The Life and Work of George Sylvester Morris: A Chapter in the History of American Thought in the Nineteenth Century

The Life and Work of George Sylvester Morris: A Chapter in the History of American Thought in the Nineteenth Century

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The Life and Work of George Sylvester Morris: A Chapter in the History of American Thought in the Nineteenth Century

The Life and Work of George Sylvester Morris: A Chapter in the History of American Thought in the Nineteenth Century

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Despite recent inquiry and speculation, much remains to do ere man can penetrate the secrets of his intellectual and moral nature. If physiological 'heredity' chastise our knowledge with whips, social 'heredity' chastises it with scorpions. Nevertheless, when the group-influences, inseparable from intellectual and moral achievement, come in question, it seems plain that every notable life "is built up of an enormous number of subordinate lives," but of lives like-minded, in the sense that they create or maintain a normal standard, itself very complex, which the exceptional career serves to epitomize. However these obscure problems stand today, few will deny that the culture-system peculiar to the New England colonies was a type--a type dominated by a saving sense of order and thrift on earth, by a no less saving sense of grave responsibility to the fearful issues that sprang from primitive notions of a covenant relation between God and man. For, while it is true that the first English immigrants entertained "the visible hope of a great and rich trade" they were possessed even more by pictorial beliefs concerning "the things unseen and eternal." In a word, such were the conditions of existence in old East Anglia and in the new Atlantic colonies alike, that without transitive spiritual supports survival would have been impossible. Pilgrim and Puritan sought a far country where they might build convictions into daily duties, unhampered by Roman . . .

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