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work; but when Tom woke up, she spoke kindly, and tried to atone for her ill-temper. Time, which gradually reconciles us to all things, produced the same effect on her as on others. When the minister asked her, six months afterward, how she and Tom were getting along, she replied, "I's got used to him."
Yet life seemed more dreary to her than it did before she had that brief experience of a free feeling. She never thought of that look without longing to know what it was Jim wanted to say. But, as months passed on, the tantalizing vision came less frequently, and at the end of a year Chloe experienced the second happy emotion of her life. When she looked upon her babe, a great fountain of love leaped up in her heart. She was never too tired to wait upon little Tommy; and if his cries disturbed her deep sleep, she folded the helpless little creature to her bosom, with the feeling that he was better than rest. She was accustomed to carry him to the fish-flake in a big basket, and lay him on a bed of dry leaves, with her apron for an awning. As she paced backwards and forwards at her daily toil, it was a perpetual entertainment to see him lying there sucking his thumbs. But that was nothing compared with the joy of nursing him. When his hunger was partially satisfied, he would stop to smile in his mother's face; and Chloe had never seen anything so beautiful as that baby smile. As he lay on her lap, laughing and cooing, there was something in the expression of his eyes that reminded her of the look she could never forget. He had taken the picture from her soul, and brought it with him to the outer world; but as he lay there, playing with his toes, he knew no more about his mother's heart than did the Rev. Mr. Gordoninammon.
One balmy day in June, she was sitting on a rock by the sea-shore, nursing her babe, pinching his little plump cheeks, and chirruping to make him smile, when she heard the sound of footsteps. She looked up, and saw Jim approaching. Her heart jumped into her throat. She felt very hot, and then very cold. When Jim came near enough to look upon the babe, he stopped an instant, said, in a constrained way, "How d'ye, Chloe," then turned and walked quickly away. She gazed after him so wistfully that for a few minutes the cooing of her babe was disregarded. "'Pears like he was affronted," she murmured, at last; and the big tears dropped slowly. Little Tommy had a fit that night; for, by the strange interfusion of spirit into all forms of matter, the quick revulsion of the blood in his mother's heart passed into his nourishment, and convulsed his body, as her soul had been convulsed.
But the disturbance passed away, and Chloe's life rolled on in its accustomed grooves. Tommy grew strong enough to run by her side when she went to the beach. Hour after hour he busied himself with pebbles and shells, every now and then bringing her his treasures, and
calling out, "Pooty!" When he held out a shell, and looked at her with his great brown eyes, it stirred up memories; but the pain was gone from them. Her heart was no longer famished; it was filled with little Tommy.
BORN in Stockbridge, Mass., 1802. DIED at Williamstown, Mass., 1887.
LIMITS OF LIBERALITY IN RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
[Teachings and Counsels. 1884.]
E have thus three spheres and standards of liberality. In the first the relation of man and of nature to supernatural agency is immediately in question; in the second it is the relation of a belief in truth to practice that is in question; and in the third it is the relation of the practical life to the spirit of Christianity and to the moral government of God. But while the questions are thus apparently different, their central point is the same. They all find their unity and interest in the relation of the human will to supernatural control. Eliminate but this one idea, and the crested waves of these controversies will subside to the merest ripple; and the terms that may be used, however intense in form, will be charged with no divisive elements. The real questions are, the existence of a holy God claiming control over the human will, and the extent of the control thus claimed.
Is there then any criterion of liberality in these several spheres? May we know where narrowness ends on the one side, and laxness begins on the other?
And first, what is our criterion in the sphere of belief respecting supernatural agency, involving a belief in efficient causation and in final causes or ends intelligently proposed and pursued in nature? If we begin with Fetishism and pass up, resolving phenomena that had been attributed to spiritual agency into general laws, where shall we stop?
We must stop at the point where negation begins to affect the sum and grandeur of being. This is the criterion. In passing up from Fetishism we do indeed constantly deny, but we also constantly affirm. As we diminish the number of supernatural agents we increase their greatness, till we resolve all natural laws and forces directly or indirectly into the will of the one infinite God If now we clothe him in our conceptions with perfect moral attributes, we have the highest conceivable sum and mode of being. This is the condition, and the only condition, of the
perfect working and indefinite progress of the human faculties. Here we reach the point of the liberality without narrowness and without laxness. Beyond this we pass into negation and tenuity.
The criterion is one not merely to be seen by the intellect, but to be felt as a condition of growth. The condition of indefinite growth in intellect is thoughts of God still unfathomed; and the condition of growth in the moral nature is a recognized goodness in God that transcends ours. Man cannot live in negations. If he could reach a point where the imagination even could transcend the possibilities of being he would begin to be dwarfed As in passing upwards we reach a point where breathing becomes less effective from the thinness of the atmosphere, so the moment we begin to deny intelligent will to God, or to impair his moral attributes, or to limit his control over the universe by anything but the conditions which He has himself imposed, we come into a mental atmosphere of less vitality. All history shows that from that point constructive power wanes, and moral torpor begins.
What we say then is, that our criterion here must be the condition of highest activity and fullest growth for the human powers; that that condition is the complement and perfection of being as recognized in an infinite and personal God; and that for man to apply terms of commendation to virtual negations that must stifle his own life and dwarf his own growth is to call evil good.
But secondly, what is the criterion of liberality in regard to the importance of religious truth?
It is here virtually the same as before. Truth is of importance only as it ministers to life, and as it is the only thing that can thus minister. What we claim for truth in the religious sphere is the same that we claim for it elsewhere-just that and no more. Everywhere it is the basis of all rational action, the very light in which man must walk if he would not stumble. Men hold truth that is not acted upon. There is much that cannot be the basis of action, and that which may, and should be, is often held, or rather imprisoned, in indolence and unrighteousness. Be its adaptions what they may, let any truth lie in the mind undigested, unassimilated, giving no impulse or guidance, and it might as well not be there. Still, whatever rational action there may be, is, and must be, based on the belief of something as true. Men do something because they believe something; and in religion no less than in other things they must believe in order to do, unless, indeed, we resolve the religious life into that mere muddle of unintelligent feeling called mysticism. Men may believe in God and not worship him, but they cannot worship him unless they believe in him. Unless they believe that "Christ has come in the flesh," they cannot follow him. Unless they believe in a moral government, they cannot fear to sin; nor can they "flee from the
wrath to come," unless they believe that there is a coming wrath. A man may conduct his secular business with a degree of success under some misapprehension of the facts on which it is based, but if he misconceive them wholly he must fail; and a man who wholly denies or perverts the facts on which a religious life is based, must fail in that. But in either case the more perfectly the truth is seen, that is, all truth that can bear upon results, the more the man acts in his true element as a man, and the more sure he is of success.
We believe then in no weak liberality, or pretence of breadth that would ignore the vital connection of truth with life; and our criterion here, the point of liberality without narrowness and without laxity, is such a belief in all religious truth as shall be the condition of the highest life.
But thirdly, we inquire for the criterion of liberality in respect of conduct.
The criterion of liberality in belief as respects conduct must refer, either to the law which is the standard of conduct, or to the results of transgressions.
If we suppose a being morally perfect, the standard of his conduct must be a perfect moral law. Such a law is required both as an expression of the moral character of God and as a condition of the moral perfection of his creatures. It is the fountain of order, the guardian of rights, the only impregnable basis of security for the universe. Can it then be asked in the interest of anything claiming to be liberality, that the perfection of such a law shall be impaired? Ask rather that the brightness of the sun should be dimmed. Ask that God should abdicate his throne. If, as we have seen, liberality can have nothing to do in impairing the rights and prerogatives of intellect in its relation to truth, much less may it obliterate moral distinctions and lower the standard of moral action.
But the real question respects conduct under a law transgressed, with a possibility still remaining of forgiveness and restoration to full obedience. The question for every man, the one question on which his destiny turns, is whether he shall ever be brought into full harmony with a perfect moral law.
The law remaining, this must be so; and being so, the principle here is obvious. It is that nothing can be allowed in conduct, whether in principle or in outward form, that would prevent the speediest possible restoration of ourselves or others to a full obedience.
BORN in Detroit, Mich., 1802. DIED in New Haven, Conn., 1881.
WHAT AND WHO WERE THE PURITANS?
[Thirteen Historical Discourses. 1839.]
HERE are those whose ideas of the Puritans are derived only from such authorities as Butler's Hudibras, Scott's romances, and similar fictions. There are those, still more unfortunate, who form their opinion of the character of the Puritans from what they read in such works as that most unscrupulous and malicious of lying narratives, Peters' History of Connecticut. With persons whose historical knowledge is of this description, it would be a waste of time to argue. But those who know anything of the history of England may easily disabuse themselves of vulgar prejudices against the Puritans.
What were the Puritans? The prejudices which have been infused into so many minds from the light, popular literature of England since the restoration, are ready to answer. The Puritans!-everybody knows what they were;—an enthusiastic religious sect, distinguished by peculiarities of dress and language, enemies of learning, haters of refinement and all social enjoyments, low-bred fanatics, crop-eared rebels, a rabble of roundheads, whose preachers were cobblers and tinkers, ever turning their optics in upon their own inward light, and waging fierce war upon mince pies and plum puddings. It was easy for the courtiers of King Charles II., when the men of what they called "the Grand Rebellion had gone from the scene of action, thus to make themselves merry with misrepresentations of the Puritans, and to laugh at the wit of Butler and of South; but their fathers laughed not, when, in many a field of con flict, the chivalry of England skipped like lambs, and proud banners rich with Norman heraldry, and emblazoned with bearings that had been stars of victory at Cressy and at Poictiers, were trailed in dust before the roundhead regiments of Cromwell.
What were the Puritans? Let sober history answer. They were a great religious and political party, in a country and in an age in which every man's religion was a matter of political regulation. They were in their day the reforming party in the church and state of England. They were a party including, like all other great parties, religious or political, a great variety of character, and men of all conditions in society. There were noblemen among them, and there were peasants; but the bulk of the party was in the middling classes, the classes which the progress of commerce and civilization, and free thought, had created between the