Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/166

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on our own observation that his conduct and character are to be counted upon. Smartness and vivacity, much emotion and many conceits, are obstacles both to fidelity and to merit. There is a high worth in rightly constituted natures independent of incidental consciousness. It consists in that ingrained virtue which under given circumstances would insure the noblest action and with that action, of course, the noblest sentiments and ideas; ideas which would arise spontaneously and would make more account of their objects than of themselves.

The expression of habit in psychic metaphors is a procedure known also to theology. Whenever natural or moral law is declared to reveal the divine mind, this mind is a set of formal or ethical principles rather than an imagined consciousness, re-enacted dramatically. What is conceived is the god’s operation, not his emotions. In this way God’s goodness becomes a symbol for the advantages of life, his wrath a symbol for its dangers, his commandments a symbol for its laws. The deity spoken of by the Stoics had exclusively this symbolic character; it could be called a city—dear City of Zeus—as readily as an intelligence. And that intelligence which ancient and ingenuous philosophers said they saw in the world was always intelligence in this algebraic sense, it was intelligible order. Nor did the Hebrew prophets, in their emphatic political philosophy, seem to mean much more by