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“Nature is but an image or imitation of wisdom, the last thing of the soul; nature being a thing which doth only do, but not know."
INTRODUCTION. OUR age is retrospective. It builds the sepul
chres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and Nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe ? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs ? Embosomed for a season in Nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded