The Evening Hours of a Hermit
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
The Evening Hours of a Hermit.
By Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
— God’s feeling for human beings, human beings’ feeling
for God, a ruler’s fatherly feeling for his people, people’s
childlike feeling for the ruler — these are the source of all
Human beings, either on the throne or under a leafy shelter, are equal. What is a human, in his nature? Why do not wise men tell us what a human is? Why do not high-ranking people tell us what a human is? A farmer who needs oxen on the farm knows his cattle. A shepherd studies the nature of his sheep.
You, who need the service of human beings and say that you protect and feed them—do you take the same trouble as a farmer for his oxen? Do you worry in the same way as a shepherd about his sheep? Is knowledge of human beings in your wisdom? Is your kindness that of an enlightening shepherd of people?
What human nature is, what he needs, what improves him, what degrades him, what makes him strong or weak—these should be in the knowledge of a nation’s shepherd and even of a man who lives in a humble hut.
Far and wide mankind find the need to know. Far and wide mankind endeavor to elevate themselves, with hardships, labor and ardor. Nevertheless many generations of mankind come to their end without gratifying their ardent desire, so that many of them cry out on their deathbeds that their lives have not satisfied them. Their ends are not any similar to so many fruit that fall on the ground in autumn, after having played their part, to leave a well deserving rest in winter.
Why does a human seek truth without order and ultimate objective? Why does he study the need of his true nature? Why does not he seek truth which is his comfort and joy in life, the truth that gives him the innermost satisfaction, develops his various faculties, consoles him in his everyday life and makes his years happy?
Driven by his need, a human finds the way to truth in the depth of his nature.
The way to truth for a satisfied suckling is to know what its mother means to it. and the mother, before the baby is capable of pronouncing the words duty or gratitude, forms love in his heart, which is the true nature of gratitude. And a son who eats bread given by his father and who keeps warm at the fireside together with the father finds the blessing of his life in his childlike duty in this Way of Nature.
Standpoint in life and individual mission of a human — these are the book of Nature and in the book lies the power and Order of the wise leader called Nature. All schooling which is not based on this way of human education is misleading.
Human—father of your children—do not push the faculty of your children’s mind much too far ahead before their minds are stronger by raining through things real around them. And, beware of severity and over exertion.
In the power of Nature, although it leads to truth with overwhelming power, there is nothing tense in its guidance. When a nightingale sings in the dark, everything belonging to Nature stirs in refreshing freedom, and nowhere obtrudes the shadow of Order.
If, in Nature’s method of education, there existed forced and tensed order, then it would follow that Nature brought forth things one-sided and partial, and so Nature’s truth would not come out calm and free as the richness of the entire nature of mankind.
Vain desire for the mere phantom of truth, the kind of desire that exhausts people without purpose, the desire for the voice, sound or words about truth that have no interest to attract people at all nor are applicable for practical service; to subject a growing human with all his power to the stiff and one-sided opinion of a schoolmaster, or exchange of words that are the basis of human education as well as thousands of technics in education that are in fashion—there were all over laborious and lead a human away from the Way of Nature.
Bigoted advance of all these will fail in forming a true and calm servant to a human nor a sympathetic good mother whose delight and wisdom are her children’s delight, whereby their needs are met.
If a human is one-sidedly directed to or forced on a certain subject, he will lose balance or power of wisdom. Therefore Nature’s method of education is never coercive.
Nevertheless, Nature’s education is firm, and its Order had the exactitude of a good housekeeper.
Wide knowledge in a confused and disorderly state is neither the Way of Nature.
A human who flutters about all kinds of knowledge without strengthening his recognition by calm and firm application will also lose his Way of Nature as well as his calm sense of truth and sound, fresh and attentive vision as well as serene sense of truth by which we may feel genuine joy.
Human, if you search for truth in this Order of Nature, you will find that truth is helpful to you in your position or in your course of life as needs be.
Human, as truth is necessary for your comfort and peace of mind, so is it the most trustworthy star to guide you in your immediate happiness. As it supports you in your life, so it blesses you.
In your course of life, you are not allowed to make use of all truths.
The extent of knowledge that makes a human happy in his circumstances is limited. And the extent, beginning from around him with his nearest relations, stretches wide. However wide it may extend, it must be based on the very center of the power of all blessings of truth.
Pure sense of truth is formed in a limited extent. And true human wisdom is firmly based on the knowledge of the relations nearest to a human and also on his faculty to decently dispose of matters nearest to him.
Human wisdom that results from the needs in our circumstances gives us energy to act and cultivates it. And the intellect obtained from this kind of human wisdom tends to be simple and far-seeing. Since wisdom is formed from the total and natural power of things established in their realistic relations, it may be directed to any form of truth.
Such wisdom may be expressed as power, emotion or firm faculty of application.
Noble Way of Nature—you lead us to truth as our ultimate objective, which is power, conduct, source of education and training, fulfillment and general condition of the whole nature of mankind.
It is true that you educate us human beings so that we do not grow too fast at a dazzling speed. The faculty of your child is limited and his words are the expression and result of his whole knowledge.
However, if a human is too hasty in the course of your Order, he will by himself ruin his inner power and disturb the intrinsic peace and balance in the depth of human mind.
All the above is what happens when a human, before he educates his mind in accordance with truth and wisdom through objective recognition of reality, throws himself into various confusions of oral teachings or opinions and distracts his mind based on sound, talks or words as the means of initial training of various human faculties, without basing himself on truth from reality.
This artificial method adopted by schooling, which forces the order of words everywhere without waiting for free, calm and mild advance of Nature, trains a human in such a manner that the lack of his essential inner faculty be covered, by which a human becomes artificial and vain, as befits the shallow and superficial mode of living of this century.
It is true that loquacity is the case with extensive but confused knowledge, and loquacity will disturb the course of those who will sacrifice calm feeling of pure human wisdom. When they, being haughty, keep clamorous even near the bright power of blessed wise men, in fact they are only in empty wilderness and darkness.
Education of a human toward truth trains us by guiding our essential human nature toward wisdom that gives us peace.
Nature’s power and true training of a human—where are we able to find them?
The lifeless and empty wilderness of dark ignorance also misleads us from the Way of Nature. Lack of knowledge of human nature limits human knowledge and narrows it, which is thus made less than human nature requires. Distortion of initial, basic concept of things related with a human, tyranny that suppresses people with deadly violence, restraint of joy of all truth and blessings as well as unnatural lack of general education of people in their initial essential needs and their relation to a human—how to heavy shadows of all these darken the earth!
Therefore the power of educated mankind, which is the source of their powerful action and calm delight, is never an imaginary desire or deceiving delusion.
Intrinsic, heartfelt satisfaction, true power or human nature and blessing of life—these are not dreams. To seek these is the objective and also the mission of mankind, and I personally need them. And my sincere desire to seek them is also the objective and mission of mankind.
Oh, truth, my savior, by which I may be elevated to accomplishment of my nature—how and where am I to find you?
In the depth of my nature lies the answer to this search for truth.
All mankind are equal in nature, so that the way to satisfy mankind is one. Therefore the truth derived purely from the innermost of one’s intrinsic self will be the universal human truth. And it is the truth that will pacify the contenders that are fighting for the mere shadow of truth.
Pure power of mankind is never the gift of art or chance. It lies in the innermost of all human beings, together with their basic qualities. To accomplish the power of blessing of all these is the universal need of mankind.
Therefore the Way of Nature that expresses the power of blessing must be at once faire and facile. Also, education of a human for him to acquire wisdom which is true and which offers peace of mind must be simple and universally applicable.
Nature develops all human faculties through practice and their power grows through exercise.
The Order of Nature in human education is the power to apply and exercise recognition, gift and talent of a human.
Therefore a person who is simple and innocent, by applying his recognition simply and honestly and also by practicing and exercising all his faculties through calm industry, is educated so as to attain true human wisdom through Nature. However, a man who disturbs this Order of Nature in himself and weakens pure feeling of honesty of his recognition will fail to enjoy blessing of truth.
Exercise of an action which is contrary to the inner sense of justice ruins our power or recognition of truth and confuses pure feeling of noble simplicity of our basic concept and senses.
Therefore all human wisdom is based on the power of emotion which is good and honest to truth, and so are all human blessings based on this feeling of simplicity and innocence.
Human education toward this pure feeling of simplicity and innocence protects mankind like a father, as the incorruptible base of emotion protects and justly guides the process of formation of human mind.
To elevate these inner human faculties to the level of true human wisdom is also the general objective of education of the humblest populace
Practice, application and use of power and wisdom in specific circumstances and conditions of mankind are in fact occupational training, which must always go with the general objective human education.
Wisdom and power based on simplicity and innocence are the requirements that are vital to those in the highest social ladder. Also in their inner faculties lack the basis to receive raining for their immediate missions and specific statuses. To be of high standing, which is external, does not serve as excuse.
There is a gulf between a father and a ruler, between a poverty-stricken man and a rich man who sighs under an even greater agony, between an ignorant human and a knowledgeable person of unquestionable reputation, between an idle person and a genius whose eagle-like power is capable of influencing the whole world.
However, if a man of high social scale lacks true sense of humanity, he will be under dark clouds. But a well-educated man of humanity, even living in a humble hut, will radiate pure, noble grandeur of a gratified human.
Therefore, if a ruler desires a wise and just law for his prisoner, he will probably only waste a purse full of gold as the expense for the purpose. However, if he acts with full humanity at courts-martial and at offices of hunting and taxes, and if he behaves with true fatherly feeling at home, then he will be able to educate judges and guards of his prisoner in a wise, sincere and fatherly manner.
Without these, the text of the most excellent law does not differ much from the love of neighbors in the mouth of a pitiless man.
You rulers—you are probably far, far away from the blessing that you seek.
However, the number of fathers, who are in a far humbler state, handle their perverse sons very wisely. Rulers, you must acquire wisdom in the tears of those fathers that are shed over their sleepless nights and in their pains of heavy burden in the daytime, and also for the sake of your prisoners. And give your mighty power to those who seek wisdom in these ways of life. Rulers, you must know that blessing in this world is none other than educated humanity and that only by humanity may function all the power of enlightenment, wisdom and all the inner blessing of the law.
Human! Yourself, your nature and inner feeling of your various faculties are the initial theme of Nature that educates men.
However, you do not live on the earth only for yourself. Therefore Nature educated you for the sake of, and according to, your relation with the outer world.
Human! This relation, the closer it is to a human, the more important it proves in educating your nature, in order for you to accomplish your mission.
The power attained from closer relation is always the source of human wisdom and power in contrast to the power from distant relation.
It is fatherly feeling that educates a ruler—and brotherly feeling educates the citizen. The former produces order at home, and the later, in the state.
A human’s relation at home is the initial, most excellent relation with Nature.
A human, in order to enjoy pure blessing of happiness at home, works hard and bears the burden of the responsibility of civil rights.
Therefore education of a human in respect of his occupation and class distinction must be subordinated to the ultimate objective of the enjoyment of true happiness of a home.
Therefore a father’s home is the basis of all true and natural education of a human.
A father’s home is the school of moral and of the state.
A human, first, is a child and then an apprentice in an occupation.
A child’s virtue in his blessing during his apprenticeship, and it is also the initial training of his qualities in order to enjoy all blessings throughout his life.
A man who, apart from this Order of Nature, forces training in regard of class distinction, occupation, ruling or service unnaturally, is a man that leads mankind to the sea full of rocks away from the most natural enjoyment of blessings.
A human must be educated so as to be able to secure inner peace, to be satisfied with his status and attainable delights, to forbear whatever obstacle there may be, to be sincere and to believe in his father’s love. These are the very education toward human wisdom.
Without inner peace, a human wanders in the path of wilderness. Desire or aspiration for unattainable and distant objects deprives him of all delights that are close by and also of all power of a wise, forbearing and obedient mind.
When emotion is no longer active through inner peace, the power of emotion weakens a human in the innermost of himself, and makes him suffer with gloomy agony, even when wise men are cheerful and smiling.
A man who does not know the limit of satisfaction is angered even in the peace of his home, or because his dancing on a festive day, his violin performance at a concert or his lecture in an auditorium do not receive an applause.
Peace of mind and calm delights are the initial objective of human education and his lifelong treasures. Human! Your knowledge and sense of pride have to be subordinated to his high objective. Otherwise, curiosity and pride will provide an unbearable affliction and misery.
Human beings, children of the earth! Do not you see or feel how your upper classes have lost their inner power of education? Do not you see how the fact that the upper classes keep at a distance from Nature’s wise Order brings forth vain and wild misery to them and down to the populace? Earth! Do not you feel how a number of generations of mankind rush to the wild, dazzling stage of life in order to show off their knowledge and to satisfy their pride, away from pure blessings of their relation at home?
Far off, mankind wander astray.
God is the nearest relation to mankind.
Human! Your home, or the wisest delight in there, do not always give you peace of mind.
In order to forbear merciless violence, the grave and death, your tender, good and sensitively educated nature has no power as yet.
God is the father of your home, the source of your blessings and you own father—in such belief you will be able to find peace, power and wisdom that no violence nor a grave is capable of giving shock to you.
Belief in God is the highest human emotion in his nature, and it is mankind’s childlike feeling in contrast to God’s fatherly feeling.
Faith in God—the source of comfort in life—comfort in life is the source of inner order—inner order is the source of orderly application of our various faculties. The order in applying our faculties is the source of development and training of various faculties toward wisdom. Wisdom is the source of blessings of all mankind.
Faith in God is the source of all wisdom and blessings and also the Way of Nature toward true education of mankind.
Faith in God lies in the nature of mankind. Same as the feeling of good and evil and the undeniable feeling of just and unjust, faith in God lies firm in our nature.
Faith in God is shared by people, however low their lives may be, wherever they are, and it is the power of mankind however high in rank, and it gives strength to mankind, however low their lives.
Faith in God is not the result nor the solution of educated wisdom. It is pure feeling of simplicity and the innocent ear that listens to the call of Nature that God—the Father—is there.
Childlike feeling and obedience are not the result of accomplished education nor the solution that follows, but they must form earlier and initial basis of human education.
Neither wise men’s astonishment at the profundity of Creation nor their search for the depth of the Creator educates mankind toward this faith. It may be that a searcher goes astray in the profound Creation or wanders about in the water of the depth, far away from the source of unfathomable oceans.
The fact that God is there as the father to a human in his humble hut—God that is in the innermost of my nature—God—the giver of my gifts and the delight of my life—He is the very educator of mankind toward faith and the very power of Nature that builds all faiths on delights and experience.
Will you be moved, you human beings!—I call to the nation—the theory that good dominates—will it move you? The moral that happiness dominates over unhappiness—does it comfort you or give you peace of mind? When the flames of agony burn over your head and destroy you, will these words in the mouth of wise men comfort you?
However, if your father strengthens your nature in your innermost heart, brightens your daily life, reinforce your power to resist grief and show you the dominant delight of blessing in the depth of your heart, then you will enjoy Nature’s education that leads to faith in God.
The bread that my child eats from my hand educates his feelings as a child, and it is not his surprise to see my anxiety over sleepless nights about his future that educates his feeling. Many judgments of my conducts are so indiscreet as to mislead his mind away from me.
Simplicity and innocence, purely humanistic feeling of gratitude and love, are the source of faith.
From true childlike feeling of mankind arises the hope for eternal life. And yet, without the hope, mankind’s pure faith in God will not be alive in them.
A tyrant treating on his brothers or God’s children, gives a shudder to mankind. Many that are stricken dead by him, their windows and their children howl, tremble, starve and die, taking all as granted as fortune.
If God is the father of a human, the day when a human dies is not the day when his nature is accomplished.
Human! Do you have sense for truth in you? Tell me! Does it not go contrary to your innermost feeling to believe that God is the father of a human—and yet that the nature of a human with all his misery be accomplished?
Then it is that either God is not the father of mankind, or that death is not the accomplishment of our nature.
Human! Your inner feeling is the trustworthy star that guides you toward truth and duty. And yet, when the feeling tells you so mightily about immortality, do you doubt it?
Human! Believe in yourself. Believe in the inner feeling of your nature. And then you will be able to believe in God and immortality.
God is the father of a human, and God’s children are immortal.
Human! Deep in your nature is the will to listen to the voice of truth, innocence and simplicity with faith and respect.
However, simplicity and innocence are not shared by all human beings.
For many people, inner feeling of humanity is a mere play in a dream. And faith in God and immortality built on inner feeling are often the subject of ridicule in their art.
God—that teaches me in my nature so mightily truth, wisdom, blessing, faith and immortality, to whose voice all children of God listen. God—that is taken all equally by all tender-hearted, sensitive, pure and loving mankind—God—should not I listen, in the innermost of myself, to the teaching that is true to myself and my nature, and that cannot be other than truth? Should I not believe in what I am or what I do?
Faith in God parts mankind into God’s children and worldly ones. Faith in God’s goodwill as the father is the faith in immortality.
God as the father of mankind and human beings as God’s children are the true subject of faith.
Such faith in God is the emotion that mankind feel in relation to their blessing.
Fatherly and childlike feelings—such blessings at your home are the result of a human’s faith.
If you are a father of a family, enjoyment of your rights, your wife’s joyful obedience and your children’s heartfelt and moving gratitude are the result of your faith in God.
Faith in my father who is the son of God educates my faith in God.
My faith in God is the assurance of my faith in my father and all the duties at my home.
Noble Nature—thus in the course of education it unites my duty and pleasure, and by its guidance a human makes his pilgrimage from blessings already enjoyed to new duties.
All mankind, ruler and subjects, master and servants, are educated toward special duties of their respective status by enjoyment of their first relation with Nature.
A ruler, who is God’s son, is a son of a father.
A ruler, who is a father’s son, is the father of a nation.
Subjects, that are God’s children, are a father’s children.
Subjects, that are father’s children, are ruler’s children.
The status of a ruler is the symbol of God and also the fatherhood of a nation. The position of subjects is that children of a ruler, who is, same as his subjects, God’s child. How soft in texture, strong and noble the fabric of mankind’s relation is woven with Nature!
Oh, how noble it is to be a member of mankind!
However, the sense of being noble does not contribute anything whatever to a depressed nation. The knowledge that the ancient Greeks did not kill their oxen does not help it.
Father of a home—should not I call your status that of an ox by the side of a manger? you are the master of your house and the ruler in your humble hut. Oh, mankind in its lowest! Oh, master and father of all!
Even in his lowest status, a servant is equal to his master in nature, and the master is responsible for gratifying the requirements of the servant’s nature.
It is none other than to educate a nation so that it may enjoy the blessing in its nature that there exists the father as its leader.
And all the nation rests by enjoying the blessing of home in true childlike trust in the ruler’s fatherly feeling for his children, and expects the ruler to fulfill his duty as a father in educating and mentally elevating his children so as to have them enjoy all blessing of mankind.
Such expectations of mankind—are they dreams? And are their childish hopes just fancies from a slumber and exhaustion in their lowest status?
Faith in God is the very power of the hope.
Rulers who believe in God and who recognize the position of mankind as brothers find themselves responsible for all duties related to their status. They are the men, with power of God, that are educated to give blessing to their nations.
Rulers who deny the state of God as the father and that of mankind as brothers find in their disbelief the most frightful source of destruction of faith in their duties. Where the supreme dignity of God as the father is recognized, rulers secure their nation’s obedience as God’s deed.
And rulers who are not willing to find the source of their rights and duties in their obedience to God sit on the throne under which is the unstable base of sand that signifies the nation’s distrust in their power.
Faith in God is the bond that ties the ruler to his nation. It is also an inner union of things related to blessing of mankind.
Disbelief is the denial of the position and duty of brotherhood in mankind. It is identical to misjudgment and ridicule of the right of God as the father, defiant boldness in the use of violence and breach of all true bonds of what are related to the blessing of mankind.
Priests pronounce God’s position as the father and that of mankind as brothers. Their status is the central point that unites mankind’s relation to Nature with its blessing through belief in God.
Faith in God is the source of all true fatherly and brotherly feelings of mankind and of all justice.
Justice void of fatherly and brotherly feeling is nothing but an empty theory.
Insolent justice or verdicts under the influence of devices by criminals with many years of experience, that are only to the advantage of those well-versed in the law or judges, are a mere dummy of justice and is not for the blessing of a nation.
Assurance, innocence and safety are the source of true virtue of a nation. These are the results of wise and fatherly justice, and they come from faith.
Rush, bold courage that opposes innocence, justice and truth lacks true power of strong faith of justice in a state and it proves to be the result of disbelief.
Violent and impudent presumption that opposes justice and innocence in a nation’s spirit are the source of all weaknesses of the nation and so belief is their source.
On the contrary, fatherly feelings in a nation’s spirit are the source of all true blessings of a nation.
Therefore, a nation’s faith in God is the source of all its true virtue, blessing and power.
Crime is the cause and also the result of disbelief. Crime is a human action that goes contrary to the inner witness of a human as regards just and unjust. Crime is the source of confusion of our primary basic concept and pure sense of Nature, and it is loss of faith in a human himself and in his inner feeling, of his faith in God and of his childlike feeling for God.
A public crime is mankind’s defiance to God.
Hatred of crime is one of pure childlike feelings of mankind for God, and is the expression as well as the result of mankind’s faith in God’s revelation which lies in the nature of mankind.
Hatred of a public crime is a childlike feeling toward those who scoff at one’s father and mother.
A nation’s total hatred of a public criminal is the pledge and seal of a nation’s faith in, and childlike feeling for, its ruler.
A nation’s hatred of its ruler’s public insolence to God testifies to its virtue. Its weakened virtue signifies its weakening faith in and obedience to its ruler.
Disbelief breaks all the inner ties of a society.
Disbelief of those high in social scale is the source of disobedience of the law.
Fatherly mind and natural gift of those in high ranks encourage and ensure the sense of obedience of the law.
Disbelief ruins the source of obedience.
Under a ruler who is not fatherly, a nation is not able to be encouraged to have truly grateful feeling blessed in its childlike obedience.
The results of disbelief such as daily aggravating malice, daily retreating fatherly qualities, arbitrary violence whose objective is not blessing, bizarre and unnatural political absurdities, oppressive and intrusive violence, exploitation of the nation and its weakening power to fight the intrusive violence—these are inevitable in an unfaithful reign that makes light of God and the rights of mankind.
If a nation finds a ruler using unnaturally his rights as the father, then the natural and true ties of the ruler and his nation will be broken.
The power of such ties or the good motherly human nature form the bond of citizen’s relations through mutually enjoyed blessing.
And it is the nation’s sense and feeling for the blessing of delights that purify and sanctify these relations through its gratitude to, love of and trust in, the ruler.
I touch the strings that are out of tune and do that do not play fashionable tune. Mock me, if you would—whatever dance music or trilling songs of slander may clamor to suppress the sound from my strings, human feeling of truth and purity has no fear.
All the power of mankind brings forth blessing alone by its faith in divinity. And a ruler’s fatherly feeling, which is the only source of blessing of all his nation, is the result of his faith in God.
Human! However low in position you may be, if your ruler is the son of your God, his power is the father’s power.
A ruler’s cruel and presumptuous use of his power is neither out of fatherly feeling nor of his faith in God, but it ruins the ruler himself and the highest affairs of his state and also the nation’s true childlike feeling for the ruler.
Therefore may I not call it a guilt that the prejudiced courtiers behave in that manner almost as their habit?
Moreover, if that habit is taken as the right of a ruler as a father regarding good and evil, or regarding just and unjust, then it is nothing but a guilt.
If the habit disturbs family peace in the name of a ruler, without protecting the right to private possessions and disgrace the innocent, again it is nothing but a guilt.
The bond that ties mankind to its blessing and a ruler’s and his nation’s faith in God as their highest Master are mankind’s only guardian that protects them from falling off cliffs of degradation.
All disbeliefs are insolent, however faith in God and childlike feeling of mankind toward divinity add calm nobility to every power in the activities of mankind.
Fierce waste of the nature of mankind, or the courage to laugh in the face of danger or destruction, are the power of mankind that is apart from its childlike feeling for God.
The use of every smallest quality honestly and modestly, or the desire to strengthen one’s power, are Way of Nature that educates and strengthens all power. And the Way of Nature lies in the direction of pure childlike feeling for God, however low in status of however weak in power one may be.
Disposition toward base vanity or the impulse to cover one’s weakness by the display of one’s quality or power are tendencies that may be found in the basest and weakest human, and such dispositions deviate from the Way of Nature.
Inner and outer human wisdom that is guided by the true Way of Nature signifies the status of father and a fatherly feeling.
Human in high status—you must exercise your powers for this purpose.
Fatherly feeling toward undeveloped and weak flocks of mankind—
Oh, a ruler in his high status! Oh, powerful Goethe!
Is not fatherly feeling your duty? Of, Goethe, I regret that your way is not always that of Nature!
Kind attention for the weak—fatherly heart in the use of one’s power—father’s objective and father’s sacrifice—these are the nobleness of mankind.
Oh, Goethe in your high status! I look up at you from my lowest position, shudder, am silenced and sigh.
Your power is like the pressure of those big rulers who sacrifice happiness of millions of people for the glory of their states.
True blessing of mankind—it is the power, and the result of , faith.
Oh, my small room—the joy that fills it! It is also the result of faith.
Blessed be myself and my humble hut.
It is because mankind believes in God that I am at peace in this hut.
The nation’s faith in divine priests gives peace to my life.
The divine priests are in the true state of the father of mankind.
Those are sacred—your power is God’s Light.
God’s Light is love, wisdom and fatherly feelings.
Oh, those who wander toward my hut, if only I could be even a shadow of divine power for them!
The sun—Oh, the symbol of divinity, your day is over! You go down at the edge of my mountains. Oh, the day of my end—Oh, the hope for the morning to come, Oh, the power of my faith.
The author of The Evening Hours of a Hermit, while writing a certain political article, in a letter, has made public similar ideas that may throw light on twenty-three passages of the above essay. He says as follows. Although I build all freedom on justice same as you all, nevertheless I do not know of any assured justice in this world except in case of mankind that accord with simplicity, piety and love, and that are enlightened in this accord.
The greatest, purest and most widely enjoyed justice at home in all the world has only love at its source—and yet, of all simplicities of a nation, justice at home alone brings forth blessing in the world in general.
As all justice is based on love, so is freedom based on it. True childlike feeling is the true source of freedom based on justice, and true fatherly feeling is the source of all political power that is noble enough to do justice and to love freedom.
And yet, justice and the source of all blessings of this world and the source of love of mankind and brotherly feeling—these are based on great religious thought that we are children of God and that faith in this truth is the firm basis of all blessings of this world. In this great religious thought is the inner spirit of all true wisdom of the state that seeks pure blessing of the nation. Thus all inner power of moral, enlightenment and worldly wisdom is based on mankind’s faith in God.
And, to forget God or to misunderstand mankind’s relation to God as children are the source of destruction of all power of blessing such as moral, enlightenment and wisdom. Therefore for mankind to lose their childlike feeling for God to give them education as their father. And, to recover the lost childlike feeling is to save God’s children that are lost on the earth.
The man-God, that recovered, with agony and death, the childlike feeling for God that is lost far and wide is the Savior of the world. he is the priest that became our Master’s sacrifice. He is the Mediator between God and mankind that have forgotten God. His teaching is not national philosophy of education or justice, but revelation of God as the Father to the species of God’s children that are being lost.
[English translation by Nobuko Ui, from “Ephemeriden der Menschhiet” (erster band, Fünftes Stück. Mai 1780)]