Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/184

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dangerous manifesto. This, it must be admitted, sounds strange at the present day. Were any books ever more obviously harmless? People who remember certain English controversies about Maurice, which happened a little before the appearance of the Autocrat, may succeed in understanding why, in the country of the Puritans, Holmes should have passed for a heresiarch. Yet it now requires an effort to put oneself in that position, and certainly Holmes's remarks would now hardly excite a shudder in the best-regulated families. Yet they represented what seems to have been the most important passage of his mental history. The old Puritanism, one may guess, appeared to him in a new light when he had sat at the feet of Parisian professors. The old Boston, at any rate, was not quite the 'hub of the universe' in a physiological point of view; and he fancied, when the old and the new currents met, a good deal of the sediment of old-fashioned dogma would be precipitated. Still, the old problem which Calvinism had answered in its own way came up in a new form. The doctrine of hereditary sin might be abandoned, but the problems of scientific 'heredity' took its place. Jonathan Edwards's discussions of moral responsibility have still a serious meaning