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“ NOT THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD."-1 Cor. 11. 6.
SCIANT IGITUR, QUI PROPHETAS NON INTELLIGUNT, NEC SCIRE DESIDERANT,
CHRISTI NESCIRE MYSTERIUM,
JAMES NISBET AND CO., 21, BERNERS STREET.
ART. I.—THE AGE.
The special boast of the age is its progress. Upon this its self-gratulations are numerous and fervent, as if it not only loved to advance, but to let the world know, as decidedly as possible, how much it thinks itself advancing. *
Are these gratulations well founded? Is this progress a reality? Is there not exaggeration in the boasting? Are there not many compensating and neutralizing considerations which go far to raise the question whether, upon the whole, having respect to the minus as well as the plus of the items, and looking well at the opposite sides of the great balancesheet, there has been solid and thorough progress-progress which will abide-progress which has placed the nation or the race upon a higher level-spiritually, morally, intellectually, physically.
Let it be allowed that, in many things, the age is one • The following statement, by a well-known literary character of the day, is very sad in itself, yet illustrative of our point :-"One great step of progress is the clear ascertainment that we are in progress. About the grand course of Providence and his final purposes with us, we can know nothing, or almost nothing ; man begins in darkness, ends in darkness ; mystery is everywhere around us, and in us, under our feet, among our hands." Alas! and is this progress ? Nay, are these the words of one conscious of progress? They are dark, despairing, bitter words. Could they have been sadder, if no Bible had been written, and no Saviour sent? Is it really in darkness that we end? Is there ne hope, no kingdom, no glory? Ah, what must the age be, and what its progress, when such are the sad wailings of one of its best and noblest?