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MOVEMENTS IN THE RELIGIOUS FIELD.

A RECENT work by Prof. McGiffert (Presbyterian), of Union Theological Seminary, New York, “A History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age,” has brought the author under criticism from “orthodox'' quarters. He is attacked, it seems, on the ground that he does not make enough of the texts which are relied on to prove the Trinitarian doctrine as to the deity of Jesus, and that he quite dismisses the theory that the Supper is an obligatory ordinance. One of his critics, Prof. F. D. Estes, writing in a Baptist journal, says the book is learned and able, but that it “seems to cut away faith '' in the miraculous conception of Jesus “by the Holy Ghost, and birth of the Virgin Mary, in descent into Hades and resurrection from the dead, in any real ascension into Heaven or sitting at the right hand of God, and in any return to judgment of any kind.”

It has been suggested that Prof. McGiffert shall be tried for “heresy,” but there is a decided protest against this. The Independent says “the Presbyterian church needs no more trials for heresy just now.”

THE subject of the Supper, or “Communion '' is of interest to Friends, since they have always declined to receive it as an obligatory observance. The Outlook summarises Prof. McGiffert's treatment of his subject as follows: “Dr. McGiffert is writing, not as a theologian, but as a historian. He is describing how the Lord's Supper was originally instituted, and how it was at first observed. In doing this he gives some information respecting its origin which any student may easily verify for himself—this, namely, that neither in Matthew nor in Mark is Christ reported as bidding his disciples “Do this in remembrance of me '; that this command—if it is to be regarded as a command—is found only in Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians and in Luke, which Gospel an ancient and well-authenticated tradition reports as influenced largely by Paul, and that the command in Luke is omitted in many of the best manuscripts, and is regarded as an interpolation by Westcott and Hort, whose text, we may add, is by universal consent regarded as the best text we have of the New Testament. “From these facts one scholar, Dr. McGiffert tells his readers, has conceived the notion that the idea of observing the Lord's Supper originated with Paul. Against this notion Dr. McGiffert argues with considerable force. “It is inconceivable,” he says, “that the Jewish wing of the church would have taken it up had it originated with him [Paul]. Its general prevalence at an early day in all parts of the church can be accounted for only on the assumption that it was prePauline. At the same time, the fact must be recognized that it is not absolutely certain that Jesus himself actually instituted such a supper and directed his disciples to eat and drink in remembrance of him.’

“Can any one say [asks The Outlook] that this is “absolutely certain,’ in view of the facts that John, the Beloved Disciple, does not refer to the Supper at all, that neither Matthew nor Mark refers to any command or suggestion of its future observance, that the reference in Luke is regarded

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adopted a series of resolutions to be read in their respective churches. The resolutions recommended that no “Sunday '' funerals be held ; that the customary mourning attire be discarded ; that funerals be more private ; that public display be avoided ; that the expenditure be carefully limited to the ability of the people ; and that the custom of preaching extended sermons on such occasions is not wise.

It is announced that Prof. Charles A. Briggs, professor of Biblical theology in the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, the famous author and theologian who was tried and suspended for heresy, by the Presbyterian General Assembly, has left that church, and gone to the Episcopal body. He has applied to Bishop Potter, of the New York diocese, to be “ordained ’’ a deacon of the Episcopal church, with the purpose of becoming ultimately a minister. He will of course be compelled to surrender his chair in the Theological Seminary. .

The alleged intolerance of their liberal views will, it is added in connection with this announcement, result in several other prominent theologians soon leaving the Presbyterian church.

CURRENT EVENTS.

THE probability of war has appeared very great in the week to which these news paragraphs relate, yet peace has still been hoped for. The most energetic naval and military preparations have been made in this country, and presumably in Spain. The fleets at Key West and Hampton Roads are reported “stripped for action,” and ready to sail at a few minutes' notice. The Spanish torpedo-boat flotilla was reported to have reached Porto Rico, but a dispatch later, (2nd inst.), reports it at Cape Verde islands, and unable, under favorable circumstances, to reach Porto Rico for several days. The United States has purchased another cruiser in England, it being one built in a shipyard on the Thames for Peru. In all the churches (Roman Catholic) at Madrid, on First-day last, the priests read a letter from the Bishop of the diocese announcing that he considered war to be imminent, and ordering prayers for the success of the Spanish arms. It is said that the Spanish people do not wish war, or, rather, they are indifferent, as they always have one in progress somewhere, and do not regard a war with the United States as different from the others. Spain has authorized the issue of 225, ooo, Ooo pesetas in treasury notes, being about forty-five millions of dollars. THE United States, on the 4th instant, purchased ten merchant steamships at New York, to add to the auxiliary fleet. They are vessels in the southern trade to Gulf, Mexican, and South American ports. The American flag was removed on the 4th instant from the wreck of the Maine, in Havana harbor. The reports of the consuls of the United States in Cuba, it was stated on the 4th, would not be sent to Congress with the President's message. The reason assigned is that the President considered it unsafe to print the reports of the Consuls in the present state of feeling, and while they were in Cuba, and that he would not send them in until the writers should be withdrawn, which was expected to be done SOOI). IT was positively announced in Washington on the 4th inst. that on the 6th President McKinley would send to Congress a message on the Cuban question. “Mediation '' between the United States and Spain, by European nations, has been much discussed, and it appears quite certain that the Pope has made urgent representations at Madrid in favor of peace. The difficulty has been that Spain would not listen to any suggestion of allowing Cuba's freedom, while the Cuban insurgents would not consider anything short of that. The insurgents have been unwilling also to agree to a protracted armistice, as they believed it would be employed by Spain in renewed preparations for war, and that when the rainy season (summer) was over, they would again be attacked. The feeling of a majority of Congress has been in favor of decisive measures, including a definite demand for Cuba's independence.

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A SEVERE shock of earthquake was felt at San Francisco at I 1.43 o'clock on the night of the 3oth ult. The vibrations continued fully I 5 seconds, causing people to rush from their homes in all parts of the city. The earthquake was one of the most severe ever experienced in California. Buildiugs were violently rocked, telephone and telegraph circuits were damaged, and considerable injury was done to buildings of frail construction.

THE Constitutional Convention of Louisiana has adopted, by a vote of 95 to 28, a new suffrage system for that State. The purpose is “to get rid of the negro vote, and turn over the political control of Louisiana to the whites without any further need for election frauds.” The new clause requires that the voter shall be able to read and write, but if he owns $300 worth of property, and pays tax on it, he need neither read nor write. Additional clauses provide (1) that any person who was a voter in any State of the Union on January 1, 1867, may vote, and that his son and his grandson may do so,

whether illiterate, or not, and whether a property-holder or not; (2) all persons naturalized before January 1, 1898, may also vote without being subject to the illiterate and property rules; (3) in the next State election, 1900, persons may vote without paying a poll tax, but after that the prepayment of the poll tax for two years, to be paid at least six months before an election, shall be necessary for registration. These complicated provisions are designed to affect particularly the colored voters. They will necessarily stimulate their efforts to acquire education and property. Many leading citizens of Louisiana oppose the clauses as framed, and their constitutionality is to be tested in the United States courts. GREAT BRITAIN has demanded, and China has conceded to her, the possession of the port of Wei-Hai-Wei, on the Shan-Tung peninsula, after the Japanese evacuation, as a compensation for the disturbance of the balance of power in the Gulf of Pechili. Wei-Hai-Wei was held by the Japanese In the

pending the payment of the Chinese war indemnity.

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English House of Commons, on the 5th instant, the government leader, Arthur J. Balfour, explained the concessions made by China,—that the region of the Yang-tse-Kiang should not be alienated by any foreign power ; that the successor of Sir Robert Hart, as Director of the Chinese ImperialMaritime Customs, is to be an Englishman, and that access to the inland waters is to be had by ships of all nations. Three new “treaty ports '' are to be opened, Fu-ning, Yochan, and Chin-wang. The possession of Wei-Hai-Wei Offsets Russia's seizure of Port Arthur. Japan agrees to the former.

A FRIGHTFUL flood disaster occurred at Shawneetown, Illinois, on the evening of the 3d instant. By the breaking of the levee the river (Ohio) burst into the town, “a stream of water twelve to twenty feet deep carrying half the current of the overflowing river.” This “came down in a great rush like a tidal wave,” and frame houses were lifted up and rolled over and over. It occurred near evening, when most of the people were at supper. Some reached strong buildings and climbed on the roofs ; some fled to the hills, and others got off on rafts, etc. ; but it is estimated, that some forty persons have been drowned. (Shawneetown has a population of about 1,400.)

THE comparative statement of the United States Government receipts and expenditures during March shows that the total receipts were $32,958,750 and the expenditures $31,882,444, an increase of nearly $5,000, Ooo over March, 1897. This increase is largely due to expenditures under the recent appropriation for the national defence. The receipts from customs during the month were over $7, Ooo, Ooo less than March a year ago, which were then abnormally heavy on account of the pending Tariff act.

NEWS AND OTHER GLEANINGS.

Dwight L. MooDY, the evangelist, who has been “traveling about a good deal, and meeting all sorts and conditions of men,” as an exchange remarks, gives his impressions thus in a Chicago newspaper: “The country seems more prosperous, but there is a terrible restlessness—an unsettled feeling—an utter and absolute dissatisfaction with the times, conditions, and surroundings—a dissatisfaction that includes life itself, and leads to the constantly increasing list of suicides.”

—A delegation from the Meeting for Sufferings of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Arch street), called on President McKinley at the White House on the 16th ult. and presented to him a memorial, urging the amicable settlement of the dif

ferences with Spain. The delegation consisted of Joseph S. Elkinton, of Philadelphia; Samuel Morris of Olney, and Charles Rhoads, of Haddonfield, N. J. The first named acted as spokesman and read the memorial, which had been prepared by the Meeting for Sufferings. The President received them kindly, and said he desired to maintain peace.

—Those who deplore the influence of the saloon should give deep thought to the following, which is from The People, of Milton, Pa. : “You have no right to expect honesty of officials whose nomination and election were brought about through the influence of the saloon. The saloons do not work for political candidates without knowing that they can depend upon them to do the dirty work for which they were chosen.” —Commonwealth.

—The Court of Cassation (Court of Appeals) of France has quashed the sentence of one year's imprisonment and 3,000 francs fine imposed upom Emile Zola on February 23, at the close of his long trial. The decision is based on a technicality, that the complaint against Zola should have been made by the president of the Court-martial that tried Dreyfus, and not by the Minister of War. It is not announced whether Zola will be re-tried.

—The new State Capitol at Harrisburg is to be built of brick, without exterior ornament, in order to keep it within the limits of the appropriation. Public sentiment will approve the thrift of this arrangement, and State pride need have no cause to feel ashamed of a brick capitol. There are few Philadelphians who are not more proud of Independence Hall than of the City Hall and its expanse of dingy marble.—Phila. A'ecord.

—Emigration from Europe to the Argentine Republic last year, according to the official report, amounted to 130,626 persons, mostly agricultural laborers, who will find there measureless tracts of unoccupied land. These figures bring the South American republic up pretty closely to the United States as an attraction to the emigrant, for our present rate of immigration is only about 200,000 a year.

—The district in which Berea College, Kentucky, is located established local option, nine years ago, “after quite a hard contest.” The law, it is stated, has been quite well enforced. “Owing to some uncertainty of precinct boundaries, a new vote was ordered for Twelfth month 4, 1897. When the polls closed at the end of the day the votes stood 593 for temperance and 40 for whiskey.”

—Among the archives of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, has been found the original copy of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson's own handwriting.

A CORRESPONDENT from Haverford ARMSTRONG & McKELZY College, Pa., inquires what is the plant sexuse Rauio” referred to by Shakespeare as “Love-in- pavis-shaw;"* Idleness” ” It is one of the names of the rammestock” Pansy. Johnny jump-up, is another com- Asosos ) * mon name. The origin of these names }casional is unknown. Pansy is simply the French ECKSTEIN name pensee put into an English form. It | * has a similar meaning to forget-me-not, or BRADLEY “think of me,” and is pretty and appro- snookony soyoo. priate.—Meehans' Monthly. JEWETT

RECENTLY, two gentlemen, driving in a ULSTER wagonette, were smoking, when a spark JNION falling from one of their cigars set fire to SOUTHERN

& Chicago.

some straw at the bottom of the carriage. §: DUPMAN } The flames soon drove them from their COLLIER, seats; and, while they were extinguishing | Missous: the fire, a countryman, who had for some and sea. "“” time been following them on horseback, souTHERN alighted to assist them. “I have been watching the smoke for some time,” said JOHN **wo he. “Why, then, did you not give us * Cleveland. notice P’’ asked the astonished travelers. SALEM Salem, Mass. “Well,” responded the man, “there are connel. Barlo. so many new-fangled notions nowadays I KRNTUCKY Louisville. thought you were going by steam.”— Boston Herald.

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National Lead Co., zoo William St., New York.

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