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ality that so distinguishes modern life and thinking. In this respect it is universally acknowledged that the times have not outgrown the Book. That Christianity is destined to become obsolete, is urged on other grounds, noticeably, because of its anthropomorphic conception of the Deity. This criticism, reduced to its lowest terms, means that Christianity, in ascribing personality to God, assigns human attributes to Him, and that, in so doing, it can only be regarded a refined form of fetichism, relative to human conception, and so, as insufficient in its nature for man's ever increasing spiritual needs as all the religions that have preceded it. In other words, that it is open to the same charge as Positivism, though in a less degree, namely, that it offers a unity that does not sufficiently distinguish the factors included under it—a homogeneity without heterogeneity. To claim that God possesses personality is to limit Him, it is said. Be it noted, however, that if He is to be known at all, it must be as a person. Spencer distinctly states that “we are totally unable to conceive any higher mode of being " than Intelligence and Will.* But, he continues, the finite cannot know the Infinite. To assert that it can, is to humanize the Divine. This argument is a boomerang in its return upon its originators. Agnosticism, by teaching the impotence of the human mind in knowing the Deity, teaches likewise the impotence of the Deity in making Himself known, tbus imposing the most limiting of all limitations. Just bere the especial point of interest for us, however, is the confession that, if there be such a thing as définite knowledge of the Deity, it must be of a Deity who is a person. As Mr. Spencer's Law of Evolution shows his Cosmic Theism to be defective in that it maintains an advance toward the more and more indefinite and incoherent, so here be indicates just where the defect lies, acknowledging by so doing, that the much criticised Christian idea of a personal God furnishes the only possible basis for resolving the heterogeneity of Cosmism into a coherent unity. We are brought, then, to the point that an idea of God, formed according to the Law of Evolution, must be an idea not of an impersonal but of a personal God. With such a result, what becomes of Cosmic Theism ? Another valuable illustration it
* First Principles, p. 109. VOL. VII.
certainly furnishes of the constantly recurring fact that thought must be strengthened hy numberless efforts to reach its goal by some other than the right way, and must be humbled by as many failures, before the truth can be approached as it is and received in its entirety. Only after centuries of travail has the world begun to recognize the idea as actual that, like lock and key, the personality of God and man fit each to each and are made each for the other. Again and again are we to be convinced that every attempt to break the lock or to throw away the key, shuts us out of the universe, and leaves it an unexplored mystery, while we knock unheard at its relentless gates, and list in vain our helpless cries of-whence ? whither? and why?
Stripped of their extravagancies, both Positivism and Cosmism seem to be selections from Christianity rather than its rivals. To live for others-vivre pour autrui—is the golden rule of Positivism. This familiar precept has been expounded by Comte with a force and fervor edifying to any Christian believer, while its meaning becomes vivid in the words of George Eliot, an admirer, if not an adherent, of the French philosopher: “What I look to is the time when the impulse to belp our fellows shall be as irresistible as that which I feel to grasp something firm if I am falling.” But in taking away the motive and impulse supplied by the conception of the Christian God, and in insisting that we must not only love our neighbor as ourselves, but better than ourselves, Cornte increases enorm. ously the demand on human nature, and, at the same time, reduces the supply of motive to a minimum, thereby teaching an altruism as impossible in practice as it is false in theory. Again, Positivism maintains, as Christianity does, that God, to be God, must be a God near at hand and not a God afar off. It recognizes with Christianity that mankind can never realize that God is very God, unless He be God incarnate. It fails to see that while the material element is necessary as an aid to spiritual apprehension, it is never (to personify) a vital member of religious development, but only a support to its infant steps or the staff to which it resorts, in its progress towards a perfected knowledge of the absolute and infinite God. Christianity admits the need of an incarnation only on earth and in
time, as in the historic Christ, and foretells its “end," when the incarnate Son “shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father,” and shall bimself become subject, that "God may be all in all.” In contrast, Positivism affirms the necessity of a perpetual incarnation, and its deified humanity effectually turns the eyes of men from seeing Him who is invisible. Christianity permits, but provides against the materialistic instinct ; Positivism pampers it. Finally, Positivism fails, and fails most of all, as we have seen, in that it gives the finite and human such preponderance as to exclude altogether the infinite and divine.
Cosmism, in offering its just and timely criticisms against anthropomorpbic conceptions of the Deity, speaks from the very heart of Sacred Scripture and to one of the sorest lacks
We are to be reminded that our God is the mighty Jehovah as well as the loving Father, and with bowed beads may pray from a felt need that
of the age.
6 More of reverence in us dwell."
Positivism and Cosmisi furnish each a protest against the other, and, as is apt to be the case, both are extreme. Cosmism rears a modern Sinai and the natural reaction from the vague mystery of its cloudy summit is, as of old, to the bare materialism of the Positivist at its base. Positivism goes too far on the finite side; Cosmism goes too far on the side of the divine. Positivism tries to make the Deity too buman ; Cosmism tries to make the Deity too super-human.
While Christianity has shunned the error of Positivism by refusing to make God in the image of man, it has avoided the endless contradictions of Cosmism by recognizing the fact that man is made in the image of God. It is unique among modern as well as among ancient religions in that it preserves intact the personality both of God and man, emphasizing rather than ignoring the immense antitheses involved in the religious problem, and in that it offers, at the same time, a reconciliation that is real. Is it asked how wide a chasm is fixed by Christianity between absolute holiness and sin-defilement ? Not till the arcana of the humiliation and sufferings of the Christ of Galilee are revealed, will it be known. Thereon are written, in letters that burn themselves into the hearts of men, the words borrowed and emblazoned on the banners of Cosmism : "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is the question as to how complete a redemption for mankind has been provided for by Christianity, and how perfect a union it has made possible with his Maker ? When the mystery of the personality of the God-man is understood, the question can be answered, never before. Not the truth as the church has understood it, but the truth as Christ has left it, is Christianity. The conscious grasping of the truth as it is in Christ, has been the goal that Christian speculation has ever been striving to reach. Notwithstanding many lapses, a progress is still traceable wbich steadily tends toward a theoretical and practical recognition of a divine personality immanent in the universe, yet distinct; through all, in all, but above all; and of that independent God-dependence which alone constitutes real manhood. Nevertheless, the church has been and still is far from apprehending the truth in its completeness. Rather does history show that the word of Christ and his Apostles in every generation "stretches beyond and over each, as the all-sufficient norm, even to the end of time."
Christianity "archaic ?" "outgrown ?” What, then, is to take its place? Even from the modern standpoint of Evolution, it must be confessed that “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
ARTICLE VIII.--PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF
THE statement that Martin Luther is the greatest of modern prose writers, in the same sense in which Shakespeare is the greatest of modern poets, will seem exaggerated to most men. For it is but the few that are familiar with the writings of the German reformer. Those who are, will not hesitate to place Lather, as a writer of German prose, by the side of Shakespeare, the greatest of English poets. It happens, also, that neither the one nor the other was a professional writer, who lived by his pen, or intended to enrich his nation with literary inaster-pieces which were to shed honor and glory alike upon the writer and his country. Both writers, however, were conscious of their superiority, both knew that they wrote for ages to come as well as for their own time, and both were remarkably careless about the editing of their own collected works. There have been long periods during which both Luther and Shakespeare were very little read; but again and again there has taken place a great revival in the interest which men of ability have taken in the writings of these masters. Yet as a popular writer, Shakespeare has been the more fortunate of the two, while Luther has been more popular as a man and as the champion of German ideas. The writings of Shakespeare are more the property of all educated nations that have a stage, while Luther, emphatically a German, is yet to be appreciated at his true value by the world at large. But it is not too much to say that the reading of Luther's prose alone will repay the trouble of learning the German language.
It is a fact worth mentioning that, while Shakespeare has been studied assiduously and not without fair success in the United States, Luther has only been less fortunate, in that his works are widely read by the clergy and laity of a denomination by no means insignificant, and that several scholars of high standing have gone to much labor and expense, in collecting not only the earliest editions of Luther's very numerous publi