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• • • 

*. : . • • • 


The " Kers Lectureship " was founded by the Trustees of the late Miss Joan 
Kerr, of Sanquhar, under her Deed of Settlement, and formally adopted by the 
United Presbyterian Synod in May 1886. In the following year, May 1887, 
the proTiaions and conditions of the Lectureship, as finally adjusted, were 
adopted by the Synod, and embodied in a Memorandum, printed in the 
Appendix to the Synod Bfinntes, p. 489. From these the following excerpts 
are here given : — " IL The amount to be invested shall be £8000. IIL The 
object of the Lectureship is the promotion of the study of Soientific Theology 
in the United Presbyterian Church. The Lectures shall be upon some such 
subjects as the following, viz. : — A, Historic Theology — (1) Biblical Theology, 
(2) History of Doctrine, (3) Patristics, with special reference to the significance 
and authority of the first three centuries. B. Systematic Theology — (1) Chris- 
tian Doctrine — (o) Philosophy of Religion, (6) Comparative Theology, (c) 
Anthropology, {d) Christology, (e) Soteriology, (/) Eschatology ; (2) Christian 
Ethics—^a) Doctrine of Sin, (6) Individual and Social Ethics, (c) The Sacra- 
ments, (cQ The place of art in religious life and worship. . . . Farther, the 
Committee of Selection shall from time to time, as they think fit, appoint as 
the subject of the Lectures any important Phases of Modem Religious Thought, 
or Scientific Theories in their bearing upon Evangelical Theology. The 
Committee may also appoint a subject connected wit^ the practical work of 
the Ministry as subject of Lecture, but in no case shall this be admissible more 
than once in every five appointments. lY. The appointments to this Lecture- 
ship shall be made in the first instance from among the Licentiates or Ministers 
of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, of whom no one shall be 
eligible, who, when the appointment falls to be made, shall have been licensed 
for more than twenty-five years, and who is not a graduate of a British 
University, preferential regard being had to those who have for some time been 
connected with a Continental University. V. Appointments not subject to 
the conditions in Section IV. may also from time to time, at the discretion of 
the Committee, be made from among eminent members of the Ministry of any 
of the Nonconformist Churches of Great Britain and Ireland, America, and 
the Colonies, or of the Protestant Evangelical Churches of the Continent. VI. 
The Lecturer shall hold the appointment for three years. YIII. The Lectures 
shall be published at the Lecturer's own expense within one year after their 
delivery. IX. The Lectures shall be delivered to the Students of the United 
Presbyterian Hall. XII. The public shall be admitted to the Lectures." 



These Lectures, the first on the Kerr Foundation, are 
published in fulfilment of the conditions of the Trust under 
which they were delivered. Their publication has been 
delayed owing to the author's appointment to the Chair of 
Church History in the Theological College of the United 
Presbyterian Church, at the Synod of May, 1891. They 
have now been made ready for the press under the burden 
of labour and anxiety connected with the preparation of a 
second winter's course. This may excuse the minor over- 
sights which, in handling so large a mass of material, must 
inevitably occur. 

The Lectures are printed substantially as delivered in the 
spring of 1891 — the chief exception being that portions of 
the Lectures which had to be omitted in the spoken delivery, 
through the limits of time, are here restored in their proper 
connection. Material which could not conveniently be incor- 
porated in the Lectures has been wrought up into Appendices 
and Notes. The latter are designed to furnish, not simply 
references to authorities, but illustrations, corroborations, and 
what may be termed generally "assonances" of thought, 
drawn from a wide range of literature, which it is hoped 
will aid the reader who is disposed to pursue his study of 
the subject further, by guiding him to the best sources of 
knowledge. Since the Lectures were delivered, important 
books have appeared, both in this country and on the con- 
tinent, dealing with parts or aspects of the field here traversed, 

viii PREFACE. 

such, e,g. among EngKsh works, as Mr. Gore's valuable 
Bampton Lectures on Th& iTicamatian, Principal Chapman's 
Pre-organic Evolution^ Mr. Kennedy's Donnellan Lectures on 
Natural Theology and Modem Thought, Occasional references 
to these and some other works are likewise included in the 

The author's best thanks are due to the Eev. Professor 
Johnstone, D.D., of the United Presbyterian College, and to 
the Eev. Thomas Kennedy, D.D., Clerk of Synod, for their 
kind assistance in the revision of the proofs. 

EDiNBimaH, Febmary, 1893. 





The term " Weltanachanmig/' 
Need of comprehensiye treatment, 
View of Christianity in the Lectures, . 
The ^'Weltanschannng" in history — Kant, etc., 
,^ Causes of geneial views of the world, . 

Fondness of the age for general theories, 
y Relation of Christianity to world-theories, 
'-The Christian and *' modem " views of the world, 
r The question of the supernatural in Christianity, 
Relation of Christianity to other systems not one of pure negation. 
The Christian view of the world based on that of the Old Testament 

— ^uniqueness of the latter, .... 
General drift and scope of the Lectures, 

Objectiokb in limine ;— 

L From theology of feeling, .... 

Examination of sentimental theory — 
^Religion involves ideas. 

Religion not indifferent to the character of its ideas, 
/ Beligion implies belief in an objective counterpart to its 
ideas : .Ssthetio views of religion, 
Need and room for a religion which can give us true know 
ledge of God, ...... 

Impossibility of extruding doctrine from Christianity, 
Objection to doctrine from the spiritwdity of Christianity, 
Objection to doctrine from the side of Christian poBitiviemf 
The theology of Schleiermacher, 
Objection to doctrine drawn from progresa in theology, 













II. From the Ritschlian distinction of a ''religious" and a ''theo- 
retic " view of the world, . . . . . .29 

Relative justification of this distinction, . . . .31 

Error of the Ritschlian View— Impossibility of sundering faith 
and reason, . • • . . . .33 

Religion itself has in it the impulse to theoretic knowledge, . 34 

Appendix I. 


Sketch of the Christian View, .... 


Appendix II. 


Literature on the subject, ...... 

A. Baur: — 

Prevalence of the term, ..... 

Striving of the age after general views, . 

The " Weltanschauung ** a unity of natural and moral, . 

Relation of theoretic and practical motive, • 

Views which recognise the practical motive alone — the Ritschlian 
school, ....... 

Ritschl on the origin of the " Weltanschauung," 

Hermann on the same, ..... 

Kaftan on the same, ...... 






Introductory — 

Magnitude of the assumption in the Christian view, . 

Rejection of the doctrine of the Incarnation by the "modem" 

mind, ........ 

Xi^entral place of Christ's Person in His religion, 
Differing estimates of the Person of Christ — methods of settlement, . 
Method of this Lecture — appeal to history ; logical movement in 

history, ........ 

Advantages of this method, ...... 






I. History a series of altematiyea — the downward moyement, 56 

1. First alternative — A Divine Christ or hnmanitarianism, . . 56 

Arianism, . . , . .57 

Socinianism and the older Unitarianism, . . .67 

Christology of the school of Schleiermacher, .58 

New wave of mediating theology in the school of Ritschl, . 60 

The verdict of history against intermediate views, . 60 

2. Second alternative — A Divine Christ or Agnosticism, 60 

The weakness of Deism, ...... 61 

Need of a living Theism, which has its correlate in Revelation, 62 
Insecurity of a Theism cut off from Christ — Rathbone Greg, 
etc., . . . . . . .68 

No logical resting-place short of Agnosticism, . .64 

3. Third alternative — A Divine Christ or Pessimism, . . 64 

Depressing influence of Agnosticism ; cuts the nerve of rational 

belief in progress, . . . .65 

Rise of great Pessimistic systems, . . .66 

Pessimbm in our literature — sadness of the sceptical spirit, 67 

II. The upward movement from Pessimism to Christ, 

Unsatisfactorin^ss of PessimUm as a theory of existence — it works 
back to Theism, ...... 

The dialectic of Pessimism, .... 

Schopenhauer and Hartmann, .... 

" Will " and ** Idea "—their relation, . 
Hartmann's '* Unconscious" — attributes to it will, wisdom 
foresight, etc, ...... 

The " Unconscious " becomes a ' * Supra-conscious, " 
— Moral attributes ascribed to it, . 

Transition in Earl Peters to explicit Theism, 
The alternative of PaiUktwm — its degradation to Materialism 
(Strauss, Feuerbach), ..... 

The nobler movement — elevation to Theism, 

Fichte and Schelling, ..... 

The Hegelian development, .... 

British Neo-Hegelianism — 
T. H. Green, ...... 

Prof. Seth and Theism, .... 

Theism impels to belief in Revelaliorif 

Recognition in modem systems of idea of Revelation, . 
Modem theory of Revelation — natural and supernatural 

different sides of the same process, • 
Inadequacy of this theory ;. its end does not correspond with its 
beginning, ...... 

The God of Jesus has direct access to the soul 










II. The upward movement from PessimiBm to Christ {continued)-^ 
Theism impels to belief in Bevelation {continued) — 

Martineau and Pfleiderer, . . . ^ 

Outcome of this theory— expectation of special Revelation, 
Yooation of Israel ; Christ the highest Bevealer, 
Keturn to pontive Revelation in school of Ritschl, 
Summary — ^Theism can only secure itself through belief in Christ, 

Appendix to Lecture II. 




The prevalence of Pessimism, 

. 81 

The Pessimism of Scepticism, 

• ■ • ■ • 

: 81 

Illustrations — 


■ • • • • 

. 81 


. 82 


• • . . • 

. 82 

Professor Seeley, 

. 83 

" Physicus ** (in Candid ExaminaHon qf Theimi), . 

. 83 

Theodore Jouflfroy, . 

. 84 

Professor Huxley, . 

• • • • • 

. 85 

Laveleye on TJie Future 


. 86 

Madame Ackermann, 

• « • • • 

. 86 

F. "W. H. Myers on The Disenchantment of France, 

. 87 

J. Sully, 

. 87 



Introductory — 

Christianity a theistic system, . . . . . .91 

Only three monotheistic religions, . . . . .91 

Theism involves a supernatural view of the world, . . .92 

Froude and Carlyle, ....... 93 

The strength of Christian Theism is its connection with Revelation, . 93 
Christ's teaching embraces the affirmations of a complete Theism, 94 

The absoluteness of God, . . . .94 

The natural attributes, . , . . .94 

The moral attributes, ....... 95 

The Divine Fatherhood, . . . . .96 

This first postulate of the Christian view — how related to modem 
thought! ........ 96 



I. The D«gatioD of the Christum view, .... 
The Agnostic negation — ^why so regarded ! . 

1. It negates the Christian yiew of God as self-reTealing, 
2« The denial of evidence of God's existence tantamount to 
denial of His existence, .... 

Mr. Spencer's admission of the Ultimate Reality or Power ; contra 
dictions of his view, ..... 

The " Inscratable Power " of Mr. Spencer, not, after aU, unknow 
aoie, •..«..• 

Development of the system by Mr. Fiske into Theism, 

The incomprehensibility of God recognised by Scripture and 
theology, ....... 

The Agnostic £notM that God cannot reveal Himself in relation, 

II. Positive evidence for the Christian view, 

1. Concessions of the evolutionary philosophy, . 

(1) Monotheism alone tenable, 

(2) The Power which works in the universe is the source 

of a rational order, .... 

(3) It is the source also of a moral order, . 
The term " Personal " as applied to God, 

2. The theoretic ** proofs " for the existence of God — how far 

valid? ...... 

Meaning of " proof" as applied to the Divine existence, 

(1) The cosmological argument, 
The world not the necessary Being shown — 

i. From the contingency of its existence, . 

iL From the dependency of its parts, 

iii. From its temporal succession of effects. — Keed 

for a First Cause, 

Objection to this argument : it does not show what 

the necessary Being is, . . . 

The religions experience corresponding to this proof — 
the consciousness of absolute dependence, . 

(2) The teleological or design argument, . 
Kant's criticism, .... 
Argument against design from evolution, 
Evolution probable — what it implies, . 
Two views of evolution : criticism. 
What the facts of evolution point to, . 

Wider form of this argument (order, plan, law, 

6bC. )j ..... 

(3) The ontological argument, 
The Anselmic form, and Kant's criticism. 





















II. Positive evidesce for the Christian yiew (^cwdinwd) — 
(8) The ontological argument {^cofnliwiud) — 

New form of this argument ; thought the necessary 
pW?« of existence, ..... 124 

-^ " Rational Realism," 126 

^^The religions experience corresponding to the teleo- 
logical and ontological arguments — sense of the 
Divine in nature, . . . • .127 

How is this sense of the Divine to be explained ? .128 

III. The moral argument— contrast with theoretic proofs, . .129 

^ Kant's statement of this argument, . . . . .129 

God a postulate of the " practical reason/' . . . .130 

Moral law, moral principles, and ethical ideal, point back to an 
eternal ground, ....... 131 

Religious experience corresponding to the moral proof, . .132 

Conclusion, . . . . . . . .132 

Appendix to Lecture III. 


God as a postulate of the soul, .... 

What is demanded in a theory of religion, . 

Definition of religion, ..... 

1. The soul, as personal, demands a personal object, . 

2. The soul, as thinking spirit, demands an infinite object, 
S. The soul, as ethical, demands an ethical object, 

4. The soul, as intelligence, demands a knowable object, 







Second postulate of the Christian view : man made in the image of 

God, ........ 141 

The kinship of Grod and man implied in every Christian doc- 
trine, ........ 141 

Specially implied in the Incarnation, . . . . .143 

The doctrine of man closely linked with the doctrine of nature, . 143 


I. The natural basis — the doctrine of creation, . 
Practical significance of this doctrine, 
The consonance of this doctrine with reason : three oppositions — 

1. The opposition of Dualism (Martinean, Mill), etc., . 

2. The opposition of Pantheism : logical derivation of the 

universe (Spinoza, Hegel, etc.)) • 
8. The opposition of Atheism : self-existence and eternity of 
the world, ..... 

Evidences of a beginning — 

(1) Primordial elements, .... 

(2) Evolution involves a beginning in time, 

(3) Breaks in the chain of development (Wallace, etc.), 
Difficulties of the doctrine of creation in time, 
Proposed solutions of these difficulties — 

(1) Theory of eternal creation, 

(2) Denial of the existence of time to God, 

(3) Solution to be sought in the right adjustment of the 

relations of time to eternity, 
The motive and end of creation (Kant, Lotze, etc.). 









II. The nature of man, and his place in creation : man the final cause of 

the world, ....•••• 1^7 
Agreement of Scripture and science on this point, . . . 158 

Qualification of this position : man not the wle end, . .159 

Man the link between the natural and the spiiitual : his body the 

link with nature, . . . • .160 

The spiritual nature of man : Biblical doctrine, . . .161 

Man as bearing the image of God — 

1. His rational image, ...... 1^4 

2. His mxyrai image— (1) the power of moral knowledge, (2) 
the power of moral freedom, (3) the possession of moral 
affections, .....•• ^^^ 

8. His image in sovereiffnty, . . . .166 

The potential infinitude of man's nature : a shadow of God's, . 166 
The Christian view opposed to Materialism : materialistic tendency 
of modem science, . . • • .167 

Materialism and consciousness — 

1. Grosser form of Materialism ; mind and brain identified 
(Moleschott, Vogt, etc.), . . • .168 

Kejection of this view by modem scientific writers, . 168 

2. Newer form of Materialism— Monism (Strauss, Haeckel, 

etc), ...«••• 

Use of materialistic terminology by British scientists, . 170 
Ambiguity of the term * ' matter " in Ty ndall, etc. , .171 




II. The nature of man, and his place in creation {eomtinwd) — 

^ The materialistic theory breaks down in three respects — 

1. Inconsistency with "oonsenration of energy," . 172 

2. Contrast of the two sets of phenomena in the laws of 

their succession, . . . . .173 

3. Irreconcilability with self-consciousness and moral 

freedom, ...... 175 

Ultimate refutation of Materialism : matter itself needs thought 
to explain it, , . . . . . . 176 

III. Man as made in the image of Qod, constituted for immortality : 

Biblical aspect postponed, . . . . .177 

Voice of nature on this subject, . . . . .177 

Modem rejection of doctrine of a future life, . . .177 

Scientific plea for this rejection ; its untenableness, . .179 

Disposition on part of believers in Revelation to minimise the 

natural evidence for immortality, . . . . .180 

If man constituted for immortality, the fact must show itself in his 
nature and capacities, . . . . . .180 

1. Universal prevalence of belief in a future state. Spencer's 

theory ; its inadequacy, . . . . .181 

2. national grounds for this belief : nature of evidence, . 183 

(1) The scale of man's nature too great for his present 

scene of existence, . . . . .184 

(2) Immortality involved in the view of life as moral 

discipline, . . . . . .186 

(8) Immortality the solution of the enigmas of life ; its 

incompleteness, inequities, etc., . . . 186 

(4) Only under the influence of this hope do the human 
faculties find their highest scope and play 

(J. S. Mill), 187 

Conclusion, . . . . . . . .188 



Introductory — 

Third postulate of the Christian view — the sin and disorder of the 

world, ........ 193 

— The problem of natural and moral evil, .... 193 

. Christianity does not create this problem, but helps to solve it, .194 

~^Natnral evil implicated with moral evil, . . ,194 

The problem exists only for Theism, . . . . .194 



I. The problem of moral evil : oonilict of Cliiuttian and modem views on 
this subject, ....... 

Respects in which the modern view comes to the support of the 
Christian view — 

1. Stronger recognition of the universal prevalence of evil, 

2. Abandonment of shallow views of the inherent goodness of 

human nature, ...... 

3. Recognition of the organic principle in human life : Heredity, 

Modem view and the Ritschlian denial of original sin. 
Fundamental difference between the Christian and the modern 

wlClW, ........ 

(The Christian idea of sin as that which absolutely ought not to be : 
its presuppositions, ...... 

Sin as revolt from God, and setting up of false independence, 
Effects of sin : subversion of true relation of natural and spiritual, 
Verification of the Christian view in consciousness, 
Sin in the Christian view not something natural, necessary, and 
normal, but the result of a free act of the creature, 

Theories of sin opposed to the ChriBtian view — 

1. Theories which seek the ground of evil in the constitution 

of the world, ...... 

2. Theories which seek the explanation of evil in the nature of 

man — 

(1) Metaphysical theories of sin, . . . . 

(2) Ethical and would-be Christian theories, 
(8) Evolutionary theories : lower and higher, 

Sin in all these theories made something necessary, 
Attempts to disclaim this conclusion : 

Hegel, ........ 


Lipsius, ........ 

' Ritschl, ........ 

Weakening or destmctiou of idea of guilt, .... 

Theories of Schleiermacher, Lipsius, and Ritschl, . 

Differences between the Christian and the modem view depend on 

theory of origin, ....... 

Theory of man's original brutishneas, .... 

Impossibility of reconciling the Christian view with this theory : 

relation of narrative of Fall, ..... 

Do facts of anthropology contradict the Christian view ? 

The "missing link," ...... 

No necessary conflict with theory of evolution, 

Man the beginning of a new kingdom, . ... 

Does archsology prove the originally savage condition of mau ? 


















I. The problem of moral evil {continued) — 

Do sayages represent the original state ? . . . . 214 

Endence of early civilisations, ..... 214 

Does religion progress from Fetishism to Monotheism ? • . 216 
Relation of Christian view to modem theories of the antiquity of 

man, •*...... 215 

Present state of this question, . . . . ,216 

Science does not negative the idea of a pure beginning of the race : 

the Biblical account of primeval man, .... 216 

II. The problem of natural evil : connection with moral evil, . . 217 

Natural evil in the inanimate world, .... 218 

Natural evil in the organic world : 

(1) Non-sentient (vegetable), . . . . .219 

(2) Sentient (animal). . . . . . .219 

Relation to justice and goodness of the Creator — . . .219 

Is the world of sentient beings an unhappy one ) . . 220 

The Biblical view of nature predominatingly optimistic, . . 220 

Real question — Is there to be room for gradation of existences ? . 221 

The question altered when we come to self-conscious, rational man, 222 
The disciplinary benefits of suffering, etc., not a complete solution : 

discussion of this theoiy, ...... 222 

Connection of natural evil with sin : nature and admissibility of 

this connection, ....... 225 

The deeper question — Is nature itself in a normal condition t . 226 

The Pauline view : what it implies — 

1. Theory that nature had from the first a teleological relation 

to human sin, ...... 

2. Paul's doctrine of the subjection of the creation to " vanity," 
8. The earth in bondage to corruption through man's presence 

and sin upon it, ..... . 

in. Culmination of this problem in the question of the relation of sin to 

death, ..•«.... 
This relation not an accident of the Christian view, but enters into 

its essence, ....... 

The original mortality of man proved neither by death in the 

animal creation nor by its present universality. 
Distinction of man from the animals, .... 

Man created for immortality, . . . * . 

Death the sundering of essential parts of his being: therefore 

abnormal, ....... 

The Biblical doctrine of immortality rests — 

1. On the Biblical doctrine of the nature of man as a compound 

being, ... . . , . .231 










III. Cuhniiuition of this problem in the question of the relation of sin to 
death (cofitmiiecQ — 

The Biblical doctrine of immortalitj rests (eontmiied) — 
2. On the idea that it was no part of the Creator^s design that 

body and soul should be separated, . • . . 

8. On the thought that soul in separation from the body is in a 

state of imperfection and mutilation, 
4. The true immortality is through Eedemption, and embraces 

the resurrection of the body, .... 




Affekdiz to Lsctubb y. 

immortality: embraces 


Bearing on previous discussion on Old Testament doctrine of immortality, 
This doctrine has been sought for in a wrong direction, 
The Hebrew view of Sheol, . 
Egyptians, Babylonians, etc.. 
Gloomy associations in Old Testament, 

Passages in illustration — 
Genesis, etc, .... 
Job, ..... 

The Psalms, .... 

Hezekiah, .... 

Not in this direction we are to look for doctrine of 

idea of relation to God, and resurrection. 
Immortality in Eden, 

New inbreaking of a law of immortality in Enoch, 
This the type of Biblical immortality : embraces the whole personality, . 
Examination of view that the doctrine of Resurrection a late one among 

the Hebrews : derived from Parsism, etc, .... 

Counter thesis : this doctrine runs all through Old Testament, 

Beliefs of Egyptians, ....... 

The Babylonians and Assyrians, .....> 

The Persians. Doubtful if this doctrine is found in older parts of the 

Zend'Avesta, .....••• 
Few and ambiguous references in Zoroastrian writings do not explain the 

prominence of the doctrine in the Old Testament, 
Keiiew of eridence : the earlier books, 
Abraham, ..... 
The words of Hoses—" I am the God," etc. 
The later books : Job, Psalms, Prophets, . 
Book of Job picture of patriarchal conditions. 
Job zir. : anticipation of resurrection. 









Dr. Davidson's view, .... 

Job xiz. 25-27 : resarrection again implied, 
" In " or " without " the body, 
The Psalms : Dr. Cheyne's views, . 

The passages that tei^h immortality imply resarrection — 
Ps. xvi. 8-11, ..... 
Ps. xviL 16, .... . 

Ps. xlix. 14, 15, . 
Beferences to Enoch story, 
Ps. IzxiiL 24, . 

The prophetic books : the idea of resurrection familiar — 

Hosea vL 2, ziii 14, . 

Isaiah xxv. 6, 8, xxvL 19, etc., . 

Dan. zii 2, .... . 

After all only a hope, founded on beUever's relation to God 

Dr. Davidson quoted, ..... 


. 241 

. 241 

. 241 

. 242 

. 243 

. 248 

. 243 

. 248 

. 244 

. 244 

. 245 

. 245 

. 245 




Completion of argument in second Lecture, .... 249 
Why cannot we rest in a lower conception of Christ ? . . 249 
A priori objection to the Incarnation based on Christ's lowliness, . 250 
Comparison with the assertions of modem theologians and evolu- 
tionists, ........ 250 

I. Testimony of the apostolic age as thro?dDg light on Christ's own 

claims, ......... 251 

Prerogatives which the early church assigned to Christ, . . 252 

The claim to judge the world, ..... 258 

Modem agreement as to general teaching of New Testament — the 

Johannine writings, ....... 253 

Martineau on the teaching of the Fourth Gospel, . . 253 

The Epistles of Paul— 

1. The undisputed Epistles, . . .254 
The ** Heavenly Man "theory, . . .255 

2. The later Epistles — Christology of Philippians, Colossians, 

etc., ........ 256 

Substantial unity of doctrine in later and earlier Epistles, . 256 
Paul assumes that his doctrine is the same as that of 
. Churches to which h^ writes, • . . .258 



I. Testimony of the apostolic age (etmUmudy^ 

The Epistle to the Hebrews an independent witness, . 258 

The Apocalypse as representing a Jefrish-Ghristian standpoint, . 269 
The doctrine of the Apocalypse as high as John's or Paul's — Benss, 
Pfleiderer, . . . .259 

The Petrine and Minor Epistles, — 

Peter, ........ 261 

Jsmes, ........ 261 

Jnde, . . . .261 

Disoonraes in the Acts, ...... 262 

Condosion : — the supernatural view of Christ's Person established in 

first generation of believers, ...... 262 

IL The testimony of the Gospels — Christ in the Fourth Gospel, 263 

The question of genuineness ; relation to Philo, etc., . 268 

Do the Synoptics give a different view f . . . . 264 

The Christ of the Synoptics also a supernatural Being, 264 

His humanity— higher aspects of His Person, 264 

Criticism cannot expunge the supernatural element, 265 

It belongs to the essence of the representation, . 265 

1. The daimB of Jesus — the titles "Son of Man," and *' Son 

of God,". . . .265 

Belatjon to kingdom, of God, etc., .. 266 

His eschatological claims, ..... 266 

Peter's confession, etc., ..... 267 

2. Bepreseutation of the character of Christ ;— His sinless- 

ness, ....... 267 

Attested by the earliest witnesses, 267 

Borne out by the picture in the Synoptics, 267 
Admitted by modem theologians — Yatke, Schleiermacher, 

Lipsius, etc., . . . . . 268 

3. The Works of Jesus in keeping with His claims, . 268 

4. The Besurrectian of Jesus — ^the Trinitarian formula, etc., 269 

The Synoptic representation of Christ in keeping with the 

apostolic estimate of His Person, . . . • 270 

The latter needs the former for its basis, .... 270 
Conclusion : — ^The facts of Christ's Revelation require the super- 
natural view of His Person : impossibility of evading this 

claim, ••....•* 271 

HI. Doctrinal aspects of the Incarnation : proposed reconstructions, . 272 

In what sense modem theories ascribe ** Godhead " to Christ, . 272 
Two questions in regard to these theories — 

1. First qttestion — Are these theories tenable on their own 

merits? ,.....• 275 



III. Doctrinal aspects of the Incarnation {fimUvMuS) — 

Two classes to be distingoished — 

(1) Those which do not presuppose a transcendental 

ground for the predicate "Godhead" applied to 
Christ — Bothe, Ritsohl, lapsius, etc, . 275 

(2) Those which do presuppose a transcendental ground 

— Bothe, Beyschlag, .... 276 

InconsistenciesofRothe's theory, . . . 277 

Adds a new Person to the Godhead, . . 278 

Difficulties of Beyschlag's theory of a heavenly 

humanity, ... . . 278 

2. Second qtusUon — Do these theories do justice to the facts 

of Christ's Revelation T . . . . .278 

What is not, and what is, true Incarnation, . . . 279 

8. Consideration of Kenotic theories (PhiL iL 7), . . 280 

Central difficulty of these theories, .... 281 

Relation of preceding discussion to the early Christological decisions — 
Has modem thought no further light to throw on Christological 
problems t ........ 282 

Advances in modem spedUation, ..... 282 

The question of the impersonality of Christ's humanity, . . 282 

Objections to the older view as affecting the reality and integrity of 
the humanity, ....... 283 

Examination of these ol:jections : 

1. Can we attribute an independent personality to the humanity 

of Christ? . . . . . . .288 

2. Does the Divine personality detract from the integrity and 

reality of Christ's human nature f . . . .284 

Possible solution of these questions in the original relation of 

the Divine Logos to humanity, . . . .284 

This doctrine does not deny a true human personality to 

Christ, but only its non-identity with the Divine, . . 285 

The Incarnation to be studied in the Kght of its revealed ends, . 285 

Appendix to LBcruRfi VI. 


Modem interest in this question, ...... 287 

Main points discussed — 

1. Fundamental fact in Christ's consciousness, .... 287 

2. When did Christ realise His Messianic calling ? . . . 288 
8. Was Christ's *' plan '' one and the same throughout ? . .288 
4. Import »nd origin of titles " Son of Man " and " Son of God," . 288 




Views of leading wnters, — 

Beyachlag, ..... 

. 289 

H. Schmidt, ..... 

. 291 

Gran, . ..... 

. 293 

Baldenspeiger, ..... 

. 294 


. 296 



Inteoductort — 

The point now reached, ...... 301 

Recapitulation of defective theories), ..... 301 

I. Higher concept of God inyolved in the Incarnation— God as triune — 
The doctrine of the Trinity not a mere mystery : testimonies to its 

Talue, ........ 302 

This doctrine the result of an induction from the facts of Revela- 
tion, . . * . . . . . 803 

How far is this doctrine anticipated in the Old Testament ? . 304 

Significance of the plural Name, .... 304 

1. The Angel of Jehovah, ..... 305 

2. The doctrine of the Spirit, . . . .305 

3. The Divine Wisdom, etc., . . . .306 

The doctrine of the Trinity as involving distiuctions in the Divine 

essence, ........ 306 

Ohjection on this score— "One and Three,". . . 306 
Unity and plurality in everything — substance and attributes, 

mind, life, etc, ....... 307 

Ultimate ground of the universe not a distinctionless unity, . 307 

The Eleatic view in Greek philosophy and its results, . 307 

Attempts to overcome the difficulty in Philo, etc. , . . 307 

Modem speculative philosophy, ..... 308 

Real objection must be to the distinctions as personal^ . 308 

Drawbacksof the word ''Person," ..... 308 

Early use of terms : Augustine on this, .... 308 

Need of the expression, ...... 309 

Proof that distinctions of this kind are implied — 

The Trinitarian formula, ...... 309 

The Incarnation of the Son, ..... 309 

Testimonies about the Spirit, . « . . • 309 



I. Higher concept of God involved in the Incarnation (eon^mued) — 

Alternative view — an economical Trtnitj, . . * . . SIO 

Difficulties of this view : ancient and modem Sabellianism, . 810 

Relations of the doctrine to rational thought, . . .811 

The admission of a rational element involved in the attempt to 
explain it from philosophy, . . . .- .311 

Psychological analogies in Augustine and others, . . .812 

Their defects, . . . . . .813 

Suggested analogy in the mind's power of self-converse, . . . 813 

Kelation of the doctrine to self-consciousness, etc. Its value on 
this side, ........ 813 

1. The deduction from hMAoLtdgt^ .... 814 
Tlieory that the Divine self-consciousness may lie mediated 

by the idea of the world, ..... 314 

Objections to this — 

(1) It makes Qod dependent on the world, . .314 

(2) The object only ideal, . . . .314 

(3) The object a finite one, . . .314 

(4) The object not personal, .... 315 
The Christian view — the Divine consciousness self-mediated 

through the Son and Spirit, . . . .315 

2. The deduction from Unty . . . . .315 
The opposite hypothesis — ^love in a solitary God, . . 316 

8. Deduction from the Divine Fatherhood — God eternally 

Father, . . . . . . .817 

R. H. Hutton on this, . . . . .317 

4. Bearing of the Trinity on God's relation to the world, . 318 

The safeguard against Deism and Pantheism, . .318 

II. The Scripture view brings creation and Redemption into line^on- 

sequences of this, . . . . . . .319 

Relation of the Incarnation to the plan of the world, . 319 

Would there have been an Incarnation had man not sinned ? .319 

This question apt to be negatived as presumptuous, . 320 

But 1. It rise^ naturally from the subject, .... 320 

2. Has often pressed itself on the mind of the Church, 320 

3. Not unsuggested by certain of the teachings of Scrip- 

ture, ....... 320 

The history of the question, ...... 320 

Strong point against this theory — ^the constant connection of In- 
carnation with Redemption, ..... 321 

Passages which suggest a wider view, .... 321 

Difficulty arising from too abstract a view of the Divine plan, . 322 
God*s plan one throughout, aud includes the foresight and per- 
mission of sin, ....... 328 



II. The Scripture view brisgs creation and Redemption into line 
{eontvMud) — 
Belation of Calyiniet and Arminian to this question, 
Creation built upon Redemption lines, .... 
Great weight on this question to be attached to the revealed end 

— the gathering up of all things in Christ, 
This end not arbitrary, but one for which the universe must 
originally have been fitted, ..... 

Dr. P. Fairbaim substantially agrees' with this view, 

Harmony of Scripture with this view — 

1. The Scriptures know of only one undivided purpose of 

God, ..... 

2. Assert a direct relation of the Son with creation, 
8. Represent Christ as the final cause of creation, 
4. God's purpose actually tends to the unification of all 

things in Christ, . 
Bishop Lightfoot on this, 
Summary and conclusion, . 
This view reflects light on Christ's Person, 
Is in harmony with previous postulates. 









Christianity a religion of Redemption, . .831 

Views which this sets aside, ...... 831 

Comparison and contrast with Buddhism, .... 832 

Special question— The connection of Redemption with the Bufferings 

and death of Christ, . . . . .882 

I. Scripture testimony on this subject — the apostolic witness, . . 383 

Does Christ's teaching agree with that of the apostles ? Ground 

on which this is denied, ..... 384 

Insufficiency of these grounds, ..... 885 

Proof that Christ attached a redemptive significance to His 

death, ........ 336 

Grounds on which the apostolic Church proceeded — 

1. The objective facts of Christ's death, resurrection, etc. 

These needed an explanation, .... 838 

2. Christ's sayings on the meaning and necessity of His death, . 338 
8. The teaching of the Old Covenant as throwing light on 

Christ's work, . . . . . .339 



L Scripture testimony on this subject {continued) — 

d. The teacliing of the Old Coyenant (continued) — 

(1) Its prophecies— Isa. liii, .... 389 

(2) The Law as begetting a sense of sin, and feeling of 

the need of Atonement^ .... 339 

(3) The sacrificial economy, .... 839 

II. Explanation of the redemptive significance of Christ's death — 

theories of Atonement, ...... 840 

Legitimacy of inqniry into this subject, .... 840 

Elements of truth in aXL theories, ..... 341 

Modem desire to connect the Atonement with spiritual laws, . 841 
The Atonement considered from the point of view of the Incarna- 
tion — ........ 841 

Theories which emphasise this point of view, . . . 342 

Three points taken for granted in all Christian theories of Re- 
demption — 

1. Removal of guilt — forgiveness, .... 343 

2. Breaking down of sinner's enmity, .... 343 
8. Fellowship of life with Christ, . . . .343 

Theories differ as they attach themselves to one or another of these 
points of view, — 

1. Redemption as reception into Christ's fellowship, • . 343 

2. Christ's work as the supreme moral dynamic, . . 344 

3. Christ's work as an expiation, • . . .344 

More detailed examination of theories — 

1. Theories of fellowship : Schleiermacher, etc., . . . 344 

Representative relation of Christ, . . . .344 

Schleiermacher's view of Christ's sufferings, . .346 

2. Theories based on idea of sympathy : Bushnell, . . 346 

Real substitution involves sympathetic identification : Sub- 
stitutionary forces in life, ..... 347 
Points in which this theory comes short, . . • 848 
Sympathy shown — ^in doing what ? . . . . 349 
Removes Christ's work from its unique position — non- 
recognition of its expiatory character, . . . 850 
Dr. Bushnell's later modification of his view, . . 350 
Striking admissions in his earlier work, . . .851 

3. Theories based on idea of vocation : Ritschl, . . . 852 

Theories which recognise an objective element in the Atone- 
ment : in what does it consist ? . . . . 855 

4. Theories based on idea of self-surrender of holy will to God : 

Maurice, etc., ...... 855 

True elements in these theories : their defects, . . 356 

CONTENTS. xxvii 


II. Ezpknatiaii of the redemptiTe ngnificanca of Ghrist*8 death 
(eomJlmued) — 

More detafled examination of theories (oordvmud)-^ 
5. Theories which recognise a relation to goilt : Domer, etc., . 858 
Camphell's theory of vicarions repentance and confession, . 358 
Deeper elements in Campbell's view — the ''Amen" in 

response to God's judgment on sin, . . S5)^ 

This response rendered under actual experience of the penal 

consequences of sin, ..... 360 

Christ's sufferings yiewed as expiatoiy, . . 3(^2 

Objections to this view— the innocent suffering for the 

guilty, ....... 363 

This, in itself a fact of common experience, springs from the 

organic connection of humanity, . • . . 363 

The real question — How should such sufferings become 

expiatory for others I .... . 864 

The answer suggested, ..... 364 

Recapitulation and conclusion, .... 364 

The Incarnate Son alone oould achieye Bedemptiou, 366 



Introductory — 

Necessity of an eschatology, ...... 369 

Eschatology in philosophy and science, .... 369 

The Christian yiew eschatological because teleological, . 370 

I. The astronomical objection to Christianity, . . . .371 

Reply : Are the worlds inhabited ? . . . 872 
The objection a quantitatiye one, . . . .874 

The bearing of sin on this question, . . . . • 375 

Mr. Spenoer's objection, ...*.. 375 

The issues of Redemption not confined to this planet, 376 

II. Principles of interpretation of eschatological prophecy, . 376 

Ritschl's rejection of eschatology, . • . . • 377 

RitschI and Kaftan on the kingdom of God, .... 377 

The nearer aim of Christianity — the coming of the kingdom of 

God on earth, ....... 878 

Relation of this to modem social moyements, . . . • 378 

History has its goal— transition to eschatology proper, 379 

The positiye and bright side of the Christian yiew . • 379 

xxviii CONTENTS. 


II. Principles of interpretation of esohatological prophecy {continued) — 
Three things clear — 

1. The aim of God is conformity to the image of the Son, 880 

2. This includes likeness to His glorious hody : the resurrec- 

tion, ....... 880 

(1) The Redemption of the body not an accident, but 

an essential part of the Christian view, . . 380 

(2) This doctrine not exposed to some of the objections 

made to it, . . . . 381 

True doctrine of the resurrection — bodily identity, 

whAt? . . . .881 

Paul's analogy, ..... 882 

(3) Not a resurrection at death, but a future eyent, . 882 
8. The perfecting of the Church carries with it the perfecting 

of nature, ...... 883 

Pictorial and scenic elements : 

1. The personal Advent — ^how to be interpreted T . 383 
Beyschlag's view, ...... 383 

The Coming a process in which many elements flow 

together, ....... 884 

Still, a personal Coming is implied, .... 884 

2. The generalJudgment, ..... 885 

Its certainty, ...... 885 

Parabolic character of descriptions, .... 386 

III. The dark side of this question — the destiny of the wicked, . . 386 
Three theories on this subject — 

1. Dogmatic Uniyersalism, .. . . . 386 

2. The doctrine of Annihilation ; Conditional Immortality, . 887 
8. The doctrine of Eternal Punishment, . . . 387 

Fundamental positions laid down — 

1. The principle of certain retribution for sin, . . . 388 

2. Need for distinguishing between what Scripture teaches 

and subjects on which it is simply silent, . . 388 

8. A larger calculus needed than we at present possess, . 389 

Reasons for a large yiew of the issues of the Christian 

scheme, . . . . . . .389 

The question of the heathen, . . .889 

Degrees of responsibility eyen under goepel teaching, . 389 

Criticism of theories — 

1. Scripture does not warrant dogmatic Uniyersalism, . . 390 
The passages adduced in fSetyour of this yiew not decisiye, . 391 

2. Scripture does not warrant Annihilation, . . .391 
The hypothesis abstractly possible, but not scripturally 

justified, . . . . . .392 



IIL The dark mde of this question (coathmt^ — 
Criticism of theories {sifniLinvid) — 

Edward White's theory criticised — 

(1) Its supposed scriptoral support, .892 
Intenial contradictions of the theory ; the wicked not 

destroyed at death, ..... 392 

(2) Shnts oat gradations of panishment, or escapes this 

only by inconsistency, .... 393 

(^) Its non - biblical use of the terms '* life *' and 

'* death," . . . . .893 

Mr. White not satisfied with his own theory— seeks 

relief in Future Probation, .... 893 

Approximation to TJniyersalism, 894 

3. The theory of Future Probation, .... 394 

Its wide acceptance in recent times, .... 894 

Based more on general principles than on definite scriptural 

information, ...... 895 

Facts which suggest caution — 

(1) Concentration of eyery ray of exhortation and appeal 

into the present, ..... 895 

(2) The judgment iuyariably represented as proceeding 

on the data of this life, .... 395 

(3) The silence of Scripture on future probation : limits 

of the application of 1 Pet. iii. 19, 20 ; iy. 6, . 896 
Yet the issues of life must somehow be brought to 

a bearing in the unseen, .... 396 
Result — We have not the elements of a complete 

solution, . . . . . .897 

Conclusion or Lbctures, . . . . . .397 


the idea of the kingdom of ood. 

Relation of this subject to the course, ..... 401 

I. The place of this idea in theology — ^recent views, . . .401 

Reasons for not treating the kingdom of God as the all-embracing 

conception, ........ 402 

1. It is not so presented in the New Testament, . . 402 

2. Not an idea which can be treated as a fixed quantity, . 403 
8. Found difficult in practice to bring all theology under it, . 404 
4. The true place of this idea is as a teleological con- 
ception, ....... 404 



II. Tho teaching of Jems on the kingdom of God, • • • 405 

1. The kingdom, a present, developing reality, . • 405 

2. The nature of the kingdom ef God on earth, . 406 

(1) The religious and ethical side of this kingdom 

alone is made prominent, . . . 406 

(2) Yet a principle which affects society in all its rela- 

tions, ...... 407 

The recognition of this by Chiist, . . 407 

(a) The view of the Old Teatament presnp- 
posed — Christ's relation to the world «nd 
to society, .... 407 

(h) The world in its existing form hostile, bnt 

capable of Redemption and renewal, . 408 

(e) Christ's positive recognition of the Divine 
order of society, and the duty of His 
disciples to work in it, and save it, • 408 

(3) The relation of the idea of the kingdom of God 

to that of the Church, • 

III. The kingdom of God and the new life of humanity, . 

1. The principle of this life is Christ risen and exalted, 
* 2, This new life is (1) a life in the individual soul, (2) in 
society, ...... 

3. The kingdom of God as the centre of God's Providence, 





Lbctubb I. 

CUostrationa of the word " Weltanschauung" aod related terms, . 
Claasxfication of " Weltanschauungen," .... 

Unoouscioua Metaphysic, ...... 

Scope of the modem Scientific Claim, .... 

Antagonism of Christian and "Modem" views of the world — anti 
naturalism of the latter, ...... 

Internal conflicts of the " Modem " view, . . • . 

Uniqueness of the Old Testament view, .... 

Origin of the Old Testament yiew— Relation to critical theories, . 
Nature and Definition of Religion, ..... 

Undogmatic Religion, ...... 

iEsihetic theories of Religion, ..... 

ScUeiermacher on Dogmatics, ..... 

Religious and theoretic Knowledge, .... 

Ritschl on Religion and Philosophy, .... 

The Hegelian theory of Religion, ..... 

Lecture II. 

The central place of Christ in His Religion, 

The defeat of Arianism, ..... 

Modem Unitarianism, ..... 

Concessions of Ritschlians on the Person of Christ, 

The weakness of Deism, ..... 

Weakness of modem Liberal Protestantism, 

Christianity and the idea of Progress, 

The preyalence of Pessimism, .... 

The literature of Pessimism, .... 

Transition from Pessimism to Theism — Hartmann and Earl Peters, 

Materialism in Germany, ..... 

Fichte's later Philosophy, ..... 

Modem theory of Reyelation, .... 

The reasonableness of Reyelation, .... 

The Ritschlian doctrine of Reyelation, 








Lecture III. 

Primitive Fetishism and Ghost worship. 

Old Testament Monotheism, 

HegePs idea of God, 

Defects of the Neo- Hegelian view, . 

Kant and the Gosmological Argoment, 

Kant and the Teleological Argument, 

Schools of Eyolutionists, 

Kant on the Ontological Argument, 

Rational Realism, . 

Lecture IV. 
The Creation History, .... 

Evolution in inorganic Nature— The Nebular Hypothesis, 
The Hypothesis of Cycles, . 
" Eternal Creation," 
Eternity and Time, . 
Man the head of Creation, . 
Mind and Mechanical Causation, 
Mind and Cerebral Activity, 
Schleiermacher and Immortality, 

Lecture V. 
Defects in Creation : an argument against Theism, 
Dualistic theories of the Origin of Evil, 
Hegel's Doctrine of Sin, 
Ritschl's Doctrine of Guilt, . 
Alleged primitive Savagery of mankind. 
Early Monotheistic Ideas, . 
The Antiquity of Man and Geological Time, 
The connection of Sin and Death, . 

Lecture VI. 

The doctrine of Pre-existence, . . . . . 

Philo and the Fourth Gospel, . . . . . 

The Resurrection of Christ and the reality of His Divine Claim, . 

Lecture VII. 
Recent theories of the Trinity, . . . . . 

Dr. Martineau as a Trinitarian, . . . . . 

Lecture VIII. 
The Germ theory of Justification, . . . . , 

Lecture IX. 
Renan's Eschatology, ...... 

The Gospel and the vastness of Creation, . . . , 

Alleged Pauline Universalism, • . . . , 


. 466 

. 469 

. 471 

. 471 

. 474 

. 475 

. 476 

. 478 

. 479 

. 480 

. 482 

. 483 

. 485l 

. 487 

. 488 

. 489 

. 490 

. 493 

. 495 

. 496 

. 497 

. 498 

. 499 

. 501 

. 504 

. 506 

. 508 

. 610 

. 512 

. 516 

. 521 

. 524 

. 627 

. 528 

. 630 


W^t Cbi:tsttait Fubi of tlje QHorlH in (Smeral. 

*' Jesus Christ is the centre of all, and the goal to which all tends/* — 

"If we carry back the antagonisms of the present to their ultimate 
principle, we are obliged to confess that it is of a religious kind. The 
way in which a man thinks of God and the world, and their relation to 
one another, is decisive for the whole tendency of his thought, and even 
in the questions of the purely natural life." — Luthabdt. 

"The Christian truth, with the certifying of which we have to do, is 
essentially only one, compact in itself, vitally interconnected, — ^as such 
at the some time organic, — ^and it is therefore not possible one should 
])ossess and retain a portion of the same, while yet not possessing, or 
rejecting, the other portions. On the contrary, the member or portion 
of the truth, which it had been thought to appropriate or maintain alone, 
would by this isolating cease to be that which it was or is in itself ; it 
would become an empty form or husk, from which the life, the Christian 
reality, has escaped."— P. H. R. Frank. 

"In no case can true Reason and a right Faith oppose each other." — 




I MIGHT briefly define the object of the present Lectures by The term 
saying that they aim at the exhibition, and, as far as possible ** ^^''^«"^^ 
within the limits assigned me, at the rational vindication, of 
what I have called in the title, " The Christian view of the 
world." This expression, however, is itself one which calls 
for definition and explanation, and I proceed, in the first 
place, to give the explanation that is needed. 

A reader of the higher class of works in German theology 
— especially those which deal with the philosophy of re- 
ligion — cannot fail to be struck with the constant recurrence 
of a word for which he finds it difficult to get a precise 
equivalent in English. It is the word " Weltanschauung," 
sometimes interchanged with another compound of the same 
signification, " Weltansicht." Both words mean literally 
"view of the world," but whereas the phrase in English is 
limited by associations which connect it predominatingly with 
physical nature, in German the word is not thus limited, but 
has almost the force of a technical term, denoting the widest 
view which the mind can take of things in the efibrt to 
grasp them together as a whole from the standpoint of some 
particular philosophy or theology. To speak, therefore, of 
a "Christian view of the world" implies that Christianity 
also has its highest point of view, and its view of life con- 
nected therewith, and that this, when developed, constitutes 
an ordered whole.^ 

^ See Note A. — lUustrations of tbe word '' Weltanscbaanug " 




• • • . . 

Need of com- To some the subject which I have thas chosen may seem 
prehennvt unduly widc and vague. I can only reply that I have 
deliberately chosen it for this very reason that it enables 
me to deal with Christianity in its entirety or as a system, 
instead of dealing with particular aspects or doctrines of it. 
Both methods have their advantages; but no one, I think, 
whose eyes are open to the signs of the times can fail to 
perceive that if Christianity is to be effectually defended 
from the attacks made upon it, it is the comprehensive 
method which is rapidly becoming the more urgent. The 
opposition which Christianity has to encounter is no longer 
confined to special doctrines or to'points of supposed conflict 
with the natural sciences, — for example, the relations of 
Genesis and geology, — but extends to the whole manner of 
conceiving of the world, and of man's place in it, the manner 
of conceiving of the entire system of things, natural and 
moral, of which we form a part It is no longer an opposition 
of detail, but of principle. This circumstance necessitates 
an equal extension of the line of the defence. It is the 
Christian view of things in general which is attacked, and 
it is by an exposition and vindication of the Christian view 
of thuigs as a whole that the attack can most successfully 
be met. 
viewof Christ' Everything here, of course, depends on the view we take of 
ianity in the Christianity itself. The view indicated in the title is that 

Lectures. '' 

which has its centre in the Divine and human Person of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. It implies the true Divinity as well as 
the true humanity of the Christian Bedeemer. This is a 
view of Christianity, I know, which I am not at liberty to 
take for granted, but must be prepared in due course to 
vindicate. I shall not shrink from the task which this 
imposes on me, but would only at present point out that, 
for him who does accept it, a very definite view of things 
/emerges. He who with his whole heart believes in Jesus 
as the Son of God is thereby committed to much else besides. 
He is committed to a view of God, to a view of man, to a 


view of sii- to a view of Redemption, to a view of the purpose 
of God in creation and history, to a view of human destiny, 
found only u Christianity. This forms a " Weltanschauung," 
or "Christian view of the world,*' which stands in marked 
contrast with theories wrought out from a purely philosophical y 
or scientific standpoint. 

The idea of the "Weltanschauung" may be said to have The**Weltan- 
entered prominently into modern thought through the influence '^^^*^" '« 
of Kant, who elevates what he calls the '^ Weltbegriff " to the j^ant, ttc, 
rank of the second of his Idea% of Pure Reason^ assigning 
to it the function of the systematic connection of all our 
experiences into the unity of a world-whole (Weltganz).^ 
But the thing itself is as old as the dawn of reflection, and 
is found in a cruder or more advanced form in every religion 
and philosophy with any pretensions to a historical character. 
The simplest form in which we meet with it is in the rude, 
tentative efforts at a general explanation of things in the 
cosmogonies and theogonies of most ancient religions, the 
mythological character of which need not blind us to the 
rational motive which operates in them.* With the growth 
of philosophy, a new type of world- view is developed — that 
which attempts to explain the universe as a system by the 
help of some general principle or principles (water, air, number, 
eta), accompanied by the use of terms which imply the con- 
ception of an All or Whole of things (rh iravra, Koafio^ — 

^ See Appendix II.— The Idea of the "Weltanschauting." Kant says: "1 
name all transcendental ideas, so far as they relate to the absolute totality in 
the synthesis of phenomena, world-notions ( Weltbegriffe), partly because of this 
^ery unconditioned totality, on which also the notion of the world -whole 
(Weltgauz) rests — ^which itself is only an idea, — partly because they relate only 
to the synthesis of phenomena, consequently to the empirical ; while, on the 
other hand, the absolute totality in the synthesis of the conditions of all 
P<^ble things will give rise to an ideal of pure reason, which is to be entirely 
distbgoished from the world -notion (Weltbegriff), although at the same time 
it stands in relation to it" . . . ''The cosmological idea (kosmologische Idee) 
of an absolute whole." — /Tri^iib d, r. Vemun/l, pp. 302, 860 (Bohn's trans, 
pp. 256, 310). The references to Kant throughout are to Erdmann's edition 

*Cf. Zeller on Hesiod's Theogony, Pre-SoercUic Philosophy, pp, 88, 89 
(Eng. trans.). 


attributed to the Pythagoreana — mundus, universum, etc,)} An 
example from ancient thought may be given from Lucretius, 
who, in his famous poem, " De Eerum Natura," proposes " to 
discourse of the most high system of heaven and the gods, 
and to open up the first-beginnings of things, out of which 
nature gives birth to all things and increase and nourishment, 
and into which nature likewise resolves them back after their 
destruction/* ^ The outlines of his system are well known. 
By the aid of certain first principles — atoms and the void — 
and of certain assumed laws of motion and development, he 
seeks to account for the existing universe, and constructs for 
himself a theory on the lines of Epicurus, which he thinks satiB- 
fies his intellectual necessities. This is his '' Weltanschauung " 
— the progeny of which is seen in the materialistic systems 
of the present day. A modem example may be taken from 
the philosophy of Comte, which, theoretically one of pure 
phenomenalism, only the more strikingly illustrates the 
necessity which thought is under to attempt in some form 
a synthesis of its experience. Comte's standpoint is that 
of despair of absolute knowledge. Yet he recognises the 
tendency in the mind which prompts it to organise its 
knowledge, and thinks it possible to construct a scheme of 
existenoe which shall give practical unity to life — imagina- 
tion eking out the deficiencies of the intellect. In the 
words of a recent interpreter, "Beneath and beyond all 
the details in our ideas of things, there is a certain esprit 
<Cememble^ a general conception of the world without and the 
world within, in which these details gather to a head.'* ^ It 
would not be easy to get a better description of what is 
meant by a " Weltanschauung " than in these words. The 
-centre of unity in this new conception of the universe is 
Man. Knowledge is to be organised solely with reference 
to its bearings on the well-being and progress of Humanity. 

^ See Note B. — Classafication of '' Weltanschanongen." 
' Bk. I. LI. 64-57 (Mnnro's trans.). Cf. Luerttius and the Atomic Tlieory^ 
"bj Professor John Veitch, p. 13. 

> Gaiid'a Social PhiUmphy ofC<mU, p. 21. 


A religion even is provided for the satisfaction of the 
emotional and imaginative wants of man in the worship of 
the same abstraction — Humanity, which is to be viewed 
with affection and gratitude as a beneficent providence in- 
terposed between man and the hard pressure of his outward 
conditions. In a moral respect the individual is to find his 
all-comprehensive end in the " service of Humanity." Thus, 
again, we have a "Weltanschauung" in which knowledge 
and action are knit up together, and organised into a single 
view of Ufe. 

The causes which lead to the formation of " Weltan- Causes of 
schauungen," that is, of general theories of the universe, ^'^^^^ 
explanatory of what it is, how it has come to be what it is, 
and whither it tends, lie deep in the constitution of human 
nature. They are twofold — speculative and practical, corre- 
sponding to the twofold aspect of human nature as thinking 
and active. On the theoretical side, the mind seeks unity 
in its representationa It is not content with fragmentary 
knowledge, but tends constantly to rise from facts to laws, 
from laws to higher laws, from these to the highest generalisa- 
tions possible.^ Ultimately it abuts on questions of origin, 
purpose, and destiny, which, as questions set by reason to 
itself, it cannot, from its very nature, refuse at least to 
attempt to answer.^ Even to prove that an answer to them 
is impossible, it is found necessary to discuss them, and it 
will be strange if, in the course of the discussion, the dis- 
covery is not made, that underneath the profession of ne- 
science a positive theory of some kind after all lurks.^ But 

^ Cf. StrariiBS— '* We proceed from the isolated circles of phenomena around 
OS, from the stable basis and the elementary forces, to vegetable and animal life, 
to the nniyersal life of the earth, from this to that of our solar system, and so 
erer farther, till at last we have grasped the entire range of existence in a single 
representation ; and this is the representation of the universe." — Dfr cUu und 
der neue Cflaube, p. 150. 

* " As science becomes more conscious of its problems and its goal, it 
struggles the more strenuously towards the region where physics melt into 
metaphysics."— Fairbaim, StudUa in the Philosophy and History qf Bdigion, 
p. 88. 

' See Note C. — ^Unconadous Metaphysic. 



Fondness of 
the age for 

there is likewise a practical motive urging to the considera- 
tion of these well-worn questions of the why, whence, and 
whither ? Looking out on the universe, men cannot but 
desire to know their place in the system of things of which 
they form a part, if only that they may know how rightly 
to determine themselves thereto.^ Is the constitution of 
things good or evil? By what ultimate principles ought 
man to be guided in the framing and ordering of his life ? 
What is the true end of existence ? What rational justifica- 
tion does the nature of things afford for the higher senti- 
ments of duty and religion? If it be the case, as the 
Agnostic affirms, that light absolutely fails us on questions of 
origin, cause, and end, what conception of life remains ? Or 
assuming that no higher origin for life and mind can be 
postulated than matter and force, what revision is necessary 
of current conceptions of private morality and social duty ? 

It is a singular circumstance that, with all the distaste 
of the age for metaphysics, the tendency to the formation of 
world-systems, or general theories of the universe, was never 
more powerful than at the present day. One cause of 
this, no doubt, is the feeling which modern science itself has 
done so much to engender of the unity which .pervades all 
orders of existence. The naive Polytheism of pagan times, 
when every hill and fountain was supposed to have its special 
divinity, is no longer possible with modem notions of the 
coherence of the universe. Everywhere the minds of men 
are opening to the conception that, whatever else the uni- 
verse is, it is one — one set of laws holds the whole together 
—one order reigns through alL Everywhere, accordingly, 
we see a straining after a universal point of view — a 

^ ''The qnestion of questions for mankind, the problem which underlies all 
others, and is more deeply interesting than any other, is the ascertainment of 
the place which man occupies in nature, and of his relation to the universe 
of things. Whence our race has come, what are the limits of our power 
over nature, and of nature's power over us? to what goal we are tending! 
are the problems which present themselves anew, and with undiminished 
interest, to every man born into the world." — Huxley, Man^s Place in 
Nature, p. 57. 


grouping and grasping of things together in their unitj.^ 
The philosophy of Mr. Spencer, for example, is as truly an 
attempt at the unification of all knowledge as the philosophy 
of a H^l; the evolutionist is as confident of being able 
to embrace all that is, or ever has been, or will be — all 
existing phenomena of nature, history, or mind — in the 
range of a few ultimate formulas, as if he had already seen 
how the task was to be accomplished ; the Comtist urges to 
an imaginative in default of a real and objective synthesis, 
and rears on this basis at once a social theory and a religion. 
The mind grows bolder with the advance of knowledge, and 
hopes, if not to reach a final solution of the ultimate mystery 
of existence, at least to bring thoroughly under its dominion 
the sphere of the knowable.* 

What now, it may be asked, has Christianity to do with Relation of 
theories, and questions, and speculations of this sort ? As a ^^ rtsttamty 
doctrine of salvation, perhaps, not much, but in its logical M^^nW. 
presuppositions and consequences a great deal indeed. 
Christianity, it is granted, is not a scientific system, though, ^ 
if its view of the world be true, it must be reconcilable with 
all that is certain and established in the results of science. 
It is not a philosophy, though, if it be valid, its fundamental 
assumptions will be found to be in harmony with the con- 
clusions at which sound reason, attacking its own problems, 
independently arrives. It is a religion, historical in its 
origin, and claiming to rest on Divine Eevelation. But 
though Christianity is neither a scientific system, nor a 
philosophy, it has yet a world-view of its own, to which it 
stands committed, alike by its fundamental postulate of a 
personal, holy, self-revealing God, and by its content as a I 

^ Of. Principal Fairbaim — " The search for causes, both eflficient and ultimate, 
is being condncted with the most daring and unwearied enthusiasm. Science 
has become as speculative, as prolific of physico-metaphysical theories— as the 
most bewitched metaphysician could desire. . . . The consequent crop of 
cosmic speculation has been of the most varied and extensive kind, ranging from 
theories of the origin of species to theories as to the origin of the universe." — 
&iudM», p. 64. 

^ See Note D. — Scope of the Modem Scientific Claim. 


\ religion of Eedemption — which, therefore, necessarily brings 

it into comparison with the world- views already referred to.^ 

It has, as every religion should and must have, its own 

peculiar interpretation to give of the facts of existence ; its 

own way of looking at, and accounting for, the existing 

natural and moral order ; its own idea of a world-aim, and 

of that " one far-oflf Divine event," to which, through slow 

and painful travail, " the whole creation moves." ^ As thus 

binding together the natural and moral worlds in their 

highest unity, through reference to their ultimate principle, 

\ God, it involves a " Weltanschauung." 

The Christian It need not further be denied that between this view of 

and'^ modern ^^ world involved in Christianity, and what is sometimes 

views of the •' 

world, termed "the modem view of the world," there exists a 

deep and radical antagonism.^ This so-called "modern 
view of the world," indeed, — and it is important to 
observe it, — is, strictly speaking, not one view, but many 
views, — a group of views, — most of them as exclusive 
of one another as they together are of Christianity.* The 
phrase, nevertheless, does point to a homogeneity of these 
various systems — to a bond of unity which runs through 
them all, and holds them together in spite of their many 
differences. This common feature is their thoroughgoing 
opposition to the supernatural, — at least of the specifically 
miraculous, — ^their refusal to recognise anything in nature, 
life, or history, outside the lines of natural development. 
Between such a view of the world and Christianity, it 
is perfectly correct to say that there can be no kindred- 
ship. Those who think otherwise — speculative Theists, t,g. 
like Pfleiderer — can only make good their contention by 
fundamentally altering the idea of Christianity itself — 
robbing it also of its miraculous essence and accompaniments. 
Whether this is tenable we shall consider afterwards. 

^ Cf. Domer, Syti, ofDoct, L p. 155 (£ng. trans. )• 
^ Tennyson, In Memoriam. 

* See Note K — Antagonism of Christian and '' Modem " Views of the World. 

* See Note F.— Internal Conflicts of the " Modern " View. 


Meanwhile it is to be noted that this at least is not the 
Christianity of the New Testament It may be an improved 
and purified form of Christianity, but it is not the Christ- 
ianity of Christ and His apostles. Even if, with the newer 
criticism, we distinguish between the theology of Christ and 
that of His apostles — ^between the Synoptic Gospels and the 
Gospel of John — between the earlier form of the synoptic 
tradition and supposed later embellishments — it is still not 
to be disputed that, in the simplest view we can take of it, 
Jesus held and acted on a view of things totally different 
from the rationalistic conception ; while for him who accepts 
the view of Christianity indicated in the title of these Lec- 
tures, it has already been pointed out that a view of things 
emerges with which the denial of the supernatural is wholly 

The position here taken, that the question at issue be- The question 
tween the opponents and defenders of the Christian view of ^^^^ ^,^^' 

*■ ^ natural in 

the world is at bottom the question of the supernatural, Christianity. 
needs to be guarded against a not uncommon misconception. 
A good deal of controversy has recently taken place in\ 
regard to certain statements of Professor Max Miiller, as to 
whether " miracles '' are essential to Christianity.^ But the 
issue we have to face is totally misconceived when it is 
turned into a question of belief in this or that particular 
miracle — or of miracles in general — regarded as mere ex- 
ternal appendages to Christianity. The question is not 
about isolated " miracles," but about the whole conception of 
Christianity — what it is, and whether the supernatural does I 
not enter into the very essence of it? It is the general | 
question of a supernatural or non-supernatural conception of 
the universe. Is there a supernatural Being — God ? Is 
there a supernatural government of the world ? Is there a 
supernatural relation of God and man, so that God and man 
may have communion with one another ? Is there a super- j 

^ Cf. Max Kiiller's Preface to his Lectares on Anthropological Religion 
(Gifford Lectarea), 1892. 


natural S^velation ? Has that Eevelation culminated in a 
supernatural Person — Christ ? Is there a supernatural work 
in the souls of men ? Is there a supernatural Bedemption ? 
I Is there a supernatural hereafter ? It is these larger quest- 
ions that have to be settled first, and then the question of 
particular miracles will fall into its proper place. Neander 
has given admirable expression to the conception of Christianity 
which is really at stake in the following words in the com- 
mencement of his History of the Church — '' Now we look upon 
Christianity not as a power that has sprung up out of the 
hidden depths of man's nature, but as one that descended 
from above, when heaven opened itself anew to man's long 
alienated race ; a power which, as both in its origin and its 
essence it is exalted above all that human nature can create 
out of its own resources, was designed to impart to that nature 
a new life, and to change it in its inmost principles. The 
prime source of this power is He whose power exhibits to us 
the manifestation of it — Jesus of Nazareth — the Eedeemer of 
' mankind when estranged from God by sin. In the devotion 
of faith in Him, and the appropriation of the truth which 
He revealed, consists the essence of Christianity and of that 
fellowship of the Divine life resulting from it, which we 
designate by the name of the Church." ^ It is this conception 
of Christianity we have to come to an understanding with, 
before the question of particular miracles can profitably be 
\ discussed. 
delation of While, from the nature of the case, this side of opposition 

Christianity ^f ^j^^ Christian view of the world to certain " modern " 

to ot/ur 

systems not conceptions must necessarily receive prominence, I ought, on 
one of pure ^j^^ other hand, to remark that it is far from my intention 

negation, " 

to represent the relation of Christianity to these opposing 
systems as one of mere negation. This would be to overlook 
the fact, which cannot be too carefully borne in mind, that 
no theory which has obtained wide currency, and held 
powerful sway over the minds of men, is ever wholly false ; 

^ History of the Church, i. p. 2 (Eng. trans.). 


that, on the contrary, it derives what strength it has from 
some side or aspect of truth which it embodies, and for 
which it is in Providence a witness against the suppression 
or denial of it in some counter-theory, or in the general 
doctrine of the age. No duty is more imperative on the 
Christian teacher than that of showing that instead of 
Christianity being simply one theory among the rest, it is 
really the higher truth which is the synthesis and com- 
pletion of all the others, — that view which, rejecting the error, 
takes up the vitalising elements in all other systems and 
religions, and unites them into a living organism, with Christ 
as head.^ We are reminded of Milton's famous figure in 
the " Areopagitica," of the dismemberment of truth, — how 
truth was torn limb from limb, and her members were 
scattered to the four winds; and how the lovers of truth, 
imitating the careful search of Isis for the body of Osiris, 
have been engaged ever since in gathering together the 
severed parts, in order to unite them again into a perfect 
whole.* If apologetic is to be spoken of, this surely is the 
truest and best form of Christian apology — to show that in 
Christianity, as nowhere else, the severed portions of truth 
found in all other systems are organically united, while it 
completes the body of truth by discoveries peculiar to itself. 
The Christian doctrine of God, for example, may fairly claim 
to be the synthesis of all the separate elements of truth found 
in Agnosticism, Pantheism, and Deism, which by their very 

^ Cf. Baring-Goiild — " In every religion of tbe world is to be found, distorted 
or exaggerated, some great truth, otherwise it would never have obtained foot- 
hold ; every religious revolution has been the struggle of thought to gain 
another step in the ladder that reaches to heaven. That which we ask of 
Revelation is that it shall take up all these varieties into itself, not that it 
shall supplant them ; aud show how that at which each of them aimed, how* 
ever dimly and indistinctly, has its interpretation and realisation in the 
objective truth brought to light by Revelation. Hence we shall be able to 
recognise that religion to be the true one, which is the complement and cor- 
rective of all the wanderings of the religious instinct in its efforts to provide 
objects for its own satisfaction." — Origin and Development 0/ Beligiow Beli^, 
ii. Pref. p. 10. 

' Cf. Areopagiiiea, "English Reprints," p. 56. Clement of Alexandria has 
a similar figure, Strom, L 13. 


antagonisms reveal themselves as one-sidednesses, requiring to 
be brought into some higher harmony. If Agnosticism affirms 
that there is that in God — ^in His infinite and absolute 
existence — which transcends finite comprehension, Christian 
theology does the same. If Pantheism affirms the absolute 
immanence of God in the world, and Deism His absolute 
transcendence over it, Christianity unites the two sides of 
the truth in a higlier concept, maintaining at the same 
time the Divine immanence and the Divine transcendence.^ 
Even Polytheism in its nobler forms is in its own dark way 
a witness for a truth which a hard, abstract Monotheism, 
such as we have in the later (not the Biblical) Judaism, and 
in Mohammedanism, ignores— the truth, namely, that God is 
plurality as well as unity — that in Him there is a mani- 
foldness of life, a fulness and diversity of powers and mani- 
festations, such as is expressed by the word Elohim. This 
element of truth in Polytheism, Christianity also takes up, 
and sets in its proper relation to the unity of God in its 
doctrine of Tri-unity — the concept of God which is dis- 
tinctively the Christian one, and which furnishes the surest 
safeguard of a living Theism against the extremes of both 
Pantheism and Deism.^ Optimism and Pessimism are another 
pair of contrasts — each in its abstraction an error, yet each 
a witness for a truth which the other overlooks, and Christ- 
ianity is the reconciliation of both. To take a last ex- 
ample. Positivism is a very direct negation of Christianity ; 
yet in its strange " worship of Humanity " is there not that 
which stretches across the gulf and touches hands with a 
religion which meets the cravings of the heart for the human 
in God by the doctrine of the Incarnation ? ^ It is the pro- 

^ Cf. Eph. iv. 6. Flint, AiUi-Tkeiatic Theories, p. 389. 

2 Cf. Dorner, Synt. o/Doct, i. pp. 866, 867 (Eng. ti-anR.). Even Ed. v. Hart- 
mann recognises the *'deep metaphysical sense" of the doctrine of the Trinity, 
and the service done by it in reconciling the Divine immanence and transcend- 
ence. — 8elbstzer8etzting des ChrUtenthums, p. 108. 

' "Altruism " is another point of contact between Comtism and Christianity, 
though, indeed, it was first borrowed from the latter. 


Tince of a true and wise Christian theology to take account 
of all this, and to seek, with ever-increasing enlargement of 
vision, the comprehensive view in which all factors of the 
truth are combined The practical inference I would draw 
— the very opposite of that drawn by others from the same 
premisses — is, that it is the unwisest way possible of dealing 
with Christianity to pare it down, or seek to sublimate it 
away, as if it had no positive content of its own ; or, by 
lavish compromise and concession, to part with that which 
belongs to its essenca It is not in a blunted and toned- 1 
down Christianity, but in the exhibition of the Christian 
view in the greatest fulness and completeness possible, that 
the ultimate synthesis of the conflicting elements in the 
clash of systems around us is to be found. / 

This is perhaps the place to point out that, whatever the The ChrisHan 
character of the world-view involved in Christianity, it is not^^'fJ^ 

world oasM 

one in all respects absolutely new. It rests upon, and carries on that of the 
forward to its completion, the richly concrete view of the ^^ Testament 
world already found in the Old Testament As an ^l^ of the latter, 
expounder of Old Testament theology, Hermann Schultz, has 
justly said — ^" There is absolutely no New Testament view ^ 
which does not approve itself as a sound and definitive 
formation from an Old Testament germ — no truly Old 
Testament view which did not inwardly press forward to its 
New Testament fulfilment." ^ This is a phenomenon which, 
I think, has not always received the attention it deserves. 
What are the main characteristics of this Old Testament 
conception ? At its root is the idea of a holy, spiritual, 
self-revealing God, the free Creator of the world, and its 
continual Preserver. As correlative to this, and springing 
out of it, is the idea of man as a being made in God's image, 
and capable of moral relations and spiritual fellowship with 
his Maker ; but who, through sin, has turned aside from the 
end of his creation, and stands in need of Bedemption. In 
the heart of the history, we have the idea of a Divine 

> Alttestanuniliche Theologie, p. 48. 


purpose, working itself out through the calling of a special 
nation, for the ultimate benefit and blessing of mankind. 
God's providential rule extends over all creatures and events, 
and embraces all peoples of the earth, near and remote. In 
view of the sin and corruption that have overspread the 
world, His government is one of combined mercy and 
judgment; and His dealings with Israel in particular are 
preparative to the introduction of a better economy, in which 
the grace already partially exhibited will be fully revealed. 
The end is the establishment of a kingdom of God under 
the rule of the Messiah, in which all national limitations 
will be removed, the Spirit be poured forth, and Jehovah will 
become the God of the whole earth. God will make a new 
covenant with His people, and will write His laws by His 
Spirit in their hearts. Under this happy reign, the final 
triumph of righteousness over sin will be accomplished, and 
death and all other evils will be abolished. Here is a very 
remarkable " Weltanschauung," the presence of which at all 
in the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures is a fact of no 
ordinary significance. In the comparative history of re- 
X ligions, it stands quite unique.^ Speculations on the world 
and its origin are seen growing up in the schools of philo- 
sophy; but on the ground of religion there is nothing to 
compare with this. The lower religions. Fetishism and the 
, like, have of course nothing of the nature of a developed 
world-view. The rudiments of such a view in the older 
nature-religions are crude, confused, polytheistic — mixed up 
abundantly with mythological elements. Brahmanism and 
Buddhism rest on a metaphysical foundation; they are as 
truly philosophical systems as the atomistic or pantheistic 
theories of the Greek schools, or the systems of Schopenhauer 
aud Hartmann in our own day. And the philosophy they 
inculcate is a philosophy of despair ; they contain no spring 
of hope or progress. Zoroastrianism, with its profound 
realisation of the conflict of good and evil in the .universe, 

^ See Note 6.— Uniqueness of the Old Testament View. 


perhaps comes nearest to the religion of the Old Testament, 
jet is severed from it by an immense gulf. I refer only 
to its pervading dualism, its reverence for physical elements, 
its confusion of natural and moral evil — above all, to its 
total lack of the idea of historical Bevelation.^ The Biblical 
conception is separated from every other by its monotheistic 
basis, its unique clearness, its organic unity, its moral 
character, and its teleological aim«^ It does not matter for 
the purposes of this argument what dates we assign to the 
books of the Old Testament in which these views are found — 
whether we attribute them, with the critics, to the age of the 
prophets, or to any other. These views are at least there many 
centuries before the Christian age began, and they are found 
nowhere else than on the soil of Israel. This is the singular 
fact the critic has to face, and we cannot profess to wonder 
that, impartially studying it, voices should be heard from the 
midst of the advanced school itself unhesitatingly declaring, 
Date your books when you will, this religion is not explicable 
save on the hypothesis of Sevelation ! ' 

The general drift and object of these Lectures should now, General dnft 
I think, be apparent. From the conditions of this Lecture- ^^^ ^ 
ship, I am precluded from directly entering the apologetic 
field. I feel, however, that it would be useless to discuss 
any important theological subject at the present day without 
reference to the thought and speculation of the time. No 
other mode of thought would enable me to do justice to the 
Christian position, and none, I think, would be so interesting 
to those for whom the Lectures are primarily intended. 
This, however, will be subsidiary to the main design of 
showing that there is a definite Christian view of things, 

^ Of. the sketch of Zoroastrianism in Introdaction to the Zendavesta in 
Sacred Books of the East, See also Ebrard's Christian Apologetics, ii. pp. 
186-232. Some interesting remarks will be found in Lotze*s Microcosmust ii. 
p. 459. 

* Dr. Doruer says — '* Israel has the idea of teleology as a kind of soul." — 
SjfHt, o/Doct. i. p. 274 (Eng. trans.). 

' See Note H.— Origin of the Old Testament View— Relation to Critical 



which has a character, coherence, and unity of its own, and 
stands in sharp contrast with counter-theories and specula* 
tions, and that this world-view has the stamp of reason and 
reality upon itself, and can amply justify itself at the bar 
both of history and of experience. I shall endeavour to 
show that the Christian view of things forms a logical 
whole which cannot be infringed on, or accepted or rejected 
piecemeal, but stands or falls in its integrity, and can only 
suffer from attempts at amalgamation or compromise with 
theories which rest on totally distinct bases. I hope thus to 
make clear at least the true nature of the issues involved in 
a comparison of the Christian and modem views, and I shall 
be glad if I can in any way contribute to the elucidation of 
the former. 

Objections in Two objections may be taken in limine to the course I 
/™j^^ ' tJkeo P^^I^^ ^ follow, and it is proper at this stage that I should 
logy of feeling, give them somc attention. 

I. The first objection is taken from the standpoint of the 
theology of feeling , and amounts to a denial of our right to 
speak of a Christian " Weltanschauung " at all ; indeed, to 
assume that Christianity has a definite doctrinal content of 
any kind.^ This class of objectors would rule the cognitive 
element out of religion altogether. Beligion, it is frequently 
alleged, has nothing to do with notions of the intellect, but 
only with states and dispositions of the hearts Theories and 
doctrines are no essential part of it, but, on the contrary, a 
bane and injury, and hindrance to its free development and 
progress. Those who speak thus sometimes do so in the 
interests of a theory which would seek the essence of religion 
'in certain instincts, or sentiments, or emotions, which are 
supposed to be universal and indestructible in the human 
race, and to constitute the imperishable and undecaying sub- 
stance of all religions — the emotions, e.g,^ of awe or wonder, 
or reverence or dependence, awakened by the impression of 

* See Note L— Nature and Definition of Religion. 


the immensity or mystery of the universe ; while the ideas 
and beliefs connected with these emotions are regarded as 
bnt the accidents of a particular stage of culture, and as 
possessing no independent value. They are at best the 
variegated moulds into which this emotional life of the spirit 
has for the time being poured itself — ^the envelopes and 
vehicles through which it seeks for itself preservation and 
expression. All religions, from this impartial standpoint, 
Christianity included, are equally Divine and equally human. 
Bat even those who recognise a higher origin for the Christian 
religion sometimes speak of it as if in its original form it 
was devoid of all definite doctrinal content ; or at least as if 
the doctrinal ideas found in connection with it were only 
external wrappage and covering, and could be stripped oflf — 
altered, manipulated, modified, or dispensed with at the 
pleasure of the critic — without detriment to the moral and 
spiritual kernel beneath. Christianity is not given up, but 
there is the attempt to refine and sublimate it till it is 
reduced to a simple state of sentiment and feeling ; to purge 
it of the theoretic element till nothing is left but the 
vaguest residuum of doctrinal opinion. Agreeing with this 
party in their aversion to doctrine, yet occupying a distinct 
standpoint, are the ultra-spirituals, whose naturally mystical 
bent of mind, and fondness for the hazy and indefinite in 
theological as in other thinking, predispose them to dwell 
in the region of cloudy and undefined conceptions.^ 

It scarcely falls within my province to inquire how far Examination 
this theory holds good in its general application to religion, ^/*^/^^^. 
though even on this broad field it m^ht easily be shown that nsts only in 
it involves a number of untenable assumptions, and really ^^'^'''*^' ^"'^ 

* " feeling: re- 

contradicts the idea of religion. For what is meant by the 7i;^;; involves 
assertion that religion consists only in sentiment or feeling, ^^^' 
and has nothing to do with doctrinal conceptions? Not, 
surely, that religion can subsist wholly without i^oa, or 
cognitive apprehension, of some kind. Beligion, in the 

^ See Kote J.— Undogmatic Religion. 


lowest as well as in the highest of its forms, is an expres* 
sion of the relation of the soul to something beyond itself ; 
it involves, therefore, not one term, but two; it points to 
the existence of an object, and implies belief in the reality 
of that object. The element of idea, therefore, — or as 
the Germans would say, " Vorstellung," — is inseparable from 
it. No religion has ever been found which did not involve 
\ some rudiments of an objective view. We may learn here 
even from the pessimist Hartmann, who, in an acute 
analysis of the elements of religion, says, *'How true so- 
ever it may be that religious feeling forms the innermost 
kernel of religious life, nevertheless that only is a true 
religious feeling which is excited through religious repre- 
sentations having a character of objective (if only relative) 
truth. Eeligion cannot exist without a religious 'Weltan- 
schauung,' and this not without the conviction of its tran- 
scendental truth." ^ 
Religion not / Nor, again, can it be contended that, while a cognitive 
iftdifferent to ^lenient of some kind must be conceded, religion is indifferent 

the character ° 

of its ideas, to the diarocter of its ideas — ^that these have no influence 
upon the state of sentiment or feeling. The religion of a 
Thug, e.g,, is a very different thing from the religion of a 
Christian, and will any one say that the ideas with which 
the two religions are associated — the ideas they respectively 
entertain of their deities — have nothing to do with this 
difference? In what do religions differ as higher and 
lower, if not in the greater or less purity and elevation of 
the ideas they entertain of the Godhead, and the greater or 
^ I less purity of the sentiment to which these ideas give birth ? 

Religion im- Nor, finally, can it be held that it is a matter of unim- 

^anlbiectivT V^^^^^^ whether these ideas which are connected with a 
counterpart religion are regarded as true — i.e., whether they are believed 
^astheu^' ^^ ^^^® ^"^ objective counterpart. For religion can as little 
of religion, subsist without belief in the reality of its object, as it can 
dispense with the idea of an object altogether. This is the 

^ BeligloiisphUosophief ii. p. 32. 


weakness of subjective religious theories like Feuerbach's, in 
which reUgion is regarded as the projection of man's own 
egoistic consciousness into the infinite ; or of those poetic 
and aesthetic theories of religion which regard the ends of 
religion as served if only it furnishes man with elevating 
and inspiring ideals, without regard to the question of how 
far these ideals relate to an actual object. Ideas on this 
hypothesis are necessary to religion, and may be ranked as 
higher and lower, but have only a fictitious or poetic value. 
They are products of historical evolution, — guesses, specula- 
tions, dreams, imaginings, of the human mind in regard to 
that which from the nature of the case is beyond the reach 
of direct knowledge, probably is unknowable. They are 
therefore not material out of which anything can be built 
of a scientific character ; not anything that can be brought 
to an objective test; not anything verifiable. Their sole 
value, as said earlier, is to serve as the vehicles and support 
of religious feeling.^ But it is obvious that, on this view, 
the utiUty of religious ideas can only last so long as the 
illusion in connection with them is not dispelled. For 
rdigion is more than a mere aesthetic gratification. It im- 
plies belief in the existence of a real object other than self, 
and includes a desire to get into some relation with this 
object The mind in religion is in too earnest a mood to be put 
off with mere fancies. The moment it dawns on the thoughts 
of the worshipper that the object he worships has no reality, 
but is only an illusion or fancy of his own, — the moment he 
is convinced that in his holiest exercises he is but toying 
with the creations of his own spirit, — that moment the 
religious relation is at an end. Neither philosopher nor 
common man will long continue bowing down to an object 
in whose actual existence he has ceased to believe.^ Nor is 

^ See Note K« — Esthetic Theories of Religion. 

* Cf. Dorner — "Faith does not wish to be a mere relation to itself, or to its 
representations and thoughts. That would simply be a monologue ; faith 
desires a dialogue.'* — Syti, of Doct, 1. p. 123 (Eng. trans.). 

Martineaii — "No; if religious communion is reduced to a monologue, its 


Need and 
room for a 
religion which 
can give us 
true knowledge 
of God, 

of extruding 
doctrine from 

the conclusion which seems to follow from this — that the 
illusion of religion is one which the progress of knowledge 
is destined to destroy — evaded by the concession that there is 
some dim Unknowable, the consciousness of which lies at the 
basis of the religious sentiment, and which the mind can 
still please itself by clothing with the attributes of God. 
For what is there in this indefinite relation to an Unknow- 
able, of which we can only affirm that it is not what we 
think it to be, to serve the purposes of a religion ? And 
what avails it to personalise this conception of the Absolute, 
when we know, as before, that this clothing with personal 
attributes is only subjective illusion ? 

No objection, therefore, can fairly be taken from the side 
of the general " Science of Eeligions '* to the supposition 
that a religion may exist which can give us a better know- 
ledge of God than is to be found in the vague and uncertain 
conjectures and fancies of minds left to their own groping 
after the Divine. If such a religion exists, furnishing clear 
and satisfying knowledge of God, His character, will, and 
ways. His relations to men, and the purposes of His grace, 
there is plainly great room and need in the world for it ; 
and the consideration of its claims cannot be barred by the 
assumption that the only valuable elements in any reUgion 
must be those which it has in . common with all religions — 
which is the very point in dispute. The only question 
that can be properly raised is. Whether Christianity is a 
religion of this nature ? And this can only be ascertained 
by actual inspection. 

Turning next to those within the Christian pale who would 
rule the doctrinal element out of their religion, I confess I 
find it difficult to understand on what grounds they can 

essence is extinct, and its soul is gone. It is a living relation, or it is nothing — 
a response to the Supreme Reality." — Id^aX Substitutes for Ood, p. 19. 

Strauss — ''None but a book student could ever imagine that a creation of the 
brain, woven of poetry and philosophy, can take the place of real religion." — 
In Kaiser Jxdian, p. 12 (quoted by Martineau). 

Cf. also Hartmann, Religionsphllosophie, iL pp. 6-9. 


justify their procedure. If there is a religion in the world, 
which exalts the office of teaching, it is safe to say that it 
is the religion of Jesus Christ It has been frequently 
remarked that in pagan religions the doctrinal element is at 
a minimum — the chief thing there is the performance of a 
ritual.^ But this is precisely where Christianity distinguishes 
itself from other religions — ^it does contain doctrine. It 
comes to men with definite, positive teaching ; it claims to 
be the truth; it bases religion on knowledge, though a 
knowledge which is only attainable under moral conditions. 
I do not see how any one can deal fairly with the facts as 
they lie before us in the Gospels and Epistles, without coming 
to the conclusion that the New Testament is full of doc- 
trine. The recently founded science of '' New Testament 
Theology,'' which has already attained to a position of such 
commanding importance among the theological disciplines, is 
an unexceptionable witness to the same fact. And this is 
as it shoxdd be. A religion based on mere feeling is the 
vaguest, most unreliable, most unstable of all things. A 
strong, stable, religious life can be built up on no other 
ground than that of intelligent conviction. Christianity, 
therefore, addresses itself to the intelligence as well as to 
the heart It sounds plausible indeed to say. Let us avoid 
all doctrinal subtleties; let us keep to a few plain, easy, 
simple propositions, in regard to which there will be general 
agreement But, unfortunately, men vyill think on those deep 
problems which lie at the root of religious belief — on the 
nature of God, His character. His relations to the world and 
men, sin, the means of deliverance from it, the end to which 
things are moving, — and if Christianity does not give them 

^ Cf. Profewor B. Smith's HeligUm of the Semitu—*^ The autiquo religions 
had for the most part no creed ; they consisted entirely of institations and 
inuctices. .... In all the antiqne religions mythology takes the place of 
dogma, that is, the sacred lore of priests and people, so far as it does not 
consist of mere rules for the performance of religious acts, assumes the form of 
storiea about the gods ; and these stories afford the only explanation that ia 
offered of the precepts of religion and the prescribed rules of ritual."— P. 18. 


an answer, suited to their deeper and more reflective moods, 
they will simply put it aside as inadequate for their needs. 
Everything depends here on what the Bevelation of the 
Bible is supposed to be. If it is a few general elementary 
truths of religion we are in search of, it may freely be con- 
ceded that these might have been given in very simple form. 
But if we are to have a Bevelation such as the Bible pro- 
fesses to convey, — a Revelation high as the nature of God, 
deep as the nature of man, universal as the wants of the 
race, which is to accompany man through all the ascending 
stages of his development, and still be felt to be a power 
and inspiration to him for further progress, — it is absurd to 
expect that such a Bevelation will not have many profound 
and difficult things in it, and that it will not afiford food for 
thought in its grandest and highest reaches. ''Thy judg- 
^ ments are a great deep." ^ A religion divorced from earnest 
and lofty thought has always, down the whole history of the 
Church, tended to become weak, jejune, and unwholesome ; 
while the intellect, deprived of its rights within religion, has 
sought its satisfaction without, and developed into godless 
Objection to ^ Christianity, it is sometimes said, is a life, not a creed ; 
it is a spiritual system, and has nothing to do with dog- 
matic affirmations. But this is to confuse two things essen- 
tantty. j tjaUy different — Christianity as an inward principle of conduct, 
I a subjective religious experience, on the one hand, and 
J Christianity as an objective fact, or an historic magnitude, 
j on the other. But can even the life be produced, or can 
I it be sustained and nourished, without knowledge ? Here 
. I cannot forbear the remark that it is a strange idea of 
many who urge this objection in the interests of what they 
conceive to be a more spiritual form of Christianity, that 
"spirituality" in a religion is somehow synonymous with 
vagueness and indefiniteness ; that the more perfectly they 
can vaporise or volatilise Christianity into a nebulous haze, 

^ Ps. xxxvi. 6. 

doctrine from 
the spiritualit) 
of Christ 




in which nothing can be perceived distinctly, the nearer they 
bring it to the ideal of a spiritual religion.^ This, it is safe to 
say, was not Paul's idea of spirituality — he by whom the 
distinction of " letter " and " spirit " was most strongly em- 
phasised. The region of the spiritual was rather with him, 
as it is throughout Scripture, the region of clearest insight 
and most accurate perception — of full and perfect knowledge 
{hrirpfODiTv;). His unceasing prayer for his converts was, 
not that their minds might remain in a state of hazy in- 
distinctness, but that God would give them '' a spirit of 
wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the 
eyes of (their) heart enlightened," that they might grow up 
in this knowledge, till they should " all attain unto the unity 
of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto 
a full-grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the 
fulness of Christ." « / 

But the objection to the recognition of doctrine in Christ- Objtction to 
ianity may be raised from the side of Christian positivism, f^^^^T'^ 
as well as from that of Christian mysticisuL Christianity, christian 
it will be here said, is a fact-revelation — it has its centre in a P^ativism. 
living Christ, and not in a dogmatic creed. And this in a 
sense is true. The title of my Lectures is the acknowledg- 
ment of it. The facts of Bevelation are before the doctrines 
built on them. The gospel is no mere proclamation of 
" eternal truths," but the discovery of a saving purpose of 
God for mankind, executed in time. But the doctrines are 
the interpretation of the facts. The facts do not stand 
blank and dumb before us, but have a voice given to them, 
and a meaning put into them. They are accompanied by 
living speech, which makes their meaning clear. When 
John declares that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, and is 
the Son of God,^ he is stating a fact, but h^ is none the less 
enunciating a doctrine. When Paul affirms, " Christ died for 
our sins according to the Scriptures," * he is proclaiming a 

' Cf. B«rtlett*8 The Letter and the Spirit (Bampton Lectures, 1888). 

* Eph. i 17, 18 J iv. 13. » 1 John iv. 2, 15. * 1 Cor. xv. 3. 



The theology 
of SchUier- 

fact, but he is at the same time giving an interpretation of 
it. No writer has laid more stress on the fact, and less on 
the doctrine, in primitive Christianity than Professor Har- 
nack, yet he cannot help saying, " So far as the God and 
Father of Jesus Christ is believed in as the Almighty Lord 
of heaven and earth, the Christian religion includes a definite 
knowledge of God, of the world, and of the world-aim." ^ 
This concedes in principle all that I maintain. It affirms 
that the facts of Christianity rightly understood and inter- 
preted, not only yield special doctrines, but compel us to 
develop out of them a determinate '' Weltanschauung." This 
is precisely the assertion of the present Lectures. 

If I refer for a moment in this connection to Schleier- 
macher, who may be named as the most distinguished 
representative of the theology of feeling, it is because I 
think that the position of this remarkable man on the 
question before us is frequently misunderstood. Schleier- 
macher's earlier views are not unlike some of those we have 
already been considering, and are entangled in many diffi- 
culties and inconsistencies in consequence. I deal here only 
with his later and more matured thought, as represented in his 
work Der christliche Glavie. In it also piety is still defined 
as feeling. It is, he says, neither a mode of knowing, nor 
a mode of action, but a mode of feeling, or of immediate 
self-consciousness. It is the consciousness of ourselves as 
absolutely dependent, or, what comes t-o the same thing, as 
standing in relation with God.^ In his earlier writings he 
had defined it more generally as the immediate feeling of the 
infinite and eternal, the immediate consciousness of the being 

* Onmdris^ der DogmengtBchichte^ L p. 1. I have used the word 'doctrine ' 
in these discussions, and kept clear of 'dogma,' which is often used with a 
prejudice. ' Dogma ' I take to be a formulation of doctrine stamped with some 
ecclesiastical authority. If there are doctrines, no objection can reasonably he 
taken to the formulation of them. It is beyond my purpose to discuss the 
wider question of the utility and necessity of creeds for church purposes. 
Cf. Lect. VI. in Dr. Rainy *s Delivery and Development qf Christian Doctrine 
(Cunningham Jjectures). 

'Der Christ. Olauhe, Sects. 8 and 4. 


of all that is finite in the infinite, of all that is temporal in 
the eternal, awakened by the contemplation of the universe.^ 
But along with this must be taken into account Schleier- 
macher^s view of the nature of feeling. According to him 
feeling is less the opposite of knowledge than that pure, 
original state of consciousness — prior to both knowledge and 
action — out of which knowledge and action may subsequently 
be developed.* In Christianity this raw material of the 
religious consciousness receives, were, a definite shaping 
and content. The peculiarity in the Christian consciousness 
is that everything in it is referred back upon Jesus Christ, 
and the Redemption accomplished through Him.^ This 
moving back from the religious consciousness to the Person 
of the sinless Sedeemer as the historical cause of it is 
already a transcending of the bounds of a theology of mere 
feeling. Theology is no longer merely a description of states 
of consciousness, when it leads us out for an explanation of 
these states into the r^on of historic fact But an equally 
important circumstance is that, while describing the Christian 
consciousness mainly in terms of feeling, Schleiermacher does 
not deny that a dogmatic is implicitly contained in this con- 
sciousness, and is capable of development out of it. His 
Dcr christlidie Glauhe is, on the contrary, the unfolding of 
Buch a dogmatic. His position, therefore, is not offhand to 
be identified with that of the advocates of a perfectly un- 
dogmatic Christianity. These would rule the doctrinal ele- 
ment out of Christianity altogether. But Schleiermacher, 
while he lays the main stress in the production of this con- 
sciousness of Bedemption in the believer on the Person of 
the Bedeemer, and only subordinately on His teaching, yet 
recognises in Christian piety a positive, given content^ and 
out of this he evolves a clearly defined and scientifically 
arranged system of doctrines.* It is to be regretted that in 

^ Cf. Pfleiderer's RdigumsphUowphUt i. p. 308 (£ng. trans.)- 

* Der (3vri$L Cflaube, Sect 8. 2. » Der chrUt. Olauhe, Sect. U. 

*■ See Note L. — Schleiermacher on Dogmatici. 


the foundation of his theology — the doctrine of God — 
Schleiermacher never broke with his initial assumption that 
God cannot be known as He really is, but only as reflected 
in states of human consciousness, and therefore failed to lift 
his theology as a whole out of the region of subjectivity. 
objectim to A chief rcasou probably why many entertain a prejudice 

^^''tne drawn ^crsxaat the admission of a definite doctrinal content in 

jrom progress 

in theology, Christianity is that they think it militates against the idea 
of " progress " in theology. How does the matter stand in 
this respect ? Growth and advance of some kind, of course, 
there is and must be in theology. It cannot be that the 
other departments of knowledge unceasingly progress, and 
theology alone stands stilL No one familiar with the history 
of theology will deny that great changes have taken place in 
the shape which doctrines have assumed in the course of 
their development, or will question that these changes have 
been determined largely by the ruling ideas, the habits of 
thought, the state of knowledge and culture of each particular 
time. The dogmatic moulds which were found adequate for 
one age have often proved insuGBicient for the next, to which 
a larger horizon of vision has been granted; and have 
had to be broken up that new ones might be created, more 
adapted to the content of a Eevelation which in some sense 
transcends them alL I recognise therefore to the full the 
need of growth and progress in theology.^ Bit by bit as the 
ages go on we see more clearly the essential lineaments of 
the truth as it is in Jesus ; we learn to disengage the genuine 
truths of Christ's gospel from human additions and corrup- 
tions ; we apprehend their bearings and relations with one 
another, and with new truths, more distinctly ; we see them 
in new points of view, develop and apply them in new ways. 
All this is true, and it is needful to remember it, lest to 
temporary points of view, and human theories and formu- 

^ Cf. Dr. Rainy*8 Delivery and Development qf Doctrine (Cunningham 
Lectures). On the i>osition criticised see, e.g,, Bartlett's The Letter and the 
Spirit (Bampton Lectures, 1888). 


lations, we attribute an authority and completeness which in 
no way belong to them. But it does not by any means 
follow from this that, therefore, everythiog in Christianity is 
fluent, — ^that it has no fixed starting-poiuts, no definite 
basal lines, no sure and moveless foundations, no grand 
determinative positions which control and govern all thought 
within distinctively Christian limits, — still less that, in the 
course of its long history, theology has achieved nothing, or 
has reached no results which can fairly be regarded as 
settled. This is the exaggeration on the other side, and so 
far from being helpful to progress in theology, it is in reality 
the denial of its possibility. Pn^ess in theology implies 
that there is something to develop — that some truths at all 
events, relating to God and to Divine things, are ascertainable, 
and are capable of scientific treatment. It is easy to speak 
of the attempt to '' limit infinite truth within definite for- 
mulae " ; but, on the other hand, unless some portion at least 
of this infinite truth can be brought within range of the 
human faculties, theology has nothing to work on. It is a 
psendo-science, and to speak of progress in it is idle. 

II. The recent tendency in continental theology, however, //. DisHnc- 
is not so much to deny the existence of a definite '**^ ^*^^'' 

a ^rtligious" 

"Weltanschauung" in the Bible, as rather to lay stress on aftd a '* tAeo- 
the distinetian betioeen a " rdigioua " and a " theoretic " view of^^^'^" '^'-^ ^/ 
the world — ascribing to Christianity the former but not the ^j^^ RUschHan 
latter. This is the position of the school of Ritschl, and^^'^'^i^* 
truth and error are so intimately blended in it that it is 
necessary to give it our careful consideration.^ That a sound 
distinction underlies the terms '' religious " and " theoretic " 
is not to be disputed, and it is important that its nature 
should be rightly understood. But under the plea of 
expelling metaphysics from theology, the tendency is at 
present to revive this distinction in a form which practically 
amounts to the resuscitation of the old doctrine of a '' double 
truth'* — the one religious, the other philosophical; and it 

' See Note M. — ^Religious and Theoretic Knowledge. 


is not held necessary that even where the two overlap they 
should always be found in agreement It is not simply that 
the two kinds of knowledge have different spheres, move in 
different orbits, and have to do with a different class of 
objects ; for this Eitschl at least denies.^ But they set out 
from different starting-points, judge by different standards, 
and as a consequence frequently lead to different results. 
Religious knowledge, Eitschl holds, moves only in the sphere 
of what he calls worth- or value -judgments. That is to 
say, it judges of things, not according to their objective 
nature and relations, but according to their value for v^ — 
according to their fitness to meet and satisfy religious 
necessities.* This, logically, would lead to pure subjectivism, 
and in the hands of some of Eitschl's followers actually 
does so.* This tendency is strengthened by the theory of 
knowledge to which this school generally has committed 
itself, — a theory Kantian in its origin, — which, denying to 
the mind any power of knowing things as they are, limits it 
within the sphere of phenomenal representations. Bitschl 
himself tries hard to ward off this reproach of subjectivity 
from his system, and makes more than one attempt to find 
a bridge from the practical to the theoretic, but with no real 
success. He never quits the ground that it is not the 
objective truth of things — which would carry us into the 
region of theoretic knowledge — which forms the subject- 
matter of our inquiry in theology, but solely their subjective 
aspects as related to our own states of pleasure and pain, or 
as helping or hindering the ends sought in religion. In his 
doctrines of Grod and Christ, of Providence and miracle, of 
sin and Bedemption, as we shall afterwards see, it is constantly 
this subjective aspect of things, which may be very different 
from our actual or scientific judgment upon them, which is 
brought into prominence. Beligion requires, for example, 

^ See passages quoted in Note N.—Bitschl on Religion and Philosophy. 
^ See Ritschrs discussion in Re^hi, und Vtrs6hnungy iii. 3rd ed. pp. 192-202 ; 
and in his Tkeologie und Mttaphynk, 
> E,g, Bender of Bonn. 


that we view the universe from a teleological and not from 
a causal standpoint, and therefore that we postulate God and 
Frovidenca But these are only practical, not theoretic 
notions, and the mechanical and causal view of the universe 
may stand alongside of them intact ''Miracle" is the religious 
name for an event which awakens in us a powerful impression 
of the help of God, but is not to be held as interfering with 
the scientific doctrine of the unbroken connection of natura^ 
Not only are the two spheres of knowledge to be thus kept 
apart in oar minds, but we are not to be allowed to trace 
any lines of relation between them. We are not to be 
allowed, «.^., to seek any theoretic proof of the existence of 
God; or to ask how special Providence, or the efficacy of 
prayer, or supernatural Bevelation, or miracle, or even our 
own freedom, is to be reconciled with the reign of unbroken 
natural causation. All such inquiries are tabooed as a 
mixing up of distinct spheres of knowledge ; with the result, 
however, that they are not really kept apart, but that all 
in the ideas of Providence, miracle, prayer, etc., which con- 
flicts with the theoretic view, is explained away. 

It should scarcely require much argument to convince us Criticism of 
that this proposal to divide the house of the mind into two ^^.^ ^^^''^f'^'' 
compartments, each of which is to be kept sacredly K^KtX* ous and tkeo- 
from the other, is a perfectly illusory and untenable one. ^f^^ ^^^' 

relative truth 
^ Cf., e.^., Ritschl's remarks on "Miracle" in his UnUrricht in der chrint. of this distinc- 
Rtligioh, pp. 14, 15 — "We entirely change the religious representation of the tion, 
miracle if we measore it by the scientific acceptation of a connection through law 
of aU natural occurrences. Since this idea lies outside the horizon of the men 
of the Old and the New Ttetaments, the miracle uever means for them an event 
contrary to nature, or a brealcing through natural law by Divine caprice. 
For this reason, faith in miracles, in the sense above indicated of a gracious 
Providence of God, is throughout reconcilable with the probability of the 
connection through natural law of the whole world. If certain narratives of 
miracles in the books of the Bible appear to oollide with this order, it is neither 
a tank of science to explain this appearance, or hold fast the event as fact ; 
nor is it a religious task to recognise these related occurrences as Divine effects 
contrary to natural laws. . . • But out of his religious faith will each man 
experience a miracle in himself, and in comparison with this nothing is less 
necessary than that he should grub over the miracles which others have 


It might have some meaning in an aesthetic theory of religion, 
in which the religious conceptions are avowedly treated as 
pure ideals, but it can have none where the speech is of 
religious " knowledge." There are indeed different modes of 
cognising the same object, as well as different stages and 
degrees of real knowledge. If by " theoretic knowledge " 
is meant only knowledge gained by the methods of exact 
science, or by philosophical reflection, then, apart from religion 
altogether, there are vast fields of our knowledge which will 
not come under this category. The knowledge, for example, 
which we have of one another in the common intercourse of 
life, or the knowledge which the ordinaiy man gathers from 
his experience of the outward world, is very different in 
purity of theoretical character from the kind of knowledge 
aimed at by the psychologist or metaphysician, or by the 
student of science in his investigations of nature. It is as 
far removed as possible from the disinterested character 
which Eitschl ascribes to the knowledge he calls *^ theo- 
retical." Yet there is no part of this knowledge in which 
theoretic activities are not present The same processes of 
thought which are employed in philosophy and science are 
implied in the simplest act of the understanding. In like 
manner, we may grant that there is a distinction of character 
and form — ^not to speak of origin — ^between religious and 
what may be called theoretic knowledge ; and that thus far 
the distinction insisted on by Bitschl and his school has a 
certain relative justification. Beligion, assuredly, is not a 
theoretical product. It did not originate in reasoning, but 
in an immediate perception or experience of the Divine in 
some of the spheres of its natural or supernatural mani- 
festation ; for the reception of which again a native capacity 
or endowment must be presupposed in the human spirit. 
Even Bevelation implies the possession of this capacity in 
man to cognise the manifestations of the Divine when the^^ 
are set before him. Originating in this way, religious 
knowledge — ^at least in its first or immediate form — ^is dis* 


tinguished by certain peculiarities. For one thing, it is 
distinguished from strictly theoretic knowledge by the prac- 
tical motive which obtains in it. y'Theoretic knowledge aims 
at a representation of objects m their purely objective 
character and relations. Beligion, on the other hand, seeks 
to set its objects before it in those lights, and under those 
aspects, which directly subserve religious ends. With this 
difference of aim is connected a difference of form. Theo- 
retic knowledge is cool, clear, and scientifically exact. 
Eeligious knowledge is touched with emotion, and moves 
largely in the r^ion of figurative conception, or what the 
Germans would call " Vorstellung." j In the first place, 
religion, as having to do with the personal relation of the 
soul to God, moves in a sphere in which the affections and 
emotions are necessarily allowed laige play. Its modes of 
apprehension are therefore warm, lively, impassioned, intuitiva 
It groups its material under the influence of the dominant 
feeling ; lays holds of those sides and relations of the object 
which affect itself, and lets the others drop out of view; 
leaps over intermediate links of causation, and seeks to grasp 
the object at once in its essential reality and inner signifi- 
cance — ^in its relation to its ultimate cause and final end. 
A second cause which leads to the same result is that the 
objects with which leligion has to deal are largely tran- 
scendental — that is, they lie beyond the range and conditions 
of our present experience. A certain amount of figurative 
representation necessarily enters into the purest conceptions 
we are able to form of such objects.? 

To the extent now indicated we may agree with Eitschl Error oj tiu 
that religion moves — ^if he chooses to phrase it so — in the ^\^^^^^*^^ 

*^ ^-^ ^ ^ view — tm- 

sphere of value-judgments, and not in that of ^(Si!6ii\h&(i possibility of 
apprehensioriT But this is not to be interpreted as Hsun^^ring 
religion did not affirm the objective truth of the loeas it reason. 

or re- 

entertains — as if its judgments of value were not at the ^^i^^^ ^>^ 


^ I may refer for further discnssion of this subject to an article of my own on 
" The Ritschlian Theology " in The Thinker for August 1892. 




A theoretic 
element im' 
plied in all 

same time judgments of truth. Still less is it to be con- 
ceded that there is any necessary divorce between the mind 
in its practical and the mind in its theoretical activities, so 
that propositions may be affirmed in the one sphere which 
have no relation to, can receive no corroboration from, may 
even be contradicted by, propositions affirmed in the other. 
Thus to tear asunder faith and reason is to render no service 
to religion, but is to pave the way for theoretical scepticism. 
It is in truth the same reason which works in both spheres ; 
the results, therefore, must be such as admit of comparison. 
If Bitschl would raise a bar against any such comparison of 
the results of religious thinking with the conclusions reached 
by philosophy and science — leaving each to work in its own 
domain — ^a more just view of the subject will recognise that 
this is impossible. We cannot have two spheres of truth 
lying side by side in the same mind without some effort to 
arrive at an adjustment between them. Still less is it 
possible for the mind to find itself in conflict with itself, — 
on the one side, for instance, affirming the personality of 
God, on the other denying it; on the one side affirming 
freedom. Revelation, miracle, on the other unbroken natural 
causation, — and not do what it can to annul the discrepancy. 
Nor will reason in practice be content to remain in this 
state of division with itself. It will insist on its knowledge 
being brought to some sort of unity, or, if this cannot be 
done, in regarding one or other of the conflicting propositions 
as illusiva 

Finally, it is not sufficiently recognised by Bitschl and his 
school that religion itself, while in the first instance prac- 
tical, carries in it also the impulse to raise its knowledge to 
theoretic form. Faith cannot but seek to advance to know- 
ledge — that is, to the reflective and scientific comprehension 
of its own contents. Just because its propositions are held to 
be not only ** judgments of value," but to contain objective 
truth, they must be capable of being submitted to theoretic 
treatment. Bitschl himself recognises the necessity of con- 


stracting a theology which shall be adequate to the contents 
of the Christian Bevelation. Only he would have it move 
solely within the region of faith-propositions, or, as he calls 
them, " judgments of value." Its task is ended when it has 
faithfully collected, purely expressed, and internally co- 
ordinated these religious affirmations.^ It} is not observed 
how much theoretic and critical activity is already implied 
in this very process of collating, sifting, and co-ordinating ; 
• or how largely, in Eitschl's own case, the results are 
dependent on the theoretic presuppositions with which he 
sets out in his (metaphysical) doctrine of knowledge, and 
his general theory of religion. But, waiving this, it is 
surely vain to ask theology to go so far, and then say it is 
to go no further. Christian science has many tasks beyond 
those which the Eitschlian limitation would prescribe for it. 
How, for example, can it refuse the task of investigating its 
own grounds of certainty ? How can it help raising the 
question of how far these religious conceptions, now brought 
to expression and co-ordinated, answer to objective truth ? 
How can it avoid asking if this content of the Christian 
Eevelation receives no verification from the laws of man's 
spiritual life, or in what this verification consists ? Can it 
help going back on its own presuppositions, and asking what 
these are, and what kind of view of God and man they 
imply ? How can it help connecting this truth given in 
Kevelation with truth in other departments? And this 
investigation is not a mere matter of choice in theology ; it 
is forced on it as a necessity. For in the very process of 
collation and criticism questions arise which can only be 
solved by going further down. Antinomies arise within 
theology itself; the different sides of Biblical truth have 
to be harmonised in a wider conception ; unity of view has 
to be sought in a field where only parts are given, and much 
is left to be inferred. All this involves a large amount of 
theoretic treatment in theology, and may — I should rather 

1 Cf. Ritschl, Reckt. und Ver, iii. pp. 14-16. 


say must — result in showing that the truths of Eevelation 
have also a theoretic side, and are capable of theoretic veri- 
fication and corroboration.^ 

I conclude, therefore, that it is legitimate to speak of a 
Christian " Weltanschauung," and that we are not debarred 
investigating its relations to theoretic knowledge. 

^ See Kote 0. — ^The Hegelian Theory of Religion. 





It maj conduce to clearness if, having indicated the general 
scope and purport of these Lectures, I now give in this 
Appendix a brief statement in prepositional form of what I 
consider the Christian view of the world to be, and sketch 
on the basis of this the course to be pursued in the succeeding 

L First, then, the Christian view affirms the existence of 
a Personal, Ethical^ Self-Revealing God. It is thus at the 
outset a system of Theism, and as such is opposed to all 
systems of Atheism, Agnosticism, Pantheism, or mere Deism. 

IL The Christian view afBrms the creation of the world 
by Gkxl, His immanent presence in it. His transcendence over 
it, and His holy and wise government of it for moral ends. 

III. The Christian view affirms the spiritual nature and 
dignity of man — his creation in the Divine image, and 
destination to bear the likeness of God in a perfected relation 
of sonship. 

IV. The Christian view affirms the fact of the sin and ^ 
disorder of the world, not as something belonging to the 



Divine idea of it, and inhering in it by necessity, but as 
something which has entered it by the voluntary turning 
aside of man from his allegiance to his Creator, and from 
the path of his normal development The Christian view of 
the world, in other words, involves a Fall as the presupposi- 
tion of its doctrine of Eedemption ; whereas the " modem " 
view of the world affirms that the so-called Fall was in 
reality a rise, and denies by consequence the need of 
\ Eedemption in the scriptural sense. 

V. The Christian view affirms the historical Self-Eevelation 
of God to the patriarchs and in the line of Israel, and, as 
brought to light by this, a gracious purpose of God for the 
salvation of the world, centring in Jesus Christ, His Son, 
and the new Head of humanity. 

/ VI. The Christian view affirms that Jesus Christ was not 
mere man, but the eternal Son of God — a truly Divine 
Person — who in the fulness of time took upon Him our 
humanity, and who, on the ground that in Him as man there 
dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily, is to be honoured, 
worshipped, and trusted, even as God is. This is the tran- 
scendent '* mystery of godliness " ^ — the central and amazing 
assertion of the Christian view — ^by reference to which our 
relation is determined to everything else which it contains. 

Pausing for a moment on this truth of the Incarnation, 
we have to notice its central place in the Christian system, 
and how through its light every other doctrine is illuminated 
and transformed. 

1. The Incarnation sheds new light on the nature of God, 
and, in conjunction with the work of the Spirit, reveals Him 
as triune — Father, Son, and Spirit — one God. 

2. The Incarnation sheds new light on the doctrine of 
creation — all things being now seen to be created by Christ, 
as well as for Him. 

» 1 Tim. iii. 16. 


3. The Incarnation sheds new light on the nature of man, 
alike as respects its capacity for union with the Divine, its 
possibilities of perfection, and the high destinies awaiting it 
in the future. 

4. The Incarnation sheds new light on the purpose of 
God in the creation and Eedemption of man — that end 
being, in the words of Paul, "in the dispensation of the 
fulness of times to gather together in one all things in 
Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, 
even in Him." ^ 

5. The Incarnation sheds new light on the permission of 
sin by showing the possibility of Bedemption from it, and 
how, through the Eevelation of the Divine purposes of 
mercy, a far grander discovery is made of the Divine 
character, and far higher prospects are opened up for humanity. 

YII. The Christian view affirms the Eedemption of the / 
world through a great act of Atonement — this Atonement to 
be appropriated by faith, and availing for all who do not 
wilfully withstand and reject its grace. I 

YIII. The Christian view affirms that the historical aim 
of Christ's work was the founding of a Kingdom of God on 
earth, which includes not only the spiritual salvation of 
individuals, but a new order of society, the result of the 
action of the spiritual forces set in motion through Christ. 

IX. Finally, the Christian view affirms that history has a 
goal, and that the present order of things will be terminated 
by the appearance of the Son of Man for judgment, the 
resurrection of the dead, and the final separation of 
righteous and wicked; final, so far as the Scriptures 
afiford any light, or entitle us to hold out any hopa 

Beyond this are the eternal ages, on whose depths only 
stray lights fall, as in that remarkable passage: "Then 

1 Eph. i. 10. 



cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom 
to God, even the Father . . . then shall the Son also Him- 
self be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, 
that God may be all in all," ^ — and on the mysterious blessed- 
ness or sorrow of which, as the case may be, it is needless 
.to speculate. 

I have for clearness' sake exhibited this outline of the 
Christian view in a series of propositions, but I need hardly 
say that it is not my intention to attempt to exhaust this 
outline, or anything like it, in this brief course of Lectures, 
In the actual treatment of my subject, I shall be guided 
very much by the way in which the main positions of the 
Christian view are related to current theories and negations. 
I 1. It is plain that the Christian view of the world is 
theistic, and as such is opposed, as already said, to all the 
views which deny a living personal God, and also to Deism, 
which denies Bevelation. 

2. The Christian views of nature and man come into 
conflict with many current theories. They involve, for 
example, the ideas of creation, and of the spirituality, 
freedom, and immortal destiny of man — all of which the 
thoroughgoing " modern " view of the world opposes. 

3. The Christian view of sin is irreconcilable with modern 
theories which represent sin as a necessity of development, 
and nullify its true conception by starting man off at a stage 
but little removed from that of the brutes. At least I take 
this to be the case, and shall endeavour to give reasons for 
my opinion. 

The above denials, if logically carried out, involve the 
/ rejection of the Christian view as a whole. We reject the 
Christian view in toto, if we deny the existence of God, the 
spiritual nature and immortality of man, or destroy the 
idea of sin. In what follows we are rather in the region of 
Christian heresy ; at least the total rejection of the Christian 

* 1 Cor. XV. 24-28. 


view is not necessarilj implied, though in its mutilation it 
is found that neither can that which is preserved be per- 
manently maintained. 

4. The assertion of the Incarnation maj be met by a 
lower estimate of Christ's Person than the full Christian 
doctrine implies; or by the complete denial of the super- 
natural dignity of His Person. 

5. The Christian view may be met by the denial of the 
need or the reality of Aton^nent, or by inadequate or 
unscriptural representations of that great doctrine. 

6. There may be unscriptural denials, as well as un- 
warrantable dogmatisms, in the matter of eschatology. 

My course then, in view of the various antitheses, will 
shape itself as f dlows : — 

First, keeping in mind that it is the Incarnation which is 
the central point in the Christian view, I shall look in the 
second Lecture at the alternatives which are historically 
presented to us if this doctrine is rejected. 

Next, in the third, fourth, and fifth Lectures, I shall con- 
sider in order the three postulates of the Christian view — 
God, Nature and Man, and Sin. 

The sixth Lecture will be devoted to the Incarnation itself, 
and the seventh to the consideration of some related topics 
— the higher Christian concept of God, and the relation of 
the Incarnation to the plan of the world. 

The eighth Lecture will treat of the Incarnation and Be- 
demption from sin, and the concluding Lecture will treat of 
the Incarnation and human destiny.^ 

^ The originAl plan embraced a Lecture between Lecture YIIL and what ia now 
LT.— on " The Incamatiofn and Kew Life of Humanity : the Kingdom of God."* 
The snbjed; is touched on in Lecture IX., and dealt with more fully in an 



The lUera- The history of this term has yet to be written. The best 
*^'ea special contribution to the discussion of the idea I have met 

with is in a book entitled, Bu Weltanschauung des Gkristen- 
thums, by August Baur (1881), which I regret I did not come 
across till my own work was finished. The same writer 
has contributed an article on " The Notion and Ground-plan 
of the ' Weltanschauung ' generally, and of the Christian in 
particular," to the Jdhrbilcher d. prot. Theologie, voL iiL A 
valuable examination of the subject is contained also in an 
able work published in 1887, Das menscMiche JErkennen, Grand- 
linien der Hrkenntnisstheorie vmd Metaphysik, by Dr. A. Dorner. 
I might further refer to Hartmann's BeligionsphUosophie. 
Zweiter TheU : Die Bdigion des Geistes, which, on this particu- 
lar subject, contains a good deal of most suggestive matter 
(pp. 1-55). As may be gathered from the remarks in the 
close of the Lecture, the idea has a large place in the 
writings of the Eitschlian school. It is discussed with special 
fulness and care in Hermann's Die Religion im Verhaltniss 
zum Welterkennen und zur Sittlichkeit, the last section of 
which bears the heading, " The Task of the Dogmatic Proof 
of the Christian 'Weltanschauung.'" Lipsius also devotes 
considerable attention to it in the first part of his Dogmatik 
(sects. 16-115). 

j4, Baur— A. Baur, in the book above named, expresses his surprise 

prevalence of ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^<^ y^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^ elucidation of a term 

the term* 

which has become one of the favourite terms of the day ; 


and alludes to the absence of any explanation of it (a fact 
which had struck myself) in books professedly dealing with the 
terminology of philosophy and theology, as, e.g,. End. Eucken's 
Gesehichte und Kritik der Grundbegriffe der Oegenwart (1878), 
and CfeschidUe der phUosophisehen Terminologie (1879).^ He 
remarks — "From all sides the word 'Weltanschauung' 
sounds out to meet us, and we may, without impropriety, say 
that the conflict in the culture-movement of the present is a 
conflict of ' Weltanschauungen.' * But how entirely is there 
wanting a clear and intelligible, universally valid notion of 
the word itself ! . . . But the power which this word has in 
our time, which is so strong that scientific thought also has 
been compelled to recognise and come to an understanding 
with it, awakens a predisposition to a favourable judgment, 
and leads to the hope that the word will become a per- 
manent possession of scientific work." ' He refers not only to Striving of the 
the prevalence of the term, but to the striving in our own age "^jj^^-^j 
after the formation of " Weltanschauimgen." " The earnest- 
ness," he says, " with which, even on the side of Materialism, 
search is made for a ' Weltanschauung ' which shall be satis- 
fying, and at the same time comprehensive of mored relations, 
taken in connection with the general devotion to the problem 
of the ' Weltanschauung,' is highly significant and deserving 
of attention for the present" * A valuable service of the The " Welt- 
book is the corroboration it afibrds of the truth that a com- «'«^^««^" 

a unity of 

plete ' Weltanschauung ' cannot be based on the natural alone, natural and 
or the theoretic alone, but implies a unity of the natural and '^''^^• 
the moral, which can only be ultimately accomplished on the 

* Eacken MnuBelf, however, uses it, aa when he saye, '* Bohme strives after 
an expression for the notion of conscionsness and self-conscioQsness, which has 
a central place within his * Weltanschauung ' " {Otwh, der phil. Term. p. 128) ; 
and has recently pnhlished an admirable historical and critical work, elsewhere 
referred to, bearing the kindred title, Die LebentanachauuTigen der grosmi 
Deanker (1890). This work contains a valuable section on *' Die christliohe 
Welt and die Lebensanschautingen Jesu " (pp. 154-205). 

« C£ Karl Peters, WUlenmoelt, etc., p. 107—" It is certain that the conflict of 
' Weltanschauungen ' bums to-day more vehemently than ever." See also the 
brochure, Im Kampf um die Weltanschauung, referred to in Note A. 

» Pp. 1-4, • P. 24. 


Relation of 
theoretic and 

basis of religion.^ He says, " The ' Weltanschauung ' is not a 
purely theoretical relation to nature, although the theoretic 
moment is undeniably contained in it, — not a purely dis- 
interested apprehension and knowledge of the world, for the 
sake of the principle of knowledge itself ; it relates generally 
not to the world as a sum of particulars, as if it were de- 
pendent on the comprehension of particulars ; it includes much 
more a personal, practical interest of the onlooker as a funda- 
mental element in itself; for it is a judgment of worth upon 
the world as a whole, as a single given magnitude in space 
and time, in relation to the life-aim, to the life-determination 
of the viewing subject. This judgment upon the world can 
indeed be excited through the peculiarity of personal experi- 
ence in the world, nay, must be, in view of the social 
relations in which man stands, but it does not originate 
from sensuous perception, or from physical existence, but 
is a direction of the disposition and will, and on that 
account belongs not to physics but to ethics. . . . The 
' Weltanschauung ' is a consideration and valuation of exist- 
ence in space and time in the light of our proper life-aim, 
which in the most general sense of the word we are able to 
designate a moral one." * 

Probably Baur underrates too much the strength of the 
purely theoretic or rational impulse in disposing man to seek 
the unity of his experiences in a " Weltanschauung," though 
it is granted that in every concrete case, even where there is 
most appearance of disinterestedness, theoretical and practical 

^ The headings of the chapters of Banr's book will sufEce to show its import- 
ance for our subject. They are — 

1. The general notion of the "Weltanschauung." 

2. Characterisation and criticism of the objections of the modem spirit 
against religion and the religious "Weltanschauung." 

3. Possibility and necessity of an ideal, supersensible " Weltanschauung." 

4. The supersensible, ideal "Weltanschauung" according to its essence, and 
in its transition to the religious " Weltanschauung" generally. 

5. The "Weltanschauung" of Christianity. 

In theology A. Baur is a follower of Alex. Schweitzer, of whom a good notice 
may be seen in Ffleiderer's Development of Theology ^ pp. 126-130. 
« Pp. 21-25. 


motives are mixed, and that on the basis of the theoretic 
alone a complete or satisfying view is not attainable. Baur, 
however, is not alone in this. The Bitschlian school carries Views which 
this insistence on practical motive to much greater lengths, ^'^^^«J '^ 
and will allow no origin for the '' Weltanschauung " but that motive alone— 
which springs from religion or morality. Bitschl, e,g., traces '^ RUschiian 
the tendency to the formation of general views of the world „. ! . 
solely to the religious impulse. Philosophy also, he ^^^ origin of the 
'* raises the claim to produce in its own way a view of the " ^^f^^- 


world as a whole ; but in this there betrays itself much more 
an impulse of a religious kind, which philosophers must dis- 
tinguish from their method of knowledge."^ This is con- 
nected with his view that religion itself originates in the need 
which man feels of help from a supernatural power to enable 
him to maintain his personaUty against the limitations and 
hindrances of natural existence.^ Since, however, he allows 
that philosophy has as part of its task " the aim of compre- 
hending the world- whole in a highest law," and that '' the 
thought of Grod which pertains to religion is also employed 
in some form in every philosophy which is not materialistic,''^ 

' Dit ehriai. Lehre von der Rtchtftrtigung und VersChnung, iii. p. 197 (3rd 
ed.). It IB not observed that the motive of the ''Weltanschaaung'* is some- 
times, as with Lucretius, to get away from religion. 

s '* In all religions," says Bitschl, " there is striven after, with the help of 
the exalted spiritual Power which man worships, the solution of the contra- 
diction in which man finds himself as part of the natural world, and as 
spiritual personality, which makes the claim to rule the world. For in the 
former position he is a part of nature, unable to withstand it, dependent and 
limited by other things ; but as spirit he is moved by the impulse to make 
good his independence against it." — BechL und Ver, iii p. 189. More 
explicitly, "The religious 'Weltanschauung' is in all its forms grounded on 
thisy that man in some degree distinguishes himself in worth from the 
nataral appearances surrounding him, and from the workings of nature pressing 
upon him. Religion is the interpretation of the course of nature, to whatever 
extent it is recognised, in this sense, that the exalted spiritual powers (or 
spiritual Power) which rule in and over nature maintain and confirm to the 
pexBonal spirit its claims, or its independence against the limitations arising 
from nature or the natural workings of human society.'* — Ibid, p. 17. At an 
earlier period, Ritschl had even spoken of God as a ** help-conception " (Hilfs- 
Torstellang) for the attainment of his practical ends. This theory of religion ia 
referred to in Note I. 

• P. 194. Cf. Note N.— Eitschl on Religion and Philosophy. 


what he really contends for would seem to amount to no 
more than this, that theoretic knowledge alone cannot attain 
to that highest view of God which is given in the Christian 
religion, and which is necessary for the completion of a 
satisfactory view of the universe as a whole.^ The truth is, 
Eitschl's views vary very widely on these topics in the 
different editions of his chief work, and it is no easy task to 
reduce his statements to unity. 
Hermann In quite a similar spirit to Ritschl, his disciples Hermann 

onth€same. j^j Kaftan conccive of the "Weltanschauung" as due 
only to the operation of the practical or religious motive. 
Hermann is the nearer to Ritschl, only that in his treatment 
the moral aim is made more prominent than the religious, 
and behind both stands the " feeling of self '' (Selbstgefiihl), 
to which morality and religion are alike related as means. 
'* It is not the purely theoretic in natural knowledge which 
produces that thought, but the practical impulse residing in 
it." 2 *' From the person the representation of a world- whole 
is inseparable, since without the conviction of the reality of 
the same his own existence, with its inalienable claim, most 
appear meaningless." ' The " Weltanschauung " is born out 
of " the self-feeling of man, his feeling of his worth, and the 
desire proceeding from this to see his worth established 
through the course of the world, in which he finds himself 
unceasingly involved."* "If I seek to represent a world- 
whole, because, as a person conscious of my highest good, I 
will not to lose myself in the multitude of things, I thus 
maintain the impulse to religious faith. Whether the world- 
whole which I sketch for this end is thought of as theistic, 

^ Ritschl's own words, with which we heartily agree, are : "If theoretic^ 
thought is ever to solve the prohlem of the world as a whole, it wiU have to 
^ faU hack on the Christian view of God, of the world, and of human destiny " 

(2nd ed. p. 210). The variatioiis in his positions are pointed out and adversely 
criticised hy Pfleiderer in his papers on Die RitaMscht TheologU (1891) ; by 
Stahlin in his KarU, Lotze, und Hitachi (translated, 1889) ; hy Bertrand in 
his Une Nauvelle Gcficeptum de la Redemption (1891), and by most of Ritschl's 
other critics. 
» JHt Religion, etc., p. 87. » Ibid. p. 40. « P. 82. 


pantheistic, or materialistic, does not affect its general reli- 
gions character (!). Beligion remains the conviction of such a 
world-whole in all its forms/' ^ On the unsatisfactoriness of 
Hermann's view of the connection of religion with morality, 
and of both with the idea of the world-whole, see Pfleiderer 
in his Bdiffiongphilosophie (Eng. trana vol. ii. pp. 192-202), 
and IHe EitschTsche Theologie, pp. 84-1 00.« 

Elaf tan is equally explicit. " The question is reasonable," kaftan on tkt 
he says, " how we are led to strive after a highest knowledge. **'^* 
. . • The highest knowledge, I would recall, is identical with 
that which otherwise we well term the * Weltanschauung ' of 
a man, and in it lies, at least for him who recognises a 
highest knowledge, the ultimate ground of decision for his con- 
duct Manifestly, therefore, the highest knowledge has always 
equally a practical significance. But we cannot stop there. 
It must not less be said that it is a practical interest which 
lies at the foundation of this whole striving. We ask after 
the first cause and the last end of the world, because we 
ourselves belong to the world, and our fate is bound up with 
the world's. Whence come I ? and whither go I ? On these 
qu^tions man seeks clearness, because, according to the 
answer which these questions find, he must direct his life. 
And this answer it is for the sake of which he concerns him- 
self about a higher knowledge."^ On the place of the 
religious motive in the formation of the " Weltanschauung " 
Xaftan is not so clear ; but he is explicit on the fact that 
religious faith demands the idea of the world as a whole. 
"The thought," he says in his earlier work, •'of a world- 
whole belongs, as is well known, not to the customary 
experience which we have of the world ; neither does it ever 

» P. 86. 

' With tlie Ritschlian theologians religion and morality sustain only an 
external relation to each other. The deepest impulse is not religion, but self- 
nuuntenaoce (Hermann), or self-satisfaction (Kaftan). Beligion is but a means 
to thiB end. 

' Dit Wakrheit d, ehriaL RtUgion^ p.f 389. See the whole discussion, 

pp. 3S8->435. 


originate in the reflective elaboration of such experience, 
however far that may be carried. It has, therefore, been 
supposed that the thought of a world-whole is religious in its 
origin and character. ... Be this as it may, at all events 
religious faith relates to the world in its totality, since it is 
this which in our consciousness stands over against God, and 
to be distinguished from this belongs to the inalienable 
nature of God." ^ 

The peculiarity of the Christian " Weltanschauung " 
Kaftan sums up in the two positions — ^"^ that the world is 
perfectly dependent on God, and that He orders everything in 
it in conformity with the end of His holy love." * 

^ DoA Wesen dL ckrisL Religion, p. 395. * Ibid, p. 89S. 


Kht Cijriistian riebi anU its ^tttrmtitts. 

"There has seldom been an age more irreligious than ours, yet it will 
be difficult to find one in which religious questions have been more pro- 
foundly discussed." — Hartmaitn. 

'*In the history of systems an inexorable logic rids them of their 
halfness and hesitancies, and drives them straight to their inevitable 
goal. "— Martinbau. 

" Conjecture of the worker by the work : 
Is there strength there ? — enough : intelligence ? 
Ample : but goodness in a like degree ? 
Not to the human eye in the present state, 
An isoscele deficient in the base. 
What lacks, then, of perfection fit for God 
But just the instance which this tale supplies 
Of love without a limit ? So is strength, 
So is intelligence ; let love be so. 
Unlimited in its self-sacrifice. 
Then is the tale true and God shows complete." 

R. Browning. 



It is the fundamental assumption of these Lectures that the Magnitude of 
central point in the Christian view of God and the world is ^^ as^f^p- 
the acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as a truly Divine Person christian 
— the Son of God made flesh. How is this assumption to be ^'«^' 
vindicated ? I do not conceal from myself that the issues 
involved in such an assertion are very stupendous. The 
belief in Jesus as the Son of God is not one to be lightly 
taken up, but, when it is taken up, it practically determines, 
as has already been said, a man's views on everything else in 
Christianity. No one will dispute that, if Jesus Christ is 
what the creeds declare Him to be — an Incarnation of the 
Divine — His Person is necessarily central in His own 
religion, nay, in the universe. Christianity, on this assump- 
tion, is correctly described as the Beligion of the Incar- 

On the other hand, this is precisely the view of the Person Rejection of 
of Christ which, we are told, the modern view of the world ^^^ (doctrine of 

. Ill i '^' Incarna- 

compels US to reject. No doctnne stumbles the modern //^;, ^^ /^^ 
mind so completely as this. It is flatly pronounced incredible ^' modern'^ 
and absurd. That Jesus was the holiest of men — the Divinest 
of the race, the most perfect exhibition of the god-like in 
humanity — may well be conceded ; but of literal Incarnation 
it is not permitted to the modem intelligence to speak. 
Science has to investigate the origin of the dogma ; to show 
how it arose from the powerful impression made by Jesus on 
His followers ; how it was shaped by Hebrew and Hellenic 


modes of thought ; but it cannot for a moment entertain the 

possibility that the idea which it represents is true. As 

strenuously is our right resisted to speak of this doctrine as 

an essential and integral part of Christianity. Short of this 

conception, it is said, there are many grades of belief in 

Christ, and we are not entitled to unchristianise any of them. 

To identify the essence of Christianity with the Incarnation 

is, it is held, to make a particular dogmatic interpretation of 

Christianity equivalent to Christianity itself. It is not, 

indeed, among the extremer sceptics that we find any 

difficulty in getting the acknowledgment that the Incarnation 

is central in Christianity. " It is,*' says Strauss, " certainly 

the central dogma in Christianity. Hei:e the Founder is at 

the same time the most prominent object of worship; the 

system based on Him loses its support as soon as He is 

shown to be lacking in the qualities appropriate to an object 

of religious worship." ^ " In Him alone," says Feuerbach, " is 

concentrated the Christian religion." ^ Quite logically, from 

his point of view, Strauss draws the conclusion, that since the 

Incarnation is untenable, Christianity falls to the ground with 

it. But others will not go thus far. They distinguish 

between Christianity and its accidents, and put this doctrine 

in the category of the accidents. Nay, it is • ostensibly in 

the interests of what is supposed to be a purer and more 

primitive form of Christianity, that in maiiy quarters the 

demand for the surrender of this doctrine is mada The cry 

is, " Back from Christianity to Christ " — back from the 

Christianity of the creeds, from the Christianity even of 

Paul and John — to the Christ of the simple Galilean gospel, 

who never dreamt of making Himself God. As Lessing, in 

a famous passage, distinguishes between " the religion of 

Christ " and '* the Christian religion," meaning by the former 

the religion which Christ Himself professed and practised, 

and by the latter the superstructure of dogma subsequently 

^ Dtr cUte und der neue Olaube, pp. 48, 44. 

^ Das Wesen des Chrwtentfiums, p. 147 (Eng. trans.). 


reared on this ; ^ so an analogous distinction is drawn between 
the Paaline and Johannine Christ, with His halo of super- 
natural attributes, and the meek and lowly Jesus, so intensely 
human, of the Synoptic gospels. 

Nevertheless, the ablest theology of the century will Central place 
sustain me in the general assertion, that the central principle ^-^^'*'^^f^ 

x^ersoH tH His 

of Christianity is the Person of its Founder. Whatever religion, 
may be thought of the great speculative movement in the 
b^inning of the century, connected with the names of Fichte 
and Schelling and Hegel, it cannot be denied that at least it 
rendered an essential service to theology in overcoming the 
shallow rationalism of the preceding period, and in restoring 
to its place of honour in the Christian system the doctrine of 
Christ's Person, which it had become customary to put in the 
background. Still more influential in this direction was the 
powerful impulse given to theology by Schleiermacher. Since 
that time all the best theology in Germany may be said to 
be ChristologicaL That Christ sustains a different relation 
to His religion from that of ordinary founders of religion to 
the faiths they have founded; that in Him there was a 
peculiar union of the Divine and human ; that His appearance 
and work were of decisive importance for the Church and for 
hamanity — these are thoughts which may be said to be 
common to all the greater systems, irrespective of schools. 
They are found among theologians as widely separated in 
dogmatic standpoint and tendency as Bothe and Domer, 
Biedermann and LipsiuS; Beyschlag and Bitschl, Luthardt 
and Frank. It is only outside the circles of really influential 
theology that we find a reversion to the loose deistic concep- 
tion of Christ as simply a Prophet or moral Teacher, like 
Moses or Confucius or Buddha.* It is indeed a powerful 
proof of the view that the Person of Christ is of unique 
importance in His religion that, whenever a new breath of 
life passes over theology, and an attempt is made to gain a 

^ Cf. Pflciderer, Beligifynsphilosopkie, i. p. 141 (Eng. trans.). 
- See Note A.— The Central Place of ChriBt in His Religion. 


profounder apprehension of Christianity, there is a recurrence 
to this idea, and the necessity is felt of doing justice to it ; 
thus testifying to the truth of Dorner's remark, " A Christian 
system which is unable to make Christology an integral part 
of itself has pronounced its own judgment ; it has really 
given up the claim to the title of Christian." ^ 
Differing At the Same time, this acknowledgment of the central and 

^^'^^^ ^-^ unique place of the Founder of Christianity in His religion 
Christ— does not settle the question of the precise estimate we are to 
methods of take of His Person. Is He merely human, or is He Divine 
as well? Or if Divine, in what sense do we attach this 
predicate to Him ? Is it, as with the Hegelians, the mere 
expression of a metaphysical idea — of that identity of the 
Divine and the human which is as true of all men as it is of 
Christ, only that it came first to clear consciousness in Him ? 
Or is it, as with Eitschl, the mere expression of a value- 
judgment of the believer — a predicate denoting the worth 
which Christ has for the believing soul as the supreme 
Eevealer of God's character and purpose ? Or is it, as with 
others, an ethical Divinity that is ascribed to Christ — such 
participation in the Divine nature and life of Sonship as may 
be experienced also by the believer ? * Or shall we hold, in 
agreement with the general faith of the Church, that Christ 
is more than all this — that in Him the Divine pre-existing 
Word truly and personally became incarnate, and made our 
nature His own — that therefore He is the Son of God, not 
simply as we are, but in a high and transcendental sense, 
in which we cannot compare ourselves with Him? This 
question, in the present state of controversy, is not so easily 
settled as might at first sight appear. It is vain, of course, 
to appeal to the great ecclesiastical creeds, for it is they 
which are in dispute. It is vain also, at this stage, to 
attempt to settle the question by the simple method of 
citation of proof texts. The facts of Christ's self-revelation, 

* DocU qf Person of Christ, y. p. 49 (Eng. trans.). 
« Thus, e.g., Wendt in his Inlttdt der Lehre Jesu, 


and His witness to His own Person, must indeed, in the last 
resort, be the ground on which our faith in Him rests, and it 
will be necessary at a later stage to examine this self -witness 
of Christ, as well as the apostolic doctrine, with considerable 
care.^ Sut at the outset this method is attended by obvious 
disadvantages. It is easy to say — ^the original documents of 
Christianity are before us ; let us examine them. But, for 
one thing, some of these documents — the Fourth Gospel, e.g,, 
and some of the Pauline epistles — are themselves in dispute 
among our opponents ; and, even if genuine, their authority 
is not accepted as decisive. In the next place, there is the 
question, whether there are not traces of development in 
the doctrine of the Person of Christ even within the New 
Testament — whether all the sacred writers teach the same 
view. There are many, as I have already said, who will 
admit that Christ's Divinity is taught by Paul and John, 
who would deny that it is taught by Christ Himself. These 
are difficulties which cannot be satisfactorily met by mere 
assertion, and the question recurs, whether — as a provisional 
expedient at least — any other course is open to us ? 

There is another method which I propose to apply in this The method 0/ 
Lecture, one which appears to me to have the advantage of ^^" Lecture^ 
dealing with all these issues at once, and at the same time history. The 
deals with issues of a wider character. It is the method of ^^^^'^ ^^^' 

ment in 

appeal to history. The individual judgment may err m the history. 
opinions it forms, and in the conclusions it deduces from 
them. It is not given to any man to see all the consequences 
that follow from his own thinking. He may quite conceiv- 
ably hold in the scheme of his beliefs propositions that are 
inconsistent with each other, and, if logically carried out, 
yrould destroy each other, and not be aware of the fact. In 
history things get beaten out to their true issues. The 
strands of thought that are incompatible with each other get 
separated; conflicting tendencies, at first unperceived, are 
brought to light ; opposite one-sidednesses correct each other ; 

1 Cf. Lecture VI. 


and the true consequences of theories reveal themselves with 
inexorable necessity. As Socrates, in Plato's Repvblic^ inves- 
tigating the nature of Justice^ proposes to study it first as 
" writ large " in the collective magnitude of the State, that 
thereafter he may return with better knowledge to the study 
of it in the individual, so the movements of thought are best 
studied on the broad scale in which they present themselves 
over large periods of tima It is to this test I propose to 
bring the great question of Christianity — the same that was 
proposed by Jesus to the Pharisees eighteen hundred years 
ago—" What think ye of Christ ? Whose Son is He ? " * I 
shall ask what aid history afifords us in determining the true 
estimate to be put upon the Person of Christ, and the place 
held in the Christian system by the doctrine of the Incar- 
Advantage of It is One advantage of this method that, as I have said, it 
this method, \if\^g^ all the issucs into court at once. The verdict of 
history is at once a judgment on the answers which have 
been given to the theological question ; on their agreement 
with the sum -total of the facts of Christianity; on the 
methods of exegesis and New Testament criticism by which 
they have been supported ; on their power to maintain them- 
selves against rival views ; on how far the existence of 
Christianity is dependent on them, or bound up with them. 

/. History a I. History, then, as it seems to me, presents us with a series 
^alurnatives— ^* alternatives of a deeply interesting character, by studying 
M^ downward which we may find our bearings on this question, "What 

\, First alter J 1. The first essential service which history has rendered 
ftattve—a ^g j^^ j^^^j^ ^ ^j^ elimination of intennediate views — in 

Divine Christy " 

or humani' making it clear as a first alternative that the real issue on 

tarianism, ^]jjg question IS between a truly Divine Christ and pure 

\ huTnanitarianism. Intermediate views on Christ's Person 

have from time to time arisen, and still go on arising, in the 

* Book ii a Matt. xxu. 42. 


Church; but, like the intermediate species of plants and 
animals Mr. Darwin tells ns of, which are invariably driven 
to the wall in the struggle for existence, they have never 
been able to survive. There is, e,g,, the Arian view, which ArianUm. 
has appeared again and again in the history of the Church in 
times of spiritual decadence. To ISnd a place for the high 
attributes ascribed to Christ in Scripture, a lofty supernatural 
dignity is in this view assigned to Him. He was a sort of 
supreme angel, God's First -bom. His instrument in the 
creation of the world, etc. But He was not eternal ; He was 
not of Divine essence. It is safe to say that this view is now 
practically extinct It would be a shallow reading of history 
to attribute the defeat of Arianism in the early Church to the 
anathemas of councils, the influence of court favour, or any 
other accidental circumstances. It perished through its own 
inherent weakness.^ If the Arians admit all they profess to 
do about Christ — that He was pre-existent, God's agent in 
the creatiou of the world, etc. — there need be little diflBculty 
in admitting the rest. On the other hand, if they stop short 
of the higher view to which the Scriptures seem to point, 
they entangle themselves in difficulties and contradictions, 
exegetical and other, which make it impossible for them to 
remain where they are. In reality, these high-sounding 
attributes which they ascribe to Christ are an excrescence on 
the system ; for on thi& theory no work remains for Christ to 
do which could not have been accomplished equally well by 
a highly endowed man. Historically, therefore, Arianism has 
always tended to work round to the Socinian or strictly 
Unitarian view of Christ, where it has not gone upwards, 
through semi- Arianism, to the recognition of His full Divinity. 

But this Socinian or Unitarian view of the Person of Socinianism 

and the older 

1 See Note B.— The Defeat of Arianism. Domer says : " Not merely did it ^««'''»'^'«««'=''- 
tend back to Eblonitism ; not merely was it unable, with its Docetism and its 
doctrine of a created higher spirit, to allow even the possibility of an Incarna- 
tion ; bat, by putting a fantastical under-God between God and man, it separated 
the two qnite as much as it appeared to unite tliem. "—Permm of Christ, ii. p. 261 
(Eng. trans. ). 


Christ — I refer to the older Unitaxianism of the Priestley and 
Channing type — is another of those intermediate views which 
history also may now be said to have eliminated. Christ, on 
this view, is the greatest of inspired teachers, a true 
Prophet. He had a Divine mission ; He wrought miracles 
in confirmation of His doctrine ; He rose from the dead on 
the third day ; He is expected to return to judge the world. 
Here also there is a great deal of the halo of the supernatural 
about Christ He is supernatural in history, if not in nature, 
and men saw again that they must either believe more or 
believe less. The rationalistic leaven, which was already 
working in the rejection of the higher aspects of Clirist's 
Person and work, made itself increasingly felt. As the 
miraculous adjuncts were retained only in deference to the 
representations of Scripture, they were readily abandoned 
when criticism professed to show how they might be stripped 
off without detriment to Christ's moral image. Be the cause 
what it may, it is undeniable that Unitarianism of this kind 
has not been able to maintain itself. It has constantly 
tended to purge itself of tlie remaining supernatural features 
in the portrait of Christ, and to descend to the level of 
simple humanitarianism, i.e., to the belief in Christ as simply 
a great man, a religious genius of the first rank, one in whom 
the light which shines in all men shone in an eminent degree 
— but still a mere man, without anything supernatural in His 
origin, nature, or history.^ 
ChrUtoiogy oj A further example of the difficulty of maintaining an 
t^ school of intermediate position on the doctrine of the Person of Christ 
LcZr. may be taken from the long series of intermediate views 

which have sprung up on the soil of Germany as the result 
of the great intellectual and theological movement inaugurated 
by Hegel and Schleiermacher in the beginning of the centuiy. 
Passing by the speculative Christologles— in which, when the 
veil was stripped off, it was found that the idea was every- 
thing, the historical Christ nothing — I may refer here to the 

^ See Note C. — Modern Unitarianism. 


Christology of Schleiermacher and his school. Schleier- 
macher recognises to the full " a peculiar being of God in 
Christ"^ He affirms Christ's perfect sinlessness, and the 
unique significance of His Personality for the Church and for 
the race. He is the Head, Archet}'pe, Eepresentative, and 
Redeemer of mankind- " Only through Him is Kedemption 
from sin and fellowship of life with God possible. Sut 
when we come to inquire wherein consists this " peculiar 
being of God " in Christ, it proves, after all, to be only an 
exceptionally constant and energetic form of that God-con- 
sciousness which exists germinally in all men, and indeed lies 
at the root of religious experience generally. The di£ference 
between Christ and other men is thus in degree, not in kind. 
In Him this Divine element had the ascendency, in us it has 
not. He is a miracle, in so far as the Divine dwelt in Him 
in this unique and exceptional fulness and power, constituting 
Him the Eedeemer and second Adam of the race ; but there 
is no entrance of God into humanity such as we associate 
with the idea of Incarnation. When, further, we investigate 
the nature of Christ's saving activity, we find that the 
exalted, high-priestly functions which Schleiermacher ascribes 
to Christ shrink, on inspection, into very meagre dimensions. 
Christ's continued saving activity in His Church is pre- 
supposed, but it is not the activity of One who still lives and 
reigns on high, but rather the perpetuation of a posthumous 
influence, through the preservation of His image in the 
Gospels, and the fellowship of the Christian society.* Ultim- 
ately, therefore, Christ's saving activity is reduced to example 
and teaching; at most, to the spiritual influence of a great 
and unique historic Personality.^ When we have got this 
length, we are clearly back on the road to simple humani- 
tarianisHL Accordingly, none of Schleiermacher's followers 
have been able to stop exactly where he did. They have felt 
the inexorable compulsion of the less or more; and while 

^ Der ehriat. Olaube, sect. 94. ' Tbiis also Ritschl. 

* On Schleiermacher's Christology cf. Doraer, Person qf Christ, v. pp. 174-213. 



New wave of 
theology in 
school of 

The verdict 
of history 
against inter- 
mediate views. 

2. Second 
alternative — 
a Divine 
Christy or 

some have gone back to rationalism, the great majority, as 
Eothe acknowledges/ have pressed on to more positive views, 
and have come into substantial harmony with confessional 
orthodoxy. A new wave of mediating theology has recently 
arisen in the school of Bitschl ; but the fundamental principle 
of this school — the denial of the right of the theoretic reason 
to have anything to do with religion or theology — is not one 
that can permanently be approved of, and would, if followed 
out, end in boundless subjectivity. In this school also, 
accordingly, the necessity of less or more is asserting itself. 
Already the members of the school have begun to move off 
on diflPerent and irreconcilable lines — some in a more 
negative, the greater number in a more positive direction. 
The attempt of Kitschl to bar off all inquiry into the nature 
of Christ's Person by resolving His " Godhead " into a mere 
value-judgment of the believer is felt not to be satisfactory ; 
and the admission is increasingly made that consistency of 
Christian thinking demands the acknowledgment of a tran- 
scendental basis.^ 

The general verdict of history, therefore, is clearly against 
the permanence of these attempts at a middle view of Christ's 
Person, and warns us whither they tend. The liberal school 
in Germany, Holland, and France, are clearly right in saying 
that the only alternative to Christ's true Divinity is pure 
humanitarianism ; and that, if the former doctrine is 
rejected, the supernatural view of His Person must be 
altogether given up. This is a clear issue, and I think it is 
well to have matters brought to it without shrinking or 
disguise. I desire now to show that this first alternative 
soon lands us in a second. 

2. The first alternative is between a Divine Christ and a 
purely human one — the second is between a Divine Christ 
and pure Agnosticism. Many of those who take the humani- 

^ He says : *' Since Schleiennacher's death, the school proceeding from him 
has generally gone back into the way of the Church doctrine.'* — Dogmatik, 
i. p. 162. 
^ See Note D. — Concessions of Ritsohlians on the Person of Christ. 


tarian view of Christ's Person axe very far from wishing to 

deny that a great deal of what Christ taught was true. 

They do not wish to deny the existence of God, or the fact of 

a future life, or the essentials of Christian morality. In not 

a few cases they strongly uphold these truths — maintain 

them to be the true natural religion in opposition to revealed. 

They account it Christ's greatest glory that He saw so clearly, 

and announced so unambiguously, the Fatherhood of God, the 

dignity of the soul, the certainty of immortality, and the 

dependence of happiness here and hereafter on virtue. It is 

a plausible view to take, for it seems to secure to those who 

hold it all that they take to be essential in Christianity, 

while at the same time it leaves them unbounded liberty to 

accept or reject what they like in modern " advanced " views 

— to get rid of miracles, go in with progressive theories of 

science, accept the newest criticism of the Gospels, etc. It 

is a plausible view, but it is an illusive one ; for if there is 

one thing more than another which the logic of events makes 

evident, it is, that with the humanitarian view of Christ we 

cannot stop at simple, abstract Theism, but must go on to 

pure Agnosticism. This is indeed what the larger number of 

the more logical minds which have rejected supernatural 

Christianity in our own day are doing. Nor is the process 

which leads to this result difficult to follow. The Deism of The weakness 

the last century rejected Christianity and sought to establish ^Z-^"^'"- 

in its place what it called " Natural fieligion," i.6., a belief in 

God, in the future life, in a state of rewards and punishments, 

etc., based on reason alone. But however congruous with 

reason these doctrines may be in the place which they hold 

in the religion of Jesus, it was not really reason which had 

discovered them, or which gave assurance about them ; nor 

did it follow that reason could successfully vindicate them, 

when torn from their context, and presented in the meagre, 

abstract form in which they appeared in the writings of the 

deists. What the deists did wjis to pick these doctrines out 

of the New Testament, separating them from the rest of the 


doctrines with which they were associated, and denuding them 

of everything which could make them real and vital to the 

minds and consciences of men; then to baptise this ca'put 

mortuum with the name of " Natural Eeligion." They were 

doctrines that had their roots in the Christian system, and 

the arguments from reason with which they were supported 

were not the real grounds of belief in them. In the present 

century men are not so easily satisfied.^ They see clearly 

enough that all the objections which have been levelled 

against the God of Bevelation tell just as powerfully against 

/ the God of nature ; that to admit Christ's doctrine of a 

Heavenly Father, of a soul made in God's image, of a special 

providence, of prayer, of forgiveness of sins, of a future life 

of happiness and misery, is already to have crossed the line 

which separates a merely natural from a supernatural view 

\ of things ; and that to reject Christ's doctrines on these great 

questions makes it difficult to retain a Theism of any kind.^ 

Need of a This is not because a theistic view of the world is in itself 

iivingTheism, j^^g reasonable than a non-theistic view — to admit this would 

which has Us 

correlate in be to give up the whole case on behalf of Christianity. But 
Revelahon, j^j jg because the kind of Theism that remains after the 
Christian element has been removed out of it, is not one 
fitted to satisfy either the reason or the heart. It is a pale, 
emasculated conception, which, finding no support in the facts 
or experiences of the spiritual life, can never stand against 
the assaults made on it from without. It is here that 
Pantheism has its advantage over Deism. It is indeed more 
reasonable to believe in a living personal God, who created 
and who controls the universe, than in the " One and All " of 
the pantheist ; but it does not follow that it is more reason- 
able to believe in an abstract Deity — a mere figment of the 
intellect — who stands in separation from the world, and 
yields no satisfaction to the religious life. Theism is a 

^ See Note E.— The Weakness of Deism. 

^ This is where not only Deism, but also the so-called Liberal Protestantism, 
fails, in rejecting supernatural Christianity. See Note F.— The Weakness of 
Modem Liberal Protestantism. 


Teasonable view of the universe, but it must be a living 
Theism, not a barren and notional one. 

If, to avoid tl^ bankruptcy, the attempt is made to deal insecurity oj 
in earnest with the conception of a personal God, and ^^iJ^^ch^- 
reclothe the Deity with the warm, gracious attributes which -—Ratkbone 
belong to the Father-God of Christ, then we have indeed ^^^* ^'*'- 
a Being whom the soul can love, trust, and hold communion 
with, but the difficulty recurs of believing Him to be a 
God who remains self-enclosed, impassive, uncommunicative, 
towards creatures whom He has dowered with a share of 
His own rational and moral excellences, who has so shut 
Himself out by natural law from direct contact with the 
spirits that seek Him that He can neither speak to them, 
answer their prayers, help them in trouble, nor even reach 
them by inward succours — ^a s^tfid God, who can no more 
enter into personal relations with His creatures than if He 
were impersonal. Such a conception is self-contradictory, 
and cannot maintain itself. One feels this incongruity very 
powerfully in dealing with the Theism of such writers as the 
late Mr. Bathbone Greg, or Dr. Martineau, or the authoress 
of Edbert JEUmere. None of these writers will admit the 
possibility of miracle ; logically, therefore, they shut out the 
possibility of direct communication between God and man. 
Yet none of them can rest with the cold abstract God of 
Deism ; or with the immanent impersonal spirit of Pantheism ; 
or with the comfortless negation of Agnosticism. God is with 
them a personal Being ; His will is ethical ; communion with 
Him is longed after, and believed in. Let Mr. Greg's own 
pathetic words tell how insecure is the Theism thus cut off 
from positive Eevelation. "My own conception," he says, 
"perhaps from early mental habit, perhaps from incurable 
and very conscious metaphysical inaptitude, approaches far 
nearer to the old current image of a personal God than to 
any of the sublimated substitutes of modern thought. 
Strauss's Universurriy Comte's Humanity^ even Mr. Arnold's 
Stream of Tendency that makes for BigkteousnesSy excite in me 


no enthusiasm, command from me no worship. I cannot pray 
to the * Immensities ' and the * Eternities ' of Carlyle ; they 
proflfer me no help ; they vouchsafe me no sympathy ; they 
suggest no comfort. It may be that such a personal Grod is a 
mere anthropomorphic creation. It may be — as philosophers 
with far finer instruments of thought than mine affirm — that 
the conception of such a Being, duly analysed, is demonstrably 
a self-contradictory one. But, at least in resting in it, I rest 
in something I almost seem to realise ; at least, I share the 
view which Jesus indisputably held of the Father whom He 
obeyed, communed with, and worshipped." ^ Surely it need 
hardly be said that a view which, even while holding it, one 
doubts may be only a result of "early mental habit," "a 
mere anthropomorphic creation," a " self -contradictory " con- 
ception, cannot long stand as a basis for life ; nor will the trust 
which Jesus had help much, when one has already rejected 
as delusion His doctrine of prayer, of special providence, of 
forgiveness of sins, and His own Messianic claims and 
expectations. Already we tremble on the verge of Agnos- 
ticism, if we have not actually passed its bound. 
No logical I think, accordingly, I am justified in saying that when 

^'h^l^f ^^ ^^® ground of Divine Eevelation is once left behind, we have 
Agnosticism, no logical halting-place short of Agnosticism ; not because a 
theistic view of the universe is unreasonable, but because a 
living Theism requires as its complement belief in Eevelation. 
/ We have these alternatives : either to revivify our Theism till 
it approaches in the humane and loving attributes it ascribes 
to God the Christian conception of the Heavenly Father — in 
which case we are back to a supernatural view of the universe ; 
or, if this is thought baseless, to dispense with the idea of 
(Jod altogether, and try to explain the world without reason, 
^ without final cause, without spiritual assumptions of any kind. 
3. Third 3. Aguosticism is, however, far from representing the end 

aUernatwe— of this road along which we had begun to travel in rejecting 

a Divine •» o 

Christ, or the Diviue in Christ. The final alternative — one which we 

Pessimism. 1 q^^^ of Christendom, Introd. Si-d ed. pp. 90, 91. 


may trust the world at large will never be called upon to 
face — ^is a Dimne Christ or Pessimism. Agnosticism is not a ^ 
state in which the mind of an intelligent being can perman- 
ently rest. It is essentially a condition of suspense — a 
confession of ignorance — an abdication of thought on the 
highest subjects.^ It is not, in the nature of things, possible 
for the mind to remain persistently in this neutral, passive 
attitude. It will press on perforce to one or other of the^ 
views which present themselves as alternatives— either to 
Theism, or to Materialism and dogmatic Atheism.^ I do not 
speak, of course, of the individual mind, but of the general 
historical development. But even Agnosticism has hronght Depressing^ 
with it a train of baleful results. With the loss of certainty ^n/^^^^^ ^J 

Agnosticism : 

on the highest questions of existence there comes inevitably cuts the nerve 
a lowering of the pulse of human endeavour all round — a ^f^f*<^ 
loosening of certainty even about morals, for why should ^;.^^^j, 
these remain unaffected when everything else is going — and 
as we see to-day, in much of the speculative thought of 
France and Germany, a hopelessness about the future. For, 
obviously, when this point is reached, the rational ground is 
taken away even from belief in progress.^ When the idea of 
God, which is equivalent to the idea of a reason at the 
foundation of things, is surrendered — whether in Agnosticism, 
or in some form of dogmatic denial, makes little difference — 
it becomes a wholly unwarranted assumption that things 
must certainly go on from better to better. The opposite 
may quite as well be the case, and progress, now that a given 
height is reached, may rather be from better to worse. The^ 
analogy of nature shows that this is the law in regard to 

^ Generally, however, under the sarface of professed Agnosticism, there will 
be found some more or less positive opinions about the origin and nature of 
things, aU of them agreeing in this, that they negate the belief in God. 

^ On the continent there are fewer agnostics, but more atheists and 
materialists, than with us. "In Germany," says Earl Peters, ''things are 
come to such a pass that one is obliged to ask a sort of absolation if one does 
not swim with the prevailing atheistic-monistic stream." — WiUtnawtlt and 
WeUtpUk, p. 850. 

' See Note G.— Christianity and the Idea of Progress. 




natural life. The plant blooms, reaches its acme, and dies. 
So, it may be plausibly argued, it will be with humanity. 
The fact that some progress has been made in the past does 
not guarantee that this progress will go on indefinitely; 
rather, the spur to this progress consisted in what we are 
now told are illusions, and when these are exploded the 
motives to progress are gone. A more highly evolved society 
may lead to an increase of misery rather than of happiness ; 
the growth of enlightenment, instead of adding to men's 
enjoyments, may result in stripping them successively of the 
illusions that remain, and may leave them at last sad, weary, 
disappointed, with an intolerable consciousness of the burden 
TransUiim to and wrctchedness of existence.^ All this is not fancy. The 
despairing, pessimistic spirit I am speaking of has already 
taken hold of extensive sections of society, and is giving 
startling evidences of its presence. For the first time on 
European soil we see large and influential systems springing 
up, and gaining for themselves wide popularity and accept- 
ance, which have for their root idea exactly this conception 
of the inherent irrationality and misery of existenca There 
have always been individual thinkers with a tendency to take 
a prejudiced and hopeless view of life, but their reveries have 
not been much regarded. But here, strange to say, under 
the very shadow of this boasted progress of the nineteenth 
century — in the very midst of its enlightenment and civilisa- 
tion and wealth — we see Pessimism raising its head as a 
serious, carefully thought-out philosophy of existence, and, 
instead of being scouted and laughed at as an idle dream, it 

Pesshmsm — 
use of great 

^ Pessimism reverses Pascal's saying that the greatness of man consists in 
thought. Thought, according to Pessimism, is the fatal gift. "WeU for 
those," Schopenhauer thinks, ''who have no consciousness of existence. The 
life of the animal is more to be envied than that of man ; the life of the plant 
is better than that of the fish in the water, or even of the oyster on the rock. 
Kon-being is better than being, and unconsciousness is the blessedness of what 
does exist. The best would be if all existence were annihilated." — Cf. Luthardt, 
Die mod. Welt, p. 189. "The height of misery is not that of being man ; it 
is, being man, to despise oneself sufficiently to regret that one is not an 
animal." — Caro, Le Pesnmismey p. 135. 


meets with passionate acceptance from multitudes.^ The same Pessimism in 
spirit will be found reflected by those who care to note its ^'' ^^^^"^f 

" — sadness of 

symptoms, in much of our current literature^ in the serious tke sceptuai 
raising and discussion, for example, of the question already ^P^^* 
familiar to us — Is life worth living ? Specially noticeable is 
the tone of sadness which pervades much of the nobler 
sceptical thinking of the present day — the tone of men who 
do not think lightly of parting with religion, but feel that 
with it has gone the hope and gladness of earlier days. This \ 
Pessimism of scepticism is to me one of the saddest and 
most significant phenomena of modern times.^ And granting 
the premises it starts from, what other conclusion is possible ? 
Deprive the world of 6od^ and everything becomes an insol- 
uble mystery^ history a scene of wrecked illusions, belief in 
progress a superstition, and life in general 

"A tale 
Told by an idiot, full of sound and futy, 
Siguifjing nothing." ' 

11. The descent from faith in Christ has landed us in the //. The up- 
abyss of Pessimism. But just at this lowest point, where the ^^.^^^^ 
light of religious faith might seem utterly extinguished, a Pessimism to 
return movement is felt to be inevitable. For Pessimism, \^*"^^' 
no more than Theism^ can escape the necessity laid upon it of 
giving to itself some account of things as they are — of 
constructing a " Weltanschauung " ; and the moment it 
attempts to do this, making naked the principle on which it 
rests, its own insufficiency as a philosophy of existence and 
of life stands glaring and confessed. Possibly the attempt to 'unsatisfactori- 
work out Pessimism as a system will never be made ^th ^^^^''^^'^l"'''' 

" %sm as a theor 

much more thoroughness, or with better chances of success, of existence— 
than has already been done in the monumental works ^[it 'o>orks back 

to Theism. 

Schopenhauer and Hartmann.* But the very thorough- 

^ See Note H. — The Prevalence of Pessimism. 

^ See Appendix to Lecture — ^The Pessimism of Scepticism. 

' "Macbeth," act y. scene 6. 

^ See Note I.— The Literature of Pessimism. 



The dialectic 
of Pessimism 
— Schopen- 
hauer and 

goingness of the attempt is the demonstration of its futility. 
Of all theories, that which explains the origin of the universe 
by a mistake — which accounts for it by the blind rushing 
into existence of an irrational force, call it " Will " or what 
we please — is surely the most incredible.^ How came this 
irrational will-force to be there? What moved it to this 
insensate decision ? In what state was it before it committed 
this enormous blunder of rushing into existence ? How came 
it to be possessed of that potential wealth of ideas which now 
are realised in the world ? Of what use were they if they 
were never intended to be called into existence ? What I 
am at present concerned with, however, is not to refute 
Pessimism, but rather to show how, as a first step in an 
upward movement back to Christ, by its own immanent 
dialectic it refutes itself — ^inverts, in fact, its own starting- 
point, and works itself round into a species of Theism. 

Schopenhauer .and Hartmann both recognise that there is 
in the universe not only " Will " but " Idea," and the manner 
in which they deal with this element of " Idea " is one of the 
most curious examples of the inversion of an original starting- 
point in the history of philosophy. For, in the course of its 
development. Pessimism has actually adopted as its leading 
principle the thought of a rational teleology in the universe, 
and as a consequence, as above remarked, has worked itself 
back to Theism. How this comes about it is not difficult to 
show. The crucial point for all systems of Pessimism is the 

^ These Pessimistic theories are not without their roots in the philosophies of 
Fichte, Schelling, and HegeL Cf. Fiehte's view of the Absolute as "Will" ; 
and Schelling*s "irrational" ground of the Divine nature (after Bohme). In 
his PhUosophie und Rdigion (1804), Schelling boldly describes the creation as 
the result of an " Abfall" — the original assertion by the Ego of its independence. 
''This inexplicable and timeless act is the original sin or primal fall of the 
spiriti which we expiate in the circles of time — existence " (cf. Professor Sethis 
From Kant to Hegel, p. 65). Hegel aUo, in his own way, speaks of creation as 
an "Abfall." "It is in the Son," he says, "in the determination of dis> 
tinction, that progressive determination proceeds to further distinction. . . . 
This transition in the moment of the Son is thus expressed by Jacob Bohme — 
that the first-bom was Lucifer, the light-bearer, the bright, the clear one ; but 
he turned in upon himself in imagination, i.e, he made himself independent, 
passed over into being, and so fell."— PAt/. d. Pel, u. p. 251 ( Werke, vol. xii,). 


presence of reason in the universe. How, if the basis of the 
universe is irrational, does reason come to find a place in it 
at all ? For, manifestly, account for it as we may, there is 
reason in the universe now. The universe itself is a law- 
connected whole ; there is order and plan, organisation and 
system, utility and beauty, means and ends. Above all, in 
man himself, if nowhere else, there is conscious reason — the 
very instrument by which this irrationality of the universe 
is discovered. There is evidently more here than blind, 
purposeless wilL How is its existence to be explained ?^ 
Schopenhauer postulates " Idea." In accounting for nature, " wur and 
he has to suppose that in this blind, purposeless will there "/^^^J"'^''"^ 
lies potentially a whole world of ideas, representing all the 
stages and kingdoms through which nature advances in the 
course of its history.^ Hartmann unites " Will " and " Idea " 
yet more closely, regarding them as co-ordinate attributes of 
the Absolute, though still, somehow, the will is supposed to 
be in itself a purely irrational force. It is only when the 
will has made the mistake of rushing into existence that it 
lays hold on the '^ Idea " as a means of delivering itself from 
the unblessedness of its new condition. To this end the 
universe is represented as ordered with the highest wisdom, 
the goal of its development being the production of the 
conscious agent, man, through whom the Bedemption of the 
world-spirit is to be accomplished. I do not pursue these 
"metaphysics of wonderland" further. I only notice the 
extraordinary contradictions in which Hartmann involves 
himself in his conception of the Absolute — " the Unconscious," Hartmann' $ 
as he prefers to term it — and the extraordinary transforma- ^^^'^•^^TX 
tion it undergoes in his hands. The Absolute is unconscious, u, intelligence, 
and needs to create for itself an organ of consciousness ia'^^^>M'- 

° sighty purpose, 

1 DU Welt dls WUh und Vorstellung, i. pp. 185, 206 (Eng. trans, pp. 203, 
219 ff.). Karl Peters remarks : " If the alone Will bears in itself the stages of 
the World' All as eternal ideas — how can Schopenhauer call it an absolutely 
irrational Will ? And, if he conoeives of it as a radically blind Will, as an insane 
and altogether groundless 'Drang/ how can he vindicate for it these eternal 
ideas t "— WiUensieelt, p. 129. 


man before it can attain deliverance from its unblessedness. 
Yet it knows, plans, contrives, orders everything with con- 
summate wisdom, works out its designs with a precision that 
is unerring, eta^ The contradiction here is too patent For, 
if unconscious, how can we speak of this Absolute as un- 
blessed? Or how can we think of it as knowing and 
planning? Hartmann, therefore, changes his ground, and 
The '* Uncon- speaks in other places of his Absolute rather as supra- 
scums becomes (^ngcious ; * elsewhere, again, in terms akin to those of Mr. 

a ** supra-- ' ' o » 

conscious:* Spcncer, as an " Unknowable ** — incapable of being repre- 
sented in forms of our intelligence.^ But if the Absolute is 
supra-conscious, ie., exists in a state higher than the ordinary 
consciousness, why should it need the latter to help it out of 
its misery ? The climax is reached when, in a later work — 
while still holding to the view that the Absolute is not a 
self-conscious Personality — Hartmann invests it with most 
Moral attrt' pi the attributes characteristic of Deity, sees in it, e.g., the 
^/o^tL^J^^ ground, not only of a natural, but of a moral order, makes it 
—now called the object of religious worship, attributes to it, not simply 
^^' omnipotence and wisdom, but righteousness and holiness, 

views it as a source of Bevelation and grace, expressly names 
it God ! ^ We are here far enough from the original assump- 
tion of a primitive, irrational will — ^in fact, what we see is 
Pessimism passing over in all but the name into Theism. It 

^ **Tlie IJiiconscioiiB wills in one act all the tenns of a process, means and 
end, etc., not before, beside, or beyond, but in the result itself," — PhU, d, 
Unheumssten, ii. p. 60 (Eng. trans. ). 

^ *'The Unconscious, it now appears, has, after all, a kind of conscionsness — 
is 'a transcendent supra-mundane consciousness,' 'anything but blind, rather 
far-seeing and clairvoyant,' 'superior to all consciousness, at once unconscious 
and supra-conscious' (1), its 'mode of thinking is, in truth, above consoious- 
ness." — Phil, d. Unbewiusten, pp. 246, 247, 258, etc (Eng. trans.). 

^ Phil, d, Unbewussten, pp. 49, 223, 246, etc. (Eng. trans.). Schopenhauer 
also declares his "Will" to be in itself, t.«. apart from its phenomenal mani- 
festations, an Unknowable, possibly possessing "ways of existing, determina- 
tions, qualities, which are absolutely unknowable and incomprehensible to us, 
and which remain ever as its nature when it has abrogated its phenomenal 
character, and for our knowledge has passed into empty nothingness." — DU 
WtU ale WaU (Eng. trans.), ii. p. 408. 

* HeligwMphUoeophie : Part II., PhU, dee OeisUs, pp. 74-89. 


remained only that this transition should be explicitly made, TransUum in 
and this has been done by a disciple of the school, Karl'^^'^^'^r 
Peters, whose work, Willenswdt und Weltvnlle, is one of the ism to explicit 
acutest criticisms of previous Pessimism I know. With him ^^"'''• 
we finally leave the ground of the philosophy of the " Uncon- 
scious," and come round to a Theism in which we have the 
full recognition of God as a self-conscious, wise, good, holy 
Personality, whose providence is over all, and whose ends all 
things subserve.^ 

The theories of Schopenhauer and Hartmann, ihxm^ The alter- 
pessimistic, might with equal propriety have been classed in ^^^{^fn— 
the family of pantheistic systems. When dealing at an its degradation 
earlier stage with the downward movement from faith in'^^^«^^"»* 

^ (StrausSf 

Christ, through Agnosticism to Pessimism, I purposely x^ Feturbach). 
served this alternative of Pantheism. This was not because 
the subject is in itself unimportant, but because it comes at 
last to the old dilemma, and can best be treated in its higher 
aspect as a stage in the upward advance to Theism. Pan- ^ 
theism shares the fate of every incomplete system, in being 
compelled to pass judgment on itself, and either to sink to 
something lower, or to pass up to something higher. I refer / 
for proof to Germany, which has given birth to some of its 
noblest forms, but where also history shows how possible it 
is to descend at one step from the loftiest heights of over- 
strained Idealism to gross Materialism. Fichte and Schelling 
and Hegel were followed by Strauss and Feuerbach.* The 
logic of the process is again not difficult to traca If 
universal reason is the all, and the finite in comparison with 
it nothing, in another point of view it is the finite that is 
aU, and reason that is nothing, seeing that in the finite only 
it attains to actual existence. Concede the premiss, the 
Absolute has reality only in the universe, and it is but ^ short 
step to the conclusion, the universe alone is real.^ Interpret 

^ See Note J. — ^Transitioii from PeasimiBm to Theism — Hartmann and Karl 
' See Note K. — Materialism in Germany. 
' " If,' says Dorner, '' God be once defined as the essenoe of the world, it is a 


the universe now, in accordance with the " modem " concep- 
tion, in terms of matter and motion, and Feuerbach's dictum 
is reached — " Man is what he eats." The goal of this is the 
old plunge into Nihilism and Pessimism, in which we have 
just seen that the mind cannot remain. 
The nobler The Other alternative is, however, possible to Pantheism, 

^d^c^nlo ^^ holding fast to the rational element contamed in it, to 
Theism. correct and purify itself by a return to Theism ; and this is 
the movement we see taking place in the later forms of the 
Fuhte and philosophies of Fichtc and Schelling, and in the speculative 
Scheihng, Theism of the later Hegelians. In judging of these systems 
we must not be misled by too narrow a use of the word 
" Theism." The Theism of the writers I refer to is in many 
respects imperfect, and bears throughout the marks of its 
• speculative origin. Yet, in principle, the line between Pan- 
theism and Theism is crossed whenever God is conceived of 
no longer as an impersonal Force or Idea, but as a spiritual, 
self-conscious principle at the basis of the universe — as a 
knowing, willing Being; with whom man can sustain, not only 
^ natural, but moral and spiritual relations. There may be 
difficulties at this stage as to whether the term " personal " 
is a suitable term to apply to the Divine ; but it is, never- 
theless, a theistic conception of God which is shaping itself, 
and the purgation of the system from remaining pantheistic 
elements is only a question of time. What, for instance, but 
an approximation to Theism is implied in such words as 
Fichte's in his fine apostrophe, — " Sublime and Living Will ! 
named by no name, compassed by no thought ! I may well 
raise my soul to Thee, for Thou and I are not divided ! 
Thy voice sounds within me, mine resounds in Thee; and 
all my thoughts, if they be but good and true, live in Thee 
also. . • . Thou art best known to the childlike, devoted, 

transposition of subject and predicate logically allowable, when Fenerbach, 
taking the idea seriously, counted the essence of the world to be a part of the 
world, made the xoorld the subject, and reduced God to a mere predicate of the 
world. The transition was thus made to Anthropologism, the forerunner of 
Materialism." — Person o/Chriat, v. p. 160. 


simple mind. To it Thou art the searcher of hearts, who 
seest its inmost depths ; the ever-present witness of its truth, 
who knowest though all the world know it not. Thou art 
the Father who ever desirest its good, who rulest all things 
for the best. . . . How thou art, I may not know. But, let 
me be what I ought to be, and Thy relations to me — the 
mortal — and to all mortals, lie open before my eyes, and 
surround me more clearly <than the consciousness of my own 
existence. Thxm worhest in me the knowledge of my duty, 
of my vocation in the world of reasonable beings ; — how, I 
know not, nor need I to know. Thou knowest what I think 
and what I will : — how Thou canst know, through what act 
thou bringest about that consciousness, I cannot understand. 
. . . Thou wiliest that my free obedience shall bring with it 
eternal consequences : — the act of Thy will I cannot com- ^ 
prehend, I only know that it is not like mine. Thou dotal, 
and Thy will itself is the deed ; but the way of Thy 
working is not as my ways — I cannot trace it."^ If 
this is Pantheism, are we not all pantheists? If this is 
Agnosticism, is it not an Agnosticism in which we must all ^ 
share ? The moment in spiritual Pantheism which impels ^ 
to this development is of course the recognition of the fact 
that t^e universe has its ground in reason. If this position 
is to be safeguarded against the lapse into Materialism, it 
must free itself from the internal contradiction of supposing 
that there can be thought without a thinker ;^ reason without 
a subject to which the reason belongs ; rational ends posited \ 
and executed without intelligent and self-conscious purpose ; I 

1 "The Vocation of Man" (Die Be«timmtmg de9 Menschen) in Fichte's 
"Popular Worka," p. 365 (Eng. trana.). — See Note L.— Fichte's Later 

* "In spite of Fichte's imperions tone," says Professor Seth, "and his 
warning that we are merely setting the seal to our own philosophic incom- 
petency, we mnst summon up all our hardihood, and openly confess that to 
speak of thought as self-existent, without any conscious Being whose the thought 
is, conveys no meaning to our minds. Thought tacwU only as the thought of a 
thinker ; it mnst be centred somewhere." — Hegellanism and PerBoncdUy, p. 73. 
He had formerly expressed himself differently. —jProm KcmX to Hegel, p. 76. 




moral order without a moral will. In the case of Fichte and 

British Neo- 

— t: H. 


Schelling, this revolution in their philosophies is seen taking 
The Hegelian place within their lifetime ; in the case of Hegel, it is seen 
development, j^ ^^ development of his philosophy, in the hands of his 
disciples, into a speculative Theism. In Vatke and Bieder- 
mann — two prominent representatives — the Theism is still 
very shadowy and incomplete ; in L H. Fichte and Pfleiderer 
of Berlin, it attains to full and explicit i*ecognition. The 
latter writer, in particular, takes strong ground, and from his 
own point of view may be regarded as one of the ablest 
defenders of theistic positions in recent times. In our own 
country we have the Neo-Hegelian movement, best represented 
by the late Mr. Green, of Oxford, and in him also the specu- 
lative spirit is seen allying itself very closely with the spirit 
of religion, with the result that his philosophy almost inevit- 
ably passes over into Theism. On the metaphysical side, God 
is already to Mr. Green an " Eternal Self-Consciousness " ^ — 
the author and sustainer of the system of relations which 
we call the universe. But, on the religious side, He is 
thought of much more positively as a conscious Being who 
is in eternal perfection all that man has it in him to come to 
be — " a Being of perfect understanding and perfect love " 
— an infinite Spirit, present to the soul, but other than 
itself, towards whom " the attitude of man at his highest and 
completest could still only be that which we have described 
as self-abasement before an ideal of holiness.'* ^ The meta- 
physical contradictions which still inhere in the Neo-Hegelian 
theory have been well pointed out by one — formerly an 
ardent Hegelian — who has himself lived through the theory 
he criticises — Prof. Seth of Edinburgh. In him, in the line 
of this development, we reach at length a perfectly unambig- 
uous position. " It must not be forgotten," he says, " that if 

^ Prolegomena to Ethics, passim. 

» Pp. 98, 142 of " Memoir " by Nettleship, in Green's Warha^ vol. iiL 
Professor Green's profound Christian feeling, with his ideological views of 
Christianity, are well brought out in the same " Memoir," and accompanying 

Pre/. Seth, 


we are to keep the name God at all, or any equivalent term, ^ 
subjectivity — an existence of God for Himself, analogous to 
our own personal existence, though doubtless transcending it 
infinitely in innumerable ways — is an essential element of 
the conception. • . . God may be, must be, infinitely more — 
we are at least certain that He cannot be less — than we 
know ourselves to be." ^ '/ 

The Theism we have thus gained embraces the two notions Tkeism impels 
of God as self - conscioua reason, and God as moral wilL '^ ^t<' " 


Once, however, this ground of Theism is reached, we are 

compelled, in order to secure it, to advance a step further, 

viz., to the thought of God as self - revecding. We have^ 

already seen that Theism can only be secured if God is 

thought of as standing in a living relation to mankind — that 

is, as interesting Himself in their welfare, and capable of 

entering into moral and spiritual fellowship with them. 

How can one earnestly believe in a living, personal God, \ 

and, on the other hand, in man, as a being constituted for 

moral ends, and not also believe that it is the will of God 

that man should know Him, and be guided by Him to the 

fulfilment of his destiny ? It is, accordingly, a most note- ^ 

worthy fact, that in all the higher theology of the time — 

even rationalistic theology — the attempt is made to come to a 

right understanding with this concept of Eevelation. Strange General recog- 

as it may sound to many, there is no proposition on which ^''*f^ '" 

theologians of all schools at the present day are more willing systems of 

to agree than this — that all knowledge of God, and con- '^^ idea of 


sequently all religion, rests on Bevelation ; and that, if the 
true idea of God is to be maintained. He must be thought of 
as self - revealing. This truth is emphasised, not in the 
orthodox systems alone, but in the theologies, «.^., of Bieder- 
mann, of lipsius, of Pfleiderer, of Kitschl-— even, as I said 
before, of the pessimist Hartmann, who, in his book on 

^ Hegelianum a/nd PerBonality, pp. 222-224. Mr. Green's theory is discussed 
more fiilly in Professor Yeitch's Knovoing and Being, which touches many vital 
pointsL Cf. Lect. III.— Note D. 


religion, has, with curious irony, his chapters on faith and 

Revelation. The point of difference arises when we inquire 

into the nature of Bevelation, and specially when we pass 

from the sphere of natural to that of supernatural Revelation. 

Modem theory Supernatural Revelation the theologians of the liberal school 

^^a/^~ — Pfleiderer, Lipsius, etc.— will not allow us to speak of ; or 

supernatural rather, natural and supernatural are with them but different 

different sides gj jgg ^f ^^ same proccss. That which, on the Divine side, 

of the sante 

process. 18 vicwcd as Rcvclation, is, on the human side, simply the 

natural development of man*s moral and religious conscious- 
ness, and vice versd. In the same way, every truly original 
moment in the life of a man, every birth-moment of a new 
truth in his soul, every flash of insight into some new secret 
or law of nature, is a Revelation. This, which is the subtlest 
view of Revelation at present in the field, is not to be set 
aside without an attempt to do justice to what is true in it.^ 
I am, for my part, not concerned to deny that there is a side of 
truth, and a very important one, in this theory. If it sounds 
deistical to say, ''Revelation is only through the natural 
activities of mind," it may, on the other hand, be a whole- 
some corrective to a deistic view to say that €rod is immanent 
in these activities, and that through them He mediates His 
Revelation to the human spirit — that what we call the 
" natural " development of mind involves, when rightly under- 
stood, a factor of Revelation. Nor can the line ever be drawn 
so finely between natural and supernatural Revelation as to 
enable us to say, " Here precisely the natural ends and the 
Inadequacy oj^ Supernatural begins." The theory in question, therefore, I 
^itsenddoes^ would be disposcd to Call inadequate, rather than false ; or 
not correspond false Only as it professcs to cover the whole field of Revelation. 
with its -p^j, jj^ ^jj^ latter, it must be contended that we have more 


than can be accounted for by mere natural development. 
Taking it even on its own ground, this theory involves the 

^ Cf. on this theory Biedennann, Christ. Dogmatik, i. pp. 264-288 ; Lipsius, 
DogmcUik, pp. 41-68 ; Pfleiderer, BeligionsphiloBOphie, iv. pp, 46-94, specially 
pp. 64-76 (Eng. trans.), and OrwidrUa, pp. 17-22. See Note M. — Modem 
Theory of ReveUtion. 


Yaloable admission that it is the will of God to make Himself ^ 

known to man, and that He has provided in the constitution 

of things for giving him the knowledge that is necessary for 

him. The only criticism I shall make at present upon this 

tbeoiy 19 — and I think it is one which goes to the heart of 

the matter — ^that in some sense the end of the theory is the 

refutation of the beginning of it. The point from which we 

start is, that God can be known only through the natural 

activities of the mind. He is present in these activities as 

He is present in all the other functions of our mental, moral, 

and even physical being ; and He is present in no other way. 

Bat the peculiarity of this theory is that it ends in a view of 

God which afiirms the possibility of that with the denial of 

which it set out — ^the possibility of direct communion between The God of 

God and the souL It is not disputed by any of the advocatesv"'^ ^ . 

* ^ ^ dtreci access to 

of these views that the highest point in this self-revelation of the souls of 

God is the Eevelation given to men through Jesus Christ. *"^'** 

But the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not a 

Being who communicates with man only in the indirect way 

which this theory supposes. He is a Being who Himself 

draws near to man, and seeks fellowship with him ; whose 

relations with the spirits He has made are free and personal ; 

who is as lovingly communicative as man, on his part, is 

expected to be trustfully receptive ; to whom man can speak, 

and He answers. The simply natural is here transcended, 

and we are in the region of direct intercourse of spirit with ^ 

spirit. And this view of God is not disputed by the writers 

I am here referring to, who deny supernatural Bevelation. 

Dr. Martineau says, in words of deep wisdom, " How should Martimau 

related spirits, joined by a common creative aim, intent on <^^^^^^^^^' 

whatever things are pure and good, live in presence of each 

other, the one the bestower, the other the recipient of a sacred 

trnst, and exchange no thought and give no sign of the love 

which subsists between them ? " ^ Pfleiderer again says, "And 

^ Bitady of Bdigion, ii. p. 48. Gf. the following sentences from his Hours of 
r/totiyAf:—** Whatever else may be included in the truth that *God is a Spirit,' 


/ why should it be less possible for God to enter into a loving 
fellowship with us, than for men to do so with each other ? 
I should be inclined to think that He is even more capable 
of doing so. For as no man can altogether read the soul of 
another, so no man can altogether live in the soul of another ; 
hence all our human love is and remains imperfect But if 
we are shut off from one another by the limits of individu- 
ality, in relation to God it is not so ; to Him our hearts are 
as open as each man's own heart is to himself; He sees 
through and through them, and He desires to live in them, 
and to fill them with His own sacred energy and blessedness."^ 
True, why not ? But if this is admitted, what becomes of 
the theory that the action of God in Eevelation is necessarily 
bound up within the limits of strict natural law ? If the 
gates of intercourse are thus open between the human soul 
and God, is it either natural or probable that God will not 
enter in at them, and that, instead of leaving men simply to 
feel after Him, if haply they may find Him, He will not at 
some point give them what supernatural light and aid they 
need to bring them to the true knowledge of Himself, and fit 
them for the attainment of the highest ends of their existence ? 
Certainly, in light of the above admissions, no d priori objec- 
\ tion can be raised to the principle of supernatural Bevelation. 
Outcome of The legitimate outcome of this theory is, that in addition 

this ^^ory-- ^ general Eevelation through reason, conscience, and nature, 

an expectatum ® o « » > 

R^elat on ^^ ** ^®*** ^ implied, that He is free to modify His relations to all dependent 
minds in exact conformity with their changes of disposition and of need, and 
let the lights and shadows of His look move as swiftly as the undulating wills 
on which they falL" — ii. p. 29. 

''Passing by this poor mockery, I would be understood to speak of a direct 
and natural communion of spirit with spirit, between ourselves and God, in 
which He receives our affection and gives a responsive breathing of His 
inspiration. Such communion appears to me as certain of reality 83 the daily 
intercourse between man and man ; resting upon evidence as positive, and 
declaring itself by results as marked. The disposition to throw doubt on the 
testimony of those who affirm that they know this is a groundless prejudice, 
an illusion on the negative side as complete as the most positive dreams of 
enthusiasm." — P. 224. 

1 BdigUmtphUoaophiej ill. p. 805 (Eng. trans.). See Note ^.—The Reason- 
ableness of Revelation. 


there is to be expected some special Eevelation; and even 

this, in a certain way, is admitted, for it is conceded bj nearly 

all the writers I have named, that in the providential plan of 

the world a peculiar function was assigned to Israel ; that, as TTie vocation 

the different nations of the world have their several provi- ^tl^-V^T 

*^ Christ the 

dential tasks (Greece — art, culture, philosophy ; Bome — law, highest 
government, etc.), to Israel was given the task of developing ^'^^^^^ 
the idea of God to its highest perfection in ethical Mono- 
theism.^ And, finally, it is conceded that this self-revelation 
of God reaches its culmination in Jesus Christ, whose Person 
has world-historical significance, as bearing in it the principle 
of the perfect relation between God and man — of the absolute 
religious relation.^ The line between natural and super- 
natural Revelation is here, surely, becoming very thin ; and it 
is therefore, perhaps, not greatly to be wondered at that the 
latest school in German theology — that of Bitschl — should Return to 
take the short remaining step, and be marked by precisely -^^'^TTt' 
this tendency to lay stress on the need and reality of positive ofRitschL 
Bevelation. The general position of this school may be fairly 
summed up by saying that God can only be truly known to 
us by personal, positive Eevelation, in which he actually enters 
into historical relations with mankind ; and that this Bevela- 
tion has been given in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ 
Through this Bevelation alone, but in it perfectly, we have 
the true knowledge of God's character, of His world-aim in 
the establishing of a kingdom of God on earth, and of His 
gracious will of forgiveness and love.* Whatever theory of 
Bevelation we adopt, Jesus Christ must be pronounced to be 
the highest organ of it. On this point all deep and serious 
thinkers of our age may be held to be agreed. Thus, then, 
we are brought back to Christ, are led to recognise in Him 
the medium of a true Bevelation ; and it only remains to ask, 

^ Thus, «.g., Euenen, WeUhausen, Pfleiderer, Martineau {Stal qf Authority ^ 
pp. 116-122). 

' This if the general poeition of the higher class of theologians, of whatever 

* See Xote M. — The Bitschlian Doctrine of Revelation. 


What do the facts of this Eevelation, and of Christ's own self- 
testimony, properly construed imply ? We have already seen 
what the verdict of history is on this point, to what alter- 
natives it shuts us up in our treatment of this subject. We 
shall afterwards see by examination of the facts themselves 
how this verdict is justified. 
Summary— To sum up, WO havc sccn that two movements are to be 
Theistic belief (jiscemed in history : the one a downward movement leading; 

leads up id ^ ^ 

belief in eiWBj from Christ, and resulting from the denial of, or 

CArisi, and tampering with. His full Divinity ; the other, an upward 

can only secure . « i i. i <■ 

itself through niovcment, retractmg the stages of the earlier descent, and 
''^* bringing us back to the confession of Thomas, '' My Lord and 

my God." ^ The former movement ends in the gulf of Nihilism 
and Pessimism ; the latter begins from the impossibility of 
the mind abiding permanently m the denial of a rational 
basis for the universa But here, as in the downward move- 
ment, the logic of history asserts- itself. Belief in a rational 
basis of the universe can only secure itself through return to 
Theism ; a living Theism can only secure itself through belief 
in God as self -revealing ; belief in Revelation leads historically 
to the recognition of Christ as the highest organ of God's 
self-revelation to mankind ; belief in Christ as Kevealer can 
only secure itself through belief in His Divinity. ** Ye 
believe in God," said Jesus ; " believe also in Me."^ Belief in 
God — theistic belief — presses on to belief in Christ, and can 
only secure itself through it. On the other hand, belief in 
Christ is the legitimate outcome of belief in God. The two 
beliefs, as history demonstrates, stand or fall together. 

^ John XX. 28. * John xiv. 1. 



All the writers on Pessimism dwell on the strangeness ol Prevalence of 
the fact that a century like our own, so marked by mental ^^^^^^^^* 
and material progress, by vigour and enterprise, should witness 
a revival of this gospel of despair;^ and bear emphatic 
testimony to the breadth aud depth of the influence which 
the pessimistic systems are exercising. Apart, however, from 
the definite acceptance of Pessimism as a creed, it is instruct- 
ive to note the many indications which literature affords of 
the sad and hopeless spirit which seems the necessary out- 
come of the surrender of religious faith. A few illustrations 
of this Pessimism of scepticism, culled almost at random, will 
perhaps not be out of place. 

Voltaire was not happy. Dr. Cairns writes regarding Pessimism of 
him : " How Httle he himself was contented with his own -^^'f 'f"'" • 


results appears in the gloom shed over his later writings. 
It is not in Candide alone, but in others of them that this 
sadness comes to light. Thus, in his dialogue, ' Les Louanges 
de. Dieu,' the doubter almost carries it over the adorer, 
' Strike out a few sages, and the crowd of human beings is 
nothing but a horrible assemblage of unfortunate criminals, 
and the globe contains nothing but corpses. I tremble to 
have to complain once more of the Being of beings, in casting 
an attentive eye over this terrible picture. I wish I had 
never been born.* . . . Thus the last utterance of Voltaire's 
system is a groan." « 

^ See p. 66. ' Cairns' UnUlitfin the SighUenth Century, p. 141. 






A deep pessimism lurked in the background of the genial 
optimism of Goethe. Thus he expresses himself in conversa- 
tion with Eckermann, " I have ever been esteemed one of 
fortune's chiefest favourites ; nor will I complain or find fault 
with the course my life has taken. Yet truly there has 
been nothing but toil and care ; and I may say that in all 
my seventy-five years I have never had a month of genuine 
comfort. It has been the perpetual rolling of a stone which 
I have always had to raise anew." His views of the future 
of the race were not hopefuL " Men will become more clever 
and more acute, but not better, happier, and stronger in 
action, or at least only at epochs. I foresee the time when 
God will have no more joy in them, but will break up every- 
thing for a renewed creation." ^ There are numerous such 

Benan writes in the preface to his recently published 
work, Th6 Future of Science, originally composed in the years 
1848-49 — ^"To sum up; if, through the constant labour of 
the nineteenth century, the knowledge of facts* has consider- 
ably increased, the destiny of mankind has on the other hand 
become more obscure than ever. The serious thing is that 
we fail to perfieive a means of providing humanity in the 
future with a catechism that will be acceptable henceforth, 
except on the condition of returning to a state of credulity. 
Hence it is possible that the ruin of idealistic beliefs may 
be fated to follow hard upon the ruin of supernatural beliefs, 
and that the real abasement of the morality of humanity will 
date from the day it has seen the reality of things. . . . 
Candidly speaking, I fail to see how, without the ancient 
dreams, the foundations of a happy and noble life are to be 
relaid." « 

^ Eckermann's Conversations of OoetJie, pp. 58, 345 (Eng. trans.). Cf. Lichten- 
berger's Oerman Thought in the Nineteenth Century, p. 269 (Eng. trans.) ; 
Martensen's Christian Ethics, pp. 172, 8; and art " Neo-Paganism," in 
Quarterly Review, April 1891. 

* VAvt:nir de la Science, Preface (Eng. trans.). Elsewhere Renan has said, 
** We are living on the perfume of an empty vase." 


The late Professor Clifford is quoted as saying, " It cannot Professor 
be doubted that the theistic belief is a comfort to those who '^'^ ' 
hold it, and that the loss of it is a very painful loss. It 
cannot be doubted, at least by many of us in this generation, 
who either profess it now, or have received it in our childhood, 
and have parted from it since with such searching trouble as 
only cradle-faiths can cause. We have seen the spring 
son shine out of an empty heaven to light up a soulless 
earth; -we have felt with utter loneliness that the Great 
Companion is dead." ^ 

Professor Seeley, in the close of his work on Natural Professor 
Bdigian, thus sums up : " When the supernatural does not ^' 
come in to overwhelm the natural, and turn life upside down, 
when it is admitted that religion deals in the first instance 
with the known and natural, then we may well begin to 
doubt whether the known and the natural can suffice for 
human life. No sooner do we try to think so than Pessimism 
raises its head. The more our thoughts widen and deepen, 
as the universe grows upon us and we become accustomed to 
boundless space and time, the more petrifying is the contrast 
of our own insignificance, the more contemptible become the 
pettiness, shortness, fragility of the individual life. A moral 
paralysis creeps over us. For a while we comfort ourselves 
with the notion of self-sacrifice ; we say. What matter if I 
pass, let me think of others ! But the other has become con- 
temptible no less than the self ; all human griefs alike seem 
little worth assuaging, human happiness too paltry at the 
best to be worth increasing. . . . The affections die away in 
a world where everything great and enduring is cold ; they 
die of their own conscious feebleness and bootlessnesa " ^ 

Of similar purport is a passage often quoted from A Candid '* Physicus " 
ExamiTuUion of Theism by " Physicus." " Forasmuch," this ^exJuII^L 
writer says, " as I am far from being able to agree with those of Theism:' 
who affirm that the twilight doctrine of ' the new faith ' is 

^ Quoted in Harris's Stlf-Rtvelation of God, p. 404. 
» Natural Religion, pp. 2C1, 262. 


a desirable substitute for the waning splendour of ' the old/ 
I am not ashamed to confess that^ ,with this virtual negation 
of God, the universe to me has lost its soul of loveliness ; 
and although from henceforth the precept ' to work while it 
is day ' will doubtless but gain an intensiBed force from the 
terribly intensified meaning of the words, ' The night cometh 
when no man can work/ yet, when at times I think, as think 
at times I must, of the appalling contrast between the 
hallowed glory of that creed which once was mine, and the 
lonely mystery of existence as I now find it, at such times I 
shall ever feel it impossible to avoid the sharpest pang of 
which my nature is susceptible. For, whether it be due to 
my intelligence not being sufficiently advanced to meet the 
requirements of the age, or whether it be due to the memory of 
those sacred associations which to me, at least, were the sweetest 
that life has given, I cannot but feel that for me, and for 
others who think as I do, there is a dreadful truth in those 
words of Hamilton, — philosophy having become a meditation 
not merely of death, but of annihilation, the precept hrutv) 
thysdfhBA become transformed into the terrible oracle to 
(Edipus, ' Mayest thou ne'er know the truth of what thou 
art/ " 1 
Theodore Theodorc JouflFroy, the French philosopher, wrote : " Never 

jouffroy, gjjgji I forget the December evening when the veil which hid 
my unbelief from mine own eyes was torn away. • . . The 
hours of the night glided away, and I perceived it not ; I 
anxiously followed my thought, which descended step by step 
to the bottom of my consciousness, and dissipating one after 
another edl the illusions which till then had hid them from 
my view, rendered its subterfuges more and more visible to 
me. In vain I clung to my last beliefs, as a shipwrecked 
sailor to the fragments of his ship ; in vain, terrified by the 
unknown waste in which I was about to float, I threw myself 
back once more upon my childhood, my family, my country, 
aU that was dear and sacred to me ; the inflexible current of 

» P. 114. 


my thought was the stronger; parents, family, memories, 
beliefs — ^it forced me to leave all. This examination became 
more obstinate and more severe as it approached the end ; 
nor did it stop till the end was reached. I knew then that 
at the bottom of myself there was nothing left standing, that 
all I had believed about myself, about God, and about my 
destiny in this life and in that to come, I now believed 
no more. This moment was frightful; and when, towards 
morning, I threw myself exhausted upon my bed, it seemed 
to me as if I could feel my former life, so cheerful and com- 
plete, die away, and before me there opened up another life, 
dark and dispeopled, where henceforth I was to live alone, 
alone with my fatal thought which had just exiled me thither, 
and which I was tempted to curse." ^ 

Here is Professor Huxley's estimate of human progress : — Professor 
"I know," he says, "no study which is so unutterably ^*«^'^- 
saddening as that of the evolution of humanity, as it is set 
forth in the annals of history. Out of the darkness of pre- 
historic ages man emerges with the marks of his lowly origin 
strong upon him. He is a brute, only more intelligent than 
the other brutes ; a blind prey to impulses which as often as 
not lead him to destruction; a victim to endless illusions, 
which make his mental existence a terror and a burden, and 
fill his physical life with barren toil and battle. He attains 
a certain degree of physical comfort, and develops a more or 
less workable theory of Ufe, in such favourable situations as 
the plains of Mesopotamia or of Egypt, and then, for thousands 
and thousands of years, struggles with varying fortunes, 
attended by infinite wickedness, bloodshed, and misery, to 
maintain himself at this point against the greed and ambition 
of his fellow-men. He makes a point of killing and other- 
wise persecuting aU those who first try to get him to move 
on ; and when he has moved on a step foolishly confers post- 
mortem deification on his victims. He exactly repeats the 

' Ia» Nouceaux Milangea PhUoMphiquea, by Theodore Jouffroy, pp. 112-115 
(cf. IfaviUe's " Christ," p. 16). 


process with all who want to move a step yet farther. And 
the best men of the best epochs are simply those who make 
the fewest blunders, and commit the fewest sins."^ The 
passage is in protest against the Positivist ''worship of 

In further illustration of the Pessimism of scepticism, I 
may refer to two instructive magazine articles — one by 
Laveieye and Emile de Lavclcyc on " The Future of Eeligion," in The Con- 
^^^^' temporary Review for July 1888; and the other by Mr. 

F. W. H, Myers on " The Disenchantment of France," in TIw 
Nineteenth Century for May 1888. To quote only a sentence 
or two, M. Laveieye remarks: — "It seems as if humanity 
could not exist without religion as a spiritual atmosphere, 
and we see that as this decreases, despair and Pessimism take 
hold of minds thus deprived of solace. Madame Ackerman 
well expresses this in some lines addressed to Faith, in which 
she writes : — 

Madapte * £h bien, nous rexpnlsons de tea dirins royaames, 

Ackerman, Dominatrioe ardente, et rinstant est vena ; 

Tu ne vas plus savoir oh loger tea fantdmes. 

Nous fermons rinconnu I 
Mais ton triomphateur expiera ta defiiite, 
L'homme d^j& se trouble et, vainqueur ^perdu, 
II se sent rnin^ par sa propre conqu^te ; 
En te d^poss^ant nous avons tout perdu. 
Nous restons sans espoir, sans recours, sans asile, 
Tandis qu' obstin^ment le d&ir qu'on exile 
Revient errer autour du gouffre d^fendu.' 

Incurable sadness takes hold of the man who has no hope 
of anything better than this life, short as it is, and over- 
whelmed with trials of all kinds, where iniquity triumphs if 

^ "Agnosticism," by Professor Huxley, in Nineteenth Cemlury, Feb. 1889, 
pp. 191, 192. Mr.Mallock, in his Is Life Worth Living ? (pp. 128, 171, 172), 
quotes other striking sentences of Professor Huxley's. " The lover of moral 
beauty," he says, " struggling through, a world of sorrow and sin, is surely as 
much the stronger for believing that sooner or later a vision of perfect peace 
and goodness will burst upon him, as the toiler up a mountain for tbe belief 
that beyond crag and snow lie home and rest." And he adds that, could a 
faith like this be placed on a firm basis, mankind would cling to it as 
" tenaciously as ever drowning sailor did to a hencoop." 


it have but force on its side, and where men risk their lives 
in disputes mth each other for a place where there is too 
little space for all, and the means of subsistence are wholly 
insufficient. Some German colonies have been founded in 
America^ in which all sorts of Divine worship are proscribed ; 
those who have visited them describe the colouists, the women 
especially, as appearing exceedingly sad. Life with no hope 
in the future loses its savour." ^ 

Mr. Myers' article on the progress of disillu^ionmetU in Disillusion' 
France, "to use the phrase of commonest recurrence iii^^^J* 
modem French literature and speech/' is one fitted to open 
many eyes as to the inevitable drift of unbelief to Pessimism. 
In 1788 France possessed illusions and nothing else — ^"the 
reign of reason, the return to nature, the social contract, 
liberty, equality, fraternity, — the whole air of that wild 
time buzzed with new-hatched chimeras"; in 1888 France 
possesses everything except illusions; and the end is "the 
vague but general sense of malaise or decadence, which 
permeates so much of modem French literature and life," and 
of which abundant illustrations are given. Not the least 
striking of these is a passage from Emile Littr^, the om^ EmiU LittrL 
enthusiastic Comtist, who likens his own final mood to that 
of the Trojan women who porUnm adspedahant JUntes ! " Fit 
epigraph," says Mr. Myers, " for a race who have fallen from 
hope, on whose ears the waves' world-old message still 
murmurs without a meaning ; while the familiar landmarks 
fall back into shadow, and there is nothing but the sea." * 

These illustrations, which might be multiplied indefinitely, suily, 
sufficiently confirm the words of Mr. Sully in his work on 
Pessimism ^ — " I ain keenly alive to the fact that our scheme 
of individual happiness, even when taken as including the 
good of others now living and to live is no perfect substitute 
for the idea of eternal happiness presented in religion. 

1 Contemporary Beview, vol. xiv. p. 6. A large number of illustrationfl from 
French poetry may be aeen in Caro's ProbUmes de MoraU SocicUe, pp. 851-880. 
Cf. alBo the article next referred to on *• The Diaenchantment of France." 

« Nineteenth Ceniury, May 1888, p. 676. » FeseimUm, p. 817. 


Nobody, I imagine, would seriously contend that the aims of 
our limited earthly existence, even when our imagination 
embraces generations to follow us, are of so inspiring a 
character as the objects presented by religion. . . . Into the 
reality of these religious beliefs I do not here enter. I would 
only say that if men are to abandon all hope of a future life, 
the loss in point of cheering and sustaining influence, will be 
a vast one, and one not to be made good, so far as I can see, 
by any new idea of services to collective humanity." 


^e ^tisstit postulate of ^t Cfitiistian Vitia. 

" For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are 
clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even His 
everlasting power and Divinity, that they may be without excuse." — Paul. 

*< Let us begin, then, by asking whether all this which they call the 
universe is left to the guidance of an irrational and random chance, or, on 
the contrary, as our fathers declared, is ordered and governed by a mar- 
vellous intelligence and wisdom." — Plato. 

" It is easy for the fool, especially the learned and scientific fool, to 
prove that there is no God, but like the murmuring sea, which heeds not 
the scream of wandering birds, the soul of humanity murmurs for God, 
and confutes the erudite folly of the fool by disregarding it." — J. Service. 

"It is in the moments when we are best that we believe in Gk>d." — 

" Atheism is the most irrational form of theology." — Comtb. 

" I have noticed, during years of self-observation, that it is not in hours 
of clearness and vigour that this doctrine (Material Atheism) commends 
itself to my mind ; that in the presence of stronger and healthier 
thought it ever dissolves and disappears, as affording no solution of the 
mystery in which we dwell, and of which we form a part."— Ttndall. 



Ix entering on the task of unfolding the Christian view of Christianity 
the world under its positive aspects, and of considering its * ^^^^ 
relations to modem thought, I hegin where religion itself 
begins, with the existence of God. Christianity is a theistic 
system; this is its first postulate — the personal, ethical, 
self-revealing God. 

Yolkmar has remarked that of monotheistic religions there Only three 
are only three in the world— the IsraeUtish, the Christian, ^f^'^''^ 
and the Mohammedan ; and the last-named is derived from 
the other two. " So," he adds, " is the ' Israel of God ' the 
one truly religious, the religiously-select, people of antiquity ; 
and ancient Israel remains for each worshipper of the one, 
therefore of the true God, who alone is worthy of the name, 
the classical people. . . . Christianity is the blossom and 
fruit of the true worship of God in Israel, which has become 
such for all mankind." ^ This limitation of Monotheism in 
religion to the peoples who have benefited by the Biblical 
teaching on this subject suggests its origin from a higher 
than human source ; and refutes the contention of those 
who would persuade us that the monotheistic idea is the 
result of a long process of development through which the 
race necessarily passes, beginning with Fetishism, or perhaps 
Ghost worship, mounting to Polytheism, and ultimately sub- 
suming the multitude of Divine powers under one all-con- 
trolling wilL It will be time enough to accept this theory 

^ Jt8u» Naaarenu8f p. 6. 


when, outside the line of the Biblical development, a single 

nation can be pointed to which has gone through these stages, 

and reached this goal.^ 

Thtism in- I should like further at the outset to direct attention to 

voices a super- ^YiQ fact that, in afl&rming the existence of (Jod as Theism 

natural view ' ° 

of the world, apprehends Him, we have already taken a great step into the 
supernatural, a step which should make many others easy. 
Many speak glibly of the denial of the supernatural, who 
never realise how much of the supernatural they have already 
admitted in affirming the existence of a personal, wise, holy, 
and beneficent Author of the universe. They may deny 
supernatural actions in the sense of miracles, but they have 
affirmed supernatural Being on a scale and in a degree which 
casts supernatural action quite into the shade. If God is a 
reality, the whole universe rests on a supernatural basia A 
supernatural presence pervades it ; a supernatural power 
sustains it; a supernatural will operates in its forces; a 
supernatural wisdom appoints its ends. The whole visible 
order of things rests on another, — an unseen, spiritual, super- 
natural order, — and is the symbol, the manifestation, the 
Bevelation of it. It is therefore only to be expected that the 
feeling should grow increasingly in the minds of thoughtful 
men, that if this supernatural basis of the universe is to be 
acknowledged, a gr^t deal more must be admitted besides. 
On the other hand, if the opposition to the supernatural is to 
be carried out to its logical issue, it must not stop with the 
denial of miracle, but must extend to the whole theistic con- 
ception. This is the secret of the intimate connection which 
I showed in last Lecture to exist between the idea of Ood and 
the idea of Bevelation. A genuine Theism can never long 
remain a bare Theism. At the height to which Christianity has 
raised our thoughts of God, it is becoming constantly more 
difficult for minds that reflect seriously to believe in a God 
who does not manifest himself in word and deed. This is 
well brought out in a memorable conversation which Mr. 

^ See Note A. — Primitiye Fetishism and Ghost Worship. 


Froude had with Mr. Carlyle in the last days of his life. " I Froude and 
once said to him," says Mr. Fronde, " not long before his ^^^ '" 
death, that I could only believe in a God which AH some* 
thing. With a cry of pain, which I shall never forget, he 
said, 'He does nothing.' " ^ This simply means that if we are 
to retain the idea of a living Gk>d we must be in earnest with 
it. We must believe in a God who expresses Himself in 
living deeds in the history of mankind, who has a word and 
message for manldnd, who, having the power and the will to 
bless mankind, does it Theism, as I contended before, needs 
Bevelation to complete it. 

Here, accordingly, it is, that the Christian view of God has The strength 
its strength against any conception of God based on mere ^•^^^^^^'f 
grounds of natural theology. It binds together, in the closest connection 
reciprocal relations, the two ideas of God and Revelation. '^^ ^^^^'^^ 
The Christian doctrine, while including all that the word 
Theism ordinarily covers, is much more than a doctrine of 
simple Theism. God, in the Christian view, is a Being who 
enters into the history of the world in the most living way. 
He is not only actively present in the material universe, — 
ordering, guiding, controlling it, — but He enters also in the 
most direct way into the course of human history, working 
in it in His general and special providence, and by a gradual 
and progressive Revelation, which is, at the same time, 
practical discipline and education, giving to man that 
knowledge of Himself by which he is enabled to attain 
the highest ends of his own existence, and to co-operate 
freely in the carrying out of Divine ends; above all, dis- 
covering Himself as the God of Redemption, who, full of long- 
suffering and mercy,, executes in loving deeds, and at infinite 
sacrifice. His gracious purpose for the salvation of mankind. 
The Christian view of God is thus bound up with all 
the remaining elements of the Christian system — with the 
idea of Revelation in Christ, with a kingdom of God to 
be realised through Christ, with Redemption from sin in 

1 See the whole passage in Froude's CariyU, ii. pp. 258-263. 



Chrisfs teach- 
ing embraces 
the affirma- 
tions of a com- 
plete Theism, 

The absolute- 
ness of God, 

The natural 

Christ, — and it is inseparable from them. It is through 
these elements — not in its abstract character as Theism — 
that it takes the hold it does on the living convictions of 
men, and is felt by them to be something real If I under- 
take to defend Theism, it is not Theism in dissociation from 
Bevelation, but Theism as completed in the entire Christian 

It is scarcely necessary that I should prove that Christ's 
teaching about God embraces all the affirmations commonly 
understood to be implied in a complete Theism. Christ's 
doctrine of the Father is, indeed, entirely unmetaphysicaL 
We meet with no terms such as absolute, infinite, uncon- 
ditioned, first cause, eta, with which the student of philo- 
sophy is familiar. Yet all that these terms imply is 
undeniably recognised by Jesus in His teaching about God. 
He takes up into His teaching — as the apostles likewise do — 
all the natural truth about God ; He takes up all the truth 
about God's being, character, perfections, and relations to the 
world and man, already given in the Old Testament God, 
with Jesus, is unquestionably the sole and supreme source of 
existence; He by whom all things were created, and on 
whom all things depend ; the Lord of heaven and earth, 
whose power and rule embrace the smallest as well as the 
greatest events of Uf e ; the Eternal One, who sees the end 
from the beginning, and whose vast counsels hold in their 
grasp the issues of all things. The attributes of God are 
similarly dealt with. They are never made by Christ the 
subject of formal discourse, are never treated of for their own 
sakes, or in their metaphysical relations. They come into 
view solely in their religious relations. Yet no one will 
dispute that all the attributes involved in the highest theistic 
conception — eternity, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, 
and the like — are implied in His teaching. God, in Christ's 
view, is the all-wise, all-present, all-powerful Being, at 
once infinitely exalted above the world, yet active in every 
part of it, from whose eyes, seeing in secret, nothing can be 


hid, laying His plans in eternity, and unerringly carrying 
them ont. It is the peculiarity of Christ's teaching, how- 
ever, that the natural attributes are always viewed in sub- 
ordination to the moral. In respect of these, Christ's view ttu moral 
of God resembles that of the Old Testament in its union of '^^'^'^'' 
the two ideas of God's unapproachable majesty and elevation 
above the world as the infinitely Holy One ; and of His con- 
descending grace and continued action in history for the 
salvation and good of men. The two poles in the ethical 
perfection of God's character are with Him, as with the 
prophets of the old covenant, righteousness and love — the 
former embracing His truth, faithfulness, and justice; the 
latter His beneficence, compassion, long-suffering, and mercy. 
Bitschl, indeed, in his treatment of this subject, will recognise 
no attribute but love, and makes all the others, even the so- 
called physical attributes, but aspects of love. Bighteous- 
ness, e.g,j is but the self-consistency of God in carrying out His 
purposes of love, and connotes nothing judicial.^ Bighteous- 
ness, however, has its relatively independent place as an 
attribute of God in both Old and Kew Testaments, and 
cannot thus be set aside. It has reference to indefeasible 
distinctions of right and wrong — to moral norms, which even 
love must respect. Out of righteousness and love in the char- 
acter of God, again, issues wrath — another idea which modem 
thought tries to weaken, but which unquestionably holds an 
important place in the view of God given us by Christ. By 
wrath is meant the intense moral displeasure with which God 
regards sin — ^His holy abhorrence of it — and the punitive 
energy of His nature which He puts forth against it. So 
regarded, it is not opposed to love, but on the contrary 
derives its chief intensity from the presence of love, and is a 
necessary element in the character of an ethically perfect 
Being.^ While, however, Christ's teaching about the character 

* Cf. his Rtckt, and Vera. ii. pp. 102-112. 

* Cf. on the Divine Wrath, Principal Simon, The Redemption of Men , ch. v. 
Dale on The Aionement, Lecture YIII. ; Lux Mundi, pp. 285-289. 



of God is grounded on that of the Old Testament, yet in the 
purity and perfection with which He apprehends this ethical 
perfection of God, — above all, in the new light in which He 
places it by His transforming conception of the Divine 
Fatherhood, we feel that we are carried far beyond the stage 
of the Old Testament Gk)d, as ethical Personality, is viewed 
by Christ — First, as in Himself the absolutely good One — 
'' There is none good but one, that is, God ; " ^ ucond, as the 
perfect Archetype of goodness for man's imitation — ^^ Be ye 
therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is 
perfect;"^ third, as the moral Will binding the universe 
together, and prescribing the law of conduct — "Thy will 
be done in earth, as it is in heaven " ; * but, fourth, pre- 
eminently as the Father, It is in the name Father, as 
expressive of a special loving and gracious relation to the 
individual members of His kingdom, that Christ's doctrine 
of God specially sums itself up. The Old Testament knew 
God as the Father of the nation ; Christ knew Him as the 
Father of the individual soul, begotten by Him to a new life, 
and standing to Him in a new moral and spiritual relation, 
OS a member of the kingdom of His Son. 

This, then, without further delineation in detail, is the 
first postulate of Christianity — a God living, personal, ethical, 
—hmv related sclf-rcvealing, infinite. We have now to ask — How does 
to modem ^^^ postulate of the Christian view stand related to modem 
thought, and to the general religious consciousness of mankind ? 
How far is it corroborated or negated by modem thought ? 
What is the nature of the corroboration, and what the worth 
of the negation ? I shall consider the negation first. 

The Divine 

This first pos 
tulate of the 
Christian view 

/. Thenega- 
turn of the 


The Agnostic 
negation — 
why so re- 

I. Dogmatic Atheism has not so many advocates — at least 
in this country — as at some former times ; but, instead, we 
have a wide prevalence of that new form of negation which 
is called Agnosticism. I have already referred to this as one 
of the alternatives to which the mind is driven in its denial 

1 Mark x. 18. « Matt. v. 48. ' Matt. vL 10. 


of the supematural view of Christ's Person ; but it is now 

necessary to consider it on its own merits. The thought may 

occur that this widespread phase of present day unbelief is 

not properly described as "negation/' seeing that all it 

aflSrms is, that it '' does not know." It does not say '' There 

is no God," but only that it does not know that there is one. 

Its ground is that of ignorance, lack of evidence, suspense of 

judgment — not positive deniaL This plea, however, is on 

various grounds inadmissible. It is certainly not the case 

that thorough-going, reasoned-out Agnosticism, as we have it, 

for example, in the works of Mr. Spencer, is simply the 

modest assertion that it does not know whether there is a 

God or not. It is the dogmatic affirmation, based on an 

examination of the nature and limits of human intelligence, 

that God— or in Mr. Spencer's phrase, the Power which 

manifests itself in consciousness and in the outward universe 

— \a unknowable.^ But in all its forms, even the mildest, 

Agnosticism is entitled to be regarded as a negation of the 

Christian view, for two reasons. Fvni, in affirming that God (0 // negaus 

is not, or cannot be, known, it directly negates, not only the ' . \^q^^ 

tniths of God's natural Bevelation, which Christianity pre- self-revealing. 

supposes, but the specific Christian assertion that God can be 

and is known through the series of His historical Bevelations, 

and supremely through His Son Jesus Christ. ''The only 

begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath 

^ Prof. Hoxleji the inventor of the term, has given us Aw explanation of it 

" Agnosticism," he says, '' in fact, is not a creed hat a method, the essence of 

which lies in the rigorons application of a single principle. . . . Positively, the 

principle may he thns expressed : in matters of the intellect^ foUow your reason 

as far aa it wiU take yon, without regard to any other consideration. And, 

n^atively, in matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are 

certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrahle. That I take to he the 

Agnostic faith, which, if a man keep whole and undeliled, he shall not he 

ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have iu store 

foir him." — " Agnostidsm," in NinUex^M. CeMury, Feb. 1889. This, however, 

is evidently not a *' fiaith," hut, as he says, a "method," which in its application 

may yield positive or negative results, as the case may he. Behind it, at the 

same time, lies, in his case, the conviction that real answers to the greater 

qu^tions of religion are "not merely actually impossible, but theoretically 

inconceivable."— /&W. p. 182. 



(2) The declared Him." ^ And, secovd^ if God exists, it is impossible 
^Oel^clS ^ ^^^ nature of things that there should not be evidence of 
evidence for His existence, and therefore the denial of such evidence is 
Gods existence actually tantamount to the denial of His existence. Why do 

tantamount to "^ ^ 

dental of His I saj this? It is bccausc the truth about God differs from 
existence, every other truth in just this respect, that if it is truth 
it must be capable of a certain measure of rational demon- 
stration. For God is not simply one Being among others. 
He is the necessary Being. He is the Being whose 
existence is necessarily involved in the existence of every 
other being. The whole universe, ourselves as part of it, 
stands in a relation of necessary dependence upon Him« 
God, therefore, is unlike every other being our thought can 
take account of. Other beings may exist, and we may have 
no evidence of their existence. But it is rationally incon- 
ceivable that such an all-comprehending Beality as we call 
God should exist, and that through Him the whole material 
and spiritual universe should come into being, and yet no 
trace be found connecting this universe with its Author — so 
vast an effect with its cause. If even man, for however short 
a space of time, sets foot on an uninhabited island, we expect, 
if we visit his retreat, to find some traces of his occupation. 
How much more, if this universe owes its existence to infinite 
wisdom and power, if God is unceasingly present and active 
in every part of it, must we expect to find evidence of the 
fact ? Therefore, I say that denial of aU evidence for God's 
existence is equivalent to the affirmation that there is no 
God If God is, thought must be able, nay is compelled, to 
take account of His existence. It must explore the rela- 
tions in which He stands to us and to the world. An 
obligation rests on it to do so. To think of, God is a duty 
of love, but it is also a task of scienca 
Mr. spence9^s Mr. Spencer is so far in agreement with the views just 

^nu^timat ®^P^^®^^ ^^^ t® maintains that our thought is compelled to 
reality or posit the existeucc of an absolute Being as the ground EUid 

^'''- » John i. 18. 


cause of the universe, though of the nature of this ultimate 
reality he holds that we can form no conception. The 
reason given is, that our minds, being finite and con- 
ditioned in their thinking, cannot form a conception of an 
existence which lies outside these conditions.^ The question, 
however, is pertinent — If the mind is thus hemmed up 
within the limits of its finitude, how does it get to know 
even that an Absolute exists ? Or if we can so far transcend 
the limits of our thought as to know that the Absolute 
exists — which is a disproof of the position that thought is 
restricted wholly to the finite — why may we not also have 
some knowledge of its nature ? It is not difficult to show 
that, in his endeavours to extricate himself from these 
difficulties, Mr. Spencer involves himself in a mass of self- The con- 
contradictiona He tells us, t,g.^ in every variety of phrase, lis view!^ 
that we cannot know the Absolute, but almost in the same 
breath he tells us that we have an idea of the Absolute which 
our minds are compelled to form,^ — that it is a positive, and 
not, as Sir William Hamilton and Mr. Mansel held, a merely 
negative conception,* — ^nay, that we have not only a conception, 
but a direct and immediate consciousness of this Absolute, 
blending itself with all our thoughts and feelings, and recog- 
nisable by us as such.^ Again, if we ask, What is meant by 
the Absolute ? it is defined as that which exists out of all 
relations, and for this reason the possibility of a knowledge of 

* Ct First Principles^, pp. 74, 76, 110. 
' First Priru^ples, p. 88. 

* First Principles, pp. 87-92. "Still more mauifest," he says, "will this 
tmth become when it is observed that our conception of the Relative itself dis- 
appears, if our conception of the Absolute is a pure negation. . . . What, then, 
becomes of the assertion that ' the Absolute is conceived merely by a negation 
of conceivabillty,' or as ' the mere absence of the conditions under which con- 
sciousness is poasible ) ' If the Non-relative or Absolute is present in thought 
only as a mere negation, then the relation between it and the Relative becomes 
unthinkable, because one of the terms of the relation is absent from conscious- 
ness. And if this relation is unthinkable, then is the Relative itself unthink- 
able, for want of its antithesis ; whence results the disappearance of all thought 
whatever."— P. 91. 

* First Principles, pp. 89, 91, 94-97. Cf. NinetetrUh Century, July 1884, 
p. 24. 


it is denied.^ But if we inquire further what ground we have 
for affirming the existence of such an Absolute, existing out 
of all relations, we find that the only ground alleged is the 
knowledge we have of it as standing in relations.^ For this, 
which Mr. Spencer names the Absolute, is simply the Infinite 
Power which he elsewhere tells us manifests itself in all that 
is — in nature and in consciousness — ^and is a constituent 
element in every idea we can form. The Absolute,. therefore, 
stands in relation to both matter and mind — has, so far as 
we can see, its very nature in that relation. It is not, it 
turns out, a Being which exists out of all relations, but 
rather, like the Christian God, a self - revealing Power, 
manifesting itself, if not directly yet indirectly, in its work- 
ings in the worlds of matter and of mind. How strange to 
speak of a Power thus continually manifesting itself in in- 
numerable ways, the consciousness of which, on Mr. Spencer's 
own showing,^ constantly wells up within us, as absolutely 
unknown or unknowable ! 
The ''In- But after all, as we by and by discover, this Inscrutable 

scrut<^^ Power of Mr. Spencer's is not absolutely unknowable. It 
Mr. spencer soon becomes apparent that there are quite a number of 
not, after all, affirmations we are able to make regarding it, some of them 

unknowable, • i . i o o 

almost of a theistic character. They are made, I admit, 
generally under a kind of protest,^ yet it is difficult to see 
why, if they are not seriously meant — ^if they do not convey 
some modicum of knowledge — they should be made at all. 
According to Mr. Spencer, this ultimate reality is a Power : it 
is a Force, the nearest analogue to which is our own will ;* it 

^ First PrindpUSf pp. 78, 79, 81. This is qualified in other places by siich 
phrases as " possible existence ont of all relation " (Mansel), and "of which no 
necessary relation can be predicated," pp. 39, 81. But this qualification seems 
unnecessary, for it is only as out of relation that by definition it is the 

^ Even in the passage above quoted, we have the cwUradictxo in adjecto of 
" the relation between it (t.e. the Non-Relative) and the Relatiye." — P. 91. 

' EccleaiaMkal Institutions, p. 839. 

^ E.g, EcelesiastUxU Institutions^ p. 843. 

^ First Principles, p. 189 ; cf. Ecclesiasticai Institutions^ p. 843. 

OF THE CHRISTIA:jS^VmW'/ ' ' ' .' : Vioi 

is infinite, it is eternal, it is omnipresent ; ^ it is an infinite 
and eternal Energy from which all things proceed ; ^ it is the 
Cause of the universe, standing to it in a relation similar to 
that of the creative power of the Christian conception.* 
^Numerous other statements might be quoted all more or less 
implying knowledge, — as, e.g., that "the Power manifested 
throughout the Universe distinguished as material, is the same 
Power which in ourselves wells up under the form of conscious- 
ness " ; while the " necessity we are under to think of the 
external energy in terms of the internal energy gives rather 
a spiritualistic than a materialistic aspect to the Universe/' ^ 
This, I take leave to say, so far from being Agnosticism, 
would more correctly be described as a qualified Gnosticism.* 
Mr. Spencer's so-called Agnosticism is not an agnostic system 
at all, but a system of non - material, or semi - spiritual 

^ First PrineipUSj p. 99. 

^ EceUsiasUcal IiutUttiums, p. 848. " But one truth," he says, *' must grow 
ever clearer — the truth that there is an Inscrutahle Existence everywhere mani- 
fested, to which he can neither find nor conceive either beginning or end. 
Amid the mysteries which become the more mysterious the more they are 
thought about, there will remain the one absolute certainty that he is ever in 
presence of one Infinite and Eternal Energy, from which all things proceed." 

' " I held at the outset, and continue to hold, that this Inscrutable Existence 
which science, in the last resort, is compelled to recognise as unreached by its 
deepest analysis of matter, motion, thought, and feeling, stands towards our 
general conception of things in substantially the same relation as does the 
Creative Power asserted by Theology."— ^ine^een/A Century, July 1884, p. 24. 
Mr. Spencer tells us that the words quoted in the last note were originally 
written — " one Infinite and Eternal Energy by which all things are created and 
sustained." — Ibid. p. 4. 

* Ecclesiastical InstituUons, pp, 839, 841. 

' Mr. Spencer, when pressed in controversy by Mr. Harrison, takes great 
pains to show how positive his conception of the "Unknowable" is. He is 
astonished that his opponent should assert that " none of the positive attributes 
which have ever been predicated of God can be used of this Energy"; maintains 
that, instead of being an Everlasting No, Agnosticism is '* an Everlasting Yea"; 
denies that i^ gnosticism is '* anything more than silent with respect to person- 
ality," seeing that " duty requires us neither to affirm nor deny personality " ; 
holds that the Unknowable is not an " All-nothingness " but the *' All-Being," 
reiterates that this Reality *' stands towards the universe and towards ourselves 
in the same relation as an anthropomorphic Creator was supposed to stand," and 
'* bears a like relation with it not only to human thought, but to human feeling," 
etc.— Nineteenth Century, July 1884, pp. 6-7, 25. Mr. Harrison has no diffi- 
culty in showing in what contradictions Mr. Spencer entangles himself by the 
use o( such language. — Ibid, Sept. pp. 358, 359. 

' * • . * • 

• • * m w ^ 

loz:^ : •/ • '• • • :?»3& TH'^ISTIC POSTULATE 

Pantheism. If we know all that these statements imply 
about the Absolute, there is no bar in principle to our know- 
ing a great deal more. A significant proof of this is the 
Development development which the system has received in the hands of 
b ^ Mr^^FUke ^^® ^^ ^^' Spcnccr's disciples, Mr. Fiske, who in his Cosmic 
info Theism. Philosophy^ and still more in his book on The Idea of God, 
has wrought it out into a kind of Theism. He discards the 
term "Unknowable," and writes: "It is enough to remind 
the reader that Deity is unknowable, just in so far as it is 
not manifested to consciousness through the phenomenal 
world ; knowable, just in so far as it is thus manifested ; 
unknowable, in so far as infinite and absolute ; knowable, in 
the order of its phenomenal manifestations ; knowable, in a 
a symbolic way, as the Power which is disclosed in every 
throb of the mighty rhythmic life of the universe ; knowable, 
as the eternal Source of a Moral Law, which is implicated 
with each action of our lives, and in obedience to which lies 
our only guaranty of the happiness which is incorruptible, and 
which neither inevitable misfortune nor unmerited obloquy 
can take away. Thus, though we may not by searching find 
out God, though we may not compass infinitude, or attain to 
absolute knowledge, we may at least know all that it concerns 
us to know, as intelligent and responsible beings." ^ 
The income It has not been left for Mr. Spencer to discover that, in 

^7^God^*^^' the depths of his absolute Being, as well as in the plentitude 
nised by Strip of the modcs of his revealed Being, there is that in God 
ture and Theo- ^^:^^ must always pass our Comprehension, — that in the 
present state of existence it is only very dimly and distantly, 
and by large use of "symbolic conceptions," that we can 
approximate to a right knowledge of God. This is a£Brmed 
in the Bible quite as strongly as it is by the agnostic philo- 
sophers. " Canst thou by searching find out God ? Canst 
thou find out the Almighty to perfection ? " * "0 the depth 
of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! how 
unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding 

1 Cosmic Philosophy^ ii. p. 470 ; Idea of God, Pref. p. 28. • Job xi. 7. 


outl"^ "Now I know in part"* In this sense we can 
speak of a Cbnstian Agnosticism.' This incomprehensi- 
bility, however, is held in Scripture to arise, not from 
any inherent or incnrable defect in the human faculties, 
but simply from the vastness of the object, in the know- 
ledge of which, nevertheless, the mind may continually be 
growing. The universe itself in its immeasurable extent 
vastly transcends our present powers of knowledge ; how 
much more the Author of the universe ! This, accordingly, 
i3 not the point we have in dispute with Mr. Spencer. The 
pomt is not whether, in the depths of His absolute existence, 
there is much in God that must remain unknown to us ; but 
whether Se cannot be known by us in His revealed relations 
to ourselves, and to the world of which we form a part ; 
whether these relations are not also in their measure a true 
expression of His nature and character, so that through them 
we come to know something of Him — even of His absolute 
Being — though we cannot know all? When, now, the 
Agnostic tells us that knowledge of this kind is impossible The Agnostic 
to us, see in what contradiction he lands himselt Here is ^!^^ ^, 

Gifd to be able 

a man who says — " I know nothing of God ; He is absolutely to affirm a 
beyond my ken; I cannot form the faintest conception qIV^^^^^^* 

^ cannot reveal 

what He i&^ And yet he knows so much about (jod as to Himself in re- 
be able to say beforehand that He cannot possibly enter into ^<^^«« 
relations with human beings by which He might become 
known to them. This is a proposition of which the Agnostic, 
on his own showing, can never have any evidence. If God is 
unknowable, how can we know this much about Him — that 
He cannot in any mode or form enter into relations with us 
by which He might be known ? Only on one supposition 
can this be maintained. If, indeed, as Mr. Spencer thinks, 

^ Rom. xi. 88. M Cor. xiu. 12. 

' "God," says Augustine, " is more truly thought than He is uttered, and 
existe more truly than He is thought."— Dc TrinitaU, Book vii. ch. 4. " Not 
the definitely-known God," says Professor Veitch, "not the unknown God, is 
our last word, far less the unknowable God, but the ever-to-be-known God." 
^Knowing and Beings p. 823. 


the nature of God and the intelligence of man are two things 
absolutely disparate, — ^if, as Spinoza said, to speak of God 
taking on Him the nature of man is as absurd as to speak of 
a circle taking on it the nature of the square,^ — then not 
only is God unknowable, but the whole Christian system is 
a 'priori ruled out of consideration. This, however, is a pro- 
position which can never be proved, and we have seen that 
the attempt to prove and work with it only entangled Mr. 
Spencer in a mass of difficulties. There is really, on his own 
principles, no reason why he should not admit the possibility 
of a relative knowledge of God, as true in its way as the 
knowledge which we have of space, time, matter, force, or 
cause, — all which notions, as well as that of the Absolute, he 
tells us are prolific of intellectual contradictions.^ Why, for 
instance, should we more hesitate to speak of God as Intel- 
ligence than to speak of Him as Power ; why shrink from 
attributing to Him the attribute of Personality any more 
than that of cause ?^ The whole objection, therefore, falls 
to the ground with the intellectual theory on which it is 
founded. For once grant that the nature of God and the 
intelligence of man are not thus foreign to each other, as 
Spencer supposes ; grant that man is made in the image of 
God, and bears in some measure His likeness — then man's 
mind is 'Mt wholly shut up within the limits of the finite — 
there is an absolute element in it, kindred with the absolute 
reason of God, and real knowledge both of God and of the 
nature of things without us is possible. 

IL Positive II. The a priori bar with which Agnosticism would block 
evidence for ^^ ^^j ^ ^y^^ knowledge of (Jod being thus removed, we 

[t^,"-^'"" may proceed to inquire how it stands with the theistic 
postulate of the Christian view, in respect of the positive 
evidence in its behalf. It has been shown that, if the 

^ Letter to Oldenburg, Epiat, xxi. » FirH Principles, pp. 159-171. 

' Of. FiBke, Idea qf Ood, Pref. p. 15 ; and Chapman's Pre-Organic Evolution, 
p. 254. 


Christian view be true, it must, up to a certain point, admit 
of verification bj reason. The doctrine of God's existence 
must be shown to be in accord with reason, and to be in 
harmony with and corroborated bj the facts of science and 
of the religious history of mankind. Science, indeed, has not 
for its object the determination of anything supernatural 
Yet in its inquiries — dealing as it does with laws and forces, 
and with the widest generalisations of experience — ^it must 
come to a point at which the questions with which religion 
and philosophy deal are forced upon it, and it has to take 
up some attitude to them. The facts which it brings to 
light, the interpretaticms which it gives of lihese facts, cannot 
but have some bearing on the hypotheses we form as to the 
ultimate cause of existence. If it does not cross the border- 
land, it at least brings us within sight of truths which do 
not lie within its proper sphere, and points the way to their 

1. I may begin with certain things in regard to which it is i. Concessions 
possible to claim a large measure of agreement. And — ttonary^thiio- 

(1) It may be assumed, with little fear of contradiction, sophy. 
that if the idea of God is to be entertained, it can only be in (i) The Mono- 
the form of Monotheism. The Agnostic will grant us this '^^ ''^ 

(uone tenaole, 

much. Whatever the Power is which works in the universe, 
it is one. *' As for Polytheism," says a writer in Lvx Mundi, 
" it has ceased to exist in the civilised world. Every theist 
is, by a rational necessity, a monotheist." ^ The Christian 
assumption of the unity and absoluteness of God — of the 
dependence of the created universe upon Him — ^is thus con- 

^ Lux Mundi, p. 59. J. S. Mill has said : " The reason then, why Mono- 
theism may be accepted as the representative of Theism in the abstract is not 
so much becanse it is the Theism of aU the more improved portions of the human 
race, as becanse it is the only Theism which can claim for itself any footing on 
scientific gronnd. £yexy other theory of the government of the universe 
by supernatural beings is inconsistent either with the carrying on of that 
government through a continual series of natural antecedents, according to fixed 
laws, or with the interdependence of each of these series upon all the rest, which 
are two of the most general results of science."— 2%ree Essays on Bdigion, 
p. 183. 


firmed. It is to be remembered that this truths preached 
as a last result of science and of the philosophy of evolution, 
is a first truth of the Biblical religion. It is the Bible, and 
the Bible alone, which has made Monotheism the possession 
of the world. The unity of God was declared on the soil of 
Israel long before science or philosophy had the means of 
declaring it.^ Through Christianity it has been made the 
possession of mankind. On the soil of paganism, we see 
reason struggling towards this idea, striking out partial 
glimpses of it, sometimes making wonderful approximations 
to it, but never in its own strength lifting itself clear away 
from Polytheism to the pure conception of the one spiritual 
God, such as we find it in Christianity, still less making this 
the foundation of a religion. It is through Christianity, not 
through philosophical speculation, that this truth has become 
the support of faith, a light to which the investigations of 
science themselves owe much, and a sustaining principle and 
power in the lives of men.* 
(2) The Power (2) This Powcr which the evolutionist requires us to 

In *theuZverse ^^^g^^® ^ ^^® origin of all things is. the source of a ratumal 
is the source order. This is a second fact about which there can be no 
o a rauonai (jigp^^jg^ There is a rational order and connection of things 
in the universe. Science is not only the means by which 
our knowledge of this order is extended, but it is itself a 
standing proof of the existence of this order. Science can 
only exist on the assumption that the world is not chaos but 
cosmos, — that there is unity, order, law, in it, — that it is a 
eoherent and consistent whole of things, construable through 
our intelligence, and capable of being expressed in forms of 
human speech. And the more carefully we examine the 
universe, we find that this is really its character. It is an 

^ See Note B. — Old Testament Monotheism. 

' Cf. Naville's Modem PhyHea — " The Philosophy of the Founders of Modem 
Physics/' pp. 154-248 (Eng. trans.) ; Falrbaim's Studies in the PhiL of Bel. and 
Bist, — *' Theism and Scientific Speculation," pp. 66-71 ; and an article by Dr. 
Alex. Mair, on " The Contributions of Christianity to Science," in PreMfyterian 
Beview, Jan. 1888. 


harmonious universe. There is orderly sequence in it. There 

is orderly connection of part and part. There is that 

determinate connection we call law. There is the harmonious 

adjastment of means to ends, which again are embraced in 

higher ends, till, in the nobler systems, the teleological idea 

is extended to the whole sjrstem.^ In many ways does Mr- 

Spencer express in his writings his trust that this Power of 

which he speaks — inscrutable as he proclaims it to be — 

may be depended on not to put him, as the authors of the 

" Unseen Universe '* phrase it, " to intellectual confusion." * 

To give only one instance — he bids the man who has some 

highest truth to speak, not to be afraid to speak it out, on the 

ground that '' it is not for nothing that he has in him these 

sympathies with some principles, and repugnance to others. 

. . . He, like every other man," he says, "may properly 

consider himself as one of the myriad agencies through whom 

works the Unknown Cause ; and when the Unknown Cause 

produces in him a certain belief, he is thereby authorised to 

profess and act out that belief. For to render in their 

highest sense the words of the poet — 

' Nature is made better by no mean, 
But Nature makes that mean ; over that art 
Which you say adds to Nature, is an art 
Which Nature makes.' 

Not as adventitious, therefore, will the wise man regard the 
faith that is in him." ^ Who does not see in these remarkable 
sentences that, notwithstanding his reiteration of the words 
"Unknown Cause," "Unknowable," Mr. Spencer's latent 
faith is that this Power which works in the world and in 
men is a Power working according to rational laws and for 
rational ends — is on this account an object of trust — we 
might almost add, a source of inspiration ? But now, if this 
is so, can the conclusion be avoided that the Power on 

^ So Mr. Spencer speaks of " the naturally-revealed end towards which 
the Power manifested throughout Evolution works. "—Do^a ofEthica, p. 171. 
' Unseen Univeree, 6th ed., p. 88. • First Principles, p. 123. 


which we thus depend rationallj is itself rational ? It is 
knowable at least thus far, that we know that it is the 
source of a rational order— of an order construable through 
our intelligence. If now it is asserted that the source of this 
rational order is not itself rational, surelj the proof rests, not 
on him who affirms, but on him who denies.^ If Mr. Spencer 
replies, as he does reply, that it is an " erroneous assumption 
that the choice is between personality and something lower 
than personality, whereas the choice is rather between 
personality and something higher," and asks — " Is it not just 
possible that there is a mode of being as much transcending 
intelligence and will, as these transcend mechanical motion?"^ 
— the answer (not to dwell .on the utterly disparate character 
of the things compared) is ready — ^this higher mode of being 
cannot at least be less than conscious. It may be a higher 
kind of consciousness, but it cannot be higher than con- 
sciousness. Kor is there the slightest ground for the 
assumption that there can be anything higher than self- 
conscious intelligence or reason.^ If we find in the universe 
an order congruous to the reason we have in ourselves, this is 
warranty sufficient for believing, till the contrary is proved, 
that the Power which gives rise to this order is not only 
Power, but Intelligence and Wisdom as welL 
(3) The Power (3) Again, this Power which the evolutionist compels us 
which works ^^ recognisc is the source of a moral order, Butler, in his 

in the universe " 

is the sonrceoi-^^^^ogy, undertook to prove that the constitution and coarse 
a moral order, of things is on the side of virtue. His argument is some- 
times spoken of as obsolete, but it is not so much obsolete 
as simply transformed It is a new-fashioned phrase which 
Matthew Arnold uses when he speaks of a '' Power not our- 

1 Cf. Chapman's Pre-Organic Evolution, pp. 226, 227, 251, 282. 

» First Principles, p. 109. 

' Prof. Seth has justly said — ** Nothing can be more certain than that all 
phUosophical ez{)lanation must be explanation of the lower by the higher, and 
not vice vsrsd ; and if self-consciousness is the highest fact we know, then we 
are justified in using the conception of self-consciousness as our best key to the 
ultimate nature of existence as a whole "—Hegelianism and Personality, p. 89. 


selves that makes for righteousness/' but it means just what 
Butler meant, that the make and constitution of things in 
the universe is for righteousness, and not for its opposite. 
Piighteous conduct works out good results for the individual 
and for society ; vicious conduct works out bad results. 
But what I wish to point out at present is the new support 
which this view receives from the theory of agnostic 
evolution, which is supposed by many to overthrow it. 
Xo philosophy, which aims at completeness, can avoid the 
obligation resting on it of showing that it is capable of 
jielding a coherent theory of human Ufa The construction 
of a system of ethics, therefore, Mr. Spencer justly regards 
as that part of his work to which all the other parts are 
subsidiary. The theological basis of ethics is rejected ; 
utilitarianism also is set aside as inadequate ; and in room 
of these the attempt is made to establish the rules of right 
conduct on a scientific basis by deducing them from the 
general laws of evolution. You find a Power evolving 
itself in the universe. Study, says Mr. Spencer, the laws 
of its evolution : find " the naturally revealed end towards 
which the Power manifested throughout evolution works"; 
then, '' since evolution has been, and is still, working 
towards the highest life, it follows that conforming to 
these principles by which the higher life is achieved, is 
furthering that end."^ And when a system is constructed 
on this basis, what is the result ? Why, that we are simply 
back to the old morality — to what Mr. Spencer himself calls 
"a rationalised version of the ethical principles" of the 
current creed.' The ethical laws which are deduced from 
the observations of the laws of evolution are identical with 
those which Christian ethics and the natural conscience of 
man in the higher stages of its development have always 
recognised.' What is the inference ? These principles were 

» Data ofEthka, p. 171. ' Data 0/ Ethics, p. 257. 

* Cf. article by Professor Laidlaw on " Modern Thought in Relation to Christ- 
ianity and the Christian Church," in Prubffterian BevieWf 1885, p. 618. 


not originally gained by scientific induction. They were the 
expressions of the natural consciousness of mankind as to 
distinctions of right and wrong, or were promulgated by 
teachers who claimed to have received them from a higher 
source. In either case, they were recognised by man as 
principles independently affirmed by conscience to be right. 
And now that the process of evolution comes to be scienti- 
fically studied, we are told that the principles of conduct 
yielded by it, in light of the end to which evolution naturally 
works, absolutely coincide with those wliich spring from this 
" work of the law " written in men's hearts. What else can 
we conclude, assuming that the evolutionist is right in his 
deduction, but that the universe is constructed in harmony 
with right ; that the laws which we have already recognised 
as of binding authority in conscience are also laws of the 
objective world; that the principles of right discovered in 
conscience, and the moral order of society based on these 
principles, are productions of the one great evolutionary cause, 
which is the Force impelling and controlling the whole 
onward movement of humanity ? There is certainly nothing 
here to conflict with, but everything to support the view 
that the Power which is above all, and through all, and in 
all things, is not only Intelligence and Wisdom, but also an 
Ethical WilL At least, to most persons who dispassionately 
study the subject, I think it will appear reasonable that a 
Power which has an ethical end must be an ethical Power. 
If, further, this ethical end embraces, as Mr. Spencer seems 
to believe, the highest perfection and happiness of man,^ it is 
still more difficult to conceive how it should have a place in 
the nature of things unless the Supreme Power were itself 
benevolent and good. It is not, it should be remembered, 
as if this ethical end were an after-thought or accident. It 
is, according to the theory, the final and supreme goal to 
which the whole process of evolution for countless millenniums 
has been working up, and only when it is reached will the 

^ Data (^EkkkB, pp, 263-257. 


ripest fruit of the whole development be gathered. But how 
is this possible, except on a teleological view of things ; and 
what teleology can yield a moral result which does not 
postulate at the other end a moral cause ? Mr. Spencer may 
deprecate as he will the imposing of moral ideas generated 
in our consciousness upon the Infinite which transcends 
consciousness. But it is only his own arbitrary denial of 
consciousness to the Absolute, and his arbitrary assumption 
that there can be no kindredship between that absolute 
consciousness and our own, which prevents him from drawing 
the natural conclusion from his own premises. But if to 
Mr. Spencer's definition of the Absolute, as '' an Infinite and 
Eternal Energy from which all things proceed," we add, 
as I think we are entitled to do, the predicates of infinite 
Intelligence and of Wisdom, and of Ethical Will, we have all 
the fundamental theistic positions afiOrmed. 

If the First Cause of the universe is proved by its mani- The term 
testations to be at once rational Intelligence and Ethical ^^^^^^^ 
Will, there should be no excess of scrupulosity in applying to God, 
it the term ''Personal" I have thus far reasoned on the 
assumptions of Mr. Spencer, and have spoken of his Ultimate 
Reality as he does himself, as " Power," " Force," " Cause," 
etc. But I cannot leave this part of the subject without 
remarking that Mr. Spencer is far from having the field of 
thought all to himself on this question of the nature of the 
Ultimate Existence. It was shown in last Lecture how, 
starting from a different point of view, the higher philosophy 
of the century — ^the Neo-Kantian and Neo-Hegelian — ^reaches, 
with a very large degree of certainty, the conclusion that the 
ultimate principle of the universe must be self-conscious. 
It is well known that the Personality of God was a point 
left in very great doubt in the system of HegeL^ God was 
conceived of as the Absolute Beason, but the drift of the 
system seemed to point rather to an impersonal Beason 
which first becomes conscious of itself in man, than to a 

* S«e Note C^HegerB Idea of God. 


self -consciousness complete and perfect from the beginning. 
Whatever its other defects, the later Hegelianism has shaken 
itself clear of this ambiguity, and affirms with emphasis that 
the principle at the basis of the universe is self-conscious.^ 
The other line of development — the Neo-Kantian — ^is, in the 
person of its chief representative, Hermann Lotze, explicitly 
theistic. I only notice here that after a careful discussion of 
all the arguments against ascribing Personality to the Divine 
Being, on the ground that personality implies the limitations 
of the finite, Lotze arrives at this conclusion, diametrically 
the opposite of Mr. Spencer's — '' Perfect personality is recon- 
cilable only with the conception of an infinite Being; for 
finite beings only an approximation to this is attainable''^ 
It is interesting, further, to notice that even Neo-Spencer- 
ianism — ^if I may coin such a term — ^has come round, in the 
person of Mr. Fiske, to a similar affirmation. ''The final 
conclusion," he says, " is, that we must not say that ' God 
is Force,' since such a phrase inevitably calls up those 
pantheistic notions of blind necessity, which it is my express 
desire to avoid ; but always bearing in mind the symbolic 
character of the words, we may say that 'God is Spirit' 
How my belief in the personality of God could be more 
strongly affirmed without entirely deserting the language of 
modem philosophy and taking refuge in pure mythology, I 
am unable to see." * 
2. Thetheoretic 2. It is now neccssary to come to closer quarters, and to 
the^istence of^^ whether the ordinary proofs for the existence of God, 
God— question which havc been so much assailed since the time of Kant, 

of their valid- 

,yy ^ See Lecture 11. p. 74. The Neo-Hegelian theory, however, is far from 

satisfactory from the point of view of Theism in other respects. See Note D. — 

Defects of the Neo-Hegelian View. 

> OuUifies of the Phil, of Religion, p. 69 (Eng. trans.). See the whole dis- 
cussion (chap, iv.), and the fuller treatment in the Microcomius, ii. pp. 659- 
688. Lotze's closing words in the latter are: ''Perfect Personality is in 
Qod only, to all finite minds there is allotted but a pale copy thereof ; the 
finiteness of the finite is not a producing condition of this Personality, but a 
limit and a hindrance to its development." 

• Idea of Ood, p. 17. Cf. the iiistructive treatment of this subject of Per- 
sonality in Professor Iverach's U God KnowaJble f pp. 7, 12-87, 223-283. 


still retain their old cogency, and if not, what modifications 
require to be made on them. The time-honoured division of 
these proofs — which have recently received so able a re- 
handling at the instance of Dr. Hutchison Stirling in his 
" Gifford Lectures " — is into the cosmological, the teleological, 
and the ontological, to which, as belonging to another 
category, falls to be added the moral Besides these, Kant 
thinks, there are no others.^ This, however, must be taken 
iKith qualification, if the remark is meant to apply to the 
old scholastic forms in which these proofs have customarily 
been put. Not only is there no necessity for the proofs 
being confined to these forms — some of which are clearly 
inadequate — but they are capable of many extensions, and 
even transformations, as the result of advancing knowledge, 
and of the better insight of reason into its own nature. I 
may add that I do not attach much importance in this con- 
nection to objections to these proofs drawn from Kant's 
peculiar theory of knowledge.* If it can be shown that in 
the exercise of our reason as directed on the world in which 
we live — or on its own nature — we are compelled either to 
cease to think, or to think in a particular way, — if we find 
that these necessities of thought are not peculiar to in- 
dividuals here and there, but have been felt by the soundest 
thinkers in all ages, and among peoples widely separated from 
each other, — we may be justified in believing that our reason 
is not altogether an untrustworthy guide, but may be depended 
on with considerable confidence to direct us to the truth. 

Neither shall I waste time at this stage by discussing in Meaning of 
what sense it is permissible to speak of " proof " of so 'If^pC. ^L 
transcendent a reality as the Divine existence. We remem- Divim 
ber here the saying of Jacobi that a God capable of proof '^^^^''*^^' 
would be no God at all ; since this would mean that there is 
something higher than God from which His existence can be 

* Kritik d, r. Vemtmft, p. 416 (Eng. trans, p. 363). 

^ See an acute criticism of Kant's Theory of Knowledge in Stahlin's Kant, 
Lolze, und RUscM, pp. 6-83 (Eng. trans.). 



deduced. But this applies only to the ordinary reasoning of 
the deductive logic. It does not apply to that higher kind 
of proof which may be said to consist in the mind being 
guided back to the clear recognition of its own ultimate pre- 
suppositions. Proof in Theism certainly does not consist in 
deducing God^s existence as a lower from a higher ; but 
rather in showing that God's existence is itself the last 
postulate of reason — the ultimate basis on which all other 
knowledge, all other belief rests. What we mean by proof 
of God's existence is simply that there are necessary acts of 
thought by which we rise from the finite to the infinite, from 
the caused to the uncaused, from the contingent to the 
necessary, from the reason involved in the structure of the 
universe to an universal and eternal Reason, which is the 
ground of all, from morality in conscience to a moral Lawgiver 
and Judge, In this connection the three theoretical proofs 
constitute an inseparable unity — " constitute together," as 
Dr. Stirling finely declares, " but the three undulations of 
a single wave, which wave is but a natural rise and ascent 
to God, on the part of man's own thought, with man's own 
experience and consciousness as the object before him." ^ 
(i) The COS' (1) Adopting the usual arrangement, I speak first of the 
moiogica cosmological proof, which, from the contingency and mutability 
of the world, — from its finite, dependent, changeful, multiple 
character, — concludes to an infinite and necessary Being as 
its ground and cause. That this movement of thought is 
necessary is shown by the whole history of philosophy and 
religion. Kant, who subjects the argument to a severe 
criticism, nevertheless admits — " It is something very remark- 
able that, on the supposition that something exists, I cannot 
avoid the inference that something exists necessarily." ^ The 

^ Philosophy and Theology^ p. 45. On the theistic proofs generally, and 
Kant's criticism of thera, cf. Caini's Philosophy of Religion^ pp. 133-1.59, 
Professor E. Caird's Philosophy of Kant, ii. pp. 102-129; and Dr. Stirling's 
work cited above. 

3 KrUik, p. 431 (Eng. trans, p. 378). Sec Note E.— Kant on the Cosmo- 
logical Argument. 


question then arises — Is the world this necessary Being? 
The cosmologieal proof on its various sides is directed to 
showing that it is not, — that it is not sufficient for its own 
explanation, — that, therefore, it must have its ground and 
origin in some other being that i$ necessary. Whatever 
exists has either the reason of its existence in itself, or has it 
in something else. But that the world has not the reason of 
its existence in itself — is not, in Spinoza's phrase, cama sui, 
is not a necessarily existing being — is shown in various waya T/ie world not 

i. By the, contingency of its existence, — A necessary Being, ^^^^^^fy 
as Kant himself defines it, is one the necessity of whose i. By the con- 
existence is given through its possibility, t.e. the non-existence '"*;^*0' of the 

existence , 

of which cannot be thought of as possible.^ But the world is 
not an existence of this character. We can think of iis non- 
existence without contradiction — as, e.^., we cannot think of 
the non-existence of space and time. We can think away 
all the contents of space and time, but we cannot think away 
space and time themselves. 

ii By the dependeincy of its several parts. — It is made up ii. By the de- 
of finite parts, each of which is dependent on the others, and^" *^yjj^^^ 

^ ' ^ ' several parts ; 

sustains definite relations to them ; its parts, therefore, have 
not the character of self-subsistence. But a world made up 
of parts, none of which is self-subsistent, cannot as a whole 
be self-subsistent, or the necessary Being.^ 

iil By Us temporal succession of effects, — The world is in iii. By its 
constant flux and change. Causes give birth to effects, and '^'"/^^/«^^- 

° ° ' session of 

effects depend on causes. Each state into whidi it passes ^^^r/^. 
has its determining conditions in some immediately preceding 
state. This fact, apart from the general proof of contingency, 
suggests the need of conceiving not only of a necessary 
ground, but likewise of a First Cause of the universe. The 
alternative supposition is that of an eternal series of causes 
and effects — a conception which is unthinkable, and affords 
no resting-place for reason. What can be more self-con- 

^ KriiXk^ p. 102 (Eng. trans, p. 68). 

* Cf. Dr. Stirling, in Phil, ami Thtol p. 126. 


tradictory than the hypothesis of a chain of causes and effects, 
each link of which hangs on a preceding link, while yet the 
whole chain hangs on nothing.^ Season, therefore, itself 
points us to the need of a First Cause of the universe, who ia 
at the same time a self-existing, necessary, infinite Being. 
Objection to It is, sincc Kant's time, customarily made an objection to 
this proof— it |.jj{g argument, that it only takes us as far as some necessary 

does not show ^ ii.-ii. 

wJkat the heing, — ^it does not show us in the least degree what kind of 
necessary ^ being this is — whether, e.^., in the world or out of it, 
whether the world-soul of the Stoics, the pantheistic sub- 
stance of Spinoza, the impersonal reason of Hegel, or the 
personal God of the theist. This may be, and therefore the 
cosmological argument may need the other arguments to com- 
plete it. It will be found, however, when we go more deeply 
(in the ontological argument) into the conception of necessary 
being, that there is only one kind of existence which answers 
to this description, and with this more perfect conception 
the cosmological argument will then connect itself. 
The religious As thus presented, the cosmological argument is a process 
ra^on^nJZ ^^ thought. I Cannot leave it, however, without pointing out 
this proof— that it stands connected with a direct fact of consciousness, 
^^Tab^iut"^ which, as entering into experience, changes this proof to some 
dependence, extent from a merely logical into a real one. Not to speak 
of the immediate impression of transitoriness, finitude, con- 
tingency, vanity, which, prior to all reasoning, one receives 
from the world,^ and which finds expression, more or less, 
in all religions, there is, at the very root of our religious 
consciousness, that "feeling of absolute dependence" which 

^ Dr. Stirling says, replying to Hume: ''No multiplication of parts will 
make a whole potent if each, part is impotent. You will hardly reach a valid 
conclusion where your every step is invalid. ... It will he vain to extract 
one necessity out of a whole infinitude of contingencies. Nor is it at all possible 
for such infinitude of contingencies to be even conceivable by reason. If each 
link of the chain hangs on another, the whole will hang^ and only hxmg^ even 
in eternity, unsuppoi^ted, like some stark serpent^ unless you find a hook for 
it. Add weakness to weakness, in any quantity, you will never make strength. '* 
—PUL and Theol. p. 262. 

^ Cf: Caird, Phil. ofJidigion, p. 135. 


Schleiermacher fixes on as the very essence of religion ; ^ and 
which reappears in Mr. Spencer's philosophy in a changed 
form as the immediate consciousness of an absolute Power 
on which we and our universe alike depend. This feeling of 
dependence, so natural to man and interweaving itself with 
all his religious experiences, is the counterpart in the 
practical sphere of the cosmological argument in the logical. 
Both need their explanation in something deeper than them- 
selves, namely, in the possession by man of a rational nature, 
which makes him capable of rising in thought and feeling 
above the finite. And as, in the theoretic sphere, the cosmo- 
logical argument presses forward to its completion in another 
and a higher, so in the religious sphere the rational nature 
of man forbids that this sense of dependence should remain a 
mere feeling of dependency on a blind Power.^ Beligion must 
free, bless, inspire, strengthen men. From the first, there- 
fore, the soul 19 at work, seeking in its depths, and in 
obedience to its own laws, to change this relation of depend- 
ence into a free and personal one. 

(2) The second argument for the Divine existence is the (2) TeUoiogicai 
teUoloffical, — better known simply as the design argument. ^ ^^^ 
Kant speaks of this oldest and most popular of the theistic /rank's 
arguments with great respect ; and the objections which he ^^^*^^^' 
makes to it affect more its adequacy to do all that is 
expected from it than its force so far as it goes. It does 
not, he thinks, prove a Creator, but only an Architect, of the 
world ; it does not prove an infinite, but only a very great 
Intelligence, eta* I may remark, however, that if it proves 
even this, it does a great deal ; and from an intelligence so 
great as to hold in its ken the plan and direction of the 
universe, the step will not be found a great one to the 
Infinite Intelligence which we call Goi But the argument, 
in the right conception of it, does more than Kant allows, 
and is a step of transition to the final one — the ontologicaL 

^ Der ehrisL Olaube, tecs, 8 and 4. 

' See Note F.— Kant on the Teleological Argument. 


Argument A new argument against design in nature has been found 

ajamst design j^ recent times in the doctrine of evolution. The proof we 

from evolu" * 

tion. are considering turns, as everyone knows, on the existence of 

ends in nature. In Kant's words — " In the world we find 
everywhere clear signs of an order which can only spring 
from design — an order realised with the greatest wisdom, 
and in a universe which is indescribably varied in 'content, 
and in extent infinite." ^ In organisms particularly we see the 
most extraordinary adaptations of means to ends — structures 
of almost infinite complexity and wonderful perfection — con- 
trivances in which we have precisely the same evidence of 
the adjustment of the parts to produce the ends, as in human 
works of art.* From this the inference is drawn that a world 
so full of evidences of rational purpose can only be the work 
of a wise and intelligent mind. But this argument is broken 
down if it can be shown that what look like ends in nature 
are not really such, but simply results — that the appearance 
of apparently designed arrangements to produce certain ends 
can be explained by the action of causes which do not imply 
intelligence. This is what evolution, in the hands of some 
of its expounders, undertakes to do. By showing how 
structures may have arisen through natural selection, operat- 
ing to the preservation of favourable variations in the struggle 
for existence, it is thought that the aid of intelligence may be 
dispensed with, and that a death-blow is given to teleology.^ 
The eye, for example, may have resulted from the gradual 
accumulation of small variations, each of them accidental, 
and arising from unknown laws in the organism, but each, as 

^ KrWik, p. 436 (Eng. trans. 884). 

' No recent school 1ms done more to elaborate the proof of teleology in Nature 
than that from which the opposite might have been expected — the pessimistio 
school. Cf. Schopenhauer's, 2>te Wdi als Wide und VorsteUung (Book ii. 
chap. 26, **0n Teleology"), and Hartmann*s PJUL d, Unhewussten, passim, 

'Thus, e,g, Strauss, Haeckel, Helmholtz, G. Romanes, "Physicus." Helm- 
Loltz, as quoted by Strauss, says : *' Darwin's theory shows how adaptation of 
structure in organisms can originate without any intermixture of inteUigence, 
through the blind operation of a natural law." — Der alte und der neue Glaube, 
p. 216. Mr. Komanes says : " If [plants and animals] were specially created, 
the evidence of supernatural design remains unrefuted and irrefutable, whereas 


it arises, giving to its possessor some slight advantage in 
the struggle for existence. It is a simple case of the survival 
of the fittest. Instead of the advantage resulting from a 
designed arrangement, the appearance of arrangement results 
from the advantage. In reality, however, the facts of 
evolution do not weaken the proof from design, but rather 
immensely enlarge it by showing all things to be bound 
together in a vaster, grander plan than had been formerly 
conceived. Let us see how the matter precisely stands. 

On the general hypothesis of evolution, as applied to the EvoluHonpro- 
organic world, I have nothing to say, except that, within ^^—^^^ '^ 
certain limits, it seems to me extremely probable, and sup- 
ported by a large body of evidence. This, however, only 
refers to the fact of a genetic relationship of some kind 
between the different species of plants and animals, and does 
not affect the means by which this development may be 
supposed to be brought about. On this subject two views Two views : 
may be held.^ The first is, that evolution results f rom tT'^f '''" ^ 

" diveiopment 

development from within ; in which case, obviously, the /rom within, 
argument from design stands precisely where it did, except ^^^ solution 
that the sphere of its application is enormously extended. ^r/i/iVy. 
The second view is, that evolution has resulted from fortuitous ^'^''^"w ^f 

loiter view, 

variations, combined with action of natural selection, laying 
hold of and preserving the variations that were favourable. 
This is really, under a veil of words, to ask us to believe 
that accident and fortuity have done the work of mind. 
But the facts are not in agreement with the hypothesis. 
The variations in organisms are not absolutely indefinite. In 

if they vere slowly evolved, that evidence has been utterly nnd for ever 
destroyed." — Organic EvdtUion, p. 18. On the bearings of evolution on 
design, and on the design argument generally in its present relations to science, 
see Janet's Final Catties (Eng. trans. ) ; Stirling's Philosophy and Theology ; 
Kennedy's Nojtural Theology and Modem Thought (1891); Row's Chrintian 
Thtimi (1890) ; Martineau's Study of Religion (i. pp. 2/0-333) ; Flint's 
TUigm ; Mivart's Lessons from Nature; Conder's Basis of Faith ; Mnrphy's 
Uabit and Intelligence; Ebrard's Christian Apologetics, iL pp. 1-56 (Eng. 
trans.) ; Argyll's Beign of Law, etc. On Kant's views on evolution and on 
final causes as connected therewith, cf. Caird's Phil, of Kant, ii. 495-499. 
^ See Note G.— Schools of Evolutionists. 


the evolution of an eye, for example, the variations are all 
more or less in the line of producing the eye. When the 
formation of an eye has begun, the organism keeps to that 
line in that place. It does not begin to sprout an ear where 
the eye is being developed. There is a ground plan that is 
adhered to in the midst of the variations. Could we collect 
the successive forms through which the eye is supposed to 
have passed in the course of its development, what we would 
see (I speak on the hypothesis of the theory) Would be a 
succession of small increments of structure, all tending in 
the direction of greater complexity and perfection of the 
organ — the appearance of new muscles, new lenses, new 
arrangements for adjusting or perfecting the sight, etc. But 
the mere fact that these successive appearances could be put 
in a line, however extended, would throw no light on how 
the development took place, or how this marvellously complex 
organ came to build itself up precisely after this pattern.^ 
The cause invoked to explain this is natural selection. Now 
the action of natural selection is real, but its influence may 
be very easily overrated. It is never to be forgotten that 
natural selection produces nothing. It acts only on organisms 
already produced, weeding out the weakest, and the least 
fitted structurally to survive, and leaving the better adapted 
in possession of the field.^ It is altogether to exaggerate the 
influence of natural selection, to attribute to it a power to 
pick out infallibly on their first appearance the infinitesimal 
variations in an organism which are to form the foundations 
of future useful organs, though, in their initial stage, they 
cannot be shown to confer any benefit on their possessors, 
and may be balanced or neutralised by fifty or sixty other 
variations in an opposite direction, or by difierences of size, 
strength, speed, etc., on the part of the competitors in the 
struggle ; and still more a power to preserve each of these 

* Cf. Jevons, Principles of ScieTice, ii. p. 462 ; J. S. MUl, TTiree Essays on 
Religion, p. 171. Mill concludes that "the adaptations in Nature afford a 
large balance of probability in favour of creation by intelligence." — P. 174, 

' See passages in Note G. 


slight variations till another and yet another of a &vourable 
kind is added to it after long intervals, in a contest in which 
numbers alone are overwhelmingly against the chance of its 
survival^ Taking the facts of evolution as they really stand, What the facts 
what they seem to point to is something like the follow- ^^.^^'' ^" 


i. An inner power of development of organisms. 

XL A power of adjustment in organisms adapting them to 

iii A weeding out of weak and unfit organisms by natural 

iv. Great differences in the rate of production of new 
species. Ordinarily, species seem to have nearly all the 
characters of fixity which the old view ascribed to them. 
Variation exists, but it is confined within comparatively 
narrow limits. The type persists through ages practically 
unchanged. At other periods in the geological history of the 
past there seems to have been a breaking down of this fixity. 
The history of life is marked by a great inrush of new forms. 
New species crowd upon the scene. Plasticity seems the 
order of the day.^ We may call this evolution if we like, 
but it is none the less creation, — the production out of the 
old of something new and higher. All that we are called 

^ Kr. Spencer shows that Natural Selection fails as an explanation in pro- 
portion as life grows complex. ''As fast," he says, ''as the faculties are 
multiplied, so fast does it become possible for the several members of a species 
to have various kinds of superiority over one another. While one saves its life 
by higher speed, another does the like by clearer vision, another by keener 
scent, another by quicker hearing, another by greater strength, another by 
nnasual power of enduring cold and hunger, another by special sagacity, 
another by special timidity, another by special courage, and others by other 
bodily and mental attributes. Now it is unquestionably true that, other things 
being equal, each of th^e attributes giving its possessor an extra chance of life, 
is likely to be transmitted to posterity. But there seems no reason to suppose 
that it will be increased in subsequent generations by natural selection . . . 
If those members of the species which have but ordinary shares of it nevertheless 
survive by virtue of other superiorities which they severally possess, then it is 
not easy to see how this particular attribute can be developed by natural 
selection in subsequent generations," etc. — Principles of Biology, sec. 166. Cf. 
Alfred W. Bennett in Martineau's Study of RtHgion, i. 280-282. 

* Cf. Dawson, Modern Ideas of Evolution^ pp. 106, 107 ; The Chain ofL\fe 



The design 
argument too 
Wider argu- 
ment from 
order J plan^ 
law^ et€» 

upon to notice here is that it in no way conflicts with design, 
bat rather compels the acknowledgment of it 

The chief criticism I would be disposed to make upon the 
design argument, as an argument for intelligence in the cause 
of the universe; is that it is too narrow. It confines the 
argument to final causes — that is, to the particular case of 
the adaptation of means to ends. But the basis for the 
inference that the universe has a wise and intelligent Author 
is far wider than this. It is not the marks of purpose 
alone which necessitate this inference, but everything 
which bespeaks order, plan, arrangement, harmony, beauty, 
rationality in the connection and system of things. It is 
the proof of the presence of thought in the world — whatever 
shape that may take.^ As we saw in a former part of the 
Lecture, the assumption on which the whole of science pro- 
ceeds — and cannot but proceed — in its investigations, is, that 
the system it is studying is intelligible, — that there is an 
intelligible unity of things. It admits of being reduced to 
terms of thought. There is a settled and established order 
on which the investigator can depend. Without this he 
could not advance one step. Even Kant's objection that this 
argument proved only an architect of the universe, but not a 
creator of its materials, is seen from this point of view to be 

in Oeol. Time, p. 229. " The progress of life," he says, ** in geological time has 
not been uniform or uninterrupted. . . . Evolutionists themselves, those at 
least who are willing to allow their theory to be at aU modified by facts, now 
perceive this ; and hence we have the doctrine advanced by Mivart, Le Comte, 
and others, of 'critical periods,' or periods of rapid evolution alternating with 
others of greater quiescence.'* — Mod, IdeaHy pp. 106, 107. See in both works 
the examples given of this *' apparition of species." 

^ Principal Shairp says : "To begin with the outward world, there is, I shall 
not say so much the mark of design on all outward things as an experience 
forced in upon the mind of the thoughtful naturalist that, penetrate into 
nature wherever he may, thought has been there before him ; that, to quote 
the words of one of the most distinguished, ' there is really a plan, which may 
be read in the relations which you and I, and all living beings scattered over 
the surface of our earth, hold to each other.' " — Studies in Poetry and Philosophy ^ 
p. 367. Cf. also on this aspect of the subject, M'Cosh, Method of Divine 
Government, pp. 75-151; and on the argument from Beauty and Sublimity in 
Nature, Kennedy's Natural Theology and Modem Thought, Lecture IV. 
(Donnellan Lectures). 


.invalid.^ The very materials of the universe — the atoms 
which compose it — show by their structure, their uniformity, 
their properties, their mathematical relations, that they must 
have a Creator ; that the Power which originated them, which 
weighed, measured, and numbered them, which stamped on 
them their common characters, and gave them their definite 
laws and relations, must have been intelligent. I admit, 
however, that as the design argument presupposes the cosmo- 
logical, to give us the idea of an infinite and necessary Being 
at the basis of the universe, so both of these arguments need 
the ontological, to show us in the clearest and most con- 
vincing manner that this Being and Cause of the universe is 
infinite, self-conscious Beason. 

(3) I come, accordingly, in the third place, to the onto- (3) The onto- 
hgiml argument — that which Kant, not without reason, J^ ^^^' 
affirms to be at the foundation of the other two, and to be 
the real ground on which the inference to the existence of a 
necessary and infinitely perfect Being rests. It is an argu- 
ment which in these days, owing largely to his criticism upon 
it, has fallen much into disrepute, though a good deal has 
also been done by able thinkers to rehabilitate it, and to TAe AnseimU 
show its real bearings. It must further be admitted that in-^fT"',*'''^ 
the form in which it was wont to be put in the schools, criticism upon 
the strictures which Kant makes on it are in the main just.* *'• 
In the earlier form, it is an argument from the idea of God 
as a necessary idea of the mind, to His real existence. I 
have, reasons Anselm, the idea of a most perfect Being. But 
this idea includes the attribute of existence. For if the 
most perfect Being did not exist, there could be conceived a 
greater than He, — one that did exist, — and therefore He would 

^ Cf. Lectnre IV. on Creation. It may be asked, besides, if it is so certain, as 
Kant assumes, that only a finite power is needed to create — I do not say a 
universe, but even an atom ; whether there are not finite effects, such as crea- 
tion, to which only Omnipotence is competent % The point is not that it is an 
atom, but that it is creaUd, 

' KyMik, pp. 417-424 (Eng. trans, pp. 364-370). See Note H.— Kant on the 
Ontological Argument. 



of the principles of reason themselves. For whence these 
laws of thought — these universal and necessary conditions 
of all truth and knowledge — which I discover in myself; 
which my own reason neither makes nor can unmake ; 
which I recognise to be in me and yet not of me ; which I 
know must belong to every rational being in every part of 
the universe? They are necessary and eternal in their 
nature, yet they have not the ground of their existence in my 
individual mind. Can I conclude otherwise than that they 
have their seat and ground in an eternal and absolute Beason 
— the absolute Prvm of all that is, at once of thought and of 
existence ? It is but a further extension of the same argu- 
ment when I proceed to show that thought is only possible 
in relation to an I, to a central principle of self-conscious- 
ness, which unifies and connects all thinking and experience. 
** Rational This argument, which has been called that of " Sational 

Eealism," is one which in varied forms has been accepted 
by the deepest thinkers, and finds widespread acknowledg- 
ment in literature.^ It is not liable to the objection made 
to the Anselmic form, of invohdng an illicit inference from 
mere idea to real existence ; but it has this in common with 
it that the existence of an Eternal Keason is shown to be 
involved in the very thinking of this, or indeed of any 
thought. In the very act of thinking, thought affirms its 
own existence. But thought can perceive, not only its 
own existence, but the necessity of its existence — the 
necessity of its existence, even, as the 'prius of everything 
else. What is affirmed, therefore, is not simply my 
thought, but an Absolute Thought, and with this the ex- 
istence of an Absolute Thinker ; in the words of Dr. Harris, 
who has done much to give popular expression to this 
argument, of "an Absolute Beason energising in perfect 
wisdom and love " in the universe.* I cannot but maintain, 
therefore, that the ontological argument, in the kernel and 

' See Note I. — Rational Realism. 

» Tlit Phil, Basis of Theism, p. 3 ; cf. pp. 82, 146, 560, etc 


essence of it, is a sound one, and that in it the existence of 
God is really seen to be the first, the most certain, and the 
most indisputable of all truths. 

We saw in connection with the cosmological argument The religious 
that there was a direct fact of consciousness which turned ^■*A^^^^^ ^^''■ 

respondvng to 

the logical argument into a real one, — which translated, if I the teleoiogicai 
may so speak, the abstract proof into a living experience. °^^, ^'^" 
It is worth our while to inquire, before leaving these theoretic ments—the 
proofs, whether there is anything of the same kind here ; ^'^^^^^^i^ 
anything in actual religious consciousness which answers to EtemaiPower 
that demonstration of a rational element in the world which and Divinity* 

.... .. . Txi*i^i • of the Creator, 

IS given in the two remammg arguments. I think there is. 
I refer to that very real perception which mankind have at 
all times manifested of a spiritual presence and power in 
nature, which is the effect of the total unanalysed impression 
which nature in its infinite variety and complexity, its 
wondrous grandeur, order, beauty, and fulness of life and 
power, makes upon the soul. The more carefully facts have 
been examined, the more narrowly the history of religions 
has been scrutinised, the clearer has it become that under- 
lying all the particular ideas men have of their deities, — 
underlying their particular acts of worship to them, — there 
is always this sense of something mysterious, intangible, 
infinite, — of an all-pervading supernatural Presence and 
Power, — which is not identified with any of the particular 
phenomena of nature, but is regarded rather as manifested 
through them.^ It is this which Paul speaks of when he 
says that "the Eternal Power and Divinity" of God are 
manifested since the creation of the world in the things that 

^ This is true of the lowest as well as of the highest religions,— cf. Waitz on 
Tht Religion of the NegroeHy in Max Miillcr's Hibbert Lectures, pp. 106-107, — 
bat is much more conspicuous in the oldest forms of natural religion, t,g, in 
the Vedic, Babylonian, and Egyptian religions. On the general facts, cf. Max 
Mailer's works, Reville's Hist, of Iiclvjions, Sayce's Hibbert Lectures on 7%e 
Rdigion of the Ancient Babylonians^ Renonf's Hibbert Lectures on The Religion 
qf Ancient Egypt, Fairbaim's Studies^ Loring Brace's The Unknown Gody 
Pre.ssense*8 The Ancient World and Christianity (Eng. trans.), etc., and see 
Note F. to Lecture Y. 



How is this 
sense of the 
Divtru to he 

are made.^ It is Max Miiller's " perception of the infinite/'^ 
Schleiermacher's "consciousness of the infinite in the finite," 
the se7i5t4s numinis of the older writers, Wordsworth's " sense 
of something far more deeply interfused "— 

** Whose dwelling is the light of setting siins, 
And the round ocean, and the living air. 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man." ' 

Such a sense or perception of the Divine is the common 
substratum of all religions, and the theory of religion which 
fails to take account of it is like the play of Hamlet with 
Hamlet left out. 

But how is this sense of the Divine in nature — which is 
the stronghold of the theology of feeling — to be accounted 
for ? It is certainly not the result of logical argument, and 
goes beyond anything that logical argument could yield. 
Yet it may easily be shown that rational elements are 
implicit in it, and that the rational elements involved are 
precisely those which the foregoing arguments have sought 
explicitly to unfold. To understand the impression of the 
Divine which nature makes on man, we have to remember 
how much the mind of man has already to do with nature. 
We have to do here with nature, not primarily as an 
objectively existing system of laws and forces, but as it 
exists for man as an object of actual knowledge and 
experience. And how has it come to be this to him ? 
Not without help from the thinking mind which collates 
and connects the separate impressions made on it through 
the senses, and gradually reads the riddle of the universe 
by the help of what it brings to it out of its own resources. 
We speak of the immaturity of the savage mind, but there 
is an intense mental activity in the simplest conception which 
the savage (or the child) can form of the existence of nature, 
or of a world around him. He sees changes, but he finds 
the interpretation of these changes in the idea of causality 
which he brings to it from his own mind. He groups 

1 Eom. 1. 20. « Wordsworth's Tinttm Abbey, 


attributes and forms objects, but he does this through the 
mental law of substance and accident. He perceives the 
operation of vast forces in nature, but whence does he get 
the idea of force? He gets it from the consciousness of 
power within himself, and through this puts meaning into 
the scene of change and movement which he finds around 
him. Is it wonderful, then, that man, who has put so much 
of himself into nature, even when constructing it as an object 
of thought, should again receive back the reflection of his 
own spiritual image from nature — receive it back on a 
grander, vastly enhanced scale, proportionate to the great- 
ness and immensity of the universe on which he looks, and 
should be filled with awe and reverence in presence of this 
Other-Self, and Higher-than-Self, as that of a Beason, Power, 
and Will essentially akin to his own, though infinitely greater ? 
Beason does not create this sense of the Divine ; it can only 
follow in its train, and seek to lay bare and analyse — as is 
done in the theoretic proofs — the rational elements which it 

III. There remains the moral argument, which deserves a ill. ta^ 
place by itself, and which I must briefly consider before I ^^^f ^^xant's 
close. The theoretic proofs, as Kant rightly said, can give staiement of a, 
ns no knowledge of God as a moral Being — as a Being who 
sets before Him moral ends, and governs the world with 
reference to these ends. For this we are dependent on the 
Practical Eeason, which shows us not what is, but what 
(yvughl to be, and is the source of laws of moral conduct which 
we recognise as of binding force for every rational agent. 
The way in which Xant works out his argument from this 
point is one of the most interesting parts of his system. 
Nature in itself, he thinks, knows nothing of a highest end. 
This is given only in the Practical Season, which sets before 
us ends of unconditioned worth, and requires us, if our view 
of the world is to be consistent, to regard these as supreme, 
ie, to view the world as a moral system, in which natural 




God a pos- 
tulate of the 

ends are everywhere subordinated to moral. But sucli a 
moral teleology is only possible if there is one principle of 
the natural and of the moral order, and if nature is so 
arranged as to secure a final harmony of natural and moral 
conditions ; in other words, if the world has a moral as well 
as an intelligent cause. God, therefore, is a postulate of the 
■ Practical Eeason.^ I quote in further illustration of this 
argument, Professor Caird's fuller statement of it, in his 
excellent exposition of the Critique of JtidgmerU, in which he 
follows Kant ''The principle of moral determination in 
man," he says, " carries with it the idea of a highest end, 
after which he should strive ; in other words, the idea of a 
system in which all rational beings realise their happiness 
through their moral perfection, and in proportion to it. But 
such realisation of happiness through morality, is no natural 
sequence of effect on cause ; for there is nothing in the con- 
nection of physical causes that has any relation to such an 
end. We are forced, therefore, by the same moral necessity 
which makes us set before us such an end, to postulate 
outside of nature a cause that determines nature, so as finally 
to secure this result ; and from this follows necessarily the 
idea of an all-wise, all-powerful, all-righteous, all-merciful 
God. We have a 'pure moral need' for the existence of 
such a Being; and our moral needs differ from physical 
needs in that they have an absolute claim to satisfaction. . . . 
Furthermore, we are to remember that the principle which 
leads us to postulate God is a practical principle, which does 
not give us, strictly speaking, a knowledge of God, but only 
of a special relation in which he stands to us and to nature ; 
while, therefore, in order to find in God the principle which 
realises the highest good, we are obliged to represent Him as 
a rational Being, who is guided by the idea of an end, and 
who uses nature as means to it, we are to remember that 

^ Cf. Kritik d, r. Vemui{ft, pp. 548-557, on ** The Ideal of the Highest 
Good as a Determining Qronnd of the last end of Pure Reason " (£ng. trans, 
pp. 487-496) ; and the Kritik d, praktUchen Vemun/t, Part II. 5—" The Being 
of God as a Postulate of the Pure Practioal Reason." 


this conception is based on an imperfect analogy. . . . 'All 
that we can say is that, consistently vrith the nature of our 
intelligence, we cannot make intelligible to ourselves the 
possibility of such an adaptation of nature to the moral 
law and its object as is involved in the final end which the 
moral law commands us to aim at, except by assuming the 
existence of a Creator and Governor of the world, who is also 
its moral Legislator.' " ^ 

It is to this view of God as a postulate of the Practical Moral law^ 
Eeason, and as satisfying a "pure moral need," that theT?^^*' 
Eitschlian theology specially attaches itself ; but it must be ttkUai ideal, 
remarked that such an origin of the idea of God, abstracted ^"'^'^V^ 

^^ an eternal 

from direct experience of dependence on Him, would furnish ground. 
no adequate explanation of the religious relatioa We may, 
however, accept all that Eant says of God as a postulate of 
the moral consciousness, and yet cany the argument a good 
deal further than he does. God is not only a postulate of the 
moral nature in the sense that His existence is necessary to 
secure the final harmony of natural and moral conditions, 
but it may be held that His existence is implied in the very 
presence of a morally legislating and commanding Beason 
within us, — just as an eternal self-consdous Beason was seen 
to be implied in the universal and necessary principles of the 
theoretic consciousnesa That moral law which appears in 
conscience — the " categorical imperative " of duty for which 
£ant himself has done so much to intensify our reverence — 
that ideal of unrealised goodness which hovers constantly 
above us, awakening in us a noble dissatisfaction with all 
past attainments, — these are not facts which explain them- 
selves. Nor are they sufficiently explained as products of 
association and of social convention. Moral law is not com- 
prehensible except as the expression of a will entitled to 
impose its commands upon us. The rules and ideals of 
conduct which conscience reveals to us, and which bind the 
will with such unconditional authority, point to a deeper 

^ Philosophy qf Kant, ii. pp. 504, 505. 


source in an eternal moral Season. The ethical ideal, if its 
absolute character is to be secured, points back to an eternal 
ground in the Absolute Being. It takes us back to the same 
conception of God as the ethically perfect Being, source and 
ground of moral truth, fountain of moral law, which we found 
to be implied in Christianity.^ 
Reiigims ex- And let me observe, finally, that here also we have more 
teriencecor- }^^^ logical argument — we have experienca The moral 

responding to o o ^ 

the moral consciousuess is ouc of the most powerful direct sources of 
^'^•f' man's kuowledge of God. In the earliest stages in which we 

know anything about man, a moral element bleuds with his 
thought. There grows up within him, — he knows not how, — - 
a sense of right and wrong, of a law making its presence 
felt in his life, prescribing to him moral duties, and speaking 
to him with a " thou shalt " and '' thou shalt not " in his soul 
which he dare not disregard. His thoughts, meanwhile, 
accuse or else excuse each other. This law, moreover, 
presents itself to him as something more than a mere idea 
of his own mind. It is a real judging power in his soul, 
an arbiter invested with legislative, but also with judicial 
functions. It has accordingly from the first a sacred 
character. It is a power not himself making for righteous- 
ness within him. He instinctively connects it with the 
Power he worships, whose existence is borne in on him from 
other sources. As conscience develops, his duties come to 
be more invested with a moral character, and are feared, 
honoured, or propitiated accordingly. It is the moral con- 
sciousness particularly which safeguards the personality of 
God — the Divine tending to sink back into identity with 
nature in proportion as the ethical idea is obscured. 
Conclusion. The conclusiou we reach from the various arguments 
and considerations advanced in this Lecture is, that the 
Christian view of a personal and holy God, as the Author 

^ Cf. on the moral argument, Gender's Bcum of FaUhf pp. 383-431 ; Mar- 
tineaa's Study of Religion^ ii. pp. 1-42 ; Kennedy's Natviral Theology and 
Modem Thought, Lecture VI., **Kant and the Moral Proof"; and M*Cosh*s 
Divine OovemmerU, Book i chap. 3. 


of the universe, and its moral Legislator and Buler, is the 
only one in which the reason and the heart of man can 
permanently rest I do not say that reason could have 
reached the height of the Christian conception for itself; 
I do not even think it can hold to it unless it accepts the 
fact of [Revelation and the other truths which Christianity 
associates with it. But I do say that, with this view as 
given, reason is able to bring to it abundant corroboration 
and verification. It is not one line of evidence only which 
establishes the theistic position, but the concurrent force of 
many, starting from different and independent standpoints. 
And the voice of reason is confirmed by the soul's direct 
experiences in religion. At the very least these considera- 
tions show — even if the force of demonstration is denied to 
them — that the Christian view of Grod is not unreasonable ; 
that it is in accordance with the highest suggestions of reason 
applied to the facts of existence; that there is no bar in 
rational thought or in science to its full acceptance. And 
this is all that at present we need ask. 



God as a pas- If we are to speak of God as a postulate of the soul, we 
\o^ must speak of Him as a postulate for the whole need of the 

soul — for its religious and its rational, not less than for its 
moral need. We must speak of Him also in such a way as 
to show that this postulate is not an arbitrary one, but 
springs necessarily from the soul's rational and moral con- 
stitution, and so as to explain the conviction of its truth 
by which it is accompanied. But this can only be done 
by showing that there are laws of man's spiritual nature 
which imperatively demand such and such an object, 
and by making it clear what these are. In like manner 
What is I would lay it down as a first principle, as against all 
demanded tn a psychological and empirical theories of religion, which pro- 
religion. pose to account for men's religious ideas and beliefs from 
natural causes (hopes and fears, animism, ghosts, etc.), 
without raising the question of how far they correspond with 
any outward reality, that no theory of religion can be 
adequate which does not cast light on the deepest ground of 
the soul's movement towards God, and on the nature of the 
object which alone can adequately satisfy it. This again 
assumes that there are laws of the spiritual nature which 
determine beforehand what the character of the object 
must be which alone can satisfy the religious necessity, 
and which impel the soul unceasingly to a search after that 
object. This, however, is precisely what I consider the 
truth about religion to be, as a survey of its manifestations 


in history reveals its nature to us. Beligion is not an 
arbitrary product of the soul Even in the lowest and poorest 
religions, we see something struggling into consciousness, — a 
want, a desire, a need, — which is not measured by the 
extent of its actual knowledge of the Divine. Seligion wetl>efim/um of 
might define from this point of view as the search of thel'^**^''* 
soul for an adequate spiritual object to rest in, combined! 
with the consciousness that there is such an object, and with 1 
the impulse to seek after it, and when found, to surrender I 
itself to it. Now what kind of object is it which the soul ' 
thus demands ? This can only be determined by the study 
of its laws, as these spring from its essential nature, and are 
exhibited on the field of historical religion. And here, I 
think, we are warranted to say — 

1. That the soul, as itself personal, demands for the satis- (i. The soul, as 
faction of its religious need, a »er«onaZ object. From what-tf^^'^i' 
ever sources it derives its idea of the Divine (sense oi^rsmai object, 
dependence, outward impressions of nature, moral conscious- 
ness), it invariably personalises it. Over against its I, it 
seeks a Thou, and will rest satisfied with nothing less. 

2. That the soul, as thinking spirit, demands an injiniteh. The soul, 
object This is a proposition of some importance, andp/^'"^"*^ 
requires more careful consideration* We cannot err in mands an 
seeking with Hegel the deepest ground of man's capacity for ^^^^^ ^^M^* 
religion in his possession of the power of thought. The 
power of thought is not the whole of religion, but it is that 
which gives man his capacity for religion. The lower animals 
are irrational, and they have no religion. Thought, in this 
connection, may be described as the universalising principle 
in human nature. It is that which leads us to negate the 
limits of the finite. It is that which impels man from fact 
to principle, from law to wider law, from the collection of 
facts and laws in the universe to the principle on which 
the whole depends. It is the element of boundlessness in 
imagination, of illimitableness in desire, of insatiableness in 
the appetite for knowledge. On the side of religion we see 


it constantly at work, modifying the idea of the object of 
religion, and bringing it more into harmony with what it is 
felt that an object of worship ought to be. One way in 
which this is done is by the choice of the grander objects of 
nature — ^the sky, sun, mountains, etc. — as the embodiments 
and manifestations of the Divine. Another way is by the mere 
multiplication of the objects of idolatry — the mind seekmg in 
this way, as it were, to fill up the gap in its depths. Another 
way is physical magnitude — hugeness. "Nebuchadnezzar 
the king made an image of gold, whose height was three- 
score cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits ; he set it up 
in the plain of Dura." ^ This love of the colossal is seen in 
most oriental religions {t,g, Egyptian, Assyrian). Another 
way is by what Max Muller calls Henotheism — fixing on 
one special deity, and treating it for the true being as if it 
was alone and supreme. Another way is by creating a 
'' system," placing one deity at the head of the Pantheon, 
and making the rest subordinate. We have examples in the 
position held by Zeus and Jupiter in the Greek and 
Boman religions — a position described by Tiele as one of 
"Monarchism allied to Monotheism." Another way is by 
tracing back the origin of the gods, as in Hesiod, to some 
uncreated principle; or by placing behind them a fate, 
necessity, or destiny, which is a higher power than they. 
Finally, in the philosophical schools, we have reasoned 
Theism, or Pantheism, or some cosmic theory in which the 
universe itself becomes (rod. Through all, the search of the 
soul for an infinite is clearly discernible. 
3. The soul, f 3. That the soul, as itself ethical, demands an ethiccU 
as ethical, I object It does this in all the higher forms of religion. 

demands an ^ ^ ^ 

ethical object. It may be observed that once the idea of an ethical God 
has been brought home to the mind — no lower conception 
of the Deity can be accepted. The agnostic himself — 
strongly as he protests against the knowableness of Grod — 
will yet be the first to maintain that it is impossible to 

^ Dan. iii. 1. 


entertain, even as hypothesis, any idea of God which repre- 
sents him as false, cruel, tyrannical, revengeful, unjust. He 
knows enough about God, at any rate, to be sure that He is 
not Um. 

4. I may add that the soul, as itself an intelligence, 
demands a knorffoile object. It has previously been shown 
that, for purposes of religion, an unknowable God is 
equivalent to no God at alL Beligion seeks not only a, 
knowledge of its object, but such a knowledge as can bel 
made the basis of commimion. Here, again, we are led by] 
the very idea of religion, to the expectation of Bevelation. | 

The bearing of all this on the Christian view is very 
obvious. It gives us a test of the validity of the Christian view, 
and it explains to us why this view comes home to the spirit 
of man with the self -evidencing power that it does. It comes 
to the spirit as light — ^attests its truth by its agreement with 
the laws of the spirit. The worth of this attestation is not 
weakened by the fact that the Christian religion itself mostly 
creates the very capacity by which its truth can be perceived 
—creates the organ for its own verification. It makes larger 
demands upon the spirit, calls forth higher ideas than any 
other ; but, in doing so, reveals at the same time the spirit to 
itself. Brought to the foregoing tests, it discovers to us a 
God personal, infinite, ethical, and knowable, because self- 
revealing, and in this way answers the demands of the 
religious spirit 

4. TAe soul, 
as inlelligencet 
demands a 


W^t postulate of tije Cijcuttian Uiein of ti^e QSotlti 
xa, regatH to l^atute anD ISan, 

"By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the 
word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things 
which do appear."— Epistle to Hebrews. 

"Man is neither the master nor the slave of Nature ; he is its inter- 
preter and living word. Man consummates the universe, and gives a 
voice to the mute creation.'*— Ed. Quinet. 

"He who believes in God must also believe in the continuance of 
nian*s life after death. Without this there could be no world which 
would be conceivable as a purpose of God." — Rothe. 

" I trust I have not wasted breath ; 
I think we are not wholly brain, 
Magnetic mockeries ; not in vain, 
Like Paul with beasts, I fought with Death ; 

Not only cunning casts in clay : 

Let Science prove we are, and then 

What matters Science unto men, 
At least to me I I would not stay. " 


" Does the soul survive the body ? Is there 
God's self, no or yes ? " 

R. Browninq. 




The Christian doctrine of God as personal, ethical, and self- Second postu- 
revealing, carries with it a second postulate as to the nature ^^' ^/[^' 
of man. The Christian doctrine of God and the Christian view^man 
doctrine of man are in fact correlatives. For how should ?^* *^l^J^ 

intake of Cod. 

man know that there is a personal, ethical, self-revealing 
God, — how should he be able to frame the conception of such 
a Being, or to attach any meaning to the terms employed to 
express His existence, — unless he were himself rational and 
moral — a spiritual personality. The two views imply each 
other, and stand or fall together. We may express this 
second postulate of the Christian view in the words, Man 
made in the image of God.^ 

This truth of a natural kinship between the human spirit The kinship of 
and the Divine, is at once the oldest declaration in the Bible ^<^f^^^** 

implied in 

about man, and is implied in every doctrine of the Christian every ChHst- 
system. It is implied, as already said, in the knowledge of ^^ doctnne, 
God, and in the call to fellowship with Him in holiness and 
love. It is implied in the Christian view of sin ; for sin in 
the Christian view derives its tragic significance from the 
fact that it is a revolt of the creature will against the Divine 
will, to which it is by nature bound, that it cuts the soul off 
from its true life and blessedness in union with God. It is 

^ Gen. i. 27. Domer says truly : "The absolute personality of God, and the 
infinite value of the personality of man, stand and fall with each other." — 
Person of Christ, v. p. 155. 


implied in regeneration^ and in the capacity of the soul to 
receive the Spirit of God. For the Spirit of God does not 
enter the soul as something foreign and extraneous to it. He 
enters it as the principle of its true lifa What, on the 
one side, we call the operations of the Spirit, or the presence 
of the Spirit in the soul, we call, on the other, the new life 
itself. The Divine and human here are but one and the same 
thing on two different sides. It is implied also in the call 
of man to a Divine sonship. It is the case, no doubt, — and 
the fact is one to be carefully considered, — that in Christ's 
teaching God is not called the Father of all men indiscrimin- 
ately, nor is the title " son of God " given to all men indis- 
criminately. It is used only of those who are the subjects of 
spiritual renewal, and who bear in some measure the moral 
and spiritual likeness of the Father.^ It does not denote a 
merely natural or physical relationship, but a moral bond as 
well. Deliberate and hardened transgressors are spoken of, 
not as children of God, but rather as children of the devil.^ 
But this is only because these wicked persons have turned 
their backs on their own true destination. As made by God, 
and as standing in his normal relation to Him, man is with- 
out doubt a son. Hence, in the Gospel of Luke, though not by 
Christ Himself, Adam is called '' the son of God," ' and Paul 
does not scruple to quote the saying of the heathen poet, 
'' For we also are His offspring." ^ The fact that the title 
" son of God " should belong to any, already implies a natural 
kinship between God and man, else the higher relationship 
would not be possible. If there were not already a God- 
related element in the human spirit, no subsequent act of 
grace could confer on man this spiritual dignity.^ 

1 Matt. v. 9, 45 ; John i. 12, 13. Gf. Schmid's 7*AeoZ. ofihtNtv) Testament, 
p. 101 (Eng. trans.). 

' Matt, xxiii. 15 ; John viii. 44. 

' Luke iiL 88. Yet only through the context — 'a^^, r»v ei«». 

* Acta xvu. 28. 

^ On the nature of man's sonship, cf. Candlish's Fatherhood qf God, and 
Dr. Crawford's work in reply (same title) ; Brace's Kingdom of God, chaps, 
iv. and v. ; Wendfs DU Lehre Jeau, ii., pp. 145-151 ; 453-461. 


Not only in the Christian view in general, but specially in specially im* 
the great central doctrine of the Incarnation, is this truth oiPj^***^^ 

" Incamalton, 

man made in the image of God seen to be implied. I have 
already referred to certain services which the German 
speculative movement in the beginning of the century 
rendered to Christianity in laying stress on the essential kin- 
ship which exists between the human spirit and the Divine, 
a thought never since lost sight of in theology. So long as 
the world is conceived of in deiBtic separation from God, it is 
inevitable that the Divine and the human should be r^arded 
as two opposed essences, between which true union is im- 
possible. Once this point of view is overcome, and it is 
seen that the bond between God and man is inner and 
essential — that there is a God-related element in the human 
spirit which makes man capable of receiving from the Divine, 
and of becoming its living image — a great step is taken 
towards removing objections to the Incarnation. A union 
between the Divine and human is seen to be possible, to the 
intimacy of which no limits can be set, — which, indeed, only 
reaches its perfection when it becomes personal The Incar- ^ 
nation has not only this doctrine of man as its presupposition 
— it is, besides, the highest proof of its truth. Christ, in His 
own Person, is the demonstration of the truth of the Bible 
doctrine about man. To get a knowledge of the true essence f 
of anything we do not look at its ruder and less perfect 
specimens, but at what it is at its best Christ is the best 
of humanity. He is not only the Bevelation of God to 
humanity, but the Bevelation of humanity to itself. In Him 
we see in perfect form what man in the Divine idea of Him 
is. We see how man is made in the image of God, and how 
himianity is constituted the perfect organ for the Bevelation 
of the Divine. ^ 

It is evident that in the Christian view the doctrine of The doctrine 
man links itself very closely with the doctrine of nature— of ^'^f ^f^f'^^-T 

" " hnkedvnth the 

creation. It is not merely that man is related to nature by doctrine of 
his body, but he is in Scripture, as in science, the highest *^^^^' 


basis — the 
doctrine of 

being in nature. He is, in some sense, the final cause of 
nature, the revelation of its purpose, the lord and ruler of 
nature. Nature exists with supreme reference to him; is 
governed with a view to his ends ; suffers in his fall ; and is 
destined to profit by his Redemption.^ I propose to begin 
with the natural basis — the doctrine of creation. 
/. The natural I. The Bible affirms, and perhaps it is the only book that 
does so, that all things, visible and invisible, have originated 
from God by a free act of creation.* The Bible doctrine of 
creation is something more than the Mosaic cosmogony. For 
my present purpose it is indifferent how we interpret the 
first chapter of Genesis — whether as the result of direct 
Eevelation, or as the expression of certain great religious 
truths in such forms as the natural knowledge of the age 
admitted of. I believe myself that the narrative gives evi- 
dence of its Divine original in its total difference of character 
from all heathen cosmogonies, but this is a view I need not 
press.^ The main point is the absolute derivation of all 
things from (xod, and on this truth the Scripture as a whole 
gives no uncertain sound. Discussions have been raised as 
to the exact force of the Hebrew word (Jam), used to express 
the idea of creation,* but even this is of subordinate import- 
ance in view of the fact, which none will dispute, that the 
uniform teaching of Scripture is that the universe had its 
origin, not from the fashioning of pre-existent matter, but 
directly from the will and word of the Almighty.* " He 
spake, and it was done ; He commanded, and it stood fast" ^ 
Not only is this doctrine of creation fundamental in 

signijicance of 

thU doctrine. ^ ^^ PP- 226-229. « Gen. i. 1 ; John i. 2 ; Col. i. 16 ; Heb. xi. 8, etc. 

* Note A.— The Creation History. 

* Cf. Delitzsch's New Commentary on Oenesis on chap. i. 1 (Eng. trans.) ; 
and Schultz's Alttestamentlicfie Theologie, pp. 570-571. 

^ " Creation out of nothing," says Rothe, " is not found in express words in 
Holy Scripture. . . . The fact itself, however, is expressed in Scripture quite 
definitely, since it teaches throughout with aU emphasis that, through His 
word and almighty will alone, God has called into being the world, which be- 
fore did not exist, and this not merely in respect of its form, but also of its 
matter." — Dogmatikf i. 133. 

* Ps. xxxiii. 9. 



Scripture, but it is of great practical significance. It might 
be thought, of what practical importance is it to us to know 
how the world originated ? Is not this a question of purely 
speculative interest ? But a moment's reflection will con- 
vince us that it is not so. The vital thing in religion is the 
relation of dependence. To feel that we and our world, 
that our human life and all that we are and have, absolutely 
depend on God, — this is the primary attitude of religion. 
For if they do not thus depend, — ^if there is anything in the 
universe which exists out of and independently of God, — 
then what guarantee have we for the unfailing execution of 
His purposes, what ground have we for that assured trust 
in His Providence which Christ inculcates, what security 
have we that all things will work together for good ? But 
to affirm that all things depend on God is just in another 
way to affirm the creation of all things by God. They would 
not depend on Him if He were not their Creator. They do 
depend on Him, because they are created by Him. The 
doctrine of creation, therefore, is not a mere speculation. 
Only this conviction that it is " the Lord that made heaven 
and earth " ^ — that " of Him, and through Him, and to Him, 
are all things " ^ — that He has created all things, and for His 
pleasure they are and were created,* — can give us the con- 
fidence we need in a holy and wise government of the 
universe, and in a final triumph of good over evil. 

If the doctrine of creation is the only one which meets The conson- 
the wants of our religious nature, it may now further be ^^^ of this 

° , '' doctrine with 

affirmed that it is a doctrine consonant with reason, and reason .- three 
consistent with all true knowledge. It is opposed, first, to oppositions. 
all forms of dualism ; secondly, to a merely logical derivation 
of the universe ; and thirdly, to the atheistic assertion of the 
self-subsistence and eternity of the universe. Let us glance 
briefly at these various oppositions. 

» Pb. cxxi. 2. ' Rom. xi. 36. 

' Rev. ir. 11. Revised Version reads : " For Thon didst create all things ; 
and because of Thy will they are and were created." 



I. Theopposi- 1. Partly on metaphysical, partly on moral grounds, some 
^T^ff have revived the old Platonic doctrine of an eternal matter, 

(tualtsm ^ ' 

{Martifuau, or Other independent principle, which exists alongside the 
Mill, etc.). Deity, and conditions and limits BKm in His working. Thus 
Dr. Martineau holds that, in order to afford an objective field 
for the Divine operations, we must assume something to have 
been always there, a primitive datum, eternal as Grod Him- 
self ; ^ while the late J. S. Mill thought the difficulties of the 
universe could be best explained by supposing the Creator 
hampered by the insufficiency and intractableness of the 
materials he had to work with.* Karl Peters, a disciple of 
the pessimistic school already mentioned, sets up space as a 
second eternal principle beside God ; ^ and others have held 
similar views. Philosophically, these theories are condemned 
by the fact that they set up two absolutes in the universe, 
which, if they really were absolutes, could never be brought 
into any relation to each other, much less be embraced in a 
single act of knowledge. Suppose this eternal matter to 
exist outside of God, how could it <even get to be known by 
God, or how could He ever act upon it, seeing that it has its 
being utterly apart from Him. Or, if it is not out of relation 
to His intelligence, by what middle term is this relation 
brought about ? This, which applies to tvx) absolutes, applies, 
of course, much more to a theory which starts from an infinity 
c I of independent atoms — that is, from an infinite of absolutes. 

But these theories are weighted with difficulties of another 
kind. An absolutely qualityless matter or vXrj, such as Plato 
supposes,^ is unthinkable and impossibla Plato himself is 
compelled to describe it as a fiif ov, or nothing. Il> is a 
mere abstraction.^ Is Dr. Martineau's eternal matter, which 

1 Shidy ofJReligion, pp. 405-408 ; Seat ofAiUkority, pp. 82, 33. 

» Three Essays on Religion, pp. 178, 186. Cf. Plato, Timceus, p. 51 {JUarg. 
Jowett's PlcUo, iii.). 

» WUlensipelt, pp. 835-341. * Cf. his Tim^jnis, pp. 27, 35, 60, 51. 

^ Dr. Stirling says : '' A substance without quality were a non-ens, and a 
quality without a substance were but a fiction in the air. Matter, if to be, 
must be permeated by form; and equally form, if to be, must be realised by 
matter. Substance takes being from quality ; quality, actuality from substance. 


has no properties of any kind till the Creator bestows them 
upon it, in any better case ? When, again, Mr. Mill identifies 
this eternal element, not with naked matter, but with the 
matter and force which we know — with constituted matter, 
clothed with all its existing properties and laws — are we not 
in the new predicament of having to account for this matter ? 
How came it there ? Whence this definite constitution ? 
Whence these powers and properties and laws which, in 
their marvelloufi adjustments and inter-relations show as 
much evidence of design as any other parts of the universe ? 
To suppose that " the given properties of matter and force, 
working together and fitting into one another"^ — which is 
Mr. Mill's own phrase — need no explanation, but only the 
uses subsequently made of them, is to manifest a strange 
blindness to the fundamental conditions of the problem. 

2. If the Scripture doctrine of creation is opposed to 2. The opposi- 
dualism in all its forms, it is not less opposed to every theory J^". ^^fV'\^ 
of a mere logical derivation of the universe — whether, with derivation of 
Spinoza, the universe is supposed to flow, with logical neces- ^^^ t^nwerse, 
sity, from an absolute Substance ; ' or with Hegel, to be the 
development of an impersonal Season ; or with Green, to arise 
from a Eeason that is self-conscious. It is this doctrine of a 
necessary derivation of the universe which takes the place in 
modern times of the old theories of emanation ; but I shall 
only make two remarks on it. (1) It involves an amazing 
assumption. The assumption is that this universe, which 
exhibits so much evidence of wise arrangement, and of the 
free selection of means to attain ends, is the only universe 

That 18 metapbysic ; but it is seen to be as wtiU physio, — ^xt is seen to have 
a physical existence ; it is seen to be in rerum natura," — Phil, cmd Theol. 
p. 43. 

^ TTiree Essay s^ p. 178. I may refer for further deyelopxnent of this argu- 
ment to two articles by myself in Tht Theological Monthly (July and August, 
1891), on " John Stuart Mill and Christianity." 

* Cf. Spinoza's Ethics, Part I. Prop. 29. — '' Nothing in the universe is con- 
tingent, but all things are conditioned to exist and operate in a particular 
manner by the necessity of the Divine nature." Prop. 88. — ''Things could 
not have been brought into being by God in any manner or in any order 
different from that which has in fact obtained." 


possible, and could not, by any supposition, be other than it 
is. Such a theory may be the only one open to those who 
hold the ground of the universe to be impersonal ; but it is 
not one which a true Theism can sanction, and it is unprov- 
able. Why should infinite wisdom not choose its ends, and 
also freely choose the means by which they are to be accom- 
plished ? Which is the higher view — that which regards the 
Divine Being as bound down to a single system — one, too, 
which wisdom, love, and freedom, have no share in producing, 
but which flows from the nature of its cause with the same 
necessity with which the properties of a triangle flow from 
the triangle ; or that which supposes the universe to have 
originated in a free, intelligent act, based on the counsels of 
an infinite wisdom and goodness ? ^ (2) As in this theory, no 
place is left for freedom in God, so logically it leaves no place 
for freedom in man. Freedom implies initiative, control, a 
choice between possible alternatives. But on this theory we 
are considering, freedom can never be more than a semblance. 
Whether the individual recognises it or not, all that he sees 
around him, and all that takes place within him, is but the 
working out of an immanent logical necessity.^ Things are 
what they are by a necessity as stringent as that which 
obtains in mathematics, and as little room is left for human 
initiative as on the most thorough-going mechanical or 
materialistic hypothesis. History, too, shows that the step 
from the one kind of determinism to the other is never 
difficult to take. The consciousness of freedom, however, is a 
fact too deeply rooted in our personality ; too many interests 

1 Cf. Veitch's Knowing and Being, pp. 290, 291. 

' Lotze discusses ** the conception of the world as ' a necessary, involuntary, 

and inevitable development of the nature of God,* " and says regarding it : "It 

is whoUy useless from the religious point of view, because it leads consistently 

to nothing but a thorough-going determinism, according to which not only is 

everything that must happen, in case certain conditions occur, appointed in 

pursuance of general laws ; but according to which even the successive occurrence 

of these conditions, and consequently the whole of history with all its details, 

is predetermined. "—Ot«««iie«o/<Ae Philosophy of Religion, pp. 71, 72 (Eng. 
iraas. ). 


depend on it to admit of its being thus put aside at the 
bidding of any theory, metaphysical or other ; and so long as 
human freedom stands, this view of the origin of the universe 
can never gain general acceptance. 

3. In the third place, the doctrine of creation is opposed 3. The oppoH- 
to the atheistic assertion of the self-subsistence and eternity '.'^ ofAtke- 

•^ tsm: self-exist' 

of the universe. I may here point out the indications "whidk ence and 
science itself gives that the universe is neither self-subsistent ''^^'^^ e/"''*^ 


nor eternal. Science, indeed, cannot prove the creation of 
the world, but it may bring us to that point at which we are 
compelled to assume creation. 

(1) In the analysis of nature, science compels us to go Evidences of a 
back to primordial elements. The atomic constitution oi ^^^^f^^ 
matter seems one of the surest results of science,^ and it is dial elements, 
not yet suggested that these primordial elements are developed 
from one another by any process of evolution, or that their 
homogeneous structure and identical properties are to be 
accounted for by natural selection or any similar cause. Here, 
then, is one limit to evolution, and it is important that those 
who are disposed to regard evolution as all-embracing should 
take notice of it. But science not only tells us that the 
universe is built up of atoms, it finds that each of these atoms 
is a little world in itself in intricacy and complexity of 
stmcture ; ^ and the fact that all atoms of the same class are 
exactly alike, perfect copies of each other in size, shape, 
weight, and proportion, irresistibly suggests the inference 

^ Profesaor CMbrd said : " What I wieh to impress upon yoa is this, that 
what is called ' the atomic theory ' — ^that is just what I have been explaining — 
is no longer in the position of a theory, but that such of the facts as I have 
just explained to you are really things which are definitely known, and which 
are no longer suppositions." — Manchester Science Lecture on " Atoms," Noy. 
1872. Cf. art ** Atom " in Ency, BrU,, and Stallo's Concepts of Modem 
Phynes, pp. 28, 29. 

^ The authors of Tlie Unseen Universe say : " To our minds it appears no 
leas false to pronounce eternal tlicU aggregation toe call the atomt than it would 
l>e to pronounce eternal that aggregation we coil the stm," — P. 218. Cf. p. 139. 
Professor Jevons believes that ''even chemical atoms are yeiy complicated 
structures ; that an atom of pure iron is probably a vastly more complicated ' 
ifystem than that of the planets and their satellites." — Principles qf Sdenccp 
ii. p. 452. 


that they have a common cause. " When we see a great 
number of things," says Sir John Herschell, " precisely alike, 
we do not believe this similarity to have originated, except 
from a common principle independent of thenu" Applying 
this to the atoms, he observes, '' The discoveries alluded to 
eflfectually destroy the idea of an eternally self-existent 
matter, by giving to each of its atoms the essential characters 
at once of a manufactured article and a subordinate agent." ^ 
This reasoning, I think, will command general assent, though 
fastidiousness may be offended with the phrase ''manufactured 
article " as applied to a work of Deity. 
(2) Evolution (2) Science compels us to go bax^k to a beginning in time. 
twvohes a jj-^ doctrine comes here more powerfully to our support than 
time, the doctrine of evolution, which some suppose to be a denial 

of creation. If the universe were a stable system — i.e., if it 
were not in a condition of constant development and change 
—it might with some plausibility be argued that it had 
existed from eternity. But our knowledge of the past history 
of the world shows us that this is not its character ; that on 
the contrary it is progressive and developing.* Now it lies 
in the very thought of a developing universe that, as we trace 
it back through narrower and narrower circles of development, 
we come at last to a beginning, — ^to some point from which 
the evolution started.^ The alternative to this is an eternal 
succession of cycles of existence, a theory which has often 
recurred, but which brings us back to the impossible con- 

^ Qaoted in Hitchcock's Rdigion of Oeohgy, p. 105, and endorsed by Pro- 
fessor Clerk-MaxweU — art "Atom," JEVicy. Brit.; and by the authors of The 
Urueen Universe, The latter say: '*Now, this production was, as far as we 
can judge, a sporadic or abrupt act, and the substance produced, that is to say, 
the atoms which form the substratum of the present uuiverse, bear (as Herschell 
and Clerk-Maxwell have well said), from their uniformity of constitution, all 
the marks of being manufactured articles." — P. 214. 

' This does not necessarily mean acceptance of the nebular theory of develop- 
ment. See Note B. — Evolution in Inorganic Nature — ^The Nebular Hypothesis. 

' Professor Clerk-MaxweU says : ** This idea of a beginning is one which the 
physical researches of recent times have brought home to us, more than any 
observer of the course of scientific thought in former times would have had 
reason to expect"— Address to Math, and Phys. Sect of Brit Assoc,, 1870. 


ception of a chain without a first link, of a series every term 
of which depends on a preceding, while yet the whole series 
depends on nothing.^ Science can give no proof of an eternal 
succession, but so far as it has any voice on the subject points 
in an opposite direction by showing that when the universe 
has parted with its energy, as it is in constant process of 
doing, it has no means of restoring it again.' 

(3) Finally, it is the view of many distinguished evolu- (3) Breaks in 
tionists that the course of evolution itself compels us to '^' ^^^'^ ^-^ 

*^ devtlopment. 

recognise the existence of breaks in the chain of development, 
where, as they think, some new and creative cause must have 
come into operation. . I may instance Mr. Wallace, a thorough- 
going evolutionist, who recognises three such '' stages in the 
development of the organic world, when some new cause or 
power must necessarily have come into action," viz. (a) at 
the introduction of life, (6) at the introduction of sensation 
or consciousness, (c) at the introduction of man.* With the 
view I hold of development as a process, determined from 
within, I do not feel the same need for emphasising these as 
" breaks." We have indeed, at the points named, the appear- 
ance of something entirely new, but so have we, in a lesser 
degree, with every advance or improvement in the organism, 
e.^. with the first rudiment of an eye, or new organ of any 
kind. The action of the creative cause is spread along the 
whole line of the advance, revealing itself in higher and higher 
potencies as the development proceeds. It only breaks out 
more manifestly at the points named, where it founds a new 
order or kingdom of existence.* 

^ See Note C— The Hypothesis of Cycles. 

' See passages quoted in Note C. • Tkunsinixm^ pp. 474-476. 

* Mr. Gore has said : " The term supernatural is purely relative to what at 
any particular stage of thought we mean by nature. Nature is a progressive 
development of life, and each new stage of life appears supernatural from the 
point of view of what lies below it"— ^e Incarnation (Bampton Lectures), 
p. 35. Lange has expanded the same thought "Each stage of nature," he 
Bays, "prepares for a higher ; which in turn may be regarded as above nature, 
as contrary to nature, and yet as only higher nature, since it introduces a new 
and higher principle of life into the existent and natural order of things. . . . 
Thus the chemical principle appeared as a miracle in the elementary world, aa 


DifficuUies of WhUe thus advocating, as part of the doctrine of creation, 
the doctrine of ^ beginninfif of the world in time, I am not insensible to the 

creation tn ^ ^ 

time. enormous diflSculties involved in that conception. Prior to 

that beginning we have still, it may appear, to postulate a 
beginningless eternity, during which God existed alone. The 
Divine purpose to create was there, but it had not passed into 
act. Here arises the difiSculty. How are we to fill up in 
thought these blank eternal ages in the Divine life ? The 
doctrine of the Trinity, with its suggestion of an internal 
Divine life and love, comes in as an aid,^ but, abstracting from 
the thought of the world, of the universe afterwards to be 
created, we know of nothing to serve as a content of the 
Divine mind, unless it be the so-called " eternal trutha" So 
that here we cure in presence of a great deep. A yet greater 
difl&culty arises when we ask, Since God purposed to create, 
why was creation so long delayed ? Why was a whole 
eternity allowed to elapse before the purpose was put into 
execution ? ^ If it was a satisfaction to love and wisdom to 
produce a universe, why was creation not as eternal as the 
purpose of it ? Why an eternity's quiescence, and then this 
transient act ? Or, rather, since in eternity no one moment 
is indistinguishable from another, why this particular moment 
chosen for creation ? The very mentioning of these difficul- 
ties suggests that somehow we are on a wrong track, and 
that the solution lies — since solution there must be, whether 

introducing a new and higher life ; similarly, the principle of crystallisation is 
a miracle with reference to the lower principle of chemical affinity ; the plant, 
a miracle above the crystal ; the animal, a miracle in reference to the plant ; 
and man, over all the animal world. Lastly, Christ, as the Second Man, the 
God-Man, is a miracle above all the world of the first man, who is of the earth 
earthy." — Com, on MaU, p. 152 (Eng. trans.). 

^ Cf. Professor Flint, in AfUi-TheisUc Thcoriea, pp. 488-489. He remarks : 
"Although Omni|K>tence cannot express itself fully in the finite world to 
which we belong, the Divine nature may be in itself an infinite universe, where 
this and all other attributes can find complete expression. . . . The Divine 
nature must have in itself a plenitude of power and glory, to which the pro- 
duction of numberless worlds can add nothing." 

' This objection was early urged against the doctrine of creation. Cf. 
Origen, De PriTicipiia, Book ill. p. 5 ; Augustine, De CivUaU Dei, Book xL 
p. 6. 


we can reach it or not — in the revisal of the notions we set 
oat with as to the relations of eternity to time. 

First, sonae have sought to cut this knot by the doctrine Proposed 
of an eternal creation. God, it is thought, did not wait f ^*'''^"^"" 

' ^ * {u) Theory oj 

through a solitary eternity before He called the world ^/mM/ 
into existence — the act of creation is coeval with His Being, (^<^*f>^' 
and the world, though a creature and dependent, is eternal 
as Himself. This was the doctrine of Origen in the early 
Church, of Erigena in the middle ages, and has been revived 
by Bothe, Domer, Lotze, and many others in modern times. 
It is carefully to be distinguished from the doctrine of a 
pre-existent eternal matter formerly referred to. But I do 
not think it solves the dif&culty. It is either only the 
doctrine of an eternal series of worlds in another form, and 
is exposed to all the difficulties of that assumption ; or it 
seeks to evade these difficulties of that supposition by the 
hypothesis of an undeveloping spiritual world, standing, as 
Borner says, in the light of eternity, antecedent to the exist- 
ing one — ^an hypothesis which leaves the origin of the 
temporal and developing world precisely where it was. Be- 
sides, how is the purpose of God ever to be summed up into 
a unity, if there is literally no beginning and no goal in 
creation ? ^ 

Secondly, another form of solution is that of the specula- (2) Denial of 
tive philosophers, who would have us regard the distinction '^^'■'"'i;''^'^^^ 

*^ *: * o time to God, 

of time and eternity as due only to our finite standpoint, and 
who bid us raise ourselves to that higher point of view from 
which all things are beheld, in Spinoza's phrase, vjih specie 
(xtemUaiis? The meaning of this is, that what exists for our 
consciousness as a time-development exists for the Divine 
consciousness as an eternally completed whole. For God, 
temporal succession has no existence. The universe, with all 
its determinations, past, present, and future, stands before the 

* See Note D.— " Eternal Creation." 

' Spinoza's Ethics, Part II. Prop. 44, Cor. ii—'* It is the nature of reason to 
perceire things 8ub quadam cetemUcUia 8peek" 


Divine mind in simultaneous reality. Language of this kind 
is found in Spinoza, Fichte, Hegel, Green,^ and is to be met 
with sometimes in more orthodox theologians. It is, how- 
ever, difficult to see what meaning can be attached to it 
which does not reduce all history to an illusion.* For, after 
all, time development is a reality. There is succession in our 
conscious life, and in the events of nature. The things that 
happened yesterday are not the things that are happening to- 
day. The things that are happening to-day are not the 
things that will happen to-morrow. The past is past ; the 
future is not yet come. It is plain that if time is a reality, 
the future is not yet present to God, except ideally. The 
events that will happen to-morrow are not yet existent. Else 
life is a dream ; all, as the Indian philosophers say, is Maya^ 
— illusion, appearance, seeming. Even if life is a dream, 
there is succession in the thoughts of that dream, and time 
is still not got rid of. I cannot see therefore that, without 
reducing the process of the world to unreality, this view of it 
as an eternally completed fact can be upheld. In an ideal 
sense the world may be, doubtless is, present to the Divine 
mind ; but as regards the parts of it yet future, it cannot be 
so actually.* 

^ A goud illustratioii is afforded by Mr. Green in a fragment on Immortality. 
''As a determination of thought," he says, "everything is eternal. What are 
we to say, then, to the extinct races of animals, the past formations of the 
earth ? How can that which is extinct and past be eternal ? . . . The process 
is eternal, and they as stages in it are so too. That which has passed away is 
only their false appearance of being independent entities, related only to them- 
selyes, as opposed to being stages, essentially related to a before and after. In 
other words, relatively to onr temporal consciousness, which can only present 
one thing to itself at a time, and therefore supposes that when A follows B, 
B ceases to exist, they have perished; relatively to the thought which, as 
eternal, holds past, present, and future together, they are permanent; their 
very transitoriness is eternal." — WorkSy iii. p. 159. 

* Hegel, indeed, says : " Within the range of the finite we can never see that 
the end or aim has really been secured. The consummation of the infinite aim, 
therefore, consists merely in removing the illusion which makes it seem yet 
unaccomplished. ... It is this illusion under which we live. ... In the 
course of its process the Idea makes itself that illusion, by setting an antithesis 
to confront it ; and its action consists in getting rid of the illusion which it has 
created."— Wallace's Logic of Hegd, p. 804. 

' Cf. Yeitch's Knowing and Being, chap. vii. ; Seth's ffegdianism and 


What other solution, then, is possible ? The solution must (3) Solution 
lie in getting a proper idea of the relation of eternity to ^0^/^^^/-" 
time, and this, so far as I can see, has not yet been satis- mctu of the 
faetorily accomplished. The nearest analogy I can suggest ''f^'*'"'^ ^-^ 
is that of the spiritual thinking principle within ourselves, tf/m/iV^. 
which remains a constant factor in all the flux of our thoughts 
and feelings. It is in the-midst of them, yet it is out of the 
flux and above them. It is not involved in the succession of 
time, for it is the principle which itself relates things in the 
succession of time — for which, therefore, such succession 
exists. I would only venture to remark, further, that 
even if the universe were conceived of as originating in an 
eternal act, it would still, to a mind capable of tracing 
it back through the various stages of ita development, 
present the aspect of a temporal beginning. Before this 
beginning, it would be possible for the mind to extend its 
vision indefinitely backwards through imaginary ages, which 
yet had no existence save as its own ideal construction. 
But God's eternity is not to be identified with this thought 
of an indefinitely extended time. Eternity we may rather 
take to be ao expression for the timeless necessity of God's 
existence ; and time, properly speaking, begins its course only 
with the world.^ 

A few words before leaving this part of the subject on the The motive 
motive and end of creation. If we reject the idea of meta-^"^f^^^ 

•* ^ _ creation: 

physical necessity, and think of creation as originating in a Kant^ Lotze^ 
free, intelligent act, it must, like every similar act, be con- *'^' 
ceived of as proceeding from a motive, which includes in it 
at the same time a rational! end. And if God is free, personal 
Spirit, who is at the same time ethical Will, what motive is 
possible but goodness or love, or what end can be thought of 
but an ethical one ? In this way it may be held that though 
the universe is not the product of a logical or metaphysical 

PersonalUy, pp. 180-184; Pfleiderer, Sdigionspkilosophie, iii. pp. 293-295 
(Eng. trans.); Lotze, Microcosmua, ii p. 711 (Eng. trans.) ; and see Note D to 
Lect. III. 

^ See Kote E.— Eternity and Time. 


necessity, it arises from the nature of God by a moral neces- 
sity which is one with the highest freedom, and thus the 
conception of creation may be secured from arbitrariness. It 
is an old thought that the motive to the creation of the world 
was the goodness of the Creator. Plato expresses this idea 
in his TimoBus} and points to a yet more comprehensive view 
when, in the Bepublic, he names '' the Good " as the highest 
principle both of knowledge and of existence.^ Since the 
time of Kant, philosophy has dealt in very earnest fashion 
with this idea of " the Good " — now conceived of as ethical 
good, but likewise as including in it the highest happiness 
and blessedness — as at once the moving cause and end of the 
world. Start from the postulate of Kant, that moral ends 
are alone of absolute worth, and the inference is irresistible 
that the world as a whole is constituted for moral ends, and 
that it has its cause in a Supreme Original Good, which pro- 
duces the natural for the sake of the moral, and is guiding 
the universe to a moral goal.' Hence, from his principles, 
Kant arrives at the notion of an ethical community or " King- 
dom of God," having the laws of virtue as its basis and aim, 
as the end to which creation tends.^ Lotze takes up the same 
thought of a world ordered in conformity with the idea of 
" the Good," and having its source in a Highest-Good Personal, 
and from him chiefly it has entered into Eitscblian theology.^ 
But Christian theology from its own standpoint arrives at a 
similar result We have but to ask, with Dorner, What is 
the relation of the ethical nature of God to the other dis- 
tinctions we ascribe to Him ? to see that " the non-ethical 

^ TiiruBue, p. 29 — *' Let me tell you, then, why the Creator created and made 
the uniyerse. He was good, and no goodness can ever have any jealousy of 
anything. And heing free from jealousy, he desired that all things should be 
as like Himself as possible." — Jowett*s PlcUo, iii. p. 613. 

> Bepublic, Bk. vi. ' See liut Lecture, pp. 129-131. 

^ In his Religion innerhcUb der Orenxen der hlossen Veniunjt, Bk. iii. Ct 
Seth's Fnym Kant to Hegel, pp. 123, 124 ; Caird's Philosophy qf Kant, 
pp. 611-613. 

^ Cf. Mierocotmus, ii. p. 723 (£ng. trans.) ; OuUinet qf Metaphyitic, pp. 151, 152 
(Eng. trans.). 


distinctions in the nature of God are related to the ethical as 
means to an end; but the absolute end can only lie in 
morality, for it alone is of absolute worth." ^ In the graduated 
system of ends of which the universe consists, the moral, in 
other words, must be presumed to be the highest. And this 
is precisely what Christianity declares when it teaches that 
Christ and the kingdom of Gk3d are the consummation of 
God's world- purpose ; that the government of the world is 
carried on for moral ends; and that "all things work 
together for good to them that love God." * 

II. From the point now reached, the transition is easy to //. Nature of 
the Scripture doctrine of the nature of man, and of his T'*' '^'^^^ 

^ ' place in 

position in creation. I may begin here with man's place in creation r 
creation, which of itself is a testimony which nature bears ^^^ tfu final 

cause of tht 

to the meaning and purpose of God in that creation. Assum- world. 
ing that final cause is to be traced in the world at all, we can 
get no better clue to it than by simply observing whither 
the process of development tends — what, as Mr. Spencer says, 
is "the naturally revealed end" towards which evolution 
works.' Here is a process of development, of evolution, 
going on for millenniums — what, as a matter of fact, do we 
find to be the outcome of it ? At the base of the scale is 
inorganic matter ; then we rise to organic life in the vegetable 
world ; as a next round in the ladder of ascent we have 
animal and sentient life ; we rise through all the gradations 
of that life — through insect, fish, reptile, bird, mammal — till 
at length, at the close of the long line of evolution, we find — 
What ? Man, a self-conscious, personal, rational moral being; 
a being capable of entering not only into moral relations with 
his fellowmen, but, infinitely higher, into spiritual and moral 
relations with his invisible Creator. Man's creation, it is 
true, is only the starting-point of a new line of evolution, 
but that evolution is one of moral life. So far as the teacli- 

' Christian Ethics, p. 65 (Eng. trans.). ' Bom. viii. 28, 

* Data 0/ Ethics, ^. 171. 


ing of evolution goes, then, man is the crown and masterpiece 
of this whole edifice of creation, and this also is the teaching 
of the Bible. I have been frequently struck with this in 
reading the works of Mr. Spencer and of other evolutionists, 
that none of them supposes that evolution is ever to reach a 
higher being than man ; that whatever future development 
there is to be will not be development beyond humanity, but 
development within humanity. In this it is implied that 
man is the end of nature, and that the end of nature is a 
moral one. In man^ if we may so speak, mute and unin- 
telligent nature attains to consciousness of itself, gains the 
power of reading back meaning into its own blind past, and 
has a prophecy of the goal to which its future tends. At the 
summit of nature's gradations— of her inorganic kingdom 
and plant kingdom and animal kingdom — 'there stands a 
being fitted for the kingdom of God. 
Agreement of The agreement of Scripture and science up to this point is 
Scripture and patent and incontestable. In the original picture in Genesis 

science on this ox 

point, we have, as in nature, a gradually ascending series of 

creations. We have man at the top of the scale ; man as the 
latest being of all, and distinguished from aU by the fact 
that he alone bears his Creator's image ; man set at the head 
of the lower orders of creatures, as God's rational vicegerent 
and representative. Science corroborates all this. It gives 
to man the same place in the ascending series of creations 
as Scripture gives him ; declares him to be the last and final 
product of nature ; links him intimately with the past through 
his physical organisation, in which the whole of nature, as 
physiology shows, recapitulates itself ; and at the same time 
acknowledges that he stands alone, and far removed from the 
other creatures, in his powers of thought and language, in his 
capacity for a self-regulated moral life under general rules, in 
his religious nature, in his capability of progress, and of 
boundless productivity in arts, sciences, laws, and institutions. 
Nay, looking at creation as a whole, from the vantage-ground 
which our present knowledge gives us, we can feel that its 


pUn would have remained incomplete, its pyramid wonld 
have lacked a summit, had man not appeared upon the scene. 
For man not only stands at the head of creation, but, in virtue 
of his rational nature, he occupies a position in relation to it 
different from every other. The animal, however high in the 
scale of development, is a mere creature of nature ; man has a 
life above nature. He is a being of '' large discourse, looking 
before and after." ^ He is capable of reflection on himself ; 
on the meaning and causes of things in the world around 
him ; on the ends of his own existence. He can rise above 
momentary impulse and passion, and guide his life by general 
principles of reason, and so is capable of morality. For the 
same reason he is capable of religion, and shows his superiority 
over nature through the thoughts he cherishes of God, of 
infinity, of eternity. Till a mind of this kind appeared, 
capable of surveying the scene of its existence, of understand- 
ing the wisdom and beauty displayed in its formations, and of 
utilising for rational purposes the vast resources laid up in 
its treasuries, the very existence of such a world as this is 
remained an inexplicable riddle : an adequate final cause — 
an end for self — was not to be found in it.^ 

It would, indeed, be an exaggeration to view creation Necessary 
solely from the standpoint here taken. The position that^*'^^^^''^'''''' 

fnan not 

man is the final cause of creation must obviously be \i^\^ the soU end of 

with certain qualifications. Were we to attempt to maintain ^«»^''' 

that the world exists solely for man's use and benefit, we 

wonld be met by unanswerable objections. Because man 

is the supreme end of nature, it does not follow that there 

are not lower ends — the happiness of the sentient creatures, 

e.^., and many others that we do not know. This world, 

again, is part of a wider system, and there may be not only 

lower ends, but wider ends, than those prescribed by man's 

existence. There is a delight which creative wisdom has in 

its own productions, which is an end in itself. God saw the 

works that He had made, and behold they were good ; though 

* EamUt, act ir. scene 4. ' See Note F. — Man the Head of Creation. 


not till man appeared upon the scene were they declared 
'* very good." ^ But this in no degree militates against the 
position that the main use and end of nature is to subserve 
the purposes of man's existence. Is not this to a thinking 
mind implied in its very dispositions and arrangements, in its 
distribution of land and sea, in its river plains and ocean 
communication, in its supplies of mineral and other wealth 
stored up in its recesses, in the forces it puts at man's dis- 
posal for the accomplishment of his purposes, in the very 
obstacles it interposes in the way of his advancement, 
stimulating his mental activity, summoning forth his powers 
to contend with difficulties, and in this way rousing him up 
to further conquests? There are yet higher teleolc^cal 
relations which nature sustains to man, on which I cannot 
now dwell — the part, e.^., which natural conditions play, as 
in Greece, in the development of the character and spirit of 
peoples ; the food which the study of nature affords to his 
intellect ; the beauty which delights, and the sublimity 
which awes him, both speaking to his spirit of things higher 
than themselves ; the suggestions it gives of the infinite and 
eternal, etc. Taking it all in all, we may rest in the view 
that man, as nature's highest being, is the key to the under- 
standing of the whole development ; that nature does not 
exist for its own sake, but supremely for the sake of the 
moral ; that its chief end is to furnish the means for such a 
development as we now see in the mental and moral history 
of mankind.* 
Man a com- As a compound being, made up of body and of spirit, man 
pound bemg— jg ^^ jjj^j^ which Unites the natural and the spiritual worlds.^ 

the link ^ 

between the The direct link between man and nature is the body, which 

natural and 
the spiritual: 

his body the * G®^- ^- ^^• 

link with ' ^^ ^^ teleological relations of nature to man, see Kant, Kritik d. Urtheil- 

nature. Icrajt, sect. 83 — "Of the last end of nature as a teleological system," and 

sect. 84 — "Of the final end of the existence of a world, t.e. of the creation 
itself ; " and cf. Caird, Philowphy qf Kant, ii. pp. 545-557. 

' See this thought worked oat in Herder's Idetn zur Phil, d. Oesch, dtr 
MtMchheit (cf. Book y. 6, quoted in Note F). 


in its erect posture^ its highly evolved brain, its developed 
limbs, and its countenance lifted up to the heavens, bears 
witness, as already Ovid reminds us,^ to the dignity of the 
soul within. As Materialism ignores the rights of the spirit, 
and would reduce thought, feeling, and will, to functions 
of matter ; so an ultra-spirituality is too apt to ignore the 
rights of the body, and to regard it as a mere accident of 
man's personality. Materialism quite rightly protests against 
this one-sidedness ; and the whole tendency of modem inquiry 
is to draw the two sides of man's nature — the material and 
the spiritual, the physical and the metaphysical, the physio- 
logical and the mental — more closely together. The Bible 
avoids both extremes. Materialism gets all its rights in the 
Bible doctrine of the body. The abstract spirituality of a 
Plotinus, or of a hyper-refined idealism, which regards the 
body as a mere envelope of the soul, dropped off at death 
without affecting its entirety, is quite foreign to it. I do 
not dwell on this now, as I shall have occasion to refer to it 
in the following Lectures. Enough to remark that the Bible 
history of man's creation ; the remarkable honour it places 
on the body as God's workmanship and the temple of the 
Holy Ghost ; its doctrines of sin, with death as the penalty ; 
of the Incarnation — " forasmuch as the children are partakers 
of flesh and blood. He also Himself likewise took part of the 
same " ; * of Redemption, which includes " the Redemption of 
the body " ; * of the future life in a glorified corporeity — all 
warn us against an undue depreciation of the body. 

I go on to remark that if the Bible gives its rightful place The spuituai 
to the body, much more does it lay stress on the possession '^"^^ 
hy man of a spirit, which is the true seat of his personality, cussion of 
and the link which unites him with the spiritual world, and Biblical terms. 
with God. Psychological questions would be here out of 

* MetamorpJiOHes, i. 2 : 

"Pronaque qunm spectent animalia cetera terrain, 
Os homini sublime dedit, cdelumqne tueri 
Jiusit, et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus." 
' Heb. iL 14. » Rom. vuL 23. 



place, and I can only enter into a very brief examination of 
the Biblical terms used to express the different aspects of 
man's spiritual nature, relegating the further discussion of 
these to their proper sphere in Biblical theology or psy- 
chology.^ I would first remark that the Biblical usage of 
psychological terms can only be understood if we keep strictly 
to the Biblical point of view. In the Old Testament, it is 
the unity of the personality which is the main fact, and not 
the distinction of an immaterial and a material part, as iu 
our modem usage. Nephesk or. soul does not in the Old 
Testament stand opposed to body, but is rather the principle 
of " life " which manifests itself on the one hand in the cor- 
poreal functions (" the life is in the blood "^), and on the other 
in the conscious activities of the mind. The real contrast in 
the Old Testament is between " flesh " (hdsdr) and " spirit " 
(rUach), and the " soul " is the middle term between them, 
the unity of them.' This does not mean that *' soul " and 
" spirit " are separable elements in the same way that '^ soul " 
and *' body '* are, but it means that the " soul," as inbreathed 
by God, is the source or seat of a double life. On the one 
side, it is the animating principle of the body ; the source of 
all vital functions. It is its presence in the body which 
constitutes the latter " flesh." On the other side, it is the 
principle of self-conscious life. Various names are em- 
ployed to denote the kinds of these self-conscious activities ; 
but they may be grouped generally under the name " spirit." 
More explicitly, all the activities of the " spirit " belong to 
the '' soul " ; but the converse is not true, that all the 
activities of the ''soul" belong to the "spirit." For the vital 
functions of the body, with the appetites, desires, impulses, 

^ Cf. on this subject the works of Delitzsch and Beck on Biblical Psychology ; 
Oehler and Schultz on Old Testament Theology ; Wendt's InhaU dtr Lthre 
Jesu; Heard on the Tripartite Nature of Man; Laidlaw's Bible Doctrine of 
Man ; Dickson's Flesh and Spirit (Baird Lectures), etc 

* Lev. xvii. 11. 

' Another word for Spirit is N^ahdmdh — ^used twice in Old Testament, once 
in a noteworthy passage for the principle of self-consciousness (Prov. xx. 27), as 
in 1 Cor. ii. 11. 


eta, which belong to this side of our nature, likewise are 
traceable to it as their source. It is only the higher activities 
of the " soul " — those which we still denominate " spiritual " 
— I speak of general usage, for probably there is no dis- 
tinction we can make which has not some exception — which 
are described by the term ** spirit" Thus, we read of a spirit 
of wisdom, of knowledge, of understanding, of an upright 
spirit, a free spirit, a contrite spirit, etc.^ That the " soul," 
esseTUidUif considered, is also spiritual, is .implied in its origin 
from the Divine Spirit. In the Kew Testament we have a 
distinction of " soul " and " body " much more akin to our 
own, though the influence of Old Testament usage is still very 
marked. " Soul " (-^ux^ still includes a higher and a lower 
life ; and the higher life is still denoted by the term " spirit " 
{TTvevfui); while the implication of a body is still always 
conveyed in the term " souL" There is no " soul " which is 
not intended to animate a "body"; there are incorporeal 
spirits (angels, demons), but they are not called by the name 
" souls." On the other hand, the '* soul " is recognised as 
spiritual in its essence, and in its disembodied state is classed 
among "spirits," e.ff. "the spirits in prison."* I need not 
discuss the cognate terms heart (KapBia), mind (vov9), 
understanding (Suivoia), etc., but content myself with saying 
that, except in the sense above explained, I do not see how 
a trichotomous view of man's nature can be maintained. The 
distinction of " soul " and " spirit " is a distinction within the 
one indivisible spiritual nature ; and the antithesis " soul " 
and "body" really covers all the facts of man's personal 
life. The highest functions of the " spirit " are in the New 
Testament ascribed also to the " soul " ; ^ and the " soul " in 
turn is used by Jesus as a name for man's highest imperish- 
able life. " He that hateth his life (irvxv) in this world shall 
keep it unto life eternal." * 

' Isa. xL 2 ; Ps. li. 10-12. Some of the references are to the Divine Spirit, 
bnt as the source of spiritual powers in man. 
» 1 Pet. iii 19. » E.g. Matt xxii. 27 ; Luke i 46. * John xu. 25. 


Alan as 
bearing the 
image of Cod, 

I. /^/> rational 


2. His moral 

(i) The power 
of moral 

(2) The power 
of moral 

From this digression, I return to the fact that it is in his 
" soul " or " spirit " that man peculiarly bears the Divine 
image. In a threefold respect is man the personal image 
of his Maker. 

1. He bears first of all the rational image of God. We 
have a proof of this in the fact formerly referred to, that man 
can understand the world God has made. How is science 
possible, except on the assumption that the reason we find 
in ourselves is the same in kind as the reason which expresses 
itself in the universe. The argument is the same as if we 
were set to translate a book written in a foreign language. 
The first condition of success in that attempt — the postulate 
with which we set out — is similarity of intelligence between 
the man who wrote the book, and ourselves who seek to 
decipher its meaning. If his reason were of a totally 
different kind from ours, the attempt to understand him 
would be hopeless. Precisely the same condition applies to 
the possibility of our knowledge of the world. Season in man 
and the reason expressed in nature must be the same in kind, 
or no relation between them could be established. Christian 
theology expresses this by saying that the world is created by 
the Logos, a term which means at once reason and word. 

2. Man bears God's vioral image, not now in the posses- 
sion of actual righteousness, but in the possession of the 
indestructible elements of a moral nature. (1) He is a being 
with the power of moral knowledge ; reason, in other words, is 
the source to him, not only of principles of knowledge but 
of laws of duty. The idea of the good, and with it the moral 
"ought" or ethical imperative, is part of his constitution. His 
moral ideal may vary with the degree of his development and 
culture; but, throughout, man is a being who distinguishes 
good and evil, and who recognises the obligation to obey the 
good and to eschew the eviL In this he proclaims himself a 
subject of moral law, and a being with a moral destiny. 
(2) He is a free, spiritual cause, i,e. he has moral freedom. 
I speak again not of man as at present he actually is, with 


his freedom sadly impaired through sin, but of man in the 
constitutive elements of his nature. And as a free, spiritual, 
self-determining cause, standing at the summit of nature, 
man is again in a vei^ marked sense the image of his Maker. 
It is this power of will and self-decision in man which most 
of all constitutes him a person. Through it he stands out 
of and above nature's sequences, and can react on and modify 
thenL He is, as some have chosen to regard him, a super- 
natural cause in the order of nature.^ It is surely of little 
use to deny the possibility of miracle, when every human 
volition is a species of miracle — a new, hyperphysical cause 
interpolated in the chain of physical events, and giving them 
a new direction. (3) Man is a being with moral affections. (3) The 
Without these he would not be a true image of the God who^*^"'^'"'^"^-^ 

^ ^ ^ moral 

is love. Summing up these points, we recognise in man a affections, 
conscience which reveals moral law, a will which can execute 
moral purposes, and afifections which create a capacity for 
moral love. This relates only to formal attributes ; but it is 
now to be remarked that the bearing of God's moral image 
in the full sense implies not only the possession of these 
attributes, but an actual resemblance to God in character, 
in holiness and love. In the primeval state — the sicdus in- 
teffritatis of the Biblical account^ — this possession of the image 
of God by man can only be viewed as potentiality, though a 
pare potentiality, for the perfected image could not be gained 
except as the result of self-decision and a long process of 
development, if even then without the appearance of the 
second Adam from heaven.* It is Christ, not the first Adam, 
who is the ideal here, the model after which we are to be 
renewed in the image of Him who created us. Only in 
Christ do we see what a humanity perfectly conformed to the 
Divine idea of it is. 

^ Cf. Bnslmell, Naiurt and Supernatural, pp. 23-25. 

' See next Lectnre. 

• Thia is a view already enunciated with great clearness by Irenreus. Cf. 
Dorner, Ptrtum of Christ, i, pp. 814-816 ; Art. "IreDieus" in Diet, qf Christ, 
Biog. Yol. iii ; and Harnack, DcgmengeschidUe, i. p. 499. 


3. His image 3. Man bears the image of God iu his deputed sovereignty 
i«sovereignty. ^y^ |.Jjq creatures, a sovereignty which naturally belongs to 
him in virtue of the attributes just enumerated, and of his 
place at the head of creation already adverted to. To the 
reality of this sovereignty, all man's conquests over material 
conditions, his achievements in art and civilisation, his employ- 
ment of nature's laws and forces for his own ends, \n& use 
of the bwer creatures for service and food, eta, abundantly 
The potential I might add oue other mark of the possession of the Divine 
infimtudeof jjjjj^^ ^ay man, likewise involved in his self-conscious person- 

mofts nature ° '' "^ 

—a s/iaiiow of ality. I refer to what may be called the potential infinitude 
^^^ of his nature. It has often been remarked that man could 


not even know himself to be finite, if he were not able in 
thought to transcend the finite, and frame an idea of the 
Infinite. It is the strange thing about him, yet not strange 
once we realise what is implied in the possession of a thinking 
nature, that though finite, hedged round on every side by the 
limitations of the finite, he yet shows a constant impulse to 
transcend these limitations, and ally himself with the 
Infinite. Through this peciiliarity of his nature, there is 
none of God's infinite attributes which does not find a 
shadow in his souL How else could Garlyle, e.^., fill his 
pages with references to the eternities, the immensities, etc., 
in which man's spirit finds its awful home ? Is a being who 
can form the idea of eternity not already in affinity with the 
Eternal, in a sense His image ? Man is not omnipresent, but 
is there not a shadow of God's omnipresence in those thoughts 
of his that roam through space, and find a satisfaction in the 
contemplation of its boundlessness ? He is not omniscient, 
but is not his desire for knowledge insatiable ? The same 
spurning of bounds, the same illimitableness, is seen in all his 
desires, aims, ideals, hopes, and aspirations. This shows the 
folly of the contention that because man is finite, he is cut 

^ On the whole snbjeot of the image of God in man, cf. Laidlaw's BUblt 
Doctrine qf Man, Le^t. III. (Cunningham Lectures). 


off from the knowledge of the Infinite. The objection seems 
to tarn on the thought that there is a physical bigness in the 
idea of infinity which prevents the mind from holding it. It 
niight as well be contended that because the mind is cooped up 
within the limits of a cranium only a few inches in diameter, 
it cannot take account of the space occupied, say by the solar 
system, or of the distance between the earth and the sun ! 

In thus affirming the spiritual nature and dignity of man, The Christian 
and a sonship to God founded thereon, it was inevitable that ^fPP^'^' 

^ Us elf to 

the Christian view should meet with keen opposition hom Materialism : 
the modem anti-supematuralistic tendency, which regards ^^^^^^^'f 

tendency of 

with extreme disfavour any attempt to lift man out of the modertt 
ranks of nature, and the prevailing bias of which is strongly ^^*'^«^^- 
towards MateriaUsm. In this spirit Professor Huxley has 
told us that " anyone who is acquainted with the history of 
science will admit that its progress has, in all ages, meant, 
and now more than ever means, the extension of the province 
of what we call matter and causation, and the concomitant 
banishment from all regions of human thought of what we 
call spirit and spontaneity." ^ The materialistic hypothesis 
has wide currency at the present day, though it is difficult to 
see how any sober mind, reflecting on the patent difference 
between mental and physical phenomena could ever 
suppose that it was adequate, or could imagine that by its 
aid it had got rid of " spirit." As involving the denial of 
the existence of a spiritual principle in man, distinct from 
the body, this hypothesis is manifestly in contradiction with 
the Biblical doctrine just explained, and on this account 
claims a brief consideration. 

The great fact on which every theory of Materialism strikes Materialism 
is, of course, the fact of consciousness. life, unattended ^^Z" ^ ^ 
by sensation, presents a great enough difficulty to the theorist consciousness, 
who would explain everything on mechanical principles,^ 

^ Lay Sermons, "On the Physical Basis of life," p. 156. 
' Kant has said that the attempt to explain the world on mechanical prin- 
ciples is wrecked on a caterpillar. 


I. Grosser 
form of 
— mind and 
brain identi- 
fied {MoU' 
schott^ Vogt^ 
etc, ). 

but when consciousness enters the difficulty is insuperable.^ 
It is, at the same time, no easy matter to bind down the 
advocates of the materialistic theory to a clear and con- 
sistent view. 

1. There is the crass, thorough-going Materialism which 
literally identifies brain with mind, and the movements of 
the brain with the thoughts and feelings of which we are 
aware in consciousness. Brain action, on this hypothesis, is 
thought and feeling. " The brain," says Cabanis, '* secretes 
thought, as the liver secretes bile." This is the crude theory 
of writers like Moleschott, Vogt, and Biichner, but it is too 
manifestly absurd — it too palpably ignores the striking 
dififerences between mental and physiological facts — to be 
accepted by more cautious scientists without qualification. 
Brain movements are but changes of place and relation on 
the part of material atoms, and, however caused, are never 
more than motions; they have nothing of the nature of 
thought about them. " It is absolutely and for ever incon- 
ceivable," says the distinguished German physiologist, Du 
Bois-Eeymond, " that a number of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, 
and oxygen atoms should be otherwise than indififerent to 
their own positions or motions, past, present, or future. It 
is utterly inconceivable how consciousness should result from 
their joint action." ^ There is, accordingly, general agreement 
among scientific thinkers that the physical changes and the 
mental phenomena which accompany them are two distinct 

^ Da Bois-Reymond, who himself favonrs Materialism, specifies, in his Dte 
Sithen WeUrCUhsel (The Seven Enigmas of the Worid), seven limits to the 
materialistic explanation of Nature. These are : 

1. The Existence of Matter and Form. 

2. The Origin of Motion. 
8. The Origin of Life. 

4. The Appearance of Design in Nature. 

5. The Existence of Consciousness. 

6. Intelligent Thought and the Origin of Speech. 

7. The Question of Free- Will. 

See the account of this work in Kennedy's NcUurcU Theology and Modern 
Tho^ujht, from which I take the list (p. 52). Enigmas 1, 2, and 5, Du Bois- 
Reymond regards as insoluble. 

^ Lecture on Die Orenzen des NcUurerkennens, Leipsic, 1872. 


sets of facts, which require to be carefully kept apart ** The 
passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding 
facts of consciousness/' says Professor Tyndall, " is unthink- 
abla"^ "I know nothing, and never hope to know anything," 
says Professor Huxley, " of the steps by which the passage 
from molecular movement to states of consciousness is 
effected,"* "The two things are on two utterly dififerent 
platforms/* says Professor Clififord, "the physical facts go 
along by themselves, and the mental facts go along by them- 
selves."' So far as this goes, it is clearly in favour of 
spiritualism, and would seem in consistency to require the 
abandonment of Materialism/ 

2. An escape, however, may seem to be afiforded from this 2. Newtr 
dilemma by consenting to regard matter as itself but the-^'*'^-^ 
phenomenal manifestation of some unknown power, as ^MmUm 
therefore not the ultimate reality, but only a form or appear- i^^^^^y 
ance of it to our sensea This is the view held by Strauss, 
Lange, Haeckel, Spencer, and the scientific professors whose 
words I have just quoted. " I have always/' says Strauss, 
"tacitly regarded the so loudly proclaimed contrast between 
Materialism and Idealism (or by whatever terms one may 
designate the view opposed to the former) as a mere quarrel 
about words. They have a common foe in the dualism 
which has pervaded the view of the world (Weltensicht), 
through the whole Christian era, dividing man into body and 
soul, his existence into time and eternity, and opposing an 

^ Fragment qf Science, "ScieDtific Materialism/' p. 121. In the sixth 
edition the words are — "is inconceivable as a result of mechanics" (vol. ii. 
p. 87). He goes on to say that could we "see and feel the very molecules of 
the brain ; were we capable of following all their motions, all their groupings, 
all their electric discharges • . . the chasm between the two classes of pheno- 
mena would still remain intellectually impassable." 

* Article on "Mr. Darwin's Critics," in Contemporary Feview, Nov. 1871, 
p. 464. Mr. Spencer expresses himself similarly: ''Can the oscillation of a 
molecule," he says, "be represented in consciousuess side by side with a nervous 
shock, and the two be recognised as one t No effort enables us to assimilate 
them."— Prm<;tpfes of Psychology, i. sec. 62. 

' "Body and Mind," in Fortnightiy Beview, December 1874. 

* Of. Herbert's Modem Bealism Examined^ pp. 89-94 ; Kennedy's Natural 
Theology and Modem Thought, pp. 64-66. 



eternal Creator to a created and perishable universe." ^ But 
whatever the change in the theoretic groundwork, this view 
in practice comes to very much the same thing as the other. 
It will not be disputed that it does so with Strauss and his 
Use of German allies, whose Materialism is most pronounced.^ But 

materi tstu ^^^ English savauts also, while disclaiming the name 

terminology by o ' o 

British " materialists," while maintaining in words the distinction 

between the two classes of facts (mental and physical), while 
careful to show that a strict interpretation of the data 
would land us rather in a subjective Idealism than in 
Materialism,^ none the less proceed constantly upon the 
hypothesis that mental facts admit of being translated (as 
they call it) into terms of matter, and that thus only are 


they capable of being treated by science.* Thus, Professor 
Huxley speaks of our thoughts as " the expression of mole- 
cular changes in that matter of life which is the source of 
our other vital phenomena,"^ of consciousness as '' a function 
of nervous matter, when that matter has attained a certain 
degree of organisation."^ This is carried out so far as to deny 
the existence of any freedom in volition, or indeed of any 

^ Der alte und der neue Olavbe, p. 212. 

' Strauss declares his thorough agreement with Carl Yogt in his denial of any 
special spiritual principle, p. 210. 

'Thus, e,g,, Huxley: ''For after all, what do we know of this terrible 
'matter,' except as a name for the unknown and hypothetical cause of states of 
our own consciousness? " ("On the Physical Basis of Life"). . . . "It follows 
that what I term legitimate Materialism . • • is neither more nor less than a 
shorthand Idealism." — "On Descartes," Lay Sermorut, pp. 157, 374. On the 
relation of extreme Materialism to Idealism, cf. Kennedy's Natural Theology, 
pp. 64-66. 

* That at least this terminology is preferable. Professor Huxley says : " In 
itself it is of Uttle moment whether we express the phenomenon of matter in 
terms of spirit, or the phenomenon of spirit in terms of ma,tter. . . • But with 
a view to the progress of science, the materialistic terminology is in every way 
to be preferred." — Lay Sermons, " On the Physical Basis of Life," p. 160. 

' Lay Sermons, " On the Physical Basis of Life," p. 152. In the same essay 
he tells us : "As surely as every future grows out of past and present, so will 
the physiology of the future extend the realm of matter and law, till it is co- 
extensive with knowledge, with feeling, and with action." — P. 166. 

•Article on "Mr. Darwin's Critics," in Contemporary Review, Nov. 1871, 
p. 464. In his Lecture on "Descartes," he says: "Thought is as much a 
function of matter as motion is,"— j^y SermonSt p. 371. 


influence exercised by consciousness at all upon the train of 
physical events. 

One advantage of this materialistic-idealistic form of the Ambiguity oj 
theory is, that it enables the theorist to play fast and loose l^'^yj^^// 
with language in matter and mind, and yet, when called to e/c. 
account, to preserve an appearance of consistency by putting 
as much or as little meaning into the term '' matter " as he 
pleases. Professor Tyndall is eloquent on the " opprobrium " 
which we, in our ignorance, bave heaped on matter, in which 
he prefers to discern ** the promise and potency of every 
form of life." ^ But he has to admit that, before he can do 
this, he has to make a change in all ordinarily received 
notions of matter. " Two courses and two only are possible," 
he says. " Either let us open our doors freely to the con- 
ception of creative acts or, abandoning them, let us radically 
change our notions of matter."^ To which Dr. Martineau 
very justly replies, " Such extremely clever matter, matter 
that is up to everything, even to writing Hamlet, and finding 
out its own evolution, and substituting a moral plebiscite for 
a Divine government of the world, may fairly be regarded as 
a little too modest in its disclaimer of the attributes of 
mind." * My chief objection to Dr. Tyndall, however, is that 
practically he does not change his notion of matter, but 
ignoring his own admission of the ^ chasm intellectually 
impassable " ^ between the two classes of phenomena, persists 
in treating mind as if it were capable of being adequately 
represented by molecular changes of matter, in the ordinary 
acceptation of the word. Instead, however, of supporting 
the view that molecular changes and mental functions are 
convertible terms, science, with its doctrine of the " con- 
servation of energy," has furnished, as we shall now see, a 
demonstration of the opposite. 
There are three points at which, in the light of modern 

^ " Bel&st Addreas," FragmenU 0/ Science, ii. p. 198. 
» rbid, ii, p. 191. 

' Religion cu ejected by Modem McUerialism, pp. 14, 15. 
* FragmtnU (^ Science, ii. p. 87. 


The material' science and philosophy, the argument for Materialism is seen 
istic theory utterly to break down. 

breaks down " 

in three 1. The first is that which I have just alluded to, the im- 

respects. possibility of accounting for the phenomena of consciousness 

sistefUwith ^^ Consistency with the scientific doctrine of the " conserva- 
*• conservation tiou of energy." As already remarked, none but the very 
of energy, crasscst materialists will maintain that the molecular changes 
in the brain are themselves the thoughts and feelings which 
we are aware of in consciousness. What the physicist will 
say is, that these changes are attended by certain conscious 
phenomena as their concomitants. You have the motions, 
and you have the conscious fact — the thought or feeling — 
alongside of it. This is the way in which the matter is put 
by writers like Huxley and Tyndall, who frankly confess, as 
we have seen, the unbridgeable gulf between the two classes 
of phenomena. But, once this is admitted, the assertion that 
mental phenomena are products of cerebral changes is seen 
to come into collision with the scientific law of conservation. 
If mental phenomena are produced by material causes, it can 
only be at the expense of some measure of energy. This, 
indeed, is what is affirmed. Physical energy, it is supposed, 
is transformed into vital energy, this again into thought and 
feeling. But this, it can be shown to demonstration, is pre- 
cisely what does Tiot take place. Every scientific man admits 
that energy in all its active forms is simply some kind of 
motion ; and that what is called " transformation of energy " 
(heat into light or electricity, etc.) is merely change from one 
kind of motion into another. What, then, becomes of the 
energy which is used when some change takes place in the 
matter of the brain, accompanied by a fact of sensation ? It 
is all accounted for in the physical changes. No scientific 
man will hold that any part of it disappears, passes over into 
an " unseen universe." With keen enough senses you could 
track that energy through every one of its changes, and see 
its results in some physical effect produced. The circuit is 
closed within the physical. Motions have produced motions, 


nothing more, and every particle of energy present at the 
beginning is accounted for in the physical state of the brain 
at the end. There has been no withdrawal of any portion of 
it, even temporarily, to account for the conscious phenomenon.^ 
This is a new outside fact, lying beyond the circle of the 
physical changes, a surplusage in the effect, which there is 
nothing in the expenditure of energy to explain. It is a 
fact of a new order, quite distinct from physical motions, and 
apprehended through a distinct faculty, self-consciousness. 
But apart from the nature of the fact, there is, as I say, no 
energy available to account for it. What energy there is, 
is used up in the brain's own motions and changes, and 
none is left to be carried over for the production of this 
new conscious phenomenon. If this is true of the simplest 
fact of consciousness, that of sensation, much more is it 
true of the higher and complex activities of self-conscious 

2. The second point on which Materialism breaks down 2. Contrast 
is the impossibility of establishing any relation between the ^l^^^^Jain 
two sets of phenomena in respect of the laws of their laws of their 


succession. The mental facts and the physical facts, we are ^^^^"*'^'^' 
told, go along together. But it is not held that there is no 
relation between them. And the relation is, according to 
Professor Huxley, that the mental order is wholly determined 
by the physical order, while, conversely, consciousness is not 
allowed to exercise the slightest influence on the physical series. 

* *' Motion," says Du Bois-Reymond, " can only produce motion, or transform 
itself into potential energy. Potential energy can only produce motion, main- 
tain statical equilibrium, push, or pull. The sum- total of energy remains 
constantly the same. More or less than is determined by the law cannot 
happen in the material universe ; the mechanical cause extends itself entirely 
in mechanical operations. Thus the intellectual occurrences which accompany 
the material occurrences in the brain are without an adequate cause as contem- 
plated by our understanding. They stand outside the law of causality, and 
therefore are as incomprehensible as a mobile perpetuum would be." — C/e6er die 
Orenzen des NcUurerkennene, p. 28 (in Kennedy's Natural Theology, p. 48). 

' On this argument, see Herbert's Modem Realism Examined, pp. 43, 57 ; 
Kennedy's Natural Theology and Modem Thought, pp. 48, 49, 79, 80 ; Harris's 
Philosophical Basin of Theism, pp. 439-442. 


Consciousness he thinks, in men as in brutes, to be *' related to 
the mechanism of their body simply as a collateral product of 
its working, and to be as completely without any power of 
modifying that working as the steam-whistle which accom- 
panies the work of a locomotive engine is ydthout influence 
upon its machinery." ^ The physical changes, in other words, 
would go on precisely as they do, in obedience to their 
own laws, were there no such thing as consciousness in 
existence ; and consciousness is simply a bye-product or reflex 
of them without any counter - influence. Similarly, Mr. 
Spencer says, '' Impossible as it is to get immediate proof 
that feeling and nervous action are the outer and inner faces 
of the same change, yet the hypothesis that they are so har- 
monises with all the observed facts" ; * and again, " While the 
nature of that which is manifested under either form proves 
to be inscrutable, the order of its manifestations throughout 
all mental phenomena proves to be the same as the order of 
its manifestations throughout all material phenomena." ' The 
one point clear in these statements is that in the materialistic 
hypothesis the order of mental phenomena is identical with 
an order of physical phenomena, determined by purely 
mechanical conditions.^ Is this according to fact, or is it not 
precisely the point where a materialistic explanation of mind 
must for ever break down ? On the hypothesis, the one set 
of phenomena follow purely physical (mechanical, chemical, 
vital) laws ; but the other set, or a large part of the other 
set (the mental), follow laws of rational or logical connection. 
Suppose a mind, for example, following out the train of 
reasoning in one of the propositions in Euclid — or, better still, 
think of this demonstration as it was first wrought out in 

^ "The Hypothesis that Animals are Automata," in Fortnightly BevUw, 
Nov. 1874, pp. 575-576. This " steam-whistle *' iUostration fails, as his critics 
all point out, in the essential respect that a steam -whistle does subtract a 
portion of the energy available for working the machinery, while the production 
of a conscious phenomenon does not. Gf. Herbert, pp. 46, 47 ; Kennedy, p. 
79, etc. 

- Principlea of Psychology, i. sec. 51. ' Ibid, i. sec. 273. 

* See Note G. — Mind and Mechanical Causation. 


the discoverer's own mincL What is the order of connection 
here ? Is it not one in which every step is determined by 
the perception of its logical and rationally necessary connec- 
tion with the step that went before ? Turn now to the other 
series. The laws which operate in the molecular changes in 
the brain are purely physical — mechanical, chemical, vital. 
They are physical causes, operating to produce physical 
effects, without any reference to consciousness. What pos- 
sible connection can there be between two orders so distinct, 
between an order determined solely by the physical laws, and 
the forgoing process of rational demonstration? The two 
orders are, on the face of them, distinct and separate ; and 
not the least light is cast by the one on the other. To 
suppose that the physical laws are so adjusted as to turn out 
a product exactly parallel to the steps of a rational demon- 
stration in consciousness, is an assumption of design so 
stupendous that it would cast all other proof of teleology 
into the shade. I am far, however, from admitting that, as 
the materialistic hypothesis supposes, every change in the 
brain is determined solely by mechanical, chemical, and vital 
law& Granting that cerebral changes accompany thought, I 
believe, if we could see into the heart of the process, it would 
be found that the changes are determined quite as much by 
mental causes as by material I do not believe, for example, 
that an act of will is wholly without influence on the material 
sequence. Our mental acts, indeed, neither add to nor take 
from the energy stored up in the brain, but they may have 
much to do with the direction and distribution of that 

3. A third point on which the materialistic hypothesis 3. irrecon- 
breaks down is its irreconcilability with what is seen to be "^'^*^'0' w^r^ 

' self-conscioitS' 

implied in self-consciousness, and with the fact of moral ness and moral 
freedom. To constitute self-consciousness it is not enough A^^^^'"- 
that there should be a stream or succession of separate 
impressions, feelings, or sensations ; it is necessary that there 

^ See Note H. — Mind and Cerebral Activity. 


should be a principle which apprehends these impressions, 
and relates them (as resembling, different, co-existent, succes- 
sive, etc.) to one another and to itself, a principle which not 
only remains one and the same throughout the changes but 
is conscious of its self-identity through them. It is not 
merely the mental changes that need to be explained, but 
the consciousness of a persistent self amidst these changes. 
And this ego or self in consciousness is no hyperphysical 
figment which admits of being explained away as subjective 
illusion. It is only through such a persistent, identical self, 
that knowledge or thought is possible to us ; it is implied in 
the simplest analysis of an act of knowledge. Were we 
simply part of the stream we could never know it^ As 
another fact of our conscious life incompatible with subjec- 
tion to mechanical conditions, I need only refer to the con- 
sciousness of moral freedom. In principle, Materialism is 
the denial of moral freedom, or of freedom of any kind, and 
with its triumph moral life would disappear.^ 
Ultimate These considerations are sufficient of themselves to refute 

refutation of Materialism, but the final refutation is that which is given by 

Afatertalisfn — 

matter itself ^^ general philosophical analysis of the relation of thought 
needs thought ^q existence, a subject on which I do not enter further than 
I have already done in the previous Lecture. Thought, as I 
tried to show there, is itself the priv^ of all things ; and in 
attempting to explain thought out of matter, we are trying 
to account for it by that which itself requires thought for 
its explanation. Matter, which seems to some the simplest 
of all conceptions to work with, is really one of the most 
difficult ; and the deeper its nature is probed, whether on the 

^ Cf. Green's Prolegomena to Ethics, Book i. ; Lotze*s Microcosmus, pp. 157, 
163 ; cf. Seth's Hegelianiam and Personality^ pp. 3-5. Lotze puts the point 
thus : ''Our belief in the soul's unity rests not on our appearing to ourselves 
such a unity, but on our being able to appear to ourselves at all. . . . What a 
being appears to itself to be is not the important point ; if it can appear anyhow 
to itself, or other things to it, it must be capable of unifying manifold pheno- 
mena in an absolute indivisibility of its nature." — Microcoitmwt, p. 157. 

' Cf. Ebrard's Christian Apologetics, ii. pp. 77-98 ; Domcr*s Chruttian 
Ethics, pp. 105-106 ; Kennedy's Natural Theology, Lecture V. 


physical or on the metaphysical side, the more does it tend 
to disappear into something different from itself ; the more, 
at any rate, is it seen to need for its explanation facts that 
are spiritual. It was remarked above how, even in the hands 
of Professors Huxley and Tyndall, matter tends to disappear 
in a subjective Idealism ; the only escape from this is a 
rational theory of knowledge, which again explains the con- 
stitution of the world through rational categories. To 
explain thought out of matter is, from a philosophical point 
of view, the crowning instance of a hysteron proteron} 

III. From the distinction thus shown to exist between ///. Many as 
the spiritual and the material parts of man's nature, there T'^^ "*Ji^ , 

* tmagg of God^ 

results the possibility of the soul surviving death, and the constituted for 
foundation is laid for the doctrine of Immortality. The *»^»^^<^^ify i 

Biblical aspect 

consideration of the Biblical aspect of this subject will more postponed, 
properly be reserved for next Lecture, where I treat of the VoUeof nature 
connection of sin and death. Here I will only ask how far 
nature and reason have a voice to utter on these two ques- 
tions : Is man constituted for immortality ? And is there a 
presumption that the soul will survive death ? These ques- 
tions, it ought to be observed, are not identical The pro- 
position that man, as a being made in God's image, is naturally 
destined for immortality, is not immediately convertible with 
the other, the soul will survive death ; for it is no part of 
the Biblical view, as we shall see afterwards, that death is a 
natural condition of man. Now, however, that death has super- 
vened, the question arises, Does the soul still survive ? To this 
question also, as I hope to show, both Old and New Testaments 
give an aflSrmative answer ; but the complete Scripture doc- 
trine of immortality means a great deal more than this. 

It is a significant circumstance that the modem unbeliev- Modem 
ing view of the world has no hope to give us of a ^^^j^^'/^^^^ 
beyond the grave. With the obscuration of the idea of God, future life. 
and the loss of the sense of the spiritual, there has gone 

1 Cf. C3»ird*s PMosophy qf Religion, pp. 94-101. 



also faith in immortality.^ Materialism, of course, is bound 
to deny a future life. The theories of Huxley, Tyndall, and 
Spencer hold out just as little hope of it,* though Mr. 
Fiske, developing a Theism out of the principles of Mr. 
Spencer, has developed also a doctrine of immortality, another 
evidence of the connection of these two beliefs.^ The hope 
proposed to us in lieu of individual immortality is that of 
" corporate immortality," the privilege of joining the " choir 
invisible" of those who have laboured in the service of 
humanity, though they live now only in the grateful memory 
of posterity.* Pantheism, likewise, forbids the thought of 
personal immortality, exalting instead the blessedness of 
absorption in the Infinite.® We cannot, however, part with 

^ Benan has said : "No one in business would risk a hundred francs with the 
prospect of gaining a million, on such a probability as that of the future life." 
—Dialogues, p. 31. Cf. Strauss, Der alte und der neue Qlavbe, pp. 123-184. 
** In fact," he says, ** this supposition is the most gigantic assumption that can 
be thought of ; and if we ask after its foundation, we meet with nothing but a 
wish. Man would fain not perish when he dies ; therefore he believes he will 
not perish."— Pp. 126, 127. 

» The contrast is again marked with the attitude of the last century " Natural 
Religion," which regarded the ** immortality of the soul "as one of its most 
certain articles. How little assurance even Theism, apart from Revelation, can 
give on this subject is seen in Mr. Greg's statements in Cretd qf Christendom^ 
chap, xvii.; and Preface to his Enigmas of Life. 

' Fiske's Man's Destiny, Dr. Martineau tells the story that on a report of 
the arguments of this book being read to an English friend, a Positivist, on its 
first appearance, his exclamation was : " What? John Fiske say that? Well ; 
it only proves, what I have always maintained, that yon cannot make the 
slightest concession to metaphysics, without ending in a theology ! " — Preface 
to Stvdy ofHeligion, 

* '*0 may I join the choir invisible 

Of those immortal dead who Uve again 

In minds made better by their presence. . . . 

This is life to come, 
Which martyred men have made more glorious 
For us to strive to follow." 

George Eliot, Jubal, and other Poems^ pp. 301-^03. 

' Thus in the Indian systems, but also in modern times. Spinoza's Pan- 
theism has no room in it for personal immortality. In Hegel's system the 
question was left in the same ambiguity as the question of the Divine person- 
ality (cf. Stirling's Secret of Hegel, ii. pp. 678-680 ; Seth*s Hegeiianisni and 
PersoTuUityf pp. 149, 150). On Schleiermacher's views, see Note I. — "Schleier- 
macher and Immortality," 


the hope of immortality without infinitely lowering the 
whole pulse and worth even of present existence.^ 

The only ^ciefniific plea on which the possibility of im- Scientific plea 
mortality can be denied to us is based on the fact that-^^'''^"''^-^^^" 

. . tion — Us 

mind in this life is so intimately bound up with physio- ununabUness. 
logical conditions. Once grant, however, that the thinking 
principle in man is distinct from the brain which it uses as 
its instrument, and no reason can be shown, as Bishop Butler 
demonstrated long ago, why it should not survive the shock 
of the dissolution we call death. Death need not even be 
the suspension of its powers. " Suppose," says Cicero, " a 
person to have been educated from his infancy in a chamber 
where he enjoyed no opportunity of seeing external objects 
but through a small chink in the window shutter, would he 
not be apt to consider this chink as essential to his vision ? 
and would it not be difficult to persuade him that his pros- 
pects would be enlarged by demolishing the walls of his 
prison ? " ^ It may turn out, as Butler says, that existing and 
bodily conditions are rather restraints on mind than laws of 
its essential nature.' Even so rigid a critic of evidence as 
the late J. S. Mill admits that this argument against immor- 
tality from the present dependence of thought and feeling on 
some action of the bodily organism, is invalid. " There is, 
therefore," he says, " in science, no evidence against the 
immortality of the soul, but that negative evidence which 
consists in the absence of evidence in its favour. And 
even the negative evidence is not so strong as negative 
evidence often is. " ^ It may, at the same time, be 
questioned, as we have seen, whether there are not limits 
to the extent to which science has demonstrated the 
dependence of the higher mental operations on cerebral 

1 ct p. 188. 

' Qaoted by Dagald Stewart, Aciivt and Moral Poujers, i. p. 72 (Collected 
Works). Cf. Tuacttlan DisputaUaw, Book L 20. 
« Analogy, i. chap. 1. * Thrte Essays, p. 201. 

* See Professor Calderwood*8 views in Note H. 


Disposition on Science, therefore, cannot negative the idea of immortality, 
^^ff^-^ . but has reason no positive utterance to give on this great 
Revelation to and solcmu qucstiou of future existence ? It is not men of 
tnmimtse the gcience onlv, but some believers in Revelation also, who show 

natural ^* ' 

evidence for & disposition to minimise the indications and corroborations 
immortality, which nature afifords of man's immortal destiny. Mr. Edward 
White does this in support of his theory of conditional im- 
mortality ; ^ but many others also have held the opinion that 
this is a question on which reason has little or nothing to 
say, and which must be determined solely by the light of 
If man con- Bevelation. This position seems to me a hazardous one for 
stuut for ^ believer in Eevelation to take up. Just as in speaking of 

tmmortaltty^ * x- o 

the fact must Theism I ventured to say that, if God exists, it is inconceiv- 
show iiseifin YA^ ^]^^^ nature should afiford no evidence of His existence ; * 

ms nature ana 

capacities, SO I would Say here that if Iiuman immortality be a truth, 
it is impossible that it should be only, or merely, a truth of 
Eevelation. If, as he came from his Creator's hand, it was 
man's destiny to be immortal, his fitness and capacity for 
that destiny must reveal itself in the very make and con- 
stitution of his being, in the powers and capabilities that 
belong to him. If it could really be shown that in man's 
nature, as we find it, no trace of anything exists pointing to 
a higher sphere of existence than earth affords, no powers 
or capabilities for which this earthly scene did not offer full 
employment or satisfaction, this alone, without any other 
argument, would be a cogent disproof of immortality. For 
the same reason, immortality cannot be viewed, as in Mr. 
White's theory, as a mere external addition to a nature 
regarded as having originally no capacity or destination for 
it, a donum superadditum. It is impossible that a being 
should be capable of receiving the gift of immortality, who 
yet in the make and constitution of his nature gives no 
evidence that he was destined for immortality. Otherwise 
immortality loses all moral significance, and sinks to the level 
of a mere prolongation of existence, just as the life of the 

^ In his Life in Christ. « Lect. III. p. 98. 


brute might be prolonged Such evidence, if it exists, may 
not be sufficient to demonstrate man's immortality, but it will 
show that the make and constitution of his nature points in 
that direction, that immortality is the natural solution of the 
enigmas of his being, that without immortality he would 
be a riddle and contradiction to himself and an anomaly 
in the world which he inhabits. And are there not such 

1. Our minds are arrested here, first, by the fact that i. Universal 
nearly every tribe and people on the face of the earth, savage ^TV!^!^^^ ^ 
and civilised, Jwjh held in some form this belief in a future staie juture state : 
of existence. This suggests that the belief is one which accords ^P^^^^ 
with the facts of human nature, and to which the mind is //^ imuffi- 
naturally led in its inquiries. Assume the doctrine to be ciency. 
false, there is still this fact to be accounted for — that nearly 
all tribes and &milies of mankind have gone on dreaming 
this strange dream of a life beyond the grave.^ Mr. 
Spencer, of course, has a way of explaining this belief which 
would rob it of all its worth as evidence. The hypothesis is 
a very simple one. Belief in a future state, according to it, 
is simply a relic of superstition. It had its origin in the 
fancies of the savage who, from the wanderings of his mind 
in sleep, and supposed appearances of the dead, aided by such 
facts as the reflection of his image on the water and the 
appearance of his shadow, imagined the existence of a soul, 
or double, separable from the body, and capable of surviving 
death.* Were I discussing this theory at length, I would like 
to put in a word for Mr. Spencer's savage. I would like to ask, 
first. Is Mr. Spencer so sure that this is the whole explanation 
of that singularly persistent instinct which leads even savage 
minds to cling so tenaciously to the idea of a future life ? May 

1 Cicero urges the argnment in Tlit TuKulan Dlaputations, Book L 13. 
For modem iUastrations cf. Max MuUer's Anthropological Heligion, 
Lecture V. ; Dawson's Fosnl Men and their Modem Bepretentatives, 
chap, z., etc. 

' Eeeles, InslUuUong, chape, i., xvi. : Strauss has a similar theory, Der altt 
uad der neue Qlavht, p. 124. 



it not be, though a philosopher may not care to take account 
of them, 

" That even in savage bosoms, 
There are longings, yearnings, strivings, 
For the good they comprehend not," 

and that, sometimes at least, 

" The feeble hands and helpless, 
Groping blindly in the darkness, 
Touch Gk)d's right hand in that darkness, 
And are lifted up and strengthened ? " ^ 

And I would like, second, to ask. Is the savage after all so 
illogical as Mr. Spencer would make him out to be ? Allow 
that he has crude notions of apparitions and dreams, this is 
not the essential point. The essential point is that, from the 
activity of his mind in thinking and dreaming, he infers the 
working of a power within him distinct from his body. Is 
he so far wrong in this? I do not think we do justice 
always to the workings of the savage mind^ The savage 
knows, to begin with, that there is a something written within 
him which thinks, feels, acts, and remembers. He does not 
need to wait on dreams to give him that knowledge.' The step 
is natural to distinguish this thinking something from his 
hands and head and body, which remain after its departure.^ 
Going further, he peoples nature with spiritual agents after 
the type of the mind he finds within himself. Here, there- 
fore, we have the clear yet not reasoned out distinction 
between body and spirit, and this, in connection with other 
hopes, instincts, and aspirations, readily gives birth to ideas 

^ Longfellow's HvanDoAha^ Introduction. 

' Max Miiller says : ''We cannot protest too strongly against what used to 
be a very general habit among anthropologists, namely, to charge primitive 
man with all kinds of stupidities in his early views about the soul, whether in 
this life or the next." — Anthropologieal Bdigionf p. 218. 

'Gf. Max Muller's discussion of the ''shadow" and "dream" theory in 
AntJuropological Seligion, pp. 218-226. "Before primitive man could bring 
himself to imsgine that his soul was like a dream, or like an apparition, it is 
clear that he must already have framed to himself some name or concept of 
soul."— P. 221. 

< Cf. Max Miiller, Anthropological Bdigum, pp. 195, 281, 887-888. " It was 
a perfectly simple process : what may almost be called ^ mere process of sub* 


of future continued existence. But, however it may be with 
the savage, how absurd it is for Mr. Spencer to assume that 
the mature and thinking portion of mankind have no better 
foundation for their belief than is impKed in these vulgar 
superstitions which he names I You sit at the feet of a 
Plato, and see his keen intellect applied to this subject ; you 
listen to the eloquence of a Cicero discoursing on it;^ you are 
lifted up by the grand strains of the poets of immortality. 
You really thought that it was proof of the greater mental 
stature and calibre of these men that they speculated on such 
themes at all, and expressed themselves so nobly in regard to 
them. But it turns out you are mistaken. You and they 
have miserably deceived yourselves ; and what seemed to you 
rational and ennobling belief is but the survival of supersti- 
tions, bom of the dreams and ghost fancies of the untutored 
savage ! 

2. But let us leave the savage, and look at this subject in 2. Rational 
the light of the higher considerations which have in ^^^^J7, 
ages appealed with special force to the minds of rational nature of 
men. I pass by here the metaphysical arguments, which at ^^^^'* 
most are better fitted to remove bars to the acceptance of 
the doctrine than to furnish positive proofs of it The real 
proofs are those which, as already said, show that the make 
and constitution of man's nature are not explicable on the 
hypothesis that he is destined only for a few short years of 
life on earth, but are such as point to a nobler and endur- 
ing state of existence. It is an interesting circumstance 

traction. There was man, a living body, acting, feeling, peroeiviug, thinking, 
and speaking. Suddenly, after receivlDg one blow with a dub, that living body 
coUapees, dies, putrefies, falls to dust The body, thereforo, is seen to be 
destroyed. Bat there is nothing to prove that the agent within that body, who 
felt, who perceived, who thought and spoke, had likewise been destroyed, had 
died, putrefied, and fallen to dust Hence the very natural conclusion that, 
thongh that agent had separated, it continued to exist somewhere, even though 
there was no evidence to show hxAO it existed and whtrt it existed." — P. 281. 
See also Mr. Greg, Preface to Enignuu o/Ltfe, p. 7 ; and Fairbaim's Studies in 
PhUosopky of ReligioHj pp. 115 ff. 

^ Plato's Phoedo, Cicero's Ttuteulan DisputaUons and Dream of ScipiOf etc 
Of. Max Miiller on Anthropological Beligion, Lecture XL 


that Mr. J. S. Mill, who, in his treatment of this question, 
took evident delight in reducing the logical evidence to 
its minimum, yet practically brings all those arguments 
which he had thrust out by the door of the head back by 
the door of the heart, and uses them to found the duty of 
cherishing this hope of a future life.^ What are these 
indications which point to a fitness for, and are a prophecy 
of, immortality in man ? 
(1) The scale of (1) There is tht fad tJuit the scale of man's nature is too 

tnan^s nature j ^7. . i.-. xi. ij i 

too great for l<^'^9^ f<>^ hu present scene of exustentx. I have already spoken 
his present of that shadow of infinitude in man which manifests itself 
^exlstmce ^^ ^ ^^ thoughts, his imaginations, his desires, etc. Look, 
first, at his rational constitution. In the ascent of the 
mountain of knowledge is man ever satisfied ? Does not 
every new height he reaches but reveal a higher height? 
Does not every new attainment but whet his appetite to 
attain more ? Is any thirst more insatiable than the thirst 
for knowledge? Is it not the last confession of ripened 
wisdom that man as yet knows nothing as he would wish 
to know ? Or look at the ideas which man's mind is capable 
of containing. His mind spans the physical universe, and 
ever as the telescope expands the horizon of knowledge, it 
reaches out in desire for a further flight. But there sure 
greater ideas than even those of worlds and systems. His 
mind can take in the thought of God, of eternity, of infinity. 
Is this like the endowment of a creature destined only for 
threescore years and ten ? The same illimitableness attaches 
to imagination. " The use of this feigned history," says 
Lord Bacon, speaking of poetry, "is to give some shadow 
of satisfaction to the mind of man on those points wherein 
the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in pro- 
portion inferior to the soul; by reason whereof there is, 
agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more 
exact goodness, and a more absolute variety than can be found 

^ In the Essay on " Theism," in Thrt/d E%9ayt on Btligion. See 


in the nature of things."^ Finally, there is desire. Give a 
man all of the world he asks for, and he is yet unsatisfied. 

'' I cannot chain my soul ; it will not rest 
In its clay prison, this most narrow sphere. 
It has strange powers, and feelings, and desires 
Which I cannot account for nor explain, 
Bat which I stifle not, being bound to trust 
All feelings equally, to hear all sides. 
Yet I cannot indulge them, and they live, 
Beferring to some state of life unknown." ' 

This argument is not met by saying, as Mill does, that 
there are many things we desire which we . never get. This 
may be true, but the point is that even if we did get all the 
satisfaction which the earth could give us, our desires would 
still go beyond that earthly bound.* 

'* And thus I know the earth is not my sphere, 
For I cannot so narrow me, but that 
I still exceed it."* 

The aigument is further strengthened by comparing man 
with the other creatures that tenant the earth. Modem 
science justly lays stress on the constant relation subsisting 
between creatures and their environment Throughout nature 
you find the most careful adjustment of faculty to environ- 
ment. If there is a fin, there is water ; if there is an eye, 
there is light ; if there is a wing, there is air to cleave, etc. 
But here is a creature whose powers, whose capabilities, 
whose desires, stretch far beyond the terrestrial scene that 
would contain him! Must we not put him in a different 
category ? 

^ Adv, of Leamwng^ Book ii. 18. 

'R. Browning, PauXxnt, [The text is somewhat altered in 1889 edition. 
Vi'orkB, L p. 27.] 

• **Man," says Eant, " is not so constituted as to rest and be satisfied in any 
possession or enjoyment whatsoever."— JSTr^^i/; d. UrtheiUkraft, p. 281 (Ei-d- 
mann's ed.). 

* Browning, Pauline, as revised : 

•* How should this earth's life prove my only sphere ? 
Can I so narrow sense but that in life 
Soul still exceeds it ? " 

Works, i. p. 29. ♦ 


{2) Immortal' (2) The Same inference which follows from the scale of 
f/^i«wA^<^iif jjjgjjig endowments results if we consider life from thz point 

ttu vtew of life ^ ^ -^ 

as moral dis" of vicw of moral discipline. Everything which strengthens 
dpiiru. Q^^j. yjg^ Qf ^jjg world as a scene of moral government; 

everything which leads us to put a high value on character, 
and to believe that the Creator's main end in His dealings 
with man is to purify and develop character, strengthens also 
our belief in immortality. The only way we can conceive of 
the relation of nature to metn, so as to put a rational meaning 
into it, is, as Eant has shown, to represent it to ourselves as 
a means to the end of his culture and morality.^ Can we 
believe, then, that God will spend a lifetime in perfecting a 
character, developing and purifying it, as great souls always 
are developed, by sharp trial and discipline, till its very best 
has been evoked, only in the end to dash it again into 
nothingness? What would we think of an earthly artist 
who dealt thus with his works, spending a lifetime, e,g., on a 
block of marble, evolving from it a statue of faultless pro- 
portions and classic grace, only in the end, just when his 
chisel was putting its last finishing touches on it, to seize his 
mallet and dash it again to pieces. It would stumble our 
faith in God — ^in the "Divine reasonableness"* — to believe 
that such could be his action. 

(3) A third consideration which points in the same 
direction is that frequently insisted on — the manifest incom- 
pleteness of the present scene of things, both as respects 
^-^''^Z* *'^"*" human character and work, and as respects the Divine 

computeness. ^ 

inequities, etc. administration. Here, again, everything that strengthens our 
faith in a moral government of the world, that impresses us 
with the infinite worth of human personality, that intensifies 
our sense of justice and injustice, forces on us the conviction 

(3) ImntoT" 
tality the 
solution of 
the enigmas 

^ Cf. Eant on "The last end of natare as a teleological system," Kritik d. 
UHheilsbrcift, pp. 280-285 ; and Caird, Philosophy of Kant, ii. p. 501. 

' "For my part," says Mr. Fiske, " I believe in the immortality of the soul, 
not in the sense in which I accept the demoustrable truths of science, but as a 
supreme act of faith in the reasonableness of God's work."— if an'tf Destiny, 
p. 116. 


that the present life, with its abounding anomalies, imperfec- 
tions, and inequities, is not God's last word to us ; ^ that there 
is another chapter to our existence than that which closes on 
earth. Here comes in the consideration which Kant urges 
of the need of prolonged existence to complete the fulfilment 
of our moral destiny ; ^ the sense of accountability which we 
all carry with us, instinctively anticipating a day of final 
reckoning; the feeling of etn unredressed balance of wrong 
in the arrangements of life and of society; above all, the 
sense of incompleteness which so often oppresses us when 
we see the wise and good cut down in the midst of their 
labours, and their life-work left unfinished. These are the 
" enigmas of life " for which it is difl&cult to see how any 
solution is provided if there is not a future state in which 
life's mysteries shall be made clear, its unredressed wrongs 
rectified, the righteousness of the good vindicated, and a 
completion granted to noble lives, broken off prematurely 
here. Our faith in God leads us again to trust Him» that 
" He that hath begun a good work " ' in us will not leave it 

(4) Finally, there is the fact which all history verifies, (4) Only 
that only under the influence of this hope do thz human ^^^^^' ^ 
faculties, even here, find their largest scope arid play. This tAis /tope do 
was the consideration which, more than any other, weighed ^^ human 

faculties find 
their highest 
^ "There is no reconciling wisdom with a world distraught, scope and play. 

Goodness with triumphant evil, power with failure in the aim, r ^^ Mill. 

If— -(to my own sense, remember ! though none other feel the same !) — 
If you bar me from assuming earth to be a pupil's place, 
And life, time, — with aU their chances, change8,~just probation-space, 

Mine, for me 1 " 

Browning, La Saisiaz, Works, ziv. p. 178. 

Mt should be noticed that as Kant grants a ''doctrinal faith" in the 
existence of God, as. distinguished from theoretical demonstration on the one 
hand, and the moral proof on the other (see Note F to Lecture III.)} so he 
admits also a "doctrinal faith" in immortality. "In view of the Divine 
viadom," he says, "and having respect to the splendid endowment of human 
nature, and to the shortness of life, so inadequate for its development, we can 
iind an equally satisfactory ground for a doctrinal faith in the future life of the 
human souL "—^rttiA d. r. Vemunfiy p. 661 (Eng. trans, pp. 690-691). 

» PhU. L 6. 


with the late J. S. Mill, in inclining him to admit the hope 
of immortality. '' The beneficial influence of such a hope/' 
he says, in words well worth quoting, '* is far from trifling. 
It makes life and human nature a far greater thing to the 
feelings, and gives greater strength as well as greater 
solemnity to all the sentiments which are awakened in us 
by our fellow-creatures, and by mankind at large.^ It allays 
the sense of that irony of nature which is so painfully felt 
when we see the exertions and sacrifices of a life culminating 
in the formation of a wise and noble mind, only to disappear 
from the world when the time has just arrived at which the 
world seems about to begin reaping the benefit of it . . . 
But the benefit consists less in the presence of any specific 
hope than in the enlargement of the general scale of the 
feelings ; the loftier aspirations being no longer kept down 
by a sense of the insignificance of human life — ^by the dis- 
astrous feeling of * not worth while/ " * The evolutionist, it 
seems to me, should, beyond all others, respect these voices 
of the soul, this natural and unforced testimony of our 
nature to a life beyond, which does not disappear (as it would 
do were Mr. Spencer's hypothesis correct), but only grows 
clearer and more solemn, as the history of humanity 
Conclusion, I think, then, we may conclude that reason does create a 

presumption, and that a very strong one, in favour of a 
future life. The considerations we have urged prove the 

^ Cf. Uhlhorn in his Christian Charity m the Ancient Church. "There is an 
ides/' he says, ''which has been again met with in oar own day, that men, 
when they first clearly come to bolieve that hnman life finds its end in this life 
alone, would be on that account the more ready to help one another, so that at 
least life here below might be made as pleasant to all as possible, and kept free 
from evil. But, in truth, the opposite is the case. If the individual man is 
only a passiog shadow, without any everlasting significance, then reflection 
quickly makes us decide : Since it is of no importance whether he exbt or not, 
why should I deprive myself of anything to give it to him f ... It was only 
when through Christianity it was for the first time made known that every 
human soul possessed an infinite value, that each individual existence is of 
much more worth than the whole world, — ^it was only then that room was 
found for the growth of a genuine charity."— Pp. 33, 84 (Eng. trans.). 

' Three Euays, p. 249. 


possibility of immortality, and show that the soul of man is 
naturallj fitted for immortality. We need not claim that 
they do more, though they have proved sufficient to inspire 
many of the noblest minds of our race, even apart from the 
gospel, with a very steady persuasion that there is a life 
hereafter. They cannot give absolute certainty. They may 
not be able, apart from the light of Eevelation, to lift the 
mind wholly above the suspicion that the law of waste 
and destruction which prevails here against the body may 
somewhere else, and finally, prevail against the soul. But, so 
far as they go, they must be accepted as a powerful corro- 
boration and conSrmation, from the side of nature, of the 
Christian view. 


tlTfie $0)StuIate of ffnt €fixietian Vit^ in ugartr to 
i^t &in anU BidorDet ot tlje QHotltr. 

"Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and 
death through sin ; and so death passed unto all men, for that all have 
sinned."— Paul. 

"This is a wonder to which the worshippers of reason have not yet 
given a name — the story of the fall of the first man. Is it allegory? 
history I fable ? And yet there it stands, following the account of the 
Creation, one of the pillars of Hercules, beyond which there is nothing 
— the point from which all succeeding history starts. ... And yet, 
ye dear, most ancient, and undying traditions of my race — ye are the 
very kernel and germ of its most hidden history. Without you, man- 
kind would be what so many other things are — a book without a title, 
without the first cover and introduction." — Herdeb. 

"The existence of two selves in a man, a better self which takes 
pleasure in the good, and a worse self which makes for the bad, is a 
fact too plain to be denied."— F. H. Bradlet. 

" When we speak of primitive man, we do not mean man while he 
was emerging from brutality to humanity, ' while he was losing his fur 
anil gaining his intellect.' We leave that to the few biologists who, 
undeterred by the absence of facts, still profess a belief in descent of 
man from some known or unknown animal species."— Max MtJLLER. 

" Are God and Nature then at strife. 
That Nature lends such evil dreams ? 
So careful of the type she seems, 
So careless of the single life ; . . . 

" * So careful of the type I * but no. 

From scarped cliiT and quarried stone 
She cries, ' A thousand types are gone, 
I care for nothing, all shall go.' " 





Christianity is the religion of Eedemption. As such, it has Third postu- 
for its third postulate the sin and disorder of the world. QlXtian 
The existence of natural and moral evil is one of the darkest, view— the sin 
deepest, and most difficult problems that can occupy human f.^" ^ 
thought. It is one which has exercised the hearts of men in 
all ages, one which is often raised in Scripture, and which The problem of 
should warn us off from light and superficial views of the *^^^f ^!f 

o IT moral emu 

Divine character and purposes. Its presence is the great , 
difficulty in the way of a belief on natural grounds in the 
perfect justice and goodness of God, the obstacle we immedi- 
ately encounter when we try to persuade ourselves that the 
universe is created and ordered by a supremely good Being. 
So grave is this difficulty, even in respect to natural evil, 
that Mr. J. S. Mill declares " the problem of reconciling 
infinite benevolence and justice in the Creator of such a 
world as this " to be " impossible " ; and adds, " The attempt 
to do so not only involves absolute contradiction in an 
intellectual point of view, but exhibits in excess the revolting 
spectacle of a Jesuitical defence of moral enormities." ^ From 
the natural point of view, the assurance pf God's perfect 
goodness must always be, to some extent, an act of faith, 
based on the postulate of our own moral consciousness ; and 
even this will often find it difficult to sustain itself, since 

^ Tkrte Essays on Bdigion, pp. 186-187. Cf. pp. 24-41, 112, etc. See Note 
A.— Defects in Creation, an Argument against Theism. 



does not create 
this problem^ 
hut helps to 
solve it. 

Natural evil 
with moral 

Tlie problem 
exists only for 

Christianity alone imparts the moral consciousness in sufficient 
strength to uphold the faith required. 

It is important to observe that though this problem meets 
us in connection with the Christian view of the world, it is 
not Christianity that makes this problem. Natural and 
moral evil is there as a fact in the universe, and would be 
there though Christianity had never been heard of. Christ- 
ianity intensifies the problem by the stronger light it casts 
on the. character of God, and the higher view it gives of 
man, but it does not create the problem. What it professes 
to do is to help us to solve it But the problem is there all 
the while, and has to be taken account of by every system, 
whether Christian or not. It is a difficulty of philosophy, 
not less than of theology. 

While, however, in naturalistic systems moral evil is apt 
to fall behind natural evil, in Christianity it is the other way 
— the moral evil is throughout placed in the forefront, and 
natural evil is looked at mainly in the light of it. Tliis is 
as it should be; for while, as we shall see, natural evil 
presents an independent problem, there can be no doubt that 
its existence is deeply implicated with the existence of moral 
evil.^ If we subtract from the sum of suffering in the world 
all that is directly or indirectly caused by sin — by the play 
and action of forces th^t are morally evil — we shall reduce 
the problem to very manageable dimensions indeed. It is the 
existence of moral evil which is the tremendous difficulty 
from a theistic point of view. I might go further, and say 
that it is only for a theistic system that the problem of moral 
evil properly exists.* Materialism and Pantheism may acknow- 
ledge natural evil — misfortune, pain, sorrow, misery — but it is 
only by an inconsistency they can speak of sin. Both are 
systems of determinism, and leave no place for moral action. 
There is, besides, in either system, no question of a theodicy, 
for there is to them no God. Things are as they are by a 

^ This is a point which Mr. MiU overlooks. 

» Cf. Otfs Le, ProbUme du Mai, pp. 1-6, 98, 99. 


necessity of nature, which we can neither account for nor get 
behind. If we could, indeed, really get rid of the problem of 
sin by adopting either of these systems, there would be some 
reason for accepting them. But unfortunately the problem 
of moral evil is one which refuses to be thus summarily got 
rid of. Sin is there ; the feeling of responsibility and of 
guilt is there; and neither the heart nor the reason of 
humanity will allow us to treat them as nonentities. Nor 
does the denial of Grod's existence really mitigate the difficulty. 
Dark as the problem of evil is, it would be immeasurably 
darker if we were compelled to believe that there is no 
infinite righteousness and love behind, through which a 
solution of the problem may ultimately be hoped for. I 
proceed to consider more narrowly what the Christian view 
of sin is, and how it stands related to modern theories and 

L It is in their respective relations to the sin and disorder /. TheprobUm 
of the world, perhaps more than at any other point, that the conflict o7^ 
Christian and '' modem " views of the world come to a direct Christian and 
issue. On the one hand, there are certain respects in which ^^f^ ^^^ 

^ on this subject. 

the Christian view finds unexpected support from the modern 

view of the world ; on the other, there are certain respects in Respects in 

which it is fundamentally at variance with it. Let us briefly ^^^^^^ ^,.^^ 

consider both. comes to the 

There are three respects in particular in which the modem ^^/V^.. °^'^^ 
view of the world comes to the support of the Christian view view : 
of sin. 

1, The modem view of things is marked by a stronger i. stronger 
sense than in former times of the reality and universal '^'J^^^^!^^ "-^ 
presence of e\'il — both of natural evil and of moral &w'A, presence of 
though moral evil, as was to be expected, is regarded more ^*^' 
from its side of error, misery, and bondage, than from its side 
of guilt. The modern view has disposed of the superficial 
optimism of earlier times. The days of a flimsy optimism, 
when men demonstrated to their own satisfaction that this 


was the best of all possible worlds, and made light of the 
facts which contradicted their pleasing hypothesis, are over, 
and everywhere there is an oppressive sense of the weight of 
the evils which burden humanity, and of the unsatisfactoriness 
of natural existence generally. The strain of modem thought 
is pessimistic rather than optimistic. Its high-water mark 
is not optimism, but what George Eliot prefers to call 
^' meliorism." ^ Herbert Spencer, indeed, still looks for an 
" evanescence of evil," as the result of the working of natural 
and necessary laws of evolution,^ but I do not find that this 
represents the general temper of the age. Schopenhauer and 
Hartmann have at least this merit, that they raise the question 
of the good or evil of existence in a form which makes it 
impossible ever again to ignore it, or bury it out of sight. 
Pessimism, as Professor Flint has said, ''like Macbeth, has 
murdered sleep." ^ All this is a gain to the Christian view. 
Hartmann even goes so far as to find the merit of Christianity 
in the fact that it is a system of Pessimism.^ Both systems 
take for granted the facts of existence, and both look them 
boldly in the face. But there is this difiference — Christianity 
looks on the world in a spirit of hope ; Pessimism looks on it 
in a spirit of despair. 
2. Abandon- 2. It is an extension of the same remark to say that the 
'"f^^^-^^^^^^ modem view of the world has disposed eflfectually of the 

views of r J 

inherent good' shallow Bousscau vicw of the inJierent goodness of human 
ness of human y^^i^^^ ^nd of the eighteenth century illumination dreams of a 

nature, ^ " 

perfectibility of man based on education, and on altered 
social and political conditions.^ The optimistic and Pelagian 

^ Cf. Sally's Pessimism^ p. 899. He adopts the term. 

* Social StoUics, p. 79. ' Anti-Tkeistk Theories, p. 294. 

* Selbstzersetzung des Chriatenthums, p. 51. Its characteristic mark, he 
thinks, is "the pessimistic conviction of the un worthiness of this world to 
exist." Schopenhauer's language is similar. "Let no one think," he says, 
"that Christianity is favourable to optimism; for in the Gospels world and 
evil are used as almost synonjrmous." "The inmost kernel of Christianity is 
identical with that of Bndimanism and Buddhism." — Dk Welt als WUUf etc., 
i. p. 420 ; iii. p. 420 (Eng. trans.). 

" Schopenhauer says : " Indeed the fundamental characteristic and the vrfZr** 
•»^iv3« of Rousseau's whole philosophy is this, that in the place of the Christian 


views of human nature are as completely discredited as the 
optimistic view of the world generally. Kant struck this 
deeper key-note when, in opposition to the preceding 
Eationalism, he acknowledged the presence of a " radical evil " 
in human nature, which he could only account for by an act 
of the will above time.^ The modem evolutionary philosophy 
goes even beyond Christianity in its affirmation of the 
dominance of the brute element in man's being— -of the 
ascendency of the egoistic over the social impulses in the 
natural man ; ^ while the moralisation of humanity which it 
anticipates^ in the sense of a gradual subordination of the 
former to the latter, is admitted to be yet very imperfect. 
From the side of modem thought, therefore^ there is no 
hesitation in admitting, what Christianity also affirms, that 
the animal in man has an undue preponderance over the 
intellectual and spiritual ; that the will, even in the best of 
men, is hampered and fettered by impulses of the lower 
nature to a degree which often evokes the liveliest expressions 
of shame and self-reproach ; that society is largely ruled by 
egoistic passions and aims. The law in the members 
warring against the law in the mind ^ — in a sense, a natural 

doctrine of original sin, and the original depravity of the human race, he puts 
an original goodness and unlimited perfectibility of it, which has only been led 
astray by civilisation and its consequenceji, and then founds upon this his 
optimism and humanism."— Die WtU als WilUy etc., iii. p. 898. 

^ Die Bdigion innerhalb der Orefizen dtr hlosaen Vernunft, Book i. — 
"On the Indwelling of the Evil Principle along with the Good, or on 
the Radical Evil in Human Nature." Cf. Caird's Philosophy of Kant, 
ii. pp. 566-568. 

'Mr. Fiske says: — *'Thu8 we see what human progress means. It means 
throwing off the brute-inheritance,— gradually throwing it off through ages of 
straggle that are by-and-by to make struggle needless. . . . The ape and the 
tiger in human nature will become extinct. Theology has had much to say 
about original sin. This original sin is neither more nor less than the brute- 
inheritance which every man carries with him, and the process of evolution is 
an advance toward true salvation." — Man*a Destiny, p. 103. 

"Arise and fly 

The reeling Faun, the sensual feast ; 

Move upward, working out the beast, 

And let the ape and tiger die." 

Tennybon, In Memoriam, 

* Rom. vii. 23. 


depravity and " original sin " — has its recognition in modern 
science and philosophy. 
3. Recognition 3. In the modem view of the world we have the fullest 
of the organic recognition of the organic principle in human life, and of the 
human life: corollary of this in heredity. This, which is the correction of 
heredity, ^^ individualistic view of human nature which prevailed in 
last century, I take to be one of the greatest gains of modem 
thought for the right understanding of the Christian doctrines 
both of sin and of Eedemption. The Christian view is one 
which gives its rightful place alike to the individual, and to 
the organic connection of the individual with the race ; and 
it is the latter side of the tmth which modem thought has 
done so much to further. Bather, perhaps, I should say 
that both sides are being brought into strong prominence ; 
for if there never was so much stress laid on the connection 
of the individual with society, neither was there ever so much 
said about individual rights. The former idea, at all events, 
is now thoroughly incorporated into modem habits of think- 
ing, under the name of the " solidarity " of the race.^ There 
is an individual life, and there is a social life in which we all 
share. The race is an organism, and the individual, if we 
may so speak, is a cell in the tissue of that organism, indis- 
solubly connected for good or evil with the other cells in the 
unity of a common life.* From this follows the conception 
of heredity, which plays so important a part in modern 
theories. Man is not simply bound up with his fellows 
through the extemal usages and institutions of society. 
"He has been produced by, and has become a part of 
them ... he is organically related to all the members of 
the race, not only bone of their bone and flesh of their 
flesh, but mind of their mind." ^ He is a bundle of inherited 
tendencies, and will in turn transmit his nature, with its 
new marks of good and evil, to those who come after 

^ The word, I believe, has come from Comte. 

' Cf. Stephen's Science qf Ethics, chap. iii. sec. 4, "Social Tissue." 

* Sorley's Ethics of Naturalism, pp. 123, 135. 


him.* It is easy to see that this conception of heredity, 
and of the organic unity of the race, is but the scientific 
expression of a doctrine which is fundamental to the 
Scriptures, and which underlies all its teaching about sin 
and salvation. 

In respect of the points just named, therefore, it may be Modem view 

affirmed that the modem view of the world is largely in^^'ff. 

agreement with Christianity. We may not agree "snth denial of 

Schopenhauer and Hartmann that Christianity is a system of <^^^^ ^*"' 

Pessimism ; but we may admit that Pessimism, in so far as it 

recognises that the world is in an evil state, is far truer to 

facts and to Christianity than the superficial Optimism, the 

shallow perfectionism, and the Pelagian denial of original and 

inherited sin, which it helped to displace. In the respect last 

named, indeed, modem thought is nearer to Christianity than 

some Christian systems themselves. Eitschl, for example, 

teaches that sin consists only in acts, and not in states and 

dispositions of the heart; that there is no such thing as 

original or inherited sin; that sin is not transmissible by 

nature, but only through education, influence, the reciprocal 

action of individuals in society, etc.^ But in maintaining this, 

he comes into conflict, not merely with texts of Scripture, but 

with the whole modem conception of the organic union of the 

race. Universal sin, — sin which does not consist merely in 

acts, but springs from deep-seated causes in the heart, the 

effects of which, both bodily and mental, are hereditarily 

^Perhapfl the most forcible illustrations of heredity are to be found in 
Mandsley's works. "Most certain is it," he says, " that men are not bred well 
or ill by accident, little as they reck of it in practice, any more than are the 
animals, the select breeding of which they make such a careful study ; that 
there are laws of hereditary action, working definitely in direct transnussion of 
<li]aUtie8, or indirectly through combinations and repulsions, neutralisations 
and modifications of qualities ; and that it is by virtue of these laws determine 
iDg the moral and physical constitution of every individual that a good result 
eosnes in one case, a bad result in another."— ^ody and Will, p. 248. 

^Recht. und Per. iii, pp. 817-332 (3rd ed.). "As a personal propensity in 
the life of each individual," he says, "it originates, so far as our observation 
f^^hss, out of the sinful desire and action which as such finds its adequate 
ground in the self-determination of the individual will."— P. 831. 


transmitted, — these I take to be conceptions which neither 
Eitschl nor any other will now be able to overthrow.^ 
Fundamental When all this is said, however, it must still be granted 
difference ^^^ ^^ j^qqI- fundamental difference exists between the two 

between Carts* 

tianand vicws — the Christian and the modem. The difference is 
modem views, partly one as to the nature of sin, and it runs up into a 
difference as to its origin. The Christian view of sin is not 
only infinitely deeper and more earnest than in any current 
conception apart from Christianity ; but it is, as I formerly 
remarked, profoundly modified by the difference in the views 
of God and of man. The first thing we have to do here is 
to secure clearly the Christian idea of sin ; then, when we 
have done this, and asked whether it is verified in conscience 
and experience, we are prepared to judge of theories of 
The Christian I lay it down as a first principle that, in the Christian 

\hatw^h' ^®^» ^^ ^^ ^^^^ which absolutely (mgM not to he?' How 
absolutely that which absolutely ought not to be is yet permitted to 
ought not to be : ^^^^ Under the government of a wise and holy God is a 

its presupposi" , / , . 

tions, problem we may not be able to solve ; but the first thmg to 

do is to hold firmly to the conception of sin itself. Sin, as 
such, is that which imconditionally ought not to be, which 
contradicts or infringes upon an unconditional law of right, 
and therefore can only be understood in the light of that 
which ought to be — of the moral good.^ The Christian view 

^ Mr. J. J. Murphy says of Original Sin : '' It is not a revealed doctrine, but 
an observed fact ; a fact of all human experience, and witnessed to as strongly 
by classical as by Biblical writers, as strongly by heathens and atheists as by 
Christians." — Swjnlific Biuis of Faith, p. 262. Pfleiderer speaks of " the 
undeniable fact of experience, that, from the very dawn of moral life, we find 
evil present in us as a power, the origin of which accordingly must be beyond 
the conscious exercise of our freedom," as ''a fact on which indeterminism. 
Pelagian or rationalistic, must ever suffer shipwreck." — Beligumsj^Uosophk, 
iv. p. 28 (£ng. trans. ). 

' Hegel also uses this formula, but ambiguously. ''What ought not to be," 
means with Hegel, "what ought to be done away." Cf. Julius Miiller, Ckris- 
tian Doctrine of Sin, i. p. 822 (Eng. trans.). See on Hegel's views later. 

' "For how can anything be called evil, unless it deviate from an obligatory 
good, and be therefore a violation of what ought to be (seinsoUendes) — of the 
holy law."— Dorner, System of Doctrine, u. p. 808 (Eng. trans.). 


of sin, accordingly, has for its presupposition the doctrine of 
God as ethical Personality, previously explained. It is God's 
perfect nature and holy will which form the norm of 
character and duty for man« The law of holiness requires, 
not only that the human will subsist in perfect harmony 
with the Divine, being surrendered to it in love, trust, and 
obedience, but, as involved in this, that there should be a 
right state of the affections, a pure and harmonious iniMr life. 
The external sphere for obedience is prescribed by our 
position in the world, and by our relation to it, to our 
neighbours, and to God. 

As the negation of this, sin, in the Biblical view, consists Sin, as revolt 
in the revolt of the creature will from its rightful allegiance ^^^^^^'^^''^ 
to the sovereign will of God, and the setting up of a i^lSs^^ faUe indepcnd- 
independence, the substitution of a life-for-self for life-for- ''''^'^* 
God> How such an act should ever originate may again be 
a problem we cannot solve ; but it is evidently included in 
the possibilities of human freedom. The possibility of sin 
arises from the fact that the creature has necessarily a 
relative independence; and that in man, particularly, 
together with the impulse towards God, there exists an 
impulse towards the world, which the will may be tempted to 
make an object on its own account^ The false choice made, 
the spiritual bond between God and the soul is cut or at 
least infinitely weakened ; the soul enters into subjection to 
the world to which it has surrendered itself, and an abnormal 
development begins, in which the baneful and God-negating 
character of the egoistic principle taken into the will gradually 
reveals itself.^ 

While thus spiritual in its origin, as arising from the free Effects of in 
act of a will up to that time pure, sin is anything but ^^^^^^f . 
spiritual in its effects. Its immediate result is the subversion natural and 

^ Exemplified in the Parable of the Prodigal (Luke xv. 11 ff.). 

' Cf. Martensen'e ChriiAian Ethics, i. sees. 26-28 (Eng. trans, pp. 94-102). 

' On the development and forms of sin, see MiQler, Christian Doctrine oj 
Sin, L pp. 147-182 ; Domer, System of Doctrine, ii. pp. 898-397 ; Martensen, 
Christian Ethics, L pp. 102-108, etc. (Eng. trans.). 


of the true relation of the natural and the spiritual in man's 
constitution, making that supreme which ought to be sub- 
ordinate, and that subordinate which ought to be supreme. 
The relation of the spiritual and psychical in human nature 
is inverted. The spiritual is reduced to subjection, can at 
best make only feeble and ine£Pectual protests ; the natural 
or psychical is elevated to authority and rule. Further, the 
spiritual bond being broken which kept the nature in 
harmony — reason, conscience, the God-ward affections ruling, 
while the lower passions and desires observed the bounds 
which higher law prescribed for them — not only is the 
psychical nature exalted to undue ascendency, but its own 
actings are now turbulent and irregular. It refuses to obey 
law; its desires clamour importunately each for its own 
special gratification ; discord and division take the place of 
the normal unity. There is introduced into the soul a state 
of avo^la — lawlessness.^ Eeason and conscience are still 
there as indestructible elements of human nature, nor can 
the sense of its dependence on God, or obligation to Him, ever 
be entirely lost. Hence arise, even in the natural man, 
conflict, struggle, self-condemnation, painful and ineffectual 
attempts to break the dominion of sin, never truly successful.^ 
For this reason, that carnality preponderates in the nature of 
man as a whole, and that the most spiritual acts of the 
natural man betray the signs of its controlling influence, the 
whole man is spoken of as "in the flesh," though elsewhere 
Paul distinguishes the flesh from that better self — the voO?, 
or inner man — which protests against its rula* All this finds 
Vcnjicationinii^ Verification in conscience and experience, if not in its 
consciousness, ^^^^Yi^y jj^ every man's consciousness, yet in the general 

consciousness of the race. What a man's judgment of him- 
self will be depends upon his standpoint, but in proportion to 

^ 1 John iii. 4. * Rom. vii. 13-25. 

' Rom. vii. 22, 28. On the various views of the Pauline use of the tenn 
rA^S, with criticism of these, see Dr. Dickson's St, PavVs Use of the Terms 
Flesh and Spirit (Baird Lectures, 1883). Cf. Dorner, System qf Doctrine, ii. 
p. 319 (Eng. trans.). 


the depth of his self-knowledge he will confess that his 
heart is not naturally possessed by love to God, and by 
spiritual affections ; that his inner life is not perfectly pure 
and harmonious ; that there are principles in his heart at war 
with what duty and the law of God require ; that he often 
transgresses the commandment which he recognises as " holy, 
and just, and good," ^ in thought and word and deed ; and that, 
in all this, he lies under his own self-condemnation. He is 
conscious that the sin of his heart is such that he would not 
willingly lay bare its secrets to his closest intimate, and he 
would probably confess also that this state in which he finds 
himself did not spring wholly, or de twvo, from his individual 
will, but that it developed from a nature in which the 
principle of disorder was already implanted. 

Gatherii^ these observations to an issue, I conclude that sin in the 
the cardinal point in the Christian view of sin is, that it ^^^^^'* 

view not some- 

is not something natural, normal, and necessary, but, both thing natural, 
as actual and as hereditary, something which must find ^^'w^'A a^td 

necessary f but 

its explanation in a free act of the creature, 9Jin\i[\mg ^he result of a 
the original relation of the creature to God. The Chn&tiKnfi'^^^^^f^^^ 
view, in other words, cannot be maintained on the hypo- 
thesis that man's existing state is his original one, — still 
less on the assumption that, in a moral respect, it is an 
advance and improvement on his original one, — but only on 
the supposition that man has wilfully defaced the Divine 
image in which he was originally made, and has voluntarily 
turned aside to evil. Apart from express statements on the 
subject, the underlying presupposition of the Christian view 
is that sin has a volitional cause, which, as the sin itself is 
universal, must be carried back to the beginning of the race 
— that, in other words, the development of the race has not 
been a natural and normal, but an abnormal and perverted 
one. And here it is, I admit, that the modem view of the 
world, with its doctrine of man's original brutishness, and 
his ascent by his own efforts to civilisation and moral life, 

^ Bom. vii 12. 


comes into the most direct and absolute contradiction with it. 
Many attempts — some of them well-meant — ^have been made 
to gloze over, or get rid of, this contradiction ; but these 
would-be solutions all break on the fact that they make sin, 
or what passes for sin, a natural necessity ; whereas, on the 
Biblical view, it is clearly not man's misfortune only, but his 
fault — a deep and terrible evil for which he is responsible. 
Theories of sin We shall best appreciate the force of this contradiction by 
o^sedto looking at some of the theories to which the Christian view 

Christian ^ ^ 

view: is Opposed. 

I. Theories 1. First, WO havc a class of theories which seek the ground 

ivhich seek the ^j ^^jj j^^ creation, or in the original constitution of the world ; 

ground of evil 

in the original To^^t thesc I do uot dwell upou. Such is the theory of 
constitution of Buddhism, and of all the pessimistic systems. " The exist- 

the world, ^ "^ 

ence of the world," Schopenhauer holds, " is itself the greatest 
evil of all, and underlies all other evil, and similarly the root 
evil for each individual is his having come into the world " ; ^ 
and Hartmann speaks of the '' inexpiable crime " of creation.^ 
Such, again, is the hypothesis of two original principles in 
creation, e,g, the Persian dualism, of which we see some faint 
attempts at a revival in modern times.' Such were the 
Platonic and Gnostic theories, that evil had its origin in nmtter. 
This doctrine also has its modem revivals. Even Bothe has 
adopted the view which seeks the origin of evil in matter, 
though why matter should be supposed inimical to goodness 
it is not easy to sea With him, it is the non-divine, the con- 
tradictory counterpart to God, opposed in its essence to the 
Divine, a conception not Biblical, and one which cannot be 

^ Pfleiderer, Beligionspkilaaophie, iL p. 233 (Eng. trans.). Gf. Welt ah WiUe, 
etc., i. pp. 452-461 ; iii. pp. 420-454. 

' That is, on the supposition that the Creator knew what he was about. 

' See Note B.— Dualistic Theories of the Origin of Evil. 

^See his theory in TheologUche Etkik, 2nd ed., i. sees. 40, 104-130. Cf. 
his Still Hours (Eng. trans.), pp. 185, 186. He says: "The development of 
man passes through stages of sin« ... If sin is a necessary point in human 
development, it is not on that account merely negative. . . . £vU in the course 
of development, or sin, is not in itself a condition of the development oX the 


2. We come, second, to a class of theories which seek 2. Theories 
the explanation of evil in the nature of man. It is «"*'f^ -^^^ ''^^ 

^ *^ explanation of 

the characteristic of all these theories that they r^^xA. evil in the 
sin as necessarily resulting from the constitution of human ^^^^^^^of^on- 
nature, in contrast with the Biblical view that it entered 
the world voluntarily. Of this class of theories, again, we 
have several kinds. 

(1) We have the metaphysical theories of sin — that, e.g,, of (i) Metaphysi- 
HegeL Sin is here regarded as a necessary stage in the ^^' '^^^" ^' 
development of spirit Hegel is fond of explicating the story 

of Eden in the interests of his philosophy, and this is how he 
does it " Knowledge, as the disannulling of the unity of 
nature," he says, " is the ' Fall,' which is no casual conception, 
but the eternal history of spirit For the state of innocence, 
the paradisaical condition, is that of the brute. Paradise is a 
park, where only brutes, not men, can remain. . . . The fall 
is, therefore, the eternal mythus of man, in fact the very 
transition by which he becomes man ? *' ^ Sin, in brief, is the 
first step of man out of his naturalness, and the only way in 
which he could take that step. It is the negation of the 
immediate unity of man with nature, and of the innocence of 
that pristine state, but only that the negation may be in 
turn negated, and the true destination of spirit realised.' 

(2) We have the ethical and would-be Christian forms of (2) Ethical 
these theories, in which the subject is looked at from the """f ^'^^'^^ 


religious point of view. Such, e.g,, is the theory of Schleier- theories, 
macher, who derives sin from a relative weakness of the 

good ; but it belongs to the idea of creation, as a creation ont of nothing, that 
the created personality cannot detach itself from material nature otherwise tlian 
by being clothed npon with matter, and being in this way altered, rendered 
impure or-sinfoL This is the necessary commencement of the creation of 
man, but only its mere commencement, which conies to a close in the Second 
Adam. . . . The necessity of a transition through sin is not directly an 
ethical, bat rather a physical necessity." The theory is criticised by Miiller, 
pp. 146-147 (Eng. trans.); and Dorner, System of Doctrine, ii. pp. 375-880 
(£ng. trans.). 

^ Philowphy of History (Eng. trans.), p. 833. Cf. ReliguMsphUosophie, ii. 
pp. 264-266. 

' See Note C. — Hegel's Doctrine of Sin. 


spirit as compared with sense.^ Such, again, is the theory of 
Lipsius, who explains it from the fact that man is at first a 
naturally conditioned and self-seeking being, while his moral 
will is only gradually developed.* Such is the theory of 
Bitschl, who connects it with man's ignorance. With him 
also man starts as a purely natural being, the subject of self- 
seeking desires, while his will for good is a '' growing '' 
quantity.^ Sin, therefore, is an inevitable stage in his 
{Z) Evolution- (3) We have the emlviionary theories, in which man 
ary theories: Wing only a shadc rcmovcd from the brutes, and his sub- 

lower and ° " 

hig/ier. Sequent moralisation is the result of slow development This 

theory may be held in a more naturalistic or in a more 
philosophical form. In the former, the genesis of our moral 
ideas, from which the sense of sin arises, is sought in causes 
outside of the moral altogether — in the possession by man of 
social as well as egoistic impulses, in the perception of the 
advantage that would accrue from the subordination of the 
latter to the former, in the gradual accumulation of the 
results of experience in the organism through heredity, in the 
strengthening of the bonds of society through custom, law, 
etc> What this theory fails to show is how this idea of the 
advantageous becomes converted into the perfectly distinct 
conception of the morally obligatory. A clearly perceived 
duty lays an obligation on the will quite distinct from a 
perceived advantage ; and even supposing the discovery made 
that a larger good would accrue through every individnal 
devoting himself to the common weal, a distinct notion is 

1 Der ehrut. Olavbe, sees. 66-69. Cf. Muller, i. pp. 841-859, on *'Scli1eier- 
maclier's View of the Essence and Origin of Sin," and Dorner, System of 
Doctrine, iii. pp. 84-88 (Eng. trans.). 

* Dogmatik, pp. 374-376. 

3 Cf. his Unterricht, 8rd ed. p. 26. This, according to him, creates only 
'* a possibility and probability" of sin ; bat it is a possibility which, as shown 
below, in the early stages of man's history, cannot fail to be realised. 

* Cf. for different forms of the evolutionary theory, Darwin's Descent of Man^ 
Stephen's 8cie$ice of Ethics, Spencer's DcUa of Ethics; and see criticism in 
Sorley's Ethics of Naturalism, chaps, v. to viii. 


involved when it is perceived that duty requires us to adopt 
this for our end.^ The higher form of the evolutionary theory, 
accordingly, makes a more promising beginnmg, in that it 
grants to man from the first his rational nature, and recog- 
nises that his ideas of moral truth and obligation spring 
directly from a rational source. It is held, however, as in 
the theories already considered, that at first it is the instinctive 
impulses, in which the self-regarding desires are necessarily 
preponderant, which hold the field, and that man comes to 
the knowledge of his true nature only gradually. Man, 
indeed, only begins to be a moral being, when, through the 
awakening of his moral consciousness, he makes the discovery 
that he is not what, in the true idea of his personality, he 
ought to be — when he forms an ideal. It is this impulse to 
realise his true nature, to attain to moral freedom, and bring 
the self-seeking impulses into harmony with moral law, which, 
on this theory, constitutes the mainspring of all development 
and progress.* 

Taking this class of theories together, I contend that it is Sin in all 
impossible to derive out of them conceptions of sin and ^ ' ^^^^ 

'^ ^ made some' 

guilt adequate to the Christian view. In the first place, it thing neces- 
ia evident that, in all these theories, sin is made something ^^^' 
necessary — not simply something that might be, or could be, 
but an absolute necessity. In every one of them, the 
original condition of man is supposed to be such that sin 
could not but result from it. This, it seems to me, is 

^Mr. Stephen sabstitutes the '* health" for the "happiness" of society as 
the moral end (p. 866). But the health is in order to the happiness, and it is 
presumed that the two tend to coincide (pp. 82, 88). ** Morality is a statement 
of the conditions of social welfare," ''the sum of the preservative instincts of 
society," "virtue is a condition of social welfare,'' etc. (p 217). Strong in his 
criticism of the ordinary utilitarianism, Mr. Stephen is weak in his attempt to 
provide a substitute, or show how the moral can possibly arise out of the non- 
moraL See Mr. Sorley*8 criticism, Ethics q/* Naturalism, chap. viii. 

* Ct with this general sketch Bradley's Ethical Studies (see pp. 261-265 on 
"The Origin of the Bad Self") ; and Green's Prolegomena to Ethics, Book iii., 
OQ "the Moral Ideal and Moral Progress." Green finds the moral end in 
rational " self-satisfaction," — a conception into which it is difficult to avoid 
importing a subtle kind of hedonism ; Bradley less objectionably finds it in 


Attempts to 
disclaim this 
conclusion : 


Lipsius and 

practically to empty the idea of sin of its real significance, 
and to throw the responsibility of it directly back on the 
Creator. It is probably a feeling of this kind which leads 
many who favour the view we are considering to disclaim the 
word " necessity." Hegel, even, tells us that sin is not neces- 
sary ; that man can will evil, but is not under compulsion to 
will it. But this is a mere evasion, arising from an ambiguous 
use of terms. In a multitude of other places Hegel tells us 
that sin arises from the highest logical and speculative 
necessity.^ Schleiermacher, in like manner, disclaims the view 
that sin is a necessary law of human development.* He 
could not do otherwise, and hold, as he does, the sinlessness 
of Christ. But he holds at the same time that the develop- 
ment through sin — or what we subjectively regard as sin — 
is the form of growth ordained for us by God, with a view to 
the ultimate Redemption, or perfecting, of the race in Christ^ 
Lipsius will have it that sin is at once necessary and free 
and avoidable.^ Eitschl holds, in the same way, that a 
necessity of sinning can be derived neither from the outfit of 
human nature, nor from the ends of moral life, nor from a 
design of God.^ Yet he grants, and starting off with man as 
he does as a merely natural being, he could not do otherwise, 
that sin is an apparently unavoidable product of the human 
will under the given conditions of its development® All 
these theories in fact, therefore, however they may evade the 
use of the name, do make sin a necessity. In the evolutionary 
theories this is very obvious. There is here no pretence that 
a sinless development is possible. How is it conceivable that 
a being beginning at the stage of lowest savagery should 
avoid sin ; and what responsibility can be supposed to attach 
to the acts of such a being, in whom brute passions and 

^ Of. the references to Phil, dea Rechts, sec. 139, in Mtiller, p. 892, and see 
^ Der Christ, Olauhe, sec. 68, 8. ' Der christ. Glaube, sees. 80, 81. 

* Dogmatikt pp. 376, 377, sees. 475-477. 

^ UnterridU, p. 26 ; and Becht, tmd Ver, iii. p. 358. 

* BecJU, und Ver, iii. 3rd ed. p. 360. 


desires have fall ascendency, while reason and conscience are 
yet a glimmer — a bare potentiality ? 

One immediate eflFect of these theories, accordingly, is to iViakemn^or 
weaken, if not entirely to destroy, the idea of milL How ^f^f^f 

" '^ idea ofgmU. 

can man be held responsible for acts which the constitution 
of his nature and his environment — without the intervention 
of moral causes of any kind, such as is involved in the idea 
of a " Fall " — make inevitable ? In all these theories I have 
named, accordingly, it will be found that there is a great 
weakening down of the idea of guilt. That man attributes 
his acts to himself, and feels guilty on account of them, is, of 
course, admitted; but instead of guilt being regarded as 
something objectively real, which God as well as man is bound 
to take account of, it comes to be viewed as something 
cUnging only to the subjective consciousness, — a subjective 
judgment which the sinner passes on himself, to which 
nothing actual corresponds. Bedemption thus becomes, in 
theories that admit Eedemption, not the removal of guilt, but 
of the consciousness of guilt; and this, not by any real 
Divine pardon, but by the sinner being brought to see that 
his guilty fears misrepresented the actual state of God's mind 
towards him. Thus it is in the theories of Schleiermacher, Theories of 
of Dpsius, and of Ritschl — in that of Kitschl most con- SckUier- 
spicuously. According to Schleiermacher, this subjective lipsius, and 
consciousness of guilt is a Divinely ordained thing to serve as K^tichL 
a spur to make men seek Bedemption, i.«. to be taken up into 
the perfect life of Christ.^ Ritschl regards all sins as arising 
so much from ignorance as to be without real guilt in the eyes 
of God- Grod does not impute guilt on account of the ignor- 
ance in which we now live. The reason, therefore, why sins 
are pardonable is, that though the sinner imputes them to 

> Der ckriei. OUvuhe, Bees. 80, 81. Cf. Miiller, pp. 355-366. The views of 
Lipsiua may be seen in his Dogmatik^ sees. 768-771. "Justification," he says, 
** in respect of human sin, is the removal of the consrionsness of guilt as a 
power separating from God, . . . the certainty awakened in him by tlie Spirit 
of God present in man of his fellowship in life and love with God, as something 
graciously restored in him by God Himself." — P. 690. 



himself as offences, they are not properly sins at all, but acts 
done in ignorance. The guilt attaching to these acts is but 
a feeling in the sinner's own consciousness, separating him 
from God, which the Revelation of God's Fatherly love in the 
Gospel enables him to overcome.^ But I ask, Does this 
harmonise with the moral experience of the race — not to say 
with the statements of the Bible ? Is it not the universal 
feeling of mankind that guilt is a terrible and stem reality, 
carrying with it objective and lasting effects, that it is 
as real as the "ought" is real, and that conscience, in 
passing judgment on our state, is but reflecting the judg- 
ment of God, to whom, ultimately, we are accountable ? 
This weakening down and subjectivising of the idea of 
guilt is to me a strong condemnation of any theory from 
which it springs. 
Differences These theories contradict the Christian view of sin, not 

between the simply in respcct of its nature and of the degree of guilt 

Christian and x * * o o 

the modem attaching to it, but in the accounts they give of its origin, 
view depend on They regard that as a normal state for man in the beginning 
ongin, ^^ '^is history, which the . Christian view can only regard as 

an abnormal one. This is, indeed, the primary difference on 
Consequences which all the Others depend. With minor differences, these 
m theory of theories all agree in regarding man's original condition as one 

man s onginal ^ o — o o 

bi-utishness. but little removed from the brute ; the animal impulses are 
powerful and ungoverned. Is this a state which, from the 
Christian point of view, can ever be regarded as normal ? It 
may be a normal state for the animal — can it be a normal 
state for a moral personality ? In such a being, even from 
the first, the moral law asks for a subordination of the animal 
impulses to reason and conscience, for unity, and not for 
disorganisation and lawlessness. It asks for this, not as 
something to be attained through ages of development, but as 
something which ought to exist now^ and counts the being in a 
wrong moral state who does not possess it. What, according 

1 Utcht, und Ver, iii. pp. 46, 62, 56, 83 ; 306, 307 ; 856-363, etc. Ste Koto 
D. — Ritschl's Doctrine of Guilt. 


to these theories themselves, is the judgment which the indi- 
vidual, when moral consciousness awakes, passes on himself ? 
Is it not that he is in a wrong moral state, a state in which he 
condemns himself, and feels shame at the thought of being 
in it ? Else whence this sense of moral dissatisfaction, which 
it is acknowledged that he feels, and feels the more keenly 
iu proportion as his moral perceptions become more acute ? 
It is not simply that he has an ideal which he has not reached : 
this is an experience to be found in every stage of develop- 
ment, even when the conscience implies no blame. But the 
contrast is between the idea of the " is " and of the " ought 
to be," even in his present state, and this awakens the feeling 
of blame, ^ On what ground, further, must it be held that 
man must have commenced his carreer from this low and non- 
moral, if not positively immoral point ? Is it a necessary 
part of a law of development, that a man can only reach that 
which he ought to be by passing through that which he 
ought not to be ? Then evil has a relative justification, and 
the judgment which the immediate consciousness passes on it 
must be retracted or modified fi»0m a higher point of view.^ 
We have only to compare the Christian estimate of sin with 
that to which this theory leads us, to see how profound is 
the difference between them. On this theory of development, 
when a man has reached the higher moral standpoint, he 
judges of his former state more leniently than he did at first ; 
lie ceases to pass condemnatory judgments on himself on 

^ Domer truly aays : '*£vil does not conalKt in man's not yet being initially 
what he will one day become ; for then evil must be called normal, and can 
only be esteemed exceptionable by an error. Evil is something dififerent from 
mere derelopment. . . . Evil is the discord of man with his idea, as, and so far 
as, that idea should be realised at the given moment. . . . Sin is not being 
imperfect at all, but the contravention of what ought to be at a given moment, 
and of what can lay claim to unconditioned worth." — System 0/ Doctrine, iii. 
pp. 36, 87. 

' Domer says : "If evil is supposed to consist only in development, which 
(lod has willed in His character as Creator, then its absolute wrongfulness must 
come to an end. The non-realisation of the idea cannot be blameworthy in 
itself, if the innate law of life itself prescribes progi-essiveness of development." 
— System of Doctrine, p. 264, 


account of it In the Christian view, on the other hand, the 

higher the stage which a Christian man has reached, the evil 

and guilt of his former state will appear in a deeper dye ; the 

more emphatically will he condemn it as one of lostness and 

shame. Which estimate is the more just ? I do not think 

there is any difficulty, at least, in seeing which is most in 

accord with the idea of the moral. 

Impossibiiiiy \ cannot, therefore, think that the picture sometimes given 

the^ChrUian ^^ ^^ man's primeval state — that of a miserable, half-starved, 

view with naked wretch, just emerged from the bestial condition, torn 

XS of ^^^^ *®^^® passions, and fighting his way among his compeers 

primeval man, with low-browcd cunniug, is one in harmony with the 

Relation to Christian view. And the adversaries of the Christian faith 

narrative of ^^^ ^^^ admit the discrepancy between their view and ours, 

but glory in it. Christianity, they say, requires you to 

accept one view of man's origin, and science gives quite 

another. As it is sometimes put, the doctrine of Kedemption 

rests on the doctrine of the Fall ; and the doctrine of the 

Fall rests on the third chapter of Genesis. But science has 

exploded the third chapter of Genesis, so the whole structure 

falls to the ground. I acknowledge the issue, but it is not 

rightly put to say that the doctrine of the Fall rests on the 

third chapter of Genesis. The Christian doctrine of Eedemp- 

tion certainly does not rest on the narrative in Gen. iii., but 

it rests on the reality of the sin and guilt of the world, 

which would remain facts though the third chapter of 

Genesis never had been written. It would be truer to say 

that I believe in the third chapter of Genesis, or in the 

essential truth which it contains, because I believe in sin and 

Redemption, than to say that I believe in sin and Redemption 

because of the story of the Fall.^ Put the third chapter of 

Genesis out of view, and you have the facts of the sin and 

disorder of the world to be accounted for, and dealt with, all 

the same. 

' Cf. the suggestive remarks in Auberlen's The Divine RecelcUion, pp. 
175-185 (Eng. trans.). 




The question however arises, and it is a perfectly fair one Do facts of 
to raise, Whatever we may say of the relation to the '^^"'^t'^ 

' -^ '^ contradict the 

Christian view, is not this doctrine of man's origin, which christian 

implies a pure point of beginning in the history of the race, *"^ ^ 

expressly contradicted by the facts of anthropology ? Do not 

the facta of modem science compel us to adopt a different 

view ? Must we not conclude, if regard is had to the 

evidence, that man did begin as a savage, but a few degrees 

removed from the brutes, and has only gradually worked his 

way upwards to his present condition ? In answer I would 

say, I certainly do not believe that this theory has been 

proved, and, expressing my own opinion, 1 do not think it is 

likely to be proved. If it were proved, I admit that it would 

profoundly modify our whole conception of the Christian 

system. Negatively, evolutionists have not proved that this 

was the original state of man. The missing link between The*' missing 

link '* 

man and brute has long been sought for, but as yet has been 
sought in vain. The oldest specimens of men known to 
science are just as truly men as any of their successors.^ At 
the same time, we need not reject the hypothesis of evolution No necessary 
within the limits in which science has really rendered i\,^oj*fl^^'^^^^ 

theory of 

probable. The only theory of evolution which necessarily evolution. 

' Professor Dana said, in 1875 : "No remains of fossil man bear evidence to 
less perfect erectness of structnre than in civilised man, or to any nearer 
approach to the man ape in essential characteristics. . . . This is the more 
extraordinary in view of the fact, that from the lowest limits in existing man 
there are all possible gradations up to the highest ; while below that limit there 
bi an abrupt faU to the ape level, in which the cubic capacity of the brain is 
one-half less. If the links ever existed, then annihilation, without trace, is so 
extremely improbable that it may be pronounced impossible. Until some are 
found, science cannot assert that they ever existed." — Geology , p. 603. 

Virchow said in 1879: "On the whole, we must readily acknowledge that 
all fossil type of a lower human development is absolutely wanting. Indeed, 
if we take the total of all fossil men that have been found hitherto, and compare 
them with what the present oifers, then we can maintain with certainty that 
among the present generation there is a much larger number of relatively low- 
type individuals than among the fossils hitherto known. . . . We cannot 
designate it as a revelation of science that man descended from the ape or any 
other animal." — Die Freiheit der Wissensekajt, pp. 29, 31. 

No new facts have been discovered since, requiring a modification of thesd 


conflicts with the Biblical view is that which supposes 

evolution to proceed by slow and gradual modifications — 

" insensible gradations," as Mr. Spencer puts it — and this is 

a view to which many of the facts of science are themselves 

opposed. Evolution is not opposed to the appearance, at 

certain points in the chain of development, of something 

absolutely new, and it has already been mentioned that 

distinguished evolutionists, like Mr. Alfred Eussell Wallace, 

freely recognise this fact.* The "insensible gradation" 

theory, as respects the transition from ape to man, has not a 

single fact to support it. With man, from the point of view 

Man the begin- of the Bible, We have the rise of a new kingdom, just as truly 

^inidfm ^'^ ^^ when life first entered, — the entrance on the stage of nature 

of a being self-conscious, rational, and moral, a being made 

in the image of God, — and it is arbitrary to assume that this 

new beginning will not be marked by differences which 

distinguish it from the introduction of purely animal races. 

Docs Arcka- The evidence which is adduced from other quarters of the 

ohgypraoe the Qrigjually savage State of man is equally inconclusive. Tliere 

savage condi' is no reason to believe that existing savage races represent 

ttonofman? ^^ earliest condition of mankind ; rather there is evidence to 

show that they represent a degradation from a higher state. 

Do savage The traccs of early man which geology has disinterred show, 

races represent indeed, the existence in various parts of the world of races in 

the onginat ^ 

state? a comparatively rude and uncivilised state; but they are 

found mostly in outlying regions, far from the original centres 

Evidence of of distribution, and afford no good evidence of what man was 

^Jl^lf ^'^^^"^' when he first appeared upon the earth.* On the other hand, 

^ Not only in respect of bis mind, but in respect also of bis body, Mr. 
Wallace bas contended tbat tbe appearance of man cannot be explained on 
Darwinian principles. He argues from tbe brain of primitive man as baying a 
development beyond bis actual attainments, suggesting tbe idea of '' a surplusage 
of power ; of an instrument beyond the wants of its possessor ; " from bis 
bairless back, "thus reversing tbe characteristics of all other mammalia ; " from 
tbe peculiar construction of tbe foot and band, tbe latter ''containing latent 
capacities and powers which are unused by savages;" from the "wonderful 
power, range, flexibility, and sweetness of the musical sounds producible by tbe 
human larynx," etc— Natural Selection, pp. 332, 380. 

* See Note E.— Alleged Primitive Savagery of Mankind. 


iK^hen we turn to the regions which tradition points to as the 

cradle of the race, we find great empires and civilisations 

which show no traces of those gradual advances from savagery 

which the modern theory requires, but which represent man 

as from the earliest period as in possession of faculties of 

thought and action of a high order.^ The theory, again, that 

man began with the lowest Fetishism in religion, and only Does religion 

gradually raised himself through Polytheism to Monotheism, /^^^^>^'" 

^ ^ a rf Fetishtsm to 

finds no support from the history of religions.* There is not Monotheism ? 

the slightest proof, e.g,, that the Vedic religion was ever 

developed out of fetish worship, or ghost worship, but many 

indications that it was preceded by a purer faith, in which 

the sense of the unity of God was not yet lost. The same 

may be said of the religions of the most ancient civilised 

peoples, — ^that while all, or nearly all, in the form in which 

we know them, are polytheistic and idolatrous, there is not 

any which does not show a substratum of monotheistic truth, 

and from which we cannot adduce many proofs of an earlier 

purer faith.^ 

Another side from which the Christian view is contested, Relation of 
and the hypothesis of an originally savage condition of man ^. ^^!^J^^g,,„ 
is supposed to be supported, is the evidence that has been theories of the 
accumulated of an extreme antiquity of the human race. I ^^^^f '"'•^ ^ 
am not aware that the Bible is committed to any definite 
date for the appearance of man upon the earth ; but it will 
be generally felt that if the extreme views which some 
advocate on this subject, carrying back man's appearance 
some hundred thousand or two hundred thousand years, were 
accepted, it would, taken in connection with the comparatively 
recent origin of civilisation, militate against the view which 
we defend. I am free further to admit that, did no religious 
interest enter, and were the facts of science the only ones to 
be regarded, we would probably have been found yielding a 

^ Cf. Canon Rawlinson's Origin ofKcUions, Part I., "On Early Civilisations ;" 
and the same antlior^s "Antiquity of Man Historically Considered," in Prewnt 
Day TracU, Now 9. 

* Cf. Note A. to Lecture III. ' See Note F. — Early Monotheistic Ideas. 



ready assent to the hypothesis of a great antiquity. The 
religious interests at stake lead us, while of course acknow- 
ledging that whatever science really proves must be accepted 
as true, to be a little more careful in our examination of the 
proofs. And it is well we have been thus cautious ; for, if we 
Present state of t^% the latest testimony of science as to what has been 
lis ques on. ygj^jy proved, we find that the recent tendency is rather to 
retrench than to extend the enormous periods which were at 
first demanded ; and that, while some geologists tell us that 
one or two hundred thousand years are needed, others, 
equally well informed, declare that ten thousand years would 
cover all the facts at present in evidence.^ Professor Boyd 
Dawkins has said in a recent Address : — " The question of 
the antiquity of man is inseparably connected with the 
further question. Is it possible to measure the lapse of 
geological time in years ? Various attempts have been made, 
and all, as it seems to me, have ended in failure. Till we 
know the rate of causation in the past, and until we can be 
sure that it is invariable and uninterrupted, I cannot see 
anything but failure in the future. Neither the rate of the 
erosion of the land by sub-aerial agencies, nor its destruction 
by oceanic currents, nor the rate of the deposit of stalagmite, 
or of the movement of the glaciers, have as yet given us 
anything at all approaching to a satisfactory date. We have 
only a sequence of events recorded in the rocks, with 
intervals, the length of which we cannot measure. It is 
surely impossible to fix a date in terms of years, either for the 
first appearance of man, or for any event outside the written 
record." ^ 
Science does I claim, then, that so far as the evidence of science goes, 

not negative ^j^^ Bible doctriuc of a pure beginning of the race is not 
pure begin- Overturned. I do not enter into the question of how we are 
ningofthe ^^ interpret the third chapter of Genesis, — whether as 

race: btbltcal 

account of 

primeialman, ^ See Note G.— The Antiquity of Man and Geological Time. 

* Report of Address to British Association, Sept. 6, 1888. Professor Dawkins 
i^ himsL'lf an advocate of man's great antiquity. 


history or allegory or myth, most probably of all, as old 
tradition clothed in oriental allegorical dress, — but the truth 
embodied in that narrative, viz., the fall of man from an 
original state of purity, I take to be vital to the Christian 
view. On the other hand, we must beware, even while hold- 
ing to the Biblical account, of putting into the original state 
of man more than the narrative warrants. The picture given 
us of the first man in the Bible is primitive in every way 
The Adam of the book of Genesis is not a being of advanced 
intellectual attainments, or endowed with an intuitive know- 
ledge of the various arts and sciences. If his state is far 
removed from that of the savage, it is equally far removed from 
that of the civilised man.^ The earliest steps in what we call 
civilisation are of later date, and are duly recorded, though 
they belong, not to the race of Seth, but to that of Cain.* 
It is presumed that man had high and noble faculties, a pure 
and harmonious nature, rectitude of will, capability of under- 
standing his Creator's instructions, and power to obey them. 
Beyond that we need not go. The essence of the Biblical 
view is summed up in the words of the preacher: "God 
made man upright ; but they sought out many inventions." ^ 

II. I pass to the consideration of the connection of moral //. The pro- 
with natural evil, reservinff for discussion in a succeeding ^ofnahtra 

' o o evtl: connect 

section a special aspect of that connection — the relation oi Hon with 
sin to death. I begin by a brief consideration of the problem '^^''^^'^• 
of natural evil, as such. It is not sin only, but natural evil 
— the existence of pain and suffering in the world — which is 
made the ground of an impeachment of God's justice and 
goodness. Everyone will remember Mr. J. S. Mill's terrible 
indictment of nature on this score ;* and Pessimism has given 
new voice to the plaints which have always been heard of 

' Cf. Dawson, Modem Science in Bible Land«^ iv., "Early Man in Genesis.** 
» Gen. lY. 16-22. » Eccl. vii. 29. Cf. Delitzsch, in loc. 

* Three Essayn, pp. 29-31 : ** In sober tnith, nearly all the things which men 

are hanged or impiisoned for doing to one another, are Nature's eveiy-day 

performances," etc. 


the misery and suffering bound up with life. On the general 
question, I would only like again to emphasise what I said 
at the outset of the extent to which this problem of natural 
evil is bound up with that of sin. Apart from all theological 
prepossessions, we have only to cast our eyes abroad to see 
how large a part of the total difficulty this connection with 
moral evil covers. Take away from the history of humanity 
all the evils which have come on man through his own folly, 
sin, and vice ; through the follies and vices of society ; 
through tyranny, misgovernment, and oppression; through 
the cruelty and inhumanity of man to man ; and how vast a 
portion of the problem of evil would already be solved 1 
What myriads of lives have been sacrificed at the shrines of 
Bacchus and of lust ; what untold misery has been inflicted 
on the race, to gratify the unscrupulous ambitions of ruthless 
conquerors; what tears and groans have sprung from the 
institution of slavery ; what wretchedness is hourly inflicted 
on human hearts by domestic tyranny, private selfishness, the 
preying of the strong upon the weak, dishonesty and 
chicanery in society! If great civilisations have fallen, to 
what has the result been commonly due, if not to their own 
vices and corruptions, which sapped and destroyed their 
vigour, and made them an easy prey to ruder and stronger 
races ? ^ If society witnesses great volcanic eruptions like 
the French Revolution, is it not when evil has reached such a 
height through the long-accumulating iniquities of centuries 
that it can no longer be borne, and the explosion effects a 
remedy which could not otherwise be achieved ? If all the 
suffering and sorrow which follow directly or indirectly from 
human sin could be abstracted, what a happy world, after 
all, this would be ! Yet there seem to be natural evils which 
are independent of sin, and we must endeavour to look the 
problem suggested by them fairly in the face. 
li^aturai evil First of all, I would say that this problem of natural evil 
can hardly be said to meet us in the inanimate world at all, 

* Cf. Martineau, Sivdy o/Beligion, ii. pp. 131-136 (Book ii. chap. iii.). 

t'n the inani- 
mate worU, 


ie. regarding it merely as such.^ We see there what may 
appear to us like disharmony and disorder ; convulsion, 
upheaval, the letting loose of titanic forces which work 
havoc and destruction ; but except in relation to sentient 
existences, we cannot properly speak of these as evil. We 
may wonder why they should be, but, when we see what ends 
are served in the economy of nature by this apparently 
lawless clash and conflict of forces, we may reconcile our- 
selves to it as part of a system, which,, on the whole, is very 

Neither does this problem properly meet us in connectien Natural evil 
x^lth the organic world, so- far as it is not sentient, eg. in»»^^^^^«"* 
connection with the law of decay and death in the vegetable {i)jvbn' 
world. When it is said that, according to the Bible, there ^'"^'^^ 
was no death before Adam, it is to be remembered that the 
Bible speaks of a vegetable creation, which was evidently 
intended to be perishable,** — which, in faet, was given for 
food to animals- and! mea^ We feel no difficulty in thia 
The plants are part of nature. They flower; seedy decay.. 
They fall under the law of all finite, merely natural existences 
in being subject to corruptibility and death. 

When we rise to animal life, the problem does appear, for (a) SentUnt 
here we have sentiency and suffering. Yet abstracting for a (^'"^'^^)- 
moment from this sentiency, the same thing applies to 
animals as to plants. They are finite, merely natural 
creatures, not ends in themselves, but subserving some 
general use in the economy of nature, and, by the law of their 
creation, exposed to corruption and death. How is this 
modified by the fact of sentiency ? I think we have only to 
look at the matter fairly to see that it is not modified in any Relation to 
way which is incompatible with the justice and goodness of^"^^^^^^^^^ 
the Creator. Leaving out of reckoning the pain of human Creator; 
life, and the sufferings inflicted on the animal world by man, 

^ Cf. Ott, he ProbUmt du McUj p. 18 ; Naville, do. p. 60 (Eng. trans.). 
' These disturbances, however, present a very different aspect when viewed in 
relation to man. See below. 
* Gen. i. 11, 12 (seed prodncing). 


Is the world of ^% might fairly ask the pessimist to face the question, Is the 
Ttt unhappy^ world of Sentient beings an unhappy one ? Look at the fish 
otte? in the stream, the bird in the air, the insect on the wing, the 

creatures of the forest, — is their lot one of greater pleasure 
or pain ? I do not think it is unhappy. We speak of " the 
struggle for existence," but is this necessarily pain ? The 
capacity for pleasure, indeed, implies as its counterpart the 
susceptibility of pain, but whereas the avenues for pleasure 
are many, the experience of pain is minimised by the sudden- 
ness with which death comes, the absence of the power of 
reflection, the paralysis of feeling through fascination or 
excitement, etc.^ I have been struck with observing the 
The Biblical predominatingly optimistic way in which the Bible, and 
vtew ofnaiure especially Jcsus, all through regard the natural and sentient 
ingiy world, dwelling on its brightness, its beauty, its rejoicing, the 

optimistic, ^^^^ ^f Providence over the creatures, their happy freedom,^ 
— in striking contrast with the morbid brooding over the 
aspects of struggle in nature which fill our modern treatises.* 
The thing which strikes us most as a difficulty, perhaps, is 
the universal preying of species on species — "nature red in 
tooth and claw " * — which seems so strange a feature in a 
government assumed to have for its motive beneficence. But 
the difficulty is modified by the consideration that food in 
some way must be provided for the creatures ; and if 
sentiency is better than insentiency, greater beneficence is 
shown in giving the bird or insect its brief span of life than 

^ We may exaggerate, too, the power of sensibility in the lower species of 
animals. See on this, Mivart, LeasoMfrom Nature^ pp. 368, 869. '*Thoagli, 
of coarse, animals feel, they do not huno that they feel, nor reflect upon the 
sufferings they have had, or will have to endure. ... If a wasp, wliile enjoying 
a meal of honey, has its slender waist suddenly snipped through and its whole 
abdomen cut away, it does not aUow such a trifle for a moment to interrupt its 
pleasurable repast, but it continues to rapidly devour the savoury food, which 
escapes as rapidly from its mutilated thorax." — P. 869. 

' E.g. the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. vi. 26. Another note as respects 
creation as a whole is struck by Paul in Rom. viii. 19-22. 

' Cf. for an example of this a passage quoted from De Mabtre by Kaville, 
p. 64. ** In the vast domain of living Nature open violence reigns, a kind of 
fury which arms all creatures in mutita funera,* etc. 

* Teunysou, In Mtmoriam, Iv. 


in withholding existence from it altogether. The present 
plan provides for the multiplication of sentient creatures to 
an extent which would not be possible on any other system ; 
it provides, too, since death must rule over such organisms, 
for their removal from nature in the way which least pollutes 
nature with corruption.^ 

The real question which underlies the problem in relation Real question 
to the natural world is, — Is there to be room in the universe "~" ^^^^^ '^ ^^ 

room for 

for any grades of existence short of the highest ? In nature, gradation of 
as the evolutionist is fond of showing, we find every blank ^•^'•^'''^''^'^^•'^ 
space filled — every comer and niche that would be otherwise 
empty occupied by some form of life. Why should it not be 
so? If, in addition to the higher orders of being, lower 
grades of sentient existence are possible, enhancing the total 
sum of life and happiness, why should they not also be 
created ? Why — ^to give our thoughts for a moment the 
widest possible range — if there is in the universe, as Domer 
supposes, " a world standing in the light of eternity, a world 
of pure spirits, withdrawn from all relation to succession " * 
(the angelic world), should there not be also a material and 
time-developing world ? Why, in this temporal world, should 
there be only the highest creature, man, and not also an 
infinity of creatures under him, stocking the seas, rivers, 
plains, forests, and taking possession of every vacant opening 
and nook which present themselves ? Or, in a developing 
vorld, could the highest be reached except through the 
lower — the spiritual except through the natural ? Is not 

' Martineaa says : ** I will be content witli a siogle question, How would you 
dispose of the dead animals ? ... If no creature would touch muscular fibre, 
or adipose ti^csue, or blood, and all animated nature bad to be provided with 
C'^meteries like ours, we should be bafAed by an unmanageable problem ; the 
streams would be poisoned, and the forests and the plains would be as noisome 
as the recent battleiield. Nature, in her predatory tribes, has appointed a 
sanitary commission, and in her carrion- feeders a burial board, far more effective 
tlian those which watch over our villages and cities." — Study of Bdigion, ii. 
{>. 95. See his whole treatment of this problem. 

' Sy^Um of Doclrine, ii. pp. 83, 99 (£ng. trans.). Domer mentions the idea 
of Aquinas of ''a complete world, exhibiting without a break aU possible forms 
of life. "—P. 99. 


this the law of Scripture, as well as of nature — " that was 
not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and 
afterwards that which is spiritual." ^ The mere fact that in a 
world of this kind the denizens would be finite and perish- 
able — exposed to incidental pains, as well as constituted for 
pleasures — would not be a reason for not creating it, unless 
the pains were a predominant feature, and constituted a 
surplusage over the pleasures. But this we do not acknow- 
ledge to be the case. The pleasures of the animal world we 
take to be the rule ; the pains are the exception.^ 
The question It is when wc risc from the animal world to the considera- 
. . tion of natural evil in relation to man that we first meet 

we rtse to 

rational self' with the problem in a form which constitutes it a formidable 
conscious man difficulty. For man, unlike the animals, is an end to him- 

— a being who *' 

is end to him- Self; pain means more to him than it does to them; death, 

'^^ in particular, seems a contradiction of his destiny ; and it is 

not easy to understand why he should be placed in a world 

in which he is naturally, nay necessarily, exposed to these 

evils. The natural disturbances which we formerly noticed 

-^floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and the like — 

now assume a new aspect as elements in a world of which 

man is to be the inhabitant, and where he may be called 

upon to sufler through their agency.' This is really a serious 

problem, and we have to ask whether the Biblical view 

afifords any clue to the solution of it, and whether that 

solution will sustain the test of reason and of fact ? 

The discipline It is Scarcely an adequate solution of this problem of 

ary benefits of natural cvil and death as it afTects man, though, no doubt, a 

suffering, etc,^ 

itiadequate as 

a compute 1 1 Cor. xv. 46. 

solution : « The difficulty is "modified," as said, but not altogether removed by these 

discussion of considerations, especially when the world is viewed in its teleological relations 

this theory, to man, and when stress is laid, not only on the mere fact of the preying of 

one creature on another, but on some of the Idndi of creatures with which the 

earth is stocked, and on the manner of their warfare ; on their hideousneas. 

repulsiveness, iierconess, unnecessary cruelty, etc. See a powerful statement in 

Marteusen's Ja^ob Bdhme, pp. 217-222 (Eng. trans.). 
' To a certain extent these disturbances affect animals also, but in these cases 

the question is subordinate. 


profound element in the solution, to point to the disciplinary 
and other wholesome uses which misfortune and suffering are 
fitted to subserve in the moral education of man. This is 
the line followed by most earnest thinkers in trying to 
explain the mystery of suflfering in the world, and it rests on 
the true thought that there is a Divinely ordained connection 
between the pains we are called upon to suffer and the ends 
of our highest life.^ Without trials and difficulties, it is 
urged, where were progress ; without checks to self-will, 
where were the lessons of submission to a higher will ; with- 
out experience of resistance, where were the stimulus to 
efifort ; without danger and misfortune, where were courage, 
manhood, and endurance; without pain, where were sym- 
pathy ; * without sorrow and distress, where would the oppor- 
tunity for self-sacrifice be ? This is quite true, but does it 
go to the root of the matter ? Does it explain all ? Because 
suffering and death, as existing in the world, have an educat- 
ing and purifying effect ; because, as may be freely granted, 
they have a power of developing a type of character greater 
and nobler than could have been developed without them 
(a glimpse of a theodicy in the permission of evil at all) ; 
because they serve for purposes of test and trial where 
character is already formed, and aid its yet ampler growth^ — 
does it follow that a world such as this, with its manifold 
disorders, would have been a suitable abode for an unfalleu 
race ; or that it would have been righteous to expose such a 
race to these calamities ; or that, in the case of pure beings, 
less violent and painful methods of education would not have 
sufficed? * Of course, if this method of arguing were admitted, 

* Thus Rothe, Pfleiderer, Martineaa, Ott, etc. 

« Cf. Browoing, FeriahiaKs /Vwciei— ** Mihrab Shah." 
' The theodicy in Job takes this fonn. 

* Cf. Lotze, Outlines of Philosophy of Rdigion (Eng. trana.), pp. 124, 125 ; 
and Browning, La Saisiaz, Works, xiv. p. 181 :— 

*' What, no way bat this that man may learn and lay to heart how rife 
Life were with delights would only death allow their taste to life I 
Must the rose sigh * Pluck— I perish ! ' must the eve weep ' Gaze— I fade ! ' 
— ^Erery sweet warn * 'Ware my bitter 1 * every shine bid * Wait my shade * I 


the existence of moral evils would have to be justified on the 
same ground, for in conflict with these, even more than vrith 
outward misfortune, is the highest type of character developed. 
It will be observed, also, that the argument rests largely, 
though not wholly, on the assumption of fault in human 
nature to be corrected (self-will, selfishness, etc.), and thus 
already presupposes sin ; it does not, for instance, tell what a 
world would have been into which no sin had entered. But 
do even the advocates of this explanation of natural evil abide 
by their own thesis ? Pain, it is said, begets tenderness and 
sympathy ; sufiering engenders philanthropy ; the presence of 
evils in the world awakens noble self-sacrificing efforts for 
their removal — summons man, as Pfleiderer puts it, to fellow- 
ship with " the aim of Grod Himself, viz. to advance goodness, 
and to overcome evil in the world." ^ Then these are evils, 
and notwithstanding their advantages, we are to treat them 
as things which would be better absent, and do our utmost to 
remove them. A concrete case in this connection is worth a 
good deal of argument, and I take it from Naville. He tells 
of a letter he received, written from Zurich, at a time when 
the cholera was ravaging the city. " My correspondent," he 
says, " told me that he had seen sad things — the results of 
selfishness and fear; but he also told me that so much 
courage, devotedness, and regard for the good of others had 
been brought out under the pressure of the malady, that 
different ranks of society had been so drawn together by 
the inspiration of generous sentiments, that he would not for 
the world have been absent from his native place, and so 
have missed witnessing such a spectacle." ^ Shall we then, 
because of these salutary effects, wish for the prevalence of 
cholera ? Or because wars bring out noble examples of 

Can we love but on condition that the thing we love mast die \ 

Needs there groan a world in anguish just to teach us sympathy 

Multitiidinously wretched that we, wretched too, may guess 
What a preferable state were universal happiness ?" 

^ Bdiffionsphilosophie, iv, p. 63 (Eng. trans.). 

' Problem of Evil, p. 65 (Eng. trans.). 


heroism, shall we desire to see wars prevail ? The question 
has only to be asked to be answered, and it shows that 
this mode of justifying natural evil leaves much yet to be 
accounted for. 

It has just been seen that even this mode of explaining The connection 
the existence of natural evil, and the use made of it in the ^/»f^«f*«^^'^^ 

with stn : 

moral government of God, presupposes, to some extent, the nature and 
existence of sin. This yields a point of transition to the ^f'^/f ^'^'^-^ 

of this con- 

Biblical view, in which this solidarity of man with his out- nection. 
ward world, and the consequent connection of rational with 
moral evil, is a central and undeniable feature. We are not, 
indeed, at liberty to trace a strict relation between the sins 
of individuals and the outward calamities that befall them ; 
but Christ's warning on this subject by no means contradicts 
the view that there is an intimate connection between natural 
and moral evils, and that the former are often used by God 
as the punishment of the latter. It is one of the most 
deeply ingrained ideas in the Bible that physical evils are 
often used by God for the punishment of individual and 
national wickedness, and Christ Himself expressly endorses 
this view in His own predictions of the approaching judg- 
ments on Jerusalem.^ He warns us only that the proposition 
— sin is often punished with physical evils — is by no means 
convertible with the other, — all physical evils are the punish- 
ment of individual sins. Nor is this teaching of Scripture to 
be explained away, as it is by Lipsius, Pfleiderer, and Bitschl, 
as meaning merely that the evil conscience subjectively 
regards these visitations as retributive, though objectively 
they have no such character, but simply flow from the 
natural course of events.* Similarly, the expression, "All 
things work together for good to them that love God,"* 
is explained as meaning that things work together for good 

^ Matt. xxiiL 35 ; cf. John v. 14 : "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come 
unto thee." 

' Cf., e.^., Ritschl, Redd, und Ver. ill. p. 334 ; Pfleiderer, Religionajihilo- 
ftophie, iv. pp. 42>44. 

' Rom. viii. 28. 



to the believer because, whatever the course of events, he is 
sure to profit by them. This is not the Biblical view, and it 
is not a reasonable one for those to take who, like the above- 
named writers, admit a government of the world for moral 
ends. Once allow a relation between the natural and the 
moral in the government of Grod, and it is difficult to avoid 
the conclusion that the course of outward events is directed 
with a regard to the good and evil conduct of the subjects of 
that government 
The deeper A deeper question, however, which lies behind this imme- 

questtonr^ls ^^^ ^^^ ^j ^^ placc of natural evils in the moral govem- 

naiure itself 

in a fwrmai mcnt of (jod is, Is nature itself in a normal condition ? The 
condUwn f Bible, again, undeniably answers this question in the negative, 

7'he Biblical , 

answer ^^^ ^t IS important for US to ascertain m what sense pre- 

negaiive, cisely it docs SO. The most explicit passage in the New 
Testament is perhaps that in Eom. viiL 19-23, where the 
Tfu Pauline Apostlc Paul cxprcssly declares, '' For the earnest expectation 
view: what it q{ ^^ creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. 


For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, 
but by reason of Him who subjected it, in hope that the 
creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of 
corruption into the liberty of the glory of the chUdren of 
God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and 
travaileth in pain together until now." The plain implica- 
tion of this passage is that nature is a sufferer with man on 
account of sin; that, as I expressed it above, there is a 
solidarity between man and the outward world, both in his 
Fall and his Bedemption. So far the passage is an echo of 
the statement in Genesis that the earth lies under a cui^e 
on account of human sin. Is this view scientifically tenable, 
or is it not a baseless dream, directly contradicted by the facts 
already conceded of physical disturbance, decay, and death 
in the world, long ere man appeared in it ? I do not think 
it is. This implication of creation in the effects of human sin, 
though science certainly cannot prove it, is an idea by no 
means inadmissible, or in contradiction with known facts. 


1. The view has often been suggested — is maintained, e.g., i. Theory that 
by Dorner and Delitzsch^ — ^that the constitution of nature had ^^^^ ^^ 

V /» 1 1 • 1 1 jrom thefirsta 

from the first a teleological relation to sin ; that sin did not teieoiogkai 
enter the world as an unforeseen accident, but, as foreseen, ^^^^^^^<^ '<f 
was provided for in the arrangements of the world; that 
creation, in other words, had from the beginning an anticipa- 
tive reference to sin. This view would explain many things 
that seem mysterious in the earlier stages of creation, and 
falls in with other truths of Scripture, to which attention will 
subsequently be directed * 

2. I do not feel, however, that I need to avail myself of 2* The 

this hypothesis. All that is essential in the Apostle's state- "^^^J/^f"' 
ment can be conserved without going back to pre- Adamic subjection of 
ages, or to vegetable decay, and animal sufifering and death, 'f ^ '^^f^^^^ ^^ 
We gain the best key to the passage if we keep to the mean- 
ing of his own word " vanity " (ftaratoTi;?) — profitlessness — 
as expressive of that to which creation was subjected. " It 
is not said," remarks Bishop EUicott, " that the creation was 
subject to death or corruption, though both lie involved in 
the expression, but to something more frightfully generic, to 
something almost worse than non-existence, — to purposeless- 
ness, to an inability to realise its natural tendencies, and 
the ends for which it was called into being, to baffled 
endeavour and mocked expectations, to a blossoming and not 
bearing fruit, a pursuing and not attaining, yea, and as the 
analogies of the language of the original significantly imply, 

^DoTOer, System of Doctrine, iL p. 67 (Eng. trans.); Delitzsch, New Com- 
meniary on Genesis, i p. 103 (Eng. trans.). ''The whole of the six days* 
creation/* says the latter, "is, so to speak, supralapsarian, i.e. so constituted 
that the consequences of this foreseen faU of man were taken into account." 

' This theory is ingeniously argued out in an interesting chapter in Bush- 
neWs Nature and the Supernatural , chap, vii., " Anticipative Consequences.*' 
Ct also Hugh Miller's Footprints of the Oreator, pp. 268 ff.; ** Final Causes ; 
their Bearing on Geologic History;" and Hitchcock, Religion qf Geology , 
Lecture III. I have not touched on another theory, beginning with Bohme, 
which connects the present state of creation with yet earlier, t.e. demonic evil. 
The most striking statement of this theory is perhaps in Martensen, Jacob 
B^hrne (Eng. trans.), pp. 217-222 — a passage already referred to. See the 
theory criticised in Beusch's Nature and the Bible, Book i, chap. zvii. (Eng. 


to a searching and never finding."^ Thus interpreted, the 
apostle's words convey the idea that nature is in a state of 
arrested development through sin, is frustrated of its true 
end, and has a destiny before it which sin does not permit it to 
attain. There is an arrest, delay, or back-putting through sin, 
which begets in the creature a sense of bondage, and an earnest 
longing for deliverance.^ This certainly harmonises sufficiently 
well with the general impression nature makes upon us, which 
has found expression in the poetry and literature of all ages. 
3. The earth 3. The earth is under " bondage to corruption " in another 

^corruttun ^^ ^^1* — "^ ^^® ^^^ prcseuce of man and his sin upon it ; 
through the in being the abode of a sinful race; in being compelled, 

ZZ^TJL ^^^""""S^ ^^ ^^® ^^ agencies, to subserve the purposes of 
sin upon it, man's sin ; in being perverted from its true uses in the 
service of his lusts and vices ; in the suffering of the animal 
creation through his cruelty; in the blight, famine, earth- 
quake, etc., to which it is subjected in consequence of his sin, 
and as the means of punishment of it For it by no means 
follows that because these things were found in the world in 
the moMng, they were intended to be, or continue, in the 
world (18 made, or would have been found had sin not 
entered it Science may affirm, it can certainly never prove, 
that the world is in a normal state in these respects, or that 
even under existing laws, a better balance of harmony could 
not be maintained, had the Creator so willed it 

///. Cuimina- III. This wholc discussion of the connection of natural 
I?'"'*/ "-.z with moral evil sums itself up in the consideration of one 

problem m the * 

question of the Special problem, in which the contending views may be said 
r<?/a//<7« ofstn ^ -^^ brought to a distinct and decisive issue — I mean 

to death, ° 

the relation of sin to death. Is human death — that crown- 

* Destiny of the Creature, p. 7. 

'Thus also Dorner: "So far, then, as sin retards this perfection, it may 
certainly be said that Nature is detained by sin in a state of corruption against 
its will, as well as that it has been placed in a long-enduring state of cormpt- 
ibleness, which, apart from sin, was unnecessary, if the assimilation of Nature 
by spirit could have been accomplished forthwith, "—.^ys^. qfDoeL, u. p. 66. 


ing evil, which carries so many other sorrows in its train — 
the result of sin, or is it not? Here, again, it is hardly 
necessary for me to say, there is a du*ect contradiction 
between the Biblical and the '' modem " view, and it is for us 
very carefully to inquire whether the Pauline statement, 
" Through one man sin entered into the world, and death 
through sin ; and so death passed unto all men, for that all 
have sinned," ^ enters into the essence of the Christian view, 
or whether, as some seem to think, it is an excrescence 
which may be stripped ofE 

Now, so far from regarding this relation of human death to ThU relation 
sin as a mere accident of the Christian view, which may be Z'J^^^^^ 
dropped without detriment to its substance, I am disposed to Christian 
look on it as a truth most fundamental and vital — organically ^'^' . , ., 

° "^ enters into tts 

connected with the entire Christian system. Its importance essence. 
comes out most clearly when we consider it in the light of 
the Christian doctrine of Bedemption. The Bible, as we 
shall immediately see, knows nothing of an abstract immor- 
tality of the soul, as the schools speak of it; nor is its 
Bedemption a Bedemption of the soul only, but of the body 
as welL It is a Bedemption of man in his whole complex 
personality — ^body and soul together. It was in the body 
that Christ rose from the dead ; in the body that He has 
ascended to heaven ; in the body that He lives and reigns 
there for evermore. It is His promise that, if He lives, we 
shall live also ; ^ and this promise includes a pledge of the 
resurrection of the body. The truth which underlies this is, 
that death for man is an effect of sin. It did not lie in the 
Creator's original design for man that he should die, — that 
these two component parts of his nature, body and soul, 
should ever be violently disrupted and severed, as death now 
severs them. Death is an abnormal fact in the history of the 
race ; and Bedemption is, among other things, the undoing of 
this evil, and the restoration of man to his normal complete- 
ness as a personal being. 

1 Eom. V. 12 (E.V.).. " John xiv. 19. 


The original That man was originally a mortal being neither follows 
mortality of ^^^ ^^ j^^ ^j ^^^ ^ ^ j^^ ^ j ^^ animal creation, nor 

man proved 

neither by the from its present Universality. It is, no doubt, an essential 
law of death |. ^j ^^ modcm auti-Christiau view, that man is a dying 

in the anttnal 

freation, nor creature, and always has been. This goes with the view that 
its present jq^^^ j[g simply an evolution from the animal, and falls under 

universality, -, m -» -, i <.i.i 

the same law of death as the rest of the animal creation. 

But I have shown some reasons for not admitting the 

premiss,^ and therefore I cannot assent to the conclusion. 

There is not a word in the Bible to indicate that in its 
Distinction of view death entered the animal world as a consequence of the 
man from the gi^ ^f jj^j^ ^^^^ ^jljjj ^g advent of man upon the scene, 


there was, as remarked m an earlier part of the Lecture, the 

introduction of something new. There now appeared at the 

head of creation a moral and spiritual being — a being made 

in God's image — a rational and accountable being — a being 

for the first time capable of moral life, and bearing within 

him infinite possibilities of progress and happiness; and it 

does not follow that because mere animals are subject to a 

law of death, a being of this kind must be. More than this, 

it is the distinction of man from the animals that he is 

Created for immortal, and they are not. He bears in his nature the 

immortality, y^Qyj^^ cvidcnces that he has a destiny stretching out far 

into the future — ^into eternity; and many even, who hold 

that death is not a consequence of sin, do not dispute that 

Death a con- his soul is immortal But here is the difficulty in which 

tradiction of g^^j^ ^ ^^^ jg involved. The soul is not the whole of the 

man s nature 

--the sunder- nian. It is a false view of the constitution of human 
tni of essential nature to regard the body as a mere appendage to the soul, 

parts of his 

being: there- ^^ ^ supposc that the humau bciDg cau be equally com- 
fore abnormal, plete whether he has his body, or is deprived of it This is 
not the Biblical view, nor, I venture to say, is it the view 
to which the facts of modem psychology and physiolc^ 
point If anything is evident, it is that soul and body are 
made for each other, that the perfect life for man is a 

^ Cf. last Lecture, 


corporeal one; that he is not pure spirit, but incorporated 
spirit. The soul is capable of separation from the body ; but 
in that state it is in an imperfect and mutilated condition. 
Thus it is always represented in the Bible, and heathen 
feeling coincides with this view in its representations of the 
cheerless, sunless, joyless, ghost-like, state of Hades. If 
then, it is held that man was naturally constituted for 
immortality, how can it be maintained, with any show of 
consistency, that he stood originally under a law of death ? 
That the animal should die is natural. But for the 
rational, moral agent, death is something t^nnatural — 
abnormal ; the violent rupture, or separation, or tearing 
apart, so to speak, of two parts of his nature which, 
in the Creator's design, were never intended to be 
sundered. There is, therefore, profound truth in the 
Biblical representation, ** In the day that thou eatest 
thereof thou shalt surely die " — " Dust thou art, and unto 
dust thou shalt return." ^ Some other way of leaving 
the world, no doubt, there would have been — some Enoch 
or Elijah - like translation, or gradual transformation of 
a lower corporeity into a higher, but not death^ as we 
know it* 

The true Biblical doctrine of immortality then, I think, 77u Biblical 
includes the following points :— f^''*''^ '< 

1. It rests on the Biblical doctrine of human nature, i. /^gsts on 
According to the Bible, and according to fact, man is a -^«^^'^«^ 

-II* J 1*1 rM 1 1 1 1 • •- doctrine of the 

compound bemg — not, like God and the angels a pure ^W^^> nature 0/ man 
but an embodied spirit, a being made up of body and of «^ « <*^w/<?««^/ 
souL The soul, it is true, is the higher part of human '"^' 
nature, the seat of personality, and of mental, moral, and 
spiritual life. Yet it is intended and adapted for life in 
the body, and body and soul together make the man — the 
complete human being. 

^ Gen. ii. 16, ui. 19. 

' See further on this subject, Note H. — The Connection of Sin and 


2. No part of 2. It was no part of the Creator's design for man in 
the Creator's j^jg iS^esX Constitution that body and soul should ever be 

design that ^ " 

dody and soul Separated. The immortality man was to enjoy was an 
should be immortality in which the body was to have its share. This 


is the profound truth in the teaching of the Bible when it 
says that, as respects man, death is the result of sin. Had 
sin not entered we must suppose that man — the complete 
man — would have enjoyed immortality; even his body, its 
enei^es replenished from vital forces from within, being 
exempt from decay, or at least not decaying till a new and 
more spiritual tenement for the soul had been prepared. 
With the entrance of sin, and departure of holiness from the 
soul, this condition ceased, and the body sank, as part of 
general nature, under the law of death. 

3. The soul in 3. The soul in separation from the body is in a state of 
separation imperfection and mutilation. When a human beinsr loses 

from the body . ,. , 

is in a state of One of his limbs. We regard him as a mutilated being. Were 
imperfection ^^ to losc all his limbs, we would regard him as worse 

and ffiutila' 

tion: inter- mutilated Still. So whcu the soul is entirely denuded of its 
viediate state, body, though consciousness and memory yet remain, it must 
still be regarded — and in the Bible is regarded — as subsist- 
ing in an imperfect condition, a condition of enfeebled life, 
diminished powers, restricted capacities of action — a state, in 
short, of deprivation. The man whose life is hid with 
Christ in God will no doubt with that life retain the blessed- 
ness that belongs to it even in the state of separation from 
the body — he will be with Christ, which is far better ; ^ but 
it is still true that so long as he remains in that disembodied 
state, he wants part of himself, and cannot be perfectly 
blessed, as he will be after his body, in renewed and glorified 
form, is restored to him. 

4. The true 4. The last point, therefore, in the Biblical doctrine is 
'throTf^^" that true immortality is through Eedemption, and that this 
demption, and Bcdemptiou embraces the resurrection of the body.^ It is a 

embraces the 

resurrection of ^2 Cor. ▼. 8 ; Phil. i. 23 ; Rev. xiv. 13, etc. 

body. 2 Rom. v. 11, viii. 23. 


complete Bedemption, a Eedemption of man in his whole 
personality, and not simply of a part of man. This is a 
subject which will be considered afterwards. It is enough for 
the present to have shown that the Biblical doctrines of man's 
nature, of the connection of sin and death, of Redemption, and 
of the true immortality, cohere together and form a unity — 
are of a piece. 



Bearing Of The views advanced in the Lecture have an important bearing 
previous '^ qq the much discussed question of the Old Testament 

cusston on Ola ^ 

Testament doctrine of immortality. The statement is often made that 
doctrine 0/ ^^iQ Old Testament, especially in the older books, has no 

tmmortaitty, *^ '' 

distinct doctrine of immortality. Many explanations have 

been offered of this difficulty, but I would humbly suggest 

that the real explanation may be that we have been looking 

This doctrine for evidence of that doctrine in a wrong direction. We have 

^ ^ . heen looking for a doctrine of " the immortality of the soul " 

sought for tn a ^ •' 

wrong direc' in the scnsc of the schools, whereas the real hope of 
'^"' patriarchs and saints, so far as they had one, was, in accord- 

ance with the Biblical doctrine already explained, that of 
restored life in the body.^ 
The Hebrew The early Hebrews had no manner of doubt, any more 
vievf of Sheol ^^^ ^^ have, that the soul, or spiritual part of man, 

survived the body.* It would be strange if they had, for 

every other ancient people is known to have had this belief. 

Egyptians, The Egyptians, e.^., taught that the dead descended t6 

Babylonians, ^^ under world, where they were judged in presence of Osiris 

and his forty-two assessors.^ The Babylonians and Assyrians 

^ The view defended in this Appendix will be found indicated in Hofmann's 
Schr\ftbewei8, iii. pp. 461-477 ; and Dr. P. Fairbairn's Typology qf Scripture^ 
3rd ed. i pp. 848-859. 

^ Cf. Max MUller, Anthropological Religion, on " Belief on Immortality in 
the Old Testament," pp. 867, 877. 

* Cf. Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 195, 196 ; Budge, Dwellers on the Nik 
C' Bye-Paths of Bible Knowledge" Series), chap, ix.; Yigouroox's La BibU et 
hi Dicouvtrtes modemes, iii. pp. 183-141. 


conceived of the abode of the dead as a great city having 
seven encircling walls, and a river flowing round or through 
it.^ A name they gave to this city is believed by some 
to have been " Suala/' ^ the same word as the Hebrew Sheol, 
which is the name in the Old Testament for the place 
of departed spirits. It is one of the merits of the Eevised 
Version that it has in many places (why not in all ?) 
printed this word in the text, and tells the reader in the 
preface that "Sheol," sometimes in the Old Version trans- 
lated "grave," sometimes "pit," sometimes "hell," means 
definitely " the abode of departed spirits, and corresponds to 
the Greek * Hades,' or the under world," and does 'M>t signify 
" the place of burial." But the thought of going to " Sheol " 
was no comfort to the good man. The gloomy associations Gloomy 
of death hung over this abode ; it was figured as a land of ^i'^l'^'^"' '*' 

° > o Qi^ Testa- 

silence and forgetfulness ; the warm and rich light of the menu 
upper world was excluded from it ; ^ no ray of gospel light 
had as yet been given to chase away its gloom. The idea of 
" Sheol " was thus not one which attracted, but one which 
repelled, the mind. Men shrank from it as we do from the 
breath and cold shades of the charnel-house. The saint, 
strong in his hope in God, might believe that God would not 
desert him even in "Sheol"; that His presence and fellow- 
ship would be given him even there ; but it would only be in 
moments of strong faith he could thus triumph, and in hours 
of despondency the gloomiest thoughts were apt to come 
back on him. His real trust, so far as he was able to 
cherish one, was that God would not leave his soul in " Sheol," 

* Cf. the Descent of Ishtar, in Sayce's Hibbert Lectures, Lecture IV. ; Budge's 
Babylonian Life a-nd History ("Bye- Paths of Bible Knowledge "Series), pp. 
140-142 ; Vigouronx, La Bible et les DSeouvertes moderTieSf in, pp. 128-132. 

'Thus F. Delitzsch, and Boscawen in British Museum Lecture, on Sheol, 
Deaih, the Orave, and Immortality. But the identification is held by others 
to be conjectural (Schrader, KeilinAchriften, ii. p. 80 (£ng. trans.); Budge, 
Babylonian Life and History, p. 140, etc. ; Vigouroux, iii. p. 125). The 
Assyrian giyes the name as Aralu. 

' Thus also in the Babylonian and Greek conceptions. Cf. Snyce, HibbeH 
Lectures, p. 364; Fairbaim, Studies, ''The Belief In Immortality," pp. 
190, 191. 


Passages in 
illustration : 
Genesis, etc. 


The Psalms. 


Not in this 
direction we 
are to look for 
doctrine of 
immortality : 
embraces idea 
of relation to 
God and 

but would redeem him from that state, and restore him to 
life in the body.^ His hope was for resurrection. 

To illustrate this state of feeling and belief, in regard to 
the state of the separate existence of the soul, it may be 
well to cite one or two passages bearing on the subject. An 
indication of a belief in a future state of the soul is found in 
an expression several times met with in Genesis — ^" gathered 
to his people " * — ^where, in every instance, the gathering to 
the people (in " Sheol *') is definitely distinguished from the 
act of burial. Other evidences are afforded by the belief in 
necromancy, the narratives of resurrection, etc "What kind 
of place "Sheol" was to the popular imagination is well 
represented in the words of Job — 

" I go whence I shall not return, 
Even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death, 
A land of thick darkness, as darkness itself, 
A land of the shadow of death, without any order, 
And where light is as darkness." * 

There was not much cheer in looking forward to an abode 
like this, and it is therefore not surprising that even good 
men, in moments of despondency, when it seemed as if 
God's presence and favour were taken from them, should 
moan as David did — 

'' Return, Lord, deliver mj soul ; 
Save me for Thy loving kindness' sake. 
For in death there is no remembrance of Thee, 
In Sheol who shall give Thee thanks ? " ^ 

or with Hezekiah — 

*' Sheol cannot praise Thee, death cannot celebrate Thee : 
They that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth. 
The living, the living, he shall praise Thee as I do this day." ' 

It is not, therefore, in this direction that we are to look 
for the positive and cheering side of the Old Testament hope 
of immortality, but in quite another. It is said we have no 
doctrine of immortality in the Old Testament. But I reply, 

^ See passages discussed below. ' Gen. xxv. 8, 9, xxxv. 29, xlix. 29, 33. 

' Job X. 21, 22. Cf. description in Descent qflshtar, Hibbert Lectures. 
« Ps. vi. 4, 6. « Isa. xxxviii. 18, 19. 


we lixive immortelity at the very commencement — for man, 

as he came from the hands of his Creator was made for 

immortal lifa Man in Eden was immortal He was 

intended to live, not to die. Then came sin, and with it 

death. Adam called his son Seth, and Seth called his son immortdlUy 

Enoch, which means " frail, mortal man." Seth himself died, *^ ^^' 

his son died, his son's son died, and so the line of death goes 

on. Then comes an interruption, the intervention, as it were, 

of a higher law, a new inbreaking of immortality into a line New inbreak- 

of death. "Enoch walked with God; and he was not; iot^^sofaiawoj 


God took him." ^ Enoch did not die. Every other life in that Enoch, 

record ends with the statement, " and he died " ; but Enoch's 

is given as an exception. He did not die, but God " took " 

him, i.«. without death. He simply " was not " on earth, but 

he " was " with God in another and invisible state of exist* 

ence.' His case is thus in some respects the true type of all This the type 

immortality, for it is an immortality of the true personality, ^^**^*^ 

in which the body has as real a share as the soul. It agrees embraces the 

with what I have advanced in the Lecture, that it is not an ^^<>ie person- 


immortality of the soul only that the Bible speaks of — that 
is left for the philosophers — ^but an immortality of the whole 
person, body and soul together. Such is the Christian hope, and 
such, as I shall now try to show, was the Hebrew hope also. 

It is a current view that the doctrine of the resurrection of Examination 
the dead was a very late doctrine among the Hebrews, ^^^^^^. 
borrowed, as many think, from the Persians during, or sub- resurrection a 
sequent to, the Babylonian exile. Dr. Cheyne sees in it an ^^^^'^^/f 
effect of Zoroastrian influence on the religion of Israel.^ My derived from 
opinion, on the contrary, is that it is one of the very oldest ^^^^^^^^ ^'^' 
doctrines in the Bible, the form, in fact, in which the hope Counter^ 
of immortality was held, so far as it was held, from the days J^"'V . 
of the patriarchs downward.^ In any case, it was a doctrine runs all 

through Old 
1 Gen. T. 24. ' So, later, Elijah. Testament. 

'* Origin o/PsaUer, Lecture VIII. ; and papers in The Expository Times (July 

and August, 1891) on " Possible Zoroastrian Iniluences on the Religion of Israel." 
* Thus also Hofmann : — "Nothing can be more erroneous than the opinion 

that the resurrection from the dead is a late idea, first entering through human 

lonians and 
Assyrians ; 


of very remote antiqtiity. We find traces of it in many 
ancient religions outside the Hebrew, an instructive testimony 

Beliefs of to the truth of the idea on which it rested. The Egyptians 

gyp tans, believed, e,g,, that the reanimation of the body was essential 

to perfected existence ; and this, according to some, was the 

thought that underlay the practice of embalming.^ The 

The Baby- ancient Babylonians and Assyrians also had the idea of 
resurrection. One of their hymns to Merodach celebrates 
him as the 

" Merciful one among the gods, 
Merciful one, who restores the dead to life." ' 

The Persians. The belief was probably also held by the Persians, though it 
Doubtful if it is still a disputed question whether it is found in the older 

^foundinoid ^ P^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^® Zend- Avesta. That question is not so easily 
jmris of the Settled as Dr. Cheyne thinks ; * but in any case the older 
Zend-Avesta, references are few and ambiguous, and are totally inadequate 
bizuousrT^r- ^ explain the remarkable prominence which this doctrine 
ences in assumed in the Old Testament.* The Bible has a coherent 


writings do reflection, the earliest traces of which, if not first given by the Parsees to the 

not explain the ^^^'^* *™ *^ ^® °^®* ^^*^ ^° Isaiah and Ezekiel." — Schriftbttoeis, iii p. 461. 

prominence of ^'* ^^ ^'"* theory of Parsic influence, Pusey's Daniel, pp. 612-617. 

the doctrine in ^ "There is a chapter, with a vignette, representing the soul uniting itself 

the Old ^ ^^ body, and the text promises that they shaU never again be separated." — 

Testament Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, p. 188. "They believed," says Budge, "that the 

soul would i-evisit the body after a number of years, and therefore it was 

absolutely necessary that the body should be preserved, if its owner wished to 

live for ever with the gods." — Dwellers on the Nile, p, 166. 

=^ Of. Boscawen, British Museum Lecture, pp. 23, 24 ; Sayce, pp. 98-100 ; 

Cheyne, Origin of Psalter, p. 892. There is no evidence, however, of a general 

hope of resurrection. 

' Cf. Pusey, pp. 612-617; and Cheyne*s own citations from recent scholars, 

Origin of Psalter, pp. 426, 461. M. Montet formerly held that the germs of 

the doctrine came from Zoroastrianism, but "in 1890, in deference, it would 

seem, to M. de Harlez, and in opposition not less to Spiegel than to Gelder, he 

pronounces the antiquity of the resurrection doctrine in Zoroastrianism as yet 

unproven." — Cheyne, p. 461. Cf. Schultz, Alttest. Theol, p. 762. 

^ Anyone can satisfy himself on this head by consulting the passages for 

himself in the Zend-Avesta, in Sacred Books of the East, The indices to the 

three volumes give only one reference to the subject, and that to one of a few 

undated " Miscellaneous Fragments " at the end. Professor Cheyne himself can 

say no more than that " Mills even thinks that there is a trace of the doctrine 

of the Resurrection in the Gathas. ... He (Zoroaster) may have had a vague 

conception of the revival of bodies, but not a theory." — Origin of PsalUr, 

p. 438. 


and consistent doctrine of its own upon the subject, and is 
not dependent on doubtful allusions in Zoroastrian texts for 
its clear and bold statements of the final swallowing up of 
death in victory. Let me briefly review some of the lines of 

I have referred already to the case of Enoch in the begin- Revinu of 
ning of the history, as illustrative of the Biblical idea of ^^^''^V* l^'' 

^ " earlier books, 

immortality. As respects the patriarchs, the references to 
their beliefs and hopes are necessarily few and inferential, — 
a fact which speaks strongly for the early date and genuine- 
ness of the tradition. The New Testament signalises them as 
men of " faith," and certainly their conduct is that of men 
who, accounting themselves " strangers and pilgrims " on the 
earth, look for a future fulfilment of the promises as of 
something in which they have a personal interest.^ Not 
improbably it was some hope of resurrection which inspired 
(as with the Egyptians) their great care for their dead, and 
prompted the injunctions left by Jacob and Joseph regarding 
the interment of their "bones" in the land of promise.* It is 
significant that the Epistle to the Hebrews connects Abraham's Abraham, 
sacrifice of Isaac with his faith in a resurrection. " By faith 
Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac . . . accounting that 
God is able to raise up, even from the dead ; from whence 
also he did in a parable receive him back." ^ The Eabbis 
drew a curious inference from God's word to Abraham, " I 
will give to thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein 
thou art a stranger." * " But it appears," they argued, *' that 
Abraham and the other patriarchs did not possess that land ; 
therefore it is of necessity that they should be raised up to 
enjoy the good promises, else the promises of God should be 
vain and false. So that here we have a proof, not only 
of the immortality of the soul, but also of the foundation 
of the law — namely, the resurrection of the dead." * If 

1 Heb. xi. 13. » Gen. L 5, 26 ; Ex. xiii. 19 ; Heb. xi. 22. 

' Heb. xi. 17-19 ; cf. Hofmann, pp. 461-462. 

* Gen. xvii. 8. ^ Quoted in Fairbairn, i. p. 353. 

Moses — **Iam 
the Gad" etc. 


this be thought fanciful, I would refer to the teaching of 
a greater than the Eabbis. Reasoning with the Saddu- 

The words to cees, Jcsus quotes that saying of God to Moses, '*I am 
the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the 
God of Jacob," adding, " God is not the God of the 
dead, but of the living." ^ The point to be observed is 
that Jesus quotes this passage, not simplj in proof of 
the continued subsistence of the patriarchs in some state 
of being, but in proof of the resurrection of the dead. 
And how does it prove that? Only on the ground, which 
Jesus assumes, that the relation of the believer to God 
carries with it a whjole immortality, and this, as we have 
seen, implies life in the body. If God is the God of 
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, this covenant relation pledges 
to these patriarchs not only continuance of existence, but 
Eedemption from the power of death, i.e. resurrection. 

It is, however, when we come to the later books — the 
Book of Job, the Psalms, the Prophets — that we get clearer 
light on the form which the hope of immortality assumed in 
the minds of Old Testament believers; and it may be 
affirmed with considerable confidence that this light is all, or 
nearly all, in favour of the identification of this hope with 
the hope of resurrection. I take first the Book of Job, 
because, whenever written, it relates to patriarchal times, or 
at least moves in patriarchal conditions. The first remark- 
able passage in this book is in chapter xiv. This chapter 
raises the very question we are now dealing with, and it is 
noteworthy that the form in which it does so is the possibility 

anticipation of qI bodily revival. First, Job enumerates the appearances 
which seem hostile to man's living again (vers. 7-12). Then 
faith, rising in her very extremity, reasserts herself against 
doubt and fear — 

'' Oh that Thoa- wouldest hide me in Sheol, 
That Thou wouldest keep me secret, till Thy wrath be past, 
That Thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me ! 

The later 
books : Job^ 

Book of Job : 
picture of 

fob xiv. .• 

^ Matt. xxii. 23. 


If a man die, shall he live again ? 

All the days of my warfare would I wait, 

Till my release should come. 

Thon shouldest call, and I would answer Thee, 

Thou wouldest have a desire to the work of Thy hands." ^ 

There seems no reasonable room for question that what is Dr, David- 
before Job's mind here is the thought of resurrection. Dr. ^^"'^ ^^^' 
A« B. Davidson explains : '' On this side death he has no 
hope of a return to God's favour. Hence, contemplating that 
he shall die under God's anger, his thought is that he might 
remain in Sheol till God's wrath be past, for He keepeth not 
His anger for ever ; that God would appoint him a period to 
remain in death, and then remember him with returning 
mercy, and call him back again to His fellowship. But to 
his mind this involves a complete return to life again of the 
whole man (ver. 14), for in death there is no fellowship with 
God (Ps. vi 5). Thus his solution, though it appears to his 
mind only as a momentary gleam of light, is broader than 
that of the Psalmist, and corresponds to that made known in 
subsequent Eevelation." * 

The second passage in Job is the well-known one in /^^xix. 25-27: 
chapter xix., translated in the Bevised Version thus — resurrection 

Offatn trnplitd, 

"But I know that my Redeemer liveth, 
And that He shall stand up at the last upon the earth [Heb. dmt\ 
And after my skin hath been thus destroyed, 
Yet from my flesh shall I see God : 
Whom I shall see for myself, 
And mine eyes shall behold, and not another." ' 

I do not enter into the many difficulties of this passage, 
but refer only to the crucial line, " Yet from my flesh shall I 
see God." The margin gives as another rendering, "without *'/«"<7r 
my flesh," but this is arrived at only as an interpretation '^^.^V*^ 

' Jobxiv, 13-15 (R. v.). The margin translates as in A.V., **Thou shalt 
calif" etc. As remarked, the form in which the qnestion is put in this passage 
is as significant as the answer to it. It implies that revived existence in the 
l>ody is the only form in which the patriarch contemplated immortality. Life 
and even sensation in Shed are presupposed in ver. 22. 

' Com. on Job, in loc. (Cambridge Series). I can scarcely agree that Job's 
solution is broader than that of the psalmist's. See below. 

» Job xix. 26-27. 



of the word " from," which is literally the one used. The 
natural meaning would therefore seem to be, " Yet from (or 
out of) my flesh shall I see God," which implies that he will 
be clothed with flesh.^ Dr. Davidson allows the admissibility 
of this rendering, and says : ** If therefore we understand the 
words * from my flesh ' in the sense of in my flesh, we must 
suppose that Job anticipated being clothed in a new body 
after death. Something may be said for this view. Un- 
doubtedly, in chapter xiv. 13 «ej., Job clearly conceived the 
idea of being delivered from Sheol and living again, and 
fervently prayed that such a thing might be. And what he 
there ventured to long for, he might here speak of as a thing 
of which he was assured. No violence would be done to 
the line of thought in the book by this supposition." Yet 
he thinks " it is highly improbable that the great thought of 
the resurrection of the body could be referred to in a way 
so brief," and so prefers the rendering " without." * I think, 
however, this is hardly a suflScient reason to outweigh the 
tremendously strong fact that we have already this thought 
of resurrection conceded in chapter xiv., and, further, that the 
thought of living again in the body seemed the only way in 
which Job there could conceive the idea of immortality. If 
that is so, it may explain why more stress is not laid upon 
resurrection here. The hope which absorbs all Job's thought 
is that of ^ seeing God," and the fact that, if he does so at all, 
he must do it " in " or " from " the flesh, is taken for granted 
as a thing of course.' 
The Psalms: The question of the testimony of the Psalms is greatly 
r. eytus gi^pjifle^ \y^ ^{jc large concessions which writers like Dr. 

views* *. *f w 

Cheyne are now ready to make, in the belief that by 

admitting references to resurrection doctrine they prepare the 

The passages way for the proof of *' Zoroastrian influences." The passages, 

thai teach 

immortality * Cf. Posey, p. 508, and Vigouroux, iii. pp. 172-180. 

imply resur- * Commentary on Job, Appendix on chap. xix. 28-27, p. 292. 

rection, ' Dr. Davidson's remark, ** On Old Testament ground, and in the situation 

of Job, such a matter-of-course kind of reference is almost inconceivable" (p. 

292), involves the very point at issue. 


however, are happily of an order that speak for themselves, 
and need no forcmg to yield us their meaning. A con- 
spicuous example is Ps. xvL 8-11, cited in the New Testa- /v. xvi. 8-ir. 
ment as a prophecy of the resurrection of Christ — 

" I have set the Lord always before me : 
Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth ; 
My flesh also shall dwell in safety (or confidently). 
For Thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol ; 
Neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corraptlon 

(or tJie pit). 
Thou wilt show me the path ef life : 
In Thy presence is fulness of joy ; 
In Thy right hand there are i)l6asiires for evermore." ^ 

Another passage is in Psalm xviL 15, where, after describ- Pj. xvii. 15. 
ing the apparent prosperity of the wicked, the Psalmist 
says — 

"As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness : 
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness." 

The " awakening " here, as Delitzsch says, can only be that 

from the sleep of death.* Yet more distinct is Ps. xlix. Ps. xiix. 14, 

14, 15— '5- 

"They (the wicked) are appointed as a ieck f»r Slieol: 
Death shall be their shepherd : 

And the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning ; 
And their beauty shall be for Sheol to consume, that there be no 

habitation for it. 
But God will redeem my soul from the power (hand) of Sheol : 
For He shall receive me.'' 

There is here again, it is believed, clear reference to the 
"morning" of the resurrection. The passage is the more 
significant that in the last words, as well as in Ps. Ixxiii 24, 
there is direct allusion to the case of Enoch. " * God,' says References to 
the Psahnist, ' shall redeem my soul from the hand of Hades, ^"""^^ '^'^' 

^ See Acts iL 24-81. Cf. Delitzsch, in loc, ; and Cheyne, Origin 0/ the 
Psalter, p. 431. 

* Com,, in loc. Thus also Pusey, Perowne, Cheyne, Hofmann, etc. "The 
awakening," says Cheyne, "probably means the passing of the soul into a 
resurrection body." — Origin of Psalter, p. 407. 


for He shall take me/ as He took Enoch, and as He took 
Ps, ixxiii. 24. Elijah, to Himself,"^ Ps. Ixxiii. 24 reads thus — 

"Nevertheless I am continually with Thee : 
Thou hast holden my right hand. 
Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, 
And afterward receive me to glory. 
Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? 
And there is none on the earth that I desire beside Thee. 
My flesh and my heart faileth : 
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever." 

These, and a few others, are the passages usually cited in 

favour of the doctrine of immortality in the Book of Psalms, 

and it will be seen that in all of them this hope is clothed in 

a form which implies a resurrection.* 

The prophetic I need not delay on the passages in the prophetic books, 

books: the idea f^j, ^^^^ j^ jg Usually granted that the idea of resurrection is 

of resurrection •' ^ 

familiar, familiar. Not only is the restoration of the Jewish people 
frequently presented under this figure, but a time is coming 
when, for the Church as a whole, including the individuals 
in it, death shall be swallowed up in victory. We have a 

Hosea vi. 2, passage already in Hosea, which is beyond suspicion of 

xiu. 14. Zoroastrian influence — 

"After two days will He revive ua : 
On the third day, He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him.*' 

And again- 

" I will ransom them from the power of Sheol ; 
I will redeem them from death : 

^ Perowne, tn lot. Thus also Pusey, Delitzsch, Cheyne, etc. "The "dawn,*" 
says Cheyne, " is that of the resurrection day." — Expository TimeSf ii. p. 249 ; 
cf. Origin qjf PsaUer, pp. 882, 406, 407. Delitzsch, in note on Ps. zvi. S-11, 
says : "Nor is the awakening in xlix. 15 some morning or other that will very 
soon follow upon the night, but the final morning, which brings deliverance 
to the upright, and enables them to obtain dominion." 

' Or if not resurrection, then immortality in the body without tasting of 
deatli, as Enoch. But this is a hope the Old Testament believer could hardly 
have cherished for himself. The view of deliverance from death seems there- 
fore the more probable in Ps. xlix. 15, etc. A very different view is taken by 
Schultz in his AlUeetameniliche Tfieologie, pp. 753-758. Schult; not only sees 
uo proof of the resurrection in the passages we have quoted, but will not even 
aUow that they have any referenoe to a future life. So extreme a view surely 
refutes itself. It is at least certain that if these paasages teach a future life, it 
is a life in connection with the body. 


O death, where are thy plaguefl T 
O grave, where is thy deetruction I " ^ 

The climax of this class of passages is reached in Isa. xxv. ha. zxv. 6-8, 
6-8. xxvi 19. Cf. also Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10, the vision of "^*- '9' ''''• 
the dry bones.* 

The last Old Testament passage I will quote is an undis- 
puted one,, and has the special feature of interest that in it 
for the first time mention is made of the resurrection of the 
wicked as well as of the just It is that in Dan. xii. 2 — Dan, xH. 2. 
" And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall 
awake, some to everlasting life, aiid some to shame and ever- 
lasting contempt" This needs ao comment. 

From the whole survey I think it will be evident that I After all only 
was entitled to say that from the first the manner in which ^^^'^'^^'^ 

•' on believers 

the hope of immortality was conceived by holy men in relation to God. 
Israel was that of a resurrection. Yet, when all is said, we 
cannot but feel that it was but a hope — not resting on express 
Bevelation, but springing out of the consciousness of the in- 
dissoluble relation between God and the believing soul, and 
the conviction that God's Redemption will be a complete one. 
Life and immortality were not yet brought to light as they 
are now by Christ in His GospeL* The matter is unexception- 
ably stated by Dr. A. B. Davidson in the following words, 
with which I conclude : " The human spirit is conscious of Dr, Davidson 
fellowship with God ; and this fellowship, from the nature of 9^^^"^- 
God, is a thing imperishable, and, in spite of obscurations, it 
must yet be fully manifested by God. This principle, 

^ Hoe. tL 2, xiii. 14. Cf. Cheyne, p. 883. 

* On the passages in Isaiah, Cheyne remarks : *< Instead of swaUowing up, 
Sheol in the Messianic period shall itself be swallowed up. And this prospect 
concerns not merely the Church-nation, but all of its believing members, and 
indeed all, whether Jews or not, who submit to the true King, Jehovah."— 
Origin of PBoUer, p. 402. Cf. Ekcpomtory Times, ii. p. 226. In Ezekiel, the 
subject IS national resurrection, but "that the power of Ood can, against all 
human thought and hope, reanimate the dead, is the general idea of the 
passage, from which consequently the hope of a literal resurrection of the dead 
may naturally be inferred."— Oehler, Theology of Old Testament, ii. p. 895 
(Eng. trans.). Oehler docs more justice to these passages than Schultz.^ 

» 1 Tim. i. 10. 


grasped with convulsive earnestness in the prospect of death, 
became the Hebrew doctrine of immortality. This doctrine 
was but the necessary corollary of religion. In this life the 
true relations of men to God were felt to be realised ; and 
the Hebrew faith of immortality — never a belief in the mere 
existence of the soul after death, for the lowest superstition 
assumed this — was a faith that the dark and mysterious 
event of death would not interrupt the life of the person 
with God, enjoyed in this world. . . . The doctrine of immor- 
tality in the book (of Job) is the same as that of other parts 
of the OM Testament. Immortality is the corollary of 
religion. If there be religion — that is, if God be — there is 
immortality, not of the soul, bnt of the whole personal being 
of man (Ps. xvi. 9); This teaching of the whole Old Testa- 
ment is expressed by our Lord with a surprising iucisiveness 
in two sentences — ' I am the God of Abraham. God is 
not the God of the dead but of the living* " ^ 

' Commentary on Jobf Appendix, pp. 293-295. 


STfie Central Assertion of tfje Cijrtstian Uiito— tfje 
JEticamation of (KoO in Cfirtet* 

"With historical science, the life of Jesus takes its place in the 
great stream of the world's history ; He is a human individual, who 
became what He was, and was to be, through the living action of ideas 
and the circumstances of His time, and He, as a mighty storm-wave 
which has arisen through the conflict of forces, is destined to sink once 
more into the smooth sea in the restless whirl of earthly things, quietly 
subsiding from the general life of humanity, in order to make room for 
new and stronger throes and creations. Here, in the Church, He is 
the rock which rules over the flood, instead of being moved by it. . . . 
He, the pillar, the Son of Gtod, will survey humanity, however far and 
wide it may extend, permitting it only to hold fast by Him, or to 
iKTeck itself against Him."— Kbim. 

'' But Thee, but Thee, Sovereign Seer of time. 
But Thee, poet's Poet, wisdom's tongue. 
But Thee, man's best Man, love's best Love, 
perfect life in perfect labour writ, 
all men's Comrade, Servant, King, or Priest, — 
What i^or yet, what mole, what flaw, what lapse, 
What least defect or shadow of defect. 
What rumour, tattled by an enemy, 
Of inference loose, what lack of grace 
Even in torture's grasp, or sleep's, or death's, — 
Oh, what amiss may I forgive in Thee, 
Jesus, good Paragon, thou crystal Christ" 

SiDNBT Lanisr. 




In the second Lecture I conducted an historical argument Completion of 
intended to show that there is really no intermediate position ^''^"^^'^ '" 

•^ *^ second 

in which the mind can logically rest between the admission i^ture. 
of a truly Divine Christ and a purely humanitarian view. 
This argument I have now to complete, by showing that the 
necessity which history declares to exist arises from the 
actual state of the facts in the Christian Bevelation. We 
have seen what the alternative is, and we have now to ask 
why it is so. 

Why is it that we cannot rest in* a conception of Christ BA\vhy cannot 
simply a prophet of a higher order ? or as a God-filled man "^ ^"^ '" ^ 

^ ° lower cone ep- 

in whom the Divine dwelt as it dwells in no other? or ^a tionofChnst? 
the central Personage of our race, at once ideal man and the 
Bevelation to us of the absolute principle of religion ? These 
views seem plausible ; they are accepted by many ; they 
seem at first sight to bring Christ nearer to us than on the 
supposition of His true God-manhood ; why cannot the mind 
of the Church rest in them ? Must not the explanation be 
that, taking into account the sum-total of the facts of 
Christianity, they refuse to square with any subordinate 
view, but compel us to press up to the higher conception ? / 
This is what I affirm, and I propose in this Lecture to test 
the question by an examination of the facts themselves. 

There is, I know, in some minds, an insuperable objection, 
a priori, to the acceptance of the fact of the Incarnation, 


A priori 
objection to the 
based on 


with the 

assertions of 





arising from the lowliness of Christ's earthly origin and 
condition. Can we believe, it is said, that in this historical 
individual, Jesus of Nazareth — this son of a carpenter — God 
actually became incarnate ; that in this humble man, so poor 
in all His earthly surroundings, there literally dwelt the 
fulness of the Godhead bodily ? Is the thought not on the 
face of it incredible ? The appeal here is to our powers of 
imagination — of conceiving — to our sense of the likelihood 
or unlikelihood of things ; and to enable us to judge fairly of 
that appeal, and of its nature as an objection to the In- 
carnation, a great many things would have to be taken into 
account, both before and after. 

I would only say that as regards a certain class who make 
that objection — the higher class of liberal theologians 
especially — the question seems only one of degree. It 
Christ is, in any case, as most of them affirm, the central, 
typical, religiously greatest individual of the race; if the 
principle of the absolute religion is manifested in Him, as 
Pfleiderer allows ; ^ if He is the ideally-perfect man in whom 
the God-consciousness finds its fullest expression, as Schleier- 
macher declares ;^ if He is alone the sinless Personality of the 
race, as even Lipsius will grant,^ — these are already remarkable 
claims, and as compared with His lowly appearance and mean 
historical environment create almost as great a feeling of 
strangeness as on the supposition of His true Divinity. Or 
let us suppose that the objection comes from the evolutionist. 
Then contrast the strangeness he speaks of with that of his 
own views. His objection is, that he cannot believe that in 
this lowly Man of Nazareth there should reside all the 
potentialities of Divinity. But what does he ask vs to 
believe ? He goes back to the primitive state of things, and 
there, in that little speck of jelly at the first dawn of life, — 
in that humble drop of protoplasmic matter buried in some 
oozy slime, — ^he bids us believe that there lies wrapped up, 

^ Cf. his Orundrisftf sees. 128, 129. 
* Der chrisU. Olavbe, ii. sees. 98, 94. 

* DogmcUik, sec 651, 


only waiting for development, the promise and potency of the 
whole subsequent evolution of lifa In that first germ-cell 
there lies enfolded — latent — not only the whole wealth of 
vegetable existence, not only the long procession of future 
races and species of lower and higher animals, with their 
bodily powers and mental instincts, but, in addition, the 
later possibilities of humanity; all that has now come to 
light in human development — the weahh of genius, the riches 
of civilisation, the powers of intellect, imagination, and heart, 
the treasures of human love and goodness, of poetry and 
art — the genius of Dante, of Shakespeare, of Milton — the 
spiritual greatness and holiness of Christ Himself; — all, in a 
word, that has ever come out of man is supposed by the 
evolutionist to have been potentially present from the first 
in that little primitive speck of protoplasm \ ^ I confess that, 
putting his assertion alongside the Christian one, I do not 
feel that there is much to choose between them in point of 
strangeness. But evolution, he would tell us, is not deprived 
of its truth by the strangeness at first sight of its assertion — 
neither is the Christian view. The question is not one to be 
settled a priori^ but to be brought to the test of facts. 

T. Godet has said, " Christianity is entirely based upon /. Testimony 
Christ's consciousness of Himself, and it is the heroism of^,,. 

' apostolic agt 

faith to rest upon the extraordinary testimony which \!dl\% as throwing 
Being gave to Himself.'** This must be so, for the reason ^^^'.^' 

Chrtsfs own 

which Christ Himself gives, that He alone has the knowledge claims, 
which qualifies Him to give a true estimate of Himself. 
" For T know," He said to the Jews, " whence I came, and 
whither I go ; but ye know not whence I came, or whither I 

^ lyndall oarrioB back this promise and potency to the original fire-mist. 
"For what are the core aod essence of this hypothesis? Strip it naked, and 
yon stand face to face with the notion that not alone the more ignoble forms of 
aoimalcolar or animal life, not alone the nobler forms of the horse and lion, not 
alone the exqnisite and wonderful mechanism of the human body, but that the 
honiaa mind itself— emotion, inteUect, will, and all their phenomena— were 
once latent in a fiery cloud." — FraqiMntB^ iL p. 182. 

' Commentaury on John^ ii. p. 815 (Eng. trans.). 



which the 
early church 
assigned to 

go. " * I propose, however, to begin at a point further down 
— that to which our first written documents belong — and 
to ask, What was the view of Christ's Person held in the 
apostolic age ? The testimony of that age is clearly one of 
great importance, as throwing light on Christ's own claims. 
When men say, Buddha also was raised to the rank of 
Diviaity by his followers, though he himself made no such 
claim, I answer that the cases are not parallel. It was only 
long centuries after his death, and within limited circles, that 
Buddha was regarded as Divine ; but one short step takes us 
from the days when Christ Himself lived and taught on earth 
into the midst of a Church, founded by His apostles, which in 
all its branches worshipped and adored Him as the veritable 
Son of God made manifest on earth £or our salvation. If it 
can be shown that in the apostolic Church a practically 
consentient view existed of Christ's Person, this, of itself, is a 
strong reason for believing that it rested on claims made by 
Christ Himself, and rose naturally out of the facts of His 
historical self-manifestation.^ 

I begin with the broad fact which none can dispute, that, 
in the first age of Christianity, Christ was ^miversally regarded 
as one who had risen from the deeul, who had ascended on 
high to the right hand of God, who exercised there a government 
of the world, who was to return again to judge the quick and 
dead, and who, on these grounds, was the object of worship and 
prayer in all the churches.' This view of Christ is found in 
every book of the New Testament, — in the Acts, in the Pauline 
Epistles, in Hebrews, in Peter, in the Book of Bevelation, in 
the Epistles of John, and James, and Jude, — and is so 
generally acknowledged to be there, that I do not need to delay 
in quoting special texts. But even so much as this cannot 
be admitted, without implying that in the faith of the 

^ John viiL 14, 

s A good summary of the apostolic eyideDce will be seen iu Dr. Whitelaw*s 
How is the Divinity qfJeaita depicUd in the Oospek and EpisUes t 

» Cf. WeiBs's Bib, Thed, of the New Tentament, pp. 177-181 (Kng. ti*ns.) ; 
Hamack's Dogmenffeschichte, L pp. 66-68. 


early Church, Christ was no mere man, but a supernatural 
Personage, t.6. that the Ebionitic view was not the primitive 
one. Think only of what is implied in this one claim to be The claim to 
the Judge of the world — the arbiter of the everlasting-^"*^ '^ 

° ® world, 

destinies of mankind.^ There is no point on which the writers 
of the New Testament are more absolutely unanimous than 
this — that Christ shall come again to be our Judge; and 
whether the early Christians analysed all that was involved 
in this belief or not, there can be no doubt in the mind of 
anyone who has analysed it that it involved the possession of 
attributes which can belong only to God (t,g. omniscience). 
Or take the other outstanding fact of worship paid to Christ 
— ^such, t,g,, as we find in the Book of Revelation. The 
idea of Divine honours externally conferred on one who is 
essentially but man is quite foreign to the New Testament ; 
and the only alternative is, to suppose that Christ was from 
the first regarded as having a supernatural and Divine side to 
His Person — as being essentially Divine. 

As regards the apostolic testimony, the ground is happily Modern 
cleared in modem times by the large measure of general ^^^^'"^"^ . 

, as to general 

agreement which exists among impartial exegetes as to thQ teaching of 

nature of the doctrines taught in the several books. The old ^^ 

Unitarian glosses on passages which seemed to affirm the books^the 

Divinity of Christ are now seldom met with ; and it is freely /^^ff'""^ 

admitted that the bulk of the New Testament writings teach 

a doctrine of Christ's Person practically as high as the Church 

has ever affirmed. For instance, it is no longer disputed by 

any competent authority that, in Paul and John, it is the 

supernatural view of Christ's Person that is given. As to 

John — ^using that name at present for the author of the 

Fourth Gospel and related Epistles — his doctrine of Christ is 

of the highest. This is admitted by the most negative critics, 

e.g. by Dr. Martineau, who says that the phrase " Son of God " Martimau on 

^ Cf. Baldeosperger, jDcm Selbstbeiousstsein Jesu, p. 152. "How does such a ^, . /"".^ 
claim fit into the frame of a human consciousness f Such an assumption lies in £. , ^ . 
fact beyond all ovr experience, also beyond the highest religious experience,'* ^ '^^ * 


The Epistles 
of Paul— 
I. The 

applied to the pre-existing Word in the Fourth Gospel, leaves 
all finite analogies behind. " The oneness with Grod which it 
means to mark is not such resembling reflex of the Divine 
thought and character as men or angels may attain, but 
identity of essence, constituting Him not god-like alone, but 
God. Others may be children of God in a moral sense ; but 
by this right of elemental nature, none but He ; He is, herein, 
the only Son ; so little separate, so close to the inner Divine 
life which He expresses, that He is in the bosom of the 
Father, This language undoubtedly describes a great deal 
more than such harmony of will and sympathy of aflfection 
as may subsist between finite obedience and its infinite 
Inspirer ; it denotes two natures homogeneous, entirely one ; 
and both so essential to the Godhead that neither can be 
omitted from any truth you speak of it. • . • It was one and 
the same Logos that in the beginning was with God, who in 
due time appeared in human form, and showed forth the 
Father's pure perfections in relation to mankind, who then 
returned to His eternal life, with the spiritual ties unbroken 
which He brought from His finished work." ^ In this Gospel, 
therefore, the question is not so much as to the doctrine 
taught, but as to whether the evangelist has given us an 
authentic record of what Christ said and did. On this 
question, so far as it is affected by the Christology, it will be 
well to reserve our judgment till we see whether the other 
writings of the apostolic age do not give us — or yield by 
implication — quite as high a view of Christ's Person as that 
which creates offence in John. 

To aid us in determining this question there lie first to 
hand the writings, above alluded to, of the Apostle Paul. 
Here, again, it is not seriously doubted that in Paul's un- 
disputed Epistles we have as clear and strong an assertion of 
Christ's Divine dignity as we could well desire. That, in 

^ Stai of Authoritf/, pp. 428-429. Biedermann, Lipsios, Pfleiderer, Reass, 
R^viUe, etc., all agree in their estimate of John's doctrine. Weudt {Die Lehrt 
JesUf ii. pp. 450-476), seems to go back, and to explain the expressions in John 
only of an ethical Sonship. Cf. Appendix. 


Paul's theology, Christ had a heavenly pre-existence ;^ that the 
title " Son of God " applies to Him in this pre-existent state ; 
that He was a being of Divine essence ; that He mediated 
the creation of the world; that in the fulness of time He 
took on Him human nature ; that now, since His death and 
resurrection, He has been exalted again to Divine power and 
glory — all this the most candid exegetes now admit. A 
new turn, however, has been given in recent years to this 
theology of Paul by the fancy of some theologians that this 
heavenly, pre-existent essence of the earlier Pauline Epistles 
—the ** Son of God " who became incarnate in Christ — is not 
a second Divine Person, as we understand that expression, 
but a pre-existent "heavenly man," a being apparently of 
subordinate rank, at once the perfect spiritual image of God 
and the heavenly prototype of humanity — a conception 
easier to state than to make intelligible. This " heavenly The 
man " theory, as we may call it, has been seized on with * ^'^'^^ 

" " , Man theory. 

avidity by many as the true key to the Pauline Christology.* 
Beyschlag of Halle adopts it as the basis of his own theory, — 
in this, however, dififering from the others, that he attributes 
only an ideal pre^xistence to this heavenly principle,' while 
the majority admit that what Paul had in view was a real 
and personal pre-existence. This whole hypothesis of the 
"heavenly man" I can only regard as a new-fangled conceit 
of exegesis, resting practically on one passage — that in which 
Paul speaks of ''the second man from heaven,"^ — and in 
diametric opposition to the general teaching of the Epistles. 
It is an hypothesis, therefore, which finds no countenance 

^ See Kote A. — ^The Doctrine of Pre-ExiBtenoe. 

' It goes back to Baur, and to Bitsclil, Entstehung, p. 80 (1857), and has been 
adopted by Holsten, Hilgenfeld, Biedermann, Lipsins, Pfleiderer, etc. Bieder- 
mann states it succinctly thus :— "The Person, the I of Christ, has already, 
before His appearance in the earthly corporeity, in the flesh, pre-existed in a 
pre-earthly condition with God as the tUin etWf as the human image of God, 
and consequently as the archetypal pattern of humanity ; thus is He the Son 
of God. . • . The appearance of Christ in the world, sent by God in lore, is not 
a becoming mail, but a coming of the heavenly, pneumatic Man in the Hesh,** — 
Doffmatik, ii. pp. 98, 97. 

» Christologie, pp. 225-226, 248. * 1 Cor. xv. 47 (B.V.), 


2. The later 





from more sober expositors like Meyer, Weiss, or Beuss, all 
of whom recoguise in PauVs " Son of God " a Being truly 
Divine.^ Christ indeed, in Paul's view, has humanity, but it 
is not a humanity which He brought with Him from heaven, 
but a humanity which He assumed when He came to earth. 
The argument for the " heavenly man " theory completely 
r^sues-- "breaks down if we take into account the later Epistles — 

Chnstology of ^ 

Phiiippians, especially Philippians, Ephesians, and Colossians, the genuine- 
ness of which there are no good grounds for disputing.- 
Pfleiderer, who advocates this theory, admits the genuineness 
of the Epistle to the Philippians, but there we have the 
strongest assertion of Christ's pre-existent Divinity. The 
whole argument in chap. ii. 5-11, turns on Christ's original 
condition of Divine glory — "being in the form of God** — and 
His voluntary abdication of it to take upon Him " the form 
of a servant" — "being made in the likeness of men" — "being 
found in fashion as a man."' As to the teaching of the 
Epistles to the Colossians and the Ephesians, there is no 
dispute, even among the friends of this theory. In these 
Epistles, says Lipsius, " Christ, as the image of God and the 
first-born of the whole creation, is an essentially Divine 
Personality, and the Mediator of the creation of the world." * 
Pfleiderer sees, or imagines he sees, in them the same 
influence of the Philonic Logos doctrine as is traceable in the 
Gospel of John* — an indirect witness that between the 
theology of Paul in these Epistles and that of the Fourth 
Gospel, there is no essential difference. But though the 
Christology of the later Epistles is admittedly more developed 
than that of the earlier Epistles, the doctrine of Christ in 
both is substantially one.® In both, Christ was " the Son of 

unity of 
doctritte in 
later and 

^ See Weisi's criticism in Biblical Theology ^ i. pp. 410-412, and ii. p. 100 ; 
Aleyer on 1 Cor. xv. 47 ; Dorner, System of DoctriMy iii. pp. 175-176. 

^ Renan, Reuss, Sabatier, Weiss, etc., accept them all as Pauline. 

•Cf. Brace's Humiliation of Christ (Cunningham Lectures), pp. 21-25, 

* Dogmatikf p. 458. * Urchristenthum, pp. 676, 695. 

• Cf. Schmid, Bib. Theol, ofXew Testament, pp. 469-478 (Eiig. trans.). 


vjrod," eternally pre-existing in a state of glory with the 
Father, who, in the fulness of time, moved by love, became 
incarnate for our salvation.^ In both — as also in John — 
He existed before the creation of the world, and was the 
agent in its creation.^ That He is the centre of the Divine 
purpose, ajid therefore the One for whom all things as well 
as by whom all things, are made, is a doctrine as clearly 
taught in the Epistles to the Bomans and the Corinthians as 
in those to the Colossians and the Ephesians.^ In both, the 
divine name Kvpio^ is freely given to Him ; passages applied 
in the Old Testament to Jehovah are applied to Him also ; 
Divine honour is paid to Him ; He is exalted to a Divine 
sovereignty of the world ;* His name is constantly joined with 
that of the Father as the source of grace and peace in the 
introductions to the Epistles,^ and again with those of the 
Father and of the Spirit in the apostolic benediction ; * it is 
declared of Him that, as Judge, He has the attribute of the 
Divine searcher of hearts.^ Taking all the facts into account, 
and remembering how inconsonant it would have been with 
I^aul's rigorous Monotheism to attribute Divine honours to a 
Being not truly Divine, it seems impossible to doubt that, in 
the view of the Apostle, Christ was truly a Divine Person, 
one in essence, though distinct in Person from the Father.® 
But the most remarkable circumstance of all is — and it is a 

1 2 Cor. viu. 9 ; Gal. iv. 4. » 1 Cor. viii. 6. 

' Cf. Rom. i. 1-4, xvi. 25-27 ; 1 Cor. viii. 6. Bishop Lightfoot says : "The 
absolute nnirersal mediation of the Son is declared as unreservedly in this 
passage from the First Epistle to the Corinthians ('One Lord Jesus Christ ; 
through whom are all things, and we through Him '), as in any later statement 
of the apostle; and, if all the doctrinal and practical inferences which it 
implicitly involves were not directly emphasised at this early date, it was 
because the circumstances did not yet require explicitness on these points." — 
Commentary on ColossianSt pp. 188, 189. 

* Cf. on above statements, Weiss, Biblical Theology, I pp. 890-893. 
» Rom. i. 7 ; 1 Cor. i. 3 ; 2 Cor. i. 2 ; Gal. i. 3. 

• 2 Cor. xiii. 14. ' Rom. ii. 16 ; 1 Cor. iv. 5. 

^ It is a noteworthy circumstance that nearly all the modern scholars agree 
in that interpretation of the strongest passage of all, Rom. ix. 5, ''who is over 
all, God blessed for ever, Amen," which makes it refer to Christ. Thus, e.g,, 
Rothe, Lipsius, Pfleiderer, Ritschl, Schultz, Weiss, etc. 



point which I desire specially to emphasise — that in pro' 
Paul assumes pounding thesc high views of Christ's Person, Paul in no case 
Sf *" speaks or argues as one teaching a new doctrine, but through- 
lioctHne is the out takes it for granted that his reader's estimate of the 
same <^^^<^ Lord's dignity is the same as his own. He gives no indication 

of tke Churches e> j © 

fo which he in thesc letters that he preached or contended for a higher 
ivntes, yjg^ q{ Christ's Person than that which was currently 

received.^ He has no monopoly of this truth, but assumes it 
as the common possession of the Church. He argues at 
length for the doctrine of justification by faith, but we never 
find him arguing for the Divinity of Christ. Whether writing 
to his own converts, or to churches he had never seen, he 
uses the same language on this subject, and apparently 
anticipates no doubt or contradiction on the part ,of his 
readers. What inference can we draw, but that the doctrine 
of Christ's Person in the early Church was anything but 
Ebionitic, — that from the first a Divine dignity was ascribed 
to Christ ? 
The Epistle PauVs Epistlcs, howevcT, are not the only witnesses on 
^anindepen^^^^ poiut of apostoUc thcology. Essentially the same 
ivitness, doctrinc we find in the Epistle to the Hebrews, long attributed 

to Paul, but now almost universally assigned to another 
author. It has, therefore, the value of an independent witness. 
The Epistle is further valuable for its early date, most critics 
unhesitatingly referring it to the period before the destruction 
of Jerusalem, probably about a.d. 66.^ But here, though the 
writer's standpoint is somewhat different from both Paul's 
and John's, we find precisely the same doctrine as before, — 
Jesus, the Divine Son of God, the effulgence of the Father's 
glory and very image of His substance, the Creator, upholder, 
and heir of all things, who, because the children were par- 
takers of flesh and blood. Himself likewise partook of the 

^ Cf. Retiss, History of Christian Theology ^ i. p. 897 (Eng. trans.). The 
passage is quoted below. 

' Cf. Weiss, Introduction to New Testament, ii, p. 81 (Eng. trans.) ; Dr. A. 
B. Davidson, Hebrews, etc. A few, like Pfleiderer (who, however, thinks 
ApoUos may have been the author), date it Uter.— Crchristenthvm, pt 629. 


same, and is now again exalted to the right band of the 
Majesty on high.^ Farther, in teaching this high Christo* 
logical view, the author is not conscious any more than Paul 
of bringing in a new doctrine. He stands rather upon the 
ground of the common Christian confession, which he exhorts 
the Hebrews to hold fast^ 

It is conceded, however, that in the main the Christology The 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews is of the Paulipe type, and the ^^""JyP'' . 

^ '' ^ ' as representing 

question arises — Have we anywhere a witness of another <z/^«;ij^. 
type, showing how the Person of Christ was viewed in the ^^^^j^;* 

^^ * standpoint, 

distinctively Jewish, as contrasted with the Gentile sections 
of the Church ? The answer is given in another book of the 
apostolic age, the early date of which is one of the articles 
of the modem creed, and which is supposed by some — e,g, by 
Volkmar — to have been written expressly with the view of 
opposing Paul' I refer to the Apocalypse. By common 
consent of the modem school of critics, this book was 
composed immediately after the death of Nero,^ and its anti-- 
Pauline character is not only admitted, but insisted on« 
Here, then, we have what may be regarded as a representative 
early Jewish-Christian writing ; and the question is of deep 
interest. What kind of view of Christ's Person do we find in 
it ? And the answer must be given that the doctrine of The doctrine 
Christ in the Apocalypse is as high, or nearly as high, as it is j^p^^aiypse as 
in either Paul or John. Eeuss, who is certainly an un- high as Johns 
prejudiced witness, has some remarks here which are worth ^^^J^ ^" 
quoting as corroborative of the previous line of argument pfleiderer, 
" We may here observe," he says, " that the writings of Paul, 

1 Cf. Weias, iL pp. 186-190; BeoBS, ii. pp. 248, 244. Reuse says: **It is 
clear from the figures chosen that the intention of the theology is to establish 
at once the Divinity and the plurality of the Persons in the Godhead, side by 
side with the monotheistie principle." 

* Heb. ir. 14. 

' Pfleiderer shares this view. See it criticised by Reuse, Christian Theology, 
i. pp. 808-312. Pfleiderer thinks, too, that the passage in Matthew, '* Whoso- 
ever, therefore, shall break one of theee least oonunandments," etc. (Matt. v. 
19), is a blow aimed at Paul's antinomianism !— Hibbert Lectures, p. 178. 

^ " It is pow pretty generally acknowledged that the date of this book is the 
year 6S-69 A. d."— Pfleiderer, Hibbert Lectures, p. 153. 


which carry us back, so to speak, into the very cradle of the 
Church, contain nothing to indicate that their Ghristological 
doctrine, so different from that of common Ebionitism, was 
regarded as an innovation, or gave rise to any disputations at 
the time of its first appearance. But we have in our hands 
another book, essentially Judseo - Christian, which gives 
emphatic support to our assertion. This is the Book of 
Bevelation. ... It ought unhesitatingly to be acknowledged 
that Christ is placed in the Itevelation on a par with God. 
He is called the First and the Last, the Beginning and the 
End, and these same expressions are used to designate the 
Most High." ^ Professor Pfleiderer is another critic who puts 
this point so strongly and unambiguously, that I cannot do 
better than give his words. "As, according to Paul/' he 
says, " Christ has been exalted to the regal dignity of Divine 
dominion over all, so, according to our author. He has taken 
His seat on the throne by the side of His Father, participating 
therefore in His Divine dominion and power — He is the Lord 
of the churches, holds their stars, or guardian angels, in His 
hand, and is also Buler of nations and King of kings, the 
all-wise and almighty Judge of the nations ; indeed, to Him 
is due a worship similar to that of God Himself. As the 
author of the Apocalypse, in his apotheosis of Christ as an 
object of worship, thus almost outstrips Paul, neither does he 
in his dogmatic definitions of Christ's nature at all fall behind 
the Apostle. Like Paul, he calls Christ the ' Son of God ' in 
the metaphysical sense of a godlike spiritual being, and far 
beyond the merely theocratic significance of the title. . . . 
As Paul had described the celestial Son of Man as at the 
same time the image of God, the agent of creation, the head 
of every man, and finally even God over all, so the Christ of 
the Apocalypse introduces himself with the predicates of 
Divine majesty : ' I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the 
Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the 
All-powerful ' ; and He is accordingly called also the ' Head 

* Bwiory of Christian Theology , i. pp. 897-398 (Eng, trans.). 


of Creation/ and ' the Word of God/ that is, the mediating 
instrument of all Divine Eevelation from the creation of the 
world to the final judgment. It appears from this that the 
similarity of the Christology of the Apocalypse to that of 
Paul is complete; this Christ occupies the same exalted 
position as the Pauline Christ above the terrestrial Son of 
Man." 1 

It is not necessary, after these examples, that I should The Petrim 
dwell long on the Christology of the Petrine and minor ^j^^'' 
Epistles. Peter is again a distinct witness, and his testimony i. peur, 
is in harmony with what we have already seen. Christ is, 
to refer only to the First Epistle, joined with the Father and 
the Spirit as one of the principals in the work of salvation ; ^ 
He is the Eedeemer, foreordained before the foundation of . 
the world, but manifest in these last times ;^ His Spirit 
testified beforehand in the prophets ;^ He is called Kvpu)^;, and 
passages used in the Old Testament of Jehovah are applied 
to Him — remarkably in chap. iii. 1 5, " Sanctify in your 
hearts Christ as Lord " ; ^ He has gone into heaven, and is at 
the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers 
being made subject to Him ; ® He is the ordained Judge of 
quick and dead.^ He is therefore, as Weiss says, in His 
exaltation a Divine Being,® whether the Epistle directly teaches 
His pre-existence or not, as, however, Pfleiderer thinks it 
does.® Even James, who barely touches Christology in his 2. /ames. 
Epistle, speaks of Christ as the " Lord of Glory/' and the 
Judge of the world, and prayer is to be made in His name.^^ 
Not less instructive are the references in the brief Epistle of 
Jude, who describes Jesus as " our only Master and Lord, 3. /ude. 
Jesus Christ " ; who exhorts believers to pray in the Holy 
Spirit, and keep themselves in the love of God, looking for 
the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ ; and who concludes his 

1 Hibbert Lecturtft, pp. 159-161. * 1 Pet i. 2. 

» 1 Pet i. 20. * 1 Pet i. 11. 

• Cf. 1 Pet i. 6, ii. 13, iii. 12. • 1 Pet ui. 22. 

y 1 Pet iv. 6. 8 Bibltcal Theology qf New Testament, I p. 238. 

9 Urchristenthum, p. 659. i<» James ii. 1, v. 7-9, 14, 15. 


Discourses in 

Coticiusion : 
The super- 
natural mew 
of Chris fs 
established in 

generation of 

short letter by ascribing to the only God, our Saviour, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, glory, majesty, dominion, and 
power, before all time, and now, and for evermore.^ If to 
these sources of evidence we add the popular discourses in 
the Acts of the Apostles, we shall have a tolerably clear idea 
of the views of Christ held in the Church in the earliest 
period of Christianity. These discourses, though, as might 
be expected, containing little or no dogmatic teaching on the 
origin or constitution of Christ's Person, yet do not fail to 
represent Him as possessing a unique dignity ; ^ as the holy 
and sinless One, whom it was not possible for death to hold ; ^ 
as the Prince of Life, exalted to the throne of universal 
dominion ;* as the Lord on whose name men were to call, the 
One in whom alone under heaven there was salvation, and 
through whom was preached forgiveness of sins to men ; ^ as 
the Giver of the Holy Ghost ; ® as the appointed Judge of the 
world, whom the heaven must retain till the time of the 
restitution of all things.^ These representations, though 
simpler, are not inconsistent with the more developed Christ- 
ology of the Epistles, but rather furnish the data or premises 
from which all the positions of that Christology can be 

The supernatural view of Christ, then, is no late develop- 
ment, but was in all its leading features fully established in 
the Church in the generation immediately succeeding Christ's 
death. We find it presupposed in all the apostolic writings, 
and assumed as well-known among the persons to whom 
these writings were addressed. If there were, as the 

iJude4, 20, 21, 26(R.V.). 

"Acta iii. 13, 25, iv. 27. "Servant," in sense of Isaiah's ** Servant of 
» ii. 24, iii. 14. * li. 36, ui. 15. 

• i. 21, 88, iii. 26, iv. 10-12, v. 30, 31. 

• ii. 33. 7 iii. 20, 21. 

^ Cf. Weiss, i p. 180 : "The Messiah who is exalted to this xtf^timt must, of 
course, he a Divine Being, although, for the earliest proclamation, this con- 
clusion gave no occasion for the consideration of the question on how far such 
an exaltation was rooted in the original nature of His Person." 


Tubingen school alleges, Pauline and Petrine parties in the 
Church, it was held by both of these ; whatever other shades 
of doctrinal opinion existed, this was a common element 
But this, it seems to me, is only conceivable on the supposition 
that the view in question ^was one in harmony with the facts 
of Christ's own life on earth, with the claims He made, and 
with the testimony which His apostles had deposited in the 
various churches regarding Him. We are now to see how 
far this is borne out by the actual records we possess of 
Christ's life. 

II. We go back then to the Gospels, and ask what they //. Tfu 
teach. Here I leave out of view the Fourth Gospel, about ^^f^^^'y^ 

^ the Gospels — 

the teaching of which there can be little possible dispute. chHst in the 
Not simply the prologue, but the acts and sayings of Christ -^^'"'^ Gospel, 
recorded in that Gospel, are decisive for anyone who admits of genuineness; 
it, as I do, to be a truthful record by the beloved disciple of ^^^^^^ ^^ 
what Christ did and said on earth.^ It would be out of place 
here to discuss the question of the genuineness. I would 
only say that, so far as the objections are drawa from the 
advanced Christology of the Gospel, and the alleged traces of 
Alexandrian influence, after what we have seen of the general 
state of opinion in the apostolic age, very little weight need 
be attached to them. The Christology of John is not a whit 
higher than the Christology of Paul, or that of the Epistle to 
the Hebrews, or even that of the Apocalypse — ^all lying 
within the apostolic age; the alleged traces of Philonic 
influence are as conspicuous in the Epistle to the Hebrews as 

* It is precisely the discourses of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel which Wendt, 
in his recent /He Lehre Jeau, is disposed to attribute to a genuine Johannine 
source. On the difference of style between the Johannine and the Synoptical 
discourses, Godet remarks : " The discourses of the Fourth Gospel, then, do not 
resemble a photograph, but the extracted essence of a savoury fruit. From the 
change wrought in the external form of the latter, it does not follow that the 
slightest foreign element has been mingled with the latter."— Introduction to 
Commenta/ry^ p. 136 (Eng. trans.). The contrast, however, may be exaggerated, 
as shown by comparison of passages where the Synoptics and John cross each 
other. — Cf. Godet, Introduction, pp. 155-167. 


in the Fourth Gospel. It is not therefore necessary to go 

beyond the apostolic age to account for them. I question, 

indeed, very much whether, if we except the prologue — ie., if 

we keep to Christ's own doings and sayings — there is much 

in John's Gospel at all which would directly suggest the 

peculiarities of Philo. There is certainly a very exalted 

doctrine of Christ's Person, but the doctrine is Christian, not 


Do the It may, however, still be said that at least the Synoptics * 

^ITifferetu''^ tell a Very difiFerent story. Here, it will be maintained, we 

viewi have the human, the truly historical Christ, in contrast with 

the idealised and untrustworthy picture of the fourth 

evangelist. Dr. Martineau makes this his strongest ground 

for the rejection of the Gospel of John. But is it really so ? 

Certainly it is not so, if we let these Gospels — as it is only 

fair that in the first instance we should do— speak fully and 

freely for themselves, and do not, in the interest of theory. 

The Christ of Curtail any part of their testimony. The picture given us in 

the Synoptics ^j^^ Synoptics is not at all that of the humanitarian Christ. 

also a super' "^ * 

natural We havc a true human life, indeed, — the life of One who 

Being, went in and out among men as a friend and brother, who 

humanit grieved, who suffered, who was tempted, who was poor and 

despised, — a true " Son of Man," in every sense of the word. 

But do we not find more ? Does this represent their whole 

testimony about Christ ? On the contrary, does not this 

Higher lowly Being move as a supernatural Personage throughout, 

aspects, ^^^ ^^ ^^^ gjg character and works bear amplest witness to 

the justice of His claims? Is there, according to the 
Synoptics, nothing extraordinary in the commencement of 

^ Hamack expresses himself very decidedly on this subject. " Neither the 
religious philosophy of Philo," he says, ''nor the manner of thought out of 
which it originated, has exercised a provable influence on the first generation 
of Christian believers. ... A Philonic element is also not provable in PauL 
. . . The apprehension of the relation of God and the vorld in the Fourth 
Gospel is not the Philonic. Therefore, also, the Logos doctrine found there is 
essentially not that of Philo." — Dogmengeschichte, i. p. 99. See Note A. — 
Philo and the Fourth Gospel. 

^ Matthew, Mark, and Luke. 


Christ's life, nothing extraordinary in its close, nothing in 

keeping with this extraordinary beginning and end in the 

career that lies between ? It is easy, no doubt, to get rid of Criticism 

all this by denying the historical character of the Gospels, or ^^""^' 

pruning them down to suit; but after every allowance \% supernatural 

made for possible additions to the narrative, there remains a ^^*^^^* 

clear enough picture of Jesus to enable us to determine the 

great subjects of His teaching, and the general character of 

His claims. In fact, the further criticism goes, the super- The 

natural character of Jesus stands out in clearer relief. These ^''A'*"^^"''^^ 

belongs to the 

are not mere embellishments, mere external additions, m<?»r^ ^/M^ 
obscuring the picture of a Christ otherwise human, ^^^y representatwn. 

are not things that can be stripped off, and the real image of 
Christ be left behind, as the writing of a palimpsest might 
be removed and the picture below be brought into view. 
The history is the picture. All fair historical criticism must 
see that these supernatural features belong to the very essence 
of the historical representation of Jesus in the Gospels, and 
that, if we take them away, we have no longer a historical 
Christ at all, but only a Christ of our own imaginings ; ^ that 
we must either take these features as part of our view of 
Christ, or say frankly with Strauss that we really know little 
or nothing about Him. But it is, first, the impossibility of 
resting in this dictum with any fair regard to the canons of 
historical criticism which has constantly forced even negative 
critics back to a fuller recognition of the historical reality of 
the portraiture in the Gospels, and has again placed them in 
the dilemma of having to reconsider these claims of the Son 
of Man. 

Let us look at these claims of Jesus in the Synoptics a i. The 
little more in detail. Even this title " Son of Man "—found 'f''''"' f . 

Jesus — the 

only in Christ's own lips, and never given Him by "His titles '* Son of 
followers — ^has something unique and exceptional about it. ^^ " ^^ „ 
It wells up from the depths of the consciousness of One who 

^ Cf. on this, BnshneU*8 Nature and the Supernatural, chap, xii., ** Water- 
marks on the Christian Doctrine," and Row's Jesus of ike Evangelists. 


knew Himself to stand in some peculiar and representative 
relation to humanity, and to bear the nature of man in some 
exceptional way.^ He is not simply "a Son of Man," but 
'' ilvt Son of Man " ; just as, in a higher relation, He is not 
simply « a Son of God," but " the Son of God." How high 
this latter relation is, is brought out in the words — ** No one 
knoweth the Son save the Father ; neither doth any know 
the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son 
willeth to reveal Him." * In conformity with the uniqueness 
Relation to of nature implied in these titles. He claims to be the Messiah,^ 
St/T ''^ ^^® FulfiUer of law and prophets,* the Founder of the kingdom 
of God, the supreme Legislator and Head of that kingdom,* 
He, through faith in whom salvation is to be obtained,* the 
One who demands, as no other is entitled to do, the absolute 
and undivided surrender of the heart to Himself.^ He for- 
gives sins with Divine authority,^ is the giver of the Holy 
Ghost,® ascribes an expiatory virtue to His death,^^ anticipates 
His resurrection and return in glory,^^ announces Himself as 
His the appointed Judge of the world.^ This claim of Christ to 

TilZt^'''^ be the final Judge of the world, found already in the Sermon 
on the Mount ;^* His repeated declarations of His future 
return in the glory of His Father, and His own glory, and 
the glory of the holy angels ; " the eschatological parables, in 
which he makes the ultimate destinies of men depend on 
relation to Himself,^* are among the most remarkable features 
in His teaching, and are not to be explained away as 
mere figurative assurances of the ultimate triumph of His 

^ Cf. Domer, Person of Christ, L p. 65 (Eng. trans.), and System of Doctrine, 
iiL p. 170 ; Geas, Christi Person und Werk, i. p. 212. On the various views as 
to the meaning of the title, see Bruce, HumilicUUm of Christ, pp. 474-487 
(Cunningham Lecture). 

» Matt. xi. 27 (R.V.). » Matt. xi. 1-6 ; Luke iv. 17-21, etc. 

* Matt. V. 17. 

** Matt. xiii. (Parables of Kingdom) ; Matt, v.-vii. (Sermon on Mount). 

« Matt. xi. 28 ; Luke viL 60. ^ Matt. x. 87-89. 

8 Matt. ix. 2, 6. » Matt. iii. 11, etc. 

1* Matt. XX. 28, xxvi. 26-28, etc. " Matt xvi. 21, 27, xvii. 23, xx. 19, etc 

" Matt. XXV. 81-46, etc. " Matt. vii. 21-23. 

w Mark viu. 88, etc. m Matt. xxv. ; Luke xii. 11-27. 


cause. They constitute a claim which must either be 
conceded, or Christ be pronounced the victim of an extrava- 
gant hallucination! We have to add to these claims of 
Christ, His endorsement of Peter's confession of the unique 
dignity of His Person — "Thou art the Christ, the Son oi Peter 5 
the Uving God " ; ^ His solemn words, so fraught with self- ^^"Z^"^* '^'' 
consciousness, in answer to the High Priest's adjuration — 
'' Henceforth ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right 
hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven ";2 and such 
sublime declarations, implying an omnipresent and omniscient 
relation to His Church, as " Where two or three are gathered 
together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." * 

These are stupendous claims of Christ, but we have next 2. Re- 
to observe that the whole representation of Christ in the ^'"^f ^^'^ ^f 

* the character 

Synoptic Gospels is worthy of them. I do not dwell here on ofChHst-^ 
the holy majesty with which Christ bears himself throughout -^" 
the Gospels in all circumstances, on the tone of authority 
with which he speaks, on the grace and tenderness which 
marked His whole relations to men, — I would concentrate 
attention on the one point that Christ, according to the 
picture given of Him in the Gospels, is a sinless Being — in 
this respect also standing quite apart from other men. It is Attested by the 
the uniform testimony of the apostles and other writers of ^^^}*^^^ 

" *• witnesses, 

the New Testament,— of Paul, of Peter, of John, of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews, of the Apocalypse,* — that Christ was 
without sin ; and the Synoptic narratives, in the picture they Bome out by 
give us of a character entirely God-centred, dominated by the \^^symptics 
passion of love to men, embracing the widest contrasts, 
maintaining itself in absolute spiritual freedom in relation to 
the world, to men and to events, uniformly victorious in 
temptation, untouched by the faintest stain of base, paltry, 
or selfish motive, completely bear out this description. So 
strong is the evidence on this point that we find the sinless- 

1 Matt. xvi. 16, 17. * Matt. xxv. 64. • Matt, xviii. 20. 

* Kg,, 2 Cor. v. 21 ; 1 Pet ii. 22 ; 1 John iii. 6 ; Heb. iv. 15 ; Re7. iii. 14, 
etc. Cf. on this subject Ullmann's Sinles9neB8 qf Jesus, and Bushnell's Nature 
and the Supernatural, x. 


Admitted by ness of Christ widely admitted, even by the representatives 
^'theologians — ^^ schools whose general principles, one would imagine, would 
Vatke, lead them to deny it — by adherents of the Hegelian school 

Sck/gter- jjj^Q Daub, Marheineke, Rosenkrantz, Vatke ; ^ by mediating 
Lipsius, etc, theologians of all types, like Schleiermacher,* Beyschlag,^ 
Eothe,* and Ritschl ; ^ by liberal theologians, like Hase • and 
Schenkel,^ and so decided an opponent of the miraculous even 
as Lipsius.® We must contend, however, that if Christ was 
really the sinless Being which the Gospels represent Him, 
and His followers believed Him to be, we have a phenomenon 
in history which is not to be explained out of mere natural 
grounds, or on any principle of development, but a literal 
new creation, a true moral miracle, involving further con- 
sequences as to the origin and nature of the exceptional 
Personality to whom these predicates of sinlessness belong.® 
3. The In keeping with the character and with the claims of 

^^^^//^^^ Jesus are the itnyrks ascribed to Him in the Gospels. It is, 

tn keeping * 

loithHis as the merest glance will show, a supernatural history 


^ Cf. Domer's Person of CkrUt, v. pp. 121-131 ; System qf Doctrine^ iiL 
p. 261 (£ng. trans.). 
2 Der chrisU. Olaubey sec. 98 (ii. pp. 78, 88). 
' Lehen JesUy i. pp. 181-191. 

* DogmcUik, ii. pp. 83, 108. " UnUrricht, p. 19. 

* Oeschichte Jesu, p. 248. Hase, hcywever, only recognises the sinlessness of 
Jesus from His entrance on His public work. It was a sinlessness won by 

' In his DogmcUikf see sketch in Pfleiderer's Dev, of Thecl, pp. 177-182. 
Pfleiderer himself doubts the "psychological possibility" of sinless perfection, 
and does not ascribe it to Christ. — Ih'ui, pp. 117, 118. In his BeluiionsphUo- 
Sophie^ i. p. 839 (Eng. trans.), he blames Schleiermacher for identifying "this 
personality so entirely with the ideal principle, that it is exalted to an absolute 
ideal, and indeed to a miraculous appearance." This affords a good standard 
for the measurement of Pfleiderer's general Christian position. 

^ Doffmatikf sec. 651, p. 669. 

^ Strauss acknowledges this when he says : " A sinless, archetypal Christ is 
not a hair*8-breadth less unthinkable than one supematurally bom, with a 
Divine and himian nature." — Der Ohristus des Olaubens und der Jeaus der 
Oeschichte, p. 68. But Strauss himself bears high tribute to the perfection of 
Jesus. "In the attainment of this serene inward disposition, in unity with 
God, and comprehending all men as brethren, Jesus had realised in Himself the 
prophetic ideal of the New Covenant with the Law written in the heart ; He 
had — to speak with the poet — taken the Godhead into His will. ... In Him 
man made the transition from bondage to freedom." — LebenJesu, p. 207 (1864). 


throughout The miracles attributed to Jesus are not mere 
wonders, but deeds of mercy and love — the outflow of just 
such Divinity as we claim for Him. They are, accordingly, 
wrought by Jesus in His own name, in the exercise of His 
own authority/ and are suitably spoken of as simply His 
*' works''^ — i.6. standing in the same relation of naturalness to 
Him, and to His position in the world, as our ordinary works 
do to us, and to our position in the world. So far from 
being isolated from the rest of His manifestation, Christ's 
miracles are entirefly of one piece with it, — are Eevelations of 
the powers and spirit of His kingdom,' — are the works of the 
kingdom, or as they are called in John, '' signa" ^ The most 
skilful criticism, therefore, has never been able to excise 
them from the narrative. Their roots intertwine inseparably 
with the most characteristic elements of the gospel tradition, 
— with sayings of Christ, for example, of unimpeachable 
freshness, originality, and beauty ; and, as part of the history, 
they produce upon us precisely the same impression of 
dignity, wisdom, and beneficence, as the rest of the narrative. 
They are, in short, integral parts of that total presentation of 
Jesus which produces on us so marked and irresistible an 
impression of Divinity.^ 

Even this is not the highest point in the Synoptic 4. The 
testimony about Christ If Christ died. He rose again on ^^j^^^^^'X 
the third day. Meeting with His disciples, He declares to Trinitarian 
them, " All authority hath been given unto Me in heaven and f^^^*^^^ *^'^' 
on earth " ; He commissions them to preach repentance and 
remission of sins in His name to all the nations ; He bids 
them " make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into 
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy 

1 E,g,, Matt. viii. 8, 7-10, 26. 

2 Matt. xi. 2. "Mighty works," in vera. 20, 21, 23, is literally "powere." 
** Works " is tlie favourite term in John. 

' Matt. xL 4, 5 ; Luke xi. 20. ^ John iL 11, etc. 

^ Cf. Oodet's Lectures in Defoict of the Christian Faith, iii., "The Miracles 
of Jesus Christ," p. 124 (Eng. trans.) ; and Pressensd, Vie de Jisua, p. 373 
(Eng. trans, p. 277). 


Ghost " (one name) ; He utters for their encouragement this 
sublime promise, " Lo, I am with you always, even unto the 
end of the world." ^ There can be no mistake as to the 
meaning of this Trinitarian formula, which, as Domer says, 
does not express a relation to men, but " requires us to regard 
the Father as the Father of the Son, and the Son as the Son 
of the Father, and therefore does not signify a paternal 
relation to the world in general, but to the Son, who, standing 
between the Father and the Spirit, must be somehow thought 
as pertaining to the sphere of the Divine, and therefore 
denotes a distinction in the Divine itself." * Attempts are 
made to challenge the authenticity of these sayings. But 
they are at least part of the Synoptic representation of Christ, 
and must be taken into account when the comparison is 
between the Synoptic representation and that found in John, 
and in other parts of the New Testament. When, however, 
Christ's whole claim is considered, no valid objection can be 
taken to these sayings, except on principles which imply that 
the resurrection never took place at all, — a position which 
works round to the subversion of the claim itself.' 

The Synoptic Such then, is the view of Christ in the Synoptic Gospels ; 

representoHon ^^^ ^^^ conclusion I draw is, that it is in keeping with the 

of Christ in ' *^ ° 

keeping with estimate formed of Christ's Person in the apostolic age. 
the apostolic rj^jj^ ^^^ things are in harmony. Given such a life as we 

estimate of 

His Person, havc in the Gospels, this explains the phenomena of the 
The latter apostolic age. On the other hand, given the estimate of 

fieeds the 

former as its Christ's Pcrsou and work in the apostolic age, this supports 
^^^^' the reliableness of the picture of Christ in the G^)spels, for 

only from such a life could the faith of the Church have 
originated. We have, in this Synoptic picture, the very 
Being whom the writings of Paul and John present to us ; 
and the forms they use are the only forms which can 
adequately interpret Him to us. In other words, given the 

* Matt, xxviii 18-20. * Syalein of Doctrinef i. p. 351 (Eng. tran?.)» 

^ See Note B. — The Resorrection of Christ and the Reality of His Dlviue 


Christ of the Synoptic Gospels, the doctrine of Paul and 
John is felt to be the only adequate explanation of His 
character and claims. I agree, therefore, entirely with 
Domer when he says, " It may be boldly afiBnned that the 
entire representation of Christ given by the Synoptics may 
be placed by the side of the Johannine as perfectly identical, 
inasmuch as faith, moulded by means of the Synoptic 
tradition, must have essentially the same features in its 
concept of Christ as John has"; and adds, "Those who 
reject the Gospel of John on account of its glorifying of 
Christ, can hardly have set themselves in clear relations with 
the Synoptic Christology." ^ 

I claim, then, to have shown that if we are to do justice Conclusion: 
to the facts of Christianity, we must accept the supernatural 'if -^f^f^ ^^ 

CilTlSt S 

view of Christ's Person, and recognise in Him the appearance revelation 
of a Divine Being in humanity. The argument I have '''^^''* '^ 


conducted — ^if it be correct — goes further than to show that ^>a, o/l/is 
this doctrine is an integral part of Christianity. If this I'^f'^^' 
were all, it might still be said, Eather than that this^^g^^i 


doctrine be accepted, let Christianity go I But if my con- -^w claims. 
tention is right, we are not at liberty to let Christianity go. 
The reason why Christianity cannot be waived out of the 
world at the bidding of sceptics simply is, that the facts are 
too strong for the attempt. The theories which would 
explain Christianity away make shipwreck on the facts. 
But, if Christianity is not to be parted with, its full testimony 
to itself must be maintained ; and we have now seen what 
this means. Formerly it was shown that the attempts to 
maintain Christianity, while rejecting the truth of the 
Incarnation, have uniformly failed. Now we have seen 
why it is so. It was shown also whither the rejection of 
Christianity led us, and how the painful steps of return 
conducted us back through Theism to Bevelation, and through 
Eevelation to belief in Christ as the supreme Bevealer. 
But this faith leads us again to His testimony about Himself, 

^ Person qf Christy i. pp. 60, 61. 


and so once more to the Incarnation. Thus it is that the 
Lord stands constantly challenging the ages to give their 
answer to His question, " What think ye of Christ ? whose 
Son is He ? " ^ and increasingly it is shown that it is not in 
the world's power to put this question aside. However 
silenced for the moment, it soon again asserts its rights, and 
will not cease to be heard till humanity, from one end of the 
earth to the other, has joined in the devout acknowledgment 
— " My Lord and my God ! " « 

III. Doctrinal HI. This fact of the Incarnation being given, how are 
aspects of the ^^ ^ interpret it ? The full discussion of what, doctrinally, 

nuamation: *- . 

proposed is involved in the Incarnation, belongs rather to dogmatics 
reconstruction, ^^^ ^^ ^^ present inquiry ; but certain limiting positions 

may at least be laid down, which may help to keep our 
thoughts in harmony with the facts we have had before us, 
and may serve as a check on modern theories which, pro- 
fessing to give us a re-reading of this all-important doctrine 
more in agreement with the Christian verity than the old 
Christological decisions, fall short of, or go beyond these 
facts. The early decisions of the Church on Christ's Person 
are not, indeed, to be regarded as beyond criticism. It may 
very well be that reconstruction is needed in this doctrine as 
in many others. Only, we should be careful not to part with 
the old formulas till something better — something at least 
equally true to the facts of Christianity — is put in their 
place ; and I confess that most of the modern attempts at a 
revised Christology do not seem to me to fulfil this condition. 
In what sense Constrained by the evidence of Scripture, many theologians 
modern agree in ascribing " Godhead " to Christ, whose views of the 

theories ascribe ° ^ 

" Godhead'' to Person of Christ yet fall short of what the complete testimony 
Chnst— Qf Scripture seems to require. Schleiermacher may be 
Ritschi, included in this class, though he avoids the term ; ' of more 

Lipsius, etc, 1 jj^^^ ^^j. 42. a John xx. 28. 

' See Schleiermacher's views in Dw christL Olaube, ii. pp. 56, 57, 93. He 
says : '' Inasmuch as all the human activity of Christ in its whole connection 
depends on this being of God in Him, and represents it, the expression is 


recent theologians, Rothe, Beyschlag, Eitschl, Lipsius, etc., who 
speak freely of the " Godhead " (Gottheit), " God-manhood " 
(Gottmenschheit), of Christ, and of the " Incarnation " 
(Menschwerdung) of God in Him.^ But what do these ex- 
pressions mean ? In aU, or most, of these theories, Christ has 
a high and unique position assigned to Him. He is the second 
Adam, or new Head of the race, Son of God in a sense that 
no other is, archetypal Man, sinless Mediator and Redeemer 
of mankind.^ This is a great deal, and must be recognised in 
any theory of the Incarnation. All these theories acknowledge, 
further, a peculiar being or Revelation of God in Christ, on 
the ground of which these predicates " Godhead " and " God- 
manhood " are ascribed to Him. But what is its nature ? 
In Schleiermacher, as ah*eady seen in the second Lecture, it 
is the constant and energetic activity of that God-conscious- 
ness which is potentially present in every man — which 
constitutes, therefore, an original element in human nature.^ 
In Rothe, it is an ethical union of Grod with humanity, 
gradually brought about in the course of the sinless develop- 
ment of Christ, and constituting, when complete, a perfect 
indwelling of God in man — a perfect unity of the Divine and 
human.^ In Beyschlag, it is the consciousness of a perfect 
and original relation of Sonship to God, which has its 
transcendental ground in an impersonal (Divine -human) 
principle eternally pre-existent in the Godhead.^ In Ritschl, 

jostified that in the Redeemer God became man, in a sense trae of Him 
ezclnriyelj ; as also each moment of His existence, so ftir as one can isolate it, 
represents a new and simihir incarnation of Qod and state of being incarnate ; 
since always and everywhere, all that is human in Him proceeds out of that 
which is Divine."— Pp. 56, 57. He objects to the term ** God-Man" as too 
definite.— P. 93. 

* Rothe, DogmaUk, ii. pp. 88, 107, etc.; Beyschlag, Lfben Jesu, p. 191, etc.; 
Ritschl, Recht. und Vtr, iii. pp. 364-398 ; UTUei-richt, p. 22 ; Lipsius, Dog- 
maiikj p. 457. Gf. also Schultz, LeJire von der OottheU Christi, pp. 586, 537 ; 
Hermann, Verkehr des Christen mU OoU, pp. 42-62 ; Nitzsch, JSvangelische 
Dogmaiikf ii p. 514, etc. 

^ Schleiermacher, ii. p. 91 ; Lipsius, sec 638. 

' Der christL Olaube, ii. pp. 40, 56. Gf. Lipsius, p. 492. 

< Dogmalik, ii. pp. 88-97, 165-182. 

* Leben Jesu, L p. 191 ; ChristologU, pp. 58, 84, etc 




the '' Qodhead " of Christ has a purely moral and religious 
sense» expressing the fact that in Christ, as the supreme 
Bevealer of God, and Founder of the kingdom of God, there 
is perfect oneness of will with God in this world-purpose, 
and a perfect manifestation of the Divine attributes of grace 
and truth, and of dominion over the world.^ In lipsius, 
again, and those who think with him, " Incarnation " and 
'^ Godhead " denote the realisation in Christ of that perfect 
relation of sonship to God (Gottessohnschaft) which lies in 
the original idea of humanity, and the perfect Bevelation of 
the Divine will of love (Liebewillen) in that Sevelation.^ 
Now I do not deny that in these theories we have a certain 
union of the Divine and human, just as believers in Christ, 
through union with Him and participation in His Spirit, 
become ''sons of God," and "partakers of the Divine nature."' 
1 do not deny, further, that these theories secure for Christ a 
certain distinction from every other, in that they make Him 
the original type of that relation of Divine Sonship into 
which others can only enter through Him. It is a thought 
also which not unnaturally occurs, whether on this idea of a 
God-fiUed humanity — a humanity of which it may be truly 
said that in an ethical respect the fulness of the Godhead 
dwells in it bodily — we have not all that is of practical 
value in any doctrine of Incarnation. We must beware, 
however, of imposing on ourselves with words, and I believe 
that, if we do not rise to a higher view, it will be difficult, as 
the second Lecture showed, to prevent ourselves drifting to 
pure humanitarianism. 

1 Unterricht, p. 22. It will be seen that this is a tolerably complex idea of 
" Godhead." 

^DogmcUik, pp. 574, 675. Lipsius distinguishes between the "principle" 
of the Christian religion— which is that of religion absolutely— ^ind the 
historical revelation of that principle in the Person and Work of Christ. — Pp. 
535-536. Yet this principle is not accidentally or externally bound up with 
Christ, as if He were only casually the first representative of it, or His work 
only the external occasion for the symbolical representation of the general 
activity of this principle in humanity.— Pp. 537, 538. 

> John i. 12 ; 2 Pet. i. 4, 


Two things are to be considered here— First, whether Two questions 
these theories are tenable on their own merits ? and, second, ^? ^^s^'^ *f 

, these theories. 

whether they do justice to the facts of Christ's Eevelation, 
and to the daia of the New Testament generally ? I shall 
offer a few remarks on these points, then add a brief notice 
of the theories known as Kenotic. 

1. There are two classes of these theories — those which i. First 
do not, and those which do, presuppose a transcendental or ^^^^^^^—^^ 

* '^ ^'^ these theories 

metaphysical ground for the predicate '' Godhead " applied to tenable on 
Christ, and as important diflferences exist between them, it is'^><'"^ 
desirable to distinguish them. t^wo classes 

(1) Of the former class are those of Schleiermacher, ^^/^ 
Kitschl, Lipsius, with many others that might be named. I z,^ /^^^^^ 
abstract from other features in these theories, and look only w^jV^ do net 
at the grounds on which "Godhead" is ascribed to ^^^^\tran^Mdmtai 
and I do not find any which transcend the limits of humanity, ground for the 
Christ is archetypal man, ideal man, sinless man, the Perfect ^"^J^^^,, 
Eevelation of grace and truth, the central individual of Ha^ applied to 
race, the bearer of the principle of true religion, the Founder ^^7^'"" 
of the kingdom of God in humanity, the pre-eminent object nuuher, 
of the Father's love, — but He is not more than man. His ^*/^^^^» 

LipstuSf etc. 

humanity may be a " God-filled " humanity ; still a God- filled 
man is one thing, and God become ma« is another. There 
may be participation in the Divine life — even in the Divine 
nature — on the part of the ordinary believer ; but the man 
in whom God thus dweUs does not on this account regard 
himself as Divine, does not speak of himself as a Divine 
person, does not think himself entitled to Divine honours, 
would deem it blasphemy to have the term "Godhead" 
applied to him. If, therefore, this is the only account we 
can give of Christ's Person, it is clear that this predicate 
"Godhead" can never properly be applied to Him. We 
might speak of the Divine in Christ, but we could not say 
that Christ himself was Divine. We might see in Him the 
highest organ of Divine Eevelation, but we would require to 
distinguish between the God revealing Himself, and the 


humanity through which He is manifested. It would be 
blasphemy here also to speak of Christ Himself as God. It 
would be idolatry to give Him Divine honours. "We find, 
therefore, that Eitschl has to admit that it is only in a 
figurative and improper sense that the Church can attribute 
"Godhead" to Christ.^ This predicate, he says, is not a 
theoretic truth, but only a judgment of value—an expression 
of the worth which Christ has for the religious consciousness 
of the believer. In further carrying out the same idea, both 
Schleiermacher and Eitschl strip away, as formerly shown, 
all the eschatological attributes from Christ, and resolve His 
sitting at the right hand of God, His return to judge the 
world, etc., into metaphors. The only real sense in which 
Christ is spiritually present in His Church is through the 
perpetuation of His image, of His teaching, and of His 
influence in the community of believers.* This is the 
legitimate consequence of a theory which does not go beyond 
the bounds of the human in its estimate of Christ; for if 
the eschatological teaching of Jesus is admitted, it seems 
impossible to stop short of a much higher view of His Person. 
This method, however, of simply sweeping aside what is 
distasteful is too violent to be long endured; there are 
besides those utterances of Jesus which bespeak the con- 
sciousness of a relation dififerent in kind, and not merely in 
degree, from that sustained by others to the Father. This 
class of theories, therefore, naturally passes over to another — 
that which seeks to do justice to the facts by admitting a 
deeper ground for Christ's Personality than the earthly one. 
(2) Those (2) Of this second class of theories, I may take those of 

Bothe and Beyschlag as examples. Eothe thinks he effectu- 


groufidfor 1 Ritgchl, ReM. und Vtr. iii. p. 378. 

'^" . « Ritfichl, RechU vnd Vtr, pp. 383, 884, 407, 408. '* In any other sense," he 

predicate— thinks, "the formula of the exaltation of Christ to the riglit hand of God is 

Aotlu^ either without content for us, because Christ as exalted is directly hidden for 

Beyschlag, ,,g. ^^ becomes the occasion of all possible extravagance (Schwannerei)." — 

P. 407. Schleiermacher, Dw chrUtL Olaube, pp. 84-88, 290-292; Lipsius, 

J>agnuUik, pp. 494, 587. 

7vhich do 
presuppose a 


ally secures the idea of Christ's Godhead bj assuming that, 

in the course of Christ's sinless development, God constantly 

unites Himself with Him in closer and closer relations, till at 

length a perfect union both of person and of nature is effected.^ 

Beyschlag thinks to do the same by supposing that a Divine 

impersonal principle — a pre-existent ideal humanity — is 

somehow incarnated in Christ.' But not to speak of the 

absence of scriptural proof for both of these theories, see the 

difficulties under which they labour. Can it be seriously 

said that, if a transcendental ground of CSirist's Person is to 

be admitted, these theories have any advantage in simplicity 

or intelligibility over the old view ? Take Rothe's theory, ifutmsistencies 

What are we to make of the supposition of a personality ^{J^^ ' 

which begins as human, and ultimately and gradually is 

changed into Divine ? Then what is meant by two persons 

merging into one, and this by moral process ? For God is 

one Person to begin with, and Christ is another, and at length 

a perfect union is efifeoted ef both. Do we really in this 

theory get beyond the idea of an ethical union, or perfect 

moral fellowship, in which, after all, the two Persons remain 

distinct, though mnited in will and love ? If this is the 

character of the union, it is only by a misuse of terms that 

we can speak of Christ becoming really God. Yet Eothe is 

perfectly in earnest with this conception of the deification of 

Christ, so we ask finally — ^How is this newly constituted 

Person related to God the Father. For Eothe acknowledges 

no immanent distinction of Persons in the Godhead, and it is 

the Father Himself who thus unites Himself with Christ, and 

confers Godhead upon His Person. Rothe says expressly, 

*" The Incarnation of God in the Second Adam is essentially 

an incarnation of both in Him — of the Divine personality, 

and of the Divine nature." * But if it is the One absolute 

Personality whom we call God, who enters into the union 

with the humanity of Jesus, how can the resultant relation 

1 Dogmaiikt pp. 165-182. » Christologie, p. 84, etc. 

' Dogmatikf iL p. 172. 


Adds a new 
Person to the 

Difficulties of 
theory of a 

2. Second 
question — 
Do these 
theories do 
justice to the 
facts of 
Revelation ? 

be described as that of Father and Son? Or if a new 
Divine Person really is constituted, does not Bothe's theory 
amount to this, that, since the Incarnation, a new Person has 
been added to the Godhead ? But what does the constitution 
of a new Divine Person mean ? Is it not, if the expression 
is to be taken literally, very like a contradiction in terms ? 
I need not wait k)ng on Beyschlag's rival theory of a pre- 
existent impersonal humanity, which solves no difficulties, 
and is loaded with inconceivabilities of its own. For in 
what sense can this idea of humanity be spoken of as Divine, 
any more than any other idea of the Divine mind which is 
realised in time ? — the idea, e,g,, of the world, or of the believer, 
or of the Church. What, besides, is meant by a heavenly, 
ideal humanity ? Does it include only the single Person of 
Christ, or not also all the members of the human race?^ 
How, further, is this ideal humanity, which forms the super- 
natural princii^ in Christ, related to His actual humanity 
of flesh and blood, which came to Him "of the seed of 
David ? " * Finally, if Christ's Person was thus peculiarly 
constituted, even in respect of its humanity, how can it be 
said of Him that He was made in all things like unto His 
brethren ? ^ It may seem a waste of time to discuss such 
questions; yet theories like Bothe's and Beyschlag's have 
their uses; for they aid us, by a process of exclusion, in 
seeing what the true theory must be, and where we are to 
look for it. 

2. The second question I proposed to ask is already in 
large measure answered in the course of the above discussion, 
Do these theories do justice to the facts of Christ's 
Bevelation, and to the data of the New Testament generally ? 

^ Cf. his Christohgity p. 58 ; and Leben Jem, p. 46. ' Rom. L 4. 

' Heb. it 17. Beyschlag would avoid sonio of these difficulties, if he kept 
consistently by the position that Christ is but the perfect realisation of the 
"Ebenbild" of humanity, which is fragmentarily realised in all men, — ^is, in 
fact, simply the ideal Man ; but he seeks to establish a metaphysical distinction 
between Christie humanity and ours, in virtue of which His personality is 
•'originally and essentiaUy" Divine, while ours is noU^ChrUloloffie, p. 68. 
Boo further on Beyschlag's views in Api)endiz. 


They clearly do not, either in a n^^ative or a positive re*- 
spect. There is no hint in the Scriptures of either Botbe's 
gradual incarnation, or of Beyschlag's pre-existent principle 
of humanity ; but there are many passages which directly, or 
by implication, claim for Christ persoual pre-existence, and 
attribute to Him Divine acts and functions ih that state of 
pre-existence. But, apart from this, all those passages which 
claim for Christ a unique relation of Sonship to the Father, 
taken with the sayings which imply His consciousness of the 
possession of attributes and functions raised above those of 
humanity, point to a super-earthly and pre-incamate state of 
existence. And this brings us back to the fundamental^ 
distinction between a true and a false or inadequate What is nof^ 
doctrine of Incarnation. Incarnation is not simply the^'^^*^"' 


endowing of human nature with the highest conceivable incamatiim, 
plenitude of gifts and graces; it is not a mere dynamical 
relation of God to the human spirit — acting on it or in it 
with exceptional energy; it is not simply the coming to 
consciousness of the metaphysical unity all along subsijatiug 
between humanity and God ; it is not even such moral union, 
such spiritual indweUing, and oneness of character and will 
as subsists between God and the believer — still less, of course, 
is it analogous to the heathen ideas of sons of the gods, 
where the relation is that of physical paternity — or of the 
appearances of gods in human guise — or even of temporary 
appearances in hdmanity, as in the case of the Avatars of 
Vishnu. The scriptural idea of the Incarnation is as unique 
as is the Biblical conception as a whole. It is not, to state 
the matter in a word, the union simply of the Divine nature 
with the human, — for that I acknowledge in the case of 
every believer through the indwelling Spirit, — but the 
entrance of a Divine Person into the human. That there is 1/ 
an analogy, and a closer one than is sometimes admitted, 
between the believer's relation to God, and Christ's relation 
to the Father, is expressly declared in Christ's own words in 
John xviL 2 1, where He asks *' that they may all be one ; 


€ven as thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they 
may be one in us." But the subject here is moral union — 
not union of essence, as in John i 1, and perhaps John x. 30, 
— but the mutual ensphering of personalities in an atmosphere 
of love, such as obtains in its highest degree between the 
Father and the Son. For " he that abideth in love, abideth 
in God, and God abideth in him." * There is this also in 
Christ. But the distinction remains — these personalities of 
ours are human, and continue so, no matter how entirely 
filled, penetrated, possessed, with the light and love and 
knowledge of God they may be ; but His was a Personality 
of a higher rank — a Divine Personality, which entered into 
the limitations and conditions of humanity from above, 
which was not originally human, as ours is, but became so. 
Here questions deep and difficult, I acknowledge, crowd thick 
upon us, to many of which no answer may be possible ; but 
so much as this, I think, is -assuredly implied in the Christian 
^.'Considera- 3. Before, however, vemturing further in this direction, I 
''^'*^-\ must bestow at least a dance on what is known as the 

theories qucstiou of the Kcuosis. This word, meaning "emptying," 

(/%//. 11. 7). jg taken, as is well known, from Phil. ii. 7, in which passage 
Christ is said to have " emptied Himself " {^axrrov itciwoae), 
taking the form of a servant. The question is. What does 
this emptying include ? Did the Son of God — the Eternal 
Word — literally lay aside His Divine ^ory, and, ceasing to be 
in the form of God, enter by human birth into the conditions 
of earthly poverty and weakness ? Or, if He did not, what 
is the import of this remarkable phrase? The Kenotic 
theories— represented in Germany by a long Kst of honoured 
names 2 — answer the former question in the affirmative. 
Godet among French writers advocates the same view. The 
Divine Logos, he thinks, literally laid aside His Divine 
attributes at the Incarnation, and entered the sphere of the 

» 1 John iy. 16. 

* E.g, Tliomasius, Gess, Ebrard, Kalmis, Luthardt, etc. 


finite as an unconscious babe.^ The object of these theories, 
of course, is to secure the reality of Christ's humanity, and 
the fact of a true human development, which seemed imperilled 
by the older view. Notwithstanding, however, the wide ^ 
support they have received, I cannot think that these theories Central 
will ever permanently <!ommend themselves to the judgment ^ "^ Z^ 
of the Church.* They seem to me — to come to the heart of 
the matter at once — to involve an impossibility, inasmuch as 
they ask us to believe in the temporary suspension of the 
consciousness, and the cessation from all Divine functions, of 
one of the Persons of the Godhead ? How does this consist 
with Scripture ? Are we not told of the Son, in particular, 
not only that by Him all things were created, but that in 
Him all things consist — that He upholdeth all things by the 
word of His power ? Is this relation to the universe not an 
essential one ? and does the Kenotic theory not reduce it to 
one wholly unessential and contingent ? I cannot therefore 
accept this theory, nor do I think that the reality of the 
Incarnation requires it. I might appeal here to the analogy 
of nature. There is an immanent presence of God in nature, 
but there is also a transcendent existence of God beyond 
nature. So the Divine Son took upon Him our nature with 
its human limits, but above and beyond that, if we may so 
express it, was the vast "over-soul " of His Divine conscious- 
nes& Even human psychology, in making us more familiar 
than we were with the idea of difiPerent strata of consciousness 
even in the same personal being, gives us a hint which 
need not be lost. The sense of the apostle's words seems 
suflSciently met by the lowly form of Christ's earthly mani- 
festation — " despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, 
and acquainted with grief." ^ 

The result of our inquiry has not been to overthrow the 

' Cf. Commtnioflry on John, i. 14. Pressens^ and GretilUt &re other French 

* For an able discussion of Kenotic theories see Proferaor Brace's HitmUiaXion 
of Christ, Lecture IV. (Cunningham Lectures). 



Relaiim of Christological decisions of the early Church, but rather to 
preceding impress US with the justice and tact of these decisions in 

discussion * •* 

to early guarding the truth against opposite errors. Has all the 

Christological labQ^j. ^^^ earuestncss of modern investigation on this pro- 

dectsions, ° * 

Has modem found Subject, then, been absolutely without result? I do 

thought no jjqIj think 80, One remarkable gain has already been adverted 

to throw on to, in the tendency of modern speculation to draw the Divine 

Christological ^nd the human nearer together, and to emphasise, if not their 

Advances in identity, at least their kindredness, and the capacity of the 

fnodem human to receive the Divine.^ But many lights and sugges- 

specu ton. ^[qj^ j^avc been afforded in the treatment of this subject, 

from Schleiermacher downwards, which in any attempt at a 

constructive view must always be of great value. This will 

perhaps become apparent if, in closing this survey, I notice 

an objection which is sometimes ui^ed against the view of 

the Incarnation here presented — the ordinary, and as I 

believe the scriptural one — namely, that in affirming the 

incarnation of a heavenly and pre-existent Person we seem 

to impinge on the reality, or at least the integrity, of the 

Question human nature which Christ bore. The question is, Had 

imursonaiu ^^^^^^t's human nature an independent Personality of its own, 

of Christ s or was the Divine the only Personality ? To guard against 

humanity. Nestorian error, or the assumption of two persons in Christ, 

the early Church, it will be remembered, affirmed what is 

called the " impersonality " of the human nature of Christ, 

and, as might appear, with perfect reason on the. principles 

of the Logos Christology.' But this very consequence is 

made in modem times the ground of an objection to that 

Christology, which, it is said, while maintaining the Divinity, 

impairs the integrity of the humanity, of the Eedeemer. For 

^ In a practical respect the chief gain is that we begin with the earthly side 
of Christ's humanity, and rise to the recognition of His Divinity ; more stress 
is laid on the humanity which manifests the Divinity than formerly. See 
Kaftan's ^raicc/ien voir tin neues Dogma ? p. 54. 

' Of. on this subject of the Anhf^poetasia, as it is called, Schaff's Creeda oj 
Ckristendotriy pp. 32, 83 ; Domer's System of Doctrine, iii. p. 254 (Kng. trans.); 
Bruce's Humiliation of Christ, pp. 427-480. 


(1) If Christ's human nature had no independent Personality^ Objuticfu to 
was not His human nature thereby mutilated? and (2) \t^^ older 

" vt€w as 

it is the Divine Personality that is the subject — the Ego — affecting the 
does not this detract on the other side from the truth of His ^^^^s^^ «"^ 
humanity ? For this reason, some are disposed to grant that chrisfs 
Christ's humanity also must be conceived of as personal, and humanity, 
that the Incarnation must be thought of, with Bothe, as the 
union both of person and of nature. Let us see how it 
stands with this difficulty on closer inspection, and from what 
point of view it can best be obviated. 

1. It would be well if the objeetor to the oxdhxi9jr} Examination 
ecclesiastical view — he who admits in any sense an In- \^. J 

•^ objections : 

carnation — would think out carefully what is implied in the i. Can we 
attribution of an independent Personality to Christ's human ^^^^^^f** 

* " independent 

nature. On both sides there will be agreement that the Personality 
unity of the Person must in some form be maintained. You '^ ^^ 

. -r^ . . 1 Tk humanity of 

cannot have two Egos m Christ s one Divine-human Person Christ f 
— ^however dose the relation between them. If the human 
Ego retains in any measure its distinetion from the Divine, 
then we have not an Incarnation, but a Nestorian relation of 
persons. If, therefore, an independent human Ego is to be 
assumed, it must be supposed to be so incorporated with the 
Divine Ego — so lost in it, so interpenetrated by it, so absorbed 
in it — that all sense of separate identity is parted with;^ 
while, on the other hand, the Divine Ego so transfuses itself 
into the human, so limits and conditions itself, so becomes the 
ruling and controlling force in the human consciousness, as 

^ This was Origm's yiew in tLe tMxlcf Church. The Logos, he thought, tiuitcd 
itself with an nnfallen soni in th* pre-ezistent state. Cf. Dt Principiis, Book ii. 
chap. Ti. : "But sinee, agreeably t» the faculty of free-will, variety and 
diyeraity characterised the indxridual seuls, so that one was attached with a 
warmer love to the Author of its being, and another with a feebler and weaker 
regard, that soul, . . . inhering from the beginning of the creation, and after- 
wards, inseparably and indissolubly in Him, as being the Wisdom and Word of 
God, and the Truth and the true light, and receiving Him wholly, and passing 
into His light and splendour, was made with Him in a pre-eminent degree one 
Spirit, according to the promise of the apostle to those who ought to imitate it, 
that 'he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit* (1 Cor. vi. 17). . . • Neither 
was it opposed to the nature of that soul, as a rational existence, to receive 


itself practically to become human. There is perhaps no 

obvious objection to this view, but, at the same time, it is 

difficult to see what is gained bj it. The human Ego, as a 

distinct Ego, is as entirely lost sight of — ^is as completely 

taken up and merged into the Divine — ^as on the other 

supposition. For it is of the essence of the true view of 

Incarnation that the bond of personal identity should remain 

unbroken between the Son who shai^ed the glory of the Father 

in eternity, and the human Christ who prayed, " Father, 

glorify thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I 

had with Thee before the world was." ^ 

2. Does the 2. The Other side of the objection — If it is the Divine 

P^s^lit Personality which is the subject, does not this detract from 

detract from the truth of the human nature, give us only an unreal and 

the reality of ^Qketj^ Christ? — raiscs a much deeper question — that, namely, 

nature? of the Original relation of die Divine Logos to humanity. If 

PosstbU Qq^ ^jj become man, it can only be on the presupposition of 

solution of this ^ r rr 

question in a^ Original relation between God and humanity, in virtue of 
the original which there is an essential kindredness and bond of connection 

relation of the rrw.-ii.i.i. i«« 

Divine Logos between them. This is already implied in the Scripture 
to humanity, doctfiue of man made in the image of Ood, but it receives a 
deeper in<)erpretation through the doctrine of the Logos.* 
When it is objected that the Divine Logos, even though 
entering into the nature and conditions and limitations of 
humanity, is not truly a human Person, the question is to be 
asked. Is the relation between Personality in the Logos and 
that in man one of contrariety, or is not Personality in the 

God, into whom, as stated above, «s into the Word and the Wisdom and the 
Truth, it had already wholly •entered. And therefore deservedly is it also 
called, along with the flesh which it had assumed, the 3on of God, and the 
Power of God, the Christ, and the Wisdom of God, either because it was wholly 
in the Son of God, or because it received the Son of God wholly into itself." — 
AnU-Nicent Library trans. Oiigen's yi&w may be compared with Rothe's, 
only that Rothe does not allow a separate personality in the Logos. 

^ John xvii. 5. 

' An original relation of the Logos to humanity on the ground of the Incarna- 
tion, is already implied in the theology of Irenseus, Clement, and Origen (cf. 
Domer's History) ; is made prominent in recent Christological discussions in 
Germany ; was the view of Maurice, etc. 


Logos rather the truth of that which we find in humanity ? 
Is man's personality in every case not grounded in that of 
the Logos ? Is He not the light and life of all men, even 
in a natural respect — ^the light of intelligence, of conscience, 
t)f spirit ? But if man's personality is thus grounded in the 
Logos, is there a difference of kind between them, or not 

rather one of condition ? Is there not a human side in the 


Logos, and a Divine side in man ? and is not this the truth 
we have to conserve in such theories as Beyschlag's and 
Hegel's. There is no denial, therefore, in the doctrine of the This doctrine 
Incarnation, rightly understood, of a true human Personality ^^^ ^^' ^"-^ 

a true hutttan 

in Christ, — what is denied is that the Personality of the Divine personality in 
Son cannot also become in the incarnate condition a truly ^^'^A *«^ 
human one. A further question would be, whether the iA,e2k ideniitywith 
of the human race did not include from the first the idea of an '^ Divine, 
Incarnation, with the Son Himself as Head — a subject which 
will be dealt with in the next Lecture. 

I remark in a word, in closing, that we do not do justice to The incar- 
this stupendous fact of the Incarnation, if we neglect to look ^^^'^ ^. 
at it in the light of its revealed ends. The advantage of light of its 
taking the doctrine in this way is, that we see at a glance the ^^^^^'*^' 
inadequacy of all lower theories of the Person of Christ, if 
the ends intended to be accomplished by His appearance 
were to be attained ? If Christ came to do only the work of 
a prophet, or of a philanthropist, or of a teacher of ethical 
truth, I admit that the Incarnation would shrivel up into an 
absurdity. The means would be out of all proportion to the 
ends. But who will say this of the actual ends for which 
the Son of God came into the world ? Who will affirm that 
if a world was to be redeemed from sin and guilt, and 
spiritual bondage — to be renewed, sanctified, and brought into 
the fellowship of life with God — anyone less than Divine 
was adequate to the task ? ^ Here, again, the Christian 

^ Even Hartmanii recognifles this. "If one sees in Jeans," he says, ''only 
the son of the carpenter Joseph and of his "wife Mary, this Jesus and His death 
can as little redeem me from my sins as, say, Bismarck can do it," ttc^Stlbd- 
'Jtiidzung^ p. 92. 


view is in keeping with itself. There is a proportion between 
the Incarnation and the ends sought to be accomplished bj 
it. The denial of the Incarnation, of necessity carries with it 
a lowering of the view of the work Christ came to do for 
men. He, on the other hand, who believes in that work — 
who feels the need of it — ^much more who has experienced 
the Bedeeming power of it in his own heart — will not doubt 
that He who has brought this salvation to him is none other 
than the " Strong Son of God — Immortal Love." ^ 

^ /it Memoriam, 



It is a significant circumstance that, in recent years, interest Modem 
has concentrated itself more and more on the question of^^f^^^^*^ 

^ tkts questunu 

Christ's self-consciousness — that is, on what He thought 
and felt about Himself, and on how He arrived at these con- 
victions. The fact is an illustration of the saying of Godet, 
quoted in the Lecture, that in the last instance Christianity 
rests on Christ's witness to Himself. I have noted below 
some of the chief books which bear upon this subject,^ and 
may refer here to a few of their results, only venturing very 
sparingly upon criticism. 

The general subject is the origin and development ol Main poinds 
Christ's Messianic consciousness, as that may be deduced ^"^*^^'^^' 
from the Gospels, and the points chiefly discussed are the 
following : — 

1. What was the fundamental fact in Christ's Messianic i. Funda- 
consciousness out of which the other elements grew — the T"'!f^^-f^' 


^ Ikyaclilag's DtM Leben Juu^ i. pp. 171-244 — ("Das Selbstbewusstsein 

Jesn," ** Der Messianische Beruf," etc.). 1885. 
Gess's Christi Person und Werk^ nach Christi Selbstzeugniss, etc., vol. i. 

Hermann Schmidt on ''Bildang nnd Gehalt des Messianiachen Bewusst- 

seins Jesn," in Studien und Kritiken (1889). 
Gran*8 Das SdbstbevmsstJtein Jesu (1887). 
Baldensperger's Dcu Se&stbewtisstsein Jesu im Licht der Messianischen 

ffoffnungen seiner Zeit (1888, 2nd ed. 1892). 
Wendt'8 Die Lehre Je«u, yol. ii. (1890). 
Stanton*8 The Jevnsh and Christian Messiah (1886). 
Lives of Christ, by Weiss, Keim, Hase, etc. 
Biblical Theology of New Testament, — Weiss, Benss, etc. 


consciousness of a perfect religious relation to the Father 
(Beyschlag, Weiss, Wendt, etc.), or, behind this, of sinlessness ? 

2. When did 2. When did Christ clearly realise His Messianic calling ? 
^'iw^w/^ — ^* ^^® Baptism ? (Beyschlag, Wendt, Baldensperger, etc). 
calling? Or earlier ? (Neander, Hase, Weiss, etc.). Or not till a later 

period ? (Renan, Strauss, Schenkel, etc.). 

3. iVas 3. Was Christ's " plan " one and the same throughout ? 
c>4m/'j (Neander, Schmidt, etc.). Or, did Christ's views change with 

^^ plan one 

and the same the coursc of cvcnts ? (Beyschlag, Schenkel, Hase, Keim, 
throughout? Baldensperger, etc.). Was it, ^jg,, only gradually that He 

realised the necessity of His death? (Beyschlag, Weiss, 

Baldensperger, Wendt^ etc.). 

4. Import and 4. The import and origin of the titles " Son of Man " and 
origin oftitus « g^j^ ^f q^>* jy^^^ ^Y)A former represent Christ as " weak, 

" Son of s: y 

Man " and crcaturcly man " ? (Holsten^ Wendt). Or as " ideal, typical 
''Son of man"? (Neander, Eeuss, Beyschlag, eta). Or simply as 
Messiah ? (Baldensperger). Was it borrowed from Daniel 
(as most hold), and to what extent was it a popular, well- 
known title for Messiah ? (Against this. Matt, xvl 1 3.) 

This title surely expresses the two ideas that Christ at once 
belongs to the race of humanity, and sustains a peculiar and 
unique relation to it. It may be held to denote Christ's 
consciousness that He is true and perfect Man, that He 
sustains an universal relation to the race, and that He is the 

As respects the second title, does it denote only an ethical 
and religious relation, (so most of the above), or has it also 
any metaphysical (or as I prefer to say, transcendental) 
implication ? (Beyschlag, Seuss, Schmidt, etc.). Is it a title 
which Christ shares with others (in part Wendt), or uses in 
a peculiar and exceptional sense of Himself? (Beyschlag, 
Keuss, Weiss, etc.). 
Views Of It will help the understanding of the subject if I sketch a 

wriurs little more fully the views of some of the above-named 



Beyschlag's view does not hang well together. It begins Beyschiag. 
with a Christ who is unique among men — sinless, the Son of 
God in an absolute sense, whose nature is grounded in 
eternity, who works miracles, is raised from the dead, is 
translated into heavenly power and glory, who has Godhead, 
who demands worship; but who grows only gradually into 
the consciousness of His Messiahship, is limited in nature 
and gifts, makes mistakes, errs in His expectations, etc. 
Beyschlag's opinions, however, contain many notable elements. 
On the general subject, he says, ** First in a Personality in 
which the Divine nature translates itself so perfectly into the 
human that it can be said ' Who sees Me, sees the Father,' 
can the Divine Revelation perfect itself."^ The God-manhood 
is " the wonder of all wonders." ^ He separates himself from 
the Church doctrine, and declares himself in favour of an 
" anthropocentric " Christology, though only on the ground, 
as he explains it, of " a theocentric anthropology," that is, of 
the view that it is the image of (rod which is the essential 
thing in the nature of man.^ He rejects Strauss's view, that 
the sinlessness of Jesus is '' the death of all true humanity/' 
and contends that " the Christ of faith " is no impossibility.* 
The history of the childhood of Jesus, at the same time, he 
resolves into poetry, and thinks the birth from a virgin not 
essential to sinlessness, or to a new beginning of humanity.^ 
On the self-consciousness of Jesus, he holds that the in- 
dividuality of Jesus had its limitations, but in respect of the 
consciousness of a Divine Sonship was clear and absolute. 
" It is not the old Israelitish religious consciousness which lives 
in Jesus in such all-determining fashion, but a new, till then 
in the world unheard of and perfect consciousness, which not 
only is still unsurpassed but in its inwardness and clearness 
never can be surpassed." * Its central point is the conscious- 
ness of God as Father, to which the name " Son " corresponds. 

» Leben Jem, i. p. 39. « Ihid, i. p. 89. 

» Ibid. i. p. 46. * Ibid, L pp. 50, 56. 

• iWd. i. pp. 146, 161, 162. « Ibid, i. p. 175. 



" Sonship to God (Gottessohnschaft) is the peculiar expression 
of the self -consciousness of Jesus." ^ This name represents 
the highest aim, or ideal, for all men, but still there is a 
singularity iu its application to Jesus.^ GU)d was His Father 
in a special sense. '^ While He caUs God not merely ' His ' 
Father, but names Him also 'the' Father absolutely, and 
teaches His disciples to pray ' our Father in heaven,* He yet 
never includes Himself with them under an ' our Father,' but 
always says, ' My Father ' or * your Father,' thus distinguishing 
His relation from theirs." ^ This does not mean ** that He is 
the first who has recognised and realised this destination to 
a Divine Sonship." It means that while all others become 
sons of God through a change of disposition — through con- 
version, the new birth, etc. — and not through themselves, 
but only through Him — His relation to the Father is 
original, perfect, absolute, so that He knows Himself to be 
the object of God's love absolutely.* In this is involved 
His sinlessness.^ This is a necessary pre - supposition 
of Christian faith— ^the religious, moral absoluteness of 
Jesus, and the history confirms it.^ If He has not this 
absolute greatness. He is no Saviour of others, but stands 
in need of salvation Himself.^ This is the "Godhead" of 
Jesus. ''It is never a relative greatness, however exalted 
and super -excellent it may be, but the absolute which 
is the appearance of Godhead in humanity; the religiously 
and morally perfect, and this alone, is in the domain of the 
human, the truly Divine, in which we can believe, and which 
admits of and demands worship." ^ But this religious-moral 
Godhead of Christ does not stand in opposition to a meta- 
physical A real being of God in Him lies at the foundation 
of the consciousness of Christ, that which He expresses in 
the word, " I am in the Father and the Father in Me ; " so 
that in Him in whom the eternal love has perfectly appeared 

1 Leben Jesu, i. p. 176. « Ibid. i. p. 177. 

» Ibid. i. p. 178. * Ibid. i. p. 179. 

« Ibid. i. p. 181. « Ibid. i. p. 190. 

7 Ibid. L p. 190. 8 Ibid. i. p. 191. 


an essential Godhead also may be recognised.^ The passages 
in John which seem to imply personal pre - existence, 
Beyschlag explains away by predestination, etc. On the 
Messianic calling, he finds the birth-moment of the Messianic 
consciousness of Jesus in the baptism.^ He reviews the 
opinions of those who would put it earlier or later, and finds 
them untenable.^ But though Christ from this moment knew 
Himself to be the Messiah, He did not know what the course 
of His Messianic life was to be.^ He had no foreseen plan. 
'^ The public life of Jesus began under quite other stars than 
the expectation of the death of the Cross." ^ Beyschlag 
distinguishes three stages la the development of Christ's 
ideas : • — 

1. A stage when the kingdom is conceived of as near — 
standing at the door (early ministry in John). 

2. Jesus realises that His people are anything but ready 
for the kingdom ; and sees that its triumph will involve a 
long protracted development (Galilean ministry). 

3. He foresees His death, and the triumph of the kingdom 
is now transported into the future, in connection with a 
second advent. The name '' Son of Man," Beyschlag connects 
with the Messianic dignity (from Daniel); but holds that 
Christ knew and felt Himself also as " the heavenly, arche- 
typal (urbildlich) man." ^ The reality of the resurrection is 
strongly defended, and the following explanation is given of 
the ascension. " What, then, was the original thought of the 
ascent to heaven ? What else can it have been than that of 
the elevation of Jesus above the limits of the earthly life, of 
His translation into another, supramundane, Divine form of 
existence, — in a word, of His exaltation or glorification." ® 

H. Schmidt's article in the Studim und Kriiiken, on " The If. Schmidt. 
Formation and Content of the Messianic Consciousness of 
Jesus," is an acute criticism of the views of Beyschlag and 

^ Ltbfn Je8Uf i. p. 191. ' Ibid, i. p. 213. 

» Ibid. i. pp. 216, 217. * Ibid. i. p. 289. 

» Ibid. i. p. 231. « Ibid. i. p. 233-286. 

7 Ibid, i, p. 241. 8 Ibid. i. p. 448. 


Weiss, and also an able independent treatment of the subject. 
He inquires '' first as to the time in which Jesus came to the 
consciousness of His Messianic destination, and then what 
moments His Messianic consciousness comprehended, and 
what measure of clearness there was already present in Him 
as to the nature of His kingdonL" ^ As against Weiss, who 
seeks to lead from the consciousness of Christ's unique Son- 
relationship to the consciousness of His Messiahship by way 
of inference. He argues very powerfully for a peculiarity in 
the self-consciousness of Jesus other than the mere sense of a 
perfect religious relation to the Father.^ Sonship implies a 
knowledge of the thoughts and love of God to the individual, 
not of God's thoughts or purposes for the world. On the 
other hand — this against Beyschlag — the consciousness of a 
unique and sinless Sonship could not exist without the idea 
of a unique calling connected therewith.' For Jesus to know 
that He was the only sinless Being in humanity, was already 
to know that He had a calling beyond that of a Nazarene 
carpenter. He strongly presses the point that the appearance 
of a perfectly sinless Being in the empirical state of the race 
is scarcely comprehensible by us ''without the background 
of a distinction of essence";^ and shows that Beyschlag's 
admission that the peculiarity of Christ's Person, as the 
absolute moral ideal, involves a permanent distinction between 
Him and others, and rests on a metaphysical background, is 
fatal to his " anthropocentric " view, for it means that the 
centre of Christ's Person is in the suprahuman — ^the Divine.® 
He examines the alleged traces of growth in the Messianic 
consciousness of Jesus during His public ministry, and 
demonstrates how weak are the grounds on which this view 
rests.^ He holds it to have been inconceivable that Jesus 
should have been in uncleamess in regard to, at least, '' the 
constitutive moments" of His kingdom, and therefore in 

1 SiMd, vnd KrU. 1889, p. 425. * Ibid. 1889, p. 482. 

> fbid. 1889, p. 488. * Ibid. 1889, p. 499. 

» Ibid. 1889, p. 486. « Ibid. 1889, pp. 448-451. 



regard to His deatL^ He combats Weiss's view that Jesus 
thought at first only of Israel, not of an universal kingdom.^ 
*'If at the entrance on His Messianic course, already the 
kingdoms of the world and the glory of them were offered to 
Him, one would think He must have had a wide glimpse 
into this world," ^ The whole essay deserves careful con- 

Another critic of current theories is Grau, who thus defines Crau, 
the subject in his prefaca "The capital question in this 
domain," he says, is, " What Jesus has thought about Himself, 
His vocation, and the significance of His Person ? " Another 
form of the question is, " How is the Christ of the Nicene 
Creed related to the Christ of the New Testament, and 
specially to the Christ of the Synoptics " ? * He criticises 
very severely the view of H. Schultz, in his work on The 
Godhead of Christ, but along with this, the theories of 
Beyschlag, etc. He quotes Schultz's criticism on the Socinian 
writers, that they ascribed "a become Godhead" (eine 
gewordene Gottheit) to Christ, and asks wherein their view 
differed from his own, as expressed in the following passage: — 
" If we teach the Godhead of Christ, it is that we are certain 
that Jesus, after He has completed His work, has become 
perfectly one with the Christ-idea of God. • • • God has 
made Him Lord and Christ. And so He has also received, as 
His personal attribute, the Godhead which is proper to the 
Christ. The Christ is for us God. Jesus hus become God in 
becoming Christ." ^ The old view, Grau remarks, was that 
"God became man in Jesus Christ"; now the truth of 
salvation is expressed by Schultz and his friends in the 
proposition, " the man Jesus Christ has become Gk)d." " This 
Godhead," he says, " can be no ' true ' Godhead, because it is 
one that has become. So, finally, is diis whole representation 
nothing else than what it was with the Socinians — a misuse 

1 Stud, und KriL 1889, p. 472. > Ibid, 1889, p. 490. 

» Ihid. 1889, p. 490. 

* Das SelbstbeumasUein Jesu, Preface, pp. 5, 9. ^ Ibid. Preface, p. 12. 


of the name of God." ^ Grau's own book, however, though it 
goes on original lines, can hardly be recommended as a 
satisfactory contribution to the subject. He is often far from 
concise or clear in his statements, and somewhat unmethodical 
in his treatment. He does not systematically investigate the 
question of Christ's self -consciousness — its development, 
relation to current ideas, contents, etc^but aims rather at 
proving the thesis that Christ is the one who combines, in 
His Messianic calling, all the attributes of Jehovah in the 
Old Testament. An elaborate discussion of the title " Son of 
Man " sums itself up in the following remark : — ** This is the 
(title) Son of Man, the grasping together and fulfilment of all 
the offices in the kingdom of God which lie side by side in 
the Old Testament, and complete each other — those of 
shepherd, physician, priest (but also of sacrifice), of prophet, 
of king, and judge." * 
Balden- A much morc thorough discussion of the subject is 
sperger. Baldcnspcrger's recent work on The Self-Consdotimess of Jesus 
in the Light of the Messianic Hopes of His Time, Balden- 
sperger will have nothing to say to the " ideal man " theory — 
which he ridicules as an attempt to carry back our nineteenth 
century ideas into a period to which they were quite strange 
— and treats the title " Son of Man " as simply a designation 
for the Messiah.* Yet his general view is exposed to the 
same objections as Beyschlag's. He makes Jesus first arrive 
dimly at the feeling that He is Messiah ; then, aroused by 
John's preaching and baptized. He reaches religious assurance 
(but still expecting, according to the ideas of the time, signs in 
confirmation of His call) ; He is perplexed (the Temptation) ; 
after this, He gains clearness, yet not such absolute certainty 
as warrants Him in publicly proclaiming Himself ; ultimately 
He attains to this certainty, and at the same time sees that 
His victory is only to be secured through death, and now 

^ Da» Selbg^mugtaein JesUy Preface, p. 18. Cf. the criticism of Schnltz in 
Frank's OetnsJtheit, p. 444 (Eng. trans.). 
« Ibid. p. 215. » Ibid, p. 187 ; 2nd ed. p. 178. 


looks for the completion of the kingdom of God through the 
Farousia and last judgment, etc.^ It is obvious how much of 
all this is mere theory, without corroboration in the history. 
To mention only one objection — according to Baldensperger, 
Christ did not announce Himself as Messiah till the time of 
Peter's confession,^ while yet the name " Son of Man," which 
Baldensperger takes to be quite equivalent to Messiah, is on 
His lips in the Grospels from the first.' To avoid this 
difficulty, the critic has no alternative but arbitrarily to 
change the order of the sections, and to assume that all those 
incidents in which this name occurs, took place after Peter's 
confession — a violent and unwarrantable hypothesis.^ It 
is a weakness of Baldensperger's theory that it fluctuates 
between a view, according to which Jesus is certain of Him- 
self, and another according to which He is in doubt and 
perplexity. Surely, if there is one thing clearer in the 
Gospels than another, it is that Christ is quite certain of 
Himself from the beginning. Not to build on this expression 
*' Son of Man," can we listen to the tone of authority in the 
Sermon on the Mount, and doubt it ? The hypothesis of a 
wavering and fluctuating consciousness totally lacks support 
in the gospel narrative. Had Christ any doubt of Himself 
when He answered John's messengers, when He chose the 
twelve apostles, when He invited the labouring and heavy- 
lad^n to come to Him for rest, when He said, " All things are 
delivered to Me of My Father," etc.?* One thing which 
Baldensperger totally falls to show us is, what amount of 
reliance we are to place in self -beliefs of Christ, arrived at by 
the psychological methods he indicates, through contact with 
the apocalyptic notions of the time, etc. In other words, 

^ See Wendt's criticism in his Die Lehre Jeau, ii pp. 807-810. 

^ Die Lehre Jesu, ii. p. 177 ; 2iid ed. p. 246. 

» E.g., Matt. xi. 6 ; Mark ii 10, 28. Cf. Die Lehre Jew, ii. p. 179 ; 2iid ed. 
p. 249. 

* They are to be regarded as "erratic blocks " in the history, Die Lehre Jesu, 
p. 180 ; 2nd ed. p. 252. 

' Matt. xi. 27, 28. 


what objedivt value have these beliefs of Christ for us — ^His 
beliefs, t,g., about His atoning death, His Farousia, the judg- 
ment of the world, etc. ? Apparently Baldensperger attaches 
great religious weight to these beliefs, stripped at least of 
their immediate form, yet it is not easy to see on what 
grounds he can do so. He leaves wholly undetermined, 
besides, Christ's relation to His miracles, to the resurrec- 
tion, etc., without which, surely. His self-witness is not set 
in its right light. 
Wendt, I would refer, finally, to the important discussion of these 

subjects in Wendt's able and exhaustive work on Thz Doctrine 
of Jesus, In this book Wendt subjects the opinions of 
Beyschlag and Baldensperger, as to a change in Christ's views 
of His kingdom, to a careful criticism, and arrives at the 
conclusion that, in all essential respects, Christ's views of the 
nature and coming of His kingdom as a present, spiritual, 
gradually developing reality on earth, remained unchcmged 
during the period of His ministry.^ He holds, however, that 
this does not apply to the details of the development, and 
grants, in agreement with the others, that at the beginning 
of His work Christ had no thought of the necessity of 
His death, not to speak of so speedy and frightful a death.^ 
The difference of the two views, therefore, resolves itself 
into one of degree, for unless it is held that Christ's 
death had no essential relation to the nature of His kingdom, 
and the manner of its setting up, it is impossible to say that 
ignorance in regard to that event did not affect the conception 
of the kingdom. Wendt, like Beyschlag, holds that the 
baptism was the moment of the miraculous revelation to 
Christ of His Messiahship, though He finds this prepared 
for in His previous consciousness of standing in an inner 
communion of love with His heavenly Father. "In this 
consciousness was given the psychological pre-supposition for 
His gaining the certainty of His own Messiahship, cmd there- 
with, at the same time, obtaining a new, higher knowledge 

1 Die LeJire Jesu, il pp. 307-825. » Ibid, iL pp. 806, 820. 


of the nature and coming of the kingdom of God. But, 
previously to the baptism, this conclusion from His inner 
fellowship with God as Son was to Him still not clear." ^ 
On the meaning of the name ** Son of Man/' Wendt argues 
strongly for the view that this title designates Christ as a 
weak, creaturely being — ^member, Messiah though he was, of 
the weak, creaturely race of humanity.* This view, in turn, 
is ably criticised by Baldenspeiger in the work noticed above.^ 
It cannot be carried through without doing violence to many 
passages in which this name is evidently used by Christ as a 
title of dignity ; the highest Messianic functions being claimed 
by Him, not (as Wendt's argument would require), despite of 
His being Son of Man, but because He is Son of Man.^ In 
general, Wendt's ideas of Jesus and His teaching are very 
high. •' My interest in the historical treatment of the teach- 
ing of Jesus," he says, " arises from the conviction that the 
historical Jesus Christ, in His annunciation, by word and 
deed, of the kingdom of God, was the perfect Eevelation of 
God to men"; and again, "We recognise in His teaching 
concerning the kingdom of God the highest and perfect 
Bevelation of God."^ On the other hand, this high estimate 
is limited by the admission that on everything but the one 
peculiar point of His own mission — the founding of the 
kingdom of God — Jesus simply occupied the standpoint, and 
used the language of His contemporaries. His views of the 
natural world — t,g. of the Old Testament, of angels and devils, 
of the future world, etc. — were simply those of His age, and 

> Die L€vn Jean, ii. p. 316. » Ibid. ii. pp. 442, 443. 

» Ibid. ii. 2nd ed. p. 182, etc * Mark ii. 28 ; John v. 27, etc. 

* Preface to recent Eng. trans, of Die Lehre Jeau, Dr. Wendt, however, does 
not allow anything higher than an ethical Sonship to Jesus, identical in kind 
with that enjoyed hy all the other members of the kingdom of God— *' viz.: a 
fellowship of love with God, in which God as the Father bestows His eternal 
salvation, and man as Son trustfully and obediently appropriates and follows 
the wiU of God ; only that Jesus knows that this relation of Sonship to God is 
realised in Himself in unique perfection, and on this account regards Himself 
as the Son of God »«t* lJi*x^f."—T, 453. He expressly denies to Jesus pre- 
existence, or a transcendental mode of being, and explains away the sayings in 
John which seem to teach such higher existence.— Pp. 453-476. 


liable to all the error and imperfection of the time.^ Bnt 
then the question cannot help arising, If Jesus is avowedly 
wrong on all points where a scientific view of the world is 
concerned, how are we to trust Him when He speaks to us 
of supernatural and supersensible realities? May not His 
own words be applied, *' If I have told you earthly things 
and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of 
heavenly things ? " ' There need be no dispute as to what Dr. 
Wendt says of the religious ideas of Christ, of His spiritual 
conception of the kingdom of God, of His doctrine of the 
Divine Fatherhood, of His pure and exalted doctrine of 
righteousness. The sceptic would admit it alL He would 
only question whether, with the altered view of the world 
which has arisen since Christ's time, such doctrines are 
tenable now as sober, objective trutL And to answer that 
question satisfactorily, firmer ground must be taken up in 
regard to Christ's consciousness as a whole. Dr. Wendt's 
book 13, in many respects, a richly instructive one, full of 
suggestive points, but it lacks the means of guarding Christ- 
ianity against the subjectivity which would grant to it every 
kind of moral worth and beauty, but would deny its objective 
truth as £evelation. 

^ D16 Lthrt Jtsu, ii. pp. 113-129, • John iii. 12. 


%i^tx Concept of (!Efol) htbolbel) in tl)e ]fncamat{on- 
W^t incarnation antr tfic $Ian of tftc MaxVa. 

"God is one, but not solitary."— -Peter Chrtsoloous. 

"Christian worship calls men away from the altars of polytheUm, 
and elevates their souls to the One God, but it does this in a threefold 
direction ; for we know by faith that eternal life streams down to us 
out of three personal fountains of love — from God the Father, who has 
created us ; firom God the Son, who has redeemed us ; and from God the 
Holy Ghost, who sanctifies us and makes us the children of God : — ^in the 
Trinity alone do we possess the whole of love." — Martensen. 

"The conceptions of speculative philosophy, where they are most 
profound, come nearest to the Christian doctrine ; nor need we be anxious 
lest speculative philosophy should ever reach a height firom which it may 
look down and say that the Christian element is left behind. No thought 
can transcend the Christian idea, for it is truth in itself." — ^Brakiss (in 

" For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of 
the man, which is in him T Even so the things of God none kuoweth, 
save the Spirit of God." — Paul. 




The point reached at the conclusion of last Lecture was that The point now 
the facts of Christ's Revelation are reconcilable with no lower ^^f^- 
estimate of His Person than that which we find in the 
apostolic writings. This conclusion is counterchecked by 
the circumstance that, in the history of doctrine, no lower 
estimate of Christ's Person has been found able to maintain 

Theories, therefore, like that of Eitschl, which ^^sonb^ HecapUuiation 
" Godhead " to Christ only in a figurative way, or like those ^^A^'^^^r 
of Bothe and Beyschlag, which aim at investing Christ with 
a real Divinity, but deny His personal pre-existence, are none 
of them in full harmony with Scripture testimony. The 
former sinks back into humanitarianism, the latter involve 
themselves in the difficulty that they must suppose a new 
Divine person to come into existence in the Incarnation. 
They literally add a new Person to the Godhead. This diffi- 
culty is not obviated by taking the predicate " Divinity " in 
a quasi-ideal sense to denote simply the ethical indwelling of 
God in Christ. There is no doubt a true presence of the 
Divine in Christ, just as there is a tnie presence of God by 
His Spirit in the heart of every believer ; and what is im- 
perfectly true of the believer may be held to be perfectly true 
of Christ But no matter how entirely the believer is filled 
with the Divine life, and in this sense is a partaker of the 
Divine nature, we do not regard this as a reason for wor- 


shipping him. We may worship and glorify the God 
revealed in him, but we do not worship the believer him- 
self. The worship paid to Christ, therefore, and that from 
the earliest period, marks a distinction between His Divinity 
and that of every other. Not simply as the possessor of a 
communicated Divine nature, but in the root of His own 
Personality, Christ was Divine. 

/. Higher I. I come now to speak of the higher concept of God 

concept of God \^y^^^^ jn ^his truth of the Incarnation — I mean the con- 

tnvolvea tn the 

Incarnation: cept of God as triune. This is the first of the corollaries 
Codas triune, qJ ^^ doctrine of the Incarnation, taken in connection with 
the related doctrine of the Spirit It must be evident to 
any one who thinks upon it that such a doctrine as that of 
the Incarnation csuinot be seriously entertained without pro- 
foundly reacting upon and modifying our concept of God. 
Necessity is laid on us, as it was laid on the early Church, 
to reconstruct our concept of God so as to bring it into 
harmony with the new and higher Eevelation which has 
been given u& The result is the Trinitarian view, which 
Christendom expresses in the formula — Father, Son, and 
Spirit, one God ; and which is as essentially bound up with 
Christianity as the Incarnation itself.^ 
The doctrine Here let me say to begin with that it is a mistake to 
oft e rtnUy 3}^^]^. fy^j^ j^j^^ triune view of God as if it did nothing else 

not a mere ® 

mystery: tes- than impose a mysterious burden on our faith, — as if it had 
timonies to its ^^ yoice to rcasou, or brought iio light into our view of the 
world, or had no practical relation to Christian life. This 
doctrine has not been gained indeed by speculation, but by 
induction from the facts of God's self-revelation, — just, e.g, 
as the man of science gains his knowledge of the polarity 
of the magnet by induction from the facts of nature. Yet 

^ Eaftan says : *' Christian faith in God is faith in the three-one God. That 
is the expression, alike simple and yet aU-comprehending, of the Christian 
tmth of faith.*' — Dols Wesen, etc p. 387. Most modem theologians, as 
Schleiermacher, Biedermaun, Lipsius, Pfleiderer, etc., express themselTea 
similarly, though each has his own interpretation of the Trinitarian formula. 


it is not a doctrine which the Church, having once gained it, 
could ever again willingly part with. Even from a philo- 
sophical point of view, the worth of this doctrine is very 
great. The more profoundly speculation has occupied itself 
with the mystery of the Divine existence, the more impossible 
has it been found to rest in the thought of God as an 
abstract, distinctionless unity, the more has the triune 
conception of God been felt to be necessary to secure the 
life, love, personality,— even the Fatherhood of God. Pro- 
fessor Flint says of this doctrine that it is "a mystery 
indeed, yet one which explains many other mysteries, and 
which sheds a marvellous light on God, on nature, and on 
man." ^ Professor Laidlaw says of it, " This doctrine is one 
of the most prolific and far-reaching among the discoveries 
of Eevelation. Fully to receive it influences every part of 
our theological system, and of our practical religion. It is 
the consummation and the only perfect protection of Theism." ^ 
Martensen has declared, ''If Christian dogmatics had not 
asserted and developed the doctrine of the Trinity, ethics 
must postulate it in its own interests." ^ Similar testimonies 
might be multiplied indefinitely. 

It is well to keep clearly in view how this doctrine has This doctrine 
originated. It has just been said that the doctrine of ^^®v^^^^'2^ 
Trinity is not a result of mere speculation, — not a theory or the facts of 
hypothesis spun by theologians out of their own fancies, — Rf^iai^f^' 
still less, as some eminent writers would maintain, the result 
of the importation of Greek metaphysics into Christian 
theology.^ It is, in the first instance, the result of a simple 
process of induction from the facts of the Christian Bevela- 
tion. We could know nothing positively of this self- 
distinction in the nature of God save as He Himself 
discovers it to us in the facts of His self -revelation ; we do 
now know it through the discovery of Himself as Father, 

1 AnU-Theistic Theories, p. 489. 

' Bible Doctriiie of Man, p. 126 (Cunningham Leotures). 

' Chri8tia,n Ethics, i. 75 (Eng. trans.). 

* Thas Harnack, Hatch, etc. 


Son, and Spirit. We know it just as, c.^'., we know of 
the existence of reason, memory, imagination, will, etc., in 
our own minds, through their actual manifestations; or as 
we know of the various modes of force in nature — light, 
heat, electricity, chemical force, etc. — through observation of 
their workings. Our faith in the Trinity does not rest even 
on the proof-texts which are adduced from the Scriptures in 
support of the Trinitarian distinction.^ These have their 
value as summaries of the truth we gain from the complex 
of facts of the New Testament Eevelation, and serve to 
assure us that we are on right lines in our interpretation of 
these facts, but the fundamental groimd on which we rest is 
the facts themselves. The triime conception of God is justi- 
fied when it is shown to be the conception which underlies 
the triune Bevelation God has given of Himself, and the 
triune activity in the work of Bedemption. 
How far is For this same reason that the doctrine of the Trinity is 

thtsdoctrim ^^^ which propcrly arises only out of the facts of the com- 

anticipcUed in v v J J 

the Old Testa- plctcd Ecvelatiou in the New Testament, we do not look, or 
mentt ^Qok in vain, for any full discovery of it in the Old Testa- 

ment. Yet, if the doctrine be true, we would anticipate that 
the older dispensation would not be without at least some 
foregleams or intimations of it, — that some facts which 
point in its direction would not be wanting, — ^and this we 
find to be actually the case. It is only, I think, a very 
superficial view of the Old Testament which will allow us to 
Sigmficance Say that no such traces exist. I do not lay any stress upon 
^11^/^^^^^ the plural word "Elohim," or on the plural pronouns some- 
times associated with it, though this word is an indication of 
the deep feeling which the Hebrews had for that plurality of 
powers in the Divine nature, which Polytheism separated, and 
worshipped in isolation, or under some visible manifestation 
(sky, etc.). It is this which constitutes the Monotheism of 
the Bible from the first a living thing, and keeps it from 

* E.g, Matt, xxviii. 19 ; 2 Cor. xiil 14 ; 1 Cor. xii. 4-6 ; 1 Pet L 2 ; Rer. 
i. 4, 5. 




degeneratiDg into a hard, unspiritual monadism. More to 
the purpose is the large place allowed ia the Old Testament 
to ideas and representations which naturally and almost 
necessarily suggest — if indeed they do not sometimes for- 
mally express — the thought of self-distinction in the Divine 
nature. I might refer here (1) to the remarkable series of (i) TheAn^ei 
facts connected in the older Scriptures with the appearances ^f'^'^*'^ • 
and Bevelations of the "Angel of Jehovah."^ Discussion 
goes on to this day as to whether the mysterious Being who 
bears this designation in the older narratives of the Bible is 
to be viewed as a mere theophemy, or as a created angel» or 
as a distinct hypostasis ; ^ but I think a dispassionate review 
of all the facts will dispose us to agree with Oehler that, 
judged by his manifestations, the " MaVach " is best described 
as " a self -presentation of Jehovah, entering into the sphere 
of the creature, which is one in essence with Jehovah, and 
yet again different from Him."' (2) We have again the (2) Thidoc- 
very full development given to the doctrine of the Spirit. ^?'^^'^^ 
Ordinarily the Spirit appears only as a power or energy old Tista- 
proceeding from Jehovah, but in function and operation the ^"^^ 
tendency is to represent Him as an independent agent, and 
there are several passages, especially in the later chapters of 
Isaiah, where this view receives distinct expression. Such, 
c.^., is Isa. xL 13, " Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, 
or being His counsellor, hath taught Him ? " where, in 
Oehler's words, " The Divine Spirit acting in creation is a 

1 " ADgel of God" in Elohistic sections. Cf. Gen. xvi. 7-13, xviii. 20, 26, 
xxii. 11-19, xxiv. 7, 40, xxxi. 11-13, xlviii. 15, 16; Ex. iii. 2-6, xiil 21, 
compared with xiv. 19 ; xxxii. 14 compared with Isa. Ixiii. 9 ; Josh. v. 14, 15 ; 
Zech. L 12, iii. 1, 2, etc. 

* or. on this subject Oehler's Theology of Old Testament, i. pp. 188-196 (Eng. 
trans.) ; Schaltz*s AUtest. TheoL pp. 600-606 ; Delitzsch's New Commentary 
on Genesis, on chap. xvi. 7, etc. Delitzsch founds on Gen. xviii. in support of 
his view that the Mal'ach was a created angel, but Schultz shows that this was 
not so. Schultz holds a mediating view, but says : ** There is certainly in the 
Angel of God something of what Christian theology seeks to express in the 
doctrine of the Logos," p. 606. Delitzsch also holds that ''the angelophaniea 
of God were a prefignration of His Christophany," ii p. 21. 

* Theology of Old Testament, i. p. 198. 



distinction. Hence the Logos speculations of the Stoics and 
Modem specu- of Philo, the wms of the Neo-Platonists. In like manner, 
^^aT^^'' self-diremption, self-distinction in God, is the key to all the 
higher speculative movements of the present century. 
Whether their Trinitarian views be held to be satisfactory 
or not, they have at least served to show that the Trinitarian 
conception, instead of being the shallow thing it is sometimes 
represented to be, includes ^elements of the deepest specu- 
lative importance.^ 
Real objection It is uot, therefore, to the mere fact that Christianity 
^^1' ^J^ ^^ posits self-distinctions in God, but to the nature of these 

atstincttons as * 

personal. distinctions as personal, that the real objections to the doc- 
trine of the Trinity must be addressed. And this is the 
point on which, within the Church itself, discussion on the 
nature of the Trinity really turns. What is the character 
of this distinction which we must ascribe to God, which 
exhaustively expresses, or does full justice to, the facts of 
the Christian Bevelation ? Is it a distinction of essence, or 
only of working ? an immcment distinction, or one only of 
Kevelation ? a personal distinction, or one which is im- 
Drawbacks of personal ? Now in applying this word " Person " to these 
the word ^^ distinctions in the Godhead, it is granted that we are con- 
scious of inevitable limitations and drawbacks. The ob- 
jection commonly made to the word is that it represents the 
Godhead as constituted by three separate individualities, as 
distinct from each other as human beings are distinct, — a 
conception which would, of course, be fatal to the Divine 
Early use of Unity. This word Person, it is to be observed, does not 
terms: Aug- occur in Scripturc itself.* It comes to us from the Latin, 

usttne on this. 

^ "In philosophy," says Hegel, "it is shown that the whole content of 
nature, of spirit, gravitates to this centre as its absolute truth." — Heligiotut- 
philosophie, ii. p. 229. 

'Calvin on this ground objected to the term. ''Specially was he annoyed 
by the attacks made on him by one Caroli, who impeached his orthodoxy, and 
even had him brought before a synod to clear himself of the charge of Arianism. 
It is curious to see Calvin — hard dogmatist as we are apt to think him — called 
to account for not using the terms ' Trinity ' and ' Person ' in his teachings on 
the Godhead, and having to defend himself for his preference for simple 


while the Greek Church employed the term imofrracvi, or 
substance; so that, as Augustine says, the Greeks spoke 
of one essence, three substances, but the Latins of one 
substance, three Persons, while yet both meant the same 
thing.^ The same father even says, " Three Persons, if they 
are to be so-called, for the unspeakable exaltedness of \\i^ Need of the 
object cannot be set forth by this term," * and he reminds us **/^«^»- 
of what I have just stated, that Scripture does not anywhere 
mention three Persons.* Too much stress, therefore, must not 
be laid on the mere term. Yet I do not know any other 1 
word which would so well express the idea which we wish to 
convey, and which the titles Father, Son, and Spirit seem to 
imply — the existence in the Divine nature of three mutually 
related yet distinct centres of knowledge, love, and will, not 
existing apart as human individualities do, but in and through 
each other as moments in one Divine self-conscious life. 

Using the term " Person," therefore, to denote distinctions Proof that dis- 
in the Divine nature, properly described as I and Thou and J^^^-^^£^ 
He, without contradiction of the thought of the compre- implied. 
hension of these distinctions in a higher unity of essence, 
we certainly hold that the distinctions in the Christian 
Trinity are personal. This is already implied, as just hinted, 
in the names given to the members of the Trinitarian circle The Trinit- 
— Father, Son, and Spirit, — at least the two former ar®^'^/^' 
personal, and for that very reason the third is presumably implied in 
so also. But, apart from this, all those facts and testimonies ^^"^^ ^\ 

' ^ ' ^ ship of Chrtsl; 

which go to show that in Christ we have the Incarnation oi implied in 

scriptnral expressions. When blamed by Caroli for not accepting the ancient fl^<w/ the 
creeds, he 'rejoined/ say the Genevese preachers (in a letter to Berne), 'that Spirit, 
we have sworn to the belief in One God, and not to the creed of Athanasins, 
whose symbol a true Chureh woold never have had admitted.'" — Lecture on 
** John Calvin" by the anthor, in volume on The B^ormers (1885). 

' De Trinitaie, Book viL chap. iv. (p. 189, trans, in Clark's series). Cf. 
Book Y. chap. v. p. 155. 

* Quoted by Van Oosterzee, Dogmatics, p. 289 (Eng. trans.). Cf. De Trini- 
taUy Y. 9 : " When the question is asked, What three T human language labours 
altogether under great poverty of speech. The answer, however, is given, three 
persons, not that it might be spoken, but that it might not be left unspoken." 

* De TrinUcUe, Book iv. chap. iv. sec. 8, p. 192 (Eng. trans.). 



a true Divine Person, distinct from the Father, establish this 
truth; vhile, finally, all the facts and testimonies which 
show that the Holy Spirit, sent forth by Christ as the 
Guide, Teacher, Comforter, and Sanctifier of His disciples, is 
a Divine Person, distinct from the Father and the Son, sup- 
port the same view. I do not enlarge on this series of testi- 
monies relating to the Spirit, for the reason that few who 
admit a real personal distinction in regard to the Son are 
disposed to deny it in regard to the Spirit It has, 
indeed, been said, and with justice, that in regard to the 
Son the dispute has not been as to His Personality, but as 
to His Divinity ; while in regard to the Spirit the dispute 
has not been as to His Divinity but as to His Personality. 
Tet it is a rare thing to find those who admit the Per- 
sonality and Divinity of the Son denying the Personality of 
the Spirit ; rather it is felt that if the distinction of Father 
and Son is admitted there is a necessity for completing the 
triad in the Divine life by the acknowledgment of the Spirit 
also. The other view ' of a merely modal or economical 
Trinity — a Trinity, that is, not of essence, but only of Re- 
velation — has had many advocates both in ancient and 
modern times, but falls to the ground if a true Incarnation of 
the Son be admitted.^ It is, besides, loaded with difiBculties 
and contradictions of its own, which make it, whenever the 
matter is thought out, untenable as an hypothesis. In the 
Difficulties of old Sabclliau view, for example, we had indeed a Divine 
this mew: Christ, but the distinction between Father and Son was 

ancient and 

modem Sabei- abolished, because it was the same being who first appeared 

' Biederinann and Pfleiderer grant that, with the presnppositioii of the 
Personal Incarnation in Christ, the ontological Trinity is inevitable. "The 
Trinity," says Biedermann, "is the specific Christian concept of God, as it 
must necessarily develop itself out of the identification of the Divine principle 
in Christ with the Ego of Jesus Christ" — Dogmatik, ii p. 600. Pfleiderer says : 
" When we observe that dogmatic reflection had to work with the presuppooi- 
tions set up by the Pauline and Jobanuine theology, and with the notions 
provided in the philosophy of the age, we can scarcely imagine any other result 
to have been possible than that embodied in the decrees of the councils of 
Nicsea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon." — RdigioMphUoBopkie, iii. p. 218 
(£ng. trans.). 

view — an 


as Father, who afterwards appeared as Son. Modern theories 
escape this difficulty by ascribing to Christ onlj an ethical 
Sonship — that is, by denying His true Divinity ; but this in 
turn deprives us of even a Trinity of Eevelation. We have 
now God the Father and God the Spirit, but no longer, in the 
proper sense, God the Son. The Son is the bearer or medium 
of the Eevelation of the Father, but does not Himself belong to 
the Divine circla Or suppose that with Bothe and Beyschlag 
we seek to save Christ's Divinity by asserting a " becoming " 
Godhead, then we involve ourselves in the old dilemma, that 
to complete the Trinitarian circle, we add a new Person to 
the Godhead, and the Trinity is no longer economical. The 
only way of clearing ourselves of these entanglements is to 
hold fast to the scriptural idea of the true entrance of a 
Divine Personal Being-r-the Eternal Son — into the condi- 
tions of humanity ; and, in accordance with this, to move back 
from an economical to an ontologiccd and personal Trinity.^ 

The question \& now to be considered, How does \ki\% Relations of 
doctrine stand related to rational thought and to experience ? ^^^ <ioctrtne 
It may be thought that at the best this doctrine is one thought. 
to be received as a mystery of faith, that it can bring no 
light or help to the intellect, and that in point of simplicity 
and clearness it compares unfavourably with the Unitarian 
view. This, however, if the doctrine of the Trinity is true, 
is most unlikely ; and I confess to have a great dislike to 
doctrines which are supposed to come to us in the form of 
absolute mysteries, and to have no point of contact with 
thought through which some ray of rational light may break 
in upon them. In proof that the Trinitarian view is not The admission 
without relation to thought I might appeal to the fact that ^^J,^^7«- 
it is to the influence of philosophical thought on CYmsi- vohed iti the 
ianity that many would attribute the rise of such a doctrine ^!^^^.^ '^ ^^' 
in the Church at alL It is certainly not without xx\&^tlv[\% philosophy. 
that, as already remarked, in the attempt to explcdn the 

^ "The anii-trinitaiian movements of recent times hftve made it perfectly 
clear that there consequently only remains the choice either to think of God in 


Sevelation of God to the world, we should see a Logos doctrine 
springing up in the schools of Alexandria ; should find at a 
later period the Nco-Platonists developing on Platonic prin- 
ciples something like a doctrine of the Trinity ; should find 
in the deep-reaching speculations of Bohme in the seventeenth 
century,^ and in the modern speculative philosophies, the self- 
diremption of God as an essential feature. These speculative 
constructions are sometimes far enough removed from the 
pure Christian view, but they have a value as bringing clearly 
to light the reality of a threefold pulse or movement, involved 
'in the very nature of thought, and the fact that the life of 
Spirit only maintains itself through this triple movement of 
distinction of self from other, and the resolution of this 
distinction in a higher unity. These thoughts of the specu- 
lative philosophy I heartily accept, and believe them to be in 
deepest harmony with Christian doctrine.* 
Psychological The attempts met with in Augustine and others to find 
analogies m ^^ image of the Trinity in the constitution of the soul need 

Augusttnc and . '' 

others. not detain us here. Augustine's ingenious analysis of the 

mind's relation to its own knowledge, and of both to its 

a XlDitarian manner, and in that case to see even in Jesus a mere man, or, if He 
is supposed to be the God-Man, to hold to eternal distinctions in God, and 
therefore to undertake to prove that the unity of God is quite consistent with 
such distinctions." — Domer, System qf Doctrine, L p. 415 (Eng. trans.)* But 
has Dr. Domer himself a truly immanent Trinity? See Note A. — Recent 
Theories of the Trinity. 

^ Bohme's **mode of imagining, of thinkiug/* says Hegel, ''is certainly 
somewhat fantastic and wild ; he has not raised himself into the pure form 
of thought, but this is the ruling, the ground tendency of his ferment and 
struggle — to see the Trinity in everything and everywhere." — BeligionspliUO' 
Sophie, ii. p. 246. 

* "No wonder," says Christlieb, **that philosophy too — and that not only 
the old mystic theosophical speculation, but also modem idealism, with all the 
acuteness of its dialectics — has taken up the idea of a Triune God, and 
endeavoured to comprehend and prove it. . . . Their efforts show ua that 
modern philosophy (from Jacob Bohme onwards) feels that this doctrine is the 
true solution of the world's enignm. Moreover, these philosophical investiga- 
tions cast a strong light on the uncoDScionable superficiality and shortsighted- 
ness of those who most reject this fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith 
untested, without a notion of its deep religious, philosophical, and historical 
importence."— if odcr«c Zwei/el, pp. 273, 274 (Eng. trans.). See Note A.— 
As above. 


love of itself, — of the relations of memory, understanding, 
and will, — his comparison of the Divine Word to our own 
inner and mental word, and of the Holy Spirit to love, — 
have profounder elements in them than is always recognised ; 
bat he himself is quite conscious of the imperfection of Their defects. 
the analogies, and especially of the fact that what they give 
us is a Trinity of powers and functions in the one Person, 
and not a Trinity of personal distinctions.^ If I were dis- 
posed to look for a shadow of such distinctions in our own 
mental life I am not sure but that I would seek it, as 


Augustine also hints, in that mysterious power which the 
soul has of dialogue with itself, — in that indrawn, ideal life 
of the spirit, when the mind, excluding the outward world. Suggestive 
holds converse and argument with itself — divides itself as it ^^^sy^*^ 

° the mind s 

were within itself, and holds discussion with itself, ^\3X\kxig power of self- 
its questions and answeriug them, proposing difficulties and ^^^*^^^'' 
solving them, offering objections and repelling them, — all the 
while remaining, as we may say, in a third capacity the 
neutral spectator of itself, taking watchful note of what is 
advanced on both sides of the debate, and passing favourable 
or unfavourable judgment on the issues. Yet, after all, this 
trilogy is only shadow, and in conjunction with other 
elements of our spiritual life, can but faintly suggest to us 
what, if the distinction went deeper, Trinity might mean. 

We get more help when, leaving the ground of purely /(elation of 
psychological analogies, we proceed to inquire into the con- ^^^^ 'f 
ditions under which, so far as our thought can go, self-con- ness^ etc. its 
sciousness, personality, love, are possible. Here we begin to-^"^^^^'^^ 

^ " on this side, 

^ Augustine is constantly acknowledging the imperfection of finite analogies 
to express the ineffable reality of the Godhead. See specially Book xv. The 
foUowing are some of the headings of chapters : '^That it is not easy to discover 
the Trinity that is God from the trinities we have spoken of." "There is the 
greatest possible unlikeness between our word and knowledge and the Divine 
Word and knowledge." " Still further of the difference between the knowledge 
and word of our mind, and the knowledge and Word of God. *' How great is 
the unlikeness between our word and the Divine Word ! Our word cannot be, 
or be called, eternal," etc "We know but in an enigma," and "Who can 
explain how great is the unlikeness also, in this glass, in this enigma, in this 
likeness, such as it b!"— De THnitatt^ p. 402 (Eng. tracs.). 


see the positive philosophical and theological value of this 
concept of God. There are several points of view from 
which its advantage over the Unitarian view of God becomes 
I. Thedediic^ 1. First of all, there is the bearing of this doctrine on 
turn from ^^ Divine self-consciousness — on knowledge and Personality 

knowledge. . 

in God. The relation of knowledge seems necessarily to 
imply a distinction of subject and object. Philosophers have 
spoken of a transcendental kind of knowledge which is above 
this distinction, — in which subject and object melt into ona 
But their words convey no idea to the mind. , The only kind 
of knowledge we are capable of conceiving is one in which 
the subject distinguishes himself from some object which is 
not himself, and through this distinction returns to knowledge 
of himself and of his own states. In our own case, this 
knowledge of self is mediated through knowledge of the 
outward world, and in the highest degree through intercourse 
with our fellow human beings. Seizing on this analogy. 
Supposition somc havc thought that the Divine consciousness might be 
that the divine ^^^^^^^^ of as mediated by the idea of the world.* The 

consciousness '' 

is mediated by idea of the world in this view takes the place of the Son 
the idea of the ^^ ^j^^ orthodox theology. The objections to this are — 


Objections to (1) It makcs God dependent on the world, the idea of 
this: which is necessary for the realisation of His self-con- 

(1) Makes God . '' 

dependent on SClOUSnCSS. 

the world; (2) The objcct in this case is an ideal one, and this seems 

oniyideaL^^ inadequate to mediate a real self-consciousness. Hegel is 
consistent, accordingly, if this theory is to be adopted, in 
making not the idea of the world, but the world itself, the 
object through which the Divine Spirit attains to self-con- 
(3) The ob' (3) The world is a finite object, and cannot be an adequate 

ject a finite m^ans for the mediation of an infinite self-consciousness.* 


^ Thus, t,g,t Weisse. 

' It is besides only progressively realised, and ttius would InTolve a growing 


(4) Finally, the world is not a personal object. But (4) The object 
the true depths of personality are only sounded when ^^P^^^^ • 
the " I " knows itself in contradistinction from and in 
reciprocal relations with a " Thou " — a counter-self to its 

The result we reach by this line of thought is that we The Christian 
can only secure the reality of the Divine self-consciousness *2|?\ 
by regarding it as complete in itself — apart from the iA.e9L sdousmss set,* 
of the world ; and this can only be done by positing an ^*^^ 

through the 

immanent distinction in the Godhead, through which the sonatui 
Divine consciousness carries its object within itself; and*^""*^* 
this neither an ideal, nor finite, nor impersonal object, 
but One in whom God sees His own personal image 
perfectly expressed, — who, in Scripture language, is " the 
effulgence of His glory, and the very image of His sub- 
stance" (vTTocrTacri?).* The value of the doctrine of the 
Trinity from this point of view is very evident. The third 
moment — that which corresponds to the Holy Spirit — is 
more difficult to arrive at a priori, but one feels the 
need of it to complete the circle of the Divine life in 
bringing to light the unity which underlies the previous 

2. A more familiar deduction is that from Divine love. 2. The deduc- 
Here, in realising what is involved in Divine love, we feel, ^fi^^ 
quite as strongly as in the case of the Divine Personality, 
the need of self-distinction. The proof of the Trinity from 
love — if proof it can be called — is a favourite one with 

^ Thu objection is not obriated by assuming a world of finite personalities. 

* Heb. i 8. Pfleiderer supposes that the Divine self-consciousness is mediated 
by God's own thoughts (*'His changing activities and states") — but thoughts 
oi whBt%^RdigimutphHoHophit^ iii. p. 282 (Eng. trans.). 

' Cf. on this argument Dorner, System qf Doctrine, pp. 422-426 ; Christlieb, 
Modeme ZtoeifU, pp. 271, 272 (Eng. trans. )> etc. Hegel makes it the 
starting-point of his deduction. ''Knowing implies that there is another 
which is known; and in the act of knowing, the other is appropriated. 
Herein it is contained that God, the eternally in -and -for -Himself exist- 
ing One, eternally begets Himself as His Son, distinguishes Himself 
from Himself — the absolute act of judgment." — Beligionspkilosophie, ii. 
p. 228. 


/| theologians.^ " God is love." * But love is self -communica- 
tion to another. There cannot be love without an object to 
be loved. If, therefore, God is essentially love, this is in 
other words to say that He has from eternity an object of 
His love. This object cannot be the world — ideally or 
really — for the reason already given, that this would be to 
make God dependent on the world, — to make the world, 
indeed, an essential moment in God's life, — whereas the true 
doctrine is that God has love in its fulness in Himself, and 
out of that fulness of love, loves the world.^ The world, 
besides, is a finite object, and could not be an adequate 
object for the infinite love of God. If, therefore, God is 
love in Himself — in His own eternal and transcendent being 
— He must have in some way within Himself the perfect 
and eternal object of His love — which is just the Scripture 
doctrine of the Son, This view of God is completed in the 

• perfect communion the Divine Persons have with each other 
through the Holy Spirit — the bond and medium of their 
N love. 
The opposite To see the importance of this view, we have but to 

^UM^inaViu ^^^^™^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^ opposite, and to ask. What can love in 
tary God. God mean on the supposition of His absolute solitariness ? 
What can be the object of God's love throughout eternity, 
if there is no triune distinction in God ? What can it be 
but Himself ? Instead of love, therefore, as we understand 
it, — affection going out to another, — what we have in the 

^ It is developed specially by Sartorias in his Doctrine of Divine Love 
(translated). See also Martensen's Christian Ethics^ i. p. 73 ; Christ1ieb*s 
Modeme Zweifel, pp. 272, 273 (Eng. trans.) ; Laidlaw's Bible Doctrine o/Afcui, 
pp. 126, 127 ; Murphy's Scientific Basis of Faith, p. 377 ; Lux Mundi, p. 92, etc. 

» 1 John iy. 16. 

' This is an important point in the doctrine of Divine Love. The thouju^ht is 
already met with in Irenseus. Cf. Dorner, Person of CJvristf i. p. 306. Marton- 
sen says: ''God's love to the world is only then pure and unmixed holy 
affection when God, whilst He is sufficient to Himself and in need of nothing, 
out of infinite grace and mercy calls forth life and liberty beyond His own 
Being. . . . But this free power of love in the rebitions of God to the world 
presupposes the existence of perfect love realised vrithin itself, the love of the 
Father and the Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit."— CAmtian EtfUcSt i p. 
74. Similarly Domer in his Christian JSthics, p. 94 (Eng. trans.}. 


universe is an infinite solitary Ego ; a Being who loves Himself 
only, as, indeed, there is no other to love. Either, therefore, 
we must come back to seek an object for God's love in the 
finite, created world, or recognise that God has an infinitely 
blessed life of love within Himself, and this brings us to the 
doctrine of an immanent Trinity. The value of the doctrine 
in an ethical aspect is seen when we recognise that only 
through the Trinitarian distinction are we brought into com- 
munion with a Being who has within Himself a life of y 

3. Connected with this as a third point of view — though 3. Deduction 
it is really only an extension of the foregoing — is a deduction -^^/^^ 
from the Divine Fatherhood. God is Father. This is Fatherhood— 
Christ's own new name for Him, and expresses His relation to God^^^**<^^y 

^ Father, 

those who stand in moral dependence on Him, and who bear 

Hia image. But Father and Son are terms of relation.^ If, 

then, God be Father, where shall we find the Son who 

corresponds with this relation ? If we say, men, created 

angels, creatures of any kind, we are led to this, that 

Fatherhood in God depended on there being a creation. God 

is not Father simply as God. Fatherhood is not of His very 

essenca This could not easily be better put than it has 

been by Mr. R H. Hutton, in a well-known essay on the R, H. Hutton 

Incarnation in his volume of Theological Essays. " If Christ '^ '^" ^'*^' 

is the eternal Son of God," he says, " God is indeed and in 

essence a Father ; the social nature, the spring of love, is of 

the very essence of the Eternal Being ; the communication 

of His life, the reciprocation of His affection dates from 

beyond time-^—belongs, in other words, to the very being of 

God. . . . The Unitarian conviction that God is — as God 

and in His eternal essence — a single, solitary Personality . . . 

thoroughly realised, renders it impossible to identify any of 

the social attributes with His real essence — renders it difficult 

^ This iB the mistake of those who, in a Sabellian way, take Father as the 
name for God as the Creator, etc. The Christian idea of the Father comes 10 
birth only in the Revelation of the Son. The terms are reciprocal. See 
Note A. 


not to regard power as the true root of all other Divine life. 
' If we are to believe that thd Father was from all time, we 
must believe that He was a» a Father, — that is, that love 
was actual in Him as well as potential, that the communica- 
tion of life and thought and fulness of joy was of the inmost 
nature of God, and never began to be, if God never began 
to be." 1 
4. Bearing of 4, Finally, this doctrine of the Trinity has a profound 
^^ Jriniiyon y^^' On the relation of God to the world. Not without 
to the world, reason does Scripture connect the Son with the creation, and 
give His person and His work a cosmical significance. We 
may conceive of God in two relations to the world — either 
in His absolute transcendence over it, which is the deistic 
conception, or as immanently identified with it, which is the 
pantheistic conception. Or we may conceive of Him as at 
the same time exalted above the world — transcending it, and 
yet present in it as its immanent sustaining ground, which 
is the Christian conception. It was to maintain this double 
relation to the world that, as we have seen, Philo conceived 
of the Logos as a middle term between God and the creation, 
and the Neo-P]atonists distinguished between God, the voxy;. 
The safeguard and the soul of the world. When a middle term is wanting, 
we have either, as in the later Judaism and Mohammedanism, 
an abstract and immobile Monotheism ; or, in recoil from 
this, a losing of God in the world in Pantheism. In the 
j Christian doctrine of the triune God we have the necessary 
safeguards against both of these errors, and at the same time 
the link between God and the world supplied which specula- 
tion vainly strove to find.* The Christian view is, therefore, 
the true protection of a living Theism, which otherwise 

^ TlvtdoglcaX Ensays, 8rd ed. p. 257. 

' This important aspect of the Triuity, as mfeguarding the true idea of God 
in relation to the world (His immaneoce and tranaoendence} against the opposite 
errors of Deism and Pantheism, is brought out with special fulness by Domer 
in his discussion of Sabellianism and Arianism, Person of Christy i. and ii, and 
his System of Doctrine, i. pp. 865-378. Cf. also Martensen's Doymaties, 
pp. 103-106; Christlieb's Modeme Zweifd, pp. 268-265; Lux Mundi, pp. 
92-102, etc 

against Deism 
and PantkC' 





oscillates uncertainly between these two extremes of Deism 
and Pantheism, either of which is fatal to it^ 

II. It is a special service of the doctrine of the Trinity, //. The Scrip- 
from the point of view we have now reached, that it brings '"? "'^ 
creation and Eedemption into line, teaching us to look on tion and Re- 
creation and Bedemption as parts of one grand whole, and ^^P*^^ ^^^ 
on Christ, now exalted to supreme dominion in the universe, quencesofthis. 
as at once the first-born of creation and the first-born from 
the dead.^ This thought of the Son as the link between God 
and the creation — which is so prominent a thought in the 
New Testament — forms the transition to the other subject 
on which I propose to speak in this Lecture — the relation of Reiatim of the 
the Incarnation to the plan of the world. The Eevelation of -^"^'^^'^ '^ 

, _ ^ ^ , the plan of the 

the Trinity is given in the work of Redemption, but once woricU 
given we can see that it has its bearings also on the work 
of creation. This is the view of all the leading writers in 
the New Testament, — of Paul, of John, of the author of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews, — who go back, or reason back, to 
an original agency of the Son in the creation of the 
world.* Even the Apocalypse speaks of Christ as " the 
beginning {apxn, or principle) of the creation of God."* 
But once started on this line, it is impossible to shut 
one's eyes to the question which inevitably arises, and 
which has so frequently been discussed in the history of 
theology — ^more keenly than ever in modern theology, Did 
an Incarnation lie in the original plan of the world ? 
Would there have been an Incarnation had man never ivouid there 
fallen? Has the Incarnation any relation to the original ^^^ ^'^''.'''' 
ends for which the world was made ? Or is the Incarna- hodman not 

' A remarkable illustration of bow the deeper thought on God runa almost 
necessarily into a Trinitarian mould is furnished by an essay of Dr. Martineau^s 
on "A Way out of the Trinitarian Controversy/' in his recently published 
volume of Kaeay9, EcclenasHcal and Historical. See Note B. — Dr. Martineaa 
as a Trinitarian. 

» Col. L 15-18. 

» John i. 3 ; 1 Cor. viii. 6 ; Eph. iu. 9-11 ; Col. L 15-18 ; Heb. i. 2. 

* Re?, iii 14. 


tion connected solely with the entrance of sin and the need 
of Eedemption ? 
This question To raisc a question of this kind at all may be thought by 
^Ued ^^^' niany to savour of idle and presumptuous speculation. It 
sumptuous. may be thought that it is one which the Scripture directly 
and expressly settles in the negative, in connecting the In- 
carnation so immediately as it does with God's great purpose 
of salvation to our race — making it, indeed, the crowning 
proof of His love to sinners that He has sent His only- 
begotten Son into the world, that the world might live through 
Him.^ There are, however, certain considerations which 
should give us pause before coming too hastily to this 
But I, It rises 1. The first is that this is a question which does rise 
natura yfrom ^^oXmlX^j out of SO transcendent a fact as the Incarnation. 

the subject ; "^ 

2. Has often 2. It is a question which has forced itself on the 
pressed itself jjjiud of the Church, and has been deeply and reverently 

on the mind of ^ •' ^ 

the Church, discusscd by its ablest thinkers for centuries. It is a view 
which the late Principal Fairbairn, who reasons against 
it, admits undoubtedly to include among its defenders 
"some of the most learned theologians of the present 
day." 2 

3. Not unsug' 3. But, mainly, the theory referred to is one not unsuggested 
^ain /th^ ^^ Certain of the teachings of Scripture. The same objection 
teachings of which is taken to this — that it lies outside the field of 
Scripture. ^j^^ ^f Redemption — may be made against the Scripture 

statements as to the relation of the Son to creation ; but it 
is the grandeur of the Christian view that, starting with our 
primary necessities as sinners, it opens up principles and 
views fertile and far-reaching vastly beyond their original 
The history It is Unnecessary for my purpose to enter at any length 
of the question, j^^^^ ^j^^ \i\^toTy of the question. A sketch of it may be 

seen in Dorner's History of the Doctrine of the Person of Jesiis 

* 1 John i?. 9. 

• Typology of Scripture, 4th ed. i. p, U8. 


Christ} or in the finely-toned essay on the subject, entitled 
*' The Gospel of Creation," appended to Bishop Westcott's 
Commentary on the Epistles of St John. These writers, with 
Archbishop Trench in his Cambridge University Sennons, take 
the view that the Incarnation was not conditioned by human 
sin ; and the same view is held by Sothe, Lange, Oosterzee, 
Martensen, Ebrard, and a large number of other theologians. 
The opposite view is stated with great temperateness and 
force by Principal Fairbairn in the fourth edition of his 
valuable work on the Typology of Scripture,^ It may perhaps 
be found as the result of a brief consideration of the sub- 
ject that the truth does not lie exclusively on either side in 
this profound and difficult controversy, but that a higher 
point of view is possible from which the opposition dis- 

The strong point in favour of the view that the Incarna- Strong point 
tion is conditioned solely by human sin is the fact that in ff"*'*^^/^ 
Scripture it is represented invariably in this connection. f^w/<z;i/ c^^- 
I need not quote many passages in iUustration of this state- ^^^^f 
ment. *' The Son of Man came to seek and to save that with Redemp- 
which was lost." * " God so loved the world that He gave '*^'*- 
His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him 
should not perish, but have eternal life." ^ " God sent forth 
His Son, bom of a woman, born under the law, that He 
might redeem them which were under the law, that we might 
receive the adoption of sons." ^ " To this end was the Son 
of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of 
the deviL"® These and numerous other Scriptures explicitly 
associate Christ's coming with man's Bedemption. Christ 
is the unspeakable gift of God's love to men for their 

On the other hand, it is argued that, while the Scripture Passages 

which suggest 
^ Person of Christy iii. pp. 861-369. This view was already involved in the a wider view. 
theology of IreniBUB. See Dorner, i. p. 316; and Ai*ticle, ''Irenseiis," in 
Dictionary of Christian Biography. 
» Vol. i. pp. 117-135. * « Luke xix. 10. * John iii. 16. 

» Gal. iv. 4 (R.V.). • 1 John iii. 8. 



thus directly connects the Incaxnation with the work of 
Sedemption, it leaves room for, and contains passages which 
necessarily suggest^ a wider view. Such are the passages 
already referred to, which throw light on the original rela- 
tion of the Son to creation — which declare that all things 
were made by Him, that all things consist or hold together 
in Him, that He is the first-bom of all creation — above all, 
that all things were created for Him — that, in the language 
of Dr. Lightfoot, " the Word is the final cause as well as the 
creative agent of the universe " — " not only the apyri but also 
the tI\o9 of creation, not only the first but also the last in 
the history of the universe." * These passages I shall advert 
to again. It is further argued — and this is a point on which 
great stress is laid — that an event of such tremendous 
magnitude as the Incarnation cannot be regarded as a mere 
contingency in the universe ; that if it was in view at all, it 
must have governed the whole plan of creation ; and that, 
in point of fact, it is through it that, according to Scripture, 
the creation doca reach its end — not only redeemed humanity, 
but all things, both in heaven and in earth, being ultimately 
gathered up into Christ aa Head.^ A plan of such vast ex- 
tent cannot, it is held, be conceived of as an afterthought, 
— as something grafted on creation outside its original 
design, — it must have lain in the original design itself. 
DifficuUy It seems to me that the real source of difficulty in 

T^^a^tro^ thinking on this subject lies in not grasping with sufficient 
view of the firmucss the fact that, however we may distinguish from 
Divtrupian, ^^^ human point of view between parts and aspects of the 
Divine plan, God's plan is in reality one, and it is but an 
abstract way of thinking which leads us to suppose other- 
wise. In our human way of apprehension, we speak as if 
God had first one plan of creation — complete and rounded 
of in itself — in which sin was to have no place ; then, when 
it was foreseen that sin would enter, another plan was in- 
troduced, which vitally altered and enlarged the former. But 

1 On Col. i. 16. * Eph. i. 10. 


if we take a sufficiently high point of view, we shall be 
compelled to conclude, I think, that the plan of the universe God* s plan u 
is one, and that, however harsh the expression may sound, ^ ^ and^n- 
the foresight and permission of sin was from the first in- dudes fore- 
eluded in it An ultra-Calvinist would speak of the fore- "^^ f*.^ 

* permission 

ordination of sin ; I take lower ground, and speak only of of situ 
the foresight and permission of sin. Dealing with the question 
on the largest scale, I do not see how either Calvinist oxReiatumof 
Arminian can get away from this. It is not a question of ^^^^'/"f' ^^ 

, Arminian to 

how sin historically or empirically eventuated, — that ^^ this question, 
agree it must have done through human freedom, — but it is 
the question of fact, that sin is here, and that in the Divine 
plan it has been permitted to exist — that it has been taken up 
by God into His plan of the world. His plan included the 
permission of sin, and the treatment of it by Bedemption. In 
a previous Lecture, I referred to the view held by some that 
nature even before the Fall had a prophetic reference to man's 
sin, and that in this way is to be explained much that is other- 
wise mysterious and perplexing in its arrangements. We have 
only to enlarge our range of vision to see that this way of 
looking at the subject applies to the whole plan of God. It 
is idle to speculate whether, had there been no sin, the plan of 
the universe would have included an Incarnation or not. Had 
this been different everything eLse would have been different 
also. What we do know is that in the infinite possibilities 
of things, God has chosen to create a universe into which it 
was foreseen that sin would enter ; and the Incarnation is Creation huHt 
a part of the plan of such a creation. This being so, it ^^J^-^^'^'^^^'^" 
may very well be conceived that the Incarnation was the 
pivot on which everything else in this plan of creation was 
made to turn. To state my view in a sentence — God's plan 
is one ; Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of 
the world ;^ and even creation itself is built up on Redemption 

* Rev. xiii. 8. Cf. the interesting remarks in Hugh Miller's Footprints of the 
Creator, 23rd ed. p. 289 (1887). 


Great weight We must, I think, on this question allow great weight to 
on this ques- ^^ consideration of the revealed end. The Scriptures speak 

tton to beat' i i • 

tacked to the of an ultimate gathering together in one of all things in 
revealed end— Christ— of a Summing up of them in Him as Head.^ It is 

the gathering 

up of all ^^^^ ^ ^ asked, Is this only the external unification of a 

things in universe not originally intended to be so unified, but in 

regard to which God's original plan was something entirely 

different ? Or did it not lie in its original destination ? 

The end of a thing, we are to remember, is that which in 

This end not the Divine plan determines the beginning of it What a 

arbitrary bu^ thing is to be it is fitted for being by its origmal make. To 

oneforwhuh ° o ^ o 

the universe tum it from that end, and superinduce another upon it, 
must already ^Quld be to some extent to contradict its true nature. If 

have been 

fitted, ^bis is SO in general, must it not be so in the highest d^ee 

when the end we speak of is the end of the universe, and 
the plan in question is that of gathering together in one all 
things in the Incarnate Son. If such a destination did not lie 
in the original plan of creation, was it in the nature of things 
possible that it could afterwards be externally superinduced 
upon it ? Then what, in this view, becomes of the statement 
that all things were made for Christ, as well as by Him?* 
Can it be received at all, for such words go deeper than a 
mere economical adaptation? The longer these questions 
are pondered, the clearer will it appear that Christ's relation 
to the universe cannot be thought of as something ad- 
ventitious and contingent; it is vital and organic. This 
means that His Incarnation had a relation to the whole 
plan of the world, and not simply to sin, 
Dr, Fairbaim Dr. Fairbaim himself really admits all that is here 
^J'us with ^^i^^^d^d *or, when he says, " The argument derived from 
thisviruf. the wonderful relationship, the personal and everlasting 
union into which humanity has been brought with the 
Godhead, as if the purpose concerning it should be turned 
into a kind of afterthought, and it should sink, in a 
manner derogatory to its high and unspeakably important 

1 Eph. i. 10. « Col. i. 16. 


nature, into something arbitrary and contingent, if placed 
in connection merely with the Fall; — such an argument 
derives all its plausibility from the limitations and defects 
inseparable from a human mode of contemplation. To 
the eye of Him who sees the end from the beginning, — 
whose purpose, embracing the whole compass of the provi- 
dential plan, was formed before even the beginning was 
eflTected, — there could be nothing really contingent or un- 
certain in any part of the process."^ That is to say, the 
Incarnation is not to be placed in connection merely with 
the Fall ; but the plan even of creation had from the first a 
reference to an Incarnation for the sake of Bedemption from 
sin, and the perfecting of humanity. 

When, from this point of view, we look back to ^^ Harmony of 
Scriptures, we find them in full harmony with the ideas now ^^^^^^^ ^'^^ 

^ ' '' this vtevt* 


1. The Scriptures know of only one undivided purpose 1. The Scrip- 
of God, — that eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ ^?^ ^''^ ^^ 
Jesus, and which embraces, apparently, both creation and divided pur- 
Eedemption^ pose 0/ God, 

2. We have the clearest acknowledgment, as has already 2. Asser/ a 
been shown, of a direct relation of the Son to the work of ^^''^^ 7^^" 

of the Son as 

creation.' It does not detract from the suggestiveness ot to creation. 
the passages which declare this relation, but immensely adds 
to it, that, as Dr. Fairbairn says, the subject of the assertions 
is the historical C5hrist, He by whom believers have obtained 
Eedemption, and in whom they have forgiveness of sins. For 
the drift of the passages is evidently to bring these two 
things more completely into line — the work of creation and 

1 Typdhffy qfScripturet 4th ed. L p. 188. 

• Cf. Weiss, Biblical Theology qfNew TestametU, ii. pp. 97-100 (Eng. trans.). 
On Eph. iiL 9 he says : *' If it is said that the mystery of salvation was hid 
from eternity in God, who created the nniverse, it is indicated by this character- 
istic of God, that the purpose of salvation is connected in the closest way with 
the plan of the world, which began to be realised in creation ; and that purpose 
having been formed by the Creator before the creation of the world, was regula- 
tive even in its creation." 

» John i 3 ; 1 Cor. viiL 6 ; Col. i. 15-18 ; Heb. i. 3. 


the work of Redemption, and to show them to be parts of 
one Divine plan. 

3. Represent 3. Still more significant is the fact already insisted on, 
chnst as the \\^^^ \j^ mvoA of the above passages, Christ is not only repre- 
Creation. scntcd as the agent in creation, but as the final cause of 

creation. " All things have been created through Him, and 
unto Him." ^ He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the 
Last.^ Indirectly su^estive of the same idea are the passages 
which speak of " the kingdom prepared for (believers) from 
the foundation of the world " ; ^ of '' the Lamb slain from the 
foundation of the world,"* of Christ as "foreknown indeed 
before the foundation of the world," etc^ 

4. GocTspur- 4. There are the express statements, also already quoted, 
^^1^1^^ of the goal to which God's purpose actually tends. I may 
unification of here again avail myself of the words of Bishop lightfoot, 
an things in commenting on the words "unto Him."® "All things," he 
Bishop Light' says, " must find their meeting-point, their reconciliation, at 
foot on this, length in Him from whom they took their rise — in the Word 

as mediatorial agent, and through the Word in the Father as 
the primary source. . . . This ultimate goal of the present 
dispensation in time is similarly stated in several passages. 
Sometimes it is represented as the birth-throe and deliverance 
of all creation through Christ — as Rom. viii 19, sq. Some- 
times it is the absolute and final subjection of universal 
nature to Him — as 1 Cor. xv. 28. Sometimes it is the 
reconciliation of all things through Him — as below, ver. 20. 
Sometimes it is the recapitulation, the gathering up in one 
head, of the universe in Him — as Eph. L 10. The image 
involved in this last passage best illustrates the particular 
expression in the text; but all alike enunciate the same 
truth in different terms. The Eternal Word is the goal of 
the universe, as He was the starting-point. It must end in 
unity, as it proceeded from unity; and the centre of this 
unity is Christ." 

* Col. i. 16. « Rev. i. 8, 17. » Matt. xxt. 84. 

*Bev. xiii.8. » 1 Pet i. 20 (B.V.). «Col. i.16. 


The conclusion I reaxih is that this question, Would there Summary and 
have been an Incarnation but for sin? is one which rests ^^'^^"^'^''* 
upon a false abstraction. There is but one plan of God 
from the creation of the world, and it includes at once the 
permission of sin and the purpose of Bedemption from it 
It includes, therefore, the Incarnation as an integral and 
essential part of that purpose. The Incarnation has, indeed, 
immediate reference to Bedemption ; but it has at the same 
time a wider scope. It aims at carrying through the plan 
of creation, and conducts, not the redeemed portion of 
humanity alone, but the universe at large to its goal. This view 
There is, however, another inference which we are entitled ^^^^f {*f*^ 

on Chrtsfs 

to draw — one which remarkably illustrates the unity of the Person, 
Christian view. If we rightly interpret that view as im- 
plying that the Divine plan of the world contemplates an 
ultimate gathering up of all things into one in Christ, it will 
readily be seen that this, in turn, reflects back light on the 
doctrine of Christ's Person. It shows that we are right in 
ascribing to Him full and proper Divinity, not less than true 
humanity. For it is manifest that no other than a truly 
Divine Being is fitted to occupy this position which Scrip- 
ture, with consentient voice, assigns to Christ. From the is in harmony 
new height we have reached, light falls back also on Christ's J^,^^'"'^ 
place in the universe, in remarkable agreement with our 
previous postulates as to the nature of man, his place in 
creation, and the law of ascent and development to which 
Grod's natural works so strikingly testify. As the inferior 
stages of existence are summed up in man, who stands at the 
head of the earthly creation, and forms a first link between 
the natural and the spiritual, so are all stages of humanity 
summed up in Christ, who in His Person as God-man links 
the creation absolutely with God. 


W^t Sncatnation anD Eelremiition &om Stn. 

" In whom we have our Bedemption through His blood, the forgiveness 
of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace." — Paul. 

"The faith of the Atonement presupposes the faith of the Incarnation. 
It may be also said historically that the faith of the Incarnation has 
usually had conjoined with it the faith of the Atonement. The great 
question which has divided men as to these fundamental doctrines of the 
faith has been the relation in which they stand to each other — which was 
to be regarded as primary, which secondary? Was an Atonement the 
great necessity in reference to man's salvation, out of which the necessity 
for an Incarnation arose, because a Divine Saviour alone could make an 
adequate Atonement for sin? — or, is the Incarnation to be regarded as 
the primary and highest fact in the history of God's relation to man, in 
the light of which God's interest in man and purpose for man can alone 
)>e truly seen I — and is the Atonement to be contemplated as taking place 
in order to the fulfilment of the Divine purpose for man which the In- 
carnation reveals!" — J. M'Lbod Campbell. 

" Fourier's void, 
And Comte absurd, and Cabet puerile. 
Subsist no rules of life outside of life, 
No perfect manners without Christian souls ; 
The Christ Himself had been no Lawgiver 
Unless He had given the Life, too, with the Law." 

Mrs. Bbowkino. 



Whatever we may think of the Incarnation in its wider Christianity a 
relations to the plan of the world and the ends of creation as '^ T^. • 
a whole, it remains the fact that in Scripture it is always 
brought into immediate connection with sin, and with the 
purpose of God in Redemption. " He was manifested to take 
away sins," says John, "and in Him was no sin" ; ^ and so say 
all the writers in the New Testament Christianity is thus 
distinctively a religion of Redemption, — a great Divine 
economy for the recovery of men from the guilt and power of 
sin — ^from a state o^ estrangement and hostility to God — to a 
state of holiness and blessedness in the favour of God, and 
of fitness for the attainment of their true destination. It is 
in this light we are to consider it in the present Lecture. 

We may, therefore, set aside at once as alien to the true Views which 
Christian view, or at least as indequate and defective, all such ^'^^ ^^^^ ^^' 
representations of Christianity as see in its Founder only a 
great religious teacher and preacher of righteousness; or 
a great religious and social reformer, such as has often 
appeared in the history of the world; or a great philan- 
thropist, caring for the bodies and souls of men; or one 
whose main business it was to inoculate men with a new 
"enthusiasm for humanity";* or a teacher with a new ethical 
secret to impart to mankind; or even such representations 
as see in Him only a new spiritual Head of humanity, whose 
work it is to complete the old creation, and lift the race to a 

> 1 John iii 5 (B.V.). " Ecct Homo, chap. 17. 



and contrast 

Special Quest- 
ion — the con' 
nection of 
with the 
sufferings and 
death of 

higher platform of spiritual attainment^ or help it a stage 
further onwards to the goal of its perfection. Christ is all 
this, but He is infinitely more. God's end in His creation 
indeed stands, as also His purpose to realise it ; but, under 
the conditions in which humanity exists, that end can only 
be realised through a Bedemption, and it is this Bedemption 
which Christ pre-eminently came into the world to effect 

A comparison has sometimes been instituted in this respect 
between Christianity and Buddhism, which also is in some 
sort a religion of Bedemption. But the comparison only 
brings out the more conspicuously the unique and original 
character of the Christian system. For whereas Buddhism 
starts from the conception of the inherent evil and misery 
of existence, and the Bedemption which it promises as the 
result of indefinitely prolonged striving through many suc- 
cessive lives, is the eternal rest and peace of non-being ; the 
Christian view, on the other hand, starts from the conception 
that everything in its original nature and in the intent of its 
Creator is good, and that the evil of the world \b the result 
of wrong and perverted development ; holds, therefore, that 
Bedemption from it is possible by the use of appropriate 
means. And Bedemption here includes, not merely deliver- 
ance from existing evils, but restoration of the Divine like- 
ness which has been lost by man, and the ultimate blessedness 
of the life everlasting.^ 

The chief point on which the discussion in this subject 
turns is the connection of Bedemption with the Person and 
work of Christ, Here at the outset it is necessary to guard 
against too narrow an idea of Bedemption, as if the saving 
work of Christ were limited to that doing and suffering which 
we call the Atonement. The ends of Christ's coming into 
the world include much more than the making Atonement for 
sin. This is recognised when the Church names three offices 

^ *'Iii Buddhism Redemption comes from below; in Christianity it is from 
above ; in Buddhism it comes from man ; in Christianity it comes from God.'* 
— Carpenter, Permanent Elements of ReUgioUf Introduction, p. 84. 



which Christ executes as our Bedeemer — a prophetic and a 
kingly as well as a priestly office. Yet it is principally on 
the question of Atonement, or the manner of the connection 
of Bedemption with the doing and suffering of Christ, that 
discussion has been directed, and it is to this subject I shall 
specially address myself.^ 

I. It needs no proof that all the New Testament writers /. Scripture 
who refer to the subject regard the forgiveness of sins and *^^^^^^. ^^ 
the salvation of men as connected in quite a peculiar way the apostolic 
with the death of Christ ; and it is not less evident that they «'*'''^^^- 
do this because they ascribe to Christ's death a sacrificial and 
expiatory value. They do this further, as every one must 
feel, not in a mere poetic and figurative way, but with the 
most intense conviction that they have really been redeemed 
and reconciled to God by the death of Christ upon the cross. 
The h(m of this redemptive transaction most of them may not 
enter into, but Paul, at least, has a theology on this subject, 
with the main outlines of which the others, judging from the 
expressions they use, and the propitiatory virtue they ascribe 
to the shedding of Christ's blood, must be held to agree.^ 
Happily we are freed from the necessity of dwelling long on the 

^ To prevent ambignity, it is desirable that I should refer here for a moment 
to the meaning of this word ''atonement." It is the equivalent of the New 
Testament word ««r«xx»o^, which is always translated in the Revised Version 
** reconciliation," and of the German words "Versohnung" and "Siihnung." 
It is therefore capable of a wider and of a more special sense. In both cases it 
refers to the ''reconcUiation" or *' making*at-one " of mankind and God, and 
in New Testament usage implies that this reconciliation is effected through ex- 
piation or propitiation. But in the one case it denotes the actual state of recou' 
ciliation with God into which believers are introduced through Christ, whose 
work is then regarded as the means to this end ; whereas in the other it denotes 
the reconciling act itself — mankind being viewed as objectively reconciled to 
God in the work or death of His Son, which is the sense the term ordinarily 
bears when we speak of the Atonement. Dr. Hodge would discard this term 
altogether because of its ambiguity, and substitute for the latter meaniag of it 
the term ''satisfaction." — Systematic Theology, ii. p. 460. But "satisfac- 
tion " is too narrow and exclusively forensic a term to express all that is implied 
in the reconciling act. 

* The passages may be seen classified in Dale on Tlie Atonement, or in Pi*o- 
feasor Crawford's Doctrine of Hoiy Scripture respecting the Atonement, 


apostolic testimony on this subject, for the same reason which 
I gave when speaking of the Person of Christ — ^namely, that 
impartial exegesis and Biblical theology practically grant to 
us all that we assert. Apart from such occasional specula- 
tions as, e.^., Holsten's, that, in Paul's view, sin is identical 
with the body or " flesh " of Christ, and that the slaying of 
Christ's body or flesh denotes the slaying of sin,* it will be 
found that the descriptions given of the teaching of the 
Epistles as to the work of Bedemption do not differ much 
from those met with in our ordinary books of theology. 
The accounts given us, t,g,, by Baur or Beuss or Pfleiderer, or 
even by Martineau* — not to speak of an exegete like Meyer, 
or a Biblical theologian like Weiss — of the doctrine of Paul 
on Eedemption, is what, with very slight exception, any of 
us could accept. The same is true of the other New Testa- 
ment witnesses — of the Epistle to the Hebrews, of Peter, of 
Bevelation, of the Epistles of John. With differences of stand- 
point and strong individual characteristics, it is acknowledged 
that they teach a fundamentally identical doctrine of Bedemp- 
tion from the guilt and power of sin through Christ, and 
particularly that they ascribe to His death a sacrificial or 
propitiatory virtue. To get rid of the attribution of this 
view to the author of the Fourth Gospel, Dr. Martineau has 
to assume, in face of all probability and evidence, that the 
First Epistle of John is not by the same author as the 
Dots Chrisfs More important is the question which the newer forms of 
*^^thih^^ controversy press upon us — whether Christ's doctrine on this 
the apostles? subject is the same as that of His apostles? We have a 
^hi^hthuis *^®^l^gy ^* propitiation in the Epistles — that is admitted ; 
contested. but have wc anything of the same kind in Christ's own 

1 Cf. Wei88, BMwtd Theology qf New Testament, i. p. 422 (Eng. timna.). 

" Cf. Stat qf Authority, pp. 478, 479. Baur*s viowB may be seen in his 
PavluB, pp. 537-547 ; those of Reuss in his Bist. qf Christ. Theoi. in the 
Apost. Age, ii. pp. 68-74 (Eng. trans.) ; those of Lipsins in his Dogmatik, p. 
498 ; those of Tfleiderer in his Urchristenthum, pp. 222-242. 

> SecU of Authority, p. 509. 


words? Was not the gospel preached in Galilee a much 
simpler thing than the theological gospel preached by Paul, 
or contained in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and is it not free 
from every trace of this cumbrous machinery of Atonement, or 
of pardon on the ground of the suffering and death of another? 
Where, it is asked, is there any vestige of this doctrine in the 
Sermon on the Mount, or in the parable of the Prodigal Son ? 
Is this doctrine not an aftergrowth, the result of the running 
of the Divine thoughts of the Master, and of the impression 
produced by His life and death, into the moulds of Jewish 
sacrificial conceptions which had no real affinity with them, 
and have indeed served to overlay and obscure them to the 
apprehension of all subsequent generations ? 

If the case were as this objection represents it, I grant that insufficiency 
it would have very serious consequences for our faith. If the ^' ^5 

•' * grounds, 

apostles of Christ — the very persons chosen by Him to com- 
municate His doctrine to the world, and to whom He promised 
the illumination of His Spirit for this very end — could so 
seriously misunderstand and pervert His doctrine on this 
essential point, I do not know what credit we should be able 
to attach to them on any point on which they profess to 
represent the mind of Christ Dr. Dale has argued this point 
so strongly in his book on the Atonement^ that I do not need 
to do more than refer to it. It is not for us, it is for the 
objector to explain, how the guides and leaders of the apos- 
tolic Church should come with this singular unanimity to 
shift the centre of gravity in Christ's gospel from where He 
Himself had placed it, and so to mislead the world as to the 
essentials of their Master's teaching. But the question 
remains — Have they done so? And this is certainly not 
proved from the circumstance that, in Christ's own teaching, the 
doctrine of Atonement is not brought forward with the same 
explicitness as it is in the apostolic writings. That Christ 
took up a central position in relation to the truths which He 
proclaimed, that He invited men to faith in Himself as the 

* Lecture IV. 



Proof that 
attached a 
to His death. 

condition of their participation in the blessings of the king- 
dom, that He promised the fullest satisfaction in the approach- 
ing kingdom to the hunger and thirst of the spiritually 
needy, that He declared that it was by their relation to Him 
that men would be ultimately judged, — ^this lies upon the 
surface of the Gospels. But that He should have preached 
to the Galilean multitudes truths which, on any hypothesis, 
could only be intelligible after His death and resurrection 
had taken place, — that He should have done this before He 
had even publicly proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah, — 
this is to ask what in reason we are not entitled to expect 
Before there could be any preaching of an Atonement, there 
must be an Atonement to preacL I grant, however, that if 
the apostolic gospel really represents the truth about Christ's 
work, the facts of His early manifestation ought to bear this 
out. They must be such, at least, that the apostolic gospel 
is felt to be the natural key to them. In reality they are 
much more ; for, taken in their entirety, they point unmistak- 
ably to just such a view as the apostolic doctrine gives, and 
explain to us, what else would be a complete enigma, how 
such a doctrine could arise. 

It is significant that the most unbiassed modem inquiry 
into Christ's teaching recognises that He attributed a redemp- 
tive virtue to His death, and connected it directly with the 
forgiveness of sins.^ Bitschl also acknowledges that Christ 
first, and after Him the oldest witnesses, connect Bedemption 
or forgiveness, not with His prophetic office, but much more 
with the fact of His death.^ Taking the testimony of the 
Gospels as a whole, I think it is exceedingly strong. It is 
remarkable that in the Gospel of John, the most spiritual of 
the four, we have both the earliest and the clearest state- 
ments of the fact that Christ's death stood in direct relation 
to the salvation of the world. I refer to such passages as 

^ Cf. Baldenspei'ger*s Selb8ti>ewu88tsein Jesu, 2nd ed. pp. 158-155 ; Wendt's 
Lehre Jesu, ii. pp. 526-530 ; SchmoUer's Die Lehre vom Heiche OoUeSt pp- 
144, 145, etc. 

* Unterrichtf p. 86. 


the Baptist's utterance, "Behold the Lamb of God, which 
taketh away the sin of the world" ;^ Christ's words to 
Nicodemus, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder- 
ness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up," ^ etc. ; and the 
sayings in chap. vi. about giving His flesh for the life of the 
world.* In the Synoptic Gospels, while in one saying at least 
of the earlier ministry there is a premonition of the cross,* it 
was not till after Peter's great confession that Jesus began to 
speak explicitly to the disciples of His approaching sufferings 
and deatL^ Then we have many utterances declaring the neces- 
sity of His death, and such a saying throwing light upon its 
character, as, " For verily the Son of Man came not to be 
ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom 
for many."* On the Mount of Transfiguration it was the 
decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem which was 
the subject of discourse.^ But the clearest expression of all 
prior to His death is His solemn utterance at the institution 
of the Supper, when, taking the sacramental bread and wine, 
He said, " This is My body ; this is My blood of the Cove- 
nant, which is shed for many, unto remission of sins." * To 
this must be added the instruction which the disciples are 
recorded to have received after the resurrection. On one 
remarkable occasion we read that Christ said to them, " O 
foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the 
prophets have spoken ! Behoved it not the Christ to suffer 
these things, and to enter into His glory. And beginning from 
Moses and from all the prophets, He interpreted to them in 
all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." ^ And at a 
later meeting with the eleven, " These are My words which 
I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, how that all 
things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law 

1 John i. 29. Maig. in R.V., **beareth the sin." Cf. Domer, System of 
Doctrine, ill. p. 415. 
•Johniii. 16. 'Vera. 61-56. 

* Matt. iz. 16. * Mark viii. 81, iz. 12, 31, z. 33, 34. 
« Mark z. 46 (E.V.). ' Luke iz. 31. 

• Matt. xzvi. 26, 28 (R.V.). » Luke zziv. 25-27 (R.V.). 




Grounds on 
which the 
Church pro* 

I. 7^ object* 
ive facts of 
deaths resur- 
rection, etc. 
These needed 
an explana* 

2. Christ s 
sayings on the 
meaning and 
necessity of 
His death. 

of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms concerning Me. 
Then opened He their mind, that they might understand the 
Scriptures ; and He said unto them, Thus it is written, that 
the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead on the 
third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should 
be preached in His name unto all the nations, beginning from 
Jerusalem."^ These passages are invaluable as giving us a 
clue to the clearness and decision of the subsequent apostolic 
doctrine. What these lengthened interpretations of Jesus 
included we cannot of course tell, but they must have 
embraced much light on the significance of His death ; and 
for the nature of that light we are entitled to look to the 
Spirit-guided utterances of the apostles who received it. 

The apostolic Church, therefore, was not left without guid* 
ance in its construction of the doctrine of Eedemption, any 
more than in its construction of the doctrine of Christ's Person. 
It had various groups of facts to lead it to a conclusion. 

1. It had the objective facts themselves of Christ's death, 
resurrection, and subsequent exaltation to heaven. Holding 
fast as it did to the Messiahship and Divine Sonship of Jesus, 
it could not but find the death of Christ a dark and per- 
plexing-problem, till it grasped the solution in the thought of 
a Divine necessity for that death for the accomplishment of 
the Messianic salvation. With this had to be taken the fact 
of Christ's own command that repentance and remission of 
sins should be preached in His name to all nations Behind 
this again were all the facts of His earthly life, with its 
Bevelations of Messianic power and grace, and its not less 
wonderful self-abasement and sorrow. 

2. There were the sayings of Christ, above referred to, 
which threw light upon the meaning and necessity of His 
sufferings and death. These, in the new illumination of 
the Spirit, would be earnestly pondered, and are sufficient to 
explain all the forms in which Christ's death came to be 
regarded by them. 

^ Luke xzir. 44-47. 


3. There was an earlier Eevelation with which the new 3- The teach* 
economy stood in the closest relations, and to which Christ *^^^^^ ^ 
Himself had directed His disciples for instruction regarding thnrwing light 
Himself. In many ways also this old covenant aided them ^ ^^^^^ 
to a fuller comprehension of the meaning of the sufferings 
and death of Christ 

(1) There were the prophecies of the Old Testament, — (i) itspro- 
foremost among them that wonderful prophecy of the Servant f^"^^"' 
of Jehovah in Isaiah liii., to whose undeserved sufferings, 
lovingly and submissively borne, an expiatory virtue is 
expressly ascribed. " There is no exegete," says Pro- 
fessor G. A. Smith, ''but agrees to this • • . all agree 

to the fact that by Himself, or by God, the Servant's life 
is offered an expiation for sin — a satisfaction to the law 
of God." 1 

(2) There was the work of the law in men's hearts, be- (2) Tiu Law 
getting in them the sense of sin, and, in virtue of x\a^^*^^^°' 

° ® ' ' sense of nn^ 

propaedeutic character, creating the deep feeling of the needi and feeling of 
of Eedemption. It is with this consciousness of the want of '^^ ^^ ^^ 

^ Atonement, 

righteousness wrought by the law, and the consequent feeling 
of the need of Redemption, that Paul's doctrine specially 
connects itself. 

(3) There was the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. (3) The 
This was the remaining key in the hands of the early Church ^^^J^^^ 

° "^ •^ economy* 

to unlock the significance of Christ's death. If the law 
created the sense of sin, it was the sacrificial system which 
created the idea of Atonement This, in turn, is the thought 
to which the Epistle to the Hebrews specially attaches itself. 
When, therefore, exception is taken to the apostles casting 
their ideas into the moulds of Jewish sacrificial conceptions, 
we have rather to ask whether the economy of sacrifice was 
not Divinely prepared for this very end, that it might fore- 
shadow the one' and true Sacrifice by which the sin of the 
world is taken away, and whether this is not in accordance 
with all the data at our disposal ? 

^ The Book qflaaiaht iL p. Zti. 


IL Expiana- II. Assuming, however, that all this is granted, — that it is 
'^^^/^^^ conceded that the apostles teach Redemption through the 
significance death of Christ, and that there is no discrepancy in this 
ofchrisfs respect between their teaching and that of Christ Himself — 

sufferings and * . - -i • i • i 

death-' we are still far from a solution of the many questions which 

Theories of j^^y be raised in regard to this great cardinal doctrine. 
Indeed our real task is only commencing. Those who think 
that, on the basis of Scripture passages, a ready-made theory 
of Atonement lies to our hand, have only to consider the 
slow and gradual process by which the doctrine of the Church 
has been built up to its present form, to become convinced of 
the contrary. Christ's death is a sacrifice, but in what sense 
is it a sacrifice ? It is a propitiation for our sins ; but what 
are the elements in it which give it value as a propitiation ? 
It is connected with the remission of sins ; but what is the 
nature of this connection? These are questions as keenly 
discussed to-day as ever, and we cannot avoid considering 
them in connection with the deep and difficult problems 
which they raise. 
Legitimacy of Now I for ouc do not think it is the duty of the Church 
yA?r!^*v/ ^ ^^^ content — as some express it — with the fact of the 
Atonement, without further inquiring as deeply as we can into 
its nature. I cannot believe that any doctrine of Scripture 
— least of all the doctrine of Atonement, which is represented 
in Scripture as the Revelation of the innermost heart of God 
to man, the central and supreme manifestation of His love to 
the world — was ever meant to lie like a dead-weight on our 
understanding, incapable of being in any degree assimilated 
by our thought. Certain it is that any doctrine which is 
treated in this way will not long retain its hold on men's 
convictions, but will sooner or later be swept out of the way 
as a piece of useless theological lumber. The Atonement, as 
Dr. John M'Leod Campbell was fond of putting it, must be 
capable of being seen in its own light. I grant, indeed, that 
the fact of the Atonement is greater than all our apprehensions 
of it We are here in the very holy of holies of the Christian 

this subject. 


faith, and our treatment of the subject cannot be too reveren- 
tiaL The one thing a pnori certain about the Atonement is 
that it has heights and depths, lengths and breadths, greater 
than any line of ours can fathom or span. It is this which Elements of 
should make us patient of what are called theories of the '?^ *^ *^ 
Atonement. I do not know any one of these theories of 
which it can justly be said that it is unmixed error, — which 
has not rather in the heart of it a portion of the truth, — 
which does not apprehend some side or aspect of the Atone- 
ment which other theories neglect, or have thrust into the 
background. Instead, therefore, of being too keen to scent 
error in these theories, our wiser plan will be to be ever 
on the outlook for an enlargement of our knowledge of the 
truth through them. 

If I might indicate in a word what I take to be the Tendency of 
tendency of the modem treatment of the Atonement, I would '^'^'^ '*^" 

•^ ' ^ cusstons on 

say that it consists in the endeavour to give a spiritual inter- this subject— 
pretation to the great fact which lies at the heart of our ^^'"^^ f^'" 

^ ° ^ nect the Atone- 

Eedemption, — not necessarily to deny its judicial aspect, for ment with 
that, I take it, will be found impossible, — but to remove from ^^^^^ 


it the hard, legal aspect it is apt to assume when treated as a 
purely external fact, without regard to its inner spiritual 
content; and, further, to bring it into harmony with the 
spiritual laws and analogies which obtain in other spheres. 
There is the attempt (1) to find spiritual laws which will 
make the Atonement itself intelligible; and (2) to find 
spiritual laws which connect the Atonement with the new 
life which springs from it I may add that this is a depart- 
ment of the truth in which I think that the theology of 
our own country has rendered better service to the Christian 
view than the theology of the continent. 

In accordance with my plan, I am led to study this subject The Atone- 
of Atonement through Christ especially from the point of view J^^^^^!^^, 
of the Incarnation. There is an advantage in this vxeiYiodi, the point of 
for as, on the one hand, we see how the Atonement rises ^l*^^^' 

' ' Incamattott, 

naturally out of the Incarnation, so that the Son of God could 


not appear in our nature without undertaking such a work 
as this term denotes; so^ on the other, we see that the 
Incarnation is itself a pledge and anticipation of reconcilia- 
tion. It is evident that such an event could never have 
taken place had there been no purpose or possibility of 
salvation; had humanity been a hopelessly ruined and re- 
jected raca In principle, therefore, the Incarnation is the 
declaration of a purpose to save the world. It is more : it is 
itself a certain stage in that reconciliation, and the point of 
departure for every other. In the Incarnation, God and man 
are already in a sense one. In Christ a pure point of union 
is established with our fallen and sin-laden humanity, and 
this carries with it the assurance that everything else that is 
necessary for the complete recovery of the world to God 
ThtorUswhichw^ not be lacking. Theories, therefore, have never been 
emphasuethu ^2XL\ksLg in the Church which, in one form or another, lay the 
stress in Bedemption on the simple fact of the Incarnation. 
As Dr. Hodge has expressed it, '' The Incarnation itself, the 
union of the Divine and human natures, was the great saving 
act. Christ redeems us by what He is, not by what He 
does." ^ Germs of such theories appear in some of the early 
Church fathers, e,g, in Irenseus.^ They reappeared in the middle 
ages, and at the Seformation.^ They have a modem ahalogue 
in the theories of the Hegelian school, which in the realised 
unity of God and humanity in Christ, see the prototype of 
that unity of God and man which is to be accomplished in 
the race in general. The thought of the identity of Incar- 
nation and Bedemption colours modem theology in many 
other ways.* These theories are obviously defective, if meant 

^ SyOem, Theology, iL p. 586. 

' E.g,f " To this end the Word of God was made Man, and He who was the 
Son of Qod became the Son of Man, that man, haying been taken into the 
Word, and receiving the adoption, might become the Son of Qod."— /ren. ill. 
19. Hamack finds a germ of this doctrine in Jastin Martyr. — Dogmengt* 
echiehle, L p. 459. There are, howeyer, other elements in the teaching on 
Bedemption of all these Fathers. 

' Kg, Osiander, Schwenkfeld. 

^ £,g., in the school of Erskine of Liulathen. Of. Mnrphy, Sdeni^ic Batia 


to exhaust the whole Scripture doctrine on the subject ; but 
they have their point of truth in this, that the perfect union 
of the Word with humanity is already a reconciliation of the 
race with God in principle, and is, besides, the medium by 
which a new Divine life is introduced into humanity — a view 
with which the theology of John specially connects itsell 

In further considering the theories on this subject, it will Thru points 
be convenient to observe that all theories of Kedemption '^^-^''. ,, 

^ granted tn all 

within Christian limits agree in taking for granted three Christian 
things as included under this term : — theories of 

1. There is the removal of guilt, or of the consciousness of i. Removal of 
guilt, which carries with it the sense of the Divine forgiveness. g^^^—Mi^^- 


2. There is the breaking down of the actual enmity of the 2. Breaking 
heart and will to God, and the turning of the sinner from ^^^ ^f 
dead works to serve the living and true God. enmity. 

3. There is the taking up of the believer into the positive 3. Fellowship 
fellowship of eternal life with Christ, and into the conscious- ^t^^f^^^ 
ness of a Divine Sonship. 

These are the immediate effects, from which others follow in 
a changed relation to the world, gradual progress in holiness, 
and deliverance at death and in eternity from all natural 
and spiritual evils. 

Accordingly now as theories relate themselves predomin- Theories differ 
antly to one or other of these points of view, they present a ^^/^^^ 

different aspect. one or other of 

1. Theories which attach themselves by preference to the ^^^ ^^^ '^■^ 
last point of view — ^that of fellowship — are apt to regard i. Redemption 
Christ chiefly as the type of the normal relation of God to ^ ^^^/^, 

$nto Chrtst s 

humanity, and to subordinate the other aspects of His life ^xA fellowship, 
work to this. 

ofFaUh (a disciple of thiB school) : ''I do not speak of the Incarnation as one 
act and the Atonement as another — they are one and the same Divine act, 
which in itself is called the Incarnation, and in its results is called the Atone- 
meut. The act of the Son of God in becoming a partaker of our nature is the 
Incarnation ; the result of this act, in making us partakers of the Divine 
nature, is the Atonement or Reconciliation ; though these latter two words are 
both of them inadequate."—?. 884. 



2. Chrisfs 
work as the 

3. Chrisfs 
work as 

More detailed 
of theories — 

2. Theories which attach themselves to the second point of 
view — the breaking down of the sinner's enmity — regard 
Christ's work as a great moral dynamic — " the power of God 
unto salvation," ^ the effect of which is to break down the 
natural distrust of the heait towards God, and to melt the 
sinner into penitence, — " to bring men," as BushneU expresses 
it, " out of their sins, and so out of their penaltiea" ^ 

3. Theories which attach themselves to the first point of 
view — the removal of guilt — lay special stress on the relation 
of Christ's work to the Divine righteousness, and view it 
specially as an expiation. 

A perfect theory, if we could obtain it, would be one which 
did justice to all these standpoints, and presented them in 
their scriptural relations to each other and to the Person and 
work of the Eedeemer. 

Without adhering rigidly to the scheme here indicated, 
which would be indeed impossible, seeing that the different 
theories cross each other at innumerable points, I shall now 
glance at the chief standpoints represented in these theories, 
and try to show that they gradually lead us up to a view 
which embraces them all, and is in harmony with the fuU 
Scripture testimony. 
I. Theories of 1. We have a class of theories which start from the idea 
^s^^'^*'~~ of fellowship, based on the unique relation which Christ 
machery etc, sustains to the race as perfect, archetypal Man — a relation 
expressed in the title — " Son of Man." The point on which 
stress is laid here is the solidarity between Christ and the 
race which He came to save ; a true thought in itself, and 
one which takes the place in modem theology of the older 
way of looking at Christ's relation to the race as purely 
federal or official. The typical example of this class of 
Representative i\iQoxiei& is Schleienuacher's. With the idea of fellow- 
^ChrUt ®^^P Schleiennacher combines that of Tefp^ew^iati(m. The 

essence of Eedemption, in his view, consists in deliver- 
ance from the miserable contradiction of flesh and spirit, 

1 Eom. i. 16. " Vicariatu Sacrifice, p. 7. 


through being taken up into the fellowship of Christ's life of 
holiness and blessedness.^ As standing in this fellowship with 
Christ, believers are the objects of the love of God, who looks 
upon them in Him. " Christ," he says, " purely represents us 
before God in virtue of His own perfect fulfilment of the 
Divine will, to which, through His life in us, the impulse is 
active in us also, so that in this connection with Him we also 
are objects of the Divine good-pleasure.*' ' In thus speaking of 
Christ in His sinless perfection as representing believers before 
God, it might appear as if Schleiermacher held a doctrine of 
imputation, — indeed, he says this is the true meaning of that 
much misunderstood phrase, the imputation of the righteous- 
ness of Christ.' When, however, we probe the matter a little 
further, his meaning is found to be nothing more than this — 
that God already sees in the initial stage of the believer's 
holiness the germ of his subsequent full perfection, — of that 
perfection of which Christ is the pattern or type, — and views 
him in the light of that ideal.^ This thought of a justification 
through germinal holiness, is a favourite one with writers of a 
mystical and speculative tendency ; but it manifestly shifts 
the ground of acceptance from Christ for us to Christ in 
us, and treats objective reconciliation as unnecessary.^ In 
Schleiermacher's theory, accordingly, as in those of a kindred Schleier- 
type, Christ's sufferings and death have only a very sub- ^"^^^^J^^*"'^ 
ordinate place. These sufferings arose from His being in a sufferings, etc, 
world where evils are a necessary result of sin, and from His 
fellow-feeling with us in our sins. They may therefore be 
called substitutionary, as endured by a sinless Being for the 
sake of others, but they are in no sense satisfactory or 
expiatory. They are connected with our Bedemption as 
teaching us to feel that outward evils are not necessarily penal, 
but chiefly through the Eevelation they give us of Christ's 

^ "The Redeemer takes believers up into the fellowship of His un- 
troubled blessedness, and this is His atoning activity." — Dtr ehristl. Olavbe, 
sec. 101. 

« Ibid, ii p. 133. » Ibid, ii p. 183. * Ibid. iL pp. 133, 134. 

» See Note A.— The Germ Theory of Justification. 


constancy and love, and through the moral impression they 
are fitted to make upon ns.^ Schleiermacher's theory in the 
end thus passes over into one of moral influence ; indeed, it 
is through the powerful working of Christ's Personality upon 
us that we are moved to enter into fellowship with Him at 
aU. He is our Redeemer through the exceptional strength of 
His God-consciousness, by which our own is invigorated to 
overcome sin. If, then, we ask how, on this theory, the sense 
of guilt is removed, the answer we get is very curious. In 
fellowship with Christ, Schleiermacher says, the believer is a 
new man, and in the new man sin is no longer active. Sin 
in the believer is but the after-working and back-working 
of the old man, and as such the believer does not identify 
himself with it.^ He is relieved, therefore, from the conscious- 
ness of guilt. Something like this is Kant's theory,' and in 
our own days it is the theory of a section of the Plymouth 
Brethren — so do extremes meet. But it is evident that, on 
this hypothesis, the doctrine of forgiveness is retained only in 
name. The old man is not forgiven, and the new man does 
not need forgiveness. Between the two, forgiveness falls to 
the ground.* 
2. Theories 2. Schleiermacher, in his treatment of Christ's sufferings, 
based on idea jj^yg gpecial stress on His sympathy or fellow-feeling with us, 
BushneiL sts a causc of -these sufferings. This gives us a point of 
transition to a second class of theories, the keynote of 
which may be said to be sympathy. The starting-point here 
is not the thought of Christ's archetypal perfection, but the 

^ Cf. on these views, Der chrisU, Olaube, iL pp. 186-147. 

^ Der chrietL Olaube, ii. p. 194. What Schleiermacher means by forgiveness 
of sins is indicated in the following sentence: "The beginning here is the 
vanishing of the old man, consequently also of the old manner of referring all 
evil to sin, therefore the vanishing of the coDSciousness of desert of punishment, 
consequently the tirst thing in the moment of reconciliation is the foigiveness 
of sin."— P. 105. 

* Religion irmerhalb der Orenztn der hloes, Vemut\ft, Book ii. sec 8. 

* Ritschl rightly remarks that what Schleiermacher calls reconciliation with 
God is really reconciliation with evil, — <*the reconciliation of man with suffer- 
ing, with his position in the world, which as sinner he had traced to his guilt,'* 
— Hecht. und Ver, i. p. 470 (Eng. trans.). 


fitness of Christianity in a dynamical relation to break down 

the enmity of the sinner's heart to God The best-known 

type of this class of theory is Dr. Bushneirs, in his original 

and freshest presentation of it in his work on Vicarious 

Sacrifice. The strong and true point in Dr. Bnshnell's theory Heal substUu- 

is in its insistence on the vicarious element involved in the ^^^ '«wA;« 


very nature of sympathetic love. We speak of Christ's sub- idmHjuaHon 
stitutionary work,^ — of His standing, suffering, dyiug for""^*^'^- 

y ^ \ m. 1 111.. ^ tionary forces 

Sinners, — but how often do we apprehend this m a purely ,„ /,%^, 
external and ofiBcial way ! It is the merit of Dr. Bushnell's 
book that, with a wealth of illustration drawn from every 
sphere of life in which a like law of substitution prevails, he 
makes us feel that it is something real and vitaL When we 
speak of sympathy, we are already in a region in which 
substitutionary forces are at work. " None of us liveth to 
himself, and none dieth to himself." ^ We benefit and suffer 
involuntarily through each other, but we have it also in our 
power to enter voluntarily into the partnership of the world's 
joys and sorrows, and by bearing the burdens of others to help 
to relieve them of their load. From His unique relation to 
our race, this law applied in the highest degree to Christ. 
In the whole domain of love. Divine and human, we find 
substitutionary forces acting; but in Christ's life we find 
them acting at a maximum. Christ not only wears our 
nature, but in the exercise of a perfect sympathy He truly 
identifies Himself with us in our lot, bears our sins and 
sorrows on His soul, and represents us to the Father, not 
as an external legal surety, but with a throbbing heart of 
love. This of itself may not be Atonement — we shall see 
immediately it is not — but whatever else there is in 
Atonement, Scripture warrants us in saying that at least 
there is this. " Himself took our infirmities, and bare our 
diseases," says Matthew,' in a passage which Dr. Bushnell 

^ Cf. Borner, SyUem of Doctrine, iy. pp. 89-98 : "There are sabstitationary 
forces, and a receptiyeness for them in humanity." 
• Bom. xiy. 8 (R.V.). » Matt yiiL 17. 



Points in 
which this 
theory comes 

adopts as the key to his theory. " It behoved Him in all 
things to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be 
a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to 
God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." ^ 

This, then, is the key which Dr. Bushnell gives us to the 
vicarious sufferings of Christ — that of sympathetic love ; and 
so far as the book in question goes, it is the whole key. If 
I were disposed to criticise the theory minutely, I might 
remark that, on Dr. Bushnell's own principles, it is too narrow 
to cover all the facts. To get an adequate explanation of 
Christ's undeserved sufferings, alike as regards their nature, 
their motive, and their end, we need a wider view of them 
than is covered by this single word — sympathy. Sympathy, 
in a pure and holy nature like Christ's, was necessarily one 
cause of His sufferings, but it was not the only cause. He 
suffered from natural causes — as hunger and thirst, from the 
unbelief of the world, from the persecutions and malice of 
His enemies, from temptations of the devil, from the faith- 
lessness and desertion of disciples, etc. Deeper and more 
mysterious causes of suffering are not obscurely intimated in 
the Gospel narratives. Sympathy was only indirectly con- 
cerned with all thesa If it be said that it was the sym- 
pathetic entrance into and endurance of these sufferings, 
which gave them their vicarious character, I would remark 
that we need here a wider word than sympathy. Christ 
voluntarily took upon Him abasement, suffering, and death 
for the salvation of men ; but He did so, not simply from 
sympathy, but — as Dr. Bushnell also often recognises, though 
still generally emphasising the sympathetic aspect — in a 
spirit of large, self-sacrificing love. Love includes sympathy, 
but is not necessarily exhausted by it. We take also too 
narrow a view when we seek in the moral influence of 
sympathy or love the aoZe key to the peculiar fruitf ulness of 
self-sacrifice. That self-sacrifice acts as a potent inspiration 
to like deeds in others — that it has power to soften and 

1 Heb. ii. 17 (R.V.) ; cf. ▼. 12. 


subdue the obdurate heart — is a great truth. But it should 
not be overlooked that a main part of the secret of the fruit- 
fulness of self-sacrifice lies in the way in which one life is linked 
with another, and society is bound together as a whole ; so that 
through the labours and sacrifices of one, or of a handful — 
martyrs or patriots — benefits accrue to multitudes who never 
come within the range of its moral influence.^ 

This leads directly to another remark — namely, that Dr. Sympathy 
Bushnell does not give any clear answer to the question, "^^T^"?^. 
What was the distinctive life-task, or vocation, in the fulfil- 
ment of which these great and heavy sorrows came upon 
Christ ? This is a point of very great importance. Sym- 
pathy, or disinterested love, will lead one person to undertake 
labours and undergo sacrifices for another, but the sacrifice is 
undergone, not for the mere sake of displaying sympathy, 
but always in the prosecution of some iudependent end. 
The mother wears out her strength for her sick child, but it 
is in the hope that by her nursing she will aid in its recovery. 
The philanthropist will devote life and fortune for the cause 
in which he is interested, but it is in carrying out plans and 
projects which he thinks will contribute to the success of 
his object. If we ask, then, what was the work which Christ 
came into the world to do, in the accomplishment of which 
He endured such sufferings ? it will not do to reply simply — 
to manifest sympathy, for the sake of the moral impression to 
be produced by it We must still ask, What was the work 
which made submission to this suffering necessary ? To this 
question Dr. Bushnell gives us no very definite answer, none 
which carries us beyond Christ's immediate ministries to soul 
and body, or His witness-bearing in word or deed for the 
Father. But even this must have for its content some special 
declaration of God's character and will, if it is not simply to 
point us back to the exhibition of love in the vicarious 
suffering. It is on the latter really that Dr. Bushnell lays all 

^ This is admirably worked out in the section on the fruitfulness of sacrifice 
in Bishop Westcott's The Victory qfthe Crow, ii. 23-85. 


the stress ; the suffering in his view is not simplj a neoessary 
incident in the prosecution of some independent task of love, 
but is the main, substantial reason of Christ's appearance in 
the world.^ If, on the other hand, we lay the chief weight on 
the witness of Christ, and view His sufferings in subordina- 
tion to this as furnishing occasions for the manifestation of 
His patience, steadfastness, and love to men — then is His work 
purely declarative. His sufferings add nothing to its content, 
and owe their value for redemptive purposes solely to their 
power of moral enforcement. 
Removes It IS obvious that, if Dr. Bushnell's theory be true, vicari- 

Christy work ^^g suffering which has redemptive efficacy, is not confined to 

from tts 

unique poH- Christ, but runs through the whole spiritual universe. This, 
tum—non- indeed, is what he asserts.* It points, however, to a clear 
its^cpiaiory defect in his view, inasmuch as it removes the work of Christ 
character. from that unique and exceptional position which the Scrip- 
tures constantly ascribe to it. Even were this difficulty 
surmounted, there remains the crowning objection, which is 
the really fatal one — namely, that in resolving the redeeming 
efficacy of the sufferings of Christ solely into their moral 
influence, the theory runs directly counter to the explicit and 
uniform declarations of the New Testament, which put in the 
foreground their expiatory and propitiatory character. It is 
the less necessary to ask whether Dr. Bushnell's theory in 
this respect is adequate, since he himself at a subsequent 
period was compelled to modify it in favour of the recogni- 
Dr.BushnelVs tion of an objective element in the Atonement In his later 
later trudifica- ^^^^ ^^ Forgiveness and Law^ he tells us that he had formerly 

tton ofhu ^ •' 

view. conceived the whole import and effect of Christ's work to lie 

in its reconciling power on others ; now he has been brought 

^ The work of Christ he conceives of " as beginning at the point of sacrifice, 
yicarious sacrifice, ending at the same, and being just this all through." — 
Vk/uiow Sacrifice, Introduction, p. 86 (1886). On the sense in which he does 
regard Christ's work as declarative, ».«. as a Bevelation of the eternal vicaiioua 
sufierings of the Godhead, see below. 

. * Viearioue Sacrifice, pp. 17, 18. *'The suffering of Christ," he says, *<wa8 
vicarious suffering in no way peculiar to Him, save in degree." — P. 68. 


to see that it has a propitiatory effect on God also. The 
peculiar view which underlies this second work — ^namely, 
that God must overcome His repugnance to the sinner bj 
making cost or sacrifice for him, need not detain us here, 
especially as I do not know of anyone who has ever adopted 
it.^ But I cannot refrain from adverting, as most of Dr. 
Bushnell's critics have done, to the striking evidence yN\A(ScL Striking ad- 
even the earlier volume affords of the necessity of recognising '"^^^ ^^j^^^ 
an objective propitiation. There is, perhaps, nothing more 
curious in literature than the way in which, in the closing 
chapter of his Vicarious Sacrifice^ after exhausting all his 
powers to convince us that the efficacy of Christ*8 sufferings 
lies solely in their moral efficacy. Dr. Bushnell practically 
throws the whole theory he has been inculcating to the 
winds as inadequate for the moral and spiritual needs of 
men. '* In the facts of our Lord's passion," he says, " out- 
wardly regarded, there is no sacrifice, or oblation, or atone- 
ment, or propitiation, but simply a living and dying thus and 
thus ... If, then, the question arises. How are we to use 
such a histoiy so as to be reconciled by it ? we hardly know 
in what way to begin. How shall we come to God by the help 
of this martyrdom ? How shall we turn it, or turn ourselves 
under it, so as to be justified and set in peace with God ? 
.Plainly there is a want here, and this want is met by giving 
a thought-form to the facts which is not in the facts them- 
selves. They are put directly into the moulds of the altar, 
and we are called to accept the crucified God-Man as our 

' In this work Dr. Bushnell develops the idea already suggested in his earlier 
book (pp. 18| 85, 87), that Christ's sacrifice has its chief significance as a 
rerelation of the eternal sacrifice in God's own nature. "The transactional 
matter of Christ's life and death," he says, " is a specimen chapter, so to speak, 
of the infinite book that records the eternal going on of God's blessed nature 
within. . . . AU God's forgiving dispositions are dateless, and are cast in this 
mould. The Lambhood nature is in Him, and the cross set up, before the 
Incarnate Son arrives. ... I have already said that the propitiation, so called, 
is not a fact accomplished in time, but an historic matter represented in that 
way, to exhibit the interior, ante-mundane, eternally proceeding sacrifice of the 
Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world." — Pp. 60, 61, 74* 
This, surely, is to give Christ's work something of a docetic character. 



3. Theories 
based on idea 
ofvocatiott — 

sacrifice^ an offering or oblation for ns, our propitiation, so 
as to be sprinkled from our evil conscience — washed, purged, 
and cleansed from our sin. ... So much is there in this, that 
without these forms of the altar we should be utterly at a 
loss in making any use of the Christian facts that would set 
us in a condition of practical reconciliation with God. Christ 
is good, beautiful, wonderful ; His disinterested love is a 
picture by itself ; His forgiving patience melts into my feel- 
ing ; His passion rends my heart But what is He for ? 
And how shall He be made to me the salvation that I want ? 
One word — He is my Sacrifice — opens all to me ; and behold- 
ing Him, with all my sin upon Him, I count Him my offering ; 
I come unto God by Him, and enter into the holiest by His 
blood." ^ Not a word needs to be added to this self-drawn 
picture by Dr. Bushnell of the inadequacy of a mere moral 
influence theory of the Atonement. If the soul, in order to 
find peace with God, must explicitly renounce that theory, 
how can it be put forward as in any sense a theory of recon- 
ciliation? It fails to satisfy the wants of the awakened 
conscience ; and it fails to satisfy Scripture, which, as we have 
seen, demands an objective connection between Christ's work 
and our forgiveness. 

3. Before dealing with theories which recognise an object- 
ive element in the Atonement, it may be useful to glance at 
a theory which really belongs to the subjective class, though 
its author has done his best to give it an objective form — I 
mean the theory of BitschL As BushneU's theory turns on 
the idea of sympathy, so that of Eitschl may be said to turn 
on the idea of Vocation. Eitschrs strong point lies precisely 
in the answer which he gives to the question which Bushnell 
failed to meet — namely, what was the work which Christ 
came into the world to do, which entailed on Him suffering 
and rejection ? What was His vocation. His life-work. His 
peculiar moral task? It is this thought of Christ's fulfil- 
ment of His vocation (Beruf) which is the central thing in 

* Vicarious Sacrifice, pp. 460, 461. 


EitschL He speaks of the solidaric unity of Christ with 
God.^ By this he means that Christ adopted God's end in 
the creation and government of the world (Weltzweck) as His 
own end, and lived and died to fulfil it. This end is summed 
up in the establishing of the kingdom of God — ^that is, of a 
religious and moral community, in which the members are 
bound together by love to God and love to man, and act 
solely from the motive of love ; and in which they attain the 
end aimed at in all religions, namely, moral supremacy over 
the world, which is Bitschl's synonym for eternal life.^ This, 
it will be allowed, is a somewhat bald scheme, and it does 
not become richer as we proceed. In what sense, we ask, is 
Christ a Bedeemer ? The essential part of the answer seems 
to be that through His Sevelation of God's grace and truth, 
through His preaching of the kingdom of God, and through 
His personal devotion to God's world-aim. He influences and 
enables men to turn from their sins, and leads them to appro- 
priate God's end as their own. The uniqueness of Christ's 
Person is supposed to be secured by the fact that in Him 
first the final end of the kingdom of God is realised in a 
personal life, so that everyone who would undertake the same 
life-task must do it in dependence on Him.^ Eitschl, there- 
fore, is able, like Schleiermacher, to speak of Christ as the 
" Urbild " of humanity in its relation to the kingdom of God, 
and as such the original object of the love of God, in whom 
God beholds and loves those who are embraced in His fellow- 
ship.* But fellowship here means simply unity of moral aim. 
What significance, on this theory, have the sufferings of 
Christ? Only this significance, that they are the highest 
proof of Christ's fidelity in His vocation — the guarantee of 
the reality of that new relation to God which is exhibited in 

* Unterricht, pp. 20, 21 ; cf. Recht, und Ver, 8rd ed. iii. p. 428. 

3 Ihid. pp. 7, 12 ; cf. Recht, und Ver, HI p. 497 : "Therefore is the direct 
content of eternal life or of blessedness to be recognised in the religious 
functions ruling the world."— P. 497 ("Eternal Life or Freedom over the 
World," title of sec. 54). 

» Ibid. p. 20. * Ibid. p. 20. 



His Person.^ Here^ as in Schleiennacher, we are plainly back 
to the theory of a mere moral iDfluence. Bitschl, like Dr. 
Bushnell, would cast his idea of Christ's death in the moolds 
of the altar ; but this must be connected with his theory of 
the Old Testament sacrifices, which, he holds, had no reference 
to Atonement for sin, but only served to dispel the creature's 
distrust in drawing near to a great and holy God. Christ, in 
like manner, by His death, brings us near to God by dispel- 
ling distrust of God, and inspiring confidence in His grace.^ 
What, finally, on this theory, becomes of the idea of guilt ? 
Strictly speaking, guilt is not removed, but God admits us to 
fellowship with Himself, aud to co-operation with Him in 
work for His kingdom, without our guilt, or feeling of guilt, 
forming any hindrance thereto.^ This is what Bitschl under- 
stands by justification. It is the easier for him to take this 
view that, as we saw before, guilt with him has little objective 
significance, and exists more for our own feeling than for 
God.* In proportion as this view is adopted, however, the 
experience of forgiveness becomes subjective also, and there 
remains nothing objective but the actual change of mind and 
feeling.^ It is plain that we have here quite changed the 
centre of gravity in the Christian view of Redemption ; and 
the only remedy is to restore the idea of guilt to its scriptural 
importance, which, again, necessitates a changed idea of its 

* Cf. Unterrtcht, pp. 86, 37, 38. 

' Cf. ibid, p. 40. Cf. Donier^s criticism of Bitschl on this point, System 
of Doctrine, iii 405, 406. 

» Ibid. p. 82, 

^ Ritschl's view of Christ's sufferings and their relation to forgiveness is 
expounded at length in his Hecht. und Vers. 8rd ed. iii. 417-428, 505-633. 
Cf. specially pp. 422, 511, 512, 518, 524, 574. ''Christ's death, in the view of 
the apostles, is the compendious expression for the fact that Christ has inwardly 
maintained His unity with God and His revelation -position in the whole coarse 
of His life."— P. 511. 

'^ It is not remarkable, therefore, that Hermann, as quoted by Lipeius, should 
speak of the forgiveness of sins as "nothing at all particular" (gam nichu 
bfi^sonderes"). — Die BUschTsche Theoloffie, p. 12. Hermann certainly expresses 
himself very differently in his Verkehr, pp. 89, 40 (2nd ed. p. 103). 

^ A kindred view of atonement to Ritschrs is that of F. A. B. JNitzsch in his 


The theories we are now to consider di£fer from those we Theories 
have just had under review in that they recognise an objective ^?*^^ ^'^^' 
element in the Atonement, and in this way come nearer to We element in 
the manifest teaching of Scripture. They recognise that ';f^'^(^^^'^' 

/n whiU does 

Christ's work not only affects us subjectively in the way oiu consist? 
moral influence, but is an objective work, on the ground of 
which God forgives sin, and receives us into fellowship with 
Himself. And the question they raise is. What is the nature 
of this objective element ? 

4. The first answer which is given to this question is by 4. Theories 
that group of theories which find the essential feature in the *^^^f ^ *** 

^ ^ ofself-sur- 

Atonement in the surrender of the holy will of Christ Ui render of holy 
God. The idea of Atonement here, then, is the sdf-mrrmder'^^^ ^^ p^'~ 

Maurice^ etc. 

of the human will to the Divine. This is Maurice's theory, 
but essentially also that of Bothe, Pressens^, Bahr, Oehler, 
and many others.^ Here, as in previous theories, Christ is 
regarded as the Head of the race, and as representing in Him- 
self all humanity. In this humanity He offers up to God 
the perfect sacrifice of a will entirely surrendered to His 
service. As Maurice puts it, " Supposing the Father's will 
to be a will to all good ; supposing the Son of God, being one 
with Him and Lord of man, to obey and fulfil in our flesh that 
will by entering into the lowest condition into which men had 
fallen through their sin ; supposing this Man to be, for this 
reason, an object of continual complacency to His Father, and 
that complacency to be fully drawn out by the death of the 

Lehrbwh der Evang. DogmaHk, ii. (1892). "God," he holds, ** could only 
forgive the ain of humanity if the representative of humanity was able to afford 
him the security of a moral renewal of the same, the security of a new humanity. 
But this Christ did as the Beginner of the new humanity, and as Founder of a 
community on which He could take over His own fellowship with God. We • 
cannot, therefore, say that the doing of Christ first made it possible for God the 
Father to be graciously disposed to men, but rather that He made it possible 
for God to reveal His grace." — P. 508. Christ is therefore a guarantee to God 
for our future sanctification. This is not a thought which we find prominent 
in Scripture, while the scriptural idea that Christ reconciles us to God by 
removal of our guilt is overlooked. 

1 Cf. Rothe*8 DognuUikj it pp. 265-269 ; Pressens^, Apostolic Age, p. 274 
(Eng. trans. 4th ed.); Bahr, Symboiik, etc. 


cross ; supposing His death to be a sacrifice, the only com- 
plete sacrifice ever offered, the entire surrender of the whole 
spirit and body to God, is not this, in the highest sense, the 
Atonement? Is not the true, sinless root of humanity 
revealed ; is not God in Him reconciled to man ? Is not the 
cross the meeting-point between man and man, between man 
and God ? *' ^ That which, on this view, gives the sacrifice of 
Christ its value, is not the suffering, but the perfect ^will of 
obedience expressed in the suffering. When, according to the 
Epistle to the Hebrews, sacrifices and offerings, and whole 
burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin, God would not, neither 
had pleasure therein, '' then hath He said, Lo, I am come to 
do Thy will He taketh away the first, that He may estab- 
lish the second. By which will we have been sanctified, 
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." ^ 
This surrender of the will is the only kind of sacrifice God 
delights in, and it is the perfect Atonement^ The sin of 
humanity is its negation of the will of God, and the cross 
takes back that negation on behalf of humanity. This is 
brought into harmony with the Old Testament sacrifices by 
the theory that in these sacrifices it is not the death of the 
victim that is the essential thing, but the presentation of the 
blood. The death is only the means of obtaining the blood, 
which, as the vehicle of the pure life, the offerer presents to 
God as a covering for his own sin.^ 
True elements .A^iu, there cau be no doubt of the deep spiritual truth 
tn this involved in this theory of the sacrifice which Christ offered for 

theory ; its ^ , . -rrr 

defects, our Redemption. We may agam say that, whatever else there 

is in the Atonement, there is this in it Viewing Christ's 
death as a sacrifice, we cannot question that the nerve and 

* Theological Essays, p. 147. * Heb. x. 5-10 (R. V.). 

'Erskine of Linlathen's theory was akin to this: "The trae and proper 
sacrifice for ovr sin" is "the shedding out of the blood of our will— of that 
will which had offended." — Doctrine <^ EUcivm^ 2nd ed. p. 156. 

^ Cf., e.^., Oehler, Theology qfOld Testament, i. p. 411 (Eng. trans.) ; Bahr, 
Symbolik (see his view criticised by Domer, System of Doctrine, iii. pp. 407, 
408 ; and Fairbaim, Typology, 8rd ed. ii. pp. 290-297). Thus also fiothe, 
Riehm, Nitzsch, Schaltz, etc. 


core of the sacrifice was the holy will, in which, through the 
Eternal Spirit, He offered Himself without spot or blemish to 
God.^ It was not the mere fact of the sufferings, but that 
which was the soul of the sufferings, — the holy, loving will 
in which they were borne, and the self-surrender to the will 
of the Father in them, which gave them their spiritual value.^ 
The only question is. Is this the whole of the explanation ? 
Does this exhaust the meaning of Christ's sacrifice ? Does 
this fill up the whole of the scriptural testimony r^arding 
it ? And, however fascinated one may be for a time with 
this theory, it seems impossible permanently to rest in it as 
adequate. I do not go back on the inadequacy of a theory 
which lays the whole stress of Atonement on self-sacrifice, 
without saying sacrifice for what, or in what, but come at 
once to the point in which it seems peculiarly to fail. That 
point is, that the Scriptures appear to assert a direct relation 
of the sacrifice of Christ to the sin and guilt of men, — a 
direct expiatory power to remove that guilt, — a relation, not 
only to God's commanding will, but to His condemning wilL 
Not only the Old and New Testament doctrine of the right- 
eousness and holiness of God, and of His judicial attitude 
towards sin, — not only the extreme gravity of the scriptural 
doctrine of guilt, but the deepest feeling of the awakened 
conscience itself, demands that guilt shall not be simply over- 

* Heb. ix. 14, x. 4-10. 

' This is the point of view emphasised in Bishop Westcott's ThA Victory of 
tht CrosSy which may be classed with this group of theories. The key -words of 
the book are Fatherhood, Incarnation, Sacrifice. Sufferings in general are 
viewed in the light of discipline — ** a revelation of the Fatherhood of God, who 
brings back His children to Himself in righteonsness and love." — P. 82. Christ 
bore these snfferings according to the mind of God as " entering into the Divine 
law of pnrifying chastisement," ** realising in every pain the healing power of a 
Father's wisdom." — Pp. 69, 82. Bat in what sense can we speak of " purifying 
chastisement" and ''healing power" in the case of the Sinless One t Bishop 
Westcott himself has expressions which recognise a deeper relation of sufferings 
to sin, as where, e.(^., Christ is spoken of as gathering ''into one supreme 
sacrifice the bitterness of death, the last penalty of sin, knowing all it means, 
and bearing it as He knows ; " and His snfferings are held as showing " His 
complete acceptance of the just, the inevitable sentence of God, on the sin of 
humanity." — Pp. 68, 81. The thoughts of the book are not worked out into 
perfect clearness. 


looked, but that it shall be dealt with also in the transactiDg 
of Christ with God for man, and that the forgiveness which 
is sealed in His death shall have placed on it the holy sanc- 
tion of justice as well as that of lova I go on, therefore — 
S. Theories 5. To look at theories which not only aflfirm the offering 
which recog- ^f ^ ^iolj will of obedicnce in Christ's sacrifice, but 

to guilt— recognise its relation to guUL Such theories include, after 
Domer, etc, ^^^ among their representatives, the great bulk of the ablest 
and most scriptural theologians — ^as Domer, Luthardt, Marten- 
sen, Oosterzee, Godet, etc.; and an undesigned testimony is 
borne to their substantial truth by the approximations often 
made to them in theories of a different tendency, and by the 
difficulty felt in avoiding language which would imply the 
expiatory view, as well as by the studied accommodation of 
all parties, as far as possible, to the recognised language of 
the Church. Yet the dislike of many, and these often men 
of the most spiritual mind, to the forms of the imputation 
theology, their inability to rest in anything which seems to 
them to wear an air of legal fiction, suggests to us the 
necessity of seeking to approach even this side of the subject 
from within, and of trying to connect it with spiritual laws 
which will commend it to the conscience and the heart. 
Campbeifs I may begin here with a theory which, though it opposes 

theory of itself directly to the idea of penal sufferings, yet deals with 
repentance and t\i\s question of the relation of Atonement to guilt, and has, 
confession. j ^hink, valuable light to throw upon the subject, — more, 
perhaps, than is sometimes admitted, — I refer to the theory 
of Dr. John M'Leod Campbell. Dr. Campbell starts with the 
Incarnation, and his idea is to see the Atonement developing 
itself naturally and necessarily out of Christ's relation to men 
as the Incarnate Son — which is, I think, a sound point of 
view. Next, he distinguishes in Christ's work two sides — 
(1) a dealing with men on the part of God, and (2) a dealing 
with God on the part of men ; which, again, I think, is a true 
distinction. The peculiarity of his theory, and here un- 
doubtedly it becomes artificial and indefensible, lies in the 


proposal to substitute a vicarious repentance for sins, and 
confession of sins, for the vicarious endurance of the penalties 
of transgression.^ There is here, first, a confusion between 
repentance for sins and confession of them. The idea that 
Chnst could in any sense repent of the sins of the humanity 
which He represented, could bring to God " a perfect repent- 
ance " for them, is one totally inadmissible, even though his 
premiss were granted, which it cannot be, that a perfect 
repentance would of itself constitute Atonement. That Christ 
should confess our sins in His high-priestly intercession for 
US with God is, on the other hand, not inadmissible, but is 
rightly classed as a part of His substitutionary activity for 
us. It has its analogies in the intercessory confessions of 
Moses, Daniel, and Nehemiah, and may very well be regarded 
by us as an element in the Atonement. 

When we get behind Dr. Campbell's words, and look at Deeper eU- 
the kernel of his theory, and even at what he means to ^^^^[\ 

" Campbeus 

convey by these unfortunate expressions about a perfect z;i>z(^M<; 
repentance, we obtain light on the Atonement which is, i*'^»'<?»"«" 

response to 

think, valuable The point of this theory, as I understand CocCsjudg- 
it — that on which Dr. Campbell himself constantly insists ^'^^ ^^ 
through all his volume — is, that with the most perfect 
apprehension of what the sin of man was, on the one hand, 
and of what the mind of God towards sin, and sin's due at 
the hands of God, was, on the other, there went up from the 
depths of Christ's sinless humanity a perfect '' Amen " to the 
righteous judgment of God against sin. There must, there- 
fore, be recognised, even on Dr. M'Leod Campbell's theory, a 
certain dealing of Christ with God's wrath — with His judicial 
condemnation upon sin. "Christ, in dealing with God on 
behalf of men," he says, " must be conceived of as dealing 
with the righteous wrath of God against sin, and as according 
to it that which was due."* "Let us consider," he says 
again, " this 'Amen' from the depths of the humanity of Christ 
to the Divine condemnation of sin. What is it in relation 

^ Tht Nature o/the At<memeiU, chap. vii. ^ Pnd. 4th ed. p. 117. 



to God's wrath against sin ? What place has it in Christ's 
dealing with that wrath ? I answer, He who so responds 
to the Divine wrath against sin, saying, ' Thou art righteous, 
Lord, who judgest so,' is necessarily receiving the full 
apprehension and realisation of that wrath, as well as of that 
sin against which it comes forth, into his soul' and spirit, into 
the bosom of the Divine humanity, and so receiving it. He 
responds to it with a perfect response — ^a response from the 
depths of that Divine humanity— rand in that perfect re- 
sponse He absorbs it." ^ If, however, this were all that was 
in Dr. Campbell's theory, we should still have to say that, 
valuable as the suggestion is which it contains, it is only a 
half-truth. It will be observed that, so far as these quota- 
tions go, it is only a vivid mental realisation of God's wrath 
against sin to which we are to conceive Christ as responding. 
He has the perfect realisation of what sin is in man ; He has 
the perfect realisation of God's mind towards sin ; but He is 
Himself in no sense brought under the experience of that 
wrath, or of its penal effects : it may be thought by many He 
could not be. And this might seem to detract from the 
value of that " Amen " from the depths of Christ's humanity on 
which all the stress, is laid. To take an analogous case, it is 
one thing to be patient and resigned under a vivid mental 
realisation of possible trials, another thing to be resigned 
under actual experience of sorrow. Yet the only resignation 
which has worth is that which has been actually tested in 
the fires of trial In order, therefore, that Christ's " Amen " to 
the judgment of God against sin might have its fullest con- 
tent, it would appear to be necessary that it should \^ uttered, 
not under a mere ideal realisation of what God's wrath against 
sin is, but under the actual pressure of the judgment which 
. This response that wrath inflicts. Is this possible ? Strange to say, with 
Z'^^ut^i^ ^^ ^ protests against Christ being thought of as enduring 
ence of the pcual cvils, it is precisely this view to which Dr. Campbell 
penal conse^ in the end comes. He is quite awake to the fact of the 

qttences of sin. *■ 

^ Tht Naturt of the Atonement, p. 118. 


unique character of Christ's sufferings; quite aware that they 
involved elements found in no ordinary martyr's death ; quite 
conscious that an " Amen " uttered, as he calls it, '' in naked 
existence/'^ would have little value. It must be uttered under 
actual experienoe of the evils which this judgment of God 
lays on humanity, especially under the experience of death. 
The closing period of Christ's life, he says, was one of which 
the distinctive character was suffering in connection with a 
permitted hour and power of darkness ;^ while his remarks on 
our Lord's tasting death are so important and apposite that 
I cannot forbear quoting one or two of them. ''When I 
think of our Lord as tasting death," he says, " it seems to me 
as if He alone ever truly tasted death. . . . Further, as our 
Lord alone truly tasted death, so to Him alone had death its 
perfect meaning as the wages of sin. . . . For thus, in Christ's 
honouring of the righteous law of Grod, tlu serUence of the law 
was included, as well as the mind of God which that sentence 
expressed. . . . Had sin existed in men as mere spirits, death 
could not have been the wages of sin, and any response to 
the Divine mind concerning sin, which would have been an 
Atonement for their sin, could only have had spiritual elements; 
but man being by the constitution of humanity capable of 
death, and death having come as the wages of sin, it was not 
simply sin that had to be dealt with, but an existing law 
with its penalty of death, and that death as already incurred. 
So that it was not only the Divine mind that had to be 
responded to, but also that expression of the Divine mind 
which was contained in God's making death the wages of sin." ^ 
It is evident how nearly in such passages Dr. Campbell comes 
to a theory of the Atonement which holds that Christ, as a 
member of humanity and the new Head of the race, really bore 

^ The Natwrt 0/ the ACcnemeni, p. 259. ' IhidL p. 224. 

'Ibid, pp. 259-262. He even says: * 'The peace maJting between God and 
man, which was perfected by onr Lord on the Cross, required to its reality the 
presence to the spirit of Christ of the eUmefUs 0/ the aliencUion as well as the 
possession by Him of that eternal righteousness in which was the virtue to 
make peace."— P. 250. The italics in the extracts are Dr. Campbell's own. 


to God's Y^rath against sin ? What place has it in Christ's 
dealing with that wrath? I answer, He who so responds 
to the Divine wrath against sin, saying, ' Thou art righteous, 
Lord, who judgest so,' is necessarily receiving the full 
apprehension and realisation of that wrath, as well as of that 
sin against which it comes forth, into his soul' and spirit, into 
the bosom of the Divine humanity, and so receiving it. He 
responds to it with a perfect response — a response from the 
depths of that Divine humanity— and in that perfect re- 
sponse He absorbs it." ^ If, however, this were all that was 
in Dr. Campbell's theory, we should still have to say that, 
valuable as the suggestion is which it contains, it is only a 
half-truth. It will be observed that, so far as these quota- 
tions go, it is only a vivid mental realisation of God's wrath 
against sin to which we are to conceive Christ as responding. 
He has the perfect realisation of what sin is in man ; He has 
the perfect realisation of Gkxi's mind towards sin ; but He is 
Himself in no sense brought under the experience of that 
wrath, or of its penal effects : it may be thought by many He 
could not be. And this might seem to detract from the 
value of that '' Amen " from the depths of Christ's humanity on 
which all the stress, is laid. To take an analogous case, it is 
one thing to be patient and resigned under a vivid mental 
realisation of possible trials, another thing to be resigned 
under actual experience of sorrow. Yet the only resignation 
which has worth is that which has been actually tested in 
the fires of trial In order, therefore, that Christ's " Amen " to 
the judgment of God against sin might have its fullest con- 
tent, it would appear to be necessary that it should l^e uttered, 
not under a mere ideal realisation of what God's wrath against 
sin is, but under the actual pressure of the judgment which 
. This response that wrath inflicts. Is this possible ? Strange to say, with 
^/S^l^.'^ all his protests against Christ being thought of as enduring 
ence of the penal cvils, it is precisely this view to which Dr. Campbell 
pefiai const' '^^ ^j^^ ^^^^ He is Quitc awake to the fact of the 

quences of stn, ^ 

^ The Nature of the AtoTiemerU, p. 118. 


unique character of Christ's sufferings; quite aware that they 
involved elements found in no ordinary martyr's death ; quite 
conscious that an " Amen " uttered, as he calls it, " in naked 
existence/'^ would have little value. It must be uttered under 
actual experience of the evils which this judgment of God 
lays on humanity, especially under the experience of death. 
The closing period of Christ's life, he says, was one of which 
the distinctive character was suffering in connection with a 
permitted hour and power of darkness ;^ while his remarks on 
our Lord's tasting death are so important and apposite that 
I cannot forbear quoting one or two of them. ''When I 
think of our Lord as tasting death," he says, " it seems to me 
as if He alone ever truly tasted death. . . . Further, as our 
Lord alone truly tasted death, so to Him alone had death its 
perfect meaning as the wages of sin. . . . For thus, in Christ's 
honouring of the righteous law of Grod, tlit senteTice of the law 
was included, as well as tJu mind of Ood which that sentence 
expressed. . . . Had sin existed in men as mere spirits, death 
could not have been the wages of sin, and any response to 
the Divine mind concerning sin, which would have been an 
Atonement for their sin, could only have had spiritual elements; 
but man being by the constitution of humanity capable of 
death, and death having come as the wages of sin, it was not 
simply sin that had to be dealt with, but an existing law 
with its penalty of death, and that death as already incurred. 
So that it was not only the Divine mind that had to be 
responded to, but also that expression of the Divine mind 
which was contained in God's making death the wages of sin." ^ 
It is evident how nearly in such passages Dr. Campbell comes 
to a theory of the Atonement which holds that Christ, as a 
member of humanity and the new Head of the race, really bore 

* TU Nature 0/ the AC<ynement, p. 259. ■ Ibid, p. 224. 

* Ibid, pp. 259-262. He even says: "The peace malting between God and 
man, which was perfected by our Lord on the Cross, required to its reality the 
presence to the spirit of Christ of the elements of the alienation as well as the 
possession by Him of that eternal righteonsness in which was the virtue to 
make peace."—?. 250. The italics in the extracts are Dr. Campbell's own. 


in His own Person the penal evils which are the expression 
of the wrath of God against the sin of the world. He main- 
tains, indeed, that for Christ these were not really penal evils ; 
but, in the light of the explanations just given, the difference 
seems to resolve itself mainly into one of nomenclatura 
Whatever sense we may give to that expression, " Christ bore 
the wrath of God for us," it is held by no one to mean that 
Christ was personally the object of His Father's anger. All 
that is meant is that by Divine ordainment He passed under 
the experience of evils which are the expression of God's 
wrath against sin, or a judgment laid on humanity on account 
of that sin. The peculiarly valuable idea, as I take it, 
which Dr. Campbell brings to the elucidation of Christ's 
sufferings as atoning is — that it was not simply the patience 
and resignation with which He bore them, not simply the 
surrender of His will to God in them, but the perfect acknow- 
ledgment, which accompanied His endurance of them, of the 
righteousness of God in their ordainment, which made them a 
satisfaction for sin. " By that perfect response in Amen to 
the mind of God, in relation to sin," as he himself expresses 
it, " is the wrath of God rightly met, and that is accorded to 
Divine justice which is its due, and could alone satisfy it." ^ 
Christ's suffer- It is, I own, difficult to frame a theory to which no excep- 
tngs viewed as ^^^^ ^^^ ^ taken, which shall show how the sufferings of 

expiatory, ^ ' o 

Christ, which were in large part sufferings endured for right- 
eousness' sake, had at the same time an expiatory value ; yet 
it is the clear teaching of Scripture that they possess this 
character. As aids to the apprehension of the subject, the 
facts remain that these sufferings of the sinless Son of God 
were voluntarily undertaken, and (what can be said of no 
other of the race) wholly undeserved ; that Christ did enter, 
as far as a sinless Being could, into the penal evils of our 
state, and finally submitted to death — the doom which sin has 
brought on our humanity ; that He did this with a perfect 
consciousness and realisation of the relation of these evils to 

* Tht Nature qfthe Atonement, p. 119. 



sin ; that He experienced the full bitterness of these evils, 
and, especially in His last hours, was permitted to endure 
them without even the alleviations and spiritual comforts 
which many of His own people enjoy; that there were 
mysterious elements in His sufferings, which outward causes 
do not seem adequate to explain {e.g. the agony in Geth- 
semane, the awful darkness of His soul on Calvary), which 
appear related to His position as our Sin-bearer ; — finally, that 
in this mortal sorrow, He still retains unbroken His relation 
to the Father, overcomes our spiritual enemies, so transacts 
with God for men, so offers Himself to God in substitutionary 
love on our behalf, so recognises and honours the justice of 
God in His condemnation of sin, and in the evils that were 
befalling Himself in consequence of that sin, that HLs death 
may fitly be regarded as a satisfaction to righteousness for us 
— the Sedemption of the world, not, indeed, ipso facto, but 
for those who through faith appropriate His sacrifice, die in 
spirit with Him in His death, and make His righteousness 
the ground of their hope. 

Is exception taken — as it was by the Socinians — to the Objections to 
idea of the innocent satisfying for the guilty ? Is it asked, ^^^ ^^'>^^ 

•f o o •/ ' innocent 

How should the righteous suffer for the guilty ? Is it just suffering for 

that they should do so ? Or, how can the sufferings of the '^^ ^"^^-^' 

righteous atone for the unrighteous ? I would point out in 

answer that there are two questions here. The first relates 

to a matter of fact — the suffering of the righteous for the 

guilty. We know that they do so. It is the commonest This, in itself 

fact in our experience. In the organic relation in which we ^^^ ^ 

* o common «:- 

stand to each other it could not be otherwise. The penalties /^ArV^rir, 
of evil-doing are probably never confined to the actual wrong- ^Pp^s^f^^* 
doer, but overflow upon others, and sometimes involve them connection of 
in untold misery. To impeach the justice of this is x^^^^^^^^^y- 
impeach the justice of an organic constitution of the race. 
Thus far, then, we can say that Christ is no exception to this 
universal law ; nay, He is the highest exemplification of it. 
Christ could not. enter the world without receiving upon Him 


the brunt of its evils. Just because He was the infinitely 
pure and holy One, they fell on Him with greater severity. 
A writer like BushneU here often .uses the strongest language. 
He speaks of Christ as incarnated into the curse of the 
world, " It is," he says, " as if the condemnations of Grod 
were upon Him, as they are on all the solidarities of the race 
into which He is come." ^ ** It means," he says again, " that 
He is incarnated into common condition with us, under vehat 
is called the curse ... He must become a habitant with us, 
a fellow-nature, a brother; and that He could not be without 
The real being entered into what is our principal distinction as being 
qucstton— under the curse ... He has it upon Him, consciously, as the 

How should ""^ ^ 

such sufferings cursc or penal shame and disaster of our transgression." ^ The 
become expia- question is not, therefore, how should Christ, the sinless One, 

tory for others? 

The answer suffcr for the guilty ? but, how can suflFerings thus endured 
suggested, bccomc cxpiatory or atoning ? And this I have tried to answer 
by pointing out the unique relation which Christ sustains to our 
race, in virtue of which He could become its Eepresentative 
and Sin-bearer; and, secondly, by indicating how in our 
humanity He must, as Dr. M'Leod Campbell says, have 
related Himself to our sins — not only patiently and lovingly 
enduring sufferings, not only yielding up to His Father a will 
of obedience in them, but viewing them in the light of their 
causes, entering fully into God's judgment on the sin of which 
they were the consequences, and rendering to God in our 
nature a full and perfect and glorifying response to His 
justice in them. In this way His sufferings might well 
become, like those of the Servant of the Lord in Isaiah liiL, 
Recapitulation Gathering together, in closing, the various aspects of Christ's 
atidcoficiu' ^Q^\^ which have been brought before us, we see, I think, the 
truth of a previous remark that the true or full view of 

^ Forgiveness and Law, p. 155. 

' Ibid, pp. 150, 158. Biishnell wiU have it that his ''penal sanctions" are 
"never panitive, but only coercive and corrective." — P. 132. But what does 
" penal " mean, if not " punitive ? " And can penalties not be "judicial," and 
yet up to a certain point ** corrective ? " 



Christ's work in Eedemption is wide enough to include them 
all — takes up the elements of truth in every one of them. 
A complete view of Christ's work will include the fact 
that in the Incarnation a new Divine life has entered 
humanity; will include the fact that Christ is our perfect 
Eepresentative before God as the new Head of the race, and 
the wearer of our humanity in its pure and perfect form ; 
will include the fact of an organic relation of Christ 
with all the members of the race, in virtue of which He 
entered, not merely outwardly, but in the most real and vital 
way, into the fellowship of our sin and sufiTering, and truly 
bore us on His heart before God as a merciful and faithful 
High Priest ; will include the idea of a vocation which Christ 
had as Founder of the kingdom of God on earth, though this 
vocation will embrace, not only the Bevelation of the Father's 
character and doing His will among men, but also the making 
reconciliation for the sins of the people ; will include the fact 
of a holy and perfect and continuous surrender of Christ's will 
to God, as an offering, through the Eternal Spirit, in humanity, 
of that which man ought to render, but is unable in his own 
strength to give — the presentation to God in humanity, there- 
fore, of a perfect righteousness, on the ground of which 
humanity stands in a new relation to God, and is accepted in 
the Beloved; — will include, finally, a dealing with God in 
reference to the guilt of sin, which is not simply a sympa- 
thetic realisation of the burden of that guilt as it rests on 
us, nor yet simply a confession of sins in our name, nor yet 
simply an acknowledgment in humanity of the righteousness 
of God in visiting our sins with wrath and judgment, but is 
a positive entrance into the penal evils of our condition, and, 
above all, into death as the last and most terrible of these 
evils, in order that in these also He might become one with 
us, and under that experience might render to God what was 
due to His judicial righteousness, — an Atonement which, as 
Br. M'Leod Campbell says, has in it an " Amen " from the 
depths of our humanity towards the righteous judgment of 


God on our sins. So far from this latter aspect of Christ's 
work — the judicial — being to be thrown into the background, 
it is, I think, the one which the apostolic theology specially 
fastens upon as the ground of the remission of sins, and the 
means by which the sinner is brought into a relation of peace 
with God — the ground, as Bunyan phrases it, on which God 
" justly justifies the sinner.** 
The Incarnate Christ, as the Son of God, incarnate in our nature, is the 
Sonahne ^^ ^^^ qualified to Undertake this work; and as Son of 

could achieve " * 

Redemption, God and Sou of Man He did it He alone could enter, on 
the one hand, into the meaning of the sin of the world ; on 
the other, into a realisation of all that was due to that sin 
from Gk)d, not minimising either the sin or the righteousness, 
but doing justice to both, upholding righteousness, yet opening 
to the world the gates of a forgiving mercy. In Him we see 
that done which we could not do ; we see that brought which 
we could not bring ; we see that reparation made to a broken 
law which we could not make ; we see, at the same time, a 
righteousness consummated we long to make our own, a 
victory over the world we long to share, a will of love we 
long to have reproduced in ourselves, a grandeur of self- 
sacrifice we long to imitata And, appropriating that sacrifice, 
not only in its atoning merit, but in its inward spirit, we 
know ourselves redeemed and reconciled. 


W^t IFncamation anti l^uman Besting, 

''This earth too small 
For Love Divine ? Is God not Infinite ! 
K 80| His Love is Infinite. Too small ! 
One famished babe meets pity oft firom man 
More than an army slain I Too small for Love I 
Was earth too small to be of God created f 
Why then too small to be redeemed ? " 

AUBRBT Db Vbbb. 

** And so beside the silent sea 
I wait the muffled oar, 
No harm from Him can come to me 
On ocean or on shore. 

** I know not where His islands lift 
Their fronded palms in air, 
I only know I cannot drift 
Beyond His love and care.*' 


''The last enemy that shall be abolished i» death."— Paxtl. 



Every view of the world has its eschatology. It cannot help Necessity of an 

raising the question of the whither, as well as of the what ^^^^^^^^'* 

and the whence ? "0 my Lord," said Daniel to the angel, 

" what shall be the end of these things ? '* ^ What is the end, 

the final destiny, of the individual ? Does he perish at death, 

or does he enter into another state of being ; and under what 

conditions of happiness or woe does he exist there ? What is 

the end, the final aim, of the great whole ; that far-off Divine 

event, to which the whole creation moyes ? It is vain to tell 

man not to ask these questions. He will ask them, and must 

ask thenu He will pore over every scrap of fact, or trace of 

law, which seems to give any indication of an answer. He will 

try from the experience of the past, and the knowledge of the 

present, to deduce what the future shall be. He will peer as 

far as he can into the unseen ; and, where knowledge fails, will 

weave from his hopes and trusts pictures and conjectures. 

It is not religions only, but philosophy and science also, Eschatoiogy in 
which have their eschatologies. The Stoics had their concep->*^.''^"^>*^-^^"'^ 

° * science* 

tions of world-cycles, when everything, reabsorbed in the 
primal fire, was produced anew exactly as before. The 
Buddhists had their kalpas, or world-ages, periods of destruc- 
tion and restoration, "during which (as in Brahmanism) 
constant universes are supposed to appear, disappear, and 
reappear " ; ^ new worlds, phoenix-like, incessantly rising out 

^ Dan. xii. 8. 

> Buddhidm, by Trofessor Monier-WiUiams, p. 120. Cf. p. 118. 



of the ruins of the old. The pessimist, Hartmann, has his 
eschatology as truly as the New Testament has its.^ Kant 
speculated, in his Theory of ilu Heavens, on the birth and 
death of worlds ; and Strauss compares the cosmos to one of 
those tropical trees on which, simultaneously, here a blossom 
bursts into flower, there a ripe fruit drops from the bough.*^ 
How is the science of to-day seen peering on into the future, 
trying to make out what shall be the end of these things ; 
whither the changes, and transformations, and integrations, 
and dissolutions of the physical universe all tend ; and what 
fate is in store for the earth, and for the physical system as 
a whole 1 Mr. Spencer has his eschatology, and speculates 
on a boundless space, holding here and there extinct suns, 
fated to remain thus for ever ; though he clings to the hope 
that in some way he knows not, out of the ashes of this old 
universe, a new universe will aris&' The authors of The 
Unseen Universe say, "What happens to our system will 
happen likewise to the whole visible universe, which will, if 
finite, become in time a lifeless mass, if indeed it be not 
doomed to utter desolation. In fine, it will become old and 
effete, no less truly than the individual, — it is a glorious 
garment this visible universe, but not an immortal one — we 
must look elsewhere, if we are to be clothed with immortality 
as with a garment." ^ 
The Christian The Christian view of the world, also, has its eschatology 
V^ 7a^^^ — ^^® ^^» ^^ ^^ physical issues, not very different from that 
teUoiogical just described. The Christian view, however, is positive, 
where that of science is negative ; ethical, where it is 
material ; human, where it is cosmogonic ; ending in personal 
immortality, where this ends in extinction and death. The 
eschatology of Christianity springs from its character as a 
teleological religion. The highest type of " Weltanschauung " 
is that which seeks to grasp the unity of the world through 

^ On Hartmann's '^ Cosmic Saicide," see Caro's Lt PesHmiamej chap. viii. 

* Der alte und der neut Olaube, p. 152. 
» First Principles, p. 529, 537. 

* Utueen Untvtrae, 5tli ed. p. 196. Cf. pp. 165, 166. 


the conception of an end or aim. It is only through a con- 
ception of the world that is itself unified that man can give 
a true unity to his life — only in reference to an aim or end 
that he can organise his life to a consistent whola On the 
cycle hypothesis, no satisfactory view of life is possible. All 
is vanity and vexation of spirit. A truly purposeful view of 
life is only possible on the basis of a world -view which 
gathers itself up to a highest definite aim. As giving this, 
Christianity is the teleological religion 'par eoccdlence. It is, 
says Domer, the only absolute teleological religion.^ In one 
other respect Christianity agrees with the higher speculation 
— scientific and other — and that is in its breadth and scope, 
extending in its issues far beyond this little spot called eatth, 
and touching in its influence the remotest regions of creation. 

I. Before entering directly on eschatological questions, it /. T^ astro- 
may be worth our while, in connection with the fact just'?'"'^''^''^''''' 

•^ ^ •* Hon to 

mentioned, to glance at the objection sometimes raised to Christianity. 
Christianity from the enlargement of our knowledge of the 
physical universe through modern discoveries — chiefly through 
astronomy. The enormous expansion of our ideas in regard 
to the extent of the physical universe brought about through 
the telescope, and the corresponding sense of the insignifi- 
cance of our planet, awakened by comparison with the gigantic 
whole, is supposed by many to be fatal to belief in Christ- 
ianity. Strauss boldly affirms that the Copernican system 
gave the death-blow to the Christian view of the world.* So 
long as the earth was believed to be the centre of the 
universe, and the only inhabited spot in it, so long was it 
possible to maintain that God had a peculiar love to the 
inhabitants of our world, and had sent His Son for their 
Iledemption. But when the true relation of the earth to the 
sun, and to the other planets of the system, was discovered 

^ System of Doctrine^ ir. p. 376 (Eng. trans.)* Cf. Martensen, Dogmatics^ 
pp. 465, 466 (Eng. trans.). 

' Is fatal even to belief in a personal God. Cf. his Der aUc und der ntuc 
Olaube, pp. 108-110. 

the worlds 
inhabited 1 


— when, beyond this, the infinite depths of the heavens were 
laid bare, with their innumerable suns, galaxies, and con- 
stellations, to which our own sun, with its attendant planets, is 
but as a drop in the immeasurable ocean — then the idea that 
this little globe of ours — this insignificant speck — should 
become the scene of so stupendous a Divine drama as the 
Christian religion represents ; should be the peculiar object of 
God's favours, and the recipient of His Eevelations ; that, 
above all, the Son of God should become incarnate on its 
surface, seemed nothing less than incredible. In a universe 
teeming with worlds, presumably inhabited by intelligences 
of every order and degree, it is thought preposterous to 
connect the Deity in this peculiar and transcendent way with 
one of the very smallest of them. 
/iepiy: Are Here, first, siucc the objection is made in the name of 
science, it might fairly be asked how far the premiss on 
which it rests — the assumption of innumerable spheres 
peopled with such intelligences as we have in man (I do not 
refer to angelic intelligences, for the Christian view has 
always admitted these, without our thoughts of the greatness 
of the Christian Redemption being thereby lessened, but 
corporeal inhabitants of other planets and worlds) — how far 
this assumption is scientifically established, or is even matter 
of plausible conjecture. Eant declared that he would not 
hesitate to stake his all on the truth of the proposition — ^if 
there were any way of bringing it to the test of experience 
— that at least some one of the planets which we see is 
inhabited;^ but others may not be prepared to share his 
confidence. Of direct scientific evidence, of course, there is 
none, and the argument from analogy is weakened rather 
than strengthened by the progress of modern discovery. If 
astronomy has been extending our views of the universe in 
space, geology has been extending our views of our own world 
backwards in time, and it has been pointed out that though 
preparation was being made through the millions of years of 

1 Kritik d. r, Ver, p. 561, Erdmann's ed. (Eng. trans, p. 600). 


that long past, it is only in quite recent times that man 
appeared upon its surface, and then under conditions which 
we have no reason to suppose exist in any other planet of 
our system,^ Are there not worlds in the making, as well as 
worlds already made?^ Certain it is, that of the seven 
hundred and fifty-one parts, or thereabouts, into which our 
solar system can be divided, life, such as we know it, or can 
conceive of it, is not found in seven hundred and fifty of 
them, for the sun monopolises that enormous proportion of 
the whole for himself ; and of the remaining one part, it is 
only an insignificant fraction in which the physical conditions 
exist which render any of the higher conditions of life 
possible.^ If the same proportion prevails through the 
universe, the area reserved for rational life will be corre- 
spondingly restricted. But, in truth, we know nothing of 
planets in other parts of the heavens at all, or even whether 
— except in one or two problematical instances — such bodies 
exist^ What if, after all, our little planet should be the 
Eden of the planetary system — the only spot on which a 
place has been prepared for rational life, or in which the 
conditions favourable to its blossoming forth have been found ? ^ 
It is a singular circumstance that the objection here urged 
against Christianity is not exclusively applicable to it, but 
bears as strongly against all those speculative systems — 
Hegelianism, Schopenhauerism, Hartmannism, etc. — which 
have been hatched in the full light of the nineteenth century. 
Here, too, it is assumed that our planet stands alone as the 

1 This 18 the point specially made in WheweU's Tht Plurality of Worlds. 

' Sun and planets. 

' In Mars, and even here Professor Ball doubts the possibility. — Story o/the 
Heavens f p. 190. 

^ Professor Ball says : '' It may be that, as the other stars are suns, so they 
too may have other planets circulating round them; but of this we know 
nothing. Of the stars we can only say that they are points of light, and if 
they had hosts of planets these planets must for ever remain invisible to us, 
even if they were many times as large as Jupiter." — Story of the Heavens^ 
p. 95. 

* " The earth is perhaps at this hour the only inhabited globe in the midst of 
almost boundless space.** — Reuan, Dialogues, p. 61. 



place in which the absolute has come to consciousness of 
himself (or itself), and where the great drama of his historical 
evolution is unfolded — where, in Hegelian phrase, God is 
incarnate in man I ^ 
The objection Apart from such considerations, however, the real reply to 
aquantitaitve ^^^ objection to the Christian view of the world is that it 
is a merely quantitative one. Be the physical magnitude of 
the universe what it may, it remains the fact that, on this 
little planet, life has effloresced into reason ; that we have 
here a race of rational beings who bear God's image, and are 
capable of knowing, loving, and obeying Him. This is a 
fact against which it is absurd to put into comparison any 
mere quantities of inanimate matter — any number of suns, 
nebulae, and planets. Even suppose that there were other 
inhabited worlds, or any number of them, this does not 
detract from the soul's value in this world. Mind, if it has 
the powers we know it has, is not less great because other 
minds may exist elsewhere. Man is not less great, because 
he is not alone great. If he is a spiritual being, — if he has a 
soul of infinite worth, which is the Christian assumption, — 
that fact is not afifected though there were a whole universe- 
full of other spiritual beings, as indeed the Christian Church 
has always believed there is. The truth is, what we have 
underlying this objection is that very anthropomorphism in 
thinking about Grod against which the objection is directed. 
It is thought that while it might be worthy of God to care 
for man if he existed alone, it is derogatory to God's greatness 
to think of him when there are so many other objects in the 
universe. Or it is thought that God is a Being so exalted 
that He will lose sight of the individual' in the crowd. 
Those who think thus must have very unworthy ideas of the 
Being whom they wish to exalt \^ must forget, too, that the 

^ Cf. Renan : " For my part I think that there is not in the universe 
any inteUigence superior to that of man, wo that the greatest genins of onr 
planet is truly the priest of the world, since he is the highest reflection 
of it," -^ Diaiog%^ p. 283. See on Kenan's eztraordinaiy eschatology— 
Note A. 


universe can only exist on the condition that God is present 
in the little as in the great ; that His knowledge, power, and 
care extend, not to things in the mass, but to each atom of 
matter separately, to each tiniest blade of grass, to each 
insect on the wing, and animalcule in the drop of water. It 
is the Bible which gives the true philosophy, when it teaches 
that the same God who cares for stars cares also for souls; 
that the very hairs of our head are all numbered ; that not 
even a sparrow falls to the ground without our heavenly 

But the question still remains, even if all these bright The hearing 
worlds were inhabited — which they are not, — inhabited \^y^f^*^J>^^^^^ 

*' ' *' question. 

rational beings like to man himself, — are they sinful ? Sin 
retains its awful significance in the universe, no matter how 
many worlds there may be. If this world alone is sinful, 
then it is worthy of God to redeem it. Have men's hearts 
not recognised the Divineness of that parable of Christ about 
the lost sheep ? Is it not the Divinest thing that God can 
do to seek and to save the lost ? Suppose that this universe 
were as full of intelligent life as the objection represents, but 
that this world is the one lost sheep of the Divine flock, 
^ould it not be worthy of the Good Shepherd to seek it out 
and save it ? Shall its size prevent ? Then is the worth of 
the soul a thing to be weighed in scales ? 

Mr. Spencer, in one passage of his writings, thinks he has Mr. spmcer's 
destroyed the case for Revelation, when he asks us if we can ^J^^^'* 
believe that " the Cause to which we can put no limits in 
space or time, and of which our entire solar system is a 
relatively infinitesimal product, took the disguise of a man 
for the purpose of covenanting with a shepherd - chief in 
Syria." ^ He first defines God in terms which put Him 
infinitely far away from us, and then asks us to combine 
with this a conception which seems to contradict it. But 
what if God is not only the "Cause" of all things — the 
infinitely great Creator of stars and systems — but, as Mr. 

1 Pa. ozlvii. 8, 4 ; Matt. z. 29-81. * Ecdu. Institutums, p. 704. 


Spencer's own principles might lead him to hold. One also 
infinitely near to us,' — 

"Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and spirit with spirit can meet; 
Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands or feet,"^ — 

and, beyond this, infinite goodness and love as well, — ^is it 
then so strange that He should draw a Syrian shepherd to 
His side, and should establish a covenant with him which had 
for its ultimate aim, not that shepherd's personal aggrandise- 
ment, but the blessing, through him, of all mankind ? 

TIu issues of^ 
confined to thu 

But finally, and this is the complete answer to the objec- 
tion, if the Christian view is true, the scope of God's purpose 
is 710^ confined t-o this little planet, but embraces all the 
I realms of creation.^ The Incarnation is not a fact the signi- 
I ficance of which is confined to earth. The Scriptures do not 
so represent it, but seek rather to impress us with the thought 
of how wide this purpose of God is ; how extensive in its 
sweep ; how far-reaching in its issues. The objection to the 
Christian scheme with many, I fancy, will rather be, that 
with its base on earth it rises too high ; that when it speaks 
to us of the bestring of the gospel on distant parts of creation, 
of angels desiring to look into it, of principalities and powers 
in the heavenly places being instructed by it in the many- 
sided wisdom of God, — above all, of all things in heaven and 
in earth being gathered up in Christ,* — ^it presents us with 
a plan the magnitude of which soars beyond our powers of 
belief. But if the Divine plan is on a scale of this grandeur, 
why complain because its starting-point is this physically 
small globe ? The answer to this objection, as to the similar 
one drawn from the earthly lowliness of Christ, must be, 
^ reypice finem — look to the end ! 

//. Principles 11. In proceeding now to deal directly with the eschato- 
^on^of^schZo- ^^gical relations of the Christian view, it is to be remembered 

logical 1 Tennyson's Higher PantheUm. 

prophecy, 'This is the argument developed in Chalmers' celebrated A^nmomicaX 

» 1 Pet i. 12 ; Eph. ii. 10, i. 10, etc. 


that it stands diiferentlj with lines of prophecy projected 
into the future, from what it does with facts already past. 
In dealing with the history of God's past Bevelations — with 
the ages before the advent, with the earthly life and Eevela- 
tion of Jesus Christ, with the subsequent course of God's 
Providence in His Church — we are dealing with that which 
has already been. It stands in concrete reality before us, 
and we can reason from it as a thing known in its totality 
and its details. But when the subject of Eevelation is that 
which is yet to be, especially that which is yet to be under 
forms and conditions of which we have no direct experience, 
the case is widely altered. Here it is at most outlines we 
can look for ; and even these outlines will be largely clothed 
in figure and symbol ; the spiritual kernel will seek material 
investiture to body itself forth ; the conditions of the future 
will require to be presented largely in forms borrowed from 
known relations.^ The outstanding thoughts will be sufficiently 
apparent, but the forms in which these thoughts are cast will 
partake of metaphor and imaga 

Examples of undue literalism in the interpretation oiRUsckPs 
prophetic language will occur to everyone ; as an example on '^fj^"? 
the other side, I may instance Eitschl, who, because of the 
figurative character of the language employed, sweeps the 
whole of the New Testament eschatology on one side, and 
simply takes no account of it. This is a drastic method, 
which makes us wonder why, if these representations convey 
no intelligible representations to the mind, use was made of 
them at all With Bitschl, the sole thing of value is th% mtschi and 
idea of the kingdom of God, for the realisation of which we y^'^^j*^^ 

° ' kingdom cj 

are to labour in this world. The form which the kingdom of God- 
God will assume beyond this life we cannot know, and need 
not concern ourselves about The recoil from this one-sided 
position of Bitschl is seen in the further development of his 
school, particularly in Kaftan, who precisely reverses Bitschl's 
standpoint, and transports the good of the kingdom of God 

^ Cf. Fairbaim on Prophecy , chap. ir. sec. 4. 


entirely into the life beyoni *' The certainty of an eternal 

life in a kingdom of Ood/' he says» " which is above the 

worlds which lies to us as yet in the beyond, is the very 

Tkg nearer nerve of our Christian piety." ^ This is an exaggeration on 

aim of Chrish ^Yie^ Other side, in opposition to which the truth of Ritschl's 

tantty — the ^^ 

coming of the view has to be contended for, that there is a kingdom of 
kingdom of Qq^ ^ i3g gtriven for even in this world. What did Christ 

God on earth* 

come for, if not to impart a new life to humanity, which, 
working from within outwards, is destined to transform all 
human relations — all family and social life, all industry and 
commerce, all art and literature, all government and relations 
among peoples — till the kingdoms of this world are become 
the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ ? ^ Whether 
more slowly or more rapidly, whether peacefully or, as Scrip- 
ture seems to indicate, by a succession of crises, surely this 
grand result of a kingdom of God will be brought about ; 
and it is our duty and privilege to pray and labour for it. 
Relation of What is the reproach which is sometimes brought against 
this to modem Christianity by its enemies, but that of " other-worldliness " 

social move- " " 

ments. — of exclusive devotion to a good beyond this life, to the 

neglect of interests lying immediately to hand ? And what 
is the remedy for this reproach, but to show that Christianity 
is a power also for temporal and social salvation, a leaven 
which is to permeate the whole lump of humanity ? It is on 
this side that a great and fruitful field opens itself up for 
Christian effort in the present day ; on this side that Christ- 
ianity finds itself in touch with some of the most character- 
istic movements of the time. The ideals of the day are 
pre-eminently social ; the key-word of Positivism is " Altruism " 
— the organisation of humanity for social efforts ; the call is 
to a "service of humanity";' the air is full of ideas, schemes, 

^ The sentence is quoted from Pfleiderer, BeligionephUoaaphky iL p. 206 
(Eng. trans.). Of. E&ftan, Wesen, pp. 67, 71, 171, 178, 214, 218, etc; VfoAr- 
heitf p. 547, etc. 

» Eev. xi. 16. 

• Of. Cotter Morison's The Service of Man, "The worship of deities has 
passed into 'the Service of Man.' Instead of Theolatiy, we have Anthropo- 


Utopias, theories of social reform ; and we who believe that 
ChristiaDitj is the motive power which alone can effectually 
attain what these systems of men are striving after, are 
surely bound to put our faith to the proof, and show to men 
that in deed and in truth, and not in word only, the kingdom 
of God has come nigh to them. We know something of what 
Christianity did in the Koman Empire as a power of social 
purification and reform ; ^ of what it did in the middle ages in 
the Christianising and disciplining of barbarous nations ; of 
the power it has been in modem times as the inspiration of 
the great moral and philanthropic movements of the century ;^ 
and this power of Christianity is likely to be yet greater in 
the future than in the past. There is yet vast work to be 
accomplished ere the kingdom of God is fully come.* 

This, therefore, ijaay be said to be the nearer aim of Christ- /Tisfory has 
ianity — the coming of the kingdom of God on earth; ^^^^^^i^^* 
beyond this there is, as certainly, another end. Even on eschcuoiogy 
earth the kingdom of God does not consist supremely, ot^^^' 
even peculiarly, in the possession of outward good, but in the 
inward life of the Spirit, in righteousness and peace and joy 
in the Holy Ghost.* History, too, moves onward to its goal, 
which is not simply a transformed society, but a winding up 
of all terrestrial affairs, and the transition from a world of 
time to a new order of things in eternity, in which the good 
of the kingdom of God will be perfectly realised. 

In dealing with the eschatology proper of the Christian TJu positive 
view, it will be of advantage to turn our attention first to ^^ '^^^ 
those aspects of it which stand out distinct and clear. I christian 

latry ; the divine service has become human service.'* — P. 265. As if the 

truest service of God did not carry in it the service of humanity. 

^ Cf. Loring Brace's Qtita Ckriati; Schmidt's SocicU BestUts of Early 
ChriaUanity (Eng. trans.) ; Uhlhorn's Christian Charity in the Early Church; 
Lecky's Hietory qf European Morals, etc. 

' Mr. Stead, himself an enthusiast in social work, says : '* Most good work is 
done by Christians. Mrs. Besant herself expressed to me that they did very 
Uttle indeed, and those who did were only those who like herself had been 
brought up Christians." — Church of the Future, p. 9, 

' See Appendix on "The Idea of the Kiogdom of God." 

* Eom. xiv. 17. 


have said that a truly purposeful life is only possible on the 

basis of a world-view which has a definite aim. What that 

aim is in the Christian view,, as respects its positive and 

bright side, is seen in the light of the Incarnation. There 

are three points here which seem to stand out free from all 


Three things 1. The aim of God as regards believers is summed up in 

^^^^hs^end ^^® simple phrase — conformity to the image of the Son. 

respects the " Whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed 

believer is ^^ ^j^^ ^^^^^ ^f jjjg g^^^ ^^^^ g^ ^j jj|. j^^ ^^e Mrst-bom 

ctmformtty to " 

the image of among many brethren." ^ This is the one absolute light-point 

the Son, j^ ^jjg eternal future. The mists and shadows which rest on 

other parts of the eschatological problem do not affect us 

hera We see not yet all things put under humanity, " but 

we behold Him who hath been made a little lower than the 

angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned 

with glory and honour," ^ apd we know that our destiny is to 

be made like Him. This is conformity to type in the highest 

degree. By what processes the result is to be brought about 

we may not know, but the end itself is clear — the assimilation 

begun on earth shall be perfected above. 

2. This in- 2. This conformity to Christ includes not only moral and 

cituUs likeness spiritual likcuess to Christ, but likeness to Him also in His 

to His glorious ^ 

body; the glorious body; that is, the Bedemption of the body, life in a 

Resurrection, glorified corporeity. DifiSculties rise here of course in great 

numbers, and the question will be put, " How are the dead 

raised, and with what manner of body do they come?"' 

But, first, I would say that there are certain tilings here also 

which stand out clear. 

(i) The Re- (1) First of all, this doctrine of the Redemption of the 

demption of y^o^j is needful for the completion of the Christian view. It 

the body not ^ ^ 

an accident^ is not an accident, but an essential and integral part of it It 

but an essen- jg essential to a complete Redemption, as we saw in speaking 

the Christian of immortality, that not the soul only, but man in his whole 

view, complex personality, body and soul together, should be 

1 Rom. viu. 29 (E.V.), * Heb. il 8, 9 (R. V.). » 1 Cor. xv. 86 (R- V.). 


redeemed. In the disembodied state, the believer indeed is 
with Christ, reste in the blessedness of unbroken fellowship 
with Him, but it is the resurrection which is the perfection 
of his life.^ 

(2) I say, next, that this doctrine of the resurrection of (2) This 
the body is not exposed to some of the objections often made ^!!?^^^ 
to it. How, it is asked, can the same body be raised, when sotne of the 
it is utterly decayed, and the particles of which it was^^^''^^ 
composed are scattered to the winds of heaven, or perhaps 
taken up into other bodies ? But the doctrine of the True doctrine 
resurrection does not involve any such belief. The solution Z^ ^ f^'^f'^' 
lies, I think, in a right conception of what it is which con- identity, 
stitutes identity. Wherein, let us ask, does the identity even ""*^' 
of our present bodies consist ? Not, certainly, in the mere 
identity of the paiticles of matter of which our bodies are 
composed, for this is continually changing, is 'in constant 
process of flux. The principle of identity lies rather in that 
which holds the particles together, which vitally organises 
and constructs them, which impresses on them their form and 
shape, .and maintains them in unity with the soul to serve as 
its instrument and medium of expression. It lies, if we may 
so say, in the organic, constructive principle, which in its own 
nature is spiritual and immaterial, and adheres to the side of 
the souL At death, the body perishes. It is resolved into 
its elements ; but this vital, immaterial principle endures, 
prepared, when God wills, to give form to a new and grander, ^ 

because more spiritual, coi-poreity. The existence of mystery 
here I grant; we cannot understand the resurrection from 
natural causes, but only, as Christ teaches us, from the power • 
of 6od.^ It is a miracle, and the crowning act of an economy 
of miracles. But we need not make the mystery greater 

' The idealistic school, on the other hand, speak slightingly of life in the 
body. ''A renewed 'embodiment,'" says Mr. Green, ''if it means anything, 
would be but a return to that condition in which we are but parts of nature, a 
condition from which the moral life is already a partial deliverance." — Works^ iii. 
p. 206. Was Plotinus then right when he blushed that he had a body ! 

> Matt xzii. 29. 


than it is by insisting on a material identity between the 

new body and the old, which is no part of the doctrine of 

Scripture — indeed, is expressly contradicted by the words of 

PauVs the apostle, touching on this very point. " Thou foolish one," 

analogy, ^^^^ Paul, " that which thou thyself sowest is not quickened 

except it die ; and that which thou sowest, (hou sowest not the 

lady which shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, 

or of some other kind, but God giveth it a body even as it 

pleaseth Him, and to each seed a body of its own." * In the 

case supposed, we see very clearly, first, that the identity 

consists only in a very minute degree, if at all — and then 

only accidentally — in identity of material particles ; and, 

second, that the real bond lies in the active, vital principle 

which connects the two bodies. 

(3) Nbt a (3) A third point is, that the resurrection contemplated is 

resurrection at ^^^ ^ resurrcctiou at death, but a future event connected with 

deatk, but a 

future event, the consummation of all things. The opposite view is one 
which has had many modern advocates, — among them the 
authors of The Unseen Universe ; * but, though it professes to 
stay itself on the expressions, " a house not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens," " clothed upon with our habitation 
which is from heaven," • I do not think that this view accords 
with the general representations of Scripture, which always 
contemplate the resurrection as future, and regard the 

1 1 Cor. XV. 86-38 (R. V.). Cf. Origen, Dt Princtpm, ii. 6 : " For him the re- 
surrection is not the reproduction of any particular organism, but the preservation 
of complete identity of person, an identity maintained under new conditions, 
which he presents under the apostolic figure of the growth of the plant from 
the seed ; the seed is committed to the earth, perishes, and yet the vital power 
which it contains gathers a new frame answering to its proper nature." — West- 
cott in Dictionary of Christian Biography ^ iv. p. 121. 

^ Ufween Univerae, pp. 200-211 ; and on Swedenborg's views, pp. 63, 64. 
Thus also Munger in his Freedom of Faith: '*This change necessarily takes 
place at death. A disembodied state, or state of torpid existence between 
death and some far-off day of resurrection, an under-world where the soul waits 
for the reanimation of its body : these are old-world notions that survive only 
through chance contact with the Christian system.*' — P. 809. Then, were 
Hymeuffius and Philetus not right who said that "the resurrection is past 
already," and in Paul's view overthrew the faith of some ? (2 Tim. ii. 18.) Cf. 
Newman Smyth's Old Faiths in New Lights, chap. viii. 

» 2 Cor. V. 1, 2 (R.V.). 


believer's state as, till that time, one of being " unclothed." 
What Scripture does seem to teach is, that meanwhile a 
preparation for this spiritual body is going on, a spiritual 
basis for it is being laid, through the possession and working 
of Christ's Spirit.^ 

3. The doctrine of the Christian consummation carries 3- The per- 
with it, further, the idea that, together with the perfecting ^^^ch!^chc!^cs 
the believer, or of the sons of God, there will be a perfecting with it the 
or glorification even of outward nature. This is implied in ^'^^''''^^^ 

" -"^ nature. 

the possession of a corporeity of any kind, for that stands in 
relation to an environment, to a general system of things. A 
new heavens and earth there must be, if there is to be 
glorified corporeity. Scripture, accordingly, makes clear that 
nature also, the creation also, will be delivered from the 
bondage of vanity and corruption under which it is at present 
held.' It is needless for us to attempt to anticipate what 
changes this may imply ; how it is to be brought about, or 
how it stands related to the changes in the material universe 
predicted by science. The day alone will declare it. 

Connected with these views and anticipations of the con- Putortai and 
summation, are certain pictorial and scenic elements in the ^^^*^ '^' 
Christian eschatology, to which attention must now be given, i. iTie Per- 
Such are the descriptions of the second Advent and of the f '^ Advent : 

hew to be 

general Judgment. Here belong the eschatological discourses interpreted! 
and sayings of Christ and His apostles, in regard to which, 
again, the question is. How are they to be interpreted? 
Taking, first, those which relate to Christ's personal return to Beyschlag*s 
the world, I might quote Beyschlag as a typical example of ^^^^ 
how these pictorial and scenic elements are treated by many 
who are indisposed to take a literal view of their import. 
" Jesus," he says, " grasps up together in the sensible image 
of His coming again on the clouds of heaven, all that which 

' The Scriptures mention also a resurrection of the wicked (John y. 29 ; 
Acts xxIt. 15 ; Bev. xx. 12), likewise, we cannot doubt, connected with Christ's 
appearance in our nature, but, beyond describing it as a resurrection of con- 
demnation, they throw little light upon its nature. 

s £om. yiii. 21 ; 2 Pet. iii. 13. 


lay beyond His death — the whole glorious reversal of His 
earthly life and the death on the cross, from His resurrection 
on till the perfecting of His kingdom at the last day ; and the 
more we keep in view the genuinely prophetic nature of this 
comprehensive sense-image, and how it shares the essential 
limits of all prophecy, the more is a solution found of the at 
first apparently insoluble difficulty of this prophetic part of 
The Comins, a His doctrine." ^ Now, I think a careful study of the passages 
process %n ^yj compel US to agree with this writer on one main point, 

whuh many ^ o x: » 

elements ji<nv namely, that Jesus does not always speak of His coming in 
together, ^.j^^ game sense ; that it is to Him rather a process in which 
many elements flow together in a single image, than a single 
definite event, always looked at in the same light^ Thus, He 
says to the high priest, with obvious reference to the prophecy 
in Daniel, " Henceforth," that is, from this time on, " ye shall 
see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and 
coming on the clouds of heaven." ' He came again to His 
disciples after the resurrection ; He came in the mission of 
the Comforter ; He came in the power and spread of His king- 
dom, especially after the removal of the limitations created by 
the existing Jewish polity, which seems to be the meaning in the 
passage, " There be some of them that stand here which shall 
in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in 
His kingdom" ;* He has come in every great day of the Lord 
in the history of His Church ; He will come yet more con- 
stiii, a Per- spicuously in the events of the future. Yet I cannot agree 
'ufm^iUd!^^ with Beyschlag when, on these grounds, he would exclude 

^ Lthtn Jetu, i. p. 856. 

^ That Jesus did not anticipate His immediate return, but contemplated a 
slow and progressive development of His kingdom, is shown by many indica- 
tions in the Qospels. Cf. on this subject, Beyschlag, Lehen JeaUy i. pp. 854-356 ; 
Keuss, Hist, of Christ, Theol,, L pp. 217-218 ; Brace's Kingdom qf Ood^ 
chap. xii. 

' Matt. xxvi. 64 (R.V.)* Cf. Dan. viiL 18, 14. In DanieVs vision the "one 
like unto a Son of Man " comes on the clouds of heaven to receive a kingdom 
from the Ancient of Days, not to judge the world. 

^ Matt xvL 28 (B.V.). Mark has "till they see the kingdom of God come 
with power" (ix. 1); Luke simply, "till they see the kingdom of Qod" 
(ix, 27). 


altogether a final, personal advent of Jesus, a visible return 
in power and glory to the world. It seems to me that 
Christ's words on this subject, repeated by His apostles, are 
altogether too explicit and of too solemn an import to be 
explained away into mere metaphor. I would agree, there- 
fore, with the Church catholic in its confession, " From thence 
He shall come to judge the quick and the dead/' In Bey- 
schlag's case it seems the more arbitrary to deny this, as he 
fully admits the reality of Christ's resurrection, and, if not of 
His visible ascent, at least of His actual bodily reception 
into heaven. His words are, " What then was the original 
thought of the ascension ? What else can it have been than 
that of the elevation of Jesus above the limits of the earthly 
life, of His translation into another, supra-mundane, Divine 
form of existence— in a word, of His exaltation or glorifica- 
tion ? " ^ If this be so, there is surely no incongruity in the 
thought that He who thus went away shall again appear in 
manifested glory. 

It is not otherwise with the pictures we have of a final 2. The General 
act of Judgment as the accompaniment of this reappearance ''*'^*^^ 
of the Lord. Here, also, it is correct to speak of a continuous 
judgment of the world. The history of the world, as we 
often hear, is the judgment of the world. Yet the represen- its certainty, 
tations which Christ Himself gives us of a gradual ripening 
of both good and evil to the harvest, then of a final and 
decisive separation * — joined with the similar representations 
of the apostles'— compel us, it seems to me, to speak of a day 
of reckoning, when God shall judge the secrets of men by 
Christ Jesus ; which shall be at once a vindication of God's 
action in the government of the world, and a decision upon 
the issues of the individual life. From a teleological view of 
the world, also, as well as from a survey of its existing imper- 
fections, it is felt that there is an inherent fitness, if not a 
moral necessity, in 1;he supposition of such a last judgment 

' Lebm /e«e, i. p. 448. ' Matt, xiil 80, 49, etc. 

» Acts xvii. 31 ; Rom. iL 16 ; 2 Cor. v. 10, etc. 



which shall form, as it were, the Ahuywtmmt of the great 
Parabolic drama of universal history.^ It is manifest, on the other 
c racier of j^^^^^j ^j^j^^. jj| ^^ descriptions and pictures which we have of 

this dread event are so charged with figurative and parabolic 
elements, that we can infer nothing from them beyond the 
great principles on which the judgment will proceed. 

///. The dark III. By thcse stcps wc are led up, in the consideration of 
\uestion^the ^^® ^^^ things, to that which is for us the question of supreme 
destiny of the coucern ou this subjcct — the question of individual destiny. 
wicked. J jj^^g spoken of this already as regards the believer. But 

what of the shadow alongside of the light? What of the 
judgment of condemnation alongside of the judgment of life ? 
What of the wrath of God abiding on the unbeliever, along- 
side of the blessedness of those who are saved ? These ques- 
tions are not arbitrarily raised, but are forced upon us by the 
plain statements of Scripture, by the fears and forebodings of 
the guilty conscience, and by the anxiety and perplexity they 
Thru theories are causiug to many hearts. To the questions thus raised, 

on this subiect : .% . i. v. • j • 

^ three mam answers have been given, and are given. 

1. The first is that of dogmatic Uhiversalism. This was 
I. Dogmatic the vicw of Origcn in the early Church,* and is the view of 
nwers tsm, gchleiermachcr, expressed in the words, " that through the 
power of Bedemption there will result in the future a general 
restoration of all human souls" ;^ the view expressed yet more 
dogmatically by Dr. Samuel Cox, " While our brethren hold 
the Bedemption of Christ to extend only to the life that now is, 
and to take efiect only on some men, we maintain, on the 
contrary, that it extends to the life to come, and must take 
effect on all men at the last " ; * the view breathed as a wish 
by Tennyson-; — 

''The wish that of the living whole 
No life may faU beyond the grave."* 

^ Gf. Martensen, Dorner, Van Oosterzee, Luthardt, for illustrations of this 

" De PrineipiUy i. 6. ' Der christL Olaube, ii. p. 505. 

* SalvcUor Mundi, 11th ed. p. 225. * In Memxmam, 


It is a view which, I am sure, we would all be glad to hold, 
if the Scriptures gave us light enough to assure us that it 
was true. 

2. The second answer is that of the theory of Annihilation, 2. The doc- 
or, as it is sometimes called, Conditional Immortality. This '?^.^-(, . 
is the direct opposite of the universalistic view, inasmuch as Conditional 
it assumes that the wicked will be absolutely destroyed, or ^^^^ortaiUy. 
put out of existence. Bothe and others have held this view 

among continental theologians;^ in this country it is best 
known through the writings of Mr. Edward White. A 
kindred view is that of Bushnell, who, reasoning " from the 
known eifects of wicked feeling and practice in the reprobate 
characters," expects " that the staple of being and capacity in 
such will be gradually diminished, and the possibility is thus 
suggested that, at some remote period, they may be quite 
wasted away, or extirpated." * The service which this theory 
has rendered is as a corrective to XJniversalism, in laying 
stress on those passages in Scripture which appear to teach a 
final ruin of the wicked. 

3. The third answer is that which has been the prevailing 3. The doc- 
one in the Protestant Church, the theory of an eternal punish- ^'^ ^ 
ment of the wicked in a state of conscious. suffering ; a theory. Punishment. 
also, with which, in the form in which it has been commonly 
presented, a strong feeling of dissatisfaction at present exists. 

A modification of this theory is that which supposes the 
ultimate fate of the wicked — or of those who are the wicked 
here — to consist in the punishment of loss, rather than in 
that of eternal suffering. 

Such are the views that ajre held ; what attitude are we Fundamental 
to take up towards them? I shall best consult my (^^^uPf^ions laid 


feelings and sense of duty by speaking frankly what I think 
upon the subject. Here, in the first place, I would like to 

^ DagnuUiky iii. p. 108. Ritschl, too, teaches that \f there are any who 
oppose themselves absolutely to the realisation of the Divine plan, their fate 
would be annihilation.— i?«cA<. und Ver, ii. pp. 129, 140-142. But the case is 
purely hypothetical, iii. p. 863. 

* Forgiveness and Law, p. 147. 


lay down one or two fundamental positions which seem to 
me of the nature of certainties. 

1. ThepHn- 1. I would lay down, as the first and great fundamental 
'^^*>^//^^^^''' certitude, the truth enunciated by the prophet, *' Say ye of 


for sin, the rightcous, that it shall be well with him ; for they shall 

eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked ! it shall 
be ill with him ; for the reward of his hands shall be given 
him " ; ^ in other words, the great and fundamental principle 
of certain retribution for sin. This is a principle we cannot 
hold too clearly or too strongly. Whatever tends to tamper 
with this principle, or to weaken its hold upon the conscience, 
is alien to the true Christian view. By unalterable laws 
impressed upon the nature of man and on the universe, 
righteousness is life, and sin is inevitable misery and death.^ 
Omnipotence itself could not reverse this law, that so long as 
the sinner continues in his sin he must suffer. On the other 
hand, where this principle is firmly grasped, there ought, I 
think, to be much room left for difference of views on points 
which, from the nature of the case, are obscure and tentative. 

2, Need of 2. I think, in the next place, a strong distinction ought to 
dtsttngutshtng -^^ drawn between those things which Scripture expressly 

between what ® tr r J 

Scripture tcachcs, and those things on which it simply gives no light ; 
teaches and \j^ regard to which it neither aJBSrms nor denies, but is simply 

subjects on 

which it is sileut Here our wisdom is to imitate its caution, and refrain 
simply silent, from dogmatism. I confess I marvel sometimes at the con- 
fidence with which people pronounce on that which must and 
shall be through the eternities and eternities — the ages and 
ages — of God*s unending life, during which also the soul of 

1 laa. iii. 10, 11 (R.V.). 

' Mr. Greg also has his doctrine of future retribution. "Must not a future 
world in itself — the condition of 'spiritual corporeity* alone — bring with it 
dreadful retribution to the wicked, the selfish, and the weak ? In the mere 
fact of their cleared perceptions, in the realisation of their low position, in 
seeing themselves at length as they really are, in feeling that all their work is 
yet to do, in beholding all those they loved and venerated far before them, 
away from them, fading in the bright distance, may lie, must lie, a torture, a 
purifying fire, in comparison with which the representations of Dante and 
Milton shrivel into baseness and intkdequtkcy,"— Creed of Christendom, p. 280. 


man is to exist ; and this in respect of so appalling a subject 
as the future fate of the lost. There is room here for a wise 
Agnosticism. I prefer to say that, so far as my light goes, I 
see no end, and there to stop. 

3. I hold it for a certainty, that to deal with all the sides 3. A larger cai- 
and relations of this diiBScult subject we would require a much J^jJ^^ J^ 
larger calculus than with our present light we possess. Wh^t present possess. 
chiefly weighs with many in creating dissatisfaction with the ^^^^/^^ ^ 

^ ^ 'f ^ large view of 

current Church view is not so much special texts of Scripture the issues of 
as rather the general impression produced upon the mind by ^^ CknsHan 


the whole spirit and scope of the gospel Bevelation. Starting 

with the character of Gk)d as Christ reveals it ; with the fact 

of the Incarnation ; with the reality and breadth of the 

Atonement ; with the glimpses given into the issues of 

Christ's work, the feeling is produced in every thoughtful 

mind, that the sweep of this great scheme of Incarnation 

and Bedemption cannot be exhausted in the comparatively 

meagre results which we see springing from it here, — ^meagre, 

I mean, in comparison with the whole compass of the race 

or even of those who are brought outwardly within the range 

of its influence. What, men are asking with a constantly The question 

heavier sense of the burden of the difficulty, of the untold ^-^''^^^"^^''• 

millions who have never heard of Christ at all, of the millions 

and millions who have never even had the chance of hearing 

of Him ? What, even within the limits of Christendom, of 

the multitudes, as they must be reckoned, in comparison with 

the really Christ-like in our midst, who give no evidence 

of true regeneration, vast numbers of whom are living 

openly worldly and godless lives ? We feel instinctively that 

the last word has not been — cannot be — spoken by us hera 

It may be said, and with much truth, that for those who Degrees of 

have the light, there is no excuse. Salvation has been put ^^P^^^^^^y 

" '' even under 

within their reach, and they have deliberately rejected it, gospel 
But even here, are there not elements we dare not overlook ? ^^^^^^s- 
Men are responsible for the use they make of light, but how 
much here also is not due to the individual will, which is 


crossed by influences from heredity, from environment, from 
up-bringing, from pressure of events ! God alone can disentangle 
the threads of freedom in the web of character and action, 
and say how much is a man's individual responsibility in the 
result, as distinguished from his share in the common guilt 
of the race.^ It is certain, from Christ's own statement, that, 
in the judgment of Omniscience, all these things are taken 
into account, and that even in the administration of punish- 
ment there are gradations of penalty, proportionate to men's 
knowledge and opportunities ; that, as Paul says, there is a 
distinction made between those who have ''sinned without 
law," and those who have " sinned under law," * 
Criticism of Thesc principles being laid down, I proceed to offer a few 
/ eorus: remarks on the various theories which have been submitted. 
I. Scripture 1. And, first, I cannot accept the view of dogmatic 
does net Vhiversaltsm. There is certainly no clear and certain 

warrant " 

dogmatic Scripturc which af&rms that all men will be saved ; on the 
Universalism, other hand, there are many passages which look in another 
direction, which seem to put the stamp of finality on the 
sinner's state in eternity. Even Archdeacon Farrar, so strong 
an advocate of this theory, admits that some souls may ultim- 
ately be lost ; ^ and it is to be observed, that if even one soul 
is lost finally, the principle is admitted on which the chief 
difficulty turns. I am convinced that the light and airy 

^ Maudsley says : "When we reflect how much time and what a multitude 
of divers experiences have gone to the formation of a character, what a complex 
product it is, and what an inconceivably intricate interworking of intimate 
energies, active and inhibitive, any display of it in feeling and will means, it 
must appear a gross absurdity for anyone to aspire to estimate or appraise all 
the component motives of a particular act of will. ... To dissect any act of 
will accurately, and then to recompose it, would be to dissect and recompose 
humanity.'* — Body and Will^ p. 29. But see below. 

*Rom. ii. 12 (R. v.). 

' *'I cannot tell whether some souls may not resist God for ever, and there- 
fore may not be for ever shut out from His presence, and I believe that to be 
without God is * heU ' ; and that in this sense there is a hell beyond the grave ; 
and that for any soul to fall even for a time into this condition, though it be 
through its own hardened impenitence and resistance of God's grace, is a very 
awful and terrible prospect ; and that in this sense there may be for some souh 
an endless hell. "—Jfcrcy and Judgment, p. 485. 


assertions one sometimes meets with of dogmatic Univers- 

alism are not characterised by a due sense of the gravity of 

the evil of sin, or of the awful possibilities of resistance to 

goodness that lie within the human will. It seems to me 

plain that deliberate rejection of Christ here means, at the 

very least, awful and irreparable loss in eternity ; that to go 

from the judgment-seat condemned, is to exclude oneself in 

perpetuity from the privilege and glory which belong to 

God's sons. Even the texts, some of them formerly quoted, The passages 

which at first sight might seem to favour Universalism, are ^ **^ *r 

® o » favour of 

admitted by the most impartial expositors not to bear ihiatkisview 
weight of meaning. We read, €.<7., of " a restoration of all *'*'^^«^^^' 
things " — the same that Christ calls the irdKiyyeveala — but 
in the same breath we are told of those who will not hearken, 
and will be destroyed.^ We read of Christ drawing all men 
unto Him ; ^ but we are not less clearly told that at His 
coming Christ will pronounce on some a tremendous condem- 
nation.^ We read of all things being gathered, or summed up, 
in Christ, of Christ subduing aU things to Himself, etc. ; but 
representative exegetes like Meyer and Weiss show that it is 
far from Paul's view to teach an ultimate conversion or 
annihilation of the kingdom of evil* I confess, however, 
that the strain of these last passages does seem to point in the 
direction of some ultimate unity, be it through subjugation, 
or in some other way, in which active opposition to God's 
kingdom is no longer to be reckoned with. 

2. Neither can I accept the doctrine of the Annihilation 2. Scripture 
of the Wicked. In itself considered, and divested of some of ^^^^„,^^. 
the features with which Mr. White clothes it in his Life in hUaHonism, 
Christ, this may be admitted to be an abstractly possible 
hypothesis, and as such has received the assent, as before 
stated, of Bothe and others who are not materialistically 
disposed. Thei'e is a certain sense in which everyone will 
admit that man has not a necessary or inherent immortality, 

1 Matt. xix. 28 ; Acts iii. 21, 23 (R.V.). « John x. 82. 

* Matt. TiL 23, xxt. 41. ^ See Nute C— Alleged Pauline UniversaliBm. 


that he depends for his continued existence, therefore for his 
immortality, solely on the will and power of God. Man can 
never rise above the limits of his creaturehood As created, 
Tkt hypothesis he is, and must remain, a dependent being. It is, therefore, 
^i^s'^u^but * possible supposition — one not a priori to be rejected — that 
not scriptur- though originally made and destined for immortality, man 
ally justified, j^^j^^^ ^ave this destiny cancelled. There is force, too, in 
what is said, that it is difficult to see the utility of keeping 
a being in existence merely to sin and sufifer. Yet, when the 
theory is brought to the test of Scripture proof, it is found 
to fail in evidence. 
Edward (1) Stress is laid on those passages which speak of the 

^Juicis^^ destruction of the wicked, of their perishing,^ of their being 
(i)//jj»//<»jtfdr consumed in iire, as chaiF, tares, branches, etc.^ So far as the 
scriptural j^^^ ^jj^^g ^f passages is concerned, they are plainly meta- 
phorical, and, in face of other evidence, it is difficult to put on 
Internal any of them the meaning that is asked. For this destruction 
^ofth^the^ comes on the ungodly at the day of judgment, at the day of 
the wicked the Lord. " Sudden destruction " an apostle calls it ; ^ yet it 
"iTf/Jfr^"^ is part of this theory that the wicked are not annihilated 
at the day of judgment, but live on in suffering for an 
indefinitely prolonged time, as a punishment for their 
ofifences, the greatest sinners suffering most. In this respect, 
the theory approximates to the ordinary view, for it makes 
the real punishment of the sinner lie in the period of his 
conscious existence, and the annihilation which comes after 
is rather a merciful termination of his sufferings than the 
crowning of his woe. If Mr. White's theory is to be made 
consistent with itself, it ought to provide for the immediate 
annihilation of the wicked at death, or at least at the judg- 
ment In reality, however, the " destruction " comes at the 
judgment, and the "annihilation" not till long after; so that, 
on his own principles, we cannot argue from the mere word 
to the fact of annihilation. 

» Matt. vii. 13 ; 2 Thess. i. 9 ; 2 Cor. ii 15 ; 2 Pet ii. 12, etc. 

« Matt iii 12, xiii. 80, 60 ; John xv. 6, etc. » 1 Thess. v. 3. 

at death. 



(2) Another thing which suggests itself in regard to this (2) Shuts out 
theory is that, taken strictly, it seems to shut out all grada- ^^^'^^"^ "' 
tions of punishment; the end of all being "death," i.e. or escapes 

" annihilation," If, to escape this, reference is made to the '^" ^^^ ^^ 

* tfuonststency, 

longer or shorter period of the suffering before annihilation, 
this shows, as before, that it is in the conscious sufferings, not 
in the annihilation, that the real punishment is supposed to be. 

(3) But the crowning objection to this theory — so far as (3) /'j w«- 
proof from Scripture is concerned — is that in its use of the \^^^^ ^^^ 
words " life " and "death," it misses the true significance of "/t/fe"a«^f 
these Bible terma life is not, in Scripture usage, simple '*^^^' 
existence ; death is not simple non-existence, but separation 

from true and complete life. This theory itself being witness, 
the soul survives in the state of natural death. It passes 
into the intermediate condition, and there awaits judgment. 
Life, in short, is, in its Scripture sense, a word with a moral 
and spiritual connotation ; a person may not possess it, and 
yet continue to exist. "He that obeyeth not the Son," we 
are told, " shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth 
on him."^ But so long as the vnrath of God abides (fiivei) on 
him, he must abide. So far as Scripture goes, therefore, this 
theory is not proved. It must remain a mere speculation; 
and one which cuts the knot rather than unties it. 

It is interesting to mark that Mr. White himself seems Mr, Whi/e 
little satisfied with his theory, and does his best to relieve it^^fffl^^^ 

•^ wUh hts own 

of its harsher features If the thought is terrible of ^e theory^ 
countless multitudes who leave this world without having ^^'^^ ''^^*'^ 

tn Future 

heard of Christ, or without deliberate acceptance of Him, probation. 
being doomed to endless suffering, it is scarcely less appalling 
to think of these myriads, after longer or shorter terms of 
suffering, being swept from existence by the fiat of Omni- 
potence. Mr. White feels the weight of this difficulty, and 
tries to alleviate it by the thought of a prolonged probation 
in Hades.^ Here, he thinks, we find the solution of the 
problem of the heathen; and of many more whose oppor* 

^ John iii. 36 (R.V.). ' Lift in Christy chap. xxii. 


tunities have not been sufficiently great to bring them to 
clear decision. I have no doubt that Mr. White cherishes in 
his heart the hope that by far the greater proportion of 
mankind will thus be saved ; that, in consequence, the finally 
Approxtma- lost will be Comparatively few. In other words, just as in 
'!^^/^ .. the admission of prolonged periods of penal suffering his 
theory was seen approximating to that of eternal punishment, 
so here we see it stretching out hands, as it were, on the 
other side, towards " the larger hope " of Universalism. It 
is certainly a curious result that a theory which begins by 
denying to man any natural immortality — which takes away 
the natural grounds of belief in a future state — should end 
by transferring the great bulk of the evangelising and con- 
verting work of the gospel over to that future state ; for, 
assuredly, what is accomplished there must be immense as 
compared with what, in his view, is done on eartL • This 
brings me— 
3. The theory 3. To spcak of the Ordinary doctrine, and as a proposed 
^L^^^^^ alleviation of this, of the theory of a Future ProbaJbwii, a 

Probation, ' ^ ' 

theory which we have just seen is held also by Mr. Edward 

White. By future probation is meant here probation, not 

after the judgment, but intermediately between death and 

Its wide judgment. This is a theory which, as is well known, has 

acceptance tn f^mi^j ^\i\i^ acceptance among believing theologians on the 

recent times* , 

contment, and also in America, and is advanced by its 
adherents as a solution of the difficulties which arise from 
supposing that all who leave this world without having heard 
of Christ, or having definitely accepted Him, necessarily 
perish. It is the theory held, t.g,^ by Domer, Oosterzee, 
Martensen, Godet, Luthardt, Gretillat, and many others. No 
one, it is said, will be lost without being brought to a know- 
ledge of Christ, and having the opportunity given him of 
accepting His salvation. Every man must be brought to a 
definite acceptance or rejection of Christ, if not here, then 
hereafter. The theory is believed to be supported by the 
well-known passages in the First Epistle of Peter which speak 


of a preaching by Christ to the spirits in prison, and of the 
gospel being preached to the dead.^ 

Yet, when all is said, this theory must be admitted to be Based tnore 
based more on general principles than on definite scriptural ^:^^^^^^^^ 
information. Our own Church is not committed on tYiQ on definite 
subject ; indeed, as I have occasion to remember, in framing ^P*^^^ 

" ^ tnformatton. 

its Declaratory Act, it expressly rejected an amendment 
designed to bind it to the position that probation in every 
case is limited to time. The Synod acted wisely, I think, 
in rejecting that amendment. All the same, I wish now to 
say that I do not much like this phrase, '' Future Probation.'' 
Least of all am I disposed with some to make a dogma of it. 
There are three facts in regard to the scriptural aspect of this 
theory which ought, I think, to make us cautious. 

(1) The first is the intense concentration of every ray ot Facts which 
exhortation and appeal into the present. " Now is the accept- ^^^f^ 
able time ; behold, now is the day of salvation." ^ This is the (i) Concmtra- 
strain of Scripture throughout Everything which would '^^ ^/^f^ 

* " ir o rayofexhor* 

weaken the force of this appeal, or lead men to throw over tatim and 
into a possible future what ought to be done now, is q, appeal into 

the present, 

distmct evil. 

(2) The second is the fact that, in Scripture, judgment is (2) T/u 
invariably represented as proceeding on the matter of this-^'^^f'!^, 

<* ^ x- o invariably 

life, on the " deeds done in the body." * The state after death represetited as 
is expressly described, in contrast with the present life, ^^r^^"**^^" 
one of "judgment."* In every description of the judgment, or this life, 
allusion to it, it is constantly what a man has been, or has 
done, in this life, which is represented as the basis on which 
the determination of his final state depends. There is not a 
word, or hint, to indicate that a man who would be found on 
the left hand of the King, or who would pass under con- 
demnation, on the basis of his earthly record, may possibly 
be found on the other side, and be accepted, on the ground of 
some transaction in the state between death and judgment. 

1 1 Pet. iii 18-20, iv. 6. 2 2 Cor. vi. 2 (R.V.). 

» E.g,, Matt. xxv. 31-46 ; 2 Cor. v. 10 ; Rev. xx. 12. * Heb. ix. 27. 


Surely this does not agree well with a " future probation " 
theory, but would rather require us to suppose that, in 
principle at least, man is presumed to decide his destmy here. 
(3) The silence (3) There is, as the converse of these facts, the silence of 
^f^^pP^^^ Scripture on the subject of probation beyond ; for the passages 
Probation— in 1 Peter, even accepting the interpretation which makes 
hmUsofthe ^j^^jj^ ^^^^^ ^ ^ vjo-^is. of Christ in the state of the dead, form 

application of 

I Pet. iii. 19, surely a slender foundation on which to build so vast a 
20, iv. 6. structure. The suggestions they oflTer are not to be neglected. 
But neither do they speak of general probation, if of proba- 
tion at all ; nor give information as to the special character 
of this preaching to the dead, or its results in conversion ; 
least of all, do they show that what may apply to the 
heathen, or others similarly situated, applies to those whose 
opportunities have been ample. I have spoken of the 
influences of heredity, etc., as an element to be taken 
account of in judgment ; but we must beware, even here, of 
forgetting how much responsibility remains. Will is at work 
here also; personal volition is interweaving itself with the 
warp of natural circumstance and of hereditary predisposition. 
In the sphere of heathenism itself — even apart from the 
direct preaching of the gospel — there is room for moral 
decision wider than is sometimes apprehended, and a type of 
will is being formed on which eternal issues may depend. 
Yet the issues I rccognlse, howevcr, in the light of what I have stated 
of life must ^bout the need of a larger calculus, that the issues of this 

somehow be ^ 

brought to a life must prolong themselves into the unseen, and, in some 
bearing in the ^^j unknown to US, be brought to a bearing there. All I 

unseen, 00 

plead for is, that we should not set up a definite theory where, 
in the nature of things, we have not the light to enable us 
to do so. This again is a reason for refusing to acquiesce in 
many of the dogmatic affirmations which are advanced in the 
name of a doctrine of eternal punishment. Suffering and loss 
beyond expression I cannot but conceive of as following from 
definite rejection of Christ ; nor do I see anything in Scrip- 
ture to lead me to believe that this loss can ever be repaired. 


How this will relate itself to conditions of existence in etemitj 
I do not know, and beyond this I decline to speculate. 

The conclusion I arrive at is, that we have not the Result— we 
elements of a complete solution, and we ought not to attempt ^^ ^^ ' ^ 
it. What visions beyond there may be, what larger hopes, compute 
what ultimate harmonies, if such there are in store, will come ^^^^*^*^- 
in God's good time ; it is not ours to anticipate them, or lift 
the veil where God has left it drawn I What Scripture wishes 
us to realise is the fact of probation now, of responsibility here. 
We should keep this in view, and, concentrating all our exhor* 
tations and entreaty into the present, should refuse to sanction 
hopes which Scripture does not support ; striving, rather, to 
bring men to live under the impression, "How shaU we 
escape, if we neglect so great salvation ! " (Heb. ii. 3). 

Here I bring these Lectures to a conclusion. No one is C(mciuHon of 
more conscious than myself of the imperfection of the out- ^^''"^^• 
lines I have sought to trace ; of the thoughts I have brought 
before you in the wide and important field over which we 
have had to travel Only, in a closing word, would I state 
the deepened, strengthened conviction which has come to 
myself out of the study, often prolonged and anxious enough, 
which the duties of this Lectureship have entailed on me : 
the deepened and strengthened conviction of the reality and 
certainty of God's supernatural Eevelation to the world, — 
of His great purpose of love and grace, centring in the 
manifestation of His Son, but stretching out in its issues 
through all worlds, and into all eternities, — of a Bedemption 
adequate to human sin and need, the blessings of which it is 
our highest privilege to share, and to make known to others. 
With this has gone the feeling — one of thankfulness and 
hope— of the breadth of the range of - the influence of this 
new power which has gone out from Christ : not confined, as 
we might be apt to think, to those who make the full con- 
fession of His name, but touching society, and the world of 
modern thought and action, on all its sides — ^influencing its life 


and moulding its ideals ; and in circles where the truth, as 
we conceive it, is mutilated, and even in important parts 
eclipsed, begetting a personal devotion to Christ, a recognition 
of His unique and peerless position in history, and a faith in 
the spread and ultimate triumph of His kingdom, which is 
full of significance and comfort. I hail these omens; this 
widespread influence of the name of Jesus. It tells us that, 
despite of appearances which seem adverse, there is a true 
kingdom of God on earth, and that a day of gathering up in 
Christ Jesus is yet to come. I do not believe that the 
modem world has ceased to need the Christian view, or that 
in spirit its back is turned against it. The "isms" of the day 
are numerous, and the denials from many quarters are fierce 
and vehement. But in the very unbelief of the time there 
is a serious feeling such as never existed before ; and there is 
not one of these systems but, with all its negations, has its 
side of light turned towards Christ and His religion. Christ 
is the centre towards which their broken lights converge, and, 
as lifted up. He will yet draw them unto Him. I do not, 
therefore, believe that the Christian view is obsolete ; that it 
is doomed to go down like a faded constellation in the west of 
the sky of humanity. I do not believe that, in order to 
preserve it, one single truth we have been accustomed to see 
shming in that constellation will require to be withdrawn, 
or that the world at heart desires it to be withdrawn. The 
world needs them all, and will one day acknowledge it. It 
is not with a sense of failure, therefore, but with a sense of 
triumph, that I see the progress of the battle between faith 
and unbelief. I have no fear that the conflict will issue in 
defeat. Like the ark above the waters, Christ's religion will 
ride in safety the waves of present-day unbelief, as it has 
ridden the waves of unbelief in days gone by, bearing in it 
the hopes of the future of humanity. 

I thank the Principal and Professors, I thank the students, 
for their unfailing courtesy, and for their generous reception 
of myself and of my Lectures. 


Wc^t Sliea of i^t ICtngliotn of ®oX 



In the original plan of these Lectures it was mj intention to Rekuum of 
include a Lecture on " The Incarnation and the New Life of ^^" «**>' '^ 

the Course* 

Humanity ; the Kingdom of God," which would have found 
its fitting place between the eighth and what is now the 
ninth. Such a Lecture is obviously needed to complete the 
course. After resurrection came exaltation. After Calvary 
came Pentecost. After the ministry of the Son came the 
dispensation of the Spirit. The new life proceeding from 
Christ, entering first as a regenerating principle into the 
individual soul, was gradually to permeate and transform 
society. The doctrine of Bedemption passes over into that 
of the kingdom of God. This design has reluctantly had to 
be abandoned, and all I can here attempt, in addition to the 
brief allusions in Lecture Ninth, is to give a few notes on the 
general idea of the kingdom of God. 

I. I shall refer first to the place of this idea in recent /. The place 

This idea has had a prominence accorded to it in recent recent views. 
theology it never possessed before, and the most thorough- 
going attempts are made to give it application in both 
dogmatics and ethics. By making it the head - notion in 
theology, and endeavouring to deduce all particular concep- 
tions from it, it is thought that we place ourselves most in 
Christ's own point of view, and keep most nearly to His own 
lines of teaching. Kant here, as in so many other depart- 
ments, may be named as the forerunner ; and fruitful 



suggestions may be gleaned from writers like Schleiermacher, 
Schmid, and Beck. It is the school of Eitschl, however, 
which has done most to carry out consistently this all-ruling 
notion of the kingdom of God, making it the determinative 
conception even in our ideas of sin, of the Person of Christ, 
etc. Through their influence it has penetrated widely and 
deeply into current theological thought, and is creating for 
itself quite an extensive literature.^ 
Reasmsfor This being the prevailing tendency, I may not un- 
not treating naturally be blamed for not making more use of this idea 

tiie ktngaom of *' 

God as the than I have done in these Lectures. ' If this is the chief and 
all-embracing all-cmbracing, the all-comprehensive and all-inclusive notion 

conception. ^, . . . . i • i i « 

of the pure Christian view, it may be felt that the attempt 
to develop the Christian " Weltanschauung," without explicit 
reference to it, is bound to be a failure. I may reply that I 
have not altogether left it out ; it is, indeed, the conception I 
should have wished to develop further, as best fitted to 
convey my idea of the goal of the Christian Eedemption, and 
' of the great purpose of God, of which that is the expression. 
y But I have another reason. It is, that I gravely doubt the 
possibility or desirability of making this the all-embracing, 
all-dominating conception of Christian theology, except, of 
course, as the conception of an end affects and determines all 
that leads up to it. And even here the idea of the kingdom 
of God is not the only or perfectly exhaustive conception. 
The following reasons may be given for this opinion : — 

1. The kingdom of God is not so presented in the New 
Testament. In the preaching of Christ in the Synoptic 
Testament, gospels, this idea has indeed a large place. Christ attaches 
Himself in this way to the hopes of His nation, and to the 

^ Recent works in our own country are Professor Candlish's 77t« Kingdom of 
Qod (Cunningham Lectures, 1884), and Professor A. B. Brnce's Tht Kingdom 
qfOod (1889). A good discussion of the suhject is contained in an article by 
D. J. Eostlin, in the Studien und Kritiken for 1892 (Srd part). I may mention 
<also Schmoller's recent work. Die Lehre vom BeicJie OotUa in den SchrifUn des 
neven TestamenU (1891) ; another by E. Issel on the same subject (1891) ; and 
a revolutionary essay by J. Weiss, entitled Die Predigt Jesu vom Reiche GoUe$ 

I. // is not so 
presented in 
the New 


doctrine of the prophets. Yet the very variety of the aspects 
of His doctrine of the kingdom shows how difficult it must 
be to sum them all up permanently under this single formula.) 
In the Gospel of John, the idea is not so prominent, but 
recedes behind that of " life." In the Epistles, it goes still 
more decidedly into the background. Instead of the kingdom, 
it is Christ Himself who is now made prominent, and becomes 
the centre of interest Harnack notices this in his Bogm&n^ 
geschiekte. '' It is not wonderful," he says, " that in the oldest 
Christian preaching 'Jesus Christ' meets us as frequently 
as in the preaching of Jesus the kingdom of God itself."^ 
1 Peter does not use the expression ; James only once. The 
Pauline theology is developed from its own basis, without any 
attempt to make it fit into this conception. In the Epistle 
to the Hebrews, it is other ideas that rule. Where this idea 
is used in the Epistles, it is generally with an eschatological 
reference.' The Apocalypse is the book of the New Testa- 
ment which gives it most prominence. -^ 

2. The kingdom of God is not a notion which can hebt^Noi an idea 
treated as a fixed quantity. The greatest possible diversity r**^^/^^ ^* 
prevails among the interpreters as to what ideas are to helfixed^uan^Uy. 
attached* to this expression. Whether the kingdom of God 
is something set up in this life (Ritschl, Wendt, eta), or is 
something which has reference only to the future (Kaftan, 
Schmoller, J. Weiss, etc.); whether it is to be taken in a 
purely ethical and religious sense (BitschI, etc.), or is to be 
extended to embrace all the relations of existence — the 
family, state, art, culture, etc. (Schleiermacher, Beck, eta); 
what is the nature of the good which it promises — these and 

^ I. p. 70. Kaftan similarly remarks: ''In Paul also the doctrine of the 
highest good is determined through faith in the risen and exalted Christ who 
had appeared to him hefore the gates of Damascus. It can indeed be said that 
the glorified Christ here fills the place taken in the preaching of Jesus by the 
super-terrestrial kingdom of God, which has appeared in HLs Person, and 
through Him is made accessible as a possession to His disciples.'' — Dcu Weaen, 
p. 229. 

^ Not always, however, e,g. Bom. xiv. 17. Besides, what Christ meant by 
the present being of His kingdom is always recognised by these writers. 

3. Found / 

difficult in 
practice to 
bring all 


numberless other' points are still keenly under discussion. 
This is not a reason for saying that on Christ's lips the term 
had no definite signification, but it shows that the time is not 
yet ripe for making it the one and all-inclusive notion in 

3. Even when we have reached what seems a satisfactory 

conception of the kingdom, it will be found diflScult in 
practice to bring all the parts and subjects of theology under 

tfuology undey^^ j^ p^^^f ^j ^j^jg^ ^pp^^j ^^^^^ y^ ^^^^ ^ ^j^^ ^^^^ ^j 

those who have adopted this as their principle of treatment^ 
The older Nitzsch, in his System of Doctrine, says of a writer 
(Theremin) who maintained the possibility of such a deduc- 
tion, that if he had really applied his general notion of the 
kingdom of God to a partition and articulation of the 
Christian doctrinal system, it would have become manifest of 
itself that this was not the right middle notion to bind 
the parts together. Schleiermacher, and Beck, and Lipsius, 

— alike fail to cany through this idea in their systems. EUher 
the doctrines are viewed only in this relation, in which case 
many aspects are overlooked which belong to a full system 
of theology ) or b, mass of material is taken in which is only 
connected with this idea in the loosest way. The idea of the 
kingdom of God becomes in this way little more than a 
formal scheme or groundwork into which the ordinary 

— material of theology is fitted. Ritschl, indeed, renounces the 
idea of a perfect unity, when he says that Christianity is an 
ellipse with two foci — one the idea of the kingdom of God, 

N the other the idea of Eedemption.^ 
4. The true A 4. The true place of the idea of the kingdom of God in 
idea is as a f ^^Gology is as a telcological conception. It defines the aim 
teieciogicai I and purposc of God in creation and Eedemption. It is the 
concep um. | kighest aim, but everything else in the plan and purpose of 
God cannot be deduced from it. Even as end, we must 
distinguish between the aim of God to establish a kingdom of 

^ Cf. article by Kostlin above referred to. 
2 Heeht. und Ker. iu. p. 11. 

of God, 
I. The king- 
dom a present^ 


God on earth and the ultimate end — -the unity of all things 
natural and spiritual in Christ The fulness of this last 
conception is not exhausted in the one idea of '* kingdom/' 
though this certainly touches the central and essential fact, 
that God is " all in all." 1 ^ 

II. Let us next consider the teaching of Jesus on thex/. Theteach^ 
kingdom of God. Here, iff*^"^ 

° ' the kingdom 

1. I cannot but agree with those who think that the 
kingdom of God, in Christ's view, is a present, developing 
reality.^ This is implied in the parables of growth (mustard 
seed, leaven, seed growing secretly); in the representations '*^^^''^-^- 
of it, in its earthly form, as a mixture of good and bad 
(wheat and tares, the net of fishes); in the description of 
the righteousness of the kingdom (Sermon on the Mount), 
which is to be realised in the ordinary human relations ; as 
well as in many special sayings. I do not see how anyone 
can read these passages and doubt that in Christ's view the 
kingdom was a presently-existing, slowly-developing reality,* 
originating in His word, containing mixed elements, and 
bound in its development to a definite law of rhythm (" first 
the blade, then the ear,'' etc.).^ On the other hand, the idea 
has an eschatological reference. The kingdom is not something 
which humanity produces by its own efiforts, but something | 

1 1 Cor. XT. 28. • E,g, Wendt 

' Of. as in earlier note (p. 884), Reuss, Hiei, of Christ. Theol, i. pp. 217, 218 
(Eng. trans.) ; Brace, Kingdom ofOod, chap. xii. 

* The kingdom of God, in its simplest definition, is the reign of Ood in 
hnman hearts and in society ; and as such it may be viewed under two aspects : 
(1) the reign or dominion of God Himself; (2) the sphere of this dominion. 
This sphere, again, may be (1) the individual soul ; (2) the totality of such souls 
(the Church invisible) ; (3) the visible society of believers (the Church) ; (4) 
humanity in the whole complex of its relations, so far as this is brought under 
the influence of Christ's Spirit and of the principles of His religion. 

It is obvious — and this is one source of the difficulty in coming to a common 
understanding — that Christ does not always use this expression in the same 
sense, or with the same breadth of signification. Sometimes one aspect, some- 
times another, of His rich complex idea is intended by this term. Sometimes 
the kingdom of God is a power within the soul of the individual ; sometimes 
it is a leaven in the world, working for its spiritual transformation ; sometimea 



which comes to it from abova It is the entrance into humanity 
of a new life from heaven. In its origin, its powers, its 
blessings, its aims, its end, it is supernatural and heavenly. 
Hence it is the kingdom of heaven, and two stadia are dis* 
tinguished in its existence — an earthly and an eternal ; the 
"^ latter being the aspect that chiefly prevails in the Epistles.^ 

2. The ntuurel 2. What is the nature of this kingdom of God on earth ? 

^domlf^G^ In the Lecture, I have spoken of it as a new principle 

on earth, introduced into society which is fitted and destined to trans- 

I form it in all its relations. This is the view of Schleier- 

macher, Neander,^ Beck, of Domer, Martensen, Harless, in 

their works on *^ Christian Ethics/' and of most Protestant 

^ writers. This view, however, is contested, and has to be 


(I) The I (1) Now, first, it is to be acknowledged, that in Christ's 

^et)^liL ofY'^^'^'^% ^^ ^^ *^® spiritual, or directly religious and ethical, side 
this kingdom lof the kingdom which alone is made prominent Those who 
f wlw'^^o^l^i identify the kingdom oflf-hand with social aims and 
endeavours, such as we know them in the nineteenth century, 
look in vain in Christ's teaching for their warrant There 
the whole weight is rested on the inward disposition, on the 
new relation to Qod, on the new life of the Spirit, on the new 
righteousness proceeding from that life, on the new hopes and 
privileges of the sons of God. Everything is looked at in 


it is the mixed visible society ; sometimes it is that society imder its ideal 
aspect; sometimes it is the totality of its blessings and powers (the chief 
good) ; sometimes it is the ftiture kingdom of God in its heavenly glory and 

The view that Christ looked for a long and slow process of development and 
ripening in His kingdom may seem to be opposed by the eschatological predic- 
tions in Matt xxiv. Even here, however, it is possible to distinguish a nearer 
and a remoter horizon — the one, referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and 
the dissolution of the Jewish state, and denoted by the expression, " these 
things" (''this generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accom- 
plished," ver. 84) ; and the other, denoted by tiie words, "that day and hour" 
(ver. 86), regarding which Christ says, "Of that day and hour knoweth no one, 
not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only." 

^ The eschatological view alone is that taken by Kaftan, Schmoller, J. V^eiss^ 

? See History qftKe Church, opening paragraphs. 


the light of the spiritual, the eternal We read nothing in 
Christ of the effects of His religion on art, on culture, on 
philosophy, on politics, on commerce, on education, on science, 
on literature, on economical or social refomL It is the same 
with the apostles. Absorbed in the immediate work of men's 
salvation, they do not look at, or speak of, its remoter social 
effecta How far this is due in their case to the absence of — 
apprehension of a long period of development of Christ's 
religion, and to a belief on the impending dissolution of the 
world, I need not here discuss.^ The fact remains that, as 
already stated, while regarding the believer as already in 
God's kingdom and partaker of its blessings, their conceptions 
of the kingdom, in its actual manifestation, are mainly 

(2) But, second, as it is certain that a principle of this|(2) Yetaprm- 
kind could not enter into society without profoundly affecting ^^J^^^^^ 
it in all its relations, so we may be sure that Christ did not in aU its 
leave this aspect of it out of account. And when we look ^^^i^^- 
little deeper, we see that Christ, though He does not lay stress 
on this side, yet by no means excludes it, but, on the contrary, 
presupposes and assumes it, in His teaching. It is to be I 

(a) Christ, in His teaching, presupposes the truth of the 
Old Testament, and moves in the circle of its conceptions. 
The Old Testament moves predominatingly in the religious (a) The view 
and ethical sphere too, but there is a large material back-^''*^^^ 

^ ' ^ Testament 

ground or framework. We have accounts of the creation, oi presupposed-- 
the early history of man, of his vocation to replenish the ^^'^^J ^'^^' 

txon to tHe 

earth and subdue it, of the first institutions of society, of the world and to 
beginnings of civilisation, of the divisions of nations, etc. sf>^y 
Christ never leaves this Old Testament ground. The world 
to Him is God's world, and not the devil's. He has the 

^ Paul's large view of the philosopliy of history in Bom. xi., of a future 
"fulness of the Gentiles," etc., is against this supposition. It is too hastily 
assumed that the Apostle looked for the Lord*s return in his own lifetime. — See 
note by Professor Marcus Dods on 1 Thess. ir. 15 in Sohaff*s Popular Conn- 
merUary on the New Testament, 

The recogtii- 
turn of this by 


deepest feeling for its beauty, its sacredness,.the interest of 

God in the humblest of His creatures; His parables are 

drawn from its laws ; He recognises that its institutions are 

the expression of a Divine order. The worlds of nature and 

of society, therefore, in all the wealth and fulness of their 

relations, are always the background of His picture. We see 

~ this in His parables, which have nothing narrow and ascetic 

about them, but mirror the life of humanity in its amplest 

breadth — the sower, shepherd, merchant, handicraftsman, the 

servants with their talents (and proving faithful and unfaithful 

in the use of them), the builder, the vineyard-keeper, weddings, 

royal feasts, etc. 

(^) The world | (&) The world, indeed, in its existing form, Christ cannot 

tn ttsexutxng Uecognise as belonging to His kingdom. Eather, it is a hostile 

hut capabu \j Ipower — " the world," in the bad sense. His disciples are to 

Redemption expect hatred and persecution in it. It is under the dominion 

and renewal, 

of Satan, " the prince of this world." ^ His kingdom will only 
come through a long succession of wars, crises, sorrows, and 
terrible tribulations. Yet there is nothing Manichaean, or 
dualistic, in Christ's way of conceiving of this presence of 
evil in the world. If man is evil, he is still capable of 
Bedemption ; and what is true of the individual is true of 
society. His kingdom is a new power entering into it for 
the purpose of its transformation, and is regarded as a 
growing power in it. 
(f) Christ's "/ (c) Christ, accordingly, gives us many indications of His 
pofiverecogX^^^ view of the relation of His kingdom to society. The 

ntttonofthe \ ® ^ 

Divine order world Is His Father's, and human paternity is but a lower 
ofsocietyy and reflection of the Divine Fatherhood. Marriage is a divine 
His disciples institution, to be jealously guarded, and Christ consecrated it 
to work in it, jjy g^g special presence and blessing. The State also is a 

and save it. 

Divine ordinance, and tribute is due to its authorities.' The 
principles He lays down in regard to the use and perils of 

^ John xii. 81, xvi. 11, etc. 

*0n aboTe see Matt. viL 11, six. 3-9; John ii. 1-11 (cf. Matt. iz. 15); 
Matt. xxii. 21, etc. 


wealth ; love to our neighbour in his helplessness and misery ; 
the care of the poor; the infinite value of the soul, etc., 
introduce new ideals, and involve principles fitted to trans- 
form the whole social system. His miracles of healing show 
His care for the body. With this correspond His injunc- 
tions to His disciples. He does not pray that they may be 
taken out of the world, but only that they may be kept from 
its eviL^ They are rather to live in the world, showing by 
their good works that they are the sons of their Father in 
heaven ; are to be the light of the world, and the salt of the 
earth.^ Out of this life in the world will spring a new type 
of marriage relation, of family Uf e, of relation between masters 
and servants, of social existence generally. It cannot be 
otherwise, if Christ's kingdom is to be the leaven He says it 
shall be. The apostles, in their views on all these subjects, ' 
are in entire accord with Christ* 

(3) We may glance at a remaining point, the relation of 
the idea of the kingdom of God to that of the Church. If 
our previous exposition is correct, these ideas are not quite ^..,^^,.^ ^j 
identical, as they have frequently been taken to be. Thel ^^^^ '^^ ^-^ 
kingdom of God is a wider conception than that of the 
Church. On the other hand, these ideas do not stand so far 
apart as they are sometimes represented. In some cases, as, 
e,g. in Matt, xviii. 18, 19, the phrase ''kingdom of heaven" 
is practically synonymous with the Church. The Church is, 
as a society, the visible expression of this kingdom in the 
world ; is, indeed, the only society which does formally 
profess (very imperfectly often) to represent it. Yet the 
Church is not the outward embodiment of this kingdom in all 
its aspects, but only in its directly religious and ethical, i,e. in 
its purely spiritual aspect. It is not the direct business of 
the Church, e.g,^ to take to do with art, science, politics, 
general literature, etc., but to bear witness for God and His 
truth to men, to preach and spread the gospel of the kingdom. 

(3) The rela- 
tion of the 
idea of the 
kingdom of 

» John xvii. 16. « Matt. v. 18-16. 

* E,g, Bom. xiu.; 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2 ; Heb. xiu. 4 j 1 Pet. ii. 18-15. 



to maintain God's worship, to administer the sacraments, to 
provide for the self-edification and religious fellowship of be- 
lievers. Yet the Church has a side turned towards all these 
other matters, especially to all efforts for the social good and 
bettering of mankind, and cannot but interest herself in these 
efforts, and lend what aid to them she can. She has her 
protest to utter against social injustice and immorality ; her 
witness to bear to the principles of conduct which ought to 
guide individuals and nations in the various departments of 
their existence ; her help to bring to the solution of the 
questions which spring up in connection with capital and 
labour, rich and poor, rulers and subjects ; her influence to 
throw into the scale on behalf of '' whatsoever things are true, 
whatsoever things are honourable, whatsoever things are just, 
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report" (PhiL iv. 8). A 
wholesome tone in literature, a Christian spirit in art and 
science, a healthy temper in amusements, wise and beneficent 
legislation on Christian principles in the councils of the nation, 
the spirit of long-suffering, peace, forbearance, and generosity, 
brought into the relations of men with one another in society. 
Christian ideals in the relations of nations to one another, 
self-sacrificing labours for the amelioration and elevation of 
the condition of the masses of the people, — these are matters 

^ in which the Church can never but be interested. Else she 
foregoes her calling, and may speedily expect to be removed 

>^ out of her place. 

///. The / 

kingdom of 
God and the 
new life of 

IIL Historically, we might have looked, had space per- 
mitted, at this kingdom of Qod as the principle of a new 

life to humanity. I do not enter into this extensive field, 
humanUy. j^^^ ^jjy remark : 

I. Theprin- I 1. The principle of this new life is Christ risen and 

IfchH^Hsei ®^*^^®^ ^^ ^*^ ^^* ^y ^^« preaching merely that Christ 

and exalted. A Came to Set up the kingdom of God. The foundation of it 

iwas laid, not only in His Word, but in His redeeming acts — 


in His death, His resurrection, His exaltation to heaven, His 
sending of the Spirit The new kingdom may be said to 
have begun its formal existence on the day of Pentecost. 
This is the mistake of those who would have us confine our 
ideas of the kingdom solely to what is given in the records 
of Christ's earthly life. They would have us go behind 
Pentecost, and remain there. But Christ's teaching on ^earth 
could not anticipate, much less realise, what His death, and 
the gift of His Spirit, have given us. It is not Christ's 
earthly life, but His risen life, which is the principle of 
quickening to His Church.^ He himself bade His disciples 
wait for the coming of the Spirit ; and told them that it was 
through His being ''lifted up" that the world would be 
brought to Him. The Spirit would complete His mission ; 
supply what was lacking in His teaching; bring to remembrance 
what He had said to them ; and would work as a power con- 
vincing of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment in the world.' 

2. This new life in humanity is (1) a new life in the 12. This new 
individual, a regeneration of the individual soul, a power off/^ "^ ^.^ 
sanctification and transformation in the nature. But (2) i1 
is further, as we have seen, a principle of new life in society 
exercising there a transforming influence. What society owes 
to the religion of Christ, even in a temporal and social 
respect, it is beyond the power of man to telL It is this 

that enables us, from the Christian standpoint, to take an 
interest in all labours for the social good of men, whether they 
directly bear the Christian name or not. The influence of 
Christ and His ideals is more apparent in them than their 
promoters sometimes think. They are not without relation 
to the progress of the kingdom. 

3. The kingdom of God being the end, is also the centre,j3. 7%e king- 
i,e., it is with ultimate reference to it that we are to read J^^ ^^^^ ^ 

' 1 the centre oj 

and are best able to appreciate, the great movements oilcad^sprovid' 

1 " In truth the Kfe of the soul hidden with Chriat in God is the keraelj'^^^*^- 
of the Ohrietian religion."— Kaftan, Das Wesen, p. 76. Kaftan has here tlie' 
advantage over Ritschl, Schleiermaoher, etc. 

s John xu. 82, xiv. 26, xv. 7-15. 

the individual 


(2) in society. 


I Providence. We can already see how the progress of inven- 
tion and discovery, of learning and science, of facilities of 
communication and interconnection of nations, has aided in 
manifold ways the advance of the kingdom of God. It has 
often been remarked how the early spread of Christianity 
was facilitated by the political unity of the £oman Empire, 
and the prevalence of the Greek tongue ; and how much the 
revival of learning, the invention of printing, and the enlarge- 
ment of men's ideas by discovery, did to prepare the way for 
the sixteenth-century Eeformation. In our own century the 
world is opened up as never before, and the means of a rapid 
spread of the gospel are put within our power, if the Church 
has only faithfulness to use them. It is difficult to avoid 
the belief that the singular development of conditions in this 
century, its unexampled progress in discovery and in the 
practical mastery of nature, the marvellous opening up of 
the world which has been the result, and the extraordinary 
multiplication of the means and agencies of rapid communi- 
cation, together portend some striking development of the 
kingdom of God which shall cast all others into the shade, — a 
crisis, perhaps, which shall have the most profound effect 
upon the future of humanity.^ The call is going forth again, 
" Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of the Lord, make 
straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley 
shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made 
low ; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough 
places plain ; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and 
all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath 

V spoken it."* 

^ It is curious how this feeling of an impending crisis sometimes finds expres- 
sion in minds not given to apocalyptic reveries. Lord Beaconsfield said in 
1874 : " The great crisis of the world is nearer than some suppose." In a recent 
number of the Forum, Professor Goldwin Smith remarks : ''There is a general 
feeling abroad that the stream of history is drawing near a climax now ; and 
there are apparent grounds for the surmise. There is everywhere in the social 
frame an untoward unrest, which is usually a sign of fundamental change 

* Isa. il. 8, 4 (R.V.). 






I DO not know that Kant uses this term, or the equivalent term " Welt- 
ansicht," at all — it is at least not common with him. The eame is true 
of Fichte, Schelling, and generally of writers till after the middle of this 
centiuy.^ Yet Kant above all gave the impulse to its use, both by his 
theoretic "Idea" of the world, and by his practical philosophy, which 
results in a "Weltanschauung" under the idea of the moral. 

Hegel, however, has the word, e.g,, "As man, religion is essential to 
him, and not a strange experience. Still the question arises as to the 
relation of religion to the rest of his ' Weltanschauung,' and philosophical 
knowledge relates itself to this subject, and has to do essentially with it" 
— Beligionsphilosophiej i. p. 7. 

Within the last two or three decades the word has become exceedingly 
common in all kinds of books dealing with the higher questions of 
religion and philosophy — so much so as to have become in a manner 
indispensable. The following extracts will illustrate its use, as well as 
throw light on some of the ideas connected with it. It will be observed 
that most of the passages have reference to the widespread conflict of old 
and new views. 

Strauss says, in his Der cUte und der neus Glauhe (1873) : " The ground 
on which I take my stand can be no other than what we name the 
modern * Weltanschauung,' the laboriously won result of continuous 
natural and historical investigation, in opposition to that of the Christian 
church."— P. 7. 

He speaks of the contradiction into which many are forced by the 
knowledge, the view of life and the world (der Welt- und Lebens- 
anschauung), of the present age. — P. 5. He proposes to inquire first, 
"Wherein this * Weltanschauung' consists, and on what proof it supports 
itself in contraat with the old church view" (Ansicht); then to ask, 
" Whether this modem view of the world (Weltansicht) does for us the 

1 But Fichte has the equivalent "Ansicht der Welt," and occasionally "Weltan- 
sicht." See especially his Die Anweisung zum sdigen Leben (1806), Lect. V. 
"Weltansicht" is Schopenhauer's wcrd. 


like service to that, and whether it does it better or worse than the 
Christian view did for the old believers." — Pp. 11, 12. 

Luthardt, in like manner, begins his Apologetic Lectures on Die 
Grundwahrheiien des Chrigtenthitms (1864), with one on "The Opposition 
of Views of the World in its Historical Development" (Der Qegensatz der 
Weltanschauungen in seiner geschichtlichen Entwicklong). 

He says : " Over against the Christian ' Weltanschauung ' stands a non- 
Christian ;* and there increasingly threatens us the accomplishment of a 
division in the whole direction of thought in the modem world, which 
would mean a break with history, and would on that account be full of 
peril." — Orundwahrheiieny p. 1. 

Luthardt's latest apologetic course (1880) has for its title Die modemm 
Weltanschauungen umi thre praJctiechen Konsequenzen. 

A recent metaphysical writer, Th. Weber, says in his Preface, quoting 
from a previous work : " It is a fact which lies patent before the eyes of 
all, that the science of the newer time, imder the banner of free inquiry, 
has brought to light a quite inexhaustible number of views of the world 
and of life (Welt- und Lebens-ansichten) which already for long have 
proclaimed a war of life and death against positive Christianity. ... In 
place of the latter is brought forward, as something once for all estab- 
lished by science, what is wont to be designated by the expression — 
though in its applications an exceedingly indefinite one — ' modem view of 
the world ' (modeme Weltanschauung)." But, adds this writer, " Science 
has yet by no means overthrown the old Christian ' Weltansicht' " — 
Metaphyaik, Eine wissenschaftliche Begriindung der Ontologie des positiven 
ChristenlhuTMf vol. i (1888). Preface. 

The titles and contents of recent books show very manifestly the 
influence of this term ; 0.^., Dr. Gass entitles a valuable work (1876X 
Optimismvs und Pessimivmus ; Der Gang der christlichen WelU und Lehens- 
ansicht. In the Preface to this book he writes: "Welt- und Lebens- 
ansicht sind Lieblingsworte unserer Zeit" (are darling words of our time). 

Hartmann designates his work on the Philosophy of the Unconscious, 
Versuch nach einer Weltanschauung. 

An able work by Fr. Rieflf has the title, Die christliehe Glaubenslehre als 
Grundlage der christlichen Weltanschauung (1876). 

Pfleiderer has a work on Lotze's PhUosophische Weltanschauung nach 
ihren Grundzilgen (1882). 

A well- written brochure, which has had a remarkable mn of popularity 
in Germany, is entitled, Im Kampf urn die Weltanschauung ; Bdcentnisse 
eines Theologen (1889). 

Reference may be made to an able article by Hermann Schmidt in the 
Studien und KrUiken (1876), which bears the title, " Die ethischen Gegen- 
satze in dem gegenwartigen Eampfe der biblischen und der modem- 
theologischen Weltanschauung" ("The Ethical Oppositions in the present 
Conflict of the Biblical and the Modem-Theological View of the World "). 

Another able recent production is Die christliehe Weltanschauung und 
Kanes sUtlicher Glaube, by Chr. Schrempf (1891). 

The word is common in Lipsius, Pfleiderer, Ritschl, Hermann, Schultz, 
etc The last-named, in his AUtestaTnentliche Theologies discusses the 


content of tbe religion of Israel under the heading, "Die religiose 
Weltanschauung."— Pp. 49^-816. 

Earl Peters (pessimistic school), in his work, WtUeruweU und Weltvjille^ 
has an abundance of phrases which show the wide range of the applica- 
tion of this term. Thus we read of the "Theistic," "Atheistic," 
" Pantheistic," "Realistic," "Materialistic," "Mechanistic," "Buddhistic," 
" Kantian," Weltanschauung, and a multitude of similar phrases might 
be cited. 

This writer remarks : " It is often said that each ' Weltanschauung ' 
can be proved in relation to the problem here touched on (nature of the 
ground-principle of the universe), thus : Does it recognise an intentional 
finality in nature, or not ? — that is the deciding question which makes a 
sharp distinction between a mechanical and a teleological * Weltan- 
schauung.*" — P. 140. 

For other examples, see Appendix II. to Lecture, and subsequent notes. 



It is not easy to find a principle of division which will yield a perfectly 
satisfactory classification of systems which we yet readily recognise as 
presenting distinct types of world- view. The deepest ground of division, 
undoubtedly, is that which divides systems according as they do or do 
not recognise a spiritual principle at the basis of the universe. But 
when, by the aid of this principle, we have put certain systems on the 
one side, and certain systems on the other, it does not cany us much 
further. We must, therefore, either content ourselves with a simple 
catalogue, or try some other method. In the earliest attempts at a world- 
view many elements are mixed up together — religious, rational, and 
ethical impulses, poetic personification of nature, the mythological 
tendency, etc., and classification is impossible. The " Weltanschauung " 
at this stage is rude, tentative, imperiect, and goes little further than 
seeking an origin of some kind for the existing state of things, and 
connecting the different parts of nature and of human life in some 
definite way with particular gods. The interest felt in the soul and its 
fates enlarge this " Weltanschauung '* to embrace a world of the unseen 
(Sheol, Amenti, etc). Of reflective " Weltanschauungen," as these appear 
in history, we may roughly distinguish— 

I. The Phenomenalistic and Agnostic— which refuse all inquiry into 
causes, and would confine themselves strictly to the laws of phenomena. 
The only pure type of this class which I know is the Comtist or 
Positivist, which contents itself with a subjective synthesis.^ (Mr. 
Spencer's system, though called Agnostic, is really a system of Monism, 
and falls into the third class. See Lecture III.) 

1 A more extreme type of view still is the denial of the reality of the world 
altogether — Acosmism. 



II. The Atomistic and Materialistic (Atheistic). The systems of 
Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius, and materialistic systems generaUy, 
are of this chiss. As no spiritual principle is recognised, the unity can 
only be sought in a highest law of the elements — in the order of the 
universe — in the way in which things cohere. (But many modem 
systems of Materialism, again, are really Monisms, t.g.^ Haeckel, Strauss.) 

III. Pantheistic systems — and these constitute a vast family with a 
great variety of forms. Here the universe is conceived as dependent on 
a first principle or power, but one within itself, of which it is simply 
the necessary unfolding, and with which, in essence, it is identical 
The systems differ according to the view taken of the nature of this 
principle, and of the law of its evolution. The principle may be con- 
ceived of : 

1. Predominatingly as physical — in which case the system is allied to 
Materialism (Materialistic Pantheism). 

2. As the vital principle of an oi^nism (Hylozoistic). 

3. As an intelligent world-soul (Stoicism — analogous to fire). 

4. Metaphysically — as Being (Eleatics), Substance (Spinoza), etc. 

6. Spiritually — as impersonal Beason, or Spirit (Hegel), or Will 
(Schopenhauer, etc.). 

Thus, while on its lower side Pantheism is indistinguishable from 
Materialism and Atheism, on its higher side it approaches, and often 
nearly merges into. Theism (as with the Neo-Hegelians). 

lY. Systems which recognise a spiritual, self-conscious Cause of the 
universe. Here belong : 

1. Deism — which views God predominatingly as Creator, but denies 
present communication and Bevelation, and practically separates Qod 
from the world. ^ 

2. Theism — ^which views God as the Living Creator, Immanent Cause, 
and Moral Ruler of the world and of man. 

3. Christian Trinitarianism — a higher form of Theism. 

[The division of systems as Optimistic and Pessimistic has reference 
to another standpoint — not to the first principle of the system, but to its 
ethical character and end. As combined with the others, it would form 
a cross-division.] 

There is yet another division of types of world- view (equally important 
for our subject), based, not on their objective character, but on the mental 
attitude of the observer, and on the activities employed in their forma- 
tion. Three main types of world • view may be here distinguished, 
answering to three distinct standpoints of the human spirit, from each of 
which a " Weltanschauung" necessarily results. These are : 

1. The "Scientific" — ^in which the standpoint of the observer is in the 
objective world, and things are viewed, as it were, wholly from without 
Abstraction is made from the thinking mind, and only external relations 
(co-existence, succession, cause and effect, resemblance, etc.) are regarded. 
The means employed are observation and induction, and the end is the 

1 On the definition of terms cf. Lipsius* Dogmaiik^ pp. 88, 89 ; and Flint's An^- 
Theistic Tkearies, pp. 389, 441-446. 


diflcoyery of laws, and rdtimately of a highest law, under which all 
particular phenomena may be subsumed.^ 

2. The "Philosophical" — which precisely inverts this relation. The 
standpoint here is the thinking Ego, and things are regarded from within 
in their relations to thought and knowledge. It starts from the side of 
the thinking mind, as science from the side of the world as known, in 
abstraction from the mind knowing it. From the philosophical stand- 
point the world assumes a very different aspect from that which it 
presents to empirical science, or to the ordinary irreflectlve observer. All 
higher philosophy may be described as an attempt to conclude in some 
way from the imity of reason to the unity of things. The residtant 
world- view will assume two forms, according as the point of departure is 
from the theoretical or the practical reason : (1) a theoretical (as in the 
Absolutist attempts to deduce all things from a principle given through 
pure thought) ; (2) a moral (0.^., the Kantian). 

3. The "Beligious" — which views everything from the standpoint of the 
consciousness of dependence upon Qod, and refers all back to Gk)d. It 
starts from the practical relation in which man stands to Qod as 
dependent on Him, and desiring His help, support, and furtherance in 
the aims of his life (natural, moral, distinctively religious aims). The 
nature of the religious ** Weltanschauung" and its relation to theoretic 
knowledge is discussed later. 

At no time, however, can these points of view be kept perfectly 
distinct, and the claim of either science or philosophy- to produce a self- 
sufficing world-view must be pronounced untenable. In all scientific 
theories, as remarked in the text (p. 7), there is a large admixture of 
unconscious metaphysics. It is easy to say. Let us keep only to what we 
see and know and can verify, and have nothing to do with either meta- 
physics or religion. But the thing cannot be done. Science has only to 
inquire a little into the meaning of its own terms, to go back a little on 
its own presuppositions, to ask what it means by .space, time, power, 
cause, etc., to find itself plunged into the region of metaphysics. Science, 
besides, has its own way of teaching the leuson that things are not altogether 
what they seem ; and the student of nature, as his studies advance, has 
his confidence in the first rude appearances of nature considerably shaken. 
It is not merely that he is compelled to correct his first sense-imptessions 

1 I use the term ''scientific'* in its cnrrent acceptation as applicable to the 
sciences which rest on an inductive basis, without prejudice to the question as to 
whether there are not other methods of knowledge, and whether we may not speak 
also of philosophical and theological sciences. That the inductive method is not 
the only one is evident fVom the two examples of mathematics, which is a purely 
deductive science, and logic, which also is not inductive, and ranks as one of the 
philosophical sciences. Whether or not pure philosophy in its two branches of 
metaphysics and morals is to be admitted among the sciences, will depend on the 
view we take of the legitimacy of its methods of rational analysis and synthesis — a 
subject I do not here discuss. But if these methods are valid, and many think 
they are, we can hardly refuse them the name " scientific,*' seeing that they represent 
the purest theoretic activities of which the mind is capable. The sense in which we 
can speak of theology as a science would demand a discussion for itself. 


by maturer knowledge of the real relations of things, but the yery nature 
of things sterns changing under his view. The tones, colours, smeUs, 
tastes, e.g.^ with which his unsophisticated mind was wont to clothe the 
universe, are now discovered to belong to a world within himself, while 
in the dark, silent universe there are only different kinds of vibratory 
and undulatory motions. This but leads to the further discovery — at 
least so his most trusted guides will inform him — that he knows nothing 
of the real universe at all ; that all he does know are the phenomena or 
appearances it presents to him ; and that these in their last analysis arc 
but sensations and impressions produced within himself by unknown 
causes which science must postulate, but can do nothing to explain (thus 
Huxley, Tyndall, Spencer, Helmholtz, etc.). The universe seems on the 
point of disappearing into a subjective idealism ; and if this is to be 
avoided, it can only be by going back on the real nature of knowledge, 
and on the manner in which our experience of the world is built up. 
And this is philosophy. Finally, besides the world of matter, there is 
the world of mind — of thought and feeling and will — to be reckoned 
with ; and if science persists in resolving these also into matter, it has to 
show how tnoral life is to be rescued from the ruin, or face the descent 
into Zolaism, or worse — something entirely '* earthly, sensual, devilish." 
Such a " Weltanschauung," if it is constructed, is already condemned, for 
human life will revolt against it, and claim a place for those ideals and 
aspirations it so ruthlessly sacrificed. 

Insensibly, therefore, even in the pursuit of science, the standpoint 
changes from science to philosophy ; but this, in turn, cannot dispense 
with the material which the sciences and the history of religions furnish 
to it ; and is equally unable, out of its own resources, to produce an 
adequate and satisfying world- view. It cannot do this, if it attempts to 
explain the universe as a necessary evolution of "Being" or "Thought"; ^ 
while if it does not do this, it must forego the pretension to explain the 
world or history by rational deduction, except in the most general and 
formal way. It cannot therefore take the place of religion, or furnish a 
"Weltanschauung" satisfying to the religious consciousness. It is a 
well-recognised truth that philosophy has founded systems and schools 
but never religions. * 

The religious world-view is better capable of independent existence 
than the others, for here at least the mind is in union with the deepest 
principle of aU. But that principle needs to develop itself, and in 
practice it is found that religion also is laigely influenced in the con- 
struction of its world-views by the state of scientific knowledge and the 
philosophy of the time. The Indian religious systems are metaphysical 
throughout The early Greek fathers of the Church were largely 
influenced by Platonism ; the mediaeval schoolmen by Aristotelianism ; 
modem theologians by Kant, Hegel, etc. The type of world-view freest 

1 See Lecture III. 

* "A religion," says Reville, "may become historical, but no philosophy has 
ever founded a religion possessing true historical power." — History of Rdigions, 
p. 22 (Eng. trans.) ; cf. Strauss, Der alte und der neue Olavbe, p. 108 ; Hartmann, 
Religionsphilotcphiej p. 23 ; A, Domer, Das menschl, JShrkennerif p. 239. 


from all trace of foreign influence is that found in tlie Old Testament, 
and completed in the New. This unique character belongs to it as the 
religion of Revelation. 



Schopenhauer has remarked that each man has his metaphysic. 

'* The man," says ZeUer, *^ who is without any philosophic standpoint 
is not on that account without any standpoint whatever; he who has 
formed no scientific opinion on philosophical questions has an unscientific 
opinion about them.'' — Pre^Soc. PhiL p. 23. 

This fact is not always remembered by our modem thinkers. Prin- 
cipal Fairbaim observes : 

*< Professor TyndalPs presidential address is memorable enough, were it 
only as an instance of sweet simplicity in things historical, and the most 
liigh-flying metaphysics disguised in scientific terms." — Studies^ p. 65. 

Regarding Mr. Spencer : *' Just as the term force revolutionises the 
conception of the Unknowable, so it, in turn, transmuted into forces, 
beguiles the physicist into the fancy that he is walking in the, to him, 
sober and certain paths of observation and experiment, while in truth he 
is soaring in the heaven of metaphysics." — Ihid. p. 97. 

Professor Caird remarks of Comte : " Hence, while he pretends to 
renounce metaphysics, he has committed himself to one of the most in- 
defensible of all metaphysical positions. ... It is a residuum of bad 
metaphysics, which, by a natural Nemesis, seems almost invariably to 
haunt the minds of those writers who think they have renounced meta- 
physics altogether." — Soc PhiL of Gomtey p. 121. 



The following extracts wiU illustrate the statements in the text : — 

"Unification," says Mr. Spencer, "being thus the characteristic of 
developing thought of all kinds, and eventual arrival at unity being 
fairly inferable, there arises a yet further support to our conclusion." — 
First Principles^ p. 563. 

" If," he says again, " the entire visible universe has been evolved — if 
the solar system as a whole, the earth as a part of it, the life in general 
which the earth bears, as well as that of each individual organism ; if the 
mental phenomena displayed by all creatures, up to the highest, in 
common with the phenomena presented by aggregates of these highest ; 
if one and all conform to the laws of evolution, — then the necessary 


implication is that those phenomena of conduct in these highest creatares 
with which morality is concerned, also conform." — Baia, o/EthicSy p. 63. 

Speaking of Darwin's theory, Mr. Clodd 8a3rs : ''But that theory deals 
only with organic evolution, i,e. with the origin of the myriad species of 
plants and animals ; and the prominence given to it in virtue of its more 
immediate interest makes us apt to overlook the fact that it is only a 
small part of an all-embracing cosmic philosophy. For whatever lies 
within the phenomenal — the seen or felt — and therefore within the 
sphere of observation, experiment, and comparison, whether galaxy which 
only the telescope makes known, or monad whose existence only the 
microscope reveals, is subject-matter of inquiry, both as to its becoming 
and as to its relation to the totality of things. It is this more general 
conspectus of evolution as a working hypothesis which, if it does not 
explain every fact, is inconsistent with none, that the following pages 
are designed to give." — Story of CreaJtMn^ p. 3. 

'' No one can enter on a consideration of the subject of Evolution with 
the expectation of attaining to clear ideas and relatively correct conclusions 
unless he first of all thinks of it as cosmic, i,e. comprehensive, in its 
operation, of the entire universe of matter and mind, and throughout all 
time." — Chapman, Pre-organic Evolution^ etc., p. 3. 




See passages already quoted on this subject in Note A. I here add some 
further illustrations. 

Principal Fairbaim puts the matter thus : " The scientific and religious 
conceptions of the world seem to stand at this moment in the sharpest 
possible antagonism. . . . There is one fact we cannot well overrate, — 
the state of conflict or mental schism in which every devout man, who is 
also a man of culture, feels himself compelled more or less consciously to 
live. His mind is an arena in which two conceptions struggle for the 
mastery, and the struggle seems so deadly as to demand the death of the 
one for the life of the other, faith sacrificed to knowledge or knowledge 
to faith." — Studies in the Philosophy of Religion and History^ pp. 61, 62. 

The uncompromising character of the conflict and the nature of the 
issues involved are well brought out in the following extracts from Mr. 
Wicksteed's pamphlet on The Eccleaiasticdl Instittttione of Holland. 

" The religious movement," he says, " known in Holland as that of the 
* Modem School,' or * New School,' or sometimes the * School of Leiden,' 
is essentially a branch of that wider religious movement extending over 
the whole of Europe and America, which is a direct product upon the 
field of religion of the whole intellectual life of the nineteenth century." 

''This Modem School, in the larger sense, is in fact essentially the 
religious phase of that undefinable ' Zcit-Qeist,' or spirit of the age. 


soinetimes called on the continent * modem consciousness,' the most 
characteristic feature of which is a profound conviction of the organio 
undtyy whether spiritual or material, of the universe. 

** This modem consciousness can make no permanent treaty of peace 
.with the belief which takes both the history and the philosophic science 
of religion out of organic connection m^ith history and philosophical 
science in generaL No compromise, no mere profession of a frank 
acceptance of the principles of the modem view of the world, can in the 
long ran avaiL The Traditional School cannot content the claims of the 
'Zeit-Geist' by concessions. Ultimately, it must eith^ defy it or yield 
to it unconditionally. . . . 

'' The task of moden^ theology then is to bring all parts of the history 
of religion into organic connection with each other, and with the general 
history of man, and to find in the human faculties themselves, not in 
something extraneous to them, the foundatiouB of religious faith.'' — Pp. 

The venerable Dr. Delitzsch, from the standpoint of faith, recognises 
the same irreconcilable contrast^ and in The Deep Ovlf between the Old 
and the Modem Theology ; a Confession (1890), gives strong expression to 
his sense of the gravity of the situation. *' It is plain," he says, ** that the 
difference between old and modem theology coincides at bottom with the 
difference between the two conceptions of the world, which are at present 
more harshly opposed than ever before. The modem view of the world 
declares the miracle to be unthinkable, and thus excluded from the 
historical mode of treatment ; for there is only one world-system, that of 
natural law, with whose permanence the direct, extraordinary interferences 
of God are irreconcilable. ^ . . . 

When the one conception of the world is thus presented from the 
standpoint of the other, the mode of statement unavoidably partakes of 
the nature of a polemic. The special purpose, however, with which I 
entered on my subject was not polemical. I wished to exhibit as 
objectively as possible the deep gap which divides the theologians of 
to-day, especially the thoughtful minds who have come into contact with 
philosophy and science, into two camps. An accommodation of this 
antagonism is impossible. We must belong to the one camp or the other* 
We may, it is true, inside the negative camp, tone down our negation to 
the very border of affirmation, and inside the positive camp we may 
weaken our affirmation so as almost to change it to negation ; the re- 
presentation by individuals of the one standpoint or the other leaves 
room for a multitude of gradations and shades. But to the fundamental 
question — Is there a supernatural realm of grace, and within it a 
miraculous interference of God in the world of nature, an interference 
displaying itself most centrally and decisively in the raising of the 
Redeemer from the dead? — to this fundamental question, however we 
may seek to evade it, the answer can' only be yes or no. The deep gulf 

1 Similarly Max MUller finds the kernel of the modem conception of the world in 
the idea "that there is law and order in everTthing, and that an unbroken chain of 
causes and effects holds the whole universe together " — a conception which reduces 
the miraculous to mere seeming. — AjUhropological Religion^ Preface, p. 10. 


remains. It will remain to the end of time. No eflFort of thought can 
fill it up. There is no synthesis to bridge this thesis and antithesis. 
Never shall we be able, by means of reasons, evidence, or the witness of 
history, to convince those who reject this truth. But this do we claim 
for ourselves, that prophets and apostles, and the Lord Himself, stand 
upon our side ; this we claim, that while the others use the treasures of 
God*s word eclectically, we take our stand upon the whole undivided 
truth." — Translation in Expositor, vol. ix. (3rd series), pp. 50, 63. 

See also Hartmann's Die Krisis des ChristerUhums in der modemen 
Theologie (1888) ; and his Sdbdzersdsmng des ChrietenthurM (1888)u <* From 
whatever side," he declares, "we may consider the ground-ideas of 
Christianity and those of modem culture, everywhere there stands out an 
irreconcilable contradiction of the two, and it is therefore no wonder if 
this contradiction comes to light more or less in all derivative questions." 
— SeWstzersetzuTig des Christenthums, p. 30. 



An internecine warfare is waged among the representatives of the 
"modem" view, quite as embittered and irreconcilable as that which 
they unitedly wage against Christianity. A "Kampf der Welt- 
anschauungen " is going on here also. Deists, Pantheists, Agnostics, 
Pessimists, Atheists, Positivists, and liberal theologians, unceasingly 
refute each other ; and were their respective systems put to the vote, out 
of a dozen systems, each would be found in a minority of one, with the 
other eleven against it. If escape were sought in a theoretical scepticism, 
which despairs of truth altogether, this would but add another sect to 
the number, which would encounter the hostility of all the rest 

Not without justice, therefore, does Dr. Domer, after reviewing the 
systems, speak of the attempt to set up a rival view to Christianity as 
ending in a "screaming contradiction." — System of Christian Doctrine^ i. 
pp. 121, 122 (Eng. trans.). 

" The atheistic systems of Germany," says Lichtenberger, " have raised 
the standard, or rather the 'red rag' of Radicalism and Nihilism ; and 
have professed that their one and only principle was the very absence of 
principles. The one bond which unites them at bottom is their hatred 
of religion and of Christianity." — History of German Theology in the 
Nineteenth Century, p. 370 (Eng. trans.). 

"It is not here our business," says Beyschlag, "philosophically to 
arrange matters between the Christian- theistic * Weltanschauung ' on the 
one side, and the deistic, or pantheistic, or materialistic, on the other, 
which latter have first to fight out their mortal conflict with one another." 
— Leben Jesu, i. p. 10. 

A few examples in concreto will point the moral better than many 
general statements. 


The columns of the Nineteenth Century for 1884 witnessed an interesting 
controversy between Mr. Herbert Spencer and Mr. Frederick Harrison, in 
which some pretty hard words were bandied to and fro between the com- 
batants. Mr. Spencer had written a paper (*' Religious Retrospect and 
Prospect," January, 1884), developing his theory of the origin of religion 
from ghost-worship, and expounding his own substitute for decaying 
religious faith. To this Mr. Harrison replied in a vigorous article (July 
1884), ridiculing Mr. Spencer's proposed substitute as ''The Ghost of 
Religion,'' and scoffing at his "Unknowable" as ''an ever-present 
conundrum to be everlastingly given up." Extending his attack to 
certain modem Theisms, he said, " The Keo-Theisms have all the same 
mortal weakness that the Unknowable has. They offer no kinship, 
sympathy, or relation whatever between worshippers and worshipped. 
They, too, are logical formulas begotten in controversy, dwelling apart 
from men and the world." " Tacitly implying," retorts Mr. Spencer, in 
a later round of the controversy, " that Mr. Harrison's religion supplies 
this relation" (November 1884), which, as he shows at great length, it 
does not ("Retrogressive Religion," July 1884). Sir James Stephen also 
had offended Mr. Spencer by describing his "Unknowable" (June 1884) 
as " like a gigantic soap-bubble, not burst, but blown thinner and thinner 
till it has become absolutely imperceptible^" and Mr. Harrison also 
returns to the attack (" Agnostic Metaphysics," September 1884). 

In a subsequent controversy, Mr. Harrison fares as badly at the hands 
of Professor Huxley as he did at those of Mr. Spencer. Replying to an 
article of his on " The Future of Agnosticism," Professor Huxley says : '* I 
am afraid I can say nothing which shall manifest my personal respect for 
this able writer, and for the zeal and energy with which he ever and 
anon galvanises the weakly frame of Positivism, until it looks more than 
ever like John Bunyan's Pope and Pagan rolled into one. There is a 
story often repeated, and I am afraid none the less mythical on that 
account, of a valiant and loud-voiced corporal, in command of two full 
privates, who, falling in with a regiment of the enemy in the dark, orders 
it to surrender under pain of instant annihilation by his force ; and the 
enemy surrenders accordlngl}*. I am always reminded of this tale when 
I read the Positivist commands to the forces of Christianity and of 
science ; only, the enemy shows no more signs of intending to obey now 
than they have done any time these forty years." — "Agnosticism," in 
Nineteenth Century, February 1889.^ 

Mr. Samuel Laing, author of Modem Science and Modem Thoughty and 
a multitude of other works, probably regards himself as quite a typical 
representative of the modem spirit. The " old creeds," he informs us, 
" must be transformed or die." Unfortunately, not content with assailing 
other people's creeds, he undertook the construction of one of his own,^ 

1 Mr. Harrison complains {Fortnightly Review, October 1892) that Mr. Huxley, 
in this article, has held him up '*to public ridicule as pontiff, prophet, general 
humbug, and counterpart of Joe Smith the Mormon," and tries to show how much 
agreement, mostly in negations, underlies their differences. 

' "It appears that Mr. Gladstone, some time ago, asked Mr. Laing if he could 
draw up a short summary of the negative creed ; a body of negative propositions 


concerning which Professor Huxley writes : " I speak only for myself, and 
I do not dream of anathematising and excommunicating Mr. Lain^. But 
when I consider his creed and compare it with the Athanasian, I think I 
have, on the whole, a clearer conception of the meaning of the latter. 
* Polarity,' in Art. viiL, for example, is a word about which I heard a 
good deal in my youth, when < Naturphilosophie ' was in fashion, and 
greatly did I suffer from it For many years past, whenever I have met 
with ' polarity ' anywhere but in a discussion of some purely physical 
topic, such as magnetism, I have shut the book. Mr. Laing must excuse 
me if the force of habit was too much for me when I read his eighth 
article." — NtneteerUk Century, Ibid, Rather hard on Mr. Laing I ^ 

Mr. Rathbone Greg is another writer who laboured hard to demolish 
" the creed of ChriBtendom," while retaining a great personal reverence 
for Jesus. His concessions on this subject^ however, did not meet with 
much favour on his own side. Mr. F. W. Newman, in an article on '* The 
New Christology," in the Fortnightly Review (December 1873), thus 
speaks of his general treatment: *'He has tried and proved the New 
Testament, and has found it wanting, not only as to historical truth, 
but as to moral and religious wisdom ; yet he persists in the effort of 
hammering out of it what shall be a 'guide of life.* In /id, he learns by 
studying the actual world of man ; but in his ikeory he is to rediscover a 
fountain of wisdom, by penetrating to some ' essence ' in a book which he 
esteems very defective and erroneous. This is * to rebuild the things he 
has destroyed.' To sit in judgment on Jesus of Nazareth, and convict 
Him of glaring errors, as a first step, and then, as a second, set Him on a 
pedestal to glorify Him as the most divine of men and the sublimest 
of teachers, a perpetual miracle, — is a very lame and inconsequent 
proceeding. . . . Mr. Greg, as perhajMs all our Unitarians, desires a purified 
gospel. Why, then, is not such a thing published ? No doubt, because 
it is presently found that nearly every sentence has to be either cut out 
or re- written." 

Mr. Greg and Mr. Newman are Theists. The latter even writes : " The 
claim of retaining a belief in God, while rejecting a Personal GJod, I do 
not know how to treat with respect'' Mr. Fiske also, author of Cosmic 
PhUosophyy is in his own way a Theist But " Physicus," another repre- 
sentative of the " modem " view, in his Candid Examination of Theitm, 
can see no evidence for the existence of a Grod, and speaks thus of Mr. 
Fiske's attempt to develop Theism out of Mr. Spencer's philosophy : ^ I 
confess that, on first seeing his work, I experienced a faint hope that, in 
the higher departments of the philosophy of evolution as conceived by 
Mr. Spencer, and elaborated by his disciple, there might be found some 
rational justification for an attenuated form of Theism. But on examina- 
tion I find that the bread which these fathers have offered us turns out 

which have so far been adopted on the negative side as to be what the Apostles* and 
other accepted creeds are on the positive ; and Mr. Laing at once kindly obliged Mr. 
Gladstone with the desired articles — eight of them.*' — Professor Huxley, as above. 

^ Mr. Laing's own book, Science and Modem Thought, is a good example of how 
these *^ modem " systems eat and devour one another. See his criticiBms of theories 
in chap, vii, etc 


to be a stone. . . . We haye but to tbink of the disgust witb wbicb the 
vast majority of living persons would regard the sense in which Mr. 
Fiske uses the term ' Theism,' to perceive how intimate is the association 
of that term with the idea of a Personal God. Such persons will feel 
strongly that, by this final act of purification, Mr. Fiske has simply 
purified the Deity altogether out of existence." — Candid Examinationy 
essay on " (}osmic Theism,'' pp. 131, 138^ and throughout 

Thus the strife goes on. Strauss, in his Old FaiUh and the New^ refutes 
Pessimism ; but Hartmann, the Pessimist, retorts on Strauss that he has 
" no philosophic head," and shows the ridiculousness of his demand that 
we should love the Universe. ** It is a rather strong, or rather naive 
claim, that we should experience a sentiment of religious piety and 
dependence for a ' Universum ' which is only an aggregate of all material 
substances, and which threatens every instant to crush us between the 
wheels and teeth of its pitiless mechanism." — Sdbstzer, des Christ, Pref. 
and p. 81. 

What these thorough-going representatives of the '* modem" view 
think of the half-way attitude of our modem *' liberal Protestant theo- 
logians," who vaunt so loudly their loyalty to the " modem " spirit, may 
be seen in a note to next Lecture. It wiU be apparent that all these 
criticisms bear in the direction of stripping off the disguises with which 
the nakedness of the "modem" view is wont to conceal itself, and of 
reducing this view to its ultimate level of .A^oeticism, Atheism, or 

Hartmann may as well speak of the "Selbstzersctzung" and "Zer- 
spittemng" of unbelief, as of the disintegration of Christianity. 



It may be confidently alEirmed that the drift of modern criticism and 
research has not been to lower, but immensely to exalt, our conceptions 
of the unique character of the Old Testament religion. The views of the 
critics of the earlier stages of the religion of Israel are low and poor 
enough, but, as if in compensation, they exalt the " Ethical Monotheism " 
and spiritual religion of the prophets and psalms, till one feels, in reading 
their works, that truly this religion of Israel is something unexampled 
on the face of the earth, and is not to be accounted for on purely natural 
principles. Schleiermacher and Hegel spoke disparagingly of the Old 
Testament, but this is not the more recent tendency. The following are 
some testimonies from various standpoints. 

Lotze, in his Microcosmusj bears a noble testimony to the uniqueness of 
the Old Testament religion, and to the sublimity and unparalleled 
character of its literature. " Among the theocratically governed nations 
of the East," he says, "the Hebrews seem to us as sober men among 
drunkards " (vol. ii. p. 267, Eng. trans.). See his spirited sketch of the 


Old Testament view (pp. 466-468); and his eulogy of the literature 
(pp. 402-404). 

Dr. Hutcheson Stirling says : " The sacred writings of the Hebrews, 
indeed, are so immeasurably superior to those of every other name that, 
for the sake of the latter, to invite a comparison is to undei^ instant- 
aneous extinction. Nay, regard these Scriptures as a literature only, the 
literature of the Jews — even then, in the kind of quality, is there any 
literature to be compared with it 9 Will it not even then remain still the 
sacred literature) A taking simpleness, a simple takingness, that is 
Divine — all that can lift us out of our own week-day selves and place us, 
pure then, holy, rapt, in the joy and the peace of Sabbath feeling and 
Sabbath vision, is to be found in the mert nature of these old idylls, in 
the full-filling sublimity of these psalms, in the inspired God-words of 
these intense-souled prophets." — PhiL and TheoL (Gilford Lectures), pp. 
18, 19. 

Dr. Robertson Smith has well brought out the singularity and elevation 
of the Hebrew view in contrast with that of the other Semitic and Aryan 
nations in his Beligion of the Semites (Burnett Lectures). " The idea of 
absolute and ever- watchful Divine justice," he says, "as we find it in the 
prophets, is no more natural to the East than to the West, for even the 
ideal Semitic king is, as we have seen, a very imperfect earthly provid- 
ence ; and, moreover, he has a different standard of right for his own 
people and for strangers. The prophetic idea that Jehovah will vindicate 
tiie right, even in the destruction of His own people of Israel, involves 
an ethical standard as foreign to Semitic as to Aryan tradition" (p. 74). 

Again : " While in Greece the idea of the unity of God was a philo- 
sophical speculation, without any definite point of attachment to actual 
religion, the Monotheism of the Hebrew prophets kept touch