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Lectures XV THE VALUE OF SAINTLINESS
  For many of the historic aberrations which have been laid to her charge, religion as such, then, isnot to blame. Yet of the charge that over-zealousness or fanaticism is one of her liabilities wecannot wholly acquit her, so I will next make a remark upon that point. But I will preface it by apreliminary remark which connects itself with much that follows. Our survey of the phenomena ofsaintliness has unquestionably produced in your minds an impression of extravagance. Is itnecessary, some of you have asked, as one example after another came before us, to be quite sofantastically good as that? We who have no vocation for the extremer ranges of sanctity will surelybe let off at the last day if our humility, asceticism, and devoutness prove of a less convulsive sort.

This practically amounts to saying that much that it is legitimate to admire in this field neednevertheless not be imitated, and that religious phenomena, like all other human phenomena, aresubject to the law of the golden mean. Political reformers accomplish their successive tasks in thehistory of nations by being blind for the time to other causes. Great schools of art work out theeffects which it is their mission to reveal, at the cost of a one-sidedness for which other schoolsmust make amends. We accept a John Howard, a Mazzini, a Botticelli, a Michael Angelo, with akind of indulgence. We are glad they existed to show us that way, but we are glad there are also other ways of seeing and taking life. So of many of the saints whom we have looked at. We areproud of a human nature that could be so passionately extreme, but we shrink from advising othersto follow the example. The conduct we blame ourselves for not following lies nearer to the middleline of human effort. It is less dependent on particular beliefs and doctrines. It is such as wearswell in different ages, such as under different skies all judges are able to commend.

The fruits of religion, in other words, are, like all human products, liable to corruption by excess.

Common sense must judge them. It need not blame the votary; but it may be able to praise himonly conditionally, as one who acts faithfully according to his lights. He shows us heroism in oneway, but the unconditionally good way is that for which no indulgence need be asked. We find thaterror by excess is exemplified by every saintly virtue. Excess, in human faculties, means usuallyone-sidedness or want of balance; for it is hard to imagine an essential faculty too strong, if onlyother faculties equally strong be there to cooperate with it in action. Strong affections need a strongwill; strong active powers need a strong intellect; strong intellect needs strong sympathies, to keeplife steady. If the balance exist, no one faculty can possibly be too strong--we only get the strongerall-round character. In the life of saints, technically so called, the spiritual faculties are strong, butwhat gives the impression of extravagance proves usually on examination to be a relativedeficiency of intellect. Spiritual excitement takes pathological forms whenever other interests aretoo few and the intellect too narrow. We find this exemplified by all the saintly attributes in turn-devoutlove of God, purity, charity, asceticism, all may lead astray. I will run over these virtues insuccession.

First of all let us take Devoutness. When unbalanced, one of its vices is called Fanaticism.

Fanaticism (when not a mere expression of ecclesiastical ambition) is only loyalty carried to aconvulsive extreme. When an intensely loyal and narrow mind is once grasped by the feeling that acertain superhuman person is worthy of its exclusive devotion, one of the first things that happensis that it idealizes the devotion itself. To adequately realize the merits of the idol gets to beconsidered the one great merit of the worshiper; and the sacrifices and servilities by which savagetribesmen have from time immemorial exhibited their faithfulness to chieftains are now outbid infavor of the deity. Vocabularies are exhausted and languages altered in the attempt to praise himenough; death is looked on as gain if it attract his grateful notice; and the personal attitude of beinghis devotee becomes what one might almost call a new and exalted kind of professional specialtywithin the tribe.[199] The legends that gather round the lives of holy persons are fruits of thisimpulse to celebrate and glorify. The Buddha[200] and Mohammed[201] and their companionsand many Christian saints are incrusted with a heavy jewelry of anecdotes which are meant to behonorific, but are simply abgeschmackt and silly, and form a touching expression of man'smisguided propensity to praise.

[199] Christian saints have had their specialties of devotion, Saint Francis to Christ's wounds;Saint Anthony of Padua to Christ's childhood; Saint Bernard to his humanity; Saint Teresa to SaintJoseph, etc. The Shi-ite Mohammedans venerate Ali, the Prophet's son-in-law, instead of Abubekr,his brother-in-law. Vambery describes a dervish whom he met in Persia, "who had solemnlyvowed, thirty years before, that he would never employ his organs of speech otherwise but inuttering, everlastingly, the name of his favorite, Ali, Ali. He thus wished to signify to the worldthat he was the most devoted partisan of that Ali who had been dead a thousand years. In his own home, speaking with his wife, children, and friends, no other word but 'Ali!' ever passed his lips. Ifhe wanted food or drink or anything else, he expressed his wants still by repeating 'Ali!' Beggingor buying at the bazaar, it was always 'Ali!' Treated ill or generously, he would still harp on hismonotonous 'Ali!' Latterly his zeal assumed such tremendous proportions that, like a madman, hewould race, the whole day, up and down the streets of the town, throwing his stick high up into theair, and shriek our, all the while, at the top of his voice, 'Ali!' This dervish was venerated byeverybody as a saint, and received everywhere with the greatest distinction." Arminius Vambery,his Life and Adventures, written by Himself, London, 1889, p. 69. On the anniversary of the deathof Hussein, Ali's son, the Shi-ite Moslems still make the air resound with cries of his name andAli's.

[200] Compare H. C. Warren: Buddhism in Translation, Cambridge, U.S., 1898, passim.

[201] Compare J. L. Merrick: The Life and Religion of Mohammed, as contained in the Sheeahtraditions of the Hyat-ul-Kuloob, Boston. 1850, passim.

An immediate consequence of this condition of mind is jealousy for the deity's honor. How canthe devotee show his loyalty better than by sensitiveness in this regard? The slightest affront orneglect must be resented, the deity's enemies must be put to shame. In exceedingly narrow mindsand active wills, such a care may become an engrossing preoccupation; and crusades have beenpreached and massacres instigated for no other reason than to remove a fancied slight upon theGod. Theologies representing the gods as mindful of their glory, and churches with imperialisticpolicies, have conspired to fan this temper to a glow, so that intolerance and persecution haveto be vices associated by of inseparably with the saintly mind. They are unque(come) stionablyitsbesettingsins.Thesai(some) ntlytem(us) per is a moral temper, and a moral temper hasoften to be cruel. It is a partisan temper, and that is cruel. Between his own and Jehovah's enemiesa David knows no difference; a Catherine of Siena, panting to stop the warfare among Christianswhich was the scandal of her epoch, can think of no better method of union among them than acrusade to massacre the Turks; Luther finds no word of protest or regret over the atrocious tortureswith which the Anabaptist leaders were put to death; and a Cromwell praises the Lord fordelivering his enemies into his hands for "execution." Politics come in in all such cases; but pietyfinds the partnership not quite unnatural. So, when "freethinkers" tell us that religion andfanaticism are twins, we cannot make an unqualified denial of the charge.

Fanaticism must then be inscribed on the wrong side of religion's account, so long as thereligious person's intellect is on the stage which the despotic kind of God satisfies. But as soon asthe God is represented as less intent on his own honor and glory, it ceases to be a danger.

Fanaticism is found only where the character is masterful and aggressive. In gentle characters,where devoutness is intense and the intellect feeble, we have an imaginative absorption in the loveof God to the exclusion of all practical human interests, which, though innocent enough, is tooone-sided to be admirable. A mind too narrow has room but for one kind of affection. When thelove of God takes possession of such a mind, it expels all human loves and human uses. There isno English name for such a sweet excess of devotion, so I will refer to it as a theopathic condition.

The blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque may serve as an example.

"To be loved here upon the earth," her recent biographer exclaims: "to be loved by a noble,elevated, distinguished being; to be loved with fidelity, with devotion--what enchantment! But tobe loved by God! and loved by him to distraction [aime jusqu'a la folie]!--Margaret melted awaywith love at the thought of such a thing. Like Saint Philip of Neri in former times, or like SaintFrancis Xavier, she said to God: 'Hold back, O my God, these torrents which overwhelm me, orelse enlarge my capacity for their reception."[202]

[202] Bougaud: Hist. de la bienheureuse Marguerite Marie, Paris, 1894, p. 145.

The most signal proofs of God's love which Margaret Mary received were her hallucinations ofsight, touch, and hearing, and the most signal in turn of these were the revelations of Christ'ssacred heart, "surrounded with rays more brilliant than the Sun, and transparent like a crystal. Thewound which he received on the cross visibly appeared upon it. There was a crown of thorns roundabout this divine Heart, and a cross above it." At the same time Christ's voice told her that, unablelonger to contain the flames of his love for mankind, he had chosen her by a miracle to spread theknowledge of them. He thereupon took out her mortal heart, placed it inside of his own andinflamed it, and then replaced it in her breast, adding: "Hitherto thou hast taken the name of myslave, hereafter thou shalt be called the well-beloved disciple of my Sacred Heart."In a later vision the Saviour revealed to her in detail the "great design" which he wished toestablish through her instrumentality. "I ask of thee to bring it about that every first Friday after theweek of holy Sacrament shall be made into a special holy day for honoring my Heart by a generalcommunion and by services intended to make honorable amends for the indignities which it hasreceived. And I promise thee that my Heart will dilate to shed with abundance the influences of itslove upon all those who pay to it these honors, or who bring it about that others do the same.""This revelation," says Mgr. Bougaud, "is unquestionably the most important of all therevelations which have illumined the Church since that of the Incarnation and of the Lord's Supper.

. . . After the Eucharist, the supreme effort of the Sacred Heart."[203] Well, what were its goodfruits for Margaret Mary's life? Apparently little else but sufferings and prayers and absences ofmind and swoons and ecstasies. She became increasingly useless about the convent, her absorptionin Christ's love-"which grew upon her daily, rendering her more and more incapable of attending to externalduties. They tried her in the infirmary, but without much success, although her kindness, zeal, anddevotion were without bounds, and her charity rose to acts of such a heroism that our readerswould not bear the recital of them. They tried her in the kitchen, but were forced to give it up ashopeless--everything dropped out of her hands. The admirable humility with which she madeamends for her clumsiness could not prevent this from being prejudicial to the order and regularitywhich must always reign in a community. They put her in the school, where the little girlscherished her, and cut pieces out of her clothes [for relics] as if she were already a saint, but whereshe was too absorbed inwardly to pay the necessary attention. Poor dear sister, even less after hervisions than before them was she a denizen of earth, and they had to leave her in her heaven."[204]

[203] Bougaud: Hist. de la bienheureuse Marguerite Marie, Paris, 1894, pp. 365, 241.

[204] Bougaud: Op. cit., p. 267.

Poor dear sister, indeed! Amiable and good, but so feeble of intellectual outlook that it would betoo much to ask of us, with our Protestant and modern education, to feel anything but indulgentpity for the kind of saintship which she embodies. A lower example still of theopathic saintliness isthat of Saint Gertrude, a Benedictine nun of the thirteenth century, whose "Revelations," a well-known mystical authority, consist mainly of proofs of Christ's partiality for her undeservingperson. Assurances of his love, intimacies and caresses and compliments of the most absurd andpuerile sort, addressed by Christ to Gertrude as an individual, form the tissue of this paltry-mindedrecital.[205] In reading such a narrative, we realize the gap between the thirteenth and thetwentieth century, and we feel that saintliness of character may yield almost absolutely worthlessfruits if it be associated with such inferior intellectual sympathies. What with science, idealism,and democracy, our own imagination has grown to need a God of an entirely differenttemperament from that Being interested exclusively in dealing out personal favors, with whom ourancestors were so contented. Smitten as we are with the vision of social righteousness, a Godindifferent to everything but adulation, and full of partiality for his individual favorites, lacks anessential element of largeness; and even the best professional sainthood of former centuries, pentin as it is to such a conception, seems to us curiously shallow and unedifying.

[205] Examples: "Suffering from a headache, she sought, for the glory of God, to relieve herselfby holding certain odoriferous substances in her mouth, when the Lord appeared to her to lean overtowards her lovingly, and to find comfort Himself in these odors. After having gently breathedthem in, He arose, and said with a gratified air to the Saints, as if contented with what He haddone: 'see the new present which my betrothed has given Me!'

"One day, at chapel, she heard supernaturally sung the words 'Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus.' Theson of God leaning towards her like a sweet lover, and giving to her soul the softest kiss, said toher at the second Sanctus: 'In this Sanctus addressed to my person, receive with this kiss all thesanctity of my divinity and of my humanity, and let it be to thee a sufficient preparation forapproaching the communion table.' And the next following Sunday, while she was thanking Godfor this favor, behold the Son of God, more beauteous than thousands of angels, takes her in Hisarms as if He were proud of her and presents her to God the Father, in that perfection of sanctitywith which He had dowered her. And the Father took such delight in this soul thus presented byHis only son, that, as if unable longer to restrain Himself, He gave her, and the Holy Ghost gaveher also, the sanctity attributed to each by His own Sanctus--and thus she remained endowed withthe plenary fullness of the blessing of Sanctity, bestowed on her by Omnipotence, by Wisdom, andby Love." Revelations de Sainte Gertrude, Paris, 1898, i. 44, 186.

Take Saint Teresa, for example, one of the ablest women, in many respects, of whose life wehave the record. She had a powerful intellect of the practical order. She wrote admirabledescriptive psychology, possessed a will equal to any emergency, great talent for politics andbusiness, a buoyant disposition, and a first-rate literary style. She was tenaciously aspiring, and puther whole life at the service of her religious ideals. Yet so paltry were these, according to ourpresent way of thinking, that (although I know that others have been moved differently) I confess that my only feeling in reading her has been pity that so much vitality of soul should have foundsuch poor employment.

In spite of the sufferings which she endured, there is a curious flavor of superficiality about hergenius. A Birmingham anthropologist, Dr. Jordan, has divided the human race into two types,whom he calls "shrews" and "nonshrews" respectively.[206] The shrew-type is defined aspossessing an "active unimpassioned temperament." In other words, shrews are the "motors,"rather than the "sensories,"[207] and their expressions are as a rule more energetic than the feelingswhich appear to prompt them. Saint Teresa, paradoxical as such a judgment may sound, was atypical shrew, in this sense of the term. The bustle of her style, as well as of her life, proves it. Notonly must she receive unheard-of personal favors and spiritual graces from her Saviour, but shemust immediately write about them and exploiter them professionally, and use her expertness togive instruction to those less privileged. Her voluble egotism; her sense, not of radical bad being,as the really contrite have it, but of her "faults" and "imperfections" in the plural; her stereotypedhumility and return upon herself, as covered with "confusion" at each new manifestation of God'ssingular partiality for a person so unworthy, are typical of shrewdom: a paramountly feeling naturewould be objectively lost in gratitude, and silent. She had some public instincts, it is true; she hatedthe Lutherans, and longed for the church's triumph over them; but in the main her idea of religionseems to have been that of an endless amatory flirtation--if one may say so without irreverence-betweenthe devotee and the deity; and apart from helping younger nuns to go in this direction bythe inspiration of her example and instruction, there is absolutely no human use in her, or sign ofany general human interest. Yet the spirit of her age, far from rebuking her, exalted her assuperhuman.

[206] Furneaux Jordan: Character in Birth and Parentage, first edition. Later editions change thenomenclature.

[207] As to this distinction, see the admirably practical account in J. M. Baldwin's little book,The Story of the Mind, 1898.

We have to pass a similar judgment on the whole notion of saintship based on merits. Any Godwho, on the one hand, can care to keep a pedantically minute account of individual shortcomings,and on the other can feel such partialities, and load particular creatures with such insipid marks offavor, is too small-minded a God for our credence. When Luther, in his immense manly way,swept off by a stroke of his hand the very notion of a debit and credit account kept with individualsby the Almighty, he stretched the soul's imagination and saved theology from puerility. So muchfor mere devotion, divorced from the intellectual conceptions which might guide it towardsbearing useful human fruit.

The next saintly virtue in which we find excess is Purity. In theopathic characters, like thosewhom we have just considered, the love of God must not be mixed with any other love. Father andmother, sisters, brothers, and friends are felt as interfering distractions; for sensitiveness andnarrowness, when they occur together, as they often do, require above all things a simplified worldto dwell in. Variety and confusion are too much for their powers of comfortable adaptation. Butwhereas your aggressive pietist reaches his unity objectively, by forcibly stamping disorder anddivergence out, your retiring pietist reaches his subjectively, leaving disorder in the world at large, but making a smaller world in which he dwells himself and from which he eliminates it altogether.

Thus, alongside of the church militant with its prisons, dragonnades, and inquisition methods, wehave the church fugient, as one might call it, with its hermitages, monasteries, and sectarianorganizations, both churches pursuing the same object--to unify the life,[208] and simplify thespectacle presented to the soul. A mind extremely sensitive to inner discords will drop one externalrelation after another, as interfering with the absorption of consciousness in spiritual things.

Amusements must go first, then conventional "society," then business, then family duties, until atlast seclusion, with a subdivision of the day into hours for stated religious acts, is the only thingthat can be borne. The lives of saints are a history of successive renunciations of complication, oneform of contact with the outer life being dropped after another, to save the purity of inner tone.

[209] "Is it not better," a young sister asks her Superior, "that I should not speak at all during thehour of recreation, so as not to run the risk, by speaking, of falling into some sin of which I mightnot be conscious?"[210] If the life remains a social one at all, those who take part in it must followone identical rule.

Embosomed in this monotony, the zealot for purity feels clean and free once more. Theminuteness of uniformity maintained in certain sectarian communities, whether monastic or not, issomething almost inconceivable to a man of the world. Costume, phraseology, hours, and habitsare absolutely stereotyped, and there is no doubt that some persons are so made as to find in thisstability an incomparable kind of mental rest.

[208] On this subject I refer to the work of M. Murisier (Les Maladies du sentiment Religieux,Paris, 1901), who makes inner unification the mainspring of the whole religious life. But ALLstrongly ideal interests, religious or irreligious, unify the mind and tend to subordinate everythingto themselves. One would infer from M. Murisier's pages that this formal condition was peculiarlycharacteristic of religion, and that one might in comparison almost neglect material content, instudying the latter. I trust that the present work will convince the reader that religion has plenty ofmaterial content which is characteristic and which is more important by far than any generalpsychological form. In spite of this criticism, I find M. Murisier's book highly instructive.

[209] Example: "At the first beginning of the Servitor's [Suso's] interior life, after he had purifiedhis soul properly by confession, he marked out for himself, in thought, three circles, within whichhe shut himself up, as in a spiritual intrenchment. The first circle was his cell, his chapel, and thechoir. When he was within this circle, he seemed to himself in complete security. The secondcircle was the whole monastery as far as the outer gate. The third and outermost circle was the gateitself, and here it was necessary for him to stand well upon his guard. When he went outside thesecircles, it seemed to him that he was in the plight of some wild animal which is outside its hole,and surrounded by the hunt, and therefore in need of all its cunning and watchfulness." The Life ofthe Blessed Henry Suso, by Himself, translated by Knox, London, 1865, p. 168.

[210] Vie des premieres Religieuses Dominicaines de la Congregation de St. Dominique, aNancy; Nancy, 1896, p. 129.

We have no time to multiply examples, so I will let the case of Saint Louis of Gonzaga serve as atype of excess in purification.

I think you will agree that this youth carried the elimination of the external and discordant to apoint which we cannot unreservedly admire. At the age of ten, his biographer says:-"The inspiration came to him to consecrate to the Mother of God his own virginity--that being toher the most agreeable of possible presents. Without delay, then, and with all the fervor there wasin him, joyous of heart, and burning with love, he made his vow of perpetual chastity. Maryaccepted the offering of his innocent heart, and obtained for him from God, as a recompense, theextraordinary grace of never feeling during his entire life the slightest touch of temptation againstthe virtue of purity. This was an altogether exceptional favor, rarely accorded even to Saintsthemselves, and all the more marvelous in that Louis dwelt always in courts and among greatfolks, where danger and opportunity are so unusually frequent. It is true that Louis from his earliestchildhood had shown a natural repugnance for whatever might be impure or unvirginal, and evenfor relations of any sort whatever between persons of opposite sex. But this made it all the moresurprising that he should, especially since this vow, feel it necessary to have recourse to such anumber of expedients for protecting against even the shadow of danger the virginity which he hadthus consecrated. One might suppose that if any one could have contented himself with theordinary precautions, prescribed for all Christians, it would assuredly have been he. But no! In theuse of preservatives and means of defense, in flight from the most insignificant occasions, fromevery possibility of peril, just as in the mortification of his flesh, he went farther than the majorityof saints. He, who by an extraordinary protection of God's grace was never tempted, measured allhis steps as if he were threatened on every side by particular dangers. Thenceforward he neverraised his eyes, either when walking in the streets, or when in society. Not only did he avoid allbusiness with females even more scrupulously than before, but he renounced all conversation andevery kind of social recreation with them, although his father tried to make him take part; and hecommenced only too early to deliver his innocent body to austerities of every kind."[211]

[211] Meschler's Life of Saint Louis of Gonzaga, French translation by Lebrequier, 1891, p. 40.

At the age of twelve, we read of this young man that "if by chance his mother sent one of hermaids of honor to him with a message, he never allowed her to come in, but listened to her throughthe barely opened door, and dismissed her immediately. He did not like to be alone with his ownmother, whether at table or in conversation; and when the rest of the company withdrew, he soughtalso a pretext for retiring. . . . Several great ladies, relatives of his, he avoided learning to knoweven by sight; and he made a sort of treaty with his father, engaging promptly and readily toaccede to all his wishes, if he might only be excused from all visits to ladies." [212]

[212] Ibid., p. 71.

When he was seventeen years old Louis joined the Jesuit order,[213] against his father'spassionate entreaties, for he was heir of a princely house; and when a year later the father died, hetook the loss as a "particular attention" to himself on God's part, and wrote letters of stilted goodadvice, as from a spiritual superior, to his grieving mother. He soon became so good a monk that ifany one asked him the number of his brothers and sisters, he had to reflect and count them overbefore replying. A Father asked him one day if he were never troubled by the thought of hisfamily, to which, "I never think of them except when praying for them," was his only answer.

Never was he seen to hold in his hand a flower or anything perfumed, that he might take pleasurein it. On the contrary, in the hospital, he used to seek for whatever was most disgusting, andeagerly snatch the bandages of ulcers, etc., from the hands of his companions. He avoided worldlytalk, and immediately tried to turn every conversation on to pious subjects, or else he remainedsilent. He systematically refused to notice his surroundings. Being ordered one day to bring a bookfrom the rector's seat in the refectory, he had to ask where the rector sat, for in the three months hehad eaten bread there, so carefully did he guard his eyes that he had not noticed the place. One day,during recess, having looked by chance on one of his companions, he reproached himself as for agrave sin against modesty. He cultivated silence, as preserving from sins of the tongue; and hisgreatest penance was the limit which his superiors set to his bodily penances. He sought after falseaccusations and unjust reprimands as opportunities of humility; and such was his obedience that,when a room-mate, having no more paper, asked him for a sheet, he did not feel free to give it tohim without first obtaining the permission of the superior, who, as such, stood in the place of God,and transmitted his orders.

[213] In his boyish note-book he praises the monastic life for its freedom from sin, and for theimperishable treasures, which it enables us to store up, "of merit in God's eyes which makes ofHim our debtor for all Eternity." Loc. cit., p. 62.

I can find no other sorts of fruit than these of Louis's saintship. He died in 1591, in his twenty-ninth year, and is known in the Church as the patron of all young people. On his festival, the altarin the chapel devoted to him in a certain church in Rome "is embosomed in flowers, arranged withexquisite taste; and a pile of letters may be seen at its foot, written to the Saint by young men andwomen, and directed to 'Paradiso.' They are supposed to be burnt unread except by San Luigi, whomust find singular petitions in these pretty little missives, tied up now with a green ribbon,expressive of hope, now with a red one, emblematic of love," etc.[214]

[214] Mademoiselle Mori, a novel quoted in Hare's Walks in Rome, 1900, i. 55.

I cannot resist the temptation to quote from Starbuck's book, p. 388, another case of purificationby elimination. It runs as follows:-"The signs of abnormality which sanctified persons show are of frequent occurrence. They getout of tune with other people; often they will have nothing to do with churches, which they regardas worldly; they become hypercritical towards others; they grow careless of their social, political,and financial obligations. As an instance of this type may be mentioned a woman of sixty-eight ofwhom the writer made a special study. She had been a member of one of the most active andprogressive churches in a busy part of a large city. Her pastor described her as having reached thecensorious stage. She had grown more and more out of sympathy with the church; her connectionwith it finally consisted simply in attendance at prayer-meeting, at which her only message wasthat of reproof and condemnation of the others for living on a low plane. At last she withdrew fromfellowship with any church. The writer found her living alone in a little room on the top story of acheap boarding-house quite out of touch with all human relations, but apparently happy in theenjoyment of her spiritual blessings. Her time occupied in writing booklets on sanctification--pageafter(own) pageofdreamyrhapsody.Shepro(was) ved to be one of a small group of persons who claim that entire salvation  involves three steps instead of two; not only must there beconversion and sanctification, but a third, which they call 'crucifixion' or 'perfect redemption,' andwhich seems to bear the same relation to sanctification that this bears to conversion. She relatedhow the Spirit had said to her, 'Stop going to church. Stop going to holiness meetings. Go to yourown room and I will teach you.' She professes to care nothing for colleges, or preachers, orchurches, but only cares to listen to what God says to her. Her description of her experienceseemed entirely consistent; she is happy and contented, and her life is entirely satisfactory toherself. While listening to her own story, one was tempted to forget that it was from the life of aperson who could not live by it in conjunction with her fellows."Our final judgment of the worth of such a life as this will depend largely on our conception ofGod, and of the sort of conduct he is best pleased with in his creatures. The Catholicism of thesixteenth century paid little heed to social righteousness; and to leave the world to the devil whilstsaving one's own soul was then accounted no discreditable scheme. To-day, rightly or wrongly,helpfulness in general human affairs is, in consequence of one of those secular mutations in moralsentiment of which I spoke, deemed an essential element of worth in character; and to be of somepublic or private use is also reckoned as a species of divine service. Other early Jesuits, especiallythe missionaries among them, the Xaviers, Brebeufs, Jogues, were objective minds, and fought intheir way for the world's welfare; so their lives to-day inspire us. But when the intellect, as in thisLouis, is originally no larger than a pin's head, and cherishes ideas of God of correspondingsmallness, the result, notwithstanding the heroism put forth, is on the whole repulsive. Purity, wesee in the object-lesson, is NOT the one thing needful; and it is better that a life should contractmany a dirt-mark, than forfeit usefulness in its efforts to remain unspotted.

Proceeding onwards in our search of religious extravagance, we next come upon excesses ofTenderness and Charity. Here saintliness has to face the charge of preserving the unfit, andbreeding parasites and beggars. "Resist not evil," "Love your enemies," these are saintly maximsof which men of this world find it hard to speak without impatience. Are the men of this worldright, or are the saints in possession of the deeper range of truth?

No simple answer is possible. Here, if anywhere, one feels the complexity of the moral life, andthe mysteriousness of the way in which facts and ideals are interwoven.

Perfect conduct is a relation between three terms: the actor, the objects for which he acts, and therecipients of the action. In order that conduct should be abstractly perfect, all three terms,intention, execution, and reception, should be suited to one another. The best intention will fail if iteither work by false means or address itself to the wrong recipient. Thus no critic or estimator ofthe value of conduct can confine himself to the actor's animus alone, apart from the other elementsof the performance. As there is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it, soreasonable arguments, challenges to magnanimity, and appeals to sympathy or justice, are follywhen we are dealing with human crocodiles and boa-constrictors. The saint may simply give theuniverse into the hands of the enemy by his trustfulness. He may by non-resistance cut off his ownsurvival.

Herbert Spencer tells us that the perfect man's conduct will appear perfect only when theenvironment is perfect: to no inferior environment is it suitably adapted. We may paraphrase thisby cordially admitting that saintly conduct would be the most perfect conduct conceivable in an environment where all were saints already; but by adding that in an environment where few aresaints, and many the exact reverse of saints, it must be ill adapted. We must frankly confess, then,using our empirical common sense and ordinary practical prejudices, that in the world that actuallyis, the virtues of sympathy, charity, and non-resistance may be, and often have been, manifested inexcess.

The powers of darkness have systematically taken advantage of them. The whole modernscientific organization of charity is a consequence of the failure of simply giving alms. The wholehistory of constitutional government is a commentary on the excellence of resisting evil, and whenone cheek is smitten, of smiting back and not turning the other cheek also.

You will agree to this in general, for in spite of the Gospel, in spite of Quakerism, in spite ofTolstoi, you believe in fighting fire with fire, in shooting down usurpers, locking up thieves, andfreezing out vagabonds and swindlers.

And yet you are sure, as I am sure, that were the world confined to these hard-headed, hardhearted,and hard-fisted methods exclusively, were there no one prompt to help a brother first, andfind out afterwards whether he were worthy; no one willing to drown his private wrongs in pity forthe wronger's person; no one ready to be duped many a time rather than live always on suspicion;no one glad to treat individuals passionately and impulsively rather than by general rules ofprudence; the world would be an infinitely worse place than it is now to live in. The tender grace,not of a day that is dead, but of a day yet to be born somehow, with the golden rule grown natural,would be cut out from the perspective of our imaginations.

The saints, existing in this way, may, with their extravagances of human tenderness, beprophetic. Nay, innumerable times they have proved themselves prophetic. Treating those whomthey met, in spite of the past, in spite of all appearances, as worthy, they have stimulated them toBE worthy, miraculously transformed them by their radiant example and by the challenge of theirexpectation.

From this point of view we may admit the human charity which we find in all saints, and thegreat excess of it which we find in some saints, to be a genuinely creative social force, tending tomake real a degree of virtue which it alone is ready to assume as possible. The saints are authors,auctores, increasers, of goodness. The potentialities of development in human soulsunfathomable. So many who seemed irretrievably hardened have in point of fact been softened,(are) converted, regenerated, in ways that amazed the subjects even more than they surprised thespectators, that we never can be sure in advance of any man that his salvation by the way of love ishopeless. We have no right to speak of human crocodiles and boa-constrictors as of fixedlyincurable beings. We know not the complexities of personality, the smouldering emotional fires,the other facets of the character-polyhedron, the resources of the subliminal region. St. Paul longago made our ancestors familiar with the idea that every soul is virtually sacred. Since Christ diedfor us all without exception, St. Paul said, we must despair of no one. This belief in the essentialsacredness of every one expresses itself to-day in all sorts of humane customs and reformatoryinstitutions, and in a growing aversion to the death penalty and to brutality in punishment. Thesaints, with their extravagance of human tenderness, are the great torch-bearers of this belief, thetip of the wedge, the clearers of the darkness. Like the single drops which sparkle in the sun asthey are flung far ahead of the advancing edge of a wave-crest or of a flood, they show the way and are forerunners. The world is not yet with them, so they often seem in the midst of the world'saffairs to be preposterous. Yet they are impregnators of the world, vivifiers and animaters ofpotentialities of goodness which but for them would lie forever dormant. It is not possible to bequite as mean as we naturally are, when they have passed before us. One fire kindles another; andwithout that over-trust in human worth which they show, the rest of us would lie in spiritualstagnancy.

Momentarily considered, then, the saint may waste his tenderness and be the dupe and victim ofhis charitable fever, but the general function of his charity in social evolution is vital and essential.

If things are ever to move upward, some one must be ready to take the first step, and assume therisk of it. No one who is not willing to try charity, to try non-resistance as the saint is alwayswilling, can tell whether these methods will or will not succeed. When they do succeed, they arefar more powerfully successful than force or worldly prudence. Force destroys enemies; and thebest that can be said of prudence is that it keeps what we already have in safety. But nonresistance,when successful, turns enemies into friends; and charity regenerates its objects. Thesesaintly methods are, as I said, creative energies; and genuine saints find in the elevated excitementwith which their faith endows them an authority and impressiveness which makes them irresistiblein situations where men of shallower nature cannot get on at all without the use of worldlyprudence. This practical proof that worldly wisdom may be safely transcended is the saint's magicgift to mankind.[215] Not only does his vision of a better world console us for the generallyprevailing prose and barrenness; but even when on the whole we have to confess him ill adapted,he makes some converts, and the environment gets better for his ministry. He is an effectiveferment of goodness, a slow transmuter of the earthly into a more heavenly order.

[215] The best missionary lives abound in the victorious combination of non-resistance withpersonal authority. John G. Paton, for example, in the New Hebrides, among brutish Melanesiancannibals, preserves a charmed life by dint of it. When it comes to the point, no one ever daresactually to strike him. Native converts, inspired by him, showed analogous virtue. "One of ourchiefs, full of the Christ-kindled desire to seek and to save, sent a message to an inland chief, thathe and four attendants would come on Sabbath and tell them the gospel of Jehovah God. The replycame back sternly forbidding their visit, and threatening with death any Christian that approachedtheir village. Our chief sent in response a loving message, telling them that Jehovah had taught theChristians to return good for evil, and that they would come unarmed to tell them the story of howthe Son of God came into the world and died in order to bless and save his enemies. The heathenchief sent back a stern and prompt reply once more: 'If you come, you will be killed.' On Sabbathmorn the Christian chief and his four companions were met outside the village by the heathenchief, who implored and threatened them once more. But the former said:-"'

We come to you without weapons of war! We come only to tell you about Jesus. We believethat He will protect us to-day.'

"As they pressed steadily forward towards the village, spears began to be thrown at them. Somethey evaded, being all except one dexterous warriors; and others they literally received with theirbare hands, and turned them aside in an incredible manner. The heathen, apparently thunderstruckat these men thus approaching them without weapons of war, and not even flinging back their ownspears which they had caught, after having thrown what the old chief called 'a shower of spears,' desisted from mere surprise. Our Christian chief called out, as he and his companions drew up inthe midst of them on the village public ground:-"'Jehovah thus protects us. He has given us all your spears! Once we would have thrown themback at you and killed you. But now we come, not to fight but to tell you about Jesus. He haschanged our dark hearts. He asks you now to lay down all these your other weapons of war, and tohear what we can tell you about the love of God, our great Father, the only living God.'

"The heathen were perfectly overawed. They manifestly looked on these Christians as protectedby some Invisible One. They listened for the first time to the story of the Gospel and of the Cross.

We lived to see that chief and all his tribe sitting in the school of Christ. And there is perhaps notan island in these southern seas, amongst all those won for Christ, where similar acts of heroism onthe part of converts cannot be recited." John G. Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides, AnAutobiography, second part, London, 1890, p. 243.

In this respect the Utopian dreams of social justice in which many contemporary socialists andanarchists indulge are, in spite of their impracticability and non-adaptation to presentenvironmental conditions, analogous to the saint's belief in an existent kingdom of heaven. Theyhelp to break the edge of the general reign of hardness and are slow leavens of a better order.

The next topic in order is Asceticism, which I fancy you are all ready to consider withoutargument a virtue liable to extravagance and excess. The optimism and refinement of the modernimagination has, as I have already said elsewhere, changed the attitude of the church towardscorporeal mortification, and a Suso or a Saint Peter of Alcantara[216] appear to us to-day rather inthe light of tragic mountebanks than of sane men inspiring us with respect. If the inner dispositionsare right, we ask, what need of all this torment, this violation of the outer nature? It keeps the outernature too important. Any one who is genuinely emancipated from the flesh will look on pleasuresand pains, abundance and privation, as alike irrelevant and indifferent. He can engage in actionsand experience enjoyments without fear of corruption or enslavement. As the Bhagavad-Gita says,only those need renounce worldly actions who are still inwardly attached thereto. If one be reallyunattached to the fruits of action, one may mix in the world with equanimity. I quoted in a formerlecture Saint Augustine's antinomian saying: If you only love God enough, you may safely followall your inclinations. "He needs no devotional practices," is one of Ramakrishna's maxims, "whoseheart is moved to tears at the mere mention of the name of <354> Hari."[217] And the Buddha, inpointing out what he called "the middle way" to his disciples, told them to abstain from bothextremes, excessive mortification being as unreal and unworthy as mere desire and pleasure. Theonly perfect life, he said, is that of inner wisdom, which makes one thing as indifferent to us asanother, and thus leads to rest, to peace, and to Nirvana.[218]

[216] Saint Peter, Saint Teresa tells us in her autobiography (French translation, p. 333), "hadpassed forty years without sleeping than hour and half a day. Of all his mortifications,thiswastheoneth(ever) athadcosthim(more) themost.(an) Tocompass(a) it, he kept always on hisknees or on his feet. The little sleep he allowed nature to take was snatched in a sitting posture, hishead leaning against a piece of wood fixed in the wall. Even had he wished to lie down, it wouldhave been impossible, because his cell was only four feet and a half long. In the course of all these years he never raised his hood, no matter what the ardor of the sun or the rain's strength. He neverput on a shoe. He wore a garment of coarse sackcloth, with nothing else upon his skin. Thisgarment was as scant as possible, and over it a little cloak of the same stuff. When the cold wasgreat he took off the cloak and opened for a while the door and little window of his cell. Then heclosed them and resumed the mantle--his way, as he told us, of warming himself, and making hisbody feel a better temperature. It was a frequent thing with him to eat once only in three days; andwhen I expressed my surprise, he said that it was very easy if one once had acquired the habit. Oneof his companions has assured me that he has gone sometimes eight days without food. . . . Hispoverty was extreme; and his mortification, even in his youth, was such that he told me he hadpassed three years in a house of his order without knowing any of the monks otherwise than by thesound of their voice, for he never raised his eyes, and only found his way about by following theothers. He showed this same modesty on public highways. He spent many years without everlaying eyes upon a woman; but he confessed to me that at the age he had reached it was indifferentto him whether he laid eyes on them or not. He was very old when I first came to know him, andhis body so attenuated that it seemed formed of nothing so much as of so many roots of trees. Withall this sanctity he was very affable. He never spoke unless he was questioned, but his intellectualright-mindedness and grace gave to all his words an irresistible charm."[217] F. Max Muller: Ramakrishna, his Life and sayings, 1899, p. 180.

[218] Oldenberg: Buddha; translated by W. Hoey, London, 1882, p. 127.

We find accordingly that as ascetic saints have grown older, and directors of conscience moreexperienced, they usually have shown a tendency to lay less stress on special bodily mortifications.

Catholic teachers have always professed the rule that, since health is needed for efficiency in God'sservice, health must not be sacrificed to mortification. The general optimism and healthymindednessof liberal Protestant circles to-day makes mortification for mortification's sakerepugnant to us. We can no longer sympathize with cruel deities, and the notion that God can takedelight in the spectacle of sufferings self-inflicted in his honor is abhorrent. In consequence of allthese motives you probably are disposed, unless some special utility can be shown in someindividual's discipline, to treat the general tendency to asceticism as pathological.

Yet I believe that a more careful consideration of the whole matter, distinguishing between thegeneral good intention of asceticism and the uselessness of some of the particular acts of which itmay be guilty, ought to rehabilitate it in our esteem. For in its spiritual meaning asceticism standsfor nothing less than for the essence of the twice-born philosophy. It symbolizes, lamely enough nodoubt, but sincerely, the belief that there is an element of real wrongness in this world, which isneither to be ignored nor evaded, but which must be squarely met and overcome by an appeal tothe soul's heroic resources, and neutralized and cleansed away by suffering. As against this view,the ultra-optimistic form of the once-born philosophy thinks we may treat evil by the method ofignoring. Let a man who, by fortunate health and circumstances, escapes the suffering of any greatamount of evil in his own person, also close his eyes to it as it exists in the wider universe outsidehis private experience, and he will be quit of it altogether, and can sail through life happily on ahealthy-minded basis. But we saw in our lectures on melancholy how precarious this attempt necessarily is. Moreover it is but for the individual; and leaves the evil outside of him, unredeemedand unprovided for in his philosophy.

No such attempt can be a GENERAL solution of the problem; and to minds of sombre tinge,who naturally feel life as a tragic mystery, such optimism is a shallow dodge or mean evasion. Itaccepts, in lieu of a real deliverance, what is a lucky personal accident merely, a cranny to escapeby. It leaves the general world unhelped and still in the clutch of Satan. The real deliverance, thetwice-born folk insist, must be of universal application. Pain and wrong and death must be fairlymet and overcome in higher excitement, or else their sting remains essentially unbroken. If one hasever taken the fact of the prevalence of tragic death in this world's history fairly into his mind-freezing,drowning entombment alive, wild beasts, worse men, and hideous diseases--he can withdifficulty, it seems to me, continue his own career of worldly prosperity without suspecting that hemay all the while not be really inside the game, that he may lack the great initiation.

Well, this is exactly what asceticism thinks; and it voluntarily takes the initiation. Life is neitherfarce nor genteel comedy, it says, but something we must sit at in mourning garments, hoping itsbitter taste will purge us of our folly. The wild and the heroic are indeed such rooted parts of it thathealthy-mindedness pure and simple, with its sentimental optimism, can hardly be regarded by anythinking man as a serious solution. Phrases of neatness, cosiness, and comfort can never be ananswer to the sphinx's riddle.

In these remarks I am leaning only upon mankind's common instinct for reality, which in point offact has always held the world to be essentially a theatre for heroism. In heroism, we feel, life'ssupreme mystery is hidden. We tolerate no one who has no capacity whatever for it in anydirection. On the other hand, no matter what a man's frailties otherwise may be, if he be willing torisk death, and still more if he suffer it heroically, in the service he has chosen, the fact consecrateshim forever. Inferior to ourselves in this or that way, if yet we cling to life, and he is able "to flingit away like a flower" as caring nothing for it, we account him in the deepest way our bornsuperior. Each of us in his own person feels that a high-hearted indifference to life would expiateall his shortcomings.

The metaphysical mystery, thus recognized by common sense, that he who feeds on death thatfeeds on men possesses life supereminently and excellently, and meets best the secret demands ofthe universe, is the truth of which asceticism has been the faithful champion. The folly of the cross,so inexplicable by the intellect, has yet its indestructible vital meaning.

Representatively, then, and symbolically, and apart from the vagaries into which theunenlightened intellect of former times may have let it wander, asceticism must, I believe, beacknowledged to go with the profounder way of handling the gift of existence. Naturalisticoptimism is mere syllabub and flattery and sponge-cake in comparison. The practical course ofaction for us, as religious men, would therefore, it seems to me, not be simply to turn our backsupon the ascetic impulse, as most of us to-day turn them, but rather to discover some outlet for it ofwhich the fruits in the way of privation and hardship might be objectively useful. The oldermonastic asceticism occupied itself with pathetic futilities, or terminated in the mere egotism of theindividual, increasing his own perfection.[219] But is it not possible for us to discard most of theseolder forms of mortification, and yet find saner channels for the heroism which inspired them?

[219] "The vanities of all others may die out, but the vanity of a saint as regards his sainthood ishard indeed to wear away." Ramakrishna his Life and Sayings, 1899, p. 172.

Does not, for example, the worship of material luxury and wealth, which constitutes so large aportion of the "spirit" of our age, make somewhat for effeminacy and unmanliness? Is not theexclusively sympathetic and facetious way in which most children are brought up to-day--sodifferent from the education of a hundred years ago, especially in evangelical circles--in danger, inspite of its many advantages, of developing a certain trashiness of fibre? Are there not hereaboutssome points of application for a renovated and revised ascetic discipline?

Many of you would recognize such dangers, but would point to athletics, militarism, andindividual and national enterprise and adventure as the remedies. These contemporary ideals arequite as remarkable for the energy with which they make for heroic standards of life, ascontemporary religion is remarkable for the way in which it neglects them.[220] War andadventure assuredly keep all who engage in them from treating themselves too tenderly. Theydemand such incredible efforts, depth beyond depth of exertion, both in degree and in duration,that the whole scale of motivation alters. Discomfort and annoyance, hunger and wet, pain andcold, squalor and filth, cease to have any deterrent operation whatever. Death turns into acommonplace matter, and its usual power to check our action vanishes. With the annulling of thesecustomary inhibitions, ranges of new energy are set free, and life seems cast upon a higher plane ofpower.

[220] "When a church has to be run by oysters, ice-cream, and fun," I read in an Americanreligious paper, "you may be sure that it is running away from Christ." Such, if one may judge byappearances, is the present plight of many of our churches.

The beauty of war in this respect is that it is so congruous with ordinary human nature. Ancestralevolution has made us all potential warriors; so the most insignificant individual, when thrown intoan army in the field, is weaned from whatever excess of tenderness toward his precious person hemay bring with him, and may easily develop into a monster of insensibility.

But when we compare the military type of self-severity with that of the ascetic saint, we find aworld-wide difference in all their spiritual concomitants.

"'Live and let live,'" writes a clear-headed Austrian officer, "is no device for an army. Contemptfor one's own comrades, for the troops of the enemy, and, above all, fierce contempt for one'person, are what war demands of every one. Far better is it for an army to be too savage, too cruel,(sown) too barbarous,  than to possess too much sentimentality and human reasonableness.

If the soldier is to be good for anything as a soldier, he must be exactly the opposite of areasoning and thinking man. The measure of goodness in him is his possible use in war. War, andeven peace, require of the soldier absolutely peculiar standards of morality. The recruit brings withhim common moral notions, of which he must seek immediately to get rid. For him victory,success, must be EVERYTHING. The most barbaric tendencies in men come to life again in war,and for war's uses they are incommensurably good."[221]

[221] C. V. B. K.: Friedens-und Kriegs-moral der Heere. Quoted by Hamon: Psychologie duMilitaire professional, 1895, p. xli.

These words are of course literally true. The immediate aim of the soldier's life is, as Moltkesaid, destruction, and nothing but destruction; and whatever constructions wars result in are remoteand non-military. Consequently the soldier cannot train himself to be too feelingless to all thoseusual sympathies and respects, whether for persons or for things, that make for conservation. Yetthe fact remains that war is a school of strenuous life and heroism; and, being in the line ofaboriginal instinct, is the only school that as yet is universally available. But when we gravely askourselves whether this wholesale organization of irrationality and crime be our only bulwarkagainst effeminacy, we stand aghast at the thought, and think more kindly of ascetic religion. Onehears of the mechanical equivalent of heat. What we now need to discover in the social realm is themoral equivalent of war: something heroic that will speak to men as universally as war does, andyet will be as compatible with their spiritual selves as war has proved itself to be incompatible. Ihave often thought that in the old monkish poverty-worship, in spite of the pedantry which infestedit, there might be something like that moral equivalent of war which we are seeking. May notvoluntarily accepted poverty be "the strenuous life," without the need of crushing weaker peoples?

Poverty indeed IS the strenuous life--without brass bands or uniforms or hysteric popularapplause or lies or circumlocutions; and when one sees the way in which wealth-getting enters asan ideal into the very bone and marrow of our generation, one wonders whether a revival of thebelief that poverty is a worthy religious vocation may not be "the transformation of militarycourage," and the spiritual reform which our time stands most in need of.

Among us English-speaking peoples especially do the praises of poverty need once more to beboldly sung. We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise any one who elects to be poorin order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant withthe money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have lost the powereven of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant: the liberation frommaterial attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what weare or do and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly-themore athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting shape. When we of the so-called better classesare scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put offmarriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly andirreligious a state of opinion.

It is true that so far as wealth gives time for ideal ends and exercise to ideal energies, wealth isbetter than poverty and ought to be chosen. But wealth does this in only a portion of the actualcases. Elsewhere the desire to gain wealth and the fear to lose it are our chief breeders ofcowardice and propagators of corruption. There are thousands of conjunctures in which a wealth-bound man must be a slave, whilst a man for whom poverty has no terrors becomes a freeman.

Think of the strength which personal indifference to poverty would give us if we were devoted tounpopular causes. We need no longer hold our tongues or fear to vote the revolutionary orreformatory ticket. Our stocks might fall, our hopes of promotion vanish, our salaries stop, our club doors close in our faces; yet, while we lived, we would imperturbably bear witness to thespirit, and our example would help to set free our generation. The cause would need its funds, butwe its servants would be potent in proportion as we personally were contented with our poverty.

I recommend this matter to your serious pondering, for it is certain that the prevalent fear ofpoverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.

I have now said all that I can usefully say about the several fruits of religion as they aremanifested in saintly lives, so I will make a brief review and pass to my more general conclusions.

Our question, you will remember, is as to whether religion stands approved by its fruits, as theseare exhibited in the saintly type of character. Single attributes of saintliness may, it is true, betemperamental endowments, found in non-religious individuals. But the whole group of themforms a combination which, as such, is religious, for it seems to flow from the sense of the divineas from its psychological centre. Whoever possesses strongly this sense comes naturally to thinkthat the smallest details of this world derive infinite significance from their relation to an unseendivine order. The thought of this order yields him a superior denomination of happiness, and asteadfastness of soul with which no other can compare. In social relations his serviceability isexemplary; he abounds in impulses to help. His help is inward as well as outward, for hissympathy reaches souls as well as bodies, and kindles unsuspected faculties therein. Instead ofplacing happiness where common men place it, in comfort, he places it in a higher kind of innerexcitement, which converts discomforts into sources of cheer and annuls unhappiness. So he turnshis back upon no duty, however thankless; and when we are in need of assistance, we can countupon the saint lending his hand with more certainty than we can count upon any other person.

Finally, his humble-mindedness and his ascetic tendencies save him from the petty personalpretensions which so obstruct our ordinary social intercourse, and his purity gives us in him a cleanman for a companion. Felicity, purity, charity, patience, self-severity--these are splendidexcellencies, and the saint of all men shows them in the completest possible measure.

But, as we saw, all these things together do not make saints infallible. When their intellectualoutlook is narrow, they fall into all sorts of holy excesses, fanaticism or theopathic absorption,self-torment, prudery, scrupulosity, gullibility, and morbid inability to meet the world. By the veryintensity of his fidelity to the paltry ideals with which an inferior intellect may inspire him, a saintcan be even more objectionable and damnable than a superficial carnal man would be in the samesituation. We must judge him not sentimentally only, and not in isolation, but using our ownintellectual standards, placing him in his envir


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