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Right Human Life

( Originally Published 1891 )

What do we gather hence but firmer faith
That every gift of noble origin
Is breathed upon by Hope's perpetual breath ;
That virtue and the faculties within
Are vital ; and that riches are akin
To fear, to change, to cowardice, and death ?

WORDSWORTH.

WHAT is so delightful as spring weather? WHAT it, whatever mystery life can make plain, it reveals. There is universal utterance.

Water leaps from its winding sheet of snow; the streams spring out to wander till they find their source; the corn sprouts to receive the sun's warm kiss; the buds unfold, the blossoms send forth fragrance, the heavens weep for joy; the birds sing, the children shout, and the fuller pulse of life gives, even to the old, fresh thoughts and young desires. Now, what is all this but a symbol of the soul, which feels the urgency of God calling upon it to make itself alive in him and in his universe of truth and beauty?

But the season of growth is also the time of blight. A hundred germs perish for one that ripens into wholesome fruit; a hundred young lives suffer physical or moral ruin for one that develops into some likeness of true manhood. And upon what slight causes success or failure seems to depend !

As a mere word, a glance, will bring the blood to a maiden's cheek, so may it sow the germ of moral death in the heart of youth. How helpless and ignorant the young are in their seeming strength and smartness how self-sufficient in their unwisdom, how little amenable to reason, how slow to perceive true ideals. What patient, persevering effort is required to form character, and what a little thing will poi-son life in its source! How easy it is to see and understand what is coarse and evil, how difficult to appreciate what is pure and excellent. How quickly a boy learns to find pleasure in what is animal or brutal; but what infinite pains must be taken before he is won to the love of truth and goodness. Caricature delights him, and he has no eyes for the chaste beauty of perfect art. The story of an outlaw fills him with enthusiasm, and the heroic struggles of godlike souls are for him meaningless. He gazes with envious awe upon some vulgar rich man, and finds a philosopher, or a saint, only queer. He studies because he has been sent to school, where ignorance will expose him to ridicule and humiliation, and possibly too, because he is told that knowledge will help him to win money and influence. However great his proficiency, he is in truth but a barbarian, without wisdom, without reverence, without gentleness. He has been brought only in a vague way into communion with the conscious life of the race; he has no true conception of the dignity of souls, no sense of the beauty of modest and unselfish action. He mistakes rudeness for strength, boastfulness for ability, disrespect for independence, profanity for manliness, brutality for courage.

And to add to his misfortune, he is blind to his own weakness and ignorance. A sneer or a jest is his reply to the voice of wisdom, as with a light heart he walks in the road to ruin ; and thus it happens that for one who becomes a true and noble man, a hundred go astray or sink into an unintelligent and vulgar kind of life. This fact is concealed from the eyes of the young, from the eyes of the multitude, indeed. As we hide the dead in the earth that we may quickly forget our loss, so society buries from sight and thought those who fail. Their number is so great that the oblivion which soon overwhelms them is needful to save even the brave from discouragement. Of a hundred college boys the lives of twenty-five will be ruined by dissipation, by sensual indulgence ; twenty-five others will be wrecked by unhappy marriages, foolish financial schemes, dishonesty and indolence; of the remaining fifty, forty, let us say, will manage to get on without loss of respectability, while the ten (who are still left) will win a sort of notoriety by getting rich or by getting elected to office. Of the hundred will one become a saint, a philosopher, a poet, a statesman, or even a man of superior ability in natural knowledge or literature? And if this estimate is rightly made they all fail ; and the emergence of a high and noble mind is so improbable that it may almost be looked upon, like the birth of a genius, as an accident, so impossible is it, with our limited view, to bring such cases within the domain of law. These hundred college boys have been taken from a thousand youths. The nine hundred have remained outside the doors which open into the halls of culture, away from the special influences which thought and ingenuity have created to develop and perfect man's endowments. As they are less favored, we demand less of them, and are content to have them reinforce the unenlightened army of laborers and money-getters. But when we come among those to whom leisure and opportunity are given that they may learn to think truly and to act nobly, and find that they fail in this, as nearly all of them do fail, we are disappointed and saddened. The thought-less imagine that those who provide food and shelter do the most important work ; but such work is the most important only where there is no intellectual, moral, or religious life. That is most necessary which nourishes the highest faculty, and wherever civilization exists, en-lightened minds and great characters are in-dispensable. The animal and the savage, with-out much difficulty, find what satisfies appetite ; but God appoints that only living souls shall provide what keeps souls alive. Now this soul-life, which manifests itself in thought, in conduct, in hope, faith, and love, makes us human and lifts us above every other kind of earthly existence. It is our distinctive attribute, the godlike side of our being, which, under penalty of sinking to lower worlds, we must bring out and cultivate. The plant is alive. By its own energy it springs from darkness, it grows, it waves its green leaves beneath the blue heavens; but it is blind, deaf and dumb, senseless, dead to the world of sight and sound, of taste and smell. The animal too is alive, and in a higher way : for all the glories of Nature are painted upon its eye ; all sounds strike upon its ear; it moves about and has all the sensations of physical pleasure of which man is capable; but it is without thought, without sense of right and wrong, without imagination, without hope and faith. It is plain then that human life, in its highest sense, is life of the soul, — a life of thought and love, of faith and hope, of imagination and desire ; and men are high or low as they partake more or less of this true life. By this standard, and by no other, reason requires that we form an estimate of human worth. To be a king, to have money, to live in splendor, to meet with approval from few or many, — is accidental, is something which may happen to an ignorant, a heartless, a depraved, a vulgar man. The most vicious and brutal of men have, again and again, held the most exalted positions, and as a rule cringing and lying, trickery and robbery, or speculation and gambling, have been and are the means by which great fortunes are acquired. Position, then, and money are distinguishable from worth ; and they may be and often are found where the life of thought and love, of faith and hope, of imagination and desire, is almost wholly wanting. Now, it is this life — the only true human life — which education should bring forth and strengthen ; and the failure to lead this life, of those who pass through our institutions of learning, is a subject of deep concern for all who observe and reflect ; for among them we look for the leaders who shall cause wisdom and goodness to prevail over ignorance and appetite. If those who receive the best nurture and care remain on the low plains of a hardly more than animal existence, what hope is there that the multitude shall rise to nobler ways of living?

There is question here of the most vital interests; and if we discover the causes of the evil, a remedy may be found. These causes of failure lie partly in our environment and partly within ourselves. In the home, in which we receive the first and the most enduring impressions, true views and noble aims are frequently wanting; and thus false and low estimates of life are formed at a time when what we learn sinks into the very substance of the mind, and colors and shapes all our future seeing and loving. This primal experience accompanies us, and hangs about us like a mist to shut out the view of fairer worlds. Enthusiasm for intellectual and moral excellence is never roused, because our young souls were not made magnetic by the words and deeds of those whom we looked up to as gods. Fortunate is he who bears with him into the life-struggle pure memories of a happy home. When I think of the bees I have seen coming back to the hive, honey-laden, in the golden light of setting suns, when I was a boy at home, a feeling comes over me as though I had lived in paradise and been driven forth into a bleak world. When one is young, and one's father and mother are full of health and joy; when the roses are blooming and the brooks are laughing to themselves from simple gladness, and the floating clouds and the silent stars seem to have human thoughts, — what more could we ask of God but to know that all this is eternal, and is from him?

In such a mood, how easy it is to turn the childlike soul to the world of spiritual and immortal things. With what efficacy then a mother's soft voice teaches us that we were born upon this earth for no other purpose than to know truth, to love goodness, to do right, that so, having made ourselves godlike, we may forever be with God. And if these high lessons blend in our thought with memories which make home a type of heaven, how shall they not through life be a spur to noble endeavor to accomplish the task thus set us? When great-hearted, high-souled boys go forth to college from homes of intelligence and love, then is there well-founded hope that they shall grow to be wise and helpful men, who know and teach truth, who see and create beauty, who do and make others do what becomes a man. Of hardly less importance is the neighborhood in which our early years are passed, and next to the companionship of the home fireside, a boy's best neighbor is Nature. Well for him shall it be, if, like colts and calves, and all happy young things, he is permitted to breath the wholesome air of woods and fields, to drink from flowing streams, to lie in the shade of trees on the green sward, or to stand alone beneath the silent star-lit heavens until the thought and feeling of the infinite and eternal sink deep into his soul, and make it impossible that he should ever look upon the universe of time and space, or the universe of duty's law within his breast, in a shallow or irreverent spirit. Little shall be said to him, and little shall he speak, and to the in-observant he shall seem dull; but he is Nature's nursling, and she paints her colors on his brain and infuses her strength into his heart. She hardens him and teaches him patience; she shows him real things, fills him with the love of truth, and makes him understand that sham is shame.

His progress may be slow; but he will persevere, he will have faith in the power of labor and of time, and when in after years we shall look about for a man with some Diogenes' lantern, there are a thousand chances to one that when we find him we shall find him country-born, not city-bred. Too soon is the town-boy made self-conscious; he is precocious; all the tricks and devices of civilization are known to him; all artifices and contrivances he sees in shop-windows ; the street, the theatre, the news-paper are the rivals of the home, and they quickly teach him irreverence and disobedience. He loses innocence, experience of evil gives him flippant views. He becomes wise in his own conceit; having eyes only for the surfaces of things, he easily persuades himself that he knows all. Of such a youth how shall any college make an enlightened, a noble, and a reverent man? But the home and the neighborhood are not our whole environment. As we are immersed in an atmospheric ocean, so do we swim in the current of our national life. To praise this life is easy. We all see and feel how vigorous it is, how confident, how eager. Here is a world of busy men and women, active in many directions. They found States, they build cities, they create wealth, they discuss all problems, they try all experiments, they hurry on to new tasks, and think they have done nothing while aught remains to do.

They live in the midst of the excitement of ever-recurring elections, of speculation, of financial schemes and commercial enterprises. It is an unrestful, feverish, practical life, in which all the strong natures are thinking of doing something, of gaining something, — a life in the market-place, where high thought and noble conduct are all but impossible, where the effort to make one's self a man, instead of striving to get so many thousands of money, would seem ridiculous. It is a life of inventions and manufactures, of getting and spending, in which we bring forth and consume in a single century what it has taken Nature many thousand years to hoard. Our aim is to have more rather than to be more; our ideal is that of material progress ; our praise is given to those who invent and discover the means of augmenting wealth. Liberty is opportunity to get rich; education is the development of the money-getting faculty. Our national life may, of course, be looked at from many sides, but the general drift of opinion and effort is in the direction here pointed out. Nine tenths of our thought and energy are given to material interests, and these interests represent nine tenths of our achievements. This may be true of men in general, it may be true also that material progress is a condition of moral and intellectual growth ; but none the less is it true that right human life is a life of thought and love, of hope and faith, of imagination and desire. Consequently in a well-ordered society, the chief aim — nine tenths of all effort, let us say — will have for its object the creation of enlightened and loving men and women, whom faith and hope shall make strong, whom imagination shall refresh, and the desire of perfection shall keep active. The aims which the ideals of democracy suggest are not wholly or chiefly materiel. We strive, indeed, to create a social condition in which comfort and plenty shall be within the reach of all; but the better among us understand that this is but an inferior part of our work, and they take no delight whatever in our great for-tunes and great cities. If democracy is the best government, it follows that it is the kind of government which is most favorable to virtue, intelligence, and religion. It is faint praise to say that in America there is more enterprise, more wealth, than elsewhere. What we should strive to make ourselves able to say, is, that there is here a more truly human life, more public and private honesty, purity, sympathy, and helpfulness ; more love of knowledge, 'more perfect openness to light, greater desire to learn, and greater willingness to accept truth than is to be found elsewhere. It should be our endeavor to create a world of which it may be said, there life is more pleasant, beauty more highly prized, goodness held in greater reverence, the sense of honor finer, the recognition of talent and worth completer than elsewhere.

Wealth and population should be considered merely as means, which, if we ourselves do not sink beneath our fortune, we shall use to help us to develop on a vast scale, a nobler, freer, and fairer life than hitherto has ever existed. We Americans have a great capacity for seeing things as they are. A thousand shams and glittering vanities have gone down before our straight-looking eyes; and because such things fail to impress us, we seem to be irreverent. We must look more steadfastly, deeper still, until we clearly perceive and understand that to live for money is to lead a false and vulgar life, to rest with complacency in mere numbers is to have a superficial and unreal mind. To form a right judgment of a people, as of individuals, we must consider what they are; not what they have, except in so far as their possessions are the result of work which at once forms and reveals character. And we must know that work is good only in as much as it helps to make life human, — that is, intelligent, moral and religious. And what we have the right to demand of those to whom we give a higher education is, that they shall body forth these principles in their lives and become leaders in the task of spreading them among the multitude. We demand, first of all, that they become men whose hearts are pure and loving, whose minds are open and enlightened, whose motives are benevolent and generous, whose purposes are high and religious; and if they are such men, it shall matter little to what special pursuits they turn, for whatever their occupation, honor, truth, and intelligence shall go with them, bearing, like mercy, a blessing for those who give and a blessing for those who receive. The spirit in which they work shall be more than what they do, as they themselves shall be more than what they accomplish.

A right spirit transforms the whole man, and the first and highest aim of the educator should be to impart a new heart, a new purpose, which shall bring into play forces that may oppose and overcome those faults of the young of which I have spoken, and which, if not corrected, lead to failure.

And here we come to the causes of ill success which lie within ourselves. We have our individual qualities and defects, and we have also the qualities and defects of the people whence we are sprung, and of the time-spirit into which we are born. It is the aim of education, as it is the aim of religion, to lift us above the spirit of the age ; but in attempting to do this, they who lose sight of what is true and beneficent in that spirit, commit a serious blunder. A national spirit, too, is a narrow, and often a harsh and selfish spirit; but when culture and religion strive to make us citizens of the world and universally' benevolent, a care must be had that we retain what is strong and noble in the characterwe inherit from our ancestors.

The lover of intellectual excellence, however, is little inclined to dwell with complacency either upon his own qualities, or upon the greatness of his country or his age. The untaught optimism which leads the crowd to exaggerate the worth of whatever they in any way identify with themselves, he looks upon with suspicion, if not with aversion. Self-complacency is pleas-ant; but truth alone is good, and they who think least are best content with themselves and with their world. He who seeks to improve his mind, neither boasts of his age and country, nor rails at them ; but tries to understand them as he tries to know himself. The important knowledge here is of obstacles and defects; for when these are removed, to advance is easy. The first lesson which we must learn is that in the work of mental culture, time and patience are necessary elements. The young, who are eager and restless, find it difficult to work with patience and perseverance, especially when the reward of labor is remote, and in the excitement and hurry of American life, such work often seems to be impossible. But by this kind of work alone can true culture be acquired. It is this Buffon means when he calls genius a great capacity for taking pains. When Albert Dόrer said, Sir, it cannot be better done ; " he simply meant that he had bestowed infinite pains upon his work. Now, they who are in a hurry cannot take pains; and they who work for money will take pains only in so far as it is profitable to do so. We must live in our work and love it for its own sake. To do work we love makes us happy, makes us free, and ac-cording to its kind educates us; and whatever its kind, it will at least teach us the sovereign virtue of patience, and give us something of the spirit of the old masters who in dingy shops ceased not from labor, and kept their cheerful serenity to the end, though the outcome was only the most perfect fiddle, or a deathless head. But they themselves had the souls of artists, and were honest men, who in their work found joy and freedom, and therefore what they did remains as a source of delight and inspiration. If we find it impossible to put our hearts into our work and consequently impossible to take infinite pains with it, then this is work for which we were not born. The impatient cannot love the labor by which the mind is cultivated, be-cause impatience implies a sense of restraint, a lack of freedom. They are restless, easily grow weary or despondent, find fault with themselves and their task, and either throw off the yoke or bear it in a spirit of disappointment and bitterness. As they fail to make themselves strong and serene, their work bears the marks of haste and feebleness, for work reveals character; it is the likeness of the doer, as style shows the man. Then the young are blinded by the glitter and glare of life, by the splendors of position and wealth ; they are drawn to what is external; they would be here and there; they love the unchartered liberty of chance desires, and are easily brought to look upon the task of self-improvement as a slavish work. They would have done with study that they may be free, may enter into what they suppose to be a fair and rich heritage. They cannot understand that so long as they are narrow, sensual, and unenlightened, the possession of a world could not make them high or happy. They do not know that to have liberty, without the power of using it for worthy ends, is a curse not a blessing. They imagine that experience of the world's ways and wickedness will make them wise, whereas it will make them depraved.

How can they realize that the good of life consists in being, and not in having? that we are worth what our knowledge, love, admiration, hope, faith, and desire make us worth? They will not perceive that happiness and unhappiness are conditions of soul, and consequently that the wise, the loving, and the strong, whatever their outward fortune, are happy, while the ignorant, the heartless, and the weak are miserable. To know ourselves, we should seek to discover the kind of life our influence tends to create. Consider the kind of world college boys make for themselves, the things they admire, the companions they find pleasant, the subjects in which they take interest, the books that delight them, — and one great cause of the failure of education will be made plain ; for though they are sent to school to be taught by professors, their influence upon one another is paramount. Instead of helping one another to see that their real business is to educate themselves, they persuade one another that life is given for common ends and vulgar pleasures. Hence they look with envy upon their companions who are the sons of rich men, as they have not lived long enough to learn that the fate of four fifths of the sons of rich men in this country, is moral and physical ruin. If such is the public opinion of the world in which they live; and if even strong men are feeble in the presence of public opinion, — how shall we find fault with them for not being attracted by the ideals of intellectual and moral excellence. For the trained mind even to think is difficult, and for them independent thought is almost impossible. They do not know the little less than creative power of right education, or that as we are changed by action, we are transformed by thought. What patient labor may do to exalt and refine the mental faculties, until we become capable of entering into the life of every age and every people, has not been shown to them; and hence they are not inspired by the high hope of dwelling, in very truth, with all the noble and heroic souls who have passed through this world and -left record of themselves. We bid the youth learn many things which he cannot but find both use-less and uninteresting. And yet unless we discover the secret of winning him to the love of study, the educational value of what he learns is lost ; for what leaves him unmoved, leaves him unimproved. His information and accomplishments are comparatively unimportant. What he himself is, and what his real self gives us grounds for hoping he shall become, is the true concern. To be able to translate .Aeschylus or Plato is not a great thing; but it is a great thing to have the Greek's sense of what is fair, noble and intellectual. To be able to solve a complex mathematical problem may be unimportant; but to have the mental habit of accurate, close, patient thinking is important. It is easy to for-get one's Greek or the higher mathematics; but an intellectual or a moral habit is not easily lost.

He who has right habits will go farther and rise higher than he who has only brilliant attainments. It is an error, and a very common one, to suppose that education is merely, or chiefly, a mental process, and consequently that the best school is that in which the various kinds of knowledge are best taught. Our whole being, physical, intellectual, and moral, is subject to the law of education. We may educate the eye, the ear, the hand, the foot; and each member of the body may be trained in many ways. The eye of the microscopist has received a training different from that of the painter; the sculptor's hand has been taught a cunning unlike that of the surgeon; the voice of the orator is developed in one way, that of the singer in another. And so the faculties of the mind may be drawn forth, and each one in various ways. The powers of observation, of reflection, of in-tuition, of imagination, are all educable. One of the most important and most difficult lessons to learn is that of attention. We know only what we are conscious of, and we are conscious only of that to which we give heed. If we but hold the mind to any subject with perseverance, it will deliver its secret. The little knowledge we have is often vague and unreal, because we are heedless, because we have never taught ourselves to dwell in conscious communion with the objects of thought. The trained eye sees innumerable beauties which are hidden from others, and so the mind which is taught to look ,, right sees truths the uneducated can never know. We may be taught to judge as well as to look. Indeed, once we have learned to see things as they are, correct opinions and judgments naturally follow. All faculty is the result of educa, tion. Poets, orators, philosophers, and saints bring not their gifts into the world with them; but by looking and thinking, doing and striving, they rise from the poor elements of half-conscious life to the clear vision of truth and beauty. Natural endowments are not equal; but the chief cause of inequality lies in the unequal efforts which men make to develop their endowments. The lack of imagination in the multitude makes their life dull, uninteresting, and material, and it is assumed that we are born with, or without, imagination, and that there is no remedy for this misery. And those who admit that imagination is subject to the law of development, frequently hold that it should be repressed rather than strengthened. Doubtless the imagination can be cultivated, just as the eye or the ear, the judgment or the reason, can be cultivated ; and since imagination, like faith, hope, and love, helps us to live in higher and fairer worlds, an educator is false to his calling when he leaves it unimproved. The classics, and especially poetry, are the great means of intellectual culture, because more than anything else they have power to exalt and ennoble the imagination. To suppose that this faculty is one which only poets and artists need, is to take a shallow and partial view, The historian, the student of Nature, the statesman, the minister of religion, the teacher, the mechanic even, if they are to do good work, must possess imagination, which is at once an intellectual, a moral, and a religious faculty. It is the mother and mistress of faith, hope, and love. It is the source of great thoughts, of high aspirations, and of heavenly dreams. Without it the illimitable starlit expanse loses its sublimity, oceans and mountains their awfulness and majesty, flowers their beauty, home its sacred charm, youth its halo, and the grave its solemn mystery.

Those powers within us which are directly related to conduct, the impulses to self-preservation, and to the propagation of the race, are subject to the law of education, not less than our physical and intellectual endowments. And the importance of dealing rightly with these powers is readily perceived if we reflect that conduct is the greater part of human life, which is a life of thought and love, of hope and faith, of imagination and desire.

As we can educate the faculties of thought and imagination, so can we develop the power to love, to hope, to believe, and to desire. When there is question of the intellect, teachers seek to impart information rather than to strengthen the mind, and when there is question of the moral nature, they have recourse to precepts and maxims instead of striving to confirm the will and to direct impulse. It is generally held, in fact, that will is a gift, not a growth, and the same view is taken of all our moral dispositions. We are supposed to receive from Nature a warm or a cold heart, a hopeful or a despondent temper, a believing or a sceptical turn of mind, a spiritual or a sensual bent. Now as I have already admitted, endowments are unlike; but what has this to do with the drift of the argument? Minds, though by nature unequal, may all be educated; and so wills may be educated, and so that which makes us capable of faith, hope, and desire, may be drawn forth, strengthened, and refined. Emerson, whose thought is predominantly spiritual, takes a low and material view of the moral faculties, confusing strength of will with health. " Courage," he says, " is the degree of circulation of the blood in the arteries. . . When one has a plus of health, all difficulties vanish before it." - But will is a moral rather than a constitutional power; and in so far as it is moral, it may be cultivated and directed to noble aims and ends. And if the teacher per-form this work with fine knowledge and tact, he becomes an educator; for upon the will, more than upon the intellectual faculties, success or failure depends. Whatever we are able to will, we are able to learn to do; and the best service we can render another is to rouse and confirm within him the will to live and to work, that he may make himself a complete man, that thus he may become a benefactor of men and a co-worker with God. The rational will, which is the educated will, should give impulse and guidance to all our thinking, loving, and doing. It should control appetite ; it should nourish faith and hope; it should lead us on through the illusory world of sensual delights, through the hardly less illusory world of wealth and power, still bidding us look and see that the world to which the conscious self really belongs, is infinite and eternal, and that to seek to rest in aught else is to apostatize from reason and con-science. Thus it would awaken in us a divine discontent, a sacred unrest, which might urge us on through the darkness of appetite and the unwholesome air of avarice and ambition, whispering to us that our life-work is to know truth, to love beauty, to do righteousness. To noneis the education of the will so necessary as to the lovers of intellectual excellence, for they who live in the world of ideas are easily content to let the world of deeds take care of itself. As the astronomer sees the earth lost like a grain of sand in infinite space, so to the wide and deep view of one who is familiar with the course of human thought and action, what any man, what the whole race of man, may do, can seem but insignificant. From the vanity and noise of actors who fret and storm for their brief hour; and then pass forever from life's stage, he flies to ideal worlds where truth never changes, where beauty never grows old, and lives more richly blest than lovers in Tempe or the dales of Arcady. And then the habit of looking at things from many sides leads to doubt, hesitation, and inaction. While the wise deliberate, the young and inexperienced have won or lost the battle. Thus the purely intellectual life tends to weaken faith, hope, and desire, which are the sources whence conduct springs, the drying up of which leaves us amid barren wastes, where high thinking, if it be not impossible, brings neither strength nor joy; for the secret of strength and joy lies in doing and not in thinking. It is a law of our nature that conduct brings the most certain and the most permanent satisfaction, and hence whatever our ideals, the pursuit should be inspired by the sense of duty.

"Stern law-giver ! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace ;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face.
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds
And fragrance in thy footing treads."

Then only do we move with certain step when we hear God's voice bidding us go forward, as he commands the starry host to fly onward, and all living things to spring upward to light and warmth. When we understand that he has made progress the law of life, we learn to feel that not to grow is not to live. Then our view is enlarged ; we become lovers of perfection; we cherish every gift, and in many ways we strive to cultivate the many powers which go to the making of a man. They all are from him, and from him is the effort by which they are improved. We were born to make our-selves alive in him and in his universe, and like the setter in the field, we stretch eye and ear and nose to catch whatever message may be borne to us from his boundless game park. We observe, reflect, compare; we read best books; we listen to whoever speaks what he knows and feels to be truth. We take delight in whatever in Nature is sublime or beautiful, and fresh thoughts and innocent hearts make us glad. Wherever an atom thrills, there too is God, and in him we feel the thrill and are at home. Our faith grows pure; our hope is con-firmed; and our love and sympathy identify us with an ever-widening sphere of life beyond us. The exclusive self passes into the larger movement of the social and religious world around us, which, as we now realize, is also within us, giving aims and motives to our love and self devotion. We understand that what hurts another can never help us, and that our private good must tend to become a general blessing. Thus we find and love ourselves in the intellectual, moral, and religious life of the race, which is a type and symbol of the infinite life of God, the omen and promise of the soul's survival. As we become conscious of ourselves only through communion with what is not our-selves, so we truly live only when we live for God and the world he creates, — losing life that we may find it; dying, like seed-corn, that we may rise to a new and richer life. Not what gratifies our selfish or sensual nature will help us to lead this right human life; but that which illumines and deepens thought and love, which gives to faith a boundless scope, to hope an ever-lasting foundation, to desire the infinite beauty which, though unseen, is felt, like memory of music fled. The unseen world ceases to be a future world; and is recognized as the very world in which we now think and love, and so intellectual and moral life passes into the sphere of religion. We no longer pursue ideals which forever elude us, but we become partakers of the divine life; for in giving ourselves to the Eternal and Infinite we find God in our souls. The ideal is made real; God is with us, and through faith, hope, and love we are one with him, and all is well. Henceforth in seeking to know more, to become more, we are animated by a divine spirit. Now we may grow old, still learning many things, still smitten with the love of beauty, still finding delight in fresh thoughts and innocent pleasures, and it may be that we shall be found to be teachers of wisdom and of holiness. Then, indeed, shall we be happy, for it is better to teach truth than to win battles. A war-hero supposes a barbarous condition of the race, and when all shall be civilized, they who know and love the most shall be held to be the greatest and the best.



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