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wealth will consist, as in England, of a may soon become as valuable to the Cabinet, composed of members of the mother country in other ways. Already Parliament possessing the confidence of a the South Sea continent, young as it is, working majority of the representatives of does a larger trade with Great Britain the people, under the presidency of a than any other country except our own Governor-General, appointed in England and India, and she even surpasses India to represent the Sovereign, with powers by many millions in the goods she exports. almost identical with those still retained The war in South Africa, and the more by the English Crown in Great Britain recent disturbance in China, have called itself. The Federal Legislature will forth a ready and enthusiastic support consist of two chambers : a Senate, to from the people of Australia, too, such as which each of the States will send six no part of the empire except New Zealand members, and a Representative Chamber has offered. It is no wonder that, in view the members of which will be elected on of facts like these, England is prepared to the basis of population, with the novel welcome to a wider and more consolidated proviso that the Representative Chamber political life the new Federation which shall never contain more than double the begins its existence with the twentieth. numbers of the Senate. The object of century, with an enthusiasm which she this would seem to be to give something, has never before displayed on any similar yet not everything, of final control to the occasion. majority of the people, by providing that, if in any case it is found impossible to obtain an agreement between the cham The Age of Faith bers, the measure in dispute shall be submitted to the final decision of a joint The suggestive title of Dr. Bradford's sitting of both, in which the votes of an suggestive book, a brief notice of which absolute majority of those present shall will be found in another column, raises a prevail. The Senators will be elected by profound question which Dr. Bradford the votes of the people of the States and himself presents in two antithetical sennot by the State Legislatures, and will tences in his introduction : “ This is an hold office for six years, two of their num- age of faith. ... The days of authority ber retiring every second year. The con- are gone." To some, perhaps to many, trol of taxation and finance are, however, these two sentences will seem a contravested chiefly in the Representative Cham- diction. To us they appear a true interber, which alone can initiate such meas- pretation of the enigma of our time. ures, the Senate having the power to reject It is certainly true that the days of but not to amend any such bill.
authority are gone or rapidly going. The The Federal Judiciary are to be appointed notion that the Church can authoritatively by the Executive with the approval of the determine what is truth, that to refuse Parliament, and the judges will hold office acceptance of its teaching is a crime, and during good behavior--that is, until vol that contradiction of its teaching is pununtary resignation or superannuation, or ishable by law, is no longer entertained unless removed from office for some offense in any branch of the Christian Church. by the vote of a majority of both cham- The only remnant of it which we recall bers of Parliament. The power of dealing in recent times is furnished by the somewith all matters reserved for Federal con- what extraordinary appeal of the Philip trol, and also of finally settling all ques- pine friars just before the Spanish war tions involving the interpretation of the to the Spanish Government for civil pro Constitution, is given to the Federal Su- tection against the heretics. The notion preme Court.
that the Church can authoritatively deterIt is not easy to overestimate the mine what is true, and that to refuse importance to England of this latest feder- acceptance of its teaching is an offense ation of her colonies. For a good many ecclesiastically punishable, still lingers in years Australia has been assuming more some Protestant Churches; but the diffiand more the position of England's most culty of enforcing even by ecclesiastical valuable commercial dependency ; the last penalties the authority of the Church twelve months have shown that her people grows every year greater, and heresy trials
grow increasingly unpopular. The au- sense, in an immortal life transcending thority of the Bible still continues to be the life of the present, because they were maintained as final and conclusive in told either by the church or the book that many circles, but it cannot be doubted such a world and such a life exist. As that the new criticism, which is really a the age of authority disappears, the belief new method of interpretation, has gone founded on authority disappears also. far to undermine the old authority of the This disappearance looks like a decay of Bible as an infallible text-book, and that faith. It is really a decay of authority. when this new method of interpretation The decadence throws men back upon has become generally accepted, the author the inner light, compels them to question ity of the Bible in the old sense of that that which is written within the consciousterm will also be gone.
ness of man, and read there the divine Dr. Köstlin, who is probably the best answer to their questioning. If they do living expounder of the Lutheranism of this, their faith is developed ; if they do Luther, declares that it was the essence not, their belief in the invisible and tranof Luther's teaching that there is and can scendent world disappears with the authorbe no external standard, no final authority ity on which that belief was based. outside of man himself. We have no There are others whose so-called faith doubt that Dr. Köstlin correctly inter- was not based upon any recognized exterprets the great reformer. The issue is nal authority. It was simply sympaclear and simple. Is man to look within thetic. They were surrounded by men himself or without himself for the final and women who believed, or thought they arbiter? The Roman Catholic Church believed, in the invisible and the eternal. bids him look without himself and find They caught the contagion of this belief, that final arbiter in a living Church, and shared or thought they shared it. Protestantism has sometimes bade him They acquiesced in the opinions which look without himself and find that arbiter surrounded them, as we are all apt to in a book. But the Reformation, as inter- acquiesce in the opinions which surpreted by Martin Luther, bade him look round us, unless something comes to comwithin ; and more and more the tendency pel an original inquiry into the grounds of the age is to measure all affirmations of our belief. But this traditional belief of the church, all its dogmas and doc- no longer surrounds them. With the trines, and all affirmations of the Bible, disappearance of authority the beliefs all its tenets and teachings, by their founded on authority have disappeared conformity to what the Friends have well also, and those whose faith was simply a called the inner light. This looking to sympathetic faith, who had no inner light, the inner light, this trust and confi- who had only a reflected light borrowed dence and reliance upon it, we call faith. from others who had themselves in turn Never before has there been so much borrowed it from original sources, find looking within, so much question of this this reflection growing dim, and themInner Light, so much seeking for its selves in twilight or in darkness. These answer to problems both of thought and also are thrown back upon themselves, are of duty, as there is to-day. This is also compelled to look within and see what is Dr. Bradford's definition of faith: “Will the divine writing in their own souls, to ingness to act on intuitions, or convic- listen for the voice that speaks in the inner tions of what is true and right, not consciousness. If there is no such light, because they have been proven, but be if there is no such voice, then they grow cause the whole man asserts that they skeptical. Faith, says Dr. Bradford, is ought to be true.” This is antithetical “willingness to act on intuitions." Those to acting on authority external to man, who have no intuitions have no basis on whether that authority be found in the which to act. Faith is willingness to act decree of a church or the teaching of a on convictions of what is true and right, book.
not because they have been proven, but In the age from which we are emerging, because the whole man asserts that they men based both their belief and their ought to be true.” He who believes with action on authority. They believed in an Professor Huxley that “the assertion invisible world transcending the world of which outstrips evidence is not only a
Christmas Prophecy and
blunder but a crime," and who also regards Power not ourselves that makes for rightnothing as evidence which is not attested eousness, out of the faith in man which by the senses, will have respecting the perceives dormant in man a divinity yet world which transcends the sensuous no to be developed, out of the faith in the convictions of what is true and right. In moral law to which all are subject because such men faith will seem to fail because it is the law of our own being, will yet the reflected light borrowed from others issue a clearer, simpler, profounder faith has failed. The convictions founded on in God and an undying life than any authority have disappeared because the which was or could be based on authority, days of authority are gone. But this is whether of prophets long dead or of a not really a decadence of faith. It is only church still living. a discovery by those whose beliefs were founded on authority that they never had faith.
Thus the age is a trial age. We are learning what faith is, we are learning who
Fulfillment have faith, we are learning the various measures and limitations of it. Never It has happened many times in the was an age in which man had so much history of the world that the coming of faith in his fellow-men as now. The skep- Christmas, with its immortal message of ticism that formerly attacked Christianity peace and good will froin heaven to earth, has disappeared. In its place has come has seemed, in the light of contemporary the ethical culture which endeavors to events, almost a mockery. Again and carry out the ethical principles of Jesus again, in the nineteen centuries which Christ. There never was so much phi- have passed since that song was heard lanthropy, and philanthropy was never so above the plains of Bethlehem, its echoes truly spiritual. There never was so much on Christmas Eve have been drowned by realization of the universal presence of the mad tumult of passionate strife or by God, of a divine Some One behind all phe- the tragic uproar of battle. At the end nomena producing them, behind all life of the nineteenth century it is heard controlling it; and yet also there never again, when the whole world is stirred was a time in which so many doubted, not by what appear to be on the surface only the dogmas of the Church, not only deep and antagonistic passions ; when a the teachings of the Bible, but the whole sense of restlessness seems to pervade all supersensuous sphere, the whole tran- society, and, in spite of widespread prosscendent world. They doubt because the perity and material well-being, men seem days of authority are gone, and the inner unable to rest in the fruits of their labors. light, which the authority itself atrophied The first Christmas song, however, was and sometimes paralyzed, has to be devel- a prophecy and a promise ; nothing could oped from the beginning; and the begin- have been further from its fulfillment than ning is faith in man and in moral law. the condition of the world at the time
We should call this, therefore, less the when it was heard by the shepherds. age of faith than an age of the new birth The distance between heaven and earth of faith—its fresh beginning. Yet types is great enough to-day, but it was greater there are which indicate to what this age when Christ was born in Bethlehem. is conducting humanity. The religious Those who look only at the daily reports type of the future will be that hinted at of the world's doings in the morning by such teachers as James Martineau and newspapers will find much to overshadow Phillips Brooks, men whose inner percep- and darken Christmas memories and tion of the truth enables them to perceive Christmas hopes; but those who turn the truth both in the Church and in the from their newspapers to their histories, Bible, but they perceive it to be truth be- and compare the condition of the world cause it harmonizes with the truth in them- to-day with its condition nineteen hundred selves. Out of the faith in science which years ago, will find much to encourage seeks the Infinite and Eternal Energy be- and inspire. Slowly but surely humanity hind all phenomena, out of the faith in liter- does climb the steep ascent of heaven. ature and history which seeks to know the Painfully, and with almost tragic toil, the race moves upward making no progress portions. Its magnitude will be apparent without the shedding of its blood, gaining to any intelligent person who reads the no ground without deep and bitter sac- two volumes of essays and familiarizes rifices; and yet, in the anguish of its long himself with the contents of the two march, slowly but surely disciplining it- anthologies; but the work behind it can self in self-denial, self-control, and care be divined only by those who have some for others. It is safe to say that no pre- intimate acquaintance with the technical vious age has felt more keenly the sor- preparation which criticism of such breadth rows of humanity; nor in any previous and thoroughness involves, and of the age have individuals entered so deeply minute knowledge of a great literary moveinto the experiences of the race. More ment which the preparation of the antholo men and women are sharing the burden gies implies. In the field of American of painful knowledge of human suffering criticism and literary scholarship there and degradation which Christ bore than has been no more stimulating achieveever before ; more men and women are ment; not excepting the long and loving painfully striving in numberless unre- work of Professor Child upon the English corded ways, as well as in many which ballads, or of Professor Lounsberry upon are obvious, to share their own better Chaucer. The quality of integrity which fortunes and to lift a little the load which lies like an immovable foundation at the rests on the disinherited. There is more basis of Mr. Stedman's nature and career peace and good will in the heart of hu- is disclosed in many ways in this longmanity to-day than there has ever been sustained and patiently executed work. before; and the roar of guns in South The artistic conscience is usually identiAfrica and the foreign battalions mar- fied with extreme care in execution ; the shaled in China must not make us deaf to writer who suffers nothing to go from his this music which once came from heaven, pen' until he has put the last touch of but which finds every year wider reso possible perfection upon it is very rightly nance in the hearts of men.
credited with that kind of conscience which is only another name for the artistic
instinct. Mr. Stedman's conscience is A Noble Work
shown, not only in the care with which
the work has been done, in the accuracy In 1875 Mr. Stedman published “ The of his phrasing, the brilliancy of his style, Victorian Poets ;" ten years later he pub- the precision of his criticism, but still lished “ The Poets of America ;" five more in the minute and conscientious years ago “ The Victorian Anthology" scrutiny to which a vast number of facts appeared ; and now comes “ The Ameri- have been subjected, and the methodical can Anthology," bearing the imprint of and exhaustive searching of the field Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. The which was preliminary to putting the work two volumes of critical essays cover the in its final form. poetic activity of the English-speaking One may not agree with Mr. Stedman's race for the century on both sides of estimate of American poetry in his introthe Atlantic. The two anthologies place duction, but one cannot fail to be impressed in the hands of Mr. Stedman's reader by his extraordinary acquaintance with it ample illustrations of the material with and by the scrupulous care with which he which he has dealt in his criticisms has searched for the best. That he has and upon which he has based his judg- omitted some pieces which another editor ments. The four books together, coming would have included may be taken for at the very end of the century and reveal- granted; no man's selection, however ing the genius of the English-speaking competent and final, would ever entirely race during that century through the parallel that of another man whose knowlmost sensitive of the arts, constitute a edge was as thorough and whose judgsearching and vital interpretation of the ment as good ; but any examination of the mind of the nineteenth century, so far anthology will bring into clear light its as the men and women who use our lan- comprehensiveness and its catholicity. guage are concerned.
Mr. Stedman was quite right in making The work has been one of heroic pro- it a full report of poetic activity in this
country rather than a final depository of finished in time to put into the hands of those pieces of verse which have been and those who wish to know what lies in the are to be accepted as the classics of Ameri- heart of the nineteenth century the key can poetry. He has included much that to the genius, the ideals, and the ultimate is ephemeral, some that does not rise into aims of our race. the realm of poetry; but he has included nothing which is not good in intention and which has not some claim to the Temperance Text-Books attention of the student who wishes to study in its entirety the product of the It is not the practice of The Outlook to American imagination in verse forms. publish replies to book reviews, unless If there are many figures in this House there is some statement of fact to be corof Fame which are there simply by Mr. rected, for the reason that book reviews Stedman's invitation, they have not are expressions of judgment; and, in the crowded out those guests who will ulti. nature of things, such judgments are mately find their permanent home under always open to question by the entire conthat splendid roof.
stituency of a journal. To publish critiIn the very middle of the nineteenth cisms of criticisms, save as they correct century, when the first World's Fair was facts, would, for obvious reasons, be imopened in London and all England was possible ; but, as the Woman's Christian singing the praises of material progress, Temperance Union is an influential and Tennyson published In Memoriam,” and representative body, and as The Outlook thus furnished conclusive evidence of the has spoken very frankly and very fully fact that the springs of English genius on the question of temperance text-books were still flowing and that the fountains in the schools, we depart from our usual of English spiritual life had not been policy and print in full the long resoluexhausted. At the close of a century tion criticising The Outlook's position, which has marked a phenomenal develop which is, in fact, a criticism of a book ment of the material resources of America review. The position of The Outlook on and a phenomenal putting forth of the this matter has been stated many times, energy and power of the American char- and with great fullness. It is because The acter in practical ways, this anthology Outlook is an earnest advocate of temperof American Poetry has immense value as ance as a principle of life to be applied in a spiritual document. It is a record of all relations, and because it regards temthe inner life of this great working nation, perance as fundamental in all wise and and it shows that the essential idealism in true Christian living, that it dissents from which the foundations of society and gov- the method, the manner, and sometimes ernment were laid on this continent still the statements in the so-called temperance sings its ancient song in the hearts of the text-books. The Outlook is convinced people; for, whatever may be the limita- that no cause, and especially no reform, tions of American poetry, no one can fail can be served by anything less than the to catch the note of aspiration struck by most careful and accurate fidelity to the almost every poet, great and small, since truth. On this ground it has based its verse was first written in the New World. criticism of the indorsed temperance textPurity of feeling, love of nature, devotion books. We hold that it is illegitimate to to the ideals of freedom, tenderness for teach children that certain conclusions children, respect for women, interpreta- are facts when those conclusions are question of life in the light of idealism, are tioned by scientific experts, and the asthe motifs which are woven into the very sumed fact is only a doubtful hypothesis. substance of American verse and which When the child comes later to find that recur from page to page throughout this what he has been taught as a statement volume. From this point of view, aside of fact is in reality a matter still undefrom its technical excellence, which long cided, the influence upon him, entirely ago secured ample recognition, Mr. Sted- aside from the moral question, is likely to man's work as critic and collector and be most disastrous. We hold that it is editor of the poetry of his race is of the illegitimate to use the public school for very highest importance. It has been the purpose of teaching what some regard