Monday, March 19, 2018

The Subtle and Dangerous Character of Socialism by Orestes Augustus Brownson 1852

The Subtle and Dangerous Character of Socialism by Orestes Augustus Brownson 1852

[Socialism] is as artful as it is bold. It wears a pious aspect, it has divine words on its lips, and almost unction in its speech. It is not easy for the unlearned to detect its fallacy, and the great body of the people are prepared to receive it as Christian truth. We cannot deny it without seeming to them to be warring against the true interests of society, and also against the Gospel of our Lord. Never was heresy more subtle, more adroit, better fitted for success. How skilfully it flatters the people! It is said, the saints shall judge the world. By the change of a word, the people are transformed into saints, and invested with the saintly character and office. How adroitly, too, it appeals to the people's envy and hatred of their superiors, and to their love of the world, without shocking their orthodoxy or wounding their piety! Surely Satan has here, in Socialism, done his best, almost outdone himself, and would, if it were possible, deceive the very elect, so that no flesh should be saved.

What we have said will suffice to show the subtle and dangerous character of Socialism, and how, although the majority may recoil from it at present, if logically drawn out by its bolder and more consistent advocates, the age may nevertheless be really and thoroughly Socialistic. We know that the age seeks with all its energy, as the greatest want of mankind, political and social reforms. Of this there is and can be no doubt. Analyze these reforms and the principles and motives which lead to them, which induce the people in our days to struggle for them, and you will find at the bottom of them all the assumption, that our good lies in the natural order, and is not attainable by individual effort. All we see, all we hear, all we read, from whatever quarter it comes, serves to prove that this is the deep and settled conviction of the age. If it were not, these revolutions in France, Italy, Germany, and elsewhere, would have no meaning, no principle, no aim, and would be as insignificant as drunken rows in the streets of our cities.

But the essence of Socialism is in this very assumption, that our good lies in the natural order, and is unattainable by individual effort. Socialism bids us follow nature, instead of saying with the Gospel, Resist nature. Placing our good in the natural order, it necessarily restricts it to temporal goods, the only good the order of nature can give. For it, then, evil is to want temporal goods, and good is to possess them. But, in this sense, evil is not remediable or good attainable by individual effort. We depend on nature, which may resist us, and on the conduct of others, which escapes our control. Hence the necessity of social organization, in order to harmonize the interests of all with the interest of each, and to enable each by the union of all to compel Nature to yield him up the good she has in store for him. But all men are equal before God, and, since he is just, he is equal in regard to all. Then all have equal rights, —an equal right to exemption from evil, and an equal right to the possession of good. Hence the social organization must be such as to avert equal evil from all, and to secure to each an equal share of temporal goods. Here is Socialism in a nutshell, following as a strictly logical consequence from the principles or assumptions which the age adopts, and on which it everywhere acts. The systems drawn out by Owen, Fourier, Saint-Simon, Cabet, Proudhon, or others, are mere attempts to realize Socialism, and may or may not be ridiculous and absurd; but that is nothing to the purpose, if you concede their principle. These men have done the best they could, and you have no right to censure them, as long as you agree with them in principle, unless you propose something better.

Now we agree with De la Mennais, that Christianity has a political and social character, and with the editor of The Boston Quarterly Review, that Christianity seeks the good of man in this life as well as in the life to come. We say with all our heart, "On the earth was he [our Lord] to found a new order of things, to bring round the blissful ages, and to give to renovated man a foretaste of heaven. It was here the millions were to be blessed with a heaven, as well as hearafter." No doubt of it. But in the new order and by it,—not out of it and independently of it. Out of the new order and independently of it, the millions are, to say the least, no better off than if it did not exist, and have no right to any portion of its blessings. The Socialists, when they attempt to press Christianity into their service, are bad logicians. They are right when they tell us that our Lord came to found a new order of things, for he certainly did come for that purpose; they are right when they tell us that it is Christian to seek a heaven on earth for the millions, for there is a Christian heaven here for all men, if they choose to accept it; but when they say this, they are bound to add that this heaven is in the new order established, and is to be sought in it, and by obedience to its principles. It is Christian to seek that order of happiness which Christianity proposes, by the means it prescribes; but to seek another order of happiness, and by other means, is not therefore necessarily Christian, and may even be anti-christian. Here is the point they overlook, and which vitiates all their reasoning.

Socialism, by its very principle, enslaves us to nature and society, and subjects us to all the fluctuations of time and sense. According to it, man can attain to true good, can gain the end for which he was made, only in a certain political and social order, which it depends on the millions, whom the individual cannot control, to construct, and which, when constructed, may prove to be inconvenient and inadequate, and require to be pulled down and built up again. The individual, it teaches us, can make no advance towards his destiny but in proportion as he secures the cooperation of his race. All men must be brought down or brought up to the same level before I can go to the end for which my God made me; each man's true good is unattainable, till all men are prepared to take "a pull, a strong pull, a long pull, and a pull altogether," to attain theirs! This is slavery, not liberty. Nay, it denies the possibility of liberty, and makes slavery the necessary condition of all men. Is not he a slave who is chained to nature for his good, or to a social organization which does not exist, and which depends on the wisdom, the folly, the passions or instincts, the whims or caprices of other men to create or to destroy? Who can deny it? He only is free, he only knows what freedom is, who tramples the world beneath his feet, who is independent of all the accidents of time and space, of all created beings, and who has but to will and all heaven is bis, and remains his, though the entire universe fall in ruins around him.

Undoubtedly Christianity requires us to remove all evil, and in seeking to remove evil we follow the Christian principle; but what the Socialists call evil, and the people in revolt are seeking to remove, is not evil. Nothing is evil but that which turns a man away from his end, or interposes a barrier to his advance towards it. Nothing but one's own sin can do that . Nothing, then, but sin is or can be evil, and that is evil only to him who commits it. Take all these things which Socialists declaim against,—monarchy, aristocracy, inequalities of rank, inequalities of riches, poverty, want, distress, hunger, starvation even,— not one of them, in itself considered, is necessarily evil; not one of them, nor all of them combined, can harm the just man, or prevent, except by his own will, any one from the fulfilment of his destiny. If one is prepared to die, he may as well die in a hovel as a palace, of hunger as a fever. Nothing can harm us, that does not separate or tend to separate us from God. Nothing but our own internal malice can so separate us, and it is always in our power, through grace, which is never withheld, to remove that at will.

Undoubtedly, also, Christianity requires us to seek not only to remove evil, but to promote good, and good in this world. Good is the object of the will, and we are always to propose it. But the things the people in their insurrectionary movements are seeking after, and which Socialists commend, are not necessarily good. As there is no evil to the just, so is there no good to the sinner, while he continues in his sinful state. If the Socialists could secure to all men every thing they promise or dream of, they would secure them nothing to their advantage. Place every man at the highest social level that you can conceive; give him the most finished education you can devise; lavish on him in profusion this world's goods; lodge him in the most splendid palace that genius can construct, furnished in the most tasteful and luxurious manner; let him be surrounded by the most beautiful scenes of nature and the choicest specimens of art; and let him have ample leisure and opportunity for travel, for social intercourse, and for the fullest and most harmonious development of all his natural faculties;—you advance him not the millionth part of a hair-breadth towards his destiny, avert from him no evil, secure him no conceivable good. It will be no consolation to the damned to recollect, that, while here, they were clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day; and your rich men, your great and renowned men, your fine gentlemen and ladies, with their polished manners and fashionable dresses, their soft complexions and gentle speech, your accomplished artists, your brilliant poets, your eloquent orators, your learned scholars, your profound and subtile philosophers, as well as coarse artisans, ragged beggars, cross-grained old hags, and country bumpkins, will be damned, eternally damned, if they die without the grace of God; and that grace is as likely to find its way to the hovel as to the palace, to dwell beneath the beggar's gabardine as the embroidered mantle of the rich and refined. The bulk of the strong-minded and thrifty citizens of this republic, with all their political franchises, social advantages, universities, academies, common schools, meeting houses, external decorum, and material prosperity, are infinitely more destitute than those Neapolitan lazzaroni whose lot they deplore, and are in no rational sense one whit better off than the miserable miners and degraded populace of Great Britain. Their possessions will add nothing to the fullness of their joy, if, by a miracle of mercy, they gain heaven, and will only render fiercer the flames of their torment, if they are doomed to hell, as they have every reason to fear will be the case.

The Socialists fall into the fallacy of passing, in their reasoning, from one species to another. Nothing they call evil is evil; nothing they call good is good; and hence, because Christianity commands us to remove evil and seek good, it does not follow that we must associate with the disaffected populations to bring about political and social reforms. All that is in any sense good or worth having the individual can always, under any political or social order, secure by a simple effort of his will. Forms of government and forms of social organization, then, are at best indifferent; Socialism is a folly, and Socialists fools. The Creator is good, and Providence is wise and just. All external events take place by the express appointment of God. If, then, a single event were evil or the occasion of evil to a single individual, save through that individual's own fault, the goodness of the Creator would be denied, and the wisdom and justice of Providence could not be asserted. No doubt, there is evil in the world, far more heart-rending, far more terrific, than Socialists depict, or even conceive; but to no man is there or can there be evil, but his own sin, which is purely his own creation. Since no man is obliged or compelled to sin, since sufficient grace is given unto every man to enable him to break off from sin and to become just, every man can, as far as himself is concerned, put an end to all evil, and secure all good, even the supreme Good itself, at any moment he pleases. Nothing, then, is more idle than to pretend that political and social reforms,— touching the organization of the state or of society, we mean, not those which touch administration—are or ever can be necessary as the condition of averting any evil or procuring any good.

The Devil's Library

The Devil's Library (Article in The Bookworm: An Illustrated Treasury of Old-time Literature 1893
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AN old-time catalogue, in a New York library, of "the most valuable books relating to the Devil, his origin, greatness, and influence," contains the titles of over five hundred volumes, and does not presume to be complete. It is introduced by the motto, "Fools deride—Philosophers investigate," and by four motto verses, including the fine epigram by Defoe:

"Bad as he is, the Devil may be abused,
Be falsely charged and causely accused,
When men, unwilling to be blamed alone,
Shift off those crime on him which are their own."

A series of introductory illustrations show the Devil as he has been variously delineated by various races. The Egyptian Devil seems to have been a cross between a dog and a hog, walking on his hind legs with the assistance of a staff. The Assyrian has a lion's body with wings, a scaly neck, and a dragon's head with horns. The Cingalese (Sri Lankan) Satan has two heads with tusks, four arms, sits on a colt, and has venomous snakes climbing all over him! The French is the first of the old devils to exhibit the combined traits so familiar to us now. He has horns, the ears of an ass, a goat's tail, and rooster's claws, but his body and head are human, with bat's wings growing from the shoulders. This enemy of man is shown in the cut to be grinning in a most malignant and diabolical manner, and scattering gold around to tempt his victims within the clutches of his claws.

But Beelzebub has been represented in other and far more polite forms. There is a print from the illustrations of Goethe's "Faust," which shows him as a courtly gentleman, elegant in dress and
polished in manners. It seems as if mankind, as it advanced in refinement, improved its great foe as it has improved, or at least refined, the vices with which it pays him tribute. Thus, in the thirteenth century, the English devil was a horrible monster, with the distorted body of a man, the horned head of a bull, a docked tail like a hackney horse, only three fingers and toes on each extremity, spikes at its knees, and shins like the spurs of a gamecock.

By Thomas Landseer's time, however, the artist had elevated him to a quite genteel sort of person, with a sardonic leer, but good clothes and an unblemished anatomy. Landseer—the brother of Sir Edwin, it should be stated—once made ten etchings, called "The Devil's Walk," which are very rare and valuable. The most industrious and extensive of all artistic glorifiers of his satanic majesty, however, has been George Cruikshank. That ingenious draughtsman has pictured him in every conceivable form, as long as it was hateful, for he has always been too conscientious to paint the Devil as an attractive being. "The True Legend of St. Dunstan and the Devil" is one of Cruikshank's most humorous works, and his "Gentleman in Black" is almost inimitable, as far as the unique grotesqueness of the plates is concerned.

The catalogue contains a choice assortment of proverbs applying to the ruler of the infernal regions. All are quaint, and some are very curious indeed. Thus one tells us, "The Devil is good when he is pleased," another that "Satan is all Christianity," and another still that "The Devil is ever God's ape." "Tis a sin to belie the Devil," "An idle brain is the Devil's workshop," "Idle men are the Devil's playfellows," "What is gotten over the Devil's back is spent under his belly," "It's an ill battle when the Devil carries the colours," "He must have a long spoon that must eat with the Devil," "Where God builds a church, there the Devil builds a chapel," and "Hell and chancery are always open," are some odd sayings. Odder still are, "The Devil's meal is half bran," "Seldom lies the Devil dead in a ditch," and "Hell is useless to the sages, but necessary to the blind populace," which latter is a very true and philosophic statement indeed.

These are only a few of their kind. "Hell's prince, sly parent of revolt and lies," is one of many names applied to him. "Fear made the devils, and weak hope the gods," and "The Devil tempts all, but the idle tempt the Devil," are among the statements laid down in these wise saws. One tells us, "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you;" and another, "He that takes the Devil into his boat must carry him over the sound." It is unpleasant to reflect that "Hell is wherever heaven is not," but the proverb says it is, and of course it must be so. A verse by an old English writer tells us

"The Devil
Is civil
And mighty polite,
For he knows
That it pays,
And he judges men right;
So beware
And take care
Or your hair he will singe;
And moil you
And soil you,
And cause you to twinge."

Better poetry, though no better sense, is the following, by Hone:

"Good people all, who deal with the Devil,
   Be warned now by what I say,
  His credit's long and his tongue is civil,
    But you'll have the Devil to pay."

"The Devil's Memorandum Book " was published in London in 1832. It had eighty illustrations, mostly caricature portraits of public characters.

[The reader who desires a fuller acquaintance with the extremely curious subject dealt with in the foregoing article, is referred to Bookworm, vol. vi., where Mr. J. Herbert Slater devotes three interesting papers to "A Bibliograph of the Devil."—Ed. Bookworm.]

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Last Rites, by Felicia Dorothea Hemans (Poem)

Last Rites, by Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1793-1835)

By the mighty minster's bell,
Tolling with a sudden swell;
By the colors half-mast high,
O'er the sea hung mounfully;
    Know, a prince hath died!

By the drum's dull muffled sound,
By the arms that sweep the ground,
By the volleying muskets' tone,
Speak ye of a soldier gone
    In his manhood's pride.

By the chanted psalm that fills
Reverently the ancient hills,*
Learn, that from his harvests done,
Peasants bear a brother on
    To his last repose.

By the pall of snowy white
Through the yew-trees gleaming bright;
By the garland on the bier,
Weep! a maiden claims thy tear-
    Broken is the rose!

Which is the tenderest rite of all?—-
Buried virgin's coronal,
Requiem o'er the monarch's head,
Farewell gun for warrior dead,
    Herdsman's funeral hymn?

Tells not each of human woe!
Each of hope and strength brought low?
  Number each with holy things,
If one chastening thought it brings
    Ere life's day grow dim!

•A custom still retained at rural funerals in some parts of England and Wales

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Novels of Charlotte Bronte - article in The Literary World 1870

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CHARLOTTE BRONTE'S NOVELS, article in The Literary World 1870

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Men whose hair is as yet but sparsely touched with grey can recollect the excitement produced in the literary world by the appearance of "Jane Eyre, a Novel, by Currer Bell." Literary fashions change very quickly in these days, and they have changed several times since all the penmen and penwomen to whom novel-writing is as much a trade as bonnet-making to the milliner, or cake-making to the confectioner, or shoddy-making to the manufacturer of that popular article, concentrated their energies upon the task of throwing off plaster casts of the little governess and her grim lover. No manufactured novel twenty-five years ago went to press without a tiny Jane and a black-browed Rochester,— the one ugly, oppressed, sorrowful, but irresistibly clever and fascinating; the other haughty, overbearing, haunted by some mysterious anguish, theatrical in speech and manner, whose part it was first to browbeat and insult the small maiden, and then to fall passionately in love with and marry her. We have since then had heroes and heroines compared with whose performances in murder, suicide, bigamy, trigamy, and wickedness in general, the questionable procedures of Rochester and Jane were but peccadilloes. It is a beneficent provision of nature that the numberless imitations which every work of imaginative genius calls forth, and which temporarily injure it in the public regard, are sure after a brief and uncomfortable existence to sink into utter oblivion, and leave the work of power and originality in the solitude of its greatness. The troops of tearful, pale-faced governesses, which marched across the page of English fiction for some ten years, have all followed Banquo's ghostly issue into the realm of eternal shadow; but the mother of the whole ill-starred race, the queer, plain, keen, clever, indomitable Jane Eyre of Charlotte Bronte, remains an imperishable figure in the imaginative literature of England. And though the character of Jane Eyre is the most original and striking of her delineations, that of Shirley, the brave, brilliant, kind-hearted, sharp-tongued Yorkshire girl and heiress will hardly fail to live. None of Charlotte Bronte's men are so good as her women. Rochester has ineradicable traces of the histrio and the snob; St. John Rivers is a not ill-executed portrait of the devout Anglican parson, but not so good as we have had from other hands; both the Moores are related, if somewhat distantly, to the prig family; but Jane Eyre, and Shirley, and Caroline Helstone, and oven subordinate and slightly sketched female characters from her pen are of sterling truth and value.

Charlotte Bronte was the eldest of a large family, all except one in the number being girls, born to the Rev. Mr. Bronte, incumbent of Keighley, Yorkshire. The father was of Irish birth and descent, his name being originally Prunty. The son turned out a drunken reprobate. Three of the daughters—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—gave proofs, while still young, of great literary talent, the two first of strong and rare genius. Emily published "Wuthering Heights," an unwholesome, sensational novel, but splendidly written and full of power. Anne produced one or more works of fiction, but they fall markedly below the level of her sisters' books. All three wrote verses, and they published a small selection of pieces, calling themselves on the title-page Ellis, Acton, and Currer Bell. Those by Emily are decidedly the best, and it can hardly be doubted that her vein of genius was of a more fiery and unique character even than that of the longer-lived and more celebrated Charlotte. "What a story," says Thackeray, "is that of that family of poets in their solitude yonder on the gloomy northern moors! At nine o'clock, Mrs. Gaskell tells, after evening prayers, when their guardian and relative had gone to bed, the three poetesses—the three maidens, Charlotte, and Emily, and Anne—Charlotte being the 'motherly friend and guardian to the other two'—began, like restless wild animals, to pace up and down their parlour, 'making out' their wonderful stories, talking over plans and projects, and thoughts of what was to be their future life." For Thackeray Charlotte Bronte entertained an admiration verging on reverence. When she came to London, he was one of those whose acquaintance she was specially proud and happy to make:

"I saw her first just as I rose out of an illness from which I had never thought to recover. I remember the trembling little frame, the little hand, the great honest eyes. An impetuous honesty seemed to me to characterise the woman. Twice I recollect she took me to task for what she held to be errors in doctrine. Once about Fielding we had a disputation. She spoke her mind out. She jumped too rapidly to conclusions. (I have smiled at one or two passages in the Biography, in which my own disposition or behaviour forms the subject of talk.) She formed conclusions that might be wrong, and built up whole theories of character upon them. New to the London world, she entered it with an independent, indomitable spirit of her own; and judged of contemporaries, and especially spied out arrogance or affectation, with extraordinary keenness of vision. She was angry with her favourites if their conduct or conversation fell below her ideal. Often she seemed to me to be judging the London folk prematurely; but, perhaps, the city is rather angry at being judged. I fancied an austere little Joan of Arc marching in upon us, and rebuking our easy lives, our easy morals. She gave me the impression of being a very pure, and lofty, and high-minded person. A quiet and holy reverence of right and truth seemed to me to be with her always. Such, in our brief interview, she appeared to me. As one thinks of that life so noble, so lovely—of that passion for truth—of those nights and nights of eager study, swarming fancies, invention, depression, elation, prayer; as one reads the necessarily incomplete, though most touching and admirable history of the heart that throbbed in this one little frame—of this one amongst the myriads of souls that have lived and died on this great earth—this great earth?—this little speck in the infinite universe of God,—with what wonder do we think of to-day, with what awe await to-morrow, when that which is now but darkly seen shall be clear!"

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Edward Wightman the Unitarian Martyr

Edward Wightman the Unitarian Martyr, Article in The Bible Christian (May, 1843) Vol.5

Edward Wightman of Hinckley, Leicester, being suspected of heresy, was arrested at Burton, on the 9th April, 1611, and carried prisoner to the palace of Dr. Richard Neile,* bishop of Litchfield, by whom he was to be tried next day. From an article in the Christian Pioneer for last month, written by Mr. W. Mountford, we take the following account of his trial and death:—

At nine o'clock in the morning of Thursday the 10th April, Edward Wightman was taken from the bishop's palace to the cathedral. The streets, the windows of the houses, and the cathedral yard, were crowded with spectators. The chancellor, prebendaries, and most of the clergy of the county were present at the trial, for the bishop had sent to solicit their attendance, at the same time that he dispatched his proctor for the prisoner.

The bishop ordered the chancellor to read the indictment, which was listened to in the profoundest silence. It commenced with a preamble on the church's happiness in these latter days, in having a king as its head, instead of the pope, that antichrist; it then proceeded to enumerate the statutes against heresy, and went on to charge Edward Wightman of Hinckley, in the county of Leicester, as a heretic, on the vehement suspicion of his most sacred majesty, James, king of Britain, Ireland, and France. The indictment then proceeded to say, that his most Christian majesty, as Christ's vicegerent of the English church, and as defender of the faith, charged the said Edward Wightman with each and all of the following several heresies, namely, those of Ebion, Cerinthus, Valentinian, Arius, Macedonius, Simon Magus, Manes, Manichaeus, Photinus, and of the Anabaptists.

Wightman knew at once the origin of his arrest, when he heard that the king was his accuser.

"What is thy plea," said the bishop, "guilty or not guilty?"

"My lord bishop," answered Wightman, "I am but this instant acquainted with the matter against me. Suffer my trial to be deferred, to give me time for thought."

"No," answered the bishop, "if thou art not guilty, say so, and I have then the king's directions to discharge and entreat thee well, on thy reading at the cross the thirty-nine articles, and the three creeds of most holy church."

Just then, Wightman discovered his friend Hadrian Hamsted, who seemed to entreat his compliance. For a minute or two he was tempted. He thought of his opinions, known only to two persons in the world. He looked at the bishop and the clergy; he looked over the faces of the thousands of persons crowded round him; these fellow-creatures of mine, he thought, shall I cut myself off from them, and be counted a monster; and what folly to peril myself for my opinions, which may only be carefully contrived falsehoods—why should I be right, and all those learned men, and those ten thousand persons be wrong. He thought of his dear wife and child, and if he died for his Unitarianism, how very little good his martyrdom could do it.

At last he spoke, "My lord bishop, the Lord Jesus Christ will not have us judge one another, but directs that each servant should to his own master, stand or fall. Let it be so with me, I pray. Swear me now to my firm belief in my master Christ. It is impossible to be guilty of those many heresies with which I am charged. They are self-contradictory. Therefore let me clear myself of his majesty's most vehement suspicion, by proving my belief in the Scriptures, and all that they contain."

"What!" exclaimed the bishop fiercely, "a man not guilty of all those heresies! thou art disloyal as well as a schismatic. I tell thee, the king** it is, hath drawn out thy indictment, and dost impeach the royal learning? Bethink thee, caitiff!"

"May it please your lordship, I believe in God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and but for whose presence, the universe would sink into that chaos, 'without shape and void,' from which its Maker's voice on the morning of creation did command it. I believe in God, without whose ever-exerted power, there would be no sound, or motion, or life, throughout the silent world. I believe in him, as the fountain of all truth, justice, holiness, and love; whose face brightens the countenance of the angels, as they behold it; and whose character fills human minds with goodness, as they think of it. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world from the sin, gross ignorance, and wretchedness, which defile and darken it. I believe that what he has already done on earth, and what he is still preparing among the many mansions of his Father's house, surpasses in grandeur all mortal thought; and that his coming will eventually appear so important as to surpass in glory, the creation of this wonderful world, teeming as it does, with the divine goodness, and over-arched as it is, by the splendid firmament of God's building. I believe in the Scriptures, that they are so precious and of such infinite value, that their, perusal were worth a life-time of agony, had not God granted them to human reading freely. I believe that there is not a soul in your lordship's diocese, but that religion makes him richer, than if without it, he possessed the wealth of the Spaniards and the wisdom of Solomon. I believe in the future judgment with all the faith of which man's heart is capable. I believe that heaven is happier than prophets ever dreamed of, and that hell is more dreary and remorseful than sinner ever yet shuddered at. I believe that at the judgment, there will not be a child whom your lordship confirms in the church, that would part with one holy feeling from its heart, though some tempter should offer it the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them as an exchange. I believe that—"

"That about the church," cried the bishop, "is very true. Do you hear, you Wetherby farmers? This heretic does not grudge tithe like you. I could like well to hear thee rate these wretches, for impiously cheating holy church, and damning themselves everlastingly thereby. But I have much business and little time, I must away to his majesty. Here, let me hear thee read the articles; and then when thou hast read them again at the cross, together with the three creeds, in my chancellor's hearing, thou art acquit."

Wightman received the Book of Common Prayer, and read in a loud and solemn voice, "There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passion; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible." And there he stopped, and was seemingly lost in thought.

"Speed thee man," cried the bishop, "and in unity of this godhead there be three persons of one substance—art spelling a horn-book there?"

Wightman laid the book down.

"What! thou loathsome Arian, detestable Cerinthian, wilt roast like Legate a month ago. Ay! dost start? The sparks of his burning are coming across the country to Litchfield, and they'll fall in the yard here to-morrow. For his majesty has graciously been pleased to send bis warrant for thy instant burning in case of obstinacy. I talked with Legate myself.*** He was not altogether as abominable as thou; but he was a horrible wicked monster; he scrupled prayer to God the Son, and maintained against the king, the prayer-book, and myself, that the Godhead was one person. His majesty graciously permitted him to live in prison many months; but when the new Bible was to come out, the king said he must die;**** for that not a heretic should ever see it; and the king had him burned to death yesterday was three weeks. Why, thou pitiful ignorant man, what think you are curates for, and tithes, and priests, and church-ales, and rectors, and clerk-ales, and the prayer-book, and glebe-lands, and deans, archdeacons, doctors, and easter-dues; what are bishops and arch-bishops for? What is the church for, but to be believed? What is the king defender of the faith for, if the king's faith is not good enough for his subjects?"

"My lord, it is not the church that saves men, but what truth the church teaches. Saving faith is of God's giving and not of the king's forcing; it comes out of a man's heart, and cannot be put into his mouth."

"Dost thou believe in the holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity," said the impatient bishop, "three persons in one God?"

"There is no such God in the Scriptures," answered Wightman.

"Ha!" cried the bishop, and clapped his hands, and turned himself to a canon who sat near him; "it will glad his majesty to learn, how miraculous a scent he hath for heresy.***** Here now hath he tracked it these six-score miles from Whitehall! By St. Andrew, his majesty's patron saint, but his gracious majesty will laugh to know, that he hath a touch for king's heresy, as well as for king's evil. What now is the Holy Ghost, if he be not God?"

Wightman answered, "It is God's Holy Ghost— his help—his Holy Spirit, which he gave Christ without measure, in which the apostles rejoiced, with which the early saints were strengthened and blessed, and which prayerful and earnest-minded men still obtain from God 'the Father of lights.'"

The bishop inquired, "Hast thou the Holy Spirit?"

Wightman answered him, "It is not a matter to boast of, my lord, scarcely to be mentioned but between man and his Maker. I humbly hope, however, that, in answer to my earnest entreaties, God did grant me the aid of his Holy Spirit, to rectify my judgment, purify my feelings, and to guide me in my researches after his hidden truth." "Now," said the bishop, "Master Secretary, write down that he sayeth he is the Holy Ghost." ******

Wightman remonstrated, "I said not so, my lord; you make me a blasphemer."

"It was thy meaning, man," said the bishop; "one should never get the truth out of these foolish heretics if one did not help them. Hast written that he sayeth he is the Holy Ghost? And now, Edward Wightman, hast ought to say before I deliver thee over to the civil power, to be burned to-morrow; for holy mother church is too merciful herself to hurt even a heretic?"

Just then, the sunshine streamed through a painted window, casting on Wightman "a dim religious light."

"Bear witness," he said, "that I die for the worship of the one God, the Father, for worshipping as the six earliest, holiest generations of disciples, for they never heard of the name, much less the doctrine of a Trinity. I die, not for despising, but for loving the Lord Jesus Christ. If I valued the gospel less, I would say those creeds, and be happy with my wife and child, and keep my manor and my hall at Hinckley, which now will be confiscated. I die in the greatest cause man can die for, to uphold the unity, the unrivalled majesty, the undivided glory, and the unshared dominion of the Creator, the God of the heavens and earth, and of all eternity. I confess my fear of the dreadful death I am to be doomed to; but, with your feelings, it is your duty perhaps to sentence me. But there is light in the gospel, compared with which the common notions of religion are gross darkness. Many martyrs may have to die first, and many fierce persecutions have to be borne, and much contempt, and wrong, and loss, have to be endured, perhaps for ages; but the time will come when God the Father will be the only God, and when Christians will rise above these bloody, and all other persecuting practices, into the love of which the Lord Jesus was a revelation."

"Wicked and foolish man!" cried the bishop. "Dost thou not think so?" he said, turning to the rector of Wonnerton, down whose aged cheeks the tears were rolling; "and you," said he, to a scowling priest from Coventry, "guilty, is not he?" Then, when his grace had disengaged his lawn-sleeves which had become entangled with the ornamental work of his chair, he rose and said, "I pronounce decree, and declare thee, Edward Wightman, an obdurate, contumacious, and incorrigible heretic. Master Sheriff, remove thy prisoner. Here is his majesty's warrant for his execution in the manner prescribed.******* It is his majesty's will that no one be admitted to speech with him, for fear of heretical infection. Master, O, Sir Sheriff, thou must fix to-morrow evening at latest for the burning, for I am going to London, to examine the new translation of the Bible, which his majesty has been pleased to command, and which has been executed by learned men, deep in the interests of holy mother church. When I see his majesty, he will be discontented unless I report him the death, or at least the recovery of the heretic. Sir Sheriff, mind the counsel as touching the prisoner's seclusion, and make ready for to-morrow."

Soon after the crowd began to move, Hadrian Hamsted threw his arms round his friend's neck. "Officers!" exclaimed the Sheriff; and one of them struck Hadrian Hamsted on the head, and threw him aside insensible. Wightman was then guarded out of the cathedral by the constables. As he was taken through the door, a paper was put in his hands, which, when he was left alone in Litchfield gaol, he found was a hurried note from the chancellor of Litchfield cathedral, expressive of the profoundest sorrow for Wightman's fate, and informing him that his wife and child should be abundantly provided for, for that he, the chancellor, was aged and childless, and would make them his heirs.

The execution was announced for six o'clock on Friday evening. At five in the afternoon, the stake was erected in the cathedral yard, under the superintendence of a beadle. A stranger addressed him—"So you are going to burn the heretic, and thus cauterize the sores of the church. Their successors are better, more business-like bishops than the apostles themselves; don't you think so, master beadle? What way religion would have made; for every beadle now, there would have been fifty, if a few hundred Pharisees had been burned at first! But, do you know, the apostles cared nothing about tithe, or a high-priestship. They had no zeal for the church, like our bishop; they even forgave their enemies. Is the wood dry, my man?"

The beadle was rather confused by the stranger's manner and address, but answered,

"Yes, master, it has been cut these two years, out of Copsall-wood side. It'll burn when I light it."

"Whence shall you get the light?" asked the stranger.

The beadle answered, "I live at yonder little house, with the green shutters."

"Look you there," said the stranger, and gave the beadle an open Bible; "if Christ would not let the disciples pray for fire on the Samaritans, ought you to allow fire from your house to burn this Edward Wightman?"

"Well," said the beadle, "there is gospel against it, and I'll let it alone." The stranger then went away, and the beadle added, "But some body must do it; as well I as another."

At seven o'clock, Edward Wightman was brought into the cathedral yard, and chained to the stake. The faggots were piled round him quickly, and in an hour his ashes were mingled with those of the wood, and his liberated spirit was returned "unto God who gave it."

• Dr. Richard Neile, Archbishop of York, passed through all the degrees and orders of the Church of England, having been a schoolmaster, curate, vicar, parson, chaplain, Master of the Savoy, Dean of Westminster, Clerk of the Closet, Bishop of Rochester, Litchfield, Lincoln, Durham, Winchester, and, lastly. Archbishop of York, 'tis certain, he had few or none of the qualifications of a primitive bishop, for he hardly preached a sermon in twelve years, but gained his preferments by flatter)' and servile court compliances.—Neals Hist. ii. p, 360.

**"The commissions and warrants for the condemnation and burning of Edward Wightman at Litchfield, 1611, were signed with king James's own hand."—History of the first 14 years of King James.

*** "That Arian who this year suffered in Smithfield. His name, Bartholomew Legate; native county, Essex; person, comely; complexion, black; age, about forty years; of a bold spirit, confident carriage, fluent tongue, excellently skilled in the Scriptures. -His conversation, for aught I can learn to the contrary, very unblameable. (Some (it) his damnable tenets were as followeth: 1. That the creeds called the Nicene creed and Athanasius' creed, contain not a profession of the true Christian faith. 2. That Christ was not' God of God; begotten, not made;' but begotten and made. 3. That there are no persons in the godhead. 4. That Christ is not to be prayed unto.

"To Smithfield he was brought to be burned, March 18th.—Vast was the conflux of people about him. Never did a scarefire at midnight summon more hands to quench, than this at noon-day did eyes to behold it. At last, refusing all merer (be was offered pardon if he would recant), he was burned to ashes. And so we leave him, the first that for a long time suffered death in that manner."— Thomas Fuller.

****Two of the conditions which the translators of our common version were to observe in their work, were to keep as close as possible to the Bishop's Bible, and that the old ecclesiastical words should he kept, as Church, not to be translated Congregation. And two of the events amid which the common version was completed, were the burning of two Unitarians.

*****This proposed flattery was exactly to the king's taste, and no doubt helped the bishop to the Lincoln mitre. James declared himself a Presbyterian on leaving Scotland to assume the English crown. But the bishops persuaded him to make it his aphorism "no bishop, no king." The bishops flattered him with the possibility of becoming absolute: hence this sudden liking for Episcopacy, and bis inveterate hatred of the liberty-loving Puritans. In the General Assembly of the Scottish church, in speaking of "our neighbour kirk of England," he called their service "an evil said mass in English," wanting "nothing of the mass but the liftings." But within nine months of bis coming to England, Bishop Bancroft bad fallen on his knees for joy "that Almighty God, of his singular mercy, has given us such a king, as since Christ's time has not been." Nay, so episcopalian had the king become from breathing English air for two hundred and eighty days, that the delighted Lord Primate told him "undoubtedly your majesty speaks by the special assistance of God's spirit."

******Among Wightman's enumerated opinions there are some that savour of vanity and superstition, such as his being the prophet foretold Deut xviii. but we may well hesitate here whether such were the man's real sentiments, or only those which his adversaries would fix upon him._ Lindsey.

******* Unitarianism was punishable with death, till towards the end of the seventeenth century; its professors were liable to perpetual imprisonment in England, and to death in Scotland, up to the year 1813, and it is still assorted to be an offence at common law.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The History of Pi, by Marie Gugle 1920

The History of Pi, by Marie Gugle 1920
It was not until the middle of the eighteenth century that the Greek letter (PI) came into use as a symbol for the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. But from earliest times mathematicians knew that there was such a constant ratio. Different values were given it in different periods of history.

1. One of the earliest books we have is the Ahmes (Ah'mez) Papyrus, written about 1700 B.c. In this manuscript a value is given to PI equal to 256/81 or 3.1604.

2. The Jews and Babylonians considered PI equal to 3. This fact is shown in the measures given for sacred vessels in I Kings vii, 23 and II Chronicles iv, 2.

3. Archimedes of Syracuse, who lived between 287 and 212 B.c, was a great mechanical genius as well as mathematician. You will find it interesting to read the stories of his detection of the fraudulent goldsmith; his use of burning glasses to destroy the Roman ships; his apparatus for launching ships; and the Archimedean screw used to drain the flooded fields of Egypt.

Archimedes proved that the value of PI is between 3 1/7 and 3 10/71.

We can understand these values better by putting them in decimal form, but Archimedes did not have this advantage, because no one knew anything about decimal fractions until nearly 1600 A.d.

4. Ptolemy, a great astronomer of Alexandria about 150 A.d., used 3 17/120 as the value of PI. As a decimal 3 17/120 = 3.14166.
5. Between 400 and 600 A.d. the Hindus used PI = 3 or 3 1/8 and PI = which is 3.1622.

The Chinese had used PI = about 200 A.d.

6. The exact value of PI cannot be expressed in ordinary figures, although many persons have contended long and earnestly that it could be done. If this were possible, a square could be constructed exactly equal to a circle. These people are known as "circle-squarers."

About 1600 the value of PI was calculated to 35 decimal places. Since then it has been calculated to 707 decimal places, but it will never come out "even." In other words no square can be constructed that is exactly equal to a circle.

The value correct to the first 35 places is as follows:

PI = 3.14159265358979323846246338327905288 When very exact measures are needed, we use 7r = 3.14159 or 3.1416.

For less exact measures, we use PI = 3.14 or PI = 3 1/7.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Wolf as a Metaphor for the Devil in the Bible, by Benjamin Keach 1855

The Wolf as a Metaphor for the Devil in the Bible, by Benjamin Keach 1855

A wolf, which is a strong, cruel, and ravenous beast, denotes powerful, fierce, and covetous men, Gen. xlix. 27; the tribe of Benjamin is called a ravening wolf, because strong and fierce, and is so described, Judg. xx. 21, &c. See Jer. v. 9, Zeph. iii. 3, Ezek. xxii. 27.

In the New Testament, by wolves are understood seducers, and authors of wicked doctrines, Matt. vii. 15, John x. 12, Acts xx. 29. Franzius, in his history of beasts, says, that John x. xii., “by wolf, is meant the devil.” Because,

(1.) As a wolf is apt and willing to execute mischief against man and beast; so the devil is the common enemy of mankind.

(2.) As the wolf is greedy and unsatiable; so the cruelty and rapacity of the devil is not to be satisfied.

(3.) As the wolf is so sharp sighted, that he can see even in the darkest night, and when hungry, smell his prey at the distance of half a German mile, (that is, an English mile and half;) so the devil by long experience and use is become still more wicked and cruel, and well versed in the scent of his prey, that is, of such as are apt to be tempted to sin.

(4.) As wolves sometimes devour whole sheep, sometimes only the flesh; so the devil sometimes hurts the corporal faculties, sometimes destroys life, and sometimes (when God permits) health; and sometimes hurries the wicked, soul and body, to destruction.

(5.) As the wolf is most crafty; so the devil wholly consists of deceit. The wolf invades the flock in a dark or cloudy time, the better to make his approaches undiscovered: so the devil sets upon men commonly in times of calamity and affliction, that by the advantage of their troubles, he may the better exercise his tempting power. The wolf uses baits and stratagems to allure a herd to come within the danger of his fellows, enticing goats with green boughs, and playing with young pigs, casting them with his tail, making them run along, till he seduces them to the ambush; so the devil presents false pleasures, to bewitch the senses of men, till they fall headlong into his snare. The wolf uses much policy when he sets upon bulls and horned beasts, and assaults them behind, where they are unprovided for defence; so the devil has peculiar slights and devices to entrap the strongest and more experienced Christians, seeming to retreat when he cannot prevail, but quickly returning (when he thinks they are secure) with a new stratagem to undo them.

(6.) It is said of a wolf that if he first sees a man, the man loses his voice and cannot cry out; so the devil, when he has set upon an unwary man that feared no danger, and resisted not, makes an easy conquest and triumph.

(7.) But if a man sees a wolf first, the beast loses both voice and courage: so godly men, who fear devilish temptations, and prepare themselves for resistance, can easily by prayer and divine cries put that malignant enemy to flight.”

(8.) The wolf mightily dreads fire and swords; so the devil fears the light of God's word and prayer, &c., which are the church's weapons. Hence Chrysostom said, that “Swords are not so terrible to wolves as the prayers of the godly are to the devil.”

Seducers, and false teachers, are called wolves, Acts xx. 29, “I know that after my departure shall grievous (or ravenous wolves), enter in among you,” where we are to note the epithet, for it is not said wolves, but ravenous wolves, for there are some more rapacious than others. Oppianus and other learned men say that there are a certain kind of wolves, which are called (in Greek)  harpages, snatchers or ravening wolves. These are the swiftest sort, and go out very early to prey, and invade with a terrible onset, they are very unsatiable and craving, and inhabit mountains, yet of such impudence that in the winter they come to the very cities, and behave themselves quietly till an opportunity of seizing upon a lamb, young goat, or other prey, offers, which they carry away, to which the patriarch seems to allude, Gen. xlix. 27.

1. As wolves are said to take away a man's voice; so false teachers take away the purity of the heavenly doctrine and worship of God.

2. The wolf is so cruel and devouring, that he kills not only what would serve his belly, but the whole flock, if let alone: so heretics aim not at the destruction of one or two, but the whole church.

3. As the wolf is most crafty, and silently approaches the sheepfold to know whether the dogs be asleep, or the shepherd wanting, or whether they are careless and negligent, and so watches a fit occasion to destroy the flock, and suck their blood; so heretics, before they propose their manifest and apparent errors, slily insinuate themselves into the good opinion of men, and with wretched hypocrisy and sophistry counterfeit much piety, humility, and angelical sanctimony, boasting of peculiar illuminations and communion with God: thus when they have purchased a good repute they instil their venom into the minds of the unwary proselytes, till they wholly corrupt them.

4. It is said that even after death there remains a natural antipathy between a wolf and a sheep, insomuch that if the skin of each be made into a drum, (as a learned naturalist observes) the very sound of the wolf's skin breaks the other, and that if their guts be made into viol (or lute) strings, it is impossible to tune them to unisons or one sound: so the perverse doctrine of heretics does mischief in the church, even when the heretics themselves are dead.

5. As the wolf at the approach of peril betakes himself to flight privately; so heretics skulk in time of persecution, and withdraw most cowardly.

6. By the Attic laws, (and so in Ireland at this day), wolf-killers were considerably rewarded; so they deserve praise and encouragement that detect the fraud, sophistry, and impiety of those wolves, that would destroy the flock of Christ. The wolf disappointed of his prey walks about with an open or gaping mouth; so heretics thirst for the blood of the orthodox. And as the cubs or whelps of wolves are killed, although they have yet committed no mischief; so the fry and disciples of wicked heretics ought to be bridled, and care taken to prevent, that they envenom not the church; so far Franzius.

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