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tion of our glorious spiritual nature be always presented to you, not only in the study and the lecture-room, but through the whole of life. All that you witness in its events, in the society of your fellow creatures, and in nature, you must refer to the eternal laws of Reason. By this means you will gain in two different ways: on the one hand, you will pursue the most difficult research without weariness, even with pleasure, and you will not esteem that to be insignificant which the feebler eye regards as such, because your vision, rendered clearer by science, will distinguish the dawn of the light of Reason, by which it is illuminated: on the other hand, your conviction that Reason is everywhere manifested, in great as much as in small things, will lead you to trace out the secrets of nature and of the soul, where, without the light of the soul, you would not have expected them to exist; so that what appears to the uninitiated as dead matter, will to you be a living source of knowledge. We can recognize nature through Reason, for Reason again recognises herself in all things. Whatever is sin, in a religious sense, is folly in a true perception of the world. He then who is thoroughly convinced of an eternal reason in existence, will find that happiness is one with virtue and piety. Human life should be guided by reason, not indeed according to that of any single individual, but by eternal reason. It is not merely our lives that must be regulated by it, but all our inner being must yield to this reason, and rise along with it; man must feel that he possesses his true spring of life, when he appropriates to himself eternal reason; otherwise his whole life remains but a broken, irrational,
1"Soul in Nature," 241-2.
miserable existence. Everything which appeals to our virtuous and upright feelings, naturally leads us to a divine life, that is, to religion. This manner of thinking is at once strengthened by the conviction which arises from the knowledge of natural science. This teaches us that the material world, which before we considered as acting in opposition to reasonable existence, is most entirely incorporated into it; so that the operations of nature proceed in obedience to a reason which is entirely independent of us, but which, nevertheless, is the same reason which we should endeavour by means of our free will to realize. We thus know that our life, both inwardly and outwardly, continually grows in more perfect accordance with the whole of existence, the more it is guided by divine reason.” 1
It may then be considered as proved by philosophy that “all existence is a dominion of Reason," and that “every well-conducted investigation of a limited object, discovers to us a part of the internal laws of the Infinite Whole."
In thus dwelling on the harmony or identity of physical and moral law, we would not be misunderstood as for a moment countenancing what are commonly called materialistic views, which we regard as cold, degrading, unphilosophical absurdities: for "True Science," it has been well said “excludes infidelity as well as superstition."
“O rash and blind the judgment that diverts
1“Soul in Nature," pp. 120-1.
Instead of denying spirit, blindly substituting law for lawgiver, and effect for cause, every atom leads us to contemplate laws manifesting intelligence and design. When we trace the operation of these laws, ever ascending the scale of being, they become fewer and more general, till they seem to embrace the whole universe of mind and matter, which we at length in some degree may come to apprehend, both as it exists in the thought of God and in its objective or outward realization.
In creation, from the lowest atom to the highest organism beneath him,
In that eternal circle run by life." 1
" For these things tend still upward-progress is
The law of life-man's self is not yet Man!"I Christ assumed our human nature, the resurrection body will be fashioned like unto His glorious body, and thus are all things joined to the God-head.
Even the feeble light from Paradise which lingered in heathen minds shaped their intuitions in a similar direction. Thus the Greeks affirmed that the last link of the chain was fastened to Jupiter's chair. Traditions, or imaginings, of a lost Paradise and a future restoration thereunto—"a land where all wishes rest, all hopes are fulfilled and happiness is realized”-abound in all nations. The Hindoos have their legend of the sacred forest of Cridavana, the home of wise and happy men;
1"Paracelsus," by Robert Browning.
the Greeks their Elysian fields; the Arabians and Persians "a glorious garden, watered by unfailing springs, filled with delicious fruits and never-fading roses, but surrounded on all sides by a vast wilderness, glimpses of which have been seen by some pilgrims when perishing amid the sand.; " and the American Indian dreams of “the happy hunting-ground far away in the west,” "the Islands of the Blest,” and “the Land of the Hereafter."
Thus we find that tradition, intuitive belief, and the highest deductions of reason, all coincide in demonstrating, at least the REASONABLENESS of a divine revelation, from its perfect adaptation to the nature of man, not to speak here of its absolute necessity.
In previous sections we have gropingly gathered up the positive laws of beauty, as we were permitted at intervals to see them, proceeding for the most part synthetically. Here, however, the process changes to simple analysis; for we have the perfect or beautiful in life realized, constellated, and clearly presented to our view in Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, the pattern, the ensample, in order that we should follow the steps of Him who said, “I am meek and lowly in heart: He that followeth me walketh not in darkness: Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect."
Life only becomes beautiful as it approaches the Christlike or God-like. Having both precept and example to guide us, there is no more dubiety. By Christianity, and “by it alone,” says Archbishop Whately, “an example is proposed to us, superior, by its living reality, to all ideal models, however perfect, and to all real but human ones, in its superhuman perfection."
“Here," says Doddridge, “we see, not as in the heathen writers, some detached sentiment, finely heightened with the beauty of expression and pomp of words, like a scattered fragment, with the partial traces of unimpaired elegance and magnificence; but the elevation of a complete temple, worthy of the Deity to whom it is consecrated: so harmonious a system of unmingled truth, so complete a plan of universal duty, so amiable a representation of true morality in all its parts, without redundancy and without defect, that the more capable we are of judging of real excellence, the more we shall be prepossessed in its favour.” We read in Genesis, So God created man
is own image, in the image of God created he him.” Dr. South, commenting on this passage, admirably observes of human perfection in general, “The image of God in man is that universal rectitude of all the faculties of the soul, by which they stand apt and disposed to their respective offices and operations ;" and of Adam in Paradise he writes as follows:
“And first for its noblest faculty the Understanding: it was then sublime, clear, and aspiring, and, as it were, the soul's upper region, lofty and serene, free from the vapours and disturbances of the inferior affections. It was the leading, controlling faculty; all the passions wore the colours of reason; it did not so much persuade, as command ; it was not consul, but dictator. Discourse was then almost as quick as intuition ; it was nimble in proposing, firm in determining; it could sooner determine than now it can dispute. Like the sun, it had both light
1 Sermon on Human Perfection, or Adam in Paradise, which he divides into-I. The Mind, the Understanding, the Will, the Passions; II, The Body.