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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (June 16, 1890)
THE II ESP BRIAN.
spirit is grander than to live in the intellect. It is impossible
for the intellect cither to appreciate truth or to elevate man.
The spiritual life gives refinement, gives culture. The nation
that possesses a great poet or a great .irtist is grander than the
nation that possesses a great statesman or a great scientist. Yet
the spiritual life must not he limited to i few, but must be
come the life of every man. The growth of such a general
spiritual life is the only salvation for humanity. The nation
that finds it impossible to pass up from the intellectual to the
spiritual is doomed. It is only when the cruelty, oppression,
and social injustice of the present shall have become repug
nant to the natuic of man that these evils will be eradicated.
Not until a universal spirit of kindness shall prevail, not until
mankind shall recognize the value ol even the meanest human
lile is it possible for us to have a universal peace.
The spiritual life of the twentieth ccnlary will be a life
lived in the determination to sec thing's as they really arc.
It will be a lile lived in accordance with things as they really
arc. It will be a life of truth. He that would find truth must
follow passively the lead of his inner consciousness, and accept
no other guide. Public opinion is seldom truth. The so
called practical common sense is but the cloak of ignorance.
Arguments Irom experience arc the resort of those that have
never hid any real experience. Yet the iconoclast will never
find truth. Radicalism without reason is like a mind dark
ened by insanity. Truth must besought midway between ex
tremes. Extreme opinions arc the surest sign of a little mind.
The spiritual nature of man is the only infallible judge of
truth. The intellect has no power to discriminate between
truth and falsehood. Whatever appeals fully to my inner
consciousness is truth. Whatever docs not appeal fully to my
inner consciousness is not truth to roc though all the wise men
ol the world should say it was. The soul of man knows
neither falsehood, nor evil, nor injustice. These arc but the
phases of this earthly life.
Truth is eternal. The life of man is three score and ten
years. Truth may, indeed, for a time, be obscured by the sel
fishness of man, but it will not be extinguished. As man
sows, so shall he reap. The longer truth is suppressed, the
greater will be the outbreak. When that outbreak comes
and it always comes it comes supported by swords and bay
onets, and is called a revolution. The service of truth is the
grandest service ever offered to man. Yet the man that would
serve truth must be of the stock that heroes are made of.
The path that he chooses is the path trodden by the feet of
martyrs. Most miserable is the lot of the man that is born
before his tune! An outcast from the world his only refuge
in his own soul. Yet truth hidden in one age is revealed to
the next, and his memory shall be honored with a crown that
is grander than the crowns of kings the reverence of the
future. Luther, Emerson, Charles Darwin will be remem
bered when Napoleons arc forgotten.
How shall I obtain this spiritual life? Where shall I find
a teacher versed in the principles of this grander existence?
Go to nature. Study her principles of progress, her methods
of curing evils. Nature taught the poets, artists, and reform
ers of the past. Nature inspired all that is noblest in the life
of man. The proper study of mankind is nature, a study
bioad as the universe, infinite as time. Drink of nature and
you shall forget the trials and tribulations of this earthly exis
tence in the contemplation of a life that is eternal. Let nature
teach you to live first for yourself, to form your life in the light
of your own conscience. Let nature teach you to seek the
approval of yourself only, to develop your character to the
fullness of perfection though no man shall know it. All the
grandcurof a star-lit sky, all thcglory of a flaming sunset, all
the beauty of the flowering fields existed for ages before human
eye lived to sec them. Let nature teach you that life means
struggle. Yet struggle, and struggle only, ennobles. The oak
grows the nobler for the mistletoe, but the mistletoe is degraded.
Every pea in the pod, every kernel on the ear of corn exists
onl) by the death of its fellow. Yet from death shall rise up
life. Like the myth of the north the strength of the dead
shall become the inheritance of the living. Through the
course ol years the progress of the whole has meant the suf
fering ol the parts. Through the years to come the progress
of humanity will mean human suffering. Let nature teach
you patience and humility. The flower never attempts to
bloom in the winter, nor is it possible for the longings of all
the sccd. that lie waiting to hasten the spring lime. Not all
the wealth of a Crocus, not nil the intellect of a Hacon can
hasten or delay progress a single day, When the corn is ripe,
llic reaper comes. 1 he rivers ol earth arc wiser than you.
Vhcy flow in the course appointed by nature and reach the sea.
Every evil in nature carries with it its cure, and the evil cured
by nature never returns. All interference is resented. Would
that man with his puny meddlings would recognize that nat
ure has inner harmony that must be preserved. Nature wishes
no aid Irom man. From star dust she alone has evolved the
human soul. Through the course of past geologic ages nature
has wrought out her own salvation; and, now, through all the
departments of human effort runs the command of nature,
Hands off." Nature only is perfect, and man should bow
in reverence to the inscrutable methods of the God of nature.
Science, says the end of life is knowledge. Poetry says the
end of life is love. Philosophy says the end of life is happi
ness; religion, that the end of of lile is faith. The soul of man
transcending all these, says the end of life is culture, the living
in complete, rounded harmony with nature, the sympathizing
with life and with men as they really arc. The soul of the
cultured man, of the man that lives in the perfection of his
spiritual development, vibrates in unison with nature. The
owly and despised find sympathy there. To the cultured
man all things bear the stamp of perfect fitness to their ends."
Such arc the teachings of nature, and you who would oppose
the conclusions of the intellect show mc a teacher more wor
thy. Point mc to your churches, builders of temples to the Son
of Man. Hut sad it is that religion from being a vague and
solemn soul-worship has come to be only an intellectual appre
ciation of a formulated set of opinions. Only that religion is
of value which is a spontaneous and subjective out-flowing
from the soul. Point mc to your colleges, you who arc lost in
admiration of the great intellects of the nineteenth century.
But while our colleges make intellectual giants they make
spirtual dwarfs. Sad it is, beyond all other sadness, that while
the temporal and earthly part of man is remembered the eter
nal and heavenly part of him is forgotten. No! Suffering
humanity wandering like the eternal Jew through all the na
tions of earth in search of peace, must come back to nature,
back to Mimcr's fountain that flows eternally beneath the tree
of life the fountain whence alone can be drawn alleviation
for all the care and strife and heartache of this world. Nature
only can heal the soul when it has been wounded by con
templation of the suffering and anguish of common life. The
power that raises man to the spiritual plane is sympathy, and
comes not unsought. If you would find this magic stone that
transforms the dross of earthly vanity into the gold of spiritual
joy you must seek in anguish of spirit, for only thoy that seek
thus shall find. When you shall have obtained this spiritual
life, when you shall have lived your forty day:, in the wilder
ness will you be fit for a teacher of men. In the light of a uni
versal spiritual life will man first appear in the full splendor of
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