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But, in defining symmetry, the criticism once made on Pope's line,
An honest man's the noblest work of God,
may be considered; namely, "the reputation of men is to be prized not from their exemption from fault, but from the size of those virtues they are possessed of."
A true mental philosophy accepts all the facts of human experience. It sees the mechanism of mind, but it also observes the nobler powers which make man a living soul and a child of God. . . . We grow broader not by seeing error, but by seeing more and more of truth.- Dr. James Freeman Clarke.
Character is not cut in marble,- is not something solid and unalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do.- George Eliot.
Insanity is not a distinct and separate empire: our ordinary life borders upon it, and we cross the frontier in some part of our nature. -Hippolyte Adolphe Taine.
The higher feelings, when acting in harmonious combination, and directed by enlighten-d intellect, have a boundless scope for gratification: their least indulgence is delightful, and their highest activity bliss. George Combe.
When we speak against one capital vice, we ought to speak against its opposite: the middle betwixt both is the point for virtue. -Alexander Pope.
A character that is all piety is as much a perversion as one that is all business. The complete man is "not slothful in business," while, at the same time, he is "fervent in spirit."— Dr. W. H. Ryder (Open Letter to Dwight L. Moody).
A taste of every sort of knowledge is necessary to form the mind, and is the only way to give the understanding its due improvement to the full extent of its capacity.-John Locke.
It is the glorious prerogative of the empire of knowledge that what it gains it never loses. On the contrary, it increases by the multiple of its own power: all its ends become means; all its attainments help to new conquests.- Daniel Webster.
In order to be greatly good, one must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is imagination, and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the cause.—. - Percy B. Shelley.
The seeds of knowledge may be planted in solitude, but must be cultivated in public.- Dr. Samuel Johnson.
Knowledge has in our time triumphed, and is still triumphing, over prejudice and over bigotry. The civilized and Christian world is fast learning the great lesson that difference of nation does not imply necessary hostility, and that all contact need not be war. The whole world is becoming a common field for intellect to act in. Energy of mind, genius, power, wheresoever it exists, may speak out in any tongue, and the world will hear it.- Daniel Webster.
Even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose.- Earle Bulwer-Lytton.
Principle is a passion for truth.-William Hazlitt.
There is no music in a "rest" that I know of, but there's the making of music in it.... Patience is the finest and worthiest part of fortitude, and the rarest too.- - John Ruskin.
I was never less alone than when by myself.-Edward Gibbon.
For solitude sometimes is best society,
By all means use sometimes to be alone.
Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,
He was a-weary; but he fought his fight,
To see the august broadening of the light,
And new worlds heaving heavenward from the void.
There is no ending to thy road,
But speeds the ever greatening soul
John W. Chadwick.
Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll.
Leave thy low-vaulted past;
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast;
Leaving thine out-grown shell by life's unresting sea.
Dr. Oliver W. Holmes.
The flower horizons open, the blossom vaster shows;
We hear the wide world's echo,-"See how the lily grows!"
Sin has sometimes been defined a violation of conscience; conscience, "a sympathetic recognition of social equity passing into appropriate action"; and virtue, the acquired strength of will to transmute such recognition into such action. This, like facility of recognition of duty, or like any other power, comes through trial and by exercise of the faculty itself. Accordingly, each temptation overcome renders every succeeding recurrence less and less formidable. †
Perfection - as culture, from a thorough, disinterested study of human nature and human experience, learns to conceive it -is an harmonious expansion of all the powers that make the beauty and worth of human nature, and is not consistent with the over-development of any one power at the expense of the rest. But this idea of perfection is at variance with our want of flexibility, with our inaptitude for seeing more than one side of a thing, with our intense energetic absorption in the pursuit we happen to be following.— Dr. Matthew Arnold (Culture and Anarchy, p. 14).
To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of ignorance.A. Bronson Alcott.
In judging of others, a man often erreth; but, in examining himself, always laboreth fruitfully.— Thomas à Kempis.
One power rules another, none can cultivate another; in each endowment, and not elsewhere, lies the force which must complete it. There are few who at once have Thought and the capacity for Action. Thought expands, but lames; Action animates, but narrows. A man is never happy till his vague striving has itself marked out its proper limitation.— Goethe (Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship).
Action is generally defective, and proves an abortion without previous contemplation. Contemplation generates, action propagates. Owen Feltham.
Reading seeks, meditation finds, prayer asks, contemplation tastes.- -St. Augustine.
A man's collective dispositions constitute his character.-Dr. L. H. Atwater.
This self-confident, this hurrying, unripe, aspiring character which makes nothing of meditation; this boldness without strength and ardor without depth,-let us bring it to the touchstone of our perfect
*Sin is choosing and acting in opposition to our sense of right.-Dr. W. E. Channing (Works, iv., 151).
† See Aphorisms, chap. xv., pp. 74, ff., ante.
Lord, and see how his character rebukes it. Dr. Theodore D. Woolsey.
Mark this well, ye proud men of action! Ye are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.- Heinrich Heine.
A man is the prisoner of his power. A topical memory makes him an almanac; a talent for debate, a disputant; skill to get money makes him a miser,- that is, a beggar. Culture reduces these inflammations by invoking the aid of other powers against the dominant talent, and by appealing to the rank of powers. It watches success. For performance, Nature has no mercy, and sacrifices the performer to get it done; makes a dropsy or a tympany of him. If she wants a thumb, she makes one at the cost of arms and legs, and any excess of power in one part is usually paid for at once by some defect in a contiguous part. Ralph Waldo Emerson (Conduct of Life).
All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
Shall to-morrow find its place.
To those turrets, where the eye
And one boundless reach of sky.
Henry W. Longfellow.
Another phase of this topic will be considered in discussing
the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, chap. xxvii.
What are the Principal Different Views concerning the Existence of a Personal Devil, and the Teachings of Jesus in General thereon?
(1) THAT of Schleiermacher, who is positive that the expressions of the New Testament concerning the devil cannot be harmonized in one conception, but have been blended together from various constituent parts; that the doctrine of such an entity subverts itself; and that Jesus and his apostles must have availed themselves incidentally of the popular belief without intending to develop or to ratify any doctrine upon the subject. Thus, one element was disclosed by the remark to Simon that Satan had desired to have him and to sift him, indicating the tendency of the unstable in faith and life to be taken by surprise in evil machinations. The other element was derived from the Persian Dualism, so far as the essential existence of evil could be adopted by a monotheistic people.
(2) That the fasting produced an ecstatic state of mind, which was interpreted as opening communication with the unseen world. The old Oriental idea, still common among the Arabs, is adduced, that the soul of an insane person is possessed by some higher power. Luther's mental condition is instanced, wherein he had a vision of the devil in his room in the castle of the Wartburg, and flung his inkhorn at him. The legend of angels coming and ministering unto Jesus reminds R v. M. J. Savage of Gautama, the last Buddha :
He, too, was tempted by all the evil spirits in all the heavens and in all the hells. And, when at last he had conquered, the waiting and ministering spirits filled the air with perfumes and scattered flowers all around him, and came and lifted him up and helped him. Stories like these belong to more than one of the world's religions. We cannot believe their literal truth, for the reason that Macaulay said he could not believe in ghosts,- he had "seen too many of them.". Talks about Jesus, p. 72.