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of development, evolving man from the brute, and showing that he may rise higher than he has ever yet done, though it is to be hoped never incapable of marriage. There might be hymns in honor of the great mother Nature, more worthy to be revered than the Virgin. With this there might be idols representing in symbol the great world-powers, such as Evolution, Persistence of Force, Heredity, Panzoism, and Physiological Units. Around the places of worship there might be groves like those dedicated in old time to Baal, the powerful fire-god. There would be assemblies of males and females with Bacchantic dances, where time would be delightfully spent, and the remembrance of which would be pleasant-vastly more so than the dreary hours spent in our preaching and praying conventicles. It will take time to create the fitting sentiment; but time is an essential condition of all natural evolution, and we can give the new religion ten thousand years to develop. In the struggle for existence all other religions would disappear and this alone would remain, till it gave birth to something still higher: not more heavenly—that is, ideal; but more earthly-that is, real and practical.


But at this point we are met by a difficulty which we must meet if we can. Man, it is acknowledged, has religious instincts which cannot be destroyed, even by the terrible struggles for existWhence come they? How is it that they cannot be eradicated? We evolutionists tell religious men (so called) that they may give up their fears, for religion has its seat so deep in the soul that it cannot be dislodged. But our prophets assure us that the human soul is developed from the higher animals, and these from the lower, and that there is a physical basis underneath the whole. How or when have these indestructible instincts come in? If they have come in from without, we have here a very marked phenomenon of which the evolution hypotheses can make nothing, and which, our pietists will say, implies a supernatural power. But, if we are to bring in one thing independent of development, why not more? Why not free-will, with Dr. Carpenter? Why not reason and intelligence, with the metaphysicians—until we overwhelm the whole glorious theory, evidently seen to be insufficient? And if, on the other hand, it be merely a natural product then it should disappear in the struggle for existence like other superstitions. Already there are signs of its beginning to

vanish in this nineteenth century of the present religion, and it must evidently all be gone before the nineteen-hundredth century. I fear that this contradiction must for the present be allowed to remain with the antinomies of Kant which have undermined all rational cosmology. But then Hegel has shown that all truth is contradictory, and there will cast up a synthesis to bridge over the gap in the analysis.

The conditions are ready.

This new religion must come. Just as life appeared when inanimate matter was ready for it, and sensation came and consciousness came when the nerves were woven, and intelligence came when the brain was fashioned for it and as Abraham went forth, not knowing whither he went, to publish the unity of God; and the son of the carpenter, at Nazareth, came to preach altruism under the name of love; and as Luther started up, like the cock-crowing that sounded in the ears of Peter, to bring the Church to see its errors-so the new faith has now to come forth, as the sun does at his appointed time. The world is ready to receive it; and as paganism gave way before Christianity, and the superstitions of Romanism fled before the reading of the Bible, and as rationalism has undermined evangelism, with its faith in blood, so a new priest must come with his rod to swallow all the rods of the magicians. It must all come by development. A virgin must once more bring forth a child; and, that this can be done, is illustrated by the new established doctrine of partheno-genesis. A variety will become settled into an unchangeable species, and will continue for ages, till it is superseded by something else, fitted to fight under the new conditions. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." There have been anticipations, however, and the leapings of the babe in the womb. But there must be a time longer of struggle for existence, till the strongest assert its might (which of course is right) as we see among cattle in the field, the stronger cow fighting till she gets her preeminence allowed. Rational theology has done good by its assaults on Scripture; but then it professed to accept so much of Scripture as is rational-as if any of it were rational. Pure deism has always been felt to be chill as death, and now its supposed proofs, and indeed all rational theology, have been undermined by Hume, Kant, and Mill. Unitarianism is dead, and lying in state in order to burial, and of the dead I

desire to speak nil nisi bonum, especially as Unitarianism has no longer any power over young men, while it has helped to develop the present crisis. Mormonism, the only new religion which has sprung up in our rather barren age, is very coarse and gross, and is a warning to us of what an unscientific faith may become. I fear that the butterfly, when it appears, may have somewhat of the slime of the grub from which it has been developed. All this shows the greater need of a new faith founded on the latest natural knowledge.

There is an urgent need for a new belief to come, and that speedily. If not soon forthcoming, there is a risk that our young folks rush into forbidden ground. We are at present in a transition state, which is a critical state; we are in danger of being crushed in a collision between two trains, one of which has come upon the other before it has started. Our sons claim that in prosecuting their rights they are just as much entitled to advance beyond their fathers as their fathers did beyond their sires. Encouraged, as they allege, by our example, they are waxing bold, not to say petulant. They laugh at the worship instituted by Comte, and will not attend our select conferences. They have no great awe, and no dread whatever in regard to the unknown of Spencer; if it can never be known, why should they either revere or fear it? Nay, they maintain philosophically that the phenomenon does not logically imply a noumenon, and so they are carried back to the old Hume positions of there being nothing but appearances without a thing appearing, and affirm that the noumenon is a remainder of an old, superstitious philosophy, brought in awkwardly by Kant, and sustained by Hamilton, Mansel, and Spencer, to save them from blank skepticism, and now ready to disappear like mist before the light of the rising day. They seem to be satisfied with the appearances, and to care nothing about the unknown thing.. Darwin was religious enough to call in three or four germs created by God; but Tyndall insists that anthropomorphism, which is to be so avoided, "is as firmly associated with the creation of a few forms as of a multitude;" and Huxley has started a pregnant hypothesis of a supposed early stage of the star-dust, when it produced germs which it cannot now do. Huxley and Tyndall still resolutely oppose spontaneous generation; but Bastian comes after, and gets bacteria out of liquid

substances in which all the germs have been killed by heat. Men like Sir John Herschel used to point to the human eye as giving evidence in its numerous adaptations of design; but the great physicist of our day, Helmholtz, tells us that, if an optician brought him so blundering an instrument as the eye, he would return it to him. Tyndall thinks he can explain even mental action by matter, and, in his sweeping lecture at Birmingham, would persuade us that we are responsible in much the same sense as the dog; that a criminal is absolutely necessitated to act as he does, and that we are necessitated to punish him to prevent the recurrence of the offense, as we strike a dog to prevent him from stealing again. There may be some truth in all this, but it is dangerous to publish it, as it may tempt young men to get as many of the sweets of the bee as they can, if only they can keep from being exposed to its sting.

Aristotle maintained that "Nature abhors a vacuum." He was wrong in applying this to the rise of water in a tube, as was shown by Torricelli, but he uttered a profound truth notwithstanding. The heart must have something to cling to beyond a negation, of which no one can say whether it has or has not a meaning. If what is unknown could be known, there might be some hope and activity; but it is unknowable, and so no human interest can attach to it. My daughter when in London went to a Wesleyan meeting one part of the day, and to a Sunday lecture, by Huxley, on another part; and, strange as it may sound, she preferred the sincere shouting, the amens and groans of the Methodists to the worship of "the silent sort," in which there seemed to be no heart or adoration-except in the organ. A bright young lady, after listening for six weeks to lectures on "Humanity," declared that she would rather worship the Virgin, who seemed to have a loving heart, and whom she identified with the statues of her in Italy. Some of my lady friends have told me that when crossed in love they would prefer a nunnery to an Owen phalanstery or a communist settlement at Oneida. But our greatest anxiety is about the young men, our sons, who, of course, have been brought up without a Bible, and without prayer, public or private, and whose reading is in physiology male and female, and in books we have not been able to keep from them; and who go to theatres, which we freely allow, as

they are schools of virtue, and see the sort of company in the gallery and the boxes, and go home with some of them simply to know more of them. We honestly tell them to be honest, and obliging, and chaste-always according to our ideas, which are surely liberal enough. But they puzzle us with questions which we have difficulty enough in answering satisfactorily to them in their present unsettled temper. If Comte loved adoringly another woman than his wife, "why," they say, "may not we do the same? If Mr. Mill constantly associated in the tenderest manner with the druggist's wife in the absence of her husband, why may not we have the like privilege?" They remind us that these illustrious men have been teaching us that there must be a new relation between the sexes established, and have left it very doubtful what it should be, and our youths think they may experiment on the subject. They remind us that Bradlaugh and his lady associate have been quoting the authority of Mr. Mill for their books condemned by the law-courts. We used to claim that we freethinkers of this age were moral compared with the infidels of the days of Tom Paine; I fear that we can no longer make this boast. It is alleged that in circles affected with our views directly, and more frequently indirectly, there is a loose code which allows those who yield to animal affection to justify themselves by an appeal to the now established doctrine of human parentage and descent-as, in the declining days of Rome, licentious men and women fortified themselves by the philosophy of Epicurus; and in the days of Louis XV. of France, by the science and example of the encyclopedists. The origin of man certainly does not furnish us with any arguments for monogamy or against temporary concubinage, our ancestors among the monkeys knowing no restrictions in these


We do tell these youths to be moral. But they hint that morality, in the vulgar sense, has been undermined. We do not address to them any appeals drawn from the divine existence and a judgment-day; if we did so, they would laugh in our faces. Some of them are bold enough to tell us that, the sanction being gone, the law has gone with it, or, at least, is not to be considered as unbending, but may fit itself to conditions and environments. We do at times appeal to the conscience. But they remind us

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