Sight is the noblest sense, and the starlit sky is the most sublime object we can behold. But what do we in reality see there? Only a kind of large tent, dimly lighted with gas jets. This is the noblest thing the noblest sense reveals. But let the soul appear, and the tent flies into invisible shreds; the heavens break open from abyss to abyss, still widening into limitless expanse, until imagination reels. The gas jets grow into suns, blazing since innumerable ages with unendurable light, and binding whole planetary systems into harmony and life. So infinitely does the soul transcend the senses! The world it lives in is boundless, eternal, sublime. This is its home; this the sphere in which it grows, and awakens to consciousness of kinship with God. This is the fathomless, shoreless abyss of being wherein it is plunged, from which it draws its life, its yearning for the absolute, its undying hope, its love of the best, its craving for immortality, its instinct for eternal things.
—from Education and the Higher Life (1890), by J.L.Spaulding
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