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depth, or worth. Thus it is possible to be a fellow-worker with the Divine Life and Labour, and to feel it and know it also ; it is possible to feel as well as know that the Eternal is our resting-place and underneath us are the everlasting arms—that the Power Divine is quickening the spirit and inspiring strength within. The moments when such experiences are vividly felt and clearly interpreted are indeed rare; one aspect or the other, the strength of the experience or the interpretation of it, only too often fails. But only wilful blindness can deny its reality for some and its possibility for all; and this, when it really happens, is the highest moment in worship, the most precious moment in our whole life. Some of the ways in which it comes to pass may be spoken of in particular.
We may feel and know the Eternal Love of God shining to us, as it were, through the beauty and glory of the world in which we live. This thought, which has been the special inspiration of modern poetry in the Western world, need not be dwelt on here. But sometimes Divine peace and strength
rise on our hearts, uncalled for by the outward world. In sorrow and suffering there is “a deeper voice across the storm”; a voice, still and small, yet stronger than the tumult of our grief, saying, “ It is 1-be not afraid.” I will mention two expressions of this, which have reached me. One says : “This [the feeling of God's sustaining presence] only came to me after great trouble - very depths of trouble; and the realisation of God which it brought seemed to make all the trouble worth while. But I cannot put it properly into words, and I do not like to try.” Another : “My experience tells me that it is in and after sorrow of the most hopeless sort—as in the death of one we love—that God's relation to us is felt to be at once personal and fuller, richer and more comforting than any human personal relations can be.” Many could bear witness to this, if they were willing or able to speak. A similar experience arises at times when the presence of something true or beautiful or good uplifts us above ourselves. He who is working for some noble or precious cause - be it the cause of Truth, scientific thought and discovery—or the cause of Beauty, to which the artist gives his heart—or, highest of all, steadfast faithful work in the cause of duty and human welfare, in the great world, the city, or the home — when one gives himself up to such a cause, he sometimes finds that he is not alone, even if others give no sympathy, no help; he seems to rest upon an Almighty strength that flows into him and, as we said, uplifts him above himself. And so he becomes possessed of a power which is more than the power of his single self. The very strength of God has revealed itself within him.
There are many who will be ready to say, “But nothing of this kind ever comes to me.” In reality it may come and we may scarcely recognise it. There are psychological laws which explain how this may be. We must remember first that every one's soul or real self-call it what you will—is not something with a substantially fixed constitution, and which is self-contained, like a sphere—a sort of “mighty atom,” a thing with definite limits, which grows only by adding on new habits or new pieces of know
ledge. The real self is a thing which is always growing by putting forth native powers, assimilating its experiences, and organising them according to laws of its own. In the next place, the limits of the self are not at all clearly defined : they certainly are not the same as the limits of clear consciousness. That part of our experiences and inner thoughts and feelings of which we are clearly conscious (2.e., which we fully know that we have) is only a small part of what we really experience and think and feel all the time. The deeper currents of feeling, for the person himself who feels them, are the easiest to overlook; but they are none the less really stirring within him, and perhaps producing their effects among the feelings of which he is clearly conscious ; and so it is with thought and with desire. In a wordself - knowledge has degrees of truth; at one time it may be more, at another less; and we never “know” or consciously take in with perfect accuracy the whole of what is stirring within us. Hence while no one can truly say that he simply has
no such experience, no one can say that his own interpretation of the experience has absolute accuracy or truth.
If then our real self is not a self-contained thing, there is nothing contradictory in supposing that it is rooted in an Infinite Being, in whom every human spirit has its roots, and who is the source of life and strength to all. And if our distinct or clear consciousness of ourselves always has different degrees of truth, then in many cases it may not extend far enough to take in the “roots” of our being; we may not recognise our connection with or dependence upon the Infinite and Universal. Or, again, there may be a vague sense of dependence, a “longing," which may have to satisfy itself as best it can among the opportunities afforded by the interests and duties of life outside the individual. Or, once more, this vague“ divine discontent may rise to a consciousness of our dependence on the Divine Life, and of God's sustaining help.
Those who adopt this view of the foundations of Religion may be aptly described as