Editorial Designer as author
As technology and the scope of duties of designers changed, so did his identity. He is becoming the universal workforce, supervising the process of creation, from idea to realization. This magazine is part of an art school project.This is about images, articles, sampling, layout, stories, and authorship. Inspired by a speech given by Ellen Lupton at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, I am approaching the questions she asked: Can Designers be authors? Who wants to be an author anyway? How deeply are form and content connected? While many have approached these questions in theory (like Rick Poynor or Michael Rock), I am trying to answer them for myself by creating this magazine. The articles and were all found on the web, copied and placed in this publication. I used the search term “happy” to be the only limitation, giving the content a rough outline. The images are all desaturated to generate a consistant look and feel. The next task was to arrange the deranged text and images to tell new stories, create new and interesting relations and making the document work as a hole. It was till then when I realised how huge my impact on the stolen content would be. I chose to cut the magazine in to three sections. The first one consists of simple, easy to read articles. Some of them being quite spiritual, all of them being naive. The second part of the magazine contains more complex and pessimistic issues. Some of them are quite philosophical and scientific. Since the Google image search brought up some pretty good photos, I decided the third part to be an image seguence, focusing on people, places and culture.
The project “Designer As Author“ took place in a class tought by Stefanie Manthey at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart. This magazine is the final product of a process of reconsidering authorship in general. Enjoy reading! Sebastian König
Content 1 s t Is s u e “H a p p y ”
Edi t o r i a l
T h i n k fa s t H a p p y C a p i ta l i s m Work Happiness B r ows e H a p p y C h a n g i n g t h e w o r ld Being happy Me ta ‘ s H o m e The Journey
10 14 15 19 24 30 32 34
H a p p y C h o ic e The P r i nc i p l e s o f t h e fa m i ly Home H a p p y Sl a p p i n g Ut o p i a May 2 7 , 2 0 0 1
42 46 50 58 60 70
S hiny happ y p e o p l e h o ldi n g h a nds
C o n t r ib u t o r s
I Am Always Tru Positive, And He
uthful, elping Others
10 Lousy day? Don’t try to think happy thoughts—just think fast. A new study shows that accelerated thinking can improve your mood. In six experiments, researchers at Princeton and Harvard universities made research participants think quickly by having them generate as many problem-solving ideas (even bad ones) as possible in 10 minutes, read a series of ideas on a computer screen at a brisk pace or watch an I Love Lucy video clip on fast-forward. Other participants performed similar tasks at a relaxed speed. Results suggested that thinking fast made participants feel more elated, creative and, to a lesser degree, energetic and powerful. Activities that promote fast thinking, then, such as whipping through an easy crossword puzzle or brain-storming quickly about an idea, can boost energy and mood, says psychologist Emily Pronin, the study’s lead author. Pronin notes that rapid-fire thinking can sometimes have negative consequences. For people with bipolar disorder, thoughts can race so quickly that the manic feeling becomes aversive. And based on their own and others’ research, Pronin and a colleague propose in another recent article that although fast and varied thinking causes elation, fast but repetitive
thoughts can instead trigger anxiety. (They further suggest that slow, varied thinking leads to the kind of calm, peaceful happiness associated with mindfulness meditation, whereas slow, repetitive thinking tends to sap energy and spur depressive thoughts.) It is unclear why thought speed affects mood, but Pronin and her colleagues theorize that our own expectations may be part of the equation. In earlier research, they found that people generally believe fast thinking is a sign of a good mood. This lay belief may lead us to instinctively infer that if we are thinking quickly we must be happy. In addition, they suggest, thinking quickly may unleash the brain’s novelty-loving dopamine system, which is involved in sensations of pleasure and reward. The kind of rush that a person gets from rapid-fire thinking may be transient, but “these little bursts of positive emotion add up,” says psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside. Studies have demon strated that happiness yields myriad benefits, including greater productivity, stronger social support and improved immune function, she explains, adding that “even brief periods of heightened mood can lead to upward spirals.”
Think Fast Ra p id T h i n k i n g m a k e s p e o p l e h a p p y
Happy Capitalism D e u t sc h e B a n k Re s e a r c h
Nearly every OECD country has achieved a high level of material prosperity. The questions now facing individuals and societies are which priorities to set for the future, which objectives to target with their reform processes and how to promote the implementation and communication of reforms â€“ capitalism differs from country to country. Happiness research can provide some pointers in this quest. The happy variety of capitalism is one of the four varieties identified by a systematic analysis of 22 rich countries. The happy variety of capitalism: Australia, Switzerland, Canada, the UK, the US, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands as well as (to a lesser degree) Finland and New Zealand have organised society and institutions in such a way that they provide the conditions that are important for
human happiness. The less happy variety of capitalism: Germany, Spain, France, Belgium and Austria trail behind the happy countries on a number of societal and economic counts, and their populations are less happy. The unhappy variety of capitalism: Portugal, Italy and Greece have hitherto failed to advance the key conditions for human happiness. The Far Eastern variety: Japan and Korea organise their society and institutions very differently to the other countries surveyed. Over the last ten years it is above all the Irish, the Spanish and the Scandinavians that have succeeded in implementing considerable happiness-enhancing changes. If the right priorities are set, other countries can also make corresponding progress going forward.
Work Happiness P r ob l e m
I got caught in the f o r c e d l a b o r a g a in . M y f r e e d om f e lt e v e n m o r e r e s t ri c t e d , b e c a u s e I was mak ing less mon e y a n d t h e w o r k wa s s ti l l a c h o r e . M y n e e d s w e r e n ’ t b ei n g f u l fi l l e d . I responded by read in g c o u n t l e s s s e l f - h e l p, b u s i n e s s , mo t i vat i o n a l , s pi r i t u a l , a n d r e l i g i o u s b ooks to help me wit h d e p r e s si o n a n d g e n e r a l d i s c o n t e n t. I a l s o r e c e i v e d p r o f e s si o n a l t h erapy (I had great in s u a r a n c e ) . I w r o t e o v e r 5 , 0 0 0 p o em s ( li t e r a l ly t h e y a r e i n my c l o s e t at h ome. Some of them a r e q ui t e w ei r d . ) . P o e t ry wa s o n e o f t h e f e w o n ly t hi n g s t h at b r o u g h t me joy. P oetry never f e lt l i k e w o r k . T h e w o r d s j u s t f l o w e d o u t, b u t I k n e w i t wa s w o r k f o r o ther people. They wo u l d r at h e r s ta b t h ems e lv e s w i t h a g r a p h i t e p e n c i l t h a n w ri t e a p o e m. T h is began my journe y o f d i s c o v e rin g w h at m a d e m e h a p p y a n d h o w I c o u l d m a k e mo n e y f r om it. I wrote a ch i l d r e n ’ s b o o k c a l l e d “ I Wi s h Fl o w e r s W e r e a s Bi g a s T r e e s . ” As m a n y o f y ou know I can’t comp e t e in t h i s f l o o d e d m a r k e t. E v e n M a d o n n a i s w r i ti n g k i d s ’ b o o k s , “ c’ mon!” I then tried w ri t in g m y fi r s t n o v e l , w hi c h mi g h t b e a g r e at mo vi e , b u t n o t a g r e at b ook - “ L ori L oves to T o rt u r e M e . ” Af t e r t h at, I w r o t e a pi c t u r e b o o k c a l l e d “ 9 2 T h i n g s t o d o Be sides Suicide.” That wa s a FUN p r o j e c t. I t ri e d s e l li n g i t o n m y b l o g , b u t i t wa s a li t t l e t o o fa r ahea d of its t im e. T h at ’ s my r e a s o n f o r fa i l u r e a n d I ’ m s t i c k i n g t o i t. I s o l d a c o u p l e o f c op ies – to my mother a n d a n o l d f rie n d . I n e e d m o r e fa n s li k e t h e m.
BROWSE Happy In t e r n e t e x p l o r e r
I’m Karen, a 38 yr old housewife with a son of 9 and daughter of 11. We have an old desktop computer that is cranky these days, and a 3-year-old laptop that was inherited from a friend a couple of months back. The desktop had months and months of various problems: it survived two house moves, a sneaky virus which we didn’t know about, and then finally was infected with the nasty Sasser Worm thingy in May. That worm rendered it useless, so we got it wiped and re-installed. After it was cleaned up the overall performance improved, but it still had its own quirks, and annoying (and often rude) pop-ups and adverts would still blight us, even with AntiVirus software. Our needs as a family are fairly straightforward: email, digital photos, a little on-line shopping, some writing, and general web browsing. I felt that the type of use our machine was getting was not strenuous enough to make it crash, freeze and do various other ‘weird’ things as often as it did—and by that, I mean as many as 5 or 6 times an hour on some days! After the desktop was re-installed I looked about for prices/spec for a new PC; around that time, my brother urged me to install Firefox on the new computer. Until then, I had no idea that that there were other programs that could do what Internet Explorer did—we don’t read magazines or visit sites which would tell you that sort of information! Last July we were given our new laptop. On receiving it, I followed by brother’s recommendation and set up Firefox. It was fairly straightforward to download, and has proved easy to use since. We get absolutely NO pop-ups or adverts, and 99% of our favourite sites work. On that basis I installed it on the desktop; the children report that “those grey boxes” and “rude things” have stopped coming through, and that it doesn’t crash so often now. I’m not the slightest bit “techie-minded,” and nor am I interested in changing that—I just need the darn computer to switch on and work, because it’s a tool. Firefox is so far proving to be very easy to use, and causing no problems. We will not be going back to Internet Explorer. Ever.
Changing the World H av e Fu n
Need I say more? If enough individuals were always truthful, positive and helping others, would it change the world we live in? You know it would. The only possibility that this will happen depends on you and millions of others like you. If you want to have fun helping to change the world, start with yourself by doing your best to live the Daily Affirmation 100% and recommend others to read my book and do the same. I’m sure that everyone at some time in his or her life was taught to be truthful, positive and to help others. However, there is a huge difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it without exceptions. Olympic athletes win Gold Medals not by knowing what to do. They win them because they practice doing the right things over and over and over again until it becomes a part of them. This same principle applies to you and everyone else. It’s not what you know. It’s what you do that counts and makes a difference in your life. Knowing the Daily Affirmation is one thing, but saying and living it over and over and over again will make it a part of your life. Your life will become a positive example for others to follow. They will feel your energy and want to feel the same way. The same holds true when you teach or learn. The things that are stressed and repeated over and over again are remembered. What you teach or learn once is quickly forgotten. Do you still remember the alphabet and the time tables that were taught to you in grade school? Do you remember how much repetition it took you to learn them until you knew them by heart? Since the teacher always learns more than the student, the more you share the Daily Affirmation with others and discuss it with them, the more aware and happier you will become. These eight words are simple to understand, but will have a profound influence on your life and everyone that you share them with. They have the power to change the world once they gain a critical mass. You are invited to live them 100% and help make our world a better place. If you want to live the Daily Affirmation and encourage others to do the same, the following are some ways you can help. I’m sure that you will come up with many more ideas on your own as you become more creative. Parents If you have young children, what better gift can you give them then teaching them to be always truthful, positive and helping others in their formative years? Children are the future leaders of our world. The values you teach them will greatly impact their lives and many others. When you put your children to bed at night, repeat the Daily Affirmation out loud with them. Spend some time discussing how their day was in relation to these eight words. If you keep it simple, they will understand what you are teaching them and remember it when they leave home and enter the world. If you have teenagers, read this book together with them. Make it a point to sit down with them every day or as often as possible and follow the same steps above. Be open and honest with them and they will eventually be the same with
you. They are young and have to make their own mistakes, but at least help them to keep their mistakes small. If your children have left home, share this book with them. Then watch how much closer they will become to you as your conversations become more open and meaningful, especially if they are raising children of their own. If you have grand children, make sure you teach them the Daily Affirmation in case their parents don’t. Married Couples and Domestic Partners Read this book together with your spouse or partner. Since we are all individuals, we have different interest and priorities. Fair compromises and kept agreements are the key to all successful relationships. The Daily Affirmation is a great foundation for all relationships to build upon. Don’t forget to tell your friends and associates to read this book. Then have fun discussing it with them. Individuals Tell your family, friends and associates to read this book. Then have fun discussing it with them. Since everyone has different strengths and weaknesses on their tapes, you can help each other to increase your awareness and happiness by living the Daily Affirmation and sharing your experiences. Teachers, Professors and Principals Where appropriate, teach the Daily Affirmation and the insights in this book to your students. If possible, tell their parents about this book. If you truly understand the value of the Daily Affirmation, use your imagination and help make this book a part of your school or university’s curriculum. Coaches Young and mature athletes relate very well to the insights in this book. Study this book and use it to help them to focus on improving the process and allow the outcome to take care of itself. Recommend that they read this book as well. Winning is merely the byproduct of doing the process better than your competition. Part of the process is to develop a great mental game by learning to control your emotions and to play on instinct. The Daily Affirmation will keep both you and your team honest. An honest person knows his weaknesses and works to improve them. You will find that my book The Mental Keys to Improve Your Golf is easier to use and applicable to all sports if you change the golf facts to the facts of your sport when you read this book. If you are a member of a 12 step program, share this book with your members. It will inspire them and reinforce your program. “You will never find an honest addict.” -Margie (a recovering addict). It’s one thing to have a mission statement and code of ethics; it’s another thing to live by them. If you relate well to the Daily Affirmation and have a strong desire to make it a part of your business culture, you have my permission to make copies of this book and give it to all of your employees. Since you are the boss, make it required reading for all of your employees on your time. To make the Daily Affirmation a part of your business culture, place copies of it on the walls of your business and on your desks. Recommend that your employees reflect upon it at least once a day and conduct their affairs with your busi-
25 ness accordingly. Give your customers and prospects a copy of this book or Daily Affirmation. Tell them that this is how you run your business. Feel free to include the Daily Affirmation in your advertising and marketing campaigns. Give a copy of this book to your manager, boss or owner of where you are employed. If you can’t live by the Daily Affirmation where you work, find another job where you can or start your own business. The founders of the United States of America wrote our great Constitution and the Bill of Rights to protect our inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Contrary to popular opinion, we are a republic and the government is the servant of the people. Many of our elected government officials and judges are not keeping their solemn oath to uphold the laws of our great Constitution. Many make their solemn oath and then conveniently forget about it. If you doubt this fact and want to learn more about it, watch the late Aaron Russo’s movie “America: From Freedom to Fascism”. Why are we allowing our government officials to feel and act as if the people are the servants of the government, instead of the other way around? If you want to protect your rights and liberty, email all of your elected representatives and the judges who interpret the law and tell them to read my book. Better yet, print out a copy of my book and mail it to them. Make them accountable by insisting that they keep their solemn oaths to uphold the laws of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as their campaign promises. When they don’t, take a minute to send them an email and put them on notice. If enough of us keep doing this, our elected representatives will eventually get the message and act accordingly. “If you ever injected truth into politics, you would have no politics.” -Will Rogers. “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.” -Albert Einstein. The United States of America is a great country with many individual rights, freedoms and privileges. Let’s keep it that way by standing up for the rights God gave us and are protected by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We are all citizens of the same world. We must learn to love each other and forgive the injustices that we inflict on each other. Injustices can be met with force and cause more hatred and injustices. Or, injustices can be met with the power of the truth and compassion to see both sides of the issue and deal with them fairly for all concerned. If our present world leaders won’t deal with the issues while always being truthful, positive and helping, hopefully our children or their children will do so when it’s their turn to lead the world. However, if we don’t teach our children to live by the Daily Affirmation 100% of the time, the world and its injustices will never change. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein Many governments rule their citizens by fear. When the citizens no longer have fear, the government loses its power to control by fear and intimidation. Eliminate fear from your life and encourage your fellow country men and women to do the same. If you can’t be brave, teach you children to live by the Daily Affirmation when they are young so they can be brave and defend their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when they grow up. If you are in charge or control of a country and its policies, you are in a position of power to do many great things. Do your country and the world a major favor by living the Daily Affirmation 100% of the time and leading your country accordingly. When you make decisions, forget yourself and
your special interest groups. Do the right thing and be fair to all sides of the issue. Talk Show Hosts Email Oprah, and ask her to put me on her show. If you have other favorite talk show hosts, tell them about this book and recommend that they have me appear on their show. If you are a talk show host or its producer, read this book and invite me on your show for an interview. You and your audience’s spirits will be uplifted by the message in this book. Authors and Producers If you are an author and like the message of this book, write your own book stressing the value of always being truthful. Don’t just casually mention it and move on. Write a whole book about the value of being truthful, positive and helping others, especially being truthful. If you are a movie producer, produce movies about the values of the truth. If you are television producer, make a series centered on the truth. Place a link on your website to http://www.howtobehappy.org and use my Happy Book as a free bonus. If you send out a newsletter, make a special announcement to your subscribers recommending that they read this book. Make sure you tell them that it is a free e-book and to tell their friends. You have my permission to translate this book into as many different languages as possible and post it on a website. Email a PDF file to me and I’ll post it on my website as well. If you can afford it and would like to help change the world for the better, start running advertisements in your favorite paper or media that say:
I Am Always Truthful, Positive, And Helping Others Sponsored by: your name
For more info visit www. HowToBe Happy.org Advertising works through repeating the message you want to deliver. If you want the world to be a better place, why donâ€™t you have some fun and start getting the message out to the masses. Since you canâ€™t take it with you, plant some seeds that will help improve the values of our world while you are still here. You will have a lot of fun and it will make you happy. FYI - There will be individuals who read this book and feel that the Daily Affirmation is not for them or just treat it lightly. However, if they keep seeing your ads and they keep hearing about this book from their family, friends, associates and total strangers, these repeated impressions will eventually have an impact that will change their lives and our world for the better. If you got the message of this book and start living the Daily Affirmation to the best of your ability, your spirit will suggest many other ways to share this book with others. Listen to your gut feelings, get rid of your fears and help spread the word. If you do, you will have fun helping to change our world for our children and their childrenâ€™s children. I have to admit that is has been a lot of fun writing this book. I, also, have to admit that I had to overcome some fears and reservations in baring my soul and feelings with you. At one point my spirit told me to stop thinking and just write. When I heard this, I had a good laugh at myself and decided to write whatever my spirit came up with. There are individuals that know a lot more than I do and are much better writers. However, I know one thing without a shadow of a doubt. You will be much happier and live a more meaningful life if you are always truthful, positive and helping others. Hopefully, you liked what my spirit wrote and have decided to make living the Daily Affirmation 100% of the time a major goal in your life as well as sharing it with others. If you do, you will live a very happy life and help make our world a much better place for those that follow in our foot steps.
UGLY, Wierd & STUPID BEING HAPPY
I always had trouble with the phrase, “Beauty comes from within.” I understand the spirit of it - that we should not allow society to completely dictate what we think is beautiful. While this statement promotes the power of positive thinking, I feel it does not respect the impact society and our external environment can have on our psyche. I recently read a book called “Being Happy” by Andrew Matthews. This book offers strategies we can use to invite more happiness in our lives by increasing confidence and security. The first chapter discusses self-image, defining the relationship between our own inner thoughts and the role of external influences in creating our self-image. Contrary to what many other self-help books will tell you, self-image is not entirely our own creation. Our self-image is first created in our early childhood years. It is modeled after our parents primarily and secondarily by the environment we find ourselves in. From the Tao perspective, karma also plays a role in defining our self-image, putting us in situations that challenge us to learn and grow. If we are around alcoholics, there is a stronger likelihood that we might become an alcoholic. If we are around successful people, chances are we too can be successful. As adults, our self-image continues to be modeled, in part, by the people and the environment that surrounds us. We also build up karmic momentum based on past choices that influences how we choose to act in present situations. If we are around abusive people, and we responded in the past by being abusive, there is a stronger likelihood that we might face present and future situations in an abusive manner. If we are around caring, generous people, and we choose to face situations from that perspective, there is a stronger likelihood that we can become even more caring and generous in present and future situations. Self-image, then, is an interplay between our minds/hearts and our environment. While the core (and majority) of our self-image is our own creation, there is a mutable outer rim that fluctuates based on the kind of people and the kind of environment we surround ourselves with and the way we choose to interact with that environment. Sometimes, environmental influences can be so strong that no amount of positive thinking can overcome them. Other times, we really can use the power of the mind to overcome whatever life throws at us. How is it that some children born into alcoholic families continue the cycle of alcoholism by becoming alcoholics themselves; while others never allow a drop of alcohol to touch their lips their entire lives? It would seem that breaking such a strong pattern would take a lot of energy. How do these people do it? Being Happy offers a few strategies. The first is to understand how much of an impact our self-image has on how we interact with the world, and consequently, how the world treats us. By analyzing how the world treats us, we often find we need to strengthen our belief that we are worthy of love and respect. With that attitude in mind, we can iden-
tify and manage those negative influences that keep us from cultivating a deeper sense of self-worth. We can then actively surround ourselves with positive influences that inspire us to grow and become better people. These strategies mirror my experience with cultivating Tao for the last year. Before I became involved with the Tao Practice, I was shy and did not have any close friends. I would socialize when absolutely necessary, but I preferred to be on my own whenever possible. This was because I had a very negative image of myself. I felt ugly, weird, and stupid. I believed I was not worthy of respect, attention, or love. My belief that I was unlovable negatively influenced the way in which I would interpret the behaviors I saw in others. For example, if I was in a room and heard laughter, I automatically assumed that the people laughing were making fun of me. In reality, they probably were not even talking about me. It was a vicious cycle - I believed I was unlovable, I thought I saw signs in the outside world that reinforced this idea, so I believed more strongly that I was unlovable. Andrew Matthews writes, “The first step toward a vast improvement in our results is to change the way we think and talk about ourselves.” As I learned more about Tao, it became easier to see the world with more clarity. The discipline of the Tao Practice calmed down my heart in such a way that I could look at situations more objectively. Certainly, I still felt a great deal of anxiety and depression in a number of situations. But cultivating Tao gave me the “mental space” where I could take a step back, receive feedback from other Tao practitioners, and come to a better understanding about the reality of a situation. In the early months of cultivating Tao, I would face a challenge with a great deal of fear and trepidation. I believed each challenge to be too difficult to face, and that I would instantly fail. My friends in the Tao community provided a tremendous amount of support, providing crucial assistance where I needed it as I overcame each challenge. As I worked through and overcame a number of difficult situations, the idea that I am a good person, worthy of love and respect, became stronger and stronger in my mind. I came to respect how much our environment influences our self-image. Back in the days when I had a much more negative self-image, I selectively chose to be around those things that would strengthen that belief. I listened to music that spoke of broken hearts and being unlovable. I watched movies and television shows that painted a dark and negative picture of love. Through cultivating Tao, I began to let go of these negative influences. I discovered that I could not handle listening to The Carpenters for more than a few days in a row before I started to feel really depressed. I practically stopped watching television, especially the news. This was mostly due to lack of time, but also because there is a lack of positive, enlightening, and entertaining shows out there. I was also careful about selecting movies, avoiding those kinds
of movies that I knew would just make me feel bad. Along with getting away from those negative influences, I invited more positive influences into my life. In the past, the overwhelming majority of my wardrobe was either black or very dark. I used my wardrobe almost like camouflage, to avoid being seen by anyone. A friend of mine suggested wearing brighter, more colorful clothing. Not only did this lighten my mood, but it helped me to become more comfortable with being noticed. I began listening to happier music, and watching movies that were more enlightening. These all contributed to my having a more positive outlook on myself and on life. Most importantly, I opened up to others who are also cultivating Tao. I cannot begin to describe how much I have benefited from being around positive people who are also actively working to better their lives. Their example and their wisdom helped me to direct my efforts so that I could receive the maximum benefit. These days, I still struggle with the baggage of having lived for years with a negative self-image. I still get a little nervous when I am faced with a new situation. But I find that because I have built a solid foundation of positive experiences, it is much easier to face situations I never thought I would have the strength to face before. In recent months, I have faced challenging situations with less fear and more excitement. I see these challenges as opportunities for growth, and for breaking long-standing patterns. My attitude is less, “How much is this going to hurt me?” and more “How can I maximize the positive potential that this challenge offers?” Because I believe that I am worthy of positive things, more positivity comes into my life. So in the end, beauty really does come from within, but it is helped significantly by actions that invite beauty into our lives.
Meta‘s Home Happy Home
It was a lonely country house, about a mile away from the little village of Dartforth in Pennsylvania, in which Meta Gray had passed most of her young life. It had not been a very gay, bright life, for her father had died before Meta could call his name. The shadow of that great sorrow had seemed always to rest upon her mother. Mrs. Gray never laid aside the mourning she had first worn for her husband, and if she sometimes smiled upon Meta, it was a sad smile which sadder memories quickly chased away. They lived alone—the mother and child—and their home was small and simple—a house with three rooms, a kitchen in the rear, an unfurnished attic overhead, and, at one side, a garden of moderate size, filled with common vegetables, and having in one corner a few stunted rose bushes and stock gillies, which had lived on in spite of neglect, and continued to flower, though almost choked by weeds. An old faded ingrain carpet, seemed to Meta very handsome, as she had nothing with which to compare it, except the rag-carpet on the floor of her mother‘s sleeping room. I have no doubt this seems to my young readers a very sombre home. Perhaps you pity Meta, and think it would be impossible to be happy in such a home. You are mistaken—Meta was very happy, and not at all an object of pity for the first nine years of her life. It is true her home was small and plain, but Meta had seen few that were larger or handsomer—the houses in the little village near them, with the exception of the church a,nd the school-house, being much like Mrs. Gray‘s. It is true, the garden was small; but Meta could dig or plant as she pleased in it, and many a crisp radish and fine head of lettuce she boasted of having raised from her own little beds. It
was true, her mother wore a black dress and aBad face; but if she did not smile very often or very brightly on her little girl, she never frowned upon her, or sent her away because she wearied her. It was Mrs. Gray‘s delight, the one delight of her life, to have Meta at her side, to hear her prattle, to answer the thousand questions in a minute, which a child of active mind will ask, and to teach, her not only from books, but how to use her needle, and to perform many little housewifely tasks, in which Meta greatly delighted. Yet she did not keep her in the house too much, for she was especially anxious that she should grow up with a strong, healthy constitution. So Meta played a great deal in the open air, working in the garden, feeding her chickens, or idly watching the bees at their labors, and chasing the butterflies from flower to flower. All this was her delight while the day was bright around her, but when the shadows of evening began to deepen— when the bees came back to their hives, bringing with them the honey won from many a flower,— when her little chickens perched on their roost, and hid their little heads beneath their wings, Meta would return quickly to the house, and hanging her sun-bonnet on her own little peg, would steal to her mother‘s lap, and be folded in her loving arms. Often, at such times, as she pressed her lips to her mother‘s cheek, Meta would find it wet with tears. Once she said softly, „Mamma mustn‘t cry—it is naughty to cry.“ „So, darling—I will not,“ Mrs. Gray whispered, but as she said it, a great sob heaved her bosom, and putting her child down very gently, she went quickly into that third room in their house which had never been used since Meta could remember, and shut the door upon herself. When she
came out, she went up to Meta and kissed her fondly, and Meta, looking in her face, saw that it was very peaceful, almost smiling. She did not understand it all then, but she knew afterwards that in that room her father died, and that when her mother went there, it was to pray beside his bed for her little girl to that Good Being, who has promised to be the widow‘s Husband and the Father of the fatherless. He always put great peace in her heart—-a peace that shone in her face. Mrs. Gray did not always pray alone. Morning and evening Meta knelt down beside her, and folding her little hands over her eyes, for fear she should be tempted to look around her and think of other things, when she ought to be following her mother‘s words, she tried to lift up her heart in thankfulness and prayer to the Heavenly Father whom she had been taught to regard as her best friend. Sunday was the day that Meta loved best of all the week. It was so pleasant on a bright Sunday to see her mamma lay aside the coarser dress worn through the week, and put on the nice bombazine which was worn only on this holy day;—it was so pleasant to put on her own spotless white dress, and neat straw bonnet, and go out with her mother along the shaded road that led to the village church. At the church, Meta was doubtless often weary of the long sermon which she did not always understand, but she loved the singing, especially after she had learned to read, and could find the hymn, and join her sweet, tiny voice to those which were praising God. Even in the sermon she did not often go to sleep, unless it were very warm, summer weather, for she had to learn the text for her mother, and to listen for something in the sermon that she might understand
and remember, so as to repeat it in the evening. Then she liked the mid-day meal, which to prevent the long walk home and back to church in the afternoon, was taken in a little basket with them in the morning, and eaten in fine summer weather under the shade of a great spreading black walnut-tree which grew behind the church, and in cold or wet weather, in the church itself,—Mrs. Gray having declined many urgent invitations to spend the interval between the services, at the parsonage, with the good pastor and his wife, or at the house of some acquaintance in the village. But, of all the hours of the Sabbath, that which Meta most enjoyed, was the quiet evening hour when, seated by her mother’s side, beneath the honeysuckles of their little porch, or by a cheerful wood fire, according to the season, she listened to pleasant Bible stories, or repeated her texts and hymns. Blessed evenings were these, and often in after life did Meta recall them with tearful regret, yet with a heart overflowing with thankfulness for the lessons of wisdom they gave to her.
W hat i s our l ife? It is a Jo u r n e y, t h at is s o o n e nded—a Tale, that is q uic k ly t o l d — a Day, w hose hours roll by a pa c e . I t is a Va p o u r , w h ich r i ses for a whil e , a n d t h e n va nis h e s — a F la me, that burns f o r a mo me n t o r t w o , a nd then flickers in t h e s o c k e t, a n d p r es e ntly goes out. Our lit t l e lif e - time , o h , h o w s hort i t is! And what a r e y o u r t h o u g h t s , m y aged fr iend, abou t t h is j o u r n e y o f l if e ?
O nce you looked upo n i t a s a v e ry dif f e r e n t t hi ng fro m what it a p p e a r s t o y o u n o w. O nce i t seemed to yo u a s if t h e d ay s o f y o u r c hi ldhood would ne v e r pa s s away. Y o u l o n g ed for manhood o r w oma n h o o d ; b u t it c ame very slowly. Th e e a r ly s ta g e s o f y o u r j ourney see med al mo s t e n d l e s s . An d , if it h ad been poss ible, yo u w o u l d w il lin g ly h av e ta ken a spr ing, and j u mp e d in t o mid d l e - lif e at a bound. B ut now y o u l o o k b a c k , a n d w onder how quickly y o u r l if e h a s pa s s e d . I t see m s but yesterday y o u w e r e a c hil d . O l d a ge has crept on, al m o s t wit h o u t y o u r k n ow i ng i t. Truly the lon g e s t lif e is b u t a lit t l e w h ile, when compare d w it h e t e r nit y. I t is b u t a s a t i ny drop in the w id e o c e a n ; b u t a s a g ra in of sand on th e b o u n d l e s s s h o r e — „ s o s oon passeth it away, a n d w e a r e g o n e . “ An d w hen we look forwa r d , h o w s o o n s h a l l w e be i n our graves! A f e w mo r e d ay s , a n d w e shall co me to the e n d o f o u r s pa n . V e ry s oon „the s ilver cord “ wil l b e „ l o o s e d , “ „ t h e g olden bowl“ will be „ b r o k e n , “ „ t h e pit c h e r “ w i ll be fa irly worn o u t, „ t h e w h e e l “ wil l m ake i ts last turn; an d t h e n w e s h a l l „ g o t o o ur long home, and t h e mo u r n e r s g o a b o u t t he streets.“ Eccles. x ii. 5 , 6 . N o w, I wa n t y o u p r esently to open you r Bib l e , a n d t u r n t o t h e Ni net i eth Psal m. Take i t, a n d p o n d e r it o v e r in y our heart; and I th in k y o u wil l fin d it v e ry p r of i table so metimes t o u s e it a s a p r ay e r f o r y ourself. It is not certa i n w h o wa s t h e w rit e r of that Psalm. B ut w h o e v e r w r o t e it mu s t, I thi nk, have been an o l d ma n ; a n d h e mu s t h ave wr itten it on pu r p o s e f o r t h o s e o f his b r ethren who are go in g d o w n t h e h il l o f l i fe. I on ce heard of a n Ag e d C h ris tia n , w h o u sed to be very fond o f a p p ly in g t h e Nin e t yfi rst Psal m to himself. H e l o v e d t o t hin k h o w t r uly i t set forth the fait h f u l n e s s o f G o d t o h im dur i ng his long li f e . W h e n h e wa s o n his d eath-bed, he excla im e d , i n t h e w o r d s o f t h e l a st verse, „ With long l if e h a s H e s atis fie d me ; a nd now I a m going t o e n j o y t h e o n ly p o r ti on which I could n o t h av e in t h is lif e —H e i s going to show me Hi s s a lvatio n . “ P e r h a p s , d ear reader, you are d r awin g t o t h e c l o s e o f a long l ife. It may b e t h at y o u r t h o u g h t s h ave long been turne d h e av e n wa r d s . An d , if s o, I know that a w o r d o f c o u n s e l w il l b e w elco m e to you. B ut i f, o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , y ou have been thoug h t l e s s hit h e rt o , I wis h t o make you thought f u l n o w. Wh at e v e r h a s b e en your past h istory, I wa n t t o giv e y o u in
t hi s book a few h int s , a s t o h o w y o u may t urn to the best ac c o u n t t h e t ime w hic h s ti ll re m a ins to you. I wa n t t o d o y o u s ome g ood. I want to make y o u r l a s t d ay s t h e b e s t a nd happiest of all y o u r l if e . I o b s e rv e t h at O ld Persons are in so me r e s p e c t s mu c h a lik e , b ut in other respects a r e v e ry dif f e r e n t. T h e y a re al ike in their inf ir mit ie s . T h e ir limb s s h a k e a nd totter. Their bod i e s h av e g r o w n w e a k . Th e clay house they d w e l l in is t h e w o r s e f o r w ear. T heir minds too h av e l o s t t h eir f o rme r s t rength. Me mory fa il s t h em. T h e y c a n r ec ollect what happene d y e a r s a n d y e a r s a g o ; b ut what happened ye s t e r d ay is g o n e — a l l is a blank. They are alike t o o in t h e ir s o r r o w s . Th ey have known wh at a f f lic t io n is . So me h ave had to mourn o v e r t h o u g h t l e s s , a n d u ndut i ful, and rebe l l io u s c hil d r e n . So me h ave had to weep ov e r m a n y a n o p e n g r av e. S om e have found , f r om s a d e x p e rie n c e , t hat the world is but a s o r ry h o u s e t o liv e i n . In these respects , o l d p e o p l e a r e mu c h a like. B ut, in other r e s p e c t s , h o w dif f e r e n t t hey are! Some are r ic h , w hil e o t h e r s a r e p oor. Some have but f e w c a r e s a n d t r o u b l e s i n the i r declining ye a r s , w hil s t o t h e r s a r e b urdened w ith anx ie t i e s . So me a g ain h av e m any fr iends around t h e m w h o s h o w t h em ki ndness, wh ilst oth e r s a r e l e f t a l o n e wit h n o one to care for t h e m . Bu t t h e r e is a s til l g reater d ifference be t w e e n t h o s e w h o a r e fa r adva nced in year s . H e r e is o n e s t o o pin g a nd groan ing und e r h is h e av y b u r d e n — v exed w ith all aroun d h im — f u l l o f c omp l ain i ngs—discontented w it h h is l o t — h avin g n o pleasure in life, an d y e t c l in gin g t o it a s a drowning man gr a s p s at t h e o n ly p l a n k t hat i s left— tired o f t his w o r l d , a n d y e t h avi ng no hope beyo n d it. We s e e a n o t h e r w i th the sa me grey h e a d , a n d t h e s a me b e n t b ody; but there is a b e am t h at lig h t s u p his a ged co untenance. H e i s t h a n k f u l , c o n t e nt e d, peaceful. All go e s w e l l w it h h im. H e is w i lli ng—cheerfully w i l lin g — t o b e a r a l l t h at G od lays upon h im. No t a mu rmu r e s c a p e s h is l i p s; not a distrustfu l f e e lin g d w e l l s wit h in . Th ere i s a cal m tide o f j o y f l o win g t h r o u g h h i s soul. How is this ? W h at ma k e s a l l t h is d i fference? It is God’s g r a c e a l o n e . T h is fil l s t he heart w ith peace. T h is giv e s c omf o rt a n d r e st now, and awake n s i n t h e s o u l a s w e e t a nd blessed hope of j o y s t o c ome . Su c h a n o ld age as this is mo s t d e sir a b l e , is it n o t ? And such an old ag e , d e a r r e a d e r , is j u s t
w hat I des ire for you . M ay it b e y o u r p o rtio n! I once heard of a n o l d ma n w h o wa s b r ought to God late in l if e . H e d e sir e d t h at, w hen he d ied, these w o r d s mig h t b e w r it t e n o n h is to mbstone: „ H e r e lie s a n o l d ma n o f s e ven years of age.” An d w h y s o ? T h e t r u t h was, that all the past y e a r s o f h is l o n g lif e h e counted as no life at a l l , f o r his s o u l wa s d ead. It was only dur i n g t h e l a s t f e w y e a r s h e had r eally l ived, fo r h e h a d t h e n liv e d t o G od. Y ou are now g r o w n o l d . T h e s h a d e s o f even i ng are growin g t h ic k a r o u n d y o u . Y ou are co me to th e l a s t s ta g e o f l if e ’ s j ourney. Your state is s o me t h in g lik e t h at o f Mose s, when he h a d t r av e l l e d f o r f o rt y y e ars through the w il d e r n e s s , a n d wa s n ow co me to his jo u r n e y ’ s e n d . T h e L o r d a nnounces to h im t h at his d e at h is n e a r . B ut, before he depart s , H e bid s him g o u p t o t he top of Pi sgah, and l o o k b a c k o n t h e pat h a l ong wh ich he has b e e n b r o u g h t, a n d l o o k f orward to the Land o f P r omis e . I t mu s t h av e b e en very good for h im t o ta k e a s u rv e y o f t hat w i nding path alo n g w hic h G o d h a d l e d h im — to cast his ey e b a c k u p o n t h e ma n y s p ots where mercy ha d b e e n s h o w n him — t o c all to mind all the di f fi c u lt ie s a n d d a n g e r s h e had passed throu g h , a n d t h e g r a cio u s m anner in wh ich his Go d h a d b o r n e w it h h im , notw ithstandin g h is ma n y sin s . N o w, t hi s is just the surv e y w h ic h y o u s h o u l d ta ke, my aged fr iend. G e t a q u ie t h a l f - h o u r n ow and then, and l o o k b a c k in t o t h e pa s t. I t will be good for y o u , I a m s u r e ; a n d I c ounsel you to try it.
Happy Choice The imm e di at e C h o ic e o f G o d u r g ed f r o m t h e W o rt h o f t h e S o u l a nd t h e D a n g e r o f l o s i n g i t.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? —Mark 8: 36,37. The wage of sin is death.—Rom. 6: 23. I Design, in this chapter, to urge you immediately to choose God, to love and delight in him, and to prefer his service to that of yourself or of any other being, from a consideration of the worth of your soul and its liability of being lost or ruined irrecoverably in the world of despair. You have a precious soul to be saved or lost, and its unspeakable value will appear from its endless being, its capacious and growing powers, and from the price paid for its redemption. You have commenced an eternal being. When the sun and stars shall cease to shine, and this earth shall be no more, you will still exist, the same conscious being which you now are; able to think, feel, enjoy, or suffer, in a manner of which you now form no adequate conception. You must live forever. But what is forever? Have you at any time attempted to calculate it, or thought upon it seriously for a single hour? Though unable to comprehend endless duration, it is very important that you should have an impressive idea of forever and ever, or the fearful eternity just before you. Suppose God should require a little insect to carry away this great world to the sun, and to carry only one small particle in a million years. What untold ages must roll away before he shall have conveyed to the sun this house, this town, and the great hills and mountains. Think of it; can you comprehend the aggregate? But this is notforever. What an amazing period must roll away before he shall have conveyed to the sun every particle of earth and every particle of water which compose this world! But this is not forever. Eternity, humanly speaking, is only just begun. When this amazing period shall have rolled away, you will be no nearer the end of your being than when you commenced it. O, eternity! eternity! thou fearful, dreadful thought! There is no speculation here ; it is all sober reality; you will know it by experience. Can you find the terminating point in a circle? It has no termination. This is eternity. But do you ask, “Must I travel in. one beaten track upon its circumference forever and ever?” O, no! this circle has the power of expansion, so that you will never travel the second time in the same path. And what will be its dimensions, when it shall expand, and expand, and expand, through the countless ages of endless duration? O, forever and ever! Amazing, overwhelming forever! And yet you must exist through it, amidst delights which flesh and blood cannot sustain, or in fire sufficient to melt down all the planets. O, the inconceivable value which your soul receives from its endless being! The worth of the soul will still further appear from a consideration of its capacious and growing powers. If you enter heaven, these noble powers, in all probability, will be constantly enlarging to receive new accessions of knowledge and felicity. Should this be the case, a period will arrive in eternity when
you will enjoy more in one hour than Gabriel has enjoyed in the whole course of his blissful existence. The worth of the soul appears, also, from the price paid for its redemption. What Was this price? The life on earth, sufferings, and painful death upon the cross, of the Son of God, a sacrifice of more value in his sight than the whole material universe. Had not your soul been unspeakably precious, God the Father would not have given up his only Son, the dearest object of his heart, to poverty and reproach, insult and suffering, spitting and scourging, and all the indignities and pains of a crucifixion, to work out its redemption. You have a priceless, deathless soul; and its imperishable nature, its noble powers, and the price paid for its ransom, prove its value. “ Worlds on worlds, amazing pomp, redouble This amaze; ten thousand add, add twice ten Thousand more : one soul outweighs them all, and Calls the astonishing magnificence Of unintelligent creation poor.” This soul of yours, of such infinite value, is liable to be lost, or to experience the pains of the second death. The Word of God declares it. “ The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” “ The wages of sin is death.” But you are a sinner, for the Bible declares that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” You have committed many sins, the least of which would expose you to this fearful death. But what is this death? This we must learn from the Bible, for we know nothing on this subject except what the Bihle reveals. Our Saviour declares it to be everlasting punishment. “These,” the wicked, “shall go away into everlasting punishment.” Matt. 25: 46. It is everlasting destruction. “ When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.” 2 Thes. 1:7—9. It is everlasting fire. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matt. 25: 41. It is outer darkness. “ And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness ; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. 25 : 30. It is torment in hell. “The rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments.” Luke 16 : 22, 23. It is the wrath of God. “He that be- lieveth not the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3 : 36. “ The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.” Rev. 14: 10. It is fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm dieth not. “ And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than, having two hands, to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched : where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Mark 9 : 43, 44. It is a lake of fire. “ But the fearful,
45 and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. 21: 8. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20: 15. To this death, fearful and eternal as it is, you, if impenitent, and every other impar- doned sinner, are exposed. There can be no mistake on this point. The Word of God declares, and his word will stand: “ Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.” You are liable to die at any moment, and be lost. Youth, property, health, friends, all combined, cannot keep you alive, should God strike the fatal blow. Awake or asleep, at home or abroad, you are in imminent peril. And now, with a soul so immensely precious, and exposed to a death so dreadful, can you rest in peace? Can you sleep, and sport, and trifle, on the brink of endless ruin? Your heart would palpitate should you see a blind child standing carelessly upon an awful precipice, where one short step would plunge him into certain destruction below. But you are that blind child, standing heedlessly upon the brink of everlasting death. The Bible declares that a lake of fire unquenchable is beneath you ; into which, if unrenewed, you may drop at any moment, and sink forever. And do you not tremble? Have you no occasion for alarm? You are in imminent danger. Destruction is beneath and all around you. I must not conceal it. It would be cruelty and sin in me to conceal from you your real condition. God has not done it; and Heaven forbid that I should do it. It can do you no harm to know the worst; it may result in your salvation. The Spirit of God will bless his own truth. You must see and realize your danger, or you will make no efforts to escape it. There is a refuge to which you may flee and be safe. God in Christ is that refuge, and, by an act of faith you must choose him as such, and rest on him as your almighty Deliverer. With a father’s tender love he invites, yea, he entreats you to do it. But do you ask, “ How shall I do it,, so as to be accepted of him? “ Fall upon your knees, and, with a contrite, humble spirit, say from the heart, with true sincerity, “ Father, I have sinned;” — “ God be merciful to me, a sinner.” Cast yourself entirely, with all your guilt and helplessness, upon his infinite mercy. Do you feel your need of divine assistance? la faith ask it “ of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given you.” If you go to God with a contrite heart, in humble faith, he will pardon you at once, and receive you joyfully to the bosom of his paternal love. The returning prodigal found mercy, and so will you. But do you ask, “ Can I choose and secure God as my portion now 1” O, yes! you can and ought to do it now. It is sin to delay it a single moment. When God says, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve,” he means that you should do it now. When he says, “ My son, give me thine heart,” he means that you should give it to him immediately. Others have obeyed the divine requirement; have immediately chosen God as their heavenly Father, and set their affections upon things above; and you may follow their example. For your encouragement I will relate a fact. In a. crowded congregation, when the Holy Spirit descended with uncommon power, a little girl, at the close of the service, pressing through the anxious multitude, and coming to the place where I stood, said, with a look and tone of voice bespeaking the deep anxiety of her heart, “ I have been seeking religion for some days, but cannot find
it. Will you tell me what I must do to be saved? “ I was struck with her solemn address and apparent sincerity, and directed her, as I have you, to cast her burdened, guilty soul into the arms of her gracious Saviour, and choose God as her Father, and, with a broken heart, love and obey him without delay. She retired, and shortly after, as she hoped, gave up her heart joyfully to God, and chose him as her unfailing portion. She held on her way, and united with the visible church. Some months after, she was seized with a rapid consumption, and died; but her end was peace. Her great work was done ; a sweet serenity sat upon her countenance. Death had lost its sting, and the grave its dreariness. Leaning upon the arm of her Beloved, with the rod and staff of God to comfort her, she fell asleep in Jesus, and ascended, as we trust, to her rest and home in the skies. Now, had that child refused, that favored moment, to make God her refuge, she might have gone down to the grave unpardoned, and sunk to a world of endless burning. O, how precious is the present, favored moment! It is a season of mercy in which you may obtain pardon, and secure a crown of unfading glory. The next hour for you may come too late. Before it arrives, death may cut asunder the cord of life and place you beyond the reach of mercy. And do you say, “I know it all, but cannot feel my sins.” Have you tried to feel them? Have you looked at them in the light of divine truth, and, for one half hour, seriously considered their nature and tendency? Suppose you stood in the centre, of a circle, and the millions of sins which you have committed should at once assume the visible form of burnished daggers, and should array themselves around you upon the circumference of that circle, all pointing directly at your heart; would you not feel? And suppose God should command that circle to contract, and you should see it contracting, and contracting, and drawing nearer and nearer to your vitals, until those instruments of death should make one united and dreadful assault upon your life, would you not feel, and cry for mercy too, and ask God, in earnest, to direct the points of those weapons another way? And should some way of escape be opened, would you not flee from them as from a deadly foe? Now, your sins are realities, as much so as if they had visible forms. They are deadly enemies, arrayed all around you, and will soon make one united and dreadful assault upon your life, and destroy both soul and body in hell forever, unless you have on, as a sure defence, the righteousness of the Lord Jesus. And can you not feel? Will you slumber and trifle amidst such perils? “ Sinner, turn, why will ye die? God, the Saviour, asks you why.” O, hasten to the feet of Jesus, and delay not to make God in Christ your eternal refuge!
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE FAMILY They spent their days in peace and love, And all their thoughts flowed from above; In peace and joy they wished to live, A calm which God alone could give.” Nuoi; The remark is often made, and with great justness, that principles are every thing; and that, as a man’s principles are, so is the man. Principles form his character, induce all his habits, mould his life. In the family, too, principles are every thing. If they are defective, incorrect, depraved, there will be no domestic order, beauty, purity, and love. If, however, they are enlightened, virtuous, and holy, if they emanate from heaven, and lead to heaven, there will be every thing that is morally beautiful witnessed; every thing that is morally symmetrical and harmonious developed ; every thing that is morally elevated secured; every thing that is morally useful aspired after, and enjoyed. These observations were strikingly confirmed in the history, in the daily routine of the Wilson family. It was, in the strictest sense, a family of principle. There was no mere impulse, ignorant, uncertain, and capricious, to regulate the various members, but calm, steady, intelligent, and truly christian principle. Principle was seen in the daily duties performed, in the daily employments which engaged attention, in the daily amusements and pleasures sought after and enjoyed; and even in the smallest things it was plainly discoverable. Mr. Wilson often observed to his children— “ In passing through life, be sure to act from principle, and not from impulse. The one will be a safe guide, the other will be a most uncertain and treacherous conductor. Let principle be sound and valuable, and in every situation you will be properly regulated and influenced; you will be safe.” “ As a family,” he would remark to his companion in life, and his children, “ let us be controlled simply by principle ; that will illuminate what is dark, preserve from what is erroneous, supply what is defective, and be a continual source of tranquillity and happiness.” There were five principles which governed, and moulded the Wilson family, and which were beautifully illustrated from day to day. The principle of mutual respect and deference. While there was the utmost and endearing intimacy, there was no unbecoming or improper familiarity. The appropriate spirit was cultivated and displayed. The respect to which the various relations were entitled, from differences of character, age, and authority, were not disregarded or violated. The father and mother viewed aright all the domestic relations, and maintained them in a truly dignified and lovely manner; the children also exemplified those sentiments, and that spirit, which the filial character should ever unfold. It was uniformly pleasing to a stranger, or an intelligent guest, to observe, without any approach to distance or stiffness, the mutual deference and respect in this well-regulated family. The principle of mutual love was beautifully unfolded. There was the purest and the most undissembled regard. There was no coldness, no sourness, no unkindness, no jealousy, no asperities, as
unbecoming, as harsh and injurious. There was, on the contrary, nothing but domestic ‘kindness, and domestic love. The spirit breathed in the family was simply the following; — would that it were expressed universally ! “ By love serve one another;” and in all the little attentions and offices to be regarded from hour to hour, as well as in the higher duties continually recurring, the sentiment of chaste and pure affection was ever prompting, influencing, and controlling. It was peculiarly delightful to observe the tenderness and love with which the parents and children regarded each other—a tenderness as pure, a love as enlightened and fervent, as the development was mutually grateful, honourable, and important. The principle of mutual activity was uniformly carried out. Habits of industry were invariably cultivated and exemplified. There was no listlessness, no idleness, no inactivity, all had work to do—specific and varied business to regard ; and that work constituted their pleasure. Nothing would have been a greater hardship to them than to be idle; physical, mental, or moral sluggishness would have been positively painful. Mr. Wilson laid it down, as a broad and incontrovertible principle, that the “Happy Family” cannot be, under any circumstances, the slothful, apathetic family: the family planning nothing, doing nothing, altogether indifferent to wise, well-directed, necessary effort; but the industrious, active, persevering family — awakening their useful and vigorous energies from day to day. His valued companion sustained and carried out the sentiment. She would often remark, “ I never knew a family habitually indolent, to be either prosperous or happy: activity is essential to domestic comfort;” and the children had been trained up to illustrate the same important principle. Thus there was no idleness, no want of energy in their dwelling. They had always something to do; and what was required to be done, was done. The principle of benevolence, inducing solicitude for the happiness of each other, was an invaluable sentiment daily exhibited. There was no selfishness. There was no disposition on the part of one to concentrate his thoughts and wishes in himself, or herself, independently of the comfort and best interests of those around. The spirit breathed was very dissimilar. The happiness of one was the happiness of all; and all desired the happiness of each member; and’ by the continual smile, by the interchange of kind expressions, by the pouring forth of sincere desires for personal and domestic comfort, by the readiness to serve, by the sympathy unfolded in trial and sickness, by the joy felt whenhappiness was realized by any; it was most apparent, how solicitous the various members of the family were for the permanent welfare and enjoyment of each other. And, to crown the whole, the fear of God was the grand principle, which originated, sustained, elevated, and moulded all. It was consecration to God—an enlightened and uniform desire to serve “ the one Father in heaven,” and sedulously to promote his honour, which
chastened, ennobled, and purified all that was said, planned, or done. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson often told their children, that, in passing through life, they had found the fear of God the only safe principle; that every other, as the rule of conduct, as the means of security and preservation, was defective, palpably insufficient, and baseless. “ Dear children,” the mother would say, “ make the fear of God your sheet-anchor, and you will be secure in the storm ; there will be no jeopardy ; there will be no ground for alarm. Make it your polar star, and you will be able to navigate the vessel on the stormy sea of life. Make it your continual guide, and you will find that it will effectually conduct you across the present stage of existence, short and only introductory to another, and lead you to a world where your true existence will commence, where your powers will be fully developed, where all your present darkness will be scattered, and all your present errors will be chased away.” And these counsels, these sentiments, were as welcome to their offspring, as they were valuable in their own estimation. They were appreciated, regarded, honoured. The above mentioned principles, were those which Mr. Wilson, and his family, prized, as so many precious and invaluable jewels; and the longer they lived together, the more highly did they estimate their importance, and endeavour to exemplify their beauty and excellence. Those principles brought the blessing with them, pure and priceless— in the light which they shed—in the peace which they gave—in the safety they communicated—in the elevation they induced— in the union they effected—in the happiness they bestowed. Families every where should remember, that without adequate principles to enlighten, guide, mould, and purify, there can be, whatever the education acquired, or the property possessed, no real, no permanent domestic happiness, and domestic elevation. It is good principles which make home virtuous and happy.
HOME In t r odu c t i o n
It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of the subject treated in the following pages. Its relation to a sound public Christianity is like that of the foundation-stone to the building. In vain do we follow our own brilliant theories of human amelioration and progress, unless we abide by God‘s order; and it is His settled and invariable order, that there shall be no happy or secure state of society, excepting so far as there are found, united and godly families mainly constituting it. In the work of saving and sanctifying the human race, God begins with the individual, then proceeds to the family, and then to the nation; and in this order of procession His providence works harmoniously with His grace. The first act of the Creator after He had formed our first parent, was to lay the foundation of our social happiness, by instituting the family: and as that institute, aswell as every other that was capable of injury, shared in the entailed blight of sin, the first public work of our Redeemer was to connect Himself and His Gospel therewith; for it was when He sanctified the marriage at Cana of Galilee by His presence and approbation, that He first showed forth His glory. As to domestic happiness, in the first place; where was it ever experienced or known, except when created and hallowed by revealed religion? A Roman or a Greek home, in days of highest ancient civilisation, never revealed such scenes as are called up before the mind‘s eye at the mention of such names as Abraham in Canaan; Martha, Mary, and Lazarus at Bethany; Lois and Eunice in Asia Minor; and a host of others in Christian story from Scripturetimes downward. The husband did not rule, among those lordly Gentiles, as the representative of the Almighty, imitating as well the Divine justice as the Divine love; he was simply the mightier one: the wife did not then cast her equal influence over the circle to accomplish purposes which should be the reward of her toil and care; she was but the passive dependent: the filial affection of children was not called forth by an appeal to their inmost heart of a holy solicitude on the parents‘ part, which went immeasurably farther than a care for their temporal welfare; that affection was only an early sentiment, which the rise of the least counter-passion could ex-t tinguish: the servant was not then regarded as a fellow-immortal, destined to give up his final account at the same judgment-seat; he was a mere mechanical drudge; and whatever motives could make him move, whether of tenderness or torment, they were all accounted lawful. How entirely is the scene changed in the household in which Christ dwells ! How tender, and yet how strong, are those implicated bonds by which we are united to each other! How the common relationship of each member to the Father above, and a reverence for His law, give an unutterable sacredness to the feelings belonging to each relation, and tend to drive out sin,— that source of all disturbance, and fountain of all enmity! That is indeed a home, where the
father shall have his cares soothed arid mitigated by more than human appliances; for our nature in its weariness and exhaustion requires something beyond itself to bring refreshment and joy : that is indeed a home, where the flame of his love to God is fanned, not smothered; where the mother‘s tenderness has its recompense in the happiness which it sheds, and the deference which it brings ; where the children find the metropolis of their young world—a centre which they hail with joy, and leave with tears ; and however stormy Sabbaths may keep them from the house of prayer, or untoward events may make the Pastor’s visits few and far between, where they shall always be sure of hymn, and prayer, and service, and the reading and exposition in heart-touching tones of God’s most holy word;
where the servant shall not only find a sphere of duty and healthful toil, but also a haven—a place of protection and nurture, and its presiding inmates protectors and friends; where all God’s providential mercies are received as under the shadow of the Cross, and are thereby enhanced in their value; and where affliction and bereavement are submitted to in a temper in which natural sorrow is alleviated by gratitude at that sight of heaven open which the Cross inspires. Let a man live in such a sphere, and he shall always view this world below, which Christ has redeemed, on its bright and promising aspects. He shall never have dark forebodings of the state of humanity on earth, who has such a living picture before him every day of his life of the power of the Gospel to bless and sanctify the
fellowship of man with man. “ Only let this home-scene be extended further,” he would say, “only let the principles at work in this centre spread abroad in circling undulations, and then, the regeneration of our common humanity is made secure.” Let there be, finally, one family of mankind, with God for their Father, with Christianity for their business, and heaven for their acknowledged home; and then the mystery is finished, and the present ways of God are justified. There is nothing higher on earth to be wished for than this. Let such families to a large extent leaven a nation, and then a virtuous commonalty in the vocations of trade, manufacture, literature, and politics shall be its strength and stay. Bribery shall not corrupt the senate, impurity and de- magoguism shall not pollute the press, slavery shall not shackle the citizen or stifle the voice of truth ; high purposes shall glow where high interests are at stake : and when the throne is menaced, or when incipient rebellion heaves in portentous throes, or when the probability of famine, or pestilence, or war, becomes a whole nation’s fear, and enters into its very soul, it shall be found that such households, prostrate daily and nightly before the throne of grace, can lay hold on the peace-giving covenant of God, arrest the arm of righteous wrath, and make its abeyance for Christ’s sake as righteous as would otherwise have been its fall. Nearly all elevated characters on the page of history have been nurtured in, and come forth from sanctified homes. Samuel, whose influence made elders tremble; John the Baptist, whose power and doctrine filled the whole breadth of Immanuel’s land; Augustine, the great teacher of the fourth century, the child of his mother’s prayers; the Wesleys, whose doctrine is now published so widely and successfully in the world : these names are mentioned merely as hinting at ten thousand others, whose piety and power have left behind them immortal results. Nor is that Name which is above every name to be excluded; for after our Lord had discoursed with the doctors in the temple, “ He went down with” His parents to Nazareth, “and was subject unto them;” and “ He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke ii. 51, 52.) Christ sanctified the family relation, not only by His power, but by His obedience. The domestic constitution seems to have been the very channel of the river of the Water of Life. Some useful instruments in Grid’s church, not particularly connected with pious households, have been selected in times of revival to illustrate the Divine sovereignty; but this has been rather the Lord’s strange work, than the law of His kingdom. Hereditary piety is the strongest, the noblest, the most likely to stand trial, and the most influential upon the world; as, for example, the history of the early Puritans in England, and of the evangelical witnesses for the Reformation in Scotland, will prove. The importance of the subject to the Wes- leyan communion is becoming almost awful. In all our Circuits we need
intelligent teachers and conductors of Sunday-schools,—intelligent and spiritually-minded leaders of classes,—and other influential agents for carrying on the work of God in various other departments : and where are they to be found, if not in course of training in Christian households? Raw recruits from the world are not likely to furnish such help as our Societies require, supposing that “power from on high” should still be vouchsafed to furnish them. Besides, a lengthened observation of the past has shown, that after the emotional and impulsive freshness of a great revival of religion has given way to a more settled state of things, Christianity can only then be consolidated by making the church in the house subservient to the church in the sanctuary. If we desire permanent and efficient institutions of worship and edification for our children, and children’s children,—if it is our heart’s desire that they in after-years should have the pure word of God, an able and holy ministry, a circle of companions who walk by the same Gospel rule and mind the same thing,—a sphere of duty in which to exercise their best gifts and best graces, and thereby serve their day and generation;—and, moreover, if we ourselves would find around us, when we die, a religious and happy kindred,—children who might be called to our bedside as Jacob’s were to his, to receive our testimony, inherit our blessing, execute our plans, and promise to meet us in heaven,—we must look to our homes. The writer of this brief introduction commends the following pages to the earnest attention of Wesleyan readers, trusting that the best blessing of God will attend this effort to deepen the religion of the present day, and thereby promote His glory. The author has treated his subject with a seriousness which fitly marks the Christian Pastor, with an earnestness that reveals his love of souls, with a decision which shows diligent study of God’s word, with an attention to details which proves how largely his readers will be indebted to his faithful course of personal experience and observation; and with an interest at once graphic and tender, which must command the attention of both old and young.
Happy Slapping Ultrav i o l e nc e
Happy slapping is a fad in which someone assaults an unsuspecting victim while an accomplice records the assault (commonly with a camera phone or a smartphone). Most happy-slappers are teenagers or young adults. Several incidents are extremely violent, and some victims of "happy-slapping" have even been killed. Though the name will usually refer to minor acts of violence such as hitting (slapping) or jumping on the victim, more serious crimes such as rape and sexual assaults have been "classified as happy slapping" by the media. Filming attacks seems to be common in modern bullying, and not unique to happy slapping. The core defining feature of happy slapping is an effort by the attacker to make the assault seem like a comical surprise at the victim's expense. When the "happy slapping" craze first started, it was seen amongst youngsters as harmless fun. Despite the increased level of violence, this perception sometimes persists. Often those found performing such activities will say they were just "happy slapping", asserting their belief that no significant harm was caused to the victim (often contradicting the obvious) with the only result being humorous entertainment. Although the concept of filming a crime is an old one, the ease and general availability of video cameras in mobile phones means that such attacks need not be planned carefully beforehand and are more easily watched and circulated for comedy purposes afterwards. Some political and media commentators have accused Jackass, Dirty Sanchez and Bumfights of inspiring slappings. Happy slapping can be more violent than a mere slap (causing criticism of its name) and may include a strike or even actual bodily harm. Sometimes the assault is performed with other crimes, such as mugging, and can lead to manslaughter.
contemporary politicians were guided; and his large acquaintance with history, rendered easy the comparison between existing institutions, and those which society had made experiment of and laid aside, whether from fickleness, or because its wants required the change. For this reason the opinion of Sir Thomas More, preserved in the Utopia, will always appear worthy of consideration to persons above the puerile habit of judging all things by the prejudice current in their particular coterie. Historians, however, little acquainted with his works, but re-echoing the remarks of some strainer after originality, affect to form a mean estimate of his intellect. They lose sight altogether of the times in which he appea red. They forget how dense were the clouds which then filled the horizon, obstructing the golden rays of truth, that sought to find a passage to the earth. Dwelling on an eminence to which they have not been raised by their own exertions, but by the progressive artificial elevation of the whole platform of society, they conceive themselves entitled to lookdown upon the Chancellor of Henry the Eighth, because certain truths, now popular, failed to gain admittance into his mind, and certain errors, now exploded, maintained their footing there. But if all the truths contained in the Utopia were expanded and placed in their proper light, it would appear a bold work even now; to say nothing of the errors, which are full as bold and startling as the truths. A strong sympathy with the many always brings its punishment along with it in a monarchy. It subjects the individual who entertains it to suspicion at court, and even in general society. He has dared to suffer his feelings to overstep the limits prescribed by fashionâ€”has tacitly declared himself member of a community more comprehensive than that of the exclusiveâ€” has adopted humanity at large in opposition to the humanity of the aristocracy, and is supposed to belong, in sentiment and preferences, to the great circle whose interests he espouses. And there is no one who does not know that a declaration of this kind is still attended with many inconveniences, if not with serious detriment and loss. How much more so, then, must this have been the case in the days of Sir Thomas More ! Nevertheless, though fully alive to all the evils and dangers to which the advocacy of popular government was likely to expose him, he fearlessly, with his eyes open, lent the sanction of his name to a theory of Reform, to adopt the mildest term, more radical and sweeping than any known to the history of legislation, from the days of Lycurgus to the present. Many, indeed, may conceive that by its very extravagance it was rendered innoxious and unobjectionable. For even princes and nobles would discover little danger in a scheme which strikes at the root of all property and all luxury ; which leaves the ambitious nothing to aspire to; the avaricious nothing to crave; the sensualist and voluptuary nothing to sigh after, nothing to covet; the vain, and idle, and time-waster, nothing but the prospect of toil, shared with the rudest and
The object of works like the Utopia is very commonly misunderstood. People are apt to imagine, because the form in which the principles appeal- has been created by the author, that the principles themselves likewise partake of a visionary character, and have no reference to society as it actually exists. The attempt to exhibit them in action seems fatal to their vitality. They are supposed to be adapted to the use of no community, because the community in whose social condition the author has chosen to exemplify their necessary operation, is disguised by a fanciful name, or perhaps has no existence. But this is an unphilosophical mode of judging. In most cases men who create imaginary commonwealths are careful to introduce no institution, which has not somewhere been put in practice, and received the sanction of experience. They proceed exactly according to the system of landscape- painters, who, from various picturesque features actually observed in nature, compose an ideal scene, more beautiful, perhaps, than any combination of the elements they ever witnessed; or, at least, more complete when artificially isolated, and viewed apart; which is almost impossible in nature itself. Precisely so is it with ethic delineators. They study society in its history and progressive developement, and from among the rules which it has prescribed itself in different circumstances, select what appear to them the wisest, and linking them together by an imaginary vinculum, give birth to a state, a form of government, a code of laws, and a system of manners, such as in their totality never existed, though not necessarily repugnant to the human constitution or the regular dispensations of Providence. This is preeminently true in the case of Sir Thomas More. He has nowhere, I think, imagined a law which was not really enacted and found to work well in some ancient community; he has conceived no form of manners, even where he departs from established customs most widely, for which he could not, or for which I cannot, adduce historical or philosophical authority; he recommends no practices which have not already prevailed, advocates no maxims which have not, in some country or other, been adopted as principles of action, advances no opinions which would require more than a very moderate portion of ability to defend. Not that I by any means pretend he is always right. Far from it. I disagree with him in many places, as they who read my notes will perceive. Yet even where he errs, his errors, I think, are those of a great man, intent on promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number; and with this view venturing daringly on the adoption or revival of practices shrunk from by the timid, or made the object of sneer and sarcasm by the vulgar. His opportunities, however, for acquiring correct notions, and testing theory by experience, were such as fall to the lot of few. Engaged for many years in public business, initiated in all the mysteries of state-craft, he was enabled to observe closely and narrowly the operation of those principles, by which
therefore, he had never read In his countryman Buhle’s “History of Modern Philosophy,” t. iv. pp. 424—448, he might, however, have discovered not only the real author of the work, hut a very full and able analysis of its contents. But the reader must by no means expect a complete analysis of the “ Republic,” which would greatly transcend the limits of an introduction. All I can here attempt is a description of the artificial structure of the work, with an explanation, necessarily brief and imperfect, of the principles according to which Plato builds up the frame of civil society. Much doubt has existed as to the object sought to be attained in this voluminous dialogue, some contending that it was simply to ascertain and illustrate the nature of justice, in order to which it was necessary to exhibit it in operation, not in an imperfect individual, but in a perfect community. This is the hypothesis of Schleiermacher and Morgenstern, who, though differing on minor points, agree upon the whole, and maintain their notions with great subtilty and force of argument. “If,” says the former, “we are to start upon the supposition that the representation of the state is the proper grand object, it would be hardly possible to conceive why the appearance of the contrary is pointedly produced.2 And even if it could be explained why Plato combined the investigation concerning justice with this grand object, still the form and the manner in which this is done would then be perfectly unmeaning and absurd. It would have been much more natural to introduce the main subject at once, and then, after the internal existence of the state had been described, to say in what the justice and discretion of such a whole consist; and then the application to the individual mind, and the ethical problems, still unsolved in this point of view, would have resulted most naturally ; consequently, a perfectly converse relation between those two grand objects and the essential parts of the work referring to them must then have obtained.”3 * This is merely begging the question, and begging it, too, in that impudent way which implies that no one, save the writer, could see what the grand object of Plato might be. Gcettling has a good remark on this point. “ In qua republica,” says he,” qui imprimis de justitia ocere voluisse Platonem, atque earn ob causam non iripi iroXirtiae, sed irtpi librum suum inscripsisse arbitral! sunt, ii eodem jure Aristotelem, (junin de politicis scriberet, non politicam, led ethicam docere voluisse dicerent.” — Pref. ad Arist. Pol. p. xi. Morgenstern, whose arguments are abridged and represented with much ingenuity by Stallbaum, arrives, after a lengthened discussion, at the conclusion, that Plato’s design was to develope the nature of justice and of virtue in general, first in the abstract, and secondly in their operation on human happiness.4 And this question, which has afforded so many opportunities of disputation to the learned of Germany, had already, as we learn from Proclus, exercised for ages the abilities of the ancients themselves.5 Muretus, too, who has left behind him a commentary on the first and second books of the Republic, enters at the very outset into the same discussion, and contends that the philosopher’s object was twofold, but terminating at length in unity; that is, that his reasoning is designed to show the nature of justice and of good government, which, when properly understood, are but one and the same thing.6 And this, in fact, is the view which Stallbaum himself adopts, though he makes use of different language in embodying his notion, observing that Plato, notwithstanding that he sets out with investigating the nature of justice, evidently proposes to lay before the reader his beau
meanest members of the community. Milton speaks of Plato’s Republic as an intellectual debauch, indulged in after dinner in the Groves of the Academy. Had he expressed an opinion of the Utopia, it is probable, considering the different geniuses of the men, that it would have been little more favourable ; for Sir Thomas More had, in the strict sense, but a scanty share of the poet in his temperament, while Milton was “ of imagination all compact.” It is, therefore, somewhat surprising to find him among the censurers of Plato, who assuredly, whatever faults he might fall into, did not err on the side of dryness and commonplace, which the imagination abhors, but rather soared too high into the ideal world in search of an exemplar and pattern for human society. Nevertheless, it was Plato’s “ Republic” which not merely suggested the Utopia, but was throughout its model, and the authority that tacitly sanctioned many of its most impracticable, and, indeed, undesirable regulations. But it is easier to adopt Plato’s errors, than to acquire the art and the irresistible eloquence, amidst the blaze of which we scarcely discern them in his works. While advancing what he would have us believe, he appears much less to be engaged in defending a series of propositions by enthymeme and syllogism, than in delivering a revelation which it were criminal to reject. He always seems to have the Divinity on his side, to b» in close communication with heaven, and merely to utter what has been entrusted to him, like a prophet. He writes not like other men. Some, as Demosthenes and Thu- cydides, may have more vigour; others, as Aristotle, may display more learning, shrewder common sense, a larger acquaintance with mankind; and others, again, as Aristophanes may excel him in wit, in the art of moving laughter, in the wild and marvellous power of transforming whatever he pleased into an object of ridicule, or a mark for scorn. This is true; yet Plato pleases more than any, more than all. There are sources of delight in his works, which burst forth like springs on a cloud-capped mountain, and refresh, and restore, and tranquillize us, though their origin be con- cealed from view. He absorbs the whole mind of those who gain his intimacy. There is a glory about his ideas, as about the heads of the apostles, which appears to be brightly reflected from our own fancy as we read, and to transform us into something like his resemblance. We feel ourselves in presence of the beautiful; it descends around us like a shower, but ashowerthat warms and fructifies, and clothes even the most barren and stony places of the soul with verdure. Hence the power and the charm of Plato. He possesses art in perfection, but possesses along with it something which transcends all art, and operates like an eternal source ef energy upon whomsoever approaches him. These qualities, which characterize all his genuine remains, are nowhere more visible than in the “ Republic,” which, as I have already remarked, excited in Sir Thomas More the wish to frame in imitation of it an ideal state, perfect in laws and manners, and more adapted to the notions and wants of the age in which he lived. Properly to comprehend the modern work, therefore, it will be necessary to form something like a just conception of the ancient one, which has served as the antitype not merely of the Utopia, but of the “ Panchaia” of Euhemeros, the “City of the Sun” of Campanella, the “ New Atlantis” of Lord Bacon, the “ Gaudentio di Lucca,” attributed to Bishop Berkeley, the “ Oceana” of Harrington,’ and a host of similar productions less renowned. 1 Gcettling, Pref. ad. Aristot. Polit. p. xii attributes to Harris the Oceana of Harrington, which, 64
and amiable character of Athenian gentlemen. The first topic upon which they start is old age; from this the transition is easy to the means by which old age may be rendered comfortable, among which wealth holds a prominent place; this conducts the discussion to the subject of a good conscience, then of justice, by the practice of which a good conscience is preserved. It is shown that to be just forms the basis of individual happiness ; that that which renders one man happy, must be equally succesful when applied to many men—to all men ; conseqently, that justice constitutes the happiness of states as of individuals. Hence they pass to the consideration of the nature and form of a state, and how it may be administered on just principles; in other words, rendered prosperous and happy. When the discussion opens there are eleven individuals present, reckoning Kephalos, who, however, soon departs to superintend certain religious rites. But of the ten who remain, few take an active part in what is going forward. There is at first a rush, as it were, of many champions to defend injustice and tyranny against the attacks of Socrates, and the old man feigns to be alarmed for his cause. But by degrees their ardour finds itself checked. The philosopher, whom but a short time before it seemed so easy to overcome, having yielded to the fierce storm of sophistical opposition, returns to the charge, brandishes the arms of an irresistible logic, dislodges them first from one position, then from another, until at length the patrons of tyranny in full rout are driven ignominiously from the field. Then, the ground being cleared, he proceeds to frame his Commonwealth, in a manner totally different from that of polity-builders in general, exhibiting as he proceeds the
ideal of a good citizen and a perfect state; that is, a man and a government actuated on all occasions by the strict principles of justice.7 3 Introduction to the Dialogues of Plato. 407 f. 4 De Argument, et Cons. Lib. Plat, de Hepub. t. iii. p. 20. 5 Comment, ad Plat. Polit. p. 309. ff. A great deal of useless ingenuity has been exhibited in this investigation. Plato everywhere throughout his works advocates the doctrine that the object of government is the greatest happiness of the greatest number; and in the “ Republic*’ undertakes to show upon what basis a polity designed to secure that must be erected, and what form it ought to assume. He, however, approaches the subject in his usual way, through digression and a seemingly rambling dialogue, light at first as air, but rapidly assuming solidity, and shaping 6 M. Ant. Muret. Comment, p. 615. ff. 7 De Argum. et Consil. &c. iii. 26. “ Quum enim omnis fere disputatio, licet a justiciae notione exploranda proficiscatur, tamen in describenda indole et natura turn optimi hominis turn perfects; civitatis contineatur, dabitari non posco arbitramur, quin in hac ipsa re prrccipuam questionem vcrsari putare debe-itself into an elevated and majestic form. Socrates, who afterwards turns out to be the builder of the state, descends to the Peiraeeos, in company with Glaucon, the son of Ariston, for the purpose of performing his devotions to Artemis, and beholding the Bendidia, a splendid festival celebrated in honour of that goddess. When about to return, he is accidentally met and detained by Polemarchos, brother of the orator Lysias, who takes him to the house of their father Kephalos. Here a remarkably pleasing conversation takes place between Socrates and the old man, which gives us a high idea of the polished manners 65
lishes the fact, that setting bodily force aside, woman is designed by nature to be not only the companion, but the peer of man, the participator of his sublimest speculations, his noblest virtues, his patriotism, his valour ; and that in those countries where she holds an inferior position, it is the laws and iniquitous institutions that con6ne her to it, Socrates had, indeed, very particular reasons to be grateful to women. It was from two of them, Diotima and Aspasia, that he derived, according to his own account, his philosophy, and that matchless style of domestic eloquence, which bore down before it all opposition. The speech of Diotima on love is introduced into the “Banquet.” Its tone and character are little in accordance with the idea vulgarly entertained on the education and accomplishments of Hellenic women ; but Plato was too exquisite a judge of propriety, too much alive to what was due to himself and to his own reputation, too sensible of how injudicious it would be to outrage probability, to have introduced that speech, or that other of Aspasia in the “Menexenos,” had there been the least possible absurdity in attributing such eloquence, or so much profound philosophy, to individuals of that sex. But however these points may be disposed of, it will be bard to prove that there has ever existed a political community in which women have exercised a greater or more beneficial influence than in the polity of Plato.
mode in which society rises out of its elements, as well as the formation, first principles, and gradual developement of government. In following out this process many notions are advanced questionable in themselves, or objectionable from their extreme opposition to the opinions current in society.8 Such, for example, as the community of wives and children, and of property, which, though, as has been proved by Sparta and the kingdom of the Nairs, it might be reduced to practice without any material inconvenience, must yet on moral grounds be condemned. But, pass- 8 Rep. V. §. §. 6, 7. 1. 348. ff.—Siallbaum. ing over this, as unnecessary to be dwelt upon here, I may remark that, however defective the regulations respecting the moral relations of the sexes, children once born are cared for, nurtured, trained, and invested with habits ethical and intellectual, in a manner surpassing whatever has been anywhere else attempted, whether in a real or ideal community. In fact, Plato’s system of education practically developed, would, in the course of a few generations, give birth to a race of human beings exceeding in physical force and beauty, in moral grandeur, in political power, in social happiness, everything hitherto known in the form of man. Communities in general bestow no attention on the circumstances connected with the physical formation of their citizens. They appear to consider it of no moment whether the population be powerful or feeble, of good stature or stunted, beautiful or deformed. Or, if such subjects do at wide intervals command some attention from the reflecting few, their meditations have hitherto been barren of great results; for no state, so far as I am aware, has in modern times effected anything towards improving the breed of men, though it be on all hand’s acknowledged that health and vigour of body exercise an important influence over the intellectual capacity and moral habits of mankind. Plato, in common with most ancient legislators, attributes extraordinary influence to education ; and accordingly, his regulations on the subject are minute and numerous, but calculated of course to create citizens fitted to live in a commonwealth such as his. On this point Sir Thomas More differs most from Plato, and his inferiority is in exact proportion to the difference. He would appear not to have launched far into those speculations which are conversant with the generation of habits and articles of faith, with the origination of mental movement, with the conversion of individual preferences into general principles of action, in other words, with the gradual transformation of a host of jarring, discordant, selfish, ignorant human units into one grand harmonious whole, actuated by like sentiments, like opinions, like principles, achieving their own happiness by promoting that of others. But in this Plato was preeminently skilled. If he imagined man existing under extraordinary circumstances, he knew, therefore, the arts by which they were to be reconciled to those circumstances; and there can be little doubt, notwithstanding the suppositions of Aristotle, that men ed ucated as they are in the “ Republic” would be content to pass their lives in such a state. It will by no means be possible to enter here into even an outline of this philosophical system, which being framed to occupy a place in a very peculiar order of things, would in its totality be inapplicable to any other. But viewed as a means to a given end, it may safely be pronounced unrivalled. It contains the first attempt made in the world to place woman on a level with man, though in the means imagined for this particular purpose, the philosopher more than once, in my opinion, misses his aim. He, however, estab66
You can be haPpy
no maTter what
GUN, HORSE, Wife St o p T ry i n g
Is everybody happy? Or rather, is anybody happy? Ever since Thomas Jefferson asserted that the pursuit of happiness is our inalienable right, Americans have been feverishly stalking the good life. But happiness is an elusive goal. Despite our economic success and technological advances,we ache with melancholy and loneliness. Signs of unhappiness abound. Rates of clinical depression have been doubling every ten years. Divorce has become more common than marriage.Everyone, it seems, is complaining of overwork and stress, insomnia and anxiety. Sufferers are flocking to pharmacies for relief. The three most frequently prescribed drugs are an ulcer medication, a hypertension reliever, and a tranquilizer. We covet happiness,we yearn for it, but what is it? Is it something we find or something we create? Is it a function of what we have or what we do, or how much we earn, or what we accomplish? Through the centuries, people have offered quite different definitions of happiness. “All you need for happiness,” said Daniel Boone,“is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife”—in that order. In a similar vein of male chauvinism, the satirist H. L. Mencken asserted that “the only really happy folk are married women and single men.” With the passage of time,however, the pursuit of happiness has become more focused on self-gratification.“Don’t worry, be happy!” the jazz singer Bobby McFerrin crooned in 1989, and more than ten million people bought the record. Even more embraced the song’s simple formula for happiness. Every age has its illusions. Ours has been that happiness is synonymous with smiling yellow happy-face decals and “Have a nice day” greetings. Happiness is presumed to be as readily available
as a prescription medicine or a do-it-yourself video.One company hawking “feel good” tapes claims that the curative cassettes will enable the purchaser to “wake up every day, completely happy, eager to live.” According to hucksters,we can also achieve happiness by eating less or eating more, by undergoing liposuction or cosmetic surgery or a hair implant.We can take Prozac or St. John’s wort or rub ourselves with crystals or follow the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard or hire a personal fitness trainer. Many people assume that more money will bring them happiness, only to discover that wealth does not bring a greater sense of well-being. A recent study of one hundred multimillionaires reveals that rich people are no happier than the rest of us. Between 1957 and 1990, per capita income in America more than doubled, yet, as psychologist David Myers notes in The Pursuit of Happiness, the number of Americans who reported being “very happy” has remained constant. What especially complicates the pursuit of happiness is its relative nature.We don’t want simply to be happy in our own right.We want to be happier than other people, which is extraordinarily difficult, since we assume they are happier than they really are. No matter how satisfied we are with our salaries and possessions, there is always someone else who seems to be doing better. This annoying disparity goads us to earn more and buy more. Breaking the grip of such self-defeating envy is one of the keys to a happier life.“I should say,” observes a character in Michael Frayn’s novel A Landing on the Sun, “that happiness is being where one is and not wanting to be anywhere else.” So what is to be done? First, we need to recognize that there are no shortcuts to genuine
happiness, no “quick-fix” therapies or drugs to bring lasting fulfillment. Second, some people are naturally unhappy. Their body chemistry or doleful disposition leads them to embrace cynicism and melancholy. Brooding animates their days. They wear marks of woe and furrowed brows like badges of honor. Third, happiness is not synonymous with pleasure. It is instead a deeper emotion that originates from within.Recent psychological studies conclude that enduring gratification cannot be gained by direct effort; instead it is a byproduct of how we live. Happiness, like Carl Sandburg’s fog, creeps into our lives on little cat feet. It results from a sense of mental and moral contentment with who we are, what we value, and how we invest our time and resources for purposes beyond ourselves. Thomas Jefferson equated happiness with the living of a socially virtuous and useful life. “It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation [meaningful work],” Jefferson said, “which give happiness.” Jefferson recognized that the happiest people are those who find joy in the commonplace nourishments of daily living. They relish their friendships, families, work, faith, pets, and hobbies.And they are not bedeviled by the urge to get something more, something new, something better. As the writer Edith Wharton insisted, “If only we’d stop trying to be happy,we could have a pretty good time.”
Shiny happy people holding hands
Contributors SOMMERSEMESTER 2 0 0 9
Ed i t o r As s i s ta n t Ed i t o r Art D i r ec t o r Pr od u c t i o n C o n t r ib u t i n g Ed i t o r PRi n t ed at Fonts Pa p e r
Sebastian König Ellen Heidelberger Sebastian König K at ja Li e b i g Sebastian König S t e fa n i e Ma n t h e y A B K ST u t t g a rt Fu t u r a , B od o n i Va r i o u s
Thanks to Ellen Heidelberger, Jonas König, Stefanie Manthey, Katja Liebig & Marcus Wichmann.
Sebastian König 2009 Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart
s . k o e n i g @ abk - s t u t t g a rt.d e
Published on Jul 11, 2009