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of being offended with the plainness and severity of Peter and John very coolly and good-naturedly answered that these things which they were asserting with so much confidence out of the Scriptures as being the words of God had received an entirely new and satisfactory rational interpretation by the accurate, scholarly, progressive criticism of modern thought, which he begged they would consider carefully, for it would be a source of great peace and comfort, besides being the means of illuminating other minds, and clearing away a great many difficulties and absurdities that theologians had fastened on the Bible through the ignorance and false teachings of priests, and especially false translations of the Word of God.

They had learned, he said, among other things that Adam never fell, nor any of his posterity; but that, having been born a savage, he rose gradually from worse to better, till he became a man; and that the whole race after him ever since had been on the whole growing in grace, casting away their old savage and selfish principles and habits, and becoming gentlemen of good morals and neighborly kindness, so that the whole world was now coming into a regenerated state, and all men and their posterity from having been the progeny of monkeys, were now rising to an equality with angels, so that there was no need of any man being born again, because all men had been raised together from the death of trespasses and sins, and were now growing into the example of the life of Christ, through a new interpretation and translation of the text of Paul, That the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then all died along with him, not in sin, but unto sin; and of course all men, being thus made Christians by Christ's death, would be saved by his life, and were, generation after generation, being raised in his likeness.

He told them, moreover, that the great scholars of that region had proved from geology and the vertebræ of the earth and its inhabitants that the first man said to have been created was not really created at all, but evolved out of an animal, by some process that he called Natural Selection, and had been evolving ever since from a savage to a social and civilized being; so that they might depend upon it the account of the fall of man and his depravity was nothing but an interesting oriental allegory, signifying that he never fell at all, but from the beginning had been going up, as in an Elevator of Modern Science, and so was a great sight better now than when he was first born in Paradise; being then no way different from an infant monkey, but always rising ever since, and would continue to rise, by foreordained benevolent natural advancement, till all mankind would be

at least as good as angels, all ready for heaven and passing on into heaven without need of dying, or making a sea voyage. All this, he said, was God's plan, and the true theology, because, the first man having been a mere animal, God would certainly, in mere justice, not to say compassion, make all his descendants better than himself,

Our simple-minded seamen were astonished beyond measure at this man's preaching, so wildly out of range with all that they had ever learned from the Bible. But the things that he uttered were so far beyond the depth of Peter and John, that they would have thought the man was crazy, if he had not told them that the letter of the Word was only as the shrouds of the ship, by which one could get to the mast-head.

This, and what he had said about Paradise and Moses, proved that he knew something about the Bible, and perhaps in his way, and according to his liking, could reason from it. So they answered him that though the inast-head aboard ship was indeed an excellent place occasionally for a look-out, yet nobody could live there, neither could any sailor make an ascension from it; and if the shrouds were taken away after once getting there, it would be pretty difficult and dangerous to get back to the deck; nor could they sail the ship by the mast-head, but preferred the King's chart, with helm and compass.

CHAPTER V.

THEY GET BACK TO THE KING'S SHIP, BUT WITH MUCH DIFFI

CULTY.-MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANIES AND SLIPPERY

PLACES.-A FEW WRONG STEPS MAKE A VERY

LONG FALSE WAY.—THEIR FIRST SIGHT

OF THEIR SHIP'S FLAG.

It was truly a relief to the troubled minds of these Pilgrims in a strange land, and a happy awakening to their own consciences, when they had thus delivered themselves of such a burden of conviction; for every word they uttered condemned their own folly for being found so far out of the way.

And they had spoken with so much earnestness and sincerity, that they often afterwards remembered their own sermons with good effect, applying them to themselves. But as to their hearers, the man with the balloon, after staring at them as if they had just come from some insane asylum without their keeper, turned away with much contempt to his scientific experiment for navigation in the air, fully expecting a time of aerial celestial glory, when there would be no more sea, but only waves of light, and sleeping cars of comfort.

Quite a number of hearers had gathered to listen to the speakers, and some of them looked downcast and anxious, and might have afterwards remembered with good results the things told them so impressively from the Bible; though at first they seemed to think Peter and John a couple of fanatics just let loose out of their strait-jackets. So true it is, everywhere, that the natural man receiveth not. the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned. Yet they might know them, for the Lord our God is gracious and merciful to give the Holy Spirit to all that ask him; and he giveth liberally, and upbraideth not.?

After all this, they proceeded on their way with many misgivings. But they had not travelled far, when they came to a region where there were beautiful churches, or buildings which they took to be churches, and many other external signs of a religious people. Accordingly they did find there a people quite religious in their own way, but as Peter and John soon perceived, not according to the faith to be learned from God's word and the

i 1 Cor. ii. 13.

2 James i. 5; Matt. vii. 7-11; Luke xi. 13.

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