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frankness and honesty would use these words without comment if he meant to dissent from the conclusion stated. Throughout the Descent of Man, moreover, Mr. Darwin treats of religion as one of the loftiest and most beneficent agencies in the improvement and progression of the species, which he cannot consistently do if he considers the fundamental proposition of religion-that God exists--a mistake. In view of these admissions and expressions of Mr. Darwin, it is eminently unfair to charge him with atheism. The accusation is equally groundless in the case of other evolutionists. Speaking of those who hold the hypothesis, Professor Tyndall says: "They have but one desire-to know the truth. They have but one fear-to believe a lie. They have as little fellowship with the atheist who says there is no God, as with the theist who professes to know the mind of God." 22 It is, then, an unmanly thing to attempt to fix the stigma of atheism upon the expounders of the evolution theory. Nearly all of them are reverent theists. "I believe," says Mr. Alfred Russell Wallace, "that the universe is so constituted as to be self-regulating; that as long as it contains Life, the forms under which that life is manifested have an inherent power of adjustment to each other and to surrounding Nature, and that this adjustment necessarily leads to the greatest amount of variety and beauty and enjoyment, because it depends on general laws, and not on a continual supervision and rearrangement of details. As a matter of feeling and religion, I hold this to be a far higher conception of the Creator and of the Universe than that which may be called the 'continual interference' hypothesis; but it is not a question to be decided by our feelings or convictions, it is a question of facts and of reason.' Agreeing with Mr.
23 Discourse on "Scientific Use of the Imagination," British Association, Liverpool, 1870, reprinted in Fragments of Science, 6th edition, vol. 2, p. 135-6.
28 Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection, 1870, p. 265-6.
Wallace that the hypothesis of evolution must stand or fall as the evidence may determine, I agree also with him that Darwinism not only does not deny God, not only does not remove God farther off from the universe, but, proving Him as acting by constant and permanent law, gives to us a nobler conception of Him as the imminent cause and ever-living and present Being. Were we to have proof that every form of life, vegetable and animal, from diatom and rhizopod to man, had sprung from one solitary cell by a process of natural selection, so far from losing sight of God, we should be guided along the actual path through which His creative energy accomplished its perfect work, and hear the very song of the morning stars when the foundations of the earth were fastened and the corner-stone thereof laid, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. The possibilities of growth contained within that primal cell would testify at least as marvellously to the glory of the Lord as a myriad separate creations of independent species. The doctrine of development is an endeavour to explain the method of creation, and can no more be held to dispense with a Creator than an explanation of the metre of a song can be construed into a denial of the existence of a poet. The persistent uplifting of types of being, from epoch to epoch, would prove the ceaseless activity of a living spirit, working out a definite purpose, and manifesting Himself with an ever-brightening glory.
THE INFLUENCE OF LITERATURE UPON THE GROWTH OF RELIGION AND LAW.
By H. LONGUET HIGGINS.
A MARKED intellectual feature of the present age is its study of Development. We are no longer satisfied with studying things as they are; we wish to know how and when they grew up, and what causes and influences have shaped, arrested, or accelerated that growth. The study of growth is indeed a profoundly interesting one, and it is to the development of two great systems of human thought, and to what is conceived to have been a powerful, though unappreciated, influence upon them, that your attention is invited in the present paper.
When we consider the immense part played in human affairs by Literature, which in its widest sense signifies the whole written thought of Man, and when we remember that the possession of a literature is one of the broad distinctions between civilised and uncivilised races, it would seem at first sight not a little remarkable that this great institution, Literature-itself a product of the human mind, and therefore a proper subject for psychological study -has received but little scientific attention. Yet so it is. But it is still more strange that language itself, the material of literature, has only very recently been considered as worthy of scientific investigation for its own sake, and not merely as a key to ancient and foreign wit and wisdom. Again, admitting that Literature is worthy of psychological study, let us remember that Psychology herself has but recently ascended from the mist of Metaphysics into the clear atmosphere of Science. This very circumstance is a psychological fact of great interest. It shows that the pro
gress of science and discovery is itself subject to a mental law, whereby we pass from the perception and study of the more material to that of the less material in Nature.* To take an example from physical science: the mechanics of solids were first investigated, the properties of fluids being not accurately known before the appearance of the great treatise of Pascal; while gases, the least material forms of matter, were hardly known before the latter part of the last century, and their molecular mechanics have been the subject of very recent investigations of physicists.
The influence of Literature or Literary Form properly belongs to the Philosophy of Art, and ultimately to Mental Science. And by way of introduction to that branch of the subject which forms the title of this paper, two other contributory influences should be very briefly alluded to.
(1) The Influence of Language upon Thought. This was long since noticed, particularly by Bacon and Locke, and has been generally admitted. The meaning of words not only changes greatly from age to age, but it is probable that even in the same generation no two persons use the same term with precisely the same meaning. Hence it is not surprising that (as has been well said) words, simple words, have been and are at the bottom of half the religious and philosophical controversies of the world, and that most of the perplexities of men are traceable to obscurity of thought, hiding and breeding under obscurity of language. We have heard very lately in this Society how much fog surrounds the scientific use of the words "force" and "energy," and the popular use of the term "Darwinism," while at our very last meeting, in the discussion following a paper on Mental Science, it was evidently not clear what should and should not be included under the term "mind." So, too, in primitive days, words were the great myth-makers, and Max-Müller *"The progress in the discovery of laws itself conforms to law."-H. Spencer.
has shown us that modern mythology is not altogether unknown.*
(2) The Influence of Literature upon the growth of Language. The eminent authority just named has pointed out that what we usually call languages, that is to say, the literary idioms of Greece and Rome, India, and Modern Europe, are artificial rather than natural forms of speech, and that the real and natural life and growth of language is in its dialects. The literary idiom of a country is merely one particular dialect which has been raised to temporary importance, and preserved to a great extent from change, by being made the chosen ship for the transport of literature down the stream of Time.t
The literary growth of Religion and Law has been very similar, and it would seem that they were originally united. You cannot in early ages separate legal from religious rules. We may take, as an instance of this, the Jewish religion, the most important (and to the Jews most sacred) part of which was known to themselves emphatically as the Torah, or Law, and was founded upon a legal code believed to have been divinely dictated. Many other ancient codes of law were believed by the nations possessing them to have been of superhuman origin. The Egyptians, Cretans, Lacedæmonians, Persians, and Hindus, all believed that their laws had been divinely communicated to their respective great lawgivers. This is probably but part of the general belief among ancient nations, that their remote ancestors, and the institutions handed down from them, were of divine origin.
THE COMPARATIVE METHOD.
The materials for a study of the influence of Literature or literary form upon religious and legal ideas must be collected. *Lectures on the Science of Language, vol. ii., lecture 12. Ib., vol. i., lecture 2. Max Müller, Science of Religion, p. 151.