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speculation. And, while all this is going on, the abstract moralist will stand around, clamoring querulously in the supposed interest of morality, yet seldom without an eye to bringing himself into notice, but really contributing little or nothing to the practical solution of the problem.

And the dangers of this misplaced moralizing are greatest of all for the moralizers themselves. The bystanders may become immune, but the operators run very serious risks. Without good sense the moralizer is apt to lose himself in silliness or fanaticism and also in an odious pharisaism. Often all sense of reality and proportion is lost. Some minor matter, of small importance in any case, bulks so large as to hide everything else. And scruples beget scraples and grow upon scruples, until at last all morality disappears in mechanical pettiness. Then it becomes a question of supreme im. portance whether to make the sign of the cross with two fingers or three, whether to use fermented or unfermented wine in the Lord's Supper, whether to have the common cup or individual cups in the communion service. One gritty old saint recently denounced the communion cup as the cup of devils when fermented wine is used. A distinguished ecclesiastic has ventured to say that if Jesus made fermented wine it is well that he died as soon as he did. A prominent temperance organization not long ago made an issue on root beer, discovering in it, with the peculiar insight of hysteria, a very special lair and lurking place of the adversary. When the philanthropist comes to write about war he seems to lose all power of discrimination, and sometimes sinks in manly feeling below the veriest ruffian of the slums. The horrors of war are undoubtedly great, but the horrors of peace may be greater. War would be very much out of place in heaven; but it is sometimes very much in order on earth. These are specimens of the blindness which can result from ignorant moralizing

But this is only dementalization; the next step that follows is demoralization. Jesuitry and pharisaism seldom fail to appear. The upholders of this sort of thing are by no means always scrupulous. Who cannot recall illustrations of the truth of Coleridge's remark: “I lave seen gross intolerance shown in support of toleration; sectarian antipathy most ob trusively displayed in the promotion of an undistinguishing comprehension of sects; and acts of cruelty (I had almost said of treachery) committed in furtherance of an object vitally important to the cause of humanity; and all this by men too of naturally kind dispositions and exemplary conduct?”* There is real danger in our best feelings as well as in our worst; and both alike need to be controlled by good sense. One takes his reputation in his hand who consents to argue with a moralizer of this type. For his opinion is not merely his opinion, it is the moral law itself and the very will of God. Thus anyone who differs with him is inevitably put in the wrong and held up as an enemy of righteousness. In this way narrowness and conceit and obstinacy and malignity consecrate themselves, while shooting up into monstrous proportions and making their most odious manifestations. For narrowness is never so narrow, conceit never so conceited, obstinacy never so obstinate, and malignity never so malignant as when they take on the pharisaic form.

Thus the reformers alienate the thoughtful and finally get by the ears themselves. For there is a sad tendency, with reformers of this kind, not to divide and conquer, but to divide and fail. Having identified his own opinion with eternal wisdom and righteousness, the professional reformer soon feels called upon to administer faithful wounds to his fellowreformers; and then they fall asunder, each one proclaiming that no reform is genuine unless his name is blown in the bottle, and each one regarding himself—as an admiring disciple said of Garrison—as the only righteous in a world perverse. Many important reforms have ended in this way in our own time. Professional nonpartisanship has unwittingly passed into the narrowest and blindest partisanship. Useful critics have degenerated into unscrupulous and tiresome scolds. Thus the reform becomes thread bare, and the people tire of both the reform and the reformer, especially when they begin to surmise that the final cause of the reform may be to pay the salary of the reformer. Or the reform organ seeks to do business with the sole outfit of virtuous

. Biographia Literaria, chapter x.

intentions and becomes the subject of a smile. Reformers are one great obstacle to reform.

The conclusion of the whole matter is that we need good sense in morality as well as in everything else. Apart from the inherent difficulties of the subject, when the problem is complex or lies in new fields, there are opposite extremes of anwisdom to be avoided. On the one hand is the timeserver for whom justice is never opportune, who would like reform but at some other time; and on the other hand is the doctrinaire dealer in abstractions, with no sense of reality or knowl. edge of human life and human nature, who, being ridiculous himself, contrives to make morality and religion also ridiculous. For this state of affairs there is no single panacea, but it will help somewhat if we learn to see things as they are. We must distinguish between abstract principles and their concrete application. We must distinguish also between the conventional code and the unchangeable moral law. We must also recognize how much there is in concrete ethics that is theoretically indeterminate, and we must get a deeper sense of the divinity of life itself and of all its normal interests. We must of course hold

up

the ideal, but we must also take care to do the best we can when the ideally best is impossible. We must also remember that until the perfect is come we shall bave to work with imperfect instruments, imperfect motives, and imperfect men, and not allow a moral æstheticism to degenerate into a weakness of mind and character resulting in practical impotence. There is something wrong with the ideal when it thus defeats itself. Finally, we must overcome the tendency to hysteria and nightmares and pharisaism which is so marked a weakness in the professional moralizer, and so serious an infliction when it leads to making speeches and writing letters

to the papers.

Birden P. Brune.

Art, VI.—THE RELIGION OF KIPLING.

CONCERNING the religious teaching and the moral worth of the idealists and romanticists in literature much has been written of late. Concerning the religious influence of the realists there remains not a little to be said, and some of it may well find a text in the writings of that prince of realists, Rudyard Kipling. Here is a realist who is essentially a poet; his very prose is epic, and for realism to have produced a poet of power means that it has found itself and has a message worth singing. If there is any religious worth in the actual, this inan who worships“ the God of things as they are” has found it. So far, the other side only has been heard. Kipling, the realist, whose coarseness demands the exclusion of his works from the Sunday school libraries, has been expounded by moralists of the molluscan order. Kipling, the prophet of the base, the groveler in the gutters of life, has been exploited with rose-tinted adjectives by Le Gallienne, and with sulphurous invectives by Robert Buchanan, while the most of us have been content to admire the sheer power of the man's work, without troubling ourselves as to its message. Yet it goes without saying that no poet reaches so vast an audience or moves so deeply the feeling of his time as does Kipling, unless he sings of more than the phenomenal. The inductive method in science does more than observe facts, and so realism, which is the unconscious application of the scientific method in literature, does more than describe life as it is. If the poets of nature and of the inner chambers of thought and fancy have sung great religious truths, why not the singer of the song of soldier and schoolboy, of steam and sea, of war and wilderness? The best that realism has done in this field is embodied in the work of Kipling. Such a gospel of the actual as has been compiled stands there in bold outline.

To discover the religion of realism one begins, of course, with the external. It is predominantly ethical, it expresses itself absolutely—where a great deal of so-called religion, of a more pretentious variety, fails to find any expression whatsoever-in terms of conduct and character. It is the religion of life that is, the actual life of strong men, at once the best and the worst that human nature as a whole has evolved. While it may be true, as has been recently urged, that Kipling has added no great personalities to the Valhalla of literature, yet he has created a type that is distinctly his. All his men, white or black, soldier or civilian, exemplify certain principles of character, conform to a certain code of conduct. Their standards are few and simple. Their Westminster Confession might be written somewhat in this fashion:

We believe
1. In doing our work and doing it well.
2. That a man should have no fear.
3. That God's world is good.
4. That a man should think for himself, and say what he thinks.
5. That a man should do what he says and be what he appears.
(Signed) Mulvaney, Dick Heldar, Sergeant What's 'Is Name,

Learoyd, Torpenhow, 'Er Majesty's Jollies,
Ortheris, Gunga Din, Stalky,
Tarvin, McAndrews, .007,
Mowgli, Harvey Cheyne, The Maltese Cat.

Of all these signers, not one would formulate this statement of his faith; it is more than likely that no one of them would even acknowledge it. Yet they worked it out in actual life and preached it with the eloquence of mighty deeds. It is the religion of the strenuous life that is vibrant in the work of Kipling. His men do something, and they do it well. They build bridges, rule provinces, command ships, fight the battles of the empire; somewhere and somehow, they do a man's work in God's world. And ever he urges them on :

Go to your work and be strong, halting not in your ways,
Balking the end half-won, for an instant dole of praise ;
Stand to your work and be wise certain of sword and pen,
Who are neither children nor gods, but men in a world of men.

They are brave in the doing of their work, these men of Kipling. Winning or losing, they will play the game to the end with never a murmur, even though one of the goals be death. Strong, silent men they are, who like the friend of his yonth, “Do their work and hold their peace and have no fear to die." A great company of brave hearts he has pictured for us, every one of them with the immortal light of quenchless

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