The Christian Faith Under Modern Searchlights by Johnson, William Hallock
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The Christian Faith Under Modern Searchlights
_The L. P. Stone Lectures Delivered at Princeton Theological Seminary_
The Christian Faith Under Modern Searchlights
By WILLIAM HALLOCK JOHNSON, Ph. D., D.D. _Professor of Greek and New Testament Literature in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania_
With an Introduction by FRANCIS LANDEY PATTON, D.D., LL.D. _President Emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary_
NEW YORK CHICAGO TORONTO
Fleming H. Revell Company
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Copyright, 1916, by FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
New York: 158 Fifth Avenue Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave. Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W. London: 21 Paternoster Square Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street
_V. S. F._
It was my good fortune to hear the lectures contained in this volume when they were given in the Miller Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary. The high estimate I then formed of them has since been enhanced by the reading of the proof-sheets.
Professor Johnson is a well-trained student of philosophy and for some years has been professionally engaged in the teaching of New Testament criticism. He may therefore be trusted as a competent judge of the issues that are raised by anti-Christian thought in the two great fields of contemporary controversy.
The only view of Christianity worth contending for in any serious way is that which regards it as a supernatural revelation. The author states his own position in the first lecture. This position is antagonized by those who hold a naturalistic or pantheistic view of the world and also by those who, whatever may be their philosophy, are using the weapons of historical criticism to discredit miraculous Christianity.
I can imagine that there are two classes of Christians for whom these lectures will have only a moderate interest: those who are possessed of a strong and aggressive faith and who are impatient of all discussion that seems to carry with it the implication that their religious convictions stand in need of any defense; and those who, by reason of their easy acquiescence in the conclusions of a minimizing theology, look upon such discussions as having a tendency to divide the household of faith and to divert attention from the activities of the Church.
There is, however, I am confident, a large class of men in and out of the Church who would welcome a clear statement of the case of Christianity in the light of current debate and to men of this class I have great pleasure in commending the present volume.
The merit of these lectures consists largely in the fact that the author takes a comprehensive survey of the latest phases of anti-Christian thought, that he has a firm hold upon the central and vital questions involved in the great debate, and that he does not allow himself to be hampered by dealing needlessly with side issues. He is keen and penetrating in his criticism of those who belittle the evidence in support of revealed religion, and generous, sometimes to a fault, in his appreciation of writers with whose dominant ideas he has but scant sympathy. Of his learning and logical acumen there is no doubt and his fairness in controversy is above reproach.
As the title of this volume suggests, we have no reason to fear that the Christian faith will suffer loss by reason of the fierce light of criticism which now beats upon it. We must not undervalue learning nor shrink from a searching scrutiny of our beliefs. The truth of Christianity is not hard to discover when truth is sought through the medium of normal vision. But our opponents must remember that when inquiry is entered upon amid the blinding mists of philosophic preconception and historic prejudice the best instruments of investigation will fail to overcome the condition of "low visibility" which confronts the seeker. The searchlight is of little use in a fog.
FRANCIS L. PATTON.
A deep unsettlement of belief is characteristic of our age. We prize the doubt that low kinds and simpler ages existed without; an interrogation point is held to be the badge of mental superiority. While this unsettlement is to be deplored when it leads, as it does in so many cases, to the shipwreck of faith and even of morals, there is yet a certain exhilaration in living in a critical age. The challenge to faith, meeting us at every point, rouses from dogmatic slumber and dead orthodoxy. We realize that the faith which is to survive must be not simply a traditional faith, but an intelligent faith, sending its roots down deep into reason and experience, and blossoming upward in the flowers and fruits of character and of good works. As character receives its crown in the times of persecution, so perhaps faith may grow strongest in an age of doubt: it was the doubter among the disciples who at last made the boldest confession of faith. A restless age may at last heed the invitation, "Come unto Me; I will give you rest."
These lectures, delivered at Princeton Theological Seminary in February, 1914, under the title of "The Christian Faith in the Light of Modern Knowledge," have now been revised with the addition of new matter. They were written in the conviction that what Christianity has most to fear is ignorance and prejudice and presupposition; that the Christian Faith, with its motto, "Come and see," welcomes the fullest investigation; and that every advance in knowledge, whatever temporary perplexities it may occasion, will in the end reveal more fully the intrinsic excellence of the Christian religion and establish more firmly its sovereign claim to be from heaven and not from men.
W. H. J.
_Lincoln University, Pa._
WHAT IS THE CHRISTIAN FAITH?
Need of a definition 15
I. The Christianity of the New Testament Writers 16 Their emphasis upon the Passion and Resurrection 16 Their emphasis upon the Person of Christ 20
II. Primitive Christianity and Pauline Christianity 21 Was Paul the Founder of Christianity? 21 Lines of connection between Paul and the Primitive Apostles 22
III. The Christianity of Jesus and of Paul 26 Harmony in their Ethical Teaching and in their blending of Doctrine with Ethics 27 The Christological passage, Matthew xi. 25-30: its exegesis and its alleged isolation 35 The Passion narrative in Mark: views of Bousset 41 Self-authenticating contrasts in the Character of Christ 43
IV. The Dilemma of Historical Criticism 44 Jesus as viewed by the Liberal and the Radical Schools 44 The Dilemma of Liberal Criticism 45 Lessening Significance of a merely human Jesus 49 Harnack and von Dobschütz on the "Double Gospel" 53 The Essence of Christianity 54
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND MODERN SCIENCE
The Darwinian Theory: inferences unfavourable and favourable to religion 56 Evolution and the Copernican Revolution 60
I. The Method of Evolution: the biological discussion 61 State of opinion after fifty years of Darwinism 61 Laws of Variation and Heredity 62 Weismann's theory of Germinal Selection 63 Significance of the variety in opinions 65
II. The Meaning of Evolution: the philosophical discussion 66 1. Mechanism and Design 66 In the organic world in general; the fitness of the environment 67 In the organic world including man 70 2. Preformation and Epigenesis 73 Preformation and the infinite regress 74 The Origin of Life: various theories 75 The Origin of Man as viewed from different standpoints 78 The _Generatio Æquivoca_ 80
III. Theism and Evolution 82 The causal demand 82 Theism and the ideas of Continuity and Progress 83 Religion and scientific advance 85
The Christian Faith and Psychology
The Psychology of Religion: its precursors and founders 89
I. The Psychology of Religious Experience: points emphasized in the discussion 92 1. The normality of religion 92 2. The power of religion in the individual and in society 96 3. The need of salvation 100 4. The way of salvation 102
II. The Metaphysical Implicates of Religious Experience 105 1. The Physical Explanation: religion the result of bodily conditions; religion and sex 106 2. The Psychological Explanation: religion and the subconscious 111 3. The Social Explanation: religion and society 114 4. The Theistic Infer enc 119 The Pragmatic Argument for Theism 119 The Mystical Argument: its strength and its weakness 120 The Evidence of Christian Experience 122
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND RECENT PHILOSOPHY
The philosophical situation at the opening of the century 125 Leading representatives of present day philosophy 127
I. Bergson and Creative Evolution 127 Creative Evolution a drama in three acts 128 Features of Bergson's system: the vital impulse 129 His rejection of Finalism: is it compatible with Theism? 132
II. Eucken and the Truth of Religion 137 His critique of Naturalism, of Pragmatism and of Absolutism 138 Universal Religion and Characteristic Religion 140 Eucken's relation to Christianity: "Can we still be Christians?" 142 Bergson and Eucken as prophets of a new era 146
III. Ward and the Realm of Ends 146 His transition from Pluralism to Theism 147 His argument for Immortality 152 Pampsychism and Metempsychosis 153 Difficulties in the doctrine of Pampsychism 154
IV. Royce and the Problem of Christianity 155 Christianity as a Religion of Loyalty 157 "What is vital in Christianity?" 158 The Christian ideas of Sin and of Atonement or Grace 159 The Church as a source of salvation: its origin 161 Philosophical interest in Christianity and its significance 164
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND OTHER RELIGIONS
The Universal Mission of Christianity 165
I. Christianity and Ancient Religions 165 The resemblances and their significance 166 Clemen's "religious-historical" principles 168 1. The Virgin Birth and its alleged parallels 169 2. The worship of Christ and the worship of the Emperor: origin of the "Kyrios" title 172 3. Paul and the Mystery Religions 177 Pauline doctrine of the Sacraments and of dying and rising with Christ 180 The Pauline vocabulary: views of Reitzenstein 185 Why did Christianity conquer the Roman Empire? 192
II. Christianity and Modern Religions 193 The missionary propaganda 194 Dangers of compromise 195 The Christian _Plerosis_: the fulfillment of the great religious ideas of the race 197
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND BIBLICAL CRITICISM
The value and significance of Biblical Criticism 200 Relation between the Old Testament and the New Testament 201
I. The Pauline Epistles 203 The Tübingen view and later criticism 204 The Epistle to the Ephesians 204
II. The Acts of the Apostles 205 Evidences of trustworthiness 206 Harnack on the Lukan authorship 208 Harnack and Koch on the date 210 Did Luke use Josephus? 213
III. The Synoptic Problem 216 The Two-Document theory 217 Modifications of the theory by the assumption: (1) of a larger dependence on oral tradition 219 (2) of the use of Q by Mark 220 (3) of different editions of Mark 220 "Secondary elements" in Mark 221 Bearing of Harnack's early dating of the Lukan writings 225 The inter-Synoptic differences 226
IV. The Johannine Problem 227 Evidence for Apostolic authorship 228 Rejection of Apostolic authorship on the assumption: (1) that John never lived at Ephesus 230 (2) that there were two Johns at Ephesus 232 The partition theory 234 The internal evidence: style and contents of the Fourth Gospel 234 Relation to the Synoptic Gospels as supplementary, explanatory and independent 236 Concluding remarks 242
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF RECENT IMPORTANT WORKS 244
What Is the Christian Faith?
If every rational discussion, as Cicero has said, should begin with a definition, it would be well at the outset to try to answer the question which forms the title of this lecture. Of the definitions which may be given of the Christian Faith two may be selected as typical: (1) it is the faith in the providence and love of God which Jesus exercised and exemplified; or (2) it is the faith of which Jesus Himself is the object. In the one case the essence of Christianity will be found in the simple precepts of the Peasant-Prophet of Galilee, in the other in the developed Christology of the Apostle Paul.
It is safe to say that the average Christian will not be satisfied with either of these definitions. He looks to Jesus, it is true, as his Teacher and Example, but he also trusts Him as his Redeemer and worships Him as his Lord. The real question at issue is whether original Christianity, the religion which Jesus taught, was thus inclusive of doctrine as well as ethics. Does Christianity in its essence include Christology? The attempt to answer this question will not only introduce our general theme but will bring us into the heart of it. It will be convenient to consider in order: I. The Christianity of the New Testament Writers; II. Primitive Christianity and Pauline Christianity; III. The Christianity of Jesus and of Paul; and IV. The Dilemma of Historical Criticism.
I. THE CHRISTIANITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS
The scientific study of the New Testament has brought clearly to light the individual traits of the various writers, but has shown at the same time the striking agreement of these writers in their fundamental conception of the Christian Faith. For those who set forth objectively the words and ministry of Jesus as well as for those who deal more explicitly with doctrinal interpretation, the centre of interest lies in the Person, the Passion and the Resurrection of Christ. It may be well to illustrate this unity of standpoint, while the fact of it is so generally conceded that it needs no elaborate proof.
In the Apocalypse the sacrificial expression, "the Lamb," occurs at least twenty-eight times; and the central figure is that of the Lamb that was slain but is now seated upon the throne. In the First Epistle of John, Jesus is described as the propitiation for sin (ii. 2; iv. 10), and as the Son of God throughout the book. In First Peter the readers are addressed as those who have been begotten again to a living hope by the Resurrection (i. 3), and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ (i. 19). The Epistle to the Hebrews is saturated with the language of the sacrificial ritual, and describes the priestly work of Christ who tasted death, put away sin, and ever lives in the heavenly sanctuary to make intercession. The Christological element is of course very prominent in Paul's Epistles. According to the Book of Acts, the Apostles preached Jesus and the Resurrection (iv. 2; xvii. 18, etc.). The death of Christ, mentioned some thirteen times, the Resurrection, mentioned or implied twenty times, and the forgiveness of sins, mentioned in more or less close connection with these eight times, were the central themes of apostolic preaching, which included in the case of Peter, an eye-witness, the teaching and mighty words of Jesus (ii. 22; x. 36-38).
1: See especially v. 30, 31; x. 39, 40, 43; xiii. 37-39.
In the Gospels it will be found that almost exactly one-third of the textual material (in the Westcott and Hort edition about eighty out of the two hundred and forty pages) is taken up with events connected with the Passion and Resurrection, including the incidents and teachings of the Passion week. In Luke the proportion is somewhat smaller (some sixteen out of seventy-three pages) than in the other Gospels; but that the Passion is equally prominent in the mind of the writer is shown by the fact that the shadow of it is projected back even to chapter ix. 51, and that in Luke alone the "exodus" at Jerusalem is the theme of conversation in the Transfiguration scene (ix. 31). Even Mark, showing least of all, it used to be said, the influence of later theological reflection, has been called a history of the Passion with an introduction. As Harnack has said: "The whole work of Mark is so disposed and composed that death and resurrection appear as the aim of the entire presentation."
2: "Aus Wissenschaft und Leben," II, 1911, p. 217.
The centre of interest for the Evangelists as well as for Paul and the author of Hebrews is Christ and Him crucified, the Passion and Resurrection. It may be said, though, that the interest of the Evangelists is a biographical one, an interest in a beloved teacher or martyred leader, comparable with that of Plato and Xenophon in the last days and words of Socrates, and not a distinctly theological interest such as Paul felt in the death of Christ, as intimately connected with his own experience of redemption from sin.
One answer to this is that the interest of the Evangelists is not merely in the death but in the resurrection of Jesus. It is worthy also of note that the author of the Fourth Gospel and First Epistle of John has shown that, to one New Testament writer at least, description and interpretation were equally important. John's description of the death of Christ is as detailed and as objective as that of the other Gospel writers; yet his interpretation of the Passion as a propitiation for sin (I John ii. 2; iv. 10) is the same as that of the Apostle Paul. While John places the words "Lamb of God" in the mouth of the Baptist (i. 29, 36), and uses the expression, "the blood of Jesus his Son who cleanses us from all sin" (I John i. 7), he never, except possibly in a veiled way, places the language of sacrifice in the mouth of Jesus Himself. There is no reason to doubt that the other Evangelists who record the thrice repeated prediction of the Crucifixion (see Mark viii. 31; ix. 12; x. 33, and parallels) would, equally with John, be interested in its doctrinal interpretation. Such an interpretation is in fact suggested by the words of Jesus Himself. At the Last Supper, He brought His death into connection with the forgiveness of sins, and when He spoke of it as a "ransom for many" used language which is naturally interpreted in a sacrificial sense. Luke, it is true, nowhere uses the word "ransom," but there is no reason to doubt that he shared the Pauline view of the death of Christ. This is clearly indicated by the expression, "purchased with his own blood," contained in one of the "we-sections" of Acts (xx. 28), and in fact by the words of the risen Jesus (Luke xxiv. 46, 47). As the altar was central in the Old Testament, so, from the standpoint of its writers, is the Passion in the New Testament.
3: λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν [lytron anti pollôn]. Mark x. 45; Matt. xx. 28.
It is needless to show in detail that an exalted view of the person of Christ is with the New Testament writers connected with the central place which they assign to His death and resurrection. Mark, whose Christology is thought to be least developed, may be taken as a single example. In the opening scene of the ministry, as in the Transfiguration scene, the divine voice says: "Thou art (this is) my beloved Son" (i. 11; ix. 7); and in the closing scene the centurion exclaims, "Truly this man was the Son of God" (or a son of God, Mark xv. 39). The climax of the narrative is said to be the confession of Peter, "Thou art the Christ" (viii. 29); and Jesus alludes to Himself as "the Son," above prophets and men and angels (xii. 6; xiii. 32). At the trial, in answer to the solemn question of the high priest, "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the blessed?" He said, "I am" (xiv. 61-62). Bousset admits that the three first Gospels differ from the Fourth only in degree, and in his latest work he says that if the phrase "Son of God" (i. 1), omitted in many manuscripts of Mark, is really an interpolation, it is a suitable one as indicating the theme of the book. Wrede even says the Gospel of Mark belongs in a sense to the history of dogma.
4: "Was Wissen Wir von Jesus?" 1904, p. 54.
5: "Kyrios Christos," 1913, p. 70, note 1, and p. 65.
6: See Schweitzer: "Von Reimarus zu Wrede," p. 336; E. T., "Quest of the Historical Jesus," p. 337.
For the writers of the New Testament, leaving out for the present the question of sources, in spite of differences in time and place and race and circumstances, and by implication for the various circles of readers, Jewish, Greek and Roman, whom they addressed, there was but one kind of Christianity, one gospel of the Kingdom and the Cross and the Son of God.
II. PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANITY AND PAULINE CHRISTIANITY
It is asserted that the striking unanimity of the New Testament writers in their view of Christianity is not due to the teaching of Jesus, but to the powerful influence of the Apostle Paul. The statement is made in many quarters that not Jesus but Paul was the virtual founder of Christianity, so far as its central doctrines, its institutions, its worship of a divine Christ, and its world-wide propaganda are concerned. In Paul, it is said, the gospel of a simple piety and a pure ethic, the gospel of Jesus, was so overlaid by the incrustations of dogma that its true nature was hidden until rediscovered by modern criticism; and it had thus lost the simplicity that is in Christ. It was Paul himself, whose missionary labours carried the gospel throughout Europe, that really preached "another gospel." As Schweitzer, following Kalthoff, suggests with some irony, there was, under this supposition, "an immediate declension from and falsification of a pure original principle" in Christianity, comparable only to the Fall in the moral history of mankind.
7: "Von Reimarus zu Wrede," p. 312; E. T., "Quest, etc.," p. 314.
The teaching of the primitive apostles is sometimes declared to be an intermediate step between the gospel of Jesus and the doctrinal Christianity of Paul. It is desirable then to compare the Pauline teaching, first with the teaching of the other apostles and the Jerusalem church, and then with the teaching of Jesus.
When we examine the historical situation, the lines of connection between Paul and the primitive apostles and the Jerusalem church are so many and so strong as practically to negative the supposition of a fundamental difference between them in their conception of the gospel.
(1) If Luke had written the Fourth Gospel, the case would be different; but Luke wrote (assuming his authorship of the Third Gospel and the Acts) the Gospel which contains the Sermon on the Mount and the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. When one remembers that Luke was the intimate companion of Paul and his co-labourer in missionary work before he wrote his Gospel, that he derived his material largely from "eye-witnesses of the word," and that afterwards he recorded the teaching of both Peter and Paul in the Acts, it is clear that Luke himself saw no essential difference between the Christianity of the primitive apostles and that of Paul, and it becomes improbable that such a difference existed.
8: See Chapter VI.
(2) Paul took with him on his missionary journeys Barnabas and Silas, accredited leaders and representatives of the primitive Jerusalem church (Acts xiii. 2f.; xv. 40). Paul's work for years was carried on under the surveillance of these men, and Barnabas stood sponsor for Paul before the Jerusalem authorities (Acts xv. 12). The close connection of these two men with both parties excludes the supposition of any radical difference in their doctrines.
(3) Paul's Christology was accepted by his Jewish-Christian opponents at Jerusalem, and never questioned by them. Paul we know to have been bitterly assailed by a Pharisaic party in the Jerusalem church. They dogged his steps wherever he went; they impugned his orthodoxy from the Mosaic standpoint; they called in question his apostleship and his sincerity. But it is significant that they never assailed as an innovation the Christological views in which he is supposed to differ from them. "Certain from James" (Gal. ii. 12), in the bitter polemic over circumcision, never accused Paul, as they would have done if his views were different in this respect, of a declension from Jewish monotheism. Paul doubtless used the name current in Jerusalem when he spoke, in a context in which he puts Christ above men and above angels and on an equality with God as a source of grace, of "James, the Lord's brother" (Gal. i. 3, 12, 19). He used the same titles as did those at Jerusalem, and a difference in Christological dogma can only be made out by saying that the names are used in different senses. This is to admit that the difference discovered by modern critical acumen was so small as not to be recognized by either party at the time. In Paul's controversial encounter with Peter, in a context full of the characteristic Pauline ideas of Justification, of the Cross, of the indwelling Christ, and of Jesus as the Son of God, Paul appealed to the essential unity of their Christian faith and experience (Gal. ii. 11-21).
9: So Wernle: "Die Anfänge unserer Religion," 2d ed., 1904, p. 177. He says that Paul makes of Jesus "an almost new creation," yet uses the same titles as the other apostles.
(4) Paul asserts the identity of his gospel with that of the primitive apostles as well known to his readers. He preached the faith of which he once made havoc (Gal. i. 23). His gospel of a crucified and risen Christ, he declares, was "received," not invented (I Cor. xv. 3), was in accordance with Jewish Scriptures, and the inference is unavoidable that it was held and taught in common by Peter and James, the Jerusalem leaders. Both Peter and Paul taught Jesus and the Resurrection (Acts ii. 31; xiii. 34; xvii. 31); and as Harnack says, there is no reason to doubt the representations of the first chapter of the Acts as to early apostolic belief.
10: "Aus Wissenschaft und Leben," II, p. 217. He adds that "herewith is the problem (of a 'second gospel' in the New Testament) pushed back in time from Paul to the earliest disciples of Jesus."
The Resurrection is emphasized alike in the speeches of Peter in Acts and in the First Epistle (I Peter i. 3; ii. 24; iii. 21). In Romans the Resurrection is mentioned seven times (i. 4; iv. 25; vi. 4; vii. 4; viii. 34; x. 9; xiv. 9), and enters into the warp and woof of Paul's teaching. The thought of Paul is doubtless more systematic and constructive, but it is unnatural to believe either that Paul had a different view of the nature of the Resurrection, or that he drew doctrinal inferences from it which the other apostles would not accept. It is hard to see, moreover, how the theory that Paul's teaching was essentially different from that of the Jerusalem church, and the theory that Paul profoundly influenced all of the New Testament writers can consistently be held at the same time.
11: If Paul taught not a bodily but a "spiritual" resurrection, as some interpreters think that his language in I Cor. xv. 50 implies, the emphasis upon the supernatural would be greater in the case of the primitive church. In his "Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ," 1907, Kirsopp Lake says that the affirmation of an empty tomb was made by most early Christians, and "almost certainly by St. Paul" (p. 242). He contends, however, that the "story of the empty tomb must be fought out on doctrinal, not on historical or critical grounds" (p. 253).
III. THE CHRISTIANITY OF JESUS AND OF PAUL
A more serious question meets us when we come to the relation of Paul's teaching to that of Jesus Himself. Behind the writers of the New Testament and behind the teaching of the apostles, is there not in the authentic words of Jesus as determined by criticism a simpler gospel of the love of God and the duty of man, from which Christology and the doctrines of the Cross are excluded? May we not "lighten the distressed ship of the gospel" by casting overboard its cargo of doctrine? Harnack thinks that we may; and in his famous lectures on the "Essence of Christianity" has set forth the seeming anomaly of the gospel of Christ with Christology omitted, a gospel which includes only the Father and not the Son.
The essence of Christianity according to Paul would be contained in the statements, "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom. v. 8); "God was in Christ reconciling the world" (2 Cor. v. 19); "He loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal. ii. 20). Paul's gospel was the gospel of Christ and Him crucified. The essence of Christianity according to Harnack consists in the truths of the fatherly love of God and the value of the individual soul. It is indeed a gospel preached by Christ, but in the content of its message is the Father only--not the Son. The contrast thus asserted suggests the need of a closer examination of the relation of Jesus and Paul.
12: "The Gospel, as Jesus proclaimed it, has to do with the Father only and not with the Son." "Das Wesen des Christentums," 1900, p. 91; E. T., "What is Christianity?" p. 154.
Nothing is more striking in the comparison between Jesus and Paul than the difference in their personality and yet the similarity in their ethical teaching. Jesus was a Galilean, born in humble circumstances, belonging to the peasant or working class, a stranger to the training of the schools, a "layman," and an Oriental in His mode of thought and expression. Paul was a native of Tarsus, a Greek city which was noted as the seat of a philosophical school; his father was a man of consequence, a Roman citizen, who gave his son the best education that the Jewish schools could afford. He was a typical member of the proudest caste of a proud nation, proud of his race, of his learning, of his strictness in religion and his zeal for the Law (Phil. iii. 6), trained in the refinements of Rabbinical dialectic, but an Occidental in his method of thought. Yet in ethics Paul stands very near to Jesus. Both emphasized the same virtues, and these the very virtues most foreign to Paul's early Græco-Roman environment and his later Pharisaic prejudice. Where Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," Paul, blameless in the law, said, "Boasting is excluded. By grace are ye saved" (Rom. iii. 27; Eph. ii. 5). Where Jesus said, "He that exalteth himself shall be humbled" (Luke xviii. 14), Paul, the Pharisee, said, "In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves" (Phil. ii. 3). Where Jesus said, "Love your enemies," Paul, the persecutor now the persecuted, repeated the command so foreign to the moral ideals of his time (Rom. xii. 20). Both taught that in the command to love one's neighbour was a summary of the moral law (Rom. xiii. 10; Matt. xxii. 38, 39).
Paul's great ethical passages, such as Romans xii. and I Corinthians xiii., are but republications in Pauline language of the Sermon on the Mount. In moral teaching Jesus and Paul are at one, although there can be no doubt which was the originator of the Christian philosophy of life. Jesus whose code was but the transcript of His character is the original; and Paul, conformed in thought and spirit to the image of Jesus, was the echo.
But Paul's moral teaching was by no means merely an echo or reminiscence of the ethics of Jesus; it was organically connected with his own doctrinal teaching. In Paul's letters there is usually an ethical section, but this is preceded by a didactic or doctrinal section. Doctrine with him, in the words of Phillips Brooks, was the "child of faith and the mother of duty." Admittedly his doctrine is used to enforce and to inspire his ethics. A high Christology--"Christ also pleased not himself" (Rom. xv. 3)--enforces the appeal not to please oneself. The Incarnation is the supreme example of generosity to the poor, and the death upon the Cross of lowliness of mind and obedience (2 Cor. viii. 9; Phil. ii. 5-8). His own sacrifice for our sins grounds the plea for a life of unselfishness (2 Cor. v. 14, 15; Rom. xii. 1). We should walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us (Eph. v. 2); and should walk in newness of life, as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father (Rom. vi. 4). Doctrine with Paul and ethics in its solemn sanctions and its inspiring motivation are inextricably intertwined. Paul's doctrine about the person of Christ and His death and resurrection can be disentangled from his ethical teaching as little as it can from his experience. Certainly the doctrine was no alien or extraneous element in Paul's system, and certainly it strengthened rather than weakened his ethical appeal.
Is there a similar blending of ethics and doctrine in the teaching of Jesus? For the gospel of Jesus in its purity we must, according to a popular school of criticism, go back of the Fourth Gospel to the Synoptics, and back of these to their sources, practically to Mark and to the source called Q (Quelle), or the Logia, representing the non-Markan agreements of Matthew and Luke. Even in these sources, it is often maintained, caution must be used, and foreign elements must be eliminated. Let us see, then, whether there is such a mingling of the ethical and the Christological in the authentic teaching of Jesus as we have noticed in that of Paul. The Sermon on the Mount, the words to the disciples after the confession of Peter (Mark viii. 34-38), and the teaching on true greatness (Mark x. 42-45), may be taken as typical examples of Jesus' ethical teaching. In these passages are not merely disconnected maxims, but an ethical system, containing a profound and, as we may say, fully thought out philosophy of life, in which the religious and ethical elements are organically united.
The Beatitudes begin with passive virtue, humility, meekness, longing for righteousness; they pass on to the possession of righteousness and purity of heart; ascend to works of active benevolence; and culminate in a character so positive and pronounced in goodness as to excite opposition from the forces of evil. At least one element in the consciousness of Jesus as He spoke these words may be compared with the Christological standpoint of Paul. The impression which His teaching made upon His hearers is summed up in the words: "He taught them as one having authority" (Matt. vii. 29). If we seek to analyze this authority, we find it to be, first, the authority of perfect moral insight. A flaw discovered in the character of a teacher easily neutralizes the force of his moral appeal. The ethic of Jesus is not merely a system of rules, but the blending of a code which has guided human progress and a character in which men have found their supreme ideal of moral excellence. His sureness of touch, His clearness of moral insight, His transparent beauty of character, betray a consciousness unique among men. The verdict of mankind as they have studied the character of Jesus, and studied themselves in the light of it, is that that character is as much a miracle in the moral sphere,--that is, opposed to a uniform experience--as is the birth from a virgin, for example, in the physical sphere. The consciousness of Jesus, at the very least, must have been profoundly influenced by the fact, assuming it to be a fact, that He alone among the children of men did perfectly the will of the Father.
The authority of Jesus, again, was that of a lawgiver from whose words there could be no appeal. His words superseded all previous legislation, in the sense of completing it, and all current interpretation. The imperial "I say unto you" implied the power, not simply of judicial interpretation, but of repealing old laws and enacting new ones. Nor was His teaching in His own conception of it a mere phase, albeit the highest at the time, of moral development. His legislation was final, and never to be superseded; and obedience to it, or neglect of it, was to be the decisive factor in human welfare and destiny (Matt. vii. 24-27).
But the authority of Jesus was not merely that of a lawgiver. He inaugurated the Kingdom whose coming He proclaimed and whose laws He formulated, and He is to be the final judge of the worthiness of its members. These members were not merely pious Jews in general or John's disciples, but were His disciples. They were the light of the world because they were His disciples, and the crowning element in their character was endurance of persecution for His sake (Matt. v. 11, "for my sake"; Luke vi. 22, "for the Son of man's sake"). His teaching instead of pointing away from Himself to God, in the spirit of the other wisest teachers of men, pointed to Himself as the One by whom fully and finally God's will and purpose were to be made known. He plainly taught or clearly implied that men's relations to Himself as Teacher, Lord, Lawgiver and Judge, were supremely important for human destiny (Matt. vii. 21-24).
No words in the ethical-religious message of Jesus are more striking in form and thought, and no others have more deeply impressed the minds of men, than those in which He asserted that the value of the soul outweighs all earthly good: "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" These words, says Eucken, have given the soul a history. In the startling paradox in the context, "He that saveth his life shall lose it," we have the saying of Jesus most often repeated in the Gospels, occurring six times, and assigned to four different occasions (Mark viii. 35; Matt. x. 39; xvi. 25; Luke ix. 24; xvii. 33; John xii. 25).
The study of these sayings in their context (Mark viii. 34-38 and parallels) shows that the thought which was uppermost in the mind of Jesus, and in fact dominated at this point the ethical teaching, was precisely that of His own person and death and resurrection. His question to Peter, "Whom say ye that I am?" (Mark viii. 29) shows that He was dissatisfied with the title of prophet given Him by others, and that He would draw from the disciples a confession that they had come to hold a higher view of His mission. When Peter, according to the accounts in Mark and Matthew, refused to accept the prediction of His death, He showed that it was necessary for all His disciples to take up the cross and follow Him. The goal of life is to be reached only by those who follow Him in spirit in His death and resurrection, and confess Him before men. The losing of the highest in life is for those who are ashamed of Him in this generation. The destiny of men hinges upon their relation to Himself. The connection between the most oft-repeated and self-authenticating maxims of Jesus and His own person, death, and resurrection is as clear and organic as the connection between the ethical and doctrinal, or Christological, teaching of Paul.
It remains to consider the passage (Mark x. 42-45; Matt. xx. 25-28) on true greatness and service. Here we have a characteristic teaching of Jesus cutting athwart the ordinary opinion of mankind. But the maxim, "Whosoever would become great among you," is connected with Himself as the example of true greatness. He, the teacher and example of humility, refers to Himself as the supreme illustration of true greatness. His death is the supreme expression of self-sacrifice for the good of others, and in it by implication is the highest service done to man. Ethics and doctrine about Himself and His death are as inextricably blended in this saying of Jesus as in Paul's statement, "Though he was rich yet for your sakes became poor," or John's, "He laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (2 Cor. viii. 9; I John iii. 16). In His deepest ethical teaching Jesus points not away from Himself, as do other moral teachers. His words in the Synoptics are not essentially different from those in John: "If I your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you ought also to wash one another's feet" (xiii. 14).
13: Recent exegesis finds a Pauline meaning in the words whether it refers them to Jesus or to the influence of Paul. Plummer ("Matthew," p. 280) says: "'The Son of Man came' implies the preëxistence of the Son; it is not merely a synonym for being born." (Cf. John xviii. 37.) In the use of the word λύτρον [lytron], Bacon thinks that, "here and in xiv. 24 Mark goes beyond Paul's careful use of language" ("Beginnings of Gospel Story," p. 149). Bousset, on the other hand, emphasizing "the many," thinks that Paul was the first to give the full reach to the thought. (_Op. cit._, p. 2.) According to Wendling, in Mark x. 45, the fully developed Pauline doctrine of the ἀπολύτρωσις [apolytrôsis] (Rom. iii. 23 ff.) is crystallized into an aphorism and put into the mouth of Jesus; "The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, etc." (See Sanday's "Oxford Studies," p. 399.)
The Christology of Jesus finds expression in the familiar words in Matthew xi. 25-30 (Luke x. 21, 22): "All things have been delivered unto me of my Father, etc." These words are often spoken of as the climax of His self-revelation in the Synoptic Gospels, and modern criticism unites with Christian devotion in recognizing their importance. The conviction is growing that the words, as they stand in all the Greek texts, cannot have been the utterance of a merely human Jesus, the pattern of truthfulness and the example of humility.
A few examples will show the trend of recent interpretation. Plummer thinks that the self-revelation of Jesus in the expression, "All things were delivered unto Me, etc.," "contains the whole of the Christology of the Fourth Gospel;" and he believes that the aorist verb "points back to a moment in eternity, and implies the preëxistence of the Messiah."
14: "Commentary on St. Luke," 1900, p. 282.
15: "Commentary on St. Matthew," 1910, p. 168.
Critical acumen, says Lemme, may seek to empty the saying of its content, but "there remains the exclusiveness of the mediatorial work of Jesus for the totality of mankind, there remains the absolute uniqueness of His redemption, there remains His lonely elevation above the entire realm of the human, there remains His unique fellowship of life with the Father, which enabled Him, and Him alone, to know God adequately, or, what is the same thing, to reveal the truth. We must take our choice: such an utterance is either the delirium of a reckless self-exaltation, or the appropriate testimony of a divine Being demanding unreserved faith."
16: "Jesu Irrtumlosigkeit," 1907, pp. 7, 8.
The logion has been made the subject of an exhaustive monograph by Schumacher, who concludes that the reciprocal knowledge of the Father and the Son implies the consciousness of divine Sonship in a full metaphysical sense.
17: "Die Selbstoffenbarung Jesu bei Mat 11, 27 (Luc 10, 22)," 1912, ("Freiburger Theologische Studien," Heft. 6), pp. 202, 219, etc.
In his lectures on the "Essence of Christianity," Harnack takes the text as it stands, but, ignoring the implications of reciprocal knowledge, says: "The consciousness he possessed of being the Son of God is, therefore, nothing but the practical consequence of knowing God as the Father and as His Father. Rightly understood, the name of Son means nothing but the knowledge of God." In his critique of Harnack, Loisy objects to this interpretation as being "artificial and superficial," and says: "Obviously the text indicates a transcendental relationship, whence springs the lofty dignity of Christ, and not a psychological reality, which in regard to God is clearly impossible. Father and Son are not here simply religious terms, but have already become metaphysical theological expressions, and dogmatic speculation has been able to take possession of them, without much modification of their sense." Loisy takes the meaning as fundamentally the same as John i. 18, and cannot accept it in the form we have it as a genuine word of Jesus.
18: "Das Wesen des Christentums," p. 81; "What is Christianity?" p. 138.
19: "L'Évangile et L'Église," 1904, p. 82; E. T., "The Gospel and the Church," p. 97.
20: "L'Évangile et L'Église," 1904, p. 78; E. T., p. 94.
21: "L'Évangile et L'Église," 1904, p. 80; E. T., pp. 96, 97.
In his "Sayings of Jesus," Harnack omits from the text, on what seem to be slender grounds, the first clause of the parallel, "No one knoweth the Son but the Father." He candidly admits, however, that if the text stands no fair exegesis can prevent a Christological reference. It must mean "a relationship of Father and Son which never had a beginning, but remains ever the same." "We cannot by any method of interpretation make it much less metaphysical."
22: Preferring the indirect evidence of the patristic quotations, itself divided, to the direct evidence of the Greek manuscripts.
23: "Sprüche und Reden Jesu," 1907, pp. 210, 211; E. T., "The Sayings of Jesus," 1908, p. 302.
Bousset, who in his "Jesus" (1904) accepted the utterance as spoken by Jesus, now sees in it the expression of a high Christology. He believes, against Harnack, that the expression, "All things have been delivered to me," refers to power, not simply to knowledge; and, retaining both clauses expressing reciprocal knowledge of the Father and the Son, he finds in this "majestic self-testimony" in its present form the work of the Church.
24: "Jesus," p. 89.
25: "Kyrios Christos," 1913, pp. 58, 60, 62.
We may speak, then, of a consensus of opinion in the recent interpretation of this saying of Jesus. When we remember that the verbal resemblance between Matthew xi. 25-27 and Luke x. 21, 22 is remarkably close, and that the saying thus belongs to the earliest strata of Gospel tradition, that is, to the conjectural "Q," it is significant that the minute examination to which it has been subjected has convinced critics of different dogmatic standpoints that they can only interpret it in a high Christological sense. It is agreed that the words as they stand imply the preëxistence of the Messiah, a relation which can properly be called "metaphysical" between the Father and the Son, and a unique relation to men as the only bearer of the full revelation of God. The saying, often called an "aerolite from the Johannine heavens" (Hase), contains in a nutshell, if taken with verses 28-30, the teaching of the fourteenth chapter of John, revealing Jesus in similar relation alike to God and to men, and as supplying all the deepest needs of men. Sanday has even said that "we might describe the teaching of the Fourth Gospel as a series of variations upon the one theme which has its classical expression in a verse of the Synoptics. 'All things have been delivered unto me, etc'"
26: "Criticism of the New Testament," 1902, by various authors, pp. 16, 17.
It has been argued that the saying of Jesus, Johannine in style and substance, is so isolated in the Synoptic narrative that, in spite of its secure position in the sources, doubts of its genuineness must arise. Bousset employs this argument, remarking that the thoughts of our logion "in the remaining Synoptic tradition are scarcely found at all." It is noticeable, however, that the isolation is established only by cutting away a large portion of the Synoptic material. The parable of the Vineyard, in which Jesus speaks of Himself as a beloved son, the heir (Mark xii. 6, 7), is objected to because "never thus did Jesus elsewhere in His parables force His person into the foreground." The Markan saying in which Jesus distinguishes Himself, as Son, from men and angels (xiii. 32) is set aside; the filial consciousness implied in the repeated use by Jesus of the expressions, "My Father," "your Father," "the Father," but never "our Father," is attributed to later theological reflection, and the narratives of the divine voice at the Baptism and the Transfiguration are discredited. Similarly the incidental claims which Jesus makes for Himself in forgiving sin, in speaking of Himself as the "Bridegroom," the Physician who came to cure the moral ills of men, and as Lord of the Sabbath, are all referred to secondary strata of tradition or to dogmatic overworking of the facts.
27: "Kyrios Christos," p. 61.
28: _Ibid._, p. 51.
29: _Ibid._, p. 52.
30: _Ibid._, p. 64.
31: _Ibid._, pp. 48, 49.
So drastic is the process by which Bousset attempts to reduce the consciousness of Jesus to a purely human level that he even rejects the major part of the narrative of the Trial and Crucifixion. Whatever differences there may be in detail, there is no room for doubt that the charge upon which Jesus was put to death is correctly given by John. "We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God" (John xix. 7). We may believe that the result would have been different if for one moment He had disclaimed divine prerogatives, and said, "I am of thy brethren the prophets: worship God."
If it be denied that Jesus made these claims before and at His trial, the cause of His death is unknown. This is admitted by Bousset, who rejects the whole account of the trial, including the question of Pilate, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" (Mark xv. 2), and the title on the cross, retaining only the accusation that He said "I will destroy this temple" (Mark xiv. 58; xv. 29). Apart from this concrete accusation, not in itself sufficient, because not blasphemy "in the strict juristic sense of the word," it is admitted that "we cannot say any more with exactness why Jesus was condemned by Pilate." In the answer of Jesus to the high priest, telling of the Son of Man "sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven," it is said that "we hear directly the Christian confession, 'seated on the right hand of God, from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.'" It is to be noted that these passages, implying in Bousset's opinion the substitution of the "day" of Jesus for the Old Testament "day of Jahweh," and implying the metaphysics of the creeds, are to be found in Mark, not in John, and in the narrative of the trial of Jesus, not in that of His resurrection.
32: "Kyrios Christos," pp. 54 note, 56.
33: _Ibid._, p. 55.
34: _Ibid._, p. 12.
The "isolation" of the great passage in Matthew and Luke, as to its essential content, is thus made out only by a thoroughgoing process of elimination running through the whole story of the Gospels. Every page of the Gospels testifies, in fact, to Jesus' consciousness of a unique relation to God and to men; and an examination of His teaching in whatever part or whatever context confirms the judgment of von Dobschütz that "Jesus implicitly stands everywhere in the centre of His gospel. The 'I am He,' which is recognized as the leading motive of the Fourth Gospel, runs through all His words also in the Synoptics." The self-revelation of Jesus and the great invitation of Matthew xi. 25-30 may be the climax of Synoptic teaching as to the relation of Jesus alike to the Father and to mankind (unless the words of the risen Christ, Matt. xxviii. 18-20, are so regarded), but the passage is no alien or intrusive element in its context. If it is the high point of Synoptic teaching, it is the capstone of a pyramid firmly and broadly supported by the whole Synoptic narrative.
35: "Gibt es ein doppeltes Evangelium in N. T.?" _Theol. Studien u. Kritiken_, 85 (1912), p. 350.
Carlyle has said that the greatness of a character is measured by the contrasts it exhibits. The words of Jesus we have been studying, taken in their entirety and in their context, show the contrasts between knowledge and humility, between power and humility, and, when the woes on the cities are contrasted with the invitation, "Come unto me," between sternness and tenderness. When Socrates was told by the oracle that he was the wisest of men, he was in perplexity for a time, but finally decided that he was wise because he recognized his own ignorance. In His knowledge of the Father and in the mystery of His own person, Jesus places Himself on an equality with God. Yet this knowledge did not "puff up." There was no need with Jesus as with Peter for the moment of spiritual insight to be followed by a rebuke for presumption; nor did He need like Paul, because of the greatness of the revelation, to have the thorn in the flesh lest He be exalted above measure. These contrasts, not found in any other historical character, are a self-authenticating feature of the words of Jesus. All of His actions, in fact, and all of His attitudes towards men, whether they were friends or foes, and all His words, whether of compassion, forgiveness, warning or indignation, were those of a "Prince and a Saviour," a Prince in majesty and power and a Saviour in pity. Both deeds and words showed that union of qualities which it would be impossible to invent, "the self-assertion of the great example of humility."
IV. THE DILEMMA OF HISTORICAL CRITICISM
An indirect evidence of transcendent elements in the consciousness of Jesus, and of the essential harmony between His teaching and that of Paul, is furnished by the increasingly skeptical tendency of liberal criticism and the complete skepticism in which that criticism has culminated. We must discount, say the extreme Liberal critics in effect, the Ascension and Resurrection narratives, because they were written under the belief that Jesus was the exalted Son of God. We must discount the Passion narrative because dominated by the belief that Jesus was and claimed to be the Messiah; we must discount the miracles, and must take from the Gospel page everything that indicates that Jesus claimed divine prerogatives, or Messianic honours, or used titles such as "the Christ," "the Son of God," "Lord," or even "the Son of Man," because these betray the dogmatic views of the Church. But why not go further with the "mythical" school and discount the whole narrative because written under the prepossession that Jesus was an historical character? If the faith of the Church--"the enemy of history"--has been able to create those features in the portrait of Christ which have been regarded as significant for religion during the ages of Christendom, why cannot its creative activity have extended to the historical foundation? Why could it not have created its portrait of Jesus out of nothing, or at least out of the social strivings and religious needs and practices of a syncretic age?
The mythical hypothesis, it is clear, is not a mere eccentricity of criticism. It is more than an effort of youthful audacity in scholarship striving to gain public attention. It is the natural, if not the inevitable, outcome of the direction in which criticism, discarding more and more of the Gospel narrative, and deserting more and more, it may be said, the sure ground of historical evidence, has been moving. The method of a progressive reduction of the sources and elimination of unacceptable material has been only pushed by the Radicals to an extreme. The Radicals, avowedly basing themselves on the Liberals, contend that the latter have stopped at an untenable half-way position. Thus Drews says that since the days of Strauss doubts of the historical existence of Jesus have never been lulled to rest; and Reinach, avoiding Drews' extreme, yet declares that "it is contrary to every sound method to compose, as Renan did, a life of Jesus, eliminating the marvellous elements of the Gospel story. It is no more possible to make real history with myths than to make bread with the pollen of flowers." It was thought that an irreducible minimum had been reached in Schmiedel's famous nine "foundation-pillars" for a scientific life of Christ, but even these are shattered by the modern critical artillery.
36: "The Christ-Myth," p. 7.
37: "Orpheus" (E. T.), p. 231.
38: Encycl. Bibl., art., "Gospels," sec. 139.
39: Bousset, _op. cit._, will not admit that we have the actual words of Jesus in Mark xiii. 32 (p. 52), in Matt. xi. 5 (p. 71, note 3), in Matt. xii. 32 (p. 9), in Mark xv. 34 (p. 87), or in viii. 14-20 (p. 82).
When Schmiedel finds the bed-rock of historical truth in a few expressions or incidents which run counter to the general intention of the Gospel writers, it is open to W. B. Smith to base an elaborate argument upon a single phrase or even word "the things concerning Jesus," or "the Jesus," Acts xviii. 25; xxviii. 21, etc., in favour of a pre-Christian Jesus-cult. And when Bousset with the Gospels before him confesses that we cannot know certainly why Jesus was put to death, it is open for Frazer and Reinach to transform the Crucifixion into a sort of Haman-and-Mordecai play; or even for J. M. Robertson, criticizing Frazer, to say that the capital error of the latter is in the postulate that Jesus existed at all. It must be confessed that there is a facile descent from the "reduced Christianity" of the extreme Liberals to the _reductio ad absurdum_ of the Radicals, and that the difference between them is often one of degree rather than of principle. The astringents used to remove the brilliant colours of miracle and transcendence have proved so strong as to destroy the portrait they were intended to restore. By proposing the dilemma, A miraculous Christ or a mythical Christ, the Radicals have shown the difficulty of drawing the picture of an historical Jesus from which the transcendent elements have been removed. It should be noticed further that the "historical" Jesus who is left has a diminishing importance for religion, and even for ethics. When Jesus is reduced to the level of mere humanity, that humanity is apt to be of an inferior order. He accepts the title and rôle of Messiah unwillingly, as a burden and under compulsion from His followers, or under the strong delusion that, defeated in His earthly mission, He would immediately come in glory. In either case there is an element of weakness, whether intellectual or moral, in His character; He cannot be the supreme example and moral leader of humanity. Or else, relieved of the Messianic burden in the imagination of the critic, He becomes a "warrior for the truth," a sort of Galilean Socrates, the wisest and best of men, but with no clear outlines in His personality and no distinctive traits in His message.
40: "Der Vorchristliche Jesus," 1906, Chapter I.
41: "Golden Bough," 2d ed. (1900), III, pp. 187 ff.; "Orpheus" (E. T.), pp. 229 ff. It is interesting to note that Frazer's section on the death of Christ has in the third edition, 1910-1914, been placed in an appendix, with the remark: "The hypothesis which it sets forth has not been confirmed by subsequent research and is admittedly in a high degree speculative and uncertain." (Part VI, "The Scapegoat," p. 412, note 1.)
42: "Pagan Christs," 1903, pp. 138, 139.
43: Bousset, _op. cit._, p. 90.
Whether the Founder of the Christian religion be pictured as "merely a pious preacher of morality in the sense of present day liberalism," or a "psychopathic anomaly," obsessed with the idea that He was the Messiah, the picture is not convincing to the historian any more than it is consoling to the Christian. In neither picture can the Christ of the Gospels or the Christ of Christian experience be recognized. Matters are not mended when extremes meet, and Jesus is pictured as at once the sunny and serene Galilean pietist, and the rapt ecstatic obsessed by the thought of His own immediate and glorious return--a deluded enthusiast who saw life steadily and saw it whole. If the representation is not that of a moral or mental weakling, below the level of the normal in clearness of outlook upon life or in sincerity and decision of character, we are left with a largely imaginary figure, from which most of the concrete features have been removed. We do not know what manner of man He was, nor, it must be acknowledged, does it matter very much for religion whether He was at all; for with the increasing vagueness in the historical portrait of Jesus, there comes inevitably a weakening of His influence as a teacher whether of religion or morals.
44: Drews, _op. cit._, p. 15.
His gospel, in the first place, was never intended to become universal, since the Gentile mission is attributed to the influence of later ecclesiastical ideas. But is not the content of Jesus' religious teaching, the Fatherhood of God and the value of the soul, unaffected by any views which are held as to His Person? Tendencies are observable in modern thought which are not reassuring upon this point; and, in fact, the history of thought shows that theism, apart from the support of Christian doctrine, is apt to pass into a pantheistic mysticism or a semi-deistic naturalism. The Fatherhood of God may be regarded as too anthropomorphic a conception, and a semi-pantheistic "all-Father" may be substituted for the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Strauss, while he is the classical example, is not alone in this passage from Liberal Christianity to a more complete skepticism which gives up theistic belief. It is not surprising that in certain circles the expression "Christian pantheism" is now heard, and that a sympathetic attitude towards pantheism should be shown by the Liberal critic. Thus J. Weiss says: "Pantheism may, indeed, have its limitations and defects, yet, without doubt, it lies very near to our time, inspired as it is by both scientific and artistic ideas. Why should we not recognize this form of religious life alongside of other forms, in case it finds vital expression in emotion and action?"
45: "Significance of Paul for Modern Christianity," _American Journal of Theology_, July, 1913, p. 358.
On the other hand, the theistic content of Jesus' teaching is immeasurably strengthened when enforced by His divine authority, and read in the light of His Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection. As Drews remarks: "The chief obstacle to a monistic religion and attitude is the belief irreconcilable with reason or history, in the historical reality of a 'unique,' ideal, and unsurpassable redeemer." Certainly the assurance that God is a loving Father and that we are His children, said to be the essence of Christianity, is wonderfully safeguarded and buttressed by the doctrines, or facts, of an Incarnate, Crucified, and Risen Christ.
46: "The Christ-Myth," p. 300.
Whatever happens to the Christian doctrines and the Christian history, many will declare that the ethical teaching of Jesus will remain, and will continue to exercise its empire over the lives of men. But such an inference finds little support in present conditions. An aggressive militarism maintains that each nation should be free to develop its own religious ideas, and chides Strauss with half-way measures in holding to Christian ethics while discarding Christian doctrines and miracles. A militant feminism which objects to the marriage service, and a militant socialism which sees in the family the main support of the right of private property, will not, if they have their way, leave the marriage relation unaffected. Jesus taught, we are reminded, in a pre-scientific and a pre-Darwinian age. His teaching, in fact, whatever its acknowledged excellence and importance, was but a phase, and that not the final phase, of moral evolution. His teaching, as many hold, was only an _Interimsethik_, not intended to be the norm for all men and all time. There is no assurance that even the character of Christ will remain undimmed in splendour, and undiminished in power of appeal, for there is no evidence for sinlessness, except evidence which is rejected on the ground of exaggeration or idealization in the case of miracles, and other claims implying the supernatural. Christian ethics doubtless makes an appeal of its own, but apart from the support of Christology its supremacy is by no means assured. If we go back to the moral teaching or to the example of Jesus alone, there will be no teaching with authority, no divine Teacher who is the Truth, and no regenerative power of the Spirit behind the teaching. The power of Christ's example lies in the union of humility and authority. "Take Christ's difference from us out of Christianity and His identity with us loses all its glorious power." If their Lord and Master washes the disciples' feet, the example comes with the force of a divine command: "Ye ought also to wash one another's feet." It is not merely a beautiful act to be admired (or perhaps by some to be despised); it is a divine imperative to be obeyed.
The strongest argument for a doctrinal Christianity is not the indirect one to be found in the lessening significance of a merely human-historical Jesus, and the tendency of His figure to become dim upon the field of history, and of His voice to die away as an echo over the Judean hills. It is rather to be found in the positive evidence of the Christian documents, in the testimony of Christian experience, and in the broader effects of a doctrinal Christianity in the course of the centuries.
The statements of Harnack in his later essays show the inadequacy of a gospel which does not include in its content the Person of the Redeemer. "Only God is the Redeemer--and yet Christendom calls Jesus of Nazareth its Redeemer. How is this contradiction to be solved?" It is a fact that He is the inner possession of His own. "But that which lies behind this fact, which is expressed in the confession 'Christ liveth in me,' the persuasion of the eternal life of Christ, of His power and glory, that is a secret of the faith which mocks all explanation." When there is such a contradiction between experience and theory, it will be natural to question the adequacy of a theory which finds no interpretation for the deepest experiences of religion. Harnack, indeed, goes far towards admitting the harmony between the gospel of Jesus and that of Paul when he says: "The 'first' gospel contains the truth, the 'second' [Paul's gospel of redemption] the way, and both together the life."
47: "Aus Wissenschaft und Leben," II, p. 87.
48: _Ibid._, p. 91.
49: _Ibid._, p. 224.
There is in essence but one gospel, differently presented by Jesus and Paul, whose focal point in the teaching of both is Christ and Him crucified. The differences, as shown by von Dobschütz in a notable essay, explain themselves naturally from the situation. In John and Paul there is only expansion and repetition of what was contained implicitly in the words of Jesus in the Synoptists. The later time was not creative, but only selected and developed; its message was an echo, not a new utterance. In the teaching of Paul as compared with that of Jesus there are three points of difference: (1) the person of Jesus is much more strongly emphasized; (2) His death and resurrection appear as basal redemptive acts; and (3) everything is brought into connection with redemption from sin. All three of these differences are explained by the historical situation. Jesus Himself had brought them to God, and His resurrection had brought them out of their despair and strengthened their faith and given them courage for preaching. As to the differences, two considerations should be borne in mind: "That the gospel should be differently set forth before the death of Jesus than it was after that event is not to be wondered at; and, secondly, it is also natural that the standpoint and exposition of the recipients of grace should be different from the attitude of One who was free from sin, and knew that He was sent to bring man to God."
50: "Gibt es ein doppeltes Evangelium in N. T.?" _Theol. Studien u. Kritiken_, 85 (1912), pp. 362, 363.
In the future as in the past, we may believe, doctrinal Christianity, that is a Christianity broad enough to include the teaching and example, and the person and passion and resurrection of Christ, will be for men and nations the power of God unto salvation. If the essence of a thing is shown in its activity, the essence of Christianity cannot be separated from its doctrinal content. Certainly it was Christianity in a doctrinal form that inspired the greatest achievements of the Christian Church in the course of her history. It was doctrinal Christianity that loosed the bonds of Jewish legalism, inspired the missionary enterprise of the primitive and the modern church, raised the standard of the Reformation, laid the foundations of modern democracy, and guided the sanest and bravest attempts at social reform.
Our argument has been that the primitive gospel which began to be preached by the Lord was a doctrinal gospel, a gospel of the Kingdom, the Cross and the Son of God, that no other message can be found with any distinctness within or beneath the Gospel records, and that this has been at the basis of Christian experience and of the life of the Christian Church. The gospel of the grace of God is the gospel of the glory of Christ.
The Christian Faith and Modern Science
A discussion of the present relations between science and the Christian Faith must be very largely a discussion of the theory of evolution. Our age has been called evolution-mad; we can scarcely speak or even think except in biological terms and under biological categories. The evolution theory has influenced every department of thought and even the science of thought itself, and it is often assumed that everything pre-Darwinian must be thrown to the intellectual scrap-heap.
Half a century ago the time was ripe for a new generalization in science which should include the organic world. Newton had extended the reign of mechanism in space, and Lyell, by substituting the uniformitarian for the catastrophic theory of the formation of the earth's crust, had effected the same extension in time. Men's minds had become familiar with the thought of immense reaches of space and of vast periods of time, and with the idea in both spheres of the reign of natural law instead of immediate divine intervention. The Darwinian hypothesis of Natural Selection came as the culmination of this movement of a progressive substitution of a natural for a supernatural explanation of things. The motions of planets and heavenly bodies, the formation of the strata of the earth's crust, and now the kingdom of organic life were brought within the domain of natural and general law.
It is not necessary to describe in detail the ferment in religious thought which followed the publication of the "Origin of Species," 1859; but we may notice briefly the extreme inferences which were drawn unfavourable to religion, and then the inevitable reaction. On the one hand there were loud claims at first that the death-knell of religion had been sounded. A cause other than creation had been discovered for the origin of species and by analogy for other origins formerly assigned to the Creator. Chance, not only blind but apparently cruel, was enthroned in the place of design in the production of the various forms of life. The higher was evolved from the lower, but in a way that gave to the higher the quality of the lower. Man was no longer the child of God, not even the prodigal child. He was the progeny of the brute and shared his destiny. The obligation to be moral, or even decent, had no higher sanction than the fierce struggle for existence. Theism was derived from animal-or ancestor-worship, and had no higher authority or credibility. Man, no longer made in the divine image, could lay no claim to a divine inheritance; not fallen, but rising out of his brute inheritance, he had no need for the divine mercy.
Renan in France, Haeckel in Germany, and Grant Allen in England agreed that religion was doomed. Religious beliefs, according to the last named, were destined "to be entirely discredited as grotesque, fungoid growths which had clustered around the thread of primitive ancestor-worship." Renan inferred as one result of Darwinism the gradual dying out of religion; while the fundamental postulates of religion, God, Freedom and Immortality, were, according to Haeckel, all given the _coup de grace_. The life of man, entangled by descent with lower orders of being, seemed divorced from the wisdom and purpose of God, and an all-engulfing mechanism threatened to swallow up the hopes and aspirations of mankind. The situation illustrated the statement of Emerson: "The very hopes of man, the thoughts of his heart, the religion of nations, the manners and morals of mankind, are all at the mercy of a new generalization."
51: See Benjamin Kidd in article, "Darwinism," in "Hastings' Dictionary of Religion and Ethics," Vol. IV, p. 404.
From this extreme position there was an inevitable reaction. Evolution was seen to present a face not so unfavourable to religion. Origin and destiny were two questions; the higher might be evolved from the lower, but not in such a way as to deprive the higher of its proper quality. If nature and man were so closely related, our idea of the worth of nature could be exalted without depriving man of his dignity. "A man's a man for a' that," whether sprung from the dust of the earth, as had been always held, or derived from organic material below him. An orthodox evolutionist developed a new and powerful argument for immortality; if man had gone so far, why not farther? The meaning of the whole evolutionary process, of the long travail of nature, was obviously, if it had a meaning (and why deny this to our intellectual confusion?), the production of man with his endowments, aspirations and hopes. Descent may become ascent, and the meaning of evolution may well be the development of freedom, and immortality but evolution at the end of its journey. A new and grander teleology was discernible in nature, not seen in the details of its products so much as in the great tendencies and lines of its development and the outworking of its laws. Most impressive of all, it was found that devout Christians, like Charles Kingsley, could become evolutionists without losing their faith; and that evolutionists like Romanes (who had spoken, during his eclipse of faith, of the evolutionary theory as a deluge, "uprooting our most cherished hopes, engulfing our most precious creed, and burying our highest life in mindless destruction") could become Christians, or regain their faith, without affecting their scientific views.
52: "A Candid Examination of Theism," p. 51.
With all the problems which evolution has set for religious thought, it should be noticed that it has distinctly relieved the pressure of one difficulty which has been felt, though now much less acutely than formerly, since the time of Copernicus. In the words of Aubrey De Vere:
This sphere is not God's ocean, but one drop Showered from its spray. Came God from heaven for that?
Life, and life upon the earth, is the centre of attention in the thought of the day. With the physicist who sees the promise and potency of all terrestrial life in the primitive star-dust, with the biologist who speaks of the fitness of the environment to sustain life, or with the philosopher who sees in the vital impulse the most important thing in the history of the universe, the viewpoint is necessarily biocentric. Yet it has been pointed out that the sum of organized matter "is but an atom in the mass of the solar system, it occupies but a moment in its duration; it has hardly a place in space; it is but a temporary film on one of the smaller planets. It can exist only in a very small part of the scale of temperatures through which the spheres pass from their first to their last state. Set against the visible universe it is as near to nothing as we can well conceive anything to be." A distinguished evolutionist has developed an argument to prove that the earth alone in the solar system or elsewhere fulfills the conditions of the existence of any high form of life. It is not necessary to estimate the value of Wallace's argument in order to emphasize, from an evolutionary point of view, the importance of life and of man in the universe. If the standpoint of science to-day is frankly biocentric, in spite of the insignificant bulk of organized matter, religious thought need not be accused of provincialism because it is anthropocentric in its interest.
53: N. S. Shaler: "The Individual," 1910, p. 103.
54: A. R. Wallace: "Man's Place in the Universe."
In studying a little more closely the religious bearings of evolution, it will be convenient to notice, I. The Method of Evolution, or the biological discussion; II. The Meaning of Evolution, or the philosophical discussion; and III. Theism and Evolution, or the more directly religious aspects of the theory.
I. THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION
While there is general agreement among biologists that species have been derived from one another by natural causes, there is a wide diversity of opinion as to the method by which this result has been brought about. Darwin's theory of natural selection has a struggle for existence of its own, a fight for life with other evolutionary theories. Emphatic protests are made from the side of experimental biology (de Vries), of paleontology (Osborn), and of philosophical evolution (Bergson) against the Darwinian hypothesis that the selection of minute fortuitous variations can account for the rise of new species or explain the great lines of development. It is only necessary to read the two volumes published in England and America in honour of the hundredth anniversary of Darwin's birth and the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the "Origin of Species" to see that scientific opinion upon the question of the method of evolution is widely divided.
55: "Darwin and Modern Science," Cambridge, 1909; "Fifty Years of Darwinism," New York, 1909.
In Biblical language, the question of the hour in biology is, Who (or what) made thee to differ? "It is the question," in the words of C. H. Eigenmann, "of how the straight line of exact hereditary repetition may be caused to swerve in a definite direction to reach an adaptive point. This is the question of the present generation, perhaps of the entire twentieth century."
56: "Fifty Years of Darwinism," p. 191.
The Newton of biology, who will discover the laws of variation and heredity, has not, it is safe to say, yet appeared. Variation in a definite direction in virtue of an internal tendency in the organism (Nägeli); variation in response to the specific stimulus of the environment (Eimer); variation due, at least in animals, to the conscious effort of the individual (Lamarck); variation inciting a corresponding strengthening of parts of the individual organism, until time should be given for hereditary strengthening of these parts (organic selection as taught by Baldwin, Osborn and Lloyd Morgan); variation due to the preservation and accumulation of minute fluctuations by natural selection (Darwinism in its usual form); variation from unknown causes suddenly and discontinuously (the mutationism of de Vries); variation due to a mystical vital impulse in organic life as a whole (the creative evolution of Bergson):--no one of these views, if we take scientific opinion as a whole, can be said to have torn aside the veil behind which nature carries on her creative works.
The most notable attempt to supplement and strengthen the theory of natural selection has been made by Weismann in his theory of Germinal Selection. In Weismann's hypothesis, which has furnished in a sense the philosophical basis for the popular Eugenics movement, the struggle for existence is transferred to a struggle among the constituents of the germ-plasm. The minute invisible "determinants" of the germ-plasm, which give rise to the variations in the organ, or cell, which they determine, are unequally nourished by the nutritive stream. A determinant at first favoured by chance may at length gain strength actively to nourish itself to the detriment of its fellow-determinants, and thus attain a permanent upward movement. With Weismann the fluctuations within the germ-plasm "are the real root of all hereditary variations, and the preliminary condition for the occurrence of the Darwin-Wallace factor of selection." The struggle for existence, or the struggle for possession of the mate in sexual selection, practically goes back to "the struggle between the determinants within the germ-plasm" for food and space.
57: "Darwin and Modern Science": "The Selection Theory," p.49.
Let us see how this theory of determinants will apply to the famous case of the antlers of the elk or stag. The antlers would increase in size, in this case, only because the determinants, corresponding in the germ-plasm to the antlers in the adult organism, attracted nourishment to themselves, and withdrew it to a certain extent from their fellows. Instead, therefore, of a corresponding strengthening in the whole anterior half of the animal, which Weismann admits would be necessary, we should have, with the increased weight of the antlers, a decrease in weight and strength of other parts of the body. The problem, instead of being solved, seems to be involved in deeper mystery, and there will be hesitation in accepting the statement that "thus in our time the great riddle has been solved--the riddle of the origin of what is suited to its purpose without the coöperation of purposive forces." T. H. Morgan thinks it unfortunate that Weismann should seek to supply the deficiencies of Darwin's theory by new speculative matter skilfully removed from the field of verification.
58: "Darwin and Modern Science": "The Selection Theory," p. 32.
59: "The Evolution Theory," II, p. 391.
60: "Evolution and Adaptation," pp. 165 f.
Biologists are generally agreed in holding the doctrine of "descent with modifications," but there is no agreement as to the method by which variations in species are brought about. Bateson even declares that "evolutionary orthodoxy developed too fast," and that "the time is not ripe for the discussion of the origin of species." S. Herbert concludes: "In short, while natural selection can be looked upon as the efficient cause of the progress of evolutionary lines, their first beginnings must still be attributed to a still 'unknown factor in evolution.'"
61: "Darwin and Modern Science," pp. 99, 101.
62: "First Principles of Evolution," 1913, p. 224.
The neo-Darwinian who sees in the accumulation of minute chance variations a sufficient explanation of the origin of species, cannot be said to hold the field in such a way as to call for the unquestioning acceptance of his views by the lay public; far less need the more remote philosophical inferences sometimes drawn from his premises be accepted without challenge as the teaching of science. While the central mystery, in the opinion of leading biologists, remains unsolved in the biological field, evolution or natural selection should be used with caution as the solvent of all the problems of the universe. The masterkey should first unlock the doors nearer home.
II. THE MEANING OF EVOLUTION
The more philosophical discussion of the Meaning of Evolution includes in its scope the questions of mechanism and design and of preformation and epigenesis.
1. Is the doctrine of evolution a foe to design, or does evolution make more teleology than it destroys? Let us assume for the present the neo-Darwinian position, and ask whether design can be excluded, first from the organic world without man, and then from the organic world including man. The whole system of things so ordered that through the operation of the laws of variability, struggle for existence, inheritance, elimination and selection, there should be worked out the myriad forms of life in ever increasing complexity, calls more loudly for the postulate of intelligence than do the special contrivances and adaptations in nature when viewed from the standpoint of their separate origin. If Paley's watch calls for a watchmaker, a system or arrangement of nature which has been likened, not to a simple watch, but rather to a watch (or a sundial) which makes all other watches, and these watches of a constantly improved quality and increased complexity, cannot permanently be regarded in any other than a teleological light. If the whole process should prove to be mechanical, the evidence for design is seen even more strikingly in the complex machinery itself than in the product.
Huxley says that "there is a wider teleology which is not touched by the doctrine of evolution, but is actually based upon the fundamental proposition of evolution." When A. R. Wallace at first argued that many of the characteristic human qualities were not due to natural selection, because of no value in the struggle for existence, his view incurred the ridicule of his critics, who interpreted it to mean that "our brains are made by God and our lungs by natural selection." After forty years of reflection, Wallace now takes a broader view of the place of purpose in evolution, and says: "I now uphold the doctrine that not man alone, but the whole World of Life, in almost all its varied manifestations, leads us to the same conclusion--that to afford any rational explanation of its phenomena, we require to postulate the continuous action and guidance of higher intelligences; and further, that these have probably been working towards a single end, the development of intellectual, moral, and spiritual beings." A distinguished biologist has said that "to believe that all the countless myriads of centres of coöperation and coördination which have been required for this cosmos could have been originated and maintained by unintelligent force acting fortuitously makes an immensely greater strain upon faith than the alternative hypothesis."
63: "Darwiniana," p. 110.
64: "Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection," 1870.
65: "The World of Life," 1911, pp. 340 f.
66: A. Macalister, M. D., F. R. S., in _Expositor_, Vol. ix., 1910, p. 5.
The teleological argument has shown of late unusual vitality, and its renewed support has come, singularly enough, from the evolutionary quarter. Thus L. J. Henderson, inquiring into the biological significance of the properties of matter, concludes that "the process of cosmic (inorganic) evolution is indissolubly linked with the fundamental characteristics of the organism; that logically, in some obscure manner, cosmic and biological evolution are one." The biologist, he thinks, "may now rightly regard the universe in its very essence as biocentric." Wallace, in his "World of Life," draws the inference which Henderson suggests but, as a scientist, feels that he cannot adopt: "The remote but more fundamental cause [of the living world], which has been comparatively little attended to, is the existence of a special group of elements possessing such exceptional and altogether extraordinary properties as to render _possible_ the existence of vegetable and animal life-forms." These elements are like the fuel, iron and water in a steam-engine. "We may presume that the Mind which first caused these elements to exist, and built them up into such marvellous living, moving, self-supporting, and self-reproducing structures, must be many million times greater than those which conceived and executed the modern steam-engine."
67: "The Fitness of the Environment," 1913, pp. 278 f.
68: _Ibid._, p. 312.
69: "The World of Life," p. 416.
It does not appear, then, that biological evolution at all necessitates the acceptance of a mechanical view of the universe from which the action of purpose is excluded. Protests against such a view have, in fact, been coming of late from the scientific philosophers and the philosophical scientists. Bergson, a type of the former, insists that spontaneity, movement, indeterminateness are the differentia of life. Among the scientists, Ostwald thinks that an absolutely determined world is not the real world, but an ideal world; and Sir O. Lodge speaks of the theory that everything in the world is mechanically determined as a "modern superstition." How is the southward flight of the bird and its return in the spring to its own nest, or the journey of an eel thousands of miles up an inland river and its return thence to spawn in the deep waters of the ocean, to be explained as the result of purely mechanical causes? Driesch insists that the chemical-physical processes "do not constitute life, they are _used_ by life."
70: "Natural Philosophy," p. 50.
71: _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911, p. 704.
72: See J. A. Thomson, _ibid._, p. 116.
The mechanical interpretation of things, however useful for some purposes it may be, appears increasingly thin and ghostly as we advance into the realms of life, consciousness and freedom. It becomes a caricature of reality. It is not merely a colourless photograph as over against a portrait--everything reduced to black and white; but it is like an X-ray photograph of a living man, a mere skeleton without flesh and blood. Mechanism is independent of time, but time is, in a sense, of the essence of the organism. The mechanical movement can be reversed, while life processes are irreversible.
The life and career of a great scientist such as Pasteur, it has been said, is a more impressive evidence of design than any adduced by Paley and the Bridgwater treatises. Man has been called "Nature's rebel," and the endowments of man and his achievements in controlling nature and understanding nature are a disturbing element in any theory which would exclude the operation of intelligence from the course of evolution. Romanes tells us: "When I wrote the preceding treatise ["The Candid Examination"], I did not sufficiently appreciate the immense importance of _human_ nature, as distinguished from physical nature, in an inquiry touching Theism."
73: S. Paget: "Another Device," p. 101.
74: "Thoughts on Religion," p. 164.
The drama of evolution as unfolded by science inevitably suggests that in the fortunes and life of humanity is to be heard the _motif_ of nature's music, unless indeed all is chaos and discord. The diapason ends full in man, or rather begins in man and the history of his life upon the earth. It may still be believed--because of evolution avowedly, or in spite of evolution--that man is a happy or an unhappy accident, a sport, a monstrosity, the miscarriage of an ape, a _faux pas_ of nature, the strangest event in a purposeless series; or man may be regarded, with much to support such an interpretation, as the intended goal of evolution, giving significance, rationality and purpose to the whole history. However slow and gradual the steps by which man has been produced, and however mechanical in one aspect the process, it may be insisted that a mechanism so perfect as to produce the varied forms of organic life, culminating in man, with his mental and moral endowments, is as strong evidence as could be produced of purpose as the ultimate and only explanation of the mechanism.
Certainly the difficulty of evolving the fit from the fortuitous becomes accentuated when man is included within the series. Man, a purposive and moral being, sees in himself and the structure of his mind and the experience of his life the crowning evidence of the action of purpose. If the cause must be adequate to produce the effect, man cannot regard himself as the product of an accidental or mechanical process from whose inception and operation the action of intelligence is excluded. In a word, a purposive being cannot have been the result of a purposeless process.
It is significant that those who have interpreted evolution to the masses have quite uniformly done so in terms of progress. But progress is a teleological conception. In a world where atoms shift unceasingly, but without the guidance of intelligence or will, there may be change but there will be no progress; for one arrangement of atoms will be as high in the scale of values as another. Evolutionists who, as evolutionists, are inspired with an ideal of human progress must in some sense be finalists. If the history of the world and of man presents any real progress, it can only be because it is in so far an expression of purpose.
2. It is an example of what Cardinal Newman called the development of doctrine that the theory of Evolution has come to mean, in popular regard, quite the opposite of what it meant etymologically or in the mind of its early advocates. Evolution means the unfolding of what was enfolded, either in primordial living germs or, to go still further back, in the primitive star-dust. Whatever is in the product must be read back into the elements from which it emerged, and a complete knowledge of these elements and their properties would thus disclose potencies for the production, under suitable conditions, of the completed development.
A glance, almost at random, at current literature in which the conception of evolution is employed in philosophical and theological discussion, shows that the theory has suffered a sea-change. It has now come to mean, to many who use it freely, not the unfolding of the implicit, but the production or appearance of something essentially new, a creative synthesis or epigenesis. Bergson, James Ward, Baron von Hügel and Loisy are among those who use the term in this sense. Thus the last named writer says: "That which constitutes man as a human being is that which he possesses more than the beasts, and not that which he possesses in common with them. From the fact that humanity proceeds from animality, it does not follow that it is explained and defined altogether by animality, otherwise evolution must be denied."
75: "Histoire des Religions," 1911, pp. 61 f.
This modification of meaning is important when the doctrine of evolution is extended downward into the inorganic sphere. Since species are derived from one another, it used to be argued, life must be derived from the lifeless; and it is obvious that if this process is pursued it will lead to an infinite regress. We go back from the civilized to the savage, from the conscious to the unconscious, from the organic to the inorganic, till finally the evolution of the atom becomes the problem of problems. We go back in an infinite regress, approaching the ideal limit: In the beginning, nothing. The goal would seem to be the evolution of primitive matter out of nothing, as Alfred Noyes has suggested in his poem, "The Origin of Life":
In the beginning?--Slowly grope we back Along the narrowing track, Back to the deserts of the world's pale prime, The mire, the clay, the slime; And then ... what then? Surely to something less; Back, back, to Nothingness!
* * * * *
Will you have courage, then, to bow the head, And say, when all is said-- "Out of this Nothingness arose our thought! This blank abysmal Nought Woke, and brought forth that lighted city street, Those towers, that armoured fleet"?
* * * * *
Will you have courage, then, to front that law (From which your sophists draw Their only right to flout one human creed) That nothing can proceed-- Not even thought, not even love--from less Than its own nothingness? The law is yours! But dare you waive your pride, And kneel where you denied? The law is yours! Dare you rekindle, then, One faith for faithless men, And say you found, on that dark road you trod, In the beginning--God?
The principle of continuity urges the evolutionist to extend his theory downward into the inorganic world and upward into the sphere of the moral and the spiritual. At the crucial points of the origin of life and of the human race, the advocate of preformation has greater difficulty than the supporter of epigenesis or creative evolution, which is a sort of _rapprochement_ between evolutionism and creationism. Let us see how the case stands at present as regards the origin of life and the origin of man.
Life may be generated any day in the laboratory, but as yet this has not been done. In fact so great are the difficulties that Arrhenius thinks that there was no beginning of life, life being eternal and persisting, in spite of acknowledged scientific difficulties in the conception, amid the vicissitudes of cosmic changes and flights through interstellar space. Weismann does not think that a living germ could be conveyed in the crevices of meteorites to our planet, because "it could neither endure the excessive cold nor the absolute desiccation to which it would be exposed in cosmic space, which contains absolutely no water. This could not be endured even for a few days, much less for immeasurable periods of time."
76: Jacques Loeb says that "whoever claims to have succeeded in making living matter from inanimate will have to prove that he has succeeded in producing nuclein material which acts as a ferment for its own synthesis and thus reproduces itself. Nobody has thus far succeeded in this, although nothing warrants us in taking it for granted that this task is beyond the power of science."--"Darwin and Modern Science," p. 270.
77: "Worlds in the Making," 1908, Chapter VIII.
78: "The Evolution Theory," II, p. 365.
Lord Kelvin will not go as far as Arrhenius, but believes that a meteorite brought the first living germs to this planet. K. Pearson thinks that under favourable conditions in the remote past life arose, but arose only once, out of the non-living. The bridge was so slender that it was crossed but once under imaginary conditions not controllable by experiment; and as a unique event even in imaginary history it cannot be said to be subject to any general law. It is questionable, in fact, whether in scientific merit the hypothesis is superior to that of special creation.
79: "Grammar of Science," one volume edition, pp. 410 ff.
Dr. Schäfer sees this and points it out very clearly in his Presidential Address. A scientific account of the origin of life must refer it to causes operating to-day; so, instead of Arrhenius' eternity of life, or of Pearson's spontaneous production of life but once under inaccessible conditions, or Lord Kelvin's meteoric conveyance of life, he believes that life is constantly being produced, and has always been produced, from certain colloidal substances which he describes. But what has become of all this life, constantly generated? He admits there is trace of only one paleontological series. While assuming that it is the nature of life to evolve, he admits that there is no evidence accessible to the senses or discerned as yet by the most delicate instruments for the existence of these countless beginnings of life. The real question then concerns not this kind of life, which eye hath not seen, but the origin of the life which we know, and whose marvellous development evolution traces. Ostwald thinks that "it is undecided whether originally there were one or several forms from which the present forms sprang, nor is it known how life first made its appearance on earth. So long as the various assumptions with regard to this question have not led to decisive, actually demonstrable differences in the results, a discussion of it is fruitless, and therefore unscientific."
80: _Science_, September 6, 1912, pp. 294 ff.
81: "Natural Philosophy," p. 175.
A comparison has often been drawn between the birth of the individual and that of the race. Theologians have discussed the question whether the child in his spiritual nature is to be referred to a special act of creative power, or whether all of his endowments are derived from his parents.
To the poet the birth of the child suggests the presence of forces other than those of the seen and temporal. The new life is "out of the deep, from the true world, within the world we see." Its roots are in another dimension of being than that of nature or the world of time and sense. In moments of insight, "though inland far we be, our souls have sight of that immortal sea which brought us hither."
Again to the philosopher there is in the individual something indescribable, unique, not to be compressed within the compass of any general law, something in each individual which his ancestry or antecedents will not explain nor his environment produce.
82: See Royce: "The World and the Individual," II, p. 325.
Says a distinguished professor of biology: "Familiarity with development does not remove the real mystery which lies back of it. The development of a human being, of a personality, from a germ cell seems to me the climax of all wonders, greater even than that involved in the evolution of a species or the making of a world." He remarks that "if personality is determined by heredity alone, all teaching, preaching, government, is useless." The only hope for the race, he says, is in eugenics--always supposing that enough freedom is left to carry out its program.
83: E. G. Conklin: "Heredity and Responsibility," in _Science_, January 10, 1913.
If the birth of the individual and the full story of his origin is thus enveloped in mystery for theologian, poet, philosopher and even scientist, it is not to be expected that the problem of the origin of the human race can be solved by a neat formula. Here the mystery of the birth of the individual from parents of the same species is intensified many fold. Here the problems of mind and body, of their genetic and metaphysical relations to each other, and of the ultimate relation of the spirit world to each, press for solution before there can be any full and final answer to the question of the origin of man. Is it any wonder that the single occurrence upon which was based the birth of all future generations which have peopled the earth should be thought to involve more than can be included in any scientific hypothesis?
84: "No other animal types," says Wallace, "make the slightest approach to any of these high faculties [such as are seen in man] or show any indication of the possibility of their development. In very many directions they have reached a limit of organic perfection beyond which there is no apparent scope for further advancement. Such perfect types we see in the dog, the horse, the cat-tribe, the deer and the antelopes, the elephants, the beaver and the greater apes; while many others have become extinct because they were so highly specialized as to be incapable of adaptation to new conditions. All these are probably about equal in their mental faculties, and there is no indication that any of them are or have been progressing towards man's elevation, or that such progression, either physically or mentally, is possible."--"Man's Place in the Universe," 3d (popular) ed., pp. 328, 329.
When we seek to interpret these critical points in the history of the world, such as the origin of life and of man, two roads are open before us. We may emphasize, with the advocates of preformation, the principle of continuity alone; and, explaining the higher by the lower, we may go back as Mr. Noyes would carry us, back on the dwindling track, explaining civilization by savagery, the non-moral by the moral, the conscious by the unconscious, the living by the non-living. In this process, it has been often pointed out, there lurks a sort of _generatio æquivoca_; primitive star-dust is endowed with the attributes of life, of consciousness, and even of purpose and morality. Thus J. A. Thomson says that "if we see any good reason for believing in the erstwhile origin of the living from the not-living, we give a greater continuity to the course of events, and we must again read something into the common denominator of science--Matter, Energy, and the Ether. We have already read into this Wonder and Mystery, Harmony and Order, and we must now read into it--Progress and, from a philosophical standpoint, Purpose."
85: "The Bible of Nature," pp. 131, 132.
The objection will be made that to regard the primitive atoms or cells as practically self-preserving, self-repairing and self-improving, the fountain of all life, of all consciousness and morality and civilization, is to endow these entities with attributes that are manifestly inappropriate.
Seeing the difficulties of a theory of evolution based upon the principle of continuity alone, we may emphasize, with many popular interpreters, not so much this principle of continuity, as that of progress. Evolution would then mean not a mere shifting of the elements, a redistribution of matter and motion, but a creative synthesis, an epigenesis. It will then mean, not "There is nothing new under the sun," but rather, "What next?" The descent of man will no longer suggest the inference that as the progeny of the brute man must share his destiny, but rather the thought that "it doth not yet appear what we shall be."
But how to explain the new element which has arisen, not out of, but alongside of, the others? We would not be content to say, "Now the inorganic elements incapable of producing life; and now, presto! living matter;" for this after all would be a break in continuity not explained, and would lead once more to a sort of creation _ex nihilo_. The necessities of the case seem to call for some new conception which shall unite the two great principles of continuity and progress.
III. THEISM AND EVOLUTION
We have reached the point where it can be seen that evolution, when elevated from a biological hypothesis into a theory of the universe, is in need of the theistic postulate in order to make it workable. Theism, in fact, offers a twofold advantage to the evolution theory. It satisfies the causal demand, and it furnishes the means of combining the two ideas of continuity and progress which have impressed themselves so deeply upon the mind of our generation.
In the first place it satisfies the causal demand. If evolution is but the unfolding of the implicit, as the preformation view would have it, an explanation is naturally sought for the marvellous properties of the original star-dust, or mind-stuff, or the primordial living germ. The more mechanical the interpretation of the course of things becomes, the more insistent, again, will be the questions, Who made the mechanism? Who drives the mechanism? Even from the standpoint of epigenesis, the appearance of an entirely new element, which by hypothesis is not merely implicit in the previous state of things, must be referred to some adequate cause or ground. Evolution, in any of its forms, is the name of a method rather than of a cause; and "logic compels the evolutionist to assume a force that was not evolved, but which existed before evolution began."
86: F. H. Headley, "Problems of Evolution," p. 155.
If we interpret the power behind evolution in a theistic sense, and believe that God is immanent in nature and in the life of man, we are not absolved from the task of tracing as far as possible the natural history of life and mind, but we may view that history from a standpoint from which both origin and progressive development become intelligible. No scientific hypothesis is able in itself to carry us all the way from "concentrating nebulæ to the thoughts of poets." A theory of the universe which shall do justice to the conceptions both of continuity and progress can best be framed with the aid of the category of purpose.
The continuity is preserved in the unity of the developing plan, no stage of which is sudden or abrupt, but is related "filially" to the stage and the stages which preceded. The relation between two stages is not like that between the two members of an equation, a relation of exact equivalence between the evolved and the involved. There is a really new element in the later stage if there is a real progress. But the new factor comes not in dramatic or spectacular fashion; it comes without observation, and comes not to destroy but to fulfill.
If the evolution theory is to cover the whole history of the world and of man, it must be hospitable to the ideas both of continuity and progress. An interpretation of evolution so framed would be opposed, indeed, to the conception of a Creator touching the world only with His finger-tips, and exhausting His creative power in its initial exercise. It would be opposed to materialistic monism, as well as to an idealistic or pantheistic monism which would reduce the evolutionary and historic process to mere appearance. Evolution in its theistic construction sees in the lower orders of existence and in the earlier stages of life the promise, but not the potency, of the higher. It assumes the existence of a power immanent in the universe and adequate to account for the appearance of new forces. It can interpret alike the continuity of the evolutionary process, and the appearance once for all in the irreversible moments of progress of new forms and forces of life. It admits the possibility of the appearance of new spiritual forces in the course of history, and opens a vista of illimitable progress.
No one was more certain than Huxley, when speaking of the relation of man to the lower animals, that "whether _from_ them or not, he is assuredly not _of_ them." Man's peculiar endowments, his sense of law and beauty, his spiritual capacities and aspirations, all of these, if laws of analogy and causation are to hold, point to a different dimension of being from that of nature below him. If "man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin," he bears in the framework of his mind and moral nature the indelible stamp of his spiritual origin. His spiritual endowments can find their explanation only in a spiritual world. They have arisen, not from the lair of the wild beast, but rather from the bosom of God. No ascertained fact of science, nor any legitimate or necessary inference from any such fact, forbids the affirmation of faith, "It is He that hath made us," and "we are His people."
87: "Man's Place in Nature," p. 87.
88: "Descent of Man," p. 619.
With each advance of science the thoughts of men are disturbed. The discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo seemed to destroy the foundations of the Christian, or even the theistic, view of the world; but the astronomer to-day can see anew God's glory in the heavens and more impressive evidence of His greatness and majesty. When Newton's laws of motion displaced the idea that the planets were conveyed about their orbits by angelic beings, it was feared that atheism was the logical inference. But Newton himself remained a devout theist, and even Voltaire, his admirer, was ready
"To follow Newton in that boundless road, Where nature's lost, and ev'rything but God."
So when evolution, through the genius of Darwin, came into popular discussion and acceptance, it was feared that chance had been enthroned in the universe, and that religion was destined to extinction. But in the progress of the evolution theory, as its advocates have split into various camps, the sense of the mystery in the origins and laws of the organic world has deepened, and many can see in nature the evidence of a diviner wisdom than before.
Dr. Schäfer in his presidential address before the British Association, in 1912, spoke in one sense of the continuity of life, giving to it what seemed like a mechanical or materialistic interpretation. The following presidential address, by Sir Oliver Lodge, spoke of the continuity of life in another sense, a continuation of life after death; and argued that mechanism is inadequate to explain the facts of life, and asserted that "genuine religion has its roots deep down in the heart of humanity, and in the reality of things." At each stage of advance in science, says a recent writer, "this joyful overestimate of the possibilities of mechanism becomes a marked feature of contemporary thought. As each piece of knowledge becomes assimilated, it is seen that the old problems are in their essence unaltered; the poet, the seer and the mystic again come to their own, and, in new language, and from a higher ground of vantage, proclaim their message to mankind."
89: "Science and the Human Mind," by W. C. D. Whetham and C. D. Whetham, 1912, pp. 218, 219.
The horizons of mystery are not at the confines of telescopic vision, or at the far boundaries of the material universe, but are in the objects which are most familiar, in the meanest flower that blows, in the minutest seed and in the smallest atom. As the poet finds in the flower thoughts too deep for tears, so the scientist sees in it problems too vast and far-reaching for human comprehension. He can see in the very atom minute solar systems, and in electricity a mystery lying at the very heart of material things.
It is the paradox of science that the more the world is understood, the deeper does the mystery of its existence become. With the enlarging boundaries of knowledge there is a growing appreciation of mysteries perhaps insoluble which lie beyond. Science, in fact, only deals with the connections of things, and the processes by which they came to be what they are, but not with the ultimate origins and the final ends. The deeper study of nature will lead men, we may believe, in the future as it has done in the past, to the reverent attitude of a Kepler, a Newton, a Clerk-Maxwell, and a Lord Kelvin. They will see in the bird's feather and the butterfly's wing, in the constitution of the cell and the atom, in the stellar universe and the mind of man, evidences of creative Power and Purpose; and, turning from the study of nature, will exclaim, "How wonderful are Thy works; in wisdom hast Thou made them all!"
The Christian Faith and Psychology
The Psychology of Religion as a branch of scientific study was "made in America," and is not yet twenty years old. Its virtual founder and popularizer was William James, who furnished the introduction to Starbuck's "Psychology of Religion" (1900) and published his "Varieties of Religious Experience," the quarry in which all subsequent writers have mined, in 1903. An earlier American philosopher, Jonathan Edwards, gained the right to be called the precursor of the science by his treatise on the Religious Emotions. Of Edwards, named with Emerson and James as one of three representative American philosophers, Royce has said that "he actually rediscovered some of the world's profoundest ideas regarding God and humanity simply by reading for himself the meaning of his own religious experiences."
90 "William James and Other Essays," p. 4.
The way for a scientific study of religious experience had been prepared by the development of modern psychology and by the growing popular interest in religious phenomena. We recall the wide-spread interest in Drummond's "Natural Law in the Spiritual World," dealing with personal religion, and in Kidd's "Social Evolution," which dealt with the place of religion on the broader field of human progress. The popularity of monographs on mysticism, such as those by W. R. Inge and Miss A. Underhill, and of lives of the saints, such as Paul Sabatier's "Life of Francis of Assisi" and McCabe's "Life of Augustine," showed by the personality of their authors and the wide circle of their readers that religious experiences, especially if they be profound and unusual, are matters of deep human interest even to those not closely connected with the churches. The saints have been taken from the church historians, and made to live before us as men of like passions with ourselves. For many months recently a religious novel, "The Inside of the Cup," held its place as the "best seller."
Since the pioneer work of Starbuck, Coe and James, the literature of the subject, largely by American writers, has grown apace. Established in the college course, the psychology of religion has threatened to disturb vested rights even in the theological schools. Conversion and sanctification, once regarded as themes for the theological cloister, the revival service or the closet of devotion, have become familiar topics of the text-books and commonplaces of the lecture room.
91: "The Spiritual Life," 1900.
Will this study of religion from the psychological standpoint prove to be an ally to the Christian Faith, or will it put new weapons into the hands of its enemies? It may be too early for a positive answer, but the advertising value of the new movement cannot be denied, and several specific entries at least may be made on the credit side of the ledger. The materials for religious psychology have been drawn mainly from Christian biography and Christian experience. Impressive stories of conversion, gathered from the ages of Christendom and from the work of city and foreign missions, have strengthened the argument from Christian experience. Taken from religious biographies and devotional books and missionary annals and modern questionnaires, the testimony of the saints of all ages has been marshalled as they have told what the Lord has done for their souls. The very fact that it has been worth while to write psychologies of religion is in itself significant. "Christianity," says Eucken, "has been the first to give the soul a history; in comparison with the interest of the soul, it has reduced all events in the outer world to mere incidentals, according to the words of Jesus: 'What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.'"
92: "Können wir noch Christen sein?" 1911, p. 10; "Can We Still Be Christians?" p. 9.
Separating as far as possible the descriptive from the metaphysical aspects of our subject, we may consider I. The Psychology of Religious Experience; and II. The Metaphysical Implicates of Religious Experience. Under the first head we shall find that the study of religious experience has been favourable to the Christian Faith in at least four respects.
I. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
I. The scientific study of religion shows that religion belongs to the essence rather than the accidents of human nature. Man is the praying, the believing, and the hoping-to-survive animal. It is not the office of psychology to prove the existence of God, but it may show that belief in His existence is natural to man, and is favoured by natural selection. It may show that religious experiences have, in the words of James, "enormous biological worth," and that, to quote again the same writer, "the strenuous type of character will on the battle-field of human history always outwear the easy-going type, and religion will drive irreligion to the wall."
93: "Varieties of Religious Experience," p. 509.
94: "The Will to Believe," p. 213.
One evidence of the normality of religious faith is the vacuum or sense of loss which continues to be felt in the life of those who have lost it. If we need God, as Augustine says, in order that the soul may live, it is natural that there should be a feeling of spiritual starvation without God. The two classical instances of this "aching void the world can never fill" are those of two well-known scientists, one writing in the eclipse, apparently permanent, of his faith, and the other after its restoration. Says W. K. Clifford: "Whether or no it be reasonable and satisfying to the conscience, it cannot be doubted that theistic belief is a comfort and a solace to those who hold it, and that the loss of it is a very painful loss.... We have seen the spring sun shine out of an empty heaven, to light up a soulless earth; we have felt with utter loneliness that the Great Companion is dead. Our children, it may be hoped, will know that sorrow only by the reflex light of a wondering compassion." It is a sad consolation that children will be spared the loss, because they have not known the joy, of religious faith.
95: "Lectures and Essays," 2d ed., p. 389.
Romanes, during the eclipse of his faith, found that success, intellectual distraction, reputation and artistic pleasure were "all taken together and well sweetened to taste ... but as high confectionery to a starving man." He adds: "I take it then as unquestionably true that this whole negative side of the subject proves a vacuum in the soul of man which nothing can fill save faith in God." Such modern instances show the normality of religion, and are an impressive commentary upon the words of the Psalmist, "My soul is athirst for God," and upon those of Augustine, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee."
96: "Thoughts on Religion," 2d ed., pp. 161, 162.
The normality of religion is further shown in the instinctive turning of the soul to God, or to some higher power, in times of crisis and danger. The religious consciousness is best interrogated, not in times of mechanical routine or worldly preoccupation, but in those moments when we seem to ourselves to be most religious, in moments of clearest insight, or of deepest emotion, or of some crisis in action. The story of one of the survivors of the _Titanic_ disaster is in point:
"The second thing that stands out prominently in the emotions produced by the disaster is that in moments of urgent need men and women turn for help to something entirely outside themselves.... To those men standing on the top deck with the boats all lowered, and still more when the boats had all left, there came the realization that human resources were exhausted and human avenues of escape closed. With it came the appeal to whatever consciousness each had of a Power that had created the universe. After all, some Power had made the brilliant stars above ... had made each one of the passengers with ability to think and act, with the best proof, after all, of being created--knowledge of their own existence; and now, if at any time, was the time to appeal to that Power. When the boats had left and it was seen the ship was going down rapidly, men stood in groups on the deck engaged in prayer, and later, as some of them lay on the overturned collapsible boat, they repeated together over and over again the Lord's Prayer.... And this was not because it was a habit.... It must have been because each one ... saw laid bare his utter dependence on something that had made him and given him power to think.... Men do practical things in times like that: they would not waste a moment on mere words if those words were not an expression of the most intensely real conviction of which they were capable. Again, like the feeling of heroism, this appeal is innate and intuitive, and it certainly has its foundation on a knowledge--largely concealed, no doubt--of immortality. I think this must be obvious: there could be no other explanation of such a general sinking of all the emotions of the human mind expressed in a thousand different ways by a thousand different people in favour of this single appeal."
97: "The Loss of the _SS. Titanic_: Its Story and Its Lessons," by Lawrence Beasley, B. A. (Cantab.), Scholar of Gonville and Caius College, one of the survivors. Boston, 1912.
The instinctive place and biological value of religion in human life, the restlessness and hunger of the soul without religion, show that it is not an excrescence upon human nature. The exclamation of a recent writer seems justified: "The age of scientific materialism is past.... The religious instinct has been adjudged normal."
98: J. B. Carter: "The Religious Life of Ancient Rome," p. 95.
2. The study of religious experience has shown the power of religion (and certainly for the most part its power for good) in the life of the individual and of society. The psychologists have thrust upon our attention with unmistakable emphasis the _fact_ of conversion, however they may theorize about the fact. The recorded experiences of saints, reformers and missionaries, the testimony collected by the questionnaires and the cases of conversion described in such books as Begbie's "Twice-Born Men" have shown beyond a peradventure that men _can_ be born again. It only remains for the church to say, "Ye _must_ be born again."
The records show that men who are the slaves of appetite and vice, too degraded to be reached by appeals to pride or to prudence, can by the gospel be restored to hope and self-respect and to lives of singular usefulness. As Begbie says: "There is no medicine, no Act of Parliament, no moral treatise, and no invention of philanthropy, which can transform a man radically bad into a man radically good.... Science despairs of these people, pronounces them 'hopeless' and 'incurable.' Politicians find themselves at the end of their resources. Philanthropy begins to wonder whether its charity could not be turned into a more fertile channel. The law speaks of 'criminal classes.' It is only religion that is not in despair about this mass of profitless evil dragging at the heels of progress--the religion which still believes in miracle."
99: "Twice-Born Men," 1909, pp. 18f.
The psychologists have emphasized not only the facts of conversion but the variety in its mode. It has been pointed out that "conversion for males is a more violent incident than for females, and more sudden." Uhlhorn has observed that it is characteristic of a period of conflict "that sudden conversions are more frequent then than at other times, that the marvel inherent in every conversion becomes more evident, and, so to speak, more palpable." A child brought up under strong religious influences will not have the intense struggles which are natural when a hardened criminal or a scoffing unbeliever is converted. Count Zinzendorf raised serious misgivings in the minds of the Moravians when he insisted that he "could not tell the day when he first decided for Christ, and had no knowledge of a time when he did not love Him." The mother of Edmund Gosse, a woman singularly devoted in her labours by tongue and pen to the cause of evangelical religion, wrote in her thirtieth year: "I cannot recollect the time I did not love religion. If I must date my conversion from my first wish and trial to be holy, I may go back to infancy; if I am to postpone it till after my last willful sin, it is scarcely yet begun."
100: Starbuck: "Psychology of Religion," p. 95.
101: "Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism," p. 168.
102: See Stevens: "Psychology of the Christian Soul," pp. 159, 160.
103: "Father and Son," by Edmund Gosse, 1907, p. 3.
It would be equally one-sided to insist that all conversions must be of the sudden or cataclysmic type, and to ignore the tremendous significance of some sudden and dramatic experiences of conversion. Paul and Augustine are cases in point, and it will scarcely do to dismiss them with the remark that "Paul was probably a neurotic, and that Augustine was a sensualist with a highly developed nervous temperament." The true nature of conversion may best be seen, as James suggests, in those experiences which are exaggerated and intense.
104: Ames: "The Psychology of Religious Experience," p. 265.
105: "Varieties," p. 45.
Conversions of the sudden and dramatic type have, as a matter of fact, exerted the most far-reaching influence in history. The secular historian is apt nowadays to magnify the influence of Paul upon the life of Europe, but the church historian must add that Paul, as apostle or theologian or missionary, cannot be understood apart from the experience at Damascus. Augustine's conversion inspired his thought and determined his theology. Of Luther, whose conversion may not have been of quite so dramatic a type, a recent writer says: "Indeed, the Reformation in Germany was the spiritual biography of Luther writ large, a spiritual experience materialized in institutions and intellectualized in confessions."
106: H. H. Walker: _Harvard Theological Review_, April, 1913, p. 179.
The psychologists unite with the historians in describing the broad objective effects of religion upon the field of history. Christianity in its Pauline form presented, in the West, a successful obstacle to the flood of Eastern thought and culture. When the structure of the Roman Empire was crumbling, it was Christianity in its Roman organization that resisted the disintegrating influences of the barbarian invasion. It was Christianity in its Calvinistic form that became "the seed-plot of modern democracy." "No student of American history," says a writer on the psychology of religion, "can fail to recognize the immense value of religion as a factor in our national development, keeping us in some measure true to the ideals of our fathers.... The fact that our moral conceptions have at all stood the strain of this rapid material development, and that political and social corruption and decay in America to-day are not hopeless and irremediable as they were in Rome during the last century of the Republic, is due, I believe, chiefly to the vitality of religion among us as a factor effectively conservative of our socially recognized values."
107: W. K. Wright: "A Psychological Definition of Religion," _American Journal of Theology_, July, 1912, p. 406.
3. At a time when the sense of sin is declining, it is interesting to find the psychologists pressing upon our attention the facts of the disorder, the wrongness, the uneasiness, or frankly the need of salvation, of human kind. It would be out of place for the psychologist, as such, to dogmatize upon the subject of original sin, but in his analysis of human nature he cannot overlook the fact of moral discord, a fact often politely ignored in the text-books on ethics. Thus when James speaks unreservedly and autobiographically, he confesses that "we all need mercy." The morally athletic attitude tends to break down at last even in the most stalwart; and, in the condition of moral helplessness, "all our morality appears as a plaster hiding a sore it can never cure, and all our well-doing as the hollowest substitute for that well-being that our lives ought to be grounded in, but alas! are not." The essential fact of religion, for Royce, is man's quest for salvation; and the central and essential postulate which he considers in his recent lectures, "is the postulate that man needs to be saved."
108: "Varieties," p. 47.
109: "Sources of Religious Insight," 1912, pp. 8 f.
A distinction is sometimes drawn between a "once-born" and a "twice-born" type of religious experience, but the distinction is not absolute. We have already noticed that those who can trace no abrupt change in their experience, nor tell the day or even the year of their conversion, may be zealous in evangelistic labour, and emphatic in their insistence upon the need of regeneration. A well-known example of the once-born type of religion is the late Edward Everett Hale, whose words are often quoted: "I observe, with profound regret, the religious struggles which come into many biographies, as if almost essential to the formation of a hero. I ought to speak of these, to say that any man has an advantage, not to be estimated, who is born, as I was, into a family where the religion is simple and rational; etc." And yet Dr. Hale's son, brought up in such an atmosphere, has himself described in the public press an experience under revival preaching which belongs to the "twice-born" type.
110: Quoted in Starbuck, pp. 305 f.
111: See _The Literary Digest_, February 10, 1906, p. 210.
The secrets of every heart are not revealed to the psychologist, and we should not expect of him the deepest insight into the sinfulness of sin; but in emphasizing man's sense of need, of incompleteness, of restlessness and of disharmony, psychology has done much to confirm, if it cannot of itself affirm, the Scriptural statement that "all have sinned."
4. Is man saved by faith or by works, by faith or by character? As between the evangelical and the legal schemes of salvation, the answer of religious psychology is emphatically in favour of the former. Psychologists of all schools unite in insisting that those who pass from restlessness and impotence to peace and fullness of life do so in wonderful accord with the Scriptural method of salvation by faith. The witnesses may be called, even though to a tedious degree one witness only confirms the testimony of another.
We are advised by Jastrow that it is "necessary for the life that we live that we should frequently permit the focus of our concerns and of our struggles to fade away, and allow the surgings from below to assert themselves." James remarks that "there is a state of mind known to religious men, but to no others, in which the will to assert ourselves and hold our own has been displaced by a willingness to close our mouths and be as nothing in the floods and waterspouts of God.... The time for tension in our souls is over, and that of happy relaxation, of calm deep breathing, of an eternal present, with no discordant future to be anxious about, has arrived."
112: "The Subconscious," 1906, p. 543.
113: "Varieties," p. 47.
Starbuck emphasizes the surrender of the will in conversion even when the will has been consciously exercised. "We are confronted with the paradox ... that in the same persons who strive towards the higher life, self-surrender is often necessary before the sense of assurance comes. The personal will must be given up. In many cases relief persistently refuses to come until the person ceases to resist, or to make an effort in the direction he desires to go." He adds that "faith is the next step after self-surrender, or even the accompaniment of it.... Then faith comes in, which means that the soul is in a receptive attitude.... One throws oneself completely on the world-will, so that one may become a 'receiver of its truth and an organ of its activity.'"
114: "Psychology of Religion," pp. 113, 114.
115: _Ibid._, p. 117.
Royce remarks that our religious need is supreme, and "is accompanied with the perfectly well-warranted assurance that we cannot attain the goal unless we can get into some sort of communion with a real life infinitely richer than our own.... The religious ideal grows out of the vision of a spiritual freedom and peace which are not naturally ours." "The little will of the conscious and limited individual," says J. B. Pratt, "must simply give up before the deeper will of the larger personality, stretching out from the conscious centre no one knows how far, can take control."
116: "Sources of Religious Insight," pp. 53, 54.
117: "Psychology of Religious Belief," 1907, p. 161.
It is clear that the evangelical scheme of salvation, "Heaven's easy, artless, unencumber'd plan," has found strong and unexpected support from the modern study of religious experience. The impressive testimonies above, if translated into Pauline language, mean that salvation is by faith and not by works of the law. The examples from which the generalizations are made are taken mostly from orthodox circles, but even those who are but loosely attached to Christianity in its usual forms are saved in the same way. Thus James says of the mind-curers that "they have demonstrated that a form of regeneration by relaxing, by letting go, psychologically indistinguishable from the Lutheran justification by faith and the Wesleyan acceptance of free grace, is within the reach of persons who have no conviction of sin and care nothing for the Lutheran theology." The theologian might contend that Christianity is a sort of "sleeping partner" in these schemes, and that they contain the mustard seed of faith sufficient to save; but, however this may be, the fact remains that the mind-cure schemes teach a form of salvation by faith, not by works.
118: "Varieties," p. 111.
The strain of attention and constant anxiety, involved in the effort to keep the law and save oneself, leads to exhaustion and despair. The struggle is hopeless, the psychologist would say, because the nervous centres become exhausted. Man cannot, however zealous for the law, by conscious activity and moral struggle attain inward peace. Salvation by works is psychologically as well as theologically impossible.
II. METAPHYSICAL IMPLICATES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
The students of religious experience are to a remarkable degree in agreement with one another and with the teachings of evangelical Christianity in their view of the place and power of religion in human life, and of the need of salvation and the way of salvation. Disagreements arise when they seek no longer to describe religious experience but to interpret that experience. Our authorities, in technical language, agree very largely when they study the phenomenology of religion, but differ widely as to its metaphysical implicates.
It may properly be asked whether the psychology of religion, while dealing with the deep things of man, is competent to reveal the deep things of God. Should the psychologist venture to draw any inferences in the metaphysical sphere? Strictly speaking he is studying only subjective phenomena, and the self-imposed limitations of his subject should forbid him from launching into metaphysical speculation. If he cannot, as a psychologist, call his soul his own, much less can he infer that God exists or that Christianity is true. He must remain, perforce, in the outer courts of the temple, and cannot enter the inner shrine.
As a matter of fact no writer on the psychology of religious experience really confines himself within strictly empirical limits. Metaphysical inferences are in fact drawn, or very plainly suggested, and the important question becomes what inferences of this nature, whether positive or negative, are proper and legitimate. Religious experience is at any rate not self-explanatory, but points to something beyond itself, whether that something be merely a disordered nervous system, or a natural impulse such as that of sex, or a department of consciousness outside of the normal, or a Great Beyond, whether conceived as Humanity or as the living God. We may consider then, (1) the physical explanation of religion, including the sexual; (2) the psychological explanation; (3) the social explanation; and (4) the theological explanation.
1. Lowest in the scale is the view of religion which regards it as the result of abnormal physical or psychophysical conditions. This theory is the expression of a robust secularism, which can quote the proverb, "When the devil was sick, the devil a monk would be," and would prescribe a dose of physic (as his friends did for George Fox) for those in distress on account of their sins. "For the modern materialist, as for the ancient Manichee, sin is a question of physiology; moral depravity only a manifestation of corporeal disorder." Religion and crime, in this view, both depart from the line of normal existence, and are pathological phenomena. But if religion is a disease, it afflicts men in all sorts of physical and mental states, and is practically a universal disease, taking the world at large.
119: Robert Law: "The Tests of Life," p. 131.
Akin to this pathological explanation of religion is that which sees in it either a natural expression, or else a perversion, of the sexual instinct. "In a certain sense the religious life is an irradiation of the reproductive instinct," says Starbuck; and G. S. Hall says that "in its most fundamental aspect, conversion is a natural, normal, universal, and necessary process at the stage when life pivots over from an autocentric to a heterocentric basis." This view is popular with those who would give a naturalistic account of the religious life, especially of conversion.
120: "Psychology of Religion," p. 401.
121: "Adolescence," Vol. II, p. 301.
In assuming a close connection between human and divine love, the mystics and the materialists join hands. With both the sexual is transmuted into the spiritual. Plato made the transition in his "Phædrus," comparing divine with human love and even with the latter in a degraded form. The sexual passion and the passion for purity both alike stir human nature to its depths, and the love of God and the love of woman are somehow akin. Religion in all ages has made free use of the imagery of love and marriage. The close connection has been emphasized by the statistics which show that the period between twelve and twenty years is preëminently the age of conversion.
On the other hand, the relations between the sexual and the religious life are so various that it does not seem possible to place them in the simple relation of cause and effect. In ancient religions there were examples of phallic worship and the mutilation of priests, of temple prostitutes and vestal virgins. Polygamy and celibacy have both alike been enjoined in the name of religion. The imagery of the bride and the bridegroom has been freely used by the mystics, but it is employed as well by those who are thought to oppose religion. It is true that in Christian circles the curve of conversion rises suddenly and is at its height during the adolescent period; but again the facts are not so clear as to warrant the inference that conversion is an effect of the development of the sexual life. The adolescent period is the time also of the awakening of the intellectual and æsthetic faculties, of the feeling of responsibility and the stirring of ambition. Unless all of these are irradiations of the sexual impulse, it cannot be said that the religious awakening, coming within this period, must be so regarded. The adolescent period is one of peculiar religious susceptibility, but in part this may be due to the influence of social pressure, brought to bear very strongly at this period by parents and teachers. Again, the exceptions on both sides are too many. Adolescents, even those under religious influences, are not always converted; indeed this period is one of peculiar susceptibility to doubt. It is notorious that this is the time when the Sunday-school and the church are apt to lose their hold on the boys, and the questionnaires show juvenile atheism as well as juvenile piety. Sex development cannot well be the cause both of religion and irreligion.
122: In an appreciation of the late John Davidson, it is said that "an obsession by sexual metaphors was his imaginative besetting sin."--A. S. Mories, in _Westminster Review_, July, 1913, p. 81.
While conversions are most frequent in the adolescent period, they occur both before and after it, as the statistics show. The notable conversions which have been most far-reaching in their effects, such as those of Paul, Augustine, and Luther, have occurred after adolescence. Conversion with Augustine meant the repression of sex desires and a celibate life, while in the case of Luther it meant freedom to marry. James observes that "the effects are infinitely wider than the alleged causes, and for the most part opposite in nature." Paul's conversion and that of multitudes after him have no suggestion of a sexual element, and it is notable that men are apt to become increasingly occupied with religion in advancing age as the sexual impulse wanes.
123: "Varieties," p. 11, note.
The adolescent theory of conversion has, indeed, a lesson for Christian parents and teachers. They should urge upon boys and girls decision and public identification with the church during this period; but it would be a loss to religion if religious teachers should forget the profound psychology of the motto: "Give me a child for his first seven years, and you can have him for the rest of his life." As Stevens says: "We cannot wait till adolescence is reached before we win the soul for God. That would be fatally late. The boy must know that the highest is the highest when he sees it, and must have been prepared to love it." The profound emotional disturbance of puberty is not regeneration in the Christian sense, while at that time the conditions for it may be peculiarly favourable.
124: "Psychology of the Christian Soul," p. 173.
2. Midway between those explanations of religion which refer it to a physical and to a supernatural cause is the psychological theory advocated by James, that the special seat or source of the religious life is in the Subconscious. While the "subliminal" and the "subconscious" are newcomers in psychology, they have already played a considerable rôle in religious discussion, and have been used in illustration and even in reconstruction of theological doctrine. Multiple personality illustrates the Trinity; the subconscious is made, as in Sanday's "Christologies Ancient and Modern," the sphere of the divine nature of Christ; and psychical research is looked to by some as a hopeful reinforcement or scientific demonstration of the doctrine of a future life.
The subconscious is used in a rather loose way by popular and even by scientific writers. James regards it as "nowadays a well-accredited psychological entity," while Pratt refers to the use that is made of it as "rather questionable psychology." Some of its possible and legitimate meanings are: (_a_) Those hereditary dispositions which, unknown to the man himself, largely shape his actions; or (_b_) the psychophysical machinery of habitualized action. As Jastrow says: "We rise upon steps of our habitualized selves, grown familiar to their task." The subconscious again (_c_) may mean that subliminal activity of the mind which, when the conscious strain of effort and attention has been unsuccessful, often, as it seems, does the work for one, recalling the forgotten name, solving the problem, or even creating a new product such as a finished song or poem.
125: "Varieties," p. 511.
126: _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911, p. 231.
127: "The Subconscious," p. 433.
Lastly (_d_) the subconscious may refer to that more occult sphere to which belong the phenomena of hypnotism, automatism, multiple personality, and perhaps telepathy, in virtue of which the subject performs actions or has ideas to which his ordinary consciousness gives no clew. The subconscious in any or all of these senses is at least the dwelling place of mystery. Starbuck admits that "what happens below the threshold of consciousness must, in the nature of the case, evade analysis." It is a mysterious region of shadows, a twilight zone in which the divine and human may meet. It may be in itself the source of the religious life, or at least the channel through which revelation and redemptive influence may come.
128: "Psychology of Religion," p. 107.
In James' exposition the subconscious part of a man is the higher part; and man is conscious that this higher part of himself "is co-terminous and continuous with a MORE of the same quality, which is operative in the universe outside of him." What is this more? Our point of contact with it is the subconscious self; and without asking for the farther limits of the "More," and "disregarding the over-beliefs," "we have in the fact that the conscious person is continuous with a wider self through which saving experiences come, a positive content of religious experience, which, it seems to me, is literally and objectively true as far as it goes."
129: "Varieties," p. 508.
130: _Ibid._, p. 515.
James' theory of the subconscious as the organ of religion can appeal to many undoubted facts, but if it means, as the tendency of his exposition indicates, that the subconscious as the organ of religion has superior moral worth to the life of full consciousness, it may be insisted that the subliminal sphere is the source of evil as well as of good. The subconscious may be identified with the flesh as well as with the spirit. If the subconscious, to use Pauline language, is the medium of higher spiritual influences, it is also the seat of the "old Adam," of "sin that dwelleth in me." In this region is to be found the source alike of the unexpected heroisms and weaknesses of men, of Peter's courage before the Council and of his cowardice before the serving maid. Hereditary and habitualized dispositions and tendencies are like the submerged part of an iceberg, and the winds of conscious resolution and effort are often powerless against the sweep of the hidden current beneath.
It may be admitted that "if the grace of God miraculously operates, it probably operates through the subliminal door," but it should be remembered that in this region of the subliminal there are "dragons" as well as seraphim. Hypnotic influences may be therapeutic or they may be baleful, and in the region of the subconscious, it is hinted, insane delusions and psychopathic obsessions may find their source. The subconscious is a battle-field rather than itself a source of help, and it cannot be said that the subconscious man of the shadows, if he exists in any of the rôles assigned to him, is any better or more religious than the man who has his being in the full sunlight of conscious activity. The psychological explanation of religion, like the pathological and the sexual, really proves too much. From all these alleged sources of religious life, not only saving influences but destructive influences flow. Royce's criticism is that "the new doctrine, viewed in one aspect, seems to leave religion in the comparatively trivial position of a play with whimsical powers--a prey to endless psychological caprices."
131: "Varieties," p. 270.
132: _Ibid._, p. 235.
133: "William James and Other Essays," p. 23.
3. Another theory of religion, now popular, seeks its explanation not in any bodily condition or stage of growth, nor in any special department of the mental life, but in the social relationships of men. Religion becomes a recognition of social values, "a consciousness of the highest social values," and is practically to be identified with patriotism, altruism and the vision of the future of society. "To-day," says Leuba, "most men and women derive whatever strength they may have to maintain their integrity and to devote themselves to the public good from their respect and love for their family, their friends, their business associates, and the state, and from their desire for the respect and love of men, much more than from any religious conviction. It is no longer the consciousness of God, but the consciousness of Man that is the power making for righteousness." No metaphysical assumptions need be made by this view of religion except that of the existence of a world of one's fellow-men, a postulate which seems necessary even to a functional psychology.
134: Ames: "Psychology of Religious Experiences," p. viii.
135: "A Psychological Study of Religion," p. 311.
However much in harmony with the spirit of the age, the social explanation of religion is one-sided and is inadequate to the depth and massiveness and infinite perspective of religious experience. Religion is a triangle with God, the self and one's brother at its three angles.
(_a_) The Social theory of religion gives no adequate recognition of the worth either of the individual or of society. The deepest message of religion is that the soul is worth something to God. Man, in spite of his social obligations, is not made simply for his brother. "We die alone," Pascal says, and there is a sense in which we live alone. As a writer on the psychology of the New Testament says: "The self, according to the New Testament, is not merely a social self developing in a community of other finite selves; it is a divine self realizing its ideal powers of service, and fulfilling its destiny only in a fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ." Unless Humanity is endowed with the attributes of Deity, as it almost seems to be in the Positivist ritual, the estimate of society is also lowered when men are viewed as having relations and obligations only to one another. As James Ward has pointed out, Humanity can only have the significance and sacredness of the individuals from whom it is abstracted, and if these have no permanent or enduring worth, no more has Humanity.
136: M. S. Fletcher: "The Psychology of the New Testament," p. 245.
137: "The Realm of Ends," p. 387.
(_b_) The humanitarian view narrows too much the horizons of religion. It would exclude from religion the sense of infinite dependence, and of devotion to and communion with a personal higher Power. A religion of humanity merely will seem superficial to the mood which cries out, "My soul is athirst for God," or "I seek _Thee_ in order that my soul may live." If the religion of the anchorite was one-sided, so equally is that of the humanitarian. Neither sin nor righteousness can be interpreted in exclusively social terms, unless the conception of the community be so enlarged as to include the Great Companion and the Great Demander. The social theory, again, has no apparent place for the religion of solitude which finds God in nature. A New England writer says of Mount Ranier:
138: The hermit saints, from this modern standpoint, would not deserve to be called religious at all, as witness this remark of Ames: "If religion is participation in the ideal values of the social consciousness, then those who do not share in this consciousness are non-religious."--"Psychology of Religious Experiences," p. 356.
"I saw the mountain three years ago: Would that it might ever be my lot to see it again! I love to dream of its glory, and its vast whiteness is a moral force in my life." "Climb the mountains," says one of the best known of American mountaineers, John Muir, "and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while care will drop off like autumn leaves."
139: See J. H. Williams: "The Mountain That Was 'God,'" pp. 40, 113.
(_c_) The religion of humanity must look outside itself for its highest inspiration for social service and for the norm of social progress. It was Christianity that created the atmosphere in which "the enthusiasm of humanity" and zeal for social service could flourish. Christianity has emphasized the value of the individual, and the sacredness of family relationships and the brother-hood of the children of the one Father. Without divine love as its pattern and inspiration human love would lose in comprehension and in intensity.
Society in its progress has ever waited for the signal to be given by some prophet from the deserts, or some seer who has brought from the mount of vision the pattern of a better social order. Those who see in social service the essence of religion are faced with the paradox that the wisest and most beneficent social influences have flowed from those experiences in which the individual turned his back on society and flaunted its ideals. A declaration of independence of society seems needed before there can be the most effective social service. By an unsocial act Abraham left his country and his kindred and his father's house, and yet in him all the families of the earth have been blessed; through Paul's unsocial act in deserting the traditions of his fathers, the course of Western civilization has been profoundly influenced; George Fox's unsocial act in depriving his town of the services of a useful tradesman, and making for himself a suit of leather, has been called by an acute observer, Carlyle, doubtless by an over-emphasis, the greatest event of modern history. Religion, in fact, first asserts itself as something over and above all social relations before its social mission can be performed.
4. The interpretation of religious experience by the psychologists has not always been favourable to theistic or Christian belief, but the failure of other explanations, if established, will lead us to seek a more adequate one by referring to a Reality transcending human experience and social relationships. The study of religious psychology has, in fact, furnished a broad basis from which a metaphysical or theistic inference can be drawn. Such an inference, cumulative in its effect, may be drawn from the universality of religious belief, from the imperativeness of social obligations implying a supersocial sanction, and from the regenerative effects of religion to an adequate cause. "God is real since He produces real effects." But the study of religious experience has not only strengthened the older theistic arguments, but has in effect formulated two new arguments, the pragmatic and the mystical.
140: "Varieties," p. 517.
The Pragmatic Argument for theism has been stated by James in the spirit of his later philosophy. Taking religions as including creeds and faith-states, James says that without regard to their truth "we are obliged, on account of their extraordinary influence on action and endurance, to class them amongst the most important biological functions of mankind." The pragmatic argument would then run: "The uses of religion, its uses to the individual who has it, and the uses of the individual himself to the world, are the best arguments that truth is in it." There is a satisfaction, a fullness of life, an energy and an expansiveness flowing from religion which are not enjoyed apart from it, and its usefulness, from this standpoint, is a guarantee of its truth. It is merely to state this argument in the more familiar terms of cause and effect to say as James does elsewhere that "work is actually done upon our finite personalities, for we are turned into new men, and consequences in the way of conduct follow in the natural world upon our regenerative change." God is real since He produces real effects.
141: "Varieties," p. 506.
142: _Ibid._, p. 459.
143: _Ibid._, p. 516.
The Mystical Argument for theism is based on the claim that in religious experience there is a more immediate certainty of the presence of God and a stronger assurance of His existence than can be gained from purely intellectual processes. This evidence, it is clear, may be of the strongest possible kind to the mystic himself, but may seem to be weak or even negligible to the outsider, since the experience in the nature of the case is private and incommunicable. Before the mystical claim is appraised we must distinguish further the various kinds of mysticism. We must distinguish between the absorption of the Buddhist with his passion for annihilation, and the Christian's delight in the Lord; and between a mysticism which means identity of substance and the deification of man, and a moral mysticism which realizes at once that God is infinitely near in His grace but infinitely far in His holiness.
It is fair to ask whether the assurance of the presence of God enjoyed by many Christians in all ages, according to their testimony, is immediate or inferred knowledge, and whether it should be called knowledge or faith. The answer of the mystic might be that there is a "felt indubitable certainty of experience" which is not dependent on the solution of epistemological problems. Otherwise we could not be sure of our own existence or of that of our fellows until we had specialized in the theory of knowledge and solved the problem, which has haunted modern philosophy, of the knowledge of other selves. If it be objected again that a subjective experience cannot ground an inference to an objective, and much less to a supernatural, cause, it may be said that the experience itself, if correctly reported, is supernatural in character. Whether it be Paul's "peace that passes understanding," or Peter's "joy unspeakable and full of glory," or Edwards' "inward sweet delight in God and divine things," or a modern scientist's consciousness of the presence of God, said to be "as strong and real to me as that of any bodily presence," it is of such a character that no other inference than that to a supernatural cause can properly be drawn. The mystical argument is not based like the other arguments of natural theology upon the regular course of things, but upon what claims to be a new supernatural experience, a new life with new capacities and powers, and new emotions and insights.
144: See Höffding: "Philosophy of Religion," p. 99.
145: "A Scientist's Confession of Faith," by E. L. Gregory, 1898, p.21.
It must be noticed, in conclusion, that the evidence which the psychologists have so industriously collected, showing that religion is good for the individual and for society, has been taken almost exclusively from the circle of Christian influences. We might paraphrase James' pragmatic argument and say that Christianity is true because it is good for the individual and for society. His argument from cause might also be applied to Christianity, for the mystical experiences adduced are in great measure not merely those of communion with God but of communion with God in and through Christ. By no analysis in fact, as D. W. Forrest says, is the Christian "able to distinguish his communion with the Father from his communion with Christ. They are blended as consciously real in one indivisible experience." The testimony of Christian experience is to a Power and a Presence which the Christian feels only as he hears and accepts the gospel message and looks to Christ for forgiveness, guidance, and help. "A man who is converted, in the New Testament sense, is one who has surrendered to a force immeasurably greater than anything he has of himself; one who has awakened to the overwhelming consciousness of a spiritual world brought to a focus before him in the Person of Jesus Christ." The Christian believes that he receives grace from the Father and the Son. "When Jesus deals with us and works within us, He does what only God can do. All Christian experience is nothing if it is not this."
146: "The Christ of History and of Experience," p. 166.
147: H. Wheeler Robinson: "The Christian Doctrine of Man," 1911, p. 322.
148: P. C. Simpson: "The Fact of Christ," pp. 130, 131.
After all the secret of the Lord, known to Christians in the catacombs at Rome as they sang, "Jesu, Amor Meus," known to medieval Christians as they sang "Jesu, Dulcis Memoria," and known equally to modern Christians who sing "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," is with them that fear Him. It has been well said that Christianity must be known from the inside, if it is to be known at its full worth. In the nature of the case the evidence of Christian experience is not demonstrative to an outsider. It can come to him only in the way of an appeal: "Come and see; taste and see that the Lord is good."
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND RECENT PHILOSOPHY
The two systems of philosophy which were dominant at the turn of the century were unfriendly to theistic and Christian belief. Naturalism on the one hand and Absolutism on the other could find no place for a positive faith in God, freedom and immortality. The opening years of the century witnessed a revolt against these two systems; and the leading characteristic of twentieth century thought, over against an agnostic naturalism and a pantheistic or impersonal absolutism, has been its reaffirmation of spiritual values. There has been a new emphasis upon the rights of personality, as against the enmeshing and enchaining forces of nature on the one hand and an all-engulfing Absolute on the other.
Philosophical readers will remember the moral tonic of James' collection of essays, "The Will to Believe" (1902), with its picturesque style, its originality of standpoint and its moral enthusiasm. Here was a philosopher of medical training and of unquestioned scientific standing, and yet with the insight and earnestness of a prophet, making a valiant defense of spiritual realities, of human freedom, and the rights of the volitional and moral sides of our nature. As an evolutionist he contended that "the strenuous type of character will on the battle-field of human history always outwear the easy-going type, and religion will drive irreligion to the wall." And as a psychologist he found that theism appealed to every energy of our active nature and released the springs of every emotion, and held that "infra-theistic conceptions, materialism and agnosticism, are irrational because they are inadequate stimuli to man's practical nature."
149: "The Will to Believe," p. 213.
150: _Ibid._, p. 134.
Readers who had been breathing the stifling air of naturalism, so fatal to spiritual aspiration, or the too rarified atmosphere of absolutism with its "transcendence" of personality and moral distinctions, will remember also the sense of satisfaction and relief with which they read that other volume of protest, from the other side of the water, "Personal Idealism" (1902). It was refreshing to find that there was a body of brilliant young thinkers, alive to the scientific atmosphere of the time, and trained in the philosophic orthodoxy of the English schools, and yet boldly asserting the rights of personality in God and man.
This twofold protest against a denial, from whatever side, of the rights of personality was organized into the movement we call Pragmatism, under the leadership of William James, ably assisted by F. C. S. Schiller in Oxford and John Dewey in this country. It is not to be wondered at if this reaction went too far, as the pendulum swung from the extreme of Being to that of Becoming. We find Pragmatism, reacting against monism, whether materialistic or idealistic, going over to pluralism; from the extreme of a "block universe" in which time is nothing passing to the other extreme of a "strung-along universe" in which time is everything; from pantheism going over to a vaguely indicated polytheism; from an absolute truth and an absolute Being sitting in smiling repose above the strife of time to a "God in the dirt" and a truth that could be made, or unmade, perhaps too easily.
151: For fuller discussion of this movement, the writer may refer to his article, "Pragmatism, Humanism and Religion," in the _Princeton Theological Review_, October, 1908.
Our discussion will be more concrete if we select leading representatives from the four nations most addicted to philosophy, and examine their attitude towards the Christian Faith and towards its theistic foundations.
I. BERGSON AND CREATIVE EVOLUTION
In close relation to the pragmatic movement, and set forth with a wonderful magic of style, is the philosophy of Henri Bergson which finds its mature expression in his "Creative Evolution." It is a remarkable testimony to the wealth of suggestion and many-sidedness of Bergson's philosophy that its support has been claimed by a number of movements of diverse aim. Modernists in theology, syndicalists in the sphere of social agitation, and even, it is said, cubists in art, appeal to Bergson for philosophical support; and affinities have been pointed out between his _élan vital_ and Schopenhauer's will-to-live, Von Hartmann's philosophy of the unconscious, and Nietzsche's aggressive individualism. We must ask whether his _élan vital_ can be baptized, and his "Creative Evolution" be made the basis for a spiritual philosophy.
It will be useful to notice some features of Bergson's system before attempting to estimate its bearings upon religious problems. The story of evolution as Bergson describes it, certainly in an engaging manner, is a drama in three acts. The _élan vital_, or otherwise consciousness, is the hero, but is imprisoned by matter (the villain), and is striving blindly for release. In the first act, the vital impulse tunnels its way through the opposing element of matter into the vegetable world. The result is only the lethargy and immobility of vegetable forms, and is so far a failure. The next act finds consciousness working its way into the animal world and attaining mobility and becoming in so far free from the entanglements of matter; but here again there is partial failure. Consciousness is arrested at the stage of instinct, and, resting content with a response to the environment which is patterned after the mechanical action of matter, fails to attain freedom. In the third act, "by a tremendous leap," consciousness, in spite of the efforts of matter to drag it down to the plane of mechanism, reaches at last spontaneity and freedom in man. The drama reaches its _dénouement_ in man and his ability not only to move in response to environment, but to control the environment. It is intimated that there may be a sequel, in which life pursues its career in another stage of existence.
1. It is evident at a glance that the view of evolution here set forth in barest outline offers many points of contrast to what has been accepted as evolutionary orthodoxy. The history of life with both Darwin and Bergson is a struggle: but with Darwin it is a struggle for existence, with Bergson a struggle for freedom, for efficiency, for complexity. With Darwin there is a struggle of living beings with one another, conceived after the analogy of economic competition; with Bergson there is a struggle of life against matter and necessity. The struggle for existence, in a sense, has been moralized. It is a struggle for the existence and higher life of consciousness.
2. Creative evolution is not materialistic evolution, for life is not a development from matter but is an upward tendency opposing the downward current of matter. The increasing complexity of living forms is not the result of the movements of matter, or of chemical-physical laws, but of an opposition, successful in a unique degree in men, to the imprisoning and entangling forces of matter.
3. The later stages in evolution, while connected with the earlier in continuity of development, may contain elements that are essentially new. A living being is "a reservoir of indetermination and unforeseeability." The new species cannot be explained, except by an illegitimate process of thought, by what is presented in the old. The appearance of a new species is something as new as the composition of a symphony of Beethoven. Man, then, in his powers and destinies is not to be judged by his likeness to the brutes, but by what he possesses over and above the qualities of animal life, by those achievements and endowments to which animals have failed to attain. Since man, and man alone, has come so far, and in him alone consciousness has broken the chains of mechanical necessity, "we shall have no repugnance in admitting that in man, though perhaps in man alone, consciousness pursues its path beyond this earthly life."
152: "Life and Consciousness," _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911, p. 34.
153: _Ibid._, p. 43.
4. Creative evolution is the antithesis of mechanical evolution. Bergson protests that the conception of mechanism as applied to life is inadequate, because (1) it is artificial, growing out of our habits of controlling matter. It is an instrument of the intelligence, not giving us an insight into life, which we must gain rather in intuition, the higher faculty in Bergson's system. A mechanical representation of nature is always a "representation necessarily artificial and symbolic." (2) Mechanical conceptions are inapplicable to living beings, because of the irreversibility of the movements of living forms; and (3) the mechanical theory is negatived by the facts of the psychophysical connection. "The hypothesis of an equivalence between the psychical state and the cerebral state implies a veritable absurdity, as we tried to prove in a former work." No mechanical theory and no theory of accidental variations, whether insensible or abrupt, can account for the production of so complex an organ as the eye.
154: "L'Évolution Créatrice," 7th ed., 1911, p. iv.; E. T., "Creative Evolution," 1911, p. xii.
155: _Ibid._, p. 384; E. T., p. 355.
156: _Ibid._, pp. 82 ff.; E. T., pp. 75 ff.
His critique of other theories prepares the way for Bergson's own view that the forms of living beings are due to an original vital impulsion, not in the single organism, but in life as a whole, seeking, without foresight of the result, to overcome the downward tendency of matter.
Bergson's suggested _via media_ between creationism and evolutionism, his rejection of a theory of chance variations, and his vigorous polemic against mechanism, all seem to prepare the way for a spiritualistic philosophy. It is true that the land of the spirit has not yet been explored, but Bergson, as one writer expresses it, has at least thrown a bridge across the chasm between the material and the spiritual. While his "Creative Evolution" has been placed upon the Index, we must remember that he himself claims that this work and those that preceded it have resulted in the conceptions of liberty, of spirit and of creation. "From all this," as he says, "we derive a clear idea of a free and creating God, producing matter and life at once, whose creative effort is continued, in a vital direction, by the evolution of species and the construction of human personalities."
157: See Edouard Le Roy: "The New Philosophy of Henri Bergson," E. T., pp. 224 f.
The point in Bergson's system which seems least in harmony with theistic belief is his criticism and rejection of finalism. Bergson fears that the temporal series will be swallowed up in the "dark backward and abysm of time," or rather of eternity. The finalism of a foreseen end means with him fatalism, fixity, with no play for freedom, and a reality in time only of a secondary order. Again, in opposition to finalism he urges the variety of living forms. Could the end of all the varied history be merely the production of man? This cannot be proved, because everywhere we see in nature contingency and variety, and apparent cross-purposes if purpose at all. There is no single line of evolution leading up to man. Some fossil forms from remote periods show exactly the same structure as living forms to-day. Further, the vital impulse striving towards freedom meets with obstacles, and failure and arrest are manifest in the lethargy of vegetables and the mechanical reflexes of animals, if these are viewed with reference to the assumed end of the creation of man. The only finalism which Bergson will admit is that of a push towards freedom in virtue of an original vital impulse, blindly and often vainly seeking to overcome the movement of matter towards necessity. It is a _vis a tergo_ happening at last to issue, without any foresight of the result, in the appearance of man.
It is not clear, however, that Bergson has been able to dispose of finalism, or to find some conception between it and the theory of chance which he rejects. The disc of a talking machine, to one not familiar with it, with its spiral lines broken in a haphazard way, would seem to exclude purpose; but when it is properly adjusted the voice of a Melba or a Caruso can be heard. So there may be some standpoint from which the bewildering variety of nature will reveal some unitary purpose. It may be, to use the figure of the artist, that the purpose is not solely the production of man, but that the variety and beauty of the natural world is an expression of the joy of the Creative Artist in his work. The purpose may be more comprehensive, and the fact that all natural history does not plainly lead to the production of man is not in itself a proof that man was not the intended consummation of the process.
It is noteworthy that Bergson, a master in the use of illustration, cannot find any exact illustration of the kind of evolution he wishes to describe. He compares the course of evolution to a road, leading to a city, but hastens to add that, for evolution, the end of the road is not seen. He says again that "if one wished to express himself in terms of finality, it must be said that consciousness ... has sought an issue in the double direction of instinct and intelligence. It has not found it in instinct and it has not obtained it upon the side of intelligence, except by a sudden leap from animal to man. So that, in the last analysis, man would be the _raison d' être_ of the entire organization of life upon our planet." He adds again, however, that this would be but a manner of speaking, and that there is nothing in reality but a certain current of existence and an antagonistic current, whence all the evolution of life. Once more it will be asked, how is this sudden leap, so tremendous in its consequences, to be conceived? Is it a leap in the dark, like the leap of a fish from the water into a rowboat? Is man thus only a happy accident? Or must we see in the vital impulse, or behind it, some real instrumentality of guidance? If the original current of life is wholly blind and purposeless, it would arrive nowhere, or else its arrival at humanity would be as much the result of chance as if it were due to a fortuitous collocation of atoms.
158: "L'Évolution Créatrice," p. 112; E. T., p. 102.
159: _Ibid._, pp. 200 f.; E. T., pp. 184 f.
But let us return to Bergson's favourite and beautiful figure of the artist. The effort to objectify the ideal, and to put it in concrete form in words or upon canvas, is said to be precious though painful. It is precious and more precious than the work it results in, "because, thanks to it, we have drawn from ourselves not only all there was there, but more than was there: we have raised ourselves above ourselves."
160: _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911, p. 41.
Is the Divine Artist subject to this kind of evolution? In moments of creative activity does He thus avail Himself of a "plus-power" in the universe, to use Emerson's expression, and does He thus, like the human artist, raise Himself above Himself? If so, we must think of God as altogether such a one as we are, rather than as the source and ground of being and the life and light of men. Such a deity is rather to be identified with the stream of life than with the Ultimate lying behind both life and matter. The Divine Artist, so conceived, would lack the clearness of human prevision of ends, and would be of a relatively lower order of endowment. The striving of the vital impulse without foresight of an end is of an infra-human rather than a super-human kind; for even a "complete and perfect humanity," Bergson says, "would be that in which these two forms of conscious activity [intuition and intelligence] attain their full development."
161: "L'Évolution Créatrice," p. 289; E. T., p. 267.
A recent critic has said that while Bergson has removed the mechanical obstacles to liberty he has not discovered the spiritual conditions requisite for it, and that "he has, most unintentionally, brought us back, in this anti-Finalism, to that Naturalism which he has so successfully resisted when it masqueraded as a sheer Mechanism." There can be no doubt that the spirit of his philosophy is one of progress, and that the tendency of his thought is spiritualistic; his _élan vital_ is an _élan en avant_, and his God (if one be admitted in his system) is a God of hope. But the questions will still arise whether the vital impulse means for society a destructive radicalism or a constructive renewal; whether, in its ethical aspect, it means a will-to-live no matter what happens to any one else, or a will-to-live-better; and whether it will eventually be transformed into a pessimistic resignation or transmuted into spiritual aspiration.
162: F. von Hügel: "Eternal Life," p. 301.
In the religious aspect of his philosophy, Bergson stands at the parting of the ways. He must associate with creation not merely an impulse vaguely psychical, but the personal attributes of will, intelligence and purpose, and so advance towards theism; or else he must be content to rest in naturalism, albeit of a glorified type.
II. EUCKEN AND THE TRUTH OF RELIGION
Since the death of William James, the brightest stars in the philosophical firmament have been Henri Bergson of Paris and Rudolf Eucken of Jena. One reason for the popularity of both is that the centre of interest in their best-known works is not in epistemology. They do not approach the problem of existence as beholders, merely asking how they can see, and whether what they see is real, but their standpoint is that of intimate, vital human experience. Both writers place themselves in the stream of life, and find that the moments of deepest insight into reality are those of creative activity in art or other constructions of the mind, or else, with Eucken, of moral achievement and victory.
Eucken has been called the German Emerson, and his message to his time is that of a seer rather than of a systematizer. He is the prophet of a spiritual life, protesting against materialism and secularism, and vindicating the sovereign rights of the spiritual aspects of existence. In the term "Activism," which he applies to his philosophy, he intimates that there must be an activity of the soul upon its material and social environment, before the insights of philosophy and the achievements of art and the experiences of religion can be attained. There must be an assertion by the soul of its own spiritual nature. The conviction that man is not merely the product of nature, but in his spiritual life is independent and supreme, is not the result of a revelation to a passive recipient. It is an achievement, a venture of faith, a self-assertion of the soul in the face of hostile forces which would confine it within the trivial and the phenomenal.
Eucken's relation to Christianity will appear if we notice briefly (1) his critique of other philosophical theories; (2) his own constructive theory of religion; and (3) his answer to the question, Can we still be Christians?
1. As an exponent of the "monistic trinity" of the Good, the Beautiful, and the True, Eucken is brought into comparison with his famous colleague, Haeckel, with whose "brand-new monism" he has little sympathy. Against Naturalism, Eucken holds that the life of man in its ideal constructions such as science, art, morality and religion, cannot be explained from below, but only from the Higher in him and above him. From the material supplied to it by nature the soul, out of its own activity, builds the more stately mansions of science, philosophy, art, social organization and religion. "A consistent naturalism," he contends, "is not able to permit science of any kind. Science is constructed through the activity of the human mind alone."
163: "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," 3d ed., 1912, p. 36; E. T., "The Truth of Religion," 1913, p. 52.
Against Pragmatism, with which Eucken's Activism has some superficial resemblance, he argues for the "independent character of reality over against our experience of it." He believes that our deepest nature can be called into action only by the recognition of an Ought, which has an existence and value of its own, regardless of the opinions of any group of individuals or of the whole human race. "When the good of the individual and of humanity becomes the highest aim and the guiding principle, truth sinks to the level of a merely utilitarian opinion.... Truth can exist only as an end in itself. 'Instrumental' truth is no truth at all."
164: "Main Currents of Modern Thought," p. 78.
The method of the intellectualist as well as of the voluntarist is inadequate to reach the truth of religion. Religion should be a fact of the whole man, and of his own decision, and it should recognize by a unique experience, which cannot be called exclusively feeling or thought or will, an encompassing and basal whole. Thought "left simply to its own resources would never be able to get beyond empty forms and highly abstract conceptions." No merely intellectual form of religion is able to overcome doubt. Thus "the transformation of the Spiritual Life into an impersonal thought-process destroys it to its very foundation."
165: "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," p. 121; E. T., "The Truth of Religion," p. 176.
2. This effort, already in part described, to assert an independent spiritual world over against a natural world, this recognition of over-individual standards and of an absolute, self-subsistent Spiritual Life (_Geistesleben_), is called Universal Religion. The term Godhead to indicate this conception is in some ways preferable to that of God. A higher stage of religion is indicated by Eucken's term Characteristic Religion, by which is meant a deeper insight into the divine, a more personal experience of the divine energy of Spiritual Life. Universal Religion, it may be said, is the demand or the feeling after God; while Characteristic Religion is the supply or the finding of God. In the effort to conform to the over-individual standards and to attain harmony with the divine, there is an inevitable sense of weakness and failure. It becomes evident that man's own energy cannot save him from inner discord. "If a rescue is possible, Divine power and grace must do the work. That such power and grace really accomplish this, is the fundamental conviction of religion." There originates a mutual intercourse with the soul and God as between an I and a Thou; and "consequently, there culminates here a movement away from the colourless conception of the Godhead to that of a living and personal God."
166: "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," p. 295; E. T., p. 425.
167: _Ibid._, p. 299; E. T., p. 430.
Eucken's teaching has been called a philosophical restatement of Christianity. He reiterates in philosophical language the theological doctrines of sin, of the new birth, of divine grace, and of the supremacy of Christian love. His argument for immortality is the religious argument: "The Infinite Power and Love that has grounded a new spontaneous nature in man, over against a dark and hostile world, will conserve such a new nature and its spiritual nucleus, and shelter it against all perils and assaults, so that life as the bearer of life eternal can never be wholly lost in the stream of time."
168: _"Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion,"_ p. 303; E. T., pp. 435 f.
3. From our exposition thus far it would seem unnecessary to ask the question, Can we still be Christians? and we are not surprised that Eucken's answer is, "We not only can but must be Christians." A closer examination of his teaching shows that this question, and even the previous question, Can we still be theists? may naturally be raised. It is true that Eucken recoils from pantheism as lessening the energy of life, and declares that the transcendence of the Divine must be asserted; but on the other hand we are warned that "the notion of the personal is here only a symbol for something transcending all conceptions and words." It is too emotional and anthropomorphic. Eucken will not declare unqualified allegiance either to pantheism, to theism in its usual form or to agnosticism. In the Spiritual Life the opposition of monism and dualism, and apparently of the personal and the impersonal, are transcended. The overcoming of opposites in a way impossible for reason is precisely the office and prerogative of religion. It is to be noticed in his account of spiritual life that prayer, "the core of religion," is singularly absent; and in his exposition of Christianity he gives no prominence to the Fatherhood of God, central as that conception was in the teaching of Jesus.
169: "Können wir noch Christen sein?" 1911, p. 236; E. T., "Can We Still Be Christians?" p. 218.
170: _Ibid._, p. 154; E. T., p. 143.
171: _Ibid._, p. 129; E. T., p. 120.
With the doctrine of personality thus loosely held, it is no wonder that there are many elements in Christianity as usually understood which are uncongenial to Eucken's mode of thought. We cannot, he says, confine the union of God and man to one unique instance, and we must demand an immediate relationship between God and man throughout the whole breadth of the Spiritual Life; nor can we make the expression of divine love and grace dependent upon its one expression in Jesus Christ. One time cannot set the standard for all time, nor one historical person, absolutely, for all persons. The denial of sensible miracle, he allows, cuts deep into historical Christianity, but such a denial is necessary. To affirm miracle is to make the spiritual too dependent on the sensible, and such a central miracle as the Resurrection "would mean an overthrow of the total order of nature, as this has been set forth through the work of modern investigation."
172: "Können wir noch Christen sein?" p. 186; E. T., p. 172.
173: _Ibid._, p. 28; E. T., p. 27.
174: _Ibid._, p. 167; E. T., p. 155.
175: "Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion," p. 370; E. T., p. 527.
However great the figure of Jesus may be, His greatness must be confined to the realm of humanity. "If Jesus, therefore, is not God, if Christ is not the second Person in the Trinity, then He is man; not a man like any average man among us, but still man. We can, then, revere Him as a leader, a hero, a martyr; but we cannot directly bind ourselves to Him or root ourselves in Him (_bei ihm festlegen_); we cannot submit to Him unconditionally. Still less can we make Him the object of a cult. To do so would be nothing less than an intolerable deification of a human being."
176: "Können wir noch Christen sein?" p. 37; E. T., pp. 34 f.
What of those, we may ask, who in religious experience find themselves "rooted and grounded" in Christ? Eucken's readers cannot expect relief from this quarter, for religious experience, he holds, is too subjective and human to ground an inference to the nature of Spiritual Life. It is evident that Eucken has cut deep into Christianity alike on its historical, its doctrinal and its experiential sides. He distinguishes between form and substance, but acknowledges that "religion has lost unspeakably much through the upheaval of the old form"; and that this must somehow be made good. We might, without violence in the comparison, imagine the case of a Mohammedan who, trained in modern modes of thought but clinging to old associations, asked himself the question, Can we still be Mohammedans? "Yes," he might reply, "but we must retain only the essence or soul of Mohammedanism--its monotheism. The historical body or existential form of Mohammedanism, namely, that Mohammed was the prophet of God and that the Koran is a revelation from heaven, must be given up. And even when we speak of the unity and personality of God, we must remember that we are employing symbol and metaphor."
177: Eucken's neglect of the experiential standpoint is a common complaint among his critics. See M. Booth: "R. Eucken: His Philosophy and Influence," p. 199.
178: "The Truth of Religion," p. 577. The German, p. 404, is less emphatic.
Eucken presents the remarkable phenomenon of a man whose thought is saturated with Christian influence, who appreciates the moral power and splendour of Christianity and its regenerative effects in history, and yet is unable to reconcile its distinctive features with the fundamental concepts of his philosophy. He shows the close connection of the questions, What think ye of Christ? and, What think ye of God? and that assured belief in the personality of God and in His incarnation in a Person belong together. "No one cometh to the Father but by me." That a Christianity such as Eucken preaches, removed from supports in history, in authoritative doctrine, in religious experience, perhaps even in a rational theism, can retain its moral power and act as a spiritual lever for the elevation either of the masses or the classes, remains to be proved.
Our twentieth century philosophers are the prophets of a new age. Bergson's teaching opens before each individual and before humanity new possibilities of achievement, as, in obedience to the vital impulse, the army of humanity rushes on "in an overwhelming charge, able to beat down every resistance and clear the most formidable obstacles, perhaps even death." Eucken, with the more serious burden of a moral message, has proclaimed with voice and pen the gospel of a new spiritual life and a new spiritual world. Do not these twentieth century prophets reëcho in a certain sense, each in his own language, the message which was heard among the Galilean hills in an age from which the centuries are measured, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand"?
179: "L'Évolution Créatrice," p. 294; E. T., p. 271.
III. WARD AND THE REALM OF ENDS
Our English speaking philosophers, in the more usual fashion, base their religious philosophy upon a theory of knowledge. It is noticeable, however, that both James Ward and Josiah Royce, while belonging to the idealistic tradition coming down from Kant and Hegel, show the influence of a revolt from that tradition. Ward begins with the many, with pluralism, while he ends with the one; and Royce declares himself an advocate of Absolute Pragmatism.
The great services of Ward to religious philosophy in his "Realm of Ends" are, first, his transition from pluralism to theism, and, second, his demonstration anew of the strength of the philosophical argument for immortality.
1. His theistic argument in a nutshell is this, that while there is no road from the One to the Many, there is an open road from the Many to the One, with sign-posts upon the way. We must start with pluralism, says Ward, because no reason can be given why the One, in whatever way conceived, should become the Many. Why should the homogeneous become heterogeneous, or the indeterminate determinate, or why should the absolute become split up into finite spirits? A creation out of nothing cannot, for Ward, solve the problem, for his conception of creation is that of "intellective intuition," in which God as subject is necessary to the existence of the world as object, but the world, from this standpoint, is equally necessary to God.
There is no way of passing, then, from an absolute One to the Many, from singularism to pluralism. We must start with Babel and achieve, if we can, "one language and one speech." In its modern form Pluralism is a revolt alike from nineteenth century Absolutism, which was the dominant school in Germany and England, and from the Naturalism brought to the fore by the advance of scientific research, and interpreting mind in terms of nature. Pluralism has been called a means of escape alike from "Naturalism's desert and the barren summit of the Absolute." The ancient pluralism took the form of atomism, but the concourse of atoms may account for rigidity and uniformity but not for spontaneity. The modern type of pluralism, starting at the level of self-consciousness, posits a multitude of monads or individuals acting towards self-conservation and self-realization, and can, it is believed, do full justice alike to law and contingency, to spontaneity and fixity. The pluralist, operating on the principle of continuity, assumes that there are conscious individuals or monads in various degrees lower than man down to the minimal point of complete unconsciousness; and higher consciousnesses than man up to a being who may be called in a sense supreme, but is never more than one of the many, not inclusive of them, and, however exalted, is never more than _primus inter pares_.
The modern pluralist as described by Ward is a "pampsychist"; he believes that all existence is soul-like. There is a multiplicity of soul-like beings of various grades of development, some dominating, some serving, "conative and cognitive individuals bent on self-conservation and seeking the good." All existence is soul-like, although, in what we call inorganic matter, these cognitive and conative monads have been largely "denatured" and reduced to the semblance of mechanism and routine. They have become "finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark."
180: "The Realm of Ends," 1911, p. 223.
The pluralist assumes at the outset a multiplicity of soul-like beings; but he cannot explain satisfactorily their inter-action, or their action towards a common end. If, indeed, a pluralistic standpoint were hopelessly infected with contradictions, as the Eleatics might hold, then "the way to theism would be hopelessly barred; for from pluralism speculation really always has and always must begin." Pluralism begins with the many and ends with the many. But did it really begin at the beginning, and does it really reach the end? Pluralism, Ward insists, "points both theoretically and practically [and both forward and backward] beyond itself."
181: "The Realm of Ends," p. 224.
182: _Ibid._, p. 436.
Following Ward in his transition from pluralism to theism, we notice: (1) The pluralist stops with "the totality of a Many in their inter-action regarded as the ultimate reality." But this position "is incomplete and unsatisfying. A plurality of beings primarily independent as regards their existence and yet always mutually acting and reacting upon each other, an ontological plurality that is somehow a cosmological unity, seems clearly to suggest some ground beyond itself. The idea of God presents itself to meet this lack." But this idea of God would be meaningless "unless God were regarded as transcending the Many; so there can be no talk of God as merely _primus inter pares_." There can be no democratic idea of God, for by its very nature the idea of God implies something unique and incomparable and sovereign. The existence of the Many then looks back to the existence of the One as ground or creator.
183: "The Realm of Ends," p. 241.
The pluralistic view, then, does not, apart from theism, make a unified world; a pluralistic universe is in fact a contradiction in terms. Such a unifying conception as theism affords answers to the subject in relation to the manifold objects of experience; in fact it is doubtful if an absolute pluralism is a possible conception since we never know of the Many apart from the One. Theism, again, in its doctrine of a dominant monad and a supreme world spirit, is in agreement with the generalizations of science. All theories of the derivation of finite spirits, whether evolutionist, creationist, or traducian, agree in deriving the Many from the One.
(2) The coöperation of the Many also points in the direction of the One if, as is generally assumed, this coöperation is towards any common goal. The coöperation, it may be said, is due to chance, a fortuitous concourse of purposes; but if there is a tendency to one end, the question is inevitable, Why should the Many tend towards one end unless they had in the One their source? Theism is reached as the alternative of supposing that the inter-actions of the Many are a mere welter of happenings without meaning or purpose. Evolution and history show an increase of complexity and coöperation, and if all things work together it is natural to believe that all things work together for good. "The God who knows all loves all," and only the immanence of God in the world as defined by theism can give assurance that the pluralist's ideal will be fulfilled. Apart from theistic belief there would be no reason to expect progress on the whole, for "a world entering upon a fresh evolution cannot start where it left off and may even begin in less favourable conditions than before." "In a word, without such spiritual continuity as theism alone seems able to ensure, it looks as if a pluralistic world were condemned to a Sisyphean task. _Per aspera ad astra_ may be its motto, but _facilis descensus Averno_ seems to be its fate."
184: "The Realm of Ends," pp. 229 f.
185: _Ibid._, pp. 214 f.
Further (3) theism enriches and enhances the pluralist's ideal by all the ineffable blessedness that the presence of God must yield. To sum up: "The theoretical demand for the ground of the world, then, as well as the practical demand for the good of the world, is met by the idea of God." As related to the Many the One is the "ultimate source of their being and ultimate end of their ends."
186: "The Realm of Ends," p. 423.
187: _Ibid._, p. 442.
2. While Ward is a Platonist alike in his belief in immortality and in connecting that belief with the doctrines of the preëxistence and transmigration of souls, his general argument for a future life follows the more usual lines. It is based upon both rational and moral grounds and expressed with unusual beauty and power.
Man's native capacities and preëminently the moral law within him point far beyond any ability he has in the present life, and it is to be assumed, with Kant, that "no organ, no faculty, no impulse, in short nothing superfluous or disproportionate to its use, and therefore aimless, is to be met with." Against a continuance of life there are no valid objections to be raised. We cannot prove a negative, and the burden of proof rests with those who deny its possibility. The immortality of influence or of the race cannot be substituted for personal immortality. If humanity or society is an end in itself, "then the persons who constitute it must share in this end." "The wearisome procession of generation after generation of mortals in pursuit of an _ignis fatuus_, all hoping, all working for what none attain, might divert a Mephistopheles but would certainly not be a realm of ends."
188: "The Realm of Ends,", p. 411.
189: _Ibid._, p. 389.
190: _Ibid._, p. 428.
The moral arguments for a future life are bound up with an estimate of the worth of human personality, but are ultimately rational as well. If death ends all, not only are we of all creatures most miserable, but God also, if in this case He exists, is mocked, and the world whose highest ideals are not and cannot be fulfilled is without ultimate meaning. We have then the dilemma: "Either the world is not rational or man does not stand alone and this life is not all. But it cannot be rational to conclude that the world is not rational, least of all when an alternative is open to us that leaves room for its rationality--the alternative of postulating God and a future life."
191: "The Realm of Ends,", pp. 409 f.
A belief in transmigration is with Ward organically connected with his pluralism and pampsychism. For the pluralist "all the individuals there are have existed from the first and will continue to exist indefinitely"; and it follows that "'metempsychosis' in some form seems an unavoidable corollary of thoroughgoing pampsychism, so long as we look broadly at the facts of life as a whole." The same doctrine that "all the individuals there are have existed from the first" affects, it should be noticed, the quality of Ward's theism. God is not transcendent in time, for we cannot conceive God without the world. He is not transcendent as being in His existence independent of the world, for a God who is not a creator is an abstraction. Again He is not transcendent in the sense that He can now exercise creative power, for there can be no new creation since the beginning.
192: "The Realm of Ends,", p. 204.
193: _Ibid._, p. 213.
194: _Ibid._, p. 245.
Before pampsychism, with its "unavoidable corollary" of metempsychosis, is adopted this theory itself should be subjected to a closer examination. While pampsychism has undoubted advantages as a philosophical theory, it has serious difficulties as well. It appears to have but slight relation to the progress of science in any of its lines. The whole scheme of evolution, from the inorganic through the vegetable to animal and man, is seriously modified. The movement is from consciousness to what is called matter, but consciousness seems to have suffered a sort of a "fall"; for in the geologic and astronomic ages before the introduction of life consciousness was at any rate reduced to the vanishing point. What, then, of the reality of those processes which geology and astronomy describe? Their reality as more than an imaginary prelude to human or animal life is open to question. The physiologist, moreover, will contend that there is no evidence of the presence of consciousness except in connection with a nervous system, or will at most admit a kind of diffused consciousness in all organic matter. The astronomer, finally, will think it strange to be told that while "we cannot, of course, affirm that a star or a meteor or a cluster of particles is an individual," we must as pluralists believe "that the real beings these phenomena imply have some spontaneity and some initiative."
195: "The Realm of Ends," p. 455.
Both pampsychism and mechanism may be accused of pushing the principle of continuity too far. It is an error to reduce all objects and all activities, all thinking beings and all objects of our thought, to mechanism and its products and by-products, thus explaining away the peculiar nature of man as a conative and cognitive being. But it is equally an error in the other direction, it may be contended, to reduce all of reality, by an exaggeration of anthropomorphism and a return though in a refined form to the method of primitive animism, to the analogy of social intercourse.
It is hazardous to stake the interests of theism upon a technical theory of knowledge such as that upon which pampsychism is based. One may gratefully appreciate the cogency and value of Ward's theistic argument in its general aspects without being convinced that the doctrine of pampsychism is the only, or indeed the firmest, basis upon which theistic belief can be reared.
IV. ROYCE AND THE PROBLEM OF CHRISTIANITY
Our American philosopher, Josiah Royce, has always been occupied with the religious aspects of philosophy, but has of late shown a special interest in the philosophical interpretation of the doctrines of the Christian Faith. His mature views are expressed in his essay on "What is Vital in Christianity?" in his volume, "William James and Other Essays" (1911), and in his Lowell lectures, "The Problem of Christianity" (1913).
Royce believes that if there is to be a philosophy of religion at all, such a philosophy must include in its task "the office of a positive and of a deeply sympathetic interpretation of the spirit of Christianity, and must be just to the fact that the Christian religion is, thus far at least, man's most impressive vision of salvation, and his principal glimpse of the homeland of the spirit."
196: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 11.
In Christianity Royce finds a religion of loyalty, defined as "the practically devoted love of an individual for a community." Christianity is in its essence "the most typical, and so far in human history, the most highly developed religion of loyalty;" and it was in Pauline Christianity that the Christian ideas of the community, the lost state of the individual and of atonement or grace first received their full statement, though not their complete formulation. Paul's addition to the doctrine of love, thought by himself to be inspired by the Spirit of the Ascended Lord, consisted in his placing love to the church side by side with love to God and to one's neighbour. "Christian love, as Paul conceived it, takes on the form of Loyalty. This is Paul's simple but vast transformation of Christian love."
197: "The Problem of Christianity," I, pp. xvii. f.
198: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 98.
The reduction of what is vital in Christianity to the so-called pure gospel of Christ, as recorded in the body of the presumably authentic sayings and parables, is to Royce profoundly unsatisfactory. "If He had so viewed the matter, the Messianic tragedy in which His life-work culminated would have been needless and unintelligible." What is most vital in Christianity "is contained in whatever is essential and permanent about the doctrines of the incarnation and atonement."
199: "William James and Other Essays," pp. 140 f.
200: _Ibid._, p. 155.
In these respects Royce shows his sympathy with traditional Christianity as over against the standpoint of modern liberalism. He protests in effect, in the first place, against a "reduced" Christianity based upon the Synoptic teaching of Jesus alone, and upon this teaching only after alleged Johannine and Pauline elements have been cut out. Secondly, he finds that Christianity includes doctrine as well as ethics. And, third, he finds in Paul's teaching not a perversion of the gospel, but a developed statement of the central ideas of Christianity.
Unlike many philosophers, Royce takes an austere view of the misery and tragedy of sin, as "grave with the gravity of life, and stern only as the call of life, to any awakened mind, ought to be stern." The sinner cannot save himself. By his own deed he has banished himself to the hell of the irrevocable. If there is to be atonement which shall reconcile the traitor to his own deed and the community to the act of treachery against it, an atonement stated in purely human terms, it must be an "objective" atonement, not merely one of moral influence upon the traitor. It must be by some creative deed of loving ingenuity by which the world is made better than it would have been had the treason never been done. Thus the family of Jacob was reunited in peculiarly tender ties after the reconciliation. "Through Joseph's work all is made better than it would have been had there been no treason at all."
201: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 120.
202: _Ibid._, I, p. 370.
In his purely human and untheological treatment of sin and grace, Royce's thought has professedly moved within the limits of social relationships. Sin is an act of broken faith or disloyalty to the community. The sinner is restored from his estate of misery by the saving grace of the community. "'Atonement' and 'Divine Grace' may be considered as if they were expressions of the purely human process whereby the community seeks and saves, through its suffering servants and its Spirit, that which is lost."
203: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 390.
204: _Ibid._, I, p. xxxviii.
While Royce's exposition of sin and grace is full of suggestion and insight, it is more philosophical than Biblical. Thus at important points the contrast between Paul and Royce's interpretation of Paul is very striking. Royce hints at the divinity of the community, while Paul asserts the divinity of Christ. Royce says, Be loyal to the community, while Paul would say primarily, Believe in Christ and be loyal to Him. "Loyalty to the personal Christ," says a reviewer of Royce's work, "has been (and surely is) even a more vital element in Christianity than loyalty to the community." Royce would say that by the grace of the community we are saved; while with Paul the Saviour is personal and it was the vision of Christ, not of the community, that transformed his life.
205: H. Rashdall in _Mind_, N. S. 91 (July, 1914), p. 411.
Again it is not easy to read the doctrine of the beloved community and of the community as the source of grace into the words or the spirit of the teaching of Jesus. The attempt, however, is made. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the voice of the father, who is "for the moment simply the incarnation of the spirit of this community," is said to be the voice of the family, welcoming the wanderer; and the joy of the father is the joy of the family in his return. If this be so the father should have said, "The family fellowship is restored," instead of saying, "This my son was dead and is alive again."
206: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 353.
Even Royce's Old Testament illustration from the story of Joseph, where we find a grievous betrayal and then a deed which leaves the community, in this case the family, richer in love and more united in heart than if the deed of betrayal had not been done, does not support Royce's principle that the ideal community is the saviour and the source of atoning grace. The story to be illustrative should have been reversed; Joseph should have been the betrayer and destroyer of the family life, and then the brethren unitedly by their love and ingenuity should have won him back.
How then does the loyal community which is to be the source of grace originate? Royce admits that it can only be by "some miracle of grace," and the problem becomes acute when we consider the origin of the historical community of the Christian Church. The usual view is that here a miracle of grace has happened in the person of Jesus, the author and finisher of loyalty, but in that case there could be no such "simplification of the problems of Christology," as Royce desires. Who, then, was the founder of the Christian Community? It was not Paul, for he found a community already in existence. It was not the human Jesus, though He gave the signal, for we cannot say that, speaking of Jesus as an individual man, we know that He explicitly intended to found the Christian Church. It was not the divine Christ, for "the human source of all later Christologies must be found in the early Christian community itself." We must in fact renounce our quest for the origin of the Christian Church, for its foundation depended "upon motives which we cannot fathom by means of any soundings that our historical materials or our knowledge of social psychology permit us to make." Such recourse to a convenient agnosticism, however rhetorically it may be expressed, does not bring us out of the circle, that the church founded itself, and in that case, as a source of grace, saves itself. The modern man, under Royce's guidance, is relieved from the problems of Christology only to find that those of ecclesiology are equally pressing.
207: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 185.
208: _Ibid._, I, p. xxiii.
209: _Ibid._, I, p. 418.
210: _Ibid._, I, p. 415.
211: _Ibid._, I, p. 419.
The conception of the community is obviously fruitful alike in its ethical and its theological implications, and Royce's discussion of it, so elevated in its tone, will doubtless be for the "strengthening of hearts" as he desires. But inferences foreign to Christian thought are drawn when it is suggested that "Man the community may prove to be God," and that in "this essentially social universe" the community is "the Absolute." This is the voice of Hegel rather than that of Paul.
212: "The Problem of Christianity," I, p. 409.
213: _Ibid._, II, p. 296.
In an essay on Browning's theism Royce has remarked: "To say God is Love is, then, the same as to say that God is, or has been, or will be incarnate, perhaps once, perhaps--for so Browning's always monistic intuitions about the relation of God and the world always suggest to him--perhaps always, perhaps in all our life, perhaps in all men." The doctrine of the incarnation is thus acknowledged to be vital not only for Christianity but for theism as well. "The fact of the Incarnation," as Westcott has said, "gives reality to that moral conception of God as active Love without which Theism becomes a formula." But the meaning of incarnation and its support of theistic belief is weakened in proportion as it is interpreted not in an historical sense but as an incarnation "perhaps always, perhaps in all men."
214: _The New World_, Vol. V, 1896, p. 416.
215: "The Epistles of John," p. 75.
In his emphasis upon the incarnation and atonement, Royce has shown a profound appreciation of what is vital in Christianity, but his discussion shows also that these doctrines themselves, in being removed from their historic setting and adapted to the requirements of a philosophical theory, may easily lose what is for religion their most vital elements.
Each of our four philosophers has performed an important service for religious thought. Bergson has made an effective protest against materialism. Eucken has asserted the reality of the spiritual world. Ward has strengthened the philosophical foundations of belief in God and immortality. Royce has found in the distinctive ideas of Christianity the crown of religious philosophy.
The deeper thought of our age, judged by its leading exponents, has been working towards Christianity and not in the opposite direction. It has broken away from materialism with its denial of a spiritual world. It has broken away from an idealism which denies personality in God and man. It has been strongly attracted to Christianity, and influenced in its intellectual constructions by the teaching of Christ and of the Apostles. It is at one with Christianity in its ethical standpoint and emphasis. The Cross is no longer foolishness to the Greek, when leaders of philosophic thought find in Christianity their brightest glimpse into the homeland of the spirit, the source of their deepest insights into truth, the inspiration of their most fruitful activity and the key to the solution of their profoundest problems.
The Christian Faith and Other Religions
Four universals were contained in the last commands of the Risen Christ: "All authority has been given unto me. Go, disciple all the nations, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you all the days." If the marching orders of the Church were to be obeyed, the Christian Faith must be brought into contact and into conflict not only with Judaism but with all the ethnic faiths. If its program is to be carried out successfully, Christianity must supersede all other religions. In this lecture we must consider the relation of Christianity to ancient religions, or those prevalent in the Roman Empire at the time of its founding, and then its relation to modern religions.
I. CHRISTIANITY AND ANCIENT RELIGIONS
That the religion of the cross, which started in a despised and persecuted sect among a people without intellectual or military prestige, should in three centuries become the state religion of the Roman Empire, is often spoken of as the miracle of history. The early missionary could not appeal to military force or to an obviously superior type of civilization, and the wonder is not that Christianity conquered the Roman world but that it ever secured a foothold at all. The familiar argument has been: "We can account for the progress of Christianity, against obstacles and without outward aids, only upon the assumption that a divine power was working within."
Since the rise of the "religious-historical school" in Germany some dozen years ago, the question of Christianity's relation to contemporary religions has come up in a new form, and has been brought into the foreground of theological discussion. The victory of early Christianity, it is asserted, is due to the fact that Paul not merely presented it to the Romans in a juridical form, but that he preached the myth or mystery of a dying and rising Saviour to the myth loving Greeks; and it is even said that the New Testament portrait of Christ, whatever historical reality lies behind it, is in fact a sort of glorified composite photograph made out of the elements of a Jewish Messiah, a Greek Apollo or Adonis and an Egyptian Osiris. The claim is made by the more extreme members of the "religious-historical school" that every feature of Christianity that was supposed to be original, and indeed practically the whole Gospel narrative, can be parallelled closely or remotely in Persian, Hindu, Syrian, Egyptian or Greek religious literature, or in the Old Testament and the teaching of the philosophers.
The reasons for Christianity's triumph over other religions may be still to seek, but its claim to supernatural authority is called in question by the recent movement in scholarship which has taken as its motto, The study of the Christian Faith in the light of the history of religions. "It would be strange indeed," a writer has remarked, "if such parallels did not raise new questionings in the place of old certainties. If the accounts of miraculous births and resurrections are plainly fabulous when we meet with them in other faiths, are they necessarily historical when they occur in the Christian Scriptures? At any rate we feel that stringent evidence will be required to prove them so."
216: J. Warschauer: _American Journal of Theology_, July, 1912, p. 336.
When we study the relation between early Christianity and the religions of the time it is clear that some established principles are needed to control the comparison. When it is discovered, for instance, that Confucius had seventy-two disciples and an inner circle of ten "select ones," and that he spoke the Golden Rule in a negative form, does it follow that the Gospel accounts of the choice of the twelve and of the seventy were borrowed from Confucius? Clemen's formulation of the principles that must govern the comparison will be generally accepted:
(1) "A religious-historical explanation is impossible if it leads to untenable consequences or proceeds from untenable presuppositions. (2) The sense of the New Testament passage, as well as the contents of the non-Jewish idea, must first be fully ascertained. (3) We ought never to assume that ideas of an advanced religion have been altogether borrowed, until we have done our best to discover any germs of them in the native religious literature. (4) The non-Jewish idea that is brought in as an explanation must really in some degree correspond to the Christian one. (5) This element must have been already in existence: an idea that is subsequent in its emergence cannot, of course, have given rise to one previously existent. (6) It must be shown in regard to any foreign idea that it was really in a position to influence Christianity, or Judaism before it, and how." To these might be added that the possibility of coincidence must not be overlooked.
217: "Primitive Christianity and Its Non-Jewish Sources," 1913, pp. 17, 18. Principle (3) is quoted from Cheyne.
With these principles, most of them self-evident, in our minds, let us glance at the topics of immediate interest in our present field: (1) The Virgin Birth and its parallels; (2) the worship of Christ and the Emperor-cult; and (3) Christianity and the Mystery Religions.
1. In its relation to the stories of current mythology, the Virgin Birth was a subject of active discussion in the time of the fathers. The patristic apologists make two points in referring to the mythological parallels. On the one hand, the similarity of the Gospel story in its supernatural element to the stories prevalent at the time is appealed to in order to commend it to the acceptance of the Greeks. Thus Justin says: "We propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter." Similarly Origen says: "There is no absurdity in employing Grecian histories to answer Greeks with a view to showing that we are not the only persons who have recourse to miraculous narratives of this kind." On the other hand, the difference between the Christian and the heathen stories is appealed to as proof of the moral and historical superiority of the Gospel narratives. Justin says that the Virgin conceived "not by intercourse but by power;" and Origen, referring to a tradition about the birth of Plato, says that such stories are "veritable fables."
218: "Apol.," I, 21.
219: "Contra Cels.," I, 37.
220: "Apol.," I, 33.
221: "Contra Cels.," I, 37.
The notion is popular to-day that stories of the birth of a god or a hero from a virgin are common in non-Christian religions, and the remark is heard that the Virgin Birth of Jesus would be credible were it not for these parallels. A closer examination shows, however, that while supernatural births were the common property of most ancient religions, the Virgin Birth was a distinctive and spontaneous feature of Christianity. Thus Clemen remarks that "what we find in Indian thought (at any rate in earlier times) is not a Virgin Birth in the proper sense of that term, but only a miraculous birth, and one of quite a different type from the birth of Jesus." Alluding to the fact that Buddhism was so entirely outside the western range of vision as to be noticed very meagrely in the Greek and Roman literature, Clemen says that "if there are similarities that cannot be accidental between this later Buddhistic literature and the New Testament, the question would arise whether the former could not be dependent upon the latter," since Christianity penetrated early to India.
222: "Primitive Christianity," pp. 294, 295. Clemen would himself trace the idea of the Virgin Birth to a passage in Philo ("De. Cher." 13 f.) in which the wives of the Patriarchs represent virtues (p. 297).
223: _Ibid._, p. 37.
Clemen quotes Franckh to the effect that "none of these personages that play the part of a mother-goddess is thought of as a virgin. It is only in the course of time that Ishtar is everywhere put in the place of the earlier mother-goddesses.... As mother-goddess, Ishtar has no male god who permanently corresponds to her. This is the reason why she is vaguely spoken of as the 'virgin' Ishtar. But it must be emphatically asserted that here the idea of virginity undergoes a vague deflection."
224: "Primitive Christianity," p. 292.
Of the parallels adduced, only two are clearly cases of birth from a virgin: Simon Magus (_Clem. Recog._ II, 14) and a certain Terebinthus (_Acta Archelai et Manetis_, c. 52), both of whom claimed to be born from a virgin; but, as Grützmacher remarks, these stories arose under Christian influences and are found in post-Christian writings so that they are not the root but the product of the Gospel narratives; and E. Petersen admits that in these cases there may be a simple taking over of the supernatural birth of Jesus.
225: "Die Jungfrauengeburt," 1906, p. 31.
226: "Die wunderbare Geburt des Heilandes," 1909, p. 41.
In the Græco-Roman myths there is always some fleshly or sensible medium. Both the essential difference in the Gospel narratives, and the lack of any proved avenue of influence leading to these narratives, with their strongly Jewish colouring, from heathen sources, makes the theory of derivation from these sources most improbable.
2. The famous Priene inscription, dated about the year 9 B. C., has shown that the titles given to the Emperor Augustus were strikingly similar to those addressed by Christians to Christ. The day of the Emperor's birth was of great significance for the human race; he is called Saviour of men, he is to abolish war and bring general happiness; and the inscription declares that "the birthday of the god was for the world the beginning of tidings of joy on his account." Both religions again, the worship of Christ and the Emperor-cult, were universal religions, the essential difference being that the former excluded, while the latter tolerated, other forms of worship. Did the Christian Church derive its worship of Christ as Lord, or even such titles as "Saviour" and "Lord," from the Emperor-worship of the time?
227: See Deissmann: "Light from the Ancient East," p. 371.
The deification of a king was by no means an unfamiliar thing in the ancient and especially in the oriental world. The kings of Egypt are said to have worshipped themselves. To the offer of Alexander the Great to rebuild the burnt temple of Diana at Ephesus, the shrewd reply of the priests, not wishing to offend either Persia or Greece, was that it was not fitting for one deity to build the temple of another. The ascription of divine honours to the Emperor was a victory of eastern influences over Roman thought. Emperor worship was (1) a compliment to the ruler; (2) a kind of personification of the genius of the Empire, as perhaps in the case of the Mikado to-day; and (3) a convenient neutral religion, since no existing cult could be universal, binding all peoples together in a necessary religious bond. While not taken very seriously by the astute rulers themselves, it may also have been to many minds "an actual breaking out of religious longing," such as seems to be expressed in Vergil's "Fourth Eclogue," for a heaven-sent deliverer and saviour.
To Jews and Christians alike, however, the idea of the worship of the Emperor was in the highest degree abhorrent. This is shown by the fierce opposition to the setting up of the statue of Caligula in the Temple, by the refusal of the early Christians to worship the genius of the Cæsars under pain of death, and by the parallel accounts in the Acts and Josephus of the death of Herod, both Jewish and Christian authors describing his sudden death as a judgment upon his impiety in accepting divine honours. With Paul the "setting himself forth as God" was a mark of the man of sin (2 Thess. ii. 3, 4). It is then improbable in the highest degree that an idea so repellent alike to Jewish and Christian thought could have been in any way responsible for the worship of Christ as divine.
But was it not possible that such titles as "Lord" and "Saviour" should on Gentile soil have been unconsciously taken over by the Christians, suggested to them by the growing use of these terms as addressed to the Emperor and their free ascription to heathen deities? This position has been defended by Bousset, who says that "it was in the air that the first Hellenistic Christian community should give to its cult-hero the title Kyrios (Lord)." Even this theory of an unconscious verbal influence exerted on Gentile soil is full of difficulty. To maintain that the title "Lord" originated in the Gentile-Christian church it is necessary, of course, to discard the evidence of all the documents, the Gospels, the Acts and the Epistles. It must be denied that Jesus called Himself Lord, or that the title was given Him in the Jerusalem church. Doubt must be thrown upon the whole record of the apostolic days in the Acts; and the evidence, in Paul's allusion to "James, the Lord's brother" (Gal. i. 19), of the use of the title in the Jerusalem church must be ignored.
228: "Kyrios Christos," 1913, p. 119.
Bousset's theory is that Paul did not originate the title but found it already in use by the Gentile church. But there is no evidence that at the time of Paul's conversion there was any church on Gentile soil that was not composed, in the main, of former Jews and of Jews who had come from Jerusalem. When it is said that "between Paul and the primitive church of Palestine stand the Hellenistic churches in Antioch, Damascus, Tarsus," it must be remembered that the church at Damascus was composed primarily of Jerusalem Christians who were persecuted to foreign cities; that the church at Antioch was founded by those from Judea, and grew under the leadership of Barnabas, a priest and leader of the Jerusalem church (Acts xi. 19 f.; Gal. ii. 1, 12); and that there is no evidence that there were any Christians at Tarsus until the time of Paul's visit (Acts ix. 30; Gal. i. 21). It is hard to see how there can be any question of an entirely new title spontaneously arising from the heathen environment, and free from the influence of the church at Jerusalem.
229: "Kyrios Christos," p. 92.
If it be asked how Jews could dare to apply the name Kyrios, "the holy cult-name of the Old Testament Jahwe," to Jesus, the answer is suggested by Bousset himself when he says: "Therein lay a piece of monotheistic feeling: God alone should be prayed to and worshipped. This powerful religious feeling, free from all reflection, has once and again in the history of Christological dogma asserted itself." The essence of the matter is that Christian converts both Jewish and Gentile called upon the name of the Lord, and worshipped Him; but it is evident that Jesus was first worshipped on Jewish soil as King of Israel, and Lord in the sense made familiar in the Old Testament (Rom. x. 9-13; Acts ii. 17, 21), before He was worshipped on Gentile soil as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
230: "Kyrios Christos," p. 302.
Aside from all else it is highly improbable that in the time of Paul's conversion the use of the title Lord (Kyrios, Dominus) as applied to the Emperor was so wide-spread as to have exercised any appreciable influence upon Christianity. "It would after all," Bousset himself acknowledges, "in spite of all analogies in substance and words, be an erroneous and over-hasty inference, were we to bring the Christian Kyrios-cult and its origin into immediate connection with the cult of the Cæsars. In the time and in the regions in which the Kyrios-Jesus cult arose, the worship of the ruler scarcely as yet had possessed so dominating a rôle that the worship of Jesus as Lord must be regarded as having arisen in conscious opposition to it."
231: "Kyrios Christos," p. 113.
The conscious opposition no doubt came later, as Deissmann has suggested, when the cult of the Christ went forth into the Roman world and endeavoured to reserve for itself words which had just been transferred to the deified emperors, or had been invented for that worship. "Thus there arises," he says, "a polemical parallelism between the cult of the emperor and the cult of Christ, which makes itself felt where ancient words derived by Christianity from the treasury of the Septuagint and the Gospels happen to coincide with solemn concepts of the Imperial cult which sounded the same or similar." It was inevitable that, as Paul preached Jesus Christ as Lord, the contrast between the Christian worship and the worship of the Cæsars should suggest itself, together with their irreconcilable antagonism. This "polemical parallelism" is probably expressed in such titles as "our only Master and Lord" (Jude 4), "Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Phil. ii. 11), and "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev. xix. 16).
232: "Light from the Ancient East," p. 346.
3. The relation of Paul to the Mystery Religions of his time is a topic which has of late been actively discussed. A thesis now widely maintained has been expressed by Loisy in an epigrammatic form: "The mystery of Paul's conversion is his conversion to the mysteries." To discuss the question in all its bearings, one would need a general acquaintance with classical literature, a special knowledge of religious conditions in the early Roman Empire, and, most important of all, a first-hand exegetical knowledge of Paul's epistles.
A marked feature of the age in which the Apostle lived was a merging of deities, and the practice of oriental cults side by side with the official Roman religion and the worship of the Cæsar. This syncretism was promoted by the tolerance of an official religious indifferentism, and by a pantheistic philosophy which was hospitable to the worship of a multiplicity of deities as aspects of the One and the All. At a time when the Orontes was pouring its waters into the Tiber, the mysteries of the oriental religions were actively propagated in the West and coalesced with the mysteries practiced among the Greeks.
In spite of the labours of philologists and archæologists, our knowledge of the ritual of the various mysteries and even of the ideas symbolized is comparatively slight. It can still be said with Cumont that, "shut out from the sanctuary like profane outsiders, we hear only the indistinct echo of the sacred songs and not even in imagination can we attend the celebration of the mysteries."
233: "Les Religions Orientales dans le Paganisme Romain," 2d ed., 1909, p. 17; E. T., "The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism," 1911, p. 11.
The moral effect of the mystery cults is also a matter of some doubt. Plato, as we know (_Phædo_, 69 D, 81 A), had a high opinion of the Greek mysteries; but the cruel and sensual rites of the oriental religions scandalized the Latin writers as well as the Christian apologists. Even Cumont, who thinks that the mystery cults were superior in their religious appeal and influence to the cold, prosaic and austere Roman religion, admits that by the adoption of the mysteries "barbarous, cruel and obscene practices were undoubtedly spread." It is evident that the oriental religions became spiritualized in course of time, and that the various deities at least of Egypt and of Syria came to be conceived, in accordance with the dominant philosophy, in a henotheistic or pantheistic way. Uhlhorn thinks that oriental worship "with all its distortions was more profound, and contained unconscious presages of the Deity who has indeed in birth and death descended to redeem us."
234: "Les Religions Orientales dans le Paganisme Romain," 2d ed., p. 308; E. T., p. 208.
235: "Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism," p. 33.
When Paul preached "the mystery of God which is Christ" (Col. ii. 2), he incorporated into Christianity, it is said, in adapting it to the Gentile world, features which were common to the mystery brotherhoods of the day, and virtually transformed it into a mystery religion. Pauline Christianity, say the extreme advocates of this view, adopted its vocabulary, its missionary methods, its philosophical and religious ideas, its sacraments and symbolism, its mystical experiences and even its organization, from the compound of oriental mysticism and Greek philosophy which was popular in the cities which Paul visited.
The points in dispute will appear if we glance at the Pauline doctrine of the sacraments, and of dying and rising with Christ, and then at the Pauline vocabulary.
That the ritual of the mysteries had something in common with the Christian sacraments is shown by the fact that the charge of borrowing was made from both sides in early times. The Christian writers accuse the heathen priests of a blasphemous parody of the Christian sacraments inspired by the spirit of lies, and the priests retorted that the sacraments were a plagiarism from the mysteries. Cumont believes that both were much mistaken.
The material for comparison is somewhat meagre because baptism is not prominent in Paul's epistles. He never mentions his own baptism, and, aside from I Corinthians i., in which he says that he was not sent to baptize, he uses the verb in but four passages (I Cor. x. 2; xii. 13; xv. 29; Gal. iii. 27); the noun in two (Eph. iv. 5; Col. ii. 12); and both verb and noun in one passage (Rom. vi. 3-4). In the mysteries there were lustrations with salt water, water of the Nile and sacred water, but little is known of the exact significance of the rituals. Kennedy is not persuaded that it meant regeneration. There was no baptizing "in the name of" the gods.
236: "St. Paul and the Mystery Religions," 1913, pp. 229 ff.
On the other hand we know little of any sacrificial meal in the mysteries corresponding to the Eucharist. Reitzenstein observes that unless a happy chance sheds more light upon the use and meaning of the mystery-meals common in most cults, a comparison with the sacraments remains only "a play with possibilities." Clemen thinks that both the institution of the Lord's Supper by Jesus and its continued observance are fully explained without bringing in foreign influences.
237: "Die Hellenistische Mysterienreligionen," 1910, p. 51.
238: "Primitive Christianity," p. 242.
It is probable that the mystery cults exerted an influence upon the later development of sacramental doctrine, but this is aside from our question. Thus Wendt would place the influence of the mystery religions upon the Christian sacraments in the post-Pauline age, and thinks that "to Acts we owe the undoubtedly correct tradition that these Christian rites go back to a date preceding the Hellenistic mission of Paul, and must be sought for in the very earliest practice of the Apostolic community." Hatch also believes that between apostolic and post-apostolic times the sacraments were modified in important respects under the influence of the mysteries. "The primitive 'see here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?' passed into a ritual which at every turn recalls the ritual of the mysteries."
239: "Historical Trustworthiness of the Book of Acts," _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1913, pp. 146, 147.
240: "Hibbert Lectures," 1888, p. 299.
Those who push back the influence of the mysteries upon the sacraments to the teaching of Paul himself are compelled to interpret the Apostle's language, contrary, we believe, to the best exegetical tradition, in a physical or what is called an _ex opere operato_ sense. It is significant that when the sacraments are so interpreted they appear to be a foreign element in Paul's system. "It is no wonder that interpreters like Heitmüller and Weinel, who attribute a magical view of the sacraments to Paul, are concerned to point out that his sacramentalism is a sort of erratic boulder in his system as a whole." We are reminded of Clemen's principle that the sense of the New Testament passage should be fully ascertained before dependence is assumed.
241: Kennedy: "St. Paul and the Mystery Religions," p. 283.
When von Dobschütz says that "the unique sacramental conception of the Early Church, which has no analogy in the history of religion because it belongs essentially to the Christian religion, has its origin solely in Christian faith and Christian experience," the same may be said of Paul's doctrine of dying and rising again with Christ. When Paul says "buried with him in baptism" (Rom. vi. 4 and Col. ii. 12), he speaks of no pantheistic or magical union with the deity such as seemed to dominate the thought of the mysteries, so far as their meaning can be ascertained. In both contexts Paul immediately goes on to exhortation. "Let not sin reign" (Rom. vi. 12), "Seek the things above; mortify your members" (Col. iii. 1-5). It should further be noticed that the passage most relied upon to prove Paul's borrowing from the mysteries (Rom. vi.) was addressed to a church which Paul did not found, composed of both Jewish and Gentile Christians. The doctrine in question was not put forth as a novelty, but is assumed to be known to them: "Are ye ignorant, etc.?" (Rom. vi. 3).
242: Kennedy: "St. Paul and the Mystery Religions," quoted, p. 279.
Paul's doctrine of dying and rising with Christ is ethical rather than "metaphysical" or magical or sacramental. It is surprising to find how little sacramental it is. With no allusion to his own baptism or to the Lord's Supper he says, "I have been crucified with Christ. The world is crucified to me and I to the world" (Gal. ii. 20; vi. 14). "Christ died for all, therefore all died" (2 Cor. v. 14). "To know Christ, to be found in him, to be transformed into his death" (Phil. iii. 8 f.). His doctrine is based upon a personal experience of grace, and this is associated with the Cross rather than with the sacraments. The bond which mediated his union with Christ in His death was faith. It was through faith that the Spirit is to be received (Gal. iii. 14), and even when he says, "Christ liveth in me," he adds, "I live in the faith of the Son of God" (Gal. ii. 20, and see Eph. iii. 17). He would gain Christ that he might have "the righteousness of God through faith" (Phil. iii. 9). The Cross and not the sacraments was central alike in the Apostle's experience and in his doctrine of dying and rising with Christ, and the bond of union between him and Christ was faith. There was no mystical absorption of personality as in the Hermetic prayers: "Thou art I, and I am thou."
Finally the Pauline mystery was distinguished from the heathen mysteries by its connection with an historical Person. In the Pauline mystery, it has been said, the divine appeared in a "concrete and comprehensible guise," and "this connection of a religious principle with a Person who had walked upon earth and suffered death was a phenomenon of singular power and originality." There is a world of difference between the nature-myths, underlying the mysteries, of the annually dying and rising vegetation gods, without historical reality, and promising to the initiated release from transitoriness and mortality, and the record of Christ who died for our sins, and who being raised from the dead dieth no more. To say that Paul not only conformed the Lord's Supper to the heathen mysteries, but invented it in imitation of the mysteries, is to accuse him of deliberate misstatement; for in a passage of unusual solemnity (I Cor. xi. 23 ff.), he says that he received it of the Lord, and relates the circumstances of the institution of the Supper by Jesus Himself.
243: Bousset: "Kyrios Christos," p. 148.
The argument from vocabulary is relied upon by Reitzenstein to prove the influence of heathen ideas upon the thought of the Apostle. It is his theory that Paul spent the two years of inner disturbance, in part at least, in the study of Hellenistic religion and philosophy, and that this influence helped him in the construction of a new religion. In substance Reitzenstein's argument is that Paul shows the use of technical religious terms found in the Hermetic writings, especially in the "Poimandres"; and that the "Poimandres" is to be dated earlier than the "Shepherd" of Hermas; and that the conceptions it embodies were current in the Roman Empire, and in a literary form, in the time of Paul. The argument is twofold, first, that the Hermetic writings were current in the time of Paul, and, second, that Paul shows their influence in his vocabulary. As the date of the "Poimandres," the most important of the Hermetic writings, is in dispute, the latter point may be considered first.
In the Pauline vocabulary Reitzenstein believes that we have "an absolutely certain proof of the immediate influence of Hellenism upon the Apostle, and at the same time a measure of its strength." "Only when the existence and meaning of a religious literature in Hellenism is assured and the sort of linguistic dependence is seen to depend on literary mediation is the opportunity of an explanation afforded." Many words thought to be characteristically Pauline are said to have been technical terms in the popular mystery cults of the day, before the Apostle adopted them as the expression of his own religious teaching.
244: "Die Hellenistische Mysterienreligionen," p. 58. (Afterward referred to for convenience as "H. M. R.")
245: "H. M. R.," p. 209.
Without attempting to follow the argument in detail, we may observe (_a_) that Paul uses many of these terms in a different sense from that of the Hermetic literature. Compare, for example, Paul's use of familiar words such as "salvation," "glory," "grace," with that of the Magic Papyri. In "Hermes-Prayer I," the petition is for "health, salvation, prosperity, glory, victory, power, loveliness." So in "Prayer II," "Give me grace, food, victory, good luck, loveliness, etc." Again in "Hermes-Prayer III," we read, "Save me always from drugs and deceit, and all witchcraft and evil tongues and all trouble, from all hate both of Gods and men. Give me grace and victory and business and success; for Thou art I, and I am Thou.... I am thy image." In these prayers from the later Hermes-Thot religion, the Pauline terms are evidently used in a worldly sense, contrasting strongly with their use by Paul.
246: Reitzenstein: "Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-ägyptischen und frühchristlichen Literatur," 1904, p. 18.
247: _Ibid._, p. 20.
248: Reitzenstein: "Poimandres," p. 21.
(_b_) Much of the technical phraseology common to Paul and the Hermetic literature is current in the Old Testament; and with the language of the Old Testament we know that Paul's mind was saturated. Clemen's maxim should be observed, and we should seek the source of an idea (or word) in the native religion before going farther afield. Thus before Paul's doctrine of the Spirit is assigned with confidence to Hellenistic sources, the use of the term Spirit both in the Old Testament and in pre-Pauline Christianity should be studied. Paul quotes the passage from Joel which promises the outpouring of the Spirit (Rom. x. 13 f.; see Acts ii. 21). He brings the Spirit into connection with the blessing of Abraham (Gal. iii. 14). The Spirit is also mentioned in the introduction to the ministry of Jesus alike by Mark and by the non-Markan source. A sufficient and natural explanation of Paul's doctrine of the Spirit is to be found in the Old Testament, in Evangelical tradition and in the experience of the church at Pentecost, and in his own experience. When Paul speaks of "the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, 'Abba, Father'" (Rom. viii. 15; Gal. iv. 6), we have to do not with remote literary influences nor with the dry bones of any technical theology, Hebraic or Hermetic, but with the heart-throb of personal experience.
Reitzenstein believes that the Pauline vocabulary is best explained by the Hellenistic parallels, but he recognizes that the parallelism with the Old Testament should be considered. Thus while he thinks that he has shown parallels for all the Pauline uses of the word _pneuma_, he says "whether with equal ease all may be explained from the Hebraic use of _ruach_ and _nephesh_ or the use of _pneuma_ in the Septuagint the theologian must decide." Harnack, with some irony, advises Reitzenstein and his school to gain a clearer knowledge of Paul the Jew and Paul the Christian before they take account of secondary elements which he borrowed from the Greek mysteries. A conscious acceptance, he thinks, of such elements is out of the question.
249: "H. M. R.," p. 140.
250: "Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels," p. 61 n. Kennedy believes that the vocabulary of Paul is to be explained from the Old Testament, while much of it was current among the mystery brotherhoods (_Op. cit._, p. 198). Bousset acknowledges that Paul's terminology may perhaps in part be derived from the Old Testament, which would be the most natural source of his use of _pneuma_ instead of _nous_ to describe the spiritual part of man, and of the opposition in words between _pneuma_ and _sarx_ (_Op. cit._, p. 141, note 2). Clemen ("Der Einfluss der Mysterienreligionen auf das älteste Christentums," 1913, p. 61) says that "looked at broadly, Paul remains in verbal and much more in actual relationships untouched by the mystery religions."
If the Hermetic writings are to be dated later than the time of Paul, then the question of literary influence is reversed. Similarity in words will then be due to coincidence or to the prevalence of a common religious vocabulary, or else, as has recently been said, "if it is necessary to suppose literary connection, the artificial literary composition of 'Poimandres' makes it more probable that the borrowing was on that side." The question hinges upon the date of the "Poimandres," which it has been usual, at least since the middle of the seventeenth century, to assign to the age of Porphyry. Hermes has been regarded as "a convenient pseudonym to place at the head of the numerous syncretic writings in which it was sought to combine Neo-Platonic philosophy, Philonic Judaism and cabalistic theosophy, and so provide the world with some acceptable substitute for Christianity."
251: J. M. Creed: "The Hermetic Writings," _Journal of Theological Studies_, July, 1914, p. 529.
252: Art. "Hermes Trismegistus," Encycl. Britt., 10th ed. For a history of the evolution of opinion, see G. R. S. Mead: "Thrice-Greatest Hermes," 1906, Vol. I, pp. 17 ff.
By a brilliant _tour de force_ and with great learning Reitzenstein has sought to reverse this relationship, and to show that the original form of these writings, or at least the fixed religious ideas, vocabulary and ritual which they presuppose, antedated Pauline Christianity and profoundly influenced the writings of Paul and of John. He argues that the "Shepherd" of Hermas is dependent upon the "Poimandres," relying mainly upon two points: the similarity between the two writings in their introductions, and the fact that in the "Shepherd" the divine messenger appears on a mountain, Arcadia, which was the alleged birthplace of Hermes and a centre of the Hermes cult. The significant points of the introduction may thus be shown:
"POIMANDRES" "SHEPHERD" OF HERMAS 2. And I do say: "Who art Revelation 5. As I prayed in thou?" He saith: "I am the house, and sat on the couch, Man-Shepherd, Mind of all there entered a man glorious in master-hood; I know what thou his visage in the garb of a desirest and I'm with thee shepherd, and with a wallet on his everywhere." shoulders, and a staff in his hand. And he saluted me, 3. and I saluted him in return. And he immediately sat down by my side, and he saith unto me, "I was sent by the most holy angel, that I might dwell with thee the remaining days of thy life."
4. E'n with these words His "I," saith he, "am the shepherd, aspect changed, and unto whom thou wast delivered." straightway, in the twinkling While he was speaking, of an eye, all things were his form was changed, and I opened to me, and I see a recognized him as being the same, Vision limitless, etc. to whom I was delivered.
253: For the Greek text of both passages see "Poimandres," pp. 11, 12; and for the translation see Mead: _Op. cit._, ii, pp. 3, 4, and Lightfoot: "Apostolic Fathers," p. 421.
The decisive thing in the comparison is said to be not the change of form nor the assurance that the revealing spirit would always be with the prophet, "but that he revealed himself, to the heathen as the Shepherd of men (_Menschenhirten_), to the Christian as the Shepherd of this man." The comparison leads Reitzenstein to the twofold conclusion that the "Shepherd" of Hermas has taken over awkwardly a type foreign to Christian revelation literature, and that "the Christian borrowed that description of the shepherd from an originally fuller text."
254: "Poimandres," p. 12.
255: _Ibid._, pp. 13, 32.
The argument for borrowing is obviously weakened by the admission that Hermas did not borrow from the extant "Poimandres" but from an assumed earlier form of the text; and, further, it is by no means clear why the figure of the shepherd, familiar in the Old Testament and in the Gospel parables, should be a foreign type in Christian literature. Nor is the case materially strengthened by the argument that a later mention of a mountain in Arcadia, in the "Shepherd," implies an acquaintance with the "Poimandres" where no mention of Arcadia, but simply of descent from a mountain, is made. It is admitted that the leading up upon a mountain is a current form of Christian literature, but it is said that "the exact choice of Arcadia is more than surprising, since the author lived in Rome, and besides saw his visions at Rome or Cumæ."
256: "Poimandres," p. 33.
It seems unnecessary to guess with Zahn that "Arikia" should be read instead of "Arkadia," or to assume that Hermas was a native of Arcadia, or had a book of travels in his hands, or that he was thinking of Hermes or the Hermetic writings. The literary tradition connecting Arcadia with shepherds and with pastoral poetry was in itself enough, as Vergil's "Eclogues" may suggest. It is admitted that Hermas was a literary man even if "a man of the people," and what more natural place for a shepherd to appear, if it was to be upon a mountain, than a mountain in Arcadia? Shepherds have suggested Arcadia from the time of Vergil to that of Sir Philip Sydney, and Vergil, in breaking away from the Sicily of Theocritus, was quite probably following a tradition already established at Rome.
An historian of Roman religion, W. Warde Fowler, says of Christianity as preached by Paul that "the plant, though grown in a soil which had borne other crops, was wholly new in structure and vital principle. I say this deliberately, after spending so many years on the study of the religion of the Romans, and making myself acquainted in some measure with the religions of other peoples. The love of Christ is the entirely new power that has come into the world; not merely as a new type of morality, but as 'a Divine influence transfiguring human nature in a universal love.' The passion of St. Paul's appeal lies in the consecration of every detail of it by reference to the life and death of the Master."
257: "The Religious Experience of the Roman People," 1911, pp. 466, 467.
The gospel which conquered the Roman Empire was no syncretic product growing from Græco-Roman soil, no _mélange_ of oriental religions and Greek philosophy, no cunningly devised fable or myth for the myth-loving Greeks. No explanation of the character of Pauline Christianity, or of its victory over its rivals in the ancient world, can ignore the statements of Paul himself: "When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son; he revealed his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles" (Gal. iv. 4; i. 16).
II. CHRISTIANITY AND MODERN RELIGIONS
The relation of Christianity to modern religions is a matter of practical rather than theoretical interest. After the brilliant victories of the early missionary age, the activity of the church in spreading the gospel among the non-Christian peoples was for many centuries remitted, and it is only practically within the last one hundred years that the Christian Faith has been brought into actual contact, through the work of its missionaries, with the non-Christian religions.
Through its missionary propaganda Christianity has shown its genuineness and its devotion to the commands of its Founder; and so far as it has proved its ability to meet the religious needs and quicken the religious and intellectual life of diverse nationalities, it has supplied a practical demonstration of its divine origin and authority. The missionaries have supplied the church with a pattern of apostolic zeal, and have kept burning the fire of a passionate love and devotion for their Master. A British statesman has said that the unselfish imperialism of its missionary propaganda has been the crowning glory of the Anglo-Saxon race.
While the unceasing struggle of Christianity against worldliness, greed, indifference and unbelief still continues, it may be said that Christianity has to-day no rival as a claimant to be the universal religion. It alone can stand the white light of modern science, and it alone can stand the test of those moral ideals which have been largely created by itself. It is absolutely certain that none of the present ethnic religions can compete with Christianity in its contest for world supremacy.
The great danger to Christianity to-day, from the side of other religions, is not that of persecution or the hostility of the state. The danger lies in the temptation to compromise. Let Christianity, it is said, lay aside its assumption of divine and exclusive authority and of infinite superiority to all other religions, and let it make in its ethics some concessions to the weakness of human nature, and the path to world-conquest will be open.
Never was the temptation to compromise, with Judaism on the one hand and heathenism on the other, stronger than it was in the early ages of the Christian Church. If Christianity had compromised in the time of Jesus and Paul, persecution would have ceased and the scandal of the cross would have been removed. If early Christianity had compromised with heathenism, and had not waged unrelenting warfare upon idolatry, it could have escaped the united hostility of the state and of the other religions and philosophies; on the other hand, if Christianity had come to terms with Judaism or Paganism, while it might perhaps be known historically as an obscure Jewish sect, or as a ripple upon the wave of oriental religious influence upon the Græco-Roman world, it would never have been the mighty spiritual power that it has been in human society.
It is a mistake to-day to think that for Christianity the way of conquest is the way of compromise, and that Christianity can become a world religion, superseding all others, by laying aside its distinctive features and its exalted and exclusive claims. It would, indeed, be a mistake to import our doctrinal systems in all their controversial details into the heathen world, and the mystical oriental mind may easily clothe Christianity, itself an oriental religion, in new and more beautiful forms; but it would be, if possible, a greater mistake to attempt to substitute ethics or natural religion for doctrinal Christianity.
The rock of Islam will not yield to the preaching of a merely human and prophetic Jesus; nor will the preaching of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man--the same message which the Swamis and Babists, with a more pantheistic content to their message, preach in England and America--be effective to overthrow the hoary superstitions of India and the caste system with its hold upon every fibre of human nature.
A prominent educator and leader of thought has recently complained that Christianity as usually preached in foreign lands is unsuitable to the oriental mind. On the other hand, he chides the members of his own religious communion because they, "with magnificent ideals, with glorious concepts, with the truth of Christ in all its purity and simplicity, sit in smug content offering the world of missions, in the hour of its hunger, only the dry bones of criticism of those who already serve." But every practical movement, enlisting great masses of men and demanding tremendous sacrifice for its accomplishment, must have a rational basis. A humanitarian impulse is not sufficient to carry through to a conclusion so vast and world-embracing a plan as is contemplated by Christian Missions. The impulse however strong and noble will evaporate, unless based upon and fed by a theory of what the Christian religion is, of what it offers to men, of man's need of it, and of the obligation of Christians to carry it to the non-Christian nations. The history of missions has shown that no mere feeling of benevolence or desire to better social and economic conditions, but the command of Christ, love for Christ and gratitude to Christ has led the army of missionaries to endure separation, hardship, persecution and death.
258: Dr. Charles W. Eliot as reported in the press.
Lowell has said that every new edition of an Elizabethan dramatist "is but the putting of another witness into the box to prove the inaccessibility of Shakespeare's standpoint as poet and artist." Every comparison of Christianity with other religions, ancient and modern, brings its own superiority into stronger relief. In Jesus Christ and in Him alone have been fulfilled the great religious ideas of the race. In Him as prophet God's word is perfectly spoken, and He is the example who leads in the way of His own precepts. In Him are fulfilled the ideas of sacrifice and priesthood; He is the great High Priest, separate from sinners in His holiness, but near them in His compassion and mercy. He has put away sin and put away sacrifice by the offering of Himself once for all, and has destroyed the whole sacrificial system of Jews and Gentiles. He is the fulfillment of the idea of incarnation, of God coming to man and of the Most High visiting the children of men, for their rescue from all danger and the supply of all their needs.
In other religious and philosophical systems there have been golden maxims for the conduct of life, wonderful insights into truth and visions of beauty, and evidences of the reaching out of the human soul after God; but Christianity is the only religion of which the enlightened reason and conscience of the world can say that it is from heaven and not from men. In no other religion has there been a long period of centuries of preparation in the religious education of a people to be the recipients and the messengers, in the fullness of time, of the final revelation. In no other religion is there found a teaching so profound, and yet so simple and self-evidencing, upon the great themes of human interest, God, Immortality and Duty. From no other has gone forth an influence so beneficent and transforming in human history. In no other has there been a Calvary and an Easter Day, the great historic facts upon which the hopes of the world rest, and in no other has the undiscovered country been transformed into "the Father's house."
The Christian Faith and Biblical Criticism
We are living at a time when territory formerly deemed sacred is being traversed by hosts of forbidding aspect under the banners of natural science, of philosophy, and of the psychology and history of religion. The greatest foe of all, it has been thought by some, has arisen within the household of faith in the form of Biblical Criticism.
An eloquent American preacher, Dr. Richard S. Storrs, has said that when Luther translated the Bible into the vernacular, "the peasant's roof was lifted to a level with the stars." Into every home whose inmates could read there came, with the Bible in their own tongue, the message of divine love and redemption. With the freedom to read the Bible came also the freedom to study the Bible, to judge by its standard the doctrines and usages of the church, to compare Scripture with Scripture, and even to bring Scripture itself with its credentials before the bar of reason. Whatever the extremes into which criticism may have run in an age in which the Cartesian principle of doubt is applied to every received opinion, the rights of Biblical Criticism must be conceded as a legacy of the Reformation.
About the works of Homer, of Plato, of Dante and of Shakespeare there has gathered a mass of material in the way of commentary and discussion, but it is safe to say that in recent years the literary output in all of these departments of study taken together is small in comparison with that which centres around the Bible. The Biblical critic has helped to attract to the Bible the intellectual interest of our age, as well as to make it the storm-centre of theological controversy. He has made it a principal object of scholarly as well as devotional interest, has thrown a flood of light upon its pages from history, archæology, philology and comparative religion, and has challenged the devout Bible reader to a more intelligent, minute and painstaking examination of the fundamental documents of his faith.
The specialization of the age has assigned the Old Testament and the New Testament to different departments of study, and the problems of each must be independently investigated. It is evident, though, that the fortunes of the Old Testament and the New are closely bound up together. The same principles of criticism are likely to be applied to both, and whether we begin with naturalism or supernaturalism in the Old Testament we shall probably end with it in the New Testament. In both Testaments Babylonian influence may be traced, and the twelve apostles may follow the twelve patriarchs into the limbo of myth. If no supernatural process of redemption, in the way of history, prophecy or revelation, can be discovered in the Old Testament, it is unlikely that any will be discovered at all. The Fourth Gospel as well as the Pentateuch has been analyzed into documents, and the same great historical transposition is seen in both Testaments; Jewish monotheism is said to have begun with Amos instead of with Abraham, and Christianity in its distinctive features with Paul instead of with Jesus.
The present state of discussion in the Old Testament field indicates, to one not a specialist in this department, that positions which have been regarded as assured are not yet settled beyond question. The literary analysis is ingenious and plausible, but, as is shown in Orr's "Problem of the Old Testament," the argument is balanced. To offset the literary analysis and the rearrangement of the history in accordance with an evolutionary scheme, there are certain considerations from history, archæology, and common reason. No such analysis has been ventured in the case of modern documents that are confessedly composite, and in the case of Homer, the nearest classical parallel, there is the same uncertainty in the results.
Purely literary considerations, as Ramsay has remarked, yield before other more objective and historical data, and the literary theories are adjusted to meet the new situation. The temporary popularity in the New Testament field of the Baur-Tübingen theories, based on Hegelian principles of development, and then their general abandonment, suggest the need of caution before we accept any concensus of criticism, based upon literary and philosophical grounds alone, as the last word upon the subject. Our special concern in this lecture is with the problems of the New Testament, and we may consider briefly, I. The Pauline Epistles, II. The Acts, III. The Synoptic Problem, and IV. The Johannine Problem.
259: "Luke the Physician," p. 262.
I. THE PAULINE EPISTLES
It is frequently said that the figure of the Apostle Paul stands out against the background of history in bolder relief and with individual features more strongly marked than does any other character in antiquity. Not only has his public career been narrated by one who was apparently his friend and companion in labours, but he has left a large collection of letters, full of profound teaching upon religion and ethics, and abounding in autobiographic details and in intimate revelations of character.
The school of Baur recognized as genuine only the four central epistles, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians, making in bulk about three-fifths of the writings, exclusive of Hebrews, which have been assigned to Paul. The tendency of criticism since the time of Baur has been steadily in the direction of the acceptance of other epistles as Pauline. Colossians, Philippians and I Thessalonians have now been added to the list of the generally accepted writings, and it is only the fringe of Paul's writings that can be said to be still in dispute. Of these "anti-legomena," 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians and the Pastorals, it is noticeable that two of them are rejected largely on the ground that they resemble so closely in ideas and vocabulary the admittedly Pauline letters of I Thessalonians and Colossians, while a Pauline nucleus is often acknowledged in the Pastorals by those who do not assign the epistles as a whole to Paul.
Students of Ephesians, moreover, are coming to hear in it more and more clearly, if we mistake not, the voice of the Apostle and the expression of his mature Christian experience, and of that doctrine of the church in which Royce sees the essence of Paulinism. A. C. Headlam says that it is the careful study of a book that will often solve the question of its origin, and remarks: "To me Ephesians is Pauline through and through, and more even than Romans represents the deepest thought of the Apostle." The important fact is that, when all the disputed epistles are excluded, the progress of criticism has placed beyond reasonable doubt the great body of the Apostle's teaching and the bulk of his writings. The practical question now at issue, as Ramsay has observed, is not, "What did Paul write?" but "What did Paul teach?"
260: "St. Paul and Christianity," 1913, p. viii.
261: _Contemporary Review_, August, 1913, p. 198.
In Paul's acknowledged writings we have a solid basis in fact from which to estimate the Gospel narratives and the Acts. The epistles of Paul carry us back into the circle of the earlier apostles and of the Jerusalem church, and throw light upon various events and aspects of the life, character, words, death, and resurrection of Christ.
II. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
The book of Acts, while secondary in interest to the Gospels, occupies a central place in New Testament criticism. It is the bridge between the Ascension and the time thirty years later when Nero persecuted "a great multitude called Christians at Rome." It covers the period in which doctrinal evolution took place. Through its authorship it bridges the gap between the Gospels and the Pauline church among the Gentiles.
The course of the history in the early chapters of Acts is so different from that which the imagination of a later age would have pictured, that it bears upon its face the marks of early origin and of trustworthiness. To a later writer, without contact with the actors, and writing after the destruction of the Temple and the final breach of the Christians with the Jews and the assured success of the Gentile mission, it would seem exceedingly improbable (1) that the apostolic company should have continued to worship in the Temple; (2) that they should at first have found favour with the people; and (3) that they should have remained in Jerusalem with no apparent intention of leaving until scattered by persecution; and perhaps (4) that the Sadducees should have been the first to start the persecution. The recorded history, improbable to a later age, bears upon its face the stamp of truth. The imagination of a post-Pauline writer would have given us, we may be sure, a very different picture of church history. It would scarcely have conceived of the primitive Christology of Peter's speeches, the use of the term, "child," or "servant" of God (παῖς [pais]) in place of the Pauline term, "Son of God" (υἱός [huios]), yet with the same attitude, shared by Christians of earlier and later time, of adoration, worship and love.
The presumption in favour of credibility is strengthened by the author's full and detailed treatment of persons and places. "A man who would venture to introduce ninety-five persons and a hundred and three places into a history of his own times must have been pretty sure of his ground. The majority of these persons were still living when he wrote; into every one of these places his volume shortly penetrated.... The correctness of his geography upholds the truth of his history."
262: Arthur Wright: "Some New Testament Problems," pp. 88, 89.
A great many of the statements of the Acts can be checked by comparison with Paul's epistles, as has been shown by Paley's "Horæ Paulinæ," and more recently, for the first part of the Acts, by Harnack. In case of apparent conflict, it has been said, "we are confronted by the task of reconciling the differences between two first-century documents, each of which has, admittedly, very powerful claims." More than half of the Acts is taken up with the labours of the Apostle Paul, and yet the Acts does not mention or show knowledge of his epistles. This fact, used by some to throw doubt upon the genuineness of the epistles, may be an indication of the early date of the Acts, and of so close a relationship between the author and the Apostle that the evidence of letters would be unnecessary.
263: Dawson Walker: "The Gift of Tongues," 1906, p. 181.
Important alike in its bearing upon the questions of credibility and authorship, is the evidence of the so-called "we-sections." A _prima facie_ case is made out that the author of the Acts was an eye-witness of some of the scenes it records, and a companion in travel of the Apostle Paul. This evidence has of late been greatly strengthened by linguistic investigation. While critical attempts are still made to divide the Acts into documents, the "we-sections" (xvi. 10-17; xx. 5-15; xxi. 1-18; xxvii. 1-xxviii. 16), as Sir J. Hawkins says, show an "immense balance of internal and linguistic evidence in favour of the view that the original writer of these sections was the same person as the main author of the Acts and of the Third Gospel."
264: "Horæ Synopticæ," 2d ed., 1909, p. 188.
No living writers have done more to stimulate interest in the book of Acts than have Sir W. M. Ramsay and Harnack, and the writings of both have materially strengthened the case alike for its Lukan authorship, and, in the main, for its historical accuracy. Ramsay, starting, as he says, from the standpoint of the Tübingen school, "with the confident assumption that the book was fabricated in the middle of the second century, and studying it to see what light it could throw on the state of society in Asia Minor, was gradually driven to the conclusion that it must have been written in the first century and with admirable knowledge."
265: "Pauline Studies," p. 199.
Harnack's defense, in his four monographs, of the Lukan authorship, integrity, historical reliability (where the supernatural is not in question) and early date of the Acts is the most outstanding and significant achievement of the age in New Testament criticism. Harnack's work has been so thorough and convincing that it may be said to have carried the theological world by storm. At least his powerful argument for Lukan authorship does not appear to have been successfully met. The attempt to turn its flank by asserting that the Paul of Acts, in making a vow, shaving his head and entering into the Temple, was not the defender of Gentile liberty who wrote Galatians, and so that the author of the Acts was not the companion of Paul, is met by Harnack in the fourth of his monographs. Paul, he declares, not only was a Jew, but remained so, whether consistently or not. Harnack thinks that Paul shrank back from taking the last logical step, but that in this the author of the Acts represents the relation of Paul to Judaism precisely as do his letters. Stanton well remarks that the difficulty of accounting for alleged discrepancies between the Acts and the Epistles is equal or greater on the supposition that the author wrote 100 A. D., or later, than if the author was the companion of Paul. The very fact, for example, that Luke says that Paul worshipped in the Temple is an indication that we have here no conception of a later age to which such an act would have seemed unnatural.
266: "Beiträge zur Einl. in das N. T.": I. "Lukas der Arzt," 1906; II. "Sprüche und Reden Jesu," 1907; III. "Die Apostelgeschichte," 1908; IV. "Neue Untersuchungen zur Apostelgeschichte und zur Abfassungszeit des Synoptischen Evangelien," 1911. For convenience these will be alluded to as I, II, III, and IV, in connection with the English translation.
267: IV, p. 35; "Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels," p. 49.
268: _Ibid._, p. 62; E. T., p. 88.
269: "The Gospels as Historical Documents," Pt. II, 1909, p. 242.
In his "Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels" (IV), Harnack reverses his former opinion and strongly defends a date for the Acts within the lifetime of Paul and before the end of his trial at Rome. Reviewing his former arguments for a later date, he finds them inconclusive, and thinks that the earlier date is required by the abrupt close of the Acts. Minor considerations favouring an early date are (1) the titles for Christ in the early chapters, and for Christians, and the description of the Jews as "the people of God"; (2) the fact that the Jews are the persecutors and not the persecuted; (3) the absence of any indication of the use of Paul's letters such as would be expected in a later writer; (4) the use of the "first day of the week," instead of the "Lord's Day," and of the names of Jewish feasts, in which Luke stands with Paul against later writers. And (5) even the prediction, Acts xx. 25, which looks primarily to Jerusalem, not Rome, would not have been written, if the second imprisonment be accepted, after its apparent falsification by I Timothy i. 3 and 2 Timothy i. 18. H. Koch develops these arguments independently, and it can no longer be said that the early dating of the Acts is "a pre-critical theory which rests on sentimental or subjective grounds."
270: "Die Abfassungszeit des lukanischen Geschichtswerkes," 1911.
271: J. Moffatt: "Historical New Testament," p. 414, note 4. It is noticeable that Moffatt now favours the Lukan authorship, "put practically beyond doubt by the exhaustive researches of Hawkins and Harnack" ("Introduction to New Testament," p. 295), while advocating a date later than Josephus' "Antiquities" (pp. 29 f.).
Why should the author follow so carefully the fortunes of the Apostle on his voyage to Rome, and describe so fully the initial stages of his trial, and yet leave the reader in doubt concerning its outcome? Commentators have been puzzled by the seemingly inordinate space which Luke devotes to the details of the voyage and shipwreck. Sometimes it is said that the voyage marks the final rejection of the Jewish people; or in the description is seen a literary device intended to intensify the suspense of the reader; or allegorical interpretations are resorted to by those who think that Luke would not thus descend from the level of the philosophical historian to that of the novelist.
In the minute description of the voyage and shipwreck, Koch sees evidence that the writer's experiences as Paul's companion on the voyage were still fresh in his mind. The details would scarcely have been remembered and recorded so vividly after twenty-five years. Even if a journal had been kept, it is still strange that the minutiæ of the story should have been retained in the perspective of the finished history. "The author still stands under the fresh impression of the wonderful divine guidance through which Paul, in spite of all dangers and hindrances, reached his long sought goal." "What interest would a reader of later times have in details such as that on an Alexandrian ship precisely two hundred and seventy-six men were found?" In the seventh or eighth decade more important contemporary events would have stood in the foreground of interest. A striking parallelism has been observed between the Third Gospel and the Acts, while, supposing Paul's death to have occurred, it is urged that Luke has missed "the finest--the most essential--point of the whole comparison, the death of Paul."
272: H. Koch: "Die Abfassungszeit des lukanischen Geschichtswerkes," pp. 61, 62.
273: D. Walker: "The Gift of Tongues," p. 228.
The assumed intention of the author to write a third treatise does not help the matter much. It is absurd, Ramsay admits, to relate the earlier stages of the trial at great length, "and wholly omit the final result which gives them intelligibility and purpose"; but his conclusion is that "it therefore follows that a sequel was contemplated by the author," a sequel which the "first" (prôtos) of Acts i. 1 implies, if Luke "wrote as correct Greek as Paul wrote." But the intention of writing a sequel does not explain the failure to mention the outcome of the trial. Luke would have no motive like the writer of a continued story for keeping the reader in suspense, and the simple addition of the words "until his release or acquittal" would have relieved the suspense, and given "intelligibility and purpose" to the detailed description of the earlier stages of the trial. The account of the Ascension is not omitted from Luke's Gospel although given in greater detail in the Acts. There is nothing un-philosophical in the abrupt ending of a history which brings the record down to the date of writing.
274: "Paul the Traveller," pp. 307-309. The use of "first" (πρῶτos [prôtos]) is not decisive, for it is used where there are but two objects in the comparison in Acts xii. 10 (and see vii. 12), Hebrews ix. 8 and 15, Apoc. xx. 5, and even I Corinthians xv. 47.
The leading argument against an early date for the Acts is drawn from the possible use by Luke of the writings of Josephus, and the crux of the question is in the words put into the mouth of Gamaliel (Acts v. 36, 37). The coincidence of the names of Theudas and Judas of Galilee (Acts v. 36, 37; Antiq. xx. v. 1 and 2) is striking and, if the two men named Theudas be identified and Josephus is correct, Luke is guilty of an anachronism in putting an allusion to him into the mouth of Gamaliel; for the Theudas of Josephus falls in the time of Fadus who was procurator under Claudius, about 45 A. D. The following points deserve to be noticed:
(1) Luke had from Paul, whether or not Paul was present at the meeting of the Sanhedrin, the best means of knowing what Gamaliel, his teacher and the spokesman of the Pharisaic party, actually said. (2) The assumption that Luke was quoting Josephus is in itself very difficult when we compare the passages. Luke speaks of about four hundred under Theudas while Josephus mentions a great part of the people; Luke speaks of Judas while Josephus speaks of the sons of Judas. To quote thus loosely from his assumed authority and then to commit the further blunder of making Gamaliel allude to an event which occurred at least a dozen years later is, while possible, strangely out of keeping with Luke's proved care and accuracy in most of his historical allusions. The difficulty is acknowledged by those who make Luke dependent on Josephus. Why did Luke diverge from a correct narrative if he had one before him? Writers who affirm (Holtzmann) and those who deny (Schürer) the dependence on Josephus practically agree that if Luke had read Josephus he had forgotten him. (3) In the narrative of the death of Herod (Acts xii. 20 f.; Antiq. xix. viii. 2), where the two authors most obviously come together, both are plainly describing the same event, and yet seem to be quite independent both in the use of words and in the details of the description. (4) The cumulative evidence of an early date for Luke weighs heavily in the scale against the hypothesis of dependence upon the "Antiquities" written about 93 or 94 A. D.
The question of date cannot be said to be absolutely settled, but the tendency of criticism as illustrated by Harnack is to the acceptance of an early date, as well as to that of the Lukan authorship of the entire book. It is difficult to see how Harnack, with his present defense of a date before Paul's release from prison, can consistently maintain his skepticism where the supernatural events recorded in the Acts are concerned. It is idle to say that his "revolution in chronology" has no effect upon the question of reliability. It is an established principle of historical method that the nearer a tradition is to the event it professes to describe, the more likely it is to be trustworthy. The resources of Harnack's learning have been used in support of the reliability of Luke in his geographical and chronological references, and his treatment of persons and reports of their speeches. He has shown that Luke was in touch with the leaders of the Jerusalem church, and that his statements are abundantly confirmed by the writings of Paul. If Luke wrote within the lifetime of Paul, the Acts was published while the main actors were still living, and, by inference, it recorded events as Peter and Barnabas and Apollos and Philip and Mark thought that they happened. If further, as Harnack argues, it was written during Paul's imprisonment there seems no room for doubt that it was written under the eye and with the full endorsement of its principal actor, and that we have thus the implicit guarantee not only of Luke but of Paul also for the accuracy of its record.
275: III, p. 97; "Acts of the Apostles," p. 112.
276: _Ibid._, pp. 101 ff.; E. T., pp. 117 ff.
III. THE SYNOPTIC PROBLEM
It has been said that the two most important questions for religion are those of the rational foundations of theism and of the trustworthiness of the Four Gospels. The Gospel records have always been regarded as the citadel of the Christian Faith. Not only do they contain the record of works of power and words of grace, and of a transcendent Personality, but they have always been considered to have been themselves supernatural in origin and character. They have been regarded as "a house not made with hands" (Robertson Nicoll), "a miracle of the Holy Ghost" (Stier), "the heaven-drawn picture of Christ, the living Word." The criticism of the past century, in its quest for the historical Jesus, has taken a very different attitude towards the Evangelical records. By many critics they have been regarded as a patchwork of traditions, a work of pious but credulous men, whose idealization and exaggeration, in the supposed interest of faith, it is necessary to discount in order to reach the bed-rock of historical fact.
277: Dr. Francis L. Patton, in an address.
The literary relation of the Synoptic Gospels to one another has furnished to the New Testament student a problem of great intricacy and singular fascination. Its importance for our present purpose is in its bearing upon the trustworthiness of our canonical Gospels. The school of Baur, under the influence of the Hegelian dialectic, saw in Matthew, the Jewish Gospel, the thesis; in Luke, the Gentile Gospel, the antithesis; and lastly in Mark, the neutral Gospel, the synthesis or last term of the development. Criticism since the time of Baur has, with much unanimity, seen in Mark not the latest but the first of the Gospels, and has made Matthew and Luke dependent upon Mark.
The theory which has for some years held the field is the so-called "two-document" theory. According to this Matthew and Luke, usually regarded as independent of each other, are both dependent, for much of their narrative portion and for the framework of their history, upon Mark, and, for the non-Markan discourse material which they have in common, upon a collection of the sayings of Jesus, formerly designated as "the Logia" but now usually called by the letter "Q." The importance of the Synoptic Problem, for our present purpose, is in its historical rather than its literary features. Assuming the priority of Mark, and assuming that Matthew and Luke were dependent upon him alone in those parts of their narratives which have Markan parallels, it is clear that we must regard all deviations made by the other Synoptists from the Markan narrative as of only secondary value. Variations from Mark, if Mark be the sole source, whether these consist of additions, omissions or modifications in the narrative, obviously add nothing to our knowledge of the facts, but simply represent changes which the later writers have made in their source from subjective reasons. It is important, then, to ask whether, in the present state of opinion upon the inter-Synoptic relations, there is reason to believe that Matthew and Luke are following Mark as their sole authority for the narratives which have Markan parallels.
There is now a quite general recognition of the fact that the literary problem presented by the Synoptic Gospels is exceedingly intricate, and that the "two-document" hypothesis in its simplicity has not solved all the difficulties. It is recognized that it must be modified in one of three directions.
(1) There may be said to be a growing appreciation of the part which oral transmission has played in the composition of the Gospels. This is shown for example in the volume of Oxford "Studies in the Synoptic Problem" (1911), and by the statement of Sir John Hawkins, who, in the second edition of his "Horæ Synopticæ" (1909), expresses the strong opinion "that at least the Second and Third Evangelists had provided themselves with written documents as their main sources, but that they often omitted to refer closely to them, partly because of the physical difficulties which there must have been in consulting manuscripts, and partly because of the oral knowledge of the life and sayings of Jesus Christ which they had previously acquired as learners and used as teachers, and upon which therefore it would be natural for them to fall back very frequently." It is natural to suppose, with Schmiedel, that oral tradition continued for a considerable time after the first documents were written.
278: Compare the statement of J. V. Bartlett: "I am not convinced that there ever was a written 'book of discourses' that has perished" (p. 360).
279: "Horæ Synopticæ," 2d ed., p. 217.
280: Art. "Gospels," Encycl. Bib., vol. ii. col. 1846.
(2) A considerable number of scholars, finding that Mark condenses his account of such incidents as the Baptism and Temptation of Jesus and the discourse concerning Beelzebub, and that Matthew and Luke are parallel in matter which they add at these points to the Markan account, have concluded that Mark must have used Q, the assumed source of the Matthew-Luke agreements. A moderate statement is that of Dr. Sanday: "I do not think that Q was used by Mark regularly and systematically, as the later Evangelists use his own narrative; but he must have known of its existence, and reminiscences of it seem to have clung to him and from time to time made their way into his text." 
281: "Studies in the Synoptic Problem," pp. xvi, xvii.
(3) Another group of scholars, basing their view on the agreement of Matthew and Luke against Mark in matter with Markan parallels, and on the difficulty of accounting for some omissions from Mark in the later Evangelists (such as the omission in Luke, where it would be most appropriate, of the story about the Syro-Phoenician woman), have framed a theory of different recensions in Mark, one being used by Matthew, a different one by Luke, and a final recension, whether the work of the Evangelist himself or of an editor, representing our canonical Mark. This theory in different forms has been advocated by Stanton in his "Gospels as Historical Documents," Part II (1909), and more recently by Holdsworth in his "Gospel Origins" (1913). When the two-document theory is held in this form, the priority of Mark belongs only to the assumed earlier editions, for whose extent and contents there is no objective evidence except the assumed dependence, while our canonical Mark is later than either Matthew or Luke.
There is a growing tendency to find secondary elements in Mark as well as in Matthew or Luke. Hawkins, it will be recalled, gives a list of passages in Mark "which may have been omitted or altered (by the other Evangelists) as being liable to be misunderstood, or to give offense, or to suggest difficulties." Of the passages which seem (a) to limit the power of Jesus, or (b) to be otherwise derogatory to, or unworthy of Him, the more noteworthy of the twenty-two instances given by Hawkins are as follows: under (a),
282: "Horæ Synopticæ," 2d ed., pp. 117 f.
1. Mark i. 32-34, "He healed many that were sick." Matthew viii. 16, "He healed all"; cf. Luke iv. 40, "Every one of them."
3. Mark vi. 5, "He could there do no mighty work, save etc." Matthew xiii. 58, "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief."
2. Mark i. 12, "The Spirit driveth him forth." Matthew and Luke use words meaning to "lead."
4. Mark iii. 21, "They said he is beside himself." This is omitted by Matthew and Luke.
10. Mark x. 17, 18, "Good Master" and "Why callest thou me good?" appear in Matthew xix. 16, 17 (R. V.) as "Master" and "Why askest thou me concerning that which is good?" Luke follows Mark.
Over against these passages may be placed others where the change, if any, and whether made unconsciously or for reasons of style or with conscious tendency, would seem to be in the other direction.
1. In the Parable of the Vineyard, Matthew xxi. 37, "My son." Luke xx. 13, "My beloved son." Mark xii. 6, "He had yet one, a beloved son."
2. Matthew x. 42, "A cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple." Compare Mark ix. 41, "In name because ye are of Christ."
3. Luke xxiii. 47, "Certainly this was a righteous man." Mark xv. 39, "Truly this man was the Son of God," or "a son of God." Matthew xxvii. 54 follows Mark.
4. (According to Bousset) Mark's abbreviation of Q in iii. 27 makes it appear that it was Jesus who bound the strong man, instead of God.
283: "Kyrios Christos," p. 49.
5. Matthew xiii. 55, "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Compare Luke iv. 22, "Is not this Joseph's son?" Mark vi. 3, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?" Belief in the Virgin Birth is perhaps safeguarded by Mark.
6. Mark x. 45, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, etc." Here Bousset sees a dogmatic working over of Luke xxii. 27, "I am among you as one that serves." Matthew xx. 28 follows Mark.
284: "Kyrios Christos," p. 9, note 1.
So far as tendency to Christological heightening is concerned, critics of the school of Bousset are now especially severe against Mark. It appears that "Luke's Gospel in the Passion history has preserved a series of primary traditions over against Mark." Holdsworth finds a number of secondary elements, mostly stylistic, in Mark where the three Gospels have a common narrative. Among these are the vivid touches of the second Gospel, considered to be "distinctly secondary features," the fuller descriptions in many instances, and the use of the noun "gospel" not found at all in Luke although the verb is used, and not found in Matthew in its absolute sense.
285: "Kyrios Christos," p. 44.
286: "Gospel Origins," pp. 118 f.
Taking, then, the present state of opinion as to the relation of our Mark to the other Gospels, we see that while in general the "priority of Mark" is in some sense defended, yet the relation between any given passage in Matthew or Luke and its parallel in Mark may be variously construed. When Matthew, for example, deviates from Mark, this modification according to current theories may arise (1) from the first Evangelist's fancy or his dogmatic tendency, and will in either case be historically worthless. It may arise (2) from reliable oral tradition, and in this case be as worthy of credence as the Markan source. It may be derived (3) from the source Q, but may be for some reason omitted by Mark, whose knowledge of Q is assumed. The deviation in Matthew may (4) have been found in a proto- or deutero-Mark, but have been omitted in his final edition. The difference in this case between Matthew and Mark is no greater than that between two editions of the same work.
The point to be emphasized is that, in the present state of opinion upon the Synoptic problem, the difference of one Evangelist from another does not in itself invalidate the testimony of either. The Synoptic problem, while primarily a literary problem, is indeed "fraught with momentous issues which the Church, and not scientific criticism only, is concerned to face"; but in the present state of the discussion, the fact that Matthew adds to or modifies the narrative of Mark does not necessarily place the Matthean modification upon a lower plane of credibility than the Markan statement. The Matthean modification may be an exact copy of an earlier edition of Mark, or may be derived from one of Mark's sources, Q, or may be taken from that stream of oral tradition coming from "eye-witnesses and ministers of the word," which Luke in his preface evidently regarded as the touchstone of historical truth, whatever his use of written sources.
287: H. L. Jackson, in "Cambridge Biblical Essays," 1909, p. 432.
Passing over the vexed question of Q, we may observe that the acceptance of Harnack's early dating of the Acts and Luke would further complicate the two-document theory. He agrees that Luke was written before the Acts, and the Acts before Paul's trial at Rome was decided; further that Mark is one of the sources of Luke, and that Mark was written at Rome. "Tradition asserts no veto against the hypothesis that Luke, when he met Mark in the company of Paul the prisoner, was permitted by him to peruse a written record of the Gospel history which was essentially identical with the Gospel of Mark given to the Church at a later time." Perhaps, he intimates, "Luke was not yet acquainted with Mark's final revision, which, as we can quite well imagine, Mark undertook while in Rome." The priority of Mark, under this supposition, is left hanging by a slender thread. It is highly probable that Luke gathered the material for his work (and a great part of it was certainly independent of Mark) while in Palestine, and if he did not see Mark's Gospel, or a rough draft of it, until he was in Rome, it is improbable that the Markan document was his primary and principal source, as the two-document theory asserts.
288: IV, p. 93; "Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels," p. 133.
Whatever the literary foundation of the two-document theory, it cannot be said to have led to any very important historical results. Those who regard the portrait of Jesus in Mark as historical see in the portrayal of Matthew and Luke only a difference in the _nuances_ of the narrative. On the other hand, those who cannot accept the picture drawn by the First and the Third Evangelists are equally unable to accept that given to us by Mark. The criticism of the sources, in its usual form, has not revealed to us a Jesus who is more historical than the Jesus of any of the Synoptists; and it is necessary to pursue the quest in the more problematical region of "sources of sources." In this process Mark is found to be as little historical as the other Synoptic Gospels, or even as the Gospel of John.
The "dissonances of the Evangelists" appear to be left practically where they were before the present movement in Synoptic criticism began. They remain what they always have been when one Gospel is compared with another, and are neither softened nor made more acute by any certain results which have been reached in the study of the Synoptic problem. Some, no doubt, may say that the discrepancies are so great that the Synoptic Gospels cannot be accepted as historical records; while others will say, as does a devout commentator on the Acts, that "such is the naturalness of Holy Scripture that it seems as though it were indifferent about a superficial consistency. So it ever is with truth: its harmony is often veiled and hidden; while falsehood sometimes betrays itself, to a practised ear, by a studied and ostentatious uniformity." Others again will appeal to the writers on historical method, such as Langlois and Seignobos: "The natural tendency is to think that the closer the agreement is, the greater is its demonstrative power; we ought, on the contrary, to adopt as a rule the paradox that an agreement proves more when it is confined to a small number of circumstances. It is at such points of coincidence between diverging statements that we are to look for scientifically established historical facts." The inter-Synoptic differences are certainly, in general, no greater than those which a single author allowed himself in the accounts of the same incident, as is shown in Luke's threefold account of the conversion of the Apostle Paul.
289: C. J. Vaughan: "The Church of the First Days," p. 547.
290: "Introduction to the Study of History," pp. 201, 202.
IV. THE JOHANNINE PROBLEM
It is scarcely surprising that the mystery which surrounds the most mysterious Personality in history should communicate itself to the records which tell of His life, and even to the authors of these records. If the Synoptic problem is a "well," as Goethe said, the problem presented by the "spiritual Gospel" usually assigned to the Apostle John is equally fascinating and difficult. The mystery of the Master has in part enveloped the disciple whom Jesus loved.
The questions of the authorship and the historicity of the Fourth Gospel are closely bound together. If the Gospel is a theological romance intended to give currency to the conceptions of the Alexandrian philosophy, it is clear that its authorship cannot be ascribed to one of the disciples of Jesus. On the other hand, if it was written by one of the Apostolic band, it must certainly, whether reliable or not in its details, contain a wealth of historical reminiscence which will enrich our knowledge of the personality, the words and the deeds of Christ.
It is an interesting fact that a strong defense of the Apostolic authorship of the Gospel has been made, in the present generation and in the one which preceded it, by writers whose theological position would incline them to an opposite conclusion. The strength of the evidence for Johannine authorship lies in the testimony which it receives from all parts of the early church, whether divisions be made on geographical or theological lines, and in the links of connection which bind the witnesses to the alleged scene of John's labours and to the Apostle himself.
291: Ezra Abbot, 1880 (see "The Fourth Gospel," by Abbot, Peabody and Lightfoot, 1891) and James Drummond: "Character and Authorship of the Fourth Gospel," 1904.
If it be objected that John, as a Galilean fisherman and an unlettered man, could not have produced a work so profound in thought and so polished in Greek composition, the objection may be compared with that which is raised against the authorship of the plays which go under the name of Shakespeare. Andrew Lang remarks with irony upon the surprising belief that "a young man from a little country town, and later an actor, could possibly possess Shakespeare's vast treasures of general information, or Latin enough to have read the Roman classics."
292: "A New Theory of Shakespeare," _Independent_, December 22, 1910, p. 1373.
The external evidence for Johannine authorship is strong and, with the exception of the obscure sect of the "Alogi," is uniform. It is "sufficient," and there can be little doubt that it would be efficient in producing general belief except for the theological interests involved. Objections to the Apostolic authorship from the side of the external evidence are based (1) upon supposed indications that John was martyred with James at Jerusalem and never lived in Ephesus at all, and (2) upon the statement of Papias, interpreted to mean that two men by the name of John lived in Ephesus. (1) The evidence upon the first point is confessedly late and confused. It is contained in the statements of Georgios Hamartolos, a ninth-century writer, and in the so-called "De Boor Fragment," purporting to contain an extract from a fifth-century writer, Philip of Side. The former says that Nerva, "having recalled John from the island, dismissed him to live in Ephesus. Then, being the only survivor of the twelve disciples, and having composed the Gospel according to him, he has been deemed worthy of martyrdom. For Papias, the Bishop of Hierapolis, having been an eye-witness of him, says in the second book of the 'Oracles of the Lord,' that he was slain by the Jews, having, as is clear, with his brother James, fulfilled the prediction of Christ concerning him, and his own confession and assent in regard to this." He adds that the learned Origen, in his commentary on Matthew, "affirms that John μεμαρτύρηκεν [memartyrêken] (has borne witness, or suffered martyrdom), intimating that he had learned this from the successors of the Apostles." But Origen, in his comment on Matthew xx. 23, says that "the king of the Romans, as tradition teaches, condemned John, witnessing for the truth, to the island of Patmos." If Georgios Hamartolos thus incorrectly refers to Origen as a witness to the martyrdom of John, less weight attaches to his professed reproduction of the statement of Papias.
293: Epiphanius: "Haer.," li.
294: See F. W. Worsley: "The Fourth Gospel and the Synoptists," 1909, pp. 174 f.
The "De Boor Fragment" contains the statement that "Papias, in the second book, says that John the Divine and James his brother were slain by the Jews." This supports the statement of the ninth-century writer in regard to the second book of Papias, but the evidence, whether for the martyrdom of John by the Jews, or for the fact that John was put to death at the same time with his brother James, as is sometimes inferred, is exceedingly slight. Paul (Gal. ii. 9) speaks of John at a time usually identified with the Council at Jerusalem (Acts xv.), although Ramsay would identify it with Acts xi. 30, thus placing it immediately before the death of James (Acts xii. 2). The statement of Georgios that John lived in Ephesus at the time of Nerva also negatives this supposition. Of the slightly attested view that John was martyred at an early date, Dr. Dawson Walker remarks: "It is difficult to think that this latter hypothesis would have met with so great favour if it had not been such an effective instrument in excluding St. John from any possibility of being the writer of the Fourth Gospel." The statements that John was put to death by the Jews may possibly be an inference from the prophecy, "The cup that I drink ye shall drink, etc." (Mark x. 39).
295: "Texte und Untersuchungen," v. 2, p. 170.
296: "Present Day Criticism," _Expositor_, March, 1912, p. 251. For the statement of a Syriac calendar (411 A.D.) commemorating "John and James the Apostles at Jerusalem" as martyrs on 27th December, see Allen and Grensted: "Introduction to the Books of the New Testament," 1913, p. 94.
(2) A mediating theory, based upon the well-known statement of Papias in which a "presbyter" John may, with much probability, be distinguished from the Apostle of that name, does not deny the influence of the Apostle upon the construction of the Fourth Gospel, while its ultimate authorship is assigned to the "presbyter" John. The hypothesis of the two Johns rests upon the statement of Papias' fragment as interpreted by Eusebius; but Eusebius, while suggesting that the "presbyter" might have written the Apocalypse, indicates no doubt of the Apostolic authorship of the Gospel and the First Epistle. The possibility that there were two Johns, who were both in some sense disciples of the Lord (as Papias describes the "presbyter"), who both lived in Asia Minor, and who were both more or less concerned in the writing of the Fourth Gospel, cannot be denied. But it is also possible that Papias has been misinterpreted, and that, when he described the "presbyter" John, the disciple of the Lord, he had only the Apostle John in mind. In this case we should be freed from the necessity, involved in the theory of authorship we are considering, of supposing that the Apostle had a mysterious _alter ego_ of the same name, who was with him alike in Palestine and in Asia Minor, shared in a degree his authority and published the substance of his teaching, and so completely merged his personality in that of the Apostle that in the Gospel record no trace of a separate "presbyter" can be found, and there is no mention of the name of either John.
297: Eusebius: "Hist. Eccl.," iii. 39. "What was said ... by John or Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples, and what Aristion and the Presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say." The argument for two Johns is based upon the fact that the name is mentioned twice and that different tenses are used.
The First Epistle, supposed to be a sort of supplement to the Gospel, is of importance in its bearing upon the question of authorship. As a recent writer says: "The persistent note of authority which is overheard, rather than heard, in the Epistles is the more impressive because it is only implied. St. John assumes that his authority is unquestioned and unquestionable by those Asians who are loyal to the Christian tradition. When we compare his letters with those of his younger contemporaries, we conclude that it was unquestionably because he was an Apostle."
298: Rev. H. J. Bardsley: "The Testimony of Ignatius and Polycarp to the Authorship of 'St. John,'" _Journal of Theological Studies_, Vol. XIV, No. 56, July, 1913, p. 491.
Another mediating position, adopted by those who do not accept the full Apostolic authorship, is found in a theory of partition, which assigns a portion of the Gospel to the Apostle. The artistic unity of the Gospel and the qualities of style which distinguish it from other writings present a grave difficulty to any theory of partition. As a sort of half-way house it will scarcely be permanently tenable. Of Spitta's analysis, which assigns a part of the Gospel to the Apostle, it has been objected by a critic of more radical sympathies that such an admission places him outside the limits of scientific criticism.
299: C. A. Bernoulli, in appendix to Overbeck's "Johannesevangelium," 1911, pp. 504, 505.
The stronghold of the evidence alike for and against the Johannine authorship is to be found in the facts of the Gospel itself. On the one hand a powerful argument, such as that which has been developed by Lightfoot and Westcott, can be drawn to show that the author of the Gospel must have been a Jew, a Jew of Palestine, a disciple of Jesus, one of the inner circle of disciples, and in fact none other than the "beloved disciple" himself. The internal facts of the Gospel are used in a different way by others to show that the Fourth Gospel differs so radically in scene, in the style of its discourses, and indeed in its entire portrait of Jesus, that it cannot be accepted as historical, or as the work of one of the disciples.
The difference in scene between the Galilean Gospels and the Jerusalem Gospel presents no great difficulty, but the crux of the problem is in the difference in style and subject matter. The Jesus of the Synoptics cannot, it is said, have spoken in the style of the discourses in John. Before this judgment can be accepted without qualification, several points deserve to be noticed. The difference in style is in part accounted for by the difference in subject matter and in the character of the audience. There are out-croppings of the Johannine style in the Synoptics, especially where the subject of discourse is similar. The passage, Matthew xi. 25-30, which, as we have seen, contains the essential teachings found in John xiv., is a notable illustration. The Jerusalem audience again was different from the Galilean audience. If it be said that when the Jesus of the Fourth Gospel speaks in Galilee (John vi.) He uses the same mystical style as when He speaks in Jerusalem, it should at least be considered that the discourse in Capernaum is not given as a sample of the usual synagogue preaching of Jesus. The scene clearly marks a crisis in the ministry, a crisis indicated in the other Gospels by the northern journey for retirement which immediately followed, but made more intelligible by the supposition that the Capernaum discourse was practically a clearer revelation to the Galilean audience of the consciousness of Jesus and the spiritual character of His work. When we recall that such expressions, familiar to John, as _Logos_, Lamb of God, propitiation for sin, are never placed by John in the mouth of Jesus, we have strong negative evidence that the discourses of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel are not the free composition of the author himself.
After all, the question of the style of the Fourth Gospel is not so important as that of its contents. Does it draw an essentially different picture of Jesus from that of the Synoptic writers, or does it help us to fill out and to interpret the Synoptic portrait? Two considerations of a general nature should be kept in mind. Ordinary readers of the Gospels in all ages have seen no lack of unity in the composite portrait of the four Gospels; and recent criticism has shown that even to the sharp sighted modern critic the harmony is so great that one who rejects the historical character of John's Gospel will also reject the Second Gospel, which was written from the standpoint that Jesus is the Son of God (so Bousset), and is to be distinguished from the Fourth Gospel in degree (_graduel_) rather than in essence. The aim of Mark, and there is no reason to doubt that he reaches his aim, is in fact the same as that of John, so far as concerns his desire that his readers may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John xx. 31).
If what the Synoptic Gospels say is true as to the words and the works and the claims and the consciousness of Jesus, then we should expect some such supplement as we find in John. We should expect either more or less than we find in the Synoptic Gospels. When we read of the Divine Voice at the baptism and the transfiguration, we ask, What did Jesus Himself conceive His relation to God to be? The full answer is in John. When we read, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. xviii. 20), we should expect fuller teaching on the relation of Jesus to the disciples. This we have in the last discourses in John. When we read in the Synoptists accounts of the teaching and the mighty works, we turn to John for the full description of the Teacher and Lord, and of the mighty Worker manifesting His glory. The Synoptic Gospels tell us of the authority of Jesus and of His office of judgment and of His founding a Church. In John we see the ground of His authority in His relation to God and in His mystical relation to the disciples. In the Synoptists we have the Last Supper and general prophecies of the future and commands for the guidance of the Church. We should expect some more intimate and personal revelation of His relation to the disciples, such as is furnished by the Johannine picture of the disciple whom Jesus loved, and in the words, "Woman, behold thy son" (John xix. 26, 27); and in the intimate discourse of John xiv.-xvi. When we read, once more, that Jesus often retired for prayer, but in the Synoptic Gospels have the record of only one or two of His petitions: "Remove this cup from me.... Thy will be done" (see Luke xxii. 42 and compare xxii. 32), we expect some such enrichment of our knowledge of the prayer-life of Jesus as is contained in John xvii.
The historical character of the Fourth Gospel is shown alike by the light which it throws upon the course of events in the public ministry and by the more subtle resemblances between John and the Synoptists, so different in emphasis and shading that John's account cannot well have been due to Synoptic tradition, and yet so much in agreement as to give confidence that the same course of events underlies both accounts. If we look at the outward course of events under the guidance of writers such as Askwith or A. E. Brooks, we see that John's picture of the earliest disciples in Judea may throw light upon the narrative of the call of the four (Mark i. 16 f.). The crisis in the ministry, indicated rather than explained in the Markan narrative, is more intelligible in the light of John vi. The hosannas of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, as well as the settled determination of the rulers to put Jesus to death, can be better understood with the help of John's statements about Lazarus (see John xii. 9-11); and the accusation of the witnesses, "We heard him say I will destroy this temple" (Mark xiv. 58), and the weeping of Jesus over Jerusalem (Matt, xxiii. 37) are again more intelligible in view of the Johannine statements about the temple of His body (John ii. 20, 21), and the accounts of His frequent visits to Jerusalem.
300: "Historical Value of the Fourth Gospel," 1910. From the Synoptists, he says, we do not learn of disciples of the Baptist becoming disciples of Jesus. "But if the work of the Baptist was what the Synoptists declare it to have been, namely, to prepare the way for the Christ, it is hardly conceivable that this work, faithfully carried out, could have failed of this result--to supply disciples for Him" (p. 59).
301: "Historical Value of the Fourth Gospel," in "Cambridge Biblical Essays." The best explanation of the silence of the Synoptists upon the raising of Lazarus is still that given by Holdsworth, "Gospel Origins," p. 126: "Every missionary knows that to mention the names of converts in published accounts of their work among a people hostile to Christianity is fraught with peril to those who are mentioned.... The difficult question of the appearance in the Fourth Gospel of the raising of Lazarus finds its best explanation in an application of this rule.... Although the Synoptists record the saying of Christ that the name of the woman who broke the bottle of spikenard ... should be mentioned [or rather her deed] wherever the Gospel was proclaimed, that name was never mentioned by them." Long afterwards John mentions Mary's name.
Relationships of a more subtle kind may be found when John is compared with the Synoptic Gospels. (1) The relation of Jesus to His mother is the same in both. Compare Luke ii. 49, "Knew ye not that I must be in the things of my Father"; and John ii. 4, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" The relation with His brethren is also the same, their right to influence Him not being admitted. (2) The causes of opposition are differently described, but are the same in principle. In both Mark ii. and John v., the charges against Him are those of blasphemy and Sabbath breaking, and in both cases are made in connection with the miracle of healing. His defense of His action in healing on the Sabbath day is the same in principle but different in detail. In both there is an _à fortiori_ argument: "How much then is a man of more value than a sheep!" (Matt. xii. 12); "If a man receive circumcision on the Sabbath ... are ye wroth with me because I made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath?" (John vii. 23). In both cases His action is defended by reference to His unique position, in the one case in His relation to God, "My Father worketh hitherto" (John v. 17); and in the other case in His relation to men, "The Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath" (Mark ii. 28). (3) The relation of Jesus to various classes of people as described by John is remarkably different in detail, but wonderfully similar in essence, when compared with the Synoptic record. In each with entire difference of scene and circumstance He meets with a woman that was a sinner, but the essentials of penitence and the public expression of gratitude are similar in both (Luke vii. 37 f.; John iv. 7 f.). No narratives could be more independent of each other than those of the conversation with Nicodemus in John iii., and with the rich young ruler in Mark x., yet in both cases the attitude of Jesus towards an influential and upright and religious man was the same. In spite of difference in language also, the words to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again" (John iii. 7), do not differ in their radical demands from the words addressed to the ruler, "One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast and come, follow me" (Mark x. 21).
The comparison might be continued indefinitely, but only to show that the picture of Jesus and of His relation to the Father, and to His disciples, to publicans and sinners, to the Pharisees, to women, and to the human race as Saviour and Judge, is so different in John that it cannot be due merely to the influence of the Synoptic tradition, and yet so identical in substance that it cannot possibly, with any regard for literary probabilities, have been the free invention of the writer.
It is generally agreed that the writer of the Fourth Gospel took for granted in his readers an acquaintance with the narrative or the tradition of the Synoptic Gospels. He would not have written unless he had some new light to throw upon the figure of Jesus, or some deeper insight into His personality and work. The photograph and the portrait may not perhaps agree in their mechanical measurements, but to one who knows the subject the portrait may reproduce the original as faithfully, and even more adequately, than does the photograph. Each is useful for its own purpose, but both together are needed to give us the body and the soul, the exact features and the expression, the total impression of the personality.
The criticism of the Gospels has thrown the figure of Jesus into strong relief, not only against the background of His time, but against the background of humanity in general. In its recent developments, it has left us practically with the choice between the Christ of the four Gospels or a shadowy figure to be found in none of them. The true historical Jesus that criticism has brought before us is clad in the coarse garments of Galilee, but with the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The searchlight of modern knowledge is the fierce light that beats upon the throne. As nature and the human soul and the relationships of thought and the phenomena of religion and the book of revelation are more fully studied, the majesty and beauty of the central Figure in history is more clearly revealed. Each age sees a new glory in Jesus Christ. "It is one of the evidences of the moral greatness of Jesus," says Peabody, "that each period in Christian history, each social or political change, has brought to view some new aspect of His character and given Him a new claim to reverence." The modern age sees in Him and in His Cross of love and sacrifice the guide and inspiration of its ethical and social advance. It sees in Him and in His Cross the solution, so far as ultimate solution may be possible, of its deepest intellectual problems. It sees in Him not merely a Guide and a Revealer, but a Redeemer from sin and the Giver of Eternal Life.
Bibliography of Recent Important Works
_For Chapter I_
HARNACK, A. Das Wesen des Christentums, 1900, 2d ed., 1908; What is Christianity? 1901, 2d ed., 1910. Sprüche und Reden Jesu, 1907; The Sayings of Jesus, 1908.
Aus Wissenschaft und Leben, 2 vols., 1911.
LOISY, A. L'Évangile et l'Église, 3d ed., 1904; The Church and the Gospel, 1903.
BOUSSET, W. Was wissen wir von Jesus? 1904.
Kyrios Christos; Geschichte des Christusglaubens von den Anfängen des Christentums his Irenæus, 1913.
SCHUMACHER, H. Die Selbstoffenbarung Jesu bei Mat 11, 27 (Luc 10, 22), 1912 (Freiburger Theologische Studien, Heft 6).
SCHWEITZER, A. Von Reimarus zu Wrede, 1906; The Quest of the Historical Jesus, 1910.
DREWS, A. Die Christusmythe, 4th ed., 1911; The Christ-Myth, 3d ed., 1910.
WARFIELD, B. B. The Lord of Glory, 1907; and recent articles in theological reviews.
THORBURN, T. J. Jesus the Christ: Historical or Mythical? 1912.
_For Chapter II_
Darwin and Modern Science. Edited by A. C. Seward, 1909. Anniversary Volume by Various Authors.
Fifty Years of Darwinism, 1909. Anniversary Volume by Various Authors.
WEISMANN, A. The Evolution Theory, 2 vols., 1904.
WALLACE, A. R. The World of Life, 1911. Man's Place in the Universe, 3d ed., 1905.
MORGAN, T. H. Evolution and Adaptation, 1908.
HENDERSON, L. J. The Fitness of the Environment, 1913.
THOMSON, J. A. The Bible of Nature, 1908.
MERX, J. T. History of European Thought in the Nineteenth Century. Vol. II, 1903.
HERBERT, S. First Principles of Evolution, 1913.
_For Chapter III_
JAMES, W. Varieties of Religious Experience, 1903. The Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, 1902.
STARBUCK, E. D. The Psychology of Religion, 1900.
AMES, E. C. The Psychology of Religious Experience, 1910.
LEUBA, J. H. A Psychological Study of Religion, 1912.
PRATT, J. B. The Psychology of Religious Belief, 1907.
STEVENS, GEORGE. The Psychology of the Christian Soul, 1911.
ROYCE, J. The Sources of Religious Insight, 1912.
BEGBIE, H. Twice-Born Men, 1909.
JASTROW, JOSEPH. The Subconscious, 1906.
COE, GEORGE A. The Religion of a Mature Mind, 1902.
HALL, G. STANLEY. Adolescence, 1904.
_For Chapter IV_
BERGSON, HENRI. L'Évolution Créatrice, 7th ed., 1911; Creative Evolution, 1911.
LEROY, EDOUARD. The New Philosophy of Henri Bergson, 1913.
EUCKEN, RUDOLF. Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion, 3d ed., 1912; The Truth of Religion, 2d Eng. from 3d German ed., 1913.
Können wir noch Christen sein? 1911; Can We Still Be Christians? 1914.
JONES, W. TUDOR. An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy, 1912.
HERMANN, E. Eucken and Bergson: Their Significance for Christian Thought, 1912.
GIBSON, W. R. BOYCE. Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy of Life, 3d ed., 1912.
WARD, JAMES. The Realm of Ends, 1911.
ROYCE, JOSIAH. William James and Other Essays, 1911.
The Problem of Christianity, 2 vols., 1913.
_For Chapter V_
CLEMEN, CARL. Religionsgeschichtliche Erklärung des Neuen Testaments, 1909; Primitive Christianity and Its non-Jewish Sources, 1912.
Der Einfluss der Mysterienreligionen auf das älteste Christentum, 1913.
REITZENSTEIN, R. Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-ägyptischen und frühchristlichen Literatur, 1904. Die Hellenistische Mysterienreligionen, 1910.
CUMONT, F. Les Religions Orientales dans le Paganisme Romain, 2d ed., 1909; The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, 1911.
KENNEDY, H. A. A. St. Paul and the Mystery Religions, 1913.
MEAD, G. R. S. Thrice Greatest Hermes, 3 vols., 1906.
FOWLER, W. WARDE. The Religious Experience of the Roman People, 1911.
MACKENZIE, W. D. The Final Faith, 1910.
MARETT, R. R. The Threshold of Religion, 1914.
Religionsgeschtliche Volksbücher, begun in 1904.
_For Chapter VI_
ORR, JAMES. The Problem of the Old Testament, 1906.
HARNACK, A. Beitrage zur Einleitung in das Neue Testament: I. Lukas der Arzt, 1906 (Luke the Physician, 1907); II. Sprüche und Reden Jesu, 1907 (The Sayings of Jesus, 1908); III. Die Apostelgeschichte, 1908 (The Acts of the Apostles, 1909); IV. Neue Untersuchungen zur Apostelgeschichte und zur Abfassungszeit der Synoptischen Evangelien, 1911 (The Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels, 1911).
RAMSAY, SIR W. M. Pauline and Other Studies in Early Church History, 1906.
KOCH, HEINRICH. Die Abfassungszeit des lukanischen Geschichtswerkes, 1911.
SANDAY, W. (ED.). Studies in the Synoptic Problem, 1911. The Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, 1905.
STANTON, VINCENT H. The Gospels as Historical Documents, Part II, The Synoptic Gospels, 1909.
HOLDSWORTH, W. W. Gospel Origins: A Study in the Synoptic Problem, 1913.
HAWKINS, SIR JOHN C. Horæ Synopticæ, 2d ed., 1909.
MOFFATT, JAMES. An Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 1911.
ALLEN, W. C. and GRENSTED, L. W. Introduction to the Books of the New Testament, 1913.
DRUMMOND, JAMES. An Inquiry Into the Character and Authorship of the Fourth Gospel, 1904.
BACON, BENJAMIN W. The Fourth Gospel in Research and Debate, 1910.
WORSLEY, F. W. The Fourth Gospel and the Synoptists, 1909.
SCHAEFER, ALOYS. Enileitung in das Neue Testament, 1913.
Abbot, Ezra, 228
Absolute, the, 125, 127, 147, 162
Activism, 138, 139
Acts of the Apostles, credibility of, 206-210, 215-216; authorship of, 209; date of, 210-215
Adolescence and conversion, 107-110
Allen, Grant, 58
Allen and Grensted, 232
Ames, E. C., 115, 117
Arrhenius, S. A., 76
Askwith, E. H., 238
Augustine, 93, 94, 98-99, 110
Bacon, B. W., 35
Baldwin, J. M., 63
Bardsley, H. J., 233
Bartlett, J. V., 219
Bateson, W., 65
Baur, F. C., 203, 204, 217
Begbie, H., 96
Bergson, H., 62, 63, 69, 73, 127-137, 146, 163
Bernoulli, C. A., 234
Booth, M., 144
Bousset, W., 20, 35, 38, 40-42, 46, 48, 174-176, 184, 188, 222, 223
Brooks, A. E., 238
Brooks, Phillips, 29
Browning, R., 162
Carlyle, T., 43, 119
Carter, J. B., 96
Cheyne, T. K., 168
Christian experience, 53, 144; evidence of, 122-124
Christianity, essence of, 15, 26, 27, 54; of the New Testament writers, 16-21; primitive and Pauline, 21-26; of Jesus and Paul, 26-34; doctrinal, 52, 54-55, 157-158; Eucken's relation to, 142-145; what is vital in, 156-158; and ancient religions, 165-193; and modern religions, 193-197
Christology, 161, 162, 175; of Paul, 15, 23; of Mark, 20, 223, 236; of Jesus, 35-44; and ethics, 28-35
Clemen, C., 168, 170, 181, 187, 189
Clifford, W. K., 93
Coe, G. A., 90
Conklin, E. A., 79
Conversion, 96-99, 107-110, 123
Copernicus, 60, 85
Creed, J. M., 189
Cumont, F., 178, 180
Darwin, C., 56, 85, 129
Darwinism, see Evolution
DeBoor fragment, 231
Deissmann, A., 172, 176
Dewey, J., 127
Dobschütz, E. von, 42, 53-54, 182
Drews, A., 45, 46, 48, 50
Driesch, H. A. E., 70
Drummond, Henry, 89
Drummond, James, 228
Edwards, Jonathan, 89, 122
Eigenmann, C. H., 62
Eimer, G. H. J., 63
_Élan vital_, see Vital impulse
Eliot, C. W., 197
Emerson, R. W., 58, 89
Emperor, worship of, 172-177
Environment, fitness of, 60, 68-69
Ephesians, epistle to, 204
Epigenesis, 73-75, 81, 83
Ethics, of Jesus and Paul, 27-35; Christian, 51
Eucken, R., 33, 91, 137-146, 163
Evolution, 56; as unfavourable to religion, 57-58; as favourable to religion, 59-60; and the Copernican theory, 60-61; method of, 61-66; meaning of, 66-82; and design, 66-73; and theism, 82-85; creative, 127-136
Faith, salvation by, 102, 104
Fletcher, M. S., 116
Forrest, D. W., 122
Fowler, W. Warde, 192
Fox, George, 107, 118
Frazer, J. G., 46
Georgios Hamartolos, 230, 231
Gospel, the double, 25, 53-54
Gregory, E. L., 122
Grützmacher, R. H., 171
Haeckel, E., 58, 139
Hale, E. E., 101
Hall, G. S., 107
Harnack, A. von, 18, 25, 26, 27, 37, 38, 52, 53, 188, 207-211, 215, 216, 225
Hartmann, E. von, 128
Hase, K. A., 39
Hatch, E., 183
Hawkins, Sir J. C., 208, 211, 219, 221
Headlam, A. C., 204
Headley, F. H., 83
Heitmüller, W., 182
Henderson, L. J., 68, 69
Herbert, S., 65
Hermas, Shepherd of, 185, 190-192
Hermetic literature, 185-188, 189
Höffding, H., 121
Holdsworth, W. W., 221, 223, 238
Holtzmann, H. J., 214
Hügel, Baron F. von, 73
Huxley, T. H., 67, 85
Immortality, 59, 129, 130, 141, 152-154
Incarnation, 157, 162-163
Inge, W. R., 90
Jackson, H. L., 224
James, William, 89, 90, 92, 100, 102, 104, 111-114, 119-120, 122, 125, 137
Jastrow, J., 102, 111
Jesus Christ, passion, 16-20, 41-42; resurrection, 16-18, 25, 143; person, 20; authority, 31-32; character, 31, 43-44, 51; liberal view of, 44-49, 143-144; mythical view of, 45-47
John, Gospel of, 227-242; authorship of, 228-229; external evidence, 229-233; internal evidence, 234-238; historical value, 238-242
Josephus, 211, 213-215
Kalthoff, A., 22
Kant, 146, 152
Kelvin, Lord, 76
Kennedy, H. A. A., 180, 182, 188
Kidd, B., 58, 90
Kingsley, Charles, 59
Koch, H., 211-212
Lake, K., 25
Lang, A., 229
Langlois and Seignobos, 227
Law, R., 107
Lemme, L., 36
LeRoy, E., 132
Leuba, J. H., 115
Lightfoot, Bishop J. B., 190, 228, 234
Lodge, Sir O., 69, 86
Loeb, J., 76
Logia, see Q
Loisy, A., 37, 73, 177
Lowell, J. R., 197
Loyalty, religion of, 156-158
Luther, 99, 110
Lyell, Sir Charles, 56
Macalister, A., 68
Mark (Gospel), priority of, 217, 223, 225; use of Q, 220; different editions of, 220; secondary elements in, 221-223
Materialism, 96, 126, 163
Mead, G. R. S., 189, 190
Mechanism, 66, 68-69, 72, 83, 131
Messiah, 44, 47-48
Missions, Christian, 193-197
Moffatt, J., 211
Mohammedanism, 144-145, 196
Morgan, C. Lloyd, 63
Morgan, T. H., 65
Mystery religions, 177-186, 189
Nägeli, K. W., 63
Naturalism, 125, 136, 137, 139
Newman, Cardinal, 73
Newton, 56, 86
Nicoll, Sir W. Robertson, 216
Nietzsche, F., 128
Noyes, Alfred, 74, 80
Origen, 169, 230
Origin, of life, 75-78; of man, 78-79
Orr, J., 202
Osborn, H. F., 62, 63
Ostwald, W., 69, 77
Overbeck, F., 234
Paley, W., 67, 207
Pantheism, 50, 84, 121, 142, 178
Papias, 231, 232, 233, 234
Patton, Francis L., 216
Paul, founder of Christianity, 21; and the primitive apostles, 22-26; and Jesus, 26-35; conversion of, 98-99, 110, 227
Pauline Epistles, 203-205
Peabody, F. G., 242
Pearson, K., 76
Petersen, E., 171
Philip of Side, 230
Philo, 170, 189
Plato, 108, 169, 178
Plummer, A., 34, 36
Pluralism, 128, 146-153
Poimandres, 185-187, 189-192
Pragmatism, 119-120, 122, 127, 139, 146
Pratt, J. B., 104, 111
Preformation, 73, 80, 82
Priene inscription, 172
Psychology of religion, its founders, 89; an aid to Christian faith, 91
Q (Quelle), 30, 218, 219, 220, 225
Ramsay, Sir W. M., 202, 205-208, 212-213, 231
Ransom, 19, 35
Rashdall, H., 159
Reinach, S., 46
Reitzenstein, R., 181, 185-191
Religion, normality of, 86, 92-96; power of, 96-100; and disease, 106, 107; and sex, 107-110; and the subconscious, 111-114; and society, 115-119; universal, 140; characteristic, 140-141
Religious experience, its physchology, 92, 105; its metaphysical implicates, 105, 106, 115, 119-122
Renan, E., 46, 58
Robertson, J. M., 47
Robinson, H. W., 123
Romanes, G. J., 59, 71, 93
Royce, J., 78, 89, 100, 103, 114, 146, 156-163
Sacraments, 180-182, 184-185
Salvation, need of, 100-102; way of, 102-105
Sanday, W., 35, 39, 111, 220
Schäfer, Sir E. A., 77, 86
Schiller, F. C. S., 127
Schmiedel, P. W., 46, 219
Schürer, E., 214
Schumacher, H., 37
Schweitzer, A., 21, 22
Selection, natural, 57, 63; germinal, 63
Shaler, N. S., 61
Simpson, P. C., 123
Sin, 100, 102, 158-159
Smith, W. B., 46
Spiritual life, 140, 142-144
Spitta, F., 234
Stanton, V. H., 209
Starbuck, E. D., 89, 90, 97, 101, 103, 107, 112
Stevens, G., 98, 110
Storrs, R. S., 200
Strauss, D. F., 45, 49
Synoptic problem, 216-227
Theism, 50, 126, 137, 141, 147-150, 153, 155
Thomson, J. A., 70, 80
_Titanic_ disaster, 94-95
Tübingen school, see Baur
Uhlhorn, G., 97, 179
Underhill, A., 90
Variation, laws of, 62-63
Vaughan, C. J., 227
Vergil, Eclogues of, 173, 192
Virgin Birth, 170-173
Vital impulse, 60, 63, 128-129, 131, 133, 136-137
Vries, de, 62, 63
Walker, Dawson, 207, 212, 231
Walker, H. H., 99
Wallace, A. R., 61, 67, 69, 80
Ward, James, 73, 116, 146-155, 163
Warschauer, J., 167
Weinel, H., 182
Weismann, A., 63-65, 76
Weiss, J., 50
Wendling, E., 35
Wendt, H. H., 181
Wernle, P., 24
Westcott, Bishop B. F., 162, 234
Whetham, W. C. D. and C. D., 87
Worsley, F. W., 230
Wrede, W., 20
Wright, A., 207
Wright, W. K., 100
Zahn, T., 192
Zinzendorf, Count, 97
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The Illustrative Teachings of Jesus
The Parables, Similies and Metaphors of Christ. 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.
"A most readable and practical treatment of the methods of the Master for the general Bible student and Christian worker. A valuable contribution to one's conception of Jesus as the 'Teacher come from God,' and revealing in life, content of instruction and method of presentation the will of the Father."--_Review and Expositor._
_W. BEATTY JENNINGS, D.D._
The Social Teachings of Christ Jesus
A Manual for Bible Classes, Christian Associations, Social Study Groups, etc. 16mo, cloth, net 50c.
In a series of twenty studies, the teachings of Jesus are applied to specific social sins and needs of to-day, such as poverty, pleasure, war, the drink traffic, etc., and shown to be the sure and only solution of the problems of society.
The Hour of Prayer
Helps to Devotion When Absent from Church. 12mo, cloth, net 75c.
"A volume of reverent purpose designed especially for those who wish some form of Sunday observance, or who, by stress of circumstances, are prevented from attending services in the churches. To shut-ins, mothers with young children, nurses and others who are unable to attend public worship, the book will particularly appeal."--_Buffalo Express._
Transcribers Note: P 156 Home-land changed to homeland P 12 The Theistic Infer enc changed to The Theistic Inference