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and education of its ancestors. Among these is a special prominence of the imagination and the trait of implicit belief, while the reason is only partially active and the critical judgment dormant. Young children relate and hear with the utmost simplicity stories of talking plants, birds, and animals, men having wings, and ears and eyes of wonderful hearing and seeing, etc., etc.; and that these stories are implicitly believed and realized in the minds of children seems to be proved by the evils which sometimes result from the abominable practice of ruling them through their fears by means of frightful and terrifying tales. Now these traits, which every child exhibits, are universal in the childhood of races, and make them in like manner creative and receptive of those marvellous, miraculous, poetic and engaging products of the imagination called myths. Primitive peoples, like children, are quick and active in fancy, prone to excitement and fear, unreasoning, unlearned, unhistorical, uncritical; their minds, like their first attempts at writing, are picturemaking, and their whole mental and physical experience is thrown into the picturesque form of mythical narrative.
Hence we see the interest and value that the characteristic myths of a people or an epoch must possess for us. They are not to be passed by as mere extravaganzas of fancy; they are the manners, thoughts, hopes, religion of a people daguerreotyped; they are instinct with popular life and feeling; they breathe forth a people's inner being; they draw their life from the popular heart, and faithfully respond to its varying states during the time of its most simple and untutored development. If professed works of fiction by some one author are valuable as reflecting the manners, morals, and habits of a time and people, how much more valuable are the myths, which can be assigned to no author, which arise spontaneously out of the life of the timewhich are, so to speak, composed by the whole society, and faithfully reflect it, as any composition reflects the author's character, and which are created and believed with equal ardor and simplicity! It is not strange that comparative mythology has engaged the attention of many of the best minds, and still attracts the sympathetic labor of some of the most eminent scholars of the day.
In the next article we shall endeavor to show that the mythical interpretation, as above described, ought to be applied to the New Testament.
THE SOURCE OF RELIGION.
themselves. Tossed hither and thither by the buffetings of circumstances, in a tempest of passions, and in stress of sorrows, anxious about the fucure and remorseful for the past; they have parted with their own thought and will, and therefore with their personality. Hence the many blownabout men that signify nothing; of whom one looks just like another. If a man deals only with the outer world and glides on the surface, then he puts on its form. He is worn and smooth; he lacks every defining personal characteristic. That man only will form himself into a complete and sha personal unity, compel the respect of the world and influence society, who gladly abides in himself; always seeking himself within ; who always thinks earnestly upon his own true life, and is not distracted by the noise of sects and the clamor of partisans. If we often return to ourselves and draw from the pure and eternal source of our life and soul, then we cannot but see that we are not solitary in our inmost self, that it is not alone our own being that we meet there. We seek a limit in ourselves, but do not find it. We cast anchor in our souls, but it strikes no terrestrial ground. The door of immortality opens; the pure life of spirit is revealed, and the breath of eternity is borne to us. Our mortal beginning we weil know; but far down in our souls we get knowledge of something that never had beginning. * It is the language of Eternity; voices out of the celestial home, the utterances of religion, that we perceive in our inner selves.
Surely you have often heard it, this voice of the eternal spirit in your own soul. You have religion, but perhaps are not conscious of it, or would not acknowledge it. If you have it not, still it has possession of you, for it is inseparably connected with the life of man; nay it is its most central point, the concealed source from which true life originates. It is the mysterious magnet by which man, in himself isolated and alone, is intimately bound with the essence common :0 all things. By it he exists; with its help alone can he maintain his personality and independence against the restraints and attrition of the outer world. By it you are citizens of an eternal commonwealth and may become free from all earthly illusion, forever delivered from the perplexing and wearing unrest of this life. It is the bond that holds eternally constant, to the absolutely unconditioned and all-conditioning. By it in the midst of the death-pangs that close this life, is immortal life assured. It is not an obscure feeling; it is so only while the ashes of sensuousness choke and smother it. The more earnestly you knock at the doors of your
inner sanctuary, the wider they open and the more confidently you enter, and the clearer will be your consciousness that you have always borne within you
* * * *
you to the
Eternal and Unchangeable as the original of your own personality, and that you are not of yourself, but of divine origin and truth ; as pagan, poet, and Christian philosopher have declared.
Everything human, as far as it is human, is earthly and mortal; whatever is purely natural must pass away, for nature as such is only veil and coverthe changing garment in which the ever-creative soul works out its ideas and brings its plans to maturity. The soul alone is everlasting, creative, and exhaustless. Man therefore is living by means of his spirit and ever-living through the Everlasting Spirit of whom mankind is the revelation and the image. The soul that personifies us, exalting us to morally independent and self-accountable individuals, is itself only a ray from the eternal light that shines on the dark elements of mankind. When separated we feel drawn together by this power, we gather around personal centres and form societies, for we bear within us all the elements of the one eternal Spirit, and if deprived of it we sink helpless into the void of appearance and the abyss of restless change.
This original, intimate, and eternal connection of the finite with the infinite spirit is the source of religion. We are religious if we are conscious of our indissoluble connection with the eternal life of the spirit within us. We have less religion in the degree that the consciousness of this connection is less. If we seldom go down to this mysterious foundation of our real life, we shall easily be content with the superficiality of a mere existence, and shall be in danger of losing religion. If we often return to our inner self, going to the depth of life in effort to know ourselves, we become more religious.
CHRISTIAN LIBER TY.
A Discourse delivered by H. B. CROZIER, Huntington L. l., Marcb, 1868.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled
again with the yoke of bondage."-GAL. V., I. YHRISTIANITY is the Ideal of Religious Liberty, as Democracy is the
Ideal of Political Liberty. As Democracy would not be the last and final type of human government, if any other newer and better form could promise and bestow more political liberty, but would be superseded by the higher and better; so Christianity would not be the last and final type of spiritual religion, if any other newer and better type could promise and bestow more rational, moral and spiritual freedom. What Democracy is, in its protection of the essential rights of man, a government of the whole, for the whole, and by the whole ; recognizing the expectation and the right of man's political growth in economic and social truth, and making all its forms of government and institutions plastic and perishing, as man's political growth shall be large enough to dispense with them, and wise and creative enough to invent fresher, and truer, and therefore better ;-what a true and genuine Democracy is thus to the growth of man's political ideas and social and economic wants, subordinating its constitution, and the state existing under the constitution, to the greatness, and the unfinished and prophetic grandeur of man, evermore :--that True Spiritual Christiantity is, and niust needs be, to! the urgent religious want and growth of the Soul. It is not an iron mould, into which the soul is to be crowded, and confined, and cramped, and crushed, but a spontaneous and rational, and therefore spiritual and natural power, which, infusing itself, informing and interpenetrating the soul, makes it restive under restraint, and eager for the liberty of the Sons of God. Not a creed, with its damnatory clauses, but a life, with its saving inspiration, is the Christian liberty and religion according to our own rendering of it; and there. fore it is, and is to be, for the ages, the last and final type of religion.
It takes the measure and dynamic scale of man's nature, and provides for its growth, not its repression. It discovers the wonder and mystery of the body, and pronounces that the very temple of God. It hears the cry of the senses, and sharpens man's bodily want and appetite by telling him that God has laid the world at his feet for conquest and use. It hears the cry of the Ideal and Æsthetic—the hunger after art and perfection, which dawns and advances to the verge of conscious worship in the awakened soul, and which did organize itself into a religion with the immortal Greeks; and at once it baptizes art, and pronounces God the author of all the beauty and joy around us, and so leads forth man to a transfigured and glorified world, where genuine art and genuine religion, twin-sisters, born of God, walk hand in hand.
It hears the cry of the Intellect for the Truth ; and sanctifies all science and all knowledge to its use, saying, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you
free." It would no sooner interdict science in the interests of religion, than it would interdict the use of the eyes, by a false philosophy of sight. Science is the simple classification of the facts of nature and of life—a systematic statement of the way God's shining foot-prints have traveled in the miracle of creation ; the manner in which his wisdom and power hath wrought in the wondrous world at our feet, and “through those long eternities of twilight, where myriads of worlds are bursting into light like the grass of night.” A religion afraid of science has hardly substance enough to be afraid of its own shadow !
Christian liberty, enlarging and quickening man's power and hopes, and opening up an immortality of blessing and of use, as the destiny of man; Christian liberty, freeing the conscience from doubtful casuistry, evil precedents, unjust and popular yet miserable conformities, and making it keenedged with the quickening Law of God; Christian liberty, opening all the store-houses of divine and human knowlege as the treasures of the mind and
soul,-fearful of ignorance and bigotry and prejudice only, and never fearful of any truth, new or old,-knowing that the least of all truths is one of the living and sympathetic links between the universe and the living God, who is the soul and inspiration of all; Christian liberty, opening the ideal and artistic world, as the rightful field of man's aspiration, skill and genius, where the hidden fires of God Aame with creative light, and the plastic hand and the brooding imagination clothe with reality the images that Aoat through the galleries of the mind; Christian liberty, not disdaining the body that houses these wonderful and adoring powers, but believes it right to give each sense its due, as Christ “came eating and drinking":—this is the liberty where. with Christ has made us free; in which we are exhorted “ to stand fast and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
That Christ himself is the most competent and authoritative expounder of his own religion,—that his own life is to be the chief commentary upon its vital and essential principles, in the light of which his own words are to be judged, no one can reasonably deny. That it is safe, and proper, and reasonable, for us as his disciples, to do what he did as Teacher, so far as we are able, and that in so doing we are Christians, that is, disciples, no one can reasonably deny. Bear with me, then, in a short but comprehensive summary of Christ's own life, as the standard life, as the type of the liberty to which we are called as his aisciples.
1. Christ was a social conformist. He came eating and drinking. Asceticism, non-conformity, fearfulness that the soul is to be snared in the bounty and goodness of the God of Providence, — this was no part of Christ's religion or life. They preach and practice a very cheap and easy self-denial who preach and practice small penances, as observances of church fasts and days, as one of the essential and important principles of the christian religion. Christ's own command was “not to fast as the hypocrites do :” “ of a sad countenance ; for they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou when thou fastest anoint thine head and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret : and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” My friends, there is not a prescribed fast of the Church or the State but what is an open violation of both the letter and the spirit of these words of Christ. These blow the trumpet of a proclamation. These call together the people that men may disfigure their faces in company, and appear unto one another of sad countenance, hoping thereby to avert some impending calamity, or to procure from God some good withheld.
Let us be fair and just to the discrimination. There is no condemnation of private fasting, but rather its enjoining. There is no prescription of mood and tense—no denial of the soul's hour of sadness for sin committed, or struggle for good to be obtained, that shall overshadow for the time being, the body, and the want of appetite ; no denying that mystic hunger of the soul, that at