1 H E


an addrfess

Delivered in Union Hall. Glenora. New York. January. 1891.

. —


Author of "Social Wealth." " Economic Kquitirs." " hand and Labor." " I'fritxl/cal ttiisittess Crixc*," " Work u»d Wealth." Mo.




718 Fourth St.. SIOUX CITY, IOWA. 1891.




Delivered in Union Hall, Glenora. New York, January. 1891.



Author nf **Social Wraith," " Economic Equities." "Land and Labor." Periodical Business (.'rises, " Work and


I >i-i i itc< 1 f V > i - tl Author

--BY -


713 Fourth St.. SIO JX CI FY, IOa'A. 1391.

The Unrevealed Religion.

It has heen jiItempted. many times from tin-plat form i<• show I hat all things in the realm of physical nature, in animal lite or in human consciousness mill volition, are under the dominion ol' the law of «rrowth and of decav. t^iven moral and religious snsceptihilities. however eon>pieuoiis or obscure. increase or diminution of stieli susceptibility must he attained tlrrou<?h a change by minute gradations, as the mind heroines opened or closed to the reception of truth, to the irathering" of strength from exercise, and of wisdom from ex-perienre.

It <h»e> not alfert this truth, that people sometime- make rapid progress ,»r dee line. One may

he in>tantl\ converted to a new truth, like Saul of


Tarsus. to outward appearance, and to the self-conscioiisness even: lor growth is noiseless ajid

mav he unnoticed l»v one's self, till some crisis re-• %

veals oiir unrecognized change. The - new birth" of the mind, like the physical hirth. may fail to impress itself upon t he at lent ion until lonij after it has taken place. Hut consider -conversion " under am li«rlit whatever, thisdevelopment of the moral and religious sentiments is only explainable at all on the ground of an inherited or acquired capacity to receive truth and accept ijood. not from authoritative revelation, hut from source.* wholly unrevealed through writ leu or spoken l'in<rti:i£e.

Were not the eye receptive of the sun, No sun for it could ever shine;

Bv nothing God-like could the heart be won, Were not the heart itself divine."

I do not i 11 tend to discuss the merits of claimed revolutions. For tlie present purpose we may treat I ho ItiMensn revelation (a claim hv thewav it nowhere makes for if self) containing the will and word of (tori. Still il liiusl he intorpreteri hv the demonstrable and mmttered law of Nature. Indeed that which comes under (he head of revealed w orris, conies lo us through llie capacities of human thought and susceptibility. to say nothing of the writing hein«»" done hv hiiinan hands. « ^ p *

and renderings of interpretations through human ingenuity and reason. For that can he no revelation which has not adaptation to the capacity to which it is made.

A question of vital importance arises here: Is the revciled word, whatever that may he. lode-termine and limit the demonstrations of human experience and investigation, or is the nnrevealed or demonstrable truth or religion to serve as c^nion of interpretation" to what may he found written? Upon the answer to this simple question turns the decision we must make as to that attitude which the noininallv Christian Church has occupied, for tietrly the whole period of her

existence. For earlv in her historv she scornfullv

• • •

abandoned, if she ever em braced, the simple spirituality of Jesus, which makes experience the test of all faith and doctrine, lie appealed to what is in Man. not to what was in books. These he often quoted to condemn by appeal to positive know ledge. The pure and spiritual he educed from the litfht of Xature. the sunshine and the rain and the upspringing germ.

Tlifc dictum of the Church on the other hand, at least since she aspired to temporal power, has

Ikjcu authoritative and hierarchic. Whatever we

owe to the humani/.inir influence associated with


the inenrories of her reign, is due to the unrevenled truth which Jesus /fretf. and which has found expression in every age in and out of the church, through the lives of true and nolde men.

The modern theologian admits the testimonies of Nature, and that there is a natural religion, lie does not object to call nature an earlier revelation. which leads up to that more spiritual life

and activitv which distinguishes the mom 11 v re-

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ligious now. I lis fallacy consists in supposiug that a written, printed or spoken word has divine power in itself to elevate man's moral and religious being. He also errs iu the order he assign* to these two partially independent sources of truth and good. The natural growth of exceptionally gifted or circumstanced individuals leads to the conception of theories and hypotheses, leading again to observation and experiment and practical realization. It is plain therefore that the theoretical or suppositious teaching through w rit-ten words, or oral communication of necessity precedes the demonstrable or practical acceptance.

The writer of the first chapter of i ienesis gave expression to an hypothesis of the origin or genesis of the external world and of man. which was followed with modifications b\ .lew. Christian and Mohammedan till withiua few hundred years. It is wonderful tluit in general order and development it coincides to so great a degree with the ••development theory" or evolution, which dominates scientific thought to-dav. These theories

• •

are due mainly to the progress of demonstrable knowledge in the present century, and which has beeouip the true interpreter of the ancient myth.

The Kline is true of the manner in which il was attempted to account for the existence of the rainbow, whether by the biographer of Noah. «.r by the equally beautiful Indian legend. Modern science has interpreted that revelation, and shown by what unvarying laws "Cod has set his [or the great chieftain's] bow in the clouds/* Thus science ever explains, confirms or corrects hypothesis. prophecy and revelation, in the moral and spiritual realm as well as in the physical. Man can make no attempt to practice any maxim or precept of morals or religion, hut he brings it to the crucial test of its utility, lie must bv this in-terpret its doubtful meaning and prove its accordance with fact, or reject it as worthless.

The spirit of authority would make revelation the interpreter of fact, Cenesis i* to interpret geology. prophecy to determine hisiorv. and revelation to create reilities. This is seen in the statements of the New Testament, where it is said things were made to occur that certain "scriptures might be fulfilled." I am sure that it is site to

sav that if that was not the reisoii whv the facts • «

occurred, il was at least why the\ were said to have occurred. The facts were made to tit the prophecy, or the prophecy was made after the facts occurred.

To the test of practical experience, and the good resulting to mankind, all systems, hypotheses and revelations must be and in the end will he subjected. Hrahmanism. Buddhism. Stoicism. Parseeism. Mohammedism. Judaism. Christ ism

M or monism. or ism of anv kind which nm stand

the test of the "greatest good" will ultimately prevail, or rather so much of either as is proved good by the test of experience. None fear but what the good in their peculiar system will continue; it is the evil thev think thev see In others t * •

that they fear. But time will set all things right, and make all things equally clear, which embrace the good.

I wish to digress here to sav that I use the

n »

term Church not at all in the sense of a voluntary association for purposes of mutual improvement mi I irrowth in tint moral and spiritual life: nor of the consocinlion ot' such bodies in a wider union: unless it be for the purpose of rouipclIiu<>' the credence of mankind : nor yet in the sense of a disi inet body professing certain fail lis and doctrines: to all such my eritici<ms of ilie church do not apply. I mean b\ church tint spirit of hieran-hy which el iinis powers derived from a supreme beinsr with authority to exeivi<c spiritual and temporal dominion over I he world. In 1 hose count rie- where, as in most rhristian nations, there i< a union of C'hurch and State, liunian freedom has little to hope for: hut the history of the epis-opacy and even of the presbytery isalsofullot enmity to free ins!iiutions. They are both monarchical ami hostile to all exercise of honest thought and lo the sovereignly of t he individual man or worn an. It is in the nature of all or«nnized iiodies to absorb vilalitv and sirenirth from other forms.

As 1 pointed out to yon a few week^ since, re-veiled relhriou is the teaching" ot* iruih: the form mosj available for I lie instruction ol' the infant mind. Ileina- it i- usually >ymholiml. Allegoric* abound in it. like ihe siorv of thetiarden of Kden. The Irees alembicand choosy the bramble bush to rule over them as kini!'. Sacred dramas, like lhal of Job: of Jonah and the whale: ot' the three worthies walking in lire: the folk-lore of the Teutons and Scandinavian* and the beiutiful tra-

ditionsof our lndian<are illustrations. Auain the


paraldes of the (iospels are in point, in which it is siid that .le<us -spake not to them without para-Ides at any time."

The Church ha- found it more favorable lo her exercise of irresponsible and wily brutal power. lo make allegories re id like history, and to pass olf parables for facts: to insist on a literal interpretation of assumed divine communications, which were ori«ritmllv iriven in lii«r)ilv figurative phrase's: and to discredit science. the unrevealed or demonstrable word of <mhI. :ui<l to which m;iit can only attain by patient investigation and practical experiment. (»od dors nothing for us which we nm do for ourselves.

I oui>ht perhaps to more dearly explain wlial

[ mean by the term (iod. to whom I ascribe both

word and work. I use it in no anthropomorphic

sense. From t lie pcrsonilicat ion of < iood and Kvil.

•i'ods |m»tIk benevolent and nnk'voleiil have been

pictured to the human mind in human form, and

with attributes, passion- and impulses, which

w oil Id suhjeci them to all the limitat ions of our

bunnin jtalure. The fetisch. the idol, the i:"od-man

and the ^"'kI-u ord are su<*ces<ively formed b\ the

mental effort of the (mile in»in«r man t»» «rra>p the

incompreheusibie. the unconditioned. I einplo\

the term to signify that all-pervading Kner«;\

which is ma idlest e< I in t he movement of all worlds.

all substance and all beinjrs. and which impresses

us as <>ood or evil in proportion to our knowledge

of and accord with the laws which govern motion.

life, sense and thought. To those who intelligent -

lv seek the <»ood in all things, the unknowable he-• i i

comes personified as the "cver-livinir and true ( iod."

To the spirit of fraternity and <rood will, evinced in the teaching and life of "the carpenter's son." we doubtless owe a tribute of grateful acknowledgement: but w ith the rhureh. which ha-prophesied and ruled in his name, humanity has a fearful balance in account. Iler entire history for more than fourteen centuries can be traced >lcp by step in the blood of slaughtered victims, iu religious wars and in persecutions of every effort of men to obtain freedom in act or thought, and iu a record of brutal cruelties, which have never been equalled for ingenious atrocity by any barbarians or savaires.

It was her delight to plunder and spoil unbelievers and heretics. Torture of bod> by every imaginable device. intensified :iixi prolonged to I lie ut lenno^i. was a usunl means to the jrratification of a voracious ripacity or of a more than diabolical revenue. Burnim»\s. drow niu<rs. persecutions lor simple opinion*-; sake. destruction of works of science, infliction of the death |»<*n*i)iy lor witch-era H and other whollv ima<rinarv crimes, are>oine

• V »

ol' |he coiiuls in thai 1 n«li«*liiioiii a«fain-t the hier-arelial spirit which claims to he < »od-appointed and (io(l-i'inpo>\ ercd. Slie imprisoned, tortured and openly murdered the aposile* of s -icnee in all those aire* w ho sought to make known to men those facts in beinir. those demon**!rable truths of the universe and ol life, not revelled in the fables and allegories adapted lo I lie childhood of the race*

To maintain her supremacy and retain her tutelary power, she has <et up authority a- |>'iramouul to truth, fahle to fact. discarded human experience and crucified human nature upon the altar of a •!floom\ snper>i it ion :md a cantin<*' hypocrisy.

I»ut w e need to discrete all t hi* from the spiritual teachings of the Xazircne. Thev have no rational connection with each other.and are allied

onlv in the false cl lim the Church make* to be the


interpreter of hi* life and doctrine, inn with which in truth she has nothing in comimni.

That the IJihle is a revela? ion «»f w hat i* posi-five. or demonstrable truth. is not now contended by intelligent theologian-. Some hundreds ot' dif-I'erent churches or communion* interpret it in widelv ditlerenl wavs. And some hundreds of thousands of priests, at immense cost to the people. are employed to explain weekly its proper mciniu»- and application. The very claim of the Church to expound the Bible admits the necessity for a rule of interpretation, lint she must be the

interpreter! Without her glossary it is a book


not lo be studied or even re id bv the laitv ! The experience of mankind through unnumbered a«res is held as nothing in comparison w ith Iter forced interpret;!!ion of fables, allegories. parubles and cpiestioinble history. The unreveriled "will of < iodwhich is bl-izoned on every moiiuMiii top. heard in the uiunuurin<r breeze and moaning >n. seen in the opening hud and unfolding tlower and tell in tlie sunshine and rain: all thi- is sheer impertinence in comparison wilh her tradition*. These were transmit led orally for an indefinite period. then formed into frag men I riry writings: then after many aires compiled with other fragment* into a hook and ealled (ienesis. and thi> la>t. after ltd nd red s ol' years more, was joined toother wrii-inirs. traditional or historical and railed the IVnta-teueh. A Iter t wo or more interval* of hundred* of yearseieh the t»ih!e lirst appe:ir> in the l\mrlh ('enturv in tlie form it weirs to-dav. The Cat ho-lie and Protestant versions ditler widely still in other respect.* than about I he apocrypha, and *ome of the ehnrelies attach to reft a in of it* book* imich greater import;ince than to other*, lint nil ortho-do\ elm relies airrec in this, tlait we iiiim allow the revealed word to dominate science, the nnreveiled or demonstrable truth or he damned. The testimonies of human experience, the aspirations of loving hearts and the spiritual intuition* of men must «iive place to \\> strained interpretation* of a hook, of the origin or authorship of which we

have lit t le sat isfadorv knowledge.

• i

"The cojillict of n^es" has thus been prolonged between the ('hurch and the man. The .tirst a designing organized hierarchy, bent on perpetuating its power and prestige: the last with all his weaknesses and errors, stru^lin^ for life and

libertN.a crncitied one made worse, not better. h\

• •

dogmatic, teaching and forced subjection to authority. The Church has retained the shell and tradition of the spiritual things of the receding ajres. but the real spirit of the primitive gospels has been mainly brought down to this aire, by the heretics, dissenters, non-conformists. Hap lists.

(Ji lakers. Socinians. I 'niversalists and Agnostics. Not an instance win he found in all history where the political rule of the Church has not resulted in the loss of civil liberty, in the* depredation and degeneracy of the people.

To it< rule we owe largely the subject ion and dependent slate of woman, from which she is only beginning to recover as the dawn of ihe Twentieth Centurx steals on. Tor the w omen of Crecce, of the Teutons. Scandinavians and barbarians generally were honored and respected, and enjoyed far more equality of privilege than I lie Church has ever sanctioned. Asceticism and the celibacy of Ihe priesthood and religious order*. mainly her work. It has curbed ihe world for ages and i- not now without it * intlucnce for evi L Kraft ion from this outrage against nature plunged both the (linn-hand the world tor hundred* of years into bcasilv sensualitv. whollv unknown to savane*.

• a • s

The rlerirv. and dignitaries of the <'hurch. both

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Protestant and Catholic, were sunk in the grossest debaucheries. Natural sons of Popes and Cardinal* wen1 honored with stations in Church and Slate and imposed as rulers upon the people. In Luther's lime ii wa* common to peddle advance indulgences of ihe Church, not only for the most loathsome vires, s crime* not except

ing rohherv and murder, t •

Krom rondit ions aud influences like these our own age has inherited much of it* sensual weakness, its morbid sentimentali*m and its tendency

to crneltv and crime. Authoritv has been exalted * •

above truth and reason.and the law s of moral conduct ha ve been made of <econdar\ moment to mere


speculative belief and the misleading assurance that mistakes in lite and lapses from morals could be balanced by a little prayer to (iod. to his son or his mother: or by an auricular confession to a priest, tor a money consideration.

This attitude of the Church toward demon-

shuble truth, to uurevealed religion, is fundamentally and fatally wroii^. li si vs. practically: "Our creed docs not square with fad s or with reason, hut that makes it so much the worse for the facts, and as for human reason that must he discarded whenever it «|ues;ions religions authority! No matter if that authority sjvs ■Coinc. let u-reason together." or, * Prove all things: hold I'a-t t hat w liich is good." "

It is claimed that we owe sorie'y :ind civilization to the Church: and it N asked - what would the world he without Christianity!'* Il i- i|uile unnecessary to ask.-What would <'hristianii \ he without science." it we mean l>\ the former, the dominion of the Church. It can he seen in Armenia. in Abyssinia. Kussia. Austria. Spain and Italy to-day. though recent relief from the temporal power of the I'ope has given a new impetus to freedom and civilization in the last-named coim-

trv. 1 f the rule of a < 'hurch jjrave moral, orderlv

• » •

society, those nations should have heen the most advanced nat ions of t he earl h. instead of being as they are in the lowest ranks of all. in the human-it ies and ameiiites of social life. N<>! revealed religion, as presented by the ('hurch. never has and never can reform the world. Its influence has been corrupt ing. not purifying: disiulegratiugaud antagonistic, not unifying and harmonizing. It

has itself been ureal I v modified, humanized ami

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rationalized within the past four hum-red years, by the science and free thought of the world, which has sought in the fields of positive knowledge (lie grounds of ethical and spiritual truth, and in demonstration, that unwritten law of the universe, which governs human relations, rights and duties.

In uncivilized lands, revealed religion has 110 salutarv effect & bv the admission of its own mis-sionaries, until methods of a higher civilization have been applied and the natives have been taught industrv. economv and 1 lie social virtues.

« « i

The teaching of traditional theology to unlearned and sensitive peoples is seen to lie demoralizing in its feverish excitements and temporary awakenings. followed hy indifference and relapse. The consequence of the Church's doctrine of the Messiah. is aptly illustrated by the spread of Mormon ism. t he oft- recurring epidemic of Ad vent ism. in the pretension* of numerous modern inessjahs. like Schu einfurt h. and in late lamentable Indian outbreaks. All these illustration* show how certain revealed religion bv itself tends to mislead

and inflate human beings, when noi subjected t<» the calm tests of experience and positive methods of thought. The revelled is never to supercede the unreveileil or demonstrable. However servic-alde or consoling it ma\ be to the individual, its authority end* with the person, and can not rightly or s-ifch be ini]ios(Ml upon another. The unre-

vealcd. demonstrable truth, which is attained bv

oiiservation of facts or evolved from knowledge of t!ie operation of Nature's laws, must beallowed to interpret and make plain all good contained in

anv svmhol. tigurc or authoritative utterance. in

• > «

Tiny sacred w ord or book.

You need have no fear that any truth will be ever lost, it is the spirit of authority, not of investigation. which olwrurcs and seeks to suppress truth. Ilut. we are told, this unrevealed religion

leads nowhere ! Uather. it leads even w here. It

explains all myths ami allegories: settles or illumines all doubtful questions. That mind is in no altitude to accept truth which first determines a subject or allows a church to determine it for him and then proceeds to investigate it. Why need we be dogmatic about what is tn In ? "There are more things in heaven and earth. Horatio, than arc dreamed of in your philosophy." To both the dogmatic religionist and to the dogmatic material-

ist. we niav sav; You have bv no means sounded • • •

to (heir depths or heights, or lengths or breadths

the mvsteries of all being?* To bow to anv author-

• • •

itv, however ancient or modern or spiritual or ■physical, is redly to turn our backs on truth: is to cease to grow as moral and intelligent beings.

There ran no harm arise to one for acknowledging his ignorance of special subjects by his efforts to learn something vet unknown. Herein \< seen the difference between the honest seuvher after truth, and the interested advocate of •• plans of s-ilvat ion." schemes and theories claimed to he derived from special utterances of infinite wisdom, but which ever heir the ear-marks of human assumption or stupidity, awl are generally the devices of an orgunited conspiracy to dominate human thougnt, suppress candid inquiry and perpetuate the dependence of the poor and uninformed.

What need to disparage the small comfort and consolation to he derived from natural and unrevealed religion, which points to ••living for others" as a true source of happiness, and to benevolence and truth seeking' as the surest means of re-


lief from sorrow, or seeks to lead men to require demonstrable proof of a supernal life? Why refuse to listen to the Agnostic because he is hones: and brave enough to tell voti he does not knot** to be true, what the Church asserts to he true, without proof? She asserts things upon a strained interpretation of a book, compiled from a large number of manuscripts and as many writers, we know not whom. Some of these were written, we know not when or where, nor even in what language. Thev were voted canonical bv a bare ma-jority of a council, after two thirds of its members had been expelled by the fiat of a half-converted pagan emperor. The four Gospels were selected from a score or two of others and decreed the "Word of God" to the exclusion of all the rest, by a show of hands of unlearned, bigoted and exasperated priests, though unquestionably they

were originally written without anv thought on tlie pari of the writers tlr.it they were ever to he used as sacred hooks, and though many passages, and even whole chapters are held by the most competent critics to have been interpolated hundreds of vears after the events tliev claim to de-» *

scribe could have taken place.

And authoritv thus derived we are told must stand against the moral convictions and spiritual intuitions of great and good men of all ages and all climes who earnest I v sought to know rather the

• P

unwritten -will of find'* than the dictum of musty parchments, made or often altered at the behests of irresponsible power, not for the purpose of freeing man kind from tyranny, ignorance and error, but to enslave and degrade them. The

truthful man tells von franklv he does not know

• •

all about God and heaven and hell: even questions with the friend of Job whether bv •• searching von

• ir •

can find out God." at all. As to a spiritual existence and life hereafter, he does not think that can !>e determined by a balancing of texts •• /n'n awf co//.** since au abundance of them can be found in the l>ible to prove or to disprove it. And this same conflict of authority will be found in relation to temperance, chastity and every subject of morals as well.

The candid man may have hopes and doubts as to futurity; but he is usually resigned to what

/ % P

is. to the will of God or to the inevitable. If there be a future life, it will be because it /.v. and not because it can be established bv the authoritv of a council (as the synod voted uuregenerate in- «

font* out of hell), or by any metaphysical syllogisms from assumed premises.

We are imploringly asked: "If you take away Christianity, what have you to give in its place? v My dear friends, Christianity can not be taken from any one who has any of it worth keeping. Just imagine taking it away from Stephen.

Peter. Paul, or John the beloved disciple and writer of Revelations. Such are not open to a bargain, lie who is under the influence of the lite of our spiritual "elder brother." has no thought of giving'any of it tip. It is more of the same kind that he requires, not an exchange for something different. It is not lor such that a greater and more intellectual leligion i> jieeded. but lbr those who have been driven to reject everything bearing the semblance of religion. bv the utter untruthfulness of •• the Church machine" as Father McGlvnn terms it. bv her doct rine of an exrlu-• »

sive heaven, her torture house and prison of endless tire. With his hope in an endless torment brothers. iu the "peirly gates" admitting to a clo-e corporation, there also has died out of his mind all tendency to take longeron trust statements of any kind, and he now demands positive demonstration of all assertions. For this surely the Church is unprepared and her impotence to reach or benefit him is cleurlv shown.


It is no longer a quest ion whether the world shall have a revealed religion, interpreted or misinterpreted by the Church, or a more rational development of that faith - which works by love and purifies the heart." but of which the Church has

lost the kev. but whether ii shall have anv at all. • •

The Church has ceased to minister to the spiritual wants of men. Eighteen and a half centuries she has thrived on her ever unredeemed promise to bring on earth a kingdom of peace and good will to men. In the name of the "Prince of Peace." she glorifies fratricidal wau. To-dav even (Jhris-

n « •

tian government in Europe, which rules by her invented fiction of "divine right," stands armed to the teeth, ready to ••cry havoc., and let slip the dogs of war," on the slightest occasion for main-taining overgrown privilege and power. Priests form processions and chant Te Denms for victories over nations professing the same faith and to celebrate (lie slaughter of kindred people and the ravage of their count rv. Nations with ••Ctnl in their constitutions" go deliberately to war with each oilier, invoking the assistance of the same denominational Cod in destroying lives and devastating homes.

No! We owe lilt lc to the Chmvh. She long ago attained seaility. second childhood. Iter influence now is to disease and death. Progress in civil and religious freedom is indebted to her in noway. We live in a country with some degree of civil and religious freedom, not because of the ••Bulls of Popes." or - the thunders of the Vatican." the ••Westminster Catechism." the Augsburg Confession, or the "Thirty-nine Articles." but because of our National 1 >eclaration of Independence. Not to Cotton Mather or Jonathan Kdwardsare we indebted for freedom but to Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson. Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine.

The priesthood of the Church in Spain is asking now the re-establi>lnneut of -the Holy Inquisition. that tutidelsand heretics may beadequale-Iv punished." And in this eountrv thev demand

» A * •

the enactment of laws enforcing the observance of the pagan Sunday as a Jewish Sabbath, without anv justification from the Bible oranv sanction of the early Church. They seek to disqualify citizens who will not take a religious oath, though Jesus prohibited oaths. The recognition of (iod in (lie Constitution is demanded that so rulers.appealing to his authority. may no longer heed the voice of the people. My friends. I am speaking here to-night, not from anv voluntarv sufferance of the Church, but-simply because she no longer has power to prevent me or to send ine to the stake if I persist.

Will we not he admonished bv all this that


we must test all pretense of authority by the teachings of personal experience and the careful analysis of those doctrines which claim to elevate and ennoble the mind. "The kingdom of <Jod is

within von," or for von it is not at all. If von

• • •

tind not peace and comfort and hope in seeking

those for whom von mav live and labor. I think

♦ ■

you will tind little that is satisfactory in the dogmas and mummeries of a church, which thus deludes the external sense by holding the words of promise to the ear while breaking them to the hope: enticing you to endow her with your earthly goods. the result of your patient toil, in exchange for a "treasure in heaven" she will prove

unable to deliver. Were 110I the Church alreadv

a spiritual bankrupt, there would have arisen no need for the doubter and Agnostic to offer his poor comfort to those whom the husks of authori-tv can no longer satisfy. It is not because the Liberal has so little, but because he has so much to offer that the otiterv is made. The Church has on hand her damaged stock of miracles and charms


to dispose of, and can not endure the least rivalry of clean goods in her business. While men lie prone in the ignorance and superstition she has promoted, she can make a gainful show of her ■•Holy Coat of Treves." and her numerous cast-off garments and relics of a Christ who was "dead and buried" more than eighteen centuries ago. She has covered the living Christ so deep beneath her crumbling creeds and spirit less ceremonies and external isms that the humanity of the nineteenth century can not find him.

She must reverse her attitude to truth or pass away. Her revealed religion is hereaf ter to be in-

• w

terpreted by the unrevealed. "the law written in the hearts" and intelligible to the reason and experience of men. That all revelation must he interpreted by the demonstrable and positive is so plain it can hardly require illustration. Words are the expressions of thoughts, thoughts the concepts of things. AVe judge of a man's words by his deeds. Language, written or spoken, is subject to many shades of meaning. The reverence all freely render to the Nazarene (the Church can only secure a formal one) is due to what he did. not to what he said. Is it irreverent to apply the same rule to what claims to be from God. -What is written ' no longer gains the mastery over nieirs minds which it held during the childhood of the race. History and experience bring us into direct contact with his unrevealed will, which is found in the unvarying sequence* of things.

I am aware of the common plea of our teachers of special intervention that God is a sovereign, and has a right to reveal himself in his own way. and we must not question him or say. "What doest thou?" That is not at all the question lam putting: but am simply asking. What has he revealed. and what is the canon of interpretation be has instituted? Is the universe to conform to words, or the words to the universe? It is not the rationalist but the su pei naturalist who has prescribed rules and conditions, possibilities and probabilities, by which to determine what is or is not his word.

John Austin, the great English writer on the Science of Law. lavs the foundation for the science by defining law as "a command from a superior to an inferior." From this premise as a loyal subject he argues the superior and divine right of kings. As a good orthodox man also he traces all law ultimately back to God as the fountain head, lie was. however, too good a logician and too reverent to fart to accept even the "ten commandments" as •• laws proper." lie goes on to show that ••God has set laws, revealed and unrevealed." and that "the unrevealed form a canon of interpretation to the revealed." The unrevealed law he claims to be the law of "the greatest good." and that bv this the character of all laws, divine or human, are to be interpreted. He thinks that man

comes into a knowledge of this law through experience. and exact understanding of the nature „ and uses of huuiau eondnet. and that all laws enacted hv the State or claimed to he reveileri from


Cod are true and binding laws ojdv asthevare in-terpreteri by this canon. and are found to result in promoting the happiness and well being of mankind.

This rule must be <!ill more imperative in the interpretation of those* laws of spiritual growth

and life, revelations of which were faintly shad-

owed forth in the early trtrillion.- of our race, through inspirations of peculiarly ccsiatic minris. and which when innocently employed have served as introductory tocleirer thought and more man-lv growth. A hunrireri \ears >ince. this nation abjured the "divine right of kings.** and of all rulers claiming authorif \ other than the consent

of the governed." Wo have travelleri verv far

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awav from that stauriarri. <)nr government i<lit-tie more than a police force to regulate the people in the interests of their taskmasters.our American plutocracy. It is even now preparing to treat for the surrender of free spee h and freedom in religion to the Church, which is seek ing a Ilia nee with

W iT

the State that she may maintain her waning power. plunder the poor, and share supremacy with Mammon.

To theunrevealeri religion, that which springs from a normal love of truth ami justice and of freedom, the race owes all its material, social and spiritual progress. Conspicuous among the practical teachers is the Jesus of Nazareth, apotheosized by a priesthood saturated with Grecian mythology and subservient to the despotic power of imperial Home. The Church has preferred a claim to a monopoly of lri& life and doctrine, and sought to sever him from his relation to humanity, and so make him the properly of an oligarchy, to be parcelled out to deluded victims, and create

an exclusive traffic in Christian spiritual things and in (iodas well. The Jesus as he appears to our simple reason, is a brother and lover of our race: an exemplar, we may reverently acknowledge. He made or authorized no trrittni rm-ht-f/oti of truth, lie lived it as it appeared to him. lie attracted to himself the common people. •• the publicans and sinners." as the pharisees avowed, lie founded j;o church. That invention of Rome about I'eterand the rock, is too thin a forgery to deceive any hut willing dupes.1 The chain of •• Apostolic succession" snaps al the first link and fails to connect with him. Nor does he intimate a creed <if any kind, except trust in («od and in himself as a devotee of truth. Ilis life was not a revelaiiou of a thing, but the thing itself: as different as i< the picture of a rose from the actual opening bud. The picture may be beautiful to

the eve. but will become dim with aire, and has

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no fragrance. Only the real and reproducing rose i> entirely satisfactory. Religion we shall continue to have of some kind, if onlv irreliirion.

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<*od will be reverenced, though it be in the form of a stone, stock, cat. cow. or of a man or of a book, or of a negation, a no-(rod. °*a hit of nothing sur-

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rounded by space." Man can never lose his admiration of the useful, the beautiful and invster-ions, (ieoloirv has bv n;> means de*i roved the hmging which (Jenesis attempted to gratify, but

onlv extended and broadened to us the mvsterv of • « •

the universe and of our own existence. The rain-how is not Ies< beautiful and wonderful to me than to Noah, or to the aborigines, because I an-

derstand something of optics and the refraction of light. The rose is not less attractive because bot-anv has taught us to analv/.e and classify it. The

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(Jood of Truth, whether we worship it as an entity or as a personality, or conceive of it as impersonal. is an ever-living and persistent principle man can never ceise to revere and admire. And hi* growth in knowledge and progress in all things refining and elevating to bis nature will be promoted. not retarded, bv the true but unrevealed. and as vet "unloved religion." -The Religion of Progress."




\uthor of " Social Wealth." " IJconomic Ht/uities." "Laud <in<1 Lahor." Periodical Business (.'rises, " Work and

Wraith." etc.

I 'ri i ite< I fc>i- tlic Autl i< >r



718 Fourth St., SIOUX CITY, IOWA. 1891.

| The* following chapters are introductory to a series of Essays under the title of " SOCIAL INDUSTRY." The first of this Series will appear in the May number of Fair Pi.ay. The March and April numbers will contain Mr. IngaHs' Address on "The Unrevealed Religion." Editor Fair Pi.ay.I



The real question, between those who work and those who exploit their earnings, is the existing disparity of wages. All production of wealth is co-operative, directly, or through exchange. The natural wages of labor, the entire wealth produced, are now divided between the landholder, capitalist and worker. In order to obtain what even an orthodox political economist calls "a rude kind of equity," any exchange of equivalents, assumes freedom from restraint, on the part of either party, intellectual responsibility, general acquaintance with values, and tolerable honesty of purpose.

Now the man who exchanges the product of his labor, for the privilege of doing it, is paying tribute to privilege, and the price of no service or thing, for we nuts: never lose sight of the fact that one's person, place and opportunity belong to himself, are really his property as much as the product of his labor. For they are a part of the universe which his vitality has moved and utilized as truly as the commodity he has produced. The soil he tills, the place and home where he dwells and works, u belongs to him in usufruct," as truly even as the muscular tissues he employs in labor, of which he owns the temporary use only. If his brain and muscle are property, which no other can claim, so is his home and physical environment. The province of exchange then is limited to those things which his ability has created outside of himself, and which can be transferred without destroying his personality or depriving himself of opportunity.

Between property in occupied land and property in vacant land, between voluntary and involuntary service, between persistent and variable values, the distinction is so wide and marked that it can be ignored only at the peril of all social well being.

Inequality in the wages of men existed before land monopoly or even slavery, which was yet older. Both of these barbaric dominations were devised to render perpetual such inequalities as at first normally arose between ignorant and inexperienced parties, but which left to themselves would have been self-corrective, through a series of alternations, tending constantly to equilibrium.

The abolition of slavery has set free these tendencies, so far as they were affected by ownership of the persons of other men. Abolition of the dominion over another's land i vacant land ownership ) would do vastly more to equalize the wages of mankind, but it is only as man shall grow in the exact knowledge of economical and ethical law, that the monstrous inequalities of social and industrial life will rapidly recede till they become lost in those gentle undulations necessary to prevent utter stagnation and inactivity.

I desire to get this general subject before the thinking workers, and to direct their attention to matters illustrating the tendency of exact economic law, in the absence of unjust class legislation, to reduce all unearned wages, now paid to landlord, banker or speculator, to a vanishing point.


Taking a look beyond the confusing polemics of social or political science and its bewildering terminology, let us institute an inquiry into the actual facts of wealth production, and carefully note what takes place as a result of associated industrial effort.

Given the two factors, "Man and the Land," we find that the active agent is only able to labor while the waste of his system in such labor is sustained by necessary food, raiment and shelter, and that the land is only able to yield as its elements are returned to it. It is also necessarv that the man should be able to rear a family, so that the industrial force mav not decline for want of new workers to take the place of those whose powers fail from age or other causes.

Now it is a well attested fact that where the land is free, or comparatively so, and not subject to the payment of rent, the early settler with little capital other than his trained hands is able not only to sustain his life but to produce in a single season enough to support him for several seasons. It is also an established fact that the average worker under such conditions produces enough to support himself with the average family, and have left at the end of the year quite as much as he has consumed. This surplus then is the economic increase due to labor which under the different names of profit, interest or rent, is now exploited through various pretences and devices, by the landlord and other legally privileged orders from the ignorance and defenseless position of the laborer.

It must be remembered, however, that this surplus product is in part owing to reciprocal aids received and returned between himself and neighbors, and in more general circulation to facilities for exchanging and transporting his commodities for other needed things produced by others ; for his labor however isolated then becomes social and cooperative, and so more effective.

Upon this excess produced by labor over cost of support depended in past generations the very existence of chattel slavery. Had the cost of slave labor at any time exceeded or even equalled the gross product, that form of slavery must have ceased from the direct operation of economic law. That it was approaching that state when abolished at the behest of moral sentiment, or rather ro meet the exigencies of the State or the military necessity, is probable, for it was hard pressed by the more effective wages system of labor, made indirectly compulsory by class ownership of the other, the passive factor of production, the land. It is well known that in all slave countries the land rapidly loses fertility.

Now if the system of chattel ism were impossible when labor under it yielded no surplus, so the entire capitalistic incomes of rent, interest and profits must cease, the moment the employment of labor ceases to be productive beyond the cost of its support, and all our legalized machinery and class institutions will become then as useless as a vacuum pump in a dry well. In the field of more independent self-employment, the truth of this position is quite as apparent. Were the worker alone in the world, a single failure to meet the necessities of his existence would end in the extinction of the man and of his type. Is not then the increase of wealth in every form dependent on this single fact that labor applied to land or to things derived from the land is able to exceed in production what such labor absorbs in consumption?

All matters involved in superintendence, in distribution and in exchange, come under the head of labor, and are subject to the same economic law, as other aids in co-operative production. Unless such labor adds to production more than it takes away, it could not economically survive, in any department except where favored by cunning class rule enforcing predatory contributions. And this must be true of every occupation or calling of men, whatever; whether of mere muscular toil, of skilled or artistic work, of director's function, management of domain, of plant, of merchandise, or of money and exchange. As to the ownership of this increase no ethical or economic concept can be logically admitted, except on the assumption that each possesses that share of the increase which his services over cost have earned. In any civil or moral determination of the questions involved in trade, or general laws of business, priority must be given to the question of ownership. To whom does the profits of social industry belong ? After the cost of the keep of the laborer is deducted, ( which we see must be done under any system of slavery, serfdom or capitalism) the 41lord of the land" enters his claim : " The increase is mine as owner of the domain and (if also a slaveholder) the laborer." And by law the land is his and the rent is his under law and under law alone. Next comes the speculative trader: "I have assisted in this production, by promoting exchange. After the cost of labor is paid, and the landlord gets his rent there is still a surplus left. That belongs to me." u But stop," says the money lender: " Your ability to work your 'racket' is altogether due to the money I lent you to corner the market with. I roust have my interest." And so political economists, to make a show of equalness to all parties have divided the productions of labor into four distinct parts: "'Wages," (living cost while working), u Rent, Interest and Profit." They thus unceremoniously quarter upon unconscious labor three nearly useless classes, as prime factors. It does not need to mention the various devices to increase the spoil, through tariffs, patent rights, etc. All profits however named are found, in the last analysis, to depend wholly upon the ability of the worker to produce more than his cost of living.

Now as regards any actual, useful service any of these parties may render to the co-operative work, in production, distribution or exchange, they are justly entitled to share. But under our class laws, the shares going to the exploiters are not for services of this kind but of an opposite character; to prevent production, defeat distribution and interrupt the circulations of exchange, which in the absence of discriminating laws would go smoothly on, each renderer of service receiving his proper share of the general increase of wealth.

When the landholder keeps his soil up to the economic requirement by expenditure of labor in returning the fertile elements and yields full opportunity to labor; should he inherit or have rightfully secured the occupation of land of superior quality, and wisely employed himself in promoting production, not only a comfortable support during the time employed but a proportionate share of the products of the industry are rightfully his. And it does not matter whether this share is termed wages or is called profits or interest or rent; it is all the same thing, the surplus of wages. The ethical and economic requirements are the same, being based on the ground of the greatest social good. Whatever defeats these ends violates both morals and economy.

At present, the whole surplus of agricultural production, over a precarious living for the laborer, is taken by the landlord, and those who hold under him, as sub-tenants or farmers. The money holder, through loans on mortgages, or by direct purchase of land buys into this legalized privilege, and so shares in pirating the natural profits. The ability to do this greatly strengthens and extends the capitalistic power of money over the surplus in all other forms of industry and exchange; so that the lords of land and of money absorb more than one-half of the entire productsof all social industry, the competitive wages of labor, superintendence and general management and the decay and wear of plant have to be paid from the remainder. Superintendence and much skilled labor, necessarily art* paid a just proportion and often more than that, but as a consequence the wages of the agriculturalist, and of most employes of whom little skill is required, are correspondingly reduced far below any rational conception of ua comfortable living," while many quite willing to work are left to involuntary idleness and consequent suffering, degeneracy and crime.

No logical solution can ever be arrived at in any department of social science unless there be first recognized a single source to all increase in social wealth, viz., the product which labor effects above what it consumes. It appears also equally necessary to admit that where increase naturally arises under economic law, it is simply the wages of labor and needs no legislation to establish or regulate it. For if in connection with superior fertility of soil, or of favorable location for exchange, or shrewd interpretation of supply and demand, of superior strength or skill, these wages may appear at times very unequal — inevitable and constantly occurring changes and a general freedom to engage in new and varied industries will reduce these disparities to a minimum, as may hereafter be more fully shown and illustrated.

r * > -

ight Selene* for he inure Hour*, tt-

familiar essays on astronomical and other nomena. By Richard A. Proctor, F. "R. A. 8.

Form* of Wtiter in Clouds and Rivers, Ice arid

Glaciers. (18 illustrations.) By John Tykdall, F. k. S.

1*hynicH and Politic*. An application of the principles of Natural 8cience to Political Society. By Walter Bagehot, Author of "The English Constitution."

Man■* Waee In Nature. ( Wiih numerous Ulustror tions.) By Thomas H. Huxley. F. R. 8.

Education, Intellectual, Moral and Physical. By Herbert Spencer.

Toten Geology. With Appendix on Coral and Coral Reefs. By Rev. C. Kingsley.

The €Jon*erration of Energy. « With numerous ' illustrations.) By Balfour Stewart, LL. D.

The Study of ijanguage*. brought back to its true principles. By c. Marcel.

The Data of Ethic*. By Herbert Spencer.

Tike Theory of Sttund in it* Relation to .»«-Hie. [Numerous illustrations.) By Prof. Pietro Blaserna.

11. 1 The Naturali*t on the Hirer Amaxon*. A

12. > record of 11 years of travel. By Henry Walter Bates,

F. L. 8. ( Not sold separately.)

Mind and Rody. The theories of their relations. By Alex. Bain, LL. D.

The Wonderh of the Heareun. < Thirty-two illustrations.) Bv C. Flammarion.

Wjongerity. The means of prolonging life after middle age. By jT Gardner, M. D.

The Origin of Specie*. By Thomas H. Huxley, F. R. 8.

Proyre**: ttn hair and 1Yiu*c. With other disquisitions. By H. Spencer.

Le**on* in Electricity. i Sixty illustrations.* By John Tyndall, F. R. S.

unifiar E**ayn on Scientific Subject**. By

Richard A. Proctor.

The Romance of Astronomy. By R. Kalley Miller, M. A.

The Phy*ical Ha*i* of BJfe. with other essays. By T. H. Huxley, F. R. S.

Seeing and Thinking. Bv William King don Clifford, F. R. S.

Scientific Sophi*m*. A review of current theories concerning Atoms, Apes and Men. By Samuel Wain-wright, D. D.

Popular Scientific Lectures. {Illustrated.» By Prof. H. Helmholtz.

The Origin of Nation*. By Prof. Geo. Rawlin-son, Oxford University.

The Evolution! *t at iAirge. By Grant Allen.

The Hi*tory of Landholding in England.

By Jos. Fisher, f. R. H. S.

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A work of inestimable vaJue in the new rieid of thought. U'orM.

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lVu7[ - - .WW I ^.. I .7) ..» ■ *«•

1  The only other reference in the Gospels < Matt viii. IT > to any church, whatever, is doubtless to a congregation or commune, although its close proximity to the binding and loosing prerogative 'on earth and m heaven." indicates a possibility of priestly tampering with the text. It is plain, however, that the references here and in the Acts, where it is said "Saul made havoc with the Church," etc.. apply to the community of believers and not to any hierarchy whatever. The C hurch as I have defined it had no existence for centuries after. Though it may have grown from beginnings in the first century, no connection can be shown logically or historically, with the central figure of the gospels, whose name Jt wears with such brazen assurance.