enumeration it is like nothing, which is also innumerable. Once more when implying that the Infinite and Eternal Energy manifested alike within us and without us, and to which we must ascribe not only the manifestations themselves but the law of their order, will hereafter continue to be, under its transfigured form, an object of religious sentiment; I have implied that whatever components of this sentiment disappear, there must ever survive those which are appropriate to the consciousness of a Mystery that can not be fathomed and a Power that is omnipresent. Mr. Harrison and Sir James Stephen have said nothing to invalidate this position. Lastly, let me point out that I am not concerned to show what effect religious sentiment, as hereafter thus modified, will have as a moral agent; though Mr. Harrison, by ridiculing the supposition that it will make good men and women, seems to imply that I have argued, or am bound to argue, that it will do this. If he will refer to the "Data of Ethics" and other books of mine, he will find that modification of human nature, past and future, I ascribe in the main to the continuous operation of surrounding social conditions and entailed habits of life; though past forms of the religious consciousness have exercised, and future forms will I believe exercise, co-operative influences.
How, then, does the case stand? Under "Retrospect," I aimed to show how the religious consciousness arose; and under "Prospect" what of this consciousness must remain when criticism has done its utmost. My opponents would have succeeded had they shown (1) that it did not arise as alleged; or (2) that some other consciousness would remain; or (3) that no consciousness would remain. They have done none of these things. Looking at the general results, it seems to me that while the things I have said have not been disproved, the things which have been disproved are things I have not said.
|SOME RAMBLES OF A NATURALIST.|
WHEN I happen out for a stroll, the difficulty that besets me is not what to seek—for to ramble without an object is an abomination—but what to choose of the endless variety of objects worthy of attention. I do not like to determine this after I have started, but prefer saying to myself, "I will watch the birds to-day," or, "I will hunt up the meadow-mice." To do this at once gives an additional interest to a contemplated ramble; and, in all my experience, I have
- "Data of Ethics," § 62.
- From the author's "Rambles about Home," in the press of D. Appleton & Co.