Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/768

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
748
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

him to reverse his own plans, and abandon that method of governing the world through the operation of inflexible laws which all truly religious people must regard as the Divine method. Ohio wisdom suggests to Divine Wisdom such a change of policy as, if carried out, would simply turn order into chaos. There may be many things about the providential government of the world that we cannot explain, but it is not difficult to see the large benignity of severe and inexorable punishment for violated laws. In nothing is the sacredness of these ordinances so attested as in the death-penalties that follow their transgression.

Governor Bishop arraigns human science and human effort as having failed to stop the progress of this scourge, and says that now the only hope is God's promise to answer prayer. But has not prayer—fervent, agonizing, soul-rending prayer—been already resorted to day and night in the private closet, and at the family altar, as well as in the places of public devotion, and that, too, all over the land? Yet the epidemic has not been stayed. Why did the governor not rank all this impassioned supplication with the other failures which he offers as reasons for his own intervention. And, if he has faith in the efficacy of a State-appointed appeal to Heaven, why did he postpone the demonstration for a week, when hundreds are dying daily?

We are far, as has been already said, from condemning the appeal to religious considerations and influences in an extremity like this, but it should be put on enlightened grounds, and become a means of incitement to nobler action. Prayer is efficacious just in proportion as it reacts upon the supplicant to inspire a higher activity, and in this way it may become a potent agency for moving men in great emergencies. This being the true point of view, in place of the proclamation issued by Governor Bishop, we should have preferred to see something like the following: "Whereas, a plague is desolating various Southern cities, which all means hitherto adopted have failed to arrest, let the devout people of Ohio gather in their several places of worship without delay, and, reverently recognizing the Divine wisdom in this fearful dispensation of suffering, humbly confess their sins of neglect and omission, their ignorance, carelessness, and culpable apathy in regard to all sanitary matters, and their want of quickened sympathy with the afflicted communities, and register solemn vows to Heaven that they will at once enlarge their measures of help to the devastated towns, and will in future be more vigilant and faithful in discharging the religious duty of guarding and promoting private and public health."

 

 

COOKERY AND EDUCATION.

We are getting familiar with the closer collocation of these hitherto widely-separated ideas, and their permanent unification in our common thought will constitute an important step of progress in domestic improvement and social amelioration. It will be slow work to connect cookery and education in this country, and attempts to bring about its practical accomplishment will meet with many impediments. Meantime we hail with satisfaction every indication that this desirable result is being attained anywhere. If our English friends are to be the pioneers in this most useful movement, let them have the honor of it. We notice that the following paragraph is going the rounds of the papers:

Regular instruction in practical cookery is a part of the new system in the public schools of London. In every girls' school in which domestic economy forms part of the school course, one of the teachers is required to give lessons on food and its preparation; and for advanced classes twenty one kitchens are to be established in different parts of London, each of them fitted with suitable appliances, and to be presided