Page:Modern Rationalism (1897).djvu/14

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14

MODERN RATIONALISM.

includes the two Mills, Darwin, Lewes, Spencer, Carlyle, George Eliot, Arnold, Shelley, the two Stephens, Huxley, Tyndall, Morley, Lyell, Bain, Max Müller, Lecky, Browning, Tennyson, Tylor, Lubbock, Clifford, F. Harrison, Sully, Maudsley, and Bastian. The vast majority are Rationalists of extreme type, or Agnostics.

At the same time a change has been taking place within the orthodox Church itself. The ceaseless attack of ethical and speculative criticism upon its dogmas has had a profound corrosive influence. The clear lines that were laid down in the ecclesiastical conscience have grown dim and shadowy: several specific dogmas have been completely transformed, works of quite a revolutionary character have emanated from professed theologians, and there has been a general tendency to attach more importance to ethical and useful conduct, and much less to creeds and formulae. Biblical criticism and comparative religion have also deeply affected theological positions. This rationalizing tendency inside the Church may be described before proceeding to more fundamental changes.