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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

Bearing on Morality and Religion

Bearing on Morality and Religion.

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To those who "by Christ believe in God" (1 Peter i. 21) the atheism of the socialistic movement is the foremost matter in the moral criticism of the system (in 1 Cor. ii. 15, the Gr. for "judge" is, criticise). We will begin with a previous question (article Socialism, Encycl. Brit., new Ed.), whether socialism ought not to be saved from utter rejection on account of its atheism by regard to the circumstance, that it has an "ethic" which to some extent is coincident with the Christian ethic?

A pirate ship has a discipline that is much the same as that of the royal navy. "Ethic" in this connection has to mean order of action, as distinguished from the spirit of its life. And in this respect there must be some coincidence with Christian ethic on the part of every conceivable system for the government of a community that is not to be a rope of sand. A Satan's kingdom (Matt. xii. 25) that is at all to stand, must have in it something of that order which reigns in the kingdom of God. The difference morally between the two dominions of darkness and light is, not in respect of mere ethical precepts, dictating particular courses of action, but in respect of first or impulsive principle, prescribing the last or chief end, and moving the affections toward that end, in and through all particular courses and actions. According to a difference of ends in the heart's wish and endeavor, the same course of action may be either good and godly, or "earthly, sensual, devilish." Two vessels on the same tack are making, the one for Good Hope, and the other for Cape Wrath. This de finibus—of the end as criterion of morality—is commonplace of rational ethical speculation, heathen as well as Christian.

The body of precepts is in itself a dead thing, like man when only made "of the dust of the earth." And the impulsive or first principle, which is breathed into that body as a breath of life, mak- page 39 ing ethic into morality, pure or impure, is what gives moral character, whether good or evil, to the whole of that life which it inspires. Now in Christianity the first principle of all moral action for man is—witness the last word of Christ to Satan (Matt. iv. 10)—serve God. In socialism, on the contrary, the impulsive principle is, worship mammon: since it holds, with the first word of Satan to Christ (Matt. iv. 3) that the one true end of life is, enjoyment of commodities. That is the lowest conceivable form of worldliness, appealing only to the "lust of the flesh" (1 John ii. 16 and Gen. iii. 6, with the two temptations, in Eden and in the wilderness.) And to plead, that the ethic of a system of godless Epicurism is in some measure coincident with the Christian ethic, is only to say in Greek what means in English, that the lowest kind of worldliness, when on its good behavior, is not simply anarchical, or utterly disorderly: which may he so far satisfactory to the policeman who has his eye upon it, but is not reassuring to a statesman, and is quite out of court in moral criticism.

The old heathen Epicurism had, like Mahomedanism, some-thing that might redeem it from utter perfection of sordidness. There were enchantments of a superstition that haunted the forsaken place of faith; or, in a Lucretian poetry an atheistic theosophy might find something like theology for wings of lofty song. . But even then, the worldliness was too vile for even the worldly world itself. That world's own "prophets" (Tit. i. 12) of the worldlier sort—such as Horace and our "Peter Pindar"—indignant at the outrage on mere manhood through the vileness, would break out into fierce Archilochian invective on "the herd of Epicurus," or, "Epicureans, alias swine." "Bellygod!" has in our new time been the expression of a manly nation for utmost measure of contemptuous loathing of a creature in the human form. And that is the one tiling, the very thought of which overcame for once the manhood of the great apostle who was the manliest of mankind. In a Roman prison, waiting (Phil. ii. 17) for a martyr's death, Paul unbosoms himself to his noble Philippians (iii. 18,19), about that thing, as a thing the existence of which among Christians it grieves his very heart to think of. And now, when he goes on to write of it, the paper is blotted with his tears:—"whose god page 69 is their belly, whose glory is their shame, who mind earthly things."

That thing, which makes apostles weep, is the "perfect man" of socialism. The shamefulness of its earthliness is not fully seen unless we take into view the peculiar character of the selfishness of the system. Antigonus, after the death of Demosthenes, a great man, was perhaps too hard on the Greek orators in saying, that they were like what remains of an animal that has been offered in sacrifice—nothing but the tongue and the digestive organs. For, in addition to mere greed for commodities, there might be in them something of a vain ambition to shine—"the lust of the eyes;" and something of "the pride of life," such that the Pharisee, in contemplation of his own goodness, will forget his covetousness to give tithes—sacrificing commodity to conceit. But the "perfect man" (Eph. iv. 13) of socialism, forgetting God and country and home and freedom, has an eye and a heart for commodity alone. So that what we see in him is not a man at all; but a scarecrow semblance of manhood, with hunger in place of a soul. And we further see what may suggest the thought, that the dehumanized being is under domination of a fiend—that lowest form of perfect selfishness which visibly lorded in the swineowners of Gadara.

That, which is the consummation of socialist perfection, is the very thing which Paul sets forth (Rom. i. 30), as the consummation of enormous wickedness, sent upon men (verses 18-28) by the judgment of God, in a judicial abandonment of them, on account of the crime of atheism. Paul maintains, that the atheism cannot but be a wilful blindness, (verse 28). And three times he says (verses 24, 26, 28—the Greek word is the same in all the three places), that on account of the crime of it, there was that judicial abandonment on the part of God, "giving" them "up" or "over" to the enormous wickedness in three forms of "uncleanness" in the heart, "vileness" of the affections, and a "reprobacy "as to the mind for [unclear: the] perpetration of unseemliness or indecency.

It is thus that he introduces his awful catalogue of the crimes of heathenism (Rom. i. 18-32). And at the head of the black page 70 list (verse 31), last, as if the worst of all, he places men's being "without natural affection." He adds a qualifying epithet ("implacable" is wanting in the best manuscripts), "unmerciful"—the Greek word for which is literally rendered, pitiless. Here, then, we are reminded of "pitiless" in that "pitiless ferocity," which history has represented to us as being the leading outstanding feature of the moral character of socialism.

But Paul's description of the pitiless character, "without natural affection," has in it a specific appropriateness in application to socialism that is wanting in Mr. [unclear: Ollier's] vaguer "ferocity." The "perfect man" of socialism has no personal affection toward individuals; not even so much of discriminative attachment as (Isa. i. 3) the dumb creatures may come to have in them toward their "own" respective pastors and masters. His affection, a sort of godless Mahomedan fanaticism, is only toward a system; toward the programme of action, regarded as machinery for securing [unclear: the] commodities; and toward the community, regarded as an organization for working the machine. So Hugh Miller (Essays, Literary and Scientific—"Eugene Sue,") says that socialism, like Jesuitism, is pitiless naturally, because the individual is lost in the society, and (such) a society has no feelings.

The apostle's word (Rom. i. 31) for natural affection—στoργή—does not mean only, in a general sense, any affection that belongs to the nature of man. What it means is that specific natural affection, of discriminating tenderness, which a rightly constituted individual has for "his own, and especially those of his own house." Hence the name of the "stork," because that bird is proverbial for parental affection, as witness the story of what happened in a town of Holland: When the town in which the storks had their nests went on fire, and the young birds could not fly away, the parents remained to perish with them in the flames. Such affection is so strictly natural to man, that Christianity declares that he who has it not is worse than an infidel. (1 Tim. v. 8). Accordingly, in Homer we find that among old heathen Greeks the man who did not belong to a people and family of "his own" was reckoned infamous. That infamous condition—of "heart," "affections," "mind"—where it appeared in heathenism, was by Paul page 71 regarded as monstrous depravity, enormity of wickedness, the evidencing fruit of a judgment plague of God, like the leprosy upon Gehazi and his race. And that peculiar infamy is by socialism brought on its manhood deliberately and upon system.

The two great," natural affections "distinctively toward one's own—domestic affection and love of country—it systematically endeavors to stamp out and destroy. That intentional obliteration of humanity is a specially of socialism. We have seen its working in relation to patriotism. Let us consider

Its Bearing Upon the Family.

The socialist reasoning is as follows:—

"If family be allowed to exist, then there will be formation of private capital, through parental affection hoarding for inheritance. But all capital ought to belong to the whole community. Therefore family shall not be allowed to exist."

—Q. E. D.

The policy based on this reasoning has, for the purpose of it, to be "thorough"—like that policy of the tyrant Strafford which, turning godly Englishmen into Ironsides, cost him and his master their heads. Nothing will secure the purpose short of the thoroughness of Rousseau and his paramour, in casting their newborn offspring out on the chances of a foundling. There must not be allowed to be any possibility of there occurring in the future that "recognition," which was the humanly interesting climax of pathos in the fateful classic drama of man's life. For if only a parent once guess, that this or that one of the herd of young "humans" is perhaps his or her "own" child, then who knows whether there may not be relentings into parental affection, with consequent lapsing into a provision [for the person's "own," that might so far imperil the collective stock of commodities for the community?

It is true that this Rousseauism is a wholesale moral infanticide that is more cruel than Herod's [unclear: liberal] infanticide at Bethlehem; more cruel than death, since it dooms the hapless innocent to live, while casting it out of nature's own provision for such tender guardianship and training of the young life as may make life worth having and living. "Can a mother forsake her sucking child?" "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him."

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The στoργή of parental feeling is the tenderest guardianship in the world. A doting mother, tenderly numbering the hairs on her infant's little head, is, by him who is in the bosom of the Father, and hath declared him, made a picture of the infinite guardian tenderness of God, and her comforting offices toward a child in its grievings are made to represent the divine redeeming love of the Spirit. It is of these things, their especial inestimable inheritance of nature, that all infants are to be bereft. They are to be cast out upon a stone mother, the community, and reared indiscriminately as a herd of "humans," since young ones are needed for the purpose of keeping up the breed.

Here we feel as if that socialist reasoning were an incredible thing. It seems impossible to believe that it is serious; that rather is it not a "ferocious" jocularity, without the noble rage of Swift, in his reasonings on the economy of living on the flesh of Irish infants, and suggestions as to various modes of proceeding in that cannibalism. For, not to speak of the mother, does not nature say," like as a father pitieth his children"? But Paul says, "without natural affection, pitiless? History through her expert witness has said, "pitiless ferocity." And what else can be the meaning of the socialist reasoning here, about "family" as "obstacle," thus of the same nature as patriotisn and religion?

The other weaker party seems completely overlooked in the reasoning. The "perfect man" in Eph. iv. 13 is vήρ), the male human being, manhood in complete formation. We are studying the "perfect man" of socialism, not in the "ferocious" outbreaking of a passionately 6elfish animalism, but in his calmness of contemplation, legislating for the future. He is (ideally) in full and sole command of the situation. What does he provide? (1 Tim. v. 8), and for whom? Simply for himself, the morsel of meat (Heb. xii. 16), the mess of pottage, safely guarded in the flesh-pots.

For that, alone, the two weak ones are pitilessly sacrificed. We have seen him perpetrate the wholesale moral infanticide of casting all children out of nature's provision for them. And now we perceive that he is not even conscious of perpetrating a far more infamous crime. What, under the rule he is arranging for page 73 is to be the lot of woman?—of woman in girlhood, and then onward, to and through old age?—and above all in that relation in which the honor, the happiness, the quintessential womanhood of woman, will depend upon the character of the rule he is planning?

Woman is to be a desecrated thing, the centre of desecration, and the fountain of profanation, staining even that helpless one, her "own," who is the innocent victim of the "uncleanness." She is to be drawn or dragged into complicity in the moral infanticide of her offspring. And what is her life to be—the childless mother of motherless children, with wild longings and remorses, impelling her to the desperate self-abandonment (Eph. iv. 19) of those who (Rom. i. 24, 26, 28—the word in Ephesians is the same as in Romans) are judicially abandoned of God!

What are we to think of the socialist man, who is the prime author of that tragedy, and who deliberately plans it in the calm of his study, simply in order that he may be sure of his morsel of meat? That Esau, the "profane person," claims our study. For he is the only thing in socialism. The woman and the child are ignored, or worse, as mere "things which are not."

But when we look beyond the pale of Bible religion, we see that in heathenism the monstrosity of his Rousseauism is not so incredible as the sentimental philosopher was even in "infidel France"—a land of some remaining Christian light. [unclear: Literal] infanticide is spoken of by Mr. Lecky, (History of European Morals, vol. ii., the part on "woman"), a most highly competent authority, as "the crime of heathenism" That is to say, notoriously, in heathen communities, modern as well as ancient, this "crime" was, and is, not abhorred and punished as infamous and monstrous, but permitted and recognized, as one of the measures of domestic economy which might be taken by a prudent house-holder!

Paul, before saying "without natural affection" (Rom. i. 31), has (verse 30) specified in his catalogue of crimes of atheism, "disobedience to parents." "Children of disobedience" is (Eph. ii. 1–3) one of his descriptions of the general condition of death in sin; and correspondingly, "children of obedience" is (1 Peter i. 14) the literal rendering of Peter's description of (verse 23) those who are born of God. But older than that which is thus brought page 74 into notice, there was moral death in respect of parental affection. Hence the foremost thing in the mission of the Baptist, preparing the way of the Lord, was (Luke i. 17), not, "turning the disobedient to the wisdom of the just," but, before that, "turning the hearts of the fathers to the children;"—a charge resuming the last words (Mal. iv. 6) of the last prophet of the old dispensation, which (Matt. xi. 13) "prophesied until John." The very foundation work of clearing the way for "the kingdom of God and his righteousness," thus was setting right the parental affection.

In heathenism, even in the Roman family, the best in the old heathen world, the children really counted for nothing. They were only things, for the state or for the family; so that the murdering of a selection of them was no enormity. The idea of a sacredness in this human life, in the infant as in the adult, a thing of infinite preciousness, the image of God, had no place in the darkened human heart. The great place which children have in our life, the interest which "grown people" take in Helen's Babies and Alice in Wonderland, would be quite inconceivable in the dark lands. Hence Plato, "the divine," in calmly planning for his ideal Republic, a condition in which all children shall be an indiscriminate herd of "humans," does not show any peculiar degree of inhumanity. It is inhuman; but heathenism here was inhuman. Plato only showed in his own person the general fact, that, relatively to one of the natural affections—the domestic—the heart of heathenism had come to be a stone.

So as regards the spousal relation, as has appeared in the case of Plato's master, Socrates, "beyond comparison the prince of philosophers," the best and wisest man we know about of those who have been formed in heathenism. It was a saying among heathen Greeks, that only a family man can be supremely qualified for the highest offices of the state. But even in his case we can see what sort of family man a heathen Greek might be, who otherwise was an admirable citizen, nobly gracious in considerateness even for the weaknesses and humors of his pupils and friends. In the tender solemnity of his near approaching martyrdom for truth, his bearing toward his "own" wife, in her ungovernable distraction of grief on his account, is simply incomprehensible except page 75 in the light of the fact, that the natural affection of "husbands love your wives" had gone out of the heart of heathen Greece. Mere zenanaism was the best condition of woman elsewhere in heathendom.

Peter (1 Pet. iii. 5–7), looking for a model matron, who to his Christian women may be a mirror for their spiritual adornment, can see none in the heathen world. The women of the New Testament—Gospels, Acts, Epistles—are quite a different kind of human being from the heathen woman as she then was. She was not "honored" (verse 7). When the wife was not a mere domestic drudge, she was only petted and fondled, like a favorite intelligent animal, perhaps dressed out as an animated doll. Cornelius Nepos (Preface) makes a boast of the fact—as exhibiting one point of superiority to the Greeks—that a Roman is not ashamed to allow the women of his household to appear at a festive entertainment to his friends.

It had not been so from the beginning; nor is it so in all places at any time. Domestic affection did not perish when man fell. In Homer's heroic age, the manliest of the heroes was a model of domestic affection; one of the ladies is most noble in matronhood; and another is most beautiful in maidenhood. Many generations after, Homer's Roman imitator gives to his chief hero, as his characteristic excellence, a "piety" which in his case is another name for filial affection. And Virgil himself may in his youth [have seen true family affection among the rustics of those Mantuan plains, where departing "Justice" left her latest footprints on the earth. Even in the Imperial City, head-centre of the world's worldliness, there were survivals of the old Roman "virtue" of home:—e. g. in Germanicus and his wife, whose stately purity is so affecting in its nobleness appearing amid that nest of poisoners.

What is it that had gone so far toward completely destroying a natural affection that had survived the catastrophe of Eden? Atheism. It may be inferred from Paul's teaching in connection with the social life of heathenism. Socrates was, of those ancient heathens who in a sense are known to us, almost the last of the real believers in a personal deity supreme. The "philosophers" page 76 who "encountered" Paul at Athens were completely atheistic in their belief; which means that God had long died out of the reflecting mind, the real mind of heathendom. And a noteworthy fact is, that the decline of domestic affection in the hearts of men went on simultaneously with [unclear: the] decadence of religion in the soul. In the present inquiry we need not raise the question, whether along with practical atheism there may not have been other operative influences, which might serve to account for the tragedy of moral death in respect of domestic affection. At present we turn to the fact, that in any case this the atheism, is a cause which in its operation will work that moral death.

In Eph. iv. 18–19 (as in Rom. i. 18–32) depravity is the consequence of atheism. But here the consequence is not judicial, but natural; as when a man contracts foul deadly disease through practice of vice. The moral death (in Eph. iv. 18, 19) results from ignorance, as physical death would to our natural world be a result of extinction of the sun. And (1), The immediate effect of the death is, insensibility. The "past feeling" here is—word and thing—distinct from the stoical "apathy;" which is an artificial condition, brought on by discipline, and maintained by habit which may be a continuous action of the will. The apathy is not incapacity of feeling but superiority to it—-whence the stupid inhuman boast of stoicism about "pain" being "no evil" to the philosopher, (he did not weep over Jerusalem; it was the man that wept in Brutus over Lycian Xanthus). The "past feeling" (in Eph. iv. 19) is real insensibility, as in a stone heart, or as on the part of dry bones in a valley of death. It now is a "second nature," in men who are "twice dead," "having their conscience seared as with a hot iron." But it is not simply the sinfulness into which the fall brought mankind (Rom. v. 12); as (Eph. ii. 3) when all men are said to be "by nature the children of wrath"—the state of nature [unclear: as am] inherited (Ps. li. 5), as distinguished from (Eccl. vii. 29) the constitution of the nature as originally created. It is a "secondary formation" of depravity, which thus (Rom. i. 26) is enormous or monstrous, as revolting to a natural good feeling that is found even among unregenerate mankind.

But that first stage, of moral insensibility, leads on to (2), the page 77 outbreaking of depravity, which Paul here sees, on the part of the atheists, as a desperate self—abandonment; who, being past feeling, gave themselves over. This, history shows us through her expert witness, is actual human experience of socialism. And Hugh Miller (Essays Literary and Scientific—"Eugene Sue") theorised on the matter to the following effect (the words are ours):

(1), In the conflict with Jesuitism, it is not enough for socialism simply to drive away the superstition and villainy of false religion. That only creates a "vacuum "in the heart and life, as in the case of a displacement made in the sea by thrusting a bucket into its water. When the bucket is withdrawn, the water rushes back to fill the void thus left. (2), Christianity [cf. Luke. xi. 22] tills the void, with innocent fulness of a happy life in peace with God and love to man. (3), Socialism, to begin with, leaves the void; and the human passions, impure because not under law to higher affections, will rush in as a sea of death. (Here Miller has the observation that a society has no feeling, "pitiless:" meaning, that in this respect socialism is a godless Jesuitism.) Here he states as a fact, relatively to what the peoples (and Paul) mean by "uncleanness," that the socialist French views regarding marriage are embraced by some, not socialist, who are restrained from practicing them by "the usages of society."

Plato saw the human passions as wild horses, kept in restraint only by a child holding the reins. Why did he think them wild? He, like Kant—the true modern Plato—saw in man's condition, or state of nature as it now is, a "radical evil" (Kant's expression), which, in their judgment, is not accounted for by philosophy, in her view of the constitution of men's nature. So sees the Confession of Faith, when (with Augustine) it says of our first parents, "they being the root of mankind, men are fallen sinners by nature (cf. Gal. ii. 15). And so saw the Great Frederick, when he said to an enthusiast who thought that education would do the work (1 Pet. i. 20–25) of regeneration, "Ah! dear Sulzer, you know not what a reprobate (wie verdammte), accursed breed this (mankind) is."

To Paul's view, the reins are now flung wildly away. The consequent rush is, not simply of Hugh Miller's wild sea waves into the "vacuum," but of the atheists "into lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Eph. iv. 19); that is, "the herd "of Gadara, running violently down a steep place into the sea. (Matt. viii. 32.) And, since (their) rational free agency enters into the abandonment (we perceive that), the rush of unclean animalism is at the impulsion of unclean spirit; so that this page 78 again is the "perfect man" of socialism, namely, the scare-crow [unclear: fiendi] with hunger in place of [unclear: a] soul.

It may be made a question whether Paul in (Rom. i. 18–32 and Eph. iv. 18, 19) his two famous descriptions of "the moral condition of heathenism "(title of Tholuck's little work—Engl. Transl.; Clark, Edin.), means, that the heathens generally were in that condition; or, whether he may not mean only, These things are in the heathen world, to such an extent as to show that mankind have utmost need of the Gospel (Rom. i. 14—16; Eph. ii. 12), as being dead in sin. We have information as to facts which may help to answering that question:

1. In the heathen's persecutions after Paul's time, the primitive apologists and martyrs are found repelling "calumnies" of heathenism, imputations, abominable crimes to the Christians; and their customary answer is, "No, we do no such things; but you do them—that is what has made you think of imputing them to us." (See in Athenagoras: The Embassy—addressed to Marcus Aurelius. This was the point of—cf. 1 Peter iii. 16—"I am a Christian—we do no evil," the only thing moaned out by slave-girl Blandina, dying under protracted, frightful tortures under authority of that idolized imperial stoic "philosopher.") 2. In our time intelligent heathens make out of these Pauline descriptions a proof that the Bible is a modern forgery; for, they reason, no man who did not live in our time could have had this acquaintance with us. And missionaries, who can see behind the screen of heathenish decorums, assure us that the Pauline descriptions are only "an ower true tale" of what is now going on in heathen communities. Besides, 3, Have we not seen the infanticides, and the moral death relatively to "honoring" women? Do we not know that the temples have been, and are, head-centres of "the pollutions" (2 Peter ii. 20) in particular, of uncleanness"?—surely the altar inscription ought to be confessed atheism. (Acts xvii. 23.)

But that question does not vitally affect us at present. If once we know that a man is dead (Eph. ii. 1–3), we may not need to inquire further to what extent loathsome evidences of corruption have broken out all over the body (Isa. i. 5, 6). The body may page 79 be a mummy (1 Cor. xiii. 1–3), who in this case is perhaps a leading member of the church (Matt, xxiii. 27); for the Pharisees were covetous, that is, atheistic—" ye cannot serve God and mammon." Though there should be the moral death in reality, there may, as regards manifestations of it, be restraining influences—Plato's "child"—that prevent unbridled breaking-out. In Paul's day (2 Thess. ii. 7-9) there was in the world as a whole a "let" or hindrance that held back the manifestion of the Man of Sin. And in the sinful man ([unclear: Da]. i. 15) there may be degrees of manifestation of wickedness, from the first inception of lust to the final consummation of death (cf. Rev. xxi. 8, 27); as in the man of God there is the gradation from the blade, through the green ear, to the ripe corn in the ear.

An ordinary "human," coming into the kingdom of the bramble (Judg. ix. 14, 15), would take some time to grow up into the full state of the "perfect man" of socialism. Hugh Miller says that one mode of "uncleanness" is restrained from manifestation (the heart is unclean in the eases he speaks of) by the "usages of society "—a Christian sense of decency being in the air, and in some command of the region. And in this or that case that particular enormity may have no natural possibility, or it may be checked by another mode of worldliness—like Diogenes "trampling on Plato's pride"—as when a miser starves himself to death in the insanity of "greediness" for commodities.

What we see in Eph. iv. 18, 19, is the ordinary normal progression where the restraining influence is withdrawn. The moral deadness is a ghost, ready to break into a beast; as even the artificial ghostliness of "apathy" in Marcus Aurelius, "the philosopher, "gives place to the savagery of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor, most ruthless of heathen persecutors, murdering his innocent subjects, because (Letter of the Christians of Lyons and [unclear: Vienna]) their superiority to death made a fool of his "philosophy" (1 Cor. i. 20).

"What Paul says of the matter—the teaching of Christianity regarding it by a throned witness of God in Christ—may be set forth in fine as follows:—The true life from the fountain (Jer. ii. 13) is a rivulet of domestic affection, a great river thoroughfare page 80 of patriotism, and a world-embracing ocean of philanthropy. How noble this would be in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, New York and San Francisco, and far Antipodean Melbourne and Sydney beneath the Southern Cross! These are the capitals of the Anglo-Saxon peoples. All round the world, they are the shining centres of the most recent civilization, as represented by the foremost and most gifted of its pioneers. Commercial centres in business relation to the whole world, they are like stars, which are seen as guiding lights by all mankind. Not only so: they are effectively in daily contact with all peoples. Their daily life is everywhere an operative influence, even where its traces are not seen, as an atmosphere of the whole world. Surely, then, that race is a tree whose leaves are for the healing of the nations: which is the noble way of being Israelite indeed (Gen. xii. 3). But what if that atmosphere of their influence be poisoned?

In every one of these cities we have named, there may be found a "back slums" (see it in Vanderkiste, The Dens of London; Rev. D. McColl, Our Work in the Wynds; and Old Edinburgh—understood to be by Miss Bird—in the series of "Odds and Ends"). There, men and women are living in a desperate self-abandonment (Eph. iv. 19) of godlessness. Material and moral ill-conditions are working moral and spiritual ruination, making miserably broken men and women for this life, and lost souls for that which is to come. Through the body there is enslavement of the soul, as fatally effective as demoniacal possession; so that now there is campaigning (Eph. vi. 12) of God's kingdom against a spiritual tyranny that has a stronghold in natural evil, as truly as there was in Egypt when Moses worked his miracles there, or in Palestine when the Son of Man "went about doing good, and healing those who were oppressed of the devil" (Acts x. 38 cf. Luke viii. 35 and xii.) That plague-spot is at the heart of those most favored places of this most gifted race.

The spreading of evil, we know to have a most fatal facility in man's condition. The plague that steals into a city through the vicious weakness of one wasted criminal, creeps out from his cell, and glides among the population as a pestilence that walketh in darkness, until it appear as a destruction that wasteth at noon-day page 81 —a pale death visibly striking alike at regal palaces and hovels of the poor (Hor.). But, to Isaiah's vision (Isa. i. 5, 6) of insight which is foresight, the wofulness of material evil is only a symbol of the true inward ruin of manhood, which (verse 3) is wrought by the practical atheism of apostasy from God. Now that is the abiding real condition of all mammon-worshippers, so rife in this epoch of "material progress." Then, though the wordliness at the shining centres do not shew the shame of its nakedness, but disguise itself as Christian, perhaps it is not the less effectual on that account (2 Cor. xi. 14), as a "spirit of the age" (Eph. ii. 2), the unperceived propagandism of infidelity and atheism; as when the life of a rich and beautiful land is blighted by an iceberg that is stranded on the shore.

But now as to the effect of this atheism itself, relatively to the true life which we looked at. The effect is two-fold—deprivation and depravation. 1. Deprivation: where God is withdrawn from the mind (Eph. iv. 18), religion from the heart, there that life is abandoned by the sunshine and the vital air which "filleth all in all," and by the refreshing visitations of "the gracious rain" from the unseen "river of God" in the sky. The abandonment is to "uncleanness," "vileness," "reprobate mind." (Rom. i. 24, 26, 28; cf. 18.)

Also and especially, 2. There is depravation. In the life there now is wanting that which is the sovereignly moral element even in common social life. The second "great commandment" (moral principle as distinguished from ethical precepts—sun as compared with planets) is "like unto" the first (Matt. xxii. 39), so that he who does not love God cannot truly love his neighbor, as prescribed by moral law. For morality (Edwards) is of the affections. And in the social affections the distinctively moral element is what is represented by the Bible word "honor" (1 Peter ii. 17), which means, a tender reverence, e. g., for manhood as such; that is, for the distinctively human nature which is alike in all human beings—free rational spirit, the image of God. And that thing in man is not regarded with a tender reverence in the heart that does not love and honor God. For that thing, which is the thing to be honored in manhood, has place as object of revering love in God supremely.

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The child's obedience is wanting in that moral element—the tender reverence of "honor thy father and thy mother "—where the obedience is not "in the Lord." (Eph. vi. 12.) Subjection to magistracy is only a calculating compliance, or an idolizing of self in one's own people, if the subjection be not in the spirit of reverently regarding the powers that be as "ordained of God." (Rom. xiii. 1–5.) And philanthropy, where it is not bloodless cold as in "the loves of the triangles," is mere fondness for "two-legged featherless animals," if the divine image be not regarded (Gen. ix. 6; James iii. 6), though it should be miserably effaced as a prodigal son.

In socialism, what is there of this moral quality? If there be nothing of it, there is moral death. Where death is, there is corruption, though not always appearing, nor, when it appears, always taking the name or shape of "legion" entering into swine. In connection with family, we are struck with the vast calamity of even deprivation that has befallen the "belly-god," who is able to contemplate as desirable, or at least as endurable, for the sake of a better mess of "pottage," a social condition in which family is not. To ordinary human beings, the man thus "past feeling," "without natural affection," is an object of profound compassion, compassion far more profound than that with which we look on the born blind, who never can even imagine what the blessed sunlight is, and shows. For to their feeling a social condition without family would be a world without sunshine.

Family is not only for the individual who happens to be in a family of his own. The society is made up of families. The system of things is domestic. Domesticity is the genius of the region. It is in a family atmosphere that every one lives and moves. Every individual is a family-bred man; all are family-bred, with a community of feeling as alumni of the universal alma mater. So that among them a formed socialist—if there were such a being—might come to be human, as a scholarly taste is formed by association with university-bred men.

Every one has a family of "his own" at least in memory. The oneliest mourner on the street can say, "better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all;" feeling it were better to ef- page 83 face his memory and life itself than to "pluck from memory the rooted sorrow," which is a shadowy continuance with us of the being of the loved and lost. Family claims (2 Sam. xii. 23) the "they are not lost but gone before," which goes into the death-song of "O death! where is thy sting?" Heaven itself is more heavenly because homely (Isa. xiv. 1-3), "the Father's house," into which the first-born will gather all the brotherhood; ([unclear: Heb]. xii. 18–26) so that Augustine the solitary, perhaps hoping to find Monica, sings of "Jerusalem, my happy home." And the very names of earth become thus heavenly; "father-land," "mothar-country," cardiphonia of the peoples, in recognition of a tender sacredncss of appropriation that (Ps. cii. 14) reaches even to the soil which mingles with the dust of stainless kindred. The emigrant, sighing "Home" in his distant land, claims an indefeasible title in domestic affection to the old land he has left; while from a distant past the haunting memories come to guard for him the long-forsaken spot, where "the home of my forefathers stood," though now

All ruined and wild is the roofless abode,
And lonely the dark raven's sheltering tree.

It is not, however, a mere sentiment that moved Christianity to the restoration of the ruined constitution. Nor is it only, as in the case of the political constitution, a regard (Rom. xiii. 4, 5) to the general beneficence of this ordinance of God. To the maintenance and defence of family, Christianity is laid under two-fold obligation of a special trust.—1, The true law of family, centering in the fontal precept of social duty (5th commandment), is part of that Moral Law, which is trusted to [unclear: Godg Israel] as his "testimony" to mankind. And 2, The family institution is by divine authority so inwrought into the working constitution of the church that she cannot carry on her business without requiring of those under her authority conformity to what she regards as being God's own constitution of the household.

The institution at the same time is a stream that nourishes the roots of the tree that shades it. The Christian family is itself effectively a root, or living foundation, of Christendom in the community. And also it is a leavening propagandism of Christianity.

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It is a question of ecclesiasticisim, which is "the integer" of Christianity as a distinct institute—the congregation? the presbytery? or the prelatic bishop? There can be no question of the fact, that of Christianity as a leavening influence in general society, a true integer is "the church in the house" (Philemon 2). The religion thus has good cause for its, "Woodman, spare that tree."

A peculiarity of the constitution, binding the religion to peculiar vigilance and faithfulness in maintenance and defence of it, is that it can be destroyed. The twin Edenic institution of the Sabbath is saved by the lordship of the Son of man (Mark ii. 27, 28). He vindicates it by his resurrection, guarantees it by his manifested sovereignty, keeps it (Eph. iv. 10) by his glorious exaltation, as the sun keeps our world's life when he is high in the firmament ruling the day. The lowest slave in heathendom, toiling under the lash of a Legree, could be "in the Spirit on the Lord's day." Christ has shown (Matt. xii. 5) that the ordinance may be, while "profaned" in form, yet hallowed in the spirit And not all the legionary forces of the empire, no creature-power in the universe, could prevent the weakest and the most despised of the "things which are not" from practicing a "holy resting all that day." It is otherwise with the family. Man can destroy it, not only separating husbands and wives, parents and children, but creating and perpetuating a social condition in which the [unclear: sppnad] relation does not exist, and a child cannot know either father or mother, sister or brother; while the whole society is corrupted and made vile by defilement at the desecrated fountains of its life. All which adds to the stringency of the obligation laid on the religion to keep the constitution "pure and entire," guarding it in God's name for the sake of man.

As to the true nature of the domestic constitution, the Bible history of it has problems for the constitutional student—problems arising specially from the circumstance (Matt. xix. 5) that, on account of the moral condition of man, the restoration of the fallen constitution had to be accomplished gradually, as the dawning comes in slowly in accommodation to the eyes. And in the literature of the apostolic and immediately following ages there is—pace the Vicar of Wakefield—hardly any information regarding page 85 the detailed nature of the process through which a constitution so important, the heart of the social life of mankind, came to be solidly established among the various peoples. ("No axe was heard, no ponderous hammers rung.") But the substantive result, which is what now concerns us, is clear, so that he may run who reads,—namely, that

Wherever this religion has attained to commanding force in a community for one generation, there a Scriptural domestic constitution—always the same in substance everywhere—has for the generations following taken an abiding place in the people's life, its received custom and public law; so that thenceforward any endeavor to tamper with the received constitution of the family shall be regarded as an assault on the authority of Bible religion. The constitution is beyond question pure and wholesome in its nature. And the fact, that so great a power as Christianity is thus engaged, definitively and irreversibly, in the maintenance and defence of it, is auspicious for the welfare of mankind.

The restoration is especially directed to righting the two weaker parties of the triad. And in the New Testament the greatest place is given to the restoration of woman, fallen into heathenish degradation. It is to be noted that what Peter says to husbands is not, "love your wives," but, "honor" them (1 Pet. iii. 7, cf. ii. 17). In assigning the woman's weakness as a reason for giving to her that honor, the Galilean fisherman exhibits a "chivalry," which, often fantastic in its forms, is—e. g., as appearing in the greatest Republic that the world has ever seen—the soul of the nobility of our new civilization. But the ground of the "honor" is that relationship to God in respect of which the husband and wife are alike; so that under him they are joint sovereigns of the household, and they have a common need of a clear way as suppliants to his throne. Looking at the matter thus, Peter finds the model for women under the Old Testament (vs. 5, 6), in the person of devout women of its ancient time. In outward condition, so far as was compatible with innocence, they were as other women of their own standing among the peoples. But, as being personally and individually of the faithful, they were honored by the people of God, and "honorable" (Psa. xlv. 3) as his daughters. The page 86 fontal precept of all his "testimony," in the innermost shrine of the revelation of his holy mind and heart, placed woman on the same level with man as an object of "honor," most nearly resembling the homage that is due to God: "Honor" thy mother as well as thy father.

Paul's wonderful analogy (Eph. v. 22–33) lays the emphasis expressly on "love" your wives; on which account it was the less necessary for Peter to emphasize it, if, as is thought likely, he had read Ephesians (2 Pet. iii. 15, 16) before writing his first Epistle). But the "honor" was folded, very remarkably, in that Old Testament representation of religion to which Paul refers in what he says of "a great mystery;" representation of the individual soul's relation to God as a [unclear: spousal] relation (Jer. ii. 2)—"thy Maker is thine husband" (cf. The Song of Songs). This representation, which under the Old Testament was variously made prominent in the whole system of religious thought, must have powerfully tended to maintain to men's feeling the sanctity of marriage, and the honor of woman in all the relations branching out of that.

So in Paul's teaching, when she is redeemed from heathenism by the Son of Man (cf. 1 Tim. ii. 15), we find (1 Cor. vi. 15-20) her person guarded as a sacred thing, a very temple of the Holy Ghost. And (1 Cor. vii. 14) her presence is a sanctifying influence, so that the children are "holy." The family is Christian even if her husband be a heathen. We can see from the history that, in the exciting new conditions of womanhood's emancipation, there had to be resolute firmness of apostolic discipline, upon the solid ground that woman, if she is to be either honored or honorable, must always be womanly. But the essential thing is, that as in Israel under the Old Testament, so more fully here in the new Israel of God, womanhood is now redeemed; so that the heart of social manhood has received healing, and its life is made pure at the fountain in the natural sanctuary of home.

We here will not speak, and we hardly dare to think, of the desecrated thing which socialism would put into the place of that Eve of the Paradise regained.

The great place of children in Christendom is not only because page 87 of the interest in them that was shown by Jesus the Son of man, but also and especially, by reason of the place that is due to them in the kingdom of God. The great place which children have in the New Testament, as compared with their nothingness in heathenism, is a bequest from the Old Testament; not only (Mal. iv, 6) with its latest breath, but in its earliest institutions, at the foundation and in the heart of the greatest of them.

In Abraham's day children were sealed by circumcision of infants (Rom. iv. 11), as being on a level with the great Patriarch, the father of all believers, in respect of that highest thing attainable by creatures (Rev. vii. 13–15), "the righteousness of the faith which Abraham had." When Israel came to be a nation, children had the foremost place in the great national feast of the Passover. Not only they partook of the feast; they were made, as it were, the guests of the festival. By appointment of God (Ex. xii. 26, 27), at the original institution of it in Egypt, through all generations until the coming of Christ, every year, on that great occasion, the children alone were addressed. The words of the address to them, by the fathers of their flesh, were from the mouth of God. They were the words, as far as we know, of the only sacramental address that God (the Father) has ever spoken. Need we wonder if, under the new dispensation, in the apostolic directories, though Paul (Eph. vi. 1, 2) have a word for children, the Apostle of the circumcision (1 Pet. ii. 12–iii. 9) does not find it necessary to address any separate admonition to them (cf. 2 Pet. i. 19–21 and 2 Tim. i. 5; iii. 15).

In the homely Book of Proverbs we see the Hebrew family, and say, "happy is the people that is in such a case." That family is very like the family honored in his heart by the author of The Cottar's Saturday Night. It made Canaan and Scotland to be the two lands of song that was from the peoples' heart. For it was to the people a happy land of home. A great feature in it is (6ee Prov. xxxi) the tender faithful honored queen of the household. And her sons and daughters, who honor her, are, in the noble habit of reverence, laying the foundations of a character that will afterwards go far, and always be to them a basis of honorable manhood or womanhood. The young people who in this book are page 88 (Eph. vi. 1, 2) made so much of, so kindly advised and reasoned with, while warned, as if by the Apostle Peter in his mellow old age, are not young slaves. But on this one point, of reverence where it is due, the law of Moses has a terrific severity (Exod. xxi. 15), which is resumed in the old Scottish law prescribing that one who strikes a parent shall be put to death "without mercy."

The merciless severity, guarding so sternly the essential moral element of "honoring" in the system of the social affections, was greatest kindness to the young. Without that element, the outlook for young lives, and for the community the young are coming to form, is dark. But supposing that in socialism the children should somehow find out their parents; could they honor them?—them!—the desecrated thing, and the scare-crow fiend with hunger in place of [unclear: a] soul, whose moral relation to their children is conspiracy in moral infanticide? It is not difficult for children to honor a parent like William Burns.

James MaCgregor.

Oamaru, New Zealand.