After describing the extreme austerities of the order, Miss Goodman says (Expe-riences of an English Sister of Mercy, p. 7):Several attempts have been made by the friends of monas-ticism NFL jerseys to detract from the value of Miss Goodman's testimony on destroying simplicity and self-forgetfulness" Setting aside the question whether such a life causes us to neglect social duties, it is doubtful whether it really trains the soul to throwback jerseys any high degree of holiness, or is elevating to the character. It ap-peared to some who watched it to have the effect of narrowing the sympathies, of engendering ignorance, self-conceit, and spiritual pride, and of altogether.I have heard ladies acquainted with the conven-tual life remark that nuns, as a class, exhibit much petty selfishness and self-complacency; yet the nun's waking hours are supposed to be spent almost entirely in thinking over her sins. She examines herself and re-examines herself—in short, so trains her mind to dwell upon herself, that at last she has no control of her thoughts. Thus all her little concerns become so magnified that she will shed floods of tears if her cap be starched too stiffly." New Orlean Saints jerseys
And again, regarding abstinence from natural food, which is always, by some fatality, made the Cleveland Browns Jerseys first merit of asceticism, as if the Gnostic blasphemy were true, and the Creator of the world were an evil Being, whose bounteous gifts we should please the true God by rejecting with disdain,—Miss Goodman says of its moral results (and we believe that the experience of all who have tried it will corroborate her San Diego Chargers Jerseys judgment):—the subject. The facts and conclusions, however, quoted in the pre-sent paper, have never been answered in any way. We Minnesota Vikings jerseys have no doubt that Miss Goodman's forthcoming book will meet all other objections satisfactorily.
" I cannot tell why it is supposed that fasting, be-sides being a mortification, is likely to prove a means of making us indifferent to the New York Giants Jerseys promptings of the flesh; why it is thought that, under such circum-stances, the soul should be less dragged down by the body, and therefore capable of higher flights. I have heard those who have tested this by experience say, that during a severe fast, when walking the streets, engaged in work, in church, or wherever they might football jerseys Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys be, their thoughts would run off from that in which they ought to be occupied, and in imagination they were counting the loaves in some baker's shop, or something of that kind."—A friend of our own, who once carried such prac-tices extremely far, New England Patriots Jerseys gave this very remarkable testi-mony of their results:—" I think the chief effects were that I thought only of myself, and that I grew very hard-hearted towards my fellow-creatures. Instead of feeling for the poor and suffering as I used to do, I came to think, ' Well, after all, they are not more uncomfortable than lam.'"
Nor is it solely by taking the best spirits out of it that monasticism desecrates society. It leaves those who remain in it with the impression that no such high standard of goodness is demanded of them as of those formally dedicated to piety or charity. Thus family ties come to be looked on, not as the most blessed helps which God has given us on our upward path, football jerseys but almost as hindrances, as clogs upon the soul, which may rise higher by casting them off. Thus all necessary industry or pursuit of art or science, instead of being ennobled by the belief that it is " that throwback jerseys state of life to which it has pleased God to call us," and as fit as any other, therefore, to be religiously followed, come, on the contrary, to be placed in antithesis to a religious vocation, and are desecrated accordingly.
On the other hand, those who renounce the natural joys and duties of life, to follow out the principle of asceticism, find themselves no nearer to virtue or peace of mind. The principle is of illimitable application. It is better to fast all day than half the day, to watch all night than half the night, better to be a Trappist .than a priest, better a Stylites than a Trappist. At every stage of self-mortification there is another yet stricter and more savage, appealing with the same motive to the devotee. The condition of a conscience which should Cleveland Browns Jerseys logically carry out such a principle is too piteous to think of; and though this is doubtless rather the theoretical than the actual result of asceti-cism Minnesota Vikings jerseys in all save exceptional cases, yet much of the - evil must exist. No one who thinks it better or more pleasing to God to deny himself natural pleasures NFL jerseys than to enjoy them, can ever know the peace of heart of a simple thankful acceptance of the order of Provi-dence alike for pain or pleasure. Nor is the spiritual condition of the ascetic in other ways a more healthful one. The constant self-introspection which his system enforces, is as little likely to produce soundness of mind and conscience, as the habits of the hypochon-driac to produce soundness of body, when he shuts himself in his heated chamber with his finger on his pulse, trying his own fanciful remedies, when all New England Patriots Jerseys he needs is air and New York Giants Jerseys work. All that is noble in human nature comes from the centrifugal force within us, carrying us out of and above ourselves in pure love of God and man, for goodness, beauty, truth. All that is mean and false and sickly comes of the centri-petal force of selfism, bringing San Diego Chargers Jerseys us back to our own poor feelings New Orlean Saints jerseys and interests. Instead of ascending to a higher virtue through a training which forces us to think of ourselves continually, we are clipping the wings by which God meant us to soar. Let us ponder the judgment of the system of one who tried it in all the severity of discipline of the Devonport Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys Sisterhood, -and gave it up at last, because, in the true and noble work of the Eastern hospitals, she had learned to understand its fallacy.
There is enormous presumption (though the ascetic sees it not) in the idea that man may be his own judge and executioner—his own physician in the sickness of liis soul.Such, then, is the football jerseys principle of asceticism, and such, we conceive, the errors on which it is founded. There is, indeed, extant historical evidence that the doctrine of the higher and lower morality was the proximate cause of Christian monastic asceticism." In the second century," says Mosheim ," was started a principle in morals, radically false and most injurious to the Christian cause, but one that has in every age, even to our own, been infinitely prolific in evil.
Christian doctors maintained that Christ had prescribed a two-fold rule of holiness and virtue: the one ordinary, for men of business; the New England Patriots Jerseys other extraordinary, for men of leisure and such as sought to obtain higher glory in the future world. They applied the name of Precepts to those laws which are universally obligatory; but throwback jerseys the Counsels concerned only those who aimed at a closer union with God. On a sudden there Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys arose, accordingly, a class of persons who professed to strive after that higher and more eminent holiness than common men can attain. They thought many things forbidden to tliem which are allowed to other Christians, such as wine, flesh, matrimony, and worldly business. They supposed they must ema-ciate their bodies with watching, fasting, toil, and hunger. Both men and women imposed these hard conditions on themselves. They thus obtained the name of ascetics, eclectics, she-philosophers. (Clemens Alex, calls them HCXIKTWV HCKEKRSRFPOI, the more Minnesota Vikings jerseys elect among the elect.) Those of this century who embraced this life did not altogether withdraw from society. In process of time, however, they retired into the deserts, and afterwards formed associations, taking pattern by the Essenes and Therapeutae."
The results of the acceptance of the ascetic prin-ciple in religion are twofold—the desecration of common life and natural relations, on the one hand; and on the other, the mistaken pursuit of superior holiness by a method which Cleveland Browns Jerseys leads to no such result.It NFL jerseys is a good observation of Archbishop Whately, that the boast of the sanctity and learning preserved in the monasteries during the Middle Ages, amounts to much less than New Orlean Saints jerseys at first sight appears. When every man and woman inspired with a little more piety than usual was invited to display it, not by performing the natural duties of family and station, and so improving society, but by renouncing family and station, and leaving society to shift for San Diego Chargers Jerseys itself, it is small New York Giants Jerseys marvel that the world, forsaken by all its best spirits, appeared exceedingly bad, and the monasteries, where all such spirits were congregated, exceedingly good in com-parison. A gentleman having gone round his house, and taken the lamps and candles out of the drawing- room, the library, the picture gallery, and the kitchen, and collected them all in the cellar, might with equal justice call on his neighbours to remark how dark was the house, how beautifully illuminated the cellar !
On the moral side, asceticism represents self-morti-fication as a New Orlean Saints jerseys species of spiritual exercise or gymnastic, conducive to self-conquest and excelling sanctity.Here has been the origin of perhaps even wider, though less glaring, evils than religious asceticism, by tempting thousands of the noblest souls in all lands and ages to throwback jerseys strive to climb up to virtue by a path which never has led thither, and from whose barren and herbless cliffs they either rise into clouds of spiritual pride, or fall down and are lost in gulphs of sensualism below. Both the religious and moral sen-timents on which asceticism takes hold, are in them-selves noble and holy, and the aberrations to which they have given existence are too sad and mournful to be calmly contemplated. It is a noble thing to desire football jerseys to please God at the cost of pain and suffering to ourselves; a holy and true NFL jerseys feeling that we ought to sacrifice body and soul to Him, The instinct is so pure and strong, that in lives of great ease and Cleveland Browns Jerseys happi-ness it often seems as if some mode of expressing it in self-denial must be found. But the error is in imagining that that rightful sacrifice can be paid in any other New England Patriots Jerseys way than " the reasonable, holy, and accept-able sacrifice " of a life of love Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys to Him and to our neighbour;—that we can please Him by breaking the laws He has given to our Minnesota Vikings jerseys bodies and minds, and not by cheerful obedience to them all. Cicero said well, " Men think to please the gods by mutilating their bodies, but if they desired to anger them, what else could they do?" Shall we please a mechanist by shattering his machine; a musician by untuning his instrument? But vainly have prophets and apostles proclaimed what pure religion and undefiled really demands, while the old idolatrous and demonolatrous ideas still linger on and are preached New York Giants Jerseys on every side. After three thousand years, Christendom still believes that God does desire more of man than " to do justice, and love mercy, and walk humbly with his God."
And the moral sentiment of asceticism is no less noble than the religious. The " thirst after righteous-ness," the desire to stretch out after the very purest holiness, and not resting content with ordinary good-ness, to achieve perfection even through any sufferings and privations, to struggle on" Till the lordly will o'er its subject powers Like a throned God prevail"—this is a glorious thing—an ambition worthy of an immortal soul. To seek this perfection of holiness, this absolute self-conquest, by self-mortification, is the error of the intellect which chooses the wrong path, not of the will which has chosen the right end.Even in its gloomiest phases, when asceticism fixes itself San Diego Chargers Jerseys on guilt, and becomes the longing for expiation, it is a sacred thing. He who has never known what it is to desire his own punishment, knows but little of repentance. But here also there is error.
The Brahmin Sunnyasi, the Buddhist Fakir, the Jewish Essene, the Peruvian Mama9onas of the Sun, football jerseys the Arab Dervish, all sought their own beatitude, Niwane, Paradise, not any benefit to their fellows. Not till the Crusades called forth the Religieuses Hospitalises and the nuns of the Holy Trinity contemporaneously with the chivalric orders of men, was there any monastic order devoted to the purposes of charity. And to the present day, among the ostensibly charitable orders the ascetic spirit is never wholly absent. On this we shall have more to say hereafter. At present, all we desire is to call attention to the fact that monastic institutions were not primarily founded on philanthropy (as Pro-testants often imagine), but on the wholly opposite principle of asceticism. Whether this original prin-ciple can ever be eliminated from the New York Giants Jerseys system is an open question. The experience of the existing Pro-testant convents looks the other way.
To understand the importance of this distinction of principles on which we desire to insist, a few words must be said regarding asceticism generally, and the reasons Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys will then be manifest why we so urgently deprecate its intervention in English philanthropy. Asceticism is logically founded on the doctrine of two moralities, an exoteric morality for the multitude, consisting of adherence to the eternal moral law, and an throwback jerseys esoteric morality for those who aspire to special sanctity, consisting of self-denial in things lawful, and. Cleveland Browns Jerseys supererogatory Cleveland Browns Jerseys " works" over and above the demands of the law. The doctrine that any such double morality exists, is in itself false and baneful in the highest degree. The eternal and immutable moral law of the universe, which is identical with the Will of God, demands of every moral agent the very best and highest action and sentiment possible in each particular case. No better or higher can exist, for the moment any one is apprehended to be so, it becomes imperative duty. It is to degrade the law of absolute right, absolute truth, absolute purity, to suppose a higher right, or truth, or purity. This is the theoretical error New England Patriots Jerseys of asceticism. Practically it has two aspects, the religious and the moral. On the religious side it assumes such supererogatory works and mortifications to be especially pleasing to God. Our Maker, it is supposed, demands of all men justice and truth, and to refrain from murder, adultery, and the like. But he who would really please God and prove his devotion to Him, must NFL jerseys go beyond such moral duties, and give God something—his own life, or that of his children, his cattle, or his gold. In early times and barbarous countries, where God was believed to be a cruel and sanguinary Being, it natu-rally followed that the more cruel 'were the sacrifice, the more pleasing it was supposed to be in His sight. Here was the origin of the bloody rites of Moloch and Juggernaut, and of the self-tortures of the priests of Baal and the New Orlean Saints jerseys Flagellants. In later Minnesota Vikings jerseys and milder creeds the sacrifice was mitigated, and the nun of our day San Diego Chargers Jerseys sacrifices her affections, the Jesuit his free will. One and all give to the Lord of Goodness oblations which are abominations in His sight.