I have a letter from an "orthodox Christian," who says the only hope for humanity lies in the "old-fashioned religion."
Then he proceeds to tell me how carefully he has studied human nature, "in business, in social life, and in himself," and that he finds it all vile—selfish—sinful.
Of course he does, because he studies it from a false and harmful standpoint, and looks for "the worm of earth" and "the poor, miserable sinner," instead of the divine man.
We find what we look for in this world.
I have always been looking for the noble qualities in human beings, and I have found them.
There are great souls all along the highway of life, and there are great qualities even in the people who seem common and weak to us ordinarily.
One of the grandest souls I know is a man who served his term in prison for sins committed while in drink.
He was not "born bad", he simply drifted into bad company and formed bad habits.
He paid the awful penalty of five years behind prison bars, but the divine man within him asserted itself, and today I have no friend I feel prouder to call that name.
Mr. John L. Tait, secretary of the Central Howard Association, of Chicago, writes me regarding his knowledge of ex-convicts:
According to my experience with a number of men of this class during the last two years, more than 90 per cent of them are worthy of the most cordial support and assistance.
If this can be said of men who have been criminals, surely humanity is not so vile as my "orthodox" correspondent would have me believe.
A "Christian" of that order ought to be put under restraint, and not allowed to associate with mankind.
He carries a moral malaria with him, which poisons the air.
He suggests evil to minds which have not thought it.
He is a dangerous hypnotist, while pretending to be a disciple of Christ.
The man who believes that all men are vicious, selfish and immoral is projecting pernicious mind stuff into space, which is as dangerous to the peace of the community as dynamite bombs.
The world has been kept back too long by this false, unholy and blasphemous "religion."
It is not the religion of Christ—it is the religion of ignorant translators, ignorant readers.
Thank God, its supremacy is past. A wholesome and holy religion has taken its place with the intelligent progressive minds of the day, a religion which says: "I am all goodness, love, truth, mercy, health. I am a necessary part of God's universe. I am a divine soul, and only good can come through me or to me. God made me, and He could make nothing but goodness and purity and worth. I am the reflection of all His qualities."
This is the "new" religion; yet it is older than the universe. It is God's own thought put into practical form.
- Author and poet
- Born November 5th, 1850 in Johnstown, Wisconsin and died October 30th, 1919
- Famous line in poetry: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone."