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Title: Modern Substitutes for Christianity
Author: Muir, Pearson McAdam
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Modern Substitutes for Christianity" ***

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_THE EXPOSITOR'S LIBRARY_



MODERN SUBSTITUTES

FOR CHRISTIANITY



BY THE VERY REV.

PEARSON McADAM MUIR D.D.


MINISTER OF GLASGOW CATHEDRAL

CHAPLAIN IN ORDINARY TO THE KING



_Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat_



HODDER AND STOUGHTON

LONDON -- NEW YORK -- TORONTO



First Published . . . December 1909

Second Edition  . . . October 1912



IN MEMORIAM

S. A. M.

JUNE 3, 1847.  OCTOBER 5, 1871

FEBRUARY 12, 1907



{vii}

CONTENTS


I                                              PAGE

POPULAR IMPEACHMENTS OF CHRISTIANITY . . . . .    1


II

MORALITY WITHOUT RELIGION  . . . . . . . . . .   31


III

THE RELIGION OF THE UNIVERSE . . . . . . . . .   63


IV

THE RELIGION OF HUMANITY . . . . . . . . . . .   91


{viii}


V

THEISM WITHOUT CHRIST  . . . . . . . . . . . .  125


VI

THE TRIBUTE OF CRITICISM TO CHRIST . . . . . .  171


APPENDICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  219

AUTHORITIES CONSULTED  . . . . . . . . . . . .  257

INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  265



{2}

I

POPULAR IMPEACHMENTS OF CHRISTIANITY



'Why call ye Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?'--S.
LUKE vi. 46.

'The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you.'--ROMANS
ii. 24.

'What if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of
God without effect?'--ROMANS iii. 3.

'By reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.'--2 S.
PETER ii. 1.

'So is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the
ignorance of foolish men.'--1 S. PETER ii. 15.



{3}

I

POPULAR IMPEACHMENTS OF CHRISTIANITY

That there is at present a widespread alienation from the Christian
Faith can hardly be denied.  Sometimes by violent invective, sometimes
by quiet assumption, the conclusion is conveyed that Christianity is
obsolete.  Whatever benefits it may have conferred in rude,
unenlightened ages, it is now outgrown, it is not in keeping with the
science and discovery of modern times.  'The good Lord Jesus has had
His day,'[1] is murmured in pitying condescension towards those who
still suffer themselves to be deceived by the antiquated superstition.
The statements in which our forefathers embodied the relations {4}
between God and man are no longer, except by a very few, considered
adequate; and there is everywhere a demand that those statements should
be recast.  Is not all this an irresistible proof that the beliefs of
the Church have been abandoned, that the old notions of the Divine
care, the spiritual world, the everlasting life, cannot be maintained,
must be relegated to the realm of imagination?  The blessings with
which Christianity is commonly credited spring from other sources: the
evils with which society is infected are its result, direct or indirect.


I

Such accusations, it may occur to us, cannot be made seriously: they
bear their refutation in the very making; they cannot be propounded
with any expectation of being accepted.  This may seem self-evident to
us: it is not self-evident to multitudes of eager, {5} earnest men.
The accusations are persistently made by vigorous writers and
impassioned speakers, and are received as incontrovertible
propositions.  However astonishing, however painful, it may be for us
to hear, it is well that we should know, what, in largely circulated
books and periodicals, and in mass meetings of the people, is said
about the Faith which we profess, and about us who profess it.

Listen to some of the terms in which Christianity is impeached.

'I undertake,' says Mr. Winwood Reade, 'I undertake to show that the
destruction of Christianity is essential to the interests of
civilisation; and also that man will never attain his full powers as a
moral being, until he has ceased to believe in a personal God, and in
the immortality of the soul.  Christianity must be destroyed.'[2]

'The hostile evidence,' says Mr. Philip {6} Vivian, 'appears to be
overwhelming.  Christianity cannot be true.  Provided that we see
things as they really are, and not as we wish them to be, we cannot but
come to this conclusion.  We cannot get away from facts.  Modern
knowledge forces us to admit that the Christian Faith cannot be
true.'[3]

'I want,' exclaims Mr. Vivian Carey, who has apparently, like Lord
Herbert of Cherbury, received a revelation to prove that no revelation
has been given, 'I want to destroy the fetich of centuries and to
instil in its place a life of duty, and of faith in God and man, and I
believe there is a power that has impelled me to attempt this task....
A system that has produced such results must be essentially bad....  It
will not be difficult to create a faith and a religion that will serve
the needs of humanity, where Christianity has so deplorably failed.'[4]

{7}

'If Christianity,' argues Mr. Charles Watts, 'were potent for good,
that good would have been displayed ere now....  The ties of domestic
affection, the bonds of the social compact, the political relations of
rulers and ruled, all have surrendered themselves to its influence.
Yet with all these advantages, it has proved unable to keep pace with a
progressive civilisation.'[5]

'In a really humane and civilised nation,' Mr. Robert Blatchford
contends, 'there should be and need be no such thing as Ignorance,
Crime, Idleness, War, Slavery, Hate, Envy, Pride, Greed, Gluttony,
Vice.  But this is not a humane and civilised nation, and never will be
while it accepts Christianity as its religion.  These are my reasons
for opposing Christianity.'[6]  'Christianity,' he iterates and
reiterates, 'is not true.'[7]

'Onward, ye children of the new Faith!' {8} exultantly cries Mr.
Moncure D. Conway.  'The sun of Christendom hastes to its setting, but
the hope never sets of those who know that the sunset here is a sunrise
there!'[8]

Such is the manner in which the downfall of Christianity is now
proclaimed.  And the impression is prevalent that, though in all ages
Christianity has been the object of doubt and of scorn, yet never has
it been rejected with such intensity of hatred as now, never have keen
criticism and deep earnestness, wide learning and shrewd mother-wit
been so combined in the attack.  It is not merely the reckless, the
dissolute, the frivolous who turn away from its reproofs, seeking
excuses for their self-indulgence, but it is the thoughtful, the
austere, the high-principled, the reverent, the unselfish, who are
engaged in a crusade against all that we, as Christians, hold dear.
'To the old spirit of mockery, coarse or refined, to the old wrangle of
argument, {9} also coarse or refined, has succeeded the spirit of
grave, measured, determined negation.'[9]  Men whose integrity and
elevation of character are beyond suspicion, take their places among
the rebels against the authority of Christ.  They are fighting, they
assert, not for the removal of a check to their vices, but for the
introduction of a nobler ideal.  In the demolition of Christianity, in
the sweeping away of every vestige of religious belief, religious
custom, religious hope, they imagine themselves to be conferring
inestimable benefits upon mankind.  Christianity, in their view, is the
product of delusion and the buttress of all social ills.


II

The contrast which so many are drawing between the present and the past
is not a little exaggerated.  There have been few periods in which
Christianity has not been the {10} object of animadversion and attack,
in which its speedy downfall has not been confidently predicted.  It
was two hundred years ago that Dean Swift wrote _An Argument to prove
that the Abolishing of Christianity in England may, as things now
stand, be attended with some Inconveniences, and perhaps not produce
those many good effects proposed thereby_': the Dean, with scathing
sarcasm, ridiculing at once the conventional customs by which
Christianity was misrepresented, and the supercilious ignorance which
assumed that it was extinct.[10]  It was about a quarter of a century
later that Bishop Butler, in the advertisement to his _Analogy of
Religion to the Constitution and Course of Nature_, stated, 'It is
come, I know not how, to be taken for granted by many persons that
Christianity is not so much as a subject of inquiry, but that it is
now, at length, discovered to be fictitious.  And accordingly they
treat it as if, {11} in the present age, this were an agreed point
among all people of discernment; and nothing remained but to set it up
as a principal subject of mirth and ridicule, as it were, by way of
reprisals for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the
world.'  And the Bishop drily gave as the aim of the _Analogy_: 'Thus
much, at least, will be here found, not taken for granted but proved,
that any reasonable man who will thoroughly consider the matter, may be
as much assured as he is of his own being, that it is not, however, so
clear a case that there is nothing in it.'

The assumption that Christianity is a thing of the past can hardly be
more prevalent now than it was then; and the groundlessness of the
assumption then may lead to the conclusion that the assumption is
equally groundless now.  Since the days of Butler or of Swift, the
progress of Christianity has not ceased: its developments of thought
and {12} life have been among the most remarkable in its whole career.
The exultation over its decay in the twentieth century may possibly be
found as premature and as vain as the exultation over its decay in the
eighteenth century, or in any of the centuries which have gone before.


III

The most popular impeachments of Christianity are mainly these.

It is a mass of false and superstitious beliefs long exploded.  It is
the opponent of progress and inquiry, the discoveries of science having
been made in direct defiance of its teaching and its influence.

It is the champion of oppression and tyranny.  It aims at keeping the
poor in ignorance and destitution.  It prostrates itself before the
rich and seeks the patronage of the great.

It so insists on people being absorbed in {13} the thought of heaven
that it practically precludes them from doing any good on earth.

It is a system of selfishness, inculcating the dogma that no one need
care for anything except the salvation of his own soul.[11]

It is the foster-mother of all the evil and misery by which society is
distressed.  Dishonesty, cruelty, slavery, war, persecution, avarice,
drunkenness, vice, would seem to be its natural fruits.

  'How calm and sweet the victories of life,'

shrieked Shelley in one of his early poems.

  'How terrorless the triumph of the grave ...
  ... but for thy aid
  Religion! but for thee, prolific fiend,
  Who peoplest earth with demons, hell with men,
  And heaven with slaves!
  Thou taintest all thou look'st upon!'[12]

What shall we say to these accusations?  Christians have been credulous
and superstitious, have argued and acted as if only in {14} the
abnormal and exceptional could the Divine Presence be found, as if God
were a hard Taskmaster and capricious Tyrant.  They have resisted
progress and inquiry, blindly refusing to see the light which was
streaming upon them.  They have unquestionably been guilty of miserable
pride towards inferiors in wealth or in station, and guilty of
miserable sycophancy towards the rich and the powerful.  Christians
have too frequently neglected the material well-being of the community,
have suffered disgraceful outward conditions to remain without protest,
have not striven to shed abroad happiness and brightness in squalid and
wretched lives.  Christians have been art and part in fostering such
conditions as wrung from compassionate and indignant hearts the _Song
of the Shirt_ and the _Cry of the Children_.  Christians have imagined
that correctness of belief would make up for falseness of heart, and
loudness of profession for depravity of {15} practice.  Christians have
supposed that in religion all that has to be striven for is the
salvation of one's own soul, have even represented the joy of the
redeemed as heightened by a contemplation of the torments of the lost.
Christians must bear the responsibility of much of the abounding vice
which they have not earnestly tried to combat where it already exists,
and which, in various forms, they have introduced into regions where it
was unknown before.  Lawlessness and degradation in the slums, fraud
and dishonesty in trade, gross revelations in the fashionable world;
bigotry, slander, scandals in the ecclesiastical world; plots, wars,
treacheries, assassinations, in the political world: these things ought
not so to be.  The fiercest denunciations, the most withering satires,
which unbelievers have employed, do not exceed in intensity of
condemnation the judgment which Christian preachers and Christian
writers have pronounced.[13]

{16}

In all ages of the Church the most powerful weapon against Christianity
has been the example of Christians.  The Faith which they nominally
hold has been judged by the lives which they actually lead.[14]
'Christianity,' said a bishop of the eighteenth century, 'would perhaps
be the last religion a wise man would choose, if he were guided by the
lives of those who profess it.'[15]  But is this to admit that the hope
of the world lies in renouncing Christianity? that in confining
ourselves to the seen and the temporal, we shall best elevate mankind?
that the prospect of annihilation and the absence of wisdom, love, and
Providence in the order of the universe constitute the most glorious
gospel which can be proclaimed?  Nothing of the kind.  It is only
proved that many Christians are not acting according to their belief,
that their practice does not square with their {17} profession.  The
belief and the profession are not proved to be wrong and bad.  It would
be unreasonable to argue that, because a man who has been vehemently
sounding the praises of truthfulness is convicted of deliberate lying,
therefore truthfulness is shown to be worthless.  It is equally
unreasonable to identify Christianity with everything to which it is
most definitely opposed, to represent it as the enemy of everything
which it was intended to maintain, and then to conclude that
Christianity is discredited.[16]  As we should argue from the detection
of a liar, not that lying is right, but that he should return to the
ways of truth, so we should argue from the lives of Christians who live
in flagrant contradiction to the precepts of our Lord and His Apostles,
not that the precepts should be rejected, but that they should be kept;
not that Christianity should be abolished, but that it should be obeyed.

{18}

Christians have created prejudice, hatred, against Christianity, but it
is not Christianity which they have been exhibiting.  We repudiate the
hideous travesty which they have made, the hideous travesty which is
credulously or maliciously accepted by assailants as a correct
representation.  Christianity is not a religion of darkness and
superstition: it calls to its disciples 'Be children of light: prove
all things: hold fast that which is good.'  Christianity does not
sycophantishly court the rich and despise the poor: it tells the
stories of the Rich Man and Lazarus, and of the Rich Fool, and it
declares 'Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.'  Christianity does not teach
that the life which a man leads is of less consequence than the belief
which he professes: it demands, 'Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not
the things which I say?'  Christianity is not selfish, is not a system
which inculcates the saving of one's own soul as the first and last of
duties: {19} 'He that loveth his life shall lose it.  Bear ye one
another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.  By this shall all
men know that ye are My disciples if ye have love one to another.'  It
is surely reasonable to demand that Christianity shall be judged, not
by its misrepresentations, but by what it is in itself, not as it has
been perverted by bitter enemies, or by false disciples, but as it is
proclaimed and manifested in its Author and Finisher.


IV

In the face of such tremendous indictments, what is the duty incumbent
on us who profess and call ourselves Christians?  Certainly not that we
should abjure the name, but that we should remember what the name
signifies.  We ought to consider our ways, to give ourselves to
self-examination.  There must be something amiss when such hideous
portraits can be painted with any expectation of their being taken as
correct likenesses.  It is right {20} that we should repel with
indignation the ludicrous and intolerable caricatures which are
presented as our belief, the unwarrantable consequences which are
deduced from it.  It is right that we should remove misapprehensions
and refute calumnies; but, above all it is necessary that we should
take heed to our own conduct and our own character.  The scandals which
we have so much reason to deplore owe their existence, not to
Christianity, but to the absence of Christianity.  And the very sneers
which greet any departure from rectitude or morality on the part of a
professing Christian prove that such a departure is not a
manifestation, but a renunciation of Christianity, that what is
expected of Christians is the highest and the best that human nature
can produce.

'If,' argues Mr. Blatchford, 'if to praise Christ in words and deny Him
in deeds be Christianity, then London is a Christian city and England
is a Christian nation.  For it is {21} very evident that our common
English ideals are anti-Christian, and that our commercial, foreign,
and social affairs are run on anti-Christian lines.'[17]  As Mr.
Blatchford's life is spent in deploring the baseness of 'our common
English ideals,' and in exposing the iniquity of the methods in which
'our commercial, foreign, and social affairs' are conducted, the
logical inference would seem to be that, as anti-Christian ideals and
anti-Christian lines have so signally failed, it might be well to give
Christian ideals and Christian lines a trial.  'In a really humane and
civilised nation,' Mr. Blatchford maintains, 'there should be, and
there need be, no such thing as Poverty, Ignorance, Crime, Idleness,
War, Slavery, Hate, Envy, Pride, Greed, Gluttony, Vice.  But,' he
continues his curious argument, 'this is not a humane and civilised
nation, and never will be while it accepts Christianity as its
religion.  These,' {22} so he adds as an irresistible conclusion,
'these are my reasons for opposing Christianity.'[18]  Very good
reasons, if Christianity taught such a creed and encouraged such a
morality.  But that any human being should give such a description of
the purpose of Christian Faith indicates either that the describer is
swayed by blindest prejudice or else that no genuine Christian has ever
crossed his path.

'What if some do not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of
God of none effect?  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a
liar.'  Truth continues to be truth, though people who talk much about
it may be false.  Goodness continues to be goodness, though people who
sing its praises may be thoroughly depraved.  Generosity does not cease
to be generosity, though its beauty should be extolled by a miser.
Courage does not cease to be courage, though its heroism should be
extolled by a coward.  Temperance {23} is temperance, though we should
be assured of the fact by the thick speech of a drunkard.  The virtue
is admirable, even when those who acknowledge how admirable it is do
not practise it.

That Christianity towers so far above the attainments of its average
disciples, nay, above the attainments of its saintliest, is itself a
kind of evidence of its divine origin.  'When the King of the Tartars,
who was become Christian,' says Montaigne, 'designed to come to Lyons
to kiss the Pope's feet, and there to be an eyewitness of the sanctity
he hoped to find in our manners, immediately our good S. Louis sought
to divert him from his purpose: for fear lest our inordinate way of
living should, on the contrary, put him out of conceit with so holy a
belief.  And yet it happened quite otherwise to this other, who going
to Rome to the same end, and there seeing the dissolution of the
Prelates and people of that time, settled {24} himself so much the more
firmly in our religion, considering how great the force and dignity of
it must necessarily be that could maintain its dignity and splendour
amongst so much corruption and in so vicious hands.'  God's truth
abides whether men receive it or deny it.  Christ is the Way, the
Truth, and the Life, though every so-called Christian should become
apostate.  The woes of the world are to be cured by more Christianity,
not by less; and on us, in whose hands have been placed its holy
oracles, rests the responsibility of proving its inestimable advantage
ourselves and of conferring it on all mankind.

Wherever Christianity has really flourished, untold blessings have been
the result.[19]  With all the sad deficiencies and sadder perversions
by which its course has been chequered, no influence for good can be
compared with it in elevating character, in diffusing peace and {25}
goodwill, in fitting men to labour and to endure.  The diffusion of the
spirit of Christianity is a synonym for the diffusion of all that tends
to the true well-being of the world.  Only as genuine Christianity, the
Christianity of Christ, prevails, will mankind be morally and
spiritually lifted into a higher sphere.  Put together the wisest and
most ennobling suggestions of those who regard Christianity as obsolete
and you find that it is virtually Christianity which is delineated.  It
is in the prevalence of principles and practices which, however they
may be designated, are in reality Christian, that the salvation of
society and of individuals will be found.  In the absence of such
principles and practices will be found the secret of ruin, disorder,
dissolution, and decay.

It is false Christianity against which the tornado of abuse is really
directed.  Where genuine Christianity appears, and is recognised as
genuine, it commands respect.  {26} Even the most virulent of recent
assailants, who seriously considers that, until we get rid of the
'incubus of the modern Christian religion, our civilisation will so
surely decay that we shall become an entirely decadent race,' and who
complacently announces that 'it will not be difficult to create a faith
and a religion which will serve the needs of humanity where
Christianity has so signally failed,' even he is graciously pleased to
allow, 'I have no quarrel with Christianity as a code of morals.  The
Sermon on the Mount, no matter who preached it, is quite sufficient, if
its teaching was only practised instead of preached, to make this world
an eminently desirable place in which to live.  My quarrel is concerned
with the professional promoters and organisers of religion who have
made the very name of Christianity to stink in the nostrils of honest
men.'  In other words, it is not to Christianity, but to Christians by
whom it is misrepresented, that he is opposed, and he {27} cannot
refrain from granting, though surely with transparent inconsistency,
that it is by the noble lives of Christians that Christianity has been
so long preserved.  'It won, with its beauty and sentiment, the
allegiance of many who were true and manly.  And it is such as these
who have raised the Gospel from the slough of infamy.  It is such as
these who, in the darkest ages, have perpetuated by the goodness of
their lives the faith that is left to-day.  It is the virtues of
Christians, not the virtue of Christianity, that keeps the faith
alive.'[20]  The very opposite is nearer the truth.  The virtues of
Christians are simply the outcome of the virtue of Christianity: it is
the vices of Christians which compose the deepest 'slough of infamy'
into which the Gospel has ever been plunged.

But from all these charges and counter-charges, it would seem to be
clear that real {28} Christianity compels respect even where it is
viewed with aversion, that its progress is hindered by nothing so much
as by the unworthiness of its adherents, that it gains assent by
nothing so much as by the manifestation of Christian lives.

Will any one venture to deny that the world would be vastly improved
were every one in it to be a genuine Christian, animated by Christian
motives, doing Christian deeds?  The revolution would be immense,
indescribable: it would be the end of all evil: it would be the
establishment of all good.  No man's hand would be against another, all
would strive together for the welfare of the whole, there would be no
contention save how to excel in love and in good works.  The human
imagination cannot depict anything more glorious, more ennobling, than
the will of God done on earth as it is done in heaven, and this is what
would be if the thoughts of every heart were brought {29} into
captivity to the obedience of Christ.  The most splendid dreams of the
most exalted visionaries would be more than fulfilled: everything true
and lovely and of good report would be ratified and confirmed:
everything false and vile would be changed and purified, and nothing to
hurt or destroy or defile would remain.  The fulfilment of that ideal
is simply the universal prevalence of Christianity, the universal
triumph of Christ.

The systems and tendencies at which we are about to glance owe their
vitality to the Faith which they attempt to supersede.  They are, in so
far as they are good, either tending towards Christianity or borrowing
from it.  The insufficiency of mere material well-being, the
irresistible association of Religion with Morality, the worship of the
Universe, the worship of Humanity, all are signs of the ineradicable
instinct of the Unseen and Eternal, of the unquenchable thirst for the
Living God; and belief in the Living {30} God finds its noblest
illustration and confirmation in Him Who said, 'He that hath seen Me
hath seen the Father,' in Him to whom the searching scrutiny of
critical inquirers, as well as the fervid devotion of believers, bears
so marvellous a witness.  We hope to show not only that the abolition
of Christianity might 'be attended with sundry inconveniences,' or that
the assumption of there being 'nothing in' Christianity is 'not so
clear a case,' but we hope to show that if, amid present perplexity and
estrangement, many feel themselves obliged to go back and walk no more
with Christ, we, for our part, as we hear His voice of tender reproach,
'Will ye also go away?' can only, with heartfelt conviction, give the
answer, 'Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal
life.'



[1] Tennyson, _In the Children's Hospital_.

[2] _The Martyrdom of Man_.

[3] _The Churches and Modern Thought_.

[4] _Parsons and Pagans_.

[5] _Secularists' Manual_.

[6] _God and my Neighbour_.

[7] _Ibid_.

[8] _Earthward Pilgrimage_.

[9] Dean Church, _Pascal and other Sermons_, p. 348.

[10] Appendix I.

[11] Appendix II.

[12] _Queen Mab_.

[13] Hans Faber, _Das Christentum der Zukunft_.

[14] Appendix.

[15] Sir Leslie Stephen, _English Thought in the Eighteenth Century_,
vol. i. p. 144

[16] Appendix IV.

[17] _God and my Neighbour_.

[18] _God and my Neighbour_, ch. ix. p. 197.

[19] Appendix V.

[20] _Parsons and Pagans_.



{32}

II

MORALITY WITHOUT RELIGION



'I am sought of them that asked not for Me: I am found of them that
sought Me not.'--ISAIAH lxv. 1.

'Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the
law shall be justified.  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law,
do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the
law, are a law unto themselves; which shew the work of the law written
in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their
thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.'--ROMANS
ii. 13-15.

'Strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without
God in the world.'--EPHESIANS ii. 12.

'The acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness.'--TITUS i. 1.



{33}

II

MORALITY WITHOUT RELIGION

That Religion and Morality have no necessary connection is a popular
assumption.  In books, in pamphlets, in magazines, on platforms, in
ordinary conversation, it is loudly proclaimed or quietly insinuated
that the morality of the future will be Independent Morality, Morality
without Sanction.  Morality, it is iterated and reiterated, can get on
quite well without Religion: Religion is a positive hindrance to
Morality.  This view is, no doubt, extreme.  Perhaps it is only here
and there in the writings which fall into the hands of most of us, or
in the circles with which most of us mingle, that the matter is stated
so bluntly and so plainly.  But in {34} not a few writings of wide
circulation, and in whole classes of the community, the statement is
made as if beyond contradiction.  Even in works which we are all
reading, and in companies where we daily find ourselves, the logical
conclusion of arguments, the natural inference from assumptions, would
be simply that extreme position.  There is no use in evading the fact
that if some highly popular opinions are accepted, no statement of the
uselessness of Religion in any form or system can be too extreme.  The
mere assurance that Religion is a reality, is a benefit, is a
necessity, though it may not seem a great deal to establish, though it
may leave a host of problems still to solve, would be a gain to many,
would sweep away the chief doubts by which they are perplexed.

There need not, on our part, be any hesitation in declaring, to begin
with, that Religion {35} without Morality is worthless.  The attempt to
keep them apart, to regard them as independent of each other, has often
enough been made by nominal champions of Religion.  The upholding of
certain views regarding God and His relations to mankind has been
considered sufficient to make up for neglect of the duties incumbent on
ordinary mortals.  The performance of certain rites and ceremonies has
been considered an adequate compensation for the commission of
deliberate crimes.  Instances might easily be cited of persons engaged
in villainous schemes, achieving deeds of dishonesty which will cause
ruin to hundreds of innocent victims, executing plots of fiendish
revenge, with little regard for human life, and no regard at all for
truth, but exceedingly punctilious in attention to religious
observances.  One of the most cold-blooded murderers that ever
disgraced the habitable globe was careful not to neglect any act of
devotion, and while {36} perpetrating the most nefarious basenesses
never failed to write in his diary the most pious sentiments.  That
kind of religion is worse than nothing, was rightly regarded as
increasing the horror and loathsomeness of the monster's life.  In a
minor degree, we have all seen illustrations of the same incongruity,
we may even have detected indications of it in ourselves, the tendency
to imagine that the more we go to church or frequent the Sacraments or
read the Bible, we are entitled to latitude in our conduct.  There is
no tendency against which we need to be more constantly on our guard,
none which is more strongly, more terrifically, denounced in the Old
Testament and in the New, by prophets and apostles, and by the Lord
Jesus Christ Himself.  Unbelievers in Christianity are perfectly right
when they say that Religion without Morality is absolutely worthless.


{37}

II

We may go further.  We may admit, nay, we must vehemently maintain,
that Morality without Religion is far better than Religion without
Morality.  Look at this man who makes no profession of Religion, but
who is temperate, honest, self-sacrificing for the public good.  Look
at that man who made a loud profession, but who was leading a life of
secret vice, who was false to the trust reposed in him, who
appropriated what had been committed to his charge.  Can there be any
doubt, we are triumphantly asked, that of these two, the religious is
inferior to the irreligious?  There can be no doubt whatever, would be
the reply of every well-instructed Christian.  Morality without
Religion is incalculably better than Religion without Morality.  But
what does this prove with regard to Christianity?  It simply proves how
eternally true is the parable {38} of our Lord: 'A certain man had two
sons, and he came to the first and said, Son, go work to-day in my
vineyard.  He answered and said, I will not, but afterwards he repented
and went.  And he came to the second and said likewise.  And he
answered and said, I go, sir, and went not.  Whether of them twain did
the will of his father?  They say unto Him, The first,' and our Lord
confirmed the answer.


III

That kind of comparison between Religion and Morality is most
misleading, for such 'Religion' is not Religion at all.  It may be
hypocrisy, it may be superstition, it may be self-deception:
Christianity it is not, and never can be.  The contrast is not really
between Morality and Religion, but between Morality and Immorality,
Falsehood, Fraud, and Wilful Imposition.  Whatever else the Kingdom of
God may be, it is at least {39} Righteousness: where there is no
Righteousness, there can be no Kingdom of God.  Whatever else Christian
doctrine may be, it is at least a doctrine according to godliness, a
teaching in accordance with the eternal laws of righteousness.  For
purposes of analysis and convenience, we may distinguish between
Religion and Morality, and show them working in different spheres, but
it is utterly erroneous to suppose that they can be actually divorced.
In every right and rational representation of the Christian Religion,
Morality is included and imbedded, otherwise it is only a maimed and
mutilated Religion which is held out for acceptance.  On the other
hand, in all true Morality, especially in its highest and purest
manifestations, Religion is present.  It is possible to decry Morality.
'Mere Morality,' in the current acceptation of the phrase, may lack a
good deal, may be a phase of self-righteousness, self-interest, cold
calculation, {40} a keeping up of appearances before the world, but
Morality itself is of a higher strain: it is the fulfilment of every
duty to one's self and to one's neighbour: it implies that each duty is
done from the right motive: the purer and loftier it becomes the more
it encroaches on the religious domain: it is crowned and glorified with
a religious sanction: it is, visible or hidden, conscious or
unconscious, a doing of the will of God.  Morality, to hold its own,
must be 'touched by emotion,' and Morality touched by emotion is
identical with Religion.  To admit moral obligation in all its length
and breadth, and depth and height, is to admit God.[1]


IV

A curious illustration of the fact that Morality, to be permanent,
needs the inspiration of Religion, that Morality, at its best and
purest, tends to become Religion, is {41} afforded in such a work as
Dr. Stanton Coit's _National Idealism and a State Church_.  Dr. Coit
has for twenty years been engaged in founding ethical societies, and
his high and disinterested aims need not be called in question.  But
the book is evidence that in order to support the lofty principles
which he so earnestly expounds, he is obliged to call in the aid of
principles which he imagined himself to have discarded.  He begins by
denying the Supernatural in every shape and form.  He will have none of
a personal God, or of a personal immortality.  There is no higher being
than Man.  All trust must be shifted from supernatural to human
agencies.  'Combined human foresight, the general will of organised
society, assumes the rôle of Creative Providence.'  'This is, then, the
presupposition of all moral judgment in harmony with which I would
reconstruct the religions of the world: that no crime and no good deed
that happens in this world shall {42} ever be traced to any other moral
agencies than those actually inhabiting living human bodies and
recognised by other human beings as fit subjects of human rights and
privileges.'  In other words, Morality, Morality alone, Morality
without any sanction from Above, or any hope from Beyond, is the
all-sufficient strength and ennoblement of man.

But what is the superstructure which Dr. Stanton Coit proceeds to build
upon this foundation?  One would naturally expect that Prayer and
Churches and Sacraments would have no place.  But these are exactly
what he insists on retaining; these will apparently be more important,
more necessary, in the future than in the past.  'We should appropriate
and adapt the materials furnished us by the rites and ceremonies of the
historic Church.  As the woodbird, bent on building her nest, in lieu
of better materials makes it of leaves and of feathers from her breast,
so may we use what is familiar, old, {43} and close at hand.  It is all
ours; and the homelike beauty of the Church of the future will be
enhanced by the ancient materials wrought into its new forms.'  So much
enhanced, indeed, that most people will be inclined to tolerate the new
forms simply because of the ancient materials which are allowed to
remain.  Among the ancient materials which Dr. Coit appropriates or
adapts, prayer occupies a prominent place.  And he is severe upon
those, _e.g._, Comte and Dr. Congreve, who would banish petition from
the sphere of worship.  He delights in pointing out that, in despite of
themselves, they include requests for personal blessings.  Nor is
prayer to be a mere aspiration or inarticulate longing of the soul.
'No mental activity can become definite, coherent, and systematic, and
remain so, except it be embodied and repeated in words....  A petition
that does not, or cannot, or will not, formulate itself in words, and
let the lips move to shape them, and the {44} voice to sound them, and
the eye to visualise them on the written or printed page, becomes soon
a mere torpor of the mind, or a meaningless movement of blind unrest,
or a trick of pretending to pray.  Perfected prayer is always spoken.'

To whom, or to what, this prayer, uttered or unexpressed, is to be
offered, may be difficult of comprehension.  It is not to God, as we
have hitherto employed that sacred name; but Dr. Coit insists that the
word 'God' shall be retained, and that we have no right to deny to this
God the attribute of Personality.  'Any one who worships either a
concrete social group or an abstract moral quality may justly protest
against the charge that his God is impersonal: he may insist that it is
either superpersonal or interpersonal, or both.'  The worship of Nature
appears to be discouraged, and to be considered as of comparatively
little worth.  'We dare never forget that moral qualities stand to us
in a {45} different dynamic relation from the grass and the stars and
the sea--no effects upon us or upon these will result from petitions
even of a most righteous man to them.  But no one can deny that prayers
to Purity, Serenity, Faith, Humanity, England, Man, Woman, to Milton,
to Jesus, do create a new moral heaven and a new earth for him who
thirsts after righteousness.' Leaving the name of our Lord out of the
discussion, why should a prayer to Serenity have more moral influence
than a prayer to the Sea?  Why should a prayer to the Stars be less
efficacious than a prayer to Milton, whose soul was like a star and
dwelt apart?  We have only to invest the stars and the sea with certain
qualities evolved from our own imagination to make them as worthy of
worship as either Milton or Serenity.  Dr. Coit is scathing in his
criticism of the Positivist prayers, whether of Comte or of Dr.
Congreve: they are 'screamingly funny': 'the most monstrous {46}
absurdity ever perpetrated by a really good and great man.'  The
epithets are possibly justified; but are they quite inapplicable to one
who supposes that an invocation of the Living and Eternal God means no
more than an invocation of England, or Faith, or Woman?  It is only
when God has become to us an abstraction that an abstraction can take
the place of God.

A manual of services fitted to a nation's present needs is what,
according to Dr. Coit, is required to ensure the progress and triumph
of the ethical movement.  'Until the new idealism possesses its own
manual of religious ritual, it cannot communicate effectively its
deeper thought and purpose.  The moment, however, it has invented such
a means of communication, it would seem inevitable that a rapid moral
and intellectual advancement of man must at last take place, equal in
speed and in beneficence to the material advancement which followed
{47} during the last century in the wake of scientific inventions.'
The ritual of ethical societies will not outwardly differ much from the
ritual to be found in existing religions.  Its details have yet to be
arranged or 'invented.'  The only things certain are that a book of
prayers ought to be provided at once, and that in Swinburne's _Songs
before Sunrise_ may be found an 'anthology of prayer suitable for use
in the Church of Humanity,' prayers 'as sublime and quickening in
melody and passion as anything in the Hebrew prophets or the Litany of
the Church.'

Dr. Coit does not denounce theology as theology, he even insists on
being himself ranked among theologians.  His readers may be surprised
to learn on what doctrines he dwells with particular fondness.  He
laments that belief in the existence and power of the devil should be
waning.  'We may not believe in a personal devil, but we must believe
in a devil who acts very like a person.' {48} He predicts that teachers
will more and more teach a doctrine of hell-fire.  Out of kindness they
will terrify by presenting the evil effects, indirect and remote, of
selfish thoughts and dispositions.  'We must frighten people away from
the edge of the abyss which begins this side of death.'  Finally,
though, of course, the word is not used in the ordinary sense, the
necessity of the doctrine of the Incarnation is upheld.  'The
Incarnation must for ever remain a fundamental conception of religion.
Until all men are incarnations of the principle of constructive moral
beneficence, and to a higher degree, Jesus will remain pre-eminent; and
it is quite possible that in proportion as he is approached, gratitude
to him will increase rather than diminish.'  'Even should any one ever
in the future transcend him, still it will only be by him and in glad
acknowledgment of the debt to him.  There never can in the future be a
dividing of the world into Christianity {49} and not Christianity.  It
will only be a new and more Christian Christianity, compatible with
liberty and reason.'

Thus the drift and tendency of this book bring us back, however
unintentionally, to the Faith of which it appears, at first sight, to
be the renunciation.  It establishes irresistibly that Morality, to be
living and permanent, must have religious sanction and inspiration,
that we need to be delivered from the awful thraldom of evil, that the
supreme realities are the things which are unseen; that prayer is the
life of the soul; that public worship is a necessity; that in Christ
the greatest redemptive power has been embodied, and the purest vision
of the Eternal has been granted; and that, in its adaptation to human
needs, its fostering of human aspirations, its ministering to human
sorrows, its renewal of human penitence, its consecration of life and
its hope in death, no Ethical Society yet devised gives any {50}
symptom of being able to supplant the Church of Him Who said, 'Come
unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you
rest.'


V

Now, from the fact that Morality at its best assumes a religious tinge,
merges itself in Religion, we may legitimately infer that, without the
inspiration of Religion, Morality at its best will not long prevail.[2]
'Love, friendship,' said Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, 'good nature,
kindness carried to the height of sincere and devoted affection, will
always be the chief pleasures of life, whether Christianity is true or
false; but Christian Charity is not the same as any of these, or all of
these put together, and I think that if Christian Theology were
exploded, Christian Charity would not survive it.'[3]  At present, when
Religion has pervaded everything with its sacred sanctions, it is easy
to say that Religion {51} would not be greatly missed were it
discarded, and that Morality would be unaffected.  This is pure
conjecture.  To test its worth we should need a state of society from
which every vestige of Religion had disappeared.  It will not do to
retain any of the beliefs or the customs which owe their origin to a
sense of the Unseen and Eternal, to a sense of any Power above
ourselves, ruling our destinies and instilling into our minds thoughts
and desires and hopes beyond the visible and the material.  If
Morality, in the limited acceptation of the term, is sufficient for the
elevation and welfare of mankind, it is not to be supported by any
admixture of Religion: it must prove its power by itself.  Religion
must be utterly abolished, its every sanction must be universally
rejected, its every impulse must have universally ceased before it can
be contended with any measure of assurance that the world will be none
the worse, may be even the better, for its vanishing.

{52}

If Religion is a delusion, remember what must be eliminated from our
convictions.  There can be no higher tribunal than that of man by which
our actions can be judged.[4]  A life of outward propriety is the
utmost that can be demanded of us, if it is only against the wellbeing
of our neighbour or the promotion of our own happiness that we can
transgress.  What has human law to do with our hearts?  What
legislation can deal with 'envy, hatred, malice, and all
uncharitableness,' unless they manifest themselves in outward acts?  A
base, unloving, impure, acrimonious, untruthful man may crawl through
life, never having been arrested, never having been sentenced to any
term of penal servitude.  He can stand erect before all the laws of the
country and say, 'All these have I kept from my youth up.'  And unless
there be a higher law than the law of man, unless there be a law
written on our hearts by the Finger of {53} God, unless there be One to
whom, above and beyond all earthly appearances, we can mournfully
declare, 'Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned,' nothing more can be
reasonably demanded.  If there is nothing higher than the visible, it
can be only visible results which are of any value.  The giving of
money to help the needy, and the giving of money in order to obtain a
reputation for generosity, must stand on the same level.  The widow's
mite will be worth infinitely less than the shekels which come from
those who devour widows' houses.  If there be none to search the heart,
none save poor frail fellow-mortals to whom we must give account, what
an incentive to purity of motive and loftiness of aspiration is
removed!  But let men talk as they will, there is a conscience in them
which whispers, It does matter whether our hearts as well as our
actions are right; it does matter whether we have good motives, good
intentions; there is a scrutiny of hearts, {54} making and to be made
more fully yet; there is One before Whom, even though we have not
broken the law of the land, we confess with anguish, Against Thee have
I sinned and done evil in Thy sight: where I appear most
irreproachable, Thine eye detecteth error: it is not the occasional
trespass that I have chiefly to lament, it is the sin that is almost
part and parcel of my very being, the sin that corrodes even where it
does not glare, the sin that undermines even where it does not crash.


VI

The most thoughtful of those who have lost faith in the Living God and
in fellowship with Him hereafter, look on this life with a pessimistic
eye.  Without trust in the Unseen and Eternal, life is worthless, an
idle dream.  With its harassing cares, with its petty vexations, with
its turbulence and strife, its sorrows, its breaking up of old
associations, its quenching the light of our {55} eyes, 'O dreary were
this earth, if earth were all!'  On the stage of the world, 'the play
is the Tragedy Man, the hero the conqueror worm!'

We cannot but extend the deepest sympathy, the warmest admiration to
those who, bereft of belief and of hope, yet cling tenaciously to moral
goodness.[5]  'What is to become of us,' asks the pensive Amiel, 'when
everything leaves us, health, joy, affections, the freshness of
sensation, memory, capacity for work, when the sun seems to us to have
lost its warmth, and life is stripped of all its charms? ... There is
but one answer, keep close to Duty.  Be what you ought to be; the rest
is God's affair....  And supposing there were no good and holy God,
nothing but universal being, the law of the all, an ideal without
hypostasis or reality, duty would still be the key of the enigma, the
pole star of a wandering {56} humanity.'[6]  Who does not see that it
is the lingering faith in God which gives strength to this conviction
and that, were the faith obliterated, the natural conclusion would be
for the cultured, 'Vanity of vanities: all is vanity'; and for the
multitudes, 'Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.'  'I remember
how at Cambridge,' says Mr. F. W. H. Myers of George Eliot, 'I walked
with her once in the Fellows' Garden of Trinity on an evening of rainy
May: and she, stirred somewhat beyond her wont, and taking as her text
the three words which have been used so often as the inspiring trumpet
calls of men--the words _God, Immortality, Duty_--pronounced with
terrible earnestness, how inconceivable was the _first_, how
unbelievable the _second_, and yet how peremptory and absolute the
_third_.  Never, perhaps, have sterner accents affirmed the sovereignty
of impersonal and uncompromising Law.  I {57} listened and night fell:
her grave, majestic countenance turned toward me like a sibyl's in the
gloom, and it was as though she withdrew from my grasp one by one the
two scrolls of promise, and left me the third scroll only, awful with
inevitable fates.  And when we stood at length and parted, amid that
columnar circuit of the forest trees, beneath the last twilight of
starless skies, I seemed to be gazing, like Titus at Jerusalem, on
vacant seats and empty halls, on a sanctuary with no presence to hallow
it, and heaven left lonely of a God.'[7]

Withdraw belief in a God above and in a life beyond, the only reason
for obedience to Duty and Morality will be either our own pleasure, the
doing what is most agreeable to ourselves; or sympathy, the bearing of
others' burdens, in the hope that when we have passed away there may be
some on earth who will reap the harvest which we have {58} sown; or
public opinion, the views which are prevalent in a particular time in a
particular region; and these reasons are hardly likely to produce a
morality which will be other than that of self-indulgence, of despair,
or of conventionality.[8]

'We can get on very well without a religion,' said Sir James Fitzjames
Stephen, 'for though the view of life which Science is opening to us
gives us nothing to worship, it gives us an infinite number of things
to enjoy.  The world seems to me a very good world, if it would only
last.  It is full of pleasant people and curious things, and I think
that most men find no difficulty in turning their minds away from its
transient character.'  If it would only last!  But it does not last:
those dearer to us than ourselves are snatched away.  Could anything be
more selfish, more despicably base than to go about saying, All that is
of no {59} consequence, so long as I meet with pleasant people and have
an infinite number of things to enjoy?  It is true that an infinite
number of my fellow-creatures may not be enjoying an infinite number of
things, may have trouble in recalling almost anything worthy of the
name of enjoyment, but why should I be depressed by that?  I find no
difficulty in turning away my mind from the misfortunes of others.  'We
can get on very well without religion.'  No doubt without it some of us
can have agreeable society and a variety of pleasures more or less
refined; but this does not prove that religion is no loss.  On the same
principle, we can get on very comfortably without honesty, without
sobriety, without purity, without generosity.  We can get on very
comfortably indeed without anything except without a heart which is
intent on self-gratification, and which excludes all thought of the
wants and woes of the world.  'Let us eat and drink, for {60} to-morrow
we die,' is the irresistible, though rather inconsistent, conclusion of
that sublime austerity which so indignantly repudiates the merest hint
of reward or hope within the veil, and which so sensitively shrinks
from the mercenariness of the Religion of the Cross.

  'The wages of sin is death:
      if the wages of Virtue be dust,
  Would she have heart to endure for the life
      of the worm and the fly!'[9]


What are the facts?  What is the growing tendency where men think
themselves strong enough to do without religious beliefs, when they
have been proclaiming that the suppression of Religion will be the
exaltation of a purer Morality?  There are plenty of indications that
the laws of Morality are found to be as irksome as the dictates of
Religion.  The first step is to cry out for a higher Morality, to
censure the Morality of {61} the New Testament as imperfect and
inadequate, as selfish and visionary.  The next step is to question the
restraints of Morality, to clamour for liberty in regard to matters on
which the general voice of mankind has from the beginning given no
uncertain verdict.  The last step is to declare that Morality is
variable and conventional, a mere arbitrary arrangement, which can be
dispensed with by the emancipated soul.  The literature which assumes
that Religion is obsolete does not, as a rule, suffer itself to be much
hampered by the fetters of Morality.  The non-Religion of the Future is
what, we are confidently told, increasing knowledge of the laws of
Sociology will of necessity bring about.  Should that day ever dawn, or
rather let us say, should that night ever envelop us, it will mean the
diffusion of non-Morality such as the world has never known.[10]



[1] Appendix.

[2] Appendix VI.

[3] _Nineteenth Century_, June 1884.

[4] Appendix VII.

[5] Appendix VIII.

[6] _Journal Intime_, ii.

[7] _Modern Essays_.

[8] Appendix IX.

[9] Tennyson, _Wages_.

[10] Appendix X.



{64}

III

THE RELIGION OF THE UNIVERSE



'Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy
presence.'--PSALM cxxxix. 7.

'Do I not fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.'--JEREMIAH xxiii. 24.

'The heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee.'--1 KINGS viii.
27.

'In Him we live, and move, and have our being.'--ACTS xvii. 28.

'One God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in
you all.'--EPHESIANS iv. 6.

'Of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things: to Whom be glory
for ever.  Amen.'--ROMANS xi. 36.

'That God may be all in all.'--1 CORINTHIANS xv. 28.



{65}

III

THE RELIGION OF THE UNIVERSE

Among proposed substitutes for Christianity, none occupies a more
prominent place than Pantheism, the identity of God and the universe.
'Pantheism,' says Haeckel, 'is the world system of the modern
scientist.'[1]  Pantheism, or the Religion of the Universe, is, in one
aspect, a protest against Anthropomorphism, the making of God in the
image of man.  It is in supposing God to be altogether such as we are,
to be swayed by the same motives, to be actuated by the same passions
as we are, that the most deadly errors have arisen.  Robert Browning,
in _Caliban upon Setebos_, represents a half-brutal {66} being who
lives in a cave speculating upon the government of the world, wondering
why it came to be made, and what could be the purpose of the Creator in
making it.  Every motive that could sway the savage mind is in turn
discussed: pleasure, restlessness, jealousy, cruelty, sport.  'Because
I, Caliban,' such is the process of his reasoning, 'delight in
tormenting defenceless animals, or would crush any one that interfered
with my comfort, or do things because my taskmaster obliges me to do
them, so must it be with Him Who made the world.'  With great
grotesqueness, but with marvellous power, the degraded monster argues
as to the reasons which could have prompted the Unseen Ruler to frame
the earth and its inhabitants.  Everything that he attributes to God is
in keeping with his own base nature.  What is the explanation of the
horrors which have been perpetrated in the Name of God?  The sacrifice
of human {67} beings, of vanquished enemies, or of the nearest and the
dearest, the agonies of self-torture, did not these originate in the
transference to the Invisible God of the emotions and principles by
which men were guiding their own lives?  They had no notion of
forbearance and forgiveness and patience, therefore they did not think
that there could be forgiveness with God.  They were to be turned aside
from their fierce, revengeful purposes by bribes and by the protracted
sufferings of their foes, therefore they thought that God might be
bribed by gifts or propitiated by pains.  What they were on earth,
delighting in bloodshed and conquest and revelry, that, they supposed,
must be the Being or the Beings who ruled in the world unseen.


I

God is not as man is, this was a lesson which ancient prophets
struggled to teach.  He is not a man that He should lie, or a son {68}
of man that He should repent.  He is not to be conceived as influenced
by the petty hopes and fears and jealousies which influence the mass of
mortals.  'My thoughts are not as your thoughts, neither are your ways
my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your
thoughts.'  He is infinitely exalted above the best and wisest of His
children and to see in Him only their likeness is not to see Him
aright.  It is not to be denied that the writers of the Old Testament
employ anthropomorphic language to vivify the justice and goodness of
the Eternal.  They speak of His Eyes and of His Face, of His Hands and
of His Arm and of His Voice.  They speak of Him walking in the Garden
and smelling a sweet savour.  They speak of Him repenting and being
jealous and coming down to see what is done on earth.  Such figures,
however, as a rule, have a force {69} and an appropriateness which
never can become obsolete or out of date.  They even heighten the
Majesty and Spotless Holiness of God.  They are felt to be, at most,
words struggling to express what no words can ever convey: they are the
readiest means of impressing on the dull understanding of men their
practical duty, of letting them know with what purity and righteousness
they have to do.  It is not in such figures that any harm can ever lie.
The error of taking literally such phrases as 'Hands' or 'Arm' or
'Voice' is not very prevalent, but the error of framing God after our
moral image is not distant or imaginary.  There is a mode of speaking
about Divine Purposes and Divine Motives which must jar on those who
have begun to discern the Divine Majesty, to whom the thought of the
All-Embracing Presence has become a reality.


{70}

II

The representation of the Almighty and Eternal as one of ourselves, as
animated by the lowest passions and paltriest prejudices of mankind, as
a 'magnified and non-natural' human being, is recognised as ludicrously
inadequate and terribly distorted.  The representation of the Creator
as 'sitting idle at the outside of the Universe and seeing it go,' as
having brought it into being and afterwards left it to itself, as
mingling no more in its events and evolution, is utterly discarded.  It
is, however, to such representations that the assaults of modern
critics are directed, and in the overthrow of such representations it
is imagined that Christianity itself is overthrown.  The assailants
maintain that Christianity in attributing Personality to God makes Him
in the image of man, and separates Him from the Universe.  But what is
meant by Personality?  It does not mean a {71} being no higher than
man, with the limitations and imperfections of man.[2]  Mr. Herbert
Spencer, who would not ascribe Personality to God, yet affirmed that
the choice was not between Personality and something lower than
Personality, but between Personality and something higher.  'Is it not
just possible that there is a mode of being as much transcending
Intelligence and Will as these transcend mechanical motion?'[3]  The
description of Personality given by the author of the _Riddle of the
Universe_ would be repudiated by every educated Christian.  'The
monistic idea of God, which alone is compatible with our present
knowledge of nature, recognises the divine spirit in all things.  It
can never recognise in God a "personal being," or, in other words, an
individual of limited extension in space, or even of human form.  God
is everywhere.'[4]  That conclusion,--we {72} are not concerned with
the steps by which the conclusion is reached,--does not strike one as a
modern discovery.  In what authoritative statement of Christian
doctrine God is defined as _not_ being everywhere, or 'an individual of
limited extension in space, or even of human form,' we are unaware.
There is apparent misunderstanding in the supposition that we have to
take our choice between God as entirely severed from the world, and God
existing in the world.  God, it is asserted in current phraseology,
cannot be both Immanent and Transcendent; He cannot be both in the
world and above it.  'In Theism,' so Haeckel draws out the comparison,
'God is opposed to Nature as an extra-mundane being, as creating and
sustaining the world, and acting upon it from without, while in
Pantheism God, as an intra-mundane being, is everywhere identical with
Nature itself, and is operative within the world as "force" or {73}
"energy."'[5]  If there is no juggling with words here, it can hardly
be juggling with words to point out that so far as 'space' goes, an
intra-mundane being, rather than an extra-mundane, is likely to be
'limited in extension.'


III

The imagination that the Christian God is a Personality like ourselves,
and is to be found only above and beyond the world, finds perhaps its
strangest expression in some of the writings of that ardent lover of
Nature, the late Richard Jefferies.  'I cease,' so he writes in _The
Story of my Heart_, 'to look for traces of the Deity in life, because
no such traces exist.  I conclude that there is an existence, a
something higher than soul, higher, better, and more perfect than
deity.  Earnestly I pray to find this something better than a god.
There is something superior, higher, more good.  For this I search,
labour, {74} think, and pray....  With the whole force of my existence,
with the whole force of my thought, mind, and soul, I pray to find this
Highest Soul, this greater than deity, this better than God.  Give me
to live the deepest soul-life now and always with this soul.  For want
of words I write soul, but I think it is something beyond soul.'  Could
anything be more pathetic or, at the same time, more self-refuting?
How can anything be greater than the Infinite, more enduring than the
Eternal, better than the All-Pure and All-Perfect?  It could be only
the God of unenlightened, unchristian teaching, Whom he rejected.  The
God Whom he sought must be not only in but beyond and above all created
or developed things.  It was, indeed, the Higher than the Highest that
he worshipped.  It was for God, for the Living God, that his eager soul
was athirst, and it is in God, the Living God, that his eager soul is
now, we humbly trust, for ever satisfied.


{75}

IV

'The heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him.'  'Whither shall
I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?'  'My
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the
Lord.'  'In Him we live and move and have our being.'  'Of Him and
through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory for ever.
Amen.'[6]  Now it cannot be denied that some who have striven to
express after this fashion the unutterable majesty and the universal
presence of God, who have endeavoured to demonstrate that God is in all
things, and that all things are in God, have at times failed to make
their meaning plain.  Either from the obscurity of their own language,
or from the obtuseness of their readers, they have been considered
Atheists.  While vehemently asserting that God is {76} everywhere, they
have been taken to mean that God is nowhere.  The actual conclusion to
be drawn from the treatises of Spinoza, the reputed founder of modern
Pantheism, is still undecided.  But no one now would brand him with the
name of Atheist.  He was excommunicated by Jews and denounced by
Christians, yet there are many who think that his aim, his not
unsuccessful aim, was to establish faith in the Unseen and Eternal on a
basis which could not be shaken.  So far from denying God, he was,
according to one of the greatest of German theologians, 'a
God-intoxicated man.'  'Offer up reverently with me a lock of hair to
the manes of the holy, repudiated Spinoza!  The high world-spirit
penetrated him: the Infinite was his beginning and his end: the
Universe his only and eternal love....  He was full of religion and of
the Holy Spirit, and therefore he stands alone and unreachable, master
in his art above the profane multitude, {77} without disciples and
without citizenship.'[7]  Dean Stanley went so far as to say that 'a
clearer glimpse into the nature of the Deity was granted to Spinoza,
the excommunicated Jew of Amsterdam, than to the combined forces of
Episcopacy and Presbytery in the Synod of Dordrecht.'[8]  Such a
judgment is rather hard upon the divines who took part in that
celebrated Synod, but at any rate it indicates that the great
philosopher, misunderstood and persecuted, was elaborating in his own
way, this great truth, 'In him we live and move and have our being.'
'Of Him, and through Him are all things.'


V

In their loftiest moments, contemplating the marvels of the heavens
above and the earth beneath, devout souls have, wherever they looked,
been confronted with the Vision of God.  'What do I see in all {78}
Nature?' said Fénelon, 'God.  God is everything, and God alone.'
'Everything,' said William Law, 'that is in being is either God or
Nature or Creature: and everything that is not God is only a
manifestation of God; for as there is nothing, neither Nature nor
Creature, but what must have its being in and from God, so everything
is and must be according to its nature more or less a manifestation of
God.'

It is the thought which has inspired poets of the most diverse schools,
which has been their most marvellous illumination and ecstasy.

Now it is Alexander Pope:

  All are but parts of one stupendous whole
  Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.


Now it is William Cowper:

        There lives and works
  A soul in all things and that soul is God.


Now it is James Thomson of _The Seasons_:

  These, as they change, Almighty Father! these
  Are but the varied God.  The rolling year
  Is full of Thee.

{79}

Now it is William Wordsworth:

            I have felt
  A Presence that disturbs me with the joy
  Of elevated thoughts, a sense sublime
  Of something far more deeply interfused,
  Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
  And the round ocean and the living air,
  And the blue sky, and in the mind of man
  A motion and a spirit which impels
  All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
  And rolls through all things.


Now it is Lord Tennyson:

  The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and the plains,
  Are not these, O Soul, the vision of Him Who reigns?
      *      *      *      *      *
  Speak to Him thou, for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet.
  Closer is He than breathing and nearer than hands or feet.


Certainly, we may say, nothing atheistic in utterances like these: they
are the utterances of lofty thought, of profound piety, of soaring
aspiration, and of childlike faith.  They have a pantheistic tinge:
what is there to dread in Pantheism?  Not much in {80} Pantheism of
that kind: would there were more of it!  But it will be observable
that, in the instances cited, though God is in Nature and manifesting
Himself through it, there is a clear distinction between Nature and
God.  It may seem as if it were merely the sky, the sun, the stars, the
ocean, that are apostrophised: in reality it is a Life, a Spirit, a
Power not themselves, in which they live and move and have their being:
not to them, but to That, are the prayers addressed.  And, we venture
to think, it is scarcely ever otherwise: scarcely ever is the Visible
alone invoked: identify God as men will with the material universe, or
even with the force and energy with which the material universe is
pervaded, when they enter into communion with it, in spite of
themselves they endow it with the Life and the Will and the Purpose
which they have in theory rejected.  But the absolute identification of
God and the Universe, the assumption that above and {81} beneath and
through all there is no conscious Righteousness and Wisdom and Love
overruling and directing, _that_ is a belief to be resisted, a belief
which enervates character and enfeebles hope.[9]  'Whoever says in his
heart that God is _no more_ than Nature: whoever does not provide
_behind the veil of creation_ an infinite reserve of thought and beauty
and holy love, that might fling aside this universe and take another,
as a vesture changing the heavens and they are changed, ... is bereft
of the essence of the Christian Faith, and is removed by only
accidental and precarious distinctions from the atheistic worship of
mere "natural laws."'[10]  'In our worship we have to do, not so much
with His finite expression in created things as with His own free self
and inner reality ... all _religion_ consists in _passing Nature by_,
in order to enter into direct personal relation {82} with Him, soul to
soul.  It is _not_ Pantheism to merge all the life of the physical
universe in Him, and leave Him as the inner and sustaining Power of it
all.  It is Pantheism to rest in this conception: to merge Him in the
universe and see Him only there: and not rather to dwell with Him as
the Living, Holy, Sympathising Will, on Whose free affection the
cluster of created things lies and plays, as the spray upon the
ocean.'[11]


VI

God is _not_ as we are, and yet He _is_ as we are.  God is not made in
the image of man, but man is made in the image of God.  It is through
human goodness and human purity and human love that we attain our best
conceptions of the Divine Goodness and Purity and Love.  'If ye being
evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will
your Heavenly Father {83} give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?'
Picture to yourself what is highest and best in the human relationship
of father and child: be sure that the Heavenly Father will not fall
below, but will infinitely transcend, that standard.  All the justice
and goodness which we have seen on earth are the feebler reflection of
His.  It is by learning that the utmost height of human goodness is but
a little way towards Him that we learn to think of Him at all aright.
But the justice and the love by which he acts are different only in
degree, and not in kind, from ours.  When we think of God as altogether
such as we are, we degrade Him, we have before us the image of the
imperfect; when we try to think of Him under no image and to discard
all figures, He vanishes into unreality and nothingness, but when we
see Him in Christ, we have before us that which we can grasp and
understand, and that in which there is no imperfection.

{84}

If there is no God but the universe, we have a universe without a God.
Worship is meaningless, Faith is a mockery, Hope is a delusion.  If the
universe is God, all things in the universe are of necessity Divine.
The distinction between right and wrong is broken down.  In a sense
very different from that in which the phrase was originally employed,
'Whatever is, is right.'  Nothing can legitimately be stigmatised as
wrong, for there is nothing which is not God.  'If all that is is God,
then truth and error are equally manifestations of God.  If God is all
that is, then we hear His voice as much in the promptings to sin as in
the solemn imperatives of Conscience.  This is the inexorable logic of
Pantheism, however disguised.'[12]  'I know,' says Mr. Frederic
Harrison, 'what is meant by the Power and Goodness of an Almighty
Creator.  I know what is meant by the genius and patience {85} and
sympathy of man.  But what is the All, or the Good, or the True, or the
Beautiful?  ... The "All" is not good nor beautiful: it is full of
horror and ruin....  There lies this original blot on every form of
philosophic Pantheism when tried as the basis of a religion or as the
root-idea of our lives, that it jumbles up the moral, the unmoral, the
non-human and the anti-human world, the animated and the inanimate,
cruelty, filth, horror, waste, death, virtue and vice, suffering and
victory, sympathy and insensibility.'[13]  Where these distinctions are
lost, where this confusion exists, what logically must be the
consequence?  Honesty and dishonesty, truth and falsehood, purity and
impurity, kindness and brutality, are put upon a level, are alike
manifestations of the One or the All.

It is said that in our day the sense of sin has grown weak, that men
are not troubled {86} by it as once they were.  There is a morbid,
scrupulous remorsefulness for wrong-doing, a desponding conviction that
repentance and restoration are impossible, which may well be put away.
But that sin should be no longer held to be sin, that evil should be
wrought and the worker experience no pang of shame, would surely
indicate moral declension and decay.  Were the time to come when,
universally, mankind should commit those actions and cherish those
passions which, through all ages in all lands, have gone by the name of
sin, should become so heedless to the voice of conscience, that
conscience should cease to speak, the time would have come when men,
being past feeling, would devote themselves with greediness to anything
that was vile, so long as it was pleasant, the bonds of society would
be loosened and destruction would be at hand.  The Religion of the
Universe ignores the facts of life, the sorrow, the struggle, {87} the
depravity, the need of redemption.  Fortunately, human beings in
general are still inclined to mourn because of imperfection or of
baseness: still they are inclined at times to cry out, 'Who shall
deliver me from the body of this death?' and still they have the
opportunity of joyfully or humbly saying, 'I thank God through Jesus
Christ our Lord.'

'And now at this day,' listen to the ungrudging admission of perhaps
the most earnest English apostle of Pantheism, Mr. Allanson Picton: 'We
of all schools, whether orthodox or heterodox so-called, whether
believers or unbelievers in supernatural revelation, all who seek the
revival of religion, the exaltation of morality, the redemption of man,
draw, most of us, our direct impulse, and all of us, directly or
indirectly, our ideals from the speaking vision of the Christ.  Such a
claim is justified, not merely by the spiritual power still remaining
in the Church, {88} but almost as much by the tributes paid, and the
uses of the Gospel teaching made in the writings of the most
distinguished among rationalists....  Such writers have felt that
somehow Jesus still holds, and ought to hold, the heart of humanity
under His beneficial sway.  Excluding the partial, imperfect and
temporary ideas of Nature, spirits, hell, and heaven, which the
Galilean held with singular lightness for a man of His time, they have
acquiesced in and even echoed His invitation to the weary and heavy
laden, to take His yoke upon them and learn of Him.  And that means to
live up to His Gospel of the nothingness of self, and of unreserved
sacrifice to the Eternal All in All.'[14]  If such is the conclusion of
Rationalism and of Pantheism, how much more ought it to be the
conclusion of Christianity.  The imagination of a God confined to times
and places, visiting the world only occasionally, {89} manifesting
Himself in the past and not in the present, ought to be as foreign to
the Christian Church as to any Rationalist or Pantheist.  Be it ours to
show that we believe in God Who filleth all things with His presence,
Who is from Everlasting to Everlasting, that to us there is but one God
the Father, by Whom are all things and we in Him, and one Lord, Jesus
Christ, by Whom are all things and we by Him, that God has identified
Himself with us in Jesus Christ, His Son.  Be it ours to lose ourselves
in Him.  For, after all our questionings as to the government of the
world, as to abounding misery and degradation, as to what lies beyond
the veil for ourselves and for others, this is our hope and our
confidence: 'God hath concluded all in unbelief that He might have
mercy upon all.  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and
knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past
finding out.  For who hath {90} known the mind of the Lord? or who hath
been His counsellor? or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be
recompensed unto Him again?  For of Him and through Him and to Him are
all things: to Whom be glory for ever.  Amen.'



[1] _Riddle of the Universe_.

[2] Appendix XI.

[3] _First Principles_.

[4] _Confession of Faith of a Man of Science_.

[5] _Riddle of the Universe_.

[6] Appendix XII.

[7] Schleiermacher.

[8] _St. Andrews Addresses_.

[9] Appendix XIII.

[10] Martineau, _Hours of Thought_, ii. p. 110.

[11] Martineau, _Hours of Thought_, ii. p. 114.

[12] _Faith of a Christian_.

[13] _Creed of a Layman_, p. 203.

[14] _Religion of the Universe_.



{92}

IV

THE RELIGION OF HUMANITY



'And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness.'--GENESIS i. 26.

'When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the
stars which Thou hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of
him? and the son of man that Thou visitest him?  For Thou hast made him
a little lower than the angels and hast crowned him with glory and
honour.'--PSALM viii. 3-5

Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet.  For in that He
put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under
Him.  But now we see not yet all things put under Him.  But we see
Jesus Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of
death crowned with glory and honour, that He by the grace of God should
taste death for every man.'--HEBREWS ii. 8, 9.



{93}

IV

THE RELIGION OF HUMANITY

The position which Religion, and especially the Christian Religion,
assigns to man, to man as he ought to be, is very high.  He is made in
the image of God, he is a little lower than the angels, a little lower
than God, he is a partaker of the Divine Nature.  But as the corruption
of the best is the worst, there is nothing in the whole creation more
miserable, more loathsome, than man as he has forgotten his high estate
and plunged himself into degradation.  'What man has made of man,' is
the saddest, most deplorable sight in all the world.  Amid the awful
splendour of the winning loveliness of Nature, 'only man is vile.'
That is the terrible {94} verdict which may be pronounced upon him
renouncing his birthright, surrendering himself to the powers which he
was meant to keep in subjection.  It is not the verdict to be
pronounced on Man as Man, the child of the highest and the heir of all
the ages.  The appeal of Religion, the appeal of Christianity above
all, has continually been, O sons of men, sully not your glorious
garments, cast not away your glorious crown.


I

It is irreligion, it is unbelief, which comes and says, Lay aside these
fantastic notions as to your greatness: you are the creatures of a day:
you belong, like other animals, to the world of sense, and you pass
away along with them: a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.  Banish
your delusive hopes; confine yourselves to reality; waste not your time
in the pursuit of phantoms: make the best of the world in {95} which
you are: seize its pleasures: shut your eyes to its sorrows: enjoy
yourselves in the present and let the future take care of itself:
follow the devices and desires of your own hearts in the comfortable
assurance that there is no judgment to which you can be brought, save
that which exists in the realm of imagination.

Listening to such whispers, obeying such suggestions, walking in such
courses, the spectacle which man presents can be viewed only with
compassion, with horror, or with disdain.  His ideals, his aspirations,
his self-sacrifices are only so many phases of self-deception.  The
natural conclusion to be drawn from denying the spiritual origin and
eternal prospects of man must be that he is of no more account than any
of the transitory beings around him, that, if he has any superiority
over them, it is only the superiority of a skill with which he can make
them the instruments of {96} his purposes.  With no glimpses of a
higher world, with no inspirations from a Spirit nobler than his own,
he can hardly regard the achievements of heroism as other than acts of
madness, he can be fired with no desire to emulate them, he cannot well
be trusted to perform ordinary acts of honesty and morality, let alone
extraordinary acts of generosity and magnanimity, should they come in
collision with his objects and ambitions.

      Unless above himself he can
  Erect himself, how mean a thing is Man!

Deny his divine fellowship, extirpate his heavenly anticipations, and
it might seem as if no race on earth would be so poor as do him
reverence.


II

One thing is assumed by not a few, the absurdity of the Almighty caring
for such a race, and therefore the impossibility of the Incarnation.
'Which,' asks Mr. Frederic {97} Harrison, 'is the more deliriously
extravagant, the disproportionate condescension of the Infinite
Creator, or the self-complacent arrogance with which the created mite
accepts, or rather dreams of, such an inconceivable prerogative?  His
planet is one of the least of all the myriad units in a boundless
Infinity; in the countless æons of time he is one of the latest and the
briefest; of the whole living world on the planet, since the ages of
the primitive protozoon, man is but an infinitesimal fraction.  In all
this enormous array of life, in all these æons, was there never
anything living which specially interested the Creator, nothing that
the Redeemer could care for, or die for?  If so, what a waste creation
must have been! ...  Why was all this tremendous tragedy, great enough
to convulse the Universe, confined to the minutest speck of it, for the
benefit of one puny and very late-born race?'[1]

{98}

But is it not the fact that along with the discovery of Man's utter
insignificance, there has come the discovery of powers and faculties
unknown and unsuspected, so that more than ever all things are in
subjection to him, his dominion has become wider, his throne more
firmly established?  Is it not the fact that the whole realm of Nature
is explored by him, is compelled to minister to his wants or to unfold
its treasures of knowledge?  Is it not the fact that more than ever it
can be said:

    The lightning is his slave: heaven's utmost deep
    Gives up her stars, and, like a flock of sheep,
  They pass before his eye, are numbered, and roll on.
    The tempest is his steed: he strides the air.
    And the Abyss shouts from her depth laid bare
  'Heaven, hast thou secrets?  Man unveils me: I have none.'[2]

Is it not the fact that deposed from his position of proud pre-eminence
as centre of the universe, Man has by his labours and his ingenuity
reasserted his high prerogative {99} to be lord of the creation?  The
printing-press, the railway, the telegraph, how have inventions like
these invested him with an influence which he did not possess before!
And is it not the fact that when most conscious of our nothingness
before the immensities around us, when humbled and prostrate before the
Infinite of which we have caught a transitory glimpse, we are also most
conscious of our high destiny, we are lifted above the earthly to the
heavenly, we discern that, though we cannot claim a moment, yet
Eternity is ours?  'What, then, is Man!  What, then, is Man!  He
endures but an hour and is crushed before the moth.  Yet in the being
and in the working of a faithful man is there already (as all faith,
from the beginning, gives assurance) a something that pertains, not to
this wild death element of Time; that triumphs over Time, and _is_, and
will be, when Time shall be no more.'[3] {100} Man's place in the
universe may, according to Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, be nearer the
centre of things than has so commonly come to be accepted.  Modern
discovery, he maintains, has thrown light on the interesting problem of
our relation to the Universe; and even though such discovery may have
no bearing upon theology or religion, yet, he thinks, it proves that
our position in the material creation is special and probably unique,
and that the view is justified which holds that 'the supreme end and
purpose of this vast universe was the production and development of the
living soul in the perishable body of man.'  And another, a convinced
and ardent disciple of Evolution, the late Professor John Fiske, argues
that, 'not the production of any higher creature, but the perfecting of
humanity is to be the glorious consummation of Nature's long and
tedious work....  Man seems now, much more clearly than ever, the chief
among God's {101} creatures....  The whole creation has been groaning
and travailing together in order to bring forth that last consummate
specimen of God's handiwork, the Human Soul.'[4]  If this be so, this
conclusion arrived at by those who do not hold the ordinary faith of
Christendom, then the objection that the Incarnation could not have
taken place for the redemption of such a race as ours, in a world which
is so poor a fraction of the infinite universe, falls to the ground;
and the protest of a devout modern poet carries conviction with it:

        This earth too small
  For Love Divine!  Is God not Infinite?
  If so, His Love is infinite.  Too small!
  One famished babe meets pity oft from man
  More than an army slain!  Too small for Love!
  Was Earth too small to be of God created?
  Why then too small to be redeemed?[5]

Man may, or may not, occupy a 'central position in the universe': other
worlds may, {102} or may not, be inhabited: this earth may be but a
minute and insignificant speck amid the mighty All, this at least is
certain, that not by mere magnitude is our rank in the scale of being
to be decided, and that in the spirit of man will be found that which
approaches most nearly to Him who is Spirit.  'The man who reviles
Humanity on the ground of its small place in the scale of the Universe
is,' according to Mr. Frederic Harrison, 'the kind of man who sneers at
patriotism and sees nothing great in England, on the ground that our
island holds so small a place in the map of the world.  On the atlas
England is but a dot.  Morally and spiritually, our Fatherland is our
glory, our cradle, and our grave.'[6]


III

Hence, one of the ablest attempts to supersede Christianity is that
which goes by {103} the name of Positivism or the Religion of Humanity,
which sets Man on the throne of the universe, and makes of him the sole
object of worship.  'A helper of men outside Humanity,' said the late
Professor Clifford, 'the Truth will not allow us to see.  The dim and
shadowy outlines of the Superhuman Deity fade slowly away from before
us, and, as the mist of His Presence floats aside, we perceive with
greater and greater clearness the shape of a yet grander and nobler
figure, of Him who made all gods and shall unmake them.  From the dim
dawn of history, and from the inmost depths of every soul, the face of
our Father _Man_ looks out upon us with the fire of eternal youth in
His eyes, and says, "Before Jehovah was, I am."  The founder of the
organised Religion of Humanity was Auguste Comte, who died in the year
1857.  He held that in the development of mankind there are three
stages: the first, the Theological, in which {104} worship is offered
to God or gods; the second, the Metaphysical, in which the human mind
is groping after ultimate truth, the solution of the problems of the
universe; the third, the Positive, in which the search for the illusive
and the unattainable is abandoned, and the real and the practical form
the exclusive occupation of the thoughts.  On Sunday, October 19, 1851,
he concluded a course of Lectures on the General History of Humanity
with the uncompromising announcement, 'In the name of the Past and of
the Future, the servants of Humanity, both its philosophical and
practical servants, come forward to claim as their due the general
direction of this world.  Their object is to constitute at length a
real Providence, in all departments, moral, intellectual, and material.
Consequently they exclude, once for all, from political supremacy, all
the different servants of God, Catholic, Protestant, or Deist, as being
at once behindhand and {105} a source of disturbance.'  All religions
were banished by the truly 'uncompromising announcement': they were all
condemned as futile and unreal.  The best that could be said of the
worship of the past was that it directed 'provisionally the evolution
of our best feelings, under the regency of God, during the long
minority of Humanity.'

But the fact that Religion will not be banished, that it must somehow
find expression, never received fuller verification.  We do not dwell
upon the private life of Comte, its eccentricities and inconsistencies,
but this at least cannot be omitted: he practised a course of austere
religious observances, he worshipped not only Humanity at large, but he
paid special adoration to a departed friend such as hardly the
devoutest of Roman Catholics has ever paid to the Virgin Mary.
Positivism became, what Professor Huxley called it, 'Catholicism
_minus_ Christianity.'  Comte laid down for the guidance of his {106}
disciples, who are potentially all mankind, rules which no existing
religious communion can surpass in minuteness.  The Supreme Object of
Worship is the Great Being, Humanity, the Sum of Human Beings, past,
present, and future.  But as it is only too evident that too many of
these beings in the past and the present, whatever may be said about
the future, are not very fitting objects of worship, Humanity, the
Great Being, must be understood as including only worthy members, those
who have been true servants of Humanity.  The emblem of this Great
Being is a Woman of the age of thirty, with her son in her arms; and
this emblem is to be placed in all temples of Humanity and carried in
all solemn processions.  The highest representatives of Humanity are
the Mother, the Wife, and the Daughter; the Mother representing the
past, the Wife the present, and the Daughter the future.  These are in
the abstract to be regarded as the guardian {107} angels of the family.
To these angels every one is to pray three times daily, and the
prayers, which may be read, but which must be the composition of him
who uses them, are to last for two hours.  Humanity, the World, and
Space form the completed Trinity of the Positivist Religion.  There are
nine sacraments: Presentation, Initiation, Admission, Destination,
Marriage, Maturity, Retirement, Transformation, Incorporation.  There
is a priesthood, to whom is committed the duties of deciding who may or
may not be admitted to certain offices during life, of deciding also
whether or not the remains of those who have been dead for seven years
should be removed from the common burial-place, and interred in 'the
sacred wood which surrounds the temple of humanity,' every tomb there
'being ornamented with a simple inscription, a bust, or a statue,
according to the degree of honour awarded.'  The priests are to receive
so comprehensive {108} a training that they are not to be fully
recognised till forty-two years of age.  They are to combine medical
knowledge with their priestly qualifications.  Three successive orders
are necessary for the working of the organisation: the Aspirants
admitted at twenty-eight, the Vicars or Substitutes at thirty-five, and
the Priests proper at forty-two.

The Religion of Humanity has a Calendar, each month of twenty-eight
days being in one aspect dedicated to some social relation, and in
another to some famous man representing some phase of human progress:
Moses, Homer, Aristotle, Cæsar, St. Paul, Gutenberg, Shakespeare.  Each
day of the year is dedicated to one or more great men or women, five
hundred and fifty-eight in number, and the last day of the year is the
Festival of All the Dead.  'Our Calendar is designed to remind us of
all types of the teachers, leaders, and makers of our race: of the many
modes in which the servants of Humanity {109} have fulfilled their
service.  The prophets, the religious teachers, the founders of creeds,
of nations and systems of life: the poets, the thinkers, the artists,
kings, warriors, statesmen and rulers: the inventors, the men of
science and of all useful arts....  Every day of the Positivist year is
in one sense a day of the dead, for it recalls to us some mighty
teacher or leader who is no longer on earth....  But the three hundred
and sixty-four days of the year's calendar have left one great place
unfilled....  Those myriad spirits of the forgotten dead, whom, no man
can number, whose very names were unknown to those around them in life,
the fathers and the mothers, the husbands and the wives, the brothers
and the sisters, the sturdy workers and the fearless soldiers in the
mighty host of civilisation--shall we pass them by? ... It is those
whom to-night we recall, all those who have lived a life of usefulness
in their generation, though {110} they tugged as slaves at the lowest
bank of oars in the galley of life, though they were cast unnoticed
into the common grave of the outcast, all whose lives have helped and
not hindered the progress of Humanity, we recall them all to-night.'[7]


IV

The Religion of Humanity has numbered among its adherents, in part or
in whole, several celebrated persons in this country, such as Richard
Congreve, Dr. Bridges, Professor Beesley, Cotter Morison, George Eliot.
But at present it has no more eloquent and earnest advocate than Mr.
Frederic Harrison, who, in _The Creed of a Layman_, and several other
recent volumes, has passionately proclaimed its principles.  For more
than fifty years he has been its apostle: 'every other aim or
occupation has been subsidiary and instrumental to this.'[8]  It {111}
is true that in some points he has retained his independence, and while
those outside accuse him of fanaticism, some of his fellow-believers
suspect him of heresy.[9]  But he himself is assured that in the
worship of Humanity he has obtained the solution of his doubts[10] and
the satisfaction of his spirit, and on his gravestone or his urn he
would have inscribed the words, _He found peace_.[11]  There is much
that is marvellously elevated in thought as well as exquisite in
expression, profoundly devout as well as brilliantly argued, in the
narrative of his progress towards his present position.  But when his
vehement statements are carefully examined, it will almost inevitably
be seen that all that is good and sensible in them is an unconscious
reproduction of Christianity.  His negations disappear: the
affirmations which he makes are those which the Church has always {112}
maintained.  The faith of his childhood permeates and strengthens and
beautifies the creed which he adopted in his maturer years.  The unity
of mankind, the memory of the departed, the necessity of living for
others, these are no novelties in Christianity.  It is in Christ that
they have specially been brought to light, in Him that they find their
highest ratification, without Him they remain unfulfilled, with Him
they attain to consistency and power.

The Great Being, Humanity, is only an abstraction.[12]  'There is no
such thing in reality,' Principal Caird reminds us, 'as an animal which
is no particular animal, a plant which is no particular plant, a man or
humanity which is no individual man.  It is only a fiction of the
observer's mind.'  There is logical force as well as humorous
illustration in the contention of Dean Page Roberts, that there is no
more a humanity apart {113} from individual men and women than there is
a great being apart from all individual dogs, which we may call
Caninity, or a transcendent Durham ox, apart from individual oxen,
which may be named Bovinity.'[13]  Nor does the geniality of Mr.
Chesterton render his argument the less telling: 'It is evidently
impossible to worship Humanity, just as it is impossible to worship the
Savile Club: both are excellent institutions to which we may happen to
belong.  But we perceive clearly that the Savile Club did not make the
stars and does not fill the universe.  And it is surely unreasonable to
attack the doctrine of the Trinity as a piece of bewildering mysticism,
and then to ask men to worship a being who is ninety million persons in
one God, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the
substance.'[14]

Can it be doubted that the Great Being, {114} the sum of human beings,
is less conceivable, less worthy of worship than the Great Being, the
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?[15]  Can it be doubted that
the claim of Humanity to worship is less credible if we exclude the
Perfect Man, Christ Jesus, from our view?  Can it be doubted that the
Positivist motto, 'Live for others,' gains a force and a meaning
unapproached elsewhere from the Life and Death of Him Who said, 'The
Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give
His Life a ransom for many?'  Humanity knit together in One, purified
from every stain, glorious and adorable, is a lofty and inspiring idea,
but nowhere has it been disclosed save in the Man Christ Jesus, the
Word made Flesh, the Brightness of the Father's glory and the Express
Image of His Person.


{115}

V

Dr. Richard Congreve owns that much of the Religion of Humanity exists
already in the Christian Faith, but, in one respect, he asserts that
the Religion of Humanity can claim to be entirely original.  'We
accept, so have all men.  We obey, so have all men.  We venerate, so
have some in past ages, or in other countries.  We add but one other
term, we love.'[16]  That is what distinguishes this new religion and
proves its superiority to the old: its votaries have attained this new
principle and mode of life: they love one another.  The boldness of the
claim may stagger us.  We turn over the pages of the New Testament.  We
see that Love is the fulfilling of the Law; is the end of the
commandment; is the sum of the Law and the Prophets; is placed at the
very summit of Christian graces; is the bond of perfectness; {116} is
manifested in a Life and a Death which, after nineteen centuries,
remain without a parallel.  We recall the touching legend that in his
old age the Apostle S. John was daily carried into the assembly of the
Ephesian Christians, simply repeating to them, over and over, the
words, 'Love one another.  This is our Lord's command, fulfil this and
nothing else is needed.'  We recall that in early centuries the
sympathy and helpfulness by which Christians of all ranks and races
were united called forth from heathen spectators the amazed and
respectful exclamation, 'See how these Christians love one another!'
Recalling these things, we cannot but be startled that, in the
nineteenth century of the Christian era, a teacher should, with any
expectation of being believed, have ventured to affirm that the great
discovery which it has been reserved for the present day to make is
that of loving one another.  Ignorance of Christianity,
misrepresentation {117} of Christianity, we may well call it: ignorance
inconceivable, misrepresentation inconceivable: and yet, as we consider
the state of Christendom, do we not see what palliates the ignorance
and the misrepresentation?  Have we not reason to confess that, if the
commandment be not new, universal obedience to it would be new indeed?
May the calm assurance that love is foreign to Christianity not startle
us into the conviction that we have forgotten what, according to our
Lord's own declaration, the chief feature of Christianity ought to be?
'By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love
one to another.'


VI

'How can we,' it has been well said, 'be asked to give the name of
Religion of Humanity to a religion that ignores the greatest human
being that ever lived, and the very source from which the Religion of
Humanity {118} sprang?'[17]  Man in himself, man so full of
imperfections, man having no connection with any world but this, man
unallied to any Power higher, nobler than himself, is this to be our
God?  Which is more reasonable: to set up the race of man, unpurified,
unredeemed, worthless and polluted, as the object of adoration, or to
maintain that 'Man indeed is the rightful object of our worship, but in
the roll of ages, there has been but one Man Whom we can adore without
idolatry, the Man Christ Jesus'?[18]  The Religion of Humanity, so
called, would have us worship Man apart from Christ Whom yet all
acknowledge to be the glory of mankind, but we call on men to worship
Christ Jesus, for in Him we see Man without a stain, we see our nature
redeemed and consecrated, we see ourselves brought nigh to the Infinite
God.  We adore Humanity, but Humanity {119} in its purity: we adore
Humanity, but only as manifesting in the Only Begotten Son the glory of
the Eternal Father.  Thus we place no garland around the vices of the
human race: thus we abase, and thus we exalt: thus are we humbled to
the dust, thus are we raised to the highest heavens.  Apart from
Christ, the magnitude of the creation may well depress and overwhelm:
apart from Christ the human race is morally imperfect instead of being
a fit object of blind adoration.  Seeing Christ, we not only feel our
inconceivable nothingness in presence of the Infinite Majesty, but we
stand erect and unpresumptuously say, 'We wonder not that Thou art
mindful of those for whom that Son of Man lived and died, we are in Him
partakers of the Divine Nature.  There thou beholdest Thine Own Image.'

Made in the image of God, such is the ideal of Man that comes to us
from the beginning of his history; and such is the ideal {120} that
once, and once only, has been realised.  '_Ecce Homo_!  Behold the
Man!' said Pontius Pilate, in words more full of significance than he
knew, pointing to the victim of priestly hatred and popular fickleness.
Behold the Man! man as he ought to be, the Image of God.  Before that
Divine Humanity we reverently bow, to that Divine Humanity we humbly
consecrate ourselves, in fellowship with It alone we learn and manifest
the true worth and dignity of Man.

One writing frantically to exalt mankind and to depreciate
Christianity, tells us how he sat on a cliff overhanging the seashore
and gazed upon the stars, murmuring, 'O prodigious universe, and O poor
ignorant, that could believe all these were made for him!' but the
sight of a steamship caused him to rejoice at the triumph of Art over
Nature, and to exclaim, 'If man is small in relation to the universe,
he is great in relation to the earth: he abbreviates distance and time,
{121} and brings the nations together.'  Then he saw that man is
ordained to master the laws of which he is now the slave; he believed
that if man could understand this mission, a new religion would animate
his life, and, in the strength of this revelation, the writer says that
he sang in ecstasy to the waters and winds and birds and beasts, he
felt a rapture of love for the whole human race, he resolved to preach
the New Gospel far and wide, and proclaim the glorious mission of
mankind.[19]

On the whole the Old Gospel will be found as ennobling, as inspiring,
as practical as the New.  All that this new Gospel aims at, we, as
Christians, already believe: and we possess a Divine Token, a Sacred
Pledge which is foreign to it: we believe that a higher destiny is in
store for us than even the construction of wonders of mechanical
skill.[20]  Stripped of all rhetoric, the conclusion of unbelief in God
and Immortality can only {122} be 'Man is what he eats': the conclusion
of Christianity, 'There is but one object greater than the soul, and
that is its Creator.'

One in a certain place testified, saying, 'What is man, that Thou art
mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him?  Thou madest
him a little lower than the angels: Thou crownest him with glory and
honour, and didst set him over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put
all things in subjection under his feet.'  For in that He put all in
subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him.  But
now we see not yet all things put under him.  But we see JESUS Who was
made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned
with glory and honour.  We see Him Who is our Brother and our
Forerunner within the veil; and in His Exaltation we behold our
own.[21]  No vision of the future can surpass that which the Christian
Church {123} has cherished from the beginning, that we shall all 'come
in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto
a Perfect Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ
... from Whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by
that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in
the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the
edifying of itself in love.'



[1] _Creed of a Layman_, p. 67.

[2] Shelley, _Prometheus Unbound_.

[3] Thomas Carlyle.

[4] _Man's Destiny_, p. 31,

[5] Aubrey de Vere.

[6] _Creed of a Layman_, p. 76.

[7] Frederic Harrison, _Creed of a Layman_.

[8] _Memories and Thoughts_, p. 14.

[9] _Memories and Thoughts_, p. 15.

[10] Appendix XIV.

[11] _Creed of a Layman_.

[12] Appendix XV.

[13] _Some Urgent Questions in Christian Lights_.

[14] _Heretics_, p. 96.

[15] Appendix XVI.

[16] Appendix XVII.

[17] E. A. Abbott, _Through Nature to Christ_.

[18] Frederick William Robertson, _Sermon on John's Rebuke of Herod_.

[19] Winwood Reade, _The Outcast_.

[20] Appendix XVIII.

[21] Appendix XIX.



{126}

V

THEISM WITHOUT CHRIST



'Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.'--S. JOHN xiv. 1.

'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father
but by Me.'--S. JOHN xiv. 6.

'He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.'--S. JOHN xiv. 9.

'Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name
under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.'--ACTS iv. 12.

'He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and
the Son.'--2 S. JOHN 9.



{127}

V

THEISM WITHOUT CHRIST

By Theism without Christ is not meant a system like Judaism or
Mohammedanism, but a modern school which maintains that faith in God
becomes weakened and impaired by being associated with faith in Jesus.
There are those who cling with tenacity to the first article of the
Apostles' Creed, 'I believe in God the Father Almighty,' but who reject
with equal fervour the second article of the Creed, 'And in Jesus
Christ, His only Son, our Lord.'  They resist with horror the
suggestion that the world is under no overruling Providence, or that
the humblest human being is not regarded with the tender love of the
Infinite God: they rival the most {128} mystical worshipper in the
ardour of the language with which in prayer they address the Father in
Heaven, but they refuse to bow in the Name of Jesus: they go to the
Father, as they think, without Him: they assert that to look to Him is
virtually to look away from God.  They are as hostile as we can be to
the Substitutes for Christianity which we have been considering.  They
have no sympathy with those who loudly deny that there is a God, or
with those who say that it is impossible to find out whether there is a
God or not, or with those who think that the Creator and the Creation
are one, that the universe is God, or with those who, not believing in
any Unseen and Eternal God, insist that the proper object of the
worship of mankind is man.  In the proclamation of the existence of an
All-Wise and All-holy Being, in the proclamation that He has made the
world and rules it to its minutest detail, in the proclamation that
{129} there is a life beyond the grave, they are the allies of the
Christian Church.  But then they go on to argue, For those who hold
these doctrines, Christ is quite superfluous: to hold them in their
purity Christ must be dethroned and His name no longer specially
revered.  Some may still wish to speak of Him as among the Great
Teachers of the world, but some, in order to preserve these precious
truths unmixed, decline in a very fanaticism of unbelief to assign Him
even that position.


I

The declaration of our Lord, 'No man cometh unto the Father but by Me,'
has been a chief stumbling-block and rock of offence.  Are we to
believe, it is asked, that only the comparatively few to whom the
knowledge of Jesus Christ has come can possibly be accepted of the
Father?  When the words were spoken the number of His disciples was
exceedingly small.  Did he mean that the {130} Father could be
approached only by that handful of people, that all beyond were
banished from the Divine Presence and must inevitably perish?  That
this is what He meant both the friends and the foes of Christianity
have at times been agreed in holding.  The friends have imagined that
they were thereby exalting the claim of Christ to be the One Mediator.
It may be a terrible mystery that the vast majority of the human race
should have no opportunity of believing in Him, should be even
unacquainted with His Name.  We can only bow before the inscrutable
decree, and strive with all our might, not only that our own faith may
be deepened, but that the knowledge of Christ may be diffused over all
the earth, so that some here and there may be rescued.  There is little
wonder that such a view should have given rise to questionings and
opposition, should have been rejected as inconsistent with mercy and
with justice.  It is an {131} interpretation on which hostile critics
have laid stress as incontestably proving the narrowness and bigotry of
the Christian Creed.

If we bear in mind Who it is that is presumed to say, 'No man cometh
unto the Father but by Me,' the misconception disappears.  It is not
merely an individual man, separate from all others, giving Himself out
as a wise and infallible Teacher.  He Who makes the stupendous claim is
One Who by the supposition embodies in Himself Human Nature in its
perfection, Who is identified with His brethren, Who says, 'He that
hath seen Me hath seen the Father.'  The Life which He manifests is the
Life of God.  He is set forth as the Way to the Father: in mercy and in
blessing the Way is disclosed in Him: it is not in harsh and rigid
exclusiveness that He speaks, debarring the mass of mankind: it is in
tender comprehensiveness, inviting all without distinction of race or
circumstance, opening a new {132} and living way for all into the
Holiest.  It is the breaking down of all barriers between man and man,
between man and God, not the setting up of another barrier high and
insurmountable.  When Christ declares 'No man cometh unto the Father
but by Me,' He is not declaring that the way is difficult and
impassable, He is pointing out a way of deliverance which all may
tread.  So far from laying down a hard and burdensome dogma to be
accepted on peril of pains and penalties, He is imparting a hope and a
consolation in which all may rejoice.

If we believe Him to be the Word of God made Flesh, if we see in Him
the Brightness of the Father's glory, it becomes a truism to say that
only through Him can life and healing be imparted to mankind.  When He
Himself says, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,' it is natural for
Him to add, 'No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.'  It will {133}
be granted by all who believe in God that, apart from God, no soul of
man can have life eternal.  The most strenuous advocate of the
salvation of the virtuous heathen will grant that their salvation does
not descend from the idol of wood and stone before which they grovel.
It is from the True God, the Living God, that the blessing proceeds.
It is His touch, His Spirit, His Presence which has consecrated the
earnest though erring worship of the poor idolater.  No one who
believes in the Infinite and Eternal God could possibly say that the
monstrous image whose aid is invoked by the devout heathen is itself
the answerer of his prayer, the cause of his deliverance from sin, the
bestower of immortality upon him.  The utmost that can be said is that
in the costly sacrifices, the painful penances, the passionate prayers
which he presents to the object of his adoration, the Almighty Love
discerns a longing after something nobler and better, {134} and accepts
the service as directed really, though unconsciously, to Him.

  The feeble hands and helpless,
  Groping blindly in the darkness,
  Touch God's right hand in that darkness
  And are lifted up and strengthened.[1]

But it is the hand of God that they touch.  It is from the One
Omnipotent God that every blessing comes: it is the One Omnipotent God
Who turns to truth and life and reality every sincere and struggling
and imperfect attempt to serve Him on the part of those who know not
His Nature or His Name.

And what is true of God is equally true of Christ, the manifestation of
God.  Only grant Him to be the Incarnate Word of God, and it becomes
plain that salvation can no more exist apart from Him than apart from
the Father.  This Word of God is the Light that lighteth every man.
Whatever truth, whatever knowledge of the Divine, anywhere {135} exists
is the result of that illumination.  The sparks which shine even in the
darkness of heathendom betoken the presence of that Light, not wholly
extinguished by the folly and ignorance of man.  That is the One Sun of
Righteousness which gives light everywhere, though in many places the
clouds are so dense that the beams can scarcely penetrate.  Now, if
that Word has become Flesh, if that Light has become embodied in Human
Form, we are still constrained to say, There is no true Light but His,
it is in His Light that all must walk if they would not stray, there is
no Guide, no Deliverer, save Him.  Christ discloses, brings to view,
all the saving health which has ever been, all the power of restoring,
cleansing, healing, which has ever worked in the souls of men.  The one
Power by which any human being, in any age or in any land, has ever
been fitted for the presence of the All Holy God, is made manifest in
Christ.  'Neither is there {136} salvation in any other, for there is
none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.'

We need have no hesitation in asserting that all who in any age or in
any land, or in any religion, have come to the Father must have come
through the Son of Man, the Eternal Word made Flesh.  We do not
contend, as has too frequently been contended, that beyond the limits
of Christianity, beyond, it may be, the limits of one section of
Christianity, there is no truth believed, no acceptable service
rendered.  We hail with gratitude the lofty thoughts and the noble
achievements of some who do not in word acknowledge Christ as Lord.  In
the vision of the Light that lighteth every man, we see

        How light can find its way
  To regions farthest from the fount of day.[2]

'Now,' as is well said by the present Bishop {137} of Birmingham, who
will hardly be accused of any tendency to minimise the claims of
Christianity, 'this is no narrow creed.  Christianity, the religion of
Jesus, is the Light: it is the one final Revelation, the one final
Religion, but it supersedes all other religions, Jewish and Pagan, not
by excluding, but by including all the elements of truth which each
contained.  There was light in Zoroastrianism, light in Buddhism, light
among the Greeks: but it is all included in Christianity.  A good
Christian is a good Buddhist, a good Jew, a good Mohammedan, a good
Zoroastrian; that is, he has all the truth and virtue that these can
possess, purged and fused in a greater and completer light.
Christianity, I say, supersedes all other religions by including these
fragments of truth in its own completeness.  You cannot show me any
element of spiritual light or strength which is in other religions and
is not in Christianity.  Nor can you {138} show me any other religion
which can compare with Christianity in completeness of light:
Christianity is the one complete and final religion, and the elements
of truth in other religions are rays of the One Light which is
concentrated and shines full in Jesus Christ our Lord.'[3]


II

From whatever cause, whether as a reaction against the mode in which
this great truth has been at times presented, there have been, and
there are, attempts to supersede Christianity because of its
narrowness.  Religion must not be identified with any one name: God
manifests Himself to all, and no Mediator is needed.  Theism,
therefore, the worship of the One Almighty and Eternal Being, not
Christianity, in which a Human Name is associated with the Divine Name,
can alone pretend to be the Universal Religion, the {139} Religion of
all Mankind.  It is not the first time that such an attempt to do
without Christianity and to do away with it has been made.  In the
eighteenth century there was a similar movement.  To this day at
Ferney, near Geneva, is preserved the chapel which Voltaire erected for
the worship of God, of God as distinguished from Christ as Divine or as
Mediator between God and man.  Voltaire thought that he could overthrow
and crush the Faith of Christ, but he none the less erected a temple to
God.  The Deists upheld what they called the Religion of Nature and
repudiated Revelation.  _Christianity not Mysterious; Christianity as
old as the Creation_, were among the works issued to show the
superiority of Natural Religion, its freedom from difficulties, its
agreement with reason, its universality.  The most enduring memorial of
the controversy is Bishop Butler's _Analogy of Religion to the
Constitution and Course of Nature_, {140} in which it was argued that
the Natural Religion of the Deists was beset by as many difficulties as
the Revelation of the Christians, that those who were not hindered from
believing in God by the problems which Nature presented need not be
staggered by the problems which were presented by Christianity.  Bishop
Butler's argument was directed against a special set of antagonists, an
argument, it may be said, of little avail against the scepticism of the
present day.  The argument seems to have been unanswerable by those to
whom it was addressed.  The grounds on which they rejected the
Revelation of Christ were shown to be inadequate.  When they accepted
this or that article of Natural Religion, they had accepted what was as
difficult of belief as this or that part of the Revelation which they
rejected.  The mysteries which existed in the religion with which they
would have nothing to do were in harmony with the {141} mysteries which
existed in the religion which they declared to be necessary for the
welfare of society.  That retort may be made with even more effect to
those who so far occupy that same ground to-day.  They rejoice to
believe that there is a God, that He is not far off, that He
communicates Himself to their souls, that the love which we bear to one
another is but a faint image of the love which He bears to us, that the
noblest qualities which exist in us exist more purely, more gloriously
in Him, that we are in very deed His children and are called to
manifest His likeness.  It is by prayer, both in public and in private,
both in congregations and alone with the Alone, that His Love and His
Help can be comprehended and used.  He is no absent God: His Ear is not
heavy that it cannot hear, nor His arm shortened that it cannot save.
With this belief we, as Christians, have no dispute: we gladly go along
with Theists in asserting it: we {142} only wonder at their
unwillingness to go along with us a little further.  For if God be such
as they glowingly depict Him, if our relations to Him be such as they
esteem it our greatest dignity to know, there is nothing antecedently
impossible in the thought that One Man has heard His Voice more
clearly, has surrendered to His Will more entirely, than any other in
the history of the ages and the races of mankind: nothing antecedently
impossible in the thought that to One Man His Truth has been conveyed
more brightly, more fully than to any other; that in One Man the
lineaments of the Divine Image may be seen more distinctly than in any
other.  If God be such, and if our relations to God be such, as Theists
describe, why should they shrink with distrust or with antipathy from a
Son of Man Who has borne witness to those truths in His Life and in His
Death with a steadfastness of conviction which none other has ever
surpassed; Who, according {143} to the records which we possess of Him,
habitually lived to do the Father's Will and died commending His Spirit
into the Father's Hands: a Son of Man Who could truly be said to be in
heaven while He was on earth?  If God be such, and our relations to God
be such, as Theists describe, would not that Son of Man be the
confirmation of their thoughts?  Would not His testimony be of infinite
value on their side?  Would He Himself not be the radiant illustration,
the eagerly longed for proof of the truth for which they contend?  They
believe in God: why should it, on their own showing, be so hard to
believe in Christ?


III

The Theism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is in some
respects different from the Deism of the eighteenth.  It is not so
cold, the God in whom it believes is not so distant from His creatures.
But it is not {144} less vehement in its depreciation of Christianity
as a needless and even harmful addition to the Religion of Nature.
Conspicuous among the advocates of this modern Theism have been Francis
William Newman, Miss Frances Power Cobbe, and the Rev. Charles Voysey.

Francis Newman, in his youth, belonged, like his brother the famous
Cardinal, to the strictest sect of Evangelicals, but, like the Cardinal
also, drifted away from them, though in a totally different
direction.[4]  As he found the untenableness of certain views which he
had cherished, the insufficiency of certain arguments which he had
employed, he came with much anguish of mind to the conclusion that the
whole fabric of historical Christianity was built upon the sand.  He
rapidly renounced belief after belief, and caused widespread distress
and dismay by a crude attack upon the moral perfection of {145} our
Lord.  His conviction that Christianity had nothing special to say for
itself, and that one religion was as good as another, seems to have
been mainly brought about by a discussion which he had with a
Mohammedan carpenter at Aleppo.  'Among other matters, I was
particularly desirous of disabusing him of the current notion of his
people that our Gospels are spurious narratives of late date.  I found
great difficulty of expression, but the man listened to me with much
attention, and I was encouraged to exert myself.  He waited patiently
till I had done and then spoke to the following effect: "I will tell
you, sir, how the case stands.  God has given to you English many good
gifts.  You make fine ships, and sharp penknives, and good cloth and
cottons, and you have rich nobles and brave soldiers; and you write and
print many learned books (dictionaries and grammars): all this is of
God.  But there is one thing that God has withheld {146} from you and
has revealed to us; and that is the knowledge of the true religion by
which one may be saved."'[5]

But although Newman was led to give up Christianity, and practically to
hold that one religion was as good as another, he clung tenaciously to
what he supposed to be common to all religions, belief in God, a belief
deep and ardent.  The rationalism of the Deists did not approve itself
to him.  'Our Deists of past centuries tried to make religion a matter
of the pure intellect, and thereby halted at the very frontier of the
inward life: they cut themselves off even from all acquaintance with
the experience of spiritual men.'[6]  He nourished his soul with psalms
and hymns: he sought communion with God.  He saw the weakness of
Morality without the inspiring power of Religion.  'Morals can seldom
gain living energy without the impulsive force derived from
Spirituals....  However {147} much Plato and Cicero may talk of the
surpassing beauty of virtue, still virtue is an abstraction, a set of
wise rules, not a Person, and cannot call out affection as an existence
exterior to the soul does.  On the contrary, God is a Person; and the
love of Him is of all affections by far the most energetic in exciting
us to make good our highest ideals of moral excellence and in clearing
the moral sight, so that that ideal may keep rising.  Other things
being equal (a condition not to be forgotten) a spiritual man will hold
a higher and purer morality than a mere moralist.  Not only does Duty
manifest itself to him as an ever-expanding principle, but since a
larger and larger part of Duty becomes pleasant and easy when performed
under the stimulus of Love, the Will is enabled to concentrate itself
more on that which remains difficult and greater power of performance
is attained.'[7]  Where shall we find a more {148} vivid or more
spiritual description of the rise and progress of devotion in the soul
than in the words of this man, who placed himself beyond the pale of
every Christian communion?  'One who begins to realise God's majestic
beauty and eternity and feels in contrast how little and transitory man
is, how dependent and feeble, longs to lean upon him for support.  But
He is _outside_ of the heart, like a beautiful sunset, and seems to
have nothing to do with it: there is no getting into contact with Him,
to press against Him.  Yet where rather should the weak rest than on
the strong, the creature of the day than on the Eternal, the imperfect
than on the Centre of Perfection?  And where else should God dwell than
in the human heart? for if God is in the universe, among things
inanimate and unmoral, how much more ought He to dwell with our souls!
and they, too, seem to be infinite in their cravings: who but He can
satisfy them?  Thus a restless {149} instinct agitates the soul,
guiding it dimly to feel that it was made for some definite but unknown
relation towards God.  The sense of emptiness increases to positive
uneasiness, until there is an inward yearning, if not shaped in words,
yet in substance not alien from that ancient strain, "As the hart
panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God;
my soul is athirst for God, even for the Living God."'[8]

Mr. Newman, in his later days, we understand, had modified the
bitterness of his opposition to historical Christianity and was ready
to avow himself as a disciple of Christ.

Miss Frances Power Cobbe was another devout spirit who, with less
violence but equal decisiveness, accepted Theism as apart from
Christianity.  In her case, even more visibly than in Mr. Newman's, it
was not Christianity which she rejected, but sundry distortions of it
with which it had in her mind become {150} identified.  She wrote not a
few articles so permeated with the Christian spirit and imbued with the
Christian hope that the most ardent believer in Christ could read them
with entire approval and own himself their debtor.  She took an active
part in many philanthropic movements, and she was an earnest and
eloquent advocate of faith in the Divine Ordering of the world and in
human immortality.

'Theism,' she said, 'is not Christianity _minus_ Christ, nor Judaism
_minus_ the miraculous legation of Moses, nor any other creed
whatsoever merely stripped of its supernatural element.  It is before
all things the positive affirmation of the Absolute Goodness of God:
and if it be in antagonism to other creeds, it is principally because
of, and in proportion to, their failure to assert that Goodness in its
infinite and all-embracing completeness.'[9]  'God is over us, and
heaven {151} is waiting for us all the same, even though all the men of
science in Europe unite to tell us there is only matter in the universe
and only corruption in the grave.  Atheism may prevail for a night, but
faith cometh in the morning.  Theism is "bound to win" at last: not
necessarily that special type of Theism which our poor thoughts in this
generation have striven to define: but that great fundamental faith,
the needful substruction of every other possible religious faith, the
faith in a Righteous and Loving God, and in a Life of man beyond the
tomb.'[10]

'All the monitions of conscience, all the guidance and rebukes and
consolations of the Divine Spirit, all the holy words of the living,
and all the sacred books of the dead, these are our primary Evidences
of Religion.  In a word, the first article of our creed is "I BELIEVE
IN GOD THE HOLY GHOST."  After this fundamental dogma, we accept {152}
with joy and comfort the faith in the Creator and Orderer of the
physical universe, and believe in GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF
HEAVEN AND EARTH.  And lastly we rejoice in the knowledge that (in no
mystic Athanasian sense, but in simple fact) "_these two are One_."
The God of Love and Justice Who speaks in conscience, and Whom our
inmost hearts adore, is the same God Who rolls the suns and guides the
issues of life and death.'[11]

In an able paper, _A Faithless World_, in which Miss Cobbe combated the
assertion of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, that the disappearance of
belief in God and Immortality would be unattended with any serious
consequences to the material, intellectual, or moral well-being of
mankind, she forcibly said, 'I confess at starting on this inquiry,
that the problem, "Is religion of use, or can we do as well without
it?" seems to me {153} almost as grotesque as the old story of the
woman who said that we owe vast obligations to the moon, which affords
us light on dark nights, whereas we are under no such debt to the sun,
who only shines by day, _when there is always light_.  Religion has
been to us so diffused a light that it is quite possible to forget how
we came by the general illumination, save when now and then it has
blazed out with special brightness.'  The comment is eminently just,
but does it not apply with equal force to Miss Cobbe herself?  The
Theism which she professed was the direct outcome of Christianity,
could never have existed but for Christianity, was, in all its best
features, simply Christianity under a different name.

That Theism, as a separate organisation, gives little evidence of
conquering the world is shown by the fact that, after many years, it
boasts of only one congregation, that of the Theistic Church, Swallow
Street, Piccadilly, {154} of which the Rev. Charles Voysey is minister.
Mr. Voysey was at one time vicar of a parish in Yorkshire, where he
issued, under the title of _The Sling and the Stone_, sermons attacking
the commonly accepted doctrines of the Church of England, and was in
consequence deprived of his living.  He is distinctly anti-Christian in
his teaching; strongly prejudiced against anything that bears the
Christian name: criticising the sayings and doings of our Lord in a
fashion which indicates either the most astonishing misconception or
the most melancholy perversion.  But his sincerity and fervour on
behalf of Theism are unmistakable.  He describes it as _Religion for
all mankind, based on facts which are never in Dispute_.  The book
which is called by that title is written for the help and comfort of
all his fellowmen, 'chiefly for those who have doubted and discarded
the Christian Religion, and in consequence have become Agnostics or
{155} Pessimists.'  It is prefaced by a dedication, which is also a
touching confession of personal faith: 'In all humility I dedicate this
book to my God Who made me and all mankind, Who loves us all alike with
an everlasting love, Who of His very faithfulness causeth us to be
troubled, Who punishes us justly for every sin, not in anger or
vengeance, but only to cleanse, to heal, and to bless, in Whose
Everlasting Arms we lie now and to all eternity.'[12]

Mr. Voysey has compiled a Prayer Book for the use of his congregation.
The ordinary service is practically the morning or evening service of
the Book of Common Prayer, with all references to our Lord carefully
eliminated.  The hymn _Jesus, Lover of my Soul_ is changed to _Father,
Refuge of my Soul_; and the hymn

  Just as I am without one plea,
  But that Thy blood was shed for me,
  And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
    O Lamb of God, I come,

{156} is rendered:

  Just as I am without one plea,
  But that Thy lore is seeking me,
  And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
  O loving God, I come.

The service respecting our duty, and the service of supplication have
merits of their own, but, except for the wanton omission of the Name
which is above every name, there is nothing in them which does not bear
a Christian impress.  'Christianity _minus_ Christ' would seem to be no
unfair definition of their standpoint: and without Christ they could
not have been what they are.  The Father Who is set forth as the Object
of worship and of trust is the Father Whom Christ declared, the Father
Who, but for the manifestation of Christ, would never have been known.
Far be it from us to deny that the Father has been found by those who
have sought Him beyond the limits of the Church: this only we affirm
that those by whom He {157} has been found, have, consciously or
unconsciously, drawn near to Him by the way of Christ.  Nothing of
value in modern Theism is incompatible with Christianity: nothing of
value which would not be strengthened by faith in Him Who said, 'He
that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.'


IV

The strange objection to faith in Christ is sometimes made that it
interferes with faith in the Father.  The notion of mediation is
regarded as derogatory alike to God and to man.  There is no need for
any one to come between: no need for God to depute another to bear
witness of Him: no need for us to depute Another to secure His favour,
as from all eternity He is Love.  The assumption, the groundless
assumption, underlying this conception is that the Mediator is a
barrier between man and God, a hindrance not a help to fellowship with
the Divine: that one {158} goes to the Mediator because access to God
is debarred.  Whatever may occasionally have been the unguarded
statements of representatives of Christianity, it is surely plain that
no such doctrine is taught, that the very opposite of such doctrine is
taught, in the New Testament.  'We do not,' says M. Sabatier, 'address
ourselves to Jesus by way of dispensing ourselves from going to the
Father.  Far from this, we go to Christ and abide in Him, precisely
that we may find the Father.  We abide in Him that His filial
consciousness may become our own; that the Spirit may become our
spirit, and that God may dwell immediately in us as He dwells in Him.
Nothing in all this carries us outside of the religion of the Spirit:
on the contrary, it is its seal and confirmation.'[13]

The whole object of the work of Christ, as proclaimed by Himself, or as
interpreted {159} by His Apostles, was to show the Father, to bring men
to the Father.  'Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the
Father in Me?  the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself:
but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.'  He 'came and
preached peace to you which were afar off and to them that were nigh.
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.'  To
argue that to come to Christ is a substitute for coming to God, is an
inducement to halt upon the way, is an absolute travesty and
perversion.  To refuse to see the glory of God in the Face of Jesus
Christ is not to bring God near: it is to remove Him further from our
vision.  That God should come to us, that we should go to God, through
a mediator, is only in accordance with a universal law.  'Why,' says
one, who might be expected from his theological training to speak
otherwise, 'Why, _all_ knowledge is "mediated" even of {160} the
simplest objects, even of the most obvious facts: there is no such
thing in the world as immediate knowledge, and shall we demur when we
are told that the knowledge of God the Father also must pass, in order
to reach us at its best and purest, through the medium of "that Son of
God and Son of Man in Whom was the fulness of the prophetic spirit and
the filial life?" ...  Of this at least I feel convinced, that where
faith in the Father has grown blurred and vague in our days, and
finally flickered out, the cause must in many instances be sought--I
will not say in the wilful rejection, but--in the careless letting go
of the message and Personality of the Son.'[14]  So far from the
thought of the Father being ignored or set aside by the thought of
Christ, we may rather say with S.  John, 'Whosoever denieth the Son,
the same hath not the Father: he that confesseth the Son hath the
Father also.'  'He {161} that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he
hath both the Father and the Son.'

  The homage that we render Thee
    Is still our Father's own;
  Nor jealous claim or rivalry
    Divides the Cross and Throne.[15]


V

The notion that Theism as contrasted with Christianity is a mark of
progress and of spirituality is a pure imagination.  'More spiritual it
may be than the traditional Christianity which consists in rigid and
stereotyped forms of practice, of ceremonial, of observance, of dogma:
but not more spiritual than the teaching of Christ Himself, the end and
completion of Whose work was to bring men to the Father, to teach them
that God is a Spirit, and to send the Spirit of the Father into the
hearts of the disciples.  It would be a strange perversity if men
should reject Christ in the name of spiritual {162} religion when it is
to Christ, and to Him alone, that they owe the conception of what
spiritual religion is.'[16]  To preach the doctrines of Theism without
reference to Christ is to deprive them of their most sublime
illustration, their most inspiring force, and their most convincing
proof.

It is as Christ is known that God is believed in.  The attempt to
create enthusiasm for God while banishing the Gospel of Christ meets
with astonishingly small response.  The 'Religion for all Mankind'
makes but little progress, is, in spite of the labours of
five-and-thirty years, confined, as we have seen, almost to a solitary
moderately sized congregation.  And whether or not the 'facts' on which
the religion is based 'are never in dispute,' the religion itself is
often-times disputed very keenly.  Modern assaults upon religious faith
are, as a rule, directed quite as much against Theism as {163} against
Christianity.[17]  It is the Love, or even the existence, of the Living
God, it is human responsibility, it is life beyond the grave, that are
called in question as frequently as the Resurrection of Christ.  The
assurance that God at sundry times and in divers manners has spoken by
prophets renders it not more but less improbable that He should speak
by a Son: the assurance that there is life beyond the grave for all
renders it not more but less improbable that Jesus rose from the dead.
Conversely those who believe in Jesus believe with a double intensity
in Him Whom He revealed.  'Ye believe in God,' said Christ, 'believe
also in Me.'  For many of us now, it is because we believe in Christ
that we believe also in God.  The Almighty and Eternal is beyond our
ken: the grace and truth of Jesus Christ come home to our hearts.  The
Word that was in the beginning with God and was God, {164} is wrapt in
impenetrable mystery: the Word made Flesh can be seen and handled: has

            wrought
    With human hands the Creed of Creeds
    In loveliness of perfect deeds,
  More strong than all poetic thought.[18]

And however it may be in a few exceptional cases, where people
nominally renouncing Christ desperately cleave to a fragment of the
faith of their childhood, the fact remains that, where He ceases to be
acknowledged, faith in the Father Whom He manifested tends, gradually
or speedily, to vanish.


VI

The superiority of Theism to Deism simply consists in its being more
Christian.  With the ideas of God which 'Theists' hold, we can, as
Christians, most cordially sympathise.  We can sincerely say, 'Hold to
them firmly, they are your life: let no man rob you of {165} them by
any vain deceit.'  But we cannot help also asking, 'Whence have you
drawn those lofty ideas? where have you obtained so exalted a
conception of the Divine Being in His mingled Majesty and lowliness, in
His inconceivable greatness, and His equally inconceivable compassion?
We turn from the picture of God which, with so much labour, so much
skill, so much moral earnestness, you have exhibited, and we behold the
Original in Christ and His Teaching.  However unconsciously, it is His
Truth, it is His Features, that you have reproduced.  You have been
brought up in the Church of Christ, or you have been brought into
contact with its influences, and you have imbibed its teachings,
perhaps more deeply than some who would not dare to question its
smallest precepts.  Still, Christ's teaching you have not outgrown,
from Christ Himself you have not escaped.  You cannot go from His
presence or flee from His Spirit.  Those {166} views which you hold so
strongly, which are to you the most ennobling that have ever been given
of God and of religion, where is it that alone they are to be found?
In places where Christianity has gone before.

No doubt, belief in God is not confined to Christian countries: worship
of the Maker of heaven and earth exists where the name of Christ has
never been heard, but not such belief, _such_ worship, as that for
which those persons contend.  The God Whom they adore will not be found
anywhere save where Christianity has penetrated.  In this country it is
the desperate clinging to one portion of the Christian Faith when all
else has been abandoned: in other lands, in India, for example, where
representatives of this way of thinking are not uncommon, it is the
rapturous welcome of one of the sublime truths of Christianity before
which the idolatries of their forefathers are passing away.  It is safe
to call it a transition stage: {167} it will either part with the
fragment of Christianity which it retains and become merged in doubt
and speculation and unbelief; or it will include yet more of the
Christianity of which it has grasped a part: its belief in God will be
crowned and confirmed by its belief in Christ.

For, speaking to those who cherish faith in the All-Righteous and
All-Loving God as the only hope for the regeneration of mankind, we
cannot shut our eyes to the fact that where faith in Christ fades,
faith in God has a tendency to become vague and dim.  He ceases to be
thought of as a Friend and Help at hand: He is resolved into a Creator
infinitely distant or into a Law, immovable, inexorable, a blind,
unconscious Fate.  It is Christ Who gives life to the thought of God.
It is the Word made Flesh that makes the Eternal Word more real.  The
attempt of the Deists to purify religion by the preaching of a God who
had not {168} revealed Himself, and could not reveal Himself, in a Son,
came to nothing.  Voltaire's chapel at Ferney still stands, but nobody
worships in it.  Religion seemed to slumber: belief in God seemed to be
decaying, when the preaching of the name and the work of Christ again
aroused it into life.  And so it is now.  Whatever the ability,
whatever the sincerity of the advocates of belief in God without
reference to Christ, it lacks motive-power, it lacks the missionary
spirit.  If we may judge by the past, Theism without Christ is a faith
which will not spread, which will not lay hold on the labouring and the
heavy laden: which may be maintained as a theory, but which will not be
as a fire in the souls of men diffusing itself by kindling other souls.
It is from Christ alone, from Christ the manifestation of what God is
in Heart and Mind, from Christ the manifestation of what man ought to
be, from Christ Who said, 'In My Father's house are many {169}
mansions: he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,' that there comes
with an authority to which, in face of the difficulties besetting the
present and the future, the human soul will bow, with a soothing power
to which the human spirit will gladly yield--it is from Christ alone
that there comes the Divine injunction, 'Let not your heart be
troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me.'  It is as He is
clearly seen and truly known that the clouds of error and superstition
vanish from the Face of God, and men are drawn to worship and to trust.



[1] Longfellow, _Song of Hiawatha_.

[2] Keble, _Christian Year_.

[3] Bishop Gore, _The Christian Creed_.

[4] Appendix XX.

[5] _Phases of Faith_.

[6] _The Soul: its Sorrows and Aspirations_.

[7] _The Soul: its Sorrows and Aspirations_.

[8] _The Soul_.

[9] _Alone to the Alone_.

[10] _Alone to the Alone_.

[11] _Alone to the Alone_.

[12] Appendix XXI.

[13] _The Religions of Authority and the Religion of the Spirit_.

[14] J. Warschauer, _Coming of Christ_.

[15] Whittier, _Our Master_.

[16] R. B. Bartlett, _The Letter and the Spirit_: Bampton Lecture.

[17] Appendix XXII.

[18] Tennyson, _In Memoriam_.



{172}

VI

THE TRIBUTE OF CRITICISM TO CHRIST



'For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being
judges.'--DEUTERONOMY xxxii. 31.

'He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I, the Son of
Man, am?  And they said, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist; some
Elias; and others Jeremias or one of the prophets.'--S. MATTHEW xvi.
13, 14.

'What think ye of Christ?  Whose Son is He?--S. MATTHEW, xxii. 42.

'And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him: for some
said, He is a good man: others said, Nay, but He deceiveth the
people.'--S. JOHN vii. 12.

'Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  Then Simon
Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of
eternal life.'--S. JOHN vi. 67, 68.



{173}

VI

THE TRIBUTE OF CRITICISM TO CHRIST[1]

Of the investigations of modern criticism the most serious are those
which have concerned the person of our Lord.  It has been felt both by
assailants and by defenders of the Faith that, so long as His supremacy
remains acknowledged, Christianity has not been overthrown.  Other
doctrines once considered all-important may fall into comparative
abeyance: whether they are upheld or rejected or modified, matters
little to Christianity as Christianity.  But more and more it has grown
clear that Christ Himself {174} is the Article of a standing or a
falling Church.  If this doctrine is not of God, if He is not the Way,
the Truth, and the Life, Christianity, whatever benefits may have been
associated with its career, must be ranked among religions which have
passed away.  But so long as He is admitted to be the Authority and
standard in the moral and spiritual realm, so long as His name is above
every name, the work of destruction is not accomplished.

Hence, renewed attempts have of late been made to tear the crown from
His brow, to reduce Him to the level of common men, to relegate Him to
the domain of myth, even to deny that He ever existed.  Although, in
certain quarters at present, this last and extreme position is loudly
asserted, it is hardly necessary to occupy much time in examining it,
the trend of all criticism, even of the most rationalistic, being so
decidedly opposed to {175} it.  To deny that He existed is commonly
felt to be the outcome of the most arbitrary prejudice, the conclusions
of Whately's _Historic Doubts relative to Napoleon Buonaparte_
remaining grave and weighty in comparison.  That Jesus of Nazareth
lived and taught and was crucified, that, immediately after His Death,
His disciples were proclaiming that He had risen, and was their living
inspiration, these are facts which can be denied only by the very
extravagance of scepticism.  And the admission of these simple facts
implies a great deal more than is commonly supposed.


I

It is the fashion for hostile critics to say, 'Christianity is not
dependent upon Christ: it is the creation of the semi-historical Paul,
not of the unhistorical Jesus.  There is at best no more connection
between Christendom and Christ than between America and {176} Amerigo
Vespucci.[2]  See how much Christians have been obliged to give up: see
how belief after belief has had to be surrendered; see how they are now
left with the merest fragment of their ancient Creed, how evidently
they will soon be compelled to part with the little to which they still
desperately cling.'  The conclusion is somewhat hasty and premature.
The fragment which remains is after all the main portion of the Creed
of the early disciples.  Where that fragment is declared and held and
lived in, there is the presence and the power of the Christian Faith.
We need not trouble ourselves about sundry points which, at one epoch
or another, have come to be denied or ignored: we need not say anything
either for them or against them.  We have to take our stand on what is
accepted, not on what is rejected.  And for the moment we may {177}
venture to take our stand only on what is accepted by the critics least
biassed in favour of the traditional views of Christendom.  Those who
have come to imagine it to be a mark of advanced culture to break with
all religion, to confine their attention to the fleeting present, to
reject all that claims to have Divine sanction, may listen with respect
to the words of some who appear in fancied hostility to Christianity.

We are not assuming that because men are great in Science or History or
Philosophy they must be great in spiritual things.  Their achievements
in their own sphere, let us gratefully recognise; their uprightness,
their single-heartedness, let us imitate; and if by chance they are
sincere Christians as well as able men, let us rejoice; if they are not
professing Christians at all and yet bear witness to the beneficial
influence of Christianity and the unique power of the words and
character of Christ, let us hail with {178} pleasure their tribute of
admiration as a testimony impartial and unanswerable to the
pre-eminence of our Lord, but let not our faith in God, our knowledge
of our Saviour, be dependent on their verdict.  The Faith of the Gospel
does not stand or fall with their approval or disapproval.  In matters
of criticism we do well to defer to scholars, in matters of science we
do well to defer to men of science.  But in matters pertaining to the
inner life, to the development of character, to the knowledge of things
pure and lovely and of good report, such men have no exclusive claim to
be listened to.  And it would be absurd to say that we cannot make up
our minds as to whether Christ is worthy to be revered and loved and
followed until we have ascertained what is said about Him by
authorities in physics, or geology, or astronomy, by statesmen or
novelists or writers of magazine articles, by inventors of ingenious
machines or authors of {179} sensational stories.  If they speak
scoffingly, if they do not recognise any sacredness in His Spirit and
Life, it will be impossible for us to take Him as our Moral and
Spiritual Guide.

We might almost as well say that we will not trust the truthfulness or
goodness of our father or mother or brother or friend of many years,
unless, from persons eminent in literature or science or politics, we
have testimonials assuring us that our affection for those with whom we
are so closely associated is not a delusion.  That is a matter, we
should all feel, with which the great and distinguished, however justly
great and distinguished, have really nothing to do.  It is a matter for
ourselves, a matter in which our own experience is worth more than the
verdict of people, however learned in their own line, who do not, and
cannot, know the friend or relative as we know him ourselves.  Still,
we regard it as an additional {180} compliment to his worth, and an
additional confirmation of our own faith, if those who have been
jealously scrutinising his conduct declare that they can find no fault
in him.[3]

If it is made plain that the positive teaching of men unconnected with
any Church, untrammelled by any creed, is a virtual assertion of much
that is most dear to Christianity, if it is made plain that even where
there is strong denial there is also much reference to Christ, it may
have more weight than the most cogent arguments or the most glowing
appeals of orthodox divines or devout believers.  The Evangelists
delight to record instances of unexpected, unfriendly, unimpeachable
testimony to the power of Christ.  It is not only that the
simple-minded people were astonished at His doctrine, but that the
soldiers who were sent to silence Him {181} returned, smitten with
amazement, saying, 'Never man spake like this Man.'  It is not only
that a grateful penitent washed His Feet with tears, but that the
unprincipled governor who sentenced Him to death declared 'I find in
Him no fault at all.'  It is not only that an Apostle confesses, 'Thou
art the Christ the Son of the Living God,' but that the centurion who
watched over His Crucifixion exclaimed, 'Certainly this was a Righteous
Man: this was a Son of God.'  It is similar unprejudiced witness that
we may hear around us still, the witness of those who profess to have
another rule of life than ours, and to be in no degree influenced by
our traditions.  We must not expect too much from this kind of
evidence: we must not expect clear logical proof of every article
rightly or wrongly identified with the popularly termed 'orthodox'
Creed.  It would destroy the value of the evidence {182} simply to
quote orthodox doctrines in orthodox language.  What we rather offer is
the testimony of those who have resigned their grasp on much that we
may deem essential.  It is because in a sense we may call them
'enemies' that we ask them to be 'judges' in the great controversy.  It
is exactly because they are incredulous, or sceptical, or irreligious
that we cite them at all.  We confine ourselves to the utterances of
men who are commonly cited as hostile to the commonly accepted Faith of
Christ, or who do not rank among the number of His nominal disciples,
or who at least have discussed His claims by critical and historical
methods, endeavouring fairly to take into account all the facts which
the circumstances warrant.  We say to those who disown the authority of
Christ: It is not to the words of Evangelists or preachers that your
attention is sought: it is to the words of those whom you {183} profess
to respect, of those because of whose supposed antagonism to
Christianity you are rejecting Him.  We ask you to listen to them and
to consider whether He of Whom such men speak in such terms is to be so
lightly set aside as you have fancied.


II

It will be strange if, accepting even that scanty creed, we do not find
ourselves speedily accepting much more.  When it is heartily
acknowledged that Jesus of Nazareth lived and died, and that His first
followers found strength and irresistible power in the conviction that
He had conquered death and the grave, it is of necessity that we go
further.  The extreme sceptics who maintain that He never existed are,
for the purpose of controversy, wise in their generation, for, once His
existence is admitted, His mysterious power begins to tell.  We are
confronted {184} with an Influence by which, consciously or
unconsciously, we must be affected, a knowledge which we must acquire,
an Authority to which we must bow.  Let us not think merely of those
who have, in utter devotion, yielded their hearts and souls to Him
through all the centuries, of the institutions and customs which owe
their existence directly to Him; let us think of the manifestations
which are so often visible in those who do not suspect whence the
manifestations come, let us think of the tributes of affection, of
homage, of devotion which are paid by those to whom the ancient faith
in His Divinity appears to be an illusion or an impossible exaggeration.

Scarcely any critic of recent years has been regarded as more
destructive than Professor Schmiedel.  Indignant attack after indignant
attack has been made upon him for arguing that only nine sayings
attributed to our Lord can be accepted as genuine, that {185} all else
is involved in suspicion.  What Schmiedel really does maintain is that
these nine sayings must of necessity be accepted as genuine, cannot be
rejected by any sane canon of criticism, and that the acceptance of
these nine sayings, these 'foundation-pillars,' compels the acceptance
of a great deal besides.  '_What then have I gained in these nine
foundation pillars_?  You will perhaps say "Very little": I reply, "I
have gained just enough."  Having them, I know that Jesus must really
have come forward in the way He is said to have done....  In a word, I
know, on the one hand, that His Person cannot be referred to the region
of myth; on the other hand, that He was man in the full sense of the
term, and that, without of course denying that the Divine character was
in Him, this could be found only in the shape in which it can be found
in any human being.  I think, therefore, that if we knew no more we
should {186} know by no means little about Him.  But as a matter of
fact the foundation-pillars are but the starting-point for our study of
the life of Jesus.'[4]  And this study, he concludes, gives us nothing
less than 'pretty well the whole bulk of Jesus' teaching, in so far as
its object is to explain in a purely religious and ethical way what God
requires of man and wherein man requires comfort and consolation from
God.' The standpoint of Professor Schmiedel is not the standpoint of
the Church as a whole: he fearlessly and aggressively endeavours to
remove any misconception on that subject: all the more remarkable that,
renouncing so much, he incontrovertibly establishes so much,
incontrovertibly establishes, we may not unreasonably contend, a great
deal more than he admits: he cannot, we may think, stop logically where
he does.  All this may, or may not, be legitimately argued: there can
{187} be no doubt that one whose dislike of traditional dogmas is
excessive, and whose scrutiny of the Gospel records is minute and
unsparing, forces us to say of Jesus, What manner of Man is this?

It is the same with the general tendency of modern criticism.  From the
day that Strauss accomplished his destructive work, the Figure of Jesus
as a Historical Reality has been more and more endowed with power.[5]
No age has so occupied itself with Him, none has so endeavoured to
recall the features of His character, to apply His teachings to the
solution of social questions, as this age of ruthless inquiry.  The
inquirers may have abjured tradition, but almost without exception they
have profoundly reverenced, if they have not actually worshipped, Jesus
of Nazareth, and they have found in His Gospel moral and spiritual
light and life.

{188}

Some thirty years ago, M. André Lefèvre, a fervid disciple of
Materialism, an uncompromising and bitter opponent of every symptom of
religious manifestation, could not help discerning 'with the
clairvoyance of hatred,' the influence of Christianity in modern
thought.  'Descartes, Leibnitz, Locke, Condillac, Newton, Bonnet, Kant,
Hegel, Spinoza himself, Toland and Priestley, Rousseau, all are
Christians somewhere....  Voltaire himself has not completely
eliminated the virus: his Deism is not exempt from it.'[6]  The same
thing is still occurring.  In the most unexpected quarters we find the
fascination of Christ remaining.  Men not acknowledging themselves to
be His followers, defiantly proclaiming that they are not His
followers, that they can hardly be even interested in Him, are yet
perpetually returning, in what they themselves will confess as their
higher moments, to the thought of {189} Him, trying to make plain why
it is that for them there is in Him no beauty that they should desire
Him.  For example, this is how Mr. H. G. Wells, the popular author of
so many imaginative works, attempts frankly to explain his attitude:

'I hope I shall offend no susceptibilities when I assert that this
great and very definite Personality in the hearts and imaginations of
mankind does not, and never has, attracted me.  It is a fact I record
about myself without aggression or regret.  I do not find myself able
to associate him in any way with the emotion of salvation.'  But Mr.
Wells goes on to say: 'I admit the splendid imaginative appeal in the
idea of a divine human friend and mediator.  If it were possible to
have access by prayer, by meditation, by urgent outcries of the soul,
to such a being whose feet were in the darknesses, who stooped down
from the light, who was at once great and little, limitless in power
{190} and virtue, and one's very brother; if it were possible by sheer
will in believing to make and make one's way to such a helper, who
would refuse such help?  But I do not find such a being in Christ.  I
do not find, I cannot imagine such a being.  I wish I could.  To me the
Christian Christ seems not so much a humanised God as an
incomprehensibly sinless being, neither God nor man.  His sinlessness
wears his incarnation like a fancy dress, all his white self unchanged.
He had no petty weaknesses.  Now the essential trouble of my life is
its petty weaknesses.  If I am to have that love, that sense of
understanding fellowship which is, I conceive, the peculiar magic and
merit of this idea of a Personal Saviour, then I need some one quite
other than this image of virtue, this terrible and incomprehensible
Galilean with his crown of thorns, his bloodstained hands and feet.  I
cannot love him any more than I can love a man {191} upon the rack.'
'The Christian's Christ is too fine for me, not incarnate enough, not
flesh enough, not earth enough.  He was never foolish and hot-eared and
inarticulate, never vain, he never forgot things, nor tangled his
miracles.'[7]

There is no disputing about tastes; and it is impossible to refute one
who tells us that he cannot see and cannot understand, though we may
lament and be astonished at his disabilities.  Why a man upon the rack
should not be loved, or why the prime qualification for the Saviour of
mankind should be the plentiful possession of petty weaknesses, or why
it should be necessary for Him to be sometimes foolish and to have a
bad memory, or what necessary connection there is between hot-ears and
the salvation of the world, need not detain us long.  For in spite of
this apparently curious longing for a Deliverer who shall be weak and
vain {192} and forgetful and hot-eared, and foolish, and of the earth
earthy, Mr. Wells shows us that the urgent outcry of his soul is for a
Being limitless in power and virtue and one's very brother; and though
he says that he does not find such a Being in Christ, it is exactly
what Christians have in all ages been finding.  'We have not an High
Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but
was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us
therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace that we may obtain mercy
and find grace to help in times of need.'


III

The instance which we have cited is exceptional among modern doubters,
among those who have deliberately set themselves without violent
prejudice to study the claims of Christianity.  Be it in poetry or
prose, in scientific criticism or in imaginative {193} biography, with
remarkable unanimity, while stubbornly refusing to accept the Creed of
the Church, they so depict Him that the natural conclusion of their
representation is, 'Oh, come let us adore Him.'  There is scarcely any
of them who would not sympathise with the admission and aspiration of
B. Wimmer in his confession, _My Struggle for Light_: 'I cannot but
love this unique Child of God with all the fervour of my soul, I cannot
but lift up eyes full of reverence and rapture to this Personality in
whom the highest and most sacred virtues which can move the heart of
man shine forth in spotless purity throughout the ages.  Even if many a
trait in His portrait, as the Gospels sketch it for us, be more
legendary than historical, yet I feel that here a man stands before me,
a man who really lived and has a place in history like that of no other
man: indeed I feel that even the legends concerning Him possess a truth
in that they spring from the {194} Spirit which passed from Him into
His Church.  I know what I have to thank Him for.  I would in my inmost
self be so closely united with Him that He may live in my spirit and
bear absolute sway in my soul.  I will not be ashamed of His Cross and
I will gladly endure the insults which men have directed, and still
often enough direct, against Him and His truth.'

That is the characteristic and dominant note of the more recent
criticism.  The almost universal conclusion is that the Perfect Ideal
has been depicted in the Christ of the Gospels, and has been depicted
because the Reality had been seen in Jesus of Nazareth.[8]  Is it not
allowable to declare that the writers, let them say what they will
about their rejection of the doctrine of the Church concerning the
Incarnation and the Atonement of Christ, are practically His disciples,
that the ardour of their faith in Him not {195} infrequently puts to
shame the coldness of us who call Him Lord?[9]  There is scarcely
extravagance in the assertion that, as we recognise the part which
Strauss and Renan played, and the unconscious help which they rendered,
'we may well say now "_noster_" Strauss and "_noster_" Renan.  They
were, in their measure, and, according to their respective abilities,
defenders of the Faith.'[10]  While it is possible to lament that among
Christian apologists there are timid surrenders and faithless
forebodings, it is yet more possible to reply that 'Whereas our critics
were at one time infidels and our bitter enemies, they are now proud of
the name of Christian and ready to be the friends, as far as that is
permitted, of every form of orthodoxy in Christianity.'[11]

The language in which, at any rate, they express their conception of
Him is sometimes {196} more devout, more exalted, than the language
which used to be employed by professed apologists.  The Hindu Theist,
Protab Chandra Mozoomdar, who stood outside the fold of Christianity,
joyfully proclaimed, 'Christ reigns.  As the law of the spirit of
heavenly life, He reigns in the bosom of every believer....  Christ
reigns as the recogniser of Divine humanity in the fallen, the low, and
the despicable, as the healer of the unhappy, the unclean, and the sore
distressed.  Reigns He not in the sweet humanity that goes forth to
seek and to save its kin in every land and clime, to teach and preach,
and raise and reclaim, to weep and watch and give repose?  He reigns as
sweet patience and sober reason amid the laws and orders of the world;
as the spirit of submission and loyalty He reigns in peace in the
kingdoms of the world....  Christ reigns in the individual who feebly
watches His footprints in the tangled mazes of life.  {197} He reigns
in the community that is bound together in His name.  As Divine
Humanity, and the Son of God, He reigns gloriously around us in the New
Dispensation.'[12]

Or listen to the rhapsody with which Mrs. Besant, once an Atheist, now
a Theosophist, depicts His influence from age to age: 'His the steady
inpouring of truth into every brain ready to receive it, so that hand
stretched out to hand across the centuries and passed on the torch of
knowledge, which thus was never extinguished.  His the Form which stood
beside the rack and in the flames of the burning pile, cheering His
confessors and His martyrs, soothing the anguish of their pains and
filling their hearts with His peace.  His the impulse which spoke in
the thunder of Savonarola, which guided the calm wisdom of Erasmus,
which inspired the deep ethics of the God-intoxicated Spinoza....  His
the beauty that allured Fra {198} Angelico and Raphael and Leonardo da
Vinci, that inspired the genius of Michael Angelo, that shone before
the eyes of Murillo, and that gave the power that raised the marvels of
the world, the Duomo of Milan, the San Marco of Venice, the Cathedral
of Florence.  His the melody that breathed in the Masses of Mozart, the
sonatas of Beethoven, the oratorios of Handel, the fugues of Bach, the
austere splendour of Brahms.  Through the long centuries He has striven
and laboured, and, with all the mighty burden of the Churches to carry,
He has never left uncared for and unsolaced one human heart that cried
to Him for help.'[13]  When we read sentences like these by themselves
we say, Here is unqualified acceptance of the Christian Faith.  And
even when we are told that we must not take the sentences in their
literal and natural meaning, that they apply not to Him Whose earthly
{199} career is sketched in the Gospels, but to an Ideal Being evolved
out of the writer's imagination, we are surely entitled to answer, It
is of Jesus that the words are spoken, whether their meaning is to be
taken literally or figuratively; if they have any meaning at all, they
indicate a Being without a parallel.  That there should be so
extraordinary a conflict of opinion regarding Him, that the greatest
intellects as well as the simplest souls should hail Him as Divine,
that the most critical should still find their explanations
insufficient to account for the impression which He made upon His
contemporaries and continues to wield to this day, at least renders Him
absolutely unique.  Men may disbelieve a great deal; they cannot
disbelieve that this Amazing Personality has a place in the heart of
the world which no other has ever occupied.  The alleged imaginary
Ideal has had on earth only one approximate Embodiment.  Nay, we are
{200} forced to confess, without the actual Character disclosed from
Nazareth to Calvary, the Ideal would never have been conceived.


IV

Robert Browning has described in his _Christmas Eve_ a certain German
professor lecturing upon the myth of Christ and the sources whence it
is derivable.  But as the listeners wait for the inference that faith
in Him should henceforth be discarded, 'he bids us,' says the supposed
narrator of the story, 'when we least expect it take back our faith':

  Go home and venerate the myth
  I thus have experimented with.
  This Man, continue to adore Him
  Rather than all who went before Him,
  And all who ever followed after.


This is a correct though humorous summary of much prevalent scepticism.
While critics destroy with the one hand, they build up {201} with the
other; while they seem intent on rooting out every remnant of trust in
Christ, they frequently conclude by passionately beseeching us to make
Him our Model and our King, our Pattern and our Guide.  If there is
anything which is calculated at once to arouse us who profess and call
ourselves Christians and to make us ashamed, it is that the diligence
with which His Example is followed, the earnestness with which His
words are studied, by some whom we hold to have abandoned the Catholic
Faith, throw into the shade the obedience, the love, the earnestness
which prevail among ourselves.  They who follow not with us are casting
out devils in His name.  It is with us, they are careful to say, and
not with Him that they are waging war.  They may dispute the incidents
of His recorded Life: they may insist on reducing Him to the level of
humanity, but they also insist that in so doing they act according to
His Own {202} Mind, that they refuse, for the very love which they bear
Him, to surround Him with a glory which He would have rejected.  Devoid
of the errors which have led astray His successors, exalted far above
the wisest and the best of those who have spoken in His Name, it is the
function of criticism to show Him in His fashion as He lived, to sweep
away the falsehoods which have gathered round Him in the course of
ages.[14]

We do not seek to read into the emotional language of such writers a
significance which they would repudiate, but we are surely entitled to
point out that in spite of themselves they are bringing their tribute
of homage to the King of the Jews, the King of all mankind.  They grant
so much that, it seems to us, they must grant yet more.  We, at any
rate, cannot stop where they deem themselves obliged to stop.  We must
go further, we hear other voices swell the {203} chorus of adoration,
we have the witness not only of those who, in awe and wonderment have
exclaimed, 'Truly this was a Son of God,' but we have the witness of
those who from heartfelt conviction are able to say, 'The life which I
now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved
me and gave Himself for me.'  And to them we humbly hope to be able to
respond, 'Now we believe not because of the language of others, whether
honest doubters or devout disciples, for we have heard Him ourselves,
and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.'

'Restate our doctrines as we may,' to sum up all in the words of one
who began his career as a teacher in the confidence that Jesus of
Nazareth was merely a man, but whom closer study and deepening
experience have brought to a fuller faith, 'reconstruct our theologies
as we will, this age, like every age, beholds in Him the Way to God,
the {204} Truth of God, the Life of God lived out among men: this age,
like every age, has heard and responds to His call, "Come unto Me all
ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest": this age,
like every age, finds access to the Father through the Son.  These
things no criticism can shake, these certainties no philosophy
disprove, these facts no science dissolve away.  He is the Religion
which He taught: and while the race of man endures, men will turn to
the crucified Son of Man, not with a grudging, "Thou hast conquered, O
Galilean!" but with the joyful, grateful cry, "My Lord and my God."'[15]


V

He who was lifted up on the Cross is drawing all men to Himself, wise
and unwise, friend and foe, devout and doubting, is ruling even where
His authority is disavowed, is {205} causing hearts to adore where
intellects rebel.  The patriotic English baron, Simon de Montfort, as
he saw the Royal forces under Prince Edward come against him, was
filled with admiration of their discipline and bearing.  'By the arm of
S. James,' he cried, recalling with soldierly pride that to himself
they owed in great measure their skill, 'they come on well: they
learned that not of themselves, but of me.'  The Church of Christ, when
confronted with the benevolence, the integrity, the zeal of some who
are arrayed against her, may naturally say, 'They live well indeed:
they learned that not of themselves, but of me.'  'You are probably,'
was the homely expostulation of Benjamin Franklin with Thomas Paine,
'you are probably indebted to Religion for the habits of virtue on
which you so justly value yourself.  You might easily display your
excellent talents of reasoning upon a less hazardous subject, and
thereby obtain a rank amongst {206} our most distinguished authors.
For among us,' continued Franklin satirically, 'it is not necessary, as
among the Hottentots, that a youth, to be raised into the company of
men, should prove his manhood by beating his mother.'  The blows
inflicted on Christianity come from unfilial hands and hearts, from
hands and hearts which have been strengthened and nurtured on
Christianity itself, from hands and hearts which, but for the lingering
Christianity that still impels them, would soon be paralysed and dead.
The ideals which systems intended to supersede Christianity set before
them are, to all intents and purposes, only Christianity under another
name.  Where the ideals go beyond ordinary Christian practice, they are
only a nearer approximation to the Supreme Ideal which has never been
fulfilled save in Jesus Christ Himself.  Wherever there is truth in
them which is not generally accepted, or which comes as a surprise,
investigation {207} will show that it is an aspect of Christianity
which Christians have been neglecting, that it is a manifestation of
the mind of Christ, a development of His principles.  Look where we
will, the men that are making real moral and spiritual progress are
those who are in touch with Him.  Their beliefs about Him may not be
accurate, their conception of His nature and work may be defective, but
it is His Name, His Spirit, His Power, it is Himself that is the secret
of their life.  One part of His teaching has sunk into their hearts,
one element of His character has mysteriously impressed them.  They
have touched the hem of His garment, the shadow of His Apostle passing
by has glided over them, and they have been roused from weakness and
death.  'He that was healed wist not Who it was, for Jesus had conveyed
Himself away.'  So it happened in the days of His flesh: so is it
happening still: they that are set free may not yet know to Whom {208}
their freedom is to be ascribed.  Now, as on the way to Emmaus, when
men are communing together and reasoning, Jesus Himself may be walking
with them, though their eyes are holden that they do not know Him.
John Stuart Mill, whose acute intellect, whose spotless rectitude,
whose public spirit, whose non-religious training naturally made him
the idol of those to whom Christianity was a bygone superstition, came
in his later days, not indeed to accept the orthodox creed, but yet to
stretch out his longing hand to Christ, believing that He might have
'unique commission from God to lead mankind to truth and virtue.'
George Eliot, whose genius was ever labouring to fill up the void which
the rejection of her early faith had made, consoled her dying hours, as
she had inspired her most ennobling pages, with the _Imitation of
Christ_.  Matthew Arnold, most cultured of critics, joins hands with
the most fervid of evangelists in maintaining that {209} 'there is no
way to righteousness but the way of Jesus.'  The name of Christ--none
other name under heaven given among men will ever prove a substitute
for that.

Renouncing faith in Christ, is there life, is there salvation for man
to be found in the doctrines, the names, the influences which are so
vehemently extolled?  Is there one of them which so satisfies the
cravings of the heart, which enkindles such glorious hopes, which
inspires to such holy living, which inculcates so universal a
brotherhood, as Christianity?  Is there one of them which, at the best,
is more than a keeping of despair at bay, than a resolute acceptance of
utter overthrow, than a blindness to the tremendous issues which are
involved?[16]  Will the culture which is devoted, and cannot but be
devoted, exclusively to the outward, which imparts a knowledge of
Science or Art or Literature, be found sufficient to {210} rescue men
from the slavery of sin or from the torment of doubt?  Will the
progress which is altogether occupied with the material and the
physical, with providing better houses and better food and better
wages, produce happiness without alloy and remove the sting and dread
of death?[17]  Will the reiteration of the dogma that we are but
fleeting shadows, that there is nothing to hope for in the future, that
we are all the victims of delusion, tend to elevate and benefit our
downcast race?  Will the attempt to worship what has never been made
known, what is simply darkness and mystery, be more successful in
raising men above themselves than the worship of the Righteousness and
the Love which have been made manifest in Christ?  Will the attempt to
supplant the worship of Jesus Christ, in Whom was no sin, by the
worship of Humanity at large, of Humanity stained with guilt and crime
as {211} well as illumined here and there with deeds of heroism, of
Humanity sunk to the level of the brutes as well as exalted to the
level of whatever we may suppose to be the highest, seeing that there
is really no higher existence with which to compare it--will this
worship of itself, with all its baseness and imperfection, this turning
of mankind into a Mutual Adoration Society, make Humanity divine?  Will
even the assurance that far-distant ages will have new inventions,
fairer laws, more abundant wealth be any deliverance to us from our
burdens, any salvation from our individual sorrow and guilt and shame?
Can we to whom the likeness of Christ has been shown, can we imagine
that any of these efforts to answer the yearning of mankind for
deliverance from the body of this death will prove an efficient
substitute for Him?  And if we forsake Him, it must be in one or other
of these directions that we go.


{212}

VI

But the signs of the times are full of hope.  In social work at home,
in the progress of missions abroad, in revivals of one kind and
another, in growing reverence for holy things, in a renewed interest in
religion as the most vital of all topics, even in strange spiritual
manifestations not within the Church, we have, amid all that is
discouraging and depressing, indication of the coming kingdom.  The
cry, 'Back to Christ,' with all the truth that is in it, is only half a
truth if it does not also mean 'Forward to Christ.'  He is before us as
well as behind us, and the Hope of the World is the gathering together
of all things in Him.  Should there be, as there has been over and over
again in days gone by, a widespread unbelief, a rejection of His Divine
Revelation, of this we may be sure--it will be only for a time.  When
the sceptical physician, in Tennyson's poem, murmured:

  'The good Lord Jesus has had his day,'

{213} the believing nurse made the comment:

  'Had? has it come?  It has only dawned: it will
      come by and by.'

A thought most sad, though most inspiring.  'Only dawned.'  Why is
Christianity after all these centuries only beginning to be manifested?
It is at least partly because of the apathy, the divisions, the evil
lives of us who profess and call ourselves Christians, because we have
wrangled about the secondary and the comparatively unimportant, and
have neglected the weightier matters of the law, because we have so
left to those beyond the Church the duty of proclaiming and enforcing
principles which our Lord and His Apostles put in the forefront of
their teaching.  We have narrowed the Kingdom of Christ, we have
claimed too little for Him, we have forgotten that He has to do with
the secular as well as with the spiritual, that He must be King of the
Nation as well as of the Church.  But now in the growing {214}
prominence of Social Questions, which so many fear as an evidence of
the waning of religion, have we not an incentive to show that the
social must be pervaded by the religious, that our duties to one
another are no small part of the Kingdom of Christ?  For all sorts and
conditions of men, for masters and servants, for rulers and ruled, for
employers and employed, there is ever accumulating proof that only as
they bear themselves towards each other in the spirit of the New
Testament can there be true harmony and mutual respect; that only, in
short, as the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and
of His Christ will men in reality bear one another's burdens; that only
as the Everlasting Gospel of the Everlasting Love prevails will all
strife and contention, whether personal or political or ecclesiastical
or national, come to an end; that only as men enter into the fellowship
of that Son of Man Who came not to be {215} ministered unto but to
minister and to give His Life a ransom for many will the glorious
vision of old be fulfilled: I saw in the night vision, and behold One
like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven and came to the
Ancient of Days and they brought Him near before Him.  And there was
given Him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations
and languages shall serve Him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion
which shall not pass away and His kingdom that which shall not be
destroyed.



[1] In this Lecture are included some paragraphs from a sermon long out
of print, _The Witness of Scepticism to Christ_, preached before the
Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale.

[2] G. Lommel, _Jesus von Nazareth_ (quoted in Pfannmüller's _Jesus im
Urteil der Jahrhunderte_).

[3] Appendix XXIII.

[4] _Jesus in Modern Criticism_.

[5] H. Weinel, _Jesus im neunzehnten Jahrhundert_.

[6] Quoted in E. Naville, _Le Témoignage du Christ_.

[7] _First and Last Things: a Confession of Faith and Rule of Life_.

[8] Appendix XXIV.

[9] Appendix XXV.

[10] _Lux Hominum_, Preface.

[11] _Lux Hominum_, p. 84.

[12] _The Oriental Christ_.

[13] _Esoteric Christianity_.

[14] Appendix XXVI.

[15] J. Warschauer, _The New Evangel_.

[16] Appendix XXVII.

[17] Appendix XXVIII.



{219}

APPENDICES


APPENDIX I

'I hope no reader imagines me so weak to stand up in defence of real
Christianity such as used in primitive times (if we may believe the
authors of those ages) to have an influence upon men's beliefs and
actions.  To offer at the restoring of that would indeed be a wild
project: it would be to dig up foundations: to destroy at one blow all
the wit and half the learning of the kingdom, to break the entire frame
and constitution of things, to ruin trade, extinguish arts and
sciences, with the professors of them; in short, to turn our courts,
exchanges, and shops into deserts; and would be full as absurd as the
proposal of Horace, where he advises the Romans all in a body, to leave
their city, and seek a new seat in some remote part of the world, by
way of cure for the corruption of their manners.'--DEAN SWIFT, _An
Argument to Prove that the Abolishing of Christianity in England may,
as things now stand, be attended with some Inconveniences_.



{220}

APPENDIX II

While the state of our race is such as to need all our mutual
devotedness, all our aspiration, all our resources of courage, hope,
faith, and good cheer, the disciples of the Christian Creed and
Morality are called upon, day by day, to work out their own salvation
with fear and trembling and so forth.  Such exhortations are too low
for even the wavering mood and quacked morality of a time of
theological suspense and uncertainty.  In the extinction of that
suspense and the discrediting of that selfish quacking I see the
prospect for future generations of a purer and loftier virtue, and a
truer and sweeter heroism than divines who preach such self-seeking can
conceive of.'--HARRIET MARTINEAU, _Autobiography_, vol. ii. p. 461.


'Noble morality is classic morality, the morality of Greece, of Rome,
of Renaissance Italy, of ancient India.  But Christian morality is
slave morality _in excelsis_.  For the essence of Christian morality is
the desire of the individual to be saved: his consciousness of power is
so small that he lives in hourly peril of damnation and death and
yearns thus for the arms of some saving grace.'--_F. Nietzsche_, by A.
R. Orage, p. 53.

{221}

'They [Christians] have never learnt to love, to think, to trust.  They
have been nursed and bred and swaddled and fed on fear.  They are
afraid of death: they are afraid of truth: they are afraid of human
nature: they are afraid of God....  They deal in a poor kind of old
wives' fables, of lackadaisical dreams, of discredited sorcery, and
white magic, and call it religion and the holy of holies.  They wander
about in a sickly soil of intellectual moonshine, where they mistake
the dense and sombre shadows for substances.  They want to stop the
clocks of time that it may never be day, and to hoodwink the eyes of
the nations that they may lead the people as so many blind.'--ROBERT
BLATCHFORD, _Clarion_, March 3, 1905.



{222}

APPENDIX III

'In Georgia, indeed, as the Jesuits had found it in South America, the
vicinity of a white settlement would have proved the more formidable
obstacle to the conversion of the Indian.  When Tounchichi was urged to
listen to the doctrines of Christianity, he keenly replied, "Why, there
are Christians at Savannah! there are Christians at Frederica!"  Nor
was it without good apparent reason that the poor savage exclaimed,
"Christian much drunk!  Christian beat men!  Christian tell lies!
Devil Christian!  Me no Christian!"'--SOUTHEY, _Life of John Wesley_,
vol. i. p. 57.


'I was then carried in spirit to the mines where poor oppressed people
were digging rich treasures for those called Christians, and heard them
blaspheme the name of Christ, at which I was grieved, for to me His
name was precious.  I was then informed that these heathens were told
that those who oppressed them were the followers of Christ, and they
said among themselves, "If Christ directed them to use us in this sort,
this Christ is a cruel tyrant."'--_Journal of John Woolman_, p. 264.



{223}

APPENDIX IV

'What many upright and ardent souls have rejected is a misconception, a
caricature, a subjective Christianity of their own, a traditional
delusion, which no more resembles real Christianity than the
conventional Christ of the painted church window resembles Jesus Christ
of Nazareth.  It is true that at this moment the great majority of the
people of this country never go to any place of worship, and this is
yet more the case on the Continent of Europe.  Does it in the least
degree indicate that the masses of the European nations have weighed
Christianity in the balance and found it wanting?  Nothing of the sort.
The overwhelming majority of them have not the faintest conception of
what Christianity is.  I myself have met a great number of so-called
"Agnostics" and "Atheists" in our universities, among our working-men,
and in society, but I have never yet met one who had rejected the
Christianity of Christ.'--HUGH PRICE HUGHES, Preface to _Ethical
Christianity_.



{224}

APPENDIX V

'Wheresoever Christianity has breathed it has accelerated the movement
of humanity.  It has quickened the pulses of life, it has stimulated
the incentives of thought, it has turned the passions into peace, it
has warmed the heart into brotherhood, it has fanned the imagination
into genius, it has freshened the soul into purity.  The progress of
Christian Europe has been the progress of mind over matter.  It has
been the progress of intellect over force, of political right over
arbitrary power, of human liberty over the chains of slavery, of moral
law over social corruption, of order over anarchy, of enlightenment
over ignorance, of life over death.  As we survey this spectacle of the
past, we are impressed that this study of history is the strongest
evidence for God.  We hear no argument from design but we feel the
breath of the Designer.  We see the universal life moulding the
individual lives, the one Will dominating many wills, the Infinite
Wisdom utilising the finite folly, the changeless truth permeating the
restless error, the boundless beneficence bringing blessing out of
all....  And what shall we say of the future? ... Ours is a position in
some respects analogous to that of the mediaeval world: the landmarks
of the past are fading, the lights in the future are but dimly seen.
Yet it is the study of the landmarks that helps us to wait for the
light, and our highest hope is born of memory.  In the view {225} of
that retrospect, we cannot long despair.  We may have moments of
heart-sickness when we look exclusively at the present hour: we may
have times of despondency when we measure only what the eye can see.
But looking on the accumulated results of bygone ages as they lie open
to the gaze of history, the scientific conclusion at which we must
arrive is this, that the course of Christianity shall be, or has been,
the path of a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect
day.'--G. MATHESON, _Growth of the Spirit of Christianity_ (chap,
xxxviii., 'Dawn of a New Day').



{226}

APPENDIX VI

'Shadows and figments as they appear to us to be in themselves, these
attempts to provide a substitute for Religion are of the highest
importance, as showing that men of great powers of mind, who have
thoroughly broken loose not only from Christianity but from natural
Religion, and in some cases placed themselves in violent antagonism to
both, are still unable to divest themselves of the religious sentiment
or to appease its craving for satisfaction.

'That the leaders of the anti-theological movement at the present day
are immoral, nobody but the most besotted fanatic would insinuate: no
candid antagonist would deny that some of them are in every respect the
very best of men....  But what is to prevent the withdrawal of the
traditional sanction from producing its natural effect upon the
morality of the mass of mankind? ...  Rate the practical effect of
religious beliefs as low and that of social influences as high as you
may, there can surely be no doubt that morality has received some
support from the authority of an inward monitor regarded as the voice
of God....

'The denial of the existence of God and of a future state, in a word,
is the dethronement of Conscience: and society will pass, to say the
least, through a dangerous interval, before social conscience can fill
the vacant throne.'--GOLDWIN SMITH, 'Proposed Substitutes for
Religion,' _Macmillan's Magazine_, vol. xxxvii.



{227}

APPENDIX VII

'It no less takes two to deliver the game of Duty from trivial pretence
and give it an earnest interest.  How can I look up to myself as the
higher that reproaches me? issue commands to myself which I dare not
disobey? ask forgiveness from myself for sins which myself has
committed? surrender to myself with a martyr's sacrifice? and so
through all the drama of moral conflict and enthusiasm between myself
in a mask and myself in _propria persona_?  How far are these
semblances, these battles in the clouds, to carry their mimicry of
reality?  Are we to _worship_ the self-ideality? to _pray_ to an empty
image in the air? to trust in sorrow a creature of thought which is but
a phenomenon of sorrow?  No, if religious communion is reduced to a
monologue, its essence is extinct and its soul is gone.  It is a living
relation, or it is nothing: a response to the Supreme Reality.  And
vainly will you search for your spiritual dynamics without the Rock
Eternal for your [Greek] _pou stô_'--JAMES MARTINEAU, Essays iv. 282,
_Ideal Substitutes for God_.



{228}

APPENDIX VIII

'It is an awful hour--let him who has passed through it say how
awful--when life has lost its meaning and seems shrivelled into a
span--when the grave appears to be the end of all, human goodness
nothing but a name, and the sky above this universe a dead expanse,
black with the void from which God himself has disappeared.  In that
fearful loneliness of spirit ... I know but one way in which a man may
come forth from his agony scathless: it is by holding fast to those
things which are certain still--the grand, simple landmarks of morality.

'In the darkest hour through which a human soul can pass, whatever else
is doubtful, this at least is certain.  If there be no God and no
future state yet even then it is better to be generous than selfish,
better to be chaste than licentious, better to be true than false,
better to be brave than to be a coward.  Blessed beyond all earthly
blessedness is the man who, in the tempestuous darkness of the soul,
has dared to hold fast to these venerable landmarks.  Thrice blessed is
he who, when all is drear and cheerless within and without, when his
teachers terrify him and his friends shrink from him, has obstinately
clung to moral good.  Thrice blessed, because his night shall pass into
clear bright day.'--F. W. ROBERTSON, _Lectures, Addresses, etc._, p. 49.



{229}

APPENDIX IX

'Let me say at once that if after the elimination of all untruths from
Christianity, we could build a belief in God and Immortality on the
residue, we should then have a far more powerful incentive to right
conduct than anything that I am about to urge.'--PHILIP VIVIAN,
_Churches and Modern Thought_, p. 323.



{230}

APPENDIX X

'Without prejudice, what would be the effect upon modern civilisation
if the Divine Ideal should vanish from modern thought?

'It would be presumptuous to attempt a description, rather because it
is so hard to picture ourselves and our outlook deprived of what we
have held during thousands of generations, our very _raison d'être_,
than because we cannot calculate at least a part of what would have to
happen.  Without pretending to undertake that exercise, it may not be
too bold to conclude definitely, what has been suggested
argumentatively throughout: namely, that moral goodness, as we trace it
in the past, as we enjoy it in the present, as we reckon upon it in the
future, would be found undesirable and therefore impracticable.  A new
"morality" would doubtless take its place and set up a new ideal of
goodness; but the former would no more represent the elements we so far
call moral than the latter would embody the conceptions we now call
good: the more logically the inevitable system were followed up, the
more progressively would moral inversion be realised.

'It does not seem credible that the new morality could escape being
egoistic and hedonistic, and these principles alone would dictate
complete reversal of all our present notions as to what is noble, what
is useful, what is good.  An egoist hedonism that should not be selfish
and sensual is a fond {231} superstition; it would have to be both and
frankly.  All the prophylactic expedients whereby a reciprocal egoism
must safeguard its sensuous rights would certainly be there; and they
represent in spirit and in practice whatever we have learned to
consider execrable.  We do not require Professor Haeckel[1] to inform
us, with the triumphal rhetoric that accompanies a grand new discovery,
of the prudential homicide which is to confer a supreme blessing upon
humanity, for it has raged throughout antiquity, and still stalks
abroad in daylight wherever the kingdom of men is not also the kingdom
of Christ.  Ten minutes' thought is sufficient to convince any rational
man or woman what must inevitably follow in a world of animal
rationalism, where no souls are immortal, where the human will is the
supreme will and there is eternal peace in the grave.  It could
scarcely transpire otherwise than that "euthanasia" should replace care
of the chronic sick and indigent aged; that infanticide should be in a
large category of circumstances encouraged, and in some compelled; that
suicide should offer a rational escape from all serious ills, leaving a
door ever hospitably ajar to receive the body bankrupt in its capacity
for sensual enjoyment, the only enjoyment henceforth worthy of the
name.  These are the "virtues" under the new morality; there are other
things of which it were not well to speak.  Imagination turns its back.
In a world that has never been without its gods, among human creatures
who have never existed without a conscience, deeds have been done and
horrors have been practised through centuries, through ages, that make
annals read like ogre-tales and books of travels like the works of
morbid novelists; and the worst always goes unrecorded.  What then
ought we to anticipate for a world yielding obedience to nothing
loftier {232} than the human intellect, seeking no prize obtainable
outside the individual life time, logically incapable of any
gratification outside the individual body, convinced of nothing save
eternal oblivion in the ever-nearing and inevitable grave, and reposed
on the calm assurance that "goodness" and "badness," "virtue" and
"vice" (whatever these terms may then correspond to) are recompensed,
indifferently, by nothing better and nothing worse than physical animal
death?'--JASPER B. HUNT, B.D., _Good without God: Is it Possible_? p.
51.



[1] See _The Wonders of Life_, chap. v., popular translation, and other
works.



{233}

APPENDIX XI

'When we say that God is personal, we do not mean that He is localised
by mutually related organs; that He is hampered by the physical
conditions of human personality.  We mean that He is conscious of
distinctness from all other beings, of moral relation to all living
things, and of power to control both from without and from within the
action of every atom and of every world.  This is what we mean by
personality in God.  It is not a materialistic idea.  It is essentially
spiritual.  It is a breakwater against the destruction of the very
thought of God, or the submersion of it in the mere processes of
eternal evolution.  There is a Pantheism which obliterates every trace
of Divine personality, which takes from God consciousness, will,
affection, emotion, desire, presiding and over-ruling intelligence.
But such Pantheism is better known as Atheism.  It destroys the only
God who can be a refuge and a strength in time of trouble.  It
annihilates that mighty conscience which drives the workers of iniquity
into darkness and the shadow of death, if possible, to hide themselves.
It closes the Divine Ear against the prayer of faith.  It abolishes all
sympathy, all communion between the Father and the children.  It makes
God not the world's life, but the world's grave.  Therefore, against
all such Pantheism our being revolts.'--PETER S. MENZIES, _Sermons_
('Christian Pantheism').



{234}

APPENDIX XII

'There is an Old Testament Pantheism speaking unmistakably out of the
lips of the Prophets and the Psalmists, ... so interwoven with their
deepest thoughts of God, that any hesitation to receive it would have
been traced by them most probably to purely heathen conditions of
thought, which ascribes to every divinity a limited function, a
separate home, and a restricted authority....  But undoubtedly the most
unequivocal and outspoken Pantheist in the Bible is St. Paul.  He
speaks in that character to the Athenians, affirming all men to be the
offspring of God, and, as if this were not a sufficiently close bond of
affinity, adding, "In Him we live and move and have our being."  His
Pantheistic eschatology casts a radiance over the valley of the shadow
of death, which makes the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians one of the
most precious gifts of Divine inspiration which the holy volume
contains.  "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall
the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him,
that God may be all and all."  Nor, if he had wished to administer a
daring shock to the ultra-Calvinism of our own Confessional theology,
could he have uttered a sentiment more hard to reconcile with any view
of the Universe that is not Pantheistic than that contained in the 32nd
verse of the present chapter: "For God hath concluded them all in
unbelief that He might have mercy upon all."  It {235} is quite clear
in the face of all this Scripture evidence that there is a form of
Pantheism which is not only innocent, defensible, justifiable, but
which we are bound to teach as of the essence of all true theology.
Nothing could be more childish than that blind horror of Pantheism
which shudders back from it as the most poisonous form of rank
infidelity.'--PETER S. MENZIES, _Sermons_ ('Christian Pantheism'),



{236}

APPENDIX XIII

'Pantheism gives noble expression to the truth of God's presence in all
things, but it cannot satisfy the religious consciousness: it cannot
give it escape from the limitations of the world, or guarantee personal
immortality or (what is most important) give any adequate
interpretation to sin, or supply any adequate remedy for it....
Christian theology is the harmony of Pantheism and Deism.  On the one
hand Christianity believes all that the Pantheist believes of God's
presence in all things.  "In Him," we believe, "we live and move and
are; in Him all things have their coherence."  All the beauty of the
world, all its truths, all its goodness, are but so many modes under
which God is manifested, of whose glory Nature is the veil, of whose
word it is the expression, whose law and reason it embodies.  But God
is not exhausted in the world, nor dependent upon it: He exists
eternally in His Triune Being, self-sufficing, self-subsistent....  God
is not only in Nature as its life, but He transcends it as its Creator,
its Lord--in its moral aspect--its Judge.  So it is that Christianity
enjoys the riches of Pantheism without its inherent weakness on the
moral side, without making God dependent on the world, as the world is
on God.'--BISHOP GORE, _The Incarnation of the Son of God_, p. 136.



{237}

APPENDIX XIV

'The Supreme Power on this petty earth can be nothing else but the
Humanity, which, ever since fifty thousand--it may be one hundred and
fifty thousand--years has slowly but inevitably conquered for itself
the predominance of all living things on this earth, and the mastery of
its material resources.  It is the collective stream of Civilization,
often baffled, constantly misled, grievously sinning against itself
from time to time, but in the end victorious; winning certainly no
heaven, no millennium of the saints, but gradually over great epochs
rising to a better and a better world.  This Humanity is not all the
human beings that are or have been.  It is a living, growing, and
permanent Organism in itself, as Spencer and modern philosophy
establish.  It is the active stream of Human Civilization, from which
many drop out into that oblivion and nullity which is the true and only
Hell.'--F. HARRISON, _Creed of a Lagman_, p. 72.



{238}

APPENDIX XV

Mr. Frederic Harrison's Creed 'is open to every objection which he so
justly brings against what he regards as Mr. Spencer's Creed.  These
reasons are broad, common, and familiar.  So far as I know they never
have been, and I do not believe they ever will be, answered.  The first
objection is that Humanity with a capital H (Mr. Harrison's God) is
neither better nor worse fitted to be a God than his Unknowable with a
capital U.  They are as much alike as six and half-a-dozen.  Each is a
barren abstraction to which any one an attach any meaning he likes.
Humanity, as used by Mr. Harrison, is not an abstract name for those
matters in which all human beings as such resemble each other, as, for
instance, a human form and articulate speech....  Humanity is a general
name for all human beings who, in various ways, have contributed to the
improvement of the human race.  The Positivist calendar which
appropriates every day in the year for the commemoration of one or more
of these benefactors of mankind is an attempt to give what a lawyer
would call "further and better particulars" of the word.  If this, or
anything like this, be the meaning of Mr. Harrison's God, I must say
that he, she, or it appears to me quite as ill-fitted for worship as
the Unknowable.  How can a man worship an indefinite number of dead
people, most of whom are unknown to him even by name, and many of whose
characters {239} were exceedingly faulty, besides which the facts as to
their lives are most imperfectly known?  How can he in any way combine
these people into a single object of thought?  An object of worship
must surely have such a degree of unity that it is possible to think
about it as distinct from other things, as much unity at least as the
English nation, the Roman Catholic Church, the Great Western Railway.
No doubt these are abstract terms, but they are concrete enough for
practical purposes.  Every one understands what is meant when it is
asserted that the English nation is at war or at peace; that the Pope
is the head of the Roman Catholic Church; that the Great Western
Railway has declared a dividend; but what is Humanity?  What can any
one definitely assert or deny about it?  How can any one meaning be
affixed to the word so that one person can be said to use it properly
and another to abuse it?  It seems to me that it is as Unknowable as
the Unknowable itself, and just as well, and just as ill, fitted to be
an object of worship.'--SIR JAMES FITZJAMES STEPHEN, 'The Unknowable
and Unknown,' _Nineteenth Century_, June 1884.



{240}

APPENDIX XVI

'Deism and Pantheism are both so irrational, so utterly inadequate to
explain the simplest facts of our moral and spiritual life that neither
of them can long hold mankind together.  Positivism, which has made a
systematic and memorable attempt to fill the gap, itself bears witness
to the craving of human nature for some stronger bond than such systems
can supply; while its appreciation of the necessity of Religion gives
it an importance not possessed by mere Agnosticism.  Yet it is
impossible to look at an encyclopædic attempt to grasp all knowledge
and all history, such as that made by the founder of Positivism,
without a deep, oppressive sadness....

'Can men heap fact upon fact and connect science with science in a
splendid hierarchy and find no better end than this?  Is such a review
to come to this, that we must worship either actual humanity with all
its meanness and wickedness, or ideal humanity which does not yet
exist, and, if this world is all in all, may never come into being? ...
For ideal humanity, however moral and enlightened, if unaided by God,
as the Posivitist holds, is still earth-bound and sense-bound....  We
are told that it is common sense to recognise that much is beyond us.
Perfectly true.  But it is not common sense to worship an ignorant and
weak humanity which certainly made nothing, and has in itself no
assurance {241} of continuance in the future, nay rather, a very clear
probability of destruction, if simply left to itself.

'What Positivism surely needs to give it hope and consistency is the
doctrine of the Logos, of the Eternal Word and Reason, the Creator,
Orderer, and Sustainer of all things, Who has taken a stainless human
nature that He might make men capable of all knowledge.  This Divine
Humanity of the Logos, drawing mankind into Himself, is indeed worthy
of all worship.  In loving Him, we learn really what it is to "live for
others."  In looking to Him we cease from selfishness and pride.  Such
a worship of humanity is not a mere baseless hope, but a reality
appearing in the very midst of history, a reality apprehended by Faith
indeed, but by a Faith always proving itself to those, and by those,
who hold it fast in Love.  There is room, then, ample room, and a loud
demand for the re-establishment of a Christian Philosophy based upon
the Incarnation.'--JOHN WORDSWORTH (Bishop of Salisbury), _The One
Religion_, pp. 307-309.



{242}

APPENDIX XVII

The invariable laws under which Humanity is placed have received
various names at different periods.  Destiny, Fate, Necessity, Heaven,
Providence, all are so many names of one and the same conception: the
laws which man feels himself under, and that without the power of
escaping from them.  We claim no exemption from the common lot.  We
only wish to draw out into consciousness the instinctive acceptance of
the race, and to modify the spirit in which we regard them.  We accept:
so have all men.  We obey: so have all men.  We venerate: so have some
in past ages or in other countries.  We add but one other term--we
love.  We would perfect our submission and so reap the full benefits of
submission in the improvement of our hearts and tempers.  We take in
conception the sum of the conditions of existence, and we give them an
ideal being and a definite home in space, the second great creation
which completes the central one of Humanity.  In the bosom of space we
place the world, and we conceive of the world and this our Mother Earth
as gladly welcomed to that bosom with the simplest and purest love, and
we give our love in return.

  Thou art folded, thou art lying
  In the light which is undying.


'Thus we complete the Trinity of our religion, Humanity, the World, and
Space.  So completed we recognise power to {243} give unity and
definiteness to our thoughts, purity and warmth to our affections,
scope and vigour to our activity.  We recognise its powers to regulate
our whole being, to give us that which it has so long been the aim of
all religion to give--internal union.  We recognise its power to raise
us above ourselves and by intensifying the action of our unselfish
instincts to bear down unto their due subordination our selfishness.
We see in it yet unworked treasures.  We count not ourselves to have
apprehended but we press forward to the prize of our high calling.  But
even now whilst its full capabilities are unknown to us, before we have
apprehended, we find enough in it to guide and strengthen us.'--'_The
New Religion in its Attitude towards the Old_: A Sermon preached at
South Field, Wandsworth, Wednesday, 19th Moses 71 (19th January 1859),
on the anniversary of the birth of Auguste Comte, 19th January 1798, by
RICHARD CONGREVE.'  J. Chapman: 8 King William Street, Strand, London.



{244}

APPENDIX XVIII

'We have compared Positivism where it is thought to be strongest with
Christianity where it is thought to be weakest.  And if the result of
the comparison even then has been unfavourable to Positivism, how will
the account stand if every element in Christianity be taken into
consideration?  The religion of humanity seems specially fitted to meet
the tastes of that comparatively small and prosperous class who are
unwilling to leave the dry bones of Agnosticism wholly unclothed with
any living tissue of religious emotion, and who are at the same time
fortunate enough to be able to persuade themselves that they are
contributing, or may contribute, by their individual efforts to the
attainment of some great ideal for mankind.  But what has it to say to
the more obscure multitude who are absorbed, and wellnigh overwhelmed,
in the constant struggle with daily needs and narrow cares, who have
but little leisure or inclination to consider the precise rôle they are
called on to play in the great drama of "humanity," and who might in
any case be puzzled to discover its interest or its importance?  Can it
assure them that there is no human being so insignificant as not to be
of infinite worth in the eyes of Him Who created the Heavens, or so
feeble but that his action may have consequence of infinite moment long
after this material system shall have crumbled into nothingness?  Does
it offer consolation to those who are in grief, hope to those who {245}
are bereaved, strength to the weak, forgiveness to the sinful, rest to
those who are weary and heavy laden?  If not, then whatever be its
merits, it is no rival to Christianity.  It cannot penetrate or vivify
the inmost life of ordinary humanity.  There is in it no nourishment
for ordinary human souls, no comfort for ordinary human sorrow, no help
for ordinary human weakness.  Not less than the crudest irreligion does
it leave us men divorced from all communion with God, face to face with
the unthinking energies of Nature which gave us birth, and into which,
if supernatural religion be indeed a dream, we must after a few
fruitless struggles be again resolved.'--RIGHT HON. ARTHUR J. BALFOUR,
_The Religion of Humanity_.



{246}

APPENDIX XIX

'Truly if Humanity has no higher prospects than those which await it
from the service of its modern worshippers its prospects are dark
indeed.  Its "normal state" is a vague and distant future.  But better
things may yet be hoped for when the true Light from Heaven shall
enlighten every man, and the love of goodness shall everywhere come
from the love of God, and nobleness of life from the perfect Example of
the Lord.'--JOHN TULLOCH, D.D. LL.D., _Modern Theories in Philosophy
and Religion_, p. 86.



{247}

APPENDIX XX

Mr. Frederic Harrison came under the influence of both the Newmans.
'John Henry Newman led me on to his brother Francis, whose beautiful
nature and subtle intelligence I now began to value.  His _Phases of
Faith, The Soul, The Hebrew Monarchy_ deeply impressed me.  I was not
prepared either to accept all this heterodoxy nor yet to reject it; and
I patiently waited till an answer could be found.'--_The Creed of a
Layman_.



{248}

APPENDIX XXI

Even Mr. Voysey admits the constraining power of the Cross:

'That is still the noblest, most sublime picture in the whole Bible,
where the Christ is hanging on the Cross, and the tears and blood flow
trickling down, and the last words heard from His lips are "Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do."  That love and pity will
for ever endure as the type and symbol of what is most Divine in the
heart of man.  Thank God! it has been repeated and repeated in the
lives and deaths of millions besides the Christ of Calvary.  But
wherever found it still claims the admiration, and wins the homage of
every human heart, and is the crowning glory of the human race.--C.
VOYSEY, _Religion for All Mankind_, p. 105.



{249}

APPENDIX XXII

'Not only the Syrian superstition must be attacked, but also the belief
in a personal God which engenders a slavish and oriental condition of
the mind, and the belief in a posthumous reward which engenders a
selfish and solitary condition of the heart.  These beliefs are,
therefore, injurious to human nature.  They lower its dignity, they
arrest its development, they isolate its affections.  We shall not deny
that many beautiful sentiments are often mingled with the faith in a
personal Deity, and with the hopes of happiness in a future state; yet
we maintain that, however refined they may appear, they are selfish at
the core, and that if removed they will be replaced by sentiments of a
nobler and purer kind.'--WINWOOD READE, _Martyrdom of Man_, p. 543.



{250}

APPENDIX XXIII

'There is a servile deference paid, even by Christians, to incompetent
judges of Christianity.  They abjectly look to men of the world, to
scholars, to statesmen, for testimonies to the everlasting and
self-evidencing verities of heaven!  And if they can gather up, from
the writings or speeches of these men, some patronising notices of
religion, some incidental compliment to the civilising influence of the
Bible, or to the aesthetic proprieties of worship, or to the moral
sublimity of the character or gospel of Christ, they forthwith proclaim
these tributes as lending some great confirmation to the Truth of GOD!
So we persist in asking, not "Is it true? true to our souls?" or, "Has
the Lord said it?" but, "What say the learned men, the influential men,
the eloquent men?"  Shame upon these time-serving concessions, as
unmanly as they are fallacious.  Go back to the hovels, rather, and
take the witnessing of the illiterate souls whose hearts, waiting there
in poverty or pain, or under the shadow of some great affliction, the
Lord Himself hath opened.'--F. D. HUNTINGDON, _Christian Believing and
Living_.



{251}

APPENDIX XXIV

'It is foreign to our purpose to discuss the various theories which
have been advanced to explain the genesis and power of the Christian
Religion from the cynical Gibbon to the sentimental Renan and the
Rationalist Strauss.  One remark may be permitted.  It has been our lot
to read an immense amount of literature on this subject, and with no
bias in the orthodox direction, we are bound to admit that no theory
has yet appeared which from purely natural causes explains the
remarkable life and marvellous influence of the Founder of
Christianity.'--HECTOR MACPHERSON, _Books to Read and How to Head Them_.



{252}

APPENDIX XXV

The Song of a Heathen Sojourning in Galilee, A.D. 32.

  If Jesus Christ is a man,
    And only a man, I say
  That of all mankind I cleave to Him,
    And to Him will I cleave alway.

  If Jesus Christ is a God,
    And the only God, I swear
  I will follow Him through heaven and hell,
    The earth, the sea, and the air!

        RICHARD WATSON GILDER.



{253}

APPENDIX XXVI

'I distinguish absolutely between the character of Jesus and the
character of Christianity--in other words between Jesus of Nazareth and
Jesus the Christ.  Shorn of all supernatural pretensions, Jesus emerges
from the great mass of human beings as an almost perfect type of
simplicity, veracity, and natural affection.  "Love one another" was
the Alpha and Omega of His teaching, and He carried out the precept
through every hour of His too brief life....  But how blindly, how
foolishly my critics have interpreted the inner spirit of my argument,
how utterly have they failed to realise that the whole aim of the work
is to justify Jesus against the folly, the cruelty, the infamy, the
ignorance of the creed upbuilt upon His grave.  I show in cipher, as it
were, that those who crucified Him once would crucify Him again, were
He to return amongst us.  I imply that among the first to crucify Him
would be the members of His Own Church.  But nowhere surely do I imply
that His soul, in its purely personal elements, in its tender and
sympathising humanity was not the very divinest that ever wore earth
about it.'--ROBERT BUCHANAN in Letter of January 1892 to _Daily
Chronicle_ regarding his poem _The Wandering Jew_.  _Robert Buchanan:
His Life, Life's Work, and Life's Friendships_, by Harriett Jay, pp.
274-5.



{254}

APPENDIX XXVII

'I do not believe I have any personal immortality.  I am part of an
immortality perhaps, but that is different.  I am not the continuing
thing.  I personally am experimental, incidental.  I feel I have to do
something, a number of things no one else could do, and then I am
finished, and finished altogether.  Then my substance returns to the
common lot.  I am a temporary enclosure for a temporary purpose: that
served, and my skull and teeth, my idiosyncrasy and desire will
disperse, I believe, like the timbers of the booth after a fair.'--H.
G. WELLS, _First and Last Things_, p. 80.



{255}

APPENDIX XXVIII

'The estate of man upon this earth of ours may in course of time be
vastly improved.  So much seems to be promised by the recent
achievements of Science, whose advance is in geometrical progression,
each discovery giving birth to several more.  Increase of health and
extension of life by sanitary, dietetic, and gymnastic improvement;
increase of wealth by invention and of leisure by the substitution of
machinery for labour: more equal distribution of wealth with its
comforts and refinements; diffusion of knowledge; political
improvement; elevation of the domestic affections and social
sentiments; unification of mankind and elimination of war through
ascendency of reason over passion--all these things may be carried to
an indefinite extent, and may produce what in comparison with the
present estate of man would be a terrestrial paradise.  Selection and
the merciless struggle for existence may be in some measure superseded
by selection of a more scientific and merciful kind.  Death may be
deprived at all events of its pangs.  On the other hand, the horizon
does not appear to be clear of cloud....  Let our fancy suppose the
most chimerical of Utopias realised in a commonwealth of man.  Mortal
life prolonged to any conceivable extent is but a span.  Still over
every festal board in the community of terrestrial bliss will be cast
the shadow of approaching death; and the sweeter life becomes the more
bitter death will be.  {256} The more bitter it will be at least to the
ordinary man, and the number of philosophers like John Stuart Mill is
small.'--GOLDWIN SMITH: _Guesses at the Riddle of Existence_ ('Is There
Another Life?').

'In return for all of which they have deprived us, some prophets of
modern science are disposed to show us in the future a City of God
_minus_ God, a Paradise _minus_ the Tree of Life, a Millennium with
education to perfect the intellect, and sanitary improvements to
emancipate the body from a long catalogue of evils.  Sorrow no doubt
will not be abolished; immortality will not be bestowed.  But we shall
have comfortable and perfectly drained houses to be wretched in.  The
news of our misfortunes, the tidings that turn the hair white, and
break the strong man's heart will be conveyed to us from the ends of
the earth by the agency of a telegraphic system without a flaw.  The
closing eye may cease to look to the land beyond the River; but in our
last moments we shall be able to make a choice between patent furnaces
for the cremation of our remains, and coffins of the most charming
description for their preservation when desiccated.'--Archbishop
ALEXANDER: _Witness of the Psalms to Christ and Christianity_, p. 48.



{257}

AUTHORITIES CONSULTED


Abbott, E. A., _Through Nature to Christ_.

Armstrong, E. A., _Back to Jesus; Man's Knowledge of God; Agnosticism
and Theism in the Nineteenth Century_.

Arthur, W., _God without Religion; Religion without God_.

Aveling, F. (edited by), _Westminster Lectures_.


Balfour, A. J., _Religion of Humanity; Foundations of Belief_.

Ballard, F., _Clarion Fallacies; Miracles of Unbelief_.

_Barker, Joseph, Life of_.

Barry, W., _Heralds of Revolt_.

Bartlett, R. E., _The Letter and the Spirit_.

Besant, Annie, _Esoteric Christianity_.

Blatchford, R., _God and My Neighbour_.

Blau, Paul, '_Wenn ihr Mich Kennetet_.'

Bousset, W., _Jesus; What is Religion?; The Faith of a Modern
Protestant_.

Brace, G. Loring, _Gesta Christi_.

Bremond, H., 'Christus Vivit' (Epilogue of _L'Inquiétude Religieuse_).

Broglie, L'Abbé Paul de, _Problèmes et Conclusions; La Morale sans
Dieu_.

Brooks, Phillips, Bishop, _The Influence of Jesus_.

Butler, Bishop, _The Analogy of Religion_.


{258}

Caird, E., _The Evolution of Religion; The Social Philosophy and
Religion of Comte_.

Caird, J., _Fundamental Ideas of Christianity_.

Cairns, D. S., _Christianity in the Modern World_.

Carey, Vivian, _Parsons and Pagans_.

Caro, E., _L'Idée de Dieu et ses Nouveaux Critiques; Études Morales;
Problèmes de Morale Sociale_.

Chesterton, G. K., _Heretics; Orthodoxy_.

Church, K. W., _Gifts of Civilization; Pascal and other Sermons_.

Clarke, J. Freeman, _Steps to Belief_.

Cobbe, Frances Power, _A Faithless World; Broken Lights; Autobiography_.

Coit, Stanton, _National Idealism and a State Church_.

Comte, Auguste, _Catechism of Positive Religion_ (translated by Richard
Congreve).

_Contentio Veritatis_.

Conway, Moncure D., _The Earthward Pilgrimage_.

Craufurd, A. H., _Christian Instincts and Modern Doubt_.

Crooker, J. H., _The Supremacy of Jesus_.


D'Alviella, G., _Revolution Religieuse Contemporaine_.

Davies, O. Maurice, _Heterodox London_.

Davies, Llewelyn, _Morality according to the Lord's Supper_.

_Do we Believe_? (Correspondence from _Daily Telegraph_.)

Drawbridge, C. L., _Is Religion Undermined_?

Drummond, J., _Via, Veritas, Vita_.

Du Bose, W. P., _The Gospel and the Gospels_.


Eaton, J. R. T., _The Permanence of Christianity_.


Faber, Hans, _Das Christentum der Zukunft_.

Fairbairn, A. M., _Christ in Modern Theology_.

{259}

Farrar, A. S., _Critical History of Free Thought_.

Farrar, F. W., _Seekers after God; Witness of History to Christ_.

Fiske, John, _The Idea of God as Affected by Modern Knowledge; Through
Nature to God; Man's Destiny_.

Fitchett, W. H., _Beliefs of Unbelief_.

Flint, R., _Theism; Anti-Theistic Theories_.

Footman, H., _Reasonable Apprehensions and Reassuring Hints_.

Fordyce, J., _Aspects of Scepticism_.

Forrest, D. W., _The Christ of History and of Experience_.

Frommel, Gaston, _Études Religieuses et Sociales; Études Morales et
Religieuses_.


Gindraux, J., _Le Christ et la Pensée Moderne_ (Translation from
Pfennigsdorf).

Gladden, Washington, _How Much is Left of the Old Doctrines_?

Gore, O., Bishop, _The Incarnation of the Son of God; The Christian
Creed_.

Guyau, M., _L'Irréligion de l'Avenir; La Morale sans Sanction_.


Haeckel, E., _Riddle of the Universe; The Confession of Faith of a Man
of Science_.

Harnack, Adolf, _What is Christianity?; Christianity and History_.

Harrison, A. J., _Problems of Christianity and Scepticism_.

Harrison, Frederic, _Memories and Thoughts; The Creed of a Layman_.

Haw, George (edited by), _Religious Doubts of Democracy_.

Henson, H. Hensley, _Popular Rationalism; The Value of the Bible_.

Hillis, N. D., _Influence of Christ in Modern Life_.

{260}

Hoffmann, F. S., _The Sphere of Religion_.

Hunt, Jasper B., _Good without God_.

Hunt, John, _Christianity and Pantheism_.

Hutton, R. H., _Essays Theological and Literary; Contemporary Thought
and Thinkers; Aspects of Religious and Scientific Thought_.

Huxley, T. H., _Evolution and Ethics_.


Illingworth, J. R., _Personality Human and Divine; Divine Immanence_.

_Is Christianity True_?  (Lectures in Central Hall, Manchester).


Jastrow, Morris, _The Study of Religion_.

Jefferies, Richard, _The Story of my Heart: My Autobiography_.

Jones, Harry (edited by), _Some Urgent Questions in Christian Lights_.


Kutter, Herrmann, _Sie Müssen_.


Lecky, W. E. H., _History of European Morals_.

Liddon, H. P., _The Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; Some
Elements of Religion_.

Lilly, W. S., _The Great Enigma; The Claims of Christianity_.

Lodge, Sir Oliver, _The Substance of Faith_.

Lucas, Bernard, _The Faith of a Christian_.

_Lux Hominum_.

_Lux Mundi_.


Maitland, Brownlow, _Theism or Agnosticism; Steps to Faith_.

Mallock, W. H., _Reconstruction of Belief_.

{261}

Marson, O. L., _Following of Christ_.

Martin, A. S., 'Christ in Modern Thought' (Hastings's _Dictionary of
Christ and the Gospels_, Appendix).

Martineau, Harriet, _Autobiography_.

Martineau, James, _Ideal Substitutes for God; A Study of Religion;
Hours of Thought_.

Matheson, G., _Growth of the Spirit of Christianity_.

Matheson, A. Scott, _The Gospel and Modern Substitutes_.

Menzies, Allan, _S. Paul's View of the Divinity of Christ_.

Menzies, P. S., 'Christian Pantheism' (in _Sermons_).

Momerie, A. W., _Belief in God; Immortality; Origin of Evil_.

Monod, Wilfrid, _Aux Croyants et aux Athées; Peut-on rester Chrétien_?

Mories, A. S., _Haeckel's Contribution to Religion_.

Morison, J. Cotter, _The Service of Man_.

Mozoomdar, Protab Chandra, _The Oriental Christ_.

Myers, F. W. H., _Modern Essays_.


Naville, Ernest, _Le Père Céleste; Le Christ; Le Temoignage du Christ
et l'Unité du Monde Chrétien_.

Neumann, Arno, _Jesus_.

Newman, F. W., _The Soul: Its Sorrows and Aspirations; Phases of Faith_.

Nolloth, C. F., _The Person of our Lord and Recent Thought_.


Oxenham, H. N., _Essays Ethical and Religious_.

_Oxford House Tracts_.


Palmer, W. S., _An Agnostic's Progress; The Church and Modern Men_.

Peile, J. H. F., _The Reproach of the Gospel_.

Pfannmüller, Gustav, _Jesus im Urteil der Jahrhunderte_.

{262}

Picard, L'Abbé, _Christianity or Agnosticism?; La Transcendance de
Jésus Christ_.

Picton, J. Allanson, _The Religion of the Universe; Pantheism: Its
Story and Significance_.

Plumptre, E. H., _Christ and Christendom_.

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Pringle-Pattison, A. Seth, _Man's Place in the Cosmos_.


Reade, Winwood, _The Martyrdom of Man; The Outcast_.

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Renesse, _Jesus Christ and His Apostles and Disciples in the Twentieth
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Robinson, O. H., _Human Nature a Revelation of the Divine; Studies in
the Character of Christ_.

Romanes, G. J., _Thoughts on Religion_.


Sabatier, A., _The Religions of Authority and the Religion of the
Spirit_.

Sanday, W., _Life of Christ in Recent Research_.

Savage, M. J., _Religion for To-day; The Life Beyond_.

Schmiedel, P. W., _Jesus and Modern Criticism_.

Seaver, R. W., _To Christ through Criticism_.

_Secularist's Manual_.

Seeley, J. R., _Ecce Homo; Natural Religion_.

Sen, Keshub Chunder, India asks, _Who is Christ_?

Sheldon, H. O., _Unbelief in the Nineteenth Century_.

Simpson, P. Carnegie, _The Fact of Christ_.

Smith, Goldwin, _Guesses at the Riddle of Existence; Lectures on the
Study of History; The founder of Christianity_.

Smyth, Newman, _Old Faiths in New Light_.

Stanley, A. P., 'Theology of the Nineteenth Century' (in _Essays on
Church and State_); _Christian Institutions_.

{263}

Stephen, J. Fitzjames, 'The Unknowable and Unknown' (_Nineteenth
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Stephen, Leslie, _An Agnostic's Apology; English Thought in the
Eighteenth Century_.

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Swift, Dean, _The Abolishing of Christianity_.


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Tulloch, J., _Modern Theories in Theology and Philosophy; Movements of
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Van Dyke, H., _The Gospel for an Age of Doubt; The Gospel for a World
of Sin_.

Vivian, Philip, _The Churches and Modern Thought_.

Voysey, C., _Religion for All Mankind_.


Wace, H., _Christianity and Morality_.

Wallace, Alfred Russel, _Man's Place in the Universe_.

Warschauer, J., _The New Evangel; Jesus: Seven Questions; Anti-Nunquam;
Jesus or Christ?_

Watkinson, W. L., _Influence of Scepticism on Character_.

Weinel, H., _Jesus im Nevmzehnten Jahrhundert_.

Welsh, R. E., _In Relief of Doubt_.

Wells, H. G., _First and Last Things, A Confession of Faith and Rule of
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Wilson, J. M., _Problems of Religion and Science_.

Wimmer, R., _My Struggle for Light_.

Wordsworth, John, Bishop, _The One Religion_.


Young, John, _The Christ of History_.



{265}

INDEX


Abbott, Edwin A., 117.

Alexander, Archbishop, 256.

Amiel, H. F., 55.

Anthropomorphism, 65, 68, 82.

Arnold, Matthew, 208.


'Back to Christ,' 212.

Balfour, A. J., 244.

Bartlett, R. E., 161.

Besant, Mrs., 197.

Blatchford, Robert, 7, 20, 221.

Browning, Robert, 65, 200.

Buchanan, Robert, 253.

Butler, Bishop, 10, 139.


Caird, Principal, 112.

Calendar, Positivist, 108.

_Caliban upon Setebos_, 65.

Carey, Vivian, 6, 26.

Chesterton, G. K., 113.

Christ the only Way, 129, 207.

---- the substance of Christianity, 173.

Christianity, influence of, 24, 28.

---- misrepresentation of, 18, 223.

Christians, inconsistency of, 16, 19, 213, 222, 253.

_Christmas Eve_, 200.

Church, Dean, 9.

Clifford, W. K., 103.

Cobbe, Frances Power, 144, 149.

Coit, Dr. Stanton, 41.

Comte, Auguste, 103.

Congreve, Richard, 115, 242.

Conway, Moncure D., 8.

Cowper, William, 78.

Criticism, 173.


Deism, 139, 143, 164, 236, 240.

De Vere, Aubrey, 101.


Eliot, George, 56, 208.

Enemies, witness of, 177.


Fénelon, 78.

Fiske, John, 100.


Gilder, R. W., 252.

Gore, Bishop, 136, 236.

Great Being of Positivism, 106, 112, 114.


Haeckel, 71.

Harrison, Frederic, 84, 96, 102, 108, 110, 237, 238.

Hughes, Hugh Price, 223.

Humanity, Christ, the Ideal of, 118.

---- Religion of, 93, 103, 105, 237, 238, 242.

Huntingdon, Bishop, 250.


Immortality, denial of, 54, 60, 254.

Impeachments of Christianity, 12, 249.

Incarnation, 48, 96.


Jefferies, Richard, 73.


Law, William, 78.

Lefèvre, A., 188.


Macpherson, Hector, 251.

Man, 93.

Martineau, Harriet, 220.

---- James, 227.

Material Progress, 255, 256.

Matheson, George, 224.

Mediation, 157.

Menzies, P. S., 233, 234.

Mill, John Stuart, 208.

Montaigne, 23.

Morality and Religion, 33, 39, 146, 229, 230.

---- Religion without, 34.

Mozoomdar, P. C., 196.

Myers, F. W. H., 56.


Newman, F. W., 144, 247.

Nietzsche, 220.


Pantheism, 65, 81, 233, 234, 236.

Personality of God, 44, 70, 147, 233.

Picton, J. Allanson, 87.

Pope, Alexander, 78.

Positivism, 93, 103, 211.

Prayer, 43.


Reade, Winwood, 5, 120, 249.

Renan, E., 192.

Roberts, W. Page-, Dean, 112.

Robertson, Frederick William, 118, 228.


Sabatier, A., 158.

Schleiermacher, 77.

Schmiedel, P. W., 184.

Shelley, 13, 98.

Sin, Sense of, 86.

Smith, Goldwin, 226, 255.

Spencer, Herbert, 71.

Spinoza, 76.

Stanley, Dean, 77.

Stephen, Sir J. F., 50, 58, 238.

---- Sir Leslie, 16.

Strauss, D. F., 195.

Swift, Dean, 10, 219.


Tennyson, 60, 79, 212.

'Theism,' 127, 150, 164.

Thomson, James, 78.

Tulloch, John, 246.


Uniqueness of Christ, 199, 252.


Vivian, Philip, 5, 229.

Voltaire, 139, 168.

Voysey, Rev. Charles, 153, 248.


Wallace, Alfred Russel, 100.

Warschauer, J., 159, 203.

Watts, Charles, 7.

Wells, H. G., 189, 254.

Wesley, John, 222.

Wimmer, R., 193.

Woolman, John, 222.

Wordsworth, John, Bishop, 240.

---- William, 79.



  Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty
    at the Edinburgh University Press



The Expositors Library

Cloth, 2/- net each volume.


THE NEW EVANGELISM.                    Prof. HENRY DRUMMOND, F.R.S.E.

THE MIND OF THE MASTER.                Rev. JOHN WATSON, D.D.

THE TEACHING OF JESUS CONCERNING HIMSELF.  Rev. Prof. JAMES STALKER,
D.D.

FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST.                Rev. R. W. DALE, D.D., LL.D.

STUDIES ON THE NEW TESTAMENT.          Prof. F. GODET, D.D.

THE LIFE OF THE MASTER.                Rev. JOHN WATSON, D.D.

STUDIES OF THE PORTRAIT OF CHRIST.--
  Vol. I.                              Rev. GEORGE MATHESON, D.D.

STUDIES OF THE PORTRAIT OF CHRIST.--
  Vol. II.                             Rev. GEORGE MATHESON, D.D.

THE JEWISH TEMPLE AND THE CHRISTIAN
  CHURCH.                              Rev. R. W. DALE, D.D., LL.D.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.                  Rev. R. W. DALE, D.D., LL.D.

THE FACT OF CHRIST.                    Rev. P. CARNEGIE SIMPSON, M.A.

THE CROSS IN MODERN LIFE.              Rev. J. G. GREENHOUGH, M.A.

HEROES AND MARTYRS OF FAITH.           Prof. A. S. PEAKE, D.D.

A GUIDE TO PREACHERS.                  Principal A. E. GARVIE, M.A.,
D.D.

MODERN SUBSTITUTES FOR CHRISTIANITY.   Rev. P. McADAM MUIR, D.D.

EPHESIAN STUDIES.                      Right Rev. H. C. G. MOULE, D.D.

THE UNCHANGING CHRIST.                 Rev. ALEX MCLAREN, D.D., D.LITT.

THE GOD OF THE AMEN.                   Rev. ALEX MCLAREN, D.D., D.LITT.

THE ASCENT THROUGH CHRIST.             Rev. E. GRIFFITH JONES, B.A.

STUDIES ON THE OLD TESTAMENT.          Prof. F. GODET, D.D.


LONDON: HODDER AND STOUGHTON





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