STRAY THOUGHTS ON LIFE.
Life is viewed in different ways by different men holding different phases of thought. To the great English dramatist, all the world is a stage and all the men and women are merely players; that life is of the stuff that dreams are made of; that our little life is rounded with a sleep and returning from sleep to sleep. The devout Theist views life on earth as but a route to Heaven where he implicitly believes he will be blessed with life spiritual and eternal in the presence of his beloved God. The speculative Atheist rightly thinks that the problem of existence is purely an intellectual one, that men for ages have tried to solve it in devious ways only to find it an insoluble one. Yet to the peaceful Pantheist all life, all nature is but a manifestation of God or Brahm, in Whom we live and have our being. He reads God's will in the grandeur and majesty of the boundless ocean, in the brilliant galaxy of the heavens, and in the infinite variety of life on the globe. The Scientific man expounds nature to be a system of never-erring forces, acting under uniform and immutable laws, in which chance plays no part, but everything determined by the law essential to its very nature. The Idealist thinks all nature is a vision, ignores in toto the existence of noumenon, and believes in the reality of nothing save his percipient mind. The selfish millionaire considers that the reason and purpose of life is to amass his riches, and with the hoarding up of his wealth ends all his glory. The Trader views the world to be a vast mart in which each and every man seeks to profit some way; whilst the poor, hardy Labourer surely finds life to be a toilsome burden, a painful struggle for bare existence. The pampered Epicurean scorns the hungry and feasts himself on the sweets and tastes which wealth alone could afford. The Optimist mind unhesitatingly believes that everything in nature is designed and ordered for the best and finds the finger of God in every phenomenon of the Universe. But the much-abused Rationalist in the exercise of his pure Reason sees that nature gives him no clue of the existence of an All-good and All-loving Ruler. It on the other hand reveals to him a Being who is thoroughly unconcerned about the terrible inequalities in the world, a Being utterly reckless of the countless millions of his creatures on whom earthquake and volcano, fire and flood, storm and tempest, pestilence and plague mercilessly inflict agony and death. Ah! what is Life after all. A mystery of mysteries, an inscrutable mystery.
P. J. M.