The Christian Foundation,
Scientific and Religious Journal
Vol. 1. No 4.
Is There A Counterfeit Without A Genuine? Design In Nature. An Atheist Is A Fool. Blunder On And Blunder On—It Is Human To Blunder. Draper's Conflict Between Religion And Science. Facts Speak Louder Than Words, Or What Christianity Has Done For Cannibals. Are We Simply Animals? Our Relations To The Ancient Law And Prophets—What Are They? The Funeral Services Of The National Liberal League. Huxley's Paradox. The Triumphing Reign Of Light.
IS THERE A COUNTERFEIT WITHOUT A GENUINE?
My object in this lesson is to present the myths, the ancient, fictitious and fanciful narratives concerning the gods, in such a manner as to enable you to see the utter absurdity of the idea that the religion of the Bible is of mythical origin. Myths are fictitious narratives, having an analogy more or less remote to something real. From this definition you discover that a myth is always a counterfeit, and as such always appears in evidence in favor of something more or less remote, that is true. Now, if the Bible had a mythical origin, it sustains some analogy to something found in the mythical or fictitious and fanciful narratives concerning the gods, and is therefore the myth of a myth; the counterfeit of a counterfeit. If such be the truth in the case, where do we find the origin of the myths from which "Bible myths" have descended? Is it found in the true God presiding over the elements of nature and the destinies of men, as well as the events of creation and providence? Or, can it be possible that we have many counterfeits without a genuine? Many myths sustaining no analogy, either near or remote, to anything real? It is an absurdity, destructive of the term employed, because myths cease to be myths without some near or remote relation to realities. They must sustain some analogy to something real. And counterfeits also cease to be counterfeits when it is shown that they sustain no relation, through analogy or likeness, to anything that is genuine. In the mythical systems of olden times we have, in the midst of a vast deal of false and fanciful narrative concerning subordinate and secondary gods, evidence of a supreme God presiding over all things; and the secondary gods performing many things which belonged to the province of the "Almighty One," with many degrading, vile and corrupting habits.
A letter written by Maximus, a Numidian, to Augustin, reads thus: "Now, that there is a sovereign God, who is without beginning, and who, without having begotten anything like unto Himself, is, nevertheless, the Father and the former of all things, what man can be gross and stupid enough to doubt? He it is of whom, under different names, we adore the eternal power extending through every part of the world, thus honoring separately by different sorts of worship what may be called His several members, we adore Him entirely. May those subordinate gods preserve you under whose names, and by whom all we mortals upon earth adore the common Father of gods and men." In this letter we have a clear presentation of the mythical system concerning the ancient gods, and also the "analagous relation" to the "Master God." Each god having his particular dominion over place or passion, appears before us as a representative of the supreme, or "Master God;" and by worshiping each member or God they claimed to adore entirely the "common Father of gods and men." Augustin answers, In your public square there are two statues of Mars, one naked, the other armed; and close by the figure of a man who, with three fingers advanced towards Mars, holds in check that divinity so dangerous to the whole town. With regard to what you say of such gods being portions of the only "true God," I take the liberty you gave me to warn you not to fall into such a sacrilege; for that only God, of whom you speak, is doubtless He who is acknowledged by the whole world, and concerning whom, as some of the ancients have said, the ignorant agree with the learned. Now, will you say that Mars, whose strength is represented by an inanimate man, is a portion of that God? That is to say, the dead statue controls Mars, and Mars is a subordinate god representing the infinite God, and is, therefore, a part of that God. Augustin adds, Not the Pantheon and all the temples consecrated to the inferior gods, nor even the temples consecrated to the twelve greater gods prevented "Deus Optimus Maximus," God most good, most great, from being acknowledged throughout the empire. Voltaire says, "In spite of all the follies of the people who venerated secondary and ridiculous gods, and in spite of the Epicurians, who in reality acknowledged none, it is verified that in all times the magistrates and wise adored one sovereign God." Secondary gods were myths, counterfeits, sustaining the relation of counterfeits. The ancients attributed their own passions to the "Master God," and had subordinate gods representing passions. They also had a god for each part of His dominion; and these gods they called members of the true God, and claimed to worship Him, by worshiping all the members or gods. Mars was the god of war; Bacchus was the god of drunkenness. They had a god for this and a god for that. The ancient pagans seemed to think that infinite divisibility belonged to the "true God," for they distinguished between passions, and divided up the universe among the gods until they had it crammed full of subordinate and ridiculous gods, each one a member of Jehovah, and each member a part of the great mythical system.
Now, in order to establish the proposition that our religion is of mythical origin, it is necessary to show, first, that the Bible was written this side of or during the age of myths, and, having done this, it is necessary to show that the Hebrew people were a mythical people; neither of which can be accomplished. It will not be amiss to present in this connection a statement given by Justin to the Greeks. He says: "Of all your teachers, whether sages, poets, historians, philosophers, or law-givers, by far the oldest, as the Greek historians show us, was Moses.... For in the times of Ogyges and Inachus, whom some of your poets have supposed to have been earth-born—that is, to have sprung from the soil, and hence one of the oldest inhabitants—the aborigines, Moses is mentioned as the leader and ruler of the Jewish nation." He is mentioned as a very ancient and time-honored prince in the Athenian, Attic and Grecian histories. Polemon, in his first book of Hellenics, mentions Moses as the leader and ruler of the Jewish nation. Ptolemaeus, in his history of Egypt, bears the same testimony. Apion, an Egyptian writer, in his book against the Jews, says "Moses led them." Dr. Shaw, a modern traveler, says the inhabitants of Corondel, on the eastern side of the Red Sea, to this day preserve the remembrance of the deliverance of the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt. Diodorus, the most renowned Greek historian, who employed thirty years epitomizing the libraries, and traveled over Asia and Europe for the sake of great accuracy, who wrote forty volumes of history, says he learned from the Egyptian priests that Moses was an ancient law-giver.
It seems to us that, no sane man, who is acquainted with the ancient mythicals, can regard the religion of the Bible as a child of mythical descent. It is as deadly in its influence upon those myths, and all mythical worship, as it could be made by an infinite mind.
Voltaire says "the character of the mythical gods is ridiculous;" we will add, it is ridiculous in the extreme. Listen—Hesiod, in his theogony, says: "Chronos, the son of Ouranos, or Saturn, son of Heaven, in the beginning slew his father, and possessed himself of his rule, and, being seized with a panic lest he should suffer in the same way, he preferred devouring his children, but Curetes, a subordinate god, by craft, conveyed Jupiter away in secret and afterwards bound his brother with chains, and divided the empire, Jupiter receiving the air, and Neptune the deep, and Pluto Hades."
Pros-er-pi-ne, Mella-nip-pe, Neptune, Pluto and Jupiter are all set forth in the mythical writings as adulterers. Jupiter was regarded as more frequently involved in that crime, being set down as guilty in many instances. For the love of Sem-e-le, it is said that he assumed wings and proved his own unchastity and her jealousy. These are some of the exploits of the sons of Saturn. Hercules was celebrated by his three nights, sung by the poets for his successful labors.
The son of Jupiter slew the Lion, and destroyed the many-headed Hydra; was able to kill the fleet man-eating birds, and brought up from hades the three-headed dog, Cerberus; effectually cleansed the Augean stable from its refuse; killed the bulls and stag whose nostrils breathed fire; slew the poisonous serpent and killed Ach-e-lo-us. The guest-slaying Bu-si-ris was delighted with being stunned by the cymbals of the Sat-yrs, and to be conquered with the love of women; and at last, being unable to take the cloak off of Nessus, he kindled his own funeral pile and died. Such are specimens of the ancient myths. Their character is such as to leave an impassible gulf between them and the character of the God revealed in our religion. No development theory, seeking the origin of our religion in the old mythical system, can bridge across this chasm. It is as deep and broad as the distance between the antipodes. There is no analogy between these counterfeits or myths and the "true God," save that remote power of God which is divided up and parceled out among them. Their morals were the worst. The whole mythical system is simply one grand demonstration of human apostacy from the "true God." Homer introduces Zeus in love, and bitterly complaining and bewailing himself, and plotted against by the other gods. He represents the gods as suffering at the hands of men. Mars and Venus were wounded by Di-o-me-de. He says, "Great Pluto's self the stinging arrow felt when that same son of Jupiter assailed him in the very gates of hell, and wrought him keenest anguish. Pierced with pain, to the high Olympus, to the courts of Jupiter groaning he came. The bitter shaft remained deep in his shoulder fixed, and grieved his soul." In the mythical system the gods are not presented as creators or first causes. Homer says, They were in the beginning generated from the waters of the ocean, and thousands were added by deifying departed heroes and philosophers. The thought of one supreme Intelligence, the "God of Gods,", runs through all the system of myths. It is found anterior to the myths, and, therefore, could not have had its origin with them. The character ascribed to our God, in our scriptures, has no place among the ancient myths. They hold the "Master God" before us only in connection with power, being altogether ignorant of His true character. They even went so far as to attribute much to Him that was ridiculous. One of the ancients said, "The utmost that a man can do is to attribute to the being he worships his imperfections and impurities, magnified to infinity, it may be, and then become worse by their reflex action upon his own nature." This was verified in the ancient mythical religion, without exception, and without doubt.
"The character of all the gods was simply human character extended in all its powers, appetites, lusts and passions. Scholars say there is no language containing words that express the Scriptural ideas of holiness and abhorrence of sin, except those in which the Scriptures were given, or into which they have been translated. These attributes must be known in order to salvation from sin, so God revealed Himself and gave the world a pure religion, as a standard of right and wrong, and guide in duty, and rule of life."
The history of the ancient nations of the earth gives a united testimony that their original progenitors possessed a knowledge of the one true and living God, who was worshiped by them, and believed to be an infinite, self-existent and invisible spirit. This notion was never entirely extinguished even among the idolatrous worshipers. Greek and Latin poets were great corrupters of theology, yet in the midst of all their Gods there is still to be found, in their writings, the notion of one supreme in power and rule, whom they confound with Jupiter.
The age of myths began with the tenth generation after the flood. The evidence of this is given by Plato from one of the ancient poets in these words: "It was the generation then the tenth, of men endowed with speech, since forth the flood had burst upon the men of former times, and Kronos, Japetus and Titan reigned, whom men of Ouranos proclaimed the noblest sons, and named them so, because of men endowed with gift of speech, they were the first," that is to say, they were orators, "and others for their strength, as Heracles and Perseus, and others for their art. Those to whom either the subjects gave honor, or the rulers themselves assuming it, obtained the name, some from fear, others from reverence. Thus Antinous, through the benevolence of your ancestors toward their subjects, came to be regarded as a god. But those who came after adopted the worship without examination." So testifies one who was schooled in philosophy. Do you say there are points of similitude between the Bible religion and the mythical? It would be strange if there were none, seeing that the mythical is truly what the term signifies, a counterfeit upon the genuine, or Biblical.
The points of disagreement, however, are such as to demonstrate the fact that the ancient mythical people knew not the character of the Being, whom they conceived to be the "God of Gods and the Father of Gods and men." Those who confound the Bible with the ancient myths upon the score of the analogy that exists between it and the myths, remind me of a very learned gentleman with whom I was once walking around an oat field, when he remarked, "there is a very fine piece of wheat." The man had been brought up in an eastern city, and was unable to distinguish between oats and wheat. I knew a gentleman who asked a man, standing by the side of an old-fashioned flax-break, what he thought it was used for? The man took hold of the handle, lifted it up and let it down a few times, and said: "It looks like it might be used to chop up sausage meat." It is very natural for us to draw comparisons, and when we do not make ourselves familiar with things and their uses, we are very liable to be led into error by a few points of similitude. All the infidels with whom I have become acquainted look upon the Bible like the man looked upon the flax-break, and like the man looked upon the oat field. If one had looked upon the flax-break who was familiar with it, he never could have dreamed of chopping sausage meat; and if the other had been familiar with wheat and oats, as they present themselves to the eye in the field in the month of June, he never would have called the oats wheat. And if any sane man will make himself familiar with both the Bible and the old system of myths and mythical worship, he will never confound the two. There are a thousand things, very different in character and origin, which have points of similitude. But similitude never proves identity short of completeness. While the analogy between the ancient mythical system of gods and their worship and the true God and His worship is restricted to power and intelligence, there exists a contrast between them deep as heaven is high and broad as the earth in point of moral character, virtue, and every ennobling and lovable attribute.
There is an old myth in the Vedas—a god called "Chrishna." The Vedas claim that he is in the form of a man; that he is black; that he is dressed in flowers and ribbons; that he is the father of a great many gods. It is surprising to see the eagerness with which some men bring up "Chrishna" in comparison with the Greek term "Christos"—Christ, and confound the two. The words are entirely different, save in a jingle of sound. They are no more alike than the terms catechist—one who instructs by questions and answers, and the term catechu—a dry, brown astringent extract. We could give many such examples in the history of unbelievers and their war upon the Bible, but this must suffice for the present. The truth is this: such men, as a general rule, neither understand the Bible in its teachings and character, nor the ancient mythical system. In it Jupiter, among the Romans, and throughout every language, appears before us as the "Father of Gods and men"—"the God of gods," the "Master of the gods." Voltaire says: It is false that Cicero, or any other Roman, ever said that it did not become the majesty of the empire to acknowledge a Supreme God. Their Jupiter, the Zeus of the Greeks and the Jehovah of the Phonecians, was always considered as the master of the secondary gods. He adds: But is not Jupiter, the master of all the gods, a word belonging to every nation, from the Euphrates to the Tiber? Among the first Romans it was Jov, Jovis; among the Greeks, Zeus; among the Phonecians and Syrians and Egyptians, Jehovah. The last term is the Hebrew scriptural name of God—denoting permanent being—in perfect keeping with the Bible title or descriptive appellation, "I AM THAT I AM."
The ancient worshipers of the gods had lost all but the name, power and relation, which they ever knew of Jehovah. And they could do no more than clothe Jupiter with their own imperfections and impurities—and then place him above all the gods; it was necessary for them to view him as excelling in all the characteristics of the secondary gods. And having attributed to the gods all they knew of human passions and corruptions, they clothed Jupiter himself with more villainy and corruption than belonged to any other god. In this was the great blasphemous sacrilege of ancient idolatry. They thus demonstrated their own apostacy; and the fact that their system of gods was a counterfeit, a mythical system. They were destitute of any standard of right and wrong, having no conceptions of the divine character which were not drawn from their own imperfect and corrupt lives. The divine character, as revealed in the revelation of Christ, and presented to us as God manifest in the flesh, is at once the very opposite of the characters given in the myths. The distance between the two is the distance between the lowest degradation of God-like power exercised in the lowest passions, and the sublimity of Heaven's own spotless life. I love the religion of the Scriptures, because it restores to the race the lost knowledge of God and the additional life of Jesus—the only perfect model known in the history of the race. It is the life of God manifested in the flesh; make it your own, and it will save you. Mr. English, an American infidel, said: "Far be it from me to reproach the meek and compassionate, the amiable Jesus, or to attribute to him the mischiefs occasioned by his followers."
It is now conceded that Jesus Christ was no myth by all the great minds in unbelief. He lived. We love his life, because all who would rob Him of His authority are compelled to speak well of it. Rousseau, another infidel, says: "It is impossible that he whose history the gospel records can be but a man," adding, "Does he speak in the tone of an enthusiast, or of an ambitious sectary? What mildness! What purity in his manners! What touching favor in his instructions! What elevation in his maxims! What presence of mind! What ingenuity, and what justice in his answers! What government of his passions! What prejudice, blindness or ill faith must that be which dares to compare Socrates with the Son of Mary!
"What a difference between the two! Socrates, dying without a pain, without disgrace, easily sustains his part to the last. The death of Socrates, philosophizing with his friends, is the mildest that could be desired. That of Jesus, expiring in torments, injured, mocked, cursed by all the people, is the most horrible that can be feared. Socrates, taking the impoisoned cup, blesses him who presents it to him with tears. Jesus, in the midst of a frightful punishment, prays for his enraged executioners. Yes, if the life and death of Socrates are those of a wise man, the life and death of Jesus are those of a God." If such be the model, the pattern, the example which I am to follow, let me live and die a Christian. I love the religion of Christ, because its character compels its enemies to speak thus of it. I love it because of its practical influence in elevating all into the moral image of Christ. I love it because it saves men through its influence from abominable sins and consequent sorrows that would tear up the hearts of thousands. I love it because it is the power of God to save the soul. I love it because it leads men into communion and fellowship with all the good. I love it because it leads to heaven and to God.
Civilization, it is true, is an arbitrary term. Anthropologists have not yet settled the boundary line between a savage and a civilized people.—Prof. Owen, F. R. S.
DESIGN IN NATURE.
It is scarcely necessary to designate instances in the works of nature, in which there is an appearance of purpose, for everything has this appearance. I will, however, mention several cases as samples.
1. The adaptation of the covering of animals to the climates in which they live. Northern animals have thicker and warmer coats of fur or hair than Southern ones. And here it should be remarked that man, the only creature capable of clothing himself, is the only one that is not clothed by nature. Singular discrimination and care indeed for non-intelligence!
2. The adaptation of animals to the elements in which they live, the fish to the water, other animals to the air. Would not an unintelligent energy or power be as likely to form the organs of a fish for air as for water?
3. The necessity which man has for sustenance, and the supply of that necessity by nature.
Here let it be noted how many things must act in unison to produce the necessary result. The earth must nourish the seed, the sun must warm it, the rain must moisten it, and man must have the strength to cultivate it, and the organs to eat it, and the stomach to digest it, and the blood-vessels to circulate it, and so on. Is it credible that all these things should happen without design?
4. The pre-adaptation of the infant to the state of things into which it enters at birth. The eye is exactly suited to the light, the ear to sound, the nose to smell, the palate to taste, the lungs to the air. How is it possible to see no design in this pre-adaptation, so curious, so complicated in so many particulars?
5. The milk of animals suitable for the nourishment of their young, provided just in season, provided without contrivance on the part of the parent, and sought for without instruction or experience on the part of its offspring! and all by chance!!
6. The different sexes. In this case, as in the rest, there is perfect adaptation, which displays evident design. And there is more. What, I ask, is there in nature to cause a difference in sexes? Why are not all either males or females? or, rather, a compound? This case, then, I consider not only an evidence of design, but likewise an evidence of the special and continued volition of the Creator.
7. The destitution of horns on the calf and of teeth in the suckling. All other parts are perfect at the very first; but were calves and sucklings to have teeth and horns, what sore annoyances would these appendages prove to their dams and dames. How is it that all the necessary parts of the young are thus perfect at the first, and their annoying parts unformed till circumstances render them no annoyance—unformed at the time they are not needed, and produced when they are, for defense and mastication? Who can fail to see intelligence here?
8. The teats of animals. These bear a general proportion to the number of young which they are wont to have at a time. Those that are wont to have few young have few teats; those that have many young have many teats. Were these animals to make preparations themselves in this respect, how could things be more appropriate?
9. The pea and the bean. The pea-vine, unable to stand erect of itself, has tendrils with which to cling to a supporter; but the bean-stalk, self-sustained, has nothing of the kind.
10. The pumpkin. This does not grow on the oak; to fall on the tender head of the wiseacre reposing in its shade, _reasoning_ that it should grow there rather than where it does, because, forsooth, the oak would be able to sustain it. And were he to undertake to set the other works of Providence to rights which he now considers wrong, 'tis a chance if he would not get many a thump upon his pate ere he should get the universe arranged to his mind. And if, before completing his undertaking, he should not find it the easier of the two to arrange his mind to the universe, it would be because _what _ little_ brains he _has_ would get thumped out of his cranium altogether!
11. The great energies of nature. To suppose the existence of powers as the cause of the operations of nature—powers destitute of life, and, at the same time, self-moving, and acting upon matter without the intervention of extrinsic agency, is just as irrational as to suppose such a power in a machine, and is a gross absurdity and a self-contradiction. But to suppose that these lifeless energies, even if possessed of such qualities, could, void of intelligence, produce such effects as are produced in the universe, requires credulity capable of believing anything.
12. The whole universe, whether considered in its elementary or its organized state. From the simple grass to the tender plant, and onward to the sturdy oak; from the least insect up to man, there is skill the most consummate, design the most clear. What substance, useless as it may be when uncompounded with other substances, does not manifest design in its affinity to those substances, by a union with which it is rendered useful? What plant, what shrub, what tree has not organization and arrangement the most perfect imaginable? What insect so minute that contains not, within its almost invisible exterior, adjustment of part to part in the most exact order throughout all its complicated system, infinitely transcending the most ingenious productions of art, and the most appropriate adaptation of all those parts to its peculiar mode of existence? Rising in the scale of sensitive being, let us consider the beast of the forest, in whose case, without microscopic aid, we have the subject more accessible. Is he a beast of prey? Has the God of nature given him an instinctive thirst for blood? Behold, then, his sharp-sighted organs of vision for descrying his victim afar, his agile limbs for pursuit, his curved and pointed claws for seizing and tearing his prey, his sharp-edged teeth for cutting through its flesh, his firm jaws for gripping, crushing, and devouring it, and his intestines for digesting raw flesh. But is he a graminivorous animal? Does he subsist on grass and herb? Behold, then, his clumsy limbs and his clawless hoofs, his blunt teeth and his herb-digesting stomach. So perfect is the correspondence between one part and another; so exactly adapted are all the parts to the same general objects; so wonderful is the harmony and so definite and invariable the purpose obtaining throughout the whole, that it is necessary to see but a footstep, or even a bone, to be able to decide the nature and construction of the animal that imprinted that footstep or that possessed that bone. Ascending still higher in the scale, we come at last to man—man, the highest, noblest workmanship of God on earth—the lord of this sphere terrene—for whose behoof all earthly things exist. In common with all animals, he has that perfect adaptation of part to part, and of all the parts to general objects, which demonstrate consummate wisdom in the Cause which thus adapted them. His eyes are so placed as to look the same way in which his feet are placed to walk, and his hands to toil. His feet correspond with each other, being both placed to walk in the direction, and with their corresponding sides towards one another, without which he would hobble, even if he could walk at all. His mouth is placed in the forepart of the head, by which it can receive food and drink from the hands.
But the hands themselves—who can but admire their wonderful utility? To what purpose are they not adapted? Man, who has many ends to accomplish, in common with the beast of the field; who has hunger to alleviate, thirst to slake, and has likewise other and higher ends, for the attainment of which he is peculiarly qualified by means of hands. Adapted by his constitution to inhabit all climes, he has hands to adapt his clothing to the same, whether torrid, temperate or frigid. Possessed of the knowledge of the utility of the soil, he has hands to cultivate it. Located far distant oftentimes from the running stream, these hands enable him to disembowel the earth and there find an abundant supply of the all-necessary fluid. Endowed with rational ideas, pen in hand he can transmit them to his fellows far away, or to generations unborn. Heir and lord of earth and ocean, his hands enable him to possess and control the same, without which, notwithstanding all his reason, he could do neither, but would have to crouch beneath the superior strength of the brute, and fly for shelter to crags inaccessible to his beastly sovereign.
The only creature that has the reason to manage the world, has the physical organization to do it. No beast with man's reason could do this, and no man with the mere instinct of a brute could do it. How marvellous, then this adaptation! How wondrous the adaptation of everything, and how astonishing that any man, with all these things in view, can for one moment forbear to admit a God. Let him try a chance experiment. Let him take the letters of the alphabet and throw them about promiscuously and then see how long ere they would move of their own accord and arrange themselves into words and sentences. He may avail himself of the whole benefit of his scheme; he may have the advantage of an energy or power as a momentum to set them in motion; he may put these letters into a box sufficiently large for the purpose, and then shake them as long as may seem him good, and when, in this way, they shall have become intelligible language, I will admit that he will have some reasons for doubting a God. If this should seem too much like artificial mind, he may take some little animal, all constructed at his hands, and dismember its limbs and dissect its body, and then within some vessel let him throw its various parts at random, and seizing that vessel shake it most lustily till bone shall come to bone, joint to joint, and the little creature be restored to its original form. But if this could not be accomplished by mere power, without wisdom to direct, how could the original adjustment occur by chance? How could those very parts themselves be formed for adjustment one to another?
Mathematicians tell us wondrous things in relation to these hap-hazard concerns. And they demonstrate their statements by what will not lie—figures. Their rule is this: that, as one thing admits of but one position, as, for example, a, so two things, a and b, are capable of two positions, as ab, ba. But if a third be added, instead of their being susceptible of only one additional position, or three in all, they are capable of six. For example, abc, acb, bac, bca, cab, cba. Add another letter, d, and the four are capable of twenty-four positions or variations. Thus we might go on. Merely adding another letter, e, and so making five instead of four, would increase the the number of variations five-fold. They would then amount to one hundred and twenty. A single additional letter, f, making six in all, would increase this last sum of one hundred and twenty six-fold, making seven hundred and twenty. Add a seventh letter, g, and the last-named sum would be increased seven-fold, making the sum of five thousand and forty. If we go on thus to the end of the alphabet, we have the astonishing sum of six hundred and twenty thousand four hundred and forty-eight trillions, four hundred and one thousand seven hundred and thirty-three billions, two hundred and thirty-nine thousand four hundred and thirty-nine millions and three hundred and sixty thousand!!! Hence it follows that, were the letters of the alphabet to be thrown promiscuously into a vessel, to be afterwards shaken into order by mere hap, their chance of being arranged, not to say into words and sentences, but into their alphabetical order, would be only as one to the above number. All this, too, in the case of only twenty-six letters! Take now the human frame, with its bones, tendons, nerves, muscles, veins, arteries, ducts, glands, cartilages, etc.; and having dissected the same, throw those parts into one promiscuous mass; and how long, I ask, would it be ere Chance would put them all into their appropriate places and form a perfect man? In this calculation we are likewise to take into the account the chances of their being placed bottom upwards, or side-ways, or wrong side out, notwithstanding they might merely find their appropriate places. This would increase the chances against a well-formed system to an amount beyond all calculation or conception. In the case of the alphabet, the chances for the letters to fall bottom up or aslant are not included. And when we reflect that the blind goddess, or "unintelligent forces," would have to contend against such fearful odds in the case of a single individual, how long are we to suppose it would be, ere from old Chaos she could shake this mighty universe, with all its myriads upon myriads of existences, into the glorious order and beauty in which it now exists.
AN ATHEIST IS A FOOL.
He can't believe that two letters can be adjusted to each other without design, and yet he can believe all the foregoing incredibilities.
I might swell the list to a vast extent. I might bring into view the verdure of the earth as being the most agreeable of all colors to the eye; the general diffusion of the indispensibles and necessaries of life, such as air, light, water, food, clothing, fuel, while less necessary things, such as spices, gold, silver, tin, lead, zinc, are less diffused; also, the infinite variety in things—in men, for instance—by which we can distinguish one from another. But I forbear. Is it reasonable to conclude that, where there are possible appearances of design, still no design is there? or even that it is probable there is none?
I have said that there is as much evidence of purpose in the works of nature as in those of art. I now say that there is more, infinitely more. Should the wheels of nature stop their revolutions, and her energies be palsied, and life and motion cease, even then would she exhibit incomparably greater evidence of design, in her mere construction and adaptation, than do the works of art. Shall we then be told that when she is in full operation, and daily producing millions upon millions of useful, of intelligent, of marvelous effects, she still manifests no marks of intelligence! In nature we not only see all the works of art infinitely exceeded, but we see, as it were, those works self-moved and performing their operations without external agency. To use a faint comparison, we see a factory in motion without water, wind or steam, its cotton placing itself within the reach of the picker, the cards, the spinning-frame and the loom, and turning out in rolls or cloth. Such virtually, nay, far more wonderful, is the universe. Not a thousandth part so unreasonable would it be to believe a real factory of this description, were one to exist, to be a chance existence, as to believe this universe so. Sooner could I suppose nature herself possessed of intelligence than admit the idea that there is no intelligence concerned in her organization and operations. There must be a mind within or without her, or else we have no data by which to distinguish mind. There must be a mind, or all the results of mind are produced without any. There must be a mind, or chaos produces order, blind power perfects effects, and non-intelligence the most admirable correspondence and harmony imaginable. Skeptics pride themselves much on their reason. They can't believe, they say, because it is unreasonable. What is unreasonable? To believe in a mind where there is every appearance thereof that can be? Is it more reasonable to believe, then, that every appearance of mind is produced without any mind at all? Skeptics are the last men in all this wide world to pretend reason. They doubt against infinite odds; they believe without evidence against evidence, against demonstration, and then talk of reason!—Origin Bachelor's Correspondence with R. D. Owen.
BLUNDER ON AND BLUNDER ON—IT IS HUMAN TO BLUNDER.
Are all the mammoths one or two hundred thousand years old, as Sir Charles Lyell conjectured? It was stated, in the bygone, that the "diluvium" was very old, on account of the absence of human remains, but since man's remains have been found there, it is inferred that man is very ancient; whereas, the truth is, the mammoth is very recent. In many instances their bones are so fresh that they contain twenty-seven per cent. of animal substance; in some instances the flesh is still upon their bones, with their last meal in their stomachs.
Mr. Boyd Dawkins has furnished us with a thrilling narrative of the discovery of a mammoth in 1846, by Mr. Benkendorf, close to the mouth of the Indigirka. This mammoth was disentombed during the great thaw of the summer. The description is given in the following language: "In 1846 there was unusually warm weather in the north of Siberia. Already in May unusual rains poured over the moors and bogs; storms shook the earth, and the streams carried not only ice to the sea, but also large tracts of land. We steamed on the first day up the Indigirka, but there were no thoughts of land; we saw around us only a sea of dirty brown water, and knew the river only by the rushing and roaring of the stream. The river rolled against us trees, moss, and large masses of peat, so that it was only with great trouble and danger that we could proceed. At the end of the second day we were only a short distance up the stream; some one had to stand with the sounding-rod in hand continually, and the boat received so many shocks that it shuddered to the keel. A wooden vessel would have been smashed. Around us we saw nothing but the flooded land.... The Indigirka, here, had torn up the land and worn itself a fresh channel, and when the waters sank we saw, to our astonishment, that the old river-bed had become merely that of an insignificant stream.... The stream rolled over and tore up the soft, wet ground like chaff, so that it was dangerous to go near the brink. While we were all quiet, we heard under our feet a sudden gurgling and stirring, which betrayed the working of the disturbed water. Suddenly our jagger, ever on the look-out, called loudly, and pointed to a singular and unshapely object, which rose and sank.... Now we all hastened to the spot on shore, had the boat drawn near, and waited until the mysterious thing should again show itself. Our patience was tried, but at last a black, horrible giant-like mass was thrust out of the water, and we beheld a colossal elephant's head, armed with mighty tusks, with its long trunk moving in the water in an unearthly manner, as though seeking for something lost therein.... I beheld the monster hardly twelve feet from me, with his half-open eyes yet showing the whites. It was still in good preservation....
"Picture to yourself an elephant with a body covered with thick fur, about thirteen feet in height and fifteen in length, with tusks eight feet long, thick, and curving outward at their ends, a stout trunk of six feet in length, colossal limbs of one and a half feet in thickness, and a tail naked up to the end, which was covered with thick tufty hair. The animal was fat and well grown; death had overtaken him in the fulness of his powers. His parchment-like, large, naked ears lay turned up over the head; about the shoulders and on the back he had stiff hair, about a foot in length, like a mane. The long outer hair was deep brown and coarsely rooted. The top of the head looked so wild and so penetrated with pitch that it resembled the rind of an old oak tree. On the sides it was cleaner, and under the outer hair there appeared everywhere a wool, very soft, warm and thick, and of a fallow-brown color. The giant was well protected against the cold. The whole appearance of the animal was fearfully strange and wild. It had not the shape of our present elephants. As compared with our Indian elephants, its head was rough, the brain-case low and narrow, but the trunk and mouth were much larger. The teeth were very powerful. Our elephant is an awkward animal, but compared with this mammoth, it is an Arabian steed to a coarse, ugly dray horse. I had the stomach separated and brought on one side. It was well filled, and the contents instructive and well preserved. The principal were young shoots of the fir and pine; a quantity of young fir cones, also in a chewed state, were mixed with the moss."
Mammoth bones are found in great abundance in the islands off the northern coast of Siberia. The remains of the rhinoceros are also found. Pallas, in 1772, obtained from Wiljuiskoi, in latitude 64 deg., a rhinoceros taken from the sand in which it had been frozen. This carcass emitted an odor like putrid flesh, part of the skin being covered with short, crisp wool and with black and gray hairs. Professor Brandt, in 1846, extracted from the cavities in the molar teeth of this skeleton a small quantity of half-chewed pine leaves and coniferous wood. And the blood-vessels in the interior of the head appeared filled, even to the capillary vessels, with coagulated blood, which in many places still retained its original red color.
We find that Mr. Boyd Dawkins and Mr. Sanford assert that the cave-lion is only a large variety of the existing lion—identical in species. Herodotus says: "The camels in the army of Xerxes, near the mountains of Thessaly, were attacked by lions."
Sir John Lubbock, in his Prehistoric Times, page 293, says the cave-hyena "is now regarded as scarcely distinguishable specifically from the Hyaena crocuta, or spotted hyena of Southern Africa," while Mr. Busk and M. Gervais identify the cave-bear with the Ursus ferox, or grizzly bear of North America. What is the bearing of these facts on the question of the antiquity of the remains found in the bone caverns?
Do these facts justify men in carrying human remains, found along with the remains of these animals in the caves, back to the remote period of one or two hundred thousand years?—a long time, this, for flesh upon the bones and food in the stomach to remain in a state of preservation.
"So fresh is the ivory throughout Northern Russia," says Lyell, Principles, vol. 1, p. 183, "that, according to Tilesius, thousands of fossil tusks have been collected and used in turning."
Mr. Dawkins says: "We are compelled to hold that the cave-lion which preyed upon the mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros and musk-sheep in Great Britain, is a mere geographical variety of the great carnivore that is found alike in the tropical parts of Asia and throughout the whole of Africa." Popular Science Review for 1869, p. 153. It has been customary to speak of all these animals as "the great extinct mammalia," and to regard them all as much larger than existing animals of the same kind, but three of the most important still exist, and the cave-lions, at least some of the specimens, were smaller than the lion of the present. According to Sir John Lubbock the "Irish elk, the elephants and the three species of rhinoceros are, perhaps, the only ones which are absolutely extinct." Prehistoric Times, p. 290. "Out of seventeen principal 'palaeolithic' mammalia, ten, until recently, were regarded 'extinct;' but it is now believed that the above-mentioned elk, elephants and rhinoceros are the only extinct mammalia. Dr. Wilson affirms that skeletons of the Irish elk have been found at Curragh, Ireland, in marshes, some of the bones of which were in such fresh condition that the marrow is described as having the appearance of fresh suet, and burning with a clear flame."
Professor Agassiz admits the continuance of the Irish elk to the fourteenth century to be "probable." It is certain that this elk continued in Ireland down to what is claimed as the age of iron, and possibly in Germany down to the twelfth century. It is also certain that it was a companion of the mammoth and of the woolly rhinoceros. The aurochs, or European bison, whose remains are found in the river gravel and the older bone caves, is mentioned by Pliny and Seneca. They speak of it as existing in their time; it is also named in the Niebelungen Lied. It existed in Prussia as late as 1775, and is still found wild in the Caucasus. The present Emperor of Russia has twelve herds, which are protected in the forests of Lithuania. During the session of the International Archaeological Congress at Stockholm, in 1874, the members of the body made an excursion to the isle of Bjorko, in Lake Malar, near Stockholm, where there is an ancient cemetery of two thousand tumuli. Within a few hundred yards from this is the site of the ancient town. Several trenches were run through this locality, and many relics obtained by the members of the congress. On the occasion Dr. Stolpe, who was familiar with the previous discoveries at this point, delivered a lecture on the island and its remains. They all, he stated, belong to the second age of iron in Sweden, and consisted of implements of iron, ornaments of bronze, and animal bones; Kufic coins have been found, along with cowrie-shells, and silver bracelets. The number of animal bones met with is immense, more than fifty species being represented, and what is especially noteworthy, the marrow bones were all crushed or split, just as in the palaeeolithic times. The principal wild beasts were the lynx, the wolf, the fox, the beaver, the elk, the reindeer, etc. Dr. Stolpe refers the formation of this "pre-historic" city to "about the middle of the eighth century after Christ," and says it was probably destroyed "about the middle of the eleventh century."
"During this period the reindeer existed in this part of Sweden."
Recent scientific discovery demands that we should almost modernize the animals we used to regard as belonging to a period of a hundred thousand years ago.
"Scientists have been addicted to unwise and inconsiderate haste in the announcement of new theories touching alleged facts; they have blundered repeatedly in their efforts to confound the Christian and set aside Moses. No less than eighty theories touching that many facts and discoveries have been developed during the period of fifty years, that were brought before the Institute of France in 1806, and not one of them survives to-day." Truly the history of scientific investigation reveals the same fallibility of human nature that is known in the many errors found in the line of theological investigation. Truth, in science and religion, stands true to her God—man alone deviates.
DRAPER'S CONFLICT BETWEEN RELIGION AND SCIENCE.
No one idea has produced a greater sensation among skeptics and unbelievers than the idea of a conflict between science and Christianity. The history of the affair reminds us of the ghost stories that frighten people in their boyish days. There was, in truth, no foundation for the sensation. Mr. Draper never intended that his work entitled "Conflict between Religion and Science," should be construed to mean Conflict between the Bible and Science, or between Christianity, as set forth by the primitive Christians and science, but conflict between apostate religion and science; or, rather, between corruptors of the ancient religion and science.
He says, "I have had little to say respecting the two great Christian confessions, the protestant and the Greek churches. As to the latter, it has never, since the restoration of science, arrayed itself in opposition to the advancement of knowledge. On the contrary, it has always met it with welcome. It has observed a reverential attitude to truth, from whatever quarter it might come. Recognizing the apparent discrepancies between its interpretations of revealed truth and the discoveries of science, it has always expected that satisfactory explanations and reconciliations would ensue, and in this it has not been disappointed." Will all who read these lines take notice that Mr. Draper takes the Christian's side in the above statement. "In this it has not been disappointed." In what? Answer—Its expectation that satisfactory explanations and reconciliations would follow the discoveries of science, by means of which apparent discrepancies between the church's interpretations of revealed truth and the discoveries of science would disappear. Mr. Draper adds, "It would have been well for modern civilization if the Roman church had done the same." He guards his readers by the following: "In speaking of Christianity, reference is generally made to the Roman church, partly because its adherents compose the majority of Christendom, partly because its demands are the most pretentious, and partly because it has commonly sought to enforce those demands by the civil power. None of the protestant churches have ever occupied a position so imperious, none have ever had such widespread political influence. For the most part they have been averse to constraint, and except in very few instances their opposition has not passed beyond the exciting of theological odium." Preface, pp. 10, 11.
On pages 215 and 216, speaking upon the great question of the proper relations of Christianity and science, Mr. Draper says: "In the annals of Christianity the most ill-omened day is that in which she separated herself from science. She compelled Origen, at that time (A. D. 231) its chief representative and supporter in the church, to abandon his charge in Alexandria and retire to Caesarea. In vain through many subsequent centuries did her leading men spend themselves in, as the phrase then went, 'drawing forth the internal juice and marrow of the scriptures for the explaining of things.' Universal history from the third to the sixteenth century shows with what result. The dark ages owe their darkness to this fatal policy."
The pure Christianity, as well as Christians of 231 years, are exonerated by Mr. Draper. Unbeliever, will you remember this? Many unbelievers, like drowning men catching at straws, have endeavored to make it appear that Mr. Draper's book, entitled "Conflict Between Religion and Science," makes a square fight between the Bible and science. So far is this from the truth that, on the contrary, it does not even set up a square issue between Protestantism and science; its issue lies between Roman Catholic religion and science. Hear him: "Then has it, in truth, come to this, that Roman Christianity and science are recognized by their respective adherents as being absolutely incompatible; they can not exist together; one must yield to the other; mankind must make its choice—it can not have both. While such is, perhaps, the issue as regards Catholicism, a reconciliation of the reformation with science is not only possible, but would easily take place if the protestant churches would only live up to their maxim taught by Luther and established by so many years of war. That maxim is the right of private interpretation of the scriptures. It was the foundation of intellectual liberty." (Did Luther say the foundation of intellectual liberty?) But if a personal interpretation of the book of Revelation is permissible, how can it be denied in the case of the book of nature? In the misunderstandings that have taken place, we must ever bear in mind the infirmities of men. The generations that immediately followed the reformation may perhaps be excused for not comprehending the full significance of cardinal principle, and for not on all occasions carrying it into effect. When Calvin caused Servetus to be burnt he was animated, not by the principles of the reformation, but by those of Catholicism, from which he had not been able to emancipate himself completely. And when the clergy of influential protestant confessions have stigmatized the investigators of nature as infidels and atheists, the same may be said. (No man should be called by a name that does not truthfully represent him.) Now listen to Mr. Draper: "For Catholicism to reconcile itself to science, there are formidable, perhaps insuperable obstacles in the way. For protestantism to achieve that great result there are not."—Conflict Between Religion and Science, pp. 363, 364. Thus Draper speaks for himself.
FACTS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, OR WHAT CHRISTIANITY HAS DONE FOR CANNIBALS.
The Fijians, a quarter of a century ago, were noted for cannibalism. The following scrap of history may be of importance as a shadow to contrast with the sunshine. It is taken from Wood's History of the Uncivilized Races:
The Fijians are more devoted to cannibalism than the New Zealanders, and their records are still more appalling. A New Zealander has sometimes the grace to feel ashamed of mentioning the subject in the hearing of an European, whereas it is impossible to make a Fijian really feel that in eating human flesh he has committed an unworthy act. He sees, indeed, that the white man exhibits great disgust at cannibalism, but in his heart he despises him for wasting such luxurious food as human flesh.... The natives are clever enough at concealing the existence of cannibalism when they find that it shocks the white men. An European cotton grower, who had tried unsuccessfully to introduce the culture of cotton into Fiji, found, after a tolerable long residence, that four or five human beings were killed and eaten weekly. There was plenty of food in the place, pigs were numerous, and fish, fruit and vegetables abundant. But the people ate human bodies as often as they could get them, not from any superstitious motive, but simply because they preferred human flesh to pork.... Many of the people actually take a pride in the number of human bodies which they have eaten. One chief was looked upon with great respect on account of his feats of cannibalism, and the people gave him a title of honor. They called him the Turtle-pond, comparing his insatiable stomach to the pond in which turtles are kept; and so proud were they of his deeds, that they even gave a name of honor to the bodies brought for his consumption, calling them the "Contents of the Turtle-pond." ... One man gained a great name among his people by an act of peculiar atrocity. He told his wife to build an oven, to fetch firewood for heating it, and to prepare a bamboo knife. As soon as she had concluded her labors her husband killed her, and baked her in the oven which her own hands had prepared, and afterward ate her. Sometimes a man has been known to take a victim, bind him hand and foot, cut slices from his arms and legs, and eat them before his eyes. Indeed, the Fijians are so inordinately vain that they will do anything, no matter how horrible, in order to gain a name among their people; and Dr. Pritchard, who knows them thoroughly, expresses his wonder that some chief did not eat slices from his own limbs.
"Cannibalism is ingrained in the very nature of the Fijian, and extends through all classes of society. It is true that there are some persons who have never eaten human flesh, but there is always a reason for it. Women, for example, are seldom known to eat 'bakolo,' as human flesh is termed, and there are a few men who have refrained from cannibalism through superstition. Every Fijian has his special god, who is supposed to have his residence in some animal. One god, for example, lives in a rat, another in a shark, and so on. The worshiper of that god never eats the animal in which his divinity resides, and as some gods are supposed to reside in human beings, their worshipers never eat the flesh of man."
Recent History Of The Same People In Brief.
"In the Fiji islands, where half a century ago the favorite dish of food was human flesh, there are at present eight hundred and forty-one chapels, and two hundred and ninety-one other places where preaching is held, with fifty-eight missionaries busily engaged in preparing the way for others. The membership numbers twenty-three thousand two hundred and seventy-four persons." The Evangelist of January 29, 1880. It is possible that some infidel might have been literally eaten up had it not been for the influence of the Bible. "According to the accounts of some of the older chiefs, whom we may believe or not as we like, there was once a time when cannibalism did not exist. Many years ago some strangers from a distant land were blown upon the shores of Fiji, and received hospitably by the islanders, who incorporated them into their own tribes, and made much of them. But, in process of time, these people became too powerful, killed the Fijian chiefs, took their wives and property, and usurped their office."
In the emergency the people consulted the priests, who said that the Fijians had brought their misfortunes upon themselves. They had allowed strangers to live, whereas "Fiji for the Fijians" was the golden rule, and from that time every male stranger was to be killed and eaten, and every woman taken as a wife. The only people free from this law were the Tongans.
The state of the Fijians is wonderfully changed—even an American infidel may now visit those people without being flayed and roasted and devoured.
"The Samoan islands have been entirely christianized. Out of a population of forty thousand, thirty-five thousand are connected with Christian churches.
"In 1830 the native Christians in India, Burmah, and North and South Ceylon numbered 57,000. Last October there were 460,000. Facts similar in character might be given of Madagascar, South Africa and Japan." Evangelist. What a curse (?) the Bible is to the poor heathen. It robs them of their "long-pig," human flesh, as well as their cruel, murderous habits, and curses them (?) with virtue and the hope of "HEAVEN."
ARE WE SIMPLY ANIMALS?
What is man? The materialist says, "He is the highest order of the animal kingdom, or an animal gifted with intelligence." If such be true, it may be said with equal propriety, that animals are men without reason. Are they? Does manhood consist in mere physical form? Can you find it in simple physical nature? Man holds many things in his physical nature in common with the animal; but is he, on this account, to be considered as a mere animal? There are plants that seem to form a bridge over the chasm lying between the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Are those plants animals without sensation? Why not? What is the logical and scientific difference between saying plants, which make the nearest approach to the animal are animals without sensation, and saying animals are men without intelligence? Let it be understood at all times, that if man is simply an animal endowed with the gift of reason, an animal may be simply a vegetable endowed with the gift of sensation. "The bodies of mere animals are clothed with scales, feathers, fur, wool or bristles, which interpose between the skin and the elements that surround and affect the living animal." All these insensible protectors "ally animals more closely to the nature of vegetables."
"The body of a human being has a beautiful, thin, highly sensitive skin, which is not covered with an insensitive, lifeless veil." Man's body is in noble contrast with all mere animals. It is so formed that its natural position is erect. "The eyes are in front; the ligaments of the neck are not capable of supporting, for any considerable length of time, the head when hanging down; the horizontal position would force the blood to the head so violently that stupor would be the result. The mouth serves the mind as well as the body itself. According to the most critical calculation, the muscles of the mouth are so movable that it may pronounce fifteen hundred letters." What a wonderful musical instrument.
The mouth of the mere animal serves only physical purposes.
Man turns his head from right to left, from earth to sky, from the slimy trail of the crustacean in the ocean's bottom to the contemplation of the innumerable stars in the heavens. The human body was created for the mind; its structure is correlated with mind. The animal has a sentient life; man an intelligent, reasoning nature.
When animals are infuriated and trample beneath their feet everything that lies in their way, we do not say they are insane, but mad. "Man is an intelligent spirit," or mind, "served by an organism." We know that mind exists by our consciousness of that which passes within us. The propriety of the sayings of Descartes, "I think, therefore I am," rests upon the consciousness that we are thinking beings. This intelligence is not obtained by the exercise of any of the senses. It does not depend upon external surroundings. Its existence is a fact of consciousness, of certain knowledge, and hence a fact in mental science.
We are continually conscious of the existence of the mind, which makes its own operations the object of its own thought; that it should have no existence is a contradiction in language.
Experience teaches us that the materialistic theory of the existence of the mind is utterly false. In an act of perception I distinguish the pen in my hand, and the hand itself, from my mind which perceives them. This distinction is a fact of the faculty of perception—a particular fact of a particular faculty. But the general fact of a general distinction of which this is only a special case, is the distinction of the I and not I, which belongs to the consciousness as the general faculty. He who denies the contrast between mind-knowing and matter-known is dishonest, for it is a fact of consciousness, and such can not be honestly denied. The facts given in consciousness itself can not be honestly doubted, much less denied.
Materialists have claimed that mind is simply the result of the molecular action of the brain. This theory is as unreal as Banquo's ghost—it will not bear a moment's investigation. It is simply confounding the action of the mind upon the brain with the mind itself. Every effect must have a cause. When I make a special mental effort what is the cause lying behind the effort? Is it the molecular action of the brain? I will to make the effort, and do it. Then will power lies behind brain action. But power is a manifest energy; there is something lying behind it to which it belongs as an attribute; what is it? Answer, will. But, where there is a will there must of a necessity be that which wills. What is it that wills to make a special mental effort—that lies away back "behind the throne" and controls the helm? It is evidently the I, myself, the "inner man," the spirit. On one occasion, when some of the disciples of the Nazarene were sleepy, Jesus said to them, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." It is the spirit that wills to make a special mental effort. Here is the "font" of all our ideas. "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?" 1 Cor., ii, 11. Will, as an effect, belongs to the spirit of man, as the cause lying behind. Beyond this no man can trace this subject, short of crossing over from the spirit of man to the invisible Father of spirits. The spirit of man is a wonderful intelligence! "The body without the spirit is dead, being alone." When we analyze the physical structure back to the germ and sperm-cells we are brought face to face with the invisible builder. Call it what you may, it still remains the same invisible architect, which, being matter's master, built the organism. We live, and breathe; we die, and cease breathing. Dead bodies do not breathe. Therefore, life lies behind breath, and spirit behind life. So life and breath are both effects, which find their ultimate or cause in spirit. This at once sets aside all that materialists have said in order to show that spirit and breath are one and the same. The original term, translated by the term spirit has, in its history, away back in the past, a physical currency. The old-fashioned materialist or "soul-sleeper" finds his fort in this fact. His entire aim is to get the people back to an old and obsolete currency of the term "pneuma." If we lay aside words which were used in a physical sense, in times gone by, we will not have many words to express the ideas embraced in mental science. In ancient times "pneuma" signified both mind and wind, or air. In later times it lost its physical currency, and no longer signifies, in its general currency, breath or air. The adjective, "pneumatikos," is never used in a physical sense. It came into use too late.
We have many examples of old meanings passing away from words. "Sapientia," in Latin originally meant only the power of tasting. At present it means wisdom, prudence, discretion, discernment, good sense, knowledge, practical wisdom, philosophy, calmness, patience. The word "sagacitas," originally meant only the faculty of scenting, now it means the power of seeing or perceiving anything easily. In old literature we may read of the sagacity of dogs; keenness of scent. But it is now sharpness of wit; keenness of perception, subtilty, shrewdness, acuteness, penetration, ingenuity. The terms, "attentio," "intentio," "comprehensio," "apprehensio," "penetratio," and understanding are all just so many bodily actions transferred to the expression of mental energies. There is just the same reason for giving to all these terms their old, obsolete, physical currency that there is for giving to pneuma, or spirit, the old obsolete currency of wind or air. You must ever remember that it is the business of lexicographers in giving the history of words, to set before you the first as well as the latest use of terms. In strict harmony with all this Greenfield gives "pneuma" thus:
1. Wind, air in motion, breathing, breath, expiration, respiration, spirit, i. e. the human soul, that is, the vital principle in man, life. Matthew xxvii, 50; Rev. xiii, 15.
2. Of the rational soul, mind, that principle in man which thinks, feels, desires, and wills. Matthew v, 3, 26, 41.
3. Of the human soul after its departure from the body, a spirit, soul. Acts xxiii, 8, 9; Hebrews xii, 23.
4. Spc. Spirit, that is, temper, disposition, affections, feelings, inclination, qualities of mind.
5. Construed with "mou" and "sou" (I and thou), it forms a periphrasis for the corresponding personal pronoun. Mark ii, 8; Luke i, 47. A spirit, that is, A SIMPLE, SPIRITUAL, INCORPOREAL, INTELLIGENT BEING. Spoken of God. John iv, 24. Of angels. Hebrews i, 14. Of evil spirits, Matthew viii, 16; Mark ix, 20. A divine spirit, spoken of the spiritual nature of Christ. 1 Corinthians xv, 45; 1 Peter iii, 18. Of the Holy Spirit. Matthew iii, 16-28; John xv, 26; Acts i, 8; Romans ix, 1.
Robinson, in his Lexicon, sums up the history of its use thus:
1. Pneuma, from pneo, to breathe. A breathing, breath.
1. Of the mouth or nostrils, a breathing, blast. The destroying power of God. Isaiah xi, 4; Psalm xxxiii, 6. The breath. Revelations xi, 11. "Breath of life." Genesis vi, 17; vii, 15-22.
2. Breath of air. Air in motion, a breeze, blast, the wind.
3. The spirit of man, that is, the vital spirit, life, soul.
4. The rational spirit, mind, soul (Latin animus), generally opposed to the body or animal (disposition) spirit. 1 Thessalonians v, 23; 1 Corinthians xiv, 14.
5. It implies will, council, purpose. Matthew xxvi, 41; Mark xiv, 38; Acts xviii, 5; xix, 21; 1 Chronicles v, 26; Ezra i, 1.
6. It includes the understanding, intellect. Mark ii, 8; Luke i, 80, and ii, 40; 1 Corinthians ii, 11, 12; Exodus xxviii, 3; Job xx, 3; Isaiah xxix, 24.
7. A spirit, that is, a simple, incorporeal, immaterial being, possessing higher capacities than man in his present state. Of created spirits, the human spirit, soul, after its departure from the body and as existing in a separate state. Hebrews xii, 23; that is, to the spirits of just men made perfect. Robinson renders it thus: "To the spirits of the just advanced to perfect happiness and glory."
It is spoken of God in reference to his immateriality. John, iv, 24. Of Christ in his exalted spiritual nature in distinction from his human nature. In Hebrews, ix, 14, in contrast with perishable nature. "The eternal spirit," Holy spirit, spirit of God.—Robinson's Lexicon.
From all this it will be seen that it is impossible to limit the term spirit to its ancient physical currency. Our term mind is, for two reasons, a better word for its place in modern literature. First, it never had a physical application. Second, the terms are used indifferently in the New Testament when they relate to man. See Romans, i, 9 and vii, 25. All spirits are one in kind; in character the difference lies; that is, spirits are all imperishable. It is not in the nature of a spirit to cease to be. If it is, then there is no imperishable nature that is revealed to man. I submit for consideration the thought that there is no difference in the final results between the man who denies the existence of spirits altogether and the man who allows that spirits may cease to exist.
"We are cognizant of the existence of spirit by our direct consciousness of feelings, desires and ideas, which are to us the most certain of all realities."—Carpenter.
"The body continually requires new materials and a continued action of external agencies. But the mind, when it has been once called into activity and has become stored with ideas, may remain active and may develop new relations and combinations among these, after the complete closure of the sensorial inlets by which new ideas can be excited 'ab externo.' Such, in fact, is what is continually going on in the state of dreaming.... The mind thus feeds upon the store of ideas which it has laid up during the activity of the sensory organs, and those impressions which it retains in its consciousness are working up into a never ending variety of combinations and successions of ideas, thus affording new sources of mental activity even to the very end of life."—Carpenter.
In death the spirit returns to God, who gave it, retaining, doubtless, all its store of ideas and all its own inherent activities, which will continue while eternity endures.
OUR RELATIONS TO THE ANCIENT LAW AND PROPHETS—WHAT ARE THEY?
The above questions can not be answered intelligently without a knowledge of the character of the law, and of its relations to humanity, as well as a knowledge of the relations of the ancient prophets. The law given at Sinai as a "covenant," with all the laws contained in the "Book of the Law," was political in character; that is to say, it pertained to a community or nation. Such law is always political in its character. The ancient law pertained to the nation of the Jews. It was given to them as a community, and to no other people. Moses said, "And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of fire: Ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone." Deut. iv, 12, 13. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words; for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.... And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." Exodus xxxiv, 27, 28. "The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, who are all of us here alive this day." Deut. v, 2, 3. "Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep, therefore, and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law which I set before you this day." Deut. iv, 5, 8.
The law or covenant, as written upon the two tables of stone, is given in full in one place, and only one, in all the book of the law, and I will now transcribe it from the fifth chapter of Deut. Here it is: "I am the Lord, thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; thou shalt have none other gods before me; thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them or serve them, for I, the Lord, thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
"Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord, thy God, hath commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord, thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates, that thy man-servant and maid-servant may rest as well as thou; and remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord, thy God, brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; THEREFORE, THE LORD, THY GOD, COMMANDED THEE TO KEEP THE SABBATH DAY.
"Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
"Thou shalt not kill.
"Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
"Neither shalt thou steal.
"Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbor.
"Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house, his field, or his man-servant, or his maid-servant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor's.
"These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick darkness, with a great voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me."
This is the covenant as it was written upon the tables of stone. It is, by its facts, limited to the Jews, for they are the only people who were ever delivered from bondage in Egypt. The abrogation of this covenant is clearly presented in the following language, found in Zechariah, the eleventh chapter and tenth verse: "And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day; and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the Lord. And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver." This language had its fulfillment in the sale which Judas Iscariot made of his Lord and the abrogation of the ancient covenant or law.
The prophets were not confined to the kingdom of Israel, or to any one kingdom, nor yet to any one dispensation.
They bore the word of the Lord to all the nations, as we learn from such language as this: "The burden of the word of the Lord to Ninevah, to Sidon, to Tyre, to Idumea, to Babylon, to Samaria, to Egypt," and to many others. It is very remarkable that no such latitude or longitude of relationships belongs to the ancient law. It was confined to the Israelites.
The Heavenly Father spake not to the ancients by his Son, but by the prophets. And much of that which they spake pertained to our own dispensation and to our own religion.
Much, very much, of that which they gave lies in the very foundation of our religion. We should always distinguish, carefully, between the Law and the prophets, and between these two and the psalms, remembering, however, that prophesy belongs also to many of the psalms. The abrogated covenant, or law, that was done away, was written upon stones. It, with all the laws which were after its tenor, was supplanted by the law of Christ. It was added because of transgression till Christ, "the seed," should come. When he came it expired by limitation, and through his authority the neighborly restrictions or limitations were taken off from moral precepts, which were re-enacted by him.
THE FUNERAL SERVICES OF THE NATIONAL LIBERAL LEAGUE.
The decent members of the Liberal League, who formed it to express their convictions, and who withdrew and formed a rival League when they found that the old organization had gone over to the defense of indecency, who gave to the League all the character it had, and who had great hopes at one time of destroying the influence of the preachers of the Gospel of Christ, and thereby ridding our country of that terrible pest called the Bible, have given up their name. Their "priests" have adopted the following arraignment of their old organization, a legitimate child of their own:
"Voted that, in the judgment of this Board, the name 'National Liberal League' has become so widely and injuriously associated in the public mind with attempts to repeal the postal laws prohibiting the circulation of obscene literature by mail, with the active propagandism of demoralizing and licentious social theories, and with the support of officials and other public representatives who are on good grounds believed to have been guilty of gross immoralities, that it has been thereby unfitted for use by any organization which desires the support of the friends of 'natural morality.' "
Thus the child went into a far country and fed among swine, and, failing to come to itself and return to its father's house, the old gentleman disinherited it, once and forever. A younger son, however, is christened "Liberal Union," and whether it will remain at home to take care of the old man in his dotage remains to be seen.
"The whole analogy of natural operations furnish so complete and crushing an argument against the intervention of any but what are called secondary causes, in the production of all the phenomena of the universe, that, in view of the intimate relations of man and the rest of the living world, and between the forces exerted by the latter and all other forces, I can see no reason for doubting that all are co-ordinate terms of nature's great progression, from formless to formed, from the inorganic to the organic, from blind force to conscious intellect and will." Huxley's Evidence of Man's Place in Nature, London, 1864, p. 107.
A writer in the Spectator charged Professor Huxley with Atheism. The professor replies, in the number of that paper for February 10, 1866, thus: "I do not know that I care very much about popular odium, so there is no great merit in saying that if I really saw fit to deny the existence of a God I should certainly do so for the sake of my own intellectual freedom, and be the honest Atheist you are pleased to say I am. As it happens, however, I can not take this position with honesty, inasmuch as it is, and always has been, a favorite tenet that Atheism is as absurd, logically speaking, as Polytheism." In the same sheet, he says: "The denying the possibility of miracles seems to me quite as unjustifiable as Atheism." Is Huxley in conflict with Huxley?
THE TRIUMPHING REIGN OF LIGHT.
The next psychic cycle, it seems to me, will witness a synthesis of thought and faith, a recognition of the fact that it is impossible for reason to find solid ground that is not consecrated ground; that all philosophy and all science belong to religion; that all truth is a revelation of God; that the truths of written revelation, if not intelligible to reason, are nevertheless consonant with reason; and that divine agency, instead of standing removed from man by infinite intervals of time and space, is, indeed, the true name of those energies which work their myriad phenomena in the natural world around us. This consummation—at once the inspiration of a fervent religion and the prophecy of the loftiest science—is to be the noontide reign of wedded intellect and faith, whose morning rays already stream far above our horizon.—Winchell. Re. and Sci. p. 84.
"Experience proves to us that the matter which we regard as inert and dead, assumes action, intelligence, and life, when it is combined in a certain way."—Atheist.
"But how does a germ come to live?"—Deist.
"Life is organization with feeling."—Atheist.
"But that you have these two properties from the motion of" dead atoms, or matter alone, it is impossible to give any proof; and if it can not be proved, why affirm it? Why say aloud, "I know," while you say to yourself, "I know not?"—Voltaire.
When you venture to affirm that matter acts of itself by an eternal necessity, it must be demonstrated like a proposition in Euclid, otherwise you rest your system only on a perhaps. What a foundation for that which is most interesting to the human race!—Voltaire.