the chances of heaven; the world was a “sink of iniquity” destined for[Pg 43] early destruction, and presided over by a God who never smiles, and troubled by a devil who never

sleeps, the latter with millions of offspring, man pursuing demons, inflicting insanity, sickness and many other of the misfortunes of life. In these beliefs the two churches

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were in entire accord and must equally answer for the miseries and cruelties they have inflicted upon humanity in enforcing them. Theories and doctrines so persistently advanced and upheld by both churches, and which have proved so disastrous to humanity do not properly belong, and should have no place in Christianity. They are not only without the authority of the Master, but are mostly in opposition to his teaching and example. The most harmful of them owe their origin to the fables and myths introduced into the sacred book second-hand from Egyptian and Oriental sources, centuries before the Christian era, and it is not surprising that legends due to the faculty of romance in the minds of some barbarous Assyrians or Pharos, far back in the cradles of humanity, when introduced as foundations for rules of life, and as explanations of the mysterious processes of nature along the whole line of human advancement should have been constantly rejected[Pg 44] and denied by the reasoning portion of mankind, and it is scarcely conceivable that now, within a few months of the twentieth century, they should be

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upheld by both churches as inspirations of the Deity. Not so surprising either when we consider that for seventeen centuries, the undeveloped minds of youth in all Christendom, have been moulded into the acceptance of beliefs, which, had they been presented without that gradual absorption in which reason takes no part would have been long ago rejected on account of their improbability. In no place is this better understood than among the churches, and as a consequence, they have been in perpetual contention with each other for the early education of youth. The most inspiring and hopeful spectacle in all humanity is an assemblage, wrapt in the devotional exercises of Christianity, listening attentively to the eloquent ministrations of an earnest leader, who pleads the cause of virtue and charity as it is exhibited in the written life and character of the Model Man. The great central story never wearies in interest, and never grows old; a willing sacrifice and suffering for the benefit of mankind. Such never failing kindness, such lessons of brotherhood, such love for men, such tenderness for children, such consideration[Pg 45] beyond his time for women, and with such a pathetic and suffering end as to capture their emotional natures for all time. And above all bringing the tidings of a hope, that comes to men, as a boat of rescue comes to a storm-tossed ship slowly sinking into the depths; so cherished in Christian households as to become a worshiped member of them, to be defended as one of them, upheld if need be by force of arms and sacrifice of life. And the lesson of it all, and the hopefulness and inspiration of it all is, that wherever mankind dwells, be it in castles or cottages, amid the crowds of cities, or among quiet country fields, there are laurels everywhere among them all for him who will sacrifice himself that others may gain; esteem and veneration among them all for him, whose life is pure, and whose ways are ways of kindness and charity. Vice can never reign supreme but for a time amid such inherent affinity for goodness implanted in every human heart, and as the days of general consent and unobstructed knowledge enlighten and control the affairs of men, more and more certain, as time rolls on, will come protests and rebellions again


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