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The religious views in which we have been once when he was young he believed. In brought up, inevitably colour to the last our short, he does what the weakest of us do, tone of thought on all cognate matters, and what the most illogical do : he believes largely affect the manner and direction of our because he believes. Honour to the philapproach to them, even where every dogma of our early creed has been, if not abandoned, yet osopher who dares to say so! Let those deprived of its dogmatic form, as well as of its scoff at him who will, he shall have no original logical or authoritative basis. Not only scorn from us. We may grieve that he are doctrines often persistently retained, though can proceed no further — that he cannot the old foundations of them have been under- go in at the doors open to us, or see what mined or surrendered - but beliefs that have it hath not entered into the heart of man dwelt long in the mind leave indelible traces to conceive; but for this vindication, even of their residence years after they have been though uttered somewhat against his will, discarded and dislodged. It would be more of pure Faith without foundation or reacorrect to say that they linger with a sort of loving obstinacy in their old abode, long after son, he is to be thanked, almost more they have received formal notice to quit. Their deeply than is another man who feels himchamber is never to the end of time quite self able to speak with fuller certainty and swept and garnished. The mind is never alto a more definite hope. This confession is gether as if they had not been there. When a a triumph of that something above nature, "yes" or "no answer is demanded to a prop- above reason, above all that can be taught osition, for and against which argument and or learned: that something ineffable, inevidence seem equally balanced, the decision is comprehensible in us, which makes us sure to be different in minds, one of which what we are — which cannot be altogether comes new to the question, while the other has held a preconceived opinion, even though on
destroyed by brutality, nor altogether grounds which he now recognizes as erroneous
eliminated by intellect; and which makes or insufficient. It was my lot to inherit from us, on the whole, very indifferent to Mr. Puritan forefathers the strongest impressions Darwin's monkeys, éven could we see as to the great doctrines of religion, at a time them in actual process of development. when the mind is most plastic and most tena-Tails are one thing — but souls are quite cious of such impressions
another thing. The appendage might be “Wax to receive and marble to retain." got rid of; but the other is not to be got And though I recognize, as fully as any man of rid of nor accounted for. And here it science, the hollowness of most of the founda- stands, clear-shining, ineffable, poising on tions on which those impressions were based, angels' wings over the big brain of this and the entire invalidity of the tenure on thinker, as over the smallest brain of any which I then held them, yet I by no means feel
one of us. We trust and hope that there compelled to throw up the possession merely is a great deal more of this kind of faith The existence of a wise and beneficent Crea- present in the world at this doubting and tor, and of a renewed life hereafter, are still to doubtful period, than the Christian critics me beliefs — especially the first — very nearly of the time have any idea of. It is a Faith reaching the solidity of absolute convictions. which has little to say for itself, which The one is almost a Certainty, the other a sol- sometimes may be somewhat ashamed of emn Hope. And it does not seem to me un- itself; but its very shame and its avowed philosophic to allow my contemplation of life, want of absolute foundation are its most or my speculations on the problems it presents, valuable qualities. It is like the testimoto run in the grooves worn in the mind by its antecedent history, so long as no dogmatism is ny of an unwilling witness, of whom honallowed, and no disprovable datum is suffered our and truth demand that he should tell for a moment to intrude.
something which goes against the cause
he favours. The feeling which dictates this plea is Another curious peculiarity of the phias little sceptical as that which makes the losophy of our day is the modesty with firmest believer cling to his creed - nay, which it avows its absolute inability to it is almost, if we may be permitted to answer any of the questions it raises. say so, a more pure and unmixed Faith The very name of Mr. Greg's volume than are those beliefs which are founded shows his full acquiescence in this sentiupon authority, either human or divine ment. To the deeper Enigmas of Life on Revelation itself, the great final au- which he here proposes he offers no anthority in which Christians trust. Mr. swer ; he holds out no hope to us that any Greg rejects the idea of Revelation as a answer can ever be found by intellect or folly ; he smiles at authority in matters thought. It is true that to the less lofty of the mind. He believes — because, as - to those which concern the physical we have said, he cannot help it; because wellbeing and progress of man – he behe had Puritan forefathers - because | lieves in the possibility of a limited and conditional answer, but that only by the | ago raised themselves “to the highest interposition of a philosophical millenni- summit which any nation has yet reached um-a time when all men will do justly - the culminating point of human intelliand love mercy, when sanitary science gence.” To be able to think is surely a shall vanquish disease, when Peace shall greater gift, after all that can be said, have a universal reign, when men shall than to be able to flash a possibly foolish learn in all things how much better and message from one end of the world to the more comfortable it is for themselves to other in twelve minutes. Almost the do well than to do ill, and vice and dys- only way in which we can consider this pepsia shall alike vanish from the face of latter privilege as an unmingled boon, is the earth. We have no disposition to as- either when it works in the service of the sail with harsh criticism this foolishness affections and relieves the anxious, or of wisdom. We remember that another when it is used in the royal work of govphilosopher, more celebrated still than ernment, facilitating the action of a cenMr. Greg, once proposed the same sum- tral authority or summoning aid to a demary and delightful remedy for the woes, pendency in peril ;- yet we all know that not of the world, but of that small part in both these cases the telegraph has of it called Ireland : Let every man but probably done as much harm as good, do his duty ; let all be good, sober, virtu- torturing the absent who cannot be of ous, honest, and peaceable, as it was right any service to a sufferer with all the flucto be, and lo, at once, without beating tuations of his malady, and confusing and about the bush, or search after elaborate stultifying the unhappy State subordinpolitical panaceas, the remedy was found ! ate, who is now never out of reach of an So said Bishop Berkeley a hundred years ignorant chief, nor allowed to act as his ago. An older philosopher still — Fran- superior local knowledge sees fit. We cis, of the town of Assisi, in Umbria cannot see how this merely external held similar yet still wider views. His agency, great as it is, could, even if it had cure for Turk’and Infidel was, not to cru- no défauts de ses qualités, be either an sade against them with armies and chiv- intellectual or moral influence affecting
the simplest thing, which any the minds or wills of men. And certainly poor monk was good for — to convert its existence is no balance whatever to them! In such company Mr. Greg need the confessed non-existence of any not be ashamed to stand; and if he, too, marked and general elevation of intellect dreams of a time when the lion shall lie or wisdom in man. Yet, notwithstanding down with the lamb, and the sucking child all this, Mr. Greg still holds his ideal as lay its hand on the cockatrice den, we realizable. Everything is possible. It is will not attempt to smile down his hope true he grants that we may still go on as as a devout imagination, as, we fear, did we have done for past centuries ; that we venture to breathe a word of the mil. “passion may still be in the ascendant, lennium of the Apocalypse, he would do speaking in a louder tone than either into us. No; that obstinate hope in human terest or duty.” “ It may be so," he says, nature, which is one of the highest symp- and thus proceeds to explain what hope toms of the possibilities in us, is not one is in him of better things : which we can cast any scorn at; but the philosopher's faith in it is yet another
But there are three sets of considerations proof of the endless potency of that prin- which point to a more hopeful issue : the inevciple which he despises scientifically, but itably vast change which cannot fail to ensue which in the blessed inconsistency of hu- when all the countless influences which have
hitherto been working perversely in a wrong man nature hangs by him still.
direction shall turn their combined forces the In the paper called “ Realizable Ideals,” other way; the reciprocally reacting and cumulaMr. Greg sets forth candidly enough the tive operation of each step in the right course; absolute want of foundation for any such and the illimitable generations and ages which hope. Though he makes much more a yet lie before humanity ere the goal be reached. great deal than we should be disposed to Our present condition, no doubt, is discouragmake-of those external signs of prog- ing enough; we have been sailing for centuress which everybody dins into our ears ries on a wrong tack, but we are beginning, - the railway, the telegraph, gas, &c.
though only just beginning, to put about the
helm. he acknowledges that man has reached when the condition of the masses shall receive
What may we not rationally hope for, no corresponding advancement; that that concentrated and urgent attention which neither thinker nor poet has gone beyond has hitherto been directed permanently, if not the range of Plato and Homer ; and that exclusively, to furthering the interests of more the Athenians some two thousand years favoured ranks? What, when charity, which
for centuries has been doing mischief, shall It may sound romantic, at the end of a decade begin to do good? What, when the countless which has witnessed, perhaps, the two most pulpits that, so far back as history can reach, fierce and sanguinary wars in the world's hishave been preaching Catholicism, Anglican tory, to hope that this wretched and clumsy ism, Presbyterianism, Calvinism, Wesleyanism, mode of settling national quarrels will ere long shall set to work to preach Christianity at last? be obsolete; but no one can doubt that the Do we ever even approach to a due estimate commencement of higher estimates of national of the degree in which every stronghold of interests and needs, the growing devastation vice or folly overthrown exposes, weakens, and and slaughter of modern wars, the increased undermines every other; -of the extent to range and power of implements of destruction, which every improvement, social, moral, or which, as they are employable by all combatmaterial, makes every other easier; — of the ants, will grow too tremendous to be employed by countless ways in which physical reforms react any, and the increasing horror with which a on intellectual and ethical progress ?
cultivated age cannot avoid regarding such What a gradual transformation - transform- scenes, are all clear, if feeble and inchoate, ination almost reaching to transfiguration — will dications of a tendency towards this blessed not steal over the aspect of civilized communi consummation. ties, when, by a few generations during which Hygienic science and sense shall have been in Heaven forbid that we should sneer at the ascendant, the restored health of mankind any man for holding so hopeful a view. shall have corrected the morbid exaggeration of Yet of all unlikely things this philosophstincts and passions, less and less exercised ical Utopia seems to us the most unlikely and stimulated for centuries, shall have faded
a thing absolutely without warrant from into comparative quiescence; when the disor. experience, and little justified, so far as we dered constitutions, whether diseased, crimi- can see, by the only agencies which are nal, or defective, which now spread and propa- avowedly at command agencies wholly gate so much moral mischief, shall have been material, affecting our comfort, but neither eliminated; when sounder systems of education touching our minds nor our hearts. shall have prevented the too early awakening We have not time to do more than inof natural desire; when more rational because dicate Mr. Greg's curiously fine and higher and soberer notions of what is needful and desirable in social life, a lower standard of searching argument on the question of expenditure, wiser simplicity in living, shall prayer a question so often and so dishave rendered the gratification of these desires agreeably discussed of late days, with more easy; when little in comparison shall be what seems to us equal ignorance and needed for a happy home, and that little shall bad taste on the sceptical side of the have become generally attainable by frugality, question, and much feebleness on the sobriety, and toil? It surely is not too Utopian Christian. Here once again the fine to fancy that our children, or our grandchil. spiritual sense (if we may use such an exdren at least, may see a civil state in which pression) of which Mr. Greg is incapable wise and effective legislation, backed by ade of divesting himself, comes in, lifting the quate administration, shall have made all violation of law --all habitual crime – obviously, argument out of the vulgar circle in which inevitably, and instantly a losing game, and it has been bandied about from one hand therefore an extinct profession ; when property to another, into a clearer and serener air. shall be respected and not coveted, because Mr. Greg's eyes are too keen and too possessed or attainable by all; when the dis- candid not to see that in this case, as in tribution of wealth shall receive, both from so many others, it is a mere question with the Statesman and the Economist, that sedu- all thinkers which set of difficulties they lous attention which is now concentrated ex- will choose to protect and patronize, – clusively on its acquisition; and when, though those which set forth the impossibility of relative poverty may still remain, actual and disturbing the order of nature by the incompletely eliminated as it has been already in terposition of such an agent as prayer one or two fortunate and limited communities. or those which regard the still deeper imFew, probably, have at all realized how near possibility of believing in a God and not the possibility at least of this consummation appealing to Him. Mr. Greg considers may be. An intellectual and moral change. both sides of the question carefully. He both within moderate and attainable limits declares prayer to be “an inevitable conand the adequate and feasib) education of all sequence and correlative of belief in God,” classes, would bring it about in a single gener
• original and nearly irresistible ination. If our working men were as hardy, stinct.”°“We cannot picture to enduring, and ambitious as the better specimens of the Scotch peasantry, and valued in- selves,” he says, with a force of expresstruction as much, and if they were as frugal, sion which might well be consolatory to managing, and saving as the French peasantry, timid believers, “what our nature would the work would be very near completion.
be without it.” He considers both sides
of the question - and he makes no an- | Mr. Greg condemns; but we do not swer to it. We especially recommend to know where else, except in Isaiah, to find the notice of the reader the few sentences a more terrible or a more powerful picin which he suggests the idea that any ture of a real and spiritual hell : extraordinary or importunate search for human aid, such as those which love and passed, when time and sense have been left be;
When the portals of this world have been wealth make continually, is as much an hind, and this “ body of death” has dropped interference with the rigid sequence of away from the liberated soul, everything which nature as any appeal for divine aid can clouded the perceptions, which dulled the visbe. “If,” he says, “as philosophers have ion, which drugged the conscience while on maintained, we all and always live under earth, will be cleared off like a morning mist. the dominion of settled law; if the pres- We shall see all things as they really are-ourent in all points flows regularly and inex- selves and our sins among the number. No orably from the past ; if all occurrences other punishment, whether retributive or purare linked together in one unfailing chain gatorial
, will be needed. Naked truth, unfilmed of cause and effect, and all are foreseen eyes, will do all that the most righteous venby Him whose foresight is unerring; if have a glimpse of such perceptions while on
geance could desire. Every now and then we indeed they are mere portions of an order earth. I'imes come to us all when the pas. of events of which the motive power has sions, by some casual influence or some sober. been set in action from the beginning, -ing shock, have been wholly lulled to rest, when then® is not aid rendered to us by our all disordered emotions have drunk repose human friends in consequence of our en- “From the cool cisterns of the midnight air." treaties – as an effect of that cause — as and when for a few brief and ineffectual in. much a disturbance of the ordained law stants the temptations which have led us astray, of sequence as if God Himself had direct- the pleasures for which we have bartered away ly aided us, in compliance with our the future, the desires to which we have sacriprayers to Him?" "This will show, ficed our peace, appear to us in all their though Mr. Greg gives no conclusion, wretched folly and miserable meanness. From and evidently feels no certain conclusion tion of what our feelings will be hereafter,
our feelings then we may form a faint imaginapossible in such a question, that he treats when this occasional and imperfect glimpse it in a different spirit, and with a differ shall have become a perpetual flood of light, ent feeling of its gravity and profound irradiating all the darkest places of our earthly interest, from that which has shown itself pathway, piercing through all veils, scattering in many recent arguments — arguments all delusions, burning up all sophistries; when such as discredit science without having the sensual man, all desires and appetites now anything really to do with her - and utterly extinct, shall stand amazed and horrorwhich disgust us by that irreverence for struck at the low promptings to which he once human nature which is even more revolt- yielded himself up in such ignominious slavery, ing to the human spirit than profanity the reflected image of his own animal brutality;
and shall shrink in loathing and shame from towards God.
when the hard, grasping, sordid man, come now The most striking passages in Mr. into a world where wealth can purchase nothing, Greg's volume will, however, be found in where gold has no splen:lour, and luxury no the last of its chapters — the singular meaning, shall be almost unable to comprehend and touching paper called “Elsewhere,” | how he could ever have so valued such unreal in which, by way of showing the mistakes goods; when the malignant, the passionate, of divines ” in setting forth the conven- the cruel man, everything which called forth his tionally religious view
of future rewards vices now swept awry with the former existence, and punishments (drawn, we presume,
shall appear to himself as he appeared to oth: from the vulgarest type of old-fashioned hated him on earth. We shall see, judge, feel
ers upon earth, shall hate himself as others sermons, but probably supposed by Mr. about all things there, perfectly and constantly, Greg to represent the preaching of his as we saw, judged, and felt abɔut them par. own day), he sets forth his own views on tially in our rare better and saner moments this profoundly interesting subject. The her We shall think that we must have been idea of entirely spiritual retribution is not inad, if we did not too well know that we had an original one, and coinmends itself been wilful. Every urgent appetite, every boilmore completely to the mind than any ing passion, every wild ambition, which ob. other conception of final punishment. scured and confused our reason here below, But though the idea is not new, it has will have been burnt away in the valley of the seldom been more powerfully expressed. which we blinded or excused ourselves on
shadow of death; every subtle sophistry with The following picture might probably be earth will have vanished before the clear equalled in the pages of some “ divine glance of a disembodied spirit; nothing will of higher range and older date than those intervene between us and the truth. Stripped
of all the disguising drapery of honeyed words | sins. The pure and holy wife and the frail and false refractions, we shall see ourselves and sinful husband can live together harmoni
shall judge ourselves as ously, and can love fondly here below, because God has always judged us. Our lost or mis- the vast moral gulf between them is mercifully used opportunities; our forfeited birthright; veiled from cither eye. But when the great our glorious possibility — ineffable in its glory; curtain of ignorance and deception shall be our awful actuality — ineffable in its awfulness; withdrawn; "when the secrets of all hearts the nature which God gave us — the nature we shall be made known;" when the piercing light have made ourselves; the destiny for which He of the Spiritual World shall at once and fordesigned us — the destiny to which we have ever disperse those clouds which have hidden doomed ourselves; all these things will grow what we really are from those who have loved and fasten on our thoughts, till the contempla- us, and almost from ourselves; when the trusttion must terminite in madness, were not mad- ing confidence of friendship shall discover ness a mercy belonging to the world of flesh what a serpent has been nourished in its boalone. In the mere superior mental capaci- som; when the yearning mother shall perceive ties, therefore, consequent upon spiritual life, on what a guilty wretch all her boundless and we cannot fail to find all that is needed, or can priceless tenderness has been lavished; when be pictured, to make that life a penal and a the wife shall at length see the husband whom purgatorial one. . : . . But there is yet another she cherished through long years of self-denyretributive pang in wait for the sinful soul, ing and believing love, revealed in his true which belongs to the very nature of that future colours, a wholly alien creature; — what a sudworld; namely, the severance from all those we den, convulsive, inevitable because natural, love, who on earth have trod the narrower and separation between the clean and the unclean better path. The affections do not belong to will then take place! The gulf which has althe virtuous alone: they cling to the sinner ways existed is recognized and felt at last; corthrough all the storms and labyrinths of sin; ruption can no longer assort with incorruption; they are the last fragments of what is good in the lion cannot lie down with the lamb, nor the him that he silences or lays aside or tramples leopard with the kid. One Aash of light has out: they belong, not to the flesh but to the done it all. The merciful delusions which held spirit; and a spiritual existence, even if a suf- friends together upon earth are dispersed, and fering one, will but give them fresh energy and the laws of the mind must take their course tenacity, by terminating all that has been an and divide the evil from the good. But though tagonistic to them here below. Who shall the link is severed, the affection is not thereby describe the yearning love of a disencumbered destroyed. The friend, the husband, the lover, soul! Who can adequately conceive the pas- the son, thus cut adrift by a just and natural sionate tenderness with which it will cling though bitter retribution, love still; nay, they round the objects of its affection in a world love all the more fervently, all the more yearnwhere every other sentiment or thought is one ingly, in that they now discern with unclouded of pain! Yet what can be more certain, be- vision all that bright beauty, all that rich nacause what more in the essential nature of ture of the objects of their tenderness, of things, than that the great revelation of the which their dim eyesight could on earth perLast Day (or that which must attend and beceive only a part. Then will begin a RETRIBUinvolved in the mere entrance into the spiritual Tion indeed, the appropriate anguish, the desstate) will effect a severance of souls -- an in- olate abandonment of which, who can paint, stantaneous gulf of demarcation between the and who will be able to bear! To see those we pure and the impure, the just and the unjust, the love, as we never loved till then, turn from our merciful and the cruel — immeasurably more grasp and our glance of clasping and supplicadeep, essential, and impassable than any which ting fondness with that unconquerable loathing time, or distance, or rank, or antipathy could ef- which virtue must feel towards guilt, and with fect on earth? Here we never see into each oth- which purity must shrink from stain: to see er's souls: characters the most opposite and in those eyes, never turned on us before save in compatible dwell together upon earth, and may gentleness and trust, now giving us one last love each other much, unsuspicious of the utter glance of divine sadness and ineffable farewell; want of fundamental harmony between them. to watch those forms, whose companionship The aspiring and the worldly may have so much cheered and illuminated all the dark places of in common, and may both instinctively conceal our earthly pilgrimage, and once and again had so much, that their inherent and elemental dif- almost redeemed us from the bondage and the ferences may go undiscovered to the grave. The mire of sin, receding, vanishing, melting in the soul that will be saved and the soul that will bright distance, to join a circle where they will be lost may cling round each other here with need us not, to tread a path to which ours bears wild affection, all unconscious of the infinite no parallel and can make no approach; and divergence of their future destiny. The mother THEN to turn inward and downward, and realwill love her son with all the devotion of her ize our lot, and feel our desolation, and reflect nature, in spite or in ignorance of his unwor. that we have earned it; - what has Poetry or thiness; that son may reciprocate his mother's Theology pictured that can compete with a love, and in this only be not unworthy: the Gehenna such as this! blindness which is kindly given us hides so much, and affection covers such a multitude of The spiritual heaven which Mr. Greg