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seems to be as far off as ever. Three hundred years of experiments and failures ought to suffice, one would think, to teach us, that no reforms, if at all worthy of the name, are ever possible, save by means of a more than human power. Men may cavil at this statement as they will, call us all the hard names for making it they please ; but all experience asserts it, all sound philosophy demonstrates it, and all history confirms it.
But we shall be told, that this more than human power is granted us; and so it is, in God's own way, by the ministries he has appointed, and we have no right to expect it in any other way, or through any other medium. " But it is granted us in our higher nature, purer instincts, nobler aspirations, sublimer ideals." Nonsense! Go prattle this to beardless boys and pretty misses in their teens, but talk it not to men with beards on their faces. Man is man, neither more nor less; with one simple nature, which is human nature. His instincts, aspirations, ideals, are himself, and, however lofty they may be, do not carry him above himself. All the power that he has in this way is human power, and gives him no superhuman aid.' Either he is sufficient for himself, or he is not. If he is not, you bring him not the power he needs, when you only bring him what he already has.
" But these are the Divine in man." When is this Babel speech to end? When you call the tendencies, instincts, aspirations, of man divine, save so far as quickened by divine influences, that is, by the inflowings of Divine efficacy ab extrâ, what do you but identify the human and Divine natures, and either declare God to be man, or man to be God? If you identify man with God, what do you, when you demand reform, but blasphemously assert that it is God himself that needs reforming? Do you not also see, that all the divinity you get, by speaking of man's nature as divine, avails you nothing ? What in this way do you get that transcends human nature? What do you get that man has not had from the beginning? These instincts, these nobler faculties of which you speak, are man himself, and, therefore, must needs be with him wherever he is, and as active as he himself. If, with all this divinity in his nature, and as active as he himself, man has been able to run into all the errors, vices, and crimes, and to undergo all the perversions, of which this very society you are seeking to reform is the exponent, what, we would ask in all soberness, is its value? If it has been insufficient to prevent, can it be all-sufficient to cure ? Is it easier to cure than to prevent? How much more philosophic is the declaration, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help!”
Man is, in no sense, sufficient for himself. Strictly speaking, he is not self-moving, for he moves in God. He is, indeed, essentially active, and active from within; but only in conjunction with another activity, not himself, but meeting him ab extrâ. This applies equally to the most interior emotions of his soul, and to what are more vulgarly called his actions. And, not being himself pure spirit, but spirit in union with body, he can never come into relation, or hold communion, with spirit, save as that spirit, like his own, is embodied. The Truth, the power that is to save him, and to be adequate to his wants, must, then, be not truth as pure spirit, God in the unapproachable and ineffable spirituality of his own essence, but Truth embodied, instituted, — “God manifest in the flesh.” This is the
— result to which we are driven.
Taking it for granted, now, that reforms are possible only by means of superhuman aid, and that this aid comes to us through some institution, that is, some divinely instituted medium, we may ask, What is this institution? Is it the State ? Formerly, not comprehending that it is the Truth itself, and not the true doctrine of Truth, that saves, and, therefore, holding the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone, instead of justification by the communication of Christ himself, I contended, that the State was the only institution needed. I looked upon Christianity — not always, and, in fact, rarely when it was the precise question before me, but, for the most part, in my theo
rizing — as the philosophy of life, rather than the life itself, life in its very principle. I sought to make it the basis of the State, and contended that the State would be the only organic body needed for its practical realization. I wished to get rid of the Church as a separate organization, not in order to doom men to live without a Church, but in order to transfer its chief functions to the State. According to my own thought, the State would have embodied the great principles of the Gospel, and reproduced them in its enactments and administration; while the outward service, the cultus exterior, would have been left, unorganized, to individual taste, reason, and conscience. This view I advocated when I first came into this community, under the name of the Unity — not Union — of Church and State, and it is but at a comparatively recent day, that I have been forced, very reluctantly, to abandon it. But it is unsound, because the State does not embody Christ, and the same fact that makes it necessary to embody the principles of the Gospel to render them efficacious on the individual, makes it necessary to embody them to render them efficacious on the State. If, unembodied, if as an invisible kingdom of truth and righteousness, they were too remote from humanity to control the life of the individual, how should they be sufficient to control the State, and compel it to embody them in its laws and administration? I must make them predominate in individuals, before I can make them the basis of the moral action of the government; and yet, to make them predominate in the individual citizen is the great question, and the only reason for seeking to make them predominate in the government.
Appreciating this difficulty, but still groping in the dark, struck with the great power and utility of the Church in the Middle Ages, I said, “ We must have a Church, a new Church, which shall influence legislators, and the administrators of government.” Hence the demand I made for a new Church, and my efforts to establish what I called the “ Church of the Future." But the Essay was hardly sent forth before my old difficulty returned, - Where is my power to form the new Church? Can man constitute a Church which shall embody Christ? Is Christ unembodied? If so, is there any human power that can give him a body? No. Then, either Christ is embodied, and there is already existing a true Church, through which he carries on his work of redemption, individual or social, or there is no redeemer, and no redemption for us. Man cannot raise himself, nor construct, without going out of himself, a machine by which he can raise himself. Archimedes said, he would lift the world, but only on condition of having a stand-point outside of it. The fulcrum of your lever must rest on another body than the one you propose to raise.
This is as true in morals as in mechanics, for one and the same dynamic law runs through the Universe. If we have no standpoint out of man, no point of support in God himself, then have we no means of elevating man or society. Then either there is already existing the Divine Institution, the Church of God, or there are no means of reform.
In coming to this conclusion, what have we done, but to apply to social reform the very principle of individual reform, which all Christians admit and contend for? Do we not preach from all our pulpits, that the sinner is not adequate to the work of his own moral redemption ; that he can rise from his state of moral death, only through the new life given him by the Son of God? Is man, confessedly inadequate, through the waste of his moral powers by sin and transgression, to the work of his own individual redemption, yet adequate to the still greater work of social regeneration ? Of what are social evils the result ? You answer, of our viciously organized society, which perverts the minds, corrupts the hearts, and debilitates the bodies of its members. But whence comes your viciously organized society? What is the cause of that ? Does society make man, or man society? Grant, what is undoubtedly true, that one acts and reacts on the other, yet, with holy men, could you have ever had a vicious
VOL. I. NO. II.
ly organized society? With ignorant, depraved men, can you have a rightly organized society ? How, then, except on the same principle, and by the same power, that you expect individual reformation, can you look for social reform ? Are not both to be obtained by virtue of one and the same law ? Then, if the Church be essential to individual salvation, so is it essential to social salvation. But does the Church of God still exist ? Doubt it not. Is it still living, and in a condition to do its work? Yes, if you will return to it, and submit to it. You may have abandoned the Church, but it still exists, and is competent to its work, and all that reformers have to do is, to cease to be “Comeouters,” and to return to its bosom, and receive its orders.
Welfare of the whole Community. The Baccalau-
A DEMOCRATIC friend, in one of the Western States, sent us, some time since, this Address by President Junkin, with a note condemning in severe terms its antidemocratic doctrine, and expressing a wish that we would seize an early opportunity, as they say, of showing it up. We have read the Address with some care, and, though we form no very high estimate of it as a mere literary performance, we assure our friend, that, with every disposition in the world to gratify him, showing up, in the present case, is quite out of the question.
Dr. Junkin opens his Address with some niaiseries about self-love and selfishness, which he might have spared us; but his real purpose in his discourse is, to defend the cause of liberal studies and sound learning, a purpose, which no one who looks a little be