An Ambitious Man (Chapter 10, page 2 of 3)


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Chapter 10

People who believe in no God, invariably exalt themselves into His
position, and worship with the very idolatry they decry in others.

Music is the echo of the rhythm of God's respirations.

Poetry is the effort of the divine part of man to formulate a worthy
language in which to converse with angels.

Painting and sculpture seem to me the most presumptuous of the arts.
They are an effort of man to outdo God in creation. He never made a
perfect form or face--the artist alone makes them.

I am sure I do not play the organ as well at St Blank's as I played
it in the little church where I gave my services and was unknown.
People are praising me too much here, and this mars all spontaneity.

The very first hour of positive success is often the last hour of
great achievement. So soon as we are conscious of the admiring and
expectant gaze of men, we cease to commune with God. It is when we
are unknown to or neglected by mortals, that we reach up to the
Infinite and are inspired.

I have seen Marah Adams to-day, and I felt strangely drawn to her.
Her face would express all goodness if it were not so unhappy.
Unhappiness is a species of evil, since it is a discourtesy to God to
be unhappy.

I am going to do all I can for the girl to bring her into a better
frame of mind. No blame can be attached to her, and yet now that I
am face to face with the situation, and realise how the world regards
such a person, I myself find it a little hard to think of braving
public opinion and identifying myself with her. But I am going to
overcome such feelings, as they are cowardly and unworthy of me, and
purely the result of education. I am amazed, too, to discover this
weakness in myself.

How sympathetic dear mamma is! I told her about Marah, and she wept
bitterly, and has carried her eyes full of tears ever since. I must
be careful and tell her nothing sad while she is in such a weak state
physically.

I told mamma what the rector said about lying. She coincided with
him that Mrs Adams would have been justified in denying the truth if
she had realised how her daughter was to be affected by this
knowledge. A woman's past belongs only to herself and her God, she
says, unless she wishes to make a confidant. But I cannot agree with
her or the rector. I would want the truth from my parents, however
much it hurt. Many sins which men regard as serious only obstruct
the bridge between our souls and truth. A lie burns the bridge.

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