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the seeds of venality in the homes of the nation, and compromising the national honor itself. This condition reaches every class but is thoroughly comprehended by few. In the commercial world it is referred to as an “easy conscience" and little is thought of it except to guard against its well-known tendency to mercenary peculation. In the political world it is known by its fruits, and this fruit is called graft, if it comes about in a way that shows a cunning evasion of law on the part of those who profit by it; but if coarser methods are employed it is called boodle. In the church it is winked at a good deal, but when a preacher is brave enough to point his finger at it, he may call it a deplorable falling from grace, or if he is more a philosopher and less a churchman, he may call it a disintegration of the common conscience. A leading church authority in this country says, “The chief moral demand of the age upon the Christian church and the Christian believer is for the integration of the common conscience." This signifies by implication that the common conscience has by some means become disintegrated, or in other words has met a fate somewhat similar to that of the wonderful one-hoss shay,”-it has gone to pieces.
We have broken loose from the fear of hell and some of us make too free a use of our liberty. It is evident that “the integration of the common conscience" is a consummation devoutly to be wished. But shall we gather up the old pieces, and by a process of patchwork put together, or integrate a common conscience, so as to bring about a unity like the old one which our Pilgrim Fathers possessed? No. The fragments of "the one-hoss shay” were fit only for the tinder box. The same is true of the disintegrated re. mains of the puritanic unity of conscience. What we need is a new force which is not only able to unify and integrate the common conscience but also to give life to it. We are growing away from the plane of fear. In the ethics of the past fear has been a dominant element. It cannot remain so in the future. At the present moment fear still holds a leading place in the minds of the great majority. It is not now the fear of an orthodox hell that sways the heedless crowd, but it is the fear of man. This change accounts for the disintegration. The fear of hell followed its victim in the dark, and all through his solitude. He could not hide from it, and hence it compelled something like a consistent unity in his conduct. But it is not so with the fear of man. This is potent and quite effective as far as it reaches. But man can hide from his fellowman when he contemplates a line of conduct which he knows would be condemned. For this reason there is at the present a greater discrepancy between the life of a man which the public sees and the life of the same man which is in secret. There is a lack of unity in such a life resulting from the disintegration of the old hell-inspired conscience. But there is such a thing as right living without the safeguard of fear of any kind. The right mind needs no dread of evil results to make it go right. It is positively painful to the good man to do that which is wrong, and he would never do anything wrong were he not, in a heedless moment, overcome by passion or other deterring force. Our common conscience needs no tampering from external forces. It must be let alone. As life grows to a higher plane no force will be needed to keep it in the paths of rectitude except its own inherent, ever present and insistent tendency to that which is true and good. This force is the only real conscience, and when it takes possession of the life there will be no further question about the unity and consistency of that life.
Rot The Children ..
ENTERING THE MINISTRY. GOOD old Mother Hen hatched out a brood of four sister chicks and one brother chick.
As a matter of course, the brother chick was the favorite. The sister chicks were constantly admonished to take good care of their "little brother."
When the brood had grown to chickhood, the
Mother decided to go visiting one afternoon, and as she was leaving she said-for the six hundred and sixtyeighth time:
"Now, sisters, take good care of your little brother," and they all said, “Sure!”
In the evening when the Mother Hen returned from her visit she found the sister chicks in tears, and asked: “Why, sister chicks what's the matter? Where's your little brother?"
And a little sister chick said: "Well, that is just what we're crying for. After you went away the minister came and the woman came out of the house and grabbed little brother by the heels, and chopped his head off and fed him to the minister.”
Then the Mother Hen sat down and rested her bill on a chip, and joined the sister chicks in their weeping for a brief season; then she got up and wiped the tears off her bill on a stick of stove wood and said:
"Well, this is sad news indeed, but it might have been worse. I always wanted your little brother to enter the ministry, and it's just as well that he has, for he never would have amounted to much as a layman anyway. You've learned how to scratch for yourselves this afternoon. I'm going to lay plans for another brood."
He 'uz skeered worse'n ever! An' here come
It 'uzn't the Big Bear ’at clum the tree-