It is of the essence of a sacrament to be an inscrutable process.
Out of this contrast there ultimately grew an essentially different opposition between faith and knowledge or reason, according to which the theological basis of ethics was contrasted with the philosophical; the theologians maintaining sometimes that the divine law is essentially arbitrary, the expression of will, not reason; more frequently that its reasonableness is inscrutable, and that actual human reason should confine itself to examining the credentials of God's messengers, and not the message itself.
This work is divided into two parts; the first intended to show that while ultimate metaphysical questions are insoluble they compel to a recognition of an inscrutable Power behind phenomena which is called the Unknowable; the second devoted to the formulation and illustration of the Law of Evolution.
Notwithstanding the allurements of the subject, such conservative historians as Grote were disposed to regard the problems of early Grecian history as inscrutable, and to content themselves with the recital of traditions without attempting to establish their relationship with actual facts.
According to Calvinism God's election unto salvation is absolute, determined by His olyn inscrutable will according to Arminianism it is conditional, dependent on man's use of grace.
It is one of the inscrutable perplexities of human affairs, that in the logic of practical life, in order to reach conclusions that cover enough for truth, we are constantly driven to premises that cover too much, and that in order to secure their right weight to justice and reason good men are forced to fling the two-edged sword of passion into the same scale.
Now the wish to become manifest and known, and hence the idea of creation, is co-eternal with the inscrutable Deity, and the first manifestation of this primordial will is called the first Sephirah or emanation.
Even this, however, understates the case, seeing that a really inscrutable Unknowable would destroy all confidence in the order of nature and render all knowledge entirely precarious.
While the majority of Protestant leaders left the conversion of the heathen to some remote and inscrutable interposition of Providence, the Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans and kindred orders were busily engaged in making Roman Catholics of the nations brought by Oriental commerce or American colonial enterprise into contact with Spain, Portugal and France.
His utter failure was due, partly to the vices of an undisciplined temperament, and partly to the extraordinary difficulties of the most inscrutable period of European history, when the shrewdest heads were at fault and irreparable blunders belonged to the order of the day.
The action of the great Girondist was and will always remain inscrutable, but it was followed by a similar verdict from nearly the whole party which he led.
The facts of the relationships of animals to one another, which had been treated as the outcome of an inscrutable law by most zoologists and glibly explained by the transcendental morphologists, were amongst the most powerful arguments in support of Darwin's theory, since they, together with all other vital phenomena, received a sufficient explanation through it.
Hence both science and religion must come to recognize as the" most certain of all facts that the Power which the Universe manifests to us is utterly inscrutable."Thus to be buried side by side in the Unknowable constitutes their final reconciliation, as it is the refutation of irreligion which consists of" a lurking doubt whether the Incomprehensible is really incomprehensible."Such are the foundations of Spencer's metaphysic of the Unknowable, to which he resorts in all the fundamental difficulties which he subsequently encounters.
That whatever he did was done for the service of God, that success or failure depended on the inscrutable will of the Almighty and not on himself, were his guiding convictions, which he transmitted to his successors.