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systems with the view of finding imposture, which analyzes even the sweetest pleasures of life, to see if their flavor may not be due to some subtile poison of self-deception. There is an apparent boldness in attacking popular beliefs, which often wins the admiration due to actual conquest, and not unfrequently gains assent more readily than argument. But assertion is not proof; the assumptions of skepticism are not the deductions of science. Even when they are affirmative in form, and imitate the scientific method, they are negative in fact. When the positive philosopher asserts that thought may be resolved into material elements and a physical force, the statement is virtually a denial of the facts of consciousness, and would never be made for the sake of affirming what it pretends to affirm. So when certain naturalists claim that, because the lines of all life seem to converge as we retrace them, they will necessarily unite if retraced far enough, even granting this postulate, the fact as affirmatively stated is not the fact they are seeking to establish. The real point of attack is the general belief in distinct acts of creation. But the conclusion which they draw from their premises is by no means necessary, for the rigid demonstrations of mathematics prove that two lines may forever converge and yet nerer unite.

To the positive method of science skepticism thus opposes a system of negatives which reaches only disbeliefs. In place of the compact accretions of positive growth in which a true scholarship results, this spirit, at war with true progress while claiming the leadership in all advancement, shrivels every budding aspiration with doubt, blasts every blossoming bope with denial, and when eternal interests are at stake, like Pilate, contents itself with an nnanswered question. Shall it be said that a philosophy whose most perfect culture leads to such barren results, to such a fearful crippling of the divine energies of the soul, is superior to that confident faith, which, acting in harmony with man's intellectual nature, and answering the higher ends of his existence, rises superior to doubt and hesitating interrogation, and with full confidence grasps truth too great for finite measurement, and amidst the difficulties and perplexities which else would baffle and bewilder, steadies itself by an unwavering trust in God? Shall that be called a philosophy worthy of the name, which, in forsaking the greater as beyond its reach, loses also the little it professes to grasp; which, seeking the truth, while rejecting the very conditions necessary for its discovery, is forced, after its utmost exertion, to content itself with a barren denial or a hesitating question ? No! better a thousand times, faith, with its possibility of mistake, but with its real wealth of return-its golden grain of good, though with some unwinnowed chaff of error-than this barrenness of the soul that has thrown away its birthright, loosed its hold upon the eternal fastnesses of truth, and, grasping with both hands the gross realities of this physical life, has ceased to feel after God !

Skepticism boasts that it is a positive system, that it deals with facts,—that it keeps both feet on the ground, and shuns the airy flights of speculation. But skepticism does not avoid speculation. If it confined itself to facts, we would leave it to its self-imposed imprisonment. It is the assumed, though unstated hypothesis underlying the skeptical argument, which gives it all the force it possesses. If two facts, as mere facts not identical, are related, they must be related by agreement and difference; and to assert this relation is to predicate a logical genus,—that is, to abandon facts entirely and enter the region of pure speculation. The first step in generalization, and consequently in science, is to cease to consider facts. A fact by itself is nothing; it is potent neither for good nor evil; but attach the fact to an hypothesis,—that is, project it until it becomes a principle, and it acquires an irresistible momentum. Slavery was a fact for years, but simply as a fact it exerted no force; but when the relation was established between the fact and the hypothesis of the equal rights of all men, it acquired a terrible power and swept a continent with the storm of war. Nor did it lay aside its destructive energy until the hypothesis which had given the fact its force was established as a principle, settled beyond further question. Fact must be attacked as Gilliat attacked the devil-fish,—not where it takes hold of us, but where it is vitally connected with theory. No man believes simply in facts. They are but masses of drift ore, which reveal the near presence of a vein of conviction; they are conclusions which would never have been reached but for some antecedent premise. The hypothesis which underlies the facts need not be stated, but it is there, seeking recognition as a principle. The fact that there is a resemblance between the physical structure of man and that of animals, stated simply as a fact, is a mere curious coincidence. It is only as upon this narrow basis of fact that we build a towering structure of hypothesis, and install the doctrine of evolution as the superintending architect, that the fact acquires any importance, and then, not for what it is as a fact, but for the principle which is deduced from it.

The boast of skepticism, that it restricts itself to facts, is simply a baseless boast. It deals with hypotheses just as extensively as the mistiest metaphysics. The only difference, in this respect, between the skeptical philosophy and its antagonist, is that the hypotheses of the one are the utterances of the general experience of mankind, that indestructible residuum of truth, the legacy of all the past to all the future; while the hypotheses of the other are assumed as true in proportion to the breadth of their denial.

Principles are more positive than facts. The whole is more definite than any part. The universal controls the particular; the real

; determines the phenominal; the hypothesis vitalizes the fact. Skepticism lays great stress upon its facts, and boasts of indulging in no speculative truth, which has been evolved by the mysterious chemical action of phosphorus and potash and sulphur in the laboratory of the brain, under the stimulus of animal electricity. And yet skepticism itself rests wholly upon an unstated hypothesis. If we demand the explicit statement of every step in the rational process by which skeptical philosophy reaches its conclusions,—if we demand its premises, as well as its facts, we will discover its real nature. And if we refuse to enter the lists of combat without this full and explicit statement, so that in the fierce struggle of future conflict we may be ensured against concealed weapons, we have only taken away the advantage of fighting under cover, and brought our enemy into a fair field.

A method, which restricts itself to facts and ignores principles, must be fatal to enlarged scholarship. Facts are single bricks which may be built into a symmetrical building, but which have no particular value or significance until so correlated that each sustains the other, and all together compose a new entity,—no longer bricks, but a building. A fact is what is; but man can do more than merely perceive what exists. Sense can do no more; but sense is not the sum of man.

That which eludes the determination of sense, is to us more real than what we see and hear and handle. Science recognizes this truth. It seeks to discover what is accidental and merely phenomenal,—not because this is all that may be known, but only that it may thereby pass forward to the determination of the real and permanent. The aim of science is not to discover facts, merely as facts, but as means to the discovery of principles; while to skepticism, if true to itself, a fact is never more than a fact. Law is only an objective representation of idea, and science, in seeking for law, is not seeking a physical but an intellectual entity. It is not seeking that which may be, but that which must be. Reason, not sense, enunciates this must. Skepticism, to maintain its boast of not dealing with that which transcends the limits of uncertain sense, must reject this method of procedure, and admit that only to be real which is phenomenal. The scholastic method begins with facts which lie within the reach of the senses, but ends with principles, which are no longer mere facts, and which lie wholly above the reach of the senses. If the skeptic does not thus proceed—if true to his theory, though false to himself-he denies that facts can ever lead to principles, phenomena to law, the finite to the infinite, he certainly does not follow the method of science, but must forever remain within the narrow limits of sense, with his ceaseless questionings unanswered.

But skepticism does not stop here. While avowing a special admiration for facts, and professing to deal wholly with them, it claims the right to accept or reject facts in accordance with some principle beyond the range of the facts under discussion. If facts do not accord with its theory, it maintains the theory in spite of the facts. It silences one stubborn fact by another equally stubborn, instead of listening impartially to them both. Miracles are denied, -not because they are not facts in human experience; but, according to a theory, framed independently of the facts, they ought not to have happened. Certain facts of consciousness in the religious life, , as well attested as any facts of consciousness can be, are denied, because, according to the skeptical theory, there should be no such facts, or because such experience is not universal. This is an extension of the old Platonic error of making man the measure of the universe, -it makes the individual the measure of man. A satisfactory philosophy of fact must embrace all the facts which present themselves to others as well as to us. Denial is not a scientific explanation; a sneer is not a logical argument. A miracle, if a fact, demands a rational hearing with as much reason as the fact of the declination of the sun in winter; it is not to be jeered from the witness-stand because its testimony is contrary to our views of the case. The facts of religious experience are just as much facts of consciousness as the fact of memory. True science, instead of staggering into a denial of facts which seem to conflict with its previous theories, welcomes them as affording means of correcting its generalizations thereby shown to be faulty. The aim of science is to discover not only the truth, but the whole truth. If witnesses agree too closely, the astute lawyer suspects complicity; but he gives all the more credence to testimony when varied by the personality of each witness. A court of law will not reject conflicting testimony, simply because of conflict; but that theory of the case is accepted which harmonizes statements apparently in contradiction, and the testimony gains force by the very circumstance which seemed to invalidate it.

Apply the skeptical method to science, and there is an end of progress. If a fact militate against our theory, reject it, and we have set the conclusions which we have already reached as the limits of possible knowledge. It is only as facts present themselves which do not harmonize with received theories, that science advances. Neptune is discovered, because the planets do not describe the orbits laid down for them by astronomers. But Neptune was discovered as an idea, before it was discovered as a fact; the mind saw it before the telescope. Remove the disturbing influences, and the planet remains undiscovered; deny the facts which disagree with our theories, and science is limited to what is already known. But we have as much right to deny the irregularities in the orbit of Uranus, as we have to deny a priori the fact of miracles. One was apparently as inexplicable as the other,

. until the exterior planet was discovered. As science discovered in these irregularities the indications of an unrecognized force, and set about its discovery, so should the true scholar see in these facts, which fall within no recognized category, the presence of a power working in accordance with some unknown law. Admit a personal Creator in one case, as we admit the exterior planet in the other, and reason and science are equally satisfied. Until the limits of all possible knowledge have been reached, there will always be an insoluble residuum of fact in the crucible of science, which, instead of disproving its own existence, proves the inadequacy of our methods of analysis. So long as man is finite and truth is infinite, there must be facts in science and in human experience which afford hints of truth still undiscovered, and which render a limitless advancement possible. So long as man is imperfect, there will always be enough above him to leave room for the exercise of faith.

Faith is thus the condition of progress. Belief grasps actual possession by the strong hand of demonstration, while faith rises superior to reason, and grasps greater truth by the stronger hand of conviction. Faith is not an abandonment of reason; it is the condition of reason. It places the crown of universal dominion upon the head of man, puts in his hand a sceptre, which the future as well as the present obeys, eternity as well as time. It asserts our kinship with God, who does not discover truth by the slow process of reason, but who reaches his conclusions by the same intuitive action by which faith apprehends principles. Reason adapts man to the present life.

Faith is a pledge of immortality. Destroy faith, and man is hedged in by humanity—is limited to the now and here—to the little segment of the infinite circle which lies immediately before him. Add faith to reason,—and out into infinity, onward into coming

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