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Established 1844. The Journal, 1873.
PHILADELPHIA TENTH MONTH 8, 1898.
Volume LV. Number 4I.
A GOOD WORD EACH WEEK.
XLI. . I Told them the Gospel was the power of God, which was preached before Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, or any of them, were printed or written, and it zwas preached to every creature, of which a great part might never see nor hear of those four books,—so that
every creature was to obey the power of God.
From his Journal, Vol. I.
IN THE AIR.
THE scent of a blossom from Eden The flower was not given to me,
But it freshened my spirit forever, As it passed on its way to thee.
In my soul it is lingering music ; The song was not meant for me, But I listen, and listen, and wonder To whom it can lovelier be.
The sounds and the scents that float by us,
Yet, however it fails of its errand,
I know that love never is wasted,
RICHMOND CONFERENCE PAPERS.
. IX. ADDRESS OF CHAIRMAN RELIGIOUS CONFERENCE. BY HOWARD M. J.ENKINS.
To the question, if it should be asked, why the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures are collected in the same Book, there is one answer at least which may not be gainsaid. From the earlier record there descends into the later the supreme conception of one God, and the ascription to him of his ineffable powers. High above all else in the religion of the Jewish people, object of the prophets' devoted labors, burden of the testimony which Elijah and Elisha bore, thread of unity running through all the Old Testament account, and finally chief of the links which connect it with the New, is the conviction that not a multitude of deities, to be invoked and sacrificed to with horrid rites, but One God, to be served with a clean heart, is the centre of duty. Jesus, walking in the Temple, united the thought of the old dispensation with that which he brought, when he answered the question of the Scribe, “What Commandment is first of all P”
The answer was, in the language of the Hebrew faith, “The first is, Hear O Israel; the Lord our God is one : and thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart. . . . and with all thy strength.” And then he added, “The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Kindred with this sublime thought of the Oneness of the Divine Being, was the Jewish conception of his power and his authority. Beautiful among many is this passage from the Psalms : “When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visitest him P” (Psalms viii., 4.) Old this may be, but forever worthy of consideration. Men are prone, no doubt, to rejoice in their strength. The present age has given them powers they never had. So great, within a hundred years, has been their progress in material things, so vastly have they multiplied their ability of production, so ingenious have been their devices of mechanism, so pressing their search into nature, so acute their combination of art with science, of skill with knowledge, that it might easily be they would think themselves indeed masters of the world in which they dwell. On a day not distant, as I passed into the street and joined the moving throngs there, I noted the intense expression on their faces, the energy with which they moved, the set purpose which they seemed to have. And I thought, “Who are these who hasten on, so confident of achievement P Who are they who seem to make the earth their servant P” But I reflected, in reply, that these hurrying men and women were but creatures occupying for a little time a part of one world in millions. I reflected farther—and perhaps you will join me briefly in the thought—What, after all, are the conquests of man on earth P What changes does he work on the planet he inhabits P How far does Nature make submission to him P If we look but a little we shall see how narrow and how trivial, after all, is the material triumph which man achieves. He seems to do so much ; really, he does so little. He fancies his power so great ; it is, in fact, so small. Regardless of man, untouched by him, the great movements of the universe go on. The earth makes its revolutions. Perfectly and truly it remains in the adjustment in which it is placed. Its seasons go and return. Its atmosphere enwraps it, unremoved. Its land remains. Its oceans continue. The trade winds blow. . The currents of the sea flow in their accustomed courses. The waters evaporate, the clouds form, the rains descend. Storms arise and subside. The heat and light of the sun are received. Delicate as the poise of the lightest toy within our hand, the stars move. in their appointed ways, and the music of the harmonious spheres perpetually flows forth. What, then, is man, the physical being, in the presence of these tremendous things P. He sees them, he studies them, their obvious phases he may comprehend and note. But with all he may learn of them, they remain apart and above him, his power, compared with theirs, as but foam on the crest of the wave, a thistle-down blown upon the wind. None of these vast forces yield to him ; none of them regard him ; they are as if he were not. So, man might perish, might disappear, and what would the earth disclose concerning him P What evidences of his inhabitancy would there be P He has scratched the surface here and there, has drawn a furrow, dug a canal, built a pile. But these could not endure; a few seasons of sun and rain, of growth of vegetation, of the ordinary processes of decay, and these traces of his presence would be obliterated. His pyramids stand, it is true, but even they are but as specks in the vast expanse, larger grains of sand upon the enormous shore. And to what ability of man do they testify P. The heaping of a few stones— what relation does this bear to the stupendous, increasing, unwearied operations of the universe 2 Man, indeed, disturbs his little earth but slightly. He marks a few lines upon it. He digs into it, here and there. Yet he shrinks from its icy extremities, and grows languid in its tropic heats. He consumes, he wastes, the materials which he finds upon it, but even these elude him, for with all his efforts, he destroys nothing. In the economy of nature there may be change of form, but never destruction. In the thousand years that are as but a day, man's stay here, if ended now, would be as unmarked and unevidenced as that of the peoples who were here in ages past, and whose history we know not. A skull in a cave, an implement, some burrows in the earth, some ruins of a structure, might remain for him, as they remain of bygone races, but what more ? Should not this teach us humility ? In the day of apparent triumph over the material world, shall we not pause to see that there is no such triumph— only the God-given ability to utilize and to employ what has been set before us P Shall we not see how incomparable, how impossible to describe in words, or compute in figures, is that Power which creates and which directs these vast conditions amid which man on this single planet briefly exists P “What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visitest him P” The physical part of man is mortal. It has its time of growth, of maturity, of decay. Preserved for a time, prolonged perhaps by care, still its end is sure. Man is without wings. He cannot fly. The planet where he finds himself is the place where he must remain. Relatively, how insignificant “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways,” saith the Lord. Thus, more than two thousand years ago, did the Hebrew
writer uncover the truth, and prick the bubble of human pride. . And so we are thrown back,-not from knowledge of material things, but from reliance upon them ; not from the study of nature and the love of it, but to the place and the duty of realizing spiritual things. Varying the emphasis of the line of Pope, we look “through. Nature up to Nature's God.” We seek the evidences of his visitation to us in the Spirit. If confidence in ourselves fails, hope in Him remains. Nearer to us than the air we breathe, yet farther than telescope can descry, more secret than microscope can penetrate, is the power of the Divine. There are a few lines of Whittier, product of his middle life, which record his search and travail :
“In vain I send My soul into the dark, where never burn The lamps of science, nor the natural light Of Reason's sun and stars I cannot learn Their great and solemn meanings, nor discern The awful secrets of the eyes which turn Evermore on us through the day and night With silent challenge and a dumb demand, Proffering the riddles of the dread unknown, Like the calm Sphinxes with their eyes of stone, Questioning the centuries from their veils of sand I have no answer for myself or thee, Save that I learned beside my mother's knee ; “All is of God that is, and is to be ; And God is good.’ Let this suffice us still, Resting in childlike trust upon his will, Who moves to his great ends unthwarted by the ill.’’
X OUR SMALLER MEETINGS. BY MARTHA J. WARNER. ARE we fully persuaded in our minds that the world has need of the truths for which Our Society stands P With the sound of conflict ringing in our ears, the noiseless struggle of pride and passion for Supremacy, and the burden of worry and feverish unrest weighing upon society, does not mankind need to be called to the Indwelling Christ; who alone is able to still the troubled waters, and teach the law of love and human brotherhood P With the convincing assurance that we have a mission, that we are needed as laborers in the “Master's vineyard,” it behooves us to be true to our convictions, that with heart and hand, with voice and pen, we may be able to interpret some portion of the Eternal Truth to a waiting world. And let us not plead ignorance or inability, remembering that as every citizen is responsible for a knowledge of the law, so every Friend should feel that he is responsible for a knowledge of our principles and testimonies. With the opportunities afforded by our First-day schools, our Young Friends' Associations, and through the avenues of valuable literature made available to all, we may, by the aid of the Inward Teacher, receive the qualification necessary for efficient work
We recognize no division into clergy and laity ; we are all children of one common Father, each one sharing in the Divine life and in the responsibility of human actions, hence the brother and peer of every other soul. It is not position nor power, it is not rank or fame that carries weight of acceptability to
the Father, but sincerity of purpose, holy aspirations, pure, unselfish lives. If we could but realize that the meeting is ours, the Society is ours, and that upon each one of us rests the responsibility for its growth and usefulness, would it change our attitude toward it? Let us consider this thought fully, prayerfully. It is said, and it has been verified, that “it is not great preachers that make great churches, but they are great in which the rank and file fulfill the duties and spread the sympathies of piety and brotherhood.” If in the churches this be recognized as true, in our own Society it must be doubly true, where, if each one be actuated by the Divine Power, he becomes a leader because he is led, a teacher because he is taught, and every one a minister in the Church of Christ. “Freely ye have received, freely give ’’ is as applicable to time and talents as to the spoken word. I would not undervalue the need and acceptability of the verbal message : in our isolation the visits of God's anointed come like a benediction to the hungry soul, bringing strength and encouragement for the performance of life's stern duties. We need more of the Spirit of Christ, more dedication of heart, a deeper spiritual life We must carry our religion into our work, or it is no religion at all. Said our English Friend to us two years ago, “It is not very convincing to talk of the ‘Christ within,' and not look at all like the Christ without, not to show any signs of his endless compassion, his abounding humanity, his love to sinful and ignorant people.” We need the still hour, where in communion with the Divine, our vision shall be broadened, our perceptions quickened, and the soul lifted to a higher plane. While we realize the need of this silent communion, what place so eminently fitted for it as the waiting hour of worship. There, “the world which time and sense have known, falls off, and leaves us God, alone.” I would make an earnest plea for these seasons of spiritual uplift, not omitting our midweek meetings; we need them all ! We are prone to plead that our temporal affairs claim this time, that circumstances have changed since our Society was organized, but if we devote six-sevenths of our time ‘and energy for worldly attainment, for personal emolument, need we wonder that we do not make more growth spiritually P Let us hold fast to our meetings for worship ! they are the nucleus around which our Society is built, and are a source of its strength. To our Isolated Friends I would say, have your meetings if possible ! If they cannot be meetings for worship held on a “basis of silence,” let the basis be a prepared paper on some subject of interest to the community; this method has been found very helpful in many places. Let us keep in touch with our larger bodies. We need the interchange of thought, the varied experience, the kindling of the fires of fraternal feeling and sympathy which are engendered by social and religious mingling, and by the winged messenger of the pen. So through the medium of our papers and periodicais we feel the very heart-throbs of our Society, and where from indifference or financial de
ficiency any fail to receive them, the meeting should See that one, at least, reaches each household. Dear young people | By your presence and interest, you show that you are ready and willing to take a place among the world's workers. Your fathers and mothers in the Society have led the world in spiritual insight and moral reform ; it is only for you to arise and say, “Come, we know the way ! Early ally yourselves to some great cause ’’ said one who has devoted his life to the uplifting of humanity, and who is to-day on the other side of the Atlantic in the interests of his fellow-men. “The fields are . indeed white unto the harvest and the laborers are few.” It may seem but little that each one can do, yet with the effort made, with duty done, comes the reward of peace. May we all, by consecrated effort, hasten the day when our needs, our seeming needs, shall be turned into opportunities which we shall embrace, not merely from a sense of duty, but because also we deem it a privilege.
PRINCIPLES AND TESTIMONIES OF FRIENDS.
TENTH MonTH 16, 1898.—No. 42.
I will hear what God the Lord will speak ;
For he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints;
But let them not turn again to folly.—Ps. 85 : 8. THE principle of overcoming evil by good, and not resisting force by force or violence by violence, is one which is made conspicuous in the teachings of our Divine Master; but it is one which the world is very slow to accept and apply in daily practice. The neglect of this principle in the early training of children is the foundation of all wars and fightings among men. It is in vain to preach in favor of Peace and Arbitration, and against all wars, offensive and defensive, while the young are not trained in meekness, gentleness, self-restraint, and forgiveness of injuries. This, if early inculcated and adhered to, would do away with all wars and fightings between nations.
To correct the evil the axe must be laid at the root of the tree. To remove wars, we must properly restrain that tendency to use force which, in early childhood, is a natural instinct of the human mind. But why is this tendency implanted within us by an all-wise, kind, and beneficent Father, if not for a good purpose P Doubtless, like other natural tendencies and impulses, it is good in itself if exercised under proper restrictions. It is the natural expression of the instinct of self-preservation, and its abuse is the exercise of it regardless of the needs or interests of others. At its basis lies the mistaken doctrine of what has been called “The Struggle for Life; ” which has been modified by more recent thinkers, into the more reasonable and Christian doctrine of “The Struggle for the Life of Others.”
The effectiveness of gentle conduct, returning of good for evil, seems to be incredible to those who have been trained in habits of resistance, and in the principles and practices of war. To such it becomes a habit of mind to believe in submission only as the
result of the application of superior force. Such a conclusion must ever be wholly at variance with the views of those who profess to be a spiritually-minded people. How often have we seen a blow or an angry retort averted by the unexpected interposition of a gentle, reasonable word. If children grew up under the constant influence of gentle and peaceable surroundings, all bickerings, all bitter words of reproach, or of needless fault-finding being avoided in the family, what a school for the training of a truely peaceful nation, which would be a powerful example to the rest of the Christian world. May not we, as Friends, thus do our part to enable our nation to take a leading place in this respect among professedly Christian nations P Let us ever strive to establish and maintain this peaceful influence, instead of nominally extending our territory by force of arms. It may be objected that individuals may thus live peaceful lives, but that the instinct of selfpreservation will always prevent nations from abolishing war. But nations are but aggregations of individuals, and the same general principles apply to the one as to the other. Wars between nations have been well said to be, in all cases, errors in diplomatic management. If the spirit of the diplomat is peaceful, he will find peaceful methods of settling differences between nations. In times of war every cause of difference is magnified, until those causes of contention seem very great and wholly justifiable which will be plainly seen to be but trifling indeed after the restoration of peace. The same is true in the case of contention between individuals; one disposed to resist is constantly finding causes for resistance. When we say we believe in non-resistance, we must not be too literally understood. A certain degree of physical force is permissible and necessary in restraining criminals and the insane from injuring themselves and society. But this is by no means to be compared with war. The former, which is wholly justifiable, is constructive force; but the latter, which cannot be justified by any Christian code, as we understand it, is destructive force.” We may and should offer resistance to every evil, but not resistance of like kind. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Everything depends upon the spirit in which an action is performed. Anger begets anger, violence violence, hatred hatred, but all are quickly and most effectually overcome by the spirit of love, forbearance, and peace. It seems difficult, for us, Friends,--who strive to take Jesus for our pattern and exemplar, whose religion was intended in the beginning to be no new religion, but a return to the simple, primitive Christian faith, —to understand how wars, or those practices which lead to war, can for one moment be justified, for whatever cause. Feeling thus, we do not forget that the majority of Christian peoples entertain widely different views, and to these we can but accord sincerity of conviction. But while according this we must be true to our own convictions, and say that, from our point of view, all forms of war, even those waged ostensibly for the sake of humanity, are at variance with the spirit of the religion which Jesus taught.
The most fruitful cause of war among professing Christian peoples is the substituting for the teachings of Jesus, “the doctrines and commandments of men.”
By dwelling upon these, and magnifying their importance, the simple, practical teaching, the striking object-lessons by which Jesus enforced it, all of which seem so plain that he who runs may read, have been so obscured that their plain applicability to the affairs of daily life about us has been overlooked and forgotten. This seems the most charitable explanation of the amazing phenomenon that for nearly 2000 years the teachings of the Prince of Peace should continue to be supposed to justify war.
LETTERS FROM DISTANT FRIENDS. Response to the Circular Letter sent out by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1898. THE letter from the yearly meeting was a welcome messenger of love, one which tends to add strength to our faith in the Divine Being, who is ever on the watch to protect and guide us, as we wander on through life. We who are thus isolated can best feel and understand the loving influence given or directed to us. Although I am far away from any Friends' meeting, I often think of you when you are thus assembled, and feel there are prayers offered for me from some
of the dear ones there.
There is not a Friend within my reach. I never hear the Bible language used, except in my own family, a thing we do adhere to. I never see the beauty of a plain garb, only as I am blessed by an occasional visit from a dear Friend whom I knew in early days. The memory of such visits is held sacred by us. Any time my friends feel like writing I shall be most glad to receive their letters.
Bushme//, ///. M. H.
I am pleased to learn that the yearly meeting still feels an interest in me and my welfare. Although I am not in a position to attend Friends' meeting, I still feel an interest in the Society. My thoughts are often with you, if I am separated by many miles.
Arvada, Col. W. H. R.
It is very good of Friends not to forget their scattered flock, and I trust we all appreciate their We have quite a number of Friends here, and those who are Friendly inclined, but no genuine Friends' meeting. There is a meeting called Friends, but it is of the shouting kind. I was there once and I told some of them that they were misleading those who had heard of Friends, and went there thinking to find a quiet manner of worshipping. We have all other kinds of churches, and it often seems to me that there should be those among Friends to start and build up a meeting in such a city as this.
Denver, Col. E. M. P.
I feel very grateful indeed to the members of the meeting for their kind expression as outlined in this communication, and although I have not attended any meetings of Friends since I was a boy, still I
always feel that I would like to do so if an opportunity should ever occur again. There are no Friends in this part of the country whom I have ever become acquainted with. W. M. N. Birmingham, Ala. We very much appreciate the kindness of Friends in remembering us that are so far away, and any letters will be warmly welcomed. Liking the climate so much out here, we have decided to make this city our future home. There is no meeting of either branch of our Society here, but we are striving to live as near as we can to our Blessed Example, and we find many earnest people belonging in other societies. We take the INTELLIGENCER and try to keep posted with the doings of Friends in different localities. This beautiful town is surrounded by mountains in the shape of a horseshoe, having the Pacific Ocean in front. I am often reminded of that part of the Scriptures which speaks of “the mountains being around Jerusalem as the Lord is round about his people.” We were favored in the summer by a visit from some of our Eastern Friends, all of whom we were delighted to see. E. A. H. Santa Barbara, Cal. The older I grow, the more I see of life, the more deeply do I value the spirit of Friends' teaching, as I understand it. The center and core of all the new vans of thought, inside and outside of old organizations, seems to me to be a growing realization of the truth of the Immanence of God—a deeper perception of the light that lighteth every man. We all say, “God is Love,” and we're all trying to make this real in our lives. While my life-work is on lines differing outwardly in form from the methods of Friends, I find in it, as one may everywhere, full opportunity for striving for the one reality, the spirit, in which we all are one ; and I realize and value more and more the strength and inspiration of the inheritance and training which comes of Quaker blood. May we hand on to our children all that is best in both !
It has been many years, forty at least, since I had the pleasure of sitting in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. . Many changes have taken, place in my life since then. Although far removed from Friends and Friends' meetings and their influence, I think I have lost little or none of their principles and teachings, and have tried to live the life that will insure E. E. S.
MIND INDESTRUCTIBLE, ALSO. Extract from a private letter by A. W. W., furnished the INTELLIGENCER, by M. W. C. WHAT a resistless flow is the current of time that is bearing us onward | In the immediate present we are too little cognizant of the moving stream and of the significance of the clock that with every beat is ticking away our so-called lives. Shall we ever comprehend the awful miracle of existence P I have got far enough along to believe, I think, that there is no death other than what is involved in a change of form. - The correlation of forces applies to the spiritual as well as the material. We are part of the grand total of mind as well as of matter, and the annihilation of either is more difficult to conceive of than is eternity. If there is the loss of individuality, how can we, with our finite minds, know that there is anything grievous in that P. We can only see a very little way, and can have no knowledge of the proportions of things. What is beyond us, if known, would show us the folly of the fears that spring from our limitations. Depend upon it, there is no loss in entering the hereafter. Just as the scientist must learn to distrust his own senses and take nothing for granted, if he is to make sure progress, so must the groper after spiritual truth realize the imperfections of his mental organism, and be truly humble in the presence of the inconceivable reality. Note how creeds and doctrines have crumbled in the past ! We in the present may have grown enough to cast away. Some errors, but we are still only groping toward the threshold. What presumption in us to assume that our views are true beyond cavil, and that we are not like our predecessors | We shall scarcely be distinguished from them by our SUl CCCSSOIS. Humility is the gospel for every one of us. What writers we are And yet every one is a part of the whole now and forever.
THREE DEFINITIONS OF CULTURE.—Culture, having its origin in the love of perfection,--is a study of perfection.—Matthew Arnold. “e
Culture : To render an intelligent being yet more intelligent.—Montesquieu.
Culture : To make reason and the will of God prevail.—Bishop Wilson.
KIND words and liberal estimates, and generous acknowledgment, and ready appreciation and unselfish delight in the excellences of others—these are the truest signs of a large intellect and a noble spirit. —Canon Farrar.
IN all things throughout the world, the men who look for the crooked will see the crooked, and the
men who look for the straight will see the straight. —Ruskin.
AND now, whatever meets thy lowliest band
There is thy presence, there thy Holy Land ;