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For such an end all are concerned to work. Comparing the things that are with the things that shall be, some may strive and cry, others may work silently, but none can be careless.
None can approve a condition of society where the mass of the people remain ignorant even of the language through which come thought, comfort, and inspiration. The majority are deaf and dumb They cannot ask for what their higher nature needs, they cannot hear the word of God without which man cannot live. None can approve a condition of society where, while one is starving, another is drunken, where in one part of a town a man works without pleasure to end his days in the workhouse, while in the other part of the town a man idles bis days away and is always as one that is served.' None can look on and think that it always must be that the hardest workers shall not earn enough to secure themselves by cleanliness and by knowledge against those temptations which enter by dirt and ignorance, while many have so much that their wealth makes it almost impossible for them to enter the kingdom of God. A time must come when men shall hunger no more, nor thirst any more, when there shall be no tears which love cannot wipe away, and no pain which knowledge cannot remove. For this end every one who knows the mission of man'must by some means work.
That all may avoid the loss and secure the gain which belong to their various methods, it seems to me that they would be wise to remember two things—(1) that national organisations deserve support rather than party organisations, and (2) that the only test of real progress is to be found in the development of character.
A national organisation is not only more effective on account of its strength and extent, but also on account of its freedom from party spirit. Its members are bound to sit down by the side of many who differ from themselves, and are thus bound to take a wider view of their work. They are all under the control of the same body which controls the nation, and they thus serve only one master, A public library, for instance, which is worked by the municipality, will be more useful than one worked by a society or a company. The books will not be chosen to promulgate the doctrines of a sect so much as to extend knowledge, and its management will not be so arranged as to please any large subscriber so much as to please the people. Instead, therefore, of starting societies, it would be wise for social reformers to throw their strength into national organisations.
The Board of Guardians might thus be made efficient in giving relief. From its funds and with the help of its organisation a much more perfect scheme of emigration could be worked than by private societies whose funds are limited and whose inquiries are incomplete. In the workhouse might be arranged such a system of industrial training as would fit the inmates on their discharge both to take and enjoy labour. It is as much by others' neglect as by their own fault that so many strong men and women drift to these places, unable to earn a
living. They have never been taught to work. The infirmary too, properly organised under doctors and nurses and visited by ladies, might be the school of purity and the home of discipline, in which the fallen might be helped to find strength. The schools from which orphans might be boarded out, and in which, by the service of devoted officers, education could be perfected, might do better work than the schools and orphanages which depend on voluntary offerings and often aim at narrow issues. The guardians, moreover, having the power over out-relief, have in their hands a great instrument for good or evil. Rightly used the power might give to many who are weak a new strength as they realised that refusal implied respect, and that a system of relief which encourages one to bluster and another to cringe cannot be good.
The School Board might in the same way be made to cover the aims of the educationalists. As managers they could bring themselves into close connection with teachers and children. They could show the teachers what is implied in knowledge, introduce books of wider views, and they could visit the children's homes, arrange for their holidays, and see to their pleasures. Much more important is it that the schools under the nation's control should be good than that special schools should be started to achieve certain results. In connection too with the Board, it is possible to have night classes which should be in reality classes in higher education and means both of promoting friendship and gaining knowledge.
Then there are the municipal bodies, the Vestries and Boards of Works, who largely control the conditions which people of goodwill strive to improve. It rests with these bodies to build habitable houses, and to see that those built are habitable, and they are responsible for lighting and cleaning of the streets. It is in their power to open libraries and reading-rooms, to make for every neighbourhood a common drawing-room, to build baths so that cleanliness is no longer impossible, and possibly even to supply music in open spaces. It is by their will that the houses exist in which the young are tempted to their ruin, and it only needs their energy to work a reform at which purity societies vainly strive.
Lastly, there is the national organisation which is the greatest of all, the Church, the society of societies, the body whose object it is to carry out the aim of all societies, to be the centre of charitable effort, to spread among high and low the knowledge of the Highest, to enforce on all the supremacy of duty ɔver pleasure, and to tell everywhere the Gospel which is joy and peace. If the Church fulfilled its object, there would be no need of societies or sects. If the Church fails, it is because it is under the control of clerics; its charity tends thus to become limited to those who follow the clerics, its ideas of duty are affected by its organisation, and it preaches not what it is now taught by the Holy Spirit, but what it has inherited. All this would be
changed if the people were put in the place of the clerics. The Church would then be the expression of the national will to do good, to distribute the best and to please God.
Because the national organisations are so vast, and because association with them is the best check on the growth of party spirit, it is by their means that the best work can be done. The cost involved may at times be great. It may be hard to endure the siow movement of a public body while the majority of that body is being educated ; it may be bitter work for the ardent Christian to endure the officialism of a public institution; it may seem wrong that profane bands should mould the Church organisation ; but the cost is well endured. The national organisations do exist, and will exist, if not for good then for evil. They are vast, a part of the life of the nation, and the cost which is paid for association with them is the cost of the selfassertion which, if it sometimes is the cause of success, is also the cause of shame.
Further, the other safeguard which it seems to me that all would be wise to remember is that the only test of progress is in the development of character. Institutions, societies, laws, count for nothing unless they tend to make people stronger to choose the good and refuse the evil. Redistribution of wealth would be of little service if in the process many became dishonest. A revolution would be no progress which put one selfish class in the place of another. The test, then, which all must apply to what they are doing, is its effect on character, and this test rigorously applied will make safe all methods both new and old. As it is applied there will be a strange shifting of epithets. Things called 'great' will be seen to be small, and efforts passed by in contempt will be seen to be greatest.
The man in East London who, judged by this test, stands among the highest is one who, belonging to no society, committed to no scheme of reform, has worked out plan after plan till all have been lost in greater plans. Years before the evils lately advertised were known, he had discovered them, and had begun to apply remedies unthought of by the impatient. He has won no name, made no appeal, started no institution, and founded no society, but by him characters have been made which are the strength of homes in which force is daily gathering for right. The women, too, whose work has borne best fruit are those who, having the enthusiasm of humanity, have had patience to wait while they work. After ten years such women now see families who, by the virtue which has gone out of them, have been raised from squalor to comfort, and are surrounded by girls to whom their friendship has given, in new hopes of womanhood, the best armour against temptation.
That work of these bas been great because it has strengthened character, and there are other fields in which like work may be done. Conditions have a large influence on character, and the hardships of life VOL. XIX.-No. 108.
may be as prejudicial to the growth of character as the luxuries. They, therefore, who work to get good houses and good schools, who provide means of intercourse and high teaching, who increase the comforts of the poor, may also claim to be strengthening character. One I know who by patient service on boards has entirely changed some of the conditions under which 70,000 people have to live. He has never advertised his methods nor collected money for his system, he has simply given up pleasure and holidays to be regular at meetings; he has at his meetings by patience and good-temper won the ear of his fellows, while by bis inquiries into details and his thorough mastery of his subject he has won their respect. A change has thus been made on account of which many have more energy, many more comfort, and many more hope.
One other I can remember who, even more unknown and unnoticed, came to live in East London. He gathered a few neighbours together, and gradually in talk opened to them a new use for idle hours. They found such delight in seeing and hearing new things that they told others, and now there are many spending their evenings in ways that increase knowledge, who do so because one man aimed at providing means of intercourse and high teaching.
Those whose aim it is to reform conditions may, as well as those who teach, claim to be strengthening character, but the admission of their claims must depend on the way in which they have worked. They themselves can alone tell how far in pursuit of their aims they have forgotten the effect of their means upon character, and that those means are represented by people whose growth they have helped or hindered. Teachers are not above reformers, and reformers are not above teachers. The people must be taught, and conditions must be changed. It is for those who teach as well as for those who try to change conditions to judge themselves by the effect their methods have on character. If striving and crying they have avoided impatience and allowed time for the growth of originality, if working silently they have indeed done something else than find faults in others' methods, they may be said to have secured the good and avoided the loss.
SAMUEL A. BARNETT.
LORD GRANVILLE, when addressing the House of Lords at the opening of Parliament on the relations existing at the present time between foreign Powers and the British Government, pointed out to Lord Salisbury an omission in the Speech from the Throne which he characterised as one he 'hardly expected. The omission complained of referred to the rumour that reached England some few days ago that Germany had annexed Samoa. I felt sure,' said Lord Granville, 'when I saw the statement, that it was not a fact, or that it had been done by an individual officer, and would be disowned by the German Chancellor. I am glad to learn that that is the case.' The gauntlet thus thrown down was immediately taken up by Lord Salisbury, who said :
I think the noble earl is in error in supposing that there has been, on any hypothesis, any annexation of Samoa by Germany. There have been events which are imperfectly reported, and which strangely never reached the Court of Berlin at all, and we are at present unable to place an exact interpretation on the news which has come to us; but this, which is quite satisfactory, we have received namely, the most positive assurance on the part of Germany that she will adhere to the treaties in respect to Samoa which already exist.
Rear-Admiral Knorr, who carried out the settlement of the differences between Germany and Zanzibar, and is no stranger to these islands, is now on his way to perform a similar task in Samoa ; so we may soon expect to have more accurate information on a subject at present very little understood in England, notwithstanding the fact of its international importance. Meanwhile a sketch from one who has been there and collected the most recent information of the political events that have been taking place in these islands for some time past may not be uninteresting; at any rate, their narration will, I trust, serve to quicken the interest now beginning to be felt by England in Central Polynesia.
It is very commonly imagined by the general public that Samoa is one island. This idea is erroneous. Samoa is the native name of a group of twelve volcanic islands in the South Pacific Ocean, ten of wbich are inhabited, These islands lie between the parallels of 13° 31' and 14° 11' 30" south latitude, and the meridians of 172° 48' and. 169° 39' 30" west longitude, and are marked on the chart as the Navigators,' a name given them by Bougainville, from the skill and