The Rev. W. H. H. Boyle, of St. Paul, improves even on Mr. Jones' superlative tribute to Jesus. He says: "Can you imagine such a thing as a black sun, or the reversal of creation or the annihilation of primal light? Then, give rest to imagination and soberly think what it would mean to have the spiritual processes of two millenniums reversed, to have the light of life in the unique personally of Jesus forever eclipsed." Here is an idolator, indeed. To make an idol of his Jesus he takes a sponge, and without a twinge of conscience, wipes out all the beauty and grandeur of the ancient world. Has this gentleman never heard of Greece? During a short existence, in only two centuries and a half, that little land of Greece achieved triumphs in the life of the mind so unparalleled as to bring all the subsequent centuries upon their knees before it. In philosophy, in poetry,--lyrical, epical, dramatic,--in sculpture, in statesmanship, in ethics, in literature, in civilization,--where is there another Greece? Oh, land of Sophocles! whose poetry is the most perfect flower the earth has ever borne,--of Phidias and Praxiteles! whose immortal children time cannot destroy, though the gods are dead--whose masterpieces the earth wears as the best gem upon her brow,--of Aristotle! the intellect of the world,--of Socrates! the _parens philosophiae_, and its first martyr!--of Aristides! the Just--of Phocion and Epaminondas!--of Chillon and Anarcharchis! whose devotion to duty and beauty have perfumed the centuries! O, Athens, the bloom of the world! Hear this sectarian clergyman, in his black Sunday robes, closing his eyes upon all thine immortal contributions, pulling down like a vandal, as did the early Christians, the libraries and temples, the culture and civilization of the ancient world--the monuments of thy unfading glory--to build therewith a pedestal for his mythical Christ! I can imagine the reverend advocate saying: "But there was slavery in Greece, and immorality, too,"--of course, and is the Christian world free from them? Has Christ after two thousand years abolished war? Indeed, he came to bring, as he says, "not peace, but a sword!" Has Jesus healed the world of the maladies for which we blame the Pagan world? Has he made humanity free? Has he saved the world from the fear of hell? Has he redeemed man from the blight of ignorance? Has he broken the yoke of superstition and priest-craft? Has he even succeeded in uniting into one loving fold his own disciples? How, then, can this clergyman, with any conscience for truth, compare a world deprived of the god of his sect, to a tomb--to a blind man groping under a blackened sun? Must a man rob the long past in order to provide clothing for his idol? Must he close his eyes upon all history before he can behold the beauty of his own cult? But let us quote again: "To efface from the statute books of Christendom every law which has its basal principle in Christian ethics; to abolish every institution which ministers to human need and misfortune in the name of Him whose sympathy is the heart of the divine; to lower every sense of moral obligation between man and man to the old level of Paganism to silence the great oratorios which have made music the echo of the divine; to take down from the galleries of the world the sacred canvases with which genius has sanctified them; to obliterate from memorial symbolism the cross of sublime renunciation which has been the rebuke of human selfishness; to disband every organization which makes prayer, through the merit of one great name, the hand of man upon the arm of God--you may be able to think of an ocean without a harbor, of a sky without a sun, of a garden without a flower, of a face without a smile, of a home without a mother; but, can you think of a world with holiness and happiness in it and Jesus gone out of it? You cannot, 'Then, come, let us adore him,'" etc., etc. Observe how this special pleader avoids breathing so much as a word about any of the many evils which may be laid at the door of his religion with as much show of reason as the benefits he enumerates. What about the dark ages which held all Europe for the space of a thousand years in the clutches of an ignorance the like of which no other religion in the world had known? What about the atrocious inquisition to which no other religion in the world had ever been able to give the swing that Christianity did? What about the persecution and burning of helpless women as witches? Is there anything as infamous as that in any religion outside of ours? What about the wholesale massacres in the name of the true faith? What about the centuries of religious wars, the most imbecile as well as the most bloody, from the effects of which Germany, France, Italy and England are still suffering today? And need we also call attention to that obstinate resistance to science and progress, which rewarded every discoverer of a new power for man, with the halter or the stake, which filled the dungeons with the _elite_ of Europe,--which even dug open graves to punish the bones of the dead savants and illuminators of man? The Pagans, in their gladitorial games, sacrificed the lives of slaves: Christianity made a holocaust of the noblest intellects of Europe. And shall we speak of the bigotry, the fanaticism, the bitter sectarian prejudices which to this day embitter the life of the world? Are not these, too, the fruits of Christianity? We know the answer which the reverend gentleman would make to this: "All the evils you speak of are chargeable, not to Christianity, but to its abuse." But we have already shown that that argument won't do. We might as well say that all the evil of Paganism was due to its abuse. The mere fact that Christianity lent itself to such fearful distortions, and was capable of arousing the worst passions in man on such a fearful scale, is condemnation enough. It shows that there was in it a potentiality for evil beyond compare. Moreover, wherein does a "divine" religion differ from a man-made cult, if it is equally powerless to protect itself against perversion? In what sense is Jesus a god, while all his rivals were "mere men," if he is as helpless to prevent the abuse of his teachings as they were? But it would not be difficult to show that the characteristic crimes we have scheduled are the direct inspiration of a religion claiming exclusiveness and infallibility. Such texts as, "there is no other named given under heaven by which men can be saved;" "Let such an one (the man who will not be converted) be like a heathen and a publican to you;" John's advice to refrain from saying "God speed" to the alien in faith; the bible command not to "suffer a witch to live;" and many of the dogmas which might be cited,--corrupted the sympathies, perverted the judgment of the noblest, while at the same time they stung the evil- minded into something like madness. The world knew nothing of the tyranny of dogma, or religious oppression and persecution, comparatively speaking, until the advent of the Jewish-Christian Church. "Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and of Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, than for that city," said Jesus, speaking of the people who might not accept his teachings. How can Christianity be a religion of love, and how can it believe in tolerance, when it threatens the unbeliever with a fate worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah? The benefits which the Rev. Boyle parades as the direct fruit of his cult, did not appear until after the Renaissance, that is to say,--the return to Pagan culture and ideals. The art and science and the humanities which he praises, followed upon the gradual decline of the Jewish-Christian religion which had already destroyed two civilizations. But Greece and Rome triumphed. To this day, if we need models in poetry, in art, in philosophy, in literature, in politics, in patriotism, in service to the public, in heroism and devotion to ideals--we must go to the Greeks and the Romans. Not that these nations were by any means perfect, but because they have not been surpassed. In our colleges and schools, when we wish to bring up our children in the ways of wisdom and beauty, we do not give them the Christian fathers to read, we give them the Pagan classics. We ask this St. Paul clergyman to read Gibbons' tribute to Pagan Rome: "If a man was called upon to fix a period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would without hesitation name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus." This period included such men and rulers as Nerva, Trajan, Adrian, Antoninus Pius, and above all, the greatest of them all--the greatest ruler our earth has ever owned--Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Let the Rev. W. H. H. Boyle look over the names of the kings of Israel and of Christian France, Spain, Italy and England, and find among them any one that can come up to the stature of these Pagan monarchs.