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Paul, — the " self-evolving powers" of a blind, improvident, unpitying nature, or the unfolding plan of an All- foreseeing Deity. The later gift does not destroy or displace, though it transfigures and elevates what goes before.
How different the capacity of grief, which mea- sures that of love, in an ordinary child of five, from what it is in his brother or sister three or four times the age! Strength pioneer to love, love culminating in wisdom — such therefore the sequence alike in the animal series and in the individual human life. What if this also be the key to the " biography" of n Compare the procession of types in the foetal brain. The cerebral period, if we may ven- ture so to designate that commencing approximately a.
Its achieve- ment has been the apocalypse of the universe. The pre-Christian period, again, was the childhood of our race.
Palestine, had as yet entered prevailingly into the temper and doings of mankind. Force unleavened by love is the complexion of histoiy, till the Son of God appears to change it. If so, it is plain that Christian religion, in the historical evolution of humanity, is the analogue and equivalent of the mammalian bond in nature. Those accepting the analogy, and weighing what it imports, will perhaps cease to doubt whence comes this barjtism, custom essay writing help from heaven or of men. Thus much at least is certain, that man is the ripe result, and flower, of an immensely ancient terrestrial time. To the impression so often generated by the survey of sidereal space must be opposed the correc- tive ministered by the quasi-infinitude of past dura- tion.
He who built the heavens on such a scale as seemed to preclude the expenditure, even by the Almighty, of minute solicitude on the earth, has gar- nished it throughout the ages with such profusion of living forms as seemed to leave no time, even to the Eternal, for the plenishing and embellishing of the custom essay writing help heavens. The buried strata have their burden of meaning as well as the rolling worlds. What is there in a million cen- turies of animal warfare, were all the universe its stage, to take rank in the regards of God with the struggles of His intellectual offspring towards light, towards goodness, towards Himself? Is there no high authentic instinct which whispers to the heart that He with whom we have to do turns willingly away from the shining of His suns and the singing of His morn- ing stars for joy, to listen with a far diviner interest to the prayer of the humble and the cry of the con- trite?
However wide His universe, and its varied being, He who made us flesh, be we well assured, is in no danger of forgetting that He made us spirit. Modern scepticism indeed advances, minatory and menacing, poising in one hand what seems the spear of Ithuriel, and brandishing in the other the hammer of Thor. But the proof of the encounter tells how egregiously she has over- vaunted alike her de- tective faculty and her destructive strength. So far as England and the middle of the century are concerned, Mr.
Eriends and foes, though with dif- ferent motives, have alike contrasted the fragmentary and cursory character of their volume with the im- mensity and unexpectedness of the outcry it has oc- casioned. The straw that is cast up by the stream may well be nothing, yet not so the current of religious feeling which it indicates. The book itself, it is true, deals thoroughly with no one subject, puts forward little that custom essay writing help is new or original, was written with no idea of producing a panic or a revolution, simply stirs up with an assumption of intellectual and moral supe- riority almost every possible topic of current scepti- cism, while dealing seriously with no one in the list.
But the crisis of religious thought to which it belongs is of far graver import. And the publication of it will head a notable chapter in any future history of the Tendencies of Eeligious Thought in England. And little hills close to us, no doubt, custom essay writing help may easily be made to look like mountains if viewed through the requisite kind of atmosphere.
And one has great faith in the mere inertia of religious belief : and still more in the present revived earnestness and life, spiritual and intellectual both, in the Church : and above all, faith in Him who has preserved us hitherto through worse perils. Yet the evil, which the Essayists themselves profess (no doubt honestly) to remedy while they really increase it, is no imaginary one.
Infidelity is assailing us afresh, and with a power and under circumstances sufficiently new to invest its assault with a character of special danger.
It is no longer the coarse and shallow and unsatisfying infidelity of last century. It appeals, on the contrary, to the deepest and highest faculties in human nature, and it is equipped for the conflict with an array of profound and extensive historical and philological criticism. It claims, more than ever, to speak in the interests of knowledge, mo- rality, and truth, against a theology irreconcileable with them. As the revival of literature in the sixteenth century produced the Eeformation, so the growth of the critical spirit, and the change that has come over mental science, and the mere increase of knowledge of all kinds, threaten now a revolution less external but not less profound. And though the Church, in this land at least, is in a position that is strength itself com- CAUSES OF DANGER. Then it was the Church such as it had grown to be without the Bible. Now it is too much the Bible such as men have made of it for themselves without the Church. Then an external and authoritative dogmatism had sought to crush all minds into unquestioning submission. Now Ave have the op- posite excess of a system of subjective intuitions, and of an individualizing and sentimental faith. It is, at any rate, a time when religious questions are being sifted with an apparatus of knowledge, and with faculties and a temper of mind, seldom, if ever, before brought to bear upon them. Be the crisis however great or small, and whatever share in any recasting of the religious thought of the age, for good or for evil, the " Essays and Ee views" as a whole may be destined to take, the particular Essay, at any rate, to which the present paper relates, must in fairness be exonerated from any intentional partici- pation in the furtherance of scepticism.
And had it occurred alone, the literary- world would have welcomed in it a proof that its writer had not deserted those studies which once pro- mised at his hands a really great and enduring work, — a work of which it may be boldly said that it should have taken rank on its special subject with the larger labours of a Hallam.