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want, through the channel of trust, from lowest form of life to highest — from the callow bird who, with eye uncovered, opens its mouth to an unknown inother, up to the philosopher who by self-conscious, free, and rational trust finds the God whom he could not find by undevout researches.
“By hope we are saved ”; “ He that loveth not, knoweth not God.” That these religious emotions are as indispensable as they are instinctive is a truth, than which no demonstration of the intellect, or fact verified by the senses, can be plainer or more worthy of regard. Reasoning must prevent the imagination from leading these religious emotions into superstitious and harmful vagaries, but can never silence the voices with which they call the soul towards God.
Already the prominent, the incomparable influence that the condition of the moral faculties in man has upon the form, whether obscured or symmetrical, which the selfrevelation of God takes within the human soul, has been more than once, by inference, asserted. Indeed, all the activities to which reference lias been made are, in real life, of true ethical significance. The idea and feeling of duty, the sense of responsibility, tinge, if they do not permeate thoroughly, the whole sphere of mental movement. Even the automatic action of the nervous centres is not without its testimony to the great fact that man is gifted with a moral nature, with freedom — that he is made in the image of God. The rule of duty within him is inevitably taken as a pattern and a pledge of the great law of right without. His self-condemnation he instinctively interprets as the revelation of a condemnation from One who is greater than his heart and knoweth all things. This ethical sense of order, which binds together the otherwise heterogeneous and ethically insignificant phenomena of the life of the soul, demands an explanation of the intellect. The intellect, scarching under the guidance of the great ideas of cause and final purpose, finds the explanation of such ethical order in One who is both rational and righteous —even God. But long before the intellect has certified this explanation, the voice of con
science has gained practically a hearing as the voice of a person who loveth the righteous and maketh for righteousness.
But it is, I believe, the pure and strong action of the will which is needed above all else. It is that “heart of the heart” which, more than any other faculty in the complex whole, must be right in its activities in order that the soul may be a fit organon for the reception of the self-revelation of God. Under the influence of the ethical ideas and emotions, and in the two great forms of religious faith and love, it dominates and gives shape to the good man's conception of his Heavenly Father. For the verity of their conceptions, for their beliefs, hopes, and aspirations, men are no less truly responsible than for their conduct. We have already remarked how the idea of one force, dominating and marshalling in order the various phenomena of the cosmos, has its point of starting from our consciousness of exerting force in the control of our bodily organism and mental train. We have observed, also, how that struggle against resistance into which our desire for happiness throws us ministers to the full and complete concept of God. But it is in voluntary, rational self-surrender to a recognized Father and Lord that we discover the very gist of the condition of soul necessary to a true knowledge of divine realities.
One entire half of our complex being — viz. that which is mainly concerned in the intellectual and philosophic activities of man — has thus far been only subordinately treated in our illustration of the theme. Yet that other half is no less important and peremptory in its demands than the one which we have reviewed. The course followed in the Essay has been chosen in the belief that the reader will at once supply from the customary sources what I must leave unsaid. To hint at some of the elements in the complex whole which are contributed by certain lines of argument, and to mention certain of those comprehensive ideas which, either lying at the beginning of all processes of thought are called“ innate,” or crowning all actual thought may be considered as sure to dominate in all future religious beliefs, as well as scientific research, will be the utmost that can be at present attempted.
The sphere of legitimate and convincing argument for the existence and attributes of God is likely to be largely increased. That sphere covers all known phenomena of nature, of mind, of the history of the race, with its Bible and its growing experience in the progressive kingdom of God. The sciences of matter and physical forces are pouring rich treasures of newly-discovered phenomena and laws of phenomena into the lap of theology. She must spread out her lap, and with thanksgiving receive them. Science discloses only what she sees of the phenomenal; theology is to reveal and " see all things in God.” For her the forces of the scientist are the manifold, irresistible, deathless energy of the Divine will; and the laws of the scientist are for her the methods, which she must humbly learn, in which that mighty will has its perpetual working. She must reject, promptly and forever, that view, which has been so damaging, that there is ever, anywhere, a severance of the connection between the Divine Workman and his perpetual work. “My Father worketh hitherto" is the testimony of God's universe and of God's Son. With this way of conducting researches, theology will draw from science now unimaginable stores of food for awe, reverence, trust, and love. Science, which halted so long after the church ran, will come on both feet, hastening to contribute testimony to the teachings of him who spake as never another.
The phenomena of history are utterly incomprehensible and incapable of rational treatment without the guiding concept of a God in history. But as they are known better, God will be known better. That unseen hand which has led and lifted the people is the hand of one who has a purpose to fulfil, and who will not tarry until he accomplish it.
Criticism, hostile as well as friendly, will be forced to show, not only how, but why, these books, so many in number, so diverse in authorship and characteristics, have been gathered, without self-conscious intent on the part of man, into one book -- a whole, unique in origin, as well as influence upon the race. The phenomena of Christian conVol. XXXIV. No. 133.
sciousness, so clearly traceable back for their source to the Christ of God whose name they bear, will be understood better, and he who is their source will be understood and loved better, as it becomes more and more clearly apparent that in no other way can a satisfactory account of them be given than by acknowledging Jesus as, par eminence, the Revealer of the Father. Mivart is grandly right when he declares : “From a sympathetic study of the whole universe ..... the conception of Almighty God becomes fully revealed to the human intellect."
Memory and imagination also contribute their parts to the complete conception of God — memory, which both upon its physiological and its psychological sides discloses the existence within us of mysterious, purposeful force; and imagination, which craves what a recent work has called an “ infinitely precious familiarity with the conception of a morally perfect Being."
It is under the impetus and guidance of the cognitions of cause and design that all the various arguments for the divine existence and attributes are prepared and brought before the judgment. The validity of the arguments from cause and final purpose may be questioned ; but the real work of these cognitions never fails to be accomplished. Science, , though owing all its development to these ideas, still, strictly speaking, has to deal with neither; it deals with succession of phenomena, mechanical adaptations. The scientist, however, as a man endowed with a philosophic and religious nature is bound, at every step, to go behind the phenomenal, and find in a free will his efficient cause, in a benevolent mind his final cause. Science, as such, has absolutely nothing to say, because it knows nothing, about what lies at the bottom and works from behind the phenomena. It tells the how of One whom it can never discover. Cause and final purpose, becoming so allied in thought that we cannot but conceive of them as joined in reality, we are instinctively so led by the tendency to unify as to form the conception of one efficient and intelligent cause for all these phenomena.
Nor can we doubt that those great conceptions of perfect unity, order and universal law, which the best thought of the ages has been engaged in elaborating, will assert and maintain their place in the concept of God. As truly as the heart of man protests against the mechanical conception of the universe, so truly does the scientific and philosophic nature protest against any conception of the divine which does not exclude all arbitrariness and caprice. Right views of the supernatural and miraculous no more interfere with the validity of these great concepts than do right views of the material cosmos. For the natural and supernatural are not two mutually exclusive spheres ; nor is the assertion of God's personality the denial of the universal “ reign of law.” God is the one person in whom free-will is never distraught by conflicts between reason and desire, and the very centre of whose personality is, as well, the source of all force, order, and law.
The intellectual as well as the emotional half of human development has its dim and shadowy places. And just as there are indefinable yearnings, so there arc ideas which are half-ideas, half-dreams, which ever clude the attempt at fixing them and yet which are by no means given to delude us. They enter into much of our reasoning about God, and we know that our conception of God cannot be complete without including them. Yet they impart much of their own dimness to that conception which they are needed to compose. They seem like fragments of deliverances, which in their completeness are too vast to be made to souls constituted like ours. But the persistency with which they evade the most subtile attempts made to comprehend and analyze them is no greater than the persistency with which they insist upon having their place in forming the truc concept of God. Nor does their existence within the realm of the concept vitiate its claim to validity. I am a person ; and many of the elements which go to make up the complex whole I call myself, I can clearly recall in consciousness, examine, define, and comprehend. But other elements, not