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aesthetic contemplation : we must not forget the fine com-
prehensiveness of TO KaAoV to the Greek mind. ^Esthetic
Theism regards God as the Creator of Beauty, and as its
Beholder. It assumes that Beauty has an absolute value
for God, and is not merely a means towards the True or
the Good ; and it holds, therefore, that it has an absolute
value for us too.

We are not to suppose that there are three Faiths that
of the scientist, that of the artist, and that of the moralist.
We are not to attempt a neat classification by saying that
the scientist worships the true with his intellect, the artist
the beautiful with his feeling, and the moralist the good with
his will. That would be a lame conclusion, leaving us
pulled different ways by our several faculties towards
divergent ideals, each claiming divine sanction. The three
in that case would only thwart and partially discredit
each other, and in default of any faculty which could
adjudicate between them, we should be driven back again
into scepticism.

There must be an unifying principle, in which the different
activities of our nature are harmonised as activities of one
person, directed towards one satisfying end. It is in this
unifying experience that Faith for the first time comes
fully into its own. It has busied itself with multifarious
activities and experiences belonging to time and space :
by entering into them it has become self-conscious ; it has

232 FAITH [CH.

learned to know itself and the world. But it is not lost
in multiplicity ; it ends by drawing the threads together
again, and fixing its gaze on one object the eternal world,.
This is the ' simplification ' j(a7rA.u>ons) of mysticism, and
it gives a new meaning to the injunction about receiving
the kingdom of God as little children.

Eternity is a mode under which all things in time may
be regarded. To view things sub specie aeternitatis is to
view them in relation to the eternal ideas of Truth, Beauty,
and Goodness. As we come to know more about this
eternal world, we apprehend more and more significant
facts about existence, not losing or forgetting the lower,
but putting them in their right place. Some facts (e.g.
local and temporal position) become unimportant. We get
rid of the persistent illusion that there is some special
degree of reality and importance about the time through
which we happen to be passing, which is much as if we
supposed that the landscape which we see from the carriage
window came into existence at the approach of the train,
and faded into nothingness at its departure. We value
things according as they seem to participate in the nature of
God, as set forth above. That which is isolated, meaning-
less, useless, self-discordant, is to that extent unreal and
valueless. And I think it is true to say that in proportion
as we can rise in heart and mind to this sphere, we perceive
the truth and beauty of the good, the goodness and beauty
of the truth, and the truth and goodness of the beautiful.

Some will say that the Good is the supreme category
under which all others are subsumed, and will protest
against Truth and Beauty being placed on the same level
with it. They may appeal to ancient philosophy in support
of their contention. The school of Megara put the Good
in the place of the ' Being ' of the Eleatics ; and the
Platonists identified the One with the Good. * Dionysius
the Areopagite ' puts good, as a divine name, before Being,
as does Erigena, who even says, ' The things which are


not are better than the things that are, for in transcend-
ing Being they approach to the superessential Good.' In
Aquinas the ascending scale of ideas is Being, Truth, Good-
ness. I think, however, that Goodness is used in slightly
different senses. When it is paralleled with Truth and
Beauty, it is used in a distinctly ethical sense, though I have
shown that ethics cannot be separated from devotion to
the true and beautiful. But when ' God saw all that He
had made, and behold it was very good/ the adjective
implies only approval and satisfaction with the result.
It is * good ' that the ideas of truth and beauty should be
fully realised. If ' good ' is defined (as it is e.g. by Suarez)
as the perfection which exists in anything, goodness is
wider than the ethical ideal.

The faculties of our mind must be really unified beforei/^
Faith can fully come into its own. The will, feeling, andf*
intellect cannot be driven like the horses in a Russian
troika, side^by side. This is our great difficulty. This is
why Faith must be true to its proper temper that of
patient, confident hopefulness and trust. We must not
make a hierarchy of the faculties, as Hegel did, and as many
of his opponents have done. The intellect is the latest
born of our faculties, and the finest instrument we have ;
there is a very true sense in which it is ' king,' as being
alone ' evident to itself.' l But I have already shown that
in the life of reason, thus conceived, the moral and
the aesthetic consciousness find their full satisfaction, and
are not relegated to a lower place.

This life of reason is the life of the { perfect man ' grown
out of the dim mystical consciousness with which religion
began. Faith, when perfected, becomes a real spiritual
self-consciousness, in which the human spirit and the
divine are in free communication with each other. We have
all the time been making a false abstraction in considering
Faith as a merely human faculty. It is God's gift as much '
paffMs 6 NOVJ atrds 6 NoOs bapyfr **rte iavrtf. Plotinus.

234 FAITH [CH,

as man's service ; and the two sides can never be separated.
>This is the fundamental truth of mysticism. The mystics
have often been in too great a hurry, but they are right in
their view of the relation of man to God. Some of them
have really found what they sought ; but they have not
been able to describe their highest experiences. Those
who have stopped half way, content with some hasty
synthesis, have often been more lucid and intelligible
than those who have followed the rugged path to the end.
In Edward FitzGerald's mystical poem, Attar, there is a
pretty allegory, which tells how the moths sent mes-
sengers to find their idol the flame. The first and second
come back with slight and uncertain intelligence, and are
rejected. A third goes in their place

Who, spurred with true desire
Plunging at once into the sacred fire
Folded his wings within, till he became
One colour and one substance with the flame.
He only knew the flame who in it burned,
And only he could tell who ne'er to tell returned.

It may be inferred that I find in the idea of personality
my ground of confidence that the contradictions of experi-
ence will be harmonised. In a sense this is so. And yet I
differ strongly from some who have already defended
Faith by this argument, among whom the most illustrious
is the author of the Grammar of Assent. Newman, in this
celebrated book, ranges himself with the ' Personalists ' ;
his appeal is to the assent of the whole man to religious
truth, which cannot be established by the intellect only,
still less by the sentiments, which, as a basis for Faith,
are * a dream and a mockery.' He further rejects
the argument from our sense of beauty, which seems to
him too trivial ; and his intellectual scepticism, as we
have already seen, is deep and far-reaching. His c per-
sonalism ' is therefore almost exclusively ethical, and his
philosophy resembles that of the pragmatists and personal


idealists. This is far too narrow a psychological basis for
a true philosophy of personality ; and when, after an
acute analysis of the process by which beliefs come to be
held, he takes us with breathless haste, by a series of leaps
and bounds, into the heart of Roman Catholic orthodoxy,
we follow with undiminished admiration of his dialectic,
but with no inclination towards conversion.

The word ' personality ' is in danger of becoming a philo-
sophical shibboleth. It has been so much abused that I
prefer not to use it. * We do not become personalities by
pronouncing the word with unction and emphasis. . . . The
thought of personality possesses value only so far as the
word is backed by action, and action which involves the
building up of a new reality. . . . The modern world, like
all others, is especially eloquent and enthusiastic about
that in which it is most lacking ; we are in painful want of
vigorous and strongly-marked personalities, and we talk
incessantly about the value and greatness of personality.' 1

It is an unrealised ideal the ideal of Faith. Would
Faith be Faith if it were not unrealised ? Faith is the felt
unity of unreduced opposites. 2 Have we not found that
hope and venture are essential parts of Faith ? Every
religious doctrine has its inexplicable side, because it cannot
be a religious doctrine unless it stretches out into the
infinite. The dualistic form of consciousness is seemingly
ineradicable ; we are condemned to a kind of astigmatism
of which we are nevertheless fully aware. This natural
limitation has been poetically expressed by William
Watson :

Think not thy wisdom can illume away
The ancient tanglement of night and day.
Enough to acknowledge both and both revere j
They see not clearliest who see all things clear.

i Eucken, The Life of the Spirit, pp. 385-6.

a From Bradley, who says less accurately that ' Keligion is the felt unity,'


The religious consciousness oscillates between two poles,
presenting all the highest truths to us under the form
of antinomies. * He to whom time is as eternity, and
eternity as time,' says Jacob Bohme, ' is freed from all
trouble.' No doubt he would be, as the blessed dead are
free ; but we have to live in time as citizens of eternity ;
that is our practical problem. The certainty that all
contradictions are reconciled in the eternal world is ours ;
but the how is mainly hidden from us. Meanwhile, as
might be expected while we are feeling our way, there is
a borderland of half-beliefs, half-fancies, promptings from
our sub-conscious life, anticipations of later developments.
These vague intimations are neither to be rejected nor
superstitiously obeyed, but studied and analysed, and
above all brought to the test of action, till they yield
something definite.

The negative movement in all experience is a great
mystery, but it is the condition of Faith's existence. There
are some remarkable thoughts in the following words of
R. L. Stevenson (Virginibus Puerisque, p. 41) : ' The true
conclusion is to turn our backs on apprehensions, and
embrace that shining and courageous virtue, Faith. Hope
is the boy, a blind, headlong, pleasant fellow ; Faith is
the grave, experienced, yet smiling man. Hope lives on
ignorance ; open-eyed Faith is built upon a knowledge of
our life, of the tyranny of circumstance, and the frailty
of human resolution. Hope looks for unqualified success ;
but Faith counts certainty a failure, and takes honourable
defeat to be a form of victory.' This is exactly the lesson
of the Epistle to the Hebrews, though the New Testament
gives Hope a much higher place, as Faith's twin sister.
* The spiritual life, however deep and divine our conception
of it may be, is not an oppositionless experience, but shares
the essential characteristic of all personal activity that,
namely, of developing through self-diremption and self-
return. It is within the spiritual life itself that all opposi-


tions are at once created and overcome.' l Dissatisfaction
with the actual is a condition of Faith, and a part of it.
We must not conceive of Faith developing apart from the
pain and the evil, the ignorance and the ugliness, which it
resists. The oppositions which stimulate and perplex our
mortality are themselves part of our immortal substance ;
the Good, sub specie aeternitatis, is a good which has over-
come evil rather than an abstract notion of good which
excludes it.

This is really fundamental, according to my view. Faith
rearranges all experience, which is presented to us at first
so chaotically, but it leaves nothing out. Every contra-
diction must be fairly met and overcome. If we edge
round it, if we ignore it or shirk it in any way, we shall
enter into life halt and maimed, if we enter at all. Even
the claims of piety must give way to the love of truth.
To put the needs of the heart before truth is really an act
of treason against Faith.

This unified experience is the perfected state, and the
fruition, of Faith. There are not many who can hope
to attain to it in this life, though, as Browning says,
* moments ' are not ' denied us ' hi which c the spirit's true
endowments stand out plainly from its false ones.' The
common life of the Church, in most cases, brings us nearer
to it than we could get as isolated individuals, and this is
a truth which I wish to emphasise, as I have been obliged
to traverse some of the claims which the greatest of Chris-
tian Churches makes for itself.

Of the object of Faith God I have said very little,
except that He is known to us in His attributes of perfect
Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. I do not agree with those
philosophers who say that the Absolute is wholly withdrawn
from our ken. ' The fulness of Him that filleth all in all '
is thoroughly conceivable as an idea, though not cognoscible,
and is a possible and legitimate object of adoration. If I

1 Boyce Gibson, R. Euckeri$ Philosophy of Life, p. 154.

238 FAITH [CH.

am to attempt to clothe my idea of God in philosophical
as well as in religious language, I can nearly accept the
following statement of Professor Royce (Hibbert Journal,
July 1907) only stipulating that the * will ' which is
eternally in possession of its object can no longer be
distinguished from thought : ' I mean by the term God
the totality of the expressions and life of the world-will,
when considered in its conscious unity. God is a con-
sciousness which knows and which intends the entire life
of the world, a consciousness which views this life at one
glance, as its own life and self, 1 and which therefore not only
wills but attains, not only seeks but possesses, not only
passes from expression to expression, but eternally is the
entire temporal sequence of its own expressions. God has
and is a will, and this will, if viewed as a temporal sequence
of activities, is identical with what I have called the world-
will. Only, when viewed as the divine will, this world- will
is taken not merely as an infinite sequence of will-activities,
but in its entire unity as one whole of life. God is omni-
scient, because His insight comprehends and finds unified,
in one eternal instant, the totality of the temporal process,
with all of its contents and meanings. He is omnipotent,
because all that is done is, when viewed in its unity, His
deed, and that despite the endless varieties and strifes
which freedom and the variety of individual finite expres-
sions involve. God is immanent in the finite, because
nothing is, which is not part of His total self-expression.
He is transcendent of all finitude, because the totality of
finite processes is before Him at once, whereas nothing
finite possesses true totality.'

The life of Faith admits us to a real, not an imaginary,
communion with God. As Faith realises itself in know-
ledge or reason, as we understand what that vague yearning

i The life of the world is not, even in its totality, the 'self of God, but the
expression of His thought and will. Royce does not emphasise quite
sufficiently (to satisfy me) the transcendence of God.


which has been with us so long really means, namely, that
there is a God who has made us for Himself, and who has
been drawing us towards Himself, not only do all the
tangled threads of life begin to straighten, but our hearts
glow with a new emotional warmth. We begin to know
the love of God. And so we are brought back to the fine
words of Clement about Faith, Knowledge, and Love,
which I quoted in my second lecture.

Faith is the human side of the religious relation, Grace
is the corresponding divine side. The spiritual life is not
a work of man himself, but of the whole world-movement
drawing him on. The divine in humanity is unfolding
itself in us. Spirituality is, as it were, a new stage in the
world's life, a new cosmic force. ' God,' in the words of
St. Paul, ' works in us to will and to do of His good plea-
sure.' Every religious act is an act of Faith and Grace
together. They are the two indissoluble sides of one act,
through which the union between God and man becomes
actual. The human and divine elements must both be
active in Faith ; otherwise we get either rationalism or
magical supernaturalism. In either case, all real relation
between God and man is lost.

But in the experience of the growing spirit, Faith and
Grace are double, and it is because they are not yet fused
that the divine side of the relation is projected as super-
natural dogma instead of as the personal self-communi-
cation of God, and the human as cultus instead of as the
free response to that self-communication. Dogma and
cultus are the untransparent middle forms of knowledge
and action. Faith passes through them, but does not
remain shut up in them.

Revelation is the divine side of intellectual Faith. It is
the name given to grace as enlightenment and persuasion
of divine truth. All revelation is in part inner and per-
sonal : it is never wholly in nature or history. All that
can be done from outside is to quicken and confirm the

240 FAITH [ce.

revelation in the soul. Since revelation speaks to the
central and most divine part of the personality, it con-
veys absolute truth, from which, as I have maintained,
we are not excluded, though the forms under which it is
conveyed are human and imperfect.

As revelation corresponds to intellectual Faith, so
redemption corresponds to what we may call heart-Faith.
Faith is, on one side, self-surrender. But surrender is only
the first stage in the human process which corresponds to
redemption ; the second stage is atonement, or recon-
ciliation. God redeems man from evil and guilt, and
man feels himself reconciled to God. Redemption and
atonement are functionally identical, and the feeling of
reconciliation is peace. Surrender, reconciliation, peace,
are the three stages of heart-Faith, which correspond to
the act of grace as ledemption. 1

The third form of Grace is that which belongs to the will.
The religious relation, says Hartmann in the work Just
referred to, raises us above relative dependence on the
world, to absolute dependence on God, which is freedom.
' Sanctification ' is the name given to both the negative
and positive stages of this deliverance and elevation. On
the human side the first stage is moral freedom, the second
moral energy. Holiness is virtue rooted in the religious
relation ; its activities are the actualising of the religious
relation. The distinction between holiness and virtue is
qualitative, not quantitative.

But revelation, redemption, and sanctification are closely
connected. ' Only the unity of intellectual, affective, and
practical Faith embraces the whole conception of Faith,
just as only the unity of revelation, redemption, and sancti-
fication realises the whole conception of grace.' 2

Hartmann' s treatment of Faith and Grace as the human
and divine aspects of the same activity seems to me to

1 Cf. Hartmann, Religion des Geista.
8 Hartmann, op. cit.


make it easier to harmonise the static and dynamic aspects
of spiritual truth.

I will conclude these lectures by a quotation from a
writer who speaks with high authority. I am glad to find
in his words a powerful support for the view of the nature
and function of Faith which I have endeavoured to lay
before you.

* Faith is the faculty implanted in every man made in the
image of God, the ally of the reason, the will, the affections,
which swiftly discerns and swiftly weighs evidence as to
the things of the unseen and eternal order, appealing partly
to the intellect and partly to the spirit. The divine gift
of reason is educated by the divine gift of Faith ; and
Faith is educated by reason. For a while reason and
Faith pursue their journey together. At length the time
comes when reason acknowledges that there is a bar to
further progress, and when Faith must press on alone into
the realities of the unseen and the eternal. Faith returns
at length from that far Journey and submits to reason the
assurance she has gained as to the things of God. Reason
reviews, harmonises, gives expression to the discoveries
of Faith. The will translates them into the activities of a
holy life. The heart loves and rejoices in the God and
Father of whom Faith witnesses. The reason, the will,
the heart, are the allies of Faith. Together, if they have
their perfect work, they make the life on earth divine.
Together they realise that eternal life which lies about us
and is in us, but which as yet is hidden from us by the
shadows of the seen and the temporal.' *

1 Bishop of Ely (Dr. Chase) at Barrow Church Congress, 1908.


BALFOUR, A. J., Foundations of Belief .

BARRY, Bishop, The Manifold Witness for Christ.

BENSON, MARGARET, The Venture of a Rational Faith.

BOEDDER, BERNARD, Natural Theology.

CAIRD, JOHN, Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion.

CALDECOTT, A., Philosophy of Religion; Selections from the

Literature of Theism.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA, Protrepticus ; Paedagogus; Stro-


Du BOSE, W., The Gospel in the Gospels.
EUCKEN, R., The Life of the Spirit, and other works.
FECHNER, G. T., Die drei Motive und Grunde des Glaubens.
GREEN, T. H., Faith.

GRUBB, E., Authority and the Light Within.
GWATKIN, M., The Knowledge of God.
HARE, JULIUS, Sermons.
HARTMANN, E. VON, Religion des Geistes.
HEBERT, Evolution de la Foi Catholique.
HOLLAND, HENRY SCOTT, Essay on Faith in Lux Mundi.
INGE, W. E., Faith and Knowledge ; Truth and Falsehood in


J ASTRO w, M., The Study of Religion.
KAFTAN, J., Das Wesen der Religion.
KEYSERLING, Graf H., Unsterblichkeit.
KRAUSE, K., The Ideal of Humanity.


LADD, G. T., A Theory of Eeality ; Philosophy of Religion.
MARTINEAU, J., A Study of Religion; The Seat of Authority in


MOORE, AUBREY L., Science and the Faith.
NEWMAN, Cardinal, Lectures on Justification.
O'BRIEN, Bishop, Sermons on the Nature and Effects of Faith.
PRATT, J. B., Psychology of Religious Belief.
RAUWENHOFF, L., Religionsphilosophie.
ROMANES, G. J., Thoughts on Religion.

SABATIER, A., Les Religions d'Autorite et la Religion de V Esprit.
SKRINE, J. H., What is Faith ?
STANTON, V. H., The Place of Authority in Matters of Religious


STARBUCK, E. D., The Psychology of Religion.
TIELE, C. P., Elements of the Science of Religion.
TYRRELL, G., Lex Orandi; Lex Credendi.
UPTON, C. B., Hiblert Lectures, 1893.
WATSON, JOHN, The Philosophical Basis of Religion.


JOTT, E. A., 7, 28.
Abelard, 30.
Acedia, 51.

^Esthetic ground of Faith, 203-22.
Alanus of Lille, 84.
Alexander of Hales, 99.
Allen, A. V. G., Continuity of

Christian Thought, 30.
Anselm, 80.

Antiquity, appeal to, 96-7.
Aquinas, Thomas, 31-3, 39, 178, 217,

230, 233.

Aristotle, 48, 144, 153, 195, 209.
Arnold, Matthew, 159.
Athenagoras, 110.
AufJd&rung, the, 135.
Augustine, 18, 30, 70, 112, 116, 123,

144, 215.
Authority, 72-139,

BACON, FRANCIS, 153, 199.
Baldwin, Prof., 71.
Balfour, A. J., 75, 190.
Balmez, J., 144.
Basilides, 26.
Bayle, 76.

Beauty, 47, 203-22, 231.
Bengel, 128.

Benson, Miss Margaret, 43.
Bernard, 31.
Bethune-Baker, 110.
Bible, the, 107-23.
Boedder, Bernard, 61.
Bohme, Jacob, 236.
Bonaventura, 99.
Bosanquet, Bernard, 207, 212.

Bradley, F. H., 199, 235.
Browning, R., 63, 65, 139.
Brunetiere, Ferdinand, 178.
Bucke, 65.
Buddhism, 44.
Burke, 207.
Burkitt, F. C., 94.
Butler, Dom, 101.

CAIRD, E., 189, 229.

Caird, J. , 188.

Caldecott, A., 59, 183, 190.

Catholicism, 161.

Celsus, 21.

Change and permanence, 194-96.

'Charcoal Burner's Faith,' 85.

Chase, Bishop, 241.

Chillingworth, 107.

Chrysostom, 16, 34, 120.

Church, the, as primary authority,


Church, Dean, 213.
Clarke, 147.

Clement of Alexandria, 24-30.
Clement of Rome, 27.
Clementine Recognitions, 25.
Clough, A. H., 142.
Coleridge, Hartley, 229.
Colet, 110.

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Online LibraryWilliam Ralph IngeFaith and its psychology → online text (page 20 of 21)