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EVERYBODY has heard of the witty saying of Sydney Smith, "Orthodoxy is my doxy, and heterodoxy the other man's doxy." But this is not what I mean by orthodoxy, when I say orthodoxy is false since spiritualism is true. I mean the peculiar religious doctrines taught by what are called the evangelical churches,— those who take the ground that the Bible is the inspired word of God; that man is totally depraved, and born to do evil continually, in consequence of Adam's transgression; who believe in the eternity of torment to which he thus became liable, and from which he can only be saved by belief in Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, through whose merits the true believer escapes the pit of woe, and passes through the pearly gates into the New Jerusalem, there to sing the praises of his Redeemer forever. The orthodox, therefore, include Catholics, Orthodox Quakers, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and a host of others.

We are in daily communication with the spirits of the departed, some of whom never belonged to any religious organization, never attended church, believed not in Jesus as a Son of God, and the Saviour, never professed to be born more than once, and were there


fore orthodoxically wicked; yet we find they are in no hopeless prison,

"Where sinners must with devils dwell,

In darkness, fire, and chains."

They are swimming in no shoreless brimstone lake, with waves of damnation rolling over their guilty souls; they are not crying for a drop of water to cool their scorched tongues; they are not even advising their friends who are still on earth to believe the doctrines of orthodoxy, and obey its requirements, that they may improve their condition when they pass to the land of souls.

But some of our departed friends were members of orthodox churches: they did believe in Jesus as their Saviour; they were baptized in his name; they believed themselves mysteriously born again, and died in the faith, with the full prospect of the heaven that had been preached to them, as a reward of the righteous, from their infancy. We now converse with them, and find them to be just such persons as we knew upon earth, save that their orthodoxy has been terribly shattered. They confess to us that the religious views that they held here were altogether contrary to the facts as they find them there, and that orthodoxy is as wrong as its name is right. They find no golden city with gates of pearl, no God seated upon a great white throne, no Jesus at his right hand, no twelve subordinate thrones upon which his fishermen disciples sit, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. There are no eye-full beasts guarding the throne, and crying, "Holy, holy, holy! day and night; nor elders forever throwing down their crowns, while the crowd look on in holy admiration.

Thus we find that hell and heaven alike depart; and orthodoxy, dressed in crape, goes weeping after them. No more can the orthodox poet picture, as did Pollok in his "Course of Time," the sinners' abode:

"Wide was the place,

And deep as wide, and ruinous as deep.
Beneath, I saw a lake of burning fire,

With tempest tossed perpetually; and still

The waves of fiery darkness [strange darkness that] 'gainst the rocks

Of dark damnation broke, and music made

Of melancholy sort; and overhead,

And all around, wind warred with wind, storm howled
To storm, and lightning, forkèd lightning, crossed,
And thunder answered thunder, muttering sounds
Of sullen wrath. And, far as sight could pierce,
Or down descend in caves of hopeless depth,
Through all that dungeon of unfading fire,
I saw most miserable beings walk;
Burning continually, yet unconsumed;
Forever wasting, yet enduring still;
Dying perpetually, yet never dead.

Some wandered lonely in the desert flames:
And some in fell encounter fiercely met,
With curses loud, and blasphemies that made

The cheek of darkness pale; and as they fought,

And cursed, and gnashed their teeth, and wished to die,

Their hollow eyes did utter streams of woe.

And there were groans that ended not, and sighs

That always sighed, and tears that ever wept

And ever fell, but not in mercy's sight."

This was the hell of orthodoxy. It has cooled down considerably since this was written. It was once as fiery as the primeval earth, when white-hot billows rolled along its breast; but it cools so much more rapidly, that our children may expect to find it a very

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