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´╗┐Title: The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume I, No. 11, November, 1880
Author: Various
Language: English
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Scientific and Religious Journal.

VOL. I.    NOVEMBER, 1880.    NO. 11.



THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF OUR RELIGION.


The character which the gospel of Christ requires is made up of all that
is lovely, is formed upon the highest model, but it is not composed of
the insensibility, the anger, the pride, the egotism, the worldliness,
which is so common among men. It is not the cold indifference of modern
moralists; it is not the rank and scepticism of modern doubters, nor yet
the intellectual rashness and moral phantoms of modern scientists. These
have done all they could to take possession of the human heart, and have
left it more miserable than it was before. The great author of our holy
religion, through the instrumentality of our blessed Savior, brings us
into the possession of his own spirit; imparts to us the elements of his
own divine excellence; forms us anew in his own image. The idea of
"Emanuel, God with us," is composed of the richest elements. It embraces
all that is venerable in wisdom, wonderful in authority, and touching in
goodness. Human greatness, blended with imperfections and many
limitations, is seen only in detached and separate parts; never appears
in any one character whole and entire; but in our Lord Jesus Christ
these conceptions, or scattered rays of an ideal excellence, are brought
together and constitute the real attributes of that Savior whom we
worship, who stands in the nearest relation to us, who is the "head of
all principality and power," and who pervades all nature with his
presence. The object of the Christian religion is to recover man from
his degraded, miserable condition, elevate him above his debasement, and
reinvest him with the character of Christ, that he may eventually dwell
with the angels in the perfections of the Infinite One.

The views and spirit transfused into the soul of the Christian are very
different from the views and spirit of the world. The spirit of the
world is pride and selfishness, the pride of rank and office, the pride
of wealth and worldly accomplishments, which lives for the praise of
men. On the contrary, the Savior imparts to all his worshipers the
loveliest of all the graces, a heaven-born humility, a modest estimate
of one's own worth, and a deep sense of unworthiness on account of human
weakness. As Christians we learn to humble ourselves in view of the
majesty and perfections of our heavenly Master. "Before honor is
humility." The Savior commands an humble religion; its love is humble,
its faith is humble; its repentance, its baptism, its hopes, its joys,
its raptures are all humble. True greatness is not found except in an
humble mind; never is an archangel more exalted, more truly great, than
when he bows before the throne of Christ. The spirit of the world is
self-will and insubordination, hard-heartedness and impenitence, or
inflexible perseverance in sin. The spirit of the world is one of
self-indulgence and guilty pleasure. Sinners are lovers of pleasure more
than lovers of God. They are eager for enjoyment and obtain it in
dissipated behavior, thought and feeling. Lawless pleasure is the idol
of the sinner's heart and the rule of his life; it often leads him to
shame, infamy and ruin. The religion of Christ gives, in the place of
this, the love of God and duty. The pleasures of the Christian are much
broader and brighter than the pleasures of the disobedient; they are far
superior to the sinner's day dreams and pleasures of sense. The spirit
of the world rejects the truth of God; distrusts his word; has not
sufficient confidence in his declarations, or, it may be, love for his
praises, and so leans upon self, having no wants, fears, or despondency
which it does not presume to relieve for itself. And often it happens
when corruptions, doubts and disobedience have kept rule until the poor
man is ruined and the hope of a better day is literally exhausted, that
the soul under the dominion of sin cries, "Lord, save, or I perish."
Have you faith in God and in his word? then let unshaken confidence in
Jesus Christ his son and our Savior become the great principle and
impulse of action, rise up in the dignity of true manhood or womanhood
and obey the gospel and live. It is hard to conceive of a darker, deeper
chasm than that which would be made by the absence of this great
principle and impulse of action which has formed thousands of characters
in the image of the Redeemer.

Let no one suppose that the obligation to live a Christian life is a
light one. Holiness is the highest attainment of a rational soul; it is
the greatest good within the reach of man; it is the greatest good in
the universe. Seek this, it is most sublime and excellent; seek to be
virtuous and holy that your hearts may be won and subdued by the power
of His own word. "Purify your souls in obeying the truth." There is
nothing in the universe that can be a substitute for purity or holiness,
it is an indispensable qualification for the heavenly world. O, when
will men _understand_ and _realize_ that nothing possesses importance
compared with this which relates to God and eternity. Never was there
stronger evidence of folly than that man presents who chooses this world
for his portion. If tears could quench the fires of torment they would
be quenched at the remembrance of the folly which preferred this world's
goods to the salvation of the soul. There is nothing upon earth that
hurts the true-hearted, energetic Christian like the indifference with
which those who have hope toward God are directing their way toward that
"exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

In a short time we shall pass through the tomb. To-day we are floating
upon the stream, to-morrow we may be floating upon the ocean of
eternity. Another step and we have entered on the world of retribution,
but what retribution is it? Is it the world of peace and joy? or is it
the region of tribulation and anguish? "To those who by patient
continuance in _well-doing_, seek for glory and honor and
immortality--eternal life. But to those who are contentious and obey not
the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation
and anguish, upon every soul of man that doth evil." Is it not a
melancholy state of being to be gliding down the stream of time under
the fearful uncertainty whether we will land in the realms of bliss or
the regions of anguish? You may be happy without power above your
fellows, without influence over them, without great learning, without
wealth, but you can not be happy without God. Give man all of this world
that he desires, multiply around him the gratifications of sense and the
pleasures of thought, and if God is not his joy and refuge the day is
not far distant when he will feel as did the poor prodigal in a far
country feeding upon husks in nakedness and want; but if you are a
Christian you dwell with God in Christ, for "God is in Christ
reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing unto them their
trespasses," and if any man be in Christ he is a new creature. Whosoever
abideth in him sinneth not--doth not serve sin. Nothing can make you
_miserable_ while you enjoy the presence of God. If you have accepted
the Savior as "Emanuel, God with us," as "God manifested in the flesh,"
and have entered into him, you are at home with God--with the Father of
your spirit--and why should you not be happy? "In him (Christ) all
fullness dwells." God is there. Paul says, "All the promise of God in
him are yea, and in him amen unto the glory of God by us." "It pleased
the Father that _in him_ all fullness should dwell." Are you in him? He
says, "I am the door, by me if any man enter the same shall be saved,"
but the door was never known to be of any use to the man who passes by
it. It is only of importance to those who enter. Have you no interest in
this open door? It was said to a very needy people, "See, I have set
before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." God is in Christ,
Christ is the great doorway to the Father's house. He says, "I am the
way; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." Do you ask how shall I
enter the door? Well, do you really believe that it is your own duty to
enter the door, or do you wait to be thrown into it by some unknown
spiritual convulsion that you never have as yet experienced? How is
this? Let us see. When the Savior was in the world he gathered about him
a great many disciples. John the Baptist also gathered a great many more
and prepared them for the Lord. These all received the "baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins," were converted and saved. Jesus
said to them, "Now, ye are clean through the word which I have spoken
unto you"--John xv, 3. All this was accomplished before these disciples
were baptized at Pentecost or any where else with the Holy Spirit. It
was not given until Jesus was glorified, and when it was given it was
not given to sinners to make them saints, but to the disciples who were
already converted and pardoned, to guide them into all truth, to endow
them with apostolic authority.

Jesus said to them, "Ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come
upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all
Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts i,
8. So these disciples were converted and cleansed--saved before they
were baptized with the Holy Spirit.

There is no case in all the world's history of a sinner being baptized
with the Holy Spirit in order to his conversion from sin, or in order to
put him into Christ. These disciples who were baptized with the Holy
Spirit were by the same means qualified to fill the offices of apostles
and prophets--were guided into all truth--preached the gospel with the
Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, and that "gospel is the power of God
unto salvation, unto every one that believeth." Jesus said, "Go ye into
all the world and preach the gospel to every creature; he that believeth
and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be
damned." Paul says, "Christ loved the church and gave himself for it
that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the
word." On Pentecost, when hundreds were convicted of their sins, and
said, What shall we do? the answer from the spirit of God was, "Repent
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
These all entered into Christ--the door, while those disciples who had
entered a good while before Pentecost were put into the offices of
apostles and prophets by the baptism of the spirit. No man should wait
to be _put_ into the open door, to be put into Christ, but should do as
all the disciples of Christ did in the days of Christ and of his
apostles--flee for refuge into an open door--not wait to be put in, but
enter. You can be saved in heaven without being put into the office of
an apostle or prophet, but you can not enter heaven without being
sanctified and cleansed. Will you come and enter by the Lord Jesus,
become a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ, being baptized into
Christ? Do you say this is not the way? Then, why? O, why should the
pages of this book of books be burthened with such things? Were those
disciples who received the baptism of repentance for the remission of
sins before Pentecost out of Christ--uncleansed--unwashed? No! They were
clean through the word spoken unto them. They were converted--pardoned.
Will you enter Christ, or wait to be put into Christ? Why is it that all
men are not put into Christ? I answer, men are not put into Christ, they
enter in--they come to Christ--they come to God--God is in Christ. The
spirit and the bride say, come! And let him that heareth say, Come! And
let him that is athirst come! And whosoever will let him take the water
of life freely."

"Many of the Corinthians hearing believed and were baptized." "When the
Samaritans believed, they were baptized, both men and women." This is
our entrance into the door. We have now just entered into the church of
Christ--into the family of God--it is God's house--we are at home in the
Father's house, and naught will harm us if we live at home, if we are
"obedient children not fashioning ourselves after our former lusts." The
injunction comes to us here: "Add to your faith virtue, to virtue
knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance patience, to patience
brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness godliness, and to godliness
charity, and if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye
shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind and can
not see afar off, and had forgotten that he was purged from his old
sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your
calling and election sure, for if ye do these things ye shall never
fall. For _so_ an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into
the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." "Blessed
are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree
of life and enter through the gates into the city." Men in disobedience
to the gospel feel, when they approach the cold Jordan of death, that
every thing upon which they built their hopes is being swept away. Their
thoughts, their treasures, their grandeur, their honors, their little
world, their all, fails them here. They have lived at a distance from
God, and now they tremble at the thought of approaching before him whose
great mercy they have rejected. Death is a terror to sinful man--his
afflictions are his darkest hours. It is not so with the Christian. To
him death has no sting; over him the grave has no victory to boast, nor
has the second death any power. He has unshaken confidence that every
thing is safe in the hands of Jesus. What but obedience to the gospel of
the blessed God will enable the child of faith, when flesh and heart
fail to say, "Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is
fullness of joy, and at thy right hand are pleasures forevermore." What
then must be the happiness of fixing the heart on God, where there is
nothing unlovely, nothing fickle, nothing false or dying. We may place
our affections on the things of earth, and sooner or later we are
severed from them. Here all is change, disappointment and consequent
sorrow. It is not so in Heaven where all, is pure and immutable. From
our best affections towards creatures up to the love of God there is a
height as lofty as his ways and attributes are above the attributes and
ways of mortals. No fear can haunt the mind that he may change in his
character of love. He is beyond the reach of accident or change, perfect
in goodness and power, and to those who trust in him, he is a sure and
never-ending, and ever-increasing source of joy. "Blessed are all they
that put their trust in '_Emanuel_.'" Their very sacrifices are more
than compensated. If we give up self it is for the love of God. If we
give up time it is for eternity, and in the exchange our happiness is
not diminished either here or hereafter.



OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO REVELATION.--No. V.

LANGUAGE AND RELIGION.

BY P.T. RUSSELL.


_Christian._ Having in my last article traced language and religion to
their necessary and only possible source, I am now ready to hear any
objections that may be entertained. Mr. Skeptic, if you have any,
present them.

_Skeptic._ Suppose that I admit all that you say, it would, in the
nature of the case, account for the origin of one language only, while
facts show that there are an unnumbered variety. So your argument is at
fault. The same difficulty belongs to your conclusion concerning the
origin of religion. Can you remove this difficulty?

_Christian._ Yes but while I am pleased with your frankness, I must say,
the difficulty is only apparent, not real. Look at yonder tree. There is
but one main stem, or trunk, and many leading branches. These principal
branches are each also divided into several minor branches, and these
also throw out many lesser limbs and twigs. So it is with languages. As
the smallest twig at the extreme end of either of those limbs can be
traced to the trunk through the main branches, so all the various
languages that are in use to-day, can and may be traced to a few older
ones, and these, again, to one principal or parent language. The English
language of the present time differs widely from the English of three or
four centuries ago. Its number of words have more than doubled. And this
has not been the result of the creation of new words, but of borrowing
from other and older languages. So extensively has this been carried on,
that Dr. Webster says, that in gathering and arranging material for his
dictionary, he found himself under the necessity of consulting thirty
European and Asiatic languages. Our language may be called an
amalgamation from a great many other languages. It is not an original
language. We, like the ancient Greeks, have been borrowing extensively,
and, like them, we have been careful to keep all that we borrowed. What
is true of our language is equally true of all modern languages.
Wherever there is commercial or other free intercourse, each party is
found borrowing words from the other, and thus their vocabularies are
lapping and continually increasing. _I am now ready to introduce the
important consideration_, it is this, all modern languages are shaded by
a few ancient ones. The English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, etc.,
are deeply shaded through borrowing from the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and
ancient languages, while these last, as well as other ancient languages,
have never borrowed from the former. This shows that Greek, Latin and
Hebrew are older than the others. I shall now take for granted _that_
which all real linguists declare to be true, viz: that the smaller
number of languages from which we and our contemporaries have so freely
borrowed, are all shaded by their borrowings from one; and, as the
younger always borrows from the older, that one must of necessity be the
parent language of all languages. This conclusion accounts for the word
"babel" in our language, and its equivalent in all others, as well as
for the existence of a multitude of words too tedious to mention.


RELIGION AND ITS ORIGIN.

The word is from "religo," and signifies _to bind over_. Webster says,
"This word seems originally to have signified an oath or vow to the
gods, or an obligation of such oath or vow." Religion, in its
comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfections of
God, in the revelation of his will to man, in man's obligation to obey
his commands--any religion consisting in a belief of a supreme power or
powers, governing the world, and in the worshiping of such power or
powers. That men have the power to become religious is too evident to
require a word in argument; even Tyndal admitted that there was a place
in man's psychological nature for religion. Now, since man possesses
this, and as all his other powers and faculties were made for use, it is
but reasonable that this faculty should also have its proper sphere of
action.


TWO QUESTIONS.

They are these: First, was Polytheism or Monotheism the primitive
religion? Second, is religion human or Divine in its origin? In
answering these questions I shall gather facts, and from them deduce my
conclusion, after the inductive method. First, universal history and
tradition as far back as they can be traced, without one dissenting
voice, locate the origin of man in Asia. From this point men migrated in
every direction. Here, in Asia, their language and religion, if they had
any, would be one and the same. This would, in the nature of the case,
be true, whether religion was at first human or Divine. Again, as all
derivative languages are found to be shaded by one primitive language,
so all derivative religions will, on examination, be found to be shaded
by the one primitive religion. That is, the leading or fundamental idea
will be found more or less unclouded in all the more modern religions.
Now, which is it that shades all religions? Is it Polytheism or
Monotheism? Is the fundamental thought of either found in all the
others? Will any one pretend that Polytheism is the primitive religion?
Is its leading thought of many gods, found in all religions? It is not
in Judaism, Christianity, nor Mahomedanism. These are one in their
advocacy of one living and true God. This fact breaks the chain of
Polytheism and ruins its claim to be considered the first religion. Here
we must leave Polytheism and look after the claim of Monotheism. If this
is the first form of religion, it must, according to our rule, shade all
other religions; if it does not, then, from this stand-point all is yet
in the dark.


MONOTHEISM TESTED.

In all time past it has been conceded that the maxim, "_vox populi, vox
dei_," is true when taken in its broad or universal sense. "We are apt
to attribute that to be true which all men presume. It is an argument
with us that anything which seems true to all, as that there are gods,
shows that they have engrafted in them an opinion concerning gods,
neither is there any so void of laws or good manners that doth not
believe that there are some gods."--Sen. Epist. C. 17. "This seems a
firm thing which is alleged why we should believe gods to be, because no
nation is so fierce, no man so wild, whose mind has not been imbued with
an opinion concerning gods, or that uses proceed from bad customs. But
all do however conceive a _Divine power_ and nature to exist. Now, in
all things, the consent of all nations is supposed to be the law of
nature."--Cicero, Tusc., q. 1, p. 299. "In such a quarreling and tumult
and gangling, you may see this one thing by common consent, acknowledged
law and speech, that there is _one God, the king and father of all, and
many gods the children of God_. This the Greek says; and this the
Barbarian says; the inhabitant of the continent and the Islander, the
wise and the unwise do say the same."--Max. Tyn., Dis. 1, p. 5. "It is
an ancient saying and running in the race of all men, that from God were
all things, and by him all things were constituted, and do
consist."--Demundo (dedicated to Alexander), cap. 6. Here I rest, not
for want of more witnesses, for the testimony of all antiquity is full
on this point. There is not an ancient tribe, race, or nation, of which
we have any information, historic or traditional, who did not
acknowledge the existence of _one Supreme Being_. In this the chain is
unbroken, so Monotheism must have been the first religion. The chain of
Polytheism is broken many times. All nations did not acknowledge the
existence of many gods. Indeed, no nation of antiquity acknowledged a
plurality of supreme gods, while all nations acknowledged a _Supreme
God_, who, with them, was the father of gods and men. So in this way
the chain was always broken, _never whole_. Polytheism then could not,
in the very nature of things, be the original religion with Monotheism
engrafted upon it. Simple Polytheism never existed with any nation; it
always displayed a supreme head, a Supreme God--father of gods and men.
And even this form of Polytheism was acknowledged by a part of our race
only. The idea is worthy of being repeated, that all nations of men
throughout all antiquity acknowledged one living and true supreme and
master God presiding over all gods and men. This idea lies at the
foundation of all ancient Polytheism, and most certainly at the
foundation of all ancient Monotheism. Now, as religion simply consists
primarily in man's relation to God, with the accessory idea of
dependence upon and obligation to him, the question is: Was that
religion earthly or Divine in its origin? Were these thoughts the
thoughts of men only, or were they too high for us? Can you think of
your relation and obligation to a being of whom you have never heard or
learned? No. Neither could man in the beginning, nor at any subsequent
time. Religion came not from earth. Human genius was not and could not
have been its foundation. There is but one other possible source, which
is simply the will and teachings of the creator. Religion is unearthly,
and hence Divine in its origin. The stream always declares the nature of
the fountain.

Gentlemen skeptics, you boast of free and fearless thought. Make your
vaunting good. Examine, if you dare, and let us have your strong
reasons, if you have any.

The nature of man made revelation a necessity. This will be the theme of
my next. Truth never fears the light, but known error is a coward, and
loves the dark.

      *      *      *      *      *

A NOBLE book! All men's book. It is our first statement of the
never-ending problem of man's destiny and God's ways with men on
earth.--_Carlyle._



FORCE AND LIFE.

DR. J.L. PARSONS.


The origin of force and life in the universe is a great puzzle to
materialistic scientists. In the azoic period of our earth there was no
life on it. The living creatures now on the earth must, therefore, have
had some origin. That origin is not due to spontaneous generation,
according to the testimony of the most enlightened scientists, Professor
Haeckel to the contrary notwithstanding. The various vital
manifestations and exhibitions of force in the universe are due to some
cause. The intuitions of mankind, as well as the teachings of science,
declare there must be a cause lying behind the universe which has
produced it.

Two great philosophies contend for the mastery in the solution of the
problem of life. Materialistic philosophy seeks to account for the
origin of all things on principles which deny the existence of God, the
Creator, and which make man wholly a material being. Christianity
declares that the God of the Bible is behind the universe as its cause.
The only things which materialists recognize as having any existence in
the universe are matter and force. If force be used in the sense of mind
or spirit, which it is not in this case, I have no objection to this
statement. One of the first elementary lessons in material philosophy is
the _inertia_ of matter. Being at rest matter has no power to set itself
in motion. Being in motion it has no power to put itself at rest. It is
moved by a force which is in no sense an attribute of matter. Since the
earth is in motion and teems with life, that motion and life must be due
to force, which is the only remaining existence in the universe. As a
cause lying behind the universe, this force is denominated the unknown
force.

Prior to and in the azoic age we have nothing in the universe but matter
and force, and according to Mr. Spencer, not only an unknown force, but
also an unseen and an unknowable force. Subsequent to the azoic period
and now we have the earth full of life, intelligence and religion due
to the unknown force. This unknown, unseen and unknowable force may be
studied in the light of its manifestations and effects, Mr. Spencer to
the contrary notwithstanding. Since all effects are contained in their
causes, the universe as an effect must have been and must be contained
in the great unknown force as its cause. The characteristics which mark
the effect must mark the cause also. If the stream be fresh water, the
fountain which sends it forth must be fresh water also; for the stream
is contained in the fountain. If there be no fountain there can be no
stream. If there be no cause there can be no effect. If there be no
involution there can be no evolution. The stream can not rise higher
than its fountain. The universe now contains life. The unknown force
must also contain life; for all effects are contained in their causes.
The universe has in it mind. The unknown force must have mind; for all
effects are contained in their causes. The universe has in it goodness
and religion. So must the unknown force possess goodness and religion;
for all effects are contained in their causes. The unknown cause of all
things must possess mind, intelligence, goodness, holiness, else these
things could not have proceeded from the unknown cause. "_Ex nihilo
nihil fit_" is still true. But life, mind, energy, holiness, are
attributes of the God of the Bible. Whenever science divests the unknown
force of these attributes which characterize Jehovah, she has left a
cause wholly inadequate to the production of the universe. Whenever she
invests the unknown force with life, power, intelligence and goodness,
she has set up the God of the Bible.

Again, man is possessed of a mind and a religious element in his nature.
If man's origin be due to the monkey or the tadpole, then the monkey or
the tadpole must have a mind and a religious nature; for all effects are
contained in their causes. The monkey must have a mind superior to that
of Newton's, and the tadpole must be more religious than man; for the
stream can not rise higher than its fountain!

Man has a religious element in his nature. That element seeks to be
satisfied religiously, as the eye instinctively seeks for light, the
ear for sound, or the body for food. Until the constitutional elements
of man's nature are changed, he will instinctively seek for a God
capable of satisfying this element of his being. This part of man is
satisfied in the Bible and in the God of the Bible. Hence I conclude
that the race as a race will never go into atheism.

As for myself, I heartily believe and fully accept the statement of the
inspired bard of Israel concerning the problem of force and life: "With
thee is the fountain of life." God the author of life and the source of
all the force in the universe. I do not for one moment believe the
teaching of my learned skeptical professor of physiology, Sanford E.
Chaillei, that life is the result of organization; that digestion is a
chemical process; and that animal heat and force result from this
process. His favorite illustration was the steam engine. The fuel in the
fire-box generated the heat which made the water in the boiler boil, and
thus the _steam force_ was produced that moved the boat on the river.
But, unfortunately for this illustration the Professor always left out
of the consideration the fireman. No amount of fuel and water would ever
generate force sufficient to turn a wheel without a fireman to light the
fuel. So no amount of bread and meat in a man's stomach would ever
generate enough force to produce a single blood corpuscle without the
vital force to set in motion and keep up the process of digestion and
assimilation. Without a God to endow the body with this vital force,
there would be none, and consequently no digestion and no animal heat or
physical force. If animal life and force result from organization and
chemical digestion, a chemist could make a dead body live, where the
organs are not destroyed, by putting food into the stomach and giving it
time to chemically digest, which it would do in a short time, but it
will neither produce animal heat nor support life. If digestion is a
chemical process, the chemist ought to be able to take bread and meat
and make a red blood corpuscle, which he can not do. Digestion and
assimilation are _vital_ processes. The vital force always eludes the
test of the chemist; but that force is always present in the living
animal economy. The chemist can purchase every ingredient that enters
into the composition of bone except the vital force, without which he
can not make an inch of bone. The making of bone is a vital process
which takes place only in the living animal economy. No physician can
possibly have a correct physiological theory of the cure of disease who
ignores the presence and power and office of the vital force in the
human system.

The body of man was formed of the dust of the ground according to Moses,
and no mistake; Mr. Ingersoll to the contrary notwithstanding. Moses
further says that the Lord God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of
life, and man became a living soul." According to this author, life did
not result from organization. What the Almighty breathed into his
nostrils was not atmospheric air; for the air was in his nostrils before
Jehovah breathed the breath of life into them, and yet it did not make
this body live. Using the term breath in the sense of air that we
breathe, the old adage that "men die for the want of breath" is not
true; for the body dead is surrounded with the same air as when it was
living. When the Creator breathed the breath of life into the
newly-formed body, and man became a living soul, he imparted more to it
than simply air; and when the body dies, something more than simply air
or breath has departed from it. Solomon was wiser than the average wise
acre or the conceited materialistic doctor when he said concerning
death: "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the
spirit shall return unto God who gave it." "The body without the spirit
is dead," says Inspiration. It is the presence of this spirit in the
human body, imparted to it by the Almighty, which vitalizes the body,
which produces the vital force, by which force the body is builded and
its operations carried on.

As the Creator formed the body of the first man of the dust of the
ground, and vitalized it by breathing into it the breath of life, and
endowed it with a living germ and vital force by which, under proper
circumstances, it reproduces itself; so God said: "Let the earth bring
forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit
after his kind, _whose seed is in itself_, upon the earth." The seed has
in it a germ of life and a hidden vital force which heat, moisture and
the soil have the capacity of developing, so that it reproduces itself.
Every vital manifestation of this seed is the result of vital force with
which the Creator has endowed every perfect seed. This force in the
animal and vegetable kingdoms produces vital manifestations.

Chemical and other physical forces never produce vital manifestations.
"Gravity is that species of force by which all bodies or particles of
matter in the universe tend toward each other." The reason why bodies
are drawn towards each other in this manner is because God has endowed
them with a force which compels them to act in this way. To call it the
force of gravity is no explanation of either the origin or nature of
this force. To say that gravity makes the apple fall down instead of up
is a polite way of expressing one's ignorance of such questions. To say
that nature makes a seed grow, that nature heals a wound, is only to
make a show of learning. God made the worlds and upholds them by the
power of his word. God energizes nature. All the physical and vital
forces of the universe are but the manifestation of his power. God has
endowed all things that grow with the germ of life. Atheistical
philosophy starts without God and ends without him. It seeks for
spontaneous generation, but never finds it. It would have a stream
without a fountain, and an effect without a cause, and a world without a
Creator. I have no use for any theory of life, or of medicine, which
denies the existence of God, whom I regard as the source of all the
forces in the universe. Nature is only the manifestation of his power
and wisdom. There is nothing supernatural in the universe unless it be
God himself. All the wonderful phenomena of the human body are the
result of a living force with which he has endowed it, and are to be
explained, if explained at all, by a better knowledge of the intentions
and workings of this force. This knowledge will be obtained by a more
careful study of nature, by a more intimate acquaintance with him and
his works. Anatomically, physiologically, and intellectually, "man is
fearfully and wonderfully made"; and every wonderful thing connected
with him is worthy of our careful consideration.

_Kokomo, Ind._



"ALLEGED CONTRADICTIONS."

ANSWERED, PERHAPS THE THOUSANDTH TIME, BY REQUEST FROM LOGANSPORT.


"Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no child unto the day of her
death."--Second Samuel, vi, 23. "But the king took the five sons of
Michal, _whom she brought up for Adriel_, the son of Barzillai, the
Meholathite."--Second Samuel, xxi, 8. Dear friend, if you will notice
the last quotation closely you will find that the words which I have
italicised clearly indicate the true solution of the difficulty, which
has no real historic existence. Those sons _were not the natural sons_
of Michal, but adopted sons, which she brought up for Adriel, whose wife
was _Moreb_, the natural mother of those children. But, somehow, it
comes to pass that you refer me in both cases to the first book of
Samuel instead of the second. How is this?

_Second case._ "And it came to pass after these things that God did
tempt Abraham." The contrary does not happen to be a contradiction. Here
it is, "Let no man say when he is _tempted_ I _am tempted_ of God; for
God can not be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man with
evil."--James i, 13. Any grammarian can see at once that there is no
contradiction here. God did (try) tempt Abraham. When was this and what
was it for? Well, it was thousands of years before James's _present
tense_ language was written. Suppose I give a parallel. Here it is: Let
no Jew say when he offers a lamb he offers it to obey the Lord, for the
Lord accepteth not lambs, neither does he require them of any man. The
contradiction is found in the fact that some thousands of years in the
past, the Lord did, for wise and benevolent purposes, require Jews to
offer lambs. Now, can any man fail to see that there is no
contradiction here. God did tempt Abraham. What was it for? Answer. He
simply designed to teach Abraham, in a way that would impress the lesson
upon the mind for all time to come, that the human beings were not to be
offered in burnt sacrifices as the heathen were wont to do. His angel
said to Abraham, "Stay thy hand." See! there is an offering fast by the
horns in the bushes. _Don't kill your son!_ Yes, God did try or tempt
Abraham. It was a grand trial of his loyalty to God. And it was God's
most effectual way of teaching Abraham and his posterity that they must
not offer their sons and daughters in the fire as the heathen did. There
is not only no contradiction here, but a grand lesson also, which
represents God in just the reverse of the infidel interpretation of the
case.

_Third case._ "And the man which journeyed with him stood speechless,
_hearing a voice_, but seeing _no man_."--Acts iv, 7. This voice heard
by those persons was in the _Hebrew tongue_, and as such was _not
understood_ by those who were with Saul. So we have it upon record in
the 22d chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, that "they saw _the light_
and were afraid, but they heard not," that is, _understood not_, the
voice. That the voice was in the Hebrew is asserted in the twenty-sixth
chapter and the fourteenth verse. We often hear a man's voice, and fail
at the same time--say we did not hear because we did not understand the
words uttered. Such is the latitude of the original term translated by
the word _hear_. So there is no contradiction here. The term _hear_ in
one passage is used with reference simply to the noise; in the other it
is used with reference to the _words spoken_, which they _understood
not_. So it is said, they heard them not. Can you hear a man speaking in
a dead language? You can hear the voice in the sense of hearing the
noise, but you can't hear the voice in the sense of _hearing the
language_. No man can hear a language unless he understands it in the
sense of the original term.

_Your fourth case is in the following quotations_: "And Jacob called the
name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face, and my life
is preserved."--Gen. xxxii, 30. It somehow happens that my good querist
in giving this quotation refers me to the 31st chapter, which is wrong
again. He says he has taken advice, and has read the contexts. Well,
perhaps he has. But this is the second mistake _any way_. The first is
reference to the wrong book. The second is reference to the wrong
chapter. How is this?

Our querist's contrary is, however, in these words, "No man hath seen
God at any time."--John's Record i, 18. Our friend, proposing these
contradictions for my consideration, says he has "given himself the
trouble to investigate;" has "read the context in connection with each
quotation, and still they are not clear," yet for the last quotation he
refers me to 1 John iv, 12. Well, well; how shall we understand this?
And how shall we harmonize the quotations? Well, "No man hath seen _God_
at any time"--this is true, for he is "the King Eternal, immortal,
_invisible_, whom no man hath seen" with the literal eye, "_nor can
see_." This teaching is positive and pointed, but in ancient times even
"those to whom the word of God was sent were called gods." So said
Jesus. The one Jacob saw was called a man. And again, there was a
messenger--an angel, if you please--that bore Jehovah's name upon him.
(See Exodus xxiii, 21, _and context_.) This was the angel of God's
presence. "The angel of his presence saved them."--Isaiah lxiii, 9.
God's great messenger bore his name. Men saw him, the angel, and seeing
him saw God, for this angel was God with them--God's representative
bearing his name. This angel God, or angel having God's name in him,
talked with Moses. Moses saw him, and it is truthfully said that Moses
saw God, that is, saw this angel whose name was that of God. "And when
forty years were transpired there appeared to him, Moses, in the
wilderness of Mount Sinai, an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a
bush. When Moses saw it he wondered at the sight, and as he drew near to
behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him." * * * * * This (Moses)
is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which
spoke to him in the Mount Sinai and with our fathers, etc. Moses went
up into Sinai and saw God, but it was simply the angel that bore his
name--the angel of his presence. That is all there is of it. I once sat
in a church-house in Logansport when there were present representatives
from different states in our Union, and a gentleman made a little
address and introduced them to the audience, saying, Ohio is here, Iowa
is here, Kentucky is here, Illinois is here, California is here. How was
this? Well, those men were messengers from those states, and their
presence was the presence of those several states. Just so the angel of
God's presence was with Moses; and Stephen said, _with our fathers_. The
presence of this angel was the presence of God, and they who saw him saw
God, for this angel's name was _God_, or, in other words, "God's name
was in him." But the God whose name this angel bore, and whose name even
men bore who were called Gods, because to them the word of God was sent,
and they, having God's word, were his representatives, _has not been
seen at any time, neither indeed can be with literal eyes_.

N.B.--Friends who wish to engage our attention and space must remember
the important rule among editors, and send their name along with their
requests and articles.



SOME THINGS THAT NEED THOUGHT.


It has been said of past nations, that side by side have grown in their
midst the elements both of greatness and of ruin. There is one phase of
our society, as Americans, which is more to be dreaded than all others
known to the philosophic mind, that is the reckless licentiousness which
characterizes many politicians during political campaigns.

In ancient times a grand safeguard against this debasing practice was
found in the law that said, "Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of
my people." This evil, like all others, when it becomes a strong habit,
is well calculated to stir up anger, and wrath, and hatred; to stir up
the passions, and destroy confidence, which is always and only
disastrous to the social state. This growing evil needs to be checked
by some means, otherwise our country will experience tumults growing out
of maddened party ambition, and party interests, which will cause
disaster and grief. The ballot-box needs to be guarded with wise and
severe laws, because it is the pivotal wheel in our government. And next
to this, because of the relation it sustains to our government's
welfare, is the reputation of our public officials. I would not screen
them from their just deserts, but I do say that the leaders in political
affairs should be, in common with all others, too high-minded to indulge
in slandering each other, as many are in the habit of doing. It reminds
me in some of our political campaigns of the cursing-matches of the
Popes, in some of the councils that were held during the dark ages. It
is possible that we have in Indiana, and perhaps in some of the other
states, sufficient law upon the subjects of slander, but law that is
disregarded, being seldom enforced, amounts to nothing. Then, there is a
disposition growing out of the pride of character to disregard the
slanderer's tongue. Yet licentiousness tends to civil and social ruin
all the same. That is to say, it destroys confidence, breeds retaliation
and corruption, and inflames all the baser passions known in the dying
agonies of a civil government. As an American citizen I would warn our
people to manufacture all the public sentiment possible against this
low, vile, and debasing practice, by pleading with our countrymen
against it. And let us never hold our peace until we shall have thrown
such safeguard around our ballot-box as will put an end to all the
abominable corruptions that now threaten our existence as a free people.
Is it true of us, that we carry the seeds of our own destruction as a
nation in our own bosom? Are we to die as a nation, over the ballot-box?
Shall we be so foolish? Let statesmen and politicians look well to the
essential elements of the nation's life, by the advocacy of reform at
this point where reform is most needed. And let Christians of every name
plead for morality as an essential qualification for a place at the head
of so great affairs as belong of right to the people of counties, states
and nation. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any
people. It is time for us to look after the moral elements of every
man's life who proposes himself as a candidate for office in our midst,
but we can well afford to be satisfied with the truth. Shall we look to
this?

While we pray as Christians for such rulers and authorities as will look
to the permanent and lasting interests of our country, let us vote as we
pray. Do we pray one way and vote another? If so, let us repent. Do we
pray for righteous rulers and for a good government and then vote for
profane, wicked men; for men of intemperate habits, men who are
perfectly indifferent to the moral welfare of our country; men who will
disregard the welfare of the nation by neglecting the elements of
national greatness? If political parties triumph in this government
through slander, trickery, whisky and corruption, and continue to do so,
the time will inevitably come when we will realize the facts of national
ruin. We might as well think of a man having good health and living long
upon the earth who takes poison into his stomach continually, as to
think of future glory as a nation if we carry out our purposes by
dishonest, illegal measures and by railing, in a slanderous and
unjustifiable manner, against the best men of the nation. It has been
said that political parties are necessary as checks to corruption, but
when parties themselves indulge in all manner of corruption in order to
succeed as parties, they are no longer checks, but abettors of
corruption.

Let the preachers, whose business it is to reprove sin, and who have
been kept from taking the risk of being shut out of Paradise, by being
kept out of politics(?) open their mouths and be heard all over this
country against all these immoral, vile practices indulged as a means of
political success. The ignorant, fossilized partisan who looks no higher
than party will perhaps raise a yell of indignation against them, but at
the same time he will continue the use of the same old argument, viz:
the pool of politics is too filthy for preachers to meddle with. Is it a
filthy pool? Then let us bring all the purifying elements of the nation
to bear upon it and see if there is anything in it besides corruption.
If there is not, the sooner we find it out the better, and if there is,
the sooner we get it separated from its corruption the better.



THE RELIGION AND SOCIETY OF GREECE.

HOW DOES IT COMPARE WITH OURS.


From the Egyptians and other nations to whom the Grecians were indebted
for their earliest laws, they derived their established religion. To the
worship of the twelve principal divinities the gratitude of the
succeeding ages added the deification of heroes and legislators renowned
for their important services to society. Various degrees of adoration
were paid to the gods and to the souls of departed heroes. Temples were
erected, festivals were instituted, games were celebrated, and
sacrifices were offered with more or less pomp and magnificence to them
all. A regular gradation of immortal beings was acknowledged to preside
throughout universal nature from the Naiad, who was adored as the
tutelary guardian of a stream to Jupiter, the father of gods and men,
who ruled with Supreme power over heaven and earth.

The religion of the people extended little beyond the external honors
paid to the gods of their country and the attendance upon sacrifices and
processions. The sacred ceremonies were magnificent and public, except
that the votaries of Bacchus and Ceres were indulged in their secret
mysteries. The festivals were observed with every circumstance of pomp
and splendor to charm the eye and please the imagination. A sacrifice
was a feast attended with gayety and even licentiousness. Every temple
was the resort of the idle and the dissolute, and the shrines of the
Cyprian Venus and the Athenian Minerva could attest that devotion, far
from being a pure and exalted exercise of the mind, was only the
introduction to dissoluteness and debauchery.

The northern regions of Greece were particularly renowned for temples
from which oracles were issued. The temple of Apollo at Delphi, situated
upon a lofty rock near Parnassus, and that of Jupiter in the groves of
Dodona, were celebrated for the responses of the Pythia and the priests;
they were held in the greatest veneration for many ages, and their
oracles were consulted even in the most enlightened times by
philosophers themselves, who, in this instance, as well as many others,
conformed to the popular superstitions.

The spirit of the religion of ancient Greece was included in these
principles, that the worship of the gods was of superior obligation and
importance to all other duties, and that they frequently displayed their
power in this world in the punishment of the bad and the prosperity of
the virtuous. Such were the opinions inculcated by the most celebrated
philosophers and poets but the common people, more gratified by the
fictions of the received mythology, than by tenets of pure morals, found
in the actions recorded of their gods and goddesses a sufficient
justification of every species of licentiousness. With respect to a
future state of existence, the philosophers themselves appear to have
fluctuated in uncertainty, as may be collected from the sentiments of
Socrates. The poets inculcated a belief in Tartarus and Elysium. They
have drawn a picture of Tartarus in the most gloomy and horrific colors,
where men, who had been remarkable for impiety to the gods, such as
Tantalus, Tityus and Sisyphus, were tormented with a variety of misery
ingeniously adapted to their crimes.

The prospect of Elysium is beautiful and inviting, as described by
Homer, Hesiod and Pindar. In that delightful region there is no
inclement weather, but the soft zephyrs blow from the ocean to refresh
the inhabitants who live without care and anxiety; there the sky is
always serene and the sunshine is perpetual. The earth yields delicious
fruits for their sustenance three times per year. But these enjoyments
were confined to the persons who were of rank and distinction. Their
Elysium was a sensual heaven. How very different is the Christian's
future happy home?

Proteus informed Menelaus that he would be conveyed to the Islands of
the Blessed, because he was the husband of Helen, and the son-in-law of
Jupiter. No incentives to goodness from the consideration of a future
state are held out by the older poets to the female sex, or to the
ignoble or common people, however pure their conduct or exemplary their
virtue. In later times we find that Pindar extends his rewards to good
men in general; but Euripides is sometimes skeptical, and Iphigenia
without hesitation expresses her disbelief of the popular mythology.

The learned Jortin says, It gives us pleasure to trace in Homer the
important doctrine of a supreme God, a providence, and a free agency in
man, supposed to be consistent with fate or destiny; a difference
between moral good and evil, inferior gods or angels, some favorable to
men, others malevolent, and the immortality of the soul; but it gives us
pain to find these notions so miserably corrupted that they must have
had a very weak influence to excite men to virtue and deter them from
crime.--Jortin, Dissertation vi, p. 245.

This observation may be applied to the state of opinions even in the
most enlightened times of Greece, when the credulity and ignorance of
the common people, and the errors and doubts of the greatest
philosophers, proved the _necessity_ and the importance of the Christian
religion.

The possible attainments of a religious nature were very different from
ours. In the times of Lycurgus there were two hereditary kings or
presidents; their power was controlled by Lycurgus, through the gift of
equal authority to twenty-eight senators. The two kings commanded the
armies and high-priests of the temples. The senators were the executive
and legislative council of the state; with them the laws originated. The
assembly of the people elected the senators by saying yes or no to the
measures proposed to them, but had no right to discuss their
propriety--were not allowed the privilege.

Lycurgus allowed every family an equal amount of land; prohibited the
use of gold and silver, and made iron money the only currency of the
country, in order to check the avarice of the people. He forbade foreign
travel in order to retain the morals of his people, or keep them from
the corruptions of other nations. To produce a hardy people, he required
the women to indulge in all the athletic exercises of his government.
The children were inspected as soon as they were born, and those
considered worthy were handed over to the public nurses, and the
unworthy, that is, the deformed and sickly, were taken out and left in
the woods and upon the mountains to perish. All the children of the
Spartans were considered as the property of the state, and their
education consisted in accustoming them to endure the cravings of hunger
and thirst, with the scourge of discipline and every degree of
suffering. The business of Spartans consisted in preparing themselves
for war. They were disciplined in such a manner that it was necessary to
curb them constantly, lest they should rashly undertake to make
conquests. Out of this character of the Greeks arose that old saying,
"When Greek meets Greek then comes the tug of war."

Many of the laws of the Spartans would, in this country at least,
destroy all the finer feeling, and inaugurate a reign of despotism
utterly at variance with Christianity. God's time to give to the
inhabitants of the earth the glorious system of our holy religion was
not until our race was educated, so as to be no longer the slaves of the
reigning ambition and passion of such men as Lycurgus. The Savior's hour
was several centuries from Lycurgus. Here it is appropriate to remark
that God, in his providence with the nations of men, has during all the
ages given to men just as fast as they were able to receive.



THE RELATIONS OF CHRISTIANITY TO HUMAN GREATNESS.


Some who deny the existence of spirit apart from matter allow that the
greatness of man consists in his being an eating animal. Others allow
that it lies in the fact that he is a working animal; while some have
allowed that it was found in the fact that he is a fighting animal. And
all _infidels_ agree in one thing, viz.: that man is simply an animal.
But the animal nature of man is not to be considered, with any degree of
truth, his crown of glory; his true greatness can not be identified with
it. We are acquainted with animals that can eat more, and seem to do it
with a greater relish. Others can run faster, jump higher, overcome
greater weight and outdo him in all manner of physical labor. They are
in possession of greater courage and fight with greater ferocity. So we
must search for man's greatness outside of all these elements of
character. Can we find no brighter, higher principles in the human
character? To do so we must lay aside the animal nature of man
altogether, and consider his character as it is blended with his
intellectual and moral nature. In other words, we must consider man as
man, not as an animal. We must consider him as a mind or spirit, and
look to something higher than eating, laboring at the helm, and
fighting, if we would discover his true greatness. In the improvement of
mind is the true improvement of man in all his relations. Without this
he is unqualified for all the various obligations that are necessary to
be discharged in order to the development of true greatness. To be great
a man must rise above the little, the mean, the vile and the degraded.
To do this he must be educated, trained, until the fruits of a virtuous
and useful intelligence are seen in his every-day life. Men are not
considered great nor admired for the simple development of physical
nature.

Infidels claim that cultivated literature is incompatible with religion.
It has been said that a man of ardent piety can not produce a work that
will live in after ages. This is a libel upon the truth, and upon him
who said: "I am the truth."

Faith in God certainly places the maximum of greatness upon the human
mind. The man who believes in the existence of mind apart from matter,
and consequently looks upon death as a blessed state of rest to the good
man which lies between the two great activities of time and eternity,
and also believes in God and future rewards, has stronger motives to
sound moral rectitude than the man who denies and ridicules these great
truths. "The seat of law is the bosom of God, and her voice is the
harmony of the world." It is respect for law that brings
responsibilities home to the heart. Where there is no faith there is no
respect for law pertaining to future rewards; and where this is the case
there is no sense of moral obligations connecting man with the future
retribution. So there is nothing resting upon an unbeliever's heart that
will serve as a check upon his passions, and deter him from living with
reference to the gratification of a mere animal nature. Skepticism, by
shutting God out of the mind, destroys the very idea of law. Cicero's
description of law is in these noble words: There is one true and
original law conformable to reason and to nature, diffused over all,
invariable, eternal, which calls to the fulfillment of duty and to
abstinence from injustice, and which calls with that irresistible voice
which is felt in all its authority wherever it is heard. This law can
not be abolished or curtailed, nor affected in its sanctions by any law
of man. A whole senate, a whole people, can not dispense from its
paramount obligations. It requires no commentators to render it
intelligible; nor is it different at Rome, at Athens, from what it was
ages ago, nor is it different now from what it will be in ages to come.
In all nations and in every age it has been, is, and forever will be the
same--_one_, as God, its greatest author, _is one_. Man is man, _truly_,
as he yields himself to this divine influence. Faith in God implants
this law in the individual and national heart. Infidelity excludes its
authority and influence and leaves man to the mercy of his undisciplined
appetites. The fruits of infidelity have always been selfishness. The
Christian believer regards himself as subordinated to a higher power,
and labors under a sense of obligations which begets habits of
self-control that are the life of morality. The ideal character of the
Christian religion is such that faith in God and future rewards tend to
make the earth life an image of the divine. This is the glory of both
reason and faith, that it perceives the invisible. The students of the
present have no trouble to see that the true greatness of the nation of
antiquity was in their attribute of morality. Virtue and morality in an
ancient ruler shines in history even across the dark ages, and makes
glad the heart of the student of the nineteenth century. Faith in God
has been the great leading thought in the rise of nations--that is, in
reformations. Luther and Melancthon preceded Lord Bacon, Newton and
Locke. The few stars that lit up the gloomy night that preceded the
reformation and the revival of literature were lighted by the faith of
God. Speaking of this fact, Dr. Goode says: "We behold a flood of
noonday bursting all at once over every quarter of the horizon and
dissipating the darkness of a thousand years; we behold mankind in
almost every quarter of Europe, from the Carpathian Mountains to the
pillars of Hercules, from the Tiber to the Vistula, waking as from a
profound sleep to a life of activity and bold adventure; ignorance
falling prostrate before advancing knowledge; brutality and barbarism
giving way to science and polite letters; vice and anarchy to order and
moral conduct.

"The modern opposers of Christianity, reasoning in a retro-grade
motion--that is, going backwards--ascribe every improvement to science
and philosophy, but it was religion that took the lead in _both_ the
great revival of learning and the reformation. Aldhelm, Bede and Alcuin
were three great Anglo-Saxon luminaries of the eighth century. Alcuin
was the tutor and confidential friend of Charlemagne. Ingulph, made
abbot of Croyland by William the Conquerer, was the bright light of the
eleventh century. To him we are indebted for much that has come down to
us. John of Salisbury, Girald the Cambrian, and the monk Adelard, and
Robert of Reading were all religious leaders. The last two traveled in
Egypt and Arabia, studied mathematics at Cordovia. Adelard translated
Euclid out of Arabic into Latin. Such also was Alfred the Great, who was
victorious in prosperity and adversity, as a legislator and philosopher,
as a soldier and politician, a king and a Christian; he was the pride of
princes, the flower of society and the delight of mankind." Roger Bacon,
of notoriety on account of his superior knowledge of physics, was the
bright Christian light of the thirteenth century. From this century all
the way through the reformation the revival of faith in God was the
revival of the golden age of learning or literature. When faith in God
expired in France the entire social fabric steadily declined until all
crumbled and fell as in the ruins of an earthquake. At the same time the
inhabitants, loosened from the restraints which faith in the living God
imposes, stained every part of the country with blood, and its glory and
grandeur perished. It has been well said that the rights of man can not
be well secured and enjoyed unless he is viewed in his relations to God.
Where government aims at and subserves this end it is a blessing.
Blackstone has well remarked that the whole should protect all its
parts, and that every part should pay obedience to the will of the
whole; or, in other words, that the community shall guard the rights of
each individual member, and that in return for this protection each
individual should submit to the law of the community. Faith lets God
down into the hearts of lawmakers, and a sense of accountability to him
must, most certainly, have a grand tendency to refine laws in their
first conception. At least it happens to be true that wherever God is
feared and law made the basis of the legislation and policy of a nation,
that nation is, in fact, found to excel in those interests which are
essential to a nation's well-being and glory. We challenge any man, or
set of men, to an estimate of the comparative purity and morals of the
nations of the earth. It is, and forever will be, found to correspond
with their religious systems. The great conflict which is now going on
in every civilized country is a conflict between faith and infidelity.
For the triumph of light and truth the very throne of God is pledged.
There may be difficulties to encounter, but these will be vanquished. As
well undertake to pluck the sun and stars from the heavens, and spread
the black curtain of one long protracted night over the world, as to try
to quench the light of immortal truth as it flows freely into the hearts
of so many millions and stirs up the deep fountains of human spirits.

      *      *      *      *      *

"Owing to the attitude of the churches for the last fifteen hundred
years truth-telling has not been a very lucrative business."--_Col.
Ingersoll._

The Colonel's business _has been very lucrative_, therefore his _has not
been a truth-telling business_.



THE THEORY OF THE ORIGINAL FREE-THINKERS.


_See how they have advanced!_ "Free-thinking Christians," a name lately
adopted by a society which arose in the year 1799, and has ever since
regularly assembled in London, calling itself _a church of God_ founded
on the principles of free inquiry. Their first members separated from a
congregation of Trinitarian dissenters in Parliament Court Chapel,
Bishopgate street; they rejected the doctrine of the trinity, the
atonement, and other points of Calvinism; then the sacraments and the
immateriality of the soul; and lastly, the inspiration of the scriptures
and public worship, for they have neither singing nor praying in their
assemblies, and regard the Bible only as an authentic history.

These free-thinking Christians readily admit that, since their first
assembling as a body, their sentiments have undergone considerable
alteration on points of primary importance, but they contend that this
is the natural consequence of free inquiry; that men who had heretofore
been the slaves of error could not but advance in the attainment of
truth after adopting a system which left thought _unrestrained and
conscience free_, and they are still ready to renounce any opinion
whenever it shall appear to them untenable. In consequence, their public
meetings, which are mostly on Sunday forenoons, resemble rather a
debating society than a Christian Church. The elder opens the meeting by
stating the subject for consideration, and, at his call, several
speakers successively address the meeting. It is not unusual to hear
among them difference of opinion, and they are all prompt to controvert
the current doctrines of the Christian world, to show their dissent from
all sects and parties, and their aversion to the clergy and to Christian
ministers of all denominations.

This society was little known till the year 1808, when they advertised
their intention of publicly inquiring into the existence of a being
called _the devil_. So singular a notice could not fail of drawing a
considerable number of persons to their assembly, especially on a
Sunday morning. The landlord of the house at which they met in the old
'Change, alarmed for his personal security, obliged them to remove, and
they engaged the large room at the Paul's Head, Cateaton street. Here
the magistracy interfered, but as they had taken the precaution to
license themselves under the toleration act, nothing could be done
legally to restrain them. Since then they have set up a periodical
publication under the title of the "Free-thinking Christian's Magazine,"
in which they profess to disseminate Christian, moral, and philosophical
truth, and they have erected a handsome meeting-house in the crescent
behind Jewin street, Cripplegate, where this weekly assembly, consisting
of members and strangers, is said to amount to between four and five
hundred persons.

The following appears to be the latest summary of their opinions: "The
Christian religion," they say, "consists in the worship of one God,
eternal, just, and good, and in an obedience to the commands of Jesus,
his messenger on earth, who taught the wicked to repent of the error of
their ways and that God was ever ready to receive them. Forms and
ordinances, parade and show, are no points of his system, but virtue and
purity of heart can alone prepare man for a blissful existence beyond
the grave, the wisdom and hope of which were furnished by the
resurrection of the teacher of their faith, _a member of earth and an
heir of immortality_."--Free-thinking Christians' Magazine; Hannah
Adams's Dictionary of all Religions, page 82.


REMARKS.

The above dictionary is in my possession. It was published in 1817 by
James Eastburn & Company at the literary rooms, corner of Broadway and
Pine streets, New York, and by Cummings and Hilliard, No. 1 Cornhill,
Boston. The author credits the above article to the above-named
magazine, so we may rely upon it as the freethinker's own presentation
of his theory in its early history. It will be of great interest to all
our readers, as it will enable them to see, at once, the origin of
so-called free-thought. It had its origin with Calvinistic errors upon
the subject of the Trinity, a vicarious atonement, and kindred ideas
concerning human redemption. It will be of interest also to mark the
improvements (?) of free-thinkers, who are always boasting of being in
the advance guard in warring with error and ignorance.

They had neither singing nor prayers when they started out, and in these
regards they have not apostatized from their first faith, for they are
up to this time a praiseless and prayerless people, never praying unless
it is when they have the cramp or some other disease. Their wants seem
to be few and easily supplied. Health and hominy are the staples of
spiritual food with them at the present. The time was when, as a
society, they wished to wear some of the main elements of the Christian
religion, such as belief in the existence of God; the existence of the
church of God, and belief in the resurrection of Christ, and through him
the resurrection of all men; but they have long ere this thrown aside
all these. In the beginning of their history they were noted, as our
author says, for their disposition to promptly "controvert the current
doctrines of the Christian world," and "show their dissent from all
sects and parties, and their aversion to the clergy, and to Christian
ministers of all denominations." This trait of character they still
retain, regardless of the advance of Christians from Calvinistic errors.
This looks like they were determined on hating the profession of
Christianity, regardless of its character. _Such_ is their chronic
disease.

They talk no more of worshiping the eternal God, nor of obeying the
commands of Jesus. But it is just to say of their most noted leaders
that they confess that the _Christ life_ was, and is, the most exalted
and praiseworthy life of all the ages. And, while this life remains to
challenge the world to imitation, we Christians shall rejoice, believing
in Christ and realizing that our foundation stands sure and secure. In
their origin they built a fine church house, but now they go to China
and borrow "Josh house," as an odius epithet for church house,
forgetting that their China brethren are simply clinging to their own
old philosophy of nature and her lessons, without the religion of the
Bible; and, also, forgetting that they, themselves, allow that all that
is, is right, being, from natural selection, simply the survival of the
fittest. Eight years more and a century will have passed since free
thought started out in Parliament Court Chapel, and from present
indications we are inclined to think that all men will be under the
necessity of conceding that Christianity is the _fittest_, for it
stoutly refuses to die.

In their beginning they repudiated the idea of the inspiration of the
Bible; to this they have held without change. Further than this, they
acknowledged that the Bible was an authentic history, but now they
calumniate the idea, and blaspheme the Bible and its God. In these
respects they have grown backwards; and they no longer claim to "worship
one God, eternal, just and good," nor to "obey the commands of Jesus,"
"rejecting sacraments, forms, ordinances, parade and show, along with
song and prayer." Perhaps they cast up their accounts, and found that
there could, in the very nature of things, be no worship outside of all
these elements of worship, and then determined to be more honest at
least, and endeavor in the future to people the earth with a
non-worshipping, Godless, Christless, praiseless, prayerless, non-hoping
set of inhabitants, who would give all up in death for the sake of free
thought.



WHAT A MAN MAY BE AND BE A CHRISTIAN IN THE ESTIMATION OF COL.
INGERSOLL.


We find the following in the Colonel's speech, which was delivered at
Rockford, Ill., on Tuesday, October 5, 1880. We publish it in order to
show the utter fallacy of the infidel's claim that Christianity is
necessarily in conflict with education; that Christians are necessarily
bigots, narrow-minded men, dangerous to the liberty of man, woman and
child. Read it, ye fault-finding skeptics and infidels, and save your
claims against the Christian religion if you can. Correllate it with
the hollow utterances of Colonel Ingersoll, which are so often repeated
by him in other addresses directed wholly against Christianity, if you
can. Here it is:

     "I have known him (Garfield) for years. I know him as well as I
     know any other man, and I tell you he has more brains, more
     education, wider and more splendid views than any other man who has
     been nominated for the Presidency by any party since I was born.
     Some people say to me: 'How can you vote for Garfield when he is a
     Christian and was a preacher?' I tell them: 'I have two reasons:
     One is, I am not a bigot, and the other is, General Garfield is not
     a bigot. He does not agree with me; I do not agree with him on
     thousands of things; _but on the great luminous principle that
     every man must give to every other man every right that he claims
     for himself we do absolutely agree._' [Italics mine.--ED.] I would
     despise myself if I would vote against a man in politics simply
     because we differed about what is known as religion. I will vote
     for a liberal Catholic, a liberal Presbyterian, a liberal
     Methodist, a liberal anything ten thousand times quicker than I
     would vote for an illiberal free-thinker. I believe in the right. I
     believe in doing to other people in these matters as I would like
     them to do to me. _General Garfield is an honest man every way;
     intellectual every way._ He is a poor man; he is rich in honor, in
     integrity he is wealthy, and in brains he is a millionaire. * * *
     He is a great, good, broad, kind, tender man, and he will do, if
     elected President, what he believes to be right."


SUM OF POSSIBILITIES.

1. It is possible for an honest man to be the best educated man in the
nation, and at the same time be a Christian.

2. It is possible for the millionaire in brains to be the best educated
man in the nation, and at the same time be a Christian.

3. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and not be a bigot.

4. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and an advocate of the
great luminous principle that every man must give to every other man
every right that he claims for himself.

5. It is possible for a man to be a Christian and be a liberal man.

6. It is possible for a man to be honest every way, and be a Christian.

7. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and be every way an
intellectual man.

8. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and be rich in honor.

9. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and be wealthy in
integrity.

10. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and be a great man.

11. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and be a good man.

12. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and be a broad, kind,
tender man.

13. It is possible for a man to be a Christian, and have wider and more
splendid views than any other man.

And Colonel Ingersoll says he knows all this to be so. Now what shall we
think of the utterances of lesser lights in infidelity since we have the
living fact before us that Christianity is in perfect harmony with the
very highest education; with the widest and most splendid views; with
honesty every way; with greatness; with goodness; with integrity; with
honor; with kindness and tenderness; with the great luminous principle
that a man must give to every other man every right that he claims for
himself? And it is also in perfect harmony with a great and _liberal
heart_.

We have hope that Colonel Ingersoll will yet find his way into the
temple of truth, which reveals the glory and grandeur of the perfect
harmony that exists between Christianity and all that is truly great and
good--since he has pronounced the word "Eureka."



LIFE AND FORCE ARE NOT THE SAME.


Hylozoism is the doctrine that life and matter are inseparable. This
doctrine has been presented in several different forms. Straton, of
Lampsacus, claimed that molecules were each and all of them in
possession of life. The Stoics did not, however, accord life to each and
every distinct particle of matter, but held that the universe, as a
whole, was a being animated by a principle which gave to it motion, form
and life. This principle they called the soul of the universe. This idea
was advocated by the followers of Plotinus, who contended that this soul
of the world animated the smallest particle of matter. Spinoza asserted
that all things were alive in different degrees. Matter, according to
Leibnitz and Boscovish, and others, is always endowed with force.
Attraction and repulsion and chemical affinity, all indicate activity in
matter; but all this fails to meet the demands of science, for this
simple reason, life is a force always connected with organization, which
much of matter wants. Spontaneous motion, growth, nutrition, separation
of parts, and generation are phenomena which indicate the presence of
life; which most certainly is not co-extensive with matter. So
Hylozoism, ancient and modern, under whatever name you please to term
it, _breaks down_. Here, also, we discover that it is foolishness to
confound the terms _life_ and _force_.



MACAULAY ON SUNDAY.


* * * This day is not lost. While the machinery is stopped, while the
car rests on the road, while the treasury is silent, while the smoke
ceases to rise from the chimney of the factory, the nation enriches
itself none the less than during the working days of the week. Man, the
machine of all machines, * * * is recuperating and gathering strength as
well, that on Monday he returns to his work with his mind clearer, and
more courage for his work, and with renewed vigor.



THE ENTERPRISE.


The Christian Foundation is approaching the close of its first year, and
I think it proper now to return my heart-felt gratitude to those who
have given strength to it in its youth, when strength was and is most
needed. I do not claim that it is perfect or faultless, but I am glad to
know that its reputation has been and is all that I can ask, viewing it
in the light of my own limited intelligence. I have been and am
endeavoring to make this journal food for the intellect. I have the
consolation, whether it lives long or short, of knowing that I have
given it my best energies and attention. And I have refrained from
loading it with advertisements, simply for profits. I shall continue it
if permitted by Providence. And as the year is drawing to a close, I
wish to say to all its patrons, can you not remain with this journal at
least through another year, and by so doing assist me in placing one
matter of fact, biblical and scientific, as well as logical defense of
our religion, upon a solid basis. It will continue to know no party or
sect, and it will continue to defend the truth wherever found. "Truth
stands true to her God; man alone vacillates."



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE'S ESTIMATE OF THE CHRIST.


Napoleon said, "I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a
man. Superficial minds see resemblance between Christ and the founders
of empires and the gods of other religions; that resemblance does not
exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religion the
distance of infinity. As for me, I recognize the gods and these great
men as beings like myself. Nothing announces them as divine. It is not
so with Christ. Everything in him astonishes me; between him and whoever
else in the world there is no term of comparison. He is truly a being by
himself. In fact, the sciences and philosophy avail nothing for
salvation, and Jesus came into the world to reveal the mysteries of
Heaven and the laws of the spirit; also he has nothing to do but with
the soul, and to that alone he brings his gospel. * * * Jesus borrowed
nothing from our sciences. He is not a philosopher, since he advances by
miracles, and from the commencement his disciples worshipped him.

"The Bible contains a complete series of facts of historical men, to
explain time and eternity, such as no other religion has to offer. Even
the impious themselves have never dared to deny the sublimity of the
gospel. * * * In every other existence but that of Christ how many
imperfections! * * Christ proved that he was the son of the Eternal by
his disregard of time. All his doctrines signify one only and the same
thing--_eternity_."



OBITUARY.


"LITTLE MYRTIE" BOGG, daughter of Dr. M.M. and Mary A. Bogg, of Macy,
Indiana, departed this life on the 6th day of October, 1880. Aged two
years, 7 months and 28 days. She leaves along with her parents three
lovely sisters. One great consolation to parents and sisters is in the
fact that "Little Myrtie" bore her afflictions with the fortitude and
patience of _even true womanhood_, but best of all was the good
Christian sense and rare intelligence that she exhibited in her last
hours. Let her last words, "By, by," and "come and see Myrtie," burn
upon the altar of the heart until we all meet her in the better land.


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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