Everywhere in it there was a sense of evil, and nodeliverance from it. Look at the different schoolsof philosophy which the deep thinkers of that oldworld had shaped for themselves, and you will seethat every one yielded themselves up hopelessly tothe reign of evil. What was the teaching of theStoic, but the admission that evil was so certain andirresistible, that man s best wisdom was to endeavourwith deadened sensibilities to endure what he couldnot avert. What was the grosser teaching of theEpicurseans, but an admission of the sovereign ruleof evil, leading to a reckless grasping at the miserablealleviation of any present pleasure at any price ; " letus eat and drink, for to-morrow we die ;" and whatwas the yet more hateful Cynical philosophy, butthe grin of despair; the contemptuous admission of man s degrading servitude to over-mastering evil.And these were only the thought-out conclusionswhich were dimly present with, and half-uncon-sciously acted on by, other minds. Surely on thatold world there was the stamp of an uttermost despair.There was in it the whirl of excitement, the throngof action, the bustle of business, the frantic tumultsof occasional joy; but there was no lively hope.x.] The ew Hope. 105Every pleasure ended in sadness ; pain lay in ambush at every corner; and all was soon swallowedup by death, the master-evil ; the abyss of evil intowhich all lesser evils sank as drops into the ocean.owhere was there any solution of all the entangledcontradictions of the perplexed scene which wasabout every man. There was no clue out of thelabyrinth ; there were none to explain to men theworld around them, or themselves to themselves.What was this evil which they felt, and hated, andyielded to; which was around them, and in them,and against them ; which must be striven with, if they were to be happy, and yet against which itwas in vain to strive ? There was no answer to thequestion, and so life was to them either the wildnessof a maniac s dream, or a stifling sense of helplessness under the oppression of a horrible vision.