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k 3 ± l *r\ XXI i » TO THE EDITOR.

Sir, —Tho article on ‘Sympathy’ in Saturday's ‘Star’ of the loth inst. was a delight and an inspiration. The writer treats his subject with the broad-minded human sympathy that tends to make the whole world kin. The community needs more sympathy, active in its units. Tho broad-mindedness of the article shows the writer to have risen somewhat beyond tbo stage of tho “ intellectuals ” to whom he refers. Tor the mere “ intellectual,” no matter how brilliant his intellect may bo, is not necessarily sympathetic; in fact, intellect in itself is characteristically unsympathetic. It is when the “intellectual,” transcending the sphere of mere intellect, rises into the fuller, freer atmosphere of the “spiritual,” that sympathy exhibits its gracious presence in tho character. Then an expanding takes place, tho character develops, and tho expansion is often accompanied, in tho “religious” sense, by relaxation of the obscuring rigidity of sectarian differences and limitations. Brotherliness then breathes a little more freely, and the fragrance of sympathy sweetens discord. A man may bo religious without being spiritual, just ns a man may bo spiritual without being professedly religious. So sympathy is not restricted by any mcansi to the religious. Spirituality may bo an active element of a man's being*, though expressing its .activity in sympathy only. More and more of this spirituality, which, by the way, never tends to aloofness! when it is genuine, is needed to make tho lifo of the community fuller, and also freer from tiie wearying discords of pettiness and the goading stabs of sneering. Judging by the article in question, its writer must have risen to an appreciable extent above tho discords —risen to tho regions where true spirituality impregnates tho human mind with the germ of sympathy, which develops into nobility of character. Therefore it would bo interesting to have his opinion on the term “atheist,” and whether the man who uses the term in order to belittle and besmirch another is net himself tho greater “atheist.” The term is now used as an expression of reproach, and little minds utilise it freely to barb their little-minded sneer. It is a pity, but, unfortunately, such is nevertheless a fact. Surely a man is not necessarily bad because he does not parade his higher aspirations in terms of popular beliel. Yet many people endeavor, for instance, to injure a public man in tho estimation of tho public by applying to him ’the term “ atheist.” . At highest worth dull malice reaches. As slugs pollute the fairest peaches, Envy defames, as harpies vile, Devour the fruit they first defile. To quote the words of the writer in question: “ How is sympathy to be developed towards such as these?” Tho saddest part of it is that so many of these detainers regard themselves as religious people. Might one add that the sanctimonious person sneers, whereas the spiritually-minded man sympathises.—l am, etc., Admirer of Sympathy. December 24.

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SYMPATHY., Issue 15684, 24 December 1914

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SYMPATHY. Issue 15684, 24 December 1914

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