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The only way of setting the will free is to deliver it from wilful
Hare. St. Augustin says, “We are all nothing other than Wills." And he cites the instance of the good and bad angels, of whom the nature is the same, the will different. Ages of Faith.
The Virtue of Paganism was strength; the Virtue of Christianity is Obedience.
Hare. The Scripture, and the Faith and the Truth say, Sin is naught else, but that the creature turneth away from the unchangeable Good, and betaketh itself to the changeable ; that is to say, that it turneth away from the Perfect, to “that which is in part” imperfect, and most often to itself. Now mark: when the creature claimeth for its own anything good, such as Substance, Life, Knowledge, Power, and, in short, whatever we should call good, as if it were that, or possessed that, or that were itself, or that proceeded from it, as often as this cometh to pass, the creature goeth astray. What did the devil do else, or what was his going astray and his fall else, but that he claimed for himself to be also somewhat, and would have it that somewhat was his, and somewhat was due to him? This setting up of a claim, and his I, and Me, and Mine, these were his going astray, and his fall, and thus it is to this day.
What else did Adam do but this same thing. It is said it was because Adam ate the apple that he was lost, or fell. I say, it was because of his claiming something for his own, and because of his I, Mine, Me, and the like. Had he eaten seven apples, and yet never claimed anything for his own, he would not have fallen ; but as soon as he called something his own, he fell, and would have fallen had he never touched an apple. Theologia Germanica.
Simplicity is an uprightness of soul that has no reference to itself; it is different from sincerity, and it is a still higher virtue. We see many people who are sincere without being simple; they only wish to pass for what they are, and they are unwilling to appear what they are not; they are always thinking of themselves, measuring their words, and recalling their thoughts, and reviewing their actions, from the fear that they have done too much or too little. These persons are sincere, but they are not simple; they are not at ease with others, and others are not at ease with them ; they are not free, ingenuous, natural; we prefer people who are less correct, less perfect, and who are less artificial. This is the deci
sion of man, and it is the judgment of God, who would not have us so occupied with ourselves, and thus, as it were, always arranging our features in a mirror.
Fenelon. That heart where I had formerly detected in their secret places so many evil motives, was now, so far as I was enabled to perceive, made pure. Whenever a “self-reflective" thought was present to my mind, — that is to say, a thought reflective upon any subject in its relation to my personal interests, in its relation to self — in the selfish sense, it was instantly rejected ; and a curtain, as if by some ever-present but invisible hand, was drawn in the soul before it. I no longer felt myself obliged to say that, “when I would do good, evil was present with me!” Doing good was now my nature.
Upham's Life of Madame Guyon. A king said to a holy man, “ Are you ever thinking of me?" “Yes,” said he, “at such times as I am forgetting God Almighty."
Sadi. The time has come when you are not only to retire within yourself, but to retire from yourself.
Fenelon. Buffon says that the elephant (whose name means partaker of reason) is very fond of praise and caresses, and can bear them, and by this the Brahmins know it is superior to man.
We all need resistance to our errors on every side. “ Woe unto us when all men speak well of us !” and woe unto us, when all men shall give way to us!
Henry Taylor. We must follow Providence, not force it. Shakspere.
The praises of others may be of use, in teaching us not what we are, but what we ought to be.
Hare. Vanity, after Pride, is the most universal, perhaps the most fatal of all sins, fretting the whole depth of our humanity into storm, “to waft a feather or to drown a fly.”
Ruskin. I remember that, in my early youth, I was overmuch religious and vigilant, and scrupulously pious and abstinent. One night I sat up in attendance on my father, on whom be God's mercy, never closed my eyes during the whole night, and held the precious Koran open on my lap, while the company around were fast asleep. I said to my father, Not an individual of these will raise his head, that he may perform his genuflections, or ritual of prayer; but they are all so sound asleep that you might conclude
they were dead." He replied : “O emanation of your father, you also had better have slept, than that you should thus calumniate the failings of mankind.”
Sadi. Self-love exaggerates our fault as well as our virtues.
Göthe. The souls of the Sons of God are greater than their business ; and they are thrown out, not to do a certain work, but to be a certain thing; to have some sacred lineaments, to show some divine tint, of the Parent Mind from which they come. Martineau.
That no one can enter the kingdom of heaven without becoming a little child, guileless and simple-minded, we all know; but behind and after this is a mystery which thou, O Reader, must take to heart. If thy soul is to go on into higher spiritual blessedness, it must become a Woman; yes, however manly thou be among men. It must learn to love being dependent; and must lean on God, not solely from distress or alarm, but because it does not like independence or loneliness. It must not have recourse to Him merely as a friend in need, under the strain of duty, the battering of affliction, and the failure of human sympathy; but it must press toward Him when there is no need.
In claiming a personal relation with God, nothing exclusive is intended ; nay, he who thus learns that he is loved by God, learns simultaneously that all other men and creatures are also loved. That is an important lesson for the man's external action - indeed, is a foundation of universal love in the soul ; but its inward movements towards God proceeds exactly as if there were no other creatures beside itself in the universe. Thus the discovery that it loves and is loved in turn, produces sensible Joy ; in some natures very powerful, in all imparting cheerfulness, hope, vivacity. The personal relation sought is discerned and felt. The Soul understands and knows that God is her God; dwelling with her more closely than any creature can; yea, neither Stars, nor Sea, nor smiling Nature, hold God so intimately as the bosom of the Soul. It no longer seems profane to say, “God is my bosom friend ; God is for me, and I am for Him.” So Joy bursts into Praise, and all things look brilliant; and hardship seems easy, and duty becomes delight, and contempt is not felt, and every morsel of bread is sweet.
F. W. Newman.
Echoes of Harper's Ferry. By James REDPATH. Boston: Thayer & Eld
It is said that once a Minstrel came to King Arthur's Court, bearing a mantle which was an infallible test of the virtue of any one who might put it on, The King ordered that all in his Court should try on the mantle; and, alas, it shriveled and refused to cover many of the proudest of the nobility. Queen Guinevere herself was shamed in the presence of the Court.
The story is repeated wherever a deed of moral heroism is done. Heroism comes upon the conventional world so suddenly, its lightning is so intense, that the foul and evil things have not time to put on their cosmetics, their Sunday clothes, their unctuous smiles. How little did Slavery, Guinevere of the Court, wedded to Liberty, “flower of kings," suspect the terrible man with the mantle! Thus Wendell Phillips puts it: “Governor Wise says, “The most resolute man I ever saw; the most daring, the coolest. I would trust his truth about any question. The sincerest!' Sincerity, courage, resolute daring, beating in a heart that feared God, and dared all to help his brother to liberty — Virginia has nothing, nothing for these qualities but a scaffold!"
Then what a stern test of the South, so noisy of late years with its prowess and power, has this John Brown been! The South, invincible where an encounter must be had with a Yankee pedler in the Carolinas, untiring where a fugitive is to be cornered in a swamp, Thermopylean when & pinioned Senator is to be assassinated in the Senate Chamber, stands forth a Rosalind:
A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh,
We'll have a swashing and a martial outside. Taken unawares, Virginia's curtle-axe rattled against trembling knees, her spear fell from a fear-paralyzed hand. For nearly a week, John Brown, with only twenty-one men beside him, personified the Virginia arms, standing with the sword of George Washington in his hand, his foot upon the neck of cowering Slavery! Wherever afterward he was placed, whether bleeding in a Court-room, sleeping on straw in a prison, or on the scaffold, the solar eye of the world will forever hold him daguerreotyped there with Washing 's sword in his nd, Slavery under his feet, Sic semper tyrannis over his head. John Brown having thus conquered Virginia's Coat of Arms to himself, Redpath has been cruel enough to give that State another in this book to wit: a cow trampling a negro- • driver. We do not mean, however, in anything we have said, to intimate that the Sons of the South are personally without courage. We must make, in the cause of truth, another quotation from the representative orator of this age, Mr. Wendell Phillips: “The South are not cowards. They were brave enough, but they saw afar off. They saw the tremendous power that was entering into that charmed circle; they knew its inevitable victory. They did not tremble at an old gray-headed man at Harper's Ferry: they trembled at a John Brown in every man's own conscience. He had been there many years, and, like that terrific scene which Beckford has drawn for us in his Hall of Eblis, where the crowd runs around, each man with an incurable wound in his bosom, and agrees not to speak of it; so the South has been running up and down its political and social life, and
every man keeps his right hand pressed on the secret and incurable sore, with an understood agreement, in Church and State, that it shall never be mentioned, for fear the great ghastly fabric shall come to pieces at the talismanic word.''
In this volume of little more than 500 pages, we have the most living thoughts and most eloquent words which have been uttered in this century. The heroism of John Brown was a signal for all thinkers, scholars, teachers, prophets, to rise to the summits of their Sinais, Horebs, Pisgahs, Thabors and Calvarys. Here are the lightnings of the Law of God; here are visions of promised lands; here are the transfigurations of Genius. Emerson, Phillips, Parker, Thoreau, Victor Hugo, Cheever, Beecher, Whittier, Clarke, Furness — these, and a hundred others, gladly became pens and pencils that John Brown's Deed-Epic might be fitly reported to Humanity. Their thunders are here: here are their lava-streams which shall cool only to enrich, as lava does the vines, the clusters of God's Western vineyard.
Every nation must write its own Bible. America has written its Genesis : Concord and Bunker Hill are chapters in it. John Brown has opened the Book of Exodus. He has written every poem, address or discourse in this thrilling volume. When we think of this brave old man, over-riding all rational methods, with nothing right in his plan, except his perfect truth; of his life and death; the lines of Wordsworth seem to rise as his fit epitaph:
May we not with sorrow say,
Popular Astronomy: A concise Elementary Treatise on the Sun, Planets,
Satellites and Comets. By O. M. MITCHELL, LL.D., Director of the Cincinnati and Dudley Observatories. New York: Phinney, Blakeman & Mason. Cincinnati: Rickey, Mallory & Co. 1860. A work of this kind was much needed, and we are not sure that Prof. Mitchell was not about as well calculated for it as any one else. It will be a godsend to many a bored sophomore to exchange the barren technicalities of the Astronomic Horn-books for this spirited and easy-going volume. One who contemplates a careful pursuit of this science, or to whom it is a specialty, can, of course, find many better works on this subject; but those who care for no more than the general facts will find themselves well satisfied with this.
We have, however, several faults to find with the author of this really valuable work: 1. That he did not style himself, on the title-page, * Nominal Director of the Cincinnati Observatory," instead of simply
Director;" 2. That he should not have got some one familiar with Lindley Murray to revise this book, so as not to have written (p. 41) that "the sharp outlines of the penumbra surrounding the dark spots, has often been seen to cut," etc., and other passages as bad; 3. That he did not put his rhetoric into an appendix; which might have saved his work from such infelicities as the following (p. 66): "The vigorous mind of Copernicus, transferring himself, [a vigorous mind, or Copernicus ?] in imagination, to the sun," etc., etc.; 4. That he should have the ugly disposition, unworthy of a man of Science, to depreciate the labors of his cotemporaries, as when he leaves on his reader's mind the impression that the discovery of Neptune was a “happy accident”; That has not subjected his style to a severe pruning, so as to write of Nature with a sim. plicity as free from affectation as herself.