« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
DR EINBOHRER AND HIS PUPILS.
CHAPTER VII.-OP FORY.
When Dr. E. came out this morning, he excited the curiosity of his pupils to the last pitch by setting on the table, just under his nose, the oddest little figure.
Van Stammer, who had been reading Plato until two the night before, and whose sore eyes were snapping out gleams of the Absolute and Self-subsistent, of which he had been meditating ever since, turned pale and ventured to Peter House next him the theory that this was the Dæmon of our Teutonic Socrates ; whereupon Peter rose, bowed low, and exclaimed, "Good morning, Pigmy Devil, Esq.; how do you do?" His levity, however, did not even obtain the notice of the venerable Jecovas, who for a minute regarded silently and even fondly this queer little figure of a man, who had singularly prominent features and a very long row of teeth, reaching, as it were, far down into his throat. Now was it that I rejoiced that I had undertaken to make notes of what the Doctor stated in his lectures ; for, in order to do this, I had obtained a seat very near his desk. It was this that enabled me to hear distinctly a significant apostrophe addressed by him to the mannikin before he began his lecture (the other pupils only saw his lips move) : “Poor little make-believe of a man!” said he ; “soulless thou art, infirm - a man of wax; yet to me thou art the theme of the ages ; in thee the scores of the symphony of lifewhose four movements are the four kingdoms of Nature !"
Setting aside for a time the little figure, the Doctor proceeded to address us as follows on FORM :
" Philosophers have always been more speculative than clear on the subject of form. Indeed, Morphology, up to the time of Swedenborg, was a science that was only sung. Swedenborg entered a little into this realm, and its magnificent verities and beauties, we are sorry to know, crazed him. He would not stop until he had given God himself shape and definition. No doubt God has shape and definition, but that Swedenborg would have to become a little His superior in order to report them, is still more doubtless. But we may remark, here, a very ingenious conclusion of this Great Seer, given without proof or probability, but interesting as indicating the extent to wbich an idea would ride him. Swedenborg intimates that the specific taste or smell of an object is dependent upon the shape of its atoms ; that is, if the particles of salt and sugar were of similar form, there would be no difference in their taste. The mode of the action is this: the palate is a bundle of nerves --- in these nerves are all the various flavors of the earth. The special and peculiar shape of the atoms of sugar are alone able to pierce into the sugar-nerves ; peppermint would leave the sugar. nerves untouched and excite the peppermint nerves ; and so of salt, vanilla and what not. Of course, no process can ever destroy the atomic shapes of these substances. Now this may all be true, but if so, the theorem must hold with the other senses, and our science must give us the mathematical form of a violet ray, must measure the dimensions of a musk fragrance. must carve a statuette of a nightingale's song! I will not say that these are impossible — they do not seem to contradict any ideal that Nature is training in us.
“An old English poet has given us a line that will bear some scrutiny :
* Soul is Form and doth the body make.' If soul is Form, it follows that it is not any special form ; each form must be one string of its limitless lyre. But there is no form except for the expression of some form of soul ; therefore it was well said that ere the brooding spirit moved on the face of the fluid world it was 'without form. Every animal form is a crystalization about the passion -- the power, that is --- which it represents. Your wader will have long legs, your swimmer will be web-footed : the lion must have a thick, shaggy neck, sufficient to hold up a slain ox. As the æons roll forward, we find these scattered letters of form put together and spelt out in some glorious ferocity, as Napoleon, - or transcendent fox, as Richelieu. We find, then, that the Eternal Soul made the old forms as a pictured alphabet to spell out the inevitable modes of its existence, and that fox, dog, wolf, lamb, lion, are sagacity, fidelity, liberty, gentleness, superiority, - all attributes of the soul.”
The good Einbohrer now took hold of the little mannikin, very much to the satisfaction of the class, whose curiosity, raised to its highest pitch, had not, I fear, helped their attentiveness to the abstruse truths which had been announced. As he handled it, we saw that it was soft to his touch, and could be moulded to any shape he desired. He began by stretching it out to its full dimensions, so that instead of its being a man, it was like a Zuglodon. He made a very good imitation of several animals. But very
curious indeed was the ease with which he flattened the forehead, swelled the lips, and made a grinning ape, — with slight variation, a low Irishman, and then a negro. It was very curious and signalized by an explosion of laughter, when the mannikin, having traveled through a myriad of ages in twenty minutes — all the way from the plutonic rocks — regained his composure and sat before us grinning over his Protean adventures as before. The master then proceeded :
Gentlemen, we are very much deluded by the seeming. Forms seem to us very different, because we think we have seen them when we have not; or, rather, we think that an object is to be seen with our eyes. Seen with the eyes, the moon is largest of the heavenly bodies — and stars millions of miles apart are but three feet apart -- and the earth is flat. Scarcely any of the senses, or faculties, and none of the experience can be left out in the simple act of seeing an object. With two strokes only of his brush Titian changed the picture of a cat into a laughing maiden. See, 'tis but by depressing these mouth-muscles that I change this plastic friend of ours who seems bursting with laughter, into a desolate mourner.
“Pray, now, look at the variations of animal form through which our inanimate teacher has gone, with eye and reason too, with a remembrance that things are not what they seem. Oken, in a great moment, when the Earth with its fossils became transparent to him, said, “There is but one animal.'
“ Have you not seen that throughout the World of Form it is Man, whether flying, swimming, creeping or walking ?
“But man himself is of variable form ; for it is not the general body that constitutes the aim of creation. It is the Brain, allinformed, that Nature has all along been constructing. The limbs and trunk are but a frame-work for supporting and defending this elegant piece of work, which Nature supported so, lest some injury should come to it. It is the Brain which has been passing from furnace to furnace, from anvil to anvil, and which bears to the latest all the temper it has gained from the preceding degrees. •Go to,' said the Spirit; I will make Man — that is, a catholic
Brain : it shall be Kosmos.” Then the Spirit made a Lichen on the Rock, and in it was the cerebral essence. Then that eliminated thus, went into the Laboratory of the Genii, and their heavy hammer-strokes rang out, and their smithy fires glared far, till they kindled the Star of Bethlehem. On the serpent-anvil wisdom was inwrought, and with the eagle-anvil aspiration : fox-anvil added prudence, and the lion-forge gave nobleness. Fierce and mighty the travail : calm stood the Mid-wife God awaiting the birth of a Brain. Forests shrank back and crystallized into rock ; Kingdoms of the once Rulers became gladly fossil — for they knew that by a sublime annihilation they should rise to their Thabor of Transfiguration in that Brain which all existed only to build, and which must have on its summit tabernacles for the whole of the Past. Thus all brains and qualities were to be summed up in the forehead of Man: and when their various powers are fully represented there, they must pass away outwardly.
“By this path, my young friends, you will come to the nobler science which finds its Arctics and Tropics, its Magnetic Belts, its Fauna and Strata, all in the Planets that move with cerebral and facial hemispheres around the Solar Eye. Have I not seen a man pursued through life by a ravenous wolf of an underlip? Have I not seen a man fighting the beasts at Ephesus' prowl. ing about the base of his head ? Have I not seen a panthercheek in deadly life-long combat with a nose that ever stood bravely forth to maintain the existence of the Man upon
earth ? “ But it is written that the Garden of God shall rise out of this conflict : the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the lion and the young fatling together. When by the happy Little Child these shall all be led to their high aims, they shall harmonize and the balanced Brain shall appear. The New Kingdom shall advance ; the snarl and the growl shall not haunt human voices; the glare shall fade from the eyes of men ; and instead of tracking the footsteps of men by bloodstains and howls, we shall trace them in flowers, and the songs of nightingales.
“The true Morphology must establish the Law of Institutions and Religions, which are varying Forms of the Divine Essence.
“In the ancient Greek Mythology we are told that Saturn (Time) devoured his children: Zeus (Life) alone escaped him, and afterward dethroned him. That is, Time must ever consume the Forms which Time has produced ; but the Essence of Forms
which is evolved, all-creative Life, can not be devoured. Forms pass away, Essences remain ; Generations pass, generation goes on ; Temples crumble, worship endures. It is an old experience that there are some who in saving a thing lose it, and those who in losing a thing find it. The Conservative thinks he conserves when he clings to the old form ; but the Reformer is the real conserver, for he has detected the old vitality under the renewed form. We can not hold on to the grub-truth and get the golden-winged truth also. Therefore if one wished to select the true believers, he might safely collect the seeming unbelievers. The truth is lost which is not raised up from the sepulchre of the empirical Form. When Saurian Creeds that have served their time pass away with horrible contortions. when Thrones totter, it is Saturn devouring another or others of his children. When clear Ideas are enthroned, and Justice is established, then Zeus prevails by the conservation of new forces. No form of Truth so sacred but it must take on new forms: as the Serpent in the Wilderness is lifted up, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. The oath of the universe is given that nothing shall remain which can not change and grow with the growing World.
HERESY AT MEADVILLE.
For some time there have been rumors of trouble at the Unitarian Theological School in Meadville, Pa. These have for the first time taken a tangible form, in a pamphlet before us, written and published by a quondam student of that Institution, named Hiram A. Reid. This young man a few years ago, by his talents, his studious habits and his earnestness, interested a number of persons in Boston, who at length volunteered to assist him in obtaining an education for the ministry at Meadville. The Ladies' Sewing Circle connected with Edward Everett Hale's Church gave especial aid and sympathy on the occasion ; and the youth, full of hope and devotion, repaired to the long-desired school, where he soon was recognized by those around him as, to use the printed testimony of his fellow-students, “a close and hard student, a faithful, true, and self-sacrificing friend ; a man who makes a good