صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

“ So slow
The growth of what is excellent !
So hard to attain perfection in this nether world."

So do we feel as to our work. We know that much has been accomplished, for which we thank God and take courage; but we also know the “golden age” is “on before.” But we now occupy vantage ground never before attained. This is the scientific age of our work. We are studying as never before the underlying causes of the evils the results of which we have been so long combating. So numerous, varied, and scientific are the present and prospective, social and legal forces that we should confidently expect immensely greater progress in the physical, mental, and moral elevation of the masses of our people. When in every state and in every county there shall be a non-partisan, advisory board of charities and corrections, composed of both men and women and serving without pecuniary compensation, their needful expenses being paid; when, in municipal elections and municipal government, partisan politics shall be ignored; when by compulsory school laws all our normal children shall receive at least a fair education; when the imbeciles, including feeble-minded women and epileptics, shall all be provided for in institutions, and so instructed as to become wellnigh self-supporting; when by properly administered indeterminate sentence and parole laws at least 80 per cent. of those sentenced to all our reformatories and state prisons shall be returned to society so far reformed as to become law-abiding citizens, and the unreformed permanently retained in confinement; when by means of juvenile courts and probation officers no more delinquent children shall be imprisoned in jails; when all the dependent children, who are sound in body and mind, are placed by state and county agents in good family homes and carefully supervised in these homes; when the crippled and deformed are collected in buildings adapted to their comfort; when county jails shall be abolished and district workhouses for minor offences established and controlled by the state; when all the insane shall be provided for in state institutions; when wife-beaters and wife-deserters shall be imprisoned at hard labor and the proceeds of their labor remitted to their families; when the good example of a few of our large railroads and other industrial corporations, in refusing to employ persons who use intoxicating liquors, shall become general; when through the scientific instruction of schools of philanthropy, such as has just been organized by the Charity Organization Society of New York City, overseers of the poor and church societies and charity organizations shall cease to pauperize citizens by supplying relief without investigation,— when these and other similar reforms are adopted,- and by determined, united, persistent effort all of them may be secured during the next decade, -- shall we not then begin at least the golden age of charity and correction ? With decreasing egoism and increasing altruism, let us unitedly strive for this ideal, and thus glorify God by promoting "peace on earth and good will to men."

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• Though through weary years we toil;

Though we gather all the gold

From the mines of wealth untold;
Though from farthest shores of ocean we have brought the spoil, -

What at the last is won,

If we hear not God's “ Well done"?
If the world's want and sorrow be not lessened by our gain,

We have lived our life in vain.

Though we be in heart and hand

Mighty with all foes to cope,

Rich in courage and in hope,
Fitted as strong laborers in the world to stand, —

If with these we right no wrong,

What avails it to be strong?
If we strengthen not the weak, raise not the bowed again,

We have lived our life in vain.

“ To the giver shall be given :

If thou wouldst walk in light,

Make other spirits bright.
Who seeking for himself alone ever entered heaven?

In blessing, we are blest,
In labor find our rest.

If we bend not to the world's work, heart and hand and brain,

We have lived our life in vain.

“ Selfishness is utter loss :

Life's most perfect joy and good,

Ah! how few have understood !
Only one hath proved it fully; and He died upon the cross,

Taking on himself the curse,

So to bless a universe.
If we follow not his footsteps, through the pathway straight and plain,
We have lived our life in vain.”

Caroline Seymour.

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Conference Sermon.



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The love of self is the radical passion of human nature. It is the love of life, and of that which constitutes the good of life; and it is strongest in those who are most alive, in whom the vital current is deepest and mightiest. It is the inner source of strength in high and heroic souls, whether they seek and utter themselves in word or in deed, whether they strive for fame or for power or for union with God through faith and devotion to truth and righteousness. Whatever the aim and the means, the end all men propose and follow is their own happiness, a more intense and enduring sense of their own life. Personality is enrooted in the love of self; and, the higher the person, the more completely does he identify himself with all that is other than himself. Savages, in their feeble attempts to think, consider things to be self-existent, each standing apart and independent; and hence the love of self is in them a selfish love. As they are incapable of perceiving that their relations to nature and to society are essential elements of their being, they imagine that the good of life for each one is separable from the general wel

Hence they easily become false, cruel, treacherous, and revengeful. They lack humanity. They are the victims of instinct and impulse. They have the kind of social sense which is found in gregarious animals, but they are unable to ascend to the conception of the universal law which binds the whole race into a brotherhood. The degree in which individuals and societies rise above this separateness of childish and savage thought is a measure of the degree of their progress in religion and civilization. All advance is an ascent from the primitive and superficial self toward the true self


which is born of the union of the soul with truth, justice, and love. It is a process of self-estrangement, of self-denial, of self-abandonment. They alone enter the land of promise who quit the low and narrow house of their early thoughts and desires, and struggle with ceaseless effort and patience to reach the kingdom which is founded on the eternal principles of righteousness. They believe and know that peace, joy, and blessedness, which are the end to which the love of self points, can be attained only by those who seek and find the good of life in the service of the Father who is in heaven, and of his children who are on earth. Self-seeking is transformed into self-devotion. A little world of petty cares and sordid interests is abandoned, and the enduring world wherein alone souls are at home opens wide its portals to receive us. In isolation the individual is never great or impressive. To be so, he must identify himself with truth and justice, with beauty and love. He must feel that he lives and battles in the company of God and in that of the noble and good, in some cause which is not merely his own, but that of mankind.

He could never become man at all, were it not for the society and help of his fellows. The human child would perish at once, were it not received at birth into the arms of intelligence and love ; and its prolonged infancy would issue in nothing higher than savagery, were it not fostered by beings in whom instinct has been superseded by reflection and the sense of responsibility. In Christendom the individual enters the world as the heir of all time. For him the race has suffered and groped and toiled through ages that have sunk into oblivion. For him countless generations have fashioned language — the social organ — into an instrument fitted to express all that he can feel or know. The clothes he wears, the home that shelters and makes him self-respecting, every implement he uses, every contrivance that ministers to his comfort and security, have been fashioned, in the process of unnumbered centuries, by the pains and privations, by the sufferings and deaths, of tribes and peoples to whose labors he gives no heed.

If he is born into a world where religion, science, and morality, law, order, and liberty, make it possible that he should lead a life of reverence, wisdom, and purity, should have rights and possessions which are defended by public opinion and the power of the combined strength of all, where his home is sacred, where his conscience

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