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This aphorism would, it may seem, have been placed more fitly in the chapter following. In placing it here, I have been determined by the following convictions: 1. Every state, and consequently that which we hate described as the state of religious morality, which is not progressive, is dead or retrograde. 2. As a pledge of this progression, or, at least, as the form in which the propulsive tendency shows itself, there are certain hopes, aspirations, yearnings, that with more or less of consciousness, rise and stir in the heart of true morality as naturally as the sap in the full-formed stem of a rose flows towards the bud, within which the flower is maturing. 3. No one, whose own experience authorizes him to confirm the truth of this statement, can have been conversant with the volumes of religious biography, can have perused (for instance) the lives of Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Wishart, Sir Thomas More, Bernard Gilpin, Bishop Bedel, or of Egede, Swartz, and the missionaries of the frozen world, without an occasional conviction, that these men lived under extraordinary influences, which in each instance and in all ages of the Christian era bear the same characters, and both in the accompaniments and the results evidently refer to a common origin. And what can this be? is the question 71 that must needs force itself on the mind in the first moment of reflection on a phenomenon so interesting and apparently so anomalous. The answer is as necessarily contained in one or the other of two assumptions. These influences are either the product of delusion, insania amabilis, and the reaction of disordered nerves), or they argue the existence of a relation to some real agency, distinct from what is experienced or acknowledged by the world at large, for which as not merely natural on the one hand, and yet not assumed to be miraculous* on the other, we have no apter name than spiritual. Now, if neither analogy justifies nor the moral feelings permit the former assumption and we decide therefore in favour of the reality of a state other and higher than the mere moral man, whose religion† consists in morality, has attained under these convictions, can the existence of a transitional state appear other than probable? or that these very convictions, when accompanied by correspondent dispositions and stirrings of the heart, are among the marks and indications of such a state? And thinking it not unlikely that among the readers of this volume, there may be found some individuals, whose inward state, though disquieted by doubts and oftener still perhaps by blank misgivings, may, nevertheless, betoken the commencement of a transition

*In check of fanatical pretensions, it is expedient to confine the term miraculous, to cases where the senses are appealed to, in proof of something that transcends, or can be a part of, the experience derived from the senses.

†For let it not be forgotten, that morality, as distinguished from prudence, implying, (it matters not under what name, whether of honour, or duty, or conscience, still, I say, implying), and being grounded in, an awe of the invisible and a confidence therein beyond (nay, occasionally in apparent contradiction to) the inductions of outward experience, is essentially religious. 72 from a not irreligious morality to a spiritual religion, with a view to their interests I placed this aphorism under the present head.

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