The study of the material world is not Materialism, if it be allowed to progress to its legitimate issue. Materialism is that limited view of the universe which will not admit the existence of anything but mechanical effects of mechanical causes, and a system which recognises no higher power than the physical forces of nature must logically result in having no higher ultimate appeal than to physical force or to fraud as its alternative. I speak, of course, of the tendency of the system, not of the morality of individuals, who are often very far in advance of the systems they profess. But as we would avoid the propagation of a mode of thought whose effects history shows only too plainly, whether in the Italy of the Borgias, or the France of the First Revolution, or the Commune of the Franco-Prussian War, we should set ourselves to study that inner and spiritual aspect of things which is the basis of a system whose logical results are truth and love instead of perfidy and violence.
Some of us