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II

IN

THE LAW OF INSPIRATION

The Vitalizing Power of Truth N this chapter we purpose dealing with three great thoughts : 1.-The soul as the centre of all spiritual in

fluences. II.-Inspiration as the vitalizing breath of the soul. III.-Literature as a channel for the transmission of inspirations from soul to soul and from age to age.

I Every phase of the human personality is spoken of, in the Bible, as "the soul.” The word “soul," in the Bible, is an equivalent for mind, body, spirit, heart, reason, conscience and will. Generally speaking, however, there are four things, in Scripture, spoken of, and referred to, as the "soul.” First, The life principle in man and animal. Second, The mind principle, intelligence, which lifts man above the animal. Third, The fact and attribute of personality -the I am of human consciousness. Fourth, The perfect spiritual essence in man which is above the physical and back of the mind as the gas is back of the gas jet and the electrical fluid back of the illuminated bulb-the subconscious. Out of these four generalizations there arises, in the minds of Bible students, the prevailing conception of the idea of the soul—the soul, in contrast with the body, is the vital, living, potential, invisible and fundamental thing in a human personality.

What the shell is to the nut, what the skin is to an orange, what the glove is to the hand, what the shoe is to the foot, what the casket is to the jewel that the body is to the soul. The body is an outer garment, of which the poet speaks when he refers to the time " when we have shuffled off this mortal coil." You may destroy your body, but you cannot destroy your soul. Jesus was trying to illustrate the value of the soul-principle by the known and recognized value of the life-principle of the body, when He uttered the words: “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his life ?” This question comes to us with great force to-day, for we are living in an age of soul-values. We used to say, "as sweet as sugar," but we have discovered that saccharin is five hundred times sweeter than sugar. There was a time when an exceedingly valuable article was “as precious as gold,” but radium is a thousand times more precious than gold. We are just beginning to study the essence of things. The hand is finer than the foot—the ear finer than the hand-the eye finer than the ear--the brain finer than the eye-the mind finer than the brain—the spirit finer than the mind and the soul the soul is the essence and quintessence of all unseen and spiritual values. Therefore we venture to propound a question -a scientific question of the first magnitude: What is the soul?"

The soul is the exact centre of a universe. The soul possesses the element and quality of universality. My soul is in touch with every other soul and in touch with the Universal Soul. The soul can speak with God--that's Aspiration. God can speak with the soul—that's Inspiration.

The soul is a bit of Goda perfect atom of divinity. Your soul is a gift from God. The soul can think with God, talk with God, feel with God, and act with God. God would be lonely without the human soul. “We are His offspring," quotes Paul. “Trailing clouds of glory do we come from God who is our home," sings Wordsworth.

The soul is the invisible force of a human personality. It took four strong men to hold the struggling physical frame of Napoleon when he was dying. All force is soul force. Genius is a manifestation of soul force. What is that in the colour of the artist ? Soul! What is that in the touch of the musician? -Soul! What is that in the tongue of the eloquent?-Soul! What is that in the pen of the author ? Soul! What is that in the dream of the statesman 2-Soul ! What is that in the vision of the prophet ?—Soul! What is that in the message of the preacher ?-Soul! What is that in the skill of the sculptor?Soul! What is that in the face of a child ?-Soul! The soul is the birthplace of all thought. It is said that Thomas Carlyle had to search through thirty thousand pamphlets and forty thousand letters to find the soul of Cromwell.

The soul is the sum total of all human sensations and aspirations. Whoever grasped the geography or the astronomy of the soul ? Mountain ranges of thought! Mountain-peaks of inspiration! Swift rivers of strong emotion! Cataracts of passion! Dark caves of subtle doubt! Lowlands of desire and appetite! Inland seas of visions and dreams! Arctic regions of discontent and despair! Deep ravines of slumbering ideas! Vast deserts of unknown possibilities! Aye-and vaster skies studded with the stars of spiritual mystery! Who can measure the dimensions of the soul? Yonder are two stars, a million miles apart, but the human eye, even though small enough to be covered by a silver coin-the soul behind the eye-can measure the distance.

“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be

For my unconquerable soul." Laughter is the soul's glee. Crying is the soul's sorrow. Singing is the soul's joy. Language is the soul's thought. Diderot has a remarkable passage in which he describes Garrick, standing on the stage, his head between two folding doors. “In a few swift movements the face of the famous actor changes, successively, from mad joy to moderate joy, from tranquillity to surprise, from surprise to astonishment, from astonishment to gloom, from gloom to utter dejection, from dejection to fear, from fear to horror, from horror to despair-and back again from despair to horror, fear, dejection, gloom, astonishment, surprise, tranquillity and joy."

The soul is the birthplace of all those beautiful things created by the imagination. Said Raphael : “I dream dreams and then I paint my dreams." Shakespeare was greater than his plays. Wellington was greater than Waterloo.

Luther was greater than his protest. Webster was greater than his greatest oration. Mozart was greater than his grandest oratorio.

“I decline," says Dr. Dale, “to surrender my dignity in the presence of the material universe. I am greater than the sun, greater than the sea, greater than the planets, greater than the stars-greater than all. They are subject, but I am sovereign. They are bound, but I am free." Man is greater than any disaster which may overwhelm him or any honour which may be bestowed

upon him.

The soul is an inextinguishable spark of divine life. Your hand may sleep in paralysis, your eye may slumber in blindness, your ear may decline in deafness, your brain may fag in weariness, your nerves may relax in sheer exhaustion, but your soul lives on, fresh, vital and strong. Blowing out the flame does not blow out the candle. You have blown the light into the light world, the smoke into the smoke world, the heat into the heat world, and the flame into the flame world. You have simply changed the locality of things. Matter is indestructible and the soul is as indestructible as matter. The extinguished flame was a flame which was returning matter to its original elements, but the soul is spirit and spirit is an original element. When the

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