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Title: The Divine Need of the Rebel

Date of first publication: 1924

Author: James Chapple (1865-1947)

Date first posted: May 23, 2018

Date last updated: May 25, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180524

This ebook was produced by: xyz, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

First published: September, 1924




Addresses  from  Texts  from

the  Wider  Bible  of  Literature




Graham  House,  Tudor  Street,  E.C.4











The writer of these Lectures has no apology to make for publishing them. Some who heard them have asked for their publication, and the writing from notes into a fuller form has meant both time and patience, but has not altogether been devoid of pleasure. Unless the reader is in sympathy with progressive thought and his mind open to new ideas he will not have much pleasure in reading the pages. What is good to one is poison to another. “I think it probable,” said Herbert Spencer, “that if you were to ask ninety-nine people out of a hundred whether they would rather take a spoonful of cod-liver oil or read a chapter of my book daily, they would prefer the cod-liver oil.” So it is with this book. The one in mental bondage, whose mind is in water-tight compartments, will find no affinity. The writer ever tries to keep on the growing point of Truth—a very dangerous place to all who prefer the stagnant backwaters of reaction. But let such an one plod through it, for, like the bread on the waters, after many days it returneth—so the dullest and most stagnantly conservative brain is later on troubled by a flash of reason. There is no claim to originality. The Lectures were the result of much reading in modern literature. The cream has been collected from many sources, but the butter at least is mine. The following may be to the point:—

Prof. Brander Matthews, in a book review: “As I read its pages with both pleasure and profit I was reminded of an anecdote. Emerson once lent a translation of Plato to one of his rustic neighbours at Concord; and when the Yankee farmer returned it he did this with this characteristic remark: ‘I see Plato has a good many of my ideas.’ ”

For perfectly rounded periods and literary finish the author makes no claim; his soul is too much aflame with the questions of the hour. With Longfellow he experiences:—

“Through every nerve, through every vein,

Through every fibre of my brain,

I feel the electric thrill!

The touch of life that feels almost too much

God’s Life!”

When one really feels the “snap” in the air and shares in the growing pains of Democracy, the passion of his soul will somehow trickle down to the point of his pen and show itself on the white paper. It will also do so outside the bounds of rhetoric and well-phrased diction. So be it! These are soul-messages without any aping of academic adornments:—

“I put in the French phrases here and there,” said the would-be author, “to give the book an atmosphere of culture.” “That’s all right,” said the publisher, “but it would have helped still more if you’d put in a little good English here and there.”

Some books are thrust upon the public with the object of making the dead to live again. Others again foresee things to come and make the future live in the present. This book is of that class. It belongs to the order of Prophets and not the Priests. It will find readers, for at the present time the problems of one country are the problems of all countries. So these Lectures, which were delivered in the Unitarian Services held in the Masonic Hall, Christchurch, New Zealand, are published with the idea of finding a wider public. If they are well received, the author’s manuscript has piled up during recent years, and other volumes can be prepared, and every chapter a live-wire subject.

The publishing in book form is a personal responsibility, and nothing to do with the Unitarian movement, either in Boston or London. Many of my brethren may not agree with me, and may charge me with being inexpedient and too uncompromising. Well, my retort is, they, in times of past duress, resorted to compromise and expediency and also adopted a policy befitting the times that try men’s souls. Too many of them have fallen over each other during the stress in order to become tools of a materialist State. In other words, while professing to hold to the “Fatherhood of God” and the “Brotherhood of Man” they have not “delivered the goods.” The packing may be rough, but the goods at least are here delivered!

James H. G. Chapple.

I.The Wider Bible of Literature11
II.The Twilight of Kings20
III.The Divine Necessity of the Rebel29
IV.Nationalism or Internationalism36
V.True Patriotism. Loyalty to Humanity43
VI.Cradles or Cannons49
VII.War—Women and Eugenics57
VIII.Marriage, Morality and Divorce64
IX.Logophobia and the Tyranny of Words71
X.The Great God Mum79
XI.Individualism under Communism86
XII.The World One Man95
XIII.The Search! Eureka!102
XIV.The Psychology of Revivals109
XV.New Reasons for the Future Life116
XVI.The Future Life and the Law of Progress122
XVII.Death of Nature128
XVIII.The Better Way134
XIX.The Litany of the Universal141




Lowell: “Is God dumb that He should speak no more.”

Shakespeare, in All’s Well:

                  “In Religion

What damned error but some sober brow

Will bless and approve it with a text.”

Max Muller: “He who knows only one religion knows none.”

The popular attitude towards the Bible and the views concerning it is a great impoverishment. Christendom is the poorer, and it also impoverishes the views of God—

“Would’st make a jail to coop the living God?”

In past years, as an orthodox Presbyterian clergyman, many doubts were raised, many questionings fought. Some subject may have been in the air and called for a sermon. Then came the searchings for a text or passage suitable from the Bible. A text from Shakespeare, Shelley, or Kant presented itself to the mind. But it would never have done to have stood in a pulpit on the Sabbath and deliver a discourse from texts of Scripture in the wider Bible of Literature—that would have been shocking and session trouble—then larger trouble from the Presbytery would have followed. Those people—

“Thinking the cisterns of those Hebrew brains,

Drew dry the springs of the All-Knower’s thoughts,”

would have caused anxiety.

It is a pity we allow the words “Text,” “Scripture” and “Bible” to have undue religious meaning, for they should equally apply to all literature. The word Bible simply comes from the Greek word “biblios,” which, by the way, is plural, and means “books.” These things are not explained to congregations, and there is little intelligence abroad concerning them, hence the mental darkness and impoverishment. The result is Bibliolatry, and multitudes

“Bowing themselves in dust before a book

And thinking the great God is theirs alone.”

Much could be uttered on the slavery of a book and its fallacies, also on the slavery of a day and its absurdities. The religious column of a leading New Zealand daily paper before me shows a paragraph with the head lines: “The Sabbath-breaker as bad as the murderer.” There follows about six inches of matter to prove it! If it be so, then there are a number of apparently quite decent people in the street of my residence who are murderers in the degree of their guilt, for they can be seen mowing their lawns on the Sabbath.

It was when passing through a very dark experience as an orthodox minister that, at the extremity of a darkness that could be felt almost, the influences of the Universal Spirit caused me to take from the library shelves a volume of Arthur Clough’s poems. A passage from his “Dipsychus” came as a splendid revelation to me. In such a way as no passage from so-called Holy Writ had ever come. This is not a challenge to the many inspired passages of the Christian Bible. The contention is there is a wider Bible of Literature—a never ceasing revelation and inspiration. An inspiration all truth-born loving souls may share directly they know their moral grandeur and recognise their divinity.

Poor Shelley, an outcast from the Church, ejected from a college for writing a pamphlet on Atheism, was at the same time a channel of Divine inspiration in writing Queen Mab. The truth is, the channels of inspiration and revelation to-day are not in orthodox circles. Has there been a more severe critic of Christianity than Nietzsche? Then listen to a passage from his Ecce Homo:

“If one had the smallest vestige of superstition left in one, it would hardly be possible completely to set aside the idea that one is the mere incarnation, mouthpiece, or medium of an almighty power. . . . One hears—one does not seek; one takes—one does not ask who gives; a thought suddenly flashes up like lightning, it comes with necessity, without faltering. I have never had any choice in the matter. There is an ecstasy so great that the immense strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood of tears, during which one’s steps now involuntarily rush and anon involuntarily lag. There is the feeling that one is utterly out of hand, and so on.”

It is an extraordinary passage for a man like Nietzsche to write, and all doubters should read it. In the Introduction to Zarathustra the same wonderful passage is quoted. He is a bold, unthinking man who would deny inspiration to either Shelley or Nietzsche—in fact to anyone. Any man devoted to an ideal can truly say: “Thus saith the Lord,” or “The Word of the Lord came unto me, saying”:—

“Slowly the Bible of the race is writ,

And not on paper leaves or leaves of stone.

Each age, each kindred adds a verse to it;

Texts of despair or hope, of joy or moan.”

It is a very rational question for any doubter to ask himself: Has God ceased to speak? Again: Is it not possible to have a wider and grander Bible? Again: Can there be no more prophets—no more revelations? What, then, of future artists, poets and musicians?

We cannot wilfully shut our eyes and sin against the light. We dare not thrust aside the scholarship of the world. We cannot trample on reason and insult intelligence. The fact is our Bible is but a part of a larger and grander Bible. What of Wordsworth, Tennyson, Browning and Emerson? Can there be nothing of value except that which came from Palestine? No water of value but Jordan water?

The barbaric savageness of a “Personal Devil” and a “Burning Hell” makes it imperative to enlarge our literary coasts. The prayer of Jabez applies here. The wish of the Psalmist was also apt: “Set my feet in a large place!”

Katherine Lee Bates has written a strange haunting little poem “The Tattered Catechism.”

“This tattered catechism weaves a spell,

Invoking from the long ago a child

Who deemed her fledgling soul so sin defiled.

She practised with a candle-flame at hell,

Burning small fingers that would still rebel

And flinch from fire. Forsooth not all beguiled

By hymn and sermon, when her mother smiled,

That smile was fashioning an infidel.

‘If I’m in hell,’ the baby logic ran,

‘Mother will hear me cry and come for me.

If God says No—I don’t believe he can

Say No to mother.’ Then at that dear knee

She knelt demure, a little Puritan

Whose faith in love had wrecked theology!”

Very good—but that is a fine touch: “If I’m in hell, mother will hear me cry and come to me. If God says No—I don’t believe he can say No to mother!” Splendid! But it wrecks the Protestant position and the threadbare sentence of Chillingworth becomes absurd and meaningless:—“The Bible and the Bible alone is the religion of Protestants.” Let us face the truth and say it has to go. An evolving morality demands it. The root of the matter lies in the query: Has morality a theological or a scientific basis? A large well-meaning section of the community thinks that ethics can only have a theological base, while the growing section of thinkers hold otherwise—that there is a scientific foundation for morality, and the moral world is comparable to the perfect order of Nature; that ethics should be thoroughly consistent and in harmony with the orderly cosmos. There are really two parts of the cosmic order—one is the natural and the other is the moral. To the truly religious man to-day the term “God” is but the name for the “Eternal Right” within. The law of right is the moral adamant upon which the whole moral universe is built.

The word “morality” involves all social relationship. The social ideal is or should be the goal of all our institutions. The unwritten creed of the future includes the abolition of poverty, the lifting up of the labouring classes to the full dignity of free men, and the giving of opportunity to complete, free, true and noble lives, and all this quite apart from superstition and theology. These things are replacing theology in the old terms and sense, and the world is becoming more ethical, for the very principles of justice are penetrating through every fibre of life. It belongs to all that is covered by the word “Good” or “God.” The word “God” is but the shortened word “Good,” even as the word “Evil” had a D put before it and became “Devil.”

Man is no longer imploring an outside personal extraneous Deity, but finds God immanent within himself. Arise, Man, from thy knees and act! Thou art not a suppliant, but a creator! We no longer implore Apollo, Jove or Jahveh to stop a pestilence, but learn from science. Religion now ceases to be a set of feelings, a creed, or a Book centre; it becomes a life and a set of social practices. When a person assents to this question—Does the rightness of a thing attract you? he has moved from theology to ethics—it is an upward step. From a scientific point the universe is infinitely truthful. The coming and going of the seasons prove it. The accuracy of eclipses and tides add to the truth and proof. So in the moral world there will yet be no room for unethical conduct. Here we see that the permanent basis of morality is not to be found in a book or any theology, but is to be discovered in truth immutable, for morality depends on fundamental scientific principles. Instead of saying as hitherto, that morality is a branch from the root of theology as revealed in a book, we now say morality itself is the root. Religion is not the guardian of morality, but morality is the guardian of religion.

The Churches to-day suffer from the growing pains of morality. Our evolving morality is shocked at the barbaric creeds and confessions of faith; morality is purifying religion! After all the theological losses and the weakening of Bibliolatry there still remains Love, Truth, Honour and Duty, and we are bound to them as iron is bound to the magnet and the tides to the moon.

The term “An infallible Bible,” like the term “In Christ,” and other mystical phrases and key-words, appear to be correct and right simply because they are familiar and appeal to sentiment. It is well to remember that such terms make no appeal and touch no sentiment to the members of the other great world religions. The term “Lord Jesus” has no meaning to the millions of Buddhists, but the term “Lord Buddha” or “living in Buddha,” would to them be pregnant with sense, and simply sublime. To be saved by “blood” is simply revolting to millions of the Easterns, and many passages of the Christian Bibles are no less than loathsome and disgusting and ever will be. The orthodox key-words in Christendom to-day and the spirit of Bibliolatry with the whole gamut of mystical phrases are going the way of obsolete things. There is no end of revival effort and theological thimble-rigging going on to try and save them. They cannot exist longer, and the world war has hastened their demise. For a time they may continue in that quarter known for mental apathy and moral sluggishness. The race and the planet swings on, and people are caring less than ever for your “infallible book” or the “infallible” interpretation thereof. The Bible and Tract Society circulated millions of Bibles amongst the soldiers of all nations fighting during the war. Those who read them would choose the war passages and go forth to slay the enemy who on the other side of the trenches would probably be reading the self-same passages and go forth to slay likewise. All combatants, too, praying to the “One God,” and going forth to kill in His Name! All soldiers—German, Austrian, French, Russian, American and British were prayed away by Christian pastors of varying sectarian tints, all appealing to the One Universal Spirit—all asking the same Mother-Father-God to bless “Our army,” “Our flag,” “Our nation!”

What insanity! They were all strengthened with Bible texts, and had the “inerrant Book” to support them! The world is tired of it. These petty theologies belong to the sunset of the world’s “yesterday,” and the dawn of the world’s “to-morrow” is to be in harmony with rational, scientific and ethical teaching. The Bibliolaters must learn that the Bible that caused multitudes of innocent people to be put to death for witchcraft on the authority of the text: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” is to find its place among the obsolete gods who burn millions of people in hell for ever. The same sun that looked down upon the waning altar fires of human sacrifices is now looking down upon the waning altar fires of theological influences arising from so-called infallible books. The old world beliefs are hoary yesterdays. These altars are cold, deserted and desolate. And let us be thankful—the world grows kinder and more merciful and more tolerant as such ideas pass out. It is a worry to the orthodox to know that our New Zealand children have improved in morals under the secular educational system without any Bible readings. There is a splendid unchurched goodness that is not one whit behind the goodness of the superstitionists and the Bibliolaters. In fact it is a finer morality, for it finds its motives entirely outside theological threats, rewards and sanctions. After all, it is a low standard of ethical sanction, prompted by heavenly rewards and hellish fears. It is a wicked thing to take hold of the plastic minds of children and maim the intellect and mutilate the understanding. The Chinese distort the feet of children, but this pedal abortion is of little consequence to the mental abortion of Bibliolaters. To impress fables as facts you must take the superstitious branding iron and deface with scars the sweet and beautiful rational mind of a child.

Let us teach the dear children truth at all costs—that the Bible is a natural and human production; that the laws of evolution apply to the growth of the Bible. Teach them to read and study the wider bibles of literature—the larger bibles of nature—to learn of John Burroughs and Richard Jeffries the secrets of Nature—the bible also of the human heart and the bibles of the moral law in the human heart. Teach them that theology rests not on a book, but in the human spirit. Be honest and tell them, in the words of Gerald Massey, that “Christology as taught in orthodox circles is mummified mythology.” Tell them, in the words of Plutarch, “It is better to deny God than calumniate Him.” Explain to them that the faith OF Jesus is a different thing from faith IN Jesus. His faith was in the Great All-Father. Above all things, tell them of their Divinity. That they too may be the channel of inspiration and revelation, if devoted to the truth and willing to sacrifice for the truth. By and by they, with Ernest Crosbie, may be able to write and say (Crosbie, too, was outside the orthodox fold):—

“It is not I that have written;

It is not I that have sung.

I am the chord that Another has smitten

The chime that Another has rung.


Do not blame me, for how can a man turn

And leave unrecorded behind

The truths which the great Magic Lantern

Flashed bright on the blank of his mind?


I give but the things I am given;

I know but the things that I see;

I draw, but my pencil is driven

By a force that is Master of me.”


John Oxenham, an English poet, exclaimed:—

“Can’t you see the signs and portents?

Can’t you feel them in the air?

Can’t you see—you unbeliever?

Can’t you see? or don’t you care?”

Lord Byron (a century ago): “The king-times are fast finishing. There will be blood shed like water, and tears like mist; but the peoples will conquer in the end. I shall not live to see it, but I forsee it.”

The past history of both the throne and the altar make bad reading. The history of both shows a struggle against social betterment. In the seventeenth century there was the struggle against the Divine Right of Kings. In the eighteenth century it was a struggle against the Divine Right of Priests. In the nineteenth century commenced in earnest the struggle of privilege against the Divine Right of the People. This truly is the only Divine right bearing the real hall-mark stamp. It will win out in the end, as the true trend of political and social evolution is from autocracy to republicanism; from the despot to Demos; from the one sovereign to a sovereign people; from homogeneity to heterogeneity; from the single-celled to the multi-celled.

Speaking in the terms of science, the king to-day is a kind of vermiform appendix, a vestige, a dangerous social organ passed on from lower stages. The cannibal king, with gay feathers in his hair, and a European monarch with crown on his head, are, in the evolutionary line, connected. The Maori Tohunga, or medicine-man, and the Archbishop of Canterbury are also by an unbroken line connected. In the same way the dug-out canoe of the savages and the Titanic were connected. Also the tube and poison darts of the New Guinea natives are linked with the super-gun throwing shells for sixty miles!

To-day the monarch is a rudiment, a vestige, setting up an inflammation in the whole social organism. It is the custom, when speaking of the British king in this manner, to get the reply: “but the British king has no power—he is only a figure-head!” Does it never occur to such, he is a very expensive figure-head? Why, then, is there such keen anxiety amongst the money-mongering circles to keep the folly going? Why? Because the king is the keystone of the arch locking imperialism, militarism, privilege, aristocracy, nationalism, and capitalism tightly together. Take out the keystone and the whole arch falls to the ground. This huge octopus enslaves the whole of the world of industry. The feelers and suckers of this social octopus are felt here in New Zealand—the results are seen in the founding of the old English aristocracy in these new lands—Governor-Generals, Baronets, Orders of the British Empire, and so on, and alas, if we are to have a New Zealand aristocracy, then we must prepare also for a New Zealand pauperism. One is the necessary result of the other.

The indictment against the throne is also the indictment against the altar. The throne demands militarism and the altar defends it. The Churches might well have some heart-searchings and ask what were their attitudes towards the once new sciences of astronomy, chemistry, anatomy, geology, evolution, and even chloroform? May they not also be wrong in their present defence of the throne and militarism? But the altar hates progress and is conservative—it would rather perpetuate fallacies and superstitions than follow the truth. In its heart it loves not Democracy and is opposed to Labour ideals—it is imperialist, nationalist, militarist, capitalist. It breathes in the narrowing air of aristocracy. The military world is the right arm of aristocracy and the altar is the left arm. The two together are the ever-ready grey-headed allies of privilege. They are both ever willing to sacrifice the last young man to the war Moloch. The truth is that neither desires to know that war has no permanent place in human affairs. Neither wishes to see that nationalism is only a temporary thing, and that the international is permanent. That a world-conscience should evolve is of no interest to them. The cultivation of such a thing is outside their plan. There is really no help from the throne or the altar. Between the two the newspapers are gagged—the educational system gripped, the middle-classes enmeshed, and the feminine mind prejudiced.

The future hope for humanity lies in the abolition of both the throne and the altar. It was a terrible utterance of one old thinker, and we hesitate to repeat it, and would not only for the germ of truth involved. Said he: “The world cannot be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest!” Neither the throne nor the altar will allow a new conception of the State. They both apparently ascribe fixity to their conception of the State, forgetting that the modern State must be the expression of the general will. They prefer tradition to rule, whereby the State may be turned periodically into a magnified drill-sergeant by the will of a coterie. They both represent that class of mind which by a fatal habit of thought links order and quiet to force and power. This means the perpetuation of the drill-sergeant, and that way lies war.

The fact is, Democracy and nationalism won’t work together, and every year will make it more clear. Ultimately, nationalism leads to bayonets, and Democracy leads to internationalism. A narrow commercialism cannot rise to universal concepts except for the purpose of exploitation. Certainly it refuses to rise to it for brotherhood; so we are faced with the distressing scene of big trade gyrating in a vicious circle of imperial-capitalism. Democratic reasoning is gallantly trying in Labour circles to make a potent revulsion in favour of international co-operation and world-wide brotherhood, and the Divine Spirit is with them—in the end success must come. Lessing well said: “I have no conception of the love of country; and it seems to me a heroic failing which I am well content to be without,” and Kant, in his “Perpetual Peace,” also well said: “The civil constitution of every State must be republican!”

The Kings

The kings are dying! In blood and flame

  Their sun is setting to rise no more!

They have played too long at the ancient game

  Of their bluer blood and bolted door.


Now the blood of their betters is on their hands—

  The blood of the peasant, the child, the maid;

And there are no waters in all the lands

  Can bathe them clean of the dark stain laid.


They have sinned in malice and craven fear—

  For the sake of their tinsel have led us on

To the hate-built trench and the death-drop sheer,

  But the day will come when the kings are gone.


The kings are dying! Beat, O drums,

  The world-wide roll of the democrat!

O bugles, cry out for the day that comes

  When the kings that were shall be marvelled at!

Hugh J. Hughes.

Yes, the kings are dying, and it has been said shortly there will only be five kings left, i.e. the king of spades, the king of clubs, the king of hearts, the king of diamonds and King George Vth. Certainly it is discomforting to see at the present time that China is a republic and Russia is a republic and Britain retains the inflammable vermiform appendix. Every thinking man knows it has to go. A hundred years ago Byron saw it. In the very near future these oversea dominions will take action. The restlessness is seen already. The error of the altar is also the error of the throne—they aim at controlling posterity to the end of time; in a kind of insolent tyranny they desire to govern beyond the grave, or, as someone has said, they wish to be a kind of political Adam, binding posterity for ever; and we might well ask: Who is to decide the future, the living or the dead? Cervantes by his satire helped the bogus chivalry of the past to be laughed at and to die, so there is need now for another satirist to help to a natural death a bogus monarchy and aristocracy. Awakened reason will destroy the superstition connected with monarchy. The new thought of God will soon sap the autocratic relics of monarchy. The thought of God as an immanent Spirit instead of a personal despot is fatal to kings. The thought of a personal monarch is really the result of an error in thinking of God as a King of kings. But an immanent Spirit incarnated in the whole of humanity is of the essence of Democracy. In the evolution of religion we move from an extraneous personal God to an immanent Spirit. Is that autocratic or democratic? So the sovereign people will take the place of a sovereign person. Allow the doubter to read carefully I Samuel and chapters 8, 9 and 10, and he will soon see he has no affinity with earthly monarchs. Excepting in the correct view, that every man shall be a king and also a priest, “Ye shall be a kingdom of priests.” And, again: “He hath made us kings and priests unto God.” The most revolutionary prayer of all was “Thy kingdom come.” That is theocracy! when the spirit of Divinity—the spirit of peace and goodwill shall rule, that is the common Divinity within all men. When England becomes a Christian State there will be no king nor nobility. Said Burns:

“See yon birkie ca’ed a lord,

Who struts and stares and a’ that;

Though hundreds worship at his word,

He’s but a coof for a’ that.”

But the champions of the gunpowder and glory business are nearly at an end. The writer is no advocate of force, excepting the force of ideas. The prophecy of Byron must not come true in the British Empire. The only way to avoid it is to help and not hinder the true line of evolutionary progress. The last monarch has to go. The late King Edward knew that, and he is reported to have said that he himself would be the last of the line of England’s monarchs! If things cannot be altered on constitutional lines, then let Russia stand out as a finger post of warning! The executioner—the people—will arrive; in fact are arriving! Said that scholar and thinker, Goldwin Smith: “The Cromwell of this age is an intelligent, resolute and united people.”

The real crux of the problem is whether the desired change can be brought about peacefully? The following dialogue in the South-African Parliament raises a very serious point for Australia and New Zealand:—

“General Smuts made his opinion clear in the course of the debate in the Union Parliament a few months ago, upon the Bill providing for the acceptance of the mandate for South West Africa. He said he would answer various questions that had been put to him, the first of which was whether South Africa had the right to secede from the Empire. The following dialogue ensued:—

“General Hertzog:  ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’

“General Smuts:  I shall reply to that, I think it is my duty to reply to that, and my reply is absolutely and decisively ‘No!’ Our Constitution is laid down in writing, and our Constitution in clause 19 says the legislative power of the Union consists of Parliament of the Union, composed of the King, the Assembly, and the Senate. It is impossible and unconstitutional for either of these parts to secede from the other. The Assembly cannot secede from the King.

“General Hertzog:  Can it renounce the King?

“General Smuts:  No. This is not a question of status; it is a question of constitution. In terms of the Constitution the King cannot give up the Assembly.

“General Hertzog:  At the request of the people?

“General Smuts:  No, he cannot. Of course, by means of revolution you can do that sort of thing, but you cannot do so by constitutional means. Coming to the second question, Whether the right of veto still existed, and whether the King could veto a law for the secession of the Union from the Empire, there was, he said, no doubt as to that question. On an ordinary law there was no such thing in reality as veto, but on a question like that it was not only the King’s right, but, according to the Constitution, it was his duty to keep himself in force and connected with the Union. Where ordinary laws were concerned, the right of veto was, of course, obsolete.”

The difficulty lies in the truth—the traditions of monarchy, whether limited or unlimited ever hindering the best racial ideals of Democracy. Pure Democracy is the culminating point. So far we have only touched the outer fringe of Democracy, but we have evolved to that point of Democracy that brings us up against the Constitution, and we can foresee the impact lying ahead. The words of Byron discomfit. The world of Labour is tired of British imperialism. The best brains in the industrial sphere know Gallipoli to have been the real grave of British imperialism, and, strange to say, no tears have been shed over it.

Our concern now is with a sovereign people. The national anthem is the most unpopular song in the ranks of Labour, and Labour will win. The lines of Ebenezer Elliot concern us:

“When wilt thou save the people,

Oh, God of mercy, when?

The people, Lord, the people;

Not kings and thrones, but men?”

These are the sentiments in the world of Labour. The politicians, the clergy, the judges and magistrates seem to be unconscious of it. They move in a little atmosphere of their own, and think it is the everyday world. There will be a rude awakening. It was so in France over a century ago. The disturbances were spoken of to the queen. Said she: “They are only riots!” But they were not riots, but a revolution. “Besides,” said the queen, “we have the National Guard!” So France had, but at the crisis the National Guard sided with the people. So they ever will in the ultimate, whatever they may do during the intermediary stages. It is not merely a kinship between the working classes, but in these dominions the small circle of scholars, thinkers, and the cultured, many in high places, are also hand in hand with the workers. In America long ago the following lines were not written by a Labour agitator, but by one who had ripened in the school of the highest culture—Emerson:

“God said, I am tired of kings,

I suffer them no more:

Up to mine ear the morning brings

The outrage of the poor.


My angel his name is Freedom,

Choose him to be your king;

He shall cut pathways east and west

And fend you with his wing.”

And Shelley—poor Shelley—the most Divine of all the poets. Have a ride with him in Queen Mab’s chariot and learn his God-given message inspiration about monarchs. It were almost possible to think the Prophet Samuel had spoken the words instead of Shelley:

              “These gilded flies,

That bask within the sunshine of a court,

What are they? The drones of the community!

They feed on the mechanic’s labour;

The starved hind for them compels the stubborn glebe

To yield its unshared harvest.

And yon squalid form, leaner than fleshless misery,

Drags out his life in darkness in the unwholesome mine

To glad their grandeur;

Many faint and toil

That few may know the cares and woes of sloth.”

A limited monarchy forsooth! But it costs the people over a million pounds annually to keep the Limited Monarchy, or, rather the Unlimited Mockery in existence. But the sycophants, title hunters and billet seekers will not allow monarchy to pass if they can help it. They dam up the stream of progress, and the breakaway will come! They close down the safety valve, but the explosion is only delayed. The recognitions of merit from Democracy are of little value to them, but in their dull obstinacy they help the coming change:

Soviets’ Grim Joke

The Communist Conference decided to confer the Order of the Red Flag—the highest distinction which Soviet Russia can bestow—on M. Clemenceau and Mr. Winston Churchill, “in recognition of their great work for the international revolution.”

Any sound thinker will know it is a fatal idea to put “birth” before “merit.” To do this is to produce a smug, self-satisfied spirit. England’s proverbial love of a lord must not be transplanted to these southern seas. England, where a nod from a duke is a breakfast for a fool! Blue blood forsooth! No; for us, just good red blood!

“One ruddy drop of manly blood,

The surging sea outweighs!”

We desire to be just members of Nature’s nobility, Divine democrats, where no man is called Rabbi! Rabbi! or Lord! Lord!

    Let famine stalk the land, let war

    Its myriad victims claim;

Let children starve in fœtid slums,

    Fair women sink in shame;

Our prayers shall have the same old ring:

“The race be damned—but save the king!”


Cicero: “Strict law is often grave injustice.”

Ray Lankester: “Man is Nature’s insurgent son—Nature’s rebel. Where Nature says, ‘Die’! Man says, ‘I will live!’ ”

Oscar Wilde: “Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent. That is the reason why agitators are absolutely necessary—without them there would be no advance.”

The essay on “Self Reliance,” written by a great scholar and thinker—Emerson—is also one of the most revolutionary pieces of writing in literature. It is not generally looked upon as such. For years it has been my habit to recommend privately and publicly every young person to read it. If you have read it, then take down Emerson’s Essays again, sit in your easy chair, read it through, and then, so to speak, allow yourself to enter the room and interview you. There is only one YOU and there can be no other—no repetition. All the unions, matings, and marriages during ages have produced YOU, and YOU cannot be duplicated or produced again. It will be a wonderful world when everybody feels this—the sacred Divinity of the ego. But it is only under some form of Socialism it can eventuate. To feel as Emerson felt, “God incarnates Himself in man and goes forth to possess the world,” is splendid, and also “the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me.” Again, “I am Divine! through me God acts; through me speaks.” Once a devoted soul with high moral purpose allows himself to be charged with such Divine electricity he will soon rebel against social injustices, and the world will be the better for his passage through it. Bacon, long before Emerson, finely said: “Men seem neither to understand their riches nor their strength.” True; but a few here and there throughout the world are discovering their riches and also their strength. A few who will not conform to anything but reason. Russia has produced a few such as Lenin; Germany has produced a few such as Liebknecht—men who refuse to be footballs or the sport of circumstances. Men who feared not to utter their latest conviction, knowing it would eventually become the universal sense, even though they died in uttering it. They have fulfilled the dictum of Channing: “No man should part with his individuality,” and Lessing: “Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.” To do this is to become a rebel, without knowing it or intending it. The prophets were rebels! Men who detected and watched that gleam of light which passed across the mind—and spoke the rude truth. Men who knew an ounce of powder in the barrel of the mental gun was better than a pound outside the rifle. The world is hungry for such men and women now. Men who toss all fears and timidities overboard and act and speak.

The evolution of a higher ethical conscience is producing rebels in every land. It is a result of the war—a good result—and the end is not yet. We are only at the beginning. So many are learning the laws of society are higher than the laws of the State. So many are learning there comes a choice between morality and the State and they are morally bound to refuse State orders. What an impasse! If a finer ethical culture finds a State clashing with its morality, what then? Allow the rebels to settle it—the Divine prophets. They will soon point out that the State with its authority must rest on ethical foundations.

This brings us to the question of the State and its evolution. The word State, unfortunately, means that which is fixed in law and government; but would any man to-day ascribe fixity to the conception of the State? Is the State dynamic or static? Allow the world of Conservatism and the world of Labour both to answer, and the answers would be as wide apart as the poles, but Labour would be true, for it well knows the present Constitution was framed during the centuries by the privileged classes, and the State to-day works against the natural laws of progress. Hence, in order to obey the Divine laws of evolution, Labour supplies many so-called sedition-mongers, who as individuals find themselves bound to rebel and disobey the State. So the poor old world is slowly learning that the law-breaker so often ranks ethically higher than the law-maker. It is a hard lesson to learn, my masters! Our proudest and best traditions prove it. The history of the prophets settles it.

People are asking questions. The Nonconformists rebelled against the State Church. Were they wicked? The conscience of millions rebelled against uniformity of worship. Were they wicked? The early Christians refused to worship the Emperor. What of them? What of France when she deported the Huguenots; was she right? If so, was England right by opening her doors to the rebels? Were the people in America right who in a rebellious mood refused to recognise the fugitive slave laws? Answer this. What of the man who rebels and refuses to enlist for war, refuses even to dig a trench—in fact, would rather be shot than shoot?

There is a Divine necessity for the rebel! Any good citizen has the Divine right to rebel against authority. What of Garibaldi, Kossuth, Mazzini, Franklin and Washington? Were they right or wrong? Were they for God or against Him? The conscientious objectors are in mind. The Creator and the mother are one in this:—

The Mother’s Viewpoint

Lay all your thoughts of mother love aside;

  Put all your sentimental dreams away,

And answer me, whose wayward son has died

  Upon the law’s grim gibbet; Did it pay?

My son embodied all I had to give

  The State, the Nation and Humanity.

I bore the pangs of death that he might live;

  And did it pay to kill him? Answer me!


Hear me, in truth! I do not say because

  He was my son the State should not exact

A penalty to satisfy its laws,

  Or should not make him suffer for his act;

But you, in killing him, have done the thing

  For which you killed him—so at least it seems

To me, a mother, who was born to bring

  New life to vivify God’s Scheme of Schemes.


The years I spent to give the world a man—

  Are they as naught? We mothers have a task

That’s measured by a lifetime’s fullest span;

  You snuff it in one breath; and why, I ask?

Whether for gallows’ flesh or rifle food,

  In the dark cell or in the hellish fray—

Tell me, as in this darkest hour I brood,

  You who destroyed our offspring: DOES IT PAY?

If Spinoza was right in asserting “The aim of the State is liberty,” then a good many people are wrong. The State is not a magnified drill-sergeant! The State must not rule by precepts handed down from Cæsar. The fanatics of force have a lot to learn!

One of the greatest lessons to be learnt is from Nature; i.e. all progress in plants, animals and men really depends upon the rebellious outgrowths commonly known as variations from types. We see now what Oscar Wilde meant in speaking so highly of agitators. He was right! The most dangerous class in any community is not the agitating class, but that class who supports a hide-bound conservatism. The great indictment is not against the rebels but against the conservatives who create the rebels. The history of reform and progress is more or less the history of rebels and prophets. An ocean without agitating tides and rebellious winds would become stagnant, so would society become as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean and as stagnant, were it not for the agitating and rebellious spirits of Divinity. But the State and the law is ever in conflict with the prophets and rebels! It is so; but, alas for the State and the law, for they side against God! The rebel ever has a little more grey matter in the brain and an extra spark of Divinity in the soul.

In Nature the new varieties are really rebel-plants, refusing to conform to type and striving to advance. Read Bergson’s Creative Evolution also De Vrie’s Mutations.

Man himself was a variable rebel from the anthropoids. Man to-day struggles to understand Nature and control it. The grey matter in the brain of rebel man increased, and he discovered fire and invented clothes, then gradually went into cold latitudes and did wonders. Men crossed rivers and seas and said: “I will not starve.” Nature produces weeds and berries to a certain point of development; then rebel man interferes, and the Divinity within guides him in producing Burbank plums and all the rest. The Divine Spirit incarnated in man becomes insurgent and captures Nature. In proportion as he has the Divine spirit of rebellion so he becomes great. What a field here for the eugenists! Not to investigate heredity, to crush the spirit of rebellion; but to study Nature and nurture in order to cultivate the rebel, for he is a Divine necessity. So far he has always been crushed—from Jesus to Rosa Luxembourg. The future will see him bred and cultivated. Oh, shades of Francis Galton! we now understand what you meant by desiring a religion of eugenics! But a new conception of the State will have to precede it. The world will yet have but a handful of contented conservatives, and millions of rebels! What a world that will be! What desperate conditions will not be altered then! What will be the outcome of that Divine creative rebellious will when it has not any State or law to hinder or persecute it?

Rebels ARISE! There is a world to shape and conquer! Think of your future work in rebelling against slums, poverty, unemployment, war, and capitalism. In these matters it is your absolute Divine duty to rebel and help man fulfil his God-like destiny.

Man must interfere in all directions and go on—otherwise sink into the slough of conservatism and perish. Rebel and control the rapacity of capitalism; rebel and capture the political machine; rebel and throttle a greedy imperialism; rebel and destroy a predatory militarism; rebel and allow theocracy to replace king-rule.

At the present time we allow sweaters and exploiters to exist, and then denounce prostitution. We make it difficult for young couples to marry and stand aghast at sexual results. We submit to Puritan hypocrisy while seventy-five per cent. suffer from venereal disease. We decry free thought while a dead theology proclaims miracles, atonements, devils and hells. We starve the inventor and germ-finder and decorate the military fratricides. We pick out the “VIR,” the best, for the sacrifice to the war Moloch, and leave the “HOMO” to breed, and then blink stupidly at decadence. We throw beneath the wheels of the military juggernaut our virile blood, in order that a few may get titles, medals, ribbons, pensions and other gewgaws. Oh, Divine rebels! Where are you? Shades of Moses, Hypatia, John Ball, Wat Tyler, Luther, Galileo and Bruno! Jesus, thou rebel against Mammon and a stagnant orthodoxy, canst thou still inspire rebellion against social injustices? Is there not another chapter yet to be added to Christianity?

Is it treason to be loyal to the Nazarene? The words “Treason” and “Reason” seem so alike. Strike the “t” out and “reason” remains. For following Divine reason men have died for treason. To be reasonable to-day we are looked askance at for being treasonable! Was France well rid of the treasonable Huguenots? Was England well rid of the treasonable Pilgrim Fathers? Was it treason here in New Zealand to cry out against a hundred millions extra war debt and the sacrifice of fifty thousand lives, killed and broken, in order that another hundred millions extra war profits could be made by those who were already rich before the war? These profiteers could not hear the groans of the parents bereaved. No; they could not hear. Their ears were plugged with wool, meat, butter and cheese—plugged tight.

Is it treason to be done with the old world hates? Is it treason to object to New Zealand being a kind of suburb to England? Is it treason to hunger for a pacific republic?

The greatest treason of all is treason against God! The greatest treason of all is to sacrifice the international ideal of brotherhood for national vanity. The finest reason is to rebel, and resist the standards, stiff with blood, hanging over pulpits, to condemn the ground muddy and red with the life of men. If war be right, then the Carpenter was wrong. Our choice is between treason to the State or treason to God and the people. Man is Nature’s insurgent son, Nature’s rebel—Arise! Thou wilt win, but not by material force. Rather wilt thou win by the force of ideas. Says Edwin Markham:

“They drew a circle that shut me out,

A heretic rebel, a thing to flout;

But love and I had the wit to win,

We drew a circle that took them in!”


Mazzini: “I dream of a perfect humanity.”

Emerson: “Every reform was once a private opinion.”

The world moves slowly away from absolute monarchy towards pure Democracy. As yet we have only touched the outer fringe of Democracy, and the great struggle is ahead. All will have to take sides; even the expedient middle class, and that is a hard saying. The great mercenary class whose smug policy that befits the time, makes them belittled in the minds of the patronising and detested by the great industrial world. It is with the great middle class that we find the strong narrow nationalism that hinders the dream of Mazzini from taking shape; they stand in the way of the great world-wide reform. For the most part this large class is sectarian in religious matters and in political matters strongly national. There is no vision, and that being so they must perish, even as they are perishing in Russia. Nationalism is but sectarianism writ large. Tennyson, in the “Palace of Art” has a verse:

“I care not what the sects may brawl,

I sit as God,

Holding no form of creed,

But contemplating all.”

Which is very good. How can we by any stretch of the imagination think of the Great Universal Spirit, the Immanent Mother-Father-God being in any way a sectarian? With all due apologies to Tennyson, let us alter a word:—

“I care not what the nations may brawl,

I sit as God,

Holding no form of nationalism,

But contemplating all!”

Which is very good also. How can we imagine God as a nationalist? The people, then, who are the most God-like or godly will cast off the husks of both sectarianism and nationalism. There can be no world improvement from the military curse until nationalism is obsolescent. At the heart it really means domination by military force. But the international will lead us into the long sought for moral renaissance—Universal Brotherhood. One is the law of the jungle and the other is the law of fraternity. Just in proportion as a nation ceases to be predatory so it will, by the well-known inverse law, become productive. Imperialism and Democracy will not mix. The two are from different roots. There can be no form of an imperialised Democracy, neither can there be any form of democratic imperialism. It is of no use pruning or clipping at either; the axe must be laid at the root. The gobbling imperialism of England will be her downfall—the sapping and under-sluicing is slowly going on. Her imperial difficulties increase. The writer is British on both sides of the family. He married into a family also British on both sides. But the wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy. Here in New Zealand the distance from England is an advantage; it allows some of us to get perspective and proportion, and we see disaster ahead. The spirit of empire is not the Spirit of God. The ancients picture a slow-footed Nemesis in the affairs of men. So it is also in the affairs of empires. Study history and learn.

The Greek poet of old said the eternal law permits the tyrant in his boundless self-esteem to climb higher and higher and to gain greater honor and might until he arrives at the appointed height and then falls down into the infinite depths.

There is only one way for every imperial nation to save itself, and that is to cast aside the annexing and predatory spirit and allow the international goodwill and productive spirit to supplant it. All great movements seem to start from Labour circles. It was a clique of proletarians who rallied around the Carpenter of Nazareth. Also the last chapter of Christianity has yet to be written. Paul’s imperialised form of it was not Christianity at all, and the world suffered thereby and still suffers. From the circle of Labour again the International was started in 1864—again by a Jew, and the end is not yet. Karl Marx is really the founder of modern and scientific Socialism and the father of the International. All honor to the Jew. It seems fitting for Jews to lead. He who first organised a brickmakers’ strike in Egypt was a Jew—Moses. The Jews now are bringing deliverance to Russia. The pity of it that some crack-brained people who are shackled to texts of scripture should want the Jews of the world to again flock to Palestine! May the keen razor brain of the Jew scattered throughout the world yet succeed in revolutionising it! When the Jew applies his brain to finance he can beat all and sundry at it. When he applies it to philosophy, he stills leads. To wit, the Jew of Amsterdam, Spinoza, and the modern French Jew, Bergson. In sociology it is the same, the most of them are Hebrews. More power to them! The present signs are that world emancipation will yet be brought about by Jews. So Marx is not the parent of an abortive child in the Internationale, it promises to be the leaven to work into every corner of the earth. It has ebbed and flowed for over half-a-century and is ever gaining. It will win, for it has the Divine seal. How strange, that the international ideal should be poison to imperialists, nationalists, militarists, and capitalists! Poison to these and food to proletarians, co-operatives, industrialists and peace lovers!

Just prior to the war there was an extraordinary Congress of Races gathered in London. Dr. Felix Adler (a German Jew) originated the idea. It met in the University of London, and Lord Weardale presided. There were delegates representing fifty different branches of the human family. How fine to ever remember there is only one race, and that is the human race! Well twenty-two governments sent delegates, and they represented 135 millions of negroes and negritoes, 520 millions of yellow people and 575 millions of so-called white folk. So-called white! True—none are white. They may be nearly white when dead. The paper written upon is white, but in contrast with the hand holding the pen there is a great difference. In truth there is no white race—to land suddenly in a strange land and walk amid a white race would soon give us a shock and we would long for health and robustness.

Amongst these delegates there were two main camps—Moslem and Christian—and an observer related after the Assembly was over that the subject of science ever tended to unite them, but religion divided them!

How strange that the Christian Church never visioned a congress such as that! That with Christian dogmas there could never be such idealism! That inside the church there is no wide humanitarian morality. You must look outside for that. The secretary of the movement, who had the great task of shaping it, was a rationalist! Well, the same Church hindered the abolition of slavery. Texts were fired from a multitude of pulpits to prove that slavery was scriptural. The same Church has hindered science, from Galileo to Darwin. The same guilty Church champions war and blesses the military flags on both sides of the trenches! The same Church to-day is shy of the International, and the Socialist State of peace and goodwill. The ideal of a common human interest is not for the Church; it cannot or will not co-operate with the great world tendencies. The first Internationalist (Jesus) is forgotten, and the burning truth of Emerson flares up before the mind: “The idioms of the Nazarene’s language and the figures of his rhetoric have usurped the place of his truth; and churches are not built on his principles, but on his tropes. Christianity becomes a Mythus, as the poetic teaching of Greece and of Egypt before.”

The great need of New Zealand appears to be the need of every nation in the world—excepting Russia—statesmen, who, like Mazzini and Emerson had wide horizons. There is an over-plus of politicians, but no statesmen! It ceases to be a compliment to be called a politician. Above the portals of any House of Representatives could be well engraved: “Abandon Truth all ye who enter here!” There may be a select few, but so far their numbers are small and their vote almost powerless. New Zealand, here in the Southern Hemisphere, centred in the Pacific Seas, should be a land beyond the bounds of nationality; a land where we can open the doors to all who love Social Democracy and refuse a stereotyped drill system and the resultant war. A land where we feel that we are the custodians of a finer Divine ideal—leaving the old world hates and suspicions—a land where we can plant the highest civilization. A land where all can come who are physically, mentally and morally sound—eugenic—where such can land and pool their interests in the larger commonwealth.

At the present we have been switched off the track by imperialists and militarists. There is no vision, no ideal, no initiative, no soul! No large understanding of mankind! No richer knowledge of God! But few are able to stand erect with chest to the breeze and forehead to the sun and shout: One God! One Humanity! One Law of Right!

Labour at least must be true to the International. Its only hope lies all that way. It is not a vain hope either. There is only one thing wanted: that we will that we organise and have vision. That we learn to view all questions and test all proposals in the light of world-wide brotherhood. That we ever watch for the chance to link up with all countries and search for unities. There are many agencies helping to-day: commerce, railways, shipping, cables, wireless, the postal system, aeroplanes, the facilities for travel, are all conducive to help world-wide understanding. The one thing needed is the downfall of the capitalist system and the socialization of all industry. To produce for use and not for profit. Travel is a great thing, but don’t travel by an all Red Route. Get outside of the insular British atmosphere, and learn an all-round means having a broader and more generous view of life. Instead of developing national pugnacity it will unfold the Divine thought of good feeling, tending to mutual economic exchange.

After world-wide travel such as this, it will dawn on the opening mind that there must be a new conception of the State. Said Spinoza: “The aim of the State is liberty.” The war robbed us of liberty, and the post-war tendency is to hinder us from regaining what liberty we once had. The State of the future will move away from physical force. It will aim at less force. As we get away from the twin bogeys of imperialism—fear and greed—it will be so.

The people must be trusted, for incarnated in the community there is ever a moral force that saves and protects. The financial world interests don’t want to trust the people, but would rather exploit the people. There is no morality in imperialism; it is anti-moral. The ethical growth is to be found in Democracy, Internationalism and world Republicanism. If this ethical growth is carefully cultured, all the Dreadnoughts, devils, bayonets and brimstone will be cast on the scrap heap, and the soldier will be as obsolete as a flinted arrow or a stone axe. An American recently delivered himself well when dealing with the future republic. He was not a Socialist, but one of the American Secretaries of State:

“I can conceive of a national destiny surpassing the glories of the present and the past—a destiny which meets the responsibilities of to-day and measures up to the possibilities of the future. Behold a republic, resting securely upon the foundation stones quarried by revolutionary patriots from the mountain of eternal truth—a republic applying in practice and proclaiming to the world the self-evident propositions that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, that Governments are instituted among men to secure these rights, and that Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Behold a republic in which civil and religious liberty stimulates all to earnest endeavour and in which the law restrains every hand uplifted for a neighbour’s injury—a republic in which every citizen is a sovereign, but in which no one cares or dares to wear a crown. Behold a republic standing erect while empires all around are bowed beneath the weight of their own armaments—a republic whose flag is loved while other flags are only feared. Behold a republic increasing in population, in wealth, in strength, and in influence, solving the problems of civilization and hastening the coming of a universal brotherhood—a republic which shakes thrones and dissolves aristocracies by its silent example and gives light and inspiration to those who sit in darkness. Behold a republic gradually but surely becoming the supreme moral factor in the world’s progress and the accepted arbiter of the world’s disputes—a republic whose history, like the path of the just, is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”


Charles Aked: “Emancipate us from the impalpable and monstrous tyranny of a superstition which masquerades as patriotism.”

Thomas Paine: “The world is my country; mankind are my brethren; to do good is my religion.”

Step with me into Shelley’s chariot with Queen Mab, and view this little planet from afar. Just watch the comical little armies, the comical little navies trailing their comical little flags. What do you make of it all? Ask any of them, and the answer is much the same. It is in the interests of liberty and civilization. An answer similar to that would result. Not one responsible person would reply that the trailing flags were the result of racial antagonisms, national prejudices, brag of empire, thirst for dominion, foreign markets, big commerce or cherished suspicions. There would be great talk of patriotism, love of one’s country, and so on. Not one amongst the British flag-trailers would attempt to explain what Dr. Samuel Johnson meant by saying: “Patriotism is the last resort of scoundrels!”

Paine’s patriotism: “The world is my country,” is really the only patriotism that can endure. Sit down and think it out.

Patriotism as ordinarily understood leads the world every few years into chaos, into a condition of affairs resulting in the negation of all law and the negation of all morality. War is the negation of both. The bogus patriotism extant is really a counterfeit of a moral principle. The counterfeit is palmed off upon the docile unthinking people whose minds have been prepared in impressionable years:

“When the mind is wax to receive

And marble to retain.”

Genuine patriotism is not taught, that which bears the mark of the guinea stamp, but the false thing is taught which leads to Nationalism, Jingoism, Chauvinism and Machiavellianism. Popular Patriotism is little more than money-mongering and military adventuring. There is much talk of boys-of-the-bull-dog breed, and multitudes who pride themselves upon being British Bull-dogs are in reality British donkeys.

Patriotism is a word used by big commerce for the purposes of a greedy policy of exploitation, and so far the dull tame people respond to it and bleed—yes, the people always bleed—they bleed on the battlefield, they bleed on the economic field, they bleed in taxation and the high cost of living. Yes, the people ever bleed! How long, O Lord, how long? Says the old proverb: “Be a soldier—pay your taxes—shut your mouth!” One McCarthy wrote the following lines in the New York Herald:—

“Whether your shell hits the target or not.

Your cost is six hundred dollars a shot.

You think of noise and flame and power,

We feed you a hundred barrels of flour

Each time you roar. Your flame is red

With twenty thousand loaves of bread.

Silence! A million hungry men

Seek bread to fill their mouths again.”

This was published either before or at the beginning of the war. Now that the carnage has long been over the lines of McCarthy read with interest. We might well ask—what has either nationalism or patriotism to offer for the sacrifice? The answer is only a continuance of wage-slavery, where the wages are risen under pressure and the prices of necessaries quickly follow the rise in wages. The sacrifice does not even bring increased national security for to-morrow. The Empire was never more insecure than now. Disintegration is taking place on all sides. But no one dares to say it. The Press is busy manufacturing opinion contrariwise. The churches, with their faked and spurious doctrines, compel their religion to suit the spirit of a faked and spurious patriotism.

The truth is that we need a re-valuation of many bogus words. Whatever value and meaning they may have had in the past, they have little now. We might well ask: Are not those words dangerous with their old meanings when dragged into everyday affairs now. No word needs a re-valuation more than the word patriotism. Its depreciation should be written off. Like the vermiform appendix, it may have had a certain use in the past, but it is a positive danger now and should be dealt with as such.

Two of the greatest sinners in juggling with this bogus meaning of the word patriotism are the Church and the Press, for they both exploit the stupidity of a docile people. They both join in the wicked art of making nations believe they are right when they are wrong. When the nations see white by the aid of the Divine moral spark within, they make them see black. When the nations by the same intuition see black they make them see white in the interests of an evil statecraft based on imperialism and capitalism. Splendidly did a French senator recently call the past war a war of bourreurs de cranes—that is, the war of the brain-stuffers! So, for the need of re-valuations in dangerous obsolescent words, the national Deity is beseeched by each opposing nation (mostly Christian) in the name of patriotism while the various armies go forth to hate, starve, rape, burn, gas, torpedo, bomb, bayonet and profiteer.

If Shelley’s Queen Mab chariot could call at a neighbouring planet an intelligent inhabitant might well ask: How is it done? How do they manage to dupe the people of our sister planet the Earth? The true answer to this would be: It is done by successfully manipulating an old and evil word called patriotism. Then we apply the gag-laws and effectively close questioning mouths. Free discussion is stopped. In fact, if any criticise the Government they become guilty of sedition. This is all very humiliating, and we might well ask ourselves are the governments the masters or the servants of the people? Until this is settled definitely and once for all there can be no vital improvement, and the conditions are allowed to remain that will result again in a repetition of the whole ghastly and sickening slaughter.

If the people will persist in allowing themselves to be called “subjects” there can be no change. What a chloroformed humiliation to admit subjection! Is there no such possibility as a sovereign people! In a nut-shell: the patriotism of the past has been centred in that term: “God and the King.” The re-valuation of the word after the depreciation has been written off will be: “God and Humanity!” Which is the better? Listen to Shelley’s inspired words:

“War is the statesman’s game, the priest’s delight,

The lawyer’s jest, the hired assassins trade!

And to the royal murderers, whose mean thrones

Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore,

The bread they eat, the staff on which they lean.”

It resolves itself into a simple problem. Are we still to think around the parish-pump, or shall we step out into international and universal thinking? Are we to step back into the dark damp tunnel, amid evil smelling fungus and deadly nightshade, or shall we step right ahead into the sunshine, fresh air, the perfume of violets and the larger landscape? The choice is the emancipation from the impalpable and monstrous tyranny of a superstition which masquerades as patriotism (this is the old dark tunnel) or the real patriotism: The world is my country; mankind are my brethren; to do good is my religion. Here is the fresh open space and the fragrance of freedom! Choose—God or Baal!

Are we still to be enchanted with a bogus virtue? My country, right or wrong, is a bogus virtue—a counterfeit. We are harassed with these false virtues even as we are deceived by false crimes. Was not witchcraft a false crime? Is not blasphemy a false crime? If it is not, then we are very insular and parochial in our thinking. If to speak against the Christian beliefs is blasphemy, then it is also blasphemy for Christian missionaries to speak against Buddhism or Shintoism or Mohammedanism. Blasphemy thus resolves itself into a matter of geography. As a matter of fact, it is a false crime, and will pass—in fact is passing. Sedition is another false crime. What, says a doubter, Is it not a crime to disturb the peace of the State? The correct answer to this is: Would you disturb a numbed man in the snow? Kossuth was guilty of sedition; so was Mazzini and Benjamin Franklin, also George Washington and Tolstoy and Jesus. There are bogus crimes. There are bogus virtues, and patriotism is one.

But the new and wider patriotism is a virtue of the highest nature; it opens up the way for a world of peace, good-will and brotherhood. The new re-valuations will show to us there is a morality beyond the present morality; there is a patriotism beyond the present patriotism; there is a religion away and beyond any of the present forms of religious thought.

A new patriotism will usher in a new religion, not vice-versa. A new patriotism will usher in a new era of political thought. A new patriotism will usher in a new journalism. Truth is now crucified and falsehood enthroned, and through the false patriotism we are journalised into artificial gloom. Says Isaac Zangwill: “This, too, is a dark age—it is dark with ink!” The shedding of blood was preceded by the shedding of ink! Journalistic lying is now a holy work for the State. Someone has suggested in an optimistic way that the time is close at hand when the juror’s oath will be applied to the Press. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. May it be so. It cannot be so under the old patriotism and nationalism.

Our problem in New Zealand is the common problem of all. It has a world-wide application. The paramount question is, shall we cultivate the newer and truer patriotism? The way to do so is for trade to be an international occupation without preferences—no geographical barriers—but with a universal conscience to trade with any country who will trade with us. That our products may become a common social heritage.

Shall this land of New Zealand become such? A land where all hatred fades away? A land of robust ideas and a healthy radicalism of conceptions? A land of truth, beauty, goodness and good-fellowship? A land where all antipathies and hatreds shall be unlearned? A land where the atmosphere which engenders ill-will will be deadly to it, making it shrivel and die? A land where the bitter historical spirit will be eliminated, purged from the books of our educational system? A land where the miseries of the dead past shall be impossible? Can New Zealand become such a land? No; it cannot under imperialism. It can as a free republic, but not otherwise.

Let the dead bury their dead! As the Finnish poet Runeberg declares: “From the old which ages, one must let go his hold, in order to hold fast the old which never grows aged!”

New Zealanders lead the way! Human brotherhood must be our watchword! A broad catholicity must be our spirit! The true patriotism—not the bogus thing—the monster who consumes her own children in wars of imperialism in the interests of profiteers! A thousand times, No! Above all nations—humanity! Says Jas. J. Clark, in “The Voice of the People”:

“Swing inwards, O gates of the future,

  Swing outwards, ye doors of the past;

A giant is waking from slumber,

  And rending his fetters at last

From the dust, where the proud tyrants bound him,

  Unhonored and scorned and betrayed.

He shall rise with the sunset around him,

  And rule in the realm he has made.”


Juvenal: “The highest reverence is due to the child.”

Meredith: “Nothing against Nature can be right, nor can it endure.”

Juvenal was a Roman satirist of the first and second centuries, and we have little information of a personal nature about him. He has left on record a somewhat brutal and realistic description of Roman vice of his time—such a true spirit of realism possessed him in writing that many have thought the word “disgusting” the proper way of referring to his satires. When a man has an unpleasant duty to perform the better way probably is to take off the gloves and just do it. Juvenal did take them off—he did it in all sincerity and in doing so was inspired by a high religious sense and spiritual prompting. His soul loathed the immorality of his environment, and he was in revolt.

Our own Dean Swift, too, has had the word “indecent” hurled at him. How strange! The immoralities of the day can be glossed over and blinked at, but when a man satires them in a way that shall not be misunderstood he forsooth is smugly called indecent! Do we need another satirist to-day to deal with imperialism, capitalism, militarism and the “empty cradle,” even as Cervantes dealt with an impossible knight errantry, and as a Voltaire dealt with intolerance? Yes; the times call for him and he will appear. What a whip of scorpions satire is! It is an effective whip when ordinary methods of reasoning fail. When it seems impossible to reason fallacies out, then compel people to laugh at themselves and the idiotisms soon become things of the past.

When Juvenal declared that the highest reverence was due to the child, he saw at a glance the value of the child as a national asset. Derivations may help us here. The word “nation,” “nascor,” “natus,” “natality,” really carries the meaning of a succession of births. The words “nature,” “nation,” “natality,” are therefore inseparably connected, and the unpleasant truth forces itself upon the mind that whatever strikes at Nature also strikes at the nation. That is so. The work of the cannon and the empty cradle means national death, and it is as irrevocably sure as the sunset. No amount of praying nor political sophistry can alter it. The Eternal Cause cannot be successfully tricked or dodged. In this sphere truth is very simple—it is eternal and without variation. There is nothing to add to it nor anything to take away from it.

A clipping from a local paper before me reads as follows:—“A circular letter was received from the Dunedin City Council, covering a resolution urging the Government to consider a scheme providing for the payment of a bonus to the parents of large families. The resolution was endorsed.”

This, too, in a new and fertile country like New Zealand! A land full of productivity—producing more per head of population than any country in the world; yet withal having about the lowest birthrate! Oh, shades of Malthus! Do figures mean anything? In 1882 the New Zealand birthrate was 37.22 per 1000, in 1891 it was reduced to 29.01, and in 1901 to 26.34. In 1917 it was only 25.69 per 1000, and in more recent figures the showing is worse.

The position is gradually getting so bad that the serious-minded are sounding the alarm. The whole of the capitalist and exploiting conditions are anti-social and work against the child and the reverence due to the child. The babe has no value and is a nuisance. The boy who had watched the drowning of kittens and the keeping of one kitten, also later stood by his mother’s side in church when she brought her twins to the font for baptism. It was his first experience at a christening and when he saw the water in the font he with great unconcern asked “Which one are you going to keep, mother?”

To-day a Persian cat or a Pekinese pug-nosed dog are of more value than a babe. Watch the contents of motor cars and see! The middle class is little better, for they ape the upper class, and the babe is not wanted. If a stray calf, or sheep or lamb, or even a hen or chicken were wandering about without an owner, all gates would be open to welcome it; but who wants a baby? When the mother was asked by the man with the census paper “How many children have you?” She answered: “Ten, but thank God seven are in the cemetery!” She was not of the middle class, but a wage-slave wife. But there was a terrible truth in her answer. Under the wage-slave system children cannot be welcomed. A century ago in England children were, in a sense, assets; that is, they brought in a little earnings, and families were consequently often large. There was no compulsory education as now, and at early years they had to work. To-day education is compulsory, and it does not pay to have children. They are simply a burden. The fault is not in the compulsory education or protective Industrial Acts; the real fault is in the capitalist construction of society; and while that system remains there can only be palliatives and no radical betterment. Under the socialization of industry and a true Republican Commonwealth, a great truth will dawn upon the social mind, i.e. a eugenic babe will be of more value than a gold ingot! Through an evil social, or rather anti-social system, the babe is not of so much domestic value as a kitten, and a false Malthusian ideal prevails.

Who was Malthus? A Church of England parson, who died in 1834. He wrote an essay on “Population,” the substance of which can be reduced to a few sentences such as “Population increases faster than sustenance”; “Vice, misery, war and pestilence are natural checks”; “Man should do by prudential checks what Nature does”; and so on. Malthus though, in this was rather inconsistent, for he was the father of twelve children! The book is now obsolete and in every sense of the word out of date. It is an unconvincing and illogical essay, and the proper answer to it can be found in Henry George’s Progress and Poverty. Turn up the chapter in that work on “The Disproof of the Malthusian Theory.” Accepting the argument of Malthus, we should have expected to have found the Polynesian Isles brimming over with population when the white races first visited the islands. By the laws of Malthus there should hardly have been standing room. The truth is that God through Nature regulates man’s fertility. In these days the Divine Spirit in man is compelling him to see science, and intensive culture applied to the soil, meeting all requirements if capitalism and greed can only be gripped effectively by the throat and strangled out of existence. It will be!

How strange! The foes of the child are those who have the most wealth. The countries most productive dislike the cradle as an article of furniture the most. In New Zealand as the food-rate increases so the birthrate decreases! Malthus must turn in his grave. Last week we were regaled with this cabled news from London:

“The Thames docks abound with stories that mice are nesting in carcases of imported lambs and that there are rats a foot long, which have grown double coats of fur, in order to adapt themselves to the low storage temperatures in the refrigerators.” So under this most blessed system of Mammon the workers of Britain cannot get cheap meat and we cannot get cheap meat here in New Zealand. Instead of keeping meat in store for the people, the freezing works are used by money-mongers to keep meat away from the people! Better for mice and rats to nest and breed in the carcases than for the meat to assist parents to take the responsibilities of parentage.

Meredith gives us the rift in the lute by saying: “Nothing against Nature can be right nor can it endure.” But at the present, Nature is at a discount. The rich won’t have children and nurse them, for it is unfashionable. To be fair, there seems to be at least one exception. An American millionaire and his wife, being childless, wrote to a foundling school, expressing a wish to adopt a boy or girl. The director, finding it difficult to make a selection, sent twelve boys and twelve girls, with the request that the millionaire should make his own choice. The husband and wife found it no easy matter to make up their minds. The children were most hospitably entertained, and when night came on were all put to bed. Next day the millionaire and his wife decided to adopt the whole twenty-four. Unfashionable proceeding! True; but the fact remains the rich won’t have children, and that by wilfulness. The snobbish bourgeoisie, with their mercenary spirit and narrow outlook, imitate the élite (so-called). The workers, who are the most moral of all classes, are regulated by economic necessity and driven to the Fruits of Philosophy (also so-called).

But who will win—the land of the cradles or the land of the cannons? France—another land of the empty cradle—trembles in fear at the present moment. France, where the third child is never wanted! France, where the man who has children is despised even by the women. France, when a couple have a second child people do not go and congratulate them; they pay a visit of condolence. France, where the sword itches for more work and the cradles are empty. But how much better are we? Is not the two-edged sword of militarism and capitalism destroying us? One is a juggernaut car that has just stopped crushing the lives out of 17,000 of New Zealand’s best and leaving over 40,000 broken men. The other is the everlasting economic sacrifice to the great god Moloch. These two enemies of the cradle hold the Mother of Divine Nature in contempt. The first is a spasmodic sacrifice that is made periodically in the interests of big commerce and the profiteers, and the second is a continuous sacrifice caused by the high cost of living. A sacrifice caused by the fact that the workers produce for other people’s profit, and not for their own use. In order to keep out of debt they hesitate at marriage, and are driven by the natural sex-hunger, into incontinent and unchaste habits. If they do marry they are still, alas, driven into the same habits. If anything, the prostitution of natural laws is even more unclean and wicked under the holy (?) bonds of wedlock than the prostitution outside connubial bliss! Driven by economic necessity to thwart Nature, to trick Divinity, to baffle the great and sublime creative laws of Nature, when children do come it is looked upon as a slip, a mistake, a most unwelcome visitor, a calamity. By inquiring into the circumstances of the deaths of infants in several industrial centres one children’s bureau arrived at the appalling conclusion that between the income earned by the father and the child’s chances of life there was a connection so close that it approaches a mathematical law! In the lowest income groups death was a very frequent visitor.

What are the remedies? Meredith gives the answer: “Nothing against Nature can be right nor can it endure.” The empty cradle and Nature are not in harmony. The cannons and Nature are not in harmony either. War reverses the law of selection. The best are selected for slaughter and the defective remain at home. The God of Nature will give the earth to the Asiatics and they know it and can wait. Says Edward Tregear:

“Peril is here! is here! Here in the childless land;

Life sits high in the chair of fools, twisting her ropes of sand;

Here the lisping of babes and the cooing of mothers cease;

Here the man and the woman fail, and only the flocks increase.”

The land of the empty cradle is doomed. The only point is—how long will it take to reach doom? Before getting to the precipice can the people be made to realize that the closer they are to Nature the nearer they are to God?

Another remedy is in teaching people the nature of true patriotism. That the true patriot is the willing parent and not the willing militarist. It would be money well spent by progressive societies if they could buy reprints of Pierre Fritel’s picture, “The Price of Glory,” and give them away, or even add extra outlay and frame them to give away. Is there anything more educative than a picture?

Remedies? Yes; down with the money-mongering and the reverence paid to Mammon, and learn that the highest reverence must be paid to the child. In with the new social order, where Nature will be obeyed and hence will endure permanently. Yes; back to the land and Nature’s simplicity. Nature will win in the end over all fictitious conventions; but alas for the British Empire! She refuses to learn from the empty cradle of the Roman Empire and chooses to sin on and call Juvenal’s satires coarse and disgusting.

When will the pulpits speak out? They are as weak here on this subject as they are on militarism. The pulpit mouth is wide open on things non-essential and the pulpit eye is closed on the empty cradle. The reason may be that the manse is no longer the home of the large family. He that hath unclean hands cannot wax stronger and stronger. When the heart is not pure in these things the strength cannot be as the strength of ten. With a guilty conscience the representative of God and the bearer of the holy vessels cannot tell the flock that by co-working with Nature and humanity they are also co-working with God. He cannot say straight out that child-love is natural and of God! He cannot refer to maternity as the craving of the Cosmic Will, and with an eye flaming with Divine wrath say that Cosmic Will is now juggled with!

Juvenal was right in demanding reverence for the child—God and the child are one! Israel was a wonderful nation when every woman longed to be the mother of the Deliverer. The world needs a deliverer to-day. A deliverer to emancipate us from the anti-social forces in our midst. The greatest message still—and there can be no greater—is: Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given! Also the wise men of the world will welcome him with the highest reverence. Their grain of incense will be reserved for the cradle and not the cannon.


Ellen Key: “War is contra selection; it furthers the survival of the defective. War sifts the wheat from the chaff, but it is the wheat that is destroyed.”

Euripides: “The most invincible of all things is a woman.”

In several directions we discern hopeful signs, and the most hopeful of all is the growing spirit of rebellion in the feminine world. The world’s hope lies there. The utterance of Ellen Key shows fine moral consciousness, and we need only for women generally to grasp the scientific truth involved in order to speedily usher in the better time. Women’s right mission is that of peace, mercy and love, and so far in the world’s history that mission has only allowed itself to be felt in the amelioration of evils committed, but it has not been exercised to any great extent in the better work of preventing of evils.

Women must learn where the guilt rests. It lies in a state of society built up by the male element and in which the female element has been powerless to exercise an influence. The warring State, like the capitalist State, is the destroyer of the home and humanity. Women are by nature the preservers of both, yet they are helpless. When periodically the war fanaticism breaks out the feminine voice is silenced and the idealism of women exploited for the general interest of the money-mongerers, the magic and bogus word patriotism fulfils its evil work. Science is coming to women’s aid in the form of eugenic knowledge, and it is refreshing to hear a woman express herself as this splendid Swedish soul, Ellen Key, is doing.

The truth is, thinking women are in eugenic revolt, and well they may be. If wars must be, then send the “chaff” to fight them; don’t sift out the “wheat.” Send the degenerates to slay and be slain, but don’t pick out the best. A defective trained to use a machine gun can mow down easily a thousand of the best. Probably an intelligent ape could be trained to use a machine gun with the same results. Certain it is the finest types of manhood are selected to face death and mutilation and the inferior types can stay at home and take up the duties of parentage. The “fit” are picked out for drill while the “unfit” sit around on the seats and watch them drill. The end of all this is mathematically sure; the only thing open to question is the length of time it will take to get there.

Other results of the wicked business is the decimating of the males, and this means that multitudes of women will have to give up all chance of marriage. Unless the war aftermath may develop a new ethic and allow women to bear unwedlocked children, there are many signs of this already—it will maybe shock the Puritans, but they must throw the blame at the door of the capitalist State, with its indispensable tool of militarism. If women are void of the eugenic sense they may prefer to marry war invalids and bear the consequences in defective children. A shocking thing truly for a woman philosopher to say: “Two wives to a healthy man is better than an invalid husband,” but let no one be angered at her; rather turn round and rend the jingoes!

Eu” means “well born,” and “GENOS” means “race,” and the word “eugenic” means a “well born race.” It is a modern word with a terrible meaning. Women are the custodians of the racial soul, and they are at last seeing through the mists of a bogus patriotism and nationalism their real enemies, and slowly beginning to learn that the capitalist State means militarism; imperial greed means militarism; nationalism means militarism; patriotism means militarism; militarism means sifting the wheat from the chaff and destroying the wheat. It is contra selection!

The past years have taught women a lot, and it touches them on very sensitive subjects. These lines are written in New Zealand—the land of great produce, a low birth, rate, and about an equality of the sexes—male and female. That is an equality of sexes before the war. To-day we find that 17,000 have been killed in the European slaughter-house, also over 40,000 broken, many thousands of whom are wholly unfit for marriage. Keeping these figures in mind, we turn to the Eugenic Review, and a lady, speaking on eugenics and imperial development at Bedford College, When Mr. Leonard Darwin occupied the chair, said: “The opportunity which the war has given to a large number of the best Dominion men to select wives of their own social tradition from this country (England) is one of the few good things which have come out of evil. I believe there are between 35,000 and 40,000 New Zealand, Australian and Canadian officers and privates who have married since they have been in England.” As a matter of fact the figures are beyond what this lady asserted. They are apparently well over 50,000. But the point for New Zealanders and Australians to consider is that for every soldier who chose a wife in England there will be a woman without a husband here! In what way does the Empire gain?

The terrible truth is the British Empire is destroying her own children; that is, picking out the wheat, the best for destruction. She is doing it all the time in industry. Every time a man falls from a scaffold, every time a lump of cargo falls out of the sling upon a man in the hold, every time a railway man’s boot-heel is caught in the points with the train upon him. These and a thousand dangers make a never ceasing toll upon the best male life. Not satisfied with this we add in a voluntary way the military toll to it. This gives promise of being followed by the revolutionary toll as well. We add also to this everlasting toll of males the fact that the male child in tender years is more difficult to rear than the female child—strange to say.

The world’s great hope for betterment lies in the sunbeam of truth, that women are getting a eugenic sense and learning new values. The value of the International. They are beginning to question many things previously accepted without thought. Learning especially that imperial morality is only a matter of maps and miles and painting the world red—yes; blood-red! Women are steadily discerning the difference between a true morality and a bogus morality; that it is a choice between Utopia or hell; love or hate; sanity or idiocy; creating or killing; cradles or cannons. “If God be God, then serve Him; and if Baal, then serve him.” It is a very old choice, but seemingly a very modern cleavage. It all hinges again in learning that man is Divine. In allowing the fact to permeate the brain that every man killed or wounded on either side of no-man’s-land is a brother; every war is a civil war, and there can be no foreign war; every war is homicidal, is fratricidal. Will the Churches never learn that when people are taught their depravity from impressionable years upwards, they will jump to kill at the call of the war-bugle. When they are taught their Divinity, they will jump the other way from killing. All men Divine! Who would jump and plunge a bayonet into God? When the Churches learn the sin of detachment from God divine, and the virtue of immanence it will be a glad day for women and men too. Whether the truth is dawning upon the Churches is hard to say; but it is dawning here and there upon women. The hope of a better world lies here, for with Euripides we say that the future will prove that the most invincible of all things is a woman, when she realizes that war wounds the eugenic sense and thereby hinders the full and free satisfaction of the race instinct. Allow that feminine realization to spread and a new era is upon us with a rush.

Says G. B. Shaw: “We cannot afford to withdraw millions of male adults who have passed the strictest health test from the work of parentage unless we intend to breed our next generation from parents with short sight, varicose veins, rotten teeth, and deranged internal organs. Soldiers do not think of these things. ‘Theirs not to reason why; theirs but to do and die’; but sensible civilians have to.”

It is a man-made world, and we are living in a vortex of masculine curses. Women must resist the rights of male monopolies. They are beginning to do so. The lop-sided world must be balanced. The feminine intelligence must be added to the masculine intelligence. When in San Francisco some years ago a heavily laden boat went out of the Golden Gates in the evening and faced an unknown storm during the second night at sea, the badly trimmed cargo got loose and hundreds of tons broke away, and the poor lop-sided steamer went down. The world is lop-sided—over masculinized—the male-world is at a dead-end. No one knows this better than the men themselves. Some of the world’s finest men are now looking to women to usher in the good time to come, and they will.

The way to eugenic betterment is not only by the suppression of militarism, but also by the spread in feminine circles of a higher sense of marriage. That ethical sense is to be found in the babe. If the war god and the military devil have made marriage impossible, well, to many brave souls, there is still the babe. Just allow Ellen Key’s truth to stamp itself indelibly in the brain: “Every woman (married or unmarried) has the Divine right of maternity!” The only proviso or alteration we would make to the sentence is “Every eugenic woman.” These are the days to utter stern and drastic truths, and if some get angered, then let it not be with Ellen Key and the growing host who think with her. Become angry with the militarists, the jingoes, and the pulpits who have supported them in bringing about the situation!

At all costs there must be—there will be—freedom for the eugenic ideal. No woman should be compelled to marry in order to become the mother of a child. It should not be compulsory for a woman to marry in order to get a living. When will the egotistical males learn that marriage is not woman-possession? When will they learn the double view of things in all matters—man and woman? Even our conception of God is masculine! If anything, Nature is more maternal than otherwise, then why have we to think of a masculine God? That fine heretic of Boston, Theodore Parker, startled his hearers when praying by an introductory sentence: “Our Mother-Father-God!” He was right also. It is not unpleasing to learn that Mrs. Eddy carried the idea in Christian Science. Our Mother-Father-God! On every hand the Divine creative force in Nature tries to bring forth! God is essentially a creator and not a destroyer! Nature struggles to perfect its forms and types. A masculine society defeats the efforts so far as man is concerned. He is wise with his animals and his poultry, but not with himself, for by war he works in ways of contra selection.

The time is dead-ripe for a change. All hail, ye women! Make the child a new possibility of truth! Make the child a new germ of progress! Says a strange old proverb: “What God cannot do the child can!” Woman, surpass thyself in the child! But you cannot do this until you learn to put humanity before imperialism! You cannot do this until you put conscience and eugenic science before the State! What an investment! To suffer the pangs of hell and go down into the valley of death in order to bring a new life into the world; then to nurse the child; then watch through the school days; then to the high school and maybe the university; then comes a call for the Empire and the body-snatchers drill and march. News of wounds and death follow. Dying for the Empire, say they! No! So far as New Zealand is concerned, he died not for the Empire but for the profiteers of the Empire. Our New Zealand boys died really for big imperial cheques for cheese, wool, meat and butter! The only thing the soldier-boys really won was the high cost of living. The agony of it!

Yes; there will soon be a women’s international movement. There will soon evolve an O.B.U. (one big union) for women. A hint comes from Europe already pregnant with promise: Women will yet (1) refuse to nurse the wounded if the males will continue to slay, and (2) refuse to bear children for soldiering. Fancy an O.B.U. on strike in this matter. The idiotic world of masculinism would surely awake! What woman of any nation or colour cannot feel the heart beats of the Austrian mother when saying:

“My heart is bowed down

By the bloody hurt of war!

It is not glad, it gets no cheer

From news of victory!

I only hear the surging tears

Pouring from eyes of wives and mothers,

The sobs of the God of Love!

Oh, that they might shatter the world!”

They! Yes they will arouse and shatter the world! They will hear the call. The dying soldier’s cry of “Mother! mother!” will resound and re-echo up and down the world. That word “mother” is the Divine spirit in the soldier calling to the Divine spirit in woman. The call is being heard. The change is upon us. Euripides! we take you by the hand, saying: “The most invincible of all things is a woman!” Men’s blindness will pass and women’s eugenic sight will be ushered in.

Blind Man’s Battle!

“These enemies. How blind their aim

Directed one against another!

In a lightless passion flame,

Each blind man sees his blind brother,

As that blind defile in his mind

That makes him and his brother blind!”


Anon.: “What God does not hold together by love, let not the Church paste together by texts and laws.”

Mazzini: “Abide not in the tents of your fathers; the world moves on; march with it.”

Almquist: “The race is not yet born, it is only an embryo.”

This is a woman’s century. Was it not Ibsen who said it would be characterised by the revolt of the workers and the revolt of the women? It is so. On every side there are signs of volcanic revolt. On every hand there is an increasing disgust with obsolete laws and customs.

This has been brought about chiefly by a toppling theology. Throughout Christendom the women have been for centuries bound by scriptural texts; bound by a thousand Lilliputian textual threads. The mythical stories of the rib, the serpent and the apple have held her, and with the going of myths so she rises, and will soon attain to her proper status. She is attaining it, and the world promises to be more merciful, more pitiful; in fact a better place to live in.

We approach a new period. The era of women’s economic independence. It will modify our marriage customs. The hitherto inflexible matrimonial conventions are being quietly sapped in the aftermath of the war. A new note is being struck. “Are you in a good situation and earning good wages?” asked a dame of a younger woman. “No, ma’m,” she replied; “I’m married now and working hard for no wages at all.” This is decidedly a new note. In a newspaper correspondence on the subject of marriage and economics a lady unburdened her soul in these words: “I would rather my husband was occasionally unfaithful than that he should say: ‘What did you do with that dollar I gave you last week?’ ” In the same controversy another said: “At the first hint from my husband that my presence is unwelcome, I leave. Any woman of spirit would pack her trunk and go; that any wife should want to stay is astounding!” It all betokens a new spirit—a new period.

In America, of course, they take little notice of these signs and portents, and some think they are confined to that continent. It is not so. Here in far away New Zealand the following is taken from one of our leading dailies: “It is not generally known that a person may be married without a wedding ring, and marriages have actually been solemnized without the ring. The local registrar has ‘hitched’ a couple without the conventional circlet more than once. In one case when he asked for the ring, the bride said that she had a religious objection to the use of it, and as there was nothing in the Marriage Act about wedding rings the ceremony had to proceed.” In America we know crowds of women look upon the wedding ring as a badge of bondage and refuse to wear it. It is in reality a badge of bondage. For history (the Bible included) proves that a wife has been looked upon as a chattel. In the Old Testament the wives were listed in the inventory of a man’s goods, with the oxen, the camels, the goats and the asses. In these oversea lands it is usual for farmers to put a brand or an ear mark on their stock. The wedding ring is not an ear mark, but a finger mark. If a woman must wear it, why not also a man!

The old Greeks bit a finger from the bride. The aborigines in parts of Australia knock a front tooth out of the newly-married woman. They all, including the wedding ring, convey the same lesson—this is my property. The chattel thought is there in all its repulsiveness. It is time for it to go. There must be a higher ethic in marriage. The radical ideas of one age become the conservative ideas of the next age, and so on.

At the present time there are two distinct types of thought in reference to marriage and divorce. On the one hand there are the ultra-religious people, who on religious grounds make divorce impossible to get, and on the other hand there are the ultra-radical who stand for perfectly free unions and free divorces. The truth lies somewhere midway. The correct thing to aim at is to prevent unhappiness in marriage. The higher ethic is to ease the way for the separating of unhappy unions.

But, strange to say, it is ecclesiasticism that blocks the way to a higher ethic. The ecclesiastical mind soaked in the textual passages of an antiquated book is too apt to think of a wife as of property possessed, a chattel owned like a camel or a donkey. To be “given away” in marriage! How odd when one stops to think! “Given away,” like a purse may be given, or a wheelbarrow! Old English law still records that a wife may be locked up or beaten by her husband provided he does not use a stick thicker than his thumb! These indignities were perpetuated by an obsolete book. Said Paul: Wives must be in subjection, women must not think—if they want to know, let them ask their husbands. Read the Church of England Prayer-book on the subject, and learn the shocking insufferable scandal therein printed for worshippers to regale themselves with. More or less the same spirit permeates all the religious sects, and it must be so while they are chained to a book.

It is strange to have to charge the Christian Church with being the enemy of divorce and at the same time thereby being the enemy of morality. Yet it is so! We can imagine the clerical pose and the retort: “Those whom God has joined together let no man put asunder.” But people spending lives of unhappiness together are not joined by God. The average parson will marry anyone for a sovereign. He is so non-eugenic in his mind, for the same fee he will marry consumptives and short-witted people, also asking God’s blessing on the union, and the God of Nature answers his prayers by a contradiction, by children cursed with feeble-mindedness.

The clergy must learn these things. They must learn the great truth that the so-called legal, holy bond of marriage is improper if love ceases. Also that easier divorces make for a higher ideal of liberty. The bogus chastity of the Christian Church is not of Nature at all, and really makes for unchastity. Note the figures for venereal diseases! The growing demand for easier divorces is really Nature’s social struggle for a higher ethic, and it will come. That rigid old moralist, Dr. Samuel Johnson once voiced the Church conscience on the subject, and is often quoted to bolster up a false morality, by saying: “I would not receive back a daughter who had run away from a bad husband.” It is comforting to know the rugged stout old grampus had no child!

To anticipate parsonic objections. Says one: “If you allow easier divorces, then it would mean social anarchy in the matrimonial world.” The answer to this is: “Such arguments have been used to bolster up monarchy, imperialism, capitalism and militarism.”

But, says another, the children would suffer! The answer is surely easy here. Are homes full of quarrelling good for children? Don’t the poor dear children suffer in the homes where parents cease to love?

If the parsons and Churches want to continue the impossible conditions making for immorality, then in a free world they may set up rules for themselves and for their own members and not thrust their false ideals upon the outside world. The same Church that was wrong over astronomy, anatomy, medicine, geology and evolution may be wrong again over marriage and divorce.

Allow us to explain how easier divorce laws will result in a higher code of ethics. At the present time adultery is the chief ground for a successful plea in divorce. This means that both parties arrange for adultery to take place and to be proved. Watch the divorce cases and read carefully between the lines. What then of separation orders? They are ethically unsound and not good. They simply mean the parties are forbidden to co-habit and also to marry! Think between the lines here. Let us rejoice in the fact that women are in revolt and that we have not to abide in the tents of our fathers. The world is moving on, and we can march with it. As women come into their own, divorce will be easier. The truth is, no questions should be asked for the reasons of the divorce. If both parties wish it, then the agreement should be cancelled right away. Think of the multitudes of women in bondage to cruel men! Think of the multitudes of women compelled to yield to drunken embraces! Think of the venereal disease—bad enough before the war; but worse than ever since the great wickedness. Is there no protection for women?

The clergymen who oppose divorce in the name of morality must face these things and ask themselves whether it would not be better to try and release crowds of unhappy people from the marriage tie on the simple grounds of morality? If love has departed, then the marriage bond is immoral. Some of our social miseries seem to be almost unavoidable, but these marriage miseries can be avoided. One of the worst kinds of prostitution is that kind taking place in marriage. Listen to Commissioner Wright, who compiled the first great marriage report; he definitely states: “I do not believe that divorce is a menace to the purity and sacredness of the family, but I do believe that it is a menace to the infernal brutality of whatever name, be it crude or refined, which at times makes a hell of the holiest human relations. I believe the divorce movement finds its impetus outside of laws, outside of our institutions, outside of our theology; that it finds its impetus in the rebellion in the human heart against that slavery which binds in the cruelest bonds of the crudest prostitution human beings who have by their foolishness, by their want of wisdom, or by the intervention of friends, missed the divine purpose as well as the civil purpose of marriage.”

This is very well put, and contains the germ of the whole position. Most of the progressive minds seem conservative on the subject of marriage and divorce. The thinking becomes much easier if it be remembered that morality is not stagnant, but transitional and evolutional. As it has been pointed out—remember that Christianity was immoral to the Romans. Not so long ago torture was quite moral. In Blackstone’s legal commentaries there are one hundred and sixty offences mentioned for capital punishment! It was once quite moral to beat insane people. In fact, people went to asylums to be amused by the antics of the inmates as they go now to a circus to be amused by the antics of the clown. In the past intemperance was not unethical; even the clergy were not disgraced by drunkenness! The law often drags behind facts; often lags behind ethics—and here you have it!

What of the new spirit? It is a finer ethic. Let us help it along. Face the truth, i.e. it is immoral for a woman to live with a man when she ceases to love him! Make it easy for her to quit and get out—the man too. Mrs. Grundy may hold up her hands in alarm; but many held up their hands in alarm when seeing the first motor-car, the first aeroplane. The times move on. Queen Victoria refused to allow divorcees at court, but King Edward had to relent, for two of his own relations were divorced.

Let not the reader think the writer is inclined to laxity. He would have all marriages as happy as his own. Thirty-three years married and fourteen children—all robust, keen witted and being trained to independent rebellious thinking by a mother who is the picture of youth and looks not like a mother, but rather a sister to the elder children. After thirty-three years one can look back and reflect and speak without sentiment or emotion and these are the words: I would have all marriages as my own!

Whatever alterations are pending, Nature will win, and so all is right. The human heart will ever demand its mate. The old story of love will ever be told. The woman you love will never grow old! Nor the man either! Nothing will separate the two that love each other.

John Anderson, my jo, John,

  When we were first acquent,

Your locks were like the raven,

  Your bonnie brow was brent;

But now your brow is beld, John,

  Your locks are like the snaw;

But blessings on your frosty pow,

  John Anderson, my jo.


John Anderson, my jo, John,

  We climb the hill thegither;

And mony a canty day, John,

  We’ve had wi ’ane anither;

Now we maun totter down, John,

  And hand in hand we’ll go;

And sleep thegither at the foot,

  John Anderson, my jo.


            “One doth not know

How much an ill word may empoison liking.”



“Words are things; and a small drop of ink,

Falling like dew upon a thought, produces

That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”


Most new words cause shyness when first heard. It takes a long time for the prejudice caused by words to be overcome. The word “Christian” must have had a most objectionable sound for at least the first two hundred years of the Christian era. All that was vile, coarse, unlawful and objectionable was in the word, and he must have been an extraordinary person in many ways who would have willingly borne the reproach of it. In that reproach was the loss of all status, a full measure of contempt and complete social ostracism. It was a terrifying word to all those who wanted to stand plumb with the class of privilege and the powers then ruling.

The word “Methodist,” too, was not a complimentary word to throw at any person at the beginning of the last century. Crowds of people would not feel elated to-day by being called a “Methodist,” yet it has become quite respectable. “Non-conformist” is another term struggling well for notice and respectability.

Our medical men, too, try to scare us with words. The most simple complaints at times are called and described by most alarming words. Anyone at all nervous and introspective would easily drift into some form of hypochondria by the newly-coined medical scare-words and patent medicine advertisements of to-day. The Christian Science people are not doing a wholly bad work by trying to lift people above the terror of them. When Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “If all the medicine and drugs were thrown into the sea, it would be the better for the people but very much the worse for the fishes,” he uttered a timely truth, and being a doctor and a clever medical man too, he spoke wisely and well. Sir William Osler says, in his recently published address: “Men of science pay homage, as do no others, to the god of words whose magic power is nowhere so manifest, as in the plastic language of Greece.” He then quotes some humorous and true verses from Punch:

“Botany relies on Latin ever since Linnæus’ days,

Biologic nomenclature draws on Greek in countless ways;

While in medicine it is obvious you can never take your oath

What an ailment means exactly if you haven’t studied both.”

Think of the huge list of theological words that have empoisoned the minds of millions for nearly two thousand years: “hell,” “devil,” “damnation,” and all the rest of them. Words that should make a respectable savage blush. Religion’s scare-words still doing service, but, like the autumn leaves, rapidly falling from the tree of knowledge and whirling away amid the drift of cast-off things.

Take the word “witchcraft,” and recall the terror of it for long centuries and the thousands who suffered through the appellation being hurled at them. Yes; and the scholars and judges of the day applying their mental energies in writing great tomes to prove witchcraft; and did not the Bible declare: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live!” There was little evidence needed after that.

Two of our most precious words to-day, that speak for our evolving human race, have a terrifying sound in them; they carry a sting in many circles of society: “rationalism” and “freethought.” How splendid they are, and yet how many people fear them. The dual word “Anti-Christ” is quite sufficient to make many people curl up if directed at them. Yet in the light of the past war and the record of the Churches in connection therewith, they are really Anti-Christ—they who profess to follow the One of peace and goodwill, yet ever ready to fall over each other to serve the State when war is declared in the interests of imperialism, big commerce and capitalism generally. The Churches are Anti-Christ.

What an atmosphere of contempt there has been about the words “pacifists” and “conscientious objectors” during the past years and the evil suggestibility connected with those designated by such terms. Yet they are nearer to the Nazarene than the Anti-Christ Churches. Some of these evil terms hurled at C.O.’s come to mind. Scan them: “Men who are bullet shy,” “morbid phantasms,” “hysterical neuropaths,” “sheep and beaver folk,” “perils to public safety,” “sufferers from bullet-itis,” “cowardly weaklings,” “landless men,” “imported aliens,” “backboneless skunks” and so on. All honor to the noble band who refused to be scared by them. These men are the real salt and savor of society, and time will work for them as it is now working for them. Multitudes of soldiers went to the trenches against their conscience because these scare-words were too much for them. It requires more pluck to face the epithets of our neighbours than to face the enemies’ machine-guns. The abused and not understood word “patriotism” drove them on with the multitude in the ranks of Anti-Christ, to slay their brethren who were also alike guilty. To fight and die in order to make a few rich people richer than ever! Forgetting that real patriotism stands for the preservation of the race and world-neighbourliness. The real patriots were those who at all costs and hazards were upholding the hands of those who try to avert militarism and war. In these days no true patriot expresses enthusiasm for war. In the light of the International, (which is a new and higher ethic) there is only one patriotism, and that is loyalty to the one human family, irrespective of colour, creed or nation.

The powers that be know well the suggestibility of words, and by the help of our greatest modern menace and scourge, i.e. the newspapers, they succeed in psychologizing the public by giving an idea an evil name; i.e. “Red-Feds” “Red-Raggers” and so on. Said Byron: “Words are things, and a small drop of ink falling like dew upon a thought produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” Yes; and often to think wrongly! Therein lies the menace. The greatest problem of the day is how can Democracy grip the hireling and prostitute Press by the throat and strangle it. There can be no progress, no better moral world until this is done. The Press can and does give to a noble idea a bad word to cause bias and thus psychologize the public mind in order to divert the social tendencies from the upward move to higher ethical altitudes. This too in the interests of Mammon, from whence comes their money for advertisements. While the newspapers are run by the cash registers it must be so.

One of the magazines in America a few years ago suggested that improved conditions could be brought about by changing words and adjusting them to moral tendencies. Thus the term “War Office” could be called “Peace Office”; the “Secretary of War,” altered to “Secretary of Peace”; the “War Budget” be known as the “Peace Budget,” and so on. By this well-known law of association of ideas and suggestibility of words a great change could be brought about in the people’s thinking. Tell soldiers they are for war and they want war—the military officer wants to live up to his name. At the present time amongst thinking people there is a new world consciousness set peacewards—let us help it on, and let all war policies be known as peace policies.

In politics too there are scare-words that terrify. The movement known as the “International Workers of the World” abbreviated to the “I.W.W.”! The Bolsheviki! The Soviets! The “One big union,” known in a shortened form as the “O.B.U.”! These are all political scare-words and have their paralysing effect upon the public mind that allows the Press to think for them. They persuade the people that it is a fearful crime to advocate unity of the working masses. It is right for the Church of Anti-Christ (all orthodox Churches) to favour unity amongst themselves. It is right for the greedy profiteers to do it. It is right for the gobbling imperialists to do it. It is right for shipping combines to do it. But, oh, it is dreadful, devilish and most un-Christian for the industrial world to do it.

The most ugly scare-word of all is “profiteering”; but ’tis a sweet juicy word to the present capitalist system, and so far no government dares grapple with it. There is much talk and little do! The truth is that all governments exist in order to protect them while they profiteer.

The man who had made a huge fortune was speaking to a crowd of students at a business class. As usual the main subject of his address was his own business career.

“All my success in life, all my tremendous financial prestige,” he said, proudly, “I owe to one thing alone—pluck, pluck, pluck!”

He made an impressive pause here, but the effect was ruined by one student, who asked impressively:

“Yes, sir; but how are we to find the right people to pluck! Are any left who are not plucked?”

Well might a clever cartoonist portray Satan leading with a rope a big fat profiteer, adorned with bell-topper hat, and big cigar in mouth—leading this evil repulsive creature to Peter, guarding the gates of Heaven. Said the devil to Peter: “Here, let this chap in, we have no machinery in hell to deal with him.” He was even too bad for the bottomless pit; so low down amongst the cursed that he needed an aeroplane to get to hell!

The New York Nation has recently shown how “ISM” after a word often turns an ordinary harmless word into a scare-word. Clip the “ISM” off “socialism,” and there remains the very respectable word “social.” The Latin root for “social” means “ally” or “comrade,” but add “ISM” to it and lo! “socialism!” Again, “inter-nation” has quite an innocent look—a union of nations for mutual advantage. Who wouldn’t stand for that? But it requires mental courage to add a tail to it and say: “I stand boldly for the Internationale or internationalism.”

There is a dual term, a scare term, that soon terrifies, bringing people up with a jolt, and that is “constitutional government.” If even a radical thinker has this term thrown at him he hesitates in his progressive thought and hesitates in his love for liberty. After all, what is the so-called constitutional government of all nations but simply that form of government built up during the centuries by the privileged classes, laws framed by themselves and in protection of themselves and for their own interests. These same laws to-day protect the profiteers.

What crimes have been done in thy name, oh, constitutional government! Said the cabled news of Mr. Lloyd George recently: “On that issue we will fight to the death, for success of those workers would mean the establishment of the Soviet, and an end to constitutional government!” We can imagine twelve thousand miles away how these grandiloquent words would roll off the tongue, and wondered too whether the British workers would remember how under constitutional government for decades the people had been sweated, rack-rented, conscripted, made landless, lost free speech, and tyrannised over?

There is another scare-word looming up against the horizon. It is a word of great and wonderful import—“Russia.” The last nation has been chosen by God to become the first. When we know her past it is not unfitting that the last should become the first. Russia has framed and familiarised the word for the world, and the world is listening and thinking. In 1914, when the world imperialists and financiers unleashed the dogs of war, they at the same time unleashed Demos, and now they cannot catch him, and neither will they. Had it not been for the Russian development some of us would have challenged the truth of Browning’s lines and said: “God is not in His heaven and all is wrong with the world!” What? Ten millions dead in the devilish shock of Mammon’s battle! What! twenty millions of broken men—broken for the profiteers! All for nothing?

Russia makes us feel there is a moral power in the universe, and this Divinity is in the mass, in the mind of mankind. Before the aftermath the mass will rule. That is the riddle of the Sphinx!

The world of greed and Mammon now tremble at their scare-word—“Revolution”! It is their scare-word and entirely of their own making. The really dangerous classes are they themselves. They goad the masses into revolt—at the same time they designate the down-trodden masses as the dangerous classes, when the real danger lies within their own sordid ranks. Over one hundred and thirty years ago it was so in France, and the monarchy and aristocracy were brought low. Recently it was so in Russia, and it will be so in other lands. Capitalism and imperialism will be brought low this time, and their spirit of injustice and greed are supplying the motive for their own undoing. These are the really dangerous classes, and the Divine spirit of discontent ever increases like the gathering forces in the cyclone. The time of cyclonic movement is coming; yes, coming the world over.

The Divine spirit of justice is sometimes slow in acting, but it never slumbers nor sleeps, nor forgets. God comes with leaden feet (slowly), but He comes! God comes with feet shod with wool (silently), but He comes!

The Hebrew seer said: “The most proud shall stumble and fall and none shall raise him up. Thy day is come! The time that I shall visit thee!”

When the Divine laws of progress and evolution are hindered by Mammon in the world of industry and economics—deliberately blocked by bogus politics for selfish ends—then the human forces gather, and evolution is turned into revolution. Both are Divine!


Wendell Phillips: “The community which does not protect its worst and most hated member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or how hateful, is only a gang of slaves.”

Lord Macaulay: “Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.”

Wendell Phillips was a lawyer who gave up his practice in order to concentrate his oratorical gifts in the abolition of the slaves. The volume of his speeches, lectures and letters is the book that best reveals the man and reformer. His message had a twofold meaning, i.e. justice to negroes and justice to labourers.

Taking the two texts in running order, then we find first that free speech should be for all, and that includes the worst. Second, that if we refuse to allow free speech we are a nation of slaves, and then the statement of Macaulay follows that it is by free discussion we so arrive at the truth.

The idea of free speech for all, including the worst, at first presents itself to the mind abruptly; but after consideration we see the logic of it. It is not a bad thing that in the past anyone with a message or a grievance should be able to stand on Yarra Bank, in Melbourne, or in the Sydney Domain or in Hyde Park, London, and voice forth what to them are wrongs. No one is bound to listen. If they are not allowed to have free utterance there they may be driven into secret places, concocting violence. Also there is a moral sense in the community ever ready to protect itself from wrong arguments. It is a very different thing from leading any community on the wrong track by specious arguments.

Language is a very serious and solemn Divine evolutionary gift. The unfolding through the ages of mind and speech is full of interest and God-like portent. We have been reminded that language is the rubicon between man and beast. This takes us back to the beginnings of language, which we are able to discern in the animals around us. Take the dog. The dog cannot speak, but we know by his cry outside whether he is in pain or in fear, or being pleased. Some of the lower branches of the human family have little more than a gesture language. Others have not advanced beyond the monosyllable. We know, at least, that if all the languages of the earth have not come from a single common source there is one basic root in Greek, Latin, Persian, Teutonic, Slavic, and Sanskrit. In fact, the correct term is Indo-European for this group.

There is no finer definition of language than “the vocal expression of human thought.”

Professor Max Muller led us to see mind and speech as a Divine gift, also that language first made thought possible. Language is thought, and thought is language. In point of fact, if there was no word, there could be no idea. It is as well to grasp this fact—probably the words of Muller will help us. In the Silesian Horseherd we read, page, 138: “No idea exists without a word, any more than a word without an idea. Word and idea exist through each other with each other; they are inseparable. We could as easily try to speak without thinking as to think without speaking. We are so accustomed to think silently before speaking aloud that we actually believe that the same is true, even of the first formation of ideas and words . . . we cannot do enough to rid ourselves of the old error, that thought is possible without words.”

In the Greek LOGOS you have the Greek for WORD, and much more beside, for to the people of ancient Greece it means not only WORD but also IDEA and THOUGHT. The opening words of the fourth Gospel would not lose in clearness if it read: “In the beginning was the idea or thought,” etc.

Did you ever try and imagine the world without language—speechless? It is a dark imagining! At the present time we have an overplus of languages; a universal language is something for the world educationalists to grapple with and settle. Peace and brotherhood lies along that line. When Carlyle said, “Speech is the eldest daughter of heaven,” he well knew its significance. When Shelley wrote:

“He gave man speech, and speech created thought,

Which is the measure of the universe,”

he also knew, although he wrongly suggests, that speech preceded thought.

We all know the power of the human voice—how a horse suffering from fright is pacified by it; how the terrified people in a wreck are given confidence; how a child may cry out after a nightmare, and the sound of father’s voice in an adjoining room settles the disturbed mind. There is a wonderful effect brought about by a few words in season from a strong voice.

Said a well-known scholar: “We can all play at one language.” But there’s the rub! Instead of the nations moving on to freer speech the tendency to-day is to crush sublime Democracy by new gag-laws. To make all and sundry bow down before the great god Mum! Even America—the land of the free—with the Liberty statue and all its splendid suggestions—America, our hope and the world’s inspiration for better things, is failing us. The Wall Street crowd is getting its strangle grip upon the throat of Democracy. Why? Let every American ponder over the words of the late Professor Lester Ward: “When Labour has mental freedom physical freedom will follow. The hands of Labour can never be unfettered till the brain is disenthralled.” This liberty can only come about by perfect free speech. Progress in the industrial world depends upon all having greater liberty and not less. Free thought is of little use without free speech. Free speech and free thought is an aspect of mental evolution and the real test of advance. It is the measure of a nation’s sincerity and intellectual capacity. Then why the new gag-laws? Why the imprisonments? Why the deportations? O shades of Wendell Phillips and James Russell Lowell! The guilty nations are at present busily sowing the wind and will reap the whirlwind!

New Zealand’s leading politicians hint at keeping the censorship going; Australia desires the passport system to be permanent; America is full of nerves! Why? The answer is very simple. The kingdom of Shylock is extremely fearful and sensitive and is full of fear. Herein lies the real explanation. The world of Mammon must succeed in crushing labour.

But will not the financial magnates learn from history? Did the Roman Empire crush the Christian movement? Did they succeed in the sixteenth century in crushing the Reformation? Did Philip II. succeed in the Netherlands with his wonderful unbeaten leaders, such as the Duke of Alva and Alexander of Parma? Read Motley’s Dutch Republic for an answer. Did the Czar in Russia succeed in wiping out the rebels? What folly to think that ideas can be flogged and shot! What political idiotism to fancy that thought and spirit can be deported and imprisoned! Besides, if it were possible to wipe out free utterance and do it successfully, the nation that did it would remain a nation of slaves. Has the past no lessons? What of the blunders over astronomy, or geology, or biology? Are not the same blunders being made to-day in sociology? How silly and child-like now reads the report of a continental meeting of medical men when Dr. Harvey’s discovery was first made known, i.e.: “A discussion on the circulation of the blood took place, and it was called an English fad and voted out as absurd. If the blood circulates (said this august assembly of medicos) it is useless to bleed, for the loss sustained by an organ will be immediately repaired. Hence bleeding is useless, which is absurd. Therefore the blood does not circulate!” The ages teem with such deliberations, and they should humble us. Think of witchcraft and the learned tomes written by scholars to prove the truth of witchery! To-day our judges, magistrates, lawyers and politicians should humble themselves before these terrible blunders and ask whether it is not possible to err in the way of hindering free speech?

At least the mind should be kept open until that splendid little book of John Stuart Mill’s, On Liberty, is read and digested. The argument of Mill is that if one man holds a contrary opinion, though all the world think otherwise, and he be the only person holding that opinion, the law must not silence him. Why? Because that one man may be right! Besides, it is immoral to hinder the bold and independent thinker. A thinker’s first duty is to follow his intellect to any conclusion, and if the whole world unites to suppress that thought out conclusion they may be suppressing the opinion that is true. Let all learn the utter futility of attempting to coerce opinions. Has the law and State absolute certainty they are right when they try to coerce and suffer by authority and might? Look back over the ages and learn how often the law breakers have been right and the law makers have been wrong! Let such folk blush for shame in remembering that legal penalties are powerless against the truth. The truth cannot be rooted out by political intolerance; right opinions will stand squarely against all the winds that blow. Punishing free utterance by imprisonments and deportations and all the rest of the folly does not attain its object. What it does is to immolate the moral courage of mankind. When will the State learn that the moral thing to do is to combat the idea and not punish the man? The richest gift to the world in the realm of mind is the prophet. Think of their sufferings! Why have the prophets and seers ever been hated? Because by the gift of Divine intuition they have been able to anticipate the coming trend of thought. That is the crime!

The whole question resolves itself into a very simple point, and that is Democracy. Are the people fit to govern? Yes or No—settle it once for all. If the people are fit to govern, then the State has no need to protect itself from any free speech or propaganda. For, after all, there lies in the very heart of humanity the moral instinct of self-protection. Is it an easy thing to convert a crowd to wrong ideas? Try it and see. A wise man has said that the safest place for the dangerous man, the revolutionary agitator, is standing amid the multitude. Don’t drive him in the dark, or he will be conspiring to wreck society. There never was a more complete example of an autocrat than Frederick the Great; yet he had imbibed the correct idea. Finding one day a placard abusing himself posted high upon a wall, he sent for a bill sticker and gave orders that it should be lowered to a point where all could read with ease. “I and my people,” he said, grimly, “have formed a covenant between us; they say what they like and I do what I like, and thus both are content.” A great wisdom centres in that utterance. Frederick knew that dangerous plots were never hatched by orators at the street corner.

It is a great lesson to learn that by free discussion we arrive at the truth. Also the second lesson, that every attempt at curtailment of free utterance means trouble. The safety valve of free speech must not be curbed, but rather indulged. To suppress it by law is to admit your weakness in logic and arguments, and the multitude are quick to detect it.

Another great lesson is from the universal evolutionary law, remembering that the Divine law of progress ever moves towards greater not lesser freedom. The truth to-day is that the world is controlled by financiers and profiteers. Privilege is afraid of Democracy. The present struggle against freedom is really a struggle against higher ethics. The Divine Spirit incarnated in humanity struggles for greater freedom. Mammon is alarmed and hinders it, the objects being:

(1)  To curb Democracy.

(2)  To protect profiteering.

(3)  To ensure the sacredness of property.

(4)  To make privilege safe.

’Tis an old trick. Nearly two thousand years ago in the holy city of Jerusalem they did not hold to free speech. Through the gag-laws of the city of David Jesus suffered. But the fire against injustice was in his bones—he was weary with bearing the burden of it all and would not be silenced. His burning words stirred up the people and startled the world of Mammon. “He that hath ears to hear let him hear!” While there were any to listen he was there to speak! Said Lowell:

“They are slaves who fear to speak

For the fallen and the weak;

They are slaves who will not choose

Hatred, scoffing and abuse,

Rather than in silence shrink

From the truth they needs must think;

They are slaves who dare not be

In the right with two or three.”


William Morris: “The smoky net of unrejoicing labour.”

Oscar Wilde:—“Capitalism forces a man into a groove in which he cannot freely develop what is wonderful and fascinating and delightful in him . . . Socialism will be of most value simply because it will lead to Individualism.”

My next address, on the subject of “One Man Humanity,” based on a text from Blaise Pascal’s Essays, seems on the surface to conflict with personality or individualism. That it is not so will be very clear to the reflective, for they will probably have thought out conclusions very similar to that expressed by Oscar Wilde.

When William Morris condensed a world of meaning into one line of a poem he knew the exact position and felt the heart-ache of it:

“The smoky net of unrejoicing Labour.”

Here you have the thought of those captured by the economic machine being caught in a net—entangled therein. The net being in a smoky atmosphere, increases the difficulty of seeing a way out of the entanglement. All those who have read such books as Sherrard’s White Slaves of England, exposing the commonness of industrial diseases and how multitudes of poor creatures are by necessity driven to work in an environment which shortens their years; these readers will appreciate the intense meaning of Morris’s line. It has especial bearing too upon the times of duress which follow the war and which are upon us now.

Caught in the smoky net! It matters not whether the work is done in the factory or taken to the home as piecework, the toils and moils of the net are over them. The terrible net that compels folk to live as near to the factory hooter as possible. If the whistling hooter startles them not, there is no freedom for the pieceworker at home. The exploiter so nicely adjusts wages and prices that the smoky net ever holds them captive.

Someone has rightly likened it to the toiling masses turning a crank and nothing coming out at the other end for them. That is the trouble; the people who do the work cannot get what they produce. As Professor Scott Nearing aptly puts it: “The payments in the form of rent, interest, dividends and profits are so great a fixed charge on industry that even though efficiency were maintained the cost of production plus the cost of parasitism, would keep prices high. High prices mean that the worker cannot buy back with his wages what he has produced with his energies. This is the very essence of the present ludicrous system of economic life.”

Yet the newspapers of even date show us cablegrams that six thousand tons of canned provisions and enormous quantities of frozen meat have recently been destroyed as unfit for consumption. Some meat from Australia was held in cold storage in England for eighteen months! Only a short time ago here in New Zealand thousands of carcases were condemned on the Timaru wharf through black-spot; they also had been in the refrigerators for two years! So the machines, the inventions, the discoveries of cooling chambers, etc., are proving to be men’s worst enemies. They are used to keep food away from the people instead of preserving food for the people. The production, the use, the exchange of necessities are in the hands of profiteers and not in the hands of the people. The smoky net has them entangled. “How long, O Lord, how long?”

This is one reason why Labour cannot rejoice. But there is a more impelling reason,—that is because in the present industrial system all personality is crushed. There is no room for imagination or originality. If a parson were to try it in the pulpit he would soon disquieten the flock by doing violence to the credal smoky net, and become exposed to a charge of heresy. If an editor wrote and unfolded his daring and fertile imagination and let loose that Divine spark within him he would be told to go.

If a politician allowed the quick-coined thoughts of his brain free expression—and these sudden flashes of inspiration are divine—he would be called “the man in the moon,” or possibly the honourable member for fairyland. Certainly he would at the next election risk losing his seat. It would not be the horse-sense of the electors that would unseat him, but it would be the poisonous hireling Press and its effect upon the native rational thought of the voters.

Allow the business people and ordinary traders to express their reveries and ideality, and they would lose custom. The terrible result of this upon our middle class can be detected all around; to a man almost they are entangled in the net and are compelled to live, cosily smug in “Snoburbia.” And the poor industrials, if they were seen on radical and socialist platforms, would soon be victimised and swell the ranks of the unemployed. The smoky net holds them tight in its entanglement. Individuality is crushed. The Churches with their creeds try to stereotype the people. The Press stereotypes; Society stereotypes; industry stereotypes; education, alas, stereotypes the plastic and impressionable minds of youth:

“When the mind is wax to receive and marble to retain.”

Well does G. B. Shaw cry out: “The universities turn out men who think alike and are snobs.” Even parents too try to stereotype their children. What a world it will be when the capitalist net is destroyed and instead of cyphers, cogs, bolts and human nuts we have a world of individuals! The military system is the greatest sinner here:

“ ’Tis not yours to reason why,

’Tis but yours to do and die!”

This is very splendid until you think, but when you think, it loses its lustre. Under socialism all will be allowed to reason, to express freely their thoughts; also, when allowed to escape from the smoky net of militarism, to DO and LIVE. It requires more courage and pep to LIVE than to DO and DIE. All will be nonconformists except in those few essentials which make for the good of the commonwealth—not individual wealth. In most things there should be no conformity except in the cemetery, where all graves head east. How refreshing to meet an individual really alert and original who refuses to head east! Shelley and Byron refused, and were exiled from England.

Who was it cried out: “Run ye to and fro through the streets of the city, and see now and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a MAN!”

What of that cynical philosopher Diogenes! Did he really walk about the streets of Athens with a lighted lantern in the daytime looking unsuccessfully for a MAN—an INDIVIDUAL? Not a cog, a wheel, a bolt, a cypher, but an imaginative, original, fanciful, inventive and inspired man, through, whom the great Divine Artist and Creator can work.

How splendid and how wonderfully fraught with potency is the fact that the industrial drudges and the creative artists are to-day joining hands in revolt! That portends the coming change. To the true artist mind, slums, poverty, prostitution and gobbling imperialism are blots that spoil the landscape. They are the misshapen harridans of our economic system, or, rather, lack of rational system.

It was Morris who saw so clearly the relation between art and morals; the subtle connection between the inartistic, the inelegant and the unethical. The artless factories vomiting forth their streaming multitudes were destructive of the gorgeous, dainty and resplendent.

How well S. E. Kiser puts it:

“Those who are working for wages, who quit at the end of the day,

Thinking not of the beauty, or the worth of the work they have done,

Thinking toil is a burden, thinking much of their pay—

They are the people who grumble at the little rewards they have won.

Those who are eagerly working, not for the wages they get,

But for the joy of achieving, and with pride in the things they create . . .”

But this kind of Divine and creative individualism is impossible under monarchy, aristocracy, imperialism, militarism or capitalism. This seems a sweeping indictment, but it is so, for all these stand or fall together. They are the keystones of the present social arch. In a republic they put the president in the place of the monarch as the keystone to lock the capitalist system together. France brought down the monarchical and the aristocratic system, but allowed the competitive capitalist system to remain and empoison and misshapen all, and the revolutionary work is only half done. But the French people can no more develop what is wonderful and fascinating and delightful than other folk. The Divine Creative Spirit incarnated in the individual is there also crushed, if it happens to conflict with the established order. France also is a nation of stereos, reprints, echoes, rubber-stamps and human gramophones. Labour is treated as a dull, drab commodity and not as a radiant and creative spirit. A factory there employs so many HANDS and not SOULS!

When entering a picture-shop to price a water-colour that seemed to be alive with the elegance of spirit, the price asked banned the purchase. “But,” said the dealer, “this may suit you,” pointing to a low-priced, graceless water-colour; “it is what we call a ‘bread-and-butter picture!’ ” What a depth of hideous, unsightly and toad-like meaning is in that term—“a bread-and-butter picture!” Take up your morning or evening papers and read the tawdry and tricked out “bread-and-butter” leading articles. Attend any orthodox church on Sunday and listen to the traditional, dull credal, doctrinal “bread-and-butter” sermons! Then think of Morris’s “smoky net of unrejoicing labour.” Then recall what Wilde meant by saying: “Socialism will be of most use and value simply because it will lead to individualism.” Yes! Yes! But there is an impassable gulf of meaning between this Divine personality and the sordid greedy individualism of the profiteering and mammonised social fabric as it now stands.

Said Morris, in Leicester, in 1884, when describing his own capitalist class: “We of the rich and well-to-do classes . . . gather wealth by trading on the hard necessity of our fellows, and then we give driblets of it away to those of them who in one way or another cry out loudest to us; blackmail paid to lame-foot justice, that she may not hobble after us too fast.”

Well might he and so many others complain that five millions take the cream while thirty-eight millions get the sour milk. That thirty-eight millions go without to keep five millions in luxury. The true artist even more than the ill-educated drudges who are caught in the smoky net, hates the beautiless inartistic commercialism of the day—a commercialism leading on the one hand to poverty for the many and a surplus of wealth for the few. When in the fulness of time there happens to develop a paucity of income, then it will plunge the nation into war, and thereby plunge it into a profiteer’s paradise!

When the shambles are cleared up, preach thrift to the workers, greater output, efficiency, and speed-up. The old German proverb well applies to the British Empire: “Be a soldier, pay your taxes, shut your mouth.” But Demos is becoming articulate, and it is the Divine voice speaking—“Vox populi, vox Dei.”

Therein lies our optimism, our hope; the Divinity within is struggling for expression. Labour the wide-world over—God-like—is yearning to “create”; not yearning to produce a manufacture, but “create.” An entirely different spirit. To become co-operators with God and create!

The selfish egoism of commerce will not now allow labour to create. Labour has become a part of the machine. What if, as the author of Erewhon once suggested, what if eventually the intelligence of man should pass into the machines! A strange thought surely! But Samuel Butler was a strange man and an artist as well.

The Immanent Spirit in Nature is ever struggling to create fresh embellishment in carving out and gilding and tinting the flowers, insects, shells and birds. The Divine Artist is ever trying to unfold new varieties, and along this unfoldment lies progress.

The struggle of men to-day to try and escape from “the smoky net of unrejoicing labour” is only the effort to try and place themselves in alignment with the God of Nature, from whom they have been divorced and held apart by a devil-like commercialism. In a word, factories and the competitive bloodthirsty systems are not of Nature, but Nature will win, and shortly too. This address is to try to enlist your co-operation with the God of Nature. To try to compel you to picture a world of delicacy and charm, when real creative and artistic soul-work will inspire all craftsmen, all editors, all orators, all authors, all inventors.

What a world for the imagination!

Have you read the writings of Van Eeden, the physician, poet and socialist of Holland? Try and feel the soul-pain of what he meant when writing: “It was just as disquieting and disgusting to me to barter my poetry for so many cents a line to publishers as to sell my acts of love and service to invalids as a doctor! Sending an account to a sick person gave me shame. In a well-ordered community a sick man must be helped by the whole community!”

Imagine a Shakespeare, a Milton, or a Shelley for hire! They were not entangled in the smoky net of unrejoicing labour!

The sterling truth is that no person should work for hire—except maybe criminals and those guilty of a moral offence. When the evil prison system passes they may be compelled to do the objectionable work of the world as hirelings. Every free and ethical person will yet be able to choose his own work and will refuse to be forced into a groove where the soul is stunted and cannot develop; where it is a tree planted in the wrong place. In the new world—the “new earth” which is just upon us he will not only EXIST, but LIVE and have “Life more abundantly! In the meantime learn to KNOW THYSELF.” To know the soul possibilities as a creator is the first great lesson. Possibly Swinburne had this in mind when he penned the “Hymn to Man.”

“Glory to man in the highest,

For man is the master of things!”

It is not blasphemy, but truth, for the universal Creative Spirit is wonderfully immanent in humanity.

The second lesson follows, and that is to “BE THYSELF.” You cannot! True! But try, even if you suffer. With the Nazarene join the small elect circle of God’s splendid rebels! Learn the lesson of the Divine necessity of the rebel! Join the prophets and help usher in a world free and untrammelled. A God-like world, full of initiators, inventors and creators and co-workers with the Immanent Spirit. A world of Divine outlaws! Where the smug humbugs (only) will respect the unnatural laws of Society and the real Divine individuals will ignore them and keep unconsciously the laws of God and Nature!

What of efficiency, output, and speeding-up in the coming order? Believe me, it will not be the Lubberland of the orthodox heaven, where folk are paid a shilling an hour for sleeping and two shillings an hour for loafing, but the industry on the “new earth” will be as pleasurable as the work of a bird in building its nest.

A lazy world? Listen to the lines of Angela Morgan:


Thank God for the pace of it,

For the keen swift race of it;

Fiery steeds in full control,

Nostrils a-quiver to greet the goal,

Work, the creative power that drives behind,

Guiding the purposes, training the mind,

Holding the runaway wishes back,

Training the will to one steady track,

Speeding the energies, faster, faster,

Triumphing over disaster.”


Blaise Pascal: “The whole succession of men during the ages should be considered as One Man, ever living and constantly learning.

Pascal was born in the year 1623 and died in 1662, when only thirty-nine years of age. He was one of France’s finest mathematicians, and in addition to this was a devotional author of brilliant parts.

At the age of only twelve years, and without other assistance, he discovered the first thirty-two propositions of Euclid, and when sixteen years of age was the author of a work on conic sections, and which has been praised by Descartes and others.

That Nietzsche should say: “Pascal was the only logical Christian,” shows how he ranked in the Polish author’s mind. For no writer who ever lifted a pen has produced such an indictment against Christianity as Nietzsche. The power and result of this impeachment has hardly been felt yet, as every thinker with a eugenic sense fully knows.

So logical was the razor-edged intellect of Pascal in dealing with atheists and materialists that many of his sentences to-day seem almost uncanny! Take the following (it is quoted from memory): “If the whole universe were to fall and crush me, I should still be greater than the material universe, for it would have no knowledge of crushing me, while I should be conscious of being crushed!”

This is very fine and well put, and might be profitably memorised by many honest enquirers to-day who are standing with both feet in the mud of materialism. A mind of this type was so completely outwitted by Pascal’s brilliancy, that his feeble retort was: “Pascal only juggles with God and the immortality of the soul!”

These introductory remarks, then, may help to increase our confidence in the text under review and whose author was the inspired writer of the seventeenth century.

In the text, then, we have in the thought that the whole succession of men (past, present and future) should be considered as One Man; in this thought there is the essence of communal truth anticipated. In the light of European developments, started by the Soviet movement in Russia, how splendidly modern it sounds! Therein lies the pregnant germ of a mighty possibility, and towards which all men and women with a vision have meditated in their inspired moments, and that is the essential oneness of the human family. To recognise this truth and apply it will mean the most Divine revolution that has ever happened on the planet earth!

As these addresses are delivered with the purpose of dropping ideas to take lodgment in other minds, rather than expounding them, the following points are suggested for others to expand. In the text there is:

(1)The leaven of a potent social idealism.
(2)The driving force heading towards a pure Democracy.
(3)The probability of yet attaining to a communal spirit in worship.

An objector may contend that the text conflicts with science, and especially the truth of evolution, in this way, that while Pascal sees the past, present and future as “One Man,” yet the evolutionists prove very clearly to us that all organic life starts with a single cell and unfolds in a multi-celled way. That is true. But the multi-celled creature is beautifully and completely one! Embryology shows that human life commences with a single cell, although the mature man is multi-celled, but no one dare say that the man is not one. You have only to apply this perfectly sound reasoning to humanity at large, for we are all part of the One Life. Truly no man liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself! It is a commonplace to say that all true scientists seek in the ultimate for an underlying unity. But these platitudes need continual repeating.

In like manner, too, all real philosophy searches for the underlying oneness. That splendid Hebrew mind in old Amsterdam (Spinoza) was held and fascinated by the greatest truth of all time in the one eternal substance of spirit. The words “substance” and “spirit” appear paradoxical, but they are not. The fault is with our language; to-day we are feeling in a painful way the want of new words.

Learning to think of humanity as One Man, and making it a habit of mind, will produce some very happy results in the world, especially if such a human synthesis could be taught in our educational system. The first syllable in “uni-versity” suggests it, but, alas, the narrow nationalism of the day controls the institutions and offers no encouragement to wide horizons in the plastic mind of youth. They are diligently taught their relationship to the nation, but there is no thought of a relationship to the whole.

When we look back in an evolutionary sense we are faced with the fact that science knows no break, no detachment from the nebulous forces to the protoplasm on to the amœba and right up to the most highly organised individual. When we survey the present we are compelled to say that it was in a potent form hidden in the past, also that the future is potentially in the present. We are such slaves of tradition, we are in such bondage to custom, that a multitude of social hindrances handicap us from rapid development, but the rebels—they of Divine necessity, see the beyond.

If Plato and Aristotle in their days could have sensed our present—our advanced life—what would they have thought?

Professor Einstein has expressed himself interestingly along this line:

“Science is like a human body, in that one part is dependent on another. . . To realize the revolution which could be wrought in our everyday life by the full utilization of the world’s water power and of solar energy is mainly a matter of vivid imagination. Coming generations will say, speaking of our time, ‘How dreadful it must have been to have lived then!’ Even a hundred years hence I believe people will be flying to warm climates in winter, and to cooler climates in summer, just as the birds migrate now!”

How few to-day dare sense our beyond! Yet it is a profitable employment! To do this successfully, all that is necessary is to clearly recognise your kinship with all. This will prove a divinely normal and healthy exercise; a reasoning that soon leads to the mystic’s reverie: “I slept in the mineral, dreamed in the plant, awoke in the animal, and became conscious in man.” He might have added rightly: an unfolding consciousness that is slowly becoming God-like. No break, no detachment. The psychic biological sense is asserting itself and struggling towards the conception of the communal One Man, the communal Utopia. From Isaiah to Plato on to More, and yet on to Bellamy and Wells, the Divine vision inspires the brain and it trickles down the drop of ink to the point of the pen and on to the sheet of white paper, to inspire others.

Says Pascal: “constantly learning.” Learning what? Why learning the communal—the One Man sense. What a lesson to learn! The soul is communal! Someone has said, “The commune comes direct from the hand of God!” What an ever-continual blunder to think of the soul as isolated! This has been the orthodox Church blunder for ages: “Is your soul saved?” This has been dinned in our ears until the true sense of social values has been lost. This question was put in a vulgar, vain way by a Salvationist to a Catholic priest, prompted by that religious egotism too commonly seen and heard. “Is your soul saved?” The priest’s retort was of the same behaviour, and it was almost warranted. Said he: “Here’s a shilling; you are bilious; liver out of order. Buy some pills; cleanse the body. My soul is right, thank you.”

Learn to put the community in place of the individual. Yes, yes. The whole system of Christian teaching, or rather Paulinism, and especially the Calvinistic element in it, tends to individualism in religion and to a ruthless competition in the economic world. It made possible the European shambles in 1914. The millions went forward to kill individuals, they shallowly thought, but were really killing their own soul, which was really a part of the communal soul. The One Man ever living and ever learning! Slowly, alas! There is an awakening, for the words of an American poet finely express the task of the day, and to which every consecrated mind must be set with a holy and unfaltering purpose:—

“Before the face of God we swear,

As life is good and sweet,

Under the sun

This horror shall not come again;

Never, never again

Shall twenty million men,

Nor twenty, no, nor ten

Leave all God gave them in the hands of ONE,

Leave the decision over peace and war,

To King or Kaiser, President or Czar.”

The Divine communal meaning will develop the wonderful power of an ever-broadening social action. The war has precipitated it, for the moral communal conscience has been shocked and the Russian revolt is only the beginning of a world-wide revolt. The heart of the world One Man is soundly ethical, and there is now a universal craving for the communal ethic to replace the evil individualism and to do so:

(1)In Education (not Class, but for all).
(2)In Politics (not Party, but One Man Humanity).
(3)In Industry (not Competitive, but Industrial Democracy).
(4)In Religion (not Egoism, but Community Brotherhood).

It has an optimistic effect upon the mind to-day, and especially so since the great collective homicide commencing in July, 1914, to see on all sides the supposed detached individual learning his true relationship to the communal One Man. That is the first great lesson—that we are all Divine parts of the communal soul. The second lesson is to extend the same thought and learn that the world-wide communal soul is only a fragmentary part of the universal and cosmic soul. It is here that we learn our kinship to the Immanent Spirit, and the wonderful truth dawns upon us that we are as indestructible and as immortal as that Universal Spirit.

Life is slowly becoming less individual and more communal. It is necessary that it should be so for the evolution of morality. It is in the association of individuals that we look successfully for the seat of morals. There would be little compulsory military training if by referendum the moral instinct of the “One Man” was appealed to. This applies also to war and conscription. It is the individual egoism, or the vanity of a small coterie of human fragments that decides the immoral decree. The communal One Man would seldom err if trusted, and if there were a blunder it would soon be corrected when the second appeal came.

There can be no co-operation with the universal spirit of evolutionary progress unless there is a winged intellect and an eye for broad and tolerant horizons. Each and all must be dedicated to the social beyond. There must be wonderful mental pictures of the earth’s future and the ever increasing courage to realize them. It is then that the sublime knowledge dawns upon the mind that the workers and reformers are co-operators with the Divine. With Chadwick’s lines, then, there will be harmony:

“Through every fibre of my brain,

Through every nerve, through every vein,

I feel the electric thrill,

The touch of life that almost feels too much;

God’s life!”

The text of Pascal under survey is a fine nugget of gold for some thinking mind to beat out further. It falls naturally into two divisions:

(1)The Social Beyond (ever living and ever learning).
(2)The Spiritual Beyond.

If we accept the great laws of evolution, why should progress be an illusion when we step into the unseen? If we ever find the new, the unexpected, the surprising in social developments, then let the heart thrill at the logical hopes aroused in the spiritual sphere.


Ernest Crosbie:

“No one could tell me where my SOUL might be,

I searched for GOD and GOD eluded me,

I sought my BROTHER out and found all THREE!”


“Glory to man in the highest

For man is the master of things!”

In the lines of Crosbie we have shown the difficulty in fully understanding on intellectual lines the philosophy of the soul. That diligent search results in little satisfaction. Omar explains the mental attitude exactly:

“Myself when young did eagerly frequent

Doctor and saint, and heard great argument

About it and about; but evermore

Came out by the same door as in I went.”

On the basis of psychic satisfaction there is little to add to it, except—and it is a very great exception—that the riddle of the Sphinx can be solved as Crosbie shows, by humanitarianism and service. Seeking out the world-brother is the altruistic and thoroughly moral solution.

The past degrading blunders made regarding man in emphasising his depravity and not his divinity have been grave moral blunders and have been and are the cause of untold misery to the human family. The result of the depravity doctrine is seen in the late war, and, in fact, in all wars. Depravity will readily plunge bayonets into depravity. Divinity could never blow the soul out of divinity. What applies to warfare also applies to social injustices. When the human race awakens to its oneness in brotherhood and divinity, one man cannot sweat or exploit another, for in reality he is exploiting the All-Pervading Spirit.

The Christian world suffers from a false theology in teaching the thought of a God who is extraneous and not immanent. Wrong thoughts of the universe are also taught to fit in with a false Theism. A universe that was wound up like a machine some six thousand years ago and will run its determined days. All ordained! A recent writer has written a thought-provoking book, showing the relation of Calvinism to capitalism. God stands in the same arbitrary position to the people of the earth that the capitalist or exploiter stands towards the industrial world. To the affluent the law of supply and demand is a kind of fate—a comfortable fate to the privileged. The fortunes of commerce and of the impoverished millions are all determined. An easy doctrine to hold and just as easy to forget is that the law of supply and demand is controlled by themselves, for their own profit. The Divine truth is that we can seek our brother out and control the law of supply and demand for the common universal good and not for profit. People who do this will quickly find their own souls and their God too. There is not a soul that is isolated, detached, extraneous, or in any sense fragmentary. Also the God found will not be isolated, extraneous, detached or fragmentary. The devastating error in Theistic thought is also the same error in sociology—and that is Society as a mass of units and individuals, instead of Society in the whole communistic and co-operative sense. By discovering your brother in this way you also discover God. By the discovery of your brother in this way you also discover your own soul. To discover God in this way as an All-Pervading Spirit you discover your own soul and your God at the same time. So the Unitarian and Universal mind discover the greatest and most blessed trinity of all—Brother, Soul, God!

The day the whole earth wakes up to this Eureka will be the day of man’s great awakening. The day of the sense of a common divinity, a common brotherhood, and man as a co-creator with God. In that awakening will be the cure for warfare, the cure for poverty and all social injustices.

What an Eureka! The Divine Spirit permeating the whole cosmos! The Divine Spirit in the cosmos also permeating all humanity! That there can be a never-ending communion between the soul and the universal soul! That there can be never-ending communion between all humanity. That all can be linked in a fundamental harmony! That the object and subject can be fused in this mystical union! It is a great step when any man realizes that he is not a fallen, depraved, interloper, but an integral part of Nature, and that Nature and God are one.

We now see how Swinburne’s Hymn to Man stands in relation to Crosbie’s text: “Glory to man in the highest, for man is the master of things!” The pinched and cribbed orthodox mind may exclaim: “What blasphemy!” In all sincerity they mean it. But on second thought it will be seen that God is not degraded at all, but that it does elevate and ennoble man, and that is the great saving truth. That is the leaven the poor world needs. In this leaven is the great regenerating power that will transform the earth. In no sense is God a great superior person, but in every real sense an All-Pervading Spirit.

We hear the queries coming from every part of Christendom: “Was the Nazarene Carpenter Divine?” The answer is thundered “Yes”! All men are Divine, for Jesus was one of the all. When the proletarian fisherman proclaimed “Jesus of Nazareth, a MAN approved of God!” it was a proclamation that all can be the same. There is a very helpful truth here, but smothered by creeds, which would make Jesus a Deity, falsified, and forget the truth the world hungers for, Jesus the Carpenter and Divine Brother Man. The grandest and most glorious chapter of Christianity has yet to be written, and it will result in the pivot being shifted from the individual to humanity. It will mean an incarnation not of the unit, but God incarnated in the human race.

The world in its childhood, very naturally in prescience times, held to the fables and myths of individual incarnations. The concrete is ever easier to grasp than the abstract. We see to-day in Thibet how easily the folk there are deceived by the kindergarten ideas of their Grand Llama incarnations. They are to-day where the people’s of Palestine and the Mediterranean were then. Krishna, Buddha, and the Roman emperors were Divine incarnations. The question now is whether the Nazarene did not try to lead the people away from these infantile absurdities. By declaring “I and my Father are one” he asserted what every person can say. It was not unique, but a common inheritance. By saying further also “That they may be one even as we are ONE,” he only enlarged the thought and emphasised the truth seen and beautifully expressed in a flash of inspiration by Ernest Crosbie. Channing saw it before Crosbie, and said: “In ourselves are the elements of divinity. All minds are of one family.” Emerson also: “I am Divine and through me God speaks!” Bunsen when dying looked into the eyes of his wife and said: “In thy face I have seen the Eternal.” You have a hint of God in the large soft brown eyes of the horse, the ox and the dog! The Divine sparkles in the eyes of children and every man can see the Divine in the eyes of his love-mate. By exploring organic life and human nature we find God. Find your brother and open sesame!—the secret is yours—by intuition and beyond the flight of words and reason—YOURS. In childhood we have been taught a priori to reason from God to man. Reverse it, and we are at the portals of truth; reason from particulars to universals, i.e. from man to God. The best people are they who embody the Divine most fully. They who widen their boundaries for universal brotherhood.

The text of Crosbie’s prepares our minds easily for Swinburne’s, and explains much of modern science. The future Divine Master is man himself. To a halting, groping evolution he puts his Divine culture and conscious evolution emerges. This explains a sentence of Sir Oliver Lodge that in itself and alone is fertile with thought: “We have reached the era of conscious evolution.” Through man’s unfolding mental powers—the budding Divinity of psychic development—evolution may become revolutionary and rapid.

As an illustration, think of an area of potential farm land. It lies in waste. A vast expanse of thistles, docks and nettles. All those forms of vegetable life have evolved through long ages. Some would say: “The survival of the fittest!” True, but the fittest is not here the best. The Divine man takes charge. What a change! Conscious evolution hurries things ahead in a revolutionary way, and by the application of human culture behold the scene. The results now are not the weeds, but agriculture and horticulture and all the cultures.

Apply the same illustration to sociology. Take note of the evolution of Society—the same groping in a half-blind way for development. Through the long ages, what has resulted? The human weeds and parasites, capitalists, monarchists, imperialists, militarists, profiteers, exploiters, and all who live on rent, profit and interest. Say the interested and unthinking: “These are the survival of the fittest!” A thousand times, No! The fittest here are also not the best. The Divinity in man by culture must apply the law of conscious evolution to Society, and root out the weeds of injustice if we would hasten “that one far off Divine event, towards which the whole creation moves.”

Had not Tennyson this thought in mind when writing:

“Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,

And the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns.”

Man has improved the kingdom of plants, the kingdom of animals in so far as he has applied the laws of conscious evolution to them. The Divinity within himself has been applied to them with great results. But so far that Divinity has not been intelligently applied to the culture of the human family. For that improvement the great science of eugenics holds the key—the golden key to the portals of the future. Glory to man in the Highest, for man will soon be the master of things. He is learning the lesson. The war not only killed conscious evolution, but actually reversed the law of selection. It killed off ten millions of the best—those who should have been eugenically fit for parentage. It resulted in twenty millions of broken men who for the most part are not now fit for parentage. Wrong beliefs of human depravity (thanks to the Churches) held sway with sickening results. Belief in the Divinity of man will right things—they are now being righted; men are learning the universal law of brotherhood. Learning that the All-Pervading Spirit is creative and not destructive. What a lesson to learn! Learning that the men of the stamp and calibre of Marconi, Edison, Burbank and Lenin are creators—not destroyers. They best embody the Divine in all its fulness. God’s wonderful creative inbreathed thoughts are outbreathed by them as they have been right down through the splendid line from Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Harvey, Simpson, Darwin, and so on. The men who crush the Divinity within them and allow depravity to supplant it are the Kitcheners, Haigs, Fishers, Churchills, Jellicoes and Birdwoods. The Divine Spirit is essentially creative and not destructive, and the most godly are the most creative!

Such men as the former are co-workers with the Universal Spirit—they who aim at brotherhood, internationalism and humanism. Such people manifest their Divinity on the lines of reason, spirit,—life, and life more abundantly—in point of fact it is manifested along all ways of conscious creative effort. They learn and express that the master principle of the universe is kinship. They learn without parsonic aid and in spite of parsonic interference; they learn and can interpret the deep of the universe, the deep of Nature, the deep of the All-Pervading Spirit calling and answering to the deep in man. They too thereby learn the mystery of their own souls and the mystery of God. They do so by finding their brothers.

Say the Mammonised folk amongst the powers that be; Only fools prate of brotherhood and internationalism. Who were the fools in Germany? Goethe and Kant or Bernhardi and Wilhelm? Who are the fools now—the post-war fools—the narrow nationalists or the progressives who desire an international conscience? Were the Abolitionists fools? The Pacifists and the Socialists? These men have led the way by finding their brothers, and have a triple discovery—God, soul, brother!

Europe is to-day making slowly the discovery. The blunderer in the suffocating atmosphere of traditionalism thinks, or tries to think, that Europe is losing God! The truth is they are finding God in themselves. Russia has led the way and Europe is making a great discovery! The whole mental world is full of vim and lilt! There is a God-like snap of electricity extant! Listen to Lowell:

“I hear the soul of man around me waking,

Like a great sea, its frozen fetters breaking,

And flinging up to heaven its sunlight spray,

Tossing huge continents in scornful play,

And crushing them with din of grinding thunder

That makes old emptinesses stare in wonder;

For high, and yet more high, the murmurs swell

Of inward strife for Truth and Liberty.

I hear the soul of man around me waking,

Like a great sea, its frozen fetters breaking.”


Selden’s Table Talk: “To preach loud, long and damnation is the way to be cried up. We love a man that damns us and we run after him again to save us.”

John Selden was born in 1584 and died in 1654. He was a scholarly lawyer, with a sincere level headed and humorous horse-sense. His book of Table Talk (collected, I think, by a clergyman friend) is a book of merry solemnity; a sparkling kind of gay wisdom and a book well worth shelf room on any book-shelf. He was a Member of Parliament in a dangerous day (like our own day), for Charles imprisoned him. There were many illustrious men contemporary with Selden, such as Shakespeare, Bacon, Raleigh, Milton and Cromwell. What a list!

The text taken from Table Talk shows very clearly the morbid tendency of so many people, and explains the reason that religious revivals are so attractive to a certain type of mind. It is common knowledge that the vulgar and illiterate respond very quickly. The fashionable and those drawn from other circles, too, are not exempt, as we know. The coarse morbidity that drew multitudes to see public executions in England not so many decades ago had too often a large sprinkling of the so-called better classes. The morbid instinct is very primitive and goes very deeply into the past history of the human race.

We detect the same tendency in children when they listen so intently to uncanny ghost stories and, though terrified, call for more. It is a primitive call back, and represents in the re-capitulation of the history of the human race that stage of savagery so easily detected in the lower branches of the human family. How the negroes in the Southern States love and respond to the emotionalism of revivals!

Man, know thyself! These three words would save many from the coarseness of it all. The gruesome still attracts, as the ever-popular Madame Tussaud’s waxworks prove. The sale of a certain class of book, the popularity of so many picture films, the desire to visit some blood-stained spot! Clean-minded, cultured and pure souls would prefer to avoid it all, and with a sense of shame shut it out and forget.

It may come as a mental shock to many estimable people to hear that the coarse brutal doctrines of a material hell and a personal devil are ideas still common, and on occasion appeal yet to the vulgar morbidity of multitudes. Yet it is so, and good service is done to humanity by pointing it out. It requires courage to do so, for no one likes to wilfully hurt, just for the sake of giving pain. The truth is that many of our popular sects were conceived, born and cradled in this morbid and coarse vulgarity.

Read Selden’s text again, and you will glean another truth; that the revival leaders who succeed in scaring people most become very popular and are cried up. An American evangelist in his heydey now comes to mind. His coarseness is no hindrance, but an asset. In any great centre he visits there is no building too large for him to fill. In point of fact it is common knowledge that an expansive temporary auditorium is erected on purpose to accommodate the multitude. Money in it? Of course! At least five hundred dollars nightly, and in some centres much more. Some of the millionaires support it—a wise move, too, from their view point; for while people are flocking to these religious vaudevilles they will not be interested in social reform. It pays to keep crowds singing:

“The rich man at his castle,

  The poor man at his gate;

God made them high and lowly,

  And ordered their estate.”

It is notorious that people do not flock to hear wisdom and truth. The philosopher at Athens ages ago knew that when speaking wisdom at the street corners, all passed him by. When he altered his tactics and pulled wry faces and sang comic songs the crowd soon gathered. It is all very much to the point. Don’t be a philosopher and deal with prophetic truth if you wish to be cried up. In a word, the secret of revival success is to be found in the following:—

(a)A knowledge of human nature.
(b)An overplus of animal magnetism.
(c)The gregarious instinct of human beings.
(d)Suggestibility of mob psychology.

It matters not if the person leading is of good or bad moral character, so long as people don’t know. Success will come to him and he will be cried up. In the realm of mental healing there is no doubt that the bones of saints had a healing effect, but the bones of “Blue Cap the Bushranger” would have had the same effect if the patient knew not of it.

There is a subtle suggestion in Selden’s assertion that the so-called disease of total depravity that came to man through the myth of the Fall warrants eternal damnation—also that this is a bogus disease, and the remedy of a blood-atonement is also bogus! Since Darwin’s day we know it to be so, but it was a shrewd thing for Selden to say without Darwin’s data. Let us rejoice and be glad that such morbid theology, which is rooted in pure savagery (see Prof. Frazer’s Golden Bough) is passing. To help it pass is to do God’s work.

Hobbes, of the “Leviathan,” fame, was led to say that “The seed of religion was fear.” Too true. But there is a higher evolution of religion, whose pivot is not fear but love. Because the one is false it is no logic to assume that there is nothing that is true. It will help the reader if he keeps in mind that the orthodox and traditional superstition of the day all rest on a myth—the Fall of man. Science proves the Fall untrue, and on moral grounds the blood sacrifice is rejected. The disease is as bogus as the remedy. Theodore Parker was fond of telling the following: “Once on a stage coach there was a man who carried on his knees a box, on which slats were nailed. Now, a box like that always excites curiosity. Finally a personage leaned over and said to the man of the mysterious package, ‘Stranger, may I be so bold as to ask what you have in that box?’ ‘A mongoose,’ was the polite reply. ‘Oh, I see; but what is a mongoose?’ ‘A mongoose is a little animal we use for killing snakes.’ ‘Of course, of course; oh, but where are you going to kill snakes with your mongoose?’ And the man replied: ‘My brother has the delirium tremens, and I have brought this mongoose so he can use it to kill the snakes.’

“There was silence then for nearly a mile, when the man of the Socratic method had an idea and burst out with: ‘Lordy gracious! you do not need a mongoose to kill the snakes a fellow sees who has delirium tremens—for they are only imaginary snakes!’

“ ‘I know,’ said the owner of the box, tapping his precious package gently, ‘I know that delirium tremens snakes are only imaginary snakes, but this is only an imaginary mongoose!’ ”

The moral was, according to Parker, that to appease the wrath of an imaginary God we must believe in an imaginary formula, and thereby we could all be redeemed from the danger of an imaginary hell. Also that an imaginary disease can be cured by an imaginary remedy.

It is impossible for anyone to estimate the evil result of fear upon the human race. Certainly the terrible war of 1914 to 1918 was the result of fear. All for the want of a better understanding between man and man. An understanding that is not at all desired in the imperialist, the military and the exploiting world. Also the religious fears are the result of not having a better knowledge of God. On every side there is the spirit of fear, and it reacts to the disadvantage of the race. From the cradle (and before the cradle stage) right on to the grave, fear dogs most people. Before birth the fear of conception, when fear cannot alter that result, then for forty weeks the fear of the additional coming expense; instead of a Divine blessing, an unwished and unsought intruder. The child is nursed in fear. When at school, often the master rules by fear. Then comes the military fear. The industrial fear of unemployment. If a church is entered, then the fear of sin, the fear of the devil, the fear of hell, the fear of the unpardonable sin and so on. In business, fear dogs multitudes in the competitive struggle. The fear of old age and poverty in the midst of a world of plenty. The fear of death and judgment! What a race we may evolve when confidence takes the place of fear! What an upward move when the world replaces fear by joy and trust?

Said the magician to the trembling mouse, “Why do you tremble?” “I am afraid of the cat,” said the mouse. Then with a wave of his wand the mouse became a cat. The cat then was trembling, and the magician said, “Why do you tremble?” “I am afraid of the dog.” All right, another wave of the wand and the cat became a dog. The dog trembled. “Why do you tremble?” asked the wizard. “I am afraid of the lion,” was the reply. “Then become a lion”; and yet the lion trembled. “Why do you fear?” “I am fearful of the man,” said the lion. “Dear! dear!” said the magician; “I will turn you back to the mouse again!”

The seed of religion is LOVE! That is the truth, but it is not a new truth. The human race has not evolved to it, but will when the new social era dawns. No; it is not new—the Carpenter taught it; Paul in his better moments knew it: “Love never faileth.” Love is the unshakable truth in religion that will survive the shock of things. The religions of fear and the cloister are over, the whole world is in moral revolt over them. That form of Christianity must perish—is perishing! It offends our sense of justice. It destroys our moral sense of God to believe that he damns people for ever! It is a belief that does not represent reality. In a word, it is unethical, and no form of religion can survive that shocks the moral sense, and as the conscience of man unfolds and becomes more highly evolved so these religious vulgarisms will pass. These crude imaginings will give place to the human ideal and the social order. The man who will have the mental courage to throw the misbeliefs of his childhood away and simply “does right” will be invincible. He that hath clean hands shall wax stronger and stronger. His strength shall be as the strength of ten, because his heart is pure. We have only to look abroad to-day to learn the splendid truth, i.e. that as the creeds go—as the fearful dogmas pass—just in proportion to their waning so the world of men becomes better and more humane.

The men of the Inquisition were logical. The God they worshipped was a cruel Deity, who burnt for ever. What was the momentary hot pincers, the rack of the hour, the tearing out of a tongue, or the short pangs of burning flame to the way God dealt out his wrath? It was a terrible logic. Have we not learnt the lesson?

The test of all religion is God! Love! Service! Someone has said that love is a kind of fifth reason; a sixth sense! There is nothing like it. Love never faileth!

We shall yet learn the healing effect of love! The world was full of hate when the post-war influenza scourge swept over the earth, but hate only prepares the body and mind for disease. Love heals literally!

And in the last hour—are we to allow fear to follow us to the border? My experience as an orthodox clergyman, covering twenty-five years (I am a heretic now) has been that professing Christians are more fearful in the death hour than people outside the fold. Any doctor knows that a Chinaman or any Oriental will face death with more fortitude than a follower of the Bleeding Lamb! These last two words are written in bitterness and shame to think that these vulgarisms still are held sacred and cherished.

Never was truer word spoken than that “Perfect love casteth out fear!” Let all take heart. The worst of human kind has some speck of goodness—some faint glimmering spark of Divinity. Let him not fear when the waters of death are rising. After the passing, on that pin-point of goodness he will be able to build up beyond. There may be much leeway to make up; but never mind, let him remember that no evil endures—only the good endures. The good though, maybe, was almost at vanishing point! Well the cup of cold water given shall not lose its reward.

Courage then:

“When the weary body grows quiet,

  And the pulses are moving slow,

And the music dies into silence,

  And the lights are burning low!”

Courage then—for it is as natural to die as it is to be born. The one passing out should have no more fear than the one has who is entering in.


Balzac: “When you have set yourself to do something, a spirit within you urges you on, you see, and you cannot bear to leave it unfinished! The craving within us for order and perfection is one of the signs that point most surely for a future existence.”

The progressive and modern parson is often questioned—very often, too, through friends when he is not present. Mr. —— does not believe in hell; but does he hold to a future life at all?

It is a fair question and one of very great interest. The interest in the subject is often proportioned in an inverse way to the interest the enquirer takes in the affairs of this planet. In order to say things pleasing nothing is easier or more tempting than to speak words exceeding what one really believes. A sincere mind becomes very shy of the subject. He well knows the evils caused on the earth by the spirit—a chloroforming spirit—of other-worldliness. The history of the Christian centuries confirms it and makes very sad reading. The sensational prophet of to-day, with his message of the “Lord’s Coming” and the “Last Days,” causes the same mental paralysis.

George Eliot held very strong characteristic convictions till her death, and they are full of valuable meaning:

“I hold a solemn conviction—the result of a lifetime of observation—that in proportion as the thoughts of men and women are removed from the earth on which they live, are diverted from their natural relations and responsibilities of which they alone know anything, to an invisible world, which can alone be apprehended by belief, they are led to neglect their duties to each other, to squander their strength in vain speculation, which can result in no profit to themselves or their fellow creatures, which diminishes their capacity for strenuous and worthy action during a span of life, brief indeed, but whose consequence will extend to remote posterity.”

This is exceedingly well put and helps to illuminate one aspect of Balzac’s statement, that the craving within us to do good work for the betterment of the earth we live upon is a Divine hint that we should give full attention to this mundane sphere. As the creeds go in the melting pot and as the spiritual cocaine of traditionalism is superseded by something more robust and natural so the interest in social injustices increases. Never was such interest and hope as there is to-day. Never was the promise of a new earth so full of potency. The new morality increases as the old theology wanes. We see now, and every day adds to the clarity of the vision, that the credal teaching of a future life has hindered morality—that is, taking the word Morality in its true sense and with its proper root—hindered the unfolding of the higher social ethic in such a way that the world has not benefited. The teaching has been slow of acceptance, but is making sure headway, that morality was prior to theology and was and is independent of it. The guardian of morality has not been theology; but reverse it to find the truth, morality has ever been and is to-day the guardian of theology. The evolving moral sense is everywhere revolting at the old religious beliefs, and under that ethical protest they are passing. Morality antedated theology in the same way that the laws of gravitation were in existence before Newton.

The person who is more interested in death and the hereafter than in this life is not a moral person of high standard. It is not wrong to have a secondary interest in the age-long question: “If a man die shall he live again?” But it has a most unethical effect upon any mind unduly influenced by any form of Christianity, Spiritualism or Theosophy. It is somewhat humbling, too, to remember that the answer is after all only the result of either early training or personal preferences, or, at least, prejudices.

It was Harriet Martineau who declared that the thought of life eternal bored her. There have been times in life when we, too, felt the fascination of some Nirvana to enwrap us. Prince Henry, in the Golden Legend, under sorrow cried out:

“Rest! Rest! Oh, give me rest and peace!

The thought of life that ne’er shall cease

Has something in it like despair,

A weight I am too weak to bear!

Sweeter to this afflicted breast

The thought of never ending rest!

Sweeter the undisturbed and deep

Tranquillity of endless sleep!”

Who at some wearied hour during life has not longed and reasoned in the same way? But it is not a normal longing—it is abnormal, and the truth is more certain to be found in healthy thought. The normal desire—the world-wide wish—is for a future life. That desire is not in any way super-normal and is an almost sufficient guarantee for an existence beyond.

There are two modern ideas of life; one is the physical and the other is the spiritual theory. The writer has reasoned himself into the spiritual basis of life, and intuition helps him to rest in that belief. Bergson says: “Reason searches and does not find; and instinct finds and does not search.” Just so! But reason must not be cast aside, or intuition may land us in many absurdities. In our most cold and rational moments Spinoza appeals to us before Haeckel.

The danger to-day, when we are passing through the period of transition from old forms of belief to new forms, is that many in dragging their anchors only find an anchorage in some worse superstition, or at best attempt soul-satisfaction in materialism. There is no resting place there. There is no lasting satisfaction in the frosty air of rationalism. The rational method is splendid; but let us remember rationalism is not an end in itself, but a process or a method of arriving at the truth. The work of the R.P.A. has been good, and it is so still. The refreshing and cleansing effect upon the mind after a cold bath of rationalism is splendid. It shows the absurdities of old beliefs. It shows the reasons for the present widespread unbeliefs and helps to bring them about. In so far as a future life is concerned rationalism proves a dead end. Modern science is not so. But it does help towards a firmer and more rational belief in a future life. That it is so is very good indeed.

The present doubts and unbelief of existence beyond the grave are caused by the exaggeration and overstatements of theology. There are the most revolting statements still made about a material and eternal hell. Certainly we are not now told about infants a span long crawling on the floor of hell; but the watered-down inferences are in the messages given, or why the continuation of baptisms? The crux of the whole Church difficulty is that the untruth of the Fall of Man is still held to tenaciously in order to save the blood-atonement. No Fall means no hell needed for people who have not fallen. No hell being necessary means no need for a Saviour to save one from hell. We are standing to-day amidst the ruins of a former faith, even as Galileo and Copernicus stood triumphant amidst the wreck of the old geo-centric system then believed in by all, including an infallible Church.

The Church has fallen upon sorry days, but beliefs in a future life are lining up hard and clear and many things hard to understand of old and difficult to believe are swept away. We are the happier for now knowing that alien nations—so-called pagan nations—are not damned and lost. We are the happier for knowing at last that the scholarship of the day has placed the Bible amongst the other Bibles of the world. We are the happier for knowing that the old typical heaven has no existence. It was as materialistic as the old hell. Golden harps and crowns in the one and fire and brimstone in the other. Materialism forsooth! It is as rank and coarse as the material bodily resurrection. It seems paradoxical to accuse the Christian Church of materialism! It is a true indictment!

Sweeping away the old theology, then, what are the grounds for our continued beliefs in a future existence? The modern reasons are as all truth should be—simple and rational. The injustices seen on every hand in this sphere demand a future where all wrongs are righted. The incompleteness of so many young and promising lives here demands a future state for development. The fascinating problems unsolved here is a strong reason for survival after the passing. The ideals unrealized, as Balzac felt—read his text taken from his work, The Country Doctor, and you will feel what he felt—the Divine pull within, a craving for order and perfection that points steadily as the magnetic needle towards the pole—the pole of a future existence.

Our faculties are capable of infinite expansion, indefinite expansion which this life cannot fulfil. There is a keen appetite for infinite knowledge. It is a Divine hunger and will be satisfied. A perfect and beautiful manhood and womanhood cannot be attained here, and the beautiful laws of evolution which prevail over the whole cosmos cannot be denied their power at death. If so, then why? It arouses to-day an exhilarating thrill of curiosity, where once it filled with dread. Charles Kingsley was one of the first divines to cast off the old fears through the new beliefs in evolution, and when dying expressed a wish for Divine forgiveness if it was wrong, but he was full of curiosity for knowing the grand secret of the beyond.

What of Spiritualism? Well, we know the many books on it. We know the influence and beliefs of Myers, Sidgwick, Crookes, Wallace, Lodge, Flammarion, Lombroso, Stead, Conan Doyle and hosts of illustrious men. A goodly array! These men reject the creeds and are unorthodox. So far, so good. We cannot link up or follow them; but we do feel indebted to them for giving us evidence to add to other evidences—sufficient evidence to convince us of the reality of a spirit world. That the ultimate is not matter but spirit. That the apparent impermanence of this life is of appearance only. That there is an underlying reality, a permanence, a real sense—more real than ever by the dissolving of the creeds—a real sense of deathlessness.

The way to prepare for the great passing into higher forms of spirit energy is to respond to the spirit within you—the spirit urging you on for service and the betterment of this world.

Whichcote tersely said: “We must now naturalise ourselves to the employment of eternity.” There you have it. Pay attention to social service here. Quit the military curse with its passions of hate from the earth. Banish the bloodthirsty exploiting system—out with it, lock, stock and barrel. Not in the world of séances, but in the world of realism, in service, are the soul-proofs of extended life beyond. It may dawn upon such that life and not death is the factor leading to soul satisfaction. That social service leads to life more abundantly—to the Divine thought which dawned upon Richard Jeffries: “Now is eternity—now is immortal life.” The war has caused a spasmodic wave of interest in spiritualism, and the danger is, it diverts attention from this earth. We know and feel for the hearts broken in the interests of imperialism and big trade, but mourn not in that direction.

“Rather mourn the living souls who dwell,

  Too strong to strive,

Within each steel-bound coffin of a cell

  Buried alive!”


Browning: “Earth is not a goal, but a starting point.”

George Macdonald: “We are in the nursery now.”

In these days when the creeds are crumbling and the holdings of the old anchorages loosened it may be of help to remember that unbelief, misbelief, or no belief at all can have any permanent effect upon you in the future life. This applies to all religions. The members of all theological systems can say: “Whatever there is after the great passing, we shall share it.” But there will be grades of moral evolution, and some will have a lot of leeway to make up—they who have been careless in this sphere. To-day death can only be truly viewed in the light of evolution or progress, for nothing in the universe escapes the evolutionary laws. The most distant suns and spheres, the planets and the sun of the solar system cannot be placed outside the universal law. There can be no final destruction for any. In the shock of things at the worst they can only be re-formed. If this is so with the world of matter, then the mind that weighs, measures and calculates the bodies of the cosmos must have some progressive future. That the laws pertaining to mind should rank lower than the laws of matter is absurd. When Pascal said: “If the material universe fell upon me and crushed me, I should still be greater than the material universe, for it would not be conscious of crushing me, while I should be conscious of being crushed!” That seems sound logic, and touches a vital spot in reasoning. It may be of help to someone as it has been to the writer.

Some of my rationalist friends still reason (notwithstanding Pascal) that if it be granted that mind is greater than matter or can exist apart from matter, it may only mean that the only future life possible is, we live only in our children. This, on the face of it, seems to be an injustice to the childless, and especially to those who are childless by no wilfulness of their own.

Paul’s simile of the wheat failed here; that is, it failed entirely in the way he used it. The conditions of the future life for the grain of wheat is not that it dies, but that it does not die. If it dies then, as every farmer knows, it has had no potential life of fertility. He who switched the teaching of the Nazarene Carpenter on to an imperialistic sidetrack did not apparently understand the law of the cereals any more than he understood the sermon on the mount. Paul’s Hellenized speculation has during illiterate centuries been most appealing, and his speculation in the course of time became dogma. The one penning this chapter is only speculating, too, but he knows it, and therein he differs. It is a great difference.

But we grope along seeking for the truth in the light of the revelation of classified knowledge which is called science. Some of us are very shy of spiritist phenomena, but the little known truth in that realm may be of service. The help from that source is the gradual accumulation of facts proving we are spirit and not matter, and that spirit can exist apart from matter, so-called. “We are now clothed in flesh, with the blinkers on!” At death (so called) the blinkers come off, but it is a continuation of the same life we are living here. It is man’s weakness in reasoning that makes him so often call in “breaks” at death and think of a God detached instead of immanent. Said poor Richard Jeffries: “Now is eternity; now is immortal life!” “This moment give me to live soul-life, not only after death. Now is eternity, now I am in the midst of immortality; now the supernatural crowds around me. Give me soul-life.” Again: “At least, while I am living I have enjoyed the idea of immortality, and the idea of my own soul. If then after death I am resolved without exception into earth, air and water, and the spirit goes out like a flame, still I have had the glory of that thought.” Jeffries wrote these words when blessed with robust thought and not in the semi-delirium of his last hours. He was outside the narrow fold of the sects and enjoyed the larger hope of those who challenged the champions of an impossible and dogmatic revelation. It was Lafcadio Hearn writing on the poetry of Meredith who said: “Meredith held to the larger hope of the deniers of revelation.”

In the light of the teaching of evolutionary principles our hope in a continued existence is strengthened. Darwin was little concerned in theology, but now we see in perspective a little and we see that he unwittingly strengthened the hope in immortality. The impasse to-day seems to be in a paradox—the Christian Church lessens the hope and causes grave questionings in the thinking mind! Science and evolution quite apart from Christianity strengthen the soul’s fibre on the subject!

In the fiery nebula from which the solar system unfolded there must have been mind in some form. You cannot get something out of a bag that is not in the bag. The solar system may become fiery nebula again, but the psychic part of man will be existent. The material forces of the sun are only transmuted. Why then should man himself—his real self, which is spirit—be annihilated?

The law of progress demands a future development. During our short span, life is too short for attaining to perfect standards. In a future life it may be possible. The moral and psychical tendencies may survive the so-called destruction of the physical body (even physical elements are not destroyed, only disintegrated and transmuted). Why not? Does not the ethical unfoldings of mind go through the same cosmic evolution as matter? Which is the greater and which deserves a future? Who dare say there can be no gradation of ethical results on higher planets? The thought of a probable higher accomplishment throughout all time is demanded when solving the riddle of the universe. It may not be easy to accept it as a dogma of faith. Why should you? At least it can be accepted as a philosophical inference based firmly on the laws of progress. Said Emerson: “The blazing evidence of immortality is our dissatisfaction with any other solution.” Wordsworth spoke in a similar strain:

“Yet to me I feel that an eternal brightness is vouchsafed

That must not die, that must not pass away.”

Again, St. Evremond: “The clearest proof that I find of the eternity of my own soul is my constant desire that it may be so.”

The mysterious aspirations are to be found within ourselves. Also the Divine incarnation within ourselves is a very simple explanation. The just expectation of a continued existence is deeply imbedded in our nature. In the very constitution of things it is engraved, indelibly inwritten. It is also more or less universal. Truly the hopes may be especially clear in the minds of the more highly evolved. They often are, and we should expect them to be so. The collapse of creeds will not affect the hope, for, to use an image, it is written by the finger of God in the very fabric of our being; the Universal Spirit is within us and we are Divine. How far this Divinity transcends humanity we do not know. Even man’s future in the eugenic sphere we do not know. Even gods may be evolved from the human. In eugenics we touch a possibility without boundaries on the psychic side. Possibly on the moral side as well. Not a superman, but a super-race. A race that will have evolved a sixth sense—the sense of immortality, where it will not be possible to doubt or question a continued existence. The ever increasing Divine power within will pass the field of theory and probability and make it an undoubted realization of fact. It will be possible by eugenic laws to hasten the time. Culture applied to man as it is applied to plants and animals. The Divinity within man working in harmony and conjunction with the Divine laws without. As man evolves, so the fear of death becomes less. When man reaches a higher point, so death and its terrors become lower and of less influence. Walt Whitman may have been right in his almost worshipful attitude towards death:

“Oh! death, for life has served its turn,

Opener and usher to the heavenly mansions,

Be Thou my God.”

At least it is better than that terrible phrase of Carlyle’s, in which he refers to the “Bloodthirsty love of life!” Orthodox Christianity, with its impossible Fall, Devil, Hell, Blood Atonement, has caused the “bloodthirsty love of life” referred to. The Buddhist and Confucian meets death with a serene philosophical spirit that puts, or should put, a credal Christian to the blush. Ask any unprejudiced medical man if it is not so! My own experience amongst the sick and dying, covering over thirty years, has been quite sufficient to satisfy me. The strange thing is, very often the most devoted Christian when passing out has been the most terrified and the most unphilosophical. It is not pleasant to write these things. The less orthodox are the most confident. Listen to the words of Dr. Charles Eliot, late president of Harvard University: “I have never seen any persons who met anxiety, pain, sorrow or death more calmly, more bravely, or with more resignation or more serenity than the Unitarians.”

Very good; but the Unitarians are outside traditional boundaries, and not allowed in the orthodox fold—they are without status in ecclesiastical circles. My only complaint with them is they flirt too much with orthodoxy, and at a national crisis become tools of the State, as in time of war.

The substance of the message in this address is that in the evolutionary laws we find the truth banishing all fears regarding death. Also the truth confirming the future existence. “Earth is not a goal,” said Browning, “but a starting point!” Try and think with George Macdonald: “We are in the nursery now.” Such a habit of thought will emancipate from mental bondage and help in freedom of thought. There is no way to such Divine peace but by the utter rejection of the claims of dogma. Think and win a way to a religion of your own. Get mental courage to work out your own beliefs and make your own intellectual findings. By your own Divine heresies the universe will gradually become infinitely wider and your hope infinitely larger. As the pulpit ceases to influence, cast right off and cut the painter. Recall again that unbelief, misbelief or no-belief has nothing to do with death or the results of death. Recall again that modern science is heading to help you. Says Stanley Jevons: “Every step I have advanced in science has removed the difficulties of believing in life after death, by disclosing to me the infinite possibilities of Nature.” Again: “All science knows there may be a psychical body disengaged when the physical body dissolves and decays, there may be in the interstellar spaces the scene of an intelligent activity such as we have never dreamed of on earth.”

“O world invisible, we view thee,

O world intangible, we touch thee,

O world unknowable, we know thee,

Inapprenhensible, we clutch thee!

The drift of pinions, would we hearken,

Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.”


Seneca: “Death is but the law of Nature; a debt which all mortals must pay, and a remedy for all the miseries of life.”

Marcus Aurelius: “Death is natural, and nothing which is in accordance with Nature can be an evil. Calmly await its coming as one of the operations of Nature.”

We live in a time of extraordinary paradoxes. To-day the Christian theology increases the doubts about the possibilities of a future life and modern science increases the belief in future existence. The myth of the creation and the fall has been exploded and the Pauline statement of death coming into the world through sin, and sin coming into the world through the Fall no longer holds good in any sense. The book of Geology knows that the law of death was on the earth ages before man appeared, and the book of Anthropology knows man was on the earth ages prior to the biblical account of creation.

Still death, sin, devil, hell and the Fall are valuable priestly weapons; the Churches are also rich in properties and endowments. Where the carcase of Mammon is there will the ecclesiastical vultures be gathered together. The false creeds have helped in ecclesiastical tyranny, they have been incentives to superstition, but whether they have been deterrent of wrong doing is a very open question. Certainly the world grows better as their influence lessens. The creeds go, but morality increases. The creeds go, but the immortal hope strengthens. As we cast off the nightmares of the past theology, so we gain confidence and death ceases to worry. We learn the meaning of Browning’s line: “Earth is not a goal, but a starting point”; also of George Macdonald’s words: “We are in the nursery now.”

Yes; we can learn from the bible of Nature this great and valuable lesson: there is no absolute death in Nature, but only re-adjustment, and dying is merely part of the earth process. Many of us have had to choose between theology and science, and in these matters they are more often than not diametrically opposed. It is a very pertinent question to present to the mind: If theology was wrong about the beginning of the world, what guarantee have we that theology is any more correct about the ending of the world? A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

It is a great step onward to find out the good in death outweighs the evil. To sit calmly down and picture the earth without death. There could be no progress. The poor old world would be packed with Tories and Conservatives. What a haven it would be for imperialists and plutocrats! We would arise from the seat of meditation feeling that the steady stream of funerals was not such a bad thing after all, for thereby the young got a chance and progress became possible. Death is the condition of eternal youth to the human race.

My texts are taken from the Stoics, but better the Stoics and the God of Nature than a false theology. Socrates was not a Christian, but what composure he had in drinking the hemlock!

Our great concern should be, not to be anxious as to whether we might hold misbeliefs, unbeliefs and no beliefs at all; our concern should be, are we sincere and good? Are we wedded to the good, the true and the beautiful? On that moral goodness we start on the lines of progress after the passage. It may not be such a sudden change after all. Once the crossing is over, we may find little alteration in ourselves. To find we have retained our personal consciousness and that we continue to love those we left and to feel an interest in them is only in accordance with Nature. The new country may not, in fact cannot, be a strange and lonely country; yet if they could enter into communication with us, what could they make us understand? Could we explain algebra to an illiterate Maori? Could we, after passing the meridian of life, explain our experience and knowledge to a child? To the savages in the torrid zone could we explain to them what ice was? All things cannot be demonstrated—at least not at present. Man’s psychic faculties are unfolding, and who knows what the coming super-race may understand. Huxley once said if our ears were adapted to take in all the vibrations the noises of the growing of flowers in the night would be as loud as a thunderstorm. What, too, if our eyes were so adapted? We might see as Milton speculated:

“Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth

Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.”

Certainly to-day our friends the materialists are getting hustled in a bad way. So many of them assume they know matter and force, and try to define ether as a material substance; also mind and consciousness. Ether is beyond conscious experience; it cannot be touched, heard, smelt or seen, and we do not doubt its reality or existence. Inferentially we know. By the same law of inference, Adams and Le Verrier knew of the outlying planet. By the same law Darwin, on seeing the curved flower of an orchid in a South American forest, knew of an unseen bird with a beak to fit the flower for fertilizing purposes. Later on he shot one and found its beak true to the drawing inferentially made.

So it is with immortality. We reason from the known to the unknown. We reason from the visible to the invisible. Materialism, forsooth! Matter the only reality! Is there no reality in fear, hope, conscience and love? No one ever saw the South Pole—not even Amundsen or Scott. The magnetic needle demonstrated it, and who doubts? So we stand in relation to the future life. In Shackleton’s last journey there was something to make us reflect. Listen to him:

“When I look back on those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us not only across those snow-fields but across the storm-swept sea. . . . I know that during that long and raking march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four, and not three. I said nothing to my companions on that point, but afterwards Worsley said to me: ‘Boss, I had a curious feeling on the march that there was another person with us.’ Crean confessed to the same idea. One feels ‘the dearth of human words, the roughness of mortal speech’ in trying to describe things intangible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.”

It has been stated that the belief in immortality is really a “survival-of-the-fittest.” Belief and the persistency of the belief is an argument for its verity. Very good. We have no fault to find with that; but what would be the rational inferences of the belief?

Certainly the future life would be a place of activity; not a place of inactivity—a lubber-land where all are paid a dollar an hour for sleeping. Not an everlasting psalm-singing state; if not psalm-singing, then lying in Abraham’s bosom! A pastime that never appealed to me as a boy nor as a man either. To be truthful, it always seemed most repellent. Active work! But it would be creative and beautiful work. What a change for the millions here who are tied economically to the drudgery of hateful toil! Toil for which 999 out of every 1,000 were never adapted by Nature. Multitudes here with Divine creative gifts have never had a chance. Many who have had a little opportunity, on the other hand, have never expressed themselves fully. Some who never knew their gift and yet knew of a dim prophetic prompting for something. They were conscious of a longing appetite to create. That craving for some artistic creation may prove the fulfilment of the promise. That inward spiritual hunger may be the innate potential Divinity, and prophetic of its attainment in the ultimate.

Another rational inference is that after what we wrongly call death we shall still be in the natural world. Oh, these unnatural cleavages and chasms! There is no gulf between the natural and the supernatural. The natural is really the supernatural hustled farther back. Like the tags “sacred” and “secular,” the two are one—all is sacred! There is no cleavage between the organic and the inorganic. Is mind natural or supernatural? Is spirit natural or supernatural? Is there nothing in the universe akin to mind? Is there nothing in the universe akin to spirit? The spectrum analysis shows us there is something in the sun, stars and planets akin to iron, magnesia, lime and water. Well we might ask is there nothing akin to mind and spirit? These are the real values, and not iron and lime.

Is conscience natural or is it supernatural? Is sacrifice to be classed as natural or supernatural? A miner goes into the mine to rescue a life and dies in the attempt; but Nature does not waste. Is that the end for the one who sacrifices? If so, then Nature does waste. What of the undeveloped Darwins who have come for a few years and passed out? What waste! The Divinity in man would ethically shrink from such waste, and the reasoning is, the source of morality must at least be moral. The source of reason must be rational. There is a revelation from spirit to spirit, and this is it. It is the deep calling and answering unto deep.

“Alas for him who never sees

The stars shine through his cypress trees!”

Do we not know, too, it is a rational inference there must be a future state where the terrible injustices of this life must be righted? Do we not also feel an innate sense of greatness, of worth, of imperishable value? Orthodoxy fails dismally here with its deadening doctrine of total depravity. Materialism fails too with its depressing laws of matter and mechanism. One has pointed to John Brown dying on the scaffold, saying: “It will pay!” Very good—but John Brown must see and know it has paid. That is justice.

The millions here who have been socially cursed—damned into the world and damned out of the world—must have justice. The maimed and stunted here must have justice and fair play there! That this globe we call the earth, where billions have been buried so far as the physical body is concerned, should exist just for that—a spheral tomb 25,000 miles in circumference! Nothing beyond it all! What insanity! Said one who knew better: “It is the will of your Father that not one of these little ones should perish.” That is justice.

The material good satisfies not this spiritual hunger for justice. Love, too, is a spiritual thing, and there must be a world of spirit. Utter selfishness, says the doubter. Well, it is a splendid and a most glorious selfishness; it is a most excellent, God-like hope. That yearning for love of kin is Divine. If it is foolish to have it, then class me among the foolish.

“Communion in spirit? Forgive me;

But I, who am earthly and weak,

Would give all my incomes from dreamland

For a touch of her hand on my cheeks.”


Frances Willard: “I have the purpose to help forward progressive movements, even in my latest hours, and hence hereby decree that the earthly mantle which I shall drop ere long, when my real self passes onward into the world unseen, shall be swiftly enfolded in flames and rendered powerless harmfully to affect the health of the living. Let no friend of mine say aught to prevent the cremation of my cast-off body.”

It is an uphill fight when prejudice has to be fought. But it is a day of many reforms, and much shaking of the old institutions is taking place. After the many changes pending the world will be a saner, a more rational a better place to live in. In fact, a better place to die in also. The present custom of burial is very shocking and revolting when calmly pondered over. Reverse the order, and imagine that cremation had been in general vogue as burial has been during the last thousand years. Also imagine some crank reformer (and he would be a real crank) agitating for the pure and cleansing method of disposing of the dead by cremation to be done away with and the burial of the body to take its place. Think what a scandal it would be and the treatment meted out to such a man!

The word cremation comes from the Latin “cremare,” to burn, and it was the general practice of many parts of the old world. There were important exceptions in Egypt, China and Judea. Ancient Greece denied the right of cremation to suicides, unteethed children and those who had been struck by lightning. In Rome right to the end of the fourth century cremation was the rule.

Viewing the custom of cremation historically, it can be traced right back to the Neolithic Age, and apparently it was abandoned for burial because fuel was too scarce and valuable. The Siamese poor to-day cannot afford fuel to burn and they bury the bodies—when fuel can be got, to avoid disgrace, the body is exhumed and cremated. Tacitus tells us that the ancient Germans only allowed their worst criminals to be buried. Among the Indo-European races cremation had been the custom. During the period known as the Dark Ages cremation was superseded by burial. The reasons were first religious; and secondly, economical. Since then the wrong and stupid conservative customs have taken root, and they still hold, unfortunately, although now it is imperative that the body be cremated before interment is allowed in Westminster Abbey. This helps to prepare the way for better things.

There has been of recent years a great advance of opinions. It was only in the year 1902 when the Cremation Act was passed in England, and to-day there are over eighty crematoria in the United Kingdom. America, Germany, France and Holland, all are seeing the wisdom of the reform and adopting cremation.

It has been said there are medical and legal difficulties. In the case of death by poison, cremation would destroy all traces of foul play. This, as Sir Henry Thompson says, can be safeguarded by the method of demanding two medical certificates of death. It is well to remember also that only metallic or mineral poisons can be detected. During the past twenty years in England there have only been an average of five bodies exhumed yearly. The two medical certificates would prove an extra safeguard against premature burial.

Modern cremation is widely different from the burnings in classical times. To-day there is absolutely nothing to offend the senses. Nothing that savours of irreverence. The coffin passes noiselessly by mechanical methods to the chamber of incineration. There is no smoke; no flame touches the body; and the time needed is about one hour. The weight of ashes for an adult, about five pounds.

The ashes may be handed to relatives in an urn for an ordinary burial service in a cemetery. The friends may prefer to disperse them over land or water. They may be placed in a niche in the crematorium, or rather columbarium, which sometimes is apart from the crematorium; or the ashes may be taken and buried by the relatives in private grounds.

Some have tried to raise religious objections, but they resolve themselves into feeling and not reason. Sometimes these objections are unthinkingly raised by intelligent people. Said an editor of a paper once to the writer: “But you, a clergyman, favouring cremation—what about the Resurrection?” My retort was, “what of the millions on this planet who have at various times been burnt to death? What of the millions also who have been drowned and consumed by fish?”

Dr. Knox, the late Bishop of Manchester, said: “Under the conditions of modern life cremation is not only preferable from a sanitary point of view, but it is also the most reverent and decent treatment of the bodies of the dead, and one that is in entire accordance with Christian belief.”

Another clergyman: “I am heartily in favour of cremation. Not only is it sanitary and scientific, but I believe it has a distinct religious value in emphasizing the fact that it is the spirit and not the garment which the body wears, which is immortal. By the act of cremation the strongest possible emphasis is laid on the truth that the soul has been set free from the body.”

Yet another clergyman from a multitude who favor it: “Cremation is preferable on every account. Even on grounds of sentiment, heat, the great purifying force, is far pleasanter to contemplate than decay—a process associated with corruption.”

But even the benumbing effects of tradition, custom and sentiment without reason still makes the process of putrefaction covering over twenty years the preferable way. It is difficult to argue against sentiment, even if you kindly remind people that the beautifully carved marble angel at the grave is within a few feet of horrors! The cremationalist allows himself to be swayed by science and not sentiment.

Dr. Mason, the permanent head of the Health Department, is strongly in favour of the system, and, in his annual report for this year, says: “I would respectfully suggest that there should be attached to every hospital for infectious diseases an up-to-date crematorium, which could be used by anyone who considered cremation a better way of disposing of the dead than earth-burial. The ease with which the operation can be done, the absolute safety to the general public, and the small cost, are points which appeal to me. The sentimental and quasi-religious objections which have sometimes been urged, could, I think, be gradually overcome if opportunity were given to the general public to see the operation performed.”

The economical advantages are great. For five pounds the whole undertaking can be carried out. That cost includes the use of the columbarian chapel, rest room, organist, cremation, copper retainer, thirty days’ care of the urn, and every attention for the comfort and convenience of those who attend. With the present custom of burial, think of the poor, who go deeper into debt. The undertaker visits the house after death. Very often sordid motives prompts the query to tear-dimmed eyes: “I suppose you want the best?” What broken heart wouldn’t say Yes at that moment? Too often, alas, debt is added to debt by about twelve or fifteen pounds.

If anyone will sit down and think seriously for a few minutes they will see the wisdom of it, and side with the “better way.” They will see that cremation is dignified, is sanitary, is reverent, and it also encourages the spiritual view of death: “the corruptible shall put on incorruption,” and does it swiftly and in a beautiful manner. It also detaches the mind from the grave. What a mental and heart bondage these graves often are! The most strong affection can only keep them tidy for a few years. Neglect is a continual thorn in the conscience. If children remember all through life—and how few do so?—what care will the grandchildren have for the graves. So we see all the old cemeteries in the same state: stones out of plumb, rails rusted and down and so on; conditions of crowding which are unseemly to mention. Is it not better to give back the elements to the source of all life in a cleanly and sacred way? The cremation hymn, by E. A. Church, puts it finely:

Come, holy fire, consume this clay!

  Ashes to ashes now return!

An outworn garment here we lay

  As on Thine altar, Lord, to burn.


Not to corruption and the worm

  Our shrinking spirits yield the claim,

But give this well-beloved form

  The cleanly burial of the flame.


Empty this tabernacle stands;

  With kindred dust the mansion blends;

While to a house not made by hands

  The dear inhabitant ascends.


As the swift fire its office works,

  Father, we lift our hearts to Thee;

Consume the dross that in them lurks,

  And let Thy pity on us be!


Stay with Thy love our fainting breath,

  Grant us Thy peace in mortal strife,

And show us through the door of Death

  The Resurrection and the Life.

Those who still raise objections should remember that by the present method of burial the body reaches eventually, after over a score of years, exactly the same state that is reached in an hour by cremation. It is as well to keep in mind, too, in the case of scourges, that ordinary burial does not destroy the danger. The emanations through the soil are air borne and can be carried by traffic and passed on through the air to places devoid of previous infection. In sandy and shingly ground, too, what can be the result of water and moisture percolating into wells, gutters and streams! There are cases cropping up in my mind—but good feeling forbids. While alive many care not if by their progressive and Divine views they are a nuisance to people, but most of us have strong objections to being a nuisance after we pass out. No sane person would wish to be a danger of injury to anyone after passing on. To all sensible people it is most abhorrent to feel that after death your body may poison life. Perish the thought!

Reverting once more to the religious aspect; remember what the late Lord Shaftesbury replied to some weak-minded brethren who felt their belief shaken in the doctrine of the Resurrection. Said he: “What an audacious limitation of the power of the Almighty! What has become of the blessed martyrs who were burned at the stake?”

The change in opinion is coming, and it speaks well for the permanency of the coming change that those who favour cremation and “will” that it be carried out are so often folk from the cultured and at least intellectual classes—the others will follow. The writer is not preaching contrary to his heart-felt wish. In the following lines are his wishes, and those near to him in the ties of kinship and love know what to do after the revealing of the great secret:

My Wish


Scatter my dust on the deep blue sea!

Let it float where it’s wild and free!

Tossed by the wind and wet by the spray,

My soul revolts at the cemet’ry way!

Out under the dome of the far-flung sky

Where the dreamy ships go gliding by,

In the fresh’ning spray and the sheen o’er the sun

’Tis there I’d be when my work is done.

Away cabined beliefs! Away war and strife!

Give freedom to move in the “Larger Life,”

Where there’s space to swing, for thoughts to expand,

And brothers are all in the freer land.


Throw my ash on the emerald wave,

Don’t bury me deep in a bounded grave!

A symbol that’s cribbed my soul don’t crave!

’Tis narrow, intolerant right to the brink:

Give symbol of breadth and freedom to think!

I’m sick and tired of stress and strain,

Of creeds and Mammon, all out for gain.

No bound for me, save the horizon line!

And cleansed by the wash of the seas of time.

Don’t grave me low in the old clay sod,

But in fresh salt seas of the Immanent God!

This Litany of the Universal has been in use by the Christchurch Congregation for two or three years. It is claimed to be the most progressive Litany in the world. It is not fixed for all time, but open for revision at intervals.


Hebrew Writing: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

The Carpenter: “If any will do His will, they shall know of the doctrine.”

Minister:  It is the will of God that His children speak the truth; because truth is beautiful.

Congregation:  Divine Spirit, incline our hearts to do Thy will.

Minister:  It is the will of God that His children should seek always to act justly, and to mingle mercy with justice, for to be just and merciful requires a brave heart.

Congregation:  Divine Spirit, incline our hearts to do Thy will.

Minister:  It is the Divine will that the nations of earth understand the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, so that the peoples of the world shall know that God has made of one blood all nations to dwell in peace.

Congregation:  Divine Spirit, incline our hearts to do Thy will.

Minister:  It is the will of God that the eyes of the people be opened to the anti-social spirit of modern Capitalism, Militarism, and Imperialism—a trinity of evil—resulting in the folly of fraternal slaughter; so that the reign of reason and love may appear, and the dominance of hate and bitterness be ended; that swords be turned into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks, and that nations learn war no more.

Congregation:  Divine Spirit, incline our hearts to do Thy will.

Minister:  It is the will of God that “There shall come a time when Brotherhood shows stronger than the narrow bounds which now distract the world; when the cannons roar and trumpets blare no longer, and the ironclad rusts, and battle flags are furled; when the bars of creed and speech and race, which sever, shall be fused in One Humanity for ever.”

Congregation:  Divine Spirit, incline our hearts to do Thy will.

Minister:  It is the will of God that His children of the Spirit extend their horizons and cultivate the true Patriotism—Loyalty to Humanity—and the Communal Consciousness of the New Age; supplanting the national by the International, and learning to think in the Divine concepts of the Universal.

Congregation:  Our Father, help us to do Thy will on the earth.

Minister:  It is the Father’s will that we believe in the spiritual value of social rightness; that it is the religious duty of man to strive for a just social order; one in which, neither by inheritance nor by monopoly privilege, shall anyone, who is able to work, be permitted to live upon the fruits of other men’s labour; and we behold the progressive attainment of such a social order as the measure of the emergence of the race into the light of the mind of God, and into the purity of His infinite purpose.

Congregation:  Our Father, help us to do Thy will on the earth.

Minister:  It is the Divine will that Womanhood rises from her many thousand years of degradation—beholding the dawn—that she hears Humanity’s call to cleanse away the social ills and injustices—abolishing war—and so learning at last that she is the main stream of the Racial life, the Guardian of the Life-force and the Race-soul, thus only can she be in harmony with the Divine and Maternal craving of the Cosmic-will.

Congregation:  Our Mother-Father God, help us to do Thy will on the earth.

Minister:  It is the will of our Mother-Father God that the people of Fellowship “stagger not back to the mummeries of the dark ages, but rather that they found a New Church of men to come, having heaven and earth for beams and rafters, science for symbol and illustration,” also gathering fast the True, the Good and the Beautiful.

Congregation:  Our Mother-Father God, help us to do Thy will on the earth.

Minister:  Immanent Spirit of Universal Oneness, may we loyally co-operate with Thee to create Thy Kingdom on the earth for:—“We doubt not through the ages One increasing purpose runs, and the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns.” Amen![A]

N.B.—The congregation will remain standing while the Anthem of the Universal is sung.

[A] Quotations from Lewis Morris, Emerson and Tennyson, in order as given.

    [The  Unitarian  Message]






    One cosmic brotherhood,

    One universal good,

          One source, one sway;

    One law beholding us,

    One purpose moulding us,

    One God enfolding us,

          In love alway!


    Anger, resentment, hate,

    Long made us desolate;

          Their reign is done!

    Race, colour, creed and caste,

    Fade in the dreamy past,

    Man wakes to learn at last:

          All life is one!


    Thou Who hast made us one,

    May earth’s brief course be run

          In unity!

    Teach us to speak aright,

    Make us to know Thy might,

    Lead us within Thy light,

          All one with Thee!


Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.

A cover was created for this eBook and is placed in the public domain.


[The end of The Divine Need of the Rebel by James Chapple]