Copyright
J.R. (John Richardson) Illingworth.

Personality, human and divine : being the Bampton lectures for the year 1894 online

. (page 1 of 17)
Online LibraryJ.R. (John Richardson) IllingworthPersonality, human and divine : being the Bampton lectures for the year 1894 → online text (page 1 of 17)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


BR 45 .B35 189A
Bampton lectures



I'lIRSONALirV



HUMAN AND DIVINE



Ojcfor5

HORACE HART, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY



PRRSOXALirN
HUAIAX AND DIX'IXi:



TIIIC BAMITON LKCTURKS

FOR Ilir. VKAR 1894



T. R.'lLLIXGWORTlI, MA.



iavrhv yif) t»j iau yvicr] Qiuv tiatTcn.

Clem. Alex.



11 out) on
MACMILl.AN AND CO.

AM) M.W VOKK
1894



F. X r i; A C T

FROM TIIK LAST WILL AND 'IKSLAMLNT

OF IMK I.ATK

RKV. JOHN l^AMPTON,
CAN< )X OF .sAi.i>r.rkv.
I ^Wc and bequeath my Lands and Instates



"to the Chancellor, Masters, and Schohirs of the
" University of Oxford for ever, to have and to
" hold all and singular the said Lantls or Estates
" upon trust, and to the intents and purposes
" hereinafter mentioned ; that is to say, I will and
" appoint that the Vice-Chanccllor of the University
•' of Oxford for the time being shall take and
" receive all the rents, issues, and profits thereot,
•' and (after all taxes, reparations, and necessary
" deductions made) that he pay all the remainder
" to the endowment of eight Divinity Lecture
" Sermons, tf) be estabh'shed for ever in the said
'' University, and to be performed in the manner
" following :

" I direct and appoint, that, upon the first Tuesday
" in l':aster Term, a Lecturer may be yearly chosen
*' by the Heads of Colleges only, and by no others,
"in the room adjoining to the i'rinting-House, be-
"tween the hours often in the morning and two in
^'the afternoon, to preach eight Divinity Lecture
"Sermons, the year following, at St. Mary's in



V. EXTRACT FROM REV. JOHN HAMPTON'S WILL

" Oxford, between the commencement of the last

• month in Lent Term, and the end of the third
' week in Act Term.

*• Also I direct and appoint, that the eight

• Divinity Lecture Sermons shall be preached upon

• either of the following Subjects — to confirm and
' establish the Christian Faith, and to confute all

• heretics and schismatics — upon the divine autho-

• rity of the holy Scriptures — upon the authority

• of the writings of the primitive Fathers, as to the

• faith and practice of the primitive Church — upon

• the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus

• Christ — upon the Divinity of the Holy Ghost —
' upon the Articles of the Christian Faith, as com-

• prehended in the Apostles' and Nicene Creed.

" Also I direct, that thirty copies of the eight
' Divinity Lecture Sermons shall be always printed,

• within two months after they are preached ; and
' one copy shall be given to the Chancellor of the
' University, and one copy to the Head of every
' College, and one copy to the Mayor of the city
' of Oxford, and one copy to be put into the
' Bodleian Library ; and the expense of printing
' them shall be paid out of the revenue of the Land
' or Estates given for establishing the Divinity
' Lecture Sermons ; and the Preacher shall not be
' paid, nor be entitled to the revenue, before they
' are printed.

*' Also I direct and appoint, that no person shall
' be qualified to preach the Divinity Lecture
' Sermons, unless he hath taken the degree of
' Master of Arts at least, in one of the two Uni-
' versities of Oxford or Cambridge ; and that the
' .^ame person shall never preach the Divinity
' Lecture Sermons twice."



rv



PREFACE

An apologetic preface is always apt to savour
of unreality, as it naturally invites the criticism
that what requires an apology need never have
been printed. Yet it is difficult to publish an}'-
thing upon a serious subject without some
expression of one's sense of its inadequacy.
I will merely say, therefore, that the following
lectures make no claim to originality ; the}^ are
simply an attempt to arrange and summarize
what has already been expressed with greater
amplitude and fuller authority elsewhere ; in
the hope of attracting some, whose leisure in
these eager days may be limited, to reconsider
the important question with which they deal.
Their main contention is that, whereas physical
science has nowise weakened, critical philosophy
has distinctly strengthened the claim — the im-
memorial claim — of human personality, to i)e
a spiritual thing ; and, as such, the highest



viii PREFACE

category under which we can conceive of God.
And as this conception would lead us to expect
a progressive revelation, the evidence of such
a revelation is briefly traced, and its culmination
in the Incarnation vindicated. Such notes have
been appended as may serve to illustrate and
emphasize the main position of the lectures, by
reference to authorities where their various
issues are more adequately discussed.



CONTEXTS



LIXTURK I.



DEVELOPMENT Of^ THE CONCEl'TION OF HUMAN
PERSON A LIT V.



1. The sense of personality a gradual growth

2. Its pre-Christian recognition imperfect

3. Its final definition due to Christianity .

4. Epochs in its evolution markcil by Augustine

Luther, Kant ....

5. Personality the gateway of ail knowledge



PA(iK

6

7

8



M



LECTURK II.



ANALV.SIS OF THE CONCEPTION OF Hl'MAX
PERSONALITY.

1. Characteristics of personality, (i) reason,

(2) will, (3) love

2. Its unity

3. Its identity .

4. Its reality .

5. Its spirituality

6. Its mystery



2<)

♦ .]
4.')



X CONTENTS

LECTURE III.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONCEPTION OF DIVINE
PERSONALITY.

PAGE

1. The sense of Divine Personality (i) vague,

but (2) universal 54

2. It is progressively refined by

(i) Greek Philosophers ... 59

(2) Hebrew Prophets . . . . 65

(3) Christian Fathers .... 66

3. It culminates in the doctrine of the Trinity . 67

4. Belief in a personal God is therefore an

instinctive judgement progressively justified

by reason ...... 7^



LECTURE IV.

ANALYSIS OF THE CONCEPTION OF DIVINE
PERSONALITY.

1. Belief in a Personal God

(i) Primarily instinctive . . . 81
(2) Secondarily rational . . . 82

2. Thus the so-called 'proofs' are analyses of

a fundamental instinct . . . . 83

3. They are

(i) Cosmological, i. e, argument from

a First Cause . . . . 84

(2) Teleological, i.e. argument from

design in nature • • • 93



CONTENTS



(3) Onlological, i.e. argument from the

reality of ihouglit

(4) Moral, i.e. argument from the sense

of freedom, combined with that
of obligation . . . .



100



103



LECTURE V.



MORAL AFFINITY NEKDFUL FOR THE KNOW
LEDGE OF A PERSON.



1. Moral disposition necessary

(i) For pursuit of science
(2) For knowledge of a friend

2. Knowledge of (iod must follow the i-ai

analogy, involving
(i) Sincerity ....

(2) Purification ....

(3) Penitence ....

3. Conversely, God's self-revelation must be

conditioned by man's moral and spirilua
capacity. .....

4. This analogy confirmed by the ' persona

experience ' of holy men in every age



114
116



I 20
I 2 I
122



3^



LECTURE Vr.

RKLir.iON IN Tin: rRKinsTORic period.

1. Personality implies desire of self-communi-

cation . . . . . . .138

2. Hence a revelation is antecedently probable . 139



CO.WTEyTS

PAGE

3. Analogy points to its being gradual . . 140

4. The ' antiquity of man ' no obstacle to this

belief M3

5. The strength of * customary ' religion a con-

firmation of it 148

6. Mvih a possible vehicle of primitive revela-

tion . . . . • • -154

7. Polemical and philosophical views of pagan

religion contrasted 161



LECTURE VII.



RELIGION IN PRE-CHRISTIAN HISTORY.



1. The ethnic religions possess 'notes' of

revelation, e.g. .
(i) Their hold upon mankind

(2) Their religious books

(3) Their belief in inspiration

2. The Hebrew religion claims a pre-eminent

degree of inspiration, and jusiities its
claim ......

(i) By its contemporary character

(2) By its teleological character in re

lation to Christianity .

(3) hy the j)resent influence of its

Scriptures ....

3. Miblorical criticism cannot affect inspiration

as a fact of experience ....



168
169
170
171



173

174



181



183



COyTE.\TS xiii

LECTURE VIII.

JESUS CHRIST THE I)I\IXE AND HUMAN

PERSON.

PAr.K

1. T\]Q Incarnation the crowning proof (-f

Divine Personality . . .192

2. The reasons for Its rejection TcdWy a priori . 192

3. These rest upon a materiaHstic concej)tion of

human personahty which is untenable . 193

4. The a posleriori evidences in Its favour in-

vincibly strong . . . . .196

5. It involves the doctrine of the Trinity in

which our incomplete personality recog-
nizes its archetype . . . . .212



NOTES.
Lecture I.

Note i. Things new and old . . . .217
2. Scier^ce and Theology equally aniliioi!0-

morphic 219

Lecture II.

NoTi 3. The introspective method . . . 211

4. Self-consciousness . . . . 2J4

5. Desire . . . . .2.'^)

6. Self-determination or freewill. . . 227



xiv CONTENTS

PAGE

NoiE 7. Unity of ihe Ego or self . . . 233

8. Personality the ultimate reality . . 236

9. IMatter an abstraction, and ]\Iaterialism

therefore impossible . . . .238

10. Personality a mystery . . . . 240

Lecture III.

Note ii. Positive and Negative Theology . . 242

12. Personality predicable of God . . 243

13. Inadequate conceptions necessarily il-

lusory ...... 246

Lecture IV.

Note 14. Theistic arguments . . . .249

15. The argument from the 'concensus

gentium' ....

16. The cosmological argument

17. The teleological argument .

18. The ontological argument .

19. The moral argument .



249
251
255

257
260



Lecture V.

Note 20. Morality the condition of spiritual

insight 264



Lecture VI.

Note 21. Primitive man 265

22. Natural religion. .... 266



CONTENTS



Lecture VII.

PAGE

Note 23. Ethnic inspiration . . . . 2(>-j



LkcTURK VIII.

Note 24. Tlic Incarnation .... 26S

25. The supernatural dignity ef humanity . 270

26. The conceptions of Divine and human

personality vary together . . . 271

27. Psychological illustrations of the doc-

trine of the Trinitv . . . . 272



V



PERSONALITY

HUMAN AND DIVINE

LECTURE I

DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONCEPTION OF HUMAN
PERSONALITY

WHEN Xenophanes, in a passac^e now almost
too familiar for quotation, first brou^lit the
charge of what is called anthropomorphism against
religion, he initiated a mode of criticism which has
not yet grown old. Again and again in subsequent
history the same charge has been made and met ;
yet it survives, and in the present day is being
continually urged, as a plea for the adoption of
agnostic opinions. ' The lions, if they could have
pictured a god,' says the old Greek thinker, ' wouKl
have pictured him in fashion like a lion ; the
horses like a horse ; the oxen like an ox ' ; antl
man. it is implied, with no more justification, as
inevitably considers him a magnified man. In
our own day Matthew Arnold has employed his
graceful pen to the same efi'ect, though with less

B



^'



•^b DEVELOPMENT OF THE [lect.

than his usual grace; and still more recent critics
have reiterated the complaint. Meanwhile, as the
phenomena of savage belief, with which we are
now so well acquainted, may be easily adduced in
favour of a similar conclusion, the reflections of
Caliban upon Setebos have come to be regarded
in many minds as at once an adequate illustration
and complete condemnation of all theology.

Now the plausibility, and therefore the malignity,
of this fallacy consists in the fact that it is half
a truth ; and as there can be no question of its
immense prevalence in contemporary thought, nor
of its disintegrating effect upon religion, and
through religion upon society, an apology will
hardly be needed for one more attempt to recon-
sider the argument from human to divine person-
ality. This can, of course, only be done in outline,
if it is to be done w^ithin moderate compass : but
outlines — mere outlines — are not infrequently of use,
as enabling us to estimate in a single survey the
number, the variety, the proportion, the reciprocal
interdependence of the diverse elements in a
cumulative proof They supply that synoptic view
which, while immersed in the controversial pursuit
of details, we are apt to lose, and which is never-
theless essential to our judging the details aright,
as parts of one articulate whole.

Accordingly, the object of the following pages is
to review our reasons for believing in a Personal



I] COSCEPTION OF IIUMA^ PERSONALITY 3

God ; reasons in which, from the nature of the
case, there is no novelty, and which have been
stated and restated time out of mind ; but wliich
each generation, as it passes, needs to see exhibited
afresh, in their relation to its own peculiar modes
of thought ^ This will involve a brief analysis of
what we mean by personality ; and as the present
fulness of that meaning has only been acquired b\'
slow degrees, we shall need first to cast a glance
over the principal stages of its development.

Man lives first, and thinks afterwards. Not onh'
as an infant does he breathe and take nourishment
and grow, long before the dawn of conscious
reason ; but his reason, even when developed, can
only act upon experience, that is upon something
which has already been lived through. He makes
history by his actions, before he can reflect upon
it and write it. He takes notice of the facts of
nature before he can compare and criticize and
shape them into science ; while history and science
in their turn supply material for further thinking,
and are examined and sifted and generalized and
gathered up into philosophy. And though, of
course, reason has an eye to the future, and works
with the view of preparing for fresh developments
of life, its foresight must spring from insight ; it
can only predict what is to come by di.scovering
the law of the phenomena, the formula of the

* Sec note i.
13 2



4 DEVELOPMENT OF THE [lect.

cun-e, the He of the strata in the past. It follows
from this that thought is always in arrear of life ;
for life is in perpetual progress, and, while we are
reflecting on what happened yesterday, some further
thing is happening to-day. ' When philosophy/
says Hegel, with a touch of sadness — ' when philo-
sophy paints its grey in grey, some one shape of
life has meanwhile grown old : and grey in grey,
though it brings it into knowledge, cannot make it
\oung again. The owl of Minerva does not start
upon its flight until the evening twilight has begun
to fall.' Consequently no system of philosophy,
no intellectual explanation of things, can ever
become adequate or final. Reason is incessantly
at work, to render more and more explicit the
implicit principles, or principles which are implied
in life ; but there is always an unexplained residuum,
an unfathomed abyss in the background, from
which new and unforeseen developments may at
any moment, and do from time to time, arise.

On the other hand, it must not rashly be con-
cluded from this, that thought is an impotent
abstraction, a pale imitation of the full-blooded
reality of life, like a faded flower, or sad memory
of pleasure past and gone. We do indeed in the
course of our thinking often deal with abstractions,
isolated aspects of things — such as quantity, quality,
and the like ; but only as a means to an end, a
subordinate phase in an organic process. Thought



I] CONCEPTION OF HUMAN PERSONALITY 5

as a whole docs not tend towards the abstract, but
towards the concrete. It issues, as we have seen,
from the lesser to reissue in larger forms of life, as
fruit issues from a flower to reissue in fresh seed of
flowers. It penetrates the dull mass of life till the
whole becomes luminous and glows. It is an in-
separable element of the highest life ; or rather it
is life raised to its highest power. Thus a man
lives, and as he lives reflects upon his life ; with
the result that he comes by degrees to understand
what is within him ; his capacities, his powers, the
meaning of his actions ; and as he does so he ceases
to be the creature of mere outward circumstance,
or mere inward instinct : he knows what he is
about, and can direct and concentrate his energies;
his life becomes fuller, richer, more real, more
concrete, because more conscious ; his thought is
not a mirror which passively reflects his life, but,
on the contrary, his life is the image, the picture,
the music, the more or less adequate language of
his thoughts. Or again, a great historical mov^e-
ment, in religion or in politics, will often begin
blindly; stuttering, stammering, striking at random ;
till in process of time it gradually awakes to its
own true meaning, and grows intelligent, articulate,
effective, the recognized expression of a grand idea.
Thus in a sense we may say truly that thought
realizes or invests things with more complete
reality, and so that only what is rational is real.



/



6 DEVELOPMENT OF THE [lect.

Now in nothing, perhaps, is this order of de-
velopment from hfe to thought, from fact to
explanation, better exhibited, than in the process
by which man has come to recognize what we call
his personality, all that is potentially or actually
contained within himself— in a word what it means
to be a man. Uneducated races, as we know, tend
to personify or animate external nature ; and
though this, of course, implies some consciousness
of their own personality, it is obviously an incom-
plete and unreflective consciousness ; for it has not
yet reached that essential stage in definition which
consists in separating a thing from what it is not.
This distinction of the personal from the imper-
sonal region, or, in other language, of persons from
things, would appear to have been a gradual
process. And even when we reach the climax
of ancient civilization, in Greece and Rome, there
is no adequate sense, either in theory or practice, of
human personality as such. This may be seen,
without at present pausing to define the term, by
looking at two of its obvious characteristics. Per-
sonality, as we understand it, is universal in its
extension or scope — that is, it must pertain to
every human being as such, making him man ;
and it is one in its intention or meaning — that is,
it is the unifying principle, or, to use a more
guarded expression, the name of the unity in
which all a man's attributes and functions meet,



I] CONCEPTION OF HUMAN PERSONALITY 7

making him an individual self. And on both
these points the theory and practice of the ancient
world was deficient. Aristotle, its best exponent,
views some men as born to be savages {(jwa-d
iSaplSapoi), and others as destined by nature to be
slaves ((/)UT€t oovKol), whom he further regards as
living machines ((ixxj/vx^a opyava), and women, appa-
rently in all seriousness, as nature's failures in the
attempt to produce men. And Plato before him,
despite of those flashes of insight which are
beyond his own and most subsequent ages, had,
on the whole, taught much to the same effect.
And this is an accurate philosophical summary of
the practice of pre-Christian society. On the other
hand, in his psychology and ethics Aristotle fails
to unify human nature. In the former he leaves
an unsolved dualism between the soul and its
organism, the active and receptive faculties (vovs
TTOLrjTLKo^ and V0V9 -naOr^TLKos) ; while in the latter he
has no clear conception of the will, and hardly any
of the conscience — the two faculties or functions
which alone identify our various scattered emotions
and activities with our real self. And here too
he is only reflecting the facts of contemporary
society, which was characterized by a fatal divorce
between the various departments of life, the public
and the private, the moral and the religious, the
intellectual and the sensual ; excellence in one
region being easily allowed to compensate for



8 DEVELOPMENT OF THE [lect.

licence or failure in another. Here and there may
be found sporadic exceptions to this as to all
other historic generalizations ; but they are few
and far between, and nowhere rarer than in the
class where we should most naturally have ex-
pected to meet them — the professed teachers of
philosophy. As a rule it is beyond dispute that
/ neither the universality nor the unity of human
personality, its two most obviously essential fea-
tures, were adequately understood in pre-Christian
ages ; though stoicism was beginning to pave the
way for their recognition. But the advent of
Christianity created a new epoch both in the
development and recognition of human personality.
Its Founder lived a life and exercised a personal
attraction, but is expressly reported to have told
His followers that the full meaning of that life and
its attraction would not be understood till He was
gone : ' When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, . . .
He shall glorify me, for He shall take of mine and
shall show it unto you.' ' He shall teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all that
I said unto you.' The fact of the unique life came
first, the new personality ; and then the gradual
explanation of the fact, in the doctrine of the
person of Christ ; an order which is already
observable in the contrast that we see between
the synoptic and the fourth gospels. In the same
way the early Christians began by feeHng a new



1] COSCEPTION OF HUMAN PERSONALITY 9

life within thcni, due, as they believed, to their
being in spiritual contact with the livin^; person of
their Lord ; and enabling them to say * I live, yet
not I, Christ liveth in me.' * Let us therefore do
all things as becomes those who have God dwelling
in them ^' Then they went on, according to their
capacity and the necessities of the time, to give
a reason for the hope that was in them. And even
in so doing we notice that the first apologists
chiefly appeal to the striking contrast between the
life which Christians led and that of the cruel,
immoral, superstitious, sad, suicidal world around
them. Only as time went on, and Christianity
came to assume a place of prominence in the great
intellectual centres of the world — Antioch, Athens,
Ephcsus, Alexandria and Rome — ^^were the intellec-
tual presuppositions of this life unfolded ; and the
Christian theology — that is, the authorized explana-
tion of the Christian facts which had begun with
the writings of St. Paul and of St. John — was thus
by slow degrees developed.

Our present object, it must be remembered,
is purely historical, and we need not therefore
pause either to defend or criticize the precise
form which the development of Christian doctrine
assumed. Some development or other must have
taken place ; for the world cannot stand still.
Thoughtful men must meditate upon the things

* Ignat. Ef. ad Ephcs. 15.



lo DEVELOPMENT OF THE [lect.

which they believe, and endeavour to give articulate
expression to what is implicitly contained in the
principles by which they live ; while the missionary
desire to commend their creed to other minds, and
the consequent encounter with intellectual opposi-
tion, will naturally increase the need of theological
definition. Questions must be asked and answers
given ; and sooner or later a great religious move-
ment must be philosophically explained. But the
philosophical explanation of Christianity, despite of
all that has been crudely urged against its meta-
physical subtlety, was eminently conservative,
sober-minded, slow. The air was full of wild and
seductive systems of speculation ; and individual
Christians were diverging into strange opinions
upon all sides. And when the general councils
were called together, to correct them, there was
indeed much to be deplored in the historical circum-
stances of their assembling, as well as the tone and
temper of many of their members. Yet all this
does but emphasize the comparative moderation of
their collective voice. Their undoubted purpose,
as viewed by themselves, was to define and guard,
and to define only in order to guard, what they con-
ceived to be the essence of Christianity, the divine
humanity of Jesus Christ, and that with a strictly
practical aim. For personal union with the living
Christ was felt to be the secret of the Christian
life. And had Christ been a mere man as with



I] CONCEPTION OF HUMAN PERSONALITY ii

the Ebionitcs, or a mere appearance as with the
Docetes, or a Gnostic emanation, or an Arian demi-
god, the rcaHty of that union would have vanished.
' Our all is at stake.' Athanasius truly said, in justi-
fication of his lifelong conflict. This was the real
contribution of the general councils to human
history; the more and more explicit reassertion of
the Incarnation, as a mystery indeed, but as a fact.


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Online LibraryJ.R. (John Richardson) IllingworthPersonality, human and divine : being the Bampton lectures for the year 1894 → online text (page 1 of 17)