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the great defect in science, philosophy, and Theology has been the failure to recognize that thought constitutes the essential nature of love and of the entire universe ; and yet thought in its unity with matter is the one invisible power known by every man to be the real moving power in all the ordinary events of human life. Without thought this land would soon become a desolation, and the universe be as dark and silent as the grave. The Ego in the ultimate contains the secret and solution of miracles and of all other mysteries; the same power and wisdom is as necessary for the growth of grass as for the working of any miracle, and the latter is as much in harmony with reason and the laws of nature as the former. If Laplace, when reasoning out his great work to prove that the planetary system could not have been made on any other scheme,' had meditated more on the nature of his own intellect, he would not have concluded that the existence of God was a mere hypothesis. Man's thought is not a mere abstraction in his head. Let him reflect, and he will soon discover that he knows of nothing more concrete than his own thought, simply because nothing contains more. Spiritual unbelief is the great barrier to progress. We are told that Christ could not do many mighty works at Nazareth because of their unbelief,' and of some it is said that the word did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.' Hegel declares, “The
declares, “The courage of Faith, Faith in the power of the Spirit, is the first condition of philosophical study,' and this involves a knowledge of the unity of thought and matter, the unity of the divine and human nature.
EGO—MAN, THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS'
HEN Protagoras said, “Man is the measure
of all things,' however imperfect may have been his conception of the meaning of the phrase, he therein expressed fundamentally the same thought as the scriptural expression, ‘God created man in His own image.' All philosophy begins from the finite and must begin with man himself. Man must first ask and explain, 'What am I ?' and then see how therefrom he can know God and Nature. Such knowledge would be impossible if man were not in himself a threefold unity of Self, God and Nature.
It must, nevertheless, be clearly recognized that Man, as 'I,' is essentially a spirit, and, as a spirit, in thought infinite. The infinity of man's thought constitutes his self-consciousness. As infinite, selfconscious, he is a rational being and essentially a person. The idea of personality belongs to and constitutes the true nature of Man, of Christ, and therefore of the Christian Religion. The essential elements of Personality are spirit, infinite and absolute thought, rationality or thinking-reason, and self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is infinite and underived. Man in thought is in absolute identity with God, for his self-consciousness is the self-create Self-consciousness of God, and therefore eternal. Man, to be man, must possess these elements of thought, as God, to be God, must possess them : and thus it is that 'man is in the image of God.'
The Christian world accepts the statement that 'God made man in His own image, but the theologian has laboured fruitlessly to show that this `image' was only moral, not intellectual, forgetting that there can be no moral being whose thought is not infinite. Attempts have been made to point out the limits of Human Thought, but all such attempts have failed, because man's thought is infinite and overlaps all limits. The thought of God as infinite, which is in man, is an infinite thought, therefore man is infinite in his thought. A being possessed only of finite thought-of sense-thought—is not a rational being, and so is neither a moral nor a religious being; only an infinite being can have 'dominion over the works of God's hands.' When Paul speaks of man “ being renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him,' he does not mean giving him the idea of God, but the restoring of the Witness of the Spirit of God lost by sin, thereby taking the dark veil of sin from his understanding and giving him a knowledge of God in harmony with His true nature, such as He is in and for Himself. That man can have foolish and degraded thoughts about God will not be denied. A man's religion is true according as his knowledge of God and man is true. This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.' Instead of speaking of man's thought of God being limited and finite, it would be more correct to say, man's thought of God may be abstract, obscure, indistinct, confused, or even mixed and perverted ; but to call his knowledge of God finite only, is very incorrect, for man can increase in the knowledge of that which he knows to be infinite. Paul grasped
the true notion of the way in which man's knowledge of God may vary, when he said, “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened; professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into images made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts and creeping things."
The Bible everywhere recognizes and teaches that God's thought or understanding is infinite : it speaks of Him as eternal, in understanding infinite, and knowing all. It also recognizes the fact that man can know God as such intellectually, and therefore imposes on him the duty of increasing in the knowledge of His greatness, love and majesty. If he were not intellectually in the image of God, he could in no sense know the meaning of these statements in relation to Him. Of course, the image of any object is never exactly the same as the object itself, still it must bear some real and striking resemblance to the original. Immense harm has been done to, and in, the studies of theology, philosophy and physical science by the endeavour to whittle away the intellectual image and likeness of man to God. If there were a positive limit to man's intellect beyond which in thought he could not pass, he would be as devoid of the notion 'infinite 'as the animal is; but man not only knows with certainty that he has this notion, he knows with equal certainty that the animal has not. Paul's expression, “ Man is the image and glory of God’ cannot refer merely to what is named the moral image of God.' Indeed, man, even though morally deeply degraded, is still a moral agent, and knows intellectually the difference between love and hate, and good and evil. Man, even in his
sinfulness, being intellectually in the image of God, knows God, while the animal, which is not in intellect made in the image of God, can in no sense know Him. The basis of man's moral nature is his intellectual capacity, and therefore he is still capable of being
renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.'
When we turn to the Biblical account of the nature of man, we find that the first statement is that “God made man in His own image. As already stated,
, that which is essential is the intellectual image, in and through which alone man is a moral being. He does not cease to be a moral agent because of his sinfulness, nor does he cease to be in the image of God’ even though he becomes immoral and sinful. It is not necessary to do evil in order to have a knowledge of God and of good and evil, for this knowledge is inherent in his nature as a rational being, but by transgressing the moral law he became acquainted with the awful, ruinous consequences of sin. By disobedience he lost the witness of God's Spirit in his heart. For the first time, he gained the painful knowledge of a guilty conscience and sought to conceal himself from God.
Some Biblical critics absurdly tell us that the fall of man is the birth of conscience.' This statement will not bear examination. It is evidently based on the evolutionary hypothesis that the animal, before it had any sense of right and wrong, had to become a sinner before it could develop into a man. On this line of reasoning, further transgression would increase the power of conscience; this is not the general experience of men ; sin has rather the opposite effect of dulling the conscience. Where there is no knowledge of the moral law, as in the animal, there is no moral law, therefore such a being is