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112
THE HALLIG.

they wander up and down through blooming paths,
satisfied if they do not stray so far that their com-
panions in the park can no longer recognize them as
their fellows. Verily this generation requireth the burn-
ing mirror of the law, to consume to ashes the tares
which they call good seed, but which can not even hide
the naked soil.
  It accords indeed illy with the so called enlighten-
ment of our time to bind one's self to such a fixed
letter. No, we would rather be a law unto ourselves,
and we talk much of the law written in our hearts, by
which, if we will confess the truth, we mean a soft
waxen tablet, upon which outward impressions sketch a
variety of figures, and from which we select as an oracle
the one most in accordance with our own inclinations,
and then follow it as a Divine decree. In this way have
we found it so easy to be very good and moral men, be-
cause whenever by fortunate circumstances, by educa-
tion, by a certain shrinking from the judgment of the
world, our inclinations are kept in a kind of calm, which
does not allow a wild outbreak of the passions, and so
we are saved from being called thieves and murderers,
a little pride, love of the world, scandal, revenge, de-
ceit, and even some worse vices, may very well go along
with this respectability.
  Such is a worldly life ; there is no judge in our hearts
who examines closely ; there is. no law there, which,
sharper than a two-edged sword, divides between God
and the world, right and wrong, virtue and vice. As in
lukewarm water, heat and cold are mingled, so in our
self-created law, are light and darkness combined into a
hazv mist which does not dazzle the sight. As the ser-