Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Of the marriage, first go the young maidens, next she whom We Vaunt, As the beauty, the pride of our dwelling. And then the great march When man runs to man to assist him and buttress an arch Naught can break; who shall harm them, our friends? Then the chorus intoned As the Levites go up to the altar in glory enthroned.” The triumphant joy, the glow of sympathy, the melodious bird songs of David's harp have indeed power to remove for a time the controlling gloom of the broken-hearted King. His heart glows with love for the minstrel youth, and he demands that David shall come into the royal household—one long step toward the throne. Then comes a new outburst of Philistine war. Opposing armies stand undecided upon the mountains that border the vale of Elah, and from the Philistine host steps out the giant champion and defies the army of Israel to send forth one to meet him. All stand appalled at the menace for Israel had no such chieftain to oppose Goliah—“he of the shining armor.” He was one of the last of the Anakim, an ancient gigantic race which Israel had once conquered and round whom hung superstitious terror. None in Israel could bear such armor or wield such weapons as he. But even in the midst of his defiance, David comes into the camp with food for his brothers. The indignation and zeal of the great-hearted youth are sufficient to inspire him to a deed of heroic daring. He will answer the challenge without armor or shield and without a warlike weapon. He remembers the terror and wrongs of his people,_this huge Anakim has been as the scourge of his nation—he knows of warriors blinded, chained, and driven to the most ignoble toil in the prisons—he knows of mothers and maidens of Israel torn from their mountain shelters, degraded and enslaved, and forced to menial service—and he the anointed child, entreats to be permitted to go forth in the strength of Jehovah with only the weapons which nature furnishes to the shepherd who must guard his flock from the wild beast. The smooth stone from the bed of the mountain torrent, the sling of the guardian of the sheep-fold, and the staff, are all the arms of which he knows the use; but already has he been able to rescue the lambs of his flock from the lion and the bear, and then to slay the ravagers, and he is instinct with a holy zeal to go forth in the might of Jehovah against this representative of the host of the cruel Philistine. We know the story which comes down to us from the antique time; how the “smooth stone’’ whizzes through the air, and smites the giant upon the forehead with crushing force, and he falls slain. Rescue for Israel—dismay for the Philistine tyrants—the beautiful youth who came pure-hearted, clean-handed into the camp, who came only on an errand of mercy, has done the deed, from which the mightiest warriors shrank. We love to believe that no thought of reward had stained the lustre of the deed. Applause rings in his ears, his King holds him as one of his close attendants. The princely Jonathan turns to him with the noble enthusiasm of a generous love, and the daughters of Israel chaunt his praises. What won

der that the clouded soul of the King is stirred with a fury of jealousy. But he will ensnare the stripling by the promise of a royal marriage, on condition, that the King deems so difficult as to insure his fall at the hands of the Philistines. He doubts not David's daring courage. He is able to do the deed the King requires, and the daughter of Saul gives her heart to David with her hand in marriage. But as David by faithfulness and divine favor, rises from step to step in the honor and love of Israel, a bitter jealousy possesses thesoul of the King. Not so the chivalrous and tender Jonathan ; taking off his own war-cloak, he clasps it round David with his own costly girdle, and proposes a covenant of abiding friendship between them, and between their children forever. The lute and the shepherd's staff are laid aside for mightier weapons, which became in his hands beneficent, and were not borne in vainBut the love which is won by David is counterbalanced by the hatred born of the King's jealousy of this darling of the people; and this hatred grew into a sort of madness. But the noble Jonathan loved him as his own soul, and sheltered him from murder. Michal too shielded him by woman's stratagem. David flees away to the School of the Prophets at Ramah, where still lives the aged Samuel, with whom he hoped was sanctuary. And so it proved, for none of Saul's messengers could overcome the awe with which the venerable and authoritative Seer ever inspired them. Even Saul could not do violence here, but was so intoxicated with the presence and the religious fervor of the disciples and their great instructor, that he madly cast off his mantle and joined in the choir “like a modern dervish,” till he fell down insensible. Jonathan's generous love overcomes the inevitable dread of David's rivalry of the King, as the result of the cruelty and injustice of Saul; and in terms of love which were more than brotherly, he parts from his friend after renewing their solemn covenant of personal friendship, whatever fortunes might betide. David must flee from Saul’s dominions for neither prophet or priest can protect him. But the strength of the hills was his, and in his hardy young manhood, he might abide in caves and dens of the earth. The wild, impetuous Saul may visit, his insane vengeance on the aged parents of David, and they find their way to the wilderness refuge of their darling. The people who love him and are willing to cleave to him in his day of trial, gather round him in his rock fastness, and his kinsmen come too—for such was the natural eminence of the character of this hope of Israel, that it attracted to him a band of defenders and loving friends, even in his deepest adversity. - It is judged that the VIth,VIIth and XIth Psalms are the outpouring of David's heart in these days of outlawry and suffering. The VIth is a plea for mercy and compassion in trouble, in the fear that he had unconsciously incurred the just wrath of Jehowah. He dreaded lest he might be drawing near to his grave; he was weary with his groaning; he watered his rude couch with his tears; his mental sorrows had prostrated his body. But as he lies on the bed of languishing, the assurance comes of the Divine protection and love, and the cry for mercy is turned into a psalm of triumphant joy and thanksgiving. In the VIIth he again breaks forth in a despairing cry for deliverance. He is conscious of the loving and faithful service he had rendered, and would gladly yet render to Saul, his anointed king ; he knows that he has spared him from death when he was in his power, and in his feeling of good desert he throws himself upon divine justice and mercy : “Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to mine integrity.” David's religious sensibility had as yet never been blunted by conscious sin, and he could declare in his pure-heartedness that his shield was God, who would save the upright, and he could predict that woe would be not upon him, but upon those who were seeking his death. In the XIth we find the language of joyous trust in Jehovah : “How say you to my soul, flee as a bird to your mountain 7" His whole soul had been convinced of the power and will of the Highest to shield and save him, and so long as he could feel certain of his integrity he did not fear. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness. The wicked have everything to fear; the righteous nothing. The one, is never safe; the other always. The one will be delivered out of all his troubles; the end of the other can be only ruin. Had this time of suffering, want, danger and trial never occurred to the Sweet Singer of Israel, we might never have had these songs of assurance and joy in righteousness. Six hundred of the youth of Israel are soon gathered around the hunted outlaw, and were he not restrained by a sense of religious obligation from making war upon the anointed of Jehovah, here was the nucleus of an army. Never did it appear to him legitimate to plunder his brethren of the house of Israel. He earnestly seeks divine guidance at the time of painful anxiety. “Hide not thy face from me: cast not thy servant away in anger | Thou hast been my help, leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.” Such are the recorded words of his supplicating cry to the Lord Jehovah, as marching southward round the lower end of the Dead Sea he enters the land of Moab, whence came his ancestress Ruth. Having reached the capital city, Kir Moab, he is believed to have left his aged parents under the protection of the king. Then seeking reverently to know the mind and wisdom of the Highest, he pauses in safety for a little season : “Show me, O Jehovah, thy way, and lead me in a smooth path, because of mine enemies.” The monitions of his friend and counsellor, Gad, are evidently only supplementary to his own convictions, for he returns to his own land where he takes refuge at Hareth near Hebron. He hears of the wretched tyranny of King Saul, who has visited with his vengeance the whole priestly race as well as the prophetic order for harboring and protecting him (David) in his extremity, Doeg, the Edomite, is the tale-bearer, and becomes the executioner of Saul's most cruel vengeance, True, indeed, was it that he, the once anointed, was now the rejected of Jehovah. The son of the High Priest Abimelech, Abiathar, escaped the slaughter and fled to David with the

dreadful news. The grief and wrath of David are believed to have found utterance in the LII Psalm — a noble outburst of indignation against the tyrant —“God shall likewise destroy thee forever: he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwellingplace, and root thee out of the land of the living.” We may imagine the grief of the chivalrous Jonathan while his father was filling up the cup of the divine wrath. He visits David in his camp to warn him of an approach of a hostile force to capture him, and the wanderer must again flee to the deserts. He must know again and again what it is to be hunted like a partridge from hill to hill with only a step between him and death. But this period must have had high value for him as a discipline to fit him for the work that lay before him. All the resources of his mind were called out, and his soul, being thrown so entirely on the divine power for “his high crag,” “his strength,” “his deliverer,” “his shield,” must have quickened his religious sense. The fearful wilderness of Judah heard his pathetic cry: “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee; my flesh longeth for thee, in a dry and thirsty land where no water is.” This ejaculation of David well describes the desolation of the wilderness in which he was a hunted exile. At length he finds refuge in the Wilderness of En-gedi, where he hides with his men in caverns and dens. Saul follows him even to this wild desolation on the heights overlooking the Dead Sea; and here David has an easy opportunity to destroy him, but tenderly forbears to touch the Lord's anointed. But the days approach when both Saul and the noble Jonathan lay dead with the flower of the host of Israel upon Gilboa. The Philistines had prevailed against them in battle, and a great defeat prepared the way for a great deliverance. He had taken refuge with his band in the Philistines' country; but now the days of his exile are ended. His lament over Saul and Jonathan, contained in the first chapter of the second book of Samuel, is matchless in its pathos, and is matchless, too, as showing the noble loyalty and consistency of the hero who was to succeed them in the leadership and the rule of Israel. He cries: “O Jonathan, thou wast slain on thy high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan ; very pleasant hast thou been unto me, thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” The city of Hebron, rich in sacred memories, opens loyally its gates to David and his band, and in this spot commences the reign of the Shepherd King, the Royal Psalmist, the Beloved, the Sweet Singer of Israel, the joy and pride of the true Hebrews through all the long generations of their existence. S. R. Q THE peasants of Palestine carry provisions in a leathern bag which hangs from their shoulders—the “scrip” of the New Testament. It is the same shepherd's bag in which the young David put the “five smooth stones out of the brook.” All shepherds have a jarab, as it is called, and it is the farmer's universal vade-mecum. They are made of the skins of kids stripped off whole, and tanned.

For Friends’ Intelligencer.

THE MINISTRY.

In the revival of interest that is at present showing itself in our religious Society, there are many thoughts that arise; and many suggestions may be presented in order to strengthen that interest and effect the desired end. There is one subject that seems to me to demand as much thought and as much attention as any other, and that is the subject upon which my article is based—the ministry. Necessity demands that we shall have a pure, living, spiritual ministry, or all the efforts we can bring to bear to build up our Society will prove ineffectual. It was, no doubt, the powerful ministry of George Fox and his early adherents that brought so many people of that day to see things in their true light, convincing, and bringing before the world as advo: cates of the “Inner Light,” many of the best and most influential minds in England and elsewhere; who, being strengthened by the Inner Life, were made willing to sacrifice their earthly comforts for the sake of the gospel. Men and women were alike called into the service, and were willing to suffer persecution for the testimony they bore before the eople. And as their numbers increased many were called into the ministry; not the aged only, but those that were young in years, as well; and of the latter class many were instrumental in bringing to the fold of Christ, honest, seeking souls. Yet, at this early day, it seems there was a necessity felt to have a care over the ministry and a frequent mingling together for mutual benefit. And from this concern a meeting for ministers was instituted to which, in later years, when more disciplinary formula had found its way into the Society, were added those denominated elders; thus constituting a meeting of ministers and elders. This body was to have a care over the ministry, and labor for the promotion of truth and right eousness Can we fail to see the wisdom of our fathers in this? Order is God's first law. When we reflect that those that were gathered to the Society of Friends at that period of our history, were gathered from the various denominations of professing Christians, and were no doubt differently educated, but through the efficacy of the living ministry of those devoted servants of God, were brought to see this, to them, new light, and were made willing instruments to proclaim this great truth, that the way of salvation is open to all men. Then, as we might infer, those young in the ministry needed help ; hence the necessity for nursing fathers and mothers in order to strengthen the weak and hold up the hands of them that were ready to hang down, to enable them to go forward unto the strengthening of the church. These reflections have strengthened with me in the remembrance of some (perhaps I might say many) who having started out in the ministry, and run well for a season, eventually became discouraged, dwindled, and their light ceased to show itself. Is there not a place here for inquiry into the cause? Have the fathers and mothers in the church been as faithful as they should have been to look after such and aid them with the needed en

couragement? We know something of the effort it takes, and can therefore sympathize with others who are placed in the same situation. In view of the testimony frequently left upon record for the benefit of those that are to come after, it is made clear to the understanding that the struggle is sometimes so hard that it requires all to be given up that would lead the mind away from a dependence upon the Divine Father, t The Apostle Paul, as we read, accounted not his life dear to himself, but rather that he might finish the work given him by his Heavenly Father. When Abraham was required to offer his son Isaac a sacrifice upon the altar, it is written, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. He believed that God had spoken to him and he felt it to be his duty to obey. He was to repair to the mountain, and notwithstanding it was a long way off, when he came to the place he knew it. How beautiful and how suggestive the figure. When Abraham had surrendered all up, to do the will of his Heavenly Father, the offering was prepared for him that was acceptable, and all that was required of him was to offer it. To me there is great instruction in this. God will prepare the offerings for His faithful ones, and He will dispense of His blessings upon them, when offered in the true faith. Yet, in the weakness of the flesh, discouragements will come, in a greater or less degree, to all. These are times when the strong might assist in bearing the burdens of the weak, and ofttimes a little social intercourse might give direction to a mind thus depressed. I have queried whether ministers and elders are fulfilling their functions in this part of the work. There is a great work to be accomplished if we exist as a distinct Society; and every plant that is of the Heavenly Father's planting should be nourished until it bring forth much fruit. Draw the young hearts into a feeling sense of their duty to their Creator, and no doubt they will be moved to speak of his goodness, and there will be raised up judges and counsellors as in former times. The wilderness blossom as the rose, and the fields will yield their their fruit in due season. Reference is frequently made to our silent meetings, and that our young people cannot realize the good there is in thus meeting together and spending an hour in silent meditation. To the unconcerned this is undoubtedly true, but young hearts are not dull of understanding, and may soon learn that an early sacrifice is well pleasing unto the Lord, and to be mindful of the injunction of George Fox, when he said, “Friends, hold all your meetings in the power of God,” methinks there would be a renewing of spiritual feeling that would overcome all restlessness, and we should witness a breaking forth in praise of his goodness. We read that many are called, but few are chosen. What a thought comes in here for our earnest reflection. Not chosen because of unfaithfulness. God speaks to His people as He ever did, by impression, in gentle tones to the spiritual ear, and if all were faithful and utilized the moments as they pass, the cloud that has hung over the tent door so long would be lifted up, and we would be permitted to journey forward, not in weakness but in strength ;

and others, seeing our good works, would glorify our Father in Heaven. JOSEPH M. SPENCER. West Branch, Pa., Third mo. 12th, 1885.

EDUCATION AL. Z00L00Y.

Read at the Educational Conference, held at Race Street, Meeting-house, Philadelphia, Second month 28th, 1885.

What place should Natural History have in our schools? When the cold winds of winter have forced the flowers to hide their heads under snow blankets, and the study of practical botany in our schools must be dropped until the spring term, when the same stern master bids the geologist beware of falls from icy rocks for his enthusiastic and inquiring class, then the teacher of zoology, who has been busy in the summer, finds his shelves filled with an embarrassment of riches. It is from this standpoint, the ease of obtaining objects for illustration all the year round, that I would put in a kindly word for zoology in a course of natural history in our schools. Doubtless, in the long run, the sort of mental training given by the sister sciences is the same; the like habits of observation, comparison and reasoning are formed, and, in searching through any channel for a glimpse at nature's grand, stili face, we reach at last a veil which no man may brush aside, hiding the unknowable, thus calling forth involuntary wonder and reverence. To see that it is possible, even in winter, to have plenty of illustrations in your zoology class, step with me into the nearest market. Here are all the four classes of the Vertebrata represented : mammals, as rabbits, opossums and squirrels; plenty of birds; reptiles, in the person of sundry small turtles, and fish in abundance. In the fish market are heaps of crabs, lobsters and shrimps to illustrate Arthropoda, and mollusks are represented by oysters and clams, and in Fulton Market, New York, occasionally, by squids. Thus a common market-house is full of such illustrations as may be brought into class, and where this fails, and man's desire to eat draws back abashed at the lower animals, yet you can do much. To finish the representative molluscan classes, turn to the live snail which you have been keeping in the fern-case all winter for this purpose. Rouse him from his long sleep by a dash of water, and persuade him forth by warmth; he then creeps over the table, and shows his curious body and silvery footprints to wondering eyes. Take the shells which ornament the parlor mantelpiece; they will set all admiring the beauty of these humble creatures in the tropics. For insects, drop into warm water those sixty-five grasshoppers you collected in the early summer mornings, when the dew upon the grass clogged their swift wings and made their capture possible. They will become flexible, and serve nearly as well as fresh ones. For worms, an earthworm from the flowerpot will do as a type, and sea-worms may often be found upon oyster-shells. The branch Echinodermata, represented by stars

and urchins, is not to be had unless you possess dried specimens, which is most likely the case. The beautiful group of the Coelenterates is difficult to illustrate—beings so delicate and diaphanous, rivalling tropical flowers in their wondrous forms and tender, ever-changing colors, and, like flowers, impossible to keep. In alcohol, they shrink to indistinguishable, brown lumps, and leave us nothing of their beauty but a despairing memory. Yet these creatures, of all, we most desire to show, for young folks always remember and love the beautiful. Take, then, the coral from the parlor to show the result of the life and death of its tiny builders; bring out the shriveled, brown specimens in alcohol, and once more long to have the children with you when, in the summers, you dip into the rock pools by the sea, and peer admiringly into the mysteries of the “dim water world.” But, as all teachers know, many models have been made, of the same size and color as these animals, to supply this deficiency. The French models of Auzoux, much enlarged, with all organs removable, are admirable. A short time ago, in a visit to a prominent Friends' school, near West Chester, we were delighted to see many of these fine models in the collection. However desirable these may be, it is gratifying to know that the Germans make glass models which are excellent, though in a different way, and quite cheap. These are supplied by Prof. Ward, of Rochester, N. Y. Sponges may be had at the corner drug store; had you fresh ones, you could do little better, and the Protozoa are swarming in microscopic thousands in jars that may be kept upon the window-sill all the winter. Surely, there is no need of teaching this chapter of nature's history from books, merely. But in a short year's course, with but two lessons a week, we must be content to take types, to pass by many forms most seductive—must take an ignoble earthworm for the branch Vermes, and may not show to the eager eyes the waving sea-worms, with their crowns of ruby tentacles, or glistening with rainbows; but let us, at least, tell of them ; let us inspire a desire to know, and a curiosity to see, the beauty now invisible, a respect for the many parts of the subject that we may not now grasp. Even if a text-book be used by the class, the pupil will probably have to supplement it deficiencies by keeping a note-book. If this is done, may I ask your opinion of the child drawing the objects studied, to be sure he sees them, and being held responsible to reproduce the simpler drawings? No one can draw an object and be ignorant of its appearance, yet he may describe it in words and have but vague ideas. Oh, if one could but have each pupil draw from the object before him But a scanty supply of minutes and specimense forbids; therefore, as the next best thing, let him copy rough sketches placed by you upon the board in the presence of the class. Thus an indirect benefit is also gained in a practical use made of the drawing lesson, and we have linked studies to the good of all. With children who know something of physiology, or even those ignorant of it, the human body may be made a constant standard of comparison. Let us not stop when we have taught the child the position

of this organ, the use of that vessel. I plead for zoology, not for its facts, but as broadening the mind. When you say “lung,” let him think of his own perfect organs, the gills of the fish, of the mollusk, the feathery plumes of the crustacean, and the tracheae of insects. “Heart” may mean to him, not only his own four-chambered, never-resting blood-pump, nor the hurrying organ of the active birds, but also the sluggish heart of the mollusk, sending white blood over a clammy body, the long pulsating tube of insects, or that most wondrous heart of all, of the ascidian. Here several animals are seated upon a common stem, the circulating fluid flowing from one into its neighbor; and one may see, under the microscope, the heart, which has been sending the blood to the right, beat more slowly, hesitate, stop and reverse its beating, sending the current to the left, or directly in an opposite direction from that in which it first flowed. Thus the child is led to see nature's marvellous many-sidedness, and the infinite richness of the means used by her to attain a certain end. Children love to compare objects and processes, it is natural and healthful. Let them do so. Agassiz says: “I have devoted my whole life to the study of nature, and yet a single sentence may express all that I have done. I have shown that there is a correspondence between the succession of fishes in geologic times and the different stages of their growth in the egg, this is all. It chanced to be a result that was found to apply to other groups, and has led to other conclusions of a like nature. But, such as it is, it has been reached by this system of comparison.” To make science loved by the masses, to popularize it, it has been said is no humble work. Therefore should we welcome an institution like the Agassiz Association, which is rousing thousands of young folks all over the world and placing them in communication with naturalists who can and will answer their questions. Our Academy of Natural Sciences, recognizing this need among students, has formed of some of its members and professors a bureau of scientific information. A student desiring help on a scientific subject by addressing his question by letter to this institution, will have it referred to the professor best able to answer it. Of course, other things being equal, the school best equipped with specimens and apparatus does the best work. The microscope is indispensable; children have no idea, how should they, of the exquisite finish nature puts on her work, far surpassing the meagre limits of our vision. The child who has seen the painted scales on a butterfly's wing, each one in position will hesitate long before grasping such an insect roughly, and thoughtlessly mutilating it. We cannot begin too soon to fêach him respect for the life of all creatures, of the humblest creature, truly,

[blocks in formation]

in the bodies of himself and the animals? He makes the pump, and sometimes four chambers like his own heart, levers like his muscles, the saw like the ovipositors of the insect and the file and pulley like the tongue of the snail. It has been said that we are in danger, in science teaching, of laying too much stress upon an accumulation of facts, as mere single items, without a farther bearing upon principles; as a relief from these allude to the myths, the many strange mistakes and fictions which have gathered round certain animals. I have never found that children confound these with the truth. Tell them that the Venus' flowerbasket, the glass sponge, was formerly considered a delicate piece of Chinese ivory carving, tell the fable connected with the bird of Paradise, and why its specific name is apoda, and in studying the cephalopoda, let them read Holmes “Chambered Nautillus.” Science is not, ought not to be dusty and prosaic. The habit of close observation seeks to express itself in accurate language. Accurate expressions, used in the Zoology class, may be encouraged as a habit. Is it too much to expect that nature study will lead to the elimination of the exaggerated use of adjectives and other nonsensical expressions known as “school-girl talk?” After all, the best plea for zoology is that it adds so much to the enjoyment of every day. And that this may be true, let us always teach of ordinary things before we ransack the climes for rare ones. A chicken is more interesting to young America than an apteryx, and the more common things he knows about the better off is he. Healthy children should like zoology, for it brings them into communication with life, actual animal life and motion, for which they have so keen an appreciation. For this reason it is adapted to quite young minds, while perhaps botany, and certainly geology comes later. The three are inter-dependent, as, in fact are all views of nature, but links in one great chain. To study fossils, “the landmarks of geology,” a knowledge of both botany and zoology is required, while modern discoveries have shown how closely dependent on one another are the worlds of the plant and the insect. Happy the child with a love for the common sciences ! A thousandfold are his riches increased, joy and interest surround him on every side, and he has friends who will never desert him, whom no poverty, misfortune nor ill-health can estrange. We cannot make naturalists of our boys and girls, and would not if we could. Nature will attend to that and choose her own elect. But we can inspire them with a love for our grand old mother, a delight in her teaching, a curiosity to know more and a reverence for the unknowable.

E. G. H.

A GOOD old woman, once heard the people returning from church complain that parts of the sermon were not to their liking. “When you peel an apple,” said she, you cut out a rotten spot and throw it away; “you don’t keep to put in a sauce and set before your friends. Why can’t you keep the good parts of the sermon to talk about.”—Selected.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »