everything by it ? he nothing except so far as it is his own will that we should gain what he desires to bestow upon us.? In this last clause we find the acknowledgment of weariness in the theory that God?s supreme end is the good of his creatures. God does gain the fulfillment of his plan, the doing of his will and the manifestation of himself. The great painter loves his picture less than he loves his ideal. He paints in order to express himself. God loves each soul, which he creates, but he loves yet more the expression of his own perfections in it. And this self-expression is his end. Robert Browning, Paracelsus, 54 ? ?God is the perfect Poet, Who in creation acts his own conceptions.? Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:357, 358; Shairp, Province of Poetry, 11, 12.
God?s love makes him a self-expressive being. Self-expression is an inborn impulse in his creatures. All genius partakes of this characteristic of God. Sin substitutes concealment for outflow, and stops this self-communication which would make the good of each the good of all. Yet even sin cannot completely prevent it. The wicked man is impelled to confess. By natural law the secrets of all hearts will be made manifest at the judgment. Regeneration restores the freedom and joy of self- manifestation. Christianity and confession of Christ are inseparable. The preacher is simply a Christian further advanced in this divine privilege. We need utterance. Prayer is the most complete self-expression, and God?s presence is the only land of perfectly free speech.
The great poet comes nearest, in the realm of secular things, to realizing this privilege of the Christian. No great poet ever wrote his best work for money or for fame or even for the sake of doing good. Hawthorne was half-humorous and only partially sincere, when he said he would never have written a page except for pay. The hope of pay may have set his pen a-going but only love for his work could have made that work what it is. Motley more truly declared that it was all up with a writer when he began to consider the money he was to receive. But Hawthorne needed the money to live on, while Motley had a rich father and uncle to back him. The great writer certainly absorbs himself in his work. With him necessity and freedom combine. He sings as the bird sings, without dogmatic intent. Yet he is great in proportion, as he is moral and religious at heart. ?Arma virumque cano? is the only first person singular in the ^neid in which the author himself speaks yet the whole ^neid is a revelation of Virgil. So we know little of Shakespeare?s life, but much of Shakespeare?s genius.
Nothing is added to the tree when it blossoms and bears fruit; it only reveals its own inner nature. But we must distinguish in man his true nature from his false nature. Not his private peculiarities, but that in him,
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