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strife between sense and reason as to which shall rule; based upon the fact that our sense-perception is always a perception of appearances. Now, it is not the nature of appearances to be in accordance with the demands of the reason; on various grounds it is impossible that they should be. Among the chief of these is, that our perception by sense is extremely partial. Hence comes, as before remarked, the appearance of numerous isolated forces in Nature, instead of one force in changing form. And since, if the whole be rational, that is itself a reason against isolated fragments, put together as we may happen to perceive them, being rational, it is evident that any arrangement of the appearances alone will be opposed to the reason. However much of reason may be employed in the arrangement, it will still be so. The absence of reason involved in their partialness cannot be eliminated, but only for a time concealed. A thought that is conformed to the appearances (or sense-perceptions), therefore, inevitably lays bonds on man; it lays bonds upon his reason. And the solving of the reductio ad absurdum thus instituted consists in the rightful assertion of the claims of reason over those of sense; not crushing them, nor putting them aside, but fulfilling them, by the recognition of the unperceived elements, of which
sense had given no account. So far the correction of the premiss is the introduction into our thought of some element unperceived by sense.
Thus it follows also that the history of human advance is by no means one of simple continuous progress, but presents a series of revolutions. Again and again it presents to us a process more or less long, apparently tending to one end, but resulting in another, and in one also altogether unexpected; necessarily unexpected, and even striven against, while the universal operation of this law is overlooked. That which experience teaches when we read it truly, is not that the thoughts which Man has had will continue to be his, but that in everything in which a great and fundamental revolution has not already occurred, such a revolution will certainly occur in the future. In respect to thought, nothing is stable that has not undergone this radical change of receiving a new starting-point. The true lesson of experience teaches us to expect it, even as reason shows us its necessity.
And reason and experience, also, alike exhibit to us the characters which mark the stages of the process. A correction of the premiss involves that good reasoning and sound evidence—a process altogether validlead to results that cannot be accepted. The process good, the results untrue. It is the embodiment, in fact, of the words: 'Either make the tree good and his fruit good, or else the tree evil and his fruit evil. It is Nature's law that each tree-all acted upon alike by her good forces—brings forth fruits after his kind. The approaching completion of a correction of the premiss is marked especially by this—that good processes, actions dictated and guided perfectly by right, inferences sound in logic, observations of perfect honesty and skill, lead to conclusions that are intolerable to the reason; so that strife and doubt arise, and, above all, a suspicion that true knowledge is impossible. It has all the appearance of a failure and limitation of our faculties; for they are obviously set against themselves. Before the crisis, comes a lull; before the revelation of the new knowledge, despondency. What experience truly teaches us to expect is great and sudden changes: the attainment of new perceptions of facts unperceived before, which shall give new bases to all our thoughts; and these fundamental changes preceded by special strife and mistrust of our powers.
II. And in the moral life, is it not to the full as visible that the law of man's advance is the correction of his starting-point ? For what is more evident than
that he begins with absence of the true emotionswith moral ignorance ? and what more visible in the whole course of his history, than that his very efforts after good have led him into evil ? For this is the sadness and mystery' of human life, the thing that most tends to sink us in despair : not that evil is so strong, but that such a blight seems to attend also the very seeking after good. The very powers on which we must rely seem to play us false ; not only evil has brought evil, but effort for right itself has ended in calamity, even in corruption. But this is the very process whereby a correction of the premiss is wrought out. It comes by man being compelled to open his eyes afresh, and regard more things ; compelled to say 'It is true that right, to me, as I have been feeling and acting, has meant these things; but I must have a different thought, a different feeling, that right may no more mean these things to me.' This is the problem of the correction of the premiss : to fulfil the condition of right no more meaning to us that which it has meant; of beginning so that duties which we could not have put aside before become no more our duties. Our fathers said that on this mountain was the place where we should worship God; you say it is Jerusalem. Where must we worship? How far must we travel ? 'what trouble undergo ?' There is no where; let but the soul worship, and there lies no toil upon the body.
But thus we see that, no less than in the intellectual life, the moral and religious life must also have been a strife, a battle: not of evil and good alone, but one in which good must have seemed divided against itself—a truer right calling for the giving up of that which right itself had brought. For in respect to right also there lies on us a twofold demand, and we are prone to recognise but one and to ignore the other; two demands lie on us—not only to see that we follow that which right enforces, but to see also that our right also operates on a true basis. This latter obligation man leaves unfulfilled long after he has learnt to accept, and earnestly try to fulfil, the former. For very, very long he is content to say, ' Right means this to me, and I will do it,' before he will ask himself, ‘Is my soul truly right within, and if it were so, would right to me mean this ?' And many and most disastrous evils he endures, never suspecting that his right can be in fault, before he is driven to ask, *Ought not right to me to be a different thing?' But God has so ordained his life, that he cannot put the question away for ever; not even in the things he feels most sure of, and counts most sacred.
For, indeed, the more intense his feeling of right,