So he ignored Emerson's advice and published the Children of Adam poems in the 1860 edition along with his Calamus cluster; the first cluster celebrated male-female sexual relations, and the second celebrated the love of men for men. The body remained very much Whitman's subject, but it was never separate from the body of the text, and he always set out not just to write about sensual embrace but also to enact the physical embrace of poet and reader. Whitman became a master of , but his sexual politics were always intertwined with his textual politics. Leaves of Grass was not a book that set out to shock the reader so much as to merge with the reader and make him or her more aware of the body each reader inhabited, to convince us that the body and soul were conjoined and inseparable, just as Whitman's ideas were embodied in words that had physical body in the ink and paper that readers held physically in their hands. Ideas, Whitman's poems insist, pass from one person to another not in some ethereal process, but through the bodies of texts, through the muscular operations of tongues and hands and eyes, through the material objects of books.
This was Whitman's first trip to , then considered the literary capital of the nation. Whitman is a major part of the reason that America's literary center moved from Boston to New York in the second half of the nineteenth century, but in 1860 the superior power of Boston was still evident in its influential publishing houses, its important journals (including the new Atlantic Monthly), and its venerable authors (including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whom Whitman met briefly while in town) . And, of course, Boston was the city of Emerson, who came to see Whitman shortly after his arrival in the city in March. In one of the most celebrated meetings of major American writers, the Boston Brahmin and the Yankee rowdy strolled together on the Boston Common, while Emerson tried to convince Whitman to remove from his Boston edition the new Enfans d'Adam cluster of poems (after 1860, Whitman dropped the French version of the name and called the cluster ), works that portrayed the human body more explicitly and in more direct sexual terms than any previous American poems. Whitman argued, as he later recalled, "that the sexual passion in itself, while normal and unperverted, is inherently legitimate, creditable, not necessarily an improper theme for poet." "That," insisted Whitman, "is what I felt in my inmost brain and heart, when I only answer'd Emerson's vehement arguments with silence, under the old elms of Boston Common." Emerson's caution notwithstanding, —the entire body—would be Whitman's theme, and he would not shy away from any part of it, not discriminate or marginalize or form hierarchies of bodily parts any more than he would of the diverse people making up the American nation. His democratic belief in the importance of all the parts of any whole, was central to his vision: the genitals and the arm-pits were as essential to the fullness of identity as the brain and the soul, just as, in a democracy, the poorest and most despised citizens were as important as the rich and famous. This, at any rate, was the theory of radical union and equality that generated Whitman' s work.
The ark had three stories in it, "with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it" (Gen. 6:16). Why are we told this? What difference does it make to God's saints living four thousand years afterwards how many stories the ark had, whether it had one or a dozen? Every devout student of the Word has learned that everything in the Holy Scriptures has some significance and spiritual value. Necessarily so, for word of God is pure. When the Holy Spirit "moved" Moses to write the book of Genesis, He knew that a book was being written which should be read by the Lord's people thousands of years later, therefore, what He caused to be written must have in every instance, something more than a merely local application. " was written aforetime was written for our learning." What then are we to "learn" from the fact that in the ark there were stories, no less and no more?
We have already seen that the ark itself unmistakably foreshadowed the Lord Jesus. Passing through the waters of judgment, being itself submerged by them; grounding on the seventeenth day of the month—as we shall see, the day of our Lord's Resurrection; and affording a shelter to all who were within it, the ark was a very clear type of Christ. Therefore of the ark must speak to us of what we have . Is it not clear then that the ark divided into three stories more than hints as our ? The salvation which we have in Christ a threefold one, and that in a double sense. It is salvation which embraces each part of our threefold constitution, making provision for the redemption of our spirit, and soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23); and further, our salvation is a salvation—we saved from the penalty of sin, saved from the power of sin, we saved from the presence of sin (, 106-07; emphasis in original).
As long as the majority of the populace wishes not to be murdered, we will have laws against murder, whether or not we have the Ten Commandments. (This is not to deny there will always be murderers.) For those of us who believe that investing time and love in our children will somehow contribute to their success and happiness, we will seek to show them love, whether or not the beautiful passage of 1 Corinthians 13 is divinely inspired. (This is not to deny there will always be bad parents.) As long as incest is harmful biologically, society at large will tend to look down on it, just as the other primates tend to do, with or without divine prohibition. (This is not to deny that some will continue to commit incest.)
Ancient and modern interpreters have commonly taken vv 24-27 as designed to convey firm chronological information, which as such can be tested by chronological facts available to us. It may then be vindicated, for instance, by noting that the period from Jeremiah's prophecy (605 B.C.) to that of Cyrus's accession (556) was 49 years and the period from Jeremiah's prophecy to the death of the high priest Onias III (171) was 434 years so that the sum of these periods is 483 years, the final seven years taking events to the rededication of the temple in 164. Or it may be vindicated by noting that according to some computations the period from Nehemiah (445 or 444 B.C.) to Jesus' death at Passover in A.D. 32 or 33 was exactly 483 years, the seventieth seven being postponed. Both these understandings of the seventy sevens may be faulted on the grounds of their arbitrariness. In the case of the first, it is not obvious why two partly concurrent figures should be added together. In the case of the second, it is not obvious why the word about building a restored Jerusalem should be connected with Artaxerxes' commission of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; nor why we should separate off the seventieth seven, as the theory requires; nor why we should date Nehemiah's commission in 444 B.C. or Jesus' crucifixion in A.D. 32—the computation requires one or the other, but the usually preferred dates are 445 and A.D. 30 or 33 ... Further, it is striking that the NT itself does not refer to the seventy sevens in this connection; Luke 1-2 applies v 24 in a quite different way (, 257).
I see Christianity as a square peg and reality a round hole. The square peg doesn't fit in the round hole, so we start whittling and sandpapering the corners, trying to make it fit. The tools we use for whittling and sandpapering are collectively known as "Bible commentary." We find, for example, that the earth is very ancient, not a few thousand years old, that there are biological bases for illnesses like schizophrenia, not merely demon possession, that the Bible had a lot of editing as it was put together and doesn't appear error free. We incorporate these and other items into our Christian worldview, slowly sandpapering the edges and modifying our Christianity. When we finally get our Christianity smoothed down so that it can fit into the round hole of reality, we are relieved—until we realize that what we are looking at is no longer a square peg but a round one, no different from the round peg of Naturalism that fits into reality. Can what we have left of the peg, now completely rounded, still be labeled Christianity? No, it is Naturalism (or at best, Deism). Hence the loss of faith.
I think this process (for me at least) describes what I see as Christians concede first one thing and then another to science. I see this in the publications of —ceding more and more with the passage of time.
Lest any evidence against the gospel come to light on the part of the intellectually minded, Paul locks the exit door by casting aspersions on those who would investigate using human reason. I came to realize that this renders the Christian faith a self-supporting fortress, true by definition, and impervious to any external criticism. This is a very shrewd tactic, whether or not the Christian faith is true, but is especially effective if Paul's claims cannot withstand intellectual scrutiny. Before my deconversion I heard many a sermon based on passages like this:
Osgood attempted to strike a compromise, and Whitman, too, thinking that the changes might involve only ten lines "& half a dozen words or phrases," worked to find a way around the ban. But Whitman's position stiffened once he realized how extensive the changes would have to be. The offending passages appeared in "Song of Myself," "From Pent-Up Aching Rivers," "I Sing the Body Electric," "A Woman Waits for Me," "Spontaneous Me," "Native Moments," "The Dalliance of the Eagles," "By Blue Ontario's Shore," "To a Common Prostitute," "Unfolded Out of the Folds," "The Sleepers," and "Faces." For most poems, particular passages or words were found offensive, but the district attorney insisted that "A Woman Waits for Me" and "To a Common Prostitute" had to be removed altogether. Intriguingly, the "Calamus" section and other poems treating male-male love raised no concern, perhaps because the male-male poems infrequently venture beyond hand-holding and hugging while the male-female poems are frank about copulation. Whitman wrote to Osgood: "The list whole & several is rejected by me, & will not be thought of under any circumstances." Osgood ceased selling Leaves and gave the plates to Whitman, who took them to Philadelphia publisher Rees Welsh. Rees Welsh printed around 6,000 copies of the book, and sales, initially at least, were brisk. Within the Rees Welsh company, David McKay in particular was supportive of Whitman; soon McKay began publishing Whitman through his own firm. The suppression controversy had another benefit as well: it helped restore an important friendship with O'Connor, who came to Whitman's defense once again after a period of estrangement.
Semi-Calvinists who accept eternal security but not predestination or limited atonement might conclude that Christ "bought" these apostates in a general sense, in that he died for the whole world, and that these false prophets never were truly saved. But it becomes trickier to get around Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2. The implication of this passage is that you cannot know whether your belief is efficacious until you take your last breath, having successfully held firm until the end. If you give up your faith before your earthly journey is up, heaven is not your destiny.
which, match as they will,
Are sown into shape, and set down in the bill.
Thus Science distorted, and torn into hits,
Art tortured, and frightened half out of her wits,
In portions and patches, some light and some shady,
Are stitched up together, to make a young lady.
A town mid Britain's isle,
Behold in fancy's eye ;
With tower, and spire, and civic pile,
Beneath a summer sky :
And orchard, garden, field, and park,
And grove, and sunny wall ;
And ranging buildings, light and dark,
As evening shadows fall.
Then listen to the ceaseless din
Of hammer, saw, and crane ;
And traffic passing out and in,
From alley, street, and lane.
The sound, without a pause between,
Of foot, and wheel, and hoof ;
The manufacture's loud machine
From yonder lengthened roof.
And children at their evening sports,
Parading to and fro ;
Assembled in the quiet courts
Of yonder cottage row.
Gay streets display their shining wares
To every roving eye,
As eager in their own affairs,
The busy tribes go by.
And ah !