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Christianity As The Result Of Pre-Established Harmony
by [?]

If you are one that upon meditative grounds have come sincerely to perceive the philosophic value of this faith; if you have become sensible that as yet Christianity is but in its infant stages–after eighteen centuries is but beginning to unfold its adaptations to the long series of human situations, slowly unfolding as time and change move onwards; and that these self-adapting relations of the religion to human necessities, this conformity to unforeseen developments, argues a Leibnitzian pre-establishment of this great system as though it had from the first been a mysterious substratum laid under ‘the dark foundations’ of human nature; holding or admitting such views of the progress awaiting Christianity–you will thank us for what we are going to say. You may, possibly for yourself, when reviewing the past history of man, have chanced to perceive the same–we are not jealous of participation in a field so ample–but even in such a case, if the remark (on which we are now going to throw a ray of light) should appeal to you in particular, with less of absolute novelty, not the less you will feel thankful to be confirmed in your views by independent testimony. We, for ourselves, offer the remark as new; but, in an age teeming with so much agility of thought, it is rare that any remark can have absolutely evaded all partial glimpses or stray notices of others, even when aliud agentes, men stumble upon truths, to which they are not entitled by any meritorious or direct studies. However, whether absolutely original or not, the remark is this–Did it ever strike you, reader, as a most memorable phenomenon about Christianity, as one of those contradictory functions which, to a thing of human mechanism, is impossible, but which are found in vital agencies and in all deep-laid systems of truth–that the same scheme of belief which is the most settling, freezing, tranquillizing for one purpose, is the most unbinding, agitating, revolutionary in another? Christianity is that religion which most of all settles what is perilous in scepticism; and yet, also, it is that which most of all unsettles whatever may invite man’s intellectual activity. It is the sole religion which can give any deep anchorage for man’s hopes; and yet, also, in mysterious self-antagonism, it is the sole religion which opens a pathless ocean to man’s useful and blameless speculations. Whilst all false religions neither as a matter of fact have produced–nor as a matter of possibility could have produced–a philosophy, it is a most significant distinction of Christianity, and one upon which volumes might be written, that simply by means of the great truths which that faith has fixed when brought afterwards into collision with the innumerable questions which that faith has left undetermined (as not essential to her own final purposes), Christianity has bred, and tempted, and stimulated a vast body of philosophy on neutral ground; ground religious enough to create an interest in the questions, yet not so religious as to react upon capital truths by any errors that may be committed in the discussion. For instance, on that one sea-like question of free agency, besides the explicit philosophy that Christianity has bred amongst the Schoolmen, and since their time, what a number of sects, heresies, orthodox churches have implicitly couched and diffused some one view or other of this question amongst their characteristic differences; and without prejudice to the integrity of their Christian views or the purity of their Christian morals. Whilst, on the other hand, the very noblest of false religions (the noblest as having stolen much from Christianity), viz., Islamism, has foreclosed all philosophy on this subject by the stupid and killing doctrine of fatalism. This we give as one instance; but in all the rest it is the same. You might fancy that from a false religion should arise a false philosophy–false, but still a philosophy. Is it so? On the contrary: the result of false religion is no philosophy at all.