Page:Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.djvu/414

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let me close this reply with an extract from the devout William Ellery Channing, who was admired and followed as the foremost Rational Christian of his time. Though by no means adopting these views as his own, he was thoroughly fair in his estimate; and in his sermon on The True End of Life, preached fifty years ago, he spoke as follows: —

The philosopher, indeed, in studying the Soul, has not only discerned that it is distinguished from the fluctuating forms of matter, by its power of apprehending immutable Principles, but he has often been led to question whether anything really exists in the universe, beyond Mind and Spirit; whether matter and the body have any substantial being; whether apparently external nature be not an actual creation of our own thought; or, in other words, whether, in believing in an outward world, we do anything more than ascribe reality to our own conceptions. Thus, from the very dawn of philosophy, there have been schools which have held that the material universe has no existence but in the mind that thinks it.

The critic, whom I have thus answered, has passed on from this world. He was a man rightly honored in the New Church, of which he was a distinguished pillar. In justice to his memory it should be here added, that I afterwards met the reverend father in the company of mutual friends, and “we held sweet converse together.” Without quoting verbatim his kind and generous words to me and about me, it is enough to say that he referred to our kinship of spirit. “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,” and kind.