Calvin Blanchard, “Religion Made Intelligible” (1866)

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For the Boston Investigator.

Religion Made Intelligible.

Mr. Editor:—I was once, as you know, a mere sceptic, or unbeliever. But for many years past I have been a Positivist, certainly foreknowing, or claiming to foreknow, that, by means of Nature, including her cunning method, Art, the world will be populated from pole to pole by human beings, all of whom will be as far better developed than any that now exist, as the best of the present ones are superior to the ourang outang. Here is my Creed, if that which is positively known can properly be called a mere creed:—

I believe in Nature, Omnipotent, Self-acting, Self-developing, Self-progressing to All-sufficiency.

Nature’s highest organ is Mankind—the great, continuous Being who will never die.

Nature’s highest function is being (and has has been ever since the advent of Mankind) manifested in Science and Art.

Science and Art widen as they are developed; they extend their sphere of operations like the multiplication of numbers into their own product, and this product connects the Sciences and Arts, and will finally include them all in one all-sufficient whole.

The Science of Sciences and Art of Arts—the Crowning Triumph of Nature, through Art—will be the organization of the whole world, including all in one Joint [not common] Stock Corporation, that will guarantee perfect happiness to every human-being who shall then exist, or thenceforth come into existence,

The world will be governed, or rather its affairs will be conducted by leaders (and mankind follow leaders as inevitably as the planets revolve around the Sun) who will fully comprehend human nature, and find out the laws for its full and complete satisfaction, to the everlasting exclusion of all the so-called “laws” that have been “enacted” and devised by the habit-confirmed tools of ignorance—the moralists, the priests, the kings, and the popular demagogues.

The guarantee for the fidelity of the Positive or Art-leaders of mankind, will be that now terrible bugbear—Selfishness; those leaders will have learned the great positive truth, that only by conducting the world’s affairs so as to perfectly insure the complete happiness of all, can they secure their own happiness. As perfect happiness is all that can by any possibility be wished for, no bribe can corrupt these leaders. The present social concern is fast getting too rotten for either monarchy or demagoguery to patch it up much longer. And moralism has always been a dead failure. The pirate Semmes “has accepted the charge of Professor of Moral Philosophy.” !!!—[N. Y. Tribune,

To go into the minute elucidation of the new system would require a volume. I have written books and tracts elucidating that system, and circulated them, and that, too, in the very ranks of Superstition, to the extent of more than two hundred and fifty thousand. Very few of these, owing to a cause that Liberals ought to be ashamed of, have reached the hands of “Infidels.” I will say that Infidels, with precious few exceptions, are as averse to the examination of anything contrary to their preconceived notions, as are any people I have every been acquainted with.

It is no part of my intention to make this communication the vehicle of an advertisement. Yet it would be mostly shorn of its effectiveness if I did not state that the minutia of my system* is contained in a new book written and published by me. Price, 85 cents; by mail $1.

Yours, &c.,

Calvin Blanchard,

25 Ann Street, New York.

* When I say my system, I always mean the All-sufficient System of Nature that I, aided by preceding social architects, and by a favorable assemblage of circumstances, have fully and completely discovered and made known. They who candidly read any of my books through, will not need to be told that I have as little egotism as any human being can have.

  • Calvin Blanchard, “Religion Made Intelligible,” The Boston Investigator 36 no. 32 (December 22, 1866): 250.
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