Big Steps Towards A Brighter Future

There is certainly, in the present age, a want of writing that shall rest and brace the mind; of meditative writing of a tendency merely holy and practical, rather shunning than plunging into controversy – not the cry of the angry or startled bird, but its evening and morning orisons rather. A contemplative strain; one linked with things of earth, and hallowing them—one heard beside “the common path that common men pursue”:—one rising from the common work-a-day experiences, joys, and pains—rising from these and carrying them up with it heavenward, until even earth’s exhalations catch the light of an unearthly glory. We want more of this spiritual rest; more of this standing apart from the perturbations of the day; more of retirement and retired thought—thought that shall leave the throng, with its absorbed purpose and pushing and jostling, always eager, often angry; and having secured a lonely standing-point apart from it all, become better able to judge of the real truth and importance, also of the just relation of things.

I cannot claim to have done more than make a slight attempt towards the supply of this want. Nay, I would rather lay claim not to have attempted. This is the age of effort and strain; it were well that thought were sometimes permitted to be natural, spontaneous, and simply expressive of that which the heart’s meditations have laid by in store. A stream thus welling up will want the precision and the single aim of the artificial jet, but it will have its modest use and value to cheer and to refresh lowly grasses, and perhaps to water the roots of loftier growths in its vagaries and meanderings.

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