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while an infant, became a fighting bully as soon as it could use its fists. It imprisoned, banished, and burnt ; it inaugurated war for the religious opinion's sake, and deluged Europe and Asia with blood. When this was over, dungeons were filled, racks invented, and the fagot burned the refractory sceptic that milder means failed to convert. Do not suppose that this spirit is extinct. A revival of orthodox religion is a revival of uncharitableness and hate; then men think most of its damnatory creed; their hatred of infidelity and the infidel is proportioned to their love. of souls. Here is a prayer that was offered in the Young Men's Christian Association of Boston only a few days ago, and reported in "The Boston Herald." "Lord, if that infidel that Brother C. told us about is at work this morning writing his tracts, Lord, paralyze his arm!" Who cannot see that this praying brother would have paralyzed the arm himself, if he had possessed the power?

Lying clings to Christian nations as creeds do to Christian churches. Leading Christians are notorious. falsifiers for God: their religious tracts and books abound with calumnies against unbelievers, sophistry and special pleading that would have disgraced a Roman lawyer in the days of Cicero; and it is no wonder that they practise occasionally on their own account what they so frequently do for their religion and their God.

It may be said, that, although Christianity does not save men from all sinning, it still does much to restrain them from vice; and this cannot be denied. Mohammedanism does the same thing: it restrains its be

lievers from the use of intoxicating drinks. Professors of the Christian religion are frequently restrained by it from the commission of such sins as the Church denounces; but, on the other hand, the Church upholds sins by virtue of its belief in Christianity. It was thus that it upheld slavery, and to-day upholds woman's degradation. It has two vices peculiarly its own: it robs man of one-seventh portion of his time, which it generally employs in idleness or superstition; it has invented a sin which it calls sabbath-breaking, and spends more time and effort to prevent men from committing this imaginary crime than it does to hinder them from doing what justice universally condemns. The bigotry and intolerance so generally manifested by it in proportion to its influence have made it the greatest engine ever invented to fetter the human mind; and it is only as its power decreases, and the soul is liberated from its influence, that the large-brained races of the world attain to those results of enlightenment in which now even Christianity makes its boast.


The salvation that is said to come from a belief in Jesus is not a salvation from sin, nothing can be much more certain, and we still ask, "What does Jesus save men from? "From the wrath of God?” Does your God, then, become angry?—he whom you believe made worlds more numerous than drops of water in the ocean by the word of his mouth; he who is perfect in love, a perfect father, and we his children. I know men who would be ashamed to be angry, men who would blush to have their wrath excited by a man their equal: and yet you believe in a God who is angry, and angry with man. It cannot be so. But, if so, what

makes God angry? You tell me it is sin; for your Scriptures say that God is angry with the wicked every day. But you confess every day that you are wicked: how, then, can you be saved from the wrath of God? If you are telling the truth morning and evening, you are a sinner; and the book in which as a Christian you believe declares that the soul that sinneth shall die: it also declares that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men," and asks, what should be to you a solemn question," If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the sinner and the ungodly appear ? "" Your God must hate you if you are a sinner: so that your salvation does not even save you from the wrath of God.

"But our faith enables us to appropriate the merits of Jesus, so that we receive the reward of his perfect obedience. Jesus is called the Lord our righteousness; for, though we can do nothing that is acceptable to God, we clothe ourselves by faith with his virtue, and he becomes all in all to us." Can it be that I understand you? You may injure both your body and your soul by licentious indulgence; but, by exercising faith in Jesus, God will reward you for his chastity. You may lie and steal, since these vices are human ; but only believe, and you appropriate the divine honesty and veracity of your Saviour, and all is well. What a gospel of rascality is this! What a comfortable doctrine for the man who wishes to excuse his shortcomings, and escape the just penalty of his misdeeds! No wonder that immorality flourishes wherever it is preached! Under its influence men are content to confess themselves sinners every Sunday,


and trust in Jesus to save them; while they are just as content to go on sinning during the week: for the Sunday confession must be made, and the Sunday trust exercised, at all events. But it is certain that nothing can be more false than this doctrine. Paul truly says, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Nothing more true, as our daily experince demonstrates. No man can break a physical law, and another bear the consequences; nor can any man sin, and Jesus suffer the penalty for him; nor did he suffer it eighteen hundred years ago in anticipation of the offences the Christian sinner would commit in coming time. Jesus had no merit to spare: fanatic as he was, he felt and acknowledged his own deficiency; and the structure of the universe forbids any appropriation of the merits of another.

But we are told that the salvation that comes by faith in Jesus saves us from eternal torments. But what evidence is there that any such torment exists? The very lightning that in its fury knows no respect of persons; the bounteous rain that distributes its blessings upon all; the smiling moon, peeping into the fevered face of the debauchee; the sunshine, looking through the gloomy bars of the prison, and whispering hope to the doomed criminal, that gilds alike the gallows and the church-vane with its glory; the calm evening, cooling the sultry air, lighting the lamps in the hall of night, and hushing the birds, that saint and sinner may sleep, — all teach the absurdity of this orthodox fable. Should there be any eternal torment, the Christian is as likely to suffer it as any, if his Bible in which he trusts is to be credited. It is only those

who obey the commandments of Jesus that have a right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates of pearl into the celestial city. But Christians do not obey them. They resist evil; they lend, hoping for something; they judge; they lay up treasures on earth; they take thought for to-morrow, and act in all respects as if Jesus had never said a word in reference to these subjects. Jesus teaches that they only are founded on the rock who obey his teachings: all others are to be swept into perdition when the tide of God's wrath shall flow over a ruined world. In no wise is there any hope for thee, Christian: thy salvation is a sham, thy great Physician a quack; the only diseases that he cures being imaginary ones that faith in him has produced.

The Christian doctrine of salvation is built on the Christian doctrine of damnation; and the doctrine of damnation rests upon the doctrine of original sin ; and this upon the story of man's fall from a condition of original purity and goodness. But of this story science may be said to have proved the utter falsity. Geology has settled the question as far as our planet is concerned. It has not fallen from an originally perfect condition to one in which volcanoes belch, storms howl, earthquakes heave and ingulf, and ferocious beasts devour. Geology proves, that, in all these respects, the world has improved, and is to-day a better abode for human beings than at any past period in its history. Archæology, a younger sister of geology, has in like manner proved that man has not fallen from a state of sinless perfection to one in which lying, stealing, drunkenness, and licentiousness characterize him, but

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