It is often said that if Christianity is a truth, it ought to have been accepted by everyone directly it appeared, and ought to have transformed men's lives for the better. But this is like saying that if the seed were ripe it ought at once to bring forth stalls, flower, and fruit.
The Christian religion is not a legal system which, being imposed by violence, may transform men's lives. Christianity is a new and higher conception of life. A new conception of life cannot be imposed on men; it can only be freely assimilated. And it can only be freely assimilated in two ways: one spiritual and internal, the other experimental and external.
Some people--a minority--by a kind of prophetic instinct divine the truth of the doctrine, surrender themselves to it and adopt it. Others--the majority--only through a long course of mistakes, experiments, and suffering are brought to recognize the truth of the doctrine and the necessity of adopting it.
And by this experimental external method the majority of Christian men have now been brought to this necessity of assimilating the doctrine.