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prised, on entering York Minster or St Peter's at Rome, by the feeling that these structures are imitations also,---faint copies of an invisible archetype. Nor has science sufficient humanity, so long as the naturalist overlooks that wonderful congruity which subsists between man and the world, of which he is lord, not because he is the most subtile inhabitant, but because he is its head and heart, and finds something of himself in every great and small thing, in every mountain stratum, in every new law of colour, fact of astronomy, or atmospheric influence which observation or analysis lay open. A perception of this mystery inspires the muse of George Herbert, the beautiful psalmist of the seventeenth century. The following lines are part of his little poem on Man :
“Man is all symmetry,
And to all the world besides.
Each part may call the farthest, brother ;
“Nothing hath got so far
His eyes dismount the highest star;
Find their acquaintance there.
“For us, the winds do blow,
Nothing we see but means our good,
As our delight, or as our treasure ;
Or cabinet of pleasure.
“The stars have us to bed,
All things unto our flesh are kind,
In their ascent and cause.
“More servants wait on man
He treads down that which doth befriend him
When sickness makes him pale and wan.
Another to attend him."
The perception of this class of truths makes the eternal attraction which draws men to science, but the end is lost sight of in attention to the means. In view of this half-sight of science, we accept the sentence of Plato, that “poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history.” Every surmise and vaticination of the mind is entitled to a certain respect; and we learn to prefer imperfect theories and sentences which contain glimpses of truth, to digested systems which have no one valuable suggestion. A wise writer will feel that
the ends of study and composition are best answered by announcing undiscovered regions of thought, and so communicating, through hope, new activity to the torpid spirit.
I shall therefore conclude this essay with some traditions of man and Nature, which a certain poet sang to me; and which, as they have always been in the world, and perhaps re-appear to every bard, may be both history and prophecy :
“The foundations of man are not in matter, but in spirit; but the element of spirit is eternity. To it, therefore, the longest series of events, the oldest chronologies, are young and recent. In the cycle of the universal man, from whom the known individuals proceed, centuries are points, and all history is but the epoch of one degradation.
“We distrust and deny inwardly our sympathy with Nature. We own and disown our relation to it by turns. We are, like Nebuchadnezzar, dethroned-bereft of reason, and eating grass like an ox. But who can set limits to the remedial force of spirit!
“A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams. Now, the world would be insane and rabid, if these disorganisations should last for hundreds of
years. It is kept in check by death and infancy. Infancy is the perpetual Messiah, which comes into the arms of fallen men, and pleads with them to return to paradise.
“Man is the dwarf of himself. Once he was permeated and dissolved by spirit. He filled nature with his overflowing currents. Out from him sprang the sun and moon; from man, the sun; from woman, the moon. The laws of his mind, the periods of his actions externised themselves into day and night, into the year and the seasons. But, having made for himself this huge shell, his waters retired; he no longer fills the veins and veinlets; he is shrunk to a drop. He sees that the structure still fits him, but fits him colossally; say, rather, once it fitted him,—now it corresponds to him from far, and on high. He adores timidly his own work. Now is man the follower of the sun, and woman the follower of the moon. Yet, sometimes he starts in his slumber, and wonders at himself and his house, and muses strangely at the resemblance betwixt him and it. He perceives, that if his law is still paramount,if still he have elemental power,— if his word is sterling yet in nature, it is not conscious power; it is not inferior, but superior, to his will. It is Instinct.” Thus my Orphic poet sang.
At present, man applies to Nature but half his force. He works on the world with his understanding alone. He lives in it, and masters it by a penny-wisdom; and he that works most in it, is but a half man; and, whilst his arms are strong, and his digestion good, his mind is imbruted, and he is a selfish savage. His relation to Nature, his power over it, is through the understanding; as by manure; the economic use of fire, wind, water, and the mariner's needle; steam, coal, chemical agriculture; the repairs of the human body by the dentist and the surgeon. This is such a resumption of power, as if a banished king should buy his territories inch by inch, instead of vaulting at once into his throne. Meantime, in the thick darkness, there are not wanting gleams of a better light,-occasional examples of the action of man upon Nature with his entire force, with reason, as well as understanding. Such examples are: the traditions of miracles in the earliest antiquity of all nations; the history of Jesus Christ; the achievements of a principle, as in religious and political revolutions, and in the abolition of the Slave-trade; the miracles of enthusiasm, as those reported of Swedenborg, Hohenlohe, and the Shakers; many obscure and yet contested facts, now arranged under the name