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It should again be manifest through the coming of Christ. Only to him who denies the existence of God, should the mission of Christ be doubtful. If it seem doubtful, then is evidence, which in its cumulative force.is equal to that on any other subject, rejected. Assuming the existence of God, and the implied watchfulness over a creation which He has seen fit to make, in no other manner so effectually could a way of life have been shown to men as by the precept and example of one of whom could be said, Ecce Homo. Not less comprehensible is it that the coming of Christ should have been for the salvation of a fragment of the universe, when we reflect that, if it had been within the purpose of the Omnipotent, a Saviour might have lived and died at the same or another time in worlds innumerable, or that the purposes of the Omnipotent, being necessarily as infinite as the universe, of which we see but a part, we, of proved incapacity to understand fully what touches us most nearly, need not explore beyond into the depths of the unfathomable. If it be asked by the materialist, if a divinely authorized earthly dispensation would not, from what has been said, be as much an interference with natural laws as any that can be conceived, the answer is that it has not been here implied that God would never interfere with physical laws, but merely that He would not interfere with them except for good cause. When we see around us a moral world as well as a physical world, we need for comprehension of its existence, as much as for comprehension of the existence of the physical world, to infer the will of the Creator.
At a certain stage of mental development, the depth of whose degradation may be estimated by observation of some still-existing tribes, man was undoubtedly too low in the scale of being to develop the idea of a Maker and Ruler of the Universe. But, with the development of the organ of thought, the brain, came, among other attributes, the birth and growth of
conscience. The first faint glimmerings of the religious sense may have been produced, as Darwin, Spencer, and other writers think, by fear of ghosts, of shadows, and of all the mysteries that haunt the path of the untutored savage, leading to propitiatory sacrifices and rites of all sorts; and the pressure of rude wants may have led to awakening of some perception of mutual dependence, but not, as these authors think, to some experience of sympathy, and thus to the first germs of conscience. These, assuredly, were only adventitious aids to the development of conscience from the first beginnings. Sympathy, with utilitarian basis, might have seemingly gone on forever without producing conscience. In fact, to think of such action, as mutual exchange of offices from necessity, as awakening sympathy, when both motive and action represent barter, is to form a false conception, for if conscience be anything definite it is, at its lowest conceivable point, the reverse of utilitarian.
That Darwin was liable egregiously to err in discussing these questions, which are so foreign to the domain in which he supremely reigned, is proved conclusively by his remark in "The Descent of Man," where he says, "My critics do not define what they mean by remorse, and I can find no definition implying more than an overwhelming sense of repentance."
Yet, even in the ordinary acceptation, these two affections of the mind are regarded as essentially different. Both repentance and remorse, it is true, are fundamentally based upon grief, but whereas the grief of repentance represents to the mind of the sufferer grief capable of being assuaged, because the cause of it is capable of redress, or of expiation by suf fering, or both, the grief of remorse offers no such flattering prospect to the mind, for in it the grief is conditioned upon. belief in its being beyond the bounds of possible redress or expiation by repentance. Can there be any two affections of the mind more diverse than these, into one of which hope enters,
and in the other of which the grief is so excessive as to be centred less in the idea of the wrong done, than in that of self-condemnation? That remorse may engulf even grief for wrong-doing is proved by the fact that to fiends is imputed in their despair the desire for the perpetration of further evil. What is imputed to these is what the collective soul of mankind is conscious of as representing the final outcome of hopeless repentance. This is what distinguishes remorse from repentance, and makes of it another sentiment and law of conduct. It is the difference in thought and action as inspired by hope, as contrasted with thought and action as inspired by despair.
Dickens evidently had no doubt of the difference between the two passions, for we find him writing, with the instinct of the born psychologist, in the description of the elder Weller's last interview with the Rev. Stiggins:
Mr. Stiggins, encouraged by this sound, which he understood to betoken remorse or repentance, looked about him, rubbed his hands, wept, smiled, wept again, and then, walking softly across the room to a well-remembered shelf in one corner, took down a tumbler, and with great deliberation put four lumps of sugar in it.
Observe that the sound uttered by the elder Weller struck the Rev. Stiggins as indicative of remorse or repentance.
Conscience, even in its lowest estate, is to be regarded as a creation appearing at a certain epoch of man's existence, subject to growth and aberration while constrained along the lines of evolution. To him, therefore, who regards mankind as compounded of moral, intellectual, and physical elements of being, each equally the endowment of the Creator through supreme law, each developing side by side, each ascending from inferior to superior type, it is not incomprehensible that grow ing religious perception should have instituted false religions, or that a divinely-appointed exemplar should at last have placed the seal upon a world fitted to profit through ages by the presentment of an unattainable ideal of human excellence.
MAN'S PHYSICAL PLACE IN NATURE.
E have now reached a point where matter extraneous to the subject, constantly obstructing its fair discussion, having been put aside, we can dispassionately examine the question involved. The only remaining difficulty to be encountered in discussing it is one which, owing to the constitution of the mind, is unavoidable in the examination of any new proposition. The mind, while searching for truth, and eagerly imbibing it (desire to know the truth being, as John Stuart Mill thought, the dominant characteristic of mankind), is nevertheless strongly conservative in its tendencies. For proof, one has but to look around to see how at the mercy of circumstances most conviction is. The savage implicitly takes upon credit what he inherits in belief from his progenitors. So he goes on, generation after generation, making no advance. The civilized man, too, but with a difference to be presently noted, believes what is transmitted to him, because he, equally with the savage, must accept the main stock of beliefs presented to him, for it would be as irrational in his case as in that of the savage for him to reject that which there is nothing to replace, and for each individual thus to begin the world afresh, and because, from the beginning to the end of life, as no one can learn everything for himself, he is perforce obliged mainly to accept as true that which he finds at hand.
Thus we see among men manners which they inherit, religion which they inherit, and knowledge of nature which they inherit. But there is this important difference between the civilized and the savage man, that the mind of the former has become more plastic than that of the other. He is open to conviction on subjects in which his senses belie the facts. He knows that the