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ANCIENT AND MODERN IDOLATRY [By A. H. H. of Class C.J We. of tlie 19th century, lay the flattering unc tion to our souls that we are a Christian people, far removed above the idolatrous Pagans of past ages, and the heathendom of semi- or uncivilized races of our day. Yet, are we not tickling our souls into a sensuous security—but hyp notizing our too willing senses into a slumber from which the awakening will he all the more awful? What or when shall that awakening be? Let us review the religious history of the past; such as it has been revealed to us by tradition or by the testimony of scrolls and sarcophage, be ginning from the early days of Pagan civiliza tion whose wonders are gradually unfolding themselves from out of the tombs of time by the aid of inquiring minds. These have, of late years, been peering and prying into the secrets of the sand hills of Egypt which shroud in oblivion the glories of an intellectual race whose wisdom and attainments are but now dawning upon our self satisfied intelligence. As far as we know, then religion of some 7000 years ago. was a pure mono theism—a worship of Divine Truth. The mind of man, unless kept perpetually at tuned to the highest key, will not dwell continu ously upon the pure abstract. It craves for some thing concrete, something tangible, something it can individually see and know as a creature. So the grosser element of humanity evolved for it self personalities. In Knepli they adored the cre ative faculty; in Phthali they recognized the ex ecutive hand; in Maut was embodied matter. Thence the descent to the hell of many gods was easy. Ka, the sun; Khem, the generative: Kliut and Athor, the upper and nether worlds; Thoth. the wisdom of truth; Ammon, its incomprehen sibility perhaps chief of the heirarchy, and Osiris its goodness. These separations (for the defini tions of which 1 must thank Rawlinson’s refresh ing pages) at first were recognized as mere attri butes of the Divine Essense; but they rapidly took the place in this or that individual, each ac cording to his idiosyncrasies of the one great principle. From the ideal to the idol, was more rapid and easy the further they got away from a life of contemplation of the truth itself, and the less intellectual the worshipper. Turn to look upon that perhaps not less ancient race, the Hindoo; whose history, however, is to all intents and practical purposes, lost to us by the inter vention and misrule of Mohammedanism. Their eariest religious aspirations, as indicated to us by the Vedas, were toward morality; virtue and truth embodied into a personality, the gist and kernal of which remains and is practiced by some few learned, devout and austere men whose lives are beyond any reproach. Hut to the mas ses of the people, the corroding breath of time has brought a degrading barnacle growth of ideas of div inity which they have symbolized by hideous idols. From symbolism they have fallen by the craft of a vicious, bigoted priestcraft; who, for their own aggrandizement, have perpet uated and elaborated these vain delusions. ' Among them, this idolatry has generated from j the individualizing of attributes of the great I central truth creative power, judgment, mercy, j punishment, love (its human yoke fellow, hate)— | anil these in turn subdivided till every possible thought of human sensuality is embodied and i worshipped in the form of graven images with I individual alters, shrines, rites and sacrificial j monstrosities. However, underlying this para-1 sitic growth is a pure and beautiful theism,whose I doctrines are preached by many a poor, stern | ascetic Hralunin without one single taint of the i base adulterations of centuries of error. I have ! heard from Brahmin lips all the cold beauties of j the abstract truth, lacking only that drawing, personal love of the “Man of Sorrows.” The religion of Abraham, and the teachings •of Confucius are nearly of one time. Of the one we have a complete history in our Bible; of the other we only know that it now is a base idolatry that, starting in the pure, everlasting fountain of truth, has become turgid and vile by filtration through generations of vile humanity. Judaism remains still: perhaps not in all its purity or with its extremes of sacrificial cerimonial and barsh doctrine of judgment and condemnation from which its believers ever and anon swerved, as a restive horse from under a too cruel lasii, to cast tlimselves into this or that of the surround ing idolatries which they deemed most fittingly embodying their cravings. Starting from the same source, the children of Ashur were quickly divorced from the truth and wiped out of nation al existence, to descend lower and lower till, in the days of Mahomet, they had reached abysmal depths of ignorance, vice and departure from original purity. Greece never descended to grov eling idolatry, though she erected shrines and temples to the many phases of truth. But history shows that she had the advantage of letters and an advanced civilization, which does not comport with bowing the knee to mere inanimate objects or any similitude of things that be. The Grecians first individualized Love, but their idealization was of the material and carmu love, or rather passion, and most appropriately they embodied her of the softer sex and gave her birth from that great storm centre of instability, the ocean. But love was to be the keystone of the religious edifice—the keynote of all divine harmonies. The Creator saw man’s craving— knew it when tie gave unto the first man a mate to provide for and cherish, a help-mate and sol ace when beset by toils and troubles; so lie in carnated himself into the “Man of Sorrows” to give one grand, complete example of the sacrifice of love. \\ e have accepted him and profess our selves followers of his God-given doctrines. But are we not like each and every nation of historic page, departing from the truth to worship Ideals? Have not nine-tenths of Christianity cuddled in the inmest shrines of their baser natures, some idol which they blindly serve? What shall be our awakening? We cannot claim Ignorance. Sitting at His right hand, will be the Light; who will bear witness how many a time we turned our backs on him to dive into some dingy shrine of Mammon or Ashtaroth, or into some glittering temple of Bacchus or Apollo. Verily, the marriage feast has been spread for us, but our garments are out of order. I mean to make myself a man, and if I succeed in that, I shall succeed in everything else.—Gar field. TOWN TOPICS, The Journal of Society, (32 PAGES.) NEW YORK. Is universally recognized as the most complete weekly journal in the world. Its “ Sauntering* ” columns are inimitable. Its society news, especially of the doings of the 400 of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and all over the world, is not equalled by any newspaper. Its Financial Department is authority with all bankers and brokers. Its “Literary Show”—notes on current literature —is by the cleverest of re viewers. Its “Afield and Afloat” makes it the most interesting paper for all lovers of sport— yachting, football, rowing, shooting, Ashing, etc. Its “On the Turf ” excels all other racing notes. Its burlesques, poems and jokes are the cleverest. Its stories are by the best writers—among them Amelie Rives, F. 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A wonder ful amount of interest was taken in its offer of §I,OOO for the closest guesses to the coldest day and tem perature during February, at Lou isville, and much valuable informa tion was gathered by subscribers on the subject. This contest has just been decided, there being twenty-eight lucky guessers. The Weekly Courier-Journal now has another offer on the same line. For the closest guesses to the amount of rain that will fall at Louisville during May, the Weekly Courier-Journal will give 81,000. This money will be divided into nineteen presents—one of §SOO, two of §IOO each, two of §SO each, four of §25 each, and ten of §lO each. Each guess must be accom panied by §l, to pay for one year’s subscription to the Weekly Courier Journal, the best democratic journ al published. The rain-fall is scientifically measured, to the hun dredth part of an inch. The heav iest rainfall in May during the past twenty years was seven inches and forty-six hundredths of an inch. 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