This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1889. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XV. "THORNDALE." The thoughts long brooded in silence and in solitude were given to the world at last. "Thorndale, or The Conflict of Opinions, by William Smith" was published in the autumn of 1857. This book did not fail of an audience. By its beauty, its profound thought, and its rare union of piety with open-mindedness, the attention of the intellectual world was caught. Eminent critics on both sides of the Atlantic discussed and praised it. The day of its special fame was perhaps brief. But it may be said to have won a permanent place in literature. It was one of those books which exert an influence beyond their fame, which enter as a potent factor into many minds, and find at least a few devoted and life-long lovers. As a mirror of the higher phases of the age's thought, it may have in after times a monumental significance. "Thorndale " is a book of some six hundred pages. The closeness of thought in every paragraph, the wide range of topics, and the subtle interblending of diverse elements make it an almost hopeless task to justly epitomize its contents. Yet it is a book which needs both interpretation and comment. Its most distinguishing characteristic is the union of the religious temper and the finest sensibility with an impartial, receptive attitude toward the most various theories of the universe. Materialist, theist, Catholic, and evolutionist receive an equally candid hearing. The verdict on some points--and those sometimes of the highest interest--appears to be left undecided. The work to which the reviewer is called is to resolve and reeomhine the elements of the hook; to distinguish between its substantial contribution to thought and those traits which are wholly subjective and personal; and to trace the lines of a harmony arising ...
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