Further on in the same essay he says again:
The secret of fortune is joy in our own hands. Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man. For him all doors are flung wide. Him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.
This is all open and unmistakable individualism, and that it is individualism on the religious basis is clear when, in the same connection, he speaks of a greater self-reliance as "a new respect for the divinity in man."
This, indeed, is in an essay that suggests the note of personal aggressiveness, but we shall not find it otherwise in the essays on "Love" and "Friendship." In the one he says:
In the other he says as the conclusion of the whole matter:
Here even the offices of what are normally the most unselfish of the personal relations of life are conceived of as having their aim and end in the development of self. Life finds its fulfilment in an approximation to the divine possibilities that are the natural heritage of every human being, and in attaining to that one must not permit himself to be materially hindered by consideration for others. Part of the divine perfection is doubtless expressed for Emerson in the Sermon on the Mount, but it seems clear that he contributes his share toward that questioning of the ethical system of Christianity which now centers upon that portion of the gospel. He does not put himself explicitly in opposition to the beatitudes, but he exalts a spirit and a philosophy in which their teaching is more or less negligible. This, perhaps, is little more than saying that with Emerson protestant theology had passed out of the stage of bondage to the letter, but the forces at work in the change were those of a deeper regard for the powers and capabilities of the inner man, a deeper wish that there should be no check upon their expansion to their fullest possibilities. How large these were in his conception of them may be seen in the essay on "History."