Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/798

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greater failure. The poetry of the Church gone, its efficiency gone, that was the “reformation.” Not until some decades ago did we know of Protestant unions established on the plan of their Catholic predecessors. But the male orders never tried to imitate the useful example of the Catholics. They did not care for the sick or the poor. Their aim was and is “home-mission.” They are replete with faith, distribute Bibles, and glory in the conversion of that Jew who was baptized, once or often, half a dozen years ago, for ready cash. The women, as always, have done better. Their hospital orders, mainly the Deaconesses, have done good work this half-century, both in public institutions and in private. During the war-times in Germany they and other associations established on similar plans did good work, and deserve all the praise bestowed upon them. Their recognition was complete. Princesses joined hands with them—the Archduchess of Baden, Princess Alice of Darmstadt, the Empress Augusta. And not only in military hospitals did they earn deserved praise. Some general hospitals, such as the Augusta Hospital in Berlin, derive great benefit from their incessant and intelligent labors. I do not mean to stint praise, and therefore make this statement of their work, which has been performed under apparently great difficulties. These difficulties are the very rules, for instance, of the Deaconesses of Kaiserwerth, from which I quote for your edification the following introductory paragraph:

“The Christian women who wish to undertake the office of a nursing sister, as deaconess for the sick and poor, must possess a somewhat advanced Christian knowledge. Mere church-membership, mere attendance on Christian assemblies, and reading of Christian works of edification, are not enough. The love of reading the word of God, and a diligent use of the same for a long time past, must exist, as well as a knowledge of the more important histories of the Old and New Testaments. There must also be a knowledge of the sinful heart from their own personal experience, as well as experience of the grace of Christ, in order that they may have learned to despair of themselves, and in their weakness to trust only to the strength of Christ. A Christian walk of life must for a long time have adorned such Christian women,” and so on, and so on. You will admit that in the face of so much hyper-religious sentiment an active, unselfish, modern woman must feel bewildered.

After all I have said, it is evident that the cause of humanity was originally not hampered by the efforts of the Catholic Church. On the contrary, many centuries ago it was the only safe deposit, inasmuch as the Arabs lost their importance in humanistic evolution from the fourteenth century, for the gradual development of human feeling. But that human feeling was not fostered and protected because it was human; the Church had but one purpose, the aggrandizement of the Church. The latter has a meaning in the case of the Catholic Church, which is at least a union, and has a uniform standard, which