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A great surprise was given to many people in Canada the other day by the announcement that Archdeacon Cody, of Toronto, had accepted the post of Minister of Education in the Ontario Government. This will involve his election as Member of Parliament, and naturally people are wondering how he will be able to undertake this new work together with the duties that fall to his lot as rector of St. Paul's Church, one of the largest and most important places of worship in our Church in the Dominion. The congregation naturally naturally wish Dr. Cody to remain as rector and arrangements are to be made to provide additional clerical help. There is no doubt as to the qualifications of Dr. Cody for his new post, but it remains to be seen whether it will prove possible in the long run to accomplish the two duties.
Every utterance of Bishop Brent has a special interest for Canada, because of his early associations, and for this reason an article by him in the current number of The East and The West dealing with his work in the Philippines, has naturally been noticed. Among other things, he holds that, to use his own words, "a mission of our Church in a Latin country like the Philippines can best do its work among the natives by advanced Ritual. It is the obvious mode of approach to the child and the childlike." This reads curiously in the light of the New Testament, for, as the Apostles had to approach "the child and the childlike" and yet never gave the faintest hint of "advanced Ritual," the question is at once raised whether after all the Bishop's view is correct. Another point he makes is that it is our duty "to avoid as far as we can any emphasis on the differences between ourselves and our Roman Catholic brethren and to lay stress on our points of contact, conforming where we can to the established conditions of the country." Here again it is significant to think of Romanism in the
Philippines in the light of Bishop Brent's views. Meanwhile, Rome, in that country, takes not the slightest notice of Bishop Brent and his work, and indeed, if all accounts are correct, it would seem as though the actual results of your communion in the Philippines do not give too much support to the Bishop's contentions. One other point seems to call for notice. Bishop Brent, while recognizing the custom of the people to gather in the Church to say the Rosary, maintains that, on the one hand, he has no right to license it officially, but, on the other hand, he does not think it within his province to forbid it, "because it has in it so much that is quite in accord with our own religious position." All these utterances are noteworthy, and if they were not so serious they would be almost amusing, because they go so contrary to what has been universally proved to be the true method of dealing with Roman Catholicism. If Bishop Brent is correct, then the nearer we assimilate our services to those of Rome the better. Meanwhile, Rome smiles, with supreme indifference, on all these approaches.
A good deal of friction has evidently been experienced between the Canadian Chaplains' Service at the Front and the Y. M. C. A., and two or three important conferences have been held recently with the head of the Canadian Chaplains, Canon Almond, who is now in Canada. According to reports, the causes of the friction have been removed, and there is every hope that in the future the work will go on with smoothness. It is commonly said that this friction was the explanation of the sudden and unexpected return to America of Dean Abbott, of Cleveland, who had gone out to the Front for a year and came back within a little more than a month. It is a pity that such friction ever arose, but it is gratifying to think that it is now at an end. The Y. M. C. A. has just carried to a successful conclusion an effort to ob
tain $2,250,000 for their work this year. A little book entitled, "Can England's Church Win England's Manhood?" has just been published, and although no name is attached to it, it is known to have been written by a Canadian chaplain, Canon Davidson, of Peterborough, Ontario. It can be obtained from the Macmillan Company, and while it is scarcely possible that all will agree with it, there is no doubt that it provides ample material for earnest thought by the clergy of every Church, notwithstanding its title. The author says that the material was submitted to other chaplains, and therefore represents the views of several who have had opportunities of observing work at the Front. What is to be greatly hoped and desired is that all these utterances of chaplains will be fruitful beyond all else to the chaplains themselves, who are evidently. learning a great deal from their work. among the soldiers.
A terrible story comes from Vancouver to the effect that Chinese are being led astray in large numbers by gambling. A petition, addressed to the people, signed by eighteen representative Chinese of the city, pleads for drastic action, and complains bitterly of the way in which the authorities of the city have neglected their plain duties towards the Chinese. The features of the situation are perfectly awful, and it seems imperative that the petition should receive. the attention it deserves.
Efforts are being made by our Church Sunday School Commission to get the sanction of the General Synod next September to change the Commission into a General Board of Education after the model of your General Board. If the Synod decides in favor of this action, it is said to indicate one of the most important and far-reaching steps possible to our Church, and will do much towards making our educational work still more effective.
Mr. Justice Hodgins, who is well known both in legal and Church circles
in Canada, has raised a very important question in connection with our Church life. The work of Synods is becoming more and more a matter of routine, and the delegates often find attendance tedious and even a waste of time rather than anything like a spiritual inspiration and uplift. It is probable that the reports of various committees are necessary, though they might often with advantage be "taken as read." What is needed beyond all else, as Mr. Justice Hodgins suggests, is that conferences should be held with special reference to the moral and spiritual work of the Church, instead of using almost the whole of the time in matters of business. How the two ideas can be blended remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that, if only it were known that Synods and similar gatherings had spiritual life and work as an outstanding feature, the result would be eminently advantageous to our best interests.
The pressure of events connected with the war and the intense anxiety felt in many quarters, have had the great advantage of leading many people in Canada to prayer and intercession, and special services have been held in a number of cities with most encouraging attendances. Great satisfaction has also been felt in Canada by the Proclamation of your President of May 30 as a day of "public humiliation, fasting and prayer." and many people hope that before long a similar observance on a week day will be possible in Canada, if not in the entire British Empire.
The Bishop of New Westminster, Bishop de Pencier, has just returned from the Front, where he has been working as chaplain. He was given a hearty welcome home, both at the railway station and at a public reception. This is the second time the Bishop has returned to Vancouver since he went to the Front, and it is not certain whether he will go back to France. He is the only one of our prelates who has been engaged in the work of a chaplain, though the
Bishop of Fredericton, Dr. Richardson, has paid a flying visit to the Front.
Lieut.-Col. Leonard, of St. Catharines, a well known Evangelical Churchman, has founded "The Leonard Foundation" at the Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, the foundation fund consisting of securities to the value of $100,000. The object of the foundation is to assist in the education of sons of clergymen, non-commissioned officers, or men of the permanent British or Canadian army or navy, or of veterans who have taken part in any of the British Empire's wars. This is in addition to a former magnificent gift to three of our colleges.
The Bishop of Huron, Dr. Williams, has been delivering some views on "Prophecy and the Book of Revelation," and comes to the conclusion that all the prophecies connected with Israel have been fulfilled and spiritualized in connection with the Church, and that the Book of Revelation is not to be taken literally in any respect, but is a book of symbols and images descriptive of the nature of the conflict between Christ and His foes. There are not a few, both in the Bishop's own diocese as well as in other parts of Canada, who are not prepared to accept these very general views, because they seem to spiritualize away a great deal of the Bible which, especially in the Old Testament, seems to be capable of and indeed to demand a literal interpretation. It is also interesting to realize that the Bishop in this interpretation goes altogether contrary to the views of his predecessor in the See. Bishop Baldwin. But the discussion, at any rate, shows how keenly interested
people are in these topics at the present time, and whatever may be the differences of view, the ventilation of the questions will do good in making people think along lines that have so often been disregarded. Not long ago the great English scholar, Dr. Sanday, said that he had only recently realized how much. of our Lord's mission had to do with the life beyond the grave.
The new Bishop of Hereford gave expression the other day in England to an idea which is likely to be very fruitful not only in England, but over on this side of the Atlantic. He referred to the word "Pontifex" as applied to a Bishop, a "bridge-maker," and he expressed his desire and determination to be a "bridgemaker," because there are so many gaps today that ought to be bridged over between different Churches. The thought is a very valuable one, and in view of some discussions now taking place in English papers, Bishop Henson's opinion is likely to find some practical realizations. Many people in Canada have been reading with a good deal of interest and not a little regret the attitude and action of your Bishops in response to the appeal made by Dr. Newman Smyth and Dr. Williston Walker. We feel that the Bishops, instead of being "bridgemakers," are more likely to be "bridgedestroyers," in presenting such non possumus attitude. But the force of thought, experience and action will soon prove too great for any such position, and those who adopt it are likely to find themselves swamped in the rising tide. of genuine Church union.
"THE PHILOSOPHY OF WANG YANGMING." Translated from the Chinese by Frederick Goodrich Henke, Ph.D. Chicago. 1916. The Open Court Publishing Co. Price, $2.50.
Wang Yang-ming was a Chinese sage who died in the year 1529. Yet it would hardly be correct to call him a contemporary of Erasmus and Sir Thomas Moore, for ages of non-contact constituted China and Europe into different spheres. Even the contact of the latter days of Syriac Christianity had long since ceased. The barbarous Tartars had poured a flood of murder and rapine between the European and the Asiatic centers of civilization, leaving them more completely separated than ever. A A patriotic uprising drove the Tartars from China in 1368 A. D., and established the native dynasty of the Ming. This dynasty was also in decline, weakened by the palace intrigues that always undermine a polygamous society, when Wang Yang-ming began to enter into the life of his time. Wang Yang-ming was an idealist philosopher. Chinese thought was fixed by Confucius in the lines indicated by the classics, very ancient poetical books. One emperor of the Chin dynasty, the dynasty from whose name we get our word "China," about 212 B. C., persecuted the literati and tried to destroy all the books. Under the Han dynasty, which shortly came into power, this persecution ceased, and in fifty years the classics were restored by scholars who doubtless did for the old literature of China what the men of the great synagogue did for pre-exilic Hebrew literature. Chinese scholarship since that day has always felt the duty to be imposed upon it of being more or less a commentary on the classics and
on the Confucian writings. For all that, originality was not wholly barred. Commentary can become anything. The lines of thought may be indicated, but the thought can achieve much of freedom. Chu Hui-an fixed the interpretation of the classics through his commentary. Chu was a realist or materialist. Chu died in 1200 A. D., so that Wang comes some three centuries later. Yet Wang represents an idealist reaction.
"I see this, that the ancients at all times and in all things learned from the mind itself" (p. 6).
"The highest virtues are innate to the mind. They are realized when the manifesting of lofty virtue has reached perfection.”
"The mind itself is the embodiment of natural law. Is there anything in the universe that exists independent of the mind? Is there any law apart from the mind?" (p. 50).
"Wherever the idea is, we have a thing. *** I say there are no principles but those of the mind, and nothing exists apart from the mind" (p. 59).
Wang took part in the political and even the military affairs of his age. The days were evil. From the north and west there came incursions of barbarous tribes. In the border provinces, south and north, there were rebellions. Wang acted so wisely as to keep his head and his offices. In 1529 he died, full of years and dignities, and was accorded posthumous honors. His writings have been influential in China and, today, have much influence in Japan. The learned translator has given us in the present volume a translation of volume one of four-volume edition of Wang's works, from the Commercial Press of
Shanghai. The volume consists in part of the sage's letters, being largely on metaphysical or ethical subjects. The first two divisions of the volume contain "Instructions for Practical Life"; "Record of Discourses"; "Inquiry Regarding "The Great Learning.'"
There can be no doubt that this opportunity given to English readers to come into close touch with the profound thought of an east Asiatic philosopher is, not only very interesting, which it is, but also instructive and important. This also can be said: that the more studies other thinkers of other lands, uninfluenced by our philosophic tradition, which flows from Miletus and Ephesus and Greece and Rome, through Paris and Oxford, to our modern western schools, the more one realizes the unity of the mind everywhere and always; observing, as we do, how, handling the same problems, the mind develops the same reactions and the same results.
"THE WHIRLPOOL," by Victoria Morton. New York. 1916. E. P. Dutton & Co.
Price, $1.50 net. This is an exciting novel in condemnation of the double standard. The points are very well made. The judge is the man and the woman has made serious mistakes. The judge has a nervous breakdown, after which he looks at life a little differently. First, he becomes interested in the girl. Then he realizes that he has made some serious mistakes, too. The story ends happily.
From the moral standpoint, however, it is doubtful if the art expressed in the book compensates for the bad company to which the story introduces you. One gets an idea of the single standard as leveling down rather than up.
"CAN WE BELIEVE IN IMMORTALITY?" by James H. Snowden, D.D., LL.D. New York. 1918. The Macmillan Co. Price, $1.25. The literature pro and con of immortality has had a kind of revival in recent months. We do not think this is be
cause of any new insight or new light or new power to revise judgments, such as is given by any new philosophy. With the exception of Dr. Leuba's somewhat curious statististical method in treating of immortality, a method which we believe is no more illuminating on immortalty today, than the same method would have been enlightening on the subject of the position of the terrestrial globe in the solar system, if it had been applied in, say, about the fourteenth century; with the exception of Dr. Leuba's intellectual curiosity, we would say, we cannot detect anything new on the subject of immortality in the recent literature of the subject. We do not accuse any author of writing for the market. Authors write for the joy of authorship. We do, however, believe that the public exercises a selective function among authors and books-possibly through publishers, possibly through syndicates. At present, however exercised, the selective function of the general reading public is undoubtedly favoring discussions of immortality. We are getting the discus-. sions. We have no reason as yet to be very grateful for them.
Why the public, today, is peculiarly interested in immortality is so plain and evident that we need not point out the reason to our readers. The fact seems to explain a growth in the cults of psychic or spiritualistic culture, in England and, perhaps, in other countries. The fact that there has been more of what may be called a spiritualistic revival in England, for instance, should give the Church searchings of heart. Some will at once demand that the Church revise or restate her formularies. This we believe is the wrong track. No one is going to be converted by formularies, new or old. What the Church should do is not to look for new formularies, but for new faith. Ministers and laymen must feel more intensely, believe more certainly and practice and preach more fervently. Any formularies or no formu