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To gain a true view we must take into account all varied forms of contemporary experience, and all the experiences of different ages. He will best see the whole, and each part in relation to the whole most truly, who has the widest and best proportioned knowledge founded on the experience of others, and at the same time controls all by his own experience.
Dr. Hort, Hulsean Lectures, pp. 172,173.
'It struck me,' says Carlyle, 'that Sterling's was not intrinsically, nor had ever been in the highest or chief degree, a devotional mind. Of course all excellence in man, and worship as the supreme excellence, was part of the inheritance of this gifted man: but if called to define him, I should say, artist not Saint was the real bent of his being. He had sudden admiration, but intrinsically rather a deficiency of reverence in comparison. Fear, with its corollaries, on the religious side, he appeared to have none, nor ever to have had any.' Earlier in the memoir, he makes a similar criticism. 'An eye to discern the divineness of the Heaven's splendours and lightnings, the insatiable wish to revel in their godlike radiances and brilliances; but no heart to front the scathing terrors of them, which is the first condition of your conquering an abiding place there.' Yet, at the close of the biography, Carlyle tells how, on his deathbed, Sterling was wont to murmur, 'God is great, God is great'.
We may confidently trust that we have over us a Being thoroughly robust and grandly magnanimous, in distinction from the Infinite Invalid bred in the studies of sickly monomaniacs, who corresponds to a very common human type, but makes us blush for him when we contrast him with a truly noble man, such as most of us have had the privilege of knowing both in public and in private life.
O. W. Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table (x.). Strong Son of God, Immortal Love.
Reference. XXXVI. 5. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxiii. No. 1379.
'It is a very melancholy Reflection,' Steele observes in The Spectator (No. 312), 'that Men are usually so weak, that it is absolutely necessary for them to know Sorrow and Pain to be in their right senses.'
The weakness of the will begins, when the individual would be something of himself. All reform aims, in some one particular, to let the soul have its way through us; in other words, to engage us to obey.
Emerson on The Oversoul.
In his paper on 'Madame Sand and the New Apocalypse' in The Paris Sketch-Booh, Thackeray bursts out with the indignant cry: 'O awful, awful name of God! Light unbearable! Mystery unfathomable! Vastness immeasurable! Who are these who come forward to explain the mystery, and gaze unblinking into the depths of the light, and measure the immeasurable vastness to a hair? Oh name, that God's people of old did fear to utter! Oh light, that God's prophet would have perished had he seen! Who are these that are now so familiar with it? Women, truly; for the most part weak women weak in intellect, weak mayhap in spelling and grammar, but marvellously strong in faith: women, who step down to the people with stately step and voice of authority, and deliver their twopenny tablets as if there were some Divine authority for the wretched nonsense recorded there.'
Reference. XXXVII. 6. H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvii. p. 6.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Job 36". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20