Page:Literature and Dogma (1883).djvu/239

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And as this true and authentic God of Israel is far grander than the God of popular religion, so is his real affirmation of himself in human affairs far grander than that poor machinery of prediction and miracle, by which popular religion imagines that he affirms himself. The greatness of the scale on which he operates makes it hard for men to follow him; but the greatness of the scale, too, makes the grandeur of the operation. Take the Scripture-promises and their accomplishment. As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more; but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.[1] And again: They shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Eternal, and all the nations shall be gathered unto it.[2] It is objected that this is not fulfilled. It is not fulfilled yet, because the whole career of the human race has to bring out its fulfilment, and this career is still going forward. 'Men are impatient, and for precipitating things,' says Butler; and Davison, whom on a former occasion I quoted to differ from him,—Davison, not the least memorable of that Oriel group, whose reputation I, above most people, am bound to cherish,—says with a weighty and noble simplicity worthy of Butler: 'Conscience and the present constitution of things are not corresponding terms; it is conscience and the issue of things which go together.' It is so; and this is what makes the spectacle of human affairs so edifying and so sublime. Give time enough for the experience, and experimentally and demonstrably it is true, that 'the path of the just is as the shining light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.'[3] Only the limits for the experience are wider than people commonly think. 'Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone!'[4] but 'a little while' according to the scope and working of that mighty Power to which a thousand years are as one day. The world goes on, nations and men arrive and

  1. Prov., x, 25.
  2. Jer., iii, 17.
  3. Prov., iv, 18.
  4. Ps. xxxvii, 10.