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complain of the uncertainty with which it speaks of the nature of God. It is no part of the functions of religion to unfold the nature of God, but only His nature in its relation to us. It is of the highest importance that we should be assured of this relation, and without such assurance there can be no right or healthy development of religion. For unless we know what God's disposition is towards us, we can have no intercourse with Him; and consequently the religious sense pines for want of its necessary sustenance. But the teaching of the Decalogue is that God is a benefactor, that He has entered into the arena of human history to benefit, that He did this exceptionally in the case of Israel. If religion, then, is to flourish and thrive, it must be by the knowledge of God's relation as a benefactor. In like manner the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says, 'He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him.' Indeed, there can be no religion if there is no object for religion to fasten itself upon; but an object is provided in 'I am the Lord thy God,' while the relation between the object and the soul is declared equally in 'that brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of slaves,' and in 'he is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him.' Religion, however, as has been already shown, is of two parts, dependence and responsibility; and consequently, if the relation of dependence is a real one, it must issue in the obligation of responsibility. If the object of worship is the ultimate being, the Supreme Being, the relation in which we stand to Him must be a unique relation, and if we owe Him allegiance it must be allegiance such as we owe to no one else, and can owe only to Him. Hence the precept flows directly out of the revelation, 'I am the Lord thy God, . . . thou shalt have none other gods but me.' The form of its precept is not to be taken as implying that any other gods really existed, but that in the mind of the people they were liable to have an existence. This has ever been the great struggle of the religious sense, to determine whether its allegiance was due to one only, or to more than one. Naturally there is no evidence that the human mind was able of itself to decide this question. The most powerful intellects have proved incapable of determining it, but the decision of the Decalogue, as of the books of the Bible uniformly, has been distinct and unambiguous from the first. obvious, however, that if there is but one God, there can be no uncertainty as to our obligation in this respect to Him. We may not divide our allegiance, for there is no one with whom to divide it; but unless it can be shown that the human intellect

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has a tendency to arrive at monotheism, the very fact that monotheism is inculcated, and now reigns supreme in all schools of thought, may be taken as proof corroborative of the religion inculcating it. As a matter of fact, however, outside the Jewish scriptures there is no evidence of monotheism in the ancient world, and therefore we must be left to deal with it as we may when it confronts us there. In the present day no one, whether Christian or not, would for a moment advocate the theory of more gods than one, and therefore this is a point in which the distinct declarations and predictions of the Jewish scriptures have been accepted and verified. All the world has acknowledged the Most High as the only One, and it is too late in the day to bring any others into competition with Him. But this is the first essential precept of religion, Thou shalt have none other gods but me;' and there can be no religion worthy of the name where the majesty of this precept is not duly recognized. Nor is the recognition of its majesty, universal as it now is, anything less than evidence corroborative of the authority proclaiming it.

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We have found reason, then, to believe that the existence of a religious sense in man must be accepted as a fact; that even admitting possible cases in which there is no evidence of such a sense, it is not possible to account for its existence where found as a spontaneously developed faculty, but that it must rather be regarded as a part of our actual constitution, in the same way as the bodily senses are part of our physical constitution, even though cases may occur where their existence is defective. The existence, however, of a religious sense, if a fact, as it surely is, points to the existence of some object to which it is to be directed, and of some purpose for which it is to be exercised-that is to say, of a law, and of a lawgiver, traces of which are nowhere so obviously to be found as in the Mosaic Decalogue, which may therefore be examined for the illustration it supplies of the religious sense and of the religion to which it points. The relation, then, of the soul to its God being first assumed, the position of paramount responsibility is established, Thou shalt have none other gods but me.' Next follows the enunciation of the precept which forbids the making of images to represent God. This at all events is an elemental principle in religion as prescribed by the Decalogue. It flows in fact out of the former precept, for if images of the one God are allowed, it will soon come to pass that more gods than one will be acknowledged. In order, therefore, that the majesty of the one God may be preserved inviolate, it is necessary that restrictions should be placed on the symbolic re

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presentations of Him, for otherwise the religious sense will be in danger of coming into bondage to the senses.

As a matter of fact, religion has continually expressed itself under conditions in which it was thus in subjection to the senses, or more or less under their influence; but it would seem that the highest standard of religion is not attained till emancipation from their influence is secured, and certainly this is the condition at which the Decalogue aims. It is singularly jealous of the domination of the religious sense by the physical senses. It aims at nothing less than complete emancipation from their power. According to this ideal, religion is a thing so ethereal and sublime that it requires to be disengaged altogether from the physical senses that it may soar in its purity towards the pure and ultimate Being. This, at least, is the conception put before us in the Decalogue; and it may challenge to itself the claim to be the noblest and the best, and may serve to suggest the query whether a precept like this can have been the invention of that very religious sense which has shown itself so frequently prone to become the slave of the physical senses, whose thraldom is here rejected with disdain.

Thus far religion is seen to consist in the recognition of allegiance to the supreme and ultimate Being, in the acknowledgment of His sole authority, and in the adoration of His majesty without the aid of material representations of it. Two other precepts, however, are incorporated with these, which, though they concern principally the relation between man and God, are yet somewhat moral in their obligation, and approximate to the nature of the specially moral precepts which follow after. These are the precepts of which one enjoins the separation of all falsehood from the service of God, and the other recognizes the need of appointed times and seasons for His service. The one inculcates the utmost reverence for truth in relation to God, forbids the association of His name with any falsehood, and the other secures for His service one seventh of every man's time. Neither of these precepts is likely to have been invented by the religious sense, for each of them is directly opposed to the interests of self. There is unquestionably a strong tendency in human nature to secure the sanctions of divine authority for its own objects without reference to truth, and long experience has shown that men are naturally jealous of the kind of encroachment on their time that the fourth commandment seems to make. Clearly, therefore, presumption is in favour of these precepts having had an origin other than merely human; or, at all events, it requires to be shown how they are fairly consistent with such an origin.

This, then, is the light that is thrown by the Decalogue on the scope and meaning of religion. Religion is that habit or tendency which is produced in man by a standard recognized as external, appealing to his innate religious sense. Into the origin of this religious sense it is as useless to inquire as it is to discover the origin of any other of our natural senses or constitutional characteristics. Man is undoubtedly by nature a religious being, constituted to need a religion of some kind, and likely therefore to develop or discover something to satisfy that need. There can be no question that his own ingenuity has largely contributed to modify the several religions he has embraced, but it by no means follows that all religions are equally false, that they have all alike been generated spontaneously by the religious sense. On the contrary, without assuming the Divine authority of the Decalogue, it is certain that the ten commandments are confirmed by the testimony of the conscience, and that these serve to illustrate the nature and requirements of the religious sense, and to determine the necessary characteristics of religion. All this is so far in favour of their divine authority, and it is at least certain that we can arrive at no higher conception of religion than is suggested by and derived from them. Religion primarily concerns the relation of man to God, it affirms his absolute dependence upon Him, and his ultimate responsibility to Him; and if this dependence is a reality, it must demand corresponding truth on the part of man and due attendance on the service of God. And it is impossible to affirm that man is devoid of any such obligations, except on the assumption that there is no God, and no ascertainable way of discovering our true relation to Him.

If religion, then, is contemplated apart from morality, this must be regarded as its sphere. It concerns especially man's relation to God, and involves the recognition of those corresponding obligations which devolve upon man in consequence of the relation thus existing. These are expressed by our Lord in His summary of the first table in the words, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.' It was this peculiar feature of the law that it was His mission to bring out the feature of love. For, however true it may be that this was implied in the precepts of the law, it certainly did not appear on the surface of them, nor was the word itself so much as named. It was the teaching of our Lord, however, that love was the underlying foundation of the law, and that its requirements could not be discharged without it; and hence

we arrive at a wholly different conception of religion, as that which concerns and consists in the love of man towards God, and the attitude towards God which such love implies and involves. This expresses at once the highest requirement and capability of the religious sense, and offers its supreme justification.

If such love to God is in any sense a reality and a possibility, then we need inquire no further into the purpose for which we are endowed with a religious sense or into the origin of that sense. It is the natural proof and evidence of the divine intention in implanting it, and of the fact that it was not invented or acquired by man, but much rather implanted by God. That love to God, however, is a reality and a possibility, admits of no shadow of doubt when we call to mind the existence of an Augustine, a Luther, or a Pascal. Such men's characters are living epistles of the work of God in producing love in the heart. And as the love so produced has developed the noblest features of their character, it is as absurd to question the reality of the cause producing it as it would be to question the agency of light and heat in stimulating the fertility of the earth, or the relation of the one to the other. The difference between the fetich worshipper of the South Seas and a Luther or a Pascal is the measure of the capacity of man's religious sense, and it would be as reasonable to suppose that one could develop into the other without the reality of a cause operating thereon, as it would be to suppose that a sandy desert could become a flowering garden without the artificial process of cultivation or the natural processes tending to further it. All observation and experience tend to show that there is a sense or faculty in man which is dependent for its support on something which the resources of nature cannot supply; and this want, being proved to be a reality, is itself a proof of the reality of that which can alone supply it. The constitution of man, which longs for God, which finds a satisfaction in God higher than any to be found in all created things combined, is conclusive proof of the reality of the God for whom he longs, and affords no slight presumption that so much light and knowledge would not be withheld as would suffice to satisfy his insatiable yearnings.

From the existence, then, of the religious sense, and the history of its development, we may argue the existence of a God and the probable reality of a revelation. It is at once obvious, however, that the reality of this must materially affect the character and conditions of religion. For we can only determine what these ought to be when we take into account that

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