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another way the growing consciousness of the real community of interest and faith between Christians of every race, creed, and Church. Sir Thomas Browne urged that the use of good language was due to the Pope as a temporal prince; the time has come when it is not only accorded to him as a Christian, but is also expected from him, and that expectation the present Pope has never disappointed. Christians are clearly learning to live together in the bonds of brotherly love, and that in itself marks a great forward step.
Suggestion and Hint
Nothing is more characteristic of fruitful men than their ability to take suggestions from every quarter and to perceive almost at a glance their possibilities of development and use. A man of this temper is constantly fed by casual remarks, incidents, stories, and experiences. Things which would have no interest beyond the moment to a man lacking this quality of appropriation become wonderfully rich and stimulating. Some men develop this faculty to such a degree that they become largely dependent upon it, and find it necessary to keep themselves in constant contact with other men in order to receive the necessary intellectual stimulus. In rare cases the faculty may be over-developed. In the cases of most men its development is rudimentary. In such a development, however, two ends are served. First, life is made infinitely more interesting. A man who forms the habit of getting at the inner significance of things, of detecting their resemblances, of seeing their illustrative power, finds himself constantly entertained by what goes on within his hearing and before his eyes. The spectacle of appearances and the procession of experiences are not isolated. They suggest a thousand interesting points of contact; they throw side-lights on a thousand. obscure or difficult problems. Second, life is made very much richer by the development of this habit. It takes on a definitely educational character. A man is fed by nearly everything which comes in his way; his thought is stimulated, his imagination awakened, his speech enriched. This was strikingly illustrated in the case of the man whom Mr. Lincoln once pronounced the most fruitful mind in the history of America-the man who literally found sermons in stones, who drew from other men the secrets of their craft, who saw the resemblances between the processes of all industries and the processes of life, who detected the large and subtle analogies between human life and the life of nature. To him, therefore, all experiences and observation became a kind of Pactolian stream which left a deposit of gold in its channel. It lies within the power of few men to make such use of this faculty of appropriation as the great preacher and orator of whom Mr. Lincoln spoke, but it lies within the power of all men to develop it to such a degree as to get an immense addition of pleasure and power from it.
The Outlook Vacation Fund
A Letter from Santa Clara
Most of us long for the unsung songs of the poets, but only those who live close to the working-girls of New York know the untold tragedies of daily life in this great city. Twelve years ago a gentlewoman by birth and education was left a widow with one child in the city of New York, without a dollar. She faced the future conscious of her limited physical powers, and very conscious that she was totally unfitted by training to support herself and her little girl of four years. It is doubtful whether she would have made the effort to live if it had not been for the trusting affection of her little girl. Mother love gave her
courage, and she went to work. She was a fine needlewoman, slow,
and this is the letter that came to the mother:
We arrived at Tupper junction at 5.30 this morning. Got coffee & rolls & each paid 25 cts. Arrived at Santa Clara at 9.30. Got eggs, coffee, milk & bread. Took a nap & now I write. Paid 25 cts for my trunk, paid Dr. 10 cts & now have 40 cts. left.
The house surprised me, it takes up 3 city blocks; has 36 single rooms, 9 hammocks, & 2 cots out of doors. The dining-room has 4 long tables covered with ferns. Blue and white dishes. You can use all the fancy pillows, of which they have about 20, & there are 12 reclining chairs on the veranda. I have a room on the ground floor; a wardrobe with 2 shelves & all is new, for I am in the new part of the house. I have a Turkish rug. Fancy oak dresser with a swinging mirror & 4 drawers-a center table with a handsome linen hemstitched cover, wicker rocker, & one chair; a white iron bedstead, white spread, & even a nice new scrap basket; a blue and white china toilet set. They have glass candle-sticks & candles here, they do not allow lamps. I sit next to the Dr. & the nurse at the Table. I wish you was here, you would not believe it. We have a library & two handsome parlors furnished all new in oak, desk, rockers, couches, pictures, etc. I slept at night & feel all right. Am not homesick. All the girls (12) so far seem all right. Don't worry about me, look out for yourself & eat. I feel I will get along fine. We are right in the village. I wrote with lead pencil because I could not find a pen & did not want to keep you in anxiety. Answer as soon as you can.
Ever your loving daut
Count Tolstoï and Non-Resistance
By Ernest H. Crosby
Na recent letter, published in the New York "Tribune" of April 5, 1896, Count Tolstoï reaffirms his belief in the universal moral obligation of non-resistance to violence of all kinds. His book, "What I Believe," shows that the moment at which he first clearly apprehended and unreservedly adopted this principle marked. an epoch in his life. He had become disgusted with the emptiness of a selfish literary career; he had sought in vain for a solution of the problem of existence among men of his own rank of society, and in the philosophy and science of the day; at length he became convinced that the great peasant class, quietly bearing its burdens, satisfied with its mode. of life, and never rebelling against death, contained the true philosophers, and upon observing them more closely he concluded that their contentment sprang from their simple religious faith. He made a heroic effort to share their beliefs, but he found in the Russian Church a great deal that he could not accept. In the faith of the peasant the true was evidently mixed with much that was false. He determined, if possible, to separate the good from the evil, and to discover the very essence of Christian life. To that end he began to make for himself a serious study of the Gospels.
Here at last he found what he sought. "The text that gave me the key to the truth was Matthew v., 39: 'Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil.' The simple meaning of these words suddenly flashed full upon me; I accepted the fact that Christ meant exactly what he said, and then, though I had found nothing new, all that had hitherto obscured the truth cleared away, and the truth itself arose before me in all its solemn importance."
For Tolstoï love to God and love to man are the deepest experiences of man's consciousness. If we draw the inspiration of our lives from this double source, it is difficult to find a logical escape from the doctrine of nonresistance. It is merely the extension of love to the very margins of the universe, until it embraces even those who are our enemies, and shines like the sun on the evil and on the good.
But it is upon no logical argument that Count Tolstoï lays the basis of his belief in non-resistance. Our moral ideas are not founded upon reasoning. The only reason for adopting such a principle as non-resistance must be that it appeals to a man's profoundest nature. It was thus that Tolstoï absorbed it as a thirsty man drinks water. The "Tribune" letter to which I referred was called forth from him by a short symposium on the subject which appeared in the "Voice " of December 26, 1895. One of the questions put by that journal was: "If the principle of non-resistance were carried out by Christ's followers, what would be the practical results?" To this question Count Tolstoï strongly objects. Man's duty is to find out God's will and to do it; it is impossible for him to know the consequences. "I cannot know the whole of the universe, . . . but I do know with certainty what God, who has sent me into this world, infinite in time and space, and therefore incomprehensible to me, demands from me." This which God demands is that we should do unto others as we would
that they should do unto us. "Only when I yield my
self to that intuition of love which demands obedience to
this law is my own heart happy and at rest. And not only can I know how to act, but I can and do discern the work to co-operate in which my activity was designed and is required." Man should "always co-operate in the development of love and union among created beings."
Count Tolstoï holds, and I think truly, that to a man who has formed such a conception of his duty in life, it becomes increasingly impossible to exercise force upon others.
"To many people of our society it would be impossible to torture or kill & baby, even if they were told that by so doing they could save hundreds of other people. And in the same way a man, when he has developed a Christian sensibility of heart, finds a whole series of actions become impossible for him. For instance, a Christian who is obliged to take part in judicial proceedings in which a man may be sentenced to death, or who is obliged to take part in evictions or in debating a proposal leading to war, or to participate in preparations for war, not to mention war itself, is in a position parallel to that of a kindly man called on to torture or to kill a baby."
Count Tolstoï considers the test case of the Christian who sees a robber killing or outraging a child. Should he exercise violence to save the victim? "He may plead with the robber, may interpose his own body between the robber and the victim, but there is one thing he cannot do: he cannot deliberately abandon the law he has received from God, the fulfillment of which alone gives meaning to his life. Very probably bad education or his animal nature may cause a man, Christian or non-Christian, to kill the robber, not only to save the child, but even to save himself or to save his purse, but it does not follow that he is right in acting thus, or that he should accustom himself or others to think such conduct right."
Our author points out that "none of us has ever yet met the imaginary robber with the imaginary child," but that all the horrors of history have been caused by recourse to violence. "There is no moral law with reference to which one may not devise a case in which it is difficult to decide which is more moral, to disobey the law or to obey it." This last statement is obviously true. The fact that it may be contended that a lie is justifiable to save life has never been allowed to detract from the merit of truthfulness.
Count Tolstoï nowhere attempts to minimize the farreaching consequences of the principle which he advocates. If the exercise of force is wrong, a Christian has no right directly or indirectly to participate in it. As government is based on force, he must not take part in governing. "The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them, but it shall not be so among you." This does not involve the abolition of government nor of anything else, as is often erroneously asserted. It calls simply for the abstention of the individual from acts which he cannot conscientiously perform. Nothing would be abolished until all came to that way of thinking.
One reason that the consequences of non-resistance in extreme cases strike us at first as iniquitous is that we do not look upon crime as Christ did. When we think of murder, we picture to ourselves the sufferings of the victim. But Jesus looked deeper. He could afford to relegate these pains and sorrows to the background, for he discerned something worse. He tells us expressly, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul." According to him, it is not the killing, but the anger against one's brother, which is the root of the evil. The problem with him would be, not how to prevent murder, but how to eradicate anger, hatred, from the heart of man. It is perfectly conceivable, when the object of our endeavors is thus changed, that in some cases the prevention of crime might increase the sum total of hatred to a greater extent than the failure to interfere. It was in the realm of ideas and affections that Christ lived. His kingdom was not of this world, and for that reason his servants could not fight in his defense.
It was in humility and submission even unto death that Jesus won his great victories, and so his followers, strong in their very weakness, overcame the Roman Empire and its legions without ever striking a blow.
Let us not suppose for a moment that there is anything feeble or effeminate in non-resistance. In abdicating
physical force Tolstoï would only have us fill ourselves with a spiritual force which is incompatible with it. The Lord is not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the still, small voice. The Russian writer himself is no weakling; tall and broad-shouldered, a veteran of the Crimean War, he is the manliest of figures. But if we needed proof of the essential strength of the precept, "Resist not evil," we should find it in one of the letters of the symposium in the "Voice." Colonel Higginson writes that the only consistent non-resistant whom he has ever encountered was the late William Lloyd Garrison.
Here, then, we have the typical non-resistant. Is it not a coincidence that he should be the one man who in the history of our country has, without any exception, accomplished the most for humanity? At the close of the war, when Lincoln was congratulated on having liberated the slaves, he replied with much truth that he had only been an instrument, but that the moral power of Garrison and his followers had done all.
And posterity has long since decided that no man ever did a man's work in a manlier way than the non-resistant Garrison.
Nor must it be inferred that Count Tolstoï stands alone in Russia, nor that these views of his are confined to his disciples. He is in many respects the mouthpiece of all that is best in his dearly loved Russian peasantry, and in this lies his chief significance. The peasantry of Russia have found a man of character and genius to give voice to their deepest feelings and their noblest aspirations.
Needed Municipal Reform in San Francisco
By Charles H. Shinn
As the time approaches for the new Charter election in San Francisco, the various Citizens' Leagues, Good Government Clubs, and other organizations opposed to the corrupt rule of the present ring are working harder than ever before. Their cause is gaining unexpected strength from the increasing waste and extravagance of the city officials working under the present Charter. Few cities have been plundered more remorselessly, and in none is there more immediate need of the revolt of good citizens against thieves and swindlers. A few figures will be enough to illustrate the financial situation of the municipality.
The old "dollar limit," which a few strong men and newspapers were long able to retain, was the safeguard of San Francisco. The dollar limit consisted of a pledge that the total amount of money raised for the city's expenses during a fiscal year should not exceed $1 on the $100 of assessed valuation-property being assessed at about its selling rate. This gave the city about $2,250,000 per annum, which, with its other revenues, was sufficient, as experience showed, to keep up appearances, except that a costly City Hall was being constructed, and in consequence street work and sewerage suffered. A few years ago the taxeating brigade succeeded in breaking down the dollar limit under the plea that San Francisco needed many improvements. "Down with the Silurians!" became the cry, and, unfortunately, it carried the elections. City expenses have rapidly increased each year, while the appearance of the city has been but little improved.
It now costs more to carry on the city of San Francisco than it does to run the rest of the State. The tax-rate per $100 of assessed valuation has greatly increased in recent years. In 1891-2 it was $1.1476; by 1894 it rose to $2.1493; the present fiscal year, 1895-6, it actually reached the enormous figure of $2.25; and the tax-rate now proposed for the coming fiscal year, 1896-7, will not be less than $3.50, if the office-holders can have their way.
The enormity of this increase, viewed from the standpoint of taxpayers, not tax-eaters, needs no explanation except the statement that, according to the theory of taxation in California, $3.50 per $100 of assessment means simply 31⁄2 per cent., which is more than the net profit on
many classes of investments. The direct premium on bribery to obtain lower individual assessments is, of course,
Descending to particulars, here is a city of 300,000 people, most admirably situated on a wind-swept peninsula, in a healthful and equable climate, where many of the expenditures necessary in Atlantic slope cities are not required, where few, if any, of the items of expense cost more than elsewhere, and many cost much less. But the expenses of the leading city departments have been increased enormously.
The County Clerk's Department in 1890 cost but $72,000 for all expenses; but during the fiscal year now closing it had $130,000, and ran in debt. For the coming fiscal year this Department asks for $138,000. But one of the best experts in San Francisco, Mr. Benjamin Gunn, says, after an exhaustive examination of the business of this Department, that it ought to be run for $60,000 per annum if taken out of Tammany politics. The Health Department, ten years ago, was run for $25,000 per annum ; this year it cost $29,000; and now $45,000 is asked for. Experts say that $20,000 is sufficient. The Hospital, which used to cost $68,000 per annum, cost $80,000 this year, and now asks for $95,000. The Street Department, which in 1886-7 spent $208,863, received $559,000 this year, and now asks for $1,558,180. There is no doubt that San Francisco must have better streets, drainage, and sewers. But the work is very badly done, and the Department is one of the most openly corrupt in the whole city government. It employs twice as many people as a business man would employ to do the same work, and it pays each one of them twice as much as the ruling rate of wages for similar services. The same system is nearly universal, and explains a large part of the extraordinary expenses of San Francisco government.
The Park Commission, ten years ago, spent $45,000 per annum. This year it has had $300,000, and now asks for $365,000. This is chiefly for improvements which can well afford to wait until the city is more prosperous. Mere maintenance of the Park is all that the taxpayers can now afford.
The annual expenses of the Fire Department have more than doubled in ten years; the Police Department now wants nearly a million dollars per annum; the Assessor's office, formerly run for $71,000 per annum, now wants $108,000; and the cost of water and light has increased from $252,000 to $510,000. The last item is astonishing! Notwithstanding the enormous supply of water in the mountains, a single corporation has controlled the situation, and has tripled the annual cost of water for municipal purposes. The gas and electric companies, by combining, have doubled the cost of lights.
The School Department is the one to which money well and wisely spent is the least begrudged. It received $1,000,000 for the present year, but asks for nearly $1,600,000 for the next fiscal year-a very large increase.
To sum up, the tax-rate for the present fiscal year, 1895-6, is equal to $21.66 for each man, woman, and child in San Francisco. In other words, the direct tax produced a sum of about $6,500,000, and in addition to this the tax-eaters had something like a million dollars raised by the sale of licenses and in similar ways. The expected tax levy for the coming year, 1896-7, will be equal to $26.66, producing some $8,000,000, which will be increased by license sales, etc., to close upon $9,250,000. Is it any wonder that times are very hard, that the savingsbanks have reduced their rates, that firms are going into bankruptcy every day in the year? Here is a total of nine and a quarter million dollars demanded for the municipal expenses of this city of 300,000 people. It is more than enough to carry on the entire State government for two years, as the Legislature generally appropriates about $8,000,000 at its biennial sessions, and this last amount is undoubtedly extravagant.
The best authorities say that the city government ought to be carried on in all respects as well as now for $4,500,000 per annum, from all sources, and that $750,000 of this sum could and should be spent for permanent improve
ments. From this simple statement one may see the nature of the work cut out for reform clubs; aside from the moral issues involved, their aim by adopting the new Charter is to substitute systematic government for the present irresponsible conglomerate, before which the best Mayor in the world would be powerless, and to make possible the saving of not less than one-half of the proposed tax levy. Having the Australian ballot, it is likely that the new Charter can be adopted, by proper efforts and thorough organization. Still, it is a fight against our Still, it is a fight against our California Tammany, old in guile and in the well-known methods of all Tammany rings, so that the battle will not be an easy one. Business men are certain to favor the new Charter, in the face of this wildly extravagant tax levy; and this may prove the turning-point in the whole struggle.
The Bible and the Child'
The Higher Criticism and the Teaching of the Young
By the Rev. Frank C. Porter, Ph.D.
Professor in Yale Divinity School
The question how far the results of the historical criticism of the Bible should be used in the instruction of children is, for those who accept these results, in part a question of truth, and in part of expediency; but it is also in part a question of profit, and in this aspect I wish to consider it. The historical criticism of the Bible means the use of its books as historical sources; and this means that the student does not value the book simply as a book, but is looking for something that lies behind the book. The question, not indeed of the right-let this be taken for granted-but of the worth of criticism, resolves itself, therefore, into the question, Which is of greater value, the book as a book, or the historical facts and persons behind the book? Does critical study take us from the less to the greater, or from the greater to the less? If it leads to the less, we need not trouble children and the world at large with it; if to the greater, we must offer the new treasure to all. We cannot accept the historian's natural answer to the question, for his common fault is an over-valuation of his work. To be sure, the movement from fiction to fact is a movement up, but the movement from truth to fact is a movement down. It does not much matter whence Shakespeare got his stories, and how much fact, how much fiction, they contain; and the critic, who must ask these questions, should not suppose that he is doing the Scholars will analyze greater thing in answering them.
and excavate in the effort to go back of Homer, and decide whether he was one or many, and what was fact, what fiction, about Troy and its fall. But the story is worth more than the fact behind it. It is the universal and the eternal in Shakespeare and Homer, not the local and temporal, that we wish the child to gain and to love. On the other hand, there are great events in human history whose significance far surpasses that of their records, so that to make our way through records to the facts is to go from the less to the greater.
Is the virtue of the Bible, then, like that of Homer and Shakespeare in that it lies in the books as books, or is the virtue in the facts behind the books? It is in neither
alone, but in both in very different degrees; and upon the recognition of this fact the solution of our problem turns. It is worth while to let children accompany the historian as fast and as far as they can, when the events and personalities of which a book tells are more profitable than the book itself for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. But the discovery that every book in the Bible has interest and value as a historical source should not lead us to suppose that this is the chief interest and value of all alike. The historical interest is, indeed, now somewhat domineering. It threatens to de
1 Previous articles in this series by Dean Farrar, the Rev. Dr. R. F. Horton, Dean Fremantle, and the Rev. Dr. Washington Gladden will be found in the issues of The Outlook for March 21, April 18, May 2, and June 27, respectively.
prive us of the free and happy appreciation of story as story, of poetry as poetry, in its anxiety to know facts. In an age of science we must fight on every hand for our æsthetic enjoyment, our spiritual appreciation of things as they are, because we are so possessed by the passion to get back to things as they were, and as they came to be.
There is in the Bible much story and poetry which is of value for the spirit that is in it more than for the facts that are behind it. The Hebrew mind expressed its religious sentiments and ideals by preference in imagery and narrative. The Gospels teach us how effective the parable may be as the language of religion. And the parable, in a large sense, is much more extensively used in the Bible than our prosaic minds readily perceive. There will be, it is true, much diversity of opinion regarding the question where the story, where the fact, is of greater religious value. Religion may demand the actual where art would be contented with the ideal. But the case is often clear. It is of far more use for us to know the mind of the writer of Job than the facts or traditions with which he deals. It is in the book that these get their value. Of other poetical books of the Old Testament the same is true; of Proverbs, of Ecclesiastes, and of the Psalms. Historical questions. in the case of these books are peculiarly hard, for the very reason that their connection with history is so slight. But books in the historical form, also, may be more important as books than as histories. This is especially true when they are not the work of individuals, but are formed in a national tradition and take into themselves the spirit of a people's life. The stories of the beginnings of Israel's history are such products of the Israelitish genius. This is the source of their perennial charm. These products of the youthful spirit of Israel are, indeed, in our Bible, mixed with the work of a later age and a different spirit. One must read the prophetic apart from the priestly narratives if he would feel the breath of the dawn of the nation's life. For this distinction we are dependent upon the historical critic. Let us by all means give to children the advantage of this distinction in their reading of the Bible, and let us explain it to them when they ask for the explanation or need it. But let not the critic spoil for us, young or old, the charm of these stories because he does not know how much in them is history and how much legend. Let children read them as they are, but see that they seize upon their spirit, so that if questions of fact afterward arise they may feel that their treasure in the story does not depend upon the
But, on the other hand, the Bible records events that are in themselves of the greatest religious significance, great as evidences of the hand of God in human history, great as causes of progress and achievement in the religious life of humanity. Such events were the exodus from Egypt, the establishment of the kingdom of Israel, its division, the fall of Samaria, the captivity and the return of Judah. and through these events great movements of life and thought were initiated in which we are still borne onwardmovements significant not only in their ideal contents, but in their historical actuality. Whatever the charm of the record, the facts are more impressive, and we are more concerned to know the facts as they were than to keep the records as they are. Here historical science, in passing through the records to the facts, contributes to a larger and truer faith in God. When criticism pushes aside the overgrowth and brings to light some hidden flower of rare beauty, its work is of far greater value to the spirit of man than when it proceeds to pull the flower to pieces. Children should be shown the flower, for they cannot find it by themselves; but to the deeper knowledge of it loving contemplation is a better way than analysis.
In the events just mentioned certain actors appear-the prophets in regard to whom one hesitates to say whether they disclosed the significance of the events, or gave the events their significance; whether the events or these personalities were the more immediate work of God. They were certainly the supreme flower of Israel's religious life, and it is one of the chief contributions of historical science to religious faith that it has given us a closer view of these men. Yet, just here where the religious value of historical
methods is most evident, it is perhaps hardest to know how to make use of them for immature minds.
Behind the Book of Isaiah, for example, stands the prophet Isaiah, who is greater than the book. Not only Not only for history, but for religion, we value the book chiefly as a means of acquainting us with one of the greatest of the men of faith; and we are ready to do with the book whatever will help us to reach the man. But between us and Isaiah stands the copyist, and back of him the scribe. The Revisers in their preface let us know what hard work the copyists have made us, and how far textual criticism is from having undone all their errors in the Old Testament. But the scribes have left us a still harder task. Our Book of Isaiah is their work, not his. They were wrong in ascribing all this material to him. Not only chapters 40-66, but parts of chapters 1-39, cannot be from Isaiah, nor from Isaiah's age. If we would know him, we must set these parts aside-not that they are of less value for history or for religion than the rest, but that they are not of value in the search for Isaiah. Further, the events with reference to which Isaiah spoke must be known, the background of his time, and even what came before and after, the sources and effects of his life, if we would know him. And, finally, after all this preparation, there is needed that sympathetic inward response of soul to soul, by which alone one man knows another. So that our knowledge of Isaiah is conditioned on the one side by much difficult scientific research, and on the other side by our spiritual capacity, our inner relationship to him.
Of these two conditions of the right understanding and good use of a book of Scripture, either one may be overestimated. If the condition of scholarship is emphasized, we may be forced to some such position as this. Children and untrained persons cannot follow the hard path just described, even if they have a guide; while the uncritical reading of the book will surely lead them astray from the true path. It is, therefore, better that they should not read the book at all, but should receive its treasures at second hand. Let the historical expert, through a highly special kind of skilled labor, make his way into the presence of the great personalities of Biblical history, and get from the vision and contact fresh moral and religious impulses which shall become a part of his own personal life. let him impart this possession to others, not as he gained. it, but directly, in the language of to-day, and by the heightened power of his own personality. This result has actually been reached of late by a young German critic. But such intervention of the scholar between the Christian and his Bible is as intolerable as the Roman Catholic intervention of the priest. The learned have, as a matter of experience, no such advantage over the unlearned in gaining from the Scriptures eternal life. Children and childlike men are not less fitted than others to apprehend and appropriate the Christian religion, but, according to the testimony of its founder, they are better fitted than the wise.
This brings us to the other condition for the right use of the Bible. If childlike humility and trust alone are needed, the question may arise whether historical science is at all worth while, whether it does not rather lead one aside from the best uses of the book. This, too, has been recently maintained in Germany. It has been asserted that what the Bible, as it is, offers to the simple and truehearted reader is everywhere of far greater value than anything that historical science, with all its uncertainties, can discover behind the book; and that the search for the less is a positive hindrance to the finding of the greater.
I believe that in both of these extreme views the difficulties of the historical process are exaggerated. To be sure, path-breakers in the historical field must be rarely equipped, but less gifted minds can pursue the path when it has once been made, and can recognize the truth of conclusions which they could never have reached alone. The main conclusions of the critical school rest, not on matters of philological or archæological detail, but upon considerations which appeal to the common reason of men; and in proportion to their importance and security are their 1 By Professor Kähler, of Halle.
grounds broad and general and capable of popularization. The common mind is more and more accessible to scientific truths in their large outlines, and its need is measured by its capacity.
On the other hand, it is true that the scientific study of the Bible is only preparatory, even when the preparation is quite essential, to that inward appreciation, that sympathetic insight, that response of feeling and will, which is a matter of character, not of learning. In the reading of no other book does this factor play so large a part. One will find in the Bible what he has the moral and spiritual capacity to find. Yet the preparation is essential. Historical criticism is only the effort to answer the characteristic intellectual questions of our age. We cannot and would not silence the questions. To children they will be even more natural and inevitable than they are to us, and children have a right to the best answer we can give. It is not in point to say that the past found the spiritual treasure of the Bible without asking such questions. For our age they are vital questions, and they must have our attention, whether we are glad or sorry to give it, if the book is to keep its old power and gain new power over the heart and will of men.
I would have the child study the Book of Isaiah in such a way as to find the man, believing that the sight of the man will call forth admiration and love, and will be a greater power in the child's life, making for faith and righteousness, than the book as it is could be.
The heart of the Bible is the Gospels, and here our problem centers. Here are books of matchless beauty and power, yet behind them stands a person who is greater than the books. Historical students cannot but try to go back of the books to the person. By a comparison of the Gospels with each other, they will look for the actual deeds and words of Jesus; by a comparison of these with each other they will search for his ruling thoughts and purposes; by a study of his race and age they will seek for the influences that determined the outward course of his life and the direction and form of his teaching, that they may distinguish the new from the old, the inward from the outward, the spirit from the form. Yet, after all their efforts to unveil behind the Gospels the features of Christ, what they see will depend upon what they are, the sight of Christ being still, as it was when he was on earth, the testing and the making of character. And yet the historical work is a help. The clearer our outward vision of Jesus, the easier is the inward approach to him, for it is oftener true that intellectual difficulties put obstacles in the way of the impulse of the heart toward Christ, than that the intellectual view satisfies the mind and stills the heart's impulse.
Children, then, should not be deprived of the help that criticism can give in the study of the Christ of the Gospels. Indeed, the teacher who reads the Gospels in their relations to one another, and who puts the life-work of Jesus in its historical setting, will not be able to teach the youngest person without using, directly or indirectly, the light derived from these studies. At an early age the life and words of Jesus should be studied by the comparison of parallel accounts in the different Gospels. The study of the Gospels in their individuality should come afterwards. The first search is for Christ himself. Let the peculiarities of each Gospel be left aside at first, and let attention be given to the material common to two or more Gospels. The use of Stevens and Burton's "Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study," or of Waddy's "Harmony of the Four Gospels" in Sunday-schools is, I believe, advisable. The advantages of such comparative study of the Gospels are many. Most obviously it brings us nearer to the very words and deeds of Jesus. It suggests the answer to many questions that perplex the child's mind as well as the man's. It imparts the right view of Scripture as a whole, freeing the child at the outset from that bondage to the letter from which many have broken away only to lose, with the letter, the spiritual treasure which is nowhere else to be found.
Further, the child should be taught the outward and
The Revised Version is used in both; the former gives important parallels in foot-notes which do not fall into a harmonistic scheme; the latter gives aid to the comparison of the text in detail.