Изображения страниц

Friends’ Intelligencer and Journal.






THE MERCENARY AND THE CIVIC MOTIVE. IT is not a comfortable or encouraging theory, which seems to prevail so widely, that a private corporation will do better work than public officials will. In a recent case in Philadelphia, when it was proposed to turn over the manufacture and distribution of gas to a private corporation, for thirty years, one of the arguments most employed in favor of the measure was this, that the city could not do the work so cheaply or so well. Reduced to its simplest and its substantial form, the theory in this argument is that men are more influenced by mercenary than by civic motives, they will do for their private gain what they will not do for the common good. In other words, they draw a line, consciously or unconsciously, between the faithfulness and the diligence of the service which they will perform for themselves, and of that which they will perform for those among whom they live. If we must admit the truth of this, it is a painful and unpleasing admission, and shows how much of real reform needs to be effected in individual character. For the very statement of the case carries its own conclusion. No one will deny the abstract proposition that a community in which the members will not serve one another as fairly as they serve themselves, is defective at heart. All the obligations of duty and honor demand that one who is chosen to represent others shall do for them the best work of which he is capable, measuring up, in all particulars, to the standard which he would adopt in his own behalf. The argument, in fact, if yielded to, proves altogether too much. It would indicate that the organized community is incapable of doing anything well. It would suggest, in a new form, what has for so long been by some insisted upon in other ways, that men should not be allowed to organize themselves, and to provide the government which they think best adapted to their condition, but should be “ruled ” by persons “in authority,” more capable and more efficient. When it begins to be thought that the community can do nothing well, the next thought is that somebody should do its work for it. There are some instances which go to indicate that the public service may be well performed, and that

men will engage in it industriously and faithfully. We will take the postal service of the country for example. After a good deal of acquaintance with its operations for at least thirty-five years, the writer can say that it has in that period of time continually improved in its efficiency. The percentage of defective work is wonderfully small, and of actual dishonesty or wrongdoing still less. It compares well with the telegraph and express service, each of which, though almost as complete a monopoly as the postal service, is conducted by private corporations. Compared with the national banks, which are corporations, organized in large part from motives of private gain, the post-office department compares most favorably as to honesty of administration. The percentages of mismanagement in the banks, and crooked action by their officers, are, we should say, three or five to one of corresponding delinquency in the postal service. It is very evident that the youth of the country should be exhorted and trained to a higher view of their duty in life than that of serving nobody well but “number one.” It is probable that the theory which has been so prevalent, that the great object of effort must be private gain, has worked damage to the principle which should rule, but we must not believe the injury beyond repair. There ought to be, and no doubt there will be, new generations of men and women coming forward to the service of the community, who have a higher motive of action than mere private greed, and who will do for the common service as well as they would if laboring for themselves only.


CLOUD.—In Norristown, Pa., Eighth month 30, 1897, to Charles F. and Martha Fenton Cloud, a daughter, who is named Sara.


SATTERTHWAIT-GREEN.—Under the care of Horsham Monthly Meeting, Twelfth month. I 5, 1897, at the residence of the bride's parents, Edwin Benton Satterthwait son of William H. and Hannah P. Satterthwaite, and Elizabeth Worthington, daughter of Harrison C. and Mary A. Green, all of Horsham township, Montgomery Co., Pa.


BETTS.–In Solebury township, Bucks county, Pa., on Fifth-day, Eleventh month 28, 1895, after a brief illness, William Betts, in his 72d year; from 1877 to the date of his death a valued elder of Buckingham Monthly Meeting. BORTON.—In Woodstown, N. J., Twelfth month 20, 1897, Sarah B., widow of Omar Borton, aged 77 years ; a member of Pilesgrove Monthly Meeting. EVANS.—At Hamburg, Sussex Co., N. J., on Tenth month 27, 1897, of spinal meningitis, Willett D. Evans, son of the late William R. and Martha S. Evans, of Carversville, Bucks Co., Pa., in the 45th year of his age ; a member of Buckingham Monthly Meeting. GOOD.—At Lahaska, Bucks county, Pa., on Third-day, First month 28, 1896, Pearson Good, in the 85th year of his age ; a member of Buckingham Monthly Meeting.

He was the oldest of the five children of the late Nathan and Mary Good, and was born in New Britain township, Bucks county, in 181 I. When he was but a few years old, his parents moved back to the old homestead in. Plumstead township, where his grandfather and great-grandfather had resided, both of whom (their sons included) were cabinet-makers and undertakers. In 1826, Pearson's father purchased a small farm in Solebury township, near Lahaska, and moved thereto in the spring of 1827. There father and son resided, carrying on the undertaking business in connection with farming, until the death of the father, which occurred in the winter of 1874, in the 89th year of his age. Pearson then purchased a property in Lahaska, and moved thereto in the spring of 1875, continuing there to reside until his death. In addition to his business of undertaker, he had charge of Buckingham meeting-house, grave-yard, and grounds, as had his father before him for a long term of years. Pearson's was a well-known face to those who during long years visited that historic place of worship on quarterly meeting days, to attend funerals, and on other occaS1OnS.

In the fall of 1839 the subject of this sketch accompanied his aunt and her four daughters on a long journey in a farm wagon to Three Rivers, St. Joseph county, Michigan, to which place they wended their way to join the husband and father who had preceded them and purchased a tract of eighty acres of dense timber at $5 per acre. The trip occupied four weeks, and was by no means devoid of novel experiences. P. G. soon tired of life in what was then a wilderness, and returned to Bucks county the following autumn. The writer has a very pleasant recollection of spending an hour one summer morning a few years ago, at the close of mid-week meeting, in listening to him relate many of the incidents of that journey. Pearson

also had a very clear recollection, as told to him in his boy

hood, of the troubles attending the separation of Friends at Buckingham and Plumstead meetings in 1827. In 1846 he married Margaret W. Miller, of Philadelphia, a member with Friends, who died in 1893. Although coming of a Friendly family, and always associating with Friends and attending their meetings, P. G. did not become a member of the Society until First month, 1878. 3& 36. GRUBB.—Twelfth month 25, 1897, Edward Gilpin, son of Hannah H. and the late Joseph C. Grubb, in his 24th year; a member of the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia. Interment at Wilmington, Del. PIKE.—At the residence of Charles J. Suplee, West Philadelphia, Twelfth month 25, 1897, Elizabeth J., widow of Thornton Pike, and daughter of the late George Middleton and Esther Tyng Justice, in her 77th year, a member of the

Monthly Meeting held at Green St., Philadelphia.

SLACK.—Near Mozart, Bucks Co., Pa., on Sixth-day, Eighth month 6, 1897 of paralysis, Hannah L. Slack, wife of Thomas W. Slack, aged 59 years, a member of Buckingham Monthly Meeting.

SPENCE-WATSON.—At Dalton Hall, (of Owens College), Manchester England, Eleventh month, 27, 1897, after a brief illness of pneumonia, Arnold, only son of Robert and Elizabeth Spence-Watson, aged nearly 18 years.

[He was a student at Dalton Hall, (under the care of John William Graham), “one of the best and youngest.” His father, Robert Spence-Watson, LL. D., a prominent Friend, is a solicitor at Newcastle-on-Tyne, author of several books, and a man of much distinction in his relation to industrial, as well as political affairs in England, having been the arbitrator in sixty disputes between employers and men in his district, and occupying the position of president of the Liberal Federation, the organized form of the Liberal party of England, outside of Parliament. The deceased was the only son of his parents, but not the only child, there being five older daughters.] H. M. J. 14TWILDMAN.—Near Lumberville, Bucks county, Pa., on Tenth month 5, 1897, suddenly, Henry Wildman, aged 76 years ; a member of Buckingham Monthly Meeting. $o .

WILSON.—In Gwynedd township, Montgomery Co.," Pa., suddenly, Seventh month 6, 1897, David Wilson, in his 71st year; a member of Buckingham Monthly Meeting.



GOLDEN TEXT. —This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord ; I will put my laws into their mind, and on their heart also will I write them : and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people : and they shall not teach every man his fellowcitizen, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord : for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest of them. —Heb. 8: Io, I I.

Scripture reading : Heb. 8 : 1–13.


Beginning with the twentieth verse of the twentieth chapter and extending to the thirty-third verse of the twenty-third chapter of Exodus, we have a very ancient code of Hebrew laws, known to Bible students as the “Book of Covenants.” It is supposed to have been written about 8oo B.C. Obedience to this law constituted the Hebrew religion of that day. We shall find this code to be mainly a series of moral and social

ordinances, regulating the treatment of slaves, the

protection of life and property and the care of the poor. In part it treats of the respect to be paid to the judges or rulers, and of the offering of sacrifices to Jehovah. It contains also an injunction regarding feast days and the Sabbath. There was but little spirituality in this form of religion. It was not believed that the Law was discovered by Moses in his own experience, and announced by him as right and true because he had realized its rightness and truth in his own conscience, but it was taught that Jehovah had spoken to him face to face, and had thus declared His own will, as an absolute monarch might declare his law to his subjects. law of Moses, then, was not to be questioned, as we now question it, bringing it to the bar of our judgment and rejecting such features of it as do not meet our conviction of right (as for instance that part of it that says, “Thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, strife for strife.”) It was an outward formal law, that was to be obeyed implicitly because, as was declared, Jehovah demanded such obedience. As the law had been spoken to Moses and not to the people, it became associated with his name, and Moses was held to be the ambassador of Jehovah, besides whom there was no human being that could discern the will of God. There were, however, among the people of Israel, many who were not slaves to tradition, but who, like Moses, felt the call of God in their own souls with such impellent force that they could not attribute it to any sinful source, and had no doubt at all that God as really spoke to them as he had spoken to Moses in former times. These, too, became religious leaders among the Hebrews, and were known as the Prophets. Coming later they taught a purer spirituality than was presented in the Law of Moses, for they taught that human happiness


depended not upon the observance of an outward, formal law, but upon the recognition of the law of God within the heart and obedience to its requirements.

TEACHING. We see that the “new covenant ’’ is simply the new outlook taken regarding the manner of God’s revealing His will to man. The Hebrews always believed that God revealed Himself to man, but it formed no part of their religion that God revealed Himself to all men who sought for such revelation. There was the larger part of the Hebrew people who believed that the revelation came through Moses, and even after the Prophets gained a decided following, there were few of their disciples who thought to find any knowledge of the will of God except through the prophets. We, as Friends, hold a larger view of God’s providence. We know that the prophet's declaration was true that the day would come, and has come, when every one may, if he will, learn the will of God by seeking to find it in his own heart. We know that the revelation which those who are termed the

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

Twelfth month 26. Subject for consideration : “A study of Civil Government among the Jews.” Briefly presented by Susan W. Janney. Topics for study: Biblical Sources: (1) Prophetical Literature.—The prophetical portions of the Hexateuch and Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Jonah, and the prophecies of the Major and Minor Prophets. (2) Legal Literature.—The priestly portions of the Hexateuch and Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. (3) Wisdom Literature.—Proverbs, Song of Songs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. Portions of Leviticus 19, may serve as an illustration of the general character of the system of government. The Decalogue. History of the Talmud. Chronology : 1st Period. Patriarchal Age, 2000 B. C. Exodus, The Desert, The Conquest, The Settlement in Palestine. Embraces the first Revelation of the Mosaic Religion, and the foundation of the Jewish Church and Commonwealth. 2d Period. Begins at the close of the Aristocracy of the Judges, Iooo B. C., covers the whole history of the Monarchy, and includes the Empire of David and Solomon. 3d Period. Babylonian Captivity, 604–536 B. C. The Exile, the Return ; Persian, Grecian, and Roman Dominion. REFERENCES.–Kent, A History of the Hebrew People; Herbert Spencer, Descriptive Sociology, art. Hebrews ; American Encyclopaedia, art. Hebrews ; History for Ready Reference, art. Jews; Ewald, History of Israel ; Renan, History of the People of Israel ; Johnson's Universal Encyclopaedia, art. Jews. First month 2. Subject for consideration : “A Study of the Life of Samuel.” Introduced by Sarah M. Carver. Topics for Study : Periods and Incidents of Samuel's Life : Birth, Dedication, Childhood, I Samuel I and 2. The Call, Chapter 3. Becomes Prophet and Judge, 3 : 19 to 4 : I.

Preaches against Idolatry, 7 : 4–14. Reduces the administration of his Judgeship to a system, 7 : 15–17. His sons betray their office and a King is demanded, Chapter 8. Saul chosen and the Kingdom established, Chapters 9, Io, I I. Samuel admonishes the people, Chapter 12. Saul's disobedience and Samuel's grief, Chapter 15. David chosen, 16 I–14. Samuel dies, 25 : I. Two Typical Passages from Samuel's Preaching : Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams (I 5: 22). Only fear the Lord and serve him in truth with all your heart ; for consider how great things he hath done for you

(I2 : 24).

WESTERN EMIGRATION. Editors INTELLIGENCER AND Journal : AFTER reading the letter of Wade Cushing in the INTELLIGENCER of the I Ith inst., which in the main coincides with my own convictions, I have felt impelled to place the position of Illinois Yearly Meeting as briefly as may be before the view of Friends. At our yearly meeting in 1896, the following minute was adopted : “In view of the fact that many of our members may think of removing, with a desire to better their condition, and with this thought in our minds, that it will be a strength to them as well as to our Society to settle near together, therefore we favor the appointment of a Committee to visit desirable locations that may be proposed, if the demand for such should be made, and the way should open to do so.” Morris A. Wilson, James S. Brooks, Theodore Russell, John Cory, Samuel Coale, and George S. Truman were appointed to that service. Accordingly, all of the committee except one, accompanied by their wives, upon the invitation of parties in Idaho and Utah, made the trip to those places in the latter part of Sixth month last, and made a fairly thorough investigation of the valley of Snake River, from Ogden to Weiser, and of the Salt Lake as far south as Clear Lake, in Utah. For a more full account of the same I would refer to the published minutes of Illinois Yearly Meeting for 1897, merely referring to the closing paragraphs of the Committee's report as follows: “And this closed our labors in the Far West, having traveled over 5,000 miles by rail and 450 by private conveyance, searching for information that we hope may prove a benefit to the Society. And while in all the places visited where water had been applied, and energy and brains used, good results followed, yet your committee were united in saying that we felt that Roswell, Payette, and Plymouth had advantages that it would be well to carefully consider in locating for a permanent home, not wishing to be understood as saying anything disparagingly of any section visited.” The Committee were continued to act as a Bureau of Information, and are as follows : Morris A. Willson, Magnolia, Putnam county, Ill. ; James Brooks, Salem, Ind. ; Theodore Russell, Winfield, Henry county, Iowa; John Cory, Tama, Tama County, Iowa; Samuel Coale, Bennett, Lancaster county, Nebraska; George S. Truman, Genoa, Nance county, Nebraska. In conclusion, I would express the caution that we endeavor to profit from the experience of the past, and do not suffer ourselves to be led away by specious influences or hasty judgments, or we shall be scattered, the same as we are now, over a wide extent

of country, and thus lose the benefits we so much de

sire, which the list of Isolated Friends, published by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting so well illustrates. GEORGE. S. TRUMAN.

Genoa, Neb., Twelfth month 23.

(Concluded from Page 3.)

was so far progressed before the opening of the Revolution that no one of them, in good standing, like John Wynne, could have continued a slaveholder. “On the last Sunday of the month '' [March], we are told, in 1777, “Friends were persistently in the habit of flocking into the city for General Meeting.” But the Yearly Meeting was held in the Autumn in September; it so continued down to 1798. John Warder, the name given to Hugh's friend and fellow-soldier, is most infelicitous, for it is that of a well-known citizen of Philadelphia in the Revolution, who not only did not serve under General Washington, but went to England when the war impended, and remained there till the peace, in 1783. (A small part of the interesting private diary of his British wife was published in the “Pennsylvania Magazine,” by Sarah Cadbury, a few years ago.) In his boyhood, Hugh speaks of James Logan calling at his father's; but James Logan died in 1751, two years before the date given us for Hugh's birth.

It may be said that such slips as these are beneath serious notice,—that at any rate they do not transcend the limits within which the novelist claims the right to rearrange for his own purposes the facts of present or past time. But it may be fairly asked, has the novelist such a right without challenge, without criticism, without a corresponding right of correction? When we consider how potent a form of literature fiction is, and how many are the readers who derive from it the impressions which serve them instead of knowledge, and even convictions, we may at least be permitted to hope for a time when every accomplished author of novel and romance shall be accurate as to his scene,

wise as to his philosophy of life, and furnished more- . over, with a just discernment of the springs of human

action. If, then, he shall add these to his narrative charm, his wit, his humor, his dramatic sense, his literary art, what power for good may he not exert!

Bayard Taylor, in a preface to one of his own novels, says—and the dictum will serve in this plain case —that fiction deals with things not as they might be, but as they are; i.e., the contemporary novel presents conditions that now exist, and the historical novel presents those that did exist. In either case, then, it is the duty of the novel to present them truly, and we acquire thus as to the historical novel a right, and even a duty, of testing, by all the means at command, its fidelity to the conditions and circumstances which it assumes to describe.

ily upon her of Imagination.

In the present case our story appears as a careful study of the Revolutionary period. It introduces by their own names, without disguise or change, many historic persons, places and events. A procession of figures familiar to everyone who has read the history of Philadelphia in the Revolution moves before us— men and women conspicuous in civil, in military, in social life. “Hugh Wynne '' assumes to describe for us in brief the whole of that chapter of intense action and immense import, in and near Philadelphia, which is contained between the meeting of the first Contimental Congress at Carpenters' Hall in 1774, and the virtual end of the conflict, eight years later. The description, it is agreed, is animated and engaging. The work is so good that it has been freely praised. It has been said of “ Hugh Wynne" by one friendly critic that it comes near being that “great American novel ” which—it seems—many have long looked and sighed for, and by others that it equals, if it does not excel, the best example yet known of the American historical novel. And yet, as one scans its pages with even a tolerable knowledge of well-known facts, one cannot but wish that the muse of History had leaned less heavIt becomes necessary, by the rule which we have decided worthy of respect, to speak of some of the points in which, outside of the particular field of the Friends, Hugh's narrative appears at fault. He speaks of Penn as giving, when he was last here, —at the time (1701) fixed by the fact that “Tishe,” his daughter, “would not stay,”—his “full confidence ’’ to men like Markham, Logan, and Hugh's grandfather. Poor Markham was at that time no longer a staff for Penn. He had practically ended his public service; he was in ill health, given to intemperance of life, and drawing near his close. Hugh describes his meeting “Mrs. Ferguson ’’ at his aunt Gainor's, in 1763. But she was not Mrs. Ferguson then, she was Miss Graeme; she was not married until nine years later. Moreover, it is proper to say that she was a refined and accomplished young woman, and is ill represented by the bold and rather coarse figure she is made to display in the novel. Viewing the procession of famous figures entering Carpenters' Hall, in September, 1774, Hugh says, “the lean form of Mr. Jefferson went by.” This must have been the shadow of the author of the Declaration, far in advance of his flesh; he did not come to the Congress at Philadelphia until nine months later, June, 1775. Twice Hugh describes the stately old mansion, west of the Schuylkill, the “Woodlands,” as “Mr. James Hamilton’s.” James Hamilton lived at Bush Hill; the “Woodlands " was the home of his brother Andrew, and of the brother's sons, William and Andrew. A very singular departure from the truth of the time is the use of place names which in the Revolution were unknown. As Hugh escapes from the city in the Autumn of 1777, he speaks of Bryn Mawr, and Ardmore (now towns on the Pennsylvania railroad), and of Conshohocken, and Norristown (now boroughs on the Schuylkill river). Though Rowland Ellis, the Welsh settler in Merion, in 1687, had called his house Bryn Mawr, this name had no local use until it was revived in the name of the railway place in 1868. Ardmore is of the same late period. There was no Norristown in 1777; Swedes' Ford would have been the name given the place by one describing that year. So likewise, four miles down the river, Hugh might have spoken of Matson's Ford, but he must have posessed a power of penetrating the future to know that by 1832 there would be a town there called Conshohocken. Aside from its character as an unfavorable picture of the Friends, the clue to Hugh Wynne is simple; its motif, its ruling thought, is that of the man who fights. It rests upon the idea that fighting is according to nature, and the non-fighter an unnatural person. We need hardly remark that the chevalier, the armed gentleman on horseback, is a personality whose vogue has extended over centuries, and has furnished the occasion for many libraries of books. The gallant knight, furnished cap-a-pie, who mounts his steed, who sallies forth, who is without fear and without reproach, who is also in love, who engages and slays his enemy, who returns in triumph to his lady in her castle or bower, is a figure known in literature centuries ago, and scarcely less serviceable now. Dr. Mitchell’s hero is simply one of this class. Ready, and also competent, with his fists in the fights at school, and with sword and pistols in the revolutionary battles, he represents that crude social system based on the impulse of the “natural man,” which wishes to defy the experience gained that when honor and honesty truly prevail between man and man there is no occasion for their fighting. It may be questioned whether the writers of fiction will welcome the day when, through the fairness of men toward one another, peace will be the ordinary condition. In such a time, it is obvious that the fine figure on horseback, with sword and pistol ready, cannot be made an ideal. The romancers will part from him with such reluctance that they must resist the establishment of conditions in which he cannot flourish. No doubt, though many of them, in their books, have slain the Indians in such numbers, and with such satisfaction, they would have deeply regretted the entire extinction of so picturesque and useful an enemy, and similarly, we may feel sure that the movement of society toward conditions of sobriety, humanity, and brotherly kindness cannot give unmixed satisfaction to artists in fiction who desire to use the old model. They yielded with many sighs to the elimination of the Outward dragon, such a beast as St. George has these many years pierced with his spear, on the roof at Thirteenth and Arch,-and they can hardly be more happy if they should find society approach the condition described by the Prophet, when men shall not learn war any more. The theory that peaceable men are mean, and that only those ready to fight are truly genteel; that sobriety is ignoble, while Falstaff's cakes and ale make life

worth living, is not new, and yet has by no means fallen into desuetude. It has been fully two centuries in Philadelphia that it has been maintained as a theory which logically and necessarily disposed of the Quakers. William Penn had scarcely more than received and begun to settle his colony before there were those coming hither under the liberality of his invitation who started a movement to depose him in favor of themselves. Beginning in the close of the 17th century— and we are now at the close of the I9th—the word began to be sent from Philadelphia to London, that the Quakers were commonplace fanatics, and must be put under the rule of more genteel people. Such word continued to be sent down to the days of the Revolution. The Friends could never answer the requirements made of them by the men on horseback. As they desired to live in peace, and held the view that fairness would preserve peace, they were offensive to every instinct of those who considered fighting normal. The smoke of the French and Indian war of I755-63 had hardly cleared away before the troubles of the Revolution began, and it resulted that the abuse

of the Friends for not fighting for King George had

scarcely ceased when they found themselves equally abused—by many of the same people—for not fighting against him Hugh Wynne's father doubtless could have told that he was insulted in the street in 1758 because he would not revile the French, and again in I778 because he did not cheer for the French. It has been a hard path that the Friends have trod, whether, as in England, they avoided public responsibility, and sought to seclude themselves under the protection of other men's government, or, as in Pennsylvania, they essayed for themselves the holy experiment of a peaceKeeping and clean-living Commonwealth. And we may presume that they have not yet reached the end of their tribulations. To be used in popular fiction, as the Puritan mark for the cavalier blade is, it seems, still their experience, at the end of two hundred years.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »