Selections from Manuscripts, Volume 1 (Google eBook)

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author, 1856 - Aesthetics
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Page 71 - Are the agents of nature, and the power to understand them, worth no more than a street serenade, or the breath of a cigar? One remembers again the trumpet-text in the Koran, — "The heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, think ye we have created them in jest?
Page 117 - These principles I consider not as occult qualities, supposed to result from the specific forms of things, but as general laws of nature by which the things themselves are formed : their truth appearing to us by phenomena, though their causes be not yet discovered. For these are manifest qualities, and their causes only are occult.
Page 118 - Let us thank God that it has not been left for us to impart the spirit to His creation ; that He has not mocked us with a dead image to clasp to our warm embrace, and vivify, if we can, with our own life. Let us thank God that the solemn friendship of seas and forests, the sympathising looks of flowers and stars, the glad greeting or sorrowful rebuke, alike full of love, wherewith the earth and skies ever meet us, are not cold reflections of ourselves. It is true, indeed, that Nature is two things...
Page 70 - God's act. Higher thoughts, more glorious conceptions, a more perfect beauty, a diviner truth, a purer and profounder holiness exist here in the facts of actual Nature than our most elevated imaginations could ever approach. Nature is perfect and infinite in beauty and in every form of rightness. That we find her not so is because we see her wrongly ; in parts and not in whole, in time and not in eternity. Yet is this right also ; our proper mental discipline consists in not seeing all things beautiful...
Page 231 - The One remains, the many change and pass; Heaven's light forever shines, earth's shadows fly; Life, like a dome of many-colored glass, Stains the white radiance of eternity, Until Death tramples it to fragments.
Page 96 - ... result as well as of good : eg bees are destroyed sometimes by the adhesion of pollen which they are conveying to the stigma. Thus natural theologians have never been able to look nature fairly in the face. In truth the idea of nature is not that of use and design ; it has a deeper basis. Nature is right, and results shift for themselves : there being the innate compensation in it, because it is right, that every evil, every failure or loss, becomes tributary to a greater good.
Page 132 - Let man then learn the revelation of all nature and all thought to his heart; this, namely; that the Highest dwells with him; that the sources of nature are in his own mind, if the sentiment of duty is there. But if he would know what the great God speaketh, he must 'go into his closet and shut the door,
Page 73 - But this could not really be done without spoiling the music, and we should say to him : The whole strain just as it is, with what you call these imperfections, is to us just so perfect, just such an " ideal " as you seek to realize in the separate parts. The ordinary view of the ideal, regarding it as above Nature, has inflicted on us woeful injury. It has misrepresented to us alike God and Nature. It has made Nature teach us false lessons ; it has closed our eyes to the holiness that is in Nature,...
Page 70 - Man's thought cannot surpass, nay for ever shall fall infinitely short of God's act. Higher thoughts, more glorious conceptions, a more perfect beauty, a diviner truth, a purer and profounder holiness exist here in the facts of actual Nature than our most elevated imaginations could ever approach. Nature is perfect and infinite in beauty and in every form of rightness. That we find her not so is because we see her wrongly ; in parts and not in whole, in time and not in eternity. Yet is this right...
Page 256 - From passages like that wherein it is asserted that God has chosen the weak things of this world to confound the wise, it has been most absurdly inferred that human knowledge is of little value.

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