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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

vanced opinion, and tarn out everybody who blinks at the literalness of the verbal creed, they will have plenty of business, and can find a good many more cases quite as bad as that of Mr. Newton. We are told that the case is simply one of breach of contract. Enterprising editors, to whom an ecclesiastical trial would be as much of a godsend as the Saratoga horse-races, are especially solicitous about Heber Newton's contract to preach certain things which he is bound and sworn to preach while he remains in the Church.

Now, suppose these heresy-hunters institute an inquiry as to the extent of clerical dereliction in maintaining acknowledged Christian foundations. There can not be the slightest doubt as to the fundamental importance of a belief in hell, in our system of orthodox theology. It is the basal, and topmost, and all-impelling idea. The conception of hell is the corner-stone of the orthodox edifice, the key-stone of the orthodox arch; and, what the fires under the boiler are to the steam engine, that are the fires of hell to the orthodox "scheme of salvation." The idea pervades the Christian theology and hymnology, and has been preached, sung, and prayed now for some eighteen hundred years, the proclaimed object of the whole theological system being to save men from hell! Such being the theological import and historic prominence of the doctrine, which is explicitly conserved in the creeds, and solemnly avowed by all orthodox clergymen, would it not be well to look a little into the growth of modern heresy regarding it in the very bosom of the Church? How is it about the enforcement of the hell-fire contracts? It would be interesting to know how many times the fundamental hell-doctrine is referred to in the course of ordinary pulpit ministration, and how it is slurred over and put aside and ignored as if the preachers were ashamed to allude to it. We think an inquest of this sort would reveal the fact that there is a good deal more reservation, and private interpretation, and playing fast and loose with creed and Scripture, than our heresy-hunters are aware of; and, if they pushed their inquisitorial work very far in this direction, they would be pretty sure to vacate half the pulpits in the land.

 

 

THE BANQUET TO DR. HOLMES.

All who had the good fortune to be present at the complimentary dinner to Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, given by the Medical Faculty of New York at Delmonico's, April 12th, will long remember it as a rare occasion. It was a most appropriate tribute of honor to the distinguished guest, and the taste and elegance displayed in the banquet and the excellence of the judiciously chosen speakers did abundant credit to the managers of the affair. But their task was not difficult, for hardly ever before were such favorable elements combined to give success to such an occasion. In the first place, if the committee had gone around the world with lanterns, over all the lines of latitude and longitude, they could not have found another so eligible a man to exploit in the festive and honorary way as Dr. Holmes. Known, admired, and loved wherever the English language is spoken, illustrious as a poet, humorist, novelist, essayist, conversationalist, and lecturer, and, finally, so specially distinguished as an anatomist and physician as to command the high regard of the medical profession in the metropolis of the country, nothing was wanting to give inevitable success to any complimentary expression of unaffected admiration and profound respect. Delmonico is, of course, a constant quantity, and can be counted on for the perfection of a feast, but the intellectual furnishings in this case were spontaneous, varied, and also of the highest quality. When prose was exhausted, poetry came