By John Ruskin
John Ruskin (1819-1900) is better recognized for his paintings as an artwork critic and social critic, yet is remembered as an writer, poet and artist to boot. Ruskin's essays on paintings and structure have been tremendous influential within the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Ruskin's diversity was once tremendous. He wrote over 250 works which all started from paintings background, yet multiplied to hide issues ranging over technological know-how, geology, ornithology, literary feedback, the environmental results of toxins, and mythology. In 1848, he married Effie grey, for whom he wrote the early delusion novel The King of the Golden River. After his dying Ruskin's works have been gathered jointly in an incredible "library edition", accomplished in 1912 by means of his neighbors Edward prepare dinner and Alexander Wedderburn. Its index is famously complicated, trying to articulate the advanced interconnectedness of his proposal. His different works comprise: Giotto and his works in Padua (1854), The Harbours of britain (1856), "A pleasure for Ever" (1857), The Ethics of the airborne dirt and dust (1866) and Hortus Inclusus.
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Footnote 23: Vide pp. 124-5. ] In my first lecture of this year, I pointed out to you with what extreme simplicity and reality the Christian faith must have presented itself to the Northern Pagan’s mind, in its distinction from his former confused and monstrous mythology. It was also in that simplicity and tangible reality of conception, that this Faith became to them, and to the other savage nations of Europe, Tutress of the real power of their imagination and it became so, only in so far as it indeed conveyed to them statements which, however in some respects mysterious, were yet most literally and brightly true, as compared with their former conceptions.
I give you first, for an example of Philosophy, a single sentence, containing all—so far as I can myself discern—that it is possible for us to know, or well for us to believe, respecting the world and its laws. “OF GOD’S UNIVERSAL PROVIDENCE, RULING ALL, AND COMPRISING ALL. “Wherefore the great and mighty God; He that made man a reasonable creature of soul and body, and He that did neither let him pass unpunished for his sin, nor yet excluded him from mercy; He that gave, both unto good and bad, essence with the stones, power of production with the trees, senses with the beasts of the field, and understanding with the angels; He from whom is all being, beauty, form, and number, weight, and measure; He from whom all nature, mean and excellent, all seeds of form, all forms of seed, all motion, both of forms and seeds, derive and have being; He that gave flesh the original beauty, strength, propagation, form and shape, health and symmetry; He that gave the unreasonable soul, sense, memory, and appetite; the reasonable, besides these, fantasy, understanding, and will; He, I say, having left neither heaven, nor earth, nor angel, nor man, no, nor the most base and contemptible creature, neither the bird’s feather, nor the herb’s flower, nor the tree’s leaf, without the true harmony of their parts, and peaceful concord of composition: —It is in no way credible that He would leave the kingdoms of men and their bondages and freedom loose and uncomprised in the laws of His eternal providence.
We continually hear of the trials, sometimes of the victories, of Faith, —but scarcely ever of its pleasures. Whereas, at this time, you will find that the chief delight of all good men was in the recognition of the goodness and wisdom of the Master, who had come to dwell with them upon earth. It is almost impossible for you to conceive the vividness of this sense in them; it is totally impossible for you to conceive the comfort, peace, and force of it. In everything that you now do or seek, you expose yourselves to countless miseries of shame and disappointment, because in your doing you depend on nothing but your own powers, and in seeking choose only your own gratification.
The Pleasures of England by John Ruskin