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May 20, 1923 - Image 4

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An Atheist's Conversion
"THE LIFE OF CHRIST," by Gloran- EDGAR H. AILES the circumstances of his metamor-
ni Papll. Harcourt, Brace and Co ira
$3.50. Translated from the Italian o -3 arc highly significant. I he-
by Derothy (anfield Fisher, 'that he died of syphilis. Such is the clgical hysteria and lack restraint. levc the tremendous appeal the boo:
Cencisseurs of mder:, European loving Christianity of him who so rc- ,Eitini fo:' this eferveccent Italian has made rests more upon its sensa-
literature have long toioaed iviti in- Ctntly tock u the cross! Like H. G. iust always be conveyed in the most tz-'cai aspect of a regenerated atthe-
terest the nihilistic vagaries of Giov- oellsrnou'icing the dom oOf Caes- passionate r:eloly, while the Lig er ist's confession than upon its worth .s
anni Papini whose recently traeslated _ars "'mority", Papini appraises ev- the note, the longer it is sustained, literature. Judicial students of the
"Storia di Cristo" has created such a cry man in the light of his own twen- iand the core floridly it is enmbe lliedbok will also discount it because it
furore the world over. Until the last tieth century interprotation of the the more truly successful lte imagines ca into being during one of the
days of the War, Papini was, in his Scripture. himself. Jeus says simply. speaing im icii-trying wars in all history.
own words, "the scoundrel of liter- It is manifestly futile to argue with of theft and adultery, "These are the I vould be inevitable, I suppose,
ture, the blackguard of journahists such a man. Reason has always been thingi that lefileth a man; but tc eat that in painting such a vast canvas,
the Barabbas of art, the thu of phil' coipelled to make peace with the wi h unwahen hands defleth not :Papini should escape complete failure
osophy, the bully of oliticus, the mystical element in religion and those isn." The coinlexity of this thought and such is the case this time. Al-
Apache of culture." luIcre specifically, who have denied the hypstatic union is exianed by Papini in the following though for the most part, his mod-
e was an Italian atheistic !eir. eAa have sought no quarrel with those whc decidedly reminiscent of the Rev. Wil- enized treatment is abominably dif-
ken with all that gentleman's genius affirmed it. Religion, being purely vo- uam Sunday: "The sewer-cleaner, if fuse, there are several chapters of
for sandbag vituperation and vastly litional, cannot be debated. One can- he thinks no evil is cectianly cleaner genuine power. Of such a quality is
more than tr. Mencken's claim to i- not. however, dismiss Papini's work than the rich man who, while splash- that which describes the resuscitation
tellectua distincton. A protege of because of its anti-rationalistic char- ing in the perfumed water of his mar- c Lazarus. Here there is a marked
setua r dis prege acter. We would never allow a Span- ble hath tub, is meditating some new absence of bravura eloquence with a
tdergaso, a rier and dicil ofe ri tard to attach 'Die Ateistersinger" he- fornicaticn or fraud." coresponiding gain in heauty. The
more futuristic magazines and the cause its score sad no castanets. So Papini's brik may be regarded as scenes peceding the crucifixion, in the
author of innumerable novels, draias 'apini's work mast be assayed with symbohzing the rcrudescence of garden of Gethsemane and before Pi-
and essays, Papii has not withoit a regard to its avowed intent. Even mysticism which has swept over Eur- late bear witness to the narrative
justification been hailed as Italy' on this score,, I think the book a me- ope since the War and not improbably power of the author, so much of
foremost contemporary man of letters. diocre one; for Papini's style is that because of the War. Surely there is which is lost through his sensational
c a field preacher- and his faith is nothing new in the phenomenon of methods. If only Papini could be
His aden conversion front the ex- not the tranquil faith of Jesus, but reversion to an established faith after made to perceive the fact, this direct
reme of asoue denial tcnthe other the unreasoning faith of rabbit's foot years o intellectual turbulence and and highly effective presentation of
extreme of unualified acceptance ofy amulets and asafoetida phylacteries. doubt. Deathbed regeneration is asJesus is vastly more convincing than
Christ's teachings, has naturally at-
tracted universal attention. If not so Although he extolls at length (he aid as the Christian religion. Although his flights of imagination.
melodramatic as the conversion of does everything at length) the "can- Papfn' is still . relatively young man, (Continued on Page Seven)
Saul on the road to Damascus, Pap- did sobriety" of the Gospels, it is pain-
in's cuse certainly has much in com- fully evident that his Latin tempera--
men with those of Paul Verlaine ment cannot endure their austere
IH ysnians, Tolstoy and Dostoyevskl brevity, His method is to uot hoian NTELLIGENT AND INTERESTED
Indeed, Papini attributes his Cabioli- sage and then follows with a homi-. IN)TEL I E T A D I T R S E
cizaticn largely to having read the letic disquisition or a rhetorical rhap
works of these two great Russians. sody brimming with far-fetched im-
Under their influence he commenced ages and excoriation of all who have
the study of the Gospels and in 1920 dared to question its literal accuracy. Your bank should be sound accurate and
was received into the Catholic church So great indeed is his loquacity that,
His present conviction which has in' although he has employed few ma- fficielt. But that is not enough. Banking
spired this brilliant book is that "the terials save those of Matthew, Mark,
sole 'solution of the evils of the world Luke and 'John, he has inflated them t to beof the moSt use to yoa ShOuld
lies in the transformation of souls, into a volume of 410 pages, most of b,"also itellientand interested.
that this cannot be brought about ex- it full of sound and fury, signifying
cept by religion and that the most nothing."
perfect and suitable is that taught No reader, however much he values That is what this bank tries to be.
by Christ" - the intellect, could reasonably ask
Pa leavesh no doubtsbutthat he one of unfaltering faith and evident
has swallowed no oustbs h at .sincerity to be coldly critical in his FARMERS & MECHANICS BANK
has k as ne t osls hso, bait, treatment of such a subject. The
line and sinke, not only the synoptic! fault with Papini's book lies, not in 1115S.M I 3 o TT T
bcoks, but also the Gospel according its insistence upon the identity of 101-105 So. MAIN 330 So. STATE S.
to St. John, The rationalistic ale- Christ and God, but in its almost path-
bent lie has dtscarded enutirely anti
the theological element has been re-
duced to c minimum. The orthodox
Roman Catholic tenets he professes
to believe utterly. Nor does he per-
mit his readers any latitude in belief-
"either complete and rigorous athe-
ism or active faith in the Christ wh so
saves and resurrect us by His love." A N N O U N C I
"He who accepts the Gospels," con-
tinues Papini, "must accept them
wholly, entire, syllable by syllable-
or else reject them from first to last
and say, 'We know nothing."' His at-
situde, in sh -t, i, tha' of Rouseaim'
"I feel it, I believe that I mldr it,op e t i t st it, I desire it, I
hope it and I will defend it with my a
last breath."
Those who have admired the Judi- theNewFalland X inter
clal temper of the "lives" by Strauss
and Renan will be amazed at th o ug-
matic assurance and bigotry which
pervade the book of this erstwhile VAN HEUSEN
apostate. For its lack of higher criti-
cism, Papini offers no aplogy. In-
deed, he glories in its absence. lie
proclaims without hesitation that ifAnadaptationofanexclus a caval f ficer in pa
faith and reason conflict, reason tostAna a tto of nex us asac v ly fier npa
necessarilye wrong, All attempts ive English model to the rade uniform, but in use, it
to explain Jesus on natural grounds needs of the American man stands at ease all the day
are bitterly condemned, while the
scholars who have addressed them- Who cares about style and long.
selves to the problem, are fiercely dis- Buy our collars of a resatablerein-
missed as presumptuous donkeys er. e won t of6r you a substitute
mistaking libraries for their stables swhen you ask for a VAN HEUSEN. Hi-
top-heavy brains pretending to ex- In appearance it's as smart knows there isn't any.
plore the highest heavens in philoso-
phy's drifting balloon, professors pois - _
oned by the fatal strong drink of phil-g b ,fet
ology and metapyisics'" Papni's N tr11f ~RU ~ SWt,
Christian wrath descends upon Socra-
tes because he "sought to reform the IWi11 NotWrinie Saw-esYour Sirts Saves Youres
art of thinking rather than the art

of living" and because he failed to re -
strict his amorous pursuits to Xan-
tippe. Aristotle, it appears, is per-
petually damned because, in the Ni-
comachean Ethics, he declared that, 3U
"Not to resent offenses is the mark of ruesAhT J
a base and slavish man," an idea [
which the passage of two thousand t WC '' . iA
years seems not to have weakenede, o S r C
appreciably. Seneca is indicated as a
"Pharisee," and Voltaire, "vermin" PHILLIPS-JONES CORPORATION, Makers, 1225 Broadway, New York
while Nietzsche's philosophy is an-
nihilated at one blow by charging

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