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the preacher, the poet; but the word of Whittier is the true one, that "the man is greater than the author." It is the life of a soldier of Christ, who in a time of struggle, when the church and nation needed great hearted leaders, chose for himself the front of the battle, who never gave up for great bribes or small one honest conviction, and whose influence has been more than his books, or all books, in the manhood he has bequeathed. And it is happier yet for England, that she can say even in such a loss, with stout Henry over the body of Percy :

"Now God be with him, quoth our king,

Sith it will no better be,

I trust I have within my realm
Five hundred as good as he."

We may have an historian like Arnold, a thinker like Maurice, a preacher like Robertson, a writer and leader like Kingsley, but such an apostolic succession of men is rare in one generation. The church that has given them birth will not die; and it will be time enough in another thirty years, when they who come after have gathered in the harvest, to understand the sowers and the sowing. E. A. Washburn.


HEAR'ST thou the song it sings to me?
The endless song of the dark fir tree.
Before my window, beside my door,
It sighs and whispers forevermore.
By dawn, or daylight, or night's mid-hour,
I hear its still small voice of power.
"Eternity! Eternity!"

Is the hourly message it brings to me.

When I am weary and worn with pain,
And the burning sunshine fires my brain,
Faint, and listless, and fit for death,

It swings and rustles with fragrant breath:
"Hot and lonely thy noon may be,

But there is a long, long rest for thee:
Eternity! Eternity!"

This is the psalm of the old fir tree.

Sometimes the storms of Summer pour,

The lightnings dazzle, the thunders roar;

Those dark boughs groan, and writhe, and sway.
But sighing and moaning still they say:
"An end to the tempests of earth shall be;
A tranquil morning awaiteth thee-

Eternity! Eternity!

Beyond this fateful and angry sea."

When Winter hath scattered leaf and rose,
And the boughs bend low with heavy snows,
Their patient drooping a lesson lends,

To a life borne down with the care He sends.

"Bend to thy burden! awhile for thee
The weight and the wear of toil must be.
Eternity! Eternity

From care and carking shall set thee free."

If the ways of man my spirit vex,
And the ways of God my soul perplex,
When He hath taken my life's desire,
And molten my heart in his fining fire;
When the dearest eyes I cannot see,
And the voice I longed for is dead to me:
"Wait! for thy longing shall find the key;
Eternity Eternity!

There shall the dayspring come back to thee,"
Softly singeth the dark fir tree.

When I shall sleep in my quiet grave,

Oh kindly fir tree, above me wave!
Utter thine anthems to one who grieves

Under thy shining, singing leaves:

"Keep thy faith like the fadeless tree!
Tender and true let memory be.

Eternity! Eternity!

There thy lost love is waiting for thee!"

Blest be thy music, oh dark fir tree!

And blessed the Maker who fashioned thee!

Rose Terry Cooke.


CONSCIENCE is a great embarrassment. ing human opinions. The better class of

Its vexatious meddling with matters of practice is familiar to everybody. According to Shakespeare, "It makes a man a coward. A man can not steal but it accuses him. It beggars any man that keeps it. It is turned out of towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man that means to live well endeavors to trust to himself and live without it." In addition to these serious practical inconveniences, conscience has of late years become a great obstacle to scientific speculation; indeed it seems likely that much of current speculation can not go on, unless measures are taken to abate the nuisance. In other words the validity of moral distinctions, and the unconditional duty of right living, are foregone conclusions with all men who are worthy to have any voice in determin

"advanced scientists," agree with the most rigid Christian moralists in emphasizing this point. There are, indeed, some men, notably in Germany, who clamor in the name of science to be freed from, the moral law; but the prevailing sentiment about them, even in scientific quarters, is that they should be met, not with argument, but with rebuke. Certainly the advanced scientists of England and America are in no mood to listen to the obsolete brutalities of Hobbs and D'Holbach, who denied any natural distinction between right and wrong. Morals must be upheld; and any system which seeks acceptance from men must make some provision for morals, if not for religion. The need of religion is not so universally admitted; and yet Comte's “Religion of Humanity," Strauss's "Worship of

the Cosmos," and Professor Clifford's "Cos- tism in mind and morals, and they have mic Emotion" indicate that advanced scien- repeatedly assured us that life and mind tists regard even religion as a necessity. But result, mysteriously indeed but none the however that may be, it is not to be thought less really, from physical combination. of that moral distinctions should be denied, There is nothing new nor strange about and the sins of the world taken away by a this doctrine, it is simple, old-fashioned mastroke of definition. This is the general terialism; but what amazes the critic is feeling upon the subject, as much among that its holders are unwilling to have it respectable sceptics as among believers. called materialism. Barely to suggest the And here it is that conscience becomes so word is sufficient to call forth passionate troublesome. Science is not at liberty to and even hysteric denial. One is forthwith lay down its premises and trust to logic for charged with flinging dirt, and worst of all the conclusion. Whatever the premises, a with resorting to the odium theologicum. fixed point is given which must always be taken into account. Conscience is so intertwined with our entire system of beliefs that scarcely a speculation can be started about which the question does not arise: "But what about conscience?" One man concludes that life and thought are only the outcome of molecular combinations; and at once the question starts up: "But what about conscience?" Another discovers that there is no freedom and no future life; and again the vexatious question arises: "But what about conscience?" Some come down from the observatory or out of the laboratory, and announce that there is no God, or that if there be a God we can know nothing about Him; but in each case the old question is reëchoed: "But what about conscience?" Now this is extremely vexatious. Science cannot go its way in peace; but in the very moment of a great discovery or generalization this intractable moral nature starts up before the speculator as Elijah did before Ahab when he had killed and taken possession. And what makes it worse is that this troubler of Israel cannot be ignored. In the popular mind morals stand or fall with the beliefs in theism, freedom and a future life. This may be a mistake; but unfortunately the opposite doctrines have produced little but evil fruit. Materialistic and atheistic saints are extremely rare appearances, and this serves to support the popular view. Here, too, we find the explanation of a peculiar sensitiveness which advanced thinkers manifest at being charged with atheism or materialism. Various prominent speculators have lately made us acquainted with the doctrine of automa

public opinion

So peculiar a psychological phenomenon must have some explanation. It may occur to ill-conditioned minds that we are here dealing with the same mental tendency which leads men to prefer the title of embezzler, defaulter, etc., to that of thief, and which leads them to describe their operations as anything but stealing. But while this hypothesis would fully explain the facts, we think a better can be found. We believe that the surprising sensitiveness to charges of materialism and atheism which the writings of many prominent speculators show, is due not to a fear of but to a fear of themselves. They are not sure that they have left any sufficient ground for the moral nature. They are not sure that they are not on an inclined plane whose bottom lies far beneath them. Hence they wish to ignore or evade the problem, and hence when some critic declares that their views lead by logical necessity to a denial of morality, they are startled at finding the question forced upon them. Then they cry out, as much to reassure themselves as anything else: "I tell you I am not a materialist; I am not an atheist. I believe in moral distinctions as well as you. It is a wicked slander to call me an atheist!" To which the critic responds by asking them if there is any word in the language which rightly describes their views; and especially he asks them to forego hysterics and show that their declared views are not inconsistent with the moral nature. Until this is done the common sense of mankind is against them.

Plainly this showing is a necessity; and so far as assurances go, the work has already

been done. Hardly an essay or an address is produced by the other side which does not assure us that in any case the interests of morality are safe, and that a high moral ideal is just as consistent with atheism as with theism. Some, like Mr. Frederic Harrison, even carry the war into Africa, and declare that a belief in a future life is so far from necessary to morals that it is really incompatible with the highest moral development. These assurances we propose to examine. Personal inconsistencies may be allowed; but a system stands or falls by its logic. An inconsistent system is no system. Our speculators pride themselves especially upon their consistency; we demand that they be consistent here. We do not deny that the sense of right and wrong and of the beauty of right living may be very strong in men who think themselves atheists and without any immortal destiny. Ernest Naville says: "There are men all of whose convictions have fallen into ruins while their conscience remains standing, sole remaining witness of a demolished building." It would be strange if there were no cases of this kind. God, the Eternal Love, is not to be abolished by any one's unbelief. The Holy Spirit, the Light and Life of men, is not extinguished even if man's faith does falter and die. And human love, too, abides in the human heart, burning up baseness and spreading its flaming wings for illimitable flight. It is not strange, then, that a sense of moral beauty should remain even after its logical supports have fallen. But everybody knows that this is not often the case. In the history of philosophy, the denial of God has quickly and invariably led with it the denial of duty. The dream of the advanced scientist that morality is safe in any case is due to his ignorance of history. He does not know how often in the history of speculative thought the theoretic denial has involved conscience and duty in ruin. He also takes a too rosy view of man himself. He forgets that to the mass of men, duty is a hateful yoke and a heavy burden. He forgets both the revelations of iniquity which constantly startle the commercial world, and the selfish and anarchic passions whose mighty struggles make the social heavens

and earth to quake. His plans embrace only the man of large culture and established self-control; and we do not believe that his system would work well even here for any length of time. Our thesis is that moral distinctions vanish, exhortation becomes an impertinence, and punishment becomes brute violence when God, freedom and the future life are denied. But let no one say that we are taking refuge in sentiment; for we are not arguing against such denial, but only pointing out what it implies. Indeed sentimental arguments on this point have not come of late years from the side of Christian theism. It is the other side which has deluged the subject with floods of sentiment concerning impersonal immortality, cosmic emotion, cosmic worship and the religion of humanity. We only demand that there shall be no paltering, no attempts to sew the new cloth on the old garment. If we are to accept the teachings of advanced scientists, we wish to do it with our eyes open; to know just where we are going and what we are giving up. This is desirable on all accounts, for clearness as well as for safety. The moral aspects of advanced science need to be more accurately determined. The question has been suffered to drag along like a chronic disease which has power to undermine life, but whose onset is not sufficiently sharp and decided to rouse the energies of the system to resistance.


But what do we mean by advanced science? We do not mean science, by any We believe that morality, religion and human welfare in general have no truer friend than genuine science. But recent speculations have made us familiar with the denial first of freedom, second of a future life and third of God. The last denial is sometimes replaced by what is called agnostic theism. This is only a longer way of writing atheism, as the two doctrines are quite indistinguishable so far as either science or morality is concerned. Its only advantage is that it enables one to have the game without the name. Now these views are not science, but they claim to be; and the dogmatists who hold them are extremely fond of giving them out as the latest and most advanced science. Hence the name. Our

claim is that any one of these doctrines leads logically to the destruction of moral ity.

At the very outset we are struck by a peculiar inconsequence on the part of the advanced scientist with regard to the moral nature in general. The believers in the mythical origin of Christianity used to explain the notions which the early Church held about Christ by referring to the Old Testament teachings concerning the Messiah; but when the question of prophecy was in debate, they found it convenient to deny any distinctively Messianic prophecies. A similar piece of strategy is fashionable in this debate. When one suggests that atheism or materialism is fatal to morals, the advanced thinker invariably treats us to a homily conceived in the spirit of the highest intuitional morality. God or no God, we are told, there is an eternal distinction between right and wrong. Whether there be a future life or not, it is still an imperative duty to live nobly here. In particular the eternal sanctity of truth and its supreme value for the seeking soul are largely dwelt upon. Christians are even twitted at times with believing immorally, that is with preferring the rest of unfounded beliefs to the noble disquiet of absolute loyalty to truth. The advanced thinker must have no other motto than the heroic words, "I covet truth;" and he must resign all the comforts, all the joys, all the hopes of his heart, if they seem to conflict with the eternal veracities. The homily is apt to close with a whispered prayer, just loud enough to be overheard, that he "may join the choir invisible of those immortal dead who live again in souls made better by their presence." By this time the objector is heartily ashamed of himself; and as he gazes upon this noble being in whom self is overcome and duty is all and in all he wonders how he could ever have made his unfortunate suggestion that any conceivable change of opinion could remove from duty the seal of inviolable obligation. This moral enthusiasm on the part of advanced thinkers is extremely gratifying, no doubt; but our satisfaction and appreciation are partly obscured by the fact that when the origin and nature of con

science are in debate the same eloquent writers are quite sure to tell us that conscience has a very earthly origin. Then we learn that there is no absolute right; everything depends on custom and circumstance. The moral nature has its roots in physical desire. Love of pleasure, fear of pain, a bit of sympathy and a large amount of selfish expectation will produce a conscience, when thrown together in the same being and worked over by the chemistry of association. Our distinctions of right and wrong rest upon no eternal nature of things, but merely express the way in which we were brought up. Had the "environment" been different, both truth and righteousness would have been different. One cannot help feeling surprise when he remembers that the expounder of this doctrine is the same superior being who before made such a glowing defence of absolute truth and right. Now we should be justified in calling a halt here, and insisting upon a choice between these two views. Both cannot be held at once. If conscience have the genesis just described, it is absurd to speak of any obligation higher than that of common prudence; but if conscience has any true right to rule, it cannot have had this origin. To hold now one view and now the other, according to the exigencies of the argument, impresses one with the same feeling of awe which invaded the minds of William Nye and Truthful James at the wonderful play of Ah Sin. Common honesty and that supreme truthfulness which has been set up as the chief virtue demand that a choice be made here. We say it deliberately and with emphasis— this fundamental inconsistency can be rescued from the charge of knavery only by postulating an ignorance equally dense and profound.

We pass to the specific denials mentioned; and first we consider the denial of freedom. When we object to physical fatalism that it denies morality, the scientific speculator is very fond of using the great Calvanistic theologians to screen himself from attack. When Professor Huxley made his address, "Are Animals Automata?" he warned his critics in advance that if he were to be summoned to answer for his doctrine of autom

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