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Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence. There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions—but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself. Intelligences are atoms of perception—they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God. How then are souls to be made ? How then are these sparks which are God to have identity given themso as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each one's individual existence? How but by the medium of a world like this ? This point I scarcely wish to consider because I think it a grander system of salvation than the Christian religion-or rather it is a system of Spirit-creation. This is effected by three grand materials acting the one upon the other for a series of
years. These three materials are the Intelligence, the human heart (as distinguished from intelligence or Mind), and the World or Elemental Space, suited from the proper action of Mind and Heart on each other for the purpose of forming the Soul or Intelligence destined to possess the sense of Identity.
For six months before I was taken ill I had not passed a tranquil day. The beauties of nature had lost their power over me. How astonishingly (here I must premise that illness, as far as I can judge in so short a time, has relieved my mind of a load of deceptive thoughts and images, and makes me perceive things in a truer light),—how astonishingly does the chance of leaving the world impress a sense of its natural beauties upon us! Like poor Falstaff, though I do not “babble," I think of green fields; I muse with
1 From letter to same, April 15, 1819.
the greatest affection on every flower I have known from my infancy; their shapes and colours are as new to me as if I had just created them with a superhuman fancy. It is because they are connected with the most thoughtless and the happiest moments of our lives. I have seen foreign flowers in hot-houses, of the most beautiful nature, but I do not care a straw for them. The simple flowers of our Spring are what I want to see again.
SIR HENRY HAVELOCK
(1795–1857) IT T was while the writer was sailing across the wide
Atlantic toward Bengal (1823) that the spirit of God came to him with its offer of
and mandate of love, which, though for some time resisted, at length prevailed. Then was wrought that great change in his soul which has been productive of unspeakable advantage to him in time, and he trusts secured him happiness in eternity.2
I have for forty years so ruled my life that when death came I might face it without fear.3
THOMAS CARLYLE (1795–1881) MY
Y Belief in a special Providence grows yearly
stronger, unsubduable, impregnable.4
2 Described by himself.
O perhaps we shall all meet Yonder, and the tears be wiped from all eyes ! One thing is no Perhaps : surely we shall all meet, if it be the will of the Maker of us. If it be not His will,—then is it not better so? 1
We ought to say, May the Heavens give us thankful hearts ! For, in truth, there are blessings which do, like sun-gleams in wild weather, make this rough life beautiful with rainbows here and there. Indicating, I suppose, that there is a Sun, and general Heart of Goodness, behind all that ; for which, as I say again, let us be thankful evermore 2
In general Death seems beautiful to me; sweet and great. But Life also is beautiful, is great and divine, were it never to be joyful any more.3
The gloom of approaching old age is very considerable upon a man; and on the whole one contrives to take the very ugliest view, now and then, of all beautifulest things, and to shut one's lips with a kind of grim defiance, a kind of imperial sorrow which is almost like felicity,--so completely and composedly wretched, one is equal to the very gods ! 4
Man follows man. His life is as a tale that has been told; yet under Time does there not lie Eternity ? Perhaps my father, all that essentially was my father, is even now near me, with me.
Both he and I are
1 From Correspondence with Emerson, November 5, 1836. 9 lbid. September 25, 1838.
3 lbid. December 2, 1838. 4 Ibid. June 25, 1852.
with God. Perhaps, if it so please God, we shall in some higher state of being meet one another, recognise one another. As it is written, We shall be for ever with God. The possibility, nay (in some way), the certainty of perennial existence daily grows plainer to
“ The essence of whatever was, is, or shall be, even now is.” God is great. God is good. His will be done, for it will be right.1
I live mostly alone with vanished shadows of the Past. Many of them rise for a moment inexpressibly tender. One is never long absent from me. Gone, gone, but very beautiful and dear. Eternity, which cannot be far off, is my one strong city. I look into it fixedly now and then. All terrors about it seem to me superfluous; all knowledge about it, any the least glimmer of certain knowledge, impossible to living mortal. The universe is full of love, but also of inexorable sternness and severity, and it remains for ever true that God reigns. Patience! Silence! Hope !2
“ Youth,” says somebody, “is a garland of roses. I did not find it such. “ Age is a crown of thorns. Neither is this altogether true for me. If sadness and sorrow tend to loosen us from life, they make the place of rest desirable. If incurable grief be love all steeped in tears, and lead us to pious thoughts and longings, is not grief an earnest blessing to us? Alas! that one is not pious always; that it is anger, bitterness, impatience, and discontent that occupies one's poor weak heart so much oftener.
1 Written in 1866.
The last stage of life's journey is necessarily dark, sad, and carried on under steadily increasing difficulties. We are alone; all our loved ones and cheering fellowpilgrims gone. Our strength is failing, wasting more and more; day is sinking on us; night coming, not metaphorically only. The road, to our growing weakness, dimness, injurability of every kind, becomes more and more obstructed, intricate, difficult to feet and eyes; a road among brakes and brambles, swamps, and stumbling places; no welcome shine of a human cottage with its hospitable candle now alight for us in these waste solitudes. Our eyes, if we have any light, rest only on the eternal stars. Thus we stagger on, impediments increasing, force diminishing, till at length there is equality between the terms, and we do all infallibly ARRIVE. So it has been from the beginning; so it will be to the end-for ever a mystery and miracle before which human intellect falls dumb. Do we reach those stars then ? Do we sink in those
amid the dance of dying dreams? Is the threshold we step over but the brink in that instance, and our home thenceforth an infinite Inane ? God, our Eternal Maker, alone knows, and it shall be as He wills, not as we would. 1
I wish I had strength to elucidate and write down intelligibly to my fellow-creatures what my outline of belief about God essentially is. It might be useful to à poor protoplasm generation, all seemingly determined on those poor terms to try Atheism for a while. They will have to return from that, I can tell them, or go down altogether into the abyss. I find lying deep
1 From Journal, December 22, 1867.