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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 226, December 24, 1853

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Identifier: DX04211791

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 226, December 24, 1853

Description: Describes a philosophic conversation about religion with Alfred Waud on Christmas Eve

Transcription:

All, will but that that this should be all, — we being but the creatures of the hour; our life essence to be used even as past geologic creatures, but to be resolved into more perfect forms, retaining not identity. And that as Confucius and Plato, and other good and wise men had lived and taught diving axioms to men, why not that Christ should be no other; — his miracles and divinity the endowments of a superstitious age.

To which I argue, that admitting the vastness of God’s laws works and countless worlds, governed by immutable laws, yet that they all but work, so to speak, to affect man’s Soul. That he in his powers of knowing these things, is a faint imperfect image of the God-head himself; or [word crossed out] he could not think thus. That he is capable of assimilating into himself the subtlest divinest thought of such souls as [William] Shakspere, [John] Milton and Plato, — therefore he is capable of rising to the mightiest heights. They would talk but hieroglyphics were not his soul interpreter. That, man is unlike animals, inasmuch as he progresses, — the first dog that ran by primeval man was [words crossed out] in instincts, thoughts &c no different than the one I see to day in New York streets. But, he [Alfred] Waud, or I, — have taken toll, as it were of countless minds to be what we are, that thousands of years ago men were utterly [words crossed out] incapable of thinking, living, reading, speculating as we do. Therefore progress without limit is the law of our being, and the fact of our we having un-satisfy-able souls, desires reaching to infinity, is itself an argument for such being the fact. / That faith in Jesus Christ cannot be gotten logically, Euclid-like, that it is less a matter of Reason, that Feeling, of the Affections. His life and precepts are Indivisable. And no

Rights: NoC-US

Place:

Dates: 1853-12-24

Type(s): Diary
Page

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Diaries
Religion
Christmas
Holidays

Permalink:
http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/181034

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