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overthrown the work of its predecessors. True scholars are always clearing up doubt, removing error, and seeking after truth. The great scientists like Newton, Brewster, and Agassiz have been reverent believers; they have not lingered at the threshold of God's temple, but have gone in to worship with the heart of a forgiven child. Every truth which man has gained has revealed more and more of the power and wisdom of God. Christianity has been the handmaid of civilization, and has always won its greatest triumphs in the time of the greatest intellectual activity, and the enfranchisement from the bonds of ignorance has prepared the way for that freedom wherewith God has made us free.
The only way to meet the infidelity of the times is the way in which the Apostles met the heathen wisdom of their day— with the truth of a personal Christ and Saviour. It is not enough to know the philosophy of religion. We must be able, out of the depths of our own personal experience, to show in its fullness the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The only way to make men believe is to believe one's self. It is not the theory of a religion or its philosophy which conquers hearts; it is the Christ-life, the Christ-love, which overcomes the world. Men do not care for the old watchwords of sectarian strife, nor have they an ear for the dry details of theological dogma, but they do care for the Christ-love and Christ-work for suffering souls. The world may doubt a historical Christ and scoff at a historical Church, but the living Christ who dwells in the hearts of his children, sending them on errands of mercy, speaking through them and healing the broken of heart, none can gainsay or deny.
A dear friend who had passed through much sorrow asked one of the most celebrated Biblical scholars living if he thought it wrong for a Christian to hope and pray that a time would come when all wanderers would find mercy. The answer was: "The Good Shepherd sought the lost sheep until he found it. Our Saviour said, ' If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.' St. Paul said that a time was coming when all should be in subjection to him, and God would be all in all. One of the most blessed truths of God's revelation is that 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.' The Saviour said to St. John, ' I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.' Do you not think," said the wise scholar, " that we had better leave it all in God's hands and do our work, help all poor souls that we can, and when we cannot know, trust?"
Men talk much of salvation without asking the simple question, Saved from what? If sin brings sorrow, if the way of the transgressor is hard, salvation means saving from sin. If heaven and hell do not exist beyond the grave, they do exist here; sin, shame, sorrow, broken ties, alienations between brothers, and separation from God make hell. Love, peace, fellowship with brothers, and rest in God make heaven. The Church has a long roll of departed saints, but she has never inserted one name in the roll of the lost. She leaves all to God. I have stood by many graves where I could not leave the poor soul to the judgment of the holiest man on earth, but I have always with loving faith committed it to God our Father, knowing that the Judge of all the world would do right.
From James Russell Lowell's "The Vision of Sir Launfal'
Down swept the chill wind from the mountain peak,
From the snow five thousand summers old;
It had gathered all the cold,
Within the hall are song and laughter,
The cheeks of Christmas grow red and jolly,
With the lightsome green of ivy and holly;
And belly and tug as a flag in the wind;
Hunted to death in its galleries blind;
Now pausing, now scattering away as in fear,
Like herds of startled deer.
WEIMAR AND GOETHE
By Hamilton W. Mabk
Thq one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Goethe, which fell on the 28th day of last August, found Weimar not only eager to honor the memory of the great poet who was for fifty-six years its best-known resident and is likely to remain to the end of time its most illustrious citizen, but essentially unchanged since Goethe's death in 1832. Even in a quiet German town, off the great highways of travel, changes must come in sixty-seven years, and if Goethe were to step out of his old home to-day and walk to the grandducal palace, rebuilt in part under his own direction, he would doubtless come upon strange sights. But Weimar remains in essentials a town of the old time; quaint, thoroughly German, and rich in association, rot only with great men, but with some of the earliest statements of the modern conception of the relation of art to life.
The little town is pre-eminently fitted to be the custodian of literary traditions. It has an old-time dignity of bearing, as if it had always been the mother of great spirits. The quiet Ilm, flowing through its domain, is sacredly guarded along its entire course on both shores by a charming park; the homes of the poets are piously regarded; and there are worthy memorials of greatness in public places. The statue of Herder, one of the purest and most penetrating of modern minds, stands in front of the StadtKirche, and bears his favorite and very characteristic motto, Lie/it, Liebe, Leben; in front of the theater Goethe and Schiller are commemorated in a noble group; the Grand Duke Augustus, in an equestrian statue, wears the laurel secured for him by the great spirits whom he had the sagacity to recognize and bring into his service; while Wieland is remembered in the fine salon which bears his name in the palace.
One may spend many hours with profit in Goethe's house, now restored as nearly as possible to the condition in which the poet left it; a fine house, notable chiefly for the range of interests expressed in the collections of several kinds which it contains, and for the evidence which it gives of the mingled dignity and simplicity of the poet's life—the first expressed in spacious rooms given over to pictures, busts, and memorials of great men, and the second disclosed by the extreme plainness of the working-room, and the tiny chamber opening from it, in which Goethe died. It is profitable to walk through the palace and study the elegant salons in which Goethe and Schiller are commemorated by mural scenes from their works, and then go directly to the simple little rooms, not far distant, in which the two poets died; or to enter the grand-ducal vault in the new cemetery and note the presence of wreaths and flowers on the coffins, not of princely rulers, but of the two poets, whose beautiful friendship finds here its final expression.
Best of all, perhaps, is it to walk through the winding, shaded park, barely kept from wildness; to come in a secluded place upon the coiled serpent in bronze which symbolized for Goethe the genius loci; to make one's way slowly to the garden house which Goethe loved so well, and in which he so often sought solitude and silence for his work, and to sit in the places which were dear to him. Never, surely, did a meditative spirit find more congenial surroundings than Goethe found in these green and fragrant places of peace. It is a piece of special good fortune to fall in, along those walks, as did the writer, with an old-time resident of Weimar who has grown up in its traditions and loves it for its poets, and to hear his eager, affectionate narrative of events and story of localities; and then to go into some secluded spot
and ask one's self what there was in Goethe's career and genius to justify the extraordinary interest which centers in him. The minor conditions in Goethe's life were unusually fortunate, for the poet was well born in every sense; his childhood had surroundings picturesque to the eye and full of suggestion to the imagination; he had exceptional educational opportunities, the best and most fruitful of them being his mother's genius for story-telling; he had perfect health and an 'impressive and winning personality; he never knew care in the ordinary sense of the word, for he was all his life shielded from material uncertainty and anxiety, with work enough of the methodical kind to give him occupation and position, but not enough to diminish the energy of his intelligence or to destroy the freshness of his spirit. He had rank, station, friends, fame, and long life—all great and helpful aids to the unfolding and maturing of a great nature and free flow outward of a great inward force. These prosperous conditions were important, but they were, nevertheless, minor conditions; for they did not bear directly upon the impulse which a creative nature receives from rich material, from a stirring atmosphere, and from that searching appeal to the heart and the imagination made by a great people si'ent but full of spiritual eagerness and restless with unexpressed thought and emotion.
'Homer spoke to a homogeneous race; Dante to a divided country but to an Italian nature, alert,energetic, and proudly coriscious of the possession of great qualities; Shakespeare to an England turbulent, ill-conditioned, and untrained in the higher arts, but overflowing with unspent vitality, with a dawning national consciousness full of insolence but full also of splendid possibilities of growth and achievement. In Goethe's youth there was not only no Germany, but there was, in the deepest sense of the phrase, no German people. There was a multitude of petty States, but there was no Nation; there were Prussians, Hanoverians, Saxons, Bavarians, Swabians, but there was, for the purposes of art, no German race. There was a country held together by geographical conditions, but split into fragments by political boundary lines; there was a race of common origin, but
broken asunder by differences of religion, of history, temperament, and ideal; there was a language common to a large community, but still to be enriched by the loving genius of great artists, who are constantly adding to the resources of speech no less than to those of thought. There had been true poets in Germany centuries before Goethe, and the literature was rich in legend and tradition, in epic and song, but it is nevertheless true that there had been no great German literature. Goethe was the contemporary in his old age of Scott and Carlyle, but there was no Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton, or Dryden behind him; there were in place of these the old epic poets; there were Hans Sachs, Klopstock, and Wieland. The significance of this statement lies in the fact that, although the German language was as old as the English, it had no great poets. It is true that Homer and Dante had no great predecessors, but each stood at the beginnir.g of the real history of his race; Goethe, on the other hand, appeared at a late hour in that history, and found the literature still to be created ar.d the language still to be modulated to the finer uses of expression. Youth was past, both for the race and the people, but the works of youth were still to be accomplished and the fruits of youth were still to be borne.
There were great figures in Germany while Goethe was a student at Leipsic and at Strasbourg; but Lessing, Herder, and Winkelmann were thinkers and critics of the creative temper rather than writers of the creative order and quality. The names of Bodmer and Gottsched, those wooden gods of a Germany in artistic and intellectual tutelage to France, bring before the mind by concrete illustration the aridity of spirit, the shallowness of insight, and the deadness of thought which reigned in Germany in the early years of Goethe's life. Never has a poet of the first rank fallen upon times more uninspiring and come to maturity among a people more divided. Both race and language were old, but they lacked the trained intelligence, the solidarity of experience, the unity of emotion and ideal, which are the finest fruits of maturity.
From the very start Goethe was driven back upon himself and forced to undertake consciously and of set purpose the