Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/643

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The great end of these corporations is to establish and maintain sea-side resorts; that is to say, to sell and lease lots and to build houses. To provide a market and secure competition, conventions of various kinds meet at these ample grounds, occupy the commodious buildings, and transact their legitimate business. It is all done in the name of religion, and may or may not be in fact and in spirit harmonious with the most exalted standard of Christian methods, according to the out-look from which the subject is viewed. If we take Ocean Grove as the type of such places, it is not, after all, so great a marvel that it has grown from a desolate sand-bank to a beautiful city within the last twelve years, when we consider the whole case. With missionary conventions, Sunday-school anniversaries, temperance assemblies, and camp-meetings, drawing upon an immense constituency in all parts of the country, and bringing thousands of visitors to the spot, with fair opportunities for investing money with a good hope of speedy return, it is not surprising that investments were made. Then, every laudable thing was done to rekindle and keep alive denominational pride and loyalty. The lakes that bound the Grove on the north and south are named for Wesley and Fletcher, while the avenues and parks are known by the names of departed worthies, whose memory is revered by the Church; and then, to complete the programme of attractions, the annual camp-meeting, occurring in the height of the holiday season, is made the central, the pivotal figure around which all the others are grouped. It has been a success as a venture to establish a sea-side resort; whether it has been a success as a means of intensifying and purifying the religious life of the people is as yet a problem without a solution. The time is past when even the common mind measures the depth of human character, and gives it credit or not for truth and righteousness, by the amount of religious fervor or the degree of religious profession it may exhibit. To be acceptable to common sense, and appreciated by right-minded people, the manhood must show itself moved to all good activities by a force from within that is invincible—a force, in itself silent and unobserved, but in its effect on character demonstrative in a life of goodness.



AMONG the thousands who go to the sea-side for health and pleasure, few pay any attention to the hygienic conditions under which they are to live for three of the most trying months in the year. The furniture of parlors and size of dancing-rooms and amusement-halls are taken into consideration, instead of finding out how sewage