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are summoned; this is the staple of the various religions of the world.

The Christ has broken down the barriers of the grave and opened the kingdom of Heaven, that the earth and the heavens may become henceforth one in their life. The superstitions which have divided and enslaved humanity," and the systems which have held on to a root of evil that was deeper than the love of God are broken and thrown away. It is the day of deliverance.—Dr. Elisha Mulford in "Republic of God."

Jt5£gQ' Recent issues raised by this magazine turn upon the answer given to this inquiry :—Is there in every human being au essential man, divine and imperishable, and an existent man, earthly and mortal? If there is, salvation then becomes the rescue of the essential man from that which obstructs his path to perfect manhood, and retribution the handing over of the existent man to death, except so far as he yields himself to become a true expression of the essential man. And atonement ceases to be a provision for the essential man, which is born of God and sinneth not, and becomes the divine method for transforming the objective man in the crucible of death into a perfect expression of the divine.

NOTES ON CURRENT TOPICS.

The Number Of The Saved.—In the Presbyterian and Reformed Review, Dr. T. W. Chambers says:

"Nor does any theologian that we know of hold that only a. minority of the race will be finally saved. The general opinion is that only a very small minority will be lost."

To this Rev. J. T. Tucker, D.D., in the Church Union very aptly replies:

"But it is far more numerously believed, in evangelical communities, that a vast majority of accountable souls, the world over, passfrom this present state without salvation. Do not our orthodox friends, then, whom Dr. Chambers represents, put themselves in a difficult dilemma? If only a small minority of mankind are ~ eventually lost, and yet an incalculable majority of them have died and are dying without God and without hope, must there not be, after all, some very ample opportunity for the exercise of saving grace beyond this earthly term of existence? If this supposition be inadmissible, as our reviewer would of course affirm, where then shall this fearful plurality of unregenerate souls, passed and passing out of time, be changed into the 'very small minority' of the finally and forever doomed? There would seem to be some quite essential missing link in this chain of hopeful anticipation."

Roman Catholic Doctrine.—We have always contended that the Roman Catholic view of the future, notwithstanding it holds to the doctrine of an eternal hell, was much more merciful than the Reformed Protestant view. A proof of this was afforded by a recent paper read in New York by Mr. George Parsons Lathrop, a son-in-law of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who, with his wife, has lately joined the Catholic Church. Speaking of the outlook for securing converts to that Church from New England, he says:

"While non-Catholics in the Eastern States are brought up with an indescribable dread of Catholicity, nevertheless it is 'a fact that Protestants feel, if they do not perceive, some peculiar virtue in the Catholic Church.' In support of this assertion, he said that Protestant friends, since he and his wife had become Catholics, had written them asking their prayers for departed kindred and for friends undergoing dangerous illness or surgical operations."

The Roman Church—and in this respect it deserves the name Catholic—has never held that all God's redemptive processes with human souls cease with their departure out of this life. She has taught that for all the baptized at least, and even for many who die outside her pale without fault of their own, there is provided a method of purgation and amendment. In Roman Catholic countries "the baptized " include about the whole community. The requests Mr. Lathrop refers to show that there is an instinctive feeling in the mind and heart of Christians that there is some

such way of relief out of the darkness that oppresses them with regard to the future of those they love.

In yet another respect there is a testimony borne in that Church to a doctrine which no branch of the Church has yet fully understood. The monastic system, with its cultivation of asceticism and self-abnegation, was not wholly prompted by a selfish desire for individual salvation. There was connected with it the thought that superior attainment in the Christian life would bring blessing to others not so forward in the race, and that this virtue might reach over to the dead. It was on this idea that the dogma of works of supererogation grew up. Here again there was partial perception of a great truth—that the human race is an organism in which all are members one of another, and that the ties which bind us together in a common interest and destiny are not broken by death.

In Sir Edwin Arnold's book, Seas and Lands, he gives an account of his visit to the poet Whittier in which there occurs the following:

"He had been speaking of the enduring and gloomy influence of the old-accustomed Puritan doctrines upon the minds of New Englanders, of their pernicious darkening of life and literature, and how that he himself had come under the darkening influence of Calvinism and its terrors. 'But you,' I said, 'Sir, born in the purple of the Muses, never were, and never could have been a Calvinistic Puritan.' 'Nay, thou'rt right,' he answered, 'the world was much too beautiful and God far too good. I never was of that mind.'"

Poor Gospel.—One of our correspondents says of reincarnation that it is "mighty poor gospel." It is indeed: it is in fact no gospel at all. We have never proposed it as such, but as the probable method by which the unjust are restored to life. Theirs is a " resurrection of judgment." It is good tidings to them indeed as compared with the old prospect of an eternal hell or of annihilation. But it is no part of the gospel. It relates to the divine method of retribution and ofjudgment. Whereas the gospel is the good tidings of how men may escape the necessity of this "judgment in the flesh " through faith in and union with the last Adam who is "a life-giving spirit." Much confusion of mind would he avoided if we would always distinguish between what awaits the righteous and the ungodly, between God's ways in judgment and in salvation. The gospel is a message of grace. Eeincarnation perpetuates judgment; it pertains to the region of law.

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

A Ministerial brother, whose views of truth run much in the line of Swedenborg's teaching, writes to us as follows:

I inclose one dollar for Words Of Reconciliation for 1892. I am glad you are going to continue the pamphlet, because it is. progressive, facing the future and not the past, and, no doubt, helping some to a wider and more catholic view of the Divine character and ways. But you will bear with me while I say again that it seems to me that you are greatly trammeled by clinging to the traditional view of death and resurrection—making one to consist in the putting off of the earthly house, and the other in putting it on again. God's laws are not enactments, but simply methods of the Divine procedure, and consequently the laws of nature are types and illustrations of the laws of spiritual existence. Any and everything in nature points up to some higher reality, of which it is the shadow—thus, life, death, light, heat, bread, water, etc., etc. Look into this correspondence, and see what a wonderful world, especially for educational purposes, we are in. Among other things, we will see that God takes no steps backward; in His Provid.ence He always faces the future. All growth and all development is by means of death and resurrection, but the bird never returns into the egg, nor the oak into the acorn, nor man into the material form and environments of his earthly life. Flesh and spirit, as used in the New Testament, are not material quantities, and their antithesis, the evil in man's nature, is not a property of matter, and it is in no way identified with it.

We must be permitted to say that we do not make resurrection, in its true and highest sense, " to consist in the putting on again of the earthly house." This might apply to our view of " the resurrection of judgment," which is put in contrast with that which is " of life," but it does not apply to those whom our Saviour calls the "children of the resurrection" (Luke xx, 35). We have never imagined that those who really " attain unto the resurrection from the dead" {in Tuv venpav) could return to earthly conditions. They " bear the image of the heavenly."

We would ask, If the bird never returns into the egg, what then becomes of it? We see no way provided for the continuance of the special type of life that animated it and made it a bird, except through the "seed" which garners up its properties and potencies aud reproduces them as a bird. You say "God takes no steps backward." True; but His steps forward are just along this line of carrying forward everything to the goal of its ideal by treasuring up its qualities and powers in a seed, and repeating it by procreation until the perfect type is reached. Why not, in this way, man? Why may not the life of man be repeated on the earthly plane through natural birth until prepared to take on the higher type of manhood " fashioned like unto His glorious body "t While such mode of raising the unjust, through a reincarnation, is not explicitly taught in Scripture, there is nothing that contradicts it and much that implies it; and in this way the process of resurrection is seen to be in harmony with the laws that prevail in the whole kingdom of life.

We do not think you appreciate the Scriptural and scientific force of our position that "judgment in the flesh " is God's uniform way of training and perfecting human souls. The spiritual nature in man must wrestle with and subdue the carnal before the divine-human nature is perfectly formed and personalized in a son of man who is also son of God. Man must suffer in the flesh in order to cease from sin. this principle requires the re-embodiment, under fleshly conditions, of " spirits in prison," who are held in bondage because not fit for emancipation into life. Their resurrection must be "of judgment," and under the yoke of the creature which is a "bondage to corruption." Thus they are "judged according to men in the flesh"—that is, as men in the flesh are always judged, in order that, through correction and discipline, they may rise above these conditions to life in the spirit —the resurrection of life.

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