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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Serving New Thought is pleased to present

Ralph Waldo Emerson's

Nature, Addresses, and Lectures

Book page numbers, along with the number to the left of the .htm extension match the page numbers of the original books to ensure easy use in citations for research papers and books

Introduction - Nature - Commodity - Beauty - Language - Discipline - Idealism - Spirit - Prospects - The American Scholar - Divinity College, Cambridge - Literary Ethics - The Method of Nature - Man the Reformer - Lecture on the Times - The Transcendentalist - The Young American - Contents -

Chapter 4 - Language - p. 31

LANGUAGE is a third use which Nature subserves to man. Nature is the vehicle of thought, and in a simple, double, and three-fold degree.

  • 1. Words are signs of natural facts.
  • 2. Particular natural facts are symbols of particular spiritual facts.
  • 3. Nature is the symbol of spirit.

1. Words are signs of natural facts. The use of natural history is to give us aid in supernatural history; the use of the outer creation, to give us language for the beings and changes of the inward creation. Every word which is. used to express a moral or intellectual fact, if traced to its root, is found to be borrowed from some material appearance. Right means straight; wrong means twisted. Spirit primarily means wind; transgression, the crossing of a line; supercilious, the raising of the eyebrow. We say the heart to express emotion, the head to denote thought; and thought and emotion are words borrowed from sensible things, and now appropriated to spiritual

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