« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
is here substituted for authority, is love. For if any one should think within himself, How can I obtain that internal acknowledgment of truth which constitutes true faith, what must be the reply? “ Shun evils as sins, and apply to the Lord, and you will receive as much of that faith as you desire.” For evils are the only obstacle to our entering into union with the Lord ; and when they are shunned because to commit them would be a sin against Him, we are in the Lord and the Lord is in us. And it is the Lord in us, as we have seen,
produces the power or faculty of spiritual faith. In His light do we thus see light. In reality, then, spiritual faith is the delicate perception of love whether anything is true. As, for instance, in the illustration given above, a moment's reflection serves to show us that the cause of our rejecting the false description of the Lord and of our receiving the true one is our love for Him. It is only because we love Him as the dearest object of our best affections that we possess the insight which enables us to know a false from a true account of His nature. Without that love, therefore, we should also be without the faculty of spiritual faith in this instance, and should be just as ready to affirm the false doctrine as the true unless we had some other guide, such as an authority on which we relied. Now as we are all at first devoid of spiritual love, it follows that we must all be led by authority at first, such as the parental authority, then the authority of our teachers and ministers, then that of the Word and of the New Church writings. By this means we are brought into natural faith, and become like Thomas, being indeed disciples of the Lord, but the lowest of them. But the advance of the regenerate life soon brings about the dawning of new spiritual powers. · The light of spiritual faith breaks gradually upon the understanding, that internal acknowledgment of truth begins to be felt, and we then know that the truth is the truth, not because anybody has given the weight of his authority to it, but because
As this new state increases in the spiritual mind, it becomes painful to us to hear the truth propped up by any appeal to authority.
Every good man therefore has to some extent the capacity to know truth from error intuitively. So that even if in his youth he had from education put reliance upon a false authority, he does not remain under its influence for ever, but by a good life receives from the Lord that delicate perception which enables him to reject falsity as a nauseous thing.
What a glorious faculty, then, is the spiritual rational principle in
it is TRUE.
man! Truly are we made in the image and likeness of God. And although we cannot in this world approach or even conceive the sublime intelligence of the angelic state, yet even here, when we read the Divine Word from an affection of good, how full an ocean of light, bright, shining, glorious, and clear, is poured by the Lord into our souls! At such times the inspired language of the poet puts on a meaning that is unknown to others :
“Hail, Holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born,
May I express Thee unblamed.” And we mentally say to ourselves, “ Blessed indeed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed."1
WORK AND TRUST.
We cannot too carefully study or too carefully mark the distinction between what is within, and what is beyond the reach of our attainment. Life is too short, and its issues are too momentous, to admit of its being spent in impracticable wishes or unavailing regrets. “ Thus far shalt thou go, and no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed," is a law which limits the scope of the ever active powers of the mind, as certainly as it does the ever restless billows of the ocean. In limiting the scope of our powers, and the field of their exertions, the benevolence of Providence is as conspicuous as its wisdom. In reserving to himself a territory which outlies the bounds of human (exertion and even of human knowledge, the Divine Being has taken upon Himself what would only have been an intolerable burden to His creatures. By reserving to Himself a domain in the concerns of human life, He has taken away from it all cause for anxiety, and established an order of things which admits of the union of unreserved trust with watchful care and earnest exertion. He has given us the present; the future He has reserved entirely to Himself. To us He has given hope ; certainty He has reserved to Himself. Certainty would paralyze all the powers of the mind, hope preserves them in perpetual buoyancy. “ Take no thought for the morrow,” is therefore one of the laws which divine wisdom has prescribed for our direction. This law does not
1 The reader who may desire to compare the ideas contained in the foregoing paper with the statements of Swedenborg, may be referred to A. C. 8078; C. L. 295 ; Doct. of Faith, 10-12.
condemn forethought or provision for the future. These are not sins but virtues. But it condemns anxious care, which is the meaning of " thought” in the divine exhortation, for such thought implies distrust in Providence, and the absence of true peace of mind. The religious man should be as industrious, careful, and calculating as the nian of the world, but he should be guided by principles of justice and mercy in his dealings, and, knowing that Providence has eternal ends in view, should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, knowing that all things necessary for his life shall be added unto him.
PROFESSOR HUXLEY.1 [This article appeared in The Nation, and is understood to have been written
by Dr. Burt Wilder, of Cornell University, a New Churchman.] In this little volume are reviews by a merciless critic, essays by a most effective teacher, and “lay sermons” by a preacher who at least believes to the full the doctrines which he promulgates. All of these papers have appeared in England, and several of them are familiar to American readers; their collection and republication is warranted in part by the general interest in protoplasm, the origin of species, and education, and in part by a wish to ascertain upon what grounds their author has of late years received some very hard names.
Prof. Huxley is under fifty years of age, and in the fullest possession of mental and physical powers, which have carried him by rapid strides, and within two decades, to the front rank of British men of science. Twice President of the Geological Society, for many years Professor of Natural History in the Royal School of Mines, and of Comparative Anatomy in the Royal College of Surgeons, and this year (1870) presiding at the Liverpool meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, he has had ample opportunity for the official promulgation of his views ; he is, moreover, one of the few English savants who are ready to address mixed audiences; and he has on several occasions given familiar discourses on scientific subjects before working men. He has a wonderful power of illustrating
difficult matters by means of everyday objects and occurrences, and his comparisons, especially when aimed at opposing theories, are so apt as to make us wish the present volume had an index, if only as a guide to such intellectual tidbits. His style is very clear and compact, both his words and his sentences being remarkable for brevity, and as a lecturer he is surpassed in impressiveness only perhaps by Agassiz, whom, however, he does not at all resemble.
The first six papers, occupying one-third of the present volume, treat of the aims, the subjects, and the methods of education. Prof. Huxley
'Lay Sermons, Essays, and Reviews. By Thomas Henry Huxley, LL.D., F.R.S."
claims the privileges of education for all races and for both sexes; but he is not yet convinced that the blacks are the intellectual equals of the whites; neither is he sure that women are by nature destined to cope with men in all their pursuits, fearing that was long as potential motherhood is woman's lot, she will be fearfully weighed in the race for life ;” but he insists that in both cases injustice be not added to inequality” by slavery, or by the denial to women of any opportunities for education. In his view, education has two great purposes, physical and moral. First, to increase knowledge for its practical benefits. Second, to develop the love of right and the hatred of wrong (p. 69). Life is a game of chess which every man must play, yet for which we were ill prepared ourselves ; and for which we fail to prepare our children by teaching them the pieces, the moves, and the consequences of defeat (p. 31). He refers to the great fire and the plague of two centuries ago as matters of neither chance nor arbitrary Providence, but as inevitable results of ignorance; and he regards the lack of natural knowledge as the cause of all crime and suffering (pp. 2 and 39).
“To read, to write, and to cipher are simply tools, the means by which real wisdom is to be gained, by which the youth is to learn the fundamental laws which govern the course of things, so that he may not be turned out into the world naked, defenceless, and a prey to the events he night control;" for "ignorance is visited as sharply as wilful disobedience—incapacity meets with the same punishment as crime. Nature's discipline is not even a word and a blow, and the blow first; but the blow without the word. It is left to you to find out why your ears are boxed. A liberal education is one which has not only prepared a man to escape the great evils of disobedience to natural laws, but has trained him to appreciate and seize upon the rewards which nature scatters with as free a hand as her penalties” (p. 34). The “stones of education” which, at a cost of ten thousand pounds of money and a dozen of his best years, the British father offers to his son for intellectual food, are too well described as almost exactly
equivalent to what the son of a well-to-do Roman citizen would have received fifteen hundred years ago” (p. 117). And what is the result ? The youth has a general impression that “everything of importance happened a very long while ago." "He has found Parnassus so steep
“ that if he ever gets to the top, he recalls his journey with terror. He has read fables more or less absurd, and not always decent, which leave an impression upon his mind that those who wrote them were idiots. He has no ideas of the colony in which he may settle ; no notion of the laws of commerce ; no knowledge of the processes of manufacture; no conception of political economy, excepting as regards the ancients; no source of truth but authority ; and, finally, no science, excepting as a slang synonym for the manly art of self-defence.”
But while speaking thus strongly of an exclusively classical training, Prof. Huxley simply means that, to make it the backbone of modern education, is as unnatural as to require every youth to master the science of palæontology or homology; in which, by the way, he engages
to get up an "osteological primer so pedantic in its terminology and so distasteful to the youthful mind as to beat the recent famous production of the headmasters out of the field” (p. 44). According to Herbert Spencer, the question of true education is no more involved in the relative merits of mathematics and the classics, than the whole question of dietetics hangs upon a decision whether bread is more nutritive than potatoes; and Huxley objects to the former as based essentially upon books and authority, and as being already so perfect as to leave the student little opportunity for extending their domain by original research. He further compares mathematical science to a "mill of exquisite workmanship, which grinds you stuff of any degree of fineness ; but, nevertheless, what you get out depends upon what you put in; and as the grandest mill in the world will not extract wheat flour from peascods, so pages of formulæ will not get a definite result out of loose data” (p. 249).
And so, while fully admitting the importance of mathematical studies for those who will make some practical use of them, for all others the work done in them with a vague idea of mental discipline is as useless and exhausting as was that of the man who ran a mile in order to prepare himself for leaping a mountain. But Prof. Huxley energetically protests against the common division of science into exact and inexact; and, allowing for their greater scope, he insists that natural history sciences are pursued upon the very same methods which are employed in physics or the higher mathematics. These methods involve four logical processes: 1. Observation and experiment. 2. Comparison and classification. 3. Deduction. 4. Verification (p. 83). And they have the further and great advantage of being acceptable to the young, and dealing with the objects of the senses.
It will be remarked that Prof. Huxley gives only two purposes of education, of which one is purely material, the other purely moral and he wholly omits what most persons, who believe in a soul in the human form, in a future life, in a personal God, would regard as a third and still higher object of education—to gain some idea of our own spiritual constitution, and the character and purposes of the Creator in whose image we are made. This omission is rendered significant by passages like the following: “There but one kind of knowledge, and but one method of acquiring it” (p. 19); “ natural knowledge can alone satisfy spiritual cravings" (p. 11); “religion has risen, like other kinds of knowledge, out of the interaction of man's mind with that which is not man's mind” (p. 16); “the only medicine for suffering, crime, and all the other woes of mankind, is wisdom ” (p. 39). And further, in respect to science, he says: “Science and philosophy are neither christian nor unchristian, but extra-christian” (p. 341);"“
we can have no knowledge of the nature of either matter or spirit” (p. 144); " fact I know and law I know; and matter and law have devoured spirit and spontaneity" (p. 142); "it is a philosophical impossibility to demonstrate that any given phenomenon is not the effect of a material cause” (p. 142); “the final object of physio