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did he follow the new light as it dawned on his truthloving mind, and change his whole policy and action! Truman Post could maintain his freedom, his sentiments, and his sweetness in the slaveholding community, and live and die loving and beloved. How different by a whole heaven from the astounding and exasperating bitterness of a contemporary Foster or a Garrison! It is bad indeed when in a right cause men rush on with that “wrath of man ” which “worketh not the righteousness of God." Worse yet when under their defeat in a wrong or questionable enterprise they settle down into an Indian sullenness and act out the principle, quem laeseris, oderis — “whom you have wronged, you will hate.” Give us the man who can succeed or fail with neither a jubilant nor a vindictive spirit, who can be indignant without being wrathful or revengeful, and who if caught by the infirmity of temper, yet
“ Carries anger as the fint bears fire, Who much enforcëd shows a hasty spirit, And then is cold again.”
But the moral light of such a life should be allied with mental life. The two naturally belong together. A clear conscience and a clean heart are wonderful clarifiers of the intellect. Drive out of a man all pride, all vanity, all selfishness, all ambition, all avarice, all sensuality, and how many beams have you cast out of his eyes! How much surer, often, are the intuitions of a thoroughly good man, or the instincts of a noble woman, — the good wife, the loving mother, the gentle sister, -than the cold conclusion of the keenest logician! As most of our follies are born of our passions, so many a heresy is born of vanity or propensity, and nursed by obstinacy. Many a German vagary, it was the opinion of Bela B. Edwards, might be traced to a yearning for name and fame, when shut off from the ambition and opportunities of politics. In theology it is easier to ride into notoriety on a new error than an old truth. Clearly there are religious schemes, so called, as, for example, the sensualistic spiritism, of which it is no arrogance to say as the dying monarch to his son:
“Thy wish was father, Harry, to the thought.”
And though it be true that our ideals rule our lives, it is the heart that creates and enthrones the ideals.
Still we may not leave all to the native instincts or intuitions, though prompted by the pure heart. Training and habit must concur. There are principles and methods of training that steadily tend evermore to the luminousness of breadth, grasp, point, directness, affirmation, certainty ; that evolve principles out of multitudinous details, order out of confused accumulation; a Websterian habit of mind, robust, broad, and tenacious, whose lucid statement becomes a convincing argument. There is, on the other hand, a mental drift that tends to narrowness, limitation, doubt; a Lilliputian and comminuted tendency, the outcome of which is shortsightedness, questioning, negation. It is weighed to the ground often by the burden of its facts and sometimes lost in the jungle of its learning. It pivots itself on no central principles, but swings off on side issues. It never settles, but unsettles.
It can lay no foundations, but undermines the foundations that are laid.
Doubtless in our day a special warning is required against this latter drift, inasmuch as the movement of investigation, and even education, is towards specialism and subdivision. We prosecute the round of study on earth much as the astronomer photographs the heavens, by little sections, requiring a lifetime to cover with his nine or twelve inch object glass what the open eye takes in at a glance. We may designate the general method as analytic and exhaustive. But it unquestionably tends by its isolating process to fractional views and conclusions deferred or never reached. Its immediate method is centrifugal and not centripetal, collateral and not concentric, dispersion rather than unification. It cannot see the forest for the trees, nor the heavens for the stars. It begets a style of thought somewhat prevalent in our day, a class of minds, cultivated, delicate, interesting, acute, and sometimes erudite, with the polish of a razor and with a razor's function; it can cut or split a hair, it cannot hew a timber or carve a statue. It has just the keenness to raise questions that it has not the breadth to answer. It can walk all day round the crater's brink, and cannot resist its fumes. It has a stimulant, frequently an irritant power, but never a tonic.
Of this non-luminous intellect there is, from its narrow base, a twofold movement one speculative and visionary; like the gossamer spider, by a process of evolution it spins from its own body a slender thread and floats away upon it far out of sight. Or like the cuttlefish it disappears in a grand discharge of its own inky Auid. More often the narrow horizon of its view begets questioning, doubt, and denial of all beyond it. Hence the lively chorus of materialistic denials of the spiritual and the supernatural. It says : "I have searched the heavens with my telescope and I cannot see God. I have searched the human brain with my compound microscope and I cannot discover any soul.” Is that the way to find God and the soul ?
Now the believing spirit is the natural and normal condition, but the questioning and unbelieving spirit is eminently popular. Baconian experimentalism has broken from its moorings and affected empiricism. The early theological skepticism of Semler on miracles and the supernatural, of Heyne on Homer, and Neibuhr on Roman History have borne widespread fruit. A strong company of foreign scholars marshals all the resources of learning and acuteness to show that John did not write John's Gospel, and a greater company that Moses had little to do with the Books of Moses — if Moses were not a myth. The garden of Eden, fast planted by the Bible between the Tigris and Euphrates, was for fifty years floated off by the same scholarship into Utopia, and has recently been by an American divine stranded near the North Pole. Herr Brugsch with great parade of Egyptian lore transmutes
the Red Sea into the Serbonian Bog and at last flounders in his own quagmire.
So Frederic Harrison relates that when he was in college a youth, in no spirit of paradox, but out of plenary conviction, undertook to maintain before a body of serious students the astounding proposition that the invention of printing had been one of the greatest misfortunes that had ever befallen mankind. I have been told of a student who framed a demonstration to show that in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypothenuse was not equal to the sum of the squares of the two other sides. But, alas ! his demonstration and his name have passed into oblivion. I knew a juvenile lyceum once to grapple with the question, the civilized state preferable to the savage ?” a question not so preposterous as the inquiry, "Is life worth living?" When the American and British mind can agitate, and from time to time resuscitate, the discussion whether Bacon wrote Shakespeare's plays, and start the suggestion that Hamilton mainly composed Washington's Farewell Address, it should be no wonder if in another century it should raise the question whether General Grant was ever at Vicksburg and Appomattox, whether his grace the Duke of Wellington composed the Excursion and the Ode on Immortality, and whether the respectable Mr. Towne was not the author of the Grundschrift or main document, and Mr. Chauncey Depew simply the redactor or compiler of Depew's Centennial Oration.
When one encounters the unreasonable reasonings of