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or speculative character; for God never panders to a spirit of vain curiosity: "He that is a searcher of majesty, shall be overwhelmed by glory." The whole Bible contains only a few passages about the Holy Trinity, because the knowledge of that mystery would exercise no influence on our moral life. "What doth it profit thee to discourse profoundly of the Trinity, if thou art wanting in humility and, consequently, displeasing to the Trinity?"

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The knowledge disclosed to us is of a practical kind. So much of the veil is uplifted as will enable us to see what is useful and profitable to us, and no more. If some of the divine perfections are made manifest to us, it is that we may endeavor to imitate them. "Be ye perfect even as your Heavenly Father is perfect." "Be ye holy; for I, the Lord your God, am holy." "Be ye, therefore, merciful, as your Father also is merciful." If His infinite

justice, truth, and loving-kindness are revealed to us, it is that we may cultivate those virtues, though at an immeasurable distance from our divine Model, and that we may "do according to the pattern which is shown us on the Mount."6

The Christian religion teaches us that supreme worship is due to God alone: "The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve."7

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It makes no compromise with idolatry or any form of superstition: "I am the Lord thy God. . . . Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me." "Neither let there be found among you anyone that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens; neither let there be any wizard, nor charmer, nor anyone that consulteth familiar spirits, or fortune-tellers, or a necromancer; for the Lord abhorreth all these things.""

With regard to the creation of the world and the origin of man, a few strokes of the sacred penman give us more information on this subject than can be evolved from the combined theories of ancient and modern geologists. The Mosaic narrative has never been supplanted by any reasonable system, nor even successfully assailed.

"In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said: Let light be, and light was. Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and it was so. And God said: Let the earth bring forth living creatures in their kind. And it was so."3 Here we have first creation out of nothing, then order out of chaos; next the earth becomes fruitful, it becomes the abode of living creatures, and lastly, of man. As man was destined to be the lord of creation, it was fitting that he

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should be created last, and that he should find his palace adorned for him.

"The proper study of mankind is man."

Huxley well observes: "The question of questions for mankind—the problem that underlies all others and that is more deeply interesting than any other— is the ascertainment of the place which man occupies in nature, and of his relation to the universe of things. Whence our race has come to what goal we are tending-are the problems which present themselves anew and with undiminished interest to every man born into the world." Why are we

here? Why do we breathe the breath of life? What is the true aim and purpose of our existence? Is life worth living? It is only in the school of Christ that these questions can be satisfactorily solved.

The Christian religion gives us a rational and ennobling idea of man's origin and destiny, and offers to us also the means of attaining that destiny. It has rescued him from the frightful labyrinth of error in which Paganism had involved him.

The solution of the great problem is found in the first page of the Catechism: "God created us that we might know Him and love Him and serve Him in this world, and be happy with Him forever in the next." This short sentence embodies our divine origin, immortal destiny, and the conditions for fulfilling it.

1 Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature.


The Scriptures tell us that God formed man's body from the earth, that He breathed a living soul into the human form, and gave it life. "God created man to His own image." This living soul of man 'He endowed with exalted faculties, which distinguish him from the brute creation. He gave him a sublime intelligence capable of knowing his Creator; a memory capable of summoning the past and placing it in review before him; an imagination penetrating into the boundless future. He imprinted on his heart a law to guide him. He gave him a conscience to interpret the law, and free-will to observe or violate it.

I have created this world, He says in Holy Writ, not only for My own glory, but for your use and benefit. The sun, moon, and stars of heaven serve not only to reveal My majesty and power, but also to give you light and to afford you a delightful vision. The earth and all it contains are for your rational enjoyment. In a word, I have made you lord of the earthly creation: "Rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures which move upon the earth.""

How well does the Royal Prophet describe the prominent place given to man in nature: "I will behold Thy heavens, the works of Thy fingers: the moon and the stars which Thou hast founded. What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him? Thou

1 Gen. I.

2 Gen. I.

hast made him a little less than the angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, and hast set him over the works of Thy hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet, the birds of the air' and the fishes of the sea that pass through the paths of the sea."1

In this exposition of man's dignity, there is not a word about the missing link, not the faintest allusion to our possible descent from the ape, or from any other animal of the brute creation; but man stands forth in the light of Revelation, as the connecting link between the highest and lowest order of creation. He is a world in miniature. By his material body, he is connected with the earth under his feet; by his organic life, he is connected with the vegetable world; by his faculty of sensation, he forms one with the animal world; and by his reason, he is associated with the angels.2 There was, indeed, a missing link in the genealogy of man, but philosophers sought for it in the wrong direction. The link was missing not below, but above him. The missing link was the sacred family tie which bound him to God, his Father, and which had been broken by the Fall of Adam. Jesus Christ came to reforge that link, and to add another title to man's dignity. He came to declare man not only the creature of God, but also the child and heir of God. "You were without God in this world," says the Apostle, "but

1 Ps. VIII.

2 St. Thom., 1a. Quæst., XCVI., 2.

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