July 27, 1882:

" Why seriously discuss questions that are fast fading out of sight? The advancement of mind and the development of spiritual discernment are on the eve of relegating old antiquated theories and ideas to the past ages of heathen darkness, where they properly belong. . Total depravity throwing its dark mantle over tender infancy—parent of the doctrine of infant damnation—is no longer taught or believed by enlightened clergymen and their followers. It only has a sickly foothold where the people are spiritually dominated by an ignorant or pusillanimous priesthood. Why, therefore, seek to revive by serious discussion any interest in dogmas now almost inanimate and staggering to their final fall and eternal sleep. Let them die serenely if they can, and be buried out of sight without pomp or regret. We have questions of greater moment and of much more value to mankind, and to them let us address ourselves. All things are not only progressive but eternally progressing. Must we therefore resolve that systems of religion and theological dogmas are finished and settled forever. If so, when did this divinely appointed consummation take place ? It certainly, if true, must be an event of recent date. By whom settled, how and when? Certainly not by the old Romish Church and the hierarchy established at Nice and Laodicia, for their history since has been characterized by quarrels and dissensions, which at times have threatened their very existence. And certainly no one will seriously maintain that they have reached the high altitude of final and definite settlement by Luther, Calvin and others in their departure from the original faith. Some of the articles of faith of these have either been discarded or quietly abandoned, and those left have been modified, and are scarcely an improvement on the originals. In candidly looking over the whole field among the religious sects now extant, only one thing is discovered to be mutually agreed upon, and that is that man lives after death. We hardly need to stop to except those semi-materialistic Christians who claim that a future existence at all depends wholly on the physical resurrection of the material body at some vague and indefinite period of future time. This doctrine is so unscientific and so disconsonant with reason that we pass it by with a mere reference to it."

July 28, 1882:

"The Catholics have three states for the dead, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory; the thorough orthodox Protestants two, striking out purgatory; while the Universalists insist on expunging hell from the catalogue. Some will have one God, and others a trinity of them. But they differ materially as to the course to pursue in order to obtain the divine favor, holy" unction and saving grace of the Lord. Here they are put to the severest test. It is infinitely of less moment to ascertain how many gods rule above, or how many states of the dead, as it is to know how to reach the much desired haven of peace and happiness in the eternal world.

"A prudent man would be comparatively indifferent as to how many ruling sovereigns over the destinies of man, or how many locations of consignment for their souls, so he is enabled to attain unto the highest good, and this consideration more imperatively absorbs his attention. Knowledge of the former would be valueless without knowledge of the latter. And hence in seeking to become familiar with the latter is where he becomes lost in the labyrinthian mazes of divergent and perplexingly diversified theologies.

"One would have you attend to the confessional, do penance and observe and conform to the dictums emanating from the Roman Pontiff and the imperious mandates of priests, thereby securing absolution from the consequences of sin, and due preparation for the next world. Another admonishes you that your salvation depends on the nature and degree of faith in the atoning sacrifice. Another that you must become regenerated and washed of inherited and committed sins by belief in and conformity to certain specific and definitely prescribed tenets. And still another, that a good, moral life is the one thing needful, Jesus having paid the penalty of sin and triumphed over it for the whole of mankind. And so on, scarcely without limit, do these various and varied systems present themselves to perplex and annoy."