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infanticide, to wars of extermination; and in the introduction of the arts and sciences of civilised life, of a taste for knowledge, of an idea and a want for the comforts of home, they have rendered services to their race, and manifested a spirit of humanity, to which there is no parallel nor approach in the previous history of mankind. But of details on this point there is no end : the man must be ignorant, or wilfully blind, who would assert, that Europe is not far advanced in those things which bless and adorn humanity, beyond what it was at any anterior period. As futile is the attempt to deny or disown the influence of the religion of Christ in these grand achievements. What was the revival of letters, but the bringing forth to light of those germs of intelligence and refinement which Christianity had fostered in its bosom? And who hut Christians drew the remains of ancient letters from the cloister, and diffused them throughout the world? The Reformation was the first great result of the revival of letters, and the Reformation was the offspring of the Bible, and the work of a monk. In these two grand events lay the impulse of all our subsequent triumphs. They were the epochs of the new birth of Europe. The invention of printing, the discovery and colonisation of the New World, the discoveries of science, the application of science to the arts, the improvements in medicine, the increased value of human life; the intellectual and moral power, before which the blaze of diadems grows dim, and the sceptre of monarchs is changed from a rod of oppression into a bauble of office, and by which-a higher triumph-individuals become conscious of their rights, their duties conscious of the worth and dignity of their nature, and home is made the abode of happiness, and the nursery of sterling principle, and of the purer virtues and more refined graces of life ;-all this multiplicity of good has ensued from the impulse which Europe received some three centuries since, and from the quiet but efficacious operation on its condition of the great principles of the religion of Jesus.
You have now before you some means of determining whether the socialist charge against Christianity, of having proved baneful to man, is just or unjust.
I have in this instance, as in some others, during this course of lectures, given Socialism the advantage of stating its position in a mitigated form. Its customary declaration has been that Christianity is the cause of all our social ills. In the words of one of its writers, * 'it never has done good, has always done harm, and ever will so long as it exists.' •Christianity has been the harbinger of discord, plunder, and bloodshed wherever she has extended her devastating influence ; and no country exists on the face of the globe where the attempt to Christianize the inhabitants has not been attended with, at least, the partial loss of freedom and of happiness to those inhabitants.' 'The Christian religion is nothing more than a fashion, that can only exist with ignorance; it has been productive of hypocrisy and superstition; it will be the duty, business, and tendency of superior intelligence to uproot this gigantic scourge.'
Wherever there is any knowledge of the history of the world, such extravagancies confute themselves. But in ignorance they find a prepared and a rank soil. The Christian, then, cannot fail to see his duty. His motto must be · Educate, educate, educate.' Thus, and thus only, can the evil tendencies of Owenism be effectually encountered. Let the system only be met by the diffusion of knowledge, its existence will be of short duration, and that religion which it has made the special object of its assaults, will prove a rock on which it will be ground to pieces.
* Horton's Survey of the Effects of Christianity.
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
Note 1. Page 5— The economical arrangements proposed for adoption in the New Moral World.'
SOCIALISTS are wont to affirm, that in respect of community of property, they do but propose to imitate the first Christians. I, therefore, translate the following from a very respectable and an impartial authority :
"And they had all things common. .
“ Many writers have before remarked that these words should not be too much insisted on, nor interpreted as intimating an absolute communion of property; and have supported their position by suitable arguments. For, from the circumstance that the richer Christians are said, in order to aid the poverty of their companions, to have sold their houses and lands, and deposited the price in the hands of the Apostles for the use of the poor, it by no means follows that they stripped themselves of all their property: in fact, the meaning of the words is this, the richer, that they might confer more abundant benefits on their fellow-Christians of a slenderer fortune, used to dispose of a portion of their property which they could without great detriment do without, in order that they might supply, by means of the sale of possessions, aid which the annual income did not furnish. It is sufficiently clear, from many other passages of this book, that the words of the writer are to be understood in this sense, and that no idea is contained
in them of a contribution made, by private persons of their whole property. For we read, Acts iv., 32, - Neither said any of them, that ought of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common;' which words plainly enough declare that the produce only of the possessions was common, not the possessions themselves. Further, Peter is said to have addressed Ananias thus-Whiles it remained was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it (the money) not in thine own power ?' How could Peter truly say it was in the power of Ananias not to sell the land, or to keep to himself the price of the land when sold, if, of necessity, by the laws of the society, all things were to be distributed in common? It is evident, therefore, from this place, that there were individuals among the Christians who had possessions, properly their own, and who retained their property. Besides, mention is made of Mary having a dwelling-house at Jerusalem. Nor had community of property any place in the other Christian societies. No traces of this custom are to be met with in the letters of the Apostles. By the advice of the Apostles money was collected for the use of the poor. Paul exhorts the Corinthians, every one of them on the first day of the week to lay in store something in his own house for the use of the poor. The Corinthians, therefore, retained their property. The same Apostle tells the Thessalonians, to earn their subsistence by hand labour, and places before them his own example for imitation in that he did not desire to obtain subsistence from any person for nothing, but procured it by his own labor. So that the words and they had all things common' are to be understood popularly, and in the same sense as the old proverb in Plato, friends have all things common':-that is, as Seneca writes, - Whatever my friend has is common to us, but is properly his who possesses it; without his consent I cannot make use of it.' By the words in question, therefore, is signified the zealous and pre-eminent practice of beneficence and liberality.”—Kuinoel on Acts ii. 44.
.** NOTE 2. Page 15_ It is an historical fact, that before the end of the first century, its prevalence became an object of earnest solicitude to the Emperors of Rome themselves, and that its professors were subjected to penalties and persecutions at the hands of Roman governors.'
Suetonius, in his life of the Emperor Claudius, who reigned from 41 to 54 A.D., says of him-He banished the Jews from Rome, who were continually making disturbances, Chrestus (Christ) being their leader.' (See Acts xviii., 2.)
In his life of Nero, whose reign began in 54 and ended in 68, the same writer says, The Christians were punished, a sort of men of a new and magical (miraculous) superstition.' .
On account of its full and explicit statements, as well as because it exhibits the spirit and extent of persecution, of which I discourse in the third lecture, I transcribe several parts of Pliny's letter to Trajan. Pliny was born in the year 61, A.D., was Consul in 100, A.D.; and being governor of Pontus and Bithynia, wrote, in the year 106, to the Emperor Trajan, for directions as to the measures he should pursue towards Christians, after, let it be noticed, he had persecuted them.
“I have never been present at any trials of Christians' (trials then had been customary), ‘so that I know not well what is the subject matter of punishment, or of inquiry, or what strictness ought to be used in either. Nor have I been a little perplexed to determine whether any difference ought to be made upon account of age, or whether the young and tender, and the full-grown and robust, ought to be treated all alike: whether re