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Title: The Christian Faith Under Modern Searchlights
Author: Johnson, William Hallock
Language: English
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  The Christian Faith Under Modern Searchlights

  _The L. P. Stone Lectures Delivered at Princeton Theological Seminary_

  The Christian Faith Under Modern Searchlights

  By WILLIAM HALLOCK JOHNSON, Ph. D., D.D. _Professor of Greek and New
  Testament Literature in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania_

  With an Introduction by FRANCIS LANDEY PATTON, D.D., LL.D. _President
  Emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary_



  Fleming H. Revell Company


  Copyright, 1916, by FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY

  New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
  Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave.
  Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W.
  London: 21 Paternoster Square
  Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street


  _V. S. F._


It was my good fortune to hear the lectures contained in this volume
when they were given in the Miller Chapel of Princeton Theological
Seminary. The high estimate I then formed of them has since been
enhanced by the reading of the proof-sheets.

Professor Johnson is a well-trained student of philosophy and for some
years has been professionally engaged in the teaching of New Testament
criticism. He may therefore be trusted as a competent judge of the
issues that are raised by anti-Christian thought in the two great fields
of contemporary controversy.

The only view of Christianity worth contending for in any serious way is
that which regards it as a supernatural revelation. The author states
his own position in the first lecture. This position is antagonized by
those who hold a naturalistic or pantheistic view of the world and also
by those who, whatever may be their philosophy, are using the weapons of
historical criticism to discredit miraculous Christianity.

I can imagine that there are two classes of Christians for whom these
lectures will have only a moderate interest: those who are possessed of
a strong and aggressive faith and who are impatient of all discussion
that seems to carry with it the implication that their religious
convictions stand in need of any defense; and those who, by reason of
their easy acquiescence in the conclusions of a minimizing theology,
look upon such discussions as having a tendency to divide the household
of faith and to divert attention from the activities of the Church.

There is, however, I am confident, a large class of men in and out of
the Church who would welcome a clear statement of the case of
Christianity in the light of current debate and to men of this class I
have great pleasure in commending the present volume.

The merit of these lectures consists largely in the fact that the author
takes a comprehensive survey of the latest phases of anti-Christian
thought, that he has a firm hold upon the central and vital questions
involved in the great debate, and that he does not allow himself to be
hampered by dealing needlessly with side issues. He is keen and
penetrating in his criticism of those who belittle the evidence in
support of revealed religion, and generous, sometimes to a fault, in his
appreciation of writers with whose dominant ideas he has but scant
sympathy. Of his learning and logical acumen there is no doubt and his
fairness in controversy is above reproach.

As the title of this volume suggests, we have no reason to fear that the
Christian faith will suffer loss by reason of the fierce light of
criticism which now beats upon it. We must not undervalue learning nor
shrink from a searching scrutiny of our beliefs. The truth of
Christianity is not hard to discover when truth is sought through the
medium of normal vision. But our opponents must remember that when
inquiry is entered upon amid the blinding mists of philosophic
preconception and historic prejudice the best instruments of
investigation will fail to overcome the condition of "low visibility"
which confronts the seeker. The searchlight is of little use in a fog.



A deep unsettlement of belief is characteristic of our age. We prize the
doubt that low kinds and simpler ages existed without; an interrogation
point is held to be the badge of mental superiority. While this
unsettlement is to be deplored when it leads, as it does in so many
cases, to the shipwreck of faith and even of morals, there is yet a
certain exhilaration in living in a critical age. The challenge to
faith, meeting us at every point, rouses from dogmatic slumber and dead
orthodoxy. We realize that the faith which is to survive must be not
simply a traditional faith, but an intelligent faith, sending its roots
down deep into reason and experience, and blossoming upward in the
flowers and fruits of character and of good works. As character receives
its crown in the times of persecution, so perhaps faith may grow
strongest in an age of doubt: it was the doubter among the disciples who
at last made the boldest confession of faith. A restless age may at last
heed the invitation, "Come unto Me; I will give you rest."

These lectures, delivered at Princeton Theological Seminary in February,
1914, under the title of "The Christian Faith in the Light of Modern
Knowledge," have now been revised with the addition of new matter. They
were written in the conviction that what Christianity has most to fear
is ignorance and prejudice and presupposition; that the Christian Faith,
with its motto, "Come and see," welcomes the fullest investigation; and
that every advance in knowledge, whatever temporary perplexities it may
occasion, will in the end reveal more fully the intrinsic excellence of
the Christian religion and establish more firmly its sovereign claim to
be from heaven and not from men.

    W. H. J.

    _Lincoln University, Pa._




  Need of a definition 15

  I. The Christianity of the New Testament Writers 16
     Their emphasis upon the Passion and Resurrection 16
     Their emphasis upon the Person of Christ 20

  II. Primitive Christianity and Pauline Christianity 21
      Was Paul the Founder of Christianity? 21
      Lines of connection between Paul and the Primitive Apostles 22

  III. The Christianity of Jesus and of Paul 26
       Harmony in their Ethical Teaching and in their blending
         of Doctrine with Ethics 27
       The Christological passage, Matthew xi. 25-30: its exegesis
         and its alleged isolation 35
       The Passion narrative in Mark: views of Bousset 41
       Self-authenticating contrasts in the Character of Christ 43

  IV. The Dilemma of Historical Criticism 44
      Jesus as viewed by the Liberal and the Radical Schools 44
      The Dilemma of Liberal Criticism 45
      Lessening Significance of a merely human Jesus 49
      Harnack and von Dobschütz on the "Double Gospel" 53
      The Essence of Christianity 54



  The Darwinian Theory: inferences unfavourable and favourable to
      religion 56
  Evolution and the Copernican Revolution 60

  I. The Method of Evolution: the biological discussion 61
     State of opinion after fifty years of Darwinism 61
     Laws of Variation and Heredity 62
     Weismann's theory of Germinal Selection 63
     Significance of the variety in opinions 65

  II. The Meaning of Evolution: the philosophical discussion 66
      1. Mechanism and Design 66
      In the organic world in general; the fitness of the environment 67
      In the organic world including man 70
      2. Preformation and Epigenesis 73
      Preformation and the infinite regress 74
      The Origin of Life: various theories 75
      The Origin of Man as viewed from different standpoints 78
      The _Generatio Æquivoca_ 80

  III. Theism and Evolution 82
       The causal demand 82
       Theism and the ideas of Continuity and Progress 83
       Religion and scientific advance 85


  The Christian Faith and Psychology

  The Psychology of Religion: its precursors and founders 89

  I. The Psychology of Religious Experience: points emphasized
        in the discussion 92
     1. The normality of religion 92
     2. The power of religion in the individual and in society 96
     3. The need of salvation 100
     4. The way of salvation 102

  II. The Metaphysical Implicates of Religious Experience 105
     1. The Physical Explanation: religion the result of bodily
        conditions; religion and sex 106
     2. The Psychological Explanation: religion and the subconscious 111
     3. The Social Explanation: religion and society 114
     4. The Theistic Infer enc 119
        The Pragmatic Argument for Theism 119
        The Mystical Argument: its strength and its weakness 120
        The Evidence of Christian Experience 122



  The philosophical situation at the opening of the century 125
  Leading representatives of present day philosophy 127

  I. Bergson and Creative Evolution 127
       Creative Evolution a drama in three acts 128
       Features of Bergson's system: the vital impulse 129
       His rejection of Finalism: is it compatible with Theism? 132

  II. Eucken and the Truth of Religion 137
       His critique of Naturalism, of Pragmatism and of Absolutism 138
       Universal Religion and Characteristic Religion 140
       Eucken's relation to Christianity: "Can we still be
         Christians?" 142
       Bergson and Eucken as prophets of a new era 146

  III. Ward and the Realm of Ends 146
       His transition from Pluralism to Theism 147
       His argument for Immortality 152
       Pampsychism and Metempsychosis 153
       Difficulties in the doctrine of Pampsychism 154

  IV. Royce and the Problem of Christianity 155
      Christianity as a Religion of Loyalty 157
      "What is vital in Christianity?" 158
      The Christian ideas of Sin and of Atonement or Grace 159
      The Church as a source of salvation: its origin 161
      Philosophical interest in Christianity and its significance 164



  The Universal Mission of Christianity 165

  I. Christianity and Ancient Religions 165
       The resemblances and their significance 166
       Clemen's "religious-historical" principles 168
       1. The Virgin Birth and its alleged parallels 169
       2. The worship of Christ and the worship of the
          Emperor: origin of the "Kyrios" title 172
       3. Paul and the Mystery Religions 177
       Pauline doctrine of the Sacraments and of dying and
          rising with Christ 180
       The Pauline vocabulary: views of Reitzenstein 185
       Why did Christianity conquer the Roman Empire? 192

  II. Christianity and Modern Religions 193
      The missionary propaganda 194
      Dangers of compromise 195
      The Christian _Plerosis_: the fulfillment of the great
         religious ideas of the race 197



  The value and significance of Biblical Criticism 200
  Relation between the Old Testament and the New Testament 201

  I. The Pauline Epistles 203
     The Tübingen view and later criticism 204
     The Epistle to the Ephesians 204

  II. The Acts of the Apostles 205
      Evidences of trustworthiness 206
      Harnack on the Lukan authorship 208
      Harnack and Koch on the date 210
      Did Luke use Josephus? 213

  III. The Synoptic Problem 216
       The Two-Document theory 217
       Modifications of the theory by the assumption:
         (1) of a larger dependence on oral tradition 219
         (2) of the use of Q by Mark 220
         (3) of different editions of Mark 220
       "Secondary elements" in Mark 221
       Bearing of Harnack's early dating of the Lukan writings 225
       The inter-Synoptic differences 226

  IV. The Johannine Problem 227
      Evidence for Apostolic authorship 228
      Rejection of Apostolic authorship on the assumption:
         (1) that John never lived at Ephesus 230
         (2) that there were two Johns at Ephesus 232
      The partition theory 234
      The internal evidence: style and contents of the Fourth Gospel 234
      Relation to the Synoptic Gospels as supplementary,
         explanatory and independent 236
      Concluding remarks 242


  INDEX 249


What Is the Christian Faith?

If every rational discussion, as Cicero has said, should begin with a
definition, it would be well at the outset to try to answer the question
which forms the title of this lecture. Of the definitions which may be
given of the Christian Faith two may be selected as typical: (1) it is
the faith in the providence and love of God which Jesus exercised and
exemplified; or (2) it is the faith of which Jesus Himself is the
object. In the one case the essence of Christianity will be found in the
simple precepts of the Peasant-Prophet of Galilee, in the other in the
developed Christology of the Apostle Paul.

It is safe to say that the average Christian will not be satisfied with
either of these definitions. He looks to Jesus, it is true, as his
Teacher and Example, but he also trusts Him as his Redeemer and worships
Him as his Lord. The real question at issue is whether original
Christianity, the religion which Jesus taught, was thus inclusive of
doctrine as well as ethics. Does Christianity in its essence include
Christology? The attempt to answer this question will not only introduce
our general theme but will bring us into the heart of it. It will be
convenient to consider in order: I. The Christianity of the New
Testament Writers; II. Primitive Christianity and Pauline Christianity;
III. The Christianity of Jesus and of Paul; and IV. The Dilemma of
Historical Criticism.


The scientific study of the New Testament has brought clearly to light
the individual traits of the various writers, but has shown at the same
time the striking agreement of these writers in their fundamental
conception of the Christian Faith. For those who set forth objectively
the words and ministry of Jesus as well as for those who deal more
explicitly with doctrinal interpretation, the centre of interest lies in
the Person, the Passion and the Resurrection of Christ. It may be well
to illustrate this unity of standpoint, while the fact of it is so
generally conceded that it needs no elaborate proof.

In the Apocalypse the sacrificial expression, "the Lamb," occurs at
least twenty-eight times; and the central figure is that of the Lamb
that was slain but is now seated upon the throne. In the First Epistle
of John, Jesus is described as the propitiation for sin (ii. 2; iv. 10),
and as the Son of God throughout the book. In First Peter the readers
are addressed as those who have been begotten again to a living hope by
the Resurrection (i. 3), and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ
(i. 19). The Epistle to the Hebrews is saturated with the language of
the sacrificial ritual, and describes the priestly work of Christ who
tasted death, put away sin, and ever lives in the heavenly sanctuary to
make intercession. The Christological element is of course very
prominent in Paul's Epistles. According to the Book of Acts, the
Apostles preached Jesus and the Resurrection (iv. 2; xvii. 18, etc.).
The death of Christ, mentioned some thirteen times, the Resurrection,
mentioned or implied twenty times, and the forgiveness of sins,
mentioned in more or less close connection with these eight times,[1]
were the central themes of apostolic preaching, which included in the
case of Peter, an eye-witness, the teaching and mighty words of Jesus
(ii. 22; x. 36-38).

  1: See especially v. 30, 31; x. 39, 40, 43; xiii. 37-39.

In the Gospels it will be found that almost exactly one-third of the
textual material (in the Westcott and Hort edition about eighty out of
the two hundred and forty pages) is taken up with events connected with
the Passion and Resurrection, including the incidents and teachings of
the Passion week. In Luke the proportion is somewhat smaller (some
sixteen out of seventy-three pages) than in the other Gospels; but that
the Passion is equally prominent in the mind of the writer is shown by
the fact that the shadow of it is projected back even to chapter ix.
51, and that in Luke alone the "exodus" at Jerusalem is the theme of
conversation in the Transfiguration scene (ix. 31). Even Mark, showing
least of all, it used to be said, the influence of later theological
reflection, has been called a history of the Passion with an
introduction. As Harnack has said: "The whole work of Mark is so
disposed and composed that death and resurrection appear as the aim of
the entire presentation."[2]

  2: "Aus Wissenschaft und Leben," II, 1911, p. 217.

The centre of interest for the Evangelists as well as for Paul and the
author of Hebrews is Christ and Him crucified, the Passion and
Resurrection. It may be said, though, that the interest of the
Evangelists is a biographical one, an interest in a beloved teacher or
martyred leader, comparable with that of Plato and Xenophon in the last
days and words of Socrates, and not a distinctly theological interest
such as Paul felt in the death of Christ, as intimately connected with
his own experience of redemption from sin.

One answer to this is that the interest of the Evangelists is not merely
in the death but in the resurrection of Jesus. It is worthy also of note
that the author of the Fourth Gospel and First Epistle of John has shown
that, to one New Testament writer at least, description and
interpretation were equally important. John's description of the death
of Christ is as detailed and as objective as that of the other Gospel
writers; yet his interpretation of the Passion as a propitiation for sin
(I John ii. 2; iv. 10) is the same as that of the Apostle Paul. While
John places the words "Lamb of God" in the mouth of the Baptist (i. 29,
36), and uses the expression, "the blood of Jesus his Son who cleanses
us from all sin" (I John i. 7), he never, except possibly in a veiled
way, places the language of sacrifice in the mouth of Jesus Himself.
There is no reason to doubt that the other Evangelists who record the
thrice repeated prediction of the Crucifixion (see Mark viii. 31; ix.
12; x. 33, and parallels) would, equally with John, be interested in its
doctrinal interpretation. Such an interpretation is in fact suggested by
the words of Jesus Himself. At the Last Supper, He brought His death
into connection with the forgiveness of sins, and when He spoke of it as
a "ransom for many"[3] used language which is naturally interpreted in a
sacrificial sense. Luke, it is true, nowhere uses the word "ransom," but
there is no reason to doubt that he shared the Pauline view of the death
of Christ. This is clearly indicated by the expression, "purchased with
his own blood," contained in one of the "we-sections" of Acts (xx. 28),
and in fact by the words of the risen Jesus (Luke xxiv. 46, 47). As the
altar was central in the Old Testament, so, from the standpoint of its
writers, is the Passion in the New Testament.

  3: λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν [lytron anti pollôn]. Mark x. 45; Matt. xx. 28.

It is needless to show in detail that an exalted view of the person of
Christ is with the New Testament writers connected with the central
place which they assign to His death and resurrection. Mark, whose
Christology is thought to be least developed, may be taken as a single
example. In the opening scene of the ministry, as in the Transfiguration
scene, the divine voice says: "Thou art (this is) my beloved Son" (i.
11; ix. 7); and in the closing scene the centurion exclaims, "Truly this
man was the Son of God" (or a son of God, Mark xv. 39). The climax of
the narrative is said to be the confession of Peter, "Thou art the
Christ" (viii. 29); and Jesus alludes to Himself as "the Son," above
prophets and men and angels (xii. 6; xiii. 32). At the trial, in answer
to the solemn question of the high priest, "Art thou the Christ, the Son
of the blessed?" He said, "I am" (xiv. 61-62). Bousset admits that the
three first Gospels differ from the Fourth only in degree,[4] and in his
latest work he says that if the phrase "Son of God" (i. 1), omitted in
many manuscripts of Mark, is really an interpolation, it is a suitable
one as indicating the theme of the book.[5] Wrede even says the Gospel
of Mark belongs in a sense to the history of dogma.[6]

  4: "Was Wissen Wir von Jesus?" 1904, p. 54.

  5: "Kyrios Christos," 1913, p. 70, note 1, and p. 65.

  6: See Schweitzer: "Von Reimarus zu Wrede," p. 336; E. T., "Quest of
  the Historical Jesus," p. 337.

For the writers of the New Testament, leaving out for the present the
question of sources, in spite of differences in time and place and race
and circumstances, and by implication for the various circles of
readers, Jewish, Greek and Roman, whom they addressed, there was but one
kind of Christianity, one gospel of the Kingdom and the Cross and the
Son of God.


It is asserted that the striking unanimity of the New Testament writers
in their view of Christianity is not due to the teaching of Jesus, but
to the powerful influence of the Apostle Paul. The statement is made in
many quarters that not Jesus but Paul was the virtual founder of
Christianity, so far as its central doctrines, its institutions, its
worship of a divine Christ, and its world-wide propaganda are concerned.
In Paul, it is said, the gospel of a simple piety and a pure ethic, the
gospel of Jesus, was so overlaid by the incrustations of dogma that its
true nature was hidden until rediscovered by modern criticism; and it
had thus lost the simplicity that is in Christ. It was Paul himself,
whose missionary labours carried the gospel throughout Europe, that
really preached "another gospel." As Schweitzer, following Kalthoff,
suggests with some irony, there was, under this supposition, "an
immediate declension from and falsification of a pure original
principle" in Christianity, comparable only to the Fall in the moral
history of mankind.[7]

  7: "Von Reimarus zu Wrede," p. 312; E. T., "Quest, etc.," p. 314.

The teaching of the primitive apostles is sometimes declared to be an
intermediate step between the gospel of Jesus and the doctrinal
Christianity of Paul. It is desirable then to compare the Pauline
teaching, first with the teaching of the other apostles and the
Jerusalem church, and then with the teaching of Jesus.

When we examine the historical situation, the lines of connection
between Paul and the primitive apostles and the Jerusalem church are so
many and so strong as practically to negative the supposition of a
fundamental difference between them in their conception of the gospel.

(1) If Luke had written the Fourth Gospel, the case would be different;
but Luke wrote (assuming his authorship of the Third Gospel and the
Acts)[8] the Gospel which contains the Sermon on the Mount and the
parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. When one remembers
that Luke was the intimate companion of Paul and his co-labourer in
missionary work before he wrote his Gospel, that he derived his material
largely from "eye-witnesses of the word," and that afterwards he
recorded the teaching of both Peter and Paul in the Acts, it is clear
that Luke himself saw no essential difference between the Christianity
of the primitive apostles and that of Paul, and it becomes improbable
that such a difference existed.

  8: See Chapter VI.

(2) Paul took with him on his missionary journeys Barnabas and Silas,
accredited leaders and representatives of the primitive Jerusalem church
(Acts xiii. 2f.; xv. 40). Paul's work for years was carried on under the
surveillance of these men, and Barnabas stood sponsor for Paul before
the Jerusalem authorities (Acts xv. 12). The close connection of these
two men with both parties excludes the supposition of any radical
difference in their doctrines.

(3) Paul's Christology was accepted by his Jewish-Christian opponents at
Jerusalem, and never questioned by them. Paul we know to have been
bitterly assailed by a Pharisaic party in the Jerusalem church. They
dogged his steps wherever he went; they impugned his orthodoxy from the
Mosaic standpoint; they called in question his apostleship and his
sincerity. But it is significant that they never assailed as an
innovation the Christological views in which he is supposed to differ
from them. "Certain from James" (Gal. ii. 12), in the bitter polemic
over circumcision, never accused Paul, as they would have done if his
views were different in this respect, of a declension from Jewish
monotheism. Paul doubtless used the name current in Jerusalem when he
spoke, in a context in which he puts Christ above men and above angels
and on an equality with God as a source of grace, of "James, the Lord's
brother" (Gal. i. 3, 12, 19). He used the same titles as did those at
Jerusalem, and a difference in Christological dogma can only be made out
by saying that the names are used in different senses.[9] This is to
admit that the difference discovered by modern critical acumen was so
small as not to be recognized by either party at the time. In Paul's
controversial encounter with Peter, in a context full of the
characteristic Pauline ideas of Justification, of the Cross, of the
indwelling Christ, and of Jesus as the Son of God, Paul appealed to the
essential unity of their Christian faith and experience (Gal. ii.

  9: So Wernle: "Die Anfänge unserer Religion," 2d ed., 1904, p. 177.
  He says that Paul makes of Jesus "an almost new creation," yet uses
  the same titles as the other apostles.

(4) Paul asserts the identity of his gospel with that of the primitive
apostles as well known to his readers. He preached the faith of which he
once made havoc (Gal. i. 23). His gospel of a crucified and risen
Christ, he declares, was "received," not invented (I Cor. xv. 3), was
in accordance with Jewish Scriptures, and the inference is unavoidable
that it was held and taught in common by Peter and James, the Jerusalem
leaders. Both Peter and Paul taught Jesus and the Resurrection (Acts ii.
31; xiii. 34; xvii. 31); and as Harnack says, there is no reason to
doubt the representations of the first chapter of the Acts as to early
apostolic belief.[10]

  10: "Aus Wissenschaft und Leben," II, p. 217. He adds that "herewith
  is the problem (of a 'second gospel' in the New Testament) pushed
  back in time from Paul to the earliest disciples of Jesus."

The Resurrection is emphasized alike in the speeches of Peter in Acts
and in the First Epistle (I Peter i. 3; ii. 24; iii. 21). In Romans the
Resurrection is mentioned seven times (i. 4; iv. 25; vi. 4; vii. 4;
viii. 34; x. 9; xiv. 9), and enters into the warp and woof of Paul's
teaching. The thought of Paul is doubtless more systematic and
constructive, but it is unnatural to believe either that Paul had a
different view of the nature of the Resurrection, or that he drew
doctrinal inferences from it which the other apostles would not
accept.[11] It is hard to see, moreover, how the theory that Paul's
teaching was essentially different from that of the Jerusalem church,
and the theory that Paul profoundly influenced all of the New Testament
writers can consistently be held at the same time.

  11: If Paul taught not a bodily but a "spiritual" resurrection, as
  some interpreters think that his language in I Cor. xv. 50 implies,
  the emphasis upon the supernatural would be greater in the case of
  the primitive church. In his "Historical Evidence for the
  Resurrection of Jesus Christ," 1907, Kirsopp Lake says that the
  affirmation of an empty tomb was made by most early Christians, and
  "almost certainly by St. Paul" (p. 242). He contends, however, that
  the "story of the empty tomb must be fought out on doctrinal, not on
  historical or critical grounds" (p. 253).


A more serious question meets us when we come to the relation of Paul's
teaching to that of Jesus Himself. Behind the writers of the New
Testament and behind the teaching of the apostles, is there not in the
authentic words of Jesus as determined by criticism a simpler gospel of
the love of God and the duty of man, from which Christology and the
doctrines of the Cross are excluded? May we not "lighten the distressed
ship of the gospel" by casting overboard its cargo of doctrine? Harnack
thinks that we may; and in his famous lectures on the "Essence of
Christianity" has set forth the seeming anomaly of the gospel of Christ
with Christology omitted, a gospel which includes only the Father and
not the Son.

The essence of Christianity according to Paul would be contained in the
statements, "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom. v. 8);
"God was in Christ reconciling the world" (2 Cor. v. 19); "He loved me
and gave himself for me" (Gal. ii. 20). Paul's gospel was the gospel of
Christ and Him crucified. The essence of Christianity according to
Harnack consists in the truths of the fatherly love of God and the value
of the individual soul. It is indeed a gospel preached by Christ, but in
the content of its message is the Father only--not the Son.[12] The
contrast thus asserted suggests the need of a closer examination of the
relation of Jesus and Paul.

  12: "The Gospel, as Jesus proclaimed it, has to do with the
  Father only and not with the Son." "Das Wesen des Christentums," 1900,
  p. 91; E. T., "What is Christianity?" p. 154.

Nothing is more striking in the comparison between Jesus and Paul than
the difference in their personality and yet the similarity in their
ethical teaching. Jesus was a Galilean, born in humble circumstances,
belonging to the peasant or working class, a stranger to the training of
the schools, a "layman," and an Oriental in His mode of thought and
expression. Paul was a native of Tarsus, a Greek city which was noted as
the seat of a philosophical school; his father was a man of consequence,
a Roman citizen, who gave his son the best education that the Jewish
schools could afford. He was a typical member of the proudest caste of a
proud nation, proud of his race, of his learning, of his strictness in
religion and his zeal for the Law (Phil. iii. 6), trained in the
refinements of Rabbinical dialectic, but an Occidental in his method of
thought. Yet in ethics Paul stands very near to Jesus. Both emphasized
the same virtues, and these the very virtues most foreign to Paul's
early Græco-Roman environment and his later Pharisaic prejudice. Where
Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," Paul, blameless in the
law, said, "Boasting is excluded. By grace are ye saved" (Rom. iii. 27;
Eph. ii. 5). Where Jesus said, "He that exalteth himself shall be
humbled" (Luke xviii. 14), Paul, the Pharisee, said, "In lowliness of
mind let each esteem other better than themselves" (Phil. ii. 3). Where
Jesus said, "Love your enemies," Paul, the persecutor now the
persecuted, repeated the command so foreign to the moral ideals of his
time (Rom. xii. 20). Both taught that in the command to love one's
neighbour was a summary of the moral law (Rom. xiii. 10; Matt. xxii. 38,

Paul's great ethical passages, such as Romans xii. and I Corinthians
xiii., are but republications in Pauline language of the Sermon on the
Mount. In moral teaching Jesus and Paul are at one, although there can
be no doubt which was the originator of the Christian philosophy of
life. Jesus whose code was but the transcript of His character is the
original; and Paul, conformed in thought and spirit to the image of
Jesus, was the echo.

But Paul's moral teaching was by no means merely an echo or reminiscence
of the ethics of Jesus; it was organically connected with his own
doctrinal teaching. In Paul's letters there is usually an ethical
section, but this is preceded by a didactic or doctrinal section.
Doctrine with him, in the words of Phillips Brooks, was the "child of
faith and the mother of duty." Admittedly his doctrine is used to
enforce and to inspire his ethics. A high Christology--"Christ also
pleased not himself" (Rom. xv. 3)--enforces the appeal not to please
oneself. The Incarnation is the supreme example of generosity to the
poor, and the death upon the Cross of lowliness of mind and obedience (2
Cor. viii. 9; Phil. ii. 5-8). His own sacrifice for our sins grounds the
plea for a life of unselfishness (2 Cor. v. 14, 15; Rom. xii. 1). We
should walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us (Eph. v.
2); and should walk in newness of life, as Christ was raised from the
dead by the glory of the Father (Rom. vi. 4). Doctrine with Paul and
ethics in its solemn sanctions and its inspiring motivation are
inextricably intertwined. Paul's doctrine about the person of Christ and
His death and resurrection can be disentangled from his ethical teaching
as little as it can from his experience. Certainly the doctrine was no
alien or extraneous element in Paul's system, and certainly it
strengthened rather than weakened his ethical appeal.

Is there a similar blending of ethics and doctrine in the teaching of
Jesus? For the gospel of Jesus in its purity we must, according to a
popular school of criticism, go back of the Fourth Gospel to the
Synoptics, and back of these to their sources, practically to Mark and
to the source called Q (Quelle), or the Logia, representing the
non-Markan agreements of Matthew and Luke. Even in these sources, it is
often maintained, caution must be used, and foreign elements must be
eliminated. Let us see, then, whether there is such a mingling of the
ethical and the Christological in the authentic teaching of Jesus as we
have noticed in that of Paul. The Sermon on the Mount, the words to the
disciples after the confession of Peter (Mark viii. 34-38), and the
teaching on true greatness (Mark x. 42-45), may be taken as typical
examples of Jesus' ethical teaching. In these passages are not merely
disconnected maxims, but an ethical system, containing a profound and,
as we may say, fully thought out philosophy of life, in which the
religious and ethical elements are organically united.

The Beatitudes begin with passive virtue, humility, meekness, longing
for righteousness; they pass on to the possession of righteousness and
purity of heart; ascend to works of active benevolence; and culminate in
a character so positive and pronounced in goodness as to excite
opposition from the forces of evil. At least one element in the
consciousness of Jesus as He spoke these words may be compared with the
Christological standpoint of Paul. The impression which His teaching
made upon His hearers is summed up in the words: "He taught them as one
having authority" (Matt. vii. 29). If we seek to analyze this authority,
we find it to be, first, the authority of perfect moral insight. A flaw
discovered in the character of a teacher easily neutralizes the force of
his moral appeal. The ethic of Jesus is not merely a system of rules,
but the blending of a code which has guided human progress and a
character in which men have found their supreme ideal of moral
excellence. His sureness of touch, His clearness of moral insight, His
transparent beauty of character, betray a consciousness unique among
men. The verdict of mankind as they have studied the character of Jesus,
and studied themselves in the light of it, is that that character is as
much a miracle in the moral sphere,--that is, opposed to a uniform
experience--as is the birth from a virgin, for example, in the physical
sphere. The consciousness of Jesus, at the very least, must have been
profoundly influenced by the fact, assuming it to be a fact, that He
alone among the children of men did perfectly the will of the Father.

The authority of Jesus, again, was that of a lawgiver from whose words
there could be no appeal. His words superseded all previous legislation,
in the sense of completing it, and all current interpretation. The
imperial "I say unto you" implied the power, not simply of judicial
interpretation, but of repealing old laws and enacting new ones. Nor was
His teaching in His own conception of it a mere phase, albeit the
highest at the time, of moral development. His legislation was final,
and never to be superseded; and obedience to it, or neglect of it, was
to be the decisive factor in human welfare and destiny (Matt. vii.

But the authority of Jesus was not merely that of a lawgiver. He
inaugurated the Kingdom whose coming He proclaimed and whose laws He
formulated, and He is to be the final judge of the worthiness of its
members. These members were not merely pious Jews in general or John's
disciples, but were His disciples. They were the light of the world
because they were His disciples, and the crowning element in their
character was endurance of persecution for His sake (Matt. v. 11, "for
my sake"; Luke vi. 22, "for the Son of man's sake"). His teaching
instead of pointing away from Himself to God, in the spirit of the other
wisest teachers of men, pointed to Himself as the One by whom fully and
finally God's will and purpose were to be made known. He plainly taught
or clearly implied that men's relations to Himself as Teacher, Lord,
Lawgiver and Judge, were supremely important for human destiny (Matt.
vii. 21-24).

No words in the ethical-religious message of Jesus are more striking in
form and thought, and no others have more deeply impressed the minds of
men, than those in which He asserted that the value of the soul
outweighs all earthly good: "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain
the whole world and lose his own soul?" These words, says Eucken, have
given the soul a history. In the startling paradox in the context, "He
that saveth his life shall lose it," we have the saying of Jesus most
often repeated in the Gospels, occurring six times, and assigned to four
different occasions (Mark viii. 35; Matt. x. 39; xvi. 25; Luke ix. 24;
xvii. 33; John xii. 25).

The study of these sayings in their context (Mark viii. 34-38 and
parallels) shows that the thought which was uppermost in the mind of
Jesus, and in fact dominated at this point the ethical teaching, was
precisely that of His own person and death and resurrection. His
question to Peter, "Whom say ye that I am?" (Mark viii. 29) shows that
He was dissatisfied with the title of prophet given Him by others, and
that He would draw from the disciples a confession that they had come to
hold a higher view of His mission. When Peter, according to the
accounts in Mark and Matthew, refused to accept the prediction of His
death, He showed that it was necessary for all His disciples to take up
the cross and follow Him. The goal of life is to be reached only by
those who follow Him in spirit in His death and resurrection, and
confess Him before men. The losing of the highest in life is for those
who are ashamed of Him in this generation. The destiny of men hinges
upon their relation to Himself. The connection between the most
oft-repeated and self-authenticating maxims of Jesus and His own person,
death, and resurrection is as clear and organic as the connection
between the ethical and doctrinal, or Christological, teaching of Paul.

It remains to consider the passage (Mark x. 42-45; Matt. xx. 25-28) on
true greatness and service. Here we have a characteristic teaching of
Jesus cutting athwart the ordinary opinion of mankind. But the maxim,
"Whosoever would become great among you," is connected with Himself as
the example of true greatness. He, the teacher and example of humility,
refers to Himself as the supreme illustration of true greatness. His
death is the supreme expression of self-sacrifice for the good of
others, and in it by implication is the highest service done to
man.[13] Ethics and doctrine about Himself and His death are as
inextricably blended in this saying of Jesus as in Paul's statement,
"Though he was rich yet for your sakes became poor," or John's, "He laid
down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the
brethren" (2 Cor. viii. 9; I John iii. 16). In His deepest ethical
teaching Jesus points not away from Himself, as do other moral teachers.
His words in the Synoptics are not essentially different from those in
John: "If I your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you ought also
to wash one another's feet" (xiii. 14).

  13: Recent exegesis finds a Pauline meaning in the words whether it
  refers them to Jesus or to the influence of Paul. Plummer
  ("Matthew," p. 280) says: "'The Son of Man came' implies the
  preëxistence of the Son; it is not merely a synonym for being born."
  (Cf. John xviii. 37.) In the use of the word λύτρον [lytron], Bacon
  thinks that, "here and in xiv. 24 Mark goes beyond Paul's careful
  use of language" ("Beginnings of Gospel Story," p. 149). Bousset, on
  the other hand, emphasizing "the many," thinks that Paul was the
  first to give the full reach to the thought. (_Op. cit._, p. 2.)
  According to Wendling, in Mark x. 45, the fully developed Pauline
  doctrine of the ἀπολύτρωσις [apolytrôsis] (Rom. iii. 23 ff.) is
  crystallized into an aphorism and put into the mouth of Jesus; "The
  Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, etc." (See Sanday's
  "Oxford Studies," p. 399.)

The Christology of Jesus finds expression in the familiar words in
Matthew xi. 25-30 (Luke x. 21, 22): "All things have been delivered unto
me of my Father, etc." These words are often spoken of as the climax of
His self-revelation in the Synoptic Gospels, and modern criticism unites
with Christian devotion in recognizing their importance. The conviction
is growing that the words, as they stand in all the Greek texts, cannot
have been the utterance of a merely human Jesus, the pattern of
truthfulness and the example of humility.

A few examples will show the trend of recent interpretation. Plummer
thinks that the self-revelation of Jesus in the expression, "All things
were delivered unto Me, etc.," "contains the whole of the Christology of
the Fourth Gospel;"[14] and he believes that the aorist verb "points
back to a moment in eternity, and implies the preëxistence of the

  14: "Commentary on St. Luke," 1900, p. 282.

  15: "Commentary on St. Matthew," 1910, p. 168.

Critical acumen, says Lemme, may seek to empty the saying of its
content, but "there remains the exclusiveness of the mediatorial work of
Jesus for the totality of mankind, there remains the absolute uniqueness
of His redemption, there remains His lonely elevation above the entire
realm of the human, there remains His unique fellowship of life with the
Father, which enabled Him, and Him alone, to know God adequately, or,
what is the same thing, to reveal the truth. We must take our choice:
such an utterance is either the delirium of a reckless self-exaltation,
or the appropriate testimony of a divine Being demanding unreserved

  16: "Jesu Irrtumlosigkeit," 1907, pp. 7, 8.

The logion has been made the subject of an exhaustive monograph by
Schumacher, who concludes that the reciprocal knowledge of the Father
and the Son implies the consciousness of divine Sonship in a full
metaphysical sense.[17]

  17: "Die Selbstoffenbarung Jesu bei Mat 11, 27 (Luc 10, 22),"
   1912, ("Freiburger Theologische Studien," Heft. 6), pp. 202, 219, etc.

In his lectures on the "Essence of Christianity," Harnack takes the text
as it stands, but, ignoring the implications of reciprocal knowledge,
says: "The consciousness he possessed of being the Son of God is,
therefore, nothing but the practical consequence of knowing God as the
Father and as His Father. Rightly understood, the name of Son means
nothing but the knowledge of God."[18] In his critique of Harnack, Loisy
objects to this interpretation as being "artificial and
superficial,"[19] and says: "Obviously the text indicates a
transcendental relationship, whence springs the lofty dignity of Christ,
and not a psychological reality, which in regard to God is clearly
impossible. Father and Son are not here simply religious terms, but have
already become metaphysical theological expressions, and dogmatic
speculation has been able to take possession of them, without much
modification of their sense."[20] Loisy takes the meaning as
fundamentally the same as John i. 18, and cannot accept it in the form
we have it as a genuine word of Jesus.[21]

  18: "Das Wesen des Christentums," p. 81; "What is
  Christianity?" p. 138.

  19: "L'Évangile et L'Église," 1904, p. 82; E. T., "The Gospel and
  the Church," p. 97.

  20: "L'Évangile et L'Église," 1904, p. 78; E. T., p. 94.

  21: "L'Évangile et L'Église," 1904, p. 80; E. T., pp. 96, 97.

In his "Sayings of Jesus," Harnack omits from the text, on what seem to
be slender grounds, the first clause of the parallel, "No one knoweth
the Son but the Father."[22] He candidly admits, however, that if the
text stands no fair exegesis can prevent a Christological reference. It
must mean "a relationship of Father and Son which never had a beginning,
but remains ever the same." "We cannot by any method of interpretation
make it much less metaphysical."[23]

  22: Preferring the indirect evidence of the patristic quotations,
  itself divided, to the direct evidence of the Greek manuscripts.

  23: "Sprüche und Reden Jesu," 1907, pp. 210, 211; E. T., "The
  Sayings of Jesus," 1908, p. 302.

Bousset, who in his "Jesus" (1904) accepted the utterance as spoken by
Jesus,[24] now sees in it the expression of a high Christology. He
believes, against Harnack, that the expression, "All things have been
delivered to me," refers to power, not simply to knowledge; and,
retaining both clauses expressing reciprocal knowledge of the Father and
the Son, he finds in this "majestic self-testimony" in its present form
the work of the Church.[25]

  24: "Jesus," p. 89.

  25: "Kyrios Christos," 1913, pp. 58, 60, 62.

We may speak, then, of a consensus of opinion in the recent
interpretation of this saying of Jesus. When we remember that the
verbal resemblance between Matthew xi. 25-27 and Luke x. 21, 22 is
remarkably close, and that the saying thus belongs to the earliest
strata of Gospel tradition, that is, to the conjectural "Q," it is
significant that the minute examination to which it has been subjected
has convinced critics of different dogmatic standpoints that they can
only interpret it in a high Christological sense. It is agreed that the
words as they stand imply the preëxistence of the Messiah, a relation
which can properly be called "metaphysical" between the Father and the
Son, and a unique relation to men as the only bearer of the full
revelation of God. The saying, often called an "aerolite from the
Johannine heavens" (Hase), contains in a nutshell, if taken with verses
28-30, the teaching of the fourteenth chapter of John, revealing Jesus
in similar relation alike to God and to men, and as supplying all the
deepest needs of men. Sanday has even said that "we might describe the
teaching of the Fourth Gospel as a series of variations upon the one
theme which has its classical expression in a verse of the Synoptics.
'All things have been delivered unto me, etc'"[26]

  26: "Criticism of the New Testament," 1902, by various authors, pp.
  16, 17.

It has been argued that the saying of Jesus, Johannine in style and
substance, is so isolated in the Synoptic narrative that, in spite of
its secure position in the sources, doubts of its genuineness must
arise. Bousset employs this argument, remarking that the thoughts of our
logion "in the remaining Synoptic tradition are scarcely found at
all."[27] It is noticeable, however, that the isolation is established
only by cutting away a large portion of the Synoptic material. The
parable of the Vineyard, in which Jesus speaks of Himself as a beloved
son, the heir (Mark xii. 6, 7), is objected to because "never thus did
Jesus elsewhere in His parables force His person into the
foreground."[28] The Markan saying in which Jesus distinguishes Himself,
as Son, from men and angels (xiii. 32) is set aside;[29] the filial
consciousness implied in the repeated use by Jesus of the expressions,
"My Father," "your Father," "the Father," but never "our Father," is
attributed to later theological reflection,[30] and the narratives of
the divine voice at the Baptism and the Transfiguration are discredited.
Similarly the incidental claims which Jesus makes for Himself in
forgiving sin, in speaking of Himself as the "Bridegroom," the Physician
who came to cure the moral ills of men, and as Lord of the Sabbath, are
all referred to secondary strata of tradition or to dogmatic overworking
of the facts.[31]

  27: "Kyrios Christos," p. 61.

  28: _Ibid._, p. 51.

  29: _Ibid._, p. 52.

  30: _Ibid._, p. 64.

  31: _Ibid._, pp. 48, 49.

So drastic is the process by which Bousset attempts to reduce the
consciousness of Jesus to a purely human level that he even rejects the
major part of the narrative of the Trial and Crucifixion. Whatever
differences there may be in detail, there is no room for doubt that the
charge upon which Jesus was put to death is correctly given by John. "We
have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the
Son of God" (John xix. 7). We may believe that the result would have
been different if for one moment He had disclaimed divine prerogatives,
and said, "I am of thy brethren the prophets: worship God."

If it be denied that Jesus made these claims before and at His trial,
the cause of His death is unknown. This is admitted by Bousset, who
rejects the whole account of the trial, including the question of
Pilate, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" (Mark xv. 2), and the title on
the cross, retaining only the accusation that He said "I will destroy
this temple" (Mark xiv. 58; xv. 29). Apart from this concrete
accusation, not in itself sufficient, because not blasphemy "in the
strict juristic sense of the word," it is admitted that "we cannot say
any more with exactness why Jesus was condemned by Pilate."[32] In the
answer of Jesus to the high priest, telling of the Son of Man "sitting
at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven," it
is said that "we hear directly the Christian confession, 'seated on the
right hand of God, from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the
dead.'"[33] It is to be noted that these passages, implying in Bousset's
opinion the substitution of the "day" of Jesus for the Old Testament
"day of Jahweh,"[34] and implying the metaphysics of the creeds, are to
be found in Mark, not in John, and in the narrative of the trial of
Jesus, not in that of His resurrection.

  32: "Kyrios Christos," pp. 54 note, 56.

  33: _Ibid._, p. 55.

  34: _Ibid._, p. 12.

The "isolation" of the great passage in Matthew and Luke, as to its
essential content, is thus made out only by a thoroughgoing process of
elimination running through the whole story of the Gospels. Every page
of the Gospels testifies, in fact, to Jesus' consciousness of a unique
relation to God and to men; and an examination of His teaching in
whatever part or whatever context confirms the judgment of von Dobschütz
that "Jesus implicitly stands everywhere in the centre of His gospel.
The 'I am He,' which is recognized as the leading motive of the Fourth
Gospel, runs through all His words also in the Synoptics."[35] The
self-revelation of Jesus and the great invitation of Matthew xi. 25-30
may be the climax of Synoptic teaching as to the relation of Jesus
alike to the Father and to mankind (unless the words of the risen
Christ, Matt. xxviii. 18-20, are so regarded), but the passage is no
alien or intrusive element in its context. If it is the high point of
Synoptic teaching, it is the capstone of a pyramid firmly and broadly
supported by the whole Synoptic narrative.

  35: "Gibt es ein doppeltes Evangelium in N. T.?" _Theol. Studien u.
  Kritiken_, 85 (1912), p. 350.

Carlyle has said that the greatness of a character is measured by the
contrasts it exhibits. The words of Jesus we have been studying, taken
in their entirety and in their context, show the contrasts between
knowledge and humility, between power and humility, and, when the woes
on the cities are contrasted with the invitation, "Come unto me,"
between sternness and tenderness. When Socrates was told by the oracle
that he was the wisest of men, he was in perplexity for a time, but
finally decided that he was wise because he recognized his own
ignorance. In His knowledge of the Father and in the mystery of His own
person, Jesus places Himself on an equality with God. Yet this knowledge
did not "puff up." There was no need with Jesus as with Peter for the
moment of spiritual insight to be followed by a rebuke for presumption;
nor did He need like Paul, because of the greatness of the revelation,
to have the thorn in the flesh lest He be exalted above measure. These
contrasts, not found in any other historical character, are a
self-authenticating feature of the words of Jesus. All of His actions,
in fact, and all of His attitudes towards men, whether they were friends
or foes, and all His words, whether of compassion, forgiveness, warning
or indignation, were those of a "Prince and a Saviour," a Prince in
majesty and power and a Saviour in pity. Both deeds and words showed
that union of qualities which it would be impossible to invent, "the
self-assertion of the great example of humility."


An indirect evidence of transcendent elements in the consciousness of
Jesus, and of the essential harmony between His teaching and that of
Paul, is furnished by the increasingly skeptical tendency of liberal
criticism and the complete skepticism in which that criticism has
culminated. We must discount, say the extreme Liberal critics in effect,
the Ascension and Resurrection narratives, because they were written
under the belief that Jesus was the exalted Son of God. We must discount
the Passion narrative because dominated by the belief that Jesus was and
claimed to be the Messiah; we must discount the miracles, and must take
from the Gospel page everything that indicates that Jesus claimed divine
prerogatives, or Messianic honours, or used titles such as "the Christ,"
"the Son of God," "Lord," or even "the Son of Man," because these betray
the dogmatic views of the Church. But why not go further with the
"mythical" school and discount the whole narrative because written under
the prepossession that Jesus was an historical character? If the faith
of the Church--"the enemy of history"--has been able to create those
features in the portrait of Christ which have been regarded as
significant for religion during the ages of Christendom, why cannot its
creative activity have extended to the historical foundation? Why could
it not have created its portrait of Jesus out of nothing, or at least
out of the social strivings and religious needs and practices of a
syncretic age?

The mythical hypothesis, it is clear, is not a mere eccentricity of
criticism. It is more than an effort of youthful audacity in scholarship
striving to gain public attention. It is the natural, if not the
inevitable, outcome of the direction in which criticism, discarding more
and more of the Gospel narrative, and deserting more and more, it may be
said, the sure ground of historical evidence, has been moving. The
method of a progressive reduction of the sources and elimination of
unacceptable material has been only pushed by the Radicals to an
extreme. The Radicals, avowedly basing themselves on the Liberals,
contend that the latter have stopped at an untenable half-way position.
Thus Drews says that since the days of Strauss doubts of the historical
existence of Jesus have never been lulled to rest;[36] and Reinach,
avoiding Drews' extreme, yet declares that "it is contrary to every
sound method to compose, as Renan did, a life of Jesus, eliminating the
marvellous elements of the Gospel story. It is no more possible to make
real history with myths than to make bread with the pollen of
flowers."[37] It was thought that an irreducible minimum had been
reached in Schmiedel's famous nine "foundation-pillars" for a scientific
life of Christ,[38] but even these are shattered by the modern critical

  36: "The Christ-Myth," p. 7.

  37: "Orpheus" (E. T.), p. 231.

  38: Encycl. Bibl., art., "Gospels," sec. 139.

  39: Bousset, _op. cit._, will not admit that we have the actual
  words of Jesus in Mark xiii. 32 (p. 52), in Matt. xi. 5 (p. 71, note
  3), in Matt. xii. 32 (p. 9), in Mark xv. 34 (p. 87), or in viii.
  14-20 (p. 82).

When Schmiedel finds the bed-rock of historical truth in a few
expressions or incidents which run counter to the general intention of
the Gospel writers, it is open to W. B. Smith to base an elaborate
argument upon a single phrase or even word "the things concerning
Jesus," or "the Jesus," Acts xviii. 25; xxviii. 21, etc., in favour of a
pre-Christian Jesus-cult.[40] And when Bousset with the Gospels before
him confesses that we cannot know certainly why Jesus was put to death,
it is open for Frazer and Reinach to transform the Crucifixion into a
sort of Haman-and-Mordecai play;[41] or even for J. M. Robertson,
criticizing Frazer, to say that the capital error of the latter is in
the postulate that Jesus existed at all.[42] It must be confessed that
there is a facile descent from the "reduced Christianity" of the extreme
Liberals to the _reductio ad absurdum_ of the Radicals, and that the
difference between them is often one of degree rather than of principle.
The astringents used to remove the brilliant colours of miracle and
transcendence have proved so strong as to destroy the portrait they were
intended to restore. By proposing the dilemma, A miraculous Christ or a
mythical Christ, the Radicals have shown the difficulty of drawing the
picture of an historical Jesus from which the transcendent elements have
been removed. It should be noticed further that the "historical" Jesus
who is left has a diminishing importance for religion, and even for
ethics. When Jesus is reduced to the level of mere humanity, that
humanity is apt to be of an inferior order. He accepts the title and
rôle of Messiah unwillingly, as a burden and under compulsion from His
followers, or under the strong delusion that, defeated in His earthly
mission, He would immediately come in glory. In either case there is an
element of weakness, whether intellectual or moral, in His character; He
cannot be the supreme example and moral leader of humanity. Or else,
relieved of the Messianic burden in the imagination of the critic, He
becomes a "warrior for the truth,"[43] a sort of Galilean Socrates, the
wisest and best of men, but with no clear outlines in His personality
and no distinctive traits in His message.

  40: "Der Vorchristliche Jesus," 1906, Chapter I.

  41: "Golden Bough," 2d ed. (1900), III, pp. 187 ff.; "Orpheus" (E.
  T.), pp. 229 ff. It is interesting to note that Frazer's section on
  the death of Christ has in the third edition, 1910-1914, been placed
  in an appendix, with the remark: "The hypothesis which it sets forth
  has not been confirmed by subsequent research and is admittedly in a
  high degree speculative and uncertain." (Part VI, "The Scapegoat,"
  p. 412, note 1.)

  42: "Pagan Christs," 1903, pp. 138, 139.

  43: Bousset, _op. cit._, p. 90.

Whether the Founder of the Christian religion be pictured as "merely a
pious preacher of morality in the sense of present day liberalism,"[44]
or a "psychopathic anomaly," obsessed with the idea that He was the
Messiah, the picture is not convincing to the historian any more than it
is consoling to the Christian. In neither picture can the Christ of the
Gospels or the Christ of Christian experience be recognized. Matters are
not mended when extremes meet, and Jesus is pictured as at once the
sunny and serene Galilean pietist, and the rapt ecstatic obsessed by the
thought of His own immediate and glorious return--a deluded enthusiast
who saw life steadily and saw it whole. If the representation is not
that of a moral or mental weakling, below the level of the normal in
clearness of outlook upon life or in sincerity and decision of
character, we are left with a largely imaginary figure, from which most
of the concrete features have been removed. We do not know what manner
of man He was, nor, it must be acknowledged, does it matter very much
for religion whether He was at all; for with the increasing vagueness in
the historical portrait of Jesus, there comes inevitably a weakening of
His influence as a teacher whether of religion or morals.

  44: Drews, _op. cit._, p. 15.

His gospel, in the first place, was never intended to become universal,
since the Gentile mission is attributed to the influence of later
ecclesiastical ideas. But is not the content of Jesus' religious
teaching, the Fatherhood of God and the value of the soul, unaffected by
any views which are held as to His Person? Tendencies are observable in
modern thought which are not reassuring upon this point; and, in fact,
the history of thought shows that theism, apart from the support of
Christian doctrine, is apt to pass into a pantheistic mysticism or a
semi-deistic naturalism. The Fatherhood of God may be regarded as too
anthropomorphic a conception, and a semi-pantheistic "all-Father" may be
substituted for the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Strauss,
while he is the classical example, is not alone in this passage from
Liberal Christianity to a more complete skepticism which gives up
theistic belief. It is not surprising that in certain circles the
expression "Christian pantheism" is now heard, and that a sympathetic
attitude towards pantheism should be shown by the Liberal critic. Thus
J. Weiss says: "Pantheism may, indeed, have its limitations and defects,
yet, without doubt, it lies very near to our time, inspired as it is by
both scientific and artistic ideas. Why should we not recognize this
form of religious life alongside of other forms, in case it finds vital
expression in emotion and action?"[45]

  45: "Significance of Paul for Modern Christianity," _American
  Journal of Theology_, July, 1913, p. 358.

On the other hand, the theistic content of Jesus' teaching is
immeasurably strengthened when enforced by His divine authority, and
read in the light of His Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection. As Drews
remarks: "The chief obstacle to a monistic religion and attitude is the
belief irreconcilable with reason or history, in the historical reality
of a 'unique,' ideal, and unsurpassable redeemer."[46] Certainly the
assurance that God is a loving Father and that we are His children, said
to be the essence of Christianity, is wonderfully safeguarded and
buttressed by the doctrines, or facts, of an Incarnate, Crucified, and
Risen Christ.

  46: "The Christ-Myth," p. 300.

Whatever happens to the Christian doctrines and the Christian history,
many will declare that the ethical teaching of Jesus will remain, and
will continue to exercise its empire over the lives of men. But such an
inference finds little support in present conditions. An aggressive
militarism maintains that each nation should be free to develop its own
religious ideas, and chides Strauss with half-way measures in holding to
Christian ethics while discarding Christian doctrines and miracles. A
militant feminism which objects to the marriage service, and a militant
socialism which sees in the family the main support of the right of
private property, will not, if they have their way, leave the marriage
relation unaffected. Jesus taught, we are reminded, in a pre-scientific
and a pre-Darwinian age. His teaching, in fact, whatever its
acknowledged excellence and importance, was but a phase, and that not
the final phase, of moral evolution. His teaching, as many hold, was
only an _Interimsethik_, not intended to be the norm for all men and all
time. There is no assurance that even the character of Christ will
remain undimmed in splendour, and undiminished in power of appeal, for
there is no evidence for sinlessness, except evidence which is rejected
on the ground of exaggeration or idealization in the case of miracles,
and other claims implying the supernatural. Christian ethics doubtless
makes an appeal of its own, but apart from the support of Christology
its supremacy is by no means assured. If we go back to the moral
teaching or to the example of Jesus alone, there will be no teaching
with authority, no divine Teacher who is the Truth, and no regenerative
power of the Spirit behind the teaching. The power of Christ's example
lies in the union of humility and authority. "Take Christ's difference
from us out of Christianity and His identity with us loses all its
glorious power." If their Lord and Master washes the disciples' feet,
the example comes with the force of a divine command: "Ye ought also to
wash one another's feet." It is not merely a beautiful act to be admired
(or perhaps by some to be despised); it is a divine imperative to be

The strongest argument for a doctrinal Christianity is not the indirect
one to be found in the lessening significance of a merely
human-historical Jesus, and the tendency of His figure to become dim
upon the field of history, and of His voice to die away as an echo over
the Judean hills. It is rather to be found in the positive evidence of
the Christian documents, in the testimony of Christian experience, and
in the broader effects of a doctrinal Christianity in the course of the

The statements of Harnack in his later essays show the inadequacy of a
gospel which does not include in its content the Person of the Redeemer.
"Only God is the Redeemer--and yet Christendom calls Jesus of Nazareth
its Redeemer. How is this contradiction to be solved?"[47] It is a fact
that He is the inner possession of His own. "But that which lies behind
this fact, which is expressed in the confession 'Christ liveth in me,'
the persuasion of the eternal life of Christ, of His power and glory,
that is a secret of the faith which mocks all explanation."[48] When
there is such a contradiction between experience and theory, it will be
natural to question the adequacy of a theory which finds no
interpretation for the deepest experiences of religion. Harnack, indeed,
goes far towards admitting the harmony between the gospel of Jesus and
that of Paul when he says: "The 'first' gospel contains the truth, the
'second' [Paul's gospel of redemption] the way, and both together the

  47: "Aus Wissenschaft und Leben," II, p. 87.

  48: _Ibid._, p. 91.

  49: _Ibid._, p. 224.

There is in essence but one gospel, differently presented by Jesus and
Paul, whose focal point in the teaching of both is Christ and Him
crucified. The differences, as shown by von Dobschütz in a notable
essay, explain themselves naturally from the situation. In John and Paul
there is only expansion and repetition of what was contained implicitly
in the words of Jesus in the Synoptists. The later time was not
creative, but only selected and developed; its message was an echo, not
a new utterance. In the teaching of Paul as compared with that of Jesus
there are three points of difference: (1) the person of Jesus is much
more strongly emphasized; (2) His death and resurrection appear as basal
redemptive acts; and (3) everything is brought into connection with
redemption from sin. All three of these differences are explained by the
historical situation. Jesus Himself had brought them to God, and His
resurrection had brought them out of their despair and strengthened
their faith and given them courage for preaching. As to the differences,
two considerations should be borne in mind: "That the gospel should be
differently set forth before the death of Jesus than it was after that
event is not to be wondered at; and, secondly, it is also natural that
the standpoint and exposition of the recipients of grace should be
different from the attitude of One who was free from sin, and knew that
He was sent to bring man to God."[50]

  50: "Gibt es ein doppeltes Evangelium in N. T.?" _Theol. Studien u.
  Kritiken_, 85 (1912), pp. 362, 363.

In the future as in the past, we may believe, doctrinal Christianity,
that is a Christianity broad enough to include the teaching and example,
and the person and passion and resurrection of Christ, will be for men
and nations the power of God unto salvation. If the essence of a thing
is shown in its activity, the essence of Christianity cannot be
separated from its doctrinal content. Certainly it was Christianity in a
doctrinal form that inspired the greatest achievements of the Christian
Church in the course of her history. It was doctrinal Christianity that
loosed the bonds of Jewish legalism, inspired the missionary enterprise
of the primitive and the modern church, raised the standard of the
Reformation, laid the foundations of modern democracy, and guided the
sanest and bravest attempts at social reform.

Our argument has been that the primitive gospel which began to be
preached by the Lord was a doctrinal gospel, a gospel of the Kingdom,
the Cross and the Son of God, that no other message can be found with
any distinctness within or beneath the Gospel records, and that this has
been at the basis of Christian experience and of the life of the
Christian Church. The gospel of the grace of God is the gospel of the
glory of Christ.


The Christian Faith and Modern Science

A discussion of the present relations between science and the Christian
Faith must be very largely a discussion of the theory of evolution. Our
age has been called evolution-mad; we can scarcely speak or even think
except in biological terms and under biological categories. The
evolution theory has influenced every department of thought and even the
science of thought itself, and it is often assumed that everything
pre-Darwinian must be thrown to the intellectual scrap-heap.

Half a century ago the time was ripe for a new generalization in science
which should include the organic world. Newton had extended the reign of
mechanism in space, and Lyell, by substituting the uniformitarian for
the catastrophic theory of the formation of the earth's crust, had
effected the same extension in time. Men's minds had become familiar
with the thought of immense reaches of space and of vast periods of
time, and with the idea in both spheres of the reign of natural law
instead of immediate divine intervention. The Darwinian hypothesis of
Natural Selection came as the culmination of this movement of a
progressive substitution of a natural for a supernatural explanation of
things. The motions of planets and heavenly bodies, the formation of the
strata of the earth's crust, and now the kingdom of organic life were
brought within the domain of natural and general law.

It is not necessary to describe in detail the ferment in religious
thought which followed the publication of the "Origin of Species," 1859;
but we may notice briefly the extreme inferences which were drawn
unfavourable to religion, and then the inevitable reaction. On the one
hand there were loud claims at first that the death-knell of religion
had been sounded. A cause other than creation had been discovered for
the origin of species and by analogy for other origins formerly assigned
to the Creator. Chance, not only blind but apparently cruel, was
enthroned in the place of design in the production of the various forms
of life. The higher was evolved from the lower, but in a way that gave
to the higher the quality of the lower. Man was no longer the child of
God, not even the prodigal child. He was the progeny of the brute and
shared his destiny. The obligation to be moral, or even decent, had no
higher sanction than the fierce struggle for existence. Theism was
derived from animal-or ancestor-worship, and had no higher authority or
credibility. Man, no longer made in the divine image, could lay no
claim to a divine inheritance; not fallen, but rising out of his brute
inheritance, he had no need for the divine mercy.

Renan in France, Haeckel in Germany, and Grant Allen in England agreed
that religion was doomed.[51] Religious beliefs, according to the last
named, were destined "to be entirely discredited as grotesque, fungoid
growths which had clustered around the thread of primitive
ancestor-worship." Renan inferred as one result of Darwinism the gradual
dying out of religion; while the fundamental postulates of religion,
God, Freedom and Immortality, were, according to Haeckel, all given the
_coup de grace_. The life of man, entangled by descent with lower orders
of being, seemed divorced from the wisdom and purpose of God, and an
all-engulfing mechanism threatened to swallow up the hopes and
aspirations of mankind. The situation illustrated the statement of
Emerson: "The very hopes of man, the thoughts of his heart, the religion
of nations, the manners and morals of mankind, are all at the mercy of a
new generalization."

  51: See Benjamin Kidd in article, "Darwinism," in "Hastings'
  Dictionary of Religion and Ethics," Vol. IV, p. 404.

From this extreme position there was an inevitable reaction. Evolution
was seen to present a face not so unfavourable to religion. Origin and
destiny were two questions; the higher might be evolved from the lower,
but not in such a way as to deprive the higher of its proper quality. If
nature and man were so closely related, our idea of the worth of nature
could be exalted without depriving man of his dignity. "A man's a man
for a' that," whether sprung from the dust of the earth, as had been
always held, or derived from organic material below him. An orthodox
evolutionist developed a new and powerful argument for immortality; if
man had gone so far, why not farther? The meaning of the whole
evolutionary process, of the long travail of nature, was obviously, if
it had a meaning (and why deny this to our intellectual confusion?), the
production of man with his endowments, aspirations and hopes. Descent
may become ascent, and the meaning of evolution may well be the
development of freedom, and immortality but evolution at the end of its
journey. A new and grander teleology was discernible in nature, not seen
in the details of its products so much as in the great tendencies and
lines of its development and the outworking of its laws. Most impressive
of all, it was found that devout Christians, like Charles Kingsley,
could become evolutionists without losing their faith; and that
evolutionists like Romanes (who had spoken, during his eclipse of faith,
of the evolutionary theory as a deluge, "uprooting our most cherished
hopes, engulfing our most precious creed, and burying our highest life
in mindless destruction"[52]) could become Christians, or regain their
faith, without affecting their scientific views.

  52: "A Candid Examination of Theism," p. 51.

With all the problems which evolution has set for religious thought, it
should be noticed that it has distinctly relieved the pressure of one
difficulty which has been felt, though now much less acutely than
formerly, since the time of Copernicus. In the words of Aubrey De Vere:

    This sphere is not God's ocean, but one drop
    Showered from its spray. Came God from heaven for that?

Life, and life upon the earth, is the centre of attention in the thought
of the day. With the physicist who sees the promise and potency of all
terrestrial life in the primitive star-dust, with the biologist who
speaks of the fitness of the environment to sustain life, or with the
philosopher who sees in the vital impulse the most important thing in
the history of the universe, the viewpoint is necessarily biocentric.
Yet it has been pointed out that the sum of organized matter "is but an
atom in the mass of the solar system, it occupies but a moment in its
duration; it has hardly a place in space; it is but a temporary film on
one of the smaller planets. It can exist only in a very small part of
the scale of temperatures through which the spheres pass from their
first to their last state. Set against the visible universe it is as
near to nothing as we can well conceive anything to be."[53] A
distinguished evolutionist has developed an argument to prove that the
earth alone in the solar system or elsewhere fulfills the conditions of
the existence of any high form of life.[54] It is not necessary to
estimate the value of Wallace's argument in order to emphasize, from an
evolutionary point of view, the importance of life and of man in the
universe. If the standpoint of science to-day is frankly biocentric, in
spite of the insignificant bulk of organized matter, religious thought
need not be accused of provincialism because it is anthropocentric in
its interest.

  53: N. S. Shaler: "The Individual," 1910, p. 103.

  54: A. R. Wallace: "Man's Place in the Universe."

In studying a little more closely the religious bearings of evolution,
it will be convenient to notice, I. The Method of Evolution, or the
biological discussion; II. The Meaning of Evolution, or the
philosophical discussion; and III. Theism and Evolution, or the more
directly religious aspects of the theory.


While there is general agreement among biologists that species have been
derived from one another by natural causes, there is a wide diversity of
opinion as to the method by which this result has been brought about.
Darwin's theory of natural selection has a struggle for existence of its
own, a fight for life with other evolutionary theories. Emphatic
protests are made from the side of experimental biology (de Vries), of
paleontology (Osborn), and of philosophical evolution (Bergson) against
the Darwinian hypothesis that the selection of minute fortuitous
variations can account for the rise of new species or explain the great
lines of development. It is only necessary to read the two volumes
published in England and America[55] in honour of the hundredth
anniversary of Darwin's birth and the fiftieth anniversary of the
publication of the "Origin of Species" to see that scientific opinion
upon the question of the method of evolution is widely divided.

  55: "Darwin and Modern Science," Cambridge, 1909; "Fifty Years of
  Darwinism," New York, 1909.

In Biblical language, the question of the hour in biology is, Who (or
what) made thee to differ? "It is the question," in the words of C. H.
Eigenmann, "of how the straight line of exact hereditary repetition may
be caused to swerve in a definite direction to reach an adaptive point.
This is the question of the present generation, perhaps of the entire
twentieth century."[56]

  56: "Fifty Years of Darwinism," p. 191.

The Newton of biology, who will discover the laws of variation and
heredity, has not, it is safe to say, yet appeared. Variation in a
definite direction in virtue of an internal tendency in the organism
(Nägeli); variation in response to the specific stimulus of the
environment (Eimer); variation due, at least in animals, to the
conscious effort of the individual (Lamarck); variation inciting a
corresponding strengthening of parts of the individual organism, until
time should be given for hereditary strengthening of these parts
(organic selection as taught by Baldwin, Osborn and Lloyd Morgan);
variation due to the preservation and accumulation of minute
fluctuations by natural selection (Darwinism in its usual form);
variation from unknown causes suddenly and discontinuously (the
mutationism of de Vries); variation due to a mystical vital impulse in
organic life as a whole (the creative evolution of Bergson):--no one of
these views, if we take scientific opinion as a whole, can be said to
have torn aside the veil behind which nature carries on her creative

The most notable attempt to supplement and strengthen the theory of
natural selection has been made by Weismann in his theory of Germinal
Selection. In Weismann's hypothesis, which has furnished in a sense the
philosophical basis for the popular Eugenics movement, the struggle for
existence is transferred to a struggle among the constituents of the
germ-plasm. The minute invisible "determinants" of the germ-plasm, which
give rise to the variations in the organ, or cell, which they determine,
are unequally nourished by the nutritive stream. A determinant at first
favoured by chance may at length gain strength actively to nourish
itself to the detriment of its fellow-determinants, and thus attain a
permanent upward movement. With Weismann the fluctuations within the
germ-plasm "are the real root of all hereditary variations, and the
preliminary condition for the occurrence of the Darwin-Wallace factor of
selection." The struggle for existence, or the struggle for possession
of the mate in sexual selection, practically goes back to "the struggle
between the determinants within the germ-plasm"[57] for food and space.

  57: "Darwin and Modern Science": "The Selection Theory," p.49.

Let us see how this theory of determinants will apply to the famous case
of the antlers of the elk or stag. The antlers would increase in size,
in this case, only because the determinants, corresponding in the
germ-plasm to the antlers in the adult organism, attracted nourishment
to themselves, and withdrew it to a certain extent from their fellows.
Instead, therefore, of a corresponding strengthening in the whole
anterior half of the animal, which Weismann admits would be
necessary,[58] we should have, with the increased weight of the antlers,
a decrease in weight and strength of other parts of the body. The
problem, instead of being solved, seems to be involved in deeper
mystery, and there will be hesitation in accepting the statement that
"thus in our time the great riddle has been solved--the riddle of the
origin of what is suited to its purpose without the coöperation of
purposive forces."[59] T. H. Morgan thinks it unfortunate that Weismann
should seek to supply the deficiencies of Darwin's theory by new
speculative matter skilfully removed from the field of verification.[60]

  58: "Darwin and Modern Science": "The Selection Theory," p. 32.

  59: "The Evolution Theory," II, p. 391.

  60: "Evolution and Adaptation," pp. 165 f.

Biologists are generally agreed in holding the doctrine of "descent with
modifications," but there is no agreement as to the method by which
variations in species are brought about. Bateson even declares that
"evolutionary orthodoxy developed too fast," and that "the time is not
ripe for the discussion of the origin of species."[61] S. Herbert
concludes: "In short, while natural selection can be looked upon as the
efficient cause of the progress of evolutionary lines, their first
beginnings must still be attributed to a still 'unknown factor in

  61: "Darwin and Modern Science," pp. 99, 101.

  62: "First Principles of Evolution," 1913, p. 224.

The neo-Darwinian who sees in the accumulation of minute chance
variations a sufficient explanation of the origin of species, cannot be
said to hold the field in such a way as to call for the unquestioning
acceptance of his views by the lay public; far less need the more remote
philosophical inferences sometimes drawn from his premises be accepted
without challenge as the teaching of science. While the central mystery,
in the opinion of leading biologists, remains unsolved in the biological
field, evolution or natural selection should be used with caution as the
solvent of all the problems of the universe. The masterkey should
first unlock the doors nearer home.


The more philosophical discussion of the Meaning of Evolution includes
in its scope the questions of mechanism and design and of preformation
and epigenesis.

1. Is the doctrine of evolution a foe to design, or does evolution make
more teleology than it destroys? Let us assume for the present the
neo-Darwinian position, and ask whether design can be excluded, first
from the organic world without man, and then from the organic world
including man. The whole system of things so ordered that through the
operation of the laws of variability, struggle for existence,
inheritance, elimination and selection, there should be worked out the
myriad forms of life in ever increasing complexity, calls more loudly
for the postulate of intelligence than do the special contrivances and
adaptations in nature when viewed from the standpoint of their separate
origin. If Paley's watch calls for a watchmaker, a system or arrangement
of nature which has been likened, not to a simple watch, but rather to a
watch (or a sundial) which makes all other watches, and these watches of
a constantly improved quality and increased complexity, cannot
permanently be regarded in any other than a teleological light. If the
whole process should prove to be mechanical, the evidence for design is
seen even more strikingly in the complex machinery itself than in the

Huxley says that "there is a wider teleology which is not touched by the
doctrine of evolution, but is actually based upon the fundamental
proposition of evolution."[63] When A. R. Wallace at first argued that
many of the characteristic human qualities were not due to natural
selection, because of no value in the struggle for existence,[64] his
view incurred the ridicule of his critics, who interpreted it to mean
that "our brains are made by God and our lungs by natural selection."
After forty years of reflection, Wallace now takes a broader view of the
place of purpose in evolution, and says: "I now uphold the doctrine that
not man alone, but the whole World of Life, in almost all its varied
manifestations, leads us to the same conclusion--that to afford any
rational explanation of its phenomena, we require to postulate the
continuous action and guidance of higher intelligences; and further,
that these have probably been working towards a single end, the
development of intellectual, moral, and spiritual beings."[65] A
distinguished biologist has said that "to believe that all the countless
myriads of centres of coöperation and coördination which have been
required for this cosmos could have been originated and maintained by
unintelligent force acting fortuitously makes an immensely greater
strain upon faith than the alternative hypothesis."[66]

  63: "Darwiniana," p. 110.

  64: "Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection," 1870.

  65: "The World of Life," 1911, pp. 340 f.

  66: A. Macalister, M. D., F. R. S., in _Expositor_, Vol. ix.,
  1910, p. 5.

The teleological argument has shown of late unusual vitality, and its
renewed support has come, singularly enough, from the evolutionary
quarter. Thus L. J. Henderson, inquiring into the biological
significance of the properties of matter, concludes that "the process of
cosmic (inorganic) evolution is indissolubly linked with the fundamental
characteristics of the organism; that logically, in some obscure manner,
cosmic and biological evolution are one."[67] The biologist, he thinks,
"may now rightly regard the universe in its very essence as
biocentric."[68] Wallace, in his "World of Life," draws the inference
which Henderson suggests but, as a scientist, feels that he cannot
adopt: "The remote but more fundamental cause [of the living world],
which has been comparatively little attended to, is the existence of a
special group of elements possessing such exceptional and altogether
extraordinary properties as to render _possible_ the existence of
vegetable and animal life-forms." These elements are like the fuel, iron
and water in a steam-engine. "We may presume that the Mind which first
caused these elements to exist, and built them up into such marvellous
living, moving, self-supporting, and self-reproducing structures, must
be many million times greater than those which conceived and executed
the modern steam-engine."[69]

  67: "The Fitness of the Environment," 1913, pp. 278 f.

  68: _Ibid._, p. 312.

  69: "The World of Life," p. 416.

It does not appear, then, that biological evolution at all necessitates
the acceptance of a mechanical view of the universe from which the
action of purpose is excluded. Protests against such a view have, in
fact, been coming of late from the scientific philosophers and the
philosophical scientists. Bergson, a type of the former, insists that
spontaneity, movement, indeterminateness are the differentia of life.
Among the scientists, Ostwald thinks that an absolutely determined world
is not the real world, but an ideal world;[70] and Sir O. Lodge speaks
of the theory that everything in the world is mechanically determined
as a "modern superstition."[71] How is the southward flight of the bird
and its return in the spring to its own nest, or the journey of an eel
thousands of miles up an inland river and its return thence to spawn in
the deep waters of the ocean, to be explained as the result of purely
mechanical causes? Driesch insists that the chemical-physical processes
"do not constitute life, they are _used_ by life."[72]

  70: "Natural Philosophy," p. 50.

  71: _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911, p. 704.

  72: See J. A. Thomson, _ibid._, p. 116.

The mechanical interpretation of things, however useful for some
purposes it may be, appears increasingly thin and ghostly as we advance
into the realms of life, consciousness and freedom. It becomes a
caricature of reality. It is not merely a colourless photograph as over
against a portrait--everything reduced to black and white; but it is
like an X-ray photograph of a living man, a mere skeleton without flesh
and blood. Mechanism is independent of time, but time is, in a sense, of
the essence of the organism. The mechanical movement can be reversed,
while life processes are irreversible.

The life and career of a great scientist such as Pasteur, it has been
said, is a more impressive evidence of design than any adduced by Paley
and the Bridgwater treatises.[73] Man has been called "Nature's rebel,"
and the endowments of man and his achievements in controlling nature and
understanding nature are a disturbing element in any theory which would
exclude the operation of intelligence from the course of evolution.
Romanes tells us: "When I wrote the preceding treatise ["The Candid
Examination"], I did not sufficiently appreciate the immense importance
of _human_ nature, as distinguished from physical nature, in an inquiry
touching Theism."[74]

  73: S. Paget: "Another Device," p. 101.

  74: "Thoughts on Religion," p. 164.

The drama of evolution as unfolded by science inevitably suggests that
in the fortunes and life of humanity is to be heard the _motif_ of
nature's music, unless indeed all is chaos and discord. The diapason
ends full in man, or rather begins in man and the history of his life
upon the earth. It may still be believed--because of evolution avowedly,
or in spite of evolution--that man is a happy or an unhappy accident, a
sport, a monstrosity, the miscarriage of an ape, a _faux pas_ of nature,
the strangest event in a purposeless series; or man may be regarded,
with much to support such an interpretation, as the intended goal of
evolution, giving significance, rationality and purpose to the whole
history. However slow and gradual the steps by which man has been
produced, and however mechanical in one aspect the process, it may be
insisted that a mechanism so perfect as to produce the varied forms of
organic life, culminating in man, with his mental and moral endowments,
is as strong evidence as could be produced of purpose as the ultimate
and only explanation of the mechanism.

Certainly the difficulty of evolving the fit from the fortuitous becomes
accentuated when man is included within the series. Man, a purposive and
moral being, sees in himself and the structure of his mind and the
experience of his life the crowning evidence of the action of purpose.
If the cause must be adequate to produce the effect, man cannot regard
himself as the product of an accidental or mechanical process from whose
inception and operation the action of intelligence is excluded. In a
word, a purposive being cannot have been the result of a purposeless

It is significant that those who have interpreted evolution to the
masses have quite uniformly done so in terms of progress. But progress
is a teleological conception. In a world where atoms shift unceasingly,
but without the guidance of intelligence or will, there may be change
but there will be no progress; for one arrangement of atoms will be as
high in the scale of values as another. Evolutionists who, as
evolutionists, are inspired with an ideal of human progress must in some
sense be finalists. If the history of the world and of man presents any
real progress, it can only be because it is in so far an expression of

2. It is an example of what Cardinal Newman called the development of
doctrine that the theory of Evolution has come to mean, in popular
regard, quite the opposite of what it meant etymologically or in the
mind of its early advocates. Evolution means the unfolding of what was
enfolded, either in primordial living germs or, to go still further
back, in the primitive star-dust. Whatever is in the product must be
read back into the elements from which it emerged, and a complete
knowledge of these elements and their properties would thus disclose
potencies for the production, under suitable conditions, of the
completed development.

A glance, almost at random, at current literature in which the
conception of evolution is employed in philosophical and theological
discussion, shows that the theory has suffered a sea-change. It has now
come to mean, to many who use it freely, not the unfolding of the
implicit, but the production or appearance of something essentially new,
a creative synthesis or epigenesis. Bergson, James Ward, Baron von Hügel
and Loisy are among those who use the term in this sense. Thus the last
named writer says: "That which constitutes man as a human being is that
which he possesses more than the beasts, and not that which he
possesses in common with them. From the fact that humanity proceeds
from animality, it does not follow that it is explained and defined
altogether by animality, otherwise evolution must be denied."[75]

  75: "Histoire des Religions," 1911, pp. 61 f.

This modification of meaning is important when the doctrine of evolution
is extended downward into the inorganic sphere. Since species are
derived from one another, it used to be argued, life must be derived
from the lifeless; and it is obvious that if this process is pursued it
will lead to an infinite regress. We go back from the civilized to the
savage, from the conscious to the unconscious, from the organic to the
inorganic, till finally the evolution of the atom becomes the problem of
problems. We go back in an infinite regress, approaching the ideal
limit: In the beginning, nothing. The goal would seem to be the
evolution of primitive matter out of nothing, as Alfred Noyes has
suggested in his poem, "The Origin of Life":

    In the beginning?--Slowly grope we back
          Along the narrowing track,
    Back to the deserts of the world's pale prime,
          The mire, the clay, the slime;
    And then ... what then? Surely to something less;
          Back, back, to Nothingness!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Will you have courage, then, to bow the head,
          And say, when all is said--
    "Out of this Nothingness arose our thought!
          This blank abysmal Nought
    Woke, and brought forth that lighted city street,
          Those towers, that armoured fleet"?

       *       *       *       *       *

    Will you have courage, then, to front that law
          (From which your sophists draw
    Their only right to flout one human creed)
          That nothing can proceed--
    Not even thought, not even love--from less
          Than its own nothingness?
    The law is yours! But dare you waive your pride,
          And kneel where you denied?
    The law is yours! Dare you rekindle, then,
          One faith for faithless men,
    And say you found, on that dark road you trod,
          In the beginning--God?

The principle of continuity urges the evolutionist to extend his theory
downward into the inorganic world and upward into the sphere of the
moral and the spiritual. At the crucial points of the origin of life and
of the human race, the advocate of preformation has greater difficulty
than the supporter of epigenesis or creative evolution, which is a sort
of _rapprochement_ between evolutionism and creationism. Let us see how
the case stands at present as regards the origin of life and the origin
of man.

Life may be generated any day in the laboratory, but as yet this has
not been done.[76] In fact so great are the difficulties that Arrhenius
thinks that there was no beginning of life, life being eternal and
persisting, in spite of acknowledged scientific difficulties in the
conception, amid the vicissitudes of cosmic changes and flights through
interstellar space.[77] Weismann does not think that a living germ could
be conveyed in the crevices of meteorites to our planet, because "it
could neither endure the excessive cold nor the absolute desiccation to
which it would be exposed in cosmic space, which contains absolutely no
water. This could not be endured even for a few days, much less for
immeasurable periods of time."[78]

  76: Jacques Loeb says that "whoever claims to have succeeded in
  making living matter from inanimate will have to prove that he has
  succeeded in producing nuclein material which acts as a ferment for
  its own synthesis and thus reproduces itself. Nobody has thus far
  succeeded in this, although nothing warrants us in taking it for
  granted that this task is beyond the power of science."--"Darwin and
  Modern Science," p. 270.

  77: "Worlds in the Making," 1908, Chapter VIII.

  78: "The Evolution Theory," II, p. 365.

Lord Kelvin will not go as far as Arrhenius, but believes that a
meteorite brought the first living germs to this planet. K. Pearson
thinks that under favourable conditions in the remote past life arose,
but arose only once, out of the non-living.[79] The bridge was so
slender that it was crossed but once under imaginary conditions not
controllable by experiment; and as a unique event even in imaginary
history it cannot be said to be subject to any general law. It is
questionable, in fact, whether in scientific merit the hypothesis is
superior to that of special creation.

  79: "Grammar of Science," one volume edition, pp. 410 ff.

Dr. Schäfer sees this and points it out very clearly in his Presidential
Address.[80] A scientific account of the origin of life must refer it to
causes operating to-day; so, instead of Arrhenius' eternity of life, or
of Pearson's spontaneous production of life but once under inaccessible
conditions, or Lord Kelvin's meteoric conveyance of life, he believes
that life is constantly being produced, and has always been produced,
from certain colloidal substances which he describes. But what has
become of all this life, constantly generated? He admits there is trace
of only one paleontological series. While assuming that it is the nature
of life to evolve, he admits that there is no evidence accessible to the
senses or discerned as yet by the most delicate instruments for the
existence of these countless beginnings of life. The real question then
concerns not this kind of life, which eye hath not seen, but the origin
of the life which we know, and whose marvellous development evolution
traces. Ostwald thinks that "it is undecided whether originally there
were one or several forms from which the present forms sprang, nor is
it known how life first made its appearance on earth. So long as the
various assumptions with regard to this question have not led to
decisive, actually demonstrable differences in the results, a discussion
of it is fruitless, and therefore unscientific."[81]

  80: _Science_, September 6, 1912, pp. 294 ff.

  81: "Natural Philosophy," p. 175.

A comparison has often been drawn between the birth of the individual
and that of the race. Theologians have discussed the question whether
the child in his spiritual nature is to be referred to a special act of
creative power, or whether all of his endowments are derived from his

To the poet the birth of the child suggests the presence of forces other
than those of the seen and temporal. The new life is "out of the deep,
from the true world, within the world we see." Its roots are in another
dimension of being than that of nature or the world of time and sense.
In moments of insight, "though inland far we be, our souls have sight of
that immortal sea which brought us hither."

Again to the philosopher there is in the individual something
indescribable, unique, not to be compressed within the compass of any
general law, something in each individual which his ancestry or
antecedents will not explain nor his environment produce.[82]

  82: See Royce: "The World and the Individual," II, p. 325.

Says a distinguished professor of biology[83]: "Familiarity with
development does not remove the real mystery which lies back of it. The
development of a human being, of a personality, from a germ cell seems
to me the climax of all wonders, greater even than that involved in the
evolution of a species or the making of a world." He remarks that "if
personality is determined by heredity alone, all teaching, preaching,
government, is useless." The only hope for the race, he says, is in
eugenics--always supposing that enough freedom is left to carry out its

  83: E. G. Conklin: "Heredity and Responsibility," in _Science_,
  January 10, 1913.

If the birth of the individual and the full story of his origin is thus
enveloped in mystery for theologian, poet, philosopher and even
scientist, it is not to be expected that the problem of the origin of
the human race can be solved by a neat formula. Here the mystery of the
birth of the individual from parents of the same species is intensified
many fold. Here the problems of mind and body, of their genetic and
metaphysical relations to each other, and of the ultimate relation of
the spirit world to each, press for solution before there can be any
full and final answer to the question of the origin of man. Is it any
wonder that the single occurrence upon which was based the birth of all
future generations which have peopled the earth should be thought to
involve more than can be included in any scientific hypothesis?[84]

  84: "No other animal types," says Wallace, "make the slightest
  approach to any of these high faculties [such as are seen in man] or
  show any indication of the possibility of their development. In very
  many directions they have reached a limit of organic perfection
  beyond which there is no apparent scope for further advancement.
  Such perfect types we see in the dog, the horse, the cat-tribe, the
  deer and the antelopes, the elephants, the beaver and the greater
  apes; while many others have become extinct because they were so
  highly specialized as to be incapable of adaptation to new
  conditions. All these are probably about equal in their mental
  faculties, and there is no indication that any of them are or have
  been progressing towards man's elevation, or that such progression,
  either physically or mentally, is possible."--"Man's Place in the
  Universe," 3d (popular) ed., pp. 328, 329.

When we seek to interpret these critical points in the history of the
world, such as the origin of life and of man, two roads are open before
us. We may emphasize, with the advocates of preformation, the principle
of continuity alone; and, explaining the higher by the lower, we may go
back as Mr. Noyes would carry us, back on the dwindling track,
explaining civilization by savagery, the non-moral by the moral, the
conscious by the unconscious, the living by the non-living. In this
process, it has been often pointed out, there lurks a sort of _generatio
æquivoca_; primitive star-dust is endowed with the attributes of life,
of consciousness, and even of purpose and morality. Thus J. A. Thomson
says that "if we see any good reason for believing in the erstwhile
origin of the living from the not-living, we give a greater continuity
to the course of events, and we must again read something into the
common denominator of science--Matter, Energy, and the Ether. We have
already read into this Wonder and Mystery, Harmony and Order, and we
must now read into it--Progress and, from a philosophical standpoint,

  85: "The Bible of Nature," pp. 131, 132.

The objection will be made that to regard the primitive atoms or cells
as practically self-preserving, self-repairing and self-improving, the
fountain of all life, of all consciousness and morality and
civilization, is to endow these entities with attributes that are
manifestly inappropriate.

Seeing the difficulties of a theory of evolution based upon the
principle of continuity alone, we may emphasize, with many popular
interpreters, not so much this principle of continuity, as that of
progress. Evolution would then mean not a mere shifting of the elements,
a redistribution of matter and motion, but a creative synthesis, an
epigenesis. It will then mean, not "There is nothing new under the sun,"
but rather, "What next?" The descent of man will no longer suggest the
inference that as the progeny of the brute man must share his destiny,
but rather the thought that "it doth not yet appear what we shall be."

But how to explain the new element which has arisen, not out of, but
alongside of, the others? We would not be content to say, "Now the
inorganic elements incapable of producing life; and now, presto! living
matter;" for this after all would be a break in continuity not
explained, and would lead once more to a sort of creation _ex nihilo_.
The necessities of the case seem to call for some new conception which
shall unite the two great principles of continuity and progress.


We have reached the point where it can be seen that evolution, when
elevated from a biological hypothesis into a theory of the universe, is
in need of the theistic postulate in order to make it workable. Theism,
in fact, offers a twofold advantage to the evolution theory. It
satisfies the causal demand, and it furnishes the means of combining the
two ideas of continuity and progress which have impressed themselves so
deeply upon the mind of our generation.

In the first place it satisfies the causal demand. If evolution is but
the unfolding of the implicit, as the preformation view would have it,
an explanation is naturally sought for the marvellous properties of the
original star-dust, or mind-stuff, or the primordial living germ. The
more mechanical the interpretation of the course of things becomes, the
more insistent, again, will be the questions, Who made the mechanism?
Who drives the mechanism? Even from the standpoint of epigenesis, the
appearance of an entirely new element, which by hypothesis is not merely
implicit in the previous state of things, must be referred to some
adequate cause or ground. Evolution, in any of its forms, is the name of
a method rather than of a cause; and "logic compels the evolutionist to
assume a force that was not evolved, but which existed before evolution

  86: F. H. Headley, "Problems of Evolution," p. 155.

If we interpret the power behind evolution in a theistic sense, and
believe that God is immanent in nature and in the life of man, we are
not absolved from the task of tracing as far as possible the natural
history of life and mind, but we may view that history from a standpoint
from which both origin and progressive development become intelligible.
No scientific hypothesis is able in itself to carry us all the way from
"concentrating nebulæ to the thoughts of poets." A theory of the
universe which shall do justice to the conceptions both of continuity
and progress can best be framed with the aid of the category of purpose.

The continuity is preserved in the unity of the developing plan, no
stage of which is sudden or abrupt, but is related "filially" to the
stage and the stages which preceded. The relation between two stages is
not like that between the two members of an equation, a relation of
exact equivalence between the evolved and the involved. There is a
really new element in the later stage if there is a real progress. But
the new factor comes not in dramatic or spectacular fashion; it comes
without observation, and comes not to destroy but to fulfill.

If the evolution theory is to cover the whole history of the world and
of man, it must be hospitable to the ideas both of continuity and
progress. An interpretation of evolution so framed would be opposed,
indeed, to the conception of a Creator touching the world only with His
finger-tips, and exhausting His creative power in its initial exercise.
It would be opposed to materialistic monism, as well as to an idealistic
or pantheistic monism which would reduce the evolutionary and historic
process to mere appearance. Evolution in its theistic construction sees
in the lower orders of existence and in the earlier stages of life the
promise, but not the potency, of the higher. It assumes the existence of
a power immanent in the universe and adequate to account for the
appearance of new forces. It can interpret alike the continuity of the
evolutionary process, and the appearance once for all in the
irreversible moments of progress of new forms and forces of life. It
admits the possibility of the appearance of new spiritual forces in the
course of history, and opens a vista of illimitable progress.

No one was more certain than Huxley, when speaking of the relation of
man to the lower animals, that "whether _from_ them or not, he is
assuredly not _of_ them."[87] Man's peculiar endowments, his sense of
law and beauty, his spiritual capacities and aspirations, all of these,
if laws of analogy and causation are to hold, point to a different
dimension of being from that of nature below him. If "man still bears in
his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin,"[88] he bears
in the framework of his mind and moral nature the indelible stamp of his
spiritual origin. His spiritual endowments can find their explanation
only in a spiritual world. They have arisen, not from the lair of the
wild beast, but rather from the bosom of God. No ascertained fact of
science, nor any legitimate or necessary inference from any such fact,
forbids the affirmation of faith, "It is He that hath made us," and "we
are His people."

  87: "Man's Place in Nature," p. 87.

  88: "Descent of Man," p. 619.

With each advance of science the thoughts of men are disturbed. The
discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo seemed to destroy the foundations
of the Christian, or even the theistic, view of the world; but the
astronomer to-day can see anew God's glory in the heavens and more
impressive evidence of His greatness and majesty. When Newton's laws of
motion displaced the idea that the planets were conveyed about their
orbits by angelic beings, it was feared that atheism was the logical
inference. But Newton himself remained a devout theist, and even
Voltaire, his admirer, was ready

    "To follow Newton in that boundless road,
    Where nature's lost, and ev'rything but God."

So when evolution, through the genius of Darwin, came into popular
discussion and acceptance, it was feared that chance had been enthroned
in the universe, and that religion was destined to extinction. But in
the progress of the evolution theory, as its advocates have split into
various camps, the sense of the mystery in the origins and laws of the
organic world has deepened, and many can see in nature the evidence of a
diviner wisdom than before.

Dr. Schäfer in his presidential address before the British Association,
in 1912, spoke in one sense of the continuity of life, giving to it what
seemed like a mechanical or materialistic interpretation. The following
presidential address, by Sir Oliver Lodge, spoke of the continuity of
life in another sense, a continuation of life after death; and argued
that mechanism is inadequate to explain the facts of life, and asserted
that "genuine religion has its roots deep down in the heart of humanity,
and in the reality of things." At each stage of advance in science,
says a recent writer, "this joyful overestimate of the possibilities of
mechanism becomes a marked feature of contemporary thought. As each
piece of knowledge becomes assimilated, it is seen that the old problems
are in their essence unaltered; the poet, the seer and the mystic again
come to their own, and, in new language, and from a higher ground of
vantage, proclaim their message to mankind."[89]

  89: "Science and the Human Mind," by W. C. D. Whetham and C. D.
  Whetham, 1912, pp. 218, 219.

The horizons of mystery are not at the confines of telescopic vision, or
at the far boundaries of the material universe, but are in the objects
which are most familiar, in the meanest flower that blows, in the
minutest seed and in the smallest atom. As the poet finds in the flower
thoughts too deep for tears, so the scientist sees in it problems too
vast and far-reaching for human comprehension. He can see in the very
atom minute solar systems, and in electricity a mystery lying at the
very heart of material things.

It is the paradox of science that the more the world is understood, the
deeper does the mystery of its existence become. With the enlarging
boundaries of knowledge there is a growing appreciation of mysteries
perhaps insoluble which lie beyond. Science, in fact, only deals with
the connections of things, and the processes by which they came to be
what they are, but not with the ultimate origins and the final ends. The
deeper study of nature will lead men, we may believe, in the future as
it has done in the past, to the reverent attitude of a Kepler, a Newton,
a Clerk-Maxwell, and a Lord Kelvin. They will see in the bird's feather
and the butterfly's wing, in the constitution of the cell and the atom,
in the stellar universe and the mind of man, evidences of creative Power
and Purpose; and, turning from the study of nature, will exclaim, "How
wonderful are Thy works; in wisdom hast Thou made them all!"


The Christian Faith and Psychology

The Psychology of Religion as a branch of scientific study was "made in
America," and is not yet twenty years old. Its virtual founder and
popularizer was William James, who furnished the introduction to
Starbuck's "Psychology of Religion" (1900) and published his "Varieties
of Religious Experience," the quarry in which all subsequent writers
have mined, in 1903. An earlier American philosopher, Jonathan Edwards,
gained the right to be called the precursor of the science by his
treatise on the Religious Emotions. Of Edwards, named with Emerson and
James as one of three representative American philosophers, Royce has
said that "he actually rediscovered some of the world's profoundest
ideas regarding God and humanity simply by reading for himself the
meaning of his own religious experiences."[90]

  90 "William James and Other Essays," p. 4.

The way for a scientific study of religious experience had been prepared
by the development of modern psychology and by the growing popular
interest in religious phenomena. We recall the wide-spread interest in
Drummond's "Natural Law in the Spiritual World," dealing with personal
religion, and in Kidd's "Social Evolution," which dealt with the place
of religion on the broader field of human progress. The popularity of
monographs on mysticism, such as those by W. R. Inge and Miss A.
Underhill, and of lives of the saints, such as Paul Sabatier's "Life of
Francis of Assisi" and McCabe's "Life of Augustine," showed by the
personality of their authors and the wide circle of their readers that
religious experiences, especially if they be profound and unusual, are
matters of deep human interest even to those not closely connected with
the churches. The saints have been taken from the church historians, and
made to live before us as men of like passions with ourselves. For many
months recently a religious novel, "The Inside of the Cup," held its
place as the "best seller."

Since the pioneer work of Starbuck, Coe[91] and James, the literature of
the subject, largely by American writers, has grown apace. Established
in the college course, the psychology of religion has threatened to
disturb vested rights even in the theological schools. Conversion and
sanctification, once regarded as themes for the theological cloister,
the revival service or the closet of devotion, have become familiar
topics of the text-books and commonplaces of the lecture room.

  91: "The Spiritual Life," 1900.

Will this study of religion from the psychological standpoint prove to
be an ally to the Christian Faith, or will it put new weapons into the
hands of its enemies? It may be too early for a positive answer, but the
advertising value of the new movement cannot be denied, and several
specific entries at least may be made on the credit side of the ledger.
The materials for religious psychology have been drawn mainly from
Christian biography and Christian experience. Impressive stories of
conversion, gathered from the ages of Christendom and from the work of
city and foreign missions, have strengthened the argument from Christian
experience. Taken from religious biographies and devotional books and
missionary annals and modern questionnaires, the testimony of the saints
of all ages has been marshalled as they have told what the Lord has done
for their souls. The very fact that it has been worth while to write
psychologies of religion is in itself significant. "Christianity," says
Eucken, "has been the first to give the soul a history; in comparison
with the interest of the soul, it has reduced all events in the outer
world to mere incidentals, according to the words of Jesus: 'What shall
it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.'"[92]

  92: "Können wir noch Christen sein?" 1911, p. 10; "Can We Still Be
  Christians?" p. 9.

Separating as far as possible the descriptive from the metaphysical
aspects of our subject, we may consider I. The Psychology of Religious
Experience; and II. The Metaphysical Implicates of Religious Experience.
Under the first head we shall find that the study of religious
experience has been favourable to the Christian Faith in at least four


I. The scientific study of religion shows that religion belongs to the
essence rather than the accidents of human nature. Man is the praying,
the believing, and the hoping-to-survive animal. It is not the office of
psychology to prove the existence of God, but it may show that belief in
His existence is natural to man, and is favoured by natural selection.
It may show that religious experiences have, in the words of James,
"enormous biological worth,"[93] and that, to quote again the same
writer, "the strenuous type of character will on the battle-field of
human history always outwear the easy-going type, and religion will
drive irreligion to the wall."[94]

  93: "Varieties of Religious Experience," p. 509.

  94: "The Will to Believe," p. 213.

One evidence of the normality of religious faith is the vacuum or sense
of loss which continues to be felt in the life of those who have lost
it. If we need God, as Augustine says, in order that the soul may live,
it is natural that there should be a feeling of spiritual starvation
without God. The two classical instances of this "aching void the world
can never fill" are those of two well-known scientists, one writing in
the eclipse, apparently permanent, of his faith, and the other after its
restoration. Says W. K. Clifford: "Whether or no it be reasonable and
satisfying to the conscience, it cannot be doubted that theistic belief
is a comfort and a solace to those who hold it, and that the loss of it
is a very painful loss.... We have seen the spring sun shine out of an
empty heaven, to light up a soulless earth; we have felt with utter
loneliness that the Great Companion is dead. Our children, it may be
hoped, will know that sorrow only by the reflex light of a wondering
compassion."[95] It is a sad consolation that children will be spared the
loss, because they have not known the joy, of religious faith.

  95: "Lectures and Essays," 2d ed., p. 389.

Romanes, during the eclipse of his faith, found that success,
intellectual distraction, reputation and artistic pleasure were "all
taken together and well sweetened to taste ... but as high confectionery
to a starving man." He adds: "I take it then as unquestionably true that
this whole negative side of the subject proves a vacuum in the soul of
man which nothing can fill save faith in God."[96] Such modern instances
show the normality of religion, and are an impressive commentary upon
the words of the Psalmist, "My soul is athirst for God," and upon those
of Augustine, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee."

  96: "Thoughts on Religion," 2d ed., pp. 161, 162.

The normality of religion is further shown in the instinctive turning of
the soul to God, or to some higher power, in times of crisis and danger.
The religious consciousness is best interrogated, not in times of
mechanical routine or worldly preoccupation, but in those moments when
we seem to ourselves to be most religious, in moments of clearest
insight, or of deepest emotion, or of some crisis in action. The story
of one of the survivors of the _Titanic_ disaster is in point:

"The second thing that stands out prominently in the emotions produced
by the disaster is that in moments of urgent need men and women turn for
help to something entirely outside themselves.... To those men standing
on the top deck with the boats all lowered, and still more when the
boats had all left, there came the realization that human resources were
exhausted and human avenues of escape closed. With it came the appeal to
whatever consciousness each had of a Power that had created the
universe. After all, some Power had made the brilliant stars above ...
had made each one of the passengers with ability to think and act, with
the best proof, after all, of being created--knowledge of their own
existence; and now, if at any time, was the time to appeal to that
Power. When the boats had left and it was seen the ship was going down
rapidly, men stood in groups on the deck engaged in prayer, and later,
as some of them lay on the overturned collapsible boat, they repeated
together over and over again the Lord's Prayer.... And this was not
because it was a habit.... It must have been because each one ... saw
laid bare his utter dependence on something that had made him and given
him power to think.... Men do practical things in times like that: they
would not waste a moment on mere words if those words were not an
expression of the most intensely real conviction of which they were
capable. Again, like the feeling of heroism, this appeal is innate and
intuitive, and it certainly has its foundation on a knowledge--largely
concealed, no doubt--of immortality. I think this must be obvious: there
could be no other explanation of such a general sinking of all the
emotions of the human mind expressed in a thousand different ways by a
thousand different people in favour of this single appeal."[97]

  97: "The Loss of the _SS. Titanic_: Its Story and Its Lessons," by
  Lawrence Beasley, B. A. (Cantab.), Scholar of Gonville and Caius
  College, one of the survivors. Boston, 1912.

The instinctive place and biological value of religion in human life,
the restlessness and hunger of the soul without religion, show that it
is not an excrescence upon human nature. The exclamation of a recent
writer seems justified: "The age of scientific materialism is past....
The religious instinct has been adjudged normal."[98]

  98: J. B. Carter: "The Religious Life of Ancient Rome," p. 95.

2. The study of religious experience has shown the power of religion
(and certainly for the most part its power for good) in the life of the
individual and of society. The psychologists have thrust upon our
attention with unmistakable emphasis the _fact_ of conversion, however
they may theorize about the fact. The recorded experiences of saints,
reformers and missionaries, the testimony collected by the
questionnaires and the cases of conversion described in such books as
Begbie's "Twice-Born Men" have shown beyond a peradventure that men
_can_ be born again. It only remains for the church to say, "Ye _must_
be born again."

The records show that men who are the slaves of appetite and vice, too
degraded to be reached by appeals to pride or to prudence, can by the
gospel be restored to hope and self-respect and to lives of singular
usefulness. As Begbie says: "There is no medicine, no Act of Parliament,
no moral treatise, and no invention of philanthropy, which can
transform a man radically bad into a man radically good.... Science
despairs of these people, pronounces them 'hopeless' and 'incurable.'
Politicians find themselves at the end of their resources. Philanthropy
begins to wonder whether its charity could not be turned into a more
fertile channel. The law speaks of 'criminal classes.' It is only
religion that is not in despair about this mass of profitless evil
dragging at the heels of progress--the religion which still believes in

  99: "Twice-Born Men," 1909, pp. 18f.

The psychologists have emphasized not only the facts of conversion but
the variety in its mode. It has been pointed out that "conversion for
males is a more violent incident than for females, and more sudden."[100]
Uhlhorn has observed that it is characteristic of a period of conflict
"that sudden conversions are more frequent then than at other times,
that the marvel inherent in every conversion becomes more evident, and,
so to speak, more palpable."[101] A child brought up under strong
religious influences will not have the intense struggles which are
natural when a hardened criminal or a scoffing unbeliever is converted.
Count Zinzendorf raised serious misgivings in the minds of the Moravians
when he insisted that he "could not tell the day when he first decided
for Christ, and had no knowledge of a time when he did not love
Him."[102] The mother of Edmund Gosse, a woman singularly devoted in her
labours by tongue and pen to the cause of evangelical religion, wrote in
her thirtieth year: "I cannot recollect the time I did not love
religion. If I must date my conversion from my first wish and trial to
be holy, I may go back to infancy; if I am to postpone it till after my
last willful sin, it is scarcely yet begun."[103]

  100: Starbuck: "Psychology of Religion," p. 95.

  101: "Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism," p. 168.

  102: See Stevens: "Psychology of the Christian Soul," pp. 159, 160.

  103: "Father and Son," by Edmund Gosse, 1907, p. 3.

It would be equally one-sided to insist that all conversions must be of
the sudden or cataclysmic type, and to ignore the tremendous
significance of some sudden and dramatic experiences of conversion. Paul
and Augustine are cases in point, and it will scarcely do to dismiss
them with the remark that "Paul was probably a neurotic, and that
Augustine was a sensualist with a highly developed nervous
temperament."[104] The true nature of conversion may best be seen, as
James suggests, in those experiences which are exaggerated and

  104: Ames: "The Psychology of Religious Experience," p. 265.

  105: "Varieties," p. 45.

Conversions of the sudden and dramatic type have, as a matter of fact,
exerted the most far-reaching influence in history. The secular
historian is apt nowadays to magnify the influence of Paul upon the
life of Europe, but the church historian must add that Paul, as apostle
or theologian or missionary, cannot be understood apart from the
experience at Damascus. Augustine's conversion inspired his thought and
determined his theology. Of Luther, whose conversion may not have been
of quite so dramatic a type, a recent writer says: "Indeed, the
Reformation in Germany was the spiritual biography of Luther writ large,
a spiritual experience materialized in institutions and intellectualized
in confessions."[106]

  106: H. H. Walker: _Harvard Theological Review_, April, 1913, p. 179.

The psychologists unite with the historians in describing the broad
objective effects of religion upon the field of history. Christianity in
its Pauline form presented, in the West, a successful obstacle to the
flood of Eastern thought and culture. When the structure of the Roman
Empire was crumbling, it was Christianity in its Roman organization that
resisted the disintegrating influences of the barbarian invasion. It was
Christianity in its Calvinistic form that became "the seed-plot of
modern democracy." "No student of American history," says a writer on
the psychology of religion, "can fail to recognize the immense value of
religion as a factor in our national development, keeping us in some
measure true to the ideals of our fathers.... The fact that our moral
conceptions have at all stood the strain of this rapid material
development, and that political and social corruption and decay in
America to-day are not hopeless and irremediable as they were in Rome
during the last century of the Republic, is due, I believe, chiefly to
the vitality of religion among us as a factor effectively conservative
of our socially recognized values."[107]

  107: W. K. Wright: "A Psychological Definition of Religion,"
  _American Journal of Theology_, July, 1912, p. 406.

3. At a time when the sense of sin is declining, it is interesting to
find the psychologists pressing upon our attention the facts of the
disorder, the wrongness, the uneasiness, or frankly the need of
salvation, of human kind. It would be out of place for the psychologist,
as such, to dogmatize upon the subject of original sin, but in his
analysis of human nature he cannot overlook the fact of moral discord, a
fact often politely ignored in the text-books on ethics. Thus when James
speaks unreservedly and autobiographically, he confesses that "we all
need mercy." The morally athletic attitude tends to break down at last
even in the most stalwart; and, in the condition of moral helplessness,
"all our morality appears as a plaster hiding a sore it can never cure,
and all our well-doing as the hollowest substitute for that well-being
that our lives ought to be grounded in, but alas! are not."[108] The
essential fact of religion, for Royce, is man's quest for salvation;
and the central and essential postulate which he considers in his recent
lectures, "is the postulate that man needs to be saved."[109]

  108: "Varieties," p. 47.

  109: "Sources of Religious Insight," 1912, pp. 8 f.

A distinction is sometimes drawn between a "once-born" and a
"twice-born" type of religious experience, but the distinction is not
absolute. We have already noticed that those who can trace no abrupt
change in their experience, nor tell the day or even the year of their
conversion, may be zealous in evangelistic labour, and emphatic in their
insistence upon the need of regeneration. A well-known example of the
once-born type of religion is the late Edward Everett Hale, whose words
are often quoted: "I observe, with profound regret, the religious
struggles which come into many biographies, as if almost essential to
the formation of a hero. I ought to speak of these, to say that any man
has an advantage, not to be estimated, who is born, as I was, into a
family where the religion is simple and rational; etc."[110] And yet Dr.
Hale's son, brought up in such an atmosphere, has himself described in
the public press an experience under revival preaching which belongs to
the "twice-born" type.[111]

  110: Quoted in Starbuck, pp. 305 f.

  111: See _The Literary Digest_, February 10, 1906, p. 210.

The secrets of every heart are not revealed to the psychologist, and we
should not expect of him the deepest insight into the sinfulness of
sin; but in emphasizing man's sense of need, of incompleteness, of
restlessness and of disharmony, psychology has done much to confirm, if
it cannot of itself affirm, the Scriptural statement that "all have

4. Is man saved by faith or by works, by faith or by character? As
between the evangelical and the legal schemes of salvation, the answer
of religious psychology is emphatically in favour of the former.
Psychologists of all schools unite in insisting that those who pass from
restlessness and impotence to peace and fullness of life do so in
wonderful accord with the Scriptural method of salvation by faith. The
witnesses may be called, even though to a tedious degree one witness
only confirms the testimony of another.

We are advised by Jastrow that it is "necessary for the life that we
live that we should frequently permit the focus of our concerns and of
our struggles to fade away, and allow the surgings from below to assert
themselves."[112] James remarks that "there is a state of mind known to
religious men, but to no others, in which the will to assert ourselves
and hold our own has been displaced by a willingness to close our mouths
and be as nothing in the floods and waterspouts of God.... The time for
tension in our souls is over, and that of happy relaxation, of calm
deep breathing, of an eternal present, with no discordant future to be
anxious about, has arrived."[113]

  112: "The Subconscious," 1906, p. 543.

  113: "Varieties," p. 47.

Starbuck emphasizes the surrender of the will in conversion even when
the will has been consciously exercised. "We are confronted with the
paradox ... that in the same persons who strive towards the higher life,
self-surrender is often necessary before the sense of assurance comes.
The personal will must be given up. In many cases relief persistently
refuses to come until the person ceases to resist, or to make an effort
in the direction he desires to go."[114] He adds that "faith is the next
step after self-surrender, or even the accompaniment of it.... Then
faith comes in, which means that the soul is in a receptive attitude....
One throws oneself completely on the world-will, so that one may become
a 'receiver of its truth and an organ of its activity.'"[115]

  114: "Psychology of Religion," pp. 113, 114.

  115: _Ibid._, p. 117.

Royce remarks that our religious need is supreme, and "is accompanied
with the perfectly well-warranted assurance that we cannot attain the
goal unless we can get into some sort of communion with a real life
infinitely richer than our own.... The religious ideal grows out of the
vision of a spiritual freedom and peace which are not naturally
ours."[116] "The little will of the conscious and limited individual,"
says J. B. Pratt, "must simply give up before the deeper will of the
larger personality, stretching out from the conscious centre no one
knows how far, can take control."[117]

  116: "Sources of Religious Insight," pp. 53, 54.

  117: "Psychology of Religious Belief," 1907, p. 161.

It is clear that the evangelical scheme of salvation, "Heaven's easy,
artless, unencumber'd plan," has found strong and unexpected support
from the modern study of religious experience. The impressive
testimonies above, if translated into Pauline language, mean that
salvation is by faith and not by works of the law. The examples from
which the generalizations are made are taken mostly from orthodox
circles, but even those who are but loosely attached to Christianity in
its usual forms are saved in the same way. Thus James says of the
mind-curers that "they have demonstrated that a form of regeneration by
relaxing, by letting go, psychologically indistinguishable from the
Lutheran justification by faith and the Wesleyan acceptance of free
grace, is within the reach of persons who have no conviction of sin and
care nothing for the Lutheran theology."[118] The theologian might
contend that Christianity is a sort of "sleeping partner" in these
schemes, and that they contain the mustard seed of faith sufficient to
save; but, however this may be, the fact remains that the mind-cure
schemes teach a form of salvation by faith, not by works.

  118: "Varieties," p. 111.

The strain of attention and constant anxiety, involved in the effort to
keep the law and save oneself, leads to exhaustion and despair. The
struggle is hopeless, the psychologist would say, because the nervous
centres become exhausted. Man cannot, however zealous for the law, by
conscious activity and moral struggle attain inward peace. Salvation by
works is psychologically as well as theologically impossible.


The students of religious experience are to a remarkable degree in
agreement with one another and with the teachings of evangelical
Christianity in their view of the place and power of religion in human
life, and of the need of salvation and the way of salvation.
Disagreements arise when they seek no longer to describe religious
experience but to interpret that experience. Our authorities, in
technical language, agree very largely when they study the phenomenology
of religion, but differ widely as to its metaphysical implicates.

It may properly be asked whether the psychology of religion, while
dealing with the deep things of man, is competent to reveal the deep
things of God. Should the psychologist venture to draw any inferences
in the metaphysical sphere? Strictly speaking he is studying only
subjective phenomena, and the self-imposed limitations of his subject
should forbid him from launching into metaphysical speculation. If he
cannot, as a psychologist, call his soul his own, much less can he infer
that God exists or that Christianity is true. He must remain, perforce,
in the outer courts of the temple, and cannot enter the inner shrine.

As a matter of fact no writer on the psychology of religious experience
really confines himself within strictly empirical limits. Metaphysical
inferences are in fact drawn, or very plainly suggested, and the
important question becomes what inferences of this nature, whether
positive or negative, are proper and legitimate. Religious experience is
at any rate not self-explanatory, but points to something beyond itself,
whether that something be merely a disordered nervous system, or a
natural impulse such as that of sex, or a department of consciousness
outside of the normal, or a Great Beyond, whether conceived as Humanity
or as the living God. We may consider then, (1) the physical explanation
of religion, including the sexual; (2) the psychological explanation;
(3) the social explanation; and (4) the theological explanation.

1. Lowest in the scale is the view of religion which regards it as the
result of abnormal physical or psychophysical conditions. This theory
is the expression of a robust secularism, which can quote the proverb,
"When the devil was sick, the devil a monk would be," and would
prescribe a dose of physic (as his friends did for George Fox) for those
in distress on account of their sins. "For the modern materialist, as
for the ancient Manichee, sin is a question of physiology; moral
depravity only a manifestation of corporeal disorder."[119] Religion and
crime, in this view, both depart from the line of normal existence, and
are pathological phenomena. But if religion is a disease, it afflicts
men in all sorts of physical and mental states, and is practically a
universal disease, taking the world at large.

  119: Robert Law: "The Tests of Life," p. 131.

Akin to this pathological explanation of religion is that which sees in
it either a natural expression, or else a perversion, of the sexual
instinct. "In a certain sense the religious life is an irradiation of
the reproductive instinct,"[120] says Starbuck; and G. S. Hall says that
"in its most fundamental aspect, conversion is a natural, normal,
universal, and necessary process at the stage when life pivots over from
an autocentric to a heterocentric basis."[121] This view is popular with
those who would give a naturalistic account of the religious life,
especially of conversion.

  120: "Psychology of Religion," p. 401.

  121: "Adolescence," Vol. II, p. 301.

In assuming a close connection between human and divine love, the
mystics and the materialists join hands. With both the sexual is
transmuted into the spiritual. Plato made the transition in his
"Phædrus," comparing divine with human love and even with the latter in
a degraded form. The sexual passion and the passion for purity both
alike stir human nature to its depths, and the love of God and the love
of woman are somehow akin. Religion in all ages has made free use of the
imagery of love and marriage. The close connection has been emphasized
by the statistics which show that the period between twelve and twenty
years is preëminently the age of conversion.

On the other hand, the relations between the sexual and the religious
life are so various that it does not seem possible to place them in the
simple relation of cause and effect. In ancient religions there were
examples of phallic worship and the mutilation of priests, of temple
prostitutes and vestal virgins. Polygamy and celibacy have both alike
been enjoined in the name of religion. The imagery of the bride and the
bridegroom has been freely used by the mystics, but it is employed as
well by those who are thought to oppose religion.[122] It is true that in
Christian circles the curve of conversion rises suddenly and is at its
height during the adolescent period; but again the facts are not so
clear as to warrant the inference that conversion is an effect of the
development of the sexual life. The adolescent period is the time also
of the awakening of the intellectual and æsthetic faculties, of the
feeling of responsibility and the stirring of ambition. Unless all of
these are irradiations of the sexual impulse, it cannot be said that the
religious awakening, coming within this period, must be so regarded. The
adolescent period is one of peculiar religious susceptibility, but in
part this may be due to the influence of social pressure, brought to
bear very strongly at this period by parents and teachers. Again, the
exceptions on both sides are too many. Adolescents, even those under
religious influences, are not always converted; indeed this period is
one of peculiar susceptibility to doubt. It is notorious that this is
the time when the Sunday-school and the church are apt to lose their
hold on the boys, and the questionnaires show juvenile atheism as well
as juvenile piety. Sex development cannot well be the cause both of
religion and irreligion.

  122: In an appreciation of the late John Davidson, it is said that
  "an obsession by sexual metaphors was his imaginative besetting
  sin."--A. S. Mories, in _Westminster Review_, July, 1913, p. 81.

While conversions are most frequent in the adolescent period, they occur
both before and after it, as the statistics show. The notable
conversions which have been most far-reaching in their effects, such as
those of Paul, Augustine, and Luther, have occurred after adolescence.
Conversion with Augustine meant the repression of sex desires and a
celibate life, while in the case of Luther it meant freedom to marry.
James observes that "the effects are infinitely wider than the alleged
causes, and for the most part opposite in nature."[123] Paul's conversion
and that of multitudes after him have no suggestion of a sexual element,
and it is notable that men are apt to become increasingly occupied with
religion in advancing age as the sexual impulse wanes.

  123: "Varieties," p. 11, note.

The adolescent theory of conversion has, indeed, a lesson for Christian
parents and teachers. They should urge upon boys and girls decision and
public identification with the church during this period; but it would
be a loss to religion if religious teachers should forget the profound
psychology of the motto: "Give me a child for his first seven years, and
you can have him for the rest of his life." As Stevens says: "We cannot
wait till adolescence is reached before we win the soul for God. That
would be fatally late. The boy must know that the highest is the highest
when he sees it, and must have been prepared to love it."[124] The
profound emotional disturbance of puberty is not regeneration in the
Christian sense, while at that time the conditions for it may be
peculiarly favourable.

  124: "Psychology of the Christian Soul," p. 173.

2. Midway between those explanations of religion which refer it to a
physical and to a supernatural cause is the psychological theory
advocated by James, that the special seat or source of the religious
life is in the Subconscious. While the "subliminal" and the
"subconscious" are newcomers in psychology, they have already played a
considerable rôle in religious discussion, and have been used in
illustration and even in reconstruction of theological doctrine.
Multiple personality illustrates the Trinity; the subconscious is made,
as in Sanday's "Christologies Ancient and Modern," the sphere of the
divine nature of Christ; and psychical research is looked to by some as
a hopeful reinforcement or scientific demonstration of the doctrine of a
future life.

The subconscious is used in a rather loose way by popular and even by
scientific writers. James regards it as "nowadays a well-accredited
psychological entity,"[125] while Pratt refers to the use that is made of
it as "rather questionable psychology."[126] Some of its possible and
legitimate meanings are: (_a_) Those hereditary dispositions which,
unknown to the man himself, largely shape his actions; or (_b_) the
psychophysical machinery of habitualized action. As Jastrow says: "We
rise upon steps of our habitualized selves, grown familiar to their
task."[127] The subconscious again (_c_) may mean that subliminal
activity of the mind which, when the conscious strain of effort and
attention has been unsuccessful, often, as it seems, does the work for
one, recalling the forgotten name, solving the problem, or even creating
a new product such as a finished song or poem.

  125: "Varieties," p. 511.

  126: _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911, p. 231.

  127: "The Subconscious," p. 433.

Lastly (_d_) the subconscious may refer to that more occult sphere to
which belong the phenomena of hypnotism, automatism, multiple
personality, and perhaps telepathy, in virtue of which the subject
performs actions or has ideas to which his ordinary consciousness gives
no clew. The subconscious in any or all of these senses is at least the
dwelling place of mystery. Starbuck admits that "what happens below the
threshold of consciousness must, in the nature of the case, evade
analysis."[128] It is a mysterious region of shadows, a twilight zone in
which the divine and human may meet. It may be in itself the source of
the religious life, or at least the channel through which revelation and
redemptive influence may come.

  128: "Psychology of Religion," p. 107.

In James' exposition the subconscious part of a man is the higher part;
and man is conscious that this higher part of himself "is co-terminous
and continuous with a MORE of the same quality, which is operative in
the universe outside of him."[129] What is this more? Our point of
contact with it is the subconscious self; and without asking for the
farther limits of the "More," and "disregarding the over-beliefs," "we
have in the fact that the conscious person is continuous with a wider
self through which saving experiences come, a positive content of
religious experience, which, it seems to me, is literally and
objectively true as far as it goes."[130]

  129: "Varieties," p. 508.

  130: _Ibid._, p. 515.

James' theory of the subconscious as the organ of religion can appeal to
many undoubted facts, but if it means, as the tendency of his exposition
indicates, that the subconscious as the organ of religion has superior
moral worth to the life of full consciousness, it may be insisted that
the subliminal sphere is the source of evil as well as of good. The
subconscious may be identified with the flesh as well as with the
spirit. If the subconscious, to use Pauline language, is the medium of
higher spiritual influences, it is also the seat of the "old Adam," of
"sin that dwelleth in me." In this region is to be found the source
alike of the unexpected heroisms and weaknesses of men, of Peter's
courage before the Council and of his cowardice before the serving maid.
Hereditary and habitualized dispositions and tendencies are like the
submerged part of an iceberg, and the winds of conscious resolution and
effort are often powerless against the sweep of the hidden current

It may be admitted that "if the grace of God miraculously operates, it
probably operates through the subliminal door,"[131] but it should be
remembered that in this region of the subliminal there are "dragons" as
well as seraphim. Hypnotic influences may be therapeutic or they may be
baleful, and in the region of the subconscious, it is hinted, insane
delusions and psychopathic obsessions may find their source.[132] The
subconscious is a battle-field rather than itself a source of help, and
it cannot be said that the subconscious man of the shadows, if he exists
in any of the rôles assigned to him, is any better or more religious
than the man who has his being in the full sunlight of conscious
activity. The psychological explanation of religion, like the
pathological and the sexual, really proves too much. From all these
alleged sources of religious life, not only saving influences but
destructive influences flow. Royce's criticism is that "the new
doctrine, viewed in one aspect, seems to leave religion in the
comparatively trivial position of a play with whimsical powers--a prey
to endless psychological caprices."[133]

  131: "Varieties," p. 270.

  132: _Ibid._, p. 235.

  133: "William James and Other Essays," p. 23.

3. Another theory of religion, now popular, seeks its explanation not in
any bodily condition or stage of growth, nor in any special department
of the mental life, but in the social relationships of men. Religion
becomes a recognition of social values, "a consciousness of the highest
social values,"[134] and is practically to be identified with patriotism,
altruism and the vision of the future of society. "To-day," says Leuba,
"most men and women derive whatever strength they may have to maintain
their integrity and to devote themselves to the public good from their
respect and love for their family, their friends, their business
associates, and the state, and from their desire for the respect and
love of men, much more than from any religious conviction. It is no
longer the consciousness of God, but the consciousness of Man that is
the power making for righteousness."[135] No metaphysical assumptions
need be made by this view of religion except that of the existence of a
world of one's fellow-men, a postulate which seems necessary even to a
functional psychology.

  134: Ames: "Psychology of Religious Experiences," p. viii.

  135: "A Psychological Study of Religion," p. 311.

However much in harmony with the spirit of the age, the social
explanation of religion is one-sided and is inadequate to the depth and
massiveness and infinite perspective of religious experience. Religion
is a triangle with God, the self and one's brother at its three angles.

(_a_) The Social theory of religion gives no adequate recognition of
the worth either of the individual or of society. The deepest message of
religion is that the soul is worth something to God. Man, in spite of
his social obligations, is not made simply for his brother. "We die
alone," Pascal says, and there is a sense in which we live alone. As a
writer on the psychology of the New Testament says: "The self, according
to the New Testament, is not merely a social self developing in a
community of other finite selves; it is a divine self realizing its
ideal powers of service, and fulfilling its destiny only in a fellowship
with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ."[136] Unless Humanity is
endowed with the attributes of Deity, as it almost seems to be in the
Positivist ritual, the estimate of society is also lowered when men are
viewed as having relations and obligations only to one another. As James
Ward has pointed out, Humanity can only have the significance and
sacredness of the individuals from whom it is abstracted, and if these
have no permanent or enduring worth, no more has Humanity.[137]

  136: M. S. Fletcher: "The Psychology of the New Testament," p. 245.

  137: "The Realm of Ends," p. 387.

(_b_) The humanitarian view narrows too much the horizons of religion.
It would exclude from religion the sense of infinite dependence, and of
devotion to and communion with a personal higher Power. A religion of
humanity merely will seem superficial to the mood which cries out, "My
soul is athirst for God," or "I seek _Thee_ in order that my soul may
live." If the religion of the anchorite was one-sided, so equally is
that of the humanitarian.[138] Neither sin nor righteousness can be
interpreted in exclusively social terms, unless the conception of the
community be so enlarged as to include the Great Companion and the Great
Demander. The social theory, again, has no apparent place for the
religion of solitude which finds God in nature. A New England writer
says of Mount Ranier:

  138: The hermit saints, from this modern standpoint, would not
  deserve to be called religious at all, as witness this remark of
  Ames: "If religion is participation in the ideal values of the
  social consciousness, then those who do not share in this
  consciousness are non-religious."--"Psychology of Religious
  Experiences," p. 356.

"I saw the mountain three years ago: Would that it might ever be my lot
to see it again! I love to dream of its glory, and its vast whiteness is
a moral force in my life." "Climb the mountains," says one of the best
known of American mountaineers, John Muir, "and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The
winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy,
while care will drop off like autumn leaves."[139]

  139: See J. H. Williams: "The Mountain That Was 'God,'" pp. 40, 113.

(_c_) The religion of humanity must look outside itself for its highest
inspiration for social service and for the norm of social progress. It
was Christianity that created the atmosphere in which "the enthusiasm of
humanity" and zeal for social service could flourish. Christianity has
emphasized the value of the individual, and the sacredness of family
relationships and the brother-hood of the children of the one Father.
Without divine love as its pattern and inspiration human love would lose
in comprehension and in intensity.

Society in its progress has ever waited for the signal to be given by
some prophet from the deserts, or some seer who has brought from the
mount of vision the pattern of a better social order. Those who see in
social service the essence of religion are faced with the paradox that
the wisest and most beneficent social influences have flowed from those
experiences in which the individual turned his back on society and
flaunted its ideals. A declaration of independence of society seems
needed before there can be the most effective social service. By an
unsocial act Abraham left his country and his kindred and his father's
house, and yet in him all the families of the earth have been blessed;
through Paul's unsocial act in deserting the traditions of his fathers,
the course of Western civilization has been profoundly influenced;
George Fox's unsocial act in depriving his town of the services of a
useful tradesman, and making for himself a suit of leather, has been
called by an acute observer, Carlyle, doubtless by an over-emphasis, the
greatest event of modern history. Religion, in fact, first asserts
itself as something over and above all social relations before its
social mission can be performed.

4. The interpretation of religious experience by the psychologists has
not always been favourable to theistic or Christian belief, but the
failure of other explanations, if established, will lead us to seek a
more adequate one by referring to a Reality transcending human
experience and social relationships. The study of religious psychology
has, in fact, furnished a broad basis from which a metaphysical or
theistic inference can be drawn. Such an inference, cumulative in its
effect, may be drawn from the universality of religious belief, from the
imperativeness of social obligations implying a supersocial sanction,
and from the regenerative effects of religion to an adequate cause. "God
is real since He produces real effects."[140] But the study of religious
experience has not only strengthened the older theistic arguments, but
has in effect formulated two new arguments, the pragmatic and the

  140: "Varieties," p. 517.

The Pragmatic Argument for theism has been stated by James in the spirit
of his later philosophy. Taking religions as including creeds and
faith-states, James says that without regard to their truth "we are
obliged, on account of their extraordinary influence on action and
endurance, to class them amongst the most important biological functions
of mankind."[141] The pragmatic argument would then run: "The uses of
religion, its uses to the individual who has it, and the uses of the
individual himself to the world, are the best arguments that truth is in
it."[142] There is a satisfaction, a fullness of life, an energy and an
expansiveness flowing from religion which are not enjoyed apart from it,
and its usefulness, from this standpoint, is a guarantee of its truth.
It is merely to state this argument in the more familiar terms of cause
and effect to say as James does elsewhere that "work is actually done
upon our finite personalities, for we are turned into new men, and
consequences in the way of conduct follow in the natural world upon our
regenerative change."[143] God is real since He produces real effects.

  141: "Varieties," p. 506.

  142: _Ibid._, p. 459.

  143: _Ibid._, p. 516.

The Mystical Argument for theism is based on the claim that in religious
experience there is a more immediate certainty of the presence of God
and a stronger assurance of His existence than can be gained from purely
intellectual processes. This evidence, it is clear, may be of the
strongest possible kind to the mystic himself, but may seem to be weak
or even negligible to the outsider, since the experience in the nature
of the case is private and incommunicable. Before the mystical claim is
appraised we must distinguish further the various kinds of mysticism. We
must distinguish between the absorption of the Buddhist with his passion
for annihilation, and the Christian's delight in the Lord; and between a
mysticism which means identity of substance and the deification of man,
and a moral mysticism which realizes at once that God is infinitely near
in His grace but infinitely far in His holiness.

It is fair to ask whether the assurance of the presence of God enjoyed
by many Christians in all ages, according to their testimony, is
immediate or inferred knowledge, and whether it should be called
knowledge or faith. The answer of the mystic might be that there is a
"felt indubitable certainty of experience" which is not dependent on the
solution of epistemological problems. Otherwise we could not be sure of
our own existence or of that of our fellows until we had specialized in
the theory of knowledge and solved the problem, which has haunted modern
philosophy, of the knowledge of other selves. If it be objected again
that a subjective experience cannot ground an inference to an objective,
and much less to a supernatural, cause,[144] it may be said that the
experience itself, if correctly reported, is supernatural in character.
Whether it be Paul's "peace that passes understanding," or Peter's "joy
unspeakable and full of glory," or Edwards' "inward sweet delight in God
and divine things," or a modern scientist's consciousness of the
presence of God, said to be "as strong and real to me as that of any
bodily presence,"[145] it is of such a character that no other inference
than that to a supernatural cause can properly be drawn. The mystical
argument is not based like the other arguments of natural theology upon
the regular course of things, but upon what claims to be a new
supernatural experience, a new life with new capacities and powers, and
new emotions and insights.

  144: See Höffding: "Philosophy of Religion," p. 99.

  145: "A Scientist's Confession of Faith," by E. L. Gregory, 1898, p.21.

It must be noticed, in conclusion, that the evidence which the
psychologists have so industriously collected, showing that religion is
good for the individual and for society, has been taken almost
exclusively from the circle of Christian influences. We might paraphrase
James' pragmatic argument and say that Christianity is true because it
is good for the individual and for society. His argument from cause
might also be applied to Christianity, for the mystical experiences
adduced are in great measure not merely those of communion with God but
of communion with God in and through Christ. By no analysis in fact, as
D. W. Forrest says, is the Christian "able to distinguish his communion
with the Father from his communion with Christ. They are blended as
consciously real in one indivisible experience."[146] The testimony of
Christian experience is to a Power and a Presence which the Christian
feels only as he hears and accepts the gospel message and looks to
Christ for forgiveness, guidance, and help. "A man who is converted, in
the New Testament sense, is one who has surrendered to a force
immeasurably greater than anything he has of himself; one who has
awakened to the overwhelming consciousness of a spiritual world brought
to a focus before him in the Person of Jesus Christ."[147] The Christian
believes that he receives grace from the Father and the Son. "When Jesus
deals with us and works within us, He does what only God can do. All
Christian experience is nothing if it is not this."[148]

  146: "The Christ of History and of Experience," p. 166.

  147: H. Wheeler Robinson: "The Christian Doctrine of Man," 1911,
  p. 322.

  148: P. C. Simpson: "The Fact of Christ," pp. 130, 131.

After all the secret of the Lord, known to Christians in the catacombs
at Rome as they sang, "Jesu, Amor Meus," known to medieval Christians as
they sang "Jesu, Dulcis Memoria," and known equally to modern Christians
who sing "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," is with them that fear Him. It has
been well said that Christianity must be known from the inside, if it
is to be known at its full worth. In the nature of the case the evidence
of Christian experience is not demonstrative to an outsider. It can come
to him only in the way of an appeal: "Come and see; taste and see that
the Lord is good."



The two systems of philosophy which were dominant at the turn of the
century were unfriendly to theistic and Christian belief. Naturalism on
the one hand and Absolutism on the other could find no place for a
positive faith in God, freedom and immortality. The opening years of the
century witnessed a revolt against these two systems; and the leading
characteristic of twentieth century thought, over against an agnostic
naturalism and a pantheistic or impersonal absolutism, has been its
reaffirmation of spiritual values. There has been a new emphasis upon
the rights of personality, as against the enmeshing and enchaining
forces of nature on the one hand and an all-engulfing Absolute on the

Philosophical readers will remember the moral tonic of James' collection
of essays, "The Will to Believe" (1902), with its picturesque style, its
originality of standpoint and its moral enthusiasm. Here was a
philosopher of medical training and of unquestioned scientific standing,
and yet with the insight and earnestness of a prophet, making a valiant
defense of spiritual realities, of human freedom, and the rights of the
volitional and moral sides of our nature. As an evolutionist he
contended that "the strenuous type of character will on the battle-field
of human history always outwear the easy-going type, and religion will
drive irreligion to the wall."[149] And as a psychologist he found that
theism appealed to every energy of our active nature and released the
springs of every emotion, and held that "infra-theistic conceptions,
materialism and agnosticism, are irrational because they are inadequate
stimuli to man's practical nature."[150]

  149: "The Will to Believe," p. 213.

  150: _Ibid._, p. 134.

Readers who had been breathing the stifling air of naturalism, so fatal
to spiritual aspiration, or the too rarified atmosphere of absolutism
with its "transcendence" of personality and moral distinctions, will
remember also the sense of satisfaction and relief with which they read
that other volume of protest, from the other side of the water,
"Personal Idealism" (1902). It was refreshing to find that there was a
body of brilliant young thinkers, alive to the scientific atmosphere of
the time, and trained in the philosophic orthodoxy of the English
schools, and yet boldly asserting the rights of personality in God and

This twofold protest against a denial, from whatever side, of the rights
of personality was organized into the movement we call Pragmatism,
under the leadership of William James, ably assisted by F. C. S.
Schiller in Oxford and John Dewey in this country.[151] It is not to be
wondered at if this reaction went too far, as the pendulum swung from
the extreme of Being to that of Becoming. We find Pragmatism, reacting
against monism, whether materialistic or idealistic, going over to
pluralism; from the extreme of a "block universe" in which time is
nothing passing to the other extreme of a "strung-along universe" in
which time is everything; from pantheism going over to a vaguely
indicated polytheism; from an absolute truth and an absolute Being
sitting in smiling repose above the strife of time to a "God in the
dirt" and a truth that could be made, or unmade, perhaps too easily.

  151: For fuller discussion of this movement, the writer may refer to
  his article, "Pragmatism, Humanism and Religion," in the _Princeton
  Theological Review_, October, 1908.

Our discussion will be more concrete if we select leading
representatives from the four nations most addicted to philosophy, and
examine their attitude towards the Christian Faith and towards its
theistic foundations.


In close relation to the pragmatic movement, and set forth with a
wonderful magic of style, is the philosophy of Henri Bergson which
finds its mature expression in his "Creative Evolution." It is a
remarkable testimony to the wealth of suggestion and many-sidedness of
Bergson's philosophy that its support has been claimed by a number of
movements of diverse aim. Modernists in theology, syndicalists in the
sphere of social agitation, and even, it is said, cubists in art, appeal
to Bergson for philosophical support; and affinities have been pointed
out between his _élan vital_ and Schopenhauer's will-to-live, Von
Hartmann's philosophy of the unconscious, and Nietzsche's aggressive
individualism. We must ask whether his _élan vital_ can be baptized, and
his "Creative Evolution" be made the basis for a spiritual philosophy.

It will be useful to notice some features of Bergson's system before
attempting to estimate its bearings upon religious problems. The story
of evolution as Bergson describes it, certainly in an engaging manner,
is a drama in three acts. The _élan vital_, or otherwise consciousness,
is the hero, but is imprisoned by matter (the villain), and is striving
blindly for release. In the first act, the vital impulse tunnels its way
through the opposing element of matter into the vegetable world. The
result is only the lethargy and immobility of vegetable forms, and is so
far a failure. The next act finds consciousness working its way into the
animal world and attaining mobility and becoming in so far free from the
entanglements of matter; but here again there is partial failure.
Consciousness is arrested at the stage of instinct, and, resting content
with a response to the environment which is patterned after the
mechanical action of matter, fails to attain freedom. In the third act,
"by a tremendous leap," consciousness, in spite of the efforts of matter
to drag it down to the plane of mechanism, reaches at last spontaneity
and freedom in man. The drama reaches its _dénouement_ in man and his
ability not only to move in response to environment, but to control the
environment. It is intimated that there may be a sequel, in which life
pursues its career in another stage of existence.

1. It is evident at a glance that the view of evolution here set forth
in barest outline offers many points of contrast to what has been
accepted as evolutionary orthodoxy. The history of life with both Darwin
and Bergson is a struggle: but with Darwin it is a struggle for
existence, with Bergson a struggle for freedom, for efficiency, for
complexity. With Darwin there is a struggle of living beings with one
another, conceived after the analogy of economic competition; with
Bergson there is a struggle of life against matter and necessity. The
struggle for existence, in a sense, has been moralized. It is a struggle
for the existence and higher life of consciousness.

2. Creative evolution is not materialistic evolution, for life is not a
development from matter but is an upward tendency opposing the downward
current of matter. The increasing complexity of living forms is not the
result of the movements of matter, or of chemical-physical laws, but of
an opposition, successful in a unique degree in men, to the imprisoning
and entangling forces of matter.

3. The later stages in evolution, while connected with the earlier in
continuity of development, may contain elements that are essentially
new. A living being is "a reservoir of indetermination and
unforeseeability."[152] The new species cannot be explained, except by an
illegitimate process of thought, by what is presented in the old. The
appearance of a new species is something as new as the composition of a
symphony of Beethoven. Man, then, in his powers and destinies is not to
be judged by his likeness to the brutes, but by what he possesses over
and above the qualities of animal life, by those achievements and
endowments to which animals have failed to attain. Since man, and man
alone, has come so far, and in him alone consciousness has broken the
chains of mechanical necessity, "we shall have no repugnance in
admitting that in man, though perhaps in man alone, consciousness
pursues its path beyond this earthly life."[153]

  152: "Life and Consciousness," _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911, p. 34.

  153: _Ibid._, p. 43.

4. Creative evolution is the antithesis of mechanical evolution. Bergson
protests that the conception of mechanism as applied to life is
inadequate, because (1) it is artificial, growing out of our habits of
controlling matter. It is an instrument of the intelligence, not giving
us an insight into life, which we must gain rather in intuition, the
higher faculty in Bergson's system. A mechanical representation of
nature is always a "representation necessarily artificial and
symbolic."[154] (2) Mechanical conceptions are inapplicable to living
beings, because of the irreversibility of the movements of living forms;
and (3) the mechanical theory is negatived by the facts of the
psychophysical connection. "The hypothesis of an equivalence between the
psychical state and the cerebral state implies a veritable absurdity, as
we tried to prove in a former work."[155] No mechanical theory and no
theory of accidental variations, whether insensible or abrupt, can
account for the production of so complex an organ as the eye.[156]

  154: "L'Évolution Créatrice," 7th ed., 1911, p. iv.; E. T.,
  "Creative Evolution," 1911, p. xii.

  155: _Ibid._, p. 384; E. T., p. 355.

  156: _Ibid._, pp. 82 ff.; E. T., pp. 75 ff.

His critique of other theories prepares the way for Bergson's own view
that the forms of living beings are due to an original vital impulsion,
not in the single organism, but in life as a whole, seeking, without
foresight of the result, to overcome the downward tendency of matter.

Bergson's suggested _via media_ between creationism and evolutionism,
his rejection of a theory of chance variations, and his vigorous polemic
against mechanism, all seem to prepare the way for a spiritualistic
philosophy. It is true that the land of the spirit has not yet been
explored, but Bergson, as one writer expresses it, has at least thrown a
bridge across the chasm between the material and the spiritual. While
his "Creative Evolution" has been placed upon the Index, we must
remember that he himself claims that this work and those that preceded
it have resulted in the conceptions of liberty, of spirit and of
creation. "From all this," as he says, "we derive a clear idea of a free
and creating God, producing matter and life at once, whose creative
effort is continued, in a vital direction, by the evolution of species
and the construction of human personalities."[157]

  157: See Edouard Le Roy: "The New Philosophy of Henri Bergson," E.
  T., pp. 224 f.

The point in Bergson's system which seems least in harmony with theistic
belief is his criticism and rejection of finalism. Bergson fears that
the temporal series will be swallowed up in the "dark backward and abysm
of time," or rather of eternity. The finalism of a foreseen end means
with him fatalism, fixity, with no play for freedom, and a reality in
time only of a secondary order. Again, in opposition to finalism he
urges the variety of living forms. Could the end of all the varied
history be merely the production of man? This cannot be proved, because
everywhere we see in nature contingency and variety, and apparent
cross-purposes if purpose at all. There is no single line of evolution
leading up to man. Some fossil forms from remote periods show exactly
the same structure as living forms to-day. Further, the vital impulse
striving towards freedom meets with obstacles, and failure and arrest
are manifest in the lethargy of vegetables and the mechanical reflexes
of animals, if these are viewed with reference to the assumed end of the
creation of man. The only finalism which Bergson will admit is that of a
push towards freedom in virtue of an original vital impulse, blindly and
often vainly seeking to overcome the movement of matter towards
necessity. It is a _vis a tergo_ happening at last to issue, without any
foresight of the result, in the appearance of man.

It is not clear, however, that Bergson has been able to dispose of
finalism, or to find some conception between it and the theory of chance
which he rejects. The disc of a talking machine, to one not familiar
with it, with its spiral lines broken in a haphazard way, would seem to
exclude purpose; but when it is properly adjusted the voice of a Melba
or a Caruso can be heard. So there may be some standpoint from which the
bewildering variety of nature will reveal some unitary purpose. It may
be, to use the figure of the artist, that the purpose is not solely the
production of man, but that the variety and beauty of the natural world
is an expression of the joy of the Creative Artist in his work. The
purpose may be more comprehensive, and the fact that all natural history
does not plainly lead to the production of man is not in itself a proof
that man was not the intended consummation of the process.

It is noteworthy that Bergson, a master in the use of illustration,
cannot find any exact illustration of the kind of evolution he wishes to
describe. He compares the course of evolution to a road, leading to a
city, but hastens to add that, for evolution, the end of the road is not
seen.[158] He says again that "if one wished to express himself in terms
of finality, it must be said that consciousness ... has sought an issue
in the double direction of instinct and intelligence. It has not found
it in instinct and it has not obtained it upon the side of intelligence,
except by a sudden leap from animal to man. So that, in the last
analysis, man would be the _raison d' être_ of the entire organization
of life upon our planet."[159] He adds again, however, that this would
be but a manner of speaking, and that there is nothing in reality but a
certain current of existence and an antagonistic current, whence all the
evolution of life. Once more it will be asked, how is this sudden leap,
so tremendous in its consequences, to be conceived? Is it a leap in the
dark, like the leap of a fish from the water into a rowboat? Is man thus
only a happy accident? Or must we see in the vital impulse, or behind
it, some real instrumentality of guidance? If the original current of
life is wholly blind and purposeless, it would arrive nowhere, or else
its arrival at humanity would be as much the result of chance as if it
were due to a fortuitous collocation of atoms.

  158: "L'Évolution Créatrice," p. 112; E. T., p. 102.

  159: _Ibid._, pp. 200 f.; E. T., pp. 184 f.

But let us return to Bergson's favourite and beautiful figure of the
artist. The effort to objectify the ideal, and to put it in concrete
form in words or upon canvas, is said to be precious though painful. It
is precious and more precious than the work it results in, "because,
thanks to it, we have drawn from ourselves not only all there was there,
but more than was there: we have raised ourselves above ourselves."[160]

  160: _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911, p. 41.

Is the Divine Artist subject to this kind of evolution? In moments of
creative activity does He thus avail Himself of a "plus-power" in the
universe, to use Emerson's expression, and does He thus, like the human
artist, raise Himself above Himself? If so, we must think of God as
altogether such a one as we are, rather than as the source and ground of
being and the life and light of men. Such a deity is rather to be
identified with the stream of life than with the Ultimate lying behind
both life and matter. The Divine Artist, so conceived, would lack the
clearness of human prevision of ends, and would be of a relatively lower
order of endowment. The striving of the vital impulse without foresight
of an end is of an infra-human rather than a super-human kind; for even
a "complete and perfect humanity," Bergson says, "would be that in which
these two forms of conscious activity [intuition and intelligence]
attain their full development."[161]

  161: "L'Évolution Créatrice," p. 289; E. T., p. 267.

A recent critic has said that while Bergson has removed the mechanical
obstacles to liberty he has not discovered the spiritual conditions
requisite for it, and that "he has, most unintentionally, brought us
back, in this anti-Finalism, to that Naturalism which he has so
successfully resisted when it masqueraded as a sheer Mechanism."[162]
There can be no doubt that the spirit of his philosophy is one of
progress, and that the tendency of his thought is spiritualistic; his
_élan vital_ is an _élan en avant_, and his God (if one be admitted in
his system) is a God of hope. But the questions will still arise
whether the vital impulse means for society a destructive radicalism or
a constructive renewal; whether, in its ethical aspect, it means a
will-to-live no matter what happens to any one else, or a
will-to-live-better; and whether it will eventually be transformed into
a pessimistic resignation or transmuted into spiritual aspiration.

  162: F. von Hügel: "Eternal Life," p. 301.

In the religious aspect of his philosophy, Bergson stands at the parting
of the ways. He must associate with creation not merely an impulse
vaguely psychical, but the personal attributes of will, intelligence and
purpose, and so advance towards theism; or else he must be content to
rest in naturalism, albeit of a glorified type.


Since the death of William James, the brightest stars in the
philosophical firmament have been Henri Bergson of Paris and Rudolf
Eucken of Jena. One reason for the popularity of both is that the centre
of interest in their best-known works is not in epistemology. They do
not approach the problem of existence as beholders, merely asking how
they can see, and whether what they see is real, but their standpoint is
that of intimate, vital human experience. Both writers place themselves
in the stream of life, and find that the moments of deepest insight into
reality are those of creative activity in art or other constructions of
the mind, or else, with Eucken, of moral achievement and victory.

Eucken has been called the German Emerson, and his message to his time
is that of a seer rather than of a systematizer. He is the prophet of a
spiritual life, protesting against materialism and secularism, and
vindicating the sovereign rights of the spiritual aspects of existence.
In the term "Activism," which he applies to his philosophy, he intimates
that there must be an activity of the soul upon its material and social
environment, before the insights of philosophy and the achievements of
art and the experiences of religion can be attained. There must be an
assertion by the soul of its own spiritual nature. The conviction that
man is not merely the product of nature, but in his spiritual life is
independent and supreme, is not the result of a revelation to a passive
recipient. It is an achievement, a venture of faith, a self-assertion of
the soul in the face of hostile forces which would confine it within the
trivial and the phenomenal.

Eucken's relation to Christianity will appear if we notice briefly (1)
his critique of other philosophical theories; (2) his own constructive
theory of religion; and (3) his answer to the question, Can we still be

1. As an exponent of the "monistic trinity" of the Good, the Beautiful,
and the True, Eucken is brought into comparison with his famous
colleague, Haeckel, with whose "brand-new monism" he has little
sympathy. Against Naturalism, Eucken holds that the life of man in its
ideal constructions such as science, art, morality and religion, cannot
be explained from below, but only from the Higher in him and above him.
From the material supplied to it by nature the soul, out of its own
activity, builds the more stately mansions of science, philosophy, art,
social organization and religion. "A consistent naturalism," he
contends, "is not able to permit science of any kind. Science is
constructed through the activity of the human mind alone."[163]

  163: "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," 3d ed., 1912, p. 36;
  E. T., "The Truth of Religion," 1913, p. 52.

Against Pragmatism, with which Eucken's Activism has some superficial
resemblance, he argues for the "independent character of reality over
against our experience of it." He believes that our deepest nature can
be called into action only by the recognition of an Ought, which has an
existence and value of its own, regardless of the opinions of any group
of individuals or of the whole human race. "When the good of the
individual and of humanity becomes the highest aim and the guiding
principle, truth sinks to the level of a merely utilitarian opinion....
Truth can exist only as an end in itself. 'Instrumental' truth is no
truth at all."[164]

  164: "Main Currents of Modern Thought," p. 78.

The method of the intellectualist as well as of the voluntarist is
inadequate to reach the truth of religion. Religion should be a fact of
the whole man, and of his own decision, and it should recognize by a
unique experience, which cannot be called exclusively feeling or thought
or will, an encompassing and basal whole. Thought "left simply to its
own resources would never be able to get beyond empty forms and highly
abstract conceptions."[165] No merely intellectual form of religion is
able to overcome doubt. Thus "the transformation of the Spiritual Life
into an impersonal thought-process destroys it to its very foundation."

  165: "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," p. 121; E. T., "The
  Truth of Religion," p. 176.

2. This effort, already in part described, to assert an independent
spiritual world over against a natural world, this recognition of
over-individual standards and of an absolute, self-subsistent Spiritual
Life (_Geistesleben_), is called Universal Religion. The term Godhead to
indicate this conception is in some ways preferable to that of God. A
higher stage of religion is indicated by Eucken's term Characteristic
Religion, by which is meant a deeper insight into the divine, a more
personal experience of the divine energy of Spiritual Life. Universal
Religion, it may be said, is the demand or the feeling after God; while
Characteristic Religion is the supply or the finding of God. In the
effort to conform to the over-individual standards and to attain harmony
with the divine, there is an inevitable sense of weakness and failure.
It becomes evident that man's own energy cannot save him from inner
discord. "If a rescue is possible, Divine power and grace must do the
work. That such power and grace really accomplish this, is the
fundamental conviction of religion."[166] There originates a mutual
intercourse with the soul and God as between an I and a Thou; and
"consequently, there culminates here a movement away from the colourless
conception of the Godhead to that of a living and personal God."[167]

  166: "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," p. 295; E. T., p. 425.

  167: _Ibid._, p. 299; E. T., p. 430.

Eucken's teaching has been called a philosophical restatement of
Christianity. He reiterates in philosophical language the theological
doctrines of sin, of the new birth, of divine grace, and of the
supremacy of Christian love. His argument for immortality is the
religious argument: "The Infinite Power and Love that has grounded a new
spontaneous nature in man, over against a dark and hostile world, will
conserve such a new nature and its spiritual nucleus, and shelter it
against all perils and assaults, so that life as the bearer of life
eternal can never be wholly lost in the stream of time."[168]

  168: _"Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion,"_ p. 303; E. T., pp. 435 f.

3. From our exposition thus far it would seem unnecessary to ask the
question, Can we still be Christians? and we are not surprised that
Eucken's answer is, "We not only can but must be Christians."[169] A
closer examination of his teaching shows that this question, and even
the previous question, Can we still be theists? may naturally be raised.
It is true that Eucken recoils from pantheism as lessening the energy of
life,[170] and declares that the transcendence of the Divine must be
asserted; but on the other hand we are warned that "the notion of the
personal is here only a symbol for something transcending all
conceptions and words."[171] It is too emotional and anthropomorphic.
Eucken will not declare unqualified allegiance either to pantheism, to
theism in its usual form or to agnosticism. In the Spiritual Life the
opposition of monism and dualism, and apparently of the personal and the
impersonal, are transcended. The overcoming of opposites in a way
impossible for reason is precisely the office and prerogative of
religion. It is to be noticed in his account of spiritual life that
prayer, "the core of religion," is singularly absent; and in his
exposition of Christianity he gives no prominence to the Fatherhood of
God, central as that conception was in the teaching of Jesus.

  169: "Können wir noch Christen sein?" 1911, p. 236; E. T., "Can
  We Still Be Christians?" p. 218.

  170: _Ibid._, p. 154; E. T., p. 143.

  171: _Ibid._, p. 129; E. T., p. 120.

With the doctrine of personality thus loosely held, it is no wonder that
there are many elements in Christianity as usually understood which are
uncongenial to Eucken's mode of thought. We cannot, he says, confine the
union of God and man to one unique instance, and we must demand an
immediate relationship between God and man throughout the whole breadth
of the Spiritual Life; nor can we make the expression of divine love and
grace dependent upon its one expression in Jesus Christ.[172] One time
cannot set the standard for all time,[173] nor one historical person,
absolutely, for all persons. The denial of sensible miracle, he allows,
cuts deep into historical Christianity, but such a denial is
necessary.[174] To affirm miracle is to make the spiritual too dependent
on the sensible, and such a central miracle as the Resurrection "would
mean an overthrow of the total order of nature, as this has been set
forth through the work of modern investigation."[175]

  172: "Können wir noch Christen sein?" p. 186; E. T., p. 172.

  173: _Ibid._, p. 28; E. T., p. 27.

  174: _Ibid._, p. 167; E. T., p. 155.

  175: "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," p. 370; E. T., p. 527.

However great the figure of Jesus may be, His greatness must be confined
to the realm of humanity. "If Jesus, therefore, is not God, if Christ
is not the second Person in the Trinity, then He is man; not a man like
any average man among us, but still man. We can, then, revere Him as a
leader, a hero, a martyr; but we cannot directly bind ourselves to Him
or root ourselves in Him (_bei ihm festlegen_); we cannot submit to Him
unconditionally. Still less can we make Him the object of a cult. To do
so would be nothing less than an intolerable deification of a human

  176: "Können wir noch Christen sein?" p. 37; E. T., pp. 34 f.

What of those, we may ask, who in religious experience find themselves
"rooted and grounded" in Christ? Eucken's readers cannot expect relief
from this quarter, for religious experience, he holds, is too subjective
and human to ground an inference to the nature of Spiritual Life.[177] It
is evident that Eucken has cut deep into Christianity alike on its
historical, its doctrinal and its experiential sides. He distinguishes
between form and substance, but acknowledges that "religion has lost
unspeakably much through the upheaval of the old form";[178] and that
this must somehow be made good. We might, without violence in the
comparison, imagine the case of a Mohammedan who, trained in modern
modes of thought but clinging to old associations, asked himself the
question, Can we still be Mohammedans? "Yes," he might reply, "but we
must retain only the essence or soul of Mohammedanism--its monotheism.
The historical body or existential form of Mohammedanism, namely, that
Mohammed was the prophet of God and that the Koran is a revelation from
heaven, must be given up. And even when we speak of the unity and
personality of God, we must remember that we are employing symbol and

  177: Eucken's neglect of the experiential standpoint is a common
  complaint among his critics. See M. Booth: "R. Eucken: His
  Philosophy and Influence," p. 199.

  178: "The Truth of Religion," p. 577. The German, p. 404, is
  less emphatic.

Eucken presents the remarkable phenomenon of a man whose thought is
saturated with Christian influence, who appreciates the moral power and
splendour of Christianity and its regenerative effects in history, and
yet is unable to reconcile its distinctive features with the fundamental
concepts of his philosophy. He shows the close connection of the
questions, What think ye of Christ? and, What think ye of God? and that
assured belief in the personality of God and in His incarnation in a
Person belong together. "No one cometh to the Father but by me." That a
Christianity such as Eucken preaches, removed from supports in history,
in authoritative doctrine, in religious experience, perhaps even in a
rational theism, can retain its moral power and act as a spiritual lever
for the elevation either of the masses or the classes, remains to be

Our twentieth century philosophers are the prophets of a new age.
Bergson's teaching opens before each individual and before humanity new
possibilities of achievement, as, in obedience to the vital impulse, the
army of humanity rushes on "in an overwhelming charge, able to beat down
every resistance and clear the most formidable obstacles, perhaps even
death."[179] Eucken, with the more serious burden of a moral message, has
proclaimed with voice and pen the gospel of a new spiritual life and a
new spiritual world. Do not these twentieth century prophets reëcho in a
certain sense, each in his own language, the message which was heard
among the Galilean hills in an age from which the centuries are
measured, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand"?

  179: "L'Évolution Créatrice," p. 294; E. T., p. 271.


Our English speaking philosophers, in the more usual fashion, base their
religious philosophy upon a theory of knowledge. It is noticeable,
however, that both James Ward and Josiah Royce, while belonging to the
idealistic tradition coming down from Kant and Hegel, show the influence
of a revolt from that tradition. Ward begins with the many, with
pluralism, while he ends with the one; and Royce declares himself an
advocate of Absolute Pragmatism.

The great services of Ward to religious philosophy in his "Realm of
Ends" are, first, his transition from pluralism to theism, and, second,
his demonstration anew of the strength of the philosophical argument for

1. His theistic argument in a nutshell is this, that while there is no
road from the One to the Many, there is an open road from the Many to
the One, with sign-posts upon the way. We must start with pluralism,
says Ward, because no reason can be given why the One, in whatever way
conceived, should become the Many. Why should the homogeneous become
heterogeneous, or the indeterminate determinate, or why should the
absolute become split up into finite spirits? A creation out of nothing
cannot, for Ward, solve the problem, for his conception of creation is
that of "intellective intuition," in which God as subject is necessary
to the existence of the world as object, but the world, from this
standpoint, is equally necessary to God.

There is no way of passing, then, from an absolute One to the Many, from
singularism to pluralism. We must start with Babel and achieve, if we
can, "one language and one speech." In its modern form Pluralism is a
revolt alike from nineteenth century Absolutism, which was the dominant
school in Germany and England, and from the Naturalism brought to the
fore by the advance of scientific research, and interpreting mind in
terms of nature. Pluralism has been called a means of escape alike from
"Naturalism's desert and the barren summit of the Absolute." The ancient
pluralism took the form of atomism, but the concourse of atoms may
account for rigidity and uniformity but not for spontaneity. The modern
type of pluralism, starting at the level of self-consciousness, posits a
multitude of monads or individuals acting towards self-conservation and
self-realization, and can, it is believed, do full justice alike to law
and contingency, to spontaneity and fixity. The pluralist, operating on
the principle of continuity, assumes that there are conscious
individuals or monads in various degrees lower than man down to the
minimal point of complete unconsciousness; and higher consciousnesses
than man up to a being who may be called in a sense supreme, but is
never more than one of the many, not inclusive of them, and, however
exalted, is never more than _primus inter pares_.

The modern pluralist as described by Ward is a "pampsychist"; he
believes that all existence is soul-like. There is a multiplicity of
soul-like beings of various grades of development, some dominating, some
serving, "conative and cognitive individuals bent on self-conservation
and seeking the good."[180] All existence is soul-like, although, in what
we call inorganic matter, these cognitive and conative monads have
been largely "denatured" and reduced to the semblance of mechanism and
routine. They have become "finished and finite clods, untroubled by a

  180: "The Realm of Ends," 1911, p. 223.

The pluralist assumes at the outset a multiplicity of soul-like beings;
but he cannot explain satisfactorily their inter-action, or their action
towards a common end. If, indeed, a pluralistic standpoint were
hopelessly infected with contradictions, as the Eleatics might hold,
then "the way to theism would be hopelessly barred; for from pluralism
speculation really always has and always must begin."[181] Pluralism
begins with the many and ends with the many. But did it really begin at
the beginning, and does it really reach the end? Pluralism, Ward
insists, "points both theoretically and practically [and both forward
and backward] beyond itself."[182]

  181: "The Realm of Ends," p. 224.

  182: _Ibid._, p. 436.

Following Ward in his transition from pluralism to theism, we notice:
(1) The pluralist stops with "the totality of a Many in their
inter-action regarded as the ultimate reality." But this position "is
incomplete and unsatisfying. A plurality of beings primarily independent
as regards their existence and yet always mutually acting and reacting
upon each other, an ontological plurality that is somehow a cosmological
unity, seems clearly to suggest some ground beyond itself. The idea of
God presents itself to meet this lack." But this idea of God would be
meaningless "unless God were regarded as transcending the Many; so there
can be no talk of God as merely _primus inter pares_."[183] There can be
no democratic idea of God, for by its very nature the idea of God
implies something unique and incomparable and sovereign. The existence
of the Many then looks back to the existence of the One as ground or

  183: "The Realm of Ends," p. 241.

The pluralistic view, then, does not, apart from theism, make a unified
world; a pluralistic universe is in fact a contradiction in terms. Such
a unifying conception as theism affords answers to the subject in
relation to the manifold objects of experience; in fact it is doubtful
if an absolute pluralism is a possible conception since we never know of
the Many apart from the One. Theism, again, in its doctrine of a
dominant monad and a supreme world spirit, is in agreement with the
generalizations of science. All theories of the derivation of finite
spirits, whether evolutionist, creationist, or traducian, agree in
deriving the Many from the One.

(2) The coöperation of the Many also points in the direction of the One
if, as is generally assumed, this coöperation is towards any common
goal. The coöperation, it may be said, is due to chance, a fortuitous
concourse of purposes; but if there is a tendency to one end, the
question is inevitable, Why should the Many tend towards one end unless
they had in the One their source? Theism is reached as the alternative
of supposing that the inter-actions of the Many are a mere welter of
happenings without meaning or purpose. Evolution and history show an
increase of complexity and coöperation, and if all things work together
it is natural to believe that all things work together for good. "The
God who knows all loves all," and only the immanence of God in the world
as defined by theism can give assurance that the pluralist's ideal will
be fulfilled.[184] Apart from theistic belief there would be no reason to
expect progress on the whole, for "a world entering upon a fresh
evolution cannot start where it left off and may even begin in less
favourable conditions than before." "In a word, without such spiritual
continuity as theism alone seems able to ensure, it looks as if a
pluralistic world were condemned to a Sisyphean task. _Per aspera ad
astra_ may be its motto, but _facilis descensus Averno_ seems to be its

  184: "The Realm of Ends," pp. 229 f.

  185: _Ibid._, pp. 214 f.

Further (3) theism enriches and enhances the pluralist's ideal by all
the ineffable blessedness that the presence of God must yield. To sum
up: "The theoretical demand for the ground of the world, then, as well
as the practical demand for the good of the world, is met by the idea
of God."[186] As related to the Many the One is the "ultimate source of
their being and ultimate end of their ends."[187]

  186: "The Realm of Ends," p. 423.

  187: _Ibid._, p. 442.

2. While Ward is a Platonist alike in his belief in immortality and in
connecting that belief with the doctrines of the preëxistence and
transmigration of souls, his general argument for a future life follows
the more usual lines. It is based upon both rational and moral grounds
and expressed with unusual beauty and power.

Man's native capacities and preëminently the moral law within him point
far beyond any ability he has in the present life, and it is to be
assumed, with Kant, that "no organ, no faculty, no impulse, in short
nothing superfluous or disproportionate to its use, and therefore
aimless, is to be met with."[188] Against a continuance of life there are
no valid objections to be raised. We cannot prove a negative, and the
burden of proof rests with those who deny its possibility. The
immortality of influence or of the race cannot be substituted for
personal immortality. If humanity or society is an end in itself, "then
the persons who constitute it must share in this end."[189] "The
wearisome procession of generation after generation of mortals in
pursuit of an _ignis fatuus_, all hoping, all working for what none
attain, might divert a Mephistopheles but would certainly not be a
realm of ends."[190]

  188: "The Realm of Ends,", p. 411.

  189: _Ibid._, p. 389.

  190: _Ibid._, p. 428.

The moral arguments for a future life are bound up with an estimate of
the worth of human personality, but are ultimately rational as well. If
death ends all, not only are we of all creatures most miserable, but God
also, if in this case He exists, is mocked, and the world whose highest
ideals are not and cannot be fulfilled is without ultimate meaning. We
have then the dilemma: "Either the world is not rational or man does not
stand alone and this life is not all. But it cannot be rational to
conclude that the world is not rational, least of all when an
alternative is open to us that leaves room for its rationality--the
alternative of postulating God and a future life."[191]

  191: "The Realm of Ends,", pp. 409 f.

A belief in transmigration is with Ward organically connected with his
pluralism and pampsychism. For the pluralist "all the individuals there
are have existed from the first and will continue to exist
indefinitely";[192] and it follows that "'metempsychosis' in some form
seems an unavoidable corollary of thoroughgoing pampsychism, so long as
we look broadly at the facts of life as a whole."[193] The same doctrine
that "all the individuals there are have existed from the first"
affects, it should be noticed, the quality of Ward's theism. God is not
transcendent in time, for we cannot conceive God without the world. He
is not transcendent as being in His existence independent of the world,
for a God who is not a creator is an abstraction.[194] Again He is not
transcendent in the sense that He can now exercise creative power, for
there can be no new creation since the beginning.

  192: "The Realm of Ends,", p. 204.

  193: _Ibid._, p. 213.

  194: _Ibid._, p. 245.

Before pampsychism, with its "unavoidable corollary" of metempsychosis,
is adopted this theory itself should be subjected to a closer
examination. While pampsychism has undoubted advantages as a
philosophical theory, it has serious difficulties as well. It appears to
have but slight relation to the progress of science in any of its lines.
The whole scheme of evolution, from the inorganic through the vegetable
to animal and man, is seriously modified. The movement is from
consciousness to what is called matter, but consciousness seems to have
suffered a sort of a "fall"; for in the geologic and astronomic ages
before the introduction of life consciousness was at any rate reduced to
the vanishing point. What, then, of the reality of those processes which
geology and astronomy describe? Their reality as more than an imaginary
prelude to human or animal life is open to question. The physiologist,
moreover, will contend that there is no evidence of the presence of
consciousness except in connection with a nervous system, or will at
most admit a kind of diffused consciousness in all organic matter. The
astronomer, finally, will think it strange to be told that while "we
cannot, of course, affirm that a star or a meteor or a cluster of
particles is an individual," we must as pluralists believe "that the
real beings these phenomena imply have some spontaneity and some

  195: "The Realm of Ends," p. 455.

Both pampsychism and mechanism may be accused of pushing the principle
of continuity too far. It is an error to reduce all objects and all
activities, all thinking beings and all objects of our thought, to
mechanism and its products and by-products, thus explaining away the
peculiar nature of man as a conative and cognitive being. But it is
equally an error in the other direction, it may be contended, to reduce
all of reality, by an exaggeration of anthropomorphism and a return
though in a refined form to the method of primitive animism, to the
analogy of social intercourse.

It is hazardous to stake the interests of theism upon a technical theory
of knowledge such as that upon which pampsychism is based. One may
gratefully appreciate the cogency and value of Ward's theistic argument
in its general aspects without being convinced that the doctrine of
pampsychism is the only, or indeed the firmest, basis upon which
theistic belief can be reared.


Our American philosopher, Josiah Royce, has always been occupied with
the religious aspects of philosophy, but has of late shown a special
interest in the philosophical interpretation of the doctrines of the
Christian Faith. His mature views are expressed in his essay on "What is
Vital in Christianity?" in his volume, "William James and Other Essays"
(1911), and in his Lowell lectures, "The Problem of Christianity"

Royce believes that if there is to be a philosophy of religion at all,
such a philosophy must include in its task "the office of a positive and
of a deeply sympathetic interpretation of the spirit of Christianity,
and must be just to the fact that the Christian religion is, thus far at
least, man's most impressive vision of salvation, and his principal
glimpse of the homeland of the spirit."[196]

  196: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 11.

In Christianity Royce finds a religion of loyalty, defined as "the
practically devoted love of an individual for a community." Christianity
is in its essence "the most typical, and so far in human history, the
most highly developed religion of loyalty;"[197] and it was in Pauline
Christianity that the Christian ideas of the community, the lost state
of the individual and of atonement or grace first received their full
statement, though not their complete formulation. Paul's addition to the
doctrine of love, thought by himself to be inspired by the Spirit of the
Ascended Lord, consisted in his placing love to the church side by side
with love to God and to one's neighbour. "Christian love, as Paul
conceived it, takes on the form of Loyalty. This is Paul's simple but
vast transformation of Christian love."[198]

  197: "The Problem of Christianity," I, pp. xvii. f.

  198: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 98.

The reduction of what is vital in Christianity to the so-called pure
gospel of Christ, as recorded in the body of the presumably authentic
sayings and parables, is to Royce profoundly unsatisfactory. "If He had
so viewed the matter, the Messianic tragedy in which His life-work
culminated would have been needless and unintelligible."[199] What is
most vital in Christianity "is contained in whatever is essential and
permanent about the doctrines of the incarnation and atonement."[200]

  199: "William James and Other Essays," pp. 140 f.

  200: _Ibid._, p. 155.

In these respects Royce shows his sympathy with traditional Christianity
as over against the standpoint of modern liberalism. He protests in
effect, in the first place, against a "reduced" Christianity based upon
the Synoptic teaching of Jesus alone, and upon this teaching only after
alleged Johannine and Pauline elements have been cut out. Secondly, he
finds that Christianity includes doctrine as well as ethics. And, third,
he finds in Paul's teaching not a perversion of the gospel, but a
developed statement of the central ideas of Christianity.

Unlike many philosophers, Royce takes an austere view of the misery and
tragedy of sin, as "grave with the gravity of life, and stern only as
the call of life, to any awakened mind, ought to be stern."[201] The
sinner cannot save himself. By his own deed he has banished himself to
the hell of the irrevocable. If there is to be atonement which shall
reconcile the traitor to his own deed and the community to the act of
treachery against it, an atonement stated in purely human terms, it must
be an "objective" atonement, not merely one of moral influence upon the
traitor. It must be by some creative deed of loving ingenuity by which
the world is made better than it would have been had the treason never
been done. Thus the family of Jacob was reunited in peculiarly tender
ties after the reconciliation. "Through Joseph's work all is made better
than it would have been had there been no treason at all."[202]

  201: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 120.

  202: _Ibid._, I, p. 370.

In his purely human and untheological treatment of sin and grace,
Royce's thought has professedly moved within the limits of social
relationships. Sin is an act of broken faith or disloyalty to the
community. The sinner is restored from his estate of misery by the
saving grace of the community.[203] "'Atonement' and 'Divine Grace' may
be considered as if they were expressions of the purely human process
whereby the community seeks and saves, through its suffering servants
and its Spirit, that which is lost."[204]

  203: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 390.

  204: _Ibid._, I, p. xxxviii.

While Royce's exposition of sin and grace is full of suggestion and
insight, it is more philosophical than Biblical. Thus at important
points the contrast between Paul and Royce's interpretation of Paul is
very striking. Royce hints at the divinity of the community, while Paul
asserts the divinity of Christ. Royce says, Be loyal to the community,
while Paul would say primarily, Believe in Christ and be loyal to Him.
"Loyalty to the personal Christ," says a reviewer of Royce's work, "has
been (and surely is) even a more vital element in Christianity than
loyalty to the community."[205] Royce would say that by the grace of the
community we are saved; while with Paul the Saviour is personal and it
was the vision of Christ, not of the community, that transformed his

  205: H. Rashdall in _Mind_, N. S. 91 (July, 1914), p. 411.

Again it is not easy to read the doctrine of the beloved community and
of the community as the source of grace into the words or the spirit of
the teaching of Jesus. The attempt, however, is made. In the parable of
the Prodigal Son, the voice of the father, who is "for the moment simply
the incarnation of the spirit of this community,"[206] is said to be the
voice of the family, welcoming the wanderer; and the joy of the father
is the joy of the family in his return. If this be so the father should
have said, "The family fellowship is restored," instead of saying, "This
my son was dead and is alive again."

  206: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 353.

Even Royce's Old Testament illustration from the story of Joseph, where
we find a grievous betrayal and then a deed which leaves the community,
in this case the family, richer in love and more united in heart than if
the deed of betrayal had not been done, does not support Royce's
principle that the ideal community is the saviour and the source of
atoning grace. The story to be illustrative should have been reversed;
Joseph should have been the betrayer and destroyer of the family life,
and then the brethren unitedly by their love and ingenuity should have
won him back.

How then does the loyal community which is to be the source of grace
originate? Royce admits that it can only be by "some miracle of
grace,"[207] and the problem becomes acute when we consider the origin of
the historical community of the Christian Church. The usual view is that
here a miracle of grace has happened in the person of Jesus, the author
and finisher of loyalty, but in that case there could be no such
"simplification of the problems of Christology,"[208] as Royce desires.
Who, then, was the founder of the Christian Community? It was not Paul,
for he found a community already in existence. It was not the human
Jesus, though He gave the signal, for we cannot say that, speaking of
Jesus as an individual man, we know that He explicitly intended to found
the Christian Church.[209] It was not the divine Christ, for "the human
source of all later Christologies must be found in the early Christian
community itself."[210] We must in fact renounce our quest for the origin
of the Christian Church, for its foundation depended "upon motives which
we cannot fathom by means of any soundings that our historical materials
or our knowledge of social psychology permit us to make."[211] Such
recourse to a convenient agnosticism, however rhetorically it may be
expressed, does not bring us out of the circle, that the church founded
itself, and in that case, as a source of grace, saves itself. The modern
man, under Royce's guidance, is relieved from the problems of
Christology only to find that those of ecclesiology are equally

  207: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 185.

  208: _Ibid._, I, p. xxiii.

  209: _Ibid._, I, p. 418.

  210: _Ibid._, I, p. 415.

  211: _Ibid._, I, p. 419.

The conception of the community is obviously fruitful alike in its
ethical and its theological implications, and Royce's discussion of it,
so elevated in its tone, will doubtless be for the "strengthening of
hearts" as he desires. But inferences foreign to Christian thought are
drawn when it is suggested that "Man the community may prove to be
God,"[212] and that in "this essentially social universe" the community
is "the Absolute."[213] This is the voice of Hegel rather than that of

  212: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 409.

  213: _Ibid._, II, p. 296.

In an essay on Browning's theism Royce has remarked: "To say God is Love
is, then, the same as to say that God is, or has been, or will be
incarnate, perhaps once, perhaps--for so Browning's always monistic
intuitions about the relation of God and the world always suggest to
him--perhaps always, perhaps in all our life, perhaps in all men."[214]
The doctrine of the incarnation is thus acknowledged to be vital not
only for Christianity but for theism as well. "The fact of the
Incarnation," as Westcott has said, "gives reality to that moral
conception of God as active Love without which Theism becomes a
formula."[215] But the meaning of incarnation and its support of theistic
belief is weakened in proportion as it is interpreted not in an
historical sense but as an incarnation "perhaps always, perhaps in all

  214: _The New World_, Vol. V, 1896, p. 416.

  215: "The Epistles of John," p. 75.

In his emphasis upon the incarnation and atonement, Royce has shown a
profound appreciation of what is vital in Christianity, but his
discussion shows also that these doctrines themselves, in being removed
from their historic setting and adapted to the requirements of a
philosophical theory, may easily lose what is for religion their most
vital elements.

Each of our four philosophers has performed an important service for
religious thought. Bergson has made an effective protest against
materialism. Eucken has asserted the reality of the spiritual world.
Ward has strengthened the philosophical foundations of belief in God and
immortality. Royce has found in the distinctive ideas of Christianity
the crown of religious philosophy.

The deeper thought of our age, judged by its leading exponents, has been
working towards Christianity and not in the opposite direction. It has
broken away from materialism with its denial of a spiritual world. It
has broken away from an idealism which denies personality in God and
man. It has been strongly attracted to Christianity, and influenced in
its intellectual constructions by the teaching of Christ and of the
Apostles. It is at one with Christianity in its ethical standpoint and
emphasis. The Cross is no longer foolishness to the Greek, when leaders
of philosophic thought find in Christianity their brightest glimpse into
the homeland of the spirit, the source of their deepest insights into
truth, the inspiration of their most fruitful activity and the key to
the solution of their profoundest problems.


The Christian Faith and Other Religions

Four universals were contained in the last commands of the Risen Christ:
"All authority has been given unto me. Go, disciple all the nations,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you: and lo, I
am with you all the days." If the marching orders of the Church were to
be obeyed, the Christian Faith must be brought into contact and into
conflict not only with Judaism but with all the ethnic faiths. If its
program is to be carried out successfully, Christianity must supersede
all other religions. In this lecture we must consider the relation of
Christianity to ancient religions, or those prevalent in the Roman
Empire at the time of its founding, and then its relation to modern


That the religion of the cross, which started in a despised and
persecuted sect among a people without intellectual or military
prestige, should in three centuries become the state religion of the
Roman Empire, is often spoken of as the miracle of history. The early
missionary could not appeal to military force or to an obviously
superior type of civilization, and the wonder is not that Christianity
conquered the Roman world but that it ever secured a foothold at all.
The familiar argument has been: "We can account for the progress of
Christianity, against obstacles and without outward aids, only upon the
assumption that a divine power was working within."

Since the rise of the "religious-historical school" in Germany some
dozen years ago, the question of Christianity's relation to contemporary
religions has come up in a new form, and has been brought into the
foreground of theological discussion. The victory of early Christianity,
it is asserted, is due to the fact that Paul not merely presented it to
the Romans in a juridical form, but that he preached the myth or mystery
of a dying and rising Saviour to the myth loving Greeks; and it is even
said that the New Testament portrait of Christ, whatever historical
reality lies behind it, is in fact a sort of glorified composite
photograph made out of the elements of a Jewish Messiah, a Greek Apollo
or Adonis and an Egyptian Osiris. The claim is made by the more extreme
members of the "religious-historical school" that every feature of
Christianity that was supposed to be original, and indeed practically
the whole Gospel narrative, can be parallelled closely or remotely in
Persian, Hindu, Syrian, Egyptian or Greek religious literature, or in
the Old Testament and the teaching of the philosophers.

The reasons for Christianity's triumph over other religions may be still
to seek, but its claim to supernatural authority is called in question
by the recent movement in scholarship which has taken as its motto, The
study of the Christian Faith in the light of the history of religions.
"It would be strange indeed," a writer has remarked, "if such parallels
did not raise new questionings in the place of old certainties. If the
accounts of miraculous births and resurrections are plainly fabulous
when we meet with them in other faiths, are they necessarily historical
when they occur in the Christian Scriptures? At any rate we feel that
stringent evidence will be required to prove them so."[216]

  216: J. Warschauer: _American Journal of Theology_, July, 1912,
  p. 336.

When we study the relation between early Christianity and the religions
of the time it is clear that some established principles are needed to
control the comparison. When it is discovered, for instance, that
Confucius had seventy-two disciples and an inner circle of ten "select
ones," and that he spoke the Golden Rule in a negative form, does it
follow that the Gospel accounts of the choice of the twelve and of the
seventy were borrowed from Confucius? Clemen's formulation of the
principles that must govern the comparison will be generally accepted:

(1) "A religious-historical explanation is impossible if it leads to
untenable consequences or proceeds from untenable presuppositions. (2)
The sense of the New Testament passage, as well as the contents of the
non-Jewish idea, must first be fully ascertained. (3) We ought never to
assume that ideas of an advanced religion have been altogether borrowed,
until we have done our best to discover any germs of them in the native
religious literature. (4) The non-Jewish idea that is brought in as an
explanation must really in some degree correspond to the Christian one.
(5) This element must have been already in existence: an idea that is
subsequent in its emergence cannot, of course, have given rise to one
previously existent. (6) It must be shown in regard to any foreign idea
that it was really in a position to influence Christianity, or Judaism
before it, and how."[217] To these might be added that the possibility of
coincidence must not be overlooked.

  217: "Primitive Christianity and Its Non-Jewish Sources," 1913,
  pp. 17, 18. Principle (3) is quoted from Cheyne.

With these principles, most of them self-evident, in our minds, let us
glance at the topics of immediate interest in our present field: (1)
The Virgin Birth and its parallels; (2) the worship of Christ and the
Emperor-cult; and (3) Christianity and the Mystery Religions.

1. In its relation to the stories of current mythology, the Virgin Birth
was a subject of active discussion in the time of the fathers. The
patristic apologists make two points in referring to the mythological
parallels. On the one hand, the similarity of the Gospel story in its
supernatural element to the stories prevalent at the time is appealed to
in order to commend it to the acceptance of the Greeks. Thus Justin
says: "We propound nothing different from what you believe regarding
those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter."[218] Similarly Origen says: "There
is no absurdity in employing Grecian histories to answer Greeks with a
view to showing that we are not the only persons who have recourse to
miraculous narratives of this kind."[219] On the other hand, the
difference between the Christian and the heathen stories is appealed to
as proof of the moral and historical superiority of the Gospel
narratives. Justin says that the Virgin conceived "not by intercourse
but by power;"[220] and Origen, referring to a tradition about the birth
of Plato, says that such stories are "veritable fables."[221]

  218: "Apol.," I, 21.

  219: "Contra Cels.," I, 37.

  220: "Apol.," I, 33.

  221: "Contra Cels.," I, 37.

The notion is popular to-day that stories of the birth of a god or a
hero from a virgin are common in non-Christian religions, and the remark
is heard that the Virgin Birth of Jesus would be credible were it not
for these parallels. A closer examination shows, however, that while
supernatural births were the common property of most ancient religions,
the Virgin Birth was a distinctive and spontaneous feature of
Christianity. Thus Clemen remarks that "what we find in Indian thought
(at any rate in earlier times) is not a Virgin Birth in the proper sense
of that term, but only a miraculous birth, and one of quite a different
type from the birth of Jesus."[222] Alluding to the fact that Buddhism was
so entirely outside the western range of vision as to be noticed very
meagrely in the Greek and Roman literature, Clemen says that "if there
are similarities that cannot be accidental between this later Buddhistic
literature and the New Testament, the question would arise whether the
former could not be dependent upon the latter,"[223] since Christianity
penetrated early to India.

  222: "Primitive Christianity," pp. 294, 295. Clemen would himself
  trace the idea of the Virgin Birth to a passage in Philo ("De.
  Cher." 13 f.) in which the wives of the Patriarchs represent virtues
  (p. 297).

  223: _Ibid._, p. 37.

Clemen quotes Franckh to the effect that "none of these personages that
play the part of a mother-goddess is thought of as a virgin. It is only
in the course of time that Ishtar is everywhere put in the place of the
earlier mother-goddesses.... As mother-goddess, Ishtar has no male god
who permanently corresponds to her. This is the reason why she is
vaguely spoken of as the 'virgin' Ishtar. But it must be emphatically
asserted that here the idea of virginity undergoes a vague

  224: "Primitive Christianity," p. 292.

Of the parallels adduced, only two are clearly cases of birth from a
virgin: Simon Magus (_Clem. Recog._ II, 14) and a certain Terebinthus
(_Acta Archelai et Manetis_, c. 52), both of whom claimed to be born
from a virgin; but, as Grützmacher remarks, these stories arose under
Christian influences and are found in post-Christian writings so that
they are not the root but the product of the Gospel narratives;[225] and
E. Petersen admits that in these cases there may be a simple taking over
of the supernatural birth of Jesus.[226]

  225: "Die Jungfrauengeburt," 1906, p. 31.

  226: "Die wunderbare Geburt des Heilandes," 1909, p. 41.

In the Græco-Roman myths there is always some fleshly or sensible
medium. Both the essential difference in the Gospel narratives, and the
lack of any proved avenue of influence leading to these narratives, with
their strongly Jewish colouring, from heathen sources, makes the theory
of derivation from these sources most improbable.

2. The famous Priene inscription, dated about the year 9 B. C., has
shown that the titles given to the Emperor Augustus were strikingly
similar to those addressed by Christians to Christ. The day of the
Emperor's birth was of great significance for the human race; he is
called Saviour of men, he is to abolish war and bring general happiness;
and the inscription declares that "the birthday of the god was for the
world the beginning of tidings of joy on his account."[227] Both
religions again, the worship of Christ and the Emperor-cult, were
universal religions, the essential difference being that the former
excluded, while the latter tolerated, other forms of worship. Did the
Christian Church derive its worship of Christ as Lord, or even such
titles as "Saviour" and "Lord," from the Emperor-worship of the time?

  227: See Deissmann: "Light from the Ancient East," p. 371.

The deification of a king was by no means an unfamiliar thing in the
ancient and especially in the oriental world. The kings of Egypt are
said to have worshipped themselves. To the offer of Alexander the Great
to rebuild the burnt temple of Diana at Ephesus, the shrewd reply of the
priests, not wishing to offend either Persia or Greece, was that it was
not fitting for one deity to build the temple of another. The ascription
of divine honours to the Emperor was a victory of eastern influences
over Roman thought. Emperor worship was (1) a compliment to the ruler;
(2) a kind of personification of the genius of the Empire, as perhaps in
the case of the Mikado to-day; and (3) a convenient neutral religion,
since no existing cult could be universal, binding all peoples together
in a necessary religious bond. While not taken very seriously by the
astute rulers themselves, it may also have been to many minds "an actual
breaking out of religious longing," such as seems to be expressed in
Vergil's "Fourth Eclogue," for a heaven-sent deliverer and saviour.

To Jews and Christians alike, however, the idea of the worship of the
Emperor was in the highest degree abhorrent. This is shown by the fierce
opposition to the setting up of the statue of Caligula in the Temple, by
the refusal of the early Christians to worship the genius of the Cæsars
under pain of death, and by the parallel accounts in the Acts and
Josephus of the death of Herod, both Jewish and Christian authors
describing his sudden death as a judgment upon his impiety in accepting
divine honours. With Paul the "setting himself forth as God" was a mark
of the man of sin (2 Thess. ii. 3, 4). It is then improbable in the
highest degree that an idea so repellent alike to Jewish and Christian
thought could have been in any way responsible for the worship of Christ
as divine.

But was it not possible that such titles as "Lord" and "Saviour" should
on Gentile soil have been unconsciously taken over by the Christians,
suggested to them by the growing use of these terms as addressed to the
Emperor and their free ascription to heathen deities? This position has
been defended by Bousset, who says that "it was in the air that the
first Hellenistic Christian community should give to its cult-hero the
title Kyrios (Lord)."[228] Even this theory of an unconscious verbal
influence exerted on Gentile soil is full of difficulty. To maintain
that the title "Lord" originated in the Gentile-Christian church it is
necessary, of course, to discard the evidence of all the documents, the
Gospels, the Acts and the Epistles. It must be denied that Jesus called
Himself Lord, or that the title was given Him in the Jerusalem church.
Doubt must be thrown upon the whole record of the apostolic days in the
Acts; and the evidence, in Paul's allusion to "James, the Lord's
brother" (Gal. i. 19), of the use of the title in the Jerusalem church
must be ignored.

  228: "Kyrios Christos," 1913, p. 119.

Bousset's theory is that Paul did not originate the title but found it
already in use by the Gentile church. But there is no evidence that at
the time of Paul's conversion there was any church on Gentile soil that
was not composed, in the main, of former Jews and of Jews who had come
from Jerusalem. When it is said that "between Paul and the primitive
church of Palestine stand the Hellenistic churches in Antioch, Damascus,
Tarsus,"[229] it must be remembered that the church at Damascus was
composed primarily of Jerusalem Christians who were persecuted to
foreign cities; that the church at Antioch was founded by those from
Judea, and grew under the leadership of Barnabas, a priest and leader of
the Jerusalem church (Acts xi. 19 f.; Gal. ii. 1, 12); and that there is
no evidence that there were any Christians at Tarsus until the time of
Paul's visit (Acts ix. 30; Gal. i. 21). It is hard to see how there can
be any question of an entirely new title spontaneously arising from the
heathen environment, and free from the influence of the church at

  229: "Kyrios Christos," p. 92.

If it be asked how Jews could dare to apply the name Kyrios, "the holy
cult-name of the Old Testament Jahwe," to Jesus, the answer is suggested
by Bousset himself when he says: "Therein lay a piece of monotheistic
feeling: God alone should be prayed to and worshipped. This powerful
religious feeling, free from all reflection, has once and again in the
history of Christological dogma asserted itself."[230] The essence of the
matter is that Christian converts both Jewish and Gentile called upon
the name of the Lord, and worshipped Him; but it is evident that Jesus
was first worshipped on Jewish soil as King of Israel, and Lord in the
sense made familiar in the Old Testament (Rom. x. 9-13; Acts ii. 17,
21), before He was worshipped on Gentile soil as King of Kings and Lord
of Lords.

  230: "Kyrios Christos," p. 302.

Aside from all else it is highly improbable that in the time of Paul's
conversion the use of the title Lord (Kyrios, Dominus) as applied to the
Emperor was so wide-spread as to have exercised any appreciable
influence upon Christianity. "It would after all," Bousset himself
acknowledges, "in spite of all analogies in substance and words, be an
erroneous and over-hasty inference, were we to bring the Christian
Kyrios-cult and its origin into immediate connection with the cult of
the Cæsars. In the time and in the regions in which the Kyrios-Jesus
cult arose, the worship of the ruler scarcely as yet had possessed so
dominating a rôle that the worship of Jesus as Lord must be regarded as
having arisen in conscious opposition to it."[231]

  231: "Kyrios Christos," p. 113.

The conscious opposition no doubt came later, as Deissmann has
suggested, when the cult of the Christ went forth into the Roman world
and endeavoured to reserve for itself words which had just been
transferred to the deified emperors, or had been invented for that
worship. "Thus there arises," he says, "a polemical parallelism between
the cult of the emperor and the cult of Christ, which makes itself felt
where ancient words derived by Christianity from the treasury of the
Septuagint and the Gospels happen to coincide with solemn concepts of
the Imperial cult which sounded the same or similar."[232] It was
inevitable that, as Paul preached Jesus Christ as Lord, the contrast
between the Christian worship and the worship of the Cæsars should
suggest itself, together with their irreconcilable antagonism. This
"polemical parallelism" is probably expressed in such titles as "our
only Master and Lord" (Jude 4), "Every tongue shall confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord" (Phil. ii. 11), and "King of Kings and Lord of Lords"
(Rev. xix. 16).

  232: "Light from the Ancient East," p. 346.

3. The relation of Paul to the Mystery Religions of his time is a topic
which has of late been actively discussed. A thesis now widely
maintained has been expressed by Loisy in an epigrammatic form: "The
mystery of Paul's conversion is his conversion to the mysteries." To
discuss the question in all its bearings, one would need a general
acquaintance with classical literature, a special knowledge of religious
conditions in the early Roman Empire, and, most important of all, a
first-hand exegetical knowledge of Paul's epistles.

A marked feature of the age in which the Apostle lived was a merging of
deities, and the practice of oriental cults side by side with the
official Roman religion and the worship of the Cæsar. This syncretism
was promoted by the tolerance of an official religious indifferentism,
and by a pantheistic philosophy which was hospitable to the worship of a
multiplicity of deities as aspects of the One and the All. At a time
when the Orontes was pouring its waters into the Tiber, the mysteries of
the oriental religions were actively propagated in the West and
coalesced with the mysteries practiced among the Greeks.

In spite of the labours of philologists and archæologists, our knowledge
of the ritual of the various mysteries and even of the ideas symbolized
is comparatively slight. It can still be said with Cumont that, "shut
out from the sanctuary like profane outsiders, we hear only the
indistinct echo of the sacred songs and not even in imagination can we
attend the celebration of the mysteries."[233]

  233: "Les Religions Orientales dans le Paganisme Romain," 2d ed.,
  1909, p. 17; E. T., "The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism,"
  1911, p. 11.

The moral effect of the mystery cults is also a matter of some doubt.
Plato, as we know (_Phædo_, 69 D, 81 A), had a high opinion of the Greek
mysteries; but the cruel and sensual rites of the oriental religions
scandalized the Latin writers as well as the Christian apologists. Even
Cumont, who thinks that the mystery cults were superior in their
religious appeal and influence to the cold, prosaic and austere Roman
religion, admits that by the adoption of the mysteries "barbarous, cruel
and obscene practices were undoubtedly spread."[234] It is evident that
the oriental religions became spiritualized in course of time, and that
the various deities at least of Egypt and of Syria came to be conceived,
in accordance with the dominant philosophy, in a henotheistic or
pantheistic way. Uhlhorn thinks that oriental worship "with all its
distortions was more profound, and contained unconscious presages of the
Deity who has indeed in birth and death descended to redeem us."[235]

  234: "Les Religions Orientales dans le Paganisme Romain," 2d ed., p.
  308; E. T., p. 208.

  235: "Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism," p. 33.

When Paul preached "the mystery of God which is Christ" (Col. ii. 2), he
incorporated into Christianity, it is said, in adapting it to the
Gentile world, features which were common to the mystery brotherhoods of
the day, and virtually transformed it into a mystery religion. Pauline
Christianity, say the extreme advocates of this view, adopted its
vocabulary, its missionary methods, its philosophical and religious
ideas, its sacraments and symbolism, its mystical experiences and even
its organization, from the compound of oriental mysticism and Greek
philosophy which was popular in the cities which Paul visited.

The points in dispute will appear if we glance at the Pauline doctrine
of the sacraments, and of dying and rising with Christ, and then at the
Pauline vocabulary.

That the ritual of the mysteries had something in common with the
Christian sacraments is shown by the fact that the charge of borrowing
was made from both sides in early times. The Christian writers accuse
the heathen priests of a blasphemous parody of the Christian sacraments
inspired by the spirit of lies, and the priests retorted that the
sacraments were a plagiarism from the mysteries. Cumont believes that
both were much mistaken.

The material for comparison is somewhat meagre because baptism is not
prominent in Paul's epistles. He never mentions his own baptism, and,
aside from I Corinthians i., in which he says that he was not sent to
baptize, he uses the verb in but four passages (I Cor. x. 2; xii. 13;
xv. 29; Gal. iii. 27); the noun in two (Eph. iv. 5; Col. ii. 12); and
both verb and noun in one passage (Rom. vi. 3-4). In the mysteries there
were lustrations with salt water, water of the Nile and sacred water,
but little is known of the exact significance of the rituals. Kennedy is
not persuaded that it meant regeneration.[236] There was no baptizing "in
the name of" the gods.

  236: "St. Paul and the Mystery Religions," 1913, pp. 229 ff.

On the other hand we know little of any sacrificial meal in the
mysteries corresponding to the Eucharist. Reitzenstein observes that
unless a happy chance sheds more light upon the use and meaning of the
mystery-meals common in most cults, a comparison with the sacraments
remains only "a play with possibilities."[237] Clemen thinks that both
the institution of the Lord's Supper by Jesus and its continued
observance are fully explained without bringing in foreign

  237: "Die Hellenistische Mysterienreligionen," 1910, p. 51.

  238: "Primitive Christianity," p. 242.

It is probable that the mystery cults exerted an influence upon the
later development of sacramental doctrine, but this is aside from our
question. Thus Wendt would place the influence of the mystery religions
upon the Christian sacraments in the post-Pauline age, and thinks that
"to Acts we owe the undoubtedly correct tradition that these Christian
rites go back to a date preceding the Hellenistic mission of Paul, and
must be sought for in the very earliest practice of the Apostolic
community."[239] Hatch also believes that between apostolic and
post-apostolic times the sacraments were modified in important respects
under the influence of the mysteries. "The primitive 'see here is water,
what doth hinder me to be baptized?' passed into a ritual which at
every turn recalls the ritual of the mysteries."[240]

  239: "Historical Trustworthiness of the Book of Acts," _Hibbert
  Journal_, October, 1913, pp. 146, 147.

  240: "Hibbert Lectures," 1888, p. 299.

Those who push back the influence of the mysteries upon the sacraments
to the teaching of Paul himself are compelled to interpret the Apostle's
language, contrary, we believe, to the best exegetical tradition, in a
physical or what is called an _ex opere operato_ sense. It is
significant that when the sacraments are so interpreted they appear to
be a foreign element in Paul's system. "It is no wonder that
interpreters like Heitmüller and Weinel, who attribute a magical view of
the sacraments to Paul, are concerned to point out that his
sacramentalism is a sort of erratic boulder in his system as a
whole."[241] We are reminded of Clemen's principle that the sense of the
New Testament passage should be fully ascertained before dependence is

  241: Kennedy: "St. Paul and the Mystery Religions," p. 283.

When von Dobschütz says that "the unique sacramental conception of the
Early Church, which has no analogy in the history of religion because it
belongs essentially to the Christian religion, has its origin solely in
Christian faith and Christian experience,"[242] the same may be said of
Paul's doctrine of dying and rising again with Christ. When Paul says
"buried with him in baptism" (Rom. vi. 4 and Col. ii. 12), he speaks of
no pantheistic or magical union with the deity such as seemed to
dominate the thought of the mysteries, so far as their meaning can be
ascertained. In both contexts Paul immediately goes on to exhortation.
"Let not sin reign" (Rom. vi. 12), "Seek the things above; mortify your
members" (Col. iii. 1-5). It should further be noticed that the passage
most relied upon to prove Paul's borrowing from the mysteries (Rom. vi.)
was addressed to a church which Paul did not found, composed of both
Jewish and Gentile Christians. The doctrine in question was not put
forth as a novelty, but is assumed to be known to them: "Are ye
ignorant, etc.?" (Rom. vi. 3).

  242: Kennedy: "St. Paul and the Mystery Religions," quoted, p. 279.

Paul's doctrine of dying and rising with Christ is ethical rather than
"metaphysical" or magical or sacramental. It is surprising to find how
little sacramental it is. With no allusion to his own baptism or to the
Lord's Supper he says, "I have been crucified with Christ. The world is
crucified to me and I to the world" (Gal. ii. 20; vi. 14). "Christ died
for all, therefore all died" (2 Cor. v. 14). "To know Christ, to be
found in him, to be transformed into his death" (Phil. iii. 8 f.). His
doctrine is based upon a personal experience of grace, and this is
associated with the Cross rather than with the sacraments. The bond
which mediated his union with Christ in His death was faith. It was
through faith that the Spirit is to be received (Gal. iii. 14), and
even when he says, "Christ liveth in me," he adds, "I live in the faith
of the Son of God" (Gal. ii. 20, and see Eph. iii. 17). He would gain
Christ that he might have "the righteousness of God through faith"
(Phil. iii. 9). The Cross and not the sacraments was central alike in
the Apostle's experience and in his doctrine of dying and rising with
Christ, and the bond of union between him and Christ was faith. There
was no mystical absorption of personality as in the Hermetic prayers:
"Thou art I, and I am thou."

Finally the Pauline mystery was distinguished from the heathen mysteries
by its connection with an historical Person. In the Pauline mystery, it
has been said, the divine appeared in a "concrete and comprehensible
guise," and "this connection of a religious principle with a Person who
had walked upon earth and suffered death was a phenomenon of singular
power and originality."[243] There is a world of difference between the
nature-myths, underlying the mysteries, of the annually dying and rising
vegetation gods, without historical reality, and promising to the
initiated release from transitoriness and mortality, and the record of
Christ who died for our sins, and who being raised from the dead dieth
no more. To say that Paul not only conformed the Lord's Supper to the
heathen mysteries, but invented it in imitation of the mysteries, is to
accuse him of deliberate misstatement; for in a passage of unusual
solemnity (I Cor. xi. 23 ff.), he says that he received it of the Lord,
and relates the circumstances of the institution of the Supper by Jesus

  243: Bousset: "Kyrios Christos," p. 148.

The argument from vocabulary is relied upon by Reitzenstein to prove the
influence of heathen ideas upon the thought of the Apostle. It is his
theory that Paul spent the two years of inner disturbance, in part at
least, in the study of Hellenistic religion and philosophy, and that
this influence helped him in the construction of a new religion. In
substance Reitzenstein's argument is that Paul shows the use of
technical religious terms found in the Hermetic writings, especially in
the "Poimandres"; and that the "Poimandres" is to be dated earlier than
the "Shepherd" of Hermas; and that the conceptions it embodies were
current in the Roman Empire, and in a literary form, in the time of
Paul. The argument is twofold, first, that the Hermetic writings were
current in the time of Paul, and, second, that Paul shows their
influence in his vocabulary. As the date of the "Poimandres," the most
important of the Hermetic writings, is in dispute, the latter point may
be considered first.

In the Pauline vocabulary Reitzenstein believes that we have "an
absolutely certain proof of the immediate influence of Hellenism upon
the Apostle, and at the same time a measure of its strength."[244] "Only
when the existence and meaning of a religious literature in Hellenism is
assured and the sort of linguistic dependence is seen to depend on
literary mediation is the opportunity of an explanation afforded."[245]
Many words thought to be characteristically Pauline are said to have
been technical terms in the popular mystery cults of the day, before the
Apostle adopted them as the expression of his own religious teaching.

  244: "Die Hellenistische Mysterienreligionen," p. 58. (Afterward
  referred to for convenience as "H. M. R.")

  245: "H. M. R.," p. 209.

Without attempting to follow the argument in detail, we may observe
(_a_) that Paul uses many of these terms in a different sense from that
of the Hermetic literature. Compare, for example, Paul's use of familiar
words such as "salvation," "glory," "grace," with that of the Magic
Papyri. In "Hermes-Prayer I," the petition is for "health, salvation,
prosperity, glory, victory, power, loveliness."[246] So in "Prayer II,"
"Give me grace, food, victory, good luck, loveliness, etc."[247] Again in
"Hermes-Prayer III," we read, "Save me always from drugs and deceit, and
all witchcraft and evil tongues and all trouble, from all hate both of
Gods and men. Give me grace and victory and business and success; for
Thou art I, and I am Thou.... I am thy image."[248] In these prayers from
the later Hermes-Thot religion, the Pauline terms are evidently used in
a worldly sense, contrasting strongly with their use by Paul.

  246: Reitzenstein: "Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-ägyptischen
  und frühchristlichen Literatur," 1904, p. 18.

  247: _Ibid._, p. 20.

  248: Reitzenstein: "Poimandres," p. 21.

(_b_) Much of the technical phraseology common to Paul and the Hermetic
literature is current in the Old Testament; and with the language of the
Old Testament we know that Paul's mind was saturated. Clemen's maxim
should be observed, and we should seek the source of an idea (or word)
in the native religion before going farther afield. Thus before Paul's
doctrine of the Spirit is assigned with confidence to Hellenistic
sources, the use of the term Spirit both in the Old Testament and in
pre-Pauline Christianity should be studied. Paul quotes the passage from
Joel which promises the outpouring of the Spirit (Rom. x. 13 f.; see
Acts ii. 21). He brings the Spirit into connection with the blessing of
Abraham (Gal. iii. 14). The Spirit is also mentioned in the introduction
to the ministry of Jesus alike by Mark and by the non-Markan source. A
sufficient and natural explanation of Paul's doctrine of the Spirit is
to be found in the Old Testament, in Evangelical tradition and in the
experience of the church at Pentecost, and in his own experience. When
Paul speaks of "the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, 'Abba, Father'"
(Rom. viii. 15; Gal. iv. 6), we have to do not with remote literary
influences nor with the dry bones of any technical theology, Hebraic or
Hermetic, but with the heart-throb of personal experience.

Reitzenstein believes that the Pauline vocabulary is best explained by
the Hellenistic parallels, but he recognizes that the parallelism with
the Old Testament should be considered. Thus while he thinks that he has
shown parallels for all the Pauline uses of the word _pneuma_, he says
"whether with equal ease all may be explained from the Hebraic use of
_ruach_ and _nephesh_ or the use of _pneuma_ in the Septuagint the
theologian must decide."[249] Harnack, with some irony, advises
Reitzenstein and his school to gain a clearer knowledge of Paul the Jew
and Paul the Christian before they take account of secondary elements
which he borrowed from the Greek mysteries. A conscious acceptance, he
thinks, of such elements is out of the question.[250]

  249: "H. M. R.," p. 140.

  250: "Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels," p. 61 n.
  Kennedy believes that the vocabulary of Paul is to be explained from
  the Old Testament, while much of it was current among the mystery
  brotherhoods (_Op. cit._, p. 198). Bousset acknowledges that Paul's
  terminology may perhaps in part be derived from the Old Testament,
  which would be the most natural source of his use of _pneuma_
  instead of _nous_ to describe the spiritual part of man, and of the
  opposition in words between _pneuma_ and _sarx_ (_Op. cit._, p. 141,
  note 2). Clemen ("Der Einfluss der Mysterienreligionen auf das
  älteste Christentums," 1913, p. 61) says that "looked at broadly,
  Paul remains in verbal and much more in actual relationships
  untouched by the mystery religions."

If the Hermetic writings are to be dated later than the time of Paul,
then the question of literary influence is reversed. Similarity in words
will then be due to coincidence or to the prevalence of a common
religious vocabulary, or else, as has recently been said, "if it is
necessary to suppose literary connection, the artificial literary
composition of 'Poimandres' makes it more probable that the borrowing
was on that side."[251] The question hinges upon the date of the
"Poimandres," which it has been usual, at least since the middle of the
seventeenth century, to assign to the age of Porphyry. Hermes has been
regarded as "a convenient pseudonym to place at the head of the numerous
syncretic writings in which it was sought to combine Neo-Platonic
philosophy, Philonic Judaism and cabalistic theosophy, and so provide
the world with some acceptable substitute for Christianity."[252]

  251: J. M. Creed: "The Hermetic Writings," _Journal of Theological
  Studies_, July, 1914, p. 529.

  252: Art. "Hermes Trismegistus," Encycl. Britt., 10th ed. For a
  history of the evolution of opinion, see G. R. S. Mead:
  "Thrice-Greatest Hermes," 1906, Vol. I, pp. 17 ff.

By a brilliant _tour de force_ and with great learning Reitzenstein has
sought to reverse this relationship, and to show that the original form
of these writings, or at least the fixed religious ideas, vocabulary and
ritual which they presuppose, antedated Pauline Christianity and
profoundly influenced the writings of Paul and of John. He argues that
the "Shepherd" of Hermas is dependent upon the "Poimandres," relying
mainly upon two points: the similarity between the two writings in their
introductions, and the fact that in the "Shepherd" the divine messenger
appears on a mountain, Arcadia, which was the alleged birthplace of
Hermes and a centre of the Hermes cult. The significant points of the
introduction may thus be shown:

      "POIMANDRES"                     "SHEPHERD" OF HERMAS
   2. And I do say: "Who art        Revelation 5. As I prayed in
   thou?" He saith: "I am           the house, and sat on the couch,
   Man-Shepherd, Mind of all        there entered a man glorious in
   master-hood; I know what thou    his visage in the garb of a
   desirest and I'm with thee       shepherd, and with a wallet on his
   everywhere."                     shoulders, and a staff in his
                                    hand. And he saluted me,
   3.                               and I saluted him in return. And he
                                    immediately sat down by my side,
                                    and he saith unto me, "I was sent
                                    by the most holy angel, that I
                                    might dwell with thee the
                                    remaining days of thy life."

   4. E'n with these words His       "I," saith he, "am the shepherd,
   aspect changed, and              unto whom thou wast delivered."
   straightway, in the twinkling    While he was speaking,
   of an eye, all things were       his form was changed, and I
   opened to me, and I see a        recognized him as being the same,
   Vision limitless, etc.           to whom I was delivered.[253]

  253: For the Greek text of both passages see "Poimandres," pp. 11,
  12; and for the translation see Mead: _Op. cit._, ii, pp. 3, 4, and
  Lightfoot: "Apostolic Fathers," p. 421.

The decisive thing in the comparison is said to be not the change of
form nor the assurance that the revealing spirit would always be with
the prophet, "but that he revealed himself, to the heathen as the
Shepherd of men (_Menschenhirten_), to the Christian as the Shepherd of
this man."[254] The comparison leads Reitzenstein to the twofold
conclusion that the "Shepherd" of Hermas has taken over awkwardly a type
foreign to Christian revelation literature, and that "the Christian
borrowed that description of the shepherd from an originally fuller

  254: "Poimandres," p. 12.

  255: _Ibid._, pp. 13, 32.

The argument for borrowing is obviously weakened by the admission that
Hermas did not borrow from the extant "Poimandres" but from an assumed
earlier form of the text; and, further, it is by no means clear why the
figure of the shepherd, familiar in the Old Testament and in the Gospel
parables, should be a foreign type in Christian literature. Nor is the
case materially strengthened by the argument that a later mention of a
mountain in Arcadia, in the "Shepherd," implies an acquaintance with the
"Poimandres" where no mention of Arcadia, but simply of descent from a
mountain, is made. It is admitted that the leading up upon a mountain is
a current form of Christian literature, but it is said that "the exact
choice of Arcadia is more than surprising, since the author lived in
Rome, and besides saw his visions at Rome or Cumæ."[256]

  256: "Poimandres," p. 33.

It seems unnecessary to guess with Zahn that "Arikia" should be read
instead of "Arkadia," or to assume that Hermas was a native of Arcadia,
or had a book of travels in his hands, or that he was thinking of Hermes
or the Hermetic writings. The literary tradition connecting Arcadia with
shepherds and with pastoral poetry was in itself enough, as Vergil's
"Eclogues" may suggest. It is admitted that Hermas was a literary man
even if "a man of the people," and what more natural place for a
shepherd to appear, if it was to be upon a mountain, than a mountain in
Arcadia? Shepherds have suggested Arcadia from the time of Vergil to
that of Sir Philip Sydney, and Vergil, in breaking away from the Sicily
of Theocritus, was quite probably following a tradition already
established at Rome.

An historian of Roman religion, W. Warde Fowler, says of Christianity as
preached by Paul that "the plant, though grown in a soil which had borne
other crops, was wholly new in structure and vital principle. I say this
deliberately, after spending so many years on the study of the religion
of the Romans, and making myself acquainted in some measure with the
religions of other peoples. The love of Christ is the entirely new power
that has come into the world; not merely as a new type of morality, but
as 'a Divine influence transfiguring human nature in a universal love.'
The passion of St. Paul's appeal lies in the consecration of every
detail of it by reference to the life and death of the Master."[257]

  257: "The Religious Experience of the Roman People," 1911, pp. 466,

The gospel which conquered the Roman Empire was no syncretic product
growing from Græco-Roman soil, no _mélange_ of oriental religions and
Greek philosophy, no cunningly devised fable or myth for the myth-loving
Greeks. No explanation of the character of Pauline Christianity, or of
its victory over its rivals in the ancient world, can ignore the
statements of Paul himself: "When the fulness of time was come, God sent
forth his Son; he revealed his Son in me, that I might preach him among
the Gentiles" (Gal. iv. 4; i. 16).


The relation of Christianity to modern religions is a matter of
practical rather than theoretical interest. After the brilliant
victories of the early missionary age, the activity of the church in
spreading the gospel among the non-Christian peoples was for many
centuries remitted, and it is only practically within the last one
hundred years that the Christian Faith has been brought into actual
contact, through the work of its missionaries, with the non-Christian

Through its missionary propaganda Christianity has shown its genuineness
and its devotion to the commands of its Founder; and so far as it has
proved its ability to meet the religious needs and quicken the religious
and intellectual life of diverse nationalities, it has supplied a
practical demonstration of its divine origin and authority. The
missionaries have supplied the church with a pattern of apostolic zeal,
and have kept burning the fire of a passionate love and devotion for
their Master. A British statesman has said that the unselfish
imperialism of its missionary propaganda has been the crowning glory of
the Anglo-Saxon race.

While the unceasing struggle of Christianity against worldliness, greed,
indifference and unbelief still continues, it may be said that
Christianity has to-day no rival as a claimant to be the universal
religion. It alone can stand the white light of modern science, and it
alone can stand the test of those moral ideals which have been largely
created by itself. It is absolutely certain that none of the present
ethnic religions can compete with Christianity in its contest for world

The great danger to Christianity to-day, from the side of other
religions, is not that of persecution or the hostility of the state. The
danger lies in the temptation to compromise. Let Christianity, it is
said, lay aside its assumption of divine and exclusive authority and of
infinite superiority to all other religions, and let it make in its
ethics some concessions to the weakness of human nature, and the path to
world-conquest will be open.

Never was the temptation to compromise, with Judaism on the one hand and
heathenism on the other, stronger than it was in the early ages of the
Christian Church. If Christianity had compromised in the time of Jesus
and Paul, persecution would have ceased and the scandal of the cross
would have been removed. If early Christianity had compromised with
heathenism, and had not waged unrelenting warfare upon idolatry, it
could have escaped the united hostility of the state and of the other
religions and philosophies; on the other hand, if Christianity had come
to terms with Judaism or Paganism, while it might perhaps be known
historically as an obscure Jewish sect, or as a ripple upon the wave of
oriental religious influence upon the Græco-Roman world, it would never
have been the mighty spiritual power that it has been in human society.

It is a mistake to-day to think that for Christianity the way of
conquest is the way of compromise, and that Christianity can become a
world religion, superseding all others, by laying aside its distinctive
features and its exalted and exclusive claims. It would, indeed, be a
mistake to import our doctrinal systems in all their controversial
details into the heathen world, and the mystical oriental mind may
easily clothe Christianity, itself an oriental religion, in new and more
beautiful forms; but it would be, if possible, a greater mistake to
attempt to substitute ethics or natural religion for doctrinal

The rock of Islam will not yield to the preaching of a merely human and
prophetic Jesus; nor will the preaching of the Fatherhood of God and the
Brotherhood of man--the same message which the Swamis and Babists, with
a more pantheistic content to their message, preach in England and
America--be effective to overthrow the hoary superstitions of India and
the caste system with its hold upon every fibre of human nature.

A prominent educator and leader of thought has recently complained that
Christianity as usually preached in foreign lands is unsuitable to the
oriental mind. On the other hand, he chides the members of his own
religious communion because they, "with magnificent ideals, with
glorious concepts, with the truth of Christ in all its purity and
simplicity, sit in smug content offering the world of missions, in the
hour of its hunger, only the dry bones of criticism of those who
already serve."[258] But every practical movement, enlisting great masses
of men and demanding tremendous sacrifice for its accomplishment, must
have a rational basis. A humanitarian impulse is not sufficient to carry
through to a conclusion so vast and world-embracing a plan as is
contemplated by Christian Missions. The impulse however strong and noble
will evaporate, unless based upon and fed by a theory of what the
Christian religion is, of what it offers to men, of man's need of it,
and of the obligation of Christians to carry it to the non-Christian
nations. The history of missions has shown that no mere feeling of
benevolence or desire to better social and economic conditions, but the
command of Christ, love for Christ and gratitude to Christ has led the
army of missionaries to endure separation, hardship, persecution and

  258: Dr. Charles W. Eliot as reported in the press.

Lowell has said that every new edition of an Elizabethan dramatist "is
but the putting of another witness into the box to prove the
inaccessibility of Shakespeare's standpoint as poet and artist." Every
comparison of Christianity with other religions, ancient and modern,
brings its own superiority into stronger relief. In Jesus Christ and in
Him alone have been fulfilled the great religious ideas of the race. In
Him as prophet God's word is perfectly spoken, and He is the example
who leads in the way of His own precepts. In Him are fulfilled the ideas
of sacrifice and priesthood; He is the great High Priest, separate from
sinners in His holiness, but near them in His compassion and mercy. He
has put away sin and put away sacrifice by the offering of Himself once
for all, and has destroyed the whole sacrificial system of Jews and
Gentiles. He is the fulfillment of the idea of incarnation, of God
coming to man and of the Most High visiting the children of men, for
their rescue from all danger and the supply of all their needs.

In other religious and philosophical systems there have been golden
maxims for the conduct of life, wonderful insights into truth and
visions of beauty, and evidences of the reaching out of the human soul
after God; but Christianity is the only religion of which the
enlightened reason and conscience of the world can say that it is from
heaven and not from men. In no other religion has there been a long
period of centuries of preparation in the religious education of a
people to be the recipients and the messengers, in the fullness of time,
of the final revelation. In no other religion is there found a teaching
so profound, and yet so simple and self-evidencing, upon the great
themes of human interest, God, Immortality and Duty. From no other has
gone forth an influence so beneficent and transforming in human
history. In no other has there been a Calvary and an Easter Day, the
great historic facts upon which the hopes of the world rest, and in no
other has the undiscovered country been transformed into "the Father's


The Christian Faith and Biblical Criticism

We are living at a time when territory formerly deemed sacred is being
traversed by hosts of forbidding aspect under the banners of natural
science, of philosophy, and of the psychology and history of religion.
The greatest foe of all, it has been thought by some, has arisen within
the household of faith in the form of Biblical Criticism.

An eloquent American preacher, Dr. Richard S. Storrs, has said that when
Luther translated the Bible into the vernacular, "the peasant's roof was
lifted to a level with the stars." Into every home whose inmates could
read there came, with the Bible in their own tongue, the message of
divine love and redemption. With the freedom to read the Bible came also
the freedom to study the Bible, to judge by its standard the doctrines
and usages of the church, to compare Scripture with Scripture, and even
to bring Scripture itself with its credentials before the bar of reason.
Whatever the extremes into which criticism may have run in an age in
which the Cartesian principle of doubt is applied to every received
opinion, the rights of Biblical Criticism must be conceded as a legacy
of the Reformation.

About the works of Homer, of Plato, of Dante and of Shakespeare there
has gathered a mass of material in the way of commentary and discussion,
but it is safe to say that in recent years the literary output in all of
these departments of study taken together is small in comparison with
that which centres around the Bible. The Biblical critic has helped to
attract to the Bible the intellectual interest of our age, as well as to
make it the storm-centre of theological controversy. He has made it a
principal object of scholarly as well as devotional interest, has thrown
a flood of light upon its pages from history, archæology, philology and
comparative religion, and has challenged the devout Bible reader to a
more intelligent, minute and painstaking examination of the fundamental
documents of his faith.

The specialization of the age has assigned the Old Testament and the New
Testament to different departments of study, and the problems of each
must be independently investigated. It is evident, though, that the
fortunes of the Old Testament and the New are closely bound up together.
The same principles of criticism are likely to be applied to both, and
whether we begin with naturalism or supernaturalism in the Old Testament
we shall probably end with it in the New Testament. In both Testaments
Babylonian influence may be traced, and the twelve apostles may follow
the twelve patriarchs into the limbo of myth. If no supernatural process
of redemption, in the way of history, prophecy or revelation, can be
discovered in the Old Testament, it is unlikely that any will be
discovered at all. The Fourth Gospel as well as the Pentateuch has been
analyzed into documents, and the same great historical transposition is
seen in both Testaments; Jewish monotheism is said to have begun with
Amos instead of with Abraham, and Christianity in its distinctive
features with Paul instead of with Jesus.

The present state of discussion in the Old Testament field indicates, to
one not a specialist in this department, that positions which have been
regarded as assured are not yet settled beyond question. The literary
analysis is ingenious and plausible, but, as is shown in Orr's "Problem
of the Old Testament," the argument is balanced. To offset the literary
analysis and the rearrangement of the history in accordance with an
evolutionary scheme, there are certain considerations from history,
archæology, and common reason. No such analysis has been ventured in the
case of modern documents that are confessedly composite, and in the case
of Homer, the nearest classical parallel, there is the same uncertainty
in the results.

Purely literary considerations, as Ramsay has remarked, yield before
other more objective and historical data, and the literary theories are
adjusted to meet the new situation.[259] The temporary popularity in the
New Testament field of the Baur-Tübingen theories, based on Hegelian
principles of development, and then their general abandonment, suggest
the need of caution before we accept any concensus of criticism, based
upon literary and philosophical grounds alone, as the last word upon the
subject. Our special concern in this lecture is with the problems of the
New Testament, and we may consider briefly, I. The Pauline Epistles, II.
The Acts, III. The Synoptic Problem, and IV. The Johannine Problem.

  259: "Luke the Physician," p. 262.


It is frequently said that the figure of the Apostle Paul stands out
against the background of history in bolder relief and with individual
features more strongly marked than does any other character in
antiquity. Not only has his public career been narrated by one who was
apparently his friend and companion in labours, but he has left a large
collection of letters, full of profound teaching upon religion and
ethics, and abounding in autobiographic details and in intimate
revelations of character.

The school of Baur recognized as genuine only the four central epistles,
Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians, making in bulk about
three-fifths of the writings, exclusive of Hebrews, which have been
assigned to Paul. The tendency of criticism since the time of Baur has
been steadily in the direction of the acceptance of other epistles as
Pauline. Colossians, Philippians and I Thessalonians have now been added
to the list of the generally accepted writings, and it is only the
fringe of Paul's writings that can be said to be still in dispute. Of
these "anti-legomena," 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians and the Pastorals, it
is noticeable that two of them are rejected largely on the ground that
they resemble so closely in ideas and vocabulary the admittedly Pauline
letters of I Thessalonians and Colossians, while a Pauline nucleus is
often acknowledged in the Pastorals by those who do not assign the
epistles as a whole to Paul.

Students of Ephesians, moreover, are coming to hear in it more and more
clearly, if we mistake not, the voice of the Apostle and the expression
of his mature Christian experience, and of that doctrine of the church
in which Royce sees the essence of Paulinism. A. C. Headlam says that it
is the careful study of a book that will often solve the question of its
origin, and remarks: "To me Ephesians is Pauline through and through,
and more even than Romans represents the deepest thought of the
Apostle."[260] The important fact is that, when all the disputed epistles
are excluded, the progress of criticism has placed beyond reasonable
doubt the great body of the Apostle's teaching and the bulk of his
writings. The practical question now at issue, as Ramsay has observed,
is not, "What did Paul write?" but "What did Paul teach?"[261]

  260: "St. Paul and Christianity," 1913, p. viii.

  261: _Contemporary Review_, August, 1913, p. 198.

In Paul's acknowledged writings we have a solid basis in fact from which
to estimate the Gospel narratives and the Acts. The epistles of Paul
carry us back into the circle of the earlier apostles and of the
Jerusalem church, and throw light upon various events and aspects of the
life, character, words, death, and resurrection of Christ.


The book of Acts, while secondary in interest to the Gospels, occupies a
central place in New Testament criticism. It is the bridge between the
Ascension and the time thirty years later when Nero persecuted "a great
multitude called Christians at Rome." It covers the period in which
doctrinal evolution took place. Through its authorship it bridges the
gap between the Gospels and the Pauline church among the Gentiles.

The course of the history in the early chapters of Acts is so different
from that which the imagination of a later age would have pictured, that
it bears upon its face the marks of early origin and of trustworthiness.
To a later writer, without contact with the actors, and writing after
the destruction of the Temple and the final breach of the Christians
with the Jews and the assured success of the Gentile mission, it would
seem exceedingly improbable (1) that the apostolic company should have
continued to worship in the Temple; (2) that they should at first have
found favour with the people; and (3) that they should have remained in
Jerusalem with no apparent intention of leaving until scattered by
persecution; and perhaps (4) that the Sadducees should have been the
first to start the persecution. The recorded history, improbable to a
later age, bears upon its face the stamp of truth. The imagination of a
post-Pauline writer would have given us, we may be sure, a very
different picture of church history. It would scarcely have conceived of
the primitive Christology of Peter's speeches, the use of the term,
"child," or "servant" of God (παῖς [pais]) in place of the Pauline term,
"Son of God" (υἱός [huios]), yet with the same attitude, shared by
Christians of earlier and later time, of adoration, worship and love.

The presumption in favour of credibility is strengthened by the author's
full and detailed treatment of persons and places. "A man who would
venture to introduce ninety-five persons and a hundred and three places
into a history of his own times must have been pretty sure of his
ground. The majority of these persons were still living when he wrote;
into every one of these places his volume shortly penetrated.... The
correctness of his geography upholds the truth of his history."[262]

  262: Arthur Wright: "Some New Testament Problems," pp. 88, 89.

A great many of the statements of the Acts can be checked by comparison
with Paul's epistles, as has been shown by Paley's "Horæ Paulinæ," and
more recently, for the first part of the Acts, by Harnack. In case of
apparent conflict, it has been said, "we are confronted by the task of
reconciling the differences between two first-century documents, each of
which has, admittedly, very powerful claims."[263] More than half of the
Acts is taken up with the labours of the Apostle Paul, and yet the Acts
does not mention or show knowledge of his epistles. This fact, used by
some to throw doubt upon the genuineness of the epistles, may be an
indication of the early date of the Acts, and of so close a relationship
between the author and the Apostle that the evidence of letters would be

  263: Dawson Walker: "The Gift of Tongues," 1906, p. 181.

Important alike in its bearing upon the questions of credibility and
authorship, is the evidence of the so-called "we-sections." A _prima
facie_ case is made out that the author of the Acts was an eye-witness
of some of the scenes it records, and a companion in travel of the
Apostle Paul. This evidence has of late been greatly strengthened by
linguistic investigation. While critical attempts are still made to
divide the Acts into documents, the "we-sections" (xvi. 10-17; xx. 5-15;
xxi. 1-18; xxvii. 1-xxviii. 16), as Sir J. Hawkins says, show an
"immense balance of internal and linguistic evidence in favour of the
view that the original writer of these sections was the same person as
the main author of the Acts and of the Third Gospel."[264]

  264: "Horæ Synopticæ," 2d ed., 1909, p. 188.

No living writers have done more to stimulate interest in the book of
Acts than have Sir W. M. Ramsay and Harnack, and the writings of both
have materially strengthened the case alike for its Lukan authorship,
and, in the main, for its historical accuracy. Ramsay, starting, as he
says, from the standpoint of the Tübingen school, "with the confident
assumption that the book was fabricated in the middle of the second
century, and studying it to see what light it could throw on the state
of society in Asia Minor, was gradually driven to the conclusion that it
must have been written in the first century and with admirable

  265: "Pauline Studies," p. 199.

Harnack's defense, in his four monographs,[266] of the Lukan authorship,
integrity, historical reliability (where the supernatural is not in
question) and early date of the Acts is the most outstanding and
significant achievement of the age in New Testament criticism. Harnack's
work has been so thorough and convincing that it may be said to have
carried the theological world by storm. At least his powerful argument
for Lukan authorship does not appear to have been successfully met. The
attempt to turn its flank by asserting that the Paul of Acts, in making
a vow, shaving his head and entering into the Temple, was not the
defender of Gentile liberty who wrote Galatians, and so that the author
of the Acts was not the companion of Paul, is met by Harnack in the
fourth of his monographs. Paul, he declares, not only was a Jew, but
remained so, whether consistently or not. Harnack thinks that Paul
shrank back from taking the last logical step,[267] but that in this the
author of the Acts represents the relation of Paul to Judaism precisely
as do his letters.[268] Stanton well remarks that the difficulty of
accounting for alleged discrepancies between the Acts and the Epistles
is equal or greater on the supposition that the author wrote 100 A. D.,
or later, than if the author was the companion of Paul.[269] The very
fact, for example, that Luke says that Paul worshipped in the Temple is
an indication that we have here no conception of a later age to which
such an act would have seemed unnatural.

  266: "Beiträge zur Einl. in das N. T.": I. "Lukas der Arzt," 1906;
  II. "Sprüche und Reden Jesu," 1907; III. "Die Apostelgeschichte,"
  1908; IV. "Neue Untersuchungen zur Apostelgeschichte und zur
  Abfassungszeit des Synoptischen Evangelien," 1911. For convenience
  these will be alluded to as I, II, III, and IV, in connection with
  the English translation.

  267: IV, p. 35; "Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels," p. 49.

  268: _Ibid._, p. 62; E. T., p. 88.

  269: "The Gospels as Historical Documents," Pt. II, 1909, p. 242.

In his "Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels" (IV), Harnack
reverses his former opinion and strongly defends a date for the Acts
within the lifetime of Paul and before the end of his trial at Rome.
Reviewing his former arguments for a later date, he finds them
inconclusive, and thinks that the earlier date is required by the abrupt
close of the Acts. Minor considerations favouring an early date are (1)
the titles for Christ in the early chapters, and for Christians, and the
description of the Jews as "the people of God"; (2) the fact that the
Jews are the persecutors and not the persecuted; (3) the absence of any
indication of the use of Paul's letters such as would be expected in a
later writer; (4) the use of the "first day of the week," instead of the
"Lord's Day," and of the names of Jewish feasts, in which Luke stands
with Paul against later writers. And (5) even the prediction, Acts xx.
25, which looks primarily to Jerusalem, not Rome, would not have been
written, if the second imprisonment be accepted, after its apparent
falsification by I Timothy i. 3 and 2 Timothy i. 18. H. Koch develops
these arguments independently,[270] and it can no longer be said that the
early dating of the Acts is "a pre-critical theory which rests on
sentimental or subjective grounds."[271]

  270: "Die Abfassungszeit des lukanischen Geschichtswerkes," 1911.

  271: J. Moffatt: "Historical New Testament," p. 414, note 4. It is
  noticeable that Moffatt now favours the Lukan authorship, "put
  practically beyond doubt by the exhaustive researches of Hawkins and
  Harnack" ("Introduction to New Testament," p. 295), while advocating
  a date later than Josephus' "Antiquities" (pp. 29 f.).

Why should the author follow so carefully the fortunes of the Apostle on
his voyage to Rome, and describe so fully the initial stages of his
trial, and yet leave the reader in doubt concerning its outcome?
Commentators have been puzzled by the seemingly inordinate space which
Luke devotes to the details of the voyage and shipwreck. Sometimes it is
said that the voyage marks the final rejection of the Jewish people; or
in the description is seen a literary device intended to intensify the
suspense of the reader; or allegorical interpretations are resorted to
by those who think that Luke would not thus descend from the level of
the philosophical historian to that of the novelist.

In the minute description of the voyage and shipwreck, Koch sees
evidence that the writer's experiences as Paul's companion on the
voyage were still fresh in his mind. The details would scarcely have
been remembered and recorded so vividly after twenty-five years. Even if
a journal had been kept, it is still strange that the minutiæ of the
story should have been retained in the perspective of the finished
history. "The author still stands under the fresh impression of the
wonderful divine guidance through which Paul, in spite of all dangers
and hindrances, reached his long sought goal." "What interest would a
reader of later times have in details such as that on an Alexandrian
ship precisely two hundred and seventy-six men were found?" In the
seventh or eighth decade more important contemporary events would have
stood in the foreground of interest.[272] A striking parallelism has been
observed between the Third Gospel and the Acts, while, supposing Paul's
death to have occurred, it is urged that Luke has missed "the
finest--the most essential--point of the whole comparison, the death of

  272: H. Koch: "Die Abfassungszeit des lukanischen Geschichtswerkes,"
  pp. 61, 62.

  273: D. Walker: "The Gift of Tongues," p. 228.

The assumed intention of the author to write a third treatise does not
help the matter much. It is absurd, Ramsay admits, to relate the earlier
stages of the trial at great length, "and wholly omit the final result
which gives them intelligibility and purpose"; but his conclusion is
that "it therefore follows that a sequel was contemplated by the
author," a sequel which the "first" (prôtos) of Acts i. 1 implies, if
Luke "wrote as correct Greek as Paul wrote."[274] But the intention of
writing a sequel does not explain the failure to mention the outcome of
the trial. Luke would have no motive like the writer of a continued
story for keeping the reader in suspense, and the simple addition of the
words "until his release or acquittal" would have relieved the suspense,
and given "intelligibility and purpose" to the detailed description of
the earlier stages of the trial. The account of the Ascension is not
omitted from Luke's Gospel although given in greater detail in the Acts.
There is nothing un-philosophical in the abrupt ending of a history
which brings the record down to the date of writing.

  274: "Paul the Traveller," pp. 307-309. The use of "first" (πρῶτos
  [prôtos]) is not decisive, for it is used where there are but two
  objects in the comparison in Acts xii. 10 (and see vii. 12), Hebrews
  ix. 8 and 15, Apoc. xx. 5, and even I Corinthians xv. 47.

The leading argument against an early date for the Acts is drawn from
the possible use by Luke of the writings of Josephus, and the crux of
the question is in the words put into the mouth of Gamaliel (Acts v. 36,
37). The coincidence of the names of Theudas and Judas of Galilee (Acts
v. 36, 37; Antiq. xx. v. 1 and 2) is striking and, if the two men named
Theudas be identified and Josephus is correct, Luke is guilty of an
anachronism in putting an allusion to him into the mouth of Gamaliel;
for the Theudas of Josephus falls in the time of Fadus who was
procurator under Claudius, about 45 A. D. The following points deserve
to be noticed:

(1) Luke had from Paul, whether or not Paul was present at the meeting
of the Sanhedrin, the best means of knowing what Gamaliel, his teacher
and the spokesman of the Pharisaic party, actually said. (2) The
assumption that Luke was quoting Josephus is in itself very difficult
when we compare the passages. Luke speaks of about four hundred under
Theudas while Josephus mentions a great part of the people; Luke speaks
of Judas while Josephus speaks of the sons of Judas. To quote thus
loosely from his assumed authority and then to commit the further
blunder of making Gamaliel allude to an event which occurred at least a
dozen years later is, while possible, strangely out of keeping with
Luke's proved care and accuracy in most of his historical allusions. The
difficulty is acknowledged by those who make Luke dependent on Josephus.
Why did Luke diverge from a correct narrative if he had one before him?
Writers who affirm (Holtzmann) and those who deny (Schürer) the
dependence on Josephus practically agree that if Luke had read Josephus
he had forgotten him. (3) In the narrative of the death of Herod (Acts
xii. 20 f.; Antiq. xix. viii. 2), where the two authors most obviously
come together, both are plainly describing the same event, and yet seem
to be quite independent both in the use of words and in the details of
the description. (4) The cumulative evidence of an early date for Luke
weighs heavily in the scale against the hypothesis of dependence upon
the "Antiquities" written about 93 or 94 A. D.

The question of date cannot be said to be absolutely settled, but the
tendency of criticism as illustrated by Harnack is to the acceptance of
an early date, as well as to that of the Lukan authorship of the entire
book. It is difficult to see how Harnack, with his present defense of a
date before Paul's release from prison, can consistently maintain his
skepticism where the supernatural events recorded in the Acts are
concerned. It is idle to say that his "revolution in chronology" has no
effect upon the question of reliability. It is an established principle
of historical method that the nearer a tradition is to the event it
professes to describe, the more likely it is to be trustworthy. The
resources of Harnack's learning have been used in support of the
reliability of Luke in his geographical and chronological
references,[275] and his treatment of persons and reports of their
speeches.[276] He has shown that Luke was in touch with the leaders of
the Jerusalem church, and that his statements are abundantly confirmed
by the writings of Paul. If Luke wrote within the lifetime of Paul, the
Acts was published while the main actors were still living, and, by
inference, it recorded events as Peter and Barnabas and Apollos and
Philip and Mark thought that they happened. If further, as Harnack
argues, it was written during Paul's imprisonment there seems no room
for doubt that it was written under the eye and with the full
endorsement of its principal actor, and that we have thus the implicit
guarantee not only of Luke but of Paul also for the accuracy of its

  275: III, p. 97; "Acts of the Apostles," p. 112.

  276: _Ibid._, pp. 101 ff.; E. T., pp. 117 ff.


It has been said that the two most important questions for religion are
those of the rational foundations of theism and of the trustworthiness
of the Four Gospels.[277] The Gospel records have always been regarded as
the citadel of the Christian Faith. Not only do they contain the record
of works of power and words of grace, and of a transcendent Personality,
but they have always been considered to have been themselves
supernatural in origin and character. They have been regarded as "a
house not made with hands" (Robertson Nicoll), "a miracle of the Holy
Ghost" (Stier), "the heaven-drawn picture of Christ, the living Word."
The criticism of the past century, in its quest for the historical
Jesus, has taken a very different attitude towards the Evangelical
records. By many critics they have been regarded as a patchwork of
traditions, a work of pious but credulous men, whose idealization and
exaggeration, in the supposed interest of faith, it is necessary to
discount in order to reach the bed-rock of historical fact.

  277: Dr. Francis L. Patton, in an address.

The literary relation of the Synoptic Gospels to one another has
furnished to the New Testament student a problem of great intricacy and
singular fascination. Its importance for our present purpose is in its
bearing upon the trustworthiness of our canonical Gospels. The school of
Baur, under the influence of the Hegelian dialectic, saw in Matthew, the
Jewish Gospel, the thesis; in Luke, the Gentile Gospel, the antithesis;
and lastly in Mark, the neutral Gospel, the synthesis or last term of
the development. Criticism since the time of Baur has, with much
unanimity, seen in Mark not the latest but the first of the Gospels, and
has made Matthew and Luke dependent upon Mark.

The theory which has for some years held the field is the so-called
"two-document" theory. According to this Matthew and Luke, usually
regarded as independent of each other, are both dependent, for much of
their narrative portion and for the framework of their history, upon
Mark, and, for the non-Markan discourse material which they have in
common, upon a collection of the sayings of Jesus, formerly designated
as "the Logia" but now usually called by the letter "Q." The importance
of the Synoptic Problem, for our present purpose, is in its historical
rather than its literary features. Assuming the priority of Mark, and
assuming that Matthew and Luke were dependent upon him alone in those
parts of their narratives which have Markan parallels, it is clear that
we must regard all deviations made by the other Synoptists from the
Markan narrative as of only secondary value. Variations from Mark, if
Mark be the sole source, whether these consist of additions, omissions
or modifications in the narrative, obviously add nothing to our
knowledge of the facts, but simply represent changes which the later
writers have made in their source from subjective reasons. It is
important, then, to ask whether, in the present state of opinion upon
the inter-Synoptic relations, there is reason to believe that Matthew
and Luke are following Mark as their sole authority for the narratives
which have Markan parallels.

There is now a quite general recognition of the fact that the literary
problem presented by the Synoptic Gospels is exceedingly intricate, and
that the "two-document" hypothesis in its simplicity has not solved all
the difficulties. It is recognized that it must be modified in one of
three directions.

(1) There may be said to be a growing appreciation of the part which
oral transmission has played in the composition of the Gospels. This is
shown for example in the volume of Oxford "Studies in the Synoptic
Problem" (1911),[278] and by the statement of Sir John Hawkins, who, in
the second edition of his "Horæ Synopticæ" (1909), expresses the strong
opinion "that at least the Second and Third Evangelists had provided
themselves with written documents as their main sources, but that they
often omitted to refer closely to them, partly because of the physical
difficulties which there must have been in consulting manuscripts, and
partly because of the oral knowledge of the life and sayings of Jesus
Christ which they had previously acquired as learners and used as
teachers, and upon which therefore it would be natural for them to fall
back very frequently."[279] It is natural to suppose, with Schmiedel,
that oral tradition continued for a considerable time after the first
documents were written.[280]

  278: Compare the statement of J. V. Bartlett: "I am not convinced
  that there ever was a written 'book of discourses' that has
  perished" (p. 360).

  279: "Horæ Synopticæ," 2d ed., p. 217.

  280: Art. "Gospels," Encycl. Bib., vol. ii. col. 1846.

(2) A considerable number of scholars, finding that Mark condenses his
account of such incidents as the Baptism and Temptation of Jesus and the
discourse concerning Beelzebub, and that Matthew and Luke are parallel
in matter which they add at these points to the Markan account, have
concluded that Mark must have used Q, the assumed source of the
Matthew-Luke agreements. A moderate statement is that of Dr. Sanday: "I
do not think that Q was used by Mark regularly and systematically, as
the later Evangelists use his own narrative; but he must have known of
its existence, and reminiscences of it seem to have clung to him and
from time to time made their way into his text." [281]

  281: "Studies in the Synoptic Problem," pp. xvi, xvii.

(3) Another group of scholars, basing their view on the agreement of
Matthew and Luke against Mark in matter with Markan parallels, and on
the difficulty of accounting for some omissions from Mark in the later
Evangelists (such as the omission in Luke, where it would be most
appropriate, of the story about the Syro-Phoenician woman), have framed a
theory of different recensions in Mark, one being used by Matthew, a
different one by Luke, and a final recension, whether the work of the
Evangelist himself or of an editor, representing our canonical Mark.
This theory in different forms has been advocated by Stanton in his
"Gospels as Historical Documents," Part II (1909), and more recently by
Holdsworth in his "Gospel Origins" (1913). When the two-document theory
is held in this form, the priority of Mark belongs only to the assumed
earlier editions, for whose extent and contents there is no objective
evidence except the assumed dependence, while our canonical Mark is
later than either Matthew or Luke.

There is a growing tendency to find secondary elements in Mark as well
as in Matthew or Luke. Hawkins, it will be recalled, gives a list of
passages in Mark "which may have been omitted or altered (by the other
Evangelists) as being liable to be misunderstood, or to give offense, or
to suggest difficulties."[282] Of the passages which seem (a) to limit
the power of Jesus, or (b) to be otherwise derogatory to, or unworthy of
Him, the more noteworthy of the twenty-two instances given by Hawkins
are as follows: under (a),

  282: "Horæ Synopticæ," 2d ed., pp. 117 f.

1. Mark i. 32-34, "He healed many that were sick." Matthew viii. 16, "He
healed all"; cf. Luke iv. 40, "Every one of them."

3. Mark vi. 5, "He could there do no mighty work, save etc." Matthew
xiii. 58, "He did not many mighty works there because of their

Under (b),

2. Mark i. 12, "The Spirit driveth him forth." Matthew and Luke use
words meaning to "lead."

4. Mark iii. 21, "They said he is beside himself." This is omitted by
Matthew and Luke.

10. Mark x. 17, 18, "Good Master" and "Why callest thou me good?" appear
in Matthew xix. 16, 17 (R. V.) as "Master" and "Why askest thou me
concerning that which is good?" Luke follows Mark.

Over against these passages may be placed others where the change, if
any, and whether made unconsciously or for reasons of style or with
conscious tendency, would seem to be in the other direction.

1. In the Parable of the Vineyard, Matthew xxi. 37, "My son." Luke xx.
13, "My beloved son." Mark xii. 6, "He had yet one, a beloved son."

2. Matthew x. 42, "A cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple."
Compare Mark ix. 41, "In name because ye are of Christ."

3. Luke xxiii. 47, "Certainly this was a righteous man." Mark xv. 39,
"Truly this man was the Son of God," or "a son of God." Matthew xxvii.
54 follows Mark.

4. (According to Bousset) Mark's abbreviation of Q in iii. 27 makes it
appear that it was Jesus who bound the strong man, instead of God.[283]

  283: "Kyrios Christos," p. 49.

5. Matthew xiii. 55, "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Compare Luke iv.
22, "Is not this Joseph's son?" Mark vi. 3, "Is not this the carpenter,
the son of Mary?" Belief in the Virgin Birth is perhaps safeguarded by

6. Mark x. 45, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, etc."
Here Bousset sees a dogmatic working over of Luke xxii. 27, "I am among
you as one that serves."[284] Matthew xx. 28 follows Mark.

  284: "Kyrios Christos," p. 9, note 1.

So far as tendency to Christological heightening is concerned, critics
of the school of Bousset are now especially severe against Mark. It
appears that "Luke's Gospel in the Passion history has preserved a
series of primary traditions over against Mark."[285] Holdsworth finds a
number of secondary elements, mostly stylistic, in Mark where the three
Gospels have a common narrative. Among these are the vivid touches of
the second Gospel, considered to be "distinctly secondary features," the
fuller descriptions in many instances, and the use of the noun "gospel"
not found at all in Luke although the verb is used, and not found in
Matthew in its absolute sense.[286]

  285: "Kyrios Christos," p. 44.

  286: "Gospel Origins," pp. 118 f.

Taking, then, the present state of opinion as to the relation of our
Mark to the other Gospels, we see that while in general the "priority of
Mark" is in some sense defended, yet the relation between any given
passage in Matthew or Luke and its parallel in Mark may be variously
construed. When Matthew, for example, deviates from Mark, this
modification according to current theories may arise (1) from the first
Evangelist's fancy or his dogmatic tendency, and will in either case be
historically worthless. It may arise (2) from reliable oral tradition,
and in this case be as worthy of credence as the Markan source. It may
be derived (3) from the source Q, but may be for some reason omitted by
Mark, whose knowledge of Q is assumed. The deviation in Matthew may (4)
have been found in a proto- or deutero-Mark, but have been omitted in his
final edition. The difference in this case between Matthew and Mark is
no greater than that between two editions of the same work.

The point to be emphasized is that, in the present state of opinion upon
the Synoptic problem, the difference of one Evangelist from another does
not in itself invalidate the testimony of either. The Synoptic problem,
while primarily a literary problem, is indeed "fraught with momentous
issues which the Church, and not scientific criticism only, is concerned
to face";[287] but in the present state of the discussion, the fact that
Matthew adds to or modifies the narrative of Mark does not necessarily
place the Matthean modification upon a lower plane of credibility than
the Markan statement. The Matthean modification may be an exact copy of
an earlier edition of Mark, or may be derived from one of Mark's
sources, Q, or may be taken from that stream of oral tradition coming
from "eye-witnesses and ministers of the word," which Luke in his
preface evidently regarded as the touchstone of historical truth,
whatever his use of written sources.

  287: H. L. Jackson, in "Cambridge Biblical Essays," 1909, p. 432.

Passing over the vexed question of Q, we may observe that the acceptance
of Harnack's early dating of the Acts and Luke would further complicate
the two-document theory. He agrees that Luke was written before the
Acts, and the Acts before Paul's trial at Rome was decided; further that
Mark is one of the sources of Luke, and that Mark was written at Rome.
"Tradition asserts no veto against the hypothesis that Luke, when he met
Mark in the company of Paul the prisoner, was permitted by him to peruse
a written record of the Gospel history which was essentially identical
with the Gospel of Mark given to the Church at a later time." Perhaps,
he intimates, "Luke was not yet acquainted with Mark's final revision,
which, as we can quite well imagine, Mark undertook while in Rome."[288]
The priority of Mark, under this supposition, is left hanging by a
slender thread. It is highly probable that Luke gathered the material
for his work (and a great part of it was certainly independent of Mark)
while in Palestine, and if he did not see Mark's Gospel, or a rough
draft of it, until he was in Rome, it is improbable that the Markan
document was his primary and principal source, as the two-document
theory asserts.

  288: IV, p. 93; "Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels,"
  p. 133.

Whatever the literary foundation of the two-document theory, it cannot
be said to have led to any very important historical results. Those who
regard the portrait of Jesus in Mark as historical see in the portrayal
of Matthew and Luke only a difference in the _nuances_ of the narrative.
On the other hand, those who cannot accept the picture drawn by the
First and the Third Evangelists are equally unable to accept that given
to us by Mark. The criticism of the sources, in its usual form, has not
revealed to us a Jesus who is more historical than the Jesus of any of
the Synoptists; and it is necessary to pursue the quest in the more
problematical region of "sources of sources." In this process Mark is
found to be as little historical as the other Synoptic Gospels, or even
as the Gospel of John.

The "dissonances of the Evangelists" appear to be left practically where
they were before the present movement in Synoptic criticism began. They
remain what they always have been when one Gospel is compared with
another, and are neither softened nor made more acute by any certain
results which have been reached in the study of the Synoptic problem.
Some, no doubt, may say that the discrepancies are so great that the
Synoptic Gospels cannot be accepted as historical records; while others
will say, as does a devout commentator on the Acts, that "such is the
naturalness of Holy Scripture that it seems as though it were
indifferent about a superficial consistency. So it ever is with truth:
its harmony is often veiled and hidden; while falsehood sometimes
betrays itself, to a practised ear, by a studied and ostentatious
uniformity."[289] Others again will appeal to the writers on historical
method, such as Langlois and Seignobos: "The natural tendency is to
think that the closer the agreement is, the greater is its demonstrative
power; we ought, on the contrary, to adopt as a rule the paradox that an
agreement proves more when it is confined to a small number of
circumstances. It is at such points of coincidence between diverging
statements that we are to look for scientifically established historical
facts."[290] The inter-Synoptic differences are certainly, in general, no
greater than those which a single author allowed himself in the accounts
of the same incident, as is shown in Luke's threefold account of the
conversion of the Apostle Paul.

  289: C. J. Vaughan: "The Church of the First Days," p. 547.

  290: "Introduction to the Study of History," pp. 201, 202.


It is scarcely surprising that the mystery which surrounds the most
mysterious Personality in history should communicate itself to the
records which tell of His life, and even to the authors of these
records. If the Synoptic problem is a "well," as Goethe said, the
problem presented by the "spiritual Gospel" usually assigned to the
Apostle John is equally fascinating and difficult. The mystery of the
Master has in part enveloped the disciple whom Jesus loved.

The questions of the authorship and the historicity of the Fourth Gospel
are closely bound together. If the Gospel is a theological romance
intended to give currency to the conceptions of the Alexandrian
philosophy, it is clear that its authorship cannot be ascribed to one of
the disciples of Jesus. On the other hand, if it was written by one of
the Apostolic band, it must certainly, whether reliable or not in its
details, contain a wealth of historical reminiscence which will enrich
our knowledge of the personality, the words and the deeds of Christ.

It is an interesting fact that a strong defense of the Apostolic
authorship of the Gospel has been made, in the present generation and in
the one which preceded it, by writers whose theological position would
incline them to an opposite conclusion.[291] The strength of the evidence
for Johannine authorship lies in the testimony which it receives from
all parts of the early church, whether divisions be made on geographical
or theological lines, and in the links of connection which bind the
witnesses to the alleged scene of John's labours and to the Apostle

  291: Ezra Abbot, 1880 (see "The Fourth Gospel," by Abbot, Peabody
  and Lightfoot, 1891) and James Drummond: "Character and Authorship
  of the Fourth Gospel," 1904.

If it be objected that John, as a Galilean fisherman and an unlettered
man, could not have produced a work so profound in thought and so
polished in Greek composition, the objection may be compared with that
which is raised against the authorship of the plays which go under the
name of Shakespeare. Andrew Lang remarks with irony upon the surprising
belief that "a young man from a little country town, and later an actor,
could possibly possess Shakespeare's vast treasures of general
information, or Latin enough to have read the Roman classics."[292]

  292: "A New Theory of Shakespeare," _Independent_, December 22, 1910,
  p. 1373.

The external evidence for Johannine authorship is strong and, with the
exception of the obscure sect of the "Alogi,"[293] is uniform. It is
"sufficient," and there can be little doubt that it would be efficient
in producing general belief except for the theological interests
involved. Objections to the Apostolic authorship from the side of the
external evidence are based (1) upon supposed indications that John was
martyred with James at Jerusalem and never lived in Ephesus at all, and
(2) upon the statement of Papias, interpreted to mean that two men by
the name of John lived in Ephesus. (1) The evidence upon the first point
is confessedly late and confused. It is contained in the statements of
Georgios Hamartolos, a ninth-century writer, and in the so-called "De
Boor Fragment," purporting to contain an extract from a fifth-century
writer, Philip of Side. The former says that Nerva, "having recalled
John from the island, dismissed him to live in Ephesus. Then, being the
only survivor of the twelve disciples, and having composed the Gospel
according to him, he has been deemed worthy of martyrdom. For Papias,
the Bishop of Hierapolis, having been an eye-witness of him, says in the
second book of the 'Oracles of the Lord,' that he was slain by the Jews,
having, as is clear, with his brother James, fulfilled the prediction of
Christ concerning him, and his own confession and assent in regard to
this." He adds that the learned Origen, in his commentary on Matthew,
"affirms that John μεμαρτύρηκεν [memartyrêken] (has borne witness, or
suffered martyrdom), intimating that he had learned this from the
successors of the Apostles."[294] But Origen, in his comment on Matthew
xx. 23, says that "the king of the Romans, as tradition teaches,
condemned John, witnessing for the truth, to the island of Patmos." If
Georgios Hamartolos thus incorrectly refers to Origen as a witness to
the martyrdom of John, less weight attaches to his professed
reproduction of the statement of Papias.

  293: Epiphanius: "Haer.," li.

  294: See F. W. Worsley: "The Fourth Gospel and the Synoptists," 1909,
  pp. 174 f.

The "De Boor Fragment" contains the statement that "Papias, in the
second book, says that John the Divine and James his brother were slain
by the Jews."[295] This supports the statement of the ninth-century
writer in regard to the second book of Papias, but the evidence, whether
for the martyrdom of John by the Jews, or for the fact that John was put
to death at the same time with his brother James, as is sometimes
inferred, is exceedingly slight. Paul (Gal. ii. 9) speaks of John at a
time usually identified with the Council at Jerusalem (Acts xv.),
although Ramsay would identify it with Acts xi. 30, thus placing it
immediately before the death of James (Acts xii. 2). The statement of
Georgios that John lived in Ephesus at the time of Nerva also negatives
this supposition. Of the slightly attested view that John was martyred
at an early date, Dr. Dawson Walker remarks: "It is difficult to think
that this latter hypothesis would have met with so great favour if it
had not been such an effective instrument in excluding St. John from any
possibility of being the writer of the Fourth Gospel."[296] The
statements that John was put to death by the Jews may possibly be an
inference from the prophecy, "The cup that I drink ye shall drink, etc."
(Mark x. 39).

  295: "Texte und Untersuchungen," v. 2, p. 170.

  296: "Present Day Criticism," _Expositor_, March, 1912, p. 251. For
  the statement of a Syriac calendar (411 A.D.) commemorating "John
  and James the Apostles at Jerusalem" as martyrs on 27th December,
  see Allen and Grensted: "Introduction to the Books of the New
  Testament," 1913, p. 94.

(2) A mediating theory, based upon the well-known statement of
Papias[297] in which a "presbyter" John may, with much probability, be
distinguished from the Apostle of that name, does not deny the influence
of the Apostle upon the construction of the Fourth Gospel, while its
ultimate authorship is assigned to the "presbyter" John. The hypothesis
of the two Johns rests upon the statement of Papias' fragment as
interpreted by Eusebius; but Eusebius, while suggesting that the
"presbyter" might have written the Apocalypse, indicates no doubt of the
Apostolic authorship of the Gospel and the First Epistle. The
possibility that there were two Johns, who were both in some sense
disciples of the Lord (as Papias describes the "presbyter"), who both
lived in Asia Minor, and who were both more or less concerned in the
writing of the Fourth Gospel, cannot be denied. But it is also possible
that Papias has been misinterpreted, and that, when he described the
"presbyter" John, the disciple of the Lord, he had only the Apostle John
in mind. In this case we should be freed from the necessity, involved in
the theory of authorship we are considering, of supposing that the
Apostle had a mysterious _alter ego_ of the same name, who was with him
alike in Palestine and in Asia Minor, shared in a degree his authority
and published the substance of his teaching, and so completely merged
his personality in that of the Apostle that in the Gospel record no
trace of a separate "presbyter" can be found, and there is no mention of
the name of either John.

  297: Eusebius: "Hist. Eccl.," iii. 39. "What was said ... by John or
  Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples, and what Aristion and
  the Presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say." The argument
  for two Johns is based upon the fact that the name is mentioned
  twice and that different tenses are used.

The First Epistle, supposed to be a sort of supplement to the Gospel, is
of importance in its bearing upon the question of authorship. As a
recent writer says: "The persistent note of authority which is
overheard, rather than heard, in the Epistles is the more impressive
because it is only implied. St. John assumes that his authority is
unquestioned and unquestionable by those Asians who are loyal to the
Christian tradition. When we compare his letters with those of his
younger contemporaries, we conclude that it was unquestionably because
he was an Apostle."[298]

  298: Rev. H. J. Bardsley: "The Testimony of Ignatius and Polycarp to
  the Authorship of 'St. John,'" _Journal of Theological Studies_,
  Vol. XIV, No. 56, July, 1913, p. 491.

Another mediating position, adopted by those who do not accept the full
Apostolic authorship, is found in a theory of partition, which assigns a
portion of the Gospel to the Apostle. The artistic unity of the Gospel
and the qualities of style which distinguish it from other writings
present a grave difficulty to any theory of partition. As a sort of
half-way house it will scarcely be permanently tenable. Of Spitta's
analysis, which assigns a part of the Gospel to the Apostle, it has been
objected by a critic of more radical sympathies that such an admission
places him outside the limits of scientific criticism.[299]

  299: C. A. Bernoulli, in appendix to Overbeck's "Johannesevangelium,"
  1911, pp. 504, 505.

The stronghold of the evidence alike for and against the Johannine
authorship is to be found in the facts of the Gospel itself. On the one
hand a powerful argument, such as that which has been developed by
Lightfoot and Westcott, can be drawn to show that the author of the
Gospel must have been a Jew, a Jew of Palestine, a disciple of Jesus,
one of the inner circle of disciples, and in fact none other than the
"beloved disciple" himself. The internal facts of the Gospel are used in
a different way by others to show that the Fourth Gospel differs so
radically in scene, in the style of its discourses, and indeed in its
entire portrait of Jesus, that it cannot be accepted as historical, or
as the work of one of the disciples.

The difference in scene between the Galilean Gospels and the Jerusalem
Gospel presents no great difficulty, but the crux of the problem is in
the difference in style and subject matter. The Jesus of the Synoptics
cannot, it is said, have spoken in the style of the discourses in John.
Before this judgment can be accepted without qualification, several
points deserve to be noticed. The difference in style is in part
accounted for by the difference in subject matter and in the character
of the audience. There are out-croppings of the Johannine style in the
Synoptics, especially where the subject of discourse is similar. The
passage, Matthew xi. 25-30, which, as we have seen, contains the
essential teachings found in John xiv., is a notable illustration. The
Jerusalem audience again was different from the Galilean audience. If it
be said that when the Jesus of the Fourth Gospel speaks in Galilee (John
vi.) He uses the same mystical style as when He speaks in Jerusalem, it
should at least be considered that the discourse in Capernaum is not
given as a sample of the usual synagogue preaching of Jesus. The scene
clearly marks a crisis in the ministry, a crisis indicated in the other
Gospels by the northern journey for retirement which immediately
followed, but made more intelligible by the supposition that the
Capernaum discourse was practically a clearer revelation to the Galilean
audience of the consciousness of Jesus and the spiritual character of
His work. When we recall that such expressions, familiar to John, as
_Logos_, Lamb of God, propitiation for sin, are never placed by John in
the mouth of Jesus, we have strong negative evidence that the discourses
of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel are not the free composition of the author

After all, the question of the style of the Fourth Gospel is not so
important as that of its contents. Does it draw an essentially different
picture of Jesus from that of the Synoptic writers, or does it help us
to fill out and to interpret the Synoptic portrait? Two considerations
of a general nature should be kept in mind. Ordinary readers of the
Gospels in all ages have seen no lack of unity in the composite portrait
of the four Gospels; and recent criticism has shown that even to the
sharp sighted modern critic the harmony is so great that one who rejects
the historical character of John's Gospel will also reject the Second
Gospel, which was written from the standpoint that Jesus is the Son of
God (so Bousset), and is to be distinguished from the Fourth Gospel in
degree (_graduel_) rather than in essence. The aim of Mark, and there is
no reason to doubt that he reaches his aim, is in fact the same as that
of John, so far as concerns his desire that his readers may believe that
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John xx. 31).

If what the Synoptic Gospels say is true as to the words and the works
and the claims and the consciousness of Jesus, then we should expect
some such supplement as we find in John. We should expect either more or
less than we find in the Synoptic Gospels. When we read of the Divine
Voice at the baptism and the transfiguration, we ask, What did Jesus
Himself conceive His relation to God to be? The full answer is in John.
When we read, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. xviii. 20), we should expect
fuller teaching on the relation of Jesus to the disciples. This we have
in the last discourses in John. When we read in the Synoptists accounts
of the teaching and the mighty works, we turn to John for the full
description of the Teacher and Lord, and of the mighty Worker
manifesting His glory. The Synoptic Gospels tell us of the authority of
Jesus and of His office of judgment and of His founding a Church. In
John we see the ground of His authority in His relation to God and in
His mystical relation to the disciples. In the Synoptists we have the
Last Supper and general prophecies of the future and commands for the
guidance of the Church. We should expect some more intimate and personal
revelation of His relation to the disciples, such as is furnished by the
Johannine picture of the disciple whom Jesus loved, and in the words,
"Woman, behold thy son" (John xix. 26, 27); and in the intimate
discourse of John xiv.-xvi. When we read, once more, that Jesus often
retired for prayer, but in the Synoptic Gospels have the record of only
one or two of His petitions: "Remove this cup from me.... Thy will be
done" (see Luke xxii. 42 and compare xxii. 32), we expect some such
enrichment of our knowledge of the prayer-life of Jesus as is contained
in John xvii.

The historical character of the Fourth Gospel is shown alike by the
light which it throws upon the course of events in the public ministry
and by the more subtle resemblances between John and the Synoptists, so
different in emphasis and shading that John's account cannot well have
been due to Synoptic tradition, and yet so much in agreement as to give
confidence that the same course of events underlies both accounts. If we
look at the outward course of events under the guidance of writers such
as Askwith[300] or A. E. Brooks,[301] we see that John's picture of the
earliest disciples in Judea may throw light upon the narrative of the
call of the four (Mark i. 16 f.). The crisis in the ministry, indicated
rather than explained in the Markan narrative, is more intelligible in
the light of John vi. The hosannas of the Triumphal Entry into
Jerusalem, as well as the settled determination of the rulers to put
Jesus to death, can be better understood with the help of John's
statements about Lazarus (see John xii. 9-11); and the accusation of the
witnesses, "We heard him say I will destroy this temple" (Mark xiv. 58),
and the weeping of Jesus over Jerusalem (Matt, xxiii. 37) are again more
intelligible in view of the Johannine statements about the temple of His
body (John ii. 20, 21), and the accounts of His frequent visits to

  300: "Historical Value of the Fourth Gospel," 1910. From the
  Synoptists, he says, we do not learn of disciples of the Baptist
  becoming disciples of Jesus. "But if the work of the Baptist was
  what the Synoptists declare it to have been, namely, to prepare the
  way for the Christ, it is hardly conceivable that this work,
  faithfully carried out, could have failed of this result--to supply
  disciples for Him" (p. 59).

  301: "Historical Value of the Fourth Gospel," in "Cambridge Biblical
  Essays." The best explanation of the silence of the Synoptists upon
  the raising of Lazarus is still that given by Holdsworth, "Gospel
  Origins," p. 126: "Every missionary knows that to mention the names
  of converts in published accounts of their work among a people
  hostile to Christianity is fraught with peril to those who are
  mentioned.... The difficult question of the appearance in the Fourth
  Gospel of the raising of Lazarus finds its best explanation in an
  application of this rule.... Although the Synoptists record the
  saying of Christ that the name of the woman who broke the bottle of
  spikenard ... should be mentioned [or rather her deed] wherever the
  Gospel was proclaimed, that name was never mentioned by them." Long
  afterwards John mentions Mary's name.

Relationships of a more subtle kind may be found when John is compared
with the Synoptic Gospels. (1) The relation of Jesus to His mother is
the same in both. Compare Luke ii. 49, "Knew ye not that I must be in
the things of my Father"; and John ii. 4, "Woman, what have I to do
with thee?" The relation with His brethren is also the same, their right
to influence Him not being admitted. (2) The causes of opposition are
differently described, but are the same in principle. In both Mark ii.
and John v., the charges against Him are those of blasphemy and Sabbath
breaking, and in both cases are made in connection with the miracle of
healing. His defense of His action in healing on the Sabbath day is the
same in principle but different in detail. In both there is an _à
fortiori_ argument: "How much then is a man of more value than a sheep!"
(Matt. xii. 12); "If a man receive circumcision on the Sabbath ... are
ye wroth with me because I made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath?"
(John vii. 23). In both cases His action is defended by reference to His
unique position, in the one case in His relation to God, "My Father
worketh hitherto" (John v. 17); and in the other case in His relation to
men, "The Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath" (Mark ii. 28). (3) The
relation of Jesus to various classes of people as described by John is
remarkably different in detail, but wonderfully similar in essence, when
compared with the Synoptic record. In each with entire difference of
scene and circumstance He meets with a woman that was a sinner, but the
essentials of penitence and the public expression of gratitude are
similar in both (Luke vii. 37 f.; John iv. 7 f.). No narratives could be
more independent of each other than those of the conversation with
Nicodemus in John iii., and with the rich young ruler in Mark x., yet in
both cases the attitude of Jesus towards an influential and upright and
religious man was the same. In spite of difference in language also, the
words to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again" (John iii. 7), do not differ
in their radical demands from the words addressed to the ruler, "One
thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast and come, follow me"
(Mark x. 21).

The comparison might be continued indefinitely, but only to show that
the picture of Jesus and of His relation to the Father, and to His
disciples, to publicans and sinners, to the Pharisees, to women, and to
the human race as Saviour and Judge, is so different in John that it
cannot be due merely to the influence of the Synoptic tradition, and yet
so identical in substance that it cannot possibly, with any regard for
literary probabilities, have been the free invention of the writer.

It is generally agreed that the writer of the Fourth Gospel took for
granted in his readers an acquaintance with the narrative or the
tradition of the Synoptic Gospels. He would not have written unless he
had some new light to throw upon the figure of Jesus, or some deeper
insight into His personality and work. The photograph and the portrait
may not perhaps agree in their mechanical measurements, but to one who
knows the subject the portrait may reproduce the original as faithfully,
and even more adequately, than does the photograph. Each is useful for
its own purpose, but both together are needed to give us the body and
the soul, the exact features and the expression, the total impression of
the personality.

The criticism of the Gospels has thrown the figure of Jesus into strong
relief, not only against the background of His time, but against the
background of humanity in general. In its recent developments, it has
left us practically with the choice between the Christ of the four
Gospels or a shadowy figure to be found in none of them. The true
historical Jesus that criticism has brought before us is clad in the
coarse garments of Galilee, but with the glory of the only-begotten of
the Father, full of grace and truth.

The searchlight of modern knowledge is the fierce light that beats upon
the throne. As nature and the human soul and the relationships of
thought and the phenomena of religion and the book of revelation are
more fully studied, the majesty and beauty of the central Figure in
history is more clearly revealed. Each age sees a new glory in Jesus
Christ. "It is one of the evidences of the moral greatness of Jesus,"
says Peabody, "that each period in Christian history, each social or
political change, has brought to view some new aspect of His character
and given Him a new claim to reverence." The modern age sees in Him and
in His Cross of love and sacrifice the guide and inspiration of its
ethical and social advance. It sees in Him and in His Cross the
solution, so far as ultimate solution may be possible, of its deepest
intellectual problems. It sees in Him not merely a Guide and a Revealer,
but a Redeemer from sin and the Giver of Eternal Life.

Bibliography of Recent Important Works

_For Chapter I_

  HARNACK, A. Das Wesen des Christentums, 1900, 2d ed., 1908;
     What is Christianity? 1901, 2d ed., 1910. Sprüche und Reden
     Jesu, 1907; The Sayings of Jesus, 1908.

     Aus Wissenschaft und Leben, 2 vols., 1911.

  LOISY, A. L'Évangile et l'Église, 3d ed., 1904; The Church and
     the Gospel, 1903.

  BOUSSET, W. Was wissen wir von Jesus? 1904.

     Kyrios Christos; Geschichte des Christusglaubens von den
     Anfängen des Christentums his Irenæus, 1913.

  SCHUMACHER, H. Die Selbstoffenbarung Jesu bei Mat 11, 27 (Luc
     10, 22), 1912 (Freiburger Theologische Studien, Heft 6).

  SCHWEITZER, A. Von Reimarus zu Wrede, 1906; The Quest of the
     Historical Jesus, 1910.

  DREWS, A. Die Christusmythe, 4th ed., 1911; The Christ-Myth,
     3d ed., 1910.

  WARFIELD, B. B. The Lord of Glory, 1907; and recent articles in
     theological reviews.

  THORBURN, T. J. Jesus the Christ: Historical or Mythical? 1912.

_For Chapter II_

  Darwin and Modern Science. Edited by A. C. Seward, 1909.
     Anniversary Volume by Various Authors.

  Fifty Years of Darwinism, 1909. Anniversary Volume by Various

  WEISMANN, A. The Evolution Theory, 2 vols., 1904.

  WALLACE, A. R. The World of Life, 1911. Man's Place in the
     Universe, 3d ed., 1905.

  MORGAN, T. H. Evolution and Adaptation, 1908.

  HENDERSON, L. J. The Fitness of the Environment, 1913.

  THOMSON, J. A. The Bible of Nature, 1908.

  MERX, J. T. History of European Thought in the Nineteenth
     Century. Vol. II, 1903.

  HERBERT, S. First Principles of Evolution, 1913.

_For Chapter III_

  JAMES, W. Varieties of Religious Experience, 1903. The Will to
     Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, 1902.

  STARBUCK, E. D. The Psychology of Religion, 1900.

  AMES, E. C. The Psychology of Religious Experience, 1910.

  LEUBA, J. H. A Psychological Study of Religion, 1912.

  PRATT, J. B. The Psychology of Religious Belief, 1907.

  STEVENS, GEORGE. The Psychology of the Christian Soul, 1911.

  ROYCE, J. The Sources of Religious Insight, 1912.

  BEGBIE, H. Twice-Born Men, 1909.

  JASTROW, JOSEPH. The Subconscious, 1906.

  COE, GEORGE A. The Religion of a Mature Mind, 1902.

  HALL, G. STANLEY. Adolescence, 1904.

_For Chapter IV_

  BERGSON, HENRI. L'Évolution Créatrice, 7th ed., 1911; Creative
     Evolution, 1911.

  LEROY, EDOUARD. The New Philosophy of Henri Bergson, 1913.

  EUCKEN, RUDOLF. Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion, 3d ed., 1912;
     The Truth of Religion, 2d Eng. from 3d German ed., 1913.

     Können wir noch Christen sein? 1911; Can We Still Be
     Christians? 1914.

  JONES, W. TUDOR. An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's
     Philosophy, 1912.

  HERMANN, E. Eucken and Bergson: Their Significance for
     Christian Thought, 1912.

  GIBSON, W. R. BOYCE. Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy of Life, 3d
     ed., 1912.

  WARD, JAMES. The Realm of Ends, 1911.

  ROYCE, JOSIAH. William James and Other Essays, 1911.

     The Problem of Christianity, 2 vols., 1913.

_For Chapter V_

  CLEMEN, CARL. Religionsgeschichtliche Erklärung des Neuen
     Testaments, 1909; Primitive Christianity and Its non-Jewish
     Sources, 1912.

     Der Einfluss der Mysterienreligionen auf das älteste
     Christentum, 1913.

  REITZENSTEIN, R. Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-ägyptischen
     und frühchristlichen Literatur, 1904. Die Hellenistische
     Mysterienreligionen, 1910.

  CUMONT, F. Les Religions Orientales dans le Paganisme Romain,
     2d ed., 1909; The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, 1911.

  KENNEDY, H. A. A. St. Paul and the Mystery Religions, 1913.

  MEAD, G. R. S. Thrice Greatest Hermes, 3 vols., 1906.

  FOWLER, W. WARDE. The Religious Experience of the Roman People,

  MACKENZIE, W. D. The Final Faith, 1910.

  MARETT, R. R. The Threshold of Religion, 1914.

  Religionsgeschtliche Volksbücher, begun in 1904.

_For Chapter VI_

  ORR, JAMES. The Problem of the Old Testament, 1906.

  HARNACK, A. Beitrage zur Einleitung in das Neue Testament: I.
     Lukas der Arzt, 1906 (Luke the Physician, 1907); II. Sprüche
     und Reden Jesu, 1907 (The Sayings of Jesus, 1908); III. Die
     Apostelgeschichte, 1908 (The Acts of the Apostles, 1909); IV.
     Neue Untersuchungen zur Apostelgeschichte und zur
     Abfassungszeit der Synoptischen Evangelien, 1911 (The Date of
     the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels, 1911).

  RAMSAY, SIR W. M. Pauline and Other Studies in Early Church
     History, 1906.

  KOCH, HEINRICH. Die Abfassungszeit des lukanischen
     Geschichtswerkes, 1911.

  SANDAY, W. (ED.). Studies in the Synoptic Problem, 1911. The
     Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, 1905.

  STANTON, VINCENT H. The Gospels as Historical Documents, Part
     II, The Synoptic Gospels, 1909.

  HOLDSWORTH, W. W. Gospel Origins: A Study in the Synoptic
     Problem, 1913.

  HAWKINS, SIR JOHN C. Horæ Synopticæ, 2d ed., 1909.

  MOFFATT, JAMES. An Introduction to the Literature of the New
     Testament, 1911.

  ALLEN, W. C. and GRENSTED, L. W. Introduction to the Books of
     the New Testament, 1913.

  DRUMMOND, JAMES. An Inquiry Into the Character and Authorship
     of the Fourth Gospel, 1904.

  BACON, BENJAMIN W. The Fourth Gospel in Research and Debate,

  WORSLEY, F. W. The Fourth Gospel and the Synoptists, 1909.

  SCHAEFER, ALOYS. Enileitung in das Neue Testament, 1913.


    Abbot, Ezra, 228

    Absolute, the, 125, 127, 147, 162

    Activism, 138, 139

    Acts of the Apostles, credibility of, 206-210, 215-216;
      authorship of, 209;
      date of, 210-215

    Adolescence and conversion, 107-110

    Adonis, 166

    Allen, Grant, 58

    Allen and Grensted, 232

    Ames, E. C., 115, 117

    Arrhenius, S. A., 76

    Askwith, E. H., 238

    Atonement, 157-160

    Augustine, 93, 94, 98-99, 110

    Bacon, B. W., 35

    Baldwin, J. M., 63

    Bardsley, H. J., 233

    Bartlett, J. V., 219

    Bateson, W., 65

    Baur, F. C., 203, 204, 217

    Begbie, H., 96

    Bergson, H., 62, 63, 69, 73, 127-137, 146, 163

    Bernoulli, C. A., 234

    Booth, M., 144

    Bousset, W., 20, 35, 38, 40-42, 46, 48, 174-176, 184, 188, 222, 223

    Brooks, A. E., 238

    Brooks, Phillips, 29

    Browning, R., 162

    Buddhism, 170

    Carlyle, T., 43, 119

    Carter, J. B., 96

    Cheyne, T. K., 168

    Christian experience, 53, 144;
      evidence of, 122-124

    Christianity, essence of, 15, 26, 27, 54;
      of the New Testament writers, 16-21;
      primitive and Pauline, 21-26;
      of Jesus and Paul, 26-34;
      doctrinal, 52, 54-55, 157-158;
      Eucken's relation to, 142-145;
      what is vital in, 156-158;
      and ancient religions, 165-193;
      and modern religions, 193-197

    Christology, 161, 162, 175;
      of Paul, 15, 23;
      of Mark, 20, 223, 236;
      of Jesus, 35-44;
      and ethics, 28-35

    Clemen, C., 168, 170, 181, 187, 189

    Clifford, W. K., 93

    Coe, G. A., 90

    Confucius, 167-168

    Conklin, E. A., 79

    Conversion, 96-99, 107-110, 123

    Copernicus, 60, 85

    Creed, J. M., 189

    Cumont, F., 178, 180

    Darwin, C., 56, 85, 129

    Darwinism, see Evolution

    DeBoor fragment, 231

    Deissmann, A., 172, 176

    Dewey, J., 127

    Dobschütz, E. von, 42, 53-54, 182

    Drews, A., 45, 46, 48, 50

    Driesch, H. A. E., 70

    Drummond, Henry, 89

    Drummond, James, 228

    Edwards, Jonathan, 89, 122

    Eigenmann, C. H., 62

    Eimer, G. H. J., 63

    _Élan vital_, see Vital impulse

    Eliot, C. W., 197

    Emerson, R. W., 58, 89

    Emperor, worship of, 172-177

    Environment, fitness of, 60, 68-69

    Ephesians, epistle to, 204

    Epigenesis, 73-75, 81, 83

    Epiphanius, 229

    Ethics, of Jesus and Paul, 27-35;
      Christian, 51

    Eucken, R., 33, 91, 137-146, 163

    Eusebius, 232

    Evolution, 56;
      as unfavourable to religion, 57-58;
      as favourable to religion, 59-60;
      and the Copernican theory, 60-61;
      method of, 61-66;
      meaning of, 66-82;
      and design, 66-73;
      and theism, 82-85;
      creative, 127-136

    Faith, salvation by, 102, 104

    Finalism, 132-134

    Fletcher, M. S., 116

    Forrest, D. W., 122

    Fowler, W. Warde, 192

    Fox, George, 107, 118

    Franckh, 170

    Frazer, J. G., 46

    Georgios Hamartolos, 230, 231

    Goethe, 228

    Gospel, the double, 25, 53-54

    Grace, 159-161

    Gregory, E. L., 122

    Grützmacher, R. H., 171

    Haeckel, E., 58, 139

    Hale, E. E., 101

    Hall, G. S., 107

    Harnack, A. von, 18, 25, 26, 27, 37, 38, 52, 53,
        188, 207-211, 215, 216, 225

    Hartmann, E. von, 128

    Hase, K. A., 39

    Hatch, E., 183

    Hawkins, Sir J. C., 208, 211, 219, 221

    Headlam, A. C., 204

    Headley, F. H., 83

    Hegel, 146-162

    Heitmüller, W., 182

    Henderson, L. J., 68, 69

    Herbert, S., 65

    Heredity, 61

    Hermas, Shepherd of, 185, 190-192

    Hermes, 189-192

    Hermetic literature, 185-188, 189

    Höffding, H., 121

    Holdsworth, W. W., 221, 223, 238

    Holtzmann, H. J., 214

    Hügel, Baron F. von, 73

    Huxley, T. H., 67, 85

    Immortality, 59, 129, 130, 141, 152-154

    Incarnation, 157, 162-163

    Inge, W. R., 90

    Intellectualism, 140

    Ishtar, 171

    Jackson, H. L., 224

    James, William, 89, 90, 92, 100, 102, 104,
      111-114, 119-120, 122, 125, 137

    Jastrow, J., 102, 111

    Jesus Christ, passion, 16-20, 41-42;
      resurrection, 16-18, 25, 143;
      person, 20;
      authority, 31-32;
      character, 31, 43-44, 51;
      liberal view of, 44-49, 143-144;
      mythical view of, 45-47

    John, Gospel of, 227-242;
      authorship of, 228-229;
      external evidence, 229-233;
      internal evidence, 234-238;
      historical value, 238-242

    Josephus, 211, 213-215

    Justin, 170

    Kalthoff, A., 22

    Kant, 146, 152

    Kelvin, Lord, 76

    Kennedy, H. A. A., 180, 182, 188

    Kidd, B., 58, 90

    Kingsley, Charles, 59

    Koch, H., 211-212

    Kyrios-title, 174-177

    Lake, K., 25

    Lamarck, 63

    Lang, A., 229

    Langlois and Seignobos, 227

    Law, R., 107

    Lemme, L., 36

    LeRoy, E., 132

    Leuba, J. H., 115

    Lightfoot, Bishop J. B., 190, 228, 234

    Lodge, Sir O., 69, 86

    Loeb, J., 76

    Logia, see Q

    Loisy, A., 37, 73, 177

    Lowell, J. R., 197

    Loyalty, religion of, 156-158

    Luther, 99, 110

    Lyell, Sir Charles, 56

    Macalister, A., 68

    Mark (Gospel), priority of, 217, 223, 225;
      use of Q, 220;
      different editions of, 220;
      secondary elements in, 221-223

    Materialism, 96, 126, 163

    Mead, G. R. S., 189, 190

    Mechanism, 66, 68-69, 72, 83, 131

    Messiah, 44, 47-48

    Metempsychosis, 152-155

    Missions, Christian, 193-197

    Moffatt, J., 211

    Mohammedanism, 144-145, 196

    Morgan, C. Lloyd, 63

    Morgan, T. H., 65

    Mystery religions, 177-186, 189

    Mysticism, 120-122

    Nägeli, K. W., 63

    Naturalism, 125, 136, 137, 139

    Neo-Platonism, 189

    Newman, Cardinal, 73

    Newton, 56, 86

    Nicoll, Sir W. Robertson, 216

    Nietzsche, F., 128

    Noyes, Alfred, 74, 80

    Origen, 169, 230

    Origin, of life, 75-78;
      of man, 78-79

    Orr, J., 202

    Osborn, H. F., 62, 63

    Osiris, 167

    Ostwald, W., 69, 77

    Overbeck, F., 234

    Paley, W., 67, 207

    Pampsychism, 153-155

    Pantheism, 50, 84, 121, 142, 178

    Papias, 231, 232, 233, 234

    Patton, Francis L., 216

    Paul, founder of Christianity, 21;
      and the primitive apostles, 22-26;
      and Jesus, 26-35;
      conversion of, 98-99, 110, 227

    Pauline Epistles, 203-205

    Peabody, F. G., 242

    Pearson, K., 76

    Petersen, E., 171

    Philip of Side, 230

    Philo, 170, 189

    Plato, 108, 169, 178

    Plummer, A., 34, 36

    Pluralism, 128, 146-153

    Poimandres, 185-187, 189-192

    Pragmatism, 119-120, 122, 127, 139, 146

    Pratt, J. B., 104, 111

    Preformation, 73, 80, 82

    Priene inscription, 172

    Psychology of religion, its founders, 89;
      an aid to Christian faith, 91

    Q (Quelle), 30, 218, 219, 220, 225

    Ramsay, Sir W. M., 202, 205-208, 212-213, 231

    Ransom, 19, 35

    Rashdall, H., 159

    Reinach, S., 46

    Reitzenstein, R., 181, 185-191

    Religion, normality of, 86, 92-96;
      power of, 96-100;
      and disease, 106, 107;
      and sex, 107-110;
      and the subconscious, 111-114;
      and society, 115-119;
      universal, 140;
      characteristic, 140-141

    Religious experience, its physchology, 92, 105;
     its metaphysical implicates, 105, 106, 115, 119-122

    Renan, E., 46, 58

    Robertson, J. M., 47

    Robinson, H. W., 123

    Romanes, G. J., 59, 71, 93

    Royce, J., 78, 89, 100, 103, 114, 146, 156-163

    Sacraments, 180-182, 184-185

    Salvation, need of, 100-102;
      way of, 102-105

    Sanday, W., 35, 39, 111, 220

    Schäfer, Sir E. A., 77, 86

    Schiller, F. C. S., 127

    Schmiedel, P. W., 46, 219

    Schopenhauer, 128

    Schürer, E., 214

    Schumacher, H., 37

    Schweitzer, A., 21, 22

    Selection, natural, 57, 63;
      germinal, 63

    Shaler, N. S., 61

    Simpson, P. C., 123

    Sin, 100, 102, 158-159

    Smith, W. B., 46

    Socrates, 43

    Spiritual life, 140, 142-144

    Spitta, F., 234

    Stanton, V. H., 209

    Starbuck, E. D., 89, 90, 97, 101, 103, 107, 112

    Stevens, G., 98, 110

    Stier, 217

    Storrs, R. S., 200

    Strauss, D. F., 45, 49

    Subconscious, 111-114

    Synoptic problem, 216-227

    Teleology, 66-68

    Theism, 50, 126, 137, 141, 147-150, 153, 155

    Thomson, J. A., 70, 80

    _Titanic_ disaster, 94-95

    Tübingen school, see Baur

    Uhlhorn, G., 97, 179

    Underhill, A., 90

    Variation, laws of, 62-63

    Vaughan, C. J., 227

    Vergil, Eclogues of, 173, 192

    Virgin Birth, 170-173

    Vital impulse, 60, 63, 128-129, 131, 133, 136-137

    Voltaire, 86

    Vries, de, 62, 63

    Walker, Dawson, 207, 212, 231

    Walker, H. H., 99

    Wallace, A. R., 61, 67, 69, 80

    Ward, James, 73, 116, 146-155, 163

    Warschauer, J., 167

    Weinel, H., 182

    Weismann, A., 63-65, 76

    Weiss, J., 50

    Wendling, E., 35

    Wendt, H. H., 181

    Wernle, P., 24

    Westcott, Bishop B. F., 162, 234

    Whetham, W. C. D. and C. D., 87

    Worsley, F. W., 230

    Wrede, W., 20

    Wright, A., 207

    Wright, W. K., 100

    Zahn, T., 192

    Zinzendorf, Count, 97

_Printed in the United States of America_



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deems worthy to be preserved in a bound volume as the most desirable,
the most characteristic and the most dynamic utterances of America's
greatest pulpit orator.


The Moral Paradoxes of St. Paul

12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

"These sermons are marked, even to greater degree than is usual
with their talented preacher, by clearness, force and illustrative
aptness. He penetrates unerringly to the heart of Paul's paradoxical
settings forth of great truths, and illumines them with pointed
comment and telling illustration. The sermons while thoroughly
practical are garbed in striking and eloquent sentences, terse,
nervous, attention-compelling."--_Christian World._


The Prodigal and Others

12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

"The discourses are vital, bright, interesting and helpful. It makes a
preacher feel like preaching once more on this exhaustless parable, and
will prove helpful to all young people--and older ones, too. Dr.
Broughton does not hesitate to make his utterances striking and
entertaining by the introduction of numerous appropriate and homely
stories and illustrations. He reaches the heart."--_Review and



Studies in the New Testament

A Handbook for Bible Classes in Sunday Schools, for Teacher Training
Work, for use in Secondary Schools and Colleges. 12mo, cloth, net 50c.

     _In it are no references to books of any kind outside the
     Bible._ With the help of the maps and a New Testament one can
     study this work _with no other books in hand_.


=Jesus Christ=: The Unique Revealer of God

8vo, cloth, $1.50.

     The author has sought to see, and aid others in seeing Jesus
     Christ as He is presented in the Scriptures. He has compiled a
     "Life" neither critical nor iconoclastic, but designed for
     those who regard the Word of God as being not only the
     infalliable guide to faith and duty, but the authentic
     chronicle of the earthly life of our Lord. Dr. Gibson has
     harmonized the Gospels and from them constructed a graphic
     narrative which, contrives, to re-limn an old picture with
     freshness and charm.

_REV. GEO. H. YOUNG, M.A._, _Ass't. Prof. Rhetoric and Public Speaking,
Colgate University_

The Illustrative Teachings of Jesus

The Parables, Similies and Metaphors of Christ. 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

     "A most readable and practical treatment of the methods of the
     Master for the general Bible student and Christian worker. A
     valuable contribution to one's conception of Jesus as the
     'Teacher come from God,' and revealing in life, content of
     instruction and method of presentation the will of the
     Father."--_Review and Expositor._


The Social Teachings of Christ Jesus

A Manual for Bible Classes, Christian Associations, Social Study Groups,
etc. 16mo, cloth, net 50c.

     In a series of twenty studies, the teachings of Jesus are
     applied to specific social sins and needs of to-day, such as
     poverty, pleasure, war, the drink traffic, etc., and shown to
     be the sure and only solution of the problems of society.


The Hour of Prayer

Helps to Devotion When Absent from Church. 12mo, cloth, net 75c.

     "A volume of reverent purpose designed especially for those who
     wish some form of Sunday observance, or who, by stress of
     circumstances, are prevented from attending services in the
     churches. To shut-ins, mothers with young children, nurses and
     others who are unable to attend public worship, the book will
     particularly appeal."--_Buffalo Express._

Transcribers Note: P 156 Home-land changed to homeland
                   P 12  The Theistic Infer enc changed to
                         The Theistic Inference

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