The parties were unbelievers, but they were opposed to the advocates of unbounded license. They were favorable to morality, and wished to have an association that should embody what they thought good in the Church, without being decidedly religious. They wished to have music and singing at the Sunday meetings, and to limit public discussion to the week-night meetings.
In this state they suggest a greater majesty and beauty than any finished human work can show; the crumbling traces of the half-obliterated design producing somewhat of the effect of the first idea of anything admirable, when it dawns upon the mind of an artist or a poet, an idea which, do what he may, he is sure to fall short of in his attempt to embody it.
All that science could invent, all that art could embody, all that mechanical ingenuity could dare, all that wealth could lavish, whatever there was of human energy which was panting for pacific utterance, wherever there stirred the vital principle which instinctively strove to create and to adorn at an epoch when vulgar violence and destructiveness were the general tendencies of humanity, all gathered around these magnificent temples, as their aspiring pinnacles at last pierced the mist which had so long brooded over the world.
Wisely said Horace Mann, "All through the life of a pure-minded but feeble-bodied man, his path is lined with memory's gravestones, which mark the spots where noble enterprises perished, for lack of physical vigor to embody them in deeds."
Nay, we might add, that he needed no less than the most delicate Cremona, some instrument, as it were, articulated into humanity, to have inhaled and respired those attenuated strains, which, those who heard them think it hardly extravagant to say, seemed almost to embody silence.
The sons of God never fully correspond to their character, but always fall somewhat beneath their desire, and must always be somewhat less than their intention. The artist never wholly embodies his conception. It is only God who 'rests from His works' because the works fully embody His creative design and fully receive the benediction of His own satisfaction with them.
The charitable and correctional systems of the District should receive consideration at the hands of the Congress to the end that they may embody the results of the most advanced thought in these fields.
In other words, the traditional precepts embody the results of the old masters' empirical study of the voice. Considered in this light, the old precepts lose at once all air of mystery and become perfectly intelligible and coherent. To a consideration of this record of the empirical knowledge of the voice the following chapter is devoted.
Then, drawing nearer, he continued in an enraptured tone: "Oh, my lady, oh, my heart, my love, my life; my mistress now, my wife that is to be: my breath, my soul; my hope, my happiness, my all in all; fair presence but in vain my tongue seeks for the word that shall embody you, and, like the hunted hare returning to its form, so does my soul return to that word, love.
It was thus, as I have elsewhere stated, that the twofold doom of plastic art in Italy was accomplished. In order to embody the ideas of Christianity, art had to think more of expression than of pure form.