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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

The Ultimate Law of Life

The Ultimate Law of Life.

It is life, it is God. To say that God is love does not help us much, because the term "God" is almost unthinkable. We must reverse it and say. "Love is God." Then all that is good in religion or Christianity comes back to us at once. Has not some poet said that man's highest endowment is "The love of love, the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn;" or, as Dr. Giles, one of our New Zealand poets, better expresses it:—

"We cannot find out God and call [unclear: bis] Love,
But we can seek out Love and [unclear: cr] him God;
So may we still live on with [unclear: heav] above,
So tread the path that all the [unclear: sain] have trod."

That expresses to me a very [unclear: illum] ating thought—but we have profaned [unclear: fi] name of Love, by almost always [unclear: assoc] ing with it the idea of sex-love. [unclear: There] no sex in soul. Tennyson, in "In [unclear: M] oriam," expresses love for his dead [unclear: fri] as tender and as deep as any human of traction or affection can be. When [unclear: Per] fessor Bickerton, of Christchurch, [unclear: t] gested the possibility of the re-birth [unclear: at] fresh universes from the impact of [unclear: d] suns, it seemed to me the most [unclear: gh] atheistic idea I had ever heard of. [unclear: H] what is it but the lowest form of [unclear: aff] tion, which in itself is love, the [unclear: domi] vital principle of all life, which [unclear: from] fire-mist of the nebula evolves the [unclear: Chri] Ideal?

The "love" we need is the [unclear: unvei] "peace and goodwill toward men." [unclear: pe] claimed long ago, but still unrealised [unclear: t] cause its true source and meaning [unclear: un] still unrecognised. Our loves and [unclear: the] attractions necessarily govern [unclear: on] thoughts and actions, if we let them [unclear: th] is the fact that we have control of [unclear: th] that makes us men. All men love [unclear: p] tice, all men have some conception [unclear: of] moral law and admit its force, [unclear: yet] support institutions which flagrantly [unclear: o] late both, and therefore we are [unclear: con] way to anarchy and chaos, [unclear: uless] speedily mend our ways. All [unclear: bure] stitutions are more or less imperfect [unclear: to] the natural result is that strong [unclear: and] scrupulous men take advantage of [unclear: th] imperfections in order to [unclear: aggr] themselves at the expense of [unclear: th] fellows.

In the process of developing [unclear: soc] institutions, which in their [unclear: beg] were either harmless or helpful, [unclear: con] antagonise the well-being of man, [unclear: t] must be destroyed, or they would [unclear: dec] society. Age, and the very fact that [unclear: t] lend themselves to the exploitation [unclear: of] many by the few, give to many [unclear: in] tions an atmosphere of [unclear: respectal] long after they have become a [unclear: men] human well-being. To tolerate [unclear: ad] stitution, however old, and [unclear: bowever] spectable, for long after it has [unclear: ceas] minister to human well-being, breeding anarchy—to tolerate it finitely, will mean the [unclear: destruction] civilisation. Such an institution in [unclear: o] history was chattel slavery. [unclear: Such] institution in the present is the [unclear: lit] liquor traffic.