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Author Topic: from "the devil of darkness"  (Read 3572 times)
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« on: September 28, 2005, 04:13:48 PM »

You know that a little bile in the blood may cause great mental distress! But it is perfectly absurd to ask God to save you from these blacks in your eyes and blue devils in your brain. You must look to your liver, and obey the laws of health. Eschew tobacco and take less whisky, or coffee, as the case may be. God works no immediate miracle in response to your offer of a tempting opportunity! He intends man to get rid of evil as he grows enlightened enough to deal more wisely with our human conditions in the process of--what? Of becoming manlier and womanlier.

Our Science grasps with its transforming hand;
Makes real half the tales of fairy land;
It turns the deathliest fetor to perfume;
It gives decay new life and rosy bloom;
It changes filthy rags to virgin white,
Makes pure in spirit what was foul to sight.

We burn the darkness and the density out of earthly matter, and transfigure it into glass, which we can see through. We are here to apply a similar process of annealing to our dense, unexcavated, earthy humanity, so that the light from heaven may shine through it purely! We are here to try and clear away these visible causes of obstruction which have been bequeathed to us by ages on ages of horrible ignorance, and not look forward helplessly to their being burned out of human souls by an eternity of hell-fire, or, backwards, for a salvation supposed to have taken place some eighteen centuries ago, but which is no nearer now than it ever was, on the terms set forth by orthodox teachings.

It was impossible to see anything clearly, or get any glimpse of justice above or below, in heaven, or earth, or hell, under the old creed, which proclaims that pain and suffering constitute the curse wherewith God has unjustly afflicted all for the sin of one, instead of the beneficent, though stern, angel of his presence and bearer of his blessing: that it was an eternal decree, to be executed through all eternity, instead of an awakener in time, that calls to action now and at once, for the changing of the present conditions in which Humanity crawls, as it were, upon all fours, or hobbles on crutches, as if we were born mental cripples.

We all know there is an awful deal of suffering in the world that cannot be considered as a mere individual question!--sufferings that we do not individually cause, and are not personally responsible for--sufferings bequeathed to us as individuals and as members of the State; for we have to bear the accumulated burdens of centuries on centuries of ignorance, or, worse still, of wilful crime, and, worst of all, of wrong made sacred by religious sanction, and supported by Law and the Press. And the burden of the many crushes the individual to the earth; and the God of Justice appears to be blind to the case--makes no rush to the rescue, even when we suffer for the sins of others. Be sure even these can be turned to eternal account. But, he has this lesson to convey to the world--

Humanity is one. And the power that is has instituted certain laws--laws that operate for the species rather than the individual, an important distinction to be made in any interpretation of nature; laws that deal with the species as one in spite of our manifold diversities and our deified doctrine of every-one-on-his-own-hook-ism. He does not put forth his hand to take you off your hook when it happens to run into you particularly sharp, flesh or soul, and makes you supplicate or swear. Establish what private relationship you can with your Maker, and derive what spiritual succour you may whilst bearing the burden, or writhing on the iron that enters you, the laws that do deal with humanity in the aggregate, and operate for the good of the species, will go grinding on with their larger revolutions that subserve eternal interests whilst crushing terribly many smaller claims of individual life

For, mark this, the Eternal intends to show us that humanity is one, and the family are more than the individual member, the nation is more than the family, and the human race is more than the nation. And if we do not accept the revelation lovingly, do not take to the fact kindly, why then 'tis flashed upon us terribly, by lightning of hell, if we will not have it by light of heaven, and the poor neglected scum and canaille of the nations rise up mighty in the strength of disease, and prove the oneness of humanity by killing you with the same infection.

It has recently been shown how the poor of London do not live, but fester in the pestilential hovels called their homes. To get into these you have to visit courts which the sun never penetrates, which are never visited by a breath of fresh air, and which never know the virtues of a drop of cleansing water. Immorality is but the natural outcome of such a devil's spawning-ground. The poverty of many who strive to live honestly is appalling.

And this disclosure is made with the customary moan that such people attend neither church nor chapel, as if that were the panacea.

I should not wonder if these revelations result in the building of more churches and chapels, and the consecration of at least one or two more bishops.

The Bishop of Bedford said the other day--"It was highly necessary that in these times when the poor have so little earthly enjoyment, the joys of heaven should be made known to them." It is not possible to caricature an utterance so grotesque as that.

How appallingly unjust it seems that the victims of this world's laws should be handed over as ready-made victims of Nature's laws--that the most helpless poor should be the favourite thriving ground for tape-worms--just because they are in such a poverty. This is hard, but so it is, and so it will and must be till the lesson is learned and applied--that the human family is one, and all are bound up together by certain laws willy-nilly; that we are our brother's keeper for all our Cain-like questionings of the fact. We cannot shirk our responsibility; and you are not allowed to get out of the grip of the violated law of the whole, on any pretence of individuality or limited liability. It is we who create the fevers to feed on the poor, when we allow others to get rich by permitting the filth and the poisoned air and water that are sent into the world sparkling with purity; when we allow the rights of property to over-ride the interests of humanity. It is we who breed the diseases and literally invent the hungry, hundred-mouthed tape-worms that get their living out of poverty-stricken blood and hungry stomachs, churning the slime of gnawing emptiness, because we created, or continue, the laws that doom the many to poverty and its parasites of prey.

Providence--that is a very comprehensive name--providence does not create poverty. The cupola of heaven overhead is like the inverted horn of everlasting plenty, pouring down its blessings of abundance in sunshine and shower, in air and dew, in ripening fire and purifying frost, and the harvests never fail the world over. All round, all ways, there is plenty for all--if not in one country, there is in another. There is no failure on the part of Providence, the Creator of plenty.

This neglected garden of our world, which has in it every element of a paradise, if rightly planted and properly tended, has been left to run to weeds of sin and ignorance and crime, in the most wasteful way. Heavens of spirit-worlds around us are for ever sowing the divine seed-germs broad-cast over our earth, and they have to scatter a harvest in order that we may grow a single grain, because the human conditions are so un-receptive, the fields are so neglected, the soil so unprepared to receive their bounty! The heavens around us are ever ready to pour out blessings in a larger measure than we are to make a lap for receiving them. All they ask are the conditions under which we may receive most abundantly.

We are the manufacturers of misery! We have sedulously cultivated or permitted all manner of foul conditions, and then in the midst of some calamity, for which we are criminally responsible, that comes home to all, the praying machine of the State is set rotating with a furious forty-thousand-parson-power, and God is implored to stay his hand or work a miracle forthwith on behalf of us poor human worms, who ask the Creator to take particular notice of these our penitential writhings at his feet! The Bishop of Truro said recently that we are approaching a period of pain and peril, and the situation calls for strong words and strong prayers. You must cry aloud or the Lord won't hear you!

Standing face to face with certain facts, the result of things as they are, and have been, the atheists exclaim,--"There is no God! If there were an omnipotent God such things would not be tolerated by him!" But by an "omnipotent God," is meant a god with power to change, at a moment's notice, all that is fixed for ever. Let me assure our free-thought friends, that Evolution necessitates a new idea altogether of the operative power! It abolishes the incompetent personal Creator of the Hebrew Genesis! But, in presence of evolution, it is useless to demand that, if there be a God, it shall prove itself to be the deity of the orthodox, which, as I said before, is a sort of eternal weather-cock on the summit of creation, that may be made to veer round as it is blown about by every breath of selfish human prayer, if people collect together in sufficient numbers to blow it round! A vain idea of divinity whosoever entertains it. The deity who is belaboured so unmercifully, and, as I think, so cheaply, by Robert Ingersol, is the god of the non-evolutionary theory of creation, the impossible monster of the past.

- from "The Devil of Darkness in the Light of Evolution" by: Gerald Massey
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