Such a spirit was that of Marcus Aurelius Hong Kong Fotos and Epictetus. It is that of mind-curers, of thetranscendentalists, and of the so-called “liberal” Christians. As an expression of it, I will quote of Martineau’s sermons:- “Good Heaven!” says Epictetus, “any one thing in the creation is sufficient to demonstratea Providence, to a humble and grateful mind. The mere possibility of producing milk from grass,cheese from milk, and wool from skins; who formed and planned it? Ought we not, whether we digor plough or eat, to sing this hymn to God? Great is God, who has supplied us with theseinstruments to till the ground; great is God, who has given us hands and instruments of digestion,who has given us to grow insensibly and to breathe in sleep. These things we ought forever tocelebrate. . . . But because the most of you are blind and insensible, there must be some one to fillthis station, and lead Ulthera, in behalf of all men, the hymn to God; for what else can I do, a lame oldman, but sing hymns to God? Were I a nightingale, I would act the part of a nightingale; were I aswan, the part of a swan. But since I am a reasonable creature, it is my duty to praise God . . . and Icall on you to join the same song.” Works, book i. ch. xvi., Carter-Higginson (translation)abridged.
“The universe, open to the eye to-day, looks as it did a thousand years ago: and the morninghymn of Milton does but tell the beauty with which our own familiar sun dressed the earliest fieldsand gardens of the world. We see what all our fathers saw. And if we cannot find God in yourhouse or in mine, upon the roadside or the margin of the sea; in the bursting seed or openingflower; in the day duty or the night musing; in the general laugh and the secret grief; in theprocession of life, ever entering afresh, and solemnly passing by and dropping off; I do not thinkwe should discern him any more on the grass of Eden, or beneath the moonlight of Gethsemanedermes.