Изображения страниц

These were all engaged in persistent advocacy of their claims, with a fervor born of a belief that all others were fundamentally wrong, and must be converted to the truth. The Bible was the great standard. The King James version had now permeated every corner of England, and men were trying every opinion by the meaning, obvious to them, of Scripture passages. One text for their purpose was as good as another, Leviticus as obligatory as John, and all were infallible and of universal application, while the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation opened up indefinite opportunities for speculation. Into this mass of religious discussion came, in 1648, a new teaching, largely eclectic in its composition, though probably not in its origin, but making such fresh combinations of doctrinal ideas as to produce a result in strong contrast in one or more respects with every religious creed in existence. George Fox was born 24 years before this, of poor but respectable parents, his father being called “ righteous Christer,” and his mother being “ of the stock of the martyrs.” He was an innocent and thoughtful boy and young man, with a soul longing for peace with God and a knowledge of His will which he sought in vain among the neighboring clergy of the various denominations. He was a great Bible reader, and as a shepherd and shoemaker meditated much about divine things. But the ministers he found “miserable comforters, and I saw they were all as nothing to me; for they could not reach to my condition.” His Bible did not seem to give him the desired clue, and all was uncertainty and perplexity till, “as I had forsaken the priests, so I left the separate preachers also, and those called the most experienced people; for I saw that there was none among them all that could speak to my condition. When all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to do, then, O, then, I heard a voice which said: ‘There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.’ And when I heard it my heart did beat for joy. * * * Though I read the Scriptures that spoke of Christ and of God, yet I knew Him not but by revelation, as He who hath the key did open and as the Father of life drew me to His Son by His Spirit. Then the Lord gently led me along and let me see His love, which was endless and eternal, surpassing all the knowledge that men have in the natural state or can get by history or books.” This direct revelation, as he believed it to be, was followed by other “openings,”

which gradually cleared up his mind to his own sat- |

isfaction, guided him in his daily actions and preachings, and supplied him with the body of doctrine on which Quakerism was built. With intense vigor and 11ndaunted courage he began the delivery of his message. It was hard for the English world to hear it, and yet it was pressed upon them in the “steeple houses,” the streets, the fields and the dwelling places of rich and poor, learned and ignorant, clergy and laity. To all it was the same— there was no doubt or question about it, all must hear

[blocks in formation]

enjoining them the Friends replied that they were relics of Jewish customs, permitted for a time, but nowhere made perpetually incumbent. It was “opened ” to George Fox “that being bred at Oxford and Cambridge was not enough to fit or qualify men to be ministers of Christ.” They used educated men and encouraged education. Thomas Elwood accepted his post as secretary for John Milton, so that he could have his master's aid in the study of Latin. “ Nor was I rightly sensible of my loss therein,” he says, “until I came among the Quakers. But there I both saw my loss and lamented it and applied myself with utmost diligence at all leisure times to receive it; so false I found that charge to be which in those times was counted as a reproach upon the Quakers that they depised and decried all human learning because they denied it to be essentially necessary to a Gospel ministry; which was one of the controversies of those times.” . But inasmuch as Divine unction was necessary and education only a subordinate aid, the illiterate preacher with a message was ever exalted above the man with merely human learning and eloquence. The homage was pâid to the message and the intellectual or social quality or sex of the instrument whom God had chosen to deliver it was of no consequence. A spiritual democracy, which easily became a social and

lightened people.

political democracy, in which men and women were measured solely by the value and validity of their “gifts,” was thus established.



GoLDEN TEXT.—If the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh ; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.— Heb. 9 : I 3, 14.

Scripture Reading : Hebrews 9 : 1–14.


The books of Leviticus and Numbers have many chapters devoted to a description of the character, manner of preparation, and method of offering sacrifices, or oblations unto the Lord. There were several kinds of sacrifices, some of them of animals, some of fruits. The most important was the burnt offering, which was made night and morning of each day. This was sometimes termed the whole offering, because almost the whole of the animal (generally a lamb) was consumed upon the altar. The thought in the mind of the sacrificer was that God had need of food just as do human beings, and the burnt offering was a gift of food by the worshipper to God. The savory odor of the consumed feast was supposed to rise to heaven, as illustrated in Genesis 8: 2O, where it is said, Noah, after the subsidence of the flood, of fered, burnt offerings on the altar, “and the Lord smelled the sweet savor.” The burnt offering service to the Lord, continued, however, after many of the most enlightened Hebrews had developed spiritually beyond the material conception that God eats food as human beings do, after the Psalmist, speaking in the name of the Lord, declared, “If I were hungry would I not tell thee P Offer unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving.” &

Another form of sacrifice was what was known as a thank offering, which was thought to be a meal which the Lord and the person offering the sacrifice would partake together. This was therefore not wholly consumed on the altar. The offerer of this

sacrifice could furnish any animal not forbidden by the

Law, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle. The blood and the fat were burned by the priest on the altar, the breast and the right shoulder were retained by the priest, and the rest of the animal was returned to the person offering the sacrifice, for himself and his family to eat. The mode of killing the animal and manner of presenting it that had to be observed as a religious rite, seem very strange in this age among enThe purpose of the thank offering was only partly to return thanks, being often in large part for the purpose of gaining favors from the Lord.

There was also a sin or guilt offering for the securing of God's pardon of a person who had committed any offence against the Law. This was the offer of a goat or a calf, which the offender brought to the door of the tabernacle, putting his hand upon the head, confessing his sin, asking pardon, and there

killed, the blood sprinkled upon the altar; the whole body except the fat, which was offered to the Lord, was burnt outside. In all the sacrifices there was no idea of a reformation of human character ; it was for the most part the thought of the purchase of a pardon by the offer of gifts to the Lord. The observant reader of the Bible, however, will not fail to see evidences of the growth of a more spiritual conception of religion in the minds of some of the Hebrew people. Custom and tradition, indeed, held the conscience of the Jew in a rigid thralldom that interfered greatly with the natural growth of his religious character. The influence of “the weak and beggarly elements,” as Paul called the sacrifices, lasted through the centuries down to the time of Jesus, yet among the most enlightened thinkers the idea of the true sacrifice became more and more pure. How different is the view of Isaiah and Micah on this matter, from that of the author of Leviticus. “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord,” says the prophet Micah, “ and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old P Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or ten thousands of rivers of oil P . . . He hath showed thee, O man, what is good : and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” When, nearly eight hundred years later, Jesus began his ministry, the temple service at Jerusalem still included the daily sacrifice, and Luke tells us that when Jesus was of the proper age his parents took him to Jerusalem to offer up the customary sacrifice, a” pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” The Scribes, who taught in the synagogues, made little account of the temple services, but gave more heed to the moral teaching of the law, and religion of the Psalms, which they daily read and expounded. Jesus himself referred to the superiority of the moral law over the ordinances of the Temple, in the Sermon on the Mount, particularly in Matthew 5: 23, 24, “If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” The writer of Hebrews 9 : 13, 14, in our Golden Text uses the character of Christ as a general symbol of sacrifice, and urges his hearers to discontinue the outward sacrificial practice, which he calls dead works, from which, having cleansed their conscience, they should learn to serve the living God.

[ocr errors]


There is danger always of religious observances becoming formal. All forms of worship are liable in time to become dead forms. Church ordinances, intended to be but outward representations of an in

ternal emotion, or spiritual exercise, with many are

believed in themselves to be modes of worship. The killing of animals, and the offering of their blood upon the altar as a sacred rite of divine worship, so long maintained by the Jews was not perpetuated by the Christians, but the idea of sharing a meal with God, implied in the sacrifice, was included in the Christian

[ocr errors]

ceremony of Communion, in which the offering of the bread and wine was made to propitiate the favor of God. Time has modified the idea into a more purely spiritual one, in which the ceremony is believed by the observer to be merely a type of the real communion of the human and the Divine Spirit, but the form is a relic of a lesser spiritual rite of the past, which Friends believe should be, and by them has been abandoned. In the silent hour of worship there is open for all who put themselves under the power of the Spirit the privilege of direct communion with God, just as on the plains and among the hills of Palestine, centuries ago, the prophet communed with Him, gaining power thus to discern the Right and proclaim the Truth. SCRIPTURE STUDY AT RACE STREET. SYLLABUS FOR FIRST MONTH 9. Conference Class of Race Street First-day School, Philadelphia. Subject for consideration First month 9 : A Study of David and Solomon. Presented by Isaac H. Clothier. Scriptural Sources : I. Samuel 16: 31 ; II. Samuel I : 24; I. Kings I : I I ; I. Chron. Io : 29 ; II. Chron. I : 9 ; Book of Psalms; Book of Proverbs ; Song of Solomon ; EcclesiaSteS. Topics for study : 1. Wherein did David differ from every other sovereign of ancient or modern history P 2. What was the essential difference between him and Saul ? 3. What comparison could be drawn between him and his son Solomon P 4. What is the especial lesson to be drawn from the life of Solomon P - - * REFERENCES : Encyclopaedia Britannica; Smith's Dictionary of the Bible ; The Life of David MacLaren ; Kingsley's Sermons on David ; The First Three Kings of Israel–Tuck.


The purchase of the oxen for the distressed Armenians in the Van district has been repeatedly referred to in the INTELLIGENCER. The following interesting report, printed in The Friend, London, of Twelfth month Io, is up to a date in the autumn not stated.

IN my last report, at the end of July, I wrote that after distributing personally the 352 oxen brought from Persia, I had begun the further purchase of cattle here in Van, and that the number in hand was 204. Since then we have been purchasing and distributing as fast as it has been possible to buy. To-morrow the last lot of thirty leave for Gargar, a remote mountain district which for the next seven months will be cut off from us by high snow-covered passes, and where a small group of villages are struggling for a miserable existence. When these oxen have reached their destination, the total number of oxen purchased and distributed will be 1,205. I have deferred giving the method and conditions on which these oxen have been given to the villages, lest in this land of uncertainties the experiment should result in failure. But I am glad to say that the plan adopted has proved entirely successful thus far, and has been accepted by the people as the best possible arrangement for them. In the first place, it is clearly understood that the oxen are simply loaned to the peasants by Captain Elliot, the British Consul, for so

long a season as he sees fit; that they are responsible I, II4 oxen to 126 villages and I3 monasteries, while

for any injury, other than acidental, done to the oxen:

and that in return for the use of each ox a chap (about 120 pounds in weight) of wheat is to be paid at the next harvest. If the condition of the country is fairly prosperous at that time we propose to sell these oxen to the people in the villages at one-half their value, or even less. In this way we hope to secure grain and money enough out of this same fund to care for the still remaining percentage of the population which during the following winter must subsist on charity. In addition to the practical value of this method, it will be seen at a glance that the pernicious effect of pauperizing the people is thus avoided. It is extremely difficult to give our Western friends any adequate conception of the poverty which prevails among the Christians of this province. It is not a matter of degrees, since all have lost everything, except that in many respects the condition of the large once-wealthy families is more deplorable than that of their poorer neighbors who have always felt the pinch of want. cattle, and his flocks. In the mountain districts where fields are scarce he derives a trifling revenue from burning charcoal and weaving cloth. The recent wave of destruction stripped him of everything ex

cept his bare fields, which, clearly enough, are quite

useless without seed, tools, or cattle. In returning from a trip the other day, I stopped at the house of a man who used to be the wealthiest man in the district, whose sheep were numbered by the thousand and cattle by the hundred, and who daily entertained a score or more of traveler guests at his house. A little barley bread was all he could provide for us. His three brothers were killed in the massacre, and we found him literally sick with despair. The evening before we arrived he had been obliged to entertain with several of his followers the very Koord who had murdered

his brothers and desolated his home.

It is not my object within the compass of this report to picture beyond the existing poverty the yet more terrible desolations of homes and villages left vacant by the ruthless murder of thousands of song and husbands, and the despairing mothers crooning over their naked and starving children. But let me ask, in the name of justice and humanity, How can writers on political subjects, as some have so recently done, seem to palliate the crime of such monstrous cruelty, and to justify, even in a measure, deeds which bring such terrible suffering on innocent women and children? Those of us living in the country now are perforce silent on these themes, lest we might appear

even to promote an agitation, which, under existing

circumstances, is not only useless, but criminal. Our policy is to make the best of it, and look for a final solution which will bring quiet and justice to an industrious, peace-loving, and, in the main, loyal people.

The Armenian populated portion of the province in which we have given out oxen has a radius of about 45 miles. The districts are known as Serai, Archag, Timar, Van, Khoshab, Haigatsor, Shahdagh, and Gargar; and in these eight districts we have given

The peasant here subsists on his fields, his

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the remaining 91 oxen have been apportioned to scattered families who stood in special need of them. We estimate that these cattle are bringing relief to 3,80C families or 22,OOO people; and as the amount spent is in round numbers £T.2,850, it will be seen that by this method of giving oxen an expenditure of 13 piastres (52 cents, or about 2 shillings) goes well toward supplying the necessary food for one individual for a year. Included in the above amount is a sum of 50 Turkish liras left in Hekiari, in charge of the Rev. Mr. Browne, for relief purposes among the mountain Nestorians, also Ioo liras used to purchase seed for the destitute region of Shahdagh. I have left about 600 liras, which must be used either to save people from starvation this winter, or to purchase oxen in the spring for some villages which have not been supplied. When this sum is expended I will send a complete financial statement covering the whole amount contributed by the Westminster Fund and the Friends’ Committee.

A word should be said here to save any misapprehension as to the actual need now existing and daily increasing as winter approaches. The oxen purchased provide amply against the possibility of a famine next year, but have contributed comparatively little toward the food supply for this winter. We have been hoping that the harvest this year would be sufficient to give the poor their share, but we can no long: er shut our eyes to the fact that the crops are about one-fourth the usual average crop. This fact stands alone, and needs no comment. Grain of all kinds is already beyond the reach of the poor, and they have none stored for the winter. If no help comes for them, many of them, especially the children, already pale and sickly, must die. A considerable sum of money, if now in hand, would prevent this. We shrink from soliciting further from those who have already done so much, but the stern facts force out this appeal. The poor people, reduced to the last verge of poverty, bereaved of loved ones, discouraged, haunted by the horrible scenes of the past, still cling to their wretched homes, and pray earnestly the some help may come. We feel sure that many who read this will at once respond, and do something to prevent the awful suffering of the coming months. Let it be remembered that those who need help are mostly utter. ly helpless women and children. In the meantime, these same people send their heartfelt gratitude to all those who have stood by them so constantly in their dire need.


ALL goes to show that the soul in man is not an organ, but animates and exercises all the organs; is not a function, like the power of memory, of calculation, of comparison, but uses these as hands and feet; is not a faculty, but a light ; is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the intellect and the will ; is the vast background of our being, in which they lie, an immensity not possessed and that cannot be possessed. From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.—Emerson.


| lar per's Bazar.

HE was wise who wrote : “ Half the sting of poverty or of small means is gone when one keeps house for one's own comfort, and not for the comment of one's neighbors.” Deny it as we will, few of us have the moral force to set up a standard of our own, based upon our own incomes and our own particular home environment. We commit the folly of regulating our expenses by the income of some one else. If the Browns across the street hang up expensive lace curtains, we are discontented until lace curtains have gone up to our windows no matter how much smaller our income may be than that of the Browns. If the Smiths put down a velvet carpet, our neat and pretty ingrain becomes an eyesore to us. We are extremely mindful of what our neighbors will think about many things that ought not to concern them in the least. We have no standards of our own. Our dress, and even our tables, must be regulated by the standards of others. We have not the courage nor the independence to be indifferent to the comment of our neighbors. This form of moral cowardice is causing many families to live beyond their incomes. They can face debt and forfeit their self-respect easier than they can face the unfavorable comment of their friends and neighbors. The extent to which this imitation of others is carried would be ludicrous did it not bring so much unhappiness in its train. It is frequently the direct 'cause of the discord and discontent and debt that have driven happiness from the family hearth-stone. Let us have a standard of our own, based upon our own tastes,

our own incomes, our own needs, and let us cheerfully

and bravely adhere to this standard, heedless of that dreadful bugbear, “What will the neighbors say?”

CURVES OR ANGLES.—Spiritual angularity, as well as physical, is unattractive. The curved line is the line of beauty in character as well as in anatomy. Angular piety is as little admired as a hatchet-face. He who makes you wince with the sharp corners of his censorious orthodoxy is no more winsome than he who does the same with his elbows. It would be more merciful, sometimes, to be knocked down by a paving-block than by a dogmatic blockhead. A person of ordinary sensitiveness would rather rasp his forehead against a square-cornered hemlock joist than lacerate his feelings in an uncharitable controversy. We have no right to do the work of the gentle and loving Jesus in the hammer-and-tongs fashion of the Devil. If that is “just our way,” still it is not justified. His way was the loving way. Curves, rather.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Friends’ Intelligencer and Journal.







A VALUED friend and long-time correspondent on the other side of the ocean, in a recent private letter, adds the following paragraph :

“We are told (I think I have seen in the INTELLIGENCER something of the sort), that the world is progressing. I ofttimes am led to doubt that fact, —not as regards intelligence in the abstract, but in the application of intelligent ideas. What about Militarism 2 What of the wider separation of classes, millionaires and paupers? What about the prevailing drunk

enness and wretchedness in the most civilized nations on

earth : What of the awful profligacy in high life, and the ever-increasing wretchedness in the centre of the greatest wealth in this country The increase of lunacy here is simply appalling ; the largest and most numerous public buildings are Reformatories, Lunatic Asylums, or Poor-Law Houses, and the most gorgeous and enticing are dram-shops and theatres. How can we say the world progresses 2 " . It is quite true, we fear, that no one who keeps informed of the world's conditions will hastily deny the implication suggested by our friend's questions, or affirm that the progress made and making has yet eliminated evil. Even those who find their own lives pleasant cannot avoid seeing, if they do not close their eyes, that the sum of human misery remains a vast and shocking aggregate. We have many times, in the year just closed, called attention to features of it, especially the desolation and distress caused by such wars and bloodshed as occurred in 1896 in Armenia, Cuba, the Philippine Islands, Greece, and Crete, and we are far from being unaware of the social and legal defects which exist among even the most civilized and most Christian nations, including our own. It would be too discouraging to permit the conclusion that the world has not made real progress, has except upon the most impressive and overwhelming evidence. And, without analysing the case in any degree of fulness, it must be said, we think, in the general, that the world has grown and is growing more humane, that the feeling of human brotherhood is stronger to-day than ever before, and that the world's public opinion in favor of what is just never had so much weight as now. The demonstration of this will be found in the pages of past history. If we think our day increasingly evil, it is essential to turn back and see what horrible oppression and cruelty was

[ocr errors]

not improved in its condition,- |

the rule in time gone by, -the rule so completely that there could not be said to be any spot on earth where human rights were safe, and where a peaceable being could live in peace. Contrasted with this, the present condition of the people either in the United States or in Great Britain and her greater Colonies is a marvel of peaceful happiness. In this country, it may be most emphatically said that the people do not realise the blessings they enjoy. But there is much of truth in the suggestions of our correspondent that we cannot pause or rest. The burden of evil, as we have said, is appalling. The course of our civilization has developed new troubles, or old troubles in a new form. These must be met and dealt with. • No doubt our correspondent will agree with us that the increase of intelligence, the development of scientific knowledge, has outrun the growth of noble The course of affairs has been too much The craze for wealth has done much to impair all higher motives. The wrong use of wealth has done much to discourage individual aspiration and effort. But these evils are perceived. Many earnest voices proclaim the need of removing them. It is one of the great encouragements that the Good is never left without its testimony-bearers. The word spoken in our friend's letter is evidence of this.

character. material, too little spiritual.

THE article on “Hugh Wynne,” in last week's issue contains, as printed, one or two typographic errors that need correction. On page 3, first column, 21st line from the top, the word not is omitted ; it should read “seems not true to nature.” Twelve lines below, “other fields'' should read other folds. *

BIRTHS. . . . BATTIN.—Near Selma, Clark .Co., Ohio, Twelfth month 6, 1897, to Orlando T. and Esther (Matthews) Battin, a daughter, named Edith W. - . . . . -EVES.—Near Millville, Pa., Fifth month 21, 1897, to . Milton and Emma Eves, a daughter, who is named Rachel T. HAINES.–In Camden, N. J., Twelfth month 4, 1897, to Dr. R. I. and Mary A. Haines, a daughter, who is named Mary W. *

- MARRIAGES. : HESTON.——HALL –Twelfth month 29, 1897, at Berwyn, . Pa., Henry B. Heston, of Rosemont, Pa., to Lillian M., daughter of Morgan B. and Susanna S. Hall, of Willistown, Penna.

DEATHS. BARKER.—At Macedon Center, New York, Twelfth

month 22, 1897, at the home of his son, David E. Barker,

William Gould Barker, in his 89th year ; a member and minister of Farmington Executive Meeting. This worthy Friend, who for over twenty years was a resident in the community where he passed his last days, had won by his integrity and uprightness the respect and esteem of all with whom he had formed an acquaintance. This was attested by the large number of relatives and friends who, although the day was a severely cold and stormy one, met at .

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »