These considerations may well have a calming and reassuring influence upon those who, from whatever cause, are troubled by religious doubts. The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth, and is known by, them that are His. But we must not expect that “religious difficulties” will ever cease. Every truth that we know is but the husk of a deeper truth; and it may be that the Holy Spirit has still many things to say to us, which we cannot bear now. Each generation and each individual has his own problem, which has never been set in exactly the same form before: we must all work out our own salvation, for it is God who worketh in us. If we have realised the meaning of these words of St. Paul, which I have had occasion to quote so often in these Lectures, we cannot doubt that, though we now see through a glass darkly, and know only in part, we shall one day behold our Eternal Father face to face, and know Him even as we are known.
[Footnote 364: Horace, Ep. i. 12. 19.]
[Footnote 365: [Greek: polypoikilos sophia], Eph. iii. 10.]
[Footnote 366: Pindar, Olymp. ii. 154.]
[Footnote 367: Barine in Revue des Deux Mondes, April 1891.]
[Footnote 368: The latter, like Fechner in our own century, holds that the stars are living organisms, whose “sensibility is full of pleasure.”]
[Footnote 369: See Illingworth’s Divine Immanence, where this and other interesting passages are quoted. But Suso was, of course, not a “Protestant mystic.” And I cannot agree with the author when he says that Lucretius found no religious inspiration in Nature. The poet of the Nature of Things shows himself to have been a lonely man, who had pondered much among the hills and by the sea, and who loved to taste the pure delights of the spring. Thence came to him the “holy joy and dread” ("quaedam divina voluptas atque horror”) which pulsates through his great poem as he shatters the barbarous mythology of paganism, and then, in the spirit of a priest rather than of a philosopher, turns the “bright shafts of day” upon the folly and madness of those who are slaves to the world or the flesh. The spirit of Lucretius is the spirit of modern science, which tends neither to materialism nor to atheism, whatever its friends and enemies may say.]
[Footnote 370: Christian Platonism has never been more beautifully set forth than in the poem of Spenser named above. Compare, especially, the following stanzas:—
“The means, therefore, which unto
us is lent
Him to behold, is on His works to look,
Which He hath made in beauty excellent,
And in the same, as in a brazen book
To read enregistered in every nooke
His goodness, which His beauty doth declare:
For all that’s good is beautiful and fair.