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comes the problem: a problem solved, in too many cases, by the abdication of moral and spiritual personality, the hopeless plunge of the speculator and constructor himself into the slough of materialism. This is the difficulty with all kinds of evolution, not preceded by the involution of intelligent purpose. The muddle, in this whole evolution discussion, has been the application of a term which properly belongs to the sphere of vitality, biology, to that of chemistry and physics below, and to that of intelligence and volition above. Facts and processes, loosely analogous, are thus construed, as strictly identical. The result is, of course, hopeless confusion. The word "development," in fashion forty years ago, while often running into the same confusion, did not have the material associations of this last word, "evolution." The beginning here must be from above. In our own personality we have the highest known form of beginning. In the necessity of an adequate Cause for this finite personality, as in the nature and capacities of that personality, we are led to the truth of Infinite, Self-existent Personality. There is not in this full comprehension. At the same time, there is distinct. and satisfactory apprehension. The proofs and conclusions are such as are accepted and acted upon in other matters, and with reference to all forms, whether of human speculation or of action. To refuse such acceptance, in other matters, would be irrational. Why not so here? Thus it might be argued, looking at the matter as one of mere speculation. How much more so, in view of the immeasurable interests and obligations involved in a right decision!
As an instance of hypothetical induction, the argument may be thus stated :—
Problem: Universe in its phenomena, material, organic, instinctive, rational, and moral, its adequate explanation.
A. Hypothesis of matter, atoms, molecules, vortices, material energy. Fails to account for life, or mind, or the order and purpose manifest.
B. Hypothesis of cohesion, affinity, and vitality. Either one, or all combined, fail to account for the most important phenomena.
c. Hypothesis of natural law. Law, in the sense either of force, or of mode of sequence, accounts for nothing. In one of these senses it is the way in which a thing goes on. In the other, the energy or operative power. But in neither is there properly Cause, adequate and originant.
D. Hypothesis of finite Personality. No finite intelligence or personality, of which we can have conception, is adequate either to the origination or perpetuation of this union of matter and of mind.
E. Hypothesis of Infinite Personality. Adequate, satisfactory. It is so in itself, so in its exclusion of any and all others inferior.
Thus meeting all the demands of the problem, and doing it, to the exclusion of all other forms of solution, it claims rational acceptance.
DIVINE GOODNESS IN SEVERITY.
BY THE REVEREND HENRY M. TENNEY, D.D.
TRUTH is spherical. To see both hemispheres at the same time, to give to each its relative value and to understand their relations to each other, is difficult. Regarding the one hemisphere we lose sight of the other. If the goodness of God is prominently before our minds we fail to recognize his severity. If the severity of God is manifest we forget his goodness and grace. This disposition leads us to put our own estimate upon different parts of the Bible. In the Old Testament there are abundant evidences of the divine goodness; but the law, with its stern "thou shalt not," is prominent; and in its histories, judgments and retributions so appear that popularly the Old Testament seems to be the book of the severity of God; while, because of its revelation of saving grace in Jesus Christ, the New Testament seems to be the book of the divine goodness. We forget that it was foretold that Jesus would be for the fall, as well as for the rising again, of many in Israel; that he himself declared that he came not to bring peace, but a sword; and that if at the beginning of his ministry we have the beatitudes, we have the woes and the judgment scenes and the "depart from me" at its close.
In the stern days of our Pilgrim and Puritan fathers, when they were face to face in a death-grapple with the forces of oppression and evil, it was an easy thing for them to recognize the divine severity. They believed in
it both as a fact and as a necessity. The imprecatory Psalms did not read to them just as they do to the easeloving and pleasure-seeking and conscienceless of our time. They read differently now to those who are trying to live as Christians, and to make others Christians, in the heart of Turkey and Cuba, and to those who have to do with Turkey and with Spain. But to those who are living out of the conflict, in circumstances of ease, the divine goodness so fills the vision that severity seems incongruous and contradictory. It hardly seems possible to such that love can have a stern aspect and that it can deliver blows. We call the fathers Old Testament Christians, and in so doing we discount their religion; and in our own practical religious life we find very little place, it may be, for the Old Testament. We boast ourselves New Testament Christians, not realizing what New Testament Christianity in its fullness really is.
It cannot be amiss for us, therefore, to dwell upon these two characteristics of the ways of God with men, and to note the relation which the divine goodness and the divine severity sustain to each other.
But is God severe? Is the divine severity a fact? We shrink from asserting it; and yet, if it is a fact, it becomes us to face it, and understand it, and adjust ourselves to it. To ignore an important fact is to prove one's self the fool that the Bible declares such to be.
If we believe in a divine being at all, if we are not sheer atheists, and if we admit that God has anything to do with the ordering of things in this world, we have but to look out upon the world to be compelled to see the divine severity revealed on every hand. The volume of human suffering,-how stupendous and appalling it is! And God permits it to be. The world, and man, are so constituted that under certain conditions tremendous suffering is a necessary incident. And this suffering is not due
chiefly or largely to the fact that this is a finite world, and that we are finite and limited beings in it. There is suffering that is due to these limitations. Our bodies are frail. They are liable to accidents and unpreventable diseases. Age brings weakness and the decay of the powers, and consequent hardship. But leaving out of the account these disabilities which are strictly incidental to such a life as this is in the flesh, taking account only of preventable sufferings, how vast is their volume! Why does not the Almighty prevent them?
These sufferings as we analyze them are seen to be of two kinds. The one kind comes by way of deprivation. Men are deprived of so much of the blessing and happiness of life that it seems easily possible for them to be made to enjoy! We lose and miss so much that we feel that we ought to have. Is there not a divine severity in the withholdings of providence? How are we to reconcile this with the fatherhood of God? And then there are the sufferings of infliction-the more positive pangs of body, and mind, and conscience; the social and national alienations and separations and bitternesses and conflicts, with the multiplied and endless woes which they involve. Is not God awfully severe in his inflictions, as well as in his withholdings? Is there not reason for the universal fear of God which exists outside of Christian lands? Is not our God indeed, as Paul declares, a consuming fire? Take as an example a single individual. Here we are with these bodies, and with their physical cravings and appetites. These appetites are essential to both individual and social life and health and well-being.
We want, and we must have, food and drink. There is abundance in the world that is wholesome. But let there be indulgence in alcoholic drinks or narcotics,—and often there is a craving for these, with what tremendous severity is the victim handled! How does the appetite in