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and would be denied by the overwhelming majority
of mankind; and the general concept of humanity em-
ployed in the current phrases about Progress is fairly
open to severe criticism ... .4

The progressive races are a small minority of the human
tribes peopling the globe; and what we generally
mean when we speak of Progress is European civili-
zation ....... 5

Wherein does this Progress consist? Two thousand years ago Sophocles struck the true note of it in the noble choric song which celebrates the might, the wondrousness, the cleverness of man . . 7

The item of it which most strikes the imagination is the

marvellous advance of the physical sciences . . 7

In this sphere our Progress is absolute. But, more, the spirit in which the physicist works has vastly contributed to our advance in other provinces of the human intellect . . . . .9

In historical science, for example . . . .10

In linguistic science . . . . .11

And in the new science of religion which has sprung from

the science of language . . . .11

But great as is our gain, direct and indirect, from the Progress of the physical sciences, there are drawbacks to it . . . . .12

Among them must we reckon the new dogmatism of physicists, who, committing the fault which they impute to theologians, seek to draw within their jurisdiction provinces of the human intellect with which physical science, as such, has no concern . 13 SUMMARY. ix


Philology, for example . . . . .13

And history. . . . . . .14

But the physical sciences themselves supply abundant evidence against the exclusive claims made, under the name of Progress, for their methods. The very mental processes without which they could not advance a step, start from the direct and intuitive perception of necessary and universal truths . . 16

More than this, they also furnish us with a refutation of the dogma that they yield the only explanation of the universe to which we may attain . . 20

And, as a matter of fact, the writings of the most eminent masters of physics supply evidence how futile is their attempt to rest in Naturalism; how irresistible their need of "an ampler ether, a diviner air," than the phenomenal . . . .22

Bnt these high thoughts are the prerogative of the profounder intellects among the masters and students of physics. It is unquestionable that one result of the stupendous advance of the natural sciences, in our own day, has been to diffuse a vulgar and debased Materialism. The popular notion of Progress is certainly utilitarian, holding it to consist in the enhancement and more general distribution of "happiness" ...... 25

"Happiness" is generally taken in the sense of "agreeable feeling." But it is, to say the least, doubtful whether there is more agreeable feeling in progressive countries now than there was at previous periods . . . . . .26


And if, taking "happiness " in its higher sense, we understand by it a psychical state arising from the equilibrium of the individual with his proper end, assuredly physical science is not its instrument . 30

It is, indeed, a condition of civilization that the people of a country should be able, with moderate toil, to procure what is necessary for comely living. Bnt these necessaries have not an absolute value: they are a means, not an end . . . .30

The true subject of human Progress is man himself, and

its real factors are ethical qualities . . .30

And a society in which moral Progress does not keep pace with intellectual and material Progress, is doomed to decadence . . . . . .30

Illustrations of this truth from the past history of the

world ....... 31

When we consider the fato of earlier civilizations, it is not unreasonable to inquire whether wo may not expect that our Progress also will be succeeded by retrogression . . . . . .34

Unquestionably there is much in the present condition of

society which recalls the condition of decadent Rome 34

But we have a principle of recovery, which was lacking to

antique society, in the loftier morality of Christianity 37

The immense rise in the moral level of the Western world during the Christian era is unquestionable. As unquestionable is it that this is mainly duo to Christianity . . . . . . .38

Here is our highest and most important Progress: our

immeasurable pain over former civilizations , . 38 SUMMARY. Xi


Christianity is not, indeed, as is sometimes said, coextensive with moral civilization. But the most precious elements of our ethical life are mainly derived from it, and are closely bound up with it .38

The Christian temper is a striking fact in the European world: and is often conspicuously exhibited by those who do not call themselves Christians . . 39

Christianity is still the controlling ethical influence of

modem society: it is the Palladium of our Progress . 40

It has been said that "the essential doctrines of Christianity are the necessary and eternal truths of reason." But the ethical principles most distinctive of the modern world hold rather of evangelical sanctity than of natural virtue . . . . .41

No doubt morality is, in itself, independent of religion. But, as a matter of fact, only religion can graft it into the character and institutions of a people: and without religion, perish and die it must . . .43

The Divine Founder of Christianity testified of Himself "I am the Light of the World." It is that light which shining into the mysterious recesses of man's nature, and revealing him to himself, has been the great source of human emancipation . . .44

His words " are spirit and they are life ": the spirit and the life of the loftiest feelings hitherto vouchsafed to humanity. Who can believe that they shall pass away? . . . • . . .47

But in the sphere of religion, as elsewhere, the doctrine of Progress applies. Here, too, "perpetual selfadaptation to environment is the very law of life" . 4? CHAPTER II.



The greatest advance of the modern world, then, over antiquity is in the procuress of man himself, through his apprehension of the transcendent worth of human personality . . . . .49

And an essential note of personality is Liberty . . 60

This truth, dimly apprehended by the popular mind, finds expression in the excellent things very generally spoken of Liberty, which has become a Shibboleth most effective upon the popular imagination . . 51

Liberty is very commonly understood as the faculty of doing what one pleases: as the sovereignty of the individual over his own mind and body: as the ability of each to carry on his own life in his own way, without hindrance from others, so long as ho does not hinder them; in a word, as lawlesnness, the notion of law being purely empirical . . 51

This is a veiy inadequate conception. Such freedom is merely negative. Positive Liberty, real Liberty, docs not reside in lawlessness: law is not its opposite, but its essential condition. And this is universally true . . . . . . .52

Thus is it in the physical order. The continuity of

natural law is beyond question . . .53

Nor are the laws of nature only ascertained sequences or co-ordinations of phenomena, the sole sense in which mere physicists may speak of them. They are laws

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