Copyright
David J. (David Josiah) Brewer.

Crowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 10) online

. (page 1 of 56)
Online LibraryDavid J. (David Josiah) BrewerCrowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 10) → online text (page 1 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


!4«K«3i3a8%S!K«iSr<%%Ki|SS5i^^




*M!^ - ^ .-



MADAME ROLAND ON THE SCAFFOLD.
After the Painting by Lionel Royer.




'hough in thy hallowed name, O Liberty,

Were marshaled once the rebel hosts of hell,
Still shall the tongues of freemen learn to tell
Thy praise from hearts that burn with love of thee!
Above earth's lordliest names, thy name shall be!
Sister and nurse of peace, does he not well
Who strikes a blow for thee or dares to tell
The truth of heaven that makes men brave and free?

Though thej^ who love thee die as Roland died,
By tyrant, mob, or law, condemned to shame,
Thou art most fair, O Freedom, and thy name

Shall wax in greatness while the stais abide

And in the skies God's glorious will proclaim

That truth shall make men free whate'er betide!

— William Vincent Byars.



Victoria Edition



Crowneb /Iftaetcrpiccee



OF



Eloquence

REPRESENTING THE ADVANCE OF CIVILIZATION



As Collected in

ZTbe Timorlb'e Beet ©rations

From the Earliest Period
to the Present Time

With Special Introductions by

Rt. Hon. AUGUSTINE BIRRELL, M.P., K.C.
SIR GILBERT PARKER, Kt., D.C.L., M.P.



^



LONDON GLASGOW NOTTINGHAM

Intel-national XDlniver8ft\j Socfeti?

J9I3



J. B. LYON COMPANY. PRINTERS, ALBANY, N. Y. , U.S. A.



Reoistered at Stationers' Hall
london, england
A II Rights Reserved



CopyniGHT 19!

BY

INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
SOCIETY



H. K. JT^DD & CO., Ltd.

BINDERS,

London, E. C.



riv

10 TABLE OF CONTENTS



VOLUME X



lived page

/ Tyndale, William c. 1484- 1536 15

The Use and Abuse of Images and Relics

Tyndall, John 1820-1893 19

The Origin of Life
Democracy and Higher Intellect

Vallandigham, Clement L. 1820-1871 27

Centralization and the Re\«3lutionary Power of Fed-
eral Patronage

Vane^ Sir Henry 1612-1662 37

Against Richard Cromwell
A Speech for Duty in Contempt of Death

Vergniaud, Pierre Victurnien i753-i793 43

"To the Camp"
Reply to Robespierre

Voorhees, Daniel W. 1827- 1897 51

Speech in the Tilden Convention
An Opposition Argument in 1862

Waller, Edmund 1605- 1687 6;^

"The Tyrant's Plea, Necessity''

Walpole, Sir Robert and Horace 1676-1745; 1717-1797 70

Debate with Pitt in 1741
Sir Robert Walpole on Patriots

Warren, Joseph 1741-1775 80

Constitutional Liberty and Arbitrary Power

Washington, George 1732-1799 9°

First Inaugural Address
Farewell Address



Webster, Daniel 1782- 1852

The Reply to Hayne
Laying the Corner-Stone of Bunker Hill Monument

V



iro



/



VI

LIVED PAGE

Daniel Webster — Continued:
At Plymouth in 1820
Adams and Jefiferson
Progress of the Mechanic Arts
Dartmouth College versus Woodward — On the Obli-
gation of Contracts
Exordium in the Knapp Murder Case
Supporting the Compromise of 1850

Wesley, John 1703-1791 227

The Poverty of Reason
"Sacra Fames Auri"
On Dressing for Display

Whiteeield, George i 714- 1770 238

The Kingdom of God

WiLBEREORCE, WiLLIAM I759-l833 245

Horrors of the British Slave Trade in the Eighteenth
Century

Wilkes, John 1727-1797 254

A Warning and a Prophecy

Wirt, William 1772- 1834 259

Death of Jefiferson and Adams
Burr and Blennerhasset
Genius as the Capacity for Work

WiTHERSPOON, John 1722- 1794 266

Public Credit under the Confederation

^ Wyckliffe, John c. 1324- 1384 272

A Rule for Decent Living
Good Lore for Simple Folk
Mercy to Damned Men in Hell
Concerning a Grain of Corn

Wyndham, Sir William 1687-1740 279

Attack on Sir Robert Walpole
Royal Prerogative Delegated from the People

Zola, :^mile 1840- 1902 285

His Appeal for Dreyfus



Vll

PAGE

Noted Sayings and Celebrated Passages 293

Acknowledgments 321

Chronological Index oe Orators and Subjects 323

General Index 341



VIU



NOTED SAYINGS AND CELEBRATED PASSAGES



PAGE

AtXEN, WirLiAM (1806-1879)

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight ... 299

Amks. Fisiikr (1758-1808)
Sober Second Thought 312

Akdocibes (467-391 B.C.)
Against Epichares, One of the
Thirty Tyrants 293

Antiphon (c. 480-411 B. C.)
Unjust Prosecutions 294

Bancroft. George (1800-1891)
Individual Sovereignty and Vest-
ed Right in Slaves 294

BAERfi. Colonel Isaac (1726-1802)
Tea Taxes and the American
Character 313

Bates, Edward (1793-1869)
Old-Line Whigs 308

Beck, James M. (1861-)

Expansion and the Spanish War 294
"World Politics" 319

Beecher. Henry Ward (1813-1887)
Bible and Sharp's Rifle 295

Beveridge. a. J. (1862-)

Just Government and the Con-
sent of the Governed ..... 295

BiNNEY, Horace (1780-1875)

The Supreme Court 313

War 315

Blaine, jAivres G. (1830-1893)

Conkling's "Turkey - Gobbler

Strut" 297

BoARDMAN, Henry A. (1808-1880)
Constitutional Liberty and the
American Union 298

Bonaparte, Napoleon (1769-1821)
Address to the Army of Italy . . 293

Bbagg, Edward S. (1827-)

Loving Him for His Enemies . . 305

Brougham, Lord (1778-1868)

Higher Law in England 303

Law Reform 304

Public Benefactors and Their Re-
wards 310

Slanderers as Insects 312

Bbown, John, "of Ossawatomie"

(1800-1859)
"Higher Law" Defined in Court . 302

Bryant, Edgar E.

War and the Constitution .... 315



Pi«3B

Bubchard, Reverend Samuel Dick-
inson (1812-1891)
Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion . 311

Burke, Edmund (1729-1797)

Arbitrary Power Anarchical . . 294
Arbitrary Power and Conquest . 294
Fire Bells as Disturbers of the

Peace 299

Hampden's Twenty Shillings . . 302

Judges and the Law 304

Marie Antoinette as the Morning

Star 306

Burke. Father "Tom" (1830-1883)

All Men Fit for Freedom .... 293

America and Ireland 295

Freedom of Conscience 300

Byron, Lord (1788-1824)

Capital Punishment for Crimes
Fostered by Misgovernment . 296

Calhoun, John C. (1782-1850)

Coercion and Union 297

Cohesive Power of Capital .... 297
Governmental Power and Popu-
lar Incapacity 301

Liberty and Society 305

Society aiid Government .... 312
Taxation when Unnecessary a

Robbery 313

Union, not Nation 314

Canning, George (1770-1827)

Napoleon after the Battle of

Leipsic 308

Spanish American Independence 312

Canuleius (5th Century, B. C.)
Against the Patricians 296

Cato the Elder (234-149 B. C.)
Woman's Rights 318

Chase, Salmon P. (1808-1873)
Indestructible Union of Inde-
structible States 303

Chatham, Lord (1708-1778)
Bayonets as Agencies of Recon-
ciliation 294

If I Were an American 303

On Lord North 297

Whig Spirit of the Eighteenth
Century 317

Ciioate, Rufus (1799-1859)

Glittering Generalities 300

Step to the Music of the Union . 312

Christy, David . (19th Century)
Cotton is King 298



NOTED SAYINGS AND CELEBRATED PASSAGES



IX



PAGE

Clay, Hexkt (1777-1852)

"Free Trade and Seamen's

Rights" 300

Government a Trust 300

No South, No North, No East, No

West 308

Patriotism 309

Rather Be Right than President 310

Cleimens, Jeremiah (1814-1865)
Foreign War and Domestic Des-
potism 300

Cleveland. Grovee (1837-1908)

A Condition, not a Theory . , . 297

Communism of Capital 297

Innocuous Desuetude 303

CoBDEN. Richard (1804-1865)

Armament not Necessary .... 294
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

(1772-1834)

Hissing Prejudices 303

Crapo. William Wallace (1830-)

Public Office a Public Trust ... 310
CuRRATs^ John Philfot (1750-1817)

Liberty of the Press 305

Davis, Jefferson (1808-1889)

Let Us Alone 305

Decatur. Stephen (1751-1808)

Right or Wrong, Our Country . 311
Dewey, Orville (1794-1882)

Exclusiveness 299

Dinarchus (361-291 B. C.)

Demosthenes Denounced .... 298

Disraeli. See Lord Beaconsfielcl

(1804-1881)
Liberalism 299

Dix John A. (1798-1879)
Shoot Him on the Spot 312

ESTABROOKE, HeNRY D. (1854-)

Altruism 293

Field, Stephen J. (1816-1899)
Intimidation of Judges 304

Flanagan. Webster M. (1832-)

What Are V/e Here for? 317

Flood. Henry (1732-1791)
On Grattan 300

Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790)

Prayer and Providence 310

We Must Hang Together .... 317

Garrison, William Lloyd

(1804-1879)
Covenant with Death and Agree-
ment with Hell 298

Harsh as Truth 302

Gladstone, William E. (1809-1898)
The American Constitution . . . 300



^ PAGE

GouGH, John B. (1817-1886)
Water 315

Grant, Ulysses S. (1822-1885)
Freedom and Education 301

Graves. John Temple (1856-)

On Henry W. Grady 301

Greeley. Horace (1811-1872)
After-Dinner Speech on Frank-
lin 301

The Bloody Chasm 313

Hale. Nathan (1755-1776)

But One Life to Lose 296

Hall, Robert (1764-1831)

Duty and Moral Health 302

Hamilton, Alexander (1757-1804)
Despotism and Extensive Terri-
tory 299

National Debt a National Bless-
ing 308

Hammond, James H. (1807-1864)

Cotton is King 298

Mudsills 308

Harrison, Benjamin (1833-1901)
The Only People Who Can Harm

Us 314

Hayes. Rutherford B. (1822-1893)

Service to Party and Country . . 312
Henderson, John B. (1826-)
The Right to Make Foolish

Speeches 302

War and Military Chieftains . . 315
Why Not Let Well Enough

Alone? 317

Henry, Patrick (1736-1799)

Experience 299

Hope and Truth 303

Liberty or Death 305

Weakness not Natural 316

HiGGiNsoN, John (1616-1708)

Cent Per Cent in New England . 297
HiLLiARD, H. W. (1808-1892)
Constitutional Government . . . 298
Manhood 306

Holmes. Oliver Wendell (1809-1894)
Boston the Hub 295

HoYT, Reverend Doctor Wayland

(1838-)
Benevolent Assimilation and
Manifest Providence 295

Hugo, Victor (1802-1885)
Voices from the Grave 314

Humphrey, E. P. (1809-1887)
Limitation 305

HusKissoN. William (1770-1830)
Innovation 303



NOT];D SAYINGS AND CELEBRATED PASSAGES



TAGE

HypertdeS (?-322B. C.)

Leosthenes and the Patriot Dead 304

Is.Eus. (Fourth Century B. C)
The Athenian Method of Exam-
ining Witnesses 304

Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

Entangling Alliances with None 299

Few Die, None Resign 299

Freedom to Err 300

Good Government, The Sum of . 300

Self-Government 312

Strong Government 313

Johnson, Andrew (1808-1875)

Swinging Around the Circle . . 313

Kossuth. Loris (1802-1894)
Power Without Justice 309

Legabe, Hugh S. (1789-1843)
Constitutional Liberty a Tradi-
tion 298

LiVY (59B. C.-17A. D.)
Hannibal to His Army 302

Lycurgus (396-323 B. C.)
Peroration of the Speech Against
Leocrates 305

Macaulay, T. B. (1800-1859)

Fitness for Self-Government . . 299

aiAcDuFFiE. George (1788-1851)

Representative Government . . . 310

McKiNLEY. William (1843-1901)
Benevolent Assimilation .... 295

Mansfield, Chief-Justice

(1705-1793)
Politics on the Bench 309

IMabcy, William L. (1786-1857)
Spoils 312

Marshall. Thomas F. (1800-1864)

Clay's Moral Force 297

Louder, Sir, Louder 305

Marvin, Bishop E. M. (1823-1877)
Christ and the Church 308

Meredith, Sir W. (1725-1790)

Government by the Gallows . . . 300

Monroe, James (1758-1831)
Monroe Doctrine 307

Palmer, Benjamin W. (1819-1902)
Lee and Washington 308

Parker, Theodore (1810-1860)
Government of, by, and for the
People 301

Phillips. Wendell (1811-1884)
Higher Law 302

PiERREPONT, Edwards (1817-1892)
Equality in America 309

Pike, Albert (1809-1891)
Moral Influences 308



PAGE

Pliny THE Younger (62-113 A. D)
Eloquence and Loquacity .... 299
Liberty and Order 309

Porter, Horace (1837-)

Mugwumps 308

Potter, Henry Codman (1835-1908)
Nobility of Ascent 308

Preston, William (1816-1887)
Liberty and Eloquence 305

QuiNCY, JosiAH, Junior (1772-1864)
Peaceably, if Possible; Violently,
if Necessary 309

Quintilian (35-95 A. D.)

Oratory and Virtue 310

Pectus et Vis Mentis 309

Randall, S. J. (1828-1890)

Protection and Free Trade under

the Constitution 310

Randolph, John (1773-1833)

Blifil and Black George 295

Raynor. Kenneth (19th Century)

Revolutionists of Seventy-Six . . 311
Rollins, James Sidney (1812-1888)

Free Speech in Parliament and
Congress 300

Southern Patriotism 311

The Constitution as It is, and the

Union as It Was 313

Rush, Benjamin (1745-1813)

Extent of Territory 311

Savonarola. Girolamo (1452-1498)

Compassion in Heaven 311

SciPio (234-183 B.C.)

Carrying War Into Africa .... 296
Sergeant, John (1779-1852)

Militarism and Progress .... 307
Seward, W. H. (1801-1872)

Higher Law 302

Sheridan, R. B. (1751-1816)

Commercialism Militant ..... 297

SouL^, Pierre (1802-1870)
American Progress 312

Storrs, R. S. (1821-1900)
Short Sermons 313

Story, Joseph (1779-1845)

Passing of the Indians 309

Sumner. Charles (1811-1874)

Freedom Above Union 300

Swing, David (1830-1894)

Apothegms 313

Taylor. Robert L. (1850-)

Irish Heroism 304

Tyler, John (1790-1862)

The Flag of Yorktown 314



NOTKD SAYINGS AND CELEBRATED PASSAGES



PAGE

Uhlman, D.

Sovereignty of Individual Man-
hood 312

Van Buben, Martin (1782-1862)
Expansion before the Mexican
and Civil Wars 314

Vest, George Graham (1830-1904)
Imperialism Old and New .... 303
The Ligament of Union 314

ViLLEMAINE (1790-1870)

Christian Oratory 297

ViNET, Alexander (1797-1847)

The Meaning of Religion .... 314

Watteeson, Henry (1840-)

Opening the World's Fair .... 316

Weaver, James B. (1833-)

Brethren in Unity 316

Webster, Daniel (1782-1852)

England's Drumbeat 299

Liberty and Union 305

Popular Government 309

Public Opinion 310

Secession in Peace Impossible . . 311
Sink or Swim, Live or Die ... 312



PAGE

Weed, Thurlow (1797-1882)
Good Enough Morgan 300

Williams, George H. (1823-1910)
Pioneers of the Pacific Coast . . 309

WiLMOT, David (1814-1868)
"Fanaticism" and "Property
Rights" 317

WiNTHROP, R. C. (1S09-1894)

Washington 315

The Union of 1776 317

Wise, Henry A. (1819-1869)

"Dark Lanterns" in Politics ... 298

Woodbury, Levi (1789-1851)
The Tariff of 1842 318

WooLWORTH, James M. (1829-)

Individual Liberty 318

ZoLLicoFER, Joachim (1730-1788)
Continuous Life and Everlasting
Increase in Power 319

ZwiNGLi, Ulrich (1484-1531)
Extracts from His Sermons Dur-
ing the Reformation 319



FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

VOLUME X



PAGK
Madame Roland on the Scaffold (Photogravure) Frontispiece

The Gallery of Battles at Versailles (Photogravure) 43

Daniel Webster (Portrait, Photogravure) no

John Wesley (Portrait, Photogravure) 227

William Wilberforce (Portrait, Photogravure) 245




WILLIAM TYNDALE

(c. 1484-1536)

^ILLIAM Tyndale, translator of the English Bible, was bom in
Gloucestershire, England, at a time when the revival of
classical learning in northern Europe had already progressed
so far as to make revolution inevitable. He was educated at Oxford
for the Priesthood and began his ministry as Chaplain in the family
of Sir John Walsh in Gloucestershire. As early as the summer of
1523 he was examined on suspicion of heresy, but having purged
himself he was allowed to continue his work, preaching and trans-
lating the Bible. In 1524 he visited Luther at Wittenberg and until
his death in 1536 he lived on the continent, working from 1524 to
1530 to complete and bring out his translations. In 1535, while living
at Brussels, he was arrested for heresy and imprisoned in the Castle
of Vilvorde. On October 6th, 1536, he was first strangled and then
burned at the stake. His sermon, < The Use and Abuse of Images
and Relics, > is a good illustration both of his eloquence and of his
theological opinions.



THE USE AND ABUSE OF IMAGES AND RELICS

Now LET US come to the worshiping or honoring of sacra-
ments, ceremonies, images, and relics. First, images be not
God, and therefore no confidence is to be put in them.
They be not made after the image of God, nor are the price of
Christ's blood; but the workmanship of the craftsman, and the
price of money, and therefore inferiors to man.

Wherefore of all right man is lord over them, and the honor
of them is to do man service; and man's dishonor is to do them
honorable service, as unto his better. Images then, and relics,
yea, and as Christ saith, the holy day, too, are servants unto man.
And therefore it followeth that we cannot, but unto our damna-
tion, put on a coat worth an hundred coats upon a post's back,
and let the image of God and the price of Christ's blood go up
and down thereby naked. For if we care more to clothe the

15



jg WILLIAM TYNDALE

dead imag-e made by man, and the price of silver, than the
lively image of God and the price of Christ's blood; then we dis-
honor the image of God, and him that made him, and the price
of Christ's blood and him that bought him.

Wherefore the right use, office, and honor of all creatures, in-
feriors unto man, is to do man service; whether they be images,
relics, ornaments, signs, or sacraments, holy days, ceremonies, or
sacrifices. And that may be on this manner, and no doubt it so
once was. If (for example) I take a piece of the cross of Christ
and make a little cross thereof and bear it about me, to look
thereon with a repenting heart at times when I am moved
thereto, to put me in remembrance that the body of Christ was
broken and his blood shed thereon for my sins; and believe
steadfastly that the merciful truth of God shall forgive the sins
of all that repent, for his death's sake, and never think on them
more; then it serveth me and not I it; and doth me the same
service as if I read the testament in a book, or as if the preacher
preached it unto me. And in like manner, if I make a cross on
my forehead in a remembrance that God hath promised assist-
ance unto all that believe in him, for his sake that died on the
cross, then doth the cross serve me, and not I it. And in like
manner, if I bear on me or look upon a cross, of whatsoever
matter it be, or make a cross upon me, in remembrance that
whosoever will be Christ's disciple must suffer a cross of ad-
versity, tribulations, and persecution, so doth the cross serve me
and not I it. And this was the use of the cross once, and for
this cause it was at the beginning set up in the churches.

And so, if I make an image of Christ, or of anything that
Christ hath done for me in a memory, it is good and not evil
until it be abused. And even so if I take the true life of a saint
and cause it to be painted or carved, to put me in remembrance
of the saint's life, to follow the saint as the saint did Christ; and
to put me in remembrance of the great faith of the saint to God,
and how true God was to help him out of all tribulation, and to
see the saint's love towards his neighbor, in that he so patiently
suffered so painful a death and so cruel a martyrdom to testify
the truth, for to save others, and all to strengthen my soul withal
and my faith to God and love to my neighbor, then doth the
image serve me and not I it. And this was the use of im-
ages at the beginning, and of relics also. And to kneel before
the cross unto the Word of God which the cross preacheth is not



WILLIAM TYNDALE 17

evil. Neither to kneel down before an image, in a man's medi-
tation, to call the living of the saint to mind, for to desire of God
like grace to follow the ensample is not evil. But the abuse of
the thing is evil, and to have a false faith, as to bear a piece of
the cross about a man, thinking that so long as that is about him
spirits shall not come at him, his enemies shall do him no bodily-
harm, all causes shall go on his side even for bearing it about
him; and to think if it were not about him it would not be so,
and to think if any misfortune chance that it came for leaving it
off, or because this or that ceremony was left undone, and not
rather because we have broken God's commandments, or that God
tempteth us, to prove our patience, this is plain idolatry; and
here a man is captive, bond and servant, unto a false faith and a
false imagination, that is neither God nor his Word. Now am I
God's only, and ought to serve nothing but God and his Word.
My body must serve the rulers of this world and my neighbor,
as God hath appointed it, and so must all my goods; but my
soul must serve God only, to love his law and to trust in his
promises of mercy in all my deeds. And in like manner it is
that thousands, while the priest pattereth St. John's Gospel in
Latin over their heads, cross themselves with, I trow, a legion of
crosses behind and before; and (as Jack-of-Napes, when he claw-
eth himself) pluck up their legs and cross so much as their heels
and the very soles of their feet, and believe that if it be done
in the time that he readeth the Gospel (and else not) that there
shall no mischance happen them that day, because only of those
crosses. And where he should cross himself to be armed and
make himself strong to bear the cross with Christ he crosseth
himself to drive the cross from him ; and blesseth himself with a
cross from the cross. And if he leave it undone, he thinketh it
no small sin, and that God is highly displeased with him, and
if any misfortune chance thinketh it is therefore, which is also
idolatry and not God's Word. And such is the confidence in the
place or image, or whatsoever bodily observance it be; such is
St. Agatha's letter written in the Gospel time. And such are the
crosses on Palm Sunday, made in the passion time. And such is
the bearing of holy wax about a man. And such is that some
hang a piece of St. John's Gospel about their necks. And such
is to bear the names of God with crosses between each name
about them. Such is the saying of Gospels unto women in child-
bed. Such is the limiter's saying of /;/ principio erat verbiun,

10 — 2



jg WILLIAM TYNDALfi

from house to house. Such is the saying of Gospels to the corn
in the field, in the procession week, that it should the bettel
grow. And such is holy bread, holy water, and serving of al)
ceremonies and sacraments in general, without signification. And
I pray you, how is it possible that the people can worship im-
ages, relics, ceremonies, and sacraments, save superstitiously, so
long as they know not the true meaning, neither will the pre-
lates suffer any man to tell them? yea, and the very meaning of
some, and right use no man can tell.



JOHN TYNDALL

(1820-1893)

!he addresses on scientific topics delivered by Professor Tyndall
in England and America represent deep thoughts expressed
m^^^ in language always fit, often beautiful, and not infrequently
sublime. Born in Ireland, August 21st, 1820, he began life in the
office of a firm of engineers, and was afterward a teacher at Queen-
wood College, Hants — a position from which he went to the Univer-
sity of Marburg to continue his own studies (1848-51). In 1852 he
was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society ; and having won thus early
in his career a recognition which no one deserved better, he used his
advantages for the ends of science and used them so well that the
world will always remain his debtor. He studied the laws of heat,
light, and electricity with such penetration that the greatest scien-
tific teachers and inventors of the world became his pupils. He
called himself a <^ materialist, *^ but to him matter was <^the living
garment of God,>^ manifesting the Divine Power through law as the
Divine Will. Whatever may be thought of his theological and politi-
cal opinions, there can be no question of the eloquence with which
he presented them. He died December 4th, 1893.



THE ORIGIN OF LIFE

(From an Address Delivered before the British Association at Liverpool,

September i6th, 1870)

DOES life belong to what we call matter, or is it an independ-
ent principle inserted into matter at some suitable epoch
— say when the physical conditions become such as to per-
mit of the development of life ? Let us put the question with
all the reverence due to a faith and culture in which we all were
cradled — a faith and culture, moreover, which are the undeni-
able historic antecedents of our present enlightenment. I say, let
us put the question reverently, but let us also put it clearly and
definitely. There are the strongest grounds for believing that

19



20 JOHN TYNDALL

during a certain period of its history the earth was not, nor was
it fit to be, the theatre of life. Whether this was ever a nebu-
lous period, or merely a molten period, does not much matter;
and if we revert to the nebulous condition, it is because the
probabilities are really on its side. Our question is this: Did
creative energy pause until the nebulous matter had condensed,
until the earth had been detached, until the solar fire had so far
withdrawn from the earth's vicinity as to permit a crust to gather
round the planet ? Did it wait until the air was isolated, until
the seas were formed, until evaporation, condensation, and the
descent of rain had begun, until the eroding forces of the atmos-
phere had weathered and decomposed the molten rocks so as to



Online LibraryDavid J. (David Josiah) BrewerCrowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 10) → online text (page 1 of 56)