THAT combination of swallows with telegraph wire sets in vivid contrast before our mental eye the sort of evidence we put confidence in and the sort of evidence we mistrust.
The telegraph conveys messages from man to man.
The swallows by dint of analogy, of suggestion, of parallel experience, if I may call it so, convey messages from the Creator to the human creature.
We act eagerly, instantly, on telegrams. Who would dream of stopping to question their genuineness?
While often we act reluctantly, often we act not at all, on the other sort of messages. We dwell anxiously on the thousand contingencies of life, tremblingly on the inevitable contingency of death. We call everything in question, except the bitter certainty of suffering, the most bitter certainty of death.
Who, watching us, could suppose that the senders of telegrams are fallible; and that the Only Sender of Providential messages is infallible?