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his home, in opposition to his will. He reminds him of his deep and intense affection, and tells him that his going will almost break his heart. He points to his mother, and asks if he can bring down her grey hairs with sorrow to the grave; to his brothers and sisters, as the friends and playmates of his youth; to his room, his books, his companions, his flower-plot, the home of his childhood, and asks him if he can tear himself away from alı. He reminds him of the dangers and troubles that will surround his path if he becomes a prodigal. In fact, he urges upon his attention every proper motive to induce him to remain beneath the paternal roof. Now what honest man would describe that father as a tyrant because he faithfully told that child the evils that would come upon him, if he presisted in his self-willed, and sinful course? Or who would say that he appealed only to his fears. Kindness would lead him to omit nothing that could affect his son's mind or lead him to chinge his course. Such is God's treatment of man. He would have him to abstain from all sin, and to enjoy infinite happiness; and therefore he is not satisfied

to present one class of motives, but addresses to him every conceivable reason why he should return to the home from which he has wandered, and dwell in the friendship of the Eternal Jehovah. To have omitted those motives which appeal to man's self love or to his desire for safety, would have furnished the intidel with a ground for saying that all had not been done that might have been done for man's salvation; and they who urge utility as one of the principal guarantees of morality cannot consistently complain that God not only allows men to reap some of the bitter fruits of sin here, but unveils to them the more terrible future consequences of continuance in sin. 'A very cursory examination of the Bible will convince any unprejudiced mind that it contains just such warnings as love will utter to avert the a wful ruin that must come upon those who reject divinely-accredited testimony.

The first passage was addressed to those who were Christ's followers to impress their minds with thie momentousness of their mission, and the extent of their responsibility, in proclaiming truths which from their very nature must

sure foundation” or a “rock of offence”- their reception, a source of untold good, their rejection, a source of unutterable evil. Sad it is to find that the sympathies of the so-called free-thinkers are not with those whom bigotry and intolerance persecuted, but with those who, in their prejudice and in their rage, would not receive the disciples nor hear their words. Surely it cannot be denied that their testimony should have been heard, and the evidence on which it rested considered." And the refusal on the part of bigots 10 do this involved them in a greater responsibility and a higher criminality than the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Where is there anything improper or unrighteous in this?

The second passage demands that men's speech shall be true to their convictions. It affirms the great principle that a man who has the truth is under a solenn responsibility to be a witness for it among his feilow-men. The denial of this principle is an infidelity to truth, which sceptics have too often abetted, and have been too ready to pursue. Robert Dale Owen, in his discussion with Origen Bacheler, defend's "silence" in sceptics “ in cases where loud expression of opinion would injure their families." (Disc. on Existence of God, pp. 65, 76, 91, 102, 117.) Christianity, on the contrary, requires that at all hazards a man shall not be ashamed of his convictions, nor slow to avow them. A timid and temporizing policy is one to which it lends not a shadow of countenance. Its demanding that men shall not be ashamed of their convictions, necessitates that those convictions shall not be taken at second-hand, but be i he result of deep thought and earnest inquiry. Is it because infidels have no settled convictions, or because theirs is a policy of expediency, that they do not like such a threatening ? Should they not admire Christianity for this at least, that it

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requires of its disciples that they wear no mask, that they put on no varnish, that it demands that they should take a true, an open, a deterinined, a manly, a 'sun-light course?

The third passage is equally irrelevant to the proposition. It frowns not upon the earnest and sincere inquirer. It says not a word about the penalty annexed to wiltul unbelief, although there are other passages which do. We, too, beg our readers to refer to the passage and the entire context (Mark 9.38– 50), and they will see how completely Mr. “ James” misrepresents it when he adduces it as proof of “ Christ's frightening men into becoming his followers." With how little attention has he read it, if he has not perceived that there is not a word in the whole paragraph about faith, or about men's becoming Christ's followers. It was written to warn men against offending one of these little ones that believed in Jesus, and by implication against offending or injuring any man. "These little ones" were the representatives of those who in all ages amid opposition, persecution, and unrelenting hate have been true to conscience and to God. Christ, with a deep and a fraternal love, throws over them the shield of his protection. He asserts with an emphasis, unknown before, the inviolability of soul-life, and of soul-liberty, the essence of all freedom and of all right. He confronts the oppressors of the true and the good, vindicates the claims of the feeble and down-trodden, and encircles them with a wall of "fire,” which the tyrant inay not penetrate without eternal loss. * The still more fearful threat, rendered so by repetition and terrible distinctness," hangs like a dark thundercloud over the path of the persecutor, the tyrant, the man of malice, and of blood. And it is well. Suffering right, bleeding truth, injured virtue, need "such protection. Go, read those burning words to the slaveholder, and let him know that the offence which he is committing against these "little ones” is a deep-dyed crimc upon which will be let loose all the artillery of heaven ; that one at least, the divine brother of humanity, will brand his conduct with deep and everlasting condemnation. O, Christ ! thou vindicator of the oppressed, thou friend of man, however the scoffer may laugh, we thank thee for the words thoa hast spoken to "the little ones," and rejoice that thou reignest to defend the

The objector represents Mr. R. as saying that “ Christianity does not call upon men to repent under threat of eternal damnation;" but in justice he ought to have given the close of the sentence," without presenting high and mighty, and thrilling reasons why they should repent. And if he had given the connexion of thought, the meaning would have been still more obvious. It was stated that in order to change men's thoughts of God's character and deal. ings with men, he mad made a sacrifice for human weal which left man utterly inexcusable it le believed that Jehovah was his enemy; and that, therefore, men were besought by “the mercies of God” to abandon their selfishness, and live for the glory of their Creator, and the well-being of their fellow-men. If men do not repent ihey must perish, just because there is no spiritual life without cuminunion with God, and there can be no communion with God without the knowledge of his character. “For this is life eternal that they might kuow thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Our objector quotes

" He that believeth not shall be damned," as another of bis proois; but he forgot to tell his readers that the rejection of divine testimony must be a sin, at which the displeasure of God should be manifested; that distelief is soul-ruining because it shuts out from the soul the only in. fuence that can deliver it froin sin ; and that it is kind as well as just in the Redeenier of man to point out the consequences of such a course. It may not be pleasant for men to know that issues so tremendous are connected with unbeliet. We never thought of denying that Christianity addresses to inan mixed and manitold motives, but we deny that it makes its highest appeal to

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man's fears. Of the last passage quoted, our space only allows us to say that ignorance of moral and spiritual truth and of the character of God is a crime, where there are opportunities of knowledge, and that disobedience of the gospel as disobedience to the “law of the life-giving Spirit,” must involve exclusion from the sunshine of God's love, and that destruction, which is not the destruction of man's being but of his blessedn’ss. We are now prepared to enter more fully into the general question and propose doing so next week.

Our Open Page.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DEFENDER.

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Sir,

Not that I think myself more able than Willis Knowles to state the question of Man and Circumstance, Freedom of will &c., &c., do I interfere between you and that gentleman for he has stated the case not amiss, I consider, especially when we know the briefness that your correspon. dents inust impose upon themselves in their communica ions to you.

But as you are very ready in calling your correspondents “ignorant," and their communications “ Twaddle," I write to you to urge you to master your passion and not be so “Grantish” in your replies to those who embrace ile opportunities offered by your “ Open Page." How do you know the diffeulties that people writing to you labour under-what have been their onportunities of learning to spell ard write and punctuate ? The doctrines they advocate may be as evident to their own minds as conviction can make thein--and because opportunities have not been offered them of learning the media of making those doctrines known to others as plainly as they perceivethem--you will try to close their mouths, and give them no chance of learning to express them, so that they may get their difficulties removed, or else help to renove the difficulties of others! Strange conduct this, Mr. Rutherford, conduct I am sure that a calmer conscience and a more mature judgment will enable you to see, will never make thorough improvement nor reasonable converts.

I myzelf coinmenced working down in the pits at 10 years of age, and have had to learn most all I know of writing and other things under the deteriorating effects of a Pit atmosphere-an atmosphere that weakens to totteringness the very pillars of physical and moral and mental health, -and in your replies to your "Open Page" correspondents you should make allowance for difficulties like ihoze, and not to be harsh and crabbed as if your correspondents had had the chances of improvement that you have had. I hope you will not scorn my advice, and it I thought you would not, I would say farther, that in your replies you should tackle the arguments of your opponents for it is it out of place in a critic and out of etiquette in a gentleman, it is even ont of character in a Christian to hunt out implications not decidedly in the text, and to throw out indications 10t intended-and especially is it reprehensible for a minister to lecture his opponent on his ignorance, his dogmatism, and his blindness, when there are arguments to oppose, to weaken, and to destroy. I will say this one thing more, and that is were it not for your "Open Page” the circulation of your Defender would not be so great, as there are a great number of secular people subscrivers for the sake of the “Open Page" information. Try then to deal fairly with the arguments, and not the personal blunders, nor with the incompetency of your correspondents, as you are to be a critic of arguments and not to be dispenser of insinuations, you will thereby fight stronger and more manfully when you grapple with the foe, than when you damage a man's character for (as lam sure Willis Knowles' character for writing competently will now be

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damaged) by means unworthy of the critic, the Christian, or the Gentle

I did intend to make some remarks on your answer to Willis Knowles on the Formation of Character &c., but conscience bids me not to say more as you want room for other communications as well as my own. Hoping you will take well what is well intended, I remain with due respect,

Your humble servant,

W. T. H.

ANSWER.

SIR,

We never scorn advice, even though it be meant in scorn, much less when it is “well intended." You greatly mistake the feelings that we cherish toward correspondents that differ from us. We suspect that it is those whose arguments are met that need to be warned to master their passion." We do not brand all our correspondents as “ignorant,” and if we think anything“ twaddle,” will you not allow us to say so, without questioning our equanimity? We have ever written calmly and as we deem justly. But infidels, above all others, should be the last to complain; for they cannot afford to allow us to speak for ourselves in their periodicals and there are none whose writings and speeches are so full of imputation. We try to close no man's mouth except by argument; and are happy to help in removing the difficulties of any of our brethren ; but must we therefore be prevented from urging you to get the most competent men among you to represent your side of the question, or from requesting, if less competent men write, that they do their best to give us clear, accurate, and legible copy? More than this we do not ask ; and is it unreasonable to expect as much.

We make every allowance for the difficulties under which some of our correspondents have laboured in educating themselves ; we are glad that some of them have made considerable progress notwithstanding those difficulties; we shall ever be ready, not in the spirit of patronage but of brotherhood, to encourage and help them as far as we have ability : but if any of them should attempt to teach where they ought to learn, should make pretensions to logic when they have none, should seek to settle by dogmatism or by authority what can only be settled by reasoning, though it may be as painful to our feelings as to theirs to do it, we must remind them that they are but tyroes, and for their own sakes seek to diminish their self-confidence. We have no pleasure in the blunders or incompetency of any one, but we have duties to the public, to the truth, and to our correspondents themselves, which you must allow us to discharge, according to the best of our judgment. We have often to rob ourselves of sleep in order to prepare the contributions of our correspondents for the press and we leave you to judge whether it is not reasonable to expect that as far as possible they will save us that trouble. We are thankful to find that after all, you do not think that Christianity will sanction any man's doing what is inconsistent with true courtesy aud kindness to others. It is not unfrequently that infidelity thus inadvertently admit the high standard of Christianity and the beneficial influence it is fitted to exert.

Yours Faithfully,

EDITOR.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT DEATH. We think that there is strong direct, as well as presumptive evidence, that, immediately upon death the soul of man enters upon a state of blessedness or misery. Is it not implied in the parable of Dives and Lazarus : " The rich man died and in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torment”? Was it not of a

state of conscious happiness that Christ spoke when he said to the forgiven, renovated malefactor, "To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise? And what means the explicit assurance, “ Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." The very thought of the cessation, even temporarily, of conscious existence, must be darkening and depressing to a mind that has panted after the true and enjoyed communion with the infinite. For what end should the author of our being ordain such a collapse of reason, and moral agency? What honour can come to him from beings whose highest powers are under the torpor of sleep? What praise can arise from the empty censer of unconsciousness? We regard it, then, as highly probable, if not morally certain that at death, a man commences at once to reap what he has sown. “It so," asks Amicus, “is it a correct idea that the judgment will be at some future period.” We answer that though man's destiny may be fixed at the bar of God the moment after his death, and this will prove a virtual judgment of men, it does not render superfluous a general judgment of all the moral agents in the universe of God,-a judgment which will furnish a grand illustration of the rectitude of God's inoral administration and a vindication of His proceedings to all worlds.

EDITOR.

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A SPECIMEN OF SECULAR KNOWLEDGE.

Secularist. The Bible may have been true at one time, but you will not surely say that it is true now.

Christian. If it were ever true at all it must necessarily be true now and always.

Secularist. Nonsense ; was it not true that this world was once a great flat, and is it not now proved beyond dispute to be a Globe ?

Christian. It was never true that it was a great fat, if it be a globe now, must it not always have been one? You do not discriminate between Truth and Belief, I admit that men once believed in what you affirm, but surely you yourself will not deny that they believed in a lie.

Secularist. Yes I will, they believed what was truth then, and the time will come when men will deal with the Bible as we have done with that truth - cease to believe it:

Christian. You will excuse me but it is absurd to talk such nonsense, either a thing is true or else it is not two and two make four is not that true? Every thing equally true will continue truth in spite of men's opinions, for truth is eternal as its great author. Let God be true though every man be a liar.

EGOMET.

THE LATEST ATOMIC THEORY.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DEFENDER.

SIR,

I have long entertained the opinion, that to allow the advocates of infidelity, under whatever garb they may appear, to give utterance to their sentiments freely, fully, and without any other opposition than placing fact against

, presumption, argument against sophistry, is the surest way to effect their destruction. In the current number of the “Defender' you furnsh an illustration of the truth of these observations. I allude to KWEXÆ'S Sonnet. It was once your private opinio22 “ that secularism has not and cannot have any poetry.” Now it is a fact patent to the world. To my mind, this secularist's mother, “ Nature,” has endowed her son with the faculty of making verse with

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