Is this an Age of Faith?
IS THIS AN AGE OF FAITH? To the Editors of The Radical Review: It was decided last week by a club of earnest young students that it is. It was acknowledged by all participants in the debate, that a more general feeling of lilierality, tolerance, and good-will toward man- kind pervades the public mind, than was ever before known ; but this, by the affirmative side, was attri- buted to the growth of a higher and better faith. Everything in fact that has any good in it, comes of faith, and all the examples of ordinary decent moral- ■ ity were brought forward to show how strong the faith of this age has become. A gentleman had been known to bring back twenty dollars given him by mistake when he need not have done so as be was not kuown :—therefore this is an age of faith. Now it was not made clear what that faith is or consists of. It seemed to be taken for granted that faith meant belief in the orthodox religion; yet the tirmest Christian present, said that the faith of a good Christian church member of to-day might have been called rank heresy two hundred years ago. So it is doubtful what one is to believe, in order to have faith, as the standard varies with the advance of years. It all depends on the century you are born in, whether you are going to hell or not, for not believing in the whole evangelical creed. It seems that the god who never chauges could not after all reveal to his creatures a plan of salvation, that all could believe in alike, in all ages. Strange, when so much depends on faith, that the thing to be believed, is something different every year. It was a novel idea, to find that in the face of the questionings, doubts, and investigations of to-day, this is considered an age of faith, by a body of serious- minded young men and women. Ministers in the pulpit are bemoaning the spread of infidelity, and scientific Christians are at their wit's end trying to reconcile their inherited beliefs, and their newly- fonnd discoveries; yet this is an age of faith, of stronger, higher, more general faith, so this little club decided. Science has swept away nearly ever)' article of the old-fashioned orthodox faith, by placing before it a demonstrative fact, directly contradicting it. This is why the good, respectable faith of one age is the rank heresy of another; yet they could not com- prehend it; it never even occurred to them to ques- tion why the infidelity of one age passed muster as good, sound orthodoxy in another. The old myths are giving way before the short, unanswerable sentence ot science: " Impossible ! "— yet it is true, that a better leeliug, a deeper interest in the welfare of humanity is manifesting itself throughout the world. Why give faith the credit for this, when faith is so surely giving way to reason ? To the fact that people are beginning to doubt and reason ; that their eyes are being lowered from the vague heaven beyond the clouds to the possibilities of this world, we owe the tolerant, helpful spirit that permeates society. Lizzie M. Swank .