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ARTICLE III.-DEVELOPMENT AND EVOLUTION.
"SILVER and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee." This was the significant answer of Peter to a begging cripple. It is the law of all giving; if you have gold you can give that; if you have divine light and love and power of healing, you can give those; but, whether it discloses the poverty or the riches of the soul, the inexorable law of influence is, "Such as I have give I."
In order, therefore, to realize the highest results of life, the first requisite is the development of the man, so that he have spiritual wealth to give; the second requisite is simply that the man give out or evolve in action that which is in him. Thus it becomes possible that life be at once spontaneous and effi cient; and that the highest gracefulness, power and freedom be realized by spontaneously evolving the inmost life in action. The subject of this Article may be indicated by the words DEVELOPMENT and EVOLUTION.
In considering the first of these, the first question is: Which is the ultimate end-the man, or his uses?
It is a favorite theory of some, who claim a preeminence in practical common-sense, that the curriculum of a student should be limited to studies of immediate use in his destined calling. But is it the end of education to make the man into a pinmaker, or the pinmaker into a man? Certainly the latter; else, amid the crowd of artisans, traders, and professional drudges, we shall need Diogenes' lamp to find a man; and the highest attainment of life will be to moil and fatten "where wealth accumulates and men decay." Midas, reappearing in the modern schemer in education, would have the man converted into a manufactory of gold, a producer of value, an engine to promote the material interests of society. His wish may be realized, but only, as of old, by imperiling the man. The ass's ears will presently appear in some form too plain to be mistaken, and complete the resemblance.
This idea of development has found its most complete enunciation in the theory of social organization tanght by the author of the Positive Philosophy. He contemplates the individual only as an instrument of society. He would worship humanity and sacrifice the man on its altar. When the minute division and regulation of labor which he proposes are effected, when the superintending hierarchy of savans, reseinbling a papal priesthood, is inaugurated, when the calendar of humanity-worship is enforced—from the first Sunday of the year devoted to reverence of marriage on through all human relations to the last Sunday of the year devoted to the reverence of mendicity,—when, in Comte's own words, “in the name of the past and the future, the servants of humanity* come forward to claim as their due the general direction of this world and to constitute at length a real Providence," then will the individual exist in the great organization of society only for its uses, like a wheel or lever in a machine, valued only as it is accurately fitted to perform one and only one necessary movement of the machinery, to be moved, or stopped, or mended at the will of the engineer; then will there be no more men and women, but only sociologists, biologists, chemists, physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, and artisans, each confined to his one limited function under the dictatorship of the hierarchy or patriciate; then “the rights of man” will be counted nonsense, and “the interest of society” will be the watchword; then will all the play of human affection be lost in prudence with its monotonous calculations of profit and loss; then that freezing philosophy, which displaces free-will by necessary law throughout the universe, will stiffen all the play of human action into mechanism, and set up a despotism of science, which will fix its jron laws on all the minutiæ of life with an omnipresence only shadowed by any tyranny that has yet existed in church or state ; then the long and weary progress of man will reach its culmination in a religion and a civilization of which those of China present the best existing type. Such the consequences to which
. That is, the Savans or men of Science.
tends a development, the ultimate end of which is the uses of the man, and not the man himself. Here arises another question : Is there in
a peculo liarity of constitution, the simple development of which both determines the special life-work of the individual and educates him for it ?
Of genius an affirmative answer is true. West, in his boyhood, painted with the hairs of a cat's tail ; Rittenhouse made wooden clocks with his pocket-knife; Webber studied geometry by fire-light, with diagrams drawn in the ashes; Ferguson mapped the heavens, measuring the distances of the stars by beads on a string ; Budgett cleared one hundred and fifty dollars by trading on a capital of one penny, procured by selling a horse-shoe. In such men the mental proclivity shows itself in early childhood ; and afterwards bursts through all obstacles and compels the man to his destined work. Burns composed poetry at the plough-tail, and in the exciseoffice; Young's poetry blazed up through the smothering crassitude of mean ambition and place-hunting, like volcanic fire through the mud. This special bent of mind, prophesying and insuring the life’s work, constitutes that indefinable thing which we call genius, and is the secret of that sustained enthusiasm and concentration which, perhaps as much as superior powers, insure to genius its success. Such a mind has only to follow its own bent in order to be guided to its best development. It certainly will follow its own bent, with toil and selfdenial, surpassing those through which the mere plodder drudges. “Aut viam inveniam aut faciam" is the stamp of genius, always imprinted by its maker on the genuine article. If, then, any one is not already conscious of a mastering proclivity to a special line of action, it is niseless to wait for it; the fact of waiting, the fact that he is not already at work in that direction, proves that it is not in him.
But in most men, and those perhaps the healthiest in mental constitution, the bent to a particular pursuit is not strongly marked. The man is broader than any profession. He can coinmand ships, build houses, predict eclipses, plead in courts, heal the sick. He is myriad-minded, many-handed;
an Argus, a Briareus. If, then, a master-purpose is not born in him, as it is supposed to be in a genius, he can acquire a master-purpose, in the exercise of his own reason electing it and enthroning it to rule his life. And as Bulwer
And as Bulwer says, “ Purpose is the marrow and backbone of genius.”
In this the development of a man differs from that of a brute. The object and purpose of a brute are determined for him in his nature; the object and purpose of a man are determined by him in his own rational choice. The life of a brute is but the unrolling of its nature, in which the objects of its pursuit, the sources of its enjoyment, and the line of its action, were already determined. But man determines his own objects and line of action, and the sources of his enjoyment. Therefore his development is not necessary and spontaneous, like the opening of a bud whose history was created in it; but reason and conscience preside over it, and make him guilty, if he unfolds wrong; and his life, rightly developed, is ennobled by deliberate consecration to noble ends.
The third question, and that which, in considering the first part of the subject, demands our principal attention, is this: How is this development to be realized? How is the soul to be developed so that a life of the highest beauty and power shall be simply the spontaneous evolution of the soul itself? There are three requisites : AWAKENING, ACQUISITION, ASSIMILATION.
First, the man must be AWAKENED. The greatest obstacle to human culture is stupidity, a viscous, clammy gelatinousness of soul on which logic and rhetoric are powerless as cannonballs on bales of cotton. Life with the multitude is but the mechanical routine of a trade or profession, in which they click away the days like a clock. A successful speculation, a good card played in the game of politics, a buzz of popularity, these are the memorabilia of their existence. Such a man must be awaked from his toilsome dream to see the higher possibilities of his being, and to be in earnest to realize them.
To this awakening it is necessary to discover the reality of truth, its unity, and the soul's personal relation to it.
The reality of truth must be discovered. Words are signs. We must look through the sign to the reality signified. The
Mecanique Celeste of La Place is to the eye a wilderness of mathematical symbols ; it expresses to the thought the actual constitution of the starry heavens. So it is with metaphysics, which men that dream sneer at as empty words, but in which they that wake see the constitution and action of living souls, the eternal foundation of belief, and the unchangeable laws of thought. Truth is to the eye words and sentences, creeds and formulas, figures and algebraic signs, genera and species, catalogues and manuals. Truth to the thought is suns and planets, distances, motions and momenta, gravitation, electricity and affinity, powers that move worlds, that bind atoms, that thunder and lighten, that paint the tints of life, that sweep in the storm and breathe in the zephyr, that drive engines, convey messages, and with ten thousand times the might of Hercules wield the distaff of Omphale. Truth to the thonght is action, life, immortality ; government and its principles ; society and its relations; souls of men; God; sin and redemption; great mysteries of eternity, towering like mountains so high that the foot of man never trod their summits, shining inaccessible in the sun-light or hiding their heads in the clouds; but solid, real, massive, with springs gushing from their bosoms and sending down streams to gladden the earth, and on their sides sunny books and sheltered vales, where nestle the hopes and loves of men.
Nor is this thought adequately expressed by saying that we must pass through the words to the reality which they signify; for, as Paul intimates, visible things are themselves signs of invisible reality, even of God's eternal power and Godhead. Therefore as the words and symbols of the Mecanique Celeste are signs of the visible universe and its laws, so that visible universe itself, gravitation, electricity, all cosmic powers and laws, are words of a higher order through which the eternal power and Godhead are declared. When Kepler discovered the three laws of planetary motion, he exclaimed, “Oh God, I think thy thoughts after thee.” The introduction to the great work of Agassiz is an elaborate argument, proving that the objects of Natural History can be correctly classified only by discovering the thought of their Creator. Thus the visible