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[41]

Taking now the wide survey, we see three and possibly four great major facts of history that no discerning eye can easily escape. First, that stupendous struggle in America known as the Civil War; then the rise and progress of the scientific method in the pursuit of truth, and the new theories and doctrines that arose and gained world-wide acceptance as the result of the use of this method; in the third place, parallel with and, to some extent, the outcome of science and evolution, we see the birth of what may very properly be called the new Bible; and lastly, and nearest to our day of all, we cannot fail to note the deep flood of materialism and commercialism that has swept through and over the national life of the new world and out to the far corners of the earth. These I take to be the great, imperial facts of the last half-century,—the Civil War, the rise of science, the birth of the new Bible, and the marvelous growth of the commercial spirit.

And the central lesson that we want to draw from a brief study of these epoch-making events is that each and every one of them with almost cyclonic force affected the faith of man in the unseen, and that after the first effects of these political and intellectual convulsions had passed, that eternal and inevitable faith of man in God, in goodness, and in heaven rose with a new purity and a greater glory than it had ever known before. Therefore, for this reason, above all other reasons, this period must be regarded as the grandest in the history of the race. Never before had religion or faith to face so many and such mighty forces that at first sight seemed to be antagonistic, if not wholly fatal, and yet religion and faith have come forth from the conflict stronger than at the beginning, having won to their ranks many of those who were counted and who indeed counted themselves as the enemies of Christianity.

Neither time nor desire will permit us to enter with any fullness into the religious effects of that Titanic

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