—J. S. Mill.
Our mother loves us long ere we love our mother. God is love, although it took man ages to find it out; and the golden fact has ever since been sifting down the ages carrying a mightier moving-force to each succeeding generation.
Man thought, and in language that thought became tangible to his fellows, and the power of thought began to press with divine heaviness on the world of action.
Man with fear in his heart and wonder in his eyes looked out upon the unfathomable creation, awfully and terribly stupendous, and God looked down in angry might. Another age begat another, and a more critical glance, and man with Hope on his right hand placed the noblest of his brothers to mediate between himself and his God; and ere the dawn had Hashed into the glory of noon-day, the compassionate passion of the God-like conception filled the human heart to overflowing, and the mediator was not. Lo! You and I stand upon the verge of that "unpastured sea," and, bathed in its waters, our spiritual vision shall be clear as the "white radiance of eternity."
"Here about the beach I wandered, nourishing the youth sublime
With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of time;
When the centuries behind me like a fruitful land reposed,
When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed,
When I dipped into the future far as human eye could see,
Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonders that would be."
Life is not a chaos. The hope of man is in the harmony of his earth-song. False notes are struck, chords are sometimes confused, and inarticulate, but the divine Music—Master is ever at his post, and the final song shall be perfect as the song of angels and archangels, and the heart of man shall thrill with holy rapture.
This age is the natural sequence of the age that preceded it: today is the natural sequence of yesterday: today is the father of tomorrow: today trains us for tomorrow, and stern, yet kindly is the teaching.
Live today: act up to its behests, and the face of the future shall beam with joyous expectation as the child awaiting the return of its mother, as the lover is beloved. As it is not written in the order of things that thou shouldst walk backwards, so attempt not to deal with tomorrow ere you grapple with today, for,
Standeth God within the Shadow keeping watch above His own."
"The day cannot be known by the day," therefore dispatch your highest on its winged message through the ages, so that not a link may be wanting in the golden chain that binds you to the heart of the Eternal.
Tie not down the wings of the soul with Gordian knots of logic or consistency; live from the heart and thou shalt live to Truth, and thine whole being be in unison with the harmony of the ages. Vex not the spirit with a rigid punctiliousness, but liberally interpret thy destiny.
Let your life be a struggle in repose. Calm amidst the storms that toss the soul on life's tempestuous sea. Today in dazzling light, tomorrow in an impenetrable gloom, but ever open and receptive to the intuitive loves of the soul. Alas! with all our philosophy our soul's ideal and our affections never will keep step; but we may be faithful, resolute and energetic, for we know we are "Not left to be the passive resultant of forces without and instincts within, but, invested with an alternative power, we are conscious partners in the architecture of our characters, and know ourselves to be the bearers of a trust." Consider the position; how terrible is the depth of the charge—to live in the world of action, yet to keep unbroken the divine sequence.