The Law and the Word by Thomas Troward , at sacred-texts.com
How is one to know a friend? Certainly not by the duration of acquaintance. Neither can friendship be bought or sold by service rendered. Nor can it be coined into acts of gallantry or phrases of flattery. It has no part in the small change of courtesy. It is outside all these, containing them all and superior to them all.
To some is given the great privilege of a day set apart to mark the arrival of a total stranger panoplied with all the insignia of friendship. He comes unannounced. He bears no letter of introduction. No mutual friend can vouch for him. Suddenly and silently he steps unexpectedly out of the shadow of material concern and spiritual obscurity, into the radiance of intimate friendship, as a picture is projected upon a lighted screen. But unlike the phantom picture he is an instant
reality that one's whole being immediately recognizes, and the radiance of fellowship that pervades his word, thought and action holds all the essence of long companionship.
Unfortunately there are too few of these bright messengers of God to be met with in life's pilgrimage, but that Judge Troward was one of them will never be doubted by the thousands who are now mourning his departure from among us. Those whose closest touch with him has been the reading of his books will mourn him as a friend only less than those who listened to him on the platform. For no books ever written more clearly expressed the author. The same simple lucidity and gentle humanity, the same effort to discard complicated non-essentials, mark both the man and his books.
Although the spirit of benign friendliness pervades his writings and illuminated his public life, yet much of his capacity for friendship was denied those who were not privileged to clasp hands with him and to sit beside him in familiar confidence. Only in the intimacy of the fireside did he wholly reveal his innate modesty and simplicity of character. Here
alone, glamoured with his radiating friendship, was shown the wealth of his richly-stored mind equipped by nature and long training to deal logically with the most profound and abstruse questions of life. Here indeed was proof of his greatness, his unassuming superiority, his humanity, his keen sense of honour, his wit and humour, his generosity and all the characteristics of a rare gentleman, a kindly philosopher and a true friend.
To Judge Troward was given the logician's power to strip a subject bare of all superfluous and concealing verbiage, and to exhibit the gleaming jewels of truth and reality in splendid simplicity. This supreme quality, this ability to make the complex simple, the power to subordinate the non-essential, gave to his conversation, to his lectures, to his writings, and in no less degree to his personality, a direct and charming naïveté that at once challenged attention and compelled confidence and affection.
His sincerity was beyond question. However much one might differ from him in opinion, at least one never doubted his profound faith and complete devotion to truth. His
guileless nature was beyond ungenerous suspicions and selfish ambitions. He walked calmly upon his way wrapped in the majesty of his great thoughts, oblivious to the vexations of the world's cynicism. Charity and reverence for the indwelling spirit marked all his human relations. Tolerance of the opinions of others, benevolence and tenderness dwelt in his every word and act. Yet his careful consideration of others did not paralyze the strength of his firm will or his power to strike hard blows at wrong and error. The search for truth, to which his life was devoted, was to him a holy quest. That he could and would lay a lance in defence of his opinions is evidenced in his writings, and has many times been demonstrated to the discomfiture of assailing critics. But his urbanity was a part of himself and never departed from him.
Not to destroy but to create was his part in the world. In developing his philosophy he built upon the foundation of his predecessors. No good and true stone to be found among the ruins of the past, but was carefully worked into his superstructure of modern thought, radiant with spirituality, to the building of which the enthusiasm of his life was devoted.
To one who has studied Judge Troward, and grasped the significance of his theory of the "Universal Sub-conscious Mind," and who also has attained to an appreciation of Henri Bergson's theory of a "Universal Livingness," superior to and outside the material Universe, there must appear a distinct correlation of ideas. That intricate and ponderously irrefutable argument that Bergson has so patiently built up by deep scientific research and unsurpassed profundity of thought and crystal-clear reason, that leads to the substantial conclusion that man has leapt the barrier of materiality only by the urge of some external pressure superior to himself, but which, by reason of infinite effort, he alone of all terrestrial beings has succeeded in utilizing in a superior manner and to his advantage: this well-rounded and exhaustively demonstrated argument in favour of a super-livingness in the universe, which finds its highest terrestrial expression in man, appears to be the scientific demonstration of Judge Troward's basic principle of the "Universal Sub-conscious Mind." This universal and infinite God-consciousness which Judge Troward postulates as man's sub-consciousness, and from which man was
created and is maintained, and of which all physical, mental and spiritual manifestation is a form of expression, appears to be a corollary of Bergson's demonstrated "Universal Livingness." What Bergson has so brilliantly proven by patient and exhaustive processes of science, Judge Troward arrived at by intuition, and postulated as the basis of his argument, which he proceeded to develop by deductive reasoning.
The writer was struck by the apparent parallelism of these two distinctly dissimilar philosophies, and mentioned the discovery to Judge Troward who naturally expressed a wish to read Bergson, with whose writings he was wholly unacquainted. A loan of Bergson's "Creative Evolution" produced no comment for several weeks, when it was returned with the characteristic remark, "I've tried my best to get hold of him, but I don't know what he is talking about." I mention the remark as being characteristic only because it indicates his extreme modesty and disregard of exhaustive scientific research.
The Bergson method of scientific expression was unintelligible to his mind, trained to intuitive reasoning. The very elaborateness
and microscopic detail that makes Bergson great is opposed to Judge Troward's method of simplicity. He cared not for complexities, and the intricate minutiæ of the process of creation, but was only concerned with its motive power--the spiritual principles upon which it was organized and upon which it proceeds.
Although the conservator of truth of every form and degree wherever found, Judge Troward was a ruthless destroyer of sham and pretence. To those submissive minds that placidly accept everything indiscriminately, and also those who prefer to follow along paths of well-beaten opinion, because the beaten path is popular, to all such he would perhaps appear to be an irreverent iconoclast seeking to uproot long accepted dogma and to overturn existing faiths. Such an opinion of Judge Troward's work could not prevail with any one who has studied his teachings.
His reverence for the fundamental truths of religious faith was profound, and every student of his writings will testify to the great constructive value of his work. He builded upon an ancient foundation a new and nobler structure of human destiny, solid in its simplicity and beautiful in its innate grandeur.
But to the wide circle of Judge Troward's friends he will best and most gloriously be remembered as a teacher. In his magic mind the unfathomable revealed its depths and the illimitable its boundaries; metaphysics took on the simplicity of the ponderable, and man himself occupied a new and more dignified place in the Cosmos. Not only did he perceive clearly, but he also possessed that quality of mind even more rare than deep and clear perception, that clarity of expression and exposition that can carry another and less-informed mind along with it, on the current of its understanding, to a logical and comprehended conclusion.
In his books, his lectures and his personality he was always ready to take the student by the hand, and in perfect simplicity and friendliness to walk and talk with him about the deeper mysteries of life--the life that includes death--and to shed the brilliant light of his wisdom upon the obscure and difficult problems that torment sincere but rebellious minds.
His artistic nature found expression in brush and canvas and his great love for the sea is reflected in many beautiful marine sketches. But if painting was his recreation, his work
was the pursuit of Truth wherever to be found, and in whatever disguise.
His life has enriched and enlarged the lives of many, and all those who knew him will understand that in helping others he was accomplishing exactly what he most desired. Knowledge, to him, was worth only what it yielded in uplifting humanity to a higher spiritual appreciation, and to a deeper understanding of God's purpose and man's destiny.