In like manner faith in Jesus Christ, who came in suffering and sorrow to tell of dangers in the unseen world, is proved by the way men live, If they have perfect faith in the dangers he reveals, then the most earnest efforts to save themselves and their fellow-men from ignorance and sin will follow. If they have little faith, they will make less exertions; if they have no fears for the future life, all their plans will terminate in gaining the good things of this life for themselves and those they love, sure that all the rest of mankind will be happy when they die, and that their troubles here will only serve to make rest and enjoyment the greater in the coming life.

The following is the method by which any woman may decide what is truth on this great question, so as to be at rest.

It is first assumed that the Bible is written for the common people, and is to be interpreted by the rules of language men employ in common life, which, briefly, are these:

The first is, all expressions are literal when they do not contradict the known nature of things, or known facts, or the known opinions of the writer; in which latter case they usually are figurative, but have as definite a meaning as if literal. For example, "everlasting" and "forever" mean "time without end," unless contrary to known facts, or the known nature of things, or the known opinions of the writer. So "punishment" always signifies "pain consequent either on violating a natural or some instituted law."

The second rule is, when any expression has several significations, that is to be taken as the right one which has the most evidence in its favor. Let any woman of ordinary ability and education apply these rules to the texts on this subject, and she will find little difficulty in deciding what the Bible teaches as the dangers of the future life.

Another example will be given on a subject which causes great anxiety and perplexity, and which may be relieved by the same method. The question is, Why does a Being of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness allow the dreadful miseries that oppress mankind, and, still more, why will he allow sin and suffering to reach through eternal ages? Many suppose that revelation gives no reply to this longing inquiry.

But when we take the language of the Bible in its common and literal sense, we find a satisfactory answer. For perfect wisdom is "that which chooses the best means for the best ends," and perfect benevolence is "that which seeks to make the most possible happiness with the least possible suffering." Therefore, when God reveals himself as perfect in wisdom and goodness, it is the same as saying that he has done, and will do, all in his power to save from sin and suffering. Almighty power* does not signify power to work contradictions or absurdities; and all theologians teach that there is a limitation of power in the nature of things. Thus some say God can not forgive sin without an atonement; others, that he can not lie; others, that he "can not govern the stars by the ten commandments, nor free agents by the attraction of gravity." And God says of his people Israel," What could I have done that I have not done" to secure their obedience.

God's inability to save all is expressly stated when he declares that he is " not willing that any should perish." The only proof of want of power to do something is to will it done, and yet it remains undone. And God declares that he is not willing to have any one perish. Still more effectively is this proved by his suffering and that of his dear Son, when Christ came. No sane mind ever suffers pain to gain an end when it could be gained without suffering; and the revelation of God as having suffered so greatly, is the highest proof that can be given that his power is limited in controlling free agents by the very nature of free agency. In his hour of extremity, our Lord prayed," If it be possible, remove this cup;" thus indicating that almighty power signifies power to do all possible things, and that some things are not possible even to God.

The first question being settled, that there are dangers to be met after death, the next is, "What must we do to be saved?"

Here the Christian churches are divided, and on a fundamental point, which briefly is this: One class claims that God has the power to create minds so that, without any previous knowledge or training, they shall not only know what is right, but have a controlling principle that in all cases will secure right choice, and that the minds of all angels and of our first parents were made on this pattern. But owing to Adam's sin, all infants are born without this perfect organization, and so depraved that eternal sin and suffering in hell is the portion of all who are not regenerated before they die, while there is no certain way revealed by which parents can insure this boon for all their offspring.

The other class claim that the assumption that God can, or ever did, create minds on this pattern, is a theological theory for which no evidence exists in revelation or in nature; that it destroys {he evidence of the benevolence of God, making him prefer the sin and suffering of infants, when he has power to make them with such minds. They claim also that if a holy mind consists in a controlling purpose or choice to do right, that it is a contradiction in terms to say that a free agent can be created with such a purpose or choice. For the distinctive feature of a free agent is intellect to perceive right and wrong, and power to choose in either of two courses; and choice can not be created. It is also objected that by this theory the chief aim of an educator is not so much to teach what is right and wrong, and secure motives and training to induce such habits of obedience to God's laws as eventually will secure a controlling purpose of obedience, but rather to employ means by which God shall regenerate the depraved mind.

Let it be particularly noticed that these two classes do not differ as to the facts revealed. Both recognize the fact taught, as much by experience as by revelation, that every child has such a nature as insures the constant violation of natural law, while it is entirely destitute of a controlling principle of love to God and man. They differ mainly as to a theory of accounting for this fact. One teaches that it is because the mind at birth is ignorant, undeveloped, and untrained; the other teaches that it is owing to an imperfect constitutional nature, for which God or Adam, or both, are responsible.

Every woman must examine and decide for herself on which of these systems she will train her family. In this attempt women have one advantage, and that is, they are not so liable to embarrassment and prejudice as they would be were they, as are most of their religious teachers, trained in systematic theology. The writer has had an experience in both methods, which may have some influence in regard to belief in the teachings of the Bible as to the dreadful dangers to be met in the life to come. This was the mainspring of feeling and effort in her father, who trained a large family to believe and to feel that the great object of life should be to save as many as possible from eternal ruin. Wealth, honor, power, and every earthly good, in his mind, was as the dust of the balance compared with this overmastering passion. It was this dreadful danger to herself, and to those she loved best, that changed a frolicsome, hopeful, light - hearted girl to a serious, hardworking woman as nothing else could have done. It was this that stimulated a mind whose natural tendency was to works of taste, light literature, and fun, to anxious investigation in theology, metaphysics, and Biblical science.

And the results in family and personal training are equally manifest in the history of Christian sects. It is those which are most deeply convinced of dreadful dangers in the life to come which have been most advanced in mental development, and in benevolent labor and self-sacrifice. Such heroic suffering and devotion to the best interests of humanity have never been witnessed on a large scale, except in denominations whose fundamental and motive power is belief in dreadful dangers to be encountered after death. The great difficulty in many of these denominations has been a theological theory as to the created constitution of mind, which tended to lessen hope and exertion in that training by which escape from these dangers is most readily and happily secured.

The course here suggested does not imply independent investigation, without aid from men of learning and piety. Every doctrine of theology, and every antagonistic mode of Biblical interpretation, has been sustained by such men. But with a reference Bible and Concordance, any woman of ordinary capacity can collect all that the Bible contains on a given topic, and form a decision as to which view has the most evidence in its favor. Then she can learn what has been offered both for and against this view. This having been done with a prayerful spirit, the result will rarely fail in bringing satisfaction and peace; while both intellectually and morally such exercises will have an elevating tendency.