« ElőzőTovább »
world began, we are now told, with Nature-worship; can we on a theory of evolution believe that at its close it will have developed no higher form? The dangers at present besetting Christianity are twofold. There is an ideal spiritualism abroad devoid of an objective basis. Where current, it brings Religion into contempt. There is also a secularistic Materialism, co-ordinate with a worship of Nature.
Jamjam efficaci dat manus Sciential
Unreal Extremes thus meet. "We have not now the cult
science. 0f Ceres or Dionysus; but under other names the forces of Heat, Light, and Fecundity have taken their place and rank. But all such ultimate, assumed entities are to be deprecated, even if themselves forms of one Universal Force. They are questionable, unscientific resting-places in the analysis of truth, which must, to be complete, lead on to the source and origin of Force. There is surely a far higher boon in store to be conferred by the increasing light of Knowledge, when it shall be poured not solely on the simpler problems of the physical world, but upon the mysteries of the two voices in man, the microcosm of the universe, those jarring elements of Duty and Passion, of the
Ultimate animal and the spiritual, of Nature and Grace.
relations . .
of know- Origmally created to be a part of the undivided
ledge and' . ,' .
will. system 01 Nature, working in automatic harmony with the constitution of the world around him; in the exercise of a will independent of Divine Wisdom and of the laws it had imposed, Man fell from his high estate. Only by the reconciliation of his will with perfect reason, by the recognition of foregone perversity, by the confession of the justice and the mercy of his God, and by the submission of mind and spirit to the higher law of Morality and Religion ; by these only, as subjective personal conditions of his Redemption, may he hope once more, in "the times of restitution of all things," to find himself in accord with a purified Nature, fulfilling the law of his being, the commandment of his God, and made "partaker of the Divine Nature." So far, if it be no further, may the Tendency plummet of finite Thought, led by the indications ledge to of Revelation, sound the depths of the nature and moral evil, existence of evil in the world. Potentially real,1 a secondary development of things, its very being and action may be but temporary and relative,
1 Cf. Orig. c. Cels., VI. lv. Thus August., Civ. D., XI. 9. Mali nulla natura est; scd amissio boni mali nomen accepit; following the more ancient opinion, rb Ror6v T6 bvvd/utt ayadov. Arist., Metaph. N. iv. Ovr ttm To Rgr&v wapa ra npaypara. Comp. Plato, T/iecet. 176, A. So also Basil (I1exam. Horn., ii.). Leibnitz, Théod., p. 550. "Quant a la cause du mal il est vrai que le diable est l'auteur du peché; mais l'originc du peché vient de plus loin, la source est dans 1'imperfection originale des creatures," &c. His own explanation of this is well known. "Dieu a permis le mal, parce qu'il est cnvcloppé dans le meilleur plan qui so trouve dans la region des possibles."—lh., p. 601. "II se peut que tous les maux ne soient aussi qu'un presque neant en comparaison des biens qui sont dans l'univers."—p. 509. Bishop Butler (following August., Con/., II. v.), " There is nothing in the human mind contradictory, as the logicians speak, to virtue."—Anal., I. iii. "There is no such thing as love of injustice, oppression, treachery, ingratitude,' conditioned by a finite state of existence and knowledge, admitting of ultimate explanation. That which is individual is in its own nature imperfect: and imperfection is a transient form of evil. But the will of man is confessedly individual, personal. Requires rpke innerent conflict of self-interest with the
oFrehgion common good can only be overcome by the conviction that it is through conformity to the universal law, as the expression of the wisdom of the Creator, to the whole constitution of things, that the perfection of the individual is reached.1 This, if any, must be the lesson of ultimate civilization, Coincident and it is a lesson in the accomplishment of which work of the Faith of Christ may be expected to take a large tion. share. "Christianity," it has been well said,2" has been revealed as a social and as a personal power in the richest variety of circumstances. It remains for us to harmonize the idea of society and self as they are seen to be harmonized in the teaching of the Apostles. In this lies the highest problem of philosophy and the most worthy aim of life. 'The prize is noble,' as Plato said of the corresponding problem in his age,' and the hope is great.'" In this
&c.—Serm., I. Mr. Mackay (Progress of Intellect, I. 482) has touched this subject with much profundity and learning. Physical evil must of course be distinguished from the moral and metaphysical notions. It may prove to be a necessary tendency of general laws, and to redound in many ways to the formation of moral excellencies.
1 Compare Mr. Mill, Exam., p. 510, who quotes an observation of M. HeVille respecting human freedom. "La liberty complete, reelle, de l'homme est la perfection humaine, le but a atteindre."
'Prof. Westcott, Cont. Rev., VI. 417.
law and scale of progress, that which we call evil must itself have been foreseen, and in a manner foreordained and provided for, by the act of Eternal Wisdom. One day "the depth of the riches of that wisdom and knowledge," (now " past finding out,") will be revealed, its ways disclosed; and the sufferings of " a bondage of corruption"1 will show all unworthy to be compared with the glory that shall dawn upon the world become the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ.
§ 12. "The Master of all who have knowledge."3 ?cience
5 o msepara
Such is the title claimed by Dante for Aristotle, the bi5 from
J _ 'faith.
Prince of ancient thought. Shall it not hereafter be given to One greater than Aristotle, who shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, as many as have divorced Science from Faith. For in that day secular philosophy, however glorious, will be transmuted into divine. The very course of the integration ofTendency
1 1 i 1 iiii of human
human Knowledge may be expected to lead to the knowledge
1 "L'imperfection qui accompagne la solution du corps pourroit donner lieu au sentiment d'une perfection plus grande, qui étoit suspendue ou arretee par la continuite qu'on fait cesser; et a cct egard le corps seroit comme une prison."—Leibuitz, Works, p. 603.
a "II Maestro di color chi sanno." "La plus forto tete de touto 1'antiquiW, le grand Aristote," says M. Comte (Phil. Pos., IV. 38), perhaps from an unconscious predilection; for it was very anciently remarked that Flato referred all to Mind, Aristotle to Law. Tho medieval reputation of Aristotle, whom the Schoolmen placed almost on a level with the Fathers, was according to Mr. Lecky (Hist. Rat., I. 417), due to the early hereties. Sec Dean Milman, Lat. Christ., VI. 207.
reception of one common, universal Religion, when the relations of Matter to a central Force shall be understood. The latest generalization of the inductive reason will be comprehended, as alone it can be comprehended, through the intuition of Him (for " we shall see Him as He is"), Who is the Author and Cause of all things, ""Who is Alpha and Omega," "the Beginning and the End," the "First and the Last." In that day "whether there be knowledge, it will vanish away," because " we know but in part." "What is there in the loftiest human speculation which should exempt it from the inherent faite of all finite things ?" Positive knowledge1
defects of „ .
jrositive does not and never can nil the whole region of ledge. possible thought. At the utmost reach of discovery there arises and must ever arise the question —what lies beyond? Science is a gradually increasing sphere, and every addition to its surface does but bring it into wider contact with surrounding ignorance. But if knowledge cannot monopolize consciousness;2 if it must always continue
1 Mr. Herbert Spencer, First Principles, pp. 16, 17. The same thought that the material world cannot of itself contain a revelation of the Divine, the finite of the Infinite, occurs in Tennyson—
Forerun thy peers, thy time: and let
* "II n'y a que Dicu qui voie, comment ces deux termes mot et Vexistence sunt lie's, e'est-a-dire, pourquoi j'existe." — Leibnitz, Nouwaxix Essais, IV. vii, 7