At the present time obsidian is sometimes cut and polished as an ornamental stone, but its softness (H = 5 to 5.5) detracts from its value.
The fact that the three new consuls had entered upon office and set the constitutional machinery in motion fully six weeks before the completion of the plebiscite, detracts somewhat from the impressiveness of the vox populi on that occasion.
It seems unlikely, therefore, that as a system the Synthetic Philosophy will prove long-lived; but this hardly detracts from its fruitfulness as a source of suggestion, or from the historic influence of many of its conceptions on the culture of the age.
In fact, it is not too much to say that it was the sophists who provided those great masters with their consummate instrument, and it detracts but little from the merit of the makers if they were themselves unable to draw from it its finer tones.
In the journals of these evangelists dark pictures are drawn of the religious state of the country, though their censorious tone detracts greatly from their value; but there is no doubt that the efforts of the Haldanes brought about or coincided with a quickening of the religious spirit of Scotland.