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“THE SOVEREIGN PEOPLE”
THE UNITED STATES;
EXHIBITING TO THEIR MAJESTIES THE INFERNAL TREACHERY OR WORSE INABILITY OF THEIR
AND OF THEIR
PROVING THE IDENTITY OF THE
THEOLOGICAL AND ETHICAL DELUSIONS.
ELECTIVE FRANCHISE HOAX
REVEALING A NEW, AND SELF-EVIDENTLY EFFICIENT REMEDY FOR SUPERSTITION, DESPOTISM, AND EVIL.
BY CALVIN BLANCHARD.
PUBLISHED BY CALVIN BLANCHARD, 76 NASSAU STREET.
A MESSAGE TO “THE SOVEREIGN PEOPLE” OF THE UNITED STATES.
May it please your Majesties:
I am going to disenchant the social organism called civilization, from an infernal spell, from a mighty necromancy, which has hitherto conjured it round and round in a circle wherein happiness ever lures and ever eludes; which has confined it within an orbit which has mystery for its centre, monarchy-despotism for its aphelion, majority-despotism and political quackery and knavery for its perihelion, and unvarnished wretchedness or gilded misery for its whole course.
I will dispel the mystery-fog and strip off the miracle rubbish from the distinguishing human instinct or religious idea which manifests the difference with respect to intellect between man and the lower animals, and show that this human peculiarity is neither more nor less than the index which points to the ultima thule of progress, to the goal of development, to the outlet from tantalism, to Heaven on Earth.
I will demonstrate that man’s longing for “Heaven” and “immortality,” is nature’s guaranty for these in substance, or to all really conceivable and desirable intents and purposes. I will prove that man’s highest theory is a practicability; that his noblest aim is not ultramundane and supersensual, but attainable in this substantial sphere, and by means of nature, science, art, development; that his aspirations can not be for happiness either more exquisite or durable than these can procure for him; that man’s will really is the will of all nature in his connection; and that this will alone is the full measure of human power arid of nature’s resources; that nature’s laws (manifestations of phenomena or material action) though not alterable absolutely, are nevertheless modifiable relatively to each other, by nature and nature’s highest organism, man, to the extent that nature has constituted him to need; to the extent that the only intervention between demand and supply will be just exertion enough to make possession worth having; to the extent that delight will be retainable till the value of all the varieties of it which can be presented to the five senses is, by repetition, exhausted. I will prove that man can and will, in nature, and by the aforesaid means, be created and create himself substantially almighty. The redeeming significancy—the precious spark of truth which laid under the sublime error and magnificent absurdity of his having, “in the beginning,” given himself an independent “living soul,” and invested his abstract subjectivity with absolute, unconditioned freedom, or unlimited power, must have been this; else, thought goes beyond the capacities of the substantial, attractions lack destinies in this world, and mind, instead of being a function and dependent of matter, positively transcends it; else, the supernatural is indisputably indicated; ay, proven; if anything can, in that case be intelligibly said to be proven; else, wisdom was highest instead of lowest at man’s advent, and has been losing ground ever since by means of experience, instead of augmenting thereby; else, science is a treachery and art a snare; else, the unintelligible is the real, and the substantial is the sham; else, nature is a contemptible cheat and a miserable failure, which ought to have a supernatural regulator; else, there can be no conceivable God, no possible Heaven, no certainty or rationality anywhere, but all is impenetrable mystery and inexplicable nonsense.
Belief in “necessary evil,” in irremediable wrong, is so utterly monstrous, that human nature instinctively revolts against it. It is a delusion more absurd, infinitely more mischievous, and immeasurably more degrading than is even the wildest supermaterialism in which wholly unenlightened ignorance hides itself from itself. Yet this is the faith of all those who have vacated their minds of hope for Heaven after death, without supplying the vacuum with unshakable confidence in Heaven on Earth.
All the philosophers who profess to have merely renounced the theological phantasm, gravely assert that skepticism, or “infidelity” [I marvel at the taste of those who apply this epithet to their principles] is an advance on credulity; but a moment’s consideration will prove to any physiologist, that the exact reverse is the fact; that nature necessarily originated man in a state of such utter, such intolerable doubt, that extrication therefrom, though it plunged him, as it inevitably did, into the silliest of possible errors except that of faith in unbelief,was a gain. If belief preceded doubt, it is evident that man has innate ideas, and the supersensual, and of course the supernatural, stands proven. How incautiously, how ridiculously, and how all but fatally (as I shall show) do the mere opposers of the great theological error plunge into the most unfathomable depths of supermaterialism; and how pitiably do they flounder about in moralism, the subtle, treacherous form in which theology now so effectually disguises itself.
Mere opposition to theology is, with respect to human progress, what the coldest climate on earth is with respect to life. If heat barely tolerates life at the equator, its polar opposition extinguishes it.
What can be more monstrous than the assumption that theology—that which has hitherto ruled the world—is an entire delusion, to be simply opposed. The fact is, that nothing short of an all-important truth mainly sustains the theological abomination, and the question is, how to liberate that truth from its degrading thralldom.
Rejecting, as it will be perceived that I may consistently do, the independent mentality fiction and its correlate, the innate idea absurdity, we arrive at the fact that man commenced existence in such a state of utter ignorance that his first conclusion respecting the how of himself and his surroundings must have been a mere random guess precisely as void of truth as he was lacking in experience. The inevitable result of extreme human ignorance was that extreme human error, (excepting, of course, perpetual indecision) that the universe was willed from nothing. This was the origin of theology and moralism, and its logic is essentially that of the vote-yourself-free, or elective-franchise hoax.
Before anything with respect to the mutual relations of cause and effect, agent and act, organ and function, objectivity and subjectivity began to be understood, man unavoidably mistook that mere function or effect of physical and physiological action the will, for an independent motor or absolute cause of action. And this plunged him headlong into the delusion that his body was subservient to his “ soul,” and that mind transcended matter. Reasoning, (mind this, ye who believe in the all-sufficiency of reason) from him self, he built up that monstrous hypothesis, a nature-transcending, absolutely free (observe this, ye who are trying to vote yourselves free) mind! And founded the solid universe on mere abstraction! on his own subjectivity fancy created into an entity, and magnified to infinity and almightiness, by the thick intellectual fog in which his understanding was primarily unavoidably enveloped. Theology’s truth (for nothing, either objective or subjective, can be absolutely false) consists in anthropomorphism; in humanity-exaltation; which has an all important significance, as I shall herein show. Meanwhile, will those professors of super- physics, the devotees of reason, whilst observing that man made God (a very easy discovery, and a perfectly barren one to all who treat it with ridicule, not discerning its high import), please to note that their vaunted remedy for deception and all human ills, reason, was master-workman in ad that is false about that piece of superphysical architecture, the theological phantasm; that reason committed the first and greatest of blunders in itself considered, or as it is now by reasoners considered; that skepticism or doubt, the great favorite of reason’s devotees, prompted the perpetration of this blunder? “What can we reason, but from what we know?” asks Pope. Why, my dear philosopher and poet, man has hitherto reasoned, on those matters of highest importance—religion and government—almost wholly from what he guessed! from what he most wildly and incoherently fancied! from what he, before he knew anything, or could know anything, in very desperation blindly jumped at! And will the dupes of that liberty which goes in for the let-alone policy; for independent, every-one-for-himselfism, here take a thorough view of the origin, beau ideal, and best conceivable actualization of their grand principle and darling theory? A supermaterial, unconditioned, abstract mind alone can be free in an independent sense. The freedom of all conceivable entities, is dependent, relative, co-freedom. The mere reasoner and unbeliever laughs at God whilst he worships his only inconceivable attributes.
The world was damned through ignorantly supposing that function transcended organ; by those desperate expedients—those miserable shifts of primitive ignorance, the speculative, the abstract, the unreal. Yet it is attempted, even to this day, to save it by means of these; by means of principle, virtue, intention, conscience, will! The nineteenth century is religiously and morally governed, or most absurdly and disastrously attempted to be, by no less a delusion than that subjectivity can overpower objectivity! that functions can control their organs!!
Disdainful of Utopias, man is attempting the wildest of them all. He all but ignores the Social Organism, and is trying to be good through religiously praying, or through morally wishing, and to “be free by means of voting. Art-liberty has hitherto been conceived of only in mechanics: a good watch or steam engine works freely. And art-goodness has hitherto been tried on nothing higher than horses. But what magnificent bloods it has produced. Suppose man tries it on himself, and on a scale extended and liberal in proportion as he is naturally higher than the wild and uncultivated nags of Texas, which are not, on the average, worth shoeing when caught.
The reason why popular government has always retro graded back to monarchy-despotism, or is in a fair way so to do, is, that it is no less an absurdity than an attempt to convert the body of the social organism (the masses) into its head!
In the beginning, the errors of which subjectism is made up, unavoidably had birth simultaneously. They therefore composed a fog so thick, and of such vast extent, that mankind have not, even yet, progressed out of it.
The miserable expedient or shift which was utter ignorance’s sole alternative to statical error, is the foundation of our religious, governmental, and moral hodge-podge which we dignify by the name of institutions!—was the origin of that subjective, speculative, malicious, stupid, mystical ought to, which must be eliminated by objective, practical, gentle, scientific and artistic how to. The miserable shift of utter ignorance which habit has sanctified, and which the mist of ages still magnifies as revelation or, worse still, as moral wisdom, together with the social anarchy founded thereon, must give place to art-revelation—to the religion of science and a social reorganization in accordance therewith.
That greatest of possible fallacies, clothing man’s immaterial or merely functional mind in his material, organic body as with a garment, and degrading the latter to nothing in comparison to the former, simultaneously clothed false hood throughout in the very habiliments of truth, and inaugurated evil on the rightful throne of good. It so obscured religion (properly the high human rule of action or law, to which all others are referable and subordinate) by error, that the latter was, and has hitherto continued to be, mistaken for the former. It substituted injustice for law, and brutality for government; and lastly, and far more discouraging than all, it completely befogged the human understanding in that acme of all that is vindictive, revengeful and infernal, in that worst form of theology, moralism; a fraud so abominable, that by means of it the most refined cruelty appears to be gentleness itself; a deceit so inimitable, that it imposes the very quintessence of theology even on atheists. It deludes mere unbelievers, skeptics, or out-and-out protestants, more thoroughly than it does any other of its dupes. It is so treacherous that its delusion is actually most potent over those who flatter themselves that they are free from the trammels whereby theological mystery, or the nearest approach to utter nonsense and unintelligibleism, enslave the rest of mankind!
Moralism, “virtue,” “principle,” “self-denial,” “duty,” compose the very “bed of Procrustes.” Moralism is the most potent instrument for the perpetuation of evil, all but undetectably disguised as the most effective one of good. It palms itself off as absolute, as intrinsic good, even on those who claim to excel in rationality; who fancy that they are working against theology whilst they are so effectually its very galley-slaves, that they follow theology’s virtue, “e’en for virtue’s sake!”
There could be no “virtue” without “vice,” no “vice” without ignorance, no ignorance if the social organism was regulated in accordance with the scientific and artistic how to, instead of by that savage, stupid old theological moralism, ought to. “Vice” is as necessary to “virtue,” as the Devil is to Christianism.
So long as reformers confine their efforts within those superannuated oldfogyisms “morality,” “virtue,” “principle,” “conscience,” “duty,” and what consequently passes for “law,” theology will go on as prosperously as does a steamer, all the machinery of which is in exact, keeping with, and in perfect subserviency to her. And as to all the opposition to theology which reason or free discussion is fancied to furnish, it is now exactly what superstition’s preservation needs. It just serves to divert attention from the only methods whereby theology can be eliminated, viz., practical art-goodness education, and a thorough reorganization of the whole structure on the basis of nineteenth century revelation. Whatever power makes the people’s cradle-hymns and Sunday-school catechisms is perfectly sure of governing them. the infant mind is, always has been, always must be, and always should be, the seat of government of the world. Free discussion is the safety-valve which preserves theology. It keeps the steamer from bursting her boiler: though, like the safety-valve of an ordinary steamer, it seems, to superficial observers, to be diminishing the power which it actually keeps in being.
So treacherously deceptive is the sophistry of immaterialism—transcendentalism—subjectism—in short, of the philosophy the basis of which is theology, that I believe all Protestant and skeptical historical writers have fallen into the error of attributing the dawn of science in Western Europe to “the reformation,” and its accompanying freedom of thought, of the tongue, and of the pen and press. But the truth is, that these subjective liberties are unrealities, of no value whatever. Nay, they are, in themselves considered, precisely as injurious as is the teaching of hopeless slaves their rights. Science, knowledge, experience, must precede all real and acquired liberty. Talk about the liberty to speak, to print, to think! Mere clap-trap; mere fog wherein to hide the ignorance of its utterer, and with which to blind the eyes of man as to what liberty is. Talk about virtue and morality, and disinterestedness, and duty! Away with the mall. We want to fulfill ourselves—to attain the goal which the substantial that composes us spontaneously makes us instinctively yearn for. Subjectism must be placed with respect to social architecture, where it is with respect to lower architecture.
Lest it should be said that I am even now endeavoring, by means of reason, to forward the cause of freedom, I will say that my reasoning is but the manner of my presenting my experience to the world. It is as fallacious to say that reason does anything, as it would be to say the form of the horse draws the cart. Away with subjectivity as objectivity. We want the practically objective—the real—the effective—the nature-sufficing.
Like an idiot, thrusting a farthing rushlight into the very eye-sockets of one blind, regardless of his screams and his protestations, mere negative skepticism or infidelity presents reason to those whose intellectual faculties it has quietly suffered theology to as completely cripple as is consistent with its (theology’s) interest. Infidels persist in plying faith with skepticism in the face and eyes of the fact that only abhorrence is excited thereby, and not conviction. And that abhorrence is most just. For faith really, though unconsciously, looks to substantial satisfaction; whereas skepticism looks to nothing—or only to a despairing contentment with discontent.
Hot-headed free discussion, vindictive moralism, antagonistic infidelity, and barren skepticism, are forms in which the “devil” (evil) always occupies the skulls of those who are foolish enough to imagine that they have merely renounced him; who are so unscientific as to suppose that nature can tolerate a vacuum; who think that all that man needs is a common school education, and to be let alone: who do not recognize collective man as an organism, analogous, from head to foot, to the individual organism, with the exception that the former is continuous, whilst the identity of the latter constantly changes. If, whilst we renounce theology and oppose despotism, we do not go to work to create the conditions requisite tor the liberty to be happy, freedom will dwindle to a mere abstraction, to be thought, written, or talked bunkum over, to fight, bleed, and die on account of, or be caucused and balloted into demagogism and spoils. We want the scientific and artistic conditions for doing all which nature prompts us to do. Nothing short of these will avail. All present governments, whether of monarchy-absolutism or of majority-absolutism, and all current “constitutions” and “laws” have their foundation on, and are part and parcel of the theological philosophy, the beau ideal of perfection of which is the photograph, magnified to almightiness, of human nature when it was as savage and brutal as the utmost possible ignorance could make it. But theology is now never presented in the raw; in its naked deformity; it always assumes the moralistic or civil form. It underlies all government. Still it is precisely and substantially the same. Its “Constitutions” are the very refinement of treachery; besides being as pliable as caoutchouc. And its laws, especially when announced by popular rulers, are dark labyrinths; snares for the unwary; nets, in which the innocent and confiding become entangled to their destruction, and from which sharpers and villains best escape. See how sinners of sacerdotal magnitude, and criminals of presidential, gubernatorial, mayoral, senatorial and aldermanic proportions practically scorn supernaturalism’s penalties, and how gaily they ride rough-shod over “The Decalogue,” and the shams of “law” which they have “enacted”’ in accordance with it.
All the current forms of religion and government have become productive of evil, under pretence of preventing it. No class of men furnish so many failures with respect to “virtue” as do the clergy. Three hundred of these failures have the newspapers recorded as occurring among the protestant clergy in the United States during the preceding year. How many unrecorded ones are there? “Infidels,” crow not too loudly over this; for it conclusively shows the utter inefficiency of mere unbelief. Do you suppose that the great body of the clergy do not as sincerely disbelieve “supernaturalism” as you do?
And “crime” is now nearly all committed by law-makers and executors; by rulers. They plunge nations into wholesale murder or war, not to rescue the sepulchre of a “God,” or to preserve “divine” rights; but for matters confessedly involving mere dollars and cents. The sum of all the thefts, forgeries, swindles, and robberies committed by all the imprisoned and imprisonable “criminals” in the United States does not amount to half of one per cent, of those securely perpetrated by government officials! By the conservators of theological moralism and “virtue!”
The grand jury of the city of New York has recently presented the “law” for collecting debts as a nuisance. Glorious! Let every “enacted” nuisance in the statute-book be indicted and forthwith condemned to be displaced by discovered law. Let all the implements of murder be straightway transformed to those of agriculture and the arts. Let the gallows be abolished, and let the prisoners of those who a thousand times more deserve imprisonment be set tree. Let the social edifice be entirely reconstructed, and managed by those capable of conditioning man, and all in his connection, so that all conceivable good, and all desirable liberty will be realities instead of mere speculative tantalizing illusions; will be as spontaneous as despotism and evil now are.
“When, in the course of human events,” it became necessary to dissolve the absurd and unnatural union which subjected this vast continent to the government of a provokingly small island three thousand miles off, it was gravely declared by the fathers of that Devolution, that to secure the night to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” “governments are instituted among men.”
I have not the slightest suspicion that the founders of our nationality meant to sport with human folly and misery, or to mock and insult mankind. But what did they who drew up the Declaration of American Independence really and practically mean by liberty? Liberty to have ANY THING, which man does not spontaneously and directly get from nature Without government, they did not declare man’s right to. And what have we gained by securing, as we have, through carnage and devastation, the right to “the pursuit of happiness” through the bogs, jungles, twistings and windings of the political sporting-ground which the projectors of our “independence” marked out for us?
The plain truth of the matter is, that all men, women, and children, have an inalienable right to the liberty to be happy. All liberty short of this is a hoax, and all governments instituted except on the grounds of their capacity to secure to the people happiness itself, are but abominably expensive, utterly unnecessary evils and hum bugs. When the people know enough to demand the liberty to be happy, their rulers will be constituted by neither monarchy nor caucus-and-ballot-boxism; and government will rapidly become precisely as different from what it now is anywhere, as perfect good is from the greatest possible evil. Of all Utopias, elective franchise is most Utopian. Of all impostures, it is most insulting. Of all speculations, it is the wildest. Of all experiments, it has most signally failed, except where ‘tis but a mere question of time when it will become more abhorrent than military despotism itself.
The nineteenth century presents a spectacle, than which nothing can be more monstrous and abominable. It submits to a religion or high law to which all civil and social law is referable and subordinate, which is so discredited by its more intelligent teachers that they barely disguise their contempt for it from the multitude. And the high scientific and artistic, and the upper classes generally (except a few of the merely rich), utterly despise it, and often treat it with open ridicule! Of course, such a state of affairs results, that if the prison cells were to exchange inmates with the sanctuaries and halls of legislation, justice would be the gainer.
People, vote no more. Scorn to be the chess-men with which political gamesters play. Can’t the veriest dance whose suffrage is solicited, see by this time, that liberty with either party, means nothing but spoils? that caucus-trickery and party-leader management force all who “vote” to do so for this set of spoliators or that, or else throw their votes scatteringly and vainly away?
People, in spite of “elective franchise,” ‘tis still a question gravely debated among philosophers, divines, statesmen, and even philanthropists, whether “free laborers” or “slaves” have the least uncomfortable time of it! And in spite of miracle-religion, and the millions it annually costs, the world is still in a condition so wretched that it is generally conceded to amount but to a state preparatory to “after death!” to a “fleeting show for man’s illusion given!” And the best excuse offered for the “Almighty” is, that he will amend his conduct hereafter! that he will make up, “in the world to come,” for his short comings in the world present.
People, liberty and heaven are so far from procurable by means of voting and believing, that they require nothing less than the completely harmonious and cooperative action of man and all nature in the human connection; nothing less than the human race as organically combined as the human individual is, bringing its vast force as one, to bear in modifying all nature in man’s connection. Mind, or “soul,” or will, is the function, matter the organ. Material man is the highest organism. His highest aspiration, therefore, really is the supreme will of all nature in the human connection, and nature’s will alone must, be the measure of her power. Her resources must, through that only conceivable miracle, development, be commensurate with her needs, else she, herself, through her cerebrum, man, conceives the supernatural, and thus proves it.
People, “elective franchise,” protestantism, moralism, and skepticism, are undigested, mad attempts to erect the temple of truth, liberty, and happiness out of the rotten materials of the dungeon of error, despotism, and misery; an abominable hodge-podge of spent supernaturalism and disjointed absolutism; a social maniacy which has always required the discipline of the straight-jacket of military dictatorship, except where ‘tis a mere question of time when it will do so if the social organism docs not completely reorganize.
People, scorn to be any longer the mere apothecary assistants in compounding the quack medicines of sociological empirics. Disdain to be the supple plaster—the mere filling in of the great theologico-moralistico-politico temple of humbug. Let its framework stand bare. Let it be seen that “election” takes place in caucus; that political tricksters and gamblers are the only ones who really vole. And when matters come to a crisis, place your cause not in charge of a military dictator, but confide it to those most scientific and artistic;*to those most advanced in the know ledge of the laws of nature; to those who understand that the social organism is inseparably connected for better or for worse; that their own best interests are identified with the public welfare; that human law must be based on physical and physiological law; that the business of the doctors of law and the administrators of government is not to “enact,” and brutally “enforce” laws, but to discover and declare them, and render them self-enforcing. The state should be organized into operators, scientific discoverers, and artistic directors. All conceivable freedom must be relative. The social organism must be scientifically and artistically harmonized with itself, and all nature in the connection. Liberty to fulfill all natural functions—to be happy, will then be as perfect and secure as is the order of the spheres.
People, do you not see that voting, so far as you have anything to do with it, is a most impudent humbug? that sectarianism and elective franchise government are practically but an aristocracy of fools, hypocrites and knaves? that they who affect to advocate your judgment in religion, and your sovereignty in government, are most ignorantly or most treacherously betraying you? that they thus make you the instruments of tearing religion to flitters, of stabbing its heart out, and of leaving yourselves nothing but its husks, fit only tor such swine, or such savages, as they do their best to convert you into? And do you not see that what you are bamboozled into accepting for liberty is the very acme of despotism? That election is a hoax and a farce That only its managers really vote?
Every principle, both spiritual and moral, which you suppose Christianity to have originated, existed untold ages before it. And majority-absolutism is but an impudently presented hodge-podge of the shreds and tatters of monarchy-absolutism. True religion must in its very nature be progressive. All retrogression must in its very nature be false; but the prevailing religion is as old and retrogressive as savageism.
Attempting to force the nineteenth century to retain a religion and moralism confessedly adapted to the primitive ages, places the social organism in the condition in which a single human organism would be if measures were taken to force it to retain instead of excreting the morbific remains of food, the life-giving portions of which it had exhausted.
We want a religion and government which shall organize and elevate labor, encourage and suitably reward skill, establish a currency which shall be an exact and unfluctuating measure of value, and make capital perfectly secure.
A religion which is not adaptable to man as man—as a live-sense, progressive being; which is held in open derision or looked upon as beneath contempt in the circles of intelligence, art, and refinement; which is incapable of becoming catholic or general except among the single-minded multitude: and a government which attempts to curb natural human action instead of providing for it; which makes “laws” for nature to go by, instead of discovering nature’s laws and unobstructing their operation; which inflicts evil on evil, instead of multiplying, through art, good on good; such religion, and such government, are, in the nineteenth century, and in Western Europe and the United States, self-condemned nuisances, humbugs, abominations; as their constant and utter failure, except in the production of all possible evil, attests. True religion will take the lead in progress; will expand the infant mind by means of the knowable, instead of contracting it over unintelligible creeds, and will be the pride instead of the scorn of science and art.
Instead of supernaturalists, principled, moralizing idiots, and penny-wise, pound-foolish, short-sighted, “smart men,” we want those at the head of religious, social, and govern mental affairs whose selfishness is so enlightened and true that they know that their own interests can be secured only in connection with those of every individual of the social organism—that short of this the only alternative to unvarnished wretchedness must be but gilded misery; and who know how to regulate the social organism so as to make its combined, and consequently immensely augmented and more effective force for good, operate like the power of one almighty being on all nature in its connection. All nature in man’s connection is one, and it must be organized in harmony with itself, and thus rendered almighty for good, instead of, as now, all but almighty for evil.
We want a religion and government which shall emancipate woman. The legitimate object of man’s adoration, the incarnation of the beautiful, is now degraded almost to a slave.
We want a religion and government which shall prevent prostitution, whether for life or for a shorter period, and put an end to licensed adultery.
We want a religion and government which shall prevent illegitimacy and pauperism, and provide for offspring so that every child born shall be a valuable acquisition to the state.
We want The Religion of Science, and a Governmental and Social Reorganization in accordance therewith; in exchange for a religion decrepit from old age, and confessedly originally promulgated for the government of a marauding gang of runaway slaves! the only improvement in it dating eighteen centuries back, and consisting in the mockery of forgiving enemies on the principle of so outraging their misguided consciences that it will amount to “heaping coals of fire on their heads!” and in the crucifixion of innocence in order to satisfy justice!
Mere unbelievers, and caucus-and-ballot-boxites are as completely under the control of theology and its governmental despotism, as aeronauts, whilst floating in their bal loons, are under the influence of the earth which they have apparently left. No state can exist except in union with whatever religion or sham of religion prevails therein.
The Bible, against which mere negativists aim nearly all their thunder, is but a straw which tells which way the tide of popular ignorance bears the festering religious, political, and moral corruption which floats on its” surface. The higher clergy seldom open the Bible except for a text, or rather a pretext; for their discourses no more relate to their texts, than the names of ships indicate the amount of their tonnage. Among the higher classes, including even the merely rich, the Bible is little more than an ostentatious gewgaw; a gilded parlor ornament. And the multitude practically so disbelieve it, so despise it even, that not one in a thousand of them ever read it through; and not one church-member in five hundred can tell whether a quotation is from the Bible, from Plato, from the Arabian Nights, from Jack the Giant Killer, or from the Epithalamium of Johannes Secundus. Oh, the monstrousness of the supposition that human beings could retain what they believed to be the “Word of God,” in their possession, without setting aside all other affairs, except the smallest possible quantity of eating and sleeping, till they had carefully read every line of it. Infidels, is there no priestcraft and its Kindred despotism where the Bible is unknown?
Ladies, forgive me, I humbly implore you. Don’t blush. The time is at hand when you will be proud to own that the portions of the Bible which most attract you—that the parts of the Sacred Book which you almost exclusively read are, the “Songs of Solomon,” the Story of Joseph, and the amours of Ruth and Boaz. And to your honour and glory and praise be it spoken—music, art, love, sociality, and your just desire to attract the admiration; ay, the adoration, which is your natural right, are almost the only incentives which lead you to Churches, which would be tenantless without you. When will reasoners, debaters, and scoffers learn wisdom enough to secure you all-prevailing influence?
If mere negativists could succeed against man’s religious instinct, they would have destroyed the compass which points to the ultima-thule of development. If the incumbrances which obscure the real, the substantial, the true point to which the magnetic needle of man’s highest hope aims, cause untold disaster, its destruction would degrade him far below the level of animals whom simple instinct leads directly to their goal.
I have no hesitation in saying, that the most discouraging hindrances to progress with which or whom I am acquainted, are those who, from the belief that the Bible is literally the word of “God,” go point blank to, and become confirmed in, the extreme opposite conclusion, that it is a maliciously concocted lie; and who are so elated with the importance and dazzled by the brilliancy of the discovery that they have been bamboozled affirmatively, that they are past finding out that it is possible for them to go to the opposite extreme of being befooled negatively. Of all the maniacs and enthusiasts which subjectism has ever made, deliver me from those who are afflicted with confirmed Bibleophobia. From those who have resigned themselves to the blindness that man’s great need is no religion, who think that man’s instinctive faith has nothing in it but entire error, whose simple creed is, that progress will culminate in an universal unbelieving that “God” spoke to Moses, or showed him either his face or his….,* or both; who are positive that a church must necessarily be an organization for deception, and that government can never rise above being such an evil that the least possible quantity of it must be the best. From such philosophers, I will even go the length of saving, ay, of most devoutly praying—“good Lord deliver us.”
But they who are outraging the common sense of man kind, who are endeavoring to argue down and poh poh out of existence the all-important truth which underlies the religious, the anthropomorphic, the distinguishing human instinct, have attacked nature where she is absolutely invulnerable, and the longer they fight, the worse will they get beaten. For until man, through organization, science, art, development; through a complete mastery of all the laws of nature, which to him exist, obtains the satisfaction of his nature on earth, or is convinced that that satisfaction is thus obtainable, he will seek it, all the more vehemently, even beyond the grave, and with odious priestcraft for his guide, of course.
The figures of statisticians of undoubted veracity show that crime, and even accidents, are as calculable in a community as are its deaths: that the same amount of individual crime occurs annually, among any given populations, at the same stage of scientific and artistic advancement or non-advancement, and under similar materialistic conditions, in spite of “law,” and the most grave and solemn warnings of preachers and moralists. That “crime” and “criminals” are the products of the general condition of society. That the individual felon only carries into effect what is a necessary consequence of preceding circumstances, which he controlled only in the proportion which his individual capacity bore to that of the social organism of which he formed a part. That “crime” and “vice,” though they manifest their symptoms in individuals, are diseases of the social organism, requiring general treatment; special or quack treatment always making them worse. That such abominations as prostitution, seduction, adultery, matrimonial poisonings, and so on to the end of the hellish catalogue, are but results of present ignorance of how to situate the social organism in a condition to avoid them; they are testimonials to the utter inefficiency of that mystical effeteness most insultingly named religion, and of its correlative abortions, “law” and moralism.
Statistics demonstrate that the only way to lessen evil is to produce the conditions for good. Moralists, therefore, divert attention from the only possible methods by which what they maliciously or stupidly call “vice” and “Crime” can be done away with; as the theological and false legend about the world’s formation, kept the geological and true one from being known. In view of this and of all the facts in the connection, can anything but a plea of the most consummate ignorance—of imbecility, even—or else of the most inveterate insanity, save moralists from being convicted, condemned, and detested as the very emissaries of evil; as a band of principled Thugs; as a gang of the vilest, most treacherous, and most dangerous conspirators who have ever plotted treason against the happiness of mankind. Do they not, by their exquisitely infernal machinations and methodical madness, keep the measure of human woe full to the brim? Do they not keep out of sight those physical and physiological modifications of the powers of the powers of nature, which alone can bring harmony out of discord, and transform the earth, from the equator to the poles, to as complete a Heaven as it is now a Hell?
In moralism, under the fairest appearances, always lurk the foulest abominations. I will instance a few of them as a fair sample of all. In every State in the Union, I believe, moralism has procured to be “enacted,” “laws” for punishing the unmentionable “crime against nature.” Now, there is not, at this day, a physician who does not deserve to lose his diploma, who does not know that such a “crime” never had its rise in the constitution of any one who was not as strictly a subject for hygienic treatment as he would be if afflicted with any other species of madness. But law-books are accessible to all curious youth, and accounts of trials for the “crime against nature” are accessible to all. Can any one who has a tolerable knowledge of human nature fail to see that these “laws” and these “trials” are most infernal suggestives? that they very often operate as did the foolish mother’s prohibition to her children, not to steal the beans in a bucket carefully stowed away in a dark garret, and put them into their noses? I am in possession of proof that mere children have, by the above mentioned suggestives of “law” and moralism, been debauched in crowds.
Moralism has procured to be passed laws prohibiting, under severe penalties, the sale of certain books as licentious. These books are intolerably stupid, and almost as revolting as is the story of drunken Lot and his pious daughters. They are wholly devoid of all that can tempt anybody to read one of them through, whose curiosity has not been most artistically excited, or does not amount to a mania. They are for the most part horribly printed, on the worst of paper, completely botched as to binding, and their engravings are perfect abominations of art. They are also priced four or live times higher than are other books. Yet their sale is astoundingly immense. I would pay the price of admission to Barnum’s Museum to see the average “smart” and curious boy or girl that had reached the age of puberty without having read, if not owned, one of them. Can any one with passably good sense fail to see that but for moralism’s law there would not be one such book sold for live hundred that now are? To cap the climax of moralism’s iniquity in this connection, the officers of its law, at certain shrewdly calculated intervals, pounce upon the dealers in these books, distribute what copies they have on hand among themselves and their friends, and appropriate all the profits on those that have been sold except enough to let the business go on for another haul.
Does moralism sincerely intend to prevent the sale of these abominable books? or only to foster their publication for the gratification of its avarice and its shockingly depraved taste? Of course these books can be but ambiguously advertised; and it is amazing to learn what immense amounts are obtained through the post-office, from those who, incapable of seeing through the most transparent deceptions, and infatuated by curiosity, blindly remit their dollars for “anything you fancy.” Of course the “return mail” generally brings these dupes not what they fancied, and so anxiously expected, but the amount of their investment in the experience, the application of which they so sadly needed. Never trust your money to one who does not openly exhibit whatever he offers to sell. It is almost as foolish as is paying for the inconceivable bliss which a confessedly mysterious religion may confer on your abstract senses in a state of existence so absolutely unintelligible that you can know nothing about it until after you are dead.
But the basest and cruelest treachery of moralists, in the matter of books, remains to be exposed. By dint of establishing a reputation for discountenancing obscene boots, which they alone are debased enough to take delight in reading, they excite confidence in their recommendations of “safe books for the family.” These “safe books for the family” are so innocent of all sense or meaning as to convert the mind of their reader into that vacuity proverbially known as “the Devil’s work-shop;” or else they tell love-tales so delicately, and hint at love itself so artistically and so distantly, that they excite curiosity to a dangerous pitch, and lend such an enchantment to amorous gratification, that desire is utterly incapacitated to withstand the additional temptation of opportunity. Young ladies are thus made the easy conquest of the roué, and rich, doting parents are continually surprised that their daughters, whom “safe books for the family” have converted to smothered volcanoes of pent up amorous fire ready for designing “sparks” to explode, have surrendered themselves and their “expectations” to mere nincompoops, or even consented to be quenched by the lusty Jehus who drive the family coach.
These moral miscreants denounce, as unsafe, all works which, like Paul de Kock’s novels, Rousseau’s Confessions, Boccaccio’s Decameron, George Sands’s Writings, The Kisses of Secundus, Count Fathom, Dryden’s Fables. Gil Blas and Ovid’s Art of Love, fairly expose the snares, and honestly warn the unwary against the pitfalls which present institutions so treacherously prepare for them.
And the dupes of moralism, who have just learning enough to make it a dangerous thing to them and all those within their influence, think that the above-mentioned books, together with Fourier’s treatise on the sexual relations; in short, all books which treat of the natural love-passions with out openly and ostentatiously condemning them as devils to be cast out, smothered all but to death, or imprisoned within the closest limits compatible with their bare existence, ought not to be published!
But would not those who have any knowledge of human nature insure the safety of young ladies who have read everyone of the above-mentioned hooks together with “The Songs of Solomon,” for half the premium for which they would underwrite the “virtue” of those who had been so modestly educated as to blush, and thus exhibit the glow of pent up lust crimsoning their cheeks and casting down their eye-glances, on reading the holy text—“Before the rooster crows twice, thou shalt deny me thrice?”
Moralism, in England and the United States, cannot consent to treat prostitution as a transitory evil. It refuses to license it, except for life. By this means the officers of moralism’s law levy black mail on all those prostitutes who cannot procure a license for life, until their extortions provoke refusals so stubborn as to have to be met by nightly raids against street-walkers. After imprisoning some hundreds of these, payment is resumed. An investigation which was summarily hushed up in New York a few years since, showed that some of the foulest and meanest prostitution dens were in the practice of paying moralism’s law officers five hundred dollars annually! Considering the great number of these dens, what an immense revenue “virtue” must annually receive from “vice!” The truth is, that “virtue” and “vice” mutually sustain each other. “Virtue” could no more exist without “vice” than that hodge-podge of Buddhism, Judaism and Paganism called Christianity could carry on business without the copartnership of the Devil. Can it be supposed that intelligent modern moralists are not, at heart, the best friends which “vice” has? Are they not practically such?
Moralism, exactly as we have it now, is as old as Plato, its best expositor; probably countless ages older. It is of course, as unprogressive as is its correlate, theology. Ovid testifies that its fruits, more than two thousand years ago, were precisely as rotten as those it now produces.
The philosopher who preaches moralism, yet attempts to reconcile himself and others with anything like the present wretched pittance of what the human passions crave; who lauds nature, who has endowed him with immeasurably more desire than he gives her credit for being able to satisfy; who sneers at, as Utopian, all attempts to organize Heaven on Earth, falls far below the consistency and plain common sense of him who worships a God, whom he “feels” owes him the satisfaction of the desires which he has implanted in him, and who he believes will act up to all his engagements in spite of death itself. Faith really looks for nothing more, and nothing less than the full gratification and complete satiation of the human natural passions.
Supernaturalists preach their austere virtues with an eye to an “eternal glory;” mere unbelievers laud virtue” e’en for virtue’s sake I view the denial of gratification to natural desire only as a transitory evil to be done away with with all possible dispatch; and I know that it is in the power of science and art, when inaugurated as religion and government, in connection with the power of all nature in the connection made the most and best of that is possible, to do away with it altogether. It should no more he preached as a permanency, than should living on halt rations on board a ship) short of provisions.
The time will come (and it might, but for old fogyism, have come long ago), when virtue and its concomitant, vice, will be obsolete; when moralism will have no significancy; when the preaching of self-denial will be immeasurably more absurd than would be the preaching, at present, of savage deprivation, and contentment therewith, in the Fifth Avenue.
If chastity is intrinsically good, its breach by man must evidently be as bad as by woman. Yet in the former case, it is scarcely considered a peccadillo, though held to be an unpardonable crime it committed by woman. Behold how moralism belies itself, and betrays its mere provisional character We must go practically to work to produce the requisite conditions for the satisfaction of all natural human desire. No other religious or governmental proposition is worth a moment’s consideration.
Oh, ye moral and civil galley-slaves, and dupes of theology. Go aim your maxims and your preachings against tornados. “Enact” your ink, paper, and sheep-skin “laws,” for the suppression of volcanoes. You will be every whit as successful against these as you ever can be against the natural human passions.
As if on purpose to keep out of office social artificers capable of making liberty an universal actuality, and goodness its commensurate reality, moralists are indefatigable in their exertions to delude the people into voting only for honest men—men of principle. Is it possible that at this stage of the art of printing these moralists do not know that mere honest men of principle are the very ones who have most effectually turned the world into a Hell with their good intentions? A knave may do right; a fool cannot. An unprincipled villain can be bribed to forego the commission of evil. A conscientious fool is, in his very nature, incorruptible. Principle, honesty, and good intentions, were the main pillars of the Inquisition. Marat, Robespiere, Maillard, and St. Just, were devotees and martyrs to principle. And the horrible Fouquier Tinville, head jury man of the French Revolutionary Tribunal which sent hecatombs on hecatombs of human beings to the guillotine, was a wretch of such “honesty,” “virtue,” and “established principles,” that he chose to remain poor even to squalor, rather than sell to the rich and noble the privilege of retaining their heads on their shoulders, when he sincerely believed that they ought to come off. So chaste was this abominable creature, that had Marie Antoinette herself offered to be his mistress, on condition of his sparing her life, he would undoubtedly have spurned the proposition.
No one does, ever did, or ever can, act from principle. From Socrates to Robespierre inclusive, they who have flattered and persuaded themselves that they thus acted have been completely deluded. They acted from selfishness, bio sane person can voluntarily act otherwise. To substitute genuine, true selfishness for the shortsighted bogus which has ever borne its name, to conquer the science and art of perfecting the happiness of all mankind, is that for which true selfishness must strive; for it is the only way of securing to an individual of the social organism, happiness more than enough to make life barely tolerable.
But the crowning atrocity of theologico-moralistico-civilians remains to be exposed. It consists in what they, with most abominable impudence and horrid blasphemy, palm off on the world for
Moralists dare lay their expedients, stupid blunders, and miserable abortions to the charge of infinite wisdom and almighty power! “With most revolting coolness, they dare christen their quack experiment in sexual union, “what God hath joined!” For the results of this experiment, for a view of the horribly aggravated forms which this quack remedy gives to the social diseases to which it is applied, consult Dr. Sanger and Parent-Duchatelet, on prostitution, and the daily records of wife and husband poisoning, seduction, and actual adultery. As to the adultery most severely and pointedly condemned, according to the “sacred” record, by the great law-giver in whom orthodox moralists believe, and whom they pretend to copy, which consists in lusting for those to whom sham-marriage forbids us to be joined, and in loathing those to whom it has chained us, consult the hearts of all men and women. Consider, besides, that every such lusting and loathing adds the crime of perjury to that of adultery in the case of all who have entered into moralism’s sexual bond, so sure as that bond is not a mere nudum pactum.
Yet moralists claim that this self-evident fountain of murder, perjury, adultery, and harlotry is the antidote to licentiousness! Is it possible to give them credit for sincerity? Especially those heterodox moralists who deny the super natural sanction on which alone the validity of “the holy bond” self-evidently rests.
It marital bondage was wholly abolished, and mankind should, in consequence thereof, rush headlong into promiscuous-sexual intercourse, this is surely the worst, even in old-fogy estimation, that could happen. Well, there would be only about one woman to each man. Could that begin by being as bad as mercenary prostitution, the correlate, the never failing attendant on sham marriage, is, and has for ages been, with its one woman for thousands of men, and its resulting unmentionably horrible diseases? Diseases, too, from which innocent parties most severely suffer?
But the children! What would become of them? Well, what could become of them worse than now does? What has become of navigation and manufactures, now that these are carried on by steam and machinery, instead of by bark canoes and rude hand-processes? With the present advancement of science and art, the state would soon (if necessitated so to do, as it would instantly be, if sham marriage was abolished, as it “will inevitably be before long, at any rate), find means to make every child born a valuable acquisition to it, and to the world at large. If every child born of black uncultivated parents is worth, in the Southern part of our confederacy, $100 to its owner, need I proceed to calculate what every child born of Caucasian, and, as far as present conditions will allow, cultivated parents would be worth to the state? If the state properly cared for all the children born in it, the expenses of its family would be immeasurably less than now. The expense of prisons, gibbets, police, armies even, would be cut off. But the crowning economy would be the veritable salvation of the whole human race.
THEOLOGICO-MORALISTIC GOVERNMENT STANDS SELF-CONDEMNED.
It has long since, among the leading nations, fulfilled its vitalizing function and become so morbific and corrupting, that the social organism cannot too soon nor too thoroughly be purged of it, now that the religion of science and a governmental or social system in accordance therewith is revealed and stands ready to take its place. Theologico-moralistico government is as wholly evil as evil can he. Disguised as the means of salvation, it is damnation itself.
I trust I have demonstrated that human perfection is a practicability; that Heaven on Earth, through science, art, and development is attainable, and waits but the combined action of man; waits but for him to undertake it as artistically, and as materialistically as he would combine wealth, and skill, and labor, to build a railroad. I have net, except in general terms, spoken of the requisite physical changes, and of their possibility, through man’s agency, working with nature. But the same power that has conquered, in the domain of mineralogy, hydraulics, and thermology, to the extent which the steam engine manifests; that has tamed the lightning; ay, made it a lackey, as the electrical telegraph proves; that same power can and will make nature through out, from the equator of the earth to its poles, from the centre of our spheroid through, its atmosphere and the universal ether to the most attenuated and farthest materiality which exists to us, productive of happiness—exactly in the ratio in which it is now inimical to it, as has been abundantly proved by the author of “The Essence of Science,” and “The Religion of Science;” to whom I confess my great indebtedness, and to which works I most earnestly commend the attention of all believers in, and friends to, progress.
Nature is faultless. The only bar to all conceivable happiness is ignorance with respect to her laws and with respect to the modifications of, which they are susceptible. All the praise that has ever been bestowed on “virtue,” has really been given to ignorance and poverty. For if mankind were not ignorant with respect to how to provide that real, that sufficient wealth, the means whereby fully and universally, and for a sufficient length of tune, to gratify all their desires, where would be “virtue” and “vice?” Could they be even conceived of?
THE GOSPEL OF ART-GOODNESS
must be generally promulgated before any practical demonstration in that direction can be made without failing. All the soi-disant Fourier associations that have been started, prove this. Let societies be organized to elucidate the great truth of nature’s all-sufficiency; of her power to finish her undertaking; and to show to man that the heaven is really “nigh, even at the door;” that all the requisites to complete creation wait but to be used; that all which speculative, miracle-religion promises “beyond the skies,” practical, nature-and-art-religion can furnish “here below,” as soon as man organically, scientifically, artistically, harmoniously combines his efforts to carry that religion into effect.
Let these societies indoctrinate youth in the tenets of the religion of the knowable, as youth are now indoctrinated in those of the religion of the incomprehensible; and let physical education be as well attended to as present circumstances will admit of. Let this teaching be so well remunerated as to secure the best talent; to enlist the great masters in all the arts and sciences. Free-thinkers are already amply able for this. (I know several who count their wealth by millions.) Let it never be attempted through dry, long, prosy, ill-prepared lectures in dingy halls; let it never be made ridiculous and justly exposed to contempt, by being submitted to promiscuous debates, in which the vainest, noisiest, most antagonistic, least co-operative and wholly unqualified will generally, or by far too often, be foremost. Let it be interspersed with music, with dancing even, with sociality, and all that can enliven and attract. Let its lessons be presented so as to excite emulation, as the emissaries of superstition presented so as to excite emulation, as the emissaries of superstition present their Sunday-school lessons. Let astronomers, geologists, chemists, and physiologists show, from the transformations which matter has already effected, the immeasurably more important and magnificent ones of which, reasoning or deducing from sure analogy, it must he capable; show that the whole of which man forms a part is, of itself (for matter, be it ever remembered, is not inert), effecting a change from heterogeneity to harmony, from crudity to refinement, from all that is detestable to all that is desirable; which change man, as nature’s head, can accelerate to the perfection point; that the arts form the basis of other arts, so that they produce progress in the ratio of the multiplication of numbers into their own products.
If creation thus far inspires oratorios, to listen to which beauty and fashion crowd, what thrilling music might not the Haydens and Mozarts, and Meyerbeers, compose on the subject of creation’s completion? Its incomparably magnificent palaces, wherein will reign abundance, and universal and unalloyed delight. Thermal action sufficiently reduced at the equator, and proportionably increased at the poles. Luminous action sufficiently extended to the regions where dim twilight or dreary night now reigns. Volcanoes hushed. Tornadoes abolished. The earth cultivated everywhere. Machinery performing the labor of the word, even to nearly making and tending itself. The purified and no longer tempestuous atmosphere traversed by gorgeous balloons. Sickness banished. Peace, righteousness, and good will prevailing. The affections emancipated. Children’s rights secured. Human life extended ad libitum. Men, the models of strength and beauty. “Women, perfect goddesses. Lovers, freely and securely luxuriating in each others’ embraces. In short, “the millennium,” produced by nature, science, and art, instead of by miracle. Good, as spontaneous as evil now is. Here, surely, eloquence, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture will find a field, compared to which, all present ones are barren wastes.
Let no means be omitted, or pains or cost spared, to secure the attendance and all-powerful influence of gay, beautiful, adorable woman. Those just indicated would be sure to do it. Whatever does not of itself, or through the means it uses, excite the admiration of woman—the beau ideal of loveliness, certainly must fail; and whatever religious and social system does not, both with respect to itself and its requisites, meet her full, entire, and unbiased approbation, most assuredly should fail.
Let those who are tired of theology, moralism, in short, despotism and evil, adopt the organic and educational, means, and exceed the attractive measures whereby their foes, the scourges of the human race, have hitherto secured success.
By organizing the religion of science—art-goodness religion—its disciples would hold joyous and most profitable communion with each other; they would thus secure, even in the present evil world, the bliss of living, as it were, prospectively—in the transcendently glorious future—when that religion will have unobstructed sway. Would not this be worth vastly more than it would cost? Could any payable price exceed the value of that which would effectually eliminate false religion and practically establish the true?
False religion and tyrannical government cannot he merely destroyed. True religion and free government must displace them. To talk about man progressing beyond the need of religious teachers (priests, I have no objection to calling them) and of governors or rulers, is to ignore the social organism; it is as foolish and unscientific as it would be to talk about the human individual progressing beyond, the need of organs—beyond the necessity of being composed of body, head, and limbs. Those who jump to the short-sighted conclusion that “the world is governed too much,” don’t know enough to distinguish between governing and bamboozling; between regulating and tyrannizing.
And they who vent their petty spleen, utter their pitiful complaints, and shower down their bitter and unavailing denunciations on religion, have got to learn the plain fact that religion is to the social organism what gravitation is to the solar system. If the solar system was as far from being regulated or harmonized as the social organism is, gravitation would cause it to clash with itself, similarly as religion, has, hitherto, not brought “peace, but a sword to the social organism. But if gravitation was destroyed, every particle of the solar system would fly off into that inorganic and useless isolation, the similitude to which would be that savage individualism which would forever be the fate of mankind, if religion was annihilated—if there was no common bond of union—no higher and common law to which all others were referable and subordinate—in short, if there was no social organism.
When the missionaries of the gospel of art-goodness systematically commence to conquer education from the apostles and teachers of unintelligibleism, and fairly begin to succeed in attracting woman from the temples of superstition; when the leaders and the head of social organism commence to deserve their names; then, and not till then, will the religion of mystery and its correlative abominations fall to rise no more. Man must see that his “being’s end and aim” is attainable “here below,” before he will, or should, or can cease to pursue it, though even “beyond the skies;” and until science and art guide him heavenward, priestcraft will delude him with the pretence of so doing. And it is immeasurably better that man should be even bamboozled by priestcraft than that he should be bereft of all hope, and delivered over to despair; than that nature, or all that is conceivable or ever so incoherently imagined to be conceivable, should stand proven a headless, aimless, impotent, absurd, tantalizing mockery. They who have nothing but despair to offer, have no right to laugh at and attempt to destroy even the most ridiculously founded hope that the most meretricious means can produce. Therefore, let the religious instinct be kept alive even though by supernaturalistic mystery and sacerdotal abomination, as it always has been, and inevitably must be, till the leadership of science-religion, of its corresponding art-government, and the cooperation of the body politic commence that reconciliation of the social organism, and that modification of all nature in the human connection which will make the relations between human beings as harmonious and mutually beneficial as are those which exist between the celestial spheroids—which will inaugurate Heaven on Earth.
* See Exodus, Chapter xxxiii., verses 11 and 23.