« السابقةمتابعة »
chain so strong as to draw the heart and bind the friendship for life. The small words and acts betokening love and esteem make home that happy place that forms such a tender spot in the memory, which throbs in unison with that old but ever welcome melody, "Home, Sweet Home;" while a little slight or unkind word or look may lead to disintegration of family ties and cause life-long estrangement and bitterness of soul.
The stealing of a pin unreproved may lead to a life of crime, disgrace and misery, when a kindly word of disapproval might have been sufficient to turn the whole course of life, as a small snag lodged in the bed of the Mississippi has changed the course of that mighty river. Little temptations unresisted, little warnings unregarded and little stings of conscience unheeded are the steps that lead downward to the bonds of sin and shame, while the little temptations firmly withstood and the little every day duties well and faithfully done make up the sum total of true Christian life.
Many go through life waiting for the opportunity to do some great thing to make them famous, neglecting the small duties that build character and fit men to cope with the greater as they come, not realizing that the noble achievements of eminent men are not the elements that made them great, but are the results of character built up by attending to the minutiæ of life, through years of plodding, step by step, exercising self-restraint and will power, and growing mentally and morally strong by overcoming all the minor difficulties that obstruct their way to that eminence which appears so conspicuous to their fellow-mortals. Character is nothing but the resultant of the forces of the habits formed through life, and there is no habit so insignificant that it doesn't affect the trend of the whole character either for good or for evil.
The telescope has revealed wonders to the human eye, but the microscope has revealed far more. It deals with little things, but things of vast importance to humanity for weal or woe. The germs of some of the most dreaded diseases known have been dis. covered, and although formerly supposed incurable, experiments are being made, remedies being discovered, and the average length of human life is being extended, simply by men devoting their
attention to things so small as to escape the notice of men during all the past ages of the world's history; and the end is not yet, for microscopy is only in its infancy.
When we examine the wonders of creation and consider what little we know of them, we might cry out with the Psalmist: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?” What is there so small as to be unworthy the notice of man, when all is the work of the great Creator of the universe ?
THE BRITISH AND THE BOERS.
The war which began lately between England and the South African republic, presided over by President Paul Kruger, can only end in the victory of the British over the Boers. The conflict, however, will probably witness some desperate encounters. President Kruger has forty thousand men under his command, now that the neighboring republic, the Orange Free State, has made common cause with the Transvaal. The South African republic is about 119,000 square miles in extent, and has a population of over one million, of whom the majority are blacks. The Boers form the minority of the white population, while the “Uitlanders,” or foreigners, mostly British, pay nearly all the revenue of about five millions of dollars annually, but are debarred from a voice in the government. Johannesburg is the leading city and the center of the mining region, and had a population, before war became imminent, of over one hundred thousand. The Orange Free State is about 48,000 square miles in extent, and can levy an army of about twelve thousand men. The war promises to be carried on over an extensive area, favorable to Boer methods of fighting.
SMITH FROM A PHILOSOPHIC
POINT OF VIEW:
BY LEE EDGAR YOUNG.
[The following lecture, the notes excepted, was delivered by the author before the students of philosophy, at Harvard UniversityEDITORS.)
My inward feelings tell me of the thoughts that are uppermost in the minds of my hearers when I take up the subject, Joseph Smith. Every man before me has heard of the name, and of the sect that was founded by this prophet of the nineteenth century. Well do I realize that “Mormonism" and its founder have but little interest to the citizens of the civilized world today; and were each of you asked your opinion, I dare say that your answer would be that the thoughts and teachings of Joseph Smith will have but little weight on the minds of future generations. In responding to this subject, however, I must state, at the outset, that my basis of reasoning will differ somewhat from yours. Yet it is not because you, as physiological-psychologists,* can not explain the different characteristic phenomena of the mind when you
look at them as a result of natural law. But I do believe that there are certain states of the spiritual make-up, and certain strange phenomena more or less miraculous, which no phase of science or philosophy can explain.
We look at the human brain and well do we know that the
*Physiological-psychology is that branch of philosophy which teaches that all mental life and phenomena are conditioned by the organism, and that we know nothing of mind apart from body.
school of physiological-psychologists has discovered the fact that brain molecular action must precede thought, and that thought precedes all action. To a certain lobe of the brain we ascribe memory; to another, imagination; and to another, perception, yet keeping in mind all the time that the brain works as a whole in perfect harmony. Any reasonable man, understanding these facts, readily appreciates the human body, the masterpiece of creation.
But what a world of skepticism this knowledge has caused! For how can there be mind and spirit when the brain decays? How can the mind act when there is no external playing on the ganglions of the nervous system? Magazines and scientific books have bristled with such questions, of late; but who can answer them? We accept the truths discovered by this school of thinkers, and appreciate with Holmes that the “brain is a seventy-year clock wound up by the Angel of Life.” Yet with it all, we know that there are some phases of thought that no human being can explain, though he reason a thousand years.
Let me ask the psychologist a question. What is it in man that gives him that divine hope, and faith that God lives and that death is not the end of life? What is it that makes man an aspiring creature whose soul becomes purely angelic when he kneels in humbleness? Is it intuition? Is it instinct? Surely these do not explain. They are shades of feeling and emotion that are felt and experienced, yet cannot be described. Physiologicalpsychology has its bounds, and to try to explain all mind action from a purely materialistic point of view is flagrantly and palpably absurd. So, too, whatever progress scientific psychology may make, it will never be able to answer what a real prophet is, nor what revelation means.
To answer whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and a revelator, I think it is necessary to know what God is, and His relation to man. I shall assume as a starting point the empirical argument of Descartes* which he uses to prove the existence of God. Said he: "No idea is higher or clearer than the
*Descartes was a French philosopher, born at La Haye, in Touraine, in 1596, and he died at Stockholm, Sweden, in 1650. His philosophy rests on the proposition: "I think, therefore, I am.”
idea of God, or the most perfect being.” Whence comes this idea ? That every idea has a cause, comes from the principle that nothing produces nothing. There must be as much cause as there is effect, and as I conceive of a being more perfect than I, this conception can only come from some one who is more perfect in reality than I. This idea of God is implanted in one by God Himself. It is an original endowment, and is as innate as the idea of myself. This is really the ontological argument: we have a concept of God, hence there must be a God. Then, to go farther, we cannot think of God as apart from an existing individual.
The Christian world says this God is omnipotent, all merciful, and all loving. He is our Creator, and as He is infinite in His government, so He is in His love for His children. This God must, then, have a perfect law of living; and, if man is His child, God naturally speaks to him and gives him principles by which he can come to the truest happiness. This truest happiness, we will all agree, is the living in harmony with the laws of nature which are governed by the law of God.
Can there be a more beautiful conception of man's relation to the Deity than this? God points out the way by giving a Gospel plan of salvation to the race.
Let us make a contrast. Take a negative view. Let mankind throughout civilization deny the existence of a Maker and an allwise Protector. Can you imagine the terror and horror that this world would be steeped in, within a short time? Man would soon become a mere creature of passions, a mere animal. Think of the condition of the people of Paris, at the time of the French Revolution, when they declared that the Revolution should not cease until it had “dethroned the King of Heaven as well as the kings of earth.”*
**An attempt was made by the Extremists to have Christianity abolished by a decree of the National Council. The Bishop of Paris abdicated his office; and his example was followed by many of the clergy throughout the country. The churches of Paris and other cities were now closed, and the treasures of their altars and shrines confiscated to the State. Even the bells were melted down into cannon. The images of the Virgin and of the Christ were torn down. The guillotine took the