Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/460

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438
SPINOZA.

He kept his word.

When full of years to contemplate death, to leave the world of sight and sensation, this is hard, and yet we may comfort ourselves in that we have run through our allotted space. But in the bloom of years, before the midday of life, to feel the seed of death within us, to fight it day by day, to watch each evidence of life, to miss the habitual quiet conviction that life will go on of itself, with careful forethought to keep the duty of existence at all times before our eyes, and thus to rejoice gayly and innocently in the sunny day, to work vigorously, aroused by no appeal from without, to find in his own thoughts the sacredness of life and its, joys—that man alone is capable of this to whom freedom and necessity, mortality and eternity, are one, who in wisdom has mounted the highest peak of existence. For wisdom is recognized harmony with nature's laws, the fulfilment of duty, which, in recognition of and obedience to these, becomes inclination.

Such wisdom was Spinoza's.

The world, with its thousand contradictions and inconsistencies in individual manifestations, was in his mind dissolved into harmony. He had thrown off all selfishness, all measurement of things in their influence on individuals; his own life and its trials were lost in the whole. And in enjoyment of the knowledge of divine truth he lived the life eternal.