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anyone say that the English people are wanting in nationality ? Further, do not the people form part of the modern world ? But the modern world has its God and religion, and revelation, all of which are science (p. 193). And unless religion is one of the great forces which sway whole communities at once, it is nothing (p. 180). Hence, if the worship of the scientific man, which again is science, is not one of these great forces, it is nothing. What a blow to the definition of modern religion=science !
But once more religion is made to shift its standing ground: “The truth is that religion is, and always has been, the basis of societies and of States. It is no mere philosophy, but a practical view of life which whole communities live by' (p. 210). And · From history we learn that the great 'function of religion has been th founding and sustaining of States' (p. 211). What a distance we have got from Cicero—religio est virtus, quæ superiori cuidam naturæ, quam divinam vocant, cultum cæremoniamque affert.
A new chapter begins at page 212, and there, in spite of having previously pronounced the necessity of some organisation embodying civilisation in a church (p. 203), and asserted (p. 209) that no adequate doctrine of civilisation is taught among us, the author of Natural Religion declares that “ This church exists already, a vast communion of all who are inspired by the culture and civilisation of the age. But who can form a conception of what it is--this church or civilisation, that is of religion, that is of science, that is of civilisation concentrated into a doctrine on which the State is founded and by which it is sustained ? Founded on a doctrine that shall not be a dogma, be it understood. For 'Imagine a state resting upon dogma' (p. 214). Does not the existence of God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, constitute a dogma of Christianity? Is not dogma of the very essence of Christianity? "But we preach Christ crucified.' Was not Christianity the basis of States ? or is it an exception to the dictum “From history we learn that the great function of religion has been the founding and sustaining of States'? Perhaps our author forgot this, as in turn he appears to have forgotten his amazement at the idea of a State resting upon dogma, where he tells us that we must face once for all the truth that the great views of the universe contained in what he designates verbal religions' (i.e. religions that would attribute sovereign importance to such a dogma or verbal proposition as e.g. God is, God is one, God is infinite in goodness), upon which States and forms of civilisation rest, are partial and provisional, however much they may assert themselves to be final. "But we must realise, on the other hand, he adds,
that States really do rest upon them and not upon nothing at all, so that the decay of a great religion involves a revolution of incalculable magnitude': which if it means anything can only mean that States do rest upon dogma.
Very little more remains to complete the process of destruction. In clear bold language we are now told that to suppose anything to be religion than what Natural Religion declares it to be is an egregious mistake of nomenclature; that what past generations used to call religion has now got another name or names, and that the word religion has been transferred to something of less importance. "The multitude fixing their eyes upon the outsides of things have identified religion with its organisation, with churches, chapels, with the clerical profession and its interests. In doing so the multitude have done right. The visibleness of the church is the necessary consequence
of its action. It cannot act without being visible, as Thorndike has shown. The church,' he says, 'is visible by the laws which it useth.' Religion cannot be separated from its visible acts. What does our author's civilisation concentrated into a doctrine, organised into a church, mean, if it does not mean identity with religion under one or other of his multiform views of it? Views that still continue to be multiplied or are emphasised by new forms of previous renderings: The truth of a religion is a phrase without meaning; you may speak of the truth of a philosophy, of a theory, of a proposition, but not of a religion, which is a condition of the feelings' (p. 222). What a strange contrast to that other definition of religion (p. 217) as a thing obvious, palpable, huge, filling the earth and sky, and dwarfing everything else by its magnitude!
At the very close of the book the conception of religion remains as variable, as unfixed as it was at the beginning ; for at p. 231 we read that true religion can never have any conflict with science, except when science disregards the claims of humanity. So that we have these propositions: there is a true religion; there can be no truth of religion; there is a true religion apart from science and humanity--though science and humanity are religion, and anything else according to the meaning with which it may be the pleasure of the author of Natural Religion for the moment to charge the terms.
Or again:“... the common ground between science and Christianity'-—which sprang from a wave of feeling (p. 226)—is Natural Religion ' (p. 232).
In the recapitulation that closes the volume we read :
There is a Higher Life of which the animating principle has been called at different times by different names, but the most comprehensive name for it is religion. It is the influence [that is to say, the Higher Life is an influence, pp. 165, 255-6] which draws men's thoughts away from their personal interests, making them intensely aware of other existences, to which it binds them by strong ties, sometimes of admiration, sometimes of awe, sometimes of duty, sometimes of love (p. 236). Here some faint traces of the real conception of religion glimmer
through the confusion ; but, true to his avowed object to destroy the old meaning of the word, i.e. "to break the inveterate association which in the general opinion connects religion with supernaturalism' (p. 258), the author of Natural Religion blots these traces out as soon as they appear, with a religion which is alternately history and a vision:
Religion has been regarded here as the link of feeling which attaches man habitually to something outside himself, and it has been assumed that this feeling is always of the nature of admiration and love. But as a matter of fact it is quite as often of the nature of terror. . . . The word is now more naturally used in a good sense. It is no longer convertible with superstition. We recognise that men have at times a vision of something mighty and horror-striking which makes them grovel in the dust, and that this is superstition, but that they have also at other times a vision of something as glorious as it is mighty, and that this is religion (p. 238).
The perversity of the following needs no comment:
It is an effect of the greatness and sovereign nature of religion that the particular variety of it under which we live seems to us the only possible religion. When therefore this is attacked, we do not say, A religion is in danger! but Religion is in danger! And the new views of the universe are never thought of as a new religion or as a modification of religion, but as something secular in their nature. At best they are called philosophy or science (p. 241).
Once more, to show that I have not been guilty of misrepresentation or injustice, let me quote from page 255 : “According to the view here presented, the spiritual city is here on earth as much as it was in the times of the Bible. For it is neither more nor less than civilisation itself, which consists not in any visible fabric nor even essentially in institutions, but in religion, or worship, or the higher life.'
And now with his last blow to win religion for that which wants some of the leading characteristics, which, not at some times or in some places only, but all over Christendom, and from the primitive times of the Church, have been supposed to belong to religion,' I will end : “But ... after all, if we have deserted the mediæval ideal, it has been for that of the Hebrew prophets down to the very end of the Hebrew period of religion. For their religion was social, political, historical, and supernaturalism was not the mainspring of it' (p. 259). To this there is but one answer—'In the beginning God created heaven and earth': 'I am who am': 'I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
It is said that in the old days of early Greece it was held to be of such great importance to maintain the purity of the currency, that the current coin of the State was minted within the very precincts of the temple, and to make assurance doubly sure the head of a god was stamped upon it. And, further, if anyone counterfeited, debased or diminished it, he was put to death by the laws of Athens. Under the Emperor Constantine coiners of false money were held guilty of high treason, and their punishment was to be burnt alive. In later
times false-moneyers fared little better here in England. By an Act of Edward III. they incurred the penalty of high treason ; and it was not until the reign of William III. that debasing the currency, which under Elizabeth was a capital offence, was made a felony, subject to transportation. It is now punished with penal servitude. But there is another currency than the metal currency of the realm in the purity of which the public interest is more deeply involved than even in that of the gold and silver: the current coin of language. This, as I have shown, is being tampered with on every side. Shall it be said that it can be tampered with and debased with impunity ?
THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING.
It is a significant fact that, notwithstanding the amount of public speaking in this country, in all classes, and the increasing demands which the platform, the pulpit, the stage, the lecture-room-not to speak of our legislative assemblies-make upon the eloquence of those who address large bodies of listeners, oratory is the one art which meets with signal neglect from us. It seems to be imagined that a man with any message worth delivery will find himself, when the time comes, fitted to deliver it, without preliminary study or careful adjustment of the mechanism at his command.
Now, although certain illustrious examples may be cited where splendid natural gifts have brought their possessors, with little preparation, to the front rank of orators, it is no less true that, from Demosthenes downwards, some of tbe most eloquent speakers of all times and countries have been men who have triumphed over physical defects, and who, had they not been at the pains to conquer these, would have remained through life 'mute-inglorious.' Instances, indeed, where intellectual powers of no common kind fail to produce their due effect on an audience, by reason of defective utterance, or ill-managed voice, or monotonous delivery, are so frequent that they must recur to the minds of all; and it would be idle to advert to them here, were the lesson that their failure teaches taken to heart by the young, or by those who train them. The fact that a distinguished writer, desiring lately to lecture to large assemblies, found that he was absolutely inaudible, and was constrained to learn the art of making himself heard (which lies, naturally, on the very threshold of etfective speaking), should be instructive to those who forget that nascuntur poetce, fiunt oratores.
The fact is that the human voice is a delicate instrument, requiring great care in its production, development, and exercise. None 1. by nature so beautiful but that it may be impaired, and its power and charm rendered comparatively of little effect ; few, so weak or . iiscordant, but that they may be strengthened, or their harshness onsiderably mollified. It has been well said :