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in the work of three men whose influence has become, not only an integral part of the higher life of their race, but has also been incorporated into the best thinking and noblest living of all people.
Dante's awful majesty and lurid dreams of the circles of the nether world, are like the terrible revelations of Vesuvius in eruption, or the horrid secrets that the earthquake tells. Bodies are seen in physical tortures hurtling through space, yet bound to a monotony of suffering. Hearts and souls are exposed in the never-ending agony of an ever-present dying. The lava, and ashes, and molten stones, and riven rocks, and engulphing sea of the flaming, destruction-clothed mountain, and the shuddering of the stricken earth, have all their spiritual prototypes amidst the follies, sins and crimes that the Florentine prophet and the world's poet impales and scourges in the Purgatorio and Inferno. As for the living, lustrous realities of the Paradise, to what can they be likened that will give an approximately true idea of their wondrous beauty? The souls of the flowers, the secrets of sunrise, the words of the star-wreathed night, the meaning of a child's smile, as it looks into the heaven of its mother's eyes, the interpretation of the earth-girdling wind;- all these, and their rapture and mystery, are fragments of the joy that thrills through the Paradise, and culminates in its adoring consciousness of God.
It may be said of Buonarroti that he prisons in marble the thoughtstatues of Alighieri, or makes them palpitate in living color. Not that he is a secondary, or derived genius, who merely translates into the terms of another art that which a great thinker has already wrought. The sculptor and painter is the compeer of “the poet,” but both minds are so attuned that the sombre truths, the stormy lives, and far-reaching splendors, win from them a unity of response. The revelations they receive, while belonging to the same order, are not identical; and their manifestations in the peculiar sphere of each, proclaim them original beauty-seers, although the visions shown in marble and through pigments exactly harmonize with those seen through the fire-mist of vital words.
What words are adequate to summarize and realize the “prince of painters ”? For sound, proportioned beauty, in which the sublimity of strength does not over-balance the gentler forces, he surpasses both its other revelators. He shows its many moods in turn; now the joy and peace, and now the exaltation, while power and purpose and infinite compassion speak through his gem-like tints. Precious and significant as the sacred stones, are the waves of beauty flowing through the flame-like symbols, are the jewels of creative meaning which star the work of Raphael Sanzio, the painter of painters, the king of seers in color.
It is unnecessary to enumerate the ethical qualities exhibited in the productions of these three
Studied together, as representative of the highest Italian conception of beauty, they manifest every characteristic which endows an art with moral value.
Many of the artistic embodiments of beauty to be found in France, like the architectural forms of the Greeks, do not meet the tests of its code of ethics. Too often idealism sinks beneath utility, while, in some instances, "utility becomes the convertible word for sensuality.” Vitruvius, fancifully tracing women's ringlets in the capitals, and the vigorous attitudes of manhood in the columns, of Ionic architecture, interprets their symbolism upon as high a plane as it deserves; and French art, in a vast number of instances, has conjured itself to the same class of representa
tion. Notwithstanding this, there are many Gallic realizations of the beautiful which meet every ethical . requirement, and are of inestimable worth.
For a century the French painters have been virile, vivid, fervid, concentrated. Power has stamped their work, transparence is a part of it, a pure passionateness irradiates it, and it is given interpretative strength by its insight, and grasp of essentials.
David and Rosa Bonheur, on totally different lines of thought, and with contrasted subjects, substantiate these assertions, while the modern marine pictures of France are the very moods of ocean seized, felt, translated and transfixed. They are psalms and litanies of sea and sky sung in color by the power of the spirit. They are only surpassed in this regard by Turner, whose sea-scenes, like his landscapes, are such as none but he could paint; the heart and soul, the outward seeming and the very being of the sea itself.
Beauty is incarnated in a fashion both exquisite and sablime in the cathedrals of the mediæval and renaissance periods which France has inherited as a rich legacy. Its most recent sculpture is a newborn giant with all the signs of an original, vigorous, very modern paternity, clearly visible.
Indeed, the mystic rose of beauty breathes its ethereal perfume through many roses on the tree of art which grows in French soil
, and lovely relations of its hearts of fragrance are made by those who dwell beneath the branches of that tree.
MARY C. C. BRADFORD.
THE USES OF SOLAR BIOLOGY.
(CONTINUED FROM JUNE NUMBER.) We give, as promised in our last issue, the letter from Connecticut, and also the answers to the qnestions.
“CONN., MAY 9, 1889. Miss A. G. Payson: At the present time the truth is difficult to be obtained. Amid the schemes and speculations, the misrepresentations and frauds, it is no small task to separate the few kernels of truth from the vast amount of untruth. Therefore, it is necessary for us to obey St. Paul's injunction, where he says ; “ Prove all things ; hold fast that which is good.”
Science, to-day, stands on a firm foundation, and “Solar Biology” must have at least as good a basis. Before we can accept any new department of science, we must have ample and well-founded proof. The simple statement of a fact is no proof. Neither do newspaper testimonials add much weight thereto. Bearing in mind these things, I will ask you the following questions.
I. By whom, and under what circumstances, was “ Solar Biology” discovered ?
II. Who bave been, and who are to-day, some of the principal supporters of this doctrine ?
III. Name some of the characteristics of this force : -its laws of action,
IV. If this force comes from the planets, why is it restricted to our Solar System?
We know how, according to the law of gravitation, the Moon circles monthly around the Earth ; how the family of planets moves around the great luminary in wonderful perfection. But how a planet, or any number of planets, if such be the case, composed of matter, as is the Earth, can effect me, the ego, which is non
materialistic, and whose laws of action are widely different from those of matter, is a mystery to me.
Will you please enlighten me? These few lines are sent to you for light upon what may be an important subject. Yours for the truth,
A. T. B.”
I. The days of inspiration are not past. “ Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost ;” and if God is unchanged and unchangeable, men in these modern days, living in accordance with the same law, can receive the same inspiration, as did the old seers and prophets.
The Rev. W. H. Warren, D. D., says; “During all the ages past there has been one bright and glittering page of loftiest wisdom unrolled before the eye of man. The sky is a vast, immovable dial-plate of that clock whose pendulum ticks ages instead of seconds, and whose time is eternity: This dial not only shows present movements, but it keeps the history of uncounted ages past, ready to be read backward in their proper order; and it has glorious volumes of prophecy, revealing the far-off future to any man who is able to look thereon, break the seals, and read the record. Glowing stars are the alphabet of this lofty page; they combine to form words which are full of meaning.
“Men have not yet advanced as far as those who saw the pictures described by John in the Revelation, and hence the panorama is not understood. That continuous speech that day after day uttereth, is not heard the knowledge that night after night showeth, is not seen, and the invisible things of God from the creation of the world,—even his eternal power and godhead, - though clearly discoverable from things that are made, are not apprehended.
Who, then, is “ able to look thereon, break the seals, and read the record?” We find, on searching both profane and sacred history, that the ancient sages and philosophers were well acquainted with the influence and effect of the heavenly bodies. Josephus informs us that the sons of Seth employed themselves in the study of astronomy, and that Abraham argued the unity and power of God from the orderly course of things in their times and seasons; and from his observations upon the motions and influence of the Sun, Moon, and stars."
The external science of astronomy is easy to obtain by study from books, or by actual observation, but the influence of the planets upon the nature and character of man, is not so learned. It is something which the senses and the intellect cannot grasp. Of course, after its reception by some one who has recognized the law of adjustment, and put himself in a position to inspire knowledge from the source of knowledge, others can receive the facts from him in the ordinary way. But "the invisible things of God” can only be cognized by those whose spiriteyes and ears are opened, and then shall the “spirit of truth guide into all truth.”
But it is found impossible to be guided perfectly by the spirit of truth, while under the influence of the multitude of minds with which we daily come in contact, and the bustle and distractions of every-day life.
"The ear that listens long
Which through all nature floats
Feeling this to be true, and wishing to know more of the will of the Lord concerning him, and humanity in general, Hirman E. Butler, the Author of "Solar Biology,” left the busy world and lived the life of a recluse for a number of years; and, laying aside all books, devoted himself to the study of God in nature, stilling the senses, and inspiring wisdom from the Source of Wisdom, the God of the Universe. While in that retirement the science which is now exciting such wide-spread interest, was given to him, and is now given by him to the world. In speaking of it he says, “ My chief love from childhood was to read the great book of Nature, and in my perusal of that book, the conclusions reached, I find, are identical with those of the old sages and philosophers.” In the preface of “Solar Biology" he says:
“ The Author is satisfied, from external and intuitive research, that this science was well known in the golden days of the world's history, when religion and science walked hand in hand in a most divine harmony, as counterparts in one grand whole; and he is most happy to submit it to the thoughtful, intelligent, and educated public, for its consideration and use, believing that it will prove of greater value than any other system of science the world now posses.”
II. The students, and those who know its value, are of course its principal supporters. The book has been published but two years, and in that short time the principles embodied therein have become household topics.
III. In the promised series of articles the “ characteristics and laws” of the science will be given. It would be impossible here even to give an outline.
IV. The planets have each a mental and spiritual, as well as physical, quality. The difference being only in degree, and not in kind." Therefore it is easy to see how the three-fold quality of any or all of the planets can affect the three-fold nature of man. Looking at it in that light, we discover that the “ laws of action of spirit” are not "widely different from those of matter.” Man is a citizen, not of the world merely, but of the Solar System, and of the Universe in all its parts, both near and remote ; consequently there is not a star that shines either active or latent, or a sun that burns, but has expression in his being.
Further questions bearing on the subject will be answered, and occasional delineations of prominent men and women given from dates of their birth.
A. GENEVIEVE PAYSON..
BY WALTER HUBBELL. There is at present so much interest displayed in the pursuit of the supernatural, and this in all probability will, in the near future, be so materially augmented, that it is desirable to get as much material as possible before the public, in order that it may be able to satisfy the demand, which each man will shortly make, to know, beyond peradventure, whether or not his ego, clothed in a personality peculiar to itself, shall survive death. The great mass of matter to be used in this final adjudication must, of very necessity, like so many other things, be taken upon testimony; and, in many instances, there will be little save consistency and internal coherence, or the lack thereof, to attest the truth or falsity of the records rendered. There is no better way, however, than to peruso everything, tendered as testimony, in an impartial, though critical manner, lending most significance and credence to those phenomena which are found most frequently recorded. The speculating eye of the nineteenth century has ceased to blink those solemn Oriental asseverations that occultism is a verity, and is gradually opening to a realization of the fact that even the Occident has more things than are dreamt of in its philosophy. As yet, to be sure, much of the subject must of necessity be hypothetical, and many pseudo-explanatory ideas addressed to the solution of what is now pretty generally known to exist, will be promulgated. Many of these will be fallacious, some one may be right, and all will confer the benefit of attracting attention to a subject co-important with our very existence. “The Supermun lane” is published in the hope that it may be found useful in one of these lines.
(Ed.) The marvelous manifestation of an invisible power within the atmosphere possessing human intelligence, and performing many of the physical actions of mankind in haunted houses, has never been investigated in an impartial manner by those scientific men who reason by induction, and devote their lives and scholarly attainments to the development and explanation of visible powers, such, for instance, as hydraulics, steam and electricity, none of which ever produce effects that are specific in action unless properly guided by mankind. In this age of scientific achievement, the time is certainly at hand when all the nations of the earth should come to some definitely unanimous conclusion upon the supermundane, and I propose in this article to give a logical explanation of the powers of the air," so that the alleged supernatural, that has in all lands ever been the great unsolvable problem of human life, may be understood by all.
It seems to me that it is almost criminal negligence on my part to leave to the jugglers and charlatans who claim to hold intercourse with the inhabitants of an unseen world, a field that is so full of intense interest to the entire human family, without at least offering my logical hypothesis to the world. It has been my good fortune to have lived in a house where an invisible, intelligent power within the atmosphere manifested its prosence day after day for weeks, in a manner eminently calculated to strike terror and dismay into the hearts of the bravest men.
The theory has been advanced that electricity was the agent at work within the air when the wonders occurred. Some persons claimed that it was all the result of hypnotism, or some other form of psychology, while others declared that it must have been Satan himself who produced the marvels that hundreds of persons saw and heard, in the little cottage where, for weeks, I had the most remarkable,—the most extraordinary experience of my life.
Some of the wonders witnessed were so far beyond the realm of imagination, that I almost hesitate to give them to the world as facts, and yet that they were facts of the most incontrovertible kind, has been proved by reliable witnesses. All my assertions can be fully substantiated by a complete investigation of similar cases by scientists, whenever such cases occur, and, as my experience is by no means an isolated one, it is but reasonable to assume that in the future there will be as many - if not more haunted houses than in the past.