of which the principles coincided with their reason, and with the results of scientific research.
They held, that the Christian doctrines, as they are taught in Churches, do not bear close scrutiny, and, in the light of modern science, appear unsatisfactory.
The broad principle, as taught by Christ, that all men are brothers, seemed almost hidden by strange additions. The Letter had indeed killed the Spirit.
Hence their religion does not live in their hearts. They consider its ideals so high, that it is quite hopeless trying to reach them. When they are told that they must love their enemies; that they must bless those who hate them; that the meek shall inherit the earth; that a camel will sooner go through the eye of a needie, than that a rich man shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven; they recollect that the laws of the land are at complete variance with those teachings. They recollect, that the Law punishes its enemies by death, or by other penalties; that the Law does not allow a rich man to give away his possessions, but places him under restraint if he exhibits a leniency towards that poverty which Religion declares extremely desirable. The Law, in fact, can prevent him from becoming poor, and from thus reaching the state of bliss which accompanies poverty.
They behold, to their intense grief and disgust, that