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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.