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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/368

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362
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

most without exception, his great truths penetrate humanity only after many centuries. Christianity itself is no exception. In one sense, Christianity may be said to have died out a generation or two after the death of Christ, for its fundamental truth then began to vanish. When in the middle ages the church deemed itself more powerful than worldly dynasties, it had, in the essence of Christ's teachings, lost all but the semblance of the truth. Christianity was too profound a doctrine and humanity too frail a vessel.

The essential and profound truth of Christianity I take to be thisĀ : that the law of the jungle, the law of the tooth and claw, must be re- placed for the human species by a higher law; that humanity can only reach its most perfect development and realize the highest ideals through the reign of unselfishness. The beginning of Christianity thus marks the transition of man from the kingdom of a lower to the king- dom of a higher being. The Golden Rule is the definition that dis- criminates one domain from the other. It has become the mission of the industrial age to separate out from Christianity the essential from its unessential doctrine.

That the message of Christ is opposed to some of the primitive forces of culture, such as war, for example, has been but poorly dis- cerned. War is the most perfect embodiment of human selfishness. It is selfishness in its most concentrated and brutal form. Let us give credit to this industrial age that has laid bare these simple truths. Science has replaced war in the list of the allies of Christianity. The exploration of nature has revealed and demonstrated the inadequacy of the law of the jungle for human progress. Science has supplied us with the methods and the laws wherewith to check up human phenom- ena and to show wherein and to what extent the selfish elements are controlling in human activities. Science is supplying the instruments, the test tubes and the balances, not for material things alone, but for checking up our own experiences, and for applying to life itself those tests that determine the elements that control in each configuration.

If science has given us the tools, the methods, the point of view, industrialism has given us the laboratory and the fiery furnace in which to test them. The bringing of men together in great dependent groups, the subdivision of human effort, the new conditions of life, the accidents and dangers of modern industrial employment, have forced upon us problems in bulk, and not in single instances. The business world has shown how to divide up investments, risks and profits by the joint stock organization. It has drilled us in the elimination of hazards and the division among the many of the ownership and reward of the industries. This very phenomenon emphasizes by contrast and makes inevitable the consideration of the sharing of the hazards of the life of the individual by society in general. To place the burdens of the individual upon the