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stands alone. No, not alone ; for by him stands the great spirit of the past, as stood the angel of God by Adam. And he is lifting up before him, in vision, time to come. O, that we would but stop and hear this seer tell unto us what he hath seen!

There are many other aspects in which the past might be put. If, however, the influences of which I have spoken be admitted as true, they are enough. If they are disputed, nothing which I could add would be likely to gain for me an assent.

It may be that I have not made myself entirely understood by some, though what I have said seems to lie clearly enough before my own mind. For I deny the frequent assertion, that whatever one sees distinctly, he may, of course, make distinct to another. There are apt handlers of particulars, who observe all their minute differences, their numbers, their forms, and store these up in the memory, who never once think of considering them in their comprehensive whole. While generalizing minds, which catch just enough of particulars to answer their main purpose, and then forget them, may have powers so unlike, though equal, and associations of thoughts and moods of mind so differing, and may look at things from such opposite points, that one may not see at all,

sce but dimly, what lies before the other in the light of day. The human mind can hardly conceive an unassociated truth. To communicate to another, therefore, a perception of a truth, in its fulness and clearness, there must be sympathizing movements between two minds, which, at a touch from the one, shall put in motion in the other sets of associations, which shall answer, like for like, in both minds. There are not only different orders of minds; but each mind also, hath its several sphere.

Let us now turn to the influences of a too exclusive attention to the present, upon the mind. One influence is to impart a materializing character to

Present time constitutes, in a peculiar degree, a state of sense.

He who is interested singly in the present, lives mainly in a material world. He perceives only things, and he cares for only things. Even man is little more to him, than a complex frame of head and trunk, legs and arms; endowed with animal life, and sets of thoughts and affections, to fit him to keep in motion as a part of that great piece of machinery, the social state ; and when he wears out, that is, dies, to be laid by in that vast lumber room, where all



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old machinery is stowed away-called the grave. This is an extreme view of the matter, I acknowledge. But in proportion to an undue concern in the present, will be the tendency to this state. There is so constant a pressing upon the senses by the surrounding present, that the remote, which requires effort from within, to be an object of the mind, becomes quite ineffectual; the intuitive dies of mere neglect, and the outward and visible are all that are real to the mind, because they are all about which it is occupied, or disposed to be intent.

This materializing operation has a narrowing and deadening influence over the soul. Living in the present alone, the imagination is bounded by the visible and actual, its combinations are lessened in number, and its creative power, held in check, can no longer go out into the invisible—no longer expand and exalt itself by the loftier and purer excellencies of the ideal, or call into being creations, around which the affections may gather, and be made indeed alive with conceptions and emotions, speaking of a higher original, and prophesying a return up thither, through infinite love. Thus it is that the soul is kept unconscious of its finer powers, and loses even its longing after something better and nobler than any thing that is. Instead of being limited by the ideally possible alone, it is tethered down to the actual, the ordinary, and the poor, and learns to be satisfied with the secondary, instead of having prime objects before it, and its prime faculties made strong in the earnest reach after them.-The present! The soul has no empyrean there!

As a necessary consequence from this, true sentiment goes out of fashion, and the romantic is held up to ridicule; for these cannot live long, if the air of the ideal world breathe not on them, and sweeten the atmosphere of our daily life.

And what, asks the self-complacency of worldly wisdom, what do we lose, in losing these, so long as we retain the real and the useful? The real and the useful! Let me tell him who asks this, that these longings after something not attained to here, take hold upon higher realities and uses than ever moved his soul, and speak a brighter truth than ever shone in upon his mind; and that to be without them, is to be ignorant of the past, lost to the better uses of the present, and blind to the times to come.

However these qualities may have been perverted, along with all else that belongs to man, even now they make the

“ unbought grace of life." And if they never can be found in their perfectness here, the soul that feels its want, and goes out in painful travel after them, is wandering up and down for that which flowered beautifully once, and though it drooped, did not wholly die, when the curse fell upon the earth and upon man.

He who has these longings abiding in him, seems as if he had not lost "all his original brightness," as if gleams of it still played about him, and he would fain get back again into the day. He may not take the right path to it, and may go on, craving and unsatisfied; but even then he shows the deeper workings of the soul. And I would rather struggle in vain, than live on effortless; I would rather pine my loss, than not know what I had lost.

Connected with the foregoing, is a tendency of the present to weaken our power of generalizing. For it holds true, that in the proportion we contract the circle round the objects of the mind's observation, we diminish the mind's power of generalizing, even upon what falls within that circle. By not habituating the mind to go at large, and run up towards the origin of things, and thence down through time, following out causes and effects, it loses its power of far-reaching ; the effort soon becomes painful to it, and it relaxes, and falls back into the present and obvious; the atmosphere of abstraction is too rare for it.

And again, the present has a paralyzing effect upon the imagination, and a faculty necessary to pure reasoning is become unfit for its use. We all know that higher reasoning can no more exist without the forerunning of the imagination, than poetry can live without it. Thus reason is deprived of its head serving-man, and with whom shall it work?

What some are pleased to call reason, may go forward and backward, guessing at this and fancying that, and blundering on from one error to another ; not to lose its self-confidence, perhaps, for there are those who from mistakes gather only assurance; arguing, it may be, that the more mistakes they have made, the fewer there are left for them to make. Not considering that use in any thing renders one the apter at it, that error is endless, and that he has a long way to travel who thinks to come out clear of it by this road. We here see how the faculty for generalizing is weakened by the influence of the present, and in what way the mind loses its clear and wide vision, and how its action, in its higher processes, comes to a stand.

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Even take a philosopher, in the large sense of that wordone who has learned this great truth, " that the end of philosophy is the intuition of unity ;” and stand him up in the present; then draw the small circle of that present around him, and bid him philosophize upon that, and that only, which falls within the circle. He looks and sees a multitude of things, but where the principle of unity? A crowd of things are around him, but where their origin? A huddling of all manner of things together, but where their relation to each other? A close pressure, but where the connection? Can he call up within this circle any first principle, to which to trace unity and relation ? No! for the root of the present runs off into the past, and it is here cut off by his circle. As there is no uncaused present, and as “effect comes by cause,” as Polonius says, in the play, so does effect exist in agreement with the character of its cause, and the purposes, and foreseen relations wrapt up in it from the beginning; and all that now exists, is but the branching out of it; and all that shall be, will be but the further unfolding of this seminal principle ; and series of effects be nothing more than one continuous causation—the first moving power, moving still through all the forms, varieties, apparent differences, influences, and relations.

We must not think, then, to understand the true nature of ány thing, scrutinize it as we may, so long as we examine into it as something belonging only to the present. This would be cutting it off from its original, from that whence came its character and life ; leaving it no longer a portion of the great whole, but changing it into a detached lifeless mass, unrelated to the past, and in its more significant sense,

unrelated to the present also. For, in the higher meaning of the term, things can hardly be said to be related to each other, when looked at only in the present, and standing, as it were, upon a plain, the only communication between them being across in horizontal lines. Relationship must be followed up to its source, and thence back, in order to find whence the life-blood flows, and where and through what it runs.

In common parlance, we talk of brothers and sisters as related. But how?

But how? Immediately, one to the other? No, but mediately, through the parent stock. we speak of the family of mankind, and of men, as brethren. But we do not think of them as a multitude of individuals, starting up by simultaneous and independent impulses into life, but as the children of one great father, Adam.

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Here let me just notice the mystery of this principle of unity, as it appears in the sacred history of the creation of

God did not make simultaneously a pair—man and woman; but first the man, and thence the woman: Behold the One! And if I might without irreverence, call the created, in a lower sense, by that name which, in its first sacred sense, belongs to the Increate alone, I would say, Behold Our First Cause. There he stood, on this broad world, the only man. But what a man ! The world is populous enough now ; but since he fell and “ brought death into the world, and all our wo,” not a human being that has lived, but had his life in that man. And not a desire, not a thought, not an act of all who now are, or have followed him through the gates of death, but has been the unfolding of what was in Adam, and had its principle in him. The history of the thousands of years which are passed, and of the countless thousands of men who have died, is only the history of the First Man. Wonderful is the mystery of unity! One, yet in and through all; many, yet one. But what shall we say of myriads of unrelated existences ? Are these a mystery? No; for it is the oneness of the all-pervading, unseen power in the mysterious, which awes us so—felt, though not understood. But unrelated existences! It is all folly and confusion !

If the character and influence of the present be such, that even the philosophizing mind, when confined to it, can no longer work by first principles; what shall we say of one so shut up, who has passed all his days in and for the present, and made it his be-all, and his end-all? The effect in kind has been partially stated, the degree of it, no man can reckon.

The man who habituates himself to the particular and the limited, loses that master-power whose range is the limitless, which always sees in particulars the universal, and in the universal, the one. As the more obvious view of present things is in their parts, and not in their unity, such an one's mind becomes fragmentary : it has no whole; and wanting this, lacks that extended and well ordered apprehension of things, which gives to each, truly and at once, its place, its due power, its relations, and its present and future uses and ends. Such a man fancies that which is apparently large, to be greater than it really is, and what is apparently small, he lessens; and thus is disappointed where he trusted, and is overwhelmed by that which he had despised. Knowing nothing of the workings of first principles, he of course fore

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