Cloud Upon the Sanctuary
THERE is no age more remarkable to the quiet observer than our own. Everywhere there is a fermentation in the minds of men; everywhere there is a battle between light and darkness, between exploded thought and living ideas, between powerless wills and living active force; in short everywhere is there war between animal man and growing spiritual man.
It is said that we live in an age of light, but it would be truer to say that we are living in an age of twilight; here and there a luminous ray pierces through the mists of darkness, but does not light to full clearness either our reason or our hearts. Men are not of one mind, scientists dispute, and where there is discord, truth is not yet apprehended.
The most important objects for humanity are still undetermined. No one is agreed either on the principle of rationality or on the principle of morality, or on the cause of the will. This proves that though we are dwelling in an age of light, we do not well understand what emanates from our hearts-and what from our heads. Probably we should have this information much sooner if we did not imagine that we have the light of knowledge already in our hands, or if we would cast a look on our weakness, and recognise that we require a more brilliant illumination. We live in the times of idolatry of the intellect, we place a common torchlight upon the altar and we loudly proclaim the aurora, that now daylight is really about to appear, and that the world is emerging more and more out of obscurity into the full day of perfection, through the arts, sciences, cultured taste, and even from a purer understanding of religion.
The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of truth, morality, and happiness. It operates in the saints from the innermost to the outside, and spreads itself gradually by the Spirit of Jesus Christ into all nations, to institute everywhere an Order by means of which the individual can reach as well as the race; our human nature can be raised to its highest perfection, and sick humanity be cured from all the evils of its weakness.
Thus the love and spirit of God will one day alone vivify all humanity; they will awake and rekindle all the strength of the human race, will lead it to the goals of Wisdom and place it in suitable relationships.
Peace, fidelity, domestic harmony, love between nations, will be the first fruits of this Spirit. Inspiration of good without false similitudes, the exaltation of our souls without too severe a tension, warmth in the heart without turbulent impatience, will approach, reconcile, and unite all the various parts of the human race, long separated and divided by many differences, and stirred up against each other by prejudices and errors, and in one Grand Temple of Nature, great and little, poor and rich, all will sing the praise of the Father of Love.
- Cloud Upon the Sanctuary by Karl von Eckartshausen 1790
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