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That not a worm is cloven in vain,
That not a moth, with vain desire,
Is shrivelled in a fruitless fire,
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last, far off, at last, to all,
That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far off, divine event,
In poetry, man's deepest thought finds expression. The poets are the prophets of the new day. In poetry Universalism has its strong ally. Turning to the words of Science, we find another mighty helper of our faith. In these we see how earnest is the declaration that death is natural, that it comes, not because of any sin of any Adam, but because of the will of God. The whole system of Orthodoxy is based on the doctrine that man was created sinless, that he was tempted of the devil, that death came by sin. Science teaches that man began his career as a barbarian, that he has lived millions of years on earth, that there never was any Eden where labor was not needed, that no serpents talk, that no apple brought eternal woe upon the world. It teaches also that men's bodies return to the dust, that there is no flaming hell, that the soul of man is an immaterial power. It sends, therefore, to the limbo of superstitions all teachings of a fall of man, a “resurrected” body, a material hell. With the departure of these opinions, there comes in a new message. Science, so often falsely and foolishly arraigned, teaches that the law of the world is progress. The Golden Age is not in Eden, but in a new earth which is yet to be. Silent, as yet, about a future life — though some scientific voices begin to be heard declaring that science teaches Immortality - it still bids all men believe that, if there is a hereafter, they have a right to expect progress there. Great service to our faith has Science rendered. It has shown the unity of the Power that rules the universe. In its magnificent generalization of the “ Correlation of Forces"
it teaches the old Hebrew strain anew that there is but one God - a God that makes for righteousness. In its clear showing of the universality of law and of the certainty of retribution, it co-works with us who teach that there is no escape from punishment, that it begins here, that it is terrible. Always does it discourage a looking to the future for reward or penalty. Always does it teach that what men sow they shall reap. Always does it show that all suffering is a warning to turn to other ways. In all this, what a mighty helper of our faith it is. For that emphasizes the solemn law that the way of the transgressor is hard, and always will be hard ; that they are fools who hope to escape the penalty ordained by God; that heaven and hell are here on earth ; that our Father punishes, not to satisfy vengeance, but to improve His children.
That Science is a mighty force, no one will deny. Some of its disciples may be too dogmatic. Some may be supercilious. But we believe that, in the main, this tremendous force is working good. The scientific method is the only one to be respected. To gather facts is the only way to prepare for formulating laws. This Science does. Concerning man's origin, history, growth, she collates the multitudinous facts which this century has seen come to light. Calmly, therefore, does she point out the childish beliefs that still survive ; calmly does she ask the theologians to study her words. And these are beginning to do so. The changes of opinion wrought by Science in the teachings of the pulpit are simply enormous. Every change is a step towards our gospel, that God is our Father, that He rules the world, that He seeks to make men righteous, that love of God and man is heaven, that hate is hell.
If now we turn to Philosophy, we find that she is on our side. More men are philosophers than they whose names are bright in the records of great thinkers. Ordinary men are able to think great thoughts. Ordinary men can be awed by the mystery of the Universe, and strive earnestly to find out the meaning of life, its origin and its future. The common
sense thoughts of the multitude are a part of Philosophy. A great thinker has said that the people must sit in judgment on the declarations of philosophers. Well, we can see what the awakened and earnest thinking concerning Destiny is doing. It all tends towards optimism. Men believe that “all things work together for good.” They are pained by much which exists around them. That poverty, sickness, ignorance, sin endure so long puzzles their minds. That a good God should permit such apparent defiance of His will makes them ask questions to which they can give no adequate reply. Nevertheless, they see that any other philosophy is more untenable than optimism. War and slavery may have brought desolation ; selfishness and cruelty, weakness and doubt and ignorance may have caused unspeakable horrors, but life, to the multitudes, has brought more of joy than pain, and there is a power forever at work to heal the hearts of men, to draw them back from evil ways, to lead them to heights of thought, and feeling, and worship, and service. They say what Wordsworth said. Their language may not be as sonorous but their thought is the same:
“One adequate support
All accidents, converting them to good." We believe that this Philosophy of the people is rapidly making way. We believe that it is influencing the men of education as they come in contact with the people. Many a plain man has power over the professor and the minister. This Philosophy born out of a good heart and clear brain is a match for the learning of his superior in book knowledge. Whoso overlooks this philosophizing is unwise. Whoso weighs it well, will surely feel that it is a power working for our faith.
But if we turn from the people to the few great thinkers whose words form a part of our philosophic literature, we shall see that many of these are on our side. If we
name three, James Martineau, Frederick Henry Hedge, Orville Dewey, it is not because we forget that there are others who might be cited. We are ourself, however, so greatly indebted to these, that it is natural for us to appeal to them, and we believe their words are of highest authority. The first is one who knows the wisdom of the world. He has studied all great thinkers. He has mastered their systems. He is one who can cope with scientists. He has the soul of the poet and the prophet. Happy are they who sit at his feet to study the record of man's thought. His teaching, clear, strong, persuasive, is wholly on the side of our faith. Nominally a Unitarian, he is a pronounced Universalist. The second, the Rev. Dr. Hedge, is not surpassed in philosophic knowledge by any other scholar in America. His words sometimes concerning the hereafter may bring pain, but that all things work together for good, all his readers know is his professed conviction. In his essay on “Dualism and Optimism” in the book entitled “ Ways of the Spirit” he says
Believing in a God on the strength of his idea in my mind, independently of the argument from Nature; I say there is no evil. For only that is really and absolutely evil which is evil in its cause and effect, in its origin and end ; evil in all its issues, evil forevermore. Nothing in God's universe answers to this condition.
Suffering is the price we pay for enjoyment; disaster the price of safety ; difficulty and danger the price of progress. It needed all the calamities that have ever befallen, to bring mankind thus far in the onward way to their destiny. It needs all the woes and sorrows of life to flavor its happiness. All the dark side is indispensable to constitute its bright side. To say all in a word, it follows with logical necessity from the very idea of God, that the world of his making and ruling must be the best possible world.”
Dr. Hedge does not call himself a Universalist. We will not force the name upon him. But we are content to take his philosophy as that of a master thinker. It undoes Orthodoxy. That builds on the doctrine of a ruined world. The optimism of Hedge will serve the cause of Universalism.
We are glad to call the attention of our readers to Dr. Or. ville Dewey's valuable book on “ The Problem of Human Destiny.” It is not as well known, we are afraid, as it ought to be. It will richly repay careful and repeated reading. On page 252, appear these words :
“ Everywhere, from the beginning, through all ages, there has been progress. If, indeed, the race had been running down, or if it had stood stationary amidst its struggles and sufferings, then must we have given it up to the scorn of the false philosopher. Then had our problem had no solution. But progress redeems all, pays for all ; shows that in all things, however dark and mysterious, there has been a good intent and tendency, a good Providence ruling all,
“From seeming evil still educing good,
The philosophy of Dewey is the philosophy of Universalism. We should like to quote from Emerson but must forbear. But it is our duty and great pleasure to quote from Dr. John Caird, Principal of the University of Glasgow who says, in his great work on “ The Philosophy of Religion,” pages 356 and 357
“ If the antagonism between good and evil which gave Dualism its meaning and power survives in the Christian view of the world, yet the new Dualism unlike that of the old religion, is consistent with the belief, not only in the ultimate triumph, but in the sole and absolute reality of good. If it asserts that sin hath entered into the world, and death by sin' yet it declares that all things are of God; that all things work together for good to them that love Him,' and that a time is coming when God shall be all in all.'”
The same note is heard in the now famous “ Scotch sermons” of 1880. Indeed, it would seem as if light were breaking in rugged old Scotland. Land of earnest thinkers among the many ; land of noble philosophy among the great leaders, it will not be astounding if Scotch philosophy should speedily become what Caird's is to-day. We believe, then,