Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/170

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160
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

anxious to learn whether this or that cult is true or false, or even whether the religious sentiment rests upon a real or an illusory basis. There, however, is a point of view that wonderfully facilitates the knowledge of religions, while it also seems to comprise the supreme conclusion of their comparative history. It is the thought that, among the "innumerable manifestations of the religious feeling of man, no one possesses the absolute truth, but each one includes a relative truth; that all represent, as the later sages of pagan antiquity had already discerned, imperfect efforts to realize a perfect ideal." Here is a ground on which the enlightened partisans of different religions can shake hands, not only with one another, but also with the pupils of science and the friends of progress.


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POSTAL SAVINGS-BANKS.

By Professor D. B. KING.

IT is generally agreed that a system of savings institutions that would be easily accessible to the people throughout the country, give them absolute security for their small savings, and repay deposits at short notice, would, even if the rate of interest were very low, be a great convenience to many people in every community, and a great encouragement to economy and thrift among working-men and people of small incomes. There are many who think that postal savings-banks similar to those which have been in successful operation in Europe and in the British colonies for a number of years would furnish just the sort of facilities for saving that are needed in this country. Many Americans know something of the working of the postal savings-banks in England, where they have been in operation since 1861.

There are now upward of 7,800 of the post-offices in the United Kingdom open, commonly from nine in the morning until six, and on Saturday until nine, in the evening, for the receipt and repayment of deposits. One shilling is the smallest sum that can be deposited. The Government has, however, recently issued blank forms with spaces for twelve penny postage-stamps, and will receive one of these forms with twelve stamps affixed as a deposit. This plan was suggested by the desire to encourage habits of saving among children, and by the success of penny banks in connection with schools and mechanics' institutes. No one can deposit more than £30 in one year, or have to his credit more than £150, exclusive of interest. When principal and interest together amount to £200, interest ceases until the amount has been reduced below £200. Interest at two and a half per cent is paid, beginning the first of the month following the deposit and stopping