be avoided; there is no longer a loophole of error in the scheme of social regeneration. All this affords room for satire, but also for sympathy. It may suggest to some a fatal line of defect running through all the plans that have followed one another. To others it will be a proof of a true substance underlying such recurrent and undying faith—an idea that must be real, or it could not be so persistently conceived. For through all the changing presentments of successive theorists, one vision abides. It is of a perfect order, where there is no wasted labour nor clashing toil; a harmony where no man struggles for another man's part, but each fulfils his allotted work; and the outcome of the whole is redistributed again, with an utter absence of jealous greed, to the satisfaction of every member of the redeemed universal family. What wonder is it that the fascination of such a dream can never pall, or that mankind should refuse to believe it cannot be realized? In the face of the savage realities of Ages of Stone, of Brass, and of Iron, we may be forced to surrender the fabled Age of Gold; but the future is still ours, and faith, falsified by experience, lives once more to believe that a more searching and successful analysis of the defects of to-day is itself evidence of the possibility of the new order of to-morrow.
There is nothing new in the underlying hopes of Socialist propagandists. All who share in the inheritance of Christendom trace their history back to a Socialist community, and there never have been wanting attempts to maintain the tradition. And outside the Christian-folds there have been many, possibly borrowing some of their faith from the teaching they renounce, who have developed plans for the reconstruction of society. Some periods have been more prolific of such schemes than others, but the present century has had its full share of them. England, France, Germany, the United States, Russia have had their innovators and their schemes. When I was a boy I heard at times obscurely mentioned Robert Owen and his enterprises, and I was led to believe that a Socialist was a person who held that we were none of us good or bad, as we were all creatures of the circumstances besetting us, and that an equal division of all things was a proper recognition of equal indiierence of moral nature. This seems to have been a parody of Robert Owen's real opinions, which need not now be accurately examined. The Christian Socialists belonged to a later time. Their sphere of influence will not appear to us very considerable from the point of view of to-day, and the most recent critics will perhaps deny that they were Socialists at