« AnteriorContinuar »
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by
E. P. DUTTON & Co.,
RELIGION AND PROGRESS.
NOTWITHSTANDING the indifference with which superficial observers are apt to regard the present conflict between Religion and Science, it is impossible to examine carefully the questions involved, and not realize the importance of the contest as well as the intimate relationship which the discussion bears to our highest interests. Whatever the cause, and whatever the probable result, the fact still remains that the present age is one of intense intellectual activity, accompanied by a growing consciousness that the changes involved in our present condition must necessarily be of a momentous character.
Problems which a hundred years ago were deemed finally settled and disposed of, lave risen from their graves, and clamor for reconsideration and readjustinent.
According to Professor Huxley, “The scenes are shifting in the great theatre of the world. .... Men are beginning, once more, to awake to the fact that matters of belief and of speculation are of absolutely infinite practical importance, and are drawing off from that sunny country
where it is always afternoon '—the sleepy hollow of broad indifferentism—to range themselves under their natural banners. Change is in the air. It is whirling feather-heads into all sorts of eccentric orbits, and filling the steadiest with a sense of insecurity. It insists on reopening all questions, and asking all institutions, however venerable, by what right they exist, and whether they are, or are not, in harmony with the real or supposed wants of mankind.”
Nor does this seem an exaggerated statement of the case. It is because the present tendency of science is largely iconoclastic that we need to realize the dangers which it threatens, as well as the advantages which it promises. The wholesale destruction of images is a comparatively easy task, but the careful analysis and nice discrimination between what is intrinsic and extrinsic in religion, require something more