ot merely by picking out--too often arbitrarily and unfairly--a few names and dates from the records of all the ages, but by trying to discover its organic laws, and the causes which produce in nations, creeds, and systems, health and disease, growth, change, decay and death. If, in one small corner of this vast field, I shall have thrown a single ray of light upon these subjects--if I shall have done anything in these pages towards illustrating the pathology of a single people, I shall believe that I have done better service to the Catholic Faith and the Scriptures, than if I did really "know the times and the seasons, which the Father has kept in His own hand." For by the former act I may have helped to make some one man more prudent and brave to see and to do what God requires of him; by the latter I could only add to that paralysis of superstitious fear, which is already but too common among us, and but too likely to hinder us from doing our duty manfully against our real foes, whether it be pestilence
This is a series of four lectures given by Kingsley delivered at the Philosophical Institution, Edinburgh, in February, 1854, at the commencement of the Crimean War.
The volume is intelligent, literate and eloquent as well as brimming with good sense. Kingsley seems to have been a philosopher priest in a sense that many might not be able to easily reconcile due to the degradation of our educational system since his time. Not only will I use much of the material he presents because it is an interesting historical perspective, I have also made many notes based on his open minded approach and wide heartedness that betrays an admirable character. I would have loved to have known this man.