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"The holiness" here spoken of as an essential of the Christian life, "without which no man shall see the Lord," is that moral purity that is absolutely and indispensably requisite for the redemption and salvation of every man. It is that high and holy state of moral purity and sanctification that every man, woman and child, and all the intelligences of the universe must possess, before they can reach or obtain that happiness and peace that make up the present or the future state of bliss. It is the sanctification. The sublime, unique and eminent truth, lifting its lofty cone, as Mount Everest, high and alone, towers in gigantic form and heavenly majesty up above the clouds and storm-line in the serene and clear atmosphere of a happy realization of its spiritual power and vital force. The new translation has it, "Follow peace with all men, and the sanctification." "The sanctification" is the great act in the redemptive process, because moral purity is the only ground upon which it is possible for men ultimately to be saved. A pure life, a pure heart, a thorough consecration of one's self to God and his service, as well as a purification of the heart and soul, must be obtained. Hence sanctification is not a process like the growth of a tree or plant, neither is it the collection or congregating of those accretions of decent acts and amenities that give the life a consistent and an
agreeable appearance. But it is the deeper work of the Spirit of God in cleansing of the Adamic soul, or the cleansing of that nature that is imputed, and really given to us because of our descent from Adam, our sinful father, and Eve, our sinful mother. We cannot grow into holiness any more than we can grow into regeneration. Both are acts in the redeeming process, but acts that none can perform but the Holy Spirit. Regeneration or justification is the work that God does for us, but sanctification is the work done in us. The former is the pardon of sins, the latter is the washing out the inbred or Adamic sins. When God pardoned us of sin, he did not pardon us of Adam's sins, or that sinful nature which we have received from him as his children, but God did pardon us of our own sins, those sins which we have committed against His law and against His revealed Word. As to the acts of justification and sanctification, they follow each other as the acts of a judge upon the bench follow the justifying of a prisoner who, having been indicted for crime, was cast into prison by the public authorities. But when the judge pronounced the sentence of "not guilty," that is justification. This is one act. When the sheriff opens the prison doors, takes off the chains and shackles, and lets the prisoner out, this is analogically sanctification. The prisoner is, therefore, free. He is not only pardoned, or justified, but free. Free from natural, inbred or Adamic sin.
"He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood availed for me."
Thus far the great majority of Methodists are agreed upon this fundamental doctrine of the Bible. But, as to the time between the acts in the process of redemption,
there is a great controversy and constant agitation. Some believe a man is both pardoned and justified in the same act, place and time, while others believe that after justification, the act of cleansing, or purifying, must take place; that in the act of justification there was no cleansing or purifying, and therefore, the cleansing, purifying, or the act of sanctification, must be sought after justification. But it seems to me that the truth lies between the two extremes. A man that is converted to-day, or justified, may be sanctified in the next hour, the next day or next year, and, therefore, sanctification is to be sought as we sought regeneration or justification; for he may be justified and not have a perfect and distinct knowledge of it. No man knows that his sins are pardoned until the Spirit "bears witness with his spirit that he is a child of God." The knowledge of our acceptance with God can only reach us by His Spirit informing us that we are sanctified, and, therefore, pardoned. Why do I say this? Because the Holy Spirit of God will not come into the heart or soul when it is unclean or unsanctified. I am not so anxious to prove the method of procedure in the redemptive process as to prove the fact and philosophy of the case, as it is taught in the Bible. We want to know the Word and will of God, so that we may do his will and conform to the requirements of the divine commands.
We might take up the subject and treat philosophically, or from a metaphysical standpoint prove the truth of the Bible doctrine that "without holiness no man shall see the Lord," or enjoy that perfect love and reconciliation with Him and in His holy and divine presence that are the only inherent and fundamentals of happiness. What is demanded of men in respect to moral purity is also demanded of angels and all spiritualities of the universe. The conflict of elements and the war of forces are inharmony, and
however that strife or inharmony may come, and no matter whatever else an intelligent being may have, or whatever may be his exalted station in the degree and dignity of being, we cannot see how he can be happy or enjoy God unless he is in harmony with the great "I Am." Hence, holiness, or that moral purity that God demands, is the only ground of harmony, of happiness, and of heaven. There is no place in the universal dominion of being for the unholy, the impure and the unsanctified heart or soul to be happy, neither in this present state of being nor in that which is to come. The wicked and polluted soul could pot be happy, even in heaven; for he would be without those principles and elements of character that are indispensable for his peace and the enjoyment of those pure, holy, and thronging millions that compose the company of heaven, who came "through great tribulations," and had "washed their robes, and made them white (pure) in the blood of the Lamb." We believe that it is possible, and in many cases a fact, that thousands are sanctified without ever having sought for it or having any knowledge of it, since we must suppose that many ignorant and illiterate people are truly Christians, lived and died as such, and went home to heaven. There are thousands to-day, as of all past time, who are incapable, and who have neither time nor opportunity of understanding fully the essentials of Christianity, yet they love God, love their neighbors, belong to the church and are willing, obedient servants of the Most High. They have a vivid experience, if not a perfect knowledge of their conversion; they well remember the struggles, groanings, sorrowings under the heavy load of sin; they well remember the day and place when and where they felt their hearts changed, and their feet plucked out of the mire and the clay and a new song put into their mouths, even praises unto God; but they know nothing of the special
and specific work of the cleansing, or the act of sanctification. They are the children of God as much as the theologian who, because of his calling and superior advantages, understands many of the deep and intricate things of God and the religion of Jesus. Shall we say that these poor, ignorant and uncultured children of God are not saved to the uttermost, because they were unlearned and untutored in the philosophy and fundamentals of Chistianity? No, not all. But since they must be holy before they can enter heaven and enjoy God, they must have been sanctified and made pure, as well as pardoned somewhere and at some time, between the natural birth and the moment of entering the paradise of God. But you say God winks at ignorance, and that when we have the opportunity to seek sanctification and fail to do it, He will hold us responsible for it, and, therefore, we should seek it. That is true. Every word of it is to the spirit and letter of God's commands; but that does not alter or change the fact that many are sanctified without their having any specific knowledge of either seeking it or having obtained it; yet they have it, because they show all the fruits of the Spirit, and gain heaven in the end. The predominant idea of holiness, or moral cleanness is that it fits us for the awful presence of the Infinite Deity. It is the clean clothes, the pure and "bright raiment" "without spot or wrinkle," that fits all comers to the heavenly tabernacle to enter and to be entertained by Jesus Christ, who is "the Prince of the kings of the earth," and "the bright and morning star." What elaborate preparations are made by the great men of earth to meet their kings, emperors and crowned heads! What studied programs, magnificent pageantry and splendid equipages to meet their earthly masters and human leaders! These are men of state, governors, lawyers, doctors, judges, clothed in the bright ermine of their office, senators,
representatives, and statesmen; laborers from field and forest, artisans from shop and forge, the painters from the studios of art, women and children and old men bent under the toils of life and the weight of years; philosophers, scientists, mathematicians and metaphysicians, old and gray with struggling thought, whose souls aflame have "walked the solar paths" and driven their chariots of silken sunbeams over the high domes of the "Milky Way" hard to the universal center. All, all, come to meet their earthly lord and reigning king, and amid booming cannon, and stately cordons of national armies men stand in awful silence, with bated breath and uncovered heads. The king is passing by.
But what is this compared to the infinite and high presence of the King immortal? How weak and insignificant is this earthly grandeur and majestic display of a nation compared with the greatness of the majesty of the court of heaven? If an earthly monarch demands such high and respectful allegiance from his subjects as to awaken the keenest interest and profoundest attention, how is the interest and attention heightened when our moral and mental manhood shall stand in the awful presence of the Infinite Creator, before whose all-discerning eye every heart is open, and all the inner consciousness is discovered in its multiform and intricate actions, relations and conditions! But a clean heart and a pure, blood-washed soul can tread the holy courts of God and dwell in His high, holy and majestic presence.
II. What is implied in peace?
As holiness is the fundamental and the cardinal principle of reconciliation between God and man, so peace is the product or resultant factor in the redemptive scheme. It ushers in that period and brings us into that relationship with God where there is perfect harmony, and that parental
relation that is more real, more splendid and beautiful than that of the tender babe and the loving mother. It is the deep and abiding consciousness that there is nothing between God and ourselves but an unclouded vista, wreathed with flowers all fragrant with His love and replete with the bright and beaming sunshine of His face, filling the soul with the radiance of heaven and the music of the angels. This is personal peace, spoken of by the Saviour, when He said, "My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth"--a peace that ramifies the soul, filling all its chambers and deep recesses with an unearthly calm and heavenly assurance that belongs only to the true children of God. Whoever has this peace is a child of God; for none can have such a priceless jewel but the true children of the Most High. But as there was a struggle before personal peace came, so there must be a struggle and a conflict of forces before national, international and world-wide peace shall fully prevail on the earth. There must be a conflict of opposite and diverse elements, agencies of spiritual, mental, civil, social or economic forces. Christ came to stir, agitate, and set in active operation all the attributes, natures, things, principles, and powers that pertain to all the great concerns of the glory of God in human redemption. For he says, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division." Again, "I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?" Again, "There is no peace to the wicked saith my God." That is, there can be no compromise between good and evil, between the forces of Christianity and the forces of sin and the Devil. There must be a struggle, a long and dreadful conflict for the mastery and control of human hearts, human governments, and all the spiritual, moral and mental empire of the children of men. And this struggle for the mastery, in the
very nature of the case, is necessary and indispensable. It is a natural consequence of the long and dreadful reign of sin. It is the irrepressible conflict of the centuries, that cannot cease its fearful hostilities until peace is declared in favor of that just and holy administration which Jesus Christ came to establish. This universal peace cannot be established until the Word of God shall have been preached in all the earth; until all the vile and depraved and black squadrons of sin and hell shall have been overthrown, and the beautiful and majestic reign of Messiah shall cover every land and sea, and sit enthroned in every heart, and in every tribe and nation; "for He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet." But how? "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." Not by the might of nations, nor the concentration of armies, or stringent laws, nor yet by national and international treaties; not by fire, war and blood, nor the arbitrament of the sword, but by the preaching of the Gospel, the conversion of sinners, and the Spirit of God permeating, reforming and sanctifying human hearts and consecrating the mental faculties of intelligent humanity to His service and His love. These may be deemed the spiritual energies and those deep and silent forces that act beneath the surface of society and human tastes and agencies. But as man has a tangible existence as well as an intangible reality, the physical and mental forces and powers must coöperate in the redemption of universal humanity. Not only will the people of God coöperate with His Spirit with this end in view, but the widespread physicalities of nature, under the control of inter-racial and international barter and trade, are to be the able, although not efficient, agencies under real and sentimental Christianity. But the relations of nations, with the interchange of thought, learning, and all the powers of increasing civilization, are to be
swift-running couriers to bear to distant lands the glory of His kingdom, the greatness of His truth, the sweetness and melodies of his name.
Let us remember that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof," and that we are looking for "a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." "Let not your hearts troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me."
O, ye saints of God, look up, He is coming, he is coming to do justice and judgment in the earth. Hell is great, but Christ is greater. Behold, he cometh skipping over the hills and mountains of broken decades, dying years and dead centuries. Before Him the dead and stupid gods of the nations are falling and the empire of sin upon its ancient base is trembling and rocking. I see Him rising above the surging waves of space and time and ascending the horizon in His chariot of flame, with the greatness and the indescribable majesty of His kingdom following in his train. I see men, women and children, with harps and cymbals, drums and golden lutes, and all stringed instruments of music playing with nimble fingers, and singing the great doxology of triumph. "The Lord God omnipotent reigneth."
"Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours."-- I Cor. 3:21.
In the second chapter of this epistle the apostle begins it by saying, "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God," etc. Again, he speaks of the wisdom of this world as being "foolishness with God, for it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness," etc. But let it be understood that neither God nor his inspired apostle designed to discourage the culture of the brain nor the pursuit of knowledge or wisdom. But the apostle designs to show the folly, the uncertainty, and the mental darkness under which the ancient schools of science and philosophy labored; and that because of human weakness, and mental depravity, the learning and product of Grecian philosophy then prevalent, could never solve those religious and profound questions that have, in a greater or less degree, stirred and agitated universal humanity. In this sense, "the wisdom of this world," or the old system of Grecian dogma and philosophy, "is foolishness with God." On the other hand, God designs and religion comes not to make men fools or less wise, but it is sent from God to man to enlarge his sphere of knowledge, quicken the mental faculties, clear with the bright sun of righteousness the moral atmosphere, making mankind "wise unto salvation." Indeed, among the forces and agencies of God which he has put into operation on the human plane, none is more essential, befitting and resplendent with the redemptive
elements than the mental faculties. Knowledge is an essential element in human salvation, as much as it is an essential element in human progress and the world's civilization. Christianity comes to expand and extend the moral, mental, and physical horizon, to lift the mists and clouds, giving to the honest and true believer an untrammelled highway and an unshaded view in the deep vistas beyond. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Knowledge is given us to know the right, to comprehend the majestic, and to fathom the ways of God, that we may praise and adore him. Indeed, the universe is his grand temple, the court of his justice, the field of his power, and the gilded empire of his glory. Far, far beyond blazing suns, shining orbs and trembling systems, he rides the winged flame, treads their burning currents, buckles the systems to his belt, wreathes his brow with stars, and chains the sisters of the Milky Way to his feet, and bids them do his will. Also, "he maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire." Spirits are his servants, and angels are his messengers. Around him they stand as if hung on threads of silver, play through all parts of the universal mechanism as sunbeams play on the face of the earth. At his command they ramify his wide domains, sweep the studded chambers of the vaulted dome, and chain the swift-running lightnings to their native spheres. Around him, the universal Center, systems play and cast their shivered crafts, and flying boulders, and splintered worlds at his feet, and in awful chaos praise the eternal thunderer "that bids them roll." "Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" But, says the apostle, "All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apolos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or
death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." That is, the church with its living ministry, its divine oracles of truth, or all the forces, elements, and agencies of organized and unified Christianity, with the physical and civil creations belong to you. They are all your servants and your friends to bring you to God, and perfect your manhood, advance your happiness and give you heaven in the end, while they give humanity glorious perpetuity and resplendent activity throughout the ages to come.
1. The unity of Christianity.
Nothing proves the divine originality of Christianity and the authenticity of its cardinal doctrines more than its unity and perfect harmony with itself and with the ends and aims that it has in view. All through the ages, and all through the nations and the world's greatest civilizations, religion has been the universal and most prominent factor in the tastes, feelings and aspirations of men. The political, national and social forms that have obtained in human progress and developments have circled around its standard of morals, and received their force and propulsion from the germ seeds and grains of truth that have been evolved or brought from the great mine of the world's great religions. Though often mixed with error and covered by the dust of ages, though its symbolisms and external faculties have been perverted, prostituted and made to reach unholy ends, yet these religions carry with them some grains of truth, and in their fundamentals, when properly interpreted, point to God as the great Author and Founder of their central truths and vital principles. They show a unification of nature, intent, and purpose that make up a consistency and harmony in their respective parts which declare themselves to be of the one God. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord," and so it might be said, "Hear, all ye religions
of the nations and ages, the Lord thy God is one God and one Father." From him all truth must come, since he is "the only true God," and the only One in the universe that can dictate to the will and conscience and moral and religious proclivities of men and angels, and whatever other intelligences may reside in his dominions. All truth is from God, and must lead to God. Every thread and line and living cable that ramifies and thrills the living entities, though sometimes hidden and broken and covered with the débris and scoria of the wear and tear of the centuries, will take us back to God, the great Original, chaining all to the rock-ribbed mountains of the eternal shore. If there were ten thousand religions, and ten times ten thousand forms of worship, to be true and beneficial to mankind, they must all point to God and own him as the true and only proper and rightful object of prayer, praise and adoration. "All things are yours," to lead you to God and plant you on the solid rock of truth and the eternal shore.
2. As there is a unity in Christianity, there must be a unity in the government of God.
As there is but one God, there can be but one universal government, founded upon principles of oneness, uniformity and justice. The eternal form of government is nothing compared to its principles, those fundamentals upon which the kingdom may rest. God's Government is always right, and just, and uniform. In the simple ground-principles upon which it rests, and by which it is perpetuated, there is a complete, full, and perfect conformity. It is a system of universal harmonies, so full and replete with its own Creator, that no true government can exist except the government of God. Human governments, because of their weakness, depravity and sins, are not true governments, but are merely legalized mobs and perversions of the great original--the government of God. As religion
becomes corrupt by the additions of men, so human governments become corrupt by a departure from moral rectitude and the administration of justice. There should be no difference between the government of God and the government of men, except in degrees. But in nature and kind both should be the same, and steadily maintain the same ends in view, namely, the happiness of the governed. Now, the government of man is an image or a reflection of the kingdom of God. He is the great ideal, the ne plus ultra of mental, moral, and physical conception. He, with his government, is the highest standard of excellence. No thought, act, being, form, or conception, can go beyond him. He dwells in the loftiest altitudes and the sublimest wonders of the possibilities of being. Manhood is a struggling image of the infinite and triumphant God, and perpetual struggle is the price of eternal life. We reach the immortal fixedness by labor, toil, and the fierce ordeal of death.
3. But the government of God is dictatorial, ministerial, executive.
He dictates, he sends forth his ministers and agencies, and by them he fulfills his will in the armies of heaven, earth and the myriads of the deep. He dictates to all the elements, forces, agencies, and the incomprehensible majesties, both material and immaterial. His will is the law of being and his commands are the immovable statutes of their mode and motions. Whether they roll, rest, or soar; whether they sing, hiss, or sigh--they are his servants and trembling ministers, bent on their eternal rounds to bring to their noble and glorious ends the great designs of his love and power. Every angel in heaven, every man on earth, and all the devils, lost men and fallen spirits in hell, are his ministers, and in some mysterious way fulfill his high behests and his wise commands. Men may rebel, infidels, sceptics and scoffers
may swear and oppose the truth, and hate the kingdom of God; they may make war on the Bible, persecute the saints, and seek to destroy the whole of the united forces of Christianity and subvert its organized forms; yet their madness and rage can only intensify the friends of the truth, unite the armies of God, and solidify a nascent and an advancing Christianity. The will and purposes of God cannot be defeated, nor fail to reach the ends which his wisdom, love and goodness have proposed. Hence the government of God is dictatorial, ministerial, and executive.
4. We are in the presence of some great agency, power, or personality.
We are in the presenc of an influence and an expanding energy, that are stirring, agitating and moving the forces and elements of nature as never before in the history of the world. The nations are all aglow with the ardent flame of progress, development, and expansion. This age is the culmination of ages. The concentration of centuries is shaping and fashioning universal manhood into a total unity of a personification that is wonderful and unique. This great agency is Christianity, this power is God, and this great personality is Jesus Christ. This triune character or trinity of forces is drawing "all things" toward the center, to a social, civil, political, commercial and interracial manhood, whose empire of brotherhood must and will rule over all. Indeed, we are living in an age of blending interests, when the great capitals of the world are getting nearer and nearer, and by reason of rapid transit and the quick transmission of thought, time is blotted out and space is annihilated. New York, London, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Pekin, and Canton, the great commercial centers, speak to each other daily and on hidden cables of elastic steel. The lightnings vibrate the sympathies and feelings of the nations, as if universal humanity were hung
on one solid nerve cord, or as if there was but one great heart of the world of man. Racial prejudices[,] national hate, tribal distinctions, together with all frivolous conventionalities, must yield to the martial steps and massive tread of a newer and better civilization, quickened and made resplendent by an active and reformative Christianity.
5. "All things are yours," to make you a man.
Men are not made in a day, nor a year, nor a dozen of years. It takes nearly a half of a century to make a man. His physical constitution matures in less time, but the real man, the true, hidden man, is made by slow process and by degrees. As the skilled mechanic frets and belabors a piece of pig iron into a useful and beautiful instrument, or as he makes all the parts of a steam engine or some other mechanism with its delicate and intricate parts, wheels, cylinders, springs, axles, cogs, pulleys, bands, steamchests and piston-rods, and as they are properly adjusted, each working in perfect harmony with all other parts, so all the faculties of humanity must be fretted, belabored and cultured, until the full, matured and perfect man comes from the hands of the master. It is true, man is finished in the fact of his being. He is finished in the nature and number of the mental, moral, and physical faculties. Nothing new in kind can be added to his being in this or in another state. He cannot have two memories, two or more judgments, or have a duality or multiplicity of moral ideals. Neither can he have comprehension or perceptions differing from those that he now has, because this would be to change his being, divert him from his original channel, and throw him out of himself where he becomes another or a different self. If such were possible with the nature and state of a personal, conscious being, moral responsibility would be impossible, and the rebellious and intelligent would escape punishment,
and the righteous lose their reward. As, also, the justice of God would be a more sham, the ends of his government would be defeated, moral order subverted, and his kingdom which should rule "over all," a failure. No, the complex mechanism of humanity was completed in the number of its faculties and essential elements in the first fiat act of his creation. Hence, no property, faculty, attribute, or fundamental can be added to his being. Again, he is made in the image of God. His mental and moral manhood is like its great Creator--spiritual, ethical, fixed in its statutes, and dwelling in altitudes and on a plane above all other things and powers that may produce death or bring decay. Hence man, as are all intelligent creatures, is naturally and constitutionally immortal and imperishable. What, then, is culture? Culture is the enlarging and expanding of those faculties and powers already given. It is development and the bringing out and putting into useful activity all that mental manhood that we call mind. The advancements and improvements of the intellect are not the attachments of new essentials or fundamentals achieved by culture, but they are old powers and latent forces put into activity. The intellect, then, is capable of perpetual and indefinite improvements and advancements. Step by step, evolution after evolution, the mental humanity ascends the rounds of the ladder of development, gaining in experience and self-force, until in the galaxy of its own perfect nature and purer light of God, all the powers and faculties will be in perfect balance and in full and endless harmony with all of its self and with its perfect ideal-- God.
6. But "all things are yours," to bring you to a better and higher self.
The world was made for man and God. The Garden of Eden was made for Adam and his sons, and for Eve and
her daughters. The universe was made for the temple of God, and a house and dwelling-place for all his children. The vaulted dome, bedecked with gems and cities of stars with the countless "hosts of heaven" that make up "the shining frame," were made for you. They were made to lift your aspirations, inspire your hope, nerve your effort. The rainbow bends over you, and spans the cerulean arch to give you patience and hope, and the lightnings flash to quicken your steps and clear the physical and moral atmosphere of the pestiferous seeds of sickness and death. The thunders remind you of the presence of the awful God, great Jehovah who makes "the clouds his chariot" and the winds his horses. The thunderbolts are his winged arrows from his bow of fire, and his grape and canister from the pent-up magazines of the skies. The dewdrops are gems of blessings and silver crown of glory set in heavenly trim upon leaf, bud, petal and ripening fruit to remind us of the crowns of heaven. Seed time and harvest, spring and summer, the alternating seasons with their refreshing changes, are all yours. The sun shines to warm you and give you light, the winds blow to waft you on to God and make you a perfect man and a perfect woman; the seas roll, and rivers play on their rocky beds, and like cables of gold, tie the mountains to the seashore, that you may know there is an eternal anchorage hard by the throne of God and held by his hand. For you the stars revolve, comets flash and meteors fly in the open skies. "All things are yours." Deep in the bowels of the earth there are mines of richest ores and living veins of gold and silver. There are beds of jewels, sleeping diamonds, and undiscovered urns of brightest gems to crown our queens in brilliant stars, and bedeck the royal insignia of our kings with the beauties and studded grace of angels. There are magazines of oil, empires of iron,
and kingdoms of coal to keep us warm in winter, cook our food, move our machinery, turn our wheels and spindles, propel the mighty iron-clad monsters and "swift-running greyhounds" across the surging seas, that we may speak to our sisters and brothers of the islands and continents. There are mountains of stone, with giant bones of granite and massive ledges of unpolished marble to cover our streets, build our houses and temples of honor, and halls of pleasure. At the voice of the thunder and the flashing of the lightning, the melting clouds pace along the skies on the chariot wheels of the wind and play upon the heaving bosom of the air, as if they were the fleecy cars of heaven, drawn by troops of angels, that there may be seed to the sower and bread to the eater. The whole kingdom of nature, with its scenes of beauty and charming embodiments of delight, with its robes of living green, and crowns of brilliant flowers, blushing lilies, and bursting petals of fragrant roses, is for you and for me, to help us on to God, and to the sublime heights of a better, even a perfect self. All the listening elements, the faculties and sleeping propensities of the universal spheres, with their countless billions of molecular entities and atomical relations, unite their forces and combine their energies to make a sinless man, a sinless humanity. Every thread and fibre, every string and wire, every cord and cable, and every golden nerve and silver strand, and all the wheels of the universal mechanism, are our willing servants and God-driven steeds to land us all in heaven and crown us with immortal green and the blushes of eternal youth. Civilization, with its forms, relations, institutions, achievements, and discoveries, is made for you and all the sons of men. Its flourishing cities, its moving millions, its laws and customs, its codes of wisdom, books of learning and folios of experience with the arts and sciences, are the beacon lights and polar stars to
catch the radiance of the Sun of righteousness and scatter its warmth and sparkling beams to the utmost length and breadth of the royal highway to the city of God. Organized Christianity, with its living ministry, its temples of song and worship, with millions of consecrated men and women and little children, is your helper and comrade on the highway of light and truth. All things in the heights and depths and the rimless and measureless expansions, with their unknown and infinite capacities, realities and possibilities, and whatever else may exist in the concrete or in the abstract universe, are ready and waiting to gather up the reins and buckle up the habit and yoke on the pinions of flame and cut the belted and burning peripheries of the outermost glories of ethereal currents, that they may crown the royal hosts of Christ with the wreaths of conquerors and the gems of kings.
But Calvary is yours, with its dying Savior, its forsaken Son, its bleeding Victim, its smitten Shepherd, its scattered flock, and the uplifted sword of the executive God. "All things are yours." Amen and amen! So let it be.
No anniversary or celebration of any great event in the history of man contains within its significant parts and high symbolism, greater interests and broader and deeper relationship to the intelligent inhabitants of this earthly sphere than that which Christianity brings to remembrance by the annually returning Christmas. The wheels of ages, the revolution of planets, the flight of comets that spin and dance and wrap their golden trails around sidereal wonders, and carry the news of God from the seat of eternal power to the utmost periphery, bear no greater news in their eternal mail car than the birth of Christ, and the advent of the Son of Mary. In the history of God and man, and all the angels besides, there can take place no event of greater moment, of vaster, deeper, and more infinite import to the Adamic race. What event, era, age, cycle, or dispensation in the history of God and creation can be compared to it? What physical catastrophe, or mental evolution, or spiritual transition in the depth of being, in the wonderful universal mechanism can be compared to it? Far back in the misty deep of the cycles, before Aurora blushed at her halo of the morning flame, or the Polar star kissed her gorgeous trail on the Northern seas, and when as yet Alcyon had not stepped from the deep precincts of her boudoir and chained her burning sisters as sandals on her feet, when as yet the fiery mists rolled, soared, hissed, and in serpentine splendor moved about their own center, our Christianity, of which Christ is the active, forceful embodiment, sat in eternal enthronization in the bosom of God, as the only possible moral principle of His universal empire.
Again, we say there is no event in the history of man and God, whether physical or mental, that can be compared to the advent and birth of the great Messiah. The fall of the great Lucifer from the imperial empyrean, succeeding the great conflict of the loftiest majesties of the spheres and of the towering intellectualities of the universe, was a great event. It was the battle of the eternal ages, the culmination of majestic insolence, the beginning of the sinful era, and a desperate effort of rebellious, sagacious, and powerful intellectual activities to take the reins of empire and the seat of God. It was the battle of gods in the heart of the empire, and at the seat of government. Proud Lucifer had been the tall archangel, the prime minister of the court of heaven, crowned with the belted cycles. He wore the robe of honor, the insignia of state--a thousand suns pinned together by a thousand comets, which threw back their burning tails in majestic folds and wide-spread seas of pyramidal light from pole to pole, high above his head; and expanding over all was the rainbow, radiant in the beauties of its seven colors, the God-given and sacred memento of universal and eternal peace. But the crisis is approaching. The relation between the oldest and mightiest sons of God is strained. The cables break, civic volcanoes explode, and the internecine and political convulsions unhinge the harmonies of the centuries. Fiery conclaves on steeds--ethereal currents, like flashes of lightnings--thread and ramify the kingdoms, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers. All the heights, depths, lengths, provinces, and eternal eras, with all their multitudes, are summoned to the battle of the cycles. But proud Lucifer, the first, the greatest and the oldest of sinners, fails, as all must fail who fight against God and challenge the throne and authority of the Most High. "How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning." This is a great event, the beginning of sin. But
Christ is born, and a greater event enters the record of the ages and the history of being. His nativity marks an era more distinguished, more interesting, and more universal than the loss of planets, or of the sinking suns and lost systems. In the starry frame of the constellated tracks of space, suns have ceased to shine, moons have waned to calcined dust, and old worlds have been honeycombed by the giant worm of decay. In the mid-ocean of the galaxies of sidereal systems, our proud earth, with her cold, chaste moon, the uncrowned pale empress of the night, is making her trip on the high seas of time. She belongs to an immediate system, and with each of her sisters is moved and warmed by the great sun; but the best message that ever fell upon her heart, in her onward flight through space, is the nativity of Christ, the Annointed of God, the Heavenly Legate, the Savior of men, and the Preserver of angels.
His name is the charm of centuries, the wand of the ages, the anthem of the nations and the inspiring melody of the spheres. God says, "I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations, therefore shall the people praise Thee forever and ever." Quickly and strongly down through the days of the onflow of the multitudes of aspiring millions, His name, like burnt incense ascending from the golden censers of adoring seraphs, shall be the chorus of the redemption anthem, the life of every song and the sweetness of every verse.
Annalists and recording scribes may forget the name of the Cæsars, the Napoleons, and the noble founders and protectors of empires. Peoples, nations, monarchies, and republics may pass from the drama of nations. Bards, poets, and seers, and the skillful touchers of the organ keys may forget their national airs and the names of their glorified and deified heroes of a thousand battles, and their quivering strings of gold may lie silent upon their broken
harps and lutes. The eternal shafts and marble piles of fretted stone and towering columns, and all the dreamers that sleep in "the rock-ribbed" and bronze-bound sarcophagi may be forgotten, and the letters of their illustrious names erased by the abrasions of centuries; yet the name of Jesus--the Christ--will never be forgotten, but will go ringing down the declivities of the world's civilizations, sweeping on in the radiant splendors of its own effulgent brightness, until every lip shall lisp His name, every tongue spread His fame, yea, until every heart is a throne, every soul a temple, and every child of man a polished gem to stud and bedeck a trophied empire, gathered and sorted out from the perverse and rebellious majesties and actualities of sin and darkness.
But the time was approaching for the great nativity. The purposes of God were ripening fast. The prophets had waited long, sung of His coming, dreamed of His triumphs, descanted in solemn lays upon their stringed instruments and played on their high-sounding cymbals the preludes to His dramatic majesty upon the public stage of nations. The magi in far distant climes of the East had calculated upon tablets of golden plate the time of His appearing. The flight of stars, the flash of comets, and the position of planets, were studied and catalogued, and the lost Pleiades, called up from the infinite plentitudes of their long disappearance, read the predictions of His coming from their fiery rings and the flitting phantasmagoria of their sheeny trails. The philosophical archives of ancient lore, and the hieroglyphics of occult syllogisms were laid open to the calm visions and the cold judgment of the deepest and the keenest occultism. The fall of meteors, the dance of the aurora borealis in awful display around the, northern hemisphere, the dull cold thud of earthquakes, the howling seas and the hum and stately tramp of receding centuries were
marked, and the hands upon the dial plate of time were watched, and their epochal relations measured and weighed until the high-born beauties and majesties of the universe spoke to men in the language of the stars, and told of His coming. The last of the four great monarchies--the four great acts in the drama of human government--Rome-- was quivering upon its ancient foundations, and the kingdom of the Tiber with its hoary locks of the ages was stooping to the weight of years. "The scepter had departed from Judah," the Jewish polity was broken, and the throne of David and Solomon was a thing of the past. Up, up, the days of the centuries climb, angels watch, cherubs drop their wings, all harps are unstrung, cymbals cease to vibrate their symphonies, and the diatonic chords of the universal diapason lose their music in the sea of silence. The court of heaven is open; awful muteness that could be felt myriads of leagues from center toward circumference seals every lip and tongue, relaxes every harp sting, and the immortal celebration is hushed.
So He came, and so He was born in Bethlehem of Judea. "And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not, for behold I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.'" * * * "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men." Blessed nativity! blessed birth of "the Prince of Peace!" Blessed Legate from the court of heaven!
But what of His work? He is here to stay, not in His physical manhood, but in spiritual power. He is here to deal with the nations, to elevate humanity and purify the civilizations of the world. Christmas ever calls to memory His advent, nature and work. But how sweet is the name of Christ, and of Jesus! It is associated with human happiness and human redemption. It is the light of the nations,
the guiding star of the millions, and the balm for every aching heart. Some man has said in effect, that the time would come when the name of Jesus Christ would be blotted from the face of the earth. But how can it be? Who can blot it out? Who can hush the millions and erase from their "heart of hearts" the beauties of his grace, or the melody of his name? Sirs, if men should hold their peace, the very stones would cry out. Sweet carols would spring from the earth, and songs of praise from the rocks of the hills. The rivers would murmur it, the little rills would babble it, the seas with a thousand bass drum would roar it, the storms would howl it, and the winds would whistle among the glades and valleys and trees of the woods, until every leaf, bud, trunk, fruit, and flower would quiver beneath the melodies of His name and the joys of His salvation. Yea, every dead prophet, bard, seer and evangelical poet would leap from his grave, tune his golden notes afresh, call up all the choirs of the nations, and gather the broken chords of the centuries. Before His name can be blotted out every Bible must be burnt up, every church torn down, every Sunday-school annihilated, and every minister and working saint and pious heart crushed to insensibility. What will you do with David and Asaph, the sweet singers in Israel? What will you do with Milton, Watts, Toplady, Charles Wesley, and the other tens of thousands who tuned their harps on Calvary, and from its crimson summit caught the inspiration of heaven in their hearts, and poured their anthems with plastic fingers in the bosom of the rhythmic rills of heavenly lays? What will you do with the redeemed soul fresh and green in the transcendencies and beatific transitions of the new life? When rightly played man is a harp of a thousand strings, keyed, and attuned by the holy name of Jesus Christ. This harp was made after the heavenly pattern. It is the lyre of
God. Its strings are of the loftiest cast and of the finest mould, whose threads never break, whose music, though old, is always new. Its songs are long, deep, melodious, sweeping down from heaven to Calvary in melting softness and dulcet strain which thunders in awful refrain in the depth of the spheres, causing to vibrate every quivering thread and living octave. Blot out the name of Jesus? It cannot be done. No! The stars would hand it down, the moon would kiss it, the sun would shine it through all the planets, and ethereal currents would waft it on wings of flame, and the lightnings of God would hurl it and burn it across the bosom of "Arcturus, Orion, Pleiades and the chambers of the South." Then let the inhabitants of the earth take up the thrilling cry and with lip and tongue, with harp and fife and drum, chant the Te Deum of the ages and the melodies of His name forever and forever.
It is evident from the teachings of the Bible, and spiritual and physical activities, that there is but one moving, all-pervading, central, living energy. Deep down beneath and passing through and rising above all principles, things, and agencies, there is an intelligent reality, a forceful, inherent and active life. This active life is before all things, in all space, permeating every particle of universal matter and spirit, guiding, directing and controlling the countless and eternal activities. There may be rest, but not real quietism. There can be no quietism in a moving universe. Life itself is activity, and that that acts is life. Since life is activity there is nothing else to act. The life of the universe is the central or universal mentality, and is the unit of force. Force is only a part of the universal mentality, that part, or that property, or faculty, that agitates, oscillates, or stirs the elements and constituencies. Nothing can move or vibrate except as it is moved upon or vibrated by the universal mentality.
One of the most wonderful and distinguishing properties or faculties of the universal mentality is wisdom, that perfect knowledge of all the entities, results, and facts of being. State or condition has no effect upon universality. State or no state, condition or no condition, cannot destroy or annul the property of universality any more than state or condition can destroy or annihilate being. Nothing can anihilate being. It is an eternal, an indestructible, and divine entity. Being is a reality that is independent of matter, even in its highest possible mode of existence, or in its greatest volatile or ethereal vitality. There is no living
factor in the universe but mind. All else is dead, mute and inert. The universe around us, above us and beneath us, acts only as it is acted upon by the spiritual, universal intelligence--the incomprehensible mentality. Matter acts, therefore, because it is acted upon by a power that is above it in degrees of those constituent properties that characterize its superiority belonging only to itself. If there were a mental force equal to another mental force, with equal intelligence, there could be no unity of force any more than there could be "the unity of nature and the reign of law." Hence all the phenomena in nature harmonize with the highest concepts of wisdom and lead us unto the temple of the enthroned and incomprehensible intelligence. There is no real inherent force, life, or action in matter, and consequently none in the universe, except this, or the universal intelligence, and all that we see or comprehend in physical nature is the product of universal mind. To comprehend the measure and the mode of the existence of mind, or even to hint at the unknowable and infinite deeps out of which it rises in resplendent unity of being and action, would eventuate in nothing, and a thousand billions of centuries would leave us as far from the solution as we are to-day. It is not a province of thought or comprehension, for in these mighty deeps and unzoned seas of mental reality, the wing of thought, or the pinions of the imagination never can rest, roll, or soar. The presentation of metaphysical syllogism teaches us that there is but one reality in the universe, and that is mind. There is no other reality in the sense that it has its own inherent and self-activities. Nothing can be a true reality but that which has self-action and unified personal proclivities and spiritual individuality.
The doctrine that teaches the unity of force does not in any sense teach the doctrine of monism, because the unit of force has intelligence that is plainly to be seen in every
part of the universe. There can be no design without intelligence, or that power that designs and chooses the best and fittest means to accomplish the best and fittest ends. Wisdom is the property of mind, that mental unity of character or individualism; and since mind must act in harmony with itself, it is of necessity a unit. Monism teaches the unity of force, (but a force that is in itself blind, and has no intelligence, no personality of being or design,) and that the vast results and products of the universe arise out of the precipitant elements and the fortuitous vibrations of its parts. It denies all mental intelligence and spiritual activities, except such as arise out of the fortuitous combinations of precipitant forces and vibratory elements; it denies that there is any such thing as mind or mental character beyond that which has been produced by physical nature, and asserts that the mental faculties of man (or spirits, if there be any) are the products of mere molecular force or action with chemical combinations under happy conditions. This view leaves the universe without a designing mental individualism that we call the universal intelligence, and shuts us up to ill fatalities and capricious chance, and allows the universe, like an unguided ship upon some vast sea, to float in space without chart or compass, leaving the boundless and unnumbered worlds to ply on their own chosen orbits without let or design. Think of it. A universe running away with itself. Possibly it may come in contact or collision with another. Then what? The thought is ridiculous and also stupendous. Under it, the stoutest must quiver and the souls of towering spirits must quail as the unthinkable catastrophe photographs its shapeless image upon the undying mentalism.
So far as science is concerned, the unity of force is proved by the form or shape of all the known systems or worlds
that float in space. None of them are yet proved to be square, oblong, ovate, octangular, or rhomboidal, but all are round, or spheroidal. And so far as we know, the very molecules, or the atomic aggregations of bodies, in their most subtle particles, and in themselves, are round. One is made to correspond to all of the others in the vast machinery of the universe. It seems apparent that in no other way could perfect harmony be produced and maintained. It is believed that planets have, by some marvelous and eruptive force, been broken to pieces and forced into space, and that in process of time they have become round, because in no other way could they regain and maintain those harmonious relations and conditions that are essential to the order and happiness of the intelligent universe. If nature was the author and creator of itself, which is incapable of designs, why is it that all these worlds and systems of worlds are made round? Why is it that none of them are square, oblong, rectangular or some other shape besides the globular? Why they are formed thus, is because the universal intelligence, the infinite mentality so designed them that the beauty and harmony and glory of the universe might be a dwelling-place and a magnificent temple for "the Father of Lights" and His intelligent offsprings, the shining phalanxes and legates of His love.
This, the youngest branch of American Methodism, was organized under the auspices and authority of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in the city of Jackson, Tenn., December 15th and 23d, 1870. As for back as 1866, its organization was contemplated and desired by both classes of those who composed the membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In this year (1866) the General Conference of the Mother Church requested their bishops to ordain colored men to the ministry, form them into conferences, preside over and superintend the colored work in assemblies, separate and distinct from those of the whites. It was also provided "that when three or more annual conferences of colored ministers were organized and presided over by the bishops" of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and that also when thought befitting and agreeable to both classes of members, "a separate and independent ecclesiastical jurisdiction should be established for the colored people," with all the regularities and outfits of established Methodism.
These initiatory provisions, being agreeable to both classes of persons concerned, and being consistent with what was conceived to be the harmony and best interests of both and all, the separation was authorized--legal, formal, and productive of the best feelings and results.
It is simply justice to state that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at the beginning of the late war, had over two hundred thousand members of color within her pales,
having churches of their own, and ministers sent to them regularly from the conferences. Often one pastor served both the white and the colored members, preaching to the whites in the forenoon and to the colored in the afternoon. Of this two hundred thousand, the great majority informally dissolved their relationship with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and went into other branches of Methodism, the African Methodist Episcopal Church receiving the largest share of them. However, there still remained about forty thousand who adhered to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and who could not be induced to disband their church relation and enter others which came upon the ground immediately after the emancipation. For some years after the war the reduced number of members of color who still remained adherents of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was looked after and cared for as was the case during the years of slavery. As the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which met in New Orleans, May, 1866, had authorized the bishops to organize conferences of colored ministers, so, four years after, the same body held its quadrennial session in Memphis, Tenn.; and upon the petition of some of the leading colored ministers, the General Conference of the Mother Church delegated their bishops, with other distinguished ministers and laymen, to organize the colored members into a separate and distinct body, which was satisfactorily consummated in December of the same year (1810).
The organization of this branch of our common Methodism seemed necessary for several reasons.
Among them we may note the following: As a result, the war had changed the ancient relation of master and servant. The former, though divested of his slaves, yet carried with him all the notions, feelings and elements in his religious and social life that characterized his former
years. On the other hand, the emancipated slave had but little in common with the former master. In fact, he had nothing but his religion, poverty and ignorance. With social elements so distinct and dissimilar, the best results of a common church relation could not be expected. Harmony, friendship and peaceful co-operation between the two peoples in the propagation of a divine and vital Christianity, were among the essential elements of a successful evangelization of the people of color. Social religious equality, as well as any other kind of social equality, was utterly impracticable and undesirable, and coveted by neither class of persons composing a churchship.
With this state of things steadily in view, we had but one horn of the dilemma left us, and that was a free, friendly and authorized separation from the mother body. Although we are become two bands, yet it is, and was understood that this does not, in any sense, release the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, from those duties and obligations that Providence seems to have imposed upon her, in aiding the American African in his Christian development.
The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America has had a remarkable career. As a branch or product of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, it has been opposed by strong hands and accomplished leaders among the colored people, from its birthday to the present; though, happily for us, these oppositions are now subsiding and the young organization is taking on a firm and expanding aspect that is most interesting and extraordinary. To sustain and propagate such an institution amid so many opposing forces as those that have presented themselves for the last twenty years, seemed, at first, to be a forlorn and hopeless undertaking. Green from the fields of slavery, raw in the experiences of church tactics, in membership and ministry,
without houses of worship or literature, with many of its organizing feats being performed out of doors and under trees, it overcame difficulties that make it more than a mere experiment. Being in the dews of its youth, it has not yet attained its destined dignity and power for good among the colored race. But it is advancing in every department.
Its aim is the evangelization of the colored race. First, by preaching the pure and simple gospel of Christ to the masses, in the simplest form of speech. Second, to do this in the best and most effective manner, we aim, as far as possible, to establish and maintain schools for the impartation of Christian education among our people, and especially among the ministry, and that part of the race who are expecting to be teachers. As we cannot expect to do a great deal at present, by way of educating the masses, we begin with preachers and teachers, carefully and patiently training and indoctrinating them in those great moral and religious principles that lie at the base of an elevated and sound moral manhood. It is said that man is naturally a religious being. The sense of a Supreme Power intrudes itself upon all his spiritual and moral functions, and if men in general are thus religionists, the colored man is particularly so. He seems especially susceptible of religious culture and of reaching those spiritual climaxes and benedictions that have characterized the most pious of men. While these seem apparent facts, it is also apparent that all these safeguards of the gospel, and those that have grown out of the experiences of men, should be thrown around him, lest his Christian or religious zeal should subvert, cover or hide the weightier matters of the moral law, and those principles and practices that constitute the vital flame of the reformatory moral power of Christianity. Christianity pure and simple is what he needs. As a church, we came upon the
stage of being to propagate the gospel along these lines and no others. To sustain this position we have always stood aloof from politics, not as individuals, but as officials representing an organization for a certain and specific purpose.
While our ministry and members represent all political parties and creeds, yet, as ministers of the gospel, we make no stump-speeches and fight no battles of the politicians. We think it better to "let the dead bury the dead," while we follow Christ. Of course we have no control over any man's vote; whether he be minister or member, he is free to vote as he pleases. We regard Christianity not only as reformatory and redeeming, but as a moral power of civilization. At present, it must be acknowledged that Negro civilization is yet in its infancy and crude evolutions. He is now laying the foundations upon which future generations are to build those institutions that are to make him and his progeny solid Christians and valued citizens. We regard him as a part of the people, a permanent fixture in the United States of America. It is true, we hope, that many of the race will, some day, go to Africa--their native land--but the masses will fight the battle of life here, and live and die on the American continent. We also recognize the fact that he is, and will be, singularly and collectively, a separate and distinct race from the others.
Friction in church or state cannot be productive of good to him and his children, and we think it is a legitimate part of Christianity to ameliorate and soften those cruder conditions under which he finds himself as an element in society; hence, we seek the friendship of all, and especially and particularly the fatherly directorship of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Beyond and behind the immediate work of the christianization of the colored race, there lie a faith, a principle, and a practice, that seem peculiar and interesting; and as these factors have done much to
unite the races in harmonious co-operation and exile any hostile feelings that may have existed in the South between the two. Their aim is to bring about peace, and perpetuate the era of mutual brotherhood and concert of action.
We claim that the spirit, nature and practice of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America have done, and are doing much in this direction. Some have thought that Providence has placed it where it is for this purpose. Already it has enlisted the special attention of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which by legislative action has appointed a Commissioner of Education for the purpose of establishing and maintaining schools for "the education of preachers and teachers," for the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. This educational interest is controlled by the two churches jointly for the benefit of the Colored Church. It is the aim of this church to prosecute the work along these lines in the fear of God and in the love of a common humanity.
Religion may be defined as that service, consisting in worship, adoration and sacrifice which man renders to a supreme, or some being or beings that he supposes to be superior to himself--superior to himself in wisdom, power, knowledge, and indefinite existence.
The consciousness of a supreme, enduring, and all-pervading Energy is a faculty of the human mind. It is an ineradicable and indestructible element of man's nature. It is God-given, inherent, and not acquired by practice, reason, or learning. This religious faculty in man generates those elements of moral conceptions upon which the moral government of God is founded, and is the means of communication between the finite and the Infinite, and is that ever-present and far-reaching medium by which the voice of the Creator ever rings in the hearts of the created intelligences.
That man in his native elements is a religionist, not only accords with the history of the race, but is reasonable and consonant with his nature and the highest ends of his being. It is not necessary to be sinful before being religious. Had there been no sin in the universe, or no infraction of the laws that govern it, whether these laws be physical, mental, or spiritual, the religious faculty still would be a real and constituent part of all intelligences. As man is a thinking, free moral agency, he is necessarily a part of the great whole--a part of the great intelligent system. So far as the moral nature of man is concerned, it must be like that which all other moral beings have. The different spheres in the great moral system of the universe have no tendency
to change the moral constitution so as to make it different in one class of moral beings from that in another, unless there could exist two moral systems in one, which is an absurdity. As there can be but one God, there can be but one government presiding over the whole. The moral laws are, therefore, the same in principle, and have the same ends in view in every part of the intelligent creation. It is also evident that the different modes of intelligent existence have nothing to do with the inherent qualities of their moral natures. Man would be man without his body or corporeal delineations, and angels would be none the less angels if clothed in mortal parts as we have. There may be lower and higher degrees of moral capability, as there are in intelligent capacity, but the innate and controlling principles are the same. As place and mode of existence cannot change moral law and moral nature in their inherent qualities, neither can the siege of ages nor the extending cycles. In other words, conditions cannot change the moral universe so as to make it something else different from what it is. It is what it is because it is the moral system. The system cannot be changed, any more than right can be made wrong, and wrong can be made right. It may be possible to annihilate the subjects of the moral system, and any physical part that may be connected with it, but not its inherent qualities. These are what they are because they cannot cease to be, nor grow into something else. Thus the moral system must remain forever intact in all the plentitude of its primary elements. If these premises are properly taken, then the government of God is necessarily a unit. It has an eternal oneness in nature and execution in all places and times, and is unaffected by mere conditions. While the moral system itself is distinct and different from its subjects or participants, yet it presupposes their existence, while, if they do
exist, they cannot evade its obligations my more than they can evade the realization of their own being. Wherever there is intelligence, there must be consciousness and moral force and sense of obligation and responsibility. These are prominent faculties of the mind, and prove the existence of it, and force the thinking creature to think of his conscious moral obligations. Here, in the virgin soil of his nature, man finds those promptings, desires and proclivities that we might well call the religious faculty--faculty of his being, or attributes of his mental constitution. It is no argument against this position that some few have been found who are destitute of moral ideas and religious proclivities, if, indeed, there ever were such beings in existence. It is not to be denied that it is possible, in some cases, to suppress to a degree that is almost latent the religious faculty, yet in such cases these are no more silent and latent than the other faculties that are as little used. In any state below and on the line of civilization the human intellect will use those faculties that are most productive of the present and greatest good, because they are factors and manufactories of his immediate wants and daily needs. Forced by hunger and thirst, and the desire for the comforts of life, man, like the birds of prey or the beasts of the field, makes every effort to supply and provide himself with the things that seem needed for his happiness and well-being. Thus all his faculties that are useful for this purpose are especially aroused, cultivated, and stimulated to high degrees. By their use they are made more prominent and distinct. So with the religious faculties. They may be active or dormant to a greater or less degree by culture or less culture. So it is with all the attributes of the human mind. The Creator gave the mind complete in all its distinct attributes or characteristics, but its progressive development is left to conditions. How far mankind is responsible for favorable
or unfavorable conditions in which to culture the mind need not now be elaborated. But sufficient has been said to disprove that, because the religious faculties are not particularly active in all, they do not naturally exist in any. The fact that all the great peoples of the earth have been religious is clear evidence that man is naturally so, and it also proves that every man is religious, except where the faculties and proclivities have been overshadowed by artificial means, as in the case of the atheist.
So far as we have come, we have dwelt upon the inherent emanations of religion in its origin, and we conclude that man is naturally a religious being, that the religious faculty is organic, God-given, and is an essential element of his being, and is just as enduring and abiding as any other attribute of his nature. He is, therefore, most natural when he is religious, and most unnatural when he is not religious.
False religion, so-called, is only a part of religion corrupted by superstitions, false additions, mutilations and erroneous interpretations. From the beginning it was not so. All the different forms of religious beliefs and faiths must have had the same beginning and the same parent stem. They must be branches of the same vine, or ramifications of the same great original. All their great moral ideas that have come down to us through the ages came through different channels, but came from the same true and pure fountain whose great original is the Creator. He first gave to His human offsprings, by symbolic and oracular demonstrations, as well as by internal emanations, what He would have them do, and as the generations dispersed into different climes they carried with them the germ thoughts of religion. But being corrupted, these germ thoughts of religion did not reproduce their exact originals, and as time rolled on, the originals were more and more corrupted until complete reproduction was impossible.
Then human additions were made to take their places. Hence we have the so-called false religions. But let it be remembered, that one and all of these must have had a common origin.
The name of God, in some form, is common in all known languages, and is spelled with four letters in almost all of them, indicating the unity and oneness in the origin of religion. For instance, it is in Latin, Deus; Greek, Theos; Hebrew, Adon; Syriac, Adad; Arabian, Alla; Persian, Sjra; Tatarian, Idga; Egyptian, Aumn, or Zeut; East Indian, Esgi or Zenl; Japanese, Zain; Turkish, Addi; Scandivanian, Odin; Wallachian, Zenc; Croatian, Doga; Dalmatian, Rogt; Tyrrenian, Eher; Etruian, Chur; Margarian, Oese; Swedish, Gud; Irish, Dich; German, Gott; French, Dieu; Spanish, Dios; Peruvian, Lian; English, Deity, God.
As religion has a oneness in its origin, so the oldest form of it must have been monotheistic, and not polytheistic. And when God proclaimed himself to Israel as "one God," He merely reaffirmed the more ancient truth delivered to the first of his human offsprings. He uncovered what, in many instances, had been hidden for long ages, and the broken lines of the first principles of religion were gathered and rejoined in the brighter light of the ascending centuries. It is true that God represents himself by many names, but never as more than one Being. The Elohistic and Jehovistic views presented in Genesis present to the mind only an individual God. The first conceptions of His character and individual Being by His intelligent creatures was that of oneness. We could not suppose God to be more than one individual Being, and yet proclaiming himself to be more than one. That is, we could not suppose He would teach His natural offsprings what is not true, or false. God can only speak truth.
Again, as God is one, and religion has a oneness in origin, so its first great moral idea is one, which is the conception of Deity. The first thing in worship or adoration is the attraction of the one to be adored. And if there are, in the religions of the world, polytheistic ideas (and there are), they are subsequent additions or interpolations. But no matter what may have been the changes transpiring under varied conditions and diversified experiences of mankind, adoration has always been the central moral idea of religion. So far as we know, it is so in all religions, among all peoples and ages. And so far as this central idea goes, all religions are true when directed to the only one true God. The term, "false religions," is a misnomer, if we include the honest adoration of the heart. The object may be false, but not the adoration or the religion. It is possible for a man to be honest, even when he adores a false deity, if he knows no better way to be religious. To that extent all religions are true. The cardinal idea, then, is to worship or to adore the Supreme Being, or any being whom the worshipper supposes supreme. This is the first great moral idea in religion, whether it be the Christian or any other religion. And this great moral idea, found in all religions, and in all ages, takes us back to the oneness of origin, where God first gave His commandments to the sons of men. Religion rests, not only upon the nature of man as regards his needs, but rests equally upon philosophical bases. Of course, there is much connected with religion that is not religious, nor religion. When we go out into the kingdom and vast domain of religion, and view its subjects and the results of its long and continuous administration through the ages, we conceive that it has a powerful and indestructible grasp upon human nature. This is so, not only because religion is a fixed faculty in the nature of moral beings, but also because it rests upon philosophical
bases, found in the needs of man and the government of God. If there is a supreme moral Governor of the universe, then men and angels, or all intelligences come within the limits of that supreme moral government. When, therefore, adoration is demanded by the Creator, it is the most reasonable service, and the greatest that may be rendered to the great Author of being. Man is not his own creator. He did not make himself nor institute the laws by which he came into being; he has no power to create or to spring from elements already in existence. No affinity of co-operative forces, controlling precipitant elements, could produce and round into the masterly parts displayed in the constitution of man. That which did not previously exist, could not, of itself, begin to be. If it began to be, there must have been a creative force and fiat that lay deeper and beyond. Hence, intelligent creatures are all dependent--dependent upon that creative force and fiat that gave them being. What, then, is more reasonable than the praise and the adoration which mankind is required to render to God? By this we acknowledge his supreme greatness, his authority, power, and glory. By this the moral organs and mental sensibility come in contact with the Creator, and the harmonious relations of the finite and Infinite are kept in unison throughout an indefinite line of being in the moral system. Remove religion from the intelligent sphere, and the harmonious relations between God and His intelligent creatures are broken off, and sin and rebellion are the natural results.
So far we have dwelt upon religion, pure and simple, as to the oneness of its origin, and as a faculty of the human race.
Christianity is all of religion, and more than mere religion. Religion is a part of Christianity, but not all of Christianity. Religion is the nucleus of light in the moral system.
Christianity is the meridian sun of its day. One is the seed planted and germinating, the other is the ripening corn in the ear. Yet, as the seed and ear are the same, so is religion and Christianity. They are two parts of a great whole in the developing and expanding moral system. Christianity reveals God and His government, not in a contrary nature, but in the more radiant splendors of the rising day and ascending centuries. Christianity is not only the doctrines and precepts of Christ, but a farther definition and clearer interpretation of the moral faculty and adoring proclivities of intelligent agents. It calls man to the worship and service of the Supreme Creator in stronger tones and deeper accents of love. It gathers up the broken threads of the ages, and rallies the moral forces to one bright center, and by its elective affinity, gathers all the gems of truth, and wreathes them about the brow of Christ. But religion is a sleepless active force in civilization. It is not bound by continents or ages. It is more than national, and more than cosmopolitan. As it is superhuman in its origin, it is universal in its operative function. Everywhere it has left its imprint upon individual character and national life. Christianity is not an ethnic religion, but the real and absolute religion of mankind. It is the religion of the universe, because it is obedience to God, love, and righteousness. It is an unchangeable fact, and abides forever the richest inheritance of man and angels. Its career is coeval with all the intellectual offsprings of God, and cognate with their incipient conceptions of Deity. They cannot think of themselves nor contemplate the dignity and wonders of creation without contemplating the masterly Hand that gave them their being. Everywhere God impresses himself upon His works. Every spring of the intelligent mind bounds toward Him. Ethereal splendors and terrestrial wonders attract every mind and thrill every heart.
As a factor and element in human civilization, it is the strongest, and the most vivacious of all the regenerative forces among men. Step by step, it has weighed the nations in its scales, and measured the civilizations of the world. All the virtue and respect for law and order that have prevailed among the civilizations of man, have had their foundation in his religious proclivity. It awakens the most astounding inquiries respecting the greatest interests of man and God. It gives wings to the imagination, faith to the life, and light and energy to the understanding, and reveals to man that which he could not discover. It enlarges the desire, quickens the spiritual force, and expands the spiritual entities. Christianity is the only system that places man in his real and true relation to God, his Father, and man, his brother. All the great moral ideas that underlie the governments and institutions of mankind which have stood the shock of ages and the ravages of time, have lived because of those grains of religion that have more or less been prominent in their constitutional and executive fitness. The strength and durability of human governments do not lie in their mere capacity, force or power, arising from numbers, wealth and intelligence. Of course these elements are essentials of government, but not the preservatives. Back of these there must be a dominant force--a silent energy--far more reaching and widespread than mere capacity founded upon the devices and achievements of the intellect. The cornerstone of enduring institutions must necessarily be founded upon truth and rectitude--the love of virtue and the fear of God--which are the essential parts or ideal contingencies of practical religion. To put the case in clearer light, we point with a sigh to the decay of all the great governments and empires that have acted their part in the ages and the dramas of nations. They were great, strong, rich and mighty in word and deed, but they passed
away because they violated all those great principles, promptings and practices that are the only fundamental basis of enduring institutions. No law of right, whether in heaven or earth, can be violated by intelligent beings unless they suffer at some time and in some place condign punishment. Religion in civilization is, therefore, not the criterion and revealer to aspiring humanity only, but it presents the reasons why kingdoms fail and governments perish. There is nothing in the nature and theory of human government why they should not continue indefinitely. In themselves they are neither sinful nor useless. They are the God-given instruments to promote the greatest good and the universal well-being of man. But when they defeat the ends of righteousness, only one thing can follow, and that is, "eternal sleep." Still, as from the broken trunks of fallen trees, new growths repeat the acts of sires, so new nations arise upon the stocks of their predecessors, in which is continued the civilizations of the world. Civilization is but the product, or offspring of religion. Among the earliest of religious thoughts, come those efforts and inventions that have laid the foundation for civil and social comfort, and the employment of those resources and powers of mental and physical nature by which mankind has triumphed over difficulties and made obstinate elements yield their richest treasures to his happiness and glory. While religion is adorative in its primitive emanations, operating in the deepest centers of character, yet it begets a lively hope and struggles for the larger goal beyond, where all the elements of expanding character and mental growth seek and use the fittest means to accomplish the fittest ends. Civilization is the difference between the kingdom of Dahomey and the British Isles. In the beginning both were alike--crude, low, vulgar, and beastly--in their primitive modes. The best explanation that may be given
respecting the long distance between the two is: One is Christian and the other heathen--one religious intelligently, and the other religious superstitiously. The one has great intellectual light, which is largely the force of Christianity, while the other has less light with but the alphabet of civilization. Indeed, religion and civilization are so near akin that to destroy religion or remove it entirely from the state and the thoughts of men, there would remain no more of the one than of the other. The native constitution of man with his environments forbids him to be truly civilized without religion, or the prominence of the religious faculty. The place of religion in civilization is, therefore, to force its quickening energies along its lines and serial developments, and expand its golden peripheries amid the sleepless evolution of the ages. Its office is to elevate the standard of taste, direct the moral propulsion and dignity of humanity in all its phases.
The prominent features of Christianity are its progressive and aggressive forces. It cannot absorb, but it disintegrates. It cannot change its teachings, practices, nor phases any more than it can change its origin and nature. Its momentum and agencies may be variant, but its inherent elements are changeless and eternal. There are depths and heights in the evolving problems of Christianity that can only come in the fulness of its career among the peoples of the world. Its inventory of successive manifestations constantly presents the moral and physical systems, in more exalted fitness, as the only instrumentality to bring out the highest and purest forms of social and civil life. Everywhere its theory of morals and purity of life present the highest ideal of perfection. It is the universal code without a codicil. It is so universal and minutely applicable that there is no room in the boundless sphere of being for another. No other system can take its place
among intelligent beings, because it has all the place that can be occupied. It forces man to think of God, of heaven, of hell, and those solemn and substantial realities that await him in the endless future. All of its proposed measures, tenets and doctrines are directed toward the amelioration of the race of man. Man could not expect any richer inheritance from the Almighty Parent; for he had nothing better to bestow upon his offspring.
Christianity is never the foe of man, but is always the foe of his foes, and as an armed sentinel it exists to guard all the interests of the children of men, in all those great concerns and multiform relations that make up the history of being. It is not only progressive, but aggressive. It comes to assault sin and evil in all their rock-ribbed and steel-clad ramparts. It has an arm of power, backed by infinite resources, even the whole breadth, depth, and height of the changeless Absolute. Slowly but surely it is at work upon the world's civilizations, transforming society, changing sentiment and human thought, correcting judgment, enthroning reason, imparting justice and crowning wisdom with the diadem of truth. It hushes the din of battles, breaks the iron sinews of bloody strife, stops the pursuits of war, and as sweetly and softly as fall the silent rays of the setting sun, it calls the nations to the legitimate avocations of life. Christianity is here to stay as long as this terrestrial sphere is the arena of thought and action. It seeks not the favor of the rich, nor the hand of the powerful, nor does it need the doctrinal skill of the philosopher, nor the metaphysics of the metaphysician. Neither does it lean upon the arm of kings and princes, nor the subtle diplomacy of skilled statesmen. It seeks not the palaces of the great and noble lords of earth, nor the hoarded treasures of the miser. It lives with, or without the sacerdotal robe, and is often driven from the paraphernalia of priestly
dignity and ecclesiastic authority. It lives through the fiercest ordeals, sparkles in the furnaces of afflictions, coming out without the smell of fire upon its garments. It lives in caves and dells, sings from the tops of mountains, shouts from the lions' den, and presides in the gorgeous palaces of kings and princes. It thrives in the midst of famine, lives in the path of blood and revolution, and shines and glows in the luster of its own diamond brightness when civil and political systems perish and dance on to annihilation. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof."
Nothing has such a tremendous and powerful influence upon racial and human destiny in their final results, as to national phases and political conditions, as the passions and unbridled lusts of men. This is especially true of that class or people that rules over another class or people. No matter how great the social chasm between the upper and the nether people dwelling together in the same country or territory, the upper will seek the lower at that point of contactability and clandestine intercourse where there is mixing, The craving, heaving and impulsive passion of men, goads them on to blacklisted indulgences that even racial prejudices, many of which are stronger than death, cannot restrain. Even when the two peoples live in separate climes, divided by wide seas, high mountains and extended plains, they will seek each other in that way so as to produce another race and a new progeny. It matters not what distinctions, racial or national, there may exist between the peoples dwelling together, those who are regarded as inferiors will be sought after and will be debased by the superior. They proceed upon the theory that those who are already debased and contaminated cannot be more debauched or lowered in the moral scale than they are, and therefore it is a matter of small import to add to the sum of villainy, vileness and crime. Not that it is a crime for the races to intermix according to the laws of the land, as it may be done in almost all the countries on the earth; but the way amalgamation has been brought about in these Southern States is enough to make the bushmen in the wild jungles blush with shame. There is nothing in amalgamation
sinful or wrong, providing it is legal, or done according to the laws of the land. So far as we can see, there is nothing in the nature of the different races of mankind to prohibit legal marriages between them. There is no real fundamental or inherent constitutional differences that can be urged as an objection. It is true that many claim that some races of men are constitutionally superior to others; that the white man is naturally, inherently, superior to the African and the Negro; that Indians, Malays and Chinese are really and constitutionally the deficient races, and cannot measure or cope with the Caucassian intellectually, and are therefore inferior in their creation. If they are inferior in their creation, then they are incapable of reaching that high moral intellectual status that seems inherent in the Caucassian. But there are many things connected with this question that contradict this position: 1. It is to be acknowledged that there are degrees of differences among the races of mankind; but these differences are conditional and circumstantial rather than constitutional. No man is born higher, purer, and better than another, so far as his real nature and the faculties of his humanity are concerned. One man may be superior to another in degree of learning, refinement and intellectual acquisitions; but this is in degree and not in kinds. The difference is the same as that which is between quantity and quality in any two given substances. The difference is not in the constituent elements that make up the one or the other, but in the degrees in the best elements that have the largest and most extended part in the substance. There is a great difference between the cultivated and the uncultivated mind, and in some instances there seems to be an almost infinite difference. That is, one seems almost infinitely above the other in degrees of mind culture and mental ability; but this does not show natural or native superiority.
It only shows superior training, higher culture, and better conditions. The untrained and the uncultured have as many faculties of the mind as the refined and the intelligent. Both characters have the same mental and metaphysical constitutions. The province of knowledge is not to create, but to discover, or uncover and set in their native light the things that are already in existence. It is above the power of the human mind to create, or bring from naught to being a single atom in the universe. If new things appear to the learned and the cultured, they are not new in their elementary parts, but new only in their relations and discovery. That is, they existed and had their relations to other things before they were seen by the mind, or comprehended by the reasoning faculties. If it was possible for one mind to create--to make substance from nothing--and impossible for another mind to create, then the former would be inherently and really superior to the latter. Upon this hypothesis men would not be created free and equal, but one constitutionally superior to the other.
2. The highest culture, discovery and learning of those whose ancestry have had superior advantages for centuries (not excepting the greatest minds that have acted upon the arena of life), have never been able to make or add a single new faculty to the human mentality; but men have been found in all ages and countries and nations and conditions, to have the same kind of minds and the same number of faculties, physical and moral. Whatever, therefore, is possible for one man, is possible for the generality of men, so far as their mental qualities are concerned. All the superior intelligence and the achievements of culture that are apparent among men are not founded on a higher native ability, but on the degrees of culture and intellectual altitudes that have been attained by education and training. They are the natural result of labor
bestowed upon the mental man. Culture not only develops the mind and extends the domain of thought and widens the mental possibilities, but, as a natural consequence, the mental actions and the mental forces have much to do with the physical stature, both directly and indirectly. Directly, because the body is the outward or physical instrument of the mind. It acts as it is acted upon by the spiritual and living reality that dwells within. Ambition, desires and aspirations, like perturbation, melancholia and hypochondria, all have their mighty and changing influences upon the physical and bodily proportions. Equally is it true that joy, hope and anticipations, like angels, bring the light of heaven upon their golden wings to the despondent and unhappy, physically as well as mentally. Indirectly, men are under attending influences of which they are not always cognizant. Many things are done from the force of habit, taste and custom, when there is no real reason for it. Men are partakers of the influences that surround them in spite of any resistance which they may make. Hence, one type of social and civic life may be easily engrafted upon another, until the former loses its identity in the engulfing personnel of the latter; and what was once two distinct phases of civil life becomes one unconsciously. It is by this absorbing and assimilating process that all civilizations are to become one in fact, if not in type and phase. The aims and bottom principles of civilization are always the same, since they must act upon human nature with the same ends in view. Civic, social and religious regeneration can only reach or attain its ends by this absorbing and assimilating process, and this process is accelerated when the introduction of the better elements is made and the evils are eliminated. Hence, men yield to the conditions that surround them, and yield unconsciously.
3. If there were any real constitutional differences in the
races of mankind, the process of amalgamation could not proceed at all. The great disparity between the very superior and the very inferior would prevent, on natural and philosophical principles, the possibility of a progeny. There could be no half-breeds, nor cross-bloods, nor mongrel races or peoples, but there would have been but one race; and that one race would have maintained its perfect identity and individualism through all the decades and centuries. Vile Sodomy, for which "the cities of the plains were overthrown," has never yet produced a single man or woman, nor is it a thing that is possible to be done. "The reign of law and the unity of nature" forbid the monstrosity. This goes to show, not only the superiority of man over the beasts, but it shows also the unity of the human race.
4. It is in the conception of mankind that "all men are created free and equal," because the moral requirements, at least in civilized countries, are the same for all men. The same law that presides over the intelligent, the educated and the learned, presides over the ignorant, the uneducated and the unlearned alike. Ignorance of the moral and civic features of the law makes no difference whatever on account of race, color, or condition. This is not only true as regards human laws, but the Divine government in its righteous requirements makes no difference in its application of the law on account of a man belonging to this, that or the other race. All are treated as equals before the law, in their punishments and in their rewards. From this it seems clear that if one race of men wore innately superior to another race then more than one law would have to be established and executed for the one in distinction from the other. Or, if the same law, as now, is to be applied to all men, one race being superior to the other, then there must be degrees in the same law to be applied according to the
guilt or innocence of the persons concerned. But we see the beauty of human and divine law executed alike upon all classes and races of men with the same ends in view, namely, to preserve the government of God for the happiness of the universe.
In the Southern States the colored man is treated and regarded as an inferior. The public conscience has been educated under distorted views and a vicious sentimentalism by which nearly all of his civil rights have been abridged, if not entirely destroyed; yet the shameful practice of illegal and damnable miscegenation goes on without let or hindrance. While we deplore this state of things, and while we know of no practical remedy, yet we believe that the hand of God will overrule it all in such a way as to promote the national and international harmony, peace and prosperity of universal man.
Mr. President and Brethren of the Conference:
It is with great pleasure and profound respect that I appear before you on this occasion. I count it an honor as well as a pleasure to meet and to greet those lofty characters and princely heroes who bear the name and do the work of Methodist preachers. They are not only princely and heroic, but they constitute the world's greatest, and the most active moral force that comes within the limits of human agency. In their reformative movements, they are like "the living creatures" of Ezekiel's wheels who run and return at God's command, thread and ramify the zones of civil and uncivil man, filling the world with the light of God, the majesty of His love, and the splendors of His grace. It is by your grace and Christian charity that I shall attempt to speak to you upon a question of vital interest, both to your people and to mine.
In 1882, the General Conference of the M. E. Church, South, authorized the establishment and maintenance of a school for the training of preachers and teachers for "the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America," and accordingly in the winter of 1883 the school was organized, and the Board of Trustees gave it the name of "The Paine Institute," in honor of the then venerable Senior Bishop of the M. E. Church, South, who also, with the assistance of Bishop McTyeire organized the Colored branch of the Church, and ordained its two first Bishops. Augusta, Ga., was selected as the place of its location. For several years
the school was taught in rented houses, but by the fortunate turn of events we went near the suburbs of the city and purchased the place that we now have, a beautiful site of ten acres of ground on an eminence overlooking the beautiful city of Augusta. This place was the home of a wealthy citizen, and contained his residence and outer buildings, which were his barns and stables. These were fitted up at small cost for dormitories and recitation rooms. Here the school has been taught for more than twelve years, and here it is still being taught.
Dr. Morgan Calloway, who was the Vice-President of Emory College, was its organizer and first principal, having as his assistant the Rev. George Williams Walker, of the South Carolina Conference, who has always been with the school, and is its present faithful and honored President.
The establishment and maintenance of this school is the official work of the M. E. Church, South, and the only official work which that great church is now doing for the Afro-Americans in this country. We have reached that period in its work and history where its facilities for continued service and usefulness must be enlarged or else the prosecution of its work must stop. A building is indispensable and absolutely necessary. Seeing this condition of things, the Board of Education of the M. E. Church, South, at its last session, "being fully persuaded of the imperative need of a new building at Paine Institute, Augusta, Ga., determined to undertake at once the erection of the new building," and I have been sent out by that board and the Board of Trustees to solicit your aid and co-operation, that the great work of Christianization of the Negro race may be enlarged and continued by the Christian people of this country.
The greatest single factor in the happiness of universal humanity is ideal Christianity, and the greatest work that can be done by man is the propagation of its truths, and the practical application of its principles. You need no especial argument to prove this position to be scriptural, philosophical, and divine. Christianity is the people's religion, and comes to the great world as God's greatest gift to all the long centuries of suffering humanity. It belongs to man in the broadest sense and in its minutest and deepest application. It belongs to man in every phase of life, and in every phase and zone of his cosmopolitan character. It has like effects upon all the branches and divisions of the human race. Zones and parallels, and the character of civil, and the modes of incivil life, may change the physical aspect of man, beast, and flower, but divine Christianity knows no change, but, like the rose of eternal truth, forever buds and blooms upon its own native stock, kissing the ages of God in its own diamond brightness. Everywhere Christianity is emphatically Christianity, and everywhere it is propagated and planted in its purest forms and highest ideals, it produces itself in its native plenitude, bringing forth the cornerstone of its expanding empire, crying, "Grace, grace unto it." There is no work like that of human redemption. There is no avocation beneath the sun or amid the awful tread of the cycles that can be compared to it. Indeed, as we have said, the greatest work that man can do is that of seeking and saving the lost. Jesus Christ himself set the example when he came as the Apostle of human salvation; for, says he, "The Son of Man is come to seek and to gave that which was lost."
Whatever people, nation, or race, has Christianity in its highest ideals and purest forms, it is to that extent responsible to God and to humanity for the salvation of the world and the redemption of man. It is a joyous truth, as we
as an efficient agency, to solve all great problems, to reform all civilizations, banish the errors of men, clear the moral atmosphere of the pestilential seeds of falsehood and mental debasement, and save all men from sin and that death that never dies.
On all great occasions, and in every crisis of evolving humanity, it has met the demands at the threshold of conflicting elements, adjusted the jarring forces, and filled the centers and ramified the expanding peripheries with its own greatness and ineffable fulness.
It is also a happy thought that Christianity knows no distinction of race or color or previous condition. It knows no racial lines nor national boundaries, but leaps the continents, plays on the silver-crowned waves of the seas, kisses the islands with the kisses of truth, sweeps the plains with its wing of flame, spreading its heavenly insignia over all the sorrowing sons of Adam and the weeping daughters of Eve. But as human work or labor is the greatest factor in the spread of the Gospel, and is the God-appointed method of its propagation, all Christians are called upon to contribute their quantum to the world's salvation.
Christian Europe and Christian America are at present the great receptacles of the Christian religion, the repositories of "the truth," and are the spiritual and physical dynamos that must thrill the world with its propulsions and redemptive entities and agencies. From what other point of the compass, in the moral hemisphere, shall Christianity gather its strength and radiate the circles and traverse the lines of human development?
The Negro is here and en masse he is here to stay. He is an important part of the body politic. He belongs to it as the foot or hand belongs to the human body. As such he is a factor in the growth and development of this great civilization. Providence placed him here on the American
continent, and has suggested no way for his exit or elimination. Evidently he is here for a purpose. Slavery was only the occasion by which he came. It was not the end. Nay, God had greater ends in view. As there are something like two hundred and fifty millions of heathens in Africa, and as it seems evident that the educated and Christianized black man is best fitted for the preaching of the Gospel in "the Dark Continent," so Christian America, out of its eight or ten millions of Negroes, must produce that massive band of ebony-hued heroes by whom their fatherland is to be redeemed. More and more it seems apparent that American slavery was providential. It matters not how deeply hidden or intricate the threads and lines of Divine Providence may appear to be in the human concepts, one thing is clear, and that is the Negro race has lost nothing by it, but has gained a thousand pounds sterling where it lost a penny. It is true that the Master enslaved himself, and was a slave of slaves, but the asperities of the now defunct institution were struck off and wonderfully mitigated by that beautiful and lavish hand of Christian charity and evangelistic labors bestowed upon the sons and daughters of Ham by the Southern Methodist people. The Negro did not march out of slavery empty-handed, but, like Israel of old, came out with the rings and jewels of a better civilization, and with the crown of truth upon his head, and with a wreath of grace upon his brow and the golden cup of salvation in the mouth of his sack. He came out with deep touches of your Christianity and flashes of your civilization, and received an upward propulsion that he could not have obtained in his native land.
But emancipation did not abrogate moral obligation. Relations were changed, but humanity and Christianity remained intact, and the Negro is yet in the twilight dawn of a Christian civilization. He still needs help. He needs
Christianity in purer phases and broader morality and higher forms in its reformative and practical ends.
We admire that noble spirit and broad Christian charity that sends your heroic and consecrated men and women flashing across the vasty deep to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond. We admire and almost adore that Christ-like devotedness shown by those who go or by those who send. It is high, holy and angelic and resplendent with the seraphic flame of love. This, it is clear, is your plainest duty, and we thank God that you are doing it. Every day you are preaching and singing to the heathens "the old, old story of Jesus and his love." You are sowing the vital seeds of the vital truth in foreign lands, and the living propagators are heralding the melodies of the redemptive scheme, and unfurling the blood-stained banner of the cross, and as the word of God cannot fail there must be fruitage in approaching days; but here at your doors, in your streets and lanes, in your great cities and rural districts, are heathens who sit "in darkness" and "in the regions and shadow of death," that need your aid, and have first claims upon your liberality and Christian charity. As their representative, I come to rehearse and to reverberate the thrilling and all-awaking Macedonian cry.
But you know the Negro. He is no stranger to you. He has been with you all along through the diversified and changing decades of two hundred and fifty years. He is still the laborer, the mudsill of society, and the crudest part of the social fabric.
In the early decades of the American empire of sovereign and independent States, and when this now mighty empire of States was an infant of days, the Negro stood by its cradle, and helped it to break and unwind its swaddling bands of childhood, and labored to crown its youth with glory, and its manhood with a diadem of golden stars. He
has been and is still a powerful factor in the development of this country, and the expansion of its civilization. His strong arm felled the forests, dried the swamps, cleared the bogs, threw the sunlight upon its shady dales, made the deserts to blush with flowers, the fields to smile with plenty, and threw up a royal highway for a triumphant civilization. He clothed your daughters with scarlet, your sisters with gowns of silk, and your queenly ladies and "high-born beauties" with jewels, and pinned the wreath of diamonds upon their brow. When the war came, and the flower of the land were slain upon its high places; when blood flowed and carnage and death swept the Southern tier of States; when your fathers, sons, and brothers were at the front upon the field of battle, the Negro stood by you. He planted the fields, sowed and reaped, and bent with devotion and silent energy over the plowshare, and made bread and clothing for the armies and the defenseless mothers, sisters, and little children at home. The black women--the sable daughters of toil and of song--nursed your children, gave them the milk of kindness from their own breasts, and with tender care, and the soft touches of love, and the dulcet strains of sweetest carols in cadence low, they sang the child angel to sweet repose. In kitchen, hall, dining room, and sick chamber, these black maidens of love and tenderness carried the sunshine of God, filled ten thousand homes with hope and comfort. Likewise "the brother in black" cared for your sick, buried your dead, wept over your slain, and with arms of iron and fingers of steel wrote angelic deeds of kindness upon the open scroll of two centuries and a half. The Negro shared in your sorrows and rejoiced in your prosperity, and in the great civil onflow of the age he is your armor-bearer. When freedom came, it came without his seeking or any effort on his part, for it was in the divine decrees that he should be free. Even then he did not
forsake you nor the land of his nativity, but regathered the broken cords of an ancient civilization, and like the moving phalanx of a great army, or the steady flow of the Nile, he continued with the even tenor of his way. Nowhere has he broken friendship with you, or left the old landmarks of love and esteem. Though we are two distinct peoples, or two great bands in one great nation, there is a common interest and a common destiny. Whatever results may come from such a combination, it must take place in our common country. Whatever affects you, affects us. Whatever advances your interest, must, in a greater or less degree, advance ours. We live in the same zone, born on the same soil, breathe the same vital air, drink from the same streams, bask in the same sunshine, and in the silent cities of the dead we shall dwell together until the trump of the Archangel and the deep rolling thunders of the judgment shall summon us to stand before the Great Judge of all. We profess the same religion, read the same Bible, sing the same songs. Indeed, your religion is our religion, your church is our church, your God is our God, your Christ is our Christ, your heaven is our heaven, and your hell is our hell.
You need our brawn and muscle; we need your brain and culture. You need our sinews of brass and bones of iron. We need your steady hand to prosecute the noble ends of life, and the triumphs of a Christian civilization. You have the mental force, we have the physical power, and I come to plead for a combination of both, united in a grand national manhood, so attuned and attenuated that the national mechanism may play in harmony as the mechanism of a great steam engine. Why not?
Of course you know our church was organized by your great church, and we delight to honor our parentage and are proud of our origin. In 1870, we were "set up" as a
distinct and independent branch of the great Methodist family by and under the authority of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. I understand that we were "set up" and not "set off." In no sense does this "setting up" business destroy, neither was it intended to destroy the religious inter-racial relation that had obtained in days of old. We are the same sable sons and sable daughters whom your noble sires and princely men taught the way of life, and who the sugar zones, the rice belts and the cotton empires of the South labored to make them sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. We are the "offspring," the legitimate ecclesiastical children of the church of which you are representatives. We have kept "the faith once delivered to the saints; and as yet" there "is no variableness nor shadow of turning." Radiating from the central sun of Wesleyan Methodism, and glowing in the heat and activity of its power, like an arrow from its bow we are striking off in straight lines of truth and love, preaching the simple Gospel of the Cross.
The new building that is now in process of erection at Paine Institute is to be called "The Haygood Memorial Hall," as a monument to that great man, who stood for so many years as a wall of brass in the defense of the Negro race in this country. In him, the Negro race had its strongest, its broadest, its truest, and its most eloquent and sincere friend. He was our Martin Luther, who with pen and voice, and with the deepest flow of soul, stood at the foot of the cross, and amid the declining decades of the dying century wrote his theses and nailed them upon the door of public opinion, and changed the tide of public sentiment in this country in behalf of the Negro race. He is not dead. He has only ascended to the city beyond the stars of God, while his thundering theses, so ably advocated, are ringing through the decades and over the surging waves
of the expanding civilization, appealing to the considerate judgment, the patience and Christian charity of the Christian people of this country. Negroes should build it monument of steel to his precious memory higher than the Eifel tower, covered with gold and tipped with diamonds.
But there is a higher motive, a loftier impulse, to which we appeal. The Negro is a man, an immortal soul. Like the balance of the human race, he must be saved or lost. Christ died for him, as he died for all others. He is within the limits of the covenanted grace, a lost jewel carved out by the hand of God. He is an indestructible, self-conscious entity, "made in the image of God." Thousands, if not millions, of them were preached to and taught the way of life by the Southern Methodist preachers. They were not wise, great or rich, neither could they fathom the profundities of the intellectual deeps, or span the zones of thought, philosophy and research, but they understood the spiritual power and the essentialities of simple Christianity, and the power of saving grace. Day by day, through the long years of sweat and toil, their simple Christianity spoke to them in golden sentences, and brought to them the cheering news of God and the joys of his Christ. Tens of thousands lived in the truth of the Gospel, died in the triumphs of a living faith, and on the burning wings of the plantation melodies they swept the airy path of the ethereal seas, and fled to heaven and to God.
Whatever may be the various phases or aspects of religion that have existed among the different branches of the human race, and which present themselves for the consideration of the thoughtful and philosophic, to be true in itself and of itself, must be of one origin and of one nature. Not only is this true, but all religion must spring from a common center, and must rest upon the basic principles, strike the same chords in human nature, and have the same ends in view, namely, to please God and to benefit and bless intelligent natures in the highest possible degree. Religion was not made for man, nor for angels; but men and angels and all the high intelligences of the intelligent systems were made for religion. Hence, there is a fitness of corresponding adaptedness of the first and second subjects. This view of the subject must be true since the ground principles of religion are increatable and exist because of the nature of God and the principles upon which His government rests. Form and symbolism in religion have no real connection with its principles and its inherent elements, Principles and natures have no forms, although they are important agencies and powerful factors in preserving, developing, and propagating original religious ideas. Every form in religion at one time, and in some state or condition, had a meaning and was a symbolic representation of an impressive idea embodied in religion, whose intent and purpose looked deeper than the mere surface. The digits are not principles themselves any more than the rainbow is peace. The former represents mathematical principles in the science of the universe, while the latter is
an emblem, in its seven-fold arch, of pacification, founded upon certain natural attitudes of matter. Both are mere representatives of abstract ideas, while their material outlines are the sensitive vehicles and exterior preservatives. So the symbolisms of religion are the sensible or tangible representatives of deeper truths or basic principles that lay in the realm of the abstract. All things not only come from the center, but all things tend toward the center. All actions, elements, and forces have objects and ends to attain, although their threads of relations and infinite intricacies, with their respective bearings upon the center and the circumference are beyond the limit of human or angelic concepts. In harmonious relations and mutual conditions, they play on all the threads of infinite design to magnify their functions in those depths, expansions, and altitudes where none but the Infinite treads the golden sands or traverses the open seas of limitless spaces, forcing the entities and activities to their centers or designed ends. From this view, the principle and fundamentals of religion lay beyond their symbols and are in the central zone of the abstract. The commands of religion may not always be understood by those who are commanded to obey its precepts; neither does that class always understand the symbols or reasons why, yet they must obey, because it is possible that they have not the full capacity to understand the whole nature and design, should they be explained to them. Perhaps, also, there are things in the establishment and economies of religion that none can understand, and in the notion of the Deity and divine things, that none can comprehend; therefore, obedience upon presumptive faith is the only prerogative of intelligent activities. Accordingly religion is of faith or reliances upon those subtle substances that belong to the fundamentals in the abstract.
All ideas of God came from God, independent of the creatures who received them. Their perfect ideals and concepts are not only grounded in the dual nature of man, but they are the perfect emanations of a full and perfect God or perfect original. All the ideas of men and angels have their first perfect parts in the Deity, and as they are grasped and apprehended, they are woven into the warp and woof of creature comprehension and must be obeyed. Everywhere the threads of God and religion interramify all intelligent natures. It is God that acts upon the sphere of being and pours Himself into the activities of force and universal existence. We cannot hide from God, nor from being, nor nullify the personnel of the self-consciousness, and therefore must assume all the responsibility that belongs to intelligent personalities. To obey the precepts of religion is, therefore, to obey the law of our being and the laws that govern all being. God is more obedient to the principles of religion than men or angels. That is, the laws of righteousness that He commands us to keep are binding upon Him in the highest degree, as well as upon all the intelligent offsprings of the universal system. He does not want us to do what He does not do. He loves and obeys all righteousness. He requires us to do nothing more, and we must do nothing less. Nothing is more natural than religion, and nothing is more unnatural than irreligion. There is no such thing as supernatural religion, if we mean by that term that religion, in its nature, requirements, and principles, is contrary to or above nature. It is not even superhuman, nor superangelic except in its degrees and effects. That is, no intellect nor mental capacity, God excepted, can comprehend the depth and infinite scope of religion in those endless and countless contingencies that operate in the government of God. Religion's eternal and unending principle begins in Deity, and lingers in the endless
cycles, uniting all the depths of being, intensifying their forces and activities. In essence, native reality, and requirements, religion is not only always the same, but is as universal and as extensive as the peopled empire of God. It is the law of being, the natural law of the intelligent creation, bearing upon all in a greater or less degree. There is no heaven or hell, and no punishment or rewards without it. To obey its precepts is heaven, to disobey them is hell. The mental character is so constituted in the eternity of its native elements that it carries hell and disobedience together in the same bosom, while heaven and obedience are always found in the same place. In short, the fundamentals of religion are the moral code of the universe, as well as the inherent law of being in its moral capacity, since the moral nature has much, if not everything to do with, mental purity and development. As the internal influences the exterior, giving shape and tone to life, and ameliorating the public aspect of society, so the moral force expands mentality, accelerating its momentum toward the heaven of full capacity. The moral universe is an inclined plane along whose highway countless multitudes struggle up the steep ascent of development, experiencing the wonderful transitions that lay in the road to those galaxies of mental and moral acquisitions where the eldest children of eternity are crowned and glorified in the "Father's house of many mansions." Onward the struggling multitudes and spiritual caravans of the universe move, while sinking suns and crushing systems perish, and cycles upon cycles pile, ages crumble beneath the tread of the universal armies, marching to the music of the spheres and the drum the ages. Progression, eternal progression, is the order and law of being and intelligent natures, and, consequently, perpetual evolution and struggle for personal fitness and perfection.
Living in the dimness or the days of slavery, few, if any, could prognosticate the future as to the social, political or religious outcome of the system of American slavery that then prevailed in the "Union of States." However unrighteous or repugnant to a Christian civilization the institution seems to have been, and whatever changes have come over the public mind since its abolition, one thing is clear, and that is, the Negro race has lost nothing by it, but has gained a thousand pounds sterling where it has lost a penny. It was one of those mysterious acts or permissions of the Divine administrations whose complicated connections and results we could not comprehend, but one in which was displayed the wisdom, power, and goodness of Him who doeth all things well. It is a trite saying, "all is well that ends well." It is a case where it seems that disease upon the body politic was necessary to heal. Both parties--the slave and slave-holder--were at fault. For some sins unknown to us in the Hametic line, perhaps coming down through the centuries of awful sweep, culminating in national dissolution and tribal confusion, the black man of Africa, when his iniquities came to the full had to suffer; and for every transgression the God of nations demanded principal and interest. The debt had to be paid, for "the wages of sin is death." But in enslaving the Negro, the master enslaved himself, and was himself a slave of slaves. His in the final settlement--God being the arbiter--was more, perhaps, than that of the man of black skin. But the system of slavery was wonderfully mitigated, and a heavy percentage of its asperities struck off by that beautiful and lavish hand of Christian charity and evangelistic
labors bestowed upon the slaves by the Southern Methodists. Everywhere the sons and daughters of Ham were preached to, looked after, and sought out by a class of Methodist preachers with a care and pure simple devotion that were angelic, heavenly, and unparalleled in the annals of Christian charity and Christ-like devotion.
In those days there were intellectual giants and blazing seraphs of oratory whose piety was deep, all-spreading and bright as the morning star. None of them were afraid or ashamed to preach the gospel to Negroes. There was nothing like the simple gospel in those days, and nothing more beautiful and consistent than those faithful and true Negro veteran Christians that were the fruit of those great and noble men's labors for the salvation and Christianization of the Negro race. When the war came the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, had more than two hundred thousand persons of color in her membership, besides there was a large number of Sunday-schools, in which the best blood, both male and female, engaged in catechising and teaching the young Negroes the simple and fundamental principles of the gospel. Thousands of churches were built especially for the colored people, and often a pastor was sent to them as to the whites. Sometimes the Negroes got the best preacher and the most talented man. No matter what Methodist Church has come into the Southern States, it has simply built on the old foundation laid by "the Methodist Episcopal Church, South." That church justly claims the ground against all comers, all invasions and invaders. It laid the foundation deep, strong, and wide, upon which all subsequent buildings have been reared as religious and intellectual institutions established for the elevation and advancement of the Negro race. Every question has two sides to it, and whatever may be said about slavery and slaveholders does not concern us at present. To recall the past with its sleepy memories of strife and bitterness,
recasting its shapeless forms into post-bellum thought, and thus confusing and confounding the present, is not only unwise and suicidal, but detrimental and obstructive to the progress of the colored race in too many ways to be mentioned. The earnest, consecrated and noble Southern men who proclaimed the gospel of salvation to the aspiring sons and daughters of Ham, were doing all they could under prevailing conditions, and the established laws, customs, and institutions of the land. Neither did they whine, nor sulk in the tents of idleness, nor consult the whimsical in human nature; but they consecrated their lives, their ease, and wealth, and, as apostles of the fullest and freest salvation, went forth to the black sons of Ham and founded enduring monuments to their greatness, and built a power-house of strength whose living and propulsive energies still thread and thrill the evangelistic forces and redemptive activities of all denominations. It may be truly said that the simple Christianity impressed upon the Negro race by these men of God in ante-bellum decades was the purest, the sublimest, and the most apostolic since the days of Pentecost, vieing with that of the Waldenses, the Huguenots, and those devoted Piedmontese who dwelt in their rock-bound land of the skies. There were Christians in those days. Black men and white men, black women and white women, lived for God and heaven, and the pure and simple Christ of the New Testament was the only most exalted and consummate ideal of the Christian life, while his death of perfect resignation was the plenary gauge by which they died. While other denominations helped to some small degree in preaching the Gospel to the slaves, yet the Methodists led the way, cleared the ground, and burnt the stubble with the ardent flames of love and sacred, far-reaching devotion that was pure, splendid and heroic. By their preaching and evangelistic labors, thousands, if not millions, of Negroes lived and died in the ecstacies
of a living faith, and in "the mysterious translation," that awful flight to the celestial center, they fled on the burning wing of the plantation melodies to hymn in eternal anthems that Saviour preached to them by the Southern Methodist preachers.
Whatever may betide the peace, the happiness, and the development of man in the onward trend of his civilization; whatever civil forms, social aspects, or religious tendencies may claim the attention of mankind, one of the most powerful and potent agencies that is to influence the destiny of nations is that wonderful and aged organization known as the papacy or the Catholic hierarchy. While we have no hatred or malice toward any man or set of men because of their church, faith, or religious opinions, yet, because of the doctrines, claims and fearful record of the Catholic church, it presents to-day, as of old, a profound study and the deepest concern. It is not denied that there are millions of honest hearts, pure souls and good Christian people in that church. Throughout its long tramp through the ages, amid the birth and death, of years and the mutations of centuries, many of its hehoic devotees and pronounced followers have stood as monuments of honor, piety and virtue. Many of its sainted heroes and majestic apostles shine in the galaxy of blazing suns and golden stars with an enduring and unfading lustre that shall outlast the roll of years and the flight of centuries. Their ancient priests with rosary and cross have traversed sea and land, and stood among the evanescencies and reversions of states and empires, and with tenderness and love have sought to bind up the broken-hearted and dry up the tears of the widow and orphan. They have stood amid contagions, epidemics and the wide sweep of endemics and the wild play of even "the black death." In the track of blood and revolution, and the debris of broken kingdoms and shattered empires, they have remembered the sons of toll and the daughters of misery.
The papal regime has produced scholars, poets, states, men, historians, inventors, explorers, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, discoverers, painters, and sculptors. Thus far the papacy has been an aid to mankind in his betterment and the expansion of the world's civilization. But perhaps one of the most noticeable and distinguishing characteristics of the papacy's history and procedure is its skill in art and sublimity in architecture. Grandeur in style, loftiness in dignity, and immensity in height and extent, are the ponderous faculties by which the multitudes of its blind and besotted devotees are overshadowed and awed into a profound reverence that makes the physical church everything, the invisible spirit of Christianity a little thing, and the freedom of the people nothing. Mountains of superstition rise, the church is greater than Christianity, and the Roman See the only lord and potentate. If there are seven wonders of the ancient world and seven wonders of the modern, the papacy is seven times more wonderful than each, and in its stability and blind assumption stands out in greatness and singleness of a sublimity that has awed the masters of the world. The multitudes of its followers eschew reason, surrender the rights of conscience, and implicitly obey the iron mandates and cosmopolitan edicts of the Roman See. In other words, the church is everything, principles and people nothing. As an organized institution, all the rights of conscience and the rights of men and nations are held subordinate to the rule, usages, history and doctrines of the church. Throughout its wide sway and long reign it has presumed to be the only church on earth, and the Pope is the vicegerent of Christ, the master of states and empires, the ruler of kings as well as the supreme ruler and pontiff of the universal church.
Now, it is not the individual persons of the Roman Catholic church that Protestant nations fear, neither can
any reasonable man who believes in religious liberty and freedom of speech and conscience object to the church nor its peculiar doctrines and forms of worship. Every man is free, and ought to be free, to select any church, believe any doctrine, or espouse any form of worship which seems right to him. But this freedom certainly gives no license to go to the extent of interfering with the rights, privileges, and freedom of others, and when the church, so-called, attempts to limit or prescribe the faith and consciences of men, it becomes non-churched, and claims more authority than Jesus Christ himself. None but God, the Master and Supreme Ruler of the universe, can dictate to the consciences of men or prescribe their religious proclivities and aspirations. Eternal conformity to established forms of religious obligations, based on the mere demands of ecclesiastical legalism, is in no sense religion nor Christianity. To bow the knee and subscribe to dogma, leaving the heart untouched and the conscience unmoved, is not only irreligious, but is also the basest form of Pharisaism, a profane prostitution of the noblest powers of manhood and the sacred functions of religion.
From whatever standpoint we view the Catholic hierarchy, it presents to the considerate mind marvels that approximate the miraculous. To the superficial view it has the appearance of a perpetual and continuous miracle. It has a wonderful amount of tact, and an extent of versatility and adaptedness of strategem that surpass anything that has occurred in the historic transactions of men. It lives while it is dead, and is dead while it lives. The defeats, repulsions and deadly wounds which it has received from the edicts of governments and acts of reformations, have never destroyed it, nor even paralyzed its life and energies. After all its baptisms of blood and fire, it has risen from the ashes of its death, stood upon the brink of its grave and smiled in triumph
in the face of its powerful foes. It yields for a time in meek submission to Protestant thrones, reserving its latent forces and energies to rekindle its fires upon the expanding arenas of advancing civilizations. It is always, rising and coming amid changeful evolutions and eventful dispensations. It is ever the same in design, but ever changeful in its methods to reach its ends. Its propoganda is unscrupulous, besotted, superstitious and full of that blind bigotry that knows nothing but to demand obedience to the papal head. Its slogan is: "The means are sanctified by the ends." It is not a question of holiness and purity of the public morals, and freedom of the conscience, but with them the only question is, the extension of the Roman See and papal authority. In its lust for power and greed for universal conquest, anything and everything is right, and nothing is worth redemption but the church and the iron rule of the supreme Roman pontiff.
Romanism is a factor in human history, government and progress. Its effects and influence upon the political status of nations and kingdoms is weighty, far-reaching, and immense in results. It is the greatest antagonist of freedom of speech, of a free press and of a free religion. It is a grand oligarchy, with immense force and push--with cunning and skilful intrigue--in whose plenipotent fingers the threads of the universal octopus centralizes its splendid capabilities in a papal head.
The Roman Catholic church is incapable of progress except so far as it is necessary to preserve the church. It antagonizes higher education for the masses, and is a deadly foe to the public school system unless the public school system is entirely and completely under the control of the priests and bishops of the Catholic regime. Ignorance and mental darkness (with them) is better than light and freedom of thought and investigation by the masses better than that education that reaches those
degrees of mental endowments and capacities, where the enlightened manhood may think for itself. It is a curious fact that the so-called "Church of God" should be afraid of the light of knowledge and the keenest investigation by an intelligent citizen. If it is "the true church of God," and is the pillar and ground work of the truth, why should it fear investigation? Truth has nothing to fear, but invites the keenest investigation and the profoundest criticism. There must be something wrong in the men or those doctrines and establishments that are afraid of calm review and the crucial test of keen criticism. If it is afraid to be weighed in the judgment of men and measured by the legal tests of enlightened reason, then it must have something about it that is inconsistent with the best interests and the highest aims and aspirations of man.
But it is certain that the nations of mankind have a subtle, schemeful and powerful foe to deal with--a foe whose gigantic arm of power sweeps the seas, grasps the islands with an iron grip; and wraps the belted zones of human civilization in the meshes of its nimble fingers, and with cords of steel and bands of iron ties them on to the papal car. Papal diplomacy is the most skilled and artful, and full of that cunning and manipulation that plays on human nature and pours itself into its superstitions, thrilling its religious faculties with the grandeur, augustness and bright paraphernalia of its orders and the tinsilized symbolisms of its public worship and service. Romanism claims all the churchism and prelatical authority that is worth claiming. There is nothing true, heavenly and divine, but that that is from the Roman See, or emanates from the pope and his great conclaves. His bulls, encyclicals and edicts, as excathredra, are the essence of unerring mandates and infallibility, and "the high arcanna" of "the Most High" is profanely assumed by the Bishop of Rome.
No man of common judgment, with any degree of acquaintance with the history of the Roman church, doubts the sagacity, the wisdom, the farsightedness of its popes, premiers, statesmen, cardinals, bishops and leaders. They have astonished the world with feats of diplomacy and an eternal series of brilliant intrigues that seem at times to be almost superhuman. Its 150,000,000 of devoted followers embraces all nations, and the sun never sets upon this politico-religious empire of the Roman pontiff. He is the highest ruler and the greatest king on earth,, and the only one that wears the triple crown and dictates to the hearts and consciences of men.
But the most fearful thing connected with this gigantic power is its claims to universal power and authority, both in church and state. This is not only a spiritual, but political kingdom as well. The Pope claims all the kingdoms of the world, and looks forward to the day when he alone shall hold all crowns in his hand, and wield the golden scepter of universal sway, and dictate to all the governments of the world. The church of Rome wants nothing less than supreme political power. It will be contented with nothing short of it, and wherever and in whatever part of the habitable earth it shall gain this power, it will persecute and seek to accomplish by physical force what it cannot do by moral suasion. Where it has the control, it will not hesitate to resort to cruel tortures upon the wheel and the rack, and by fire and sword, put to death thousands and even millions who may dissent from its teachings and usages. This accords with its history and practice through its steady march of it thousand years, and there are no signs or probability of a change of doctrine, nature or practice. It is true, at present, its endeavors to put on a decent appearance and hold its political aspirations in abeyance, and politely bows to "the powers that be," but it is the same old bloody Monarch and gay beast that has scattered the
bones of innocent men and women through its long reign of tyranny, persecution and death. Its "Spanish Inquisitions," its great court of death, has written its history in blood and reddened the soil with human gore. Nowhere in the annals of human history has there been presented to men, devils, or angels, greater cruelties and a more shocking, diabolical regime than those of the hellish and damnable Court of the Inquisition.
The enormity of vileness, the plenitude of the outflow of blood and tears, the multitudes of the slain and the valleys of bleaching bones, the dark, damp pits and rock-bound dungeons, the weeping widows and sighing orphans, and the burning highway and smoking track of this so-called church of God, is enough to put a tingy blush upon the cheeks of the world's civilizations and make mankind forever hate and execrate this blood-thirsty Moloch of the centuries. All this, too, is done in the name of the religion of love, and in the name of and for that meek and lowly Son of Mary that died on the cross to save the world of sinners. If the Roman hierarchy in its history and practice during ages past is a true exponent and illustration of Christianity, then the world is infinitely better off without it, and its utter annihilation or total banishment from the abodes of men will be not only a riddance of intolerable evils in the name of God and man, but also a blessing of unmeasured depth and dimensions. To-day, as of all days, she is laying plans, forging chains for the sixty millions of American freemen and American Protestantism, and doing it in a way so as to excite as little apprehension and uneasiness as possible. Quietly and silently she is stealing the hearts of men, proselyting and adding converts to her already enormous membership of nine millions of duped and devoted followers. Great schools and immense churches, nunneries and cathedrals rise in splendid trim and tower upon their mighty foundations in the heart of empire, holding the
hub of American life and civilization in embrace and belting its arenas with its iron arm of power. Representatives, senators and presidents, with governors of states, mayors of great cities and councilmen, are bowing the knee, making concessions and confessions, and finally kissing the big toe of the Pope. "What fools we mortals be!"
One of these mornings the American people will awake to find themselves fettered and chained and bound hand and foot and made to do homage to the Roman See. What is the remedy? How shall the encroaching power of this mighty octopus be curtailed? Who can stand before the beast? We would reply by saying that there is no power on earth that can stop this encroachment of Rome but the civil power, and that can only be done while the mighty Roman pontiff is in the minority. In great Britain, in Germany and the United States of America, Roman Catholicism is making rapid progress, especially in England. And, so far as we can see, she is doing much more to bring the world to herself than all of Protestantism is doing to bring the world to Christ. Everywhere she is earnestly, if not honestly, at work to conquer the world for the papal head, and to bring universal humanity under the control of the Pope. As in Britain and Germany, so in America, special efforts are being made to reach a safe majority in political influence and to control the public school system of the states and municipalities. The public press, which should be free, impartial and untrammeled as moulders of thought and public opinion, are cringing, bowing and scraping, and making concessions to a power whose aim is to make slaves of the souls and bodies of men and tread and crush the nations of man beneath the iron heel of the greatest despot that ever sat upon an earthly throne or reigned over an empire. It is truly astonishing when we see great men--senators, governors, renowned writers, Protestant ministers, political parties, and the mighty men of the
nation--allowing, and even encouraging, the growth and expansion of a power that is seeking to destroy their liberty and reduce them to a foreign monstrosity nominally Christian, yet truly and intensely political.
Viewing this whole question from an impartial standpoint, we see a fearful conflict approaching--a conflict between the Catholic power and the civil power--unless there is at Work beneath the trend of events some unknown element or force that will set bounds to Popish aspirations and the subtle intrigue of the Roman See. Of course, this is a Protestant country at present, and a government of the same phase, but it may not be so very long. Evidently two diverse elements and powers, or two antagonistic forces, are moving beneath the civil and religious surface, and there are indications of an increased ratio of procedure and concentration, or an intense aggregation of opposing elements and forces. So greatly are these forces and elements being intensified that agitation is continuous, and at the end of another decade there may be an explosion of the internal fires of the civic order. Protestants will have to fight for liberty, government and religion, and as the strife is to be internecine and intensified by the freedom of conscience on the one hand, and the blind and bigoted assumptions of the Roman pontiff on the other, the conflict will be short but fearful, bloody and dreadful beyond description, compared to which the French Revolution will be a baby. In the meantime the same sort or similar forces are at work in England and Germany, and the results, in the culmination of events, may be very much the same. At any rate, it seems clear, not only in prophetic vision, but in the quiet contemplation of the thoughtful, that something will soon have to be done to check the encroachments of the Roman church and save the people of several nations from a flow of blood unparalleled in the history of the world, and unanticipated by the wisest of mankind.
Whatever else may exist in the human personality, apart from its tangible attributes and component elements, it has in some way the image of the Absolute Intelligence. That intelligence is more than coextensive with matter which must within itself live above and beyond its own material creations. No matter how extensive and calculable the tangible parts of the universe may appear to human conception, there are no faculties possessed by man or any other created intelligences to measure its depths and heights and weigh its imponderable masses. Everywhere we look, conceive, or think, thought quails before the wonders, powers, forces, infinite varieties, and majesties amaze us. In this category of splendors, this endless chain of wonders, there dwells a "soulful life," a splendid and all-subduing actuality, whose potentialities are infinitely absolute. For the want of a better name, or rather the want of a capacity in man to use a better name, we call it God. In this image man is made. In Genesis it is declared that "God created man in his own image--in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." St. Paul tells us that "he is the image and glory of God." St. Paul makes the "glory" here referred to an attribute of "the image." The glory is not the "image" of the Great Original, but is a product of that original. There is a "glory of God" and a glory in God. The former is a product "of God," the latter is an attribute, or an inherent quality, or part of his being or nature. If there is a seen and tangible universe, there must be an unseen and intangible universe, and the former must be the product of the latter. In other words, the unseen must have produced or brought
into being the seen and the thinkable. Thus "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The earth is a part of the seen, also the heavens that shine above us. But the Creator, or the invisible Universe, must be forever hid from man and all his intelligent associates. Now an image is the likeness of a thing either in form or substance, or in both, but not in the sense that the image is a part of or a dissepiment of the original. In that case there could be no image at all. It would simply be a part of the original, or a part of the first part, and not a product or creation of the first part. The possibility of making a perfect likeness of a thing in kind, possessing the same elements and attributes of the original, is an indispensable faculty or power that belongs to, and must inhere in the Creator alone. None but God can create, and the creative fiats and acts can only proceed from this unseen Intelligence that was always the unthinkable, the unknowable, and infinite embodiment of concepts that had no time, place, or condition from which to start into being. This is the universal Original in whose "image" man is made. To be made "in the image of God," is the only possible way that man and all intelligent creatures can be, or could have been, made or created. Angels and men, all spirits, whether they be in heaven, on earth, or in hell, or in any other part of the habitable spheres of the universe, are made "in the image of God," and therefore are like man, or man is like them. They are images of one another, just as a thousand photographs drawn from one face at one sitting are images of that face. Each one of the thousand is precisely like every other one of the nine hundred and ninety-nine. If there were but one man in the universe, and these one thousand images were the likeness of his face, and if this man should die and all his pictures be lost or burned in the flames, it would be impossible to reproduce them except from the negative, or the glass plate upon which his
face was formerly photographed. This is the original from which all the thousand photographs were taken. Let us particularly note the fact, that every one of these thousand photographs was exactly alike in their fundamental outlines and constituents. In other words, every single one of them would correspond to or have those characteristics that distinguished the face from which it was taken; and every one, to all intents and purposes would be an image of that man. If any of them should become blurred or soiled, that would be a condition, and would have nothing to do with the fundamentals. It is still a photograph, although soiled and changed in the externals, and, in that sense, is bleared or dimmed, but not lost.
The mind of the universe is a mirror. It reflects and absorbs images. If an angel flies through the skies, he is mirrored in the deep track of space, and in the deeper, broader, and perfectly receptive mind of God. An angel or man may blend in the most subtle ether, or in the most attenuated elements of the nebulæ, but he is himself still, and is the same in image, and consequently retains his personal reality to that degree where he is forever himself and eternally no other self.
Every man is photographed in the absorbent universe, both in his mental and physical personal outlines. He is not only the highest (God excepted), but also a distinct rationality, equal in mental quality, if not in degree, to any other intelligence that inhabits the spheres of the universe. Everywhere man is man. Conditions dwarf his mental stature, or enlarge it, blear or clarify it, but do not, because they cannot, change his real self and vital humanity. Paradise, nor hell, nor the corrosions of centuries can have any effect upon the innate possibilities of mind, because that is the image of its Creator, and the only possible image of the Creator that can be made or can exist. God made man in His "own image," because
there was in the nature of things no other way to make him. To be was to be made this way, and not to be made this way was not to be made at all. This brings us to the conclusion that man, like all other intelligent creatures, was finished in the fiat act that gave him the birth of his being. He was finished in his creation, and in those higher and deeper finalities where he became a living soul or an intelligent actuality. His nature is full-orbed in all those essentials upon which all subsequent possibilities must rest. If this is not so, then there must have, been not only one creation, as in the first fiat act of his being, but there must still be subsequent creations and consequently additions to his being, and soon the real self must become another self, and a distinct ego from the original personality. This would not only destroy the nature of man, but it would unbalance the unseen universe, subvert "the unity of nature and the reign of law." Men and angels, and all the intelligences of the universe, would lose their identity of character and their moral responsibility.
Neither do actual developments nor possibilities imply a change in the fundamentals of being. These simply imply progress, those intellectual expansions where new conditions are attained. On these lines and principles there may be infinite lengths, depths and heights. There are broad areas for the mental force. They are open and clear for the eternal transitions of mind. Indeed, our mental humanity may not only have the power of perpetual development in endless space, but for all that we know there may be sleeping forces and even latent faculties that have not as yet reached those planes in evolution and those arenas in endless progression where they are needed in the mental sphere. All the powers of nature used for the improvement of mankind are not new energies or forces in themselves, but old forces and energies newly discovered, and together with new combinations
and new uses they make up the discoveries of science and the inventions of civilization. Steam and electricity are as old as creation, and ether is as old as the heavens in which it floats, and all minerals were here from the foundation of the world. So nothing in creation is new in itself. If, then, man is made "in the image of God," and that image is the mental constitution, then all the intellectualities of the universe are images or photographs taken from the same negative, or, in other words, made like God. But they are made like God how? Man is not made like God in his physical properties, nor those delineations of his material embodiment that we call the body. As yet there is nothing discovered in science to prove the truth of the doctrine of anthropomophism. "God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." This is not only a declaration of Holy Writ, but is a scientific certainty and an absolute necessity. God cannot be God unless he is spirit or mental individualism, including all the faculties of the universal intelligence. He can be nothing lower and nothing less than spirit or mind, and we are taught that he has neither shape nor form, nor bodily parts. That is, if he has these faculties at all, they are on a plane too high and exalted to be conceived by His intelligent offsprings. In the very nature of the metaphysical universe, we cannot see or handle spirit any more than we can see or handle thought. It exists everywhere as the all-pervading life and activity of the universe, but nowhere, so far as our knowledge goes, has it any perceptible parts or tangible properties. Rising higher and incumbent upon all space and all things therein contained, spirit is the finest, the most subtle and attenuated substance that can possibly be. While it is the highest form of existence possible, yet it exists, not only independent of all other things and beings, but because it cannot cease from existing. In other words, the
universal intelligence cannot become annihilated, because it is not an entity in the sense that it ever began. It had no time, place, or conditions upon which to enter. It was here before all entities. It is the entirety of the unbeginning and universal actuality, whose qualities and altitude of faculties are too high to be reached by others.
The moral sense is only a part of the mental. If man loves, hates, obeys, or fears, it is the action of the human mentality, and not anything separate and distinct from it.
All of the mental natures of the universe are alike in the constituent elements of their being. Not only are they alike in this particular, but they are alike because they are made in the image of the Creator. This being the true metaphysical nature of beings in the sphere of life, all are related to each other, not only because they are the common inhabitants of a common universe, but especially because they are made in the same image in their mental constitution, and of the same substance. There exist between them the closest, the nearest, and highest function of affinity and kinship. Angels, devils, men, and all the intelligent inhabitants of the universe, whether they have fallen from any state of purity, or kept their state of obedience and happiness, are all our nearest and dearest brothers. All are of the same Father, possessing in common the same nature, with all that is in implied in the term. Adam was the father of his children, but not the father of their spiritual humanity. Spirit can only come from spirit. Flesh can beget flesh, but it cannot beget spirit or mental humanity. This is God's specific work, and belongs in the realm of the spiritual. The views here presented are substantiated from the facts of history, respecting man's nature in all ages, nations and conditions. In the fundamentals of human nature, Asiatics, Europeans, Africans, Americans, with all the people of Oceania, no matter how distinct in their habits and customs, present to the considerate judgment
of all the same proclivities and mental aspects. The climate and the modes of life may change the color of the skin, distort the features, giving the whole physique an appearance of marked differences, but still the mental nature remains the same in all. If it can be shown that there have been several creations of man, or that the family of man had different starting points in their lower physical generation, yet this would not affect the human relation in any of its phases, nor destroy that intimate kinship that of necessity belongs to all intelligent creatures. No individual can evade or destroy the duties and relations which the constitution of his being imposes upon him, any more than he can get out of the universe. There is no way in the nature and fitness of things for any mental character to get off the spheres of being and responsibility any more than he can get out of himself or the eternal ego. As a citizen, he is one, and only one, but all of one, and can never be any less than one, or any less than the present self. The image of God cannot be lost or annihilated. The individuals themselves, whether men, angels, or devils, have no power or capacity to bring on total death to their mental being or destroy their personal identity. Mirrored in the universe, and engraved upon the potentialities of the eternal possibilities of the spiritual activities, each one of us shall ascend the scales and planes of evolution, transition and development, through long ages to come, forever retaining the image of God and the conscious self.
Whatever may be the distinctions of one race from another in the qualities and inherent elements that constitute those distinctions, there is one civilization and one common destiny for all the human race. In essential qualities and characteristics, mankind is one and the same. The different phases of social, civic, and individual life that have presented themselves to the consideration of the student of history and philosophy are mere ramifications that radiate from the same centers, or parent stems. The foundation of civilization is found in the nature, conditions, necessities, and aspirations of men. Because of the desire to better his condition and to make the way of human life pleasing and joyous, he seeks to bend the powers of nature to his wants and coerces its forces and agencies along those lines and planes that will produce the greatest amount of those results by which he ascends the altitudes of civilization. The very construction of his native constituency that permeates "the human form divine" involve those agitative and sleepless precipitants that ever stir, stimulate, and woo him on to investigate, to weigh, and measure principles of the universe that draw his chariot from the individual center to the impalpable periphery. Man is nothing if not agitative and exploring. The mental attributes are the restless aggregates of divine sunbeams formed into the sphere of mind whereby man seeks those lofty climes and grasps those splendid qualities which make men become as gods, "knowing good from evil." To what extent the elements of nature and the mental and physical forces of the universe may be made to serve and develop the earthly side of humanity or to develop mankind as we see it in this state of being,
can only be determined by the output of the ages and the wonders of the cycles. Like the universe around us, nowhere does man stand still. He is coming and going, living and dying, rising and falling, ascending and descending, on the ladder of evolution, dissolution and revolution. He springs forth to the depth of his own center, and from it rebounds to the utmost limits of his hemisphere, widening his own sphere of action and mental ebullitions, gaining every step he takes towards the great center of a unified and common civilization. What is wonderful to-day may be lost as insignificant to-morrow, and the raindrops of the morning may be the cloudbursts of the night. In the mental and physical immensity human expansion, in degrees of civilized life, is in its infancy. Its greatest possibility lies in the undiscovered depths of metaphysical science. There are latent forces whose vital cords are still untouched by the occultist or the metaphysician. There are gems of thought and jewels of wisdom in the bays and gulfs and deep seas of the manhood of humanity that shall be set to "the music of the spheres" and the song of the ages, in the day of their coronation amid the jubilees of an all-conquering, centralized, and unified civilization. All things move toward the center. It is the generous, free, and full combination of the elements and agencies that deify humanity and make men princes and kings, and women and little children angels.
Slowly, but surely, the oneness of civilization, like the oneness of humanity, is everywhere asserting itself and gathering its momentum until all its holding points shall center in a common unit of a civic, political, and inter-commercial metropolis, from whose brightness the earth shall be enlightened with "the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man."
The first great obstacle in the way of the unification of the world's civilizations is the want of the unification of the human race. As long as there are broad and deep
racial distinctions, produced by the various conditions under which the different wings of the human kind have existed, there will be those racial antipathies and prejudices that have so long been the bane of society and the curse of the nations. Everywhere the blighting and withering blasts of caste and prejudice have left their deep imprint upon the social, civic, moral and political records of the peoples of the world. Race hatred is the strongest, the most enduring of all hatred. It is a despicable culmination of the hatred of all the individuals of a race or people, collected and crowded into the heart and life of many individuals of another race or people. They despise each other, not because they are the lower class of the same race, but they despise because they are of a different and distinct race. In the instincts of man, as in the instincts of the lower animals, there is, apparently at least, an inherent or natural propensity for class to seek its class. Hogs do not like the company of goats, nor horses the company of cows. The rich and the educated will not seek the association of poor and ignorant because they are of different tastes, feelings and practices in the social sphere. They live on different planes in the same country, and there is a manifest incongruity and a want of harmony in the social state that prevent that close personal contact that exists between social equals. If, then, there is such a difference among individuals of the same race, merely because of their class, then there will be a greater difference between individuals of two or more distinct races; and as long as these real and supposed differences exist between man and man, there will be a conflict of forces and interests, so directed in their exhaustive regime as to delay, if not despoil, the world of the speedy redemption from the evils that have grown up from the pestiferous soil of human prejudices. Be it understood that we do not want to make the impression that, because one man does not associate with another on account of the difference of race or class, he necessarily
hates the other. This is not necessary, neither is it always the case. On the contrary, there are thousands of people in all classes and races who love all classes and races, and thousands have given their lives to ameliorate and better the condition of others. On the other hand, race hatred is perverse and criminal, and proceeds from the depraved and "downright cussedness of human nature."
Why should one man hate another because he is of a different race? Who does it, or who can it help or benefit? It makes no one better, but always makes the man who hates worse and more depraved in his nature and proclivities. Hatred contains the essential elements of murder, and the Scriptures of Holy Writ substantiate this when they declare: "He that hateth his brother is a murderer." As human nature is one and inseparable as to its real substantial qualities and tendencies, civilization is destined to become so changed and revolutionized in its works and effects that this race prejudice is to become a thing of the past; because it is in the way of those aggregated interests and intellectual propulsions that have given the world its present degree of advancement in the social state. The world moves. It dips its expanding horizon into out-lying seas and oceanic fathoms to disgorge from the deep the hidden treasures and unpolished gems that seem to sleep on the pebbly bottom. These when polished by human culture shall bedeck the crown and bestud the heavens of a triumphant and unified civilization. Nothing but physical disaster and material dissolution can absorb the force, or subtract that driving universal intellectual energy that now collects its agencies and moulds the thought, the life, and the sentiment of ages into one great intellectual, international, and inter-racial man. Then a mighty force is driving the wheels of a new civilization in a new age. Not new is it as to its ground principles and native elements, but new in the facts discovered, the truths revealed, and the
exhibition of hidden life, by the touch of whose fingers the rocks are turned to silver, silver into gold, gold into diamonds, and diamonds into those lost jewels that fell from the crown of angels in the conflicting transition from the old to the new. The age itself is full of energy, drawing man upward and upward to himself--his more and perfect self. The selfhood of self is becoming more asserted. Man is rounding into that high and ethereal realization that himself is one, that he is an entity with an ineffacable identity, whose essential and divine personale shall outlast the stars, and glow in its ineffable splendors amid the ages of newer domains and brighter dispensations.
So forcible and widespread, so deep and earnest are the movements of the spiritual and intellectual energy to reach and conquer the powers of nature, in behalf of her thinking exponents, that wide seas lose their terrors, high mountains are bored through, commerce harnesses the waves, and the lightning flashes the accents of truth around the globe.
The advancements and discoveries of science have brought all nations near together, and so far as intercourse--commercial, political, and religious--is concerned, they speak to each other daily--almost face to face. The market's of London, New York, Paris, Berlin, and Canton are so intermit, so near each other, and each so full of all the rest, that whatever affects one affects all the commercial centers of the great family of man. There are now no more strangers and foreigners, but all are of the household of the same civilization to an astonishing degree; and this tendency must increase as the interests of the world demand. Nothing will be allowed to stand in its way.
Here racial prejudice must fall and bow to the better and higher interests of man.
Nothing seems more apparent than the tendency of all the nations to become one in blood as well as in interest.
Shem, Ham, and Japhet are all nearly ill the same house and eating at the same table, saying the same prayers, singing the same songs, and worshipping the same God. These are the children of a common mother and a common sireship with a common destiny.
In the onward trend and rounding out of this great civilization, white and black, red and swarthy, with all the seven colors of the rainbow, shall be ground to dust and calcined by the stately tramp of a golden civilization, culminating in the eternal fixedness of the golden standard and crowned with the age of diamonds.
That we are in the midst of some great, all-pervading and extraordinary influence, is a most touching and signal fact. We have reached that period in the step of centuries and the cycles, and that degree of spiritual and mental development, where we seem to touch the hem of the Great Master's garment. We seem to sit at his feet, feel his throbbing heart, hear his thrilling voice, while the halo of his countenance fills the whole human hemisphere in the twilighted splendors of a majesty that comes from beyond the stars of God. The Great Galilean is visiting the islands, treading the waters and walking through the continents of human consciousness as never before in the long history of nations and ages. The very air that we breathe, and the sunbeams that gild the horizon with golden light, bear him gently, though strongly, to human consciousness, and the intelligence of universal humanity. The winds are His chariot, the clouds His throne, and the mists of the foaming deep His pavilion.
Indeed, there is a universal presence of an increasing and centralizing force that is stronger than nature, more pungent and deep-throbbing than electricity or the subtle activities of ethereal currents. Beneath the active force and energies of human progress, there is an arm of power, a thrilling somewhat that is silently at work sending its awakening influence to all parts of the mental and conscious humanity. We are in the presence of the great Christ--not the Christ of modern or ancient days, but the universal and eternal Christ of God, crowned from eternity and sceptered before the sun blazed, stars twinkled, or angels played on their harps. He is the God-sent, the divine Legate, who is to propagate and diffuse His inspiring spirituality until the august and adorable Son of
Man shall stand in the presence of all men, and pour Himself into the entire drama of human life. Evidently, Christianity is crystalizing its forces, concentrating its energies, so as to give the greatest momentum to the evolutions of thought and actions. We see, as we never saw before, the moral concept and the spiritual comprehensions stricken off in clearer lines and more radiant with distinctiveness of character than in former ages. Faith is becoming more and more a tangible matter of fact, and with its spanning arches is seen to rest upon the fundamentals of the spiritual universe. Christ was a great philosopher as well as a great prophet. His teachings, along with the demonstrations of power displayed in the healing art, were based upon the laws or governing principles of nature. He took hold of nature in its deepest mental and physical phases, tied its broken cords and cables, belted their disobedient elements about His arm of power, coerced their rebellious fragments into line, commanded the molecular universe, and its activities obeyed the voice of the Son of God.
All through the long ages of human darkness He has been their rising Sun and the living Power from whose central throne the peeping and glinting rays of resplendent hope that have inspired their upliftings and aspirations have sprung. His voice is the music that wooed and thrilled the human spheres, vibrated the human mechanism and taught respondent souls the ways of divine providence, and cheered the millions with the truth of God and the realization of the eternal future. He is drawing nearer and nearer to all human hearts and human consciousness. Onwards the overshadowing presence climbs the ecliptic of the busy world, dislodging from its high places the subtle children of hell and the black squadrons. of sin and darkness. The great presence--what is it? What is that mysterious force that seems to play on the universal harp of universal humanity? What is this wondrous power, this magic wand that sweeps the zones of
human devices and plays with almighty momentum on the social and civil planes of organized society? What is this that is changing the sentiment of men, expanding the mental vision and enlarging the moral periphery in the sphere of thought, philosophy and philanthropic activity? Is it mere science, progress and discovery, or the mere product of human genius? Or is the force of age upon age filing its victories upon victories, and achievements upon achievements? Nay, these are the fruits of the great presence--of the active Christ in personal transition, the living embodiment of truth and the active Jehovic Dispenser of the reforming and transforming kingdom of heaven. "The whole earth is crammed with heaven, and every common bush is afire with God," in the great personality of His Son. Mark the steps of modern civilization, read the signs of the times, and measure the strength and weigh the momentum of the trembling forces of evil. A mighty Prince with signal power and the dynamic forces of the spiritual arcana is standing at the end of the dying century, and, like the rising sun on a calm sea, the soft rays of His bright and resplendent light adumbrate His coming and depict His majestic presence. The Song of Solomon says, "The voice of my beloved! Behold he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills." Already we are immersed in the fullness of His joy and the plenitude of His presence. But as He advances upon the sphere of human thought and activity, both good and evil are intensified. The wicked grow more wicked, and the righteous more righteous. As the conflict approaches active engagement, and as the two dissimilar powers line up in battle array, the lines of demarcation are more fully drawn. The devil will be more devilish, and the Christ more Christly. Reserved powers, latent activities, and long pent-up magazines of force will explode, and, the onslaught will be more dreadful and fearful as the Great Presence permeates the moral mass, and vibrates the centers of the human arena.
Who is it that has not felt the Great Presence? What zone or parallel is there in the habitable earth that does not feel His wondrous touch, the thrilling force of His divine magnetism and the impressiveness of His unique personality? The entire kingdom of men "is the Lord's." "His kingdom ruleth over all," and he will come "whose right it is." Say what you please and do what you please, "the kingdom is the Lord's." "It is not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord." Hence, it "is not power" by which the process of redemption is carried on. Not by armies and navies or the unsheathed sword, or the skilled diplomacy and intrigue of wise statesmanship is it carried on. No flourish of trumpets, no bugle blasts, no rattling of drums, no high-sounding clarionets, no metal ring of cymbals, no chariots of iron with prancing steeds and amber wheels stained with human gore and rolling in the blood of the slain, mark His coming. Nay, verily, His coming is in silent power of the wonderful God. His steps are softer than the fragrance of the rosebud, and as gentle as the evening zephyrs laden with the music of the spheres and the breath of flowers. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation," but like the noiseless flow of a river. He treads the veins of commerce, walks the royal highways of the world's greatness unobserved, and is found in the palaces of kings, the diamond chambers of queens, the secret precincts of premiers, and in the chair of national executives. Surely we are in the midst of a Great presence. How wonderful is this age! How forceful and resourceful is the Divine Presence! Then, children of God, look up and look around you. He is here in your midst, in the highways of your cities, plains and rural districts. He stands at your doors, turning the knob or pulling the latchstring.
"Behold a Stranger at the door,
He gently knocks--has knocked before!
Has waited long--is waiting still--
You treat no other friend so ill."
It is evident that there is a spirit and that there is a body. The oldest, the most real and most extensive is spirit. The difference between the two is the difference of life and death, or that that is self-active, and that that is not self-active. Spirit acts without matter or body, or acts when there is nothing to act upon, by, or through. Where there is action there must be spirit, since nothing can act without its presence, either mediately or immediately. If matter moves, takes form, or assumes condition, change, or progression, its activity is dependent upon a deeper, broader and more sensitive force, which embraces the elements or properties of a perfect entirety, or an eternal reality. As the human body is the mere instrument of the soul or spirit, so God, the Spirit of spirits, is the hidden or indwelling Life of all life, and the active forces of nature are but the instruments, as well as the manifestations, of the divine presence and power, and are the only means by which the intelligent universe can behold the power and presence of the Infinite. There are first and second causes, or rather there is a first and central cause, and all else are but second causes, results or emanations of the only cause. All second causes in the physical spheres and immensities are nothing but the moving changes or precipitations of the molecules of the whole or parts of the universal system; and as precipitant elements move as they are moved upon by the causative, they constitute molecular force. This molecular force is the tangible activities of the world and the universe which we call nature. In this sense nature, in its multiform and complex mechanism, is as much the instrument of God as the human hand or foot or tongue is the instrument of the human mind. Strictly speaking, spirit is the
only perfect reality in the universe, because it is the only thing that has attributes of perception and is utterly incapable of annihilation. It is incapable of annihilation because it is not an entity in the sense of limitation. That is, it has all the faculties and properties of perfect self and perfect realization without beginning, growth or accretions of parts or combination of elements. Hence, spirit has neither body, nor parts, nor tangibility. Or, in other words, if spirit has form, or any kind of molecular constituency, its peculiar nature is so high, ethereal, and attenuated in itself, that we, in common with all intelligent creatures of the universal spheres, have no faculties by which we can comprehend its nature. This rests upon perfect and true philosophical grounds, since nothing call be greater than the greatest, and before the intelligent personalities of the universe call comprehend the Spirit of spirits, these personalities must have existed prior to, and independent of, the Eternal. The opposite conclusion is splendidly absurd and presents a solecism that distresses thought and tortures the imaginary faculties.
In their real nature there is no difference between those atoms or molecules that compose the human body and those that compose the bodies of the inferior animals, or even those that enter or compose the vegetable or mineral kingdoms, and the bodies of men are as much of earth and air as the hills, mines or other material forms and elements that compose the universe.
Hence form has nothing to do with the inherent properties of matter any more than it has to do with the nature of spirit or mental individuality. Change of state, condition or relation, cannot affect the nature, or the inherent qualities of spirit. Punishment may bring repentance and obedience to the laws of God and the requirements of righteousness in this or in some other state of conscious existence, or disobedience may bring on sin and inject the virus of wickedness into the spiritual or mental reality; but none of them can produce deterioration,
or change, the real mental conscious individual. If it were otherwise, there could be no such thing as eternal or indefinite punishment. Even human laws presuppose the continuous personal conscious identity of the mental character, since men are often punished upon the supposition that they will remain the same person, or the same mental character to the end of natural life that they were when first adjudged guilty and assigned to life commitment.
There must be something in the character or nature by which every spirit or mental individual will be known of distinguished from every other such character in the universe. The very nature of government, whether it be of God or man, presupposes that every single individual is separate and distinct from every other one in the great whole, and it is a special and particular attribute of justice in the administration of government to avoid the infliction of punishment upon the innocent, and withhold rewards from the unworthy. The greatest scrutiny and care are exercised in the distribution of rewards and punishment lest the wrong person should be dealt with. In their fundamentals, there is no difference in the government of God and the government of men. Both are based upon righteousness, equity and justice. Mercy is not an attribute of government any more than it is an attribute of God. There may be a government without mercy, but there can be no government in the strict sense of the term without justice, equity and righteousness. This is government and all else is anarchy. No transgressor can claim mercy as of right or justice. It does not belong to him as a part of his inherited right, but justice belongs to him because he is a citizen of the universe and under the protection of its government and laws. Again, every intelligent being has an inherent claim on justice, because he is a conscious intelligence, and because he is in no way responsible for his being or his creation, or those eternal mental
endowments or faculties of which he is possessed and which he cannot destroy or reduce to nonentity. No attribute of intelligent natures can disappear or be annihilated by any power less than itself, and therefore it is incapable of decay or inaction. Presuming that the above is predicated upon sound metaphysical reasoning, we reach the sequence that man, in common with all other intelligent existences, is an eternal conscious fixture in the universal circle of being. He is an eternal citizen with an indestructible identity, forever dwelling on a plane where annihilation can never come. This plane is in his being, or his being is in or on this plane. Here dwell in ethereal marvels and empyrean splendors all the expansive personal majesties and towering intellects in their universal home, forever aspiring in the highest, broadest and profoundest spheres of the countless and infinite activities. But as matter is incapable of punishment and rewards, and as it has no principles or faculties as a basis for responsibility, it is agreeable to truth and philosophy when we say that nothing is and nothing can be punished, or can receive rewards, but the mental or spirit man, and those capable spiritualities that belong to the intellectual sphere. Every spiritual reality must be a capacity, that is, it must have capability to that degree of volition that involves personal responsibility, and consequently this responsibility is upon the moral plane. This not only makes them subjects of rewards and punishment, but involves that high degree of individualism by which one mental character is distinguished from every other. Since this is the case, there must be some outline or characteristic inherent in all intelligent beings by, which they are to be known. It may not consist in vital or constitutional properties, but it may consist in some exterior delineations through which the piercing art of intuition may comprehend those differentia that must exist among the individuals of the populous universe. We could not perceive the identification of things or persons
if every one were exactly alike; neither could we distinguish one place from another if all places were precisely alike in all that make up each of all the places. Intuition itself presupposes a differentiation among a multitude of individuals--those necessary distinguishing features by which one person may be known from every other person or mental individual. Indeed, personal identity seems to be an essential part or element of intellectual natures, as without it one person cannot be known from other conscious intellectualities. When an individual is disrobed of his earthly habiliments and wrapt in the habit of the spiritual, there can be no essential change in character because of the transition. He is still himself in all the plenitude and fundamentals of his being. He does not become an impersonal reality or a mere thing because of the change. In this world, expressions that consist in many things form those features or idiosyncracies of character and person by which one person is known from all the rest, and who knows but that spirits, men, angels and devils, and all the intellectualities of the universe, are clothed in ethereal integuments, though imperceptible to human vision and contact, yet suited to their nature, plane and occupation? Yea, "He maketh his angels winds and his ministers flames of fire." Then we reach the conclusion, upon philosophical deductions, that we carry with us into the mysterious realities beyond not only all the personal consciousness of tangible and intangible being, but we carry with us the shape, form and expressions that were given us in the creation, and which we had from the beginning of our being. The human form is divine, not in its inherent or native qualities, but in its chartered shape, expression, features and outlines. The contour of the personality is divinely appointed and stereotyped as an essential part or element of being. It cannot be thrown off, covered or disguised, and wherever the individual moves, speaks or acts in the sphere of being, he will be known as that special and specific
personality. As every living actuality is a self-acting entity under law and responsibility, his history is registered in space and all the personal data are reflected and wafted in and through the radiating spheres and immensities. The acts and facts of his being cannot be obliterated, lost or forgotten, neither can they be extracted from the enfolding records of the progressive spheres. Man is a book, a history within himself. On and in the mental inlays of growth and development he engraves himself upon himself, and unconsciously he writes his own history, records his own acts and thoughts, and his life keeps its own register. As he is self-acting, he is self-registering, and the universe, with its faithful records, is a duplicating mirror in which every man and mental activity can find himself faithfully portrayed in the eternal archives of the eternal spheres.