Issues of the age
The contents of this volume being intended as a contribution toward the better understanding of modern thought, and the consequences which must necessarily result from the peculiar intellectual type of the age, it needs no exhaustive preface to explain the cause of its production.
As a sufficient reason for its conception and birth, it is enough to say that it proposes to indicate rather than exhaust the nature of those problems of life and mind by which we are, in the present day, so abundantly surrounded. An uneasy, restless searching after something broader, deeper, and more satisfactory, is the predominant characteristic of the present age; and in view of this, it seems to us that it is the duty of every reflective mind to devote at least some attention to so important a subject. How far such a result may be accomplished in the following remarks, time and experience alone can determine.
The intention is, however, a good one; and as such we can confidently recommend the following pages to those who are disposed to bestow an unprejudiced and thoughtful consideration on questions which are obviously of such vast importance: believing also that, although the searching analysis and sceptical spirit of the present age may cause many years' sojourn in the wilderness of perplexity and IV doubt, We are nevertheless certain in the end to enter the Promised Land and find peace.
In this view, therefore, should the accompanying thoughts answer the purpose of oases in what may seem to some a desert of negation and unbelief, they will amply have fulfilled their mission. Lastly, we can only say, should it be found, as we think it will, that the ideas embodied in the different chapters deal with the silent depths of the soul, rather than the noisier but more superficial conditions of feeling, and also pertain to the serenity of intelligence, rather than the turmoil of irrational prejudice, it is hoped that they will, for this reason, be all the more welcome to those who, after many intellectual wanderings, have at last learned to realize a grandeur and usefulness in those transitional stages of thought and feeling which seem inseparable from the conditions 01 human existence, and which at the same time indicate so powerfully that man's destiny is progressive.
The scientific spirit and its consequences.--Skepticism: its function and importance.--Ancient faith and modern culture.--The supremacy of law; its physical and psychical conditions.--The doctrine of human progress.--Concluding remarks
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