The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, April 25, 1907, Image 1

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Twentieth Year.
An article in -the French periodical.
La; Nature, gives a glowing, descrip
tion of the growing popularity of Arbor
day in Europe. The writer of the article
says the holiday originated in Nebras
ka, U. S. A., as the result of the pro
posal of "a certain Sterling Morton" in
the year 1S72 to set apart a day for
tree planting. Continuing," the -"author
nays that "In Italy the 'annual school
arbor festival' became in 1902 a state
' institution. In Spain the 'association of
friends of the arbor festival,' which
was formed in the same year, cele
brates, annually very successful fetes,
and a decree of 1904 instituted the ar
bor festival throughout the kingdom,
Belgium held its first arbor day festi
val quite recently. In Russia, Sweden,
Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, Portu
gal, Japaneverywhere the necessity of
reforestation has been recognized
children are interested in trees by sim
ilar methods. ' '
"Fr'anee has.- not been behindhand,
and, while considerable efforts toward
reforestation are being made by th;
government, attempts have been made
Jn various directions to associate chil
dren in the movement by establishing
arbor day festivals. In the spring, uh
der the leadership and direction of
teachers, the school children go to the
open fields to plant trees that shall be
future forests. These festivals
encourage the establishment of forest
associations among students and grad
uates,' whose number is constantly in
creasing and some of which are very
"The French 'forest society of friends
of trees,' whose president is Senator
Calvert, has given a strong impulse to
reforestation and to all institutions in
its aid, and has actively encouraged the
establishment of forest societies among
pupils of the .schools.
"Arbor day celebrations are to be
held in France still more widely after
the present year. The society just men
tioned will organize meetings in im
portant centers with the aid of rectors,
prefects and the forest administration;
festivals of this kind have already been
ftrrariged at Toulouse, Nice, Clermont
Fcrrand and Bordeau."
No more remarkable religious devel
opmer.t is recorded in modern times
than the rise and persistence of the
sect who call themselves "Latter Day
Saints, and are indiscriminately cata
loged by the rest of the world as "Mor
mons." It is now becoming more clear
ly known to the popular mind that
there arc two branches of the Latter
Day Saints. The Hrst h is its eeclchlns ln-uthUiU'tern in Salt L.tke City
it nd Is fusurlaU'd with tht' practice of
polygamy and with n long continued
htrug!Tl' half pullll.-itl, half religious,
with the "gentile" fioj-ultitlon of Utah,
Idaho inl in Inhibiting Mitten. Tho
ith r brunch .f the Latter Day Saints
has lis hi u.l.iu tttt im ,t Lutnonl, Iowa,
hi. it lut' Jmi h.l.l tho past wk
lu lit t dim tit annual wotld'x ( onfi-r-
t. ,., TI.U etmfi reneo in nt tended: by
hundred uf t nthufht! I" ;r, inl m of
I lie hurt It iti.d plan wt;r mado for
th tutitlmiid an !Uatlm of tho
xmii M t j UmIi' doctrine, Tti: fort; t
hit' I I.attif Day Faint church, fit It
tyl It- if. h:ist nt ut t' irij th-u ..nd
iitcn lett hi i! v I'tih l ;' it . as
against over one hundred and fifty
thousand members of the Salt Lake
City branch. The reorganized church
has Its greatest strength in Iowa and
Missouri several thousand adherents
in each state. Its membership in Ne
braska fls between, one and two thous
The reorganized Latter Day Saints
accept three books as having divine
origin-the Bible, the Book of Mormon,
and the Book of Covenant. They be-
lieve in "special revelations." made by
God from time to time to the elders of
the church. Joseph Smith, son of the
original Joseph Smith, is the head of
the' reorganized church. lie is now past
sev?nty-five - years old and has been
the medium through whom the revela-
tiom of God have been made to the
reorganized saints. As is well known,
this branch of the Mormon church re
pudiates polygamy and is composed of
industrious, law abiding people, prin
cipally farmers, who have no trouble
with their neighbors of other religious
complexion. They are, however, like
nearly all other small denominations,
intense believers in the religious truth
they profess and most persistent prose-
tyters. They have over three hundred
missionaries at work in different parts
of the world. Here in Nebraska, though
few in numbers, they are very active,
and Mormon meetings and distribution
of tracts advocating their doctrine is
one of the familiar phases of religious
life in many parts of this state.
What i3 there back of the Latter Day
Saint doctrine which gives it vitality
and continuance? This question 13 a
deeply interesting one to the student ot
comparative religion. Here is a new
faith, born within the lifetime of men
now living, claiming the most remark
able credentials of its miraculous reve
lation, implicitly believed and sacri
ficingly propagated by a considerable
body of people living in an age and
country of enlightenment. On the one
hand its revelations are pronounced the
rankest kmd of fraud and its sacred
writings the most palpable imitations
and forgeries. On the other hand they
are believed and read with the most
devout faith, Is the test of religious
truth the number of its converts, the
social and industrial virtues they prac-
tice, or the scientific and critical rules
of logic and philosophy? These ques
tions strike deep root into the think
ing conscience of the time.
Meantime the phenomenon continues
of a small but growing denomination,
having for its saint and martyr a man
who is generally esteemed by other re-
ligonists of the time and place where
he lives as an ignorant pretender; hav
ing for its Hatred book a volume which
moat people outside the faith cannot
read with patience, imd yet flUwl with
tho fire of upo.stolle missionary enter
prise and going forth by the hundreds
to convert tho world.
Surprise Is expreP!ed by a reader of
The Journal that ball ehould bo denied
to a man thurged with murder un 1
tin ii i ranted after ho has been con-
ted of tho iritii" nnd hunt begun to
M tve out hl.H wntem In the peniten
tiary. ThU apparent ncy of
Iho law U only Miperflclal. In tho cane
f KtnnlMfin, which neema to prnvuk
tho Inqulty, tho churK wiih immhT In
tho llmt degrreo. n unbailable o.TVnat
Hut li was tonvieted of murder In
ho ncond d. un nnd under th N.
intf-ka ulatute.i tan bo rrleiiaed on
boit I after cimr.ylnar with et rtain
f run liftUtfsiotory to th i-ourt.
Over seven hundred dollars tele
graphed from Lincoln is now feeding
starving Chinese ten thousand miles
away. This Is a wonderful triumph,
both of human love and human scl-
ence The yellow-skinned Mongolian
feare(j and hateJ by the American
workStlr man caricatured by American
artlstg shunned and avoided by' middle
i,,. Aj , A.
today bv the hundred thousand in cen-
tral Chink. And the American dollars
are dropping into the relief fund for
him all over the land. A dollar will
save a human being-a yellow China-
man-nerha a hiini. rhn-wm
starvation until the first fruits of an-
other crop can be gathered In June. So
the dollars fall thick as April snow
Into the relief treasury today. Tonight
they are telegraphed to China4 Tomor
row they are transformed Into rice and
flour and are feeding hungry Chines
Into this broadened world stale of
today, of which every human being is a
citizen there should come the widened
world-knowledge to accompany the
widened world-sympathy. Since we are
fellow citizens, with the Chinaman and
thy Hindoo we need to know them bet
ter. No time so opportune to study
Chiiese lessons as when our dollars
are going to China..
Take a map of China. The two great
rivers, whoso names we learned in
our childhood geography, are tho
Yiangtsekiang and Hoang-ho. They
flow eastward almost parallel with each
other for the last 700 miles of their
courses and empty into the Yellow sea
about 500 miles apart at their mouths.
Between the lower courses of these two
rivers lies the famine district. It bor
ders the Yellow sea for 200 miles north
ward from the mouth of the Ylang-
tse-Kiang and extends back into the
country about 20 miles more. It has,
therefore, about 40,000 square miles, a
Ul"e more inAn ndIt ine area OI
braska- And uPon tlwt m
miles are huddled between 15,000,000
and 20,000,000 Chinese. In the province
of Kianssu, where the famine is most
severe, there Is a population of 362 to
the square mile. In the province of
Anhuei, part of which suffers equally
with Kiangsu, there Is a population of
432 to the square mile. These are farm
ing populations for the most part.
They arcs not manufacturing districts
like Holland and Belgium. Four hun
dred people, living upon the land, and
supporting as part of the product of an
old civilization, leisure and cultured
classes In their midst. And this upon
an allowance of an ncro and a half of
surface oll for each Individual, from
which must bo subtracted all that la
u.t"d for streets and roads and bulhi-
Ings and private grounds before they
actually arrlv nt tho slzo of the place
of land from whose dirt the Individual
must dig ltl daily bread.
Hero I IN? cait of Chinese starva
tion today exptvsMd hi the lmlent
terriiN if political ,viiiottiy-ovcrpop'4
latlon. No out-pourlr,tf of western ym-
pathy and western, glorioti, kiM
an hide of l nevoli'iu j and sympathy
can ae ot r-crowdt d China an Indln I
frm ;i recurrence of famine.
funliu district of China In watered If
Uto au .il uinal aad by nurmroui lakes
and ther. It In fact, tho over,
Subscription $1.00
flow of these waters which .destroyed
the crops last year and left the people
destitute. The country is a splendid
garden when in cultivation as every
traveler upon the grand canal testlflt.
But no cultivation, however painstak
ing, can save a people from suffering
and death who live from hand to mouth
is and'multlply without forethought. This
ls a Phaso ot homely truth which many
writers upon India and China do not
d,scuss- But u ,s Jusl- susceptible of
proof from the facts in China n la lt
analogue by any Nebraska farmer who
wlu P,ant a handful of corn In a hill
Instead of threo or four grains
The bcst book written upon China la
"VMngo Life in China," by Dr. Arthur
H' Sn,ith a Congregational clergyman.
His descriptions of the conditions of
the common people are vivid and
disclose the scientific eye of the sociol
ogist as well as the heart of the gospe'
missionary. Dr. Smith has the courage
to state the main cause of Chinese mis
ery in a few words, and these words
were written eight years ago. He says'
"Over-population. The whole Chinese
race is and always has been given up
with a single devotion to the task of
raising up a posterity, to do for the
fathers what the fathers have done for
the grandfathers. In this particular
line, they have realized Wesley'a con
ception of the ideal church In its line,
where, as he remarked, the members
are 'all at it, and always at It.' War,
famine, pestilence, sweep off millions
of tho population, but a few decades of
peace seem to repair the ravages of the
past, which are lost to sight, like bat
tle fields covered with wide areas of
waving grain.
However much we may admire tho
recuperative power c the Chinese as a
whole and individually, it Is difficult
not to feel righteous indignation toward
a system which violates those benefi
cent laws of nature which would mer
cifully put an end to many branches of
families when such ,brn
fltted to survlv It' ,mrint(Hih,0 tn
contemplate with equanimity the dellb-
erate, persistent and uniform propaga-
tion of poverty, disease and crime
which 0 ht th t b flrrm.nJ
wIth every restrlctlon to prevent Us
multiplication, and to see this nrnn.
gation of evil and misery done, too
with an air of virtue, as If this were
of itself a kind of religion, often, In
deed, the only form of religion in whit h
the Chinese take any vital Interest
'It Is this system which loads down
tho rising generation with the respon
sibility for feeding and clothing tenso'
thousands of human beings who ought
never to have boon born, and whose
existence can never be other than a
burden to themselves, a period of Inces
sant Btrugglo without rosplto and with
out hop. To the Intelligent fort;n.r,
the most prominent fuct In China is
the poverty of Its people. There are too
many villages to the nqtiaro mile, too
many families to the village, too many
'mouths' to th family. Wherever onj
!?oo, Jt is the mimo weary tale with
Inti ntilmbl.t r lteiatlon. Poverty, p..v
rty, poverty, ahvuy and cvrrnmm
Hvt rty."
On. Thuiday beginning at
thirteen mlnutf pu.t five o'clock In
the ino'Siing, en e.irthquako caused
widespread damttza In tha l.av rtn
of California, and Wt an Krant Leo
at the mircy of fire by brtakln th
water main. Vnr it. .-...- ..
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