Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, Are merely shadows cast by outward things On stone or canvas, having in themselves No separate existence. Architecture, Existing in itself, and not in seeming A something it is not, surpasses them As substance shadow.
So I say, if you cannot learn to love real art; at least learn to hate sham art and reject it. It is not because the wretched thing is so ugly and silly and useless that I ask you to cast it from you; it is much more because these are but the outward symbols of the poison that lies within them; look through them and see all that has gone to their fashioning, and you will see how vain labour, and sorrow, and disgrace have been their companions from the first-and all this for trifles that no man really needs!
So dear to heav'n is saintly chastity, That when a soul is found sincerely so, A thousand liveried angels lackey her, Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt, And in clear dream and solemn vision Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear, Till oft converse with heav'nly habitants Begin to cast a beam on th' outward shape.
See that your chief study be about heart, that there God's image may be planted, and his interest advanced, and the interest of the world and flesh subdued, and the love of every sin cast out, and the love of holiness succeed; and that you content not yourselves with seeming to do good in outward acts, when you are bad yourselves, and strangers to the great internal duties. The first and great work of a Christian is about his heart.
Many there are who, not comprehending, not being affected with, that divine, spiritual description of the person of Christ which is given us by the Holy Ghost in the Scripture, do feign unto themselves false representations of him by images and pictures, so as to excite carnal and corrupt affections in their minds. By the help of their outward senses, they reflect on their imaginations the shape of a human body, cast into postures and circumstances dolorous or triumphant; and so, by the working of their fancy, raise a commotion of mind in themselves, which they suppose to be love unto Christ.
Color, in the outward world, answers to feeling in man; shape, to thought; motion, to will. The dawn of day is the nearest outward likeness of an act of creation; and it is, therefore, also the closest type in nature for that in us which most approaches to creation--the realization of an idea by an act of the will.
Outward, thanks to the knowledge of physical laws, man could subdue (or subjugate...) nature, but inwardly, he remained a slave to it. For, when all is said and done, at what is aiming all this display (or deployment) of activity, if not to realized outward profits, to provide material pleasure (or enjoyment). It is not the first time that men sell their birth right for a dish of lentils, and thus disown (or repudiate or deny) the best of thmeselves.
Wish you could turn off the questions, turn off the voices, turn off all sound. Yearn to close out the ugliness, close out the filthiness, close out all light. Long to cast away yesterday, cast away memory, cast away all jeapordy. Pray you could somehow stop uncertainty, somehow stop the loathing, somehow stop the pain. Act on your impulse, swallow the bottle, cut a little deeper, put the gun to your chest.
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