Scientific and Religious Journal.
VOL. 1. OCTOBER, 1880. NO. 10.
LAW AND ATONEMENT.
"The soul that sinneth it shall die," and it "shall not die."
The first quotation, "The soul that sinneth it shall die," is often produced in support of the scholastic idea that the law of God was inexorable, that is absolute or unconditional, not to be moved or its penalty escaped by reformation or petition.
The language of the text is very definite, and, when viewed aside from its context as an inexorable law, it certainly follows that every sinning soul must pay its penalty. Neither can I see how it can be satisfied by punishing an innocent person in the room of the guilty, for the innocent one was not the "soul that sinned." Yet this quality of law is claimed in order to make out the theory of a vicarious punishment endured by the Savior, that is, that He took the sinner's "law place." This idea was necessitated by the theory that we all sinned when Adam transgressed, and lost all ability to do anything for ourselves. So we must be redeemed by satisfaction to justice, rather than by mercy. This old Calvinistic system of error lays the penalty of the inexorable law upon Christ. But Calvinists are not alone in this theory of a "vicarious punishment," in order to a vicarious atonement. Neither are they alone in the abuse of the phrase "the law," for our Sabbatarian friends are constantly asserting that the law of God was, and is, simply the ten commandments given, they say, to Adam in Eden, and authoritatively published on Sinai. They assert that all the balance of the five books of Moses was his law, written by him, but the record justifies us in saying, that the ten precepts were not the tenth part of the words given to Moses upon Sinai; neither were they all the words that were written upon the tables of stone. The tables begin with the sixth verse of the fifth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, in these words, "I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage," and end with the twenty-first verse. But as the sixth verse is fatal to the Sabbatarian theory it is clipped off along with the fifteenth verse, which is cut out of the middle of the matter written upon the tables, and both are gravely divorced from God and handed over to Moses. Both, however, are in perfect harmony with the second and third verses, which read thus: "The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day." That the sixth and fifteenth verses were upon the tables of stone is evident from the reading of the twenty-second verse, which reads thus: "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 wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto you."
Many persons who claim that the import of the term die, in the sentence "The soul that sinneth it shall die," was experienced by the Savior upon the cross dying as a substitute in the law-place of sinners, overlook several things of first importance. First, infants were not included in the provisions of a vicarious punishment and atonement unless it can be shown that they sinned—were sinners. Second, no innocent person can justly suffer in the law-place of the guilty. In all such cases justice is dishonored and law violated, for just law limits its penalties to the guilty.
Our salvation "is not of the law," but "by grace" or favor. Law had nothing to do with the death of Christ. He, "BY THE GRACE OF GOD, tasted death for every man." "If it be of the law it is not of grace." Again, the simple sentence, "The soul that sinneth it shall die," never was the law of God in any age, but simply a fraction of the law. Did Christ ever sin? No! Then He never honored this law, or satisfied its penalty by dying; for if, as our friends say, the inexorable quality of the law will forever hold the guilty to its claims, it will forever keep the innocent from its penalty. But I aver that the inexorable quality that is claimed for the law of God never belonged to it. No, not even to the simple sentence, "The soul that sinneth it shall die." The Lord authorizes us to supply the condition in every instance where it is not expressed, thus: "When I shall say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity, he shall surely live, he shall not die." So the prophet gives us the second quotation at the head of this article, "Shall not die." It would be just as proper to make this last scrap of the law inexorable as its opposite. Such teachings do violence to the truth by overlooking the merciful provisions that are found in the laws of God, by holding inexorable law before us as a streak of justice clothed with black vengeance.
The gospel of Jesus Christ knows no law in connection with Christians, or any others, except, first, the laws of nature. Secondly, the laws of the state or government in which we reside. Third, the law of Christ. We are under law to Christ in common with all men, for the Father had put all things under Him. We were never under the law given to Adam. We were not in the garden of Eden. We believe with Paul that the first offense in the history of mankind was the "offense of one," that it was "one that sinned," that "by one man's offense death reigned," that it was "one man's disobedience." When men talk to me as an individual, and of my relations to law, sin and death, I wish them to recollect that I was never in the garden of Eden. So I claim an alibi. Adam sinned thousands of years before I, as a man, had my existence; and as it is true that, where there is no law there is no transgression, so it is equally true that, where the man is not, he does not transgress. I was not in the garden of Eden, so there I did not sin.
But we are told that the Father of mercies, by a decree of law, imputed Adam's offense to all his children, and that he, by the vicarious punishment endured by the Savior, took Adam's offense off from Adam's children.
Admit it, and three things follow: First, we did not sin in fact when Adam sinned. Second, from Adam to Christ all the innocents upon earth were sinners by the arbitrary decree of Jehovah. Third, the Father put this decree-load of guilt upon an innocent one, and executed the real penalty upon him. How is this? Suppose a legislative body legislates a man a murderer because his great great grand-father killed a man, should it not also legislate him free from the penalty of murder and never in cruel injustice inflict it upon him or any other innocent one simply as a satisfaction to justice? Law ought to always place us where we are in fact, otherwise it is detestably unjust. Why should any sensible man attribute such dealings to the Father of Spirits? The fallacy of such teaching is seen in the fact that the penalty of the Adamic law was executed in the day of the transgression, and not nine hundred nor thousands of years afterwards. The phrase, "Dying thou shalt die" does not help the case, for the phrase "In the day" limits the penalty as respects the time of its fulfillment.
Adam lost citizen life in the Garden of Eden in the very day of his offense. The full penalty was executed when he was driven out. Physical death was an after result, growing out of the fact that Adam's posterity was unborn when he was driven from his Eden home. The Lord did not say to Adam, in the day thou eatest thereof you shall die and not live again, if he had the way of redemption would have been forever closed against him. Adam's first sons appear before us with a law of faith, embracing typical and sacrificial duties, through which they were brought into the way of life with reference to an ultimate arrival at the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God.
This law of faith was given to Adam's family outside of the Garden; and the law of Sinai was not given to Adam, nor to his immediate posterity, for in that case Cain would have been put to death for killing his brother Abel. It was given to Abraham's family after the exodus from Egypt. It was a political law, because it pertained to a community.
Next in order follows the law of Christ. Beside these we know of no revealed law, excepting those of which we have spoken. So this vicarious punishment system of things, with all its consequences, rests upon a something that men call the inexorable law of God, which a man can not find in the annals of creation, providence or redemption. The prophet, in the language of our quotation, "The soul that sinneth it shall die," is grappling with the system of things which we are endeavoring to overthrow. The children of Israel fell into the sentiments of our modern Calvinists, and claimed that "The fathers had eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth were set on edge." By this proverb they understood that the son was to bear the iniquity of the father. The Lord rebuked them in the language of our topic, and more severely in the context. [See Ezekiel, eighteenth chapter.]
The Lord said to them, "Behold, all souls are mine. * * * The soul that sinneth it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son."
The prophet also describes a righteous man, and then adds, "If he begets a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doth the like to any one of these things, and doth none of the duties of a righteous life, he shall surely die." We would naturally conclude that this vile person would transmit moral depravity, if such was possible, but how can moral corruption be transmitted through physical generation? Let some of the wise crack this shell! If I was passing around through the little city of Kokomo to-morrow, and was talking upon this theme, I would hear some one accuse some poor soul of being a natural born thief, without the ability to refrain from it. There is neither morality nor immorality, vice nor virtue in an involuntary act. Are the rushings of the Wild Cat river moral or immoral? If a man could be a natural thief, and therefore could not help but steal, he would be no more a sinner in the sight of God, nor responsible, nor morally corrupt than the horse that breaks into your cornfield and fills himself.
In the saying, "If the wicked will turn," etc., "he shall surely live, he shall not die," we discover two important things: First, the death spoken of is not physical, for all die, regardless of character; second, it is not moral, for the poor fellow is already morally dead—dead in trespasses and in sin.
The term die being used in the divine law with reference to the government of God, and under such circumstances as already mentioned, must indicate simply the forfeiture of citizen life in the paradise of God, in the world to come, for it is said of the wicked, "They have no inheritance in the kingdom of God and of Christ." But if Christ took their law-place, and was punished in their stead, satisfied justice, of course it was done, and then universal salvation, regardless of character, and upon simple legal merits, must obtain, because this theory rests upon the hypothesis that sinners could do nothing for themselves. But is it true that the atonement was completed upon the cross or by the death of Christ only? I answer, he was victim upon the cross and high priest by the power of an endless life. Priest by the word of the oath which was subsequent to the law. He was not a priest while he was a victim in death. In ancient times the victim was slain and its blood was taken into the holy place, then the high priest officiated in the holy place. But the priest never entered without blood. So Christ, by his own blood, entered into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. But all this releases us not in the least from our own obligations to God and our humanity.
The Savior came to our earth to give us, first, his life, in order that we might make it our own; second, his divine mind concerning us and our expectations; third to ratify the same by his death; fourth to give us an assurance of a resurrection from the dead, and of a future judgment. For the first it is said "that he consecrated for us a new and living way through the veil, that is to say through his flesh, into the holiest." For the second we have simply the gift of a second will. "He took away the first that he might establish the second, by the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ." For the third it is said that "The New Testament was dedicated not without blood." For the fourth it is said that "He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead." So every one of us shall give an account of himself to God, and receive according to his own works and not the works of another.
One question, and only one, will be of interest to me in the judgment, and that is this, how have I lived? What are the deeds which were done in my body? The Lord once said of a wicked city: "Though Noah, Job and Daniel were in it they should save none but themselves by their righteousness." But we are told that the righteousness of Christ was the only satisfaction; that he, dying in our law-place, paid the debt. Then I am released. Let the debt be what it may, I can't be held to give satisfaction. But we were always anxious to know what we were released from. Was it physical death? No; we must die. Was it death in sin? No; there is no getting out of that without reformation and pardon. Vicarious punishment! What is it? What was it that Christ suffered in the sinners' law-place? It could not be the everlasting punishment threatened in the Scriptures, for the Savior was only about three hours upon the cross. And if the Savior paid the debt, why is it that sinners are to pay it themselves unless they repent?
But there is still another grave objection to the theory. It is this, It declares that there is no forgiveness with God. He can't forgive when Christ paid the debt. Can you forgive a debt that is paid? Is it possible for such a thing to take place? One writer has called this old theory "the Redeemer's glory;" but if it be his glory it is the Father's dishonor. Elder Stockell gives the theory the very imposing title, "The Redeemer's Glory Unveiled." But look at the following from page 157 of his work thus entitled: "In a strict and proper sense the infinite God doth not forgive sin; for it is readily granted by all who are sound in the faith that Jesus Christ hath given full satisfaction to divine justice for all sin, and hath fully paid the debt of his church. And if Christ hath satisfied the justice of God for all the sins of his people, how then can it justly, or with propriety of speech, be said that God pardoneth our sins and transgressions? Sure I am that debt can never be forgiven which is paid."
Others, who are not so wise, or, it may be, so frank, refuse to allow the logical consequences of the doctrine of vicarious sufferings. This theory represents mercy as always stultified until Christ satisfied justice. Imagine the Savior upon the cross, innocent, suffering by sheer necessity of justice in the sinners' law-place. Justice is standing off to the right and Mercy is a short distance to the left. Poor Mercy! She says, "I always felt stultified up to this hour, for Justice was always dissatisfied and frowning." Justice responds, "True; but just now I am being satisfied. I have always asked for this. So from this time forward I shall be in a smiling mood. Now we can unite and let the guilty ones go free, for I have wreaked my vengeance upon the innocent one."
Just now the poor skeptic with common sense says, "Hold! Does not the law say 'It is the soul that sinneth that shall die?' Did I not hear you say that you had wreaked your vengeance upon the innocent one?" Justice and mercy both draw a veil over their faces and respond through the advocates of this system of things, "Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness." The poor skeptic of common sense retires muttering to himself something like this, "Well, if such is the mystery of godliness, I pray that I may never fall into her hands."
Just now he is accosted by a preacher, who says to him, "Look there upon that Roman cross. Don't you see that sinless one? He is spotless, pure and lovely. He never sinned, neither was guile found in His mouth, yet He was accounted guilty of all the sins of the whole human family, at least He suffered the full penalty enacted against all the sins of all the race, and satisfied justice." Common-sense skeptic says: "Who required that? Who counted him guilty of the whole? Who?" The preacher responds, "God and His justice—yes, His justice." Justice, you know, had to be satisfied, for God Himself could not forgive a man until the debt was paid. Do you see? Common-sense skeptic turns away disgusted, and as he walks off he is heard to say, "Farewell, to all of you!"
Who can blame men who never heard any thing better for being unbelievers? When Jehovah proclaimed His name, He said "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin." This must be admitted by all intelligent Christians. Mercy was never stultified. There was in all the dispensations of God's providence free and unstultified mercy. The infinite One was never unable to forgive sins; neither was He laid under the necessity of punishing the innocent in the room of the guilty. No, He never did it. His justice never required it, and it is too mean to ascribe it to Him. His laws in all the dispensations were conditional, contained merciful provisions. Now, let us "fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."
The great thought of pardon through the abundant goodness of God runs through all the ages, but substitution, in the sense of vicarious punishment, does not. It is not taught even in connection with dying animals, for the "blood of animals could not take away sins." Again, the soul that sinneth it shall die, but animals were not sinning souls, so that scrap of revealed law could not be honored in the death of a goat.
There is nothing in the history of the ages to necessitate the idea that justice could not allow the free exercise of mercy towards the penitent sinner, or that God's wrath must be appeased, or He made propitious by means of blood. He was propitious, and therefore ordered the use of blood for wise and benevolent purposes. The use of blood is related to His mercy as effect is to cause, and not as cause to effect. The mercy and goodness of God was always complete, full and unrestrained by all external causes, except the moral and virtuous qualities of their object. By the grace of God Jesus tasted death for every man. He did not go to the cross because law or justice required it, but because He loved the race. He came from heaven to earth and volunteered the cross as a commendation or demonstration of the divine love for man. The authority of law is never associated with the cross or death of Christ. For this great love for man, manifested even in his death, He gained the throne of Lordship, where He exercises himself as the Savior of men and as Lord over all. Will you obey Him and live?
THE SIMPLICITY OF THE SCIENCE OF MIND.
Our sphere of research is simplified by dividing its objects into matter and mind, so as to have but two centers of thought. Many have concluded that the address of matter to our senses has made it easy to pursue knowledge respecting bodies, while the invisibility of mind presents insurmountable difficulties, but this conclusion is scarcely supported by facts. If men have erred with reference to their own intellects, they have also made many and egregious blunders concerning matter and its qualities. We think the study of mind is just as easy as the study of matter. Here a man has nothing to do but look into himself. With my mind I think, reason, reflect, remember, hate, love, grieve, rejoice, imagine, contrive, invent and will, and this very mind is conscious of all these operations; so in this study there ought to be no mistake. We lay it down as a truth of first importance, that all minds are alike. As gold is gold, so mind is mind, throughout the universe. My mind is myself, which I carry with me everywhere; it is my own personality from which I can never part. It is the individual Walker. Individual is defined thus: An object which is, in the strict and primary sense, one, and can not be logically divided.
An individual is not absolutely indivisible, but that which can not be divided without losing its name and distinctive qualities. Individuality, like personal identity, belongs properly to intelligences. Consciousness reveals it to us that no being can be put in our place nor confounded with us, nor we with others. I am one and indivisible. You can not amputate any of the faculties of the mind. It is a mind which no one dissects or divides. We are assured that we are the offspring of God. Paul says this truth had been promulgated by one of the Athenian poets, and it was so correct that Heaven's seal was placed upon it. Being the offspring of God we are essentially like our Great Father Spirit, for it is one of the laws of God that the child or descendant shall always be like its progenitor; not like him in body, for God is a spirit. A spirit hath not flesh and bone. We are therefore like Him in spirit. Being the offspring of the divine intelligence declares the nature of that intelligence, just as the stream declares the nature of the water in the fountain which feeds it. As the fountain is the antecedent of the stream, so God is the antecedent of life and intelligence, from whom all spirits came, and to whom all spirits must return.
Our studies in respect of mind are wonderfully simplified when we recollect that in ourselves we see all other men, spirit or mind being in its essence and attributes essentially the same; but the fountain is always greater than the stream, so God is more wise and powerful than any of his offspring. But as each perfect sunbeam, however small or weak, has all the essential properties of light, and each grain of pure silver all the properties of that metal, so mind, as the living offspring of the divine mind, is in the "likeness and image of God." This branch of study becomes remarkably simple when we reflect that in ourselves we see all men and women, angels and demons, and even God himself. The whole universe of mind is reflected in that inner-man mirror which we call ourself. We have guarded this subject by the language, the essential attributes of mind. By this qualifier we wish it understood that mind, like body, has its accidental or acquired qualities. Vice, virtue, folly, wisdom, malignity and benevolence are not essential to mind, but like the accidents of matter known as roughness or smoothness, softness, hardness, blackness, etc., are merely qualities or attributes of its conduct. Vice is vicious action and virtue is virtuous action. But action arises from will and will from thought. All minds are free agents, being vicious or virtuous from their own choice. There is as much piety, morality or immorality in the flowing of the Wabash river as there is in involuntary action. So ability to choose is the great factor of morality, virtue, immorality, and vice.
In scientific investigations lying in the realm of the physical there are countless objects to engage our thoughts, but here we have but one, and we always carry it about with us and are continually using it. Our consciousness is to all the operations of our spirits what seeing, touching, hearing, tasting and smelling is to surrounding bodies. It enables us to examine all the minds in the universe. Would you like to have an organ which would enable you to see spirits? In your consciousness you have a faculty superior to all the five senses put together. In our consciousness we see and feel ourselves, and in so doing we see not only the minds of others, but our great Father himself. We can not tell what instincts are in the bee, or what sagacity is in a spaniel, because we are neither spaniels nor bees, but we are of a more noble race. We are in possession of minds or spirits, and consequently identified with all minds or spirits, so the science of mind, or psychology, is the knowledge of ourselves.
Christianity, as a spiritual system, takes us and all its votaries into this intellectual temple, where we may certainly know God through a correct knowledge of self. In this temple we have a sample of the spirits of men, angels and demons, and over all, an example of the spirit we worship. These invisible intelligences are the wonderful agencies through which good and evil are effected. Natural laws are only the rules by which the great Father Spirit acts. Laws are rules by which agents act, and they always imply agents. Men of olden times are often spoken of as great metaphysicians. Who has not heard of Homer, Herodotus, Pindar, Demosthenes, Aristotle, Plato and many others. But those ancient men, here as in physics, dealt so much in fancy that they were not disposed to enter into the simple examination of their own minds or spirits. Entangled in the doctrines of chance, fate and destiny they robbed the Creator of the sceptre of the universe. They placed Jove, their supreme deity, under a decree that he could not change; confessed that he could not, in many instances, help them when he desired to do so. The greatest hindrances to progress among them were their failures to know the true character of Jove, or their want of a correct knowledge of God, and the distinction between mind and matter. They failed to separate between the two. Their gods were continually in an abominable quarrel about some interest that involved human welfare, and for that very reason their theory of mind was nothing but a confused mass of childish stories. They had no starting point from which to reason. They, failing to separate between mind and matter, were led into endless theories about what they denominated the animal and intellectual soul. The idea of one of their own poets that we are God's offspring was of no avail, in science, to them, because they neither knew themselves nor their gods. We are, therefore, indebted to the Bible for our superior knowledge in the science of mind. If the Gospel had never reached us we would have been as great dreamers in mental science as the mystics of India.
The doctrine of one Creator, who is a perfect spirit, and the father of our spirits, and that he presides over all nature for the good of the whole; that matter is inert, and moves not unless as it is moved; that all life and force is in mind or spirit; that all spirits are free agents, and act from choice; that all spirits have the same essential attributes; and that man is of the divine "genos" kind or sort, and, as an intellectual being, is therefore in the image of God, has simplified and extended our researches in the science of mind, and based them on reason and common sense as well as revelation. From such considerations the doctrine of universal brotherhood has proceeded along with the equal, civil, political and religious rights of all mankind. The ultimate fruit of all is the abolition of oppression and slavery throughout the world, and the desire to see all men elevated to their proper rank as intellectual and moral beings. Thus our views of God and nature, of mind and matter, are of immense practical value to our race.
Do you say mind or spirit does not belong as a real factor to science? Well, we are astonished! Science is correct, or certain knowledge arising from a deep and rational inquiry into the object or subject of investigation. The question therefore comes back again, have we any knowledge of mind? This is to ask, whether consciousness is knowledge! The term comes from the Latin "con," which signifies together, and "scio," I know, and is used to convey the idea that we know the thing altogether, that is, have perfect or full knowledge. It is the mind's testimony concerning itself. Now, if I can become acquainted with external and material objects through my senses, certainly my consciousness of my own mental operations is, and must be, more certain and self-evident. In judging, reasoning, reflecting, choosing, desiring, remembering, loving, hating and hoping, along with all other operations of mind, I must know the operation intimately, perfectly and altogether. If I am reflecting, I know it, and this consciousness is science, is certain knowledge, is the very thing from which no man can escape so long as he is a rational being. Here is my individuality, my personality, in that which is the indivisible unit of my nature, from which I can not emigrate, and one attribute of which I can not amputate—the I! The thief may escape from justice, but he can not escape from the dishonest wretch—himself.
The murderer in America may flee to England or France, but through conscious memory he is, and will forever be, compelled to keep company with the murderous villain. He has this consciousness and will keep it through eternity, even though he should be pardoned. Here, then, is certain knowledge, more than seeing, hearing, or any other sense belonging to the physical, for it is the conscious knowledge of that which sees and hears, and which reaches out through the senses and connects itself with the objective. It is therefore certain that, in case there is no such thing as mental science, there is no such thing as science at all, in all the realm of the universe; because the mind, in the act of knowing, knows itself or is conscious of its own operations, otherwise it could know nothing whatever, could not be mind.
Have we not the most certain evidence of the existence of mind? Is light a certain evidence that there is light, or a source of light? Is not reasoning a proof that there is something which reasons? Can there be light without a cause? Can there be invention without an inventive being? The mind is like a telescope in this respect, that it shows itself in showing that about which it is occupied. The man who is content to believe what he sees, hears, tastes, smells and feels, is only a sensuous believer—an animal, and not a man. Reason's glory is that it perceives the invisible.
OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO REVELATION—No. IV.
BY P.T. RUSSELL.
LANGUAGE AND RELIGION, FROM WHENCE?
There are conditions under which circumstantial evidence is the best possible testimony. These conditions are found inseparably connected with our present subject. That men now possess the same powers of body and mind that they always manifested is disputed by no intelligent individual. Those powers have been, through all the ages, precisely the same both in number and kind. Has the history of humanity furnished a single case in which a person, perfectly deaf during all his life, had the ability to speak words? Such is unknown in the history of the past, and also in the records of the present. History is as blank at this point, as a barren oasis. All the other faculties are as perfect with the deaf as they are with those whose hearing is perfect. Their inventive genius is equally vigorous; this being true, why should the defect of the ear deprive them of the power of speech? Will the Deist answer this question? Mr. Skeptic, as you are in the same difficulty with the Deist, you may help him if you choose. If you are, as you pretend, free and fearless thinkers, give us your thoughts upon this question. If you are cowardly, then stand off and sneer at the question which you dare not try to answer. The facts developed at this point ought to be remembered, and the question, why can the deaf, described, never talk? ought to be pressed home to every heart.
MATHEMATICS WILL AID US HERE.
When we see a constant increase in the number of persons or things in an undeviating ratio, with the aid of mathematics we can pass back to the first of the series, to the first man living at the base of the human series. Ever remember that there can not be a series without a unit lying at its base.
Why do the life-long deaf never talk? You answer: All Adam's children learn to talk by hearing others talk, and as those deaf ones never heard, so they never learned to talk. Very well. The first man, at the beginning of the series of humanity, had no powers or faculties which his descendants do not possess, and as they all have been under the necessity of learning to talk by hearing others talk, will you unbelievers and skeptics tell us, if you can, how that first man became a talker? Can the life-long deaf talk as well as those whose ears are perfect? No. Well, then, the difficulty rests upon you. That you may remember it, I will repeat it once more, it is this: who did the first man hear in order to learn the talker's trade?
WHERE DID LANGUAGE COME FROM?
Do you tell us that society made language? Then society must be older than language, for the maker is always, of necessity, older than the thing made. But without language there could be no interchange of ideas, and without this society could not exist. Where there is no intelligent communication of ideas we never think of society. Society does not exist where there is no intelligent communication of ideas between persons. The trees in the grove are never spoken of as a society. They are not and can not be in the social state. Neither are the brutes around us. Man is the only being upon earth capable of becoming a constituent element or part of society. Mr. Blair says, in his lectures on Belleslettres, "It would be extremely difficult to conceive how society could exist without language." Now, as society can not exist without language, it is certain that society could not be the author of language, for the author must be older than his production. But Mr. Blair springs another difficulty. It is in these words: "It would be equally difficult to conceive how language could exist without society." A moment's reflection will satisfy all reasonable persons that language can not exist without society, and that which can not exist without the other can not be the maker—author—of the other, for the maker must be older than the thing made. Then, as neither of these could exist without the other, neither could be the author of the other. So language and society are both effects, and their cause is outside of or antecedent to both, for every effect has an antecedent cause.
WHO, OR WHAT, IS THAT CAUSE?
First, it must have existed before man. Second, it must have possessed the powers of speech; and, therefore, must have been an intelligence. We have already seen this in our reflections upon the fact that the life-long deaf, who are deprived of hearing words spoken, are always dumb; so man, if he had never heard words spoken, would have remained dumb. He that created the ear, could He not hear? Did He not know what He was doing? He that arranged the vocal powers of man, could He not speak? Is there no evidence of an intelligent authorship here? He who not only created but also endowed man with all His noble and God-like attributes, would He not delight in visiting man and talking with him and learning him the art of speech? Did man not have the privilege of learning to talk? Did he not hear and learn from the "ancient of days"—from his great author? Is it not unreasonable to suppose that the author of man's being took no delight in him? Without this the first man could never have commanded the use of words. Here we have the "Arriere pensee" clue, that is, the clue in mental reservation; and here we meet the axiom. The clear is the true, and the "Ariadne," the clue that leads us out of the labyrinth. Language at the first must have been specific. This, in the nature of the case, must have been true; that is, each and every word must have been used in such a manner as to convey a certain definite idea. As we have already seen how mathematics aid us in passing back to the first man, so we can easily see how to reach an approximate idea of his mental condition. Physiologically, he might have been a full developed athlete, but in mentality, like the helpless infant. He is at the first uneducated. True, he possesses powers of mind, but they are inactive. No thought has passed through his mind to wake him up. He opens his eyes and immediately he thinks, he hears, and thought is increased. He is connected with the objective world of things by means of the five senses, and his mind goes to work upon these. His thoughts are all his own; he himself thought them; they were within his reach. He saw and heard, but his thoughts, like yours and mine, did not go beyond his perceivings. Yes, he wakes up and hears a rustling sound in the air just above his head; looking up he discovers a pair of the birds of Paradise flying over him; they light on the branch of a tree near by. These were the first things seen; he saw them in the morning of the first day of his life. He looks and looks, and thinks these birds are older than himself, for he remembers having seen them at the moment of the first consciousness. The question possible came up, Whence came they, and all the other things which I now see and hear? Were they always here? No answer is found. His curiosity is aroused; his reason is perplexed; he would be puzzled. He now reaches for thoughts too high for him; neither bird, beast, nor any other part of all creation can give the light he seeks. Whichever way he turns he receives no answer; he is bewildered; he is now anxious for light and ready to receive it. Man has found his extremity, and this is God's opportunity. He visits man and talks to him, and man, hearing the speech of his Creator, learns to talk. He is now able to ask for the solution of the perplexing problem of the ages, From whence came all these beautiful and useful things with which I am surrounded? Did they come of themselves, or did somebody make and arrange them? Here the Lord drives away all his troubles, simply saying: "I created all these things; the earth and the heavens, and all that is in them, the sun, moon and the stars also, and I now place you here in this beautiful Eden, earth, to dress and keep it." Thus man obtained the use of language and the foundation of religion at the same time. Of this I will speak more at length in my next. Tell them farewell.
N.B.—Let the determined skeptic answer these essays if he can, and if he can not, let him be an honest man and surrender.
MIND AND INSTINCT, OR STRICTURES UPON THE TEACHINGS OF EVOLUTIONISTS.
The evolution imagination ventures to affirm that man's intellectual superiority over the brute "is not qualitative but quantitative." Then it follows, of necessity, that intellectually considered the brute is the image of man just as much as man is the image of God, the difference being quantitative and not qualitative. Evolutionists claim that "man's superiority over the brute results from greater complexity and superior development of the brain." Now if man, as they say, once lived the life of the brute, and his superiority now is simply quantitative, why is it that his inferiors of to-day are not passing into real manhood? They are far superior to any creature which is "not far from the tadpole stage of evolution." If we were once there, and evolutionists say we were, why not take all brutes in as our kins-folk.
Now, since evolutionists have learned the secret of mind-making by training dogs and other animals to certain habits, and giving time for heredity to transmit those habits, they being "immediately petrified in brain structure," why should we not go to work and bring about a millennial glory, at least by the third or fourth generation? If so much has been overcome as lies between man and the tadpole, with the tadpole capital only to work upon, perhaps we might, with our present capital, bring into existence a race of gods. Why not? We are taught that "instinct is habit petrified in brain structure and transmitted by heredity," that it is, consequently, "organized ancestral experiences that are the source of instinct, but not always." Why this modification in the teachings of evolutionists? Do they not know that the acknowledgment of the existence of an original instinctive endowment breaks down the whole theory of mind-being from environments? And what right have Atheists to claim instinct as an original endowment, in certain cases? The very idea is destructive of their speculation, for in order to an original endowment, as they term it, over and above that which is the result of ancestral experiences petrified in brain structure and transmitted, there must be the endowment, that which endows, and the endowed. These three things stand or fall together. But why should they claim this exception of an original endowment? The answer is easy. Facts that are utterly against them are known to exist in the world of instincts. We have an example in the instinct of the honey bee. Neither the drone nor the queen ever built a cell. So this is conceded to be an original endowment. O, ye evolutionists! will you tell us where this cell-building instinct came from? You claim that it was, or is, an original endowment. From whom? Again you tell us that instinct depends upon brain structure in every instance; then what is the difference between instinct and intellect or mind? You tell us that mind also depends on brain structure, and you say that intelligence is unlike instinct, because it works by experience, not ancestral, but, on the contrary, by individual experience.
Then we have it thus:
First. Instinct works by ancestral experience, petrified in brain structure, and transmitted.
Second. Mind works by individual and not ancestral experience.
Third. Instinct is sometimes an original endowment.
Now, can we or any others tell how it is that mind depends, just like instinct, wholly upon brain structure, and is, at the same time, unlike instinct in that it is wholly dependent on individual, not ancestral experience? And if mind or intelligence does not depend on ancestral experience, how is its origin to be accounted for on the hypothesis of heredity through evolution of species, starting, without life, instinct or mind, by blind forces operating on dead matter, and the forces themselves simply the forces of dead matter? The capacity for intellectual improvement is a remarkable peculiarity of man's nature. The instinctive habits of the lower animals are limited, are peculiar to each species, and have immediate reference to their bodily wants. Where a particular adaptation of means to ends, of actions to circumstances, is made by an individual the rest do not seem to profit by that experience, so that, although the instincts of particular animals may be modified by the training of man, or by the education of circumstances, so as to show themselves after a few generations under new forms, no elevation of intelligence ever appears to take place spontaneously, no physical improvement is manifested in the species at large. On the other hand, we observe in man not merely the capability of profiting by experience, but the determination to do so, which he is enabled to put into action by the power which his will, when properly disciplined, comes to possess, of directing and controlling his current of thought by fixing his attention upon any subject which he desires to keep before his mental vision. This power, so far as we know, is peculiar to man, and the presence or absence of it constitutes the difference between a being possessed of powers to determine his own course of thought and action, and a mere thinking automaton.—Carpenter's Physiology.
REVIVAL OF LEARNING.
TO WHOM ARE WE INDEBTED?
Charlemagne, Emperor of Germany, who is known as a Christian prince, and Alfred the Great, of England, lived in the eight and ninth centuries. The darkest period in the dark ages was between the fifth and the eleventh, but they are known as the earliest luminaries of the modern world. They encouraged learning both by example and patronage, but they could not overcome the gross ignorance of their times; nevertheless they shed a strong and living lustre over the age in which they lived. (See Elements of General Knowledge, by Henry Kelt, Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, Oxford, p. 246.) Where, and under what circumstances, were their schools established? They were confined to churches and monasteries, and the monks presided over them, but they were inadequate to the task of diffusing knowledge in any extensive circle. The reign of heathenism and ignorance continued.
The Arabians had introduced the knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, and the philosophy of Aristotle into Spain. (See Warton on Pope, vol. 1, p. 184.) At the beginning of the eleventh century several enlightened scholars undertook to educate the youth of the cities of Italy, and at a later period those of France, England and Germany. To the stability and prevalence of the education thus begun is the establishment of the universities of Europe attributable. Those of Paris and Oxford carry their claims to antiquity to the times of Alfred and Charlemagne, but it is said that the real claims of Paris stop with Phillip Augustus in the twelfth century. In the year 1264 Merton College was founded by Walter de Merton, Lord Chancellor of England and Bishop of Rochester, but the honorable title, "Mother of Universities of Europe" is due to Bologna. It was in her walls that learning, in the eleventh century, first attempted to raise her head.
It is said upon good authority that 10,000 students were assembled here in the next century, that is, somewhere about the beginning of the fourteenth century, and that each country in Europe had its resident regents and professors at Bologna. Here the studies of the civil and canon law constituted the almost exclusive objects of application, but Paris directed the attention of her scholars to theology. Oxford began at this time to acquire fame and to rival the foreign universities in the ability of its professors and the multitude of its members; in the year 1340 they amounted to 30,000. Many other universities were soon established upon the models of Bologna, Paris and Oxford. In these logic and scholastic divinity were for centuries the reigning subjects of pursuit. The works of Aristotle were studied with great eagerness. Upon the logic of Aristotle was founded the cultivation of scholastic theology and casuistry, which is a department of morals; its object is to lay down rules for directing us how to act where there is any room for doubt or hesitation. To this belongs the decision of what are called cases of conscience, that is, cases in which we are under obligation, but which, from certain surroundings, give rise to doubt, or how far the obligation may be dissolved; such as the obligation to keep a promise obtained by fraud or force.
To make nice distinctions between one word and another, to separate subjects by infinite divisions, not as the real nature of things, but as fancy directed, and to draw conclusions with no moral end in view, were the pursuits of the schoolmen. The decrees of the councils of the Church of Rome, its edicts and ceremonial and ritual observances, were scrupulously regarded instead of obedience to the pure and practical elements of Christianity. Classical learning was entirely neglected. Here is the feature of Roman church history which infidels have endeavored to use falsely against even Rome, to wit: the opposition of the churchmen of those times to classical learning. This was considered dangerous to true piety, and calculated to corrupt the pure theology of the gospel, because the orators of Greece and Rome were regarded as blind guides of erring reason and seducers to the paths of sin and destruction. Virgil and Horace were looked upon merely as the advocates of a profane and idolatrous mythology, and Cicero was regarded as a vain declaimer, impiously elated with the talent of Pagan eloquence, but the infidel charge that the church has always been in the way of scientific education, expressed in unqualified terms, is simply false in fact. That there was a time when she was opposed to classical learning is a well attested fact, but she, at the same time, taught and operated in universities and monasteries, as stated above. The first dawnings of modern literature are seen in connection with the cultivation of the language of Provence and the productions of the Troubadours. The first great teacher in this connection was William, Count of Poiton, a nobleman, distinguished by his powers in the crusades. Many of the men of note who were in the crusades, were of his character. Their writings upon the topics of war, gallantry, satire and history, first roused Europe from her ignorance and lethargy, first taught her to think and reflect and judge upon subjects of imagination. The Troubadours sustained the middle place between Gothic ignorance and Italian excellence, and literature is indebted to them for rearing the first fruits of European genius and inspiring the moderns with the love of poetry. Their influence and language spread over all the countries of Europe. Their bards were in the courts of kings and the castles of barons. The commencement of the crusades and the beginning of the fifteenth century, mark the limits of their fame. Their romance had its rise in the manners of chivalry, and fell into disrepute when chivalry declined. In the fourteenth century men of intellectual genius in Italy resolved to cultivate their own native language and to combine with its grandeur the charms of imagination and the acquirements of classical learning. The poetry of the Tuscan school, the works of Dante, Ariosto, Boccio and Petrarch, have never yet been excelled by four succeeding centuries of genius and literature. The way was open for the revival of classical learning in the fifteenth century, and for the cultivation of all the arts and sciences connected with its cultivation.
The downfall of the Roman Empire in the east and the discovery of the art of printing happened about the same time. Scholars had long trembled in view of the approach of Mahomet the second. Constantinople was captured by the Turks in 1458; then Chrysoloras, Gaza of Thessalonica, Demetrius Chalcondyles, Johannes Lascaris, Callistus, Constantius, Johannes Andronicus, and many other learned Greeks, fled into Italy for protection, where they found, at Florence, several Greek professors who had been persuaded by Cosmo de Medici to settle in that city. They settled in Florence and there interpreted the ancient writings which had been kept in the eastern metropolis. The best Italian scholars fell in with them and soon became enamored with the spirit of poetry, eloquence and history. Here a better philosophy was soon taken up, and the cunning of scholasticism, as known in the empty speculations of metaphysicians, gave place to the more profitable principles of moral philosophy. The study of the Greek language was introduced in England by William Grocyn, a fellow of New College, Oxford, who died about the year 1520.
"To the mechanical genius of Holland we must ascribe the discovery of the art of printing, for the original inventor was Laurentius John Coster, of Haerlem, who made his first essay with wooden types about the year 1430. The art was communicated by his servant to John Faust and John Guttenberg, of Mentz. It was carried to perfection by Peter Shoeffer, the son-in-law of Faustus, who invented the modes of casting metal types."
Trihemius, in his Chronicle, written A.D. 1514, says he had it from the mouth of Peter Shoeffer that the first book they printed with movable types was the Bible, about the year 1450, in which the expenses were so great that 4,000 florins were expended before they completed twelve sheets. The author of a manuscript, Chronicle of Cologne, compiled in 1499, also says that he was told by Ulric Zell, of Cologne, who himself introduced printing there in 1466, that the Latin Bible was first begun to be printed in the year of Jubilee, 1450, and that it was in large type. Mr. Edwards, of Pall Mall possessed a copy of this curious Bible in three volumes, bound in morocco. In his catalogue it was valued at L126. There, is a beautiful copy of this work in the Bodleian (or Bodleyan) Library in the University at Oxford.
The art of printing soon spread over the greater part of Europe, and to-day our world is a world of books, and the love of the Bible was the origin of printing.
UNITY OF ROMAN CHURCH.
The Council of Nice assembled in Asia Minor by the direction of Constantine in the year 325. Here we see more than two hundred and fifty bishops, mostly from the east, with presbyters, deacons and others, engaged in an effort to settle the Arian heresy, which consisted in maintaining that Christ was the most exalted of all created things, but inferior to God the Father. This opinion was first ventilated in the year 318. It was publicly condemned by the Council of Alexandria in the year 320, and then by the Council of Nice. This Council maintained the perfect equality of essence of both Father and Son, and could only express their relation by terming it eternal generation, which Dr. Adam Clark calls eternal nonsense.
"Arius and his partisans were banished by the Council of Alexandria, but as he had powerful adherents he found means to return at the express command of Constantine. He was on his way to receive the oath of ministerial allegiance when he very suddenly, as some say, died by poison. His death was in the year 336. It is said that Constantine was baptized into the Arian communion in the year 337. The followers of Arius increased greatly after his death. Under Constantius, called Flavius Julius, Arianism became the religion of the court, and it even penetrated as far as Rome, which was obliged to receive into its communion Felix, an Arian bishop. But the divisions which grew among the Arians themselves prepared for the Catholic church an easy victory over them and led to their final extinction." It is worthy of being remembered at all times, and under all circumstances, that this whole controversy is unauthorized in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, faith in him as the Son of the living God being the great truth upon which the Church of God is built. What eternal nonsense it is to be quarreling about whether he and his Father are of the same essence. The truths of Christianity and of Protestantism are found in the teachings of the anti-Nicene fathers, but we must remember that these were uninspired men, and therefore displayed no standard of truth. The term fathers, without qualification, includes a vast range, comprising a period of eleven hundred years, from Clemens to Bernard, from the Bishop of Rome to the Monk of Clairvaux.
Immediately after the Council of Nice their works took on the infections of popery. Each succeeding writer in each succeeding century added to the gathering mass of error and superstition. The filth and dirt accumulated until the system of delusion was fully developed in the "man of sin." The Fathers, as they are called, are entitled to no more than other men. They should never be resorted to as authoritative or inspired, for they were not. They may be used as witnesses to show the customs of their times. So far as they are concerned as the standard of truth, we may just as well, with safety and without remorse, deliver them to the Vatican to rot with the lumber and legends of the dark ages. The anti-Nicene fathers had many errors, but theirs were not the errors of Romanism. The religious productions of the first three centuries of our era contain, in the main, the principles of Protestantism. The post-Nicene fathers, or popery, may be compared to a field of wheat overrun with weeds. The great work of the Protestant reformers was to eradicate the weeds. Failing to accomplish this in the Roman field, they gathered the pure seed grain and sowed it in the Lord's field, "the world," where it now waves in beauty, tending to a glorious harvest. Once on a time a person was asked where Protestantism was before the Reformation. He answered in turn, It was where your face was this morning before it was washed. The reply was just. Dirt could be no part of the human countenance, and removing the filth by washing could neither change the features of the face nor destroy its identity. By this cleansing operation the face only assumed its normal and natural appearance. In like manner the superstitious traditions of the Roman church were no part of Christianity. It was but proper that the reformers should dismiss the adulterations of the ages and plant their feet away back in the land of Israel with the Christ of God.
Arius was regarded as an innovater on the true faith. The great enemy of Arianism was simply Trinitarianism. The council of Nice was presided over by Hosius. The assembled fathers declared the consubstantiality of the son for the establishment of Trinitarianism and the extermination of Arianism. This wonderful term, consubstantiality, had been rejected by the synod of Antioch sixty years before, and by Dionysius, of Alexandria, in opposition to Sabellianism.
In 359 the Emperor Constantius assembled the council of Rimini, a city of Central Italy. Six hundred bishops and a number of priests now undo all that the council of Nice had done. This council was as accommodating to Arian Constantius as to the Trinitarian Constantine. Constantius, forsaking the Trinitarian system, adopted Arianism, and Greeks and Latins complied with the imperial wishes, and, like dutiful subjects, signed the Arian and semi-Arian confessions of Sirneium, Seleucia, Milan and Ariminum. The western and eastern prelacy subscribed in compliance with their sovereign to the Arian creed, which, as Du Pin has shown, was signed by his infallibility, Pope Liberius.
Next in our programme comes Theodosius I., assembling a council of one hundred and fifty bishops at Constantinople in the year 381. Theodosius was a zealous Catholic; he was baptized before the end of the first year of his reign, and immediately published an edict in support of the doctrine of the Trinity, branding all who did not hold it as heretics. His council was presided over by St. Gregory Nazianzen. The chief work of this council was to anathematise the Council of Rimini, which was composed of six hundred bishops and a multitude of priests. This work was done, and so one hundred and fifty bishops curse and denounce as heretical and false six hundred bishops and a multitude of priests; so the voice of the many is not always the voice of God, nor yet the voice of a council the voice of a Pope; neither is the infallibility of a Pope always found in a council, nor is the infallibility of one Pope always found in the voice of another.
Theodosius II. convened a council in 431. Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, seems to have been the cause of this convocation, having persecuted all who were not of his opinions; now undergoes persecution for having plead that the Holy Virgin Mary was not the mother of God. He plead that Jesus Christ being the word, consubstantial with the Father, Mary could not, at the same time, be the mother of God the Father and of God the Son. To settle this quarrel Nestorius demands a council and obtains it. This council condemned Nestorius, and one of its committees displaced Cyril. The Emperor, Theodosius II., reversed all that was done, and then permitted it to reassemble. The deputies from Rome, John, Patriarch of Antioch, with twenty-six suffragans, arrived five days after the transaction, and it is on record that his arrival was followed by one of the most distinguished cursing matches of antiquity. The Roman bishops on occasions of this character always had recourse to cursing, and they scarcely ever failed to ease themselves up with an overflow of anathemas and execrations. Cyril and Nestorius exchanged mutual imprecations, even before the sitting of the council. The saint, it is said, had launched twelve anathemas at the heretic in an Alexandrian synod in the year 430, and the heretic Nestorius thanked the saint by returning the same number of inverted blessings. This has been a heavy business among Popes for many centuries. John and Cyril engaged in the same kind of warfare immediately after John's arrival at Ephesus. John and his party congratulated Cyril, Memnon, and their accomplices by deposing and excommunicating them, and now the parties continue, for some time, to give vent to their feelings in mutual anathemas. These benedictions were the only articles of mutual exchange, current and of legal tender value between the parties. At last the Emperor had Nestorius and Cyril arrested, and ordered all the bishops to return each to his church, and so no conclusion was reached. The Greeks called the second assembly at Ephesus a gang of felons, but the first, it is said, excelled it in all the arts of villainy. The contest was finally ended, not by the church, but by the state. The Emperor reinstated Cyril and banished Nestorius, and the western diocese was in the end reduced to submission and the church to unity, not by ecclesiastical authority, but by imperial power. (See Evagrius 1, 5; Liberatus c. 6; Godeau 3, 310.) The Council of Chalcedon met in the year 451. St. Leo, bishop of Rome, took the advantage of the troubles which the quarrel about the two natures occasioned in the empire, and presided at the council by his legates, which was a new feature in councils. But the fathers of the council apprehending that the church of the west would, from this precedent, pretend to the superiority over the eastern church, decided, by their twenty-eighth canon, that the see of Constantinople and the see of Rome should enjoy alike the same advantages and privileges. This was the origin of the long enmity which prevailed and still prevails between the two churches, the eastern and the western. This council endorsed and established the "two natures in one person." The twenty-eighth canon of this council has been rejected and condemned by the Latins, yet Pelagius, Gregory, Pascal and Boniface acknowledged this council, thereby placing the seal of infallibility upon it as much as they ever did upon other councils.
In 553 Justinian assembled a council at Constantinople to discuss the three chapters, as they were designated, composed by Ibas, Theodoret and Theodorus. Vigilius, bishop of Rome, with bishops and deacons from Italy, Africa and the east, was in Constantinople during the entire sittings of this council, and refused to attend although invited. But the council went on, all the same. His infallibility, supported by his clique, opposed the emperor and his council, but in vain. He formed his bishops and deacons into a separate council, published a constitution defending, in modified terms, the three chapters, and interdicting all further discussion upon the subject by the authority of the Apostolic See; pronounced anathemas against the persons and defenders of the authors of the three chapters. Having now made himself a partisan of the authors, who were condemned by the emperor's council, he was cursed for promoting heresy, and banished in dishonor. This served to bring him to his senses upon several matters, and so he turned about and approved what he had before condemned. And so heresy was converted into orthodoxy by the magical power of an emperor at the expense of the infallibility of Vigilius. The Italians, Tuscans, Ligurians, Istrians, French, Illyrians and Africans, who took a stand against the emperor, were like the pope, the "vicar general of God," converted by the sword of Justinian. The Italian clergy who resisted were banished.
"In 681 there was a council at Constantinople, convoked by Constantine, the bearded. This council was called by the Latins 'in trullo,' because it was held in an apartment of the imperial palace. The emperor himself presided. The bishops of Constantinople and Antioch were on his right hand, and the deputies from Jerusalem and Rome were on his left. In this council it was decided that Jesus Christ had two wills." Here "Pope Honorius I. was condemned as a monothelite, that is, as wishing Jesus Christ to have but one will." O, shame! What will come next? Well, we are out at sea in the very darkest periods of the dark ages, and there is no telling how much our senses may be shocked. We find next what is known as the Second Council of Nice. It was assembled by a woman, Mrs. Irene, in the name of her son, whose eyes she had caused to be put out. Her husband, Leo, had abolished the worship of images as leading to idolatry. This woman re-established this worship. During Constantine's minority she executed the imperial power. She was a bold defender and patron of emblematic or image worship. It is said that she had the ambition of Lucifer and the malignity of a demon. She is accused of being connected with the murder of her husband. "She put out the eyes of Nicephorus, and amputated the tongues of Christopher, Nicetas, Athenius and Eudoxas, Constantine's sons, for suspicion of conspiracy. She destroyed the eyes of her own son." "No woman," says Bruys, "was ever less worthy of life than this princess." Her ambition, says Godeau, made her violate all the laws of God and man. Now listen, but first prepare to experience all that the opposite extreme can possibly produce. Is there any place in your nature where life and death, or heaven and hell, can meet in festive joys? No. Then bear with my story the best you can, for it must be told. Here it is: Theodorus and Theophanes extol that vile woman for her VIRTUE AND EXCELLENCE(?). The Greeks placed her among the saints in their menology, and in holy festivity celebrate her anniversary. Hartman and Binius, in more modern times, flatter her prudence and piety(?). Alexander lauds her religion and faith as worthy of immortal honor(?), though the blinding of her son, he admits, exposed her to reprehension. Baronius justifies the assassination of her son. He commends the inhumanity which arose from zeal for religion. Here let the curtain drop till my next on councils makes its appearance.
INFIDELS IN EVIDENCE IN FAVOR OF CHRISTIANITY.
We should not be surprised when wicked men of every grade of character assail our religion, for its great Author erected a standard of duty too perfect to suit their unruly passions and lusts. Opposition to Christianity is the natural correllate of an unregenerated heart. This fact was the cause of all the sufferings of the primitive Christians, not the only cause, but the first and leading cause. One striking circumstance is worthy of notice, which is, that they have censured Christians for their zeal with an unsparing tongue, and, at the same time, they have shown as much if not more vehemence and obstinacy in their own good-for-nothing opposition. Every kind of opposition has been manifested which the ingenuity of man could dictate. Indeed, there is little urged against Christianity in our day that is original. Almost every cavil and argument may be traced to Voltaire, Porphyry, Celsus and Julian, the old enemies of the Christ. Infidels, who dislike (will you hear it?) the labor and trouble of investigating the question of the claims of the Christian religion upon their intelligence, seize with avidity upon the labors of others and parade them before the public mind. Just now there is no question put so often by men who feign to be unbelievers as, "What do you think of Colonel Ingersoll?" "He stirs you up." The little city of Logansport was favored not a great while in the past with a visit and lecture from the Colonel. After the lecture was over some half a dozen gentlemen were taking a lunch at an eating restaurant, and there was one very talkative creature in the group who had much to say of the Colonel's effort and of the "unscientific and absurd character of the Bible." Finally, one noble-hearted gentleman said to the boasting skeptic, Now you have said a great deal about the Bible, and I venture the assertion that you can't quote one verse that is in it. I challenge you to do it. Just give us one, long or short, from any chapter in all the Bible. The man failed. He couldn't do it. Then, said the Christian gentleman, you fellows are always talking about science and about the "unscientific character of the Bible," so I will now ask you one of the most simple questions known in science, and we will see whether you will answer it. It is this: How many teeth have you got in your mouth; how many does a man have? To the utter astonishment of the company the man failed again, and the company told him laughingly that he must treat to the cigars. Such fellows know comparatively nothing, and yet they are always championing their men, who contain all their knowledge and do their thinking for them. Ask the infidel who his leaders are and he will point you to Hume, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, etc. Are Christians always holding up their great minds? Suppose we test the merits of the case in this manner, then who are your infidels that will compare with Jesus Christ and his apostles? or, with such men, even, as Milton, Clarendon, Hale, Bacon, Boyle, Locke, Newton, Addison, Lyttleton, West, Johnson and Campbell? Where are your persons of such profound understanding? To compare such persons as these with Voltaire, Hume, Gibbon and Thomas Paine, is as silly as to compare manhood with infancy. No infidels try Christianity upon its own merits. If they were candid men they would separate Christianity from all foreign and irrelative circumstances, and test its evidences seriously, as the magnitude of the question deserves. Apply the same unbelief to the common and ancient records of history and you will at once get the credit of being rash and foolish. The scoffs and sarcasms and sophistries of infidels are not from a love of truth. Whatever the cause or causes may be, one thing is certain, and that is, that they do not understand Christianity itself, nor the nature and magnitude of its evidences. They condemn that which they never gave themselves the trouble to investigate.
Whoever investigates the religion of Jesus Christ will find that the character of its founder is far superior to any other character, and his apostles far superior to any other fishermen. To believe that his religion is of simple human origin is like believing that a first-class ship of war is the invention of a child. "The majesty of Christ and the divinity of his religion appears in nothing more than this, that in proportion to our acquaintance with the Scriptures of the New Testament does the light of truth shine upon the mind." The seeming successes of infidelity, and the multitude of apostates scattered over our country, makes us naturally more anxious to warn the rising generation against the errors of those who would mislead them. But there is nothing in these fearful signs of the times to shake our faith or excite our fears, because the faithful Bible student finds the condition of our world just such as the Scriptures have foretold. All the surroundings that characterize the conduct of infidels; their expertness in ridicule; their extreme folly and resoluteness; their licentiousness and anxiety for change in laws as well as society; the snares laid out by them to catch the unsteadfast, and their vain professions to free the world from slavery, while they themselves are in bondage to corruption, are drawn by the divine pencil of prophecy with so much exactness that "he who runs may read." By examining the word of God you will find that the Free-thinkers of our country, the Illuminati of Germany, Darwin, Strauss, Huxley, Tyndal, Renan, and the man of our own land who is most noted in our midst for oratorical accomplishments without logic, argument or truthfulness of statements touching the Christian religion, are all present evidences of the divinity of the prophetic words of the New Testament.
WOMAN AND HER RANK.
I presume that Adam knew nothing of the subject of woman's inferiority. I do not think that he ever said to Eve, Don't soar so high nor dive so deep into philosophy, science and religion, because you are a woman. I don't think he ever said to his wife, Astronomy is beyond your reach, nor Science is too deep for your slender powers.
Home is a woman's empire, but this very fact demands that her intellectual powers should not be inferior to her husband's. A vast majority of people have their minds influenced and their characters formed by their mothers. Foolish and silly, as well as lazy women generally, have their counterparts in their offspring. By following the outlines of nature in her facts we have become scientific, and all the wisdom we can get from this source will be still more advantageous. The woman's physical nature should ever teach us that she is not to be taxed with physical labor beyond her strength and sphere of life. Such taxation is barbarism and savageness. This heathenism always destroys home. The American Indian has no home; he lives an idle, lazy, good-for-nothing life, while his wife, or woman, as the case may be, does all the drudgery. For this very reason he was never elevated, as a general rule, above a shot-gun and a hound dog, and never had a home superior to Doolittle's birth-place, which, he said, was "at Cape Cod, Nantucket, and all along up and down the shore."
It is said that the English is the only language in which the word "home" occurs. What infamous hours many bachelors keep; many of them die of dissipation because they have no mother, sister, or wife to look after them and render their homes pleasant and attractive. What an odd looking thing a house is without a female occupant. "Won't you tarry awhile?" "Can't you stay awhile?" "O, don't be in a hurry." Such is often heard, and the reply is, "No, I am much obliged to you, I must go, for my mother, my sister, or my wife, is expecting me." But for these sentiments he would stay until midnight; so some unmarried men are the most contemptible bores. When you get acquainted with them you naturally hate to see them coming. Some married men fall into the same way of boring their neighbors. When I see a man doing this I suspect that he has lost his love of home associations, and ask myself the question, What is the trouble?
There is always an adequate cause for every effect. Modern "Freeloveism" looks to the annihilation of home, for the reason that it proposes no definite home for male or female. No people destitute of the light of the Bible ever possessed a home, such an one as ours.
One of the great abominations of infidelity is often met within the advocacy of Freeloveism, and matrimony binding at the option, simply, of the parties. What is a vagabond on the earth but a man without a home? Slaves have been the same in every age, and a government that does everything for its subjects will always keep them in degradation. A father and mother who would not effectually ruin their children must not raise them in indolence and affluence, doing everything for them and teaching them nothing in a practical way; even so a woman must be elevated until her post is one of honor. You might as well tie a man hand and foot, and command him to run a race, as to deprive women or others of their natural rights, and then expect them to rise or progress the same as those who are in the full possession of all their liberties. Give to all freedom and scope for their talents, and allow them to rise or fall at pleasure, but ever point them upward and onward.
Women were slaves in Egypt, in Babylon, in Ninevah, in Persia, in Greece and Rome, and all those nations sunk. She is now a slave in China, in India and in Turkey.
Adam said: "She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken from man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh."
Say what you will of gallantry, and of the flattery of the sex, but here you have the intelligent and affectionate language of the first man, which, for beauty and love, as well as simplicity, has never been surpassed. "She is bone of my bone," and consequently of my own rank. We are one. She is flesh of my flesh and therefore is my equal. "She shall be called woman," that is, a female man.
It is authoritatively asserted that the Hebrew term translated woman signifies a female man, just as in Latin "equa" is the feminine of "equus," "Julia" is the feminine of "Julius." But if she was a female man she possessed all the attributes of humanity, and therefore her dignity was and is the same as the other sex. Adam gave to Eve a position, an honorable position, for he took her in as a part of himself. His honor was her honor, his rank was her rank, and she was his helpmeet. My ideal woman is not one who is good for nothing, "bred only and polished to the taste of lustful appetence; to sing, to dance, to dress, to troll the tongue and roll the eye." She should be a helpmeet as termed in the Bible. She should be a creature not too bright and good to labor in her proper sphere, that is, to prepare daily food, serve it up and guide the house. A high legal dignitary placed an epitaph upon the tomb of his wife, that read: "An excellent woman and a good cook."
When a stout, able-bodied woman sits herself down and whines out, "I can't work," she gets down very low. What is such a woman good for?
It has been said that woman is man's imaginative side. Well, I imagine that there is a great deal of truth in the remark so far as many men are concerned, and this simple fact has ruined many a wife. A woman may operate very well upon a man's imagination, but that will never help him to make a living.
Let woman be, to all intents and purposes, the equal of man, trained for the work of every-day life, for this is what the word education means. Then throw open to her all the employments lying within her strength, which are now monopolized by men, and let this new advantage work a reformation in her education. What is her education even now, and in our own country? Instead of being educated for health and long life, they are trained in many instances for disease and a premature death. The history of woman, as woman, is not in our reach; at least I am not prepared to say it has been written. I wish it had, for I am persuaded that woman has been the great redeeming element upon the human side of bliss, without which our world could not exist.
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"And they charge that he (Thomas Paine) was a drunkard. That is another falsehood. He drank liquor in his day, as did the preachers. It was no unusual thing for the preacher going home to stop in a tavern and take a drink of hot rum with a deacon, and it was no unusual thing for the deacon to help the preacher home."—Ingersoll.
Therefore, if a man stops at a hotel and drinks till he has to be helped home, he is no drunkard? No! Ingersoll is a temperance man (?) and he knows.
THE TESTIMONY OF AN INFIDEL IN WHOSE HEART EVERY SPARK OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE WAS NOT EXTINGUISHED.
J.J. Rousseau says: The gospel, that divine book, the only one necessary to a Christian, and the most useful of all to the man who may not be one, only requires reflection upon it to impress the mind with love of its author and resolution to fulfill his precepts. Virtue never spoke in gentler terms; the profoundest wisdom was never uttered with greater energy or more simplicity. It is impossible to rise from the reading of it without feeling a moral improvement. Look at the books of the philosophers with all their pomp, how little they are compared with this. Shall we say that the history of the gospel is a pure fiction? This is not the style of fiction, and the history of Socrates, which nobody doubts, rests upon less evidence than that of Jesus Christ; and, after all, this is but shifting the difficulty, not answering it. The supposition that several persons had united to fabricate this book, is more inconceivable than that one person should have supplied the subject of it. The spirit which it breathes, the morality which it inculcates, could never have been the invention of Jewish authors, and the gospel possesses characters of truth so striking, so perfectly inimitable, that the inventor would be a more astonishing object than the hero.—J.J. Rousseau, vol. 36, pp. 36, 39.
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Have infidels been martyred on account of their infidelity? Men are not so foolish as to have themselves devoured by wild beasts or perish in slow fires rather than recant from a theory they never espoused, Col. Ingersoll to the contrary, notwithstanding. Men do not prefer red-hot iron chains to denying a Lord in whom they never believed. Infidels have nothing to lose by recanting. Colonel Ingersoll says, "I think I would. There is not much of the martyr about me," so we think of the Colonel!
THE JEWISH RELIGION AND INSTITUTIONS KNOWN AMONG HEATHEN WRITERS.
BY HENRY KETT, B.D.,
Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, Oxford. Published first in 1812.
"The transactions and literature of the ancient Jews were too remarkable to escape the attention of the learned and inquisitive Pagans when Judea became a province of the Roman Empire. Many particulars relative to the eminent character of Joseph as a minister to Pharaoh, and as an inspired prophet, to the emigration of the Jews from Egypt, their miraculous passage through the Red Sea, their settlement in the Holy Land, the institutions and ceremonies of the law, the splendor of Jerusalem in its most flourishing times, the magnificence of the temple, and the supreme, eternal and immutable nature of their worship, are related by Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Tacitus and Justin."
CENTURIES BEFORE CHRIST.
The fragments of Sanchoniathon, the most ancient historian of Phenicia, who is supposed to have flourished not long after the death of Moses, confirms the Bible account of the origin of the world and of many men and places mentioned in the Pentateuch. Berosus, the Chaldean, and Manetho, the Egyptian, who lived in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, represent several circumstances known in the accounts given by Moses. They wrote about the time when the Old Testament was translated into Greek. Their evidence, to say the least, shows the honor that was paid by the most learned persons of the East to the records of the Bible.
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I know the Bible is inspired, because it finds me at greater depths of my being than any other book.—Coleridge.
The punctuation and spelling from the original text have been faithfully preserved. Only obvious typographical errors have been corrected.