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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois 



http://www.archive.org/details/opencourt11887caru 



The Open Court, 



Fortnightly Journal, 



Devoted to the Work of Establishing 

Ethics and Religion upon a 

Scientific Basis. 



Vol. I 



CHICAGO: 
The Open Court Publishing Co. a 



[887-88. 



V 



JUrrL. J J Iff 






GENERAL INDEX. 



VOLUME I. 



SPECIAL CONTRIBUTIONS. 



PAGE. 

Adam, Putting off the Old Man. IV. D. Gunning 67 

Agnosticism Produce Better Results than Christianity? Does W. L. 

Garrison, Jr '53 

Anarchists? What Shall be Done with the. W. M. Salter 530 

Anniversary of the Society for Ethical Culture of Chicago, The Fourth. .. 164 
Aphorisms from the Study. Xenos Clark 14 



Rlue Laws, The. Frederick May Holland 

Breadth and Earnestness. Celia P. Woolley. ... 

Buddhism Influence Early Christianity? Through what Historical Chan- 
nels Did. Gen. J. G. R. Forlong 382, fi6, 



02 



K at zen jammer. W. D. Gunning 4 

Labor, The Future of. Robert C. Adams 575 

Labor, The Laokoon of. Wheelbarrow . . 410 

Labor Cranks. James Parte n 113 

Language. E. P. Powell. 6S4, 750 

Language, 'I he Simplicity ot. I rof. F. Max Muller 225, 253 

Language and Thought, The Identity of. Prof. F. Max Muller 2Sj, 309 

Laws in Harmony, All. Mrs. R. F. Baxter . _•< 7 

Liberty and Labor, The Poets of. Wheelbarrow 41s 1, 745 

Live and Not Let Live. Wheelbarrow zfii 



Character and iis Relation to the Commonweal, The Evolution of. Miss 

M. S. Gilliland 63 

Chimpanzee, Chats with a. Mori cure D. Conway. 

62, 126, 177, - , 3'. 3H. 403. 5'5- 546 

Chopping Sand. Wheelbarrow 353 

Christianity and the Moral Law. Clara Lanza 203 

Church Worth Saving? Is the. Lewis G.Janes 120 

Church and State, Separation of. Prof. Albert Reville 369, 396 

Church, The Stronghold of the. Col. T. W. Higginson 477 

Coal Upon Our Atmosphere, The Influence of the Combustion of. Ttans- 

lated from the German of Dr. Clemens Winkler 197 

Consciousness. E. P. Powel 1 ] 25 

Crusade, The Cross of the New. Prof. Van Hurcn Denslow 262 

Democratic Theory and Practice. W. L. Garrison, Jr 316 

Determinism versus Indeterminism. Prof. Georg von Gizycki 729, 75S 

Douglass in Paris, Frederick. Theodore Stanton 151 

Dress Upon Development, The Influence of. Flora McDonald 40S 

Economics, The Ethics of. Geo. M. Gould 6S9, 721, 747 

"ducation of Parents by their Children, The. Cams Sterne 642, 670 

^chatology and Ethics. M. C. O'Byrne 190 

Ethical Movement, The Aim of the. Address by Prof. Felix Adler (-.00 

Ethical Societies, The American. Mrs. McCullom 601 

Ethics, The Basis of. Edward C. Hegeler iS 

Remarks by Messrs. Prussing, Stern, Underwood and Zimmerman..., 22 

Comments on Mr. Hegeier's Essaj'. W. M. Salter 51 

Further Comments on Mr. llegeler's Essay $2 

Ethics, Amendments and Answer to Criticisms ot His Essay on the Basis 

of. Edward C. Hegeler 94 

Ethics, Darwinism in. W. M. Salter 77 

Ethics in Public Affair-. M. M. Trumbull 1S2 

Ethnological Studies. Theodore Stanton 13 

Evolution, Montgomery on the Theology of. Prof. E. D. Cope 2S5, 35S 

Evolution, Cope s Theology of. Edmund Montgomery 160, 217, 274, 300 

Ja: 



Evolution, Thoughts 
Evolution and Ideali* 



James Eddy 463 

Prof. E. D. Cope 655 



Flowers and Pot ts. Anna Olcotl Commelin 90 

Folk- Lore Studies. I.. J. Vance 612, 662 

Fool in the Drama, The. Translated from the German of Franz Helbig. 

607, 657, 687 

Franklin, A Hint from. John Burroughs $5 

Free Religious Association and its Approaching Annual Meeting, The. 

Wm. J. ] 'otter 179 

Free Religious Association, Twentieth Annual Convention of the. F. M. 

Holland 235 

Free Thought Education, The Need for. Thomas Davidson 3 

Free Thought in England. Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner. 147 

Free Thoughts. Felix L. Oswald, M. D 433 

Future Life, Common Consent and the. Richard A. Proctor 237 

Gravity, The Mystery of. George Stearns 557 

Hein/en, Karl. K. Peler 451 

Hemispheres, The Two. B. W. Ball 11 

History, The Value of Doubt in the Study of. Gen. M. M. Trumbull 715 

Idealism and Physical Science. W. M. Salter 552 

Idealism, A Misconception of. W. M. Salter 47S 

Immortality, Personal. Daniel Greenleaf Thompson 172 

Immortal it v that Science Teaches, The. Lester I . Ward, A. M 199 

Industries, Diffusion of. F. B. Taylor 565 

Jails and Jubilees. Elizabeth Cady Stanton 175 

and Jubilees. A Criticism of Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Article. 

Pr< -en led by Edward C. Hegeler , 212 

A Rejoinder to Mis. E.C.Stanton. Edward C. Hegeler 407 

thah's Daughter at Honolulu. Moncure D. Conway 86 



Man of the Sea, The Old. Prof. W. D. Gunning 507 

Memory, Th. Ribot on. Dr. Paul Cams 264 

Memory, Th. Ribot on Diseases of. Dr. Paul Carus 344 

Memory. Prof. W. D. Gunning, M. D 361 

Memory as a General Function of Organized Matter, On. Translated 

from the German of Ewald Hering 141, 169 

Menial Science, Monistic. S. V. Clevenger, M. D 400, 429, 484, 553 

Mind? Are We Products of. Edmund Montgomery, M. D. 

423, 459, 4S0, 512, 587, 617 

Mind to Matter, The Relation of. Prot. E. D. Cope. 527 

Mind to Morality and Progress, Some Relations of. G. Gore, LL.D.. F.R.S 555 

Mind -Reading, Etc. Minot J. Savage . 149 

Mind-Reading, Etc. * A Reply to M. J. Savage. J.S.Ellis 230 

Monism in Modern Philosophy and the Agnostic Attitude of Mind. Ed- 
mund Montgomery 9, 37, 65 

Monism, Dualism and Agnosticism. Paul Carus, Ph. D 209 

Monism, A New Theory of. Rev. William I. Gill, A. M ..., 454 

Monism, Quotations on 384 

Monopoly on Strike. Wheelbarrow 5^9 

Montgomery, Dr. Edmund 103 

Moral Unity. William J. Poitei .' 88 

Mythology, The Decadence of Christian. W. S. Kennedy 71 

Mystery- Play, A Modern. M. C. O'Byrne 250- 



Nervous System, The Specific Energies of the. 
man ot Ewald Hering 



Translated fn 



1 the Ger- 

oco, 664 



Occult Sciences in the Temples of Ancient Egypt, The. Georgia Louise 

Leonard 470, 496 

Orthodoxy, Progressive. C. K. Whipple 71 S- 

Pain in a New Light, The Mystery of. Xenos Clark 42S 

Paradox, A Theological. Mi not J. Savage 36 

Penalty, The Death. A. M. Griffen 572 

Persona. Prof. F. Max Muller 505, 543 

Picture, A Notable. Raymond S. Penan 28S 

Population to Social Reform. The Relation of the Doctrine of. Prof. 

Henry C. Adams 22S 

Possibilities. Rowland Connor 30 

Poverty, The Art of Making. M. M. Trumbull 57» 97 

Present Aims. Arthur R. Kimball 343 

Progress, The Process of. Rudolf Weyh r 683 

Prometheus Unbound. F. M. Holland 4S3 

Prophecy, Touched by. Elizabeth Oakes Smith 513 

Prophets, Two. Alfred H. Peters 329 

Protestantism, Aristocratic. C. K. Whipple 373 

Protestantism and the New Ethics. William Clarke 233 

Psychiatry, or Psychological Medicine. S. V. Clevenger, M. D 207, 241 

Punishment, The Rationale of. Celia P. Woolley 134 

Question. That Previous. J. II. Fowler 70 

Radical, The. Ednah D. Cheney 1 17 

Radical Method, Failure of the. Rev. Julius II. Ward 292 

Reason and Predisposition. John Burroughs 115 

Reflex Motions. Translated from the German of G. II. Schneider. 696 

Reform Problems. Felix L. Oswald 122 

Religion, Natural. Rev. John W. Chad wick 205 

Religion and Science. Dr. Paul Carus 405 

Religion Have a Scientific Basis? Can. Lewis G.Janes 350 

Religion and Ethics, New Views of. F. M. Holland 519, 581 

Religion of Humanity, The. William Chatterton Coupland 577 

Religions, Mythologlc. Charles D. B. Mills 201 

Religious Progress in Scotland. Rev. Robert B. Drummond 257 

Religion, From Despotism to Republicanism in. John Burroughs 541 

Religion, Separateness in. George Jacob Holyoake 510 

Religion, 'The Secularization of. M. C. O'Byrne CS2 



.*° 



no < 



THE OPEN COURT— Index to Volume I. 



SPECIAL CONTRIBUTIONS— Continued. 



PAGE. 

Science to Morality and Progress, Some Relations of. G. Gore, LL.D.. 

F.R.S ." 421, 45$ 

"Science, Christian."' S. Y. Clevenger, M.D 330 

Science in the New Church. Edward Crunch, Ph. B., M. I* 374 

Scientific Studies, Religious Value of. Lewis G. Janes 571 

Secularism, The Mission of. Felix L. Oswald, M. D 29 

Shakers and Shakerism. Hester M. Poole. 149 

Shakespeare- B icon Controversy, The. IS. W, Ball 5S5 

Skeptic, The Modern. John Burroughs 239, $22 

Skepticism a Self- Evident Error. Clinton Collin* 723 

Social Prohlem and the Church, The. Morrison I. Swift . .... 050 

Society and the Individual. William J. Potter. 1 

Soul, The. Edward C. Htgeler 30.; 

Spencer, Herbert, as a Thinker. Richard A. Proctor 145 

Spheres, The Harmony of the. P. Carus, Ph. D.. 3; 

Sun and Savior, The World's. Richard A. Proctor 312 

Sunday Worship. Charles K. Whipple 05 

Sympathy, The Merit and Vice of. Celia Pa ker Wool ley 550 

Temples and Temple Cities. B. W. Ball 351 

Tempted Generation, A Sorely. Alfred 1 1. Peters 11S 

Theism, A Review of Francis Ellinirwood Abbot's Scientific. L. Carrau . 340 

Theism, Th. Rihot on Dise:i-rs ofMemory. Or. Paul Cams 314 

Remarks on the Two Foregoing Articles. Edward C. Hegeler 34S 



I'AG E. 

Thought, the Parent of Originality. Mary E. L ole 743 

Thought Without Words. Conclusion of Correspondence between Mr. 

Arthur Xicols, et al., and Prof. F. Max Muller 40S 

Thought, The Simplicity of. Prof. F. Max Muller 337, 365 

To Arms. Wheelbarrow 615 

Tobacco, The Rights of Those Who Dislike. Anna Gar) in Spencer 60 

Tolstoi and Primitive Christianity. W. D. Gunning 39S 

Trades, Competition in. Wheelbarrow .... 203 

Truth, Love of. Celia Parker Woolly 720 

Unitarianisin and Its Grandchildren. Moncure l>. Convi av 46 

Viking \ncesiors, and What We Owe to ["hem, Our. Samuel Knee land,- 

M.D 259 

\"irtues, The Positive. Prof. Thomas Davidson 426, 490, 517 

Voltaire, King. Fruderii -k May Hollan 1 6 

Will, Th. Ribot on. Or. Paul Carus (.55, |S7 

"Woman, The Worst Enemy of Woman is." Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 34S 
Worlds, Varied Life in Other. Richard A. Proctor 595 

Xe ions, Goelhe and Schiller's. Dr. Paul Carus 31I* 



POETRY AND FICTION. 



Age, The. W. F. Barnard 54 

Cat, The. A Parable. F. A. Krummacher, 641 

Conclusion. |. F. D 3S1 

Creedman, The. Mrs. Elizabeth Cakes Smith. 2o, 3 

Death. A. B 700 

Death in the Cage. George Wentz 1 1 1 

De Profundis. Elizabeth Oakes Smith 212 

Dial, The. Walter Crane i^ 

Doubt. George E. Montgomery :2i 

Down and Up. Anna Olcott Commelin 214 

Drifting. W alter Crane 54 

Egoitv. Emma Tuttle ... 244 

Finishing " The Ruins," On. * * 49a 

Gospel Village, The. Bv One Who Sojourned 

There 30,? 



PAGE. 

Hi nihi Li gend. Gertrude Alger 324 

Ho Theos Meta Son. Gowan Lea v> 

Ideal, The. W. F. Barnard 137 

Ideals. Gowan Lea 7-4 

" [ Do Not Know." Sara A. Underwood 273 

Immortality. Solomon Solis-Cohen 700 

Immortality. Matthew Arnold 724 

Lenau, Translation from 6iO 

Lost Manuscript, The. Gustav Freytag. Com- 
mencing in No. 22, p. 646, and continued there 

from 

Love. Mrs. Emma Tuttle 469 

Magnanimity. Sara A. Underwood 43S 

Nature's Lesson. W.F.Barnard 354 

Open Court, The. Nelly Booth Simmons 205 

I'ro Confesso. Ge< rge Went/ 150 



f'AGF- 

Questionings. Wil is Fletcher Johnson 753 

Responsum N itur.e. A. C. Bowen . . 52! 

Schiller's Gods of Greece. B. W. Ball. S3 

Separation. Joel Benton 1 1 

Silent Intruder, A. Lee Fairchild 1S4 

Sin of the Atom, The. Yiroe ... 4JS 

Snow, The First. Sonnet. Gowan Lea 550. 

Socrates. W. F. Barnard 273 

Song. Horace L. Traubel (69 

Sonnet. Gowan Lea 492 

Sonnet. Ilda Poesche 212 

Sursum. By * * * . . 5JQ 

To-Morrow. Gowan Lea. 419 

Tributes. Lee Fairchild 641 

Two Preachers. Sara A. Under \ nod 590 

Un revealed. Helen T. Clark 437 

When Sumac Glimmers Red. EHssn M.Moore. 469 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



CAGE. 

Barnard's Defense of His Criticism, Mr 475 

Concluding Comments by Dr. Carus 475 

Boston Correspondence. Clayton 10S 

Boston, A Letter from. Ednah Dow Cheney 52 

Catholicism and Democracy in France. Theodore Stanton 566 

Character. James Eddy 391 

Common Consent, the Soul. Immortal Life, and the Godhead. Richard \. 

Proctor 386 

Conway's Work in England. Mr. George Jacob Holyoake 137 

Cope-Montgomery Controversy, The. S. V. Clevenger, M. D 3S9 

Cremation, Dr. Samuel Kneeland on 220 

Cross, Reply to Mr. Benjamin. Ella E. Gibson 703 

Davis of Boston, A Statement Concerning Rev. IT. B. Hastings 672 

Economic Theology, Henry George and the School Girl. Edge worth 507 

England, A Letter from. "Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner 362 

Ethical Culture and Monism. R. B. Westbrook 54 

Ethical Movement in England, The. William Clarke .. 444 

Free Religious Association. F. M. Holland 105 

Free Religious Association, Resolutions bv the. Fred. M. Holland §3 

Free-Thought Congress, 1SS7, International. Charles Bradlaugh 36} 

Free-Thought Education. M. D. Leahy 10S 

Free-Thought Education. Janet E. Runt/ Rees 136 

Free-Thought Education. Thomas Davidson 166 

Free-Thought Lyceums. Thomas H. Jappe 53 

Gibson, A Reply to Ella E. Benjamin Cross 673 

(iood and Bad. C. K. D 221 

Gravitation, The Cause of. Ely Shefford 736 

Gravity, On. L. J. Ives 704 

Human Feeling, Limitations of the. F. B. Taylor 53 

Human Suffering, The Study of. Xenos Clark^ .-603 

Idealism and Realism. Francis C. Russell 604 

Idealism, The Misconception of. F. L. Carpenter 569 

Individual Immortality. C. Billups 734 

" Institutional Order, The." A. N*. Adams 390 

Ireland, The English Government of. J. G. W. ... ... 306 

Jerusalem Correspondent, A Letter from Our. " Special " 24 



" Labor Cranks" Criticised, Mr. Parton's Article on. John Basil Barnhill. 363 

Labor Cranks Again, James Parton on 445 

Labor Question, "The. A. Bate - 4'9 

London, A Letter from. Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner 249 

London. A Letter from. Charles D. B. Mills 535 

Mai-Observation and Lapse of Memory, as Viewed hy Richard Hodgson. 

LL.D., The Possibilities of. Ella E. Gibson "7 ' 

Memory Necessary to Conscious Mental Life? Is. Janet E. Runtz-Rees. 306 

Memory and Conscious Mental Life, Daniel Greenleaf Thompson 363 

Mind-Reading. Paul Cams 105 

Mind-Reading, Etc., Again— A Correction. M. J. Savage 305 

Miracles. Smith John, D. D .250 

Montana Industrial School for Indians. 1 he. J. F. B. Marshall _*23 

Murderer?, Ecclesiastical Atten'ions to Georgejacob Holyoake., 331 

193, ^7 ;ss 



New \ ork. Letter from. Hester M. Poo 
Open Court, The. -Mien Pringle 



104 

'94 
277 
7°3 
M* 



Parker Tomb Fund. The. Theodore Stan 1 *"''. 

Philadelphia, Letter from. C. P 

Prison Reform ? What is. Eugene I lough 

Proctor on "Common Consent," Reply to. H. 1>. Stevens 
Pulpit, Criticism of the. Georgejacob Holyoake 

Quaker, A Letter from a. David Newport 7°3 

Radical Method, Success to Ihe. Robert C. Adams 569 

Religion and its Correlations. Joseph Rodes Buchanan 502 

Religion an i The Open Court, Two Letters. Rev. II. H. Higgins and G. 

H. Scheel 73 1 

Salter, A Replv bv Mr. William M. 10 William I. Gill 703 

Sense, Reality and Illusion as to. Wm. I. Gill 702 

Seybert Commission Report, The. Ella E. Gibson 3S9 

Social Democrats. Third Congress of the German. Laura La (argue 602 

Social Studies. Hester M. Poole 700 

Subscriber, A Question from a 763 

Sundav Laws are Manufactured, How. H no 

Thought Without Words. Correspondence between Francis Galton, the 
Duke of Argyll, Mr. Hyde Clarke. Mr. T. Mellard Reade. S. F. M. Q. 
and Max Mufler 41 



THE OPEN COURT— Index to Volume I. 



CORRESPONDENCE— Continued. 



Thought Without Words. Correspondence between Ft. in. is Gallon, 

I ieorgc Romanes, J. J. Murphy, etc., and Max Muller 472 

.Nuisance, The. Caroline M. Everhard 221 

Tolstoi. J. S. B 5°* 

Trades-Unions and Monopoly. Harr\ C.Long. 642 

Trades Union Methods, The Practical Justification of. Ham C. Long .. 762 

Underwood, A Letter from Mr. 1". F., dated Aug. ao, tSS6 76+ 

\\ .1 .--■ . P .ems, I>. A. Kdnaii D. Cheney 279 



HAGS. 

Wheelbarrow, Reply by 044 

Widow, His. CM. Everhard ;oo 

Woman, Woman's Worst Enemy Is. II. IS. Clark 568 

Woman Suffrage, An Argument for. F. M. Holland 502 

Words and Thoughts. F ^3? 

Word Species, The. Elissa M. Moore 537 

Xcnions, Goethe and Schiller's. A Criticism. W. F. Barnard 445 

Dr. Cams' Reply 446 



EDITORIALS. 



Alcohol Question, The 413 

American Economic Association, Second An- 
nual Meeting of the 246 

Anarchism and Socialism 75 \ 

Anarchy and the Anarchist- 464 

Ass iciations for the Advancement of Women, 561 

Blasphemy - J 4 

Books for Young People, < om ernin*; 377 

Brains and Sex 

Christmas Gifts 669 

Competition a Condition of Progress 271 

Competition, The Primitive Struggle and Mod- 
ern 1S5 

Concord School of Philosophy, The.. .. — 355 
Convention of the Union of the Ethical Culture 

Societies, Annual 592 

Co-operative Congress in England 29S 

Culture, Genuine vs. Spurious 131 

Dangerous Classes. The 524 

Darwin and His Work 40 

England, A Letter from. Chappellsmith .. ., 757 

Ethos Anthropoi Daimon 695 

Evolution and ImmortaIit\ ~y'> 

Farewell to the Re idersof the Open Court, The 

Editors' 591 



HAGE. 

Free Religious Association. The ^2; 

Freytag, Gustav. Edward C. Hegeler 640 

George's Theory Proved and Disproved by The- 
ology.. ... 247 
« rt rman Influence in America 357 

'• Heathen, An Unconverted " 150 

Hypnotism, ,. 207 

Ideas, The Life and Growth of 756 

" It Think--." 64] 

Journalism, Vicious 129 

Li beralism ji ^ 

Lost Manuscript, The 040 

Mental He.iling Craze, The 269 

Metaphysicism to Positivism, From 695 

Monistic Religion is to Me, What the. A Letter 
- to a Highly Esteemed New Contributor. 

Edward C. Hegeler 72^ 

Monism and Monistic Thinkers 376 

Monism and Religion 6 i\ 

Monuments 521 

Mora! and Scientific Progress. 1 -' 

Oracle, An 0\ er taxed 411 

Phrenology, The Old and New 433 

Pleasure and Pain 495 



Politician, The Shark} ;oj 

Public Opinion 29- > 

Pulpit Influence on Vital Questions tS6 

Quid Pro Quo 245 

Readers of the (.'pen Court, To the. Edward C. 

Hegeler 62 1 

Relativity 564 

Religion in the Public Schools 73 

Religion Upon a Scientific Basis 5<o 

Resignation of the Late Editors, Supplement to 

the Statements Relating to the. Edward C. 

1 legeler 693 

Revivalists We Have and the Revivalists We 

Xeed, The 73 

Salutatory '5 

Science and Immortality 132 

Science to Morals, The "Relation of 154 

Science vs. Theology 43 

Smyth, The Case of Prof. Egbert C 296 

Thinking, Right 99 

Unknowable, The '167 

Vacation Time 27 

Volapuk, the Universal Language 523 

Woman Suffrage, The Rock Ahead in 326* 



BOOK REVIEWS. 



1 68 



Absolute Relativism. William Bell McTaggart .... 

Allston, and Other Papers, Last Evening with. Elizabeth P. Pea bod \ . 223 
Aphorisms of the Three Threes. Edward O wings Towne 564 



Bible, what is It? I he. Divinity of Christ, The, I. D. Shaw. 
Botany, Elements of. Edson S'. Bastin, A, M., F. 11. M. S... . 



44^ 
30 



Chicago Law Times, The 56 

Christianity, Crimes of. G. W. FootcandJ. M. Wheeler 539 

istianity, Review of the Evidences of. Abner Kneeland, 4 4.8 

Christian Science Pamphlets and Recent Literature on Mind Cure 447 

Columbus; or, A Hero of the New World. D. S. Preston , . 308 

Darwinism, The Ethical Import of. J. G. Schurman I' 1 

Earth in Space, The. Edward P. Jackson, A. M 540 

Emancipation of Massachusetts, The. Brooks A. lam-- 364 

Emerson, A Memoir of Ralph Waldo. James Elliot ' .... 537 

Entwickelung und Gluckseligkeit. B. Carneri 2^1 

Ethics. The Foundation of. Edwarde Maude, M. A 251 

Ethik, Vorfragen der. Dr. Christoph Sigwart., 417 

Evolution and Christianity. J. C. F. Grumbine, 539 

Gedenkbuch. Erinnerung an Karl Hetnzen. 
Geometry, First Steps in. La-- Lessons in thi 

Richard A. Proctor 

God' What and Where is. IL B. Philbrook 



Diffi rential Call ulus. 



lite Psvchologique. Th. Ribot 

Heredity, Th. Ribot's 

Heredity from God, Our. E. I*. Powell 

High-Caste Hindu Woman, The. Pundita Ramabai SarasvatL. 

Higher Ground. Augustus Jacobson 

Histoire R-eliune^sL' du Feu. Introduction a I'Histoire Generate de 

ion . Com to Goblet d'Alviella 

Historical Jesus, and Other Lectures, The. Gerald Massey 

Hi itory 01 England in the Eighteenth Century, A. vols. V md 
l Edward I lartpole Lecky . 



Relig 



In the Wrong Paradise, and Other Stories. Andrev 1 ■ ; 
Isaure, and Other Poems. W. Stewarl Ros; 



Journal d'un Philosophe. Lucien Arrcal 

Keats, John. Sidney Col vin 

Leben i I nGi eines Heimathlosei 1 n 

Legend Iron. Story-Land. James Vila Blake 

Lcspinas.se, Lettres Medites de Mademoiselle de, Charles Fleury. 
i nd Theology. Cclia Parker Woolley 

Makii ■ : Great West, 'the. Samual Adam- Drakt 



280 

673 

57o 

133 
139 

-1: 
I 1 11 
7.17 

22 t 
33 5 

420 

196 

22\ 

]:'■ 

705 

2- 

7'" 

55 
S3* 



PAGE. 
Marriage and Divorce, The Clerical Combination to Influence Ci\ il Legis- 
lation on. Richard Brodhead, D.D., LL.D .... 54O 

Monk's Wedding, The. Conrad Ferdinand Meyer 417 

Mind . 27 

Mental Healing. Facts and Fictions of. Charles M. Barrows.. 446 

Origin of the Fittest, E. D. Cope's The. E. D. Powell ill 

Parleyings with People of Importance in Their Day. Robert Browning. 112 

Philosophische Kriticismus, Prof. A. Riehl's Der. G. V. Gizycki 105 

Philosophical Realism. William Icrin Gill.. . S3 

Phvsiologv and Psychology . S. V. Clevenger's Comparative 139 

Pine and Palm. M.D.Conway 604 

Pioneer Quakers. The. Richard P. HallowelJ 16S 

Poems. By David At wood Wasson 674 

Poems and Essays. James Vila Blake 54' 

Poems and Translations. By Mary Morgan ( Gowan Lea 1 &? 

Poet Laureate, To the 

Practical Piety. Jenkins Llovd Jones 

Problem of Evil. The. Daniel Greenleaf Thompson 334 

Progress, The Scientific Basis of. G. Gore, LL.D., F.R. S 447 

Property and the Ownership of Land, The Right of. W. T. H rris 60; 

Psalms, The Story of the. Henry Van Dyke, P.D 7.s7 

Publications of John B. Alden, Recent $& 

Random Recollections. Henry B. Stanton 54° 

Recollections of a Minister to France, E. B. Washburne, LL.D 605 

Religious Sentiment, The. Daniel G. Brinton, A. M., M. D 107 

Religiose und Wissenschaftliche Weltanschauung, L T eber. Prof. Dr. L. 

Buchner 5°3 

Sailing of King Olaf and Other Poems, The. Alice Williams Brotherton,, 30S 

Shakespearean Drama, The. Denton J. Snider 005 

Shayhaeks in Camp, The: Ten Summers Under Canvas. Samuel J. Bar- 
rows and Isabel C Barrows 39 3 

Skat, the German Game of Cards, An Illustrated Grammar of. Ernst 

Eduard Lemcke 252 

Social Equilibriums and Other Problems, Ethical and Religious. George 

Batchelor 57° 

Sunday Law of Massachusetts, The 27 

Thackeray, A Collection of Letters of 539 

Trv-Square, or The Church of Practical Religion. Reporter 2S0 

Uplifts of Heart and Will 252 

Utilitarianism, Sketch of a New. W. Douw Eighth all, M. A., B. C. L.. .. 447 

White Cockades. Edward Irenams Stevenson 570 

Wundt's Ethics. Paul Cams 13S 

Zury: The Meanest Man in Spring County. Joseph Kirkland 252 




■ rial articles from page 640 to end of present volume were written under the editorial management of Dr. Paul Carus; 
under tin' editorial management of Mr, and Mrs IV V. Underwood. 



The Open Court 

A Fortnightly Journal, 

Devoted to the Work of Establishing Ethics and Religion Upon a Scientific Basis. 



Vol. I. No. i. 



CHICAGO, FEBRUARY 17, 1887. 



\ Three Dollars per Year. 
) Single Copies, 15 cts. 



SOCIETY AND THE INDIVIDUAL. 
BY WILLIAM I POTTER. 

It the fundamental question of the relation of indi- 
vidual existence and of individual welfare to the aggre- 
gate power and well-being of societv could he settled, 
with it some of the foremost problems of the day in 
social, political and ethical philosophy would find their 
solution. This fundamental question is behind the 
struggle that is going on between labor and capital. It 
is involved in the various theories of socialism, commun- 
ism, anarchism, which are now claiming public atten- 
tion. In political science, it is behind the problem 
whether government shall be protective, educational, 
paternal, or merely representative of such conditions and 
needs as are strictly common to all individual citizens. 
And in ethics the most perplexing problems are con- 
cerned, not with the relation of one individual to another, 
but with the relation between a single individual on one 
side and the whole aggregate of individuals, as repre- 
sented bv public opinion, custom, law, on the other side. 
Are there, then, anv general principles bearing upon 
this central question of the relation of the individual to 
society which will help toward a solution of these spe- 
cific problems? 

It seems to me that there are such principles. And 
one of the first among them is that nature in this 
matter should be our teacher; not material nature 
merely, but nature in its broad meaning as including 
man as well as the physical universe — nature as cover- 
ing the whole of that spinal world-plan by which, as 
science assures us, from the amorphous, chaotic mass of 
primitive matter, with whatever forces were inherent in 
it, there came successively all the various orders of being 
known to earth, on an ascending scale of organic capac- 
ity and function, until man was reached, with his com- 
manding intellect, his moral sense, his creative purpose 
and will to be guided by reason and right. 

And how has nature, or the power within or behind 
nature, wrought in this world-process? Not to go into 
details, it has worked by the method of differentiation; 
that is, by successive separations of the amorphous mass 
of primitive matter and the gradual production of spe- 
cific and individual forms of existence, each still in some 
way dependent upon or related to the parent mass and 
its forces, but taking on organic vitality, functions and 



power of its own. As this process of concentrating the 
forces of existence and life in specific forms has con- 
tinued, the organism has become more complex and 
capable, its functions more various and effective, its 
power both more extensive and more exquisite. To 
make strong species and individuals as instrumentalities 
for continuing its energy and developing its life, appears 
to be nature's aim. And this is done through the 
instinct of self-preservation; or the natural impulse of 
every organic existence to maintain and hold its exist- 
ence against all opposition. From this instinct have 
come the labor and struggle for food, the storing of food 
for future use, the efforts to defend life and strengthen 
its powers of resistance to disaster, the desire and acquisi- 
tion of property, and the strife for property beyond anv 
immediate need as representing enlarged means of living. 
Some of the developed phases of the instinct of self- 
preservation are common to all orders of animal life 
and some of them are peculiar to the human race. In 
short, it may be said that nature produces strong, capa- 
ble, masterful individuals and races through the princi- 
pal of selfism ; or of each being put under necessity to 
care for its own existence, to maintain its own rights, to 
provide for its own sustenance and prosperity. Thus 
faculty is trained and skill and power acquired. 

But this concentration of energy in individual faculty 
and power is clearly not nature's highest nor final achieve- 
ment. This is means, not an end. So far, at least, as 
concerns the forms of life below man, it does not appear 
that the individual organism exists for its own sake, but 
for the sake of the species to which it belongs; and the 
species again, it may be, for the sake of some larger 
realm of life. Nature insists, by the necessary condi- 
tions of existence, that the individual shall make itself 
as strong and bring itself as near to perfection as possi- 
ble; yet not for the sake of its own power and glory 
(for these soon pass away ), but that it may transmit so 
much of added power and organic perfection to the 
common stock of the race of which it is a part. Nature's 
aim is higher, broader, richer life; better forms for 
retaining and maturing life; organisms in which intel- 
lectual emotion and skill shall attain mastery over brute 
force. Though the individual, therefore, is instinctively 
compelled to live and struggle for self-existence, yet the 
outcome of individual existence is by no means confined 
to the individual career and attainment, but it goes to 



THE OPEN COURT. 



shape and modify the current of this unceasing tide of 
ascending, universal life. 

What, then, is the application of this lesson from 
nature to the problem of the relation between individual 
man and human society? The lesson, in its first part, is 
plainly this: There can be no sound plans for the devel- 
opment of human society, no social-reform schemes, no 
settlements of disturbing social problems, which ignore 
and try to leave out of account this element of natural en- 
ergy applied to individualistic ends; this instinct to seek, 
acquire and preserve the things that gratify individual 
life. The instinct may take a high form or it may take 
a low form. It may be degraded to the miser's passion, 
which merely clutches and hordes possessions without 
caring for their uses; or it may appear in the daily indus- 
try and economy of the mechanic, to the end that he 
may have a house of his own for his wife and children, 
and put within it the things that shall make it a home; 
or it may show itself in the sagacity and enterprise of 
the merchant or manufacturer, who easily makes a mill- 
ionaire's fortune, while he organizes industries on a large 
scale and furnishes employment to a whole community. 
The impulse to individual acquisition and to secure a 
more advantageous position in the world may, of course, 
be nourished to excess and become an unjust and 
grasping passion; it may grow abnormal and become a 
disease; but in itself it has been such a fundamental con- 
dition of the world's evolution and progress, both in 
physical nature and in humanity, that I think that those 
persons who now propose to reorganize society without 
this factor should understand that their scheme not only 
revolutionizes human society to its foundations, but goes 
below humanity to antagonize the order of things in 
nature; and for success, therefore, their first measure 
should be to ask for a different plan of the universe than 
that under which mankind have come into being. Dan- 
gerous as is the impulse to individual acquisition when 
developed to excess, it is not so fatally dangerous as 
would be the organization of society without this impulse 
at all, if such a thing were possible. The former pro- 
duces very serious evils, but evils which society as it 
advances may throw off. But the latter would produce 
stagnation and stop the wheels of all advance. With 
all its evils, the impulse to individual property, individual 
freedom, individual advantage, has been the main motive- 
power of the world's progress. It has been the nour- 
isher of noble ambitions. Through it human faculty 
has been elicited, intellectual resources have been devel- 
oped as would not otherwise have been possible, and 
character has been disciplined to self-control and to mas- 
tery of material forces. The time certainly has not yet 
come for omitting this factor from the motives of human 
activity. 

But there is a second part to nature's lesson. The 
various schemes of social reorganization that are pro- 



claimed have their cause in certain social evils which 
cry aloud for remedy. The ambitions and energies of 
individuals in enlarging the sphere of their own exist- 
ence, though to so great an extent the motive-power of 
civilization, are constantly running to excess and driv- 
ing on rough-shod over the weaker members of society. 
Hence, there are wrongs, injustices and cruelties; selfish 
and despotic assertion of power on the one side, unjust 
deprivations and slaveries on the other side. Yet here, 
too, nature may teach us and indicate the remedy. In 
the lower realm of life, while the individual is carefully 
trained as a concentrator and distributor of vital energy, 
the individual development, activity and aggrandizement 
are not the end. These, we have seen, are only instru- 
mental. The end is the furthering and improving of 
the life of the species. The end, therefore, is not indi- 
vidual, but general, universal. The same law holds 
good for humanity, with the added force that it becomes 
for humanity a moral law. Individual human beings, 
through the instincts of self-preservation and self- 
aggrandizement, which are by nature especially strong 
in the earlier years of life, are made concentrators of 
those energies which keep the whole social organism in 
healthful activity and progress. Nature has put a tremen- 
dous force into these instincts and has thereby produced 
strong individual agents as effective centers of her 
power. But individual acquisition, pleasure, power, 
are not the end with man more than with the orders of 
life below him. The end is the common good, the gen- 
eral well-being. Every individual right maintained, 
every individual acquisition gained, every position of 
individual advantage secured, carries with it a corre- 
sponding obligation to society. 

And here is where the law of ethics and the obliga- 
tions of religion bear upon social problems. Man 
knows through his reason and conscience that there is a 
higher realm of life than that which is indicated in the 
natural impulse to seek individual property, pleasure 
and power. He knows the higher and larger objects 
which all individual acquisitions should be made to serve. 
He is gifted with the faculty to judge life by its mental, 
moral and affectional wealth. Though he sees that no 
statute-law can or ought to equalize all human beings in 
respect to faculties, acquisitions or influence, yet he recog- 
nizes that the law of justice should come to the aid 
of the weak and ill-conditioned against the encroach- 
ments of the strong and the excesses of self-interest, 
and that precisely in proportion as any person has been 
able to utilize the vital energies of the universe to his 
own profit and power, such person owes back to the 
universe a corresponding service of benefit. The spe- 
cial acquisition, whatever it be — wealth, sagacity, learn- 
ing — is not his to use for his own selfish pleasure and 
increased advantage. It belongs to the great world- 
forces whence it came. Their aim is ever larger, 



THE OPEN COURT. 



better, nobler life, and to the furtherance of that aim he 
is bound by the highest moral and religious obligation 
to give back his special talents with interest. 

Nor let it be said that this is to apply a merely ideal 
ethics to evils that require the stern treatment of law and 
governmental authority. Statute-law should, indeed, be 
dictated by justice, and governmental authority must 
meantime keep the peace between clashing self-interests. 
Yet the appeal to moral law is no idle nor ineffective 
method for dealing with practical social evils. Again 
and again have classes and races of mankind been lifted to 
the enjoyment of their rights and liberties by the surely 
wrought effects of that appeal. These are the meliora- 
tions which mark the progress of the higher civiliza- 
tion, for which individual self-interest and enterprise 
only furnish the rough material. 



THE NEED FOR FREE THOUGHT EDUCATION. 

BY THOMAS DAVIDSON. 

How little the American people really understand 
the nature of true freedom is shown by the disrepute 
which attaches to the term free-thinker. The merest 
tyro in ethics knows that free thinking is the very first 
condition of all freedom; that without it no freedom of 
any kind is possible. The man, or body of men, that 
can enslave thought, that can dictate what others shall, 
and shall not, think and believe, has his gyves on the 
wrists, and his hand on the throat, of Freedom. Nay, 
more, he who would bind Freedom hand and foot, must 
put a stop to free thought. If thought be free, all else 
will soon be free; if thought be in bonds, all else will 
soon share its captivity. And this the oppressors of the 
earth have at all times known but too well; they know 
it but too well to-day. The greatest foe to human liberty 
at this hour, the greatest foe to our Republic and 
all that it means, is the Church, which combats and dis- 
credits freedom of thought. 

Partially conscious of this, we have, in our political 
theory, drawn a sharp line between the State and the 
Church, declaring that the two have separate and inde- 
pendent functions. So far, this is well. But, so long 
as the Church is allowed to teach her doctrines, without 
being called upon to defend them at the bar of science, 
so long will she exercise a darkening and enslaving in- 
fluence upon men, so long will she unfit men for being 
worthy citizens of a free Republic. 

And yet, while the Church is so strongly entrenched 
in the affections, habits and prejudices of the people 
whom she has enslaved, we cannot hope to cite her be- 
fore the bar of reason and compel her to show cause 
why she should not be treated as a spiritual charlatan. 
Indeed, so far has the tvrannical influence of the Church 
extended that even men who are ready enough to dis- 



pute her claims have been bamboozled into thinking that 
it is bad taste to speak against them. Charlatanry has 
surely won its crowning victory, when it has stopped 
the mouth of honesty and surrounded itself with the 
halo of reverend sainthood. 

But, though we cannot at present call upon the 
Church to substantiate her supernatural claim to direct 
and enthrall men's thoughts, we may d© something to 
weaken her influence and to protect a portion, at least, 
of our people from her obscuring teachings. 

It may, perhaps, be thought sufficient for this end, if 
young people are prudently kept away from those places 
where these teachings are to be heard, and if such teach- 
ings are excluded from the public schools; but this is, in 
reality, a mistake. If we will protect young people 
from ecclesiastical obscurantism, we must go farther 
than this and put something in the place of the Church's 
teachings. The truth is, these teachings are pretended 
solutions of questions that not only exist, but that force 
themselves upon every thoughtful man and claim his 
deepest attention. To put men off, as the Church does, 
with an authoritative answer, which is, indeed, no answer 
at all, is a piece of the most utter frivolity, an unsurpass- 
able lesson in intellectual impiety and dishonesty — the 
source of all other dishonest}'. The great questions 
with which the Church deals we must ourselves take up, 
bring them to the attention of young people and 
encourage these to exercise their deepest reflection on 
them. It is by no means necessary that we should offer 
complete answers to these questions, as the Church does; 
indeed, we cannot do so, without imitating the Church's 
impiety; but we can state the questions correctly and 
encourage persons to place themselves in an earnest, 
scientific attitude toward them. Only in this way can 
we rear a race of earnest men, bravely conscious of their 
own limitations and of the awful mystery that surrounds 
their lives. 

I think the advocates of free thought have been far 
too remiss in this matter. They have not sufficiently 
guarded those whose education was in their hands from 
obscurantist influences, and they have not prepared any 
means for increasing, by a rational and scientific educa- 
tion, the number of intelligent and devoted free-think- 
ers. While every obscurantist sect, small or large, has 
its educational institutions, in which its soul-enslaving 
dogmas are taught and impressed with more or less 
tremendous sanctions, free-thinkers have not a single 
institution where pure science and the earnest scientific 
attitude with reference to all cpiestions are inculcated; 
nay, they even permit institutions founded, like Girard 
College, for the furtherance of free thought, to fall 
into the hands of enslaved thinkers. 

And, yet, it is perfectly evident that our battle for 
free thought against the powers of time-honored char- 
latanry will be in vain, until exercise in free thought is 



THE OPEN COURT. 



made an essential part of education, until perfect piety 
of intellect is made the basis of morality. It is not 
enough to refrain from the Church's teachings and 
methods; we must replace them by other teachings and 
methods. Above all, we must have institutions where 
there is an atmosphere of free thought — a thing which 
is sadly lacking in our public schools and in main higher 
institutions of learning that do not professedly teach 
the Church's doctrines. Our attitude toward science in 
the highest things must not be merely negative to the 
Church's attitude, it must be positive. If we could only 
make it so, we should soon come to the conviction that 
our public education needs to be reformed from the very 
foundation — to be stripped of its mediaevalism, its 
sentimentality, its formality, and placed upon a basis of 
science and of nature. 

I shall never believe that the free-thinkers of the 
United States are really in earnest, until thev begin to 
establish schools of their own for the diffusion of the 
principles and methods of free thought. Here we have 
much to learn from the Roman Catholic Church, whose 
members, while compelled to pay their share of the 
public school tax, nevertheless establish schools of their 
own, in order that their children may be reared in the 
teachings and atmosphere of their faith. If free- 
thinkers had half the earnestness of Roman Catholics, 
free thought would make more rapid progress than it 
does. 

I hope a new impulse will be given to free thought 
and intellectual piety by The Open Court. If so, I 
wish to take advantage of that impulse to call the atten- 
tion of free-thinkers to the need of a new education 
conducive to free thought. I wish to see whether, 
among the open-handed free-thinkers of our country, 
there be not one or two who would turn their liberality 
in the direction of an educational institution for the 
children of free-thinkers, and whether there be not 
earnest-minded teachers, weary of the trammels of 
orthodoxy and intellectual slavery, who would combine 
to establish an educational institution pledged to impart 
a scientificallv-based education extending to all the facul- 
ties of body and soul. I am convinced that the results 
attained by a single such institution, managed by persons 
aware of the magnitude and importance of the enter- 
prise, would be so striking that it would soon be imitated 
throughout the length and breadth of the land, wherever 
there are men and women that have not bowed the knee 
to the Baal of authority and habit. 

What is needed, to begin with, is an institution of 
higher education, a college or academy for voung men 
and women who have arrived at that period of life 
when thev begin to frame for themselves a theorv of 
the universe and of life and to lay out their life plans. 
It is then that young people can best acquire that habit 
of earnestness and pietv to truth which is the very 



essence of free thinking. Who then will aid in raising 
that first bulwark of free thought — a free-thought 
college? 



KATZENJAMMER. 

BY W. D. GUNNING. 

Katzenjammer is a German word which means "cat- 
sickness." Our neighbors on the Rhine express by this 
word a mood of mind or malady of bodv which results 
from night-life. 

The cat, as every one knows, is addicted to the old 
vice of the feline race, nocturnal wanderings, leading 
often to noisy demonstrations on roof-poles. Domesti- 
cation has not eradicated the old jungle-habit of the race. 

If there is one lesson which nature teaches to all her 
children more clearly than any other it is that day is the 
time for action and night the time for sleep. 

" Now c;ime still ev'ning on and twilight gray 
Had in her sober liv'ry all things clad. 
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird, 
They to their grassy couch and these to 
Their nests were slunk." 

This is Milton's picture of nature in times when the 
world was paradise, that is, a garden of delight. 

From the inwreathing of Orion's nebula will come 
the axial rotation of the planets to be born of that nebula. 
The oldest fact recorded in the history of a globe is its 
axial rotation. But when the stomach came nature was 
stronger in hunger than in the rotation which brought 
the alternation of day and night. Struggle to supply 
the need of the stomach drove many forms of life into 
night-work. The owl, the night-hawk, the whip- 
poor-will became nocturnal. All the felines became 
night-prowlers. 

Nature, speaking one language to her children in 
light, spoke another language in heat. The sun with 
his shafts of light to waken the sleeper sent shafts of 
heat to drive him deeper into the shade. All tropical 
lands have been given over to Katzenjammer. Like 
the stillness and solitude of a polar night is the stillness 
of a tropic day. Like the noises of Bedlam are the 
screachings and howlings of a tropic night. Our own 
Arizona, in summer, is a scene of Katzenjammer. 
Neither insect nor scorpion nor rattlesnake will disturb 
you by day. The heat makes them nocturnal. As the 
cat, transplanted to other climes, retains something of 
the old equatorial cat, so does tropic man, transplanted, 
retain a tendency to night-life. I have observed in the 
colored men of the South a strong tendency to Katzen- 
jammer. The pine woods of Florida are often vocal 
with their night melodies. 

We have gone astray with the cat. Katzenjammer 
is an old disease and in one phase it has killed more 
human beings than all microbes, those shafts of unarmed 
Mars. I have sometimes thought that the best act 
recorded of any god was an act of father Zeus on 



the: o p k n co it rt. 



Olvmpus. Zeus was not permitted to rattle a thunder- 
bolt at a man without the consent of the synod of gods. 
He was not allowed to hurl a bolt without the consent 
of the Involuti, the solemn veiled gods. Once, from 
his throne on Olvmpus, he saw a man at the foot of the 
mountain in the most unnatural Katzenjammer. He- 
sprang to his feet, seized the hottest bolt in the armory 
of Olvmpus, wrote on it sus philco and hurled it at the 
unnatural wretch. It struck and stuck and from that 
dav the disease which spread among mortals has been 
known under the name which Zeus wrote on his thunder- 
bolt. The only crime which was flagrant enough to 
cut the red tape of heaven was that which gendered a 
contagious and hereditary scourge. That scourge has 
destroyed nations. The Katzenjammer of King David 
destroyed the autonomy of the Jews. The debased old 
King died of the disease gendered, according to Greek 
mythology, at the foot of Olympus. The bolt which 
Zeus threw, by a fiat of Olympus or Sinai or Mem, or 
any other god-throne, would stick in his posterity to the 
end of his line. Solomon came with the bolt which 
rotted the loins of his father, burning his blood. Reho- 
boam came, a copy of his father Solomon. Then came 
the cry " To your tents, O Israel," and the Jewish nation 
was rent in twain. 

What a young fellow for Katzenjammer was Alci- 
biades! Politician and night-prowler he was. The 
Athenian dinner part)' was, like our own, an affair of 
the night and the bill of fare, like our own, was written 
in a foreign tongue. Unlike our own, it was not graced 
with the presence of woman. At the Athenian dinner 
party, Socrates, who, with all his virtues, was somewhat 
addicted to Katzenjammer, was a good symposiarchos, 
a majister bibendi. He is said to have played on musical 
instruments late at night and doubtless this was the real 
and sufficient cause of his taking off. But the best pict- 
ure of Athenian night-life was Alcibiades prowling 
about the streets and entering, an unbidden guest, any 
house where he saw the lights and heard the night revel. 
His cat-sickness, Katzenjammer, wreaked itself in the 
cutting off of the tail of his dog. Katzenjammer was 
a large factor in the decline of Athens and the chief 
factor in the fall of Rome. What a Katzenjammer 
band was that of Cataline! What Katzenjammer was 
that of Nero, fiddling to the light of burning Rome! 

Still greater was the Katzenjammer of Ahasuerus, 
written in Hebrew scripture. This great king, with his 
court and his satraps, was on a drunken revel one hundred 
and eighty days. It closed in a grand climax lasting 
a week. The government of Persia was gloriously 
drunk. The king sent messengers to Vashti, the queen, 
demanding that she present herself to his night revelers. 
She refused to go. Her language is not reported, but 
I think the letter she sent to her husband was in words 
like these : 



My Dear Has : 

When you have had enough of this Katzenjammer 
and you and your ministers of state and satraps are 
sober and washed and your palace is fumigated it will 
give me pleasure to hold a reception with you. But you 
will excuse me from presenting myself as an exhibi- 
tion to the caterwauling government of Persia and 

Medea. -.- , , 

1 our most loving, 

Vash. 

What was the sequel? • Vashti was dethroned and 
divorced, the Supreme Court of Persia deciding that such 
an example of insubordination must not stand as a " prec- 
edent " to other wives. The Supreme Court of Persia 
made a sort of Dred Scott decision. It ruled that a 
decent wife has no rights which a drunken husband is 
bound to respect. (Lawyers and judges who, time out 
of mind, have sought the highest wisdom in the remotest 
antiquity, may find this decision in Parmashata Reports. 
Volume 2Sth, Has vs. Vash; decision rendered by Chief 
Justice Parshandatha; associate Justices, Daphlon, Aspa- 
tha and Hammedatha; no dissenting opinion. Our 
courts, reverend conservators of society, will find much 
in this decision to buttress their opinions on the woman 
question.) 

Ahasuerus then married a Jewess whose name was 
Esther, and this Esther, with the crown of Vashti on 
her brow, instigated a bit of night-work on her own 
account. It began with the hanging of Hainan and ended 
with the murder of seventy-five thousand men, women and 
••little ones." No; this was not quite the end. Ahas- 
uerus called on the godly Esther and said (I give a free 
translation): "My dear, your wishes have been carried 
into execution. I cannot tell you exactly what has been 
done in other parts of the kingdom, but here in the royal 
palace alone are five hundred murdered men lying in their 
gore. You can dabble your hands in their blood if you 
wish. And now, my dear, my lamb, is there anything else 
I can do for you?" And Esther said: "Yes, let men 
hang. (This is literal.) Let the Jews do to-morrow 
as they have done to-day and let the ten sons of Haman 
be hanged." And Ahasuerus said: "Very well, my 
dove, it shall be done according to the sweetness of your 
will." It was done, and a modern pulpiter, whose name 
is Talmage, preaches a sermon in praise of the noble 
Esther and reprobation of the "flashy" (his own word), 
the flashy Vashti. 

This is rather a sickening sequel to a hundred and 
eighty nights of Katzenjammer. I am afraid that Will 
Shakespeare was addicted to a mild sort of Katzenjam- 
mer. Byron's life was filled with Katzenjammer and 
the vices incident to night-life. Byron died early of 
cat-sickness. And poor Burns, instead of going to bed 
early and honestly like his Cotter, went Katzenjammer 
like his T am O'Shanter. 

" Gie me a canny hour at e'en, 
My arms around my deary," 



THE OPEN COURT. 



I am afraid the canny hour with his Anna was long 
drawn out. 

" The Church and State may join to tell, 
To do such things ye maun na, 
The church and state may gang to hell, 
And I'll gang to my Anna." 

The Church and State were right and Burns went to 
his Anna — and his grave. How fares it with us? The 
army of night-toilers is increasing and night-revelers 
are multiplying. The world of business and fashion 
dines at six and goes Katzenjammer till the small hours 
of the morning. Our White House was given over 
during the last administration to social Katzenjammer — 
and the President is dead. 

" Can these things be 
And overcome us like a summer's cloud?" 

The struggle of the organic world is two-fold, for 
sunshine and for nutriment. What has sent the Se- 
quoia of California spiring up into the heaven three 
hundred and fifty feet ? Search for the sun. Environed 
by shrubs this tree itself would have been a shrub. But 
its neighbors are pines and cedars which rise to the 
height of two hundred feet, weaving a curtain of inter- 
lacing bows between the sun and the weeds below. 

Plant your potato in a cellar and mark the pale and 
sickly hue of the vine which attempts to grow from it. 
Its disease is Katzenjammer, that is, night-sickness. Look 
at your pea-nut. Struggle against enemies in the air has 
driven this member of the pea family to develop its pod 
in the ground and the vegetal virtues which come from 
impact of light and actinic beams of the sun are wanting 
in this plebeian nut — which is no nut at all. Look at 
the mole and then at the bat. Their embryotic history 
shows that they were derived from a common ancestor. 
Struggle for life drove certain members of this family 
higher into the air and others into the ground. The 
sun-seeker gained in eye and brain. The earth-burrower 
lost its eyes and retained only brain enough to guide it 
through the ground. The bat lapsed when it fell into 
Katzenjammer, that is, night-prowling. 

I do not know what was the health of the tiger and 
lion before they went into Katzenjammer. The dissect- 
ing knife of Gerard shows that now these nocturnal 
felines suffer much from consumption. I know not the 
flavor of the ancient pea before it became a pea-nut. I 
know that the topmost, sun-drinking peach has a richer 
flavor than the peach below. I know the character of 
the ancient orange which grew in the shaded recesses of 
the tree, for it survives in the wild orange. I know that 
the fruit grew luscious as the tree learned to push it out 
on the sun-lit periphery. 

On the tree of life where now is our peripheral hu- 
manity? With less wisdom than the orange tree Ig- 
drasil has been pushing its human fruit inward to the 
shade. We want a peripheral humanity, lit by beams 
of science and sweetened and mellowed by actinic rays 
of the sun of righteousness. 



In these thoughts I am saying my words of welcome 
to a new-born journal which through- long years to come 
may do noble work in winning men from spiritual 
Katzenjammer. Scratched and thorned your hands may 
often be in trying to reach the shaded, centripetal fruit 
on Igdrasil and bring it out to the periphery. Ances- 
tral tendencies are against you, but they are not omnipo- 
tent. By pruning and enriching I have lifted the state of 
an orange tree, abolishing thorns and letting the sunlight 
in to dispel the infestations which in dark coverts were 
eating the tree's life. In hopeful moods I have thought 
that I may have wrought similar amelioration on men, 
here and there a man, causing thorns of bigotry to abort 
and sending shafts of light into the dark recesses of the 
mind where infestations of superstition were eating the 
soul's life. 

Prune and fertilize; fertilize to fullness of life and 
healthful growth and the vis viva will prune. Let your 
shafts of light in on the dark coverts where superstitions 
do knot and gender. 

In the darkest covert dwelt Yahweh, the god of Israel. 
No beam of light pierced the shekinah, the holy of 
holies, where Yahweh was enthroned. Even his throne 
on the firmament was pavilioned with darkness. 

"He bowed the firmament and came down 
With storm-clouds under his feet. 
He rode on a thunder-cloud and flew 
And shot forth on the wings of the wind. 
He veiled himself in a mantle of darkness 
And shrouded himself in dark waters and masses of cloud." 

His shekinah to-day is the sunless recesses of the human 
mind. Let the shekinah of your temple be all ablaze 
with light! Couch not, shudder not, before the awful 
sanctities of darkness. 



KING VOLTAIRE. 



BY FREDERIC MAY HOLLAND. 



The seventy years of preparation for the French 
Revolution can have no name so appropriate as the 
Reign of Voltaire. His literary -influence began in 
1 7 1 S and gradually became greater, especially during 
his last thirty years, than any other author has ever 
wielded consciously for so long. Luther's leadership 
was comparatively brief, and Goethe's had no such defin- 
ite aim or triumphant success. No other thinker ever 
saw the great reform, which cost him a whole life in 
exile, finally become through his efforts universal and 
permanent in all civilized lands. Rightly does Lowell 
say that: "To him more than to any other man we owe 
it that we can now think and speak as we choose." He 
led Europe out of the persecutions and religious wars 
which had cursed mankind ever since the advent of 
Christianity. The tolerant and otherwise human meas- 
ures of Frederic of Prussia and Catherine of Russia 
were avowedly accomplished under his direction ; and so, 



THE OPEN COURT. 



7 



in reality, were the corresponding reforms in all Roman 
Catholic lands. Even the Pope acknowledged Vol- 
taire's primacy and, when he plavfullv expressed a wish 
to get the ears of the grand inquisitor, sent him word 
that the inquisition no longer had either ears or e\ es. 
The English sovereigns and archbishops openly favored 
his great work; as did the Swedish, Danish and Polish 
rnonarchs; so that he said: '• I always manage to keep 
four kings in my hand." Goethe calls him the univer- 
sal source of light; Condorcet declares that no one else 
ever had such an empire over men; and Rousseau con- 
fesses that from him came his own original inspiration. 
Among other contemporaries who owned Voltaire's 
supremacy were Chatham, Franklin, Turgot, Diderot, 
D'Alembert, Gibbon and Goldoni. No wonder that his 
out-of-the-way retreat was crowded with admiring visi- 
tors; or that his last visit to Paris was such an ovation, 
as was never received bv any other author. It was all 
the more glorious because the nominal king did not dare 
to let him enter the palace or be honored with a public 
burial. Even the announcement of his death was for- 
bidden, in a terror amply justified in 1791, when free 
France carried his ashes to the Pantheon, with such 
universal homage as few other dead men have ever 
received and none of them deserved so well. 

His greatness as an author would be more apparent 
if the man had not been greater still, so great, in fact, 
as to devote himself, from first to last, to fighting one of 
the worst of evils, with a zeal which made him seek to 
give point and force, rather than luster or finish, to his 
works, and own that he had too much baggage to reach 
posterity. He wrote for his day ; and it was dark and 
bloody enough to need every word. The wealth which 
he won in commerce was freelv spent in finding read- 
ers. Among his most kingly words are these: "Those 
who say I sell my books are wretches, who try to think 
in order to live, f have lived only to think. No, I 
have never peddled my thoughts!" His use of more 
than a hundred fictitious names is not like an ideal king; 
but most of the actual ones have been only too ready to 
employ worse frauds. Very few have been so ready as 
he to take sides with the persecuted. His treatise on 
Toleration, which, according to Franklin, dealt bigotry 
so unexpected and heavy a blow as was almost fatal, 
was called out by a wrong which the government at 
first refused to right, and which his friends advised him 
to overlook. An aged Protestant, named Calas, was 
tortured to death at Toulouse, early in 1762, on the 
charge of haying murdered his son, in order to prevent 
his conversion to the Catholic church, which had, in 
fact, so blighted the voung man's career as to make him 
hang himself. All the property was confiscated, and 
the daughters of the family were imprisoned in convents 
in order to force them into apostasy. This outrage on 
Piutestaul girls had long been customary and had been 



joined in by Fenelon. Another such victim, Elizabeth 
Sirven, had been scourged into insanity and had drowned 
herself soon after her release. Her father, mother and 
sisters escaped the fate of Calas bv a flight which left 
them beggars ami cost the life of an unborn child. Roth 
families found a deliverer in Voltaire. It cost him ^o,- 
000 francs and three years of constant labor, including 
the writing of countless letters and the publication of 
seven pamphlets, to get the sentence of Calas revoked, 
the daughters released and the family provided for. To 
obtain justice for the Sirvens took ten years, though 
their trial had lasted but two hours. These iniquities 
were probably not the first of the kind; but we owe it to 
Voltaire that they were the last; just as his protests, 
when La Barre was beheaded, in 1 766, with the approval 
of Louis XV., for some boyish ebullitions of irreverence, 
saved the history of France from being stained bv anv 
more such records. This time, however, the sentence 
was not annulled; nor was another of the young blas- 
phemers, who had fled to Prussia, ever permitted to 
return. Indignation at these outrages and their apolo- 
gists moved Voltaire to keep St. Bartholomew's day in 
anger and humiliation ( while Toulouse and other cities 
made it a public jubilee), to sign letter after letter with 
that war-cry against the bloody church, " Ecrasc: TJIn- 
fame" to write his sharpest books and to scatter them 
broadcast by every artifice. He was nearly seventy at 
the time of the execution of Calas, but before reaching 
eighty he published a hundred new books, mostlv satires 
of the persecutors, or pathetic pictures of the sufferings 
of the victims, among whom Servetus was not forgot- 
ten. To this period belong some of his most impressive 
and original writings, those tales now fortunately 
accessible to English readers in Eckler's spirited ver- 
sion. And he then compiled, in part from matter 
already published, that stupendous arsenal of weapons 
against bigotry, the Philosophic Dictionary, of which a 
good translation was bequeathed us by Abner Kneeland. 
The main difficulty in giving any adequate idea of the 
merits of Voltaire's writings is that the keenness of his 
wit is dulled by handling. Perhaps this extract from 
a work of his not yet translated, nor likely to be, Le 
Soitisier, may give some hint of the pleasure which can 
be enjoved bv reading him in the original. A Jesuit 
was once asked, why so many fools were admitted into 
his order. "Oh, well," he answered, -'we have to 
have some saints of our own." Put Voltaire's best 
works were those commemorated in the inscription 
placed upon his sarcophagus, in the majestic ovation of 
17c)!. •• He avenged Calas, Sirven, La Barre." 

With these names was recorded that of Montbailli, 
who was executed on a false charge of murdering his 
mother. His innocence was established, and his wife 
saved from perishing likewise, by Voltaire, One more 
name, itt least, ought to hayc been placed beside the-; 



8 



THE OPEN COURT. 



four. General Lally had been beheaded in 1 766 as a 
traitor, because he could not prevent the English from 
conquering India. For thirteen years he had an indefat- 
igable champion, who called himself " The Don Quixote 
of the unfortunate," kept busy at it night and dav, even 
when he was almost eighty, and signed his letters as 
'The Ghost of Voltaire." Finally, as he was on his 
death-bed, a message came, saying that Lally had been 
pronounced innocent. He ordered the good news to be 
written out in large hand and set up before his eyes, and 
then dictated his last letter to the son of the murdered 
soldier, saying that the dying man revived at hearing of 
this great act of justice and would die in peace. This 
we know he did, four days later, May 30, 177S. He 
had the more right to do so, as he might have thought, 
not only of the Sirvens and Calas, but of other Protest- 
ants rescued from the galleys where they had been sent 
for sheltering their ministers of girls made happv and 
honored mothers, instead of wretched nuns, of cottages 
built and marshes drained for poor peasants, of large sums 
loaned without interest, of debtors released from prisons, 
of servants assisted by the master they had robbed to 
escape the gallows and become honest men, of free 
schools, plantations of trees and great improvements in 
agriculture, of the reduction of taxation throughout an 
entire province, of the sale of grain at low prices during 
famine, of a colony of more than a hundred families of 
exiles furnished with comfortable homes and provided 
with the best of markets for their watches and other 
manufactures, of a hospitality which filled his house, 
notonlv with transient visitors from all parts of Europe, 
but with permanent dependents, so that Ferney has been 
called a Noah's Ark crowded with all the wild and tame 
beasts; of a boundless charity attested by a formal declar- 
ation of the village officials, that no one who dwelt there 
had ever asked relief in vain, and of a sunny gayety 
and courtesy which kept his home always bright. He 
delighted to say: " I have done a little good; it is my 
best work." He would have done much more if greater 
heed had been given to his entreaties, that war should 
be given up, all serfs emancipated, women kept no 
longer in subjection, all classes protected equally, com- 
merce relieved from heavy tariffs, the clergv and nobil- 
ity compelled to pay their share of the taxes, meat 
allowed to be sold and eaten in Lent, Paris supplied 
with water-works, the weights, measures and laws made 
uniform all over France, capital punishment restricted 
greatly, or else relinquished, trial by jury introduced, 
torture of prisoners and confiscation of property of crim- 
inals abolished, lawyers heard for the accused, witnesses 
examined publicly and prisons cleansed from the diseases 
then so deadly. "You have a right to say, 'The 
nations will pray that their kings may read me,' " writes 
an admiring' monarch. 



Voltaire was more of a reformer than a revolution- 
ist. His earlier writings praise England as a political 
model; but in 1762 he published his opinion, that the 
best of all governments is a republic. His declarations, 
that all men are born free and equal, and that despotic 
and monarchical mean the same to all sensible men, 
were made before our Revolution, which he favored so 
warmly as to lament the reverses of the Continentals 
and strike a medal to Washington. A quarter of a 
century before the taking of the Bastile, he stirred up 
great excitement in Paris by predicting the French 
Revolution. Rightly did it honor him among its 
prophets. After it had failed for the time, his memory 
was still so mighty against Napoleon, that he did his 
utmost to blacken it. 

It was love for liberty and humanity which led Vol- 
taire to make war upon Christianity, then much less 
innocent of cruelty or tyranny than now. His main 
arguments are the persecutions which the Church was 
then carrying on, and the atrocious precepts and exam- 
ples in the Old Testament, still too much in honor for 
the safety of morals. Ingersoll's indictment is not more 
complete or more witty than his; but Voltaire was much 
less shocked by the absurdities in the Bible than by the 
immoralities. He anticipated Colenso, and declared 
that, if he should see the sun stand still and the dead 
arise, he should exclaim : " Behold the evil principle 
undoing what the good has wrought!" But he 
objects to no miracle so sharply as to that of Ananias 
and Sapphira, which enabled the clergy to say: "Give 
me all thy property, or I will bring about thy death." 
He calls Paul the real founder of Christianity, but 
always speaks of Jesus with respect, saying: " He would 
have condemned our Christianity with horror," " I 
defend Jesus against you, in denying that he scourged 
the innocent buvers and sellers in the temple, or drowned 
the two thousand pigs and withered the fig-tree, which 
were the property of others." Among the texts against 
which he protests is: " Wives, submit yourselves unto 
your own husbands, as unto the Lord." He pictures a 
fair Parisian reading this for the first time and throwing 
down the book. .She is told that the author is St. Paul, 
but answers: " I don't care who he is: he is very impo- 
lite. My husband does not write to me in that way. 
Are we slaves? Nature does not tell us so." The sight 
of all these errors did not lead Voltaire to deny the 
necessity of religion; though to the question what he 
would put in place of Christianity, he answers: " What! 
A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my neigh- 
bors; I tell you to get rid of it; and you ask me what 
is to be put in its place?" His own faith in God was 
proof against not only the sins of his worshipers, but 
the defects of his works, though the Lisbon earthquake 
made it necessary to suppose that there are limits to his 



THE OPEN COURT. 



power. Voltaire was undoubtedly sincere in building 
the first church ever dedicated to God; and we may 
hope that there was something besides cowardice in his 
occasionally taking the consecrated wafer and express- 
ing, on his death-bed, his hope to die in the Catholic 
religion and be pardoned by the Church. It would 
have been more manly, if not more kingly, for him to 
have adhered to the declaration made a few days earlier: 
" I die worshiping God, loving my friends, hating none 
of my enemies and detesting superstition." 

He found much that deserves hatred in what was 
then called religion ; and he pointed this out so plainly 
that he holds a place in history among the unbelievers. 
This makes it important to remember that he is one of 
the great philanthropists. It would be scarcely fair 
to say that he was a philanthropist, because he was an 
unbeliever. Voltaire was an unbeliever, because he was 
a philanthropist. 

The real grandeur of his life cannot be realised with- 
out careful studv of such biographers as Parton and 
Morley in English, Pompery, Bungener and Desnoir- 
esterres in French, or last and best of all, the German 
Mahrenholtz. His irritability, vanity, duplicity and 
timidity are not to be denied ; but they did not make 
him less of a king than Louis XV., who sinned much 
more deeply against the seventh commandment. All 
Voltaire's faults are unimportant in comparison with 
that broad and lofty philanthropy which he practised 
constantly, even toward those who wronged him, and 
which he often expressed thus: " The noblest privilege 
of humanity is the power of doing good." " I know of 
no really great men, except those who rendered great 
services to our race." " I am ashamed of having peace 
and plentv in my own house, when three-fourths of 
Europe suffers." " My health grows weaker day by 
day; and' I must hasten to do good." "The more we 
think, the less unhappy men will be; you will see 
golden days; you will make them; this idea brightens 
the last of mine." 



MONISM IN MODERN PHILOSOPHY AND THE 
AGNOSTIC ATTITUDE OF MIND. 

BY EDMUND MONTGOMERY. 
Part I. 

Descartes opened what is generally called modern 
philosophy by pointing out, as immediately evident, only 
our own individual thinking. He then professed to dis- 
cover, as innate part-content of such thinking, the cer- 
tainty of the existence of a supreme being. And, as 
deception is altogether incompatible with divine perfec- 
tion and holiness, he thought, moreover, that our unhesi- 
tating belief in the existence of an extended, outer uni- 
verse^must necessarily be grounded on its actual reality. 

With the help of these three existential statements, 



Descartes set about explaining the phenomena of the 
two worlds — the world of thought and the world of 
extension. But, in order to operate on a sufficiently 
solid basis, he let unwittingly slip in two more supposi- 
tions. He assumed in support of our thinking a per- 
manent unitary substratum, calling it thinking substance. 
And dealing similarly with extension, which he believed 
to be the fundamental characteristic of the outer world, 
he assumed an extended substance. 

These sundry distinctions form the leading princi- 
ples or elements of his system. And it is an historical 
fact that most problems which have occupied modern 
philosophy have grown out of the attempt to unify the 
various existential presuppositions thus prominently 
brought to notice by Descartes. For genuine thinkers 
cannot rest satisfied until they believe they have discov- 
ered the veritable bond of union that holds together the 
divers facts of the universe. The multifarious phenom- 
ena of our varied world, how they come to form the 
one closely connected whole which we mentally realize, 
this precisely is the quest that from time immemorial 
has been the ruling passion of the philosophical mind. 

The most stubborn of all difficulties in the way of 
unification arose at once from the impossibility of con- 
ceiving ho*v the two substances of our known world — 
being evidently, as a matter of fact, in closest intercom- 
munication — at all manage thus to influence each other. 
It is obviously quite incomprehensible how a material 
substance, with its space-occupying motions, can in any 
way affect or be affected by a spaceless mental entity- 
possessing no parts to be moved and having no sort of 
community of nature. 

This psychophvsical riddle has ever since formed 
the central problem of philosophy and the most essential 
impediment to any kind of monistic view. In spite of 
all efforts at solution, it remains to this very day utterly 
unintelligible how the mere moving to and fro of brain- 
molecules can at all induce or cause the conscious state, 
with which we actually find it connected, or how our 
spaceless and, therefore, immovable volition is capable of 
imparting motion to our bodily members. 

The Cartesians, in order to account for so utterly 
enigmatical an occurrence as the intercommunication of 
body and mind, felt compelled to assume what they 
called a concursus divinus, each time body acted on 
mind or mind on body. And with this introduction of 
miraculous intervention they here, at the start, relin- 
quished for good the philosophical ambition of construct- 
ing a monistic world-conception. 

The monistic task was, however, soon undertaken 
from another point of view. Descartes himself had 
expressed the idea, without working it out, that the two 
substances may possibly exist united in the divine being. 
Spinoza, through monotheistic and cabalistic associa- 
tions probably already predisposed to Monism, devoted 



IO 



THE OPEN COURT. 



the best part of his beautifully contemplative life to the 
philosophical unification of the divers and disconnected 
principles of the Cartesian system. This he conceptu- 
ally effected 1>\ imagining the supreme being to be itself 
an absolute, all-containing substance, of which thinking 
and extension are but two of an infinite number of other, 
to us, unknown attributes. The different bodilv things 
he looked upon as so mam divers modes of the infinite 
attribute of extension and the different souls or minds as 
so many special modes of the divinely-rooted attribute 
of thinking. And, harmonizing both spheres, he 
assumed, in eternal accordance, the order and connec- 
tion of thought to be ever the same as the order and con- 
nection of things. The divine substance, with its attri- 
butes, is thus the natnra naturans, the all-enfolding 
matrix and manifesting ground of the individual souls 
and extended things which constitute the natura nat- 
i/rata or that which assumes conscious and particular 
being through partial revelation of the all-comprehend- 
ing and undivided potentiality of God. 

This kind of Monism, based on our conception of 
substantiality, to which Spinoza gave most perfect and 
classical expression, a Monism identifying God and 
nature — Dcn.i sive iiatiira — has always irresistibly fas- 
cinated main - of the greatest minds. And when we 
remember the pantheistic turn all religions are ap! to 
take; when we consider, furthermore, what a central 
influence, through the Eleatic sages, the same monistic 
conception gained on the philosophical thought of 
antiquity; what vivifying inspiration during all the rigid 
lengths of the middle ages it has afforded to the religious 
contemplation of Christian mystics; how, in the rise of 
modern free thought, it nerved to sublime martyrdom 
the dauntless mind that first on our earth conceived the 
infinity of worldcd space with one mighty pulse of 
quickening power throbbing through it all; what source 
of liberating enthusiasm and rapturous delight Spino- 
zismus, with its Got/ trunkenheit, then came to be to 
such men as Lessing, Goethe, Novalis, Schelling. and 
through them, to the whole civilized world; what honor 
has been done in our own days to thai once so execrated 
name by representative thinkers of all nations and 
denominations; when we consider all this, we may rest 
assured that the Monism of Substantiality will not soon 
lose its magic spell over the brooding mind of man. 

Vet, nevertheless, it is clear that within, as well as 
without, the divine substance the phenomena of thought 
anil those of extension remain to our understanding 
totally unrelated to each other, so far, at least, as their 
actual intercommunication is concerned. This philo- 
sophical inclusion within one and the same absolute 
renders in no wise intelligible bow the experienced 
interaction or correspondence is brought about. Indeed, 
Spiuozistie Monism really rests on the erroneous iden- 
tification of logical reason in (he sphere of though! 



with actual cause in the sphere of reality. Its princi- 
ple of explanation is ratio, not causa. A logical reason, 
however, though definite concepts may consistently 
follow from it, is utterly impotent to produce any effect- 
ive display whatever among the actual things of the 
extended universe. And this alone is sufficient reason 
why Spiuozistie Monism cannot be a correct interpreta- 
tion of our world. 

To the orthodox world Spinoz.a's naturalistic panthe- 
ism seemed simply an impudent and offensive display of 
atheism. Vet, for all that, among the faithful them- 
selves, the same monistic propensity labored through 
Father Malebranche's meditation to bring comprehen- 
sive unity into Descartes' distracting trilogy of God, 
Thought and Extension. 

Had not Descartes when, while doubting every- 
thing, he began to cast about for immediately evident 
reality and truth, actually found the idea of an all-perfect 
God as the most certain of the contents of thought? 
And was it not this certainty of the existence of such a 
most real being that alone rendered sure the reality also 
of the extended world ? It is quite clear that our percep- 
tion of things is no effect or result of our own doing. 
It is clear, also, that extended things cannot of them- 
selves affect in any way our thought; consequently, it is 
only through God that we perceive them. We have 
obviously no perception of things save in the world of 
thought. These things in the world of thought come 
to us through God. Therefore, we see all things in God 
and, " with St. Paul let us then believe *' — so exclaims 
Malebranche — " that in him we live, and move, and 
have our being." 

The reverend Father, entangled in these monistic 
thoughts, innocently believed he had saved his ortho- 
doxy- which prescribes a personal creator separate from 
created things — by simply declaring that these things, 
besides being seen by us in God, have also an existence 
of their own external to God. 

Main of our theologians, at present, partly or wholly 
imbued with the Monism of transcendental idealism or 
with that of substantiality, are laboring with all their 
might to reconcile the two utterly incompatible concep- 
tions, the conception of personality, namely, with that 
of immanency. Persons, indiscerptible, ever identical 
monadic existencies, can neither include as part of 
themselves other persons or things; nor can they be 
included as integrant part by any kind of other sub- 
stance or being. It is of the essence of personality 
to be rigorously autonomous. Leibnitz rightly said 
monads have no windows and he made them, conse- 
quently, evolve all their conscious states from within, 
every monad in utter isolation, only for itself. This 
compelled him to have recourse to miraculous interven- 
tion, in order to make the countless hosts of monads 
compose in spite of their separateness -out' one, 



THE OPEN COURT. 



1 1 



all-involving cosmos of interacting existents. Leibnitz 
who, with his keenly logical mind, had long dwelt on 
the subject, knew right well that the conception of an 
autonomous, spiritual entity excludes the possibilty of 
its acting on other existents or its being acted upon by 
them. It is a fanciful illusion to indulge, as many do, 
in the notion that such a spiritual entity, by getting 
somehow a body, may become competent to act by 
means of it on other spiritual entities. The construc- 
tion of such a body and the action upon it are precisely 
the riddles we desire, above all, to have solved. Monism 
is altogether incompatible with a world consisting of 
monads and it is time that this should be distinctly 
understood. Whoever adopts Monism of any kind has 
to drop indiscerptible personality for good. And who- 
ever believes in spiritual personality, divine or human, 
can never consistently become a monist. Spiritual 
persons of an anthropomorphic constitution are, in truth, 
what Professor Haeckel so characteristically calls them, 
"gaseous vertebrates," a type of being so well known 
among us that our many spiritualistic fellow citizens find 
no difficulty whatever of visibly realizing any desired 
number of specimens. 

Kant, like Descartes, formed a starting point and 
nucleus for various monistic speculations. For, though 
he had centralized the faculties of the understanding in 
the synthetical unity of apperception, an all-combining 
power emanating from the intelligible world, and con- 
stituting our intelligible Ego, he left within our mental 
constitution unconnected the different categories and the 
two forms of sense-presentation. He left also com- 
pletely in the dark the way in which the things-in- 
themselves affect through our senses our general sensibil- 
ity, though such affection was the only evidence he had 
of the existence of such things-in-themselves. Lastly, 
besides our world of experience within time and space, 
and besides the world of things-in-themselves inferred 
from sense-affection, he assumed also an intelligible 
world, the veritable home of the supreme intelligence and 
of our own innermost being. The nearest approach he 
himself ever made toward Monism consisted in the sug- 
gestion, that possibly the reality peripherically affecting 
our sensibility may be the same reality which centrally 
constitutes the intelligible world. 

On the uncertainty of things-in-themselves, Fichte 
soon-constructed his Monism of the almighty Ego. As 
we cannot possibly know from experience through what 
kind of influence our perceptions arise, why may thev 
not altogether originate through some intrinsic activity? 
Had not Kant shown that such an intrinsic activity, 
endowed with free causation, constitutes the moral 
kernel of our being. And, indeed, our productive 
imagination is quite equal to bring forth the world. Is 
not the world, representing spectacle displaying itself 
in dreams, undeniably the exclusive creation of that 



intrinsic faculty? It stands to reason, then, that it is the 
originating act of the Ego itself that creates the world 
we know — the world which is thus, in fact, only the 
expression of the vivifying self-movement of produc- 
tive thought. This view, not quite absolute yet, may 
lie called the Monism of subjective idealism or of self- 
acting thought. 

In the course of time moral considerations, which 
were really grandly predominant in Fichte, induced 
him theoretiallv to admit the existence of fellow crea- 
tures, that is, the existence of ever so many cither 
world-creating Fgos. And to explain how the produc- 
tive imaginations of the sundry Egos are actually real- 
izing, not each a different world, but only a different 
aspect of one and the same world; to solve this very 
ancient riddle, he simply assumed a unitary power present 
in them all and directing their thought in harmony with 
an all-comprehensive plan. 

Such an amplification reduces, however, the monistic 
system virtually to a monadology, which we have seen 
can never become monistic. 



THE TWO HEMISPHERES. 

IIV 11. VV. 11 W.I.. 

In the present cosmopolitan condition of the civilized 
world the two hemispheres are such close neighbors that 
thev are daily and hourly interchanging gossip. Henry 
Ward Beecher in his latest lecture dwells complacently 
on the contrast between Europe and this great continent 
of America in the fact that while Europe presents the 
aspect of a regular field of Mais and bristles with the 
bayonets of standing armies, this continental country is 
held in subjection by i 5,000 soldiers all told. While 
this is a gratifying fact to us dwellers of the New 
World, we know very well that if this continent of 
North America was as populous as Europe and was 
occupied by a number of great nationalities speaking 
different languages and actuated by immemorial rivalries 
and hostile tendencies and traditions, to say nothing of 
differences of race and creed, it would, like Europe, 
doubtless present the spectacle of vast standing armies 
ready at a moment's warning to become belligerents. 
For why should not like causes and conditions produce 
like effects here as elsewhere? But fortunately for the 
peace of this hemisphere we are the only great nation- 
ality in it. We are America in fact and when the word 
America is used it is understood to mean the United 
.States, which are a new-world community in their entire 
social and political organization. Our neighbors are not 
at all formidable in a military sense and all of them com- 
bined would be no match for us. Thus we are not under 
the necessity of living in an armed state. 

We are wholly outside of the European group of 
nations, not more isolated from them physically by an 
intervening ocean than we arc socially and politically by 



12 



THE OPEN COURT. 



our unprecedented institutions. Our relations with Euro- 
pean states are almost wholly commercial, so that consuls 
are alone needed to take care of our foreign interests. It is 
true that there are American ministers resident at the 
various European courts, but they are rather gentlemen 
of leisure, seeing Europe at the expense of the federal 
treasury, than actual diplomatists. Such appointments 
are rather the rewards of political partisanship than 
serious ones meaning business. This great continent 01 
America is even now largely a wilderness, wild nature 
being in the ascendant over most of its surface still. It 
probably does not contain a population of a hundred 
millions all told, while Europe territorially its inferior, 
contains certainly three or four hundred millions, more 
or less, of men of different races, languages and relig- 
ions, ranging all the way from Englishmen and French- 
men, in the northwest, to Slavs, Turks and Greeks, in the - 
southeast. Man here is not yet a weed, as he is in 
crowded Europe. We are thus, by reason of our isola- 
tion and favorable environment and the continental 
roominess which our fifty or sixty millions of popula- 
tion enjoy, a pacific community attending to business 
and party politics principally. But if there were rival 
social systems here and race hostilities and if the 
old and the new stood face to face here as they do in 
Europe, we should probably exhibit a European bellig- 
erency and preparation for conflict. Our late civil war 
showed that we can throw ourselves into war as furiously 
as we do into business pursuits and money-making. 
Only a war here means necessarily a civil war, because 
we must fight each other when we fight for want of 
outside foemen worthy of our steel. Of course our 
little standing army is a mere frontier police. It does 
not hold anybody in subjection at all, except possibly a 
few Indians. An English writer who has recently been 
making the tour of this great continental country, says, 
in his account of it, partly in joke and partly in earnest, 
that "in a few generations the whole earth will be one 
big, dead-level America, as like as two peas from end to 
end, and dressed in the same stereotyped black coat and 
round felt hat, enjoying a single, uniform civilization." 
Doubtless the cosmopolitan civilization of to-day tends 
to uniformity social and political and to a uniformity of 
dress, language, ideas and modes. But the uniformity 
of European and American civilization never will take 
the form of a dull, unvarying Chinese stationariness 
presenting just the same unchanging aspect from cen- 
tury to century. It will be a uniformity of movement 
and progress attaining to ever new plans of elevation 
and amelioration. Our institutions being most in accord 
with reason and common sense are likely to become 
universal. Dc Tocqueville, over half a century ago, 
came hither to study the workings of popular govern- 
ment, because he saw that the Old World was moving 
in a democratic direction. 



Europe, though the smallest of the continents, yet, 
by reason of the vastness of its sea-coast and its inter- 
penetration by midland seas, is in all respects the most 
powerful. In fact, it has been and is the focus and 
radiating center of civilization. But its nationalities 
present this anomaly, that while their upper classes 
and intellectual circles are the very high water-mark of 
humanity, its lower orders or masses are left in a state 
of semi-barbarism, as we know in our large cities to our 
cost. For the stream of proletarian immigration from 
abroad begins to be a menace to popular government in 
our great centers of population. As I have said, Europe 
being the continent that dominates all the rest, until the 
European nations disarm, war will continue to be more 
or less the normal state of mankind, as Hobbes insisted 
that it was. 

We are told that it is a period of the reign of force 
in Europe emphatically at the present time. Each of 
the great European powers is armed cap-a-pie, because 
the rest are. Germany, the foremost of the European 
group of nations since 1S70, owes her leadership to the 
fact that she has been and is disciplined for war as no 
other nation is. In fact, the traditions of Prussia, the 
central state of the German Empire, are all martial. 
She was created by the sword of her great warrior- 
king, Frederick, who fought nearly all the continental 
nations for years single-handed to make his country the 
nation that she is. Germany is compelled by her posi- 
tion, political and geographical, both, flanked as she is 
on the one hand by France and on the other by Russia, 
to be armed to the teeth. Semi-barbaric Russia, with 
her vast population wielded by a single despot, whose 
whim is law, and with her traditional gravitation toward 
Constantinople, is a constant menace to all the states of 
western Europe. Since her humiliation in 1S70, France 
has put herself in such a state of military preparedness 
as she was never in before, even in the palmy days of 
Napoleon I. She is impregnably fortified on her north- 
eastern frontier, where she suffered such ignominious 
defeat, so that a German army can only invade her a 
second time by way of Belgium. Her military force is 
counted by millions. Of the three military empires of 
Europe, Austria is the weakest and it is said that with- 
out the backing of Germany she would be no match for 
Russia, in case of a war with that power. But Bismarck 
is anxious to keep the peace with Russia, as long as there 
is a probability of another conflict with France. As 
for Great Britain, she does not pretend to be a land- 
power in the sense in which Germany, Russia and 
France are. Furthermore, she is not merely a European 
power but a sort of cosmopolitan empire, extending 
round the whole globe. She is never in readiness for 
war at short notice, as the great continental powers are, 
because " the silver streak " makes invasion of her diffi- 
cult. But her vast wealth and unlimited mechanical 



THE OPEN COURT. 



J 3 



means of arming herself by sea and land are such as to 
make her an invincible adversary in the long run, when 
she is fairly in for a serious struggle. As for Italy, since 
her unification and the reduction of the Pope to the 
civil level of an ordinary subject, she must be classed with 
the great European powers. As for Spain, Denmark 
and Sweden, they are of as little military account as 
Belgium. Thus is the continent of Europe, near the 
close of this nineteenth century, an armed camp through- 
out or, in the language of Plutarch, " an orchestra of 
Mars," its chief nationalities relying solely upon a dis- 
play of force to maintain their rank and prestige. When 
we take into account the current enginery and terrible 
instruments of destruction and havoc which are employed 
in the battles of the present day, the historic periods 
most noted for violence and bloodshed in the matter of 
warlike capability sink into insignificance when com- 
pared with the present. 

Europe has everywhere a redundant population strait- 
ened for room and for means of subsistence. In view 
of this fact, it would seem that it would be wiser, as it 
certainly would be more humane, to expend the enor- 
mous sums which are necessary to support her standing 
armies in transporting her superfluous myriads to wil- 
derness regions of the earth, to the fertile solitudes of 
the dark continent, for such a disposition of them would 
increase the area of civilization and a civilized occu- 
pancy. Of course, military discipline is not without its 
advantages. It is a promoter of manliness and of the 
spirit of order and subordination without which society 
would be disintegrated, as it is likely to be here if things 
go on as they are going now. Prussia, the foremost 
nation of Europe in the intelligence and high average 
of its population, has been under a strict military dis- 
cipline from the days of the father of Frederick the 
Great down to the regime of Bismarck and Von 
Moltke. 

A nation may be demoralized and debased by an 
excessive devotion to the sordid pursuits of peace, such 
as gambling in stocks, political log-rolling and a too 
eager chase after lucre. Thus far no nation has been 
recognized as great and formidable which has not been 
first-class in the matter of force, whether for purposes 
of aggression or defense. The lion and the eagle have 
been thus far the favorite emblems of national power 
and greatness. It was not the philosophy of Kant, or 
the poetry of Goethe and Scheller, or the science of 
Humboldt, which gave to Germany the leadership of the 
European group of nations and brought her suddenly to 
the front in continental politics, but the invincible 
legions and victories of Kaiser Wilhelm, Bismarck and 
Von Moltke won against Austria and France at Sadowa 
and Sedan. These exhibitions of martial power changed 
the opinion of the nations of both hemispheres at once 
in regard to Germany, whose people had been previously 



regarded as impracticable dreamers. Now the German 
language has everywhere superseded the French as a 
necessary study by those who would obtain a liberal 
education. 

It was Germany's display of overwhelming military 
power which called the world's attention to the fact of 
her intellectual supremacy. Generally the strongest 
nations are the foremost in every respect. When Greece 
could boast of an Alexander the Great, the conqueror 
of Asia, she could at the same time show one equally 
great in the intellectual order, viz.: his tutor, Aristotle. 

The nations of Europe have not only been able to 
conquer, colonize and hold in subjection the outside 
world, with its barbaric continents and isles, but they have 
also produced the noblest poetry and reflective thought, 
while science and civilization, in its highest sense, are 
European. We are an outpost and projection of Europe 
toward the sunset, but greatly modified in figure and 
feature and intonation and inflection of voice by nearly 
three centuries of new-world inhabitancy. Thus have 
the most virile and martial of races and nations been 
also the most intellectual. 



ETHNOLOGICAL STUDIES. 

BY THEODORE STAXTON. 

One of most interesting books in the department of 
sociology that has recently appeared here is M. Elie 
Reclus's Les Primitifs. The author belongs to that 
distinguished French family, all of whose members 
seem to be devoted to some literary or scientific work. 
The best known of the Recluses is Elisee, the famous 
geographer and ardent socialist. Elie, whom I have 
just mentioned, is the elder brother of Elisee and, if 
he does not enjoy such a wide-spread reputation, is a 
man of no ordinary parts. Another brother, Onesime, 
has published books of travel, while a fourth, Armand, 
an engineer by profession, has associated his name with 
the Panama canal, about which enterprise he has printed 
several reports and pamphlets. A fifth brother, Paul, 
is one of the ablest Paris surgeons. The three sisters of 
these remarkable brothers have published translations, 
novels and scientific studies. A cousin, Mme. Pauline 
Kergomard, nee Reclus, is an authority in France on the 
education of children and has written largely on 
pedagogic subjects. I do not know whether I have 
exhausted the list of the notable members of this famous 
family, but I have said enough to show you that it is 
worthy of Galton's attention. But, perhaps, the most 
interesting fact for us, at least in connection with the 
Recluses, is that all of them — I think there is no 
exception — are outspoken free-thinkers. 

A friend gives me the following account of M. 
Elie Reclus's last volume, mentioned at the beginning 
of this letter: " The work," we are told, "is a study in 



H 



T H K O P B N COU RT. 



comparative ethnology, the first in a projected series, and 
is to be supplemented by another volume if this one is 
favorably received. The present studies are rive in 
number, and one chosen in extremes of latitude, thus 
offering a diversity of customs and manners peculiarly 
interesting. One is astonished to find, in regions so 
remote from what we are pleased to call civilization, 
features of life so strikingly indicative of the social as 
well as the generic unity of the human family. The 
hyperborean amid his eternal snows and ices, dominated 
by a bleak monotonous nature, is as tenacious of his claim 
to manhood as is the most polished metropolitan. It is 
remarkable that these benighted races of the western 
hemisphere, commonly called Esquimaux, or eaters of 
raw flesh, invariably distinguish themselves from the 
rest of humanity bv the name of aitoit, which signifies 
man. M. Reclus divides them into two peoples — the 
oriental and the occidental, the T adits of Greenland and 
the Tadits of Alaska. While his graphic pictures of 
their family and community life reveal to us a far from 
civilized state of existence, yet we are bound to recog- 
nize here and there striking resemblances to familiar 
institutions. 

"Such discoveries rather detract from our boasted 
superiority and, from an evolutionary point of view, thev 
are profoundly significant. Thev show us, as above 
remarked, the oneness of mankind and lead us to con- 
sider in a new light the complex fabric called modern 
civilization. A just pride in the gigantic achievements 
of the scientific world disposes us to exaggerate the 
merits of a society whose every institution, after all, 
is but a medieval heritage. Such books as M. Reclus's 
are calculated to awaken healthful reflections on this 
point and to call attention to imperfections nearer home. 

•' But the crude, discordant side of primitive life is 
not all that is given in these studies. A chapter on the 
Nai'rs, or warrior nobility, on the coast of Malabar, 
reads like a romance. It is a people dominated by the 
feminine principle. Hereditary descent is on the side of 
the mother, the priestess of the household, whose 
prime minister is the eldest daughter, and in whose 
presence her sons never sit without invitation. Of 
this marvelous race, called prehistoric, but a frag- 
ment remains. They are hedged about by a new 
and unsympathetic civilization with which they refuse 
to mingle, preserving with singular tenacity their antique 
customs and a proud individuality that is the admiration 
of all who come in contact with them. A traveler, at 
tiie beginning of the seventeenth century, describes 
them as a splendid people. ' The Nai'rs of the antique 
type,' he says, ■ unite the martial boldness of the Spar- 
tan with the grace and gallantry of the middle age 
- hevalier. livery Nai'r is a lord in his country, living 
upon his revenues or on a pension conferred by the 
king. They are the best formed, the most gracefully- 



proportioned and the handsomest people that I have ever 
seen and they make the finest soldiers in the world.' But 
thev fight only with their equals. A Nai'r would con- 
sider himself utterly disgraced should he cross arms 
with an inferior race. The women also are spoken of 
as nobly proportioned and beautiful in face. They wear 
but little clothing and prefer, as has been shown, to 
leave their native shores rather than submit to be cos- 
tumed according to the requirements of a ' more refined 
civilization.' 

"It is very interesting as well as instructive to follow 
M. Reclus through all the complexities of his many- 
sided studies. It may fairly be said that 'truth is 
stranger than fiction.' Few brains would be able to 
weave an imaginary picture that could rival these real 
ones. And when we consider how intimately all these 
distinct phases of society, however obscure, are linked 
in with the philosophy of the great whole, we cannot 
too highly appreciate the author's effort to introduce 
these remote peoples to modern progressive thought as 
subjects of serious stud v. In this work wc see the 
infantile beginnings, the gropings of blind instinct of 
races without industry, art or science, the victims of 
helpless ignorance. We also see the strange, grotesque 
perversions of human nature under such abnormal cir- 
cumstances. 

"Thoroughly versed in the historical and socio- 
logical sciences, M. Reclus has gone into this work with 
a view not only to amuse the curiosity of his readers, 
but to aid in laving the foundation of exactness in those 
sciences which are of primary importance to humanity 
at the present day, as thev are the condition of con- 
structive social progress. We hope soon to see the 
second of the series, which will certainly be greeted 
with interest." 

Paris, December. 



APHORISMS FROM THE STUDY. 
BY XENOS CLARK. 

The most exasperating thing about a foolish man 
is that he never perceives his own folly. 

By a man's opinion of death you may learn what he 
has done in life. 

The chief objection to puns is the company thev 
commonly keep. 

The same knowledge that teaches us to criticise 
compels us to forgive. 

Poetry is the sunrise of the mind. 

The love of life in those whose life is lovely is so 
strong that it even can lead them to think the dread of 
life in those whose life is dreadful a needless illusion. 

The difficulty of attaining good ends measures their 
stability when achieved. 



THF, OPEN COURT. 



The Open Court. 

A Fortnightly Journal. 



Published every other Thursday at 169 to 175 La Salle Street | Nixon 
Building), corner Monroe Street, by 

THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING COMPANY. 



B. V. UN DEI? WOOD, 

Editor and Max.vgkk. 



SARA A. UNDERWOOD, 

Associate Editor. 



The leading object of The Open Court is to continue 
the work of The Index, that is, to establish religion on the 
basis of Science and in connection therewith it will present the 
Monistic philosophy. The founder of this journal believes this 
will furnish to others what it has to him, a religion which 
embraces all that is true and good in the religion that was taught 
in childhood to them and him. 

Editorially, Monism and Agnosticism, so variously defined, 
will be treated not as antagonistic systems, but as positive and 
negative aspects of the one and only rational scientific philosophy, 
which, the editors hold, includes elements of truth common to 
all religions, without implying either the validity of theological 
assumption, or any limitations of possible knowledge, except such 
as the conditions of human thought impose. 

The Open Court, while advocating morals and rational 
religious thought on the firm basis of Science, will aim to substi- 
tute for unquestioning credulity intelligent inquiry, for blind faith 
rational religious views, for unreasoning bigotry a liberal spirit, 
for sectarianism a broad and generdus humanitarianism. With 
this end in view, this journal will submit all opinion to the crucial 
test of reason, encouraging the independent discussion by able 
thinkers of the great moral, religious, social and philosophical 
problems which are engaging the attention of thoughtful minds 
and upon the solution of which depend largely the highest inter- 
ests of mankind. 

While Contributors are expected to express freely their own 
views, the Editors are responsible only for editorial matter. 

Terms of subscription three dollars per year in advance, 
postpaid to any part of the United States, and three dollars and 
fifty cents to foreign countries comprised in the postal union. 

All communications intended for and all business letters 
relating to The Open Court should be addressed to 13. F. 
Underwood, P. O. Drawer F, Chicago, Illinois, to whom should 
be made payable checks, postal orders and express orders. 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1887. 



SALUTATORY. 

A country like this, vast in extent, with resources 
undeveloped and with such a sparse population to the 
square mile, is not a country of a leisurely class of men 
devoted to purely intellectual pursuits, to the dissemina- 
tion of ideas and the advancement of truth for its own 
sake. But absorbed as the people of this new country 
necessarily are in material, industrial interests, yet there 
are many who, in the intervals of business and exacting 
bread-and-butter pursuits, desire to keep themselves in- 
formed in regard to the best thought of the day. They 
know, in spite of the fact that professors and teachers of 
the old theologies still keep droning formulas and 
creeds which have ceased to live in the faith of reason, 
as though nothing had occurred to discredit them, that 
a radical change has come over the spirit of the world's 
dream; and although a people as prosperous as the 
American people must be more or less conservative in 
both religion and politics, whatever the established order 



of things, temporal or spiritual, there is an increasing 
number who are hungry for ideas, for new truth, for the 
advanced thought of the time, who have ceased to be- 
lieve in the traditions of the past, however hoary with 
years and authoritative they may be; who know that all 
the truths which enlighten mankind and advance civili- 
zation, are the acquisitions of experience and the revela- 
tions of reason, and that the canon of truth is by no 
means closed, but still open for ever new additions and 
amendments as the years roll away and the mind pene- 
trates ever deeper the mystery of things. 

Thus, while political and commercial journals with 
their news from all lands and their comments on current 
events reflecting the popular mind, and that portion of 
the press devoted to the old orthodoxies by whatever 
name they are called, are certain of a most liberal sup- 
port, there is room, we trust, for a journal like The Open- 
Court, which, recognizing an element of truth in all re- 
ligious systems, will aim to distinguish between this and 
the errors with which the truth is encrusted and to give 
to rational religious thought a firm basis in science. 

The Open Court will encourage freedom of thought 
untrammeled by the authority of any alleged book- 
revelations or traditional beliefs, afford an opportunity 
in its columns for the independent discussion, by able 
thinkers, of all those great ethical, religious, social and 
philosophical problems the solution of which is now de- 
manded by the practical needs of the hour with an 
urgency hitherto unknown, treat all such questions 
according to the scientific method and in the light of the 
fullest knowledge and the best thought of the da} - , advo- 
cate the complete secularization of the State, entire free- 
dom in religion and exact justice for all, help substi- 
tute catholicity for bigotry, rational religious thought for 
theological dogmatism and humanitarianism for secta- 
rianism, and, at the same time, emphasize the supreme 
importance of practical morality in all the relations of life 
and of making the well-being of the individual and of 
society the aim of all earnest thinking and reformatory 
effort. 

While the critical work which is still needed in this 
transitional period will not be neglected, the most 
prominence will be given to the positive, affirmative side 
of radical liberal thought. Subjects of practical interest 
will have preference over questions of pure speculation, 
although the latter, with their fascination for many 
minds, which, as Lewis says, "the unequivocal failure of 
twenty centuries" has not sufficed to destroy, and the 
discussion of which is not without value, will by no 
means be wholly ignored. 

The Open Court, while giving a fair hearing to 
representatives of the various schools and phases of 
thought, will be thoroughly independent editorially, 
asserting its own convictions with frankness and vigor. 
It will aim to be liberal in the broadest and best sense 



THE OPEN COURT. 



and to merit the patronage of that large class of intel- 
ligent thinkers whom the creeds of the churches and the 
mere authority of names can no longer satisfy. 

Bound by allegiance to no particular party or relig- 
ious sect, this journal will sound a note of warning on 
occasion of any ecclesiastical encroachment upon Amer- 
ican liberty, whether threatened by the powerful hier- 
archy whose head resides in Europe, where it is the un- 
disguised enemy of popular freedom and popular edu- 
cation and whose assaults upon the free common school 
of America is as insidious as it is persistent, or by that 
restless pietism which' aims to arrest liberal thought in 
its practical effect, by the revival of ecclesiastical laws 
in the professed interests of morality, and which, not 
satisfied with so much of the union of Church and State 
as still survives in this Republic, in existing anomalous 
statutes and established customs, is zealously working 
for additional legislation to secure the official recog- 
nition of theological dogmas by the National and State 
governments. 

American liberty is by no means what it ought to be, 
even, so long as honest convictions anywhere within our 
bounds disqualify a man as a witness, or the property of 
ecclesiastical bodies is exempted from it just proportion of 
taxation, or theological teaching is included among the 
compulsory exercises of our public schools, or public 
money is appropriated for the endowment of sectarian 
institutions, or any class suffer legal disability of any 
kind on account of their religious opinions. While these 
evils remain, a journal devoted to equal and exact justice 
for all, irrespective of religious belief, cannot be without 
a mission. 

The Open Court will aim to keep the banner of 
truth and reason waving above the distractions, party 
contentions, theological controversies and social and 
political crazes of the hour; to submit all opinions to the 
crucial test of reason and recall men from their aberra- 
tions to sanity and the pathway of truth. 

To the American people, cosmopolitan in character 
and quick alike in opposition to wrong and sympathy 
with right, so far as they can recognize them, we confi- 
dently appeal, sure in the end of a favorable verdict from 
such a tribunal on the great questions which are to be 
tried in The Open Court. 



Mr. Moncure D. Conway has kindly sent us for 
publication in the next issue of The Open Court his 
paper on " Unitarianism and its Grandchildren." This 
remarkable production, by one of America's most radical 
thinkers and brilliant writers, has been read before several 
eastern societies, and it has made a marked impression ; 
but it has never been printed, having been reserved at 
our request for the columns of this new journal, whose 
readers may expect in the essay a rare intellectual treat. 



In an article printed in The Index, entitled " The 
Incomplete," Professor W. D. Gunning, referring to the 
Plateau experiment, observed that its "analogue is the 
material universe," and he added that "no thoughtful 
man can witness the Plateau experiment -without feel- 
ing that his mind may be standing at the very threshold 
of creation." The Plateau experiment has often been 
applied to typify the genesis of the solar system. It 
may be tried by anyone who has a delicate touch. Put 
alcohol into water until the mixture will hold olive oil 
in suspension. Fill a glass globe with this fluid and 
pour into it olive oil. The oil will diffuse itself through 
the fluid which will hold it as the heavens hold a nebula. 
Take a stiff wire and bend it at one end into a crank by 
which you can rotate it. Let the other end be smooth 
enough to turn freely in a socket, which must rest firmly 
on the bottom of the glass globe. Insert on the middle 
of the wire a little disc, jagged on the rim. Place this 
wire in the globe and rotate it. For delicate experiment 
the rotation should be accomplished by clock-work. 

* # * 

Col. John C. Bundy, editor of the Religio-Philo- 
sophical Journal, in a remarkably thoughtful paper on 
" The Country Press in Ethics," read before the Illinois 
Press Association a few days ago at its annual conven- 
tion, said : 

In the words of the immortal Lincoln ours is a "government 
of the people, by the people, for the people." Hence the purity, 
strength and permanence of our form of government and its 
benign influence upon the great family of nations rests upon the 
morals of the masses. And in turn the moral sense of the masses 
is to a considerable and steadily increasing degree due to the 
ethics taught by the country press. The cause of this increasing 
influence of the press in ethics is neither remote nor obscure. 
With increasing intelligence among the people, morals steadily 
tend toward a non-theological basis. A scientific foundation 
for ethics is rapidly becoming an imperative necessity, without 
which a moral interregnum impends. A regulative system based 
on theological dogmas has ceased to regulate with any great force. 
Old theology is moribund and with its decay dies its regulating 
power. It no longer is master of the public conscience; its 
foundations, built on the superstitions and idiosyncrasies ot 
visionaries and ambitious men have given way and under its 
crumbling walls the influence of its moral code is fast disappear- 
ing. In the place of the supernatural, people seek a code of 
natural ethics. This will not be found in the average preacher's 
study, but it should and will in good time be reached through the 

editorial sanctum. 

* # # 

Prof. Ernst Haeckel states his " Monistic thought " 
as follows: 

Scientific materialism, which is identical with our Monism, 
affirms in reality no more than that everything in the world goes 
on naturally — that every effect has its cause and every cause its 
effect. It therefore assigns to causal law — that is, the law of a 
necessary connection between cause and effect — its place over the 
entire series of phenomena that can be known. ' 

********* 

In order, then, to avoid in future the usual confusion of this 
utterly objectionable Moral Materialism with our Scientific Mate- 
rialism, we think it necessary to call the latter either Monism or 



THE OPEN COURT. 



17 



Realism. The principle of this Monism is the same as what Kant 
terms "the principle of Mechanism" and of which he expressly 
asserts that without it there can be no natural science at all. This prin- 
ciple is quite inseparable from our Non-miraculous History of 
Creation and characterizes it as opposed to the teleological belief 
in the miracle of a Supernatural. — The History of Creation, vol. 1, 

t-37- 

Strictly, however, our "Monism" might as accurately or as 
inaccurately be called Spiritualism or Materialism. The real mate- 
rialistic philosophy asserts that the vital phenomena of motion, like 
all other phenomena of motion, are effects or products of matter. 
The other, opposite extreme spiritualistic philosophy, asserts, on 
the contrary, that matter is the product of motive force and that 
all material forms are produced by free forces entirely independent 
of matter itself. Thus, according to the materialistic conception 
of the universe, matter or substance precedes motion or active 
force. According to the spiritualistic conception of the universe 
on the contrary, active force or motion precedes matter. Both 
views are dualistic and we hold them both to be equally false. A 
contrast to both views is presented in the Monistic philosophy, 
which can as little believe in force without matter as in matter 
without force. — The Evolution of Alan, vol. 2, p. 456. 

Monism and Dualism — Unitary philosophy or Monism, is 
neither extremely materialistic nor extremeiy spiritualistic, but 
resembles rather a union and combination of these opposed prin- 
ciples, in that it conceives all nature as one whole and nowhere 
recognizes any but mechanical causes. Binary philosophy, on the 
other hand, or Dualism, regards nature and spirit, matter and 
force, inorganic and organic nature, as distinct and independent 
existences. — HaeckeVs Ibid, vol. 2,J>. 461. 

With many the word Agnostic means simply one who 
neither affirms nor denies the existence of a personal, 
intelligent Deity ; one who feels that the data he pos- 
sesses are insufficient to warrant affirmation or denial in 
regard to the matter. To this class evidently belonged 
Mr. Darwin. In one of his letters published since his 
death, he wrote : 

I am, indeed, asked to attach a certain amount of weight to 
the judgment of the large number of intelligent men who have 
implicitly believed in God, but here again I see what an insufficient 
kind of proof this is. The safest conclusion seems to be that the 
whole subject lies beyond the range of human understanding. 
And yet a man can do his duty. 

In another letter ( to John Fordyce) Mr. Darwin 
wrote: 

Moreover, whether man deserves to be called a Theist 
depends upon the definition of the term, which is much too 
large a subject for a note. * * * I think that generally (and 
more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic 
would be the more correct description of my state of mind. 

But of all the definitions and statements of Agnostic- 
ism, those of Prof. Huxley are, perhaps, the most 
important, for he brought the word into use. In 18S4 
he wrote: 

Some twenty years ago, or thereabouts, I invented the word 
"Agnostic" to denote people who, like myself, confess themselves 
to be hopelessly ignorant concerning a variety of matters, about 
which metaphysicians and theologians, both orthodox and hetero- 
dox, dogmatize with the utmost confidence; and it has been a 
source of some amusement to me to watch the gradual acceptance 
of the term and its correlate, Agnosticism. * * * Thus it will 
be seen that I have a sort of patent right in "Agnostic." It is my 



trade mark and I am entitled to say that I can state authentically 
what was originally meant by Agnosticism. Agnosticism is the 
essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means 
that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has 
no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe. * * * I 
have no doubt that scientific criticism will prove destructive to 
the forms of supernaturalism which enter into the constitution of 
existing religions. On trial of any so-called miracle, the verdict 
of science is "not proven." But Agnosticism will not forget that 
existence, motion and law-abiding operation in nature are more 
stupendous miracles than any recounted by the mythologies and 
that there may be things, not only in the heavens and earth, but 
beyond the intelligible universe, which "are not dreamt of in our 
philosophy." The theological "'gnosis" would have us believe 
that the world is a conjurer's house ; the anti-theological " 'gnosis" 
talks as if it were a "dirt-pie" made by two blind children, Law 
and Force. Agnosticism simply says that we know nothing of 
what may be beyond phenomena. 

Count Goblet d'Alviella, in his " Contemporary 
Evolution of Religious Thought," refers to "Monistic 
solutions in which mind is looked upon as the property 
or manifestation of matter (Materialism) ; where matter 
is made the outcome of mind (Spiritualism), or, in the 
third place, when mind and matter are taken to be the 
opposite of one and the same mysterious reality (Monism 
proper)." 

Haeckel wrote in 1SS4: 

I believe that my Monistic convictions agree in all essential 
points with that natural philosophy which in England is repre- 
sented as Agnosticism. * * * I also believe that the Monistic 
natural religion will slowly and gradually, but surely and steadily, 
supplant the supernatural ecclesiastical religions, at least in the 
consciousness of the educated classes. 

G. H. Lewes wrote as follows: 

It may be noted that Metaphysics, refusing to adopt the 
Methods of Science, has received the protection of Theology, 
but only such protection as is accorded to a vassal, and which is 
changed into hostility whenever their conclusions clash, or when- 
ever argument threatens to disturb the secular slumber of dogma. 
Treated as a vassal by Theology, it is treated by Science as a vis- 
ionary. Is there no escape from this equivocal position. 

Says Prof. Huxley in Lay Sermons : " The improver 
of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge 
authority as such. For him, scepticism is the highest 
of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin. And 
it cannot be otherwise, for every great advance in nat- 
ural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of 
authority, the cherishing of the keenest scepticism, the 
annihilation of the spirit of blind faith; and the most 
ardent votary of science holds his firmest convictions, 
not because the man he most venerates holds them, not 
because their verity is testified by portents and wonders, 
but because his experience teaches him that, whenever 
he chooses to bring these convictions in contact with 
their primary source, nature, whenever he thinks fit to 
test them by appealing to experiment and to observa- 
tion, nature will confirm them. The man of science 
has learned to believe in justification; not by faith, but 
by verification." 



IS 



THK OPEN COURT. 



THE BASIS OF ETHICS. 



A PAPER tSOMEWHAT REVISED .\ND WITH A FEW ADDITION'S) 

READ BEFORE THE SOCIETY FOR ETHICAL CULTURE 

OF CHICAGO JANUARY 14, 1**7.* 

BY EDWARD C. IIEGEI.KK. 

Fellow Members of tlw Society for Ethical Culture— 

Ladies and Gentlemen: 

We arc associated here as a society for ethical cul- 
ture, so it behooves us above all to be clear and definite 
as to what is the basis of ethics or what is good and bad. 

Let us now consider some examples of the use of 
the word "good." What is good for a clock? If it 
is protected from being broken; if it is kept well oiled; 
if it is so altered that it keeps more correct time — all this 
is called good for the clock, irrespective of any benefit 
the owner may have from it, but looking upon it exclu- 
sively as a mechanism. What is "good" in this case? 
It is the preservation of the clock from destruction, sud- 
den or slow; it is an increase of that specific quality 
which is the special feature of the clock — that of keep- 
ing time. 

What is good for the sparrow? I mean the sparrow 
tribe. If it has plenty to eat; if the weather is mild; 
if there are no birds of prey that may kill it; if there 
are no other animals that will eat the always limited 
amount of food upon which it<; existence depends; if the 
strength and intelligence of the sparrow tribe increase, 
so as to better endure the hardships of its struggle for 
life and a living; if it takes good care of its young so 
that they all reach maturity — what is the good in these 
cases for the sparrow tribe? It is its preservation from 
destruction; its growth; the strengthening of its powers 
of self-preservation; but, especially, the increase of its 
intelligence. To the sparrow tribe the various circum- 
stances tending to its preservation are accompanied by 
sensations of pleasure; those tending to its destruction 
are generally, though not always, accompanied by pain. 
When we speak of what is good for the sparrow tribe, 
we think of pleasures and pains only as a secondary 
consideration. 

What do we call good for men? In the first place 
all that we found to be good for the sparrow, with the same 
general conclusion : That good, for man, is his preserva- 
tion or growth — bad, his destruction or decline. 

What do we call good for our child ? Firstly, we 
assume that whatever causes pleasure is also beneficial 
to it; that whatever causes pain, is in some way hurtful 
to it. We use here the words "beneficial to it." Does 
that not mean again •' what preserves it and makes it 
grow?" We all agree, I think, that we call good for 
our child (without thinking of its pleasure or pain now 



*I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to Messrs. Ernst Trussing, W. M. 
sailer, II. F. Underwood and my daughter Mary for assistance in giving my 
ideas literar) form, the latter also for assistance in originally preparing the 
paper. 



or later) that which makes it grow bodily and mentally. 
We deem good for it all that will make it equal to or 
greater than ourselves. 

I find it necessary to give some explanations here 
which may at first appear to be outside of the scope of 
this discussion.* 

What I think a conception to be: If a child sees an 
apple for the first time, the lens of the eye will throw 
a photograph of it on the retina, which photograph, as 
we now know, is fixed there for a short time, in a simi- 
lar way as in a photographer's camera. From this pho- 
tograph, through nerve-fibers, an analogue of the pho- 
tograph is assumed to be brought to the gray matter of 
the child's brain, making a record there upon living, 
feeling matter; this has received the name photogram — 
in this case the photogram of an apple. 

We may assume that at the same time the child first 
sees the apple it also tastes and smells and eats the 
same. Through the tongue and connecting nerves a 
record of its taste upon living, feeling matter is pro- 
duced in the gray matter of the child's brain simultane- 
ously with the photogram. So it is with the odor of 
the apple through the nose and the nerves connecting 
it with the gray matter of the brain; and so, also, living 
records of the several motions and sensations in eating the 
apple are simultaneously made on the child's brain. The 
gray matter of the brain lies on the surface thereof and 
is recognized as the seat of conceptions and ideas. It 
consists of hundreds of millions of brain cells, which 
again are little oblong globes of living protoplasm. The 
gray matter is underlaid by the white matter, which 
consists of innumerable nerve-fibers connecting the 
various parts of the gray matter in all directions between 
its parts and with the various organs of the body. The 
cells of the gray matter bearing the photogram or sight- 
record and those cells bearing the taste-record of the 
apple being in a conscious or active state with increased 
blood circulation at the same time, it suggests itself that 
the connecting white nerve-fibers are especially stimu- 
lated thereby to an increased blood circulation and 
growth. If later, of the photogram and taste-gram, 
the one is stimulated to consciousness by excitation 
through the eye or tongue, the other is stimulated to 
partial consciousness through the connecting white nerve- 
fibers without external excitation. 

So if the child sees the apple again at another time, 
it is the living, feeling photogram of an apple resulting 
from its first sight, which is stimulated thereby and 
feels, or, as we sav, becomes conscious of the apple. 
This photogram is the ego, for the instant; it has been 
asleep until the newly-formed photogram of the apple 
awakens it — that is, brings it into a state of conscious- 
ness. 



* I bring forward here, I believe, substantially the views of the great 
French psychological investigator, Th. Ribot, 



THE OPEN COURT. 



19 



For further explanation, let me state that instead of 
one photograph and one photogram being formed by 
the first sight of the apple, a very large number of sim- 
ilar photograms is formed. The apple must be pre- 
sumed to be moving when the child sees it; the child 
changes its position when it looks at the apple. This 
explains more easily, too, how the photograms produced 
by the second sight "of the apple find the photograms 
produced bv the first sight. 

The photogram of the apple will excite the memory 
or living record made bv the taste of the apple. This 
will enter into partial consciousness without a new exci- 
tation coming through the tongue and in a similar way 
hundreds of other living records or memories will be 
partially excited indirectly. This combination of living 
records makes the conception of an apple. 

An idea I deem to be a combination of conceptions 
and, therefore, to be embodied in the form of very 
complicated combinations of living, feeling organisms in 
our brains. 

Now, what is good for ideas, or rather for the 
organisms, the forms of which are the ideas? It is 
their preservation, their gaining strength, their growth, 
the increase of their combinations with other idea- 
organisms and the increased control over them. 

The organized whole or society of our living ideas 
constitutes our soul. 

What has been stated as good for an idea is also 
good for their organized society, the soul, to wit: Pres- 
ervation and evolution of its activities and sensations, 
especially their form. 

Of the reality (that is the whole) we observe, matter* 
is an abstraction; energy is an abstraction; life is an 
abstraction; feeling is an abstraction, and form is, to us, 
the most important abstraction. 

The following has been given to me by our fellow 
member, Mr. Alexander S. Bradley, as Herbert Spencer's 
theory of the basis of ethics: "'All conduct conceived of 
as good is such as must necessarily tend to happiness. 
You cannot imagine any conduct conceived as good 
which would tend to unhappiness. That is the ultimate 
standard of right and wrong, what conduces to the 
happiness of the human race in the true sense of the 
word.' 1 Upon my remark: '-Then the good conduct 
of an individual may result in unhappiness to himself 
individually?" Mr. Bradley continued: "Proximate 
pleasures and pains are to lie disregarded in considera- 
tion of remote results, in the same way as we take disa- 
greeable medicine or have a leg amputated because we 
anticipate a greater amount of happiness as the result.'' 

1 answered him: -'I will illustrate my idea of 
what is good by an example from the animal kingdom. 
A favorite dog of mine attacked a hen with a brood of 
chickens. The hen, although bv far the weaker animal, 



* I have this from my venerable friend. Profess..]- K.. Th. Bayrhoffer 



re-attacked the assailant and pursued it, risking even 
death or long misery from wounds as a consequence of 
her action, and bravely drove oil" the enemy. This act 
of the hen to protect her young, regardless of her own 
safety, we all, 1 think, call good." 

Mr. Bradley replied: "I think your example dors 
not conflict with the \ icw of Spencer. The happiness 
that all beings feel in the love to their offspring has 
become a permanent quality of animal nature by inher- 
itance ami development. Acts conducive to the happi- 
ness of the offspring are acts conducive to the happiness 
of the parent. These acts are undertaken instinctively, 
impulsively, without thought of consequences, but they 
are more or less the acts tending to the happiness of indi- 
viduals. The fear of proximate pain from the dog was 
overmastered by the impulse for acts conducive to the 
happiness of the hen tribe." 

I said: " I think it is only the impulse of self-preser- 
vation — the hen viewing the young as part of herself." 

Mr. Bradley: "Yes, but that instinct arose in the 
race from the experience of individual members that 
such acts produced a larger surplus of happiness than 
acts detrimental to self and offspring." (Here ends the 
dialogue.) 

My opinion is that the self-sacrificing moral sense of 
the human mother for the protection of her child, as 
that of the hen for the protection of her chickens, is 
evolved by what Darwin calls "the survival of the 
fittest." 

At first, in the hen tribe, an attack of a dog on the 
chickens would cause pain to the hen, and as a simple 
reflex action she woidd bite back, the same as she 
would if personally attacked. The idea of attachment 
to the chickens (which is a living organism in the 
brain) and simultaneous therewith that of her fighting 
talent (also such an organism) began to form, or if they 
already existed separately they combined. Their com- 
bination (in the white nerve-fibers) began to get stronger 
and a moral sense was formed, perhaps with certain 
members of the hen tribe in a higher degree than with 
others. As the hen tribe grew numerically stronger and 
the attacks of dogs were often repeated, such hens and 
their offspring survived in whom the above-mentioned 
organisms of ideas and their combination were most 
evolved. This process continued. In each hen the above- 
mentioned organisms of love and fighting talent and their 
combination was stimulated to growth bv their use, so 
that they generally became stronger than the living organ- 
isms of the idea of fear. Moral sense became prominent 
in the society of idea-organisms. It preserved the tribe; 
and because of its power of preservation we call it 
" good." 

Mr. Bradley has quoted Mr. Spencer as saying: 
"You cannot imagine any conduct conceived as good 
which would tend to unhappiness." My idea ut' this | 



20 



THE OPEN COURT. 



will convey in an example. I think a physician may 
frequently be in the position of treating a critical patient 
so, that he will suffer pain up to his death for the pur- 
pose of attempting to save his life. Such life thereafter 
probably has an equal measure of happiness and unhap- 
piness, so that the idea in saving it must be that ordinary 
human life itself is a great boon. 

In revising this paper I introduce from Herbert 
Spencer's Data of Ethics the following: 

" Among the best examples of absolutely right 
actions to be named, are those arising where the nature 
and the requirements have been molded to one another 
before social Evolution began. Consider the relation of 
a healthy mother to a healthy infant. Between the 
two there exists a mutual dependence which is a source 
of pleasure to both. In yielding its natural food to the 
child, the mother receives gratification, and to the child 
there comes the satisfaction of appetite — a satisfaction 
which accompanies furtherance of life, growth, and 
increasing enjoyment. Let the relation be suspended, 
and on both sides there is suffering. The mother 
experiences both bodily pain and mental pain; and the 
painful sensation borne by the child, brings as its results 
physical mischief and some damage to the emotional 
nature. Thus the act is one that is to both exclusively 
pleasurable, while abstention entails pain on both; 
and it is consequently of the kind we here call abso- 
lutely right." 

Is not here the preservation of the human race, 
depending on such act, fundamental to the pleasure 
sensation? 

In the education of children by their parents, which 
will be generally recognized as a moral proceeding, the 
society of ideas of the parents in respect to the later life 
of the child (which ideas are living organisms in their 
brains), are by their activity stimulated to growth, which 
growth is accompanied by pleasure sensations to them. 

Experience of the parents in education will result in 
the formation of additional ideas, which will intimately 
unite with the society of ideas already in their brains. 
This also will bring with it, growth to the idea-organisms. 

The sensations of pleasure, of these idea-organisms 
are the pleasure in education; and as education is "good," 
are the pleasure in the "good." The action of this 
society of ideas ensures the preservation and the mental 
and physical advance of the family. 

As by experience growing life is accompanied by 
pleasure sensations, that of civilized man (in his last 
evolved part, his brain) more so than that of the sav- 
age, and still more so than that of the animal; the 
thought of the further evolution of its form and its long 
continuance causes pleasure in us, that is, awakens in 
our brain the memories of pleasures actually experi- 
enced. 



When deeming it the greatest good we can do for 
ourselves to work for immortality, which work is a 
pleasure in itself, we think of the pleasures (the rewards) 
it will bring us in the future, only as as a second thought. 
If we think of such pleasures however, we may think 
of them as further evolved from those we feel. 

A verse of a hymn (sung to a beautiful melody) to me 
and two comrades, about the age'of fifteen, and which 
has been strongly refreshed in my memory, while study- 
ing this thought, describes them best. The verse is: 

Was noch kein Ange sah, 

Was noch kein Ohr vernahm, 

Was je hienieden 

Kein Menschenherz empfand: 

Das hat Gott denen 

Mit Iluld beschieden, 

Die bis ans Ende 

Getren ihn lieben. 

This course of thought has led us to the conviction 
that we cannot reach the basis of ethics without taking 
immortality into consideration. Examining Mr. Spen- 
cer's standpoint, that there must be a surplus of pleasure 
over pain to make life desirable, in the view, that ordin- 
ary healthy growing life is a pleasure in itself, we are 
also led to the thought, that the long lasting continuance 
of the most evolved form of human life, that is, immor- 
tality, is the important question in determining what is 
good for man. 

If good be happiness only, then the higher degree, 
the more evolved form of happiness, is a greater good. 
But as all happiness has the factor of time as an essen- 
tial element, its duration must be considered in determin- 
ing its value. This consideration alone brings us to 
immortality, so that, whether we adhere to the happi- 
ness theory, or to the existence theory (meaning preser- 
vation and growth), if we will do good, do our duty, 
we must endeavor to learn about immortality all we 
possibly can. If some people are indifferent about 
this idea as far as they are personally concerned, they 
still should be concerned about it for the sake of their 
children and other relatives and friends, yes, and their 
people. 

We owe this equally to our ancestors, going back to 
the first we can trace — those who lived millions of years 
before us. If we are here to-day, we owe it to our 
ancestors' long and successful work and struggle — to the 
always repeated self-sacrifice of mothers for their 
offspring. We owe it to them especially, to do our 
utmost, to preserve the greatest result of their work and 
struggle and suffering, the greatest result of evolution, 
namely, the human sou!, and to help its further growth. 

Think of the relation of a man to his own chil- 
dren, lie can so educate them and provide for them 
that they may have as large a surplus of happiness in 
life as possible. This surplus may be reached at the 
expense of the duration of existence of his children or 
their offspring. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



21 



If I imagine a given territory occupied by two socie- 
ties of equal strength in daily intercourse and inter- 
mingled with each other — one society believing that the 
surplus of happiness in life is the good, and the other 
that existence is the fundamental good — I feel certain 
that m the competition for existence, which is unavoida- 
ble, the former will gradually disappear from the scene, 
anil the latter will eventually occupy the whole territory 
alone. 

So I deem it of the greatest importance that we 
have as the leading member of the society of ideas, 
which is our soul, — as our conscience or leading inner 
voice (what it really is), this: 

Preserve and evolve the human form of life, above 
all the human soul, regardless of pleasure or pain. 

I think we all admit that so far the basis of ethics or 
the good has been a vague generalization of all generally 
accepted special cases of good. This offers an analogy to 
the " composite photograph " that Mr. Galton pro- 
duces from many photographs, assumed to have some- 
thing in common. 

What we now call good, besides preservation, is that 
which we observe in nature and call evolution. To 
make a further definition, it is that process in nature, by 
which on our globe, from simple organisms, the plant, 
the animal, the savage man, the civilized man have been 
gradually developed, which process is now continuing, 
evolving the man of the future.* 

Especially good I deem to be the evolution of form, 
through which thereafter, the same labor will produce a 
greater evolution than it did before. y 

The process of evolution is an inherent, self-acting 
process. The continuance of evolution on our globe is 
the widest generalization of "good," at present, possible. 
So far we cannot do anything beyond our planet. Sci- 
ence gives us the conviction, however, that evolution is 
taking place throughout the universe — that God and the 
universe are one — are the continuous ALL of which 
man is a limited part and phenomenon. 

When thinking of what is good or bad for man, of 
whom do we think? Honestly speaking, perhaps first 
of ourselves and, in this connection, not of our bodily 
but of our spiritual welfare. Though probably, in the 
first place, of our welfare in this life, still I am sure that 
nearly all of us are thinking in a vague manner of some 
kind of immortality, some kind of existence after death, 
as the thought naturally suggests itself that what is 
good in our present life will also be good for the future. 
I wish to lay great stress upon what I say here : This 
thought of a life after death is the most important 
feature of the "what is good for ourselves and those 



* This is substantially Herbert Spencer's definition of evolution. 
f Prof. Ernst Much points out that the nature of science is labor-saving in 
thinking. 



who are dear to us" (even if we look upon immortality 
as a possibility only, not a probability) when we take 
the relative length of time of this life and that of the 
beyond into consideration. 

What, then, is good for the beyond? I answer, what- 
ever will make the beyond more certain to us and what 
will make us greater in the beyond. That is the real 
basis of ethics. I hear the protest : " But we do not and 
cannot know anything of the beyond." To this I must 
answer: That is an error; we can. Let us look first to 
a most simple living individual being, the amoeba. It 
is a lump of protoplasm, which absorbs food and grows, 
then divides in two and makes two beings, like the 
parent being, only smaller at first; the latter absorb 
food, grow and divide again. There is no natural 
death among the amoeba. Death can only result from 
want of food or forcible destruction. Immortality is the 
natural state. 

And now let us look to man. Physiology shows us 
that our children are the continuance of our bodily exist- 
ence, not of what we are to-day, but of what we were 
near the time they were born. Of what we were at 
that time, they are the continued existence, as much, if 
not more so, than we ourselves are to-day. The living, 
feeling so-called matter, which then lived and felt and 
thought in our form, has been replaced hy other matter 
again and again. The form only is what has continued 
in us. In our children the form gradually developed; in 
us it commenced to decline. 

A deeper insight into the nature of the soul is fur- 
nished by modern psychology; an erroneous conception 
of its individuality is destroyed, but its immortality 
is given back to us. The souls of posterity, it is 
shown, will be the further evolved souls of men of 
t.o-day — that is, the totality of the souls of the human 
beings of the future is evolved from the souls of the 
human beings of this day. Modern psychology has 
been called a psychology without a soul. This is a great 
error. Nothing but the bad, egoistical part of the soul- 
conception has been removed — that is, the permanent 
barrier between our soul and that of our fellow beings 
and also the permanent barrier between each of us and 
the great continuous ALL ; the conviction is settled that 
we are but temporarily individualized parts thereof. 

I have expressed, before, to the society my view, that 
it is a duty to hold firm to the conviction, that we can 
understand the nature of ethics. I will here quote from 
Goethe: "Man must hold firm to the belief that what 
appears incomprehensible to him is comprehensible, 
since otherwise he will not investigate." I will now say 
that I deem it of the utmost importance for us all, to 
convince ourselves, that the future of our souls, their 
preservation and evolution, lies in our posterity*; that 



*To impress this idea has been Gustav Freitag's life work. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



is, however, only if we are good. Decline and annihi- 
lation, sooner or later, are the nature of the bad. 

Preservation and evolution, then — that is immor- 
tality — of our soul, that is the true basis of ethics. 
What we value in us as our soul, what places us 
above the savage, is form. Gradually there has been 
evolved from the rude soul of our distant ancestors our 
soul of to-da) — our present civilization — and we hope it 
will further evolve in our posterity. 

Matter is indestructible, energy is indestructible, life 
is indestructible, though it can, apparently, be put to 
long rest, while form can be destroyed; but there is also 
no limit to its possible evolution. The capacity to evolve 
form again is indestructible, but to evolve the form of 
life which we name the human soul, that is the work 
and struggle of millions of years. 



DISCUSSION OF MR. HEGELERS ESSAY. 

A stenographic report of the discussion which fol- 
lowed the reading of Mr. Hegeler's essay is given below: 

Remarks by Mr.Prussing: 

In the views which Mr. Hegeler lias expressed of matter and 
form in general, I helieve I coincide, if I have correctly under- 
stood his meaning. As he wished to give the hasis of ethics, 
in accordance with his views of the existing world (and, of course, 
we can only speak of ethics if we limit our province to our earth). 
I understood him to say that the basis of our ethics is the growth 
and preservation of the soul of mankind — perhaps I do not use 
his very words — preservation and development of the soul of 
mankind. He calls that immortality of the soul. It may be 
granted that there is a reason for using that expression, just as 
well as any similar one, as long as we mean by it that the soul 
of mankind, what he in another term expresses to be our civiliza- 
tion, has the nature of the immortal, as it will exist as long as man- 
kind will itself exist; provided that it cannot go beyond the exist- 
ence of mankind in its abode on this globe. If this is the sense 
of his meaning, I coincide with him fully. I believe that actually 
our faith and our belief that mankind will exist forever, as far as 
we are concerned or our children, is a great spur for our action. 
Xobodv who is kind at heart can do without this spur. And as this 
has been the experience with all nations that have tried to step 
forward in the course of civilization, it has formed itself into the 
belief or creed of the immortality of the soul. If this belief has. 
in religions, taken a different form from that which Mr. Hegeler 
has depicted to us, it was perhaps what we would call supersti- 
tion; and we have had to struggle hard with the consequences of 
such superstition ; perhaps, for that reason, it may be advisable at 
present to use different terms for this idea. If you speak to a Chris- 
tian or to a Mohammedan of the immortality of the soul, he will 
mean the immortality of his own personal inward being, his soul, 
that of the individual. He will connect with that idea an eternal 
life somewhere else, in heaven we will say, not on this earth. As 
this belief, a- I have said before, has caused great harm to the 
world, to mankind on earth, I mean — sometimes it has called 
forth good actions, but I believe the balance is loaded down by 
the great woe it has given rise to in this world — as this belief, 
I say, has brought more evil into this world than good, we should 
be very careful in using such terms Immortality of the soul, in the 
sense which Mr Hegeler has used it, means nothing more than 



'• the good of mankind as long as it may exist on this globe." With 
the destruction of mankind there can be no immortality of the 
soul any more, and, therefore, translated into plain English so 
that everybody can understand it, it means : We must work, if we 
want to act ethically, for the good of mankind, for those that live 
with and come after us. Of course we cannot benefit those that 
have gone before us, those that are dead. They have benefited 
us, and all we can do regarding them is to honor ourselves 
by revering them in a grateful mind. 

Now, the question is whether we can reconcile this idea of an 
ethical basis with the views that Mr. Hegeler has given us of the 
work of nature. If I understand him correctly, he says preserva- 
tion and growth, or development, is in itself " the good " for the 
world, and whatever is good for the world is the basis of ethics. 

I cannot concede that. I have found cases of development in 
the world which have not served the good of mankind. Devel- 
opment is not always a right development. Mere growth is not 
always growth in a right direction. Mr. Hegeler says the fittest 
will survive. Yes, so they will, but the fittest for survival are not 
always the good, are not always the best. I do not take it that 
mere force, mere strength, which is actually the cause of surviv- 
ing, must naturally be good, ethical, virtuous. I have a different 
basis for my ethics, although I say that development is a part of 
that basis, but not all of it. I consider development the means 
for the attainment of the real end or intention (if I can use that 
expression, although it is, perhaps, not well chosen) ; but let us say 
for the present that it is the intention of mankind to develop. I 
know that development gives pleasure and that it generally con- 
duces to the well-being of mankind; but not every development, not 
development in every direction, leads to that end. Suppose that 
you want to acquire the properties of beauty: You will do it by 
developing your body in such forms as will be considered by the 
majority of the opposite sex, or by your own sex, or your tribe, as 
beautiful ; gvmnastics are a means for it, dancing another, etc. 
Instead of developing his body now in a harmonious way, suppose 
some man goes on to develop it until he converts himself into an 
athlete. He will be highly developed, but the beauty will be 
gone. He may astonish you, he may frighten you. He may 
enact tool-hardy things which will be called almost barbarous. 
He is so highly developed that it overreaches all beauty. Is the 
development in this case actually of great value? I can find no 
other basis of ethics than this : Good is that ■which tends to the 
best interests of mankind, -.hat -.ill make mankind the happier 
in th,' very best sense of the word. Do not take it to mean that 
every individual must be happy. On the contrary, a man may 
sacrifice his personal happiness, yea, even his life, in order to enjoy 
that happiness which makes him an ethical person; but if he does 
it, if he sacrifices his life for the good of society, for the good of 
mankind, all other considerations conducing to his own happiness 
are of trifling worth to him. The idea that he does act for the good 
of mankind, for posterity or for the present, for mankind in gen- 
eral, elevates him above all merely personal considerations. This 
is his principle; to act it out, his highest happiness, his dignity, 
his honor, the worthiest object of his life. I base my ethics on 
this idea that we must, under all circumstances, seek the best 
interests of mankind, irrespective of our personal happiness, and 
that the means to that end are development of body and soul, 
continuous growth, in short, what we call education. The edu- 
cation, then, of our children should be such as to teach them what 
is good for mankind; that those measures which we should 
employ, in order to lead an ethical life, are what we style virtues. 
They are not the end of our acting. They are the means employed 
by us in the same way as the architect or the builder will employ 
his square to lay it to the column with which he wants to support 
the building Just in the same way we should act squarely, we 
should act right and true, because it is the means of producing 



THE OPEN COURT. 



23 



the greatest happiness of all mankind. As long as we have that 
view and keep it in our mind, we will. never act wrongly. As 
soon as we leave that out of our consideration, we will be apt to 
act in our own personal interest. We would probably act selfishly 
instead of for the general good. So, then, what we call right is 
the employment of such means as will be approved and com- 
mended by every reasonable being; but the end and object of our 
acting is and always should be: The greatest happiness of man- 
kind in general. 

Remarks by Mr. Stern: 

I find it at all times exceedingly difficult for me, as a layman, 
and I apprehend it is the feeling of the majority, not only to dis- 
cuss but to picture to my mind such abstractions as those 
to which the essayist of the evening has been treating us. 
Like the inexperienced swimmer on the shore, I try to cling 
to a life-line to avoid getting into deep water. 

Now, we will all admit that the basis of ethics, the true basis 
of ethics, is the seeking and furthering of the good. Of course the 
question comes in what is good? Good is not an absolute thing. 
It is relative. Then it is the best we know. The essayist of the 
evening has given us one of the starting points by which to judge 
of the good, experience. Survival is the result of the experience 
of the past and the general tenor of the essayist's remarks 
tended that way. I admit the efficacy of that, but the potent 
force in the advancement of ethical good is the imagination, with- 
out which there is no ethical progress. Without the imagination 
there is no true ethics. I think that the essayist appreciates and 
knows it, but he did not touch upon it. That is the life-line, and 
the only one that I know of, that will keep us safe in any of these 
abstract subjects. It is only by projecting ourselves by aid of the 
imagination into an advanced moral state that we can gradually 
bring ourselves and humanity up to it. I see no other way. 
Experience alone teaches us only of the past. It is imagination 
which represents progress in ethics. The form of immortality of 
the soul that was shown to us here is a sort of sublimated panthe- 
ism. I recognize in it nothing else. How can we imagine such 
a state; how can we picture to ourselves such a state by the mere 
nhotogram that has been imprinted upon our minds from actual 
experience?. By imagination we are projected beyond ourselves 
into that which might be and which we can attempt to follow. 
Taken in that view, I think that the constant search for the right, 
for that which is good, which tends to the survival of the fittest 
and the bettering of our conditions, is true ethical progress. 
Upon all other matters I think the essayist has only done justice 
to his subject. I mean this not as a criticism, but simply to sup- 
plement a point that I think the gentleman did not fully explain, 
and one which assists me at all events in forming a connecting 
link between his various ideas and give them, to my mind, an 
appreciable life and intensity. 

Remarks by B. F. Underwood: 

My calling here this evening was accidental and your kind 
invitation extended to me to participate in this interesting discus- 
sion, although highly appreciated, is quite unexpected; and the 
few remarks I can now make will add nothing to the value of the 
discussion. The essayist, and the speakers who have followed 
him. have spoken best, I think, in what they have affirmed. Mr. 
Hegeler's statement of his own position was stronger and more 
satisfactory than his criticism of Spencer's ethics, the main truth 
of which is that the ultimate test of morality is happiness. An 
act is right or wrong, as it benefits or injures mankind, as it 
augments or diminishes the sum total of human happiness. If 
the transcendentalist speaks of the "categorical imperative," and 
declares that " I ought," is more authoritative than any consid- 
erations of utility ; still, in order to know what we ought to do, 
we have to go to experience and learn what has been promotive 



of happiness. The whole history of civilization, from the dawn 
to the present time, is a record of experiences which have edu- 
cated us into our present moral conceptions and emotions. 

If you say that a moral act often involves suffering to the 
individual who performs it, the reply is that society is an organism, 
so to speak, of which individuals are but so manv units, and since 
the well being, and even the existence, of the individual members 
depend upon the existence and security of the collective body, its 
interests become of primary importance and must be guarded, 
even though individual members suffer. Whatever, therefore, pro- 
motes the highest social interests is pronounced right. This is 
public utility, the general good. 

But we do not always stop to consider a vast train of circum- 
stances that must follow a given act. A large part of our moral 
life is lived without calculation, without deliberation. We have 
in us the organized experience of countless generations who pre- 
ceded us, and who, having through ages acted in accordance with 
moral rules and principles, slowly learned by experience, have 
transmitted to civilized men of to-day the results, as a legacy, in 
the form of moral intuition. The moral sense, as it is called, 
thus evolved from the multiplied experience of men, has become 
a part of our mental constitution and may be as sensitive to a 
moral bruise as tactile sense is to the prick of a pin. The 
lowest creatures have no sight, no hearing, no taste. Their 
whole structure serves the general purpose of performing, with- 
out division of labor, the simple functions of life. Slowly life, as 
it is developed, differentiates into several senses, — taste, hearing, 
seeing, etc., with corresponding organs. Similarly there has been 
evolved out of experiences of men who originally could have 
made no ethical distinctions, the lofty moral conceptions of to-day. 
The race has learned by experience courses of conduct which are 
promotive of its well-being and, at the same time, it has acquired 
a moral sense, which intuitively' responds to the distinctions 
which we have learned to make. This is Spencer's position 
briefly, and of course very imperfectly, stated. 

Remarks by Mr. Zimmerman: 

This subject is one that seems ever to be young and ever to be 
fresh and promises never to be settled. As many different indi- 
viduals as there are, as many different opinions of what is right 
and what is wrong. What is right and what is wrong? What 
is good and what is bad? Those four words comprise the whole 
foundation of ethics; but, as has been remarked by all the speak- 
ers, I think, preceding, right and wrong are relative things, not 
absolute. Suppose that you transplanted an Ethiopian from the 
deserts of Africa into our city and gave him full swing, present- 
ing him with some of our fine buildings, and tell him that he will 
be much happier here than in the desert, running about without 
any clothing, without any decent food, without any of the other 
luxuries that we have, would he be happy? There would not be a 
thing that he could enjoy of these luxuries that you have and 
enjoy so abundantly. That which he was brought up to he would 
much rather have than what you have got. So with right 
and wrong. Where do they originate? That is the vital question. 
My answer is with the beginning of life right and wrong originate. 
The amceba which Mr. Hegeler referred to, one of the lowest 
forms of animal life, is nothing more or less apparently than a mass 
of gelatine or some substance like that; it breaks in two and the 
two creatures, the parent and its offspring, turn and attempt to 
devour each other. You look on with your natural sympathies; 
you see them struggling, contending one against the other, one 
to overcome the other. Now, when you look at that you say 
there is a sense of right and wrong developed there and you cannot 
avoid a feeling that there is something going on which is the germ 
of right and wrong. The one that is devouring the other feels 
that it is doing right; the other that it is being wronged and, 



^4 



THE OPEN COURT. 



therefore, the sense of right and wrong begins there. You feel 
this same idea up to the highest development of animal life, but 
it is the same thing. All life is a contention, a fight, a struggle. 
The inferior must ever give way to the superior. The one that has 
to give wav is always the one that is wronged. The one that is 
successful does not see it in that light at all. Right and wrong 
are relative, not absolute, things. So, therefore, what is good and 
bad, in the same way, is relative, not absolute. What is good to 
one is bad to the other invariably. 

As our time is so limited, I have brought a number of notes, 
but I will only read you one, which expresses my ideas very 
closely. It is from a law book on criminal law, from a class of 
lawver:-, who are regarded perhaps with a little aversion by ethical 
people; but this is the expression which the author substan- 
tiallv gives. I have modified and abbreviated it somewhat. 

" In all nations and countries the highway of human progress 
is paved with the bones of its weaklings, which are cemented 
together with their blood. The strong tread down and trample 
out the feeble and, by ending them, diminish the average weak- 
ness of the race, while the survivors from this ever-raging con- 
flict are those who are strongest and who are thus strengthened 
in both body and mind can transmit their acquired vigor to suc- 
ceeding generations until the acquired vigor falls under opposition, 
when a decav sets in until the strong again become weak and are 
themselves overthrown." 

This is virtually a synopsis of the world. You saw the 
Roman Empire, its rise, its flourish and its fall; the Grecian, the 
Egvptian, the Peruvian, the Mexican, in fact all nations of past 
histories have gone through just this process and it is ever 
going on. 

CORRESPONDENCE. 



LETTER FROM OUR JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT 
—A REMARKABLE INTERVIEW. 

To the Editor : Jerusalem, January 2S, 1SS7. 

Since midnight of the 7th of January this city has, as you 
know, been the scene of the most tumultuous and maniacal 
excitement, it is safe to say, that has been known among human- 
kind since in Noah's time the fountains of the great deep were 
broken up and hurled in all-engulfing inundation upon the dis- 
tracted sons and daughters of Belial. Immediately preceding 
that terrible hour Jerusalem seemed to give tair promise of 
remaining forever in the semi-unconscious condition which has 
been its lot during so many centuries. The spirit of slumber 
seemed to pervade the place no less during sunshine than after 
dark. The motley inhabitants walked through the narrow and 
crooked streets of the ancient city as if they were the bodies of 
the saints which once arose in their grave clothes and came 
forth from their sepulchers and appeared to many. Scarcely 
even could it be said that in the market-places — where the sleepiest 
Jew or American generally is aroused into a semblance of anima- 
tion — was there any interest manifested in the things of this 
world. The contingent of pilgrims that is always to be found in 
the Holy City had dwindled to a handful and even they were not 
of the enthusiastic kind. Jerusalem was in danger of passing 
from sleepiness to coma. Upon this lethargic city, with its drowsy 
people, suddenly was sprung the most tremendous seismic 
cataclysm of history, accompanied by phenomena which make it 
in the eyes of many the chief event in the career of the globe. 
The daily papers have given you full accounts of that awful 
diapason of world-discord, that hideous outburst of hell-music 
which aroused the slumbering city at the ushering in of the 7th 
of January and which awakened a third of the children and 
delicate women only to send them into convulsions and speedv 



but merciful death. They have told you that when the par- 
alyzed survivors succeeded in making their way to the doors 
and windows of their houses they were met by the appalling 
spectacle of an ocean of phosphorescent flame which surrounded 
their city on all sides, rising in enormous billows of light 
up and up till it reached the zenith and casting a brilliant 
but unearthly radiance over all objects in heaven and on 
earth; that in the clear space in the center of this well of 
flame, in the remotest heavens suddenly appeared a figure of 
dazzling splendor, begirt with iridescent garments and wearing 
a chaplet of diamonds " each one of which (in the language of a 
Chicago reporter then stopping at Jaffa and who came up to 
Jerusalem the next day) was estimated by a Jewish diamond 
broker to be worth at least as much as the Koh-i-noor." Circling 
about in mid-air, and slowly descending, this figure was soon 
recognized by a Second Adventist tourist from America — Abijah 
Higgins by name — who happened to be out for a promenade 
along the Via Dolorosa by moonlight, to be none other than the 
long-looked-for Messiah. Terror had up to this moment sealed 
the lips of the dumbfounded populace; but upon Abijah's rushing 
frantically through the streets yelling, -'It's my Lord," the 
word was passed from mouth to mouth and in a short time the 
most hideous possible hullaballoo and confusion arose. The 
heterogeneous character of the city's population gave rise to the 
most various ebullitions of feeling. The Christians were, of course, 
exultant. Although there were not many of them who had 
believed with any vital faith in the doctrine of millenarianism, 
there was a more than Pentecostal conversion among them, and 
they ran about the city wildly crying, " Hallelujah! He's come! 
He's come!" And to the shrinking Jew or incredulous Moham- 
medan whom they met would be addressed the triumphant cry, 
"Didn't we tell you so?" The Jews were divided in opinion as 
to the nature of the phenomenon. Some said it was Elijah come 
again ; others, that it was Jehovah himself come to sweep their 
persecutors from the face of the earth ; others said that they were 
sore afraid that it was the Christians' God; others were simply 
nonplused and said they should wait till daylight before giving 
up all hope. The Mohammedans were at first convinced that the 
Prophet had made his visible appearance again, in order to earn- 
on a crusade against the Giaours who are pressing the Ottoman 
Empire so hard; but upon observing that the person was unac- 
companied by female attendants, they lost hope and joined their 
howls of despair to the Jews' wails. The luminous figure mean- 
while descended toward that part of the city in which the Church 
of the Holy Sepulcher is located and when it was about a thou- 
sand feet from the earth a stentorian voice split the air, seeming 
to penetrate every nook and corner of the city, saying, " At last! 
At last! I am come to claim mine own. Tremble, O _ve Gentiles! 
The day of your reckoning is at hand. I am he ye call Jesus." 
And the figure sank gently to the earth and disappeared within 
the precincts of the Holy Church. 

All this happened three weeks ago. Since that time, what a 
prodigious change has come over this once sleepy town ! All the 
world over the news went flying that the Lord had reappeared in 
Jerusalem and the most unparalleled excitement has ensued. 
From every point on the globe where the knowledge of Chris- 
tianity has penetrated expeditions have been crowding in upon us. 
Asiatics, Africans, Europeans and Americans have swept in bv 
the thousand and those now here are only the advance guard ot 
the mighty host upon the way. From thirty thousand people 
within the walls Jerusalem's population has alreadv swelled to 
near a million, within and immediately without the gate6. From 
all over the world the telegraph brings accounts of the organizing 
by pastors and Sunday-school superintendents of excursions to 
the Holy Land to see the Lord, and the latest report is that the 
great transatlantic steamship companies have, at a special meeting 



THE OPEN COURT. 



2 5 



of their stockholders, resolved to withdraw their vessels from the 
British and American trade and carry passengers direct to the 
Holy Land, via the Mediterranean, if the craze continues. The 
question how to feed this great multitude of strangers is already 
causing some anxiety. Only yesterday there was a report that 
an aged Millerite from Maine had been found wandering about 
the plains outside the Zion gate in a semi-demented condition 
from lack of food. To-day a delegation of the leading citizens 
and most prominent visitors of the place called on the Lord at his 
temporary headquarters in the Church, with the request that he 
take into consideration the question of the physical sustenance of 
the great army of pilgrims. Upon his saying that he thought 
they ought to be able to manage the commissary department for 
themselves if he took charge of the army on Held days, I am 
told the committee suggested that he might feed the multitude as 
he did before in another place. I am told that his reply was to 
the effect that the times had changed, that it was no longer neces- 
sary to perform that kind of miracle, and that during his present 
sojourn on earth he should utilize natural forces as far as possible, 
making use of supernatural expedients only as a last resort and 
mainly in the interest of missionary work among the infidels and 
heathen, which work would take up a large share of his time and 
energy during the next thousand years. 

Much of the foregoing information has been communicated to 
vou through the daily press. But»you will remember that almost 
the first manifesto which the Lord issued to the world since his 
descent — a manifesto promulgated through the Archangel 
Michael on the morning of the 9th and published in the New 
York daily papers of the 10th inst. — was to the effect that he 
would see no newspaper men ; that he had heard they always made 
mistakes in reporting conversation and that he was preparing an 
announcement which, when completed, would be given to the 
press. As, however, he expressed in the same manifesto his 
willingness to see other professional men, provided they were 
duly respectful — he had always admired humility — and did not 
ask for personal favors, I concluded that I would risk a call, 
knowing as I did that I should probably find him at leisure, as 
the awe of his followers is so great that they are afraid of close 
association with him, preferring to see him afar off, when he takes 
his daily walk along the Via Dolorosa for exercise. 

As I had at the time of calling no intention of reporting the 
interview, I consider this report to be in no sense a violation of 
good faith. Furthermore, when I called I announced that I had 
" come upon an errand." 

Going toward the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at about 
half-past ten yesterday morning, I found the edifice surrounded 
by an immense crowd and was obliged to obtain the services of 
a guard before I could gel near the entrance. Having final! v 
reached the church, I delivered my card to a very important 
looking functionary who stood at the portal, and, having looked 
me over rather contemptuously, I suppose on account of my 
modest raiment, he at last opened the door and told me to pass 
within. A lackey dressed in gorgeous ecclesiastical vestments 
bade me follow him and led me past the various chapels of the 
place, in which the warring sects of Christendom had been 
accommodated by the lordly Mohammedan rulers, and on an 
extemporized dais in the center of the church I beheld a man of 
magnificent physique, of kingly bearing and of a stern but 
thoughtful countenance, who was engaged in writing upon a 
parchment. Unaccustomed to regal pomp and ceremony and 
having in mind the meek and lowly Jesus of old, I was about to 
go up to the personage, offer my hand and announce the object of 
my visit, when the functionary at my side commanded me to bow 
three times to the earth and say, " All hail, King of heaven and 
earth." This done, I wa6 permitted to advance to a low seat in 
front of the king, where I sat down and waited his pleasure 



Looking up from his writing, presently, the Lord saw me and 
immediately opened conversation. His voice was strong and reso-' 
nant; he spoke rapidly, without gesticulation, and in forcible but 
not euphuistic English, a slight imperfection in his pronunciation 
of the th indicating that English was not his native tongue. 

"I perceive that you are an American," he said. "I am 
always glad to meet persons from your country, although the 
pleasure is one which I do not often experience, owing to tin 
heterodox opinions of most of your countrymen." 

" Yes, Sire," I said, "it is true that but few of us have credited 
the predictions of your reappearance, but I trust that the holv and 
useful lives that have been led by many of our great men ma\ 
have enabled them to find grace in your eyes. There are Wash 
ington, and Jefferson, and Emerson, and Longfellow — " 

" My humble friend," interrupted the Lord, " the names vou 
mention are indeed familiar to me, but I do not remember meet- 
ing the gentlemen to whom you refer. You must certainly know 
that mere morality is not sufficient to admit a soul to the sacred 
presence. I said of old, and I repeat it now, ' Unless a man 
believe, he shall be damned.' " 

" Hut," I interjected. " I thought the learned doctors had 
decided that you meant to prefix a syllable to that word and 
change the vowel and make it read 'condemned.'" 

"What I said I said," was the reply, "and I have no patience 
with the sickly effeminacy which would seek to change that good 
old English word damn into demn in order to please the grannv 1 
school in the Church. God is God in all tongues and damn is 
damn. What would be the use of a hell unless there were damna- 
tion ?" 

Receiving no reply, he continued: 

" Did I not say, emphatically, that I would come again, in 
power and great glory in the clouds of heaven, and that ' this 
generation should not pass away until all these things should be 
fulfilled?' I never heard that the worthies vou speak of believed 
this word." 

" They could not believe it, Sire, because they could not recon 
cile it with the fact that that generation to which you spoke had 
passed away without the fulfillment of the prediction," I ventured 
to interpose. 

" Facts have nothing to do with the virtue of belief," was the 
reply. "They should have believed in spite of facts. Indeed, 
that statement was made simply as a shibboleth by which to sort 
out the sheep from the goats. The design was that each genera- 
tion must take that asseveration to refer to itself and believe and 
act accordingly. How many in each generation since the other 
time have had this faith? Very few. They are the sheep. Your 
fellow-countryman, William Miller, was one of the greatest 01 
these sheep. He was worth a dozen strait-laced Washingtons or 
pantheistic Emersons and great is to be his reward. In a few 
weeks, when my arrangements are completed for the resurrection 
of the just, I shall raise him first and appoint him Grand High 
Herald of the Kingdom." 

"Sire," I asked, "do you mean by 'the resurrection of the 
just' those of righteous and honorable lives who have been upon 
the earth in times past?" 

" By no means," was the reply. "That is a common misun- 
derstanding ol the phrase. By it I mean just those who have in 
the past believed that this (their) generation was to behold the 
second advent. The resurrection of all merely good men might 
overpopulate the earth. But we can easily accommodate all who 
have believed, at any given time, in the immediate advent of the 
Son of Man, so called. If the number proves greater than I 
expect — I have not made any very careful calculations; I leave 
all arithmetical work to my servant Daniel — we can easily 
hitch another planet to the earth and establish an overflow meet- 
ing of the saints, as it were." 



26 



THE OPEN COURT. 



"My Lord," said I, "would you object to giving to a poor 
man a brief outline of what you propose to do while you are 
here? It is a subject of great importance to me and my future 
movements will be largely controlled by any information you 
mav vouchsafe." 

The lord looked at me searchingly. " You're not one of those 
newspaper men in disguise, are you?" he said. "You don't 
intend to sell this news?" 

" I have no such intention at present," I said, guardedly. 

"Well, mv humble servant," continued his omnipotence, ".. 
may sav that the first thing I shall do after issuing my pronun- 
ciamento will be to apply the torch to various portions of the 
habitable globe. This in order that the Scripture may be ful- 
filled. ' The elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth, also, 
and the works that are therein shall be burned up.' " 

" But, Most Worthy Master," I remonstrated, "that will surely 
subject you to the reproach of being called an Anarchist and will 
besides cause a great deal of suffering and great loss of ecclesias- 
tical and other precious property." 

"I can't help that," was the reply. "It is necessary that 
there should be a general house-cleaning in this old world and 
fire is a great purifier. And the fulfillment of prophecy cannot 
be staved by considerations of individual convenience. 

" Following the great conflagration will come the first resur- 
rection. This process will probably occupy several days, on 
account of the great care which the Recording Angel must exer- 
cise in determining just who are to be raised and in bringing the 
work well up to date. It would be very embarrassing, you know, 
if one of my subordinates should resurrect a man whom I should 
subsequently discover must be reinterred. The next thing to be 
done will be the remodeling and rebuilding of Jerusalem. My 
present quarters in this church are very unsatisfactory and not at 
all of the kind to which I have been accustomed. I must say 
that I like more majesty and grandeur and extension about my 
habitation," and the Lord gazed discontentedly about at the some- 
what contracted area and tawdry decorations of the Church of the 
Holy Sepulcher. "You should see my official mansion in the 
City of God; no gilt work there — foundations and superstructure 
all of the genuine yellow metal, veneered with gems. I haven't 
time to mention all the particulars, but you can read all about the 
materials in Rev. xxi:i8-2i, for the palace is built to harmonize 
with the walls. I do not know but I shall bring the New Jerusa- 
lem down from home — perhaps it would be as easy as to try to 
make over this old nest of rookeries. But in some way I shall 
certainlv establish quarters to which I shall not be ashamed to 
invite Pa and Parry. 

" Next I propose to take in hand the infidels. I shall send out 
some of the resurrected Millerites and Chiliasts of all descriptions 
— men of gigantic intellects all of them — to convert the so-called 
scientists, and if they do not readily succumb to argument, I 
shall try other means of bringing them to their senses," and the 
Lord toyed significantly with an elaborately ornamented gold 
paper-knife, in the shape of a Turkish yataghan, which lay on 
his writing table. "Of late years these men have become very 
bold and I must give them a lesson. This is, indeed, the main 
reason for my advent at this time. A few years more and it 
would have been too late. There is one particularly blatant infidel 

in your country, one B I by name, who some 

years ago caused great travail of spirit to one of my most doughty 

lieutenants, T *, of Brooklyn. I know all about it, for 

T gave us full particulars one morning in his prayer. I 

mean to have a personal interview with that fellow and if he 
doesn't come round verv quickly, I — I'll have him bastinadoed." 



*I suppress these names, not desiring to anticipate the Lord's work of 
warning or of reassurance. 



" Most Potent Seignior," I here interjected, " there is at pres- 
ent in my country a controversy raging with respect to the future 
lot of the heathen who have not heard the ' glad tidings of great 
joy.' One party says that these heathen, inasmuch as they have 
not accepted the only Saviour, are doomed to hell. The other 
party says that as such heathen have not accepted Thee, because 
they never heard of Thee, it were unjust to punish them for 
their misfortune and that they will have a chance of knowing 
Thee in the future. What is the truth about this matter, O King?" 

" About the heathen who are already dead," was the answer, 
" I cannot now speak. But those who are now alive and have 
not heard of me, will hear very shortly and with no uncertain 
sound. You remember the promise in the second Psalm, ' I shall 
give thee the heathen for thine inheritance: thou shalt break 
them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a 
potter's vessel.' That doesn't look as though we were going to 1 
err on the side of pusillanimity, does it? I purpose sending out 
very soon an immense army of my retainers to conquer the 
heathen and bring them before my throne and they will soon 
cease their troubling. At any rate, I am determined they shall 
all be baptized. Any who demur will be broken with a rod of 
iron, as promised. And death will not come to end their suffer- 
ings. Everybody has got to live a thousand years. Oh, we shall 
all be very happy." 

"But it will be a big job _ to convert all the heathen and the 
infidels," I ventured to remark. 

"Not after I bind Satan," was the reply. "The Devil is at 
the bottom of most of the antagonism to Us. He received a 
' dreadful scaring the other night and fled to the uttermost parts of 
hell when I came down, and as he is an exceedingly crafty and 
fleet-footed personage, I suppose it will be some time before my 
servants take him. But as soon as he is safely bound and tumbled 
into the pit, our work will be much simpler." 

" If no one is to die for a thousand years," I observed, "and 
marrying and giving in marriage are to continue, how will the 
world contain the vast population that will come upon it, in addi- 
tion to the large number who are to be resurrected ?" 

"The population will not increase so rapidly as you think, my 
unsophisticated friend. You remember my servant Isaiah said 
that in the millennium ' the child shall die an hundred years old;' 
that is, the child shall cease to be a child and become a man at 
that age. Now, if parents find that their children are to be 
dependent on them for a hundred years instead of a dozen, will 
not there be a positive check to increase of population? Think 
of the misery of nursing a lad of sixty through an attack of 
the measles, or listening to the wailings of a girl of thirty-five in 
the agonies of teething! The birth-rate of the world will greatly 
diminish as a result of this wise provision." 

"Then the Talmudian calculation that in the millennium each 
Israelite will have sixty thousand children, or as many as the 
total number of the Israelites who went out from Egypt, is 
incorrect?" 

"Obviously." 

"The Sibylline books declare that in the millennium there 
will be no more seas, no more winters, no more nights; that ever- 
lasting wells will run honey, milk and wine. Is this prophecy 
correct?" 

" I do not think we can escape the obligation of drying up the 
sea. Rev. 21 :i says plainly, 'There shall be no more sea,' so we 
shall have to get rid of the ocean in some way. Probably we will 
turn it into fire at the time of the universal conflagration. But 
the other predictions were only the vagaries of a distempered 
intellect, as was -also the prediction that during the millennium 
men would be, as before the fall, two hundred yards high." 

" How, mav I ask," said I, " do you reconcile the promise of 
your universal and triumphant reign during the millennium with 



THE OPEN COURT. 



27 



the statement in Revelation that at the end of the thousand years 
'the nations of the earth shall, under the leadership of the liber- 
ated Satan, attack the saints in their stronghold?" 

" Now, now, my good fellow," was the somewhat testy reply, 
" you mustn't ask me to explain the Apocalypse. There are limits 
to even omniscience. I doubt if the Holy Spirit himself, who 
dictated Revelation, could explain it. Now, I've got other things 
to do besides talking to you. I haven't been so busy in a million 
years. So I'll wish you good morning." 

" But, Sire, the beasts in Rev " 

" Beast me no beast. Good-day. Raphael, show this person the 
way out. If I am so pestered with questions again I'll have to 
forbid the premises to these callers." 

And taking up his pen, the Lord went on with his writing, not 
noticing the profound salaams with which I signalized my 
departure. I fear that I offended him by my last questions. This 
may prove very unfortunate to me. The ways of the East are 
dark, and in case you do not hear from me again, you may 
surmise that your correspondent has met the fate of those who 
incur the enmity of powerful eastern potentates. But if this 
letter reaches you and gets in type, and helps to dispel the 
prevalent illusions and wild reports concerning the Lord and his 
plans, I shall be content. Special. 

BOOK NOTICES. 



To the Poet-Laureate. Louis Be/rose, Jr. Brentano's, Wash- 
ington, D. C, 1SS7. 

This spirited and musical poem, in the fascinating meter of 
Lockslcy Hall, is a defence of scientific thought against Lord 
Tennyson. Whatever doubt may exist about the meaning of 
Lockslcy Hall Sixty Fears After ought to disappear after a careful' 
perusal of the longer and much poorer poem published with it 
The whole volume is meant to discredit liberal views of science 
and politics, by making them appear hostile to morality, and Mr. 
Belrose is entitled to the thanks of the friends of intellectual lib- 
rety and popular government for his defence of scientific thought. 



venting prosecution for fraud. Due attention is called to the fact 
that the Sabbath is openly broken with impunity by railroads and 
other corporations, the community appearing to be in favor of the 
law but against its enforcement. To get rid of the demoralizing 
effects of laws which people are not expected to obey, it is urged 
that the Sundav statutes be reduced in Massachusetts, as they 
have been in other States, sufficiently to make it possible to carry 
them out. The plan in the pamphlet is to forbid all labor not 
needed to secure "reasonable personal comfort" or rescue of 
property "from actual waste," and make proper allowance for 
travel as well as for " recreation, social intercourse or whatsoever 
other pastimes be of good report." These recommendations will 
have all the more effect from the scholarly and dispassionate tone 
in which they are offered. But it should be remembered, 
that what needs most to be reformed, not only in New England 
but even in Chicago, is public opinion, which at present looks at 
Sunday amusements with a cowardly asceticism worthy of St. 
Simon Stylites. 



Ein Leben in Liedern, Gedichte eines Heimathlosen. 
Milwaukee, Wis. Freidenker Publishing Co. 

This little volume of poems contains, as its title suggests, the 
portrayal of a life in song. The author is an evolutionist and his 
work has, in addition to its poetic merit, a scientific interest. He 
acquaints us with the various stages of his intellectual develop- 
ment and religious growth, the rise of his hope& and fears, his 
early faith, his first doubts, his despair in feeling the basis of his 
religious belief crumbling away and, at last, his satisfaction and 
joy as he grew into broader thought and attained to higher ideals 
of life and duty. The love songs abound in fine sentiment and 
show a refined taste and love of nature. The ideas are elevated 
and the language simple and elegant. 



The Sunday Law of Massachusetts. What it is as construed 
and interpreted by the Supreme Judicial Court. How it is 
observed and non-observed and what had better be done in 
relation thereto. By a Member of the Massachusetts Bar. 
Cupples, Upham & Co., Boston, 1887. 

This little pamphlet gives not only all the statutes in full, 
which cannot be found together elsewhere, but also an accurate 
and impartial summary of the decisions, some of which have 
great effect, for instance, in destroying the value of notes and pre- 



Mind, the English quarterly review for January, contains very 
interesting essays in philosophical and psychological research, the 
first of which is on "The Perception of Space," by Prof. Wm. 
James, which he discusses in a matter-of-fact way with great pen- 
etration in his quaint and original style. Prof. H. Sedgwick treats 
of "Idiopsychological Ethics," in reply to the views of Dr. Mar- 
tineau. James Ward continues his papers on " Psychological 
Principles." Under the general head of " Research," J. M. Cat- 
tell details "Experiments on the Association of Ideas"; J. Jacobs, 
"Experiments on Prehension"; Francis Galton, F. R. S., gives 
supplementary notes on " Prehension in Idiots." Prof. J. Dewey 
discusses" Illusory Psychology," and replies to Shadworth Hodg- 
son's strictures. Prof. C. L. Morgan discusses " The Generaliza- 
tions of Science." There are able critical essays by Prof. H. 
Seth, T. Whittaker, J. Sully, Grant Allen and Prof. R. Adamson. 
The book notices include an account of recently published philo- 
sophical and psychological works. Edited by G. Croom Robert- 
son, and published by Williams Sc Norgate, London. 



The Art Amateur for February offers a premium of $100 
for the best design for a new cover for the Magazine. This will 
give a fine opportunity for young designers to try their skill. 
The drawings must be sent by the first of March, 18S7. This 
number opens with a fine bold sketch of Tennyson made in Octo- 
ber, 1886. The old poet certainly does not look as if he had lost 
either vigor or independence by becoming a lord. Montezuma gives 
a fot-pourri of entertaining gossip and Greta her usual Boston cor- 
respondence. There is an interesting account of the Stewart col- 
lection which is to be sold by auction in New York in March. This 
is well illustrated by spirited sketches from paintings of Meis- 
sonier and Gerome. Among the decorative designs is a charm- 
ing little panel representing Winter by Froment. A good deal of 
6pace is given to architecture and the decoration of rooms in city 
and country houses while ceramics, amateur photography and 
needle-work have their due share of attention and those who wish 
to employ the Lenten Season in the pious work of embroidering 
chasubles and other vestments can find instructions for that also. 
The ever-entertaining correspondence suggests as many questions 
as it answers. The Art Amateur continues its good work of 
diffusing sound principles of art through the country, besides 
affording much practical assistance to the amateur who cannot 
obtain professional instruction. We wish it would give, aho, a 
little more art matter suited to the general reader, such as biogra- 
phies of living artists, criticisms of schools and of celebrated 
works. 






28 



THE OPEN COURT. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



UNAWARES. 

A song welled up in the singer's ru-:irt, 

(Like a song in the throat of a bird). 
And loud he sang, and far it rang,— 

For his heart was strangely stirred; 
And he sang for the very joy of song, 

With no thoughts of one who heard. 

Within the listener's wayward soul 

A heavenly patience grew. 
He fared on his way with a benison 

On the singer, who never knew 
How the careless song of an idle hour 

Had shaped a life anew. 

— Alice Williams Brothtrton in 'January Atlantic 



So strong was the bent of his mind in an humorous 
direction that some theologians have accused him of 
want of reverence for religion; which accusation may 
lie true of the sticks and stubble men call religion, but 
not of the genuine article, as we will see by and by. 
Some of the more strenuous patriots desired the Com- 
mittee of Safety to require the Episcopal clergy to 
refrain from praying for the King. "The measure," 
said Franklin, "is quite necessary; for the Episcopal 
clergy, to my certain knowledge, have been constantly 
praying these twenty years that God would give to the 
King and his council wisdom, and we all know that not 
the least notice has ever been taken of that prayer." 

In one of his conversations with John Adams he 
wittily distinguished Orthodoxy from Heterodoxy by 
saying "Orthodoxy is my doxy and Heterodoxy isyour 
doxy." In another place he remarks, "Steele says that 
the difference between the Church of Rome and the 
Church of England is only this: that the one pretends 
to he infallible and the other to be never in the wrong. 
In the latter sense we are most of us Church of England 
men, though few of us confess it and express it so 
naturally and frankly as a certain ladv here, who said, 
1 do not know how it happens, but I meet with nobody, 
except myself, that is always in the right." 

It is related of Franklin, but I do not know how 
truthfully, that, when a boy, he slyly advised his father 
to say grace over the whole barrel of pork and so save 
time at dinner. 

He specially excelled in delicate irony. In a letter to 
his friend De Chamount ( whose house he had occupied 
at l'assy) he says: "As to Tinck, the maitre d' hotel, 
he was fairly paid in money for every just demand he 
could make against us and we 'nave his receipts in full. 
Hut there are knaves in the world no writing can hind, 
and, when you think you have finished with them, they 
come with demands after demands sans fin. He was 
continually saying of himself, I am an honest man, I am 
an honest man. Hut I always suspected he was mis- 
taken, and so it proves." — From a lecture on Benjamin 
Franklin by IV. Symington Brown. 



Eny . 



THE PARKER TOMB FUND. 

A fund is now being raised by the friends and admirers of Theodore Par- 
ker to improve the condition of his tomb, in the Old Protestant Cemetery, Flor- 
ence, llaly. The list of subscribers to date is as follows : 

Miss Frances Power Cobbe, England, 

Rev. James Martineau, D.D , " 

Professor F. W. Newman, 

Miss Anna Swanwiek, " 

Rev. Peter Dean, 

Mrs. Catharine M. Lyell, 

Miss Florence Davenport-Hill, " 

William Shaen, Esq., 

Mme. Jules Favre, Directress of the Slate Superi 

Sevres, France, 
M.Joseph Fabre, ex-Deputv, Paris, France, 
M. Paul Bert, of the Institute, " " 

Professor Albert Reville, 

M. Ernest Renan, of the French Academy, P.iri 
R. Rheinwald, publisher, Paris, France, 
Mme. Griess-Traut, " " 

Rev. Louis Leblois, Strasburg, Germany, 
Miss Matilda Goddard, Boston, Mass., 
Mrs. R. A. Nichols, 
Caroline C. Thayer, " 

F. H. Warren, Ohelmsford, " 

F. W. Christern, New York, 
Mrs. E. Christern, " 
Louisa Southworth, Cleveland, < >. 
S. Brewer, Ithaca, N. Y. 
E. D. Cheney, Boston, 
A. Wilton, Alexandria, Minn., 
David G. Francis, New York, 
Robert Davis, Lunenburg, Mass., 
H. G. White, Buffalo, N. Y., 
M. D. Conway, " 

A. B. Brown, Worcester, Mass., 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Tenarly, N.J., 
Theodore Stanton, Paris, 
J. Cary, M. D., Caribou, Me., 
Mrs. Stanton-Blatch, B. A., Basingstoke, 
A Friend, Philadelphia, Pa., 
Jacob Hoftner, Cincinnati, O., 
Charles Voysev, London, England, 
Count Goblet d'Alviella, Brussels, Belgium, 
Luther Colby (Editor Banner of Light), 

B. F. Underwood, Boston, Mass., 
James Eddy, Providence, R. I., 
Chas. Nash and Sister, Worcester, Mass., 
Fred. H. llenshaw, Boston, Mass., 
Rose Mary Crawslay, Breconshire, Eng., 
Geo. J. Holyoake, Brighton, 
James Hall, St. Denis, Md., 
S. R. Urbino, Boston, Mass., 
E. C. Tahor, Independence, Iowa, 
Menvia Taylor, Brighion, Eng., 

G. W. Robinson, Lexington, Mass., 
G. P. Delaplaine, Madison, Wis., 
Mrs. L. P. Danforth, Philadelphia, Pa.. 
P. B. Siblev, Spearfish, Dak., 
M.J. Savage, Boston, Mass., 
Wm. J. Potter, New Bedford, Mass., 
Caroline de Barrau, Paris, 
Joseph Smith, Lambertville, N.J., 
John H. R. Molson, Montreal, Canada, 
Miss Kirstine Frederikson, Denmark, 
Mrs. T. Mary Broadhurst, London, Eng., 
Miss A. L. Browne, " " 
R. Ileber Newton, Garden City, N. Y., 
S. C. Gale, Minneapolis, Minn., 
R. E. Grimshaw, Minneapolis, Minn., 
E. M. Davis, Philadelphia, Pa., 
Mrs. Rebecca Moore, London, Eng., 
Axel Gustafson, 

Zabel Gustafson, " 

Mrs. Laura Curtis Rullard, New York. 
Annie Besant, London, Eng., 
Fredrik Bajer, Deputy, Copenhagen, Denmark, 
Mile. Maria Deraismes, President y theSeine-et 

Federation, Paris, 
Rjornstjerne Bjornson, Norway, 
II. L. Bra*kstad, London, Eng., 
M. Godin, Founder of the Familistere, Guise, F 
Jane Cobden, London, Eng., 
H. E. Berner. Christiana, Norway, 
J. M. Yeagley, Lancaster, Pa., 
Dr. Samuel L\ Young, Ferrv Village, Me., 
J. W. Braley, New Bedford," Ma s., 
M. M. Manigasarian, Philadelphia, Pa.. 
Miss Leigh Smith, Algiers, Africa, 
Dr. J. F. Noves, Detroit, Mich., 
John C. Hayhes, Boston, 
M. T. Adams, Boston, Mass., 
Rosa M. Avery, Chicago, 111., 
Miss Abbie W. May, Boston, Mass., 
Rev. R. Fisk, Watertown, N. Y., 
Henry W. Brown, Worcester, Mass., 
JosepTi Wood, Bar Harbor, Me., 
W. M. Salter, Chicago, III., 
S. B. Weston, Philadelphia, Pa., 
W. L. Sheldon, St. Louis, Mo., 
Charles D. Presho, Boston, 
James D. Atkins, Florence, Mass., 
W. L. Foster, Hanover, Mass., 
Felix Adler, New York, 

Subscriptions may be sent to The Open Court or to John C. Haynes, 451 
Washington street, Boaton, Mas*. 





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The Open Court 



A Fortnightly journal, 



Devoted to the Work of Establishing Ethics and Religion Upon a Scientific Basis. 



Vol. I. No. 2. 



CHICAGO, MARCH 3, 18S7. 



I Three Dollars per Year. 
"( Single Copies, 15 cts. 



THE MISSION OF SECULARISM. 

BY FELIX L. OSWALD. 

In the pursuit of all human enterprises a clear defini- 
tion of purpose is a chief condition of success. It secures 
efficient co-operation; it prevents aberrations; it ob- 
viates illusions and misconstructions. The progress of 
Secularism has undoubtedly been retarded by such 
stumbling-blocks. Its doctrine has been mistaken for 
a gospel of sensuality and egotism, for a depreciation of 
the higher in favor of the lower propensities of the 
human mind. " Earthlv things should subserve the 
divine," says our pious brother. " We should encourage 
the beautiful, the useful will encourage itself," says our 
aesthetic sister. 

Now, the truth is that, in a normal state of social 
conditions, the beautiful and the divine (i. e., the moral 
metaphysical principle), as well as the useful, will en- 
courage themselves, an excess on either side being natur- 
ally followed by a reaction in the opposite direction. 
When the pursuit of power and wealth had secured the 
citizens of Rome a surplus of material blessings, the love 
of arts began to unfold a profusion of spontaneous 
blossoms. When the sophists of Greece wasted an 
undue proportion of time on hyperphysical speculation, 
the satire of Aristophanes, and the practical protest of 
the Cynics, brought their countrymen back from cloud- 
land to earth. After the rush for paradise had led the 
hosts of Islam from conquest to conquest, the victors 
devoted their leisure to architecture, to rational agricul- 
ture and science. When the population of China seemed 
to sink in tie marasmus of selfish sensuality, Confucius, 
with signal success, though without an appeal to the 
authority of any supernatural agencies whatever, incul- 
cated the duties of a sublime altruism. Speculative 
religion, i. e., the study of spiritual manifestations and 
cosmological traditions, has received all the attention it 
deserves, even among barbarous nations, in the very 
earliest ages of authentic history. The normal progress 
of social development leads from militant barbarism to 
the organization of a military commonwealth, to political 
stability and the recognition of civil rights, to co-opera- 
tion, industry and wealth, to art, literature, refinement 
and science. Nations grow as trees grow and have to 
spread their roots and acquire stamina before they can 
produce flowers and fruit. The promise of the rose 



slumbers in the unsightly root of the thorn, and spring- 
time will swell the buds of the wild mountain-flower as 
well as of the best-nursed garden plant. 

But about the time which forms the significant turn- 
ing-point of our chronological era the nations of the 
Aryan race were stricken with the plague of a moral 
epidemic. An Asiatic pest, the poison of the life-blight- 
ing doctrine of pessimism, crept over the moral atmos- 
phere of the mediaeval god-gardens; for a series of 
centuries the light of reason underwent an eclipse, the 
ethical standards of millions of our ancestors were per- 
verted, first by an insiduous depreciation, and afterward 
by a remorseless suppression of their normal instincts. 
The ideal of human endeavors was no longer the Beau- 
tiful or the Useful, but the Woeful; a capacity for self- 
torture became the standard of human virtue, the renun- 
ciation of all earthly blessings the measure of human 
merit; health, manhood, freedom, science and industry 
were sacrificed on the altar of antinaturalism, and during 
a millennium of madness the progress of sixteen nations 
of the noblest race was limited to the invention of new 
instruments of torture. 

As the waters of the pent-up stream gradually rose 
against the dam, its embankments were constantly 
strengthened; the vast and powerful organization of the 
mediaeval church seemed to defy the very hope of 
resistance; but nature at last prevailed. The pressure 
of the accumulated waters finally burst their fetters, and 
the flood of revolt, forcing its way through ever-widen- 
ing gaps, inaugurated that era of rapid progress which 
in the course of the last fourteen decades has tried to 
retrieve the delay of a long series of centuries. 

But the guilt of a thousand years' crime against 
Nature has not yet been expiated. The river has broken 
its dam, but its ancient bed has been overgrown with 
weeds and choked with drift-sand; the rushing flood has 
torn out new channels and wastes its waters, surging in 
eddies and shallows here, dashing against hopeless 
obstacles there; an undoubted advance in the right 
direction is attended with an undoubted aberration and 
abuses of a suddenly-regained freedom. 

Orthodoxy, the religion of antinaturalism, proposes 
to remedy the evil by reconstructing the dam, and thus 
putting an end to further progress, as well as to its abuse. 

Secularism, the religion of reason, proposes to confine 
the river to its normal banks, and limit its waste without 



3° 



THE OPEN COURT. 



hindering its progress. Anarchism, the religion of 
revolt, proposes to break all flood-gates and give Nature 
a chance to work out her own salvation. 

Time has proved the futility of the first plan by the 
power of a reaction, which was only strengthened by 
resistance and delay. But the violence of that reaction, 
though its unaided strength may surmount all obstacles, 
cannot dispense with guidance on its forward way. 
Nature cannot at once accommodate herself to abnor- 
mally-changed circumstances, and we must admit that 
the normal instincts of the human race, which anti- 
naturalism has failed to suppress, have at least been 
sadly perverted. The long-suppressed love of personal 
liberty has been perverted into a love of license, a hatred 
of laws and authority, a tendency to nihilism and reckless 
self-help. The suppression of harmless recreations has 
begot a furtive delight in vicious pleasures and a tend- 
ency to evade the appeals of reform, asceticism having 
masqueraded in the guise of virtue till its victims have 
forgotten to distinguish her garb from its counterfeit. 
The suppression of natural science has driven the submis- 
sive into stolid nescience — contented renunciation of in- 
tellectual pursuits — the bolder into pseudo-science, the 
morbid mysticism and neo-gnosticism that finds support- 
ers in the ranks of the most sincere apostates from the 
tenets of the established creed. They have exchanged 
the drugs of their spiritual poison-mongers for an equally 
baneful antidote, like opium-eaters who break the thral- 
dom of their habit only to find themselves fettered by the 
bane of the liberating specific. The suppression of free 
inquiry has fostered the loathsome vice of hypocrisy. 
People who for generations saw their holiest rights 
outraged in the name of a pretended truth of revelation, 
have avenged their wrongs on truth itself, by making 
ethics a synonyme of cant and hiding their private 
theories on the highest interests of their species behind a 
mask of habitual dissimulation. 

The main purpose of Secularism has been tersely 
defined as the problem of rescuing the human mind 
from its exile in ghost-land; but many of our brethren 
have endured that exile till they have become strangers 
in the house of their Mother Earth. They are still 
biased by an hereditary lack of trust in the competence 
of their natural instincts, and it is the mission of Secular- 
ism to revive that trust. We must redeem the impu- 
tation of ivorldliness from its implied reproach, and 
restore the cosmos of our wonderful earth to its ancient 
associations of beauty, bounty and self-maintaining order. 
We must replant the groves of Pan and awaken the 
God of fields and forests from his long slumber; we 
must teach the votaries of Nature to worship their God 
in his own temple. Earth must once more become the 
cherished home of all her children. Her blessings 
must no longer be sacrificed, neither in offerings to the 
Moloch of supernaturalism, nor in the mad riots of 



rebellious vice. We must demonstrate the identity of 
virtue and happiness by teaching the refugees from the 
bondhouse of asceticism to distinguish the monitions of 
their normal instincts from the morbid cravings of vice, 
and the rights of natural liberty from the claims of law- 
less insolence. A religion of reason and science will 
make conformity an honor rather than a reproach to its 
confessors, and reduce dissent to a synonyme of infidelity 
to the laws of Nature. The exponents of that religion 
will invite, rather than discourage, free inquiry; knowl- 
edge will become an aid to faith, and converts will no 
longer be obliged to renounce their allegiance to truth 
and self-respect. 

Secularism will be at peace 'with all other religions, 
except the pseudo-religion of that earth-blighting insan- 
ity that teaches the antagonism of body and mind, and 
would sacrifice the living to the dead as it sacrifices the 
realities of the present world to be chimeras of ghost-land. 
Against the life-poisoning delusions of that dogma, 
Secularism invites the alliance of all saner creeds, even 
in the name of religion itself, since neither physical nor 
moral health has ever encountered a deadlier foe than 
the system that inculcates the vanity of secular pursuits 
and depreciates the blessings of earth as so many evils 
in disguise. To how large an extent that truth has 
already been tacitly recognized, may be inferred from 
the fact that millions of our fellow-men even now devote 
all the energy of their working days to a pursuit of 
those temporal blessings which their Sunday creed con- 
tinues to denounce as sinful vanities. The doctrine of 
Pessimism has thus in a two-fold sense become a sham- 
religion, and the mission of Secularism involves the task 
of obviating the danger of the moral interregnum 
threatened by the collapse of a more and more evidently 
spurious basis of ethics. The solution of that task does 
not require the preternatural aid of a new revelation, but 
only the re-establishment of a truth which long guided the 
pursuit of happiness before the world of our forefathers 
was darkened by the shadow of the dreadful eclipse, 
the truth, namely, that the highest physical and the 
highest moral welfare of mankind can be only conjointly 
attained. 



POSSIBILITIES. 



BY ROWLAND CONNOR. 



The first clear indications of human existence in this 
world seem to come from the last pre-glacial period. 
The date of these indications cannot be given with any 
approach to accuracy. The flung-out hypotheses of our 
wise men will lasso the exact truth some day; but as 
yet we can only affirm that the race of man is many 
thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands, of years 
old. There is no doubt, however, that pre-glacial man, 
alike in Africa, Asia, Europe and America, was only a 



THE OPEN COURT. 



3 1 



hunter of other wild animals and a miserable savage. 
L,ong ages passed before the cave-dwellers ceased to 
break the marrow-bones of the ancient mammals of 
Europe, and through all those ages man was still a 
savage. His progress at first seems to have been almost 
immeasurably slow. The germ of nothing that can be 
called civilization is discoverable until a comparatively 
recent time, and what that germ was, or when it first 
appeared, is more a matter of speculation than of knowl- 
edge. But there was a germ; and it grew; and real 
civilizations budded from it in the Nile and Euphrates 
valleys, and a few other spots, and blossomed brightly 
some five or six thousand years ago. 

But these blossoms could not live. They were 
hemmed in bv the wilderness growths of savagery, and 
slowly died. But, dying, some pollen was blown to 
Eur >pean soil, and there helped to fertilize some other 
early blossoms that gave us the greater civilizations of 
Greece and Rome. But these, too, were blighted. 
Northern and Eastern hosts of barbarians were flung 
upon and trampled over them, and for a thousand years 
civilization struggled to live. Only recently has a 
civilization bloomed, so profuse, so hardy, with roots so 
deep and spreading, that savage growths recede before 
it. It cannot be crushed, or even badly injured, by the 
same enemies that dealt so cruelly with its immature 
and restricted predecessors of former times. This last 
civilization is destined to possess the earth. 

What are some of its possibilities? 

Although, compared with the age of his ancestral 
tree, the civilized being is very, very young, already the 
distance between him and the savage is so vast that they 
seem to belong to distinct orders. The anatomist's 
probe and scalpel may find them both alike, but, between 
the beastly savage who cannot add two and two, and 
the man who can lovingly read The Data of Ethics, 
there is apparently less real kinship than between the 
former and the chimpanzee. And yet the disciple of the 
philosopher has sprung from his barbarian ancestor 
almost as suddenly as the butterfly springs from the 
grub. There is a mysterious potency in civilization. It 
puts an elixir into the blood, or recombines the atoms of 
the gray matter of the brain, or mingles a new element 
somehow or somewhere with the chemistry of man's 
make-up, so that he is transformed, and we cannot from 
his long past, but only from his recent development, 
prophecy what he may become. Ages of worm-life 
and a thousand years of chrysalis, but the wings began 
to unfold only yesterday. 

I put especial emphasis upon the comparative new- 
ness, as well as the assured perpetuity, of modern civili- 
zation, because only as we do so can we rationally 
account for the amazing growths it must soon produce. 
The "lost arts" of the ancients have caused some scep- 
tics to question the permanency of our analogous 



modern productions. But circumstances have changed. 
What is born to-dav in invention, or art, or science, or 
philosophy, will live forever, if we wish it to live. And 
it will not only live, but it will continually reproduce. 
Printing, for instance, which is practically new, has 
given us within the last fifty years a host of other arts, 
and professions, and machines innumerable; but a hun- 
dred experimenters, who are carefully watching it, 
could prophesy with calm conviction concerning a host 
of other arts just starting from it. Men are yet living 
who trod the deck of the first steamboat on the Hudson 
river, and men are not old who ante-date the familiar 
railway and telegraph; but of what are these not the 
parents, and of what children yet unborn will they not 
be the sires hereafter! 

Not only is inventive genius more fertile with each 
succeeding year, but our assimilation of inventions is 
more rapid. Less than ten years ago the writer listened 
to the first lecture on the telephone in New York city, 
and was amused, with other auditors, when the curious 
little toy reproduced the notes of a choir on the oppo- 
site side of the river. Its practical usefulness was then a 
dream of the inventor. But three years afterward, in 
the primeval woods of the great Northwest, he sat in the 
locomotive cab of a logging railroad while the engineer 
climbed down to unlock a rough box nailed to a tree, that 
the telephone within it might bring him his orders from 
the camp " boss." Our progress in inventions and in 
the practical assimilation of their results will be much 
more rapid in the next fifty than in the last fifty years. 
We have not yet fairly learned to handle the new tools 
we are working with. 

Attempts to predict the future of man on the earth 
have been made very often, but are mostly of a fanciful 
nature. They have been designed to furnish amusing 
reading, and have seldom paid much regard to the 
necessity of a basis of fact. Utopias, also, are many, 
but their authors have written them chiefly as pleasing 
methods of advocating some pet social theory, and they 
are therefore useless for our present purpose. By con- 
fining ourselves strictly to legitimate deductions from 
present knowledge, I believe that some broad outlines 
of the future may be drawn with considerable accuracy. 
The unavoidable errors will be those arising from a 
non-consideration of unknown forces yet to be dis- 
covered. 

Of mechanical inventions there are several just at 
hand which will be followed by results fully as impor- 
tant as those due to the steam engine. One of the first 
in order of time will be the submarine boat. Its 
feasibility has already been demonstrated in New York 
harbor — a feeble beginning, indeed, but no more im- 
perfect than the beginnings of gunpowder and the 
printing press. Of the knowledge to be acquired 
under the waves, and of the changes in commerce and 



3 2 



THE OPEN COURT. 



naval warfare sure to follow the practical success of 
submarine navigation, there is room for abundant specu- 
lation. But we may be reasonably certain that Jules 
Verne's imaginary Twelve Thousand Leagues Under 
the Sea will have its wonders surpassed by the stub- 
born facts of one hundre 1 years hence. 

Closely following submarine navigation, o perhaps, 
preceding it, will come the safe navigation of the air. 
The inflated balloon has blocked the way of invention 
for many years, but, now that its principle is seen to be 
erroneous, and we know that the successful flying- 
machine must be heavier and not lighter than the at- 
mosphere, the production of a practical machine may be 
looked for during this generation. 

Of more curious interest, though not likely to be 
followed by as important practical results, will be the 
perfecting of the "electroscope" — that remarkable in- 
strument which virtually telegraphs rays of light, and, 
by throwing them upon a metallic disk, enables us to 
look upon actions taking place at a distance with the 
same ease and distinctness with which we now receive 
sounds by the telephone. Some combination of these 
two instruments will enable us in the future not only to 
talk with distant friends but to look at them while we 
are talking; and that which is possible to-day within a 
distance of fifty miles becomes possible on the morrow 
across the Atlantic ocean. 

Long before any one of the above inventions is 
brought to perfection, however, the new glass, recently 
invented in Germany, and which is said to add almost 
fabulously to the power of the microscope, will become 
the agent of wonderful discoveries, and presumably, at 
a later date, we may expect analogous additions to the 
power of the telescope. 

It is evident that we stand at the thresholds of four 
wonderful worlds, and hold in our hands the crude 
weapons to be perfected for their conquest — the ocean 
world, the aerial world, the world of the infinitely little, 
and an astronomical world as far surpassing our present 
one as that of the observer with a Lord Rosse telescope 
exceeds that of the Chaldean shepherds. And instru- 
ments, of which the present electroscope is the forerun- 
ner, will bind together the scientific conquerors of these 
worlds in so close a communion of workers that they 
will seem to he the inmates of a common workshop, 
am! each one will have the help of the accumulating 
riches of all. 

Thai ali railways, including those of city streets, 
will soon lie run by electricity, and that all heavy truck- 
ing and other similar work will be done by the same 
agent, rendering horses useless, except for pleasure pur- 
poses, I regard as almost a self-evident proposition. The 
same agent will also he employed in the domain of 
household economy in manifold ways, lessening greatly 
the disagreeable and enervating drudgery now insepar- 



able from housekeeping employments. When breakfast 
can be prepared with about the same amount of" labor 
as now attends the touching of an electric button, as it 
will be some day, the momentous and perplexing servant 
girl problem will be forever solved. 

Our sources of mechanical power will greatly change. 
We now dig from the bowels of the earth, at great 
expenditure of labor, the compact sunshine of the coal- 
beds, stored away ages ago, and neglect entirely, as a 
source of power, the sun-heat poured daily upon the 
surface of the earth. Invention has already been 
directed toward this source, and must soon succeed. 
Sun-power should before this have taken the place of 
coal in all inland places. On the sea-coast, however, 
the immense tidal energy, which now daily goes to 
waste, may profitably replace it. I do not think our 
coal mines will ever be exhausted. Long before that 
point can be reached, mankind will be using a more 
economical source of power. 

Vast commercial, industrial and social changes will 
follow the attainment of the possibilities already indie ted 
and will largely occur within the next one hundred 
years. Still greater changes, however, will follow 
certain other attainments, which, fortunately or unfor- 
tunately, will be of later date, and will be reached 
gradually. One of the greatest of these, to come with 
measured tread, and to he perfected many years hence, 
will be the preparation of all food by laboratory manu- 
facture. Organic chemistry is steadily moving in this 
direction, and, eventually, the nutrition needed will be 
exactly adapted to the wants of the body, and will be 
furnished on demand. At present we are fed bunglingly. 
The processes of digestion are seldom completed. 
Bodilv force is dissipated in the disposal of waste and 
injurious matter, and the normal energy of each person 
is kept very far below its possible or maximum limit. 
Of course, all kinds of farming and pastoral life, for 
profit and livelihood, will he ultimately abolished, and 
the forms of social organizations will be correspondingly 
changed. 

Side by side with the gradual attainment of this 
result will be the mastery over all contagious and in- 
fectious diseases, whether their origin be traceable to 
poisonous effluvia or microscopic germs. But long 
before the abolition of diseases, we may expect the ex- 
termination of all ferocious and unnecessary animals, 
noxious weeds and insects, and the numerous parasites 
which now infest the human body and rob it of much 
strength. Moreover, it is apparent that the abolition of 
disease, the extermination of all varieties of animal and 
vegetable enemies, the possession of a perfectly adapted 
and nutritious food, and the accompanying discoveries 
which will prevent the ossification of the tissues, or those 
equivalent and analogous changes which produce old 
age, together with the cessation of that large part ol the 



THE OPEN COURT. 



33 



struggle for existence which is connected with these 
important factors, will result in a great prolongation of 
human life — not an old age of " labor and sorrow," but a 
lengthened maturity of vigor and wholesome enjoyment. 

Thus far the possibilities indicated are supposed to 
be desirable, or at least not objectionable, and may come 
to pass without the necessity of any serious revolution 
in human nature. And if all men were thoroughly 
moral, and were disposed to exercise whatever power 
they might possess for the good of their fellow men, no 
.one need wish for any limit to their future greatness. 
But, unfortunately, of some men it mav be said that they 
are thoroughly immoral, and many others, if not im- 
moral, are certainly weak or stupid. The great bulk of 
men have not that intellectual and moral development 
which would allow them to possess power with safety 
to themselves and others. No right-minded person, for 
instance, would wish to give to the brutalized Russian 
serfs dynamite enough to blow up the Ural mountains. 
They might use it, instead, to annihilate the German 
Empire. But we must face the fact that this supposed 
power in the hands of the ignorant serf may at some 
time in the future, and perhaps very soon, become the 
real power of every man, good, bad or indifferent. 
The discovery of our ability to store or box electricity is 
a terrible fact, when we consider its possible conse- 
quences. As yet only a few are masters of the secret; 
but it will become a common property, and is susceptible 
of astounding modifications. To-morrow, any man, 
good or bad, may have in his pocket, or in his pipe, power 
enough, and subject only to his will, to annihilate whole 
communities. That the ordinary man of the world 
will be forced to assume this awful responsibility, it 
seems to me no one can doubt. Will he, before that 
time comes, cease to be the same man with whom we 
are now most intimately acquainted ? Give to our 
present biped acquaintance the ability to exterminate 
armies with a lightning flash, added to the power of 
sailing at will through the air, or of passing at will and 
in safety beneath the ocean waves, and he would de- 
populate the earth. 

If the human race is to be preserved, the progress of 
scientific invention and discovery will make necessary 
the complete extinction of all immoral and weak men. 
This may be effected by natural causes or by social 
decree. I mention these two methods because I believe 
that our rapidly-developing civilization can be assimi- 
lated only by certain progressive races, and by the best 
portion of these races. It is a well-ascertained fact that 
few savage races, if any, can endure civilization. They 
are blighted by its glare, and, in close contact with it, 
perish in a few generations. This process will continue 
more rapidly hereafter. There is no hope of an earthly 
immortality for the great mass of mankind, and, 
among the progressive and enlightened races, self-pres- 



ervation will necessitate the extinction of vice and crime 
of all kinds, as well as the cessation of all war. Social 
convulsions of the most gigantic kind may first inter- 
vene, but I have no doubt that ultimately power will 
remain in the hands of those who are most worthy to 
use it. In the nature of things nothing else is possible. 

When the storms have blown over, the survivors of 
mankind will possess powers almost divine. Bodily 
energy and brain force will be wonderfully developed. 
Men will perceive more clearly, learn more readily, 
think more accurately than they do now. Problems, 
now difficult, will almost solve themselves. All mere 
schooling will become exceedingly rapid. Difficulties 
■which now vex the ablest, will be readily disentangled 
by immature minds. 

And perhaps, even, at last, men may be able — 
say one thousand years from now — to evolve a religious 
and philosophical creed which shall contain imperisha- 
ble germs. 



THE HARMONY OF THE SPHERES. 

BY PAUL CARUS, PH.D. 

Some months ago a pamphlet was published by 
Dr. B. M. Lersch, Ueber die Syinmetrischen Verhaelt- 
nisse dcs Plancten Systems, (On the Symmetrical Pro- 
portions of the Planetary System), which is of more 
than ordinary interest, since it is the conclusion of a 
series of scientific aspirations, thus affording an unusual 
gratification to the human mind. Its subject is the 
arrangement of the planets in our solar system, and its 
result is the discover}' of the law which governs the 
revolutions of the celestial bodies — a law revealing the 
simplicity which underlies the most complicated phenom- 
ena and furnishes evidence of the harmonious grandeur 
of the creation. 

Even in the Pythagorean era the harmony of the 
spheres was recognized and taught as the rythmical 
sounds produced by the proportionate motion of the 
celestial bodies; and although the idea was rejected by 
Aristotle, who considered it an ingenious but erroneous 
hypothesis, it has been 'transmitted to us, not because 
accepted by the people of later ages — who rather agreed 
with Aristotle's view — but for the reason that the idea 
was too striking to be easily forgotten. 

The fact that we do not hear the music of the skies 
does not disprove it; because, as Pythagoras said, we are 
accustomed to it from our infancy, and modern physi- 
cists, who cannot, on the ground of their scientific 
theories, object to the possibility of sound produced by 
the motion of heavenly bodies in ether, may say that 
at least the human ear is incapable of perceiving sounds 
with such long intervals of undulation. 

Interesting though it may be, the question whether 
the orbits of the stars resound with music will not be 



34 



THE OPEN COURT. 



included in this discussion, which shall be strictly con- 
fined to the consideration of whether the planets, in 
their circuits, are harmoniously arranged. However 
romantic this idea seems to be, it is, nevertheless, more 
than simple poetry and it contains the germ of a cosmic 
truth. 

Pythagoras' doctrine of the harmony of spheres 
rests on the theory that number is the essence of tlii)igs. 
Modern chemistry shows the importance of the numer- 
ical proportions in the elements of the different sub- 
stances; and more marvelous still, as we learn from the 
Law of Multiples, the different chemical combinations 
take place according to geometrical principles. 

Of all geometrical proportions that of the extreme 
and mean ratio is at the same time the most simple and 
comprehensive in its application. Euclid understood 
it and the subject is treated in his 30th proposition of 
the 6th book. Owing to its many remarkable corolla- 
ries, the ancients called it proportia divina; it is 
known in Germany as the golden cut. 

It depends on the division of a line into two unequal 
parts, in such proportion that the smaller segment is to 
the larger as the latter is to the whole. The rectangle 
constructed with the smaller part and the whole is equal 
to the square of the larger. Again, if a right-angled 
triang e be erected upon the whole line, with its right 
angle situated in the perpendicular line drawn from the 
point of division, then the smaller of the sides contain- 
ing the right angle is equal to th arger portion of the 
line which is thus divided in the mean and extreme ratio. 



A C 

I 1 

AC : C B = B C 



B 



1! A. 









a 


a . ( a + b ) 




a 


b 






1 








V s 


1 
1 


a + b 


1 

1 

1 
1 

1 




b l 




a .: b = b : (a + b ) 


i- 








a. (a + b )=b 2 



02 



\a 



U- 




A C B 

AC : C B = B C : B A. 

A D = C B 



These and other corollaries are of great interest to 
mathematicians, and whoever understands something of 
the seductive harmony of geometry must be impressed 
with its grandeur and beauty, as other people are by the 
harmony of music or beauty of form, which, we must 
remember, is merely applied mathematics. 

The harmony of the universe which, in addition to 
other evidences, favors the truth of that philosophic 
view which I call A/onism, is in its ultimate principles 
based on mathematics and can be proved from geomet- 
rical axioms. 

Johannes Kepler, the first strong adherent and most 
powerful defender of the Copernican system, held, if, as 
Pythagoras taught, our planets in their circuits round 
the sun move in rythmical distances, a planet should 
exist between Mars and Jupiter. He considered, the 
space between their orbits was too great to correspond 
with the intervals between the other planets, which 
revolve around the sun in distances regularly increasing. 

This suppositional planet could not be found, but 
Kepler indicated the region in the skies in which it 
should be situated. 

Two centuries afterward Kepler's idea was verified ; 
for, although the missing planet was not found, a larger 
number of smaller ones, generally called asteroids or 
planetoids, were discovered to be in this area. They 
amount to about 300 in number and are either a failure 
of a planetary formation or the ruins of a larger body 
which, by some unknown agency, was shattered into 
many fragments. 

This discovery, based upon the theory of celestial 
harmony, revived the interest in the law of proportion 
regulating the intervals between the orbits of the 
heavenly bodies. 

Professor Titus, of Wittemberg, was the first 
astronomer who hazarded and established a formula of 
the distances between the planets. He said that in round 
numbers the distance from the sun to the first planet, 
Mercury, was S,ooo,ooo geographical miles (each geo- 
graphical mile equaling 4.66 English miles); to the 
second, Venus, S-\-6 million miles; to the third, our 
Earth, 8+ (6x2); then to Mars, 8+ (6x4); to the Aster- 
oids, 8-)- (6x8); to Jupiter, 8+ (6x 16); to Saturn, 8-f- 
(6x 32) and to Uranus 8-f- (6x 64) million miles — a mixt- 
ure of an arithmetical and geometrical series, as math- 
ematicians would style it. 

Facts agreed pretty well with this theory, although 
there are trifling differences, and Titus'' series, as it was 
called, served for a long time as an excellent aid for re- 
membering the distances of the planets in round numbers. 
But when, in 1S46, Gal/e, at that time director of the 
Observatory in Breslau, discovered the most remote 
planet, Neptune, and calculated that its distance from 
the sun is about 600,000,000 miles, while, according to 
Titus, it should be over 700,000,000, the reliability of 



THE OPEN COURT. 



35 



this series was destroyed and, consequently, it is now 
regarded by astronomers as a mere curiosity. 

Notwithstanding this failure, the aspiration of find- 
ing the law of the rhythm of our solar system was not 
abandoned. Professor A. Troska,* ceasing to regard 
distances as the proper clue to the solution of the ques- 
tion, ventured on a new explanation, which he pub- 
lished in 1S75. 

His theory is that twice the time of one planet's rev- 
olution is equal to the sum of the revolutions of its two 
neighbors. Thus, twice the period of the circuit of 
Venus, which is 450 days, is approximately equal to the 
revolution of Mercury, its interior neighbor, and that of 
the Earth, its exterior, for Mercury revolves in 87 and 
our Earth in 365 days, which make 452. Again, by 
doubling this number (452 X 2 = 904), we have the sum 
of the revolutions of Venus (225) ami Mars (6S6), 
which together are 91 1 days. 

Again, this number doubled (=1822), is about equal 
to the addition of the revolutions of Earth (365) and 
one of the Asteroids (1,500), together 1,865 d a )' s - 

This proportion is also applicable to the orbits of the 
exterior planets. The sum total of the periods in which 
Saturn and Neptune complete their circuits is 10,759-)- 
60,186 = 71,045, which is nearly equal to twice the rev- 
olution of Uranus, that is, 61,374 (the exact period being 
30,687). 

When we consider the entire series of the planets, 
"the law of duplication" is still sustained; for the sum 
of the days of revolution of Mercury (1), Earth (3), 
one medium Asteroid (5), Saturn (7) and Neptune (9), 
occupy nearly twice the period necessary for the revolu- 
tions of the interposed planets — Venus ( 2 ), Mars (4), 
Jupiter (6) and Uranus (8). 
Mercury S7.97 days 



Earth 365-26 

Asteroids ii5°o. 

Saturn 10,759.22 

Neptune 60,125. 



Venus 224.70 days 

Mars 6S6.9S " 

Jupiter 4.33-59 " 

Uranus 30,686.82 " 



3S.928. 
x 2 



days 



72,836. days 71,836. days 

Showing the slight difference of about ,*, of the total. 

Professor Troska admitted that this ratio is only 
approximately 1:2; if calculated with more accuracy, 
it is 1 : 2.03. 

Other investigators have approached the problem 
from a different standpoint and in the year 1S54 an 
exceedingly interesting work was published by Pro- 
fessor A. Zeising, who recognized that nature mani- 
fested a wonderful tendency to construct according to 
the proportion of the extreme and mean ratio. We 
constantly detect the application of this law; it controls 



the shape of many crystals and flowers, the construc- 
tion of animals and particularly of the human form. 
Wherever a constant proportion exists, it generally 
depends upon that ratio which is termed the golden cut • 
and it is with awe and amazement that we thus recog- 
nize the mathematical harmony of the world. 

It is additionally interesting to discover that artists 
in their creations unconsciously apply the same remark- 
able principle. In architecture, as well as in statuary 
and in painting, as Zeising showed in the above men- 
tioned book, the proportio divina is repeatedly intro- 
duced, as in the Sixtina Madonna, by Raphael, and other 
masterpieces. 

Professor Pfeiffer, of Dillingen, lately enlarged 
Zeising's doctrine and, among other additional observa- 
tions, he corroborated the importance of this proportion 
in the planetary system. The apparent lack of regu- 
larity in Professor Troska's series subsequently induced 
other scientists to re-investigate the question and thus 
led to its final solution. 

A mathematician, Dr. M. B. Lersch calculated the 
periods of revolution when bodies revolve in distances 
of the extreme and mean ratio, which is 1 : 1.6 1. Basin"- 
his calculation on the famous law, which is established 
by Kepler, that the squares of revolution are propor- 
tionate to the cubes of the mean distance, he discovered 
that if two planets move at distances of 1: 1. 61, they 
must revolve in periods which are as 1 : 2.03. This 
number, however, agrees better than Professor Troska's 
"law of duplication " with facts and concurs strictly 
with the ratio of the periods in which the planets 
revolve. From this we may fairly infer that the Divine 
proportion is the regulative law of the circuits of 
heavenly bodies. 

In consequence of this consideration, we cannot deny 
that the revolutions of the fixed stars may follow the 
same principle; we must recognize it as a universal law 
which governs the movements of the ponderous masses 
of suns as well as the formation of the tiny limbs of the 
smallest insects. 

Thus the harmony of the cosmic laws mav be recog- 
nized as an established fact; and the most advanced 
scientists of to-day, like Pythagoras of yore, look for 
explanations of the problems" of nature in the mysteries 
of number or proportion. 

There is unity in the structure of the universe and 
there is unison in the laws of nature. If the scientist 
presupposes such harmony to exist universally in the 
domain of his investigation, he will never err, because, 
as Plato said, the Laws of Nature arc geometrical 
thoughts of God. 



*I am indebted to Professor Troska for the facts here mentioned, through 
an item from his pen in Was Ihr Wollt, Leipzig, 1S86. 



Conscience does not come from natural or hereditary 
good, but from the doctrine of truth and good, and a 
life according thereto. — A. C. 620S. 



36 



THE OEEN COURT. 



A THEOLOGICAL PARADOX. 

BY MINOT J. SAVAGE. 

That a house should seem to stand and the people 
continue to live in it as though nothing had happened, 
and this after all of its foundations had been removed — 
this is the paradox which I have in mind. Ami it is 
one of so striking a nature that one will hardly find it 
true in any other domain except that of theology. So 
remarkable a sight as this is worth looking at. Let us, 
therefore, consider it a little and see what lessons it may 
have for us. 

The theological structure which orthodox Chris- 
tianity has erected is clear-cut in outline, bound part to 
part, and thoroughly consistent with itself. As now we 
examine a few of the main features of the "plan of sal- 
vation," all this will appear. 

ist. This world — a province of God's universal 
kingdom — is in a state of rebellion. Every man, woman 
and child is born into this rebellious condition. The state 
of nature is one of alienation from God and all good. No 
matter Low good a man may be, in the ordinary sense 
of the word, he is a rebel; and this fact taints all that he 
is or does. And until he "throws down the arms of his 
rebellion," no natural virtues can at all avail to put him 
in right relations to God. 

This is perfectly reasonable on this governmental 
theory of the world. Sir Harry Vane's virtues did not 
make him any the less a traitor to the king. So it is 
rational and logical for Mr. Moody to say: "Morality 
don't touch the question of salvation." Of course not, 
on the basis of this supposed theory and the supposed 
facts. 

2d. God, against whom this causeless and wicked 
rebellion has been raised, has a perfect right to choose 
as to what terms he will require as the condition of for- 
giveness. Man, who deserves only death, has nothing 
to say on this subject. 

3d. In order to maintain the majesty of his govern- 
ment and the inviolability of his laws, God is under the 
necessity of making Mich a public example of his hatred 
of sin, as well as of his love, as will justify in the eyes 
of his intelligent creation his extending a free pardon 
to rebellious man. To this end the second person of the 
Trinity takes on human nature and suffers the penalty of 
the 1 roken law. This secure., the double end of vin- 
dicating God's justice and displaying his forgiving love. 
4th. Now he is free to pardon all those who accept 
this offering as made on their behalf. And they have 
no right to complain if pardon is refused on any other 
terms. 

5th. On this theory the Church is made up of those 
who have accepted these terms. Such persons become 
the nucleus of a growing army of loyalists. It is their 
business to fight against whatever tends to continue this 



rebellion and to do all they can to induce God's enemies 
to la'- down their arms. 

6th. Those who become loyal are the willing sub- 
jects of God's kingdom and so entitled to share God's 
final victory and the blessings of his heaven. Those 
who remain rebellious are followers and friends of Satan, 
the leader of God's enemies, and must expect to share 
his ultimate defeat and the pains and penalties of his 
prison-house. 

This is the general scheme of things on which all 
the activities of the Orthodox Church are based. 

Now, everybody knows that the entire foundation 
of this whole theological structure is the storv of the 
Garden of Eden and the fall of man. If man has not 
fallen, then this world is not a rebellious province of 
God's great kingdom. If man is not fallen, all the 
talk about providing terms or conditions of forgive- 
ness is uncalled for. If man is not fallen, there is 
no need of the stupendous miracle of an incarnate and 
crucified God. If man is not fallen, the radical dis- 
tinction between the Church and the world ' reaks down. 
If man is not fallen, the popular dreams of heaven and 
hell are only dreams and do not accurately represent the 
future destiny of man and woman. 

How stands this question then? Plainly, thus: In 
no civilized country to-day is there a bo}- or girl of four- 
teen years of age who has not the means of knowing 
that the story of the fall of man has no more reasonable- 
basis of belief than have the stories of Hercules. Not 
only has it no rational support, it is beyond question 
disproved. That is, another story as to man's origin 
and nature is so thoroughly established that, but for 
theological bias, no intelligent person could be found who 
would think for one moment of questioning it. 

Even the Biblical support for the story of the Fall 
is almost wholly confined to the theological discussions 
of one man, Paul. T1t older and greater prophets 
say nothing about it. It appears in the Old Testament 
only after the contact of the Jews with the Persians, at 
the time of the captivity. For all competent scholars 
know that the early parts of Genesis, containing the 
story, were not composed until the time of or after the 
captivity. This, then, is a Pagan, Persian legend, and 
only that. It is a Pagan way of trying to account for 
the sorrows and evils of life. According to the ortho- 
dox theory, Jesus was God coming to earth to save man 
from the results of the Fall. And yet, curiously enough, 
he does not seem to know anything about it. 

But even though the Bible were full of it, from 
beginning to end, still we know, on other grounds, that 
it is not true. A belief in the Ascent of man has taken 
the place of a belief in his Fall in the minds of all free 
and competent students. 

Of course, it is to be expected that all those who still 
believe the story of the Fall should keep on in their 



THE OPEN COURT. 



37 



endeavors to "save" people after the old methods. But 
now comes the wonder of our theological paradox. 
Those who si ill believe this story are not nearly enough 
to continue the activities of the Churches on their present 
basis. Thousands of persons who do not believe it at all 
anv longer still help to continue all these old activities 
just as though nothing had happened. Many among 
those who do this are ministers; that is, they have 
seen the entire foundation of their theological house 
taken out and yet go on living in it, and asking others 
to come into it for safetv, as though they believed it still 
founded on the everlasting rock. And yet it ought to 
be plain, to even the feeblest intellect, that if this race 
of ours is not a "fallen" one, then — whatever else it 
may need — it does not need to be "saved from the effects 
of the Fall." 

Let us now note two or three great evils that result 
from this paradoxical condition of affairs. 

ist. It is kept up at a terrible cost of the sincerity of 
those who are even "silent partners" to what must here- 
after be only a pretense, though ever so "pious" a one. 

2d. Only less serious than this is another evil. If a 
physician thinks a patient is ill of a certain disease, of 
course he will treat him for that. But should he find 
out that the disease was of entirely another character, 
what would he do? And what would people be justi- 
fied in saying if he should keep on doctoring him for 
the first supposed disease? If the human race has 
fallen, and the old theory about it is true, then, of 
course, a certain method of treatment is rational and 
helpful. But if it has not, and the old theory is not 
true, then the old treatment is not only injurious, but it 
stands square in the way of such a course of medicine as 
might put the patient on his feet. Consider, therefore, 
the waste of time, of money, of thought, of devotion 
and enthusiasm that has been going on for a thousand 
vears. That the world has gradually been improving 
is no justification of these theories. For, in the first 
place, it has improved more rapidly by as much as these 
old beliefs have become less and less influential. And, in 
the second place, patients often improve in spite of, and not 
because of, their doctors. And, in the third place, dur- 
ing the periods of the most rapid improvement, a 
thousand other agencies have been at work, through the 
activity of thousands who had rejected the old beliefs. 

If only all the intelligence, the time and the money 
of the civilized world (which are now wasted on the old 
methods) could be directed to finding and curing the 
real evils of the world, the long-dreamed-of "kingdom 
of God " (the real kingdom of man) might be brought 
to pass in a single century. In the nature of things 
there is no reason why this old world should not become 
a garden, filled with intelligent and happy peoples. 

In giving up the dreams and legends of the past, 
nothing is lost but illusions; and what is found is "the 



truth that" — in old theological phrase — "is able to 
make men wise unto salvation." And this salvation is 
from the real evils that destroy human happiness and 
human life, and not from shadows. 



MONISM IN MODERN PHILOSOPHY AND THE 
AGNOSTIC ATTITUDE OF MIND. 

BY EDMUND MONTGOMERY. 
Part I!. 

And now to Schelling's Monism, which, together 
with Hegel's, fruitfully and nobly inspired so many 
minds, but, it must be confessed, also deranged not a few. 

Drawing strength from Kant, from neo-Platonic tra- 
ditions, from the great mystic, Jacob Boehme, from Bruno 
and from Spinoza, Schelling worked out a monistic 
system of transcendental realism. Transcendental real- 
ism it has been called, because it assumes that the object- 
ive world is not merely a product of thought, but that it 
pre-exists as eternal reality within the source of all 
being. When the creative Ego, by force of its pro- 
ductive imagination, evolves the world, as Fichte 
taught, surely it does not evolve it at random out of 
nothing but mere fancy. The process of mental 
realization can lie only a bringing into consciousness 
of some definite content already subsisting in the 
depth of being. On the one side there is the power of 
consciously realizing this content; but on the other side 
there is the content itself. Both these moments, sub- 
ject and object, the ideal and the real, spirit and nature, 
are thus identical and constitute together the absolute 
reality, which is the all-containing and ail-efficient matrix 
of whatever there is in existence. We find, then, two 
different propensities operative in the absolute. The 
one "positive, real, productive, realizing the infinite in 
the finite. The other negative, limiting, ideal, redissolv- 
ing the finite into the infinite." The former in it> 
manifestations constitutes the realm of nature, the latter 
that of intelligence; both together, our known world. 

In this kind of world-conception a source of being, 
potentially containing everything, is presupposed and 
treated as a logical totality, from which any sort of par- 
ticular configuration of concepts may be conveniently 
deduced. And the interest we may take in such an 
interpretation of nature depends thus wholly on the 
genius of the propounder and very- little on the actual 
truth of nature itself. The logical drift of all systems of 
transcendental realism is to conceive the source of being 
as unconscious. Hartmann, in our time, has made this 
conception the central idea of his system, a Monism of 
unconscious, transcendental will, logically evolving the 
world. 

Hegel, the classical propounder of transcendental 
Idealism, is an extreme representative of the anti-natural- 
istic mode of interpreting nature. His system is unmiti- 
gated Panlogism, a Monism of self-evolving logical 



3« 



THE OPEN COURT. 



reason, of the formal, deductive sort. Thought, with 
Hegel, is uncompromisingly identical with being. The 
task he proposes is to gain an understanding of the all- 
comprehending ground of such being, which ground he 
unhesitatingly pronounces to be eternal and absolute 
reason and nothing else. To be able to accomplish this 
task, we have to place ourselves in an attitude of expect- 
ancy and observation, merely noticing and confirming 
with our discoursive reason the self-unfolding of the 
content of absolute reason. This occurs by dint of a 
dialectical process, which begins with the most compre- 
hensive concept coming into ken and bringing with it 
its equally comprehensive negative. The synthesis of 
this thesis and antithesis evolves a less comprehensive 
but more concrete concept, which again brings with it 
its negative and so on and on, till the most concrete 
concepts are reached. The keeping in mind, then, as 
much as possible, of the whole series of evolved concepts, 
together with the manifold relations they bear to one 
another, and unifying the whole in as complete an "idea" 
as we can form — in proportion as we succeed in this 
our individual reason approaches absolute reason. 

Hegelianism has indulged in such absurd abuses of 
productive imagination that it is no wonder it became 
the laughing stock of natural science. But the idea of 
the universal reason progressively evolving itself in the 
revealed world, imparted suddenly meaning and order 
to the scattered, disconnected and seemingly purposeless 
facts of human history. And it is chiefly to this Hegelian 
"idea" that we owe the manifold and very successful 
attempts to discover in the records of the past the course 
of development in human affairs. 

Pessimism is, in truth, the consistent practical outcome 
of any kind of system, assuming as pre-existent an all- 
containing and all-efficient potency, through whose 
affections, emanations, manifestations or creations our 
known world comes into being. For, according to our 
moral standard, the production of something not only 
infinitely lower than its producer, but destined, more- 
over, to pass through a life full of strife and misery, 
must be looked upon as a most grievous and deplorable 
misdeed, to be atoned for only by utter inhibition of the 
mischievous activity. This sentiment, finding expression 
in one form or another, has played a very prominent 
part in religious life. Its awful implications seized hold 
of and goaded almost to misanthropic madness the 
impetuously emotional mind of Schopenhauer. 

Deep down at the root of our being, where Kant 
had shown that our innermost nature, the intelligible, or, 
far more truly, the volitional Ego, issues with its power 
of free causation into manifest existence, morally to con- 
trol and to overcome the baneful enchainment of natural 
events, into whose torturing meshes its own pernicious 
cupidity had entangled itself; there, at the root of our own 
and of all being, the blissful peace of eternal tranquillity 



was ruthlessly broken and convulsed by that enormous 
guilt that brought in its train a world of endless suffering 
— the life-creating, malefic guilt that, with blind and friv- 
olous desire, followed the treacherous allurements of 
temporal existence. 

This is the central idea of the Monisn of Will, the 
philosophical enunciation of which filled the life of that 
strange human being, who fretted through his allotted 
span of time under the name of Arthur Schopenhauer. 

Hume was the first to draw prominent attention to 
one of the most significant of all contrasts, the one, 
namely, obtaining between the logical nexus connecting 
ideas, and the causal nexus connecting matters of fact. 
The former is purely analytical, the latter altogether 
synthetical. Kant made this all-important distinction 
the pivot of his entire philosophy. Before him all 
thinkers had proceeded according to the logical, analyti- 
cal method. They endeavored to evolve the particu- 
lars of knowledge from a pre-existing, all-including 
totality. Kant set about constructing knowledge from 
the scattered and unconnected particulars given to sense 
by dint of definite combining powers, with which our 
mind finds itself endowed. 

Kant, in spite of most strenuous efforts, could not 
see his way to a monistic system on this basis, for — and 
this is the emphatic conclusion of his entire theoretical 
philosophy — the combining faculties of our mind refuse 
to work on any kind of material which is not given 
through the senses. How this sense-material is actually 
given remains to Kant as enigmatical as to the philos- 
ophers of the seventeenth century, only their world of 
extended material things outside the mind has become 
to Kant a world of unknown things-in-themselves, and 
this through the discovery of the mental constitution of 
sensible qualities and of time and space. 

Now, on the strength of Kant's assumption of a syn- 
thetical power of a purely mental or spiritual nature, 
our neo-Kantians, probably at present the most influen- 
tial school of thinkers, are teaching a spiritual Monism, 
which generally goes by the name of Transcendental 
Idealism, but which is distinguished from Hegel's 
Transcendental Idealism by being synthetical instead of 
analytical. They simply deny that any sense-material 
is given from outside. All our conscious states, even 
the most elementary, are already through and through 
synthetical products, and form in every respect inte- 
grant parts of one and the same unitary consciousness. 
And, as the combining and conscious power is of a 
mental or spiritual nature, it follows that the entire con- 
tent of consciousness must necessarily be a product of 
that synthetizing power. Thought is then identical 
with being. 

Truth or knowledge is the rethinking on our part 
of the eternal thought of the universal intelligence. And 
as thought is identical with being, it is clear that so far 



THE OPEN COURT. 



o9 



as our thought has become identical with the divine 
thought, we have ourselves become divine beings. 

This monistic system is incontestable, as soon as we 
admit that the only synthetizing power in the world is 
intelligence. But it is obvious enough that intelligence, 
as such, has not the very slightest power to originate 
and to endow with efficiency the forces that make up 
our real world. 

Mr. Herbert Spencer, under the inspiration of the 
two great generalizations of our scientific era, the inter- 
convertibility of forces and the evolution-hypothesis, has 
worked out with most comprehensive grasp, profound 
penetration and exquisitely subtle thought that great sys- 
tem of " Synthetic Philosophy," which we all so highly 
admire. Following with genuine philosophical zest the 
monistic bent, he has also attempted to crown the whole 
majestic structure by an all-comprehensive outlook, 
showing how the infinite variety of physical and mental 
phenomena forming our manifest world all issue from 
one single absolute power. According to this concep- 
tion, all physical occurrences, as well as all mental states, 
are but so many different modes of this one Absolute. 

Now, it is evident to Mr. Spencer himself that the 
only immediate knowledge we have of the physical 
world consists in mental states of our own. ff, then, 
as Mr. Spencer teaches, these mental states are them- 
selves really modes of the eternal power, on which they 
would then entirely depend, there is not the slightest 
reason why we should assume, moreover, another sec- 
ond source of dependence outside that power. We 
would then see all things directly in and through the 
only and infinite source of existence — this being 
exactly what Father Malebranche once taught. Our 
mental states, in all their diversity and complexity, 
including every kind of awareness of our own exist- 
ence and nature, body and all, would then be nothing but 
passively-received flashes of revelation, coming to us 
from the impenetrable depth of the all-efficient but 
unknowable energy. 

This is one of the ways of showing the utter unten- 
ability of Mr. Spencer's Monism of the Unknowable. 
There are other ways, which we will, however, not at 
present follow. 

The truth is, our conscious states are in no wise 
modes of any infinite and eternal power, whether 
knowable or unknowable. They are simply that 
which science proves them to be, namely, very definite 
functions of a most specific organ — an organ minutely 
and accurately known by us in a symbolical manner 
within our own perception, but whose intimate nature 
as a thing-in-itself remains, thus far, entirely unknown. 
This is evidently the actual state of things. Why 
should we want to make it appear otherwise? 

Professor Bain has likewise sought to establish a 
monistic view of matter and mind, and this within the 



limits of the subjective idealism of the association-phi- 
losophy; a system of thought which, in its entire scope, 
he has elaborated with consummate psychological tact, 
extensive knowledge and admirable accuracy of obser- 
vation and statement. With him matter and mind are 
only different expressions for objective and subjective 
consciousness, the former having extension, the latter 
being extensionless. The same being or substance is 
"by alternate fits object and subject," experiencing at 
one time extended, at another time unextended con- 
sciousness. We have, then, " one substance with two 
sets of properties, the physical and the mental — a double- 
faced unit) ." 

As this two-sided monistic manifestation of many 
things and feelings takes place altogether within our 
own individual consciousness, we are naturally some- 
what curious to know whether there are other double- 
faced beings in existence besides ourselves; also 
whether there are things outside our consciousness 
corresponding to its material perceptions. And, if so, 
we wish to gain some little insight how all these double 
and single-faced substances come in reality to be inter- 
dependent parts of one and the same world. Perhaps 
some one some day will inform us. 

Materialism is ill adapted for monistic purposes. Its 
presupposition has to be dualistic. It must start either 
with ultimate elements of matter and force, or with 
ultimate quantities of mass and motion. When it 
transcends its realism, it becomes something quite differ- 
ent, something that generally goes by the name of 
Dynamism. We have, then, in existence only the recip- 
rocal play of immaterial forces, usually conceived as a 
plenum of energies, irradiating from centers of power. 
On such a foundation, Priestley already sought to estab- 
lish a monistic view of body and mind, and this by means 
of the very simple device of making mental efficiencies 
form part of the forces, that in their interaction consti- 
tute the world. Many thinkers have followed his 
example, and, of course, one cannot be much astonished 
to find individual power-complexes display mental prop- 
erties when one has oneself introduced these very prop- 
erties into their constituent elements. 



The Brooklyn Citizen, after examining the official 
reports of the standing of the Roman Catholic church 
in this country, published in Sadlier^s Catholic Direct- 
ory for 1887, says: 

Boston, the metropolitan see, to which the other two dioceses 
of Massachusetts are suffragan, has 400,000 Catholics. Truly is 
" the Boston of Collins and O'Brien " not " the city of Winthrops 
and the Puritans." Last year there were born there over eleven 
thousand children, and of this number over seven thousand were 
Catholics. " A steady annual growth of seven in eleven," says 
the Boston Pilot, "independent of the gain by immigration, will, 
in the course of one generation, make Boston the most distinctly 
Catholic city in the world." 



4° 



THE OPEN COURT. 



The Open Court. 

A Fortnightly Journal. 



Published every other Thursday at 169 to 175 La Salle Street (Nixon 
Building', corner Monroe Street, by 

THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING COMPANY. 



B. F. UNDERWOOD, 

Editor and Manager. 



SARA A. UNDERWOOD, 

Associate Editor. 



The leading object of The Open Court is to continue 
the work of The Index, that is, to establish religion on the 
basis of Science and in connection therewith it will present the 
Monistic philosophy. The founder of this journal believes this 
will furnish to others what it has to him, a religion which 
embraces all that is true and good in the religion that was taught 
in childhood to them and him. 

Editorially, Monism and Agnosticism, so variously defined, 
will be treated not as antagonistic systems, but as positive and 
negative aspects of the one and only rational scientific philosophy, 
which, the editors hold, includes elements of truth common to 
all religions, without implying either the validity of theological 
assumption, or any limitations of possible knowledge, except such 
as the conditions of human thought impose. 

The Open Court, while advocating morals and rational 
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tute for unquestioning credulity intelligent inquiry, for blind faith 
rational religious views, for unreasoning bigotry a liberal spirit, 
for sectarianism a broad and generous humanitarianism. With 
this end in view, this journal will submit all opinion to the crucial 
test of reason, encouraging the independent discussion by able 
thinkers of the great moral, religious, social and philosophical 
problems which are engaging the attention of thoughtful minds 
and upon the solution of which depend largely the highest inter- 
ests of mankind. 

While Contributors are expected to express freely their own 
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be made payable checks, postal orders and express orders. 

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 18S7. 

DARWIN AND HIS WORK. 

Charles Darwin, the great naturalist, died on 
Wednesday, April 19th, 1SS2, at his quiet home at 
Down, England. So retired was the life led by him, 
that not until two days after his death did the news 
reach the London papers, but everywhere, as soon 
as the sad fact was announced, then, was a sponta- 
neous outburst of loving regret from the people of 
every nation where his work was known. Rarely 
in the world's history has a man of science been so 
wide'' co nized during his lifetime, or so sincerely 
mourned at the time of his death. His own country- 
men sh ,vi d him all the honor possible, in a national 
way, by claiming fur. and awarding him, a place 
among their immortals in Westminster Abbey, and 
among his coffin-bearers were the great scientists, 
Wallace, Hooker, Huxley, Lubbock, and others as 
distinguished. 

Soon after his death the general desire to show 



honor to his memory for his grand work of enlight- 
enment found expression in a Darwin fund, to which 
came contributions from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, 
Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Norway, 
Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and 
the United States, in addition to what was given by 
his own nation and its colonies. A part of this large 
fund was used in the erection of a commemorative 
statue, while the surplus is held in trust by the 
Royal Society of Great Britain to be used in the 
promotion of biological research. 

The statue, when completed, was unveiled in the 
great hall of the Natural History Rooms of the 
British Museum, on the 9th of June, 1S85, the 
addresses being made by Prof. Huxley, in presenta- 
tion, and by the Prince of Wales in acceptance for 
the Museum. It is recorded that on that occasion 
"around the statue were congregated the most repre- 
sentative men of every branch of culture, from the 
Prince of Wales and the Archbishop of Canterbury to 
, the opposite extremes of radicalism and free thought. 
Indeed, it is not too much to say that there can 
scarcely ever have been an occasion on which so 
many illustrious men of opposite ways of think- 
ing have met to express a common agreement upon 
a man to whom they felt that honor was due." 

What were the services which commanded for 
this modest, unpretentious student this world-wide 
admiration and appreciation? He had, living, made 
no claims to superiority of intellect or knowledge; he 
was a man of domestic tastes, quiet habits and unas- 
suming mode of life. He had never been prominent 
on public occasions, was rarely heard at great din- 
ner parties; he cared nothing whatever for the world 
of fashion, was no authority on art, shone little in 
the phosphorescent light of belles-lettres. Huxley 
answers our question in his address in behalf of the 
Darwin Memorial Committee: "The causes of this 
wide outburst of emotion are not far to seek," he 
said. "We had lost one of those rare ministers and 
interpreters of nature whose names mark epochs in 
the advance of natural knowledge. For whatever 
be the ultimate verdict of posterity upon this or 
that opinion which Mr. Darwin propounded; what- 
ever adumbrations or anticipations of his doctrines 
may be found in the writings of his predecessors, 
the broad fact remains that since the publication, 
and by reason of the publication, of 'The Origin of 
Species' the fundamental conceptions and the aims 
of the students of living nature have been completely 
changed. From that work has sprung a great 
renewal, a true 'instauratio magna' of the zoological 
and botanical sciences. * * * The impulse thus 
given to scientific thought rapidly spread beyond the 
ordinarily recognized limits of biology. Psychology, 



THE OPEN COURT. 



4 1 



ethics, cosmology, were stirred to their foundation, 
and 'The Origin of Species ' proved itself to be the 
fixed point which the general doctrine of evolution 
needed to move the world." 

Intellectually, Darwin was of royal pedigree and 
family. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Erasmus 
Darwin, was one of the pioneer teachers of the theory 
of evolution long before his illustrious grandson was 
born; he was a thinker, philosopher and poet, author 
of " Zoonomia," "The Botanic Garden," "The 
Temple of Nature," and other works. His great- 
grandfather, Robert Darwin, is described in local 
records as " a person of curiosity," with " a taste for 
literature and science," and " an embryo geologist." 
His grand-uncle, Robert Darwin, was the author of a 
work on botany of considerable repute. His father, 
Robert Waring Darwin, was a physician of eminence 
at Shrewsbury and a Fellow of the Royal Society. 
His father's brother, Sir Francis Darwin, was noted 
as a keen observer of animals. Another uncle, 
Charles Darwin, who died at twenty-one, was author of 
a valuable medical work. His mother, who died while 
he was yet a child, was a daughter of the famous 
potter, Josiah Wedgewood, a careful and painstaking 
observer. Among his cousins, on the mother's side, 
were Hensleigh Wedgewood, the Philologist, Sir 
Henry Holland, and Francis Galton,the scientist and 
authority on heredity.. His wife was a Miss Wedge- 
wood, his cousin, and his sons are eminent in 
science. 

But not wholly to pedigree or family predilections 
is the work and fame of Darwin due. That, in great 
part, is owing to rare personal qualifications — to his 
unswerving devotion to the study of Nature, to his 
phenomenal patience, to his careful observation, to 
his unwearied perseverance and continuity of pur- 
pose, to his generous recognition of fellow-students, 
to his genuine and rare modest}', and to his grandly 
simple rectitude of character. 

Charles Robert Darwin — the Darwin of the Dar- 
wins — was born at Shrewsbury, England, February 
12th, 1809. His family were in good circumstances, 
and no unpropitious "environments" hindered his 
natural bent toward scientific investigation. Family 
connections, neighborhood tendencies, and inherited 
proclivities combined to make him the fine character 
he was. 

His scholastic education commenced at Shrews- 
bury, where, as a school-boy, " coming events cast 
their shadows before," in his delight in collecting 
shells, minerals, eggs, coins, etc., showing his bias 
toward investigation and classification. At sixteen he 
was sent to the University at Edinburgh, where one of 
his earliest papers, prepared for an Academical 
Society, was on "The Floating Eggs of the Common 



Sea-Mat," setting forth his discovery of organs of 
locomotion in this low form of marine life. 

From 1S27 to 1S31 he was a student at Christ 
College, Cambridge, where he was fortunate in having 
the companionship and guidance of such thinkers as 
Prof. Henslow, Airy, Sidgwick, Ramsay and others. 

He was only twenty-two, an age at which most 
young men are busy " sowing their wild oats," when 
the chance of accompanying Capt. Fitzroy, on the 
government ship Beagle, on a voyage of scientific 
discovery round the world, was presented to him. 
Though he understood that the trip would be of 
several years duration, and might be in some respects 
dangerous; though his services were to be gratuitous 
(with the privilege only of retaining as his own the 
specimens collected on the trip), yet he eagerly 
accepted the opportunity; and his five years of exile 
from home and friends were years of delight to his 
soul, and during those years was laid the foundation 
of all his noble after-work of discover}' and experi- 
ment. His work as a writer began when, after his 
return, he contributed three volumes to the series 
recording the observations made during the voyage 
of the Beagle — " Volcanic Islands," " Geological 
Observations on South America," and his valuable 
Essay on " Coral Reefs." 

Three years after his return, at the age of thirty, 
he married a cousin, Miss Emma Wedgewood, 
daughter of his uncle Josiah Wedgewood. Within 
a few years of his marriage he built his family man- 
sion at Down and instituted the beginnings of his 
series of practical experiments, the results of which, 
when long afterward presented to the public in his 
"Origin of Species," were accepted as indisputable 
testimony to the truth of what had been until then 
held as theory only, but which, when thus fortified, 
was accepted by the world at large, as well as by 
brother scientists, as incontrovertible and demon- 
strated truth. 

He gave the best years of his life to these experi- 
ments, forsaking for them all public emoluments 
and honors, and all other pursuits. "Early to bed 
and early to rise; wandering unseen among the lanes 
and paths, or riding slowly on his favorite black cob, 
the great Naturalist passed forty years happily and 
usefully at Down, where all the village knew and 
loved him," wrote Grant Allen; yet, every day prob- 
ably, in all these years, he was, with deliberation, 
with careful exactness and thoughtful judgment, 
making experiments of all kinds with plants, insects, 
birds and animals; browsing in all the highways and 
byways of literature and ferreting out the secrets of 
individual experience for facts bearing on the subjects 
in mind; trying in every thinkable way to test the 
accuracv of his biological surmises. His admiring 



4 2 



THE OPEN COURT. 



and admirable friend and scientific compeer, Alfred 
R. Wallace, says, on this point, that soon after his 
return from his memorable Beagle voyage "he had 
already perceived that no explanation but some form 
of the derivation or development hypothesis, as it 
was then termed, would adequately explain the 
remarkable facts of distribution and geological suc- 
cession which he had observed during his voyage, 
yet he tells us that he worked on for five years before 
he allowed himself to speculate on the subject, and 
then, having formulated his provisional hypothesis in 
a definite shape during the next two years, he 
devoted fifteen years or more to continuous observa- 
tion, experiment and literary research, before he 
gave to the astonished scientific world an abstract of 
his theory in all its wide-embracing scope and vast 
array of evidence in his epoch-making volume, "The 
Origin of Species." If we add to the period enume- 
rated above, the five years of observation and study 
during the voyage, we find that this work was the 
outcome of twenty-nine years of continuous thought 
and labor by one of the most patient, most truth- 
loving and most acute intellects of our age." 

Alfred Russell Wallace, with a modesty charac- 
teristic of both himself and Darwin, omits to state, in 
the sketch from which the foregoing paragraph is 
taken, that the publication of the "Origin of Species" 
was hastened because of a striking memoir which he 
(then absent on a voyage of tropical discovery) had 
sent on to Darwin in 1S58, with a request that he for- 
ward it to Sir Charles Lyell for presentation to the 
Linnean Society. To Darwin's surprise he found, on 
reading it, that it contained his own theory of natural 
selection, not worked out in detail as he himself was 
working it out, but still complete in spirit and 
essence. Sir Charles Lyell and Sir Joseph Hooker, 
who were aware of Darwin's own unpublished work, 
both urged him to publish a few extracts from that 
work in the same journal in which Wallace's paper 
was to appear, and the two contributions were read 
together before the Linnean Society, July 1, 1858. 
"That double communication" says Grant Allen, 
"marks the date of the birth of modern evolution- 
ism." Darwin decided that it was time to give to 
the world some of the results of his experiments 
with his conclusions in regard to them and "The 
Origin of Species" was published in November of 
the following year, 1859. Says the writer last quoted 
from, "that book was one of the greatest, the most 
learned, the most lucid, the most logical, the most 
crushing, the most conclusive that the world has ever 
yet seen. Step by step, and principle by principle, 
it proved every point in its progress triumphantly 
before it went on to demonstrate the next." 

The work excited immediate attention and 



aroused hot discussion, and in less than six weeks 
after its publication was in such demand that it had 
become famous and a second edition was called for 
and put upon the market. Darwin was over fifty 
when " The Origin of Species " was published. It was 
to have been one of a long series which he contem- 
plated, but ill health prevented him from finishing that 
series to his own satisfaction before his death, at the 
age of seventy-three, though doubtless the most im- 
portant ones were given to the public, since other scien- 
tists, by their work in the same direction, filled up the 
gap thus left. In spite of his constant work and 
study Darwin was for a great part of his life a semi- 
invalid, but he made every moment of available time 
of purpose to science. Among the works published 
by him were "The Descent of Man," which awoke 
still further opposition and discussion from orthodox 
thinkers, though the battle had been in effect won 
by the earlier work, " The Variation of Animals and 
Plants Under Domestication," " Emotional Expres- 
sions of Man and the Lower Animals," " Insectivo- 
rous Plants," " Fertilization of Orchids," " Move 
ment and Habits of Climbing Plants," " The Effect 
of Cross and Self Fertilization," " Power of Move- 
ment in Plants," and "The Formation of Vegetable 
Mould Through the Action of Worms." In regard 
to this last work it may be noted as an instance of 
his remarkably painstaking experimenting, that 
having early had his attention called to the subject, 
from a suggestion from his father-in-law, Josiah 
Wedgewood, soon after he built his family man- 
sion at Down, in 1842, he began to spread broken 
chalk over a certain field, which he let remain undis- 
turbed to the action of earth-worms until 1S71, when 
a trench was dug to test the results, an experiment 
taking twenty-nine years! 

His experiments were never absent from his 
thoughts. In his garden and his conservatory some 
of these were ever in progress. Col. Higginson tells 
us how, on a certain visit to Darwin, when he 
remained over night, he happened to look out of his 
window very early in the morning and " seeing him 
hurrying in from the remoter part of the green gar- 
den with a great shawl wrapped around his head, his 
white hair and beard emerging from it — a singularly 
unconscious, absorbed, eager figure. I asked his son 
afterward what his father was out there at that time 
in the morning for in his impaired condition of 
health? ' O, yes,' said his son, 'he is always at it. 
He always says he is not doing anything at all. But 
he always has one of his little experiments, as he 
calls them, going on out there in the garden, and he 
has to look at them two or three times every night.' " 

Every one who ever met the great Naturalist — 
lofty and noble in figure, as in mind — bears testimony 



THE OPKN COURT. 



43 



to his lovable qualities. " To that charming candor 
anil delightful unostentatiousness which everybody 
must have noticed in his published writings," says 
Mr. Allen, ''he united, in private life, a kindliness of 
disposition, a width of sympathy, and a ready gen- 
erosity which made him as much beloved by his 
friends as he was admired and respected by all 
Europe." No one was so much surprised at the 
honors shown him as himself. John Fiske says: 
"When I first met Mr. Darwin in London, in 1873, he 
told me that he was surprised at the great fame 
which his book instantly won, and at the quickness 
with which it carried conviction to the minds of all 
the men on whose opinions he set the most value." 

He mingled little in general society, but enjoyed 
the personal acquaintance and friendship of most of 
the leading scientific men of Europe and this coun- 
try. Two or three years of his earlier married life 
were spent in London, and we read of him at this 
period in the Carlyle reminiscences as dropping in 
of an evening for a friendly chat with Mrs. Carlyle, 
or of her taking a drive with him to see his new house 
at Down, and again of Carlyle being absent " at 
dinner at Darwins," etc. He was not at all a self- 
assertive, self-conscious man or Scientist, but only a 
sincere lover of science, and an ardent investigator 
of the ever-tempting, tantalizing and beckoning 
promises of revealment of the wonderful mysteries 
of the Universe. His grandfather's words in his 
poem, "The Temple of Nature," might have been his 
own invocation. 

" Priestess of Nature! while with pious awe 
Thy votary bends, the mystic veil withdraw; 
Charm after charm, succession bright, display, 
And give the goddess to adoring day! " 

S. A. U. 



SCIENCE vs. THEOLOGY. 



Science emphasizes the importance of investigation. 
It says investigate and then believe or disbelieve accord- 
ing to the weight of evidence. Theology says, believe 
first and then investigate if you choose, but be careful 
that investigation does not weaken your faith. Science 
teaches that doubt is necessary to inquiry and that 
inquiry is necessary to intellectual progress. Theology, 
by condemning doubt, discourages impartial search for 
truth and, at the same time, courage and independence 
of thought. The faith of the man of science is convic- 
tion founded upon evidence. Theological faith does not 
admit of proof or verification. The authorities of 
science are those who have made their subjects matters 
of years of laborious study ; yet an appeal from their 
statements is always open to any one who can show their 
error or inadequacy. The authorities of theology are 
ancient characters who are held in veneration on account 



of their alleged inspiration, and appeal from whose 
declaration is pronounced sinful and perilous. 

The object of science is Nature — the world of phe- 
nomena, whose ongoings are open to our observation 
and contemplation. The object of theology is the 
supposed attributes, plans and purposes of the unknown 
cause of phenomena. Science is knowledge classified 
and methodized. For convenience we label a certain 
class of facts astronomy, geology, chemistrv, biology, 
etc., but all these sciences are but segments of a circle, 
parts of one great science — the science of the universe. 
All the sciences being related, there can be no complete 
knowledge of any without thorough knowledge of all. 

When we go beyond the region of observation and 
experience, and beyond the possibility of data for our 
beliefs, we pass from the region of science to that of 
theology. Theolog\' begins where knowledge ends. 
The empire of science is continually enlarging, while that 
of theology is yielding its territory just as fast as the 
complex groups of phenomena in which it entrenches 
itself are shown by scientific discoveries to belong to 
the region of law and causation. Miracles, like ghosts, 
vanish as the light approaches. Theologj' is retreating 
from field to field, and is now pleading for the right to 
recognition as the science of that which is beyond phe- 
nomena — the light that never was on land or sea. The 
various conceptions of the eternal mystery in regard to 
which theology dogmatizes are but so many mirrors from 
which men see reflected their own mental and moral 
faces. Man projects ideally his own intelligence and 
volition out upon the field of phenomena and imagines that 
he is studying the plans and purposes of God, when he 
is unconsciously studying his own nature. This illusion 
is the foundation of theology which, carefully analyzed, 
reveals not the plans and purposes of Infinite Intelli- 
gence, but the conceptions and feelings of man, formu- 
lated into dogmas and made realizable to the ignorant 
by ritualisms which appeal to eye and ear. The 
key to theology is anthropology, because the actual 
object of theology is a conceptual being entirely human 
in its intellectual and moral characteristics. The exist- 
ence of that power in which we move and live, which 
rounds a pebble and forms a planet, which germinates 
a seed and evolves an animal, even the wonderful 
structure and yet more wonderful mind of man, is indubi- 
table, though one declines to limit it by definitions or to 
give it human attributes. 

Science shows that the present order of things is the 
product of the modification of pre-existent orders. All 
leading scientific thinkers regard evolution so well estab- 
lished as not likely to be shaken in its main conclusion. 
From simple conditions has grown a world diversified 
in appearance and teeming with differentiated life. The 
higher forms have a genetic kinship with lower forms. 
As structural modifications have resulted in the body, so 



44 



THE OPEN COURT. 



mental modifications have" resulted in the mind of man. 
Language, government, art, morals and religion have 
grown from the most rudimentary conditions. Judaism 
and Christianity can be shown to have grown out of 
earlier religious systems. Christianity gained its great 
conquests only when it had assimilated much of the 
Paganism with which it was confronted, and it persists 
to-day only because, ignoring those portions of the New 
Testament teachings which are ascetic, or impracticable 
in this age, it adopts the maxims and conforms to the 
requirements of our modern industrial civilization. 

Fortunately moral character and conduct do not 
depend upon theological dogmas. Ethics is the science 
of human relations. The moral law is a generalized 
expression for the sum total of actions conducive to our 
well-being. The moral sense is no doubt innate, but it 
is an implication of evolution that 'innate or connate tend- 
encies are the acquisitions of centuries, the experi- 
ences of ancestors organized in the race in the form of 
predispositions; so that instincts and intuitions, and even 
the old metaphysical a priori "forms of thought," are 
experiential in their nature — a priori in the individual 
but experiential in the race. 

Modern science, in a truly reconciliative spirit, fuses 
into a synthesis whatever valuable there is in the old 
conceptions with the newly-discovered truth, and it is 
equally opposed to the dogmatism of theology on the one 
hand and to mere iconoclasm on the other. It destroys 
only to rebuild, only to get possession of the ground ; and 
it would preserve whatever valuable materials there 
are in the old structure, for use in the erection of a 
fairer and nobler edifice for humanity. 



In an article giving "A Thought-Reader's Experi- 
ences," in the December number of the Nineteenth 
Century, Stuart Cumberland, the most celebrated of the 
so-called mind-readers, says that in his experiments he 
is always blindfolded so that his attention may not be 
distracted by light or movement, that in working out 
actions, such as imaginary murder tableaux, he prefers 
holding the patient's hand in his own, "so that all the 
nerves and muscles may have full play." He never, he 
says, gets a "mental picture" of what is in the subject's 
mind and depends wholly upon impressions conveyed 
to him through the actioivof the subject's physical sys- " 
tern while his attention is concentrated. Mr. Cumber- 
land states that he has never seen a successful experi- 
ment of reading thoughts without contact, " unless there 
had been opportunities for observing some phase of 
physical indication expressed by the subject, or unless 
the operator was enabled to gather information from 
suggestions unconsciously let fall by somebody around. 
I have on several occasions managed to accomplish tests 
without actual contact, but have always been sufficiently 



near to my subject to receive from him — and to act 
upon accordingly — any impression that he physically 
might convey." "In my case," he adds, "thought- 
reading is an exalted perception of touch. Given con- 
tact with an honest, thoughtful man, I can ascertain the 
locality he is thinking of, the object he has decided 
upon, the course he wishes to pursue, or the number he 
desires me to decipher, almost as confidently as though 
I had received verbal communication from him. 

David A. Wasson, who died in Medford, Mass., in 
January, after a long and painful struggle with dis- 
ease — the result of an injury to his spine sustained 
many years ago — was a philosophical thinker, a poet 
and a man of exalted character. His papers, contrib- 
uted to the Atlantic Monthly, the North American 
Reviezv, The Index and other publications, are all 
marked by vigor and originality of thought, an earnest 
and conscientious spirit and fine literary taste, and many 
of them are worthy of collection and reproduction in 
permanent form. Hampered though he was by phys- 
ical infirmities, which increased year by year, whatever 
he wrote bore the stamp of the thinker and the artist. 
No one who knew him well can forget the charm of 
his personality, and none familiar with his writings, who 
know under what painful disadvantages most of them 
were produced, can fail to feel a deep and pathetic inter- 
est in his philosophical and literary work. 

# # * 

The papers announce that Mr. Beecher is now at 
work on his Life of Christ, that after its completion 
he will write his own life and that then the two works 
will be sold together by subscription. The Springfield 
Republican gives the publisher a hint as to the heading 
of their announcement, thus: "The Lives of Christ & 
Beecher, by the Latter." The Republican mentions 
that Rev. E. F. Burr, author of "Ecce Caelum," dedi- 
cated one of his books to President Seelye, of Amherst 
College, and another to the Supreme Being. 

# * * 

In a tribute to her husband, whose death was an- 
nounced a few weeks ago, Elizabeth Cady Stanton 
gives this illustration of Mr. 11. B. Stanton's readiness? 
when addressing an audience, to take advantage of any 
unexpected occurrence : 

On one occasion he was delivering a temperance lecture on the 
platform covered by a thick oil-cloth that protruded two or three 
inches over the edge of the boards in front. In the midst of one 
of his most eloquent passages he was comparing the inebriate's 
downward course to the Falls of Niagara, and the struggle with 
drink to the hopeless efforts of a man in the rapids. Just as he 
reached, in his description, the fatal plunge over the precipice, he 
advanced to the edge of the platform, the oil cloth gave way under 
his feet and in an instant he went down headlong into the audi- 
ence, carrying with him desk, glass, pitcher and water. Being 



THE OPEN COURT. 



45 



light and agile, he was quickly on the platform again, anil im- 
mediately remarked with great coolness: " I carried my illustra- 
tion farther than I had intended to. Yet even so it is that the 
drunkard falls, glass in hand, carrying destruction with him. But 
not so readilv does he rise again from the terrible depths into 
which he has precipitated himself." The whole house cheered 
again and again, and even Gough never struck a more powerful 
blow for temperance. 

* * * 

A lady relates this of her servant, a spinster about 
forty years old, who had a settled aversion to the male 
portion of mankind: "One day she asked for my 
library ticket to go to our village library for a book to 
read. I recommended two or three books which I 
thought she would find within her capacity, but she 
found that they were all out and she choose a book 
for herself. It was Darwin's 'Descent of Man.' 'Why 
did you pick out this book, Biddy?' I asked her, in sur- 
prise. 'Sure, ma'am,' she replied, 'it says its about a 
daycent man, and if there's one daycent man top of 
ground I thought I'd like to be radin' about him; but 
it ain't about any man at all, ma'am; its all about mon- 

keys, sure. 

* * * 

Dr. Edmund Montgomery writes: 

I perfectlv agree with Mr. Hegeler that living faith in the 
unbroken continuity of organic "form" and conscious participa- 
tion in its further development, have to become the positive and 
central inspirations of the scientific creed. It is this iact ot 
nature which is really the superindividual, realistic basis of the 
unity of mankind and of all its social and ethical striving. The 
mystery of love in all its phases arises from the fundamental 
organic unitv — a unity rendered wondrously mystic and mag- 
netic through the estrangement of individuated personality. Every- 
one so isolated and yet so completely one with all the rest. The 
readv self-sacrifice for Love's sake, and especially the joyous sacri- 
fice of parents, attest sufficiently how deeply and instinctively 
rooted this feeling of organic unity really is. Being universal among 
unperverted clashes of humanity, it affords an organized, im- 
pressible and altruistic medium for the emotional reception of the 
scientific creed. But as the same nature-rooted sentiment has 
been falsely interpreted by supernatural and anti-social theories 
of life, it devolves upon science to give it a solid, incontestable 
basis in vital organization. 

* * * 

The Century Magazine prints for the first time the 
words of Abraham Lincoln given in an official repri- 
mand to a young officer who had been court-martialed 
for quarreling: "Yield larger things to which you 
can show no more than equal right, and yield lesser 
ones, though clearly your own. Better give your path 
to a dog than be bitten by him in contesting for the 
right. Even killing the dog would not cure the bite." 
This is not, in our opinion, sound moral teaching. 
It would never develop strength of character nor 
promote a strong sentiment of justice among men, 
with respect for the right of one another. The man 
who voluntarily allows others to impose upon him 
encourages imposition. The man who submits to 



injustice to himself, when he can prevent it, encour- 
ages injustice to others, and, however amiable his 
disposition or good his intentions, his conduct weakens 
the safeguards <>i social order. The truly just man 
respects the rights of his fellow men, and insists 
upon his own. "The killing of the dog would not 
cure the bite," but it would prevent his biting some 
other person less able, perhaps, to escape or to defend 

himself. 

-::- * * 

Auberon Herbert, in A Politician in Trouble About 
His So///, sriys of Herbert Spencer: 

With the most faithful appreciation of scientific work, he has 
seen that the world belonged neither to the physicist, nor to the 
chemist, nor to the biologist; but that it was something larger 
than any world of theirs. He has seen, as Carlyle, and Emerson, 
and Ruskin, and Walt Whitman have seen, each in his own way, 
the wonder and the miracle in which we are all enveloped — the 
marvel of the knowable world and the marvel of the unknow able 
world, lying bevond the enchanted mountains and their impas- 
sable barrier; he has looked through the nature that surrounds us 
to the meaning at the heart of it all; he has used science as the 
interpreter of the sacred thing, but not stayed in it, as if it were 
the sacred thing itself. We owe it to him more than to any man — 
unless, perhaps, it be Emerson — the power to realize the harmony 
and unity embracing all things, the perfect order and the perfect 
reason, in the light of which men may walk confidently with sure 
aims. We owe to him new possibilities of that faith, of which the 
theologian, with his combined pettiness and rashness, has almost 
robbed the world. 

* # * 

The following notice of The Open Court is from 
the editorial columns of the Boston Herald of Feb. 24: 

The Open Court, which takes the place of the Index a! d is 
now published at Chicago as a fortnightly, is a great improve- 
ment on that rather unequal journal and brings to the front, with 
their affirmations of positive thought, the principal radical think- 
ers of the country. There is a welcome field for such a paper, 
though its home would seem to be in the East rather than in the 
West. But one is too happy to have such a paper in existence to 
be too critical as to the quarter of the country in which it appears. 
Many of the old stand-bys are here in their proper place, but one 
recognizes a more philosophical tone of thought, a more con- 
structive view of life, a stronger grip on things essential. This i- 
to he encouraged. An objection to much that is called new 
thought is that it is nothing but articulated nonsense. The 
Open Court in its initial issue is comparatively free from this 
sort of utterance. There is not an article in it which a thinking 
man can afford to skip and if the periodical can be maintained at 
its present level it will speedily become one of the influential 
papers of the United States in all that pertains to vital think 
It will be an honor to any man to reach the public through its 

columns. \ 

* * * 

Mr. Zimmerman's speech in the last issue of The ( 
Court was the only part of the discussion of Mr. HegtUr's 
essav that was printed from the stenographer's notes without 
revision or correction, and it contains some errors which in jus- 
tice to Mr. Zimmerman should be indicated. In the fifth line 
for " those for " read these few; in the seventh line instead ol 
"can" read again. In the eighth line after "until" read 
at last, and after " vigor " omit " falls under " and substitute fa U 
no invigorating. 



4 6 



THE OPEN COURT. 



UNITARIANISM AND ITS GRAND- 
CHILDREN. 

BY MONCURE D. CONWAY. 

In the statistics, Unitarianism appears one of the 
smaller sects. In reality, it is the largest. The fallacy 
arises from the fact that Unitarianism is not viviparous, 
does not bring forth its young alive; it is oviparous, 
and most of its eggs, like those of the cuckoo, are 
hatched in other nests than its own. The bad name of 
the cuckoo comes from the European species, which 
shove other eggs out of the nests they invade before 
depositing their own. The American cuckoo respects 
the brood of other birds, and leaves its child to be 
brought up with them, and for a time be confused with 
them. When the broader wing develops in the Con- 
gregational nest, or the Episcopal, or the Quaker nest, 
there is a good deal of fluttering and scolding among 
the parent birds; but the new creature is strong, not 
easily pitched out, and is gradually adopted as one of 
the family. If Unitarianism recognized all its children 
in other churches, and outside, of all churches, it would 
feel patriarchal as Abraham, the father of generations. 
The late Dean Stanley said that, while he was in Amer- 
ica, every sermon he preached had some of Channing in 
it, and every sermon he heard was largely from Emer- 
son. Yet he did not attend any Unitarian Church. 
Channing is a Unitarian father; Emerson one of his 
children, Theodore Parker another. These two chil- 
dren were from eggs laid in the nest once called 
"infidel;" they were repudiated, but are now objects of 
parental pride. Then Parker and Emerso-n found nests 
in which to lay their young. Transcendentalism and 
Parkerism, children of Unitarianism, gave birth to the 
germs of new departures. The Free Religious Asso- 
ciation, the Ethical Society Union, the Agnostic philoso- 
phy, are thus grandchildren of Unitarianism. If all 
who are really of one blood could be gathered together, 
a great force might be generated. There is a growing 
tendency in the old household of liberal faith to build 
for itself a larger mansion; so that its grandchildren 
may mingle with its children, and not merely come for 
an occasional visit, but stay for a long time. On the 
other hand, some of us fear that the homestead is not 
large enough for a house that can include ail the liberal 
family. We know that, whether beside Tiberias or 
Winnipesaukee, such houses of the true and free cannot 
be made with hands; and suspect that it might even be 
better if Unitarianism were to give up denominational 
housekeeping altogether and live on its children and 
grandchildren, who would be all the better for its cul- 
ture and experience. 

Thirty-five years ago I came from an orthodox 
church into the Unitarian Church to find it hotly mili- 
tant. Many besides myself must look back on those 



old disputes with sorrowful wonder. The polemical 
spirit of those days has passed away before a discovery 
which has changed every thinker's point of view. We 
are now evolutionists. We regard each other not as 
soldiers of one or another camp, but as minds represent- 
ing various stages of development — buds or blossoms, 
or fruits more or less ripe, to be dealt with not by bruises 
but sunshine. We have also learned two other things: 
i. That the persistence or decline of doctrines depends 
much less than we used to think on their truth or 
untruth. The world is fashioned by evolutionary forces. 
Even an untrue dogma may survive so long as it pro- 
duces the man valued by society and helps the average 
world better than the truth. 2. We have learned that 
dogmas may not be what they seem, and that where 
any faith bears sweet fruit, loveliness of life, charity to 
all, the mere orthodox name does not alter the organic 
truth of that faith any more than it would affect the 
character of a peach tree if you should label it prickly 
pear. He that deviseth liberal things is liberal, whether 
he can rightly analyze his liberalism or not. 

The controversial method is thus discredited. Our 
zeal is transferred from the abstract to the practical side 
of our truth. To propagate a doctrine means to make 
it a factor in human evolution. The more we fight for 
it the less we advance it, for the man we fight is the 
man we have got to enlighten. And if we cannot show 
in ourselves, in our families, in our societies, better types 
of character than his, we cannot by any reasoning 
touch the spring that moves that man — who is average 
mankind, organized through ages by ecclesiastical selec- 
tion, but moralized by social selection. 

The defect of most liberal organizations arises from 
the fact that they were pre-Darwinian. Positivism, 
with its elaborate scheme for a Church of Humanity, 
already, in its second generation, appears antiquated. 
Transcendentalism included the idea of development, but 
it was based on the optimistic view of nature; the law 
of evolution reveals nature "red in tooth and claw," 
dependent on man for restraint and direction. The Free 
Religious Association was a Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and it was followed by a sort of confederation for 
the security of individualism rather than for co-opera- 
tion. The union of societies for ethical culture, formed 
this year in New York, is the only liberal organization 
constituted since the revolution in the aims and methods 
of progress caused by study of the laws of evolution. 
We may, in a sense, call that ethical movement the 
great-grandchild of Unitarianism. 

Nearly every Unitarian feels that he is able to keep 
abreast of most movements. He has no creed to keep 
him from being a Free Religious Associate, a transcend- 
entalism a rationalist, an ethical culturis', an agnostic- 
even. And yet these new departures have had to 
develop themselves outside of Unitarianism. Somehow 



THE OPEN COURT. 



47 



they have not found the ancestral atmosphere congenial 
to a farther religious and ethical evolution. Is there 
any necessary cause behind this fact? 

What are the aims of a liberal Church? Its primary 
aim is to cultivate the whole higher nature of every indi- 
vidual it can reach. This is a great task. Every soul is 
dogged through life by its hereditary animal; to restrain 
that animal, tame it, domesticate /it, and harmonize it 
with the higher purposes of life, is a work requiring the 
finest art and profound science. The good shepherd of 
the new age, unable to frighten the wolf from his edu- 
cated flock with incredible hells, nor bribe it with a 
upine paradise, must, nevertheless, alarm animalism with 
the actual consequences of evil, and invest virtue with 
her every charm, that the sense of honor may grow 
strong enough to subdue every degrading tendency. 
For that work the Unitarian society seems fairly con- 
stituted. It holds two great doctrines which fit it for 
such ethical service — the dignity of human nature, and 
the salvation of every man by his own merits. A gen- 
eration thoroughly trained on those two principles would 
be a virtuous generation. 

I heard Emerson sav — it was more than thirty years 
ago — " I do not hear the preacher, but gladly help in 
his support; it is important to have in town a man occu- 
pied with its humanities." I could not help feeling that 
something must be wrong, or else he himself would be 
still the great preacher in his ancestral church. The 
three greatest intellects of our own time — Emerson, 
Darwin, Carlyle — were all trained for the pulpit; but 
neither found it adequate for his large aim. It might 
do for "the humanities," but not for humanity. And 
this brings us to consider another aim of every liberal 
church. It must have some mission to the world. It 
must not merely cultivate individual natures for personal 
happiness, domestic life, or the social circle; it must 
influence the state, the world, the conditions under which 
society is evolved, the forces by which humanity is 
fashioned. Self-culture is but a variety of selfishness 
unless it is humanized. Science studies all things 
impartially; morality distinguishes the good from the 
evil; but religion means to fall in love with the good. 
To seek it everywhere, to make sacrifices for it, to 
demand the whole world for it, is as essential to rational 
religion now as it was to those who, of old, gave their 
lives joyfully in hope of a renovated earth. 

Jesus was an evolutionist. The travail of his soul 
was a purified and renewed earth. It was to be brought 
about by human toil as a harvest. A small seed fed and 
watered till as a tree it fills the earth, was the similitude 
of his faith. But his truth fell amid briers of supersti- 
tion; it was choked as it sprung up. When he died and 
appeared no more among men, his followers located his 
new earth beyond the clouds, where they supposed he 
had gone; they lavished their enthusiasm anil their sacri- 



fices on another world, and abandoned this to its sup- 
posed diabolical ruler. The aim of the living Jesus 
was thus overthrown by the phantom of a risen Christ. 
After its long slumber of centuries the idea of Jesus 
has awakened, in our own time; again there rises 
before religious faith the vision of a renovated world to 
be secured by human effort. The dream of immortal- 
ity remains, but the rosy heaven which so long absorbed 
religious enthusiasm is steadily superseded by the hope 
that this great lump of earth is to be leavened with 
truth, and justice, and beauty; and bv the belief that it 
is to be brought about by the labors of man. 

Yes, in our own age, for the first time since Jesus 
went silent, has the cry of the poor been heard bv relig- 
ion, and the salvation of man from actual evils become 
the supreme end of any church. Good men in many 
churches have indeed heard that cry, churches have 
adopted their charities; but Christianity never promised 
the salvation of this world from the evils which afflict 
and degrade it, never proposed to exterminate pauper- 
ism, disease, despotism, never threw itself on the side of 
any cause that concerned man simply in his earthly con- 
dition. It was heresy to deal with human sufferings as 
not included in the providence of God; it was sacri- 
lege to devote to man any treasures consecrated to 
God. If that providence had done for man as much as 
man has done for him, every human desert would be 
blossoming like the rose. 

If now once more the brave voice of Paul, warn- 
ing the Athenians that God needs nothing at all at 
men's hands, is heard, we owe it primarily to the Unita- 
rian movement. The germ of a human religion was 
planted when reverence ceased to believe that man's 
chief end was to glorify God, to pay God for dying for 
him, to sound his praises for the surprising mercy of 
not damning the whole human race to all eternity. 
Unitarianism proclaimed a new God and a new man; that 
implied presently a new heaven; that again a new earth. 

But every new divinity must for a time propitiate the 
preceding one. The old forms and phrases are used, 
though with new meanings, and there is apt to be a sort 
of compromise — a father-and-son arrangement. By that 
means Christianity inherited the temples of Paganism, 
and by a like process Unitarianism inherited the temples 
of Puritanism. The father generally holds a mortgage 
on the estate of the son, but when the grandson comes 
the continuity becomes strained. For this third person 
is the spirit which finds the letter a burdensome heritage. 
The living spirit is sharper that a two-edged sword ; it 
is always a divider. It questions the forms which the 
new faith has derived from the old. And that is the 
spirit which is searching Unitarianism to find whether 
it is able to meet the demand it has awakened — to deal 
with the social, moral, national, human questions which 
have supplanted theology. Fifty years ago Unitarianism 



THE OPEN COURT. 



gave up from its pulpit the noblest genius this country 
ever produced, because he could not celebrate the sacra- 
mental symbol of a dogma which Unitarianism had 
taught him to repudiate: yet fifty-five years ago that 
same preacher, Emerson, was able to bring an humble 
abolitionist from Boston common into his pulpit, from 
which, for the first time, the slave's cause was heard by 
people of wealth and influence. And during all that 
struggle for humanity the Unitarian, alone among 
churches, had a witness for justice in every community 
and, above its official hesitations, wrote in faithful and 
fearless pulpits a record of which it need not lie ashamed. 
Fifty years is a long time. It is probable that in 
most Unitarian congregations a preacher's eloquence 
would outweigh his dissent from their theology and dis- 
use of any sacrament. But, in the presence of great 
issues affecting humanity, men whose hearts burn within 
them lose their interest in theology, in ceremonies; the 
ritual solemnities become literally impertinent. The 
adequacy of a church to the issues of its time is solely a 
question of whether that church is able to attract to 
itself the moral genius of its time. And that no church 
can do without being the very best organ through 
which moral genius can influence the fine issues for 
which it is finely touched. Is Unitarianism drawing to 
itself and giving free course to the moral genius of its 
time? Yes, in one sense; no, in another. Yes, if its 
children and grandchildren be reckoned with it, and its 
sons who have carried its thunder into certain orthodox 
churches. Sydney Smith once wrote to a friend : "I 
preached a sermon this morning on peace, as good 
as any of Dr. Channing's; in fact it was Dr. Chan- 
ning's." The like may be said of man}- sermons now 
charming Boston and New York, only they are somewhat 
more heretical than Channing's; for the meal may be 
bear's meat if the grace is liturgical. When some one 
spoke of the apparent decline of Unitarianism, Dr. 
Bellows said a better phrase were the decline of 
apparent Unitarianism. The suggestion seems still 
true. 

Whatever may be thought of the Unitarianism which 
is leavening churches called orthodox, I cannot help feel- 
ing that the societies which have no theological tests 
ought to be able to form a unity so complete, a frater- 
nity so free, a ministration so various, that the religious 
genius now starved in uncongenial professions shall be 
recalled. Very slight modifications of structure may 
be followed by vast changesof function; a grain-weight 
of bone may make all the difference between the earth- 
bound and the heaven-soaring creature; and it maybe 
that some small changes might make Unitarianism into 
the real American Church. 

Simply to drop the name Unitarian might have great 
results. The question of the Trinity is now of only 
infinitesimal importance. What serious person is willing 



to sever himself from his ancestral church on so paltry a 
question as whether the deity exists in three persons or 
one? People are concerned now to know whether 
there be anv God at all or not, but whether he has three 
persons or three or three thousand, is of no importance 
whatever. That battle-field is cold. The Unitarian 
surrendered the whole thing with the authority of the 
Bible. If the Bible is not God's Word, what it teaches 
about his personality is of mere literary interest. For 
. reason or science there can be no such question. The 
man who believes God has several persons, or a million, 
has as much fact to support him as the man who says he 
has one, since, apart from "revelation," neither knows 
anything at all about it. The Unitarian name is an 
anachronism, and, I suspect, is kept up from loyalty to 
the fathers and a lingering militantism. 

But more, the Unitarian name, arrogant toward 
orthodoxy — as if alleging that it does not hold the 
divine unity, a sort of "bloody shirt" waved in its 
face — on the other hand misrepresents the thinkers 
so labeled. It obstinately suggests that they are 
devoting their lives, their scholarship, their freedom and 
power, to a small theological negation. So long as 
people can hear preached in Trinitarian churches, as they 
do, the fatherly tenderness of God once distinctive of 
Unitarian doctrine, the humanity of Jesus, the sacredness 
of man, they will not care for the mystical word with 
which such realities are connected. And if it be said 
that such preaching in orthodox churches is dishonest, 
the Trinitarian may ask whether it be any more honest 
for those who affirm the Universal Love to prompt that 
love with prayers; or for those who reject the vicarious 
atonement to still consecrate the blood of Jesus? 

However, names are difficult things to deal with; 
they get into trust deeds, and bind the living - to bury the 
dead. Therefore, the only way to get rid of such a mis- 
nomer as "Unitarian," is to earn the right characteristic 
name, to work up to it, live up to it, until the world can 
read the true name on their forehead, as they read 
"Quaker" on the brow of George Fox and " Methodist" 
on that of Wesley. 

The ear of the world has never been caught but by 
some gospel of salvation. But from what can a Unita- 
rian save the world? He cannot aspire to convince the 
world of the truth of a theological creed, for he has 
none; be cannot propose to save the world from hells 
and devils that do not exist. From what, then, can 
he save it? The world is daily teaching us how and 
from what it must be saved. Outside of the churches — 
alas! outside — societies are formed to confront the mani- 
fold evils of the world — temperance societies, purity 
societies, woman's rights, man's rights, anti-capital, social- 
istic leagues. Each a satire on the churches, and each 
a rough-hewn stone in the church of the future — the 
Church of Man. They are rough, these movements, 



THE OPEN COURT. 



49 



out of proportion, stumbling-blocks to the refined and 
reasonable, because they are detached from the centers 
of religious sentiment and culture, which alone might 
shape and polish them. 

But who is equal to these things? Religion has so 
long been occupied with making poor God comfortable, 
and pleased with himself, that we have no training for 
these social and moral issues. A poet says "new occa- 
sions teach new duties," but they do not teach us how to 
fulfil them. The Bible having ceased to be a guide, 
because it requires casuistry to make it out a moral book, 
we have been left to the laws of nature; and now find 
nature even less moral than the Bible. The anxious 
mother asks her liberal pastor: "Will you please give 
me a reason for my son why he should not gamble?" 
"Well, we didn't study that subject at the divinity 
school." "Or," she proceeds, "perhaps you will give 
me an answer for my daughter who, after hearing your 
beautiful sermon on God as revealed in nature, asked 
whether we should follow our nature." "Ah, Madame, 
that is a difficult question. I must look it up some day. 
By the way, how did you like my view of agnosticism 
last Sunday ? " 

When our good minister goes out into the world he 
is even more helpless. There he finds capital entrenched 
in the natural law of supply and demand, and labor 
hurling at it the equally natural stone with which con- 
servation of force supplies its hand. The Golden Rule is 
transformed to the Rule of Gold. It is the struggle for 
existence. The millionaire cannot exist without his 
million any more than the workman without more 
wages. Steadily rises the storm. They used to tell us 
in the anti-slavery agitation that God would end the 
wrone in his own grood time; but when it was ended 
that way, so much hell- fire was brought to the work, 
that it looks as if it might have been better to do the 
work ourselves. If the people had been as fully 
instructed by their pulpits in the moral facts of their 
own country, as in those of ancient Judea, there would 
have been no slavery and no war. And as one sees an 
anarchist nation steadilv forming in hostility to the 
existing nation, while its moral guides are exhuming 
Jerusalem or speculating on the unseen world, a shud- 
dering fear arises lest what we are witnessing should 
turn out to be the reversion of a race to barbarism. 
What corruption in great corporations, what baseness in 
politics! With what cynical hypocrisy is the polygamy 
of Utah outlawed in such ingenious terms as to leave 
unrestrained the baser polygamy of our cities, which 
leaves its victims without respect or shelter! What 
rebuke of this do we hear? Where is any Sinai? 
Among all the exhausted craters I see but one summit 
beginning to dart out the sacred flame. The move- 
ment which in largeness, freedom, influence, may claim 
to be successor to that of Channing, of Parker, of 



Emerson, is one in New York, which is trving to found 
religion on pure morality — on the actual salvation of man. 
The moral ignorance of educated people is a necessary 
result of the long confusion of morality with theology. 
A learned and veteran Unitarian minister has lately 
stated that we liberals are all living morally on elements 
bequeathed from orthodoxy to our atmosphere. I fear 
there is a good deal of truth in that. It may account 
for the feebleness of our protest against the combination 
of churches to defy constitutional rights of conscience and 
establish their average theology, their Sabbath, their 
bible in every State; and, by exempting their church 
property from taxation, tax every man so far for their 
support. It accounts for the fact that Bible societies go 
on circulating a Bible containing thousands of admitted 
errors, while one in which most of them are cor- 
rected is at hand. That deliberate circulation of exposed 
falsities as the Word of God could not continue if the lib- 
eral teachers of this country were not infected by an 
atmosphere inherited from ages of pious fraud. 

I do not mean to intimate that these orthodox men 
are not good men. But they are under the epoch of 
religious militantism. We know the duty of soldiers. 

"Theirs not to reason why, 
Theirs but lo do .ma die." 

The captain vvho, in private life, would scorn untruth, 
on the battle-field will deceive his foe by every strata- 
gem. For himself he would not harm a fly; for his 
flag he will kill thousands of men. So have many 
tender-hearted men, enlisted as soldiers of the church 
militant, slain and burnt those whom they regarded as 
enemies of Christ; and, now that holy massacres of 
heretics are out of date, they resort to deception and 
stratagem. But it is all to win souls for Christ. It is 
to save human beings from a fearful doom. " E'en their 
vices lean to virtue's side." They are zealous to save 
men from a fictitious hell. I wish we were all as zeal- 
ous in saving men from real hells. When the Christian 
soldier lays aside his armour you have a kindly, honest, 
moral man. He will vote with his theological antago- 
nist for the right thing. If we could only get all the 
good moral men who make such sacrifices for their 
theologic flag — even sacrifices of veracity and charity — 
to set our common cause, the salvation of man from 
moral and social evil, above their creed, above the cere- 
monial service of God, the millennium might cease to be 
a mere dream. Men cannot thoroughly serve two 
masters. So long as they believe in a deity who needs 
something at men's hands, that service will be the 
supreme thing. 

Positive begets negative. The militantism of the 
church produces an antagonist militantism. So long as 
the barbarous laws of Moses are imposed on us — Sabba- 
tarian law, law of blood for blood, blasphemy laws — 
there will be revivalists of common sense to show up 



5° 



THE OPEN COURT. 



the mistakes of Moses. Biblical immoralities and 
absurdities cannot be consecrated without recoiling in 
resentment and ridicule. 

But the time seems ripe for the formation, between 
these militant hosts, of a religion based on what all 
believe — on what no sane man doubts. The Ethical 
Society marks an era. A hundred years ago five Amer- 
ican colonies sent a few delegates to Annapolis to consult 
whether there might not be established in the confeder- 
ated colonies some kind of uniformity in trade laws and 
other urgent matters. They came to the conclusion 
that nothing could be done so long as the States were 
isolated by jealousy and without political solidarity ; so 
they issued a summons to the States, and our Union was 
formed, each State reserving its self-government, but 
each contributing to form a central power representing 
interests they hat! in common. Puritan colony, Quaker 
colony, Episcopal Virginia, Catholic Maryland, Baptist 
Rhode Island, and the rest, formed a Union, neutral as 
to their creeds, but strong to protect and advance them 
all, and guarantee the freedom of all in each. A 
hundred years from now the historian of religion may 
have to trace moral results proportionately grand to the 
recent convention of delegates from four or five socie- 
ties for ethical culture. Among those delegates were 
several varieties of theoretical belief. But it is no 
theory that right is right and wrong wrong; that the 
evils of the time should be dealt with ; that the ethics of 
society and of the home should be studied with more 
care and taught with more earnestness and wisdom. 

Such co-operation does not demand that men should 
abandon their several creeds or churches. We all 
believe in justice, charity, freedom, truth; let us study 
the moral laws and their application to our condition. 
To some this may be subordinate to a doctrinal scheme, 
but they can lend a hand, be it only a left hand. But 
to Unitarianism, and to the phases of liberalism descended 
from it, this ethical religion supplies the only hope of 
any renewal of the life which once made the land bud 
and blossom under the breath of great spiritual leaders. 
The wine of those great vintages has gone into old 
bottles. All the better. The ethical union is not for 
any denomination, but for mankind. In the ethical 
union advantage may be derived from the varieties of 
experience ami training represented in the different 
sects. They have all progressed farther than is sup- 
posed. In London Cardinal Manning once invited my 
co-operation to secure purer and cheaper water for the 
poor of the city. Dr. Adler tells me that he is receiv- 
ing letters of encouragement for his Society for Ethical 
Culture from orthodox clergymen. All these have the 
same practical problems to deal with as the unorthodox — 
social, domestic, moral. The same ethical chaos sur- 
rounds us all — good instincts vulgarized by fanaticism, 
impurities fostered by false methods of dealing with 



them, popular sentiment utilized by demagogues for 
base ends, crime flourishing through unscientific codes, 
the reformer doing that which seems right in his own 
eyes, without trying to see eye to eye with his brother. 
What heart can see any dove hovering over this chaos 
without an emotion of hope that its brooding may 
bring peace and order? 

What can a liberal society do? Let it found in its 
community a society for ethical culture. Let it invite 
all, especially all public teachers, to come and consider 
purely moral and social subjects, theoretical and practi- 
cal, social and domestic, local and national. Let the 
prevailing moral ideas be thoroughly searched. Let the 
practical methods be revised. Discipline in the home, 
the school, the prison; corporal punishment; the pur- 
pose of punishment, and its methods; the difference 
between vice and crime; how to deal with intemperance, 
licentiousness, pauperism; what instruction should be 
given boys and girls concerning sex, and the dangers, 
bodily and moral, amid which they move; marriage 
laws; poor laws; labor laws; amusements and pleasures: 
these and other urgent matters, about which there might 
be a harmony such as that which prevails among scien- 
tific men as to principles and methods, are left in crude 
confusion because the comparative study which elicits 
truth is here wanting. The clergy, to whom moral 
instruction of the people is entrusted, have no means 
of having their traditional notions checked. The preach- 
ers are not preached to. Dr. Holmes once suggested 
the danger that the pulpit might relapse into Paganism 
for lack of moral instruction. Most of the clergy are 
cultivating American fields with the ploughs of ancient 
Palestine. If a better plough were shown them there 
is really nothing to prevent their adopting it, though 
they might label it Palestinian. There ought to be 
an ethical school in every community in which moral 
science shall be studied. Sir James Mackintosh said 
that "morality admits no discoveries;" he declared, and 
Buckle followed him, that there has been no important 
variation in the moral rules of life for three thousand 
years. That stationariness has been due to the domina- 
tion of dogma over the social, domestic, and political 
life of mankind. It is not true, however, that no pro- 
gress in moral ideas, even with these disparagements. 
The virtue of self-truthfulness, impossible so long as 
the self was believed satanic, has appeared. Compas- 
sionateness for animals, unknown to the Bible, has been 
arising under the Darwinian era. Toleration, on 
moral grounds, is a new virtue, though feeble as yet and 
not able to keep the atheist from being boycotted. These 
latest moral buds and fruits prove that while theories 
grow gray the tree of life is renewed. Ecclesiastic 
cherubim no longer guard it from our approach. 
Its leaves are for the healing of the nation. Its fruit 
shall be righteousness, joy, and peace. But the time 



THE OPKN COURT. 



5i 



of its ripe fruit is not yet. Morality is still largely 
monastic, puritanical, sour. The virtue of youth is 
bruised because the young man is taught by his mother 
and his pastor lessons of life which he presently finds 
do not correspond with the facts. We have free 
thought; we now want mature thought. Theology has 
run its career and now rests in the tomb of the unknow- 
able. Nothing is heard there but the tolling of the bell 
and chant for the soul of the departed. However we 
may long to know the unknowable, to pierce the veil 
of the future beyond this life, we must turn from such 
longings and make the most of what is left us — the 
power to be ourselves a providence and to answer pray- 
ers. If you cannot get what you have set your hearts 
on, you must set your hearts on what you can get. 



COMMENTS ON MR. HEGELER'S ESSAY.* 

BY W. M. SALTER. 

I consider that Mr. Hegeler has given us an im- 
portant philosophical theory of ethics. His view seems 
to go with Spencer's up to a certain point. That is 
good which tends to the continuance of life, in ourselves 
and in others, and not only that, but to a greater quan- 
tum (quantity) o life, M Hegeler laying special stress 
upon the soul-life as distinguished from the merely 
physical -life. 

Spencer says that all our judgments of good and 
bad imply that life is desirable. Mr. Hegeler does not 
dispute this. But Spencer says, desirable, because life 
affords a surplus of pleasure over pain. Mr. Hegeler 
says, irrespective of this; according to him, life is desir- 
able for itself alone. Spencer holds that if there were 
not more pleasure than pain, or if there were only equal 
amounts or more pain than pleasure, life would not be 
desirable; and then good and bad would have opposite 
meanings to those they now have; good would mean 
those actions that tend to shorten life and bad those 
actions that tend to prolong it. Mr. Hegeler holds that 
even if there is no surplus of pleasure or, I should sup- 
pose, if there is an actual surplus of pain, life is still to 
be desired, for it is a good- in itself. 

What, then, according to Mr. Hegeler, are the func- 
tions of pleasure and pain? They are not ends in 
themselves, but rather signs that ends are being accom- 
plished; pleasure accompanies the maintenance and 
growth of life, pain its disintegration and decay. By 
our desire for pleasure and our dislike for pain we are 
influenced in the direction of those actions that tend to 
build up life and hindered from doing those that lead 
to destroy it. But pleasures are not rationally to be 
sought for their own sake, but because they are con- 



* At a meeting of the Societv for Ethic il Culture of Chicago succeeding 
that at which was read "The Basis of Ethics" by Mr. E. C. Hegeler, 
printed in the first issue of this Journal. In the next number will be given 
still fur. her comments and criticisms made that evening. 



joined with those actions that promote life. Spencer, 
on the other hand, cannot speak of the functions of 
pleasure and pain, because they are ends in themselves, 
the one to be sought, the other to be avoided; but he 
can speak of the functions of life, namely to give us a 
surplus of pleasure over pain. We naturally crave 
pleasure and avoid pain; according to such a view as 
Mr. Hegeler's, these desires are the machinery by which 
life is built up; only by using the machinery do we 
accomplish anything ; but the structure to be reared is 
different from the machinerv to be used. According to 
Spencer, the " machinery " becomes the end. To take 
another illustration; a locomotive is fed with coal and 
gives forth steam ; onlv on this condition does it run; 
but its end is to run. Suppose now that it became a 
conscious being and felt pleasure in consuming the coal 
and emitting the steam, and thereupon came to the con- 
clusion that the pleasure was the purpose for which it 
existed, it would be like the man who because he finds 
pleasure in the things that build up his life thinks that 
pleasure is the end and not life itself. Suppose that the 
things that gave pleasure tended to destroy life, as does 
in some rare instances, perhaps, happen; suppose the 
ordinance of nature were different from what it is; then, 
according to the logic of Spsncer's view, we should seek 
pleasure though life were destroyed, on the ground that 
cessation of life is better than a surplus of pain ; while ac- 
cording to Mr. Hegeler's view we should endure pain 
and renounce pleasure, because this would be the only 
means by which we could live, and life is the paramount 
end. Possibly I am in this overstating Mr. Hegeler's 
personal convictions, but I am only seeking to bring 
out the implications of his theory. If Mr. Hegeler 
would not hold that life is desirable in case it is attended 
with more pain than pleasure (even with much more), 
then the distinctness of his theory vanishes, and instead 
of life alone he admits pleasure also as an end; and then 
his theory, to have any philosophical value, would have 
to tell us hoxu much pleasure must be in life to make 
it supportable or desirable? He has expressly said, not 
necessarily a surplus of pleasure over pain ; must it 
then be an equal amount? or, if not so, then half or 
quarter as much? It seems to me, we are driven to 
rough calculations of this sort, if on the one hand we do 
not hold with Spencer that pleasure is the paramount 
end, and yet, on the other, allow that it is something of 
an end and admit that life absolutely without pleasure 
and full of pain would nut be desirable. 

Which is the right theory? I shall not attempt to 
answer. I have wanted to bring out clearly Mr. 
Hegeler's theory in my own mind, rather than to criti- 
cise it. I think, however, as between the two, that Mr. 
Hegeler's theory comes nearer the facts of life. The 
life-instinct is wonderfully deep in the race. There is 
nothing- that we shudder at so as destruction. There 



52 



THE OPEN COURT. 



may even be those who would rather live on in entire 
unhappiness than be blotted out altogether. They 
would rather live in misery than cease to be. And 
though there be few in number, there are many who 
would rather live, if but a little happiness Is granted 
them once in a while, and all the rest of their existence 
is unhappy. The little oases in the midst of which 
they may linger now and then, redeem the dreariness of 
the desert through which they pass; they would rather 
go on, if an oasis is somewhere ahead, than give, up the 
march because the desert is so wide. I suspect there are 
many people who do not have as much happiness as 
unhappiness in life; occasionally we hear of one willing 
to die, yes, even to take his or her life; the number of 
suicides is actually increasing. But I suspect that the 
mass of those to whom life is a long struggle, with many 
disappointments and little pleasure, would yet rather go 
on, and look on death with dread, altogether apart, too, 
from fears of what may come after. For myself, I 
would say that in searching for the truth I would rather 
be baffled a thousand times and have the discomfort and 
sense of frustration accompanying such experiences, if 
the thousand and first time I found the truth, than to 
forego the search at the outset, because I knew there 
would be more pain than pleasure attending it. Others 
might not think the result worth the trouble; I should. 
I should rather have the mortification and shame of 
defeat in the wrestle with an evil habit a hundred times 
over and at last win the victory, though I never thought 
of it again or my life ended immediately thereafter, than 
not undertake the struggle because there was to be more 
mortification than joy attending it. The amounts of pleas- 
ure and pain in a life or in the life of a race seem to me a 
poor means of estimating its value; but the amount of 
life, the amount of attainment, physical attainment, 
intellectual attainment, moral attainment, this, whether 
applied to an individual or the whole race, seems 
to me a high way of estimating the worth of their 
existence. 

But here I am trespassing on the field of criticism 
which I had not meant to enter. The question, however, 
is, not which do I happen to regard as supreme, life or 
happiness, or which do any of us, but which is it 
rational to regard as supreme? It may be that because 
Mr. Hegeler's theory comes nearer to the facts of life it 
is thereby no truer as a theory; for though men do 
regard life as worth having, though it brings to them 
more pain than pleasure, it may still be asked are they 
reasonable in so doing, and, on those conditions, would 
not a perfectly rational mind rather not live at all? So 
Spencer thinks, and Spencer's view may be truer as an 
ethical theory though Mr. Hegeler's comes nearer t<> the 
facts of life. As to whether Spencer's theory is the 
true]' of the two I shall not undertake to say, though I 
incline to think not. 



THREE LIVE THOUGHTS. 

Whosoever is afraid of submitting any question, 
civil or religious, to the test of free discussion, is more 
in love with his own opinion than with truth. — Watson. 

Be perfect! Countless harmonies slumber in thee, 
to wake at thy bidding — invoke them, call them into 
life by means of thy nobility! Canst thou suffer the 
base, the perishable in thy nature to put to silence the 
noble and the immortal? — Schiller. 

The repressed and unhappy are in ten-fold more 
danger from temptation than those who feel 
they are having their share of life's good. The 
stream that cannot flow in the sunshine seeks a subter- 
ranean channel; in like manner, when circumstances or 
the inconsiderate will of others impose unrelenting 
restraint upon the exuberant spirit of youth, it usually 
finds some hidden outlet which cannot bear the light. 
— E. T.Roe. 



CORRESPONDENCE. 

A LETTER FROM BOSTON. 

To the Editors: Jamaica Plains, Mass., Feb. 10, 1S87. 

We are a little lonely here in Boston without The Index com- 
ing punctually every week with its inspiration of noble words, 
turning our thoughts to large and commanding themes of interest. 

Somehow I feel as we might when there had been a wedding 
in the family and the bride has gone far away. We hope the 
change is for happiness and good to all, and are disposed to 
treat the bridegroom who has borne away our treasure with all 
courtesy and prospective affection, but, nevertheless, we do feel 
lonely and a change has come over the old relations. So, while 
we welcome The Open Court and are hopeful of all the good 
it is to bring us, we yet wonder if anything can be as good as the 
old familiar friend, and we trust that they who receive it will like a 
letter from the old home. 

Yesterda3' was the day appointed for the woman suffrage 
hearing at the State House, and the weather smiled upon it as- 
it has hardly smiled for two months, and the occasion was 
worthy of the weather. The audience was large, as usual, 
and, while mostly composed of the staunch men and women 
who have followed this movement for years, there were some new 
faces and a sprinkling of remonstrants. The committee were 
thoroughly courteous and considerate. The cause of the petition- 
ers for municipal suffrage was represented by Mr. Blackwell, Mrs. 
Stone, Mr. Garrison, Mrs. Shattuck and others, and Mr. Fay, a 
very gentlemanly lawyer from Brookline, appeared for the remon- 
strants: 

While fortunate in their choice so far as the personal traits of 
their representative appeared, he was hardly a powerful advocate, 
for he gave away the whole general principle, by showing some- 
thing very like approbation for the plan of allowing women to 
vote on the license question, and was only strenuous in his oppo- 
sition to municipal suffrage, especially in large cities. 

He took occasion to thank Col. lligginson for his article in 
The Forum, wherein he has stated all possible objections to 
woman suffrage with an ability which the remonstrants have 
never been able to command. This brought up the veteran 
colonel, whose trumpet gave forth no uncertain sound. Distinctly 
ranking himself with the petitioners, he fortified the claim for 
woman's suffrage with the noblest words of James Otis, and Benja- 
min Franklin, and Charles Sumner, and showed that the women 
who had spoken had adhered closely to these doctrines which were 



THE OPEN COURT. 



S3 



at the foundation of ourcivil constitution. Those who had misun- 
derstood his position and feared that the mists of conservatism 
were obscuring his light, rejoiced with exceeding joy over this 
full and candid utterance. 

The meetings of the Hermetic Club have been noteworthy 
this winter. Mr. W. T. Harris has on two Tuesdays expounded 
the Bhagavadgita, and at the last session Mr. Emery, of Con- 
cord, took his place as chairman and conducted the discussion 
with great ability. It was curious to hear the old veteran, 
Mr. Pillsbury, bringing out his stern plea for practical work in 
the midst of this philosophic speculation. 

A lady of Boston has received as her guest, and kindly given 
to manv the opportunity of meeting at her house, Mr. Mohini, a 
Brahmin of remarkable scholarship and eloquence. Having had 
in early life the advantages of education in an English school, he 
speaks our language with great correctness and beauty, and is 
thoroughly versed in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. I am 
told that he is equally at home in both the French and Italian 
language and literature. Having passed through a period of 
doubt and agnosticism, as he says most young Brahmins do, he 
is now a devoted Brahmin, accepting revelation as authorita- 
tive, but not confining it to the sacred books of his own nation, 
but believing that the divine light shines through all sacred books 
and all religions. While we may not accept his beliefs, we can- 
not but admire the' breadth and catholicity of this thought. He is 
still quite voung and very pleasing in appearance and manners, 
and his influence is very strong upon some of his hearers. It 
indicates a wonderful advance in freedom of thought and in real 
liberality in religion, that those whom in our childhood we were 
taught to renounce as heathen are now welcomed among us to 
teach us of their wisdom as well as to learn of ours. 

The " ladies' night " of the Liberal Union Club, on February 
26th, will be an interesting occasion. Miss Eastman will be the 
speaker. She always speaks on religious themes with great 
earnestness, true insight and wide observation. Liberals need 
bonds of union, not to separate them from others, but for richer 
communion among themselves and for making their work 
broader and more effective. 

With best wishes for the success of The Open Court, I am, 
Very truly yours, 

Ednah Dow Cheney. 



LIMITATIONS OF THE HUMAN FEELING. 
To the Editors.: Fairfield, Iowa, Feb. 20, 1887. 

An aged negro couple, living alone in the Skunk river valley, 
in Lee county, Iowa, frightened by rising water, attempted to 
reach higher ground in their wagon. The water was but two or 
three feet deep, yet, reaching a bad place in the road, the team 
was unable or refused to go farther and the old couple were left 
there in helplessness and peril, although their cries were, after 
awhile, answered from the shore and the calling back and forth 
lasted some time; so far as is known, no serious effort was made 
to rescue the unfortunates. They remained there prisoners all 
night in bitter and increasing cold, awaiting the rescuing party 
that never came. On the following morning cries were again 
heard bv those living near, yet or some inexplicable reason no 
aid was sent. Not until late on the second day did any one go 
to them ; then they were both found dead in the now frozen 
water beside their wagon, having attempted to unhitch the 
team. 

All accounts of this heart-rending tragedy agree that the old 
couple were of that simple, child-like purity of life so common 
among the older generation of colored people and were dearly 
beloved by their white neighbors, and that the water was at no 
time so deep or the current so swift as to render it impossible or 



even hazardous for strong men to reach them. Why, then, this 
apathv and inhuman inaction on the part of those who knew the 
situation? I have seen men swim torrents to rescue animals 
from a less painful and perilous situation! It would seem that 
of all suffering and danger this case should have been most 
powerfully appealing. Reverence for age and piety, sympathy 
for helplessness, added to the common feeling of humanity, 
should irresistibly have drawn any normal person to share theii 
peril and suffering in an attempt to relieve them. The people 
who stood by and saw these venerable, virtuous and helpless ones 
of their own kind perish miserably were not savages nor brutal-; 
ized peasants. They were average people of the middle working 
class. 

The case is a disheartening puzzle. Shame and indignation 
seem more appropriate to it than philosophizing, yet doubtless it 
shows a limitation of the feeling of humanity which may be in 
some degree traced out and accounted for. A son or any relative 
would have rushed impetuously into danger to rescue the loved 
ones. Is it not almost as certain that near friends and associates 
on an equality would have done the same thing? We are forced 
to believe that had the old couple been white instead of black 
they would not have been left to their pitiable fate. No one with 
highly-developed altruistic feelings can see any human creature 
perish so without desperate efforts to save them. 

The limitations then are the various degrees of selfishness left 
in human kind by an imperfect and faulty system of moral and 
emotional training. The sympathies of most people very much 
need broadening. Their love is intense enough when it comes 
near to themselves, but it rapidly loses force as it reaches out 
toward the great body of the race and is well nigh intercepted 
by the slight barrier of race difference. When the religious sen- 
timent is centered more on humanity and less on self and the 
supernatural, such an incident as that on which these thoughts 

are founded will be impossible. 

F. B. Taylor. 



FREE-THOUGHT LYCEUMS. 

To the Editors: 

In the first issue of your new fortnightly I find an article by 
Thomas Davidson on the need for free- thought education. It 
interested me very much, the more because I have here since 
1SS4 argued the necessity of a more liberal and comprehensive 
intellectual education than that given in the public schools. Will 
you kindly grant me the space for a few remarks on the proposi- 
tion with which Mr. Davidson closes his paper. 

I think he is mistaken if he believes that a free-thought college 
will do much good ; it is not in the colleges that the mind is 
framed, as far as the feelings of fear and hope, of reverence and 
esteem, are concerned. It seems to me, at least, that the young 
people of about eighteen years, or of whatever age they may 
enter a college, should be sure already of being and remaining on 
the right side. The time for imbuing them with really liberal princi- 
ples, even though they do not at once grasp all the consequences 
thereof, is when the period of maturity begins; and then the 
instruction they receive should cease to be merely elementary. 
The time usually decisive in determining the moral and religious, 
as well as the intellectual, character, is, on an average, that from 
the age of thirteen to eighteen. What free-thinkers want, therefore, 
in mv opinion, is a good free-thought lyceum, to which pupils 
can go after graduating from the grammar room. A carefully- 
educated and half-way diligent boy or girl ought to be ready for 
the lyceum at the age of thirteen, and if he has then gone 
through a course of instruction of half a decade, he may safely 
be allowed to go to any college or university, no matter who 
manages it, or what the religious views of the faculty are. 



54 



THE OPKN COURT. 



Let nobody say that a free-thought school for children, or a 
free-thought kindergarten, might as well be proposed. With chil- 
■dren under thirteen years almost everything depends upon the 
home in which they are brought up. Of course, it would be best 
not to send them to the public schools at all, considering their 
average character; but then, here a little care on the part of the 
parents may prevent bad consequences, while beyond the age of 
thirteen it cannot. My idea is that to the lowest class of such a 
lyceum pupils should not be admitted under thirteen nor over 
sixteen ; they should be ready for the best of American universities 
latest at the age they become citizens. Let there be no more 
colleges in the United States, but better schools preparing for 
them, as pointed out by Dr. Paul Carus in one of The Index issues 
■of July, 1SS6. 

Very respectfully, 

Thos. H. Jappe. 



ETHICAL CULTURE AND MONISM. 

To the Editors: Philadelphia, Feb. 22, 1887. 

I have just received the first number of your new paper, and, 
as I am a lawyer, as well as a theologist, I want to make a polite bow 
in Open Court and respectfully ask to be admitted to your bar. 
It is easy to see that ethical culture is to have prominent stand- 
ing in your Court, and it deserves it; and, because I am in sym- 
pathy with the new movement, I desire to enter a brief "demurrer" 
to the policy of some of its chief appostles. 

I think they are too outspoken and unguarded in so frequently 
publishing their negations in regard to God, prayer and the future 
life. They have a perfect right to proclaim their opinions, but I 
fail to see what these questions have, necessarily, to do with ethical 
culture. I do not believe in concealment and hypocrisy, but I 
would not unwittingly shock and drive away any person whose 
•co-operation is to be desired. All intelligent men know that 
belief has very little tc/do with morals, and that some of the best 
men have been known as atheists and agnostics, and that the same 
is true of many theists and believers in prayer and the future life. 
Why cannot all liberals work together in the new departure of 
■ethical culture without having their respective peculiar opinions 
continually paraded? I have reason for thinking, from personal 
observation, that this friendly hint deserves careful consideration. 

Let not this ethical culture movement be hampered with a 
creed, written or implied. I have not had time to examine Dr. 
Montgomery's Monism, and shall reserve my opinion until the 
case is fully heard in Open Court. I call myself a Rationalistic 
Theist, but I find my theism well expressed by Professor Haeckel, 
as follows: 

"The more developed man of the present day is capable of, 
and justified in, conceiving that infinitely nobler and sublimer 
idea of God which alone is compatible with the monistic concep- 
tion of the universe, and which recognizes God's spirit and 
power in all phenomena without exception. The monistic idea 
of God, which belongs to the future, has already been expressed 
by Giordano Bruno in the following words: 'A spirit exists in all 
things, and nobody is 60 small but contains a part of the divine 
substance within itself, by which it is animated.'" 

I close this hasty note with a suggestion I have made in another 
connection : 

" It was once said by a master of English literature and a 
keen observer that 'language is a device to conceal one's ideas;' 
and may it not be possible that, after all, truly scientific and can- 
did men have substantially the same theory of the universe, and 
really mean the same thing, while they use very different words 
to express their meaning?" 

R. B. Westbrook. 



DRIFTING. 

FIRST VOICE. 
Drifting, along the dreary waters drifting-. 

Night on the waves, and ne'er a star o'erhead, 
Never a gleam o'er all the waste uplifting, 

Never a ray thro' all the darkness shed. 
Drifting, along ihe dreary waters drifting. 

Whither away, O, soul across the ocean ? 

Dark is the night and dangerous is the sea, 
Sweeter were life with all its wild commotion, 

Better were death than life like this can be. 
Whither away, O, soul across the ocean? 

SECOND VOICE. 

O, heart, why wilt thou weary me with wailing? 

Worn are we both and wasted with the strife, 
Far Irom the toil ;ind tears we twain are sailing, 

Leaving behind the bitterness ol life. 
O, heart, why wilt thou weary me with wailing? 

Be still, sad heart, and cease thy vain repining — 

Be patient, lor the night will soon be past, 
.Somewhere alar a golden shore is shining, 

Thither the flood will bear us at the last. 
Be still, sad heart, and cease thy vain repining. 

Walter Crane. 



There has never been a great man who has not been 
either the victim of laws or the object of human in- 
gratitude.— - Castelar. 



THE AGE. 

WRITTEN AFTER READING "LOCKSLEY HALL SIXTY YEARS AFTER." 
BY W. F. BARNARD. 

This our age that wears upon its front the symbol of the truth, 

Grandest age of all the ages in the promise of its youth, 

Seeking out the great world- purpose, seeking it but to obey, 

Lifting man up into manhood, thrusting ignorance away, 

Bearing all of gathered knowledge that the human mind has jvon 

From the distant primal ages to the latest cycles run, 

Very light of light within it, light nf truth if th;it be light; 

Throwing gleams upon its pathway that erstwhile had slept in night, 

This, this age finds its accuser in a lover of the past, 

Blaming all our growing freedom, saying we have failed at last. 

He who sang in early manhood songs that filled all men with strength, 

Ends his singing, falls in darkness, lays his lyre down at length. 

Broken spirit, broken purpose, all his nobler hope resigned; 

Crying alter vanished shadows in the blindness of his mind. 

Oh the woe, the silent anguish, when a heart that once was free, 

Free in hope and free in purpose, murmurs "Night: I cannot see." 

If the blind say in the mornina "Day is vanished it is ni^ht." 

Is the morning's glory lessened? is there aught the less of light? 

To us all the past is vanished ; to us comes a newer earth: 

All the present days and deeds are but the pangs and throes of birth. 

Say you there is more of sorrow; say you there is more of tears; 

Backward turn your Ihoughts and borrow nobler days or grander years. 

Nobler days; of truer purpose. Noblest days are those that find 

Man through freedom working upward; granting kingship to the mind. 

Wickedness, aye, yes and virtue: virtue for its own true sake; 

Needing not the fear of hell to keep its little life awake. 

Sadness, badness, yes we own it. Was the pa^t the better then? 

Were men good for love of goodness, Or from fear of God and men? 

Crave you happiness; deserve it by the greatness of vour lives; 

He alone is truly happy who most truly lives and strives. 

Is it better that a nation knows no wish but to obey? 

Is the squalid, dumb agreement better than the righteous fray? 

Shall we leave the larger ocean where the freer spirit strives 

For the stagnant pool of custom with its scum of lying lives? 

Is there woe and death; diseases feeding on earth's helpless brood? 

Falter not then, ceaseless effort; that alone will bring the good. 

Ask not thou if all are moving to the same ideal ends; 

Blame not thou our larger freedom if the lower man descends. 

Art thou moving toward the summit, dost thou hear the higher call, 

Then thou shall not cease from lnbor though the stars and heavens fall. 

They who learned the falser lessons stagger now the truth is known; 

They who did their tasks with trembling shirk them now the fear is gone. 

Truth is truth nor will it linger e'en to save a thousand lives; 

Let it come; and you who fear it, back again into your hives! 



THE OPEN COURT. 



55 



Progress from the thought that held mankind accursed, steeped in sin. 

To the higher thought that points but to the soul's own law within, 

Is not universal progress; not all men will love the high; 

Many who through fear mocked virtue, now will grovel till they die. 

Let them die; we will, not li >ger for the sake of those who need 

Promises or threats to keep them in their little space of creed. 

Freer souls must needs yearn upward, something dwelleth in the breast, 

Making all the past seem sordid with a vision of the best. 

Forward toward the perfect day, and forward toward the higher man; 

Springs the greater from the lesser, 'twas for this our life began. 

Man is holv, let him learn it, let him know the right of right; 

Though it take a thousand seasons passed in struggle with the night. 

Evolution: man's own effort is its very seed and strength; 

By his striving it will conquer, bringing perfect day ;it length. 

Oh the vast and mighty purpose, man and his true self apart; 

Oh the thirst, the aspiration; Oh the throbbing human heart! 

Visions fall upon my eyes ; I see the higher man ; his face 

Set on the sun -path; see him moving, merging in the crowning race. 

See him standing all transfigured on that far ideal height, 

Gained at last to find new vistas stretching toward the infinite. 

Oh the mystery of being! Oh the sacredness of man! 

Oh the light of life within us! Oh the future we can scan! 

Come the waves of deep emotion rolling silent through the soul — ; 
Man is holy; let him learn it; he shall gain the perfect goal. 

BOOK NOTICES. 

Letters Medites de Mademoiselle de Lespinasse. Pub- 
lished with new documents and line etude. By Charles Flettrw 
E. Deuter, Galerie d'Orleans, Palais-Royal, 18S7. 

Time evokes quaint contrasts in the march of centuries, and 
the distance that " lends enchantment " gives to eighteenth cen- 
tury chronicles a peculiar charm. From an esthetic as well as 
literary point of view it was the great century of France. Then 
it was that the national spirit had reached its most characteristic 
expression; when classical ideals and foreign influence had 
dissolved away in the birth of a new order and an individuality 
sufficiently pronounced to cast its reflex throughout the civilized 
world, gave to the nation its independent personality. It was the 
eighteenth century that lifted France to her present rank as the 
leader in modern arts (a reputation which modern artists seem 
doing their best to forfeit). It was the eighteenth century that 
popularized, through the trenchant, fascinating pens of its literary 
lights, the new intellectual order destined to culminate in the 
bloody tragedy of its close. The encyclopedists, the Voltaires and 
the Rousseaus, are but types of the genius of the epoch when 
France was a torch-light on the hill-top of civilization. 

It is among the relics of this rich past that the materials of the 
present volume were found. Those precious archives of unpub- 
lished history — the great Paris libraries — are exhaustless fields 
of such literary exploits. Old MSS. bequeathed in dying testa- 
ments; biographical sketches too faithful to bear the light of 
contemporaneous scrutiny ; autograph letters palpitating with 
personal intimacies, designed only for private perusal. One alter 
another these faded, worm-eaten, half-illegible souvenirs of a 
society gone by are dragged from their hiding-places as national 
heirlooms. 

" The Kings of Egypt," says Cochin in his caustic criticism 
of the Count de Caylus, "were not judged till after their 
death; a wise provision, since no one would have dared to judge 
them living." Thus is offered to public perusal, for the 
first time, bits of personality, philosophic and political disserta- 
tions, fragments of individual history, etc., which time alone 
could render publishable. Legendary rehearsals of scenes in 
which the actors come back like ghosts to repeat the old and even 
new story of life's serio-comedy. The ambitious, the speculative, 
the hopeful, the joyous and the suffering — each tells his tale. 



In this last category may be ranged Mademoiselle de Lespi- 
nasse. Born ignobly, though of noble parentage, given an 
education calculated to intensify a native sensitiveness, and then 
left fortuneless by the death of her fond, remorseful mother, just at 
an age requiring guidance and protection, this young lady started 
in society at evident odds; and yet she became^ at the age of 24, 
one of its pivots. 

In the salon of Madame DefTand, the scene of her first success, 
she became the center of a coterie, which later, when the jeal- 
ousy of her protectress determined their separation, grew into a 
wider circle. Here came Turgot, the Count de Guibert, the Count 
de Crillon and the " bon " Condorcet, to whom she writes with 
such solicitude: "Spare your eyes and take frequent baths. 
They will cool your blood overheated by work." For twenty 
years the salon of Mademoiselle de Lespinasse was the resort of 
talent and rank. " D'Alembert drew and she held," was said of 
these two friends whose lives were closely associated for years; 
a tie severed for d'Alembert only by her death. 

And yet, despite this social success — the admiration of an 
ilite world by the force of that personality which made her 
queen in her realm — Mademoiselle de Lespinasse was an unhappy 
woman. One of that vast multitude victimized by blind senti- 
ment, she wasted her best powers in a fatal alternation between 
passion and remorse. Her restless soul, bewildered by an imagi- 
nation forever pursuing phantoms, knew no peace, and the strain 
proved too much for her physical organization. She fell into a 
state of melancholy which led rapidly to the end, hastened, 
probably, by her own hands. 

The letters, inspired by this state of depression, are profound 
psychological studies. It would be impossible, without quoting 
extensively from them, to give the varied shades of this sad 
spirit. She grew touchingly candid at the close of her career, 
and her last letter to d'Alembert — the patient, devoted lover 
through every phase — lays bare the woman's soul. One feels 
that every disguise is here thrown aside in the agony of a 
supreme, final moment. 

It is at six o'clock in the morning, a few days before her 
death, that she writes : 

" I owe you everything. I am so sure of your friendship that 
I exert all my remaining force to sustain a life in which there is 
for me no longer hope or fear. For my sorrow there is neither 
remedy nor consolation, and yet I feel that I owe you a prolonga- 
tion of these days which inspire me with horror. 

"Nevertheless, I cannot count on my will. It may give way 
to my dispair; and I take the precaution to write to ask you to 
burn, without reading, all the papers in the large black forte- 
feuiUe. I should die to look upon the writing of mon ami (the 
Count de Mora, then dead). I have also in my pocket a rose- 
colored fortc-feuille containing his letters that I pray you to burn. 
Do not read them, but keep his portrait for my sake. * * * * 
Farewell, my friend ; do not regret me. Think that in leaving this 
world I find a repose I can no longer hope for here. * * * * 
My death is but a proof of my love for Monsieur de Mora, while 
his has proven a response to my sentiment deeper than I ever 
thought. 

"Alas! when you read this I shall be delivered of the weight 
that is crushing me. * * * * I wish to be buried with the 
ring I have on my finger. Farewell, my friend, forever!" 

Poor d'Alembert. How much the revelation contained in 
the dying appeal of his friend must have added to the poignancy 
of his bereavement. The nature of his sentiment for her is 
nobly expressed in his effusion: "To the shades of Mademoiselle 
de Lespinasse" where he says: "Alas! I have lost with you 
sixteen years of my life." 

He it was, the unwearied friend through all the vicissitudes of 
her restless career, and to him was left the execution of her last 



56 



THE OPEN COURT. 



will and testament, which begins with a request that six hours 
after her death her head shall be opened by a surgeon of " La 
Charite," or any other hospital, and that she may be buried as a 
pauper, " without being exposed under the doorway." 

Proud and passionate to the end, the last hours of this 
unhappy woman are a strange mingling of strength and weak- 
ness. There is now nothing left her but to die — she must die. 

On the night of Mav 23, 1776, friends gather about her bed- 
side, knowing it is the end, and the loss seems to them irrepara- 
ble. With a supreme effort she begs d'Alembert to forgive her 
and falls back unconscious. 

Her last words were those of an American statesman : " Do I 
still live!" 



John B. Alden, New York, has recently issued the first vol- 
umes of a new edition of Guizot's "History of France" in hand- 
some dark morocco, the edges neatly marbled. Price for the 
entire set, to consist of eight uniform volumes, $6.00 per set. 
Other new publications by the same publisher are a small "Handy 
Atlas of the World," containing nearly juo pages, with a map on 
every second page, the opposite page being occupied with descrip- 
tion and statistics. Also Drummond's "Natural Law in the 
Spiritual World," which Bishop Doane calls " a great work." 
Nearly 200 pp.; cloth, 40 cts. 



We welcome to our exchange table, with much pleasure, the 
first number of The Chicago Law Times, a handsome quarterly 
magazine of over 100 pages, edited by a woman, Mrs. Catherine 
V. Waite of this city. Of the dozen leading articles which it 
contains three are by women: " Chief Justice Chase," by Mrs. 
H. M. Tracy Cutler, which is accompanied by a fine frontispiece 
portrait; "Women Jurors in Washington Territory," by LeliaJ. 
Robinson, L.L.B., and "Admission of Women to the Bar," 
by Ellen A. Martin. 11 future numbers keep up to the high 
level of this first one, the magazine will be not only a credit to 
the lady who edits it, but to the legal profession at large. 



St. Nicholas for March is as breezy in tone as the month is 
expected to be in weather. Among its many delightful things in 
the way of pictures, stories, etc., are continuations of the Mexican 
story, "Juan and Juanita," an Alaskan story ; an interesting bit 
of biography in "The Boyhood of Thomas Bailey Aldrich," now 
editor of the Atlantic Monthly, and a new "Brownie" poem and 
pictures, by Palmer Cox. 



Surfeited as we are with the reminiscences and letters of 
our traveling scribes, we welcome none the less heartily what 
Oliver Wendell Holmes begins to tell us, in the Atlantic for 
March, of " Our Hundred Days in Europe," confident that he will 
make us feel, ere its close, that that time is all too limited for our 
pleasure in the recital. James Breck Perkins gives a sketch of 
Theophile Gautier, the French critic; "Longfellow's Art" is 
criticised and enlarged upon by H. E. Scudder; "The Hippo- 
lytos of Euripides" is the subject of an article by W. C. Lawton, 
and Agnes Repplier lias a bright and readable paper on "The 
Curiosities of Criticism." There are poems by James Russell 
Lowell, Louise Chandler Moulton and others, of which the best 
is "Blindfold," by Andrew Hedbrooke. "The Lady from Maine," 
a short story, is concluded in this number. The continued stories 
are by Crawford, and the combination novel by Mrs. Oliphant 
and the editor of the Atlantic. 



The Century for March is quite an art number. Mr. W.J. 
Stillman, the art critic, has an article on "The Coinage of the 
Greeks," from the artistic point of view. The third of Mr. 
Brownell's notes on " French Sculptors," in this number, has four 
full page illustrations, examples of the work of Barrias, Delaplanche, 
Le Feuvre and Fremiet. The introductory paper is given of Mrs. 
Van Rensselaer's series on "The Cathedrals of England," which 
is said to be one of the most important art enterprises ever under- 
taken by this magazine. An article by John T. Stoddard, on 
" Composite Photography," which gives several examples of the 
combined loveliness of the "sweet girl-graduates" of Smith 
College, blending each class into one mysterious whole. Of one 
of these composites, the " Lounger," in a late Critic says: " It was 
a peculiar, a rather uncanny sensation that I experienced in 
gazing at these nine-and-forty sweet girl-graduates baked into a 
photographic pie, as -it were, and served at a Barmacide feast 
where one might see and scent the savory dish, yet must forever 
fail to taste it. It struck me that a writer like Mr. Stockton 
might make much of the idea of a sentimental young man's 
quest in Northampton of the original of this portrait, and his 
being beset by faces singularly like, yet in no instance identical 
with, the one that had charmed him. I make the suggestion 
now, without charge to any one who cares to act on it and is 
competent to do so." A second paper on "Faith-Healing and its 
Phenomena," by Rev. Dr. J. M. Buckley, is preceded by an arti- 
cle by Mr. R. Kelso Carter, one of the leading disciples of the 
faith-cure. The Lincoln history is given considerable space, and 
the one complete story is by Geo. W. Cable. 



OPINIONS OF THE OPEN COURT. 

Capital is the lust number of The Open Court. — Prof. W. D. Gunning. 

I like the appearance of The Open Court very much. It is neat and unos- 
tentatious. I prefer the smaller size of the page, and the wider space between 
the lines is also an improvement. Desp te Mr. Abbott's injunction, it is the 
Index resuscitated under more propitious conditions. The old companions are 
all there. I thought it very considerate of you to let your former colleague to 
have as usual the honor of opening the Court. What serious and arduous work 
you have now before you. To establish Ethic and Religion npoji a scientific 
basis. It is the greatest of all reformatory tasks. — Dr. Edmund Montgomery. 

Your new craft sails well and has good freight. — Thomas Davidson. 

Your first number is here and looks finely.— M. J. Savage. 

I have glanced at The Open Court, like its exterior, form, paper, type, its 
tout ensemble, and also the articles under the different headings, as now only 
glanced at. Hope the O. C. will succeed in bringing much folly to deserved 
judgment and condign punishment. — Wm. Zimmerman, Chicago. 

The Open Court is received. It is evidently going to have some of the 
good things which gave value to the Index. — Chas. Eaton, Toledo, O. 

Came duly in receipt of No. 1. Am highly gratified with its appearance and 
contents. It is an honor to the great cause of Humanity and Reform. Shall do 
my best to obtain subscribers for you. — Otto Wittstein, Rochelle, III. 

I was so mournful for the old Index, hut it seems to me that a phcenix is 
arising from the old ashes that bids fair to wear more attractive plumage than 
even the dear Index. * * I have not yet read thoroughly Mr. Hegeler's 
Essay, but I am sure I like it pretty well, at least. 

Lita Bai'NEY Sayles, Killingly, Conn. 

I have just finished reading the sample first number of vour Journal and it is 
not to natter when I say it more than pleases me. It contains several articles 
of, it seems to me, great merit. Especially that of my namesake, Mr. Potter, 
" The Need for Free-thought Education," is very timely and should be repeated 
by every Liberal paper in the country. — A. L. Potter, I. a Mott, la. 

The first number of The Open Court is full of promise of a great and 
useful future. — T. P. Wilson, M. D., Ann Arbor, Mich. 

The first number of The OrEN Court has a cordial welcome. Clean it 
looks, clear and bright it is. — F. A. Angell, Montclair, N T . J. 



The Open Court, 

A Fortnightly Journal, 

Devoted to the Work of Establishing Ethics and Religion Upon a Scientific Basis. 



Vol. I. No. 



CHICAGO, MARCH 17, 1887. 



t Three Dollars per Year. 
1 Single Copies, 15 cts. 



THE ART OF MAKING POVERTY. 

BY M. M. TRUMBULL. 

Part I. 

It is a grievous fact and "a grievous fault" that 
much poverty exists in the United States to-day. That 
it ought not to exist in a land of such abundance is 
plain. The extent of it is beginning to cause alarm 
and some people think thev hear the rumblings of a 
social earthquake near at hand. Reformers moralize 
about this poverty and seek to relieve it in a superficial 
way, hut the art and privilege of making it are " vested 
rights," which may not be disturbed. So many people 
of influence are interested in the business of making 
poverty, that laws are enacted for their especial benefit, 
which all the political parties promised to maintain. To 
make poverty is the work of Congress, of the State Leg- 
islatures, of the Knights of Labor Parliament, of the 
Trades Union Councils and of the local statutes passed 
by all the mercantile, professional and industrial asso- 
ciations, from the lawyers and doctors down to the 
" brotherhoods " of carpet-layers, car-drivers and scav- 
engers. 

So much poverty is concealed by pride and self- 
respect, that the full extent of it is not easy to know. 
The most reliable measure of it that we are likely to 
get is found in the recent leport of Mr. Carroll D. 
Wright, Commissioner of Labor. In this report, which 
is official and rather conservative, Mr. Wright expresses 
the opinion that there are one million working men out 
of employment in the L>nited States, seven and a half 
per cent, of all the men ordinarily engaged in agricul- 
ture, trade and transportation, mechanical and mining 
industries and manufactures. This is probably an 
under estimate, but even thus, it exposes a substratum 
of poverty in our social system quite sufficient to 
account for the present unrest and discontent of labor. 
By this estimate we can measure the dimensions and 
extent of the distress and crime which now abound in 
that curious mixture of contrasts which we call the civil- 
ization of the nineteenth century. It gives results as 
truly as the merchants yardstick. It proves that the 
other millions who are not out of work are insufficiently 
paid. A million idle workmen looking for a job must 
lower the wages of all those who are at work, first, 
by force of competition, and secondly, because they 



add nothing to the aggregate wealth out of which all 
wages must be paid. A million of workers out of 
work means a surplus of human muscle, an overpro- 
duction of men. A million of artisans and laborers so 
cheap as to be worth nothing, must cheapen all the rest. 
If only one-half of them are married, we behold a 
half a million women and a million children hungry. 
In this low plane of poverty we find the recruiting sta- 
tions for a great army of sports, and tramps, and thieves. 
Dr. Watts himself never suspected how much political 
truth was wrapped up in his warning to lazy bovs, that 

"Satan always finds some work lor idle hands to do." 

He only spoke to willing idlers in that song, but the 
moral of his verse will apply to unwilling idlers too. 
Taking income as the standard of life, we shall find 
that the magnetic power of this substratum is great 
enough to drag down every class in the community one 
degree lower in the scale of living than it ought to be, 
excepting the limited classes for whose benefit the pov- 
erty is made. 

To divert ourselves and others from this gloomy 
spectacle, we beat the patriot gong; we call attention 
to the multiplying riches of the land; we boast of the 
height of our steeples and the splendor of our palaces. 
It is the daily task of newspapers to dazzle us with 
golden rhetoric, to describe for us the glory of the dia- 
monds that sparkled at Mrs. Plutus's reception, and 
the profusion of the midnight feast that tilled a thous- 
and guests with terrapin and wine. We borrow the 
cloak of Dives to hide the sores of Lazarus, and boast 
that we have cured them; but the sores are still there; 
their poison taints the air we live in and multiplies the 
Lazaruses. With amiable goodness we organize charity, 
found as\ lums, endow reformatories, and having 
prescribed for the symptoms, we neglect the disease. 
We leave in active operation the social and political 
machinery that creates the poverty. We make the 
greedy doctrine of ''self-preservation " the active prin- 
ciple of life, and for our social code we borrow the 
ethics of the fishes in the sea. We devour one another, 
and call our civilized cannibalism an act of "self-pres- 
ervation." When we grow rich at the expense of 
others, we pity them, as the victims, not of us, but 
of that lately-discovered law called the survival of the 
fittest. A comforting philosophy teaches us that we 
survive, not because of cunning, strength and appetite. 



5§ 



THE OPEN COURT. 



but because we are the " fittest. " " The world owes me 
a living," says the tramp, "and I'm agoing to have it." 
We call that a low sentiment, and easily prove that it 
is morally unsound, but if we follow the trail of it 
upward through its devious windings in and out, even 
to Plutus's parlor, we shall rind that it is the inspiration 
of much that we dignify as " business." '1 o restore the 
social health we must unmake the poverty. We must 
reverse the machinery of self-preservation and direct it 
to the preservation of us all. 

From the etherial regions of sentimental philan- 
thropy we must descend to the prosy earth. We must 
discuss the moral qualities of such coarse thing as taxes, 
wages, rent, bread, fuel, clothes. These may be unin- 
spiring themes, but in the relations they bear to politics 
ami law, we shall find the mitigation, if not the cure, 
of poverty. The working man's poverty is absolute 
and relative. Absolute in his want of money, rela- 
tive in the dearness of what he must buy. Whatever 
deprives him of work, whatever lowers his wages, 
whatever increases the cost of existence to him and his 
family, helps to make him poor. Taxes weaken him, 
though his name is not found on the assessor's books. 
1 Le is not classed as a "tax-payer," even when he pays 
most of the taxes. Out of the proceeds of his labor a 
very large proportion of the taxes must be paid before 
we come down to the wages-fund at all. The city, 
county and State taxes may seem to concern him not, 
but he will find them in the rent he pays for his tene- 
ment, and in the price of whatever he buys at the store. 
That the laborer is such a " heavy tax-payer " is one of 
the chief causes of his penury. The layer of poverty at 
the base of our social system grows thicker and thicker 
in the direct ratio of increasing taxation. 

Here we come to a serious obstacle in the way of 
social reform, the claim of the politicians to a monopoly 
of party questions, or whatever for the time being they 
choose to regard as " politics." The political econo- 
mist, the professor of social science, and the teacher of 
moral pholosophy, are all warned off the premises occu- 
pied by the "two great parties." The intruders obey 
the warning, partly because they recognize the claim, 
and partly because they themselves fear to be classed as 
politicians. The domain of social science includes 
every political question, and the methods of taxation are 
not the exclusive property of partisan conventions. 
Political economy is nothing more than household 
economy enlarged to the dimensions of the nation. 
Fearing to enter the domain of politics, reformers con- 
fine themselves to the task of soothing pain, instead of 
curing it. They strive to ease distress by acts of 
charity, leaving the big driving-wheel that makes the 
poverty to whirl round and round forever. They 
moralize instead of reversing the engine, because they 
think that only the partv boss has any right to touch it, 



and they are afraid to " speak to the man at the wheel." 
They talk to classes numbering millions, as if they were 
talking to two men. They advise employers to be just 
to the employed, and they tell the employed to recipro- 
cate the justice. They forget that in the competition 
of business the selfish men dictate the policy of all. The 
law makes giants, and then kind-hearted moralists quote 
Shakespeare to them, and remind them that, 

"Tis well to have :i giant's strength, 

But tyrannous to use it like :t giant." 

In their admiration for the sentiment, they do not notice 
that it is philosophically unsound, because in actual 
competition a giant cannot use his strength to its full 
advantage in any other way than " like a giant." In 
discussing social remedies and the causes that make 
poverty, we must consider not only the personal vices of 
improvidence and drink, but the public vices which lie 
concealed in the extent and methods of taxation, ami in 
the methods of the •' self-preservation " societies of 
every degree. 

Our grammar admits of three degrees of compari- 
son, and in analogy we separate society into three 
classes, the upper, lower and middle. Each of these, 
however, may be subdivided into a hundred different 
grades of " quality." We have many flights of social 
stairs rising one above another, from the abject plane 
of mere hopeless animal existence, to the gorgeous 
upper floor whose velvet carpets are trodden only by 
millionaires. The purpose of life is to climb from the 
stair we occupy now to the one above. Our method of 
doing it is to pull down those on the upper step to 
make room for ourselves, and to push down those on 
our own level to the tier directly below. This is called 
the "struggle for existence," the "battle of life." 
While there is much varying fortune in the conflict, and 
many ups and downs, yet the killed and wounded in our 
present social war far outnumber in four years the losses 
inflicted by the civil war from 1S61 to 1865. The cost 
of the social war, in actual wealth, dwarfs the cost of 
the civil war to nothing. Where opportunities are 
unequal, the balance of advantage in this fight must be 
with wealth and cunning. In this elbowing and hust- 
ling, thousands of the "unfittest" are crowded lower 
and lower down even to the bottom step, and from 
there into the pit of actual want; aye, into that lower 
deep still where pestilence breeds, and out of whose 
dingy slums crime sallies forth at night. 

Combination to limit production and increase prices, 
is an active maker of poverty. Aided by the principle 
of exclusion or the " freeze-out " process, its mischiev- 
ous operation is very great. The consolidation of 
capital into "pools" is continually reducing the number 
of "hirers" and adding to the number of the "hired." 
As to the self-employer, he is rapidly becoming extinct. 
Time was when an energetic man, with a set of tools 



THE OPEN COURT. 



59 



and a trade, could start for himself and make his own 
living ; he can rarely do so now, except as a cobbler and 
mender. He is crowded into the ranks of the "hired," 
to intensify the struggle for existence among them. 
This, too, is the impending fate of the smaller manu- 
facturers and of nearly all the business classes of limited 
capital. 

Combinations to limit production and increase prices 
are criminal by the moral law, and yet they are encour- 
aged and assisted by the statutes of the land. The trib- 
ulations of a lump of coal in its travels from the mine to 
the mechanic's grate, furnish dramatic evidence of the 
poverty-making ability of these combinations. 

Before the mine-owners will allow a pick to touch 
the coal, thev require that seventy-five cents a ton 
be added to the price of it by Act of Congress. This 
•done, they, instead of making coal plentiful by going to 
work and developing the mines in competition with 
each other, actually form a "pool" and agree to limit 
production in order to make it scarce. They literally 
make an "allotment" to each member in the syndicate 
of the quantity he shall mine. They then fix the price 
at which the coal shall be sold: By this time the lump 
•of coal is out of the ground and ready to be sent to the 
market. Here the railroads are taken into the con- 
spiracy, and they agree to assist the syndicate by 
discriminating tariffs against all competitors. To com- 
pensate them, a few cents more must be added to the 
price of coal. The lump now gets to the wholesale 
market where the wholesale merchants dump it into 
another " pool," which they have made for their own 
monopoly. They add another artificial price to it by 
various boycotting devices, and especially by forbidding 
mine-owners to sell directly to the retail trade. The 
lump of coal now passes into the " pool " of the retail 
dealers, who have already formed a combination to boy- 
cott the wholesale dealers if they dare to sell directly to 
the consumers. The retail dealers fix the final price 
of the lump of coal. At every step of its way, from 
the coal-cellar where nature stored it away in the ages 
long ago, to the stove in the poor man's home, an 
unnatural piece has been added to the lump of coal by 
artificial methods in violation of good morals and con- 
trary to public policy. At every stage of its progress 
honest men, who would not join the syndicates, and poor 
men, who could not join them, have been " frozen out" 
and driven into other business, or else into the over- 
crowded ranks of the hired classes, or else into the 
army of idlers and the inevitable "pool" of poverty. 

The above example may be multiplied by nearly the 
full number of articles necessary for existence. Like 
the lump of coal, everything we use, from the wheat in 
th» stack to the washerwoman's paper of starch, is put 
to the torture at every step of its progress from the 
place of its production to the consumer's home. The 



result of the process in the manufacture of a very 
troublesome grade of poverty. A few specimens, taken 
at random from the newspapers, will show the method 
and quality of the work. The " Barbed Wire Men " 
met at the Sherman House in Chicago, Nov. 17, 1S85. 
It was announced that "the object of the meeting was 
to effect the formation of a strong pool which would 
completely control the production of the entire wire 
manufacturing interests of the country and arrange an 
unalterable scale of prices to which all must adhere. It 
was resolved that a curtailment of the product was the 
only means to maintain high prices and enable the 
manufacturers to reap corresponding profits." 

On the 15th of June, 1S86, at Erie, Pa., there was a 
meeting of " The Tarred Felt Paper Association " The 
dispatch announcing the meeting, says : " There were 
represented in person and by proxy a capital of $22,- 
000,000, which was pooled for one year. It is believed 
that it is the intention to crowd out the small manufact- 
urers.'''' 

On the 14th of April, 1886, a meeting of starch 
manufacturers was held at Chicago. The report of 
it says: "The specific object of the meeting was to 
form a pool to control the price of starch. For several 
months past this article has been cheaper than is strictly 
necessary for the benefit of the manufacturers, and the 
scheme is to form a combination strong enough to brace 
up the prices. It was not definitely decided whether to 
limit the product of each manufactory to a certain pro- 
portion of its capacity, or to adopt some other method 
of retrenchment." 

On the 10th of February, 1SS6, " The Western 
Wooden Ware Manufacturers" met in Chicago. Here 
is an extract from the report of the proceedings: " The 
prevailing schedule of prices and productio?! was 
ordered to remain in full force until the quarterly meet- 
ing, when a general overhauling of prices will be had, 
and those who are accused of underselling will be called 
to a strict accountability." 

The following is an extract from a report of the 
proceedings of the " Mattress Makers " : " The manufact- 
urers of woven-wire mattresses yesterday completed 
the arrangements for the formation of a permanent 
organization to control the trade in their particular line 
of goods. The combination will be called the National 
Wire Mattress and Spring Bed Association, and will 
have for its object the mutual protection of its members, 
and will exercise full control over the percentage of 
production and the regulation of market prices for 
goods." 

These are a few specimens that might be multiplied 
indefinitely. They are enough to show some of the 
evils of the social war. To limit production is to limit 
the sum total of possible wealth, and thereby to make 
poverty. To increase prices by making scarcity adds 



6o 



THB OPBN COURT. 



to the cost of existence. This to the rich man is an 
inconvenience, to the man of moderate means a hard- 
ship, to the laborer hunger, cold, and sickness. It is 
well for us that some of those conspiracies fail, but it is 
deplorable that many of them succeed, and the aggregate 
result of them is a vast quantity of machine-made pov- 
erty that needs only organization and leadership to 
smite society as the hammer of Watt Tyler smote the 
tax-gatherer. We thank the Creator for abundance, and 
then make laws and regulations to promote scarcity. 
To make dearness is to make poverty, to limit produc- 
tion is to throw laborers out of work and into destitu- 
tion. 

The fiercest fighting on this unnatural battle-field is 
not over there on the right flank where capital and 
labor are contending, nor over yonder on the left where 
organized monopolies in battalion columns are trampling 
down all weaker competition, and all independent 
rivalry; it is right here in the center of the field where 
labor is wasting its powers in a senseless wrestle with 
labor. The so-called " conflict " between capital and 
labor is mere friendly emulation when compared with 
the bigoted conflict between labor and labor. Shaped 
into trades-union legislation the jealousy of working 
men toward each other is an active make of poverty. 



THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO DISLIKE TOBACCO. 

UV ANNA GARI.IN SPENCER. 

A woman, not overstrong, and tired with a year's 
hard work, starts for a sea-shore resort to spend the 
summer vacation and get rested and well. She first 
takes a comfortable seat in a parlor-car. At the end of" 
the car and near her chair is partitioned off a select 
" smokers' apartment." The fumes from within that en- 
closure steal out and make her feel ill. She asks of the 
porter the privilege of exchanging her seat for one 
further removed from this smokers' apartment. Her 
request fortunately can be granted. She makes herself 
comfortable once more, with an inward protest against 
the favoritism which allows smokers to so nearly defraud 
her of the better air, for which, together with the more 
room, she has paid her extra fare. A seat next to her 
new resting-place is vacant, but she sees a bag and 
papers which indicate that it has an occupant to come. 
Soon the owner of the seat appears. He has been hav- 
ing a chat with friends and a smoke in the " regular," 
not the parlor-car " smoker." His clothing and person 
are saturated with old and new flavors of the weed. He 
removes a heavy woolen coat, and puts on a cool 
"duster." The coat is hung on the hook next our trav- 
eler, and the air from the ventilator which she has had 
opened for her benefit, wafts its condensed aroma directly 
to her nostrils. By and by a gentleman from the "par- 



lor-car smoker " comes in, and greets cordially the gen- 
tleman from the " regular smoker," and asks him " to have 
a game" in the little room sacred to the smoking-clan; 
and all the while he is talking about matters and things. 
in general, leaves the door of said apartment open. The 
woman traveler begs the porter to " shut that door." 
As he does so the two men look at her as if she must be 
a trifle peculiar. They then leave her for their game, 
and doubtless another smoke; to return in a half-hour, 
take seats on either side of her, and industriously 
"season" her with breath and clothing to the secondary 
aroma of pipe and cigar. An aching head and a rebel- 
lious stomach almost forbid brain exercise, but the suf- 
ferer cannot help starting a train of wondering some- 
thing after this fashion: "Wonder why the same mo: ey 
buys a non-smoker, or any man, the use of two and even 
three seats- -one in the regular smoker, one in the par- 
lor-car smoker, and one in the ordinary or parlor-car, 
and buys a woman only one seat? Wonder why the 
railroad officials don't secure the woman that one free 
from tobacco smoke? Wonder if smokers know how 
offensive they make themselves to many people? Wonder 
if they would care if they did know? Wonder if there 
is anything in 'the weed' which makes men less gentle- 
manly, as they assuredly are, respecting smoking than in 
any other particular? Wonder if there is any place this 
side of heaven where one can breathe pure air?" 

At this point her station of exchange for another 
road is reached, and our traveler goes from the hot car 
into a stifling little waiting-room. A card in the ladies' 
room says " no smoking allowed," but the gentleman's 
room is divided from her waiting-place only by an open 
archway, and almost all the occupants of it seem inclined 
to the favorite "nerve-soother." 

After a little more car travel the steamboat is reached 
which is to take the Pilgrim to her destination. Even 
the "ancient and fish-like smell " of the wharf is refresh- 
ing, and with delight she establishes herself on the for- 
ward deck, which will be the shady and breezy end of 
the boat when the steamer turns out into the broad bay. 
A seat is selected where the back can be rested against 
the walls of the upper saloon, and with only a few heads 
in sight, and those of strangers who are naught to her T 
and who do not much obstruct her view, our traveler's 
joy begins. "The sea, the opaline, the beautiful, the 
strong," what a magic cure is it for the headache and the 
heart-weariness and the temper-annoyance. The breeze 
freshens, the billows dance, the swell grows heavier. 
Ah! this is life! What grateful thoughts well up in 
answer to nature's bounty of healing and of joy. Worth 
while is the strain and stress of laborious days if by them 
one earn the right to so enjov this glorious summer 
world ! 

Just at this moment of content and happiness, the 
quick senses of the traveler detect the familiar and hated 



THE OPEN COURT. 



6 1 



tobacco smoke. There is her neighbor of the parlor- 
car. He is indulging in another cigar. He leans over 
the rail in front of his victim, and puffs and puffs his 
column of airy contamination right into the sea breezes 
which were so full of healing for body and mind but a 
minute before. The glory is gone. The little tobacco 
fiend gains a speedy victory over great nature's purity 
and peace. 

The purser comes around, and " Is smoking allowed 
on this boat?" is the dispairing question. 

" Yes'm, on this forrard part. There's nobody smok- 
in' at the other end." 

" But the other end is sunny and has no breeze. Here 
is where I wish to stay, and," raising her voice a little, 
" tobacco smoke is very disagreeable to me and makes 
me ill." 

"Sorry, num. Perhaps you'd like to go into the 
saloon. Ladies mostly do." 

The saloon! Hot, stuffy, and with a party of excur- 
sionists dancing as nimbly as the motion of the boat will 
allow, to the wheezes of a parlor organ from which an 
unwilling waltz is being coaxed! Saloon, indeed! 

The gentleman with the cigar has heard the remon- 
strance and gallantly throws the end of his cigar into the 
sea, but looks as if a woman who "would make a fuss 
over a good cigar in a public place" was beneath con- 
tempt. 

A little peace, and then three men sit near the rail of 
the lower deck and smoke. And several promenaders 
come and go with pipes and cigars and the traveler 
gives it up, she can keep her seat no longer. 

She perches herself on the outermost seat of the 
deck, hanging to the rail in most uncomfortable fashion, 
still fighting for pure air. 

At last the journey is ended; the hotel reached; the 
good supper dispatched with an already quickened appe- 
tite; and the piazza, which has been recommended as 
among the chief attractions of the place, is eagerly 
sought. It is indeed an entrance-way to one of nature's 
grandest temples. The fierce hot day is going out gently 
to meet the lovely night. A broad stretch of heaving 
sea mirrors the gorgeous sunset sky, and the trees near 
the cliff-walk show grand and gloomy in the twilight. 
" Perfect," sighs the traveler in blissful praise. 

But here comes the crowd of people from the dining- 
room. And ten out of the fourteen men light cigars 
and seat themselves within a few feet of our new-comer. 
She must either endure the sickening annoyance, or go 
in out of the glory; into her little close room which is 
not on the " view " side of the house. She is too tired 
to walk beyond the range of her tormentors to-night; 
but she foresees that she will have to do that all the sum- 
mer or lose her sunset beaut}'. Is it any wonder that 
her blissful mood is again destroyed when she considers 
that she is paving as much for the privilege of being 



driven from the common piazza as these men are for 
using it? 

Men and brethren, ought these things so to be? 
Is there not a question of right involved in a con- 
dition which bears so hardly upon one side and gives 
the other so vast an advantage? Why should the smoker 
be given, or take, the mean privilege of driving from 
comfort to misery all those who dislike tobacco, even in 
the most public places? Can anyone explain on prin- 
ciples of justice, or good-breeding, the right of the 
smoker to render the air of cars, steamboats, public 
coaches, hotels and boarding-houses, and all other places 
where he elects to be, disagreeable and often sickening? 
It has been truly said that "smoking is the only vice that 
all people are compelled to share the effects of in their 
own persons." If my neighbor drinks whisky I am -not 
obliged to take even a drop into my system. But if my 
neighbor smokes, I am obliged, as long as he remains 
my neighbor on the piazza or other place of resort, to 
inhale some of the poison he is consuming. There is 
much to say about the pecuniary waste and physical 
harm of tobacco-using as a personal habit. But the sole 
purpose of this article is to draw attention to the infringe- 
ment upon the rights of those who dislike tobacco, per- 
petrated by tobacco-users, and sanctioned by those who 
cater to a tobacco-using public. This aspect of the 
question has passed beyond the boundaries of taste, or 
preference, or conventional good manners. It has 
entered the domain of ethics. The point now to be 
determined is in brief this: Have those who dislike 
tobacco any rights which tobacco-users are bound to 
respect ? 

If my neighbors in the city like the smell of decay- 
ing garbage about their houses, or think it wholesome 
and pleasant to keep a dirty pig in the cellar, I can com- 
plain of them to the sanitary authorities, and have the 
nuisance removed, in spite of their personal tastes in the 
matter. But if I take a sick baby into the country for 
pure air and wholesome surroundings, and the inmate of 
the room next mine chooses to poison the atmosphere of 
his own and my apartment through the open windows 
and thin partitions with a nasty pipe, or a meaner cigar- 
ette, I have probably no redress but to change my board- 
ing-place. So debauched is the public conscience in this 
regard that any complaint of the omnipresent pollution 
is considered a foolish personal idiosyncrasy, to be disre- 
garded as soon and as often as desired. It is considered 
by the majority of hotel -keepers, railroad and steamboat 
officials and servants, and all who purvey to the taste of 
travelers and boarders, that the smoker has the right, 
and that the complainant is seeking to enforce a peculiar 
hobby of his own. The good-natured smoker will 
throw away his cigar if you frankly say it is disagree- 
able to you, but he very evidently thinks he is making 
concession to an extraordinary weakness on your part, 



62 



THE OPEN COURT. 



anil that that weakness will soon make you as disagree- 
able in his eyes as his cigar can be in your nostrils. 

It is high time that this inversion of the principles of 
right was exposed to just light. It is high time that the 
man who uses a public place for the indulgence of a 
private habit which is positively injurious and disagree- 
able to many, who have paid as high a price for their 
use of that public place as he, should understand that lie 
is iltc'off aider against right and propriety, and not the 
person who complains of his pipe or cigar. It is high 
time that petitions setting forth the injustice of the present 
favoritism shown tobacco-users were presented to all who 
now pander to this false sentiment and discrimination, 
and the rights of those who want pure air insisted upon. 

We cannot hope to cleanse our streets of the filth 
and foul air that smokers and chewers torment the cleanly 
with. It may be too much to ask that the man who 
elects the smoking-car for the first half of his journey 
be forced to stay in it for the second half, rather than to 
make himself a nuisance to some one else. But at least, 
let us "strike" for the abolition of the smokers' apart- 
ment in the parlor-car, and for unconditional prohibition 
of smoking in and about the pleasantest places of resort 
in hotels, and public parks, and gardens, and all the 
nooks and corners where the non-smoking class most do 
congregate. And let this be demanded as a right; not 
begged as a kindness. 



CHATS WITH A CHIMPANZEE. 

P.Y MON'CCRE I). CONWAY. 
Part I. 

On a fair day I found myself in Benares, sacred city 
of the Hindus. I had seen, many cities built by men, 
but now for the first time beheld one built by gods. It 
is a City of Temples, and houses ministrant to temples. 
It has no trade save in gods. Its population is a pro- 
cession of pilgrims which started out in immemorial 
time; every day a new population following that which 
departs, while outside may be seen through the night the 
watch-fires of those who on the morrow will fill street 
and temple, kneel at a thousand shrines, consult the 
oracular well, buy gilt gods with shell currency, receive 
baptism in the Ganges, partake of sacramental food, 
offer sacrifices, and pass onward. As I wander through 
the streets, stopping here and there to purchase little 
deities, or float slowly on the Ganges, some vista opens 
occasionally into my own past. Once I too knelt 
with that ashen fakir before Siva, — the Consuming Fire. 
These throngs whom priests are immersing — have I not 
seen them in the Rappahannock river? Have I not 
tasted those little eucharistic cakes blest and distributed 
to the " new creature," who, born again of the water 
and spirit, must eat onlv divine food, manna, wild 



honey? How often to-day have I seen John the Baptist 
clad in camel's hair? The pyre is aflame. The widows, 
no more permitted to ascend in the fire-chariot with their 
lords, bathe in the river near by. One body the pariahs 
are burying — one that died of small-pox. The Small- 
pox is, bv euphemism, a deity; it is angry if any form 
whereof it takes possession is burnt, and its sacred self 
scorched. Therefore, here is the one exception to cre- 
mation. Small-pox superstitions are not confined to 
India; thousands of Canadian peasants believe, it is said, 
that they who suffer that disease receive a certain con- 
secration — no doubt a survival from the Hindu faith. 
Indeed, as I roam through Benares, few incomprehen- 
sible things meet my eye. I carry a large bunch of old 
keys, gathered from the spiritual lands through which 
my own pilgrimage has led me, one or another of 
which, with some filing, will fit the most complex of 
these ancestral locks. But these keys, long kept in my 
mental museum, unlock similar doors to dissimilar scenes 
in East and West. Behind the Western altar and 
sacrament are substantial secularities; the old charms 
are turned to uses not evolved from them, just as my 
purse-full of cowries (shells) turn into brass idols, unre- 
lated to the mollusks that shaped them. In London or 
New York my creed or sacrament shall bring me vari- 
ous profit and promise of the life that now is. But here 
at Benares the creed and sacrament are not cast shells 
turned to currency; they are alive; the whole of human 
life is turned into an inorganic formation on which dwell 
and move forms fossilized in the West, or represented 
if at all in some fanatical lusus natures. 

One morning I thought I had made a discovery. I 
set out before me the gods and goddesses purchased at 
their bazaar on the previous day, and meditated on them. 
I thought of the masses I had seen almost treading one 
on the other to get near the images here copied, — the 
Destroyer, the elephant-headed god, and other monstrosi- 
ties; above all the hideous Kali, skull-girt, blood-lap- 
ping, in one hand a sword in the other a cut-off head. 
Then a little monkey-god caught my eve, and the secret 
of the whole thing flashed on me. What I was wit- 
nessing at Benares stood revealed as a survival of super- 
stitions not merely pre-historic but pre-human! It was 
the ancient anthropoid beliefs which man had here 
inherited, and embodied in symbols and shrines. 

Thereupon it occurred to me that I had not yet 
visited one of the most famous temples in Benares, or 
even in India — the Monkey Temple. Straightway I 
summoned my interpreter, a Mohammedan, and jour- 
neyed to that Temple. Near the outer door the pave- 
ment was wet with blood of the morning sacrifice; I 
had to pick my way to the entrance. A priest met me 
and threw around my neck a wreath of yellow flowers, 
—nasturtium-like, — which rendered me sacred enough 
to enter. At an inner door a pretty boy appeared 



THE OPEN COURT. 



63 



holding a salver piled with honey-cakes and sweet- 
meats, of the kind desired hv monkeys. I bought a 
liberal allowance and was conducted within. My inter- 
preter, remembering from a previous ramble my inter- 
est in Sacred Trees, guided me to a huge and very 
ancient one in the farther court, around which holy men 
were engaged in austerities. In the hollow of that tree 
lay a monkey and her new-born babe. I saw the 
mother's soft eves looking out* without fear. Before 
my vision rose a scene of some simian cult, out of which 
that of cruel Kali could hardly be developed. This 
was better than butchering kids before a fury. I felt 
a thrill of happv emotion that beyond the blood-stained 
pavement I had found this consecration of the maternal 
principle even in the humblest beginnings of our race. 
But my new theory was slightly shaken. 

From this point we passed into the main court. The 
temple mainly consists of roofless courts within courts: 
into the roofed parts I did not enter. Here was a won- 
drous, a charming scene! Hundreds of monkevs were 
engaged in their slumberous sun-worship on the roofs, 
their furzy forms decorating, as if with animated moss, 
the maro >n-grav walls, some of the vounger ones play- 
ing like children in a corner of the court. Some two 
score were seated along the quaintly-carven cornices, 
and when thev saw me enter, my hands full of sweet- 
meats, slowlv descended. There was no rus ing, no 
scramble; indeed they appeared rather desirou£ of 
according a polite welcome to the visitor than of receiv- 
ing anything from him. Thev descended lazih an ! 
gracefully — here a foot on some saintly symbol, there a 
hand on some holv image, swinging gently to the paved 
floor. Thev approached without any f< ar or pert curi- 
osity; they did not holdout begging hands, nor propose 
to take up a collection. No one prayed to another, 
nor to the Brahman, nor to me. When I offered cakes 
and swei tmeats some accepted, and munched languidly. 
Their plump bodies were plainly made of plenitude of 
sweetmeats, but thev ate a little, as if not wishing to 
hurt mv feelings. There were several varieties of 
them; there were dark faces anil light faces, and some 
that bore witness to the legalitv of miscegenation. 
There was evidently no color line in this happv com- 
munitv. After a few minutes the young ones returned 
to their play, I observed that thev danced around in 
a ring, as the Hindus never do. Indeed, the Hindus never 
dance at all for amusement; their only dancers are the 
temple-dancers (Nautch girls) who merely describe a 
passion or poem with pantomimic gesticulation. An 
old Anglo-Indian said that a Hindu gentleman would 
rather commit any crime than dance, and it cannot be 
far from the truth. The younger monkevs danced; the 
middle-aged poked a little mild fun at each other; the old 
ones climbed again to their cornices, and to slumber in 
the soft sunshine. 



Gradual!) all of them left me save one. This one 
had attracted mv attention at first because he seemed to 
be a Chimpanzee, a species not to be expected in that 
region. He may not have been one zoologically, but I 
shall call him one because he was such cerebrallv — I 
may even sav spiritually. I had given him at first the 
finest cake I had; he had tasted it and smacked his lips, 
giving me to understand that it was delicious; but I s iw 
that he did not care for it at all, and when a young 
monkey came — his spoilt daughter perhaps — and 
snatched it out of his hand he only matte a show of 
pursuing her. While she sat quite near, eating it, this 
sage old monkey seemed satisfied. When she had gone 
after the rest he remained and looked at me steadily; 
also with a certain humor in his countenance, which 
inspired both confidence and interest. There was some- 
thing in his expression which reminded me of the 
negro's remark when an organ-grinder brought his 
ape through the plantation: he had no doubt the little 
brother could talk easily enough if he wasn't afraid 
of a hoe being put in his hand. 1 felt a desire to 
be with this quiant acquaintance when Brahman ami 
Moslem eyes were not on us. I dismissed my inter- 
preter and the priest, sat down on a stone bench, and 
offered the Chimpanzee mv remaining sweetmeats. 
He regarded this as a friendly overture", and came a 
little closer. He climbed on a little parapet of the wall, 
where, half reclining, he was still as any other god in 
his shrine. Then occurred the first of a series of inter- 
views which I consider interesting enough to pass from 
the Temple Court of Benares to The Open Court of 
Chicago. 



THE EVOLUTION OF CHARACTER AND ITS RELA- 
TION TO THE COMMONWEAL. 

BY MISS M. S. GILI.II.ANI>. 

The attainment of the greatest possible amount of 

social happiness I take to be the noblest of human aims; 

the highest within the range of our faculties; and, being 

within that range, worthy of belief, hope and endeavor 

the highest endeavor of rational beings. 

The importance of this subject needs no demonstra- 
tion to students of ethics. There is. however, a large 
class in whom the feeling which long ago found utter- 
ance in the "how long, oh Lord, how long;" the 
revolt against the miser)' of the world with the wild 
wish to help it, often occurs as the result of some jar 
(alas, how common!) to the social sympathies, but in 
whom the wish dies down, drowned in an ocean of 
hopelessness as to the bettering of social relations, or 
chilled to death by the mist of a supposed pious sub- 
mission to "the order of things." To those who feel 
but do not see, I should like to give what little help I can. 

There is another class, those who do not think 
about it at all, whose individual aims absorb their entire 



6 4 



THE OPEN COURT. 



attention. To them I should like to point out the sim- 
ple fact that the conditions most essential to the happi- 
ness of their fellows are precisely the conditions most 
essential to the attainment of their own; so that by pro- 
moting the former they inevitably promote the chances 
of the latter. A short-sighted egoism continually 
defeats itself. 

First then to those who would fain better things 
but know not how. 

We bear the burden of many sorrows and suffer, 
on all sides, the pain of baffled desires. Is there no 
help for us? 

Must we console ourselves with the pious by saying: 
" Here we have no abiding city ;" " we are but strangers 
and pilgrims bound for another shore." " Yonder" lies 
our home. " Here we are on our trial, 'tis a state of pro- 
bation ; we will bear it as such and try to be virtuous, 
knowing that our lot beyond depends upon our action 
here." Or, if this belief be taken from us, must we lose 
all hope? Must we regard humanity as a forlorn 
stream of sentient beings, doomed forever by a deluding 
instinct to propagate their species, born forever into 
hope, and pass forever through Disillusion to Despair, 
surrounded on all sides by iron law, flinging themselves 
against Fate like impotent waves that dash against the 
rocks and chafe only themselves? Our outlook is for- 
tunately not restricted to these two views, neither of 
which give us much hope for our life here and now. 

There is a third view which would teach us that 
'• all evil results from non-adaptat on of constitution and 
conditions," and that this evil is ever tending to disap- 
pear by the gradual adaptation of constitution every- 
where going on. The special non-adaptation with 
which we have here to do is that of the human race to 
a social state. Long continuance of savage life and the 
survival of the fittest for such a life produced a charac- 
ter in many respects opposed to that necessary for 
comfortable social relations. Egoism was enormously 
developed; Right meant simply Might; Sympathy was 
prevented from developing, partly bv the warlike 
habits of the savage and partly by the individual 
independence which gave rise to but few occasions of 
common suffering or common rejoicing. Necessity 
formed habit and habit formed character. But condi- 
tions were gradually changing. Increase of popula- 
tion necessitated the agglomeration of tribes, a division of 
labor and an immense increase in the amount of labor, 
needful to supply so largely increased a community. 
The wants and needs became vastly multiplied too, in 
accordance with a universal law, that " every change 
produced a diversity of effects." Hut change of char- 
acter must ever lag behind change of conditions; 
because the former is the product of the latter. Hence 
it is that this heterogeneous, complex social life has 
evolved needs and wants on every side, which, as yet, 



humanity is incapable of responding to. The constitu- 
tion is not adapted to the conditions, hence the evil. 
Have we careles servants; have we slothful men of 
business; have we lying, thieving officials; have we 
aching heads from overstudy or aching backs from over- 
work ; each and all, and a host of other ills with them are 
to be attributed to the same general cause — the imperfect 
adaptation of mankind and the needs of social life. 

This view casts a flood of light on our condition, 
gives us a ground of hope for the gradual amelioration 
of our lot and enables us to give a reason for the hope 
that is in us. But it does more. In showing us the 
good it incidentally reveals to us the means of attainment. 
Complete adaptation of character to the needs of social 
life is the goal; necessity, as we have seen, compels 
habit or crushes the rebel ; and habit forn s character. 
Here we have at once a guide for our individual lives 
and for our endeavor for the lives of others. Do 
we want to become a clever pianist, we practice play- 
ing the piano; do we want to teach a child to sew, 
we make it practice sewing. " Practice makes per- 
fect" is the pronouncement of general experience on the 
subject; and we shall find it as true of virtues and 
tastes as of any mechanical dexterity. 

Let us then in our own lives endeavor to form 
desirable habits; and in so far as we may be able to 
influence the lives of others, let us try to demonstrate 
to fehem the all-importance of this magician habit, and 
let us try to remove stumbling blocks from his path. 
This last much-needed aid may be rendered by us in 
various ways. 

First — Bv the avoidance of an indiscriminate charity. 
Let us try to help those most who are most able to 
help themselves, those upon whom the pressure of out- 
ward circumstances has been calamitous, rather than 
those out-distanced in the race of life by reason of i er- 
sonal incapacity, whether physical, mental or moral. 
It is a most salutary law that punishment should fall 
upon defect, and we are wrong and retard that so desir- 
able adaptation of character and capacity to the needs of 
social life when we help to make punishment inappre- 
ciable. 

Secondly — By our advocacy of independence in 
every individual member of the community. Let us not 
forget the rule. Necessity fotms habit and habit, alone, 
forms character. How short-sighted, then, is the policy 
that would take from those least developed and least 
fitted for social duties the pressure of that necessity 
which is above all things best fitted to develop their 
capacity a' d fit them for efficient membership of the 
body social. Would we see industry flourish ami idle- 
ness become irksome? Let us encourage no law which 
would secure to any class a life of luxurious idleness. 
Would we see thrift grow and waste disappear? Let 
us not lighten responsibility nor lift burdens natural to 



THE OPEN COURT. 



65 



any given relation. The paternal government which 
would save a people not from their sins but from their 
sin's consequences, which would interfere between an 
act and its natural results whether it be bv lifting from 
the shoulders of prostrate female virtue the burden of 
the support of illegitimate offspring, or from parental 
shoulders in gene al the burden of children's education, 
or in any other way whatsoever that government does 
its people grievous wrong. It keeps them children, 
not indeed with the innocence and teachableness of 
childhood, but with its ignorance, incapacity of self- 
help and inadequate sense of responsibility. 

These things I say chiefly with regard to laws and 
enactments, and our intelligent attitude toward them. 
Help may be given personally where the results of 
incapacity press with extreme severity; but let it be 
personal help, let it at least develop sympathy in the 
helper; and let it be judicious. Let it never be of a kind 
to encourage the moral offender to offend with impu- 
nity, or to place inferiority of any kind, on a par with 
superiority. 

That brings us to the consideration of the third and 
perhaps greatest of all the means at our disposal for 
helping our fellows: the development of sympathy. 
Tust as egoism is the chiefest preventive to happiness in 
the social state, so is sympathy its principal producer. 
All those ills at least, which we suffer from one 
another, ills of omission and commission, all are attrib- 
utable to poverty of sympathy. Did we realize clearly 
the vexations caused by our misdeeds, and did the 
realization pain us, we would certainly act better. 
How then to cultivate this sympathy? It must be the 
business not of laws at all, but of individual effort. 
Let us enter into relation with others as widely as pos- 
sible, let us encourage co-operation of every kind, so 
that we may kindle our fellow-feeling and have occa- 
sions of common sorrow and joy; and let us help per- 
sonally. Even if at first we must need force ourselves 
to do so, eventually the desire will reward the 
habit. Interest in those we help flourishes marvelously 
quickly. 

Let us try, too, to break down class prejudices, to 
do justice in our own estimates of those who differ most 
widely from us, and to promote that mutual knowledge 
of classes which best helps each to do justice and feel for 
the other. But, above all, let us try to make our 
interest identical by equitable relationships that shall be 
complimentary rather than rival— remembering that "a 
fellow-feeling makes one wondrous kind." 

Necessary limitations of space scarcely admit of my 
saying anything to that second class to whom I would 
address myself: those who do not care about the com- 
mon weal or happiness, whose interest is purely egotisti- 
cal. One would indeed almost feel inclined to leave them 
without a word — for they are a contemptible class 



but that they, by their action, may imperil that weal, 
about which if they do not care we do. 

Know then, O thou narrow and miserable soul, 
that thv so much prized happiness js to be accomplished 
in no other way than by just the very means which has 
been recommended to thy nobler brother. Think, all 
ve such, if you can think, and learn! Are you cheated 
by your grocer? Are you pilfered from bv your 
servants? Do you lose money over inefficient and lazy- 
work-people? Do the shafts of your carriage break 
upon sudden strain because of unsound wood? Do you 
lose your nearest and dearest or do you yourself run 
the risk of being plunged into death by the breaking of 
hridges immorally constructed? Are you poisoned by 
evil odors from badly-made drains, or reduced to beggary 
by the dishonesty of debtors? Are you suffering from 
any of all the thousand ills which rascality and inefficiency 
daily subject us to? Know then: all these ills are trace- 
able to the s 1 me general cause: non-adaptation of constitu- 
tion to conditions, inefficiency of character to meet the 
needs of social life. And think : does it not concern yoti 
personally that those conditions shall bemiintained which 
alone will mould character in the necessary direction? 
I pray thee think! State interference or non-interfer- 
rence; individual independence or meddling supervision; 
personal kindliness or indifference and rudeness: these, 
things seem far apart from railway accidents, typhoid 
fevers, trade peccadillos or work-people's stupidity; 
but I tell you they all belong together, they have t lie- 
most intimate connection, even that relation of relations, 
the relation of cause and effect. Are you callou-? 
You are so at your peril. 



MONISM IN MODERN PHILOSOPHY AND THE 
AGNOSTIC ATTITUDE OF MIND. 

BV EDMUND MONTGOMERY. 
Part III. — Conclusion. 

Professor Haeckel, who, as every one knows, has 
furnished, through his classical biological investigations, 
manifold direct proof in support of the evolution 
hypothesis, and who, through his popular works and 
lectures, has probably done more than any other single 
person to spread the knowledge of that great, life- 
elevating doctrine, is also the advocate of a Monism 
that — though essentially based on hvlozoistic as ump- 
tions — pretends, nevertheless, to explain everything im 
strict keeping with mechanical principles. Acconling- 
to it, every atom is eternal and has an eternal soul. This, 
soul possesses the properties of "sensation and volition,, 
pleasure and pain, desire and aversion, attraction and 
repulsi >n." Atoms aggregate to molecules, molecules to 
crystals or plastidules, plastidules to cells and cells to com- 
plex organisms. All this is said to occur in rigorous obedi- 
enceto general mechanical laws, notwithstanding that it is 



66 



THE OPEN COURT. 



volition which impels atoms to form chemical combina- 
tions and that the plastidules transmit to other matter, 
by dint of a faculty of reproduction, the complex motion 
received during their evolution, the motion, in fact, in 
which their specific nature consists. And this faculty of 
reproduction, which thus renders possible organic growth 
and propagation, is really unconscious memory, a faculty 
of the soul. Parallel to the aggregation of the material 
particles, their souls also aggregate, forming complex 
souls, our own soul being the most complex of all. 

The original dualism of body and mind within the 
atom is thus made to form, by mere grouping, what 
Professor Haeckel calls Mechanical Monism. 

The philosophers of the seventeenth century, to 
whom the connection of soul and body was such a 
vexed question, believing — as all mechanical scientists 
since Descartes have believed that each of the two 
modes of existence displays its own series of phenomena 
without the least interference from the other, these 
benighted philosophers would no doubt be greatly aston- 
ished at this easy solution of 'heir central problem. You 
have only to lock up the two incommensurable elements 
together in the smallest possible compass and you will 
find them ready ever after to help each other out of 
every imaginable difficulty. 

An atomistic unification of body and mind on a 
hvlozoistic foundation was also not long ago attempted 
by a highly accomplished scientist, whose truly | henom- 
enal career "the stupidity of death" cut shot t lone 
before it had reached its climax. Clifford tried to prove 
in a quasi-mathematical way that the reality which cor- 
responds to our mental perception of things is made of 
the same stuffas the mental perception itself. It would 
occupy too much space to expose here the fallacy 
of his specious argument. This the present writer has 
undertaken in The Index of December 24, 18S5, pp. 
307-8, where he has disproved this hypothesis of men- 
tal atomism or mind-stuff and shown that complex individ- 
ual consciousness is the only kind of mental existent we 
know or can legitimately infer. 

When it became highly probable, if not quite cer- 
tain, that to each conscious state there corresponds a 
definite molecular motion in the brain, scientific philoso- 
phers, and among them Lewes, tried to establish a 
monistic view on the strength of this correspondence. 
This is the vievs usually known as the two-sided aspect, 
or as Psychophysical Monism. According to it. the brain- 
motion, the functional tremor of brain molecules, is only 
another aspect of the corresponding conscious state, 
which, in truth, is the same fact of nature, only sub- 
jectively realized, while the motion is objectively real- 
ized. 

But it is cptite e\ ident that another person can realize, 
as percept of his own, the brain-inntiott, while the per- 
son to whom the brain belongs is experiencing the 



corresponding couscous state. These two different 
tacts, oceuri ing in two different minds, cami' t possibly be 
one and the same identical fact of nature, ^o, here 
again, we find ourselves baffled in our monistic efforts. 
How, then, does science, as now constituted, really 
bear upon a monistic interpretation of nature? 

Science proceeds on the basis of an unfaltering con- 
viction and ever-verified supposition that the things we 
perceive, by means of our senses, are real existents, inde- 
pendent in their intrinsic nature of our perception of 
them. Those scientists, who believe themselves to be 
idealists, have merely, during their philosophical excur- 
sion, let drop into unconsciousness the leading principle 
of their craft. The dilemma, which our present science 
encounters on its way to a monistic world-conception, is 
unavoidable. We find in the world, as it actually pre- 
sents itself to us, highly complex bodies, possessing 
manifold properties, some of them displaying activities 
and experiencing affections of a marvelous kind. In 
analyzing these compound structures science reacb.es 
more and more elementary constituents, out of whose 
combination these compound structures are most unmis- 
takably formed. Dissolving thus all bodies into their 
ultimate constituent parts, not in philosophical thought 
or imagination merely but in all reality, there seems, ;«t 
last, nothing left but a number of elements which, in 
their most simple state, constitute gases, whose manifest 
properties — the only properties which science is allowed 
to reckon with ate all of the most primitive, physical 
kind. 

Now the dilemma is, how have the marvelous hpyer- 
physical endowments of complex bodies got into 
structures that are made up of nothing but physically- 
endowed elements? 

To take the qualities known only in connection with 
complex structures, and place them in ever so minimized 
a condition into their elements, is simply begging the 
question and completely breaking through the limita- 
tions of the scientific method. Science, prying into the 
origin of things, has thus come to a beginning, con- 
sisting of a vast multitude of interacting but disunited 
elements, .and this is certainly not Monism. 

As there cannot be the slightest doubt that the 
universe is not made up through mere aggregation of 
autonomous monads or atoms; but is truly a cosmos, 
whose diversified and manifoldly endowed parts are 
all closely interdependent constituents ; our attempts at 
iuterpretati' n have to proceed in this monistic direction, 
and there is no reason why we should not approach 
nearer and nearer the solution. 

I Jut is there anyone to be found in any time who with 
bis understanding has yet penetrated the secret? And, if 
not, why should "Agnostic" be a name of reproach? The 
term "Agnosticism " as now used designates not a creed, 
but merely a mental attitude, a wise suspense of judgment 



THE OPEN COURT. 



67 






regarding certain vital questions passionately pre- 
judged bv the society in which so-called Agnostics are 
living. Formerly such dissenters from authoritatively 
pre-cribed articles of faith were simply burned alive, 
and that not so very long ago. In some parts of what 
is called the civilized world they are still ostracized. In 
England an " Infidel," up to very recently, was almost 
universally despised, and had a very poor chance in life. 

To the indefatigable exertions and eminent social 
qualifications of such men as Professors Huxley and 
Tyndall is chiefly due the great change that has taken 
place in public opinion among the educated of the 
English-speaking nations; a change which allows the 
mild, more pitying than condemning, if not even half 
or wholly-shared name of "Agnostic" to displace the 
harsh and spiteful epithet "Heretic" or "Infidel." 
Through generous sympathy with all the higher inter- 
ests of humanity at large and of Englishmen in particu- 
lar; through an amiable, open disposit.on, ever readv to 
give fair play to an adversary, and to enter amicably 
into his mode of thought; and withal armed with the irre- 
sistible and masterly-wielded weapons of science; these 
men — speaking the genuine human language — have 
gained a candid hearing for their cause from the very 
foremost leaders of public opinion. As prominent 
svmptoms of the radical change that has thus latelv 
been wrought in the direction of complete tolerance, 
may be named the " Metaphysical Society " of London 
and the "Nineteenth Century," where Roman Catholic 
Cardinals, Anglican Bishops and the master minds of 
dissenting denominations have discussed and are still 
discussing with free-thinkers of all shades the questions 
thev all have most at heart. 

" Agnosticism," as commonly understood, has refer- 
ence principally to the two great transcendental questions, 
the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. 
Strictly speaking, all who do not base their knowledge, 
their gnosis, on supernatural revelation are Agnostics, 
whether they call themselves so or not. For, it is a fact, 
that the keenest and most profound thinkers among the 
theologians themselves have now admitted, that reason — 
not less than science — is incapable of bringing us positive 
knowledge, not only concerning the particular nature of 
God and the particular mode of existence in a future 
life, but concerning the very existence of God -and a 
future life. The logical proofs of Anselm and Des- 
cartes, the teleological proof, the proof from causality, 
from free will, etc., etc. ; all have turned out to be falla- 
cious. Those then, who do not believe in supernatural 
revelation — and who knows how many, there are of 
such even among professed theologians — have to ground 
and actually do ground their belief in God solely on the 
feeling of the utter dependence of existence and life 
upon a power, not themselves. What the intrinsic 
nature of this creating and sustaining power may be 



remains wholly enigmatical, however much the noble 
stirrings of their emotional nature may prompt them to 
identify it with its own highest sentiment and aspiration. 
Dim and confused is in truth the boundary that sep- 
arates at the uttermost reach of thought earnest and 
open-minded seekers after truth, on whichever side of 
providential Faith and personal Hope their conviction or 
doubt may incline. 

The- insistence on the supreme truth of supernatural 
tradition ends, of course, all discussion. Our human life, 
however, is being more and more exclusively molded on 
natural revelation. This it is, that makes the spirit of 
our scientific era more ami more humanely moral, but 
also more and more agnostic, as regards the constitution 
of the intelligible world, so minutely known and de- 
scribed bv our forefathers. Agnosticism in reference to 
the supernatural world, involves by no means a gener- 
ally negative attitude of mind. Quite the contrary, it 
leaves us all the freer to appreciate the positive marvels 
of nature, and to work at a progressive development of 
our race. 

The mystery of Being and Becoming! Who in his 
right senses dares for a moment to assert that the least 
glimpse of its origin and intimate workings has been 
vouchsafed to him. 

George Eliot — truly a representative genius of the 
highest aspirations of our age — with a receptiveness as 
open as a child's, with knowledge as wide as human 
understanding, with sympathy as deep as the human 
heart; in vain, O in vain, has her humble beseeching, 
her keen and tender gaze rested with life-long question- 
ing on the silent secret "behind the veil, behind the 
veil." 

And how many cultured persons arc there, now-a- 
days, who would consider, for instance, St. Augustine, 
Luther or Calvin to be more lovable as human beings, 
and deem their views of human life more truly moral 
and estimable than those of her, who had the full 
courage of her free, undogmatic convictions? 



PUTTING OFF THE OLD MAN ADAM. 
BY W. 1>. GUNNING. 

A few years ago Dr. Ellsberg, to account for the 
facts of heredity, proposed a theory which has been 
accepted by Haeckel. A certain number of "physio- 
logical units," plastic and therefore called " plasticules " 
bv Ellsberg, pass, not organized into body, from parent 
to child, to grandchild, down along the line in dimin- 
ishing ratio until at last they fade out. Let us hypothe- 
cate an Adam and Eve physiologically. The child is 
not a new being, but a projection of the parents. In its 
body, but not incorporated with it, are plastidules of 
Adam and Eve. The child grows to manhood and a 
portion of these plastidules pass, with his own, into the 



68 



THE OPEN COURT. 



1 T.cly of his child. A portion, still remaining free, will 
pass into the next generation. A time comes when all 
the Adamic plastidules will he cut off". "Abbreviated 
heredity" intervenes. The man has "put oft" the old 
man Adam." 

This may seem fanciful, but it is no more fanciful 
than Darwin's theoiy of Panganesis, and the facts of 
biology would seem to necessitate one theory or the 
other, or both. Nature remembers long but she for- 
gets at last. The unfolding human body does not epit- 
omize completely the history which lies behind it. At 
last the body ioigets its heraldry, f weep not over the 
grave of Adam. His plastidules have long been cut off. 
Between him and me there is no bond of kinship. 

Physiological plastidules may be long persistent; the 
spiritual persist still longer. We have worked the tiger 
out of our teeth and nails, but the 

"Tiger, tiger burning bright 
In tile forests of the night," 

lingers in our passions. The mind is still toothed and 
clawed, but not so much as of old. With the fading 
out of old organic plastidules fades out their manifesta- 
tions in the mind. In what mental kinship do you stand 
to your Adam? In the higher range of faculties you 
sustain no kinship at all to this protoplast. 

And those, vour remote ancestors in India, in Egypt, 
in Palestine, how much of their mind-plastidules remain 
in you? Fix your attention on a segment of history. 
I place it here on this page not to excite merriment or 
derision, but to point a moral. It is the history of an 
ark, chest, or box, holding, perhaps, a few pebbles. It 
was captured by the Philistines from the Israelites and 
taken to Ashdod. The capture and burning of all our 
metropolitan cities would not smite us with such con- 
sternation as the capture of this box smote into the 
minds of Israel. While Israel shuddered with horror, 
Ashdod broke out into pustules. To speak with ancient 
Israel, the box was doing a right godly work, throwing 
down the statue of Dagon and smiting its votaries with 
pestilence. Terrified Ashdod, not daring to burn it, took 
it to Gath. In Gath it wrought the same pestilence as 
in Ashdod, and the Gadites took it to Ekron. The box, 
at once, smote Ekron with pustules and mice. What 
could be done with this god-box? Palestine was aghast. 
No man would destroy it and no city would receive it. 
Ekron took it out and left it on an open field. There 
it kept right on creating ulcers and mice. What could 
be done ? What we will call, by accommodation, 
" the human mind," lit on an expedient. The box, or 
god-in-the-box — I do not think the "human mind" dif- 
ferentiated them clearlv — seemed to deal chiefly in ulcers 
and mice. "Let us," these ancient men said, "let us 
buy it off by giving it five gold ulcers and five gold 
mice, modeled after those it has sent upon us." The 
gold mice and ulcers were put in a little box which was 



placed on the Jahweh-box, and the Philistines took the 
two boxes on a new cart to Bath Shemesh. This city, 
being Jewish, welcomed the box with rejoicing, tore up 
the cart for sacrifice, and killed the cows which drew it. 
Hut some of these men (it is not said that they were 
women) looked into the box, and "it smote the men of 
Hath Shemesh fiftv thousand, three score and ten." It does 
not appear whether it killed this time with mice and ulcers. 

No wonder that the survivors of Bath Shemesh sent 
messengers to Kirjath-jearim asking that city to take the 
box. Kirjath took it and appointed a priest to serve it, 
that is, kill birds and bullocks "and rams for it. It 
bcha-ved very well for three months, till King David 
"stirred up all Israel from Shihor of Egypt even to the 
entering of Hamath" to bring it to Jerusalem. Thev 
went, a whole nation as we are told, to Kirgath-jearim 
for this terrible box. " And thev carried the ark of 
Jahweh in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab and 
Uzza and Ahiv drove the cart. And David and all 
Israel played before Jahweh with all their might with 
singing and with harps and with psalteries and with 
timbrels and with cymbals and with trumpets." But 
when they came to the threshing-floor of Chidon the 
oxen stumbled, the cart tipped, the box toppled, and 
Uzza put forth his hand to support it. "And Jahweh 
sBiote him, and he died before Jahweh." The terrible 
box! "And David was displeased hecause Jahweh had 
make a breach upon Uzza." The diabolical box! It 
was left there at the house of Obed Edom, and Israel 
dispersed. It was too much for a nation! 

Three months passed and the nation tried again. 
David g itheied all Israel to Jerusalem to bring the box 
from t'-': house of Obed Edom. They went now with 
priests L roperly sanctified for the task. On approach- 
ing the dreaded box thev sacrificed to it seven bullocks 
and seven rams. The historian does not tell us what it 
had done with its gold mice and pustules. This final 
expedition was successful. The box entered Jerusalem 
in triumph, King David in a short linen frock, a kind of 
" Culty sack," dancing before it "in the face of Jah- 
weh," much to the shame of one of his wives. 

What have we been reading? How does the storv 
move you? What kinship do vou feel with these peo- 
ple? Hardly more than you feel with the grain-gath- 
ering ants of Texas, whose psychic life has been de- 
scribed by Cook. They gathered into barns, so do vou 
and so do the ants, and here the kinship ends. Their 
mind-plastidules have been cut off. Their mind life is 
no more to you than that of the pithecanthropos. But 
it has been the bane of theology, pagan as well as 
Christian, to gather up the cast-off robes of the race and 
make them enrobe religion. We mend an old fiddle 
with a piece of another old fiddle. I would build the 
orchestra anew, using not a slued from the timbrel of 
Deborah or harp of David. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



69 



I know that the past holds the root of the present. 
I know that we stand, body and mind, in generic rela- 
tions with all the life which has gone before us. So 
stands the fern on relations with the liverwort. But the 
liverwort was such a remote ancestor that every grow- 
ing fern to-day, although springing from a liverwort 
thallus, sluffs that thallus from the root and lives its own 
proper fern-life. I would have Christianity, wise like 
the fern, sluff from its root the low thallus of Judaism. 
The young dodder is rooted in the ground, but as it 
grows and climbs and less and less nutriment flows into 
it from the soil, at last it sluffs off its root and lives only 
from the upper world of air. I would have religion 
and philosophy, wise like the dodder, cut themselves 
loose from devitalized roots. 

How many a thallus is sticking to our roots! How 
■many shriveled, sapless, pulseless roots this climbing 
•dodder called humanity still holds clinging to its trunk! 

I have tried a cruel experiment on an infant. The 
child was sucking milk from a bottle through an India- 
rubber tube. I pinched the tube and cut off. the How. 
How lustily the babe continued to suck — the empty air! 
Babes are thev whose milk bottles are in ancient Pales- 
tine and who suck through the long elastic tubes of tra- 
dition. They suck up, now a litter of gold mice and 
now a long-haired hunter of foxes; now a syphilitic 
king and now a blood-spaltered seer; now a seraph 
snake and now, and with every gulp, the Jewish Jah- 
weh. I would pinch the tubes. The heaven-mother 
has lacteal glands whose flow is perennial. 

You enter a great library and your eye ranges over 
the thousand thousand volumes. Here, vou say, is the 
history of all peoples, are the thoughts of all thinkers, 
is the record of man from troglodyte beginnings till 
now. To be a full man, standing tip-toe over the ages, 
you must read all these. Think a moment and take 
courage. You must not read all these, nor a thousandth 
part of them. A thousand to one they are sapless roots. 
Take down the old literature of Palestine. I am always 
glad to see in a family Bible the Old Testament trans- 
formed into an herbarium for autumn leaves and a hid- 
ing place for old family letters. The book is not read, 
an indication of good spiritual health. This family is, 
as a dodder, cutting off a sapless root. 

Here are ponderous tomes, Rawlinson's Ancient 
Empires. You need not tarry long on these. What is 
Tadmor in the wilderness to you in this garden of the 
Lord? Tadmor, Babylon, Nineveh, they were products 
of an extinct order of thought. It is not necessary to 
your mind-growth to know their kings or their conquests. 

And here are many ponderous tomes on ancient 
Egypt — Bunsen, Lepsius and the rest. You are tempted 
to tarry. Mysterious as their sphinx were these worship- 
pers of leeks and onions and beetles and crocodiles, but 
that very worship cuts them off from you. Egypt, with 



her Nile-brood, is a shed thallus from our fern-root. 

The thin volume of Renouf will give you all vou need 
to know of Egypt. 

Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — 
what ponderous and learned tomes! But why should 
you burn the oil of midnight to learn an inventory of 
emperors, chiefs, battles, butcheries, as infructuous as an 
inventory of autumn leaves storm-cast to the ground? 

Hallam's Middle Ages — lore interminable, and what 
lore! Fifteen hundred years after Plato, the toe-nail of 
a man who had shown himself a saint bv standing ten 
years on a stone column in hunger and filth and rags, 
the toe-nail of such a man was of more value in any 
city of Europe than a telescope or a whole library of 
Greek thought! History of the Middle Ages — history 
of crows and kites! Thoughts of the Schoolmen — 
thoughts of men whose highest problem was " whether 
God can know more than he knows that he knows?" 

Read De Coulanger's Ancient City, Maine's Ancient 
Law, Draper's Intellectual Development of Europe, 
Lecky's History of European Morals, and you will get 
almost all the sap from these ancient roots — all the roots 
save one. 

Greece! In this alcove of the Greek you may linger. 
Here is a proliferous root which the human tree, let it 
spire up never so high, will never rescind. Homer, 
.-Eschylus, Sophocles and Euripides sang for all time. 
Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Socrates, thought for the 
race as long as the race should be. The Greek, the 
people, singing and speaking in that matchless language 
of their's, how little did they dream that in distant ages, 
over all Europe and over a world unknown to them, 
men, as they pushed out the boundaries of knowledge 
and struck higher notes in the gamut of thought, would 
draw from their speech the drapery in which to express 
their inventions and robe their thoughts until the English 
of science and philosophy would become an Anglecised 
Greek! 

In another alcove, side by side, it may be, with Duns 
Scotus, with Zurgetius de Statu Servorum, with com- 
mentaries on the curse of Canaan, with philological dis- 
sertations on the Tower of Babel, with disquisitions on 
the deluge, you may find a novel by a recent author; a 
novel whose hero was the pithecanthropoid who left his 
skull in the Neanderthal cave, and whose times were the 
far-off stone-age when man was emerging from the 
jungle. Read it if you can. Cry if vou can over the 
woes of* Red, the hero. A growing babe was the 
author, trying to suck sentiment through long tubes 
from the age of clubs and claws. The tube is pinched. 
The plastidules of Neanderthal are cut off. Red is dead, 
thoroughly dead. 

"Atrugelos," unfruitful, is the word which Homer 
wrote against the sea. Atrugelos write against the 
million parchments and tomes cast up from the restless 



THE OPEN COU RT. 



sea of human life. From "Thalassa," the laughing- 
sea are the volumes of Rabelais; from "polyphoisboids," 
the many-voiced, are the pages of Shakespeare; from 
the hitter-salt sea are the volumes of Swift and later 
poems of Tennyson; from the storm-wracked, thunder- 
ous ocean, are the Ocianides of .Eschylus and night- 
cries of Carlyle; from the serene deeps are the thoughts 
of Plato, Goethe, Emerson, Spencer. 



THAT PREVIOUS QUESTION. 

BY J. H. FOWLER. 

The world is a mirror reflecting self: yet it is the die 
that stamps experience. The sun is obscured by our 
own atmosphere; yet it is the source of all life. Man is 
neither fish nor worm, but aerial and ideal. He voyages 
in celestial space and finds terrestrial kinship in the re- 
motest star, yet he may explore the exclusive Ego to the 
north pole of metaphysics, but the lie of his assumption 
freezes in his teeth while his crystal logic dissolves in 
suffering, sympathy, love, worship, joy. Every form of 
experience relates him to facts objective and to beings 
other than self. Egoism and devotion are antipodes. 
One must go out of self that heat and light may come 
in. Exit Ego, enter Hero. 

Whatever the game, Faith is a trump card and with 
a Heart makes a good hand. But Faith is content with 
error and should be confined to recreation. Trust, with 
plenty of dry powder is the thing for work. Skepticism, 
the opposite of faith, tends to eliminate error; but dis- 
trust inclines to pessimism while trust ever points to the 
best. Life commences in trust. Through all the long 
voyage paleozoic fish to modern man, Life has safely 
trusted the polar stars of sense. No magic of intellection 
can charm them out of their nature-fixed orbits or 
weaken our hereditary trust in them. And yet these 
orbs did not adorn the sky of primitive life. 

There is a field of trust whereon the light of sense 
never beamed, a day of senseless life, yet not of blind 
life. If it was not light it was not wholly dark. 

Objective presence dawned upon it and was recog- 
nized. There was no seeing, no hearing, no tasting, no 
smelling, no feeling, but there was the contact of dis- 
criminate touch : organism selecting from environment 
the congenial and rejecting from self the inappropriate. 

The most simple and primitive vital organism is and 
must ever have been, from the very beginning, function- 
ally endowed with passivity to, and adjustivity toward, 
environment impressible and self-adjusting. Endowed 
-with less power and guidance, Life would have wrecked 
at every outset, never could have made the long rough 
passage to the land of specialization sense. With no 
power of detecting the objective fact and of self-adjust- 
ment thereto, the vital organism were, of all things con- 
ceivable, the most unfit for survival, and at any moment 
life were liable to be swallowed up by environment. 



The phenomena of life are known only through 
organism. This two-fold functional endowment so 
essentially inheres in the vital organism that we are 
unable to conceive of life without it. 

Life, Organism, Function, Environment, axe. terms 
so essentially correlated and interlinked by nature, that 
no force of logic can put them asunder. The whole- 
process of organic evolution consists in the progressh e 
specialization of structure better and better adapted 
to the performance of this fundamental duplex function. 
Experience is the formative factor. It moulds structure 
and by heredity secures permanency, subject to per- 
petual modification. Individuals perish, but life endures, 
and experience is perpetuated and cumulative, storing in 
pepetuallv modified structure. Thus the vito-mechan- 
ical impulse, and chemico-vital reaction, experienced by 
the earliest progenitors, becomes the habit of succeed- 
ing generations and in the more remote offspring is 
organically fixed as instinct. ' The objective impulse 
and subjective response repeated give to organism the 
infinitesimal touch of change which ultimates in the 
intuition of objective reality. 

The simple protoplasmic organism is the constituted 
subject of impulse and lays direct hold upon the object- 
ive fact, not as light, heat, sound or any form of force 
in space or time, but simply as objective presence, con- 
genial or uncongenial, attractive or repulsive. 

From this simplest and most primitive psycho-vital 
function there arises within the organism a perpetual 
struggle with a constantly-increasing effort or tenden y 
to enlarge and intensify the receptive capacitv and to 
increase the power of the adaptive faculty. 

Our five senses are inventions of life through experi- 
enced necessity for larger and more special capacities of 
impression from, and of readjustment to, the external 
world. They are instruments of life by which special 
groups of phenomena are gathered up and utilized — 
instruments of conquest and defense in Life's warfare 
with environment. 

Life has come to know and conquer, and through 
every organism may report as truly as the great Caesar: 
Vent, vidi vici. 

The greatest American economist defined wealth as 
mans power to control the forces of nature. So the 
grade of any being in the ascending movement is deter- 
mined by its conquests, what it knows, what i! does. 

But philosophic truth needs no rhetorical setting. 

Let us renew our research. See what we can know 
as to the whence and what of that primitive organic 
experience which, as mind-stuff, Life forms into our 
highest psychic being. 

We find it unmistakably in every organism, plant 
or animal. It must have been simultaneous wit^ the 
dawn of Life and could not have been the result of her- 
iditv. This simple primitive passivity or impressive 



THE OPEN COURT. 



susceptibility of unspecialized protoplasm bears the same 
relation to the senses proper that this primitive form on 
protoplasmic structure hears to the specialized organisms. 
It may, therefore, most appropriately be termed Proto- 
sc/tse, for it is the first form of sense unspecialized, sense 
simply of objective presence. 

At present we know no more of its origin than we 
do of the simple structure which bears it. When we 
shall have determined the origin of life we may be pre- 
pared to know the first cause of that organic suscepti- 
bility to objective impress and power of self-adjustment 
thereto, which antedates all experience, nav which is the 
source of experience. 

Certainly we cannot doubt that the first and simplest 
vital organism performed these functions as trustingly, 
so to speak, as we ourselves with our highly specialized 
instrumentalities perform them. And shall we now for 
the first time call in question the rectitude of nature in 
this performance ? Suspect her first impress upon or- 
ganism and pronounce all subsequent experience illu- 
sion? Shall we not rather exalt this primitive trust 
into a moral element, having learned by the persistency 
of identity and difference, the law of fact presentation, 
to which we are morally bound? 

Organism is a creature of nature specialized by ex- 
perience. How could nature misrepresent herself to 
her own creature? How could nature which, tends 
always to the elimination of all possible error, misdirect 
the specialization of organ and function so as to subvert 
the impress of nature and alienate the creature? When 
our mental faculties have been created by nature and 
evolved through experience in contact with nature, ex- 
perience which leads us to the conclusion that the fittest 
always survives, how can we distrust our senses, through 
which experience comes, and declare that what we think 
we know through nature is not real knowledge? That 
■ >u- sense percepts give us no clue to objective realities? 
That the world as we think we know it is by no means 
the world as it is? That time and space are purely 
mental concepts? 

Convince the laborer who saws wood by the hour 
to fit your stove ! I confess equal stubbornness — I cer- 
tainly do "fail to realize that distance and position, as 
well as all other space relations are truly subjective phe- 
nomena."* Notwithstanding, I am "quite certain that all 
our faculties are strictly determined by our organization 
and wholly encompassed within it," "our knowledge is 
relative,"* but nevertheless true knowledge. When I 
know that a thing is so and not otherwise, satisfaction is 
not conceit. I trust my own organism and well know 
that I am a moral being, and, as such, related to all 
being. In my human fellow I recognize and reverence 
this transcendant worth, striving with him for the 
higher fulfillment. 



* From an article by Dr. Kdmund Montgomery printed in T/i? hide. 



THE DECADENCE OF CHRISTIAN MYTHOLOGY. 

KY W. s. KKS VI-DV. 

'■/:' pur si innove." — GALII.frO. 
Let the old gray-beard Tuscan's now somewhat 
hackneyed phrase serve (for want of a better) as our 
motto. The physical globe is in motion indeed; but 
how many would suspect it if left to their own wisdom? 
Round and round whirls the vast rock-shell, and for- 
ward forever Hies, age after age ploughing its viewless 
furrows in the eternal void and swerving not a foot 
from its appointed co«rse along the old aeonian road. 

" Tumhling on steadily, nothing dreading, 
Sunshine, storm, cold, heat, forever withstanding, passing, carrying, 
The soul's realization and determination slill inheriting. 
The Huid vacuum around and ahead still entering* and dividing. 
The divine ship sails the divine sea." — Whitman. 

Here, then, we are actually whirling around at the 
speed of a cannon-ball, and vet would never know it. 
A glacier is in continuous motion, yet seems to move 
not at all; the foundations of a great building may, 
little by little, be sapped by the sea, and vet how firm 
and majestic and apparently impregnable the noble pile 
will seem only an hour before the thunder of its fall! 
A vast pile of cumulus cloud, floating in as seeming- 
quiet a midsummer's sky as vou please, is yet always 
imperceptibly drifting, drifting with the air, and slowly 
melting away in the fiery furnace of the solar heat. And 
so is it with an outworn religious system ; so is it, I believe, 
with the atrocious evangelical theology of our day. It is 
like a scroll cast into the fire, the writing is legible long 
after the vital cohesion of the fibers has been destroyed. 
In recently going through the third volume of Gibbon. 
I was struck with his accounts of the suppression of 
Paganism by the Christian Emperors. The abortive, 
though astonishingly and splendidly energetic, attempt ot 
the Emperor Julian to revive the glories of the old 
Athenian religion and philosophy ( a jolly good fellow 
that Julian) had shown that Paganism was but a shell 
of rites and ceremonies, and Theodosius — 390-420 
A. D. had only to prohibit public sacrifices and wor- 
ship to give the poetical but outworn system its quietus, 
or nearly so to do. In sequestered rural communities 
a few vintagers and husbandmen still devoutly wor- 
shiped in their little mountain temples, and brought 
thither their humble sacrifices for the gods in whom 
they believed. 

Hut practically the closing of the temples of city 
and town extinguished the Pagan religion (a hint 
here for those who rightly* advocate the taxing ot 
church property: extinguish the public worship and you 
extinguish the superstition), and the abolishing of the 
still lingering schools and gardens of the philosophers at 
Athens by Justinian a century later obliterated the last 
remnant of Paganism. In one of his letters Shelley 
(profoundly, if somewhat exaggeratedly) remarks of 
an act of vandalism by certain convent monks, that 



72 



THE OPEN COURT. 



*' associated man holds it as the vers sacrament of his 
union to forswear all delicacy, all benevolence, all 
remorse, all that is true, or tender, or sublime." If, as 
Carlyle said, most people are [intellectually] fools, it of 
■course follows that the associated action of majorities 
must end in a certain amount of foolishness. Break up 
any great popular organization, I care not what it is, 
and you are prettv sure to disintegrate a mountainous 
mass of folly. 

It is notoriously difficult to bring into court legally 
approved evidence of change of religious beliefs, since 
there is nothing men are so cautious in concealing 
Fishermen say that lobsters in getting out of their old 
shells in moulting time have a hard time of it, and often, 
leave a leg behind. So those who have passed through 
the throes of religious change often come forth from the 
trial maimed and sore, and by the measure of their 
sufferings know the distance that separates them from 
their former co-believers, and the danger there is in 
revealing it. Yet we are not without many extremely 
significant indications of the decadence of Javeh wor- 
ship amongst us. Not to speak of the confessions of 
orthodox clergymen often made in private to Unita- 
rians and secularists; nor of the universal abhorrence of 
the damnation doctrines expressed in private conversa- 
tion by orthodox laymen; nor of the common lament 
that no young men of worth can be obtained for the 
Protestant priesthood (hundreds of Presbyterian churches 
without a head simply because there are no men to put 
into the pulpits, and hundreds of New England country 
churches closed entirely- see the Century some time 
back — for lack of interest); not to speak at large of 
these, nor of the general running of steam and horse 
cars and milk wagons on Sunday, and the opening of 
cigar stands, fruit stands, news stands, art museums and 
theatres on that day, let us confine our attention to a few 
concrete and special instances. 

What, for instance, do you say to that piece of 
riotous burlesque in the student's procession at Harvard 
during the recent celebration of the two hundred and 
fiftieth anniversary. A cut of the scene lies before me. 
Two men in ludicrous masks are carrying an illumi- 
nated model of the college chapel, palanquin-like, on 
their shoulders, and the model is covered with gaily 
mocking and jubilant inscriptions celebrating the joy of 
the boys at escape from the prayer humbug. What 
would Cotton Mather have said to that? Or what 
would Jonathan Edwards have said to the recent pro- 
test of the Yale students against being fed compulsorily 
on worm-eaten sermons and saw-dust doctrinal pud- 
dings? What, again, is the meaning of these innumera- 
ble trials for heresy ? the trial of Prof. Swing in Chicago, 
the puhlic admonition by his bishop of R. Heber New- 
ton in Brooklyn, the recent arraignment of the Andover 
professors, the ejection of B. W. Williams and T. W. 



Bicknell from their positions as teachers in a Dorchester, 
Mass., Sunday-school on account of the alleged hereti- 
cal tendencies of their views, and hundreds of similar 
though less widely known cases. Don't von detect a 
good deal of trembling and shaking in the towers of 
Zion? And that ludicrous flight homeward of Dr. 
McCosh of Princeton, blinded by the too dazzling light 
of Harvard's secularism and agnostic science- quite sig- 
nificant that, eh? And the acceptance and preaching of 
evolution by Henry Ward Beecher, what does that 
mean? He seems as much idolized as ever by his peo- 
ple; in fact, never was more popular. And everybody 
seems to sympathize with that Southern divine (With- 
row is it, or Woodrow?) who has been deposed bv* 
college trustees for adhering to his belief in evolution. 

That fine old radical, Ruskin, remarks the complete 
absence from the dramatis persona on the stage and in 
imaginative literature of the clergv of our day, and 
lightly thinks it a mark of their "extreme degradation 
and exhaustion," as being persons who have no real 
share in the manly march and battle of humanity (see 
his Roadside Songs of Tuscany, p. 106). "In general," 
he says, "any man's becoming a clergyman in these 
days implies that, at best, his sentiment has overpowered 
his intellect." " In defense of this profession [of preach- 
ing], with its pride, privilege and more or less roseate 
repose of domestic felicity, extrcmelv beautiful and envi- 
able in country parishes, the clergv, as a body, have, 
with what energy and power was in them, repelled the 
advance both of science and scholarship, so far as either 
interfered with what they had been accustomed to teach, 
and connived at every abuse in pul lie and private con- 
duct with which they felt it would be considered uncivil 
and feared it might ultimately prove unsafe to interfere." 
(Fors Clavigera, II.) 

So much for the destructive portion of our subject. 
At some future time we mav be permitted to look at its 
constructive side, and consider the successor of the 
nations' anthropomorphic gods, i. e., the Universe, and 
ask if indeed we can as vet discover in Its manifesta- 
tions any ethical trend or purpose. 



Professor Huxley says: 

11 Tolerably earlv in life I discovered that one of the unpar- 
donable sins, in the eyes of most people, is for a man to presume 
to go about unlabeled. The world regards such a person as the 
police do an unmuzzled dog, not under proper control. I could 
rind no label that would suit me, so, in my desire to range 
myself and be respectable, I invented one, and as the chief thing I 
was sure of was that I did not know a great many things that 
the — ists and the — ites about rue professed to be familiar with, I 
called myself an Agnostic. Surely no denomination could be 
more modest or more appropriate, and I cannot imagine whv I 
should De every now and then haled out of my refuge and 
declared sometimes to be a Materialist, sometimes an Atheist, 
sometimes a Positivist, and sometimes, alas and alack, a cowardly 
or reactionary Obscurantist." 



THE OREN COURT. 



73 



The Open Court, 

A. Fortnightly Journal. 



Published every other Thursday at 169 to 175 La Salle Street I Nixon 
Building), corner Monroe Street, by 

THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING COMPANY 



B. K UNDERWOOD, 

Editor and Manager. 



sara a. undkkwood, 

Associate Editor. 



The leading object of The Open Court is to continue 
the work of Tin- Index, that is, to establish religion on the 
basis of Science and in connection therewith it will present the 
Monistic philosophy. The founder of this journal believes this 
will furnish to others what it has to him, a religion which 
embraces all that is true and good in the religion that was taught 
in childhood to them and him. 

Editorially, Monism and Agnosticism, so variously defined. 
will be treated not as antagonistic systems, hut as positive and 
negative aspects of the one and only rational scientific philosophy, 
which, the editors hold, includes elements of truth common to 
all religions, without implying either the validity of theological 
assumption, or any limitations of possible knowledge, except such 
as the conditions of human thought impose. 

The Open' Court, while advocating morals and rational 
religious thought on the firm basis of Science, will aim to substi- 
tute for unquestioning credulity intelligent inquiry, for blind faith 
rational religious views, for unreasoning bigotry a liberal spirit, 
for sectarianism a broad and generous humanitarianism. With 
this end in view, this journal will submit all opinion to the crucial 
test of reason, encouraging the independent discussion bv able 
thinkers of the great moral, religious, social and philosophical 
problems which are engaging the attention of thoughtful minds 
and upon the solution of which depend largely the highest inter- 
ests of mankind. 

While Contributors are expected to express freely their own 
views, the Editors are responsible onlv for editorial matter. 

Terms of subscription three dollars per year in advance, 
postpaid to any part of the United States, and three dollars and 
fifty cents to foreign countries comprised in the postal union. 

All communications intended for and all business letters 
relating to The Open Court should be addressed to 1!. F. 
Underwood, P. O. Drawer F, Chicago, Illinois, to whom should 
be made payable checks, postal orders and express orders. 

THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 1S87. 

RELIGION IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 

The 'New Princeton Review for January contains 
an article from the pen of the late Dr. A. A. Hodge 
on " Religion in the Public Schools," in which the 
writer asks: "Shall the Christian majority consent 
that their wealth shall be taxed, and the whole energy 
of our immense system of public schools be turned 
to the work of disseminating agnosticism through the 
land and down the ages?" The alternative 

is simple, " Christians have all the power in their 
own hands. The danger arises simply from the weak 
and sickly sentimentalism respecting the transcend- 
ental spirituality of religion, the non-religious char- 
acter of the State, and the supposed equitable rights 
of a small infidel minority. All we have to do is for 
Catholics and Protestants disciples of a common 
master- to come to a common understanding with 
respect to a common basis of what is received as 
-general Christianity, a practical quantity of truth 



belonging equally to both sides, to be recognized in 
general legislation, and especially in the literature 
and teaching of our public schools." Dr. Patrick F. 
McSweeny, in the Catholic World, says that this article 
" is remarkable as perhaps the nearest approach that 
has yet been made by a non-Catholic to the Catholic 
position on the school question." Hut Dr. McSweeny 
further suggests that the denomination start and 
manage the school, "the State paying for results in 
the secular branches." If the State must regulate the 
secular studies, he- suggests another compromise, 
which, "although not as suitable, might be accepted 
by us." He would have the State " appoint Catholic 
teachers for Catholic children and Protestant teachers 
for Protestant children, prescribing the present 
neutral system of education for certain hours of the 
school day, and giving also a fixed hour or hours for 
daily religious instruction." 

The rights of those who do not wish to have their 
children indoctrinated in the Christian theology, and 
the rights of all who desire to reserve the religious 
instruction of their children for the home or the 
church, are equally disregarded by the Protestant 
and the Catholic divine. Both Protestant Chris- 
tianity and Catholic Christianity, unmodified anil 
unrestrained by the skeptical and rational thought, 
which they both condemn, and having the power, 
would be just as ready to disregard the rights of 
each other as they now are the rights of free- 
thinkers. Fortunately liberalism is so widely 
diffused, and the largest sects are still so tenacious 
of their distinctive doctrinal teachings, and so much 
under the influence of a rival sectarian spirit, that 
the work of converting our public schools into purely 
ecclesiastical institutions is extremely difficult. We 
do not believe it will succeed. The growth oi 
liberal thought, which will make the jarring sects 
subordinate their differences to a common purpose, 
will equally broaden the scope of their common 
work, and make their sectarian schemes we believe 
impossible of realization. 



THE REVIVALISTS WE HAVE, AND THE REVIV- 
ALISTS WE NEED. 

When, as within the past few weeks, there has 
been a so-called "great revival" going on, and much 
stress is laid by the preachers who give the meetings 
their countenance ( hoping by this means to fill their 
own empty pews), by the daily press, by the church 
members who attend, as well as by the revivalists 
themselves, to the great good accomplished by their 
methods in reclaiming weak, bad and brutal men 
from their evil ways, many persons of education 
and liberal tendencies are disposed to' ask themselves 



"4 



THE OPEN COURT. 



v\ hether, it these representations be true, the revival- 
ists should not be encouraged in this good work how- 
i ver distasteful to cultured minds such methods are. 

That many of these "conversions" do result in 
individual reform is, no doubt, true; but equally true 
is it that the ultimate outcome of these revival meet- 
ings on the public mind and on general education is 
a deflection in the direction of ignorance. 

Revivalists are wide-awake, intensely emotional, 
strongly earnest men, limited in their range of 
thought, narrow in their conceptions of man's destiny, 
anthropomorphic in their ideas of God. They are 
sincere in their beliefs— their sincerity makes them 
enthusiastic, their enthusiasm strikes a responsive 
chord of sympathy among those they appeal to by 
the common bonds of humanity, that "touch of 
nature" which "makes the whole world kin" is deftly 
given and the fire of a revival is started. With all 
honest}' of purpose the revivalists bewilder thought 
by their constant appeals to the baser emotions and 
t<> personal experiences. "I" and "you" figure 
largely in those appeals which are not addressed to 
the intellect but to the feelings; the chords of sorrow, 
suffering, fear, hope, pride, reverence, are swiftly one 
after another touched more or less strongly, and 
acquiescence in the speaker's views is gained and a 
momentary victory is won. 

But it is always from a low stand-point that these 
revivalists speak. They deal with worn-out ideas 
revamped, ignorance is patted on the head, encour- 
aged, and in a manner canonized. Science is mis- 
represented, sneered at, and ridiculed. Take up the 
daily papers which report these revival meetings and 
scarcely one of the sermons, when fully reported, 
fails to contain some sneering reference to distin- 
guished scientists or thinkers whose work has seemed 
at variance with so-called "revealed religion." Take 
up the published "sermons" of Sam Jones and 
others, and vulgar wit which would disgrace the 
"end men" of a ministrel show or a reputable circus 
clown, greets you on every page as the words of 
men who profess to deal with the most serious and 
momentous questions humanity can ask. Compare 
the style of the published sermons of Sam Jones, 
Sam Small, D. L. Moody, or even those of Joseph 
Cook and ask how many pages of Darwin, Huxley, 
Haeckel, Agassiz, Lyell, Carpenter or Gray, you 
would peruse if written in the same vein? 

Such revivalists beget in the popular mind, doubt 
of science, fear of progress, reverence for ignorance. 
They sneer in their flippant way at all the real 
workers for man's development. They relate little 
"smart" anecdotes in which "tadpoles" and "monk- 
eys" and parodies of the "evolution theory" are 
prominent, or in which so-called "arguments of 



Sceptics" are overwhelmingly confuted (many of 
these anecdotes being on the face of them glaringly 
untrue), and then when a laugh is raised that suffices 
to stamp the falsehood as true in minds unaccus- 
tomed to careful thinking. 

These are the revivalists we have. But we do 
need revivals of a certain sort in our midst, and con- 
sequently, revivalists. 

We need revivals of commercial honest)', of 
public sense of honor, of private and civic virtue, of 
pure living, of truthfulness, of high ideals, ol pur- 
poseful lives, of self denial, of all the more solid 
and stalwart national virtues, rather than spasmodic 
individual attempts at temporary halts in patent 
vice. We need for revivalists men and women 
imbued and impressed in every thought ot their 
brains and every pulsation of their hearts with the 
crying need for such a revival. Men and women 
who would like Mood\' and Murphy work on year 
after year unmoved by hindrances or repulse, in the 
straight line of their duty as awakeners. We want 
as a revivalist not one who self-conceitedly hugs in 
his inner consciousness his possession of superior 
knowledge as only attainable by himself, but instead, 
one who, knowing its inestimable value to the world 
shall not be able to rest until he proclaims that 
worth and causes it to be proclaimed from every 
house-top and street, every hill-side and valley 
where a brother man resides. We want him to make, 
in place of flattering appeals to ignorance, trumpet- 
toned proclamation of the need of enlightenment 
and eloquent portrayal of the lovliness of knowledge. 
We want him to draw vivid word-pictures of the 
work, scientific effort has already achieved in 
relieving some of the worst ills to which nature left 
man a prey, and in making liberty possible and life 
more endurable. Such a revivalist as is best described 
by Mrs. Browning: 

'"What ye want is light — indeed — 
Not sunlight * * " 

- but God's light, organized 
In some high soul, crowned capable to lead 
The conscious people — conscious and advised — 
Koi* il we lift a people like mere clay, 
It falls the same. We want thee. O unfound 
And sovran teacher! — if thy beard be grey 
Or black, we bid thee rise up from the ground 
And speak the word Ood giveth thee to say, 
Inspiring into all this people round 
Instead of passion, thought, which pioneers 
All generous passion, purines from sin, 
And strikes the hour for. Rise up, teacher, here's 
A crowd to make a nation — best begin 
By making each a man, till all be peers 
OJ" earths true patriots, and pure Martyrs in 
Knowing and daring.'' S. A. U. 



As we rise in grandeur of life our hope will grow 
higher and far-reaching; we shall beiieve more truly in 
the power of the good as we see it gaining in the actual 



THE OPEN COURT. 



75 



world. Nothing shall stand before it but it shall finally 
be overcome. They who have this thought at heart, 
that the good has the right to reign in the world, and 
that the had has no right to exist, feel the call upon 
them to work for that end; they do not ask when it shall 
be; they wish that it might be now. But it is not; and 
so they sec nought before them but the ought demand- 
ing their effort to bring it about. The thought of a 
higher order of things fills them; they cannot rest satis- 
fied with the present; it is inadequate to meet their 

need-. 

* * * 

Nothing shall stand but truth. Ail creeds, all bibles 
shall be judged according to their true worth; not mir- 
acles shall make them truer, not records of wonders 
•done or necromancy, but the measure of their agree- 
ment with the soul's high thirst that shall set their 
value. That creed then, the ethics, which shall fulfill 
most completely our highest thoughts, which shall 
demand of humanity all virtue, righteousness every- 
where and always, shall be our bible, our truth. 

* * * 

The positive basis upon which religion now rests 
opens the way For a higher creed and a nobler hope 
than the world has hitherto known. Already the relig- 
ious conception of Herbert Spencer is winning adher- 
ents in all parts of the civilized woil ', and the spirit of 
free-thought has so penetrated the churches in general 
that but a single step is necessary to place a large num- 
ber within the pale of the religion of Evolution. While 
this silent change is thus going on in the stronghold of 
Christianity, those who openly declare their allegiance 
to the new faith are finding in it a strength and power 
of regeneration which a positive religion can alone pos- 
ess, and which in fundamentally affecting their own lives 
cannot fail of demonstrating its true value to the world. 

* * * 

The philosophy of Evolution defines evil as a mal- 
adjustment in relation to the conditions of physical, moral 
.and intellectual environment — that is, to the laws of uni- 
versal order. It is therefore seen that evil is a necessary 
condition of progress and that it is but another name for 

imperfection. 

-;:- * x 

In the future the great mass of men will obey the 
rides of conduct laid down bv their religious teachers, 
but those rules, unlike many jof the rules of the past, will 
find their basis in a scientific conception of what is best 
for man. To see the benefit that will accrue from such 
a moral teaching we have hut to compare its effects with 
those of the teaching that claims to come from a super- 
natural source. Having no sanction in the human mind, 
it asserts its right to command without that sanction. 
This once granted, it is productive of the most injurious 
results; the teaching may or may not be true; if it is not 



it will be obeyed till the results are indisputably proven 
detrimental, and perhaps even l"iig after that. If the 
teaching is essentially true, yet is so obscure that it can 
not be firmly grasped by the mind the different inter- 
pretations put upon it, the different opinions as to what it 
really means will develop an .antagonism in practice 
that can not be other than disastrous to the best interests 
of man. With rules of right conduct sanctioned hv 
science the future progress of the world is certain and 
undeniable. 

It is a true view of life that the world will at some- 
time fulfill our hope; sometime, we know not when. 
But we do know our dut\ and feel called upon to bring 
about that cm\; our want, our aspiration to it is the 
proof. Standing upon this ground there is no room for 
doubt. In our high moments, when we see things 
clearly, doubl is never suggested, but the thought of 
a world uplifted and made beautiful in truth, seems but 
a picture of a truly natural condition. 

* * * 

\\ hatever feeling of sympathy may lead us to a 
broad interpretation ol the constitution of a church we 
mu-t still feel that neither conscience nor thought can 
find free development so long as it is constantly 
coming into collision with an imposed creed. '1 he 
position is becoming more and more unreal within the 
church, for those who, having renounced the super- 
natural, wish to teach what thev actually accept, and no 
longer to teach that in which thev have no faith. Thev 
are incessantly led into making compromises which not 
only produce falsifications of the expressions of thou, lit, 
but also tend to weaken their grasp upon the unalloyed 

truth. 

* * * 

The great fundamental truths that underlie all relig- 
ious conceptions are indistructable destined to live as 
long as man lives. But those who take Jesus for their 
master are hut giving their allegiance to the dead, who 
has no word for the world of to-day. Jesus was a man 
of and for the time in which he lived; and the new 
world, so different from the one in which he taught, 
whose hopes and purposes are so far from the hopes and 
purposes held by him, cannot be satisfied with an\ in- 
terpretation that can be put upon his teaching. In thank- 
fulness for the truth which he gave, it turns its face 
toward that larger truth of infinite developement. 

* * * 

The recent Andover controversy finds an echo among 
the Congregationalist missionaries in India who are as 
far from agreeing on the question as to the fate of the 
unconverted heathen as a large and increasing number 
of the clergy at home are. In a late communication ti- 
the Andover Review the author, who is himself a mis- 
sionary, throws some light upon the different shades of 



7 6 



THB OPEN COURT. 



opinion that prevail among his brothers in the work. 
While many are still thoroughly orthodox, others may 
be found whose convictions are as far removed from 
orthodoxy as the East is from the West, and who do 
not hesitate to put their convictions into their teachings. 
Still others there are who, while almost willing to admit 
the falsity of the old dogmas, refrain from thinking on 
the subject for fear of convincing themselves of the rea- 
sonableness of their doubts. Lamentable as this last is, 
it is but another illustration of the tenacity with which 
men cling to old ideas when the current of criticism 
threatens to bear them away. 

* * * 

The conception of a universal moving toward 
moral order or perfection leads man to desire to 
realize the possibilities of his nature, and in obeying 
the moral law he is able to do this more and more. 
The emotion that rises in the mind at the thought of 
an ideal state of humanity is one of the great guiding 
springs of action. As man advances morally, duty 
and desire become one and the same. 

* * * 

Prof. E. 1.. Youmans left behind him a number of 
rare manuscripts and important letters, including his 
correspondence with Darwin, Spencer, Mill, Huxley, 
Tyndall, Bain. Lubbock, Agassi/, and other distin- 
guished men with whom he enjoyed an intimate 
friendship. A memorial volume containing these 
posthumous papers and letters, to be edited by Dr. 
W. J. and Miss Eliza A. Youmans, brother and sister 
of the deceased, will make a fitting tribute to the 
memory of the late editor of the Popular Science 
Monthly and constitute an important and valuable 
addition to scientific literature. 



Elizabeth Cady Stanton writes from England: 
I am well, bin greatly depressed with the sad news of my 
husbands death. When 1 left home he was so well and so deeply 
interested getting out the third edition of his '•Reminiscences" 
that I felt sure he had many years yet of life before him. But 
pneumonia is always fatal in old age, and he was near eight} two. 



One of the editors of Unity says, "To some of 
us it seems clear that ethical culture cannot be much 
promoted by admonition and instruction alone. It 
is with the heart man believes unto rightsousness, 
and the heart is cultivated through the religious 
emotions, through church and family life, and all its 
associations. To leave religion and religious associ- 
ation out of the account is to cut off one of the most 
important factors of all higher ethical culture." 
Much depends upon the meaning attached to words 
ethics and religion. Those who make ethical culture 



the essential thing would include in it all which "with 
the heart man believes unto righteousness," all the 
good taught " through church and family life and all 
its associations" and of course the fullest considera- 
tion of all the factors of "ethical higher culture." 
There is much they say taught in the name of religion 
that is no part of ethics; but that all there is of truth 
and permanent value taught by the various religious 
systems comes properly within the scope and province 
of ethics. When liberal thinkers shall learn to use 
the same words with the same meanings, many of 
their differences will be seen to have been merely 

verbal. 

* * # 

A friend writing from Boston relates the follow- 
ing anecdote, told her by a head master of one of the 
schools in that city, as illustrative of the hold that a 
well-known daily paper has upon the popular mind: 
"The recitation was in ancient history. The pupil 
was expatiating upon the topic of the Olympic games. 
'A great many people went to see them,' she said, 
'because it was put in the paper when they were 
coming off.' 'The paper!' exclaimed the teacher. 
'Did they have newspapers in those days?' 'Why, 
yes,' was the reply - , 'it says so in the book, anyway; 
it says the 'Herald' proclaimed them.' " 

* * * 
Notwithstanding the prohibition of cremation in 

Italy by the Holy See this method of disposing of 
the dead is quite popular in that country, where not 
fewer than sixty cremation societies exist. 

* * * 

The press of the country has teemed with gener- 
ous tributes to Mr. Beecher, fully recognizing his 
genius, his eloquence, his patriotism and his far- 
reaching influence as a preacher and reformer. He 
was without doubt the greatest pulpit orator of his 
age. The Christian Register- justly remarks: " Mr. 
Beecher's eloquence was not of the grandiloquent 
or orotund type. It was conversational, dramatic; 
it gleamed with wit and humor or dropped into 
pathos; it soared on the lofty wings of the imagina- 
ation, and swooped down again into anecdote and 
illustration. His discourses were lull ol windows 
that let in the light, and some of them set in stained 
glass which glowed with beautiful imagery." 

He who frets is never the one who mends. And 
when the fretter is one who is beloved, whose nearness 
of relation to us makes his fretting at the weather seem 
almost like a personal reproach to us, then the misery of 
it becomes indeed insupportable. Most men call fretting 
a minor fault — a foible, and not a vice. — He/en Hunt 
"fackson. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



77 



DARWINISM IN ETHICS. 

A LECTURE GIVEN BEFORE THE CHICAGO SOCIETY FOR 
ETHICAL CULTURE, JANUARY 16, 1SS7. 

BY \v. Ml SALTER. 

It would seem the high and noble thing to do what 
is good and right of our own accord. We do not reach 
the heights of morality till goodness is the free choice 
of the soul. I believe that man with his wonderful 
gift of reason can discern a highest good, and then, 
unconstrained by all that is without him, can choose it. 
This, to my mind, constitutes the incomparable dignity 
of man - that he is not as a cloud driven before the 
winds, but, as Geo. Eliot says, "can elect his deeds and 
be the liege not of his birth, but of that good alone he 
has discerned and chosen." 

Nevertheless, we have a curious and profound inter- 
est in the question, what is the tendency of things apart 
from our own will? We all know that we are not 
masters of our own life. There are conditions outside 
of us to which we have to conform. To take one of 
the simplest illustrations, we know that if on one of 
these very cold winter days we were not sufficiently 
protected against the weather, we should perish. We 
must adjust ourselves to our environment- to use a 
phrase that has come into vogue; we are compelled to, 
if we wish to live. The tendency of thir.gs is thus to 
develop prudence; nature may be said to be on the side 
of those who are prudent, since those who are not she 
does not permit to live. 

The question is, does nature sustain any such rela- 
tion to morality ? Does the force of things outside of 
us incline the race to be moral ? Or is it, perchance, 
favorable to immorality, or is it indifferent, so that good 
and bad men thrive equally well? In other words, is 
morality a private matter about which a person need 
have no more serious concern than about any other 
question of individual inclination ami taste, or is it 
something having, whether we will or not, issues of life 
and death? We naturally incline to take the former 
view. When we transgress any of the laws of morality, 
we like to say to ourselves that it is our own affair, and 
nothing outside of us takes cogniz mce of it nor will any 
grave result follow. 

It is at this point that the views of Darwin have a 
wonderful interest. Darwin does not wiite as an ethical 
philosopher, but as a naturalist. In his famous chapters 
in the Descent of Man (3d, 4th and 5th of Part First), 
his object is not to give us a theory of ethics, but to 
show the part which morality has played in the develop- 
ment of the race. Any one who thinks that morality 
is a private matter and that physical strength and mental 
capacity are the only things that nature takes account 
of, should read those chapters. Everywhere, according 



to Darwin, among men as truly as among the lower 
orders of being, there is a struggle to live; and those 
who are best fitted to the conditions of life succeed and 
leave offspring behind them, and those who are less 
fitted tend to extinction. Any casual variation, by which 
an individual has an advantage over others, is seized 
upon, intensified by transmission, and perhaps in time 
gives rise to a well-marked species. 

Physically a man is no match for a bear or a buffalo; 
in an actual tussle he would surely be worsted. None 
the less is he their superior by virtue of his intelligence; 
he invents a spear, a bow and arrow or a gun and 
thereby outdoes them. So as between men and races 
of men; variations in the direction of greater strength 
of body are of slight importance compared with varia- 
tions in the direction of higher mental powers; in war 
itself it is not necessarily the most numerous nation or 
the one with the hardiest soldiers, but the one with the 
ablest generals and in possession of the most ingenious 
methods of warfare that gains the victory. But Darwin 
shows further that the possession of moral qualities is an 
advantage in the struggle for existence, that a race with 
strong moral feelings would, other things being equal, 
win in a contest with another race destitute of such 
feelings, in other words that nature is on the side of ' 
morality as truly as on the side of the strongest arm or 
the largest brain. Darwinism is often interpreted in a 
different way. It is often thought to sanction the efforts 
of the stronger individual to push the weaker to the 
wall. Let every man stand on his own feet, and those 
who can't stand, let them fall - it is said. To practically 
apply the doctrine: if a man can get an education, well 
and good; if he can't, let him go without it — never 
should he be helped. If a woman has power to get her 
rights, very well; if not, let her go without them. 
If a person is smart enough to defraud another, let him 
do so; if he is strong enough to do violence to another 
without impunity — very well, that is his right as the 
stronger. This is the creed of unmeasured individualism, 
of anarchism, and was well expressed by Rob Roy in 
Wordsworth's poem, as the old rule, 

" Th;it they should tike \\ ho have the power, 
And thev should keep who run." 

But it is very crude Darwinism, nay, it is opposed to 
the teachings of Darwin, for according to him our 
notions of what we should and should not do are derived 
from the social instincts, and the social instincts contra- 
dict such heartless indifference to the welfare of others 
as the creed of extreme individualism allows. Doubt- 
less such social anarchy did exist in the early ages of the 
world, in the "ages before conscience," but the signifi- 
cant fact is that the primitive races without conscience 
did not perpetuate themselves, that they had no strength, 
no stamina, no cohesive power in the struggle with 
those superior races in whom the social instincts were 



7 8 



THE OPEN COURT. 



developed, that so far as they do survive to-day, they 
survive as savages and are on the border line between 
man and the brute. 

Let us observe now in detail, how morality helps to 
build man up. so that by his very love of life he is 
naturally deterred from those courses of conduct that 
conscience condemns. A peaceful disposition is one 
element of mora'ity I do not mean the disposition to 
weakly submit to injuries, hut the indisposition to inflict 
injuries; I mean the contrary of a violent and quarrel- 
some temper. At lirst sight, it may seem as if violent 
people injure others rather than themselves, as if their 
violence gives them an advantage in the struggle to live. 
But turn the matter round and ask, as between peaceable 
men and quarrelsome men, other things being equal, 
which are the more likelv to suffer violence in turn and 
themselves come to an untimely end: 1 think there 
cannot be a doubt that peaceful men are more likely to 
survive and rear offspring than violent men. that violence 
is like a boomerang striking at last the perpetrator of it, 
that the wavs of violence, even in uncivilized societies, 
are the wavs of death, and the ways of peace are the 
wavs of life. Temperate habits arc another element of 
moralitv. The intemperate man who indulges his 
appetite for intoxicating drinks thinks it his own affair 
and that he will not greatly suffer; but the laws of life- 
think differently, they cut short his days; it is a statistical 
fact that intemperate people at the age of thirty in 
England are not likely to live more than thirteen or 
fourteen years longer, while the expectation of life of 
the average country laborer at that age is forty years. 
Another element of morality is respect for woman and 
the sense of the sanctity of the marriage relation. Does 
it make no difference if men or women lead profligate 
lives? So profligate people are apt to think. They are 
rarely serious about it. Hut nature is opposed to pro- 
fligacy for she will allow profligate women to have 
but few if any children; she has a distaste for their 
breed, she wants it stopped. In the natural course of 
things, profligate men, as Darwin remarks, rarely marry; 
on their side, too, the breed of ungoverned lust tends to 
extinction. And both men and women, who do not 
regard nature's laws, she is apt to afflict with the foulest 
disease. And if in another way, men or women sin 
against nature's laws and in solitude and darkness prac- 
tice the crimes that the light of day would blush to look 
upon, does the darkness hide them and nature take no 
cognizance: Witness the weakness that comes on, the 
weakness of bodv and weakness of mind, the loss of 
memory, the childishness, yes, the sterility- 'tis as it 
nature would cover them with contempt. And in 
regard to the persistent disuse of moral feeling gener- 
ally, do we realize what one of our highest scientific 
authorities, Maudsley,* tells us, that bv it a man may 



Pofiular Sritnc/ Monthly, Si-plembi-r. 1S7. 



succeed in manufacturing insanity in his progeny, and 
that insane people, if thev are allowed to propagate, 
become at last a race of sterile idiots? 

Look at the matter on a wider scale. Consider men 
not as individuals, but as societies. If we think that 
natural selection favors simply the strongest in body or 
mind, consider the history of the family, the most rudi- 
mentary of human societies. What would a family be 
without some measure of unselfishness? To answer, 
we have to go to the lowest savages. Among the 
Andamanese the husband cares for his wife until the 
child that is born to them is weaned. Then the mother 
has to look out for herself and for her child. The 
father seeks another mate. Is nature indifferent, and do 
we imagine that this is a thriving tribe? The fact is 
that according to a recent reporter, the Andamanese are 
gradually dying out. lie saw but cine woman who had 
as many as three children. Few members of the tribe 
live beyond the age of forty.* And now suppose the 
mothers had as- little unselfishness as the fathers, that 
they let their offspring care for themselves as soon as 
weaned: the tribe would probably in a generation or 
two become extinct. It is some measure of unselfish 
feeling that allows our race to be perpetuated at all. 
Yes, Darwin shows that the social instincts to some 
extent exist in the lower animal, so that there is no 
impassible chasm in that respect between them and man; 
timid birds will lace great danger to defend their young; 
if there were no unselfishness, it is doubtful if we 
should have anything in the world at all but the elements 
and insensate plants, or perhaps, the very lowest forms 
of animal life, whose offspring need no care; all the 
higher forms of animal life, as well as men, exist 
because unselfishness has watched over the beginnings 
of their existence — and what mainly distinguishes human 
beings from animals, along, of course, with higher intel- 
ligence, is that the social instincts in men are intense!" 
and cover longer periods and have a wider range; 
human beings arc, according to Darwin, simply that 
portion of the animal creation in whom vaiiationsin the 
direction of unselfishness and intelligence have been 
transmitted •■ nd perpetuated, by which thev have secured 
a firmer foothold ami a more commanding place here on 
the earth. Think of it. if the fishes of the sea or t he- 
wild animals of the earth or even the birds of the ait- 
had the fellow-feeling for one another that men have 
and the intelligence, would they allow themselves to be 
caught or captured or shot? Wc uld they not be a 
match for man, and unless some new variations giving 
greater power on the one side or the other arose, would 
it not be a pitched battle between them and man? We 
are men, because along with more of mind, we do care 
for one another; they are animals, because they are to 
such an extent dissocial, rather than social, and in a-con- 

* Spencer's Sociology , I, 'V>s. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



79 



test, each one is left so generally to fight his own battle. 
And now beyond the family, consider the community 
or the tribe. What parental feeling is to the family, 
that community or tribal feeling is on the larger scale. 
Do we think it makes no difference whether our unsel- 
fishness goes beyond our families, that all we haye to do 
is to care for ourselyes and our children, that patriotism 
and zeal for the public welfare are idle sentiment and 
that obedience to the laws is only necessary so far as it 
is for our own interest? Darwin and those who have 
written in his spirit do not think so, and history proves 
that they are in the right. In times of peace, as one 
■writer* remarks, sleek and prosperous selfishness may 
give a certain element of strength to a society. But 
these are not the times that test a society. It is 
■when dangers arise, either from without or from within, 
it is in times of peril, that the real strength and cohesive- 
ness of a community are tested. Can it put down 
internal dissensions, that threaten its lile, can it withstand 
a foreign foe? For, as Darwin shows, not only individ- 
uals struggle to live, but communities and nations, and 
natural selection works to build up and destroy peoples 
■with the same necessity and rigor with which it oper- 
ates to determine the fate of individual lives. Who 
does not see the truth of what Darwin points out that 
even in the case of animals, who live in a body and 
defend themselves or attack their enemies in concert, 
they must be in some degree faithful to one another, 
and if they have a leader be obedient to him — else they 
will likely be exterminated? How much more truly is 
this the case with men ! Suppose the members of a 
tribe are given to murder, robbery, and treachery among 
themselves, how long will they hold together even 
if they have no external foe, and if they have, how 
easily will they be subjugated? The fact is that a tribe 
or community cannot live at all, unless there is more of 
morality than of immorality in it; and the great amount 
of wrong and crime that exist in some savage com- 
munities, seem so only on account of the higher stand- 
ards of morality that are recognized in civilized com- 
munities and do not interfere with the fact that their 
practice is ahead of that of savages who scarcely live 
in communities at all and have few if any fixed cus- 
toms or laws. Whether a people has any disinterested 
love of virtue or not, they must learn it; for only those 
■who do learn it, i. e., some measure of self-control, of 
faithfulness, of public spirit, of obedience to law, survive, 
and the rest, because they do not meet the conditions 
which nature requires, perish. Darwin says in so many 
-words, "a tribe including many members who, from 
possessing in a high degree the spirit- of patriotism, 
fidelity, obedience, courage and sympathy, were always 

* Prof . C C. Evcrelt on "The New Ethics," in Unitarian Review, Octo- 
ber, 1S7S — a most suggestive and a! times eloquent article. I am also indebted 
to Prof. Georg von Gizycki's valuable article on " Kthics and the Development 
Theory," in the Popular Science Monthly, July, i$S: (translated from the 
Deutsche Rnmlschau). 



ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for 
the common good, would be victorious over most other 
tribes; and this would be natural se'ection. At all times 
throughout the world tribes have supplanted other 
tribes; and as morality is one important element in their 
success, the standard of morality ami the number of 
well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise 
and increase. 1 ' 

All this holds good equally of civilized peoples. The 
same things that lifted the social savage out of the ranks 
of unsocial savages or animals and gave them the pre- 
eminence, lift the civilized man out of the ranks of sav- 
agry altogether anil give to civilized states rightful 
pre-eminence in the world. Crude interpreters of Dar- 
win's theory would have us eschew all philanthropy, 
shut up our asylums and hospitals, abolish poor laws, and 
let the weak and the helpless take care of themselves 
or die. Prof. Sumner, of Yale College, suggests* that 
the advance of civilization, instead of raising the victims 
from the bottom, may very possibly crush them out 
altogether. But this would not be rising' to a higher 
stage of civilization, but would be relapsing into barbar- 
ism, copying after the Indians, who leave their feeble 
comrades to perish on the plains, or the Fijians, who, 
when their parents get old or fall ill, bury them alive, 
or those animals who expel a wounded animal from the 
herd or gore or worry it to death. Nay, there are sav- 
ages and even animals that are ahead in sentiment of 
these heartless Darwinians; tor Darwin tells us of Indian 
crows that fed two or three of their blind companions, 
and says he himself saw a dog who never passed a 
cat who lay sick in a basket, without giving her a few 
licks with his tongue, the surest sign of kind feeling in 
a dog. Destroy the social instincts, dry up the founts of 
sympathy and pity in man, and you s'.rike at the social 
bond itself; society would be dissolved into anarchy, 
and the long, slow, painful work of building up the 
race of man would have to be undertaken again from 
the beginning. Let any community to-day try to 
organize itself on the extreme individualistic plan 
and show no charity, each man looking after himself 
alone, those getting justice who are able to get it, and 
the rest putting up with the denial of it as best they 
can; let it enter into competition with other com- 
munities, who take care of their poor and their sick and 
give justice to every man, woman and child in their 
midst, though there may be some who cannot raise a 
finger to get justice for themselves; let the struggle 
come to a clash of arms, and will any one doubt what 
the result will be? Selfishness, Prof. Everett says, will 
give its money, it will not give its life for the com- 
mon cause. If the social spirit has been weak in peace, 
it will not by a miracle become suddenly strong in 
war. The unsocial community will go down, as it 



* As reported in Ne:" York Times, January 1 or 7, 1883. 



So 



THE OPEN COURT. 



deserves to go down, before the enthusiasm, the courage, 
the devotion of men that have been bred in a social 
community to habits of sympathy and public spirit. 
Yes, if the community, whose principle was "every 
man for himself," were by a bit of good fortune isolated 
and never had to enter into a struggle with other com- 
munities, I believe in time it would perish from dis- 
sensions within itself, it would disintegrate like any 
organism of matter whose particles are no longer 
held together by any common attraction and from 
which the animating breath of life had fled. 

The thing that builds up a community, a nation, is 
not less, but more sympathy and public spirit — more of 
all the virtues that spring from these sources. Think 
for a moment simply of obedience, reverence for law, 
whether the law is made by a chief or by a people for 
itself. What strength, what an almost irresistible power 
Would a whole people trained to such a habit have. The 
Spartans were not equal in intellectual power to other 
Grecian states; but for a short time they held the 
supremacy over all Greece. And when I think of the 
three hundred who defended the pass at Thermopylae 
against the Persians and held it at such fearful odds 
until their last man had fallen, and remember that ac- 
cording to their poet nothing but obedience to the laws 
of Sparta kept them at their post, I do not wonder that 
a country' that bred such a soldiery rose once to the very 
head of Greece. 

" Stranger, go ami to the Spartans tell, 
That here, obeying their commands, we lell,' 

stands graven on the rock as their memorial. 

Socrates anticipated the thought of Darwin, and of 
Bagehot,* one of the most fruitful thinkers who has 
followed in Darwin's wake, when he said that that state 
in which the citizens pay most respect to the laws, is in 
the best condition in peace and is invincible in war;f 
and Socrates himself had such a sense of the sanctity of 
the laws that he refused to flatter and supplicate the 
judges at his trial (which the laws forbade), and al- 
though had he consented to do anything of the kind, he 
might easily have been acquitted, as Xenophon says,| 
he preferred to die abiding by the laws, rather than 
transgressing them to live. What could withstand, 
other things being equal, a nation of men like Socrates? 
I believe that the things that tend to make a people 
strong, permanently strong, that tend to give it a lasting 
advantage in the struggle for existence, that make it the 
fittest and always the fittest to survive, are good things, 
moral things, things that conscience from its ideal stand- 
point would approve. This does not apply to tempo- 
rary victories, but to those that are held, that are lasting. 
Respicejincm — look to the end and issue of all things. 
No one can doubt that those great eastern empires that 

* Vide his Physics and Politics. 
+ Xenophon's Memorabilia iv, 4, 1^. 
X Oitto, iv 4, 4,. 



we have glimpses of in connection with Hebrew history 
and legend, the Egyptian, the mighty Assyrian, the 
Babylonian and Persian, perished in turn because they 
were not fit to live. No one can doubt that Greece fell 
a prey to Rome, when she was no longer worthy to rule 
herself. No one can doubt that imperial Rome itself 
fell when it was best she should fall, and that it was 
owing to natural selection that the barbarians of the 
north became then the leaders of the world's progress, 
since out of their splendid energy and purer stock the 
foremost nations of a new world have come. It is diffi- 
cult to speak of the present and the future. But the 
same laws will hold good. Always, I believe, will the 
nations that have anything like a permanent leadership 
in the world's affairs be the best nations — I mean those 
that have the largest amount of virtue and intelligence 
within their borders. It may be indeed that no nations 
at present existing will be permanent; this would not 
be contrary to natural selection, but a proof of its power. 
It may be that none of them have the conditions of per- 
manency. For natural selection is, I believe, as high in 
its demands, as severe, as unrelenting as any ideal of 
the Deity that has ever been conceived. Nations that 
are full of selfishness and injustice cannot stand; they 
will be turned and overturned; the great powers of 
nature will not allow them to last. Nations with ruling 
classes given up to luxury, to effeminate habits, to wan- 
tonness, to " the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes- 
and the pride of life," and to contempt of the poor and 
the weak, will not stand; "behold, this was the iniquity 
of Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of 
idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor 
and needy. And they were haughty and committed 
abomination before me; therefore I took them awav as 
I saw good."* So speaks natural selection today, and 
always will, for it is a power as dread, as summary and 
as almighty as Jehovah. Nations full of violence toward 
weaker countries, eager with yawning necks to swallow 
them up and digest them for their own purposes, will 
not stand; they who are insolent and know no right 
above the sword shall perish by the sword; the power 
of natural selection is a moral power, and nothing, no 
success or triumph conceived and begotten in injustice, 
shall stand. This great judge of all the earth holds up 
the balances and says to the nations, for every act of in- 
justice thou shalt pay. England, France, Germany, 
America, — each thinks it is dear to the heart of Destiny 
and cannot fail; and Destiny whispers through all the 
experience of the past, I care for none of you, you 
may go, have your little day, and pass away as Babylon 
and Greece and Rome have done before you; I care for 
justice, for a state of virtuous citizens with pure homes 
and clean hearts and honest lips, men and women 'who 
put truth above life and would rather their state should 

* E/.ekiel, xvi, 49-50. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



8 1 



fall than that it should rest on injustice; I call for this, 
give it to me, O sons of men, and vou shall be dear to 
me, I shall cherish vou, and your work shall stand while 
the earth lasts. 

This is how, my friends, 1 interpret the ethics ->f 
Darwin. Darwin does not give us a theory of ethics, 
or rather so far as he does I should have something to 
say in criticism of it; but he does us a greater service, I 
almost think, than if he had given us a perfect theory, 
he shows how ethics works in tlie world. It is a great 
and consoling belief that the powers of nature are on 
the side of man's struggles after justice and a perfect 
good. The Might)' Power, hid from our gaze by the 
thin screen of nature and of nature's laws, is not in love 
with you or me, but he is with our struggles after a per- 
fect right, for to them he gives fmition and they are the 
salt that keeps the earth from spoiling, and their effect 
is undying, while all else is being- thwarted, cut short 
and passes away. Every brave act we do and every 
true word we utter helps to build up human life here 
on the earth ; and every mean act and false word tend to 
pull it down and destrov it. I have spoken of peoples 
and nations; let us not think that these are things too 
large for individual actions to count 'upon. The fate of 
a nation depends at last not on kings or parliaments or 
legislatures, but on the lives and characters of the in- 
dividual men and women who compose it. As the 
Statement of Principles of our Spcietv puts it, the well- 
being of the state depends upon the well-doing of its 
individual members. We think we are not responsible 
for the evil and wrong there are in society. We are to 
the extent that we submit to them. A great wrong can- 
not be done bv a community unless there is the spirit of 
wrong or of tolerance for wrong, widespread among its 
members. Each one of us, no matter how unimportant 
we seem, counts as a factor in the public sentiment from 
which good things or bad things are born. I came 
across a striking passage in a writer the other day: 
" There are current maxims in church and in state, in 
society , in trade, in law, to which we yield obedience. For 
this obedience everyone is responsible. For instance, in 
trade and in the profession of law, everyone is the ser- 
vant of practices the rectitude of which his heart can 
onlv half approve — everyone complains of them, yet all 
are involved in them. Now when such sins reach their 
climax, as in the case of national bankruptcy or an un- 
just acquittal, there may be some who are, in a special 
sense, the actors in the guilt; but evidently for the bank- 
ruptcy each member of the community is responsible in 
that degree and so far as he has himself acquiesced in 
the duplicities of public dealing; every careless juror, 
every unrighteous judge, every false witness, has done 
his part in the reduction of society to that state in which 
the monster injustice has been perpetrated."* That 

* Robertson's Sermons, 3d series, p. 147. 



came to me as a startling thought. Ves, you do count. 
And the only difference is that you may count in those 
influences that help to build man up here on the earth 
or in those that tend to weaken and undo him. 'ion 
may build on the sands and the floods will come and 
wash your work away, or on the rock and your work 
will stand forever. You may help to make a nation of 
money-getters, close, had, contemptuous of the weak, 
sacrificing honor and shame, and the sense of humanity 
and life itself for the sake of amassing riches, only to 
see it, if you could live on, crumble and disintegrate and 
its wealth in ruins, or you may cast in your lot with 
those who would be lovers of their kind, who would 
rather see justice done than amass riches, who would be 
clean in life and honor woman and protect the defence- 
less, and if vou do not win the nation to your side, vou 
or those who follow after you will form the saving rem- 
nant, bv whom and through whom a new and wiser 
nation may arise. Men trying to rear states without 
justice in their hearts are like Sisyphus rolling his giant 
stones up hill, that nevertheless fall of natural gravity; 
and when one sees them anxious, striving, thinking with 
laws and constitutions and courts and armies to buttress 
themselves about, laboring so with their destiny, one 
thinks of poor Sisyphus, in Homer's lines, heaving and 
straining, the sweat the while pouring down his limbs 
and the dust rising upward from his head. "Wash ye, 
make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from 
before mine eyes; seek justice, relieve the oppressed,' 
is the voice of natural selection as well as of Israel's 
God; else your work is vanity and all the labor of it and 
all the pain of it — all are for nothing; the great God ot 
the world will not permit it to stand. 

Two applications, and 1 am done. Think ot the 
Athenian race, whose average ability Francis Galton, 
another writer who has followed in Darwin's wake, 
says,* was nearly two grades higher than om own, 
(*■ e., as much as our race is above that of the 
African negro. Why did this marvelously-gifted race 
decline? Galton says because of social immorality, 
because, in plain language, marriage became unfashion- 
able and was avoided, and courtesans held sway. Now 
I say every man to-day, whether immoral or not, who 
has light thoughts of woman, who is not indignant 
when she is dishonored, who lets light jests pass his lips 
or lewd thoughts linger in his mind, helps to swell the 
tide of our social immorality, for he helps to make the 
atmosphere in which it grows. Acts do not come from 
nothing, they come from thoughts and words and what 
we hear others say, from a thousand and one nameless 
things that seem to count for nothing. 

On the other hand let us not imagine that the quiet, 
homely virtues, the graces of the heart, that kindness- 
and pity and tenderness count for nothing with the great 



' Hereditary Getthts, p. 34.3. 



82 



THE OPEN COURT. 



powers of nature with which we deal. Never let us 
think that physical strength is everything; it is not 
everything even in the animal world. As Prof. Everett 
has beautifully said, to the powers of natural selection, 
■" the delicate, the graceful, the tender, the beautiful, are as 
•dear as the fierce and the strong. It was the great law of 
natural selection itself that taught the nightingale to sing 
and that painted the humming bird with his changeful 
hues. It is this that whispers to the timid hare to flee, and 
this that binds the gentle sheep together in their harmless 
federation." The gentler virtues all count in humanity's 
struggle for existence. As there are no light thoughts 
of human suffering that do not help to make men 
cruel, so there is no sympathy and pity that do not help 
to draw men nearer together and make them stronger in 
any time of danger or distress. Quiet fortitude in a 
mother makes brave sons and daughters. Love in peace 
makes heroism in times of danger. Selfishness disinte- 
grates and disorganizes, love builds up and welds 
together. Nations stand not on dollars, not on armies, 
not on police, but on righteousness, and if unrighteous- 
ness becomes rampant in a community, not all its dollars 
or its police will save it. You and I count, my friends, 
living quiet inconspicuous lives as we do; oh, let us 
count for good, for purity, for unselfishness, for all 
that makes human life strong- and stable on the earth. 



FURTHER COMMENTS ON MR. HEGELER'S ESSAY. 

Chicago, March 12th, 1887. 
B. F. Underwood, Esq., City: 

Dear Sir — Kindly publish in No. 3 the attached 
communication and editorial note, clipped from the 
La Salle Republican. 

I hold their wishes to be both sincere from their 
standpoints — the one that of an ardent Catholic. 
Sincerely Yours, 

Edward C. Hegeler. 

SCIENTIFIC ETHICS. 

The Open Court is a new Chicago publication, 
issued fortnightly, and " devoted to the work of estab- 
lishing ethics and religion upon a scientific basis." 
The feature that makes this periodical of interest to 
La Salle any more than the hundreds of others of its 
class is that our fellow-townsman, Mr. E. C. Hegeler, 
is one of the incorporators of the publishing com- 
pany, a financial backer of the enterprise and a con- 
tributor to the first issue of this organ of scientific 
ethics and religion. The first article, by W. J. Potter, 
is about the only one seriously worthy of considera- 
tion as a scientific effort to explain the mystery of 
man's relation to man, and the something these 
scientific (?) men call nature. Mr. Hegeler's effort 
is that of a man with excellent vision walking in dark 



places and seeking with outstretched hands some- 
thing he cannot find. His scientific ( ?) attempt to 
explain the immortality of the soul by the theory 
that while individual souls become extinct at the 
time of the physical dissolution, the aggregate soul 
of our humanity lives on and evolves into higher 
and better forms in each succeeding generation, is 
very foolish and too much of a theoretical abstrac- 
tion to conform to the principles of sound philosophy. 
Not only this, but such a theory is opposed to the 
convictions, practices and laws of the entire human 
race in every age and clime, so far as history, tradi- 
tion or investigation have yet revealed them to us. 
When these scientific men endeavor to diffuse the 
individuality of every distinct human soul, with its 
individual responsibility for its free acts and words, 
its distinct, real and conscious existence after the 
physical dissolution, and its possibility of attaining a 
perfect and worthy end by its individual effort in the 
nebula of the confused, insane and vapory nonsense 
of pananimism, then they not only take a false posi- 
tion but they degrade humanity, maintain an attitude 
adverse to their own personal actions and do a great 
wrong to society. ' 

The effect of such a theory upon society would 
be not only a great wrong, but a disaster, and reduce 
mankind to a mass of immoral animals wherein self- 
ishness and rapine would rule with physical violence, 
and the laws of justice and humanity be as naught. 
It would remove the adequate motive which prompts 
men to be good, and leave in its place only a vapid 
idealism, negative and withering. These highfalutin 
theories may captivate and amuse the minds of 
wealthy philanthropic theorists who are too proud to 
follow the sure paths laid down by nobler though 
humbler minds, or they may entertain the innate 
capacities of the flatterers and sycophants who bask 
in the smiles of wealthy patrons, but the)' can never 
supplant the burning truths of Christianity sown in 
the depths of the human heart, and reaped in the 
harvest of justice, faith, hope and eternal love. The 
Open Court may be a forum for scoffing at the true 
good, but it can never in its present form be a hall 
of light and truth in which men can learn the right 
way to the better end. Ronoco. 



The Republican has received no request from any- 
one to review or even notice The Open Court, but 
the critical comments of our correspondent, as found 
elsewhere, lead us to remark in connection there- 
with, that the only proofs thus far in life presented 
to us in support of the theory that man has a soul 
comes under the head of heresay evidence. First- 
class courts generally rule out that kind of testi- 
mony. It strikes some people that the tenets of 



THE OPEN COURT. 



83 



the whole list of religions are founded on neither 
axiomatic nor demonstrable truths, but something 
established by tradition, which, by the way, is not a 
very distant relative of what is commonly known as 
superstition. —La Salic Republican. 

CORRESPONDENCE. 



RESOLUTIONS BY THE F. R. A. 

To the Editors: Concord, Mass., March 10, 1SS7. 

The following resolutions have been passed by the Executive 
Committee of the Free Religious Association, with a request that 
thev be published in The Open Court. 

Resolved, That in company with all friends of progress and 
admirers of puritv and independence in journalism, we regret 
deeply the inevitable discontinuance of 'I In Index, and that we 
are satisfied that this is not due to any lack of fidelity, energy or 
ability either in its noble and gifted founder, Dr. F. E. Abbott, or 
in his successors. 

Resolved, That we hold the names of its recent editors, 
Messrs. Wm. J. Potter and B. F. Underwood, who have con- 
ducted it most ably under the auspices of the Free Religious 
Association, in gratitude and honor, and that we now render our 
warm thanks, not onlv to them, but to all who have aided the 
paper with pen or purse. 

In sending the above I take the opportunity of expressing mv 
own confidence in The Open Court, as was prophesied by Mr. 
Wm. C. Gannett at the supper of the F. R. A. in Boston, on 
November 18th, " the soul of The Index is marching on." 

Fred. M. Holland, Sec'v F. R. A. 



SCHILLER'S GODS OF GREECE. 

( Freely translated in part. ) 
BY B. W. BALL. 



Yotir festive ritual never knew 

Harsh penance or austere devotion — 
The happy were akin to vou — 

All hearts throbbed with a glad emotion; 
For then the Holy was the Fair, 

To Beauty's scepter all submitting, 
Man's raptures gods blushed nut to share, 

If Muse and Graces were permitting. 



No specter o'er the bed of death 
Hung ghastly then, but sad affection 

Kissing received the parting breath, 

And Love his torch lowered in dejection,- 



Whereart thou, lovelv world: Again 

Return, O vanished bloom of yore! 
Save in the Land of Song vour reign, 

O happy Golden Time, is o'er, 
Dishallowed meadows, forests mourn — 

No glimpse of Deity is given — 
From disenchanted e.irth forlorn 

Her haunting life of t^nds \\ as driven. 



Out of the cold North breathing dun 

A blast that t'airv world invaded, 
And, while exalted was the One, 

The mythic host before him faded, 
In yonder starry vault I find, 

My lost Selene,* thee no more, 
While hollow echo on the wind 

Answers mv call from wood and shor 



Unconscious of the joy she yields — 

Of her own splendor unaware — 
Bl nd to the plastic power that wie'ds 

And fashions her forever fair — 
Deaf to the voices in her praise — 

Like lifeless pendulum's vibration. 
Lo, godless Nature mow obeys. 

Slave-like, the law of gravitation. 



Still ruled ye with dominion bland, 
Ear.h's happy generations swaying, 

Fair Beings out of Fable-land, 
When all the young world went a- Maying, 

And still thy fanes with wreaths were bright, 
O Amathusian Aphrodite! 



Around the Truth the drapery lair 

Of Poesy was woven then, 
Life's fullness streamed through earth and air, 

As it will never stream again — 
To make her loved and lovelv man 

Nature enriched with will a'nd feeling. 
So that whate'er his eyes might scan 

Was trace of Deity revealing. 

i 
Where only now, as sages say, 

Soulless an orb of fire is burning, 
Carborne, a stately God of Day, 

In ether blue men were discerning; 
An Oread haunted every hill — 

With every tree a Dryad died — 
And with its silvery foam each rill 

Was deemed from Naiad's urn to tflide. 



To old Deucalion's r.ice d .scending 

Enamored Deities still came; 
For mortal maid his Hocks while tending 

Apollo felt a lover"s flame; 
Alike round heroes, g< ds and men 

Love did his rosv bondage twine — 
Mortals and gods and heroes then 

All knelt at Amathusia's shrine. 



Day dies, but with each tresh morn shines 
Resurgent from its grave diurnal; 

The moon, waxing and waning, winds 
Like spindle swift its round eternal, 

Useless, to Poet's Land they flew, 

Their home, the gods of earth's young days 

The world no more their guidance knew, 
But held itself self poised in space. 



Yes, homeward to the Poet's Land, 
The bright gods flying bore away 

All that was beautiful and grand — 
Life's melodies and colors gay — 

Saved from the whelming stream of time 
O'er heights of Pindus still they hover, 

Immortally in song sublime 

They only live, whose life is over. 

* Stlene, Greek name of the moon. 



BOOK NOTICES. 



Philosophical Realism. By William Icrin Gill, author of 
" Evolution and Progress" and "Analytical Processes." Bos- 
ton : Index Association, 18S5; pp. 292. 

The leading ohject of this little volume in paper covers, com- 
posed mainly of a series of papers printed a few years ago at 
considerable intervals in The Judex, is to show that the only reality 
is Mind; that material things have no existence per se; that they 
are but " mortal modes of mortal thought," which pass away and 
perish with the power of sensibility which begot them, mind alone 



THE ORKN COURT. 



remaining and enduring forever. Mr. Gill's philosophical realism is 
idealism, and this our author holds is the goal toward which all 
thought and. action clearly tend. 

The work shows acquaintance with the various schools of 
speculative philosophy and it is marked by much acuteness of 
thought and ingenuity in anticipating and replying to objections- 
This volume, like the other works of Mr. Gill, is independent in 
spirit, and contains chapters to which no orthodox theologian is 
like to give assent. Among its defects are needless repetitions 
and obscurities of expression which detract from its value, but in 
spite of which it is an able contribution to speculative thought 



Practical Piety. From Discourses delivered at Central Music 
Hall, Chicago. By Jenkins Lloyd Jones. Chicago: Charles 
II. Kerr cV Co., 1S87; pp. 60. Cloth, price 30 cent-,. 
As samples of these sermons we quote the following: •' When 
our lives are most in attune with high things, how many clamorous 
wants recede into the background" (from Sermon on " The Econi- 
mies of Religion"). " Ideas, the high price of which tempt us to 
shrink from the purchase, endure, priceless gems in the cabinet of 
the universe, outshining and outlasting the stars themselves. 1 ' 
("Bread versus Ideas.") "Your brain is fertile with the deposits 
of your ancestors. Your blood is rich with the triumphs of your 
forerunners. Your heart is made tender with the tears of the 
mother* that were unappreciated in life and are forgotten in 
death." (" Present Sanctities.") "The claims of a child are: 1st, to 
be well horn; 2d, to a welcome into the world; 3d, to the sym- 
pathy of its elders; 4th, to a long childhood; 5th, to a practical 
education; 6th, to a moral training ; 7th, to religious influences, 
spiritual aptitude, an appetite for heavenly things, a thirst for per- 
fection." ("The Claims of the Children.") 



Treasure Trove for March is full of bright reading for 
bright girls and bovs. Over a score of illustrations give point to 
the stories, poems, biographical sketches and instructive articles 
of the number. Of these three are portraits of Gen. Hunt, 
Florence Nightingale and James Fenimore Cooper. 151 Wabash 
Ave.. Chicago; $1.00 per year. Treasure Trove Publishing Co. 

A very timelv article, in view of the recent earthquakes, is the 
opening one in Scribner's Monthly lor March, entitled " The 
StabiliU of the Earth," by N. S. Shaler, which is accompanied by 
a dozen pertinent illustrations by first-class artists. The frontispiece 
is a striking portrait of M. Thiers, French historian and statesman. 
One of the most interesting papers of this number is contributed by 
Hon. E. B. Washburne, ex-minister to France, "Reminiscences 
of the Siege and Commune" another is that entitled "What 
is an Instinct," by Prof. Win. James, of Harvard College. The 
serial stories are by Harold Frederic, II. C. Runner and " ]. S. of 
Dale." There are also short stories by Joel Chandler Harris, 
Robert Gordon Butler and T. R. Sullivan, and poems by R 
Armvtage and Andrew Lang. 



The Ar 1 A.m.vi elk for March is a very lively and agreeable 
number. It is curious to learn that the great religious picture, 
"Christ Before Pilate," has been bought by the Philadelphia "big 
dry-goods dealer," Wanamaker, as an aid to his business, while it is 
reported, though the report is not confirmed, that Hurler has 
bought the $100,000 Rembrandt, to show to everyone who buys 
fifty cents worth of molasses candy. It has been found profitable 
to put a big Bongereau in a bar-room, while sometimes the pictures 
have proved too attractive and diverted the attention of the custom- 
ers from buying. Can it be that the shop and the saloon are to 
be the patrons of Art instead of the palace and the Church? If so, 
what will Art become.' Will it pander to the lowest taste of its 



patrons, or will it really represent the religion of the great mass 
of humanity — and tell of the life which is lived, often purelv and 
heroically — amid the turmoil and strife of business? A complete 
collection of Millet's etchings, owned by Mr. Keppel, of New- 
York, must afford a rare treat to all lovers of this great master. 
Greta tells good news of the Boston Art Museum — first, that it 
has secured the services of Mr. S. K. Koehler to take charge of 
its valuable collection of engravings. Mr. Koehler is very much 
interested, also, in forming a historical collection of American 
engravings and all contributions to it will be welcomed and 
properly arranged. The hope that the museum will be able to add 
a new wing to the building this year is also a delightful prospect. 
It will enable the museum to exhibit treasures already in posses- 
sion and make room for more, which will surely come. The illus- 
trations in this number are very attractive. The colored plate of 
Titmice, by Miss Ellen Welby, seems to ring with the freshness 
and gladness of spring. The little wood-cuts are remarkably 
good. Dupre's Twilight and Schreyer's Gipsy Encampment are 
full of feeling. The Patient Donkey tells the story of the weary 
days' wandering. The little genre from Meyer Von Bremen, "Too 
Hot," has all the tenderness and naivete of that charming master, 
while "Betsy Prig and Sairey Gamp Taking Tea " do justice to 
those inimitable sketches of Dickens. The ornamental designs 
adapted from flowers are very good. One gives the leaves and 
blossoms of the pitcher-plant, and would be very effective in many 
styles of embroidery or decorative work. The reproduction of a 
pen-drawing by F. Hopkinson Smith, after Ziem, gives much of 
the charm of light and shadow of his Venetian pictures. 



WHAT THE PRESS SAYS OF THE OPEN COURT. 

The Open Cocrt, which hikes the place of the Index, and is now published 
at Chicago us a fortnightly, is a great improvement on that rather unequal 
journal and brings to the front, with their affirmations of positive thought, 
the principal radical thinkers of the country. There is not an 

article in it which a thinking man can afford to skip, and if the periodical c in 
lie maintained at ils present level, it will speedily become one of the influential 
papers of the United States, in all that pertains to vital thinking. It will he an 
honor to any man to reach the public through its columns. — Boston Dotty 
Herald. 

T\ pographically speaking The Open Cocrt makes a handsome appearance, 
as it is neatly printed, and its contents are rather interesting, being a decided 
improvement on any other religious journal that comes to this office, now that 
the Index has disappeared. — Boston Investigator . 

The first number just out, is a notable issue both in contents and tvpograph 
ical appearance, and is a worthy champion of the cause to which it is dedicaied. 
—Boston Budget. 

It will doubtless find readers to whom it will become a necessity and an effi- 
cient helper. — Chicago Tribune. 

It was to late last week, when we discovered our new contemporary, Till-. 
Open COURT, nestling among our exchanges, to extend to it a fraternal 
welcome. We stretch our hand across the continent, however, this week, to 
shake hands with this new representative of free thought. The Open Couh 1 
is what in the West would be called a " broad-gauge " paper, and it starts with 
a good head of steam and well-freighted columns. From the Register's stand 
point, it does not seem exactly as if The Open Cockt were 00 the right track, 
theologically; and, if Orthodoxy is right, the final experience of our contempt, 
rarv must be one of wreck and conflagration. But we are glad to say that it 
exhibits high ability as well as freedom in thought; and we may be sure, under 
Mr. Underwood's editorship, that its moral tone will be lofty and commanding. 
— Christian Register. 

The number before us is beautifully printed, and judging from the cursory 
perusal we have been able to give it, is able and entertainingly edited. — Dovj. 
agiac (Mich.) Times. 

Both in appearance and matter it is attractive. — Unity. 

The first issue gives promise of a brilliant career. — Sentinel Advertiser, 
1 Hope Valley, R. I.I 

It is a fortnightly journal, very handsomely printed, neatly made up, and one 
of its good features is that il is of convenient size and form for references and 
binding. A hasty inspection leads us to anticipate much pleasure from its fort- 
nightly visits.— Aft. Deseret (Me.) Herald. 

It is a successor of ttie Boston Index, which was the organ of Free Religious 
Movement, but on a somewhat more "advanced" plane. Its contributors 
represent all phases of religious thought. — Ottavja lOot.) Free Press. 



The Open Court 

A Fortnightly Journal, 

Denoted to the Work of Establishing Ethics and Religion Upon a Scientific Basis. 



Vol. I. No. 4. 



CHICAGO, MARCH 31, 1887. 



\ Three Dollars per Year. 
1 Sin^l Copies, 15 cts. 



A HINT FROM FRANKLIN. 
BY JOHN" BURROUGHS, 

In his autobiography, Franklin speaks of a certain 
sect of the Dunkers of his time, who had wisely refused 
to print their confession of faith, lest as the}' progressed in 
spiritual knowledge, they he too much hound by it and 
it proye a bar and a hindrance to them. "When we 
were first drawn together as a society," said the Dunker, 
"it had pleased God to enlighten our minds so far as to 
see that some doctrines which were esteemed truths 
were errors and that others which we had esteemed 
errors were real truths. From time to time he has been 
pleased to afford us further light, and our principles have 
been improying and our errors diminishing." Franklin 
adds, that "this modesty in a sect is perhaps a single 
instance in the history of mankind, every other sect sup- 
posing itself in possession of all truth, and that those 
who differ are so far in the wrong; like a man traveling 
in foggy weather, those at some distance before him in 
the road he saw wrapped up in the fog as well as those 
behind him, and also the people in the fields on either 
side, but near him all appears clear, though, in truth, he 
is as much in the fog as any of them." These Dunkers 
were indeed wise in their day and generation, and 
Franklin himself was, perhaps, as little in the fog 
engendered by narrowness and dogmatism as any man 
of his times. If there is one thing certain in the his- 
tory of mankind it is that sects do outgrow their creeds 
and are compelled to pull down and build larger or else 
be terribly pinched for room. Probably every one of 
the evangelical churches is to-day more or less pinched 
by its confessions of faith. No one can read the 
debate of the Congregational ministers last fall at Des 
Moines, on the subject of Foreign Missions, Future 
Probation, etc., without seeing how keenh' the finer and 
more expansive spirit among them felt the hard limita- 
tions of their creed. The Andover professors have 
tried to enlarge the creed a little, or rather, they haye 
tried to stretch it so as to make it less galling to the 
modern humanitarian feeling, and for this they are now 
arraigned, and by many of their brethren, already con- 
demned. What pagans and heathens most of us still 
are in opinion, hardly yet more than half liberated from 
the most groveling and materialistic superstitions of the 
pre-Christian world. Heaven is still a place with our 
creed makers, hell is still an infernal abode, God is still 



a Moloch or a Baal, Christ is still the victim sacrificed 
upon the altar to conciliate an offended deity, religion is 
still a doctrine and a ceremony, man is still the spirit of 
capricious and super-human powers; justice is still 
repriyal and reversal; there is wrath and a feeling of 
destruction in heaven, and the day of judgment is still 
an assizes adjourned to some future time. Creeds in 
our day harden the heart; they shock our religious sensi- 
bilities; they make atheists and scoffers. 

In a city near me, there is a large cemetery, in a 
neglected corner of which is a multitude of children's 
graves which have the appearance of being outcasts? 
reprobates; and so they are. These children were not 
baptized, therefore they cannot be buried in consecrated 
ground; their blameless little souls are in heli, and their 
bodies are huddled together here in this neglected 
corner. This is a glimpse of the beauty of the Catholic 
creed. The [ewish Papalists used to believe that the 
.utterance of certain magical words engraved upon the 
seal of Solomon would transform a man into a brute, or 
a brute into a man. The Catholics ascribe the same 
magical power to water in the hands of a priest. When 
the service is read and the unconscious infant is bap- 
tized, at that moment a miraculous change is wrought in 
its nature, and Rome says, with true Christian charity, 
"let lvm be accursed" who believes it not. The mere 
knowledge of such things is hurtful. And it requires 
rare Christian forbearance to read the Andover creed, 
and not fall from the grace of brotherly love. Is it not 
easy to see what short work Jesus would have made of 
these creed mongers, the friend of publicans and sinners, 
the rebuker of formalists, the comtemner of life service, 
who laid all the emphasis upon the condition of the 
heart and the attitude of the spirit, who said to the chief 
priest of the popular religion of his time: "The publi- 
cans and harlots go into the Kingdom of Heaven before 
you ? " 

Our doctors of divinity talk glibly of the growth of 
religious thought, but seem to lose sight of the fact that 
growth of religious thought means more or less a decay 
of old beliefs. There is no growth in anything without 
a casting off and a leaving of something behind. Growth 
in science is to a great extent the discovery of new facts 
and principles, which render the old theories and conclu- 
sions untenable. See how much we have had to unlearn 
and leave behind us by reason of Darwin's; labors and 



86 



THE OPEN COURT. 



further advances already lessen the significance of some 
of his principles. But it may be said that religion has 
not to do with outward facts and laws like science, but 
with inward spiritual conditions. Then why seek to 
embodv its final truths in formal propositions, as if they 
were matters of exact demonstration like science? The 
creeds treat religion as objective fact, something to be 
proved to the understanding and to be lodged in a sys- 
tem of belief, like any of the teachings of physical 
science. Regarded as such, it is always exposed to the 
inquiry: Is it true? Is it final? Does it agree with the 
rest of our knowledge? Does it keep pace with the pro- 
gress of science? If it is a subjective condition, if the 
Kingdom of Heaven is really within, as Christ taught, 
then the expression of it in outward forms of belief and 
creed must change as much as any other philosophy or 
metaphvsics change. A noble sentiment mankind will 
doubtless always admire ; a heroic act, self sacrifice, mag- 
nanimity, courage, enthusiasm, patriotism will always 
awaken a quick response; so will religion as devotion, 
or piety, or love, or as an aspiration after the highest 
good, but as an intellectual conception of God and of 
the manner of his dealings with man, it must be subject 
to change and revision like all other intellectual concep- 
tions. Where actual verification cannot take place as in 
science or mathematics, belief must forever fluctuate like 
the forms and colors of summer clouds. The subject of it 
may always be the same — God, the soul, the eternal life, 
but the relation of these and their final meanings can 
never be once and forever settled. Theology is at best 
only a tentative kind of science. Its conclusions cannot 
have anything like the certitude of scientific truth be- 
cause they are not capable of verification. Principal 
Tulloch in his Movements of Religions Thought in 
Britian, had the courage to say, that " the idea that 
theology is a fixed science, with hard and fast proposi- 
tions, partaking of the nature of infallibility, is a super- 
stition which cannot face the light of modern criticism." 
Tullnch further indicates that the true rational stand- 
point as to creeds and formulas, is a profound distrust of 
them as professing "to sum up Divine Truth. Useful as 
' aids to faith', they are intolerable as limitations of faith." 
And " limitations of faith " most of the creeds undoubt- 
edly are. But the drift of religious feeling, if not of 
religious opinion, is undoubtedly away from them. 
Most Churches keep their creed pretty well in the back 
ground. When has any one heard a doctrincal sermon? 
The creeds have been retired to the rear because they 
are no longer available in front. The world no longer 
asks what a man believes, but what is he? What is his 
intrinsic worth as a man? Is he capable of honesty, ot 
sobriety, of manliness? Vital original qualities, and not 
speculative opionions, are certainly what tell most in 
this world, however it may be in the next. Religion as 
a sentiment is strong in these times, but religion as a 



dogma is weak. The growing disbelief of which we 
hear so much, is a disbelief in the infallibility of dogma, 
not a disbelief in the need of godliness, purity, spirit- 
uality, and noble disinterested lives. These things move 
us as much or more than ever, but in the creeds we hear 
only the rattling of dry bones. How had the Puritan 
theology been sloughed off by Emerson, and yet what 
a pure, stimulating, ennobling, religious spirit shone in 
that man, and still shines in his works. The "saving 
grace" of heroic thought and aspiration, if they ever 
existed. The same might be said of Carlyle, rejector 
as he was of the creed of his fathers. " Religion can- 
not be incarnated and settled once for all in forms of 
creed and worship. It is a continual growth in every 
living heart — a new light to every seeing eye. Past 
theologies did their best to interpret the laws under 
which man was living, and to help him regulate his life 
thereby. But the laws of God are before us always, 
whether promulgated in Sinai thunder or otherwise." 
The progress of religious thought that has been made 
in the last half century is indicated in the writings and 
sermons of such men as Maurice, Campbell, Erskine, 
Kinglsey, Stanley, Arnold, Robertson, Tulloch, Mauds- 
ley and others in Great Britain, and in those of Emer- 
son, Parker, Hedge and Mulford, in this country — a 
progress from the bondage of the letter of the law into 
the freedom of the spirit. When we think of what 
these men have said and done, we may look forward 
with some confidence as Goethe did to a time when "all 
of us by degrees will learn to elevate ourselves out of a 
Christianity of catechisms and creeds, into a Christianity 
of pure sentiment and noble action." 



JEPTHAH'S DAUGHTER AT HONOLULU. 

BY MONCURE D. CONWAY. 

The Princess Like Like, of the Sandwich Islands, 
has just died in her youth. She had received an Amer- 
ican education, had married an American, and had before 
her a flowery path to the crown worn by her brother — 
for she was the youngest sister of Kalakaua — when she 
was done to death as a sacrifice to Pele. It is the old 
" theology in the island " that eruptions of the volcano 
Mauna Loa signify the wrath of Pele against mortals 
generally, and that the dread goddess can only be ap- 
peased by the sacrifice of a member of the royal family. 
" They had not," says the correspondent of the New 
York Herald (March 8), alluding to the Kahunas, "far 
to search for one who would make the fearful sacrifice, 
and while the rumbling of the volcano made awful 
thunder the Princess Like Like announced to the people 
that she, the sister of the king — the nearest to the throne 
— would lay down her life to stop the fearful flow. She 
openly proclaimed that she gloried to make a martyr 
of herself for her country and her people; and though 
in the prime of life, and with the prospect of a crown 



THE OPEN COURT. 



87 



before her, she made her final preparations and lay down 
to await the end. It is said that in this final proceed- 
ing the Kahunas played no unimportant part, and that 
while acting as her guardians and advisers they were, in 
fact, practising their dark arts upon her and hurrying 
her onward to the end. For days and days she lay 
among these people, and during all that time not a par- 
tial of food was allowed to pass her lips. She died of 
starvation at last, lay in state twenty days, and was laid 
in the royal mausoleum February 2S, 1SS7. The 
strangest part to tell," adds the correspondent of the 
most widely circulated paper in Christendom, "is this, 
that upon the day of her death Mauna Loa, the Awful, 
ceased to belch its lava forth, and for days after was in 
comparative quiet, and then the hoary old soothsayers 
went about among the people with many a nod and 
mystic sign, as who should say, 'Didn't we foretell all 
this? ' and to-day their power is greater in the land than 
since the days when Captain Cook laid his bones upon 
their sandy beach." 

Many a tender-hearted woman, reading this tragical 
narative, will ask, " Where were the missionaries? " I 
can answer such from personal knowledge. American 
protestant missionaries have for generations held com- 
plete possession, morally, of the Hawaiian Islands. 
They are chiefly of New England origin and have been 
able to establish there the nearest thing to the old Puri- 
tan government now surviving on earth. The sacred 
sawisans are not fossilized in the Sandwich Islands; they 
poison all that paradise of coral and flowers. A man 
may be imprisoned at Honolulu for riding on the Sab- 
bath. I was one of a company compelled to pass a 
Sabbath there; it was a fearfully hot September day, 
but no one was allowed to sell our ship a lump of ice, 
nor could we buy a glass of soda-water. The whole 
Sabbath atmosphere was that most congenial to human 
sacrifice. It were, perhaps, not wonderful if the young 
princess, like Electra of old, desired to get out of it all 
and find a repose unvexed by any gods. From what I 
learned of Christian theology in the Sandwich Islands 
while there, four years ago, it has but given new lease 
of life to the native theology. Both of these theologies 
have a common source. They rolled out of the cruel 
phenomena of nature. They 

" Came 
Like the volcano's tongue of flame;" 

even like the fiery vomit of Mauna Loa. The " Moun- 
tain Fiend," as the Herald calls Pele, is but a hag Je- 
hovah. How often had the Princess Like Like, sitting 
in church with her American husband (A. B. Cleghorn) 
and her little daughter, heard her minister read about 
the biblical Pele? "And Mount Sinai was altogether 
on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; 
and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a fur- 
nace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly." " And 
the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring 



fire." " And he said unto them, thus saith the Lord 
God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and 
go in and out from .gate to gate throughout the camp, 
and slay every man his brother, and every man his com- 
panion, and every man his neighbor. And there fell of 
the people that day about 3,000 men. For Moses had said 
consecrate yourselves to-day to the Lord, even every man 
upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow 
upon you a blessing this day." How many young Like 
Likes were sacrificed that day to appease the "Devour- 
ing Fire," and to secure blessings for their survivors! 

How many sermons had this sacrificed Hawaiian 
princess heard representing God as a Consuming Fire, 
whose wrath had been soothed, whose remorseless law 
satisfied, only by the death of a member of the royal 
family ? 

The ancient Hebrews frankly preserved, what mod- 
ern Hebrews try to explain away by casuistry, the story 
of Jepthah's sacrifice of his daughter to Jehovah in ful- 
fillment of a pledge to do so if Jehovah gave him a vic- 
tory. Jepthah's faith is praised by Paul. It is the 
opinion of Froude, and other eminent scholars, that the 
Greeks got hold of a version of this same story, and that 
"Iphigenia" is really "Jepthah-genia." Whether the 
two stories are variants of the same or not does not mat- 
ter, however, they are the same in theological origin. 
But there is a striking difference between the use made 
of this idea of human sacrifice by ancient Greeks and 
modern Christians. The Christian plan of salvation 
sets before us an offended God (or Law) satisfied by a 
spotless and royal human victim who takes the place of 
the human race and suffers the vengence which would 
have fallen upon them. The doctrine based on this is 
that we should praise and worship both the avenger and 
his victim and regard the scheme as an expression of 
divine wisdom and love. Now the Greeks set before 
us an offended goddess, Artemis, who vents her fury on 
the fleet of Agamemnon, king of men, because of some 
offense to her divine privileges by one of his royal an- 
cestors — offense small as eating a forbidden apple. It is 
decided by the priests (Kahunas of the time) that the 
fleet can only move and victory be won if Agamemnon's 
daughter, Iphigenia be sacrificed. This is done. The 
imputed sin is requited by vicarious suffering of the in- 
nocent. Agamemnon moves on, prevails, and returns 
home amid the wild delight of his people. 

But just here the Greeks bring in another figure — 
Clytemnestra. She — the mother — cares little for the 
victory. She asks for her daughter who accompanied 
the fleet — her beloved Iphigenia. She is told the story. 
With her own hand she slays Agamemnon. That is 
Greek theology. The king cowering before Artemis 
in heaven learns that there is a Clytemnestra on earth. 
Humanity also has its rights and its vengeances. Cly- 
temnestra is the Greek criticism on the Jepthah story. 



88 



THE OPEN COURT. 



The Hebrews did not report what Jepthah-genia's 
mother thought of the proceeding of the Israelitish 
captain. The Greeks supplied that omission. 

Christianity refused the Greek hint. It accepted 
the piimitive savage notion. Abraham's arm stayed, 
when about to sacrifice his son, became the line of Jew- 
ish theological evolution. But Christendom selected 
for its basis the unarrested human sacrifice — unarrested 
by any angel, unavenged by any Clytemnestra. With 
Jepthah's faith it subdued Greece ami stopped the 
mouths of poets. It established in Europe the volcanic 
theology of Mauna Lao. It added millions of victims 
to the 3,000 massacred before the Devouring Fire of 
Sinai. The deified Devouring Fire and its deified vic- 
tim were establish d also in America. For two hundred 
years this virgin land was victim of a dogma more cruel 
than its wildest aborigines ever devised. But at length, 
in the Athens of America, Clytemnestra appeared. 
Channing appeared, and Parker, and Emerson, and 
Ballou. Through them spoke humanity, and by her 
maternal hand this Agamemnon theology — this throned 
cowardly sacrificer of men to gods — was laid low. Un- 
fortunately, however, it was not slain. It tied from the 
centres of American culture to take up its abode, and 
rebuild its empire, among helpless and ignorant islanders, 
in whose horrible devil-worship it finds natural habitat. 

Despite the death of its latest victim, the Princess 
Like Like, Mauna Loa is still belching out its brim- 
stone. This same paper tells us that its red dust has 
settled down in some Western city. The theological 
dust of Mauna Loa may be recognized in that Congre- 
gational Assembly in Chicago which declined to sym- 
pathise with Mrs. Beecher because her dying husband 
did not believe in eternal hell-fires. No question was 
raised about anything so unimportant as Beecher's mor- 
ality, or the Assembly's humanity. The Devouring 
Fire was alone important. Everything must be sacri- 
ficed to that. These men are a thousand years behind 
ancient Greece. Their Madonna is Pele. Their the- 
ology was all belched out of Mauna Loa. 



MORAL UNITY. 

BY WILLIAM J. POTTER. 

One of the basal facts of the science of ethics is the 
moral unity of the human race. This, of course, is not 
to say that among all races and nations there is the 
same measure of moral light, nor even that enlightened 
mankind are always uniformly agreed in respect to the 
application of moral principles. Much less is it to say 
that all persons are alike zealous in seeking and doing 
right actions. But what is meant by moral unity among 
mankind is that, under conditions of normal develop- 
ment, all classes and kinds of men not only have a sense 
of moral obligation, but substantially agree among 
themselves in regard to the fundamental principles of 



the moral law; and, further, that, with increasing en- 
lightenment and advancing civilization, there is a grow- 
ing agreement among all races and classes of people 
concerning the practical application of these funda- 
mental ethical principles. 

The moral unity of mankind, historically considered, 
may be regarded as a comparatively recent discovery. 
It was one of the common-places of the old theological 
teaching, and not so very far back, that the moral law- 
was given to man in connection with religious revela- 
tion and came direct from heaven; that outside of the 
Hebrew and Christian religions only a most meagre and 
inadequate knowledge of moral obligation and moral 
principles has ever existed; that, even if a few excep- 
tionally intelligent men among heathen races appear to 
have comprehended a tolerably lofty ethical code, the 
masses of the people around them were incapable of under- 
standing it and were almost void of moral sense. This 
was one of the stock-arguments by which it was sought 
to prove the necessity of a supernatural revelation in 
order to save mankind from ruin by imparting to the 
race the true moral code. The same argument was 
also brought forward to prove the vast superiority of 
the religion of the Bible to all forms of natural religion. 
The point was apparently overlooked that both the Old 
and the New Testaments furnish abundant evidence of 
the fact that the masses of the people gave little heed to 
the moral precepts announced therein by such excep- 
tional teachers as Moses, Isaiah and Jesus. 

But researches which have been made, especially in 
the latter half of the present century, in the literature 
and teachings of the heathen religions of Asia, have 
disclosed in them a body of moral principles and pre- 
cepts in entire unity with the best ethical teachings of 
the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, and in every 
important particular as clear in perception and as lofty 
in tone and tenor. In view of these discoveries, so sur- 
prising to the theological mind of Christendom, it is not 
too much to say that these natural religions have become 
re: ealed to the modern world; and, in consequence, it 
is not now a very rare thing to find Orthodox writers 
admitting that all these religions before Christianity 
had a measure of divine revelation and guidance. The 
confirmed theological mind of the old type, however, 
has not yet been able to adjust itself to this discovery. 
Therefore it was that President Bartlett, of Dartmouth 
College, in the recent debate in the Board of Missions 
over the chances of salvation for unconverted heathen, 
made the senile statement that, though he had taken 
pains to look up the matter, he could not "obtain 
account of more than a dozen or twenty instances" of 
heathen before Christ who were possibly in a salv- 
able condition. But the adjustment of old creeds to the 
new Oriental scholarship is taking place. This is one 
of the things which the New Orthodoxy means. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



89 



And the important fact which has been determined 
by this better information concerning the ethics of the 
heathen religions of Asia is that the peculiar ethical 
features which have been supposed to distinguish the 
moral code of the New Testament can no longer be 
regarded as unique. Of course it has been known for a 
good while that Greece and Rome had good moral 
codes. But it had become the fashion in theological 
Christendom to explain these codes as the utterances of 
a few specially bright intellects, upon which C hristian- 
ity may have cast some of the morning rays of its ap- 
proaching light. It was also alleged that the classic 
moral code, though of heroic quality, was not of nearly 
so high a type as the morality of the New Testament; 
that it especially lacked the features of gentleness, 
humility, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, forbearance, resig- 
nation, that mark so conspicuously the moral precepts 
of Jesus. But these discoveries with regard to the 
Oriental religions — with regard to Buddhism, Brahman- 
ism, and the religions of Zoroaster and Confucius — 
prove that these very virtues, ordinarily regarded as 
peculiarly Christian, are the common property of all 
these Eastern religions. In truth, these are eminently 
Oriental virtues; and ethical precepts of this tenor are 
found embedded in the sacred books of all the ethnic 
religions of Asia, mixed, as in the Hebrew and Chris- 
tian Scriptures, with a good deal of inferior and extrane- 
ous matter, yet, in the one case as in the other, consti- 
tuting an essential part of the religion of which these 
sacred books in each case are the accepted authoritative 
utterance. " Return good for evil" said a Brahman 
text 1200 years before Jesus taught the ethics of the 
Sermon on the Mount. " Overcome anger by love, evil 
by good," is a Buddhist precept of date before Christ. 
" Be rigid to yourself, and gentle to others," and again, 
" He is the great man who is strongest in the exer- 
cise of patience — who patiently endures injury," taught 
Confucius; and his fellow-countryman, Lao-tze — the 
profounder religious teacher of the two — said, " Of all 
noble qualities, the noblest is loving compassion." 

If we regard the more robust moral principles, such 
as honesty, justice, veracity, self-control, purity, we find 
a similar unanimity of recognition. " Let a man keep 
in subjection his speech, his arm, and his appetite," said 
nanu, of the ancient Hindus. " Fear not poverty, but 
fear missing the truth," again preached the wise Con- 
fucius. " Whatsoever people may think of you, do that 
which you believe to be right," taught Pythagoras, the 
Greek. " Blessed are the pure in heart" stands among 
the highest of Jesus' utterances. But, centuries earlier 
Zoroaster taught the Persians " to keep pure in body 
and mind;" that "immodest looks are sins"; that "to 
think evil is a sin." 

Examples like these, to prove the parity of ethical 
teaching among the different races and religions of 



mankind, mi'jjht be multiplied indefinitely. The his- 
torical argument for the moral unity of man is simply 
overwhelming. Humanity, always and everywhere, 
and under various conditions of experience, when it has 
risen to sufficient intelligence to perceive the relations of 
human acts, has had essentially the same moral per- 
ceptions, and recognized the authority and majesty of 
the same moral law. 

In matters of practice, the world, of course, has 
always been very far from moral unity, and is still a long 
distance from that goal. Different persons and the 
ethical codes of different nations may give precisely the 
same moral judgment of a certain action when consid- 
ered apart from their own interests; but let self-interest 
be involved or personal passion be concerned, and im- 
mediately the moral perception is likely to be blurred 
and the action will accordingly be differently adjudged. 
The practical moral disagreements between individuals 
and between nations arise from this disturbance of judg- 
ment caused by the excess of some motive of self-inter- 
est. When we look at the nations of Europe arming 
themselves to the teeth against each other and ready to 
send millions of men to battle-fields to defend against 
each other their alleged rights, it does not seem possible 
that they should confess the same moral code. And 
yet they do. And so do the contending and struggling 
classes that in any single nation are to-day at strife with 
one another. They all say that they want only jus- 
tice and equity. But what is justice, what are the 
requirements of equity, in the special questions at issue, 
the pressure of self-interest prevents them from seeing 
together. 

Yet in spite of the actual moral disturbance and the 
fierce physical contentions in consequence, moral unity 
is stdl the ideal aim of mankind. It is the central attri- 
bute in humanity's vision of a perfected form of so- 
ciety. That the individual members of society, differing 
in respect to intellectual faculties, services, and power, 
should see, feel, and live together in entire moral har- 
mony, — this has been man's dream through the ages. 
It has been the Utopia of social philosophers, the vision 
of enthusiastic philanthropists, the faith of religions. 
Nor is this hope of a practical moral unity for mankind 
to be scoffed at as only an unsubstantial dream ; nor is 
its realization to be put where religion has been too apt 
to put it, among the mysteries of a future world. It is 
the hope that gives largest motive, highest dignity, most 
permanent influence, for human efforts in this present 
world. It is worth all the struggle and pain of all the 
past ages, that this creature called man has come, en- 
dowed with the power of discerning the right and the 
true and of putting them into deeds and institutions. 
He thereby becomes the incarnation and servant of the 
Eternal Power that makes for righteousness. By their 
capacity to help toward this end of practical moral 



9° 



THE OPEN COURT. 



unity, or righteousness, all men, measures, and institu- 
tions must be finally judged. 

The consummation is, indeed, far off! Individual 
selfish greed is delaying it. Individual passions and 
appetites, seeking their own to the sacrifice of the com- 
mon good, are grievously hindering forces. Moral unity 
needs first of all to be established in the individual char- 
acter. Thence the harmony will extend to the family, 
to the neighborhood, to the community, to the State. 
Nevertheless, in spite of the appalling obstacles and 
delays, social progress is made. Vices are yielding to 
the efforts of philanthropy and to a firmer self-control. 
Injustices are slowly, but surely, giving way to righteous 
laws. Old oppressions are loosening their grasp, and 
their victims are rising up men and free citizens. By 
and by — some of the younger readers of this number of 
The Open Court may live to see it — the warring 
nations may agree to dismantle their forts, disband their 
armies, and unite in a confederation of justice and 
brotherhood. In view of moral and political reforms 
which have been accomplished, this is no merely vision- 
ary prediction. The moral unity will come if men and 
women will work for it according to their best belief 
and knowledge. 



FLOWERS AND POETS. 

BY ANNA OLCOTT COMMELIN. 

Saintine, in his charming story of Picciou nas shown 
us how the development and growth of a little plant, 
with its buds and flowers, saved from weary languishing 
the poor prisoner of Fenestrelle, restored his reason, 
health and life, and in the end, brought to him friend- 
ship, liberty and love. Without claiming that all flow- 
ers, in all circumstances, can accomplish so much as this, 
let us consider them in their relation to human life, and 
the inspiration that they have given to poets. " Poeta 
nascitur, nonjit" says the proverb, and in the mind of 
every one possessed of the poetic fire is born the love of 
beauty. Says Wordsworth : 

"To me the meanest flower that blows can give 
Thoughts that do often lie to deep for tears." 

The "kindly fruits of the earth" minister to our 
corporeal needs, besides giving pleasure to the eye, but 
flowers are almost human in their association with the 
dearest and holiest sacraments of life. They go with 
the bride to the altar, and we lay them beside our sacred 
dead when we dress them for their last, long sleep. 

.Says Longfellow: 

" Bear a lily in thy hand, 
Gates of brass cannot withstand 
One toueir of that magic wand." 

" Sweets to the sweet," says Queen Gertrude, when 
she scatters flowers over Ophelia's lifeless form. Says 
Browning, "do not the dead wear flowers, when dressed 
for God?" 

From the first chill days of early spring, when the 



delicate anemone rises from the wintry ground, until 
the last frail little waif of a violet, in bleak December, 
how magnificent and varied is this procession of beauty. 
Says Oberoil : 

" I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, 
Where ox-lip and the nodding violet grows, 
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, 
With sweet musk roses and with eglantine." 

Mrs Whitney expresses our feeling in the return of 
the flowers we have loved in her lines : 

" God does not send us strange flowers every year; 

When the spring winds blow o'er the pleasant places, 
The same dear things lift up the same fair faces, — 
The violet is here." 

When we read that the violet, — our violet, — was 
known in the time of Homer, we think of the favorite 
poem of Lincoln, and the lines: 

" We see the same things that our fathers have seen." 

In Cowper's translation from Homer we read : 

"Everywhere appeared 
Meadows of softest verdure purpled o'er 
With violets; 't was a scene to fill 
A god from heaven with wonder and delight." 

Lady Wilkinson, in her book on flowers, gives 
many interesting particulars concerning the violet. It 
must have been greatly in favor with the Romans, she 
tells us, as they called their days set apart for decking 
graves, "Dies VlolarisP Pliny thought that violets 
were of medicinal value, and advised that garlands of 
them should be worn on the head. DiiFerent varieties 
of this flower grow in many parts of America, Pales- 
tine, China, Japan, Europe, and even on the Swiss 
Alps, and the ruins of the Colosseum at Rome. Its 
praises, we are told, have been written in many lan- 
guages. Aboo Rumi, an Eastern poet, says, " it is not 
a flower; it is an emerald, bearing a purple gem." The 
Arabs, it ia said, compare the eye of a beautiful woman 
to a violet. Homer speaks of Venus as crowned with 
violets, and Theocritus thought that these flowers were 
specially desirable for. wreaths. Aristophanes spoke of 
Athens as " violet crowned," and Dioscorides makes 
mention of the flower. In modern times this favorite, 
with its meanings of truth, modesty and love, is spoken 
of by Shelley, in these lines : 

" Lilies for a bridal bed, 
Roses for a matron's head, 
Violets for a maiden dead." 

Daisies are found so universally that a British poet 
calls them " the constellated flowers that never set." 
Chaucer says: 

" Above all flouris in the mede 
Than I love most those flouris white and rede, 
Such that men callen daisies in our town." 

In his legend of " Gude Women," he gives a poetical 
version of the origin of the daisy. It is pleasant to know 
that Linnaeus himself may have inherited a love of 
flowers from his father, but when we read a botanical 
definition of a daisy as a " scape, one-flowered, with 
leaves spathulate, single-ribbed, obovate, crenate," w» 



THE OPEN COURT. 



9 r 



turn with satisfaction to Burns, in his address to the 
«< wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower.''' 
Wordsworth says : 

" Mcthinks that there abides with thee 
Some concord with humanity, 
Given to no other flower I see 
The forest through." 

Sweet and tender and sad are the associations of the 
daisy with the frail genius of the poet Keats, who knew 
not of the immortality that time would bring him, when 
he composed his own epitaph, and felt, only a few days 
before his death, the "daisies growing over him." 

Lucy Larcom, in our own day, writes gracefully of 

" golden daisies:" 

" Disk of bronze and ray of gold 
Glimmering through the meadow grasses 
Burn less proudlv! for behold 
Down the fie'd mv princess passes. 
Hardly should I hold you fair, 
Golden, gay midsummer daisies, 
But tor her, the maiden rare, 
Who, amid your starry mazes. 
Makes you splendid with her praises." 

The " Flowers of the Fallow " is another lovely 
poem by this writer: 

" I like those plants that you call weeds, 
Sedge, hardback, mullin, yarrow, 
That knit their roots and sift their seeds 
Where any grassy wheel-track leads 
Through country by-ways narrow. 
They fringe the rugged hillside farm 
Grown old with cultivation, 
With such wild wealth of rustic charms 
As bloomed in Nature's matron arms 
The first days of creation." 

It is hard to refrain from quoting all the verses, but 
we have cullings from many authors, in a field which 
comprises all lands and all ages, and where the only 
embarrassment is one of riches. To mention the name 
•of Bryant is to bring up a host of tender and beautiful 
associations of poetrv and nature's charms. One hardly 
knows which to love best, the golden rod which sug- 
gested the verse of his poem, or the verse which has 
immortalized the golden rod. The lines are so familiar 
to all that some less known but well worth knowing 
will be more appropriate to introduce here, by Jennie 
Maxwell Paine. 

" Open the bars and make me room, — 
Let me wade, waist-deep, in the yellow bloom, 
Let me me revel at will, let me gather my fill, 
Let me touch their plumes with reverent hands, 
Let me tread where the wealth of blossom stands. 
With the pomp of gold, in the glowing lands. 
Fine as feather and soft as down 
Is its petaled plume, — the verv crown 
Of the fair and the fine and the rare design! 
Fair as the ore. when wrought and rolled. 
Fine as the fretting of filagree gold." 

When we read of the thistle of Scotland, the fleur- 
de-lis of France, with the daisy as the badge of the 
beautiful province of Languedre, and the rose of En- 
gland, we could wish that the possession of a national 
floral emblem were ours, though the choice of one 
" bright, consummate flower " would be attended with 
difficulties. Here, in the length and breadth of our own 



America, with its wealth of flowers, one can think of 
none so national in character as we find in other coun- 
tries. Is not the harebell immortal in its association with 
the name of Ellen Douglas and Scotland? 

The fragrance of flowers has the power to recall 
recollections of the past, since the sense of smell is more 
intimately connected with the power of memory than 
with sight or hearing. Perhaps this may be another 
, reason why flowers are so much beloved by poets. A 
different sentiment, the expression of his Pantheistic 
thought, is shown in Omar Khayyam's wonderful poem 
of the Rubaivat : 

" I sometimes think that never blows so red 
The rose as where some buried Cajsar bled; 

That every Hyacinth the garden wears 
Dropt in her lap from some once lovely head. 

And this reviving herb, whose tender green 
Fledges the river lip on which we lean, 
Ah. le.inupon it lightly! for who knows 
From what once lovely lip it springs unseen! 

Shakspeare expresses a similar idea: 

" Lay her i' the earth, 
And, from her fair and unpolluted flesh, 
May violets spring." 

And Herrick says: 

" From her happy spark here let 
Spring the purple violet." 

And George Eliot: 

"Is there not a soul — half nymph, half child— in these delecate petals which 
glow and breathe about the centres of deep color? " 

The rose, supposed to be a native of Syria, seems to 
have been known in earliest history. Mention is made 
in the Iliad of ointment of oil perfumed with roses, with 
which Venus annointed the body of Hector, and Hector 
is spoken of as using the same "ambrosial lymph" in 
Cowper's translation. Roses were worn at the feasts of 
the ancients, and at the banquets of Cleopatra. They 
were much used to decorate tombs, and it is said that 
the Romans provided for this observance in their wills. 
Anacreon thought that the rose had power to protect 
the dead. Didvmus, the Alexandrian, was persuaded 
that the " rose was something more than human." Sap- 
pho is said to have written verses to this flower, and 
Dryden, in his translation from Virgil, speaking of 
.Eneas at the tomb of his father, Anchises, says: 

" With roses then the sepulchre lie strewed, 
And thus his father* ghost bespoke aloud." 

Plinv says that this flower was much cultivated bv 
the Romans, and used as a perfume for annointing the 
body. Gerarde thought that the rose was useful for 
" strengtheninge of the heart, and refreshinge of the 
spirits, and profitable for other griefes." 

In our day, Aldrich alludes to roses in one exquis- 
itely tender verse. 

" We wove the roses round her brow- — 
White buds, the summer's drifted snow — 

Wrapt her from head to foot in (lowers. . . . 
And thus went dainty Baby Bell 
Out of this world of ours."' 

The meanings that are attached lo flowers would 



9 2 



THE OPEN COURT. 



form an interesting study. Many sentiments can be 
expressed and replied to in their interchange. In Shaks- 
peare's time this was thought of, since Ophelia said : 

''There's rosemary, that's for remembrance: there's pansies, that's for 
thought." 

The English poet, Horace Smith, has written a 
" Hvmn to the Fowers," one stanza of which we quote: 

" Floral Apostles! that in dewy splendor, 

Weep without woe, and blush without a crime, 
Oh may I deeply learn and ne'er surrender « 

Your lore sublime." 

Wordsworth was a genuine lover of flowers, and 
said, " and 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air 
it breaths," giving to them consciousness of being. 
When he says: 

" My heart with rapture fills 
And dances with the daffodils," 

one feels with him a throb of delight. Shelley shows 
his affection for all flowers in his verses to the sensitive 
plant in which occur these lines: 

" Narcissi, the tairest among them all 

Who gaze on their eves in the stream's recess, 
Till they die of their own dear loveliness." 

In our own day, Anna C. Brackett in her " Vaca- 
tion " poem, discourses eloquently : 

'■ When did we leave the Michigan woods? 

I only know 
That clusters of asters, purple and white, 
And the golden rod, like a flash of light, 

Had set all the roads aglow." 

Holmes, in his beautiful sonnet, " nearing the snow 
hue," speaks of the "slender flowerets, scentless, pale, 
along the margin of unmelting snow." Emerson writes 
to the rhodora, speaks tenderly of the wood-rose in 
" Forbearance," and in his poetical, prose paragraph, 
describes the edelweiss, flower of noble purity. With 
Lowell, in his sweetest of love songs, " Auf Wieder- 
sehen," we breath the very fragrance of the lilacs. 
Truly, 

" The poet, faithful and far-seeing, 
See- alike in stars and flowers a part 
Of the selfsame universal being 
Which is throbbing in his brain and heart." 

Not alone the poet, but all who possess the love of 
beauty, and who feel glowing in them the enthusiasm 
every flower that blows, gladdening the eye, delighting 
the sense, must feel that it is well indeed to consider the 
"flowers of the field," for truly" Solomon in all his 
glory was not arrayed like one of these." 



THE BLUE LAWS. 

BY FREDERIC MAY HOLLAND. 

This name seems to have been first used of the early 
statutes of New Haven, some of which are spoken of 
under this title in the General History of Connecticut, 
by Rev. S. Peters, a tory refugee. The little hook, 
which was first published in iSyijand has been recently 
reprinted, is very readable, but by no means trustworthy. 
Peters proposses to give extract from enactments which 
were never allowed to be printed, and which " were 



properly termed blue laws, i. e., bloody laws, for they 
were all sanctified with excommunications, confiscation, 
fines, banishment, whippings, cutting off the ears, burn- 
ing the tongue and death. " " Similar laws still prevail 
over New England as the common law of the country," 
adds Peters, who undertakes to " give a tolerable idea of 
the spirit which pervades the whole, " bv stating forty- 
five of the enactments of New Haven. This colony, 
it should be noticed, was not united to Connecticut until 
1665; and its first code was avowedly based on the Bible,, 
so that the edition of 1650 is as full of references to 
texts as any catechism. 

From this code and other records, it is plain that 
Peters was right more than half the time. Of his forty- 
five blue laws twenty-four, at least, were substantially 
in force. Among those that must have been peculiar to 
New Haven are the following: "The judge shall de- 
termine all controversies without a fury. " A debtor in 
prison, swearing he has no estate, shall be let out and 
sold to make satisfaction, " and " married persons must 
live together or be imprisoned. " Then there are others, 
common to New Haven and other colonies at first, but 
gradually modified; like those which allowed only 
church members to vote or hold office; which made con- 
spirators, Quakers, adulterers, and men-stealers liable to 
be hung, and liars to be whipped; and which provided 
that " No gospel minister shall join people in marriage, " 
that " The sabbath shall begin at sunset on Saturday, " 
and that " No man shall court a maid in person or by 
letter without first obtaining consent of her parents. " 
This statute was often enforced in New Haven. On 
May-day, 1660, a special court, whose record may be 
found in the Blue Laws of Connecticut, bv Silas Andrus, 
was held by Governor Newman to try Jacob M. Mur- 
line and Sarah Tuttle. The girl had made some jokes 
too much like those of Shakespeare's heroines, to 
Jacob's sisters. Then he came in, snatched up her 
gloves, and refused to give them back unless she would 
kiss him. This she denied having done; but the sisters 
testified that she had; and the Governor decided that she 
was guilty. She dill not deny that Jocob had kissed 
her, or that they had set side by side for nearly half an 
hour, with their arms about each other, and his sisters 
looking on. Her father charged Jacob with trying to 
inveigle her into marriage; but she denied it so firmly 
as to save him from punishment for this crime. Jacob, 
on being asked " whether his arm was about her waist, 
and her arm upon his shoulder or about his neck, " said 
"he never thought of it since," "for which he was 
blamed, and told he had not laid to heart as he ought." 
The court further decided that "his carriage hath been 
very corrupt and sinful, such as brings reproach upon 
the family and place. " Sarah was scolded by the 
Governor, until she " professed that she was sorry she 
had carried it so sinfully;" and the criminals were fined 



THE OPKN COURT. 



93 



twenty shillings each, at a time when the most skillful 
workmen was forbidden by law to earn more than two 
shillings a day. Peters does not mention this last 
statute, nor that under which Jacob and Sarah were 
fined, as I suppose, namely that re-enacted the same 
month, to punish all persons who " meet, or company 
together in any kind of vain manner or unreasonable 
time, whether by day or night, to mispend and waste 
the precious talent of these gospel seasons of grace, " 
etc. This statute of May 30, 1660, also forbids "cor- 
rupt songs and foolish jesting," " mixt dancings,"' "im- 
moderate playing at any sort of sports or games, or mere 
idle living out of an honest calling industriously, or ex- 
travagant expenses, by drinking, apparel etc, " as is 
mentioned in Iloadlv's New Haven Colonial Records, 
pp. 336-7. After New Haven became a part of Con- 
necticut, a fine of twenty shillings was imposed on any 
one who should play at cards or back-gammon, or suffer 
it to be played in his house; and enough of this hatred of 
amusement remained in 1S49, to cause all dramatic per- 
formances, exhibition of trained animals, etc., where 
there was a charge for admission, to be prohibited under 
a fine of $50. One of fifty cents was incurred in 180S 
by absence from church, or failure of the parent or 
guardian to inflict punishment, in the presence of some 
officer, on anj child under fourteen who broke the 
Sabbath. 

Some of the worst laws which Xew Haven took 
from the Bible are not mentioned by Peters, namely 
those to inflict death for worshipping " any other God 
but the Lord God;" " witchcraft," "willful or obstinate 
denying the true God, or his creation or government of 
the world, " or uttering " any other blasphemy of the 
like nature;" manslaughter committed "suddenly in 
anger or cruelty of passion;" attempt at murder; or 
profaning the Sabbath "proudly, presumptuously and 
w r ith a high hand. " This last statute was pecuhar to 
New Haven; and so was that by which maiming others 
might be punished," " eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand 
for hand, foot for foot." Witches were hung there as 
well as at Hartford ; " a stubborn and rebellious son " 
of sixteen, might be put to death in either colony; and 
Voltaire, Holbach and Diderot might have been hung in 
Connecticut, where blasphemy was a capital crime until 
1784, when the penalty was reduced to forty stripes on 
the bare body, and one hour in the pillory. In 1673 it was 
decreed, that adulterers should no longer be hung, but 
have the letter A branded on their foreheads with a hot 
iron. New Haven burglars were to be branded on the 
right hand with P>. Each of these infant colonies had 
a fine of five shillings for every absence from church; 
and whoever interrupted the preacher in Connecti'ut, or 
charged him falsely with error, had for the second 
offence to " either pay five pounds to the public treasury, 
or stand two hours openly upon a block or stool four 



foot high, upon a lecture day, with a paper fixed in his 
breast written with capital letters, Ax Open and Ob- 
stinate Contemner of God's Holy Ordinances, 
that others may fear and be ashamed of breaking out 
into the like wickedness." It was ordered at Hartford, 
in 1676, that all heads of families who obstinately neg- 
lected " reading of the scripture, catechising of children, 
and daily prayer, with giving of thanks," should be 
" fined, or punished, or bound to good behavior, accord- 
ing to the demerits of the case. " Both New Haven 
and Connecticut forbade any man to live alone, or any 
family to take a lodger without leave from the magis- 
trates. A license from the legislature, as well as a cer- 
tificate from the doctor, had to be procured before 
tobacco could be used by any one under twenty, or by 
any one else who had not formed the habit. This w as 
voted at Hartford in 1647, when it was also ordered: 
" That no man within this colony, after the publication 
hereof, shall take any tobacco publicly in the street-, nor 
shall any take it in the fields or woods, unless when they 
be on their travel or journey at least ten miles, or at the 
ordinary time of repast commonly called dinner, or if it 
be not then taken, yet not above once in the day at most, 
and then not in company with any other. Nor shall 
any inhabiting in any of the towns within this jurisdic- 
tion take any tobacco in any house in the same town, 
where he liveth, with and in the company with any 
more than one who useth and drinketh the same weed. " 
This ordinance, like that of 1659 against "disordered 
meetings of persons in private houses to tipple loge- 
ther," and that of 1673, by which young persons and 
servants were not to meet together in the streets or 
fields or in any house " after the shutting in of the 
evening," without consent of their parents or masters, 
shows the same ascetic principle as the punishment of 
Sarah Tuttle. When I consider farther that ships were 
forbidden in 1673, to set sail out of any harbor in Con- 
necticut on Sunday, I am inclined to think that Hinman, 
who was Secretary of Connecticut for seven years, mav 
have had some authority for inserting in his Blue Laws 
of New Haven Colony, in a list which is otherwise un- 
doubtedly correct, the following enactment, apparently 
taken by him from the original records: " If any man 
shall kiss his wife, or wife kiss her husband, on the 
Lord's day, the party in fault shall be punished at the 
discretion of the court of magistrates," p. 130. 

Neither this, nor any other of the laws mentioned 
in the last paragraph, is given by Peters. So it must be 
said, that his picture is not on the whole any bluer than 
the reality, though he does put much of his paint in 
wrong places. For instance, he says that criminals 
could be tortured at New Haven, which se ms to have 
been done only at Xew Amsterdam while under the 
Dutch. What he says about hanging Catholic priests is 
more nearly true of the New York law of 1699 than of 



94 



THE OPEN COURT. 



that of Connecticut. He was undoubtedly in error, 
though I think innocently, when he charged New- 
Haven with forcing every voter to swear, "that Jesus 
is the only king," and ordaining that: "No one shall 
run on the Sabbath-day, or walk in the garden, or else- 
where, except reverently to and from meeting ; " " No 
one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep house, 
cut hair, or shave on the Sabbath-day;" " No woman 
shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or fasting-day;" 
" No one shall read Common-Prayer, keep Christmas 
or Saints'-days, make minced pies, dance, play cards, or 
play on any instrument of music, except the drum, 
trumpet, and Jesus-harp;" "Every male shall have his 
hair cut round according to a cap." 

This last law, however, is still enforced by public 
opinion in all civilized lands. Even the most conserva- 
tive and aristocratic gentlemen have become Round- 
heads. Snme of the other precepts just quoted were 
observed in Connecticut families when Peters lived 
there; and the Legislature of Massachusetts is now de- 
liberating whether it will do to let barbers cut hair or 
shave on Sunday, or make it legal for milk to be de- 
livered, for prescriptions to be put up, for horse-cars to 
run, for dispatches to be sent by telegraph or telephone, 
for newspapers to be sold or printed, etc. Among other 
questions now being agitated in Boston is the propriety 
of abolishing the statutes against Sunday travel and 
Saturday evening amusements. The general blueness 
of our Sunday laws is seldom realized; but a full and 
accurate account of the various statutes in the different 
states and territories will be found in the Outlook and 
Sabbath Quarterly for last January, which may be pro- 
cured from Alfred Center, N. Y., for twenty-five cents 
per copy. That author has been able to collect later 
information in some cases than I gave last fall in The 
Index. Indiscriminate prohibition of Sunday amuse- 
ments seems to be established in Connecticut, Maine, 
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Caro- 
lina, Vermont and Wisconsin, besides restrictions of 
various harmless pastimes in every other state, except 
California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Vir- 
ginia and Western Virginia. Special laws against 
theatres have recently been passed in Nevada, New 
York and Maryland, and the permission to deliver ice 
was repealed in this last state in i SS6. 

The worst of our .Sunday laws is not to be found in 
the statutes of any state or territory. It is the decree, 
every where sacred, of Mrs. Grundy, forbidding any 
one to amuse himself in public on Sunday. Driving, 
for instance is permitted, because no one can be sure 
that it is wholly for amusement. Lawn-tennis, which is 
much less noisy and throws no needless labor upon 
animals, is utterly out of the question in good society; 
as are dancing, archery, private theatricals and picnics. 



Cards can be played secretly, but card parties are under 
the ban, which falls with peculiar severity upon all 
amusements which may be enjoyed by the poor. There 
is no need to say much against other Sunday laws, until 
this unwritten one is reformed thoroughly. When the 
duty of taking healthy amusement on every day in the 
week, and encouraging the poor and overworked to get 
the recreation they need peculiarly, whenever they can, 
hecomes fully recognized by public opinion, there will 
be little difficulty in getting rid of the last of the blue 
laws. 

LaSalle, March 24, 1SS7. 
B. F. Underwood, Esq., Chicago, 111.: 

Dear Sir — I find that in my note in last number 
introducing two articles from the LaSalle Republican, 
I have, through inattention, written " I believe their 
■wishes to be both sincere from their standpoint," 
instead of " I believe these criticisms to be both sincere 
from their standpoint." Yours truly, 

Edward C. Hegeler. 



AMENDMENTS AND ANSWER TO CRITICISMS OF 

HIS ESSAY ON THE BASIS OF ETHICS. 

BY EDWARD V. HEGELER. 

Proceeding to answer the criticisms to my essay on 
the Basis of Ethics, I feel that I should properly com- 
mence with criticising the same myself. I find that in 
presenting a number of examples of the use of the 
word good, for the sake of ascertaining its general 
meaning, I have omitted the most important use of the 
word under the head "What do we call good for man?" 
viz.: The ethical teachings we Stave received in our 
youth, principally as part of our religious instruction. 
While these teachings as far as they were of a Super- 
natural character, gradually weakened in us on our 
becoming acquainted with modern science, the truth 
of nearly all the ethics remained unshaken. 

Their basis was unclear for a time until now we can 
say, the rules of ethics are those ideas evolved in the 
past, that in the struggle for existence have evolved 
from the savage the civilized man of to-day. 

Supplemented by further evolved ethical ideas thev 
are the foundation for the preservation and further evolu- 
tion of civilized man. 

I should also have mentioned another class of uses 
of the word good, where only a pleasant sensation is 
meant; we say, "the sugar tastes good," "the rose 
smells good," " this musical chord sounds good." While 
we may assume that the effect of these excitations of 
the nervous system in some way favors its growth, we 
do not think of this in so using the word good. 

Looking over the comments made, I notice espec- 
ially the remark that I had not done justice to Mr. 
Spencer. I should mention that it was in part a thought 
of this, why 1 asked Mr. Bradley, who is known to be 



THE OPEN COURT. 



95 



versed in Spencer's views, to state his position. Mr. 
Bradley's statements have since been supplemented in 
the comments by others. 

I deem it my duty to express here in reference to 
Mr. Salter's remark, "for myself I would say that in 
searching for the truth, I would rather be baffled a thou- 
sand times and have the discomfort and sense of frus- 
tration accompanying such experiences, if the thousand 
and first time I found the truth, than to forego the 
search at the outset, because I knew there would be 
more pain than pleasure attending it," that I hold that 
Mr. Spencer considers this searching for truth as a high 
pleasure in itself; and that in his theory he considers 
the amount of attainment, physical, intellectual and 
moral, as great happiness to the individual and the race. 

How strong Mr. Spencer thinks in this way is shown 
in a statement in the introduction to his Data of Ethics, 
which appears to me as a powerful demonstration that 
a grand and lofty idea is in persons of ethical tendencies 
or high aspirations, their real self and their better ego, 
for the continuance of which they often freely spend 
their wealth, devote their labor, and even sacrifice their 
lives. Let me quote it here : 

" I have been led thus to deviate from the order 
originally set down, (for the publication of the Synthetic 
Philosophy,) by the fear that persistence in conforming 
to it might result in leaving the final work of the series 
unexecuted. Hints repeated of late years with increas- 
ing frequency and distinctness, have shown me that 
health may permanently fail, even if life does not end, 
before I reach the last part of the task I have marked 
out for myself. This last part of the task it is to which 
I regard all preceding parts as subsidiary. * * * from 
that time onwards my ultimate purpose lying behind all 
proximate purposes, has been that of finding for the 
principles of right and wrong in conduct at large, a 
scientific basis. To leave this purpose unfulfilled after 
making so extensive preparations for fulfilling it, would 
be a failure the probability of which I do not like to 
contemplate." 

In my essay I have presented the view in opposition 
to Mr. Spencer's, that not happiness /;/// evolution itself 
(expressing it in a word) is the Basis of Ethics. By a 
closer examination of Herbert Spencer's studies on 
the meaning of the words good and bad in his Data 
oj' Ethics, I find I must contest the truth of his conclu- 
sion that good and bad are equivalent to "well or ill 
adapted or adjusted to ends," which must mean tnore or 
less adapted or adjusted to ends. Mr. Spencer says, 
" the good knife will cut." This can be considered only 
as an abbreviated sentence, for any knife cuts or is 
adapted to cutting. A good knife is one with which 
the person using it can, by the same labor, achieve more 
cutting than with an average knife. 

An umbrella is called bad if it protects the bearer 
from rain less than the average umbrella. 



" We call a day bad in which storms prevent us from 
satisfying our desires." Also here, in using the word 
bad, we compare the weather to ordinary weather. It 
is bad also by being destructive to our intended occupa- 
tion. The energy or capacity for it we had, and it is 
considered to be wasted. 

A good jump is one which achieves the immediate 
purpose of said jump, while judging from the results 
of many similar jumps that it could not be achieved. 
There is more achieved than ordinarily. 

A stroke at billiards is called good when the move- 
ments are more skillfully adjusted to the requirements 
than they ordinarily are, the stroke being successful or 
not. A person looking at the play not acquainted with 
the billiard game is unable to express an opinion whether 
the stroke was good or bad. 

These doings of man are not considered as good or 
bad, according to their success or failure ( the billiard 
stroke may fail and nevertheless be good > but in com- 
parison of their results to those of the average doings of 
the same class. 

"A mother is called good who ministering to all the 
physical needs of her children, also adjusts her behavior 
in ways conducive to their mental health." It is assumed 
here that the mother expends a certain quantity of her 
energy in ministering to all the physical needs of her 
children; the expenditure of this quantity of her energy 
in her conduct affects the mental health of her children 
at the same time, and in this respect stands in the condi- 
tion of a natural adjustment, as that may happen to be. 
By her behavior being more adjusted, the mother's same 
energy results in greater mental health to her children, 
a result being in the direction of higher evolution. 

(TO UK CONTINUED. I 



SUNDAY WORSHIP. 

BY CHARLES K. WHIPPLE. 

One of the most vivid shocks given by the late The- 
odore Parker to the theological sensibilities of New 
England was his statement that, in Old Testament 
Scripture the Jehovah of the Hebrews was represented 
as fond of « roast veal." The fact of so great a shock 
from so slight a cause is curious, but not inexplicable. 
It is curious, since the people thus spasmodically affected 
had all their lives been reading in their "sacred volume" 
that, on numerous specified occasions, a bullock, a calf, 
a ram, a lamb, or a kid, was to be killed and roasted by 
the priest " for a sweet savor unto the Lord," and that 
the priest must also put twelve loaves of hot bread in 
the holy place before the Lord every Sabbath. It is no 
more strange that such preferences should have been 
ascribed to the Supreme Being by the early Hebrews 
than by the early Greeks and Romans. But our Chris- 
tianity has its roots so firmly fixed in that ancient 
Hebraism that, although we may use the utmost freedom 



9 6 



THE OREN COURT. 



in speaking of Greek and Roman superstitions, any 
present mention of the cruder peculiarities of the Old 
Testament faith must he made in that original phrase- 
ology which has hccome sanctified by tradition and 
custom, if the speaker would avoid the imputation of 
sacrilege and blasphemy. In fact, Mr. Parker's plain- 
speaking in modern language frightened the majority 
of his generation so much that they really thought him 
an infidel and a scoffer, instead of the devout religious 
reformer that he really was. 

At the present day, one of the great reformatory 
agencies is the Sunday newspaper. The Sunday press, 
with some faults as obvious as the opposite faults of the 
self-styled "religious paper," which it is fast supplant- 
ing, is conferring immense benefit on the community in 
two ways: first, by counteracting that theological blind- 
ness which, pretending that one day of the week must 
be recognized as more holy, necessarily allows that the 
other six days may lie esteemed less holy; and next, In- 
supplying reading matter more instructive and bene- 
ficial, that is to say, containing more truth and less 
error, than the average church sermon. 

These, as I have said, are very great benefits con- 
ferred on the community by the Sundav paper. Seek- 
ing to be re k1 by all, it provides something to suit the 
taste of every class in city and country, the serious and 
the frivolous, the scientist and the sportsman, the student, 
the merchant and the politician. ( )f course, while con- 
taining something attractive to each class, it contains 
much which each class will pass by with indifference. 
Of course, also, its proportion of sermon-like articles, 
while sometimes controverting the lessons of the pulpit, 
will sometimes echo them. In fact, the occasion of my 
writing at this time is an echo, in the Boston Sunday 
Herald of February 27, of what seems to me one of the 
erroneous doctrines of the pulpit. 

In an editorial article there, entitled "Sundav Morn- 
ing Worship," it is contended that our Protestant 
churches err in laying too little stress upon worship 
(meaning simultaneous confession, supplication and 
adoration) and too much upon pulpit instruction. The 
w liter complains that these churches give us a very 
stinted worship of the Divine Being; that all the pray- 
ing and most of the praise are done by proxy; ami that 
thus the hearty and helpful worship of God is ignored. 

There is sound worldly wisdom in this statement of 
the Sunday Herald, since a large number of our clergy 
and churches have for a year past been moving in that 
direction, and trying, by attractive additions in the 
department of worship, to retain the audiences which 
are slipping away from them, ami to draw in outsiders. 
Sound worldly wisdom: for, while thus adhering to the 
general idea of the Sunday paper by presenting in its 
columns something attractive to every class, saints as 
well as sinner-, the editor offers terms of compromise 



to the saints, removes one of their objections, and 
attracts to his support a proportion of those who have 
hitherto been hostile. Nevertheless, as both the Herald 
and the churches seem to me to be wrong in this mat- 
ter, I will suggest some reasons for taking the opposite 
ground, namely — that the chief use, and a most impor- 
tant use, of our excellent custom of holding public 
assemblies on Sunday is the giving and receiving of 
instruction, particularly in the departments of morals 
and religion; in other words, that the sermon, if it is 
zvhat it should be, is the most important part of the 
Sunday service, and well worth the trouble of regular 
attendance and the expense of making suitable provision 
for it. 

The //"in the preceding sentence is a very important 
word, since its meaning would exclude the great major- 
it}' of the sermons now preached, and that on both 
negative and positive grounds; the number of their 
erroneous and unfounded assumptions, and their posi- 
tive false teaching respecting both sin and duty. What, 
then, should a sermon be? 

It seems to me that any subject relating to human 
welfare may properly be treated in the pulpit; yet, since 
one day in the week is not too much to be devoted to 
the important departments of morals ami religion, I 
think the chief function of the sermon should be to 
inculcate righteousness or right fixing and to oppose 
vice and error; especially to insist on the duties custom- 
arily denied or neglected, and to give warning and 
admonition respecting the evil practices which are 
countenanced by fashion or custom. If these things 
are faithfully done by a competent person, the time 
given to his instructions and the money paid for his 
support will be well expended. 

But should there be no public worship? Should 
those observances cease altogether which now form the 
chief occupation of the Sunday mornings of Roman 
Catholics and Episcopalians, and which Dissenting con- 
gregations seem of late disposed to adopt in greater 
number and variety ? Is there not a strong presump- 
tion in favor of a custom so long established, and main- 
tained by people so numerous and so estimable? 

I reply, the presumption here supposed would be 
strong, were there not both authority and reason 
against it. 

First, authority. The clergy of all these seas, 
Roman, Episcopal and Dissenting, claim to be disciples 
and ambassadors of fesus, whom they call Christ. 
What did Jesus say about public worship? 

The four biographical sketches which give us all 
we know about him contain neither injunction nor 
recommendation for Public Worship, nor for Sabbath 
meetings, nor for Sunday meetings, nor for prayer 
meetings, nor for any sabbatical observance whatever. 
1 f fesus sometimes went up to the Temple on the Jewish 



THE OPEN COURT. 



97 



Sabbath, it was not to join in the observances there, 
but to teach a better method, righteousness instead of 
sacrifices, rites and ceremonies. 

What our clergy inculcate as public worship con- 
sists of prayer and praise. Of the former, Jesus said to 
his disciples, " When thou prayest, enter into thy closet." 
Reason echoes this injunction, since the desire, the con- 
fession, the aspiration which a man wishes to express to 
the Heavenly Father can best be done in person and in 
private; and this seems most likely to be that "worship 
in spirit and in truth" which Jesus enjoined. 

As to praise, the other constituent of Public Worship, 
the multiform variations of applause offered to the Deity 
weekly in our Sunday assemblies — the sentiment of 
Jesus respecting it as well as respecting Prayer may be 
found in his warning against the use of '-vain repeti- 
tions." And here again reason echoes his injunction. 
It is the worse sort of rulers and potentates, the poorer 
specimens of men, who are pleased with public rehearsal 
of their dignities and merits. It is not an elevated 
idea of the Supreme Being to suppose that he resembles 
such persons; that he really desires intelligent human 
beings to occupy themselves periodically in proclaiming 
him to be holy, just and good, or in kneeling or pros- 
trating themselves before him as before a Turkish or 
an Abyssinian ruler! There is no reason to believe that 
God desires men publicly and periodically to "praise" 
him. Judging bv the teaching of Jesus, what God 
wants of his human children is obedience, the doing of 
what they understand to be duty in their daily lives. 
And the true function of the pulpit is to explain and 
enforce this duty; to teach the people what they do not 
know in morals and religion, and to remind them of 
those things which, though known, are apt to be for- 
gotten, neglected or evaded. To do this work effectively 
is to perform one of the most important services to a 
civilized community ; and if the minister who does this 
has also skill to teach true reverence and conscientious- 
ness to children, to supply to them, in the departments 
of morals and religion, that which is lacking in family 
and school education, he is one of the greatest of public 
benefactors. 

THE ART OF MAKING POVERTY. 

BY M. M. TRUMBULL. 
Part [I. 

The effort of " organized labor " is to lower the 
wages of the many, and raise the wages of the few; to 
make an aristocracy of trades, and hold a monopoly of 
the knowledge that earns bread; to divide the working 
men into a high-wages caste and a low-wages caste, 
into skilled and unskilled laborers. Exclusion and pro- 
scription are employed to increase the numbers of the 
lower caste, and reduce the numbers of the higher. Des- 
potic statutes guard the guilds from intrusion, and crowd 
the ranks of the unskilled who must work for a dollar 



a day. " It seems hard," say the '• knights," " to for- 
bid an honest boy to learn a trade, but we must protect 
ourselves, and in order to do that we must crowd him 
down to swell the dollar a day majority. It would be 
dangerous to let him learn a trade." This proscription 
is barbarous. The Guilds, and the Unions, and the 
Knighthoods, have no more right to keep a bov ignorant 
of handicraft than of arithmetic. They have no more 
right to cripple his usefulness by excluding him from 
the art and practice of bricklaying or printing, than 
they have to break his arm. His power of competition 
may be destroyed by either process, and one way is no 
more cruel than the other. To make unskilled labor 
skillful is the true policy, so that the product of labor 
may be greater, and its reward higher in money. By 
this plan we abolish poverty, by the other we create it. 
The strategy and tactics employed by the aristoc- 
racy of labor against its poorer brethren, by the high- 
wage caste against the low-wage caste, may be seen in 
the following examples taken promiscuously from the 
papers : 

"Birmingham, Conn., Jan. 4. — There is an exten- 
sive strike on the verge of culmination among the 
cutlerj' grinders of New England. They are mostly 
Englishmen, and control that part of the cutlery busi- 
ness, admitting only their sons or near relatives to learn 
the business." 

"Pittsburg, July 6. — The 4th annual meeting of 
the National Window Glass Workers' Association began 
here to day. * * * * Another feature of the 
agreement for next year will be the introduction of a 
new clause relative to the apprentice system. Employ- 
ers claim that at least a few apprentices should be 
allowed to each factory." 

"At the Pittsburg Convention July 7, 1S86, a west- 
ern delegate proposed to allow a limited number of 
apprentices to be indentured in the trade, the chief 
merit of the plan being that only relatives be allozced to 
become apprentices. The subject was put over until the 
results of the missions of Me-srs. Wallace, Campbell 
and Winters could be ascertained." 

Here we have a scheme not only to make an aris- 
tocracy of trades, but also to make that aristocracy 
hereditary, like the nobility of England. The vexa- 
tious leak in the plan was the drain to this country of 
glass-blowers from Europe. To stop that leak Messrs. 
Wallace, Campbell and Winters were sent to England 
and Germany. Their mission was to induce the glass- 
workers there to put glass-blowing among the occult 
sciences, and allow no apprentices to learn it. 

"Phila., July 14. -The 400 rug weavers, who have 
been on strike at the rug and carpet manufactory of 
John Bromley & Sons, returned to work yesterday 
under protest. The cause of the strike was the refusal 
of the firm to lay off a learner.' 1 '' 

Pitiful and mean as that action of the carpet-weavers 
was, it found imitation in the conduct of a still more 



98 



THE OPKN COURT. 



inferior aristocracy, the nobility of carpet-layers. Here 
is an extract from a Chicago newspaper: 

" A meeting of carpet-layers was held yesterday 
to form a Carpet-layers Union. There are from 75 to 
80 skilled carpet-layers in the city, and the object of 
the proposed union is to keep up the price of skilled 
labor, and keep unskilled men out of t lie business^ 

It seems difficult to form an order of nobility out of 
people whose only claim to it is that they sew hams up 
in bags, and yet it can be done. Here is an item from 
a newspaper dated June 28, 1SS6: 

"Last night the Ham-sewers of Chicago entered the 
Knights of Labor. The industry can only be followed 
seven months in the year, and the average earnings are 
$3.00 per day. About one year's apprenticeship is 
required before one becomes an expert in bagging hams 
neatly. As the industry is a growing one, measures 
are being taken to keep novices out" 

Where the statutes and decrees of this new chivalry 
are not sufficient of themselves to crowd willing indus- 
trious men out of work, and into poverty, the citv and 
State governments are appealed to for assistance. An 
antiquated law, a relic of English class privilege, pro- 
tects the lawyer trade against the competition of natural 
genius, by requiring all aspirants to that profession to 
spend so many years in a lawyer's office, or to obtain a 
diploma from some law school, or at least to pass an 
examination. If the State may arm the lawyer with 
this absurd proscription to protect him from the rivalry 
of brighter men, why should not the same weapon be 
given to the carpenter and the blacksmith, to the news- 
boy, the car driver and the architect? Last winter the 
car drivers of Xew York asked the Board of Aldermen 
to proscribe a certain class of intruders into their pro- 
fession. As the car drivers cast a <jocxl many votes 
their demand was complied with, and "an ordinance 
was passed requiring every driver of a car to obtain a 
license, and requiring that every one receiving a license 
shall be 21 years of age, a resident of the state one year, 
and of the city four months." 

Some time ago the newsboys of Chicago demanded 
a similar proscription for their benefit, but as they had 
no votes their claim was not allowed. They also 
demanded that all newsboys pay a tax of $^ a year. 
The effect of this would be to "freeze out' 1 all the boys 
who were not able to pay the $5 and make tine rest an 
aristocracy like the lawyers. The boys who considered 
themselves able to pay the tax, marched in long pro- 
cession to the offices of the newspapers which opposed 
the scheme, and poured upon them derision and con- 
tempt in tire howling classics peculiar to newsboys. 
They actually demanded that they themselves be taxed, 
because the effect of the tax would be to drive their 
poorer comrades away from the opportunity to earn a few 
coppers by selling newspapers on the street. Here was 
instinctive selfishness imitating the poverty-making 
tactics of the various "brotherhoods" of labor, and the 



consolidated "brotherhoods" of capital. Is the ragged 
nobility of those ignorant boys any more ignominious 
than the broadcloth nobility of the high-caste brahmins 
of the other professions and trades? At the architects 
convention held in St. Louis November 17, 1875, it was 
recommended " that all State legislatures be petitioned 
to pass laws providing that examining boards be 
appointed by the governors, the issuing of diplomas to 
architects, and the fixing of penalties for practising 
without complying with the requirements of the law." 
The constant pressure of a thousand agencies like these 
against the weaker members of society must crowd 
thousands out of employment and out of the world. 

Improvidence, and the many personal vices that 
make poverty, belong to another branch of economics, 
and are not considered here. Only the public vices 
born of the social war are here exposed, and ver\ few 
of them. They will suggest others, and show the pov- 
erty-making character of this bitter struggle against 
each other, against plenty, against the skill that makes 
abundance, against equal opportunities, against freedom 
for all our energies. All this poverty-making is within 
the reach of public remedies, and in the application of 
those remedies lies the solution of* the labor problem, 
the restoration of peace. 



•• Scientific and pseudo-Scientific Realism " is the sub- 
ject of an article from the pen of Professor Huxlev, in 
the current number of The Xincteenth Century. In 
answer to the assumption of Cannon Liddon, that sci- 
ence denies the possibility of miracles, on the ground 
that they are violations of natural law, he replies that 
true science makes no such denial, as it does not claim 
to have apprehended the whole region of natural law. 
A law of nature, in the scientific sense, is the product ot 
an operation of the mind upon the data of nature that 
come within the limit of its observation. It would 
therefore be irrational to say that a catastrophe of any 
kind was miraculous, simply because we could not per- 
ceive the cause. Science looks upon apparently inex- 
plicable phenomena as having natural causes, not as \ et 
apprehended, and withholds assent to miracles solely on 
the ground that there is an insufficiency of evidence. 



Up out of the thick of intellectual gloom that 
shrouded it in the beginning, the aspiring soul of man 
has risen. What strivings, antagonisms, what heights 
gained at the expense of millions of lives have the 
years witnessed. What a distance from the beast to 
man. Perhaps some human heart, dwelling amid the 
awful strife, was touched with the light of future day, 
and gained a momentary glimpse of the beyond. Per- 
haps that soul knew that one day love should be the 
law, that when the light of truth should have broken 
through error and illumined its depths, the disenthralled 
souls of men would rise responsive to its beauty. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



99 



The Open Court. 

A Fortnightly Journal. 



Published every other Thursday at 169 to 175 La Salle Street 1 Nixon 
Buildingi, corner Monroe Street, by 

THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING COMPANY 



B. K. UNDERWOOD, 

Editor and Man \r, ek. 



SARA A. UNDERWOOD, 

Associate Edituk. 



The leading object of The Open Court is to continue 
the work of Tin- Index, that is, to establish religion on the 
basis of Science and in connection therewith it will present the 
Monistic philosophy. The founder of this journal believes this 
will furnish to others what it has to him, a religion which 
embraces all that is true and good in the religion that was taught 
in childhood to them and him. 

Editorially, Monism and Agnosticism, so variously defined, 
will be treated not as antagonistic systems, but as positive and 
negative aspects of the one and only rational scientific philosophy, 
which, the editors hold, includes elements of truth common to 
all religions, without implying either the validity of theological 
assumption, or any limitations of possible knowledge, except such 
as the conditions of human thought impose. 

The Open Court, while advocating morals and rational 
religious thought on the firm basis of Science, will aim to substi- 
tute for unquestioning credulity intelligent inquiry, for blind faith 
rational religious views, for unreasoning bigotry a liberal spirit, 
for sectarianism a broad and generous humanitarlanism. With 
this end in view, this journal will submit all opinion to the crucial 
test of reason, encouraging the independent discussion by able 
thinkers of the great moral, religious, social and philosophical 
problems which are engaging the attention of thoughtful minds 
and upon the solution of which depend largely the highest inter- 
ests of mankind. 

While Contributors are expected to express freely their era n 
views, the Editors are responsible only for editorial matter. 

Terms of subscription three dollars per year in advance, 
postpaid to any part of the United States, and three dollars and 
fifty cents to foreign countries comprised in the postal union. 

All communications intended for and all business letters 
relating to The Open Court should be addressed to B. F. 
Underwood, P. O. Drawer F, Chicago, Illinois, to whom should 
be made payable checks, postal orders and express orders. 

THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 1SS7. 

RIGHT THINKING 
Deeds are followed by consequences which can he 
ohserved at once and by everybody. The results of be- 
lief are less direct and cannot always be traced to their 
source. A man's acts appeal to the senses, while his be- 
liefs with which his conduct may be glaringly inconsist- 
ent, manifest themselves in ways so numerous, subtle and 
imperceptible, and frequently blossom forth and ripen in 
the fruit of action at periods and places so remote from 
those at which they were expressed, that the connection 
between the beliefs and their legitimate effects generally 
escapes ordinary observation. Hence the popular no- 
tion that theoretical beliefs are of but little if any signifi- 
cance as factors in human progress, and that a man's in- 
fluence should be judged chiefly by his character as man- 
ifested in his conduct. But a belief adopted by one 
whose conduct is scarcely affected by it because deter- 
mined by inherited tendencies, early impressions, or social 
environments, may through his influence, be adopted by 



those into whose lives, long alter he is dead, it shall 
become incorporated as an active force in the formation 
of character and the determination of conduct. 

A thought, a theory, a discovery or an invention, 
whatever l>r the moral character of the individual who 
hist announces it, may profoundly influence the conduct 
and modify the conditions of millions t* rough uncounted 
generations. A political or social tluory originating in 
the mind of one who is not only regardless of the con- 
ventional standards, hut even the just and reasonable re- 
quirements of morality, may prove a great benefaction 
to the race. Equally true it is that a false theory advo- 
cated by a sincere and enthusiastic philanthropist, and 
recommended by his own purity of life and nobility of 
character, may in time poison a community, producing 
possibly a moral cancer which only the surgery of revo- 
lution and war can cut out of the social system, still 
leaving perhaps the taint of disease to be combated and 
overcome in the on-going years. Error incorporated 
into individual or social character makes harmonious de- 
velopment impossible; and the more deeply it is im- 
planted and the more numerous and firmly established 
are the false adjustments to which the character is forced 
in accommodation to the disease, the greater the suffer- 
ing to be endured before the permanent conditions of 
healthy growth can be reached. 

Clear thinking, then, is quite as important as correct 
living; and the man wdio helps to make others think 
aright thereby helps to advance not only intellectual hut 
moral progress, and to augment the sum of human hap- 
piness. He, on the contrary, however unexceptionable 
his conduct and pure his motives, who helps to befog, 
mystify and confuse the minds of men by sophistry and 
error, is as much the enemy of moral as of intellectual 
advancement. Slovenliness in thought is certain in time 
to result in slovenliness in morals. Thought cannot he 
divorced from conduct, even though the thought, true or 
erroneous, of one generation shows itself the most con- 
spicuously in the conduct of succeeding generations. A 
teacher of error may be sincere, but his sincerity in no 
way severs the connection between cause and effect, and 
therefore in no way diminishes the results of the error. 
Indeed, intellectual error is harmful in proportion to the 
sincerity of its adherents, upon which its growth de- 
pends. 

The poison lurking in many theories is the more 
effectually hidden, like the serpent in a bed of roses, by 
the drapery of language and a false sentimentality 
which, while they charm, often conceal the implica- 
tions and absurdities of a belief; hut time, the unimpas- 
sioned ally of truth, strips such theories of all that de- 
ceived and deluded men, and shows their real results in 
the moral rottenness as well as the intellectual deformity 
to which they lead. 

It is evident that he who, in laying stress on conduct 



IOO 



THE OPEN COURT. 



attaches but little if any importance to theory or belief, 
and computes men's influence wholly or mainly from 
the acts by which they project themselves out upon the 
field of active labor, ignoring; or assigning to a second- 
ary place the influence of thinkers and teachers, takes a 
view of life that is narrow and narrowing in its ten- 
dency. The importance of right conduct and the value 
of direct moral teaching, both by precept and example, 
and of moral agencies and influence of every kind are 
adm tted by all. There is not so general an apprecia- 
tion of the work of those who stimulate thought, in- 
crease knowledge, and in science and philosophy, as 
well as in poetry and song, help to educate the race in 
the principles of truth anil virtue. 



In a late number of the Fortnightly Review Pro- 
fessor Huxley has a reply to W. S. Lilly, who in a few 
pages attempts to show the utter infeasibilitv of finding 
any satisfactory scientific basis for morals, and distinctly 
hints that the only safety for the race lies within 
the bosom of the Roman Catholic Church. In Pick- 
fessor Huxley's article entitled " Science and Morals: A 
Reply," an exactly oppisite view is taken. Science is 
attempting the work that the Church has neglected, i. c, 
to find an indestructable basis for the rules of right con- 
duct. It neither denies nor asserts the existence of a 
God, but insists upon morality as independent of either 
of these considerations, and so far from tending to bestial- 
ize man, is rather striving to give him a rational concep- 
tion of the law of his existence. Morality is indestruc- 
tible, and if the clothing of creeds which it has so long 
worn has been found to hide its true character, there is 
no reason to set up the hue and cry of danger when these 
obstructions are laid aside. Science hears the grumbling 
of the Church; she hears the accusation of "Material- 
ism," but keeps faithfully at her work of drudgery. 
.She sees order where there is seeming disorder. The 
evolutionary process is clear before her eyes, and she 
knows that the safety of morality lies in abandoning the 
unfounded assumptions of theology and holding to a 
belief in the order of Nature, which follows immorality 
wit! i social chaos as surely as it follows physical tres- 
pass,-, with physical disease. 

* * # 

In "Science In Religious Education," published in 
the January and February numbers of the Popular 
Science Monthly, Daniel G. Thompson pleads for 
tlie abandonment of religious teaching (other than 
scientific) in universities and schools generally. The 
wide differences in religious belief that are so evident 
will sooner or later make this demand imperative. The 
present system of education in our universities is one 
calculated to instill into young minds religious prejudices 
that cannot fail to be detrimental to their highest inter- 
ests, scientific criticism of theological dogmas being out- 



lawed. A religious organization has a perfect right to 
establish an institution where its belief or creed may be 
taught. Those who go there will be drawn because of 
their sympathy with such creed or teaching. But public 
schools and state universities are no longer public or for 
the people when a religion is there insisted upon that 
lacks the sanction of the general mind. In justice to all, 
the principal religious beliefs should he studied in our 
universities in the light of science, all the evidence for 
and against them being presented, that conclusions may 
be drawn by individual minds unhampered by any theo- 
logical assumptions. Truth alone should be the basis of 
teaching, and what is not truth or unverifiable state- 
ments, should not be asserted where veracity is regarded. 

As of old the West still looks to the Past for re- 
ligious light, and accordingly " B. D.," of Chicago, thus 
inquires of the Boston Investiga'or : "Do you consider 
Monism and Agnosticism to mean the same as our Open 
Couitr says:" To this the editor replies: "No; one 
presumptuously affirms there is a God, the other mod- 
estly asserts that it does not know. If this statement is 
correct there is no agreement between them, though it 
may be that we don't exactly understand what Monism 
is." Another question asked is: "Can you tell me what 
a Free Religionist is— whether Christian or Infidel — as I 
am having a controversy on the subject?" Our vener- 
able contemporary of the East answers ; is follows: "A 
Free Religionist is probably an Infidel under a Chris- 
tian name, because an Infidel is one who rejects the Di- 
vine authenticity of the Bible, and as a Free Religionist 
docs I hat, he is an Infidel really, though nominally a 
Christian. lie is not indorsed as a believer by church 
people, but he is 'on his winding way' towards the ac- 
knowledgment of more independence, — when the popu- 
lar and fashionable hour shall arrive." These defini- 
tions are given here because The Open Court has no 
" funny column " in which they can be copied. 

There is great dissatisfaction among the National Lib- 
erals, and not a little among many of the Conservatives 
over Bismarck's concessions to the Vatican, which are 
looked upon as a reaction likely to strengthen the Papal 
power not only in Germany but elsewhere. Says the 
Voss/ic/ic- Zeitung : " Not only is the Roman church 
the undisputed victor in the contest, hut Germany's lead- 
ing statesman has even appealed to the papacy for help 
to overcome the opposition, which, after all, is composed 
of men who, though his political enemies, are his own 
countrymen." The government papers bestow liberal 
praise on Bismarck's action as effective statesmanship, 
but the concessions seem generally to be regarded as of 
the purely opportunist character, and to afford small 
grounds for belief that the peace compact with the 
church will lonsr be maintained. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



IOI 



A number of American and German naturalists, 
including Haeckel, are now striving to show what good 
service the daring Frenchman, Lamarck, did, in expound- 
ing an important law of nature which has not been 
.adequately recognized, even by evolutionists. One of 
these neo-Lamarckians, Prof. Hyatt, recently read a 
paper on "Effort in Evolution," before a club where 
Darwin's views had never been brought without excit- 
ing eager opposition. The lecturer, while plainly 
rejecting the fancy of special supernatural creation, and 
cordially acknowledging the correctness of the principle 
■of natural selection, said that Darwin had simply built 
on Lamarck's foundation; and that no admiration of the 
superstructure should prevent our keeping in mind the 
value of the great truth on which it is based. Many 
facts show that the structure of animals is largely due 
to their attempts at conformity with changed conditions 
of environment. Among the minute inhabitants of 
ponds of fresh water are some which are found in a 
greatly different form in brackish pools; while a third 
species occurs where the water is intensely salt. The 
breaking down of a dam at salt-works has been found 
to bring about a transformation of species in one direc- 
tion; as repairing the dam did in the other. The 
naturalist who observed this has since tried the experi- 
ment in his own aquarium, where the same animals 
were actually made members, first of one species, 
then of another species, and then of a third, and finally 
carried back into their original form, simply by increas- 
ing or diminishing the amount of salt. Then again, 
one of the lobster's claws has sharp teeth and the other 
blunt ones, and there is always a corresponding differ- 
ence in size; but Prof. Hyatt found on examination of 
five hundred lobsters that the right claw was the large 
one with one-half of them, and the left claw with the 
other, showing that not only the size of the claw but 
the shape of the teeth is due to the peculiar habits of 
the individual possessor. One lobster uses his right claw 
its another does his left claw, and both claws and teeth 
take form accordingly. That the dog's wild relations 
hunt in packs, while the cats hunt singly, seems due to 
a greater amount of natural sociability in one family 
to in the other. Elephants, too, though not needing to 
as-ociate for mutual advantage, do so for mutual pleasure. 
M inkeys so far overleap the law of '•survival of the 
fittest," (as interpreted by some persons) as to pick out 
thorns from disabled comrades, and otherwise preserve 
the wounded and enfeebled. Thus, there is constant 
eff>rt, not only to meet changes in environment, but to 
carry out peculiarities ot habit and temper, rhis power 
of individual effort has had much more to do in shaping 
the original structure of each species than natural selec- 
tion, which seldom comes into play for any species 
until it has had time to make its members numerous 
enough to crowd one another. And, as men have made 



themselves what they are by their effort to work out 
their ruling traits of character, so we may hope, that as 
these traits improve from generation to generation, the 
whole structure of society will he reformed accordingly. 
Such, at least, we understand to be substantially the 
views of Prof. Hyatt, and many share them with him. 
Emerson is known to have studied Lamarck with great 
interest, and to have followed this theory of evolution 
in the lines : 

*' Am! striving to be in. in the worm, 
Mounts through :ill the spires of form." 
# * * 

The bequest of the late Lord Gilford to the four uni- 
versities of Scotland fur the support of free independent 
lectures on National Theology by prominent thinkers 
11 of," to quote from the will, "any denomination what- 
ever, or of no denomination at all," "of any religion or 
way of thinking, or, as is sometimes said, they may be of 
no religion, or they may he so-called skeptics or agnostics 
or free-thinkers." provided only that they be "reverent 
men, true thinkers, sincere lovers of and earnest in- 
quirers after the truth," is of interest to all lovers of the 
Science of Comparative Religions and to all friends of 
independent thought. The Scots/nan says: "This will 
be the first step in a great revolution. Theological tests 
will linger yet for a time amongst us. Put Lord Gif- 
ford has driven the first nail into their coffin. To all 
men they will soon appear as grinning anatomies, and 
before very long there will he a general cry to have 
them buried out of sight." 

* * *- 

In an article entitled ■• Artisan Atheism," in the Feb- 
ruary number of the Nineteenth Century, William Ros- 
siter discusses the alienation of the English laboring 
classe- from the Church. The teaching of an anti- 
quated theology that has no answer for the great 
social questions of the day, and that in some particulars 
is in direct opposition to the known truth, this, taken 
along with the fact of a comfortable and satisfied clergy 
that has no sympathy with him and his low condition, 
is what is drawing the English artisan farther and 
farther away from the fold of the dominant faith. 

The Congregationlist has never had the least sym- 
pathy with Henry Ward Beecher's liberal theological 
views, but of the man and his work it now generously 
observer : 

Probably no one face of this generation has been more univers- 
ally recognized than hi- ; and no one voice has ever thrilled a 
larger multitude with its humor, its pathos, and its trumpet calls 
to action. A* preacher, lecturer, editor, author, he filled a large 
space in the popular thought. As a theologian, he had an influ- 
ence larger than he really earned ; and no one man probably has 
done more than he to bring the chinches to a condition of depar- 
ture from the old standards, which, in some respects, with multi- 
tudes of others, we have so deeply deplored. 



I<>2 



THE OPEN COURT. 



A htte writer has urged the union of the Catholic 
and Protestant Churches, on the ground that they would 
thus be able to cope more successfully with their com- 
mon enemy, science. It is not to be wondered at that a 
feeling' of insecurity should lead them to take some 
measures for the preservation of that which they hold 
in common, but a union of religious bodies whose tenets 
are, in some respects, antagonistic, would be a paradox 
unparalleled in history. It is inexplicable except upon 
the hypothesis of friendship springing up between im- 
placable enemies, when a third power greater than 
either is gradually forcing them to the wall. In this 
case, all sincerity is forgotten in the common motive of 
self-preservation. This is what this writer asks for. 

Rev. Canon Fremantle, an English Churchman, 
writes on " Theology Under its Changed Conditions," 
in The Fortnightly Reviciv for March. The purifica- 
tion of theology has left but very little of the original 
structure. The doctrine of " The Fall of Man" has 
been given up, as a result of the teaching of the phi- 
losophy of evolution. The superiority of Christianity 
is admitted to have come in a great measure from the 
people who professed it. Finally the inscrutableness 
of Deity is admitted, and with it, as a matter of course, 
all teaching claimed as inspired will stand or fall, as it 
agrees with or antagonizes the facts of life. 

A conception of the universe is formed by philoso- 
phy, out of the data furnished by observation 
and experience. This conception the religious senti- 
ment proceeds to color and idealise, and while seek- 
ing in it the svinbol of the infinite we also project into 
it a human element, which returns to us an echo of our 
questionings and yearnings. An apparent conflict arises 
between free thought and the religious sentiment, as 
soon as any conception of the cosmos fails to agree with 
the demands of science. The hostility in this case is 
between two scientific conceptions, the elder of which, 
having become outworn by the advance of knowledge, 
is still retained by religion. Its elimination is but a 
question of time. Experience teaches that after a 
greater or less period of searching for a new basis, the 
religious sentiment always trees itself from the old 
forms, and formulates a conception of the universe 
more in keeping with the developments of science and 
the needs of the existing social order. 
* * # 

A correspondent in Mexico City, writing of the 
many feast days observed by the native Mexicans, 
says: "There was a national celebration on the 16th 
of September. I think it was to celebrate the date 
when Mexico first became a Republic, Hidalzo was 
the hero of that day and his picture flourished in all 
the windows of stores and private houses. There 



was a great military procession, with cars represent- 
ing the different industries of Mexico; the military 
school, also one representing the Aztec temples, and 
accompanied by men in Indian costume. In the 
morning the President and government officials in 
citizen's dress walked down from the Plaza to the 
Alameda through the principal streets. The day- 
after the Feast of All Saints (which of course was a 
church celebration) was the day of the dead. I don't 
know whether it was to remind people of their mor- 
tality or not, but in a way they seemed to take a 
cheerful view of it. There were booths for the sale 
of toys and confectionery all round the Plaza, and 
the toys were little hearses, and dolls in mourning 
dresses, and dancing-skeletons; and the confection- 
en' shops had sugar skulls and thigh bones conspicu- 
ously displayed for sale. The effect was, on the 
whole, not as ghastly as might have been expected.'" 
* * # 

From an article on " How Should Labor Organize?" 
in the editorial columns of the Catho/ic Rez>ieu\ in 
which often appears sound and wise advice to working- 
men, we quote with approval the following extract: 

It is one of the absurdities of American human nature to- 
fancy that every conceivable social benefit is conferred by a poli- 
tician, a legislature, and a law, when in fact the very best influ- 
ences for good and against evil in the State are those which 
stand outside the political garden. The religious organizations 
of this country are an example. Without having anything 
special to do with politics, yet a declaration from them is a thing 
to be respected and feared. The pernicious influence of the 
monied corporations is well known. The influence of honorable 
men, whose names stand with thousands as synonyms of virtue 
and truth, is very powerful in this nation. Do not these facts 
point the way for the feet of labor advocates and leaders? In- 
stead of walking the long, thorny, uncertain road of politics,, 
would it not be belter to organize outside with a view to influence 
the present political parties, to influence the public opinion of the 
country and create a sentiment in favor of just treatment? 

Says John Morley in an article on " Byron:" 
The greatest poets reflect, beside all else, the broad-bosomed 
haven of a perfect and positive faith in which mankind has for 
some space found shelter, unsuspicious of the new and distant 
wayfarings that are ever in store. To this band of sacred bards 
few are called, while perhaps not more than four high names- 
would till the list of the chosen; Dante, the poet of Catholicisms 
Shakespeare, of Feudalism ; Milton, of Protestantism; Goethe 
of that new faith which is as yet without any universally recog- 
nized label, hut whose heaven is an ever closer harmony between- 
the consciousness of man and all the natural forces of the uni- 
verse; whose liturgy is culture, and whose deity is a certain high 
composure of the human heart. 



The mind of the scholar, if you would have it large 
and liberal, should come in contact with other minds.. 
It is better that his armor should be somewhat bruised by 
rude encounters even, than hang forever rusting on the 
wall. — Loiigfellozv. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



103 



DR. EDMUND MONTGOMERY.* 

Dr. Edmund Montgomery \v:is born in Edinburgh, 
in 1835. His parents were Scotch. His father was a 
prominent lawyer. When but four years old he was 
taken to Paris where he remained till he was nine. The 
remainder of his youth was passed at Frankfort, Ger- 
many. Of the circumstances of his early life we know 
but little beyond the fact that his attention was directed 
early to natural science and philosophy. When he liyed in 
Frankfort, in 1S50, he was deeply interested in Schopen- 
hauer, whom he saw pass daily with his poodle, and 
whom he regarded as a philosopher when most people 
who saw the great pessimist regarded him as a mad 
man. At the age of fourteen he had been ostracized 
for refusing to be confirmed, after haying passed through 
the usual religious instruction. The matter became a 
public scandal. Clergymen \ ied with one another to 
convert him. From being the most popular boy he 
found himself soon isolated, and the circumstance 
saddened him profoundly for many years. Some years 
later he became acquainted with Feuerbach and attended 
.at Heidelberg the lecture*- of Moleschott and of Kuno 
Fischer and discussed matters with them. He had fre- 
quent intercourse with prominent philosophers who had 
been pupils of Scheliing, Fichte and Hegel, especially 
with Hofrath Kapp. At Bonn he attended Helm- 
holtz's lectures on the Physiology of the .Senses, and 
began to formulate psychophysical problems, — problems 
that now go under the name of ''physiological psychol- 
ogy. 1 ' He studied at German universities from 18^2 to 
1 858— -Heidelberg, Berlin, Bonn, Wurzburg (where he 
became M. D. | Prague and Vienna. He had gone 
through Comte's suggestive and original, even though 
tedious works, in French before he went to England, 
where he studied Mill and Bain and other representa- 
tives of the association philosophy. He had studied 
Darwin and arrived at his main philosophical conclusions 
before he read anything of Herbert Spencer's. 

All philosophical systems appeared to him merely 
reflex-thoughts from the conception of organic life prev- 
alent at the time being, and he was deeply impressed with 
the need of a Philosophy of Organization. But first of 
all, Kant, the most powerful introspective philosopher, 
had to be encountered. In his student davs he had gone 
through the Critique of Pure Reason at least five times, 
and the whole thing was alive before his eyes. The 
result was a book whose title may be translated thus: 
Kanfs Theory of Knowledge Refuted from the Em- 
pirical Sta>idpoiut. In the original German it is, Die 
Kantische Erkenntnisslehre widerlegt vom Stand- 
punkte tier Empiric, Munich, 187 1. 

It is, as the sub-title says, "a preliminary contribution 



towards the establishment of a physiological conception 
of nature." In the preface the author advises conserva- 
tive and reactionary thinkers to take a lesson from 
China and keep all the avenues of learning open to 
students. He urges the study of nature and of' things 
themselves, instead of trying to reach truth by accept- 
ing as true whatever can be tortured consistently out of 
established ideas, according to the formal logic in Ger- 
man philosophy before Kant. One section of the work 
contains a summary of the Critique which Dr. Sterling 
one of the best authorities in English, in his reply to 
Dr. Montgomery published in the Fortnightly Review 
for October, 1872, p. 413, admits to be accurate and 
praiseworthy. Dr. Montgomery's reply to the assump- 
tion on which the Critique is built, viz., that our ideas 
of Time and Space are given us from within as a priori 
conditions of experience, without whose direction 
knowledge would be impossible. Sterling calls the germ 
of our author's thought. 

Dr. Montgomery says: -'There needs only the 
refutation of this one fundamental position, and the 
whole laborious fabric sinks helplessly together." 
"Time and Space, as infinities, are only abstractions, 
and are never given us a priori. Under every true 
perception of space and time lies a portion of that 
empirical raw material of knowledge, consisting in 
feelings called into consciousness by muscular action." 
Kant was not enough of a physiologist to see how 
closely our mental activity, which enables us to know- 
Time and Space, is connected with our muscular activity, 
that enables us to become conscious of motion against and 
among external objects; and to verify those generaliza- 
tions, from observation and experience, which we become 
entitled by such empirical verification to accept as the 
fundamental axioms of mathematics. Transcendental- 
ism has made mathematics her stronghold; and Kant 
admitted her claim; but Dr. Montgomery maintains 
that mathematical knowledge really comes, like all other 
knowledge, from without. His arguments are unusually 
clear, as are those adduced to show that the necessity, 
which compels us to combine a variety of impressions 
of color, resistance, temperature, etc., into a perception 
of some external object does not lie in the structure of 
our minds, as Kant thought, but in- that of the object 
itself. Xo wonder that Haeckel writes to Dr. Mont- 
gomery that his excellent book is now often quoted in 
controversy .f 



*This account h:is been prepared partly from publications of Dr. Mont- 
gomery, and partly from data supplied by unpublished letters written by Dr. 
Montgomery to B. F. I'nderwood from iSS^ to 1SS7. 



f Dr. Montgomery's views of Kant mav also be found in these 
essays: "The Dependence of Quality on Specific Energies," 
(Mind, No. XVII, 1SS0). "The Substantiality of Life " (Mind, No 
XXIII, July, 1SS1). "Causation and its Organic Condition-" 
{Mind, Xo.''s XXVI, XVII and XXVII, 1SS2). "The Object 
of Knowledge" (Mind, No. XXXV, 18S4). " Space and Touch" 
{Mind, No.'s XXXVIII, XXXIX and XL, 1SS5). "Tran- 
scendentalism and Evolution " (The Index, March 26 and April 
2, 18S5). "Scientific Theism" (The hidcx, March 11 and iS, 
1SS6). " Plato and Vital Organization," read before the Concord 
School of Philosophy, July 26, 18S6, {The Index, August 



104 



THE OPEN COURT. 



Before publishing this book he had begun a series of 
scientific experiments which we cannot here describe at 
length or pass final judgment on. He has for years 
been striving to overthrow the cell-theory, still gener- 
ally held by men of science, one of the most eminent 
of whom has described himself as "a cell-aggregate 
brought into harmonious action by a co-ordinative ma- 
chinery.'' 

"What can all philosophical speculation avail," says 
Dr. Montgomery, " without an understanding of vitality 
and organization? If molecules or cells really build up 
complex organisms, then there is no escape from the 
assumption of a supernatural spirit, governing vital 
formation and activity. I, for one, could find no peace 
"till this question was positively settled one way or the 
other. 1 ' From 1S60 to 1863 he had a laboratory at St. 
Thomas's Hospital, where he examined all the material 
afforded by the institution, which is one of the largest 
in London. Employing new methods, he soon found 
out that the secret of life is not contained in a set of 
mysterious properties shut up in so-called cells. To 
render this evident, not only through observation of 
natural cell-forms, but also through experimental 
demonstration, he prepared a substance with which he 
succeeded in artificially imitating almost every cell form. 
He had just been elected Lecturer on Physiology by the 
faculty, when the effects of a dissecting wound put an 
end to his London career, and for many years also, to 
his sci ntific work. Lung trouble obliged him to pass 
the winter in the south, and eye trouble prevented him 
from working with the microscope. Not before the end 
of [866 was he able to present the results of his pre- 
vious work to the Royal Society. Lionel Beale, a pie- 
tist and theological partisan, happened then to be the 

12 and 19, 1SS6), ami "The Previous Question Under- 
lying 'Scientific Theism' versus Naturalism" (The Index, 
October 14, 1S86). In the essay on "Space and Touch," 
he remarks that his book "vaguely ascribed to muscular sensa- 
tions what I now know to be accomplished bv directly t'elt posi- 
tions not dependent on sensations of movement." The essays on 
" Causation," " The Obiect of Knowledge" and " Substantiality," 
object particularly to Kant's failure to acknowledge the full influ- 
ence over thought of the external world. The same objection is 
urged in Tin Index, for April j, 1SS5, March 18, iSN6and Aug- 
ust 1 2, 18N6. 

What Dr. Montgomery says of Kantism in The hidt \ is little 
more, however, than a prelude to his attacks on much more 
popular systems of transcendental philosophy, which he compares 
with his own view thus : " The question is, what underlies the 
wide-spread displav and endless train of conscious occurrences 
that, for each of us, make up the world we know ? And what is 
the real meaning of it all ? Genuine transcendentalism answers: 
The absence of our being consists in a spiritual organization or 
subject, autonomously weaving steady experience out of the ever- 
changing conscious phenomena ; and it all means the more or 
less adquate understanding of that which eternally and unalter- 
ably subsists in a universal consciousness. Genuine naturalism 
answers : The true subject and bearer of the conscious display 
is that abiding something of ours which we perceive as our living 
organization, and its conscious affections signify to us the recog- 
nition of our own relations to the entire economy of sense-com- 
pelling influences which we call the world." 

" We have ambiguously to decide for one or the other of these 
extreme views. Consistent thinking can discover no compro- 
mise. Our being is either wholly natural or wholly spiritual." "In 



Royal Society's authority on such subjects. He opposed 
Dr. Montgomery's chemical views and succeeded in pre- 
venting their publication in the transactions. Richard 
Owen wrote at the time a spontaneous and apprecia- 
tive letter, saying that if he had been there this would 
not have happened. Next year he published the paper 
at his own expense. It forms a handsomely printed 
volume of sixty pages: On the Formation of So- 
Called Cells in Animal Bodies ; by Edmund Mont- 
gomery, M.D.; London, John Churchill & Sons, New- 
Burlington street, 1 S67. Its accounts of the natural 
and artificial production of cells are so clear and satis- 
factory that Owen cites it as an "important contribution 
to the philosophy of physiology" (Anatomy of Verte- 
brates, volume 3, page 564). According to Dr. Mont- 
gomery, we cannot admit that "the units of which 
organisms are composed owe their origin to some mys- 
terious act of that mysterious entity, life, by which in 
addition to their material properties, they become en- 
dowed with those peculiar metaphysical powers consti- 
tuting vitality." On the other hand "the organic units, 
like those of inorganic bodies — the crystals — form, by 
dint <>f similar inherent qualities," and assume "neces- 
sary modes of appearance as soon as certain chemical 
compounds are placed under certain physical conditions."' 
"If the former view be true, then we must clearly 
understand that there exists naturally a break in the 
sequence of evolution, a chasm between the organic 
and inorganic world never to be bridged over. If, or» 
the contrary, the latter view be correct then it strongly 
argues for a continuity of development, a gradual 
chemical elaboration which ultimately results in those- 
high compounds, which, under surrounding influences, 
manifest those complex changes called vital." 



no way can our veritable being be both together ; a spiritual sub- 
ject, constituting experience by dint of its own power, and also- 
an organic subject, experiencing its naturally constituted func- 
tions. Experience is either exclusively organic or exclusively 
hyper-organic," (Mind, 1S84, p. 1). 

In another published essay, he savs: "The two great cosmo- 
logical conceptions which are now struggling against each other 
for supremacy, involve inevitably as ultimate result the decision: 
Whether life be indeed a deplorable aberration from the original 
fullness of thought-steeped being; or whether it be rather a desir- 
able unfolding of more and more intense and ample world con- 
sciousness." "Either the human body in its progressive organi- 
zation has to be cherished ;.s the only true temple and revealing 
oracle in the universe, or complete extrication from every bodily 
impediment must become the chief aim of human exertion.'" 
" Consistent rationalistic transcendentalism is of necessity hostile 
to the fulfilments of nature, to the aims of vital being. Its ethics 
do not consistently yield rules of action, hut rules of restraint from 
action, leading like all supernatural codes to unmitigated acenti- 
cism." "The object of its striving must ever be diametrically 
opposed to that of natural evolution. Evolution points to a life- 
affirming, life-exalting faith. Transcendentalism involves total 
life-negation." " Shall we then, for any visionary hankering 
after individual bliss forsake the wide-spread vital misssion in- 
grained in every fibre of our mystic frame? Shall we, as called 
upon bv trancendentalism for the dream of an incommensurable 
self beatitude or spiritual quiescence, desert the creative task 
allotted to us by whatever is underlying nature and its unaccount- 
able growth, the task here among our fellow-beings under joy 
and anguish to work out the higher life of that all-compromising 
organization of which we are veritable personations ?" 



THE OPEN COURT. 



io 5 



At the time Dr. Montgomery published this little 
hook he hail a laboratory at the Zoological Gardens 
during the summer months, where he met and conversed 
often with Darwin, and deferentially entered into the 
thought of the great naturalist who was just then 
working out his hypothesis of Pangenesis on the basis 
of the cell theory, and who was naturally not open to 
Dr. Montgomery's special views. There were plenty 
of other problems to talk about and on these, views 
were freely exchanged. 

In various quarters, Dr. Montgomery's conclusions 
adopted, and extravagant theories of life were erected 
on the strength of them. They influenced Dr. Bastian's 
Beginwi>igs of Life. Dr. Montgomery, however, never 
believed either in a molecular theory of vitality or in 
spontaneous generation of any of the forms of life now 
known. 

After leaving the hospital he practiced for six years 
at Madeira, Mentone and Rome; but in 1S69 he retired 
with a moderate competence, to devote himself to 
science and philosophy, which had been his purpose 
from the beginning. He had meanwhile become more 
convinced than ever that the philosophical problems 
which had so intensely perplexed him could be solved 
onlv through an understanding of vitality and organiza- 
tion. Life! what is life? He could find no peace till this 
question was positively settled one way or the other. 
Accordingly he came in. 1 87 1 , after publishing his 
protest against Kant's authority, to Tex is, where he 
has resided ever since on his estate, Liendo plantation, 
Hempstead. He says that: " The first seven years here 
in the South were devoted to laborious biological re- 
searches. No writing at all." His principal objects of 
observation have been minute animals of the simplest 
structure, barely distinguishable from plants, mere 
shapeless lumps, without visible head, li rib, eve, or 
mouth, and variously known as monera, protozoa and 
amoeba?, the last name denoting their capacity of chang- 
ing form indefinitely, by alternate expansion and con- 
traction in one or more directions. 

This capacity of motion or motility, has been made 
a special study by Dr. Montgomery and with very 
important results. "Spontaneous motility," he says, 
"constitutes the most salient and characteristic feature of 
animal vitality. Its scientific explanation had thus 
become the clref desideratum of physiology. When 
amoeboid forms of life were first carefully noticed, the 
attention of investigators was naturally arrested by the 
strange display of their ama'boid movements. But, 
importing at once from muscular physiology the con- 
ception that vital motility is due to a specific property, 
called contractility, scientific curiosity was pacified by 
simply giving the name of contractile substance to the 
moving proplasm. The occult property, 'contractility' 
was here also allowed to pass as an explanation of vital 



motility," (Webster's Dictionary, for instance, defines 
"motility" as "the faculty of moving contractility.") 
"Thus matters stood when I began my protoplasmic 
studies." "Where masters have failed, surely I, their 
obscure disciple, would never venture to come forward 
with a view of my own. But it so happened that by 
some fortunate accident nature allowed herself, as I 
believe, to be caught in my presence without her usual 
impenetrable guise. I could not help seeing what others 
have so long sought for in vain. By some strange fas- 
cination, I was drawn into giving careful attention to 
the peculiar amoeboid movements displayed by homoge- 
neous protoplasm. Day and day (sometimes for eigh- 
teen consecutive hours), and month after month for 
five years (from 1S72 to 1S77) I kept close watch on 
those slow and monotonous movements. Prom near 
and far a vast array of specimens were gathered show- 
ing every imaginable variation of this one central 
activity, the pushing forward and retracting of projec- 
tions." "I followed the sluggish current of hyaline " 
(or transparent) "material, issuing from globules of 
most primitive living substance. Persistently it forced 
its way." "Gradually, however, its energies became 
exhausted, 'till, at last, it stopped an immovable projec- 
tion, stagnated to death-like rigidity. Thus, fur hours 
perhaps, it remained stationary, one of many such rays 
of the many kinds of protoplasmic stars. By degrees, 
then, or sometimes quite suddenly, help would come to 
it from foreign but congruous sources. It could be seen 
to combine with outside complemented material drifted 
to it at random. Slowly it would thereby regain its 
vital mobility, shrinking at first. But gradually, com- 
pletely restored and reincorporated into the onward tide 
of life, it was ready to take part again in the progressive 
Mow of a new ray. On the other hand, I watched also 
the brisk current of more highly elaborated but still 
homogeneous protoplasm," etc. " So I continued watch- 
ing and pondering till it all seemed clear to me, till these 
primitive displays of vital activity had disclosed— to the 
satisfaction of my own mind — the constitution and inter- 
dependence of the elementary properties of life." 

The results concerning motility are stated as follows: 
" I first showed that the pushing forth of protoplasmic 
projections and not the subsequent contraction of the 
same, constitutes the fundamental act of vitality; that 
contraction is dependent on previous spontaneous and 
active expansion." Thus the existence of vital spon- 
taneity or self-initiated movement, which had been 
denied by biologists and declared impossible by physicists 
in general, was proved by actual observation. " A certain 
organic substance expands under chemical composition 
and afterward contracts under chemical decomposition. 
Its disintegration is incited by the dynamical influences 
of the medium. Its integration is brought about by its 
own inherent chemical affinity." Thus, "the display of 



io6 



THE OPEN COURT. 



living motion on the part of the protoplasm, which has 
hitherto been contemplated under the aspect of an occult 
vital property called 'contractility,' has been proved to 
consist in an alternate expansion and contraction of 
organic substance, accompanying its functional integra- 
tion and disintegration." " The power exhibited during 
motility is in reality the chemical power of specific 
affinity interwoven into the living substance, and induc- 
ing during its saturation expansion of the same." 
He also demonstrates how all essential organic divisions 
of the animal form, — its oral and aboral pole, its bilateral 
shape, its sensory surface, its integument, its contractile 
layer, its food-receptacle, its depurative organ, — how- all 
these organic divisions necessarily result from the spe- 
cific and unitary cycle of chemical activities which consti- 
tute the life of the living substance. These researches 
are described at length in the St. Thomas' 's Hospital 
Report for 1S79, and more briefly, in The Index for 
December 25, 1SS4, as well as in the articles on " Monera 
and the Problem of Life," in The Popular Science 
Monthly for September and October, 1S7S. 

To the five years thus spent he added two more on 
the Infusoria:, and so produced a paper which appeared 
in the jenaische Zeitschrift fur Naturzvissenschaft, 
volume xviii, and also in a separate pamphlet, under the 
title of Ucbcr das Protoplasma einiger Elementar or- 
oanismen. There he shows how the organization of 
Infusoria with all its peculiarities can be explained as a 
higher development of the different phases of the uni- 
tary cycle of vital activities which constitutes protoplasm, 
or the living substance. The paper has never been 
translated, but its most interesting portion, the attack on 
Darwin's theory of Pangenesis, may be found briefly 
summarized in a series of articles in Mind for 1SS0, 
which have been reprinted as pamphlets on " The Unity 
of the Organic Individual." Here may also be found 
his criticisms on the Polarigenesis of Herbert Spencer 
and the Peiigenesis of Haeckel. Dr. Montgomery 
holds, however, that " Life is not a consequence of 
organization; but, on the contrary, it is the formless 
protoplasm that builds up organized forms." 

Two more years of hard work enabled him to pub- 
lish, not only as an essay in Pfli'iger's Archiv fur die 
gesammite Physiologic, volume xxv, but as a pamphlet 
( Bonn, Emil Strauss, 1SS1 ). his observations of muscu- 
lar motion, entitled Zur Lehrc von dcr Muskcl-contrak- 
tion. Some of its most striking passages may be 
translated thus: "As soon as we admit, with most of 
the recent phvsiologists, that I he protoplasm of the mus- 
cles is not essentially different from that of the lowest 
forms of life, it can he fully proved that it is solely the 
muscular substance itself which produces all the power 
exerted in motion." " The spontaneous chemical in- 
tegration of the living substance is the key to the secret 
of its nourishment, growth, multiplication, resistance to 



destructive influences and capacity of persistent reaction 
against stimulating impulses. It is, in fact, the power 
of resistance displayed in all vital function, a power 
which not only opposes itself to all encro.ichment from 
outside, but which moreover repairs the damage caused 
by such encroachments, — is the fundamental peculiarity of 
life." " The living substance is not an aggregate of equal 
molecules held together by cohesion." "It is a chem- 
ical unit and not a physical aggregate." "All the phe- 
nomena of life rest at bottom on specific chemical pro- 
cesses." "The chemical process which underlies muscular 
activity is not one of oxydation, but one of disintegration 
and reintegration." "The power of expansion is inher- 
ent in the muscular substance; and not due to any com- 
bustion, or other result of external influences." " The 
living substance treasures up within itself, as internal 
wealth, the organic results of endless previous elabora- 
tion. Raised thus above the destructive ravages of 
time, an indivisible, specific totality, it gathers the life 
of the past into simultaneous presence, and confronts in 
ever rejuvenated wholeness the scattering and perishing 
things of this world. It is the living substance that is 
perennially persistent, not the dead configurations of 
unfeeling matter." 

This paper is also interesting, as demonstrating that 
the muscles are not composed of cells, and thus enabling 
Dr. Montgomery to reply more emphatically then ever 
in the negative to the question he has recently taken to 
head a pamphlet: " Are we Cell-aggregates?" Here 
he expressed (in November, 1880) his hope that "we 
shall be delivered from having to consider ourselves" a 
congregation of ever so many primitive lives, and shall 
feel scientifically restored to the full dignity of indivisi- 
ble autonomous personalities." The reader who prefers 
to consider himself as a person, and not as a congrega- 
tion, would do well to read carefully not only the 
pamphlet just quoted, but those on the " Unity of the 
Organic Individual." (Mind, Nos. xix and xx ). 
And further evidence that we are not mere aggre- 
gates of cells acted upon from without by some 
higher power may be found in the arguments in 
he Popular Science Monthly, September, 1S7S, that 
" Nature does not consist of so many particles of inert 
matter held together or pushed about by a set of 
mysterious agents." "All vital efficacy resides in the 
living substance itself, and forms an integral part of its 
specific nature." " The power of our life is intrinsically 
wrought, not extrinsically derived." Dr. Montgomery 
says in an unpublished letter that " The recognition and 
clear demonstration of the unity of the organic individ- 
ual constitutes the solid basis for all my thinking." He 
is receiving he informs us "spontaneous letters from 
prominent scientists expressing their adherence to my 
views, though with considerable caution as yet." Many 
eminent German botanists, have recently, as he says, 



THE OPEN COURT. 



107 



found out that "the entire protoplasm of a complete 
plant forms a continuous substance. What have formerly 
been taken for separate, closed cells turned out to be only 
partial partitions between different portions of the con- 
tinuous protoplasm which is seen to flow in and out." 
The adoption of this view, and consequent recognition 
of each plant as a single, coherent entity by Professors 
Sachs and Klebs, is fully stated in the Biologisches 
Cetitralblatt, for Nov. 15, 1SS4. Prof. Kollman, too, 
of Basel, has adopted Dr. Montgomery's view of vital 
motility and gives him due credit in a paper on 
" Elementares Leben, " which forms a part of the great 
German collection of scientific essays, edited by Vir- 
chow and Holtzendorf. Most German physiologists 
now ascribe the movement of muscles to their inherent 
chemical properties. 

The theory of the convertibility of forces, however, 
involves the assertion that, as Mayer says: " The muscle 
is not itself the material by means of whose chemical 
metamorphosis the mechanical effect is produced," but 
" only a machine through whose instrumentality is 
brought about the transformation of force," — namely of 
heat into muscular power. Dr. Montgomery has been 
accordingly forced to oppose a current scientific belief, 
which Spencer expresses thus: " The law of metamor- 
phosis, which holds among the physical forces, holds 
equally between them and the mental forces. These 
modes of the unknowable which we call motion, heat, 
light, chemical affinity, etc., are alike transformable 
into each other and into those 
able which we distinguish 
thought, these in their turn 
directly retransformable into 
{First Principles, sec. 71). The inconsistency of the 
theory of the convertibility of forces with the fact of 
the stability of natural phenomena, has been urged by 
Dr. Montgomery, not only in the Popular Science 
Monthly, September and October, 1S7S, but also in a 
lecture published in The Index for August 27, 1SS5, 
previously read before the Concord School of Philos- 
ophy — " Is Pantheism the Legitimate Outcome of 
Modern Science ?" J and more exhaustively in five 
articles, which appeared October, November and Decem- 
ber of the same year in The Index, on " The Dual Aspect 

% Dr. Montgomery's paper, read before the Concord School of 
Philosophy last summer was regarded by many as the ablest essay 
of the session. It was extravagantly praised by some and criti- 
cized by others. A writer in the Congregationalist wrote : 

"An elaborate paper from Dr. Montgomery, on The Platonic 
Idea and Vital Organization, was in some points the most distinct- 
ive one of the year, an altogether new and fresh line of thought 
being opened up by it. The writer, though owning a name unfa- 
miliar to the popular ear, is one of the ablest of living physiolo- 
gists. He .believes that the present aggregative theory of life 
is incorrect, and utterly at variance with any true theory of evolu- 
tion, and has given years to exhaustive experiment in demonstra- 
tions of his theory. Unluckily, his English is so German, and 
German of the most complicated and bewildering nature, that the 
bristling undergrowth must be cleared away before one can fully 
realize the beauty and power of his presentation. 



modes of the unknow- 

as sensation, emotion, 

being directly or in- 

the original shapes." 



of Our Nature." Here he protests against "such a riot of 
metamorphosis as is implied in the convertibility of every 
manifest mode of the unknown into every other mode 
of the same, which means, in fact, the convertibility of 
everything into everything else. Let no one think this 
is an exaggerated statement. The reasoning is simple 
enough. Every phenomenon in nature is the manifes- 
tation of one and the same force. Such force-manifes- 
tations are mutually convertible. Therefore, there is no 
phenomenon, material or mental, which is not converti- 
ble into any other phenomenon." He maintains that 
"conceiving mental phenomena as modes of an all-com- 
prising unknowable," implies transcending the limits of 
organic individuality and falling into pantheistic idealism ; 
that feeling and brain motion are not mutually convert- 
ible; that our present existence is "not in the least phe- 
nomenal," but a part of "the utmost reality of life;'' 
that this reality is larger and much more permanent than 
consciousness; that "our mental presence constitutes in 
itself the symbolical though practically reliable repre- 
sentation of the very powers of- nature by which it is 
produced ;" that " mind is an organic product," and that 
"our veritable nature is a permanent non-mental entity, 
of which our mental phenomena are an ever renewed 
afflux." 

In his address on " The Scientific Bases of Religious 
Intuition," written by special request for the last con- 
vention of the Free Religious Association, and printed 
in the Index of May 27, 1SS6, the Doctor says: 
"Our own being, from the very dawn of living exist- 
ence, has been fashioned to the core, in ceaseless inter- 
action with the powers that constitute the outer world. 
We ourselves are individually something, some one, 
only in relation to the world in which we are living. 
Very visibly, there is not a single part of our body, 
down to its minutest textures, that is not corresponding 
to some outside relation." " And our mind, in its widest 
sweep and its highest flight, has clearly no other normal 
function than the conscious realization of our rela- 
tions to outside nature. Only — to us human beings — 
the relations to our own kind, those most intricate, 
highly elaborated and refined relations making up our 
social life and culture, have assumed pre-eminent im- 
portance in our mental existence. They are in the real 
medium, in which we humanly and morally live." 

The following lines appeared in the Boston Record: 
OUT-PLATOING THE PLATONISTS. 
A Texan has floored the Concord crowd, 

Sing high! and sing ho! for the great southwest; 
He sent 'em a paper to read aloud, 

And 'twas done up in style by one of their best. 
The Texan he loaded his biggest gun 

With all the wise words he ever had seen, 
And he fired at long range with death-grim fun, 

And slew all the sages with his machine. 
He muddled the muddlers with brain-cracking lore, 

He went in so deep tnat his followers were drowned, 
But he swam out himself to the telluric shore, 

And crowed in his glee o'er the earthlings around. 
ENVOY. 
Oh Plato, dear Plato, come back from the past! 

And we'll forgive all that you e'er did to vex us 
If you'll only arrange for a colony vast 

And whisk these philosophers all off to Texas. 



io8 



THE OPEN COURT. 



CORRESPONDENCE. 

FREE-THOUGHT EDUCATION. 
To the Editors: 

The very interesting articles in numbers one and two of The 
Open Court, by Messrs. Davidson's and Jappe, have awakened 
in me a desire to say a word on the subject, it" you will be so kind 
as to grant me a small space in your splendid journal. 

The subject is one which is nearest my heart and embodies 
the fondest hopes of my life. The ideas advanced in botli articles 
are, on the whole, splendid. Yet I feel that the writers' concep- 
tions are hardly broad enough and the great central idea underly- 
ing the subject has been overlooked. In the consideration of this 
subject free-thinkers should ask themselves what are the objects 
of a tree-thought institution of learning. Mr. Jappe says Mr- 
Davidson " is mistaken if he believes that a free-thought college 
will do much good ; it is not in the colleges that the mind is 
framed, as far as the feeling of fear and hope, of reverence and 
esteem, are concerned." Is, then, the highest object of a free- 
thought college to make free-thinkers of our boys and girls? If 
this were all, there would indeed be little gained. All our col- 
leges are doing this in spite of the superstitious influence sur- 
rounding them. 

What is it, above all other things, that is needed to secure the 
most rapid advance of the cause of free-thought ? Is our greatest 
need an institution or organization, whether it be college or lyceum, 
that will send forth from its doors avowed and agressive free- 
thinkers as the above statement would indicate ? I answer no. 
The most imperative duty now resting upon us, is not so much 
to guard the youth of our land against the poisonous influence of 
superstition, as to enlist into the active service of free-thought 
the thousands of men and women already free from its taint. 
Do this, and there will be no need to warn the young and grow- 
ing minds against the snares of orthodoxy. The comparative 
weakness of the cause of free-thought is not due to a weakness in 
the number of free-thinkers. Three-fourths of our people to-day 
are either avowed free-thinkers or silent rejecters of othodox\. 
The orthodox element of this country form a very small major- 
ity. And yet orthodoxy, the great stumbling block in the path 
ol progress, permeates every vestige of our progressive civilization 
and holds the seat of highest honor, while free-thought, the 
embodiment of all that is progressive, crouches before the tvrant, 
a trembling slave. Think of the thousands of free-thinkers who, 
while looking upon the Christian system as a mass of superstition, 
deem it policy to remain silent. What is the cause of this ? 
Mere is the key-note. Superstition wears the silken garb and 
jeweled signet of honor and respect, free-thought is covered with 
the slimy robe of approbrium and looked upon in contumely and 
scorn. Whence this state of affairs ? You answer, the church 
is thoroughly organized, free-thought is unorganized. True, and 
in what lies the chief strength of this great organization, without 
which orthodoxy would not dare to face the all-searching criti- 
cism of the nineteenth century civilization f There can be but 
one answer. It is the vast system of colleges and universities 
that are dedicated to the cause of superstition. Give us a few 
good free-thought colleges and the cause of free-thought will 
command the respect of the world ; and, indeed, this should be 
the profoundest of reasons for establishing them. This is a prac- 
tical age. The world demands of every system the fruits of its 
workings. When asked what free-thought has done for man- 
kind, we proudly turn, and truly too, and point to our magnificent 
educational system, but the church says, not so, this is the child 
of Christianity. And, by the way, when we think of the old 
adage, possession is nine points in law, we feel like dropping our 
claim. 



Let us then build to the honor and glory of our cause a few 
imperishable monuments that will stand alike the ravages of 
time and the batteries of superstition. Let us establish a few free- 
thought colleges and universities. Then will free-thought 
become a title which all will be proud to wear. Justice will be 
meted out for the glorious work it has done, orthodoxy will lose 
its hold upon the world, our public schools will become purified 
and there will be no need for free-thought lyceums to make free- 
thinkers of our bovs and girls. Until the name free-thinker is 
respected and honored by the mass of humanity equally with the 
name Christian, our lecturers, our press, our writers, our lyceums, 
our thousands of earnest workers in the armv of free-thought, 
can avail but little. To accomplish this we must offer to the 
world something tangible, something to which we can point as 
the glory of free-thought, something to which orthodoxy can lay 
no claim. Pre-eminently this something is a free-thought insti- 
tution of learning and this should be our chief object in establish- 
ing one M. D. Leahy. 

BOSTON CORRESPONDENCE. 
To ///<■ Editors: 

In these days of rapid transit, when places as distant from 
each other as Boston and Chicago are brought near together and 
communications between them are exchanged in a few hours, 
and their commingling influences tend to obliterate their local 
peculiarities and give to them common resemblances and affinities, 
it becomes less difficult to be reconciled to the removal of 
The Index to the more favorable soil of the West, than it 
would be if these considerations were wanting; though one may 
deplore the exigency which seems to render it expedient, or miss 
in the metempsychosis the familiar aspect and featuresof its pre- 
existence. 

It is true we who dwell at the "hub" are disposed to feel that 
Boston is the natural home of all progressive things, the spot 
where alone they can healthfully thrive, and whence hopefully 
eminate. And there has been much in its history, as all the 
world knows, to nurture this pursuasion. It is not strange, there- 
fore, despite the happy auguries that accompanied it, that we wit- 
nessed the departure of what we had been accustomed to regard 
as peculiarly our own and possessing a certain indigenous rela- 
tion to this locality, in some sense our oracle, (if it is lawful for 
radicals to have one), at least with special endearment and pride, 
to the care of other hands and to what we are apt to consider a less 
genial intellectual clime with feelings that were not wholly com- 
placent. But all things change in this changing world. The 
Boston of to day, it must be confessed with humiliation, is not the 
Boston it was once. Nor is the Chicago of to-day, it is safe to 
assert, I think, exactly the Chicago of twenty years ago, in re- 
spect to much which then marked the difference between the East- 
ern and the Western city, and especially that was incident to the 
latter's immaturity, rapid growth and the prevailing influence of 
material pursuits. A leveling process has been going on during 
these years which has largely reduced the inequalities that they 
bore in relation to each other. It may seem almost disloyal to 
write it, but there are some signs that while Chicago has increased 
Boston has decreased in important particulars. Indeed there are 
those who boldly intimate, not in Boston of course, that it has 
lost the literary prominence it so long maintained, that New York 
has already appropriated the distinction. It must also be admitted 
that Chicago is no longer to be counted an insignificant competi- 
tor in the pursuit of such honors. Certain it is that those who 
occupy the high places of power in our city at present and exer- 
cise a prominent, if not a controlling authority and influence in 
its educational and public affairs, and give the tone in no small 
degree to its social life, are as a rule of other than New England 
birth, and of quite a different type from those who presided in 



THE OPEN COURT. 



109 



former days over its interests, when Boston was famous for its 
genuine social culture, its illustrious names in literature and the 
professions, its philanthropic spirit and independent thinking. 

Nevertheless, there will be for a considerable time to come, 
with all good wishes for its successor, in this neighborhood and 
wherever it has gone, among the friends and readers of The Index, 
a feeling of real regret at its decease and a deep sense of depriva- 
tion at the loss of its accustomed weekly visits. Its record has 
been in all respects a noble one. No journal has surpassed it in 
vigor of thought or critical ability or crowded its columns more 
fullv from week to week with matter worthy of the attention of 
earnest, truth-seeking, free minded people. It is a fortunate 
circumstance in connection with the new journalistic enterprise 
at Chicago, that its editors come to their charge with all the 
advantages of several years' experience in the same relation to its 
predicessor; and hence have an intimate acquaintance with the 
constituency for which they are to fill the office of purveyors. 
Both the editor in chief and his capable assistant are of New Eng- 
land origin and life long associations, but while this is the case, 
the former does not go to the West as a stranger. It was his 
business for vears to travel and lecture all over it. Probably 
there is no one who is personally better known to the liberals ot 
the country whose voice has been heard in so many places or 
before a greater number of liberal gatherings, like one of old cry- 
ing in the wilderness — the wilderness in his day of modern errors 
and superstition — preparing the way for the coming of a higher 
righteousness and reason. It is thus that the editors of this new 
organ of liberalism are to assume the trust assigned them with 
eminent qualifications adequately to appreciate and sympathize 
with the characteristics and peculiarities of East and West alike. 
It seems, therefore, as though nothing remains, but for earnest 
liberals of both sections, in fact everywhere, to give the new 
enterprise their cordial and helpful support. All hail ! then, we 
say, to The Open Court, may it live long and prosper. We 
pass to other matters. 

The two Sams, Small and Jones, have come and gone. The 
event may not be one of great interest to liberals, but it has been 
to the orthodox world in this vicinity and the public in general. 
I fear that vent, zn'di, via, can hardly be written of their visit. 
There are still unmistakable signs that Boston is not saved, after 
all the nine days' sensation of their preaching. The course of 
things does not appear to have changed, but to all outward dis- 
cernment proceeds as before. I do not hear of less arrests at the 
station houses. The liquor traffic seems as flourishing as ever. I 
do not believe anyone can point to a single saloon, after all 
this tremendous charge upon satanic strong holds, that has been 
closed. The number of the poor wretches who stagger through the 
streets has not apparently diminished. Teamsters and herdic 
drivers are no gentler, so far as I can see, in their manners, nor 
do they swear less vigorously at each other upon slight provoca- 
tions. What is the good of all this turmoil and pow-wow if 
simply those who are tolerably decent and respectable already, 
from whom the community has little if anything to fear, are the 
chief conversions? The sceptical, in view of these things, cannot 
refrain from the question, whether, if the same amount of zeal and 
money had been spent in labors to alleviate the actual misery 
which always exists in all great cities like ours, and especially at 
this season, it might not have been a work as urgent and import- 
ant as efforts so largely influenced by media; val views of the 
misery of another and future state of existence. And yet it 
must be confessed that, for those on certain planes of life, there is 
a power in this old theology and its methods which more enlight- 
ened conceptions and processes do not possess, a power to lift 
them up, perchance, a little higher in the scale of being. Unfor- 
tunately, this lifting process is one that has to be pretty often 
repeated in some instances, and the attitude attained is not even 



then a very commanding one. Other evangelists, it is announced, 
are to follow those just mentioned, indeed have already begun 
their work. In fact, it looks as if Boston was about to undergo a 
seige from these invaders. 

This is one way of trying to make the world better, of seeking 
to reclaim the wicked and degraded of our city, but I confess 1 
am more disposed to believe in the worth of the results of such 
a plan as that proposed for our North End wards by Hon. George 
S. Hale at a recent meeting of the Unitarian club. It is to pro 
vide a simple and spacious building in that part of the city, which 
is chiefly occupied by foreigners and the poorer classes of people, 
which shall contain "a coffee house or restaurant for uninjurious 
refreshments; a regulated pawnbroker's shop where the poor and 
needy may obtain loans, without extortion, on their humble securi- 
ties; an attractive hall where, for a moderate price, simple and 
innocent amusements may be offered freely during the week to 
tempt those it is desired to reach from those dangerous and 
vulgar ;and where there may be temperance meetings and others 
for open and friendly discussions of political and social questions, 
popular lectures and classes, athletic exercises, rooms for games 
of billiards, draughts, dominoes, bagatelle, for smoking and read- 
ing, for friendly societies, and on Sunday for religious services 
with music and choir, not limited to any sect or faith ; w here the 
Knights of Labor, the members of trades Unions and their 
employers may meet for friendly discussion and conference. ' I 
would throw open these rooms and halls," said the essayest, "to 
every man of orderly speech and life who, in honesty, felt he had 
a mission to the rich and poor — I would not inquire into his 
theology or his political and social orthodox v, but I would 'hear 
his cry.'" This is the liberal "plan of salvation " for the sinning 
and "poor and needy." Its practical character is too obvious to 
need commendation. 

The epidemic of strikes, so prevalent throughout the country 
nowadays, and of which this part, it would seem, had hitherto had 
its share, has been especially violent ol late in this city. The 
outbreak began this time, with the strike ot the conductors and 
drivers of the South Boston horse railroad company. This was 
followed a few day later, by a general strike on all the lines of 
the Cambridge roads connecting with the city, thus throwing 
several hundred unemployed men into the streets, with all the 
liability to turbulence and danger to the public which such a state 
of things engenders. As both roads run through sections occupied 
by the worst class of our people, acts of violence and lawless- 
ness have attended the running of the cars in these localities, 
especially at night and on Sundays, to a very alarming extent 
and have made policemen's duties along the route something 
more than a sinecure or idle pastime. The substitutes, or "scab" 
conductors and drivers have been subjected to continual annoy- 
ances on their trips from the beginning to the end, and have held 
their places in the face of most exasperating and deadlv perils. 
They have been hooted at, some of them fiercely assaulted and 
knocked from their cars, and have met with severe bodilv injuries, 
while brickbats and paving stones, hurled through the windows 
of the cars, have rendered the experiences of those inside more 
exciting than agreeable. After a number of weeks of this state 
of things in our good city of Boston, the strikers on the 
Cambridge roads voted to give up the strike, and those on 
the South Boston road soon followed their example. What 
is the lesson? The companies have been very much embarrassed 
in their business, and the community in general in its interest 
and convenience. The men, too, have lost much. Perhaps in 
proportion to their means more than all others. They have 
been for weeks unemployed, with loss of wages, living on pre- 
vious earnings, or incurring debts, while both they and their 
families have suffered much privation. The question arises in 
view of these events, whether there is not some more excellent 



I IO 



THE OPEN COURT. 



way than the way of the strike for the workingman to adopt to 
establish equitable or satisfactory relations between him and his 
employer and obtain the rights which belong to his labor. 

Here in Massachusetts there still linger, as is well known, 
many of the vestiges of the code of the Puritans in our statutes, 
and especially in regard to the observance of Sunday. There has 
been a good deal of radical and legislative powder and dynamite 
of a verbal sort expended first and last to get rid of them, but with 
little more effect than a like assault upon the rock of Gibralter. 
Within the last year there has been a strenuous effort to put these 
existing Sunday laws in force. What is the use, we may presume 
our astute or pious legislators reasoned, to have Sunday laws and 
make no use of them? So the edict went forth in many places 
that the barbers and bakers, druggists and news venders, and all 
who did business on the " Lord's day " should henceforth cease 
from these occupations on that day. The surest way of getting 
rid of obnoxious laws, it is often said, is to try to enforce them. 
The saying seems to be verified in this instance. The subject has 
already occupied much of the attention of the present session of 
our legislature and is not yet disposed of. Different bills have 
been presented and discussed, each prepared with the intent of 
satisfying, so far as possible, the orthodox conscience and intol- 
erance on the one hand and the necessities of our modern life 
and the growth of rational intelligence on the other. A task 
that is not altogether an easy one. 

There seems some prospect that Boston may soon follow the 
lead of some of the cities of the country, Chicago among the rest, 
I believe, in providing police stations with matrons to have 
charge of women under arrest at these places. The matter is 
eliciting much public interest and is warmly endorsed by the 
governor, the mayor and many of our leading citizens and phil- 
anthropists. It is hardly creditible to Boston, in view of the 
number of cities in which this custom exists, that it should have 
waited so long before waking up to an act of so simple and 
obvious humanity. 

Boston abounds in clubs. Their growth has been very rapid 
within the last few years, and the number continually increases. 
We have women's clubs and men's clubs, church clubs and politi- 
cal clubs, college clubs, musical clubs, art clubs, literary clubs, 
schoolmasters' clubs, business and trade clubs, and often a number 
of any single one of these varieties. Indeed, the remark has been 
made that it is likely to be a distinction in Boston by and by for 
a person not to belong to a club. Among these numerous and 
various clubs it may be of interest to know that liberals also 
possess a distinct representation. The Liberal Union club has 
been some three or four years in existence. It has a member- 
ship of a hundred or thereabouts of liberals distinguished for 
character and intelligence. The president is Mr. Francis E. 
Abbott, the projector of The Index, and for many years its brave 
and brilliant editor. The meetings occur on the last Saturday of 
each month at Young's Hotel, the favorite resort of such gather- 
ings, whose elegance of accommodation, appointments and serv- 
ice, and artistic culinary skill is not surpassed by any simi- 
lar establishment probably in the country. The programme on 
these occasions consists of a supper, which is pretty sure of appre- 
ciation at least, whatever may be the fate of its other parts, and 
an essay, with addresses, with some musical or other entertaining 
exercises interspersed at fitting points in the course of the even- 
ing. The February meeting of the club was a red-letter night in 
its history. It was distinguished as " ladies' night," a new de- 
parture for the club. In other words the members were expected 
to bring ladies with them, one each at least, as guests of the even- 
ing. The proposition was received with favor. It gave the 
members an opportunity to show their wives and daughters, or 
some one's else wives and daughters, as the case might be, how 
their evenings were passed at the club meetings. The attendance 



on this occasion was between sixty and seventy. Miss Mary F. „ 
Eastman, the essayist of the evening, spoke on "Our Duty to 
Speak our Utmost Thought;" the paper was vivacious and pleas-' 
ing and not too heavy for an after dinner exercise. Miss Eastman 
was followed by the venerable Mrs. E. D. Cheney, who, with a 
few appropriate words, beamed her motherly benediction on the 
occasion. Mr. W. L. Garrison, in easy flowing verse, gave ex- 
pression to some of his " utmost thoughts." One was, ladies 
should also be members of the club, and another, that wine and 
cigars should be excluded. Here endeth the first letter, and too 
long a one, I fear, of your Boston correspondent. Clayton. 



HOW SUNDAY LAWS ARE MANUFACTURED. 

To the Editors: Boston, March 17, 1S80. 

The recent debate of two hours in the Massachusetts House 
of Representatives showed me, not only how such laws are made, 
but how they can be amended. The speakers cared little for 
abstract principles; but all agreed in their desire to come up fully 
to the standard of public opinion, and to whatever the people 
asked. There is good reason to believe that the laws against Sun- 
day travel and Saturday evening amusements will be repealed, 
and also that the business now done illegally on "the Lord's day" 
by milkmen, newsboys, barbers, bakers, telegraph operators, gas- 
men, stablemen, druggists, horse-car people, printers, and other 
indispensible criminals, will be legalized by special exceptions to 
the general prohibition of business and labor. It is still a ques- 
tion how far these kinds of Sabbath-breaking are to be limited to 
special hours, and whether people who keep the real Bible Sab- 
bath every Saturday, are to be permitted to open their shops and 
expose their wares for sale. It should be remembered, that in all 
other respects they have been allowed to labor and do business 
for the last fifty years, and that the request to be allowed to show 
goods publicly, as well as to sell them privately, does not appear 
to come from the most enlightened members of the body. The 
most important difference is about amusement, some members 
calling for total abolition of what they stigmatize as the blue laws, 
while others oppose letting of boats, etc., and insist that nothing 
more lively should be permitted than a concert of sacred music. 
One Solon, professing to speak from a purely humanitarian point 
of view, said: "The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the 
Sabbath; and for this reason there ought not to be any recreation 
on Sunday." Others protested for amusements in the name of 
the poor. Still, whatever disagreement there is in the State 
House is due to the different habits prevailing among the people. 
Our legislators all wish to ratify what has already been decided 
by public opinion, but they are not likely to go any further in 
reform. 

Whatever is done in repealing the laws against Sunday travel, 
or particular kinds of business, or Saturday evening amusements 
will be done not to open agitation but to the quiet agreement of 
the whole community to treat all this part of our legislation as 
null and void. I remember when our theatres used to announce 
that they would give performances Saturday evening, in order to 
test the law. Here in Massachusetts a statute has to be tried and 
found wanting, before it can be repealed. Our legislators say 
plainly: " If you will prove that the law against Sunday amuse- 
ments cannot be enforced, we are willing to alter it; but so long 
as the community submits contentedly, we see no occasion to 
interfere." For those of us that think, as I do, that more freedom 
in Sunday recreation is necessary for the health and good 
behavior of our people, especially the poor, our duty is plain and 
urgent. It is not preaching but example that will do the work. 



'ork. 
H. 



Is there, then, no death for a word once spoken? 

Was never a deed but left its token? 

Do the elements subtle reflections give? 

Do pictures of all the ages live 

On Nature's infinite negative? — Whlttier. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



in 



DEATH IN THE CAGE. 

BY GEORGE WENTZ. 

In China old, in any city street. 

You still may see what stirs your noble rage. 
Yet scarce gives pause to any passing feet— 

A man within a cage ! 

A narrow, upright box, so cunning made 
That on his head atop the sun doth pour; 

Hung by his jaws he lacketh much of aid 
From toes that touch its floor. 

And there attached a scroll that bears his name, 

His age and race and occupation late, 
His sentence— death— and what he did to shame 

The laws of sovreign state. 

And also this : the penalty extreme 

To him who, softened at the heart, should think, 
However great the culprits' need might seem, 

To give him meat or drink. 

And there he hangs, and moans and shrieketh shrill. 

In supplication as you pass his way, 
And then grows faint; hut no less pleadeth still 

Tomorrow, as to-day. 

But not for aye; quick nature's chord is broke, 
And heart-strings snap when too intense the strain. 

The third day comes; his need is looked, not spoke, 
And he is past his pain. 

The air is still; no living sound near by, 
Save where the crowd a little space away 

Strives eagerly, beneath his glazing eye, 
For seats to see a play. 

And he is dead! one life the less is nought 
In all the millions that survive in pain; 

"When man is valueless, the thought 
Of how he dies is vain. 

Now he is dead write China's thousand years 

Beside this woful picture here apart: 
A^e may adorn; but how unloved appears 

Gray head that hath no heart! 



BOOK NOTICES. 



" THE ORIGIN OF THE FITTEST." 
The readers of The Open Court will, I am sure, be grateful for 
having their attention called to a book just from the press of 
Appleton & Co., entitled The Origin of the Fittest, by our 
ablest American biologist, E. D. Cope. I do not hesitate to 
say that, since Darwin and Wallace, no investigation has been 
more important or more ably conducted than that embodied in 
this book; and that since Spencer and Lewes no generizations 
have been so profound and wonderful. Difficult as the work of the 
earlier evolutionists was, that of this later or second school is no 
less so. Darwin assumed, or allowed to rest, the conception of a 
Creator, only dispensing with the idea of special creations. He 
distinctly avowed the view of a single primal creation, in which, 
inherent, was the full potency of self-evolving purposiveness 
manifested in evolution. This complete "Natura" needed no 
after-meddlings or supplements, or extra natural miracles. But 
later evolutionists are quite of a different mind. They have taken 



such theists as Diman and Hamilton at their word, when they 
say, it is " evidently our duty to push the first cause as far back 
as possible." They have given one final push, and lo, the final 
cause is not to be found; so the contest stands to-day a simple 
one between those who assert with Newman, Diman, Mivart, 
» We believe in One who is apart from, and above Nature, the 
cause, etc.," and those who find in the manifest substantial uni- 
verse all of causality. Bishop Foster's idea of creation is pro- 
bably very nearly the common theistic view, when he says, "The 
world was fitted up for man's occupancy, with adequate means 
inherent, or supplemented, to meet all his needs." Supplements! 
to the work of an all-wise Creator! "I thank thee for that 
word!" It reminds me of an "Appendix" I saw carved to 
an epitaph on a tombstone in a Western cemetery. 

I need not say that "The Origin of the Fittest" is fully com- 
mitted to the later and broader evolution. It does not hesitate to 
go back of the " beginnings " of life on our globe and seek for the 
origin of life, and of that which life involves: consciousness, 
matter and force are the primal trinity which must be 
accounted for. Are they derivatives or primatives? In other 
words, are they the constitutive eternal elements? or is there a 
God, a Being apart from Nature, who either creates mat- 
ter and force or imparts to eternal matter and force his own 
sentience ? 

The one emphatic and descriptive quality of the later evolu- 
tionism is the acknowledgement that matter and force alone do 
not cover the universe as it is, nor as it was primordially. The 
rhizopod, equally with man, manifests a sensibility and a pur- 
posive desire that is not included in the energy that is purely 
material. Huxley, in his late passage of logic with Mr. Lilly, 
says, "The main tenet of materialism is, that there is nothing in 
the universe but matter and force, and that all the phenomena of 
nature are explicable by deduction from the properties assign- 
able to these two factors; all this I heartily disbelieve." Pro- 
fessor Cope's argument is everywhere underlaid with this pre- 
sumption, or rather demonstration; for I take it that what a final 
reduction of the universe in the crucible of analysis insists on 
giving us, that we must take as demonstrably certain. 

So the problem is carried inimensly back of Darwinism. The 
essays entitled " Catagenesis " and " Archa:sthetism," I believe 
to be the two most remarkable and able attempts in metaphysi- 
cal evolution extant, excepting possibly the accompanying essay, 
entitled "Consciousness in Evolution." To give a review of 
such articles would be only to repeat or epitomize them, and the 
latter attempt would be futile, as the essays are exceedingly con- 
centrated. I will simply suggest one of the final conclusions of 
Archresthetism. The question arises whether there may not be 
in and throughout the universe some generalized form of matter 
which can sustain consciousness; for clearly, so far as our 
investigation goes, consciousness is associated only with proto- 
plasm ; that is, with a certain specific chemical union of carbon, 
hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. By a course of able reasoning 
we are°led to this conclusion. "The presumption is that such a 
form of matter may well exist. Evolution or organization has 
only worked up part of its raw material in the organic world." 
I wish I could spread before your readers pages of this magnifi- 
cent generalization. I must not undertake it. Equally powerful 
is his handling of catagenesis, or retrogressive evolution. The 
problem is to account for that consciousness, or sentience, or sen- 
sibility, or "feeling," as Lewes terms it, which characterizes 
primordial life, when the common life divergently becomes on 
the one side animal, on the other vegetable. What does the 
vegetable kingdom do with this property of sentience, or is it 
also in reality now a sentient part of the world? Prof. Asa 
Gray argues that it is sentient. The discussion by Prof. Cope 
clears the subject of a host of misapprehensions. The key of it 



I 12 



THE OPEN COURT. 



is that energy, as soon as it becomes automatic is no longer con- 
scious. The vegetable kingdom is a display of automatic energy. 
The animal kingdom is also full of automatism in the form of 
reflex action or instinct, but is also largely conscious. 

Carrying back these general conclusions we reach the final 
conclusion that mind and matter are no more to be conceived as 
separable in the universal than in the individual. The individual 
as such is not dual, but una], a substantiality. So, of the uni- 
versal, it can be conceived onlv as a One, absolute, involving 
both matter and mind. 

"The Origin of the Fittest" is equally valuable as a discus- 
sion of organic evolution. It is to Prof. Cope we owe the gener- 
alizations, and to a large extent the investigations, connected 
with the enormous fossil finds in Colorado and throughout the 
West. In 1S74 he foretold that the ancestors of a large group 
of Tertiary Mammals when found would prove to be pentata- 
dactyle, plantigrade bunodont; that is a five-toed walker on the 
sole of the foot unlike our ruminants, and possessed of tubercular 
molar teeth. In 1881 the prophecy was fulfilled. The genus, so 
far best known of this division, is called the phenocodus, but the 
group is known as condylarthra. Converging in this con- 
dylarthra group are traceable backward by nearly complete 
lines, the ox, deer, camel, hog, hippopotamus, horse; also 
the carniverous lion, tiger, wolf, bear; but, above all, the 
lemur tribe. To this lemur tribe, as a common ancestor, the 
apes and men are now traceable. Before this work of anatomical 
biology all other synthetical results stand unicified. I look on it 
as the most supurb triumph of science of the last twenty-five 
years. The article which most explicitly recounts this progress 
of generalization was published in The Popular Science Monthly 
of September, 1885. But the general results are contained in the 
volume I have named, "The Origin of the Fittest." The great 
geological basin of the West has revealed the story of the last 
five millions of years with an accurracy, that twenty years ago, 
seemed an absolute impossibility. The Tertiarv Mammals are in 
reality one family, moving out on diverging lines from one an- 
cestral type to become the carnivorous and herbivorous occu- 
pants of the globe. Of all these man stands most closely to the 
original type. He is plantigrade and pentadactyle. The horse, 
the ox and all the other genera of this stock are in structure, not 
only more divergent from the ancestral type, but completer in 
the organic sense, in bone, and muscle and sinew. Fortunately 
our group made a blunt stop in the way of polishing bones and 
toughening sinews and put all its energy to brain-building, and 
on that line, and for that reason, behold man ! But I must leave 
Prof. Cope to speak for himself. E. D. Powell. 



Parleyings With People of Importance in Their Day. 

By Robert ISroivning. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin iV Co., 18S7; 

pp. 187. Price $1.25. 

Browning apparently intended gently to " point a moral " by 
the title of this latest work of his pen, that moral being the evan- 
escent nature of certain sorts of fame, for none of his " people of 
importance in their day" excepting Fust, the inventor of printing, 
will be readily recognized by the general readers of this; they are 
Bernard de Mandeville, a venal writer who had no perceptible 
faith in the good and true in human nature; Daniel Bartoli, 
a chronicler of pious legends; Christopher Smart, whose only 
"smartness" or perhaps inspiration was shown by a poem 
scratched by him on the walls of a mad-house where he was con- 
fined because of insanity; George Budd Doddington, whose 
superficial scheming secured him a title; Francis Furini, an 
artist whose specialty was as a painter of the nude human form ; 
Gerard de Lairesse, an artist who, losing his sight, was yet so 
enthusiastic over his calling that he dictated a work in eulogy ol 
it, and Charles Avison, a composer of simple marches. These 



" parleyings" give one the impression that Browning has sum- 
moned "from the vasty deep" or some similar place, the restless 
ghosts of these " people of importance " to whom he deals out in 
his own inimitably vague and " 1-know-it-all " sort of way, 
master-like philosophical deductions from possible (though rather 
improbable) lessons from their lives and works. To the com- 
monplace reader, the strongest and clearest poems of the book are 
those which open and close the volume, — the prologue entitled 
" Apollo and the Fates," and the epilogue " Fust and His 
Friends", — but there are clear-cut, cameo-like, robust bits of 
verse, appreciable by all, in most of the poems, in proof whereof 
we quote sparingly from much that invites. Says Apollo, in the 
prologue arguing with the remorseless Fates for the life of 

Admetus: 

" 'Tis man's to explore 
Up and down, inch by inch, with the taper his reason: 

No torch, it suffices— held deftly and straight. 
Eyes, purblind at first, feel their way in due season, 

Accept good with bad, till unseemly debate 
Turns concord, — despair, acquiescence in fate." 

From " Francis Furini" we take this recognition of the wide 
scope of scientific investigation : 

" Science takes thereto — 
Encourages the meanest who has racked 
Nature until he gains from her some fact, 
To state what truth is from his point of view, 
Mere pin-point though it be. Since many such 
Conduce to make a whole, she bids our friend 
Come forward unabashed and haply lend 
tits little life-experience to our much 
Of modern knowledge." 

In the same poem Browning puts into definite form a ques- 
tion which has doubtless arisen in the minds of many thinkers 
who have hesitated over the dubious word : 

• " ' Soul ' — accept 

A word which vaguely names what no adept 

In word-use, fits and fixes, so that still 

Thing shall not slip word's fetter, and remain 

Innominate as first, yet, free again 

Is no less recognized the absolute 

Fact underlying that same other fact 

Concerning which no cavil can dispute 

Our nomenclature when we call it ' Mind ' — 

Something not Matter — 'Sou! ' who seeks shall find 

Distinct beneath that something." 
In this poem the theorv of evolution is criticised from the 
poet's peculiar point of view, strongly, of course, though uniquely. 

OPINIONS OF THE OPEN COURT. 

The Court opens gloriously and I hope it will examine and decide all ques- 
tions within its jurisdiction in the same masterly way The Index did. — Peed 
Beck, Boston. 

The Open Court more than tills the gap left by the suspension of The 
Index. — Mrs. Mary Gunning, Florida. 

In bodv and dress it exceeds what I had expected. There is a beauty about 
its face and a free intelligence gleaming through its matter which becomes at 
once an allurement. And I, of course, wish you speed and lasting possibilities. 
— H. L. TraUBUL. 

The Open Court opens splendidly. The articles I have been able tu read 
are very rich and suggestive. — Ciias. D. B. Mills. 

The Open Court received. I am more than pleased with its appearance and 
contents. It is a publication tha cannot he overpraised and one which deserves 
more than prnise—finanrial suppo f.— Harry Hoover, Pittsburgh, Pa. 

The Open Court looks well, reads well, promises well. Its success de- 
pends, I think, upon its being a journal. It must grapple with passing events 
and give the news of " the movement." Essays may help, but cannot give 
success. James Parton. 

I have just read through the third number of The Open Court, and con- 
gratulate you on its excellence. It seems to me that the three numbers thus far 
issued may be compared as good, better, best. Rowland Connor. 

" The Court," Open Court, is a most admirable and fortunate title. Every- 
body smiles when shown it, and some have pleasant remarks concerning it. 

Judge likes this " judicial title." " Yes, yes," said one gentleman, 

"that's what we need — an 'open court I' I suppose you will give a fellow a 
chance to jaw back?" G. P. Deleplaine, Madison, Wis. 



The Open Court. 



A Fortnightly Journal, 



Devoted to the Work of Establishing Ethics and Religion Upon a Scientific Basis. 



Vol. I. No. 5. 



CHICAGO, APRIL 14, 1887. 



1 Three Dollars per Year. 
I Single Copies, 15 cts. 



LABOR CRANKS. 

BY JAMES PARTON. 

The most interesting passage in Harriet Martineau's 
Retrospect of Western Travel is one in which she de- 
scribes the three eminent senators, Clay, Webster and 
Calhoun, as they appeared to her in 1S36, when they 
were in the prime of their celebrity and power. She 
heard them in the senate and spent many evenings with 
them in the most intimate and familiar converse. She 
speaks of Henry Clay sitting upright on the sofa, with 
his snuff-box always in his hand, discoursing for many 
an hour in his soft and deliberate tone, on some leading 
subject of American politics. What surprised her was 
the moderation of his judgments of men and things, 
knowing well what an impetuous spirit he had derived 
from nature and circumstances. 

She describes Webster, too, not merely as the giant 
debater of the senate, hut also as the delightful com- 
panion, leaning back at his ease, telling stories, cracking 
jokes, shaking the sofa with burst after burst of laugh- 
ter, occasionally rising into serious discourse, to the per- 
fect felicity of intelligent hearers. The picture she 
draws of these two famous men gives us the idea of 
sanity and cheerfulness; of men with great powers em- 
ployed in high, congenial tasks; not indeed devoid of 
ambition, but possessing also a genuine and over-master- 
ing public spirit. 

Her account of Calhoun is sadly different. She 
speaks of him as the cast-iron man, who looked as if he 
had never been born and could never be extinguished; 
full of close, rapid, theoietical, illustrated talk, which 
kept the understanding of the hearer on a painful stretch, 
but left it unenlightened and unconvinced. He had but 
one subject of discourse, a theory of government nar- 
rowed to the dimensions of South Carolina, and forced 
to include as integral parts Slavery and Nullification. It 
was interesting to hear him, because all that he said 
gave evidence of intellectual power, but the final im- 
pression left upon the stranger's mind was one of abso- 
lute melancholy. 

"His mind," she remarks, "has long lost all power 
of commu7iicating with any other. I know of no man 
who lives in such utter intellectual solitude. He meets 
men and harangues by the fireside as in the senate; he 
is wrought like a piece of machinery, set going vehe- 
mently by a weight, and stops while you answer; he 



either passes by what you say or twists it into a suita- 
bility with what is in his head, and begins to lecture 
again. * * * Relaxation is no longer in the power 
of his will. I never saw anyone who so completely 
gave me the idea of possession" 

In these few words of Miss Martineau's we have 
an excellent description of that type of man to which 
we now give familiarly the name of crank, the man 
who has become unteachable, or, as the lady says, has 
lost the power of communicating with other minds. 
This, I should say, is the special characteristic of the 
man who harps upon one idea. He never views it by 
the light of other minds; he never sees it in its relation 
to other ideas. 

That was a great touch of Miss Martineau — " he 
had lost the power of communicating with other minds" 
— and it describes many of our too positive brethren of 
to-day. Many of them are of a far nobler type of man 
than Calhoun, because they lost a portion of their sanity 
through an honest and overwhelming compassion for 
the human lot. A very large number of people are in 
danger of getting cranky from this cause; not that men 
are more unhappy now than formerly, but because we 
have become more susceptible to their unhappiness. 
We are less able than we once were to sit down content 
with a fortunate destiny, while there is miser}' close by. 
France had never been in a condition less bad than in 
1789, when the revolution broke out. She had become 
aware of her unhappiness, and the discovery drove her 
mad. 

Probably no man who, touched by human sorrow, 
honestly tries to relieve it, ever quite fails to be of ser- 
vice, because even if he tries in wrong ways, his errors 
are instructive. At least, he may call attention to evils 
which he is himself powerless to remedy, as the mid- 
night shriek of a woman who sees a rock ahead while 
the helmsman nods at his post, may save the ship. The 
shriek is heard; it wakes the man at the wheel; it calls 
the captain; it alarms the crew; and the vessel sheers 
away from the rock-bound cape in time. 

On the other hand, no one is more likely to get 
cranky in his opinions than one who broods too much 
over the sorrows of mankind. A person of tender 
heart, young, unused to the sight of suffering, little 
acquainted with the past history of our race — its slow r 
and hard struggle from want almost universal to plenty 



1 I. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



almost universal — may very easily get astray, and give 
passionate credence to fallacious theories. Perhaps 1 
may be pardoned for alluding to my own experience, 
the recollection of which suggested this subject, and has 
enable! me to explain many wild theories and many 
one-sided men. 

At the age of twenty, during a year's residence in 
England, I was taken to visit one of those vast poor- 
houses, then called Unions, in which the paupers of sev- 
eral parishes, sometimes thousands in number, were, for 
the sake of economy, maintained together. It was an 
appalling spectacle to one who had never before seen 
destitution except as an obvious result of vice or sudden 
calamity. I beheld immense numbers of paupers in a 
county teeming with luxuriant crops, and those paupers 
not of alien race, but natives of that soil, not vicious, not 
degraded, but, apparently, well-disposed, respectable per- 
sons, some of them having a striking aspect of purity 
and refinement. What startled and shamed me most 
was the deference these unhappy people paid to the 
visitors. When we entered the wash-house, for exam- 
ple, where a hundred clean, orderly, and nice-looking 
women, all dressed in blue, were ranged along on both 
sides bobbing up and down over their tubs, they all 
stopped, stood erect, made two quick but low curtsies, 
and then resumed their work. 

This was too horrible. I felt myself blushing scarlet, 
and hurried out of the room in an agony of shame and 
pity. But into whatever other room we entered, this 
uniform double curtsey was repeated; as if it was not 
we who should bow low to them, and humbly apologize 
to thc?n for our insolence in enjoying freedom and 
plenty. At last, I saw something.which broke me down 
completely. It was an interview between a mother and 
her son, a boy of fourteen, who had been allowed by 
the officers of the poor-house to join the drum-corps of 
a regiment of infantry under orders for India. She had 
just been told of it, and she was trying to understand it; 
trying to grasp the idea that her boy, the only solace 
left to her, was about to march from his native parish, 
never to return while she lived. Her grief, her despair, 
her awful silence and stillness, her infinite and irremedi- 
able desolation, were far beyond words to describe. 
I have never been so near insanity as I was during the 
rest of that day, ami I did not quite recover my serenity 
until I had got out of the country. I am conscious that 
I had a narrow escape, if I did escape, from being a 
labor crank. Such a scene gets the understanding under, 
and may easily disqualify a person from thinking bene- 
ficially. 

Tlie very same spectacle, which could then be seen 
in every county of England and Scotland, caused Car- 
lyle to write a harrowing book on the subject, called 
Past and Present, in which he painted the evil with terri- 
fic force, but suggested remedies of the most frivolous 



inadequacy. He was a crank, made such by ego- 
tism and imperfect knowledge. Two other men of 
healthy minds and generous hearts, Richard Cobden 
and John Bright, took off their coats, as Mr. Parnell 
expresses it, and worked with all their might for six 
years in getting the Corn Laws repealed, which gave to 
the people of Great Britain cheap food, and thus reduced 
pauperism to endurable proportions for thirty years. 

"The dismal science," was what Carlyle called po- 
litical economy. He was a crank who had lost the 
power of being instructed by other minds — not igno- 
rant merely, but a despiser of knowledge. Cobden 
took one leaf out of that dismal science, set free those 
paupers and gave his country another chance. Cobden 
was a modest, teachable, great man, infinitely removed 
trom crankiness. 

The eminent crank of political economy, the perfect 
type of the class, was Fourier, whom Horace Greeley 
introduced to our notice in the Tribune forty years ago. 
In the year 1799, during a period of scarcity in France, 
he was a merchant's clerk at Marseilles, in the employ- 
ment of a firm engaged in importing provisions. They 
had a large quantity of rice on hand, a leading article 
in food in Southern France. In order to maintain the 
price of this commodity, his firm kept a cargo so long 
during the hot weeks of the summer that it was spoiled, 
and young Fourier was sent on board of the vessel to 
superintend its destruction by the crew. The rice, I 
believe, was thrown overboard. 

This clerk was a young man; he was benevolent, 
and at this time he was filled with compassion for the 
sufferings of the poor in Marseilles, whom this rice 
would have relieved, and, particularly, the sick in the 
hospitals, for many of whom in the climate of the Medi- 
terranean, rice is the only food and the best medicine. 
The destruction of the rice, which seemed to him so 
wantonly cruel, rankled in his mind, and appears to have 
destroyed his power to communicate beneficially with 
other minds. Instead, therefore, of making an exten- 
sive and modest study of the vast and complicated sys- 
tem by which the human race is supplied with the 
necessaries of life, he retired within himself, went apart 
from men and business, and came rapidly to the conclu- 
sion, so congenial to cranks, that whatever is, is wrong. 
He developed what we call Fourierism, or, as he termed 
it with the modesty of his type of reformer, "a system 
which will deliver the human race from civilized chaos." 
Who has written more eloquently of the evils of the 
world and the sufferings of mankind? He described 
commerce as the art of buying for three francs a thing 
worth six, and selling for six francs a thing worth three. 
But the world has gone its way, and whatever improve- 
ment has been made in the lot of mortals since Fourier's 
time has been wrought by men not perhaps more benevo- 
lent than he, but more modest, better informed, men 



THE OREN COURT. 



tx 5 



who, before attempting to serve our race, have put them- 
selves humbly at school to its long experience. 

We have among us at this time an uncommonly 
gifted writer, a good citizen, a benevolent man, who 
dining the forming period of his mind had opportuni- 
ties to study closely three countries in which the people 
were wrongly related to the land. This man is Henry 
George, and those three countries were India, California 
and Ireland. In California fifteen years ago, the huge 
land grants of the Spanish proprietors made it extremely 
difficult for men of moderate means to procure land 
enough for a modest American farm, and this at a time 
when the towns of California were overflowing with 
adventurers, who had obeyed Horace Greeley's well- 
known injunction, until they had reached the Pacific 
ocean and there was no more West for the young man 
to go to. Brooding over this state of things he came to 
the conclusion that the land, like the air and the sea, be- 
longs to all the people alike, and that private ownership 
of land is wrong. The nation, he tells us, should own 
the land and draw from it, and from it alone, all the 
public revenue. As he stood at his printer's case he re- 
flected perhaps too long and too exclusively upon the 
scene around him, and upon the similar difficulties in 
Ireland and India. 

In his eloquent book upon Progress and Poverty, 
he appears to me to have escaped a great and invaluable 
truth, applicable to all property and to all countries, 
which is that every right of man is a limited right, not 
absolute^ and that a man must hold whatever he pos- 
sesses in subordination to the welfare of the communitv 
of which he is a part. But this precious truth is not 
new. Every system of law and morals recognizes it. 
With his gifted pen and benevolent mind he may yet 
throw valuable light upon it, and suggest safe and just 
ways in which the rights of individuals may be still fur- 
ther subordinated to the interests of the public. Take 
Henry George, however, for all in all, and we ma) 
call him one of the most estimable and reasonable of 
the reformers of our day. If he is now shut up in a 
narrow theory, there was a time when he studied the 
works of other economists. He may do so again. 

The men who really help us to a better life and a 
happier lot are tolerant, patient, modest and good- 
natured. They may be students, like Newton, Ad.un 
Smith and Darwin; legislators, like Cobden and Glad- 
stone; statesmen, like Jefferson and Lincoln; warriors, 
like Washington, Sherman and Grant; but they are all 
patient, open to conviction and accessible to other minds; 
well pleased if they can succeed in elucidating one 
truth, or in mitigating ever so little the lot of man. 
The great are all teachable. The}' never lose the power 
of communicating with others. 

One of the beneficial effects of the clubs and socie- 
ties, now so common among us, is in making us 



acquainted with other minds, and in subjecting our 
favorite opinions to free comment and criticism. Free 
and friendly intercourse with other minds, widely differ- 
ent from our own, is the natural remedy for crankiness. 

"Good-bye, Butterworth," cried Mr. Tvvigg, of Vir- 
ginia, as the late House of Representatives was dispers- 
ing on the 4th of March. Mr. Twigg is a democrat, 
and was a secessionist; Mr. Butterworth is a republican 
from Ohio. "Good-bye, Butterworth: I never thought 
I could like a republican; but two years' experience 
has liberalized me greatly, and I now have as many 
republican friends as any man in the House." 

The intelligent reporter who overheard this remark, 
appended to it a comment which is worth repeating: 

"What Mr. Twiggs said is true of every new man. 
He comes to Washington a partisan" [possibly a crank] 
"believing that all the good is in his own party and all 
the bad in the other. Before he has served one session 
he has learned to esteem his opponents quite as much 
as his party friends. He serves on committees with 
republicans and democrats alike. Before his term ex- 
pires he realizes that human nature is — human nature, 
no matter what its political convictions may be." 

All of which confirms our principle that the source 
of human wisdom is the whole of human experience in- 
terpreted by the whole of human intelligence. To 
afford access to this multitudinous sea is, I suppose, the 
proper object of education, and the chief benefit of your 
Open Court. 



REASON AND PREDISPOSITION. 



BV |OIIN BUKKOUGHS. 



That most men in the formation of their opinions 
are governed more by predisposition, or unconscious 
bent and tendency, than by reason, is obvious enouo-b. 
Indeed, reason is the faculty by which we seek to justify 
the course of this deeper seated predetermining force or 
bent. We gravitate naturally to this opinion or to that, 
to conservatism or to radicalism, to realism or to ideal- 
ism, and we seek for reasons that favor our course. 
Considerations which are of great force with certain 
types of mind are of little or no force with certain other 
types. Reasons that confirm what we already believe 
or want to believe, how forcible they are! But if they 
point the other way how lightly we esteem them! 

Thus, Ireiueus, the real founder of the Christian 
canon, was led to believe there could he no more and no 
fewer than four Gospels, because there were four uni- 
versal winds and four quarters of the earth, and because 
living creatures were quadriform. So Justin Martyr 
argues that because Jesus blessed the juice of the grape 
and said "this is my blood," he could have had no hu- 
man parentage, but was the son of that God who made 
the grape and the vine. This is giving a natural basis 
to dogma in a quite unexpected way. 



n6 



THE OPEN COURT. 



With most men reason is an advocate and not a 
judge. It does not so much try the case as plead the 
case. Unless we watch ourselves very closely, instead 
of trying to see all things in their true light, we will 
find ourselves trying to see only those things that favor 
our view. 

Reason is probably only a secondary faculty after 
all; or more strictly, it is a faculty and not a determining 
power. It is like the compass which the sailor takes to 
sea with him and to which he constantly refers in keep- 
ing his course, but which has nothing to do in determin- 
ing that course. Every man goes his own way, and of 
the agents that determine him in any given direction, 
whether original bent, inherited traits, the influence of 
his training, or of his environment, he is but dimly con- 
scious; his reason is the conscious instrument by which 
he tries to steer on his predetermined way. 

Hence it is, that Cardinal Newman says, that in his 
going over to Rome it was not logic that carried him 
on; "as well might one say that the quicksilver in the 
barometer changes the weather. It is the concrete 
being that reasons; pass a number of years and I find 
my mind in a new place; how? the whole man moves; 
paper logic is but the record of it." The great Car- 
dinal may have been logical after he once started for 
Rome, but what made him drift that way ? It was be- 
cause he was a born papist from the first; one can see 
the stamp of Rome upon him in his youth. 

Probably most of us come into possession of our 
religious beliefs in the same way Newman did — we grow 
into them; they are slowly and unconsciously built up 
in our minds. We think we reason ourselves into them, 
but we find ourselves in possession of them, and then 
we seek to justify our course by an appeal to reason. In 
our day religious opinion, or religious feeling, sets less 
and less store by dogmas and creeds, and it is because, 
as Newman suggests, there has been a change in the 
weather. Yea, a change of climate. Natural knowl- 
edge is in the ascendant. The sun of science has actu- 
ally risen, indeed, rides high up in the heavens, and the 
things proper to the twilight or half knowledge of a 
few centuries ago, flee away, or are seen to be shadows 
and illusions. The great mother Church may draw her 
curtains, and re-trim her lamps and make believe it is 
still night in the world, but those outside know better, 
and those inside are bound to find it out by and by. 
Newman is a careful reasoner, but what would satisfy 
his mind will not satisfy all, because we are not all 
going his way. What is a fair breeze to one may not 
be a fair breeze to another. See how easily he accepts 
the doctrine of transubstantiation: " Why should it not 
be? What's to hinder it? What do I know of sub- 
stance and matter? Just as much as the greatest philoso- 
pher, and that is nothing at all!" Might not we reason 
in the same way? Why should not Santa Claus come 



down the chimney? What's to hinder? The chimney 
is open at top and bottom, and has a definite capacity of 
good, honest cubic inches. At the same time do not we 
children of an older growth ask does Santa Claus come 
down the chimney ? This author of the Grammar of 
Assent, assents to the doctrine of the Immaculate 
Conception on scarcely more tangible grounds, namely, 
" because it so intimately harmonizes with that circle 
of recognized dogmatic truths, into which it has been 
recently received." The mind bent upon truth alone, 
would be inclined to ask, " does it harmonize with the 
rest of our knowledge of the world ? Does it agree with 
what we know to be facts governing human propaga- 
tion?" 

The great Romanist reasons himself into the belief in 
the infallibility of the Pope in about the same way. He 
makes certain startling assumptions to set out with, — 
supposing this and that to be true the infallibility of 
the Pope naturally follows. " Supposing it to be the 
will of the Creator to interfere in human affairs, and 
to make provision for retaining in the world a knowl- 
edge of Himself, so definite and distinct as to be proof 
against the energy of human skepticism, in such a case, — 
I am far from saying that there was no other way, — but 
there is nothing to surprise the mind, if He should think 
fit to introduce a power into the world, invested with 
the prerogative of intallibilty in religious matters." But 
has he introduced such a power; what is the proof of 
the fact? Are the Christmas stockings filled by way 
of the chimney? The fact Newman accepts and rea- 
sons from it, or to it, as we see. His reason follows his 
belief, never leads it. Any number of difficulties, intel- 
lectual difficulties, he says does not make a doubt. Cer- 
tainly not where experience attests the thing to be true. 
But suppose it is contrary to all experience, contrary to 
all the principles upon which human observation is 
founded — how then? 

Of course we are not always to reject a proposition 
simply because we cannot understand it or penetrate it 
with the light of reason. We do not know how or why 
species vary, but we know they do vary. We do not un- 
derstand the laws of heredity, but we know heredity to 
be a fact, and so with thousands of other things. Do we 
know transubstantiation to be a fact? There are difficul- 
ties in the way of evolution, but these difficulties are not 
such as violate nature, but such as indicate that nature 
may have taken another course in the production of 
species. The difficulties in the way of believing in the 
efficacy of holy-water, or that the image of the Ma- 
donna winked, or that Elisha made iron swim, are of 
quite another sort; these assumptions contravene all the 
rest of our knowledge. 

Our theological doctors talk about the short range of 
the unaided reason of man, and seek to show how reve- 
lation comes to the aid of reason; as if the reason could 



THE OPEN COURT. 



117 



be aided by anything but reason, by anything reason 
does not approve of or comprehend. They mean, of 
course, that the truths of revelation could not be reached 
by the unaided reason. But are they truths? the reason 
asks. Certainly reason could not lead a man to them, 
and it requires something different from reason to hold 
the man to them after he is there. To talk about aiding 
the reason by a superior principle of knowledge, or a 
superior method of verification, is like talking about 
seeing around a corner, or on the other side of a stone 
wall. The very principle you propose must itself be 
approved by the reason. Microscopes and telescopes 
aid the eye by multiplying and extending its powers in 
its own direction; not by the addition of any new prin- 
ciple of vision. In the same way the discovery of the 
law of gravitation or the laws of Kepler, arms and ex- 
tends the human reason, of which they are the fruit. 
Power alone can use power, the eye alone can use the 
telescope, not the hand or the ear. 



THE RADICAL. 

BY EDNAH D. CHENEY. 

Having occasion to look over numbers of the Radi- 
cal — published from about 1S65 to 1S72 — I was struck 
with the force and ability disjjlayed in its pages, and led 
to compare the movement which it represented with 
that of the transcendentalists, about thirty years earlier, 
whose organ was the now famous Dial. 

The latter movement is now recognized as having 
had great life-giving power, and its inspiration has 
not yet lost its hold on many minds. It was full of 
youth, freshness and beauty. It opened up broad ave- 
nues of thought and life, and returned to the original 
fountains of spiritual truth, instead of drinking of stag- 
nant cisterns, no longer renewed by the pure rains of 
heaven. 

And yet as I read the pages of the Radical, I recog- 
nized a real advance in the movement which it repre- 
sented over that of the transcendentalists. No sharp 
and definite line can be drawn between them, for both 
were in the same direction and in many instances the 
same minds took part in both; but still the comparison 
is of interest. 

No organization beyond a social club was attempted 
by the transcendentalists, and the expression of individ- 
ual thought was perfectly free and spontaneous. Yet 
there is a general agreement in aim, and a similarity in 
expression which gives a distinctive character to the 
Dial. It is like a blossoming out of the Unitarian 
faith into beauty and fragrance, foi it is full of the joy 
of religion and of the value of aesthetic culture. It does 
not, generally, deal with important moral questions 
practically, but by appeals to the higher intuitions. It 
is rather artistic than scientific. 

The radical movement attempted organization in the 
Free Religious Association, but it has hardly been an 



nstrument of much work, or a very binding tie. Yet 
it has had great value in giving this most expressive 
name which binds together freedom and religion in a 
true wedlock, instead of separating them as things 
hostile or alien. 

Most of the writers in the Radical base their specu- 
lations less upon intuitions and more upon established 
facts than the transcendentalists, and they do not shrink 
from the keenest criticism of anything, however vener- 
able, or the plainest words into which their thought can 
be put. 

To them, I think, we are largly indebted for the great- 
est step in modern liberalism, which reached a position 
outside of Christianity, from which it can be looked at in 
fair comparison with other religions. This is such a 
gain as astronomy made when Copernicus dared to 
teach that the sun was not the center of the universe; it 
alone made it possible to bring all the religious experi- 
ence of humanity into harmony and order. Great 
minds had certainly gone beyond the narrow limits of 
their own faith and recognized truth in ancient and 
modern religions. Emerson had already said: "Jesus 
would absorb the world, but Tom Paine and every coarse 
blasphemer helps us to resist Jesus." Theodore Parker 
had planned his History of Religion, but even he had 
said : " Silence the voice of Christianity and the world is 
well-nigh dumb," and he contended stoutly for his 
right to the name, which he held above every name. 

But the new movement did not claim the name of 
Christian. It took the altitude of every religious star, 
not from its relation to Christianity but to eternal truth, 
and freely opened its platform to representatives of 
every form of worship. 

So evidently was the time ripe for this step, and so 
successful has it been, that what required courage to 
profess in 1865 and '66 is now the fashion, and the rep- 
resentatives of heathen religions, not converts to Chris- 
tianity, (although generally shaming Christians by the 
justice and liberality with which they revere the char- 
acter of its founder), are welcomed to orthodox pulpits 
and are courted in society. There is even danger that a 
tide of Orientalism, with its fascinating speculation, may 
sweep over us and carry away many useful landmarks 
and guideboards which the human race has set up in 
its onward march. It will not destroy the foundations 
of the earth. 

This movement for broadening the sympathies of 
religious faith has had the powerful aid, without which 
it could not have been successful, of the great freedom 
of intercourse between distant nations, of the advance 
in Oriental scholarship, and of the great scientific move- 
ment which has put all thinking upon more exact and 
stable basis. 

The thinkers who expressed themselves in the Rad- 
ical have done but small portion of this work, but they 



n8 



THE OPEN COURT. 



have recognized its meaning and value, and applied it 
in their own domain of religious thought. T. W. Hig- 
ginson's Sympathy of Religions, William Henry Chan- 
ning's lectures on Eastern religions, and Samuel John- 
son's noble volumes on India, China and Persia, show 
the power thus gained of looking at the past or present 
history and thought of the human race; not from any 
personal standpoint, but as related to the whole evolu- 
tion of thought in history. It does not seem possible 
that any enlightened class can ever again return to the 
bigotry that looks upon all who are not born within the 
shadow of the cross, as miserable heathen living 
"where God was never known." 

It is true we have yet Andover discussions, but they 
only serve to show what a vital question this has become, 
and that some, even of the missionaries, have learned that 
they must understand and respect the piety of the people 
to whom they are sent, and not shock their filial rever- 
ence by offering them a heaven from which their 
venerated ancestors are forever excluded. 

So rapidly has the work which the Radical and the 
Free Religious Association proposed to do, extended in 
all directions, that we cannot trace it to its distinct 
sources, nor say how large a part this or that agency 
has had in bringing it about. Yet in looking over the 
old monthly once so welcome a guest, I could not but 
wish to acknowledge an indebtedness to it for sowing 
broadcast the germs of much of the good which we are 
reaping now. 

The work which lies before us yet is less revolu- 
tionary and exciting. It is the use of the freedom that 
has been already gained, in the close application of great 
truths to practical problems. We need more of close 
study, severe thinking and careful experiment, before we 
can claim that we have put theology upon a true scien- 
tific basis and given it its true position as solving all 
the great questions of human experience. 



A SORELY TEMPTED GENERATION. 

BY ALFRED H. I'KTERS. 

During the last fifteen years there has been, through- 
out the northern United States, a remarkable number of 
criminal downfalls among business men. Petty officials, 
public and private, have been constantly reported short 
in their accounts, and "Behold a city for sale," has twice 
been shown to be as true of the American metropolis, as 
it was when the African prince declared the same of the 
metropolis of ancient Rome. When, beside these dis- 
closures, it has become necessary to reinforce the officers 
of the law with a numerous body of private detectives; 
when all kinds of mechanical contrivances are being re- 
sorted to in place of conscience; when the cities of a bor- 
der nation are filled with a permanent population of our 
fugitive thieves, is there not reason for inquiry why it is 



so much harder for men to be honest than it was a gen- 
eration ago. 

If, as certain later economists affirm, the degree of a 
nation's civilization is determined by the number of its 
wants, greater progress has been made toward that con- 
dition during the last twenty-five years by our own than 
during its whole previous existence. Not, indeed, intel- 
lectually, or physically, so far as concerns human necessity, 
does there appear to have any great change taken place. 
People's stomachs hold no more, their backs are no 
broader nor their brains heavier in the last quarter of the 
nineteenth century than in the first. Of, however, cer- 
tain sensual and emotional gratifications, whatever min- 
isters to luxury and fastidiousness, or to vanity, curiosity, 
or excitement, there does appear to have arisen during 
this time a greatly increased desire. 

While the general average of incomes has undergone 
a considerable increase, that increase has in no wise kept 
pace with the increase of wants, so that the question of 
how to make both ends meet is, to the majority of 
Americans, a more serious one than it has ever been be- 
fore. Reasons exist for this changed social ideal, as well 
as for the discrepancy between income and expenditure 
which has been its result. 

With the second half of the present century there 
began, throughout the free States, a period of material 
prosperity which, industrially and speculatively, offered, 
for twenty years, an opportunity of enrichment to all 
conditions of men such as the world has seldom seen. 
The extension of steam transportation; the development 
of manufactures; the discovery of gold in California, and 
the bountiful product of the West, all together contrib- 
uted to make the ten years between 1850 and 1S60 the 
most remarkable wealth producing decade known in 
our historv. The ten years following, notwithstanding 
nearly half of them were noted for destruction of wealth 
stimulated individual enterprise even more than the ten 
years before. 

Recognizing in the new order of things a great op- 
portunity, and inheriting two centuries of thrift and 
self-denial, the generation of men now passing away be- 
came the most inveterate workers and accumulators that 
any nation ever produced. Considering the capital upon 
which they operated, their returns were much greater 
than business returns at the present time. The founda- 
tions of most of our colossal fortunes were laid by men 
born twenty years before, or twenty years after, the be- 
ginning of the century. To the men of that time it was 
no great effort to withstand those allurements of sense 
and of imagination which began to attend upon the 
presence of fortune. They had reached middle life or 
past it; their habits had been long formed, their pleasures, 
outside of their business, were few and primitive, and 
they could not have enjoyed anything else if they would. 
The sense of possession could destroy in them but a 



THE OPEN COURT. 



119 



small measure only of that spirit of abstinence in which 
they had been bred. 

Very different was the school in which were reared 
their successors. The standard of subsistence had risen. 
The luxuries of the fathers became the necessities of the 
sons, who thus acquired manifold desires and a capacity 
for entertainment heretofore undreamed of. Often receiv- 
ing polite educations, their energies were distracted from 
the main chance. Many were unfitted for industrial life 
by the excitements of army service. Surrounded by an 
atmosphere of prosperity, getting on in the world ap- 
peared, to the men entering action between 1S60 and 
1SS0, a very much easier matter than it had been to their 
fathers. The American of to-day surpasses the Ameri- 
can of thirty years ago in the ability to enjoy fortune, as 
much as the other surpassed him in the ability to obtain 
and preserve it. 

To those influences which had already begun to 
change our social and economical ideals, was added the 
inflation of values caused by the unsecured paper cur- 
rency issued by the national government in 1S61. Do 
but consider the result. The apparent gradual increase 
to double its former price of every commodity, save in- 
terest-bearing securities, and an equal apparent increase 
in the wages or fees of all professional or personal service. 
At once began a period of unnatural business activity. 
Everybody was consumed with a desire to buy and sell, 
the result being a rush from all other occupations into 
trade. Young men looked forward to but one career — 
that of a business life. Town population grew apace; 
that of the country stood still or went backward ;and the 
government, to perpetuate the good times, forced its citi- 
zens to make use of the high priced and inferior wares 
produced at home by imposing a prohibitive tax upon 
the better and lower priced articles manufactured abroad. 
With the expansion of trade came the expansion of credit; 
never before was borrowing so easy. A man could 
open a place of business with a stock of goods bought 
on time, hypothecate his merchandise to speculate at the 
board of brokers, and sail a yacht or drive a fast horse 
by payment of enough money to execute a mortgage 
thereon. 

Most demoralizing of all was the growth of a rampant 
gambling spirit, and the making possible a means of so- 
called speculation, which is not even worthy the name 
of a game of chance. The lottery had been declared 
unlawful because of its dissipating the earnings of the 
people, but, in comparison with the game by which it 
was succeeded, the lottery was legitimate business. Its 
patrons risked only the price of a ticket, and it was win 
or lose and done with till next time, but marginal specu- 
lation is a constant fluctuation between profit and loss; 
now baiting its votary with success, now drawing upon 
his resources to preserve his holdings, a perpetual anxiety 
and distraction from other occupations, with, final!)', the 



same end as the lottery — only the managers obtain any 
profit. Few, save its agents, are aware of the extent to 
which people of every condition seek to increase their 
incomes by this hazardous resource. Lawyers, clergy- 
men, teachers, legislators, public officials great and small, 
managers and subordinates of financial and industrial 
organizations, artists, literary men, and even women and 
children. 

Thus began the "gilded age," the era of imitation, 
of extravagant ornament, of valuing everything by its 
money price, and of the idea that something was to be 
had for nothing. Good taste and the eternal fitness of 
things underwent as much degeneration as did judgment 
and principle. Amid such influences is it any wonder 
that prudence and moderation should, to the new gen- 
eration, have ceased to be virtues ? 

Finally the tide turned, and, by a lingerine process 
of ebb and flood, prices shrunk back toward the point of 
starting. When the reaction culminated in the collapse 
of 1S73, thousands of men in the prime of life found 
themselves with only nominal occupation, and as many 
more, accustomed to dealing on their own account, sought 
employment in some fiduciary capacity among the firms 
and institutions surviving the wreck, or in those which 
new capital began presently to organize. These men 
had been educated in a school illy fitted to graduate can- 
didates for positions of trust. 

With the descendants of the old stock, now began to 
compete in business the sons of those millions of immi- 
grants who had settled here between 1S50 and 1S60. 
These young men, early forced into the world on their 
own account, had that greatest of all advantages in the 
obtaining of fortune — no advantage at all. Not averse 
to the mechanical trades, or to those coarser and more 
independent occupations which had been deserted by the 
sons of the native, many of them hoarded their earnings, 
became capitalists and often directors and employers of 
those by whom their fathers had been looked upon as 
an inferior class. It is to be noticed that most of the 
polite crime of the day is perpetrated by men bearing 
colonial names. The sons of the foreigner began at the 
foot of the ladder and worked their way up. The sons 
of the native, beginning midway, or at the top, have too 
often fallen headlong, or been slowly working their way 
downward. There is, as a rule, no chance to which 
men will not resort in order to maintain that position 
they have been accustomed to hold among their fellows. 
The monopolization of business by corporations or 
great industrial firms offers more opportunity for dis- 
honesty than when it is distributed among a larger num- 
ber of active proprietors. An institution managed by a 
board of directors, or by a private secretary and attorney, 
is not like one conducted under the eye of a single master 
who is familiar with its every detail as well as with the 
personal habits of his associates. It is among the officers 



120 



THE OPEN COURT. 



and accountants of manufacturing or banking enterprises 
that half of this malfeasance happens, whose temptation 
to hazardous ventures is often the example of their own 
employers. 

Our system of education has been the means of turn- 
ino- many honest fellows into unsatisfactory members of 
society. Patterned after the ideal of a feudal aristocracy 
it is, indeed, admirably fitted to make men polite, white- 
handed, and exclusive, but, unless they are to devote 
themselves to teaching what they have themselves been 
taught, it is, so far as concerns material provision, an ob- 
stacle rather than an aid. What is called higher educa- 
tion is a luxury, and too often, like every other luxury, 
enervates men for the business of getting an honest liv- 
ing. To educate, beyond his calibre, a boy who must 
make his own way in the world is worse than not to 
educate him at all. The extent to which over-refine- 
ment weakens principle, reverses instinct and deadens 
sympathy, is standing proof of the truth of Thoreau's 
saying that "there may be an excess of cultivation, as of 
everything else, until cultivation becomes pathetic." To 
develop wants in a youth which it is probable he can 
never gratify, is to add to his temptations, and is to 
society a curse more often than otherwise. 

A certain moral looseness, the legacy of these un- 
settled years, yet fills the atmosphere of affairs. The 
success of everyone is measured by material standards. 
The best business man is he who obtains the largest 
profit; the best professional man he who receives the 
largest fee; the best politician he who keeps himself 
most constantly in office. Society asks of a man not so 
much concerning what he is, as concerning what he does. 
Simple honesty, as a qualification for business position, 
is less regarded than the rapid dispatch of work, the 
pleasing of influential patrons, or the ability to influence 
patronage by the applicant himself. Listen to a pair of 
ancients asking after each other's children, and the in- 
quiry is not whether they are honest, or wise, or brave, 
or patient, or generous, but are they " making anything." 
A well won fame, without accompanying fortune, is a 
dangerous possession, so great is the temptation to make 
business capital of it. The social standard has been 
raised so high that men's energies must be devoted 
almost wholly to the obtaining of a subsistence. The 
burden of our politicians is of how rich we are, and of 
how much more rich we shall be twenty years hence. 
If honor among us has not been reduced to the FalstafF- 
ian estimate, those positions in which it is the main wage 
often go begging for fit occupants. 

The ideal citizen of our republic needs a power of 
adaptation and an integrity almost superhuman. He 
must be, at the same time, a gentleman and a drudge; a 
student and a man of business; accumulative as well as 
public spirited; honest as well as enterprising. No labor 
of the old demigods was equal to his. No medieval saint 



had so many temptations to resist as he. The terms are 
too hard for most of us in these alluring times. We set 
out with high resolves, strive for a while, then rush 
wherever circumstance impels us, and, as Emerson says: 
"do what we must and call it by the best name." 
Verily, men and brethren, if our offenses have been 
great, our temptations have been also great. 

The lives of most men are merely adaptations to the 
spirit of their age. Our time has, beyond any other of 
which we have record, developed a universal appetite 
for whatever ministers to the pleasures of sense and the 
pride of life. Men pray every day to be delivered from 
temptation and rise from their knees to go immediately 
in quest of it. We are like children spending their holi- 
day pittance in a candy shop, anxious to have as many 
of the goodies as possible and obliged, therefore, to be 
content with a taste of each. But " this or that, not 
this and that, is the rule to which all of us must submit." 
We may possess nothing desirable without giving some- 
thing of value in return. There is, however, this never 
to be forgotten difference between a valuable quality and 
a valuable material possession; we may obtain a rare 
commodity, or the means of commanding it, by the effort 
of others, but the effort which obtains a valuable quality 
can never be any other than our own. We must pay 
dear for every luxury, and dearest of all for the luxury 
of being an honest man. 



IS THE CHURCH WORTH SAVING? 

BY LEWIS G. JANES. 

The query, " Is the church worth saving ? " is so often 
repeated, not only by those who are avowedly hostile to 
the claims of supernatural religion and organized Chris- 
tianity, but by many who still maintain a formal con- 
nection with one or another of the Christian sects, that 
it merits the thoughtful consideration of every liberal and 
progressive thinker. It is urged, on the one hand, that 
the method of the church is theological and unprogressive; 
that it fails to grapple energetically with the living ques- 
tions of the time; that it spends its force and capital 
drawn from the hard earnings of the people in sustain- 
ing "creeds outworn;" in prating about the affairs of 
another world, instead of striving for the betterment and 
salvation of man in this world. A thoughtful and candid 
writer — Professor William Graham, of Queen's College, 
Belfast, in his latest work, Tlie Social Problem, repeats 
in even more emphatic language the indictment of the 
Christian church which he presented some years ago in 
his Creed of Science. "The old function, discharged 
by our old spiritual guides," he says, " is palpably, in the 
eyes of all thinking men, doomed; it is dying, unless it 
can transform and readapt itself to the spiritual and 
moral and social wants of the new time — a thing nearly 
impossible, as history shows, and rather to be hoped for 
than expected." The complaint of Emerson that we are 



THE OPEN COURT. 



121 



« preached at" too much, receives the practical indorse- 
ment of multitudes of our leaders in thought, of our 

: scientists, philosophers and educators, who join the greater 
multitude of the careless and indifferent in absenting 

■themselves from all regular attendance upon the services 
of the church. The fear of hell and the coercive power 
of secular authority being removed, many withdraw all 

: support from organized religious institutions, and many 
more retain a connection with them which is purely con- 
ventional and formal, conscious of a total want of sym- 
pathy with the doctrine, ritual and service which they 

countenance by their presence and pecuniary aid. "I 
have no heart in it," said an intelligent young lawyer and 

■ college graduate to me the other day. " I am not in- 
structed or morally inspired by the sermons. I do not 
believe the doctrine. It is all a bore. I am kept in the 

• church simply by my family connections and associations. 
;I attend service to avoid giving offense to my friends." 

The enormous untaxed properties of the churches 
.are a standing menace to the principle of religious liberty 
on which our government was founded. The plea that 
the church is a guardian of the peace of society, a con- 
servator of public morals, which is urged in support of 

• the exemption of religious properties from taxation, has 
•very little force in the minds of thoughtful people. An 
i Institution which requires this government " protection," 

•which admits itself a, pauper, and even joins in a shame- 
; less scramble for a share of the public moneys for the 
•support of its sectarian charities, does not stand in a posi- 

• tion to become -a forceful teacher of righteousness — a 
rebuker of wrong in high places — a defender of the 
poor and oppressed against the power and wiles of the 

■ oppressor. The morality of the pulpit is convention:'.' 
and emasculated. It declaims against Mormonism in 

'Utah, organizes societies to convert the Jews, launches 

its thunderbolts occasionally against Agnosticism or the 

j fatal errors of some rival sect, but touches the sins of its 

■own pews with gloved hands, and fears to grapple with 

• the pressing social evils of the time. Its newest gospel 
: is two thousand years old. It speaks the language of a 
; forgotten age. It leaves the heart out of the teaching 

of Jesus, while it wrangles about the form of his doctrine 
. and the " mint, anise and cumin" of ritual and phrase. 

Such is the indictment, we may almost say the popu- 
' lar indictment, against the church to-day in England i nd 
America. Such, doubtless, is the feeling of a vast num- 
ber of liberal and progressive thinkers, not all of whom 
have had the courage of their opinions, it is true, but whoj 
nevertheless, are at heart, in general agreement as to the 

• character and utility of the ordinary pulpit teaching. 
Many do not hesitate to avow that the clergy are "lost 

• leaders," time-servers, pew-panderers; that the church, as 
. an institution, has had its day, and should give way to 

• other agencies for ethical instruction and social regenera- 
i tion. In answer to this indictment, it is urged, even by 



some who have no belief in the popular creeds, that the 
church is nevertheless useful to society. It has a certain 
value as a cement to the social organism. It keeps people 
conventionally good. It creates a circle of public opinion 
within the larger circles of society, which helps to hold 
men to a formal allegiance to social law and order. It 
is an aid to the police. Its fear of hell, so far as it is 
still a vital belief, helps to make men do right. There 
are many who, like the popular clergyman, would " have 
their fling" if it were not for the dread uncertainty of 
the after-life, and such as these are kept in order by the 
church. 

What shall the thoughtful student, anxious to con- 
serve all that is good in present institutions, believing in 
social evolution rather than in revolution, strenuous in 
defense of public and personal morality, earnest in search 
for a solution <>f the pressing problems of our time, 
answer to this question, "Is the church worth saving?" 
If it is to continue to follow the old conventional stand- 
ards, I think he must answer that it is not worth saving: 
that the sooner it gives place to the Ethical Society, or 
to some other active and modernized agency for social 
and individual improvement, the better. If the church 
is to fight on under the old flags, organized religion will 
become more and more organized hypocrisy. For the 
Mrs. Partingtons of the pulpit cannot stay the tide of 
modern, progressive thought; cannot turn back the ad- 
vancing columns of scientific discovery, or break the 
irresistible logic of rational philosophy based upon the 
facts of experience. They cannot meet the cry of the 
starving poor, the demand of the manual laborer for a 
larger share of the product of his labor, the universal 
aspiration of all thinking men and women for a higher 
education and larger liberty, by an aptly quoted text of 
"sacred Scripture," a doctrinal sermon, or the sensuous 
sestheticism of sacred music and ritual The multitu- 
dinous charities of the church — and I gladly recognize 
their number and their value — cannot cover the greater 
multitude of its sins against sincerity, reason, and the 
noble striving to make pauperism impossible by remov- 
ing its causes. It cannot atone for its neglect to educate 
and help men for nobler living here, b< all its doubtful 
information in regard to that unknown land beyond "the 
bourne from whence no traveler returns." Nor can the 
cowaid's plea that it is "safer " to yield a conventional 
assent to the dogmas of the popular religion, long con- 
tinue to hold manly men and womanly women to ihe 
service and support of the church. The judgment of 
the intelligent, independent thinker is sure, ultimately, 
to become the judgment of the masses of the people. 
This is a utilitarian age, but it is also an ideal age, seek- 
ing ever for the highest uses of things; and the church 
will be judged, and if need be condemned, by the stand- 
ard of the higher utilities; — not by the question whether 
or not it serves as a convenient adjunct to our police 



122 



THE OPKN COURT. 



system. The church must be something better than a 
coward's castle if it would escape the fate of becoming a 
picturesque ruin at no very distant day. 

Is there, then, no hope that the church, regenerating 
itself, may again become a regenerator of mankind? I 
believe that there is some hope that it will renew its use- 
fulness, put on the garment of reason, learn to speak the 
language of to-day, and render to man the service which 
he demands in return for his allegiance and support. 1 
find it in the pulpit utterances of such men as Phillips 
Brooks, and llcber Newton, and Charles R. Baker and 
Bishop Potter, in the Episcopal church; Minot J. Savage, 
John W. Chadwick, William C. Gannett and others, in 
the Unitarian church; Washington Gladden and Lyman 
Abbott in the Congregational church, and others in dif- 
ferent branches of the "Church Universal." I find it in 
the growing tendency to rationalize the ancient creeds 
by transforming them into the likeness of modern scien- 
tific and philosophical thought, as was attempted by 
Henry Ward Beecher in his latest discourses, and notably 
at an earlier date by Minot J. Savage. I find it in the 
increasing attention which the pulpit and religious press 
are paying to the social problems of our time — to the 
establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth. 

Pet us hope that these tendencies may continue — 
that the church will prove itself worth saving, and be 
saved to become the helper and savior of man. Myself 
a firm believer in personal continuance, I would have 
its waning hope renewed by a deepening consciousness 
of the worth and beauty of our daily life — as it can never 
be by futile appeals to Scripture texts, or the alleged 
miracle of Jesus' resurrection. Fulness of life, in the 
individual and in the social organism — this should be the 
object of our striving, — the high goal of our ambition. 
That the church may serve us in promoting this noble 
end, let us hope that it also will be endowed with a 
larger and fuller life — that it will take hold upon the 
vital questions of the day, and treat them in the light of 
the loftiest ethical ideals, — that it will assimilate the 
teachings of modern science, and impart their practical 
conclusions to the people, for the sanitary improvement 
of society; — that the thoughts of the pulpit may become 
more rational and hopeful and helpful, its teaching more 
honest and sincere. Let us hope that the church edifice 
will be honestly taxed, and opened not merely for two 
or three hours on a single day of the week, but that 
every day some helpful word of scientific, sociological or 
religious truth may be spoken there, to which those who 
most need and desire it may be freely invited. Let each 
church have its library and reading-room open at certain 
hours in every day and evening, its lecture-room for de- 
bate and discussion, its parlors for social reunion. Let 
it teach the gospel of science, the gospel of justice, the 
gospel of honest dealing and fair play. Let it become 
an arbitrator between the capitalist and the laborer, a 



uniter of society into more fraternal relationships, a com- 
mon ground on which the different social classes may 
meet, amicably discuss and justly settle disputed questions- 
Let it welcome honest thought and free discussion. So 
doing, it will prove its right to be, and thoughtful men 
and women will adjudge it worth the saving. To quote 
again, and finally, from Professor Graham : 

"As to the church, there is perhaps one chance left 
for her, one course open, by accepting which she ifiight 
* * * recover in large measure her hold on the lapsed 
masses of labor, might even, for a considerable time yet v 
discharge a real function required in our time in return, 
for her pay. * * * Let her become the church of the 
people; become a militant church, fighting the cause of 
the poor, the needy and the oppressed; become what she 
originally was in large part, and the tradition of which 
she has never wholly lost. * * * Let her now take to 
works, instead of expatiating on faith, its mysteries and 
its efficacies, — to the work that Christ had at heart, and 
all the true prophets had at heart — to hasten the king- 
dom of heaven, to bring in the reign of righteousness, 
which means and ever meant a regime of social justice, 
in which the sovereign of whatever kind 'shall reign and 
prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness on the 
earth ! ' ' So doing, she may at least be worthy of salva- 
tion, which is better, even, than "being saved." 



REFORM PROBLEMS. 
BY FELIX L. OSWALD. 

It is not probable that the Bible of the future will 
find much room for ghost-stories. A salvation-needing 
world is losing its faith in post mortem Utopias, and 
temporal existence has proved too evidently susceptible 
of improvement to leave the dogma of renunciation a 
chance to repress the incipient struggle for the recovery 
of paradise on this side of the grave. Anil moreover, 
the suspicion is gaining ground that the success of that 
struggle has been retarded chiefly by the very doctrine 
that promised to achieve the redemption of mankind by 
diverting their attention from earth to ghost-land. 
When the siege guns of Mohammed the Second were 
battering the walls of Constantinople, the citizens are 
said to have crowded the hall of a lyceum, where a. 
couple of shrieking monks were threshing the wind of 
theological controversies; and metaphysics of that sort 
have unfortunately not been confined to the capital of 
the Byzantine Empire. While the neglected fields of 
our earth were fading from gardens into desert, we have 
waged fierce wars for the enforcement of senseless 
ceremonies and the interpretation of vapid rant about 
the mysteries of Cloud-cukoo-town; hut the result of 
that pursuit has finally opened the eyes of the spectre- 
hunters. They have at last rediscovered the truth that 
life can be made worth living, and the era of world- 
renunciation will be followed by an era of world repairs. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



I2 3 



In the evolution of ethics exigencies become duties; 
and though many dogmas of the departing creed can be 
traced only to the wants of the priesthood, several tenets 
-of the coming religion can be safely predicted from the 
secular needs of mankind. The moralists of the future, 
in demonstrating the insanities of " other-worldliness," 
■could hardly choose a more striking instance than the 
thousand years' blindness to the consequence of forest 
destruction. The devastation of the woodlands which 
once covered the Eastern continent from the Himalayas 
to the Atlantic, has, in the literal sense, blighted our 
■ earthly paradise by reduciug the habitable area of our 
globe from four-fifths to less than two-thirds of the total 
land surface; and there is no doubt that one-half of the 
•devastated territory once constituted the most favored 
region of this planet. Forest destruction has turned 
garden into sand-wastes. It has turned mountain pas- 
tures into naked rocks and choked the estuaries of 
once navigable rivers with accumulations of detritus 
and pestilential diluvium. It has caused the failure of 
millions of springs, it has aggravated the severity of 
summer droughts, and the destructiveness of winter 
floods. It has depopulated the uplands of the Mediter- 
ranean shore regions; it has made the lowlands depen- 
dent on irrigation, and diminished the possibility of that 
•expedient from year to year. In western Asia, 
northern Africa and southern Europe an aggregate of 
five million square miles has been wasted to the degree 
-where the produce of tillage ceases to repay the toil of 
the husbandman; and, considering the climatic extremes 
of the Western continent, its bleak northlands and arid 
central plateaux, it might seem doubtful if the discovery 
of Columbus has even temporarily offset the results of 
neglecting the Eastern garden-home of the human race. 
The arable territory of the New World will soon be 
taxed to its utmost capacity of productiveness, and before 
the middle of the twentieth century the protection of the 
remaining woodlands will for millions become a ques- 
tion of self-protection. The forests of the uplands will 
once more become sacred groves; philanthropists will 
cover our worn-out fields with tree plantations, the cul- 
ture of forest trees will claim a portion of the scientific 
efforts now directed towards the invention of tree- 
destroying machinery. Wars, even wars of rapine, will 
probably continue to the end of time, but their havoc 
■will be partly offset by the nobler struggle of recon- 
quering land from the desert. 

The long neglect of physical education will likewise 
be retrieved by the dissemination of clearer views on the 
conditions of earthly happiness. The idea that the soul 
must, or can, be benefitted by the abasement of its 
material medium, will rank next to the witch-craft 
insanity as the most pernicious delusion of the Middle 
Ages, and the pagan ideal of a sound mind in a sound 
body will once more become the ideal of the civilized 



world. The awakening of mankind from the fever- 
dream of the monastic era, and the con-equent revival of 
science and freedom, has, indeed, been defined as a " war 
of insurrection against the anti-physical principle," and 
that revolt will not long be confined to the formulation of 
new theories and political constitutions. The civiliza- 
tion of the future will build a gymnasium with every 
school. Manly sports will no longer be held below the 
dignity of a well-bred citizen, and even the adherents of 
hyper-physical dogmas will admit that the possessor of 
an immaterial soul cannot afford to neglect his material 
self any more than an artisan can afford to neglect his 
tools. 

The temperance movement has already passed the 
repressible stage. The knowledge that a man can be 
defiled by things .that enter his mouth, has been bought 
at a price which the world cannot afford to pay a second 
time, and the opponents of spiritual and spirituous 
poisons will soon work hand in hand. Nor is it likely 
that the war upon the poison vice will be confined to 
the proscription of the alcohol habit. " The historians 
of a coming civilization," says a French sanitarian, will 
probably hesilate to credit the moral cowardice of an 
age that could submit to the outrages of the obtrusive 
vice that poisons the life-air of public promenades and 
pleasure resorts, — with the insolence of the Sclavonian 
topers, mentioned by the traveler Busbequius, who saw 
two citizens of Bucharest lay hold of a stranger, and by 
actual violence, force him to partake of their nauseous 
beverages. A public lung-poisoning tobacco smoker 
will be suppressed more promptly than a self-poisoning 
rum drinker, by just as much as an embezzler of public 
funds is held more guilty than a self-damaging spend- 
thrift." But that even the approximate suppression of 
the alcohol-vice alone, would be an infinite blessing to 
the cause of all other reforms is so certain that the objec- 
tion on the score of an alleged infringement of personal 
liberty can, by comparison, claim no weight of influence 
whatever. The dram-drinker, it is true, acts of his own 
free will, and cannot often charge the encompasser of 
his ruin either with violence or the employment of 
seductive false pretences, but the same argument would 
license brothels and gambling-hells, and the manufac- 
ture of obscene literature. The arguments of political 
economy have already begun to preponderate on the 
side of prohibition, and moreover, the permanent inter- 
ests of public welfare will always be procured at the 
temporary expense of fiscal emoluments. When the 
salvation of mankind appeared to require the expulsion 
of the Moorish infidels, the prospective loss of revei.ie 
by the exile of the most industrious citizens did not pre- 
vent the impecunious Spanish Government from issuing 
the decree of banishment, and the ruinous foes of indus- 
try will in vain plead the importance of a tax represent- 
ing but a trifling percentage of the yearly drain upon the 



I2 4 



THE OPEN COURT. 



lesources of rum-drinking nations. Judge Pitman is 
probably right, that the Maine Law is destined to become 
a main law of every civilized commonwealth. 

But the victory of temperance need not be purchased 
by the sacrifice of our recreation-days. The history of 
asceticism has proved again and again that the suppres- 
sion of harmless amusements is a direct cause of vicious 
excesses; and total abstinence from intoxicating drinks 
would be promoted, rather than prevented, by the free- 
dom of all healthful recreations on the day when a large 
plurality of our workingmen find their only chance of 
leisure. The tyranny of our Puritan Sabbath is, indeed, 
the ugliest survival of the age that blighted the sunshine 
of life by the joy-hating dogmas of anti-naturalism, and 
in the United States the disadvantages of promiscuous 
immigration have been greatly compensated by the con- 
tinuous influx of the representatives of civilizations that 
have succeeded in emancipating themselves from the 
curse of that tyranny. The law, making the wanton 
disturbance of public worship a misdemeanor, should 
certainly be enforced in favor of Buddhists and Hebrews, 
as well as of the most fashionable Christian churches, 
but the law of equity should likewise protect every dis- 
senter in the right to pass his Sundays according to his 
own predilection, in any way not violating either the 
maxims of natural morals nor the equal piivilege of any 
fellow-citizen. A community of Health-worshipers 
would have an undoubted right to devote their leisure 
day to outdoor exercises, conducted under the special 
protection of the State; but their peculiar institution 
would at once become rank tyranny if they should force 
a Methodist guest of their commonwealth to suspend his 
devotion and join in their foot-races; and for the same 
reason a disciple of Nature has a right to demand the 
abolition of a law raging with proscriptive penalties 
against the visitors of a Sunday festival in the health- 
giving highlands, or imprisoning ball-playing children, 
in order to satisfy the clamors of a bigot who prefers to 
pass bis Sundays in an atmosphere sickened with meet- 
ing-house smells and nasal cant. 

The revision of the prevalent theories on the proper 
sphere of legislation will sooner or later be sure to re- 
move the obstructions to the freedom of international 
•commerce. The resisting power of established abuses 
lias its limits, and nothing short of illimited obstinacy of 
prejudice could in the long run resist the logic of the 
arguments against the fallacy of legislative interference 
with the natural laws of trade and industry. "The 
proper significance of such problems," says Professor 
Kessner, "becomes much clearer by divesting the con- 
troversy of its veil of technical phrases. The logic of 
political economy, applied to the problem of interna- 
tional traffic, is simply this: The opponents of free 
trade propose to increase the resources of national 
wealth. In pursuit of that object they prevent brother 



Hans from buying a cheap and good coat from foreigner - 
Frank, thus compelling Hans to buy an ill made and 
expensive coat from brother Tom. But what the nation 
gains by Tom's profit is exactly balanced by Hans' los^., 
and the result of the experiment will amount to nothing 
but the removal of money from our fob to our breed 
pocket, if it were not for a third factor: The pay of the- 
hired bullies, who have forced Hans to relinquish his; 
hope of a private trade with Frank. By exactly the: 
amount of that pay the net result of the transaction 
leaves us poorer." 

The fallacies of the Protectionists may in some re- 
spects have encouraged the illusions of .Socialism and 
the clamors for the continual interference of a paternal) 
government; but considerations of health, as well as ofc 
simple humanity, should certainly advocate the enforce- 
ment of an Eight Hour Law, and a still more needed 
law against the employment of young children in the' 
soul and body stunting drudgery of factory work. 
There is a story of an Arab chieftain who had been 
half persuaded to prepare his tribe for the blessings of 
modern civilization, when his mentor happened to enter 
the workshop of a Marseilles cotton spinnery. At sight, 
of the dust-clouded atmosphere and the crowd of pale 
faced children tending the whirling spools the chief 
stared and followed his guide in pensive silence. " Are- 
those young criminals?" he inquired, when they left the: 
building. " Oh, no," exclaimed the guide, " they are hon- 
est boys, working for wages to assist their poor parents." 
"Look here," said the Arab, pointing to the gilded dome 
of a neighboring church, "if that were gold and you 
offered us a treasure-pile of that size, the poorest man 
of my tribe would refuse to sell his children into the 
hell of such slavery." According to nearly concurrent: 
estimates of British and German statistics, fiom eighteen 
to twenty-two million young children of the industrial. 
nations are at present inhaling the seeds of premature- 
death in lead-works and textile factories, etc. "Our 
poverty, but not our will consents;" but in a wholesome 
state of social conditions poverty should excuse almost 
anything sooner than an habitual sacrifice of health. 

The most valid argument against the projects of 
communism is perhaps the objection that the realization: 
of such schemes would cripple enterprise by removing 
the stimulus of personal interest, while on the other 
hand a community of property would certainly remove 
many grievous burdens of civilized life. Bakunin, the: 
" Russian Miraheau," seems first to have devised a com- 
bination of those advantages. Without any by-plans;- 
against the tenure of personal property, he proposed to- 
found communities on the plan of reserving sections of 
public land for the benefit of each township, and thus 
obviate the necessity of direct taxation, by letting the: 
rent cover the entire budget of municipal expenses. As; 
those expenses multiplied, the value of the reserve lots. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



I2 5 



would increase in proportion, and could be advanced 
even with the result of a surplus for charitable purposes, 
by renewing the rent contracts from ten to ten years. 
The plan seems an improvement on the confiscation 
project by just as much as prevention is better than cure, 
and will probably form the practical outcome of a re- 
cent reform movement which has already ceased to imply 
the menace of an agrarian revolt. 



CONSCIOUSNESS. 

BY E. P. POWELL. 

There is no word so played fast and loose with as con- 
sciousness. It is most often used to designate a super-sen- 
• sual sort of knowledge ; a direct and necessary knowledge. 
A man is conscious of certain facts, and that ends all pos- 
sible discussion. Again, consciousness is used in a some- 
what vague way to cover that immaterial element in 
life which is not covered by matter and force. The 
theistic or spiritualistic conception of oi - ganic life denies 
that it is possible to exclude from the proposition " a 
living' thing," the term consciousness. Cope says: 
" Consciousness is an attribute of matter," and again, 
" Consciousness is a condition of matter in some peculiar 
state, and wherever that peculiar state of matter exists 
consciousness will be found." Huxley asserts conscious- 
ness to be "a function of the brain;" again, "Consci- 
ousness is a function of matter;" again he says, "I un- 
derstand the main tenet of materialism to be that there is 
nothing in the universe but matter and force, and that all 
the phenomena of nature are explicable by deduction 
from the properties assignable to these two primitive fac- 
tors. But all this I heartily disbelieve; it seems to me 
pretty plain that there is a third thing in the universe, 
to-wit, consciousness; which, in the hardness of my heart, 
or head, I cannot see to be matter or force." 

Sir William Hamilton says: "Consciousness is a 
recognition by the mind of its acts and affections; the 
self-affirmation that certain modifications are known by 
me and are mine." This is a definition of self-conscious- 
ness; a recognition of that group of phenomena called 
self or ego. And it is no wonder that Hamilton adds, 
" Consciousness cannot be defined." He does not — 
neither does any other philosopher, apart from the evo- 
lution school — fail to confuse himself with this word. 
It required, first of all, that evolution should afford us 
a history of life and its contents, before these contents 
could be comprehended. Consciousness is an evolution 
and, therefore, has a history. This Cope recognizes and 
gets at the very pith of the matter when he sums up the 
doctrines of consciousness thus: 

" i. Consciousness independent of matter — Dualism. 

" 2. Consciousness an attribute of matter— -Monism. 

" 3. Consciousness (a), primitive and the cause of 
evolution. 

" 4. Consciousness (3), a product of the evolution of 
matter and force." 



Nevertheless he leaves a confusion in the word, al" 
though he defines the thing so admirably. In his view 
Monism (a), or No. 3, is the correct view of the uni- 
verse; and consciousness does truly lie, as the very cause 
and momentum of evolution. I have no doubt this is 
the drift of true science and scientific metaphvsics — a 
drift to be sharply defined in due time. All the more it 
becomes necessary to place the word consciousness on 
its historic basis; we shall then neither confuse ourselves 
nor others with dualistic concepts. 

In the first place we cannot escape going back to the 
primordial conditions of life, cellular and pre-cellular, 
to inquire once more as to the very nature of this some- 
thing which Cope and Huxley and, I believe, our ablest 
biologists altogether, agree is surely there. What is 
there before evolution has altered or complicated it? We 
may easily agree as to matter and force, although we 
may be puzzled after all to tell what force and matter 
are. 

But as to the third factor, is it really consciousness, or 
is it something from which consciousness is a derivative? 
If we can agree to call the general faculty based on sen- 
sation sentience we shall at least be philological ly cor- 
rect, and logically. Con-sentience will, therefore, be the 
state of comparative sentience; and consentience, or 
consciousness, becomes defined as a comparative func- 
tioning of primitive sentience; for it stands evident that 
this sentience which we never can get below and back 
of, however low down we go in our research, and which 
is a quality of all living protoplasm, inseparable from 
life, and is manifested at first in desire or hunger, soon 
must become a comparative power. The amoeba eats 
what it touches; but if the amceba does not manifest 
choice of foods, creatures a little higher do. This in- 
volves a comparison of sensations and in its nature is no 
longer simple sentience, but con-sentience, or con-scious- 
ness. And it will not hurt our grapple with the word 
that we can now use it in the philological sense; that is, 
to know things together, or in a group. 

Consciousness, then, is a higher condition of sen- 
tience; and as such it extends in higher degrees of man- 
ifestation, through all the evolution of organic being. In 
man, and nowhere but in man, the subject becomes also 
object, and consciousness becomes self-consciousness. 
The animal knows, but does not know himself, neither 
abstract being. In other words, the dog knows, but 
does not know that it is himself that knows. I think 
the same may be equally averred of the primitive 
anthropoid, and as well also of the lower savage 
races. Certainly self-consciousness belongs to no crea- 
ture before man. By cosmical research man, enlight- 
ened, reaches the ideas infinite and eternal ; and his con- 
sciousness becomes an apprehension of eternal and infi- 
nite being, or, to retain the word with which we began, 
he is conscious of self-higher-than-himself. 



I2D 



THE OPEN COURT. 



Let us go back and follow the idea analytically. Sen- 
tience is a necessary and direct knowledge or apprehen- 
sion of not-self bv the mode of sensation. Conscious- 
ness is comparative knowledge of things constituting en- 
vironment. Self-consciousness is comparative knowl- 
edge that becomes so largely synthetic that it not 
only groups our sensations in comparison, but groups 
that and those which constitute self as distinct from non- 
self. Consciousness of self-higher-thau-ourselves is the 
rising power to group all phenomena of not-self into a 
unity in its relation to our-self. This is the end of evolu- 
tion of sentience; for it has grappled with eternal and 
necessary self. 

But what then is the unconscious? It is even more 
important that we should have a clear apprehension of 
this term; for no one can fail to see that " the philoso- 
phy of the unconscious " of Hartmann and the use of 
the word by others, is largely confusing. Unconscious- 
ness is clearly that state of consciousness which arises 
when functioning in any direction becomes automatic, or 
instinctive. Our hearts beat and our nutrition goes on 
without our conscious attention; although nutrition in 
lower life and the functioning of the heart are highly con- 
scious operations under the direct control of the will. 
Nature, having perfected any function, pays no more 
conscious attention to it, and it becomes henceforth an 
unconscious functioning. The bee and ant are almost 
entirely automatons, yet with a trace of consciousness. 
As the vegetable kingdom and the animal originated 
from a common sentient life, it follows that the vege- 
table kingdom must be considered as a wholly automatic 
or lapsed order of life-processes. It has wholly passed 
over to the unconscious. 

Now this unconsciousness is wholly different, as one 
can see, from the pre-consciousness which is the state of 
tfie universe before or preceding organic life. Uncon- 
sciousness is that state of consciousness which exists 
when tentative action has become fixed and established 
action — when functioning has become automatic. The 
evident tendency of all conscious action is thus to pass on 
to organic rhythm. Our intellectual and moral choices, in 
like manner, tend toward habits that no longer require 
choice or will, and so lose the quality moral or intellec- 
tual. The love that a mother bears for her babe is a 
matter of instinct and not of morals; whereas the love 
that is exercised by a philanthropist for the oppressed 
and despised may require a very high degree of con- 
scious will. The mother is conscious that she loves, but 
is not conscious of any process of choosing to love. 
Herbert Spencer points to the time when all moral 
power will be exercised without choice between good 
and evil ; but the good man will do the good because it 
is his nature to do it. 

However, I have no desire to discuss the unconscious 
farther than to make my definition clear. Sentience 1 



would make the primordial elementary quality; — that 
something besides matter and force, which Huxley 
declares he cannot escape. This becomes, in complex 
life functioning, a complex and yet ever present con- 
stitutive element. Whatever its evolution, or the 
evolution of matter and force, these three are essential to 
the idea organic life. They are fundamental qualities, 
and therefore belong to, and are inherent in, the universe. 
It must be borne in mind that the organic universe is by 
no means a derivative of the inorganic any more than 
the animal kingdom is an evolution of the vegetable. 
The two kingdoms, animal and vegetable, are diverging 
processes of a precedent life, that was neither one nor. 
the other. So organic and inorganic are diverging, and 
yet mutually interactive processes of the universe. The 
inorganic does not contain sentience, the organic does. 
You cannot get out*of the inorganic what it has not. 
The death of an organism is a passage of by no means 
the whole being into the inorganic. It is a 3'ielding of 
only those parts that are constitutive in the inorganic. 
What becomes of sentience, consciousness or self-con- 
sciousness? This opens the question of all questions 
most fascinating and important, and must be discussed, 
if at all, in a succeeding article. My object for the 
present is attained, by aiding to establish some degree of 
accuracy in the use of terms, which are often used 
recklessly, and, for valuable results, used in vain. The 
historical view of consciousness may be tabulated for 
convenience thus: 

Presentience — The attribute of the universe. 

Sentience — The attribute of living substance. 

Consciousness — The result of choice in sentient 
beings. 

Self-consciousness — A conscious synthesis of that 
which makes up ego. 

Consciousness of self-higher-than-ourselves; — A 
conscious synthesis of all that which is not self, an 
infinite. 

CHATS WITH A CHIMPANZEE. 

BY MONCURE D. CONWAY. 
Part II. 

In the interview about to be reported I do not aspire 
to overmuch realism. To describe the processes, whether 
phonetic, facial or other, through which my anthropoid 
friend and I interchanged ideas might divert attention 
from the ideas themselves. I do not wish to raise a host 
of wrangling philologers, skeptics, commentators, to 
dispute whether I did or did not mistake the Chimpan- 
zee's meaning, or whether he meant this or that. What 
I gathered from the interview, not how it was gathered, 
it will be my aim to state. 

" A large number of curious visitors have come to 
our temple," said the Chimpanzee; "they have amused 
themselves by watching us as we ate their sweetmeats, 
and looked on us as nature's jokes; but I have been 



THE OPEN COURT. 



127 



interested by observing in you a certain respect, as if 
you were not merely condescending to notice your in- 
feriors." 

" To respect, add admiration," I said. " I have long- 
ago found the truth of what a wise German, Oersted, 
said, that monkeys appear grotesque or ugly to mankind 
only because generally seen out of their place, tricked 
out bv showmen, away from their right environment. 
Thev are beautiful in their place. I have seen them at 
play in the luxuriant woods, making the forest animate 
with their graceful swinging from limb to limb; nothing 
more fascinating have I ever seen. To-day I have been 
surprised to find that your race can be no less charming 
amid walls reared bv the hand of man." 

" The walls being partly adopted and retouched by 
nature, the blue sky bending over us; and, possibly, be- 
cause our contrast with these ash-smeared devotees is 
not so favorable to them as if we were displayed among 
merry and well-dressed human companies." 

" Perhaps." 

" But I must now add another thing. We who in- 
habit this temple are not ordinary monkeys. There 
are two kinds of monkeys — arrested monkeys and rever- 
sionary monkeys. Have you heard of a man named 
Haeckel?" 

" I am just reading his account of a sojourn in 
Ceylon and India." 

"Recently while he was here, I heard the priest you 
saw just now and another conversing about a murder he 
committed — so they called his shooting a monkey for 
his museum. From what they said I think it must 
have been (though they knew nothing of that) not only 
a reversionary monkey, but a transitional one — like my- 
self — what he may have supposed a " missing link," but 
really one from which, had he approached it with sweet- 
meat communion instead of a gun, he might have 
learned more about evolution than he will get from a 
million dissected or stuffed anthropoids. But he was 
only a man, and knew not what he did." 

" Tell me, I pray you, the difference between the ar- 
rested and the reversionary ape?" 

" The fruit of knowledge grows in the vale of hu- 
mility. You are willing to sit at my feet though you 
must know that your form is more erect, your flesh 
fairer, your powers more various than mine. But look 
over to that farthest court, and tell me what you see?" 

" I see six haggard men, nake*d, smeared with ashes, 
sitting motionless before six smoking logs of wood. 
I see near them on the ground two ash-covered human 
heads, belonging to bodies buried to the neck. I see a 
man before the altar of a horrible image holding a pretty 
little kid's neck under a blade — it falls! The blood spurts! 
It is sickening." 

"Now look around you in this court — what do you 
see?" 



" A group of monkeys al play, others slumbering in 
the sunshine, others quietly seated together, or caressing 
each other; and all surrounded by beautifully carved 
symbols of nature and poetic legends." 

" If you were compelled to choose which you would 
be, permanently, nol with a view to change or reform, 
but for life — one of those half-buried, butchering or for- 
ever motionless fakirs — or one of those merry monkeys?" 

" I should unhesitatingly choose the monkey's lot." 

" Then you would be an example of reversion. 
That is what we are — reversionary monkeys. We are 
descended from a race of philosophers, who, having 
climbed to be men found their lot intolerable and deliber- 
ately developed themselves, not into the original type, 
but into a similar one which should avoid certain disad- 
vantages of the arrested form — the monkey that never 
was (and now never can be) man." 

" How stupid I am! Only this morning, examining 
certain repulsive idols and meditating on the rites wit- 
nessed around them, I thought it a happy discovery, and 
meant to suggest it to Haeckel, that all this ' religion ' 
originated with monkeys. And now I find that mon- 
keys are the dissenters who renounced such inhuman 
humanity." 

"Do not credit our race with martyrdom. It was all 
the work of evolution, though not by natural selection. 
It was by human selection. It is much more comfort- 
able to be worshipped than to worship, to be sacrificed 
to than to sacrifice." 

" Will you please tell me more of this great odyssey, 
this pilgrimage of your race to humanity, and to — what 
shall I say? a plane beyond or below it?" 

" That depends on your standard of high and low. 
Have you ever changed your faith? " 

"Yes; I was once a Methodist; then a Unitarian 
Christian; then a " 

" That will do for my purpose. When you were a 
Methodist your god was the stream of tendency that 
makes for Methodism ; whatever helped that was good 
and fair; your ideal was a world converted to Method- 
ism. That faith abandoned, your divine stream makes 
against Methodism ; a Methodist world were the reverse 
of ideal. So with your discredited Unitarianism. So 
long as the human form is your standard of perfection 
you cannot have any other ideal. 

" I confess it appears to me scientifically demonstrable 
that the human is the supreme form." 

" So, it seems, you once thought Methodism among 
forms of religion. I have already admitted the superi- 
ority of the human powers. But superior for what? 
Is the purpose for which each creature's best has been 
selected and combined in one form a good or a bad one? 
If it be a contrivance for misery, then like the next most 
perfect combination in nature, the serpent, the evil is 
commensurate with the perfection. Take another look 



128 



THE OPEN COURT. 



at our fakirs over there, and see what they are empow- 
ered to do with their admirable joints, hands and senses. 
We monkeys of the temple have powers adapted to 
happiness and harmlessness in our friendly community; 
we have not imagination enough to see the supernatural 
terrors which paralyze those poor men; our hands are 
not skillful enough to kill kids. As for beauty, that is 
relative; handsome is as handsome does. To one starv- 
ing an oyster is lovlier than its pearl. Our morphologi- 
cal inferiorities correspond with advantages. Our resem- 
blance to men suggests to them that we are their 
shrunken ancestor?, and they serve us. Our silence pre- 
vents their discovery of our ignorance. We belong' to 
their adorable realm of mystery. Thus they become 
our liveried ministers, while gaining support by that 
service — the humanest, in your sense, in Benares. 
Freed from the struggle for existence, we can fraternize- 
We toil not, nor spin, yet we are fed and clothed. We 
are not anxious for the morrow. We are not ambitious 
to get ahead of one another. There is more than 
enough sunshine and sweetmeats for all. None have to 
regret our existence." 

"But you die like men? You must grieve for loss 
of your children, your wives, your friends?" 

" Your remark touches an important matter. Let 
me explain what I meant just now by describing myself 
as a transitional monkey. I have not yet been able to 
evolve so far as those around me. Of all here I alone 
still bear some lingering burdens of humanity. I have, 
fur instance, this power to converse. It is my loss and 
your gain. The dwellers in this court escape the sting 
of death, which is apprehension. They have no tortur- 
ing consciousness of its approach, still less any horror, 
hereditary or other, of dangers beyond it. In the ab- 
sence of strife, of wakeful ambition, of envy, of asceti- 
cism, of conventional morals hostile to nature, we never 
know disease; we never die but once. When one dies 
of old age the regret of survivors is not agony. As 
proof I may say that though, individually, I am a link 
between these and humanity, my hope and aspiration 
lie in their direction, not in that of these care-ridden, ter- 
rorized people of Benares. Of your own foreign race 
I cannot speak. Your people, perhaps, are free from 
fear, from competition, from anxiety about the future or 
sleepless speculation about the unknowable. To me 
have been transmitted traditions of such torments which 
led our ancestors to undertake their journey to Nir- 
vana." 

" I cannot say that my distant people are free from 
such pains, fears, speculations. But you speak of Nir- 
vana; that is the goal to which Buddha pointed the 
■way." 

" It is. It was while listening to him in the Deer 
Park over there that our ancestors resolved to seek Nir- 
vana. That, they found, involved escape from the 



human consciousness — that is, perpetual morbid intro- 
spection of a selfhood made up of fictitious conceptions. 
What Buddha revealed to those who heeded, was that 
they lived, moved, had their being, in a fictitious uni- 
verse; they were organisms created by phantasms incar- 
nate in priestcraft, made potent by superstition; their 
consciousness was of virtues that were sins, and of sins 
that were virtues. Non-existent gods shed desolating 
forces; marriage, industry, birth, endlessly accumulated 
a chaos and called it order. This chaos, reflected in 
every mind and heart, made that torture-rack called 
consciousness. Because phantasmal gods had made ex- 
istence a hell, the blessed Buddha cried, ' Escape from 
existence; enter into Nirvana!' This obviously could 
not be done by suicide; for there would necessarily be a 
survival of the non-suicidal. Nature, indifferent to the 
sufferings of men, is resolved that their race shall con- 
tinue. But our philosophic fathers saw that the great 
evil was this diseased consciousness. Of that the)' — in 
their time and place — could only be rid by laying aside,, 
bit by bit, the mechanism of consciousness — the so ex- 
quisitely contrived engine of torture — and their artistic 
evolution through 2,500 years marks the distance be- 
tween 3'on naked fakirs killing kids, burying their 
bodies, or paralyzing them by disuse, and those merry 
monkeys dancing amid the flowers." 

Just here the Brahman appeared, and bowed low to 
the ground. 1 understood; and exchanging with my 
Chimpanzee an engagement for the morrow — quite in- 
audibly to the priest — took my departure. 



The Chicago Society for Ethical Culture held its an- 
nual meeting on Friday night last, and encouraging re- 
ports were made of the Society's progress. Had there 
been no deficit at the beginning of the year, the society 
would have been able to meet its entire current expenses 
and have a balance of $170 in the treasury. Compara- 
tive statements were made showing the growth of the 
society in numbers and financial resources from the be- 
ginning, which was a little over four years ago. Espec- 
ially gratifying was the report of the publication com- 
mittee, showing a wide and large demand from all parts 
of the country for the published lectures. Another 
woman was added to the Board of Trustees, in addition 
to the two elected a year ago. The meeting was held 
in the .Society's cozy rooms at 45 Randolph street, and 
there was a gratifying attendance. The next number 
of The Open Court will contain some account of the 
celebration of the fourth anniversary of the Society, 
which occurred on Sunday last. Mr. Salter and his 
supporters are doing a noble work worthy of all encour- 
agement. 

"Herbert .Spencer as a Thinker" will be the subject 
of an article by Prof. Richard A. Proctor in the next 
issue of The Open Court. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



I-'; 



The Open Court. 

A Fortnightly Journal. 



Published every other Thursday at i6g to 175 La Salle Street (Nixon 
Building*, corner Monroe Street, by 

THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING COMPANY 



B. K. UNDERWOOD, 

Editor and Manager. 



SARA A. UNDERWOOD, 

Associate Editor. 



The leading object of The Open Court is to continue 
the work of The Index, that is, to establish religion on the 
basis of Science and in connection therewith it will present the 
Monistic philosophy. The founder of this journal believes this 
will furnish 'to others what it has to him, a religion which 
embraces all that is true and good in the religion that was taught 
in childhood to them and him. 

Editorially, Monism and Agnosticism, so variously defined, 
will be treated not as antagonistic systems, but as positive and 
negative aspects of the one and only rational scientific philosophy, 
which, the editors hold, includes elements of truth common to 
all religions, without implying either the validity of theological 
assumption, or anv limitations of possible knowledge, except such 
as the conditions of human thought impose. 

The Open Court, while advocating morals and rational 
religious thought on the firm basis of Science, will aim to substi- 
tute for unquestioning credulity intelligent inquiry, for blind faith 
rational religious views, for unreasoning bigotry a liberal spirit, 
for sectarianism a broad and generous humanitarianism. With 
this end in view, this journal will submit all opinion to the crucial 
test of reason, encouraging the independent discussion by able 
thinkers of the great moral, religious, social and philosophical 
problems which are engaging the attention of thoughtful minds 
and upon the solution of which depend largely the highest inter- 
ests of mankind. 

While Contributors are expected to express freely their own 
views, the Editors are responsible only for editorial matter. 

Terms of subscription three dollars per year in advance, 
postpaid to any part of the United States, and three dollars and 
fifty cents to foreign countries comprised in the postal union. 

All communications intended for and all business letters 
relating to The Open Court should be addressed to B. F. 
Underwood, P. O. Drawer F, Chicago, Illinois, to whom should 
be made payable checks, postal orders and express orders. 

THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 1887. 

VICIOUS JOURNALISM. 

In one of his recent poems, "Fust and his Friends," 
Browning represents the discoverer of the art of print- 
ing, as at first exultantly crying anent that discovery: 

" Go, run 
Thy race now, Fust's child! High, O printing, and holy 
Thy mission! " 

But anon, makes him doubtfully question: 

" Han' I brought Man advantage, or hatched — so to speak — a 
Strange serpent, no cygnet ? ' Tis this I debate." 

And again: 

"Through me does print furnish truth wings? The same aids 
Cause falsehood to range just as widely. What raids 
On a region undreamed of, does printing enable 
Truth's foe to effect! Printed leases and lies 
May speed to the world's farthest corner — gross fable 
No less than pure fact — to impede, neutralize, 
Abolish God's gift and man's gain!" 

No words can too highly overrate the mission of 
Fust's great discovery. " The art preservative of all 
arts" remains still one of man's most splendid acheive- 
jjients, the key to all knowledge and all good. And of 






the many knowledge-spreading methods to which the. 
art has given birth none is more effective, none is more-. 
formidable than modern journalism, which is a genuine: 
"Lucifer" in that word's double signification of "light 
bearer," and the spirit of evil. 

The journalistic press is already — though it should 
be so in much larger measure — a powerful influence in 
the education of the people. It is more powerful in 
this direction than all the schools and colleges in the. 
land, since it reaches and teaches those who know little 
of schools and colleges, those who have no other means 
of education, and to whom the shibboleth "the papers 
say so" is the infallible and incontrovertable dictum of 
their "consensus of the competent." It creates an 
interest in science among those who can learn of it from 
no other source; it spreads abroad the differing opinions 
of the world's thinkers, and awakens new thought in 
inquisitive minds; it sows broad-cast the winnowed 
seed-thoughts of great minds in such generous ways as 
must bring promise and fulfillment of harvest in brain 
fields that were elsewise barren. It disseminates widely 
the stories of individual sorrow and joy, grief and 
gladness, and so preaches forcibly the brotherhood of. 
man, and appeals to the otherwise untouched common 
sympathies of humanity; it gives to even the most 
highly educated, new impetus to further acquisition of" 
knowledge by heralding the endowments, the discov- 
eries and inventions of far away brother thinkers; and 
its power as a teacher of men is enhanced by its own 
impersonality, since it can speak to men's consciences 
without arousing that tit quoqiic sense of resentment or 
angry dissent which would be felt towards an individual.. 
Such is the true mission and work of journalism outside 
its other wide work of a business and commercial 
advertiser and agent, and investigator of crime. 

But none whose business or inclination leads them 
to acquaintance with the general news departments of a 
large number of the daily papers of to-day can fail to 
be impressed with another side of journalism, or can 
help noting the average low moral tone of the daily 
press — its trivial treatment of great questions; its levity 
in dealing with grave issues; its questionablj political 
methods; its panderings to popular ignorance and 
prejudice; its encouragement of the evil passions and 
baser attributes of man's nature; its wilful misrepre- 
sentations of facts; its villification of the characters of 
those who oppose its measures; its inquisitorial prying 
into private affairs which in no way concern the public, 
welfare; its belittlement of modest viitue and its homage 
to successful vice. All this we can only consider as; 
vicious journalism. 

That it is often necessary in the interest of law... 
order, morality and the public good to record the details 
of crime, its detection and punishment, we concede: 
but when no public interest is subserved, no necessary. 



i 3 o 



THE OPEN COURT. 



moral pointed, no real knowledge to be gained, no 
earnest warning given in what is offered as sensational 
news to its patrons by any journal, it would be in the 
interests of morality if such news were withheld. 

For instances of such vicious journalism we have 
not far to look. Before us lies a pile of recent clip- 
pings from some of the most reputable journals of the 
day. The limits of this article will not permit reference 
to a tithe of these, and these are only a sample of 
columns of such matter which finds its way into promi- 
nent place as news of general interest in leading papers; 
hut to enforce our meaning we give the ''"ist of a few 
of these. A dispatch from New York, March 20, 
gives the name and place of residence of a wealthy lady 
of unsound mind who wrote a foolish love-letter to a 
public functionary, and, the dispatch states, "as the 
story was printed in the papers' 1 a rascally fellow made 
it the basis of a blackmailing scheme for which he was 
arrested, whereupon "he confessed that upon reading 
the story in the papers he thought there was a chance 
"to make a hundred' and he succeeded." Since there 
was nothing of interest to the public in the fact of the 
poor demented creature's writing such a letter, it ought 
not to have been published in the first place, and 
secondly, the publication of the sequel, the arrest of the 
blackmailer, was but a further hint and suggestion to the 
criminally disposed. Another New York dispatch a 
day later explains that the reported suicide of the son 
of a prominent man was untrue, and was based upon a 
slight accident which occurred to a worthy youn«- man 
-while hunting, so affixing in the minds of those who 
did not see the correction, a vile stain on a reputable 
family name. A few days later appears with startling 
head-lines the details of a foolish or insane freak on the 
part of the son of a New York official, a freak which 
would have resulted in harm only to the man's reputa- 
tion for sanity among those who witnessed it, but which 
-published, did do incalculable harm in the shame 
•experienced by his respectable relatives, and hurting 
the man's own future where he would otherwise be 
unknown. At a recent trial one of the lawyers in the 
•case is represented as feeling deeply the references made 
in regard to him by a popular city paper, angrily 
remarking: " That dirty, filthy sheet yesterday reviled 
:and insulted me by the publication of a lot of vile cari- 
catures. And for what? Only because I had been 
< loing my duty before God to my client. A friend said 

t:o me this morning: 'Why don't you shoot that 

— ? Why don't you horsewhip him?' Gentlemen, 
wait. The day will come when I will meet him face to 
Jface, and when I do meet him let him beware." So of 
Kuch vicious journalism crime and further wrong-doing 
may yet result. 

A letter to the Boston Advertiser complains bitterly 
of that paper for having "its columns defiled with an 



extract from the Record commenting on the personal 
appearance of some of the unhappy inmates of the State 
prison, and describing their occupation and their bearing. 
I do not speak of the shame and sorrow that such an 
article must inflict upon those by whom some of the 
prisoners mentioned are known and loved, for I suppose 
that anyone who could write such an article would an- 
swer that 'journalism is no respecter of persons.' But 
I wish to protest, as a constant reader, against such 
' news.' It can do no good, and can have no attraction 
save for those who love to gloat over the miseries of 
others." 

One fails to understand what possible good can be 
done, while seeing quite clearly the suggestions of evil 
which may be conveyed to unbalanced or to scheming 
minds bv the large space so often given in our newspa- 
pers to the marital woes and mistakes of erratic and 
morally undisciplined people, — such, for instance, as the 
cases of Bishop, the mind-reader, and that young artist 
heiress, who married one adventurer after a few days' 
courtship only to leave him to run off with another a 
short time later. If these had been kept from the pub- 
lic, far less harm would have resulted to the parties 
themselves, and the families to which they belong would 
have suffered less annoying notoriety. It is not really 
necessary for public well-being that all the disgusting 
details of divorce suits should be given at length in pa- 
pers which are to enter pure homes to be read by inno- 
cent girls and youth whose parents wish to keep them 
clean minded. No less disgusting to people of refined 
or humane tastes are the sickening and brutalizing re- 
ports of "prize fights,"" pugilistic encounters," etc., 
which so frequently mar the columns of journals which 
enter thousands of refined family circles. 

The other day a young woman, a mother, and the 
wife of a respectable and worthy man, was arrested for 
apparent drunkenness, but on inquiry it was found that 
she was a victim of the chloral habit, contracted by first 
taking the drug to relieve pain. She was not vicious; 
she was young and weak, and in need of strong, loving 
hands to uphold her and save her. There was not the 
slightest need for her story to get into the papers, yet 
there it was, with her name and address and those of her 
husband given, — a barrier thrown up by vicious journal- 
ism in the way of reform, hope and happiness. When 
any human being, from any cause, is driven to attempt 
suicide, we may be sure that he is in desperate straits, 
and that if prevented from finding ease from his pain in 
death, he is in no condition to bear the further strain of 
public pillory by having his case, with his name and ad- 
dress, in all the papers for everyone who had known 
him in happier days to exclaim and wonder over. Can 
any good result from placing the child of tender years, 
a transgressor, perhaps, from hereditary proclivities, or 
from evil teaching, under life-long ban by giving its 



THE OPEN COURT. 



131 



name and the particulars of its case in the journals of 
the day? It is enough that the police judge decides and 
the police records show whether the arrest was neces- 
sary or not, but if once printed, how easy it will be in 
after years for some enemy to hunt up this record and to 
mar the honest effort to earn a living or to achieve 
rightly earned success. 

It may be urged that there is an unmistakable de- 
mand for such news (?), a demand which even reputable 
journals have to regard or be driven to the wall by their 
less conscientious rivals in the newspaper world; and a 
demand which, as impartial caterers to a varied public 
appetite, they are in justice bound measurably to supply, 
since they do not undertake or profess to create public 
taste, but only to prepare the intellectual food demanded 
in as appetizing a manner as possible. 

So, too, there is a decided demand for the kind of 
literature which poisons and pollutes, which encourages 
mature vice and corrupts youth; a literature which our 
law-makers recognize as so vicious in its influence on 
the lower nature of man that its sale is forbidden by- 
statute, and heavy penalties incurred by those who dis- 
tribute it. Yet the demand for it is so urgent that un- 
principled and avaricious men risk the legal punishment 
its sale involves, as well as the contempt of the moral 
part of the community in order to make money in sup- 
plying this demand. Do our reputable journals then 
mean to intimate that there is only the difference be- 
tween these men and themselves that a wholesome fear 
of the law creates? s. A. u. 



GENUINE VS. SPURIOUS CULTURE. 

There is a growing distrust as to the value of much 
that passes under the name of "culture." This may be 
explained in part by the unpractical and dilettanteish 
character and undemocratic spirit of a great deal of the 
so-called culture of the age which, lacking in robust in- 
tellectual qualities, without any noble moral purpose, 
and inspired by no lofty enthusiasm, serves only to 
widen the gulf between its disciples and the masses, in- 
creasing, on the one side, contempt for the "great un- 
washed" pursuing their prosaic avocations, and exciting, 
on the other side, aversion to a mere intellectualism 
which ignores the hard facts of life, is indifferent to the 
condition of the millions, and concerns itself almost 
wholly with mere liteiary questions which have but a 
remote bearing on the practical questions of the hour. 

But it is a great mistake to confound this pseudo- 
culture with genuine culture, which is catholic in 
thought, earnest in tone, and progressive in spirit; and 
any standard that does not involve a distinction between 
them is false and pernicious. There is no culture worthy 
of the name which does not include with the acquisi- 
tion of knowledge, development of the moral nature, 
strengthening of the love of right and hatred of 



wrong. A man who has simply a knowledge of books, 
which he regards as of more importance to him than the 
things of which they treat; who has never penetrated 
behind the books and come in contact with nature her- 
self, with the world and its events, with man and his 
relations; who possesses merely the instruments of 
knowledge, without the capacity to use them wisely;. 
who can only repeat what he has read, and makes au- 
thority serve in the place of evidence; who can tell all 
about the siege of Troy, but feels no interest in the 
great issues of to-day; who can construct elegant sen- 
tences without giving a valuable thought or suggestion 
to the world ; whose interest in his race is simply of a 
sentimental kind, animated by no moral principle or 
philanthropic feeling — such a man is not, properly 
speaking, an educated man. 

Man's most important education he gets daily through 
eye and ear and touch in that great university, the world, 
in which we are all students. Some are more richly 
endowed or have bet'er opportunities, and iearn more 
readily than others. The results of thousands of gener- 
ations of observation and study are condensed in lan- 
guages, governments, religions, moral codes, literatures, 
and the intuitions of the race. Now, the object of what 
is commonly called education is to acquaint the child or 
student with these results in order to enable it to under- 
stand nature's methods; or, as Huxley says, "to prepare 
the child to receive nature's education, neither incapably 
nor ignorantly nor with wilful disobedience, and to un- 
derstand the preliminary symptoms of her displeasure 
without waiting for the box on the ear. In short, alE 
artificial education ought to be an anticipation of natural: 
education." 

This natural education is the instruction of the intel- 
lect in the ways of nature — which includes man and his 
relations to the universe — and to discipline the will and' 
cultivate the affections so that they shall be in harmony 
with the highest mental and moral conditions. The 
man who is the most truly educated, is he who under- 
stands the most fully nature's methods, and whose char- 
acter is most completely in accord with those principles., 
conformity to which is necessary to man's well being. 
A mind may be artificially cultivated beyond its normal 
capacity, and at the cost of intellectual vigor and virility. 
What is needed is more scientific culture, the develop- 
ment and training of the mental powers to observe, to> 
reflect, to inquire, and to apply practically the knowl- 
edge gained. This kind of culture strengthens the 
mind while it gives it materials for thought, and incen- 
tives to action. We do not deprecate the pursuit of 
classical learning, nor do we undervalue the advantages 
of wide acquaintance with books; but we wish to em- 
phasize the fact that one may be well versed in the liter- 
ature of ancient and modern times and yet lack most im- 
portant elements of a true education. This is an age of 



IT, 2 



THB OPBN COURT. 



revision; and the old conceptions, definitions, and 
methods of education quite as much as the old theologi- 
cal creeds need to be revised in the interest of progress. 

In his late address before the London Society for 
the Extension of University Teaching on the subject 
of "The Study of Literature," John Morley wisely ob- 
served: "There is a very well known passage in which 
Pericles, the great Athenian, describing the glory of the 
community of which he was so great a member, says, 
'• We at Athens are lovers of the beautiful, yet simple in 
our tastes; we cultivate the mind without loss of manli- 
ness.' But then, remember, that after all Athenian soci- 
ety rested on a basis of slavery, and Athenian citizens 
were able to pursue their love of the beautiful and their 
simplicity and to cultivate their minds without loss of 
manliness, because the drudgery and hard work and 
service of the society were performed by those who had 
no share in all these good things. With us, happily, it 
is very different. We are all more or less upon a level. 
The object of education, — our object — and it is that 
which in my opinion raises us infinitely above the Athe- 
nian level — is to hring the Periclean ideas of beauty and 
simplicity, and of cultivation of the mind, within the 
reach of those who do the drudgery and the service and 
hard work of the world. And it can be done. Do not 
let us be afraid. It can be done without in the least de- 
gree impairing the skill of our handicraftsmen or the 
manliness of life, without blunting 01 numbing the prac- 
tical energies." 

"SCIENCE AND IMMORTALITY." 

The Christian Register of April 7 contains a 
series of brief articles, several of them by eminent scien- 
tific men, on "Science and Immortality." Prof. James 
D. Dana is of the opinion that there is nothing in science 
against immortality. Prof. Asa Gray thinks that the 
interpretation of nature not beyond the highest scientific 
consideration, that the theistic hypothesis is the best ex- 
planation of the facts, and that "immortality is a proba- 
ble, but not an unavoidable inference from theism." 
Prof. Joseph Leidy regards no question as out of the 
pale of science, and he thinks the facts of science make 
it difficult to believe in the persistence of personal con- 
sciousness after bodily dissolution. Prof. Simon New- 
comb is " inclined to regard the question as lying wholly 
without the pale of science, properly so-called," does not 
think modern investigation has brought to light any 
new facts bearing upon it, and that if consciousness has 
been a gradual development as is implied in the theory 
of the continuity of orga lie life, it "seems difficult to 
assign any link in the series at which we can suppose so 
great a break to have occurred as is implied in the 
passage from mortality to immortality." Prof. J. P. 
Lesley, says " Science cannot pessibly either teach or 
deny immortality." Prof. Lester F. Ward says that 
'•' so far as science can speak on the subject, the 



consciousness persists as long as the organized brain, and 
no longer." " The immortality of science," Prof. Ward 
says, " is the immortality of matter and its motions in 
the production of phenomena" and that with them con- 
sciousness, the product of the eternal activities of the 
universe, should not be confounded. Prof. E. S. Morse 
writes, " I have never yet seen anything in the discov- 
eries of science which would in the slightest degree sup- 
port or strengthen a belief in immortality." Prof. Cope 
seems to regard immortality as possible in spite of appa- 
rent evidence against it, but doubts the persistence of 
our personality. Dr. Dawson, of McGill University, 
refers to the instinct of immortality in savage races as 
a " God-given feature of the spiritual nature yearning 
after a lost earthly immortal, and clinging to the hope 
of a better being in a future life." Dr. T. Sterry Hunt 
thinks that the "facts of modern science are rather con- 
trary than favorable to the doctrines of a future life." 
Nevertheless, he believes in a conditional immortality, 
" the gift of God," but lacks time to explain what he 
means. Dr. B. A. Gould thinks there is nothing in sci- 
ence that should lead to disbelief in immortality. Dr. 
Alfred R. Wallace says, " Outs'de of Modern Spiritual- 
ism I know of nothing in recognized science to sup- 
port the belief in immortality, and though, / consider 
Spiritualism to be as truly an established experimental 
science as any other, it is not recognized as such." Dr. 
Asaph Hall thinks science gives no positive answer to 
questions concerning immortality, but that modern dis- 
coveries tend to strengthen the belief. Dr. Elliott 
Coues says " There is much in the discoveries of psychic 
science not only to support or strengthen the belief in 
immortality, but to convert that belief into knowledge." 
Herbert Spencer, according to Rev. M. J. Savage's recol- 
lection of a conversation with him, does not think evolu- 
tion touches the problem of personal immortality either 
way, and he sees no satisfactory proof of the truth of the 
latter doctrine. President Barnard, of Columbia College, 
N. Y., says, " After mature reflection, it seems to me that 
science has nothing whatever to say to the question. The 
only basis of our faith in immortality must be found in 
Revelation." A quotation from Huxley's article in the 
Fortnig htly /?ei>z'ew, December, 1SS6, raised the question 
whether the state of consciousness associated three score 
years and ten with the movements of countless millions 
of successively different material molecules, can be con- 
tinued with some substance which has not the proper- 
ties of "matter and force." Huxley's reply is, "As 
Kant said on a like occasion, if anybody can answer 
that question he is just the man I want to see." In 
commenting on this and other notable expressions of 
opinion which it publishes, the Register remarks, " If 
unanimity can be found anywhere in these articles, it is 
most nearly attained in the general concession that 
science cannot show that immortality is impossible." 



THE OPEN COURT. 



*33 



Mr. Edwin D. Mead, of Boston, who is well known 
to many of our readers as a vigorous thinker and writer, 
will be in Chicago shortly, and will give a course of five 
lectures in Apollo Hall, (Central Music Hall building) 
45 Randolph. Two of them will be on Dante, one on 
Lessing, one on Kant, and another on Carlyle and Emer- 
son. They will be given Tuesday and Friday after- 
noons, beginning April 29. This will be a rare 
opportunity for the Chicago public. 
# # * 

Enthusiastic free-thinkers who say, " Let us establish 
a few free-thought colleges and universities," should 
count the cost and consider the difficulties to be over- 
come. The president of Harvard University was re- 
cently asked as to the cost of starting a similar institu- 
tion. "Oh, about five million dollars," was the reply. 
"Two or three down and the rest within ten years." 
When free-thinkers are willing to contribute several 
million dollars to found and support a broad, unsectarian 
institution of learning, we can have universities that will 
■do better work perhaps than any now can do. But a 
college, with half a dozen poorly paid professors and 
thirty or forty students, all holding about the same 
views, must of necessity be small and narrow, however 
large and broad the name. What our young men and 
women need is such contact with able minds, such 
familiarity with all schools and phases of thought, and 
•such access to the best results of scholarship as can be 
had only in large universities with ample endowments. 
They ought, indeed, also to have more familiarity with 
our own literature than can now be obtained, so far as 
we know, in any institution. For this purpose we need, 
not new colleges so much, as new professorships in the 
•old ones, the establishment of which seems feasible, with 
the condition that the incumbents should be chosen by 
a board of trustees composed of the original givers of 
the money and their successors, said board to fill its own 
•vacancies and make its own appointments forever. 
Where this cannot be done free-thinkers might do what 
the Unitarians did at Ithaca and Ann Arbor — settle 
a missionary to give scholarly lectures weekly to the 
students, distribute their literature and spread their views 
by personal intercourse. The general flow of public 
•education is' already so much in our favor that we need 
•only to broaden and enrich it. Nothing is so bad for 
us as to attempt to support little sectarian institutions. 
We ought to set our faces against every school or col- 
lege which dwarfs and cramps itself at the start by the 
narrow aim of propagandizing any kind of sectarianism, 
philosophical or other. Our public schools are greatly 
in danger from sectarian rivals, who should have no 
support from us. If there is any want that we are 
•especially bound to supply, it is that of better teachers 
.and text-books. At the same time there is need of a 
broad unsectarian institution for instruction in all the 



systems of philosophy and religion. The lecturers 
should be competent representatives of the systems 
respectively, the freest and fullest criticism should be 
encouraged, and the work of the institution should be 
limited to this instruction. The amount of money neces- 
sary for the establishment and support of such a school 
it would, we believe, be possible to raise. 

Ernest Renan, in his Studies in Religious History, 
speaks of the relation of man to the universe. The aim 
of humanity will ever grow higher. Intellectual cul- 
ture will gradually exclude supernatural belief, but 
religion will never be excluded, it will but grow grander 
and nobler as intellectual culture dissipates the mists ot 
superstition that have through so many ages enshrouded 
it. Man is not subject to the caprice of an unseen being 
who looks upon his struggles and sufferings with indif- 
ference. But he is a part of, and dependent upon the 
whole universe, and his duty is to conform himself to 
the order of progress and development which the uni- 
verse is following. To strive faithfully for the supreme 
good is virtue; to seek to bring about the higher devel- 
opment of man is the work of the world. 
^ # ^ 

The Problem of Evil: An Introduction to the 
Practical Sciences, by Daniel Greenleaf Thompson, of 
New York, will be issued in May by Longmans & Co., 
London. This work will be looked for by many with 
deep interest. Mr. Thompson is known among thinkers 
by his Psychology, the ablest and most comprehensive 
work on the subject that has appeared from the pen of 
any American author. It is a work of 1,193 pages, in 
two volumes, published by Longmans & Co. in 1SS4, 
and inscribed to his distinguished relative in the follow- 
ing language: 

These volumes are inscribed by a kinsman of a later genera- 
tion to the illustrious memory of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count 
ltumford, a philosopher, statesman and benefactor of mankind, a 
great prophet, who, while living, was not without honor save in 
his own countrv, and upon whom, dead, that praise justly due to 
a merit almost unrivalled among men of science has been but 
tardily and incompletely bestowed both by his own family and 
his countrymen at large. 



Ethical culture draws the critical fire of two March 
Episcopal reviews. Rev. J. A. Harris, D.D., considers 
the general ideas of the movement in The Church 
Magazine (Philadelphia, Hamersly & Co. ), and Rev. 
Welford L. Robbins criticises Dr. Stanton Coit's article 
on "The Final Aim of Moral Action," which appeared 
in the English philosophical quarterly Mind, July, 1SS6, 
in the Church Review. Both are a great improvement 
on ordinary theological polemics, though neither goes 
very deep. 



i 34 THE OPEN COURT. 

THE RATIONALE OF PUNISHMENT. 



BY CELIA P. WOOLLEY. 

The practical benefits arising from the new science 
of sociology are nowhere more manifest than in the 
improved methods of reform employed in our care of 
the poorer and disorderly classes of society. It is not, 
however, methods of reform and punishment of which 
I wish to speak in this paper, but rather of those under- 
lying principles which determine and explain methods. 
It is our philosophy of life, our theory of man, his na- 
ture and conduct, which goes far to determine the char- 
acter of our relations with our fellow-beings. The 
parent must of necessity train the child according to his 
views of the child's nature and destiny. If he regards 
it as the child of sin and wrath, totally depraved in every 
instinct and desire, he will endeavor at every turn to 
surmount its wish with his own more enlightened 
authority, to hedge it about with a system of restraints 
and checks, and to break rather than guide and educate 
the will. There are not many present households where 
this gloomy theory is held. Where parents once erred 
on the side of severity, believing the child to be a 
creature of evil impulses, an interloper in God's king- 
dom, the parent of to-day, regarding his offspring as 
the heir of all the ages, and intoxicated with the idea 
of individual liberty, errs, with equally grave results, 
on the side of generosity and weak indulgence. 

Taking a wider survey of society in general, here also 
it is our philosophy which defines our relation to the 
unfortunate and criminal classes. If we look upon these 
as so many vicious malcontents, with an natural tendency 
to lawlessness and crime, we shall have, no hesita- 
tion in applying only those methods of punishment 
based on the right of self-defense; while if, on the 
other hand, we regard the criminal as an unfortunate 
victim of circumstances he has no power to control, the 
irresponsible ward of the community in which he lives, 
we shall seek relief in those milder methods of reform 
so popular among certain sentimental philosophers of 
the times. Taking middle ground between these two 
extremes, and looking upon criminal practice of all kinds 
as the sign of the remaining brutishness of man, not yet 
outgrown from the conditions of his animal origin, the 
only means of cure seems to lie in the slow, safe processes 
of general education, where the methods of wise restraint 
are united to those which aim to reform and develop 
the individual character. Thus we see that while the 
theory of punishment is only indirectly concerned with 
the question of methods, it bears a direct relation to the 
object. What, then, is the object of punishment? 

[. R. Brockway, a practical philanthropist, who 
firings eminent ability as well as experience to bear on 
the discussion of such themes, in an address before the 
National Prison Congress, a few years ago, spoke as 
follows of imprisonment, and the same applies to all 



forms of punishment: "Civilized sentiment concedes- 
that the protection of society is the main purpose of im- 
prisonment * * * but the effective protection requires 
one of two conditions, the reformation of the criminal or 
his continued detention." In Cox's Principles of Pun- 
ishment, a work of much merit, the objects of punish- 
ment are described as three in number; ist, to set an ex- 
ample to society, generally spoken of as the deterrent 
principle; 2nd, to prevent a repetition of the offense, and 
3d, to reform the criminal. Mary Carpenter is careful 
to insist that while all punishment should include the de- 
terrent principle, it should never be associated with a 
vindictive motive. Sir Walter Crofton makes the object 
of punishment two-fold, that of amendment and exam- 
ple. At the risk of seeming presumptuous, after quoting 
from so many distinguished sources, I must say, that to- 
my own mind the distinction between the two principles 
underlying all punishment is made clearer when we de- 
scribe the one as vindicatory and the other as the 
reformatory. Let no one hastily assert the identity of 
this vindicatory motive with the vindictive, for though 
the two words are partially connected in the latin root T 
time and long association of the different ideas they 
represent, has sufficiently distinguished them from each 
other. 

The objects of punishment are plainly only two, 
the protection of society against a repetition of the of- 
fense, and the amendment of the character of the 
offender. The deterrent principle is simply incidental,. 
one which serves an excellent purpose, but can never 
justly be made a direct object of punishment, since soci- 
ety has neither the right nor duty to punish for the sake 
of setting an example. 

All punishment being two-fold then in its object, 
the first, or the vindicatory, is first not only in the order 
of naming, but in that of necessity. The principle of 
self-defense is one of imperative first choice among or- 
ganized communities as with the individual. Society 
must protect itself against all encroachments upon its 
hard-won peace and safety before it can attend to the 
needs of its special members. It may be admitted with- 
out detriment to the main argument, that in the long 
run this protection is best secured by the employment of 
those means which tend to improve the general standard 
of conduct, and that the vindicatory end of punishment 
is, in the final result, attained only through the reform- 
atory; but this does not obviate the necessity of those 
coercive measures which contribute to the security of 
to-day. 

Of these two motives underlying punishment the 
vindicatory had at first exclusive sway, and has been 
gradually supplanted by the reformatory as man has 
progressed in the order of humane civilization. It is 
this which leads many zealous philanthropists to declare 
that the reformatory principle will in time, entirely 



THE OPEN COURT. 



x 35 



supplant the vindicatory, but here, it seems to me, they 
greatly misapprehend the nature of the problem in hand. 

The belief so ardently cherished by a certain class of 
reformers that the criminal is a creature more unfortu- 
nate than guilty, the victim of circumstances, " society's 
mistake," as he has been called, bids fair to become one 
of the popular social superstitions of the age. 

In the old theology we were taught that it was 
man's carnal nature which lay at the bottom of all his 
misconduct; under the guidance of the new philosophy, 
imperfectly understood, we are in danger of reaching 
the other extreme, attaching the blame of all that is false 
and evil in our surroundings to the universe in general. 
We need a revival of the doctrine of free agency which 
is not so incompatible with the teachings of modern 
science as we are apt to imagine. Above all, the 
youth of our day, and the criminal and unruly orders of 
society should be taught that within themselves lies the 
power of choice between good and evil. Punishment 
of all kinds should be made to bear the relation of effect 
to cause, otherwise it serves only to harden the nature 
and create disrespect for all authority. Punishment is 
salutary only as its meaning is intelligently understood 
by the one to whom it is administered. " Ah, parents!" 
exclaimed Charles Kingsley, " Are there not real sins 
enough in the world without your defiling it over and 
above by inventing new ones?" This is indeed the re- 
sult of many present modes of punishment. Instead of 
curing the old sins we invent new ones by setting up a 
host of arbitrary standards and meaningless rules which 
bear no relation whatever to real right and duty. A 
newspaper anecdote illustrates this point: Two bovs 
were on their way to the river in search of a half day's 
amusement, one of them in direct disobedience to his 
father's command. He was reminded by the other of 
the probable consequences of this act, and his reply 
evinced the spirit of modern boyhood. "Pooh," he ex- 
claimed, "what is five minutes' whipping to four hours 
of fun." What, indeed, from the boy's standpoint? 
What connection was there in his mind, except the most 
forced and arbitrary, between a half day's sport at wad- 
ing and fishing and the threatened punishment? He 
felt himself to be in the hands of a superior force, to 
which he must submit, but to defy and circumvent which 
was the free and glorious privilege of every self-respect- 
ing boy. Turning to that child of larger growth, whose 
history we read in the annals of the police-court, we 
find him weighing the risks and chances attendant on 
his peculiar method of making a living with consummate 
coolness and skill. To him the rewards of cunning and 
dishonesty more than balance those of virtuous industry, 
while the pains and penalties attaching to discovery are 
but the incidental inconveniences in a life given over to 
risk and excitement. The habitual criminal has neither 
the culture nor experience which teaches the relative 



values of things. In spite of his boasted knowledge of 
the world he is the merest tyro in real experience of 
men and motives. Knaves and fools are properly classed 
in the same category since both are deficient in logical 
understanding, contenting themselves with the nearer, 
fleeting good, the success cheaply won or stolen, in place 
of the difficult but lasting triumphs achieved in the 
growth of character and honest reputation. One of the 
characters in an old play, the rogue who is entrapped 
and discovered, betrays a profounder knowledge of men 
and motives than he had ever learned before, when he 
contritely observes that "the man who invented truth 
was a much cunninger fellow than I took him to be." 

The contrast afforded in the teachings of the Jewish 
and Christian Scriptures on this subject contains an in- 
structive suggestion for us. The first stands for that 
bare and poor idea of justice evinced in the words, "And 
thine eye shall not pity, but life shall go for life, eye for 
eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." 
The second, on the other hand, teaches that unqualified 
mercy laid down in the precepts, "Thou shalt love thy 
neighbor as thyself," "Sell all thou hast and give to the 
poor," " If a man smite thee on one cheek turn to him 
the other also." Taking the two systems together we 
have in these representative statements of belief, law 
and gospel as it pertains to the particular department 
of ethics we are considering. This division of the law 
and gospel, crudely as it is set forth in the popular the- 
ology of the day, is not so artificial as at first appears. 
Nature as well as religion has her law and gospel, her 
instinct of justice and her instinct of mercy. In all hu- 
man experience we may also note this same divided im- 
pulse to action, and the highest philanthropy is that 
which wisely blends the two; the instinct of strict justice 
with that of a loving charity. Neither the Jewish nor 
Christian scheme, taken alone, contains a complete code 
of practical morality. In the first the sense of retribu- 
tion is too strong, tyrannizing over every gentler feel- 
ing; while in the second we are in danger of losing it 
altogether in the undue emphasis placed upon the duties 
of self-sacrifice, patience, etc. Yet each served, ard con- 
tinues to serve, its part in the evolution of conduct. 

Herbert Spencer justly makes the formation of char- 
acter the primary object of all education. " To curb 
restive propensities, to awtfken dormant sentiments, to 
strengthen the perceptions and cultivate the tastes, to 
encourage this feeling am! repress that, so as finally to 
develop the child into a man of well-proportioned and 
harmonious nature — this is alike the aim of parent and 
teacher." In the same connection he adds: " Character 
is the thing to be changed rather than conduct. It is not 
the deeds but the feelings from which the deeds spring 
that requires dealing with." Richter has a thought of 
the same import when he says, " What you desire is not 
the child's obedience, but his inclination to it, love, trust, 



i 3 6 



THK OPEN COURT. 



self-denial, the reverence for the best." All this is ex- 
cellent, but it does not diminish the importance of the 
principle I would insist on, that in the spirit of obedience, 
carefully instructed, lies the fundamental help and safe- 
guard of all character. " Character is the thing to be 
changed rather than conduct," says Mr. Spencer, but 
would it not be more correct to say, " Character is 
the thing to be changed along with conduct." Char- 
acter is a thing of slow growth. Society cannot wait 
until a man's principles are correctly formed before re- 
quiring his submission to rightful authority. It is his 
overt acts, his external conduct which she is obliged to 
take note of, not his inward motive and disposition, 
though these are, in their place, the proper subjects of 
her care. Though in a certain sense it is true, it is by no 
means enough to say that society is responsible for this 
or that evil condition. Society is a myth, an intellectual 
abstraction, a glittering generality. Its human factors, 
the men and women composing it, are the only real thing 
about it, on whom devolves the responsibility of all 
its failures and triumphs. 

We are living in a new era of social life and 
experiment where the sentimentalist is equally out of 
place with the old time fanatic. When a monstrous 
wrong like slavery is to be done away with we require 
those heroic methods that belong to social revolution. 
The work of the reformer of to-day is of a slow and 
plodding order, because he has a more intricate problem 
to solve than any of his predecessors. It is compara- 
tively easy to sign a historic document like the Declara- 
tion of Independence, to set free a million serfs, to strike 
the shackles from the black man's wrists. These are the 
great leading events of history, but about which cluster 
a host of complex problems on whose just solution hang 
those promises of benefit to the world which the first 
contain. The present is the age not of great, bewilder- 
ing achievements or marked changes in the moral prog- 
ress of man, but of slow and steady growth. 

I close then with the old appeal for a reawakened 
sense of personal moral accountability. The great need 
of this and every age is that of a righteous, intelligent 
will power. Teach the child and the criminal, who is 
also a child in understanding, that the merit and blame 
of their conduct rest chiefly with themselves, and that 
the reward or punishment jvhich follows is but the un- 
avoidable result of their own action. Teach both, that 
while they are but units in the community to which they 
belong, they are none the less active, responsible agents 
therein, and not the passive tools of fate and circum- 
stances. Teach them also that as they are but depend- 
ent parts of a single whole, the wisest self-interest is 
coincident only with the general good ; that respect for 
just authority and regard for the rights of others are 
duties of paramount importance. Thus shall we impart 
to each that rational conception of life, that enlightened 



view of conduct and duty which in itself is the greatest 
aid to a happy and useful existence. 

CORRESPONDENCE. 

FREE-THOUGHT EDUCATION. 
To the Editors : Morris Plains, N. J. 

May I venture a few remarks suggested by Prof. Davidson's 
paper upon Free-Thought Education? 

While it is impossible to overestimate the importance of such 
institutions as he proposes, may it not be possible to be too san- 
guine as to their results? Would, in point of fact, an atmos- 
phere of unadulterated "free thought" conduce to the healthy 
growth of free-thought principles? 

The advantages of mental growth in free-thought schools and 
colleges as compared with those of orthodox establishments, would 
be equal to the advantages for muscular growth in country life 
as compared with city life, but that is all. Healthy growth is 
possible in both. 

It must not be forgotten that, paradoxical as it sounds, a free- 
thinker may develop into a dogmatist, and the free-thinking 
parent or teacher who imposes his thought upon the mind of 
child or pupil because he himself has achieved freedom, shackles 
the younger mind as surely as the orthodox professor who 
admits no question of the infallibility of his belief. 

For what is freedom? It is not the acceptance of free-thought 
opinions as held by others; nor is it even the choice of such opin- 
ions; it is that mental condition which makes such a choice pos- 
sible, and which in itself presupposes the existence of at least two 
distinct possibilities. Freedom implies the existence of the pos- 
sibility of choice; choice includes doubt, consideration, the possi- 
bility of conflict; without these freedom is impossible. 

Yet how few parents, and still fewer teachers, recognize this — 
how few will frankly say to child or pupil : " Such is my opinion 
upon a given subject, but I do not ask you to adopt it. It is the 
result of my experience and maturity, but in that respect only is 
more valuable than yours. I must tell you that others of my 
age, and equally mature, hold views directly opposed to mine; I 
will endeavor to show you the grounds for both opinions, and 
with you, after such explanation, lies the responsibility of choice; 
that is your inalienable right of freedom." 

Yet, if this is not done, the very fact that parent or teacher is 
a free-thinker lessens the possibility of freedom for the younger 
mind. Probably the reason why the children of great thinkers 
rarely equal their parents in the same direction, lies in this. They 
accept the opinions which make the atmosphere of their lives, 
and do not realize the conditions which determined their choice, 
and acceptance in such circumstances is not freedom. 

In all ages the descendants of reformers have lacked the zeal 
of their fathers. Every enthusiast asks sadly, " who will carry on 
my work?" realizing that the very minds formed by his teach- 
ing may lack that which inspired his own, viz., the existence of 
distinctly opposing elments. 

Free-thinkers, if in less danger than orthodox professors ot 
over-estimating their beliefs, may yet in their enthusiam err in 
somewhat similar fashion. Hegelians, Aristotelians and Rosmi- 
nians can, we all know, hold very tenaciously to the superiority 
of their own views, and wage as acrimonious a warfare in their 
behalf as the staunchest Tractarian or Presbyterian. 

Unless, indeed, " a man's reach exceed his grasp," where is 
freedom for his pupils. 

The ideal educational atmosphere must always be that of free 
discussion, which shall recognize and include views of every 
kind, even those opposed to its own principles, and permit to its 
pupils the absolute, unshackled exercise of individual choice, 



THE OPEN COURT. 



m 



which is freedom — an institution in which there shall be no 
dominantism even of philosophy — in which, if after acquiring 
knowledge of different opinions the student (exercising his 
inalienable right of choice) prefers the shackles of orthodoxy 
will retain the respect of his teachers. 

Mr. Davidson instances the earnestness of Roman Catholics 
in the establishment of exclusive schools as a worthy example for 
free-thinkers. But while cordially admitting this, does not the 
reflection arise that the very existence of such special schools has 
fostered the bigotrv and narrowmindedness of Romanists, and may 
there not be a possible danger, even if in less degree, of philosophic 
bigotry in institutions exclusively devoted to the children of free- 
thinkers, who already in their own homes enjoy the atmosphere 
of freedom and perhaps find in- orthodox schools and colleges the 
very element necessary to furnish the possibilities essential for 
freedom of choice? Yours truly, 

Janet E. Runtz-Rees. 



MR. CONWAY'S WORK IN ENGLAND. 

To the Editors: London, Eng. 

London is less interesting since Mr. Conway has ceased to be 
a central figure in its pulpits. Permanency of occupation, as you 
know, makes the reputation of the pulpits. We have four or five 
preachers of mark, and Mr. Conway was always named among 
them. Mr. Spurgeon, Dr. Parker, Mr. Stopford Brooke, Mr. 
Haweis, are familiar names of notable preachers in London, but 
strangers visiting London would also ask for South Place Chapel 
while Mr. Conway was with us. He was known as the " Ameri- 
can preacher " in London, who attained and sustained a reputa- 
tion among us. Forty years ago I was a seat-holder in South 
Place Chapel, when engaged in editing the Rcasoner — not taken 
to be an entirely orthodox publication. W.J. Fox, known subse- 
quently as the great orator of the Anti-Corn League, was then 
the preacher. Always having personal friends in the congrega- 
tion I used what influence I had to promote the election of Mr. 
Conway, a preacher whom I believed would sustain the reputation 
of the pulpit which Mr. Fox had made famous. This proved to 
be true. The other day an article opened in one of our chief 
journals saying, " The chapel where Mr. Conway preached— cer- 
tain remarkable meetings have been held." Just as used to be 
said in former years " The chapel where Mr. Fox preached." 
Since Mr. Conway left, many persons of mark have occupied his 
platform, but none have proved to possess those various " all 
round " qualities impelling the congregation to choose one as per- 
manent minister. South Place is as free as the Parker Memo- 
rial Hall in Boston. We have no other church like South Place 
in England. Its congregation is absolutely without fear. Who- 
ever has distinctive ideas to proclaim, which have the spirit of 
reverence in them, Mr. George Hickson straightway submits 
such name for hearing. It is no mean proof of Mr. Conway's 
power and versatility that he sustained the interest for 21 years, 
of the most cultivated and critical congregation in Great Britain. 
I remember when first he came to England, that Mr. Samuel 
Lucas, the editor of the Morning Star, who was a brother- in-law 
of Mr. Bright, and therefore knew what eloquence was — telling 
me that "he had heard a speech of Mr. Conway that he thought 
was as eloquent as anything to which he had ever listened." So 
far from Mr. Conway's powers abating or his influence decreasing 
with years — his repute was greater when he left us than it had 
been before. In some of his later published sermons there were 
passages of eloquence and beauty worthy of our best English 
preachers of the days of Jeremy Taylor and South. Mr. Conway 
left also a name of mark in literature. A paper of his appeared 
in the Daily News upon London. It was a poem — nothing so 
fresh, original and striking has ever been written upon the great 
city by an Englishman. George Jacob Holyoake. 



THE IDEAL. 

BY W. F. BARNARD. 

This is the crowning glory of our lives; 
That deep within the soul there lives a thirst, 
An aspiration to the highest, wrought 
Of perfect love. A longing half expressed 
For something far above the what-we-know 
Or can imagine; making sweetest pain 
Of all our incompleteness. 

All our souls 
Are but the shadows of the souls to be; 
And all our life is but the lesser life 
That grows to greater as it yields to love. 
We yearn toward the invisible, we set 
Our faces to the East to find the goal, 
The something that we call the perfect life, 
Whose echo moves within us evermore, 
And moving molds us. Higher thoughts, and deeds 
Of nobler purpose, grander, truer lives; 
.These we aspire to, these we strive to gain. 
And ah! the strife is noble, for our paths 
Do not lie always where the feet would go; 
No, not forever do we journey through 
Fair fields where peaceful rivers glide to sea 
And nothing jars, but all things seek their ends. 
Sometimes our guiding star hangs dim and pale 
Far in the distance, and our feet are set 
Upon the borders of such arid wastes 
As seem the very abodes of living death, 
And all the air is sown with thick despairs 
That rush to overwhelm us. 

In such night 
The voice of duty calls us to obey; 
To still pursue and not be overcome; 
To gird ourselves with high exalted thoughts 
Of all our lives' fair possibilities. 
The dawn will come when night has spent itself, 
And so we brave the darkness waiting dawn. 
It comes at last and ofttimes with it come 
Thoughts of that nobler manhood yet to be, 
And of that glorious future world whose laws 
Shall sphere themselves in perfect harmony. 
Then rises deep emotion in the breast, 
And in that highest moment when the soul 
Is free from all the burden of the world, 
Cleared for an instant of Earth's hampering dust, 
We feel a touch. Our nobler, truer selves 
Yearn toward us through the vast that lies between, 
Till all we are seems merged in what might be, 
And all our love grows ecstacy of faith. 



Poetry can be to man what love is to the hero. It 
can neither counsel him, nor fight for him, nor yet do 
any special work for him, but it can teach him to be a 
hero, summon him to great deeds, and equip him with 
the strength for everything that he should be. — Schiller. 



138 



THE OPEN COURT. 



BOOK REVIEWS. 



WUNDT'S ETHICS. 

El/iik, Eine Untersuchung der Thatsachen mid Gesetze des Sittlichen 

Lebens. Wilhelm Wundt. Stuttgart, 1886. 

A careful study of this book is especially to be commended 
to Englishmen and Americans, among whom utilitarianism is 
spread so widely' and is so often thought the only possible theory 
of liberal ethics. 

Wundt has given much attention to the English views of his 
subject. In the preface he says: "The English philosophy of 
morals has been to me very valuable, although I must confess 
more negatively than positively. I am, throughout, in opposition 
to its individualistic and utilitarian tendencies, but my con- 
viction as to the untenableness of this standpoint, is chiefly due to 
the studv of the English Utilitarians; and he who knows the 
part which error has to play, in the development of science will 
recognize that my judgment contains besides the censure a praise 
which is almost equal to the renown of a discovered truth." 

Wundt's critique of Jeremy Bentham's theory of ethics based 
on pleasure and pain (p. 336, etc.), and that of John Stuart Mill, 
the most ingenious disciple of Bentham (p. 341), is very interest- 
ing and, I should say, unanswerable. Of Herbert Spencert 
Wundt says : " Herbert Spencer's entire philosophical system is 
built upon the doctrine of evolution. Spencer, as he points out 
himself, had conceived this idea before the publication of Dar- 
win's works. But at any rate Darwin's views have influenced 
Spencer's system greatly, and his later work on ethics shows 
traces of Darwin's influence more than his earlier works. 

"Spencer's ethical views are ruled by Darwin's ideas of adapta- 
tion and hereditv. According to the principle of adaptation the 
moral is identical with the useful; and the useful again is the adjust- 
ment to surroundings and conditions of life. Conditions of life be- 
ing variable, our moral concepts must undergo constant changes, 
and a constant absolute moral code cannot exist, although there can 
be no doubt that some acts have been injurious in all times, while 
others in all ages have been recognized as useful; similarly, physi- 
cal organization shows congruities in its different stages of 
development." 

"It is the principle of adaptation which leads Spencer to a utili- 
tarian relativism which is also to be met with, implicitly, in his 
predecessors of a utilitarian character. But Spencer lays special 
stress on the relativity of moral conceptions, and thus reveals two 
weak points of utilitarianism. First, there is no discrimination of 
the moral, proper, and other forms of the useful which, according 
to our consciousness, cannot receive an ethical valuation." On 
page 363 Wundt adds to this: "From this point of view we 
should be obliged to consider the invention of printing, of the use 
of the compasses, of the steam-engine, of antiseptic ligature as 
eminently moral acts. Concerning the invention of gunpowder 
and dvnamite we may be undecided, or should say that they are 
partly moral, partly immoral. On the other hand, as utilitarians 
are obliged to admit that many things which we are wont to con- 
sider as merely useful, should be declared to be moral ; so on the 
other hand from their standpoint, many things should be declared 
immoral, or at least indifferent, which heretofore were praised as 
moral; for instance, if the father of a family or a man whose 
place in human society is difficult to fill, makes an attempt at 
saving a drowning child at the risk of his life. * * * In this 
case, to be sure, the utilitarian would say not the single action 
must be useful, but the average character of actions must be such 
as under ordinary circumstances to increase human happiness." 

"The second weak point of the ethical adaptation theory con- 
sists in its appreciation of the ejfect or result of an act and the 
entire neglect of the intention in which it is done. But 6uch is a 



matter of course, if the ethical appreciation takes place, as an 
engine is valued according to the effect of its work. The inten- 
tion with which we act is to Spencer not a primary but a second- 
ary point for our ethical judgment, and then only so far as it 
warrants the probability of future usefulness." Spencer makes the 
sequences of an act the test of its ethical value, while Wundt 
wants the motives to be considered. 

"So far Spencer does not deviate much from the utilitarians 
before him," Wundt says, "but he has added a new aspect to the 
problem by taking into consideration the doctrine of inheritance." 

"A great difficulty of Bentham's utilitarianism consisted in 
showing how egotistic desires may become motives for public 
utility. Spencer answers this question by transferring the prob- 
lem from individual experience to the evolution of the race. As 
there are innumerable generations at our command the difficulty 
is greatly lessened. In the human race some fundamental moral 
conceptions have been developed and are developing still. These 
conceptions are the result of experiences as to what proved to be 
useful, and are inherited through transference upon the nervous 
system." 

"Against this theory there is only one objection, — that the 
difficulty which is eliminated is less than the difficulty which 
is introduced. * * * If even such elementary data of 
consciousness as sensory perceptions, or the conception of 
space cannot be proven to be innate, how can we speak of inborn 
moral ideas which presuppose many complicated concepts relative 
to the acting person as well as to his surroundings. * * * Prac- 
tical neurology is contrasted with such fantastical views, as astron- 
omy and geography, are with the discoveries of Jules Verne; and 
the old theory of idea innatee in its naivete, according to which the 
chief subject matters of morals, metaphysics and logics were con- 
sidered a cradle gift of God, is preferable at least for its simplicity. 
We acknowledge, therefore, that an important step has been made 
in the history of modern English utilitarianism when the idea 
of evolution was introduced ; nevertheless, Spencer's attempt at 
deducing the moral development, which may be found in the 
progress of civilization simply from conditions of individual 
evolution, is best qualified to demonstrate the impossibility of 
such an explanation." 

In opposition to the utilitarian theory, altruistic principles 
have been proposed by Hutcheson and Schopenhauer. They 
declare only charity and sympathetic emotions with our fellow crea- 
tures to be ethical. All egotism is objectionable. But since 
Leibnitz, Kant, Goethe and others pointed out that self-perfection 
was one of the duties of man, we should say that the extreme 
altruism does not afford a tenable principle of morality. And 
so Wundt explains how a kind of moderate altruistic utilitarian- 
ism became the ruling opinion of modern ethics, viz. those of 
Germany. 

Wundt divides the sciences into descriptive and normative 
Descriptive sciences are psychology, history, the natural sciences, 
etc. ; the normative sciences are jurisprudence, logics, aesthetics, 
grammar and ethics. The former treat things as they are, the latter 
as they ought to be. But the ought is not quite missing in the 
former sciences. From many irregular facts gathered by experi- 
ence the ought appears as a natural law. So the ought that is 
becomes a must. The Norm, congruent with real existence, is 
necessity. In the background of grammar and the other norma- 
tive sciences, logic stands. "Logic is only the ethics of thinking; 
ethics," Wundt, says, " is the ultimate normative science, the 
moral ought is the last source of the norm-idea." 

In establishing the basis of his ethics Wundt starts from the 
individual will, which he contemplates in its conditions and rela- 
tions. From this fact as the original datum, motives and norms 
of action rise which surpass the individual consciousness and 
point back to a universal will, the bearers of which are the indi- 



THE OPEN COURT. 



1.39 



viduals, and in the ends of which the single provinces of indi- 
vidual aspirations are comprised. 

Omitting Wundt's explanations of his principles of morality, 
we proceed to the last and practical part of his ethics in which 
he propounds a synopsis of the moral norms. They are of (i) indi- 
vidual, (2) social and (3) human character; each of them is subjec- 
tive as well as objective, and contains as much of a right as of a 
duty. 

The subjective individual norm is self-regret, which he formu- 
lates as: Think and act in such a way as to never lose your self- 
respect. The objective individual norm is that of duty : do your 
duty to which you are pledged. The subjective social norm is 
what the Bible calls love of the neighbor: respect your fel- 
low being as you do yourself. The objective social norm is the 
interest in the welfare of the community or society {Gemeinsinn). 
It requests us to do services to the community to which we belong. 
The subjective humane virtue is humility. We have to consider 
ourselves as mere organs or instruments of our moral ideals. 
The objective humane virtue is unselfishness, which commands 
us to sacrifice ourselves for the purpose which we recognize as 
the ideal purpose of our life. 

It would lead us too far to touch on the details of Wundt's 
voluminous work. With this review we can only invite to a 
study of the book and heartily wish for a readable English trans- 
lation. 

In his results Wundt approaches, as he confesses in the pref- 
ace, the ethics of the post-Kantian speculative idealism, which is 
the more noteworthy, as Wundt is by no means a mere specu- 
lative philosopher, but primarily a scientist, and among scientists 
he leads the van on the subject of neurology. He adds in his 
preface that there may be more reason to wonder at this outcome, 
for he must confess that on other subjects of philosophy similar 
results will be reached, which will give credit to the philosophical 
work done in the beginning of this century. 

" In judging of philosophical doctrines," he continues, "one 
should distinguish the everlasting tenor l Inhalf) from its tran- 
sient formulation 'Form). Philosophical systems, which once im- 
pressed deeply the human mind, having arisen in a time of transi- 
tion and belonging now to the history of the past, should neither be 
condemned as chimerical dreams nor revered as eternal truths. 
The useless frames of such systems were destroyed, but their vital 
ideas took root in all single sciences, and by and by philosophy 
will be regenerated through the reaction of the sciences. Thus 
in the general views of philosophy much must be changed, and 
in minor details most, perhaps all, is to be corrected; neverthe- 
less philosophy inaugurated the work which had to be tempo- 
rarily intrusted to the sciences, and philosophy finally will have 
to consummate it." Paul Carus. 



Heredity. A Psychological Study of its Phenomena, Laws, 
Causes and Consequences. From the French of Th. Ribot, 
author of Contemporary English Psychology. New York : 
Appleton & Co., 1877. 

Th. Ribot, the director of the Revue Philosophitjue, at Paris, 
and one of the most prominent French savants is distinguished 
for the breadth and earnestness of his thought. He has been the 
interpreter of the contemporary German and English philosophy 
to his countrymen by several meritorious treatises. His special 
department is psychology as it is based on physiological research. 
The present valuable work on heredity (which was first printed 
by the Appleton's in 1S75,) bears on the same subject. Ribot 
defines instinct to be a composite reflex action, and explains it as an 
unconscious mode of intelligence. Instincts, it is possible, are 
only habits fixed by heredity (p. 22); but he declares (p. 33) that 
this explanation is rather vague and inaccurate. " As instinct rises 
it approaches intelligence and as intellect descends it approaches 



instinct." With regard to the causes of heredity Ribot believes 
that the psychological instances should be explained from the 
physiological cases of heredity. Physiological heredity, he says, 
will be admitted without hesitation. Although this savors of 
materialism, he thinks that his solution is reconcilable with philo- 
sophical idealism. No doubt mental manifestations often influ- 
ence the organism, but heredity belongs to the domain where the 
organism influences the mental manifestations. " Heredity thus 
understood, appears to us," he says on p. 275, " to be merely one 
of the many physiological influences to which mental develop- 
ment is subject." 

The causes of physiological heredity are to be looked for in 
the law of the persistence of force. "The definite result of these 
researches is that heredity is identity as far as is possible; it is one 
being in many. 'The cause of heredity,' says Haeckel, ' is the 
partial identity of the materials which constitute the organism of 
the parent and child and the division of this substance at the time 
of reproduction.' " 

Most interesting are Mr. Ribot's investigations on the conse- 
quences of heredity, which is in so close connection with evolu- 
tion and even is the cause or condition which makes it possible. 
Heredity is a form of determinism and vet it leads from the auto- 
matic act of animal instincts to the freedom of human intelli- 
gence. Now, which of the two is at the bottom of phenomena in 
nature, mechanism and law or personality and freedom? At 
times we are inclined to say the one, at times the other. Ribot 
concludes with the sentence: "Were we to occupy a higher 
standpoint, we should see that what is given us from without as 
science under the form of mechanism, is given us from within as 
a-sthetics or morals under the form of free-will." P. C. 

Comparative Physiology and Psychology. A Discussion 
of the Evolution and Relations of the Mind and Body of 
Man and Animals. By 5. V. Clevenger, M. Z?., etc. Chicago: 
Jansen, McClurg & Co., 1S85; pp. 247. 

The author of this discussion is a scientific thinker well 
equipped with a store of accurate knowledge, and quite dexter- 
ous in making use of it. Moreover, lie is one of those rare men 
capable of disinterested enthusiasm and thorough devotion to 
a high cause. His desire is to acquire so complete a knowledge 
of the human organism, and especially of its nervous system, as 
will enable him scientifically to understand the precise nature of 
mental derangements, hoping thereby todevise ways and means 
to alleviate the sufferings of a numerous and most unfortunate 
class of fellow-creatures. The work touches on almost all bio- 
logical problems, and has an ingenious explanation for most of 
them. We readily believe the author when he assures us that 
he found it impossible to crowd together in this small compass 
all the thoughts contained in his note-books. Nature is cruel. 
"Of fifty seeds she often brings but one to bear; - ' nay, some- 
times none at all. 

Of course, it is out of the question in a brief notice like this 
to take account, much less to examine every one of the numerous 
flowers scattered broadcast from this cornucopia. Theideasare, 
however, mostly interesting, some of them verv suggestive, nnd 
a few of great and lasting importance; only they will have to be 
scientifically proved before they can gain general acceptance. 
The following are the titles of the fifteen chapters of his book: 
Introduction; Primitive Life and Mind; Organogeny; (jenesis; 
Development; five chapters on nervous and mental physics; 
Morphology, Histology, and Evoluton of the Human Brain; 
three chapters on mental activities; the Law of Expediency and 
Optimistic Conclusion. 

Dr. Clevenger, in common with most physiologists and 
pathologists of our time, takes psychological phenomena to be 
functional outcomes of the organism, and in endeavoring to ex- 



140 



THE OPEN COURT. 



plain such phenomena in their connection with vital processes, 
he looks upon the latter as the cause of the former, differing here 
from psychologists generally, who accept the two-sided as- 
pect as a working hypothesis. Such and such processes are 
going on in the organism, and we find them accompanied by such 
and such mental phenomena, or vice versa. When (page 202) 
Dr. Clevenger defines sensations as "conditions of the molecules 
realized in consciousness," one might as well, or even better, 
turn the tables and assert that molecules, with their positions and 
motions, are conditions of the sensations realized in conscious- 
ness. The investigator is comparing his two corresponding as- 
pects, the subjective and the objective. They are not the cause 
of each other. 

Our author announces chemical affinity as his leading prin- 
ciple in the explanation of vital processes, but in his chapters on 
the physics of the nervous system, adopts, nevertheless, the undu- 
latory hypothesis. By means of waves one can explain every- 
thing in a mechanical way, for all necessary mechanical factors 
are assumed to begin with. Where the exact value of these 
factors cannot be ascertained, the hypothesis is utterly worthless. 
In vital processes we have to do with qualitative distinctions, and 
these are of chemical origin. The disturbance set up in a nerve 
by stimulation is strictly chemical. It is due to explosive disin- 
tegration. Functional disintegration is the immediate effect of 
stimulation on any kind of protoplasm — not undulatory motion. 

Dr. Clevenger's idea, that nutritive assimilation is due to 
saturation of chemical affinities, is a great advance towards light 
in the total darkness that prevails in biological quarters with re- 
gard to this most important function. It is usually assumed 
without explanation, as an occult vital achievement, somehow 
effected in the unexplored recesses of the mystery of life. Here 
are the vital molecules and here the nutritive pabulum. Now 
shut your eyes. One, two, three, and the dead material of the 
pabulum has been magically converted into ever so many other 
living molecules. This is virtually what many biologists teach. 
Nutritive assimilation is, in all verify, chemical saturation. 
When Dr. Clevenger shall find out how the want for nutritive 
saturation arises in the living substance, he will have secured the 
most potent help in his attempt to construct biology, deductively, 
from primitive function* of life. 

Our author's intervertebral theory of brain formation stands, 
as he himself candidly confesses, on the same footing as the ver- 
tebral theory of the skull which has occupied so many investi- 
gators since Goethe and Oken. The cephalic deficiency of the 
amphioxus has in our days misled many scientists. The head 
of an animal is the most essential and peculiar part of its organ- 
ism. An infusorium has already well established head-domina- 
tion. The relation of the headless somites of worms to their 
head, gives a correct notion of the paramount value of the latter; 
it is certainly not formed by coalescence of somites; it is not by 
chance that the sensory organs have developed in the cephalic 
portion. Its chemical constitution is, at the very beginning of 
animal life, superior to all other parts of the body. 

By far the most important biological theory advanced by Dr. 
Clevenger is that concerning the nature of the neuroglia, which 
he holds to be the central organ of consciousness. He says it is 
"the seat of the feelings, the meeting place of the sensations, the 
part to which waves converge, and from which they diverge in 
the institution of vital movements" (p. 121). This theory is by no 
means scientifically proved, but, in our opinion, it enunciates, 
nevertheless, the greatest of all biological truths; it contains the 
germ of a complete revolution in the conception of the complex 
animal organism. We will try to make this clear. Embryology 
leaves unknown how the nerves are formed which unite the dif- 
ferent parts of the body. Histology fails to discover direct com- 
munications between the ultimate sensory fibres and the initial 



motor fibres. But there exists a newly homogeneous substance 
to which, as Dr. Clevenger puts it, " the sensory nerves converge, 
and from which the motor nerves diverge." This substance is 
the neuroglia, held by most investigators to be merely connective 
tissue and not nerve substance. This doubtful substance is, how- 
ever, found to differ chemically in an essential manner from con- 
nective tissue, and various observers have already declared it to 
be of neural consistency. The strongest argument against its 
nervous character was advanced by Meynert. Huguenin ex- 
presses it thus: "A tissue which increases as mental function 
decreases, cannot be the medium of such function." It is, namely, 
a fact, that an ox, for instance, has more neuroglia than a man. 
To this objection Dr. Clevenger very aptly replies: "As dif- 
ferentiations occurred in a higher scale of intelligence, it is the 
very substance of all others to be encroached upon by organiza- 
tion." The relational elements, represented by the network of 
nerve-fibres ending in the neuroglia, increase in number as or- 
ganization advances, and fill more and more the space originally 
occupied by the homogeneous neuroglia, which then was receiv- 
ing only few relational elements. Besides, the human neuroglia 
is sure to be qualitatively vastly superior to that of the ox. 

It has been the ambition of mechanical biologists to demon- 
strate an unbroken continuity between the sensory fibres and the 
motor fibres. Dr. Clevenger clearly recognizes what the conse- 
quence of this would be. " Consciousness would cease and the 
animal become an automaton indeed." Neuroglia is, in truth, 
the synthetical substance in which complex mental states are 
realized. It can be almost proved by reasoning that it must be so. 

We should like to say a few words on several other ideas of 
Dr. Clevenger, but space forbids. So we take leave of him, fully 
confident that biological science will be essentially furthered by 
his researches. 



ANNUAL MEETING OF THE F. R. A. 

The twentieth annual meeting of the Free Religious Associa- 
tion will be held in Tremont Temple, Boston, May 26 and 27, 
commencing on Thursday, May 26, at 7:45 P. M., in Vestry Hall, 
88 Tremont st., with a Business Session for hearing reports, elect- 
ing officers, etc. F. M. Holland, Secretary. 



INDIVIDUAL EXPRESSIONS. 

Your paper is thus far a great success. — Daniel G. Thompson, New York. 

The Open Court is the best periodical I ever read. — Dr. W. T. Carter, 
Louisville. 

I ca'l The Open Court the highest product of our civilization in journal 
ism. — H. F. Bernard. 

By the evidence of various omens The Open Court is destined to inaugu- 
rate a new era in the literature of free thought. — Felix L. Oswald. 

Capital title, original and regal appearance, opulent and imposing, and 
promise in every page. — George Jacob Holyoake, Brighton, Eng. 

I want to say how excellently promising I think The Open Court. If you 
can keep this level its success, in the sense in which so radical a journal can be 
successful, is assured. — Anna Garlin Spencer. 

Each number is better than its predecessor thus far. Furthermore, The 
Open Court has a literary, philosophic aspect. It looks very inviting to the 
reader. Your writers will feel called upon to do their best, when they are 
presented to the public in such fine style. — B. W. Ball. 

In am glad to see that you keep the flag of free and advanced thought flying 
in the United Suites. It will give me pleasure to send you a few articles deal- 
ing with certain aspects of some things here. * * * I purpose sending 
you first an article on the new ethical movement in London. — \Vm. Clarke, 
London. 

Better and better. Every student a-id thinker in the United States should 
have it. For the first time we have the right thing. I have several subscribers 
engaged. When you commenced the change I only looked for another Index. 
The Open Court is something wholly different, and while the Index had much 
value, this has the advantage of not being anchored to an old purpose anil com- 
paratively local one. We must have a few volumes of Montgomery collected 
in systematic shape. He will leave his work too fragmentary if he dies soon. — 
Rev. E. P. Powell. 



The Open Court. 

A Fortnightly Journal, 

Devoted to the Work of Establishing Ethics and Religion Upon a Scientific Basis. 



Vol. I. No. 6. 



CHICAGO, APRIL 28, 1887. 



I Three Dolhirsjftr Year. 
1 Singl ■ Copies, 15 cts. 



ON MEMORY AS A GENERAL FUNCTION OF 
ORGANIZED MATTER.* 



AN ADDRESS DELIVERED ON OCCASION OF THE SOLEMN MEETING OF THE 
IMPERIAL ACADEMY OF SCILNCES, AT VIENNA, MAY 30, MDCCCLXX. 



BY EDWALD HF.RING, 
MEMBER OF THE IMPERIAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES. 



Translated by Dr. Paul Carta, from the Second Edition, published by Carl 
Gerald's So/in, WiesSj I&jb. 

(Translation Copyrighted.) 

If a scientist leaves behind the province of his 
special inquiry and takes a journey into the realm of 
philosophy, he may hope for a solution of the great 
problem which underlies the minor problems to which 
he has devoted his life. But he must be prepared for 
secretly being discredited to those of his colleagues who 
he knows remain quietly with the subjects of their 
speciality, and at the same time he will be mistrusted by 
the manor-born in the empire of speculation. He runs 
the risk of losing his reputation with the former and of 
gaining nothing with the latter. 

The subject indeed for which I want your attention 
on this solemn occasion is most alluring, but bearing in 
mind what I said just now, I do not intend to leave the 
domain of natural science to which I devoted my studies 
and shall attempt only to gain the heights where we 
may enjoy a general and free survey. It will seem in 
the course of this paper as though I should not remain 
faithful to this purpose, as I shall transcend into the 
province of psychology. So for my own justification, 
let me point out how far psychological inquiries are not 
only an allowable but indispensable aid to physiological 
investigation. 

The animal human organism and its material 
mechanism is the subject of physiology, but conscious- 
ness is a simultaneous datum, and when the atoms of 
the brain move according to certain laws, the inner life 
of our soul is woven of sensations and conceptions of 
feeling and will. 

Everyone finds this in himself, and this, at the 
same time, beams forth from the faces of his fellow- 
beings. It breathes in the life of higher organized ani- 
mals and even the most simple creatures bear some ves- 
tiges of it. Who can tell the limit of empsychosis in 
the empire of organic nature? 

What can physiology do best in the face of such 

•Presented to the readers of The Open Court as part of his Monistic 
views, by Edward C Hegeler. 



dual aspects of organic life? Should science be blind- 
folded on the one side in order to better comprehend 
the other? 

As long as a physiologist is a mere physicist — and I 
use the word physicist now in its most comprehensive 
meaning — his method of inquiring into organic nature 
is throughout one-sided, but it is justly so. As a crystal 
to the mineralogist, so a man or an animal is to the 
physiologist of this standpoint a mere lump of matter. 
Certainly an animal feels pleasure and pain, and mental 
emotions are connected with the material phenomena of 
the human body, but that is no reason why a physicist 
should take a different view of the corporeal existence of 
man, who remains to him a compound of matter subject 
to the same irrefragable laws as stones and plants; like 
a machine, his motions are causally connected with each 
other and dependent upon their surroundings. 

Neither sensation nor conception nor conscious will 
can form a link in the chain of these material processes of 
which the physical life of organisms consists. If I an- 
swer a question, the material process is conducted from 
the organ of hearing by sensory nerve fibres to the 
brain, and must pass through it as a material process in 
order to reach the motor nerves of the organ of speech. 
It cannot, after having arrived at a certain spot in the 
brain enter into something immaterial in" order to be re- 
transformed in some other place of the brain into an- 
other material process. A caravan in the desert might 
just as well enter into the oasis of a mirage in order to 
return after a refreshing rest into the actual desert. 

Thus is the physiologist so far as he is a physicist. 
He stands behind the stage and carefully observes the 
gear of machinery and the movements of the actors 
from behind the scenes, but he misses the meaning of 
the whole action which is readily understood by the 
spectator. Now, should a physiologist never be allowed 
to change his standpoint? 

Certainly his object is not to understand a world of 
concepts, but of realities. Nevertheless if he occasionally 
change his place of observation and look at things from 
the other side, or at least be told by trustworthy observers 
the result of their experiences, he may derive some 
benefit so as to better comprehend the apparatus and to 
learn how it works. 

For this very reason psychology is an indispensable 
auxiliary science to physiology. If the latter did not 



142 



THE OPEN COURT. 



heretofore use the former sufficiently it was to the less 
extent a fault of physiology. Psychology has heen late 
to till her ground with the plough of induction, for 
only in such a soil can those fruits be raised for which 
the physiologist has most need. 

The neurologist is thus placed between the physicist 
and the psychologist. The physicist considers the 
causal continuity of all material processes as the basis 
of his inquiry ; the thoughtful psychologist looks for the 
laws of conscious life according to the rules of an 
inductive method and assumes the validity of an unal- 
terable order. And if the physiologist learns from 
simple self-observation that conscious life is dependent 
upon his bodily functions, and vice versa that his body to 
some extent is subject to his will; he has only to assume 
that this interdependence of mind and body is arranged 
according to certain taxes and the connection is found 
which links the science of matter to the science of con- 
sciousness. 

Thus considered, phenomena of consciousness appear 
to be functions of material changes of organized sub- 
stance and vice versa. As I do not wish to mislead, let 
me expressly mention, aLthough it is included in the 
term function; thus considered, material processes of 
the cerebral substance appear to be functions of the 
phenomena of consciousness. For if two variables are 
dependent upon each other, according to certain laws a 
change of the one demanding a change of the other 
and vice versa, the one is called, as is known, a function 
of the other. 

This does not mean that the two variables, matter 
and consciousness, are connected with each other as 
cause and effect; for we do not know anything about it. 
Materialism explains consciousness as a result of matter, 
idealism takes the opposite view and from a third posi- 
tion one might propound the identity of spirit and 
matter. The physiologist, as such, should not meddle 
with such questions. 

Aided by this hypothesis of a functionary connec- 
tion between spiritual and material, modern physiology 
is enabled to draw phenomena of consciousness into the 
domain of its inquiry, without leaving the solid ground 
of its scientific method. The physiologist as a physicist 
observes how the beam of light, the undulation of 
sound, the vibration of heat affect the organs of sensa- 
tion; how they enter into the nerves, are transformed 
into an irritation of nerve fibre and conducted to brain 
cells. Here he loses their vestiges. On the other hand, 
he observes the spoken word coming forth from the 
mouth of a speaking person, he sees him move his 
limbs and finds these movements caused by contractions 
of muscles which are produced through motor nerves 
irritated by nerve cells of the central organs. Here 
again he is at his wit's end. The bridge which should 
lead him from the irritated sensory nerve to the irritated 



motor nerve, is indicated in the labyrinthian connections 
of nerve cells, but he lacks a clue to the infinitely 
involved processes which are interposed in this place. 
It is here the physiologist successfully changes his stand- 
point. Here matter no longer reveals the secret to his 
inquiring glance, but he finds it in the mirror of con- 
sciousness, not directly but indirectly and figuratively, 
still it is in lawful connection with what he inquires 
into. Now, when observing how one idea replaces 
another, how from sensations conception rises, and how 
from conceptions will starts, how emotions and thoughts 
interweave, he will suppose that there is a correspond- 
ing series of material processes connected among each 
other and accompanying the whole action of conscious 
life according to the law of functionary inter-depend- 
ence of matter and consciousness. 

After this introduction I may venture to combine 
under one aspect a long series of phenomena which are 
apparently widely separated and belong partly to con- 
scious, partly to unconscious life of organic nature: we 
shall consider them comprehensively as results (Atisser- 
ungen) of one and the same faculty of organized matter, 
viz., memory, or the faculty of reproduction. 

Memory, as generally understood, is merely the fac- 
ulty of voluntarily reproducing ideas or a series of 
ideas. Rut if faces and events of past days appear, al- 
though they were not called for, and take possession of 
our consciousness, do we not also call this, exactly as 
much, remembering? We are justly entitled to include 
in the concept of memory all involuntary reproductions 
of sensations, conceptions, emotions and aspirations. In 
doing so, memory becomes an original faculty, being at 
once the source and unification of all conscious life. 

It is well known that sensual perceptions, if made 
invariably or repeatedly for some time, are impressed into 
what we call the memory of senses, in such a way that 
often after hours, and after we have been busy with a 
hundred other things, they suddenly return into our con- 
sciousness in the full sensual vivacity of their original 
perception. We thus experience how whole groups of 
sensations, properly regulated in their connections ac- 
cording to space and time, are so vividly reproduced as 
to be like reality itself. This shows strikingly that after 
the extinction of conscious sensations, some material 
vestiges still remain in our nervous system, implying a 
change of its molecular and atomic structure, by which 
the nervous substance is enabled to reproduce such physi- 
cal processes as are connected with the corresponding 
psychical processes of sensations and perceptions. 

Everyone may observe such phenomena of the 
memory of senses in his daily, even his hourly experi- 
ence, although in fainter forms. Consciousness produces 
legions of more or less faded memorial pictures {Erin- 
nernngsbi/dcr) of former sensual perceptions. Partly 
they are called in voluntarily and partly they crowd in 



THE OPEN COURT. 



*43 



spontaneously. Faces of absent persons come and go 
as pale and volatile shadows, and sounds of melodies 
which long have died away haunt us, if not audible, yet 
perceptible. 

Of many things and events, especially if they were 
perceived only once or very superficially, merely single, 
unusually striking qualities are reproducible; of other 
things only those qualities are reproducible which have 
been noticed on former occasions, because our brain was 
prepared for their reception beforehand. They are 
responded to stronger and enter into consciousness more 
easily and energetically. Thus their ability of being 
reproduced increases. In this way what is common to 
many things and accordingly has been perceived most 
frequently, will be by and by so reproducible as to be 
easily called forth by a slight inner impulse without 
any exterior and real stimulus. Such a sensation which 
is, as it were, produced internally, for instance the idea 
of white, is not of the same vivacity as the sensation of 
white color externally produced by white light. After 
all it is essentially the same, but it is a weak repetition 
of the same material brain process and of the same con- 
scious sensation. Thus the idea of white is an almost 
imperceptibly weak perception. 

In this way the qualities which are common to many 
things separate, as it were, from them when entering 
into our memory. They attain an independent existence 
in consciousness as concepts or ideas, and the whole rich 
world of our concepts and ideas is constructed of these 
materials of memory. 

It is easily recognized that memory is not so much a 
faculty of conscious as of unconscious life. What was 
conscious to me yesterday and again becomes conscious 
to-day, where has it been in the meantime from yester- 
day until to-day? It did not continue as a fact of con- 
sciousness and yet it returned. Our concepts appear on 
the stage of consciousness very transiently; they quickly 
disappear behind the scenes in order to make place for 
others. Only on the stage they are conceptions, as an 
actor is king only on the stage. As what do they con- 
tinue behind the scene? For that they exist somehow 
we know; a clue only is required to make them reap- 
pear. They do not continue as conceptions, but as a 
certain disposition of nervous substance (Stimmung der 
Nerven substanz) by virtue of which the same sound 
may again be evoked to-day which was produced yes- 
terday. 

Innumerable reproductions of organic processes in 
our cerebral substance constantly join each other accord- 
ing to certain laws, one in its turn stimulating another. 
But the phenomenon of consciousness is not necessarily 
connected with each link in such a series of processes. 
Accordingly, chains of conceptions sometimes seem to 
lack a right connection if they are conveyed to the 
cerebral substance through a process not accompanied 



by consciousness. Therefore, also, a long series of ideas 
may follow the correct logical order and organic struc- 
ture, although the diverse premises, indispensable in 
such combination, did not become conscious at all. 
Some ideas emerge from the depth of unconscious life 
into consciousness without being connected with any 
conscious conception, others sink into unconsciousness 
without ever having been joined to conscious ideas. 

Between what I am to-day and what I was yester- 
day, a gap of unconsciousness lies, the nocturnal sleep 
and it is only memory which spans a bridge between my 
to-day and my yesterday. Who can hope to unravel 
the manifold and intricately intertwined tissues of inner 
life if he attempts to follow only the threads as they 
run through his consciousness? You may as well 
gather your information about the rich organic life of 
the oceanic world from those few forms which now and 
then emerge from the surface of the sea merely to dis- 
appear soon afterwards into the depths of the ocean. 

Thus the cause which produces the unity of all sin- 
gle phenomena of consciousness, must be looked for in 
our unconscious life. As we do not know anything of 
this except what we know from investigations of matter, 
and as to a purely empirical consideration, matter and 
the unconscious must be considered identical, the physi- 
ologist may justly define memory in a wider sense to be 
a faculty of the brain the results of which to a great 
extent belong to both consciousness and no less to un- 
consciousness. 

Every perception of an object in space is a highly 
complicated process. For instance, a white ball sud- 
denly appears before my eyes. It is necessary not only 
to convey the perception of white to consciousness, but 
also the circular periphery of the visible ball, moreover its 
globular form as may be recognized from the distribu- 
tion of light and shade, then the exact distance from 
my eyes must be considered and from this we form an 
estimate concerning its size. What an apparatus of sen- 
sations, perceptions and conclusions is apparently neces- 
sary for attending to all this. And yet the actual per- 
ception of the sphere is performed in a few seconds 
without my becoming conscious of the single processes 
which construct the whole; the result enters into my 
consciousness complete. 

The nervous substance faithfully preserves the 
records of processes often performed. All functions 
necessary for correct perception which first were done 
slowly and with difficulty by a constant employment of 
consciousness, are reproduced afterward summarily in an 
abbreviated way and without such intensity as to push 
each single link of the chain beyond the threshold of 
consciousness. Such chains of unconscious nerve-pro- 
cesses which at last end into a link accompanied with 
consciousness, have been called unconscious chains ot 
perceptions or unconscious conclusions; a name which is 



1 44 



THE OPEN COURT. 



justifiable from the standpoint of psychology. For psy- 
chology might lose sight of the soul quite frequently if 
unconscious states were not taken into consideration. 
To a physical consideration, however, unconscious and 
material mean the same, and a physiology of the uncon- 
scious is no philosophy of the unconscious.*] 

Almost all movements which man performs, are a 
result of long and difficult practice. The harmonious 
co-operation of the different muscles, the exactly gauged 
amount of work which each one must contribute to the 
common labor, must be learned for most movements 
with great trouble. How slowly a beginner at the 
piano finds the single notes, the eye directing his fingers 
to the different keys, and then how marvelous is the 
play of a virtuoso. With the swiftness of thought each 
note finds an easy passage through the eye to the finger 
to be performed correspondingly. One quick glance at 
the music suffices to make sound a whole series of 
chords, and a melody which his been practiced suffi- 
ciently may be played while the player's attention is 
directed to other subjects. 

In such a case will no longer directs each single 
finger to produce the desired movements, and no close 
attention is needed to watch the whole execution care- 
fully. Will is only commander-in-chief. Will issues 
an order and all muscles act accordingly. They work 
on as long as they move in their customary tracks, till 
a slight hint of will prescribes another direction. 

This would be impossible, if those parts of the 
central nervous system which bring about the move- 
ment, were not capable of reproducing entire series of 
states of irritation. When they have been practiced 
before under a constant accompaniment of conscious- 
ness, they can be called forth, as it were, independently 
on a slight provocation of consciousness which is 
executed the quicker and more perfect, the oftener 
reproductions have been repeated. All this is possible 
only if they remember what they did before. Our 
perceptive faculty would forever remain on the low- 
est stage, if we should build every single perception 
consciously from all given single materials of sensation. 
Our voluntary motions would never surpass the awkward- 
ness of a child, if in each case we should instigate the dif- 
ferent single impulses with conscious will and reproduce 
all the single conceptions over again. To state it briefly, 
if the nervous motor system were not endowed with 
memory, viz., an unconscious memory. What is called 
the power of custom Die Atacht der Gewohnheit is the 
strength of this memory. 

It is memory to which we owe all we are and have. 
Ideas and conceptions are products of it, each percep- 
tion, each thought, each motion is carried by it. 
Memory unites all the innumerable single phenomena 

* This is a thrust against Eduard von Hartmann's Philosophy oj the Uncon- 
cious. 



of consciousness into one entirety ; and as our body 
would be dispersed into myriads of atoms, if it were not 
held together by the attraction of matter; thus, but for the 
binding power of memory, consciousness would be dis- 
solved into as many fragments as there are moments. 

We have seen that only a part of the reproduction 
of organic processes, as brought about through the 
memory of nervous substance, enters into our conscious- 
ness; no less unimportant parts remain unconscious. And 
the same may be proved from numerous facts with re- 
gard to those parts of the nervous system which are ex- 
clusively subservient to the unconscious processes of life. 
For the memory or reproductive faculty of the so-called 
sympathetic nervous system is by no means weaker than 
that of the brain and the spinal cord. Medical art to a 
great extent, makes good use of it. 

In concluding this part of my investigation let me 
drop the subject of nervous substance for a moment in 
order to take a cursory view of other organic matter, 
where we meet with the same reproductive faculty, but 
in a simpler form. 

Daily experience teaches us that muscles grow the 
stronger the oftener they are used. Muscle fibre, which 
in the beginning but feebly responded to the irritation 
of a motor nerve, works with more energy the oftener 
it is irritated in reasonable intervals of rest. After each 
single action it becomes more capable of action, it grows 
fitter for the repetition of the same work and better 
adapted to the reproduction of the same organic process. 
Pari passu, its size increases because it assimilates more 
than in a state of constant rest. 

This is the very same faculty of reproduction the 
action of which is so complicated in nervous substance; 
here it is observable in its simplest form, and easier 
understood as a physical process. And what is more 
accurately known of muscle substance is more or less 
clearly demonstrable of the substances of all other 
organs. Everywhere we find an increased activity with 
adequate pauses of recreation accompanied by an 
increased strength of action, and organs which are used 
oftener in the animal household also grow in size by an 
increased assimilation. But this increase of mass does 
not only mean an aggrandizement and growth of the 
single cells or fibres of which the organ is composed, 
but also an augmentation of their number. A cell 
grown to a certain size divides into filial cells which 
inherit, in a greater or less degree, the qualities of the 
parental cell, and accordingly represent repetitions of it. 
This growth and augmentation of cells is one of the 
different functions which are characteristic of organized 
matter. These functions are not only interior phenom- 
ena of the cell substance, not only certain changes or 
motions of its molecular structure, but also become 
externally visible as a modification of form, an aggran- 
dizement of size or a division of the cell. Thus the 



THE OPEN COURT. 



H5 



reproductive function of a cell is manifested also as a 
reproduction of the cell itself. This is most obvious in 
plants; the chief function of their cells is the work of 
growth, while in animal organisms other functions are 
predominant. 

(to be continued.) 
HERBERT SPENCER AS A THINKER. 

BY RICHARD A. PROCTOR. 

In considering the philosophy of Herbert Spencer, 
I scarcely know whether I am more moved by his 
strength and power or by his grace and versatility, until 
I reflect that these latter qualities are but tokens of the 
former. He could not pass with so firm and free a 
tread over so a wide a range of thought were it not for 
the energy of mind which has enabled him to take all 
thought for his domain. 

Yet herein has lain the secret of the doubts which 
many have quite honestly entertained respecting Her- 
bert Spencer's real position among (or rather above) the 
philosophers the world has known. Specialists have 
been apt to weigh his philosophy in parcels, comparing 
his biology with the biology of a Darwin or a Huxley; 
his physicial science with that of a Thomson or a 
Tyndall; his mathematics with that of a Pierce or a 
Cayley, and so forth — not noting that with him each 
department of science has supplied but its due quota of 
material towards the building up of a philosophy which 
depends on all the sciences, while including also what is 
as yet outside the scientific domain. If we compare 
Herbert Spencer, in any department of science, with 
some chief master in that department, we find him at 
once less and greater: less in knowledge of details and 
in mastery of facts and methods; greater in that he sees 
outside and beyond the mere details of that special sub- 
ject, and recognizes the relation of its region of inquiry 
to the much wider domain over which his own philosophy 
extends. Thus, comparing Spencer even with Darwin— - 
the Newton of biology — we see that the biological field 
over which Darwin and his followers have extended 
their survey, is in reality but a small part of the domain 
over which Herbert Spencer has searched for the evi- 
dence of evolution and dissolution. If the Darwinian 
theory be summarized (as, indeed, in all its essential 
features it was summarized by Spencer himself, who 
independently recognized its validity) we find it pre- 
senting but a finite example, within a special depart- 
ment, of that universal law, unlimited alike in time and 
space, which Herbert Spencer presents thus: 

'■'■The rhythm of evolution and dissolution, complet- 
ing- itself during- short periods in small aggregates, 
and in the vast aggregates distributed through space 
completing itself in periods -which are i?nmeasurable 
by human thought is, so far as ive can sec, universal 
and eternal, each alternating phase of the process 



predominating, now in this region of space, and now 

in that, as local conditions determ ne." 

Yet one cannot but pause when contemplating Her- 
bert Spencer's work in departments of research, to note 
with wonder how he has been enabled, by mere clear- 
ness of insight, to discern truths which escaped the notice 
of the very leaders in those special subjects of inquiry. 
To take astronomv, for example, a subject which, more 
perhaps than anv other, requires long anil special study 
before the facts with which it deals can be rightly inter- 
preted, Spencer reasoned justly respecting the most dif- 
ficult, as well as the highest of all subjects of astronom- 
ical research, the architecture ol the stellar system, when 
the Herschels, Ar go, and Humboldt adopted or accepted 
erroneous views. In this particular matter 1 had a note- 
worthy illustration of the justice of a remark made 
(either bv Youmans or Fiske, I forget which) at the 
Spencer banquet in New York a few years ago: "In 
every department of inquiry even the most zealous 
specia'ists must take the ideas of Herbert Spencer into 
consideration." After long and careful study specially 
directed to that subject, I advanced, in 1869, opinions 
which I supposed to be new respecting the architecture 
of the heavens, — opinions which Spencer himself, in his 
Study of Sociology, has described as " going far to 
help us in conceiving the constitution of our own gal- 
ax}- ;" yet I found that twelve years before, dealing 
with that part of science in his specially planned survey 
of the whole domain, he had seen clearly many of the 
points on which I insisted later, and had found in such 
points sufficient evidence to lead him to correct views 
respecting the complexity and variety of the sidereal 
system. 

In Spencer's power of getting at broad general 
truths we find a sufficient answer to the somewhat cap- 
tious objection that in matters of detail he often errs. 
Every specialist, I suspect, can find mistakes in Herbert 
Spencer's detailed references to special subjects. But his 
mistakes are never such as to affect the trulh of his gen- 
eral views. One might as reasonably consider them 
defects in his philosophy, as one might object to a survey 
of some continent or country that it pictured cities, towns, 
and villages as circles, though not one of them is pre- 
cisely circular in shape. 

It is, however, as a founder of a school ot ethics 
that Herbert Spencer is chiefly honored by those who 
understand and love his philosophy, in this character 
that he is disliked (nay, hated) by those who do not and 
cannot understand him. 

The ethical system of Herbert Spencer in its careful 
discrimination between the duties men owe to them- 
selves and those which they owe to others, is far in 
advance of that system, which many, calling it " Chris- 
tian teaching," fondly imagine to be a system of pure 
altruism. To these dreamers the system taught in 



146 



THE OPEN COURT. 



Spencer's Data of Ethics seems comparatively selfish 

tinctured at least by what they call worldly wisdom, — 

in a tone implying that wisdom belonging to another 
world than ours must be much better for us than wis- 
dom only useful here. One would not willingly speak 
with contempt of teachings which had their origin in 
the minds of earnest and unselfish men, anxious to teach 
their fellows the secret of happiness. " Come unto me, 
all ye that labor and are heavy laden," was their cry 
ages before the time of Christ, "and I will give you 

rest," and rest was to be found as it seemed to them 

in the love of others, in disregard of self, in forgiveness 
of injuries, and in taking no thought for the morrow. 
Poverty was no longer to be held a reason for disquiet; 
meekness and humility were to be regarded as chief 
amono- the virtues, and men were to deem themselves 
happy when their fellows spoke ill of them and they 
were evil entreated. Doubtless herein lay one way 
towards content and therefore towards happiness. The 
golden rule of Hillel (Confucius gave it in the same 
negative form) "Do not to others what ye would not 
men should do to you," is at least a rule by which much 
unhappiness may be avoided by the individual man, 
unphilosophical as the rule may be in itself. A kind of 
peace, and with it a kind of happiness, may be secured 
by turning the right cheek to him who has smitten the 
left; by yielding the cloak to him who has taken the 
coat; by going two miles with him who would have 
forced you to go with him but one. And most assuredly 
amono- men who follow this particular way to secure 
peace and quiet, it may be said with truth, " Blessed are 
the poor in spirit," for they and they alone can inherit 
and enjoy the kingdom of heaven — as thus imagined. 

In one sense this ethical system needs no attacking. 
It never has been adopted or followed save by a minor- 
ity so small as not to be worth considering. The very 
last to follow it have been those who have seemed most 
earnest in teaching it, and who, indeed, have doubtless 
been very earnest in teaching it to others, seeing that, as 
a doctrine for others to follow, it commends itself most 
to the least altruistic minds. If the ethical doctrine 
taught by Herbert Spencer had no other claims to our 
regard it would be worthy of our warmest esteem in 
this, that it is a system in which precept and practice can 
be reconciled. It is not a system which selfishly teaches 
unselfishness. It is not a system which teaches as a 
duty the setting aside of duty. It does not enjoin men 
to seek their own comfort by rewarding iniquity. It 
does not tell men that neglect of self is a virtue merely 
because it is a way of escaping trouble. Instead of say- 
ing, " Resist not evil," it teaches that it is each man's 
duty to resist wrong-doing to the uttermost in so far as 
lies within his power; not as moved by anger or by 
hate (unless where anger and hate are necessary ele- 
ments of strenuous opposition to evil), but because evil 



would thrive if unresisted, and few evils among men 
can be destroyed unless zealously opposed. So far from 
telling men to take no thought for the morrow, this 
worthier ethical system teaches that only the savage and ' 
the uncultured can be forgiven (even as young children 
are forgiven) for that careless disregaid of the future 
which trusts the welfare of the thoughtless to the care 
of the provident. 

The most characteristic feature of Spencer's moral 
teaching is found, however, not so much in what it 
inculcates as in the account it gives of the origin of rules 
of conduct, and especially of our ideas in regard to what 
is morally right and morally wrong. It is here that 
Spencer's philosophy has its chief interest for thought- 
ful minds, while also herein lies its chief defect in the 
eyes of the shallow-minded. He has set as the great 
object he has had in view throughout all his work, the 
application of the principles of evolution to the discus- 
sion of the rules by which the conduct of men should be 
guided. He has shown that all the rules by which the 
conduct of men actually is guided have had their origin 
in processes of evolution, — this being true not only of 
rules which seem good in themselves, but of others 
which seem the reverse, precisely as the attractive and 
preservative qualities of various forms of animal and 
vegetable life had their origin in evolution as certainly 
as those which seem unpleasant and destructive. The 
ferocity of the lion is as surely a product of evolution as 
the gentleness of the gazelle; the cowardly cruelty of 
the wolf came into existence through the struggle for 
life as surely as the courage and self-devotion of the dog, 
man's best friend among the animals. The sense of loy- 
alty and duty, of good faith and justice, grows stronger 
as communities advance from savagery toward the bet- 
ter forms of civilization. To recognize this growing 
sense of right and duty as a product of evolution is a 
necessary step toward recognizing the ways by which 
the development of the better rules of conduct may be 
encouraged. But to the lower and less reasoning types 
of mind these views of conduct seem degrading. They 
would rather imagine virtue to be some ethereal essence 
not depending on reasoning but on the emotions, not a 
product of development but of some divine creative 
force. As reasonably might the health of body be so 
regarded, and all that the study of the human body has 
taught of the dependence of health on regimen be 
regarded as degrading to the higher man. 

What has been the outcome of Herbert Spencer's 
moral philosophy? What has been the lesson resulting 
from his pursuance of what he has described as " his 
ultimate purpose, lying behind all proximate pur- 
poses," the recognition of " a scientific basis for the 
principles of right and wrong in conduct at large?" I 
take it that he has obtained the best answer yet gained 
by man to the vain yet ever-recurring question, " Is life 



THE OPEN COURT. 



147 



worth living ?" I am not concerned to decide whether, on 
the whole, life is a gain or a loss. It does not seem to me 
that Spencer's ethical system really depends on any 
such decision. The results, as regards conduct, would 
be the same (whatever the difference in our estimate of 
their value) whether life were, on the whole, a blessing 
or, on the whole, the reverse. Hillel answered the 
Mullocks of his day, "It is idle to ask whether life is 
worth living-, seeing that we live." Even so Spencer may 
answer those who question whether an ethical system 
depending on the struggle for life, is worthy of adop- 
tion. The struggle for life goes on independently of 
all question whether life is good or bad, of all opinion 
whether with time life may or may not be made better 
and happier. The outcome of Spencer's philosophy 
remains — that happiness is to be sought by each — the 
happiness of self as a duty to others as well as to self, 
the happiness of others as a duty to self as well as to 
them — happiness as a means, happiness as the chief end.* 

It remains only that I should touch on the question 
of belief in a future life and faith in a Supreme Power 
outside ourselves, as presented by Herbert Spencer, or 
rather as suggested in his philosophy. That Spencer 
nowhere describes as known what is and must ever 
remain unknowable, need hardly be said. It is the 
essence of his mode of thinking that he strives always 
to see and to describe things as they are. He nowhere 
denies the possibility of a future life, though he shows 
abundantly the nothingness of the evidence on which 
the common belief in a future life has been basedy. And, 
in like manner, he nowhere denies the possibility of a 
personal deity, though he repeatedly insists on the inhe- 
rent folly of all those teachings which are based on 
imagined knowledge, not only of the personality of an 
Almighty Power, but of the nature of that power's per- 
sonal plans and purposes. His whole doctrine is sum- 
marized in the thought that — 

Under the appearances which the universe presents 
to our senses, there persists unchanging in quantity, 
but ei'er-ckanging in form and ever-transcending 
human know/edge and conception, an u>iknoivn and 
uuknozvable power, which ive are obliged to recognise 
as without limit in space and zvithout begiiuiing or 
end in time. 

True, as the positivist, Frederick Harrison, has 
suggested, there is in this thought none of that comfoit 
under affliction which the childhood of religion found 
in the pretended interventions of priesthood between 

* I repc.it just here what I wrote, umier the assumed name of Thomas 
Foster, in the pa^cs of my monthly magazine, Knowledge, and whatmv friend 
the late Prof. E. S. Youmans reprinted, not knowing I was the author, in the 
Popular Science Monthly, where possibly some readers of these page^ may 
have noticed the passage, A somewhat amu>ing result of the appearance of the 
Foster papers was that I, as Richard A. Proctor, was requested by an admirer 
of Spencer (the Rev. MinotJ. Savage) to meetmyself as Thomas Foster, at 
a Spencerian gathering. 

■f Common opinion, in matters depending on individual judgment, is abso- 
lutely certain — where decision is difficult — to be cot mon error. 



man and God, — though, to say truth, the religion of 
humanity which positivism calls on us to accept fails no 
less completely (for the thought that there have been 
great human minds affords no comfort under great 
human trials). But we are to consider that when races 
of man are passing through childhood the comforts 
found in contradictory theologies are real enough as 
comforts, vain though they are as philosophy; while 
races which have reached the fullness of their manhood 
may safely put away childish things and man-like learn 
" to suffer and be strong;." 



FREE-THOUGHT IN ENGLAND. 

BY HYPATIA BRADLAUGH BONNER. 

In 1SS3 the state of the law relating to blasphemy 
in England attracted much public attention. In the 
March of that year Messrs. Foote, Ramsey and Kemp 
were tried before Mr. Justice North and a common jury 
for having published a blasphemous libel. They were 
convicted and sentenced to scandalously heavy terms of 
imprisonment. Later in the same year Mr. Bradlaugh 
was prosecuted with Messrs. Foote and Ramsey and 
tried before Lord Chief Justice Coleridge and a special 
jury. Mr. Bradlaugh was tried separately and acquitted. 
As in his case it was merely the question of publication 
and not of the matter published that was tried, no state- 
ment of the law of blasphemy was then made, but in the 
case of Messrs. Foote and Ramsey it was the character 
of the published matter and not the fact of publication 
that the court was called upon to decide. The Lord 
Chief Justice stated his view of the law in his summing 
up and this created such an extraordinary impression 
among the public and was so much questioned by some 
of the judges that he felt called upon to publish it in 
pamphlet form. 

In his summing up Lord Coleridge said that the law 
grows and Christianity is no longer " part of the law of 
the land;" all through he laid down most distinctly that 
the offense of blasphemy is in the manner of attacking 
Christianity and not in the attack itself; the offense lies 
in the form and not in the substance. It is " absolutely 
untrue," he said, that the mere denial of Christianity is 
a blasphemous libel; the denial of the truth of the 
Christian religion is not alone enough to constitute the 
offense of blasphemy. " If the decencies of controversy 
be observed even the fundamentals of religion may be 
attacked without a person being guilty of a blasphemous 
libel." In concluding his summing up Lord Coleridge 
turned to the jury and bade them take the publications 
and look at them, " if you think they are permissible 
attacks on the religion of the country you will find the 
defendants not guilty, * * * but if you think 
that they do not come within the most liberal and 
largest view that anyone can give of the law as it exists 
now, then find them guilty." 



148 



THE OPEN COURT. 



Such an expression of opinion on the law relating to 
blasphemy coming as it did from so high an authority 
as the Chief Judge of England, caused much discussion 
among botli the learned and the unlearned, and in the 
following March an article on the subject appeared in 
the Fortnightly Review, from the erudite pen of Mr. 
Justice Stephen. Mr. Justice Stephen while admiring 
the summing up, feared " that its merits may be trans- 
ferred illogically to the law which it expounds and lays 
down, and that thus a humane and enlightened judgment 
may tend to perpetuate a bail law by diverting the 
public attention from its defects. The law I regard as 
essentially and fundamentally bad." 

Mr. Justice Stephen accepted Blackstone's definition 
of the offense of blasphemy* as accurate, and quoted 
from several of the leading authorities in support of 
his opinion. He disliked the law profoundly anil 
also so thoroughly that in order that other people 
might see how bad it was, he determined to state it 
" in its natural naked deformity." He pointed out that 
a large part of our most serious and most impor- 
tant literature of the day is illegal; the selling or 
lending of Comte's Positive Philosophy, of Renan's Vie 
de Jesus is punishable by fine and imprisonment. He 
took a particular instance to bring the revolting nature 
of the law home to his readers. " The late Mr. Greg," 
he said, " was not only a distinguished author but an 
eminent and useful member of the Civil Service. I 
suppose he was educated as a Christian, and no one 
could have a stronger sympathy with the moral s.'de of 
Christianity. In every one of his works the historical 
truth of the Christian history is denied, and so is the 
Divine authority of the Old and New Testament. If 
he had been convicted of publishing these opinions, or 
even of expressing them to a friend in private conversa- 
tion, his appointment would have become void and he 
would have been ' adjudged incapable and disabled in law 
to hold any office or employment whatever;' in a word 
he would have lost his income and his profession. Upon 
a second conviction, he must have been imprisoned for 
three years and incapacitated, among other things, to 
sue or accept any legacy. About this there neither is 
nor can be any question whatever." Mr. Justice Ste- 
phen concluded his able article by urging the repeal of 
the blasphemy laws. 

The learned judge was followed by other less able 
writers on both sides, but it was largely felt that while 
Lord Coleridge had given a "humane and enlightened " 
presentment of the law, Mr. Justice Stephen had given 
an uncomfortably accurate one. This view has been 
authoritatively taken by the Queen's Bench division of 



* The fourth species of offense, therefore, more immediately against God 
and religion, is that blasphemy against the Almightv by denying his being or 
providence, or by contumelious reproaches of our Savior Christ. Whither 
also may be referred all profane scoffing at the Holy Scripture or exposing it to 
contempt or ridicule." 



the High Court of Justice in the recent case of Pank- 
hurst vs. Thompson, in which it was held by Mr. Baron 
Huddleston and Mr. Justice Manisby that a mere denial 
of Christianity was an indictable offense without refer- 
ence to the manner of the denial. 

Consequently Mr. Courtney Kenny, M. P., has- 
introduced a bill into the present Parliament on lines 
drafted by Mr. Justice Stephen, for "the abolition of 
prosecutions against laymen for the expression of 
opinion on matters of religion." The bill is powerfully- 
backed by Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Crossley, leading- 
Nonconformists, and Mr. Bernard Coleridge, son of the 
Lord Chief Justice, whose recent visit to the United 
States will have made his name familiar to the Ameiican. 
public. Mr. Courtney Kenny is himself a most able 
man, and was for a long time law lecturer at Downing 
College, Cambridge. When the bill gets into com- 
mittee there is one clause which will, without doubt, be 
opposed by some of those who are otherwise friendly 
to the bill, probably by Mr. Bradlaugh at least. The 
clause to which I refer is the third, which provides that 
"any person who, with the intention of wounding the 
religious feelings of any person or persons, shall in 
any public place utter any word, or make any gesture,, 
or exhibit any object within the hearing or sight of any 
person or persons, whose religious feelings are likely 
to be thereby wounded, shall be guilty of a misde- 
meanor; and on being convicted thereof, shall be lia- 
ble to fine or imprisonment, or both, as the court may 
award, such imprisonment not to exceed the term of 
one year" 

This provision is borrowed from the Indian code,, 
and there is no doubt that it has worked very well in 
India, where there are Mohammedans, Hindoos and other 
opposing sects, and where it has prevented the Chris- 
tian missionary from making himself too offensive to 
the natives. But it is not at all likely that such a clause 
would work well here in England, where the circum- 
stances are so entirely different; on the contrary it opens- 
out the way to much possibility of evil. 

The bill is down for its second reading for July I,, 
but the coercion legislature for Ireland introduced by the 
government, and the debates on the never-ending Irish 
difficulties take up so much of the time of the House of 
Commons, that private members' bills have very little 
chance this session. At present, therefore, Free-thinkers, 
and Unitarians still remain under a law which threatens 
them with fine and imprisonment wheneverthey unburden 
their minds on the subject of religion. It is, of course, a 
well-known fact that Atheistic and Unitarian publica- 
tions are issued daily, and yet they are not prosecuted. 
So much obloquy attached to the prosecutions of 1S83 
that they are not likely to be indulged in very often;, 
nevertheless the law is there to enforce whenever there 
is the evil will to enforce it. Before the Foote and 



THE OPKN COURT. 



149 



Ramsey prosecutions people said the law was obsolete, 
and pooh-poohed the idea of it being pleaded in a court 
of law today; but it was pleaded, and by its minister, 
Mr. Justice North, dealt out to Mr. Foote the severe 
penalty, the savage punishment of twelve months' 
imprisonment. 

Another important bill affecting the position of Free- 
- thinkers in England is also before the present Parlia- 
ment, namely the bill " to amend the law as to oaths." 
It consists merely of three short paragraphs which are 
as follows: 

1. Every person shall be permitted to make his solemn 
affirmation instead of taking an oath in all places and for all pur- 
poses where an oath is or shall be required by law, which affirma- 
tion shall be of the same force and effect as if he had taken the 
oath; and if any person making such affirmation shall wilfully, 
falsely, and corruptly affirm any matter or thing which, if dis- 
posed on oath, would have amounted to wilful and corrupt 
perjury, he shall be liable to prosecution, indictment, sentence 
and punishment in all respects as if he had committed wilful and 
corrupt perjury. 

2. Every such affirmation shall be as follows: 

" I, A.B., do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and 
affirm," and then proceed with the words of the oath prescribed 
by law, omitting any words of imprecation or calling to witness. 

3. This Act may be cited as the Affirmative Act, 1S87. 

This bill was introduced on the first day of the 
Parliamentary by Mr. Charles Bradlaugh and has been 
down for its second reading a great many times already. 
It has, however, a host of enemies to contend with, first 
there is the common enemy to all home legislation — the 
Irish coercion measure with all its attendant troubles; 
then the Oaths Bill has its own particular religious 
enemies; Roman Catholic and ultra- Protestant join 
hands in opposing the Atheist. Mr. Bradlaugh puts 
his bill down every night in the hope that it may come 
on but as regularly as he puts it down so regularly is it 
" blocked " by Mr. de Lisle, a Roman Catholic, or by 
Mr. Johnston, an ultra-Protestant and violent opponent 
of Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill for Ireland, or some 
other blind intolerant zealot. There is a rule in the 
House known as "the half-past twelve rule" which 
provides that opposed measures shall not be taken after 
half-past twelve at night, and when a member goes 
through the form of putting his name down as opposer 
to a bill, he is said to have " blocked " it because he has 
prevented it from being taken after half-past twelve. 
It is exceedingly unlikely that an ordinary bill would 
come on before that hour unless there should be some 
break-down in the appointed business for the night. 

The Oaths Bill is backed by Sir John Simon, a Jew; 
Mr. Courtney Kenny, whom I have already mentioned 
as the introducer of the bill against blasphemy ; Mr. 
Burt, the trusted representative of the Northumberland 
miners; Mr. Coleridge, the son of the Lord Chief 
Justice; Mr. Illingworth, a very prominent English Dis- 
senter; Mr. Richard, leader of the Welsh Noncon- 



formists and Mr. Jesse Collings. Sir John Simon had 
charge of the Oaths Bill in the former Parliament, 
before Mr. Bradlaugh was permitted to take his seat in 
the House of Commons, but his bill was far less com- 
prehensive than the present one. Mr. Hopwood, Q. C, 
now Recorder of Liverpool, was the first person to have 
charge of the bill which arose out of the objections 
made for political purposes by the Tory party, first to 
Mr. Bradlaugh's taking an affirmation of allegiance 
when he entered the House as duly elected member for 
the borough of Northampton, and next, to his " profan- 
ing" the oath. The judges decided that Mr. Bradlaugh 
had no right to affirm and the Tories, supported by a 
number of weak Liberals and by the whole of the Irish 
party, determined he should not take the oath. How- 
ever, bigotry — whether real or assumed for political 
purposes — was vanquished at last, and as everyone 
knows, Mr. Bradlaugh is now sitting in the House 
doin^ his full share of work. 



MIND-READING, ETC. 

MINOT J. SAVAGE. 

The editors of this paper ask me for an article con- 
taining " the results of your, observation and experience 
in regard to mind-reading." 

Now to be suddenly called on for all one knows 
about any subject is somewhat embarrassing. One has 
the comfort, to be sure, of feeling that it will not take 
him long to tell, and the cost of paper will be so much 
less than it would be should he attempt to tell all he does 
not know. But still there are so many things one half 
knows, or thinks he knows, though as yet he can give 
no scientific proof. Then one wants to give so many- 
reasons for not knowing more, or for opinions that as 
yet are not quite certain. No, it is no easv task to tell 
even the little that one knows. 

Then there is another thing that concerns these in- 
vestigations on the border-land, that the members of 
the Society for Psychical Research do not take sufficient 
account of. Through circulars, and in other ways, the 
committees call loudly for evidence, asking all who have 
any facts to submit them for examination and judg- 
ment. But it has happened, through my known interest 
in and sympathetic treatment of these questions, that 
large numbers of cases have come to my knowledge 
that the Society will never hear of. And the reason for 
this ought to be noted. And public investigators ought 
to take account of th's reason. No one should suppose 
that nothing is going on because it is not submitted to 
the inspection of those who call loudest for it. 

The reason for keeping these things back is two- 
fold: 

1. Many of the things that occur are of a private, 
personal character. It is quite natural that this should 
be so. Such things are held as sacred. People would 



*5° 



THE OPEN COURT. 



as soon publish their private griefs as give these things 
to the world. 

2. Then the attitude of the investigators is often a 
most unfortunate one. It has always seemed to me that 
it is absurd for a man to investigate a thing, the very 
■possibility of which he denies before he begins. If a 
man does not believe of course he gives no testimony in 
favor. If he does believe he is treated as a "crank " and 
his testimony is ruled out. So long as one knows tbat 
he is to be met in this spirit — that he will be looked on 
as a lunatic, to be treated with a superior kind of pity and 
tenderness, or with the blunt brutality that says, "You 
may mean all right, but you are a fool " — so long circu- 
lars asking for information will be likely to find the 
waste-basket. 

I have taken the liberty of heading this article 
"Mind Reading, Etc" I mean that the "Etc" shall 
be the larger part of it. Or, to speak more accurately, 
I wish to make it an open door through which I may 
go out and wander through this border-land at will. 

That mind-reading, thought-transference, or some- 
thing quite as inexplicable is true 1 know. My purpose 
in this article then will be to make it clear that here is a 
problem that challenges the. attention of rational people. 
I wish, I say, to make so much clear if I can. And yet I 
am not ready to publish more than hints or fragments 
of facts that lead me to express the certainty to which I 
have given utterance. But the principal thing that rea- 
sonable people need at present to know is that there are 
facts that as yet find no place in our generally accepted 
scientific theories. 

The present condition of affairs is a scandal both to 
science and philosophy. Here are thousands of sane 
persons asserting that wonderful psychic facts are of 
daily occurrence. Their statements are either true or 
false. If false, here is at least a huge delusion from 
which it is worth while that these people be set free. 
The statements of these persons are accepted without 
question on all other subjects. And these things are 
not like one's theological opinions, that are taken on 
faith, and that those who disbelieve them are accustomed 
tacitlv to ignore. They are offered as facts that are 
open to investigation. I am aware that a few persons, 
in a half-and-half sort of way, arc investigating, but it 
seems to me that something more than this is needed. 
If these asserted facts take place then they change our 
scientific theories of human nature and human destiny. 
If not then there are other and more important things 
to engage oir thought and time. I believe then that 
this is a question worthy the most serious attention. 

But my experience with so-called "scientific" 
investigators leads me to think that, as there are "odds 
in deacons," so there are odds In "scientific" investiga- 
tors. Some of them arc scientific; and others are such 
bundles of prejudices and preconceptions that their 



claims to be scientific in these inquiries are simply 
ludicrous. Their demands and their proposed tests 
seem to me as absurd as would be the position of a man 
who would net believe in electricity because it would 
not ignore its own laws and, just to please him, work 
through a rail fence instead of a wire. 

I plead then, not only for an investigation of these 
things, but for a little unbiassed study of conditions, — . 
the same as would be rational in other departments of 
study. 

Now for a few hints as to the kinds of facts that 
need to be explained. 

The mind-reading committee of the English Society 
for Psychical Research thinks tbat the fact of thought- 
transference has been established. Their experiments, 
however, are before the public; and all those interested 
can review their work and pass judgment on it at will. 
The thoroughness of their work has been questioned 
on this side the Atlantic, and their conclusions impeached. 
I am inclined, however, to accept the fact itself as 
established. But my acceptance is based not so much, 
perhaps, on the evidence they offer, as on the fact that I 
am sure that things quite as wonderful have occurred in 
my own experience. When once a general truth is 
established in one's own mind, he does not require so 
much evidence as he did before to lead him to accept 
some special case that may be reported. 

I was a good deal impressed at one time, with the 
so-called mind-reading experiments of Mr. W. Irving 
Bishop. I have had many private experiments with 
him that seemed very wonderful. But Mr. Montague 
(one of the editorial staff of the Globe of this city) has 
duplicated nearly all of Mr. Bishop's wonders, and 
claims that he does it by means of the unconscious guid- 
ance of the subject. I do not feel quiet sure that all of 
Mr. Bishop's work can be explained in this way. And 
yet I do not rely on any of these things as giving satis- 
factory proof of actual thought-transference. 

I will now give a few brief hints of some occur- 
rences that, to my mind, establish the fact that there are 
some things for which our present theories of man and 
nature furn sh no explanation. 

The facts of hypnotism are somewhat familiar to all 
those who have given any attention to this class of 
studies. But not all these, I think, are aware that some 
hypnotic subjects are clairvoyant and can see and report 
things with which even the operator is not acquainted. 
During private experiments in my own study, strange 
powers have been exercised, for which I know of no 
explanation. 

Then, as the result of private experiments, I am 
sure of the manifestation of some force that is able to 
move physical objects. The circumstances have been 
such that no muscular pressure, conscious or unconscious, 
could account for the movements. 



THE OPEN COURT. 



iS 1 



I am acquainted with no end of cases where people 
have been told things that the persons who told them 
(or through whom they were told?) did not know. 

More than once I have had a person hold an 
unopened letter in her hand and tell me about the one 
who wrote it in the most detailed and unmistakable way. 

In sitting with a personal friend, not a recognized or 
public " medium," I have, over and over again, been 
told things that it was impossible the friend should ever 
have known. 

And — most unaccountable of all — I have had this 
same friend tell me of things that were occurring at the 
time in another State, and concerning which neither of 
us could, by any possibility, have had any knowledge. 
These have been so personal and peculiar as to make 
all theories of guess-work or coincidence so extremely 
improbable that impossible seems the proper word to 
use. 

To tell the story of my experiments in any fulness 
would require a volume. Are these things mind-read- 
ing? Are they telepathy ? What are they ? That they 
are facts I know. 



FREDERICK DOUGLASS IN PARIS. 

BY THEODORE STANTON. 

During the recent sojourn of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick 
Douglass in Paris it was my good fortune to meet the 
celebrated orator and reformer on many and different 
occasions, and I propose in this letter to report discreetly 
some of his sayings and doings. 

Mr. Douglass, even amidst the new attractions of 
an European capital, never seems to forget that he is 
the champion of an oppressed race. " One of the rea- 
sons why I so much like France and the French," he 
said to me one day, " is because the negro is not the butt 
of ridicule here as he is in the United States. There 
are no minstrel shows in Paris, and at the Louvre and 
Luxembourg Galleries and elsewhere I find that the 
public treats the African as an equal fellow-being. '1 he 
occasional bandana is here considered one of the pictur- 
esque features of the boulevards and classed with the 
becoming headgear of the natty peasant girls from the 
provinces. No Frenchman ever snickers at the black 
face that sets off the parti-colored handkerchief." When 
Mr. Douglass stood in front of Gustave Dora's statue of 
Alexandre Dumas, on the Place Malesherbes, the artistic 
qualities of the monument failed to move him. He re- 
membered how this son of a negress had never spoken 
a word or written a line in defense of his mother's race. 
" Let us go and see the statue of Lamartine," he ex- 
claimed one afternoon; "he said some fine things." 
And when we reached the Place Lamartine Mr. Doug- 
lass cared but little for the masterly way in which the 
sculptor has grouped the legs of the chair, dog and 
man ; his mind was dwelling on the fact that the 



poet-President signed in 1S48 the decree that freed all 
the slaves of the French colonies, and his eyes were at- 
tracted by the resemblance of Lamartine's face to that 
of Lincoln. 

Probably his two meetings with M. Victor Schoel- 
cher, the William Lloyd Garrison of France, left a 
deeper impression on Mr. Douglass' mind than any 
other event that happened to him while in Paris, for it 
was Senator Schoolcher's long and indefatigable efforts 
that finally secured the abolition of negro servitude in 
the French possessions. I was present when this grand 
old octogenarian recounted the history of his life work, 
which seemed to carry Mr. Douglass back to the ante 
helium struggle in the United States. M. Schcelcher 
then asked many questions about the anti-slavery con- 
flict in our country, with which he is remarkably well 
acquainted, and criticised severely Mr. Lincoln's course. 
Thereupon Mr. Douglass defended Mr. Lincoln, ex- 
plained to M. Schcelcher the difficult position in which 
the President was placed, and closed his apology with 
these words: "Mr. Lincoln was better inside than out- 
side." 

Mr. Douglass tells many interesting anecdotes of 
Lincoln. The following one he very naturally enjoys 
recounting: During the war Mr. Douglass was paying 
his respects to the President at the White House, when 
Governor Buckingham, of Connecticut, was announced. 
Mr. Lincoln thereupon called out to the servant in his 
high-pitched tone : " Tell Governor Buckingham to 
wait; 1 want to have a good talk with Mr. Douglass." 
"And we did have a good talk," said Mr. Douglass as 
he told us the anecdote the other day, " for Mr. Lincoln 
kept me half an hour longer. This circumstance made 
an impression on me, for not often in my life have I 
kept a Governor waiting, and a ' War Governor ' at 
that." 

"The delegates to the famous Union Convention 
held in August, 1S66," continued Mr. Douglass, " didn't 
treat me like Mr. Lincoln. I was sent to that Phila- 
delphia gathering to represent the city of Rochester, 
but before reaching my destination I was met by a com- 
mittee that boarded the train and begged me not to enter 
the convention. They dwelt upon an important election 
then pending in Indiana, spoke of the conservative dele- 
gates to the convention, and expressed fear that the pres- 
ence of a colored man would give Indiana to the Demo- 
crats and send home a certain number of the members. 
But I declined to return to Rochester, being convinced 
that the fears of the committee were not well founded, 
and results proved that I was correct. When we were 
forming in procession to march to the hall, I noticed 
that everybody was afraid of me. Even Henry Wilson 
was reserved. General Butler was almost the only man 
who gave me a hearty welcome. As the delegates 
paired off and fell into line, it looked for a moment as 



!5 2 



THB OPEN COURT. 



though I should have to walk by myself. But it was 
not the first time that I had stood alone and so I was not 
troubled on this score. As the band struck up and the 
volume moved off an arm was suddenly locked in mine 
and I found Theodore Tilton at my side. And I must 
add that all through the streets of Philadelphia it was 
Theodore Tilton and his humble companion who 
awakened the most enthusiasm and cheers." 

When Mr. Douglass came to Paris it was but natu- 
ral, therefore, that he should hunt up his old friend, and 
the tall forms and silvered hair of Frederick Douglass 
and Theodore Tilton have, during the past autumn, 
attracted scarcely less attention on the boulevards 
of the French capital than their well-known faces 
did just twenty years ago on the streets of the 
Quaker City. They have gone together to St. Cloud, 
to the Palace of the Archives, to the Trocadin Museum 
and to many of the other interesting spots in and 
around Paris. " You should have seen our aston- 
ished Frederick on the top of Notre Dame," wrote 
Mr. Tilton to me last November. " Coming unexpect- 
edly' into the grotesque presence of the grinning gar- 
goyles! In fact these fantastic figures are the merriest 
company of imps, demons, goblins and good devils that 
I have met in this cheeriest of all cities. The true 
Comedie Francaise is on top of Notre Dame!" 

Although Mr. Douglass holds liberal views on re- 
ligion, he did not confine his church-going while in Paris 
to visits paid to the outside of the edifices. He was 
present at a grand mass in Saint Eustache,but felt forced 
to leave before the end of the ceremony. "The super- 
stition made me sad," he remarked, in extenuation of his 
conduct. He could, however, sit through Father Hya- 
cinthe's service Sunday after Sunday, probably because 
he was held by the fascinating oratory of this wonder- 
ful divine. " I think I am Father Hyacinthe's most at- 
tentive listener," Mr. Douglass said to me after his first 
Sabbath in the little chapel in the Rue d'Arras; "and 
he appears to be of the same mind, for I notice that he 
keeps his e}es on me throughout most of his sermon. 
I apprehend his thoughts, although I do not understand 
his language, which proves that he is a true orator." 
Father Hyacinthe finally learned who was this rapt wor- 
shiper, and invited him to tea. The next morning we 
were seated in M. Schcelcher's study waiting for the 
senator, when Mr. Douglass arose, stood behind his 
chair, and began to develop his views on revealed re- 
ligion with a clearness of thought and a flow of lan- 
guage that was really remarkable. My only regret was 
that the audience was so small. " I cannot understand," 
he said, among other things, "how Father Hyacinthe 
stopped half way in his religious evolution, and when I 
see him still going through the service of the Roman 
Church, I reluctantly ask myself, can it be that he be- 
lieves in this?" "No, of course he doesn't," interrupted 



M. Schoelcher, who entered at this point; "it is only a 
sentiment, just like Victor Hugo's idea of immortality. 
We were standing one day at his front window discus- 
sing this question of a future life," continued M. Schoel- 
cher, who is a confirmed atheist, and was a close friend 
of the dead poet, "when I said to him: 'Noyv, what 
would be the use of saving the soul of that stupid cab- 
man passing there?' ' None, whatever,' answered Vic- 
tor Hugo; 'it is only such as you that I expect to see in 
the next world.' I venture to say that Father Hya- 
cinthe holds much the same view, if he were to express 
what is in the bottom of his heart." "Father Hya- 
cinthe said to me yesterday," interrupted Mr. Douglass, 
" when I told him that I was coming to see you this 
morning, 'Well, you are going to meet a man who 
doesn't believe in heaven himself, but makes other peo- 
ple believe in it.' " 

Mr. Douglass delights to revert to the anti-slavery 
struggle, and his anecdotes of Phillips, Garrison and the 
other leaders in the abolition movement are very enter- 
taining. We were crossing the Pont St. Michel one 
afternoon, when Mr. Douglass stopped in the middle 
and looking down into the Seine, said: " When I came 
up North from slavery I found the abolitionists declar- 
ing the federal constitution to be a covenant with the 
Evil One. But, as soon as I got my eyes open to the 
situation, I felt that we could make out a case standing 
on the constitution. So I differed with them and 
immediately found that I had got myself into trouble. 
Mr. Garrison was especially hard on me. If you once 
agreed with Garrison and then differed with him, your 
position was a difficult one. But later we became good 
friends again and I also had the satisfaction of seeing 
the abolitionist come round to my way of thinking." 

We were passing through the Passage de Choiseul 
one evening, feasting our eyes on the rare books that 
abound in the little shops when Mr. Douglass espied a 
second-hand violin , exposed for sale in one of the 
windows. We entered, he asked the price of the instru- 
ment, looked at it carefully, tyvanged the strings and, as 
we went out, thanked the merchant for his politeness. 
" Why, do you know anything about the violin ? " I 
asked of Mr. Douglass. "Certainly," was his reply; "I 
have a good violin at home and often play on it. I 
must tell you the first time I ever took up this instru- 
ment. It was during my sojourn in London directly 
after my escape from slavery. I was in very low spirits, 
and as I yvas walking the streets of the vast English 
capital in a most dejected mood, I noticed a violin in a 
shop window just as I did that one a moment ago. In 
the former instance, hoyvever, I purchased the instru- 
ment, returned to my hotel, where I remained four days, 
shut up in my room, striving to become familiar with 
my new friend. And when I came forth again, I had 
played myself in tune." 



THE OPEN COURT. 



l S3 



A few nights after this conversation I met Mr. Doug- 
lass at a little musical party where an amateur quartette 
performed. Having never seen him with a violin under 
his chin, and remembering what had happened and what 
-was said in the Passage de Choiseul, I hinted that Mr. 
Douglass be invited to play something. He at first de- 
clined, but, being pressed by the company, finally took 
tip the violin and rendered some plaintive Scotch airs 
■with much spirit and feeling. Before we separated, one 
of the guests struck up the " Marseillaise," and then it 
-was that Mr. Douglass' passion for music displayed it- 
self. He rose from the sofa, made his way to the piano, 
and joined in this majestic national anthem just as he 
must have done in the war days when "John Brown" 
-was being sung. 

Mr. Douglass left Paris with considerable regret, for 
he bad found here many appreciative friends, both 
among the English-speaking exotics and the indigenous 
French. And he had begun to take a strong liking to 
its people, its customs, its streets and its public monu- 
ments. In fact, so deep is this attachment for the French 
capital that he intends to return here in the spring, when 
he shall have completed his tour in Egypt, where he 
now is, and have visited Northern, as he has just done 
Southern, Italy. Mr. Douglass has seen Paris in its 
■somber autumnal and winter dress, and now he quite 
naturally wishes to look upon it in its proverbial sum- 
mer brightness. 

Paris, April, 



DOES AGNOSTICISM PRODUCE BETTER RESULTS 
THAN CHRISTIANITY ? 

BY W. L. GARRISON, JR. 

I am often led to speculate on the results follow- 
ing different theological beliefs. The prolonged battle 
for religious freedom which gained its great impetus in 
the Lutheran reformation, has in our generation and 
■country nearly reached its culmination. The right of 
rejecting inherited religious dogmas has by the aid of 
science and free inquiry been established. Where, 
thirty years ago, to avow disbelief in a Supreme Being 
or in immortality was to accept social ostracism, intel- 
lectual skepticism is now no bar to preferment in socie'y 
or public life. 

The right of unbelief is as sacred as that of crediting 
traditions, and the victory is well worth the fearful cost. 
The crimes perpetrated in the name of religion match 
any committed for selfish ambition or national aggran- 
dizement. But now we can be Baptists, Methodists, 
Presbyterians, Unitarians, Spiritualists, Catholics or 
■Come-outers, having no formulated religious ideas at all, 
or we may deny vehemently any foundation for a super- 
natural belief, and still keep our flesh from the pincers 
and the flames, retain a respectable character, be ac- 
cepted as good citizens and trusted as honest men. 



It is a fortunate period of the world's history to live 
in. The inquisition has no terrors for the dissenting 
soul, and no evangelical church prays to-day that God 
will put a hook into the jaws of a liberal preacher, as 
was besought by Park Street Church, in the case of 
Theodore Parker. Let us be thankful. 

Having achieved liberty what shall we do with it? 
" The virtue lies in the struggle, not the pr'ze." It is 
the right to declare our unbelief, if we hold it, not the 
unbelief itself that is precious. Everv sect was evolved 
in trials and persecution, and to cling to a heresy under 
fire was a test of manhood and moral courage. But 
once successful the touchstone lost its power. Each 
faith has its saints who deserve their canonization, but 
traditional accepters of dearly established creeds are not 
of necessity worthy of embalming. 

Free religious ideas and agnosticism having won 
toleration, it argues no saving grace or virtue to pro- 
claim them now. They take their place in the cate- 
gory of other sects or creeds, and no cross is incurred by 
professing them. Thev are as likely to be the shibbo- 
leth of selfishness and ambition as church membership 
has been heretofore. The vital question for one anxious 
to embrace a code of faith is, " Which produce^ the best 
lives?" We must judge the tree by its fruit, and, com- 
paring ourselves with followers of the creeds we have 
outgrown, can we affirm that our larger liberty has made 
us more the children of light: 

A healthful mode of comparison is to study the per- 
sonality of the workers in the reforms of the day. It is 
our belief that human progress has always been cher- 
ished and advanced by the few laborers outside the 
church more than by the many professors within it. 
So, for the practical exemplars of religion, we turn our 
eyes naturally to the humanitarian efforts which agitate 
society. 

In benevolent attempts to relieve personal suffering, 
religious societies have never been wanting. On the 
contrary, they have been active. But their indifference 
or antagonism may safely be counted upon when radi- 
cal instead of palliative measures are aimed at. Radical 
reform interferes with established customs and interests. 
These the church considers it her function to preserve, 
or at least to shield. She follows and claims the fruit of 
the unselfish sowers of the seed. The ripened sheaves 
are gathered by her without compunction. I laving per- 
secuted the heretics she has ended with claiming the 
merit of the accomplishment and when too late for the 
reformer, appropriating him as a saint. 

The never-ending battle for reform goes on as here- 
tofore. The great temperance movement; the cause of 
woman's political equality, the most far-reaching in its 
results of any since the world began ; the Indian 
problem ; the agiation for free trade and the abolition of the 
blighting tariff; the problems of labor; the questions of 



154 



THE OPEN COURT. 



social purity, capital punishment, prison reform; the 
sublime advocacy of universal peace; in these and kin- 
dred labors, are the men and women theologically eman- 
cipated in the van? These are the touchstones of theo- 
logical belief. 

Alas, men and brethren, in the temperance move- 
ment it is necessary to acknowledge that we are over- 
shadowed by earnest members of the church. The won- 
derful Women's Christian Temperance Union, organ- 
ized and wielded so masterfully by its able leaders, 
adds little glory to our faction. Indeed the agnostics 
who are on the side of the brewer and the distiller are 
shamefully frequent. In the woman's cause we have no 
reason to blush. The ranks would miss the free reli- 
gious allies. And yet it has room for more of them. 
On the subject of peace they show no superior enlight- 
enment over the professed followers of the Prince of 
Peace. The noble Russian, Tolstoi, who gets his light 
and fervor from the New Testament, preaches anew the 
rejected gospel of non-resistance, the one distinctive doc- 
trine that distinguishes Jesus from the messiahs of all 
other religions. Where are the anti-Christians who 
reach so high a level as his? 

In the other social movements, 'who can assume the 
"workers to be distinctively evangelical or otherwise? 
Henry George wears no sectarian stamp and may per- 
haps, be claimed by liberal thought. It is the custom to 
sneer at and belittle him, chiefly by those who never 
read his writings. The generation is making up a 
judgment of him which it will have to reverse, unless 
unselfishness, devotion to principle, deep-thinking, the 
superb courage of unpopular convictions, and a spirit ot 
humanity that underlies all, have ceased to be admira- 
hle. And this I say without being able to agree alto- 
gether with many of his ideas. But men who dare to 
vpeak as they truly think, are far too rare to be hastily 
passed by. But to match him comes that bold priest, 
F: ther McGlynn. Theology, therefore, inspires neither. 

If free religion is to stand for any more than a tran- 
sient form of speculation, it must crystallize into practical 
work. It must leave its impress not in shadowy meta- 
physics, but in the work of human elevation and broth- 
erly love. Until it does that it is unbecoming to assume 
superior wisdom or pride itself on its liberal views. 
Emancipated from a creed, we have yet some distance 
to travel before we shall enter fully into that temple 
-which, transcending all creeds and professions, asks 
only of its worshipers that they love to eternal good- 
ness and show it by helping their fellow men. 



Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be 
angry with our enemies, and who belies e this to be 
great and manly. Nothing is more praiseworthy, and 
nothing more clearly indicates a great and noble soul, 
than clemency and readiness to forgive. — Anon. 



The Open Court. 

A Fortnightly Journal. 



Published every other Thursday at 169 to 175 La Salle Street (Nixon 
Building), corner Monroe Street, by 

THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING COMPANY 



B. F. UNDERWOOD, 

Editor and Manager. 



SARA A. UNDERWOOD, 

Associate Editor. 



The leading object of The Open Court is to continue 
the work of The Index, that is, to establish religion on the 
basis of Science and in connection therewith it will present the 
Monistic philosophy. The founder of this journal believes this 
will furnish to others what it has to him, a religion which 
embraces all that is true and good in the religion that was taught 
in childhood to them and him. 

Editorially, Monism and Agnosticism, so variously defined, 
will be treated not as antagonistic systems, but as positive and 
negative aspects of the one and only rational scientific philosophy, 
which, the editors hold, includes elements of truth common to 
all religions, without implying either the validity of theological 
assumption, or any limitations of possible knowledge, except such 
as the conditions of human thought impose. 

The Open Court, while advocating morals and rational 
religious thought on the firm basis of Science, will aim to substi- 
tute for unquestioning credulity intelligent inquiry, for blind faith 
rational religious views, for unreasoning bigotrv a liberal spirit, 
for sectarianism a broad and generous humanitarianism. With 
this end in view, this journal will submit all opinion to the crucial 
test of reason, encouraging the independent discussion by able 
thinkers of the great moral, religious, social and philosophical 
problems which are engaging the attention of thoughtful minds 
and upon the solution of which depend largely the highest inter- 
ests of mankind. 

While Contributors are expected to express freely their own 
views, the Editors are responsible onlv for editorial matter. 

Terms of subscription three dollars per vear in advance, 
postpaid to any part of the United States, and three dollars and 
fifty cents to foreign countries comprised in the postal union. 

All communications intended for and all business letters 
relating to The Open Court should be addressed to B. F. 
Underwood, P. O. Drawer F, Chicago, Illinois, to whom should 
be made payable checks, postal orders and express orders. 

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 1S87. 

THE RELATION OF SCIENCE TO MORALS. 
Knowledge increases in usefulness as it becomes 
classified, in which form it is called science. Viewed 
separately, wit 1 out reference to their relations to one 
another and to the well-being of man, facts are of but 
little value to anybody. Only when they are classified 
and their relations are grouped, and the processes called 
laws which they indicate are understood, can we use 
them to the greatest advantage. Without these general- 
izations there can be no comprehensiveness of thought, 
no far-reaching plans or projects, no great intellectual or 
moral achievements. Man's " pre-eminence over the 
beast " consists not merely in a special faculty, but in his 
greater knowledge, and in his greater capacity to ac- 
quire knowledge of his manifold relations to his envi- 
ronment. The coming man, compared with the man of 
to-day will probablv be an intellectual and moral giant; 
larger knowledge of himself and the ways of nature 
will be a distinguishing characteristic. True, mere 



THE OPEN COURT. 



i55 



knowledge is no sure guarantee of moral character. 
The results of ages of moral savagery ingrained in the 
mental as well as in the physical constitution, may be 
more powerful determinants of conduct than the intel- 
lectual attainments of the individual, added to the inher- 
ited tendencies derived from a few hundred years of 
civilized life. Violence of passion, inborn selfishness, or 
lack of sensibility even, may blind a man of great knowl- 
edge to the rights, or render him indifferent to the suf- 
ferings of his fellow-men. A large knowledge of many 
subjects is often found in minds that are lamentably 
ignorant of others which have a more direct relation to 
conduct. Many, too, have a theoretical knowledge of 
matters of which they are so destitute of practical 
knowledge, that they are unable to realize their real 
significance. Man has been learning through many 
centuries, during which the horizon of his thought, 
although gradually expanding has been, compared with 
his outlook to-day, very circumscribed. Since it is im- 
possible to sever himself from the past, he cannot divest 
his mind at once of ancient beliefs, much less of their 
results; nor can he in a day make new channels of 
thought, or think or act in a manner wholly consistent 
with newly acquired knowledge, when it conflicts with 
beliefs that have profoundly influenced the thought and 
life of his ancestors from whom the characteristics he 
possesses have come down to him as a legacy. We 
should, therefore, expect on a priori grounds that dis- 
parity between intellectual attainments and moral char- 
acter, conspicuous illustrations of which can be found in 
any community. 

It is, however, none the less true that the only natu- 
ral basis for hope in man's moral progress is in his unde- 
niable capacity for knowledge, — to which, in the region 
of the knowable, no limit can be set, — and his ability to 
methodize his knowledge and make it minister in count- 
less ways to his wants and welfare. 

The whole tendencv of modern civilized life is to 
repress the savage instincts and traits of man's nature, 
and to develop and intensify those qualities of head and 
heart which appear in a late period of his development, 
even now too often reduced to the weakness of their 
nascent condition temporarily, by the brutality of the 
savage, who attests his presence and reasserts his control 
in the civilized man of the nineteeth century. Fortu- 
nately the influence of constantly increasing knowledge 
is eradicating the results of ages of ignorance in human 
character; and when men shall become yet more eman- 
cipated from their bad inherited tendencies, they will be 
able not only to discover truth more easily, but to con- 
form more readily to the moral relations which it 
'eveals. Inconsistencies between conviction and conduct 
must become less general, and creed and character more 
in harmony with each other. 

If a man believes that a certain course of conduct is 



for his best interests, judged by his highest moral stand- 
ard, he will follow that course in proportion as he is 
unhampered by traits, beliefs and tendencies which 
dominated in those ages of savagery in which men, not 
understanding their relations to each other, were 
short-sighted, acted from impulse and were strangers to 
the higher sentiments and the nobler motives which de- 
termine the conduct of the best men of to-day. 

That men are coming to understand more fully than 
they did in the past that virtue is wisdom and vice is 
folly can be clearly shown. That they now understand 
better than they did formerly what constitutes a virtuous 
character and a vicious charactei , is sufficiently evident 
from a comparison of the ethical views of the best teach- 
ers of this age, with the best among the ancients. That 
men live more morally now than in the past is evident 
from a comparison of this age with that of Pericles or 
Augustus, of Elizabeth or George III. That knowl- 
edge is increasing needs no proof. It is reasonable, 
therefore, to expect moral progress in the future. 

The belief's now very general, and likely to remain 
a long time with a certain class, that the only true sup- 
port of morality is afforded by theology. This belief 
has plausibility for the masses because a portion of 
man's toilsomely acquired knowledge has been embodied 
in, or connected with theological dogmas. What man 
has discovered in himself he has contemplated in God. 
The elementary facts of anthropology, long before they 
were systematized in a real science, were made the basis 
of the pseudo-science of theology, the assumptions of 
which stand out prominently in the history of the race; 
while the unrecorded thoughts, hopes, fears and aspira- 
tions of the people out of which grew these dogmas, are 
little considered or entirely disregarded. 

Conduct, influenced far less by theological beliefs 
than is commonly supposed, is determined by character, 
— the product of factors furnished by the countless mil- 
lions who have lived and died, — and by surroundings 
which are continually modifying character. Every ob- 
servation, discovery and invention, and every act in the 
life of man that has helped him to understand his rela- 
tions, to enlarge his powers, to improve his physical 
condition, have contributed to the moral progress of the 
race. 

With multiplied relations and increased complexity ot 
social life, man is placed in a greater variety of positions 
and subject to far greater moral strain. The existence, 
therefore, in civilized society of a multitude of evils 
unknown to barbarians, is an unavoidable incident in 
the evolution of institutions and the growth of industrial 
pursuits that distinguish civilized from savage life. Ac- 
cording to statistics, Protestant districts in Germany 
exhibit more fraud than Catholic districts; and the rea- 
son of this, evidently, is that more business is done in 
the former than in the latter. In Catholic districts the 



*56 



THE OPEN COURT. 



■*xcess is in acts of violence, because in those districts 
.are more ignorance and poverty. 

The more complex become man's relations, the 
greater the necessitv and the greater the power of resist- 
ing temptation and yielding to the discipline of personal 
sacrifice for the general good. The moral sense, too, is 
strengthened, and the power of the will in restraining 
the selfish propensities and in making conduct conform 
to the conceptions of duty is augmented. The more 
man knows of science, the more clearly must he see and 
the more fully must he realize that morality is supreme 
over everything else, because upon its embodiment in 
■character and conduct depends, more than upon any- 
thing else, the well-being of the race. 



"AN UNCONVERTED HEATHEN.' 
It was with heartfelt regret that we read a few days 
.-ago of the death on the 25th of February, at Poona, 
India, of Dr. Anandabia Joshee, her death occurring 
less than a year after her successful graduation as an 
IM. D. from the Women's Medical College of Philadel- 
phia, where she had taken a three years' course of 
study. 

One afternoon in May last, we waited in the receiv- 
ing room of the New England Women's Hospital, at 
Boston, Mass., with a little flutter of admiring curiosity 
the coming of Dr. Joshee, for we had never met a 
Hindu woman and the known facts of this woman's 
life were sufficient to awaken admiration; fur only a 
brave, self-sacrificing and independent soul could have 
left as she had, husband, home, kindred and native land, 
to dwell among those of a different race, color, language, 
nation and faith, in a strange Ian J and an uncongenial 
clime for the purpose of becoming better fitted to 
elevate intellectually and alleviate physically the condi- 
tion of the women of her own race — and she so young 
— and a woman ! 

This feeling of admiration was deepened when there 
presently entered a graceful, child-like creature, the 
lustrous eyes of whose dark grave face sought those of 
her visitor in quiet scrutiny. The occasion of the call 
-was to invite her in behalf of the Free Religious Asso- 
ciation to explain her mission and the need of it at the 
<coming anniversary of the Association. The little 
lady's tone and manner were wondrouslv self-possessed 
;and dignified as she replied in the purest English that 
her duties at the hospital were such as to keep her con- 
stantly employed from six in the morning until nine in 
ithe evening; that she was anxious to learn as much as 
possible in the three months she intended to remain in 
the hospital before returning to India, and as the day on 
-which the anniversary of the F. R. A. was to be held, 
was "operating day" it would be impossible for her to 
attend, even, any of the meetings, much less prepare an 
address in addition to her other duties. Her quiet 



acceptance of what she considered to be her duty in the 
matter was superb. When the evening came on which 
she had been asked to speak, she was not present at the 
meeting, but her husband, Gopal Vinayak Joshee, who 
had recently followed his young wife to this country, 
gave an address, afterward published in the proceedings 
of the convention. 

A month or so later, Dr. Toshee despite her anxiety 
to finish her experimental three months' course at the 
New England Women's Hospital, was obliged through 
over-exhaustion to give up her work there. One even- 
ing in June, at the home of the editors of this paper? 
she, with her husband, met a few congenial friends. 

That evening we know is still cherished in the 
memory of the others who were present, for it brought 
them into nearer relations with, and clearer understand- 
ing of Oriental humanity than the reading of many 
books on the subject could have done. A uniquely for- 
eign and dainty looking pair they appeared, both dressed 
in very becoming native costume. She wore no bonnet, 
but instead a fawn-colored wrap enveloped her finely 
shaped head and gracefully draped her shoulders; this 
was removed on entering. Her robe of some fine dark 
woolen material was edged to the depth of several 
inches with gold-colored embroidery, and, in spite of its 
flowing drapery at one arm, fitted nicely her plump 
-petite form ; gold bracelets adorned her wrists. The 
dark face was round, with full lips, handsomely shaped 
brow, broad and intellectual looking; between the eye- 
brows a small tattooed mark, somewhat in shape like a 
cross, appeared. The eyes were beautiful and expressive, 
large, black, softly shining, as capable of smiles as of 
tears, but with a strangely pathetic look in them as if 
through them ages of unappreciated womanhood 
appealed for justice to the nineteenth century. The 
prevailing expression of Dr. Joshee's face was grave, 
dignified, almost sad, but the rare smile which marked 
her appreciation of the ludicrous was charmingly bright 
and girlish. The talk drifted during the evening into 
channels which in spite of her modestly diffident man- 
ner, drew out her opinions. Reference was made to the 
impression received by Christian Sabbath-school scholars 
from missionary reports as to '-heathen darkness" and 
the sacrifice of human life to Juggernaut, and the cast- 
ing of babes into the Ganges by their mothers. These 
stories the Joshee's claimed to be exaggerations of the 
missionaries. The car of Juggernaut being an immense 
structure, some thirty feet in height and proportionately 
heavy, used to be brought out once a year for holy pro- 
cession. It was esteemed a sacred privilege to assist in 
drawing the car, thousands gathered from far and near, 
the country was hilly, sometimes the car would slip and 
other accidents would occur by which life was lost; and 
these accidents were exaggerated by the missionaries into 
wilful sacrifice. The mothers who threw their babes 



THE OPEN COURT. 



: 57 



into the Ganges were often driven thereto by poverty 
which threatened starvation to both, while salvation for 
the souls of the little ones was hoped to be secured bv 
drowning in the sacred stream. Dr. Joshee said that 
during her medical experience as a student in Philadel- 
phia a large number of new-born infants, found dead 
with marks of having been killed at birth, or who had 
<hed by reason of the desertion of their presumably 
unmarried mothers, were secured as "subjects" for the 
■dissecting room, and she might as well on her return to 
India relate this fact and claim that it was the custom of 
mothers in America to kill or desert their new-born 
babes, and adduce this as a result of Christian belief. 

In a discussion, introduced by Mr. Joshee, of the right 
of men to kill and eat animals, one of our party in 
defense suggested that inherited appetites might necessi- 
tate the continuance of a practice revolting to our sense 
■of justice, since our bodies had been built up of such 
material, adding also that a climate differing from India 
might require more stimulating food; to which Dr. 
Joshee replied that she had lived for over three years in 
America without once tasting of animal food and with- 
out feeling any need of any food different from that she 
had been accustomed to in India. 

She was asked, as one who was herself familiar with 
the Sanscrit Scriptures, if Edwin Arnold's Indian 
poems were true to the originals in spirit and meaning, 
or were the beauty of diction and lofty morality found 
in them due to Arnold's own ideality and exuberance of 
poetic imagination? She said that though he had 
changed the form by putting the translations into verse, 
yet that his poems were mainly true to the originals, and 
he had not idealized or exaggerated, but on the contrary 
had sometimes failed to catch the subtle spiritual mean- 
ing of the ancient writings. 

She spoke sensibly of "Christian Science" theories, 
had taken several lessons therein and told how she saw 
on what natural basis those theories could be explained. 
Spoke of her investigations in phrenology and how she 
iound in her medical studies, especially in dissecting 
the brain, reasons for disbelief of some of the claims 
made bv enthusiastic believers in phrenology as a 
science. 

Her acquaintance with American and English 
scientists, writers and others of note, was something 
phenomenal. This was evinced in looking over a col- 
lection of photographs of a large number of these. As 
each picture was looked at, she showed by a few appre- 
ciative words, her acquaintance with the field of work 
of the original. "She is simply wonderful!" exclaimed 
one lady of the party, as she listened to her, and this 
opinion was echoed in a note sent the writer from another 
ladv who accompanied the Joshee's a short distance on 
their homeward route that evening. 

But she is dead! — that sweet intellectual soul, that 



large-brained, self-forgetful womanly creature! — dead* 
at twenty-three, she who had sacrificed so much to gain 
so little; dead at the threshold of her work for which 
she was so well equipped. She had just been appointed 
Resident Physician of the great Albert Edward Hos- 
pital of Kohlapur in Bombay. " It was generally 
recognized" says the Philadelphia Ledger^ in noting 
her death "that her return to her native land was the 
opening of a great and new era for women in India." 
■ Yet this rare sweet spirit was still "an unconverted 
heathen," and as such Andover Theology bars her 
sternly out of its circumscribed little heaven, and com- 
monplace English men and women considered them- 
selves her superiors, and refused to associate on equal 
terms with her on her homeward voyage ! We sym- 
pathized sincerely with her loyal husband's indignation 
as expressed in a letter on that subject, published in one 
of the last numbers of The Index. s. a. v. 



M. Albert Reville, who fills the chair of the History 
of Religions at the College de France, Paris, in writing 
us that we may expect a contribution from his pen on 
the "Future of Protestantism in France," says: "I 
have received the copy of The Open Court that you 
were kind enough to send me. To say that all that I have 
read in it pleases me entirely would be an exaggeration. 
Although an outspoken advocate of religious progress 
that is positive and not a salvo morale that vanishes into 
thin air, I look upon agnosticism only as a starting point 
analogous to Descartes' philosophic doubt and not as a 
goal. I consider those who get ensnared in it to be the 
promoters of religious stagnation because the fear of 
nothingness will always keep the majority of mankind 
in the camp of those who affirm something however 
irrational these affirmations may be. In a word, I 
should like to see, by the Protestant method, the evolu- 
tion principle supplant, as a principle of religious prog- 
ress, that of revolution ; in other terms, I prefer to 
continue, to enlarge, to rectify and to purify the liberal 
tendency that has already set in, rather than have 
recourse to those violent changes which may have been 
necessary in the past but which cannot be justified, 
philosophically, at the present time." 
* * * 

In an article entitled "A Friend of God," in the 
Nitieteenth Cetitury for April, Matthew Arnold shows 
how the gradual decadence of mythology in religion 
has been accomplished by the process of intellectual 
development. Heretofore, a mythological element was 
absolutely essential to the existence of a religion. The 
great mass of men were only satisfied with a faith which 
excited the imagination, and through it developed the 
feelings of wonder and awe and a sense of responsibility 
to an unseen Deity. The Salvation Army, the Metho- 
dists, and some other primitive sects, are the still exist- 



'58 



THE OPEN COURT. 



ing representatives of that type of faith. " The epoch- 
making chance of our own day " is that we are reaching 
a place where religion can rest on no mythological basis 
whatever, whether moral or immoral. The "gross 
mob" of men have shown hostility toward religion, and 
evidences of that feeling are all too common now, but 
along with an enmity against any discipline to uplift and 
ennoble, there is developing a feeling of impatience and 
wrath at what they look upon as the trifling of those 
who offer them, in their great need, the old mytholog- 
ical faith, — a thing impossible of acceptance and passing 
away, if not quite passed; "incapable of either solving 
the present or founding the future." 

Incongruities and anomalies seem to be inevitable in 
intellectual, social, moral and religious evolution. Old 
conceptions, creeds and forms partially outgrown, per- 
sist through periods in which the newer thought and the 
movements in the line of progress are yet incomplete, 
unsystematized and unco-ordinated with the established 
order of things, causing temporarily imperfect adjust- 
ments and all sorts of inconsistencies in beliefs and hab- 
its, in ceremonies, customs and institutions. The more 
rapid the changes the greater the disturbance and more 
marked the inconsistencies. One of the characteristics 
of all religious transitions is more or less moral disturb- 
ance. Doubt concerning theological doctrines long 
believed to be the only foundation of ethics must, in 
many minds involve a weakening of moral restraints. 
Of this, illustrations are afforded by the Reformation, 
especially in its earliest period, when the lives of multi- 
tudes of adherents of the new movement furnished its 
opponents with a most effective argument against it. 
The evil became less only as a readjustment of ethical 
ideas to the changed religious belief gradually took place. 
These facts it is important that liberals thoroughly under- 
stand that they may see the necessity of teaching ethics 
on a firm basis, of familiarizing the people with the 
moral side of their philosophy, and of replacing super- 
stition with the truths of nature. Meanwhile, let all 
who would fairly judge a theory or a system by its moral 
results give it time to overcome the disturbance 
produced by contact with old-established errors which 
have been made the basis of moral teaching; and let all 
who may be discouraged by the imperfections of indi- 
viduals identified with any reform, find consolation in 
the study of the great reforms now popularly known 
only by their beneficent results. 

# * * 

Mr. J. B. Harrison, whose volume on '■'•Certain Dan- 
gerous Tendencies of American Life'''' was one of the 
most serious studies of social and industrial conditions 
yet produced in this country, is doing valuable service 
as a representative of the Indian Rights Association, 
formed recently, with headquarters at Philadelphia. 



He has visited during the past year all the principal In- 
dian reservations, noted everything bearing on the 
schools, farming, home-life, and missionary work in 
their midst, also the actual administration of affairs by 
government agents, and has embodied the result in a 
little volume entitled, The Latest Studies on Indian 
Reservations. This is no "moralizing" or waste of 
sentiment, nor is it a colorless statistical report; it is em- 
phatically a readable book, full of incidents and photo- 
graphic pictures, and is invaluable for anyone who 
wants the actual facts of the Indian question. The As- 
sociation has already published other important litera- 
ture; it is all sent free to members paying $2.00 a year 
(office, 1,316 Filbert street, Philadelphia). Those who 
would help in remedying a great national wrong can- 
not do better than by aiding the association. 

Mr. Cable, the widely-known novelist, having settled 
in Northampton, Mass., has begun a Sunday Bible-class 
in the opera house of that town. Those who remember 
what an evident moral purpose runs through Dr. 
Sevier, and yet recall how free that brilliant novel is 
from the heaviness and triteness of the ordinary " good 
book," will not be surprised to learn that Mr. Cable's 
class is very popular, both with the people and the press. 
His treatment of the Bible follows the way of many 
modern literary minds, a way best exemplified in Mat- 
thew Arnold's religious works, and in J. R. Seeley's 
Natural Religion. As instance of this may be cited 
Mr. Cable's reply to a question whether Moses didn't 
write the story of Joseph, and if it wasn't written a 
thousand years after the incidents took place. " I don't 
know, and I don't care," said Mr. Cable, promptly and 
emphatically, " these questions of authorship are not 
supreme ones, and the Bible should be studied on its 
merits. For one, I rather enjoy its anonymous charac- 
ter, think it has a tendency to stimulate one's spirituality, 
and prefer to know what is written than by whom." 
* # # 

The policy of the Roman Catholic church was never 
more plainly evidenced than in its relation to Dr. Mc- 
Glynn and the Knights of Labor movement. The stern 
command to refrain from appearing in public as the 
champion of that movement and of the theories of 
Henry George, was not disregarded by him without the 
inevitable consequences. He was suspended and ordered 
to Rome, but when he refused to obey that order and 
continued to plead in the interests of labor his supe- 
riors after a momentary outburst of wrath, quieted down 
and took into consideration the conditions with which 
they had to contend. It was seen that a large number 
of Catholics were included in the Knights of Labor 
organization, and that an attempt to force Dr. McGlynn 
to obey might make clear to their eyes the true charac- 
ter of the church and its opposition to anything like 



the: open court. 



J 59 



individual freedom. A less aggressive policy was 
adopted. The Knights of Labor were indorsed and 
their purpose sanctioned. 

In an article entitled "A Glimpse of Russia," by the 
Countess of Galloway, published in the Nineteenth 
Century for April, the attitude of the orthodox Greek 
church toward the different phases of modern religious 
thought is briefly' touched upon. There is little effort 
on the part of the church to meet the perplexing ques- 
tions that are constantly rising and demanding examina- 
tion, and attempts at control of the general mind are 
slight and soon given up. Correct performance of the 
duties which the discipline requires constitute all that is 
demanded in fulfillment of religious obligations. There 
is a tale of a conscientious agnostic who, when com- 
pelled to go before the priest for confession, commenced 
by saying: " Mon pcre, je doute detent" (My father, I 
question everything). His confessor treated this state- 
ment with complete indifference, and commanded him 
to make his confession without troubling his conscience 
on that matter. 

The Popular Science Monthly for April reprints an 
article from the Saturday Review on " Rustic Super- 
stition." In the rural districts of England beliefs and 
practices are still retained that were prevalent when the 
"black un" was believed to take possession of and bewitch 
whatsoever worthy and peaceful individual he would, and 
when the meeting of a black cat at certain unfavorable 
hours of the day or night, was thought to portend con- 
sequences of a very unpleasant character. Soothsayers 
and wizards still exist and the credulous public is willing 
to part with its half-crowns in return for " the future 
unveiled," or charms and incantations to drive away 
whatsoever ailments the flesh is heir to. Any myste- 
rious happening in an out of the way locality or deserted 
house, is referred by the knowing ones to '■Summat," 
which distinguished individual, though never seen, is 
universally respected and propitiated. As superstition 
is inevitable where ignorance reigns supreme, it is not 
hard to understand that the most efficient remedy is 
compulsory education. 

* * * 

In " Confessions of a Quaker " in The Forum 
for April, the author, after dwelling upon the changes 
which his church has undergone since 16^0, the date 
of its origin, concludes with the statement " There must 
be a full return to the original basis of the Church of 
Christ, and entire consecration to its living Head, in the- 
ology, polity, experience and work, and the only true 
model for this is found in the New Testament Scriptures." 
It would seem incredible if it were not known to be true, 
that there are men who calmly make such statements as 
this, being apparently ignorant of the Middle Age flavor 



which the teachings that they seek to resuscitate have 
acquired. The Quakers of to-day are not so blind to 
the truth that they can forget and put aside the intel- 
lectual plane upon which the world now moves, and 
return to those primitive conditions and forms of belief 
which were characteristic of them in their incipiency. 

Mr. Joseph Shippen, in his tine tribute before the 
Chicago Channing Club to the character of the late Dr. 
William G. Eliot, said: 

At the opening of the great St. Louis bridge, its eminent engi- 
neer predicted that, constructed of parts that could be replaced at 
any time without interruption of travel, it would last as long as 
required by the wants of man, and declared that, with capital 
enough, he could have made it of one arch instead of three. The 
life and character we have been considering was a single arch of 
fidelity and consecration. Believing in the imperishability of 
great examples, we believe the influence of our departed friend 
on the minds and hearts of men, inspiring them to liberty, holi- 
ness and love, will be immortal. 

The fact that the Free Religious Association, organ- 
ized primarily for the study and discussion of religious 
subjects, has not gone into the business of general prac- 
tical reform is no good reason for Mr. Garrison's 
complaint against "free religion." Individually, and 
in connection with other organizations the free religious 
people probably do their share of philanthrophic work. 
Many of them are prominent leaders of reform move- 
ments. "Free Religion" is an indefinite phrase, since 
the F. R. A. has no religious creed and is composed of 
Christians and non-Christians, Theists, Agnostics, Posi- 
tists, Hebrews and Buddhists. How far they are agreed 
as to free trade, prohibition, etc., we are unable to say; 
but the fact that they differ on these and other subjects 
which are now before the people for discussion and 
action, is no valid argument against any religious belief 
found in the Association. 

Any subscriber of The Open Court who fails to 
receive his paper regularly is requested to communicate 
the fact to this office. 



PRO CONFESSO. 

BY GEORGE WENTZ. 

Whoso writes delightful story, 
True and touching, (nil of lore, 

Shall in human nature's longing 
Hold a place for evermore. 

All the docks and mossy harbors, 

Where the sea-ships come and go, 

Still rehearse that spell and pleasing 
Of the pages of Defoe. 

Eldor..do? — still we wonder 

Can there any Island lie 
In the west of life's attaining, 

Where our prime might never die? 

Still in secret depths of feeling 

We escape Time's onward span; 

For the youth's remote transfusion 
Stirs the pulses of the man. 



i6o 



THE OPEN COURT. 



COPE'S THEOLOGY OF EVOLUTION.* 

BY EDMUND MONTGOMERY. 
Part I. 

Knowledge and not agnosticism is the veritable goal 
of science — conviction, ample and entire, the natural 
craving of the human heart. It is well enough to have 
no settled mind regarding the origin and final doom of 
all creation. But it can be neither satisfactory nor bene- 
ficial to maintain an agnostic attitude towards the great 
practical issues of human existence. Here on this 
planet we find ourselves, launched on a precarious voy- 
age, freighted with all the weath of world-responsive 
life. This transcendent heritage, of which we are the 
entrusted bearers, how are we rightfully to dispose of 
it? No other question is so supremely urgent. We 
desire an unambiguous answer. 

Is the gathered treasure of life to be used among the 
needy insufficiencies of this nether sphere, to become 
through fruitful investment the enhanced patrimony of 
our human issue? Or has it to be jealously conserved, 
hereafter to adorn our own presence, where celestial 
affluence shall smile at earthly wants? 

Are we actually what we seem, genuine planetary 
beings, in our right place here below? Or have we 
merely got here by some mysterious blunder elsewhere 
committed, and are, in truth, metamorphosed denizens 
from another region, only for a time of penance 
entangled in this mortal coil? 

The immensely laborious uplifting of life, conse- 
crated by the suffering and death of countless genera- 
tions; the passionate wrestling for the well-being of 
our kind, for the victory of our social aspiration; are its 
tragic adjuncts grounded, of necessity, in the defective 
but perfectible nature of things? Are we, indeed 
engaged in a solemn life and death struggle, decisive for 
human existence? Or are we only puppets in organic 
form, handled from above, and made to enact here a 
troublous scene of seeming joys and sorrows, valid in 
itself for nothing, save the delectation of a self-sufficient 
outsider, who keeps it all going for his own good 
pleasure? 

These arc the vital questions we are yearning to 
have definitely solved. Theologians, philosophers, 
scientist 1 -, in their inmost heart, know quite well that 
there can be no compromise between the two views. 
Sometimes with sincere directness and single-hearted love 
of truth, oftener with much twisting and time-serving 
circumspection, they are, from their different standpoints, 
either seeking for more positive assurance, or already 
inculcating the one or the other opinion. Our time is 
ripe for clear judgment and definite choice. To occupy 
one's self earnestly with the present state of the problem, 



* Theology oj Evolution: A lecture by E. D. Cope, Ph.D. Philadelphia, 



and keep, nevertheless, one's mind and inclination sus- 
pended between the two incompatible views, betokens 
over-subtle skepticism or faint-hearted indecision. 

Doubt paralyzes action. Obedience to duty presup- 
poses settled faith in a guiding principle. And sane 
enthusiasm for a cause is only kindled through firmly- 
established conviction of its absolute justice and 
supreme import. It is not by doubt that humanity can 
ever prosper. Only through dutiful compliance with 
sound guidance, and through sane enthusiasm for a just 
cause can we ever hope to scale loftier heights of civil- 
ization. 

What guiding-principle, what cause shall it then be? 
Not to follow the senseless lead of fatuous lights in this- 
all-important quest, we have, first of all, to know for 
certain, whether this manifest universe is our real home, 
or whether we belong by rights to an entirely different 
order of existence? Are we to fight this battle of life 
under the banner of world-deliverance or under that of 
world-fulfillment? Is it to be the religion of life here- 
after or the religion of actual living? celestial or terres- 
tial ethics? We have to decide. 

How manageably compact was the conception of 
the world, and our place in it, a few hundred years ago. 
To Luther, who freed us from the tyrannous imposi- 
tions of an insolently artificial and lethargic creed, the 
whole creation seemed one continuous battle-field, where 
the great antagonistic powers, God and the Devil, were 
contending for human souls, over which the Evil One 
had stolen a fatal advantage. All good things came 
from God; all bad things from the Devil. The teach- 
ing of the Bible, as interpreted by Dr. Martin Luther, 
the chosen vessel of the Lord, was supreme and infalli- 
ble truth. Its sincere believers were God's only chil- 
dren, whom he would save. All others, the adherents 
of the Pope and Mahomet, the Jews and the Gentiles,, 
and savages of all sorts, were partisans of the Devil 
and lost. Despite God's merciful efforts to rescue man- 
kind by the sacrifice of his only son and the gift of his 
holy word, Satan had evidently gained almost complete 
sway in this wicked world. But soon, very soon, God 
was going to confound the Arch Fiend by putting a sud- 
den and violent end to this huge mass of human deprav- 
ity and perversity; and then all will turn out well for 
those who have kept the true faith; but woe unto then"* 
who have gone astray. 

In such closely-pressed and spirit-haunted Aceldama,, 
with child-like faith, the great Luther lived and died,, 
and wrought the mighty reformation, whose liberating 
power was man's conscientious self-discernment of truth. 

Standing inflexibly firm on thy narrow ground with 
deeply sincere and fervid heart, thou hast fought mar- 
vellously well thy life-long battle against hierarchaL 
frauds and shams, thou sturdy champion of righteous- 
ness. Monastically bewildered at the overpowering; 



THE OPEN COURT. 



i6r 



promptings of human emotions and aspirations, it was 
not in mere outward observances and penances that thy 
honest soul could rind absolution for this abysmal feud, 
raging within thee between thy nature-moulded self, 
and the world-alienating will of thy Christian God. 
Peace could come to thee in so superhuman a strife, 
only by leaning with the trustful unconcern of implicit 
faith on an all-reconciling Savior. 

How changed that categorically methodized world 
of thine since thou left it! Thou wouldst not know it 
again. A whole succession of Muenzers, Zwinglis, 
Agricolas and of ever so many other new kinds of 
cursed innovators have recklessly burst in all directions 
through thy biblically-compassed scheme of life, sacri- 
legiously overthrowin ; its seraphic and satanic super- 
structure, and threatening with total dissolution all its 
traditional assumptions. 

So it has come about that in these last two centuries 
'of unchecked reformation theologians and philosophers 
have been forced to discuss exhaustively the various 
proofs from time to time advanced in rational support of 
the current faith in the existence of an omnipotent Cre- 
ator and in the immortality of the human soul. And 
those who have given the greatest attention to these 
transcendent problems know best to what extremities 
reason is here driven, and on what slender threads it has 
at last to fasten the theological faith. Its most efficient 
arguments, — that from design, and that from the fixed 
order of nature and its intelligibility, — even these strong- 
holds ot natural theology do not hold out when closely 
besieged. The nature of the designing and ordering 
power, and the process by which the results are attained, 
remain utterly inscrutable, however much reason may 
strive to gain some insight into it. And the most care- 
ful scientific scrutiny has failed as yet to detect any room 
for supernatural interference with the intrinsic ways and 
means of nature. 

If, among Professor Cope's audience at Philadelphia, 
there were such who had realized the distance which 
reason and science have thus placed between our natural 
understanding and the objects of theological faith, they 
must have felt eager, indeed, to learn from an eminent 
scientist what "absolute proposition with certain demon- 
stration " had been discovered to attest, — contrary to 
Job's assertion, — that God has at last been found out by 
searching, and that we may hope for immortality on a 
"sound and solid" scientific basis. 

Should it really prove possible scientifically to dem- 
onstrate with absolutely certainty that a supreme and 
eternal Mind is ordering creation, and is the "common 
source" from which our "lesser minds" are derived, 
then all theological doubt will at once vanish from among 
us, our proper course in life will have become positively 
determined, and we shall soon get to regulate all our 
doings in accordance with such incontestable scientific 
certainty. 



When an investigator of nature has, by means of his- 
special studies, become convinced of a great truth whose? 
general acceptance would be all-important, it certainly 
devolves upon him as a social duty to proclaim and ex- 
plain it to the world at large, that all may profit by it. 
We are, therefore, truly thankful to Professor Cope that 
he has not, with pedantic exclusiveness, withheld from 
the common herd the theological view of evolution 
which his biological studies have forced upon him. lie 
rightly scorns to imitate the haughty reserve of " the- 
majority of scientific men " who " avoid the subject," 
and thereby increase our perplexity. With laudable- 
fellow-feeling he lays his theory frankly before us as a- 
scientifically grounded conclusion, to be carefully tested, 
as such in keeping with scientific usage, so that, after" 
due trial, it may finally stand verified as truth or be re- 
jected as error. Professor Cope is well aware of the- 
" inherent difficulties of the subject," but he believes- 
that his researches into the nature of evolution have 
opened the way to overcome them. Let us then take ai 
general survey of his conception as a whole, and them 
examine its scientific grounding. 

Professor Cope's conclusions tend to show that the- 
universe consisted primordiallv of an unorganized or" 
" unspecialized " material substratum spread out in space.. 
This uniform matter did not undergo evolutional chansres- 
solely by dint of its physical properties; nor did it merely 
serve as raw material to be shaped by a supreme Artificer y. 
nor has it played the passive part of an occasional vehi- 
cle for the manifestations of an otherwise independent: 
mind. It was itself, from the very beginning, in; 
possession of mentality. Mind was one of its own.' 
properties. For mind "is tied to matter as a property- 
of matter " (p. 16-17). Now, it is this peculiar mental 
property of the universal substratum that has power 
to give specific direction to its movements. The mind 
of matter is its veritable formative power. Probably 
all material aggregation and combination, but certainly 
all evolutional organization is due to the " directive- 
power of mind." " Mind was one at the start, and all 
this evolution has been simply due to the active exercise - 
of mentality" (p. 23). 

It follows that the one universal mind of primordial 
matter, which by its exertion has produced all the evo- 
lutional forms now extant, must be vastly superior to the- 
separate minds derived by the individuation of special 
portions of matter. Therefore, this common source and 
origin of all world-formation may well be called God., 
or the " great Mind." And this great Mind being as 
indestructible as the material substratum of which it 
is a property, we, as part of it, by force of "the insep- 
arable bond which will bind us forever to a material 
basis" (p. 17) are likewise indestructible or Immortal. 

These, in a few words, are the leading doctrines of" 
the Theology of Evolution. And this theology oft" 



i6i 



THE OPEN COURT. 



evolution was courageously propounded by Professor 
Cope to a specifically Christian denomination. We 
hope that, however serious our eminent scientist may 
otherwise be, he possessed on that occasion sufficient 
humor inwardly to enjoy the consternation which his 
candid announcement of a supreme Being, who is one 
of the properties of matter, was sure to create among 
his intelligent theological hearers. The situation must 
have been extremely piquant. 

Professor Cope, being a true scientist, has of course 
arrived at his theological conclusions by way of induc- 
tion. The evidence by which he sustains the belief in 
a "great Mind" and in a "future life" he alleges to be 
" based on the knowledge that we possess of the control 
of mind over matter" (p. 39). Now, if Professor Cope 
really possesses such knowledge, — if he can prove that 
mind controls matter, — he has solved the central prob- 
lem of modern philosophy. 

We are all perfectly aware that our muscles are not 
moved by the push or pull of any force acting upon our 
body from outside. We know that it is by a process 
occurring within our organism that these aim-directed 
or designed muscular movements are effected. But what 
the true nature of this most peculiar moving process 
reallv is, that is not so easily made out. It is, in fact 
the very question that has been called " the puzzle of 
puzzles." And since Descartes it has occupied all the 
greatest philosophical minds, — nay, St. Augustine 
already says: "The manner in which spirits are con- 
nected with bodies is incomprehensible; nevertheless, it 
is thus that man is constituted." 

Introspectively we seem to feel quite certain that it is 
by force of some mental power of ours that we are 
moving our limbs. We seem to control, through con- 
sciousness, by means of an outgoing mental effort, the 
action of what, in consequence, we call our voluntary 
muscles. We resolve to move our arm, have a feeling 
of effort, and, behold! the arm is moving. This is how 
the process appears when viewed from the inner or sub- 
jective standpoint. 

But as soon as we investigate the matter from the 
outer or objective standpoint, which is the standpoint of 
science, we lose all confidence in the testimony of our 
introspective consciousness. The feeling of effort proves 
then to be centripetally and not centrifugallv originated. 
And it becomes, moreover, utterly incomprehensible how 
mind can in any way impart motion to material particles. 
Yet this incomprehensible feat would have to be accom- 
plished even if only direction has to be given to what- 
ever motion the particles may otherwise possess; for to 
give direction to a moving mass is to impart diverting 
motion to it. In this world of ours only matter is mova- 
ble and possesses momentum. Only something which 
is itself movable, and in possession of momentum, can 
possibly impart motion to matter. Mind, as such, is not 



movable, and does not possess momentum; therefore, it 
cannot move matter (q. e. d.). 

Let us see how Professor Cope encounters these 
ancient difficulties, and gets to believe that he has over- 
come them. He conceives the situation thus: " A stim- 
ulus or line of disturbance enters the body." The per- 
son receives it passively. " It is registered in the poste- 
rior part of the main hemispheres of the brain, is 
reflected to the front of the hemispheres, and then from 
that point it is reflected back again toward the executive 
organs of the body, passing through the striate body and 
nerves to the muscles, which thereupon contract so as to 
perform some act" (p. 12). This act is now found to be 
"saturated with intelligence" (p. 13). Whence this 
acquired exhibition of intelligent design? How has the 
motion that entered the body merely as a physical motion 
been converted into an outgoing motion bearing the 
stamp of intelligence? 

Professor Cope accounts for it by telling us that " in 
the anterior part of the great hemispheres of the brain " 
"the line of energy appears to be submitted to a disturb- 
ance which is a deflection, a process of turning and 
directing, and that turning and directing is an exhibi- 
tion of what is called design" (p. 13). 

It is quite true that to an intelligent observer the 
designed activities of a person appear " saturated with 
intelligence." This is an incontestable and marvelous 
fact of nature. The difficulty is to explain it from a 
scientific standpoint. The relation of motion to intelli- 
gence is the enigma in question, and we venture to assert 
that Professor Cope cannot possibly solve it from his 
position of " tridimensional realism." Moving matter 
obeys undeviatingly physical laws, and mind cannot 
deflect it from its determined course. How little the 
outgoing movements of the living organism are really 
themselves intellectual, — how purely physical, on the 
contrary, even the most significant of them are, — 
becomes very obvious in contemplating human speech. 
What movements could be more "saturated with intelli- 
gence " than those which are capable of conveying our 
inmost thoughts? Vet a piece of tin-foil in a phono- 
graph, by means of nothing but mechanical impressions, 
will have the same intellectual effect on us as the move- 
ments of speech that have received " in the anterior part 
of the great hemispheres" the "turning and directing" 
twist of design. Where, then, in all reality, i-. the intel- 
ligence seated which these purely physical movements 
seem to possess? The sounding, — nay-, the merely 
vibrating shocks of the phonograph, the printed charac- 
ters in a book, where do they acquire their mental sig- 
nificance? They strike our sensory organs simply as 
physical stimuli, and it is evidently we who, in receiving 
them, invest with a whole world of consistent meaning 
their slight and evanescent hints. 

Is Professor Cope right, then, in assuming that, when 



THE OPEN COURT. 



163 



the stimulating effect " goes in, the person who receives 
it has nothing whatever to do with it;"' that he merely 
" takes it " and " is passive " (p. 1 3) ? Here, already, at the 
portals of individual life, the stimulating call of outward 
nature rouses from the mystic depths of organic latency 
the responsive mind ; and on the slender suggestion of 
nothing but a rhythm of aerial touches it pictures with 
symbolic accuracy and profound comprehension the 
great spectacle of the real world. It is quite evident, 
then, that the organic individual does not "take" the 
stimulating influences passively, without having anything 
" whatever to do with them." They do not enter the 
magic circle of life without suffering a vital transmuta- 
tion as incomprehensibly strange as any in nature. If a 
directing turn or intelligent significance is at all imparted 
to motions within the living organism, surely here, 
where etherial pulses signify the whole world, this men- 
tal stamp is impressed on them even more strikingly 
than when, as in outgoing muscular movements, they 
mean only our own feelings and thoughts. 

In harmony with Professor Cope's train of reason- 
ing, this consideration involves that all stimulating influ- 
ences which reach our sensory organs are " saturated 
with intelligence." And if so, his theory of perception 
would nearly agree with that of Berkeley's: universal 
intelligence communicating perceptively with individual 
intelligence. Only he also would then be logically led 
to discover that in this light matter is only a superfluous 
impediment easily argued away. To his own astonish- 
ment he would learn to " understand the idealistic uni- 
verse," which he now believes himself unable to conceive. 

The truth is mind, as such, is a forceless inner aware- 
ness of what takes place independently of it. It cannot 
alter a jot the path of material particles. The entire 
chain of molecular motions set going by stimulation, — 
a process which can be realized only from the objective 
standpoint, — is rigorously physical. This means, accord- 
ing to our present scientific conception, that it is abso- 
lutely predetermined by the previous physical disposi- 
tion of the molecules and their motion. Consequently, 
there can be no room anywhere for mental interference; 
fundamental scientific principles forbid us to assume it. 

During physical investigation we are observing an 
enchainment of phenomena, whose disposition in space 
and behavior in time are absolutely determined by non- 
mental occurrences outside ourselves, and which we are 
utterly incapable of changing by any mental exertion on 
our part. We defy any one, idealist or no idealist, to 
change by a purely mental effort the objective aspect of 
any occurrence; for instance, the place or speed of a 
carriage passing by. The perception of it is entirely 
the perceiver's own mental realization; but it is, never- 
theless, definitely compelled by the stimulating influences. 
In exactly the same manner are all perceived or perceiv- 
able motions compelled by extra-mental processes; those 



taking place in the brain or in other parts of our body 
not less than the rest. 

To become mentally aware of extra-mental exist- 
ents ami their activities — aware, for instance, of the 
brain and its functions, we have to assume the objective 
attitude by allowing such existents and their activities to 
stimulate our senses. It is e\ ident, then, that the exist- 
ent and its activities thus casually realized in consciousness 
at that particular moment, exist independently of such 
realization, and cannot be influenced thereby. This 
holds good just as well when such existents and their 
activities are forming part of our own organism, as when 
they are forming part of the rest of the outside world. 
How, indeed, can my mind possibly influence the exist- 
ence and activity of my brain, of which it can gain 
knowledge only by assuming the objective aspect 
towards it, and of which it is otherwise wholly uncon- 
scious, being, in fact, itself its stimulated outcome. Who, 
during perception or thought, is at all aware of the cor- 
responding molecular motions simultaneously going on 
in his head? And how can consciousness then influ- 
ence the state of being of something, of whose existence 
it has not the remotest inkling? 

The only way out of this central dilemma of science 
and philosophy is to show that the leading principles of 
our present mechanical interpretation of nature are 
untenable; that the molecular processes constituting 
vital activity are hyper-mechanical, imparting them- 
selves the "directive turn" and specific energies to 
stimulation received from outside.* 

We will now try to find out by what special scien- 
tific error Professor Cope manages to insinuate mental 
effectuation into the physical nexus. In agreement 
with the principle of the conservation of energy he 
himself says: "Force, that is action or motion, cannot 
be caused except by the appropriation and modification 
of some pre-existent activity or motion" (p. 14). If so, 
then we must ask whether the direction, i. e. the changed 
motion, which Professor Cope attributes to the influ- 
ence of consciousness is caused by the appropriation of 
some motion that pre-existed in consciousness? Here 
evidently lies the error. Professor Cope has failed to 
realize that the imparting of direction to matter is as 
much a physical act as the imparting of any other mode 
of motion. It can be done only by a push or pull, or 
let us add by physical repulsion or attraction. Con- 
sciousness cannot possibly be a vehicle of pre-existino- 
motion, a thing possessing mechanical momemtum, and 
entering into the physical nexus as a correlated force, 
receiving and imparting physical energy. Yet Pro- 
fessor Cope says: " It is not only pretended, but proved, 
that that external energy passes into the consciousness of 

* This has been attempted by the present writer in a paper on "The Dual 
Aspect of our Nature." Index, October, November and December, 1SS5, 
where also the relation of the two aspects, the subjective and the objective is 
explained. 



164 



THE OPEN COURT. 



man," and " receives within him a stamp or a turn or 
direction, that energy cannot receive under an}' other cir- 
cumstances known to us" (p. 14). This means obviously 
and inevitably that consciousness gives direction to motion, 
which again means that consciousness, like any physical 
force, imparts to matter a motion different to that which it 
already possesses. That such mechanical intercommu- 
nication between consciousness and matter cannot possi- 
bly take place, Professor Cope fully realizes, for he 
clearly asserts, " that consciousness has essentially no 
affinity with anything else;" that it "is not only entirely 
distinct in its essential nature from matter, but also 
totally distinct from energy or motion" (pp. 16-1 7). Thus 
by his own admission it has no community of nature 
with anything physical, and is, therefore, totally inca- 
pable of influencing the physical nexus. 

Professor Cope's leading conception, on which he 
has not only erected his entire theological superstructure, 
but which he uses, moreover, as a fundamental princi- 
ple to account for organic evolution itself, consists in 
the assumption that consciousness can control the 
movements of matter. We will no longer inquire 
whether he is able to prove the validity of this assump- 
tion; for we have seen that this is altogether out of the 
question. We will only ask whether he has formed 
any kind of idea as to the manner in which such a con- 
trol of mind over matter might possibly take place. He 
himself puts the question: "What is, then, the imme- 
diate action of consciousness in directing energy into one 
channel rather than another?" [Origin of the Fittest, 
p. 427.) And, of course, as one would expect, he is 
utterly at a loss to answer. He distinctly perceives that 
consciousness " is not itself a force (= energy)." Con- 
sequently he expresses most emphatically its impotence 
to produce motion. He says: " How, then, can it exer- 
cise energy? Certainly no more than the bare good 
will of the train-hands can pull the train. Such an 
explanation is to admit the possibility of making some- 
thing out of nothing" (1. c). 

Yet the experience of so-called voluntary move- 
ments gives him a pretense, as it has done to so many 
before him, to assume some kind of effective connection 
between consciousness and the movements. Here, in 
his "Address on Catagenesis" delivered two and one-half 
years ago, he is, however, very candid in touching on 
this most delicate and eminently important subject. He 
is, by no means, conscious of having positive " knowl- 
edge " of this supposed influence of consciousness over 
material motion. On the contrary he acknowledges 
knowing nothing about it. All the information he has 
to give us concerning this distinctive feature of his theo- 
logical and evolutional theory, is contained in the follow- 
ing sentence: " The explanation can only be found in 
a simple acceptance of the fact as it is, in the thesis, that 
energy can be conscious. If true, this is an ultimate 



fact" (id., pp. 427-8)*. This means simply that Pro- 
fessor Cope is aware, like all of us, that consciousness 
accompanies some of our movements; but that he has 
no more than anj' of his philosophical or scientific fore- 
goers, the remotest notion how such consciousness can 
at all influence the motion of matter. 

To sum up: We have avowedly not the slightest 
" knowledge of the control of mind over matter." 
Quite the reverse. It has been proved that mind cannot 
possibly control matter. It if, however, solely on the 
pretended k?wivledge of such control that the " Theol- 
ogy of Evolution," with its belief in a "great Mind" 
and in a "future life" is based. This sole basis having 
crumbled to pieces, the entire superstructure has neces- 
sarily also caved in. The "lesser mind," of which 
alone we have experience, not being able to impart 
direction to matter, the "great Mind," the new scientific 
Deity, whose existence is only analogically surmised 
and analogically endowed with the pretended power of 
imparting direction to matter, has therewith irrecover- 
ably vanished into the same thin air as other theologi- 
cal speculations. 

THE FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SOCIETY 
FOR ETHICAL CULTURE OF CHICAGO. 

The fourth anniversary of The Society for Ethical 
Culture, of Chicago, was celebrated at the Madison 
Street Theatre, on Sunday, April jo. There were 
seated on the stage beside Mr. W. M. Salter, the lec- 
turer of the society, several of the leading members, 
who, after the regular lecture, were called upon by him 
to speak and responded each in a short address. The 
society has been steadily gaining ground both in the way 
of an increasing membership and in respect to finances. 
During the last year rooms have been taken by the 
society in which are held its monthly conferences, the 
ladies' charitable meetings, a class in ethics, the young 
people's social reunions, as well as an ethical school for 
children (Sunday mornings), which at this writing has 
an encouraging attendance. The anniversary meeting 
was well attended and great interest was manifested by 
those who listened to the remarks of the several speakers. 
We give below short extracts from some of the ad- 
dresses. 

Mr. Salter, dwelt at the outset upon the encouraging 
outlook, laying special stress upon the fact that a strong 
and abiding interest had been manifested in the work 
which the society had taken upon itself to do. He 
then said : 

The real sources of our inspiration are in what we have yet 
to do. The thought that stirs me most is that there is work to do 
in this community and we must do it. There are those out of 
sympathy intellectually with the churches and we must make a 

* In a recent note on the last page of his work on The Origin of the Fittest, 
1SS7, Professor Cope re-enforces this position. He says that the explanation of 
the control of mind over matter requires " the assumption of the thesis that 
1 energy can be conscious.' " 



THE OPEN COURT. 



165 



home for them. The liberal churches do not take our place. They 
are resting places for a day, but they do not satisfy. The type of 
religion represented in most ot our independent and liberal 
churches, is transitional religion. Logic conducts to them, but 
conducts bevond them. It is better to be in them than in any 
of our orthodox churches, but those only remain in them who 
think a little way and then stop. 

There is no reason for my leaving orthodoxy that does not 
lead to complete free-thought. We have to make not a resting 
place, but a home for men and women of liberal tendency; a fel- 
lowship with a spirit so free and an ideal so high that there can 
be no necessity nor wish to leave it. We should show that for 
those driven by conscientious scruples out of the churches, there 
is as warm a welcome here as they ever found there. The hu- 
man heart longs for fellowship, longs to meetwith kindred minds. 
We ought to say to people ill at ease in the churches and out of 
them, come to us, you will find rest with us, you will find there is 
still an aim in life and a consolation in suffering and in the face 
of death, though you cannot believe in one of the old perplexing 
doctrines. I bring before my mind a great number of such peo- 
ple, people who are without a home for the soul, and I say to my- 
self, that is my call, that is your call, to find them out, to bring 
them to us, to bring them home. 

The president of the society, Judge Henry Booth, 
said : 

I can think of no better way of occupying the few moments 
assigned me for addressing you than by stating some of the lead- 
ing ideas which our society represents, as I understand its posi- 
tion, speaking for myself alone. First and foremost this society 
stands for the idea of law, universal, immutable, inexorable law — 
law without variableness or shadow of turning. Whence its 
source or where its seat we do not know — we do not pretend to 
know. That is the mystery of mysteries. We know it only in 
its operation and we know and feel that we too, in common with 
the universe, visible and invisible, are subject to its operations; 
that we are held in firm allegiance to this universal law, an alle- 
giance which we could not break if we would and would not if 
we could. In the presence of this universal law ancient myths, 
whether of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Chaldean, Phenician, 
Hindoo or Hebrew origin, as the basis of ethics, have no place. 

They form no basis for our faith. They illustrat