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to me to be offering mankind a stone for bread. Martineau's protest against this philosophy is surely justified: "Amid all the sickly talk about ideals,' it is well to remember that as long as they are a mere self-painting of the yearning spirit, they have no more solidity than floating air-bubbles, gay in the sunshine and broken by the passing wind. You do not so much as touch the threshold of religion, so long as you are detained by the phantoms of your thought; the very gate of entrance to religion, the moment of its new birth, is the discovery that your gleaming ideal is the everlasting real." But though our knowledge of the eternal world is much less than we could desire, it is much greater than many thinkers allow. We are by no means shut off from realisation and possession of the eternal values while we live here. We are not confined to local and temporal experience. We know what Truth and Beauty mean, not only for ourselves but for all souls throughout the universe, and for God Himself. Above all, we know what Love means. Now Love, which is the realisation in experience of spirtual existence, has a unique value as a hierophant of the highest mysteries. And Love guarantees personality, for it needs what has been called otherness. In all love there must be a subject and an object, and a bond between them which transcends without annulling their separateness. What this means for personal immortality has been seen by many great minds. As an example I will quote from Plotinus' picture of life in the spiritual world. This writer is certainly not inclined to overestimate the claims of separate individuality, and he is under no obligation to make his doctrine conform to the dogmas of any creed. Spirits yonder see themselves in others. For there all things are transparent, and there is nothing dark or resisting, but everyone is manifest to everyone internally, and all things are manifest; for light is manifest to light. For everyone has all things in himself and sees all things in another, so that all things are everywhere and all is all and each is all, and infinite the glory."


This eternal world is about us and within us while we live here. "Heaven is nearer to our souls than the earth is to

our bodies." The world which we ordinarily think of as real is an arbitrary selection from experience, corresponding roughly to the average reaction of life upon the average man. Some values, such as existence, persistence, and rationality, are assumed to be "real "; others are relegated to the "ideal." Under the influence of natural science, special emphasis is laid on those values with which that science is engaged. But our world changes with us. It rises as we rise, and falls as we fall. It puts on immortality as we do. "Such as men themselves are, such will God appear to them to be." Spinoza rightly says that all true knowledge takes place sub specie æternitatis. For the spark (the spiritual man) the whole of life is spiritual, and, as Eucken says, he recognises the whole of the spiritual life as his own life-being. He learns, as Plotinus declares in a profound sentence, that "all things that are Yonder are also Here below."

Is it then the conclusion of the whole matter that eternal life is merely the true reading of temporal life? Is earth, when seen with purged vision, not merely the shadow of heaven, but heaven itself? If we could fuse past, present, and future into a totum simul, an "Eternal Now," would that be eternity? This I do not believe. A full understanding of the values of our life in time would indeed give us a good picture of the eternal world; but that world itself, the abode of God and of blessed spirits, is a state higher and purer than can be fully expressed in the order of nature. The perpetuity of natural laws as they operate through endless ages is only a Platonic image" of eternity. That all values are perpetual is true; but they are something more than perpetual: they are eternal. These laws are the creative forces which shape our lives from within; but all the creatures, as St. Augustine says in a wellknown passage, declare their inferiority to their Creator. "We are lower than He, for He made us." Scholastic theologians interposed an intermediary which they called avum between time and eternity. Evum is perpetuity, which they rightly distinguished from true eternity. Christianity is philosophically right in insisting that our true home, our patria,


is "not here." Nor is it in any place: it is with God, 66 whose center is everywhere and His circumference nowhere." There remaineth a rest for the people of God, when their warfare on earth is accomplished.

A Christian must feel that the absence of any clear revelation about a future state is an indication that we are not meant to make it a principal subject of our thoughts. On the other hand, the more we think about the eternal values the happier we shall be. As Spinoza says, As Spinoza says, "Love directed towards the eternal and infinite fills the mind with pure joy, and is free from all sadness. Wherefore it is greatly to be desired, and sought after with our whole might." But he also says, and I think wisely, that there are few subjects on which the "free" man will ponder less often, than on death. The end of life is as right and natural as its beginning; we must not rebel against the common lot, either for ourselves or for our friends. We are to live in the present, though not for the present. The two lines of Goethe which Lewis Nettleship was so fond of quoting convey a valuable lesson:

"Nur wo du bist, sei alles, immer kindlich:

So bist du alles, bist unüberwindlich.

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"Death does not count," as Nettleship used to say; and he
met his own fate on the Alps with a cheerfulness which showed
that he believed it. The craving for mere survival, no matter
under what conditions, is natural to some persons, and those
who have it not must not claim any superiority over those who
shudder at the idea of resigning this "pleasing, anxious
Some brave and loyal men, like Samuel Johnson, have
feared death all their lives long; while others, even when for-
ture smiles upon them, "have a desire to depart and to be
with Christ, which is far better." But the longing for sur-
vival, and the anxious search for evidence which may satisfy
it, have undoubtedly the effect of binding us to earth and
earthly conditions; they come between us and faith in true

* Where'er thou art, to all be childlike ever:
If so thou art, thou shalt be conquered never.

immortality. They cannot restore to us what death takes


We know now, if we did not know it three years ago, that the average man can face death, and does face it in the majority of cases, with a serenity which would be incomprehensible if he did not know in his heart of hearts that it does not matter much. He may have no articulated faith in immortality, but, like Spinoza, he has "felt and experienced that he is eternal.' Perhaps he only says to himself," Who dies if England lives? " But the England that lives is his own larger self, the life that is more his own life than the beating of his heart, which a bullet may still for ever. And if the exaltation of noble patriotism can "abolish death, and bring life and immortality to light" for almost any unthinking lad from our factories and hedgerows, should not religion be able to do as much for us all? And may it not be that some touch of heroic selfabnegation is necessary before we can have a soul which death cannot touch? When Christ said that those who are willing to lose their souls shall save them, is not this what He meant? We must accustom ourselves to breathe the air of the eternal values, if we desire to live for ever. And a strong faith is not curious about details. "Beloved, now are we sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when he is made manifest we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

W. R. Inge.

Jesus Christ in the Gospel proclaims Himself to be the Light of the world, and light is the emblem not only of truth, but of goodness. The conflict between truth and error is from another point of view the conflict between good and evil. Christ came into the world to bear witness to that which Almighty God has revealed touching His own essential nature, and His requirement for man. Religion and Morals, therefore, are not to be regarded as distinct spheres or departments of inquiry; rather they are concerned with two different aspects of one and the same life.-R. L. Ottley, D. D.

The City of God


From the Church Times

"Ye are come unto Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect." HEB. xii, 22, 23.

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"Our citizenship is in heaven."-PHIL. iii. 20.


HE holy fellowship into which we were incorporated at the Font is a highly organized one. My text contrasts the institutions of Syon in its civilized serenity with the desert wildness and horror of Sinai. The expressions are civil and political" city," "general Assembly" (i. e., gathering)," church," "first-born,

(i. e., festal "written " (i. e., regis

tered and enrolled), the Judge or Ruler, the justified men made perfect (i. e., fully enfranchised as King's sons). Christianity is a civil life, in the intense meaning of citizenship of the ancient polis, and the Greek word for "Church," ecclesia, meant the assembly of free-born citizens. The word "city" suggests to us now little more than a shapeless agglomeration of ugly streets and buildings, inhabited by unwilling ratepayers. But "City of God," Civitas Dei, conveyed to the men of old the image of a four-square garden city, ringed outwardly with noble walls and towers and gates and bulwarks, and pulsing inwardly with an intense and eager corporate energy.

The citizenship of heaven should be the pattern of all earthly society. What kind of citizenship is it? Quite real. The denizens of the City of the Great King do not go heedlessly about their business, leaving a benevolent Sultan with His viziers to manage the city affairs all by Himself. Almighty God is a constitutional monarch in the true sense of that word-viz., that His sovereignty is not arbitrary and capricious, but according to His own eternal laws of holiness and truth; but also in the sense that He desires to carry with Him the glad co-operation and worshipping assent of us His subjects. On the other hand,

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