Literature, instead of being considered as merely an expression of the primitive experiences of a race in its sagas, glees, ballads, dramas, and larger works and songs, is more and more revealing itself as an appeal to the Highest in the supreme moments of life. It is the unfolding panorama of the concepts of the soul in regard to duty, conduct, love, and hope. Literature asks: What do I live for? as well as, How shall I speak forth beauty? How ought the soul of man to act in an emergency? What is the best solution of the great human problems of duty, love, and fate? The voices of Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Browning sweep the soul upward to spiritual heights, and answer some of the deepest questionings of the soul of man. And hence literature is no longer merely a thing of vocabulary, of phrase, of rhythm, of assonance, of alliteration, or of metrical and philosophical form. It is a revelation of the progress of the soul, of its standards, of its triumphs, its defeats, and its desires. It is the unfolding of one’s intellectual helplessness before the unmoved, calm passing of years; of one’s emotional inadequacy without God for adjudicator. It is a direct search for God. One finds wrapped within it the mystery, aspiration, and spiritual passion of the soul.
Science, no longer a dry assembling of facts and figures, is an increasing revelation of the imagination, the exactness, the thoroughness, and the great progressive plans of God. Evolution has become a spiritual formula. The scientist looks out over the earth and sky and sun and star. Against his little years are meted out vast prehistoric spans; against his mastery of a few forms of life, stands Life itself. Back of all, there looms up the great Figure of the Originator of life, and of the forms of life; the Maker and Ruler of them all. Each scientific fact helps exegesis and evidence. Each new aspiration after truth becomes a form of prayer.
Yes, the whole world is being subtly and powerfully drawn to the worship of the Christ. Never before was there so deep, genuine, and widespread a Revival of Religion. It has not come heralded with great outcries, with flame and wind, and revolution and upheaval; it has come as the great changes that are most permanent come, in stillness and strength. Throughout the world there is being turned to the service of religion the highest training, the most intellectual power. Wars are being wrought for freedom; the Church and the university are joining hands; the rich and the poor are drawing near together for mutual help and understanding; industry is growing to be, not only a crude force, brutal and disregarding, but a high ministry to human needs; the home is becoming more and more the guardian of faith and the shrine of peace; business houses are taking upon them a religious significance; commerce and trade are perceiving ethical duties. Armies are marching in the name of Jehovah, and a great poet has this one message: “Lest we forget!”