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´╗┐Title: The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, - Volume I, No. 9. September, 1880
Author: Various
Language: English
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Scientific and Religious Journal.

VOL. I. SEPTEMBER, 1880. NO. 9.



THE DIVINITY OF OUR RELIGION AS CONCEDED BY ITS ENEMIES.


Voltaire says, "I am ever apprehensive of being mistaken; but all
monuments give me sufficient evidence that the polished nations of
antiquity acknowledged a supreme God. There is not a book, not a medal,
not a bas-relief, not an inscription, in which Juno, Minerva, Neptune,
Mars, or any of the other deities, is spoken of as a creating being, the
sovereign of all nature.

"On the contrary, the most ancient profane books that we have--Hesiod
and Homer--represent their Zeus as the only thunderer, the only master
of gods and men; he even punishes the other gods; he ties Juno with a
chain, and drives Apollo out of heaven.

"The ancient religion of the Brahmins explains itself in a sublime
manner, concerning the unity and power of God, in these words found in
the 2d chapter of the Shastah, 'The Eternal, absorbed in the
contemplation of his own existence, resolved, in the fullness of time,
to communicate his glory and his essence to beings capable of feeling
and partaking his beatitude, as well as of contributing to his glory.
The Eternal willed it, and they were. He formed them partly of his own
essence, capable of perfection or imperfection, _according to their
will_. The Eternal first created Brahma, Vishna and Siva, then Mozazor
and all the multitude of the angels. The Eternal gave the pre-eminence
to Brahma, Vishna and Siva. Brahma was the prince of the angelic army.
Vishna and Siva were his coadjutors. The Eternal divided the angelic
army into several bands, and gave to each a chief. They adored the
Eternal, ranged around his throne, each in the degree assigned him.
There was harmony in heaven.'

"The Chinese, ancient as they are, come after the Indians. They have
acknowledged one only God. They have no subordinate gods. The Magi of
Chaldea, the Sabeans, acknowledge but one supreme God, whom they adored
in the stars, which are his work. The Persians adored him in the sun.
The sphere placed on the frontispiece of the temple of Memphis was the
emblem of one only and perfect God, called _Knef_ by the Egyptians. The
title of Deus Optimum Maximus was never given by the Romans to any but
Jupiter." Voltaire adds, "This great truth, which we have elsewhere
pointed out, can not be too often repeated. Jupiter was the translation
of the Greek word Zeus, and Zeus a translation of the Phenician word
Jehovah."--_Philosophical Dictionary, vol. 1, pp. 374, 375._

Ever remember, that there is, in all the ancient theories of gods, the
grand idea of one supreme God. Unbelievers keep this great truth out of
sight.

R. Dale Owen says of Christ, "His character and his doings, as exhibited
in the gospel biographies--are almost as marvellous as the system he
gave to the world. They accord neither with his country nor with his
time, nor--except as one illustrious example disclosing to us what man
may be--with that human race with which, on a hundred occasions, he
expressly identified himself. It were difficult in this connection, to
improve on the words of an anglican clergyman, whose early death was a
misfortune to the church he adorned. 'Once in the roll of ages, out of
innumerable failures, from the stock of human nature, one bud developed
into a faultless flower. One perfect specimen of humanity has God
exhibited on earth. As if the life blood of every nation were in his
veins, and that which is best and truest in every man, and that which
is tenderest and gentlest and purest in every woman, were in his
character; he is emphatically the Son of Man.' 'Christ is the crowning
exemplar of the Inspired; for he, while abiding among us, lived, more
nearly than any other of God's creatures here, within sight and hearing
of his future home. Therefore it is that his teachings are the noblest
fruits of inspiration.'"

A.J. Davis says: "He (Christ) was A TYPE OF A PERFECT MAN, both in
physical and spiritual qualifications. His general organization was
indeed remarkable, inasmuch as he possessed, combined, the perfection of
physical beauty, mental powers and refined accomplishments. He was
generally beloved during his youth for his great powers of discernment,
his thirst after knowledge, and his disposition to inquire into the
causes of mental phenomena, of the conditions of society, and of the
visible manifestations of nature. He was also much beloved for his PURE
natural sympathy for all who were suffering afflictions either of a
physical or mental character--It is true that at the age of twelve years
he was admitted to the presence of the learned doctors. There he
manifested some of his powers of discernment, interior and natural
philosophy, unsophistocated love, simplicity of expression, kindness of
disposition, and universal sympathy and benovolence. These he displayed
with all the naturalness and spontaneousness resulting from the
promptings of an uncorrupted and purely-organized spiritual principle."

Gregg, a Deist, says: "I value the religion of Jesus, as containing more
truth, purer truth, higher truth, than has ever yet been given to man.
Much of his teaching I unhesitatingly receive as, to the best of my
judgment, unimprovable and unsurpassable--fitted, if obeyed, to make
earth all that a finite and material scene can be, and man only a little
lower than the angels. 'Not every one that saith unto me, Lord! Lord; *
* * * * * but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.' 'By
their fruits ye shall know them;' 'I will have mercy, and not
sacrifice;' 'Be not a slothful hearer only, but a doer of the work;'
'Woe unto ye, Scribes and Pharisees, for ye pay tithes of mint, and
anise and cummin, and neglect the weightier matters of the law, justice,
mercy, and temperance, (faith left out.)'

"'The _enforcement of purity of heart as the security for purity of
life, and of the government of the thoughts, as the originators and
forerunners of action_.' 'He that looketh on a woman, to lust after her,
hath committed adultery with her already in his heart;' 'Out of the
heart proceed murders, adulteries, thefts, false witness, blasphemies;
these are the things which defile a man.'

"_Universal good-will toward men._--'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as
thyself;' 'Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, that do ye
also unto them, for this is the law and the prophets.'

"_Forgiveness of injuries._--'Love your enemies; do good to them that
hate you, pray for them which dispitefully use you and persecute you;'
'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against
us;' 'I say not unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy times
seven;' 'If ye love them only that love you, what reward have ye? Do not
even publicans the same?'

"_The necessity of self-sacrifice in the cause of duty._--'Blessed are
they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake;' 'If any man will be
my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and
follow me;' 'If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from
thee;' 'No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is
fit for the kingdom of God.'

"_Humility._--'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth;'
'He that humbleth himself shall be exalted;' 'He that is greatest among
you, let him be your servant.'

"_Genuine sincerity; being not seeming._--'Take heed that ye do not your
alms before men, to be seen of them;' 'When thou prayest, enter into thy
closet and shut thy door;' 'When thou fastest, anoint thine head, and
wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast.' All these sublime
precepts need no miracle, no voice from the clouds, to recommend them
to our allegiance, or to assure us of their divinity; they command
obedience by virtue of their inherit rectitude and beauty, and vindicate
their author _as himself the one towering perpetual miracle of
history_."--_Creed of Christendom, pp. 318, 319._

"We hold that God has so arranged matters in this beautiful and
well-ordered, but mysteriously-governed universe, that one great mind
after another will arise from time to time, as such are needed, to
discover and flash forth before the eyes of men the truths that are
wanted, and the amount of truth that can be borne. We conceive that this
is effected by endowing them, or by having arranged that nature and the
course of events shall send them into the world endowed with that
superior mental and moral organization in which grand truths, sublime
gleams of spiritual light, will spontaneously and inevitably arise. Such
a one we believe was Jesus of Nazareth, the most exalted religious
genius whom God ever sent upon the earth; in himself an embodied
revelation; humanity in its divinest phase, 'God manifest in the flesh,'
according to eastern hyperbole; an exemplar given in an early age of the
world to show what man may and should become in the course of ages; in
his progress towards the realization of his destiny; an individual
gifted with a grand, clear intellect, a noble soul, a fine organization,
marvelous moral intuitions, and a perfectly balanced moral being; and
who, by virtue of these endowments, saw further than all other men,
'Beyond the verge of that blue sky, where God's sublimest secrets
lie.'"--_Creed of Christendom, pp. 306, 307._

We regard him * * as the perfection of the spiritual character, as
surpassing all men of all times in the closeness and depth of his
communion with the Father. In reading his sayings, we feel that we are
holding converse with the wisest, purest, noblest being that ever
clothed thought in the poor language of humanity. In studying his life
we feel that we are following the footsteps of the highest ideal yet
presented to us upon earth.

By the very next sentence Gregg's eulogy upon Christ becomes an eulogy
upon the Old Testament. He says the Old Testament contained his
teaching; it was reserved for him to elicit, publish and enforce
it.--_Creed of Christendom, pp. 300, 310._

"But it must not be forgotten that though many of the Christian precepts
were extant before the time of Jesus, yet it is to him that we owe them;
to the energy, the beauty, the power of his teaching, and still more to
the sublime life he led, which was a daily and hourly exposition and
enforcement of his teaching."--_Gregg, C.C._

Strauss allows that it was not possible that the early Christians should
have looked upon Christ as their Redeemer and Mediator between God and
men, if the apostles had not proclaimed this very doctrine; and the
apostles could not have preached it if Jesus himself had not designated
himself as the Redeemer from sin, guilt and death, and demanded faith in
himself as a religious act. He asserts that the distinguishing features
of the Christian church must be traced to Christ, his ministry and
teachings about himself; that Christ claimed the power to secure peace
to his followers. He also claims that the moral and religious character
of Christ is above every suspicion, and unequaled in its kind. He says,
"The purely spiritual and ethical conceptions of God as the '_only
one_,' he owed to his Jewish education, and, also the purity of his
being. But the Greecian element in Jesus was his cheerfulness, arising
from his _unsullied mind_." Again he says, Jesus, by cultivating a frame
of mind that was cheerful, in union with God, and embracing all men as
brethren, had realized the prophetic ideal of a New Covenant with the
heart inscribed law; he had to speak with the poet, received God into
his will; so that for him the Godhead had descended from its throne, the
abyss was filled up, all fear was vanished. His beautifully organized
nature had but to develop itself to be more fully and clearly confirmed
in its consciousness of itself, but needed not to return to begin a new
life.

Gregg, the Deist, after presenting Jesus as the "one towering, perpetual
miracle of history," says, "Next in perfection come the views which
Christianity unfolds to us of God in his relation to man, which were
probably as near the truth as the minds of men could in that age
receive. God is represented as our Father in heaven, to be whose
especial children is the best reward of the peace-makers, to see whose
face is the highest hope of the pure in heart, who is ever at hand to
strengthen his true worshipers, to whom is due our heartiest love, our
humblest submission, whose most acceptable worship is righteous conduct
and a holy heart, in whose constant presence our life is passed, to
whose merciful disposal we are resigned by death. His relation to us is
alone insisted on. All that is needed for our consolation, our strength,
our guidance, is assured to us. The purely speculative is passed over
and ignored." It may be that the prospect of an "exceeding, even an
eternal weight of glory" may be needed to support our frail purposes
under the crushing afflictions of our mortal lot. It may be that, by the
perfect arrangements of Omnipotence, the sufferings of all may be made
to work out the ultimate and supreme good of each. He next makes this
grand concession: To the orthodox Christian, who fully believes all he
professes, cheerful resignation to the divine will is comparatively a
_natural_, _an easy_, _a simple thing_. To the religious philosopher
(meaning such as himself) it is the highest exercise of intellect and
virtue. The man who has realized the faith that his own lot is so
regulated by God as unerringly to work for his highest good--with such a
man, resignation, patience, nay cheerful acquiescence in all suffering
and sorrow, appear to be in fact only the simple and practical
expression of his belief. If, believing all this, he still murmers and
rebels at the trials and contrarieties of his lot, he is of the
childishness of the infant which quarrels with the medicine that is to
lead it back to health and ease.

Huxley says: "The belief that the divine commands are identical with the
laws of social morality has left infinite strength to the latter in all
ages. The lover of moral beauty, struggling through a world full of
sorrow and sin, is surely as much the stronger for believing that
sooner or later a vision of perfect peace and goodness will burst upon
him, as the toiler up a mountain for the belief that beyond crag and
snow lie home and rest."--_Modern Symposium, page 250, 1._

Baldwin Brown, of the Liberal School, speaking of a very singular effort
of Mr. Harrison, says: "I rejoice in the passionate earnestness with
which he lifts the hearts of his readers to ideals which it seems to
me--that Christianity which as a living force in the Apostles' days
turned the world upside down, that is right side up, with its face
toward heaven and God--alone can realize for man. I recall a noble
passage written by Mr. Harrison some years ago: 'A religion of action, a
religion of social duty, devotion to an intelligible and sensible head,
a real sense of incorporation with a living and controlling force, the
deliberate effort to serve an immortal humanity--this, and this alone
can absorb the musings and the cravings of the spiritual man.' A.J.
Davis speaking of the first century, says: 'Jesus Christ and his
apostles were at this time establishing the only true religion.'"

Now, I wish to say a few things in view of all that I have given from
the opposite side. And first, as it is the part of science to find a
cause for every effect, we will look after the causes as given by those
men who reject the essential divinity of the religion of Christ, and
also look after the strength or weakness of their cause, as the case may
be:

1. What is the cause of the character they ascribe to the Christ? We
will begin with the Deist Gregg. He claims that God has endowed men
differently--has endowed some with brains so much larger and finer than
those of ordinary men as to enable them to see and originate truths
which are hidden from the mass; and that when it is his will that
mankind should make some great step forward, should achieve some
pregnant discovery, that is, discovery loaded with benefits to our race,
he calls into being some cerebral organization of more than ordinary
magnitude and power, as that of David, Isaiah, Plato, Shakespeare,
Bacon, Newton, Luther, Pascal. _Here we discover the cause of the
superior character of Christ as a teacher_, which is assigned by all
the leading spirits in modern unbelief, viz: a finely endowed cerebral
organization, and a Jewish education; these are constantly presented as
sufficient to meet the scientific demand for the cause of his life and
teachings, _or the cause of Christianity_. But there is a scientific
demand lying behind all this, viz: what is the cause of this fine
cerebral organization, which was so wonderful as to produce the most
wonderful character of all ages? The answer, given in the clear-cut
words of all except Atheists, who say there is no God, _is this_, "The
all-wise disposer of all things sends just such men into our race, when
any great step forward is necessary to be made--that he endows them with
direct reference to the discoveries and achievements to be made." So the
great cause, after all, is, upon their own showing, the will and power
of God; for if he endowed him, as they claim, with direct reference to
his teachings and achievements, it follows of necessity, that he willed
that those very teachings and achievements should not only be made, but
be made just when they were, and just as they were; so Christianity
finds its origin in God, and is a manifestation from God, according to
the showing of _Gregg_ and _Strauss_. For Strauss will have it that the
finite must not be separated from God. But you must remember that
Strauss is a Pantheist, and that he, as such, claims that the infinite,
or God, who with him is not a person, but _all-pervading_ life, receives
the finite into itself, and so it becomes a part of the idea of the
Godhead; in such a manner, however, that it is not peculiar to Jesus
alone, but to humanity as such. So Strauss reaches the same thought that
Gregg expresses--so far as the relation of Christ to Godhead is
concerned. While he and Strauss differ upon the subject of the Godhead,
one being a Deist and the other a Pantheist, they find their agreement
in naturalism, that is to say, they account for the Christ character
upon the score of his being more finely organized and endowed by
relation to the Godhead; Gregg claims that this is attributable to an
all-wise Godhead, and Strauss claims that it is attributable to the
all-pervading life, or Pantheistic Godhead, and both include as a
second cause of his character his education.

We then systematize as follows: first, the Deist who accepts the
character of Christ as exhibiting a superior life. His first cause for
the existence of Christianity is the fine organization of Christ. His
second cause is his education. The pantheist has it as follows: first
cause for the existence of Christianity, the fine organization of
Christ. Second cause, his education; both, however, must find a cause
_behind_ that fine organization, and that cause, they claim, is the
Godhead, however much they may differ about that Godhead.

This relation between Christ and the true Godhead is the fundamental
article in the Christian religion, and becomes at once, by common
agreement, the first great cause of the origin and existence of the
Christian religion. No Pantheist, or Deist, or Naturalist gets away from
this conclusion without avowing Atheism. What does it amount to? Answer:
_Christianity is of God._ The reason is this, the fine cerebral
organization of Christ was of God. Hence we have it, first cause, God;
second cause, Christ; effect, Christianity. Common admission, Christ is
the grandest character, the purest life, the finest teacher, finest
organization ever yet given to the race. The Christian says, _Amen!_ But
science must find a cause for every effect. What was the cause of the
teachings of the apostles, whose sincerity was such that they died for
their religion? Well, Strauss says, It is inconceivable that they should
have done it if Jesus himself had not designated himself as the Redeemer
from sin, guilt and death, and required faith in his person as a
religious duty, claiming the power to secure peace in the Holy Spirit.
According to Strauss, we have this arrangement:

First, the infinite--the Godhead took the finite Jesus into itself.

Second, he was above suspicion--the finest, purest specimen of all ever
known among men. A.G. Davis, R.D. Owen, Renan and Gregg, and Tom Paine,
and a host of others in unbelief say _Amen!_ Gregg says God sent him,
and sent him to do _just that_ which he did do. Strauss says, He taught
his desciples, and they consequently taught the world.



OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO REVELATION.

THE TEN SCEPTICS IN COUNCIL--No. 3.

BY P.T. RUSSELL.


_Christian._ Gentlemen; I am happy to meet you again. Be seated. Have
you weighed the matter I gave you in our last interview? If you have, I
would like to hear your objections, if you have any.

_Reason._ We think we have some valid objections. First, we are
satisfied that your position is unscientific, although it is ingeniously
taken. Among scientific men it is conceded that nature reveals her own
birth, and declares her creation. Now, if it is true that Nature
_herself_ tells the history of her origin, then your idea that God the
creator told this, is to us unreasonable, for there is no need of the
same story being told to the same auditors by two different parties; so
we must regard your position as untrue.

_Christian._ Are you sure that Nature ever gave the history of her
origin, of her birth? do you read it in the book of Nature, or does she
tell it vocally?

_Reason._ Tell it vocally? No! Nature has no power of speech! She wrote
the history of her origin upon the pages of her own book, and the eye of
the Scientist reads it there.

_Christian._ Are you certain of this? how was she qualified to do so?
Could you write the history of your origin, of your birth, without the
aid of some one older than yourself? Did you have the powers of
observation in active exercise, watching every movement among the causes
that brought you into being? Now, if man could not be an eye-witness to
his own origin, upon this planet of ours, was there anything else in
nature that could be, and so gave that history, which you know you could
not? Is it not possible that you have obtained your intelligence from
another source--from what I call the revelation of the Creator? May it
not be true that you have thus borrowed your information, and falsely
credited it to Nature? If you found it in the book of Nature and read it
there, you can tell me on what page it is written? will you do this so
that I may read it too?

_Reason._ Read it there, and on some certain or well-known page! Really,
you are very captious. This great truth is on every page; the whole face
of Nature declares it; I can not tell you anything about the page.

_Christian._ There is a German maxim which, translated into English,
reads, "The clear is the true." The natural converse of this German
proposition is this: The truth of the ambiguous is very doubtful. This
leaves your claim in a very suspicious condition, if it does not brand
it with falsehood. Again, you say it was written in the book of Nature.
By whom was it written? A book can not write itself. Nature, or the
material universe, neither did nor could write it, for she has no power
of action, inertia being her property. She might be acted upon. I can
write upon this sheet, but it can not write upon itself. If it is
written upon it is _self-evident_ that a foreign power has done it. So
Nature, being the aggregate of everything, can not move without the hand
of a foreign power moving her. I suppose you are now ready to ask, "Is
it not a scientific truth that matter is eternal?"

_Reason._ Yes, we are satisfied that matter is uncreated, and hence
eternal. The idea that something was made of nothing might do for the
dark ages, but it will not stand the test now. The penetrating eye of
the scientist has exploded that dream.

_Christian._ I am glad to hear you speak thus with confidence, and yet
the sequel may show that you are the dreamer. Science, falsely so
called, has declared matter eternal. True science contradicts this.
"None of the processes of Nature, since the time when Nature began, have
produced the slightest difference in the properties of any molecule. We
are therefore unable to ascribe either the existence of the molecules,
or the identity of their properties, to the operation of any of the
causes which we call natural. The quality of each molecule gives it the
essential character of a manufactured article, and precludes the idea of
its being eternal and self-existent."--Prof. Clark Maxwell, lectures
delivered before the British Association, at Bradford, in Nature, vol.
8, p. 441.

Prof. Maxwell is a star of first magnitude among British scientists; he
has made a specialty of molecular organizations. No real scholar would
dare to risk his standing by disputing the conclusion of Prof. Maxwell.
An idea that is shut out by matter of fact discoveries will not be made
the basis of an argument by any scholar who has not been taking a "Rip
Van Winkle sleep" while the rest of the world has been advancing. The
great improvements resulting in the astonishing increase of power has
enabled us to closely examine the smallest known particles of matter,
molecules. And under the best glasses, these give every possible
indication of being a created, or manufactured article.

Thus, the latest and most grand discoveries in this field of science do
unequivocally confirm the declaration of Moses in Gen. 2: 3, where,
according to the Hebrew in which he wrote, speaking of the creation of
all things, he gives us this idea, "Which God created to make." See
marginal reading, Gen. 2: 3. Hebrew scholars tell me this is the correct
reading. The word, rendered, "and made," is in the infinitive mood, and
hence should read, "to make;" also, that the word rendered, "created" is
the proper term by which to indicate the producing cause. This, then, is
the thought presented by both of our witnesses, _i.e._, by Moses and
science. Moses says God created the material to make globes, or worlds.
The material was molecular, and science declares that every molecule
gives every possible indication of being manufactured or created. So,
true scientific discoveries have so completely vindicated the Mosaic
cosmogony that it leaves no chance for any, outside of three classes, to
object. For two of these classes I am not writing, viz., the cowardly
and the dishonest. To do this would be "casting pearls before swine."
But for the ignorant I send this on its mission. Read and digest. In my
next I will demonstrate the divine origin of language and religion. Till
then, farewell.



INFIDELS IN A LOGICAL TORNADO.


There is nothing but matter. Matter is eternal. Therefore all things are
eternal. Does this have the right ring? It must be so if infidel
materialism be the true philosophy. And if it is so we are all deceived;
for universal conscience, and universal language, are both against it.

If there is anything that is not eternal there was a time when it began
to be, it was created in some way, intelligently or by accident. If
intelligently, the Bible idea is, and _must be_ correct. If without an
intelligence it was not, and could not be by evolution, for creation by
evolution could not, and can not be; because that which is not in a
thing can not be evolved out of it, unless you can get more out of a
thing than there is in it; which is absurd. So evolution is a negation
of the doctrine of a creation. And the doctrine that there is nothing
but matter, and that matter is eternal, is a denial of creation by
intelligence or otherwise. The infidel says, life began to be; for there
was a time when there was no life. But they say matter is eternal. And
life is not eternal. Therefore life is not matter. Gentlemen, will you
get away with this conclusion? The opposite is equally fatal to the
materialistic theory. Thus, matter is eternal. There is nothing but
matter. Therefore life is eternal. Can you get this conclusion out of,
or away from logical deductions?

But infidels say, "Life is a property of certain elements of matter."
Very well; can you separate things and their properties? Can you get
them so far apart as to hold the one class--things--to be eternal, and
the other class--properties--not? Your philosophy of spontaneous
generation of life says, Yes, yes, there was a time when it began to be,
and it was spontaneously generated, of course it was. Very well; there
is nothing but matter. Matter did not begin to be; it is eternal. Life
began to be, therefore it is not matter; otherwise it is eternal
according to infidel logic, unless you take the position that life is
_nothing_!

Matter is eternal.

That which began to be is not eternal.

Mind began to be;

Therefore, mind is not eternal.

Very well; let's look at it once more.

Matter is eternal; it did not begin to be.

Mind is not eternal; it began to be;

Therefore, mind is not matter.

Where, gentlemen, O where will you place mind? is it also nothing?

That which began to be was created.

Life and mind, both, began to be;

Therefore, life and mind were created.

_Question._ Were they the effects of an inadequate cause? Inanimate and
unintelligent nature would not be an adequate cause. Did these do more
than animated intelligence can do? Gentlemen of skeptical proclivities
answer.

If so, is this not evolution backwards? Is it not retrogression, or
development at the expense of the loss of power to rise to the plane of
unintelligent mind and life evolving nature? Do you say, organic life
does evolve organic life and mind. From a state of death? Without
antecedent life and mind being drawn upon? Come, gentlemen; how is this?
You say inanimate Nature produced life and mind without the previous
existence of either; can you duplicate that feat with your power? If you
can't are you not below the inanimate Nature which did it for the first
time? Can inanimate forces do more than living intelligent Nature? Do
you say no! Then demonstrate the philosophy of spontaneous generation of
life, and show yourself A GOD.

An effort to produce organic life without antecedent life, or where it
is not, is an effort to create organic life. The efforts of unbelievers
to produce organic life by spontaneous generation, is an effort to
produce organic life where it is not. Therefore the efforts of
unbelievers to produce organic life, by spontaneous generation, is an
effort to create organic life.

An effort to create organic life where it is not is an effort to rise
into the character of a God, and show one's self the equal of God. But
why should this effort not be made? If unintelligent dead matter has
performed the feat, without wisdom or design, why should it not be
performed by living intelligent Nature? Gentlemen, demonstrate your
theory. Do you say, we have given up all hope of witnessing its
demonstration? Well, well, has any man ever witnessed it? You say no.
Then it is not certain knowledge. Science is certain knowledge.
Therefore spontaneous generation of life and intelligent being is not
science. Now, gentlemen, don't prostitute science at the shrine of your
nonsensical guessing any more. Throw your guessing to one side and
acknowledge God like wise men, and be no longer foolish.

Do you say life was always in matter? "Then we must conclude that it is
in matter in the same sense in which all other corporeal qualities are
in bodies, so as to be divisible together with it, and some of it be in
every part of the matter." This is ancient Hylozoism.

On the other hand, the "Stoical Atheists supposed there was one life
only in the entire mass of matter, after such a manner, as that none of
the parts of it by themselves should have any life of their own." Now,
according to this Stoical theory, "life is no corporeal quality or form,
but an incorporeal substance." There are, really, but two sorts of
Atheism which have been in any thing like extensive notice. First, "Such
as claim that life is essential to matter, and therefore _ingenerable_
and _incorruptible_." Second, "Those who claim that life and everything,
besides the bare substance of matter, or extended bulk, is merely
accidental, generable, or corruptible, rising out of some mixture or
modification of matter." Is life, perception and understanding
essential to matter, as such? Is senseless matter perfectly wise,
without consciousness? Such is Hylozoism, and it is outrageous nonsense.
Very few men ever had credulity enough to receive and appropriate it.
This form of Atheism was a forlorn and abandoned thing, without form or
systemization, for centuries gone by--and it has few--very
few--votaries, even now. The second kind of Atheism "is that of a true
notion of body, that it is nothing but resisting bulk," associated with
atomic physiology, which is an old theory resurrected of late, and
displayed anew, with a _show_ of deep philosophy and wisdom. But that
mind and understanding itself sprang from senseless nature and chance,
as a mere accident, or from the unguided and undirected motions of
matter, is also nonsensical, and utterly absurd. Were there infinite
atoms in mutual encounters, dashing and striking against each other? Did
these atoms, devoid of sense and life, with their reflections and
repurcussions, their cohesions, implexions, and entanglements, their
scattered dispersions and divulsions, produce life and intelligence? If
so, we will call it by the name of chance. Hear this, O, ye scientists,
there is but one choice, and that is between _God_ and _chance_!

The chance theory is that "infinite atoms of various sizes and figures,
devoid of life and sense, moving fortuitously from eternity in infinite
space, and making successive encounters and various implexions and
entanglements with one another, produced first a confused chaos of these
omnifarious particles or atoms, which, jumbling together with infinite
variety of motions by the tugging of their different and contrary
forces, hindered and restricted each other until, by joint conspiracy,
they conglomerated into a vortex or vortexes, where, after many
convulsions and evolutions, molitions and essays, in which all manner of
tricks were tried," without design, "they _chanced_ in length of time to
settle into the form and system of things known as earth, air and fire,
sun, moon and stars, plants, animals and men;" so that senseless atoms
unconsciously moved themselves, although dead as grains of sand, and
kept up the motion until, without any _living substance_ underlying, and
adequate to produce motion, all things so beautifully arranged sprang
into life and being. O, ye stars, what is the magnitude of an infidel's
credulity? What is there which he can not believe? It is no longer to be
set down that he is a reasonable man. "The fool saith in his heart there
is no God." There is a grand relation between the eternal spirit and
that eternal substance which lies behind and underneath all that is, and
that relation is the relation between the "King Eternal" and that over
which he presides and which he controls. So out of nothing nothing
comes.



RELIGIOUS HYSTERIA, OR GETTING INSTANTANEOUSLY CONVERTED.

BY GEORGE HERBERT CURTEIS, M.A.,

_Late Fellow and Sub-Rector of Exeter College, Principal of the
Litchfield Theological College, and Prebendary of Litchfield Cathedral._


I fear it is impossible to deny, that in the early part of the
eighteenth century--amid the general coldness, languor, and want of
enthusiasm which characterized that effete epoch--"the Church of
England, as well as all the dissenting bodies, slumbered and slept." At
this epoch, the Puritans were buried, and the Methodists were not born.
The Bishop of Litchfield, in a sermon delivered in 1724, said, "The
Lord's Day is now the Devil's market day." In Litchfield Cathedral
Library is a copy of Dr. Balguy's Sermons, delivered in 1748, containing
on the fly-leaf an autograph remark by Bishop Bloomfield. It is in these
words, "No Christianity here." It is said of that period of time, by a
noted minister of the Church of England, that a dry rationalism had
taken possession of the church, and that all the powers of her best
intellects were engaged in hot contests with Deists and Unitarians;
that an equally dry morality and stoical praise of "Virtue" formed the
chief part of the exhortations from the pulpit. It was just in these
times that the causes of the reformation of John Wesley sprang into
being. Seven biographies of John Wesley have already been written, and
the subject seems far from being exhausted even yet. As usual in such
cases it is the earlier publications which take the more sober view of
his character and history; while those of a later date surround their
hero with a halo of extravagant admiration. Alexander Knox, a personal
friend of Wesley's, thus writes of him: "How was he competent to form a
religious polity so compact, effective and permanent? I can only express
my firm conviction that he was totally incapable of preconceiving such a
scheme. * * * * That he had uncommon acuteness in fitting expedients to
conjunctures is most certain; this, _in fact_, was his great talent."
(_Letter appended_ to Southey's Third Edition, 2, p. 428.) Methodism, at
the first, sprang up simply as a revival.

Half a century ago a distinguished Wesleyan wrote as follows: "Though
Methodism stands now in a different relation to the establishment than
in the days of Mr. Wesley, _dissent_ has never been professed by the
body--and for obvious reasons: (1) A separation of a part of the society
from the church has not arisen from the principles assumed by the
professed Dissenters, and usually made so prominent in their discussions
on the subject of establishments. (2) A considerable number of our
members are actually in the communion of the Church of England to this
day. (3) To leave that communion is not, in any sense, a condition of
membership with us." (R. Watson's Observations, p. 156.)

"What may we reasonably believe to be God's design in raising up the
preachers called Methodists? Not to form any new sect, but to reform the
nation, particularly the church; and to spread scriptural holiness over
the land." (Large Minutes of Conference, 1744-89, Qu. 3.) In the same,
Qu. 45, we have this answer: "We are not seceders, nor do we bear any
resemblance to them. We set out upon quite opposite principles."
Southey says: "Wesley had now proposed to himself a clear and
determinate object. He hoped to give a new impulse to the Church of
England, to awaken its dormant zeal, infuse life into a body where
nothing but life was wanting, and lead the way to the performance of
duties which the church had scandalously neglected." (Southey's Life, p.
193, ed. Bohn.)

Mr Curties says: "A disastrous period of Wesleyanism opened with John
Wesley's voyage to America, in 1735. It was a mission nobly undertaken,
at the instance of Dr. Burton, of Corpus College, and of the celebrated
mystic, William Law; and its purpose was twofold; first, that of
ministering to the settlers in Georgia, and then of evangelizing the
neighboring tribes of red Indians. (Southey's Life, p. 47). But its
results were far different from those which either Wesley, or those who
wished him well, could have anticipated. For not only were his services
for the settlers rejected, and his mission to the Indians a failure. (R.
Watson's Life, p. 38.) On his voyage out he had fallen in with
twenty-six Moravian fellow-passengers, on their way from Germany to
settle in Georgia; and they spoilt all. On his as yet unsettled,
enthusiastic, self-dissatisfied frame of mind, the spectacle of their
confident, tranquil, yet fervid piety, fell like a spark on tinder. He
writes, in his journal, now first begun, 'From friends in England I am
awhile secluded; but God hath opened me a door into the whole Moravian
Church.' Here, Wesley learned, and took in, the doctrines of Peter
Bohler, the Moravian, who taught thus: First, when a man has a living
faith in Christ, then he is justified. Second, this living faith is
_always given in a moment_. Third, in that moment he has peace with God.
Fourth, which he can not have without knowing he has it. Fifth, and
being born of God he sinneth not. Sixth, and he can not have this
deliverance from sin, without knowing that he has it." (Southey's Life,
p. 113.)

Such is the origin of the Methodist tenet "that there is a swift and
royal road, not only for some men, but for all men, by which the highest
spiritual things may be reached at a bound." Under such an impression
John Wesley set about realizing an instantaneous and sensible
conversion. If a man under high mental excitement is looking for such a
thing to occur, something will take place sooner or later that will
answer the expectation. So, on Wednesday, May 24, 1738, about nine
o'clock in the evening, at a society's meeting in Aldersgate street,
Wesley persuaded himself that he had felt the desired transition and had
passed--from what, to what? In the answer to that question lies the
whole doctrinal difference between modern Methodism and the Church of
England. Stevens, in his history of Methodism 1, 108, says, Methodism
owes to Moravianism special obligations: (1) It introduced Wesley into
that regenerated spiritual life, the supremacy of which over all
ecclesiasticism and dogmatism it was the appointed mission of Methodism
to reassert. But a still stranger event occurred in John Wesley's life,
which contributed still farther to darken and confuse his teaching at
this critical period of his career. He had been carried away by his love
of the Moravians so far as to take a long journey, and to visit the
headquarters of their communion at Hernhutt, in Saxony. There he had
been an honored guest at the retreat which the enthusiast Count
Zinzendorf had carved out of his estate for these hunted Bohemian
followers of Huss and Wickliff. But he had returned home, after a brief
residence among them, as Luther returned from Rome, not a little shaken
in his allegiance to their system. Indeed, shortly afterwards he broke
from them entirely; set up a sort of English Moravianism of his own, and
organized it with "bands" and "class-meetings" on the Moravian model.
But his feelings as a churchman revolted against their
ultra-spiritualism; repudiated their doctrine that sacraments and
outward means were nothing, and protested that a man must do something
more than wait, in quietude, until the influx of God's spirit came upon
him, and filled, like a rising tide, all the sluices and channels of his
soul. But no sooner had this unquiet soul emancipated itself from one
foreign influence than it was warped out of its true course by another.
_German mysticism_ had done its work on him, and its doctrine of
regeneration into God's kingdom by an interior convulsion of the mind
had left its mark upon Wesleyanism for all future time. But just as this
extravagance seemed likely to subside, and to be absorbed amid the
healthier atmosphere of an English churchman's common sense, most
unhappily a strong breath of _French fanaticism_ suddenly set across his
path, from quite another quarter. And the singular phenomenon now
presented itself of an epidemic religious-hysteria commingling with, and
emphasizing into lamentable extravagance, all the most dangerous
features of the Methodist-Moravian doctrine about the new birth. So
wonderfully is all the world connected together! * * * * *

These French "convulsionists," who had, just before this time, brought
their curious mental malady with them into England, were refugees from
the atrocious _dragonnades_ of Louis the XIV. Maddened by his abominable
and relentless persecutions, deprived by his autocratic edicts of all
that life held dear, robbed of their children at the sweet age of seven
years old, broken on the wheel, hunted among the mountains of the
Cevennes, beggared, insulted, tortured, massacred--what wonder that
these poor Protestants lost the balance of their mental powers and
engendered a hysterical disease? The disease is (I believe), under its
strangely mutable forms, well known to medical science, though science
has never yet been able to probe all its mysterious depths. Its seat is,
apparently, the great nervous ganglia of nutrition, which lie in the
center of the body, and whose strange sympathetic action with and upon
the brain has led to all the popular notions about the heart and
neighboring organs being the seat of various impassioned feelings.
Suffice it, however, at present, to observe that the phenomena which
this extraordinary and infectious disease presented had sufficed to
cheer the faith and animate the ardor of the Calvinists in the Cevennes
against Rome.

The Cevennes is a range of mountains in the south of France, divided
into N. and S. * * a wild rugged country, and the abode of many
Protestants, who here maintained themselves against the persecutions of
their enemies. (See _Cavalier Jean_). Such, in fact, were the causes of
the extasies or irregular inspirations; the want of spiritual guides and
schools, spoliation, suffering, liability to torture, and constant
apprehension of the galley or the gibbet, the minds of these unfortunate
creatures became excited. * * *

This religious enthusiasm began in Vivarais, an old territory of France,
in Languedoc, on the Rhone, with the dragonnades and the revocation,
repeal of an edict, about the year 1686.

A practical proof of the morbific power of the emotions and passions is
found in the frequent occurrence of _psychopathitis_ in times when all
the elements of social life are in a state of fermentation. In and after
revolutions sudden changes of fortune produce a thousand cases of mental
disorder.

The very same disease broke out among the Romanists themselves, at Port
Royal, in 1729. In the previous century it had thrown whole nunneries
near Bordeaux into wild confusion. In the sixteenth century it was known
in Italy as the "Dancing Mania," or Tarantism. At the close of the
fifteenth century _Tarantism_ had spread beyond the borders of Apulia. *
* * The number of those affected by it increased beyond all belief.
Inquisitive females joined the throng and caught the disease from the
mental poison which they eagerly received _through the eye_. * * *
Foreigners of every color and race were, in like manner, affected by it.
Neither youth nor age afforded any protection; so that even old men of
ninety threw aside their crutches, and joined the most extravagant
dancers. * * * Subordinate nervous attacks were much more frequent
during the seventeenth century, than at any former period. (Hecker,
Epidemics of the Middle Ages, pp. 107-115, Engl. Trans.)

During the Middle Ages it appeared in Germany. It was a convulsion,
which in the most extraordinary manner infuriated the human frame; * * *
and was propogated by the _sight_ of the sufferers. They continued
dancing, for hours together, in wild delirium, until at length they
fell to the ground in a state of exhaustion. They then complained of
extreme oppression, and groaned as if in the agonies of death. * * *
They were haunted by visions, and some of them afterwards asserted that
they had felt as if immersed in a _stream of blood_, which obliged them
to leap so high. George Fox, Journal 1, p. 100: "The word of the Lord
came to me again. * * * So I went up and down the streets crying, Woe to
the bloody city, Lichfield! And there seemed to me to be a channel of
blood running down the streets, and the market-place appeared like a
pool of blood." In Germany it was called St. John's or St. Vitus's
dance. And long before its first appearance in that precise form, in
1374, it had, no doubt, been the real secret of the bacchanalian orgies
among the Greeks, and of the frantic, dervish-like gestures and cuttings
with knives and lancets which we read of among Asiatic races. In our own
day and country (thank God) these extraordinary and degrading spectacles
are scarcely to be seen.

But the disease still lurks among the superstitious Christians of Tigre
in Abyssinia; in Siberia; among the revivalists of Ireland and America;
and (in a very mild form), among the ignorant Welsh Methodists,--who are
on this account popularly called "Jumpers." Now it so happened that
these poor hysterical French refugees had arrived in great numbers in
London, and had also visited Bristol, shortly before the critical year
1739,--when the excitable George Whitfield landed from America, and John
Wesley returned home from Germany. Men's thoughts were then full of the
(so called) "French prophets." A new religious enthusiasm was floating
in the atmosphere, and it only needed the impulse of some exciting
preaching, and the mental tension which is always produced among
expectant and heated crowds, to generate infallibly an outbreak of this
unaccountable and infectious malady. Such an occasion soon presented
itself. In February, 1739, Whitfield, for the first time, preached in
the open air, at Kingswood, near his native place, Bristol, to the wild
and lawless colliers of the then _Black Country_ of England. In the May
following he persuaded John Wesley to join him there, and to imitate his
example. And then, for the first time, _religious hysteria_ began to
manifest itself in England. Men and women of all ages fell down in
convulsions, and cried aloud for mercy. And honest John Wesley said, "I
am persuaded that it is the devil tearing them as they are coming to
Christ."--_Wesley's Journals._



THINGS HARD TO BELIEVE.

BY D.H. PATTERSON.


"For myself I still live and doubt. You know I can't believe everything.
There are so many things hard to believe--I can't see them."

So wrote an honest, intelligent young man, who was standing on the verge
of infidelity. Nor is he alone in his doubts. Many persons will not
accept the Bible on account of its mysteries _or miracles_. To doubt
seems to be as natural as to believe. Sir Wm. Hamilton says:
"Philosophers have been unanimous in making doubt the first step in
philosophy." When Paul says, "Prove all things," he tells us doubt a
thing until it is tested. To doubt is not necessarily a fault, but to
continue in doubt is blameworthy. If we are doubtful about a thing it is
our duty as intelligent beings to examine the testimony concerning it,
and so end our doubt. But shall we reject a thing because it is hard to
believe? If the Bible had nothing in it hard to comprehend we would not
be likely to accept it as divine in its origin; because the mind that
comprehends a matter is no more limited, in regard to that matter, than
the mind that conceived it. Consequently, if we could comprehend
everything in the Bible there would be no divinity of infinite
attributes about it to contrast with the limited powers of human nature.
Its miracles are proof of its divine origin.

If you leave the Bible, to what will you go? Are all things hard to
believe in the Bible? Does a man's believing power rest upon flowery
beds of ease in the teaching of infidelity? In the so-called realms of
free-thought is there nothing hard to believe? Will it no more be said
that--

  "Not a truth has to art or to science been given,
  But brows have ached for it, and souls toiled and striven?"

Rejecting the Bible, you must either accept Deism or Atheism. Deism
admits the existence of a God of infinite power and intelligence. A
Deist need have no trouble in believing a miracle. The question with him
is not, can God work miracles, and thereby reveal himself to man, but
has he done it. Reason teaches us that intelligent design characterizes
every act of God. Which theory ascribes the more intelligence to
God--the Deist's or the Christian's?

It is universally conceded that man has a worshiping nature. This is
evinced by the almost universal idolatry of past ages. Would an act of
wisdom reveal to man the true object of worship? Man has a conscience
which smites him for his wrong doing, and approves him for his well
doing. Would wisdom and love tell him what is right? Or would such
attributes allow him to remain in ignorance of his duties? Man has a
desire for eternal life; would Deity prepare a place of happiness for
him and not reveal the fact to him, that he might better prepare for it,
and enjoy the hope of it? Man has a desire for the knowledge of his
origin, and for a knowledge of the attributes of his God; would an
intelligent being create him with these desires and refuse to gratify
them?

Surely there are some things in Deism hard to believe. Deism allows that
man has in his nature this empty bucket, which is not to be filled
during his stay in this world, _if it shall ever be_! Nor are these all
the hard things which Deists ask me to believe. He wishes me to believe
that the history of the Nazarene is legendary, that he was a fanatical
enthusiast. Some Deists have refused to believe so hard a thing as this.

Yet I am asked to believe, in addition to this, that he, Christ, "has
become," as Renan says, "the corner-stone of humanity so entirely, that
to tear his name from the world would be to rend it to its foundations."
I am asked, also, to believe, with Renan, the prince of Deists, that,
"Whatever may be the surprises of the future, Jesus will never be
surpassed. His worship will grow young without ceasing; his legend will
call forth tears without end; his sufferings will melt the noblest
hearts; all ages will proclaim that among the sons of men there is none
born greater than Jesus." I am asked, with this same Renan, to "place
the person of Jesus on the highest summit of human grandeur." Is it not
hard to believe all this about Jesus, and at the same time believe that
he gave to the world a false religion? Truly there are many things hard
to believe--"_I can't see them!_"

I can not believe that "the passion of an hallucinated woman gave to the
world a resurrected God." I can not believe that his legend was the
fruit of a great, altogether spontaneous conspiracy. A conspiracy
implies conspirators; and I can not believe that the apostles were such
outrageous fools as to make a conspiracy, and work so zealously in it,
and cling so firmly to it, when it promised nothing but stripes,
imprisonments, hunger, nakedness, and death. Neither can I believe that
these unlearned Galilean fishermen had the ability in themselves to
concoct a conspiracy that would, and did, deceive nearly the whole
civilized world. Nor can I believe that an ignorant, deluded Nazarene
founded a religion that has held the attention of the thoughtful of all
ages. He that refuses to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, along with
the claims of the Bible, has many more and greater difficulties in
accounting for the existence of Christianity. It is here, and its
existence is the greatest miracle man has ever witnessed. To deny its
divinity only increases its wonderfulness. We can not have an effect
without an adequate cause. It is hard to believe that humanity is an
adequate cause of Christianity. For eighteen centuries it has been
living and acting; persecuted by enemies without, and torn and betrayed
by enemies within; oppressed by government, and corrupted by Popes and
priests; shorn of its grandeur and glory by paganism; its spirituality
crippled by stripes and animosities; its fervid love and deep piety
replaced, to a great extent, by policy; its rites and ceremonies changed
by councils; yet, it continues a monumental proof of the divinity of its
glorious founder. Rescued from the wreck of the Dark Ages by Luther and
others, it commends itself more and more to every reflecting mind as the
only living religion of the present and future. Deliver me from the
credulity that believes that such a wonderful soul-redeeming institution
had its origin in the passion of a crazy woman or the conspiracy of a
few ignorant fishermen.



THE RESULT OF IGNORANCE, AS VIEWED FROM THE SKEPTIC'S STANDPOINT.


"A singular forgetfulness is sometimes noticeable in quarters where one
would least expect it; that the education of an immature mind, and the
prosecution of a _scientific inquiry_, are two perfectly distinct
things; that the former requires faith, the latter skepticism; and that
while the former is the work of the church, the latter is the work of
individuals. Thus the Duke of Somerset goes to church, and finds an
ignorant generation _reposed in a paradise of illusions_, while its more
learned and thoughtful progeny _is excruciated with doubt_. In vain
preachers now exhort to faith. * * * The Protestant oftentimes takes up
his open Bible; he wishes to believe; he tries to believe. * * * All
these efforts avail nothing." _Christian Theology and Modern Skepticism,
1872, p. 144._

"The Duke and the Protestant are simply trying to do two things at once;
and, naturally, Professor Huxley is tempted in the same direction." _Lay
Sermons, p. 21._ "But then he is keen enough to suspect some absurdity
in the position, and honestly proclaims that the army of liberal thought
is, at present, in very loose order; and many a spirited freethinker
makes use of his freedom mainly to vent nonsense." _Lay Sermons, p. 69._

According to the above quotations, if it is wise to be skeptical, to be
ignorant is bliss.

Give me a "_paradise of illusions_;" let me _repose in them_; if I am
disappointed in the end I shall fare as well as the skeptic, with this
difference, that in case there is any hereafter, I shall know that in my
ignorance I lived a life of blessedness with reference to the _now_
experienced eternity; while, in case there is no hereafter for us, we
shall just be equal. Again I repeat it, let me have the side where I
take no risks when viewed from the skeptic's standpoint, and where I can
"_repose in a paradise of illusions_," in preference to the _skeptic's
excruciating doubt_.

But we shall not be disappointed. Neither are we necessarily a
generation of immature minds. We are willing as a whole to compare with
non-church going people as a whole. And we are further conceded to be
the happiest people in the world, unless you can find a people happier
than those who "_repose in a paradise of mental illusions_." Yes! But we
shall find in the end that it was neither ignorance nor illusion, but
the wisdom of the wise. Let us continue thus, _to live_.



EVOLUTION.

WHAT DO EVOLUTIONISTS TEACH?

DEDICATED TO C.F., DANVILLE, IND.


Many scientists who reject religion put on an air of superiority that is
repulsive. If you call their speculations in question you at once
receive credit for being an uneducated fool, a worshiper of the Bible.

Mr. Huxley advises theologians to let science alone. _Wonderful advice!_
Do such men let religion alone? They can't agree among themselves, not
even in their advice to theologians. And they ask more of religionists
than they are willing to give. Dr. Lionel Beale, an English physiologist
has written a volume of three hundred and eighty pages to prove that the
phenomena of life, instinct and intellect, are not referable to the
blind forces of nature. He avows his belief that mind governs matter;
that a "never-changing, all-seeing, power-directing and matter-guiding
Omnipotence" presides over all things. He also avows faith in the
miracles underlying Christianity. But Prof. Huxley says, there is
overwhelming and crushing evidence that no event has ever occurred on
this earth which was not the effect of natural causes, meaning thereby
physical causes. The factor of a divine intelligence he sets aside as of
no consequence. His words are, "the doctrine that belief in a personal
God is necessary to any religion, worthy of the name, is a mere matter
of opinion."

Tyndall, Carpenter and Henry Thompson teach that "prayer is
superstitious absurdity." Herbert Spencer is regarded by infidels as the
"great philosopher," and he labors to prove that there can not be a
personal God, or human spirit or self; that moral laws are simply
"generalizations of utility," or, as Carl Vogt would have us believe,
that self-respect, and not the will of God, is the basis and law of
moral obligation. And Mr. Haeckel would have us believe that a few
"monistic materialists" are the only men entitled to a hearing upon the
question of "Evolution." So he excludes all true and intelligent
Christians, for they are not and can not be "monistic materialists."

His words are, "It is only a select few, therefore, of learned and
philosophical monistic materialists who are entitled to be heard on
questions of the highest moment to every individual man, and to human
society." But just what the man means by the "_highest moment_" we are
anxious to know, as he is the most blank negative of religion that we
can conceive. When he attempts to answer the religious objections to
evolution, or, as he terms it, the descendence theory, he
unceremoniously dismisses them as beneath his notice, giving his only
argument, viz.: "All faith is superstition." He disposes of the
objections drawn from first, or intuitive truths, by a simple denial of
their existence, asserting that all our knowledge is from our senses.
The objection that so many noted naturalists reject evolution, as it is
advocated by himself and others, he considers at some length. He says,
first, "Many have grown old in another way of thinking and can not be
expected to change." Second, "Many are collectors of facts, without
studying their relations, or, they are destitute of the genius for
generalization, and so, can not rear the building. Others, again, are
specialists." He says "It is not enough that a man should be versed in
one department, he must be at home in all, in Botany, Zoology,
Comparative Anatomy, Biology, Geology and Paleontology. He must be able
to survey the whole field." His next, and mainly, is the statement that
naturalists are generally _lamentably deficient_ in philosophical
culture and spirit. He says "The immovable edifice of the true monistic
science, or what is the same thing, natural science, can only arise
through the most intimate interaction and mutual interpretation of
philosophy and observation." (See Philosophie and Empirie, pp. 638-641.)

This statement alone should stir up all Deists to a consideration of
their teaching touching the sufficiency of the "Book of Nature;" for if
it be true, then we must expect some other revelation, or be left to the
conclusion that the Great Father has left his creatures in a great
measure in a state of helplessness, unless Mr. Haeckel, or some other
man like himself, can show us that the "Great Spirit" intended that he,
and others like him, should do our thinking for us, seeing that we are
incapable through mental deficiency, of raising the edifice, and seeing
that, Mr. Huxley advises us poor (?) theologians to "let it alone." And
Mr. Haeckel himself would not allow that any man is entitled to a
hearing until he comprehends Biology, Botany, Comparative Anatomy,
Zoology, Geology and Paleontology. Ho! evolutionists, ninety-nine out of
every hundred of you, get out! You have no right to speak on the
subject; otherwise, Haeckel is one of the foolish men, and talks
without understanding himself. You must be at home in all those
sciences, and emancipate yourselves from all religious beliefs before
you have a right to be heard upon the grave question of evolution from
an ancestral moneron; for you are incapable of comprehending your own
_monistic_--_materialistic origin_. For, according to Haeckel, before a
man is entitled to be heard he must renounce all faith in God, in the
Bible, in the human spirit, and in the future life. Mr. Haeckel knows a
great deal? Well, there are some very weighty men in this world? But,
when they are in the east, our planet does not tip up in the west? We
Christians have no right to be heard? Mr. Huxley advises us to keep our
mouths shut (?). Well, that is grand? It correllates so beautifully with
"_free thought_" and "free speech."

One evolutionist is all the time spreading himself about the preachers
of religion knowing nothing in science, and another is saying to them,
let science alone, and another says you can't rear the building if you
try; you don't know enough. What a grand harmony there is just here? We
theologians would advise "natural selection to be present with such
instructors as thus advise us, and continue with them long enough, at
least, to reject the worst from the school and give us a blessing in the
survival of the fittest, for we would like to know our duty." _So much
for liberalism and broad principles._

"Monistic materialism," according to Haeckel, finds its primeval parent
in a moneron, a creature of one substance, and that a semi-albuminous
fluid. Now, it would be very interesting to know just how all the
different substances, in all the creatures of this earth, got in, in
order to get out, for involution lies behind evolution. But then, we
theologians "have no right to be heard?" "are not entitled to be heard?"
and, besides this, Mr. Haeckel has set aside intuitive, or first truths,
and, as all axiomatic truths are of this class, perhaps it is wrong for
us to bother you with our logic? Nevertheless we can't refrain from
speaking our piece; we are advocates of free thought and free speech.

It must be conceded that there was a time when life and organisms began
to exist upon our planet. From whence did they come, and how? The
"high-priest" of Germany, who claims to be entitled to a hearing, says,
by "spontaneous generation" they first appeared in the "monera." His
words are these, "Only such homogeneous organizations as are yet not
differentiated and are similar to the inorganic crystals in being
homogeneously composed of one single substance, could arise by
spontaneous generation, and could become the primeval parents of all
other organisms." Such is Haeckel's germ of life.

Did it always exist? Is a moneron an eternal life germ? No. Neither
Haeckel or Darwin advocates such a foolish idea; nor yet the idea of
life-germs always existing. Life-germs are material organisms, and they
may be alive or dead; for we know there is no period in the history of a
living organism when it is not liable to die.

Spontaneous generation does not correlate with the idea that "life-germs
always existed." And it is also opposed to the Christian idea that all
life is from God, the eternal, ever-living spirit. So we Christians say,
there is no life without antecedent life. If men prefer to deify
life-germs, of course that is their business, but we have no disposition
to accept a distinction without a difference, excepting the sacrifice of
our common sense. It is more rational to believe in an ever-living
intelligence as the source of all life, intelligence and moral nature.
Did an eternal life-germ evolve all the forms of organic life known upon
our earth? The eternal life-germ idea of materialistic philosophy
represents no evolutionists of any note whatever. I know of one
gentlemen only, at the present writing, that it represents. Haeckel
says, We can, therefore, from these general outlines of the inorganic
history of the earth's crust deduce the important fact, that at a
certain definite time life had its beginning on our earth, and that
terrestrial organisms did not exist from eternity, but at a certain
period came into existence for the first time.

The _godless advocates_ of spontaneous generation thus allow that life
in its first appearance was without antecedent life; and so more was
produced by the blind forces than was in nature to be evolved. Tell me
how that was done, and I will tell you how to create something out of
nothing. Haeckel says, "All the different forms of organisms which
people are usually inclined to look upon as the products of creative
power acting for a definite purpose, we, according to the theory of
selection, can conceive as the necessary productions of natural
selection, working without a purpose."--_History of Creation, Vol. 1,
pp. 176-327._ He says, "We have before this become acquainted with the
simplest of all species of organisms in the _monera_, whose entire
bodies when completely developed consist of nothing but a semi-fluid
albuminous lump; they are organisms which are of the utmost importance
for the theory of the first origin of life."--_History of Creation, Vol.
1, p. 330._

Here we part with our friends of the Haeckel school. They maintain that
there was life without antecedent life, and so get more out of dead
atoms than was in them, which is equal to something made of nothing. Mr.
Darwin, being apprised of this difficulty, claimed a miraculous origin
for the first form, or forms, of life, but retired the Creator at once
upon the great achievement, leaving all to be evolved from these first
forms by and through natural agencies, denying even design in nature.
Mr. Buckner, a bold advocate of the "spontaneous generation" of life,
who has published two volumes on Darwinism, says Darwin's views "are the
most thoroughly naturalistic that can be imagined, and far more
atheistic than those of his predecessor, Lamark, who admitted, at least,
a general law of progress and development; whereas, according to Darwin,
the whole development is due to the gradual summation of innumerable
minute and accidental operations." It is admitted that the doctrine of
evolution of species from other and entirely different species is a mere
hypothesis, an opinion, _or guess_.

What have we to gain by the adoption of this unknown factor in the
vegetable and animal _kingdoms_? Answer, nothing but _irreligion_; a
world of godless infidels tearing afresh the wounds that death has
made, and restoring to the grave its victory over the human heart.
Renan, in his recent lectures talks about the "torture consequent upon
the disappointment in his efforts to attain to the unattainable;" and
Strauss said the "sense of abandonment is at first something awful."
This is the inheritance that the tenet of evolution leaves to all
infidels in their last extremity.



WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN BECOME CHURCH MEMBERS?


We have looked with great anxiety upon the efforts being put forth in
our Sunday-schools, believing that they would result in bringing
intelligent Christians from the extremes into which they have fallen by
means of the controversy going on upon the subject of infant church
membership; but it seems that there is great need of some one to speak
out against the old, fossilized ideas touching this subject. And at the
risk of being faulted we shall say our piece. First, The Apostle John
addresses a class of Christians which he terms "little children,"
classifying them in contradistinction from young men and fathers. He
says, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven
you for his name's sake." This class included neither young men nor
fathers, for John addresses young men and fathers as separate and
distinct classes.

Jesus also recognized this class of disciples by saying, "Better were it
for a man that a mill-stone be hanged about his neck, and he be drowned
in the depths of the sea than for him to offend one of these little ones
which _believe in me_."--_Matt. 18._

Second, The gospel of Christ undoubtedly reaches the lowest capacity of
responsible creatures, and just where the ability to believe in Christ
and commence a Christian life comes in, there responsibility comes in,
whether that be at eight, ten, or any other year in the child's
history. We can not conceive of a sinner in youth without a Savior
provided, nor of a sinner in childhood without the gospel privilege of
becoming a member of the body of Christ.

Fathers and mothers, where are your children? Are they reading novels
between Sundays, and all other kinds of literature? Are they believing
this, that, and the other story, which they read?

Are they old enough and wise enough to know what is wrong? Do they know
what is right? Have you taught them? If you have, that settles one
important question, viz.: are they teachable? If they are not, of course
you have not taught them. Well, teach them the knowledge of our Lord
just as soon as you can, as soon as they are teachable, and then point
them to the Savior of men, for they are then old enough and wise enough
to become Christians. The gospel of the blessed Savior is so loaded down
with divine mercy that it simplifies its requirements to faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to his will. But ability measures
responsibility, and where ability begins responsibility begins, and as
ability increases responsibility also increases.

I am, and have been, for many years, satisfied that a great and grievous
wrong exists on both sides of the question of infant church membership.
First, no one can be a member of the body of Christ who is incapable of
enjoying spiritual union with Christ through faith and submission to his
will, for "he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." So membership
in the body of Christ is, so far as unteachable babes are concerned, a
_misnomer_. On the other side, the neglect to teach children when they
are teachable, and to instruct them to come to Christ in their
childhood, when they can come in faith, is a great and grievous wrong.
Will not all our brethren speak out upon this subject? _Brethren, let us
have no laziness here!_ Where a soul finds condemnation there the gospel
finds it.



OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE JEWS.


It is the business of mind to follow facts and mark their results. The
Jewish nation had an existence prior to the Augustan or Athenian age,
and was far ahead of either in civilization and morality. The Jewish
people have often been reprobated, as a people almost without
literature, art and civilization, but we are persuaded that it is base
ingratitude upon the part of any scholar living in a civilized land to
speak of that ancient family thus in terms of reproach. What are the
scriptures of the Old and New Testaments but Hebrew productions? It
certainly corresponds with infidelity to speak contemptuously of the
people who, more than all others, were under the influence of those
scriptures for ages in the past, and who were the chosen people through
whom they were to be given to the world of mankind. The Hieroglyphics of
Egypt, and the Classics of Greece, are perishable monuments constructed
in memory of intelligence and civilization, when compared with the
undying influence of the Bible upon the hearts of the millions who
resort to it to find their way through life. For one edition of the
classics we have had ten thousand Bibles. Why is this?

Men of the profoundest wisdom have investigated the claims of the Bible
upon the attention of the literary and scientific, upon the attention of
the moral and civil in every nation. They tell us that its morality and
theology are far superior to the teachings of any and all of the ancient
teachings of the greatest known philosophers, and that the writings of
those philosophers are much inferior to those of Moses and the prophets.
The poetry and philosophy of the Hebrews, as presented in the Bible,
surpasses Homer and Aristotle. And their independent religion, existing
amidst the heathenism of the surrounding pagan nations, was the only
religion calculated, by virtue of its "one God" to worship, to unite the
human family in one great brotherhood. It is conceded upon all sides
that the Bible is the most remarkable book that the world ever read.
How base and unjust is it, therefore, to be speaking reproachfully of
the Hebrews as a nation. We should remember them with great kindness for
the inestimable treasures of wisdom and knowledge handed to the people
of the ages through them. To them the whole Christian world is indebted
for its morality and civilization. Even Thomas Paine got his notions of
civil government from the Pentateuch. If you doubt this read his work
entitled "Common Sense," and you will doubt it no more.

Jewish writings and American life and character are very intimately
blended, and we can not separate them without being guilty of great
injustice. "If British, Scottish, Roman, Saxon, Danish and Norman blood
runs through our veins, our minds have been cast in a Hebrew mould." To
this cause we owe the most of our greatness as a nation.



THE SECOND FIVE POINTS IN CALVINISM, WITH TWO OTHER FIVES.


Some one has submitted the second five points in Calvinism. Here they
are:

_First_--If you seek religion you can't find it.

_Second_--If you find it you don't know it.

_Third_--If you know it you haven't got it.

_Fourth_--If you have got it you can't lose it.

_Fifth_--If you lose it you never had it.

  --_Virginia Missionary._


THE FIVE POINTS OF METHODISM.

_First_--God is able to give religion to all the world.

_Second_--If you seek it you can find it.

_Third_--If you find it you are sure to know it.

_Fourth_--If you don't know it, you haven't got it.

_Fifth_--If you lose it you can easily find it.


FIVE POINTS IN THE RELIGION OF JESUS CHRIST

_First_--The gospel is the embodiment of the religion of Jesus Christ.

_Second_--God gave it as a system of good news, to the whole human
family.

_Third_--If you lay hold upon it by faith you have it.

_Fourth_--If you have it, and will obey it in your every day life, you
will enjoy it.

_Fifth_--If you don't enjoy it, it is because you don't obey it.



BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S EPITAPH AS THE EXPONENT OF HIS FAITH.

[Copy, from the _Virginia Missionary_ of August 12th, 1880.]


A correspondent of the _Inter-Ocean_ not long since sent the following
comment upon Ingersoll's claim that Benjamin Franklin was an infidel:

"As Col. Ingersoll appears to be trying to appropriate our old and
esteemed friend, Benjamin Franklin, as a recruit for his infidel
doctrine, let me call his attention, through your widely circulated
journal, to the following epitaph, written by himself for himself:

           "'The body of
         Benjamin Franklin,
              Printer,
     Lies here food for worms,
   Like the cover of an old book,
  Its contents torn out and stripped
     Of its lettering and gilding;
              But it will
           (As he believed)
           Appear again, in a
         New and more beautiful
         Edition, corrected and
              Amended by
            THE AUTHOR.'"



HONESTY, OR THE INNER-SELF.


I have thought that the inner-self upon the surface both in words and
actions is necessary to the existence of an honest man. The conclusion
forces itself upon me in such a manner that I can not forbear expressing
it, and yet, if this be true, how few are strictly honest. But it is not
intended that this conclusion shall be applied beyond its proper limits;
that is to say, to those elements of thought which should, in
righteousness, be kept forever in the heart. But it is intended that the
remark shall be applied to all that is said and done. The surface man
should always find his prototype, or counterpart, in the inner-self,
otherwise there is a want of harmony between the outer and the
inner-self. This want of harmony is dishonesty; so dishonesty is always
hypocrisy. There is much more hypocrisy in the world than men are
accustomed to think.

What an immense distance there is between the inner and the outer self.
The distance is not always measured, for men often keep much in their
hearts that is not known by others, and which they themselves do not
counterfeit. In this we can not charge them with _necessary_ dishonesty.
Men may be dishonest in keeping a secret, but keeping a secret is not
necessarily dishonesty. The distance between the heart, the inner-self
and the outward-man, is very great, even as respects the secrets of the
heart which may be honestly kept as secrets, and it is certainly very
great as respects those secrets; which should not be kept as secrets.

It is a fact, so well known in our time that we need not argue the
question. There is a great deal of religion in the human heart which is
latent until some misfortune, that brings a man to a sense of his need
of help from a higher source, brings it to the surface.

It is true of dishonest men, who try to stultify their religious nature,
and make the world believe that they are genuine, honest infidels. I
very much doubt the honesty of every infidel known in our history.


Transcriber's Note

The punctuation and spelling from the original text have been faithfully
preserved. Only obvious typographical errors have been corrected.





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