Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/150

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150
THE HALLIG.

tiful as the new covering may be at first, it can not es-
cape the fate of its precursor, and must become a dull,
colorless thing, serving merely as a foil to yet another
which succeeds it.
  These thoughts led Mander to have many earnest
conversations with Hold, in which, when Oswald was
not present, he gradually allowed the pastor a clear in-
sight into his heart, which was by no means at rest on
the subject of religion.
  "How often," said Mander, "on the announcement
of some new system of philosophy, have I rejoiced like
a child over its Christmas gift ; and when, having toiled
through its difficulties, I at last comprehended it, I
found only new questions without answers, new riddles
without solutions ; a deep insight into the human heart,
but no food for it; profound research indeed, but no
rewarding discoveries. Philosophers have seemed to me
like persons digging for a treasure whose hollow ringing
is continually urging them to new efforts, while mis-
chievous spirits are always sinking it lower and lower."
  "Let us," said Hold, "consider for a moment an ap-
parently trifling circumstance — the difficult language
of philosophers. There is a wonderful power in words.
When man gives a name to an object, he makes him-
self, as it were, master of it. It is no longer a vague
something which confuses his thoughts and may at any
moment escape from him ; no, it is bound to follow his
intellectual eye, and must listen as soon as he calls it
by name. There lies a deep significance in that por-
tion of the account of the creation, in which it is said
that God brought every creature to Adam to see what
he would call them. In this way was given to him a