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and with its power to bring the whole infinitude of being inwardly near to us, and to make it part of our own life, must be directly reckoned as moral.
“On the other hand, a type of art which thinks highly of itself and its tasks cannot possibly despise morality. There has hardly ever been a creative artist of the first rank who professed the æsthetical view of life. For such a one cannot look upon art as a separate sphere dissociated from the rest of life; he must put his whole soul into his creation; he cannot be satisfied with a mere technique, and he is far too conscious of the difficulties and shortcomings of this creation to make it a mere matter of enjoyment. As a matter of fact, the æsthetical view of life is professed not so much by artists themselves as by dilletanti who study art from the outside, who, not much disposed to abstract discussion, and indeed defenceless against it, hardly realize that this separation of life from art as a whole does not elevate art but degrades it."
That the mystic æsthetician holds the same views as here expressed is shown when Coomeraswamy quotes the words of Millet: “Beauty does not arise from the subject of a work of art, but from the necessity that has been felt of representing that subject."
It will be seen that Eucken in the above passage criticises the ultra-emotional, the Oscar Wilde type of æstheticism, and while he does not appear elsewhere to be an avowed mystic, he shows the growing sympathetic understanding of mysticism on the part of modern thinkers. And at the same time it must be added that the mystic attitude is susceptible of better appreciation, for mysticism need not be understood as a retirement from life, since the goal of the mystic, ataraxia, has been brought near to the daily life of the world.
This is strikingly exemplified in William Blake, in whom was united, in a very remarkable way, the artist, poet, and mystic. The æsthetician would have far to seek to find a man equally great in all three fields, who subjected his art to his visions and lived true to his ideals. Engraver by profession, poet and painter by choice, mystic and seer by nature, Blake lived a truly mys
tical life, like Wordsworth “in a world of glory, of spirit and of vision, which for him was the only real world.”25 Outwardly his life was no long holiday; far from that, it was a struggle against poverty which he unhesitatingly faced. But he could say of Lawrence and other popular artists, "They pity me—but it is they who are just objects of pity.
possess my visions and peace. They have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage.” Blake had the misfortune, if such it was, to be isolated in an age which was uncongenial to the spirit of mysticism. Isolated, and hence undisciplined, resenting the restraint of criticism, he was led to what still seems to be extravagance. Had it not been for this we might have had a great historical example in William Blake of the illuminative influence of mysticism on Art.26
Thus mystic æsthetic cannot uphold Schopenhauer in believing that artistic gifts belong to the holidays, not to the working days of life. How far this theory leads one can be understood in reading Santayana. "Art,” says he, "is the response to the demand for entertainment,"27 and again where he seems to quote
27 Sense of Beauty, p. 22. Schopenhauer: “The appreciation of beauty and its embodiment in the arts are activities which belong to our holiday life, when we are redeemed for the moment from the shadows of evil and the slavery to fear, and are following the bent of our nature where it chooses to lead us."
Santayana was led to such conclusions by his definition of art and morality. We have already seen what a false idea he had of mysticism. Morality he makes mystic in character, concerning
25 Mysticism in English Literature, C. F. E. Spurgeon, p. 129.
26It would be inconsistent with the nature of this article to refer to the many painters, poets, writers, and musicians who have expressed mysticism in their art. The English mystics may be studied in Miss Spurgeon's Mysticism in English Literature. Evelyn Underhill's (Mrs. Moore's) Mysticism, which has a valuable bibliography, should be consulted, while Professor Rufus Jones' Studies in Mysticism is the best work on the subject of the religious mystics. This latter work also takes up the question of St. Francis and his influence. St. Francis is an important figure in the study of mysticism and art, as he exhibits in himself the blending of the two elements, the mystic and the artistic or poetic, as do Wordsworth and Blake.
itself in the prevention of suffering, while art is concerned with the giving of pleasure. These statements are on a par with his definition of mysticism.
Mystic æsthetics does not take this view; it does not content itself with the hedonistic conception of art, and hence finds no distinction, as that between servant and master, between Art and Morality. Mystic æsthetics will deny as totally insufficient such principles as Marshall works upon, making æsthetics a branch of hedonics and thereby developing a new so-called "algedonic" æsthetics. Any physiological theory such as Darwin, Spencer, or Groos have proposed is naturally opposed to a spiritual æsthetic. Great art, mystic æsthetics believe, is only produced by a spiritual activity. Where Beauty is, there is the Kingdom of Heaven, subjective and undivided, and here the essential mystic note is sounded: “There is no beauty save that in our own hearts.”
ARTHUR EDWIN BYE. Princeton, New Jersey.
THE VICAR OF MORWENSTOW
As we left our carriage and walked down the lane towards the Sea, we could discern two gray towers rising above the bare hills along the coast and surrounded by a few stunted sycamores. This was the goal of our pilgrimage, Morwenstow. A spot more out of the world it would have been difficult to find. For miles inland the country is bleak and barren, wind-swept and forbidding, and what few trees and bushes are to be seen, from the Sea, as if cowering before an expected blow from his mighty hand.
Cornwall was once a sacred land, like Ireland, and towns and villages bear the names of saints and missionaries. Of these was the Welsh saint, Morwena, who lived and taught in a cell in this cleft in the rocky coast. When she lay dying in the glen, she asked her companions to lift her up in their arms that her eyes might rest on her native Wales and its blue hills, just over the Severn Sea. On a clear day one can see the Welsh hills upon which rested the eyes of Saint Morwena; and this side of those hills, Lundy's Isle, once the stronghold of pirates; to the west the Atlantic piles up its wrath and scorn against the granite rocks, and far to the southeast loom the Tors of Dartmoor, and this side of them, the church towers of Kilkhampton Church, where the bones of the Granvilles lie sleeping.
It was to this church of Morwenstow, thus situate at the hea 1 of the valley running down to the Severn Sea, that Robert Stephen Hawker came as Vicar in 1834, bringing with him his wife, whom he had married when a student at Oxford, and who was only twenty-one years his senior, one year older than his mother. Church and parish were in a state of decay when Hawker appeared on the scene. Cornwall had been a favorite soil for the followers of Wesley and most of the inhabitants had become Dissenters. Hawker thus describes his people and his work: "My people were a mixed multitude of smugglers, wreckers, and dissenters of various hue. A few simple-hearted farmers had clung to the gray old sanctuary of the church and the tower
that looked along the Sea, but the bulk of the people had become followers of the great preacher of the last century who came down into Cornwall and persuaded the people to alter their sins. Mine was a perilous warfare. If I had not, like the apostle, to 'fight with wild beasts at Ephesus,' I had to soothe the wrecker, to persuade the smuggler, and to 'handle serpents,' in my intercourse with adversaries of many a kind.”
These "followers of the great preacher" Hawker hated with a most perfect and unchristian hatred. Next to them, he hated the Evangelicals of his own communion. It is related of hini that he once inquired of Dissenters the reason for their reluctance in coming to him to make arrangements for burials. They answered, “Well, sir, we thought you objected to burying Dissenters.” “Not at all,” said Hawker, “I should be only too glad to bury you all."
The new Vicar took great pride and interest in building again the walls of this Cornish Zion. His own vicarage he built a little to the west of the church, in a spot where he had seen the lambs taking shelter from the wind, not that the house might be sheltered from the winds, but that the refuge of the lambs should typify the vicarage, the sheltering place of the flock. This bit of his history introduces us to the nature of the man.
He was a mystic, a symbolist, and in all the figures and carvings of his church, and in all the incidents of the day, he saw the reflection of Christian truth. Demons and angels were as real to him as they were to St. Francis. His barn, unlike his vicarage, was built in a spot exposed to the fury of the Atlantic winds. When his neighbors remonstrated with him, he assured them that no harm could come to his barn for he had put the sign of the cross on it. In a few days the gales unroofed it, but Hawker explained the occurrence by saying that the Devil was so enraged at seeing the sign of the cross on the barn that he tore off the roof.
The church consists of two aisles and a nave, dating back to the 16th century. The arches are heavy Norman, the oaken benches richly carved and a vine embraces the pillars and runs along the moulding. Among the graves is that of a priest who lies, not like the flock with their feet to the east, that they may