Characteristics of the Present Age/Lecture 17

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In the preceding Lectures we have delineated the Present Age as a necessary part of the great World-Plan on which the Earthly Life of our Race is arranged, and have endeavoured to disclose its secret significance; we have sought to understand the phenomena of the Present by means of this Idea, to bring them forth as the necessary results of the Past, and to predict their immediate consequences in the Future;—and if we have succeeded in this our undertaking, we have then understood our Age. We have been engaged in these contemplations without thought of ourselves or of our own position. Speculation warns every inquirer, and with good reason, against this self-forgetfulness. To show the justice of this warning in our own case:—Should our view of the Present Age prove to have been a view taken from the standing-point of this Age itself, should the eye which has taken this view have been itself a product of the Age which it has surveyed, then has the Age borne witness to itself and such testimony must be set aside; and so far from having explored its significance, we have only added to the number of its phenomena a most superfluous and unproductive one. Whether this has been our position or not, can only be determined by a retrospect of our previous inquiry; and this retrospect can only be accomplished by placing our inquiry before us as itself a phenomenon of Time, and indeed of that Age in which it has occurred, namely,—the Present.

But however indispensable it is, in every mental occupation, that we should not lose sight of ourselves, it is yet most difficult to do this, particularly to do it aloud; that is, to speak of ourselves. Not indeed that I should find any serious difficulty in speaking of me, the particular individual who now addresses you. In the Introductory Lecture, when I first sought to combine and establish this audience, I spoke without hesitation of myself, what I believe no one has ever taken amiss, and what I do not regret having spoken; but now, at the conclusion of my task, I know not how to utter one word respecting myself which shall be worthy of utterance. The question is not of me; it is not I who have desired to think and to inquire:—had my thought or inquiry been a matter of any moment, I could have accomplished that without saying aught to any one on the subject; but from such self-contemplation no result for the world could ensue; for what the Individual thinks, or does not think, constitutes no event for his Age;—but it is We, as one company devoted to this purpose, and borne on to unity of thought in absolute forgetfulness of our own individual persons, (as we have often before given outward manifestation of this unity of thought, and do so now)—it is We who have desired to think and to inquire;—and it is to this we, and by no means to myself, that I refer when I speak of this mental retrospect of ourselves, and of the difficulty of accomplishing it aloud and in public speech. So much in that case strives for utterance which each of us would more fitly think for himself, that an incautious man might be misled into touching upon subjects which modesty would rather leave untouched, and into urging upon the attention considerations which are offensive to the cultivated mind,—not on their own account, but because they are spoken on the supposition that those to whom they are addressed cannot make them for themselves. As I have hitherto, I believe, kept myself free from this sort of eloquence,—which indeed is permitted only to one class to which I do not belong,—I hope I shall continue to avoid it, even to the end.

I have said that we shall to-day take a retrospect of our previous inquiry, and of the theory which has been its result—our theory not mine as I have already explained;—especially in order that we may be assured that this theory is not itself a product of the Present Age, the influence of the Age upon us being hidden from our view. To this end I maintain, that this theory is assuredly no product of our own Age—if, in the first place, it be not a product of any Age whatever, but lies beyond all Time; and also (since in that case it might prove absolutely empty and without significance, and so disappear in mere vacuity and nothingness)—if, in the second place, it become the root and principle of living vitality in a New Age.

In the first place, that we may be able to determine whether our now completed theory does actually lie beyond all Time, let us inquire what has been the nature of this theory, considered in its essential elements, and to what chief department of human thought it has belonged? I answer:—It was a Religious Theory; all our contemplations were Religious contemplations, and our view of things, and the eye which embraced that view, were Religious.

According to the thought which, directly or indirectly, distinctly or obscurely, has animated all our previous discourses, and, in our last discourse especially, has been considered on all sides;—according to this thought, I say, Religion consists in regarding and recognising all Earthly Life as a necessary development of the one, original, perfectly good and perfectly blessed Divine Life. Now, it is first of all quite clear that this view does not consist in the mere perception or contemplation of life, or of anything else, and that it cannot arise from such perception or contemplation. By the most careful observation of phenomena we can go no further than to know that so and so is the case, but by no means to reject or disallow this as mere appearance, and to seek a higher significance behind it. The Religious mode of thought can thus never be the result of mere observation of the world, since, on the contrary, this mode of thought rests on the imperative maxim—not to accept this world and all Earthly Life in it as in itself true and real existence, but to assume another Higher Existence superior to the world. This maxim must be developed in the mind itself, as an essential element originally implanted there;—and no man can ever arrive at this truth by mere empirical observation, since it entirely abolishes empirical observation as the highest and decisive test of reality. It is clear that this maxim stands in direct opposition to the principle which we have indicated as that which guides the thought of our Age; that this thought can never attain to it; and that, by means of the very first supposition of something higher than the World, we raise ourselves above such an Age and cease to be its product. In short, not mere observation, but Pure Thought, in itself and by itself, is the first element of Religion. In the language of the schools:—Metaphysic, that is, the Super-sensual, is the element of Religion. From the beginning of the world down to the present day Religion, whatever shape it may have assumed, has been Metaphysic; and he who despises and derides Metaphysic,—that is, everything a priori,—either knows not what he means, or else he despises and derides Religion.

Are we set free from this limitation and bondage in the Apparent?—then the next step towards the attainment of True Religion is our second maxim:—To place the foundation of the world neither in Chance, which in other words is to accept a foundation of the world and yet not to accept it; nor in blind Necessity, which in other words is to accept an absolutely inconceivable and dead foundation of the world, and of all the life in the world; nor yet in a living, but evil, capricious, and man-hating Cause, as Superstition has done at all times in a greater or less degree;—but in the One, absolutely and unchangeably good, Divine Existence. We said that our first maxim,—not to accept Apparent Existence in Time as in itself true and real, but to assume a Higher Existence beyond it,—must be developed within the mind itself; and even so our second maxim,—to regard this Higher Existence as Life, and as a good and Blessed Life,—must likewise be developed in the mind itself as an inherent element originally implanted there. At most, we can only receive help from without by the communication of such thoughts from others with the invitation to test them by our own sense of Truth; by which, if it be but rightly interrogated, and if the mass of preëxisting errors and prejudices be not too powerful, they will doubtless be confirmed. There is no logical means by which this insight may be forced upon man, for even the dullest and rudest form of mere Egoism is consistent in itself, and he who determines with stiff-necked obstinacy to abide there cannot be compelled to quit it.

In a word,—as we have already clearly set forth in our last Lecture,—In the view of Religion, all the phenomena of Time, without exception, are regarded as necessary and progressive developments of the One, Ever-blessed, Original Divine Life, and hence each individual phenomenon is regarded as the necessary condition of a higher and more perfect life in Time which shall arise from it. Now,—and this is to be particularly remarked,—this one, essentially abiding and unchanging view of Religion, is itself divided in its form, and assumes a double aspect. Namely,—we may either possess only a general insight into the fact, that, since all life manifested in Time can be nothing else than a development of the Divine Life, so also the particular phenomenon which may be in question is necessarily a development of this Divine Life:—the fact, I say, that such is the case, without any conception of how and in what way it is so; and this form of Religion we may name the Religion of Reason, which lies beyond all understanding and all conception, although its clearness and certainty do not on that account suffer the slightest abatement:—The Religion of Reason, we style it, for it is the mere acceptance of the fact, without comprehension of the manner of the fact. Or, in the second place, we may understand and conceive how and in what way the phenomenon in question may be the development of a Higher Life;—the more perfect development which is to proceed from it may present itself to sight, and the phenomenon in question may then be recognised, clearly and distinctly, as the necessary foundation from which the actual progression has arisen;—and this latter form of Religion may be named the Religion of the Understanding. These two forms embrace the whole domain of Religion; the Religion of Reason encompassing both its extremities, while the Religion of the Understanding occupies the centre. How each individual Human Being as such, and his particular fortunes, connect themselves with the Eternal,—this, as the lower extremity of the domain of Religion, cannot be comprehended; and as little, how this whole present and introductory Life of our Race is related to the infinite series of Future Life and determined thereby,—as little, I say, can this, as the higher extremity of the domain of Religion, be comprehended by us; but that they are altogether good and necessary for the Perfect Life, is distinctly apparent to the Religious Man. On the other hand, the significance of this first Earthly Life of the Race, considered in itself and apart from all other Life, and as the Life of the Race not individual Life,—this, as the middle sphere of this domain of Religion, may be conceived and has been conceived by us; and on the same ground, it may be conceived how each of the necessary Epochs of this Earthly Life is related to the whole, and what is the particular significance of each in itself. Here, therefore, lies the domain of the Religion of the Understanding;—and this domain we have traversed in our inquiry, putting forward the Epoch in which we live as its clearest and most intelligible point.

The question, What has been the nature of our inquiry, is answered. What we have done is this:—we have raised ourselves into the domain of Religion by that way which is the most easy and accessible to our Age,—the way of Understanding. So surely as our inquiry has been a Religious inquiry, it has been no product of our own Age but has transcended all Ages and all Time; so surely as it has applied itself especially to the dominant principle of our own Age, it has raised itself from the level of this particular Age above all Time. The greatest obstacle to reflection is when a man no longer hesitates or stumbles at anything, no longer wonders at anything, and no longer seeks any explanation of surrounding phenomena. Of all the wonders that surround a man in this condition of indifference, whatever touches him however slightly because it has a direct influence on his own personal weal or woe, is that which lies nearest to him among the events of the Time. But what cultivated mind has not sometimes at least pondered in astonishment over those wonderful phenomena, demanded the meaning of them, and earnestly longed for a solution of its questionings? Without allowing ourselves to be occupied with trifles, which often fall within the domain of the absolutely unintelligible, or even when they are intelligible lead to nothing great, we have considered and characterized the Age broadly and as a whole; but so that none of the members of this assembly will be apt to find anything passed over which specially interests him. We have characterized it in a rational and religious frame of mind, regarding all things as necessary parts of the whole, and as securely leading to nobler and more perfect results.

Thus there can be no doubt that our inquiry has transcended the limitations of Time. But this alone does not satisfy us. That it is no product, no favourite opinion, no mere prejudice of our Age, is well:—but is it not perhaps a mere nonentity, a deceptive show, a dream disappearing in the empty void of Time, and having no existence in True and Real Time? We have now to set forth the principles upon which this second question must be answered.

To this empty void of Time belongs everything which is adopted for the purpose of mere pastime, or, what is the same thing, for the satisfaction of curiosity founded upon no earnest desire of knowledge. Pastime is but an empty waste, interposed between times devoted to serious occupations. At the opening of these Lectures I undertook nothing more than that I should occupy your thoughts for a few hours of this winter in a manner neither unseemly nor disagreeable:—more I could not promise reckoning on myself alone; and to promise even this unconditionally was itself a hazard, for communication upon my part presupposed the power of receiving such a communication upon yours, and a definite communication presupposed a definite degree and form of this receptive power. If you have taken me altogether at my own word in this matter, then you may now congratulate yourselves that you have, in the course of this winter, got rid of sixteen or seventeen hours of idleness by means of a new amusement which has at least proved good, profitable, and wholesome;—and against this I have nothing to say. But in this case, it is quite certain that these sixteen or seventeen hours have been to you not true but mere empty and vacant Time.

To True and Real Time belongs everything which becomes the necessary principle, foundation and cause of new and hitherto non-existent phenomena in Time; for the first characteristic of true Life is to create other Life from itself. That which by means of these inquiries might become such a principle was the ruling tendency and practice of contemplating all things without exception from the Religious point of view. Now it is impossible that this principle should have been implanted within us, for the first time, by means of the contemplations which have occupied us for a few hours of this winter. In the first place, we have already remarked that this principle cannot be communicated to man from without, but must have its root originally within his own being, and has actually such an inward existence in all men without exception;—and in the second place, we have not been able to avail ourselves of nearly the whole of the means which might have been employed to awaken and call forth this principle. The whole artificial training of the school, the systematic rise and overthrow of each objection, the gradual upturning of every branch of error by the roots; further, the profound and lengthened course of study, and the artificial development of the power of thought, which are presupposed in these things;—all these could not here be employed; and thus, the Religious Sense could not here be implanted, nor even for the first time awakened and called forth. It was presupposed that this Religious Sense had already made its appearance, and manifested its genial and invigorating influence in all the minds who have taken part in our inquiries, and only slumbered under the concealment of the numerous and incessant occupations and distractions of life and its every-day occurrences. To this sense, asleep but not dead, we were able confidently to appeal, just as each of you might have done for himself, had he had time and aptitude for meditation on matters of this description. It became my business to apply a portion of my time to the production and adjustment of such a discourse as each of you might have addressed to himself, and which he must actually address to himself at last, testing it by his own sense of Truth, if it is really to be addressed to him at all. At most, I could thus only lend some assistance to my hearers, by removing the opposition between their spiritual condition at the time when the Religious Sense first developed itself within them, and that in which they now stand; by separating distinctly and forcibly this Religious Sense itself, which is at all times essentially one and the same, from the casual and diverse limitations which surrounded its first development, and planting it, beyond these limitations, into their present state of mental culture.

There is, in the first place, one good criterion by which we may arrive at a preliminary solution at least of the question we have proposed,—Whether the considerations which we have here set forth have been mere empty verbiage, or intellectual conceits, serviceable at most to pass away an idle hour?—or whether they have come home to something already living within ourselves?—this, namely,—if we have been conscious that our own long-cherished presentiments and feelings have here been distinctly spoken forth, and that we ourselves had previously thought of the matter almost exactly as it has been here expounded;—then we may be sure that something already living within us has been touched. This, I say, is but a preliminary and even but a partially decisive criterion. It is indecisive on the following account:—one man may cordially assent to it in whom only a fugitive scientific or aesthetic pleasure has been excited, which indeed may manifest itself in a more consistent view of the world, or in more inspired productions of Art, but can never enter into the inmost recesses of the mind:—another man may gainsay it, because he goes to its consideration full of scientific prejudices, who does nevertheless give his assent to it at bottom,—and he may gainsay it the more vehemently the more he is irritated and chagrined by the secret harmony which reigns between his own mind and that which, according to his theory, must be error;—but, his whole character and mode of thinking being penetrated with this harmony, his conduct stands in opposition to his theory, until at last this theory itself, no longer receiving any nourishment from the heart, fades and falls away like withered leaves.

But the sure and perfectly decisive criterion whether something already living within us has here been touched, and that so powerfully that it can never again fall back into slumber,—for in that case the present awakening would again need a new revival which could never be anticipated with certainty, the present being worthless but for the future awakening, without which it would disappear in mere empty Time;—the sure and perfectly decisive criterion of this question, I say, is this:—Whether the Life which has thus been called forth do ceaselessly extend itself, and become the source and foundation of New Life.

In our last lecture, we have clearly shown that True Religion does not manifest itself outwardly, and does not impel man to any course of external conduct which he would not otherwise have adopted, but that it only completes his true Inward Being and dignity. It is neither an action, nor an incentive to action, but insight:—it is Light, and the One True Light, which bears within it all Life and all the forms of Life, and pervades their innermost substance. Once arisen, this Light flows on spontaneously for ever, spreading itself forth without term or limit;—and it is as idle to bid it shine as it would be to address such a command to the material sun when it stands in the noon-day heavens. It does this without our bidding; if it shine not, then it has not arisen. At its uprising darkness, and the brood of spectres and phantasms which are born of darkness, vanish of themselves. It is in vain to say to darkness,—‘Let there be Light!’—no Light can come forth from it, for there is none within it. As vain is it to say to man lost in the Transitory and Perishable,—‘Raise thine eyes to the Eternal!’—he has no eye for the Eternal;—his eye is itself transitory and perishable, and reflects only the Transitory and Perishable. But let the Light itself burst forth, then the darkness becomes visible, retires, and draws off like shadows across the field. The darkness is the thoughtlessness, the frivolity, the fickleness of men. Where the Light of Religion has arisen, there is no longer need to warn men against these things, or to struggle against them;—they have already vanished, and their place is no longer known. Are they still there?—then the Light of Religion has assuredly not arisen, and all warning and exhortation is in vain.

Thus,—the proposed criterion being applied in the first place negatively,—the answer to the question, Whether these contemplations in which we have been engaged have belonged to vacant or to True Time? must depend upon this,—Whether thoughtlessness, frivolity, and fickleness, have disappeared from our Life, and continue to disappear therefrom more and more?

Pure thoughtlessness,—that is, mute and blind surrender of ourselves to the stream of phenomena, without even entertaining the thought of any unity or foundation therein,—is mere Animalism, and thereby possesses a certain conformity to Nature which we must allow to have its value. It is seldom that man is so fortunate as to possess it. Those questionings after unity still present themselves and demand their reply. He who cannot enter upon the inquiry, has no alternative but to harden himself against this impulse, and assume, of his own will, as his true wisdom and the ruling maxim of his life, that absolute thoughtlessness which Nature has denied him as a natural condition. There is no lack of distinguished appellations under which this maxim may be entertained:—Common Sense of Mankind, Scepticism, Struggle against Fanaticism and Superstition, &c. According to these doctrines, the animal is the true Philosopher and Sage; folly belongs to man, and consists in demanding a foundation and a reason of the visible. This folly the wise man subdues as well as he can, and thus by art brings himself back to the condition of the beast. But should these maxims, with all their distinguished appellations, prove unable to subdue this impulse which demands a secure foundation for our knowledge, then other means are sought to put it to silence. We pretend to rally ourselves on making this effort, and to laugh at ourselves for indulging in this folly, while it is in truth the effort itself which we try to make ridiculous, in order that we may thereby take revenge upon ourselves for having suffered this impulse to surprise and lay hold of us, and also in order that others may not believe us capable of such weakness. We fly from no society more willingly than from our own; and that we may never be left alone with ourselves we endeavour to fill up with mere amusement every portion of time unemployed by those occupations which already keep us from ourselves. This condition is unnatural. Children may by nature desire play because their powers are not yet ripe for earnest employment:—but when grown men can do nothing but play, then this is not for the sake of play itself, but because there is something else which they would willingly forget. ‘Does an earnest thought come in thy way, which thou wouldst not entertain? Let it alone and pursue the path thou hast begun! This, however, thou doest not, but turnest thyself against it, and summonest up all the resources of thy wit to cover it with ridicule. Wherefore give thyself this trouble? For this cause:—thou canst not bear the presence of this thought in its original and earnest form; thou hast no rest till thou hast clothed it in another and to thee more acceptable shape.’ Fickleness and frivolity are unerring signs,—and the more so the greater their degree,—that there is something gnawing within the heart from which we would willingly escape; and just upon that account they are proofs which cannot be mistaken that the noble nature which they disguise is not wholly dead. He who can cast a searching glance into such souls must feel the deepest commiseration for their state, and for the atmosphere of lies in which they live. They would make all men believe that they are in the highest degree happy and contented, seeking from others the confirmation of that which they themselves know to be false, and with a most sorrowful laughter at their own efforts making themselves appear even worse than they really are.

Have these follies wholly disappeared from our minds? do we no longer shun earnest reflection, but now begin to love it above all things else?—then our contemplations have assuredly belonged not to vacant but to True Time.

Has the Light of Religion arisen within us?—then it not only dispels the previous darkness, but it has also had a true and real existence within us before it could dispel the darkness;—now it spreads itself forth until it embraces our whole world, and thus becomes the source of New Life. In the beginning of these lectures we have traced everything great and noble in man to this,—that he lose his own personal existence in the Life of the Race; devote his own Life to the purposes of the Race; labour, endure, suffer, and if need be die, as a sacrifice to the Race. In this view it was always deeds,—always that which could manifest itself in outward and visible appearance, to which we looked. In this way it was necessary for us to open our communication with the Age. Now, ennobled by our progress from this point of view, as I foretold, we use this language no longer. The one thing truly noble in man, the highest form of the one Idea which has become clear within him, is Religion;—but Religion is nothing external,—it never clothes itself in any outward manifestation; but it completes the Inward Life of Man, it is Spiritual Light and Truth. The true course of action is now disclosed of itself, for Truth cannot act otherwise than according to Truth; but this true course of action is no longer a sacrifice, no longer demands suffering and endurance, but is itself the manifestation and effluence of the highest inward Blessedness. He who, although with reluctance and in conflict with internal darkness, yet acts according to Truth, let him be admired and let his heroism be extolled: he upon whom this Inward Light has arisen has outgrown our admiration and our praise; there is no longer any doubt, opposition or contradiction in his Being, but all is the one, clear, ever-flowing Fountain of Truth.

Formerly we expressed ourselves in the following language:—‘As when the breath of Spring enlivens the air, the strong and fixed ice, which but a moment before imprisoned each atom within itself, and shut up each neighbouring atom in similar isolation, now no longer maintains its rigid bondage, but flows forth in one free, animated, and glowing flood; so does the Spirit-World ever flow at the breath of Love, and is and abides in eternal communion with the mighty Whole.’ Let us now add:—‘This atmosphere of the Spirit-World, its creating and combining element, is Light—this originally: Heat, if it do not again evaporate, but bear within itself an element of endurance, is but the first manifestation of this Light. In the darkness of mere earthly vision, all things stand divided from each other; each individual thing isolated by means of the cold and unillumined matter in which it is embraced. But in this darkness there is no unity. The Light of Religion arises!—and all things burst forth and rush towards each other in reciprocal order and dependence, and float on together, as a united whole, in the One, Eternal, and All-embracing flood of Light.

This Light is mild, gently refreshing, and wholesome to the eye. In the twilight of mere earthly vision the dim shapes which crowd in confusion around us are feared and therefore hated. In the Light of Religion all things are pleasing and shed around them calmness and peace. In it all unlovely shapes disappear, all things float in the glowing ether of Love. Not that man submits himself to the law of a high and unchangeable Fate;—in Religion there is no Fate, but only Wisdom and Goodness, to which man is not compelled to submit himself, but which embrace him with Infinite Love. In these contemplations in which we have been engaged, this joyful and friendly view ought to have spread itself over our own Age, and over the whole Earthly Life of our Race. The more closely this mild influence has embraced us, the deeper it has penetrated all our thoughts and aspirations,—in a word, the more we have attained to peace with the whole world, and joyful sympathy with every form of existence, the more sure may we be, and the more confidently may we affirm, that our contemplations have belonged not to vacant, but to True Time.

This Light spreads itself forth by its own native energy, and widens the sphere of its influence, until at last it embraces our whole world. As when the earthly light breaks forth in one point, the shadows retire, the limits of day and night are separated, and darkness itself becomes visible though not the particular objects which it veils; so is it with the Light of Religion. In one sphere, in the sphere of our Earthly Life, this Light ought already to have arisen upon us. Has it truly arisen upon us?—then do we already know, firmly and surely, that also beyond this sphere Wisdom and Goodness reign, because nothing else can possibly attain dominion;—but we do not understand how they rule there, nor what are the purposes which they there unfold. Penetrated with firm and immovable conviction and insight with respect to the fact, there remains to us beyond this sphere, and with reference to the manner of the fact, only Faith. The one sphere is illumined by clear and intelligible Light; the farther region is also surrounded by Light, but obscurity still rests upon the supersensual objects which it contains. But this Light, thus intelligible and clear in itself, does not remain shut up in its original limits, but, as its own brightness increases, it lays hold of the nearest surrounding phenomena, and from these again proceeds to those beyond; the sphere of the Religion of the Understanding is extended, and embraces one portion after another of the realm of Faith. If, therefore, we shall gradually attain to a clearer and clearer understanding of that one thing which alone is worth understanding,—the plans of Divine Wisdom and Goodness—then is this a certain proof that our contemplations have belonged not to vacant, but to True Time.

In one word, only our future growth in inward Peace and Blessedness, as well as in inward Understanding, can furnish the proof that the doctrine which has been here set forth is True, has been truly accepted by us, and has attained an actual Life within us.

You see that this proof does not show itself outwardly; that no one of us can answer for the other, but each only for himself and from his own soul; and indeed that each can do this best when he answers only within his own soul. You see that in no case can these questions be answered to-day or to-morrow, but that the answer must be deferred for a quite indefinite period of time. You see that here to-day, standing at the conclusion of our labours, we yet cannot know whether we have accomplished something or nothing; and that upon this subject we can only appeal to the consciousness of our honest intention, if we are able to lay claim to such an intention, and must pass over from the region of Understanding to that of Faith and Hope.

And suppose that we could answer these questions, and answer them in accordance with our own wishes;—what, even in that case, were this assembly in comparison with the populous city in which we stand? and what were this city in comparison with the whole realm of culture?—a drop of water, perhaps, in a mighty stream. Would not this drop of water, animated by a new Life-element,—if indeed it were really so animated,—would it not mingle with the stream, and disappear in it, so that scarcely a single trace of the superadded element should remain? Here again we have nothing left us but the Hope that if it be Truth which we have here announced, and if it have assumed a form intelligible to our Age, this same Truth, in the same form, though without our knowledge, shall also, elsewhere and through other organs, make itself manifest to the Age; so that many drops in this great stream may be interpenetrated by the same Life-element, and gradually combining, at last communicate their mutual vitality to the whole.

Let us cherish this Hope, and with this joyful anticipation before us, let us part.——Farewell!