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We have often wondered why our orthodox friends have not made more frequent attempts to show that nature presented some analogies to their system of theology, because she would be a mighty ally; and there is just enough in some of her marvellous manifestations to give a suggestion of truth to some parts of that system. But we must suggest to the writer of the article in the Nero Englander that it is only ignorance of nature which can be used to confirm Orthodoxy: a deeper knowledge banishes it forever from the universe. In the vast complication of nature's ways, of which we still know so little– that little, however, being the sure foundation of all our plans and hopes,- it would be strange if some analogies might not be found which, at the first glance, seemed to give countenance to theories even the most unnatural and hideous; but these analogies are not arguments. And, in this wondrous storehouse, analogies bearing with equal force can be found for either side; and it does seem a little ungracious, after Orthodoxy has been attacking the study and results of exploring the secrets of nature for all these years, to attempt to draw some comfort and assurance to an expiring system of dogmas from a few of her analogies.
The great fallacy running all through this article is that the points which gain some strength from nature are those which are not peculiar to Orthodoxy, but which are admitted by the Church universal and the reason universal and science universal; while those which especially belong to Orthodoxy are everywhere contradicted by nature, and these the writer has very unfairly and without proper perceptions brought under the same head. Free will and necessity are admitted as much by the philosophical mind outside of as within the Church. Our circle of freedom lies within a larger circle of nature's bonds: there is a wheel within a wheel. The great teachings of heredity we are just beginning to study and believe in, but that there were laws of descent even unto “the third and fourth generation ” is a faith which extends far beyond the limits in time or space of Christian teaching, and is held far more reasonably and consistently by sects outside the orthodox pale. Indeed, the writer seems to ignore one of the most common teachings of Orthodoxy,-- supernatural regeneration, which entirely sets aside the far grander law of inheritance. Then, as to the point that all men everywhere incline naturally to evil rather than to good, this may be a necessary and universal part of the old Orthodoxy; but we are glad to believe
that Orthodoxy is so rapidly separating itself from this belief that in no very distant day it will leave it to its own solitary hideousness and falsity. If goodness is not so strong in its influences as evil, if the good boy or the good man has not so much strength of resistance as the bad one the power of persuasion, all hope aban, dons us forever. The fact is that all trade rests upon the mutual confidence of those engaged in it, and not their suspicions. The truth which nature teaches through her ages is that the good has had more influence; and that, we think, will go on with the endless power of her own movements. As to man's eternal wellbeing depending upon conflicting and doubtful statements of Scripture, we think there is good authority for saying that, whether one has ever heard of the Scriptures or not, of the Holy Ghost or not,“ in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted with him," - a teaching which the glorious impartiality of nature abundantly confirms. As to the best moral lives being the continual objects of God's wrath and passing to eternal punishment, we are glad to resign this accursed view – which, we think, has done more to harm human society than its most flagrant immoralities—to the domain of Orthodoxy, as something it “indubitably includes”; but no student of nature will tell you there is in all her realm a trace even the faintest, of God's wrath. There is, as Paul has it, “goodness and severity," but severity only in the sense of being remedial; suffering that has always the overweight of happiness; enjoyment of life which still outruns its ills. The whole teaching of nature is that her laws are beneficent to knowledge and obedience, a strong and faithful ally and friend, which Orthodoxy has unjustly called the " wrath of God."
But what about the Trinity? Here is the foundation stone of all orthodox belief; yet it was evident that Mr. Tucker could strain no part of nature to give any semblance of authority to this. In all the multitudinous phases of her energies and manifestations, there is no analogy which the most curious and persistent seeking could twist, even by the subtlety of human ingenuity, to illustrate that, the chiefest dogma of Orthodoxy. Nature everywhere is the great teacher of unity.
BLACK FRIDAY AGAIN.
The warnings of thoughtful, experienced, honorable business men in regard to the evils of stock-gambling are about as ineffectu: as the warnings of religious men in regard to other temptations. It would seem that when Europe, after so many years of legalizeil gambling, had determined to put an end to it, it was harilly time for us to begin the same thing under another form.
The papers, secular and religious, have been full of the lessons to be drawn from this last business calamity, its causes and its results. They are all pretty clear to any reflective mind; and they are just about the same at each of these periods, returning with remarkable regularity. The remarks made after one would apply almost literally to all. Yet each one has some instances of suffering or misfortune peculiarly its own.
In this last case, the public consideration has turned especially to Gen. Grant; and we think a good deal of unnecessary commiseration has been expressed for him. It is true that, as the commander of our armies, he has won and received the lavish gratitude of the country; and generously has it been attested. It is also true that, as the standard bearer of the Republican party, he did many things from which it can hardly ever recover, holding with a friendly grasp to men who were a disgrace to our common humanity, and, the more unprincipled they were shown to be, appointing them to places more prominent still. He may not have any business capacity equal to dealing with Wall Street gamblers; but he is not so childlike and bland as not to know that the use of his name was a vast power, and the misuse of it was a reproach
on the whole country. He could not be so singularly ignorant of all business affairs or investments as not to know that if, in these few months, over a million of dollars was standing to his credit, it was not there honorably. And when the country had provided him, out of their admiration for his military genius and success, with abundant means to live handsomely for the rest of his days, it is not the gratitude of a republic, but a most unfair squandering of its resources, to vote him any more. Let friends do as they may, it hardly becomes the country to offer the means of another disgrace. But, worse than this, we read in one of the religious papers
the most serious regret over the fall of this miserable gambler Ward, because he had been most generous to the church and charities
where he made his home. Here is one of the most serious charges which lie at our church doors. We condone the most flagrant dishonesties, if only there is still generosity toward the church. It has been remarked of one and another of these most conspicuous Wall Street gamblers from the beginning that they were all pillars of the various churches. The worst of it all is that the current theories of evangelical teaching only help them along in this vast stream of immorality and dishonesty and crime. It has always been held out to them that they can repent and be converted at the last moment, and it will be just as well with them as if they had never gone astray. Some lawyer will plead their insanity, some church receive them at its communion, and in a few years they recover their standing, and the tragedy is enacted over again.
THINGS AT HOME AND ABROAD.
It is always interesting to follow the movements of our sister churches in England, especially when any social occasion reminds us how we are of one kith and kin, and have the same hopes and aspirations.
The installation of Rev. R. A. Armstrong at the Hope Street Church, Liverpool, and the soirée to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong to this time-honored church, awaken in us a strong feeling of sympathy and brotherhood. Mr. Armstrong is well known to us through his able pen; and Mrs. Armstrong, as the daughter of a former honored minister in that church, and a lady renowned for her good works, received a very cordial welcome in kind words that reach us across the water. There were letters from Dr. Wicksteed, Dr. Martineau, and speeches from Rev. Charles Beard and others. Mr. Beard, as the senior minister in the province, had much to say in regard to the relations between the two churches,— that of Renshaw Street and Hope Street,- and had great hopes of fresh life in the city from Mr. Armstrong's presence there. Mr. Armstrong made an interesting speech in reply, alluding feelingly to the loss of Mr. Perry, the young and devoted minister recently taken away from that parish. He spoke with great earnestness of the need that a people should work with their minister, putting it strongly in this way: “A faithless minister, an incompetent minister, forfeits great opportunities ; but a faithless people destroys the church.” Another similar occasion was the welcome at Plymouth to the Rev. George Evans. Mr. Evans appears to be a man of fine attainments. He was the son of a workingman," worked his way to the University of Glasgow, from there to Manchester New College, - which he praises as having the finest professors, morally and intellectually, in the kingdom,— from there through the Hibbert scholarship to Leipzig, where he accepted a scholarship, from there to Strasburg, hearing the lectures of Prof. Reuss and the most advanced thought. He is also reported to be a thorough Oriental scholar. He said in his speech that he hoped to speak freely his opinions even with those who differed from him, but his main work would be “to perfect the inward and outward life of those who attended upon his ministry.” He trusted that those who heard