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and modern thought in our hands, all the great examples before our eyes, and all the spiritual teaching of the ages in our ears, what may be called the moral conscience of nations is still in a very rudimentary condition.
States, as represented by the policy and action of rulers, diplomatists and statesmen, and by ordinary public opinion, are still influenced and di. rected in the main by the instincts of self-preservation and self-interest, and all the kindred selfish motives; though we recognize with thankfulness the constantly growing signs that the higher life steadily advances in spite of every drawback.
For while the tired waves, slowly
breaking, Seem scarce one painful inch to gain, Far back, through creek and inlet
making, Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
This brings us to the practical and final consideration, how we may best hope to facilitate or expedite this progress; and our thoughts naturally turn in this connection, first of all to the influence of religious teaching, and next to systematic training of the young in the ethics of citizenship, and to the aid which may be given by ethical societies.
What religious teachers and leaders may perhaps be said specially to need in a time of settled and conventional religion, is to realize their prophetic office more clearly and more fully than is commonly done.
In the midst of a highly conventional society it is only too easy to forget that the true office of the religious preacher is to stand forth as the messenger and interpreter of Divine Law in its application to all contemporary activities and relationships, to be a preacher of both individual and national righteousness, like Amos, Micah, or Isaiah, im. pressing always the ancient text:
“That which is altogether just shalt thou do, that thou mayest live," and to inspire and lead men to apply that rule to their daily public life, as suggested, for instance, in the fine words of Mr. Gladstone, when he said, “That which is morally wrong cannot be politically right.”
Moreover, the prophet is needed in every age, because, as a matter of fact, it is through inspiring and uplifting personalities of the prophetic type that every great forward movement in human history is set going and sustained. Again and again, as we read the record of human advancement, we are moved to say, “See how a great prophet has risen up among men, and God has visited His people," and therefore it is that teachers of religion are especially called upon to cultivate the prophetic office of the Church of God in regard to all the various departments of the common life.
This view, when simply stated in general terms, meets with general ac. ceptance and is even commended and applauded; but when we endeavor to carry it into practice in public affairs it is apt to meet with a different reception.
The prophet, or preacher of righteousness, claiming to base his exhortations or protests on Divine Law, is not, as a rule, a popular character.
The opportunist, whether in Church or State, does not like his utterances. The man of prophetic conviction and courage is apt to be jeered at as a pedant or a prig, or an impractical philosopher, or a sentimental philanthropist; and yet the fact remains that the men of this type, and not the opportunists, are and have always been the true salt of their society, or rather let us say they are the Promethean torch. bearers, who bring fresh gifts of Di. vine fire into the life of men, generation by generation.
But, to pass on to the next point re
ferred to above, we also need much ing of the best kind in our schools. more systematic teaching of ethics in Such teaching should appeal to the imtheir application to citizenship. It is a agination and the feelings, which are very long time since the Greek philos- the great factors of conduct, and opher said άνθρωπος φύσα πολιτικών should deal with the actual relations of Sqov-man is by nature a social crea- life at home, in work, in companionture—and yet our social and political ship and in all civic relationships." ethics are still in practice quite rudi- Here we are reminded of the very mentary.
suggestive and noble efforts of Mr. G. There is, it might be alleged, hardly F. Watts, R.A., and all who are faa school in England, including even miliar with the routine of our school Eton itself, which has been for so education in any grade of school will many generations the great nursery of agree that such suggestions and efforts our public men, in which we could find
are, to say the least, very opportune. any adequate manual setting forth in In conclusion, it may be urged that detail the principles of social and polit- we need in all the chief centres of our ical ethics in regular and general use, national life a great deal more of the or any systematic course of instruction influence of ethical societies. in such subjects given and enforced The function of such a society is twowith the needful reiteration through- fold. It acts as a school of study for out the growing, impressible, character- the select few, who thus do something forming years of early life.
to keep alive and bright the sacred fire A man of large and varied practical of ethical illumination and advanceexperience, and, it may be added, of ment. But the needs of the nation ask rare prophetic insight and high enthusi- of us a great deal more than this. asm, Dr. Paton, of Nottingham, feeling If such societies are really to fulfil this need of greater attention to higher their mission, they must, like Socrates, ethical training, has within the last carry their teaching into the market. year or two pressed on some of those place, so as to make it heard and make charged with the education given in its power felt in all the practical acelementary schools (and the need is tivities of the national life. quite as great in higher schools), the In proportion to our need amid the duty of doing more than is systemati- blinding, traditional, materialistic and cally done to touch the imagination selfish influences that are continually and the emotions of the young in re- acting on men, in a complex industrial gard to all the nobler elements of life and commercial civilization, is the and character.
greatness of the benefit which such soHe would have, for instance, in cieties may bestow upon the commuevery elementary school, what he calls nity; and it may be taken as beyond a Boys' Guild of Honor, in which the
question that one of our special needs chief elements of high character, such is a far more systematic propaganda of as courage, truth, self-command, pu- social and political ethics, a proparity, generosity, chivalry, public spirit, ganda led, informed, directed by a should be systematically set before the central ethical association, with its acboys and impressed on them as ele- tive local branches in all the great ments of life in which they should re- centres of provincial life; and all of joice and strive to excel.
them making it their aim to inspire the "In addition to the religious teach- teaching of the young, to supply suiting," he says, “I desire to see much able manuals, of instruction, to leaven more direct and emphatic moral teach. public opinion, especially the opinion of
all bodies of teachers, and so to help us a little nearer to that better day, when the highest ideals of ethical conduct
shall have become the dominant forces in both private and public affairs.
The Xineteenth century.
THE TCHELOPECK WOODS.*
In the afternoon of the first of June, 1876—the day in which Boteff's band of rebels' was routed at “Voll,” in the mountains, near Vratza, and Boteff himself fell pierced by a bullet of the Circassian horde, commanded by the fierce Djambalaz-on the left bank of the river Iskre, opposite the village Lutibrod, were sitting a company of women. They were from Lutibrod, and were waiting for their turn to cross the river by means of the only boat there. The greater part of them knew very little of what was going on just then, and, some of them did not care to know. The constant roving of the Bashi-bazouks for the last two days on the other side of Vratza did not concern them at all, and they continued to attend to their field labor. They were all women, for the men did not care to hazard their lives. Although the theatre of the battles between the insurgents and the Circassians was comparatively far from Lutibrod, the rumor had caused great anxiety there also, having set on the qui rire all the male inhabitants. This very day a few Turkish soldiers had gone into the village in order to lay hands upon suspicious persons; there were also soldiers stationed at one of the banks of the river to inspect the passengers that went and came across
the river. At this hour the boat was on the other side and the women waited with patience its return to take them over. At last it came. The boatmana Lutibrod peasant hired by the village -touched with his only oar the bottom of the river in order to fix the boat to the bank, and shouted to the women:
"Come on, hurry up!" This very moment two mounted policemen appeared on the road from Vratza, and as soon as they reached the bank they dismounted from their horses and pushed aside the women who were about to jump into the boat. One of these policemen, a stout, elderly Turk, cracked his whip and swore at them.
"Back, ye infidel swine! Get away!"
The women shrank back, willing to wait again.
“Get away from here!" yelled the other policeman, rushing forward to scourge them with his whip. But they shrieked and ran away.
Meanwhile the boatman took hold of the reins and led the horses into the boat. One of the policemen, both of whom followed the horses in, turned angrily toward him and said:
"No dog shall you receive in this boat." While to the women he beckoned to depart at once.
At the sight of this the poor women, all broken down, started back toward
• Translated from the Bulgarian for The Living Age by D. S. R.
1 Christo Boteft was the leader of the band of insurgents that crossed the Danube in 1876 from
Roumania to Bulgaria at Kouzloudoy, with the purpose of arousing the Bulgarians to a general insurrection against the tyrannical government of the Turks.
over the fields. The evening rays of the sun, which was about to hide itself behind the hills, made the river appear like a large silver belt.
Mezdra, passing through the wheatfields.
"Wait, please wait!" cried out a peasant woman, who was coming from Tchelopeck, running fast toward the boat.
The policemen looked at her.
“What do you want?" asked the stouter one, in the Bulgarian language.
She was about fifty years old, tall, bony and lean. In her arms she was carrying a child wrapped up in a torn blanket.
“Let me cross over! Please do! God give you health-to you and to your children!"
"Is it you, Elietza ?? Ah! you ghiaour (infidel)!"
He recognized her, for she had baked pies for him at Tchelopeck.
“Yes, it's I, Hadji Hassan Agha. Please let me cross over for this child's sake."
"Whereto are you taking this worm?"
“This is my grandson. His mother is dead; he is sick, and I am going to the monastery."
“What will you do there?"
"I want the priest to read to him for his health," spoke the woman in a beseeching voice, and extremely frightened.
Hadji Hassan Agha and his companion took their seats in the boat, while the boatman reached for the oar.
“For God's sake, please do me this kindness; think that you, too, have children! I shall pray for you, also!"
The Turk meditated, then spoke, scornfully:
“Come on, get in, you donkey."
The woman jumped quickly into the boat and sat down beside the boatman. The latter turned the boat around and it floated away over the turbid waters of the Iskre, which had lately, from the heavy rains, spread considerably
The poor Tchelopeck woman doubled her speed. The sooner she reached the monastery the better, she thought. On her bosom lay, half-dead, her two-yearold grandson-an orphan, who had been taken ill two weeks before. During the last two days the child was sinking very rapidly. Old women's medicines, all kinds of sorceries and the physician even could not help him. The village priest read to him; that also had no effect. Her only hope now was in the Holy Virgin. "The child must be taken to the monastery.” That is what all the women of the village told her. When she looked at the child in the afternoon, she became
very much alarmed; it looked as if it were dead.
“Quick," said she; “may the Holy Virgin give him help!"
So, in spite of the bad weather, she started at once for the Teherepick monastery called “The Holy Virgin.”
Before crossing the river, while she was hurrying through the woods, down toward the Iskre, a young man peeped from among the oak trees, and then walked toward her. He was dressed in strange tight clothes with laces on the breast and carried a rifie in his hand. His face was pale and languid. "Bread, please!
dying with hunger!” said he, standing before her. She understood the matter at once. “He must be on of those pursued by the police! Lord God!" whispered Elietza to herself, utterly frightened. She looked into her bag; but she had forgotten to put bread into it. There were only a few dry crusts in its bot. tom. She handed them to him at once.
“Grandma, could I hide in this village?"
2 Elietza means wife of Elia-the Bulgarian for Elijah.
But how could he hide in Tchelo- babbling down the valley beside the peck? There is fire there now-be will monastery, losing itself in the creek be delivered to the Turks. And with between the lofty precipices. On the this uniform on!
opposite side stood the rocky walls, “No, my son, it is impossible!" hollowed here and there with caves,
Thus she spoke to him as she gazed dark and dreary. Firm obelisks, on pitifully at his weary countenance, on whose summits the eagles drowsed in which despair revealed itself. She their nests, towered far up in the skies. pondered a little, and then said:
The monastery slept calm and deso"Hide yourself, my son, for the pres- late. ent, in this wood, and wait for me All of a sudden there was a knock around here until to-night. I am afraid on its gate. The dogs began to bark. you will be seen if you enter the vil- Another knock, and still another. lage now. I will bring you some bread The servant went out, followed by a and possibly clothes; these won't do. monk, who came out from his cell We are Christians.”
without having on his robe and mitre. The worn face of the young man “John, who is knocking?" asked the gleamed with hope.
monk, who stood perplexed by the fence “I shall wait for you, grandma; go, on which black monastery clothes were grandma, I thank you! ..." And hanging. she saw him limp away into the depth The knocking continued. The monk of the woods. Her eyes were filled gave a sign to the dogs to stop their with tears. She hurried down the hill barking, and said: meditating on what she had encoun- "It must be some of those! What tered.
shall we do now? I won't let a single “I must do something for this miser- soul get in! Besides, the abbot is not able creature! What was he! Maybe here ... wait, John, ask first!" God will have mercy on me and grant “Who's there?" inquired the servant, life to the child. The Holy Virgin only in a loud voice, and then listened for help me reach the monastery. Dear an answer. God, protect him; he is a Bulgarian, "I guess it's a woman knocking," who has come forth to sacrifice his life said he, at last. and all for the Christian faith.”
“How can it be? A woman at this She decided to tell everything to the hour! It must be either some of those' abbot of the monastery, a kind-hearted or Turks ... but Turks for certain. old man; also to take some bread and They will slay us to-night. They have peasant clothes, and start back as soon come here to search . but there is as possible, without staying over night, nothing here . I have let no one so as to meet the wandering refugee in get in here May God have mercy the dark. And now she doubled her on us." speed to save, if God willed it, two The voice from outside was heard lives.
“ 'Tis a woman calling," repeated III.
the servant. “Who are you?"
“Grandma Elietza, John, from TcheloThe night's dark veil was already peck, open ... oh! ..." spreading itself over the Tcherepick "Are you alone?" asked the servant. monastery. The gorge of the Iskre “Alone with my grandson, John, kept cautious silence under the starry please open!" heavens; the river, sad and lonely, was "See that there be no treachery," said