Father Maturin: A Memoir, with Selected Letters (Classic Reprint)

Fb&c Limited, 08.03.2018 - 220 Seiten
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Excerpt from Father Maturin: A Memoir, With Selected Letters

A reproach frequently brought against Christianity is that it allows only a partial and one-sided develop ment of personality. With its code Of restrictions, its exhortations to self-denial, its View of this world as merely a place of testing and preparation for another, it is, we are told, the negation of life in its fullness. One of the most deeply-rooted cravings Of humanity is the longing for fullness Of life, and in order to attain this every power that is in man needs to be developed to its utmost extent. There must be no negation, but an acceptance of life and all it involves; no setting one part of man's nature in warfare with another, but a simultaneous de ve10pment of every faculty and every power. Every thing natural is therefore right: Christianity is against nature, and has treated as weeds the fairest flowers in nature's garden - has pulled them roughly up and fiq them down to die, leaving only a bare plot of earth. And then, perhaps, it has partly filled the plot with 'bedding out, ' planting neat rows of orderly virtues instead Of the lovely wild growths of untamed nature.

The exponents of this view will point, perhaps to two characters as typical the earnest Christian engaged in good works, strenuous and self-denying, but blind to the beauty Of nature, contemptuous, perhaps, Of the glory of music, art and poetry. They will recall the fact that some of the saints would journey with closed eyes, not to look at nature's loveliness. In a less crude form, indeed with a certain kindly patronage, their attitude towards the martyr for religious conviction is essentially that of a beef eater I remember at the Tower. In showing the place of imprisonment and death of the Venerable Philip Howard he simply said, Philip 'oward, Earl of Arundel, starved himself to death 'ere.' This was indeed all he could see of the worn figure of the martyr, kneeling on the stones of his prison, consumed with the double fire of love of faith and of country, wearing out his life, when he might have been developing all sides of his personality at the Court of Queen Elizabeth.

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