The LORD reigns; let the people tremble: he sits between the cherubim; let the earth be moved.…
Among these are —
I. GREATER HONESTY OF THOUGHT. Professor Huxley, when he set himself to number the triumphs of scientific work during the reign of Victoria, did not put so high the inventions which have yoked steam and electricity to man's service as he put the more general habit of scientific thinking. The man in the street takes fewer statements on faith, and popular literature offers more reasons for actions. Old customs and old beliefs are tried in a court where the question is, "Does this custom express present belief? Does this belief express truth?" Positions of great attraction are now often considered, not only in relation to the pay or the power they offer, but the further question is asked, "Can I take this post and be honest? Can I, having my views, serve in this leader's party? Can I, with my opinions, take orders?" Men of high intelligence and goodness who would to-day be preaching and teaching in the Church, are doing work they like less because they will not be untrue. Justice to the individual is now often regarded as of greater obligation than expediency. The value set on thinking has brought out the value of the man; each one would live his own life and would let his neighbour live his life. Never before was there so much care that the weak and the wicked should have fair treatment.
II. A LARGER HUMAN SPIRIT. Each morning's news takes in the history of the world, and sympathy from English breakfast-tables reaches out to the needs of the sick, the plague-stricken, the wrecked, and the oppressed in all parts of the world. People watch with anxiety the movement of ideas, and without an eye to their own profit give their time and money to forward or hinder the spread of ideas. Societies for relief, for giving knowledge, for passing on discoveries and inventions increase daily.
III. A MORE GENERAL HISTORIC SENSE. This is shown in the new interest taken in the characters of old times, in the many books and essays written out of much study to throw light on men who hitherto have been but names. It is shown in the interest taken in old forms, in the revival of ritual and pageantry, and in the popularity of romantic literature, in the care and restoration of old monuments. It is shown in the judgments now passed on the manners and morals of other ages. Acts wrong in the present society are seen to be right in another environment. The same principle has been discovered in martyrs and persecutors, in those who kill prophets and in those who build their sepulchres. The seeds of institutions now admired have been sown in deeds now condemned. The past and present are parts of one whole. Unity is seen to be in diversity rather than in uniformity, and a care for beauty, which is the expression of the unity of diversity, has thus been developed. Religion, which I have been trying to show is the thought about God, is, if we will only open our eyes, being worked into the actions and feelings of modern life. God is King, and His kingdom comes.
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.