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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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The Unseen World

I BELIEVE there is an unseen world about which we know
nothing as firmly as any one can believe it. I see things
coming up from it into the visible world and going down
again from the seen world to the unseen. But my unseen
world is to be bona fide unseen and, in so far as I say I know
anything about it, I stultify myself. It should no more be
described than God should be represented in painting or
sculpture. It is as the other side of the moon ; we know it
must be there but we know also that, in the nature of things,
we can never see it. Sometimes, some trifle of it may sway
into sight and out again, but it is so little that it is not worth
counting as having been seen.

The Kingdom of Heaven

The world admits that there is another world, that there
is a kingdom, veritable and worth having, which, neverthe-
less, is invisible and has nothing to do with any kingdom
such as we now see. It agrees that the wisdom of this other
kingdom is foolishness here on earth, while the wisdom of
the world is foolishness in the Kingdom of Heaven. In our
hearts we know that the Kingdom of Heaven is the higher of
the two and the better worth living and dying for, and that,
if it is to be won, it must be sought steadfastly and in single-
ness of heart by those who put all else on one side and, shrink-
ing from no sacrifice, are ready to face shame, poverty and
torture here rather than abandon the hope of the prize of