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The Soul in Suffering

This is a series of twenty-five short essays, covering a wide range of subjects, philosophical, religious, ethical, medical. Running through them is a progressive theme, brought out in the six larger divisions of the book, The Unseen, Man's Possibilities, Man Suffering, Man Striving, Man Attaining, Man Victorious. The author's aim, as stated in the introductory note, is "to bring a step closer the practical benefits of the accuracies of medical science, and the highest aspirations of our religion." It is the religious note that predominates. Every chapter has at its head an appropriate verse of Scripture. It is a physician preaching. And there are some admirable things in the sermons. The author believes in a religion that affects man's physical wellbeing. He preaches the gospel of fresh air, of wholesome food, of hard work. He condemns the sins of overeating, of alcoholic indulgence, of the drug habit, of insufficient exercise. The author believes in a religion that affects man's mental wellbeing. The mind is "the servant of the soul." The mind should be made a well-trained, well-managed servant. We sin against our minds as well as against our bodies; an "overcrowded mind" is as bad as an overcrowded stomach. But the author unquestionably lays the emphasis on the spiritual. The soul is "the master of the house." It is the thing of supreme importance, not only in religion, but in the whole life. In this he rings absolutely true. It is the soul that is eternal, the thing that we call life is but a "transient partnership of body and spirit." It is the soul that can triumph over disease and sickness and suffering, and even death. The man who has truly learned to live is the man who lives from the viewpoint of the soul, "within whom the larger self has outgrown the power of externals to Influence." The finest qualities are those that have their root in the soul, cheerfulness, endurance, unselfishness, faith. -"The Union Seminary Review," Vol. 31
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