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ding pilgrinus earried fire and sword through this beautiful country of Lan. guedoc. The Church would gladly have annihilated the very soil on which the heretics liad trod. To sum up, their cities were destroyed, their coun
try laid waste ; and at length when the beautiful language, the arts and the 'industry of these provinces had disappeared, and not before, the executioners became weary of their odious work,' The war terminated about the year 1229. And was the maintenance of the Catholic faith secured; was the Church the stronger for her work of blood ? We shall sec.
JAS. L. GOODING,
SATAN AND HIS VICTORIES. BETWEEN the two points of time, that of the “Tall” and “the Advent of the " Redeemer," the vil Spirii was allowed to do almost as lle pleased with the unhappy race of mortals. They fell beneath His power, and became His servants. He taught them to hate God, and being possessed of a power like God, that of being in millions of persons at the same time, His success was sure to be perfect Te is believed to be Omniscient and Omnipresent,
. with only one exception. It is generally supposed that He does not enter Heaven; but there is a sort of set-off in the corresponding conviction that the Divine One does not enter Hell, the supposed home of this Unholy Being. There is, however, a difference of opinion among pious men upon this very point. They do not say that God enters Hell, but many believe Satan of right and frequently enters Heaven. To justify this they appeal to the opening of the Book of Job, where it is so distinctly set forth that," with " the Sons of God, He presented himself in the Court of Heaven.” The manner in which the narrative is written justifies the belief of His habitually entering there ; and hence the assertion made by so many that He also joins and belongs to the angelic hosts.
But, although there are men who differ upon this point, all the orthodox agree in representing Him as a Person, as an Individual, who goes about, like a raging lion, seeking whom He may devour. They speak of Him as One who has taken up arms against every form of goodness and pious trust. Although IIc helieres, worships, and trembles, He endeavours to prevent all human beings from believing. Nothing irritates Him more than to hear of a liar abandoning his lying; of a thief abandoning his thieving; or of a drunkard abandoning his drunkenness. Nothing pleases Him more than to hear of a Christian man who believed that God ordered the Jews to butcher the 'anaanites, young and old together, ceasing to believe it; of a pious orthodox man who believed that it was the duty of all human beings to endeavour to imitate s David, the man after God's own heart”, ceasing to believe, and teaching his children instead, how earnestly they must esteem that king of Israel as one whose example should be shunned even as they would shun a pestilence; or of a Christian man who believed that millions would be roasted in Hell for ever to the honour of God and the praise of His holy Name, ceasing to believe, and publicly declaring it to be a libel upon the goodness of the Eternal. Thus, according to the common theory, He is ever on the side of evil, although it must be confessed that many of His aims, as represented by the orthodox, are not quite so evil as they say.
Theologians speak of God as the Supreme, but in sober truth, practically they represent the Devil as exercising the greatest measure of power, and as
succeeding with greater certainty in His aims. When all the failures on the part of God, and successes on the part of the Evil Oue, are set forth, what else can honestly be said than this, that the latter has fully achieved, while the former has positively failed in His purposes ?. There is scarcely a single Sunday-School scholar in England that has not been taught to say, 'God
created angels and men for His Glory--but, according to the popular theory, believed so earnestly by millions, it is the Devil who has profited the most by the transaction. According to the general belief, the road to hell is very broad, and is always crowded with travellers, while that to heaven is narrow, and but sparely supplied with the redeemed. That the great majority go to hell, to burn everlastingly, is not questioned by any orthodox divine. In fact, the grand centre of Christian orthodoxy lies in this, that God has experienced the greatest difficulty in saving for Himself cven a single sjul out of all the millions He created for His glory. There they stool, all bearing the mark of llis wisdom, His power, Ilis goodness, there was no other power in the universe capable of forming them, and lle in love and tenderness had made, but could not secure one of them for Himself. As a loving Father, he desired to make His children happy, but could not, because the Evil One had interfered to turn aside the current of His love, being resolved to appropriate the work of the Divine, in order to fill up the caverns of hell
. As their master, He held them firmly, and could reckon upon having countless millions inorc. The Great Maker desired to have some at least of His own preserved from ruin, not all, but a remnant, yet that could not be. There was only one way open, and that involving nothing less than that God Himself, in the form of a man, should descend to earth, and die a painful death, so that through the mightiness of the sacrifice a chance of saving some, not all, from the grasp of the destroyer might be secured. Before assembled angels and men He had to die this painful death, and then the only result was that He had a chance of saving for Himself a poor remnant of those lle bad made.
We do not make this doctrine, but only repeat in clear imambiguous words, the Creed of the Churches. We do not even believe it to be any other than a doctrine of Devils, but merely exhibit in the plainest form that which we have been asked to believe, as a doctrine from God, and cannot. Jud in
presence of these results, which the said Churches speak of as being definito and unalterable, we ask, What else can be said than that if the theory be true, then God has signally failed in His aims ; whereas the Devil bas quite as signally succeeded?
What else but failure can it be, when even the peace of heaven was not only invaded and destroyed, but rendered for ever insecure ? He who believes that this war occurred in heaven, cannot consistently say it is impossible to be repeated. They who have never heard of suicide being committed through taking arsenic, are less likely to take it for that purpose than those who have.
of a kingdom once violated, is never afterwards so perfectly secure. And how can there be the same measure of joy, when there will never fail to be a sense of the agony that millions, once blessed and happy, are enduring? Where there was love and brotherhood in the house, all the members endure sorrow over the fall and transportation of one of its members. They may be perfectly innocent ; but being as bodies from whence a limb) has been rudely toin, they must feel the pain. And be it remembered that through God creating man for His glory, the Devil has gained countless millions of servants, whom otherwise he could never have had. And if the
Churches will not believe in the Divine failure, then let them honestly recant their inane talk about the power of the Devil, and his enormous success in * luring the children of God to everlasting perdition'.
We look at the logical consequences involved in the popular theory, and then consistently deny its validity. This is considered to be unfair; for, according to the ordinary law, we are taught to look to principles in the abstract, and in their own nature, not to their results. In the majority of instances that is perfectly true; yet it is none the less true, that there are cases in which the results are the only means at our disposal, through which to test the nature of the adopted means, or the rightfulness of the law; and this is one of them. We take the results spoken of by the Churches, and then declare them to be evidences which ignore the God of the Universe to set up a Demon in His place. If the prevalent theory be true, then the Chinese are wise in praying to the Devil, to abstain from injuring them ? If it be true, then, undoubtedly, we have more to fear from the Devil than we have to hope from God! If it be true, then, throughout the eternal ages, the said Demon will be able triumphantly to point out millions whom Ile has snatched from the very verge of redemption. If it be true, then the Devil will sit in majesty, to survey His untold millions, while God will not be abic to glance at a tithe of their number amongst His attendants. And if it bo true, then who shall say that Satan will not, now that His ranks have been so enormously increased, at some future period redeem the ground He lost, and recover His dignity and power?
Many pious churchmen will call this, blasphemy! but wrongly so. The blasphemy lies on the side of those who inculcate premises from whence these fearful conclusions are naturally deduced. We do not add unto, or diminish, the presumed facts, but merely read out their meaning in plain English. And if men are shocked at the profanity, let them remember that we also are shocked. To our minds, it is equally disgusting and painful, when such pernicious theories are laid down to obtain the approval of the crowd. We protest against the doctrine, because it strikes at the root of all our hopes of progress and future glory. If God has been foiled in His plans in favour of goodness, how can we hope to succeed? Why give blood and life for the purchase of blessings to be enjoyed by our race, if even God Himself had been compelled to see Ilis intended good turned to evil. The Churches say that, although le died upon the Cross to save mankind, there are more who annually go to hell, than went thither at the time when He offered Himself as a ransom andi sacritice. If, then, He failed, why should we hope to succeed : And why labour after the attainment of that which, by His failure, is shown to be unattainable?
In opposition to such blasphemous theories--for they are such, although clothed in the garments of sanctity--ire protest our belief that God has never been foiled, or prevented from achieving His purposes. Upon the basis of His absolute Supremacy we can build secmely; but if that were stricken away, we should feel that all onr hope of good must be uncertain, for we can, in that case, have no proof of the permanence of goodness, or the ultimate triumph of those principles of manly virtue and nobleness which are dear to every generous spirit.
But we cannot close this inquiry without entering a solemn protest against this Satanic element in the popular theory, which is one of the most immoral and destructive it is possible to conceive. The doctrine strikes at the root of all which is pure and holy, generous and just; and if it be true, then is
justice banished from the Universe. Therei s no sin that man ean commit in time, which will justify the infliction of torment through eternity. A creature of an hour, who cannot comprehend eternity, is not responsible to an cxtent which cannot be estimated." We can only punish men justly, in accordance with their powers of perception; hence, the idiot escapes altogether. But if it be true, that the EvilOne first fought against God, with no mere slight chance of success, and then was permitted to combat with man, it is evident the latter could not cope with a supernatural power with any chance of gaining a victory. Then, being overthrown, to say that he shall be doomed to everlasting fire, is manifestly to violate every principle of justice, as well as to represent God as a relentless tormentor.
And if it were true that such must be the result, then there is but the one sound conclusion at which we can arrive; namely, that the Devil has exercised more authority in the Universe than God has done--and that this influence He will continue to exert throughout all coming ages. If, throughout all time, the Devil is to have and to hold by far the greater majority of those whom God created for His pleasure, and honour, and glory, then that conclusion is inevitable. They were created for purposes which they do not subserve; they were intended to be what they cannot be; they were endowed with powers which have been used for other purposes than those for which they were intended. And why so ? God did not intend them to sin; all the Churches say that; but the Devil lured them, God lost them, and the result is, that the Evil One will triumphantly hold the handiwork of God as his victims.
But it is said, that God has gained the victory. In every church and chapel in the land, it is set forth in sermon and song, that in the heavenly war, the Divine One triumphed, and will eventually triumph on earth? What do they mean who use this language? Or do they use the words without attuching any meaning to them? If an enemy come against England, and succeed in carrying nineteen-twentietlis of its people into slavery, succeed in retaining them without permitting us even to hope for their release, can they who remain behind, amid the ruined residences, to count the miserable residue, boast of having gained a victory ? The enemy lives and holds their brethren in chains, how then are they to set down and say we have triumphed ? Across the water, with every wind, the cry of the manacled ones would give the lie to such empty vaunting; and so also throughout the ages, the popular theory being true, the cry of the damned will be a never-ceasing protest against the assumption that God has been victorious.
He is not the victor who has merely bound the foe. Subjugation and momentary conquest are nol, equal; and if Satan can retain his gains, He stands a master amid his world of slaves. The victory of God, if it have any meaning, must mean, not the mere locking up the damned in hell, for that will no more get rid of the evil than they do who would limit prostitution to certain licensed houses; it must mean the triumph of goodness; the victory of peace and love, or the bringing about that state of things in which not a tear or aching heart can be found in the Universe. Nothing short of that will justify the proud boast that evil has been trodden under foot.
P. W. P.
CHARITY AND THE CLAIMS OF THE POOR.
A LECTURE BY THE EDITOR,
(Continued from p. 158.) We must do this, or we perish--as a nation, great and powerful as we ure, we must do it, or we perish. I hear, indeed, the cry, that, while we are the richest in the universe, we cannot have any cause to fear. When distress cometlı, then the wealthy will open their purses and give freely, so that the poor may be fed and clothed. Let us not be mistaken about this matter, The strength of a nation lieth not in its wealthı, but in something else which wealth cannot purchase. There was more gold in Rome when the Empire was waning than when it was rising. It was not the abundance of money which operated to raise Englishmen from the depths of savage life to their present position, but the superabundance of energy, selfhood, and manful independence, love of their country, and care for all its concerns. It was great thoughts, and manful endeavours to convert them into facts, which led to our elevation, as they, and only they, have done with all other nations. But there is the same yairning abyss for us, that swallowed up the others; and if we continue content to boast of our wealth there is no doubt of whither. ward we shall be tending.
It is patient industry, honourable independence, inflexible perseverance, which maketh men worthy component parts of a strong nation. I had far rather boast of there being no pauper in the land to test our charity, thạn have it to tell how good the rich are in freely supporting a million beggars. Charity is a beautiful thing, but the spirit that loveth to depend on its dole is not beautiful. It is an accursed spirit which, as a canker, never fails to eat away
the heart. Let but the number of those increase who are content to live upon alms, and, exactly as they rise in numerical force, will be our decline as a people. For they who have bartered their manlıood to obtain the bread of charity, would barfer everything honourable in England for a similar purpose,
men would give the ashes of Hampden for a silver coin ; and, in gladness of heart, would take the smallest piece of gold for the fame of Naseby and the Armada. There are many great points in the human character, but when man becomes a charity-hunter, le changes his heart for a wolf's, and loveth neither honest freedom, nor simple truth. Thus, he who is content to boast of the widening circle of Charity, little dreamneth of the destructive mine it prepares beneath our feet. Not that we are to dismiss * Charity' from England, for that would be to banish one of the most beautiful ornaments of life; yet we must do all that lies in our power to induce men to avoid building their hopes, and placing their dependence upon it.
The Roman nobles were charitable. They spread the tables---they invited the poor to eat; and wlien the talk began about the poverty of many who dwelt in the Eternal (ity, a laugh was raised by the unwise, who said, " See what money remains!' Ever-increasing was the number of those who attended at the provided feasts; and ever decreasing was that sprout of manhood within them, which gave the victory, and secured the ascendancy of their ancestors. The early Romans, like our own ancestors, depended upon themselves ; and, as it was asked why the Romans of the latter days did not retain power to do what their sires had done, so also I ask, Why is it that the poor of Londou have been unable to live through a short, but severe frost, withont collecting in misery and hunger around our Courts, when