Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/251

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
239
RELIGION AND THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION.

die out. Tecumseh struggled in vain against this impelling force, and pleaded that his people might be suffered to be as they were, but in vain.

The new leaven has been deposited, and its working is inevitable. Men say: "Let the savage alone; do not try to teach him civilization; he is happier in the state of nature than he can be in any that is more artificial"—and perhaps they tell the truth. It is a thorny path—this of progress—and the first step costs the most. We may even admit, with a recent distinguished sympathizer in the retrogressive leanings toward the simplicity of savagedom: "It is the direct tendency of our civilization to carry human beings toward an extreme as far beyond the simple elements of happiness and every form of good as savage life falls short of them."[1]

Doubtless, development increases the capacity both for enjoyment and for suffering. And if it be questioned whether joy or sorrow predominates in the experiences of our highest civilization, it may well be doubted whether, in the first awakenings of a people, when the power of judging between good and evil has not yet been formed, and when self-control is as yet unknown, the evil influences do not out-weigh the good. Left to himself, the child in his early gropings gets many a bruise, many a tumble; yet, once having breathed the breath of life, the infant race is thenceforward impelled by a law inexorable as human destiny. If, as some advise, we abandon these people, and say: "We will not help you along a path which is one of toil and unrest; be as you were," they will not, it is true, progress in any orderly or efficient manner, but they will not be as they once were. We can guide them, or we can leave them to the painful and disordered action of their own struggling spirits. They can not return to their former quiet and contented sphere. Restlessness is an essential antecedent to progress; but restlessness implies conflict and labor. It is something higher than purposeless repose; but it is something harder. Of old it was said to the woman, "In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children"; and, by a law as universal, the birth of mind, in nations as well as in individuals, is not without a pang.

 

RELIGION AND THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION.[2]
By FREDERICK TEMPLE, D. D.,

BISHOP OF EXETER.

THE regularity of nature is the first postulate of Science; but it requires the very slightest observation to show us that, along with this regularity, there exists a vast irregularity, which Science can only deal with by exclusion from its province. The world as we see

  1. Dr. George E. Ellis, loc. cit, p. 597.
  2. Abstracted from "The Relations between Religion and Science," by the Lord Bishop of Exeter.