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TIIE SELFISHNESS OF CULTURE. the benefit of his counsels and labors in its belialf. A distinguished gentleman pot long ago said In some way, if he be a Christian man, he must
a in reply to the question why he did not attend feel that the community has a right to share his church, that his feelings were almost always so best thought, and come into communion with hurt by some parts of the service, that he deemed the fulness of his soul's life. And that fastidi. it more harmful than helpful, and so avoided ousness which refuses its companionship and the church from principle. Another eminent sympathy in the public religious service, may layman was lately reported to profess himself seek to screen itself by complaint of shortunable to find it worth while to attend, such comings in the presentation of religion there, was the intellectual bareness and poverty, the but can hardly fail to be itself convicted of meagreness of the thought presented, the lack of wanting that generous spirit which, next to the culture and exact scholarship. The frequency Spirit of Holiness, is the life of the church, of similar expressions suggests the inquiry and which, in default of all other returns, whether refinement of taste and the niceties of would bever fail to reward its possessor for culture, may not be carried so far, as to deaden every service it inspires.- Christian Register. those sympathies which bind men together, and destroy all generous flow of warm emotion. At It is a great thing even to look towards God all events it would seem that the excess of the with feelings of humility and faith. critical and speculative spirit isolates men in much greater to find him, encouraged by these their methods of thought and speech, and by solicitations of humble faith, approuching nearer making them solitary, is in great danger of and nearer, in the mild radiance of a reconciled making them selfish. We have long been told divinity; melting away and removing, at every that our form of religious faith could not reach step of his approach; some envelopment of seldown to the masses, that it was too thoughtful, fishness, until the doors of every faculty being scholarly and simple, to attract and move the open, IIe enters his owo purified temple and becommon mind. Now, it secms that we are not comes its everlasting centre.- Upham. intellectual enough, not sufficiently in good taste to satisfy the culture and estheticism of the age.
SOCIAL EMULATION. The children we have nourished and brought up A writer in the Christian Examiner of Fifth in the very bosom of refinement, in the clearest at: month last thus treats of social emulation ; “ mosphere of intellectualism, have rebelled against us, and it would seem wise, instead of heeding motive,” to quote his own words, “ to which their cry for further indulgence in the same di- the strength and weakness, the safety and danrection, to ask if too fastidious attention to ger of our American life are largely due, -a critical correctness and exact propriety in our motive never before so active and wide-spreadreligious services, have not begotten the very ing in its operation as now and here.” Eds. tendency we deplore.
When the spirit of criticism or the desire Nowhere in a young prosperous country, un. for mental entertainment is allowed to come in crowded, with undeveloped and unlimited reand destroy the purpose of worship, and the sources, could this principle have the sway it sense of fellowship in the Spirit, it is very queso possesses among ourselves. In older nations, tionable whether a man be not spiritually morbid emulations are confined within narrow bounds. and diseased. That a mere scientist or intellec. A certain spirit of contentment, born of circumtual epicure should sometimes yawn and turn stauces that promise but doubtful prizes to am. away is not surprising, but that men claiming bition or rewards to effort, captivates the heart to bave interest in Christian truth, and heart in weary with observing the restlessness and forall enterprises for the spiritual help and uplift- ward-pushing desires of our own people. But ing of the world, should turn away from the where this moderation or contentment prevails, charch because it is intellectually inadequate, or we find feeble and dispirited energies, una . Dot wholly agreeable to every fastidious taste, is wakened or drowsy powers, and a fixed medi. most remarkable. It is sheer selfishness. Oo oority of affairs. Old abuses go uncured. such a principle, no holy work could ever have Permanent inequalities prevail. Along with been undertaken or carried on. That a scholar, unknowo and unused resources, there is needless whose cooverse is with the im portals through poverty, stereotyped dulness and thioness of the we:k, should not always be greatly enlight. life. Doubtless no state of society is so pictur
:ened or instructed by the discourse of his esque as one in which broad contrasts are profellow mortal in the pulpit, is most likely; but he duced by unequal laws: on one side, a lofty may be morally warmed and spiritually quickened aristocracy; on the other, a meek and dependby social worship and communion.
ent vassal ige. None is so saintly in secming, And if he be entire, wanting nothing, so that as that in which a showy asceticism, accompahe does not pred the church, all the more the nied with a sentimental devoutness, produces church needs him, his sympathy, his fellowship, I faces and costumes which are the delight of
artists and the awe of ritualists. And, besides / refinements of the oldest parts of this country, the picturesque effect, there is often an ad. into the newest Territories and States. Michi. vantage more substantial. A doble condescen- gan claims the largest American university, sion in the high, or a tender reverence in the most munificent in endowment, and most gen. low; the loyalty of an implicit faith, or that erous in plan. St. Louis is at this hour rebuildorder of graces which flows out of the relations ing the largest and most sumptuous hotel in of widely contrasted classes of society, -cannot the world, destroyed by the recent conflagration ; be bad where the exalted of yesterday are is building an Episcopal chureb, perbaps the brought low to-day, and the low of to-day are costliest on the continent; has the finest build. lifted up to-morrow. Still, justice is the only ing for a Polytechnic Institute to be found in permanent foundation of political or social life. America; the noblest Post office and City Hall; All legal or artificial inequalities are curses and and has grown in the last thirty years, from wrongs. The freest nation, the most equitable fourteen thousand inbabitants to upwards of law, has the surest guaranty of its stability and two hundred thous nd. Chicago, even more happiness.
energetic and restless, rivals New York in bus Social emulation is the whip that stirs the tle and stir, and in its vast territorial extent. slothful faculties and drowsy desires of that With its elegant churches, its convenient and constitutionally idle animal, man. It is to expensive school houses, it looks in parts like a this, in great measure, we owe (or swift growth city hundreds of years old; while in other in wealth and civilization. No man is willing parts a mere collection of extemporized shanties. to be poorer, less favored, less respectable than The best models of New England schools, with his neighbors. He must be as well clothed and the best teachers, are already scattered over as well appointed as they; his family must be Michigan, Obio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, as well dressed and housed as theirs; he will and California. No Eastern churches that we not be content with less of educational advan- have seen are as thoroughly equipped for parish tage or religious privilege, or opportunity of uses and religious charities, as are found in literary culture, or facility of communication Ilinois, Missouri, and California. The social with the world at large. The railroad system element is so predominant in Western piety, of this country, that miracle of energy, wealth, that the churches almost uniformly provide for and engineering skill, is due but in small part every gratification and development of that to immediate needs of commerce, or hope of feeling, -some even including arrangements for pecuniary profit. Farmers have mortgaged exhibiting tableaux and semi dramatic shows, their lands to invest in roads that merely in while furnisbing all possible accommodation for creased their sense of being in direct relations parish parties. The same spirit of emulation with the centres of life, and not behind the improves domestic arcbitecture, introducing times; and this emulation has provoked and water and gas and side-walks into the remotest sustained enterprises of the most hopeless finan- towns. A lecturer in a Western village finds cial character. Take the Baltimore and Ohio himself indebted for his flattering audience to Road, for example,-running directly across the attractions of the novel gas-illumination ; the bed of numerous torrents, or laid in rocky and, being eagerly solicited to repeat bis adtroughs, or raised on huge embankments, or dress in a certain place, presently discovers lifted on stilted tressels, - here having an ex. that the anxiety is not to hear bim, but simply tensive bridge, there diving into a tunnel bored to prevent Oshosk from receiving any privilege through a granite mountain.* Contemplating wbich Fond du Lac may not enjoy. Frivolous the poverty of the region and the costliness of as the motive may seem, it is a powerful spring the road, one is dumb with wonder at that am- of improvement in our wbole new country. It bitious rivalry which would not allow Pennsyl- first did its work in the East, where town acadevania or New York to frame the only bonds be- mies and turnpikes were built fifty years ago tween East and West, but compelled Maryland under its inspiration; and is now transferring and Virginia to this berculean and magnificentits domains to the West, wbere it is working task, at any cost to their resources. In the its miracles of civilization with a rapidity West, social emulation is the great civilizer. and success that no less universal or less imIt bridges the Mississippi ; it occupies the mediate motive could rival. banks of the Colorado and Columbia; it carries But it works for evil too, as well as good. schools, churches, colleges, all the comforts and The extravagant faebiods, the late hours, the
* Sixteen of these tuno+ls were counted, on a re-expensive living, the high prices, travel as fast cent journey, in a few miles. The melting snow, and as far as schools and churches. The fast followed by a bitter frost, bad decked the sides of driving, the gold gambling, the gaudy-drinking those rocky excavations with frozen stalactites of houses, the gift-enterprises and showy weddings, enormous proportions, hung from the opposite walls of the gleaming way, selves with telegraphic speed and American unifind the newspapers, the gas works, the paved One great peril of American society is the side walks, the stone fronts, the schools and lack of manly, independent thinkiog, and inchurches of the Eustern cities, we still more dividual conscience. Personal aspiration gets surely find in their streets the Broadway saloons, lowered to a popular standard. Ao average and on their pavements the identical millinery and compromised pattern of character is thurst of the metropolis. We find every vice of older on us by a tyrannical, basty, and unreasoning civilizations blooming with hot-house luxuriance public opinion. Things go by tides and rushes out of their fresh soil. The latest fashions and sweeping floods; to colonize California, to flourish almost in sight of the desert and the occupy Colorado and Montana ; to drive railbuffalo; snatches of Italian opera or quotations roads over mountain chaios, whose bases are from Emerson may be broken short by the whoop hot and sandy, and their summits lost in clouds of the wild Iodian, or the bark of the prairie wolf; and snows, or across deserts whose borders are and at the crossing of the ways we ineet just as in different climates. Already Chicago, by idle, over-dressed, and frivolous young men and superior energy, has managed to secure no women as we may see sauntering in the sun of any small portion of the trade due west from St. bright afterooon, up and down our city avenues. Louis, and naturally belonging to it, which
fringe of colossal circles the mania for piebald costumes, propagate them. and, as tbe sun got power, melted into noisy cataracle, and echoed the thuuder of the train.
versality. If at Leavenworth and Omaha we
Iu an era in which social emulation is the that city is now striving to regain, by driving characteristic and unchecked passion, the land- her Pacific Railroad to the Rocky Mountains, marks of reason and piety are lost in the deluge before the northern line shail reach them. If of imitation and rivalry. What is good and we koew all the legislative lobbying; all the what is bad spread as by contagion. The com- rash heat and haste; all the efforts to procure mon school and the church are borne on the federal aid to some of those local enterprises ; same universal tide which Boats into every re-all the hard feeling, the false and treacherous gion the follies and extravagances and fashiona. bargaining, involved in such emulations, --we ble vices of the day. Religion is built up in should see that whatever blessings follow them, stone and mortar with prodigious outlay; while as contribution to the opening and settling of its moral and spiritual foundations are under the country and the increase of its wealth, they mined by ribaldry and upseeinly jesting about tend to degrade and demoralize the generation all sacred things in the very columos that ad- that handles them, and to undermine justice, vertise the Sunday topics of the pulpit. The fairness and open dealing.* Is there not, Eust mania for hospitals, asylums, and reading.rooms and West, a growing disposition to think sucspreads like an epidemic, and with it the pas- cess' the proof of merit
, and almost the test of sion for horrible exhibitions, in which the con right? If a man has public spirit (as it is tortionist risks his life to amuse 'the fears and called); if he is successful in his schemes, and thrill the perves of the spectators; or women belps forward the external prosperity of his exhibit their coarse immodesty to the vulgar community,-he may gamble like a German gaze, while people of standing will eagerly ap. prince, outwit all his contemporaries with his plaud some lottery scheme, thioly disguised by sharp practice, and still stand at the head of the sacred name of charity.* Microscopic sci- society (so called), and even be found taking ence informs us that two opposite currents run high grouod in regard to the company he keeps, in the same slender tubules of the lungs : one so that none but persons of the very highest sosetting out and carrying off the carbonic acid;cial standing can hope to enjoy his acquaintance : the other setting in, charged with pure oxygen, and yet hardly a person will be bold enough to death and life thus flowing in the same channel. smile at the gigantic jest, or to rebuke the fanAnd so it is with the current of social emula. tastic absurdity. tion, with this difference, that the tides here It is often too easily assumed, that no direct mingle, and both run one way.
rebuke of the popular temper can have any
effect; that fashion is mightier than conscience * At the time of the drawing of the Crosby Opera- or the truth ; that the world will and must have house lottery, it was said that hardly a town in the its way; that the aspiring heart and the conseWestern couutry was not largely interested in the ex- crated will must retire into privacy and strict citing scheme. One poor-looking man in the cars was beard to speak of having a hundrrd and seventy chances in it. It was talked of more than the recent * We lately travelled along the line of a canal in 600w-storms, or Suthern Reconstruction, or the Obio, in which the neighboring farmers had invested, prospects of spring wheat, or the renewal of the twenty years ago, their little earnings. A railroa i Canadian treaty, or even the price of lots in the new company, wisbing to avoid its rivalry in freighting, streets of a city that hopes and boasts of its ability had lately bought up just enough of the stock of to make New York a second-rate place in a genera- the canal to control its direction; and this direction tion more. The excitement of a passiug fever would had closed the canal, muking the stock absolutely have been of no great moral account; if it had not worthless, and robbing all the smaller holders of the illustrated the immense craving for speculation, the whole value of their property in it. Nobody seemed to terrible gambling propensity, which, in the hasie totbink it anything but a “smart” transaction, in which be rich, bas led to so much moral debauchery and cuoning and address had triumphed over the sleepy commercial rain.
trustfulness of the poor farmers along the line.
seelusion, if they would indulge their morbid, and only atheists and infidels are prepared to sanctimonious ways. The average life of the build up civilization on the ruins of generations times says, "These are not times for such deli whose follics, vices, and sips are counted on to cate moralities ;” and indeed some tender souls prepare the soil, filling with their refuse the have been foolish enough to talk of Protestant deep quagmires which are thus to become the nuoneries and monasteries as the only hope of foundations of future stableness. modero piety. But this is a cowardly retreat before a power
“For to be spiritually minded is life and ful, yet after all a very vulnerable, and by no peace." The constant contemplation of the meads unconquerable, epenıy. The social emu- glory of Christ will give rest, satisfaction and lation of our people—now coarse, now refined; complacency unto the souls of them who are now avowed, dow secret—is a spirit not to be exercised therein. Our minds are apt to be exorcised, but to be instructed; not to be done filled with a multitude of perplexed thoughts, away, but to be purified and restrained. It is fears, cares, distresses, passions and lusts, which to be defecated of its taipt by the sturdy criti. make various impressions on the mind; but cism of those who still believe in the might of where the soul is fixed in its thoughts and contruth, the sanctity of goodness, and power of templations, it will be brought into, and kept, prayer and holiness, and in the possibilities of in a boly, serene, spiritual frame.- Owen. à Christian life. Courage, moral courage, is the great want of American society. It is NOTES OF FOREIGN TRAVEL, FROM PRIVATE cowardice among men and women who know
CORRESPONDENCE. Letter; cowardice in the pulpit and the press,
No. 2. c wardice in society and on the platform, in the
AMBLESIDE, 7th mo., 1866. home-circle and in the world, that leaves folly, That we are really here enjoying all the deextravagance, and wickedness their upchallenged lights of this superb lake and mountain scenery,
Would that we had a few moral lead- seems so strange, that I shall have to put myself ers, -- not men aiming at a cheap capital of re-into communication with some of you good folks ligious repute by becoming extravagant and pro- at home to be able to think of it as a fact; and fessional censors of what they do not under- perhaps in briefly recapitulating our movements stand, but men of conviction, intelligence, and for the past few days, and remembering how we moral standing; who instead of going apart came to this charming region, I may gradually and disdainfully leaving the great tide of hu realize that it is not merely a dream. Since my manity to its own course, saving only their feet last, we have been to Stoke upon Trent. On and skirts, would boldly go into the stream, and entering this black and dismal town, devoted preserve, by wisdom, justice, and piety, the almost entirely to potteries, we observed everycostly freight it bears! The country has too where the royal standard floating overhead. much education and too much aspiration, not This was explained by the information that the to value, pot to heed, not to follow, better coun: Prince and Princess of Wales were at tbat mosels than it receives. A great heart of courage ment inspecting the show rooms of the different is a real power in the world. A few genuine establishments. We started off for a glimpse of leaders of public sentiment might greatly change their Royal Highnesses, and succeeded in obthe aspect of American society. Our people taining it, and united in the verdict tbat the are as apt for what is good as for what is bad. Princess was a very lovely looking lady, but Their external circumstances, especially in the that a crowd of English workingmen, with West, are favorable to large, strong, generous their wives and daughters, contained about as views. This tendency is now abused to encour many ill-favored specimens of humanity as we age latitudinarianism of morals, rudeness of had ever before seen collected. The occasion of manners, and laxity of opinion. But, after all, their presence at this time was the laying of the the largest and most generous views are really corner-stone of an Infirmary by bis Royal High. the divinest noblest, purest. The great region ness. In the afternoon we had a delightful ride of the West, gigantic in its features, is breeding among the shady manors, lanes and blossoming a physical race, worthy to be the shrine of a hedges, where we saw more beautiful wild flow nobler spirit and a grander faith. We believe ers than we bad met with anywhere since leavthe impurities will settle, the perilous fires ing Cornwall. There we had only the early slacken, the folly abate, under principles vital spring flowers, though in a profusion and va. and ever active at the heart of our society. riety we never bad seen before, while here in But, meanwhile, can a single generation afford Staffordshire, wild roses and honeysuckles, and to wait the gravitation of events? Are we all sorts of lovely things besides, made the willing personally to be only tools spoiled in hedges one sheet of bloom, and filled the air making a civilization which is to be worth with a fragrance that was perfectly delicious. I something a hundred years hence? Individual wish you could enjoy some of these charming character is the immortal end of our existence; I drives. They are so delightful. The wild flow
ers alone are a perfect feast, and the road sides, them, in the most luxuriant state of perfection. and even between the railroad tracks in some Next morning, we set off in an open carriage for sections, are like a perpetual garden. Wild a circuitous drive to Ambleside, during which pansics are constantly peeping up in clusters, we stopped at Grassmere, and visited the tomb and the most luxuriant spikes of foxglove here of Wordsworth, and the little chureh he used spring up between the rocks and flaunt their to attend, said to be pipe hundred years old ; gay blossoms in the most extravagant manner and surely it is the most quaint and curious of possible. We have seen patches of twenty or all the old buildings we have seen. Here, too, thirty feet in length covered thickly with it, is a tablet to the memory of the Poet, immedi. while the ivy seems perfectly irrepressible-ately over the family pew. We had also a running over the ground, twisting itself into view of Dove's Nest, the cottage where Mrs. the hedges and climbiog up the trees, and hang. Hemans once passed a summer, and it looked ing over low stone walls, and creeping up high indeed as though it might be a fitting home ones, and mantling over everything that would for such a spirit. On our return, we alightbe, without it, ugly or udsightly, until one might ed from the carriage and walked a short disalmost think that it “enjoys the very air it tance to Rydal Mount, once the home of Wordsbreathes," and could not in any way be pre-worth ; but unfortuoately the public are now vented from doing so.
One of the varieties bas excluded from the grounds, in consequence & tidy leaf, not much larger than that of the of some recent abuse; and the house Kenilworth Ivy. I remember seeing at Kew very imperfectly seen from without, though Gardens a collection of the different kinds, com from the slight glimpses we could obtain, we prising a great number of every size and kind, were quite able to imagine it all it is described all of which I suppose grow freely and luxuri- “a perfect bower of roses and ivy.”. We were
Ι antly throughout England. Our delightful back again at Ambleside by five o'clock, and drive was lengthened out till after we had after a short rest, set off for a walk to Stock watched the sun go down at half past eight Gylt Force, a picturesque little waterfall, not o'clock, and the next afternoon we drove to far from the hotel, and then through the vilTrentham Park, which we were allowed to enlage, beautiful, like everything else, and to bed, ter, and passiog slowly through it, we had a literally before the twilight was gone, at half full opportunity of enjoying its many and varied past ten o'clock. Next morning, we were ready beauties. It is indeed a lorilly and magnificent for another day equally delightful, driving to domain, comprising altogether more than a Paterdale, seventeen miles and back, over the thousand acres “ of hill and dale, and wood and Kirkstone Pass, on the top of which stands the lawn and stream,” while the river Trent, wind- highest inhabited house in Eugland, fourteen ing through the midst, forms a lake of upwards hundred and eighty feet above the ocean, where of eighty acres in extent. This is only oue of we enjoyed the most magnificent views of real the Duke of Sutherland's princely abodes. We mountain scenery we have yet had. To dehear he has three or four others, besides his scribe such prospects
, is, for me, utterly out of London house. I do not know that the others the question, when I feel, as I now do, how far are in the same style of grandeur, but it seems the very best descriptions fall short of the realito me it must take a vast amount of poverty and ty. We were prepared to find a great deal to wretchedness to counterbalance the luxury and admire and enjoy “among the Lakes,” but what splendor of the life of this one noble Duke. we expected seems as nothing in comparison Next morning we left for the lakes; arrived with what we have found, and every excursion about four, P. M., at Windermere, after passing shows us something more charming than the through a great deal of delightful scenery; last. I think some of us had felt just a little during the last two hours it was grand and pic- afraid that our “ Ideal" had been too high, and turesque, but the mist hung so heavy over the that the ground rendered classic by having been distant mountains, as almost to obscure them. the home of Wordsworth, and Coleridge, and Qar hotel here was beautifully situated near the Southey, and De Quincy, and Mrs. Hemans and Lake, and after dining we had a splendid drive Harriet Martineau, would be found, after all, to to Troutbeck, a very romantic mountaio stream. be very much like the ground everywhere else The road was a continued series of exquisite on the surface of this sublunary earth, but I views, in every variety of the picturesque and must honestly confess it is not so. There cerlovely, but the mist still circumscribed the more tainly dwells a charm about these glorious hills distant prospect. Returning, we passed through and tarns" quite distinct from that of their a part of the valley, composed entirely of taste poetical associations, or, perbaps, it is the po. ful villas, surrounded in some instances by ex. etry itself, that so pervades the very atmosphere tensive grounds and flowers—flowers every- as to make all things appear, even to the most where. The roses are now in their full beauty, prosaic eye, bright and lovely, and different and wherever we go we see cottages and even from the ordinary seeming of “ this dull spot the most humble cabins, literally covered with that men call earth.” Still we cannot always