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Christ, or both parties, of wilfully and fraudulently tampering with history. The tendency seems to be, to exempt the first Christians from this falseness at the expense of their Master. Strauss, Renan and others distinctly accuse Christ of planning a deception concerning his own nature, works, mission, and of palming this off upon his earliest followers, that they might propagate this delusion among others, and hand it down the ages, which thing they did in ignorant, honest credulity.

This is a plain issue which men are free to make who dare do it; but they should be consistent in their statements of so grave an indictment, which they by no means are. For example: In their accusations and concessions respecting Jesus, we have these violent contradictions. “Jesus,” says Strauss in his latest book, “has developed purely and fully all that relates to love to God and to our neighbor.” The admission is frequent and ample that, morally and religiously, he distanced all comparison with his contemporaries. Yet, in his account of his own nature, and in the eschatology which he taught, particularly as to his own office of final Judge of men, Christ is charged with an unjustifiable and utterly groundless selfflattery, with exalting himself above all mankind in a way equivalent to claiming divine powers, prerogatives, honors, thus showing himself to be proud, self-ignorant, presumptuous. “So we have," writes Dr. J. A. Dorper, in a recent paper in the Contemporary Review, "that monstrous compound being composed of self-exaltation and the purest love to God and man—a liar and a sacrilegious criminal, who took on himself to build up a kingdom of God, after having overturned the foundations of the kingdom of God within himself:” a miracle this—"greater and more unnatural than all the miracles in the New Testament."

A criticism which involves itself in such glaring self-contradictions must be false. It is an excellent sign of hope that the unchristian dogmatism of the age is becoming so undisguisedly anti-christian and self-exploding. As a most natural result, the sceptical writers of Europe are fast losing their hold on minds which wish to retain any honesty and self-respect in dealing with the question of the origin of Christianity. This last word" of the infidel leaders is not the true philosophy of that event. It can not be, as any sensible person must see. All other explanations of it, then, having been tried and abandoned, what remains but to fall back upon the true doctrine of the historic Christ, as given of God to the fathers, and as held by the church universal in all subsequent time?

PAGANISM AGAIN. In an article on “Character,” in the last number of the North American Review, Mr. Waldo Emerson comes forward with a distinct plea for a return to Paganism as a better guide to salvation than is elsewhere to be found. Arguing that the latent and active forces inhering in individual character are the only reliable renovating power in society, he makes his complimentary bow to “Jesus” as a high type of this—“Jesus has immense claims on the gratitude of mankind”; but immediately takes his disciples to task for an admiration of him which runs away with their respect for the souls of men, and "hampers us with limitations of person and text."

That is, instead of simply telling the story of their leader, they presume to weave into this the claims of a mandatory religion, which inclines the manly reader to lay down the New Testament to take up the Pagan philosophers.” Not that these are intrinsically better, only they spare the pride of the "manly reader”; of course, this must be the “chief end” of a true religious system, for is not man as divine as diety itself, is he not God coming into consciousness? These Pagan ethics "do not invade his freedom; because they are only suggestions, whilst the other adds the inadmissible claim of positive authority-of an external command, where command can not be.” Oh no! Man and God are joint partners in this firm, according to the Concord gospel, and why should one undertake to "command the other”? Is not the "manly” as godlike as the divine ? So, by reason of this churchly excrescence of a direct religious commandment, the New Testament loses “the claim” which is so attractive in the Pagan moralists," namely, "of suggestion, the claim of poetry, of mere truth.” Now the world, thicks Mr. Emerson, needs all the “mere truth" which is in and about it; therefore, the Bible must be freed from its authoritative incumbrances so as to bring it up to the level of the heathen sages : "and the office of this age is to put all these writings on the eternal footing of equality of origin in the instincts of the human mind.”

This seems to be the last response of the modern Delphi. Our principal wonder concerning it is, that it should have found utterance through the pages of a Quarterly, which we have supposed was not intended to be an organ of matters pertaining to re ligion, but rather an exponent of North American literature, in the general and unsectarian meaning of that term. If our venerable contemporary is henceforth to be the propagandist of a revamped Paganism, we have no objections, provided it will issue a new prospectus accordingly. So much of a manifesto of its counter conversion would seem to be demanded even by the morality of a respectable deism.

SPLITTING HAIRS. Gibbon has a characteristic sneer at the Nicene distinction which marked the radical and infinite difference between the Orthodox and the Arians. “The profane of every age have derided the furious contests which the difference of a single diptbong excited between the Homoousians and the Homoiousians.” But the change to an iota here robs Christ of his divinity, the world of an atonement and redemption, and Christianity of any valuable peculiarity and vitality. “The difference of a single dipthong" results in the difference between Jonathan Edwards and Theodore Parker, as theologians, and between the evangelical and the liberal system of faith as seen to-day. It was quite a hair to split, and indifferent men, and dull, narrow minds, would naturally deride the struggle over an iota.

It is so yet. The untutored and short sighted make light of great issues because made in small compass. They can not see beyond the narrow strait that Gibraltar covers, or foresee the harvest, shaking like Lebanon, in the handful of corn. They call it a wrangle over words and phrases only, with no real difference. A distinction between depravity of nature and of action is unmeaning and indifferent to them: whether God or man is supposed to make the soul holy, is of little account in their estimation, if only the man be holy.

All delicate, interior, primal distinctions are mere hair-splitting to them, though in these distinctions the student in history and philosophy sees systems toto cælo apart.

It has been fashionable, and still is, though decreasingly so since it reflects such discredit on one's acumen or sincerity, to call much theological discussion a mere dispute about words. Not being able to go back to the intricate sources where Calvinism and Arminianism diverge and found themselves separately, they turn from the discussion petulant, or reply to the arguments with a smile and a sneer, as if it were small work for Christian men. It is as if they should laugh at budding the seedlings of a year old, and say that real men would give their strength and grafting to full grown trees.

It may reasonable, at least natural, that men accustomed mostly to cleavers and pit-saws, should call all nice work, as in making microscopes and chronometers, hair-splitting. But scholarly and profound men, giving their strength to the vital interests of Christ's church, and seeing her through the ages of a varied experience, will do their noble work by guarding her creed and life against the iotas of heresy and apostasy.

be very

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MASSACHUSETTS SABBATH SCHOOL SOCIETY,

13 Corphill, Boston, Is publishing a new book nearly every week. Each manuscript is carefully read by members of our Publication Committee, and no better books for the Sabbath Schools of the Orthodox Congregational church can be found in the country. The names of this Committee are well known in the religious community and their judgment respected:- Rev. J. A. Albro, D.D, Rev. J. H. Means, Rev. A. J. Sessions, Rev. J. M. Manning, Rev. A. H. Quint, Rev. D. L. Furber, Rev. E. K. Alden, and Rev.D. R. Cady. A few of our late books written by laymen and clergymen are as follows: Price

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NO. 13, CORNHILL, BOSTON, Was founded, among other objects, to republish complete editions of the works of the Puritan Fathers, on the Doctrines, Polity and History of the Congregational Churches of New England. We have already issued and have for sale at our Depository the Works of Robinson, Shepard, Bellamy, Hopkins and Emmons, and other works are in process of publication. We have supplied by donation, to young and feeble churches at the West, hundreds of sets of these publications, and continue to answer fresh applications as our funds permit. . All books sold at the lowest remunerating prices. Catalogues of our publications furnished on application at the Depository. No. 18 Cornhill.

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