Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gospel of Dirt

Thomas Carlyle, quoted in William Howie Wylie, Thomas Carlyle: The Man and His Books: Illustrated by Personal Reminiscences, Table-Talk, and Anecdotes of Himself and His Friends, pp. 328-329:

A good sort of man is this Mr. Darwin, and well meaning, but with very little intellect. Ah, it's a sad, a terrible thing to see nigh a whole generation of men and women, professing to be cultivated, looking around in a purblind fashion, and finding no God in this universe. I suppose it is a reaction from the reign of cant and hollow pretence, professing to believe what in fact they do not believe. And this is what we have got to. All things from frog-spawn; the gospel of dirt the order of the day. The older I grow -- and I now stand on the brink of eternity -- the more comes back to me the sentence in the Catechism which I learned when a child, and the fuller and deeper it becomes. 'What is the chief end of man? To glorify God, and enjoy him forever.' No gospel of dirt, teaching that men have descended from frogs, through monkeys, can ever set these aside."

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