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De Laveleye, the Belgian Economist, characterizes this movement as the European terror ; "it may be compared to an incandescent lava which from time to time bursts through the stratum which hides it from view.” With the claims of the Collective Socialists in France, almost any one can sympathize. They are substantially as follows, as quoted by Laveleye: One day of rest weekly; eight hours' work; children under 14 years not to be employed in factories; a legal minimum of wages to be fixed every year, according to the local price of provisions (a difficult matter to arrange); State schools; equal wages for the two sexes; society to provide for old people and invalids; the masters to be held responsible for all accidents . . . . abolition of indirect taxation, to be replaced by a progressive tax on all incomes which exceed 3,000 francs, $600.00; suppression of all indirect succession and of all direct succession, exceeding 20,000 francs, $4,000.00; reconstitution of communal property; unemployed funds to be used in building houses for workmen, to be let to them without profit to the Commune. Many of these claims are acknowledged by us as fair, and are in happy working here. Others await the crucial test of experiment
The radical efforts of the Anarchic Socialists, the Nihilists of Russia, with their policy of dynamite and destruction, win but little encouragement from thoughtful people, while at the same time they are not insensible to the oppressions. under which they groan.
The new cry of Nationalization of the Land is a part of the Socialistic programme. An indication of the rapidly growing interest in Socialism is the fact, unprecedented with reference to a work on such a subject, that Henry George's " Progress and Poverty" has been sold in England to the number of 80,000 copies in the last year. In the United States there are 200,000 members of labor organizations who are more or less familiar with the doctrines of Socialism.
It is the coming question which it is necessary that every thoughtful Christian man should earnestly consider. To Christianity the Socialist does not look.
It is outgrownbelonging to the childhood of the race.
To the religious element it appeals not at all. To united efforts of good men to crush out vice and crime, it lends no helping hand. These methods of promoting human welfare are out of date. The world has gone beyond them. It becomes, then, the duty of Christendom to educate more strongly in the doctrines of brotherly love; to make of this vast movement an ally, not an enemy. It is young and strong. No better indication of this can we find than the fact that the Vatican endeavors to crush it. It will be a sorry day for the Christian church when it finds itself out of sympathy with the common people who heard the Master gladly, and a sorrier day for the world. Says Socialism, proudly, The world progresses. Yes. Will the church welcome progress? Yes. But science makes rapid strides. Yes, that we know. It builds its universities along side the churches. Yes, true indeed, but Christianity is the very beating heart of progress ; it welcomes all advance, it does not lament, it rejoices, even though the steam tug plows the waters of the sacred Lake of Tiberias.
ARTICLE IX.- NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
THE GROUNDS OF THEISTIC AND CHRISTIAN BELIEF.*_ The very name of the author of this volume is a warrant that it will possess certain characteristic excellences in a noteworthy degree. There is no need, then, to repeat the precise words of praise and welcome with which the majority of the reviewers have come to greet each new work from the pen of Professor Fisher. It may be taken for granted that this book, like its predecessors from the same source, will be candid in spirit, comprehensive and accurate in learning - but without pedantry,-and clear, concise, and elegant in style. We confine ourselves, therefore, to indicating very briefly some of the particular wants which it is designed to meet, and also some of the particular claims which it, therefore, makes upon the attention of the readers whom it addresses.
This latest book of Professor Fisher is, more than any previous book by the same author, designedly and avowedly apologetic. It is true that a considerable part of all the work so well done by the same hand, has carried upon it the stamp of so-called apologetics. But this book is from beginning to end, in its entire plan and in the details of its execution, a “Defense," an " Apology" (see p. vii.), a plea for the rational and validly historical nature of Christianity. Its value and excellence will depend, then, in the first place, upon the answer which is given to the question, Whether there is a real want for works apologetic of Christianity, and whether it is a helpful and dignified employment of the resources of Christian scholarship to produce such works; and, in the second place, upon the answer to the question, Whether this particular book-its design being assumed to be worthy--worthily meets the above-mentioned want. In other words: Is it a fit task for broad and fair Christian scholarship to undertake the direct and intentional defence of Christianity ? and, Is the book of Professor Fisher successful in accomplishing its intended task ?
It is scarcely necessary to argue the question whether there is in these days a real want for an avowedly apologetic treatment of the facts and truths of Christianity. This want not only continues to exist, as it has existed in all ages of the Church, but it is now in some respects peculiarly strong and self-conscious. Those who sneer at the so-called “ Evidences” of Christianity do not always stop to think that the reproduction and improvement of such evidences is a necessary factor in the growth of the human mind under the influences of that system of rational and historical truths which we call Christian. As long as Christianity is vital, there will be defences, if there are attacks; in case those who do not like such defences wish to have them cease, they should first of all try the method of suppressing the defences by suppressing the attacks. It is at least as worthy work for men of the best gifts and the highest attainments to defend the belief in God and in the verities of historical Christianity as to attack it. Nothing can be more undignified, or more suggestive of weakness, than to cultivate attacks on facts and truths esteemed Christian, and then to raise a hue and cry about “Apologists” and “Apologetics," when such attacks begin to call out the appropriate defences. As much of broad and fair research, as much of freedom from prejudice, may belong to the defence as to the attack of historical Christianity. It is enough that both opponent and apologist should stand upon the same level of obligation to be thorough, prudent, candid, and conclusive.
* The Grounds of Theistic and Christian Belief. By GEORGE P. FISHER, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Ecclesiastical History in Yale College. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1883. 1 vol. 8vo. Price $2.50.
In truth, we do not believe that the aversion to apologetical writings, as such, is serious, or that it extends to any considerable class of authors or readers. It is true, as Professor Fisher says in his Preface (p. vii.), that “it has become the fashion of a class of writers to decry all works having for their aim to vindicate the truth of Christianity.” But of this class, which as a whole is by no means numerous, only a portion object to apologetics as such; or, if their objection goes so far, it is to be regarded as not well considered, and scarcely serious. Another portion of the same class are inclined to decry all apologetic works on account of the character which many such works have hitherto borne; they have too often been lacking in breadth, in cordial sympathy with all truth, and in a fair and judicial temper. But this very fact increases the real need of apologetic works which shall be the opposite of all this,—of works which shall be comprehensive, candid, and sympathetic with all sound thought and generous scholarship. Such a comprehensive, candid, sympathetic work is this one of Professor Fisher. For, although its cast is throughout
apologetic, it is never open to any just suspiciou, even from those who do not accept its conclusions, of concealing or perverting facts and considerations which properly belong to the other side. The objections, then, which are usually urged against books on the evidences of Christianity, make the work of Professor Fisher all the more welcome, because the more needed and the more timely.
There has been for some years a comparative dearth of books which aim to go over the entire ground, in a summary way, of the evidences for our theistic and Christian beliefs. The fact has been inevitable; it has been due to the very nature of the progress made in modern times with respect to philosophical, critical, and historical researches. It has been felt that the field opened to view is too vast and varied for any one survey. In the last analysis, of course, Christianity is, itself, its own comprehensive and satisfactory evidence. In other words, that system of facts and truths which we call Christian proves itself by its ability to fit itself into, and satisfactorily to fill, all the right demands of human reason, of human history, and of the practical human life in respect to moral and religious conduct. To give, then, a complete survey of the evidences of Christianity involves no less a task than that of showing how its system of facts and truths stands related to reason, to history, and to the so-called practical life. But even among the adherents of Christianity, there has arisen, in consequence of these extended and varied researches, considerable difference of view as to the precise nature of this relation. And, of course, beyond the limits of the avowed adherents, a still greater difference of view exists; this latter difference reaches outwards and downwards as far as those who declare that so-called Christianity is irrational, unhistorical, and unfit to control and satisfy the demands of the practical life. The “Apologist" in these days, therefore, needs as never before a large equipment of resources, and a rare delicacy and good judgment. He must be a philosopher, a critic, a historian, and also a man acquainted with what is in other men. The statement just made is no exaggeration : let it only be put to the test of experience. How, indeed, shall one who knows nothing of philosophy defend Christianity before those who attack it intelligently on philosophical grounds? How shall one who has no notion even of what a “ higher criticism ” is, and does, make answer to the trained critVOL. VII.