Слике страница
PDF
ePub

In latter days, new lands, or old grown strange,
Left without me, which must be very soon.
What is the doubt, my brothers ? Quick with it!
I see you stand conversing, each new face,
Either in fields, of yellow summer eves,
On islets yet unnamed amid the sea;
Or pace for shelter ’neath a portico
Out of the crowd in some enormous town
Where now the larks sing in a solitude ;
Or muse upon blank heaps of stone and sand
Idly conjectured to be Ephesus :
And no one asks his fellow any more
“Where is the promise of His coming ?' but
“Was He revealed in any of His lives,
As Power, as Love, as Influencing Soul?'

“ Quick, for time presses, tell the whole mind out, And let us ask and answer and be saved ! My book speaks on, because it cannot pass ; One listens quietly, nor scoffs but pleads * Here is a tale of things done ages since ; What truth was ever told the second day? Wonders, that would prove doctrine, go for naught. Remains the doctrine, love ; well, we must love, \nd what we love most, power and love in one,

Let us acknowledge on the record here,
Accepting these in Christ : must Christ then be ?
Has He been? Did not we ourselves make Him?
Our mind receives but what it holds, no more.
First of the love, then ; we acknowledge Christ —
A proof we comprehend His love, a proof
We had such love already in ourselves,
Knew first what else we should not recognize.
’T is mere projection from man's inmost mind,
And, what he loves, thus falls reflected back,
Becomes accounted somewhat out of him;
He throws it up in air, it drops down earth’s,
With shape, name, story added, man's old way.
How prove you Christ came otherwise at least ?
Next try the power: He made and rules the world :
Certes there is a world once made, now ruled,
Unless things have been ever as we see.
Our sires declared a charioteer's yoked steeds
Brought the sun up the east and down the west,
Which only of itself now rises, sets,
As if a hand impelled it and a will, —
Thus they long thought, they who had will and hands :
But the new question's whisper is distinct,
• Wherefore must all force needs be like ourselves ?
We have the hands, the will; what made and drives

The sun is force, is law, is named, not known,
While will and love we do know; marks of these,
Eyewitnesses attest, so books declare, —
As that, to punish or reward our race,
The sun at undue times arose or set
Or else stood still : what do not men affirm ?
But earth requires as urgently reward
Or punishment to-day as years ago,
And none expects the sun will interpose :
Therefore it was mere passion and mistake,
Or erring zeal for right, which changed the truth.
Go back, far, farther, to the birth of things ;
Ever the will, the intelligence, the love,
Man's ! — which he gives, supposing he but finds,
As late he gave head, body, hands, and feet,
To help these in what forms he called his gods.
First, Jove's brow, Juno's eyes were swept away,
But Jove's wrath, Juno's pride continued long ;
As last, will, power, and love discarded these,
So law in turn discards power, love, and will.
What proveth God is otherwise at least ?
All else, projection from the mind of man!'

“ Nay, do not give me wine, for I am strong, But place my gospel where I put my hands.

“I say that man was made to grow, not stop ;
That help he needed once, and needs no more,
Having grown up but an inch by, is withdrawn :
For he hath new needs, and new helps to these.
This imports solely, man should mount on each
New height in view; the help whereby he mounts,
The ladder-rung his foot has left, may fall,
Since all things suffer change save God the Truth.
Man apprehends Him newly at each stage
Whereat earth's ladder drops, its service done ;
And nothing shall prove twice what once was proved.
You stick a garden-plot with ordered twigs
To show inside lie germs of herbs unborn,
And check the careless step would spoil their birth ;
But when herbs wave, the guardian twigs may go,
Since should ye doubt of virtues, question kinds,
It is no longer for old twigs ye look,
Which proved once underneath lay store of seed,
But to the herb's self, by what light ye boast,
For what fruit's signs are. This book’s fruit is plain,
Nor miracles need prove it any more.
Doth the fruit show? · Then miracles bade ’ware
At first of root and stem, saved both till now
From trampling ox, rough boar, and wanton goat.
What ? Was man made a wheelwork to wind up,

And be discharged, and straight wound up anew ?
No! - grown, his growth lasts ; taught, he ne'er for-

gets :
May learn a thousand things, not twice the same.

“ This might be pagan teaching: now hear mine.

“I say, that as the babe, you feed awhile,
Becomes a boy and fit to feed himself,
So, minds at first must be spoon-fed with truth :
When they can eat, babe's nurture is withdrawn.
I fed the babe whether it would or no:
I bid the boy or feed himself or starve..
I cried once, “ That ye may believe in Christ,
Behold this blind man shall receive his sight!'
I cry now, “Urgest thou, for I am shrewd
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

world,
Whether the change came from our minds which see
Of the shows o' the world so much as and no more
Than Goil wills for His purpose, — (what do I

« ПретходнаНастави »