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feel they are unjustly treated when Mr. Lanier says of their "movement" that "its whole momentum is derived from the
physically large which ceased to astonish the world ages ago ; in comparison with spiritual greatness.”
But it is dangerous to reopen this book even to verify a quotation. No sooner does one do this than its charm narcotizes and its striving stimulates and one settles into an attitude of dreamy aspiration. The perfection of the utterance is, too, a perpetual delight. Consider how completely in these few words he combats one phase of modern vagaries.
"Listen to Walt Wbitman's reverie, as he looks at some cattle :
• I think I could turn and live with
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.' The Whitman method of reaching naiveté is here so queerly illustrated that it seems worth while to stop a moment to point it out. Upon the least reflection one must see that animals here must mean cows and well-fed cows; for they are about the only animals in the world to whom these words will apply; 'For,' says Whitman, "not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things. But suppose he were taking one of his favorite night strolls in the woods of Bengal rather than of New Jersey, is it not more than probable that the first animal he met would be some wicked tiger, not only dissatisfied, but perfectly demented with the mania of owning Whitman, the only kind of property a tiger knows."
After this, what more is to be said? This particular position of Whitman is not only overthrown, but is annibilated.
Or consider how mercilessly true is this of Clarissa Harlowe. “In 1748 appears Richardson's Clarissa Harlowe in eight volumes which from your present lecturer's point of view is quite sufficiently described as a patient analysis of the most intolerable crime in all fiction, watered with an amount of tears and sensibility as much greater than that in Pamela as the cube of eight volumes is greater than the cube of four volumes."
Yet Mr. Lanier is never unjust. He is always candid in
intent. He loves to praise rather than to blame. And che impulse of his reader is to praise. How true is this of Walter Scott's novels. “ They are the most bale and strengthening waters in which the young soul ever bathed. They discuss no moral problems, they place us in no relation toward our fellows that can be called moral at all, they belong to that part of us which is youthful, undebating, wholly unmoral, -though not immoral,--they are simply always young, always healthy, always miraculous."
What a splendid description in one sentence of George Eliot's work. She “shows man what he may be in terms of what he is.” How perfect this sketch of the typical women : "Intense and hungry spirits, first wasting that intensity and hunger upon that which is unworthy, often from pure ignorance of anything worthier, then finding where is worthy and thereafter loving larger loves, and living larger lives."
We leave this book with regret. Its influence is at once large and softening. We remember the personality with tenderness, “ sorrowing most of all that we shall see his face no more."
ARTICLE VII.—THE THEISM OF JESUS.
CONCERNING spirit, Jesus taught that it is an essential ele. ment in the complex being of man and is clearly distinguished rom the matter upon which it may act or within which it may bide. The flesh is one thing, the spirit another : the two are
Intinually contrasted. Spirit is not produced by the body, it may exist apart from it and therefore cannot be dependent upon it for existence. When Jesus would designate spirit as incarnate, acting upon the body and in turn influenced by it, he calls it the soul. The soul of man is his spirit animating the body, energizing the functions of its different organs, regulating its appetites and controlling its desires ; and through the body acting upon the world of matter and spirit about him and in return receiving impressions. The attributes of spirit are knowledge, feeling, will, conscience, personality and power. Spirit knowing, Jesus calls mind; spirit feeling, is the heart ; spirit choosing, is the will; spirit discerning right and wrong and approving the right while it condemns the wrong, is conscience ; spirit conscious that it knows, feels, wills and discerns right and wrong, and conscious that itself thus acting is distinct from other spirit and from matter, is a person ; while power is that preëminent attribute of spirit inherent in all knowledge, feeling, choosing, conscience and personality which originates action and is manifested and measured by the results produced. Christ taught, therefore, that spirit is not a mere abstraction, but a positive reality known by all men. Spirit cannot be seen with the natural eye, nor be grasped with the hand of flesh, nor be heard with the mortal ear: because eye, hand, ear are bat matter which however highly organized can neither see, feel nor hear: these all are but instruments of spirit.
Man knows his own spirit and therefore only does he know bis body, the material universe, the spirits of other men, the spirit of God. Christ's doctrine of the existence and spiritual nature of God is made by its author fundamental not only to all religion, but to morality as well. He was not content, therefore, with merely asserting, God is a spirit, but sought to bring men to the profound conviction and vivid realization of the divine being.
He sought this end by the use of his own testimony, which was so remarkable that of itself it was sufficient for all who could appreciate it; for never disclosing the shadow of a doubt he speaks positively with the authority and convincing manner of an eye witness testifying out of his own personal and accu. rate knowledge. His testimony was confirmed both by his character and his works, since these were so manifestly good that all who knew him felt instinctively that such an one as he could neither deceive others nor be himself deceived.
He appealed to the Scriptures. Apart from all theories of its divine origin and inspiration the Old Testament is a fact: it is history, a record of human thought and deeds setting forth in vivid narration and profound exposition the traits of human nature, a reliable account of man during many centuries of in. tense action. Christ wisely appealed to this accepted authority to confirm his own testimony to the existence of God: for the book shows that belief in the existence of God is as old as the world and is universally present in the minds of men, shaping the destiny not only of countless individuals but also of nations and races.
Jesus showed men their belief in God by turning their minds to the contemplation of the natural world. He led his hearers to form the idea of the heavens and the earth together with all that they contain, as one whole, united into the system we call the universe, and to observe within it the manifest signs of adaptation and design ; so that of their own accord they asked, “Whence came this?” They asked this question, because men intuitively believe that every effect and event must have an adequate cause and that adaptation involves a designing cause. When, therefore, Jesus taught that the universe was created, and that it was the creation of an almighty, self-existent spirit, the designer, originator, and preserver of all things, they were at once convinced that his answer was true. And the more they listened to bis eloquent exposition of the book of nature, and from his point of view looked upon the heavens through the clear atmosphere of Olivet and the Galilean hills and snowcrowned Hermon, the more did they realize that God is; and with the Psalmist exclaim, “The heavens declare the glory of God!" The more they followed him along Jordan and across stormy Tiberias and into the solitudes of the desert, listening all the while to his discourses upon the reeds of the jungle, the fish of the sea, the stones of the wilderness, the more did they realize the truth so forcibly announced afterward by Paul that the eternal power and attributes of God are clearly seen, being understood by means of the things that are made.
The more they attended while he spoke about pearls of ocean, fig-trees by the wayside, the rushing floods of rivers, the established rocks of the earth, the wheat and tares and other seeds growing mysteriously, and from time to time of innumerable objects from the whole realm of nature so admirably adapted and designed to illustrate and enforce spiritual truth as well as to please the curiosity and satisfy the bodily wants of men, the more fixed became their conviction and the more vivid the realization of the axiom of all religion and of all science, God exists.
Christ's appeal to human consciousness led men to the assured belief in the existence of God. The words of Jesus imply that the belief in an almighty power that killeth the body and punishes the wicked is a part of human nature and lies at the foundation of the mythology of the pagan, the superstition of the savage, and the ethical systems of the philosopher. Con. science is a fact involving the belief in an almighty person that knows the sins of men and punisbes them. Conscience thus enables men to know God as really and as vividly as natural vision enables one to know the tree upon which he is gazing. But to such as enjoy the approbation of conscience there comes a personal consciousness and adequate knowledge of God that is in exact proportion to their purity of heart. Concerning these Jesus declared that they know the only true God; that this God dwells in their souls so as to be in constant intercourse with their spirits; that such are the children of God knowing him as their Father and finding in him present joy and abiding life.
Jesus convinced men that his doctrine of God was true by directing their attention to the magnificent system of religion and morality which he built upon it. He established Chris