mosquitoes and fleas, and make oranges and bananas grow further north.? The lady who was bitten by a mosquito asked whether it would be proper to speak of the creature as ?a depraved little insect.? She was told that this would be improper, because depravity always implies a previous state of innocence, whereas the mosquito has always been as bad as he now is. Dr. Lyman Beecher, however, seems to have held the contrary view. When he had captured the mosquito that had bitten him, he crushed the insect, saying:
?There! I?ll show you that there is a God in Israel!? He identified the mosquito with all the corporate evil of the world. Allen, Religious Progress, 22 ? ?Wordsworth hoped still, although the French Revolution depressed him; Macaulay, after reading Ranke?s History of the Popes, denied all religious progress.? On Huxley?s account of evil, see Upton, Hibbert Lectures, 265 sq.
Pfleiderer, Philos. Religion, 1:301, 302 ? ?The Greeks of Homer?s time had a naive and youthful optimism. But they changed from an optimistic to a pessimistic view. This change resulted from their increasing contemplation of the moral disorder of the world.? On the melancholy of the Greeks, see Butcher, Aspects of Greek Genius, 130-165. Butcher holds that the great difference between Greeks and Hebrews was that the former had no hope or ideal of progress. A. H. Bradford, Age of Faith. 74-102 ? ?The voluptuous poets are pessimistic, because sensual pleasure quickly passes, and leaves lassitude and enervation behind. Pessimism is the basis of Stoicism also. It is inevitable where there is no faith in God and in a future life. The life of a seed underground is not inspiring, except in prospect of sun and flowers and fruit.? Bradley, Appearance and Reality, xiv, sums up the optimistic view as follows: ?The world is the best of all possible worlds and everything in it is a necessary evil.? He should have added that pain is the exception in the world, and finite free will is the cause of the trouble. Pain is made the means of developing character, and, when it has accomplished its purpose, pain will pass away.
Jackson, James Martineau, 390 ? ?All is well, says an American preacher, for if there is anything that is not well, it is well that it is not well. It is well that falsity and hate are not well, that malice and envy and cruelty are not well. What hope for the world ?or what trust in God, if they were well?? Live spells Evil, only when we read it the wrong way. James Russell Lowell, Letters, 2:51 ? ?The more I learn? the more my confidence in the general good sense and honest intentions of mankind increases.
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