Hermann Marcus Kottinger.

The youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment online

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The Youth's

Liberal Guide


Moral Culture


Religious Enlightenment



(Translated from the Revised German Edition )


^^ Fathers ! Mothers! Let us live for our chi/dren /''

Fred. Froebel,

Founder of the " Kindergarten.








Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1S77,

By Prof. H. M. Kottinger, A. M.,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.



Who recommended this Book to the




i f- V O r At

Part First.


" As with the physical, so with the ethical. A belief, as yet fitful and partial,
is beginning to spread amongst men, that here also there is an indissoluble bond
between cause and consequence, an inexorable destiny, a law, which altereth not."

H. Spencer, "Social Statics."


Every attentive observer of the tendency which the culture of our
Age follows, must have noticed that the old religious ideas are in
conflict with the new. While natural science, philosophy, and, in
general, civilization in every branch of life advance, the denomi-
nations of the Church are still constantly uttering the old watch-
word : ''Cling to the orthodox faith!" In every province of
human knowledge the use of reason is permitted, except in the
domain of religion. In the Old World an ecclesiastical council
decrees the infallibility of the Pope ; in the New, the churchmen
try to fetter liberty of conscience by introducing the Bible into the
public schools, and building on its authority the Constitution of
our country. That is not the way to advance. Let us strike at the
root of the evil ; let us give to youth a liberal education ! In this
rests the hope of our country, the future of humanity.

Five years ago the author published a Text Book for the Sun-
day Schools of the German Free Religious Congregations in
America (" Leitfaden fiir den Unterricht in den Sonntagsschulen
Freier GemeindeUj Milwaukee, Wis."). It was authorized by their
Supreme Board, and has been since in general use in most of those
schools. This work having subserved so valuable a purpose in the
liberal education of the German youth, the author was encouraged to
attempt the publication of an English edition. It is a liberal guide
for the moral education and mental enlightenment of children.
It aims at the destruction of erroneous theological views, and is
adapted to the principles and development of liberal science. It
contains : First— A doctrine of human duties and rights, estab-
lished upon the nature of human reason, and illustrated by exam-
ples collected from standard English and American authors, both
in prose and verse. Secondly — The history of the principal
religions. Thirdly — A criticism of the most important liberal nar-
ratives. Fourthly — Views of the Universe, represented in the lib-


eral writings of the English, French, German and American nat-
ural philosophers, such as Darwin, Huxley, Tyndall, Spencer, La
Place, La Marck, Humboldt, Buechner, Feuerbach, Feike, etc.

The Text Books of the Sunday Schools, and, in general, juvenile
literature, disseminate much superstition in the unprotected minds
of youth. The impressions which they receive from these books
they are very apt to carry with them through life. " It is worthy
of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years
of life, whilst the brain is impressible, appears to acquire almost
the nature of an instinct ; and the very essence of an instinct is
that it is followed independently of reason." — Darwin. "All the
machinery of the Church is constantly employed in corrupting the
reason of children. In every possible way they are robbed of their
own thoughts and forced to accept the statements of others. Every
Sunday School has for its object the crushing out of every germ of
individuality." — R. Ingersoll.

Zealots will accuse me of demolishing the old temple, without
building up a new edifice on its ruins. But I destroy only that
part of the old structure which rests on sand ; the Christian relig-
ion is also partly founded on solid ground, e. g., on the principle
(called "the Golden Rule ") : "All things whatsoever ye would that
men should do to you, do ye even so to them." — iMatth. 7, 12.)

The Morals and Views of the Universe are represented in the
Socratic method, in order to better adapt their contents to the
capacity of children. Every child of average capacity can easily
answer most of the questions proposed in these sections of the

Though competent American scholars have reviewed and cor-
rected the translation, the author is afraid that it is still redolent
of his mother tongue, and far from perfect conformity with the
true genius and idiom of the English language, but he hopes for
the kind indulgence of the readers. Should there be a second edi-
tion, this book will be supplied. He is told that a similar book,
written expressly for children, is, so far, not yet extant in Ameri-
can literature ; therefore he trusts that liberal parents will give it a
fair trial, until they find a l)etter guide for the moral education and
mental enlightenment of their children.


Finally, the author gratefully acknowledges the kind assistance
of many ladies and gentlemen in the English edition of the book.
Mrs. Cronyn, Mrs. Sara Underwood, Mrs. McCaig and Mrs. Spen-
cer, Miss A. Chamberlain, Messrs. Cronyn, Pfister, McClellan,
J. L. Hatch and Dr. J. Spencer have corrected different sec-
tions ; Mr. Hatch, Mr. B. F. Underwood, Dr. Spencer, Prof. Allen
and J. J. Owen have perused and commended the manuscript, and
encouraged the author to publish it. To all of them he offers his
most sincere and heartfelt thanks.

The Author.



" Verba movent, exempla trahunt." — Latin Proverb.
(Words induce ; examples impel.)


MORALS, (in the Stricter Sense,)

/. Duties Towards Ourselves,

1. Bad Habits of the Blackamoor.

A certain man having bought a blackamoor, was so simple as to
think that the color of his skin was only dirt and filth, which he
had contracted for want of care under his former master. This
fault he fancied might easily be removed. So he ordered the poor
black to be put into a tub, and was at a considerable charge in pro-
viding ashes, soap and scrubbing-brushes for the operation. To
work they went, rubbing and scouring his skin all over, but to no
manner of purpose, for when they had repeated their washings
several times, and were growing quite weary, all they got by it
was that the wretched blackamoor caught cold and died.

It is a very difficult task to get rid of inveterated bad habits. —
yEsop, ab. 550 A. C.


2. Bad Eccro.lts of Bad Actions— Nails in the Post.

"rhcrc was once a fanner who had a son, named John, a boy very
apt to be thoughtless, and careless as to doing what he was told to do.
One day his fiither said to him: "John, you are so careless and for-
getful, that every time you do wrong, I shall drive a nail into this
l)ost, to remind you how often you are naughty, and every time you
do right 1 will draw one out." His father did as he said he would,
and every day he had one, and sometimes he had a great many
nails to drive in, but very seldom one to draw out.

At last John saw that the post was quite covered with nails, and
he began to be ashamed of having so many faults. He resolved to
be a better boy ; and the next day he was so good and industrious
that several nails came out ; the day after it was the same thing,
and so on for a long time, till at length only one nail remained.
His father then called him, and said: "Look, John^ here is the
very last nail, and now I am going to draw this ; are you not glad ?"
John looked at the post, and then, instead of expressing his joy,
as his father expected, he burst into tears. "Why," said his
lather, "What's the matter? 1 should think you would be de-
lighted; the nails are all gone." ''Yes," sobbed John, "the
nails are gone, but the scars are there yet."

So it is with our faults and bad habits; we may overcome them,
but the scars remain.

3. Modesty— Pride— Content.

(a)— A Mudrst ^^ it.

A supercilious nabob of the East,
Haughty, being great — purse-proud, bein^ rich —
A governor, or general, at the least,
I have forgotten which —
IIat.1 in his family a humble youlh,
Who went Irom England in his palrou'b suite.
An unassuming boy, and in truth
A lad of decent parts, and good repute.
This youlh had sense and spirit ;
But yet, with all his sense,
Excessive diffidence
Obscured his merit.


One day at table, flushed with pride and wine,
His honor, proudly free, severely merry,
Conceived it would be vastly fme
To crack a joke upon his bccretary.
" Young man," he said, " by what art, craft or trade
Did your good father gain a livelihood ?"
♦' He was a saddler, sir," Modestus said,
" And in his time was reckon 'd good.''
" A saddler, eh ! and taught you Greek,
Instead of teaching you to sew !
Fray, why did not your father make
A saddler, sir, of you?"

Each parasite, then, as in duty bound.
The joke applauded, and the laugh went round.
At last Modestus bowing low.
Said (craving pardon, if too free he made),
"Sir, by your leave, I fain would know
Your father's trade 1"

" My father's trade ! By heaven that's too bad I
My father's trade ? Why, blockhead, are you mad ?
My father, sir, did never stoop so low —
He was a gentleman, I'd have you know."

" Excuse the liberty I take,"
Modestus said, with archness on his brow,
" Pray, why did not your father make
A gentleman of yon .?"

(!>)— Tlie Horse and tlie Ass.

The horse, adorned with his great war saddle, and champing his
foaming bridle, came thundering along the way, and made the
mountains echo with his loud, shrill neighing. He had not gone
far, before he overtook an ass, who was laboring under a heavy
burthen, and moving slowly on in the same track with himself.
Immediately he called out to him, in a haughty, imperious tone,
and threatened to trample him in the dirt, if he did not break the
way for him. The poor, patient ass, not daring to dispute the
matter, quickly got out of the way as fast as he could, and let him
go by. Not long after this, the same horse, in an engagement
with the enemy, happened to be shot in the eye, which made him
unfit for show, or any military business; so he was stript of his
fine ornaments, and sold to a carrier. The ass meeting him in this


forlorn condition, thought that now it was his time to insult ; and
so says he: *' llcy-day, friend! is it you? Well, I always be-
lieved that pride of yours would one day have a fall !" — .Esop.

(c)— Tlie .>lonkry Tourisl.
A monkey clad in cloth-of-gold
(So in the proverb we are told)
Will be a monkey still. The aim
Of this new fable is the same;
Pray, listen while I tell in rhyme
The tale how, once upon a lime,
A monkey, dressed in garments bright.
With gaudy colors such as might
Become a harlequin, set out —
To show her fineiy, no doubt —
Upon her travels. In what way.
By ship or coach, I cannot say ;
'Tis only known her journey ran
As far abroad as Setuan :
A country — as I understand —
On maps set down as "Monkey-land";
And widely famous as the place

Where most abound the Simian race.
They're in their own skins simply clad.

Here — as the reader may suppose —

Our lady-tourist proudly shows.

With many a change, her gay attire.

Which all the natives much admire ;

And think the wearer must possess

A mmd as brilliant as her dress,

^Vnd, thereupon, the stranger made

Their leader in a coming raid

For forage, in the country round.

Where monkey-provender was found.
Alas, the day ! her clothing proved

An obstacle where'er she moved ;

And when the weary day was done,

Her gaudy garments, — every one, —

That in the morning looked so fnie.

Were strewn in rags along the line

Through which the expechtion led ;

And she, worn out and nearly dead,

At night was but the scofi" and scorn


Of those who hailed her "queen" at morn!

A thousand instances confess

That judging people by their dress,

As bright or brave, is a mistake,

That men as well as monkeys make !

— y. Godfrev Saxe.

(d) — Tlie Mountain and tlie Squirrel.

The mountain and the squirrel

Had a quarrel ;

And the former called the latter " Little Prig."

Bun replied :

" You are doubtless very big ;

But air sorts of things and weather

Must be taken in together.

To make up a year

And a sphere.

And I think it no disgrace

To occupy my place.

If I am not so large as you,

You are not so small as I,

And not half so spry.

I'll not deny you make

A very pretty squirrel track ;

Talents differ ; all is well and wisely put ;

If I cannot carry forests on my back,

Neither can you crack a nut."

— R. W. Em)H''rson,

4. Temperance.

(a)— Tlie Wasliingtoniati's Story.

Liquor is the subject of my story ;

I can not tell v^\l-2X you and other folks think

Of getting drunk, but for my single self,

I had as lief not be, as live and be

The poor, degraded wretch that sticks the bottle.

I was born free and sober ; so were you !

We have no need of brandy. We endure

The winter's cold, and summer's heat, the best,

Without its use.

I do remember well,
That once, upon a raw and piercing day,
A toper came, and challenged me to work
In open air, that he might try the strength


Of alcohol against pure, clear, cold water.
Upon the word, shouldering my burnished ax,
I started with the fellow for the woods,
He took with him a jug well filled with rum,
/slacked my thirst with water from the spring.
We toiled with vigor, and the air around
Answered in eclioes to our sounding steel ;
But, ere the sun had reached its noonday point.
The liquid in the jug was well-nigh spent.
A mist now gathered on the toper's eyes
And strength forsook his arm. His feeble blows
Fell harmless against the mighty oaks and pines,
That seemed to smile to see the uplifted ax
Strike sideways, g)ance, and cleave the frozen earth.
The effect was irresistible. I laughed
To bursting nigh ; — and yet I should have wept.
My dinner-time had come, and hunger keen,
That sure attendant upon useful toil,
Turned my thoughts homeward, where the viands hot
Awaited my arrival.

I spoke
To my companion, he answered me.
But scarce had strength to make speech audible.
We started on together for our homes.
My pace was even, for my limbs were strong ;
My heart was happy ; and my head was clear.
My friend fared not so well. His trembling legs
Appeared unwilling to support his weight :
They tottered, reeled, and made " Virginia fence."

He said " all Nature had conspired against him ;'
The trees themselves were quarrelsome, and struck
Him right and left, at every step. The stumps grew
Turbulent, and stumped him to a fight. He was
No coward ; but he saw the odds were much
Against him ; so he passed along, —
And though his enemies provoked him sore, —
Oft rising up to strike him in the face.
He journeyed on, and uttered but the threat,
" You' II catch it when / catch you all alone."''

The fences now began to dance around him ;
The earth piled up in mountains in his path ;
The stones came rolling 'gainst his feet, and knocked
His legs from under him; and then the ground,


Taking advantage of his helpless plight,
Most cowardly, threw dirt into his face.
At length, he saw his house approaching him, —
Whirling, it flew towards him. Windows, doors.
Sides, roofs, foundations, by enchantment moved.
Changed places constantly.

The cellar door
Attacked him first, — it oped, let him in,
And there I left him,
Covered with dirt and glory, — sound asleep.

(b)— Alexander and Clitu«>.

The sad consequences of anger and intemperance are described
in every Reader. They are here illustrated by a notorious exam-
ple, taken from the history of Alexander, King of Macedonia,
whom they call the Great, because he has conquered the immense
dominions of the Persian monarchy; still he was not able to con-
quer his own passions, especially anger and intemperance He had
trusted Clitus, his general and personal friend, with the govern-
ment of one of the most important provinces of his Empire, and
ordered him to set out the next day. Before his departure, Clitus
was invited in the evening to an entertainment, in which the King,
after drinking immoderately, began to celebrate his own exploits,
depreciating the warlike acts of his Generals^ and even those of
his father Philip, King of Macedonia. His discourse displeased
several guests, especially Clitus. He, who also was intoxicated,
began to relate the glorious actions of Philip, preferring them to
those of Alexander, and with eyes sparkling with wine and anger
said to him: "It is nevertheless this hand (extending it at the
same time) that saved your life at the battle of the Gravicus."
Clitus, so far, was right ; for at that battle, as Alexander was fight-
ing bareheaded, and a Persian had his arm raised in order to strike
the King behind, Clitus covered Alexander with his shield, and cut
off the Persian's hand. Alexander commanded Clitus to leave the
table. "He is in the right," said Clitus, as he rose up, "not to
bear, free-born men at his table, who can only tell him truth. He
will do well, to pass his life among barbarians and slaves." But
the King, not longer able to suppress his rage, snatched a javelin
from one of his guards, and would have killed Clitus on the spot,


had not the courtiers withheld his arm, and Clitiis been forced out
of the hall. He, however, returned into it by another door, sing-
ing with an air of insolence verses reflecting highly on Alexander,
who, seeing the General near him, struck him with his javelin, and
laid him dead at his feet, crying out at the same time: "Go now
to Philip and his friends !"

The King's anger being in a manner suddenly extinguished in
the blood of Clitus, his crime displayed itself to him in its blackest
light. He had murdered a man who indeed abused his patience,
but then he had always served him with the utmost zeal and fidelity,
and saved liis life. He had punished, by a horrid murder, the
uttering of some indiscreet words, which might be imputed to the
fumes of wine. Beside Hellenice, sister of Clitus, had nursed
Alexander when he was a little child. With what face could he
appear before her, and offer her a hand imbrued in her brother's
blood ?

Upon this he threw himself on his friend's body, forced out the
javelin, and would have dispatched himself with it, had not the
guards who rushed in upon him, laid hold of his hands, and forc-
ibly carried him into his own apartment. He passed that night
and the next day in tears. After these groans and lamentations had
quite wasted his spirits, he continued speechless, stretched on the
ground, and only venting deep sighs. His friends tried to com-
fort him ; but how weak are all consoling words against the cries
of a justly alarmed conscience ! He was determined to starve him-
self; so that it was with the utmost difficulty that his friends pre-
vailed with him to take a little sustenance.

Anger can be compared to thunder ; and indeed what havoc does
it not make ? But how dreadful must it be, when joined with
drunkenness? We see this in Alexander. — Rolliu, Ancient Hist.

(1)— Sjiiiit Becky.

A very good man was St. Becky's husband, but with his heart a
little too much in his bottle. Fort wine — red port wine — was his
delight, and his constant cry was a bee's-wing.* Now, as he sat

♦This word ilenotes the finest, l->est kind of wine. It is an English, colloquial


tipsy in his arbor, a wasp dropped into his glass ; and the wasp
was swallowed, stinging the man inwardly. Doctors crowded, and
with much ado the man was saved. Now, St. Becky nursed her
husband tenderly to health, and upbraided him not. But she said
these words, and they reformed him : " My dear, take wine, and
bless your heart with it ; but 7uine in moderation. Else never forget
that the bee's-wing of to-day becomes the wasp's sting of to-mor-
row. — Douglas J-errold.

5. Courage— Temerity— Leap for Life.

Old Ironsides at anchor lay
. In the harbor of Mahon,
A dead calm rested on the bay —

The waves to sleep had gone,
When little Bal, the Captain's son,

A lad both brave and good,
In sport, up shroud and rigging ran,

x\nd on the main-truck stood I
A shudder shot through every vein —

All eyes were turned on high 1
There stood the boy, with dizzy brain.

No hold had he — above, below ;
Alone he stood in air :

To that far height none dared to go ; —
No aid could reach him there !

The father came on deck : — he gasped,

" O God ! Thy will oe done !''
Then suddenly a rifle grasped,

And aimed at his son : —
" Jump ! far out, boy, into the wave I

Jump, or I fire !" he said ;
" That only chance your life can save I

Jump I jump, boy !'' He obeyed.

He sank, he rose — he lived — he moved —

And for the ship struck out ;
On board we hailed the lad beloved,

With many a manly shout.
His father drew, in silent joy.

Those wet arms around his neck —
Then folded to his heart his boy,

And fainted on the deck I — Morris.

6. Application— Inertness.

(«i— Tho r;«iioi-aiiia Boy.

Some years ago a boy was sitting with folded hands, in a tiny
skiff, on the bosom of the mighty Mississippi. The setting sun
was shining on the water and on the beautiful banks of the river,
rich with variously colored foliage. So full was the mind
of the boy with wonder and delight that the boat glided on
unheeded, while he still sat gazing on the banks of the river. He
had heard that America was richer in beautiful scenery than any
other country in the world, and as he looked around him, he be-
believed the saying, and then came into his mind the desire and
resolve to become an artist, that he might paint the magnificent
scenes of his native land.

This boy's name was Barnard, and the resolution he made to
paint the largest picture in the world was never given up till it was
accomplished. When his father died, John was left a poor, friend-
less lad, and obtained employment with a druggist ; but so fond
was he of sketching the likenesses of those about him, on the walls,
with chalk or coal, that his master told him he made better
likenesses than pills; so poor John lost his situation. He then
tried other plans, and met with many disappointments; but at
last succeeded in obtaining as much money as he thought would
enable him to paint his great picture.

He had to go through much danger and trouble, before he could
take all his sketckes, spread over a distance of 3000 miles.

Having bought a small skiff, he set off alone on his perilous
adventure. He traveled thousands of miles, crossing the Mississippi
backward and forward to secure the best points for making his
sketches. All day long he went on sketching, and when the sun
was about to set, he either shot wild fowl on the river, or hauling
the little boat ashore, went into the woods with his rifle to shoot
game. After cooking and eating his supper, he turned his boat over
on the ground, and crept under it, rolling himself up in a blanket
to sleep for the night. Sometimes for weeks together he never
spoke to a human being. In this manner he went on sketching for
more than four hundred days before the necessary drawings were
fmished, and then he set to work in good earnest to paint the picture

He had only made sketches in his wanderings. After these were
completed, there were colors and canvas to be bought, and a large
wooden building to be erected, where he might finish his work
without interruption. When the panorama was finished, ii covered
three miles of canvas and represented a range of scenery three
thousand miles in extent.

(b)— The Ant and tlie Grassliopper.

In the winter season a commonwealth of ants was busily employed
in the management and preservation of their grains, which they
exposed to the air, in heaps, round about the avenues of their little
country habitation.

A grasshopper who had chanced to outlive the summer, and was
ready to starve with cold and hunger, approached them with great

Online LibraryHermann Marcus KottingerThe youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment → online text (page 1 of 28)