Walter J. (Walter Julius) Carey.

The kingdom that must be built online

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O ^ v *y




MACMILLAN & CO., Limited




The Kingdom that
must be Built


Thy Kingdom ■:om's '


All rights reserved

C, l\.






Vicar of the Cburcb of the Annunciation, Brighton








I. The Search for Reality . . i

II. God as Found by the Mystic . 8

III. Why we Trust our Leader . . 17

IV. The Building of a Kingdom . 25
V. First Equipment — A Right Faith 23

VI. Second Equipment — Obedience . 48
VII. Third Equipment — Keeping in

Touch by Prayer ... 59
VIII. Fourth Equipment — Sacramental

Grace . . . . .68

IX. The Missing Builders . . .81

X. The Reward of the Builders . . 90

XI. God's Object in Building a King-
dom ..... 95
XII. The Kingdom and the Present War 99

XIII. Practical Considerations . .104

XIV. The Fundamental Difficulty . . 113




WHETHER it is because one grows older
and therefore wiser, or because one be-
comes disillusioned with the ordinary ob-
jects of the world's desire, such as money or pleasure
or fame, the fact remains that there often comes to
us at last a passionate longing for things that are
true and simple and lasting. The world as such
seems so pathetically interested in the transitory;
politicians, publicists, business-men, in fact most
people, stake so much on what is uncertain that at
the last they seem to have missed any true or real
values in return for all their effort and pain.

A few principles seem to stand out, like great
rocks which never wear away, and a life built on
them cannot be altogether wasted; but even they
need some further background if they are to have
their full value and interpretation. They contain a
measure of eternal validity, but unless we can ' hitch
them to a star ' which explains them and gives them
immortality, there remains something tragic in their
short-lived sweetness. Among these I reckon as
primary the love of friends, the apprehension of

B 1


beauty, and the consciousness of benefit or happiness
given, and duty done.

When we are young we reflect but little, we take
and give love without much consciousness of any-
thing but joy. But as we grow older we appreciate
far more deeply the unexpected extent and worth of
love, and grow more kindly and discerning as to the
essential goodness which lies in most human hearts.

Who of us is not conscious of unexpected kind-
nesses and loyalties often from the most unexpected
quarters, and from those we may have considered
mere acquaintances? And in the deepened form
which affection assumes in our family circles, and in
the long and tried friendships of our lives, we came
to see one of life's great goods, something that
savours of eternity, something which will always be
a possession, something which has made life worth

Again, to many of us the Spring means something
which it certainly did not mean twenty years ago.
The stretches of colour in some old garden beneath
the mellowed red brick wall; the glimpse of the
laburnum and lilac flinging their gorgeous freshness
to the very depths of our souls; the deep red heart
of the rose, or the waves of yellow corn in the quiet
field speak to us in a language not previously under-
stood. They fill us with a delight which compels us



to silence, they whisper of some unapprehended
beauty of which we only capture a fringe. We can
say with Horace ' Vixi,' I have lived my life : let
to-morrow bring what it will, I have felt enough to
justify life.

Or again, we can do but little to influence the
wide tide of human life, yet sometimes the waves
toss to our feet some shipwrecked life. If we turn
away from the jetsam of humanity because its suc-
cour demands money, time, and sympathy, we bear
with us the remorse which dogs us when we have
had our opportunity and have thrown it away. The
satisfaction of a job well done; the joy that accom-
panies the making of a useless into a useful man; of
turning some minor chaos into order; of making
some child happy or some widow free from anxiety
— these things also have something final about them
as if we had co-operated with some supreme Will
whose policy we were fulfilling.

Therefore, I reckon these three things as real
' goods ' of life, because no life is wasted which has
found and used them, and because they have that
quality of finality and objectivity which make them
good in themselves.

Yet even these things are unsatisfying. They
hint more than they give. Is love to be bounded by
life ? Is beauty only created beauty ? Is usefulness



to be only on so small a scale ? It is inevitable that
we should wistfully yoke ourselves to all those past
dreamers and idealists who want more because they
feel they are made for more, who find the sample so
satisfying that they need a reality boundless in
extent and quality and able to satiate the soul of
man. So it is that all religion has premissed, and
the Christian religion has professed to reveal, that
the hints of love, beauty, and goodness flow from
the Reality we call God; that He is the source of
them all; that He wills us to enjoy and use them;
that immortality is given us to fulfil ourselves in
them. Eternal life does not then mean mere length
of days, just a dragging out of an interminable
unsatisfied existence, but the opportunity and capac-
ity of knowing love and being lovers; of apprehend-
ing beauty to its uttermost; of entering into holiness
and living it out in the company of God and the

And if we are to enter into this secret we must
find God, Who is the Source and Sum of all love
and beauty and goodness, for it will be by sharing
His Life that we shall find our real life. Goodness,
love, and beauty are not separate from God, or crea-
tions of God. God is them, though more than them ;
they are His nature which expresses His Person-
ality. We therefore must find Him and be in Him



if these endowments are to be ours. We must not
merely aim at gaining those qualities; they are
already in us in germ, because the life of God is in
every man already in germ. We have to raise those
powers to their fullest extent by a deeper union of
our personalities with the Divine Personality. If
we can be united with God, then we shall find our-
selves lovers, apprehenders of beauty, natives to
holiness; we shall not be seekers after individual
qualities, we shall find the qualities because of our
union with the Source of the qualities.

Then at last we shall love with God's love, see
beauty with God's eyes, create and work and be
holy with God's power and God's capacity, because,
although I remain I, yet God is in me and I in God.

How to find God, how to be one with Him, how
to love as He loves, how to apprehend as He appre-
hends, how to be like Him, how to do His will and
His work — here is our problem.

And this is where increasing age and experience
helps us. For if all this be a dream, then all life
is a bad dream. For the pleasures of sin, and the
pride and objects of the world, are seen to be so
obviously futile and wearying. What lies ahead of
lust save satiety, of cleverness except the conviction
of ignorance, of fame except chance and uncertainty,
of life except old age and decay? And even with



the more real goods of life, what lies before love and
beauty except death and cessation, unless they be
linked on, through God, to eternal life and loveli-
ness? Youth through its inexperience sees the
future in a golden mist; middle age sees the land-
scape without its haze, and knows that unless there
be a future and a God all things tend to weariness
and unprofitableness, or at best to silence, decay, and
death. Can we then find God? Must man be ever
a seeker and never a finder? Can we hitch on to
eternity here and now so that the half -goods of life
become whole-goods, because they are now seen to
be the seeds which shall one day ripen to a golden
harvest ?

The writer believes that it is possible to find God ;
to begin a union with Him here that shall be eternal.
And if this is true it redeems life, because no good
thing here is wasted : the bread may be cast on the
waters but it shall return after many days. No love
that is true love shall ever die, it came from God and
is immortal; no beauty ever apprehended is lost, it
was but a glimpse of something eternally true; no
goodness learnt or shown is futile, for it proceeded
from the character of God and remains in Him.

Our task, then, is to open our eyes wider, to ex-
pand our hearts more fully, to let our work be on the
grander scale, for nothing good comes to nought.



We are right to aspire to love as God, to see as God,
to be like God, to work for God — for He has left us
means whereby if such are our ambitions they shall
be satisfied, for the good things which God has pre-
pared for them that love Him exceed all that we can



LET it be granted then (as we used to say in
learning Euclid) that many, if not most,
• men and women become weary of the prizes
which the world, the flesh, and the devil offer, and
begin to grope after those visions of truth, beauty,
and goodness which, though transitory and dim, yet
are perceived to be valuable.

The pleasures of worldliness are obvious, but
easily exhausted. Wealth to a worldly man may
indeed mean unlimited dinners, cigars, a motor-car,
travelling first-class instead of third.

But nobody can be permanently satisfied thus, for
you get to the end of these things so soon, and repe-
tition only produces satiety. That is why most of
the desires of youth are so pathetic : a boy wants the
obvious satisfactions ; it may be cigarettes, ices, ten-
nis — or, alas, it may be indiscipline (falsely called
liberty) or lust. The pathos lies in the belief that
such satisfactions will ever really satisfy, that the
soul of man will ever be fulfilled by such paltry or
perverse nutriment. The truth is that we are never
satisfied by the obvious or the exhaustible. No man
can drink from a shallow river. Take away the un-



fathomable, the mysterious, the background, from
anything — marriage, friendship, art, music, religion
— and it ceases to satisfy. That is why sin, besides
being evil, is so stupid. It is finite, and the finite
can never satisfy a soul made to capture infinity. Oh
that the young could learn this ! from what intoler-
able dullness it would save them. They think, for
instance, that lust is romance ; they do not know that
because lust is finite, because it is easily satisfied, be-
cause it has no mystical background, it becomes as
stale and wearisome as the constant repetition of a
poor piece of music.

That is the reason why people seek religion. It is
because the goods offered by the materialist, the
sensualist, or by ordinary worldliness are so poor
and profitless, stale as yesterday's vegetables on the
sun-baked counter of an East End shop. And from
time to time there comes a flash, a glimpse. At the
graveside of a friend when the great solemn words
are said; at some tale of heroism when tears start
to the eyes ; at some grand spectacle, such as a pro-
cession of battleships in line ahead; at some vital
moment of decision — life suddenly takes on a hori-
zon. There are adventures and possibilities not seen
hitherto. There are spaces in life not yet explored,
where Romance dwells, where Beauty reigns, where
perhaps God after all lives and is sovereign.



And when a man has once seen that vision, he can
never be quite the same. He must set out now to
see if there is anything real in the vision. For alas,
poor soul, the vision must be real or else he is un-
done, for it has taken away his pleasure in the old
things. If the vision is untrue, still it has spoiled
his taste for the old pastures : one glimpse of Venice
has made Market Dulborough impossible.

Yes; man's incurable appetite for the mystical,
the unexplored, the unattained, alone explains why
human beings are always being driven to pilgrimage ;
to leave the attained for the unattained, the obvious
for the unobvious.

But as we brace ourselves to set out to find truth,
beauty, perhaps God Himself, we discover among
ourselves mysterious people — people who have not
found God, but God has found them. It may be
that once they were pilgrims and seekers, but they
are so no longer. They have found ; they have been
found; they have arrived. Now this book is not
written for them. It salutes them, it acknowledges
them, it congratulates them, although it criticises
them too if they think their experiences entitle them
to disregard the ordinary Christian's ' great high-
road to Christ,' or if they think that theirs is the only
experience that counts. For a mystic is not neces-
sarily a Christian. There are true mystics among



Mohammedans and Buddhists who have been found
by God, but have not found Christ yet. But we
must allow for mystics, who are indeed a living con-
futation of materialism and an unconquerable for-
tress of spirituality.

But the reader must beware of thinking that you
can force yourself into being a mystic, or that the
mystic's experiences are necessary for salvation or
for a true discipleship to Christ. God reveals Him-
self overwhelmingly to some for His own purposes;
He does not ask everybody to travel that road.

Let us analyse a mystic. He is one whose spiri-
tual perceptions are abnormal and excessively acute.
He is frankly bored by the material, except as a
vehicle to the spiritual. The limitations of the ma-
terial fetter his spirit ; he must get to the spiritual, of
which the material is at most the expression. A
landscape or a mountain, a symphony or a picture,
the spring or the changing skies, are but veils
through which a Presence strives to reveal itself to
the soul. To some this Presence is Reality, Truth,
Beauty — call it what you will ; to the Mohammedan,
the Jew, the Christian, it is personal, it is God. And
the soul is content, for it is in living touch with
Reality, with the Only-Thing-That-Matters. Life
and death, poverty or riches, pleasure and pain —



what are they but accidents in a life which is secure
because it is ' oned ' to the Reality at the heart of

Nature and life are but parables to such. The
bursting of the buds, the flowering of the hedges,
the swelling ripeness of the corn, the full-bosomed
foliage of July are but expressions of the Life which
is above, beneath, around — a Life of which they are
part, with which they have made terms, in whose
bosom they are secure. They value human things —
love, friendship, flowers, birds. But the value is not
disconnected from the Source. God gives it to
them, they accept it at His hands; they thank Him
for His gift. But they would accept pain or pov-
erty as gratefully as pleasure or wealth — it's the
Source that matters, not the gifts. Take from the
mystic (but you can't) the conviction of his unity
with the ultimate reality, and you have inflicted the
mortal blow ; for the essence of his mysticism is that
neither life nor death nor any other creature can
separate him from the inexhaustible loveliness and
treasure of his Possession. What wonder that such
a man is placid and happy. Every new experience
is but a deepening of his exploration of the infinite
character of His Friend; every trial is but a wel-
comed test of his own loyalty and love. He cannot
be touched by attack or criticism. What has the



voluble atheist to teach him? Nothing: the atheist
simply hasn't known or felt, that is all. What has
the materialist to offer ? Nothing : the poor dullard
is asleep, and actually thinks that the very finite joys
of the jug of wine and the lady in the wilderness x
can be compared with the ever-fresh, ever-stimulat-
ing, inexhaustible joys of the divine friendship and
the divine revelation.

Passion, ambition, fame, jugs of wine, compan-
ionships of women — what are these if divorced from
the one Reality behind all; whereas, if once you find
and are found by that Reality, every bird, every
beast, every running brook, every flower of the way-
side murmurs to you with a thousand tongues the
fascinating secrets of the life and love of the God
Who is yours, and Who will lift you increasingly
for ever into the heart of His own eternal existence.

Such then is the mystic. He is here, and he is
real, and he is invulnerable. He walks about among
us, but he sees and hears things that we don't, that
is all. Who are we to sneer at him, simply because
he is a spiritual genius? And indeed life without
him and his outlook would be intolerable. It is the
touch of mysticism which saves all. If we were all
successful men of business of the sort which talks
in terms of money and possessions; if we were all

l Cf. Omar Khayyam.



healthy and prosperous and knew nothing of pain or
poverty or anxiety; if our ideas were bounded by
prosperity and the obvious goods of this world : I
think we should hail anything — even the most bloody
revolution — which stirred life from the deadliness
of complacent optimism. So the mystic is very val-
uable, for he is the interpreter to us of the Reality
which lives behind things, but we have to beware
lest our admiration for him makes us despise the
common man for whom Christ died, and whom ' God
must love because He has made so many of them.'

For the mystic road is in truth but for the few.
The rest of us can use no special road or any short
cuts, we must travel the old, long, dusty road of
duty done and religious observances performed. We
must follow the ordinary signposts and sleep at the
usual inns.

It is God's Will, and therefore good for us that
we travel in company with the ordinary mass of
humanity, seeking God as they seek, taking the
risks they take, weary with their weariness, and at
last satisfied with their satisfaction.

We must think over the ordinary stock arguments,
we must enlist in the ordinary way, start from the
same rendezvous, follow the beaten track of ordinary
duty and common devotion, quite sure that He
whose delights are with the sons of men will lead



His travel-stained and dishevelled army along the
dusty hot roads just as tenderly and surely as He
leads the mystics over the crags on the mountain-

We shall find that the stages of the pilgrim road
have well-marked stretches and definite names.
There must be a right faith, a ready obedience, di-
vinely-ordered methods of keeping in touch with our
Guide. These we shall consider one by one, but first
of all we must have a talk with the pilgrims, on the
eve of starting, as to the reasons why we are willing
to trust our Guide and to follow Him unquestion-
ingly through paths which are difficult and unknown,
and towards a land which seems very far off.




THE ordinary man or woman who is no mys-
tic, or is blessed with very occasional mysti-
cal glimpses, must then be prepared to look
for God along the ordinary routes of thought and
patient seeking. Not for such a one is the high-level
road of abnormal and acute perception. We must
be patient in our search for God, and if we find sign-
posts along the road which seem to help us to Him
we must follow them ploddingly and perseveringly.
Such a signpost, if I may anticipate, is conscience.
We cannot find God, if we willingly and rebelliously
ignore or defy its leading. A man who complains
that he cannot find God while all the time he is living
a life of sin or carelessness is simply out of court.
He will not look at the directions : no wonder he has
lost his way.

But many a beginner may rightfully ask, ' Why do
you believe there is a God at all ? ' And I think we
must be able to give our answer. Especially in war-
time people ask this question — sometimes defiantly,
as if it would ease them if they knew the desperate
truth that there was no God ; sometimes pathetically,
as if they wanted to believe but found it hard to keep



their faith. Personally, I find it no harder to be-
lieve in God in war-time than at any other time. For
it seems strange to charge upon God the responsibil-
ity for free men who deliberately refuse to act upon
the rules and directions He has given. ' Love God,'
He says, and ' love your neighbor as yourself.'
Nations never act upon these directions; they think
you a sentimental fool for even thinking such advice
in any way practical. They have their reward in
war and hatred, and then they seem to want to blame
God for what would never have happened if they had
listened to Him.

Besides, I do not think that God's principal wish
is to keep us alive. To maintain in being the larg-
est number of fat, cowardly, self-indulgent people
does not seem a very divine task. He wishes to
teach us how to live, whether our life is long or
short; He wants us to learn self-sacrifice, devotion,
and unselfishness, and if we have learnt them we are
ready for the next stage of existence, whether our
life is long or short. We can be a good deal prouder
of Englishmen in 1918 than in 1913, I think. But
in any case war at most only raises the question of
God's existence and goodness in a special and more
acute form: the reasons which make for belief in
Him are perennial and can be stated.

Apart from mystical experience (which however
c 17


must not be underrated), we start with the sugges-
tions which human psychology — the study of the
human mind and soul — gives us. We find as a mat-
ter of evidence that most men either believe in, or
are curious about, a higher Power. Why? 'Oh,'
says the sceptic, ' it is only a primeval instinct to
worship your ancestors.' But why do men want to
worship their ancestors? Why does humanity
possess an instinct to worship something? It is not
the ancestors who are worshipped that interest us,
but the fact of an instinct of worship in humanity.
There must be something in it, we say; something
not to be explained away, but explained. We find,
as a matter of hard fact, when we examine human-
ity's mental and spiritual outfit, that it does almost
universally include a belief in (or an apprehension
of ) a higher Power which created things : a power of
perception of a better and worse in things which we
call conscience : and a faith that death is not the end
of life.

These three elements emerge everywhere. You
find them in the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians,
Babylonians, Assyrians : they appear in a startlingly
distinct form in the Jew. You find them in the
savage and the ordinary unsophisticated Englishman
alike. I do not say that the existence of these psy-
chological elements absolutely proves that there are



realities corresponding to them, but it takes us a
long way. The obvious instincts for food, drink,
sleep, most certainly have correspondent realities by
which they are satisfied. And if it is so with the
instincts of the body, why not with the soul? At
least I could never be an atheist; to deny flatly the
existence of a possible reality which corresponds to
the immemorial instincts of the human soul strikes
me as such impudence. At most one could leave it
an open question.

And secondly, we buttress this psychological evi-
dence by history. Has the God to Whom instinct
points as existing, and to Whom conscience points as
Good, ever revealed Himself in an unmistakable way
to those who seek Him? Here we are met at once
by the evidence of a revelation which is said to have
been given to the Jews through prophets, and to
Christians by Christ.

The prophets gave a preliminary and anticipatory

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Online LibraryWalter J. (Walter Julius) CareyThe kingdom that must be built → online text (page 1 of 7)