Abbildungen der Seite

For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense-
Thy adverse party is thy advocate-
And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
Such civil war is in my love and hate,

That I an accessary needs must be

To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me. "Sonnets."


6. Let us pass directly into the soul's history, and catch from what transpires in its first indications the sign or promise of what it is to become. In its beginning it is a mere seed of possibility. All the infant faculties are folded up, at first, and scarcely a sign of power is visible in it. But a doom of growth is in it, and the hidden momentum of an endless power is driving it on. And a falling body will not gather momentum in its fall more naturally and certainly than it will gather force in the necessary struggle of its endless life now begun. We may think little of the increase; it is a matter of course, and why should we take note of it? But if no increase or development appears, if the faculties all sleep as at the first, we take sad note of that and draw, how reluctantly, the conclusion that our child is an idiot, and not a proper man! And what a chasm is there between the idiot and the man! One a being unprogressive, a being who is not a power; the other a careering force, started on its way to eternity, a principle of might and majesty begun to be unfolded, and to be progressively unfolded forever. Intelligence, reason, conscience, observation, choice, memory, enthusiasm, all the fires of his inborn eternity are kindling to a glow, and, looking on him as a force immortal, just beginning to reveal the symptoms of what he shall be, we call him man. Only a few years ago he lay in his cradle, a barely breathing principle of life, but in that life were gathered up, as in a germ or seed, all these godlike powers that are now so conspicuous in the volume of his personal growth. In a sense, all that is in him now was in him then, as the power of an endless life, and still the sublime progression of his power is only begun. He conquers now the sea and its

storms. He climbs the heavens and searches out the mysteries of the stars. He harnesses the lightning. He bids the rocks dissolve, and summons the secret atoms to give up their names and laws. He subdues the face of the world, and compels the forces of the waters and the fires to be his servants. He makes laws, hurls empires down upon empires in the fields of war, speaks words that can not die, sings to distant realms and peoples across vast ages of time; in a word, he executes all that is included in history, showing his tremendous energy in almost everything that stirs the silence and changes the conditions of the world. Everything is transformed by him even up to the stars. Not all the winds, and storms, and earthquakes, and seas, and seasons of the world have done as much to revolutionize the world as he, the power of an endless life, has done since the day he came forth upon it, and received, as he is most truly declared to have done, dominion over it.

And yet we have, in the power thus developed, nothing more than a mere hint or initial sign of what is to be the real stature of his personality in the process of his everlasting development. We exist here only in the small, that God may have us in a state of flexibility, and bend or fashion us, at the best advantage, to the model of His own great life and character. And most of us, therefore, have scarcely a conception of the exceeding weight of glory to be comprehended in our existence. If we take, for example, the faculty of memory, how very obvious is it that as we pass eternally on we shall have more and more to remember, and finally shall have gathered in more into this great storehouse of the soul than is now contained in all the libraries of the world. And there is not one of our faculties that has not, in its volume, a similar power of expansion. Indeed, if it were not so, the memory would finally overflow and drown all our other faculties, and the spirits, instead of being powers, would virtually cease to be anything more than registers of the past.

But we are not obliged to take our conclusion by inference. We can see for ourselves that the associations of the mind, which are a great part of its riches, must be increasing in number and variety forever, stimulating thought by multiply

ing its suggestives, and beautifying thought by weaving into it the colors of sentiment, endlessly varied.

The imagination is gathering in its images and kindling its eternal fires in the same manner. Having passed through many trains of worlds, mixing with scenes, societies, orders of intelligence and powers of beatitude-just that which made the apostle in Patmos into a poet, by the visions of a single dayit is impossible that every soul should not finally become filled with a glorious and powerful imagery, and be waked to a wonderfully creative energy.

By the supposition it is another incident of this power of endless life, that, passing down the eternal galleries of fact and event, it must be forever having new cognitions and accumulating new premises. By its own contacts it will, at some future time, have touched even whole worlds and felt them through and made premises of all there is in them. It will know God by experiences correspondingly enlarged, and itself by a consciousness correspondently illuminated. Having gathered in, at last, such worlds of premise, it is difficult for us now to conceive the vigor into which a soul may come, or the volume it may exhibit, the wonderful depth and scope of its judgments, its rapidity and certainty and the vastness of its generalizations. It passes over more and more, and that necessarily, from the condition of a creature gathering up premises into the condition of God, creating out of premises; for if it is not actually set to the creation of worlds, its very thoughts will be a discoursing in world-problems and theories equally vast in their complications.

In the same manner, the executive energy of the will, the volume of the benevolent affections, and all the active powers, will be showing, more and more impressively, what it is to be a power of endless life. They that have been swift in doing God's will and fulfilling his mighty errands, will acquire a marvelous address and energy in the use of their powers. They that have taken worlds into their love will have a love correspondently capacious, whereupon also it will be seen that their will is settled in firmness, and raised in majesty, according to the vastness of impulse there is in the love behind it. They

that have great thoughts, too, will be able to manage great causes, and they that are lubricated eternally in the joys that feed their activity, will never tire. What force, then, must be finally developed in what now appears to be the tenuous and fickle impulse, and the merely frictional activity of a human soul.

"The Power of an Endless Life."



1. Speaking vowels. Recite aloud, in clear speaking tones, e, a, aw, ah, o, and oo, first with rising inflection, then falling inflection. Next combine the two, making a circumflex inflection. Apply the breath to the vocal cords in just the right quantity. The tone should be bright and smooth. 2. Alternating high and low. Repeat the last exercise, in alternate high and low pitches. Do not move the head. Avoid extremes of pitch at first.

3. Alternating loud and soft. Repeat the vowels as before, in alternate loud and soft voice. The loud tones should not be too loud, and the soft tones should be free from breathiness. Keep the head and body still.

4. Varied inflection. On the elements le, la, law, lah, lo, loo, practise first on a rising, then a falling inflection. The length of the inflection should vary from short, very short, long, and very long. All the keys of the speaking voice should be used, from high to low, and from loud to soft.

5. Counting. In pure, clear-cut voice, count from one to ten in one breath. Repeat in various pitches and inflections. Then count to twenty in one breath, to thirty, and longer if possible, but all in one breath.


These are to be recited aloud with all possible variety in keeping with the thought. There is up and down in thought, as well as gentleness and force. To bring out these appropriate elements is the work of the student in rendering the following examples. First analyze the extract silently to get a general idea of its meaning. Mentally picture each thought as vividly as possible.

1. From early childhood, even as hath been said,
From his sixth year, he had been sent abroad
In summer to tend herds: such was his task
Thenceforward till the later day of youth.
Oh, then, what soul was his, when, on the tops
Of the high mountains, he beheld the sun

Rise up, and bathe the world in light! He look'd

Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth

And ocean's liquid mass, beneath him lay

In gladness and deep joy. The clouds were touched,

And in their silent faces did he read
Unutterable love. Sound needed none,
Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank
The spectacle; sensation, soul, and form
All melted into him; they swallowed up
His animal being; in them did he live,
And by them did he live, they were his life.
In such access of mind, in such high hour
Of visitation from the living God,
Thought was not; in enjoyment it expired.
No thanks he breath'd, he proffer'd no request;
Rapt into still communion that transcends
the imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
His mind was a thanksgiving to the Power
That made him; it was blessedness and love!
"The Excursion."


« ZurückWeiter »