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good. For the ultimate idea of the so- world-competition with other religious ciety, which had its origin in the State forms, because of this unique fact. It of Maine some years ago, appears to can perpetually adapt itself, can perbe to impart a certain living enthusi- sistently readjust itself to a new envi. asm to the young by enlisting their ronment. We do not deny that this caservices in positive Christian work for pacity has its peculiar dangers which the good of their fellow-creatures over Christ foresaw when he uttered the and above the mere performance of parable of the tares and the wheat. the ordinary religious duties and rites The tares have grown plentifully in common to all churches. The conven- the Christian Church, probably from tional religious order in all countries the Apostolic times, certainly from a and among every race is always in very early age when Christianity was danger of lapsing into a conventional played upon by the subtle influences of pharisaism, a repetition of formulas, the Graeco-Roman world. By the fifth an exaltation of creeds over character century the tone of the pagan stoic and life. After one has passed a cer- was often higher than that of the out. tain stage in life it is not easy to break wardly conforming Christian; and toup this parched human soil and to day the furious anti-Christian call for fertilize it with the rains and air of “revenge" on the Chinese from the hea ven. Therefore, the appeal for a very people who profess to have been more heroic and less routine attitude upholding the cause of Christian misof soul stands far greater chance of sions in China shows how our ideas as response when made to the young, and to Christian conduct are liable to bethis seems to be precisely what the come confused. Christian Endeavor movement does. But it is the unique distinction of We should doubt whether, in that ap- Christianity that it can be revived and peal, mere enthusiastic emotion does largely restated without altering its not greatly outweigh a reasoned basis essential truth. Examine the religion of Christian action. But, be that as it of the Moslem world and you will find may, we say again that we fully be- that this is not the case. That is why lieve in the essential value of this it is so impossible to reform Moslem movement. To give to the young a society, to give it a new principle of high aim in life which calls for devo- life. The n, a series of commands tion and love to mankind is a very from a kind of celestial autocrat, bas noble achievement.
told the Faithful once for all and in But the most important and signifi. every detail what to believe and to do, cant fact about a movement of this thus leaving opportunity for character is the renewed proof it growth. We are far from saying that brings of the infinite capacity of Chris- the Arabian Prophet conferred no tianity to adapt itself to new condi. blessings on mankiud; he did a great tions and to reappear in ever
work of social purification in the corforms. The question is asked, what rupt society of Arabia, and his gospel are the especial traits of Christianity may prove helpful to the black races which mark it off from other forms of of Africa, who need to be removed by religion? There are not a few, but a great effort from their low worship foremost among these traits is the and customs. Beyond that, however, elasticity and capacity for growth of Islam cannot possibly be the creed of the Christian religion. On mere scien- progressive mankind, for it represents tific grounds we might fairly predict a hardened, stationary bellet. Buddhthe success of Christianity in its great ism is of course a far more spiritual
creed, born of as noble an enthusiasm Lutheran Church of the last cen. as the world has ever known, and it tury-what stiffened corpses they all has exerted for centuries a refining in- seem! The pulse is still; decay seems fluence on Oriental life. To-day even to have marked with her "effacing in some parts of Burma it is the root fingers" the body of Christ. But it of a singularly beautiful and simple has always proved in the Christian life, flowering out into some of the world that death is but the prelude to purest virtues. But, taking the East resurrection. Out from the black as a whole, Buddhism is almost an ex- chaos when the Roman civilization fell tinct spiritual force. It has hardened and crumbled into mouldy fragments, into a system, mechanized itself in Gregory and Benedict organized a new prayer-wheels, tinkling bells and vain spiritual order in Western Europe, an repetitions. In China, to which it order marked. not merely by faith, but penetrated so early, it is not the active by faith which showed itself in works force in life; such religion, or rather so beneficent, that we may trace in rationalized morality, as actuates the large measure the better elements of Chinese mind is the system of Confu- our life to-day to these men. When cius. In its native home (India) the older religious movement again beBuddhism is no more. In Japan it has comes rigid in the thirteenth century, apparently helped to produce an exter- the new Orders of Dominicans and nally refined character, beneath which, Franciscans, not organized from any however, lle some very sinister traits central source, but growing freely and a general frame of mind which is from different perceptions of Christian æsthetic rather than religious. Hindu- truth, pour fresh streams of life and ism is undoubtedly a very great fact, thought on the soil of Christianity. A its priesthood powerful, its numbers mechanized Christianity in England is growing, its influence enormous. But met by the faithful ferror, at various it is all systematized; its increase is by times, of a Wycliffe, a Latimer, a accretion rather than by growth, and George Fox, a Bunyan, and a Wesley. -most striking fact of all-it tends to The renewal of life, even at the most perish when brought into living con- barren period, is perpetual and certain; tact with culture. It cannot, as a the spring never runs dry. In rich, whole, adapt itself to new conditions formal Milan St. Carlo Borromeo reof life.
veals new depths in the Christian idea We are well aware that some of the of love; the example and memory of criticisms just made on other religions St. Vincent de Paul inspires men and might be passed on organized Chris- women to a love for the suffering tianity in some of its forms. As we which Pliny and Seneca, with all their have said, the universal tendency of fine ethical theories, never really felt man is to stereotype, to be a slave of in their inmost hearts. Perhaps the the letter and of tradition, and the true central life of Christianity has tendency has made itself only too pain. never been so much revealed in the fully manifest in the Christian Church, regular ecclesiastical system as in the so that at times we have to ask our- spontaneous offshoots (at times "per. selves, what is left there of the spirit plexed in faith, but pure in deed") of of Christ? The Roman Church of the spirit of faith and love wbich have Julius II and Leo X, the Eastern grown into such mighty agencies for Church prior to the Iconoclastic the deliverance of mankind. That. movement, the English Church these agencies have penetrated every der the first two Georges, the corner of the globe and have been
found compatible with all manner of become the religion of mankind. That Intellectual opinions and social institu- tiny germ, the least of seeds, is becomtions is one of the most profound and ing a mighty tree, and the fowls of the convincing proofs that Christianity is, air will lodge under its branches. in the ordering of things, destined to
THE SAMPHIRE GATHERER.
The Samphire gatherer to the cliff-face clings
The gulls are crying in her heedless ears
She has no fears because her daily bread
Night brings her little children to her knee
To discourse of Dante, concerning “Vagliami il lungo studio e il grande whom, ever since Boccaccio lectured amore, on the “Divina Commedia" in
Che m'han fatto cercar lo tuo volume."
the Duomo of Florence, more than five
But love and study of Dante will not hundred years ago, there has been an
of themselves suffice to make discourse unbroken procession of loving com
concerning him interesting or adementators, must always be a difficult
quate; and I am deeply impressed undertaking; and the difficulty is in
with the disadvantages under which I creased when the audience ad
labor this evening. But my task has dressed, as I believe is the case this
been made even exceptionally perilous, evening, is composed, for the most
since it has been preceded by the enpart, of serious students of the austere
trancing influence of music, and music Florentine. The only claim I can have
that borrowed an added charm from on your attention is that I am, in that
the melodious words of the poet himrespect at least, in a more or less de
self. May it not be with you as it gree, one of yourselves. It is now
was with him when the musician Caclose on forty years since, in Rome as
sella—"Casella mio"-acceded to his Rome then was, one repaired, day
request in the Purgatorial Realm, and after day, to the Baths of Cavacalla,
sang to him, he says, not, as now, denuded of the sylvan growth of successive centuries, but
"si dolcemente, cloaked, from shattered base to ruined Che la dolcezza ancor dentro mi suona." summit, in tangled greenery, and in the silent sunshine of an Imperial
sang to him so sweetly that the sweet
ness of it still sounded in his ears; Past, surrendered oneself to
words that strangely recall the couplet
“quella fonte in Wordsworth, though I scarcely Che spande di parlar si largo fiume," think Wordsworth was
scholar:that unfailing stream of spacious speech which Dante, you remember,
“The music in my heart I bore, ascribes to Virgil, which Dante equally Long after it was heard no more." shares with him, and to each alike of whom one can sincerely say:
Many of you remember, I am sure, .Read before the Dante Society on June 13th.
the entire passage in the second canto
of the “Purgatorio." But, since there strove to fold her in one farewell em. may be some who have forgotten it- brace. and the best passages in the "Divina
“Ter conatus ibi collo dare bracchia Commedia" can never be recalled too circum, often-and since, moreover, it will Ter frustra comprensa manus effugit serve as a fitting introduction to the imago." theme on which I propose for a brief Similarly, the incorporeal figure in while to descant this evening, let me the “Divine Comedy” bids Dante derecall it to your remembrance. Com- sist from the attempt to embrace him, panioned by Virgil, and newly arrived since it is useless; and then Dante dison the shores of Purgatory, Dante
cerns it is that of Casella, who used perceives a barque approaching, so
oftentimes in Florence to sing to him, swift and light that it causes no ripple and now assures the poet that, as he on the water, driven and steered only loved him upon earth, so here he loves by the wings of an Angel of the Lord, him still. Encouraged by the tender and carrying a hundred disembodied words, Dante calls him “Casella mio," spirits, singing "In exitu Israel de and addresses to him the following Ægypto.” As they disembark, one of
bequest:them recognizes Dante, and stretches "... Se nuova legge non ti toglie out his arms to embrace the Poet. The Memoria o uso all' amoroso canto, passage is too beautiful to be shorn of Che mi solea quetar tutte mie voglie, its loveliness either by curtailment or
Di cio ti piaccia consolare alquanto
L'anima mia, che, con la sua persona by mere translation:
Venendo qui, è affannata tanto." “Io vidi uno di lor trarresi avante
"If by new dispensation not deprived Per abbracciarmi con si grande of the remembrance of belovëd song affetto,
Wherewith you used to soothe my Che mosse me a far lo somiglante.
restlessness, O ombre vane, fuor che ne nel I pray you now a little while assuage aspetto!
My spirit, which, since burdened with Tre volte dietro a lei le mani avvinsi,
the body E tante mi tornai con esse al petto. In journeying here, is wearied utterly."
“Among them was there one who for
arms, And thrice they fell back empty to my
Quickly comes the melodious response: “ 'Amor che nella mente mi ragonia,'
Commincið egli allor si dolcemente, Che la dolcezza ancor dentro mi suona Lo mio Maestro, ed io, e quella gente Ch'eran con lui, perevan si contenti, Com' a nessun tocasse altro la
mente." “ 'Love that holds high discourse with
in my mind,' With such sweet tenderness he thus
began That still the sweetness lingers in my
Words that will recall to many of you the lines in the second book of the “Æneid," where Æneas describes to Dido how the phantom of his perished wife appeared to him as he was seeking for her through the flames and smoke of Troy, and how in vain he
Virgil, and I, and that uncarnal group
seemed, That in our hearts was room for
1 The renderings into English verse from Dante are by the author of the paper.