Health and Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 292 pages of information about Health and Education.

And so, the longer one watches the great struggle for existence, the more charitable, the more hopeful, one becomes; as one sees that, consciously or unconsciously, the law of Nature is, after all, self-sacrifice; unconscious in plants and animals, as far as we know; save always those magnificent instances of true self-sacrifice shown by the social insects, by ants, bees, and others, which put to shame by a civilization truly noble—­why should I not say divine, for God ordained it?—­the selfishness and barbarism of man.  But be that as it may, in man the law of self-sacrifice—­whether unconscious or not in the animals—­rises into consciousness just as far as he is a man; and the crowning lesson of bio-geology may be, when we have worked it out, after all, the lesson of Christmas-tide—­of the infinite self-sacrifice of God for man; and Nature as well as religion may say to us—­

   “Ah, could you crush that ever craving lust
   For bliss, which kills all bliss, and lose your life,
   Your barren unit life, to find again
   A thousand times in those for whom you die—­
   So were you men and women, and should hold
   Your rightful rank in God’s great universe,
   Wherein, in heaven or earth, by will or nature,
   Naught lives for self.  All, all, from crown to base—­
   The Lamb, before the world’s foundation slain—­
   The angels, ministers to God’s elect—­
   The sun, who only shines to light the worlds—­
   The clouds, whose glory is to die in showers—­
   The fleeting streams, who in their ocean graves
   Flee the decay of stagnant self-content—­
   The oak, ennobled by the shipwright’s axe—­
   The soil, which yields its marrow to the flower—­
   The flower, which feeds a thousand velvet worms
   Born only to be prey to every bird—­
   All spend themselves on others:  and shall man,
   Whose two-fold being is the mystic knot
   Which couples earth with heaven, doubly bound,
   As being both worm and angel, to that service
   By which both worms and angels hold their life,
   Shall he, whose every breath is debt on debt,
   Refuse, forsooth, to be what God has made him? 
   No; let him show himself the creatures’ Lord
   By free-will gift of that self-sacrifice
   Which they, perforce, by Nature’s laws endure.”

My friends, scientific and others, if the study of bio-geology shall help to teach you this, or anything like this; I think that though it may not make you more happy, it may yet make you more wise; and, therefore, what is better than being more happy, namely, more blessed.

HEROISM

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Project Gutenberg
Health and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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