Saints of Chaos

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Read Books, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
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SAINTS of CHAOS PETER LIVER Illustrations by H. GLINTENKAMP WILLIAM FARQUHAR PAYSON NEW YORK MCMXXXIV LUTHER Contents CHAPTER PAGE I. Harbingers of Change 1 1 II. Martin Luther 27 III. Galileo Galilei 62 IV. Ludwig van Beethoven 100 V. James Watt 138 VI. Thomas Hobbes 168 VII. The New Unity 203 Illustrations Martin Luther Frontispiece PAGE Galileo Galilei 60 Ludwig van Beethoven 98 James Watt 136 Thomas Hobbes 166 CHAPTER I HARBINGERS OF CHANGE Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning. Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent in their instructions Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing Rich men furnished with ability, living peace ably in their habitations All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times. . . . And some there be, which have no memorial who are perished, as though they had never been, and are become as though they had never been born and their children after them. But these were merciful men. 99 CHAPTER I Harbingers of Change WE CONFESS at the start to a disgust with most of what is said and written today on the economic side of life. Man, made in the image of God, or so we thought once, a creature of dreams and visions, loving, fearing, full of memories and of hopes, is not vastly interesting, considered only as one more animal which must eat to live. The material, eco nomic aspects of mans life are of interest chiefly as they relate to the immaterial, spiritual part of him. The eventual discovery of the adjustment of production to consumption should provide the key to our material difficulties of today. And while this adjustment is far from apparent at present to the economic and political wizards into whose in effective hands we have given, as democracies are wont to do, our destinies, probably it is not far off. 11 SAINTS OF CHAOS The subject, however, is neither attractive nor interesting as compared with the higher brackets of human behaviour and if it can be reasonably assumed that there is no imminent danger of any of the various divisions of the human race being suddenly obliterated by economic starvation, as it can be assumed, much larger questions involving the human soul, the will, and the intellect, appear. There is no agreement in the world. And so wide and fundamental are our disagreements, that it seems that the worst dangers that confront us will be met in our attempts to adjust our in tellectual, rather than our economic machinery. Within the last five hundred years the world, or at least our part of it, which is Europe and America, has produced a series of beliefs and convictions on matters of politics, art, science, and religion, so widely at variance with each other, and so capable of arousing and inflaming our loyalties and pas sions, that the final end of western civilization in civil and internecine struggle between its various component groups is not impossible to imagine. We find it very easy to conjure up the picture of the future socialist, or communist engaged in mor tal combat with the advocate of democracy or re publicanism. We can imagine the Roman Catholic i HARBINGERS OF CHANGE world either defending itself from extermination, or trying to exterminate the combined Protestant groups. We can even imagine ourself, engaging with un-Christian fury on either of the sides just mentioned, or against both, or allied with both against some others of the many similar groups and combinations which, in addition to possessing approximately the same high aims and purposes as the particular group to which we give our al legiance, possess also the same infinitely dangerous capacity for inflaming mens passions...

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About the author (2007)

Peter Oliver has skied just about everywhere and written about it for Skiing magazine and other publications.

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