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teries which had been hidden from the foundation of the world; his own words that he would yet show his disciples more plainly of the Father; the language of the Epistle to the Galatians, affirming that a spiritual covenant had succeeded to the formal Jewish covenant; the language of the Epistle to the Ephesians, affirming that an economy hidden from ages and generations was then made known to his holy Apostles by the Spirit; the exhortations in the Philippians and the Hebrews to press onward to perfection—exhortations evidently grounded upon the new position into which those who were addressed had been brought: these are only specimens of the evidence which every page of the New Testament seemed to the Quakers to contain of the doctrine that our Lord came to bring in a universal Light, to establish a perfectly spiritual Kingdom, and to encourage men to seek a perfectly spiritual life. .
III. It is implied in the very idea of this constitution, that men are brought under a directly divine government or influence. Those who yield themselves to the light, and become members of the spiritual kingdom, recognize this influence in all their acts. They will not move without it; they will be ready to move anywhere at its bidding. The sacrifice of all personal inclinations, energies, will, in short self-annihilation in its highest form, is their duty and their privilege; so they become fit to utter the divine voice, and prompt to perform the divine will.
In support of this doctrine the Quakers would plead the words of John the Baptist, announcing the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire as the great promise of the new covenant; the ignorance of the Apostles till they received the gift from on high; the silence and waiting that were enjoined upon them till it arrived ; the whole tenor of the Apostolic history, showing that the first ministers of Christ believed themselves to be acting under an immediate inspiration, and to be incapable of acting without it; the principle so often asserted, and everywhere implied, that the kingdom was to be everlasting, and that those who first witnessed its establishment were to be patterns and precedents of all who succeeded them.
. A FRIENDS' JOURNEY IN WAR TIME.
In the journals of the ministers among Friends there are some interesting accounts of their experiences in time of war. Among these is the narrative of William Matthews, of Warrington, York county, Pa., who set off for England in 1781, during the War of American Independence. We extract the portions describing his experience until he landed in England. The journal is printed in Friends' Miscellany, Vol. IX. William Matthews was born in Stafford county, Va., I732, (the year of George Washington's birth, and the place not far distant), and died in York county, Pa., I792.
THUS, having the unity and concurrence of my friends,
I continued to make the necessary preparations for
leaving home, which at that time required great care and circumspection, there being war between Great Britain and America. The laws were very severe against those who went into any of the British dominions without leave from those in power in America, and, as I was going on a religious account, I was not free to ask for their permission, nor to take any means
to secure my property (which by the law was all to be forfeited), but was willing to trust all in the hands of Him who had called me to the service. Another difficulty arose about getting passage to England, no way being open but by going to New York, then in possession of the British troops ; or taking shipping to France or Holland, then in alliance with America, and thence getting over to England, which appeared likely to be attended with difficulty, as they were also at war with England. But, at length, as I waited, way opened for me, and, believing it right to attempt getting along as far as I could, on the 16th of the 5th month, 1782, I parted with my beloved wife, and divers other friends, under a heart-felt sense of the humbling power of Truth uniting us near to one another, and producing a willingness to resign up all unto Him who is able to preserve us through all difficulties. Several Friends accompanied me as far as Susquehanna River, where they all left me except my kinsman, Elisha Kirk, who went with me to Philadelphia. On our way, we stopped at a meeting of ministers and elders at Sadsbury, where I had the opportunity of seeing and taking leave of several of my beloved friends. We got to Philadelphia the 18th, in the evening. Next day, being First-day, I attended all three of the meetings there, to a good degree of satisfaction, and felt my mind comforted and stayed under a fresh trial which befell me here. My dear friend, John Pember
ton, being under a like concern to visit Europe, we had
proposed to go together ; but now he told me his way seemed shut up, so that he could not see it right to move forward. This was a close exercise to me ; but I found it best to labor after resignation to the Divine will, having always found that this yielded true peace and consolation under every disappointment.
On the 22d I had a few solid Friends together to consult with, unto whom I opened my feelings and scruples concerning applying for permission from the President and Council ; but, withal, informed them that I felt most easy to pay a visit to the President of the Council, simply to lay my concern before him, in order that it might not be said when I was gone that I stole away in a private manner. With this proposal Friends united, and several were named to accompany me. We met with a kind and open reception, and after a solemn pause I felt my way open briefly to lay before him my religious concern, and that I believed the time now come for me to move forward in it. He said he thought it his duty to inform me that, by the laws, if I went without permission my estate, both real and personal, was likely to be confiscated, and I, if ever I should return, to be tried for my life ; as it was high treason to go within the enemy's lines without permission, and he did not doubt I might obtain it, if I would but apply, promising all the service he could do in the affair. I acknowledged his kindness, but let him know the reasons why I could not appply, viz.: Believing I was going in obedience to the requirings of Him who is sovereign of the conscience, and ought to have the rule there, and who has a right to all our service. Though it should be at the loss of all, even life itself, I was willing to leave all to Him, feeling a hope and humble trust revived in me that He would not suffer anything to befall me, but what would be for some wise purpose, either for my further refinement, the good of others, or the exaltation of His glorious cause on earth. I also told him (the President) that if I was going about any temporal concerns, I should think it right not to go without their consent. After nearly two hours spent with him in a solemn manner in which divers other Friends were favored to make suitable remarks, he appeared very solid and much affected. Parting with me in a friendly manner, he took me by the hand and said he wished my preservation, and that peace and happiness might attend me in all my labors. And great, indeed, was the peace I felt in giving up all, even life itself, for the sake of Him who has loved me with an everlasting kindness. In this sweet frame of mind I went directly to the week-day meeting at High Street, where I was favored with the most open, comfortable meeting I had ever been at in that place, in which I took my solemn leave of Friends in the near feeling of uniting love. 24th. I set forward for Burlington, accompanied by divers friends, and next day attended the Quarterly meeting of ministers and elders at Crosswicks, which was to me a low, exercising time. Next day, being the first of the week, I attended the meeting there in the morning, and one appointed at Bordentown in the afternoon; on Second-day, the Quarterly Meeting for dicipline, and on Third-day, the general or youths’ 1meeting ; all laborious and exercising, but through the condescension of heavenly regard, Truth raised into a good degree of dominion, in the last, and it was to some a heart- tendering time. After parting in a solemn manner with many near and dear friends, I went to Bucks Quarterly Meeting, held at Buckingham. It was a solid, edifying season, the general meeting being very large, in which the people were reminded of the gracious kindness of the Lord to us as a Society, and how he had helped and sustained us, when there seemed to be a cloud of thick darkness gathering about us, and we likely to be swallowed up. 6th month Ist. I received a letter from my beloved friend, John Pemberton, informing me of his intention of joining me, in order to proceed with me to Europe ; which was truly reviving and comfortable to me. I then attended the meetings at Plumstead, Buckingham, Wrightstown, Falls, and Middletown ; in all I was helped to labor for the good of others, and the prosperity of Zion. Parting with many Friends in much nearness, I crossed Delaware River, and was at a meeting at Kingwood. On the 13th I attended the monthly meeting at Hardwick, or the Great Meadows, and in the afternoon John Pemberton came to me. We then had meetings at Paulin's-kill and the Drowned Lands, and proceeded on towards New York government. The weather being very warm, and the stages long, we were much fatigued before we reached our friends at New Marlborough (New York), where we attended a
monthly meeting on the 21st, being the first held at that place. The meeting for discipline was held under the shade of some trees, there not being room in the house to contain both men and women. Here we met with a considerable number of Friends from different parts, and had a comfortable time together. On the next day we had a meeting in the barn at Crum Elbow, and the following day a large, good meeting at the
Creek Meeting House, also a solemn opportunity in
the afternoon with a number of hopeful young people, and others, many of them being newly convinced. We then had meetings at Nine Partners, Oswego, Poqauge, and Amawalk. The last was just before we entered on what was called the “hunting ground,” a space lying between the two armies, and exposed to the ravages of both ; each plundering and abusing the few remaining inhabitants, most of whom had lost nearly all they had ; yet some Friends kept their places and held their meetings amidst it all. As we passed along we saw divers of the American officers who were placed on the lines to guard them, and not suffer any person to go over to the enemy ; but they did not offer to stop us. We crossed Croton River, and being then out of their lines, we went to the Shapaqua meeting, which was to a good degree of satisfaction, help being afforded so as to obtain the answer of peace. In the beginning of the 7th month we attended meetings at Purchase, Mamaroneck and Westchester. In passing along to these last meetings, the country appeared almost desolate ; the grass was more than knee-high in the public roads ; the inhabitants being plundered of their beasts, there were none left to keep it down ; and the few friends that remained were in danger every night of being murdered. One ancient Friend, where we lodged, told us that he had been hauled out of bed, had a rope put about his neck, and was several times strangled almost to death. They had also cut and wounded him in the breast with their bayonets, swearing they would kill him. Others also met with many such abuses. There was great reason to apprehend that many of these plunderers belonged to both armies, and we narrowly escaped falling into their hands in going from Westchester to New York. A party of those scouters or hunters coming up another road just as we crossed it, saw us, and fired two guns to bring us to ; but through Divine preservation we passed unhurt, and as we rode on briskly, being near a garrison of British troops, they did not pursue us. Thus we were preserved in the midst of dangers, and my mind was wonderfully borne up above fear. (Conclusion to follow.)
THE • emotional outbursts of shallow regret are hastily accepted for true repentance. We are, in many things, apt to judge the tree by its blossoms instead of its fruits.
CHILDREN pass through stages when, while they may really be taking in much, they appear absolutely to have no power to give out anything ; and for these stages education, as we commonly have it, makes no provision.—Scribner's Magazine.
From The Independent. THE AMERICAN REVISION OF THE BIBLE.
- BY JAMES M. WHITON.
THE present sales of the Revised Version of the Bible are very small, and are variously estimated at from five to ten per cent. of the sales of the common version. Who the buyers are is a question that leads to interesting results. First, the ministers use it rather than the people. Careful preachers do not take texts from the common version without consulting the Revised Version also. People may say that the common version is good enough for practical purposes. There is truth in the remark, but the minister or teacher who does not look up the text in the Revised Version is frequently exposed to discredit. Second, the churches which insist on the inerrancy of the Bible, and in consistency should favor the version most true to the original, stick closest to the common version with all its acknowledged errors. In view of their respective beliefs as to the authority of the Bible, it is a curious anomaly that the Revised Version, while commonly found in Unitarian pulpits, is found in comparatively few Presby'terian pulpits. Investigation shows that the Revised Version has obtained use in the pulpits of the denominations here specified in the following order: Unitarian, Congregational, Baptist, Disciples, Presbyterian, Methodist. According to the testimony of corrrespondents, it is found in a large majority of Unitarian pulpits, and in hardly any Methodist. A large minority of Congregational pulpits use it—estimated by some as one-third. Baptists compete with Congregationalists in hospitality to it. Early indorsement was given to it by the Baptist Convention at Saratoga, and by the General Association of the Congregational Churches of Connecticut, one of the oldest bodies as well as the most respectable for learning in this country. The Baptist Publication Society has issued an edition of the New Testament which adopts most of the renderings of the Revised Version. Among the Disciples the use of the Revised Version is reported as increasing.
In view of such facts as the foregoing, one may quote Bishop Wescott's remark, “The revisers have no reason to complain of the reception which their labors have found ; ... the Revised Version is more commonly used by preachers now than the ‘Authorized 'Version was after the same period of trial.” The fact that the Episcopal Church still adheres to the “Authorized ” Version, though it was by Episcopal authority that the Revised Version was prepared, seems to be due to doubt whether it is lawful to read the Revised Version in churches until it has been officially “authorized.” As to this, Bishop Wescott shows that the authorization of King James' version was not exclusive, but permissive. “If,” says he, “the use of the Revised Version is welcomed by a congregation, I do not think that a bishop has any power, even if he had the will, to prohibit it. For a long time ...the Great Bible, the Genevan Bible, the Bishops' Bible, and the ‘Authorized ' Bible were used concurrently, and at last the ‘fittest” prevailed.”
All things considered, the reception of the Revised Version thus far can hardly be considered creditable either to the intelligence of Christian people or to the consistency of orthodox churches with their beliefs as to the importance of “the pure Word of God.” Creeds are not revised without cause, neither is a book so venerable as the English Bible. What years of critical discussion compelled so conservative a body as the Convocation of Canterbury to authorize the revision 1 What labor for fourteen years of unpaid toil by a hundred of the most competent scholars on both sides of the sea produced the revision | What hungry curiosity awaited it—telegraphing the entire New Testament from New York to Chicago to anticipate the mail by a few hours Then, after a nine days’ wonder, what apathy and neglect ' And on what grounds ! It was not chopped up into separate verses like the old version. Some venerable phrases were missed. People misliked the altered wording of the Lord's Prayer, forgetting that Matthew and Luke word it differently, and the changed form of the chant of the angels of the Nativity. Yet since the changed translation was enforced by correction of the original Greek text, rejection of it for the version made from an incorrect text is simply preferring error to truth. Dislike to part with a faulty version is on a par with the regret of a child at finding that “Robinson Crusoe” is not a true history.
The criticisms made upon the Revised Version are entitled to respect. Equal respect is due to the statements both of the British and of the American revisers that every one of these criticisms was offered and discussed in their meetings, and finally overruled by a two-thirds vote. As the case stands between the critics and the revisers, it is a trial by newspaper compared with a trial in court.The criticism most frequently urged is against the English style of the Revised Version—which is largely a matter of individual predilection. As to this, a private letter from an eminent scholar says : “The majority of the criticisms in this line will, I think, by study be shown to have originated either in haste on in ignorance.” In translations it is required first, as St. Paul says of stewards, “that a man be found faithful,” not musical. It is passing strange that men who insist on corrected text-books for school-rooms should see no inconsistency in continuing to read from pulpits, “Take no thought for the morrow ; ” “Be careful for nothing ; ” “The love of money is the root of all evil.” One should look, as Bishop Wescott observes, “with something more than suspicion upon the criticisms of scholars who appear to find nothing better than solemn music in the English version of words of life, and to admit no hope of riper knowledge from the discipline of two centuries and a half.”
It is time for the American churches to reconsider their attitude to the Revised Version. In about a year and a half it will be presented to their suffrages in an improved form. The readings and renderings preferred by the American revisers, twenty-four pages of which now stand inconveniently in appendices to the British editions, will then stand in the text. Even in England a belief has been strongly entertained that many of these should have been adopted by the British revisers. The present number of these in the Old Testament will be increased. The American Company were not allowed the stipulated time to pass upon the final revision sent them. From the haste thus enforced there resulted many omissions and imperfections. These defects will now be made good. A few corrections of unimportant “inadvertencies '' will also appear, and the book will be published as the “American Standard Bible.” Due stipulations have been made to maintain its integrity as the standard text. A work whose distinctive excellence is American will naturally apppeal somewhat to national feeling in addition to Christian interests.
What welcome this great work will receive among the churches is a matter of deep interest to scholars who know its merits better than the people as yet know them. Less doubt would be felt were it not for the powerful influence of the American Bible Society, thus far exclusively devoted to the older and faultier version, which it offers at one-fifth the cost of the Revised Version. Constitutional and legal impediments are alleged to excuse the Society’s inhospitality to the Revised Version, St. Paul says that “the Word of God is not bound.” If those excuses are to be taken seriously, they mean first, that the Society's constitution is much more difficult to amend than those of other benevolent societies, and, second, that funds given to circulate the common version when it was the best, and because it was the best, cannot be legally used except to circulate it when it is not the best, and to obstruct its being bettered.
Be this as it may. Some things are certain. The common version is what the Society professes to circulate, but even this it does not circulate except in a mutilated form. The marginal or alternative renderings are an essential part of the common version, as of the Revised Version, but these the Society omits in all its issues. Moreover, the Society states on the title-page of its imprint for the present year that “former translations” have been “diligently compared and revised.” This has not been true for its New Testaments since 1881, and for its Bibles since 1885. The reader of that title-page of 1897 might ask, “Is there not a lie in my right hand P” Revision ought to begin there, even if it should end there. It is also certain that the Society's Committee on Versions is charged with the duty of examining new versions with regard to their “fidelity to the original,” and recommending such as they approve. New versions in foreign tongues, made by missionaries, are from time to time thus introduced. Thus a certain power of initiative is exercised by the Society in the common interest of all the Protestant churches. And so it is that much depends for the circulation of an improved version of the Bible among the common people upon the attitude of the Society toward it.
Whatever criticism may be deserved for the past,
there is willingness to let bygones be bygones. But in
to King James’ revision in 16II.
They are bound, it seems, though
the future there will not be an equal willingness to sustain the Society in a policy toward the American Standard Bible of 1899 which would have been fatal The only policy consistent with its principles is to equalize as far as possible the conditions of that competition between the two versions by which the field should ultimately be assigned to the better. The time is at hand when donors to the Society's treasury should consider whether their gifts should not be made with this object in view. Certain it is that the forthcoming of what will be no more merely “the English,” but distinctively the “American,” Bible, is a call to the churches, and to the Society which represents both their interest and their responsibility, to deal with it as best comports with their professions of the importance of a pure Bible, and of the duty of those who have it in their power to give or to withhold.
FRIENDS' NEW TESTAMENT LESSONS:
FourTH MonTH 17, 1898.-No. 16. ESTABLISHED IN CHRIST.
GolDEN TEXT.—Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind, be sober, and set your hope perfectly in the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I. Peter I : 13. Scripture reading : I. Peter I : 13–25. TEACHING. e The exhortation coming to us through the Golden Text, is one worthy of our best acceptance. It commends the application of the principles of Christianity to our daily lives, and the perfection of our hope in the saving knowledge of God, brought to us through the revelation of his son begotten within us. No better exponent of this foundation principle, no one better qualified to speak of it from living experience, can be found than the Apostle Peter. His emphatic declaration recorded in Matthew 16: 16 gave the strongest evidence of his acceptance of it, and the forcible recognition given him by Jesus Christ on that occasion, as being the possessor of the keys of the great Gospel dispensation, gives to the world in language that should not be misunderstood, the fruition of faith in our Heavenly Father and his willingness to make known his will, through the revealing power of his spirit within us. . Upon the acceptance of and obedience to this depends the conditions whether mankind shall be loosed or bound. “The grace of God is the knowledge of his will and power given to obey it,” and if our hope is perfected in this, and we follow closely the marked lines, we will assuredly experience a complete release from the thraldom of sin, and be able to demonstrate through our everyday life the beauty, comfort, and safety there is in the spirit of willing obedience. True religion is a life, a living experience arising from an intimate knowledge of God, and cannot be taken on or laid down at will, any more than can the material life, but being ever present must blossom out and bear fruit. g The developed life coming in contact with others, must through sympathy and faith help to develop them. For corroborative evidence of this we are cited to the exhortation contained in the Levitical law, “Be
ye holy, for I am holy.” God requires no duty at our hands that we are unable with his help to perform, but we are to call on him in our sojourning, and always rest under his guidance, fearing to transgress lest we should bring sorrow upon ourselves, and into the heart of our loving Father. God in Christ, and Christ in us, is recognized as the one source and channel through which we obtain
the saving knowledge of God, which is true redemp
tion. Nothing of a worldly or corrupt nature can work this work for us. The traditions from the fathers may be true, but they are not the power. They are only the expressed conceptions of the power. This is a life. It existed before the foundations of the world were laid, and is the source of all life, and being such, must, and is foreordained to work the work of redemption. It has been symbolized by the “blood,” not an unfitting symbol, for scientists tell us that animal blood when in a healthy state contains that which is as destructive to disease germs as Strychnine is to the life of the body; and more than this, it is produced within and through the action of the blood itself. God is the source of life, and that life being poured into his children, must cleanse, purify, and vitalize the hearts of these children, and drive from them all that is antagonistic to his divine nature. Peter perceived evidence of the work of this spirit in the members of the churches to which this epistle was addressed, and commended them to further manifest it by love to the brethren unfeignedly, and with pure hearts permitting its perfect work to go on in them. He pictured it to them as being the incorruptible seed within them. Love to one another, and love to God, is the fruitage of this developed seed. The grass and the flower thereof have their root in the earth, and to this when their work is done, must they return, but “the word of the Lord endureth forever,” and “this is the word, which by the gospel, is preached unto you.” Isaiah standing as the mouthpiece of God, declares, “They shall not hurt nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
SCRIPTURE STUDY AT RACE STREET.
Conference Class of Race Street First-day School, Philadelphia.
Syllabus for Fourth month Io, 1898.
Subject for Consideration : The Later Hebrew Histories. Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel. Presented by Emma Speakman Webster.
Outline of the Paper.
Chronicles.—(a) Contents: Genealogical tables, mention of Babylonish Captivity, partial accounts of the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, history of Judah to the time of the captivity. (b) A comparison of some portions of the account with that in the books of Samel and Kings. (c) The character and purpose of the writer—his sources of information.
Ezra-Nehemiah. —The return from exile ; alternations of zeal and indifference at Jerusalem ; the putting away of Gentile wives; the coming of Nehemiah ; the buildpng of the wall; the revival of the ceremonial law ; authorship of the books; character of Ezra, and the formal nature of the religion resulting from his influence.
Daniel.—The story probably founded on facts; the prophecies probably written contemporaneously with the
| saloons, reduced the number to less than half.
events to which they refer ; the standing of the book in the Hebrew Canon.
Topics for Study : This being the last session of the class to be devoted to historical subjects, it will be well to give study to a general outline of Jewish history, which may be grouped about the following events and personages: Exodus, Rule of the Judges, David and Solomon (IoSo B. C.), the Kingdom divided (977 B. C.), the rule of twelve Kings of Judah, Invasion of Sennacherib (713 B. C.), Subjection to Babylon and Persia, Return from Exile (536 B. C.), Palestine under the Romans.
References.—Gladden’s “Who Wrote the Bible P’’ Moulton’s “Modern Readers' Bible.” Toy's “Judaism and Christianity.” Oort's “Bible for Learners.” Encyclopaedias and Bible Dictionaries.
TEMPERANCE LESSONS-FOR ADULT CLASSES . ‘‘ HIGH LICENSE.’’ .
There is no difference in principle between High License and Low License ; but the former, unlike the latter, is often held to be a temperance measure, while no such claim is made for the latter. We have seen that the Christian church in general, and the Society of Friends in particular, are united in condemning the principle of license. Yet license prevails in a large majority of the States of the Union, and in no one of them can it be said that the Christian church is taking any systematic steps to put an end to the system it condemns. In every one prominent representatives of Christianity appear as apologists for that system. Let us re-examine the grounds on which license is condemned. It is claimed : (1) That it reduces the number of saloons, (2) that it improves their character, (3) that it is a step toward prohibition. The first claim may be at once admitted under the conditions of most high license laws. When the Brooks law went into operation in Philadelphia in 1888, the number of licensed saloons decreased from nearly six thousand to less than onethird that number. In Boston the limitation act of 1888, combining high license with a restriction of the number of Assuming that liquor could be obtained only at the licensed saloon, this would seem to be a favorable showing. But is the reduction of the number of saloons really a victory 2 If drinking is not decreased, the fact that it is done at fewer places is no victory at all. Now the United States government statistics showing the consumption of liquor exhibit no decrease, proportionate to the decrease of saloons. In Philadelphia the actual decrease in 1889 was slight, and a regular increase was to be observed thereafter. The same may be said of the arrests for drunkenness. The effect of the enormous decrease in the number of saloons has been very slight, so far as intoxication is concerned. Concerning Boston, the report of the Committee of Fifty says: “Nor is there any tangible evidence to prove that high license and statutory limitation have helped materially to reduce the number of arrests for drunkenness.” Of the Brooks law in an inland city of Pennsylvania the same report says : “It is not known that intemperance has diminished under the law.” The same verdict is pronounced, so far as known, wherever such laws are on the statute books. g This being the case, we should recognize in the license laws not restrictive temperance laws, but solely revenue laws. And as such, they constitute the creation of a monopoly to be granted to a certain favored few. If it be claimed that in their case the creation of a monopoly is justified by the dangerous character of the business, we need only to point, by way of reply, to the character of those into whose hands this monopoly is given. This leads us to the second claim—that the character of the business is improved. So long as drinking habits retain their hold, and drunkenness is not decreased, this claim would be a hard one to establish. It may be admitted that the licensed saloons are made more attractive ; they can afford this, since competition is in a measure prevented. It may also be admitted that it is easier to enforce with them