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[268] bought and paid for. There is a class of men who go and look up to him, conceiving that he tells them all he thinks, and for a while they live contented. But in fact, the master-hand of that wealth which commands the town, as much decides the quality of the preaching on Sundays as he does the fineness of the cloth made weekdays. It is merely the jugglery of wealth; merely the reflection of that same unlimited power that now, through all the avocations of life, seem so to control us. You know this as well as I do.

Now, that sort of pulpit ought not to have any influence. It needs an apology. The lyceum is Jesus of Nazareth casting out its devil; and it is natural that such a preacher should say to the lyceum lecturer, “Why dost thou torment me before my time?” To the dead body, you know, the first movement of blood and the first element of returning life is exquisite pain; so to the mind dwarfed and fettered by such a pulpit, the first entering of a thought endeavoring, with magnetic and electric circles, to new-arrange society, is exquisite pain. It ought to be.

There is a class of women which is a fair gauge of the influence of this sort of pulpit. Shut out as women are from politics, and absorbed as this particular class is in petty cares during the week, the pulpit is all their literature. Notice how narrow and timid is their range of thought, how borrowed are all their ideas, how real their dread of some sect or person to whom or to which the pastor has given a bad name, how unaffected their anxiety when some man of the family breaks out into daring difference with the minister! In fact, their minds are a blurred photograph of the dwarfed, fossil, shrunken, and stunted creed the priest has substituted for the brain God gave him.

The quiet disdain with which practical men receive

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