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And smile at stories how John's word could cure -
Repeat that miracle and take my faith ?
I say, that miracle was duly wrought
When, save for it, no faith was possible.
Whether a change were wrought i' the shows o'the
Whether the change came from our minds which see
Of the shows o' the world so much as and no more
Than God wills for His purpose,—(what do I
See now, suppose you, there where you see rock
Round us ?)—I know not; such was the effect,
So faith grew, making void more miracles
Because too much: they would compel, not help.
I say, the acknowledgment of God in Christ
Accepted by thy reason, solves for thee
All questions in the earth and out of it,
And has so far advanced thee to be wise.
Wouldst thou unprove this to re-prove the proved ?
In life’s mere minute, with power to use that proof,
Leave knowledge and revert to how it sprung?
Thou hast it; use it and forthwith, or die!
“For I say, this is death and the sole death,
When a man's loss comes to him from his gain,
Darkness from light, from knowledge ignorance,
And lack of love from love made manifest;
A lamp's death when, replete with oil, it chokes ; A stomach's when, surcharged with food, it starves. With ignorance was surety of a cure. When man, appalled at nature, questioned first * What if there lurk a might behind this might ?' He needed satisfaction God could give, And did give, as ye have the written word: But when he finds might still redouble might, Yet asks, 'Since all is might, what use of will ?' -Will, the one source of might,-he being man With a man's will and a man's might, to teach In little how the two combine in large,| That man has turned round on himself and stands, Which in the course of nature is, to die.
“And when man questioned, “What if there be
love Behind the will and might, as real as they?He needed satisfaction God could give, And did give, as ye have the written word: But when, beholding that love everywhere, He reasons, 'Since such love is everywhere, And since ourselves can love and would be loved, We ourselves make the love, and Christ was not,'How shall ye help this man who knows himself, That he must love and would be loved again,
Yet, owning his own love that proveth Christ,
Rejecteth Christ through very need of Him?
The lamp o'erswims with oil, the stomach flags
Loaded with nurture, and that man's soul dies.
“ If he rejoin, “ But this was all the while
A trick; the fault was, first of all, in thee,
Thy story of the places, names and dates,
Where, when and how the ultimate truth had rise,
-Thy prior truth, at last discovered none,
Whence now the second suffers detriment.
What good of giving knowledge if, because
Of the manner of the gift, its profit fail ?
And why refuse what modicum of help
Had stopped the after-doubt, impossible
I’ the face of truth-truth absolute, uniform?
Why must I hit of this and miss of that,
Distinguish just as I be weak or strong,
And not ask of thee and have answer prompt,
Was this once, was it not once ?—then and now
And evermore, plain truth from man to man.
Is John's procedure just the heathen bard's ?
· Put question of his famous play again
How for the ephemerals' sake, Jove's fire was filched,
And carried in a cane and brought to earth :
The fact is in the fable, cry the wise
Mortals obtained the boon, so much is fact,
Though fire be spirit and produced on earth.
As with the Titan's, so now with thy tale :
Why breed in us perplexity, mistake,
Nor tell the whole truth in the proper words ?'
“I answer, Have ye yet to argue out
The very primal thesis, plainest law,
- Man is not God but hath God's end to serve,
A master to obey, a course to take,
Somewhat to cast off, somewhat to become ?
Grant this, then man must pass from old to new,
From vain to real, from mistake to fact, - From what once seemed good, to what now proves
best. How could man have progression otherwise ? Before the point was mooted · What is God ?' No savage man inquired • What am myself ?' Much less replied, 'First, last, and best of
things. Man takes that title now if he believes Might can exist with neither will nor love, In God's case—what he names now Nature's Law, While in himself he recognizes love No less than might and will : and rightly takes. Since if man prove the sole existent thing
Where these combine, whatever their degree,
However weak the might or will or love,
So they be found there, put in evidence,-
He is as surely higher in the scale
Than any might with neither love nor will,
As life, apparent in the poorest midge,
When the faint dust-speck flits, ye guess its wing,
Is marvellous beyond dead Atlas' self:
I give such to the midge for resting-place!
Thus, man proves best and highest—God, in fine,
And thus the victory leads but to defeat,
The gain to loss, best rise to the worst fall,
His life becomes impossible, which is death.
“But if, appealing thence, he cower, avouch
He is mere man, and in humility
Neither may know God nor mistake himself ;
I point to the immediate consequence
And say, by such confession straight he falls
Into man's place, a thing nor God nor beast,
Made to know that he can know and not more:
Lower than God who knows all and can all,
Higher than beasts which know and can so far
As each beast's limit, perfect to an end,
Nor conscious that they know, nor craving more;
While man knows partly but conceives beside,