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unguided, unrewarded, and wholly spontaneous morality
of your people.

Our government, in the furtherance of its religious
duties, has for centuries made a special recognition of the



THK MAN FROM MARS. 1 23

virtues, and particularly those which bestow good upon
others, and it is only by the practice of such that public
honors are achieved. One of the happiest consequences
of this has been, to elevate only the most exemplary of
our people to the head of public afiairs, and from this
comes a confidence and regard between our representa-
tives and people, which you can scarcely appreciate after
your experience. Goodness therefore, as we understand
it, is the only path to honor, and the necessary high
character of all holders of public trust reflects a distinction
greater that those of any other positions in life. This in
turn, as you may readily perceive, induces a spirit of
emulation to reach such elevated places, beyond all
considerations of emolument.

As a part of our moral system, we hold the education
of our people to be an indispensible and necessary
adjunct. In that we go a great deal further than what
appear to us your narrow and mercenary views. In a
representative government like your own, you have been
constrained to adopt a system of free education, for the
purpose of securing the safety and permanence of your
institutions ; and with no other motive even, it is surpris-
ing that you will be divided in opinion touching the extent



124 THE MAN FROM MARS.

to which learning may be profitably imparted for this end
alone ; because, to us it seems that when you have
conveyed to your youth no more than the elementary
branches of learning, you have provided but little else
than a convenience to them in the business affairs of life.
It is only when the higher branches are acquired that
the government receives an equivalent for its outlay, in
the well-disciplined and safe citizen returned to it.

We have, however, motives beyond all this in the
education of our masses, and chief among them is the
purpose to furnish knowledge to the minds of all, out of
which good may be naturally evolved ; and thus you will
see at once how learning has become the chief part of our
religion. You are slow to acknowledge the great value of
your purely secular education as a moral agent, because
of its disturbance recently with your cherished traditions ;
but this reason, great as it is, is supplemented with another
one, which fully accounts for the earnest opposition of
your ecclesiastics. So long as the learning of your
schools was mixed up with creed influence and teachings,
it was virtually a part of the church, and in harmony with
it, but on a separation of the two, they became enemies by
a well known social law ; your churches with their avowed



THE MAN FROM MARS. 1 25

purpose of improving your morals, and your secular
schools, while in the performance of their duties, occupy-
ing the same competing field.

You ma}'- easily imagine that, with the religious
impulse added, we have carried our education a good
deal further than you. We consider the proposition
unjust, that learning should only be bestowed in accord-
ance with the occupation or station in life. Your planet
has always been beset with the evil of social classes,
which only increases with the advance of your civilization.
You can never rid yourselves of this fruitful source of
disturbance except by our method, which, as a matter of
public policy, pushes the education of every individual to
the point of his capacity. In this way we have com-
pletely obliterated the class interests and feelings. We
have been enabled to do this under conditions which you
do not at present possess. Instead of the military or
martial spirit which prevails with j^ou, and which is cul-
tivated for purposes which appear to us unworthy of your
age, we have generated among ourselves an ambition in
the ways of knowledge which takes its place.

We have leaders and heroes as you have, but not one
who has not gained his honors by some act in further-



126 THE MAN FROM MARS.

ance of the material, intellectual, or moral progress oi his
race. The memories of your greatest men are more
honored by us than by yourselves. Men go down to their
graves j^early among j^ou whose achievements are the
admiration and talk of our whole people. He of you
who discovered the theory of planetary motion, he who
found the law of gravitation, and he also who ascertained
the principle of evolution in organic life, are scarcely
known upon the Earth, except among the cultivated few ;
while the whole world of Mars is impressed with the ser-
vices they have bestowed, and discuss the great and ever-
lasting effects of their work.

We have found much in the path of science that would
astonish you, and at each discovery the achievement was
applauded and echoed from one side of our planet to the
other. At each one of these advances we feel ourselves
getting nearer to the Deity. A triumph of science with
us is a triumph of religion, and while we go on strength-
ening ourselves, and taking new heart at each step in the
direction of knowledge, a like progress with you only
brings the superstitious framework upon which your
religion is built into decay.

Our religious devotion is essentially buoyant, even joy-



THE MAN FROM MARS. 1 27

ous. The sorrows of life which are not the direct and
indirect results of indiscretions, and violations of natural
laws, we regard as an inheritance and not a punishment,
and we endeavor in all conceivable ways to lighten them
and make them easier to bear. Fcr those in sickness
among us, the hand of love and sympathy is never absent ;
and among the firm and undisturbed convictions of phil-
osophic thought, death is only a regret and never a terror.
Your creeds administer to the final end in all ways to a
point of agony ; they have ingeniously devised a theory
of horrors for it, out of which has been made to come
their chief sustenance and support. The path of life
which they declare as the only one leading into the prom-
ised eternity of bliss, is the tortuous and difl&cult footway
winding like a maze among the shadows of their churches.
Although attentively guided throughout in this pre-
scribed journey of life by your ecclesiastical teachers, and
your entrance and exit made difficult without their help,
yet, by the very nature of their doctrines, they could only
bestow upon you at the last scene of all a torturing
doubt. We have promoted the serenity of death by
removing as far as possible its sorrow. With us, the
individual in his last moments is not overcome with any



128 THE MAN FROM MARS.

sympathetic dread of that approaching suffering for the
wants of life among dependents, which so often couples
the agony of separation with an overwhelming sense of
despair, as your society is constituted. The end comes
placidly to us, in the belief that as we came from the
Deity, so in the last we go back to Him ; that the life
beyond must be a higher life, because the moral sense
grows constantly within us ; and that the region ahead of
us must be a free, open, and hospitable one, with no
agonizing barriers separating families and friends, because,
in the growth of our tenderness and attachment to each
other, we can safely predict the evolution of a better and
happier state.

Prayer, in the sense that it is understood and performed
by you, we regard as mere superstition. It is an outcome
of your lowest stages of mental evolution. It is the
spirit of that willing self-abasement and fear, which pros-
trates the savage before his idol, soliciting aid in his
works of carnage, or immunity from some violated law of
nature, or safety from some convulsion of the air, land or
sea. Carried forward into your civilization, it has become
no less unreasonable. For thousands of years you have
been daily calling on the Deity for favors, not one of



THK MAN FROM MARS. 1 29

which has been granted, except seemingly by a coinci-
dence. The most conclusive tests have failed to convince
the devout among you of the fallacy of prayer, because,
as an institution of your churches, under their theory of
atonement, it furnishes a ready escape to the conscience ;
and for the reason also that it affords to the imagination,
in its striking and novel situations of converse with the
author of worlds, a semblance of that pleasure which the
lowly feel for concessions from the great.

It is quite in keeping with your conceptions of the
Deity that you should grovel and debase yourselves before
Him. The whole tenor of your religious thought has
been made to take on this color of self-degradation,
which, while serving to throw you more completely into
the hands of your theological superiors, is not warranted
by any possible relations with the being you address.
You represent upon the Earth, as we do on our planet,
the very highest form of life. We both are the trium-
phant outcome of a process established by the great
Author infinite ages ago. On us only, among all beings,
has He bestowed the wonderful attributes of thought and
reason, which make us a partpf Himself We are the only
inheritors, by his own beneficial act, of the power to



130 THE MAN FROM MARS.

discover and eujoy his beautiful methods of work, and
those magical transformations of mind and matter which
convert, out of the dead ashes of the past, the blooming
present, with its assuring hope of a fruition to come.

What hint have we, therefore, in all his works, that He
has created us otherwise than as a labor of love, and as
the fullest expression of an evolutionary skill, which
marks all things about us ? By what authority, then, are
you called to bow yourselves in constant self-abasement
before your great Father, who, with parental solicitude,
has thrown open the whole Earth for your household, has
given you the power of domination over all creatures
upon it, and has taught you to make playthings of the
very elements which surround you ? By what authority,
except the unworthy example of your own barbarian
instincts, which demand for place and power a homage,
whose degree of prostration marks, with a singular
exactness, your career all along, from the savage ruler to
the cultivated monarch ?

Outside of the fact that your continuous mendicancy
has accomplished nothing for you, you have an abund-
ance of negative evidence to hint that j^our incessant
supplication, instead of bringing to you favors from the



THE MAN FROM MARS. I3I

Deity, has shadowed upon you in an unmistakable
manner the signs of his displeasure. For as he has
raised you gradually out of the lower forms, and enlarged
your capacities, until in the last he has taken you into
his confidence so far as to teach you the methods of his
work, and to deliver up to you the hitherto pent-up forces
for your convenience and use, yet in the progress of these
concessions it is to be noted as a significant fact, that
your prayers have served rather to obstruct than to
promote them. Indeed, as there is nothing so conclu-
sively the evidence of divine presence and help as
material and intellectual progress, it will be difficult to
show, in the record of terrestrial things, that the suprem-
acy of prayer has not invariably been followed by a
temporary withdrawal of this divine assistance and
support.



132 THE MAN FROM MARS.



CHAPTER VI.

Our veneration for the Deity, which is truer and more
sincere than yours, arises from a widely different concep-
tion, lyooking back upon the ages, and what they
have brought to us, we perceive that each new develop-
ment in matter brings an increase of those qualities
which give us pleasure to behold. Beginning with the
most unattractive shapes, this process of change in
organization and symmetry, by an unalterable law of the
Creator, bring to us out of the ugliness of the past the
beautiful of the present. Since, therefore, we see Him
constantly at work, transforming the ugly into the beau-
tiful, we believe He is pleased with the colors, shapes,
and qualities of things which delight our own cultivated
senses. Acting then on this conviction, we surround
ourselves with the beautiful in nature and art.

The change, in the form of matter, is not more instruc-
tive than the steady modification of intelligence, which,
from its primitive ignorance, superstition, and brutality,
has gradually been raised step by step to its present higher



THE MAN FROM MARS. 1 33

grade of thought and action. We recognize here a fact
most important and significant to us. While the divine
energy is steadily at work, converting lower forms of
matter into higher ones, we are given no part in the
proceeding. It goes on without our assistance, and we
have no power to diminish or accelerate its steady onward
course. It is widely different with intelligence. That is
given into our hands, with all its grand possibilities. In
that, we have evidence of the divine confidence to pro-
mote its advancement in view of the blessings it holds in
store. Taking this view, we have for centuries cultivated
the mind in all directions of knowledge and feeling, as
the chief part of our religion. The motion of the spheres
is not more certainly the work of this great being, than
are these progressive changes in mind and matter.

We believe vice and ugliness to be convertible terms,
the latter a quality due to imperfectly developed matter,
and the first a property of intelligence in the same imper-
fect state ; just as beauty and virtue describe together, or
separately, the same advanced evolution.

But while working in harmony with the Deity, and
assisting in his purposes, we have constantly in view, as
an incentive to action, the consummation or goal to which



134 THK MAN FROM MARS.

all these changes tend. We believe the outcome to be a
spiritual life with all things knowable, and a state of
perfection and happiness beyond our present conception.
Happiness, then, being a religious aspiration, we promote
it in all ways to the innocent and reasonable inclinations
of our present state.

Our religion is consequently more jubilant than solemn.
We have no torments in store in it, nor long drawn
agonies and mortifications of the flesh. Its only business
with death is to smooth its pillow, and to reduce its atten-
dant sorrows to the minimum. To the misfortunes of the
present our religion extends its hand of sympathy and
material help. To what purpose should it introduce and
dwell upon the miseries and sorrows of the past? We
let the dead ages rest. We can find nothing in their
ashes to compare with the living. The present is better
than the past, as the future will be better in exact meas-
ure with the new truths discovered, and the old fallacies
cast aside. You rake among the emanations of an early
and imperfect development for monitors and guides, and
do honor to them for the mysteries they invoke. You
place the withered hand of the mummy into the warm
palm of the living, and your ceremony of introduction



THE MAN PROM MARS. 1 35

is a prayer that the living body may never depart from
the dead form.

The untenable and unsupportable premises upon which
your religions are based will lead to their decay. Nothing
of them will remain to you but their spirituality. Shorn
of their superstitions, and guided by the intellect, the
spiritual part of them will be retained by you as a jewel
repolished and in a new setting.

The orthodox among you are suspicious of the inroads
of science, unaware of the fact that in due time it will
fix upon your belief the conviction of a future spiritual
existence without the shadow of a doubt. When you
will, have arrived at that point, your ways of morality
and progress will be so much increased, that you will
regard your previous advancement as trifling. To some,
your science appears to lend encouragement to materialis-
tic beliefs. This is only your half knowledge. For some
time to come your discoveries will tend in that direction
of thought, but all this will be superseded with a firm
conviction of the existence of the Deity, and your steady
approach to Him. The period of danger to you will
arrive when you will have made the discovery, as we
have centuries ago, of what may be described in your



136 THE MAN FROM MARS.

language as the uuiversal diffusion of intelligence amongst
all matter, inorganic as well as organic.

It may be a startling proposition to announce to you
that the quality which gives you the power of abstract
thought is possessed in a lower degree by, for instance,
the stones which lie beneath your feet ; yet such is the
case, for we have demonstated beyond a doubt that the
chemical forces and affinities are nothing else but low,
restricted, and insensible forms of intelligent action. The
fact is best shown by the building up of organic bodies
in their multiplication of cells. Each cell arranges itself
in place, and makes way to its successor, under an inheri-
ted impulse of action from which it is unable to depart.
What are known among you as natural forces, are merely
forms of unconscious and restricted intelligences, which
have only the power to act in limited directions. They
both build up matter and tear it down for us. They
shape the crystal with mathematical uniformity, and
mark out the form of the plant with unerring precision.
The character of the agency bears no proportion to the
magnitude of its work. These low, unconscious forms
of intelligence, which inspire the plant cell to build up its
fanciful elevations, and the infinitesimal atom to seek after



THE MAN FROM MARS. 137

and embrace its affinity, are precisely the same as that
which directs the sea of worlds upon their swift and
unvarying paths. And yet with all their exactitude and
infinity of scope, they are as much below that indepen-
dent, self-conscious intelligence which guides our
thoughts and actions, as the protoplasm is beneath the
most highly organized and perfect fonn.

Your theology has degraded you with the belief that
you are mendicants, enjoying the favors of life as mere
concessions from an all-powerful and exacting master ;
and that your position in the cosmos bears a close relation
to the insignificance of your material bodies, and your
feeble power in the stupendous energies which surround
you. Your science will elevate you with the knowledge
that you are peers in the great universe, and that your
stature has no comparative measure for its proportions in
the height and breadth of your material world. It will
teach you that by slow degrees, and through millions of
ages, you have become that elimination of the spiritual
out of the vast number of divided intelligences which
have built up and governed your natural world ; that you
are the harvest and the fruition of the innumerable lower



138 THE MAN PROM MARS.

intelligences, which were sown broadcast in the begin-
ning to do their potent work.

In pursuing these matters, your scientists will arrive at
a number of important truths, entirely in opposition to
some of your present apparently established theories. In
your speculations touching the future state, there is a
tendency which I cannot designate by any other name in
5'our language than narrowness. You have come so
recently to realize the immense sizes and distances of the
heavenly bodies, that their comparison with your former
constricted views in that direction has produced a sense
of helplessness in the attempt to fathom these infinite
spaces. But ages of contemplation will serve to broaden
your views, as well as to expand your hopes. Encom-
passing or beside this broad universe we have evidence of
a spiritual region, like the firm land bordering upon
5'our own great ocean, which great body of water to the
lower animal life within it is just as limitless and profound
as the great cosmos is to yourselves.

You have but recently discovered a process of nature,
by whose slow changes, animal life has been altered, and
its species modified and improved. You know that the
atmosphere, which encircled your Earth at the beginning.



THE MAN FROM MARS. 139

was not of a composition to support its present highly
organized respiring life, and that consequently, behind
the ages the only living and moving things upon your
planet were the scant air-consuming creatures, who
inhabited the water. Among the dark and cavernous
depths of your oceans, and the slimy ooze of your rivers
and lakes, were located the cradles, where nature began
moulding the present graceful living and moving forms
which now roam over your solid surface. The Creator's
delicate laboratory, for the beginning of animal life, was
placed among the equable temperatures, and soft walls of
water below the variable and dessicating atmosphere,
which everywhere surmounted it. Yourselves, as well as
all other living and breathing creatures, had your founda-
tions of life laid in the waters of the earth, a fact, of
whose significant reminder is, that nature has continu-
ously provided for the protective presence of water in
your embryo womb growth.

In your germal life, the universe seemed to you nothing
but a vast and unlimited expanse of water. The
submerged earth upon which you lay and rested, with its
murky surroundings, and the expanse of sunless liquid
clouds above you, was the only world and universe you



140 THE MAN FROM MARS.

knew. By what authority of reason or science then do
you conclude, that the stage of evolution, which brought
you out into the glorious sunshine and free air, and
adapted you with the form and comprehension you
possess, is the end ? From the cold, sluggish, and uncon-
scious, to the warm, alert, and intellectual, is no greater
a step of progress, than the coming one, which will make
clear to your understanding the mysteries of life and
nature, so unknowable and unthinkable in your present
immaturity. Out of yotu: next stage of spiritual suprem-
acy, you will look back upon the present, with all its
conditions, so condemned by the contrast of better things
attained, that it will be but little more to you than is now
the repulsive uncanny, and incommunicable habitat of
your beginning.



^ THE MAN FROM MARS. I4I



CHAPTER VII.

The confidential relations between our government and
people have given it a parental character. It has conse-
quently been the study of our legislation for ages past to
assuage, as far as possible, those natural evils which
creep in as the result of unrestricted social forces.
Regarding the whole mass of our inhabitants as a family,
the government could never feel that its duty was faith-
fully performed, while a number of its people were,
relating to the ordinary enjoyments of life, in a state of
suppression from any removable cause. You began your
civilization, just as we began ours, by the crystallization
of society into two classes. Those who at first, by thrift,
acquisitiveness, or strong arms, became possessed of sufii-
cient property to escape the necessity of daily toil for the
sustenance of life ; and those who, by the absence of these
qualities or from other causes, were obliged from day to
day to exercise their muscular and nervous energies for
the benefit of those who found it profitable to use and pay
for them. This condition of society is a natural and just



142 THE MAN FROM MARS.

one, and there is nothing whatever in it to prevent the
largest possible amount of happiness to all. But before
many ages we discovered that the interests of the prop-
erty class and the labor class were not equally equipped to
maintain a fair and equitable relation with each other.
We found that the interests of labor in the many bore no
comparison in its political weight with the great power of
wealth in the few ; and foreseeing that subj ugation in
time, of one by the other, which your experience has
shown, we made wide provision against it.

We acknowledge as the foundation of all material
progress that the honest accumulation of wealth should
be the privilege of all ; and that the rights of property
should be protected, and the enjoyment of it secured to
everyone. Yet with these principles firmly and success-
fully carried out in our goverment, we have for many
centuries, considered it necessary to support and sustain
the interests of the labor class by special legislative
attention. You have pursued a directly opposite course.
From the beginning of your history the privilege of
wealth to hold labor in subjection, and to use it as an
instrument of accumulation, with about the same regard
for its well being as the horse in the collar or the ox


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Online LibraryWilliam SimpsonThe man from Mars; his morals, politics and religion → online text (page 7 of 14)