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When there is marvel in a doctrine, faith is joyful and adoreth;
But when all is clear, what place is left for faith?
Tell me the sum of thy knowledge,—is it yet assured of any thing ?
Despise not what is wonderful, when all things are wonderful around thee.
From the multitude of like effects, thou sayest, behold a law :
And the matter thou art baffled in unmaking, is to thy mind an element.
Then look abroad, I pray thee, for analogy holdeth every'where,
And the Maker hath stamped his name on every creature of his hand :
I know not of a matter or a spirit, that is not three in one,
And truly should account it for a marvel, a coin without the image of its
Man talketh of himself as ignorant, but judgeth by himself as wise :
His own guess counteth he truth, but the notions of another are his scorn.
But bear thou yet with a brother, whose thought may be less subtle than
And suffer the passing speculation suggested by analogies to faith.
Like begetteth like, and the great sea of Existence
In each of its uncounted waves holdeth up a mirror to its Maker :
Like begetteth like, and the spreading tree of being
With each of its trefoil leaves pointeth at the trinity of God.
Let him whose eyes have been unfilmed, read this homily in all things,
And thou, of duller sight, despise not him that readeth :
There be three grand principles ; life, generation, and obedience ;
Shadowing in every creature, the Spirit, and the Father, and the Son.
There be three grand unities, variously mixed in trinities,
Three catholic divisors of the million sums of matter :
Yea, though science hath not seen it, climbing the ladder of experiment,
Let faith, in the presence of her God, promulgate the mighty truth.
Of three sole elements all nature's works consist :
The pine, and the rock to which it clingeth, and the eagle sailing around it;
The lion, and the northern whale, and the deeps wherein he sporteth;
The lizard sleeping in the sun; the lightning flashing from a cloud;
The rose, and the ruby, and the pearl ; each one is made of three ;
And the three be the like ingredients, mingled in diverse measures.
Thyself hast within thyself body, and life, and mind :
Matter, and breath, and instinct, unite in all beasts of the field;
Substance, coherence and weight, fashion the fabrics of the earth;
The will, the doing, and the deed, combine to frame a fact :
The stem, the leaf, and the flower; beginning, middle, and end;
Cause, circumstance, consequent; and every three is one.
Yea, the very breath of man's life consisteth of a trinity of vapours,
And the noonday light is a compound, the triune shadow of Jehovah. (20)
Shall all things else be in mystery, and God alone be understood?
Shall finite fathom infinity, though it sound not the shallows of creation ?
Shall a man comprehend his Maker, being yet a riddle to himself ?
Or time teach the lesson that eternity cannot master ?
If God be nothing more than one, a child can compass the thought;
But seraphs fail to unravel the wondrous unity of three.
One verily He is, for there can be but one who is all-mighty;
Yet the oracles of nature and religion proclaim Him three in one.
And where were the value to thy soul, O miserable denizen of earth,
Of the idle pageant of the cross, where hung no sacrifice for thee ?
Where the worth to thine impotent heart, of that stirred Bethesda,
All numbed and palsied as it is by the scorpion stings of sin ?
No, thy trinity of nature, enchained by treble death,
Helplessly craveth of its God, himself for three salvations:
The soul to be reconciled in love, the mind to be glorified in light,
While this poor dying body leapeth into life.
And if indeed for us all the costly ransom hath been paid,
Bethink thee, could less than Deity have owned so vast a treasure ?
Could a man contend with God, and stand against the bosses of His buckler,
Rendering the balance for guilt, atonement to the uttermost?
Thou art subtle to thine own thinking, but wisdom judgeth thee a fool,
Resolving thou wilt not bow the knee to a Being thou canst not compre-
hend: The mind that could compass perfection were itself perfection's equal ; And reason refuseth its homage to a God who can be fully understood.
Thou that despisest mystery, yet canst expound nothing,
Wherefore rejectest thou the fact that solveth the enigma of all things ?
Wherefore veilest thou thine eyes, lest the light of revelation sun them,
And puttest, aside the key that would open the casket of truth?
The mind and the nature of God is shadowed in all his works,
And none could have guessed of his essence, had He not uttered it himself.
Therefore, thou child of folly, that scornest the record of his wisdom,
Learn from the consistencies of nature the needful miracle of Godhead :
Yea, let the heathen be thy teacher, who adoreth many gods,
For there is no wide-spread error that hath not truth for its beginning.
Be content; thine eye cannot see all the sides of a cube at one view,
Nor thy mind in the self-same moment follow two ideas :
There are now many marvels in thy creed, believing what thou seest,
Then let not the conceit of intellect hinder thee from worshipping mystery.
REFLECTION is a flower of the mind, giving out wholesome fragrance,
But reverie is the same flower, when rank and running to seed.
Better to read little with thought, than much with levity and quickness ;
For mind is not as merchandise, which decreaseth in the using,
But liker to the passions of man, which rejoice and expand in exertion :
Yet live not wholly on thine own ideas, lest they lead thee astray ;
For in spirit, as in substance, thou art a social creature;
And if thou leanest on thyself, thou rejectest the guidance of thy betters,
Yea, thou contemnest all men,-Am I not wiser than they ?
Foolish vanity hath blinded thee, and warped thy weak judgment;
For, though new ideas flow from new springs, and enrich the treasury of
knowledge, Yet listen often, ere thou think much; and look around thee ere thou
judgest. Memory, the daugter of Attention, is the teeming mother of Wisdom, And safer is he that storeth knowledge, than he that would make it for
Imagination is not thought, neither is fancy reflection :
Thought paceth like a hoary sage, but imagination hath wings as an eagle:
Reflection sternly considereth, nor is sparing to condemn evil,
But fancy lightly laugheth, in the sun-clad garden of amusement.
For the shy game of the fowler the quickest shot is the surest ;
But with slow care and measured aim the gunner pointeth his cannon :
So for all less occasions, the surface thought is best,
But to be master of the great take thou heavier metal.
It is a good thing, and a wholesome, to search out bosom sins,
But to be the hero of selfish imaginings, is the subtle poison of pride :
At night, in the stillness of thy chamber, guard and curb thy thoughts,
And in recounting the doings of the day, beware that thou do it with prayer,
Or thinking will be an idle pleasure, and retrospect yield no fruit.
Steer the bark of thy mind from the syren isle of reverie,
And let a watchful spirit mingle with the glance of recollection:
Also, in examining thine heart, in sounding the fountain of thine actions,
Be more careful of the evil than of the good ; and humble thyself in thy sin.
The root of all wholesome thought is knowledge of thyself,
For thus only canst thou learn the character of God toward thee.
He made thee, and thou art; he redeemed thee, and thou wilt be:
Thou art evil, yet he loveth thee: thou sinnest, yet he pardoneth thee.
Though thou canst not perceive him, yet is he in all his works,
Infinite in grand outline, infinite in minute perfection ;
Nature is the chart of God, mapping out all his attributes;
Art is the shadow of his wisdom, and copieth his resources.
Thou knowest the laws of matter to be emanations of his will,
And thy best reason for aught is this,—thou, Lord, would have it so.
Yea, what is any law but an absolute decree of God ?
Or the properties of matter and mind, but the arbitrary fiats of Jehovah ?
He made and ordained necessity; he forged the chain of reason ;
And holdeth in his own right hand the first of the golden links.
A fool regardeth mind as the spiritual essence of matter,
And not rather matter as the gross accident of mind.
Can finite govern infinite, or a part exceed the whole,
Or the wisdom of God sit down at the feet of innate necessity ? .
Necessity is a creature of his hand : for He can never change ;
And chance hath no existence where every thing is needful.
Canst thou measure Ornipotence, canst thou conceive Ubiquity,
Which guideth the meanest reptile, and quickeneth the brightest seraph,
Which steereth the particles of dust, and commandeth the path of the
To Him all things are equal, for all things are necessary.
The smith is weary at his forge, and weldeth the metal carelessly,
And the anchor breaketh in its bed, and the vessel foundereth with her
A word of anger is muttered, engendering the midnight murder :
The sun bursteth from a cloud, and maddeneth the toiling husbandman.
Shall these things be, and God not know it ?
Shall he know, and not be in them ? shall he see, and not be among them ?
And how can they be otherwise than as he knoweth ?
Truly, the Lord is in all things ; verily, he worketh in all.
Think thus, and thy thoughts are firm, ascribing each circumstance to
Yet know surely, and believe the truth, that God willeth not evil :
For adversities are blessings in disguise, and wickedness the Lord ab-
That he is in all things is an axiom, and that he is righteous in all ;
Ascribe holiness to Him, while thou musest on the mystery of sin,
For infinite can grasp that which finite cannot compass.
In works of art, think justly : what praise canst thou render unto man?
For he made not his own mind, nor is he the scource of contrivance.
If a cunning workman maketh an engine that fashioneth curious works,
Which hath the praise, the machine or its maker,—the engine, or he that
framed it ? And could he frame it so subtly as to give it a will and freedom, Endow it with complicated powers, and a glorious living soul, Who, while he admireth the wondrous understanding creature, Will not pay deeper homage to the Maker of master minds? Otherwise, thou art senseless as the pagan, that adoreth his own handi
work; Yea, while thou boastest of thy wisdom, thy mind is as the mind of the
savage, For he boweth down to his idols, and thou art a worshipper of self, Giving to the reasoning machine the credit due to its Creator. The keystone of thy mind, to give thy thoughts solidity, To bind them as in an arch, to fix them as a world in its sphere, Is to learn from the book of the Lord, to drink from the well of his wisdom. Who can condense the sun, or analyze the fullness of the Bible, So that its ideas be gathered, and the harvest of its wisdom be brought in ? That book is easy to the man who setteth his heart to understand it, But to the careless and profane it shall seem the foolishness of God; And it is a delicate test to prove thy moral state ; To the humble disciple it is bread, but a stone to the proud and unbelieving :