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was to bring to remembrance whatever Christ had said to the Apostles. The method was that of illumination, of insight into things already revealed. That is, it was by a ministry of the Spirit common to all spiritual men that the Apostles themselves attained the doctrines of atonement, justification, and regeneration. Then the Spirit must apply the truth for the moral renewal of believers. As to the nature of the Holy Spirit's office in regeneration, the warning of Jesus about its mystery has not sufficed to prevent the elaboration of theories, some of which are not without a baleful importance. One is that the Holy Spirit does not use the truth in regenerating men, because the carnal mind cannot receive the truth. Another is that regeneration consists in adding to the substance of the soul. Sometimes the addition is conceived as a principle of vitality; sometimes as a newly created spiritual substance; sometimes as a transubstantiation of Christ Himself into the soul's substance. These theories rest upon an exaggerated and mistaken use of figurative expressions used in the Scriptures.
Luther insisted, not only that we might be saved by faith, but that we ought to feel assured of our safety. His doctrine of assurance was really part of his doctrine of justification. So Wesley's doctrine of the Witness of the Spirit was associated with his doctrine of regeneration ; but there is no obvious connection between having the heart renewed and having an immediate and irresistible conviction of its renewal.
When the Holy Spirit has imparted and applied the truth of the Gospel, He unites the disciples in mutual fellowship. It is normal for those who hold the truth as it is in Jesus, and who have received from the Spirit a common life in Christ, to seek intimacy with each other. And because it is normal, therefore it is required. The Church is both voluntary and obligatory; and the Church thus constituted becomes an habitation of God through the Spirit.
What is the nature of the union which the Spirit forms between Christians ? Is it a mystical union ? That is, is there some inexplicable organic relation between two or three when gathered in the name of Christ, which makes it possible for Him to be in the midst of them as He could not be with them singly? This may be the case, but there is no unmistakable warrant of Scripture for so affirming. The second problem as to the Spirit's work in the Church is a very practical one for every Church. member: What is the relation of the truth to Church-life? Unitarianism has, perhaps, made us afraid of emphasizing the office of Christ as teacher. Has Christian experience taught any one of ourselves any other lesson than that the Holy Spirit carries forward His work within us in proportion as we give thought to the truth? Who has not found that to withhold his mind from meditation on the truth is to take the tools out of the Holy Spirit's hand ? Certainly every pastor may be cited to his own experience for decisive evidence that the all-inclusive office of the Holy Spirit in the Church is to minister the truth ; and, since the truth is the instrument of all the Spirit's work, all which He dictates will be demonstrably in harmony with truth.
THE EVOLUTION OF CHRISTIANITY. By Rev. W. M. LISLE (The Bibliotheca Sacra).- Evolution is the principle of progressive continuity in the material and moral universe. It does not account for original beginnings, but for the unfolding of all things from such beginnings. Infidel evolutionists make the law of evolution self-executing, Christian evolutionists make God the originating and executive power of this and all other laws of nature. As gravitation is the Divine method of sustaining the cosmos, so is evolution the Divine plan for developing it. Christian evolution includes not only natural processes of development, but also supernatural combinations, by which nature mounts the rising rounds of the universe. And even
NO. IV. - VOL. II.-THE THINKER,
here the Divine touch is not always abrupt. Birth of something entirely new and different may result from the combination of certain forms of energy; or this may be made with embryos, and both develop together until the point of birth is reached, when a new order of creation is produced. The point to be maintained is, the Divine touch somewhere—by which nature is born from above into a new creation, whether plant, animal, or man. It is safe to say that nine-tenths of Christian scientists now accept the doctrine of progressive continuity. The principle in its minor details has not been verified, but as a general fact it is certain. God works through infinite space with the law of gravitation, through infinite time with the law of evolution. Then, if evolution be true in nature, it must be true in Christianity.
See it in regard to the physical nature of man. Man's body proclaims its origin. Its chemical constituents, its structure and functions, link him with the higher animals. His body is the result of Divine agency by natural process. The human species, like all other new species, developed up to a certain point in the lower order, and was brought to the birth point by Divine combinations, so that a new order of beings resulted. See it in man's moral nature. This is the counter and superior part to the physical; that which lifts him not only above animal life, but above his own physical nature. But this nature also in its lower ranges gives unmistakable evidence of continuous connection with pre-existent life. It is the relation of shadow to substance, promise to fulfilment, different not only in degree, but in kind; and yet the resemblance is so great as to prove a law of continuity. Animal consciousness foreshadows human self-consciousness; animal will, man's free will; instinct, rational intelligence; sign language, human speech. But does the law of evolution apply to man as a spiritual and immortal being ? Yes, we still find natural law in the spiritual world. Animal consciousness, will, and instinct were the bases of selfconsciousness, free will, and reason in man, and these in turn are the bases of man's spiritual nature, a nature not self-developed, but born into being by a direct revelation of God's nature to him, by which he was made in God's image, and became & child of God, a creature of immortality. At this point the Bible takes up man's history, and unfolds it to the present time. This unfolding will very strongly show the evolution of Christianity. According to the Bible, man was created an innocent, but not a perfect being. Innocence was given man as a basis on which to work out a character of virtue, which is the goal of humanity. Innocence is a pre-established condition ; virtue is self-acquired. The Tree of Life represented communion and correspondence with God; and to be out of correspondence with God is death. Man is lost now, as Adam was, by not grasping the higher, rather than by falling to the lower. The higher is the new birth by which such correspondence is effected. Had man remained innocent, a perfect race would in time have been developed, and we might have written of the Evolution of Humanity; but when innocence was lost, the progressive continuity of the race was interrupted and destroyed, and man became spiritually dead. He reverted to his original type of savage animalism, and yet, as a self-conscious and free-acting being, retained a sense of accountability, that filled him with fear and suffering. The Creator could do one of two things : in perfect justice, man could be left to his fate; or, in infinite love, the broken chain could be relinked. Jesus came and recreated man in God's image, and started him on a new line of development, hence we write the Evolution of Christianity, and not of Humanity.
The study of this evolution brings to our notice first the Old Testament. The first distinct upward movement in the evolution of Christianity was the call of Abram. His relation to Christianity was that of the acorn to the oak. Note the
smallness of the seed, the slowness of its growth, the knotted and twisted tree, and its final stateliness and blessing. There are many planes in the movement of Israel. Its history flows and ebbs like the sea, but there is always an upward trend. Second, the New Testament. Plato had a true conception of God, but the resemblance between Christianity and Platonism is found mostly in that which is not peculiar to Christianity, viz., natural religion and morality; and every attempt to find the distinctive doctrines of Christianity in Platonism has proved a failure. The helplessness of the natural mind to evolve spiritual conceptions from lower and material ones is astonishingly shown in Philo, who falls short of his own nation in regard to the Messiahship, and has no reference to the Atonement.
Christianity in the New Testament is not an evolution from natural or human sources, or even from Divine sources by merely human ability, but it is a Divine and supernatural evolution of spiritual religion from its material repressions in the Old Testament. It is the development out of the mechanical and formal into the natural and spiritual. The Bible is a book of cause and effect. The law kept or broken was the inevitable cause of certain effects. The New Testament furnishes a spiritual cause. It is a mistake and disaster of the Christian world that effects are sought instead of causes. Heaven is aimed at, while the causes from which it only can result are slighted or ignored. The remedy is in a vital connection with Christ. The evolution of Christianity in the New Testament is the progressive unfolding therein of the Christ-nature, which is both the seed and the growth of the spiritual life in man. The body of Jesus was the result of natural process from Divine seed. In His public ministry we have the same proof of evolution. It is shown in the very order of the books in the New Testament canon. The Epistles are an evolution from the Acts. The Book of Revelation reveals the final result of evolutionized Christianity. The redeemed humanity before the throne proves the spiritual survival of the fittest.
But does the evolution of Christianity stop with the New Testament ? As to the communication from God, it does; but as to the apprehension and application of that truth, it does not. The history of Christian doctrine proves the evolution of Christianity, and it is one of the strongest assurances of Christian faith. This may be illustrated in relation to the great doctrines of the Trinity, Anthropology, and Soteriology. If these doctrines are relaxing their hold on the human mind it is simply because they are furnishing a basis for the evolution of Christian truths. The race is not the same as in the Apostolic days. There is a higher moral tonea Christian consciousness--in the world that was unknown to them.
The evolution of Christianity will emphasize the personality of Jesus. The key of the battlefield hereafter will be the internal instead of external evidences. Christian experience must be defended as the most trustworthy evidence of the reality of Jesus. The average Christian experience may be a weak evidence of Christ's spiritual power, as dispensed from His throne on high, but taking together the millions on earth who are conscious of the power of His personal presence, it becomes a cumulative proof.
The Self-CONSCIOUSNESS OF JESUS. By the EDITOR (The Andover Review).Did Jesus believe Himself to be a Divine being ? Jesus was really a man, and lived as human a life as has ever been lived in this world. This implies His having a man's mind, a mind having a human knowledge of itself, and of things other than itself. Jesus Christ's being the person whom the Apostles believed Him to be does not imply that His self-consciousness comprehended an infinite nature, however it reached into
and vitally reflected the Divine life. The self-consciousness which comprehends the infinite is the activity of a Divine, not of a human mind.
What form Jesus' Divineness took on in His self-consciousness we cannot affirm å priori. But we can and must affirm that in some form it was present in Histhought of Himself. there were an Incarnate Son, He had a work to do for man. kind. He could not do this work unless He knew the significance His life had for
Do the expressions of Jesus' thought of Himself which have come down to us show that He seemed to Himself to be thus uniquely related to God, and exalted above men? Is it reasonable to expect that His deepest and most mysterious utterances were preserved in memory? If He had uttered words conveying His consciousness of possessing a Divine nature, it is quite possible that they would not have reached us. If His teaching, preserved by the Apostles, gives evidence that He felt He was Divine, it must do so indirectly by showing that He felt Himself to be to men what a Divine person only can be. If Jesus said that He was to have a place in the human heart which man cannot have, which belongs only to Deity, then He believed Himself to be Divine. He said that He was Messiah, and he acted as Messiah from the first. He asked all the people to enter into personal relationship with Him. It was to be a relation of absolute spiritual dependence. Jesus' spiritual sway over His disciples, a dominion which He desired to extend over all His people, and over all men, was what Messiahship meant to Him. Jesus asked no other authority over the mind or conscience than that which goes with love, the deepest, most reverential love possible to man. This authority He did seek. The truth which He gave men was the truth of His life. Its supremacy was His supremacy. The manner of His teaching shows that He did not exalt His message above Himself. He spake as one having authority.”
The use which Jesus made of His miracles furnishes additional evidence. He treated them as elements of a self-revelation ; they were object-lessons, making it plain what He was to His people. We have a test of the correctness of our interpretation of Jesus' thought of His Messiahship in His representation of the kingdom of God as it is to exist in its ideal completeness in heaven. It is sometimes said, if Jesus were conscious of being Divine, why did He not make this consciousness prominent in His teaching? It may be suggested, in reply, that we ought not to be hasty in affirming how a person so unlike ourselves would act with respect to the deep and sacred secret of His inner life. It may be added, that we can see reasons why Jesus should not have made prominent in His teaching that which separated Him from the people. It was His desire to come near men, to establish relations of friendship with them, in which love and friendship could grow; if they had seen in Him One other than man, would they have listened calmly to His words and have pondered their intrinsic truth ? The conception they needed of His person and of God, as revealed in Him, was first of all an ethical and spiritual conception. To get it, His words must be understood and His character known. To tell the people that about Himself which would prevent them from studying His ideas and His character would be to thwart His spiritual aim. For this reason, perhaps, He was reticent about the secret of His relation to God. We conclude, then, from our examination of Jesus' self-revealing words, as gathered into the three older Gospels, that He felt He was Divine. There is, of course, important confirmation of this conclusion in the fourth Gospel. The picture drawn by the author may have imperfections, but it cannot be essentially false. It is the picture of Christ conscious of Divineness, who felt that to see Him was to see the Father, and owned the intended result of His revelation of Himself to His disciples in the confession of Thomas, “ My Lord and
EVOLUTION AND THE FALL OF Man. By J. T. GULICK, D.D. (The Bibliotheca Sacra). - The Editors of this review speak of Dr. Gulick as the most profound of living thinkers upon Darwinian topics. The subject treated in this brief article is thus stated :—If it should eventually appear that man ascended from lower animal life, how are we to understand the story of the Fall ? Our difficulties on this question arise from two
We have added a host of our own speculations to the Scripture account of Adam's disobedience. And we use words without any careful definition, and imagine we have found contradictions in the results of different lines of investigation, when in reality no such contradiction exists. May it not be true that, in one important sense, man has risen above all the lower animals, and above his original condition as man; and at the same time equally true that, in another important sense, he has fallen below the condition in which he commenced his career as man, and below the condi. tion of any animal? It seems to be true that man is the only animal that is capable of apprehending the nature of the ends for which he acts, and of choosing between rival ends according to their apprehended worth; but it seems to be equally true that he is the only species that defies not only the natural instincts, which support the authority of the laws established by evolution, but conscience, which is the higher instinct supporting the authority of the laws revealed by rational apprehension.
It seems to be true that some, if not all, of the very worst fiends that prey upon their fellow-men are reared in the midst of the most civilized countries. Some of the criminal classes may be reversions of type. Some may be endowed with distorted and unsymmetrical brains ; but the worst enemies of society are not these heirs of deficient organizations, but those who, endowed with the finest gifts, use these powers for the destruction of society. The general fact under which these examples fall may perhaps be expressed in the proposition that human character, before it has been established in virtue, is in danger of a fall, the depth of which is measured by the height of the privilege and opportunity from which it falls. The universal liability to incur ruin of character, and this universal necessity of having one's character established in the endeavour to attain one's own highest ideals, are the most constant elements of human experience in all the races of men.
A large proportion of philosophic speculation has been added to the Scripture account of Adam's disobedience. The only apparent discrepancy between this account and the theory of evolution seems to relate to the creation of woman. But neither the account of the creation of man nor woman is opposed to the theory of creation by descent. Evolutionary science supports the idea that primitive man was in a state of nakedness, without shame, and eating of fruits that required no cultivation. What the condition of man would have been if he had always lived according to his highest knowledge neither the Bible nor science do more than dimly hint, and there is no sufficient ground for saying that they disagree. The Bible does not teach that, if man had not become sinful, his body would never have grown old or decayed. His death was the misery of separation from God. It is with reference to the establishing of character in virtue that Paul finds only death in the Adamic life, and life eternal in the Christ life. The eternal life which we receive through Christ is, however, to be finally embodied, not in flesh and blood, but in a spiritual body.
Dr. Gulick explains Paul's picture of the Fall (Rom. v. 12, 19) in this way. * Adam's disobedience has introduced an environment that tends to drag down his descendants, just as Christ has introduced a spiritual environment that brings new possibilities and new motives; but there is a still deeper meaning, for, by our natural birth, which is from Adam, we receive a nature that is in its primal instincts guided by self-seeking motives, but by the new birth our spiritual nature is quickened, and