Imagini ale paginilor

us all, that I have been searching for it, and there that I believe it is provided. If it be there, no words of mine can either make or mar it.

When a ship is wrecked and the crew are swimming for their lives, anyone who reaches land and feels the ground firm beneath him, must needs call to those he sees struggling with the waves and help them (if he can) to clamber up the cliff. I know that the tide is rising—that human knowledge is on the increase, and it may be that the ground on which we are standing now, may afford no sufficient shelter in the future; but for myself, I am persuaded that the growing light will make it plain, that the rock whereon we are cast, stretches out from the mainland of the country that lies hid from us in the shadows; so that even if it should be, that we are to be swept into the sea again, in God's name let us strike out manfully, ay; right through the breakers, for the rising tide must carry us onward to the land.

M. E.

LONDON, October 1877.

[blocks in formation]



THE aspirations, “as the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God;" "when I awake up after thy likeness, let me be satisfied with it!”—are the aspirations, of not an individual only nor even of a race, but of humanity. It is a Persian poet who sings—“O thou the cool shade at the door of weariness, even the wicked are panting for thee.” From Egypt, the cradle of religious thought, there come down to us the words, “O God, thy creature crieth unto thee." In the sacred books of our great Aryan ancestors, it is written—“O that my spirit were united with the spirit supremely blessed, supremely wise.”

The question put into the mouth of Zophar—"Canst thou by searching find out God ? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection ?" is the question, not of one man, but of the whole family of man. Egypt offered worship to "One who was, who art, who art to come, whose veil no man hath lifted;" the sage of China perceived that “the reason which can be reasoned, is.


not the eternal reason, the name which can be named is not the eternal name." To the devout Buddhist, the Eternal was "hidden, indescribable, without name, inconceivable." The Persian looked up to his bright ideal and exclaimed, “human knowledge and thought combined can only spell the first letter of the alphabet of thy love."

The consciousness out of which spring alike the aspiration and the question, accounts for the existence of all religion, the articulate voice of which,-worship, has from the beginning spoken not merely love and adoration of the Eternal, but has borne witness by yearnings which could not be uttered, to a thirst for communion with Him, an insatiable craving to know Him. Of the few religions which have left the world a legacy of sacred writings, this is manifestly true; and going back to times and scenes where we must grope our way by the aid of broken monuments and halfobliterated hieroglyphics, the very stones may be heard crying out after an unknown God; in the materialism, which served Egypt in her search after the Divine—in the perhaps higher and more spiritual worship of Babylon and Assyria, may be heard an echo, unmistakeable though faint, of one and the selfsame voice regarding the Eternal,our heart is disquieted within us, until it resteth on thee. The idea can be identified, though the expression of it has varied—“I beseech thee,” says Moses, “shew me thy glory." "Shew us the Father," is the prayer of

« ÎnapoiContinuați »