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gate of the kingdom," says one, " they looked with no meek and far-off desire; they knelt and knocked with no suppliant air, breathing such confessions of unworthiness as gave their security for gratitude; but turned on it the greedy eye of property, and reached to it with intent to do what they liked with their own; so that the kingdom of Heaven suffered violence, and the violent would take it by force. Siarcely were they content with the notion of admission as its subjects; they must be its lords and administrators too. For them, thought the Pharisees, were its dignities and splendors created; for them its patronage reserved; and the glorious sovereignty of God was not to be over them but by them; so that, in every proffer of their services to- him, they contemplated not the humility •if submission, but the pride of command."
The disciples of the Lord shared, of course, in these feelings, and anticipations. As often as their hearts experienced, more than usual, the goodness of their Master,—as often as he rose majestically upon their revering minds.,—constantly as the thought sprang up amid their meetings, or in the presence of some signal act of power, that he was indeed the Christ, the long-looked for Prince and Saviour,—the question which most naturally suggested itself to them and formed the topic of their private debates, was, who should be greatest when he assumed his throne: which of them, wbo^bad left all, and followed him in his humiliation, would be nearest to him in his exalted glory. Can we not imagine the earnestness with which the discussion should be carried forward,—the marshalling of their claims, the comparing of the dates of their service, the measuring of the quantity of their sacrifices, the counting up of the marks of their master's regard, to learn whom he esteemed the most? Can we not imagine that the dispute should often run high,—words and looks exchanged which revealed the bitter passions at work in their bosoms? See how ready to burst forth their excited minds were, in that incident of the mother of James and John coming to Jesus with the petition to sit on his right hand and on his left in his kingdom. When the ten heard it, they were much displeased with James and John, and Jesus interfered to allay the irritation.
Now it was before these, thus agitating the constantly recurring question and referring to the Master himself for the answers, that Jesus held in his arms a child—rgazing on his face, no doubt, with wonder, and yet with a pleased look of trust, and said: "Verily, 1 say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven;" as if he said, you dispute about the posts of power aud authority, the Eeats of honor and glory in that kingdom, as if already you were of the kingdom, and in it; but look first to the
question whether you shall even enter it; for entrance is not by blood and inheritance, not by right and of necessity, but only through the conversion of the heart back to tLe lowliness and simplicity, aud the gentle spirit of the child; and the greatest among those who enter is he who has has most of the little child in his heart and life.
What nn answer to humble their proud ambition, grasping with narrow selfishness the chief gifts of place and power, seeking heights whence to look down in triumph upon their brethren and the world! How abashed must have fallen their conceited expectations before his sublime exaltation of humility! How deeply must they hare pondered in their hearts, " what this mcaneth 1 A little child! To enter the kingdom so! A little child, the emblem of greatness! It was indeed a new and a strange thought; perhaps they could make nothing of it; it was only an additional perplexity in regard to him whose disciples they were. Perhaps it was only long after, when the Holy Ghost had been poured out upon them, and changed them indeed, making those who had quarrelled together for crowns and robes, and offices, the meek, earnest, persistent servants of the lowest of men for Christ's sake,—perhaps it was only then that this saying came to their hearts with all its heavenly significance.
It is a word of meaning and interest to us, no less than to those who listened while it fell from the Master's lips. It is what he speaks in his spirit, and by his spirit, to each of us: "Verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not cuter into the kingdom of heaven." What meaneth this? Pride and conceit, self-sufficiency and boasting, will not be able to tell us.
The kingdom of Heaven; what is this, that we shall not enter save as a little child? It is not a place primarily. It is not a far-off region. It is not a country like any of the earth. It is not a land whither we are to be transported. We must not entertain our imaginations with visions of thrones and offices, and splendor, as of earthly royalty. This were to make-the same mistake with the Jews, and to bring up the same questions which agitated their minds. The kingdom of heaven,says the Master himself, is within you. And his Apostle says: "The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." That kingdom is in the heart —in those swelling bosoms of ours—in the depths of these closed and secret breasts—in those silent recesses of the soul, where passion is hushed and the world's voices are still,—where God dwells—where he sets up his abode, aud talks with us in mercy and love—where Ho reveals the full light of his presence, and the Holy Spirit breathes upon every thought, affection and desire ;—where all heaven opens itself in glory and descends in raptures upon the heart, thrilling with pious joy. That kingdom is the feeling of God, the devout sense of his presence, the sacred gladness of parental love. That kingdom is the deep, unfaltering, unbroken, unalterable consciousness of divine tenderness, sympathy, care, mercy,—open to us every moment, and rilling the whole being with the peace of believing. That kingdom,—how shall one tell what it is, when it is so much, so great, so wonderful, and yet so simple, that it is the child's heart that understands it best! It is in that soul where God dwells and reigns in all the majesty of his power and in all the gentleness of h is Fatherhood. The soul where that kingdom is, leans in its dependence on the arm of the Lord, that its feet may not stumble; keeps close by his side, that it may not wander and be lost; turns a meek imploring eye to the face that bends down upon it with the quiet smile of love, for the needful supplies of its daily wants. The soul in which that kingdom is, rests not in dependence alone, but in holy trust; believing in the Father's word, yielding to the Father's pleasure, walking in the Father's way. That way may lead where it will,—by green pastures and still waters, over smooth places, and through gentle undulations of hill and valley, with the sky clear above and the breeze soft around ;—or it maybe rough, and hard, and stony, bruising the feet, so that they bleed as they go, marking the steps; the heavens may be very dark with thick clouds, and blasts of stormy wind may beat upon the wayfarer as he toils forward; still, trust holds his soul up, breathes courage, inspires unfailing persistence, puts firmness into the will, and sustains the same song, now rising in swelling notes of joy, and now low as strains of sweet music heard afar;—still the same song,— "Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight; lead me in the way of thy choosing, for no harm can befal me, while thou art my defence." The soul in which that kingdom is, loves, too, the service of the Father. The will of the Father is its law. It knows no other. It asks for no other. Daily it asks: "Father, what wouldst thou have me to do?" What service is appointed? What work is set before my ready hands? Obedience is the prompting of its love. The commands of the Most High, which seem to others so stern, so hard, and— shall we say it?—so exacting, they are written on the heart, hidden in the breast, and wrought out in patience, and meek observance in the hours and minutes of the passing day.
And now is not all this that we have been trying to say, altogether and simply the spirit of childhood? Does not the thought of childhood bring up before us a picture like this? Why, look for a moment, at a little child in its home. Beautiful and true is this representation of hit position. "How silently, yet how surely, does
the domestic rule control him, dating his rising and his rest,—his going out and his coming in,— apportioning his duties and his mirth,—ordering secretly the very current of his thoughts, whether it sparkle with gladness or overflow with tears! Yet how rarely has he any painful sense of the constraining force which is on him every moment! Hemmed in on every side by a most vigilant power, yet look at his open brow, and say whether creature ever were more free. His life is an exchange of obedience for protection; he gives submission and is sheltered. Folded in the arms of an unspeakable affection, he is saved from the anxieties of self-care, nor is he ever left alone to choose a path by the dim, sad lustre of his own wisdom, but is led gently on by the lamp of a father's experience and the meek star-light of a mother's love! In strangeness and danger, how close he keeps to the hand that leads him! In doubt, how he looks up to interpret the eye that speaks to him! In loss and loneliness, with what cries and tears he sits down to lament his freedom! He asks, but claims nothing; he pleads, but is silent when the final word is given. If he strays, how quickly he looks about him in fear, soon as he realises that he is indeed astray. If he disobeys, how soon his heart is troubled, and cannot be at peace, till he has returned, confessing, in his simple way, that the path of perfect obedience is the path of trust and liberty. Only so,—in a like dependence—in a like trust, refreshing and reverential —in a like obedience, free and joyous,—in a like consciousness of a presence, all sufficient and tender, from whom we withhold nothing, not even ourselves, consists the very spirit of the kingdom of heaven; nor can we dwell on earth or in heaven, rinding it a kingdom of God, but as the loving child dwelleth within its home."
But we all know that this temper is apt to be worn away as we advance into manhood's life. When we come to stand out on the broad theatre of the world, leaving the security and shelter of the quiet home, and are thrown upon the difficulties and roughness of a man's duties and experiences, to meet and conquer them as we may, how apt are we to lose the spirit of childhood, and live at our own directions, how apt to cast aside the early restraints, and spring forward to the appointed tasks with proud convictions of our strength and wisdom! We set up for ourselves. The feeling of dependence is displaced by the pride of power; the meek trust gives way to the boastful pretension of self-sufficiency; the ready obedience to another's law, to the arrogant affectation of being a law unto ourselves. And thus it comes to pass that we lose, with the earthly home and its spirit, the kingdom of heaven and its childlike heart. We lose our" dependence on the Great Father, our complete trust, our affectionate allegiance, through "our own habits of eommaud." We forget we are still children of God, dwellers in his mansion, to be led by his will and supported by his love. And so we fall away, often taking our portion of goods and straying off on our own account; and by and by it gets to seem strange and impossible to lean completely on the unseen Arm of Power, that is ready to fold us round and does fold us round, though we know it not. It seems strange, and like a simple tale of a dreamy or weak and effeminate mind, to hear of a perfect reliance, undoing all its self-sufficiency and yielding up all to the will of Him, who is the giver of life and the ordainer of life's experience. It seems strange, and almost incredible, to hear of an obedience for the man, which is as ready, as unreserved, as joyful, as that which he gave the gentle parent who watched over and guided his childhood.
And how should it seem otherwise to us, till we be changed back again into the spirit of childhood? How can we enter into the consciousness of this condition of the heart, except the spirit of early days returns upon us and gives back to us " whatever was blessed in childhood, without abating our glory of manhood,"—makiug the mansion of God's house peaceful as a father's abode? How simply true, then, is it that Christ saith: "Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven." For can we otherwise 1 One rapid glance at our heaits will teach us that wo cannot in any other manner. Let theologians argue as they will; let them set forth, in their ways, what conversion is, as a dogma, we all know what it must be, as a doctrine of experience. If, to enter the kingdom, we must become as little children, then most plain it is we must be chauged,—we must ba converted. Till we are, we are not as little children, with the heart of a child in us, but as grown men, with the proud heart of a man in us. And this we know too well. For unless that change has come over us, are we leaning upon God, with the whole weight of entire dependence? Are we walking in the meekest trust in his most blessed will? Are we, with cheerful obedience, running to do his pleasure? In weakness, is He our strength; in perplexity, our guide; in failure, our hope; in temptation, our refuge? And yet, this is what it is to dwell in the kingdom of heaven,— tobe a subject of thate nipire,—to be a child of Him who is its Head.
Who of us does not need conversion? God knows we need it, and therefore Ho will not let us alone, but is always ordering his providence to bring us back to himself. Sometimes He pleads with us in his gentle tones, which we may hear in hours of gladuess and prosperity; sometimes in deeper voices, that startle the too drowsy sou], in hours of peril and disaster; sometimes he sends a word, awful as that which once spake
from Sinai, through all the chambers of a man's being, bidding him beware how he longer lives in disobedience and a prodigal. Sometimes he unroofs the very house of our security, and shows us that what we rest in may suddenly pass away, and leave us homeless and desoiate. Sometimes by a quick and sudden blow he extorts the cry of dependence, moving in the heart a deep sense of relation to that which is above, as well as to that which is around and beneath. But oftener he pleads with us in the persuasive accents of a loving father, calling most patiently after the children whom he hath nourished and brought up, but who have rebelled against him. * * * * * * He pleads with us in the gentle knocking of his spirit at the closed door of our hearts,—knocking, knocking, if we will let him in,—in the holy hours of quiet meditation, in niovings of the soul that we can give no account of, when, somehow, we feel near to heaven, and its light shines upon our path, even though drifting earth-clouds eclipse it again. God knows we need to be converted and so he will not let us alone, but calls, varying his entreaties, as our hearts require, " My son, give me thy heart."
And, oh! when we are truly converted, when childhood is born again in our souls: when we are ourselves again in the spirit of childhood; when the freshness of our early years is shed over the wisdom and experience of maturity, then how simple are all our ways and thoughts and tastes! How we love the unaffected, chaste, homely modes of life! The formal, stately, ostentatious, ceremonious ways of the world grow distasteful, and the modest, quiet, humble, grow clearer and holier.
When again we kneel at a Father's feet, and walk by a Father's side, and look up into a Father's face, then with what large belief in his love and constancy are we ready to go right over rough as well as smooth grouud,— right on through sunshine and darkness; right on through sickness, bereavement, loss, trouble, and long-pressing agitations, knowing that our afflictions, which endure but for a moment, work a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; knowing, too, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in | the heavens. J. S. T. C.
For Friends' Intelligencer.
I observed in the last intelligencer, some account of Arthur Howell, and 1 remember, too, the remarkable occurrence related in the days of my youth, which corresponds with the accountyou have published. I remember the man himself in several of the first Yearly Meetings I attended. His manner in meeting was devout. He sat with his face downwards, and partially covered with his hat. When he spoke, "his words were few and savory," and always to the point, and i to the main point. I have sometimes enquired how it was that there never was a memorial for Arthur Howell, as the object of those documents is for the benefit of survivors, and few I believe can be found whose example and ministry shone more brightly than his. It was said by the liivine Master in relation to the woman in the house of Simon the leper, that "the things she has done shall be told as a memorial of her;" here is the important service and use of a memorial ; "the things she has done," and some of the things done by Arthur Howell I am now about to relate.
Being with some Friends on a religious visit in the year 1819, we tarried a night ata Friend's house, (J. B.) Ho was the only one of the family belonging to the Society of Friends, and in the course of conversation he related some incidents that induced him to become a member. He said, when he was a young man and newly settled in the world, he concluded to better his condition by purchasing a farm that was for sale in the neighborhood. He made his calculations, and concluded within himself that he could easily make the payments, and he would soon have a comfortable home of his own; and he was careful, too, to keep his own secrets, least another might deprive him of a good bargain. So he set out to make the purchase, and while he was walking along the road he met two elderly Friends on horseback, the one a few perches before the other, and the hindermost one he noticed had his hat drawn partly over his face, and appeared to be in a deep, thoughtful mood. He passed them without speaking; but he had walked but a little way before he was startled with a call of "young man!" He-turned and found the last Friend he had passed was riding after him.
The Friend said to him in substance : "Thou art an entire stranger to me, but in passing thee a few minutes ago, I felt a divine impression to say to thee, that if thou engages in the business thou hast in prospect, it will be thy ruin, and thou hadst better abandon it and return home." The Friend proved to be Arthur Howell, " who preached to me (as he said) the most powerful sermon 'I ever heard. He almost told me, as was said by the woman of Samaria, 'all things that ever I did;' but he did not leave me comfortless. I turned about and went home, and soon after I had good reason to believe that if I had bought the farm it would have been the ruin of myself and young family." The Friend some time after applied and became a member of the Society, and, many years afterwards, he removed nearer to Friends, as he lived at the time of his convincement ten miles from meeting. I conversed with him freely but a little while before his decease, which occurred several years ago; he was in a tender state of mind, and held in
grateful remembrance the divine interposition to save him from harm, through the instrumentality of Arthur Howell." F. 3d month 12th, 1857.
Fill ENDS' INTELLIGENCER.
PHILADELPHIA, THIRD MONTH 28, 1857.
We have not alluded to the case of Dred Scott, because, at the time this article was written, the opinion of Chief Justice Taney of the Supreme Court has not been published, it being understood that it is retained until the arguments addressed by the minority can be answered. It is probable some of the points upon which a majority of the Court appear to have agreed, may be somewhat modified, but the fact that the slave power is gradually, but surely extending itself, however humiliating the confession, cannot be doubted. Ever since the so-called Compromise of 1850, a system of measures has been pursued, which, if continued, may introduce by law slavery into the free states, and fasten upon us a system which our education and huanity alike testify against.
We have often before called attention to these aggressions of the slave power, and it may appear like a " thrice told tale;" but a periodical devoted to the interests of the Society of Friends would not be true to its position, if it did not upon every occasion like the present utter a solemn protest against this complicated system of iniquity.
Out of the nine judges of the Supreme Court, five are understood to be slaveholders, and two others from the free states have joined in affirming the decision of the majority.
Judge McLean of Ohio and Judge Curtis of Massachusetts have given adverse opinions, which are too elaborate for general publication. As they will be extensively circulated, such as are interested in examining the grounds assumed can procure and read for themselves. It is probable we shall again allude to this subject, but in the mean time we would refer to an abstract from one of the papers.
THE CASE OF DEED SCOTT.
The recent opinion of the majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Scott Vs. Sanford, has filled all persons of calm and conservative views with regret and alarm.
Th^re is every reason to believe that this case got into the Supreme Court collusively. Dred Scott is a poor, ignorant negro slave in Missouri. It is not possible that he has the opportunity or the means to prosecute a protracted and expensive litigation up to the highest Court in the land. When the case came near argument iliere was no counsel to represent Dred Scott; but a Boston lawyer was procured on the spur of the occasion, by some strangers to Dred, who were interested in his favor.
Dred Scott, originally a slave in Missouri, was taken by his owner, Doctor Emerson, to the free State of Illinois, where master and slave resided two years. Then Doctor Emerson took Dred to Fort Snelling, in that part of Missouri Territory where the Act of 1820 prohibited slavery. At Fort Snelling, Dred was married to a colored woman who had also been brought from Missouri to that post, and who resided there with her owner. About that time, and at Fort Snelling, Dred and his wife were sold to Mr. Sanford, the defendant in this case. After a lengthened absence, Dred and his family were taken back into Missouri, by their alleged owner. In Missouri Dred sued for the freedom of himself and family. The Supreme Court of Missouri decided against Dred's claim. He then sued Sanford, who is a citizen of New York, in the Circuit Court of the United States, was cast there, and took his writ of error to the Supreme Court, whose decision finally adjudges him to remediless bondage.
Upon this stale of facts, the first point assumed by the majority Judges is that no person of African descent can sue in any United States Court! The retrograde barbarism of such a dogma is painfully obvious. Negroes and mulattoes may be an inferior race—they may be too ignorant and uncivilized to be entrusted withaW the franchises of citizenship—it may be proper to keep them under tutelage or restraint —but it is monstrous' that the Courts of a nation professing regard for common right and fairness should exclude the humblest and meanest inhabifint from the poor privilege of sueing for ordinary justice. To exclude persons from the Courts because they are not citizens, would shut the gates of justice not only against negroes, but against minors, aliens and women. But the opinion of the majority, in the very vein of a qua?i-Brahminical caste exclusiveness, reduces the African race, bond or free, to the condition of wretched Pariahs, makes all rights depend, not on the possession of manhood, but on the color of the skin, and shocks the moral sense of every civilized being with the revolting declaration that "negroes have no rights which white . men are bound to respect," and are not entitled, tinder the Constitution, "to be ever thought of or spoken of except as property."
Upon the baseless and absurd assumption that
the Constitution regards men of African descent as mere property, and not as persons, the majority of the Court build the novel dogma that slaves can be held like any other property by mere virtue of the Constitution. This idea was first broached by John C. Calhoun, and was generally scouted, at the time, as a gross heresy. And so it is; unless all the great writers on the Law of Nations, and on Civil and Common law, and all the previous decisions of every respectable Court in this country, and in the civilized world, are wholly in error. For every one of these authorities, for centuries back, has explicitly held that slavery is the mere creature of positive law ; that it cannot exist a moment without positive law; that it cannot exist merely by being not prohibited, but only by explicit and special establishment; that a slave is not property naturally, but only technically and legally, by virtue of specific municipal law. Every tyro in jurisprudence is aware that these principles are primary and elementary. It follows, then, that a slave is not property, like a horse or a wagon. For these are owned by virtue of the law of nature and nations, and of common right; whereas, a slave is owned, as all the jurists say, against natural right, and only by force of local law. These simple and universal truths were axioms, as every school-boy knows, with our Fathers who framed the Constitution ; and every schoolboy knows, too, that while the Fathers were careful to leave the States perfectly free to dispose of slavery as they saw fit, they were equally careful to avoid establishing or recognising property in man under any mere Federal jurisdiction. Unless, therefore,the people of a Territory choose to establish slavery, or at least to give it special allowance, a human being cannot be held as a slave by any force of the United States Constitution. To affirm the contrary iB to say that a Virginia or a South Carolina slaveholder carries into Kansas or Minnesota, not only his family and his horses, but also the local laws of his own State.
Dred Scott was taken by his master into the Free State of Illinois to reside, and they did reside there for two years. Now no principle of civil, common and international law is more clearly settled by a long succession of illustrious authorities and precedents than this, that as slavery is the mere creature of local law, so, if a master voluntarily takes his slave into a State where slavery is prohibited, with the intent of residing there, the very act works emancipation. And yet, in spite of the facts, and in contempt of the clearest law, the majority Judges say that Dred is a slave! Some of them argue that Dred waived his freedom by going back to Missouri. But he cannot be supposed to have gone back voluntarily, for a slave has no volition ; and, if he did, no man can make himself or his offspring slaves by contract, either express or implied.