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We shall see bow all the face of the earth has been made for the dwelling place of one great family, united by the bonds of peace and love.
Let us suppose that the island of Great Britain had been the only portion of dry land that emerged from the waters that covered the earth at the time of the Deluge, and that it were peopled now with its present population. All that is absolutely necessary to sustain life they might draw from the island. There would be plenty of pure, wholesome water to drink. If all the land were cultivated with care; if every acre were made to produce food for man or beast, there would be plenty of bread and meat for the people; there would be plenty of flax and wool grown to make comfortable and even elegant garments for them all in winter and summer, spring and autumn. They would find plenty of iron, copper, tin and lead stowed away in the cellar of the island, and coal enough lying by to melt it with, and to make bright fires and light by night in all their houses. They could live; all their absolute wants might be supplied, if there were not another piece of dry land on the globe. To be snre they would not be able to have tea, coffee, rice, tropical fruits, and a thousand little delicacies for their tables, or cotton, or silk, or costly furs for their wardrobes, or precious stones and woods, or pearl, ivory, or treasures of the deep foreign seas, or gold, or the choice metals dug from the bowels of distant lands, or medicinal herbs and minerals, or things whereof to combine colors for the canvass or for the dyeing of raiment. But what of that? They could live without these articles, and, perhaps, be quite comfortable, if so disposed. Now what would be true in the case of Great Britain, in the condition we have supposed, is now true with regard to the actual condition of every country upon the earth. The climate and soil, or surrounding sea, of every country will just supply the absolute wants of its people; so that if all the people in the world would be satisfied with the mere necessaries of life, or with merely living, in the sense in which the tribes in the centro of Africa or Asia, or in some undiscovered island of the j Pacific Ocean, live, then they might live independently of each other—without any trade or intercourse—without feeling that one was necessary to the other in any way; in a word, as if God had not made them of one blood for to dwell upon all the face of the earth, as bloodrelations, in peace and amity. This is the barbarous state,—the state of mutual alienation, hatred and war. But as soon as people feel the want of something more than the necessaries of life, they must go abroad for it—they must go and talk in a friendly way, and trade with another people, living, perhaps, on the other side of the globe. And it is a very beautiful fact in this system of wants, that the countries most widely divided by distance are most ^strongly bound to
each other by their need of each other's productions. Let us see if we cannot illustrate this by the figure we commenced with.
We supposed the island of Great Britain the only tract of habitable land on the globe, and possessing its present climate, soil and population. Now, then, suppose a line drawn from London to Bristol, and the island cut in two. The people on one side of the line can raise just what their neighbors can produce on the other. There is no table tie to connect them; the tie of neighborhood, of intimate social intercourse, is the strongest that exists between them now. But, we will suppose the southern half of the island begins to float southward, leaving the other fast anchored in its present position. It has receded two degrees, and the sun shines more blandly upon it, and the morning dews are warmer on its green things, and fruits will ripen well on its northern side which would not come to delicious maturity on the southern side of the other half of the island; in a word, better peaches, pears and apricots can be grown in South Britain than in North Britain. This difference creates a delicious, table-tie between them—it is a mere string —but it is something which they feel binding them together. But keep a sharp watch of that string, as the southern section of Britain recedes from the other, and you will see it grow and grow into a mighty cable, which all the swords in the world cannot cut in two. South Britain recedes slowly towards the equator. Another year has rolled around, and it has anchored for a season under still warmer skies, and the warm night winds of the south breathe balmily on its vineyards, its orange groves and fields. It can now send back to its twin sister island, fruits which its people never saw before—delicious grapes, figs, oranges, &c. The taste and sight of these products of another clime delight every sense— then every sense yearns for them; the children ask longingly for them; some of the younger ones, perhaps, cry for them. And now these beautiful, novel fruits, which the North Britons never dreamed of, never asked or wished for before, become a want, a necessary, to satisfy the appetite they have created. Then the grape, the orange, the fig, and each of the other fruits sent by the south Britons to their brethren, constitute each a new table-tie, to be twisted in with that solitary string, which we had before, into a rope which holds the two islands more firmly together, the further they recede from each other. See how that rope grows in size and strength—how a new strand is added, as South Britain approaches the equator. It anchors again for a year in a still wanner clime, and its fields are covered with the luxuriant sugar-cane, cotton and coffee plants, and rice. It now sends back to its northern sister a stock of these wonderful productions, over and above its oranges, lemons, pine-apples, and other delicious fruits.
The sugar is tasted and declared the very thing for the table, and the children wonder how they could have been comfortable without it. Gradually it finds its way to every table, however frugal, and all declare that it is not only a luxury, but a necessary. The coffee is tried—a little suspiciously at first—but it is soon found to be an excellent substitute for cold water at breakfast. Hundreds of ingenious people are set at work making cups to drink it in; and it finds its way from the tables of the rich to the tables of the poor, who drink it from tin, iron or pewter basins, or very rude vessels of earthenware ; and then the people all begin to feel that they cannot get on well without cofFee, and it becomes a necessary also: The rice is fair to look upon, and is served up delicately to invalids and to people of delicate appetites, and gradually to people of common appetites, and is found an excellent article of food; and where a man bought it at the apothecary's by the ounce, for a child recovering from the measles, he now buys a pailful of it of the grocer at a time, for puddings of a family size; and mothers and matrons decide unanimously that they cannot get along well without rice; and so it becomes a necessary. Here, then, we have three more table-ties, each larger and stronger than the whole rope which connected the two islands before. But we have another larger still to twist from the cotton. The arrival of this new product is hailed with wonder. Queer ideas are circulated about it, and many children are of the notion that it is a kind of wool that grows on wooden sheep. Some of it is spun into thread and sold for needle-work in little balls; some is woven with common sheep's wool into cloth; and even garments are made of it entire, and found excellent. The next year more of it comes from South Britain, and machines are made for spinning and weaving it, until hundreds and thousands of men, women and children are employed in working it up for general use. And soon cotton is declared an absolute necessary to the North Britons. Cotton becomes the first wardrobe-web between the two islands, a tie larger and stronger than either of the table-ties we have described. Every one of these ties grows larger and larger every year. Let us twist them into one great cable, and then compare it with the string which connected the sister islands when divided only by the distance of two degrees. We shall see how clear it is, that " God made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell upon all the face of the earth" in such a way, that countries the furthest apart should be the most strongly tied together by their need of each other's productions.
Wc have only been watching the growth of that string which South Britain cast to its sister island as it receded southward. But North Britain also cast her receding sister a string of equal size, which grew into another cable, to hold the |
two together with giant strength, when separated by a distance of four thousand miles. The Southern island had table wants and wardrobe wants which her sister could ouly supply, and the two cables grew, strand by strand, to equal strength and size. Suppose you contrive a diagram of these table bonds of brotherhood. G«t some book containing the amount of articles brought into Great Britain from countries within 1,000 miles south of London, during the year 1847, then of articles from countries within 4,000 miles of it in the same direction. Let every million of pounds sterling worth of these articles be represented by a cord of one quarter of an inch in diameter. Divide the island as we have supposed, and when the two halves are 1,000 miles apart, give the size of the rope that will connect them at that distance, allowing a quarter of an inch to every million of pounds worth of the produce exchanged between them. Do the same when they are 4,000 miles apart; or when the one supplies the other with cotton, coffee, rice, sugar, tea, spices, and all the fruits and other productions of tropical climes; and receives in return all that Great Britain now sells to the countries which produce these articles. This you can easily do, and the difference between the ropes or cables, at the two distances, will show that the table bonds of brotherhood between two countries increase in number, size and strength, with the distance which divides them.
Now, war goes prowling about with its sharp sword, to cut these ties, and to leave nations to float away from each other into the black abyss of discord and ruin.—Burritt's Thoughts and Things at Home and Abroad.
FRIENDS' IntelligencerPhiladelphia, FIFTH MONTH 23, 1857.
PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING OF FBIENDS.
Our Yearly Meeting convened in the new Meeting House on 2nd day the 11th inst., and continued its sittings until the following 6th day afternoon. An unusually large number of Friends were in attendance, and the increased accommodation added greatly to the satisfaction and comfort of those assembled. Several ministers and members from other Yearly Meetings were acceptably with us, and the Epistles received from our correspondents were interesting and encouraging.
Both sides of the building were opened for worship on the Pirst day morning and evening previous, and on Fifth day morning, and it was
computed the number in the house on
morning was not less than 3000. The various subjects claiming attention called forth much lively exercise, and although on some points there were diversity of sentiments, yet harmony and brotherly love were felt to prevail. The Report of the Committee to provide for the better accommodation of the Yearly Meeting, and the minute embracing the prevailing exercises will be found in the present number.
The Committee to provide for the better accommodation of the Yearly Meeting, ,report,
That having very fully stated particulars in their report to the Yearly Meeting last year, but little remains to be added thereto, excepting that the buildings are ready for use.
The dwelling reported as standing on the Eastern portion of the Cherry Street front, has been removed by mutual consent. By this transaction the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia has been subjected to the necessity of providing another house for the use of the caretaker, and the Yearly Meeting realizes the whole value of the Cherry Street front.
The cost of the building and improvements heretofore estimated at 36,000 dollars, has exceeded that sum by about 4,376 dollars.
The entire sum of 833,000 subscribed for the use of the Yearly Meeting, has been received by the Treasurer of our Committee.
Sixth Day, afternoon. The following minute, xpressive of some of the exercises of this meeting, was read and approved.
During the exercises of this meeting, we were made sensibly to feel that while acceptable worship may be performed at all times and in all places; when we walk by the way, when our hands are engaged in the lawful vocations of life, or when the head rests upon the pillow—yet we are social beings, and there is a peculiar propriety in assembling together for public worship, in order to manifest our allegiance to the King of Kings,—to seek for reconciliationandcommunion with Him, and unite with those whose hearts beat in unison with ours, in offering up silent aspirations for his continued mercies.
The Head of the Church has given us the gracious promise, that He will be found in the midst of those who assemble in his name, and many among us can thankfully acknowledge that in our religious meetings, where often there is no outward ministry, the Shepherd and Bishop of souls has made his presence known among us by the breaking of bread. Let those who feel this Christian obligation to attend all our meetings, not be found weary in well doing, and when thus assembled labor for a qualification to offer acceptable worship, and by their example as well as precept invite others to join" with them in
this public acknowledgment. Individuals as well as Monthly Meetimgs would then be favored to extend encouragement to those who are negligent in this respect. A concern was felt that none should suffer the love of money to prevent them from allowing and encouraging those under their care to assemble with their friends in midweek meetings, remembering the faith of the widow who made first a cake for the prophet, and realized the promise that the barrel of meal should not waste, neither should the cruise of oil fail, and she and her son were preserved alive.
The proper training of youth was felt to be of vital importance. While the storing of the mind with useful knowledge and the development of the intellect are proper subjects of parental care, may we ever remember that the growth of those holy principles which spring from the root of Divine life in the soul, is the main object that should engage our attention, for on this depends our happiness here and our preparation for the joys of eternity. To preserve the youthful mind from the contaminating influence of evil company and pernicious publications, requires affectionate care and consistent example. The salutary restraints of parental love, the selection of suitable publications, and a concern on the part of parents to make their homo attractive, would tend to remove the inducements to wander in search of hurtful pleasures. The frequent reading of the sacred scriptures in the family circle, accompanied by a suitable pause for meditation, and" silent worship, has ever been attended with a blessing. It has been the experience of many, that passages recorded by holy men of old, which have been read in youth and not then appreciated, became in after years the source of comfort and edification when revived in the memory and opened to the understanding by the operations of the Holy Spirit.
The desolating effects of intemperance claimed the serious consideration of the meeting, and Friends were encouraged to bear a faithful testimony against the use of spirituous liquors, and individually to watch the many avenues through which this enemy enters.
The condition of Friends unfavorably situated for the education of their children in schools under the care of the society, claimed our sympathy, and all were encouraged to an increased carefulness, to avoid placing them where music and vain accomplishments have been introduced, and also against the insidious attempts which are making by some professors of religion, to improve public morals by the encouragement of theatrical exhibitions.
The provisions of our Discipline in relation to dealing with offenders, are intended for the preservation and restoration of the members of our society, and encouragement was extended to all, to watch over one another for good. Thus the 1
design of religious association would be answered, to gather and not to scatter the flock.
The Committee thereto appointed, produced an essay of an epi.stle, which on being read was approved, directed to be transcribed, signed by the clerk, and a copy thereof forwarded to each of the Yearly Meetings with which we correspond.
Having been permitted again to assemble for the transaction of the important concerns of a Yearly Meeting, now that we are about to seperate, we have thankfully to acknowledge that the Divine Presence has at times been with us, uniting our hearts together, and enabling us to feel an increase of Brotherly Love. Grateful for the favor, and with desires that this may continue with us in our several allotments, we conclude, to meet again at the usual time next year, if so permitted.
Extracted from the Minutes.
William Gribcom, Clerk.
Married,—On the 6th inst. at the residence of Thomas W. Psarsaia, according to the order of the religious Society of Friends, Edwin Thorne, to Charlotte F. Pear«all, all of the City of New York.
, According to the order of the Society of
Friends, on the 29th of 4th mo., Thomas Wilson, of Danville, Montour co., to Mary, daughter of John K. Eeves, of Millville, Columbia co., Pa.
, On the 30th of 4th mo., last, according to
the order of Friends, William W. Griscom, to Sar»h M. Cooper, both of Woodbury N. J.
, On the 30th of 4th mo., 1857, by Friends
ceremony, Franklin Davis, of Staunton, Virginia, to Maria E. Kent, (laughter of Joseph and Maria J. Kent, of Chester county, Pennsylvania.
Disc, On the 11th inst., of consumption, Alice D. Kirk, wife of Samuel Kirk, and daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Moore, in the 34th year of her age—a member of West Branch Monthly Meeting, Clearfield Co., Pa.
In a rocent number of Ilovei/'s Magazine, the remark is made that "fewcomplete and thoroughly made gardens and grounds are to be found. We see everywhere in the rapid increase of wealth and population in our suburban towns, fine buildings, erected almost by magic, in tho highest style of architectural art, and finished without regard to expense. These'costly dwellings, as well as those of more humble pretensions, meet our eyes in every direction, and would command our highest admiration, but for one defect, they are wanting in tho elegant surroundings which should belong to every suburban residence; the lawn, the ornamental ground?, the fruit garden, or even the little parterre, have been entirely neglected, and they stand bleak and alone, an ostentatious display of wealth without taste, on the one hand, or the appearance of a depleted purse without the means of doing anything more, on the other."
ORTHODOXY AND HETERODOXY.
Before I take leave of the " Lay Churchman" and his work, which I have been reviewing, it seems proper to notice two objections he makes to the doctrines of Friends. One of these relates to the alleged insufficiency of the ' Light of Christ;' the other to the supposed necessity of a creed for every Church.
The first of these objections he states as follows, viz: "We therefore reject this sentiment, that the light within every man is to be reckoned his sole guide, because men may err in their conceptions-of what it is. Our judgment is imperfect, and if we have no test, by which we can judge whether we are led by a true or a false light, we may go far astray before we know it. Such is the constant experience among Friends, to this day." Page 37.
In this passage he represents the Light within as the ' sole guide' recognized by Friends; which does not agree with the paragraph immediately preceding, wherein he says: "It was evidently the effort of these fathers in the Church, [Fox and Barclay,] to give prominence to the spirit; and a subordinate place to the scriptures. They did not object to the use of the Bible, but to its abuse,—and whatever may be said of their doctrine, justice requires that it should be fairly stated."
The doctrine of the early Friends, was, that the Light of Christ, otherwise called the grace of God, the Spirit of Truth, or the Holy Spirit, is the fountain of divine knowledge in the human soul; that a manifestation of it, sufficient for salvation, is given to every man, and therefore it is the " primary rule of faith and manners."
The scriptures of truth, being a record of revelations made to holy men in former ages, are, as Barclay says, " only a declaration of the fountain, and not the fountain itself, therefore they are not to be esteemed the principal ground of all truth and knowledge, nor yet the adequate primary rule of faith and manners. Nevertheless, as that which giveth a true and faithful testimony of the first foundation, they are and may be esteemed a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit, from which they have all their excellency and certainty."
Now if it be admitted that the Holy Spirit does, in this agr, influence the hearts of the faithful, to open the understanding, quicken the conscience, and renovate the soul, it follows, as a necessary consequence, that its authority must be supreme; the stream that flowed from it in a former age, cannot rise above the fountain.
That it does in this age so influence the hearts of good men, may be proved from authorities that stand high in the Episcopal Church. Faber, in his work on the Holy Spirit, says: "I find, to use the emphatic language of scripture, the regenerate are the temple of the blessed spirit, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone. Eph. ii. 20. "God himself condescends to dwell within them; 1 Cor. iii. 16, 2 Tim. i. 4. 1 John iv. 12, 15, 16, and like the Shekinah in his magnificent house at Jerusalem, sanctifies, illuminates and directs them." Language very similar to this might be quoted from the Homilies of the Church of England.
Are we to accept these declarations in their literal and obvious meaning? If we do, then it must be conceded by every churchman, that the Holy Spirit dwells in the regenerate soul, to sanctify, illuminate and direct it. Will our author be so illogical as to say that the Holy Spirit is now limited by the Scriptures, and that all who have not aecess to the sacred volume are destitute of a spiritual guide?
May we not conclude that there is much inconsistency in the teachings of the Episcopal Church, and indeed, of nearly all the Churches in Christendom; at one time declaring their belief in the continued operation and guidance of the Holy Spirit, as a teacher always nigh us; and at other times insisting that there is no reliance upon this spiritual guide, unless it speak to us through the scriptures, which are declared to be the primary rule?
But it is objected that men arc liable to be mistaken in regard to the teachings of the Spirit, and hence they run into fanaticism. It may be answered that they are at least as liable to be mistaken about the meaning of the Scriptures, when they undertake to expound them, as they generally do, by the unassisted reason of man.
The second objection of the " Lay Churchman" against the doctrines of Friends, he states as follows, viz: "Quakerism declares that creeds lead to dispute and schism -f that the only safeguard against confusion is to center to the seed of life within," &c. But their own history, embracing as it does a period of only two centuries, shows at least four distinct divisions—and they are now consummating another."
It may be answered that according to his own showing, those who are now consummating another division, are not without a creed. "The opposers of Hicks," he says, "called themselves 'Orthodox Friends,' and adopted and published a confession of orthodox faith." He might have added that the same party, just before the separation of 1827, attempted to impose upon the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting a creed or confession of faith, and that a disposition on their part to define and insist upon abstruse points of doctrine was one of the causes of that schism.
But admitting that there have been four or five schisms in the Society of Friends in two centuries, let it bo remembered that Protestantism has existed very little more than three centuries, and that there arc in this country alone, exclu
sive of Friends, thirty-eight Protestant sects, all claiming the scriptures as their primary rule of faith and practice, and nearly all having creeds.
The whole history of the Christian Church shows that a creed will not secure uniformity of belief, nor prevent schisms. The celebrated Nicene creed did not heal the divisions in the Church, but gave rise to much controversy and bloodshed. The creeds and confessions of faith adopted by the Protestant reformers did not prevent schisms among them, and the thirty-eight Protestant sects in this country have not, by their creeds, been able to secure unanimity of sentiment. It may be added that the Catholic Church has never been able to produce uniformity of belief among its members, oreven among its teachers; notwithstanding its creeds, its traditions, its claim to infallibility, and its coercive machinery—the dungeon, the rack, the faggot, and the sword.
If a creed had been necessary for the Church, it may be presumed that Christ would have left one; but He taught his disciples to rely upon the Holy Spirit as their guide into all truth; He prayed the Father to endow them with this heavenly gift, and not his disciples only, but all that should believe through their word. He pointed to the fruits that should be brought forth as the evidence of discipleship, for it is not the profession, but the possession of religion that saves the soul — not the hearers, but the doers of the law that shall be justified. In accordance with these principles, the truly enlighteued mind places very littl? reliance upon creeds, but looks to the conduct of religious professors as the test of their sincerity, and regards a holy life as the best passport to Heaven.
The account which we publish of the capture of an American slaver, is another proof of the fact to which we have before adverted, that the slave trade, and the horrors of the middle passage, are still in active exercise, and there is'reason to believe that thousands of human beings are still annually torn from their homes in Africa, and subjected to all the cruelties of this iniquitous system.
Within a few weeks, the Marshal of New York has pursued and captured two vessels sailing from that port, with all the appliances for the traffic, and there is reason to believe that merchants in some of our northern cities, are engaged in fitting out these vessels and participating in the proceeds of the enterprize.
It appears that the Anti-Slavery Societies of Jamaica have suggested to the British government, that the gun boats which were built for the war in Russia should be employed in the