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that, from the condition of a savage, he has climbed during ages to the civilization of the present. The opinion held by those who have made archæology a study is well represented in the address of Lord Dunraven to the Cambrian Archæological Association : "If we look back through the entire period of the past history of man, as exhibited in the result of archæological investigation, we can scarcely fail to perceive that the whole exhibits one grand scheme of progression, which, notwithstanding partial periods of decline, has for its end the ever-increasing civilization of man, and the gradual development of his higher faculties." And in the statement of Sir John Lubbock, in the closing chapter of "The Origin of Civilization,' Existing savages are not the descendants of civilized ancestors. The primitive condition of man was one of utter barbarism; and from this condition several races have independently raised themselves."

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Archæology has demonstrated that chiliads of years before the world was made, according to biblical chronology, man in England, Scotland, France, Belgium, and Europe generally, was a savage. The remains of his cannibal feasts which have been found show the amazing distance that he has since travelled on the road to perfect manhood.

What lifted him out of this

pit, and gave to the world the architecture of Egypt, the art of Etruria, the poetry and philosophy of Greece, the morality of Gautama and Confucius, and the jurisprudence of Rome? All this long before Jesus was born, and probably before a chapter of the Bible was written. That advanced man which advanced the planet, his dwelling-place, for millions of years

before his foot trod it. What pushes the tree on from the sapling, struggling for existence, to the towering pillar of living beauty? The spirit in the tree, pushing, urging day and night, and that never allows it to rest. What carried the earth upward from the monotonous wilderness of heated rock to the ocean-bearing, lake-gemmed, mountain-crowned planet of to-day? and life, from the polype of the sea-bottom to the croaking frog and the thinking man? The all-controlling Spirit, never resting, never far away, as inseparable from the universe as a man's soul is from himself; and this, in the first rude men, carried them on, awakened thought in their souls, lit a fire of love in their hearts, whispered of heaven in their ears, and to-day reveals to them a condition of perfection to which humanity must yet attain, and for which the best men are daily striving.

Man, then, has not fallen: the foundation of damnation and the necessity for orthodox salvation is gone. God did not make a pure fountain, allow the Devil to poison it, and then compel the whole human race to drink of it, and at the same time threaten them with eternal torment if they should manifest its evil effects.

But, if man did not fall from an originally pure condition, then he did not receive from that fall that never occurred a corruption of his nature, whereby he is "inclined to evil, and that continually." I never can remember the time when I was not inclined to good, when I did not love truth, honesty, temperance, purity, manliness; and I do not believe that I am an exception in this respect. I believe this to be the general feeling of all men. The protest which the soul makes

against absurd forms, useless ceremonies, and false notions, is mistaken for opposition to virtue and goodness. I cannot say that I was naturally fond of Sunday; it was the most melancholy day of the week: nor did I take much delight in sermons; not because I disliked the goodness inculcated in them, but because there was so little in them attractive to my youthful mind. The goodness that supports asylums, that establishes schools, that founds temperance, peace, and antislavery societies, that calls for justice to woman and to the laborer, and that overthrows tyranny, is the goodness of human nature, that throbs with more or less intensity in every breast, and which Christianity ostentatiously claims for itself, while it conveniently passes over to the credit of what it calls "the world" the evils which are its own legitimate fruit.

Are Mohammedans less temperate than the Christians who tempt them with intoxicating drink? Are Hindoos less honest than British Christians, who have stolen from them their country, and who enrich themselves by impoverishing the inhabitants?

But we are told that all persons do wrong; that is, they knowingly violate natural law. I grant it; but, if that proves original sin, it will not be at all difficult to prove original virtue. All persons do right; and they do right ten times where they do wrong once. No man was ever known to tell more lies than truths, or to be for a longer time angry than good-natured. The fact is, that human beings are born neither in virtue nor sin, but capable of both: and, with each succeeding age, man's ability to master his animal propensities increases; and he thus grows into virtue,

as he does toward perfect manhood, for which he started at the beginning, but to which he cannot attain without the time essential for that growth.

If the doctrine of original sin is false, then the notion that God doomed the race to endless perdition on account of a condition resulting from it is false. Man was never lost, nor in danger of being lost: that in his history that looks most like it is his belief of such a fable. The damnation from which Jesus is supposed to save men only exists in the imagination of those who believe in this soul-enslaving superstition. When I ask for the evidence on which the faith in eternal damnation rests, I am pointed to the Bible, which I am told is God's word. Before believing such a doctrine on the statement of the Bible, you ought to be as certain that the Bible is true as that your head is on your shoulders. The very fact that the Bible teaches it is sufficient evidence that the Bible is untrue. Where, O Nature, my mother! dost thou teach such a horrible doctrine as these ignorant children of thine are blasting men's souls with? Not in the south wind, that sweeps over the land to-day with life and beauty following in its path. Out of the cold arms of winter springs the land; the loosened streams are leaping from the hills with musical cadence; the green grass is peeping; the buds are swelling; and the long-silent birds are pouring their melody into our souls. How these voices give the lie to this howling blasphemy! Thou sun, that turns the world over, and warms it into life; that kisses the cheek of the cottager's child, and smiles on the beggar as sweetly as on the pompous bishop; that lights up the malefactor's cell as

gloriously as the cathedral, -thou preachest a gospel in which no such soul-harrowing dogma is found.

The headache of the drunkard is but the voice of Nature saying to him, "Do thyself no harm.” The burn of the child is painful; but the pain teaches it a lesson that it needs to learn: and, if the burn is so severe that it must die, Nature wraps her arms about the little one, sends it into a precious sleep, and wakens it for a start in a higher life.

How could damnation be the penalty for man's doing what by virtue of his very constitution he must do? Man was as certain to sin as a green apple is to be sour; and time and favorable conditions are as necessary to cure him as to ripen and sweeten the apple.

But, if men were never liable to damnation, the necessity for evangelical salvation never existed. God never allowed the Devil to rend the world; and there never was any need for his Son to come from heaven to patch it. God never hurled the world into the pit of perdition with his right hand; and there was therefore no necessity for him to lower the rope of salvation down with his left for the lost wretches to seize

by faith. Men never were far from God; and they consequently need no one to bring them nigh. They were never damned, nor in danger of it; and Orthodox salvation is as unnecessary as a lightning-conductor in a coal-mine.

The method by which God is supposed to save men through faith in Jesus shows monstrous absurdity and cruelty on the part of God who offers it, and great unmanliness on the part of those who accept it. Man, the finite, has sinned against an infinite God; he has

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