quoted in Contemp. Rev., Dec. l893:876 ? ?Instead of the physical derivation of the soul, we stand for the spiritual derivation of the body.? We would amend this statement by saying that we stand for the spiritual derivation of both soul and body, natural law being only the operation of spirit, human and divine.
(c) The individuality of the child, even in the most extreme cases, as in the sudden rise from obscure families and surroundings of marked men like Luther, may be better explained by supposing a law of variation impressed upon the species at its beginning. This is a law whose operation is foreseen and supervised by God.
The differences of the child from the parent are often exaggerated; men are generally more the product of their ancestry and of their time than we are accustomed to think. Dickens made angelic children to be born of depraved parents and to grow up in the slums. But this writing belongs to a past generation, when the facts of heredity were unrecognized. George Eliot?s school is nearer the truth. Although she exaggerates the doctrine of heredity in turn, until all ideas of free will and all hopes of escaping our fate vanish. Shaler, Interpretation of Nature, 78, 90 ? ?Separate motives, handed down from generation to generation, sometimes remaining latent for great periods, to become suddenly manifested under conditions the nature of which is not discernible. Conflict of inheritances [from different ancestors] may lead to the institution of variety.?
Sometimes, in spite of George Eliot, a lily grows out of a stagnant pool and how shall we explain the fact? We must remember that the paternal and the maternal elements are themselves unlike and the union of the two may well produce a third in some respects unlike either as, when two chemical elements unite, the product differs from either of the constituents. We must remember also that nature is one factor and nurture is another and that the latter is often as potent as the former (see Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty, 77-81). Environment determines to a large extent both the fact and the degree of development. Genius is often another name for Providence. Yet before all and beyond all we must recognize a manifold wisdom of God, which in the very organization of species impresses upon it a law of variation. At proper times and under proper conditions the old is modified in the line of progress and advance to something higher. Dante, Purgatory, canto vii ? ?Rarely into the branches of the tree Doth human worth mount up; and so ordains He that bestows it, that as his free gift It may be called.? Pompilia, the noblest character in Robert Browning?s Ring and the Book, came of ?a bad lot.? Geo. A. Gordon, Christ of Today, 123-126 ? ?It is mockery to account
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