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pork, and even corn, kept back from their natural market, fall in value. But let peace return and the starving South be reopened to trade, and these commodities will soon follow the example of flour, which the Secretary does not quote, but which has advanced within a few months about as much as gold.
Mr. Chase refers to the inonetary derangement caused by the loan of some thirteen million dollars, made by him in November last, but omits to state that the amount was borrowed first in advance; then ten per cent. of the bids (making above $3,600,000) was paid in, and finally the loan itself was paid up. Had le asked for fifty millions, payable in installments of ten per cent. at intervals of ten days, the derangement would have been far less, and the aid to the Government far greater. We may also assure him that if the New York money market was disturbed, and legal tender notes were scarce, it was because the huge flood of speculation had swept them to places where they never should have gone-and no theory will ever remedy this state of things," which grows by what it feeds on," but a reduction of inflated values to a legitimate basis. We may further assure him that while certain New York banks and brokers were in the agonies of liquidation, money was abundant for commercial purposes, and that the financial atmosphere elsewhere was as calm as a summer morning!
We long for a national currency as much as Mr. Chase does, and we would rather have his quasi national currency than none at all-provided Congress will so modify the scheme as to protect the commercial public against the ruinous effects of over issues. It is idle to assert that the possession of even the best securities can ensure convertibility into coin. These do not create money—they only draw it from other quarters where in times of crisis it
be even more needed. It is equally idle to suppose that banks will, of their own accord, keep down their issues because they have to deposit security. Such banks as would do this would be safe without any security—but the ignorant and reckless will be tempted by the hope of double interest to expand their issues to the utmost, and at the first collapse they will be ruined, and nei
ther the note-holders, depositors, nor the Treasury itself will escape losses more or less severe. But if for every dollar thus invested in currency, a bank must have another dollar of specie, the loan of which shall be limited strictly to short mercantile paper, the currency will increase only as fast as money capital increases, and the one will protect the other. Without this, or some equivalent safeguard, the experiment, we fear, will sooner or later prove a disastrous one.
Again we thank the Secretary for his conservative and able report, and most heartily wish him success in the difficult task he has undertaken.
ARTICLE V.-DOUBT, FAITH, AND REASON.
One of the main reliances of modern Infidelity has been the doctrine that a supernatural revelation is in the nature of things incredible; and probably the most important result which the defense of Christianity in our day has attained is the refutation and overthrow, at least upon any grounds of theism, of this dogma.
This we believe to have been accomplished. It has been repeatedly and convincingly proved that if there be a supreme personal God, then, in case there shall have been at any time a sufficient reason, he may, and must even, have interposed in human affairs to bless and save men.
These remarks do not apply to pantheism. From the principles of that system the impossibility of a supernatural revelation does indeed follow with certainty. If“ the all” be God, thien nature is God, and there can be no higher power to interfere in its processes. It" the all” be God, then man is God; and there can be no superior Being to inform his intelligence.
A divine interposition is then of course an absurdity.
But it is impossible that pantheism, in an age like this, should find any wide-spread support in the general mind. glide easily into the speculation of philosophers. It may be natural to an inert and dreamy race like those of Southern Asia, but to this age of incessant activity and of Christian individualism it is of its very nature foreign. And thus we may lay it down as a rule, that to meet the infidelity of our day, we have in general no presumption against the possibility of a supernatural revelation to contend with.
It is, as we have said, an important gain for Christianity, and it is a sacred duty of its defenders to maintain and urge it. The miserable fallacies,--that because we have never seen a miracle no testimony is sufficient to make us believe one; or that because miracles are not and cannot be common, else human life could not go on, therefore they can never have existed at
all,—hare too long openly and secretly swayed the minds of men. It is time for those who believe in a God to hold the other doctrines as beyond peradventure proved. It is time for them to rest calmly upon the claim that the presumption is not against but in favor of the fact of a divine interposition, if only the occasion in man's need is sufficient, and the appearance commensurate, as manifesting the divine glory and power.
We do not propose howerer to dwell upon this topic. It has come to pass in these days that Infidelity has advanced and very strongly nrged another presumption against the truths of Christianity, in our view more important and more dangerous by far, than the one of which we have already spoken. It is the presumption, not from the impossibility of any divine rerelation, but from the many matters of doubt, the improbabilities and even inconsistencies claimed to be contained within the particular system of Christianity. The method of this attack has been to subject Christianity to the most searching criticism, and from its own statements to prove its incredibility. Its highest development was in the great work of Stranss. His book was an infidel commentary upon the combined gospels. Commencing at the beginning, he examined erery event and circumstance in their whole course. With the utinost patience and the clearest critical insight, with wonderful power of statement, and a refined and penetrating sarcasm, in fine with all the elements which could contrilute to success, he set forth every discrepancy or improbability attending the whole gospel history, and, to make the work complete, applied throughout a theory so ingenious to account for the origin of each statement upor merely natural grounds, that it could hardly fail to seem to an unaccustomed mind an almost incontrovertible argument.
It is not too much to say that this book is the great fountain from which nearly all the more recent infidelity has flowed; and it is a remarkable fact, that though the work of a follower of Hegel, and inspired professedly by his philosophy, it neg. lects almost entirely the peculiar argument of pantheism, and relies, for its power, upon the patient consideration of the declared absurdities in Christianity.
The effect of this has been wonderfully to popularize infi
delity. Theism itself can accept such an argument as well as pantheism. It commends itself to the most practical of minds. It is in effect widely spread amongst the great masses of men ererywhere. We have been told how many thousands of cheap translations of the book of Strauss are sold annually to the lower classes in England. We shall never forget the painful earnestness with which a gentleman of character and standing once told us, that the recent and accidental perusal of Strauss's book had overthrown the implicit faith of his childhood, he feared beyond the hope of recovery.
It is a question then of vast importance, what shall be the position of the Christian Church as to the doubts claimed so undeniably to attend the Christian system? How shall the argument drawn from them against Christianity be met ?
This is the question which we propose to examine.
First of all, we do not deny that Infidelity has here hit upon a practicable argument. So long as it rested upon the impossibility or incredibility of a supernatural revelation, a thoughtful mind, which could forecast the years, might well sit at ease and abide the time; but when it urges the doubts which, as it asserts, are inseparable from the very structure of Christianity, it has a vastly different basis; for these are a palpable and permanent fact;—they cannot be denied.
We make this statement frankly, and shall proceed as carefully as possible to confirm and define it; for it is of first importance, in such a case, that our adversaries have conceded to them whatever ground of reality they possess to stand upon, and that we ourselves know clearly whereof we affirm.
The Christian system, then, in a great and fundamental department of its evidence, is unsupported by the highest possible proofs. Its moral truths are indeed such that the human mind is of itself forced to receive them. Its great religious prin ciples are both divinely true to man's wants, and far above what the human reason, unaided, could discover. It is safe to claim of every humble and earnest seeker that there is all of this proof that there could be; but men are not all humble and earnest seekers—the very men sought to be reached are not