Outspoken Essays eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 361 pages of information about Outspoken Essays.
anything that shall not be to their immediate and palpable advantage.’  To do our countrymen justice, it is often not self-interest, but a tendency to deal with the concrete instance, in disregard of the general law, that blinds them to the larger aspects of great problems.  Those who are able to trace causes and effects further than the majority must expect to be unpopular, but they will not mind it, if they can do good by speaking.  The logic of events will justify them, and science has a new weapon in official statistics which will register at once the disastrous effects upon wealth and trade which the insane theories of the demagogue will bring about.  No agitator can explain away ascertained figures; if we go down hill, we shall do it with our eyes open.  It may be that reactions will be set up which will render the anticipations in this article erroneous.  Things never turn out either so well or so badly as they logically ought to do.  Prophecy is only an amusement; what does concern us all deeply is that we should see in what direction we are now moving.


[23] In the small islands round our coast increase has ceased for some decades.  The vital statistics of these islands furnish an excellent illustration of automatic adjustment to a state of supersaturation.



The strength and the weakness of the Anglican Church lie in the fact that it is not the best representative of any well-defined type of Christianity.  It is not strictly a Protestant body; for Protestantism is the democracy of religion, and the Church of England retains a hierarchical organisation, with an order of priests who claim a divine commission not conferred upon them by the congregation.  It is not a State Church as the Russian Empire has[24] a State Church.  That is a position which it has neither the will nor the power to regain.  Still less could it ever justify a claim to separate existence as a purely Catholic Church, independent of the Church of Rome.  A community of Catholics whose claim to be a Catholic and not a Protestant Church is denied by all other Catholics, by all Protestants, and by all who are neither Catholics nor Protestants, could not long retain sufficient prestige to keep its adherents together.  The destiny of such a body is written in the history of the ‘Old Catholics,’ who seceded from Rome because they would not accept the dogma of Papal infallibility.  The seceders included many men of high character and intellect, but in numbers and influence they are quite insignificant.  The Church of England has only one title to exist, and it is a strong one.  It may claim to represent the religion of the English people as no other body can represent it.  ‘No Church,’ Doellinger wrote in 1872, ’is so national, so deeply rooted in popular affection, so bound up with the institutions

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Outspoken Essays from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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