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THE PARABLES

To those Priests who ,

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STONY

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we were reminded throughout of the discourses of a Scotch THE BRAHMO SOMAJ.

Presbyterian Minister; full of platitudes, generalities, truisms ;

expressed in copious wordiness, but devoid of anything THOSE who are like the Athenians of St. Paul's time, ever definite or distinct. This new system is called by its authors craving after something new in literature or religion, have the Brahmo Somaj, which they improperly translate by had their curiosity gratified by the presence of an Indian " Theistic Church." We say improperly, for they have no gentleman, who has come to England to tell us of the revolu- idea of what is connoted by the word Church, the comtion now going on in the Indian mind, and his desire to be munion or kingdom founded by our Lord; what they mean the Apostle of a new Christianity to his awakening country is a rationalistic and philosophical system, not a community. men. Mr. Sen delivered certain lectures before he left India, There are, apparently, no Rites, no Sacraments, hardly any four of which have lately been published by Allen and Co., Creed, only a religious philosophy. This is to regenerate explanatory of the principles of the lecturer; and more are India. When Mr. Sen describes his (so-called) “ Church of promised. These lectures caused a great sensation in India, the Future,"—that grand conception of Mr. Maurice and his and encouraged their author to proceed to England to study followers also, which is to overthrow and take the place of religion in this country. Here he has been well received; the Church of Christ, as well as absorb all the sects-he is Dean Stanley, ever ready to hold out the right hand of careful to tell us, that it is a purely Indian conception, not fellowship to anyone who attempts to explain away dogmatic influenced by European ideas; an Eastern creation, not truth, and substitute a vague Christianity in its place, of borrowing aught from the West. course affords his gracious patronage to Mr. Sen. The latter The programme of these theosophists appears to be somechooses, as the most fitting place for ventilating his views, a thing of this sort; we say appears, for nothing is clearly Socinian Meeting-house ; the daily papers which notice his shown, excepting the want of clearness : That there is one address, do not seem to have been remarkably edified by God, the Creator, who is also the God of Love, under whose them. They speak of his fluency of speech, and correct Providence we live and move, as well as have our being. grammar, but they failed to gather anything like a distinct That this idea of God is the regenerating power which idea of what he was aiming at, or what was the definite makes us the children of God. That great men are incarnaobject of his discourses. We can well understand this ; for, tions of the Spirit of God, among these Christ stands first. having read his Indian lectures, we find ourselves in some- That the great duty we owe to God is love. Take, for thing like the same hazy state of mind. We shall, however, example, the following sentences from Mr. Sen's lectures on give our readers the best idea we can of what this new great men :-" What is there on earth so noble as man? teaching is, which, Mr. Sen informs us, is to regenerate India. The human body is indeed the living tabernacle of the living It seems then that the Indian mind is passing through a God.

* There is but one temple in the universe,' it has been revolution of a religious character, one which Sir Bartle beautifully said, and that is the body of man. Nothing is Frere describes in his essay in The Church and the Age, which holier than that high form. Bending before man is a revewe lately noticed. The higher and more educated Hindoos rence done to this revelation in the flesh. We touch heaven are rapidly losing all faith in their old idolatries, and their when we lay our hand on a human body.

If then older cosmogonies; and they are turning to the Bible for a incarnation means the Spirit of God manifest in human truer religion, and a more authentic history. This revolution filesh, certainly every man is an incarnation of God Himof thought is perhaps quite as much owing to material self.” progress, as to Missionary teaching. Railways and commerce On the “ future Church” Mr. Sen writes :-“But while are rapidly destroying caste, and rendering it impossible to admitting the unity of the Divinity, the future Church will observe the requirements of the Brahmin code ; education recognize a Trinity of Divine manifestations. God manifests and intercourse with the European mind has rendered the Himself to us through external nature, through the inner inquiring Hindoo ashamed of his forefathers' idolatry, and Spirit, and through the moral greatness impersonated in man.' impelled him to acknowledge its absurdity ; but it has not We need not quote more: we see in this Brahmo Somaj a substituted for these the Catholic Faith. Sir Bartle Frere revival of the Gnostic ideas of the first and second centuries, gives some remarkable instances of the influence of the ideas and doctrine which troubled the Church in the days of teaching of some passing Missionary, of the reading the Apostles, and for two hundred years afterwards : and no of the Bible, or of some Christian book, not only in some doubt are destined to trouble us again. The foundation of individual Indian, but upon a whole village. But still it is all the error that pervades this system lies in listening to the not the Catholic Faith that he receives, nor does it seem that oldest temptation of all:—“Ye shall be as Gods, knowing he desires Baptism into the Catholic Church. On the con- good and evil,”-it is the making of all religion consist in trary he sets himself, like bis forefathers, to create and work intellectual knowledge. It does, however, behove the Church out a system of his own, which he calls and thinks to be to know all this, in order to be able to resist it. It is in itself Christianity. It is, however, not very easy to understand a fascinating system, for it tends to raise self. What is the what this Christianity is, and what are its features, for the antidote? How is it to be met ? We answer, in the like language of Mr. Sen is, like that of some British Apostles of manner as the Primitive Church met Gnosticism and overChristianity without the Charch-e.g., Mr. Maurice for threw it. This can only be done by teaching the Church, and instance—very misty: indeed, in reading Mr. Sen's lectures not mere " Christianity,” and far more than teaching, by

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making the Church, ard the Church system, a reality ; by which seem to be doubtful or probably incorrect, or emend insisting on the Sacraments as the only means of uniting man on somewhat less substantial ground than they would desire. with God, and by making the Incarnation of the Son of God The question then arises, is it open to us to attempt any cora definite doctrine by means of the Holy Eucharist. We have rections whatever ? Would they not be liable to the charge every reason to suppose that the Incarnation of the Son of of a rashness altogether to be deprecated ? We shall not be God is not properly understood in India by the Hindoo con- far wrong if we answer, that the alterations which might be verts. Their native religions are full of what are termed made from a judicious use of existing manuscripts, of the incarnations, nay they have been known to believe that disease Septuagint, and internal evidence, while they would not revoluis an incarnation of some evil power ; but their incarnations tionize the text of the Old Testament, would render it more are a very different thing from that of the Catholic Church; nearly such as it originally was than it is at present. It is they more resemble our idea of the indwelling of the Third difficult to see on what grounds it could be denied that this Person ; or still more, that of “Wisdom” in the Apocryphal modest result would be in a high degree desirable. Whether writers which,“ dwelling in holy souls, maketh them sons the text were altered little or much, the result would in either of God and Prophets." They do not seem to realize that case be most valuable. To know that our version admits of God became Man.

very little alteration, and to find that the application of a Again, from thenumber of conflicting sects, and we must add, temperate criticism removes considerable difficulties, would from the Church Missionaries teaching Christianity instead of either of them be an advantage deserving of universal thankthe Church, Hindoos have failed to realize the idea of a Body fulness. of which they are members, a Kingdom of which the But such a labour must be undertaken independently of Incarnate God is the Head and King. In a word, the notion translation, and of course prior to it. A translator cannot, in of an intellectual system has superseded that of a spiritual the course of his work, fairly and wisely choose between one-Gnosticism instead of the Church.

different readings; the two are different departments of We are convinced that the whole plan of Evangelising scholarship, and not to be confounded. There is nothing, in India has hitherto been wrong. On one point Mr. Sen is right, truth, which requires greater delicacy than the choice of a when he says that Indians are Asiatics not Europeans, and reading. The antiquity of manuscripts may lead one astray, that it is an Asiatic form of religion, not a European, that is because a less ancient one may be a copy of one more ancient needed. In want of this Asiatic form of the Church, they than its competitor : a more ancient translation may seem of have adopted the Asiatic form of Gnosticism. Our Mission- more authority than a later manuscript, but then it is difficult aries ought to have taken their lesson from the Oriental to say whether it was intended to be literal or paraphrastic. Church, rather than the Western, and adapted their own ideas to Difficulties themselves are often arguments of integrity, inasthose of the East, rather than tried to adapt the Oriental mind much as no one, it might be said, would supersede what was to Western notions. Thus : they ought to make more of easy by what was difficult; but then again, as copyists make Sacraments than preaching. They ought to enforce the mistakes, and what is worse, are reluctant to mar their works observance of Fast Days as well as Feasts ; to encourage bodily by corrections, even when they are aware of the fact, mortification and vows, as St. Paul did. Instead of the difficulties may be corruptions. The Masorites may have been British Dearly Beloved on Sunday and Holy Days, there learned and faithful critics, but then their learning often ought to be the Holy Eucharist as the one great act of beguiled them into childish minutiæ, and their fidelity made worship; instead of a Catechist in every village, a native them scrupulous in retaining errors ; nor can it be denied that Priest, chosen not because he can preach, but that he may a vastly improved insight into the science of language must offer

up the

great Sacrifice at least every Sunday. An Oriental sometimes give modern critics the power of discriminating in would comprehend a religion of this sort, where a mere cases of difficulty between rival claims. On these grounds it intellectual one is almost certain to make him a heretic.

a

is but fair to insist on a laborious recension of the Hebrew Text, before any final steps are taken towards a new transla

tion ; but whether the translation so produced should be REVISION.-IV.

exalted into an Authorised translation will still be a question

for further consideration. ORIGINAL TEXTS.

As to the very early sources from which we may expect It is impossible to have a good translation where there is assistance in emendations, besides the Septuagint, there is the not a good text; or to speak more correctly, however faith- Samaritan Pentateuch. This frequently differs from the fully a translation is made, or however well it reads, if the modern text and also from the Septuagint. Scholars are not text is corrupt, the translation cannot represent the mind of agreed about the value of the Samaritan variations, but they the author. Consequently, in considering the question certainly show that some three or four centuries before Christ of Revision, it is impossible not to include that of the there was not a universal correspondence between the various integrity of the Text, which we shall now, diffidently and manuscripts.

When we

come to the time of Talmudic briefly, attempt to deal with.

activity, we find some references to different readings. These A study of this subject as regards the Old Testament were not committed to writing till the date of the Masora, brings us to two conclusions ; 1st, that the text requires con- when these traditions became fixed by a quasi-official sanction. siderable emendations ; 2ndly, that such errors as there are, From this school of critics we learn that the text proper to originated prior to the Masoretic Recension, inasmuch the Jews of Palestine, as distinguished from others that may as existing manuscripts and printed books do not widely have existed, was substantially the same as it is now; and the differ from that standard nor from each other. It might at translations of Aquila and others, so far as they are moda first sight appear that this material agreement (which, how- served, bear witness to the same. At the same time it must ever, does not exclude a multitude of discrepancies of minor be admitted that the absence all mention of important disnote) was a proof that the text is incorrupt ; but the important crepancies is so complete as to be suspicious. The Talmudists divergence of the Septuagint and Samaritan translations in ignored various readings of importance altogether, and show some passages shops, on the contrary, that, at the time when signs of a puerile conservatism in not correcting the text, they were made, the Hebrew copies must have varied con- even where they acknowledged that errors had intruded siderably, otherwise the discrepancies are unaccountable. It themselves. follows from this, that modern critics, having but limited The Masora or traditional school, which followed the Talassistance from manuscripts, must either acquiesce in readings mudists, prevailed for about five hundred years. The same

64

spirit is manifested here also. We have admissions as to the

THE CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY. superiority of certain readings, but an obstinate determination not to amend the text. It was during the growth of the Masora that the system of vowel-points and accents arose,

At the Annual Meeting of the Church Missionary Society which of course rendered any latitude in textual criticism still which was held last week, several speakers lamented the less possible. From this source come all our manuscripts, deficiency between the income and the expenditure of the past whether for public or private use, those for the synagogues year, which amounted to no less than £12,116, a deficiency being still written without the vowel-points and accents. The which is said to have arisen mainly from fewer legacies having value of many of these is obviously great, but materially been received. But with all due deference to ingenious Secrediminished by the difficulty of pronouncing positively as to taries and apologetic speakers, we venture to ask, is it a wise their dates, and even as to the countries to which they belong. plan to take credit for legacies as part of the regular income Moreover, as a rule they only contain portions of the old of a Society ? Ought they not, at any rate the larger ones, Testament. Printed Bibles all followed the Masora in the to be treated as capital, either to be invested in the funds, or main, and are substantially the same.

dedicated to some permanent work effected once for all, instead The wilder school of critics has not been able to inflict any of being reckoned as so much income to be spent at once and injury on the text as generally received ; if we have lost some anticipated as forthcoming again next year? The latter plan judicious, we have also escaped much rash and unjustifiable con- seems a ready way of courting deficiency and financial jecture. But the via media between the temerity and cowardice embarrassment. . intextual criticism is yet to be found. The ventures of Houbigant, the Church Missionary Society betokened a slackening of mis

Of course, if we believed that this deficit in the funds of weak in authorities and full of conjectures (1753), began a new era, but are in themselves disappointing. The labours of sionary zeal in the Church, we should lament it as much as Kennicott and De Rossi, which were far more extensive, are

any Exeter Hall speaker. But we say confidently that it worthy of all praise ; but they do not go beyond the variations betokens something quite different. It indicates not less zeal, of manuscripts which, as we have said, are not independent but more wisdom in our missionary enterprise. People who witnesses. Dr. Davidson's “ Critical Revision of the Hebrew really have at heart the extension of Christ's Kingdom upon Text” is the most valuable work that we have yet seen in the earth are beginning to think that the Church Missionary England; but until the revision of the text excites an interest Society is a very cumbrous and imperfect machine for doing among the many; equal to its importance, the results which this salutary work. we may well hope would follow must remain in abeyance. They do not relish the discovery that whatever money they

A profound ignorance, natural to the obscurity which give will be largely diminished before it reaches the distant curiously hangs over all Jewish literature, has yet to be dis- missionary, that the handsome salaries of deputations, clerks, pelled ; but the unexpected results attained in other walks of and secretaries of all sorts, with enormous office expenses, will scholarship by the persevering industry of many, and the eat out a tithe of their gift, while of what remains a great deal instinctive sagacity of a few, give us room to hope for great will be spent on extraneous matters, some of very doubtful future discoveries in Hebrew philology, which has not as yet utility, and only a portion of the sum be actually applied to advanced beyond its infancy. It seems strange, and almost sustain the Mission Clergy labouring among the Heathen. incredible, that scholars should find so many perplexities in

It is to the prevalence of this feeling, and not to any

slackthis path of literature; they seem not to be able to determine ening in efforts to propagate the faith, that we attribute whatwithin many hundred years, when the Aramean letters were ever falling off there may be in the receipts of this Society. introduced ; when vowel-points became general; when the The fact is that Christian people are learning to take a more Samaritan Pentateuch, or different Targums were written; or

direct and personal interest in Missionary work. As each under what circumstances the Septuagint and other versions newly consecrated Bishop goes forth, with his Clergy and came into existence. Chinese literature could hardly be more assistants, they leave behind a little army of friends, who obscure.

co-operate with Christ's servants, and do all in their power With respect to the text of the New Testament we need not to strengthen their hands by gifts as well as prayers. One say much. That text is apparently in a much sounder state, will contrive to find clothing for native children, another will and fewer passages consequently occur in which the sense is adopt and pay for the education of an orphan lad, a third will altogether obscure. Both the date and the subsequent matter provide the furniture of the Mission Chapel, and so many conspire to exclude insoluble obscurities. On the other hand hands lighten the labour. All this is done privately, it is it is far more important that we should know what our Lord never registered by a clerk in a back office, or printed in a and His Apostles said, than that we should be acquainted with thick brown book. It is rarely that we find anything in print the exact text of the Hebrew Scriptures. We must, however, about it. There is, however, a modest little magazine, called stoutly protest against the idea, that the production of an The Net, edited by the sister of a true Missionary, the saintly accurate text is a matter of secondary importance. In a matter Bishop Mackenzie, through the medium of which many of like this we must not be misled by the inert acquiescence of these home efforts are arranged. From its pages we gather the multitude, but consider every portion of the Christian that during 1869 the contributions received and acknowledged community, and its wants. Controversialists require a sound therein amount to no less than £3,700, three-fourths of which text for the basis of their arguments; we must retreat from

was given to the “ Mackenzie Fund” for the endowment of a the arena of contention if we are not inferior or equal in Bishopric in New Zealand, and the remainder forwarded learning to unbelievers ; but indeed the utmost perfection of direct to various Missions, chiefly in the South of Africa, the text is in itself and abstractedly so desirable, that it would according to the wishes of the respective donors. Is be a waste of words to illustrate it by any arguments.

it wonderful that many Churchmen should prefer to That the Textus Receptus is capable of some improvement give their money through this channel, where they know that is admitted by most, and, as we proceed, some evidence of this every pound will go straight to the object in which they are will be produced. In the meantime let us be devoutly thank- interested, instead of pouring it into the coffers of a society in ful that the substantial correctness of the text of botẢ Testa- the management of which there is nothing to inspire confidence, ments is beyond doubt.

and whose official expenses must be reckoned by thousands of

pounds? The Royal Commission ou Primary Education met on Saturday in

We hope it is not irreverent to suggest to the Committee Dublin.

of the Church Missionary Society that, perhaps, on investiga

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Infallibilism than with those of the Darwinian theory. OF, 1.49

sense:

tion, it might be found that “the exigencies of the Lord's an imaginative apprehension of it? Can I believe as if I saw? Since work ” in heathendom do not really demand so great an expen- at first sight it would seem as if the answer must be in the negative ; for

such a high assent requires a present experience or memory of the fact, diture in Christendom, and that the deficiency might be partly how can I assent as if I saw, unless I have seen ? But no one in this met at once without any “cutting down Missionary operations life can see God. Yet I conceive a real assent is possible. to the scantiness of the income,” simply by making a wiser and more sparing use of the funds already at their disposal.

From the personality of God Dr. Newman passes on to the doctrine of Trinity in Unity. We have read again and again

his pages (120-3) on the doctrine of the Trinity, and we have Reviews of Books.

failed to detect Sabellianism in them, yet they seem to leave

on the mind a savour of Dr. Newman's old tutor, Dr. Whately. An Essay in Aid OF A GRAMMAR OF Assent. By John At least at each reading the feeling has recurred to us. Henry Newman, D.D. (London: Burns, Oates and Co.)

Now it is the belief of Catholics about the Supreme Being, that this

essential characteristic of His nature (viz. the being Personal) is reiterated It might naturally occur to anyone who first sees the title in three distinct ways or modes : so that the Almighty God, instead of of this remarkable book, that it may possibly have something being one Person only, which is the teaching of Natural Religion, has to do with preparing the way for assert to the dogmata now

three Personalities, and is at once, according as we view Him in the one being elaborated at Rome. But it is nothing of the sort. The who bear towards each other the several relations which their names

or the other of them, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—a Divine Three assent it treats of has no more to do with the dogmata of indicate, and are in that respect distinct from each other and in that alone.

But let us turn from these depths to the following beauagain, it might occur to a student of logic, that it was an tiful passage on the Athanasian Creed :endeavour to supply a want which every thoughtful student

Break a ray of light into its constituent colours, each is beautiful, each has felt on entering keenly and thoroughly into the science of may be enjoyed; attempt to unite them, and perhaps you only produce a logic, and that An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent” dirty white. The pure and indivisible light is seen only by the blessed was an attempt to construct, scientifically, a

inhabitants of heaven; here we have but such faint reflections of it as

logic of pro- its diffraction supplies ; but they are sufficient for faith and devotion. babilities." But neither is this the object of the present Attempt to combine them into one, and you gain nothing but a mystery, work. It does not, except incidentally, touch probabilities. which you can describe as a notion, but cannot depict as an imagination, Dr. Newman says explicitly in his chapter on the Illative And this holds, not only of the Divine attributes, but also of the Holy

Trinity in Unity. And hence, perhaps, it is that the latter doctrine is My aim is of a practical character, such as that of Butler in his Analogy, far more to the imagination and affections than to the intellect. Hence,

never spoken of as a mystery in the New Testament, which is addressed with this difference, that he treats of probability, doubt, expedience, and too, what is more remarkable, the dogma is not called a mystery in the duty, whereas in these pages, without excluding, far from it, the question creeds, not in the Apostles’, nor the Nicene, nor even in the Athanasian. of duty, I would confine inyself to the truth of things, and to the mind's The reason seems to be, that the creeds have a place in the Ritual; they certitude of that truth.

are devotional acts, and of the nature of prayers addressed to God; and Let us see what Dr. Newman means by “ assent.” He in such addresses, to speak of intellectual difficulties would be out of begins by laying down that there are three ways of shaping a

place. It must be recollected especially that the Athanasian Creed has proposition. It may be a question, or a conclusion, or an

sometimes been called the Psalmus Quicumque. It is not a mere collec

tion of notions, however momentous. It is a psalm or hymn of praise, of assertion ; and there are three mental acts corresponding to confession, and of profound self-prostrating homage parallel to the each of these-Doubt, Inference, and Assent. These are quite canticles of the elect in the Apocalypse. It appeals to the imagination distinct. In regard to Revealed Religion, for instance, a quite as much as to the intellect. It is the war-song of faith, with which

we warn first ourselves, then each other, and then all those who are sceptic doubts, a philosopher concludes it is more or less within its hearing and the hearing of the Truth, who our God is, and agreeable to reason, a believer has faith. He assents in fact; how we must worship Him, and how vast our responsibility will be, if we and if a man disbelieves Revealed Religion, then he assents in know what to believe, and yet believe not. It is the same way to the contrary of the proposition, and asserts

The Psalm that gathers in one glorious lay,

All chants that e'er from heaven to earth found way; that Revealed Religion is not true. In assent there is no more

Creed of the Saints and Anthem of the Blest, or less, you assent, or you do not. Then “ assents

are Real and

And calm breathed warning of the kindliest love Notional. Notional assents seem to be much like Inferences,

That ever heaved a watchful mother's breast. but the first " is always an unconditional acceptance of a pro- devotional formulary to which Christianity has ever given birth, more so

For myself I have ever felt it as the most simple and sublime, the most position, and the latter is an acceptance on the condition of

even than the Veni Creator and the Te Deum. Even the antithetical form an acceptance of its premisses.” Our apprehension of a propo- of its sentences, which is a stumbling block to so many, as seeming to sition varies in strength; what is concrete exerts a force on force, and to exult in forcing, a mystery upon recalcitrating minds, bas to the mind which that which is abstract does not. “Give to him my apprehension, even notionally considered, a very different drift. It is that asketh thee ” has more force with us than the best argu- tion beyond the limits of the truth, and it turns them back into the

intended as a check upon our reasonings lest they rush on in one direcments of the political economist against indiscriminate alms- opposite direction. Certainly it implies a glorying in the mystery; but giving. Real apprehension then is stronger than notional, and it is not simply a statement of the mystery for the sake of its mysteriousthis variation in the mind's apprehension leads us to speak of

ness." strong and weak assents, as if assent admitted of degrees.

It is not possible to give an exact analysis of a volume like Therefore, paradoxical as it may appear, "when Inference is this, which itself is an analysis of a large theory existing in clearest, Assent may be least forcible, and when Assent is most the writer's mind, if it does not exist in more concrete form. intense, Inference may be least distinct.” To believe a dogma, In the second part Dr. Newman still further enters is to give the assent of the mind to it. To give a real assent into the distinction between assent and inference, dividing is an act of religion, to give a notional assent is a theological assent into simple and complex, and then contrasting it with act.

certitude. He says, both truly and beautifully : Belief is not according to Dr. Newman, identical with faith, Are there pleasures of Doubt, as well as of Inference and Assent? In for faith in its theological sense includes a belief not only in uncertainty, or hopeless suspense ; but there is a certain grave acquifsa

one sense there are. Not indeed if Doubt simply means igaorance, the thing believed but in the grounds of believing. We not

cence in ignorance, a recognition of our own impotence to solve only believe doctrines, but believe them because God has momentous and urgent questions which has a satisfaction of its own. revealed them. In speaking of God and belief in God, there After high aspirations, after renewed endeavours, after bootless toil, after is little difficulty in a notional assent !

long wanderings, after hope, effort, weariness, failure painfully alter

nating and recurring, it is an immense relief to the exhausted mind to be But the question follows, Can I attain to any more vivid assent to the able to say, “At length I know that I can know nothing about say. being of a God than that which is given

merely to notions of the thing”-that is, while it can maintain itself in a posture of thought intellect? Can I enter with a personal knowledge into the aisle of truths which has no promise of permanence, because it is unnatural. But here which make up that great thought? Can I rise to what I have called the satisfaction does not lie in not knowing, but in knowing there is

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