How often do we contradict the right rules of reason in the whole course of our lives! Reason itself is true and just, but the reason of every particular man is weak and wavering, perpetually swayed and turned by his interests, his passions, and his vices.
Leaves are light, and useless, and idle, and wavering, and changeable; they even dance; and yet God in his wisdom has made them a part of oaks. And in so doing he has given us a lesson, not to deny the stout-heartedness within because we see the lightsomeness without.
It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun. It is as if loneliness were a hard and absolute condition of existence; the envelope of flesh and blood on which our eyes are fixed melts before the outstretched hand, and there remains only the capricious, unconsolable and elusive spirit that no eye can follow, no hand can grasp.
From millions of men . . . one man must step forward who with apodictic force will form granite principles from the wavering idea-world of the broad masses and take up the struggle for their sole correctness, until from the shifting waves of a fre thought-world there will arise a brazen cliff of solid unity in faith and will.
Even as the needle that directs the hour, (Touched with the loadstone) by the secret power Of hidden Nature, points upon the pole; Even so the wavering powers of my soul, Touch'd by the virtue of Thy spirit, flee From what is earth, and point alone to Thee.
Theology, I am persuaded, derives its initial impulse from a religious wavering; for there is quite as much, or more, that is mysterious and calculated to awaken scientific curiosity in the intercourse with God, and it [is] a problem quite analogous to that of theology.
Only in the steady and constant application of force lies the very first prerequisite for success. This persistence, however, can always and only arise from a definite spiritual conviction. Any violence which does not spring from a firm, spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain.