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the power of his religious sentiment declines | tailed cultus which is meant by religion in the ne ceases to believe it, and the wafer appears universally accepted sense. It is disingenuto him a wafer, and no more. And so ous to take a word popularly respected and amongst Protestants the truly religious be- attribute to it another sense. Such a course lieve many things which no person not being is not strictly honest, and therefore not purely under the authority of religion could by any intellectual; for the foundation of the inteleffort bring himself to believe. It is easy, for lectual life is honesty. example, to believe that Joshua arrested the The difficulty of the intellectual life is, that sun's apparent motion, so long as the religious whilst it can never assume a position of hosauthority of the Bible remains perfectly in- tility to religion, which it must always recog. tact; but no sooner does the reader become nize as the greatest natural force for the amecritical than the miracle is disbelieved. In lioration of mankind, it is nevertheless comall ages, and in all countries, religions have pelled to enunciate truths which may happen narrated marvellous things, and the people to be in contradiction with dogmas received have always affirmed that not to believe these at this or that particular time. That you narratives constituted the absence of religion, may not suspect me of a disposition to dwell or what they called atheism. They have continually on safe generalities and to avoid equally, in all ages and countries, held the details out of timidity, let me mention two public act of participation in religious worship cases on which the intellectual and scientific to be an essential part of what they called re- find themselves at variance with the clergy. ligion. They do not admit the sufficiency of The clergy tell us that mankind descend from secret prayer.
a single pair, and that in the earlier ages the Can these popular instincts help us to a defi- human race attained a longevity counted not nition? They may help us at least to mark by decades but by centuries. Alexander the dividing line between religion and moral-Humboldt disbelieves the first of these propoity, between religion and philosophy. No one sitions, Professor Owen disbelieves the sechas ever desired, more earnestly and eagerly ond. Men of science generally are of the than I, to discover the foundations of the in- same opinion. Few men of science accept tellectual religion; no one has ever felt more Adam and Eve, few accept Methuselah. Prochilling disappointment in the perception of fessor Owen argues that, since the oldest the plain bare fact that the intellect gives skeletons known have the same system of morality, philosophy, precious things indeed, teething that we have, man can never have but not religion. It is like seeking art by lived long enough to require nine sets of science. Thousands of artists, whole schools teeth. In regard to these, and a hundred from generation to generation, have sought other points on which science advances new fine art through anatomy and perspective; views, the question which concerns us is how and although these sciences did not hinder we are to maintain the integrity of the intelthe born artists from coming to art at last, lectual life. The danger is the loss of inward they did not ensure their safe arrival in the ingenuousness, the attempt to persuade ourart-paradise; in many instances they even led selves that we believe opposite statements. men away from art. So it is with the great If once we admit disingenuousness into the modern search for the intellectual religion; mind, the intellectual life is no longer serene the idea of it is scientific in its source, and the and pure. The plain course for the preservaresult of it, the last definite attainment, is tion of our honesty, which is the basis of simply intellectual morality, not religion in truly intellectual thinking, is to receive the the sense which all humanity has attached to truth, whether agreeable or the contrary, religion during all the ages that have preceded with all its train of consequences, however ours.
repulsive or discouraging. In attempting to We may say that philosophy is the re-reconcile scientific truth with the oldest tradiligion of the intellectual; and if we go scru- tions of humanity, there is but one serious pulously to Latin derivations, it is so. But danger, the loss of intellectual integrity. Of taking frankly the received meaning of the that possession modern society has little left word as it is used by mankind everywhere, to lose. we must admit that, although high intellect. But let us understand that the intellectual would lead us inevitably to high and pure life and the religious life are as distinct as the morality, and to most scrupulously beautiful scientific and the artistic lives. They may conduct in everything, towards men, towards be led by the same person, but by the same women, towards even the lower and lowest person in different moods. They coincide or animals, still it does not lead us to that belief some points, acçidentally. Certainly, the in the otherwise unbelievable, or to that de basis of high thinking is perfect honesty, and honesty is a recognized religious virtue. mind of man with regard to his intellectual Where the two minds differ is on the impor- acumen and his religious creed. The creed tance of authority. The religious life is may protect a tradition from the operation of based upon authority, the intellectual life is the critical faculty, but it does not weaken based upon personal investigation. From the the critical faculty itself. In the English intellectual point of view I cannot advise Church, for example, the Bible is protected you to restrain the spirit of investigation, against criticism; but this does not weaken which is the scientific spirit. It may lead the critical faculty of English clergymen you very far, yet always to truth, ultimately, with reference to other literature, and many -you, or those after you, whose path you of them give evidence of a strong critical may be destined to prepare. Science requires faculty in all matters not protected by their a certain inward heat and heroism in her vo-creed. Think of the vigorous common sense taries, notwithstanding the apparent coldness of Sydney Smith, exposing so many abuses at of her statements. Especially does she re- a time when it needed not only much courage quire that intellectual fearlessness which ac- but great originality to expose them! Recepts a proved fact without reference to its member the intellectual force of Arnold, a personal or its social consequences.
great natural force if ever there was one-so direct in action, so independent of contemporary opinion! Intellectual forces of this
kind act freely not only in the Church of LETTER V.
England, but in other Churches, even in the
Church of Rome. Who amongst the scienTO A FRIEND WHO SEEMED TO TAKE CREDIT TO tific men of this century has been more pro
HIMSELF, INTELLECTUALLY, FROM THE NA foundly scientific, more capable of original TURE OF HIS RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
scientific discovery than Ampère? Yet Am
père was a Roman Catholic, and not a RoAnecdote of a Swiss gentleman-Religious belief protects traditions, but does not weaken the critical faculty itself
man Catholic in the conventional sense Illustration from the art of etching-Sydney Smith-Dr. merely, like the majority of educated FrenchArnold-Earnest religious belief of Ampère--Comte and
men, but a hearty and enthusiastic believer Sainte-Beuve-Faraday- Belief or unbelief proves nothing for or against intellectual capacity.
in the doctrines of the Church of Rome.
The belief in transubstantiation did not preI HAPPENED once to be travelling in Switzer- vent Ampère from becoming one of the best land with an eminent citizen of that country, I chemists of his time, just as the belief in the and I remember how in speaking of some plenary inspiration of the New Testament place we passed through he associated to-does not prevent a good Protestant from begether the ideas of Protestantism and intel-I coming an acute critic of Greek literature lectual superiority in some such phrase as generally. A man may have the finest scienthis: “The people here are very superior; tific faculty, the most advanced scientific they are Protestants.” There seemed to ex- culture, and still believe the consecrated waist, in my companion's mind, an assumption fer to the body of Jesus Christ. For since that Protestants would be superior people in- he still believes it to be the body of Christ untellectually, or that superior people would be der the apparent form of a wafer, it is evident Protestants; and this set me thinking whether, that the wafer under chemical analysis would in the course of such experience as had fallen resolve itself into the same elements as before in my way, I had found that religious creed consecration; therefore why consult chemishad made much difference in the matter of try? intellectual acumen or culture.
| What has chemistry to say to a mysThe exact truth appears to be this. A re-Itery of this kind, the essence of which is the ligious belief protects this or that subject complete disguise of a human body under a against intellectual action, but it does not form in all respects answering the material affect the energy of the intellectual action up- semblance of a wafer? Ampère must have on subjects which are not so protected. Let foreseen the certain results of analysis as me illustrate this by a reference to one of the clearly as the best chemist educated in the fine arts, the art of etching. The etcher pro- principles of Protestantism, but this did not tects a copper-plate by means of a waxy cover- prevent him from adoring the consecrated ing called etching-ground, and wherever this host in all the sincerity of his heart. ground is removed the acid bites the copper. I say that it does not follow, because M. or The waxy ground does not in the least affect N. happens to be a Protestant, that he is inthe strength of the acid, it only intervenes tellectually superior to Ampère, or because between it and the metal plate. So it is in the M. or N. happens to be a Unitarian, or a Deist, or a Positivist, that he is intellectually supe-| lightly over the central difficulty, which rior to Dr. Arnold or Sydney Smith. And on sooner or later will have to be considered. the other side of this question it is equally The difficulty is this, that the freedom of the unfair to conclude that because a man does intellectual life can never be secured except not share whatever may be our theological by treating as if they were doubtful several beliefs on the positive side, he must be less affirmations which large masses of mankind capable intellectually than we are. Two of hold to be certainties as indisputable as the the finest and most disciplined modern intel- facts of science. One of the most recently lects, Comte and Sainte-Beuve, were neither conspicuous of these affirmations is the infalCatholics, nor Protestants, nor Deists, but libility of the Pope of Rome. Nothing can convinced atheists; yet Comte until the pe- be more certain in the opinion of immense riod of his decline, and Sainte-Beuve up to the numbers of Roman Catholics than the infallivery hour of his death, were quite in the ble authority of the Supreme Pontiff on all highest rank of modern scientific and literary matters affecting doctrine. But then the intellect.
matters affecting doctrine include many subThe inference from these facts which con-jects which come within the circle of the cerns every one of us is, that we are not to sciences. History is one of those subjects build up any edifice of intellectual self-satis- which modern intellectual criticism takes faction on the ground that in theological leave to study after its own methods, and yet matters we believe or disbelieve this thing or certain prevalent views of history are offenthat. If Ampère believed the doctrines of sive to the Pope and explicitly condemned by the Church of Rome, which to us seem so in-him. The consequence is, that in order to credible, if Faraday remained throughout his study history with mental liberty, we have brilliant intellectual career (certainly one of to act practically as if there existed a doubt the most brilliant ever lived through by a of the Papal infallibility. The same difficulty human being) a sincere member of the ob- occurs with reference to the great Protestant scure sect of the Sandemanians, we are not doctrine which attributes a similar infalliwarranted in the conclusion that we are in-bility to the various authors who composed tellectually their betters because our theology | what are now known to us as the Holy Scriptis more novel, or more fashionable, or more ures. in harmony with reason. Nor, on the other Our men of science act, and the laws of hand, does our orthodoxy prove anything in scientific investigation compel them to act, favor of our mental force and culture. Who, as if it were not quite certain that the views amongst the most orthodox writers, has a of scientific subjects held by those early more forcible and cultivated intellect than writers were so final as to render modern inSainte-Beuve?--who can better give us the vestigation superfluous. It is useless to distone of perfect culture, with its love of jus- guise the fact that there is a real opposition tice, its thoroughness in preparation, its su- of method between intellect and faith, and periority to all crudeness and violence? An- that the independence of the intellectual life glican or Romanist, dissenter or heretic, may can never be fully secured unless all affirmabe our master in the intellectual sphere, from tions based upon authority are treated as if which no sincere and capable laborer is ex- they were doubtful. This implies no change cluded, either by his belief or by his un- of manner in the intellectual classes towards belief.
those classes whose mental habits are founded upon obedience. I mean that the man of science does not treat the affirmations of any
priesthood with less respect than the affirmaLETTER VI.
tions of his own scientific brethren; he ap
plies with perfect impartiality the same critiTO A ROMAN CATHOLIC FRIEND WHO ACCUSED
cism to all affirmations, from whatever source THE INTELLECTUAL CLASS OF A WANT OF | they emanate. The intellect does not recogREVERENCE FOR AUTHORITY.
nize authority in any one, and intellectual
men do not treat the Pope, or the author of Necessity for treating affirmations as if they were doubtful
Genesis, with less consideration than those The Papal Infallibility-The Infallibility of the Sacred Scriptures--Opposition of method between Intellect and
famous persons who in their day have been Faith-The perfection of the intellectual life requires in the brightest luminaries of science. The diftellectual methods--Inevitable action of the intellectual fruto however remains that whilst
ficulty, however, remains, that whilst the in
tellectual class has no wish to offend either It is very much the custom, in modern those who believe in the infallibility of the writing about liberty of thought, to pass Pope, or those who believe in the infallibility
of the author of Genesis, it is compelled to
• PART VII. conduct its own investigations as if those infallibilities were matters of doubt and not of WOMEN AND MARRIAGE. certainty.
Why this is so, may be shown by a refercnce to the operation of Nature in other ways. The rewards of physical strength and health
LETTER I. are not given to the most moral, to the most humane, to the most gentle, but to those who TO A YOUNG GENTLEMAN OF INTELLECTUAL have acted, and whose forefathers have acted, TASTES, WHO, WITHOUT HAVING AS YET ANY in the most perfect accordance with the laws
PARTICULAR LADY IN VIEW, HAD EXPRESSED, of their physical constitution. So the perfec IN A GENERAL WAY, HIS DETERMINATION TO tion of the intellectual life is not given to the
GET MARRIED. most humble, the most believing, the most obedient, but to those who use their minds How ignorant we all are about marriage - People wrong in
their estimates of the marriages of others-Effects of maraccording to the most purely intellectual meth-|
riage on the intellectual life-Two courses open-A wife ods. One of the most important truths that
who would not interfere with elevated pursuits-A wife human beings can know is the perfectly in capable of understanding them-Madame Ingreg-Differ
ence in the education of the sexes --Difficulty of educating dependent working of the natural laws: one
a wife. of the best practical conclusions to be drawn from the observation of Nature is that in the THE subject of marriage is one concerning conduct of our own understandings we should which neither I nor anybody else can have use a like independence.
more than an infinitesimally small atom of It would be wrong, in writing to you on knowledge. Each of us knows how his or subjects so important as these, to shrink from her own marriage has turned out; but that, handling the real difficulties. Every one now in comparison with a knowledge of marriage is aware that science must and will pursue generally, is like a single plant in comparison her own methods and work according to her with the flora of the globe. The utmost exown laws, without concerning herself with perience on this subject to be found in this the most authoritative affirmations from with country extends to about three trials or exout. But if science said one thing and au- periments. A man may become twice a widthoritative tradition said another, no perfectly ower, and then marry a third time, but it ingenuous person could rest contented until may be easily shown that the variety of his he had either reconciled the two or decidedly experience is more than counterbalanced by rejected one of them. It is impossible for a its incompleteness in each instance. For the mind which is honest towards itself to admit experiment to be conclusive even as to the that a proposition is true and false at the same wisdom of one decision, it must extend over time, true in science and false in theology. half a lifetime. A true marriage is not a Therefore, although the intellectual methods mere temporary arrangement, and although are entirely independent of tradition, it may a young couple are said to be married as soon easily happen that the indirect results of our as the lady has changed her name, the truth following those methods may be the over- is that the real marriage is a long slow interthrow of some dogma which has for many | growth, like that of two trees planted quite generations been considered indispensable to close together in the forest. man's spiritual welfare. With regard to this The subject of marriage generally is one of contingency it need only be observed that which men know less than they know of any the intellectual forces of humanity must act, other subject of universal interest. People like floods and winds, according to their own are almost always wrong in their estimates of laws; and that if they cast down any edifice the marriages of others, and the best proof too weak to resist them, it must be because how little we know the real tastes and needs the original constructors had not built it sub- of those with whom we have been most intistantially, or because those placed in charge mate, is our unfailing surprise at the marof it had neglected to keep it in repair. This riages they make. Very old and experienced is their business, not ours. Our work is sim- people fancy they know a great deal about ply to ascertain truth by our own independ-younger couples, but their guesses, there is ent methods, alike without hostility to any good reason to believe, never exactly hit the mersons claiming authority, and without def-mark. erence to them.
Ever since this idea, that marriage is a subject we are all very ignorant about, had taken root in my own mind, many little incidents
were perpetually occurring to confirm it; they stinguished than she was; and my companion proved to me, on the one hand, how often I said that he thought a gentleman might do had been mistaken about other people, and, worse than ask that girl to marry him, and on the other hand, how mistaken other peo- settle down quietly in that quiet mountain ple were concerning the only marriage I pro- village, far from the cares and vanities of the fess to know anything about, namely, my world. That is a sort of dream which has ocown.
curred no doubt to many an honorable man. Our ignorance is all the darker that few Some men have gone so far as to try to make men tell us the little that they know, that lit- the dream a reality, and have married the tle being too closely bound up with that in- beautiful peasant. But the difficulty is that nermost privacy of life which every man of she does not remain what she was; she beright feeling respects in his own case, as in comes a sort of make-belief lady, and then her the case of another. The only instances ignorance, which in her natural condition was which are laid bare to the public view are the a charming naïveté, becomes an irritating deunhappy marriages, which are really not mar- fect. If, however, it were possible for an inriages at all. An unhappy alliance bears ex- tellectual man to marry some simple-hearted actly the same relation to a true marriage peasant girl, and keep her carefully in her that disease does to health, and the quarrels original condition, I seriously believe that the and misery of it are the crises by which Na-venture would be less perilous to his culture ture tries to bring about either the recovery than an alliance with some woman of our of happiness, or the endurable peace of a set- Philistine classes, equally incapable of comtled separation.
I prehending his pursuits, but much more likeAll that we really know about marriage is ly to interfere with them. I once had a conthat it is based upon the most powerful of all versation on this subject with a distinguished our instincts, and that it shows its own justi- artist, who is now a widower, and who is cerfication in its fruits, especially in the pro- tainly not likely to be prejudiced against marlonged and watchful care of children. But riage by his own experience, which had been marriage is very complex in its effects, and an unusually happy one. His view was that there is one set of effects, resulting from it, to a man devoted to art might marry either a which remarkably little attention has been plain-minded woman, who would occupy herpaid hitherto,-I mean its effects upon the in- self exclusively with household matters and tellectual life. Surely they deserve consider- shield his peace by taking these cares upon ation by all who value culture.
herself, or else a woman quite capable of enI believe that for an intellectual man, only tering into his artistic life; but he was contwo courses are open; either he ought to vinced that a marriage which exposed him to marry some simple dutiful woman who will unintelligent criticism and interference would bear him children, and see to the household be dangerous in the highest degree. And of matters, and love him in a trustful spirit with the two kinds of marriage which he considout jealousy of his occupations; or else, on ered possible he preferred the former, that the other hand, he ought to marry some highly with the entirely ignorant and simple person intelligent lady, able to carry her education from whom no interference was to be apprefar beyond school experiences, and willing to hended. He considered the first Madame Inbecome his companion in the arduous paths gres the true model of an artist's wife, beof intellectual labor. The danger in the first cause she did all in her power to guard her of the two cases is that pointed out by Words- husband's peace against the daily cares of life worth in some verses addressed to lake-tour- and never herself disturbed it, acting the part ists who might feel inclined to buy a peasant's of a breakwater which protects a space of cottage in Westmoreland. The tourist would calm, and never destroys the peace that it spoil the little romantic spot if he bought it; has made. This may be true for artists whose the charm of it is subtly dependent upon the occupation is rather æsthetic than intellectpoetry of a simple life, and would be brushed ual, and does not get much help or benefit away by the influence of the things that are from talk; but the ideal marriage for a man necessary to people in the middle class. I of great literary culture would be one permitremember dining in a country in with an ting some equality of companionship, or, if English officer whose ideas were singularly not equality, at least interest. That this ideal unconventional. We were waited upon by is not a mere dream, but may consolidate into our host's daughter, a beautiful girl, whose a happy reality several examples prove; yet manners were remarkable for their natural these examples are not so numerous as to reelegance and distinction. It seemed to us lieve me from anxiety about your chances of both that no lady of rank could be more dis- finding such companionship. The different