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will be always convicted by their conscience in matters of conduct. And in this respect the Israelitic morality has been decisive and saying. Although the morality or immorality of certain specific habits and customs has changed since the Bible times, and for that matter must always be changing as we increase in light and knowledge, the direction of morality has been laid down by the Jews from of old. The hands are to be clean, the mouth void of offense and speaking good things, the feet should tread in peaceful ways; our lives devoted to loving that which is right, and to the succor of our fellow men. There are no written words with the force behind them which the Bible words have in this connection, because they were uttered by tage of good be those who had suffered from bad conduct, and who the Hebrews. early in man's history found out what cured their suffering, and whose enthusiastic mission it was thenceforward to rebuke the world for sin, and to point out the advantages of righteous conduct. If I sin, then thou markest me, aud thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity! The God of the Israelites, Yahveh, was the God of
God of the famthe family, race and tribe. Only later, and in the con- ily. ceptions of the prophets, did Jehovah become universal. Christianity is the extension of the Hebrew conception of a moral and naturally powerful God beyond the limits of the original people who conceived it. From one side the human mind has arrived at monotheism through a perpetual correction of its conceptions of Nature and the way in which Nature works. On the other side, the monotheistic conception has arisen from an advance in the study of humanity and moral self-education. The Semitic races
The two have reached monotheism primarily by the latter, the Monotheism has Aryan by the former route. Polytheism is gradually
extirpated from the region lying in Nature outside of mankind and from the domain of conduct and the play of the sensual faculties. But the workings of the moral and intellectual forces are not kept distinct in any one resultant belief. All that we can say is, that from the temper and tone of the religion, we may decide upon the prevailing direction which has called it forth. But equally behind both lies the theistic and anthropomorphic conception. And this conception has been useful to mankind in acquiring knowledge, both moral and intellectual. It cannot be expected that it should be thrown aside, so long as we obtain individual and col. lective benefit from its use. Certainly in the future it may be laid away as useless speculation, but this can only be when we can clearly obtain no further benefit from it, and this time is far away.
On the other hand animism and materialism, the two opposing philosophies, stand on a somewhat different footing. They are not absolutely coincident with Theism and Atheism. Subjective Theism may be entertained while the unity of Nature and the finality of form and structure under each change be completely accepted. There can be no reasonable doubt that modern spiritualism is a reversion to a low type of animism. The difference between orthodox animism and spiritualism is one of degree, and lies in the greater credulity underlying the latter belief. Logically speaking, the evidence in favor of materialism is by far the strongest, and with this philosophy in full sway, and an abandonment of the whole question between Theism and Atheism, as impossible of proof or disproof, we
Animism and Matertalism.
Growth in the
seem to see the outcome of humanity on these final questions. It must be conceded that, while the question of the existence of an Unknown God is an open one, and cannot receive positive proof or disproof, Matter and Force are sufficient basis for all that we perceive with the senses, and that all, of which we are conscious, is brought about by Force and Matter; whether these are essentially different, but in reality correlated, or whether their correlation must be taken as proof of their identity.
The nerve and brain forces being constantly improved and heightened by the lapse of time and the Perceptive Orprocess of Evolution, there has already come a period when the understanding of both ourselves and Nature is more perfect. In one view the reason why our brain pictures of the exterior world were defective, was that they were incorrectly perceived. During the growth of the brain it could not be otherwise. The feeders of the brain, such as the eye and ear, vary in the extent of their mechanical perfection and range throughout organized beings. A little consideration will show that it must take much time and many lives before the brain of man receives the full benefit of the increased capacity of its feeders.
All history assents in a startling manner to the process of evolution. The progress in Art, and Science, and Morals is attested on every hand, so that it becomes
Progress in at last self-evident. It is not surprising, then, that Culture. those who think deeply should ask the outcome of present issues, and should endeavor to place themselves in the middle stream of human thought, so that they may be carried farthest from its feeble beginnings. The incomplete, blind, and broken lives, born of ignorance
and which we cannot fail to notice, should remind us that we are all more or less open to the same fate. At every winding and corner we should be careful, lest what we think is our proper course, end in a closed passage, a fatal beach on which we may be hopelessly wrecked. As we sail on watchfully, let us cheer ourselves with the hope that beyond us lies a goal of perfect happiness for humanity, and that out of our efforts and experiences has sprung the possibility of its attainment.