An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant.
in the joy and trust of a devout heart and in the humble round of daily life sometimes seems to him cant or superstition.  The humble life of godliness made an unspeakable appeal to him.  He had known those who lived that life.  His love for them was imperishable.  Yet he had so recoiled from the superstitions and hypocrisies of others, the Eternal in his majesty was so ineffable, all effort to approach him so unworthy, that almost instinctively he would call upon the man who made the effort, to desist.  So magnificent, all his life long, had been his protest against the credulity and stupidity of men, against beliefs which assert the impossible and blink the facts, that, for himself, the great objects of faith were held fast to, so to say, in their naked verity, with a giant’s strength.  They were half-querulously denied all garment and embodiment, lest he also should be found credulous and self-deceived.  From this titan labouring at the foundations of the world, this Samson pulling down temples of the Philistines on his head, this cyclops heaving hills at ships as they pass by, it seems a long way to Emerson.  Yet Emerson was Carlyle’s friend.

EMERSON

Arnold said in one of his American addresses:  ’Besides these voices—­Newman, Carlyle, Goethe—­there came to us in the Oxford of my youth a voice also from this side of the Atlantic, a clear and pure voice which, for my ear at any rate, brought a strain as new and moving and unforgetable as those others.  Lowell has described the apparition of Emerson to your young generation here.  He was your Newman, your man of soul and genius, speaking to your bodily ears, a present object for your heart and imagination.’  Then he quotes as one of the most memorable passages in English speech:  ’Trust thyself.  Accept the place which the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.  Great men have always done so, confiding themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying a perception which was stirring in their hearts, working through their hands, dominating their whole being.’  Arnold speaks of Carlyle’s grim insistence upon labour and righteousness but of his scorn of happiness, and then says:  ’But Emerson taught happiness in labour, in righteousness and veracity.  In all the life of the spirit, happiness and eternal hope, that was Emerson’s gospel.  By his conviction that in the life of the spirit is happiness, by his hope and expectation that this life of the spirit will more and more be understood and will prevail, by this Emerson was great.’

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An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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