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charnel-house with spectres ; but godlike and my
Father's 1 ."

I have only a little more to add 2 . The function of
these Essays will be fulfilled if they help men to
receive Christ's teachings and clear the way for that
living contact which is the consummation of faith. I
have purposely not committed myself to opinions as a
rule that the reader may form his own. In reading
further, read both sides. An acquaintance with anti-
Christian literature robs it of its terrors. There is
much in it that is forcible and weighty, and valuable,
but none of the conclusive exposure of the folly of
Christianity that one half fears to find. Read Haeckel
and Huxley, but read also the deeper philosophers;

1 Sartor Resartus, Book n. Ch. 9.

2 See Appendix P, p. 147.


Ward's Naturalism and Agnosticism, Stirling's The
Secret of Hegel, and other such. Above all read the
Bible itself, and take care to read it in its historical
setting and to see with your own eyes its meaning.
Much in St John's epistles that appears narrow and
local is at once explained when one realises that he
was contending with a system that starting from
certain theories of Christ's nature proceeded to
sanction immoral conduct in the name of Christianity.
Especially read the Gospel of St John and see the
reasonableness of Christ's claims. Does He, as a matter
of fact, supply the spiritual need of man ? Then He
is, as a matter of plain fact, the Bread of life.

The interregnum is not to be permanent, though
in many other matters than religion it would be well if
mankind would acknowledge their inability to agree
on what was academically correct and proceed to what
was useful. But the openness of mind of the inter-
regnum should remain through life as a broadminded
sympathy with the difficulties and different views of
others, emphasizing unity on fundamentals above
divergence on accessories, and putting first and fore-
most practical loyal devotion to Christ.

APPENDIX A. (p. 32.)

The corroboration afforded at this stage by the
Gospel story is, of course, corroboration of our beliefs,
not of our faith. This it cannot corroborate as its
acceptance is based on assuming the faith to be true ;
but it can quite well corroborate deductions from it,
thus playing the same part as it would play in corro-
borating opinion if the faith were proved and not only
assumed. If, starting from one premise, we reach the
same conclusions by two totally distinct routes, the
validity of those conclusions is made very much more

In this instance one of the most important points
is that the Gospel story sanctions that individualist
element in our faith on which the deduction of immor-
tality depends. Hitherto it has been assumed, as part
of the faith implied in my pursuit of the good, that
/ shall benefit thereby. I think it could be shown
that this is really necessarily implied in the bare notion
of the validity of the moral sense, and could therefore
have taken its place as a corollary ; but since it is by
no means self-evident I have preferred to leave it as


an assumption involved in individual conduct, merely
demonstrating its reasonableness (pp. 17, 18). Now,
however, by a line of argument starting only from the
general assumption without the individual element and
moving by a wholly independent, objective path, the
same individual element has been logically introduced
and the same deduction, of immortality, reached. This
enormously strengthens our position ; and, to anticipate
a little the argument of Section 2, we can safely say
that the validity of the Christian position depends
on the amount of justification we can find from other
considerations for our general assumption, without
labouring to justify the inclusion of the individualist

It may be also noted that this corroboration has
some bearing on opinion. Although the story be
accepted because the faith is first assumed, yet as
further investigation shows the difficulty of finding
an alternative explanation for the story and further
experience tallies with deductions from it, so its
existence becomes a corroboration in opinion for our
assumption. In the interregnum this is of little value
to us as yet, as it involves much study of expert opinions
and the reasoning supporting them.

At present, then, corroboration means that our
deductions (including the individualist element) are
vindicated by an objective route, the whole still resting
on one fundamental assumption, the validity of the


moral sense. It also brings us the psychological satis-
faction of being in company with the world's greatest
spiritual geniuses in our outlook on life.

APPENDIX B. (p. 47.)

I have scarcely touched on the doctrine of the
Holy Spirit, but I think it finds a place in our beliefs
as the outcome of our belief in a personal God when
this belief is confronted with the experience of inability
to do right. If, in the face of known inability, we still
rely on the possibility of accomplishment, that implies
an external source of power, and that we can receive
from the "not-ourselves" the ability needful to success.
This with our anthropomorphic figure means that God
will supply strength for the attainment of holiness.

The testimony to this inability is very strong, and
is found in writers not theological or even Christian 1 .
Stevenson proposes "A faithful Failure 2 " as the noblest
epitaph to be desired, and Jekyll and Hyde is full of
generalizations as to the general tendency of mankind
to fail in their own reformation. It is enough for our
purpose that we should recognise this defect in ourselves.
If we cannot radically reform ourselves the outward

J Video meliora proboque,

Deteriora seqnor. OYID.

8 "A Christmas Sermon."


reform must be defective unless such a radical reform
can be accomplished by a power able to affect the
spiritual roots of our life.

Intricate questions of psychological terminology
are sometimes raised as to what "self" may properly
connote ; I am using here the prima facie language
which is almost always the language of practical religion.

The essence of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in
practical life is that reversal of the common experience
of degeneration which is expressed by St Paul in the
words " The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
made me free from the law of sin and of death 1 ."
Taken in its context, and considering the reasons why
he thus designates the Mosaic law which he is taking
as the type of moral law, this passage means that he
has escaped the universal experience of failure and
degeneration through the operation of a renewing and
sanctifying principle in Christian life. It is like that
illustration in The Pilgrim's Progress where apparently
every effort is being put forth to quench a fire, but it
still burns because it is being secretly fed with oil.
Cosmically expressed our faith implies that the forces
promoting holiness do after all excel those hindering
it; and our anthropomorphism allows us to restate it
in the terms of this doctrine.

The doctrine is sometimes attacked on account of
its supposed origin. In the early church it is clear
1 Romans viii. 2.


that certain psychical manifestations were attributed to
the Holy Spirit on the analogy of similar manifestations
of aa opposite moral character popularly ascribed to
possession by evil spirits. In this connection it is
important to remember that the origin of a doctrine
does not determine its value alone. If it has a present
religious value, it is valid whatever its origin. The
use of the salicylates and of iron in medicine originated
from wholly inadmissible reasoning, but no sound
physician would fail to use them, though the reason of
their action is unknown and is certainly not what it
was supposed to be.

(I cannot here go into the question of demon
possession. In the language of religion the term is
perhaps admissible to connote a certain set of psychical
phenomena ; and there are not a few who after investi-
gation adhere to the opinion that there is something
more in these phenomena than ordinary insanity ; they
are marked by intermittent domination by suggestions
of an immoral character and are often curable by the
counter-suggestion of religion.)

It is important also to note that from the first it
was recognised that these manifestations could be
"counterfeited by the devil." St Paul and St John
urge the Christians to " try the spirits 1 " by doctrinal
and moral tests ; any manifestations tending to upset
mere orderliness in worship were to be rejected as not
1 1 John iv. 1; see 2 Thessalonians ii. 2.


of Divine origin 1 ; and St Paul classes with the more
unusual manifestations, and above them, the sanctified
use of the normal faculties of preaching and teaching.
To him the fruits of the Spirit are not marvels but
virtues ; and so it is safe to say that the morality and
not the marvellousness of the gifts was from the begin-
ning the criterion of their origin, and the operation of
the Spirit was seen in the sanctified use of the powers,
normal or abnormal. To us who believe in a Spirit-
God there cannot be any difficulty in using anthropo-
morphic language to denote this ; and it is not open to
the same objections as may be urged against it when
used to speak of manifestations of evil, though even
there the objections are not absolutely final.

APPENDIX C. (p. 59.)

Since writing these Essays I have read Charles'
Eschatology. It seems almost certain that the writer
of Revelation believed in everlasting torment (or rather
the writer of part of it, for it is supposed to incorporate
a piece of a Jewish apocalyptic work). But Professor
Charles is emphatic in denying that doctrine any right
to a place in the Christian creed. He traces its origin

1 1 Cor. xiv. 33.


to a crude metaphysic as I have done, but historically.
He believes that Christ definitely taught the opposite,
that this doctrine is incompatible with other parts of
the Revelation, and that it owes its inclusion simply to
the survival of early Judaistic ideas in the incorporated
fragment. Just as heathen Semitic conceptions of the
after life were gradually reformed by the increasing
appreciation of the character of God in Judaism, so
some Judaistic notions have illogically passed over into
Christian writings. (This book is most illuminating
on many such questions.)

My argument in this Essay still holds good in so far
as it shows that not even a reverence for the letter
of the New Testament is violated by rejecting this
doctrine ; and, what is far more important, Christ's
teaching has distinctly different implications. There
is a school of orthodox Christians who hold that the
sacred writers, while holding imperfect views, were
divinely prevented from expressing them in their
writings. To such my argument should be satisfactory
(though I do not share their view), and it amply proves
that rejection of this doctrine is permissible within the
pale of strict orthodoxy.


APPENDIX D. (p. 67.)

It is so important to see what we have and have
not proved in this Section, that it will be well to sum
up the argument.

We have seen that faith of some sort is implied in
all consistent conduct. We then chose good conduct
for ourselves and examined the faith implied in this.
This faith we found to mean that the universe took
cognisance of moral distinctions, and that the moral
sense was valid. It also implied individual " success "
as the outcome. These things confronted with death
and sin implied immortality and progressive sanctifica-
tion through the agency of power beyond that normally
exercised by us. They also implied a simultaneous
recognition and ignoring of past failure.

Then, returning to the genuine desire implicit in
our chosen conduct, we saw that it meant the use of all
reasonably useful helps to realisation of the good. We
therefore adopted prayer and other such helps, and
especially one implied in some of these the anthropo-
morphic figure. Under the alchemy of this concept,
our beliefs became beliefs in a Good Spirit God, the
need of confession, forgiveness, and trust in His present
spiritual help. Probably even the idea of the Atone-
ment is involved in the combination of God's holiness
with forgiveness.

At this point it is important to realise that we


adopted this concept because it was desirable, not
because it was necessarily involved in the validity of
the moral sense. This desirableness is sufficient ground
for determining our interregnum attitude to an idea
unless it is palpably absurd. The first apparent diffi-
culty in the concept I showed to be removed by
considering the mathematical parallel in the use of oo .
After that I introduced an argument (of the white
stones) to show that probably the concept was implied
in our faith in the moral sense. This is not essential
to the argument of Section I, but if admitted both
helps to justify our use of the figure and will, in
Section II, form a link in one of the mutually corrobo-
rative chains that lead from simple considerations to
the Christian creed.

Thirdly, we examined the effect of our assumption
on our reading of historical evidence, and found that,
if our faith in the general validity of the moral sense
could be established, the gospel history was credible
and corroborated our other deductions including the
individualist element, the anthropomorphic figure, and
the doctrines of forgiveness and sanctification. Other
doctrines of the Atonement and the Holy Spirit we
found to be consonant with the highest ideals involved
in our faith, or perhaps corroborations and concrete
fulfilments of expectations inherent in it. By this path,
then, what was before desirable becomes necessary,
unless further investigation shows that the Gospel story


is obviously to be rejected on other grounds than those
based on its supposed impossibility.

Lastly, a creed was seen to be a desirable adjuvant
to conduct, and the Christian creed the best.

Thus we concluded that it was lawful, reasonable,
natural and desirable for one in the interregnum who
truly desired to follow the highest conduct to rank
himself among Christians as a Christian, even while
acknowledging that he was not competent yet to form
an opinion on the main controversy and that he could
not see the point of much accepted Christian doctrine
or answers to many difficulties in it. This attitude he
may maintain even if the evidence seems distinctly
against it, for while historic corroboration strengthens
the fundamental beliefs, its absence does not destroy
them ; and the faintest chance of immortality is worth
pursuit (p. 17).

Incidentally, before turning to the argument of
Section 2, we may notice that we have come across
some pieces of evidence for Christianity, which, though
not conclusive, by their combined testimony form a
considerable argument. The difficulty of finding an
alternative explanation for the Christian history, gospel
and experience, and the practical utility of the
" universal adjuvants," in themselves form arguments.
The former is admittedly a strong one ; the latter must
surely point to some feature in the nature of the
cosmos, though its exact value is hard to gauge.

H. 10


APPENDIX E. (p. 82.)

The evidence derived from the Bible history is of
the nature of testimony to a specific reaction to religious
values, and is strong, though its absence would not
discredit Christianity. The Christian religion is the
product of the Jewish race and religion ; "religion" in
general has not been able to produce its absolute ethic.
Now the Jewish race had nothing distinctive except its
religion and the morality inculcated. In all the factors
making for survival in those days it was deficient. That
it survived at all, then, must be because of its religion ;
either because it gave it an advantage, or because the
universe protected it from extinction; in other words
because God providentially preserved it till its mission
was accomplished. From the Bible history we can see
that, though indeed the religion had a consolidating
effect on the race, the survival of the race was, humanly
speaking, a mere accident. Judaea was in constant
terror of Assyria and Babylon, neighbouring nations
were obliterated, five-sixths 1 of the Hebrew race has
disappeared beyond all tracing, and Jerusalem owed its
immunity to a series of accidents of geographical
position and politics, culminating in the very singular
"accident" to Sennacherib's army. Still the Jewish
nation and religion survived, meeting apparently with
1 The section which had most corrupted the religion.


the very experiences needed to correct and purify their
religious concepts, until the acme was reached and
embodied in the unique Figure of Jesus. Forty years
later this would have been for ever impossible, and in
fact no second such embodiment has appeared among
the Jews. These facts of solid history, especially to
those who for other reasons incline to believe in a
spirit-God, are strongly suggestive of definite purpose at
work in the development of Christianity; while the
triumph of the developed religion and the approval of
the moral sense, derived from the universe, are further
evidences of its fundamental trueness.

APPENDIX F. (p. 134.)

It may be well to sum up part of the argument of
Section II.

To deny freedom in such a way as to deny morality,
responsibility, etc., is to give the lie to our own senses.
This may be perfectly legitimate if sufficient reason be
shown for distrusting them in any given matter; but
in this case the reason against freedom resolves itself
into extension of an analogy from the inanimate and
unconscious to the conscious and animate. This exten-
sion is very questionably legitimate. The further case


against freedom lies in the fact that we cannot conceive
of the method of its exercise ; to this must be opposed
the undeniable fact that something undetermined
must exist or have existed (see heading of Essay XII).
Freedom, therefore, though indescribable, is certainly
not impossible.

Since, then, in this instance there is no conclusive
reason for disbelieving our senses, such an arbitrary
disbelief is of a nature which cuts at the root of all
knowledge ; nothing can be concluded or known.
From this sceptical chaos we can emerge only by an
act of faith, literally and actually ; which act justifies,
or perhaps compels, a precisely parallel act of faith in
the moral sense, and consequently in some sort of
freedom. The deductions from this have as much right
to be associated with the sense of conviction and to be
called knowledge as the deductions from faith in the
rational sense.

In Section I I have shown that the essence of
Christianity is derivable from an individualist faith in
the moral sense. In Section II I have shown that
while perhaps the individualist element is not so
obviously justifiable in logic the main faith is justifiable;
and the specific historical testimony to Christianity,
rendered credible by this justified faith, is abundantly
sufficient to warrant an acceptance of it with its
individualist elements. (As a matter of fact, I think
the acceptance of the main faith can be shown to


involve the acceptance of the individualist element, but
the same end is attained by historical considerations ;
and my aim is only to clear the ground of prejudice
against these.) The conclusion is that Christianity
has not been so discredited as to be unworthy of
consideration ; on the contrary it is the natural deduc-
tion from the facts of history and experience if we
approach these with faith in the moral sense. This
faith is justifiable, and is the faith implied in the
earnest desire for goodness ; therefore it is not only
lawful and desirable, but also reasonable, to be a


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