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[223] person. This order of ideas, suggested as early as the Williams College Semicentennial Address of 1843, grows stronger and stronger in the series of his works; with deepening earnestness he declares that, deprived of personality and of the scale of moral values conditioned by it, the world will go forever circling through mechanical revolutions, but that progress is impossible.

It is a matter for serious inquiry whether the future is not with him. The world has of course moved beyond a denial of the facts of evolution; but it may have to admit that from the accepted and undeniable facts it has been drawing the falsest inferences. The romantic ‘return to Nature’ has led man into the suicidal fallacy that he ought to imitate her in the conduct of his own affairs, and that because he has been evolved by natural selection he must continue its wild work. A reaction against these romantic horrors is now in sight. Many are feeling that romanticism, having given us its best, has had its day; and that ‘as the Nineteenth Century put man into nature, so it will be the business of the Twentieth to take him out.’ If man shall indeed acknowledge that he has been following the law for thing rather than the law for man, if he shall understand how it was by following nature's senseless competitive ways, instead of subjecting his self-assertiveness to man's ethical scale, that he betrayed his race to mutual slaughter, and how it was a pseudo-scientific philosophy that brought him to this doloroso passo ,he will turn from his ghastly naturalism to a controlling humanism such as has never yet been realized.

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1843 AD (1)
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