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to send them to' Dr. Ellis, in care of the Universalist Publishing House. Our readers may be sure of a suitable tribute to the memory of our great preacher ; for the author's grace of style, power of moral and intellectual analysis, just appreciation of the gifts of Dr. Chapin, and conscientious use of material, are pledges that the book will be worthy of the man.
- At the Great Mohammedan Missionary University at Cairo, in Egypt, there are at this day ten thousand students under training, ready to go to any part of the world to teach the doctrines of Islam. Missionaries meet these Moslem priests, not in Turkey alone, wl:ich is the centre of their power, but also in Persia, India and China, and in the heart of Africa. Very few who have professed this faith have been led to renounce it for Christianity. This is partly owing, no doubt, to the fear o: persecution, for the Moslems hold that it is not only proper, cut a bounden duty, to kill any one who abjures his iaith in their prophet.
– The following extract from a recent work by a missionary, whose name excapes us at this writing, shows the striking resemblances on important points between the Buddhistic and the Roman Catholic rituals, priesthood, monks, saints, festivals, relics and general practices :
“ This is one of the first things that arrests the attention of the observing foreigner. He is at once attracted by its great show processions, and multiplied festivals. The long-robed and shaven-headed priest, with his slow and measured tread, his pusillanimous air, and his Jesuitical cunning, strikes him as a quite familiar personage. Even when he enters the Buddhist temple or monastery things wear a familiar aspect. The images, the statue of the “Holy Mother,” or “ Queen of Heaven, with her babe, the walls adorned with paintings, some exhibiting passages in the life of Buddha, but more displaying the adventures of the Holy Mother, the alta:, with it-numerous vessels and instruments of service, the burning candles, the smoking incense, the ringing bells, the service in a foreign tongue, the prostrations, the mock solemnity, the muttered prayers, and the monotonous chantings, ail forcibly remind him of scenes in Romish Chapels. Nor will it aid n disp:lling toe illusion to find here and there, in the different apartments of the establishment, devout-looking priests counting over their beads, and repeating over and over again the same brief sentences, till he fancies he can almost catch the familiar sounds of “Ave Marias,” and “Paternosters.”
“ A visit to the library will still aid in the delusion, especially when permitted to examine the collection of sacred relics — Buddha's tooth, the bones of the saints, the urns containing the ashes of departed priests, etc. ; all sacredly kept and looked upon with the profoundest venera ion. Nor will the resemblance be less complete by discovering it to be a great ecclesiastical organization extending its au hority through various countries ; having its infallible head in the Grand Lama, its pontifical court, its high functionaries, its priests, its monks and nuns of various schools an: orders, its ordinances of celibacy, its holy water, its sales of charms, amulets and indulgencies, its masses for the dead, its worship of relics and canonization of saints, and its wɔmanolatry in the worship of Kwanyin, "the Queen of Heaven.”
1. The Theistic Argument as Affected by Recent Theories. A course of Lectures delivered at the Lowell Institute, in Boston, by J. Lewis Diman, D.D., late Professor of History and Political Economy in Brown University. Boston: Houghton, Miflin & Co. $1.50.
The theistic argument in substance is the same, whether ancient or modern, in the form of its statement. Difficulties and objections which had no expression in earlier time, have been started by the scientific discoveries and philosophical speculations of these later days; and those entering upon the discussion now have to meet many subtleties of argument unknown to Paley, and his predecessors. The evidences of intelligence, of plan, final causes and moral law in the constitution of the world, and in the order of human society and history, are now questioned on grounds wholly different from those occupied by the atheist of former times. Indeed, the whole question of Religion in all its aspects has changed, as regards the methods of both attack and defence, since we published our first book “ Christianity vs. Infidelity” — less than fifty years ago. Then the attack was from the standpoints of Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian, or Hume and Hobbes, or, at a later period, of Strauss; and the discussion turned on the reality and truth of a revelation, on the divine character and mission of Christ, miracles, the mythic theory, the historical integrity of the Gospels, &c. But now the anti-religious party, small in numbers, though supposed to be strong in intellectual power and attainments, refuse to entertain these questions ; they go back of Christianity, back of Mosaism and all historical religions, and deny that any religion has a foundation on which it can stand firmly for a moment in the presence of the scientist and philospher. They demand proof that there is a God to begin with, or a future life, or an innate religious nature in man which has any relation to these ; proof that man has a soul, or mind as an independent entity; that he is anything in fact but organized matter with its resultant nervous forces, which these gentlemen generously admit may, in some of their manifestations, easily be mistaken for that unsubstantial something which theologians call soul or spirit.
Prof. Diman does not aim to discuss all these points, but confines himself mostly to the Theistic argument as affected by the recent agnostic theories of denial and challenge. He does not ignore the old arguments altogether, but endeavors to show that the new weapons and new methods of attack are not likely to prove more effective than the old ; that in fact the argument of design in nature, of finality, adaptation of special means to special ends as one evidence of a creative, shaping, intelligent Cause beginning and continuing to work with reference to certain intended results, is not in validated by any or all the elaborate assaults of modern speculation. At every step of the discussion Prof. Diman shows his ability to judge the weight and pertinency of his facts, and his fairness in never seeking to make them prove too much.
His argument is cumulative. No single line of reasoning, no one fact, is sufficient to demonstrate the Divine Existence, but all united furnish an irresistible proof. For example:
"Neither the phenomena of man's rational nature nor the phenomena of his moral nature, taken by themselves, would be sufficient to prove the Divine existence."
Man doee not reach the final convictiou of religious truth through any one faculty or organ. He is framed for religion by the whole make and constitution of his nature.
" The necessity of supposing a first cause was not itself a proof of the divine existence; the evidence of intelligence in nature was not a proof of the divine existence; the traces in history of a moral governor were not proof of the divine existence; but all these were undeniable facts, they all pointed in the same direction, thev all converged to a common centre, they all brought us, at last, face to face with the conviction of a being behind phenomena, transcending existence, endowed with wisdom and gooduess beyond anything that the imagination of man could conceive At this point, and by a legitimate process of intellection, a process implied in all knowledge, and lying at the basis of every science, we clothed this conception with the attributes of infinity, and when this was done, the idea of God was completed."
The matter is stated in this last form because of the question, May not this intelligence and intellectual force, which we think so manifest in the arrangements of the universe, be after all a part of Nature, immanent in it, a final product of its evolution toward the highest and best ? In his chapter on “ Immanent Finality,” the author attempts an answer to this question, taking up the phenomena of consciousness and of the will, the elements which go to make up personality in man, and the demands of intuition, and the irresistible conviction which presses to the conclusion that behind all the shifting phenomena of the material universe, behind the moral law and the order of society, behind the revelations of history that the world is steadily moving forward to higher levels in conformity with manifest plan and purpose – that behind all these there is a mighty, a guiding and controlling Will, Personality, God!
Prof. Diman accepts the doctrine of Evolution as a method in which God has worked, and works out his purposes in the material world. This is more reasonable, he thinks, than the doctrine of special creations by direct acts. He does not admit that spontaneous generation or the eternity of matter is involved in the theory. So far from Evolution dispensing with Deity, its many adaptations of organs, and adjustments of parts, are proofs that intelligence and will lie back of these as the planning and efficient Cause; and so through Evolution, as through every other path, we get back at last to God.
Some of our readers will probably think that Prof. Diman has made unnecessary concessions to the spirit of doubt and assump'ion so marked in the class whose objections he meets; and that in his anxiety to avoid pushing the argument too far, he not alwayo follow it to its just and logical conclusions. We partly agree with them. For example — when in one place he demonstrates, as he supposes, that the intelligence manifest in the arrangements of Nature, is not a part or product of Nature, and in another affirms that "the evidence of intelligence in Nature is not a proof of the divine existence,” we are moved to ask, What is it a proof of, then? If it is not a part of Nature, but distinct from it, and if intelligence is exclusively, an attribute of personality by this very showing, then if it is not a proof of the divine existence, it has no part in his argument. Here we think he does not claim for the fact the weight to which logically it is entitled, and to which, as it seems to us, his reasoning in the chapter on “Immanent Finality" inevitably leads.
2. Supplicium Æternum: The Hereafter of Sin What it will be; with answers to certain Questions and Objections. By Rev. John W. Haley. Andover: Warren F. Draper.
This is an ambicious little book, the purpose of which seems to be to prove the doctrine of endless punishment, to defend the character of God against the charge of injustice and cruelty in its infliction, to remove the difficulties in the way of hesitating believers, and to persuade unbelievers that it is not near so dreadful a doctrine as it has been thought to be in fact, that it is a real kindness on the part of God to let the ungodly go to hell where they will be a great deal more at home, and more at ease, than they would be in heaven among the saints and angels. “ Can it be doubted,” says the author, “ that benevolence appears in the fact that God has prepared their own place' for the lost a place adapted to their mental and moral condition ; and that He has fixed their habitation there, instead of compelling them into heaven, where, owing to uncongenial society and surroundings, their misery would be far greater ?”
How little can one who writes in this way understand of the nature of Christian salvation, or of God's methods in working it out in the soul of man, or of the meaning of the words “heaven and “hell”; how little can he know of human nature or of the moral and spiritual forces by which it is acted upon ; how little of the theology or philosophy of Universalism, or even of the later school of Orthodoxy ? It would be idle to criticise such a statement; we could not do justice to the subject. But let us see how well the author can talk on both sides of the same question, when stress of argument demands it. The following is intended to show that hell is not quite so comfortable a place as the reader might imagine from the above extract :
“ The discordant and revolting society of hell will be to the dwellers there a perpetual source of disgust and horror. There will be gathered all the vile and abomivable of mankind who ever cursed the earth. It will be the foul cesspool into which the accumulated filth and sin and shame of earth will be disgorged, to seethe and putrefy and ferment forever and ever.”
This statement is variously illustrated with examples ; among them the false teacher, who is unceasingly pursued through hell “with
curses loud and deep” from those whom he has lured into this horrible place ; and the writer adds, “ Can such a state fail to be most wretched ?” And of others he says, “ Can there be any more fearful punishment than to be shut up with such abominable beings forever and ever?” and to emphasize the horrors of hell, he borrows from the Pagan Plutarch, who speaks of the damned as twisted together two and two, three and three, or more, who gnaw and devour each other, either upon the score of old grudges and former malice they had borne each other, or else in revenge of injuries and losses they had sustained upon earth"; and adds, from Dante,
"A mirv tribe, all naked, and with looks
Cutting each other piecemeal with their fangs."
There is sound reason in the idea that hell is appointed in mercy to the lost, because heaven would be utterly uncongenial to them. They will be better off in hell (his own italics) — their • home,' their own place’; if transferred to heaven, their misery would be insufferably augmented.”.
We do not really see any occasion for printing this book. There is not a single argument or thought in it that is new. To be sure, the author frankly says in his preface that he does not aim at originality, but only seeks to “set familiar truths in a new light”; but we do not discover the new light, for even the point noticed above is not new. In his extended argument on aionios, he only repeats what has been said again and again, and replied to as often. And his citations touching its lexicography are not always fair - only one side of the testimony being given. For example, in quoting Prof. Tayler Lewis on Matt. xxv. 46, he forgets (?) to state that this eminent scholar warns just such writers as our author, that if they rely on aionios to prove endless punishment in the argument with Universalists, they invite defeat.
He devotes several pages to Dr. Hanson's book on Aion, and takes special exception to his statement that the translators of the Septuagint “ gave to all the Greek words the same meaning they had in the classic Greek.” His answers to fifteen or twenty objections to endless punishment are in the usual line of feeble reasoning. example, in reply to the objection that it is opposed to the goodness of God, he says, as scores of others have said before him, “If God, in His infinite wisdom and benevolence, allows sin, and resulting pain in this world, why not in the next? If for six thousand years, why not for sixty thousand, for sixty billions, for eternity?” As if transient and eternal evil were the same; as if the pain for half an hour inflicted on President Garfield, in cutting into the wound to save life, is the same in principle as stretching him on the rack and torturing him for fifty years; or more, if he could be kept alive so long. And if temporary suffering is presumptive proof of eternal suffering, then, " If God permits the righteous to suffer in this world (and He does), why not in the next? If in His infinite wisdom and benevolence He