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tianity as a fact in the world, grounding it upon the one underlying principle, God is, out of which he made all doctrine and practice to come. The stability of the fabric proves the foundation. If the stream be sweet, the source cannot be bitter. If the fruit be good, the tree cannot be corrupt.
It would give a false impression to say that Jesus proved the existence of God. He was not accustomed to argue with men. He was no sophist or dialectician, manipulating premises and conclusions. He was a seer, revealing God to men by making a powerful appeal to his own testimony, to the authority of the Scriptures, to the book of nature, to the voice of conscience, and to the kingdom of heaven established on earth. He simply removed the veil, opened blind eyes, and said : Behold! The truth spiritually discerned needed no proof. He began with the spirit of man, and by clarifying that stimulated the spiritual man so that he might gain access to the right point of view and from its exalted position behold the truth in its own light and glorious reality.
This spiritualism of Jesus absorbed not only as doctrine, but especially as life is the solution of the mysterious questions that have perplexed humanity. When he spoke to the woman of Samaria there was something more than motion of lips and impact of moving atmosphere upon the ear. The soul of Jesus communed with that of his disciple: there was contact of spirit with spirit. The thoughts of Jesus were communicated to the mind of the woman ; the powerful action of his conscience awakened her conscience to the sympathetic discernment of good and condemnation of wrong; his intense emotion aroused the heart of her whose feelings had become hardened by sin; his steadfast will influenced her will to submit to his powerful persuasion. With conscience at white heat, her mind brilliant with the flashing thoughts of truth, her heart all aglow with thrilling emotions and her will by its submission to righteousness endowed with a full baptism of power, the personality of the woman was so manifest to herself and the consciousness of the reality of her own spirit was so vivid and her knowledge of the presence of a spiritual being in human form before her of transcendent power and glory was so clear, that she was enabled intuitively to grasp in its fullness the profound
saying, "God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
Having thus convinced men that there is a God, Jesus tells who and what he is. God is a spirit. He is spirit. Spirit is the essence of his being in which all his attributes inhere. God is mind, feeling, will, conscience, power inherent in one spiritual person, the infinite spirit. He is self-existent, having life in himself. He is eternal, existing now and before the world and through the unending future. He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things. God worketh hitherto even up to and into the present, feeding the birds, clothing the grass, numbering the hairs of our head, hearing and answering prayer. Instead of being indifferent to men he is their Father. The fatherhood of God is one of the most prominent elements in Christ's conception of deity. God is our Father who is not only in heaven, but on earth in intimate union with the souls of individual men. The Father dwelleth with men. He is a Father even to prodigals, ready to welcome them to his presence. But God is a boly Father. Instead of approving sin be hates it with a perfect hatred. He will not allow the sinner to come before him in peace. Only the pure in heart can see God.
He is a righteous Father, showing no partiality to any of his children ; but rewards and punishes according to deeds. He is the God of truth. They that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. They that serve him must serve him only and must glorify him with good works. He will have mercy and not sacrifice. The worship which he demands is that they should love bim-a worship designed to develop all the powers and faculties of man's being to the utmost and to promote the bighest welfare of the race. There is no provision for polytheism, or formal rites, or religion divorced from morality that it may be wedded to vice. Yet he is merciful as well as just and holy. He punishes the incorrigible with a righteous judgment; nevertheless he loves the world in spite of its wickedness and has provided a way whereby be may forgive men their trespasses. He is not simply the God of Abram, Isaac, and Jacob; nor of Israel only; but is the God of all mankind and dispenses to all his blessings on the same conditions. He
is a God not of the dead, but of the living, giving immortality to all men, which is to them eternal life or eternal death as they choose to make it.
Such was Christ's conception of God. It proves its own truthfulness. It is a thought which needs only to be received into the mind of any truth-loving soul to be at once recog. nized as true. It surpasses any and every human idea of God. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, David and the prophets knew something of God, but they knew him only in part. Now and then they caught glimpses of him as one sees a distant mountain when for a moment the haze is blown
and the clouds lift. Personally theirs was an inadequate knowl· edge of God, however much in advance of the popular idea, because it was a conception colored and shaped by their own imperfect life and experience. Now here in the Old Testament can we find such a glorious portrayal of the being and character of God as Jesus has given us. Nowhere in Homer, in Plato, in Cicero, in the Vedas, in the whole realm of classic literature is there to be found a conception of God comparable with Christ's revelation of deity. Has modern life with its keen-eyed science evolved a God that shall set aside the theism of Jesus? Who is this God of to-day whom they would have us accept in the place of our Father whom Christ has taught us to love? The God of these philosophers is one of human revelation, if not of human invention ; for the fundamental principle of their science is the rejection of everything supernatural. Their God is the unknowable. He may exist or he may not. If he be the Creator of the world, he has left it to run itself without any of his personal supervision. He is no prayer-hearing God. Breath spent in prayer is wasted in selfdelusion. Those who worship him cannot worship him in spirit, for there is no spirit. All things are material. What is called spirit is only a function of the body or a mode of motion. There can be no such thing as sin : for all things are fixed by unchanging law. Murder, lying, sensuality are the incidental results of climate and the development of human nature, unfortunate indeed, but to be expected in the nature of things, to be tabulated as statistics and to be compensated for by other adjustments. The individual bas little worth compared with
the sum total of all things and has no assured hope of immortality.
In spite of this latest result of the effort to produce a conception of deity that shall set aside the Fatherhood of God as revealed by Jesus, it is still true that Christ's portrayal of the divine being and character is indisputably the very best the world has ever seen. That portrayal was eminently his. A few of its elements had been perceived by different sages before his day, but no one had combined them all into one harmonious and perfect character. Much less could any one else have transfused this conception into the spiritual life of mankind so as to make it the organific force that has for eighteen hundred years been developing in church, society, and state the most stable and yet progressive results of true thought and noble action. Christ's portrayal of God involves no error and lacks nothing. Whence did Jesus get his idea of God? Was it the shrewd invention of an impostor? the dream of a fanatic? the fantasy of an insane person? No. This matchless por. trayal of the character of God is itself a proof of its truth.
It is one thing to talk about God and prove his existence by argument; to say with the head, there is a God; but it is a far different thing to feel in one's soul the profound conviction and vivid realization of the sublime truth, God is. It is the most exalted experience of which our being is capable, the joy of the Christian's life. He loves the earth, because as he walks along by its river courses and rambles through its solitudes, and climbs its mountain peaks, and lifts up his head above the clouds, and gazes up into the heavens at night resplendent with flashing stars and silent planets, his breath comes and goes as through these glorious works of creation the being of God manifests himself to the soul. He loves the Bible, because as he reads it from Genesis to Revelation, with Jacob as he wrestles with the angel for the knowledge of God's name; with Moses at the burning bush realizing the presence of the great I Am; with Elijah in Horeb, discerning the character of God in the still small voice; with the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration stunned by the voice of God; with Jesus as he manifests in his embodiment of truth the image of the divine being, he sympathizes in heart and mind and is led to realize
an aristocracy, a privileged class with vested rights, to whose ranks he may never hope to gain admittance; an ecclesiastical organization for whose support he is taxed, though of another faith ; a corporation in whose service he is employed which reduced his wages to a small amount and from whose clutches he cannot escape except he starve; and alas! there is no land for him to till as a freeman. And now he is no longer an ignorant peasant; the printing press has emancipated him; bis eyes look out on all the world. Now there comes to him with the consciousness of wrong, the hope of redress, of betterment, of liberty. He sees a vision of a new order of things. From the earth, which the people shall hold as their own, shall arise newer and fairer cities with their columns and arches, their heaven-pointing spires. Having no wars there will be no need of walls. Poverty will be done away, and with poverty crime and its great result. No one can imagine this earthly Paradise, for how can any one tell just how the race will develop under these new social and economic conditions. It is a vision of the future; a golden age. Of this the poets bave sung, the dreamers have dreamed. For this the good and wise in all ages have wrought. But now the successful experiments of popular gov. ernment have made it not only possible, but feasible. Based on a careful study of economic laws and individual rights, having the advantage of profiting by many previous mistakes, it cannot fail.
The time is ripe. For what indeed can a man strive that is worthier, nay, holier, than this new order of things which will enrich the poor and not impoverish the rich ; which will humble the proud and cheer the humble; which will give to each and every one the opportunity and the privilege of living unfettered by any restrictions except self-imposed-neither of government, society, or commerce—and so to live bis life in the full and perfect development of all his faculties. So arbitrary power, old customs, vested rights in Church and State, push this movement in the minds of men to the front, while the hope, which has ever something of green in the human heart, beckons it on.
In no two countries of Europe has Socialism the same mani. festation. It takes its form from its environment. To understand it, however, two great phases must be considered—the