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Page:Biographical and critical studies by James Thomson ("B.V.").djvu/315

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299
A STRANGE BOOK

"A theme is chosen and written down. So soon as this is done, the first impression upon the mind which succeeds the act of writing the title is the beginning of the evolution of that theme, no matter how strange or alien the word or phrase may seem. That impression is written down: and then another, and another, until the piece is concluded. An Act of Faith is signalised in accepting the first mental movement, the first word that comes, as the response to the mind's desire for the unfolding of the subject.

"However odd the introduction may be, I have always found it lead by an infallible instinct into the subject.

"The depth of treatment is in strict proportion to the warmth of heart, elevation of mind, and purity of feeling existing at the time—in other words, in proportion to the conditions of Love and Faith.

"Reason and will are not primary powers in this process, but secondary; not directive, but regulative: and imagination, instead of conceiving and constructing, only supplies words and phrases piecemeal; or however much it receives, it is as a disc on which the subject is projected, not as an active concipient organ. Another power flows in; and all the known faculties lend their aid to make way for it. Those faculties are indeed employed in laissez faire in its inward intensity; which is another name for Faith.

"Laissez faire in the present state of the world, is so active a vortex, and so fiery, that few persons dare to see its consequences. All men will see them though, because Providence comes in with marvels wherever self succumbs itself.

"In placing reason and will in the second place, it is indispensable for man, whose highest present faculties these are, to be well assured what is put in the first place. Hence, writing from an Influx which is really out of your self, or so far within your self, as to amount to the same thing, is either a religion or a madness. I know of no third possibilty. In allowing your faculties to be directed to ends they know not of, there is only one Being to whom you dare entrust them—only the Lord. Of consequence, before writing by influx, your prayer must be to Him, for His guidance, influx, and protection. And you must have faith that that prayer is answered, according to your worthiness, in that which flows in. The Faith is the acknowledgment of the gift, which becomes an ever-enlarging cup for receiving fresh gifts or fresh Influx. . . .