Page:Vocation of Man (1848).djvu/191

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ever about any other thing. Those, to me, so sorrowful events may, in the plan of the Eternal One, be the direct means for the attainment of a good result;—that strife of evil against good may be their last decisive struggle, and it may be permitted to the former to assemble all its powers for this encounter only to lose them, and thereby to exhibit itself in all its impotence. These, to me, joyful appearances may rest on very uncertain foundations;—what I had taken for enlightenment may perhaps be but hollow superficiality, and aversion to all true ideas; what I had taken for independence, but unbridled passion; what I had taken for gentleness and moderation, but weakness and indolence. I do not indeed know this, but it might be so; and then I should have as little cause to mourn over the one as to rejoice over the other. But I do know, that I live in a world which belongs to the Supreme Wisdom and Goodness, who thoroughly comprehends its plan, and will infallibly accomplish it; and in this conviction I rest, and am blessed.

That there are free beings, destined to reason and morality, who strive against reason, and call forth all their powers to the support of folly and vice;—just as little will this disturb me, and stir up within me indignation and wrath. The perversity which would hate what is good because it is good, and promote evil merely from a love of evil as such,—this perversity which alone could excite my just anger, I ascribe to no one who bears the form of man, for I know that it does not lie in human nature. I know that for all who act thus, there is really, in so far as they act thus, neither good nor evil, but only an agreeable or disagreeable feeling; that they do not stand under their own do-