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How Daily Life Becomes Common-place

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When the eye first looks on life, it is not to study its successions, but to rest upon its picture; its loveliness is discerned before its order; its aspect is interpreted, while its policy is quite unknown. Our early years gaze on all things through the natural glass of beauty and affection, which in religion is the instrument of truth. But soon it gets dimmed by the breath of usage, which adheres to all except natures the most pure and fine; and a cold cloud darkens the whole universe before us. Day by day, the understanding sees more - the imagination less, in the scene around us; till it seems all made up of soil to grow our bread, and clay to build our house; and we become impatient if any one pretends to find in it the depth which its atmosphere has lost to us, and the grandeur which has faded from our view. We dwell in this world like dull serfs in an Alpine land, who are attached indeed to their home with the strong instincts of men cut off from much intercourse with their kind, and whose passions, wanting diffusion, acquire a local intensity, who therefore sigh in absence for their mountain, as the Arab for his desert; in whom there is no sense of the glories amid which they live ; who wonder what the traveller comes to see; who in the valleys closed by the glacier, and echoing with the torrent, observe only the timber for their fuel, and the padlock for their kine. We are often the last to see how noble are our opportunities to feel how inspiring the voices that call us to high duties and productive sacrifice; and while we loiter on in the track of drowsy habit, esteeming our lot common and profane, better hearts are looking, burning within them to stand on the spot where we stand, to seize its hopes, and be true to all its sacredness. [Martineau's Endeavors after the Christian Life.]


Michigan Liberty Press
Old News