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VOL. VII.—No. 26 THE DEVIL. Men don’t believe in a Devil now. as their fathers used to do, They have forced the door of various creeds to let his Majesty through. There isn’t a print of ills cloven foot, or a fiery dart from his bow * To be found in earth or air to-day—for the world has voted so. But who is mixing the fatal draught that palsies heart and brain. And loads the bier of each passing year with ten hundred thousand sla'n? Who blights the bloom of the land to-day with the fiery breath of hell, if the Devil isn’t and never was? Won’t some body rise and tell? Who dogs the steps of the tolling saint, and digs the pit for his feet? Who sows the tares in the field of time wherever God sows wheat? The Devil is voted not to be, and of course the thing is true; But who just now is doing the work the Devil alone should do? We are told he does not go about like a roaring lion now; But whom shall we hold responsible for the ever lasting row To be heard in home, in church and state, to the earth’s remotest bound. If the Devil by a unanimous vote is nowhere to be found? Won’t somebody step to the front forthwith, and make their bow and show How the frauds and the crimes of a single day spring up? We want to know. The Devil was fairly voted out, and of course the Devil’s gone; But simple people would like to know who car ries his business on. —Australian Exchange. ANCIENT VS. MODERN CUSTOMS. Refinement the Only Difference. Virtue the Quintessence of Civilization. While reading Roman history, one is struck with the similarity, regarding the events of that period with those of the present time and the likeness is es pecially noticable in the struggles for reform. The Roman patrician mani fested the same hostility toward the advocates of people's rights as the Eng lish tory does toward the reformers of to-day. That the Roman methods of silencing the champions of human free dom were more effective than those which our modern patricians are al lowed to practice, is true, but the incli nation to use similiar methods is just as strong to-day as it was centuries ago; for the arrogance of our modern patri cian would do credit to the proudest Roman that ever committed murder. The Roman patrician’s conception of civilization was that ninety-live per cent of the world’s population should be slaves to the remaining five per cent, and the putrid-blooded aristocrat of the present day maintains the same views; so that the only progress that has been made by that class of human ity is in the cut of their clothing. Almost every class of people have their own peculiar conception of what consti tutes civilization, and it is difficult to determine which of them is correct. That ours is an age of invention and scientific research is one of the strongest arguments put forth that we are enjoy ing the highest standard of civilization yet attained, but we find as much inge nuity displayed by the savage in his native woods as can be found in the ar tisan of the city, for necessity is as much the mother of invention with one class as it is with another. Others would have us believe that the man who walks into an exchange and hood-winks his neighbor out of a fortune in a few hours, is the highest civilized man in the community. Another, and perhaps the strongest claim advanced, that ours is a higher civilization is that we “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, FEBRUARY 1, 1894. live in an age of refinement. Refine ment, no doubt, is a strong claim, but where would it lead us? Not upward, surely, for the most selfish people in the world, and often the most dangerous, are the most refined The superfine ele ment of refined France, something like a century ago, found that their religion was too vulgar for their refined taste so they began to refine and kept refining it until they sifted God out of it entire ly and ended in infidelity. Civilization, according to the wisest men of all ages, is moral progress. Virtue is the quint essence of civilization, and we must ac cept that definition and no other. If we compare our morality with that of ancient Rome, what celestial beings we would appear—at first sight. But on looking more closely into the subject, any rational man can see that the most of our morality is of an exterior nature only. Our speech, our customs and manners, are vastly more moral than those of Rome, but she was never abso lutely devoid of all virtue, not even in her deepest depravity. A people who knew no God, and sacrificed their lives in the cause of virtue, were truly a noble people, and 1 think, fit to be compared morally with any race that now inhabits the globe. The only difference we can see between the ancients and ourselves, is refinement. Our customs and man ners would do credit to any age, and we deplore the fact that Rome did not have a little more regard for common de cency. But as their's were the customs of the time in which they lived, we can forgive them; for in all probability, our present customs will be ridiculed by posterity as all previous customs are ridiculed by succeeding generations. Human nature is just the same to-day as it was when Jacob kissed Rachel at the well; but the customs attached to such a transaction have changed, for it is not the habit now a days for a young man to raise his eyes and weep when he kisses a maiden. Some of the Roman customs imposed upon them some very annoying incon veniences. For instance, if a man be came tired of his wife, or took a fancy to some other man’s wife and wished to rid himself of one so that he might en joy the smiles of the other, it would cause him much trouble to accomplish his end. Perhaps he would have to commit, or be the instigator of a couple of murders to do so. Even some of the Roman emperors had to W'ait until laws had been passed before they w r ere en abled to divorce their wives. Contrast that aggravating custom with ours. In Connecticut, a short time ago, a woman w r as given a divorce from her husband because he chew r ed tobacco in bed, and several w r eeks ago, a woman sued for a divorce because her husbapd walked up stairs with his shoes on. In another case, a charitably disposed woman was seen by her husband to give alms to a blind man, and the setpiel of it was that he petitioned for divorce on the ground that she w r as squandering all her money on blind men. One of the greatest errors of modern times, is that of mistaking and accept ing refinement* for virtue. We raise our eyes in pious horror at the depravity of pagan Rome, and yet there is scarce ly a god that was worshipped by the Romans that is not worshipped to-day, only in a different manner. If refined vice is less offensive than vulgar and unrefined vice in the sight of God, then we are surely a virtuous people. In an cient Rome, and in the large* provincial cities, there wore erected temples which were dedicated to Venus; and, t© these temples, thousands of maidens were consecrated in public. That was a cus tom which no civilized nation would practice, and yet we have more temples dedicated to that same goddess of love in any one of our great cities, than the Roman empire could boast of in its palmiest davs; but history will not men tion the fact. Why? Because we keep such things under the rose—our customs are more refined than were those of Rome. Had the Romans prac ticed one-half the hypocricy that we do —had they shrouded their vices in the garb of refinement and outward moral ity as we do, they would have been held up as examples of the highest virtue to future generations. The Romans worshipped a god of drink: but theirs was a faint-hearted adoration when compared with that of the present day. Bacchus lost noth ing by waiting, for the devotion that is lavished upon him now is enough to make the ancient Greek and Homan writhe in their graves for shame, because of the way they neglected him. When the future historian resurrects us and places us on a pedestal beside the Rom an, I am afraid that we shall be found wanting. Most all the great authors of this century wrote more about what they drank than they did of anything else, and it is the author who was the greatest drunkard, (erratic ge nius it is called) who will stand the best chance of being read in the future. Some of our immortal poets were never sober. Fancy what the future student will think of us when he reads the biog raphies of some of our present day in tellectual giants. It would be but nat ural if he concluded that ours was a drunken age, for corroborative evidence is plentiful. Every evil and folly that is committed in these times of refine ment is attributed to drink. When the student of the future reads of how jus tice was administered he will probably forgive the dispensers of it, on the plea of drunkenness, for he will surely be lieve that they were intoxicated when he reads of one man being sentenced to life imprisonment for stealing one cent, and another man, in the same court, re ceiving but one years sentence for steal ing a million dollars. This is but one case, there are thousands of others of a like nature that are being perpetrated daily, by insane reformers. If an honest person stands up now-a days and speaks the truth of what he knows about society, he is denounced as a crank. There is no man so popu lar as the one who tells us that we are the most heavenly creatures that ever blessed the earth. If we would but lay aside the rose colored spectacles through which we view ourselves and calmly examine, with the naked eye, as we do the ancients and their mode of living, I believe we would find as many, if not more, defects in our lives, than were possessed by the the wicked est Romans. All we lack to purify our lives is to exercise a little more consistency and a little less hvpocricy, a little more virtue and a little less flattery. W. McM. .d Wanderings. Being one who dreams a great deal, I shall venture to say that dreaming is a condition in which there is much yet to be accounted for. Dreaming, apart from its pathological aspect, is a subject of perennial interest. So mysterious and so apart from our conscious selves are the workings of the brain during sleep, that our curiosity is constantly pro voked and we are at a loss to determine the cause of our dreams. No satis factory explanation can be brought forward in reply, and we can well un derstand the belief of the ancients, that dreams were occasioned by some super natural intervention. “To the normal waking intellect, sleep-land must ever remain a foreign and unknown coun try,” says Dr. Louis Robinson, in the North American Review; “the laws and customs are utterly different from those by which the waking mind lives and moves, and even the stable verities of space and time are turned topsy turvy. To be in uvo places at once, is as much a matter of course to the dreamer, as it was to Sir Boyle Roche's immor tal bird. While two or more char acters can, with the greatest ease, be merged into one, like the faces in a composite photograph., A month may be merged into a moment, and yet have plenty of room in which to stretch out its weeks and days. Events occuring at one spot, may, without the least break of continuity, be transferred to the an tipodes, and the flitting is of such a commonplace character, that no one raises an eyebrow. It is a laud which j SI.OO per year, in advanoe. I erms: -j si x Months 60 Cents. we may enter blind folded and un der a mercurial dream; and before we again pass the boundary, intangible as a line of longitude, yet often more difficult to cross than the Alps, we are made to drink of lethe, and carry away next to nothing. But for all that, it is a region where there is much more movement astir than we generally imagine, and where a great deal of important business is in progress beyond that of overhauling the animal machinery. We do not know enough of this unconscious cerebration—this commerce incessantly carried on in the brain cells, to be able to understand the full utility of such a perpetual bustle of ideas; we are in the position of a child who peers through the dust-dim med windows of a factory, or a savage looking down upon the roaring Bourse.’’ 11. F. S. Precept versus Practice. It is a very easy thing to give a pre cept, but when it comes to practice the same, it is quite another thing. So the democratic party seem to find it. Previ ous to the election of 1891, the democratic party were loud in their clamor against class legislation, but since they have come into power, they have apparently turned right around, and one of their first acts savors strongly of the obnox ious class legislation. 1 refer to the in come tax bill that is now in the hands of the ways and means committee. This act or bill is worthy only of some despotic monarchial government, where the people have no voice in making the law's that govern them, where one man holds absolute power over the lives and liberties of the people. In short it is a most undemocratic act, and if it should become a law, the people it is meant to reach will practice all kinds of decep tion to get rid of paying the obnoxious tax; and who can blame them? Why should they pay a tax from which their neighbors are exempt? It is an act that will please a certain class, because only the rich are to be taxed, but anyone that will give the matter a second thought will find that it is unjust, and that one class should not be taxed to benefit the other, to do so is to violate the first principle of democracy. J. P. R. Criminal Contagion. One of the phrases which newspaper reporters are wont to abuse is “an epi demic of crime.” Whenever several sensational crimes of the same kind occur at about the same time we are treated to glaring headlines—“an epi demic of murder,” “an epidemic of arson,” or, as lately, “an epidemic of train-robbing.” Yet, despite this abuse of the phrase, there is really something contagious about crime. Take the case of a woman who killed her four children, and at tempted suicide, leaving a written state ment in which she said she meant to commit these horrible acts “as a woman did it, which was in the newspaper.” Or consider the ascertained fact that out of one hundred and seventy-seven persons condemned to death in France only three had not been present at other public executions. Quite in line with this idea of the contagion of crime is the avowal of the notorious Lacenaire, who said, “When a young man enters prison and hears of the grand exploits of the others he regrets that he has not been a greater criminal himself.” Not merely the force of bad example, in the ordinary sense, but a kind of spontaneous criminal impulse some times seems to spread from person to person. Crime has its fashions, almost its eras. In former days the brutal publicity of punishment was a great source of criminal contagion; in our time the sensational newspaper is the most com mon medium for the transfer of the bacillus of crime. A healthful tone in our every-day journalism is needed as a moral tonic.—Youth’s Companion.