Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/237

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have derived it from St. Paul's mention of the Unknown or Agnostic God. The word now suggested is derived from the substitute proposed by St. Paul at the same time. While St. Paul did not advise the Athenians to erect an altar to the metanostic God in place of the altar they had erected to the Agnostic God, he used the word metanoein, and he thereby clearly advocated the practice of what we may properly call metanosticism as the alternative and substitute for agnosticism, in connection with religion and its observances. This he did after expressly declaring the absence of any divine condemnation of their agnosticism, which God is said to have "winked at" or overlooked. The strong and suggestive antithesis made use of by St. Paul has been lost in the translations of the language employed by him on that occasion; but there is no time to enlarge, here and now, upon the fraudulent travesty practiced upon mankind for ages by the Church in translating the original word so used to mean "do penance" and "repent."

I content myself with asking, What would be the consequences of the candid, common, and proper acceptance and use, throughout the civilized world, of such a word to express the central thought of the science, the philosophy, and the religion of our age and of the ages to come, sanctioned by the high priests of each of these departments of thought?

I have only a word to add: Without committing this Association, as its corresponding secretary, or otherwise, or any other person but myself, to the proposition, it is my purpose to submit the question of the adoption of the words meta-gnostic and metagnosticism, or metanostic and metanosticism, as affirmative substitutes for the words agnostic or agnosticism, to Mr. Spencer and Mr. Huxley, in the hope that, as leaders in modern agnostic thought, they will see their way clear to their adoption, and thereby supply a link to unite science, philosophy, and a true Christian religion in behalf of humanity and future ages.

And when their replies are received—if so be—they will be communicated to this Association for its further consideration, and possibly for its co-operative action.


64 Avenue Road, Regent's Park, London, N. W., December 22, 1889.

My Dear Sir: I have to thank you for the volume of Evolution lectures, which I received recently. I presumed that they would eventually be bound together, and that you would kindly send me a copy. This, of course, I shall like to keep.

Will you excuse me if I do not go into the matters raised by your late letters? I have been made so ill by over-excitement that until Wednesday last I had not been out for more than a