meaning and worth of life; is to abandon the principle that issues in the heroic struggles
and sufferings, by which freedom, civilization, art, science, and religion have been won
and secured as the chief blessings of the race. It is not possible to find true joy except
in striving for the infinite, for something we have not yet, which we can never have, here
at least. Hence, whatever purpose a man cherish, whatever task he set himself, he finds
his work stretching forth endlessly. The more he attains the more clearly he perceives the
boundless unattained. His success is ever becoming failure, his riches poverty, his
knowledge ignorance, his virtue vice. The higher he rises in power of thought and love,
the more what he thinks and loves seems to melt away and disappear in the abysmal depths
of the All-perfect Being, who is forever and forever, of whom he is born, and whom to seek
through endless time were a blessed lot. It is the hope of finding Him that lures the soul
to unseen worlds, lifts it out of the present, driving it to the past and the future, that
it may live with vanished saints and heroes, or with the diviner men who yet shall be.
The best moments are those in which we stay within ourselves, alone with God and all His
world of truth and beauty. This is the sage's delight; this the student's.
This is the ever-welling source of joy for all who cherish the soul and bear it company.
This is the solitude which for open minds and pure hearts is peopled with high thoughts
and blissful yearnings. In the crowd, in the society even of one or two these heavenly
visitations never or seldom come. By the harvest we reap from the inner eye's
contemplations we are nourished and strengthened to bear and do our share in the
sufferings and achievements of the wise and good. Lovers themselves feel most the
blessedness of love when they are parted, left to visions and dreams of the ideals by
which they are haunted.
"Where a man can live, he can also live well; but he may have to live in a palace," says
Marcus Aurelius, implying that right life is most difficult in high places. Why, then,
should we wish to dwell in a great city or to have great wealth or notoriety? These things
are distractions and hindrances. They draw us from out the depths of the soul and thrust
us into the midst of noise and confusion, of