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have written this sentence. He must be read while one is in good health and spirits. He is all ice, Carlyle all fire. Emerson rebukes what he calls the impertinence of private grief before the infinity of Nature. For Nature supplies morality as well as everything else. All things," he says, are moral every animal function, from the sponge up to Hercules, shall hint or thunder to man the laws of right and wrong, and echo the Ten Commandments.' This, however, is precisely what the ordinary man cannot believe. He finds that Nature treats good and bad alike. The fact in human nature, which to Emerson appears as the desire for improvement, presents itself to the other as primarily a sense of sin-a need of something external to one's self on which to rely. He looks around and can find no morality in Nature. He is therefore obliged to conclude that beyond Nature there exist realities to correspond to certain feelings in his heart. As there is no natural desire which has not its appropriate object in Nature, so he thinks there is no spiritual desire which has not its appropriate object, if not in Nature, then beyond it. And this belief is faith--the steadfast assurance of things not seen. Emerson is as far as possible from materialism. The devil of the modern world, he says, is Goethe's Mephistopheles-the dedication of the intellect to the gratification of the senses. It need never be feared that materialism as a creed can ever become popular for long. The theory of evolution may or may not be true in physics. Carlyle always rejected it with scorn as stupidity," but probably he never troubled himself to examine it. Emerson, on the other hand, welcomed it as a valuable addition to human knowledge. He writes:

The electric word pronounced by John Hunter a hundred years ago-arrested and progressive development-indicating the way up ward from the invisible protoplasm to the highest organisms, gave the poetic key to natural science, of which the theories of Geoffrey St. Hilaire, of Oken, of Goethe, of Agassiz, and Owen, and Darwin, in zoology and botany, are the fruits-a hint whose power is not yet exhausted, showing unity and perfect order in physics.

But, however true it may be in physics, it can never be accepted in morals.

Mankind will never reconcile themselves to an "hereditary conscience'' because it is clean contrary to the facts of human nature. We reject it at once. If it were true, why should it be so immediately rejected? Can it be that together with the "hereditary conscience" there has grown up an hereditary conviction that there is not an hereditary conscience? One conclusion is about as good as the other.

The chief difference between one man and another is in the number of things. he takes for granted-the number of his principles or fixed points, about which he entertains no doubt whatever. These lie as a background to all his reasoning, and it is generally found that when people differ really and not. verbally it is because they disagree on some fundamental point, which argument cannot touch. The more of these fixed points a man has, the narrower are the bounds within which he exercises his reason, and consequently the larger is the domain of faith. But without some principles there can be no faith. The most important thing about a man is what he believes. It seems, therefore, to be a foolish remark of Mr. Symonds in his Life of Shelley that Shelley is too great to be a text for a sermon, unless he is prepared to maintain (which is not credible) that a man of genius is to be free to conduct his life as he pleases, and Shelley was the last person to advance such a claim for himself. Keats ever said, as he is reported to have said, that he had no opinion upon anything in the world except matters of taste, he ought to have been ashamed of himself. No one, says Fichte, need pride himself upon genius, for it is the free gift of God; but of honest industry and true devotion to his destiny, any man may well be proud." We read that there are certain fish living near the bottom of the sea which have within them an explosive force capable of resisting the weight of water above. When drawn to the surface they burst, not having the necessary pressure outside.

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So it is with faith. It is an internal force to counteract the moral difficulties of the world; and if everything was perfect and everybody was happy, there would be no need of it. If we think a moment, the goodness and

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mercy and justice of God are simply matters of faith. Looking at the world, and what goes on in it, with the intellect merely, it is much easier (to speak with all reverence) to prove God to be a demon than a God of benevolence. In short, as J. S. Mill said, If God is omnipotent, he wills misery, and there is no escape from the argument. But it is overlooked that it may be doubted whether we have a right to argue in this way. It is a confusion of planes. We imagine that God, who sees all, sees as we do, who only see a fraction. quote Emerson again, "It is to carry the law of surface into the plane of substance, to carry individualism and its fopperies into the realm of essences and generals, which is dislocation and chaos." The preacher says, Be not righteous over-much, that is, more righteous than God. This is that suicidal tendency of the intellect which Newman sees in 'Liberalism"-that terrible solvent leading to sheer atheism, which it is the business of the Church of Christ to resist. It is this merely human knowledge of which the poet says-

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What is she, cut from love and faith,
But some wild Pallas from the brain

Of Demons? fiery-hot to burst

All barriers in her onward race For power. Let her know her place; She is the second, not the first.

There must be no arguing on first principles. They are given us to act from, not to talk about.

Neither Emerson nor Carlyle, then, had any taint of scepticism as to the existence of God or the transcendental nature of morality as above remarked. Again, they both rejected Christianity as exhibited in history; but they rejected it not quite on the same grounds, nor quite to the same extent. Carlyle has a higher conception of the character of Christ when he says that Christianity introduced some new standard into the world, the "Worship of Sorrow," differing not in degree, but in kind, from all doctrines of philosophers, differing, 'as a perfect ideal poem does, from a correct computation in arithmetic." But he rejects the miracles. "It is as certain as mathematics," he says," that no such thing ever has been or can be.'

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levity so famous and time-worn an argument against miracles as Hume's, viz. that it is contrary to experience that miracles should be true, but not contrary to experience that testimony should be false," but the only remarkable thing about it seems to me to be that it should ever have become famous. It proves too much. It proves not merely that a miracle has never happened, but that it could not happen. But surely all our knowledge of what is external to ourselves depends on the evidence of our senses; and the same evidence that shows the uniformity of the (so-called) "laws of nature," can also in a particular case show their want of uniformity. What is really wanted to prove anything of which we have had no experience is not different evidence but stronger evidence. But to argue that because a thing has been observed to happen in one way it must always happen in that way 1S childish. Thus Theodore Parker, in his Discourse on Religion, says of some of the events narrated in the Old Testament that they are stories absurd that no amount of testimony can make them credible.' It is only labor thrown away to spend any time over an author who can write such a sentence. General considerations as to the probability or not of an event happening, are out of place in the face of direct and unimpeachable testimony of its having happened. It is as if a man were convicted of stealing on the clearest evidence; and then witnesses to character were to be called to prove that it was impossible he could have been guilty of such a crime, because he was such a respectable person! Of course Professor Huxley does not make such a mistake, and his remarks on this subject in his Life of Hume are well worth attention. He says, then, that the definition of a miracle as a "violation of the laws of nature" is an abuse of language. nature 'is neither more nor less than that which is the sum of phenomena presented to our experience. Every event must be taken to be a part of nature until proof to the contrary is supplied. And such proof is, from the nature of the case, impossible." Every word of this is perfectly true, if you will only make one assumption which the Christian can never allow to be made,

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namely, that there is no God existing outside the world we know.

If we can have faith to believe in the existence of a God who rules nature all

difficulty vanishes. From this point of view St. Augustine says all there is to be said when he writes " Omnia portenta contra naturam dicimus esse. Sed non sunt. Quomodo est est enim contra naturam' quod Dei fit voluntate, quum voluntas tanti utique conditoris conditæ rei cujusque natura sit? Portentum ergo fit, non contra naturam, sed contra quam est nota natura. The words "laws of nature" in a narrower sense can thus have a very real and plain meaning as denoting the general course of God's providence; and if God has made certain "laws of nature," is it inconceivable that in a particular instance he should suspend these laws? It is, however, often said, how presumptuous it is to suppose that the infinite God should interfere in the petty affairs of mankind! But is it not equally presumptuous to suppose that He should not interfere, is it not indeed more presumptuous, since the doctrine of a special providence is prominently put forward by Christ?

With regard, then, to any (so-called) miraculous narratives in the Old Testament, it may be admittted that when it can be clearly shown that a certain thing there recorded to have happened did not happen, and this is, of course, not easy of proof, the Scripture account is not correct, and one might say with De Quincey that Scripture was given us to instruct us concerning subjects we could not find out for ourselves, and is not necessarily infallible in other matters. For the man of Science and the man of Faith as such rotate in different orbits. Each has his proper subject matter and it is merely want of lucidity" that brings about a collision. Faith asks the questions, whence? and whither? Science, how? and where? Science concerns itself with phenomena and relations, Faith with essences and absolutes. For instance, Transubstantiation is not a physical, but a metaphysical doctrine. It may or may not be A Romanist believes it because it was defined to be part of the depositum

true.

* St. Aug. De Civ. Dei, xxi. 8.

of faith by the Council of Trent. But it certainly is not proved to be false by the old test of offering the bread to a mouse! Such a doctrine may be, as Newman points out, difficult to imagine; but when it is clear that it is imposed by an infallible authority, it is not difficult to believe. Carlyle rejects Christianity on the ground of eperience, Emerson rather on a priori grounds; for he does not condescend to argue against miracles, he treats them as the inevitable superstitions of an ignorant age. Emerson, too, always speaks of Jesus Christ as a great moral teacher, thus reducing Him to the level of Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, etc. "Historical Christianity," he says, "has fallen into the error that corrupts all attempts to communicate religion. It has dwelt, it dwells, with noxious exaggeration, about the person of Jesus. "The broad ethics of Jesus were quickly narrowed to village theologies. Again, a second error is this, "that the moral nature is not explored. as the fountain of the established teaching in society. Men have come to speak of the revelation as somewhat long ago given and done, as if God were dead."

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Now the statement of the first of these errors is correct. It is true that Christianity dwells on the person of Christ. The second is true to this extent, that Christians believe that God did reveal himself in a special manner and once for all through Christ, and that Christ deliberately taught certain doctrines, nay, more, that He offered Himself as a divine object of worship; but not true, so far as Emerson's words imply that the natural light of the conscience is superseded by any special doctrine. Christianity does not claim to obscure that light, but to render it clearer; to reconcile the apparent contradiction between the course of nature and the law written on the heart. As Pascal said: En Jésus Christ toutes les contradictions sont accordées.' But what Emerson considers noxious errors the Church of Christ asserts as glorious prerogatives, as an answer to that cry of anguish with which all creation groaneth and travaileth. Is any man, then, at liberty to take from the Gospels what chimes in with his à priori notions

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of what Christ said and did, in preference to what he finds there recorded? May he pick and choose the moral precepts from the synoptic gospels and reject the doctrines in St. John's Gospel? May he accept the most divine sayings of our Lord and discard the miracles which give the special point to many of those sayings? Why should the apostles be better witnesses of the words of Christ than of his deeds? The former were as much beyond their experience as the latter. And when it is said that the Christian believed Christianity to be true, because he wished it to be true, the reply is obvious. The infinite importance (to him) of the interests involved would prevent his contounding the objective fact with the belief in its truth. Will a man be ready to renounce all that makes his life worth having (as the world judges) for a sentiment? But, as St. Paul said, If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Both Emerson and Carlyle seem to be guilty of making this arbitrary selection. If Christ was in truth only a "moral teacher," it is difficult to say that he was not an impostor, because he certainly claimed to be something more. Besides, we should have heard almost enough of him, as of other moral teachers by this time, and agree with Voltaire when he exclaimed, "I pray you, never let me hear that man's name again. As above stated, Carlyle takes a much higher view of Christ than this; but it is rather at the expense of consistency. Because if the teaching of Jesus differs in kind and not merely in degree from that of all philosophers, etc., the reason must be that He himself was different in kind from them—namely, a divine person.

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We often hear a demand for the Christian morality without the Christian theology. What does it matter," people say, what a man believes as long as he acts honestly? Give us practical virtue and not dogmas." Shelley said to Leigh Hunt in Pisa Cathedral, "What a glorious thing would be a religion founded on charity and not on faith!" And Pope wrote:

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For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight, His can't be wrong whose life is in the right. Vain expectation! Very specious, very NEW SERIES.-VOL. XL, No. 4′′

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impossible; there is no one like Pope for clothing the untidiest thoughts in the neatest language.

as you

Christian morality can no more be separated from Christian faith than the body from the soul. They are not so much two things as two aspects of the same thing. Morality is faith in energy. Faith is action in possibility. But do what you will, be as "practical" like, you cannot escape from dogma. It may not be called by that name, but the thing remains. It is the intellectual side of truth. Whatever we do, that is, consciously and not instinctively, is done by us in consequence of some feeling in our minds which admits of being put into an intellectual form. One thing seems right to be done, some other thing wrong; and the veriest agnostic cannot help doing something in the course of his life. But, it may be replied, granting all this, which everyone must admit, the real objection herein made to Christianity is that it makes 'certain beliefs in matters wholly beyond the scope of this present life necessary to salvation-matters, indeed, that can have no possible bearing on our conduct in the world. But how, pray, can you tell that? Some opinion may lie quiet in the mind for years, and yet at length, in the infinite complexities of human life, a man is brought face to face with it, and he has to decide how it shall affect his action. Besides, is it so hard a thing. to believe when it is recognized as a duty? Does it not remind one of Naaman, whose pride revolted at the simplicity of the conditions on which his cure was to be effected? A man's belief depends on his will, and he is just as responsible for his opinions as for his acts. But eccentricities of action cannot be tolerated by society beyond certain limits, and many opinions are tolerated merely on condition of their not being publicly expressed.

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until all boundaries of thought are obliterated, and one Unitarian differs as much from another as that other differs from, say, a Romanist. Thus Channing denies there is such a thing as a Christian creed, but admits the miracles of the Gospel. Theodore Parker concerns himself almost entirely with "absolute religion. Emerson goes further than both, and almost reduces Christ to an abstraction, to the man who is more than any other "an emanation from the Universal Soul."

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A little of this soon wearies, and probably its very tiresomeness prevents it from doing much harm, but in itself it is far more dangerous to Christianity than the crude blasphemies of atheistical lecturers. "I do not press, says Emerson," the scepticism of the materialist. I know the quadruped opinion will not prevail. 'Tis of no importance what bats and oxen think.' True enough, and yet the effect of Emerson's wrtings upon inferior men may well be to encourage the quadruped opinion.'

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This picking and choosing from the Gospels is well illustrated in the case of a living writer, much more widely known than Emerson. With all respect for M. Rénan's character, all admiration for his genius, I cannot but think that his Life of Jesus shows how an able and conscientious man can pervert his mind by following out his own theory in the face of history. No man who reflects at all can for a moment accept the sweet Galilean vision. To make the Gospel an idyll, the most salient facts must be omitted or explained away, the most trivial must be exaggerated. No: would a "vision," however "" sweet, have broken the strength of the Roman Empire? Would it have beaten down the aristocratic barriers of birth and caste? Would it have controlled the brutal energies of the Teutonic race, and turned their enthusiasm into fresh channels? Would it have lasted in all its vigor to this day? M. Rénan tells us in his recently-published autobiography, with that egotism which is one of his least pleasing characteristics, that no one but himself in this century has understood Jesus." If that be so, everyone else must have wofully misunderstood Him. M. Ré

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nan says again, "I should have made an excellent priest. I should have been indulgent, paternal, charitable, irreproachable. An excellent priest indeed! but then St. Paul made a very bad one. It is the first requisite of a Christian to be able to hate-to hate sin. M. Réuan cannot hate enough. Hate must in order of time precede love. Our goodness must have a cuttingedge to it, or it is valueless. A Christian must not be a "mush of concession." It would never have been worth anyone's while to crucify M. Rénan. The Scribes and Pharisees, like men of the world as they were, would have passed him by as an amiable but harmless enthusiast. No one can successfully run counter to the world without taking his life in his hands. The world can be subdued by nothing less tough than itself. If you make yourself obnoxious it will try to put you down, and unless you are in earnest it will certainly succeed. It is a hard thing to die for religion, but it is harder still to live for it, and the shores of history are strewn with the wrecked lives of reformers who afterwards recanted.

Why then do men reject Christianity, and those who by nature and education are well fitted to be its boldest champions become its bitterest opponents? Besides the general reasons of human pride, and want of self-control, which do not apply to this class, there are at least three objections which are frequently made, and can be shortly stated, namely, that Christianity is theoretically selfish, that it is an enemy to human improvement as being adapted only to a certain state of society, and that historically it has proved a failure. It must be admitted that many Christians themselves have done much to encourage these objections either by combating them on untenable grounds or even in some cases by denying that, if true, they are objections. I will devote a few words to each in the order named.

1. It is said, then, that on the Christian theory our motives to action are determined by a system of rewards and punishments, that we are to do right, not because it is right, but through fear of punishment. Now it is true that reward or punishment may be the result of an action without its being

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