Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

know we think, but we receive our best gifts when we are not searching for them. He who never knows how to say to himself, "Be still, and know that God is God," who lives in perpetual quest for Him, misses by his very activity Him who reveals himself in the silences. The "still, small voice" is heard in the quiet hour; and if we spend all our life in dancing to the sound of music or laboring to the jar and whir of busy machinery, how shall we have an ear to hear the "still, small voice" of God? nay, if we are always busy praying, always busy singing, always busy in great congregations, always listening to what other men have to say, how shall we have an ear to hear what God has to say? I do not know that Americans spend too much time in talking to God, but I am sure we spend too little time in listening to him.

These rest hours God prescribes in his Word; he summons us to them by our own experiences; he requires us to take them by his providence; and we do not understand it. Every night he lays the obligation of rest on men; every seventh day he has put the obligation of resting in his Word, and written it in the very necessities of human nature; but, more than that, he often says to the busy man, who has been so busy that he has had no time to think, "You must stop." Suddenly he takes away employment from him, compels him to spend a little while in idleness, and the poor man does not understand that God is saying, "Stop and think." So he put his hand on Luther in the midst of the battle, when it seemed that Europe could not do without him for a single day, and shut him up in the castle at Wartburg, saying to him, "Stop and think." So he put his hand on Moses in Egypt, took him away from the people he would have delivered, carried him off into the wilderness, and compelled him to spend years there in quiet reflection. The men who have wrought great results have generally had these resting periods either conferred upon them or imposed upon them. In England Dr. Fairbairn would not be the leader in theological thought that he is if for twelve years he had not worked in a little country parish, thinking much and producing relatively little. Morse elaborated and perfected his scheme of electric telegraphy on an ocean steamer; and that is the one place where you cannot do anything unless you are a captain or a sailor. The quiet times are the fruitful times; and we do not know it. Invalidism is often man's opportunity for rest. God takes this woman out of her household, or this man out of his business, and says, "Lie on that bed for two weeks, and rest." If he only knew what he was put there for, only would stop and rest for those two weeks, he would come back to his life reinvigorated and refreshed, but all the time he is resisting and struggling and worrying about the work he cannot do. When these hours come, and the Father and the Mother of us all takes us in his arms and says, "My child, rest a little while," let us learn not to struggle against him, but to accept the gift, lay aside the work, and relieve ourselves from the responsibility, take the quiet hour, rest, and grow strong.

"Oh that I had wings like a dove! that I might fly away, and be at rest"-that is the cry of the heart. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"-that is the answer of the Christ. Observe the difference. We want to fly away and be at rest; but Christ tells us how we can stay in life and there be at rest. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me." The yoke is not a burden, it is an instrument that helps us carry the burden. He makes it possible to carry the load which the unyoked cannot carry. And what Christ says is this: "I will show you, not how you can fly away and be at rest, but how you can be at rest where you are. For there are two ways of getting rest: one to run away from life and its toils; the other to get such accretion of life that what was a burden is a burden no longer. The boy at school toils over Greek, and listens to the buzzing of the bees and the singing of the birds outside, and sighs at his task. By and by he grows up to manhood, and comes back from his shop or his factory, and in the evening sits down and takes this very Homer and reads it in the Greek. What was his burden becomes his rest. Why? Because of the accretion of life that has come to

[ocr errors]

him through the education. So God gives us rest by adding to our strength, not by taking away our toil.

66

These rest periods-the night, the Sunday, the hour of invalidism, the vacation hours-these are the provided times when we are to gather life for future service; they are not wasted times, if we know how to use them. The Mill-race running its busy course calls back to the Millpond and says, 'Oh, you lazy Pond! why are you idle? Go to work;" but the Pond replies, "If I did not lie here, there would be no Mill-race." The racing Raindrops call back to the Cloud above, "You lazy Cloud, lying there in the sky, why do you not come down and refresh the thirsty earth?" and the Cloud replies, "If there were no Cloud hanging in the heavens there would be no racing Raindrops.' These hours of rest are the needed preparation, the accumulations of life, out of which grow its activities. God help us to take rest from Him as the gift of His love, and so to use the rest that it shall recuperate our life; and when, at last, the long, deep sleep shall fall upon us, the grave shall not be as a nest in the wilderness where we shall rest forever, but only as a bed on which we lie down for a little night, with the glad awaking in the morning, and the restfulness of an eternal labor that is never toil.

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

Oh, yes, of course," Miss Lucinda assented, hastily. "If only he wasn't a boy!"

The minister sighed. "I want you to do what you think best." It was Miss Lucinda's turn to sigh now- —a long-drawn breath of surrender. "Well, I'll take him," she said. The minister rose to go. "It's very kind of you, Miss Tarbox; be sure I appreciate your self-sacrifice;" and then he added, in a hesitating sort of way, "You are always full of good works." The color flamed up in Miss Lucinda's face. "Oh!" she exclaimed, lifting her proud head still higher, "I don't do anything!" and the minister felt the usual sense of defeat he experienced in Miss Tarbox's presence.

He was quite dejected as he went down the garden walk. "So excellent a woman," he murmured to himself, and he mournfully contrasted her uncompromising manner with the flattering air of other single ladies of his parish as he glanced back furtively toward her parlor window.

But Miss Tarbox would have considered it unpardonable coquetry to peep after the minister, since he was an unmarried man and she an eligible if not youthful spinster, so she went at once into the kitchen to prepare her supper. But the color did

rapid, methodical manner, and she thought not so much of the

not at once fade from her cheeks as she moved about in her

boy who was to come as of the man who had just gone. If the minister felt overcome in Miss Lucinda's presence, she, too, had a similar feeling after he had left her with some unspoken word on his lips.

[ocr errors]

"It seems as though he was going to say something sometimes, but I kill it out of him. I wonder what is the matter with me, anyway?" Miss Lucinda had acquired a habit of talking to herself, and now nodded gravely to her reflection in the little mirror over the kitchen shelf. I'm not bad-looking, and I mean to be pleasant, but, somehow, most folks seem kind of afraid of me. I s'pose I have an up-and-coming way with me that scares most of them. I don't seem to be the sort they take to; though I must say it's forlorn to be that way," and the image in the mirror sighed audibly.

When Miss Lucinda had seated herself at her lonely tea-table, her thoughts took another channel. "What in the world am I to do with a boy? He'll upset things on the tablecloth, and let flies in the house, and rub his fingers on the window-pane, and holler. Well, there's one thing about it, he's got to mind every word I say to him!" But here Miss Lucinda drew herself up with a jerk. "There you go, Lucinda, complaining of your loneliness, and then finding fault when some one comes to see you; thinking you're too fond of running things, and then saying you're going to make this boy do just as you want him to."

It was only a few days later when the boy came, in company

with the minister. He was not so large a boy as Miss Lucinda had expected from his age, and he was rather thin and pale.

"I'll give him enough to eat, that's one thing," she told the minister. "And I've been thinking there's one comfort in a boy: he doesn't talk so much as a girl-that is, he isn't likely

to.

"No, he isn't likely to," the minister assented, a little doubtfully.

After the minister had gone Miss Lucinda began to wonder what she should do with the boy the rest of the morning. She found him in the kitchen, his short legs stretched to their utmost, trying to capture two flies buzzing on the window-pane. He paused in his exertions and turned on her with a beaming smile. "Hullo! Is dinner ready?" he asked. Miss Lucinda drew herself up. twelve o'clock," she said, frigidly.

"We don't have dinner till

"Oh, that's all right; you needn't hurry," the boy said, pleasantly. "I'm kinder grub-struck, but I guess I kin wait."

Miss Lucinda stared at him in rebuke. "Perhaps you'd bet ter go out and play," she suggested, "while I get dinner;" and off he went.

When the dinner-table was laid, Miss Lucinda rang her seldom-used bell out of the back door, and the boy came in promptly, with quite a color in his cheeks.

My!" he exclaimed, staring at the neat, plentiful table, “ain't this a feed!"

"You'd better go and wash your hands," Miss Lucinda suggested, and the boy went cheerily to the sink, scrubbing himself vigorously and then wiping his hands on the spick-and-span roller. Miss Lucinda groaned at the great black marks on the towel, and went out into the kitchen to turn it about so that she might not have to look at them through the dining-room doorway.

"Mercy on us!" she cried in distress as she came out into the kitchen," you've left the door open. The house'll be full of flies !"

"Now, don't you trouble," the boy said, soothingly. "I'll catch every single fly that's got in. I'm a great fly-catcher, I am. I'm used to flies."

At the table, conversation did not at all flourish. Miss Lucinda had heard of a boy's appetite, but she had never dreamed of such awful capacity as this young person displayed. After he had taken the first keen edge from his hunger he laid down his knife and fork and looked at her inquiringly.

"Should you mind if I was to call you aunt?" he asked, smilingly. "You know I useter live with my aunt, and I'm kinder useter sayin' it.”

"I think it would be better if you called me Miss Tarbox," Miss Lucinda said, surprised, but not thrown off her guard.

"That's rather long," the boy said, meditatively, "but I guess if I say it often enough I kin git it. Miss Tarbox, Misstarbox, Misstubox, Misstibox, Miss-"

"Don't say that over again, for goodness' sake," Miss Lucinda said, irritably. "What is your name?"

"Well, the whole of it is James Wilson, but I guess you'd better call me Jim. I'm useter that."

"What did you do this morning?" Miss Tarbox felt called upon to sustain and direct further conversation.

"I went over to see the boy 'cross the street, and we're goin' to play Indian this afternoon. Did you ever play Indians ?" Miss Tarbox shook her head.

"You stick feathers all 'round your hat and you make a fire and roast potatoes and yell and eat the potatoes. That boy is a mighty nice feller. I told him I was stoppin' with you and goin' to have a dandy time. I guess he don't know you very well. I told him I thought you was kinder hard to git acquainted with. He said we'd git our feathers out o' his hen-yard, and I thought p'r'aps I might bring the potatoes. Do you think you could let me have two potatoes? I won't eat quite so much next time."

Miss Lucinda drew a long breath. "Yes," she said, “I'll let you have the potatoes."

"Now that's real nice. I told him I thought you'd be willin'." As soon as dinner was over Miss Lucinda brought the two potatoes from the cellar, but the boy did not go at once; he sat on a chair in the kitchen, and watched her brisk movements as she cleared the table and made ready to wash the dishes.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

went on.

[ocr errors]

Miss Lucinda gasped. Well, no, I can't say I do," she answered in mournful truthfulness. "Now that's funny," the boy said, in a surprised tone. "Seem's though the country 'd be an awful nice place to have a good time in Fourth o' July. Mebbe it's 'cause you never had nobody to cel❜brate with; but you will this year. You'll have a real nice time, too; I always enjoy Fourth o' July.”

Miss Lucinda gave a feeble sigh. "What do you usually do Fourth of July?" she asked, with the desire to learn her coming fate.

"Well, last year I had one bunch o' firecrackers that got fired off the very first thing. I thought mebbe this year I'd earn 'nough money to buy two bunches; d' you think I could?" "Well, really, I don't know," Miss Lucinda said.

"And last year I went to see the percession, and the crowd jammed me, and I didn't see nothin'; but this year they're goin' to have a percession out here, and that feller asked me to be in D' you suppose I could?"

it.

"I don't know," Miss Lucinda answered again.

"They're goin' to have reg'lar uniforms, red, white, and blue "evidently the boy took this as half consent-" and it's goin' to be jest great. I s'pose it'd be a good deal o' trouble to make me a uniform, seein's you're so busy?"

"A soldier suit? Dear me, yes, I should say so!" There was no doubt now in Miss Lucinda's tones. "All right,"

The boy drew a deep breath as he rose to go. he said, cheerfully, "I'll tell the fellers; p'r'aps they'll let me march, jest the same."

When supper-time came and Miss Lucinda rang her bell again out of the door, she saw the boy coming along the path from the barn, helping Joshua, the man of all work, bring in the brimming pail of milk.

"Supper is ready," Miss Lucinda said, and this time the boy washed his hands without special order.

"Say," he cried, waving the roller, "Josh's goin' to teach me how to milk, and you won't have to hire him any more. I kin do everything's well as not. Can't I, Josh?" But Joshua had,. fortunately, gone, and did not hear this threat to usurp his. position.

"Well, you do have awful good meals,” he said, sitting down opposite Miss Lucinda's handsome, severe figure. "I'm orful hungry, but I did have the dandiest time to-day you ever heard of. The potatoes didn't roast very well, but the fire burned like fun. My Jiminy-"

"James!" called Miss Lucinda in an awful voice. James opened his innocent eyes and looked at her, then fell to eating with renewed vigor, and it was some time before he mustered courage to finish his recital.

But when he came out into the kitchen and watched her moving back and forth in the dusky light, Miss Lucinda somehow felt herself moved to open conversation.

66

"You didn't eat so very much for supper, James." No, marm," James answered promptly. "Don't you remember them potatoes? I was a-payin' for 'em." "Mercy on us!" cried Miss Lucinda, and she went to the dining-room and brought from the table the currant pie of which the boy, to Miss Lucinda's amazement, had eaten only two pieces.

He ate the third generous slice she gave him, and again sat still, watching her with round admiring eyes as she moved about.

"I think it's about time for you to go to bed now, James," his guardian said presently, and James rose promptly.

"Would you mind calling me Jim? It sounds kinder homesick to be called James," he said, with sudden wistfulness engendered even in his boyish spirit by the shadows and the newness of the place.

66

Good-night, Jim," Miss Lucinda responded, but Jim still stood looking at her with serious eyes.

66

My aunt useter kiss me good-night. You don't exactly look like the kissin' kind, and I ain't neither, but-but I didn't know, seein' 's you're so good to me, but-p'r'aps"-he flushed and shifted himself from one foot to the other.

Miss Lucinda flushed too, and looked greatly embarrassed, but hers was no stony heart to refuse so gallant a suitor; she stooped and kissed him awkwardly and flutteringly somewhere upon his forehead or hair; but when she would have felt her duty over, he suddenly seized her in an impetuous hug. He went upstairs quickly, and Miss Lucinda sat down in her little rocking-chair with hot, red cheeks, and something deeper than embarrassment brought a new light into her clear eyes.

"I think he tries hard to be a good boy," Miss Lucinda said to the minister when he next called, "but he does a great many things that are rather startling, and now and then he says something he oughtn't to."

"Yes?" the minister said, in kindly interest. "The very first day he got here he swore at the table." The minister looked horrified. "Of course I spoke of it right off, and he hasn't done it again. He was kind of excited about playing Indian, and I don't suppose he really meant it; he said "-the minister reddened and looked away and Miss Lucinda flushed"he said Jiminy." The minister drew out his handkerchief and coughed slightly. "But, as I say, he hasn't said anything since, and I think I could get along very well if Fourth of July wasn't coming so soon. But what do you think? He wants a soldier suit, and firecrackers, and all sorts of things. If only he hadn't come till after the Fourth! I never did approve of it. I always did think it was a heathenish holiday,” and Miss Lucinda broke off feelingly.

After the minister had gone Miss Lucinda started to go to the village store. Jim usually did the errands, but this was something that had been overlooked, and he was at play, out of calling distance.

On Miss Lucinda's return, as she came through the lane by a shorter road, she heard voices in the field beyond; the speakers were hidden by a hedge, but she recognized the tones as Jim's and his playfellow's across the street.

44

Say, can't you march?" said a wheedling voice.

"No, I guess not," Jim's voice answered, a trifle dolefully. "Why not? Won't she make you a suit?"

There was a little pause before Jim answered: "Well, I don't know 's I care 'bout marchin'."

"H'm! you needn't say that. It's 'cause that stingy old maid won't make you anything to wear, I know.”

There was a sudden movement on the other side of the hedge. "You call her a stingy old maid again and you'll see! She's a handsome lady, she is, and it ain't none o' your business if I don't want to march."

"H'm! you needn't git on your ear so dreadful quick. I wouldn't stand up for anybody that only let me earn money enough to buy two bunches of firecrackers. Why, I've got two packages! A great Fourth o' July you'll have!"

"I've got some more money, but I ain't goin' to buy firecrackers; I'm savin' it for a s'prise. Say, look-a-here, you see, Miss Tibbox ain't never had a boy 'round, an' she don't understand 'bout Fourth o' July, that's all."

Miss Lucinda did not wait to hear the answer, but went swiftly back to the village.

The night before the Fourth, as Jim was going to bed, Miss Lucinda said: "Aren't you going to march with the boys tomorrow, Jim ?"

Jim shook his head and looked at her solemnly. "I ain't got no suit. The fellers won't let you march without one. Never mind; I've given up lots of things. My aunt wa'n't much of a hand for doin' things, you know."

Jim had never asked Miss Lucinda to kiss him good-night since that first time, when he felt so markedly homesick, and certainly she would never have offered to kiss him, so she merely said, as he took his light to go upstairs, "Good-night, Jim."

But she sat down in her rocking-chair, quite near the diningroom, with an expectant, listening expression on her face. Suddenly there arose a great commotion above, and Jim came tumbling down the stairs with wild shrieks of delight.

"Oh, my gracious! oh, my gracious!" he cried, "Look-a-here, did you do it? Ain't they butes? I kin march now, can't I? O, my Jimi-my gracious, my gracious!" and he danced about the room, first on one foot and then on the other, waving in one hand a wonderful pair of red, white, and blue trousers, in the other a similarly gorgeous jacket.

Miss Lucinda was really frightened; she was not used to such demonstrations of joy. But Jim stopped his dancing presently, and, throwing his cherished outfit on the floor, he embraced her rapturously until she gravely extricated herself.

"I'm glad you like it, Jim," she said, a little stiffly. "Like it!" Jim shrieked, throwing himself about in another wild pantomime. "Like it! Oh, my gracious, I'm 'fraid I shall bust !"

"I think you had better go to bed now," Miss Lucinda said, after a pause.

Jim gathered up his suit and looked at her anxiously. "Should

[blocks in formation]

And Miss Lucinda, to her own amazement, found herself replying, "Well, no, but don't get up too early."

And after Jim was asleep, and it was time for her to retire, she went softly into his room to lay two packages of firecrackers on the chair beside the gay garments.

Poor Miss Lucinda hid her head under the bedclothes during the night, and when there came an extra loud explosion thought of Jim. But at breakfast-time he turned up safe and smiling.

[ocr errors]

"I never had sech a good time in all my life before. Say, Miss Tibbox, did you mean all those firecrackers for me? Well, if you ain't the nicest woman in the world! I've got a s'prise for you, too. Just you wait and see!" and he nodded mysteriously across the table at Miss Lucinda, who felt a vague misgiving. Why didn't you wear your soldier suit ?" she asked. Jim beamed upon her. Why, I'm a-savin' it. We don't march till ten o'clock. You don't know how much nicer it is to be in a percession than jest to look at it. I wish you could march, too," he added, politely. But you'll come out on the piazza and watch us go by, won't you?"

66

66

And Miss Lucinda promised to be on the spot.

If Jim had never passed another such day, it was as wholly unprecedented in Miss Lucinda Tarbox's calendar. Jim marched by the house as proud as a peacock in his new soldier suit, and raised a cheer to Miss Lucinda so loud and hearty that she retired blushing into the house. Then after dinner there was nothing for Miss Lucinda but to come out on the piazza and watch Jim fire off some of his crackers, and there the poor lady sat, cringing and shrinking and trying to smile each time Jim would shout, "That's the loudest of all."

But the climax of the day was reached when Jim brought the minister home to supper. How it happened that the minister appeared upon the scene at tea-time Miss Lucinda could not understand; but when he arrived, and Jim whispered in a loud aside, "I thought p'r'aps he might stay to supper," there was no alternative but a cordial invitation, which the minister accepted promptly. Miss Lucinda likewise never knew the remarks with which Jim escorted the minister to the house. "She's the very nicest woman in the world," he told the minister, "and I think she thinks you're a pretty nice sort of a chap." The minister never repeated these compliments of Jim's to Miss Lucinda.

After tea, Jim's secret was revealed; he had invested the largest part of his small earnings in fireworks, which he was quite sure Miss Lucinda would enjoy, and he had invited the minister to supper that he might help him set them off. So Miss Lucinda came out on the porch in the darkness, and the minister and Jim paraded about in the neat little garden in front, and proceeded to diminish Jim's purchases. Presently the minister came up on the piazza and sat down beside Miss Lucinda, for the remaining fireworks could easily be exploited by Jim. But just as the minister was considering whether the time was propitious for an advancement of his own interests there came a sudden sharp cry from Miss Lucinda, and he turned to see a line of flame running about the paper belt of the gallant little showman. The minister was quick in his movements, and was down the path and had Jim in his arms and the fire smothered in a few moments, while Miss Lucinda was by his side sobbing and bending over Jim's little form.

"Oh, let me see him," she cried, "the dear child! Is he hurt very badly?" and the rare tears fell on the small, smoky face. Jim wriggled a little in the minister's arms, and, opening his eyes, smiled on her. "Now don't you worry," he said, cheerily. "I ain't hurt.

"But I'm 'fraid I've spoilt my suit," he added when the minister had placed him on the lounge in Miss Lucinda's little sitting-room.

"Oh, never mind the suit," Miss Lucinda cried, and Jim looked up at her in reproachful surprise.

But it was quite true that he was not hurt, though rather weak from the fright, and presently he came out again, between the minister and Miss Lucinda, to sit on the piazza and watch the neighbors' fireworks.

Jim, on the little stool at Miss Lucinda's feet, leaned his head against her knee. "I don't care, it's been a fine Fourth o' July," he murmured.

"So it has," echoed the minister; "don't you think so, Lucinda?" But Miss Lucinda's only answer was a blush and a consenting silence.

"Do you mind now if I call you aunt?" Jim's voice asked. Miss Lucinda laid her hand gently on Jim's head.

dear," she said, softly, “no.”

"You might call me uncle," suggested the minister.

"No,

Jim nodded brightly. "All right," he said, promptly; "then we'll be a reg'lar family."

And the new uncle and aunt smiled in the darkness.

The Religious World

The International Sunday-School Convention

The eighth International SundaySchool Convention met in Boston June 23-26. It was a delegate convention representing various evangelical denominations, and about seventeen hundred delegates were present from various parts of the country. It is estimated that these delegates represented not far from 12,000,000 Sunday-school pupils. This is called an International Convention, but in reality it includes only representatives from this country and Canada. It is one grand division of the world's convention which assembles once in six years. At this gathering the Sundayschool lessons for six or seven years are planned. The last Convention arranged a course of lessons up to the year 1899. The object of laying out work so far in advance is that commentators and those preparing lesson helps may have plenty of time for their work. The committee arranging the lessons represents various denominations and includes fifteen American and seven English members. The meetings were held in Tremont Temple and Park Street Church. Addresses were given by such men as Mr. Moody, Drs. Lorimer, A. F. Schauffler, W. A. Duncan, George M. Boynton, J. A. Worden, B. B. Tyler, and others equally prominent in service through the Sunday-school. Nothing in the Convention has interested us so much as the account of the Home Department, which aims at the promotion of Bible study on the part of all the members of the churches. There are between thirty-five and forty thousand sub-departments connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, many in Congregational churches, and the interest in the department is decidedly on the increase. It seems to us that what are known as the Blakeslee Lessons offer, as a rule, a better method for the pursuance of study at home than those of the International Committee. This International Committee does not lay out the lessons for all the Sunday-schools of the country, and the whole amount of Sunday-school work cannot be judged solely from those represented in the Convention. Many local schools, like that of the Park Church in Elmira and of the Center Church in New Haven, have carefully planned systems of lessons of their own, while a still larger and a growing number are pursuing the Blakeslee Lessons. It will be seen, therefore, that this great Convention, taken in connection with the various other Bible schools which are held throughout the country, indicates an expanding enthusiasm in the study of the Holy Scripture, which is a most encouraging sign of the times.

[ocr errors]

The sixth Triennial Meeting of The Pan-Presbyterian Council the Pan-Presbyterian Council convened in Glasgow June 17. Previous meetings have been held in Edinburgh, Philadelphia, Belfast, London, and Toronto. Representatives were present from almost all the nations in which there are Presbyterian churches. The delegates represented more than 4,500,000 communicants. The first sessions were held in the Cathedral. The opening sermon was preached by the Rev. J. Marshall Lang, D.D., of the Barony Church, Glasgow. Dr. Lang is the successor in the pastorate of that church of the famous Dr. Norman Macleod. His subject was The Building Up of the Body of Christ." He considered the life of the Church in its three aspects of worship, holiness, and brotherhood. It is not a mere federation of sects, but a spiritual organism vitally related to Christ. The work of the ministry is the building up of this body. The standards are the protection of the body. Christ is not a mere ethical teacher, but the Saviour of the world. In concluding, Dr. Lang spoke of the three notes of the body of Christ : its spirituality, its catholicity, and its unity. He denied that the Presbyterian churches were founded by Calvin; they were founded in the Apostles and the Prophets. He did not believe that Presbyterianism has all the truth. Other addresses were given by Dr. William H. Roberts, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, who spoke on "Protestantism as a Distinctive Religious and Political Force;" Principal Dykes, who spoke on "The Anglican View of the Church;" Professor Orr, who spoke on "The Church as a Witness to Revealed Truth;" Dr. Stalker, who spoke on "The Educative Influence of the Church on Social Life;" Principal Stewart, of St. Andrews, whose subject was "Preaching:" and J. A. Campbell, M.P., who spoke on "Presbyterianism: Its Influence in Social Philanthropy." We cull a few sentences showing the drift of the thought. Principal Orr said that it was his conviction that the Church suffered, not from too much theology, but from too little. Doctrines are treated in a superficial, haphazard, arbitrary, dilettante way. There is need of a theologian who will help men to reconstruct their beliefs in a living way. Dr. Stalker said that there were plenty of churches in Glasgow with over fifty elders and deacons; that the office-bearers are chosen for their character alone; and he thinks one duty of the elders ought to be to provide

Christian work for all the members of the congregation who are willing to undertake it. Principal Stewart said as to reading sermons versus extemporaneous address: "In so far as the sermon aims at instruction, it is better to write and read it; but exhortation is most effective when sped direct from heart to heart." A strong paper was presented by Dr. David Waters, of Newark, N. J., on "The Reformed View of the Church of God." Indeed, all the papers seem to have dealt with some feature of the Church, the main line of their development being the spread of religious thought and of the kingdom of Christ throughout the continent and the world. It was decided to hold the next meeting of the Council in Washington.

The Evangelical Alliance

As we go to press, the International Evangelical Alliance begins in London its tenth conference of the Christians of all nations. The meetings will begin at Exeter Hall. Between three and four hundred delegates have intimated their intention to be present, and they represent nearly all the great nations of Christendom, with many from mission lands. The meeting which was held on Monday evening last was intended to be a kind of international conversazione and reception, at which a number of the principal representatives would speak. Among the subjects to be considered at this conference are, "The True Unity of the Church as Distinguished from the Proposed Reunion of Christendom," "Christian Work on the Continent," "The Evangelical Faith: Helps and Hindrances,” “Christian Work Among the Young," "The Evangelical Alliance and Religious Liberty," "Christian Co-operation," "International Christian Philanthropy." The list of speakers is long and representative. Most of the meetings will be held in the Conference Hall at Mildmay Park. This Conference Hall is related to the Mildmay Mission, and seats about three thousand people. Our readers will remember the great meeting of the Evangelical Alliance held in New York in 1873.

The Archbishop of York to his Priests

Dr. McLagan, the Archbishop of York, recently gave an address to the priests who are members of the Pastoral Order of the Holy Ghost resident in the province of York. His subject was "The Priestly Life." In the course of his remarks the Archbishop said: "A man may be an excellent lawyer or soldier or doctor, whatever the character of his moral life, but the life of the priest is really part of his work. His life is to be a witness for Christ. Of all his sermons his life will be the most eloquent, the most intelligible, and the most influential. His people will be more affected by what he is than by what he does." In enlarging upon this thought, he said: "The life of the priest, like the love of his Master, may be regarded as fourfold in its dimensions. It must have breadth and length and depth and height. Its breadth lies in culture and catholic sympathy; its length in patient perseverance and onward progress; its depth in thoroughness and absolute sincerity; its height in heavenly-mindedness and in holy joy." From what followed in the enlargement of these thoughts we make one or two quotations: "The foundations of the priestly life must be laid deep; not in the superficial soil of emotional experience, of literary leisure, or of social advantage, but on the rock of conscious union with the Incarnate God, and in the strength of his indwelling presence, sustained by a living faith in the divine commission, As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.'" "The life of the priest ought to be a spiritual life of the highest attainment, the highest Christian life. It is his calling and his responsibility to show in himself the power of that Gospel which he preaches, and that grace which he administers. What every Christian ought to be, that he is bound to be in the most perfect manner and measure." "The truest elevation of priestly life is found, not in high position, not in high attainments, not in the high esteem of admiring congregations, nor in the high claims of spiritual power; but in upward longings, in heavenward aspirations, and the fervor of holy desire; in deepening love and growing likeness to the beautiful Shepherd, and in 'looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God." Dr. McLagan always emphasizes the spiritual side in his official utterances to his workers. The selections which we have made from this address are typical of most of his words to the clergy of his province.

Social Settlements in London

We have received many inquiries from persons intending to visit London concerning social settlements in that city. A few words may be helpful to them and to others. The most prominent social settlements in London are Toynbee Hall, Oxford House, Mansfield House, and Browning Hall. by no means a complete list, but it contains the ones which probably will be the most interesting to tourists. All except Browning Hall are in East London, and easily found from the directories. Toynbee Hall was the first of the settlements, but its work has somewhat

This is

changed. It is now a kind of university in the East End. It appeals more largely to the better class of the poor, especially to those who aspire to knowledge and are desirous of rising. It is doing a valuable work, but does not largely reach the laboring and outcast classes. Oxford House is located at Bethnal Green, and represents the High Church party of the Establishment. Its head worker is the Rev. Mr. Ingraham, and he is surely an enthusiast in his mission. This settlement has established many clubs. In a certain way it reaches the laboring people; but more in providing them with amusement and pleasant and agreeable surroundings than in otherwise influencing their life. It is quite as worthy of study as Toynbee Hall. To our mind more interesting still is Mansfield House, Canning Town, located in the vicinity of the Victoria Docks. Mr. Percy Alden is the head worker. This settlement has two departments-one for men and one for women. Of the latter Miss Cheetham is the head worker. More than any other settlement, this reaches the lower strata of the laboring classes. It is peculiar in the hold it has upon men, and no one of all the settlements in London better repays careful study. The meeting which is held on Sunday evening for the discussion of current events in their ethical relations is especially worth visiting. The latest of the prominent settlements in London is Browning Hall, of which the Rev. F. Herbert Stead, a younger brother of Mr. W. T. Stead, is the head worker. Mr. and Mrs. Stead are peculiarly bright and able people. Few are more cultured, and few represent in themselves a finer type of life. Their settlement is in South London, in the midst of what Mr. Charles Booth has proved to be even more desolate than the East. Before entering this field Mr. Stead had been a pastor in Leicester, and for some years had edited the "Independent." From what we know of the workers we should say that Toynbee Hall should be studied as an educational center among the poor; Oxford House for its men's amusement clubs; Mansfield House as the one which is doing most to reach and ennoble the laboring men, and to relieve present distress; and Browning Hall as the one where there is probably the most intelligent and wise study of the many phases of the social problem. Of the other settlements we will mention only that at Bermondsey, under the patronage of the English Wesleyans. This is also said to be doing an excellent work, but with it we are not personally familiar. Visitors are cordially welcomed at the various houses, but perhaps it ought to be said that care should be taken not to impose too much on the courtesy of the workers. There is danger, as the number of Americans interested in such studies increases, that their presence, instead of being a help, may become a burden on the hospitable and always courteous residents.

Georg Ebers not a Buddhist

The report has recently been circulated in this country that Dr. Georg Ebers, the great German Egyptologist, had become a Buddhist. If we are correctly informed, the source of the rumor was with those who have desired to claim Dr. Ebers as a Theosophist. The “ Independent" recently published a letter from him to his friend, Mrs. Elizabeth A. Reed, of Chicago, which contains an explicit denial. We give the following extract from the letter:

No, worthy friend, I have not become a Buddhist; I remain Christian to the end, and also educate my children as Christians. I teach them to love the Holy One, as earnestly as my mother taught these truths to me, her only son; and my warm-hearted Christian wife stands side by side with me in this matter. It naturally follows that I would be glad to discredit the wonderful bit of information (?) which had its origin in America, and show your people that nothing is further from me than to become disloyal to Christ by attaching myself to any other religion. You, dear friend, will do me a great favor if you will impart to your countrymen the fact that I remain that which I have always been-a Christian. My convictions are grounded upon earnest thinking, and especially upon outer and inner experience, upon which I can rely.

[blocks in formation]

Mr. R. Ernest Jones, of the Theological Books on Immortality College of Bala, North Wales, recently wrote to Mr. Gladstone asking him to name the books on the subject of Immortality which he had found most helpful. Mr. Jones reports that Mr. Gladstone's reply was: (1) Dr. Salmond's "Christian Doctrine of Immortality;" (2) Dean Church's Sermons; (3) Dr. George S. Barrett's "Intermediate State." We are rather surprised that Tennyson's "In Memoriam " was not included in the list, for, while it is not a treatise, it is full of suggestive arguments which have the force of demonstrations. It has been said, and wisely we think, that no truer word on that subject has been spoken in this generation than in Tennyson's immortal poem.

[blocks in formation]

for it, either as a Christian or an educational institution. It is to be erected, if at all, solely in the interests of a denomination. Into any details of the controversy we do not propose to enter. If the population were sufficient to make another institution desirable, there would surely be no criticism; but the idea of starting another college and appealing to the Christian public for means to carry it on, when there is no real need whatever, seems to us indefensible. This is said, not in the interest of the existing institution, but in the belief that it ought to be easy to find some basis on which all concerned could unite, and so save the scandal and extravagance of having two institutions where only one is required.

Presbyterians and Mormons

We have received from the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Utah a report setting forth reasons why Christians cannot fellowship with the Mormons. The first thought we have in reading the report is, Who ever supposed that they could? It may, however, be a practical question in Utah, and we will therefore give our readers an outline of the report. Ten reasons are given why Christians cannot fellowship with Mormons :

1. The Mormons claim to be the only true Church.

2. They hold the Book of Mormon and doctrine of the Covenants of equal authority with the Bible.

3. The Mormons make faith in Joseph Smith essential to true religion. 4. They insist on faith in the doctrine of the Mormon priesthood.

5. They teach a doctrine of God antagonistic to the Scriptures.

6. They teach that Adam is God.

7. They are polytheists.

8. They teach an unscriptural doctrine of salvation.

9. They believe in polygamy.

10. They teach that God is a polygamist.

The reasons given by the Presbytery are certainly sufficient.

Presbyterianism

in Scotland

The "British Weekly" of May 28 contains a condensed and comprehensive summary of the present condition of the two largest branches of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, which will interest others than Presbyterians in this country. We make the following extract:

The reports of the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland for the past year have now been published. The total income of the Established Church from all sources showed a considerable decline. On the other hand, the number of members has increased by over 6,000. Owing to the way in which the Free Church lists of members and adherents are kept, it is difficult to say what the precise increase this year numbers, but it is over 4,000. The increase in contributions amounts to the large sum of £47,223. Of this a good proportion comes from legacies, but the growth in ordinary contributions is notable and most encouraging. Mr. J. M. McCandlish, one of the ablest financiers in the country, in giving his report to the Free Church Assembly, said that the Free Church and the United Presbyterian Church had raised between them this year considerably over £1,000,000.

This is a noble financial showing, and a wide contrast with the condition of things in the Presbyterian Church in the United States, where the debt of the missionary societies is nearly $300,000. It shows, for one thing, that where Presbyterianism is theologically most liberal it is also financially most generous-a good fact to remember.

Brief Mention

We are informed by cable that the Pope, at a secret consistory held June 22, created four new Cardinals and twelve Italian Bishops. The prelates elevated to the cardinalate were Monsignors Ferrata, Cretoni, Jacobini, and Agliardi, respectively Papal Nuncios at Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, and Vienna.

The seventh annual Convention of the Young People's Christian Union of the Universalist Church will be held in Jersey City, N. J., July 8-14. This organization occupies the same relation to the Universalist denomination as do the Christian Endeavor, Epworth League, and Baptist Union to other denominations. Its various departments are devoted to Charity, Christian Citizenship, a Post-Office Mission, Church Extension, Flower Mission, and Junior Work. An enterprising religious newspaper in London recently offered prizes for reports concerning the length of sermons preached on a given Sabbath. Nearly three hundred responses were sent in. The longest sermons reported were by a Presbyterian minister in the far north of Scotland and a Methodist preacher in England. Each of these discourses occupied an hour and twenty-eight minutes. The shortest sermon in the list was by a Primitive Methodist brother, and was only five and three-quarters minutes long.

During the summer three of the editors of The Outlook expect to take their vacations in Europe. Dr. and Mrs. Abbott, with other members of their family, sailed on Saturday last on the Mohawk, of the Atlantic Transport Line. Dr. Bradford, accompanied by his daughter, sailed on Wednesday on the Majestic. He goes to accept an invitation extended to him by the Kensington Congregational Church of London, to supply its pulpit for two months during the illness of its pastor. Dr. Whiton expects to sail later, and will preach in various pulpits during his absence. All will be absent about two months.

Our readers have already seen in the secular press the appeal of Dean Farrar for funds to aid in preserving Canterbury Cathedral from destruction. He says at least £20,000 is required to make the Cathedral secure for another century.. Half the sum has been raised by private exertion, but ten thousand more is needed. He says it should be a matter of national concern; that the Dean and Chapter are unable to keep in repair the glorious fabric intrusted to their charge. The appeal is made to Americans as well as to English. For ourselves, we cannot see why the appeal need go outside the city of Canterbury. The Cathedral makes the city, and it is worth far more to it than would be required to keep it in perfect order. Short-sighted people, however, belong to no one nation, and it is not surprising that Dean Farrar, whom Americans admire and honor, should feel obliged to make this appeal outside his cathedral city.

« AnteriorContinuar »