Numinous Experience Of Joiin Ruskin

My attention lias been called by Professor Peutschbein to the following passage in Raskin, in which he recounts experiences of his youth that repeatedly recurred. They are purely numinous in character and vvellnigh all the 'moments' which we discovered reappear here quite spontaneously. I give the passage without detailed comment:

'Lastly, although there was no definite religious sentiment mingled witli it, there was a continual perception of Sanctity in the whole of nature, from the slightest thing to the vastest ; an instinctive awo, mixed with delight ; an indefinable thrill, such as we sometimes imagine to indicate the presence of a disembodied spirit. I could only feel this perfectly when I was alone ; and then it would often make me shiver from head to foot with the joy and fear of it, when after being some time away from hills I first got to the shore of a mountain river, where the brown water circled among the pebbles, or when I first saw the swell of distant land against the sunset, or the first low broken wall, covered with mountain moss. I cannot in the least describe the feeling; but I do not think this is my fault, nor that of the English language, for I am afraid no feeling is describable. If we had to explain even the sense of bodily hunger to a person who had never felt it, we should bo hard put to it for words ; and the joy in nature seemed to me to come of a sort of heart-hunger, satisfied with the presence of a Great and Holy Spirit. . . . These feelings remained in their full intensity till I was eighteen or twenty, and then, as the reflective and practical power increased, and the " cares of this world" gained upon me, faded gradually away, in the manner described by Wordsworth in his "Intimations of Immortality".' tJfodcrn Painters, Popular Edition, vol. iii, p. 309. George Allen.)

Schleiermaclier calls such an experience ' intuition and feeling of the infinite ' ; w give it the name 'divination'. Schleiermaclier v. as right in saying that even greater than all this divination in tiie sphere of nature ia divination in the sphere of history. Will not a Ruskiu arise to divine and reveal tho non-rational and 'numinous' character of our own epoch?

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