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[125] of the divine within themselves; but to the professors, “the stern old war-gods,” this relative belittlement of historical Christianity seemed blasphemy. A generation passed before Emerson was again welcomed by his alma mater.

The reader who has mastered those three utterances by the Concord Transcendentalist in 1836, 1837, and 1838 has the key to Emerson. He was a seer, not a system-maker. The constitution of his mind forbade formal, consecutive, logical thought. He was not a philosopher in the accepted sense, though he was always philosophizing, nor a metaphysician in spite of his curious searchings in the realm of metaphysics. He sauntered in books as he sauntered by Walden Pond, in quest of what interested him; he “fished in Montaigne,” he said, as he fished in Plato and Goethe. He basketed the day's luck, good or bad as it might be, into the pages of his private Journal, which he called his savings-bank, because from this source he drew most of the material for his books. The Journal has recently been printed, in ten volumes. No American writing rewards the reader more richly. It must be remembered that Emerson's Essays, the first volume of which appeared in 1841, and the last volumes after his death in 1889, represent

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