisfactory. No visiting ministers were in attendance, but those of our own Quarter exercised their several gifts, it is believed, to the edification of their hearers. Our clerk, Seneca P. Broomell, having been an invalid for nearly four months past, Joseph J. Janney was appointed clerk for the day, with Alban G. Thomas the assistant. In the Women's Meeting, Anna F. Matthews and Mary E. Moore were the clerks. No business of unusual importance claimed the attention of the meeting. The occasion was principally remarkable for the number of committees of the Yearly Meeting which met here at this time. The Sub-committee of the Representative Committee met with a committee of Baltimore Monthly Meeting to consider the subject of disposing of our meeting property on Lombard street, and securing a more eligible location, nearer central to our present membership, which is a mile or more to the northwest; besides, the business and other surroundings of the present house make it undesirable for meeting or school purposes. This is a change of much impor. tance to our people; and, although it is desirable that it should be made soon, it seems likely to require considerable time to accomplish it. The Committee on Philanthropic Work had an interesting meeting, and will issues an address, or circular letter, with a view to obtaining uniformity of work in certain lines. The Committee to visit Subordinate Meetings had a satisfactory conference for the purpose of considering how best to promote the further prosecution of their labors. The Executive Committee on Indian Affairs had some important business before them, but it is hardly in readiness to be fully reported yet. The Committee on Education met, and, among other things, considered the subject of increasing the accommodations for Friends’ School in Washington, D. C. It appears that the school has prospered under the management of Thomas W. Sidwell as Principal, until now before the close of the second year, all available space is occupied, and it is very desirable to have more. I believe the subject was referred to a sub-committee to co-operate with Alexandria Monthly Meeting. And, finally, the Committee on Temperance held a large meeting on Second-day evening. Some opening remarks were made by Jonathan K. Taylor.
The meeting was then addressed at length by our friend, Aaron M. Powell, of New York. He dwelt upon the appalling magnitude of the liquor traffic, the drinking customs of the people, and the difficulties met with in combatting them. The importance of denominational work was set forth as being more likely to bring about satisfactory and permanent results than to depend upon partisan political methods. If the various religious organizations in this country can become united on this subject—which it seems reasonable they should do at no very distant day—the result would be such a public sentiment as would compel the suppression of the liquor traffic by constitutional amendments and legal enactments under them. No sudden and thorough revolution in regard to this question need be looked for; but patient, persevering effort will undoubtedly be crowned with success in the end. Benjamin H. Miller, Alice C. Robinson, William T. Holcomb and others made appropriate remarks, and the meeting had a strengthening and encouraging effect, more especially as the outlook for the Temperance cause has not been very satisfactory for some months past. The meeting of these several committees here at this time brought a number of Friends together from different parts of the Yearly Meeting, and added very much to the interest of the Quarterly Meeting. E. B. Baltimore, Third mo. 15th, 1885.
I wish the young folks would express themselves on paper to you. It would make them think and commit themselves, and the responsibility would be good for them. You need not publish all, of course, but it might give us a new “point of view.” I was so pleased with Hugh Foulkes' article on Ethical Teaching. I wish people who knew something definitely about things could be called out more in that way. He has evidently had experience. I never read Telemachus, but would suppose there were many things in Fenelon's writings that might be arranged for use in our schools, and in the junior classes too. The prince whom he taught, and over whom he had such remarkable influence, was young. The German educators in morals, too, a number of them, even before Froebel and Fichte, have left a wealth of material, largely ethical, that would be invaluable.
How I should love to have a hand in the Teachers' Library I should hail that with joy if I were a teacher. H. F. speaks of the danger of entering into metaphysics, or the tendency towards it. I would have a simple manual for use in the primary schools; another, more advanced, for the grammar, etc. But, if a teacher, and had access to a good library, I would prepare one for myself. I would endeavor to illustrate a truth, and then fix it in the children's memories. A proverb or motto, persistently inculcated, becomes incorporated in the child’s mental and moral make-up, and part of his character. Of course, there is but One who can give grace, but nurture, the parent and teacher can give. What is industriously cultivated generally grows. Example and private counsel must also go with this, but these are not always sufficient. H. A. P.