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Vol. 4. {msivflfid'fifflzwssss "} CHICAGO AND CINCINNATI, siTUBDAY, MARCH 26,1887. {THHTEYHCSXENANT} No. 13.
The Unihersalist.
Universalist Publishing House,
Issued by Western Branch.
69 Dearborn St., Rooms 40 and 41,
OXSIO^-O-O, XXriZrf.
^Tcrtiis :
Postage Pa*<F, £2.50 A Year, in Advance.
8ample Copies Free.
Western Advisory Board:
Wm. H. Ryder, D. D., Hon. John R. Buchtei,
O. A. Pray, Rev. W. S. Crowe,
Chas. L. Hutchinson.
Entered at the Postofflco as Second-Class Mail Matter.
Simech Gontributors. !
By Hattie Tyng Griswold.
(Columbus, Wis,)
In that most powerful novel of Count
Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, we have an
appalling picture of that retribution,
which has been the theme of so many
of the great masterpieces of literature.
From the earliest times, poets and
dramatists and novelists have found
this a fruitful subject, and have dealt
with it with varying degrees of pas
sion and of power. In modern times
few stronger delineations of the inevi
table retribution which follows sin
have been made, than this of the great
Russian novelist. The motto of the
book, “Vengeance is Mine, I will Re
pay” gives the whole motive of the
powerful book.
The story is one of thrilling interest,
and the genius of the author is shown
most strongly in the manner in which
the retribution is brought about. Not
from the outside—as it would have been
by a less strong and original writer—
but from within, the sin punishes it
self, as is the method of nature, or of
God, as you choose to phrase it. It is
a story of an adulterous amour, and the
► wrup1!!'' 1'iipiry, wMtee
liaisons is apt to be, if the parties a3
in this case are persons capable of
a sincere, profound and solemn pas
sion. The heroine Anna Karenina,
loves Tronsky, for whom she has left
her husband, an ambitious and absor
bed, perhaps, also an unlovable man,—
with a perfect passion. For him she
has sacrificed even her son, whom she
loved with all the intensity of her nat
ure ; her reputation, which was almost
equally dear, for she was a proud, as
well as a passionate woman,—and at
first she feels satisfied with her sacri
fices, and lives in a feverish dream of
joy. Her lover takes her to his estates,
where his high position insures her a
certain respect, as he installs her as
mistress of his splendid domain, as
though she were his legitimate wife.
His family treat her with considera
tion, and outwardly she is not subjected
to those humiliations which in real
life, and in most works of fiction, at
tend such a connection. She refuses
the divorce which her husband offers
her, preferring that the bond which
binds her to Tronsky shall be one of
mutual love only, and she maintains
this exaltation of feeling for a consid
erable time. She has now a daughter
whom she does not love, all her moth
erly affection being centered in the son
she has deserted, and whom she mourns
with unavailing sorrow.
Soon the true punishment of guilty
love sets in. “All the illusion which
exalted the senses, as long as they are
pastured in love’s shadow” as one of
Shakespeare’s characters calls it, van
ishes as soon as one is sated of love it
self. Her life seemed a hot feverish
dream, unreal and terrible, though Oiled
with a kind of joy in the sweetness of
her love, and her certainty of its being
fully reciprocated by her lover. But
the feeling of moral decadence which
was within her made the dream almost
hideous at times, even in the earlier
days. She felt, we are told, “the im
possibility of expressing the shame, the
horror, the joy, that were now her por
tion. Rather than put her feelings into
idle and fleeting words, she preferred
to keep silent. As time went on, words
fit to express the complicity of her sen
sations still failed to come to her, and
even her thoughts were incapable of
translating the impressions of her heart.
She hoped that calmness and peace
would come to her, but they held aloof.
Whenever she thought of the past, and
thought of the future, and thought of
her own fate, she was seized with fear,
and tried to drive these thoughts away.”
With a relentless hand Tolstoi, de
scribes all the torments of • her lot.
This is the keen and bitter interest
of the book, the agonies of a soul mak
ing expiation for a grievous wrong.
“ What agonies of remorse,"says another,
“this illegal union so passionately de
sired brings upon the guilty woman 1
What deep mortifications and what
vulgar discomfitures; what deadly hu
miliations, and what prosaic irksome
ness spring from this false situation,
and ultimately make it so odious, so
painful, that way of escape has to be
found by an act of madness in a mo
ment of despair.” The punishment all
comes from within as we said before.
Outwardly all goes well, but she gnaws
her own heart. She is constantly won
dering what her lover’s attitude is now
toward her—whether he regrets his ac
tion, whether he loves her as much as
before she yielded to him ; and she sees
in each attempted return to any occu
pation, to any distinction whatever, a
proof of weariness, a confession of irk
someness, a sign of regret. It is easy
to imagine the outcome.
These very fears and doubts worry
Tronsky, who is noble and high-minded,
and single in his devotion to her, and
the estrangement has begun. “These
two being3, starting on the bright and
free pinnacles of love, have descended,
without being themselves aware of it,
into the dark and suffocating regions
of hate.”
The terrible end of the beautiful
woman is pictured with the same ruth
less fidelity with which the whole story
is told. She sees when in the midst of
her agonies one day “a freight train
coming; she goes to meet it. She
looked under the cars, at the chains
and the brake, and the high iron wheels;
and she tried to estimate with her eye
the distance between the fore and back
wheels, and the moment when the mid
dle would be in front of her. Then
she said, looking at the shadow of the
car thrown upon the black coal dust
which covered the sleepers, there in the
center he will be punished, and I shall
be delivered from it all—and from my
self.” The full description is almost too
terrible to be read, and, indeed, the
whole story is pitiless in its realism
and in the unflinching manner in which
this expiation is brought about, and
fully carried out. No stroke of the
brush has been omitted that would
deepen the shadows, or add intensity to
the tragedy. Tolstoi, the artist, is also
Tobstoi, the moralist, in every line of
this marvelous book.
Although this story is Russian, and pre
eminently a national book, yet the ele
ments that go to make up this great
.aMttjtUrftkwir, tmrt ttMN
action might have taken place in any
part of the world. And its doctrine of
retribution for sin, is of world-wide ap
plication, and needs as much to be
heeded here and now, as in the far-off
land, in the time of which he writes.
To the men and women who make up
our own social circles, and to all ranks
and conditions of life, the old subtle
temptation comes, in one guise or an
other, and it muBt be met and faced
here, sometimes by high and noble nat
ures, like those of Anna Karenina and
Tronsky—as it must, if yielded to, be
expiated, here as there, in some tragic
fashion. Who has ever known good to
come of such unlawful love ? Who has
ever seen a successful career founded
upon a w'rong ? Who has ever studied
the subject of these crimes against the
family, but to find Tolstoi’s matter veri
fied, and to be solemnly impressed with
the truth, that such vengeance is not
only sure, but swift ?
Unity of belief i3 no longer either pos
sible or desirable. Once we know unity
of belief was held to be of such supreme
importance that the faintest whisper of
dissent must be punished with torture
and death. This feeling of corporate
responsibility must have grown in
strength through many ages by natural
selection, as those tribes in which it was
most effectively developed, must in
general have shown the highest capac
ity for social organization and must
have exterminated or enslaved their
neighbors. It was the mainstay and
support of priesthoods. Having so long
been favored by natural selection, the
feeling of corporate responsibility for
conduct and opinion became so deeply
grounded in men’s minds that it long
survived the stage of social develop
ment in which it had its origen. Most
terrible and conspicuous of the conse
quences of this deep-rooted feeling has
been that fanatical craving for the unity
of belief in religious matters which has
been the source of some of the worst
evils that afflicted mankind. There
has come, in complex modern societies,
the gradual substitution of the idea of
individual responsibility for that of cor
porate responsibility. The disintegra
tion of orthodoxies which characterizes
the present age is simply the further
development of the same protest in be
half of individual responsibility for
opinion. Instead of condemning va
riety of belief on such subjects, we
should rather welcome each fresh sug
gestion as possibly containing some
adumbration of truth hitherto over
looked. Heligiousbelief in no way con
cerns society, but concerns only the in
dividual ; these matters lie solely be
tween himself and hi3 God. The crav
ing for Quality is itself, in its various
degrees, an instinct of the uneducated
man, of the child, the savage, and per
haps the brute.— John Fin Ice.
Bev. J. B. Saxe's Becent Article Criticised by
Two Contributors and His Beply to the
Rev. R. B. Harsh.
I am surprised at some of the assertions
made in the article by Rev. J. B. Saxe. It
seems to me a strange and false use of lan
gnage to say, “From its beginning, in the
earliest ages of human history, to its close,
only eighteen hundred years ago, no real
contradiction can bo pointed out.” It seems
to me that the New Testament really contra
dicts the Old in many places; sometimes by
direct and plain statement, such as this;
“Ye have heard that it hath been said by them
of old time, thou shalt love thy neighbor and
hate thy enemy; but I say unto ye, love your
enemies,” eto. Iu reference to the character
of God, the Old Testament represenls him as
uncertain of the future, grieved, jealous,
angry, hating, taking vengeance, seeking his
own glory, repenting and changing his pur
pose, deterred from his purpose; again we
find him represented as omniscient, fore
knowing; as love, full of compassion, unre
vengeful. We find in one place that he
hates one and loves another; again, he is no
respeoter of persons; loving every creature
that he has made. In one place we find
Moses saying, “I have seen God face to
face”; and St. John saying, “No man hath
seen God at any time.” How will the 109th
Psalm compare wish the Sermon on the
Mount? How will the Old Testament direc
tions for the disposal of meat that dies of it
self compare with Christ’s direction to do
unto others as we would have them do unto
us? If these things, and scores more, are not
contradictions, what does the word mean? It
is a losing game to claim such perfection, and
it has done and is doing more to make infi
dels than all the agnostio lecturers and writ
ers in the world. Let us be reasonable; make
no claims for the Bible that can be so easily
proved to be false, and all will love it for the
real truth and beauty it possesses. Its inju
dicious friends have done more to injure it
than all its enemies can do. If we attempt
to explain away all its contradictions, we
shall so misuse language and distort the
meaning of words that the direst confusion
will result.
Kent, 0.
S.. Fillmore Bennett, M. D.
I have been much interested in the article
entitled “Contradictions in the Bible,”
written for The Univkiisai.ist of March 5,
by Rev. J. B. Saxe; bnt I am impressed with
the thought that Mr. Saxe brings up very
little argument to shake the faith, (or want
of faith), of one honestly believing the Bible
* *
If one of the evangelists says that “Judas
hanged himself, and came to his death in
that way,” and another says that he “fell
down, burst asunder and his bowels gushed
out, and he died in that way,” as Dr. Lyman
Beecher’s “skeptic” claimed, would the
quibble of Dr. Beecher, “ Oh, I suppose the
rope broke 1” satisfy any honestly doubting
mind? Nay. Such “contradictions” must
be met with some more reasonable answer.
Would Mr. Saxe dispose of it in such a cavi
lier manner? Indeed, how will he dispose of
If the Bible is inspired, it is inspired all
through. It is fatal to its authority ns the
Word of God, if it does contain plain contra
dictions of statement. Nay, if it have one
such, it much invalidates the authority of the
whole. Such “contradictions,” as above
cited, must be explained by something more
than a quibble and every honest skeptic will
feel like calling on Mr. Saxe for his explana
Again: Is it not a fact that the “ days ” of
creation, in the original language of the
Scripture, mean the same periods of twenty
four hours which we now designate the same?
I once asked a divine, learned in the original
tongue, this same question, and his answer
was in the affirmative. “ By no latitude of
interpretation,” said he, “oan they be taken to
mean anything else; and I am forced to the
conclusion that the writer intended that they
should be understood that way, and no other.
The interpretation of indefinite and immense
periods of time for these ‘days’ was a
necessity which modern science has forced
upon us.” It is some years ago since this
answer was given me, and I may not quote it
verbatim, but it impressed me so deeply at
the time that I cannot misquote the speaker’s
meaning. If the statement is true, what
right have we to assume that the writer meant
anything else, or intended we should under
stand anything else than that the whole stu
pendous work of creation was performed in
six days of twenty-four hours each? Will
Mr. Saxe answer?
Mr. Saxe nays: "in tact, considering when
and how the Bible was written, and all the
oircomstancea concerning it, the wonderful
harmony and consistency in all its parts, and
absenoe of contradictions, either of known
facts or truths, or of itself, is one of the
marvels of the world, and the strongest proof
that it was inspired. The Koran was writ
ten by one man—and yet eo contradictory
was it with itself, * * * that its author
had repeatedly to expurgate it, or expressly
assume what he had previously written, in a
subsequent alleged revelation.”
Now, if the Bible is inspired, should the
faot make any difference that it “was written
by many hands, in various parts of the world,
and during a long succession of ages?”
Could not, and would not God, infallible and
unchangeable, “inspire” many men, and in
successive ages, just as correctly as one man
in one age?
Should we not look for a book “inspired
by God,” to be perfect, no matter how maDy
persons were the writers?
As to expurgations and alterations, is not
the Bible as open to the suspicion of such
handling as the Koran or any other book?
Skeptics say that the Nioean Council did
tamper with the text for the very purpose of
avoiding contradictions, as well as to make
it agree in doctrine with the prior teachings
of the Romish church. Is that claim true?
If true, does it not rob the Bible of its sanctity
as an inspired book, and degrade it to the
level of other books written by uninspired
men? Or were the men composing the
i Council of Nioe inspired, so they might
1 without sin alter an inspired book, and even
reject a considerable mass 0 Writings which
had hitherto been consider® equally authen
tic with the part retained as »ored writings?
I ask these questions beol je I constantly
hear them asked by personi Who, I believe,
have no desire to overthrow le authority of
the Holy Scriptures, but w i seek the real
truth. Perhaps they have a >een answered
a thousand times, but from I lir frequent re
currence, by honest people, suspeot such
answers, if made, are not n 3i!y acceptable
to the general public. “Lil upon line, and
precept upon precept ” are Soessary to im
press the truth upon men Iminds. Is it,
then, wrong to ask Mr. Sa^br some other
of our able correspondent®^) make these
things clear?
“The true way, it seems t^ke,” says Mr.
Saxe, “toevercome skeptic® objections of
this kind, is to show the gtttndlessness of
each charge when made.” b it seems to
me, and therefore the euggbion above. I
hope Mr. Saxe will pardon but I am of
the opinion that such answebs he has made
will not oonvince many sketbs.
Richmond, 111.
iii. ;
Rev. J. B. Saxe in Reply to tt kbove Articles.
My article seems to ! ve attracted
considerable attention. will respond
briefly to some of the e Seisms upon
it. Mr. Marsh thinks tl New Testa
ment contradicts the O r and quotes
Matt. v. 43. The refer ce is not to
the Old Testament, bi probably to
some Rabbinical writinj No part of
the Bible commands us t< late enemies,
though such hatred was < mmon, if not
universal. If the Bible lad not been
inspired, it would almost ertainly have
contained such a comm id. lie also
thinks the character as :ibed to God
contradictory. He is angr; repents, etc.;
and yet he is love, omnisc >nt, and so on.
I suppose such objection were once re
garded as having force, i lalileo came
near losing his life for (aching that
the earth went round e sun, thus
contradicting the Bible bich declared
the sun rose and set 1 IWe laugh at
such opinions now. E«ry boy knows
that the Bible speaks a<K>iding to the
appearance, j'ust as we 4o in our ordi
nary speech. Suppose wie should say,
instead of the sun rose, Ijbe. earth’s axis
turned into such a pos^ion as to per
mit the sun to be seen fe^Chat would
be worse than anythingfcter told of a
Bo3ton girl! But this winy of speaking
according to the appearMpe, was much
more common in the pogfahl languages
«**■#(*- niwfct-Wciw iwir
common idiom. Everybody understood
it. When God was said to repent, he
appeared to change the course of provi
dential dealings; when angry to inflict
pain, or bring calamities. Our modern
critics are not to assume that these old
Bible writers were fools—especially they
are not to predicate such assumptions
on their own ignorance of the use of
language in those days. It was a com
mon use of language to say one had
seen God, when he had seen a messen
ger of God, or any manifestation of di
vine power or glory. I could produce a
hundred instances. To pretend that
such a declaration contradicts St. John,
would be as ridiculous as was the papal
charge against Galileo I
The 109th psalm is simply a prayer,
in the highly rhetorical and figurative
language of the East, for justice upon
great criminals; and Christ teaches the
same doctrine. Because he also teaches
something more, does not make him
contradict David. I remember to have
read a long list of similar “contradic
tions,” prepared by Thomas Paine. I
could easily drive a coach and six through
every one of these objections.
We claim no “perfection” for the
Bible. I, for one, do not believe in
plenary inspiration. It contains a rev
elation ; but much of it is simply his
tory. It nowhere claims to be “inspir
ed all through;” therefore it might
contain one, or many contradictions
without “invalidating the authority of
the whole,” as Mr. Bennett says. Why
he regards Dr. Beecher’s answer as a
“quibble,” or unsatisfactory, he does
not say. The rope might have broken.
It often occurs in modern times, when
ropes are much better made than they
were of old in the East. I have read of
such instances in the newspapers within
a few years. If it did, the two accounts
are harmonious. This may not satisfy
every “honestly doubting mind;” but
you can’t charge “contradictions,” when
so simple, “reasonable,” and probable a
supposition will dispose of the difficulty.
That the Hebrew word rendered
“day” in the account of creation, orig
inally and literally meant a period of
twenty-four hours, no one ever doubt
ed; and the English word means pre
cisely the same. “Therefore, in effect,”
says Mr. Bennett, “the work of crea
tion was performed in exactly six days
of tweuty-four hours each.” Such
reasoning ought to make Aristotle turn
in his grave ! If you could only com
plete the syllogism 1 Major proposi
tion': day literally means twenty-four
hours. Minor: it is never used in
an accommodated sense. Conclusion :
therefore, etc. When I wrote to a
friend, as I did a month ago, “Such
thiugs were not done in your mother’s
day,” I referred to some particular
twenty-four hours of his lifetime of
three-score and ten years! Common
sense is a good thing to have about
when reading any book. How many
English words have not acquired a sec
ondary meaning V And this meaning
often supersedes the literal one. IIow
is the term day used in the Bible ? See
Gen. xix. 37, 38; xxvi. 33; xxxi.40.
Isa. xiii.6; xix. 16, 18, 19, 21, 23. In
all these instances, and I might quote
an hundred more just like them, the
word is the same in the original that it
i3 in the first chapter of Genesis; and
in every instance it stands for an indef
inite period of time.
A few years ago the Index (and that
is a paper agnostic enough to satisfy
any reasonable skeptic,) contained an
article which declared that there was
such a remarkable agreement between
the science of geology and the first
chapter of Genesis, that the science,
(as the theory of inspiration was inad
missible,) must have been as well un
derstood in ancient times as now ! This
reminds me of a story told of Horace
Greeley. When any one told him a
story that taxed his credulity too much,
he would say, “Tell that to Mrs. Gree
ley. She will believe anything—except
the Bible!” I have seen men with the
same kind of a twist in their mental
constitution. I only indicated the agree
ment between Genesis and geology in
my article. I might show it at length,
and in detail. Perhaps I will sometime.
If the “divine” mentioned really
meant to say that the Hebrew word,
rendered day, always stood for a pe
riod of twenty-four hours, he was, as
I have shown, poor authority “in the
original tongue.” Of course we would
expect an inspired book to be consist
ent with itself, and with truth, “no
matter how many persons were the
writers.” The Bible is consistent. There
fore it is inspired. I said it was a1 ‘ mar
vel,” because inspiration is.
Mr. Bennett and the “skeptics” he
mentions, seem to have opinions of
their own about the relation of the Ni
cean council to the Bible. It is as im
portant for skeptics to know what they
are talking about, as for anybody. They
ought, therefore, to know that the fa
mous council of Nice was held in the
year 325; and that more than two cen
turies before that date, the Bible had
been translated into many languages,
and manuscripts of all these versions
had been multiplied all over the world.
Many of these versions, and even some
or immediate cop
ies of them, still exist, and have been
laboriously collated by learned men,
to ascertain the true text. Moreover,
the church had long been divided into
hostile sects as it is to-day, each jeal
ous of its peculiar opinions, and each
watching the others, expressly to pre
vent him tampering with the text. It
was as literally impossible for the Ni
cean council, or any oth9r body of
men, or any available human agency,
to corrupt the Bible in the way sup
posed, as it would be for a sectarian
convention to do it at the present day.
The assumption is utterly preposter
ous. The council had as much to do
with shaping our Bible as the man in
the moon. It is derived from sources
much earlier than the date of this as
semblage. That it attempted some
thing of the kind may be true. As to
rejecting apocryphal bocks, or retain
ing canonical ones, the opinion of the
council goes for what it is worth, and
no more. The talk so common among
unbelievers of a certain calibre, about
the absurdity of voting books into or
out of the Bible, (I have heard it ever
since I can remember), only causes a
well informed man to smile at their
simplicity. Every book in the Bible
stands on its own footing and its can
onical character is determined by evi
dence entirely independent of the vote
of any council.
It ia not to be supposed that a man
will be impressed with the evidences
of the inspiration of the Scripture, if
he has never studied the subject—if the
most he knows about the Bible is de
rived from Paine’s “Age of Reason,”
or some similar book. It is well to read
such books; but if he seeks the “real
truth,” let him also read such works as
Horne’s “Introduction,” Dr. Geikie’s
“Hours With the Bible,” or others
like them. A brief newspaper article
cannot contain what a ponderous quarto
is not large enough to hold.
I have also received a communica
tion on the sul ject, from a Dr McKay,
of Seneca, Kansas. He thinks the Old
Testament ought not to be regarded as a
part of “our Christian Bible,” because
in the New, Christ is said to be the ful
fillment of the “law and prophets.”
That would be the reason, or one of the
reasons, I should give on the other side
of the question. Of course, the Old is
not to be taken as equal in importance,
or in fullness of revelation, to the New.
Take it for what it claims to be, or what
the New claims for it; no more and no
less. It: was'mainly designed for the
use of the Hebrew people. It ia an ab
surd use of it to make its commands
to keep'the seventh day, or to be cir
cumcised, binding upon us.
He refers to the genealogy of Christ,
as given by Matthew and Luke. They
are entirely different—contradict each
other, and] unbelievers would say they
were undoubtedly transcribed from the
public registers,’and anybody could ver
ify or contradict them by consulting the
record. Why are they different? The
most reasonable conjecture is, I think,
that one is the genealogy of Joseph,
and the other of Mary; and that Christ
was begotten by ordinary generation,
after the marriage of his parents. The
passage or two that cannot be explain
ed in harmony with this view, might
have been interpolated in some of the
early manuscripts during the Arian
controversy, like 1 John v. 7. We can
not yet prove this, as we can in the case
of the passage in 1 John, but it is not an
unreasonable conjecture. I am by no
means over confident of the truth of
this hypothesis, and would like very
much the opinion of some one better
qualified to judge than I am. It would
be absurd to claim that any man can
solve all the difficulties in the Bible,
any more than those in nature. .There
are apparent contradictions in science;
we do not, therefore, reject science, but
believe in it.
He also asks how we will reconcile
the literal resurrection of Matthew,
with the spiritual resurrection of Paul.
I see no discrepancy. Christ’s body
was reanimated, as others had been, to
convince such men as Thomas ; and
Paul gave an account of the anastasis
into the future life. What finally be
came of Christ’s body, I am not called
upon to say, for I do not know. I sup
pose it went the way of other material
bodies. There is certainly no contra
Fort Scott, Kan.
The Interior,(Presbyterian), of Chica
go, has made a bold discovery. It is
that Jonathan Edwards was a poet;
that he “was evidently a close student
of Virgil and of Dante, and he excels
both in the appalling realism of his ma
terialistic descriptions.” We fear that
it is somewhat late in the day to con
vert Edwards into a poet, and to take
the laurels from the brow of Virgil and
Dante to crown the New England the
ologian. The unfortunate objection to
such a theory is that furnished by the
sermons of Edwards themselves. They
are not allegories, but carefully con
structed arguments. Their terror con
sists not alone in their lurid word pict
ures, but in the chain of argument and
Scripture proofs by which these pict
ures are supported. Edwards was sim
ply a man who tried to carry out Cal
vinism to its logical consequences. It
was the consciousness that the natural
sentiments of the human heart are op
posed to such a terrible belief which
made him seek to show, by elaborate
argument, that in heaven such senti
ments would be so modified that saints
could rejoice in the damnation of their
parents or their offspring. In the pul
pit, Edwards held rigidly to the logic
of his system; but the man was better
than the God he worshiped, and in his
journal could write these benign reso
lutions: “Resolved, never to do any
thing out of revenge,” and “never to
suffer the least motion of anger to irra
tional beings.”
But the object of the Interior seems
not to be so much to shield Edwards as
to screen orthodoxy. It thinks it is “un
fair to quote the materialism of Ed
wards as representing orthodoxy.” If
the Interior means that the orthodoxy
of to-day is outgrowing such material
ism, we agree with it. We said our
selves, in making some quotations from
Edwards, that “the sublimated selfish
ness of these extracts would be repu
diated by the majority of orthodox read
ers.” They would shrink from his fear
ful imagery and his argument that the
happiness of the sa:nts is to be increas
ed by the pain of the lost. We are
rejoiced to believe that our orthodox
friends have made some progress ; but
we should like to see them acknowledge
it themselves, and get from it all the
comfort to which they are entitled.
And, then, we should like to see them
give a little more credit to such men as
Mayhew, Murray, and Ballou, who la
bored under much reproach and opposi
tion to redeem the world from the bond
age of views which orthodoxy is com
ing to repudiate.—Christian Register.
A man’s work is always of more im
portance to himself than to others.
Whether it be teaching, literature, art,
or some form of practical endeavor, he
is more concerned than those who listen
to his words, study his works, look upon
his pictures. They may reject him,
pass him, ignore him; but he can neith
er reject nor ignore himself. The min
ister who “preaches down” to his con
gregation, the artist who sacrifices his
ideal for the sake of immediate popu
larity, the writer who tiims his truth
to catch the currents of passing inter
est-all these defraud others, but they
defraud themselves still more. A man’s
work is a part of himself; it is a fruit
of his living; it takes something from
his life. Those about him may lose
much if he gives something less than
the best, but his own loss is al
ways the greatest. A man's work is
part of the return he makes to God; if
he chooses to pay God in inferior coin,
he debases the circulation and others
suffer,but the guilt is his alone.—Christ
ian Union.
gclitoriul Briefs.
Canton, N. Y.
Ann who aret interested in the contro
versy over future probation, precipitated
by the action of a Committee of the
American Board, must be grateful to
Prof. George P. Fisher, of Yale, for the
calm and lucid discussion of the under
lying facts and principles which he pre
sents in the last Independent. In this
matter, as in another to which Joseph
Cook devoted unnecessary space a week
ago, there are three classes among Con
gregationalists — believers, unbelievers
and the perplexed. Dr. Fisher’s paper,
equally admirable in itB reasoning and
its temper, will bring relief to the last.
They will see that it argues nothing
against either the sanity or the orthodoxy
of a man that he cannot allege a specific
and authoritative text for his “specula
—Prof. Fisher is exactly right in say
ing that the various mitigations of iron
clad Calvinism have been made, not on
the authority of any text, bnt in defer
ence to the “ prevailing spirit of the Gos
pel teaching.” The significant fact about
the whole controversy in relation to the
future of the unsaved, is that, just in
proportion as the Church becomes im
bued with what Prof. Fisher calls “ the
spirit and drift of the Gospel,” it acquires
more hope for the heathen and the unre
generate. Hard dogmas relax under the
influence of the very religion they were
intended to serve. The logic of the Gos
pel is against the logic of orthodoxy.
—The force of Dr. Fisher’s blow is felt
in the editorial office and is attempted to
be parried in the editorial columns. Six
full columns are given up to the subject.
We are gratified to observe that the In
dependent has recovered the courtesy
which in former articles on this theme it
had conspicuously laid aside. The sub
ject is discussed with patience and gen
tleness. But, alas! what is gained in
temper is lost in power. The strength of
the editorial is in inverse ratio to its
length. _ The Independent is usually
direct, vigorous, incisive, whether right
or wrong. It is in a bad way, surely,
when it adds to the sin of being in the
wrong the disgrace of being impotent.
—The Evening Record, a bright, newsy
penny paper, of Boston, announces that
it is about to introduce illustrations. We
doubt if its readers will appreciate the
improvement. In a paper as large as
most of “ the great dailies ” are, illustra
tions are not an unmixed evil, because
the space they occupy is so much sub
tracted from the too vast area of reading
matter. Bnt the space of a small sheet
cannot be better used than in printing
this news and in making sensible and
sententious oomments on it. But the
fashion must be followed in journalism
as elsewhere, we suppose.
—It is entirely legit imate for those who
think Mr. Beecher's religious liberalism
a dangerous thing, to mingle with their
eulogy of his great powers more or less
depreciation of his theology. But we
submit that it is not handsome in them,
nor is it logical, to intimate that any un
usual laxity which he may (possibly)
have exhibited is attributable to the lat
itude of his opinions. Fortunately it has
been abundantly demonstrated that there
is no causal connection between heresy
and moral obliquity. The soundest or
thodoxy is no safeguard against iniquity.
Ou the other hand, all the world has
learned that a Christian is not likely to
be less pure and trustworthy for being
—George Tioknor Curtis, in imitation
of another eminent lawyer, Judge Simon
Greenleaf, has taken up by way of diver
sion from his professional labors, a branch
of theological discussion. Prof. Green
leaf examined the testimony for the gen
uineness of the Gospels by the rales of
evidence. His work, though lacking
some of the features requisite to give it
the character of an authority, is regarded
as an original and valuable contribution
to the subject. Mr. Curtis has been for
many years a deeply interested student
of the modern scientific theory of evolu
tion. As time went on he began to feel
within him a call to tell the public the re
sults of his studies and reflections. Hence
a volume entitled, “ Creation or Evolu
—Mr. Curtis explains in his preface
under what persuasion he writes: “ The
result of my study of the hypothesis of
evolution is, that it is an ingenious but
delusive mode of accounting for the ex
istence of either the body or the mind of
man; and that it employs a kind of rea
soning which no person of sound judg
ment would apply to anything that might
affect his welfare, his happiness, his
estate, or his conduct in the practical
affairs of life.” It is to the prejudice of
the theory of evolution, certainly, that
the reasoning by which it is supported
appears so inconsequent to u miud truined
to weigh evidence, and a mind, tno, of
the first order of ability.
—The question which the distinguished
advocate sets himself to answer is one
that discussion will net settle. It is a
question of fact, but the fact cannot be
ascertained. If it could the reasoning
would be supeifiuous. No man knows
what the fact in the case is. Mr. Curtis
helps to muke this point very plain.
Those who have pretended to have origi
nal information are really as much in the
dark as the rest of us. The remaining
question is, What are the probabilities as
to the fact? Mr. Curtis deals a heavy
blow to the affirmative argument for the
hypothesis of evolution. Opinions wiil
vary as to the force of his own tflirmative
argument for the hypotheses of creation.
But this book is strong, candid and inter

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