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obvious enough to hundreds whether he said it or not." This item is still more worthless than the other; for when analyzed it is nothing more than your own opinion. Deprived of Mr. Houlding's testimony, you become wise after the fact and say it was not needed. If the "fact was obvious enough to hundreds" you were not required to point it out or to search for proof. "It is obvious enough", is one of the desperate efforts of a bad cause when evidence fails; and your having recourse to it speaks not well of your generosity toward your opponent. Who made you a judge of his moral and spiritual state? Is it not because you cannot dispute the facts marshalled against you, as drawn from your own pages, that you seek to stab the Christian reputation of your assailant? These facts will remain even though his character should fall, and will carry with them the conviction wherever they are known, that your "policy," but ill conceals an inveterate and undiscriminating hostility to the purest religion known among men. People will see that you are weak in attack as you are in defence, and that when foiled at every point, you seek to escape by undermining the character of your opponent, which you should hold as sacred as your own.
In this too you have failed, but had you succeeded, it would have afforded another illustration of the inconsistency of your course. You say that Mr. Grant is an unconverted man, that is, an unchristian man. That in him which you condemn, you regard as opposed to Christianity, why then do you reject Christianity when you believe it does not sanction evil? Your argument is suicidal, and you tacitly admit that Secularism is worthless. Mr. Grant's course, you say, is bad; therefore, you reason, Mr. Grant is in an unconverted state;" but an unconverted state is "a state of nature;" therefore, human nature is not, as you aver, sufficient for morality, but needs, what you deny, a Saviour from without. Of what use, then, are your boasted" guarantees of morality,”-human nature, utility, and intelligence? Mr. Grant has them all, yet according to you, he is not right, but wants Christianity to bring him out of a state of nature, and make him a model High tribute this to the value of the religion of Jesus! Damnatory fact to the Secularist doctrine that human "nature is sufficient for morality" Christianity is exalted, in the condemnation of its advocate; and, in the confession that human nature is powerless against evil, Secularism is given up.
In conclusion, for the present, permit me to suggest, as you profess great fondness for logic, that you put this argument in syllogistic form, for the edification of your readers, and, thus do something toward making good your claim to the title of "The Reasoner;" and permit me also to subscribe myself,
19th December, 1854.
THE PROGRESS OF OUR RACE.
It is because God is visible in history that its office is the noblest except that of the poet. The poet is the interpreter of heaven. He catches the first beam of light that flows from its uncreated source. He repeats the message of the Infinite, without always being able to analyze it, and often without knowing how he received it, or why he was selected for its utterance. But history yields in dignity to him alone, for it not only watches all the great encounters of life, but recalls what had vanished, and partaking of a bliss like that of creating, restores it to animated being. The mineralogist takes special delight in contemplating the process of crystallization, as though he had caught nature at her work as a geometrician; giving herself up to be gazed at without concealment such as she appears in the very moment of action. But history, as she reclines in the lap of eternity,
sees the mind of humanity itself engaged in formative efforts, constructing sciences, promulgating laws, organizing commonwealths, and displaying its energies in the visible movement of its intelligence. Of all pursuits that require analysis, history, therefore, stands first. It is equal to philosophy; -for as certain as the actual bodies forth the ideal, so certain does history contain philosophy. It is grander then the natural sciences; for its study is man, the last work of creation, and the most perfect in its relations with the Infinite.
Look round on this beautiful earth, this temperate zone of the solar system, and see how much man has done for its subjection and adornment; making the wilderness blossom with cities, and the seemingly inhospitable sea cheerfully social with the richly freighted fleets of world-wide commerce. Look also at the condition of society, and consider by what amenities barbarism has been softened and refined; what guarantees of intelligence and liberty have superseded the lawlessness of brute force, and what copious interchanges of thought and love have taken the place of the stolidity of the savage. The wanderings of the nations are greater now than they have ever been in time past, and productive of happier results. Peaceful emigration sets more myriads in motion than all the hordes of armed barbarians, whether Gauls or Scythians, Goths or Huns, Northmen or Saracens, that ever burst from the steppes of Asia and the Northern nurseries of men.
If Jehovah is the supreme governor of the universe; if God is the fountain of all goodness-the inspirer of true affection-the source of all intelligence-there is nothing of so great moment to the race as the conception of his existence; and a true apprehension of his relations to man must constitute the turning point in the progress of the world. And it has been so. A better knowledge of his nature is the dividing line that separates ancient history from modern-the old time from the new. The thought of Divine unity as an absolute cause was familar to antiquity; but the undivided testimony of the records of all cultivated nations shows that it took no hold of the popular affections. Philosophers might conceive this Divine unity as purest action, unmixed with matter; as fate, holding the universe in its invincible, unrelenting grasp; as reason, going forth to the work of creation; as the primal source of the ideal archetypes, according to which the world was fashioned; as boundless power, careless of boundless existence; as the Infinite one slumbering unconsciously in the infinite all. Nothing of this could take hold of the common mind, or make
"Peor and Baalim
Forsake their temples dim,"
or throw down the altars of superstition.
For the regeneration of the world, it was requisite that the Divine Being should enter into the abodes, and hearts of men, and dwell there; that an idea of Him should arise, which should include all truth respecting His essence; that He should be known not only as an abstract and absolute cause, but as a perfect Being, from whose perfect nature the universe is an effluence! not as a distant Providence of Infinite power, or uncertain will, but as God present in the flesh; not as an absolute law-giver, holding the material world, and all moral and intelligent existence, in the chains of necessity, but as a creative spirit, indwelling in man-his fellow-worker and guide.
When the divine Being was thus presented to the soul, He touched at once Man's aspirations, affections and intelligence, and faith in Him sunk into the inmost heart of humanity. In vain did the proud and ambitious Arius seek to overlay spiritual truth with the fabulous conceptions of heathenism, to paganize Christianity, and to subordinate its enfranchising power to false worship and to despotism. Reason asserted its right of supremacy, and the party of superstition was driven from the field. Then Mooned Ashtaroth was eclipsed, and Osiris was seen no more in Memphian Grove; then might have been heard the crash of the falling temples of Polytheism; and, instead of them, came that harmony which holds Heaven and Earth in happiest union.
Amid all the deep sorrows of humanity during the sad conflict which was protracted through centuries for the overthrow of the past and the reconstruction of society, the idea of an incarnate God, carried peace to the bosom of mankind. That faith emancipated the slave, redeemed the captive, elevated the low, lifted up the oppressed, consoled the wretched, inspired alike the heroes of thought and the countless masses? The down-trodden nations clung to it as to the certainty of their future emancipation; and it so filled the heart of the greatest poet of the Middle Ages-perhaps the greatest poet of all time--that he had no prayer so earnest as to behold in the profound and clear substance of the eternal light, that circling of reflected light, which showeth the the image of man.
From the time that this truth of the Triune God was clearly announced, he was no longer dimly conceived as a remote and shadowy causality, but appeared as all that is good, and beautiful and true, as goodness itself, incarnate and interceding, redeeming and inspiring; the union of liberty, love and light; the Infinite cause, the Infinite Mediator, the Infinite in and with the universe, as the paraclete and the comforter. The doctrine once communicated to man, was not to be eradicated. It spread as widely, as swiftly, and as silently as light; and the idea of God with us dwelt and dwells in every system of thought that can pretend to vitality; in every oppressed nation whose struggles to be free, have the promise of success; in every soul that sighs for redemption.
That God has dwelt, and dwells with humanity, is not only the noblest illustration of its nature, but the perfect guarantee for its progress. We are entering on a new era in the history of the race, and though we cannot cast its horoscope, we at least may in some measure discern the course of its motion.
Here we are met, at the very threshold of our argument, by the afterbirth of the materialism of the last century. A feeble effort is making to reconstruct society on the simple observation of the laws of the visible universe The system is presented, with arrogant pretension, under the name of "the Positive Philosophy," and deduces its lineage through the English unitarianism of Priestley and Belsham, and the French materialism which culminated in Broussais. It scoffs at all questions of metaphysics and religious faith as insoluble and unworthy of human attention, and sets up the banner of an affirming creed in the very moment it describes its main characteristic as a refusal to contemplate or to recognize the Infinite. How those who take their opinions from Hobbes and Locke and their continental interpreters, and still adhere to the philosophy which owns no sources of knowledge but the
senses, can escape the humiliating yoke of this new system, I leave to them to discover. But the system is as little entitled to be feared as to be received. When it has put together all that it can collect of the laws of the material universe it can advance no further toward the explanation of its existence, morals, or reason. They who listen as well to the instructions of inward experience, may smile at the air of wisdom with which a scheme that has no basis in the soul is presented to the world as a new universal creed-the Catholic Church of the materialist. Its handful of acolytes wonder why they remain so few. But Atheism never held sway over human thought except as an usurper-no child of its own succeeding. Error is a convertible term with decay. Falsehood and death are synonymes. Falsehood can gain no permanent foothold in the immortal soul; for there can be no abiding or real faith except that which is eternally and universally true. The future of the world will never produce a race of Atheists; and their casual appearance is but the evidence of some ill-understood truth-some mistaken direction of the human mind-some partial and imperfect view of creation. The Atheist denies the life of life, which is the source of liberty. Proclaiming himself a mere finite thing of to-day, he rejects all connection with the Infinite. Pretending to search for truth, he abjures the spirit of truth. Were it possible that the world could become without God, that greatest death-the death of the race-would ensue; and when a better creation should succeed, there would no more be known of the departed one than is known of the mastodon or the ichthyosaur. It is because man cannot separate himself from his inward experience, and his yearning after the infinite, that he is capable of progress-that he has received a religion, whose history is the triumph of right over evil, whose symbol is the resurrection.
But leaving aside the question how far rational life extends it is certain that for humanity the connection with the Infinite constitutes its unity. Here, too, is our solace for the indisputable fact that humanity, in its upward course, passes through the shadows of death and over the relics of decay. Her march is strown with the ruins of formative efforts, that were never crowned with success. How often does the just man suffer, and sometimes suffer most for his brightest virtues! How often do noblest sacrifices to regenerate a nation seem to have been offered in vain! How often is the champion of liberty struck down in the battle, and the symbol which he uplifted trampled under foot! But what is the life of an individual to that of his country? of a state or a nation at a given moment, to that of a race? The just man would cease to be just, if he were not willing to perish for his kind. The scoria that fly from the iron at the stroke of the artisan shows how busily he plies his task; the clay which is rejected from the potter's wheel proves the progress of his work; the chips of marble that are thrown off by the chisel of the sculptor leave the miracle of beauty to grow under his hand. Nothing is lost. I leave to others the questioning of Infinite Power, why the parts are distributed as they are, and not otherwise. Humanity moves on, attended by its glorious company of martyrs. It is our consolation that their sorrows, and persecution, and death, are encountered in the common cause, and not in vain.
INFIDEL LECTURERS IN LIVERPOOL.
These gentlemen have lately made a crusade on our "good old town" without much effect. None of them got much patronage for the sake of their arguments, (for there were none brought out) though many went to hear their Lectures for the sake of the novelty. They have tried to gain converts (or I should say perverts) to their sceptical dogmas by fair means, but finding that not to answer very well, they have determined to try foul means-by forming a Society and under the garb of a religious name, inviting all "lovers of Truth" to join them. The last name they adopted is the "Free Protestant Association". I would respectfully suggest to their 'Executive Council,' which they talk so loudly about, that in the next lot of prospectuses they get printed, they should append a word of explanation so that the people may know that it is an Infidel society. If they were men they would do it. Nay-if they had a spark of common honesty they would. Though if any individual were to ask me what would be a proper and suitable name for this "respectable_body as Mr. Barker calls it, I confess I would call it "the society of benighted Jesuits," having John Finch for their Inquisitorial Father! Mr. George Jacob Holyoake gave three lectures to inaugurate the society. His first lecture was attended pretty largely, because on a Sunday night, and being a stranger in Liverpool, and heading his placard, "True protestantism," many paid their admission fees, not expecting that they were supporting a lecturer whose doctrine of necessity would be a sanction and excuse for the inquisition. His other lectures were complete failures, and I believe left the society rather minus their funds. Mr. Holyoake's style was far too egotistical to be relished by his audiences here. The Liverpool Young Men's Christian Association accepted his challenge for discussion. The arrangements were being made, the time and place were fixed, but all ended in smoke, because Mr. H. would not discuss without being paid two guineas per night.
Mr. Charles Southwell, who honestly confesses that he lectures "sometimes all for money," next came to "waste his sweetness on the desert air." His lectures were delivered to almost empty seats in the Queen's Hall, Bold Street. I cannot doubt that most of the few who went to hear him, expected to hear a Christian man, for the subject of his lectures was announced to be "the cause and cure of Infidelity;" thus duping unwary Christians out of their threepences and sixpences. This appears to be part and parcel of the policy of Infidel lecturers.
Robert Cooper comes next and placards himself as Editor of the London Investigator." However, this "lover of investigation" endeavoured to shirk all investigation when he was here. He challenged discussion, and when his challenges were accepted by persons in his own position, he refused to have anything to do with them, because, forsooth, they were not authorized ministers! Thus an unauthorized infidel refuses to meet unauthorized Christians in discussion; and if he is asked, as he was in Manchester, if he will meet an authorized minister, he again evades debate by saying the minister is not respectable enough for him. Notwithstanding the miserable audiences they had at all the lectures I have mentioned, this society of benighted Jesuits" are determined to make another effort, and to call to their aid that notorious adventurer, Mr. Joseph Barker, whom they style Rev., heading his placards in large type, "the Bible! the Bible!! They were determined to attract attention, and no matter what it cost, they would have it! So they gave out, that this Rev. Gentleman (?) would prove the Bible to be a mere human production! Certainly his lectures were well attended, most of them ending in noise and confusion, always commenced by the Rev. (?) lecturer! In his usual bombastic manner he challenged every influential orthodox minister to public discussion." His challenges were made again and again, but as often as they were accepted, he proved most palpably that he