Fate-Led (1891)

Albert Toft (1862-1949) sculpted Fate-Led in 1891, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1892 with the following lines:

Fate leading, she must needs go on and on

Blindly, yet fearing not, till the goal be won.

I find it rather disturbing; this poor woman blindly walking forwards, hand tentatively outstretched. She is, claims the artist, led by fate. Fate is the concept that the future is determined, and what will be will be. Its origins lie in classical times and moderns who espouse it derive some comfort therefrom. Yet it is a godless explanation for why and when events happen. Resistant to a belief in an interventionist God whose purposes unfold and whose will is enacted, rebels would attribute His careful movements to the manoeuvres of a faceless, impersonal force.


He has made the earth by His power,

He has established the world by His wisdom,

And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.

When He utters His voice,

There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:

“And He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth.

He makes lightning for the rain,

He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”


Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge;

Every metalsmith is put to shame by an image;

For his moulded image is falsehood,

And there is no breath in them.

They are futile, a work of errors…


Jeremiah 10:12-15, NKJV.