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Do all to it that you have done at home. Beautify it, ventilate it, drain it. Let nothing enter into it that can defile the streets, the stage, the newspaper offices, the booksellers' counters; nothing that maketh a lie in its warehouses, its manufactures, its shops, its art galleries, its advertisements. Educate it, amuse it, church it; Christianize capital, dignify labor; join Councils and Committees; provide for the poor, the sick, and the widows. So will you serve the City.
Hugh Matheson: Thou art descending, O city of God; I see thee coming nearer and nearer. Tongues are dead; prophecies are dying; but charity is born. Our castles rise into the air and vanish; but love is bending lower every day. Man says, “Let us make a tower on earth which shall reach unto heaven”; but God says, "Let us make a tower in heaven which shall reach unto the earth.” O descending city, O humanitarian city, O city for the outcast and forlorn, we hail thee, we greet thee, we meet thee! All the isles wait for thee—the lives riven from the mainland-the isolated, shunted stranded lives. They sing a new song at thy coming, and the burden of its music is this, "He hath prepared for me a city."
Richard S. Storrs: The final work of this religion we do not yet see. It will not be accomplished till a perfect society, various and complex, yet harmonious and free, is universal on the earth, under the sovereign rule of Him who chose the poor for His friends, and peasants for His apostles, who honored woman, loosened the fetters of despair from the slave, and set the unfading, celestial aureole on the head of the child. And that ultimate society-it will not carry the race back to any primitive innocence, with a primeval simplicity of relations; it will accept, complete, and bless all civilization.
Wm. J. Tucker: The spiritual life of a city may show a yet deeper and more spiritual possession.
I appeal to any man who has seer, and felt the spirit of God descending upon a city and resting upon it. A whole city feeling at its heart the peace of God—the strife of tongues still
, enmities and jealousies and hate subdued, the love of neighbor for the time as natural as the love of self, the things of the spirit as plain as the things of
sense, the heart of the dull made quick to the truth, the doubts and fears and unbeliefs of men lost in the reality of faith and the joy of forgiveness—what was all this but the earthly realization, though for the time, of the city of God, a vision of the New Jerusalem come down from God out of Heaven?
Washington Gladden: Good government calls for the recognition of civic ideals; for a vision that can discern, not merely the city that stands upon the earth, but the fairer city which is coming down from Heaven to earth, after whose pattern the earthly forms must be continually reshaped. * There is need of thinking much of a kind of civic life that is not yet, but that might be, and that ought to be and that must be if there is a God in heaven; a city whose officers shall be peace and whose exactors righteousness; a city whose homes shall be sacred and secure, whose traffic shall be wholesome and beneficent; whose laborers shall go forth to their cheerful toil unburdened by the heavy hand of legalized monopolies; whose laws shall foster no more curses, nor open the gates to whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie; whose streets shall be full of happy children, playing in safety and learning the great lessons of civic piety, and whose citizens on any shore shall find their thoughts turning homeward with a great longing
Rev. Frank Mason North,2 in The Survey:
O Master from the mountain side,
Make haste to heal these hearts of pain ;
O tread the city's streets again.
Till sons of men shall learn Thy love,
And follow where Thy feet have trod;
Shall come the City of our God. 2 Except the one in poetry, these prophecies of a “Christian City", on earth, reiterating a score of promises in the Bible of a better "city' is to be, were published in successive issues of a magazine called “The Christian City," then edited by Dr. North.
V. CITY PATRIOTISM
The father and mother we are studying, that were broadened from family love to neighborliness by the joys and sorrows of their neighbors, and especially by the common educational needs of their own and other children, broaden again into city patriotism as their children become old enough to leave the neighborhood and go alone through the distant streets of the city. The parents are now interested in street cleaning—not for the feet only but for the eyes. They become greatly concerned that the law shall be enforced which forbids the exhibition of pictures that would poison the “chambers of imagery" in their children; and other laws against gambling, and against cigarettes for minors, and thus they become interested in the selection, election and direction of good city officials. If good officers are chosen and they faithfully protect the homes, parents thrill with the pride of city patriotism.
In ancient times patriotism was mostly city patriotism. To the Athenian, patriotism was not love of Greece, but love of Athens. To the Roman patriotism was not love of the great miscellaneous conquered empire of Rome, but loving pride in the city of Rome.
There is not very much city patriotism in the United States, partly because the American people migrate so much that few families remain for generations in one city.
There have been a few instances of strong patriotism in the older cities-in Boston, for example. When I lived in and near Boston, 1871-6, we were privileged to
see and hear a group of poets and orators such as never wrought together in and about one city since the Athens of Pericles. I heard Emerson lecture, and Oliver Wendell Holmes crack bones and jokes in Harvard Medical School. And I saw Longfellow often at his suburban home, as I passed, sitting with his daughters; and talked an hour with Whittier, and heard Wendell Phillips almost every month for three years on the many reforms he championed, and saw Charles Sumner gleaning learned quotations in Boston Library from the “Anatomy of Melancholy.” I also heard William Lloyd Garrison in Faneuil Hall, “The Cradle of Liberty.”
Boston in that Golden Age of New England literature was a city for which its citizens had a patriotic pride, typically illustrated in a Boston preacher called to officiate when in Paris at the funeral of a Bostonian who had died there. It was considered fortunate that a Boston preacher was available. Standing over the corpse, he said: "Born in Boston ; educated at Harvard; to be buried in Mount Auburn—what more could a
man want?” It was not all a jest that a man born in Boston felt no need to be “born again.”
But even in that Golden Age of Boston, the good citizens took pride in the city politics only in lucid intervals of temporary reform. The intellectual princes I have named were none of them called to city offices. Several of them narrowly escaped the fate of "Aristides the Just” and Socrates in the original Athens.
Municipal Misrule That brings us to the chief reason why there is not more city patriotism in the United States, namely, because the city governments are about the worst in the world—the smaller cities being about as bad in propor
tion as the larger ones. There are so many cities in which boodling and other treasons against popular government have been exposed that the feeling of a good citizen toward his city is more likely to be one of shame than of pride. Even when good citizens have proved that unitedly they can reform a city, they soon get weary and allow themselves to be divided on secondary matters and conquered by the alliance of commercialized vices and commercialized politics, that is seldom broken down. It has been the rule, not the exception, that public service corporations and peasant saloon keepers and foreign showmen have combined to elect city officers who would accept bribes for franchises and for nullification of moral laws of all kinds, restrictive and prohibitory alike.
Governor Joseph E. Folk said, out of abundant knowledge: "Wherever there is non-enforcement of law there is graft."
But the bad men who accept public offices only to make money are scarcely more at fault than the leading men in the churches and chambers of commerce who refuse .to fight corruption in politics or to enter the public service themselves because to do so would interfere with making money in other fields.
1 Every leader of thought as he sits down to his daily paper needs to grip his mind, as a chauffeur grips his wheel in a crowded business street, to escape the natural feeling that what he reads day after day mirrors the real life of the period. The newspaper no more represents public morals, than the hospital public health. Well people are vastly more numerous than the sick but they do not get on hospital records, nor do the great majority of orderly people get into the papers. The one-tenth of American families that get into the divorce court are much more in evidence in the papers than the nine times as many that are not divorced. The murderers of the whole land are recorded in the press of every city, but it is not news that most people live together in peace. Even the "flappers” who get so much newspaper space in words and pictures are but a minority of our women. That millions of women dress modestly and act decently is not news. Το learn what the current life of the ruling classes really is, one should visit the churches on Sunday morning and the Rotary and Kiwanis and Women's Clubs as they meet to discuss and plan social welfare. Having fortified ourselves against undue pessimism by remembering that the very publication of evil proves it is the exception and not the rule, let us face the facts that call for action, that our American records on divorce and murder and municipal government are the worst in the world, and that there are enough of us who hate these wrongs to greatly reduce them if we will.