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The Providence of Necessity

The Providence of Necessity

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Published by glennpease
by NAHOR AUGUSTUS STAPLES.



The nature of man is the scholar in the school of life.
And hence, like any other scholar, he is not made for the
school, but the school is made for him ; hp is not made for
his teachers, but his teachers for him. The office of all its
instructors is, not to make nature over again, but to aid its
development ; not to create it, but to correct it. Its true
law of growth is by secretion jfrom within by the laws of its
being, as an oak-tree grows; not by accretion from without, as
a snow-ball grows. All the good which can come* to a soul
must come from its growth, not from its reconstruction.
by NAHOR AUGUSTUS STAPLES.



The nature of man is the scholar in the school of life.
And hence, like any other scholar, he is not made for the
school, but the school is made for him ; hp is not made for
his teachers, but his teachers for him. The office of all its
instructors is, not to make nature over again, but to aid its
development ; not to create it, but to correct it. Its true
law of growth is by secretion jfrom within by the laws of its
being, as an oak-tree grows; not by accretion from without, as
a snow-ball grows. All the good which can come* to a soul
must come from its growth, not from its reconstruction.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 21, 2013
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THE PROVIDECE OF ECESSITYby AHOR AUGUSTUS STAPLES.The nature of man is the scholar in the school of life.And hence, like any other scholar, he is not made for theschool, but the school is made for him ; hp is not made forhis teachers, but his teachers for him. The office of all itsinstructors is, not to make nature over again, but to aid itsdevelopment ; not to create it, but to correct it. Its truelaw of growth is by secretion jfrom within by the laws of itsbeing, as an oak-tree grows; not by accretion from without, asa snow-ball grows. All the good which can come* to a soulmust come from its growth, not from its reconstruction. Toinstruct this immortal pupil in all the branches of his edu-cation, God creates geniuses of art, of science, of philoso-phy, of religion, and inspires them with the necessity of ut-terance and a. mission. In their special departments theyare indeed far wiser than the nature they teach.; but, com-pared with the whole and varied wisdom of God envelopedin that nature, the wisdom of their specialty is very small.One is the actual development of a human being in onebranch of knowledge in this period of time ; the other is thepossible development of a human being in all knowledgethrough all time. But it seems to be the finite condition of genius that it possess all faith in its own specialty, and of course it is essential to its mission. Hence, it is almost cer-tain to poiu: itself forth in efforts to reconstruct natiure, toDigitized byGoog^
 
214 SELECTIOS.make men and women over again after the model of itsown idea. But this nature must resist to the death. o-thing could be worse for her than such a reconstruction;therefore she avails herself of the inertia of undevelopmentalways found in some comer of the soul and of society, andthus resists her destruction. This inertia is often positivewickedness in its possessor, and it sometimes crucifies itsteacher and friend: but it becomes providence to society;for the crucified one rests firom the vain labor of reconstruc-tion, and stimulates and inspires all souls with his life andlight. It sometimes seems to me that man hints at abroader and more benevolent system of Divine Providencethrough what he denies than through what he accepts;through what he resists than through what he receives;through what he is not than through what he is. For whenwe look through society, and see what it denies, what it re-sists, and what it is not, we can not but wonder that law, or• social order, or social progress exist at all. And who canlook upon his own life, and see how indifferent, and unteach-abfe, and inert he has been, and how thin the partition iswhich separates him from the poor, and unfortunate, andoutcasts around him, without exclaiming, " By the grace of God, I am what I am " ?And if we must pay such a great price to protect naturefrom reconstruction, according to the fair-seeming plans of inspired teachers, how magnificent must thedevelopment of that nature be to atone for such waste and apparent loss !If there were no providence even in these shadows, if nopraise could come from this wrath of men, then therewould indeed follow what the croakers of every age arealways predicting, a general dissolution and return to chaos,universal atheism, unbelief, and utter anniliilation of the oldDigitized
 
by GoogleTHE PBOVIDECE OF ECESSITY. 215distinctions between right and wrong. But things do notgo to pieces nor dissolve. Men do not become atheists,nor renounce their recognition of right and wrong. Allthings are permeated with a principle of life which preservesall that is essential to them. ature has wonderful resour-ces, and is always saving herself by her own vitality. Shehas taught all her teachers so far, and she will continue toteach them all. She uses her own earthiness to filter thewaters of life with which the inspired ones would refreshher, and piuifies them in the coiu^e of ages from all taintof mortaHty. This nature will, sooner or later, absorb thewisdom of a^ its teachers, and still demand more light. Itmust triumph.These facts teach, further, that we should have faith inhuman nature and in God*s providential guidance of it.How slowly we learn this ! Every teacher, firom the parentto the priest, attacks each new type of life as it comes fromits Maker, with all the necessities of its destiny asleep in itslittle bosom, and begins to cut and chisel and hammer it tosome other model. I wonder we do not rather stand inawe before each one, and pray that we may help and notharm it ! We may indeed guide, restrain, and balance a de-velopment — a nature, like a tree, may defeat itself by itsown luxuriance— but, for heaven's sake, let us do it, if wecan, with nature's methods, not with our own whims orcrotchets; much less let us dare touch it in our anger!There is a tendency everywhere to overestimate teachingand to underestimate the schools of life and growth. Weattribute too much to doctoring, too little to exercise. How

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