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Excerpt from The Yale Literary Magazine, Vol. 26: April, 1861
The simplicity of its diction has been lost in the grandeur of its meaning, and it has become a living creed, broad enough to embrace the whole catalogue of human needs, and neither the gropings of unen lightened heathen, nor the speculations of civilized Christians, have ever been able to fathom its depth. To know one's self thoroughly and well, if at all attainable by human wisdom, is indeed its highest pos sible attainment, and they, who come even within hailing distance of this goal, which yields better than Olympian garlands, are very few.
I have somewhere read of a young German artist, who, while he was engaged in copying a celebrated Madonna, was so impressed with its beauty and with the depth of conception it revealed, that, in dis trust of his own artistic powers, he fell into sadness, then into melan choly, and finally into madness, and died just as he had completed his matchless work, upon which he had labored for eight weary years. Sad as is the story, it shows us how entirely a great and absorbing pur pose may enter into and control one's human nature, and shows us also why it is, that they who know the most of themselves, always fancy that they know the least. The spanning of a stream which seems but a tri e to one who stands on either bank, seems almost a measureless distance to him who is already struggling with its angry waves.
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