But the very esoteric quality of their science is that it means something which no one else ever understood that it meant. In reality their breach with science is more radical than their breach with Christianity. They feel the contradiction in which most men are bound fast, who will let science have its way, up to a certain point, but who beyond that, would retain the miracle. Dimly the former appreciate that this position is impossible. They leave it to other men to become altogether scientific if they wish. For themselves they prefer to remain religious. What a revival of ancient superstitions they have brought to pass, is obvious. Still we shall never get beyond such adventurous and preposterous endeavours to rescue that which is inestimably precious in religion, until the false antithesis between reason and faith, the lying contradiction between the providence of God and the order of nature, is overcome. Some science mankind apparently must have. Altogether without religion the majority, it would seem, will never be. How these are related, the one to the other, not every one sees. Many attempt their admixture in unhappy ways. They might try letting them stand in peace as complement and supplement the one to the other. Still better, they may perhaps some day see how each penetrates, permeates and glorifies the other.
THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
We said that the last generation had been characterised by an unexampled concentration of intellectual interest upon problems presented by the social sciences. With this has gone an unrivalled earnestness in the interpretation of religion as a social force. The great religious enthusiasm has been that of the application of Christianity to the social aspects of life. This effort has furnished most of the watchwords of religious teaching. It has laid vigorous, not to say violent, hands on religious institutions. It has given a new perspective to effort and a new impulse to devotion. The revival of religion in our age has taken this direction, with an exclusiveness which has had both good and evil consequences. Yet, before all, it should be made clear that it constitutes a religious revival. Some are deploring the prostrate condition of spiritual interests. If one judged only by conventional standards, they have much evidence upon their side. Some are seeking to galvanise religious life by recurrence to evangelistic methods successfully operative half a century ago. The outstanding fact is that the age shows immense religious vitality, so soon as one concedes that it must be allowed to show its vitality in its own way. It is the age of the social question. One must be ignorant indeed of the activity of the churches and of the productivity of religious thinkers, if he does not own that in Christian circles also no questions are so rife as these. Whether the panaceas have been all wise or profitable may be questioned.