We settle things by a majority vote, and the psychological effect of doing that is to create the impression that the majority is probably right. Of course, on any fine issue the majority is sure to be wrong. Think of taking a majority vote on the best music. Jazz would win over Chopin. Or on the best novel. Many cheap scribblers would win over Tolstoy. And any day a prizefight will get a bigger crowd, larger gate receipts and wider newspaper publicity than any new revelation of goodness, truth or beauty could hope to achieve in a century.
What education is to the individual man, revelation is to the whole human race... Education gives man nothing which he could not also get from within himself; it gives him that which he could get form within himself, only quicker and more easily. In the same way too, revelation gives nothing to the human race which reason could not arrive at on its own; only it has given, and still gives to it, the most important of these things sooner.
Music is a higher revelation than philosophy.
It doth not yet appear what we shall be. We lie here in our nest, unfledged and weak, guessing dimly at our future, and scarce believing what even now appears. But the power is in us, and that power is finally to be revealed. And what a revelation will that be!
There was plainly wanting a divine revelation to recover mankind out of their universal corruption and degeneracy.
We are weak today in ideal matters because intelligence is divorced from aspiration. The bare force of circumstance compels us onwards in the daily detail of our beliefs and acts, but our deeper thoughts and desires turn backwards. When philosophy shall have co-operated with the course of events and made clear and coherent the meaning of the daily detail, science and emotion will interpenetrate, practice and imagination will embrace. Poetry and religious feeling will be the unforced flowers of life. To further this articulation and revelation of the meanings of the current course of events is the task and problem of philosophy in days of transition.
We may have the confidence of another without possessing his heart. If his heart be ours, there is no need of revelation or of confidence, all is open to us.
Nature and revelation are alike God's books; each may have mysteries, but in each there are plain practical lessons for everyday duty.
Nothing, indeed, is so likely to shock us at first as the manifest revelation of ourselves.
A great man is a gift, in some measure of a revelation of God. A great man, living for high ends, is the divinest thing that can be seen on earth. The value and interest of history are derived chiefly from the lives and services of the eminent men whom it commemorates.
He that takes away reason to make way for revelation puts out the light of both, and does much the same as if he would persuade a man to put out his eyes the better to receive the remote light of an invisible star by a telescope.
The works of nature and the works of revelation display religion to mankind in characters so large and visible that those who are not quite blind may in them see and read the first principles and most necessary parts of it, and from thence penetrate into those infinite depths filled with the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century a distinct conception of what poets of strong ages call inspiration? If not, I will describe it. If one had the slightest residue of superstition left in one, one would hardly be able to set aside the idea that one is merely incarnation, merely mouthpiece, merely medium of overwhelming forces. The concept of revelation , in the sense that something suddenly, with unspeakable certainty and subtlety, becomes visible, audible, something that shakes and overturns one to the depths, simply describes the fact. One hears, one does not seek; one takes, one does not ask who gives; a thought flashes up like lightning, with necessity, unfalteringly formed - I have never had any choice... Everything is in the highest degree involuntary but takes place as in a tempest of a feeling of freedom, of absoluteness, of power, of divinity... The involuntary nature of image, of metaphor is the most remarkable thing of all; one no longer has any idea what is image, what metaphor, everything presents itself as the readiest, the truest, the simplest means of expression.
That there is but one Life, one Cosmic Principle, one Consciousness permeating the whole universe... Whoever is open to Truth does not care from what source it comes. It is Truth, that is sufficient... Revelation is discloser of the soul.
In the end we shall have to say that there is no solution of an intellectual kind and that it is part of the general mystical paradox that the mystical revelation transcends the intellect.
The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man.
All revelation is given, not in the form of directly communicated knowledge, but through events occurring in the historical experience of mankind, events which are apprehended by faith as the “mighty acts” of God.
I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Religions are not revealed; they are evolved. If a religion were revealed by God, that religion would be perfect in whole and in part, and would be as perfect as the first moment of its revelation as after ten thousand years of practice.
At best God can only reveal himself to us in terms of our experience in our historic setting. And the revelation that comes to us is to cooperate with God to bring form and order into the world as it is.