The average man is pessimist or optimist not on theoretical grounds, but owing to the circumstances of his life, his material prosperity, his bodily health, his general temperament.
There is a touch of Byron, Swinburne and even of Schopenhauer in many of his rubais, which clearly proves that the modern pessimist is by no means a novel creature in the realm of philo- sophic thought and poetical imagination.
Carlyle was throughout a pessimist or a prophet denouncing a backsliding world.
Till Amos (with the solitary exception of Micaiah ben Imlah, in i Kings xxii.) prophecy was optimist - even Elijah, if he denounced the destruction of a dynasty and the annihilation of all who had bowed the knee to Baal, never doubted of the future of the nation when only the faithful remained; but the new prophecy is pessimist - it knows that Israel is rotten to the core, and that the whole fabric of society must be dissolved before reconstruction is possible.