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into action at once in this world. The result is, on the whole, good. But the struggle itself is hateful because it dislocates truth and shows us nothing but error pitted against error, party against party; that is to say, mere halves and fragments of being — monsters against monsters. A nature in love with beauty cannot reconcile itself to the sight; it longs for harmony, for something else than perpetual disso
The common condition of human society must indeed be accepted; tumult, hatred, fraud, crime, the ferocity of selfinterest, the tenacity of prejudice, are perennial; but the philosopher sighs over it; his heart is not in it; his ambition is to see human history from a height; his ear is set to catch the music of the eternal spheres.
15th March 1879. — I have been turning over Les histoires de mon Parrain by Stahl, and a few chapters of Nos Fils et nos Filles by Legouvé. These writers press wit, grace, gaiety, and charm into the service of goodness; their desire is to show that virtue is not so dull nor common sense so tiresome as people believe. They are persuasive moralists, captivating story.
tellers ; they rouse the appetite for good. This pretty manner of theirs, however, has its dangers. A moral wrapped up in sugar goes down certainly, but it may be feared that it only goes down because of its sugar. The Sybarites of to-day will tolerate a sermon which is delicate enough to flatter their literary sensuality; but it is their taste which is charmed, not their conscience which is awakened : their principle of conduct escapes untouched.
Amusement, instruction, morals, are distinct genres. They may no doubt be mingled and combined, but if we wish to obtain direct and simple effects, we shall do best to keep them apart. The well-disposed child, besides, does not like mixtures which have something of artifice and deception in them. Duty claims obedience; study requires application ; for amusement, nothing is wanted but good temper. To convert obedience and application into means of amusement is to weaken the will and the intelligence. These efforts to make virtue the fashion are praiseworthy enough, but if they do honour to the writers, on the other hand they prove the moral anæmia of society. When the digestion is unspoilt, so much persuading is not necessary to give it a taste for bread.
I feel my
22d May 1879 (Ascension Day). - Wonderful and delicious weather. Soft, caressing sunlight, — the air a limpid blue, twitterings of birds ; even the distant voices of the city have something young and springjike in them. It is indeed a new birth. The ascension of the Saviour of men is symbolised by this expansion, this heavenward yearning of nature. self born again ; all the windows of the soul are clear. Forms, lines, tints, reflections, sounds, contrasts, and harmonies, the general play and interchange of things,
it is all enchanting! The atmosphere is steeped in joy. May is in full beauty.
In my courtyard the ivy is green again, the chestnut tree is full of leaf, the Persian lilac beside the little fountain is flushed with red, and just about to flower; through the wide openings to the right and left of the old College of Calvin I see the Salève above the trees of St. Antoine, the Voirons above the hill of Cologny ; while the three flights of steps which, from landing to landing, lead between two high walls from the Rue Verdaine to the terrace of the Tranchées, recall to one's imagination some old city of the south, a glimpse of Perugia or of Malaga.
All the bells are ringing. It is the hour of worship. A historical and religious impression mingles with the picturesque, the musical, the poetical impressions of the scene. All the peoples of Christendom all the Churches scattered over the globe. are celebrating at this moment the glory of the Crucified.
And what are those many nations doing who have other prophets, and honour the Divinity in other ways ? — the Jews, the Mussulmans, the Buddhists, the Vishnuists, the Guebers ? They have other sacred days, other rites, other solemnities, other beliefs. But all have some religion, some ideal end for life — all aim at raising man above the sorrows and smallnesses of the present, and of the individual existence. All have faith in something greater than themselves, all pray, all bow, all adore ; all see beyond nature, Spirit, and beyond evil, Good. All bear witness to the Invisible. Here we have the link which binds all peoples together. All men are equally creatures of sorrow and desire, of hope and fear.
All long to recover some lost harmony with the great order of things, and to feel themselves approved and blessed by the Author of the universe. All know what suffering is, and yearn for happiness. All know what sin is, and feel the need of pardon.
Christianity reduced to its original simplicity is the reconciliation of the sinner with God, by means of the certainty that God loves in spite of everything, and that He chastises because He loves. Christianity furnished a new motive and a new strength for the achievement of moral perfection. It made holiness attractive by giving to it the air of filial gratitude.
28th June 1879. — Last lecture of the term and of the academic year. I finished the exposition of modern philosophy, and wound up my course with the precision I wished. The circle has returned upon itself. In order to do this I have divided my hour into minutes, calculated my material, and counted every stitch and point. This, however, is but a very small part of the professorial science. It is a more difficult matter to divide one's whole material into a given number of lectures, to determine the right proportions of the different parts, and the normal speed of delivery to be attained. The ordinary lecturer may achieve a series of complete séances, the